Yasmin  Sooka!, Instead of hunting for war criminals in Sri Lanka try helping  the poverty stricken  blacks in  South Africa.

January 16th, 2019

By Charles S.Perera

Yasmin Sooka, have you visited the poor Africans living in squalid conditions in Squatter Camps, seen with your eyes the misery of the poor blacks living in shanties of Johanesbourg or the living conditions in Barcelona with strewn filth ?

I am sure not Sooka, because you only write reports sitting in comfortable offices or speak to well off  political leaders who do not understand human suffering, and to  NGO parasites living on the miseries of others.                           

Yasmin Sooka what has truth and justice you direct given to the poor  South Africans still living in utter poverty  and in inhuman misery.

In the history of civil rights, South Africa lays claim to a momentous achievement — the demolition of apartheid and the construction of a democracy. But for black South Africans, who account for three-fourths of this nation of roughly 55 million people, political liberation has yet to translate into broad material gains. ”      Peter .S.Goodman , NYT.

Yasmin Sooka was a member of a UN Panel which prepared a faulty report on Accountability in Sri Lanka for the personal use of  UN SG Ban Ki Moon- the Darusman report. It was prepared depending on emails and hearsay evidence collected from files and members of  the Tamils living abroad, most of them had not been in Sri Lanka during  terrorism to even know what it was like.

The Tamil  diaspora has a burning prejudice against Sri Lanka and its  Sinhala majority.  The report was accepted by UN Commissioner for Human  Right Navi Pillai a Tamil herself who hero worshipped the terrorist leader Prabhakaran, to accuse Sri Lanka Armed Forces for war crimes,  during her period of service in the UNHRCouncil and passed it on to Prince  Zeid Al-Hussein  who continued repression against  the Government imposing on it  the notorious resolution by America and the West for human rights violation and war crimes.

Yasmina Sooka’s only connection to Sri Lanka is her member ship in the Darusman Panel and her  friendship with Navy Pillai sworn enemy of the Sri Lanka Government and its Armed Forces. Sooka  wants to be in the international lime light” by jumping now and then to accuse for no valid reasons  the Officers of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.

She accused former General Jagath Jayasuriy  when he was in Brazil for war crimes and that he should be taken into custody while abroad.  The latest is her condemnation of the Government of Sri Lanka for the appointment of Major General Shavendra Silva as the Chief of Staff of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces.

She had said  speaking about Majaor General Shavendra Silva, The military officer is arguably the most wanted man in Sri Lanka–yet a decade later, tragically, he is being promoted instead of standing trial.

Tamil survivors of the war, thousands of whom have been driven into exile since, have expressed horror that Silva has been chosen for such a senior military position. This is an incredible affront to the victims of that war–and jeopardises any reconciliation attempt in Sri Lanka,”

What Yasmin Sooka does not know, or does not want to acknowledge is the fact that, had it not been for the likes of  the Chief of Staff Shavendra Silva, the Tamil civilian population in the North and East would have been driven like cattle  by the terrorists from place to place in the jungles of the north  to be kept as human shields for their protection.

That suffering of the poor Tamil civilians neither Yasmin Sooka nor the Tamil Diaspora will never ever understand.

The Government armed forces of Sri Lanka never fought against the Tamil civilians , but against the terrorists who were Tamils. If they fought against the Tamils  why did the Sri Lanka Armed Forces specially the Division 58 led by Major General Shavendra Silva evacuated 320 thousand Tamil civilians forcibly kept by the terrorists as a human shield  under most  inhuman sanitary conditions ?

This continued accusation of our  of the officers of the Armed Forces by Yasmin Sooka should stop.  It is a humiliation for a man  who took risks for himself and his men to end the suffering of all  the people of Sri Lanka. Humiliation of that one man is a humiliation directed to all the people of Sri Lanka.

Therefore, the Government of Sri Lanka should initiate some sort of action through the Secretary General of the UN to stop Yasmin Sooka taking on herself the role of a world police woman” hunting  for war Criminals,  as she has no official position to make false accusations any Officer of the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka..

The Armed Forces of Sri Lanka are respected by the people of Sri Lanka. All those officers and member of the Armed Forces who took an active part in the elimination of terrorism and putting an end to 30 years of suffering more of the Tamils of the north and East and other Communities in the rest of the country outside the North and East, are our heroes and saviours of the country and the people.  How dare does  Yasmin Sooka continue to be ittle our heroes and treat them as having committed war crimes in their legitimate war against the terrorists the enemies of Sri Lanka and its people.

No body has the right to make vain accusations against them and least of all Yasmin Sooka who made a false report knowing that it was false,  to dupe the UN and satisfy the Tamils of the Diaspora.

Let us see why Yasmin Sooka meddles in  an affair that does not concern her, when after her participation in  writing the false Daruman reports, she became the Director of the International Truth and Justice Project. If she has real humanitarian interests, why doe not she turn to South Africa, her own country where life is  not so  rosy to the majority of the  black South Africans who live below the poverty line.

Yasmin Sooka has a long list of Commissions and Panels in which she served and many  writings of  all sorts of reports, as well as  making speeches  at forums , but Yasmina Sooka has not actively participated, and actually engaged herself in any project to ameliorate the conditions of the poor people in South Africa, whose human rights are daily in conflict, with government officials and the rich and well to do.

There is however not that great poverty in Sri Lanka after elimination of terrorism but living conditions of the Tamils as well as the Sinhala and Muslims have largely improved. The Sri Lankans live happily  despite the interference by persons like Yasmin  Sooka and members of multifarious  NGOs working in Sri Lanka earning their living accusing the  Armed Forces of Sri Lanka, and political leaders of the Sinhala Community opposing the puppet Government set up by  the West,  lead by a Prime Minister supported by the West  and the NGOs.

Yasmin Sooka  is still sought  after by the Sri Lanka Tamil politicians of the TNA to continually accuse the Armed Forces, as they want anti Sri Lanka  Armed Forces publicity continued as they are planning to have a Tamil only Provinces in the North and East without Army Camps  after helping the Present Ranil Wickramasinghe Government to prepare a Federal Government which they are determined to get passed in Parliament .

The Tamil Politicians down play the Sri Lanka’s development after  the  elimination of terrorism. There were proposals to set up a Truth and Justice project in the line of South Africa and even suggestion to put up a statue of Nelson Mandela.

Nelson Mandela  is of course a man respected for his indefatigable fight against South African Apartheid  and actively engaged himself until  the end of the racial regime.  The South Africans should put up statues of Nelson Mandela every where in South Africa as a reminder that South Africans should not  allow themselves to suffer once again  because of the colour of  their skin.  

But Yasmin Sooka has apartheid been completely erased from South Africa ?

Yasmin Sooka open your eye and see the suffering of your people in South Afrika, instead of trying to create misery where there is none in Sri Lanka. The trouble with Sri Lanka is that the Tamil  Politicians are living in a mental state of segregation, and suffer through a racial difference created on their own.

In South Africa the wealth is not reasonably distributed and  the people still lack land and wealth and suffer from utter poverty, that Sooka is economic apartheid. It is for you to get involved to finish what Nelson Mandela began to  liberate people  completely  both from social and economic segregation. You cannot do that by accusing our armed forces which liberated its people completely from terrorism and gave the people peace and security which you have not given to your own people.

What action did you  take against reported high level  corruption of the  President Jacop Zuma’d Government , will things be better under Cyril Ramaphosa ?

A Statue of Nelson Mandela has no place in Sri Lanka, as Sri Lanka never had apartheid and the Tamil people were and are as free as the Sinhala, and other minority Communities living in Sri Lanka. The comparison to apartheid, genocide by the Sinhala are  stories concocted  by the Tamil politicians to keep the Communities  separated and create a separate Eelam State led by the high Caste Tamil politicians. There is no reason why we should have a Statue of a political leader of  South Africa who emancipated his people from apartheid erected in our country. It is the high caste Tamils who create apartheid  against the low caste Tamils in Sri Lanka, not the Sinhala who treat every one equal.

But we should have statues erected for the Armed Forces that freed the country and the people from terrorism. We should have a statue of Major General Shavendra Silva in Jaffna as it was Major General Shavendra Silva and his 58 Division that led its assault against the terrorists to liberate 320 000 Tamil Civilians kept as human shields under repressive condition without prper sanitary conditions, food , water or even clean clothes to wear.

South Africa unlike Sri Lanka is a country with great potentials for development. It is, better than many other African States but still second to Nigeria in development.  But the wealth as much of the land is in the hands of the rich white population.  While not only the poor blacks but well  over 400 000 white south Africans are living in poverty in squalid conditions in squatter camps. This is being challenged by some white media reporters as they do not want to put the poverty stricken whites along side the blacks.

Education system is much to be desired. The schools have no adequate  space and the Principles of Schools are corrupt squandering money from school accounts. The private schools are better, but the poor cannot afford to send their children to them  There is no teacher training . Parents yearn to have their children educated but they cannot afford to do so.  The gap between the rich and the poor is far greater. Tin and mud shacks in which the poor live in squalid conditions jostle besides luxury mansions of the rich. Health Care in South Africa is low and not within the reach of the poor blacks.

There is an increasing crime rate , and never ending streams of immigrant coming from countries in the rest of Africa. The government puts the increasing crime rate  to the inflow of  immigrants.

The South Africa has been nominally freed from apartheid , but the black Africans have not been freed from economic  apartheid as yet . The Indians and others like Yasmin Sooka are better off than the native Africans , but being better off Yasmin Sooka is interested in doing service to Tamils in Sri Lanka and not helping the  poor black Africans who need every ones help to find their way out of poverty.

I give some internet references below to educate Yasmin Sooka what her duties should be as a South Africans. She should leave her interest in looking after the interest of Tamils in Sri Lanka and  ask her self how to help her own people suffering in South Africa, as they are worse off than the Tamils in Sri Lanka.

Refernces:

http://emergingmarkets.blog.franklintempleton.com/2017/03/16/south-africa-key-issues-and-challenges/

http://theconversation.com/south-africas-problems-lie-in-political-negligence-not-its-constitution-80474

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/24/business/south-africa-economy-apartheid.html economic apartheid

Leading neuroscientists and Buddhists agree: “Consciousness is everywhere”

January 16th, 2019

BY  LIONS ROAR

Neuroscientist Christof Koch discusses scientific theories of consciousness with the Dalai Lama.

New theories in neuroscience suggest consciousness is an intrinsic property of everything, just like gravity. That development opens a world of opportunity for collaboration between Buddhists and neuroscientists.

The heart of consciousness,” says neuroscientist Christof Koch, is that it feels likesomething. How is it that a piece of matter, like my brain, can feel anything?”

In 2013, Koch, one of the world’s leading experts on consciousness, went to a monastery in India to discuss that question with a group of Buddhist monks. He and the Dalai Lama debated neuroscience and mind for a full day.

They had different approaches. Koch offered contemporary scientific theories on the subject, and His Holiness countered with ancient Buddhist teachings. Yet, at the end of their discussion, the two thinkers agreed on almost every point.

Christof Koch explains the neuroscientific view of consciousness to the Dalai Lama.

What struck me most was his belief in what we in the West call ‘panpsychism’ — the belief that consciousness is everywhere,” says Koch. And that we have to reduce the suffering of all conscious creatures.”

Panpsychism, the idea of universal consciousness, is a prominent thought in some branches of ancient Greek philosophy, paganism, and Buddhism. And it has been largely dismissed by modern science — until recently.

In his work on consciousness, Koch collaborates with a researcher named Giulio Tononi. Tononi is the father of the most popular modern theory of consciousness, called Integrated Information Theory (IIT), which Koch once called the only really promising fundamental theory of consciousness.”

Tononi’s theory states that consciousness appears in physical systems that contain many different and highly interconnected pieces of information. Based on that hypothesis, consciousness can be measured as a theoretical quantity, which the researchers call phi.

Tononi has a test for measuring phi (the amount of consciousness) in a human brain. It is similar to ringing a bell; scientists send a magnetic pulse into a human brain and watch the pulse reverberate through the neurons — back and forth, side to side. The longer and clearer the reverberation, the higher the subject’s amount of consciousness. Using that test, Koch and Tononi can tell whether a patient is awake, asleep, or anesthetized.

There are already pressing and practical needs for a way to measure consciousness. Doctors and scientists could use phi to tell if a person in a vegetative state is effectively dead, how much awareness a person with dementia has, when a foetus develops consciousness, how much animals perceive, or even whether a computer can feel.

That’s more urgent,” asserts Koch. We’re witnessing the birth of computer intelligence. Is a machine conscious? Does it feel like anything? If it does, it may acquire legal rights, and I certainly have ethical obligations towards it. I can’t just turn it off or wipe its disc clean.”

koch

Christof Koch speaking at TEDxRainier Seattle.

IIT also marries these practical applications with profound ideas. The theory says that any object with a phi greater than zero has consciousness. That would mean animals, plants, cells, bacteria, and maybe even protons are conscious beings.

Koch sees IIT as promising because it offers an understanding of panpsychism that fits into modern science. In an academic paper, Koch and Tononi make the profound statement that their theory treats consciousness as an intrinsic, fundamental property of reality.”

Modern research and recent dialogues between Buddhists and scientists have focused mainly on understanding the physical brain. But scientists have barely begun to develop an understanding of mind — or consciousness — itself.

On the Buddhist side, however, this is a discussion that has been going on for thousands of years. Buddhism associates mind with sentience. The late Traleg Kyabgon Rinpoche statedthat while mind, along with all objects, is empty, unlike most objects, it is also luminous. In a similar vein, IIT says consciousness is an intrinsic quality of everything yet only appears significantly in certain conditions — like how everything has mass, but only large objects have noticeable gravity.

In his major work, the Shobogenzo, Dogen, the founder of Soto Zen Buddhism, went so far as to say, All is sentient being.” Grass, trees, land, sun, moon and stars are all mind, wrote Dogen.

Koch, who became interested in Buddhism in college, says that his personal worldview has come to overlap with the Buddhist teachings on non-self, impermanence, atheism, and panpsychism. His interest in Buddhism, he says, represents a significant shift from his Roman Catholic upbringing. When he started studying consciousness — working with Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick — Koch believed that the only explanation for experience would have to invoke God. But, instead of affirming religion, Koch and Crick together established consciousness as a respected branch of neuroscience and invited Buddhist teachers into the discussion.

At Drepung Monastery, the Dalai Lama told Koch that the Buddha taught that sentience is everywhere at varying levels, and that humans should have compassion for all sentient beings. Until that point, Koch hadn’t appreciated the weight of his philosophy.

I was confronted with the Buddhist teaching that sentience is probably everywhere at varying levels, and that inspired me to take the consequences of this theory seriously,” says Koch. When I see insects in my home, I don’t kill them.”

The theory of IIT shows promise for the future. With more research, Koch and Tononi could better test consciousness, to prove scientifically that all beings are sentient. Meanwhile, Buddhists around the world are constantly working to develop an understanding of the mind. Traleg Rinpoche said that analytical methods can only go so far toward understanding the mind. Instead, he says, by resting his or her mind and contemplating it, a meditator can develop an understanding of the nature of mind and how it relates to everything else.

Critics of IIT argue that the theory fails to explain where consciousness comes from. Science writer John Horgan argues, you can’t explain consciousness by saying it consists of information, because information exists only relative to consciousness.”

Understanding the source of consciousness is an extremely difficult hurdle, but Koch is up to it. He says that his ultimate goal is to understand the universe. Some say that the best way to do that is to look inside your own mind. Maybe Koch is on to something.

The Beginner’s Mind of Scientist Sir Roger Penrose

January 16th, 2019

Rev. Tony Stultz on the brilliant mind who models a rich exchange between Buddhism and scientific thought — for the benefit of all beings.

An impossible Penrose Triangle dissected.

The famous Penrose Triangle is an impossible object devised by Sir Roger Penrose and his father Lionel Penrose in the 1950s. Roger described it as impossibility in its purest form.” Photo by Philippe Put.

If you don’t study physics or mathematics, you likely don’t know about Sir Roger Penrose. Penrose, a groundbreaking theorist on the nature of mind, is a model for how Buddhists can let go of their assumptions and use empirical inquiry to develop an understanding of the nature of mind and the universe.

He has collaborated with Stephen Hawking on black hole theory and the popular book The Nature of Space and Time, and he is the author of two important books on the nature of mind, The Emperor’s New Mind and Shadows of the Mind. Now in his eighties, Penrose remains a tenacious contrarian, and embodies a scientific version of what Zen Buddhists call not knowing,” fearlessly questioning beloved concepts and theories. His newest book, Fashion, Faith and Fantasy, challenges the meaning of several well-known theories. Penrose suggests that much of what is generally accepted in science, like string theory, is fashionable in part because it is near impossible to prove false. He argues that some physicists base their science on faith — like belief in multiple dimensions — and that some popular theories may be outright fantasy.

When I asked Penrose, after a recent lecture at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, what it is that continues to inspire him in his work, he smiled shyly and said that he likes to go back to the beginning, or prime, and work from there as a fresh way to see things.” I couldn’t help but think of Shunryu Suzuki’s classic teaching about not knowing, that in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Penrose has employed his beginner’s mind methodology to controversially challenge the prevailing theories of mind and consciousness. In his orchestrated objective reduction” theory (a.k.a. Orch-OR), Penrose posits that consciousness derives from quantum vibrations in microtubules throughout neurons in the brain. In this view, individual consciousness is connected to a universal proto-consciousness. This theory may resonate with the classical Buddhist view, that consciousness is the ground” or primordial nature of the universe. Indeed, Integrated Information Theory, the most popular competing theory of consciousness, also suggests that consciousness is an intrinsic property of the universe and has been met favorably by the Dalai Lama.

Sir Roger Penrose.

Sir Roger Penrose. Photo courtesy of Festival della Scienza.

Penrose’s theory on the origin of the universe also finds common ground with Buddhism. Buddhist theory holds that our universe is ony of many in a cycle of cosmic death and rebirth, as the Buddha explained in the Aggañña Sutta. Based on evidence found in the background microwaves of the universe, Penrose has proposed a theory, known as Conformal Cyclical Cosmology, ”that the universe cycles through eons dominated by big bangs and black-hole collisions.Penrose’s theory casts aside the popular linear Inflationary Theory” origin of the universe, which posits that the universe began with the Big Bang and will continue to expand into the future, and eventually end.

Penrose’s work demonstrates how science and religion can find a confluence. Many believe that science and religion should be kept separate, some positing even that science threatens religion. But there is a middle way of cooperative engagement that can contribute toward expanding human understanding. The Buddhist tradition has an exciting role to play in such a dialogue. It shares with science a common modus operandi. First, it promotes the practice of not knowing, the power of honest inquiry matched with the humility of understanding conditioned perception. Second, it bears witness to an interdependent and continually emerging evolutionary process. Third, it values experimental, experiential action above all other testimony.

In this way, Dr. Penrose is a model for Buddhists and their practice of constant inquiry, reminding us that when we begin to take ideas for granted because they are fashionable, we can summon the great courage necessary to challenge the consensus. Only then can we open to a larger reality beyond our beloved or beleaguered boundaries, and perhaps move forward in this vital quest to develop true understanding.

For those who would like to learn more about the relationship between Buddhism and contemporary cosmology and physics I would recommend the following books:

  • The Quantum and the Lotus: A Journey to the Frontiers Where Science and Buddhism Meet, by Matthieu Ricard and Trinh Xuan Thuan
  • Hidden Dimensions: The Unification of Physics and Consciousness, by B. Alan Wallace
  • The Universe in a Single Atom: The Convergence of Science and Spirituality, by the Dalai Lama

There is no political will to protect animals in Sri Lanka

January 16th, 2019

Senaka Weeraratna

Molecular dance meditation reveals: you’re just atoms and energy

January 16th, 2019

BY  LIONS ROAR

Physics and Buddhism both posit that it’s hard, if not impossible, to pinpoint you.” Harrison Blum, the Buddhist spiritual advisor at Northeastern University, has created a new guided meditation that allows practitioners to experience that truth.

In three sessions last fall, participants sat and danced in meditation, while watching molecules and energy fields interact with their bodies on a screen. The meditation uses a simulation called danceroom Spectroscopy,” or dS” for short. dS was created in 2011 by physicist and Royal Society research fellow David Glowacki, who wanted an easy way to share his research findings with non-scientists. Using supercomputers, cameras, a projector, speakers, and a screen, he created the simulatihon, which puts participants directly inside the molecular world. Participants’ bodies are interpreted as energy fields that interact with atoms and molecules on the screen in real time. The simulation uses the same equations used by physicists to model the complex movements of atoms. Glowacki’s work has won a host of awards for breaking down barriers between art, science, and education.

Glowacki observed that dS participants found the experience to be deeply spiritual and introspective, so he reached out to Blum, who was an old friend from college.

I think he was interested in what would happen if there was a specific invitation to experience dS as a spiritual practice,” says Blum, who is a Community Dharma Leader in the Insight Meditation tradition, and has just finished editing Dancing with Dharma,” a collection of essays on movement in Western Buddhism.

In the video above, Blum describes how the event unfolded.

In dS, the visual representation of our form dissolves, and is populated by particles or movements of energy that are not owned by anyone. They’re dynamic,” says Blum.

Blum set up dS in Northeastern’s Sacred Space, with cushions set around the room. The sessions began with a guided meditation, and then participants were allowed to move around the room freely.

The idea was that, whether you were moving our sitting, you would be engaged in a form of meditation,” says Blum in the above video. It was thrilling. I felt like I was seeing Buddhist principles brought to life in front of my eyes.”

Glowacki has also pointed to on overlap between Buddhist thought and the principles of physics. He has described dS as an invitation to contemplate the interconnected dynamism of the natural world.”

As participants in dS watch the energy fields of their bodies push and pull on the atoms around them, it becomes apparent that there is no clean-cut entity that can be identified as self,” and that the elements that we comprise are constantly shifting and changing. These observations resonate strongly with the Buddhist concepts of no-self and impermanence.

It’s pretty obvious that people are interpreting this on a metaphysical, spiritual level,” says Glowacki in the video below. dS creates the opportunity for participants to ask themselves questions, says Glowacki, like What is the separation between ourself and the environment in which we are situated?”

In The Guardian, Glowacki, who has a personal interest in Buddhism, writes,

Tibetan texts quote the Buddha as having said: ‘All the many things in the universe are appearances of collections.’ These words, spoken nearly 2,500 years ago, resonate with the recent Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, and physics – which recognize advances in our understanding of how tiny things are composed of even tinier things.”

Blum and Glowacki are discussing ways to use dS in a therapeutic context. Blum currently teaches mindfulness meditation to teenagers with mental health issues. Mindfulness meditation is an effective treatment because it helps patients see painful thoughts and emotions as dynamic and transient. In the same way, dS allows participants to see themselves as ever-changing energy. Blum hopes dS could be an entry-point for patients who are less likely to try mindfulness meditation on its own, as well as a powerful tool for contemplation and discussions.

Meditation and Consciousness

January 16th, 2019

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D. 

The word ‘conciousness’ is derived from Latin, having its roots in conscio formed by the coalescence of cum meaning ‘with’ and scio meaning ‘know’ (Sousa, 2013).  Consciousness has been one of the most important and tantalizing issues ever since the origin of philosophy and medicine (Facco et al., 2017). The understanding of consciousness has been one of the most complex intellectual, philosophical and cognitive challenges faced by a spectrum of disciplines, ranging from quantum physics and psychology to neurosciences (Jasper et al., 1999; Sousa, 2013).  

In general terms consciousness is defined as the state of awareness of self and the environment.  In biological terms, human consciousness appears as a feature associated with the functioning of the human brain (Gierer, 2008). Consciousness can be defined as the subjective awareness of the momentary experience interpreted in the context of personal memory and present state (John, 2003). The English philosopher John Locke stated that consciousness is the awareness of all that occurs in the mind of a person. According to Meares (1999) self is a manifestation of this highest level of consciousness.

Consciousness is the experience or the content of experience from moment to moment.  According to Boly (2011) to be conscious, is to be alert, active and vigilant. Consciousness has two major components: Awareness (i.e., the content of consciousness) and arousal (i.e. the level of consciousness) (Laureys, 2005). Synchronized activity of 10 million neurons over merely 230 ms produce conscious states (Hebb, 1949). Libet (1993) states that consciousness is associated with neuronal activities that persist for a long enough time with a minimal duration of 500 ms.

As described by van Gulick (2004) consciousness is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. In modern science it is defined as a continuous state of full awareness of the Self and one’s relationship to the external and internal environment, describing the degree of wakefulness in which an organism recognizes stimuli (Jellinger, 2009).

Consciousness arises as a result of integration of many inputs by reentrant interactions in the dynamic core (Edelman, 2003). Consciousness is a rich biological phenomenon and consciousness is based on the premise that phenomenal experience is entailed by neuronal activity in the brain (Seth et al., 2006). The thalamus governs levels of the conscious state and the content of consciousness depends on the activity of various cortical areas (Edelman, 2003). Direct injuries to the central thalamus can alone produce global disturbances of consciousness (Parvizi and Damasio, 2008).

According to the apical dendrite activity theory the pical dendrite part of thalamocortical circuits is the generator of consciousness (LaBerge, 2006). According to the biological theories consciousness is some form of biological state of the brain depends on brain chemistry and electrical impulses. Current research suggests that human consciousness is associated with complex, synchronous interactions between multiple cortical networks (Panda et al, 2016). According to Szirmai and Kamondi (2006) higher functions” of human mental ability have been ascribed to the prefrontal and parietal association cortices. The paleocerebrum, limbic system and their connections have been considered to be the center of emotions, feelings, attention, motivation and autonomic functions.

Consciousness is a primary function and activity of the human brain itself (Mahowald, 1997).  Conscious perception arises from dialogue between prefrontal cortex, as the seat of the self, and sensory cortex (Baars et al, 2003). Consciousness is strongly connected with awareness. Neuroimaging studies suggest that frontoparietal activity makes an important contribution to conscious perception (Sousa, 2013). However there is no conscious perception without attention (Mack & Rock, 1998). There are four states of consciousness such as Waking: Sleeping: Dreaming: Meditation.

The American Psychologist William James postulated that our conscious mental life flows continuously like a stream in which the transition between the thought of one object and the thought of another is no more a break in the thought than a joint in a bamboo is a break in the wood. William James described consciousness as a stream – a continuous succession of experiences. For William James consciousness is something flowing uninterruptedly.

The basic problem of existence, according to the Yoga Sutras, is that one is in ignorance of and separated from pure consciousness (Sedlmeier et al., 2012). Meditation is pure consciousness without objectification. Meditation practice is geared to reach higher consciousness. A.K Nair of the Department of Neurophysiology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences Bengaluru, India indicates that Meditation induces a modified state of consciousness that remains under voluntary control.

Meditative consciousness is characterized by receptive attention to and awareness of present events and experiences.  It constitutes the ability to become aware of mental activities such as sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts, and to disengage from judgment, conditioned emotions, and their cognitive processing or automatic inhibition (Gartenschläger et al., 2017). In meditative consciousness there are no cognitive elaborations or emotional reactivity. This state is characterized by improved task performance and decreased stress-related symptomolog and without maladaptive mental processes. Some experts state that in meditative consciousness brain activation in the left prefrontal cortex can be detected via functional magnetic resonance imaging.

ඉදිරියේ පැවැත්වෙන ඕනෑම මැතිවරණයකට ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ, පොහොට්ටුව ලකුණින්

January 16th, 2019

මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනය

අද (16) දින මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාවට සහභාගි වූ නියෝජිතයින්
• ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නීතීඥ සංගමයේ ප්‍රධාන ලේකම් නීතීඥ අතුල ද සිල්වා මහතා
• ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නීතීඥ සංගමයේ සහකාර ලේකම් කුරුණෑගල නීතීඥ සංවිධානයේ ලේකම් ඉන්දික ජයතිලක මහතා
• ගම්පහ දිස්තී්‍රක් නීතීඥ සංගමයේ ජ්‍යෙෂ්ට නීතීඥ ලලිත් පියුම් මහතා
• කොළඹ දිස්ති්‍රක් නිතීඥ සංගමයේ නීතීඥ ෂමානා සනූස්් මහත්මිය

ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නිතීඥ සංගමයේ ප්‍රධාන ලේකම් නීතීඥ අතුල ද සිල්වා මහතා

• මාධ්‍යයට කෙරෙන තර්ජන හෙළා දකිනවා
• ලංකා ඉතිහාසයේ මාධ්‍යට තර්ජනය කළ පළමු අගමැතිවරයා රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහයි
• මාධ්‍යයට තර්ජනය කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අගමැතිවරයා මෙතෙක් කිසි`දු ප්‍රකිශයක් කර නැහැ.

මේ මුලූ රටම මැතිවරණ ගැන කතාවෙන වර්ෂයක්. පළාත්සභා මැතිවරණය පැවැත්වීමට නියමිතව තිබුණත් ආණ්ඩුව මැතිවරණය කල් දමමින් සිටිනවා. ඉදිරියේ පැවැත්වෙන ඕනෑම මැතිවරණයකට ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ, පොහොට්ටුව ලකුණින් ඉදිරිපත් විය යුතු බවත්, පොදුජන පෙරමුණ මුලිකත්වය ගත යුතු බවත් ශී්‍ර ලංකා නිතීඥ සංගමයේ දිස්තී්‍රක් සංවිධාන සියල්ල රැස්වෙලා තිරණයකට ආවා. පහුගිය පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයේදී වයසින් අඩු වුනත් රටේ වැඩිම ආයතන ගනණක් දිනාගත්තේ අපේ පක්ෂයයි. වැඩිම ඡන්ද සංඛ්‍යාව, වැඩිම සභික සංඛ්‍යාව වැඩිම ආයතනය ගණනක් ගත්ත පක්ෂය වුනේ අපියි. අනෙක් සියලූ පක්ෂ ඉන්නේ පොදුජන පෙරමුණට වඩා පහළින්. අපි බලය ස්ථාපනය කරගත්ත ප්‍රමානයෙන් අටෙන් එකක් වගේ තමයි දෙවැනි තැන ඉන්න පක්ෂයට ලැබුනේ. එවැනි දැවැන්ත පක්ෂයක් ඊළග ඕනෑම මැතිවරණයට පොදුජන පෙරමුණ විදියට තර`ග කරන්න ඕනේ කියලා ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නිතීඥ සංගමයේ විධායක සභාව එළැඹී තීිරණය දිස්ති්‍රක් සංවිධාන සම්මත කළා. අපි අපේ තීිරණය පක්ෂයේ නායකතුමාටත් විධායක සභාවටත් දැනුම් දුන්නා.

ඉතිහාසයේ නොවූ විරූ ලෙස මාධ්‍යයට ආණ්ඩුවෙන් තර්ජනය එල්ල කරමින් සිටිනවා. අපි එය හෙළාදකිනවා. එජාප පාලන සමයේදී මේ රටේ මාධ්‍ය නිදහස හා මාධ්‍යවේදීන්ට වුනු දේවල් අපි දන්නවා. අගමැතිවරයා පුද්ගලිකව නම් කියලා මාධ්‍යවේදීන්ට තර්ජනය කළා. අගමැතිවරයෙක් එවැනි තර්ජනයක් කළ පළමු අවස්ථාව මෙයයි. එහි ඊළග ප්‍රතිඵලය ලෙස සමහර ආයතනවලට දැනAවීම්දීම අහෝසි කරලා තියෙනවා විතරක් නෙවෙයි අපි එහෙම කරනවා කියලා ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ කියනවා. මේ අයගේ කණ්ඩායමක් කලූ ඇදන් මුහුණ වසාගෙන ගිහින් දැන් මාධ්‍ය ආයතවලට තර්ජනය කරනවා. මාධ්‍ය ආයතනවලට අනන්‍ය වූ මත තියෙන්න පුලූවන්. එහෙම වුනා කියලා මාධ්‍ය ආයතනය ඉදිරියට ගිහින් තර්ජනය කරන්න පුලූවන්ද? මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාවක් තියලා තමන්ගේ මතය කියන්න ඕනේ නැත්නම් අපහාසයක් වුනා නම් නීතිය ඉදිරියට යන්න පුලූවන්. මේ නිර්ලජ්ජීය කි්‍රයාව අපි හෙළා දකිනවා. මේ රටේ මාධ්‍ය ඇමැතිවරයා තවමත් මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් වචනයක්වත් කිව්වේ නැහැ. ඔහුට ස්ථාවරයක් නැහැ කියන්නේ ආණAඩුවට ස්ථාවරයක් නැහැ කියන එකද? මේ කි්‍රයාවලිය ආණAඩුව විසින් ආණ්ඩුවේ වුවමනවාට කළ එකක් බව පැහැදිලි. එජාපයට මැතිවරණ ජය ගන්න බැහැ කියන දේ දන්න නිසයි මෙවැනි දේ කරන්නේ. පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය තියන්නේ නැත්තෙත් ඒ නිසයි. ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධීකරණ තීරණය දිලා තියෙද්දි ඒ අයට ඕනේ විදියට සංශෝධන ගෙනත් පනත සංශෝධනය කළා. දැන් ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය කියන්නේ අපේ ආණAඩු ක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ පසුව සමාලෝචනය කිරීමේ අවස්ථාවක් දීලා නැහැ කියනවා. ආණAඩුව වහාම පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය පවත්වා ජනතාවගේ ඡන්ද බලය සදහා වූ අයිතියට ඉඩදිය යුතුයි. ඒ වගේම මාධ්‍ය මර්ධනය නතර කළ යුතුයි.

ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නිතීඥ සංගමයේ සහකාර ලේකම් , කුරුණෑගල දිස්ති්‍රක් නිතීඥ සංගමයෙ ලේකම් ඉන්දික ජයතිලක මහතා

• ආණAඩුව ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය කියන වචනය පාවිච්චි කරමින් ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී අයිතීන් අහිමි කරනවා.
• පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය දිනාගැනීම සදහා ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නිතීඥ සංගමය නායකත්වය දෙනවා.
• අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම පැරදෙනවා කියද්දිත් උතුරු පළාත්සභා මැතිවරණය පවත්වන්න මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා නිහතමානී වුනා.
• නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය ඉදිරියට දාලා ජනතාවගේ අයිතීන් යටපත් කිරීම අරඹලා.

ආණAඩුව ජනතා පරමාධිපත්‍යයට පටහැනිවයි කටයුතු කරන්නේ. ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී අයිතින් ගැන කතා කළත් කි්‍රයාකරන්නේ ඊට විරුද්ධවයි. අවුරුදු තුනහමාරකට කළින් ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදි අයිතියක් වන ඡන්ද අයිතිය උරගා බලන්න අවස්ථාව හිමිවුනා. පොදුජන පෙරමුණ පිහිටුවීමෙන් අනතුරුව අපි ආණAඩුවට අභියෝග කරමින් බලහත්කාරයෙන් පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය ලබා ගත්තා. මේ රටේ ජනතාව ඉන්නේ පොදුජන පෙරමුණත් එක්ක කියන දේ ඒ මැතිවරණයෙන් ඔප්පු වුනා. ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය කියන වචනය පාවිච්චි කරමින් ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදි අයිතීන් අහිමි කරන එකයි මේ ආණAඩුව කරන්නේ. පාර්ලිමේන්තු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ නාමයෙන් කියලා කිව්වට බලයට ආවට පස්සේ මැතිවරණ ගැන කතා කරන්නේ නැහැ. අද පළාත් සභා හයක මැතිවරණය පවත්වලා නැහැ. ඉදිරියේ තවත් පළාත් සභා තුනක කාලය අවසන් වෙන්න නියමිතයි. එජාපයට දිනන්න පුලූවන් ජනාධිපතිවරණයක් කියලා පක්ෂයේ මහ ලේකම්වරයා කියනවා. ඒකෙන්ම පේනවා ඔවුන් පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය පරාජය වෙන බව පිළිඅරන් සිටින බව. ජනතාවට ව්‍යවස්ථානුකූලව හිමිවිය යුතු පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය දිනා ගැනීමේ අභියෝගයයි අපිට දැන් තියෙන්නේ. ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් පළාත්සභා මැතිවරණය ජනතාවට දිනා දෙන්න අපි නායකත්වය දෙනවා.

මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා කිසි`දු මැතිවරණයක් පවත්වන්න බිය වුනේ නැහැ. උතුරු පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය තිබ්බොත් අනිවාර්යනේම මැතිවරණය පරාජයවෙන නිසා මැතිවරණය පවත්වන්න එපා කියලා බොහෝ අය කියන විටදිත් එතුමා ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී අයිතියට ගරු කරමින් මැතිවරණය පැවැත්වුවා. නායකයෙක් විදියට නොබියව මැතිවරණය පවත්වලා තමන්ගේ නායකයෝ පත්කර ගන්න ජනතාවට අවස්ථාව හිමිකර දුන්නා. එතුමාගේ නායකත්වය යටතේ අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙන්නේ ඉදිරියේදීත් ජනතාවගේ ඡන්ද අයිතිය දිනාදිමටයි. ආණAඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධනය ඉදිරියට දාලා ජනතාවගේ ප්‍රශ්න යටපත් කරමින් සිටිනවා.

පහුගිය දිනවල පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්’තී්‍ර හර්ෂන රාජකරුණා කිව්වා මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාගේ සහාය නැතිව ජයගන්න බැරි ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් ඇයි ඉදිරියට ගෙනාවේ අහනවා. එජාපයේ පසුපෙල මන්තී්‍රවරුන්ටත් දැන් මේ ආන්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව ප්‍රශ්නයක් වෙලා. රටේ ආර්ථීකය බිද වැටිලා. ආර්ථීක , දේශපාලන ප්‍රශ්න මැද එජාපයට අපෙක්ෂකයෙක් හොයා ගන්න නැහැ. ඉදිරි මැතිවරණවලට පක්ෂයට නායකත්වය දෙන්න නායකයෙක් හොයාගන්න බැරි පක්ෂයක් අද රටේ ජනතාවගේ දේශපාලන අයිතිය නැති කරනවා. මැතිවරණ කොමිසම මෙහි වගකිම භාරගත යුතුයි. ජනතාවගේ ස්වාධින අයිතීන් ආරක්ෂා කරයි කියන දේ මැතිවරණ කොමිෂම පිහිටුවීමෙන් බලාපොරොත්තු වුනත් මේ වන තෙක් ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් කොමිෂම පියවර අරන් නැහැ. ස්වාධින් ආයතනයක් නම් ජනතාවගේ ඡන්ද අයිතිය ලබා දෙන්න ගතහැකි කි්‍රයාමාර්ග ගන්න කියලා අපි අභියෝග කරනවා.

ශී්‍ර ලංකා පොදුජන නිතීඥ සංගමයේ ගම්පහ දිස්ති්‍රක් සංගමයේ ජ්‍යෙෂ්ට නීතීඥ ලලිත් පියුම් මහතා

• කලූපටි බැ`දගෙන යන්නේ කලූමාධ්‍ය ඉදිරියට නම් සුදු මාධ්‍ය මොනවාදැයි අගමැතිවරයා හෙළිකල යුතුයි.
• රිචඩ් ද සොයිසා, ප්‍රේමකිර්තා අල්විස්, තේවිස් ගුරුගේ ඝාතනය කළා වගේ ප්‍රතිනිර්මාණයක් මේ දිනවල සිදුවෙමින් තිඛෙනවා.
• අර්ථ නිරූපන ආඥා පනතේ 6.2 වගන්තිය අනුව අනුව පළාත් සභා මැතිවරණය සම්බන්ධයෙන් පරණ පනත කි්‍රයත්මක විය යුතුයි.
• ඒ අනුව ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයේ අර්ථ නිරූපනයක් නොයිල්ලාම හෙට වුනත් මැතිවරණයක් කැදවීමේ හැකියාව තියෙනවා.
• ස්වාධීන කොමිෂන් සභාපත්වුනාම රටේ සියලූ දෝශ නිවාරණය වෙලා දොස් දුරුවෙනවා කියලා මවලා පෙන්නුවා.

ජනමාධ්‍ය ඉලක්ක කරගෙන කලූ පටි බැ`දගෙන ආයතන ඉදිරියට ඇවිත් කටයුතු කළ ආකාරය අපි දැක්කා. අගමැතිවරයා ජනවාරි මාසයේ කලූ මාධ්‍ය නිරාවරණය කරන බව පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ දී සදහන් කළා. ඊට පස්සේ ජවිපේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්තී්‍ර බිමල් රත්නායකත් මේ හා සමානම ප්‍රකාශයක් නිකුත් කළා. දැන් වෙන්නේ එහි දිගුවක්ද කියලා අපිට හිතෙනවා. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා ගෙන් අපිට අහන්න තියෙන්නේ මේ කලූ මාධ්‍ය නම් සුදු මාධ්‍ය මොනවාද කියලයි.ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ ඉෂ්ඨ දේවතාවෝ වගේ පහුගිය කාලයේ ප්‍රකාශ නිකුත් කලේ. සුදු ජනමාධ්‍ය හෙළි නොකලොත් අපිට තිරණය කරන්න වෙනවා මේ රටේ කලූ ජනමාධ්‍යයක් නැති බව. කලූ බැදගෙන ආපු කට්ටියට පුලූවන් ඇමරිකාවට ගිහින් ජනමාධ්‍ය කි්‍රයාත්මකෙ වන ආකාරය බලාගන්න. සී. එන්. එන්. රුපවාහිනිය ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ පිළිගන්නවා ඩිමොක්‍රටිස් පක්ෂය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින බව. ෆොක්ස් ජනමාධ්‍ය කන්ඩායම රිපබ්ලිකන් පක්ෂය වෙන්වෙන් පෙනිසිටන බව කවුරුත් දන්නවා. යම් ජනමාධ්‍යකට ඔවුන් නියෝජනය කරන මතය ප්‍රකාශ කරනවා නම් එය රජයේ තරංග භාවිතා කරමින් කරනවා කියලා ඔබ අදහන ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය අනුව තීරණය කරන්න බැහැ. අදහන්නේ ඇමරිකානු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය නම් එහි ජනමාධ්‍ය කි්‍රයාත්මක වෙන ආකාරය උදාහරණ සහිතව පෙන්වා දෙන්න පුලූවන්. රිචඩ් ද සොයිසා, ප්‍රේමකිර්තා අල්විස්, තේවිස් ගුරුගේ ඝාතනය කළා වගේ ප්‍රතිනිර්මාණයක් ලංකාවේ සිද්ධ වෙනවාද කියලා අපිට හිතෙනවා. රටේ ඉන්න ඕනෑම වැඩිහිටියෙක් ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් දන්නවා. ඒ නිසා වහාම කලූමාධ්‍ය හෙළි කරන්න කියලා අපි ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා.

අගමැතිවරයා ලෙස මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතා පත්කලේ කිසිවෙක් නොදැන හදපානේ කිව්වා. 2017 පළාත් සභා සංශෝධනය කරපු හැටි අපි දන්නවා. රෝහල්වල සිටින මන්තී්‍රවරු අහසින් ගෙන්වලා. ඡන්දය කල්දමලා, කොමිටි අවස්ථාවේදී වගන්ති දෙකක් තිබුණු පනතට තව වගන්ති 27ක් එකතු කරලා ගෙනාපු හැටි මේ රටේ මිනිස්සුන්ට අමතක වෙලා නැහැ. යු. ඇන්. පී යේ ලාම්පු කළගෙඩි සටන, යාපනේ පළාත් පාලන සංවර්ධන සභා ඡන්දය, මහර ඡන්දය ගනින කොට දිනාල තිබුණ විජය කුමාරතුංග ලයිට් ගිහින් ලයිට් එන කොට දිනපු ඉතිහාසයක් එජාපයට ඡන්ද සම්බන්ධයෙන් තියෙන්නේ. මේ යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව ජනාධිපතිවරණයක් ඉල්ලමින් නාඩගමක් කරන්නේ පළාත්සභා මැතිවරණය කල්දාන්නයි. මැතිවරණ කොමිෂමේ සභාපති පළාත් සභා ඡන්දය පවත්වන්න උසාවි යන බව කිව්වා. සංශෝධන පනතට අනුව කි්‍රයාත්මක කළ හැකි තත්ත්වයේ නෙවෙයි තියෙන්නේ. මෙවැනි තත්ත්වයකදි අර්ථ නිරූපන ආඥා පනතේ 6.2 වගන්තිය අනුව අනුව පරණ පනත කි්‍රයත්මක විය යුතුයි. ඒ අනුව මැතිවරණ කොමිෂමේ සභාපතිට, ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණයේ අර්ථ නිරූපනය ඉල්ලා ගිය රත්නජිවන් හූල් මහතාට අර්ථ නිරූපනයක් නොයිල්ලාම හෙට වුනත් මැතිවරණයක් කැදවීමේ හැකියාව තියෙනවා.ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් අකමැත්තක් තියෙන කෙනෙක් ඉන්නවා නම් ඔහුට උසාවි යන්න පුලූවන්. නියෝජිත ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයට ගරු කරමින් පළාත්සභා මැතිවරණය තියන්න කියලා අපි කොමිෂමෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා.

මේ කොමිෂන් පත්වුනාම රටේ සියලූ රෝග නිවාරණ වෙනවා. ඒකාධිපති තත්ත්වය නැති වෙලා සියලූ දෝශභංග වෙන බවක් මවලා පෙන්නුවා. එවැනි මන්තරයක් තියෙනවා නම් මැතිවරණය කැදවන්න.

Sri Lanka asks IMF to revive US$1.5-billion bailout

January 16th, 2019

Courtesy Channel News Asia

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka has appealed to the International Monetary Fund to revive a US$1.5-billion bailout suspended during the island nation’s political crisis late last year, the finance ministry said Wednesday (Jan 16).

In October, President Maithripala Sirisena sparked weeks of high political drama, even featuring brawls in parliament, by sacking Ranil Wickremesinghe as prime minister and dissolving the legislature.

Courts and the parliament subsequently held that the president’s actions were unconstitutional and restored the status quo after more than seven weeks of upheaval that alarmed the international community.

The crisis prompted three international credit rating agencies to downgrade Sri Lanka and the IMF to suspend its bailout programme – that began in 2016 – just as it was about to disburse another installment.

Sri Lanka’s finance ministry said in a statement the request to revive the bailout was made during talks between Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Washington on Tuesday.

A Sri Lankan delegation made the request “with a view to stabilising the economy” after the country’s political “disruptions”, it said.

Meanwhile, the IMF said it would send a team to Colombo next month to discuss resuming assistance.

“We discussed the challenging economic environment and the policy priorities for the country,” it said in a statement quoting Lagarde.

“The IMF remains ready to support the Sri Lankan authorities in these endeavours and an IMF team is scheduled to visit Colombo in mid-February to resume program discussions.”

Wickremesinghe told parliament last week that his shock dismissal on Oct 26 was a “coup” and a “death blow” to the economy. Sri Lanka will have to repay a record US$5.9 billion this calendar year, he added.

The Washington-based fund has been urging Colombo – which is emerging from a balance of payments crisis – to conserve its foreign exchange reserves and ensure economic reforms.

Last year, the IMF warned that Sri Lanka was vulnerable to shocks from at home and abroad and stressed that restructuring the island’s loss-making national airline and reforming its energy sector were vital.

One of the biggest drags on the country’s balance sheet is national carrier Sri Lankan, which has accumulated losses and debts of over US$2 billion and is a huge burden on taxpayers.

The government has failed to privatise the airline, but the president last week appointed another committee to restructure the loss-making carrier.

Sri Lanka hopes to raise US$1 billion from the international debt market, another US$500 million from China and Japan and a further US$400 million from India

Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/business/sri-lanka-asks-imf-to-revive-us-1-5-billion-bailout-11130660

N/E development only in consultation with us: TNA

January 16th, 2019

Romesh Madushanka Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) said it was only in consultation with the party that the Cabinet could take a decision on the development of the post-war areas in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.

TNA MP Mavai Senadhirajah told a public rally in Jaffna on Monday that they had discussed this matter with the government and had appointed a 10-member committee for this purpose.

Meanwhile, TNA MP M.A. Sumanthiran said the Ministry of Northern Province Development would be soon renamed as the Northern and Eastern Provinces’ Development Ministry.

He said the TNA was accused of backing a confidence motion on Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

We did it for a valid reason when there was political instability in the country. We discussed several matters before pledging to back the Prime Minister. One thing was the experts report on constitutional-making and the other was the development of our region.  We said a higher level management was required to develop the North and East in a systematic matter. Therefore, the Northern Province Development Ministry will become Northern and Eastern Provinces’ Development Ministry. This is also why the Northern Province Development Ministry is currently under the purview of the Prime Minister,” he said.

අපෙන් අහන්නේ නැතිව කැබිනට් තීරණ ගන්න බෑ

January 16th, 2019

උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

ආණ්ඩුව කැබිනට් තීරණයක් ගන්නා විට දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුව එම තීරණය ගත යුතු බවට වන ඒකාබද්ධ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් මේ වන විට ක්‍රියාත්මකව පවතින බව දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධාන පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි මාවෙයි සේනාධිරාජා මහතා ප්‍රකාශ කෙළේය.

එම යාන්ත්‍රණයට අනුව ආණ්ඩුව වැඩ කළ යුත්තේ දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුව වන බවද හෙතෙම අවධාරණය කළේය.

ඒ සඳහා ආණ්ඩුව සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමට දෙමළ සන්ධාන පාර්ශ්වයේ කණ්ඩායමක් නම් කර තිබෙන බවද ඊළාම් තමිල් අරසුකච්චියේ නායකයකු වන සේනාධිරාජා මහතා තවදුරටත් සඳහන් කළේය.

හෙතෙම මේ බව සඳහන් කළේ යාපනයේ වීරසිංහම් ශාලාවේදී පසුගිය සෙනසුරාදා (12දා), වර්තමාන දේශපාලන තත්ත්වය පිළිබඳව කරුණු පැහැදිලි කිරීම සඳහා පැවැති සම්මන්ත්‍රණයකදීය.

මේ අතර අගමැතිවරයා යටතට උතුර, නැඟෙනහිර සංවර්ධනය පවරාදීමට හේතුවූයේ ඔහුගේ නායකත්වයෙන් දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේද නියෝජිතයන් සහභාගි කරගෙන ඉක්මනින් සංවර්ධන කටයුතු සිදු කිරීමට බවත් ඒ සඳහා රජය සමඟ එකඟතාවකට පැමිණ තිබෙන බවත් එම සම්මන්ත්‍රණය ඇමැතූ දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධාන පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා පැවැසීය.

අගමැතිවරයාට එරෙහිව විශ්වාසභංගය ගෙනා අවස්ථාවේ ඔහුට දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය සහාය දීම පිළිබඳ නොයෙක් විවේචන තිබුණත් එම අවස්ථාවේ කළ සාකච්ඡාවන්හි ප්‍රතිඵලයක් ලෙස මෙම තත්ත්වය ඇතිව තිබෙන බවද සුමන්තිරන් මන්ත්‍රිවරයා එහිදී සඳහන් කෙළේය.

අපගේ ප්‍රදේශය සංවර්ධනය කිරීමට ප්‍රමුඛතාව ලබාදිය යුතු බව එහිදී සඳහන් කළ බව පැවැසූ සුමන්තිරන් මන්ත්‍රිවරයා උතුර සංවර්ධන විෂය අගමැතිවරයා යටතට පැවැරුණේ එහි ප්‍රතිඵලයක් වශයෙන් බවද සඳහන් කළේය.
දැනට එය උතුර වශයෙන් පමණක් තිබුණත් පසුව එහි නම වෙනස් විය හැකිව තිබෙන බවද හෙතෙම එහිදී වැඩිදුරටත් පැවැසීය.

POLITICS AND PROPOSED IDEAS FOR A NEW CONSTITUTION IN SRI LANKA

January 15th, 2019

BY EDWARD THEOPHILUS

As I have pointed out many occasions political activities and strategies in Sri Lanka have become politic (Machiavellianism) of parties, which is attracted by public and media.  It can be popularly seen in democratic countries, however, in Sri Lanka, these politic games are used by the ruling party and the opposition parties to play strategical games to eyewash of people and coverup self-weakness and ignore most important issues in relation to the economic and social development of the country. After the political independence in 1948 these Machiavellianism has been gradually expanded and now it seems that politic in Sri Lanka has become serious constraint to economic development and growth.

When I was in the high school, I read books and articles on underdevelopment and poverty in third countries and talked about development decades of UN and interesting studied about the features of developing countries, which were not included the Machiavellianism in politic in developing countries. There were a group of economists who were doing research and publications on underdeveloped countries in the Sussex School of Economics and I had a keen interest in reading their publications.  My last reading on this matter was How the Other Half Dies (The Real Reasons for World Hunger) by Susan George (1976).  During the first decade of 21th Century, we talked about Millennium Goals and I feel that our politicians in Sri Lanka have not learned anything about this situation but they are using politic for survival than developing right policies for economic development and growth, monitoring policies and identifying remedial management of policies for failed policies.

The proposed ideas for a new constitution are a part of Machiavellianism in political administration.  The Yahapalana regime elected in 2015 had no effective programs for the country with the approval of the public with a proper debate on its objectives and possible impacts on the public.  During the past four years, they were dissimulating in public platforms and so-called NGO people supported them with hidden advantages.  They also used technical terms, which used by parent organisations and these terms are called jargons.  These NGO groups fabricated many things and international organizations closely observed the ruined Yahapalana regime and NGO people what they were doing.  If they wanted to attract foreign money, they had to show the results of what they have promised.  A new constitution was a promise, which had not the consent of the major community (estimated 79% of total population).  Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa clearly expressed at the Constitutional Council that the government appointed, has no legitimacy for writing a new constitution and his view was approved by major Buddhist leaders of the country.

A new constitution for a country should have a legitimate foundation and if it attempts to build the country with a new constitution without a strong foundation, it would be a castle that is builded on sands, as Jesus Christ stated.  Lots of opinions expressed and debated on the proposals of expert panel in the constitutional council before submitted the report.  Although the prime minister wanted to hide the proposed structure, it was leaked to public with the support of the members of expert panel.

The behaviour of the Yahapalana regime has not been transparent to the public and so many fabricated gossips traveled in the society.  Although the regime attempted to show they were against corruptions the real behavior of the regime was Machiavellian because they were doing largest corruptions, they attempted to punish small procedural mistakes ignoring large scale corrupt work such as Central Bank bond scam.  The committees appointed were neither independent nor efficient.  It clearly seemed that the administration of the executive president is more democratic and reasonable to the community than committees.

Elections are watchtower of a democratic government and holding elections were either stopped or tactically delayed by the government.  Public openly questions about the behavior of the government.

The proposed ideas for a new constitution have created serious questions among the public.

  • If the government wants to maintain the country as a unitary state why it has changed the term Unitary State” to united states” giving the clear meaning that the proposed meaning is not a unitary state, but a federal state called united states. Since the prehistoric era, Sri Lanka has been governed as a unitary state, why the government attempts to change this considering self-centered views of TNA which represents less than 6% of total population of Sri Lanka. If it happens, it would be logical to think that all communities with a 6% of the population should give the legitimacy for provincial states.  The idea of the expert panel is highly divisive and inviting ethnic and religious conflicts in the country. It may be a secret tack tic to attract people of Sri Lanka who are academically qualified, skilled and people with qualities to foreign countries.
  • Buddhism has been working as the main religion of people since the era of King Devanam Piyatissa. A recent statement of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith (Catholic Archbishop) has confirmed the idea that Buddhism should work as the main part of a tree if Sri Lanka consider like a tree with many branches.  There is no harm giving the prominence to Buddhism while treating other religions in equal status. But Sri Lankans do not want to convert Sri Lanka to a secular state.
  • Abolishing of Executive Presidency giving the existing executive power to the prime minister shows like an attempt to get executive by prime Minister by free of charge without going to peoples’ vote. The executive presidency generated many benefits to the country, which include the right leadership, the unity of people, the sovereignty of People, support to good policy orientation, policy monitoring, and remedial management of policies.  When the elected members to the parliament become corrupt personals who always subject to auction in the market for highest bidder, the president practically intervened and demonstrated that he or she could work against the undemocratic culture and look after people of the country.
  • Providing excess power to provinces is harmful to the country. The provincial governments in Sri Lanka are white elephants, who consume a large sum of funds of the government for administration purposes.  In fact, it is a way of providing jobs to selected people rather than creating jobs for all in the country.  The expenditures to provincial councils have created a serious fiscal crisis in Sri Lanka.  Why the government wants to create further fiscal problems.
  • Sri Lanka had a Senate council, which was abolished before. We learned while studying at Grade 8 and 10, that Senate was a barrier to pass important acts from the parliament and the system of appointing members to the council was undemocratic and against the sovereignty of people. Why the government wants to create problems again.
  • Establishing provincial police is inviting another crisis in the country. From 1983 to 2009, Police department worked under one minister and it exemplarily worked under a single authority.  Why the government wants to change it.

There are many issues in connection with the expert views on the proposed constitution.

The government did not transparent on these matters and that is why the yahapalana regime was unsuccessful in Sri Lanka.

 

THE ‘CONSTITUTION’ AND THE ‘CRISIS’ Part 2.

January 15th, 2019

KAMALIKA PIERIS

To the surprise of the nation, President Maithripala Sirisena suddenly turned against the Yahapalana government which had made him President and decided to dissolve Parliament. On November 9th 2018, President Sirisena issued a Gazette notification dissolving Parliament and declaring a general election on January 5, 2019.

This was challenged in Supreme Court by several parties, most of whom belonged to the ‘minorities.’ There were ten fundamental rights petitions. They came from UNP, TNA, SLMC, JVP, Tamil Progressive Alliance, All Ceylon Makkal Congress, and also individuals such as Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, and Ratnajeevan Hoole, a member of the Elections Commission.

These petitioners were in a quandary. There were two opposing clauses in the Constitution, one which said ‘can dissolve’ and another which said ‘can’t dissolve’. Therefore, the petitioners avoided the text of the Constitution and went on Fundamental Rights. They appealed on the grounds of Fundamental Rights, citing Article 12 which declared that all persons are equal before the law and are entitled to the equal protection of the law.”

The petitioners said the Fundamental Rights of the MPs to stay on in Parliament for four and half years was affected by this Gazette.  They were entitled to complete their term in Parliament. The dissolution also violated the rights of the voters who had sent them there. Critics said that these petitioners were in effect saying that they feared an election.

The Supreme Court verdict was given on December 13, 2018. The judgment was a unanimous one. The judges said that the decision to dissolve Parliament prematurely was unconstitutional. The Gazette was illegal. It was a violation of the rights of the petitioners and all Members of Parliament. The MPs were entitled by law to complete their respective terms in Parliament and have been denied this. The Gazette also violated the rights of the electors who sent this lot to Parliament.

The election set for 2019 was also unlawful.   A General Election can only be held   when   Parliament was dissolved within the terms of Article 70, otherwise it will not be a lawful election. It will not be a true exercise of the franchise of the people.  ‘Any exercise of franchise, must be at an election which is duly and lawfully held and which satisfies the results of an ensuing election’.

The decision rests on the  manner in which Article 33 (2) (c), Article 62 and Article 70 of the Constitution are to be read, understood and applied, said Supreme Court. Article33 (2))(c) vests in the President the power to dissolve Parliament, but  the  manner in which it can be done is specified  in Article 70, which says Parliament cannot be dissolved till 4 ½   of its five year term  had  expired.

The judges observed that ‘our Law does not permit Court to review or question the validity of a statute which has been enacted by the Legislature’. Supreme Court is not permitted to review or question   any law passed by Parliament. The duty cast on this Court therefore is to read and give effect to the provisions in the Constitution, taking into account intention, without twisting the clauses and arrive at a conclusion which would uphold democracy and the Rule of   Law.

Critics had observed that what went before Supreme Court is not a determination of the constitution, but a Fundamental Rights”    application.  The panel of judges recognized this. They agreed that these petitions were for the protection of the MPs Fundamental Rights.

They said every citizen had the inalienable right to invoke Fundamental Rights in Supreme Court and the foremost duty of the Supreme Court, is to protect Fundamental Rights  They also added that Fundamental Rights   was linked to sovereignty, using Clause 4 of the Constitution. Actually   Fundamental Rights   has nothing to do with sovereignty.  Fundamental Rights   are absolute rights.

The decision of the judges seems to have been known before hand, because we saw on television a small group of UNP supporters assembled before the Courts complex, waiting to hear the decision, and the first we knew of the judgment was when we saw this group erupt in cheers. This judgment was not what the SLFP, Pohottuwa and the general public wanted but no one protested, since it was a relief to have the matter settled.

The Supreme Court judges have rendered a pedestrian judgment, said critics. The judges   had simply decided between the two opposed alternatives, ‘dissolve’ or ‘not dissolve’ and opted for the latter. Critics said that the judgment had ignored the pulse of the people. People must be given the chance to choose a new set of representatives with a fresh mandate.

If reading the constitution is relegated only to simple reading alone with no consideration for what the Constitution is intended for in the first place,  there is no point in going to Supreme Court, continued critics. Supreme Court should have take the whole picture into account and arrive at a ‘noble decision’ that would benefit the nation and create a valuable precedent. One critic took a novel approach. He said Supreme Court has ignored the fact that the masses did not vote for the 19th amendment.  The 19 amendment was not in the Constitution at the time the electorate voted Yahapalana government in.

Critics drew attention to India, where the Supreme Court of India in December 2018,   refused to interfere with the decision of Governor of Jammu and Kashmir, to dissolve the state assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. Critics observed that in the case of Kashmir, it was the decision of a governor of   just one Indian state.  ‘In Sri Lanka we are talking of the decision of the Executive President.’

There were many contemptuous comments on the use of word ‘democracy’ when preventing an election. An invigorating national debate capturing the essence of democracy and upholding the rule of law” took place, said one NGO.  This was laughed at. Denying, or postponing, the right to vote was seen as a positive sign of the triumph of democracy observed H.L.D Mahindapala.  The vast majority has been denied their right to express their will through the exercise of universal franchise.

it is comical to witness the sudden discovery of the virtues of democracy  by  the upper-crust of the middle class  and by  the cabal of self-appointed, unrepresentative civil society interventionists    and NGO activists  , funded principally by  the west   who support a disruptive unchangeable government. They are opposed to Mahinda Rajapaksa re-gaining political power, not democracy.

A lot of undemocratic things were done by the Yahapalana government, pointed out critics. There was the appointment of Ranil Wickremesinghe as the PM in January 2015 with only 42 members, the recognition of the TNA leader as the Leader of the Opposition, the recent holding of Parliamentary sessions without Standing Orders, freezing of elections for local government and then provincial councils. These are all undemocratic.

The call for a general election continued throughout and after the Supreme Court judgment. A petition with 5 million signatures requesting a general election was collected by Ven Muruthetuwe Ananda of the Abhayarama, Colombo. Derana television news of 7.12.18   showed persons signing this at the Abhayarama. Derana news of 29.11.18 showed foreigners signing the   NGO appeal against the dissolution.

The Maha sangha were very active in this matter. They continuously addressed the public through media conferences.  They had one at SEMA building in November 2018, where there were seven of them seated on the platform in a row. Vice Chancellor of the Buddhist and Pali University, Colombo Ven. Prof. Gallelle Sumanasiri presided. Ven. Kegalle Rathanasaara Nayaka, incumbent Monk of the Veherahena Temple, Matara and President of Sasanaarakshaka Mandalaya, Matara, Ven. Paraduwe Jinarathana, Ven. Athuraliye Indrajothi and Ven. Hegoda Vipassi, Director of the Paramadhamma Research Centre, Ratmalana were among those present at the media conference.

The ‘Dissolution drama,’ helped to expose the countries that were propping up the unpopular Yahapalana government. USA, EU, UK, Canada and Australia came out openly for Yahapalana. Having ‘invested’ heavily in Sri Lanka to install an administration in 2015, free of Chinese influence, the US reacted angrily to President Sirisena’s 26 October move,” reported the media. US and its allies are openly supporting the side that does not want an election. They claim this is to restore” democracy in the country, the media said. Why did USA not speak of democracy when Provincial Council elections were delayed for more than two years.

The U.S. Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs said that the United States was “deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, ” It said democracy needed to be respected.” European Union also saw the action as a challenge to democracy. “Mark Field, the British minister of State for Asia and the Pacific, tweeted his concern about the dissolution of Parliament. Canada’s Foreign Policy twitter feed said that it was “deeply concerned” about the decision.” Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs said the move “undermines Sri Lanka’s long democratic tradition and poses a risk to its stability and prosperity.”

The  ambassadors for Britain, Netherlands, Norway, France, Australia, South Africa, Italy, and Canada did not attend  a meeting called  by the new Foreign Minister as a way to  ‘register their protest’ over President Sirisena dissolving Parliament. US, EU, India, and Germany sent junior representatives to the meeting.

However,  representatives from United Nations, Germany, Canada, European Union, the Netherlands and Norway were present in the VIP gallery of Parliament to witness the No Confidence Motion against Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa being taken up. Speaker Karu Jayasuriya had invited them to the gallery to see the day’s proceedings.

A local TV channel broadcast images of the ambassadors cheering when the vote count, in favor of Wickremesinghe, was announced by the Speaker. Diplomats from US, UK, UE and Canada were also in Supreme Court when the fundament rights petition was heard. They were seen sending messages across, said critics.

The US and its allies  strongly opposed Rajapaksa’s appointment as Prime Minister. They applauded the return of Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister. US said it welcomed   the  appointment. Sri Lanka is a valued partner in the Indo Pacific.  The European Union,  and Norway,  said we welcome the peaceful and democratic resolution of the political crisis, in accordance with the Constitution..” Five days after the resignation of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa  Japan welcomed ‘the return to political stability’.

Analysts observed that a section of the diplomatic community in Colombo openly sided with the UNP  throughout the eight weeks of political dispute, and in doing so, they violated the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961).These diplomats made public statements on domestic politics, issued veiled threats of sanctions and were present in the Parliamentary gallery when Speaker Karu Jayasuriya controversially accepted a no-confidence motion on the newly-elected PM Rajapaksa.

This active involvement of certain Western diplomatic missions in Colombo and of the United Nations regarding the actions of the President of the country cannot be justified, said Palitha Kohona and Tamara Kunanayagam. There are no gross and systematic violations of human rights, politically motivated violence or the breakdown of social norms in Sri Lanka.

By interfering in the domestic affairs of the receiving country, these diplomats are directly violating the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations . US, Australia and some EU ambassadors have been involved. Special mention was made of the heads of mission of Canada, Norway and Germany.  It was reported that the German Ambassador even sought a public confrontation with a Sri Lankan parliamentarian.

Palitha Kohona and Tamara Kunanayagam charged that the UN   also was joining the countries which were supportive of Ranil Wickremasinghe, such as UK, Germany, Canada, and EU. This was contrary to the neutrality expected of a UN official. What  happened in Sri Lanka was a domestic matter and the UN representative should stay neutral.

Soon after the judgment was declared, Ranil Wickremasinghe was reappointed as Prime Minister and the same old UNP cabinet was also reappointed, by a grim faced President Sirisena. But things were not the same. The return of the Yahapalana/UNP government was not welcomed. Analysts said that we should be very watchful as to what Yahapalana government is going to do in the coming 1 ½ years.  The boisterous, cocky Yahapalana government was now somewhat subdued. It had got an awful fright. Also its action of opposing the Gazette had spoiled its image. Yahapalana government had succeeded in preventing a much wanted general election.

President Sirisena   and former President Mahinda Rajapaksa now acquired greater stature. President Sirisena   was not a newcomer to politics, though he looked  utterly  diffident at his swearing in as  President. He has been a Member of Parliament from 1989 and had been the Minster for agriculture, health, irrigation, Mahaweli and  Rajarata development.  He has been Leader of the House, and General Secretary of the SLFP. Sirisena is now backed by SLFP, Pohottuwa and the Rajapaksas .He looks resolute. He keeps complaining about Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.

After Ranil Wickremesinghe took oaths before him as the Prime Minister, at the Presidential Secretariat, President Sirisena spoke to United National Front Parliamentarians. In that speech, President Sirisena said, inter alia, the statement he made that he would not appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister even if all 225 Members of Parliament should present a signed request was his political opinion. “I still stand by that statement, but as a leader who respects Parliamentary traditions and democracy, I offered him that post,” he said.

Neither Parliament or the Judiciary have the power to name a Prime Minister, but since a majority of Parliamentarians had expressed the view that Ranil Wickremesinghe should be given the Premiership after casting 117 votes in his favor, had he agreed because he respected Parliamentary tradition.

The President said he took steps to dissolve Parliament, prorogue Parliament, and appoint a new Prime Minister, after consulting legal experts. Those decisions were taken with good intentions putting the country’s interest first. He had not the slightest intention of breaching the Constitution. The President said he believed the best solution to the unrest was holding a general election, because, the opinion of 15.5 million voters was more important than the opinion of 122 Members of Parliament.

“The President criticized the government for the way it acted for three-and-a-half years, indefinitely postponing the enactment of the Bribery Commission Act which aimed to penalize the accused in the Central Bank bond issue and to recover the money lost by it. Failing to apportion ministries on a scientific basis as stated in the election manifesto, failing to implement the recommendation of the Presidential Commission which investigated the Central Bank bond issue, losing the confidence of the Maha sangha, and the imprisonment of war heroes were the other issues that he had objected to. These factors influenced my recent decisions. “Whatever people say, I took my decisions in the interests of the public, he said. Now, a political movement that is against fraud and corruption is needed in the country to rebuild its economy.

During the time Ranil Wickremasinghe was out of power, critics had much to say about Ranil Wickremasinghe . Ranil Wickremasinghe holds the record for the most number of elections lost under a party leader, they said. Ryp Van Winkle observed that Ranil Wickremasinghe had been the leader of the UNP for almost 25 years.  ‘Under your leadership the UNP has  never won a simple majority. Also you have never served a full term of office,’  Ryp Van Winkle pointed out.

Wickremesinghe has relied on former Sri Lankans including Arjuna Mahendran (Singapore), Razeen Sally (Singapore), Suri Ratnapala (Australia) as well as prominent foreign personalities in the Economic field such as George Soros, Professor Ricardo Hausmann of Venezuela, Joseph Stieglitz (who came as the chief guest of the former Prime Ministers 2023 agenda for economic prosperity) for his Vision to build Sri Lanka, said Rusiripala Tennekoon.

Tennekoon listed the institutes that were used by Ranil Wickremasinghe to further Yahapalana economic aims. They were, the  institute of Policy Studies, . Advocata Institute, launched at the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute as an independent Public Policy Think Tank working towards a free and prosperous Sri Lanka,  and Millennium Challenge Corporation  a unit located within the Strategic Policy Development Unit of the Prime Minister’s Office. The objective of this MCC is to influence the regulatory environment and rule of law in the South. former Prime Minister Wickremesinghe created his own team, the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM). This CCEM took decisions bypassing Cabinet.

Pradeep Jayawardene,  said in an interview in November 2018, said that Ranil Wickremesinghe brought in a gazette to close down the  JR Jayewardene Centre, continued  Pradeep,  who is  JR’s grandson. Ranil stopped the Centre’s rental income and said he wanted to establish an institute to train Parliamentarians with funding from a German political group. The Act for this was drafted and brought into Parliament, but cancelled due to  the recent events. Ranil also held a meeting at the JRJ Centre and said this is the last meeting of the JRJ Centre, concluded Pradeep.

Mahinda Rajapaksa continues to be popular. He  has not lost face despite getting and losing the post of Prime Minister within a matter of months. In fact his popularity seems to have increased and so visibly, has his confidence. Rajapaksa cannot even take a sea bathe in peace. Television cameras showed  Rajapaksa receiving the greetings of supporters   when he emerged from the sea,    at Galle,   in swimming trunks with a   towel wrapped around him.

Mahinda Rajapaksa arrived late at a Nelum Pokuna function in January 2019.  President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe were already there. When it was announced that Mahinda Rajapaksa was now in the audience, there was a round of applause.

A test run on the Matara-Beliatte stretch of the southern railway extension, took place amidst cheers and boos, in January 2019. A group of protesters, holding photographs of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, delayed the start of the train at the Beliatta station by blocking the line. A   second   group stopped the train midway, demanding compensation. A third group of Rajapaksa supporters protested at the Bambarenda station.

People are now    saying how effective Mahinda Rajapaksa has been as President. Sarath Obeyesekera recalled, I remember attending a meeting of the Southern Development Committee chaired by Minister  Sagala Ratnayake. When the issue of re-commencing the Galle Yacht and Boat Repair Industry was taken up, I pointed out that the Sri Lanka Ports Authority did not allow me to proceed. At another meeting in the CECM, chaired by the Prime Minister, I again took up the same problem expecting a decision to be made. The PM instructed the Minister to allow the project, despite some ludicrous reasons the Minister had given for not permitting it. I argued about it, but once the meeting was over I knew that the Minister was against it” Business leaders want firm decision from the political leadership..  This was conspicuously absent during the last three and a half years, said Obeysekera.

When I was in UK, continued Obeyesekera,  the current Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa visited the London Buddhist temple just before his first presidential election, to attend a religious ceremony, where I was also present. He had seen me after 10 years. He beckoned me with a wave. When I went near him, he held my hand and asked when I was planning to return to serve the country. One of my friends, while returning from Kataragama happened to meet Rajapaksa, who was the President at that time. The President did not know him but cared to talk to him.

We experienced labor unrest when Mahinda Rajapaksa was the Minister of Labor, continued Obeysekera.  We had been compelled to close the shipyard temporarily in view of trouble. The workers met the Minister, who called me for a meeting. He asked me why I had resorted to such drastic action. I told him that I wanted to maintain discipline. Apparently annoyed, he told me that I did not even listen to the Minister, under whom I worked as Chairman.

Minister Rajapaksa asked me whether I wanted to fight him. He said he was a street fighter and if I was ready we could fight it out, outside the ministry. Then, he winked at me and I realized that he was joking. A three-year collective agreement was signed and the strikers returned to work. Rajapaksa sorted out the issue to the satisfaction of both sides to the dispute. A leader should have these qualities to win the hearts of the people if you want him to lead the country. We need a leader capable of making firm decisions, concluded Sarath Obeysekera.”

Yahapalana thinks otherwise. In January 2019 a group of persons clad in black and calling themselves civil activists demonstrated outside Capital Maharaja Organization, Hiru , Derana, Sirasa , Maubima newspaper office and several other media organizations.  Earlier, a row of protesters clad in black  sat protesting at Railway station, Maradana against the gazette and Mahinda Rajapaksa. They were there for days.

This new group handed over a letter which said, “Owners of media organizations and Mediamen, you  became a part of the anti-constitutional and anti-democratic coup of October 26. Your conduct after October 26 showed how unethical the media can be.  By taking the side of a specific political group during the coup and justifying it, you flouted the expectation among the public that the media would conduct itself ethically.

The letter objected to the manner in which the media had reported the Supreme Court judgment against the dissolution of Parliament, They  had misrepresented facts said the letter.  No , said Chandraprema, the media had  reported the matter accurately. The letter also accused the media of promoting jathiwadaya by which was meant Sinhala jathiwadaya .  However, some of the media   organizations were owned by Tamils and non-Buddhists, commented Chandraprema. The letter ended with the warning “We are watching you.”

The  letter   accused the media of not reporting  both sides of a story. That was not so. Chandraprema point out that none of the mainline media organizations demonstrated against, can be accused of having reported one sidedly during the political crisis following October 26, 2018. The press conferences held at Temple Trees were given wide coverage by all TV stations and newspapers. Since the mainline media is doing a good job of reporting on both the government and the opposition, there is no room for an alternative media to make headway. That is the problem, he said.

The  organizations that participated in the protest were: Sri Lankawe Kanthavo, Aluth Piyapath, Aluth Parapura, Maruthaye Handa, Didulana Hadawatha, Prajathanthrawadaya Sandaha vu Samanallu, Yuththeeya Web Madhyawedeenge Sangamaya, Sadhu Janarawa, Negee Sitimu Sri Lanka, Chitrapata Adhyakshakawarunge Sangamaya, Athurudanvuwange Pavul Ekathuwa, Prajathanthrawadaya Sandaha vu Neethignayin, and  Samabima Organization. Among the prominent people seen   among the protesters were the film director Vimukthi Jayasundera, actress Samanalee Fonseka, Brito Fernando , also one Dhanushka who  was identified as a JVP activist.

The persons demonstrating  were mostly employees of NGOs funded by the  foreign countries that  had openly backed the move to block the holding of a general election, said Chandraprema. The whole country saw the manner in which diplomats of Western embassies in Colombo went to Parliament to express support for the move not to have a general election and even sat in the court rooms to ‘observe’ the proceedings. When people paid by the countries  that  these diplomats belong to demonstrate in front of local media organizations, what are we to understand from that, he asked.

The media stations did not take this challenge  lying down. They said that  this was the work of the  UNP government,  because UNP felt that the media had backed the Oct. 26 government change.  Yahapalana government had launched the protest campaign. Maubima   staff came out of their office with placards of their own and held a counter demonstration charging that the demonstrators were from foreign funded NGOs. The Maubima staff  hooted and jeered as the protestors left.

The UNP has recommenced its attacks on the media, said Chandraprema. Some time ago Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe threatened journalists and media organizations mentioning some by name. this included  Divaina. Since the restoration of the UNP government some weeks ago, these attacks have assumed a more sinister aspect. There has been a stoppage of advertising from government owned institutions to the two premier private TV stations in the country Hiru TV and Derana TV.

The silent masked black clad demonstrators are a warning of something sinister said Chandraprema.  These deliberate planned actions are carried out by educated, English speaking middle class persons.  alarm bells  should start ringing throughout the country. The entire nation should stand up and take notice.

Sri Lanka is now in the middle of a full scale neo-imperialist, neo-liberal invasion with a determined attempt to whip the local media into submission. After January 9, 2015, the media has been the only democratic institution still holding out. Until just days ago, both the government and the opposition were dominated by the same Yahapalana group. The genuine opposition in the country, the Joint Opposition with 53 MPs was given less time to speak in Parliament than the JVP which had only 6 MPs.   It was the media that enabled  the  Opposition to be heard by giving them coverage in the news bulletins. This was why the media has earned the wrath of the UNP and the neo-liberal mafia supporting them.

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) came into unexpected prominence due to the Dissolution issue.  In December 2018, Parliament passed a vote of confidence in Ranil Wickremasinghe  to show that he  should be the  Prime Minister. Ranil Wickremasinghe obtained 117 votes. UNP had only 106 votes   of its own.  The winning votes came from TNA. Ranil musters 117 with TNA support” said Daily News on  13.12.18.

United People’s Freedom Alliance said  the UNP today is dictated by the TNA.TNA MP Sumanthiran is dictating terms on the UNP,” he said. The Opposition charged that ousted UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe had received Tamil National Alliance (TNA) backing for a Confidence Motion presented on his behalf in return for  promises. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) put forward four main conditions along with a few other conditions in order to extend their support to the United National Party (UNP) in Parliament. The TNA wanted the UNP to give their consent in writing, said informants.

The conditions laid-down by the TNA  included the following, Solutions without any delay to the pressing problems faced by the Tamil Community, Release of political prisoners, free all the lands now under the Sri Lanka Army and assign all important posts to the TNA in the North and East development projects and programmes.

United People’s Freedom Alliance said   TNA has offered its support to the UNP because Wickremesinghe had agreed to their terms, he will agree with anything and anyone to stay in political power, irrespective of policy, national security or integrity of the country.

We have reasons to think that Ranil has already signed an agreement with the TNA to give away the provisions for Police Powers and Land Powers to the North. This is no big deal for him, if he sees an opportunity to stay in power,” said UPFA. PLOTE  also thought that Ranil Wickremesinghe would have given in writing that he agrees with the proposals made by the TNA, to support him in Parliament.

United National Party (UNP) and the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) categorically denied signing any secret, private or political agreement between them about the 13th Amendment, releasing ex-LTTE cadres from prisons, or withdrawing Army from the North.

TNA admitted that they  had  discussed their problems with UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe.We discussed particularly releasing our people’s lands from military occupation, freeing those political prisoners held in government custody, and being vested with more governing powers to the Northern and Eastern Provinces,”  but we never signed any agreement with the UNP.”

With the  TNA supporting UNP and voting with it, another issue came up. Is the TNA with the government or the opposition?  When Parliament reconvened after the Supreme Court judgment the post of Opposition leader was   taken away from TNA leader R Sampanthan and given to Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The loss of the Leader of the Opposition position was a major political blow to the TNA., said Jehan Perera. TNA  did everything they could do to ensure that the government was restored after it had been sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena.

The Leader of the Opposition’s position  gave the TNA, which represents a minority community, a position within Sri Lanka’s hierarchy of political leaders. The Leader of the Opposition is a prestigious position that gave the TNA an official status both within and outside the country and made its leader one of the topmost in the pantheon of the country.

There was   also a very practical reason why TNA wanted  the Leader of the Opposition position., the Leader of the Opposition is able to get more things done than can be done by an ordinary MP or even  a  leader of a political party. A request by the Leader of the Opposition would carry more weight and get more things done especially from the government bureaucracy and even the military.

In addition, the Leader of the Opposition is provided with a fully equipped office with staff. Over the past three years the TNA enjoyed this  source of state power that the Tamil community has seldom had the opportunity to enjoy, said TNA regretfully.

The  Dissolution debate  was based on the 19th Amendment to the Constitution. The 19th Constitutional Amendment  Bill was presented to Parliament by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on 24 March 2015,   just two months after Yahapalana came into power. 19 petitions were filed  in Supreme Court, with regard to this amendment. Five for and 14  against the amendment. The petitions were considered and the amendment was reviewed by a panel of Supreme Court Judges led by Chief Justice K. Sri Pavan  and recommendations sent back to Parliament.

Yahapalana government  changed the bill several times to get the backing of parliamentary opposition parties. It amended the relevant clauses and removed the sections that needed a referendum before presenting it to Parliament. 19 Amendment   was enacted In April 2015. This  law was passed by a nearly unanimous vote in parliament with only one MP Sarath Weerasekera opposing it.   UPFA later said that UPFA was not prepared to support it but President Sirisena wanted them to do so, so they did.

The 19th amendment introduced clause 70/1 which said that Parliament cannot be dissolved for 4 ½ years out of its five years, unless  Parliament  decided to  dissolve itself. But the same 19 amendment also brought in article 33/2/c  which said,  ‘in addition to the powers given by the Constitution or any other law, President  shall have the power to dissolve Parliament’ .These  contradict each other. The 19th Amendment also said that the Prime Minister cannot be removed , he has to resign.

The Dissolution Issue” brought the ugly aspects of the 19th amendment before the  public. This Amendment was designed to do three things, restrict the power of President Sirisena, make Ranil Wickremasinghe secure in his position as Prime Minister and keep Yahapalana government going for 90% of its term.

The current constitution is an imperfect document full of holes, lacking even simple logic, brought about to safeguard not the people, but a few politicians and deprive certain others of their legitimate rights,  said one commentator. For this reason alone, people must be given the chance to choose a new set of representatives with a fresh mandate” he said.

Our Constitution  does not permit Supreme Court to challenge  a law passed by Parliament and has received the Speaker’s assent, analysts observed.  Improperly enacted laws must not to be protected in this way. If a law is passed by surreptitious means, it should be possible to challenge it in Supreme Court even after it has received the Speaker’s assent. Legislation pushed through without proper examination of its provisions  surely, cannot be    considered valid law.

The Dissolution debate also tried to use the notions of ‘Constitutionalism’ and the ‘Rule of Law’. These two concepts usually stay  inside the disciplines of law and political theory.  For a proper Rule of Law there must be, inter alia,  just laws, not   biased laws like the 19th amendment. For Constitutionalism, which means ‘adherence to a constitutional system of government,’ the constitution must be a good one, well thought out, meaningful and without howling contradictions and dangerous clauses.

The Dissolution debate, also gave a new slant to the concept of sovereignty.”  Yahapalana supporters complained that the concept of sovereignty is now interpreted as a concept outside the framework of the Constitution, when it should be firmly lodged inside the Constitution.

Sovereignty is defined in all sorts of ways, but this is the first time I have come across this argument. Of course sovereignty is outside the constitution.  The Constitution derives from the sovereign state, not the other way round.   We, the sovereign people of   Sri Lanka, or wherever, herewith declare this to be our Constitution etc etc .”

There is a related matter which has not been debated and that is the right of Parliament to pass amendments to the Constitution. Parliament is created by the Constitution. It is a creature of the Constitution and it is under the Constitution, not the other way round.    Parliament should not, therefore have the right to make any amendments at all to the Constitution or     tamper with it in any way

The intelligentsia have been trained to think that  the notions of ‘state’, ‘constitution’, ‘rule of law ‘   originated in the west in the 17 century , This cannot be accepted.  There were successful centrally ruled states   from ancient times in Asia. In Sri Lanka the Sinhala king was expected to rule according to ‘pera sirit.’ There is also the concept of Dasa Raja Dharma which is found in the Mahahamsa Jataka of the Khuddaka Nikaya. Gautama Buddha, who lived in the 6 century BC, was able to comment on governance because the north Indian states around him were republican states. However, only the    organization in the Lichchavi republic is known to day.

Around the same time as our Dissolution  drama, a strong reaction against the government  developed in France, the  ‘yellow vest” demonstrations. These   began over fuel taxes  and  ballooned into a wider revolt against President Emmanuel Macron’s policies and governing style. It appears that many in France were starving, their salaries were insufficient to live. This protest is now in its ninth week.  Yellow Jackets want the right  to  make the government  repeal a law,  amend the constitution or remove a public official from office.

THIS ESSAY ENDS WITH SOME EXTRACTS FROM  CASSANDRA CRY” They give the opposite point of view.

  • Sirisena and Rajapaksa ignominiously had to eat crow, dished out by the ruling of the seven judge Bench of the Supreme Court and loudly crowed over by the right seeing citizens of the land. Mahinda Rajapaksa now stands disgraced in the eyes of many.
  • The government is now composed of UNPers, the Muslim Congress and a Tamil Party or two. You could say they stood tall, closed ranks and held their heads high; to express staying loyal and committed to a person, Party or principle and being proud of it. They gathered at Temple Trees.
  • Karu Jayasuriya was voted as Gentleman of the Year. You will surely recall that Cass had unlimited and unrestrained praise for him who thought right about the President’s moves in appointing a new PM and all that, withstood verbal and physical barbs, Bibles and bound volumes of the Constitution and conducted the affairs of the august House with rioting Ministers and MPs of the blue and pohottu variety and stood strongly firm like a teak tree in a storm.
  • Ranil W was also voted in as a Gentleman to be honored. Yes, even for the one act of staying calm, unmoved, unflinching when so many in the House were behaving like hyena-heathens. That unflinching non-combative resistance was excellent. He also restrained the elephants in his herd, some straining to retaliate, and note – he never hits below the belt in giving voice to his opinion of other politicians.
  • Voted in to the 2018 Gentlemen’s Gallery are Mr. Sambandan and his close ally Mr. Sumanthiran. Some say they have an agenda in propping the UNF government. Of course all have agendas; no politician is completely altruistic and open. These same say that their ultimate aim is a separate state. Cass does not want to believe that though she believes they will ask for more and the UNF will have to give if giving is justified. But we cannot listen to harbingers of separatism for their aim is to cause racial disharmony.
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa’s minions of the likes of Wimal Weerawansa keep accusing foreign powers, especially Western States of “interfering” in the affairs of our country and even accuse the UNP of being willing stooges.
  • Representatives of the UN and countries, in Colombo, were naturally perturbed at the happenings of October 26 and thereafter and expressed concern about the stability of Sri Lanka. Admittedly they are not completely altruistic but they were perturbed for the country and not worried about their organizations or countries being affected.
  • Small minded, loudly pontificating men behind Mahinda Rajapaksa are so narrow in their view both of the world and our land. They are also, as the Economist writer mentions, bringing in the twin issues of our armed forces and races. They have been beating their drum on punishments given to armed forces personnel and inalienable rights being restored to the Tamils of the land – to them unjustified benefits. They could not comprehend that the TNA and other non-Sinhala Parties joined hands with the UNP to restore democracy in the country.
  • Mahinda Rajapaksa’s sycophants have already seen a division of the land and the so called minorities becoming the majority. Raising the ire of people about armed force personnel being convicted of crimes and igniting the dormant flame of racial animosity are unforgiveable sins.
  • If armed forces personnel are guilty of having committed crimes they HAVE to be punished, no two words about that. ( concluded)

Media Conference on the need to enact the Animal Welfare Bill 

January 15th, 2019

Senaka Weeraratna 

A media conference was held on January 13, 2019 organised by Justice for Animals, a community project under the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation, to garner public support for the enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill.

The panel consisted of three key speakers; Ven Dr Omalpe Sobhitha Thero – President of the Sri Bodhiraja Foundation, Mr U. R. de Silva – President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka and Mr Senaka Weeraratna – Attorney-at-Law and former consultant to the Law Commission, on Animal Welfare Legislation.

The event was attended by the clergy, animal activist groups, animal lovers and the media, and discussed key problems relating to current legislation on Animal Welfare.

Our religion is to secure the rights of the voiceless

There is no religion here. Our religion should be to secure the rights of the voiceless,” said Ven. Sobhitha Thero who highlighted the pathetic situation faced by animals who share the earth equally alongside humans. We’ve forgotten that animals have the right to share the world as much as we do. We seem to think that we are the owners of everything around us, including animals and natural resources. We have to acknowledge and respect the rights of all living creatures,” said Ven. Sobhitha Thero.

He quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s saying that the greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated. He cited many instances of Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial era and how rulers at the time protected the rights of animals and promoted peaceful co-existence between humans and animals, and of the importance of influencing and putting pressure on the ruling parties to provide similar treatment for animals.

The process of enacting the Bill

U. R. de Silva spoke of the role of the Bar Association in relation to initial preparation of the draft Act. Generally, the process involves drafting at the Legal Draftsman’s Department followed by amendment of the Bill, based on suggestions from the Select Committee of Parliament and recommendations from the relevant Ministry, and direction by the Attorney General. After deliberations, the final Bill will be debated in the parliament and enacted. Rather than waiting for something to happen, we must follow up and actively work on it,” he said. He also informed that the full support of the Bar Association will be given to the enactment of the Animal Welfare Bill.

Current animal welfare situation

The existing law relating to cruelty to animals is as good as non-existent, and certainly not enforced, with the maximum fine for cruelty to animals being only a mere 100 rupees. Mr de Silva informed that a ten-member committee comprising the National Animal Welfare Authority, that is recommended in the Bill to be set up will comprise a lawyer, veterinarians practising both western and eastern medicine, academics and leading activists who are also passionate about animal welfare, will be appointed to the Committee to oversee matters.

People who abandon animals on the roads and temples after allowing them to procreate without taking proper responsibility for them, imprison animals in kennels without giving them adequate freedom, and abuse or neglect them, will be subject to punishment under this law. The Bill introduces a duty of care on every person who is in charge of animal(s). The draft Act stipulates a fine of 100,000 LKR as well as a one-year prison sentence.

Crimes against the voiceless

Topics raised by the audience included instances of shops and even individuals selling animals at exorbitant amounts and making money from the practice of puppy mills, individuals and groups carrying out financial fraud in the names of animal welfare preying on others’ compassion for animals, elephants and other wildlife being neglected and abused in zoos, tourism and cultural based animals abused such as for horseback riding or elephant riding as well as use of elephants in religious processions.

The lack of veterinary clinics to tend to animals in need, lack of accountability by pet owners when abandoning their pets, the use of purebreds as a luxury item, use of social media in showcasing and displaying acts of cruelty towards animals, animals in captivity, transporting and even rearing poultry under intense, cruel conditions for consumption will be covered under Regulations to be Gazetted by the Minister in charge, under the provisions of this Bill.

This Committee will monitor compliance with the provisions of this Act and take steps as deemed fit to ensure that, the objectives of the legislation are met and modern standards of treatment of animals become part of the way that animals handled by people in charge, while at the same time ensuring that those who violate the law will face the enhanced sanctions including increase in the quantum of the fine, and the extension of the sentence of imprisonment.

A country in shame

It is a shame that we have to hold events such as this to enact the Animal Welfare Bill in a country that had paid so much more consideration and respect for animals during pre-colonial times. We were known as the ‘Aryawansa’, or the ‘noble race’, because of the way we treated animals,” said Attorney-At-Law Senaka Weeraratna who was the Legal Consultant on animal welfare legislation to the Law Commission of Sri Lanka and had worked tirelessly in an honorary capacity, from 2000 to 2006 to draft and revise the proposed Bill.

In other countries, people take pride in working for the welfare of the animals. However, here, no one takes the side of the animals in parliament except for a handful. Why? Because animals have no votes, no money, and no clout. We treat them as exploitable, without objection from anyone bar a limited number of organisations and animal lovers. The meat industry is disproportionately powerful in this country. They have even silenced the lawmakers and the media, clearly indicated by the number of advertisements showcasing meat in the media,” emphasised Mr Weeraratna.

Currently, an online petition initiated by activist Anoka Abeyratne at Change.org which requests the Sri Lankan Government to enact the Animal Welfare Bill has garnered more than 113,000 signatures. Citizens are invited to sign this historic petition by visiting https://www.change.org/p/prime-minister-of-sri-lanka-pass-a….

(You can find the petition by visiting change.org and searching for Charlie Animal Welfare)

The draft Act prepared by the Law Commission is available for perusal here

https://lawcom.gov.lk/…/re…/the_animal_welfare_bill_2006.pdf

විදෙස් සේනා මදිවට දළඹු සේනාත් ඇවිත්

January 15th, 2019

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

           කුසගිනි නොසිඳෙන ආක්‍රමණශීලී දළඹූවෙක් අප්‍රිකාවේ සිට ඉන්දියාවට ඇවිත් යැයි කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව වාර්තා කරනු ලබන්නේ පසුගිය වසරේ දෙසැම්බර් මාසයේ දීය .රජරට ප්‍රදේශ වල විශාල වශයෙන් කෙරෙන බඩ ඉරිඟු වාගවේ මේ කීටයා දක්නට සිටීමෙන් පසු ඒ ගැන සොයා බැලූ ඔවුන් ගේ දෙකොන රත් වූයේ මේ කීටයා වීසා නොලබාම ලංකාවට ඇවිත් තිබෙන්නේ දකුණු ඉන්දියාව හරහා බැවිනි. පසුගිය කාලයේ දී වගක් විභාගයක් නොමැතිව ලංකාවට බීජ ගෙන්වන්නට පෞද්ගලික අංශයට භාර කල අතර බඩ ඉරිඟු මිරිස් එළවුළු ඇට පළතුරු පැළ මෙන්ම විසිතුරු පළ වර්ගයන්ද විශාල වශයෙන් ලංකාවට ආනයනය කළහ.කාලයක් එළවුළු ඇට වල සිට වී පළතුරු ආදී භෝග වගාවන්හි බීජ හා රෝපණ ද්‍රව්‍ය සකස් කිරීමේ මූලිකයා වූයේ කෘෂීකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවයි.හරිත විප්ලවයේ පසු ක්‍රියාකාරකම් හේතුවෙන් ලංකාව පුරාම බීජ ගොවිපළ වල් පර්යේෂණ ආයතන සහ කෘෂිකර්ම පුහුණු ගොවිපළවල් විවෘත කරගන්නට රජයට හැකි විය. බිත්තර වී නිෂ්පාදනය ගුණාත්මකව කිරීමට රජයට තිබූ පහසුකම් ඉතා ඉහළ මට්ටමේ විය. අසූව දශකයෙන් පසුව රජයේ විවෘත ආර්ථික ප්‍රතිපත්තිය මත රජයේ ආයතන බොහොමයක් පුද්ගලීකරණය කරන ලදී. ලංකාවේ ගොවීන්ට මහඟු සම්පතක බඳු වූ බීජ ගොවිපළවල් රාශියක්ද මේ කාලයේ පුද්ගලික අංශයට විකිණීමෙන් රජය එදිනෙදා වියදම් ආවරණය කරගන්නට ඇත. එසේම මේවා විකිණීමට දායක වූ දේශපාලනඥයන්ට සහ නිළධාරීන්ට ලැබුණු කොමිස් මුදල් ගැන සැබෑ තක්සේරුවක් කෙරී ඇත්දැයි නිශ්චිත නැත.

          2002 වර්ෂයේ රීගේනීන් ශ්‍රී ලංකා වැඩ සටහන ආරම්භයත් සමගම ජාත්‍යන්තර මූල්‍ය අරමුදල් වල කොන්දේසි මත ජල සැපයුම් පෞද්ගලීකරණය බීජ වෙළෙදාම පෞද්ගලීකරණය වේගවත් විය. මෙරට ප්‍රමුඛ පෙලේ බහුජාතික සමාගමක් විසින් කරන ලද නිරන්තර බල කිරීම නිසා කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව බීජ නිෂ්පාදනයෙන් සහ අලෙවියෙන් සෑහෙන දුරට ඉවත් විය. එතනින් පසු පළමු පරම්පරාවේ බීජ නොහොත් හයිබ්‍රඩ් බීජ සඳහා ගොවි ජනතාවගෙන් ලැබුණ ඉල්ලුම ඉතා වේගවත් විය. විදේශීය බඩ ඉරිඟු මැලේසියන් එළවුළු සහ පළතුරු වගාව සහා ආනයනය කරන ලද ඇට වර්ග රාශියක් විය. මේවා අනයනය කිරීමෙන් විශාල ලාභයක් ලැබිය හැකිය. ඒ නිසා විශාල බහුජාතික සමාගම් වලට අමතරව කුඩා තුඩා සමාගම්ද බීජ ගෙන්වමින් සිය ලාභය තර කර ගන්නට උපරිම උත්සාහ දැරූහ. වියට්නාමය ඇමරිකාව මැලේසියාව ඉන්දියාව ආදී රටවල නිෂ්පාදනය කරන බීජ මෙලෙස ලංකාවට සැපත් වන්නට වූයේ කිසිවකුගේ වත් පරීක්ෂාවෙන් තොරවයි. ඇතැම් විට සූට් කේසයක දමා ගෙන පැමිණෙන බීජ වර්ග ද විය. මෙම බීජ සහ රෝපණ වර්ග නිරොධායනය කිරීමට හෝ ප්‍රමිති ගත කිරීමට ශක්තිමත් වැඩ පිළිවෙලක් තව වෙනතුරු කෘෂීකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සතුව නොමැත.දැන් දළඹු සේනාවන් මගින් කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තු ගොවිපළවල්ද ආක්‍රමණය කරන්නට පටන් ගැනීමෙන් පසු මේ බලධාරීන් ට ඇහැරී ඇති වගක් පෙනෙන්ට ඇත.

          සේනා දළඹුවා යන නාමය (Fall armyworm) නම් ඉංග්‍රීසී නාමයට දුන් සිංහල නමයි. මේ සතා ගේ හිසේ ඉංග්‍රීසි වයි අකුරක හැඩයක් ඇත. සිරුර පුරා ඉදිමුණු බිබිල මෙන් ගැටිති දක්නට ඇත.වගාවන් කාගෙන කාගෙන යෑමට තරම් කුසගින්නක් මේ දළඹුවාට තිබීම නිසා කීට හමුදාවක් ලෙසට හැඳින්වෙන්නට ඇත. මේ සතා (Spodoptera frugiperda ) නම් සලබයාගේ කීට අවස්ථාවයි.උතුරු සහ දකුණු ඇමරිකාව නිජබිම් ලෙසට උපක් මේ දළඹු විශේෂය මුල්වර්ට ඒ රටවල වාර්තා වන්නේ 1964 වසරේ දීය.පසුව බහුජාතික සමාගම් වල කෘෂි අධිරාජ්‍යවාදය නිසා අප්‍රිකාවේ බොහෝ රටවලට පැතිරුණි. අප්‍රකානු රටවල් 44 ක් පමණ මේ දළඹුවා පැතිර යමින් තිබෙන බව ආහාර හා කෘෂිකර්ම සංවිධානය වාර්තා කර තිබේ.විශේෂයෙන්ම බඩ ඉරිඟු වගාව ආශ්‍රිතව පැතිරෙන්නේ මෙම දළඹුවාට ප්‍රමාණවත් තරම් ආහාර එම වගාවන්හි තිබන බැවිනි. ඊට අමතරව උක් වගාව වී වගාව එළවුළු බෝග ඇතුළ පළල් පත්‍ර තිබෙන වගාවන්ට මේ සතා හානිකරන්නේ ඉතා වේගයෙනි. විදෙස් රටවල වසන්ත කාලය තූළ වැඩෙන මේ සතා ගම්හානයේ දී ඉගිල යේ. ශිත කාලයේ දී ආරක්ෂා වෙමින් ඊළඟ වසන්ත කාලයේ ද පැතිරෙන්නට පටන් ගනී. නමුත් අප්‍රිකාව ඉන්දියාව වැනි ඝර්ම කලාපීය රටක දී උන්ගේ ජීවන චක්‍රය වෙනස්කමකට භාජනය වී ඇතිවාට නිසැකය. ඊට හේතුව පරිසරයට අනුවර්තය වීමට තිබෙන හැකියාවයි.සලබයා විසින් වරකට බිත්තර 1500 ක් පමණ හෙලන අතර දින අනූවක කාලයක් තුළ කීට අවස්ථාවේ සිට සලබයා දක්වා වර්ධනය වන බව සොයා ගෙන තිබේ. කීට අවස්ථාවෙන් පසු මේ සතා තමන්ගේ ගොදුරු සොයා කි.මී. 300ක පමණ ඈත පෙදෙස වලටද පියාසර කරන  බව සොයාගෙන තිබේ. එමි නිසා ඇමරිකාවේ ප්‍රාන්ත කීපයකම මේ සතා ගේ හානිය දක්නට තිබේ යැයි වාර්තා වී ඇත.

       අප්‍රිකානු රටවල මේ සතා පළමු වරට වාර්තා වන්නේ 2016 වසරේ දීය. පසුව ඉන්දියාවේ එය වාර්තා වන්නට පටන් ගත්තේ 2018 වසරේ මැයි මසදීය. 2019 වසරේ දී ලංකාවේ වගා කරන බඩ ඉරිඟු ප්‍ර භේද වල මේ සතා දකින්නට ලැබෙමින් ඇත. රජරට පෙදෙස් වල පමණක් නොව කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සතු බස්නාහිර පළාත් ගොවිපළක් වන බෝඹුවල සේවා සංස්කරණ ආයතනය තුළටත් මේ සතා ඇතුළු වී තිබෙන්නේ ආනයනික බීජ හරහා බව නිසැකය. ඒ නිසා මේ දළඹු සේනා උවදුර ගැන සුළුවෙන් තැකිය නොහැතිය. වරින් වර ලංකාවේ වගාවන්ට මෙවැනි විදෙස් සතුන් ගේ ආක්‍රමණ සිදු වී තිබෙන බව මෙහිදී මතක් කළ යුතුය. පොල් වගාවට හානි කළ රතු කුරුමිණියා එක් සතෙකි. ජෛව පාලන ක්‍රමයක් මගින් මේ සතා මර්දනය කිරීමට සමත් විය. මෑත කාලයේ දකුණු පළාතෙන් වාර්තා වූ පොල් කොළ මැලවීමේ රෝගය නිසා දකුණු මුහුදු බඩ තීරයේ පොල් වතු හානියට පත් විය එම උවදුරද පැතිර පැමිණියේ ඉන්දියාවේ කේරළය හරහාය. මේ සතා මර්දනය කරගැනීමට වඩා පහසු උපක්‍රම තිබියදී විශාල පොල් වතු සංඛ්‍යාවක් මුලුමනින්ම කපා දැමීමට පොල් පර්යේෂණ ආයතන උපදෙස් දීමෙන් රට තුළ විශාල පොල් හිඟයක්ද මතුව ආයේය.

       වී වගාවට සාමාන්‍යයෙන් ඇති වන කොපු පණු හානිය පුරුක් පණ හානිය වාර්තා වන්නේ දේශගුණික විපර්යාසයන්ද සමගයි.එසේම පැල මැක්කා වැනි හානි වාර්තා වන්නේ කන්නයට වගා නොකරන කුඹුරු වාගවන් වෙතිනි. මේවා මර්දනය කිරීමට කෘෂී විශේෂඥයන් අධික විස සහිත කෘෂිරසායන නිර්දෙශ කරන නමුත් පාරම්පරික ගොවීහු ලිපේ අළු සහ දහයියා අළු භාවිතා කරමින් මේ පණු උවදුරු මර්දනය කිරීමට දැන සිටියහ. මෙම සේනා දළඹුවා නම් ඊනියා විදෙස් සත්ව සේනාව මර්දනය කරගැනීමට නම් විශේෂ ජෛවපාලන උප්‍රෛමයක් සොයා ගැනීමට උනන්දු විය යුතුය.ලංකාවේ නව නිපැයුම් කරුවන් බොහෝ වෙති. කෘෂිකර්ම අමාත්‍යංශය මැදිහත්ව මෙම නව නිපැයුම් කරුවන්ට ආරාධනා කොට සේනා දළඹුවා මර්දනයට යම් පාලන ක්‍රමයක් සොයා ගන්නට පෙළඹීක් කළහොත් නිසැකවට ඔවුන් එය සොයා ගන්නවා ඇත. පසුගිය දෙසැම්බර් මාසයේ අවසාන අවදියේ තිබූ අධික ශීත කාල ගුණයක් සෙනසුරු මාරුවත් නිසා ඇති වූ දෙශගුණ විපරීතය මේ පැතිරීමට තවත් කාරණයක් බව අප මතක තබා ගත යුතුය.මේ නිසා මහ කන්නයේ කුඹුරු වල පණූ හානිය අධීක විය. කෙසේ වෙතත් දෙකොන රත්වී සිටින කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට මතක් කළ යුත්තේ දැන්වත් ආනයනික බීජ සඳහා තහංචි පැනවිය යුතු බවයි අධික ලාභයට කොමිස් කුට්ටි වල ට වහ වැටී දෙශීය කෘෂිකර්ම විනාශ කරලීමට කිසිවකුටත් ඉඩ නොතැබිය යුතුය.එසේම නැවතත් කෘෂිකර්ම දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සතුව තිබෙන ගොවිපළවල් භාවිතා කරමින් බීජ නිෂ්පාදනය සිදු කරලීමට උනන්දු කරලිය යුතුය.විදෙස් සේනා දළඹු සේනා මෙන්ම ඊනියා සමාගම් සේනා ද රටේ ස්වාධීනත්වය ට හැනි කරන බව අප දැන්වත් තේරුම් ගත යුතුය.

 

සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් නඩු තීන්දුවල පරිවර්තන ඉල්ලීමේදී අවමන් කිරීම සම්බන්ධව  ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණ විනිසුරුට එරෙහිව ජනාධිපතිට සහ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට පැමිණිලි……!

January 15th, 2019

Sri Lanka News

2018 නොවැම්බර් මස 09 වන දිනැති අංක 2096/70 දරන අතිවිශේෂ ගැසට් පත්‍රය මගින් පාර්ලිමේන්තු විසුරුවීමට අදාල ජනාධිපති විසින් නිකුත් කළ ගැසට් නිවේදනය 2018.12.13 දින ශ්‍රේෂ්ඨාධිකරණය අවලංගු කරමින් ඉංග්‍රීසි භාෂාවෙන් නඩු තීන්දු ලබා දී ඇති අතර එකී ගැසට් නිවේදනය නීතියට පටහැනි බව දක්වමින් සහන අයද නීතිඥ ලක්සිරි උණවටුන විසින් ද 2018.11.12 දින සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් පෙත්සමක් ගොනු කර තිබූ අතර එකී පෙත්සම2019.01.10 දින නඩු තීන්දුවල සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් වන පරිවර්තන ලබා ගැනීමට කරුණු තහවුරු කිරීමට ප්‍රියන්ත ජයවර්ධන සහ විජිත මලල්ගොඩ සහ මෘදු ප්‍රනාන්දු විනිසුරුවරු ඉදිරියේ කැදවා ඇත.

ඒ අවස්ථාවේ විජිත මලල්ගොඩ විනිසුරු නීතිඥවරයා වෙත දෝෂාරෝපනය කරමින් සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් ඔහු තීන්දුවල පිටපත් නිතරම ඉල්ලා සිටින බවත්, ඔහු හිගන්නාගේ තුවාලය මෙන් කටයුතු කරන බවත්, සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් පරිවර්තන ඉල්ලීම අධිකරණය අපහසුතාවයට පත් කිරීමක් බවත්, මේ ආකාරයට ගියොත් දෙමළ භාෂාවෙන්ද පිටපත් ඉල්ලිය හැකි බවත් එම විනිසුරුවරයා අභියාචනාධිකරණයේ සිටියදී සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් නඩු තීන්දු ගැනීමට උත්සාහ කළද අසාර්ථක වූ බවත් ඇතුළුව ප්‍රකාශ කරමින් විවෘත අධිකරණයේ දී නීතිඥවරයාව අපහසුතාවයට සහ අවමානයට පත්කර ඇති අතර ඒ සම්බන්ධව එකී නීතිඥවරයා ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන,කථානායක ඇතුළු ව්‍යවස්ථා සභාවේ සාමාජිකයන්, ශ්‍රී ලංකා මානව හිමිකම් කොමිසමට, රාජ්‍ය භාෂා කොමිසමට සහ නීතිපතිවරයාට ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යස්ථාවේ 35 , 17 සහ 126 ව්‍යවස්ථා යටතේ සහන ලබා ගන්නා බව දන්වා ඇත.

එම පැමිණිල්ල පහත දැක්වේ….

 

Bankers to the nation –killing the industry?

January 15th, 2019

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Bank of Ceylon has always been the icon of stability for the banking industry in Sri Lanka. Having been the first state commercial bank in the country, BOC has fulfilled its role continuously evolving to cater to the changing needs of customers.

Few of us who have worked in Ship Building Industry wanted to do something for the country after retirement .We developed a shipyard which creates   not only employment to the youth but also generates much needed foreign income .

Our company uses skilled labour of another subsidiary of the owning company .This month subsidiary deposited the salaries of the workers in the bank of Ceylon account .With the difficult conditions in the country ,where many companies are finding difficult to service their loans and pay their workers , .we managed to generate income to remunerate the workers .

Moneys were deposited with the list of account holders who are the  workers are expecting the bank to transfer to each work as per list given to the bank.

The company has some loans to pay to the bank which we need to service in stages .Bank of Ceylon confiscated the money deposited in the account claiming that another blue ship company has filed action in the Courts to claim some overdue amounts .Trick used by the lawyers was to file action to impose a ruling by the courts to liquidate the company and get  the dues .

Advertisement was placed in the national papers by blue chip Company informing the public about their claim requesting any other claimant to come forward. It was not published by the courts but by a private entity.

Bank of Ceylon immediately stopped payment of salaries of the workers and informed the company that account will be frozen unless the loans are paid.

Workers are getting agitated due to none payment of salaries

Labour Department was contacted, which confirmed that Bank may take some other action like filing court action to claim the overdraft but they have no right to stop salaries of the workers.

Advertisement placed by the blue chip company was meant to pressurise the company to pay the dues but not to shut the company down.

Bank of Ceylon being the Bankers of the Nation should help  the wellbeing of the people of this country and help the industries rather than initiating such in inhuman actions.

 

A General’s plight

January 15th, 2019

Sri Lanka is under fire for naming Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva as the Chief of Staff of the Army. Various interested parties stepped up attacks on Sri Lanka in the wake of the Gajaba veteran, the wartime General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the 58 Division, receiving the due recognition.

President Maithripala Sirisena elevated the officer on January 10, 2019.

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Early last year, Sri Lanka earned the wrath of Yasmin Sooka, a member of three-member UN panel that blamed Sri Lanka for the deaths of over 40,000 civilians, for naming Silva as the Adjutant General.

Sooka, in her capacity as the Executive Director of South Africa-based International Truth and Justice Project (ITJP), flayed the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government over Silva’s appointment.

Maj. Gen Silva had been the GoC, 53 Division at the time he received the 2018 appointment.

In a Johannesburg datelined statement, Sooka, who had been a member of UNSG Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, alleged that the appointment, made immediately after the conclusion of the 34th session of UNHRC, ‘is an outrage and shows the Government is not serious about accountability or security sector reform.’

SOOKA LEADS ATTACK

Calling the Gajaba Regiment veteran a war criminal, Sooka referred to the celebrated 58 Division (Task Force I) as a notorious fighting formation on the basis of the controversial UNSG Panel of Experts’ report on Accountability in Sri Lanka (March 31, 2011) and the report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL report / released on Sept. 16, 2015).

Sooka led the attack on the new Army Chief of Staff, with other foreign-funded agents, too, throwing their weight behind the latest project. The UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF), while condemning the appointment, urged the international community to take appropriate action in respect of the Sri Lankan government.

Under Silva’s command, the 58 Division achieved what no other fighting formation did during the entire Eelam war, though it would never have been the case if other formations and support services failed. At the end of the war, the political and military leadership found it difficult to share the glory.

Even a decade after the end of the conflict, Sri Lanka is mired in controversy over the conduct of her armed forces.

The Island last year dealt with the circumstances under which Gajaba veteran and Maj. Gen. Silva’s colleague, Chagie Gallage retired. “Gajaba was engraved in golden letters on the annals of the history of the Sri Lanka Army, if not in the history of Sri Lanka … and I’m certain it will never be reversed by any.

“So, I’m happy to be retired being a tiny particle of that proud chapter of the history, though designated as a ‘War Criminal.”

Gallage is the first officer to make such a declaration, regardless of the consequences. Even after Gallage highlighted the plight of those who held command appointments, the government did nothing, absolutely nothing at least to examine the crisis.

Now, it’s Maj. Gen. Silva’s turn to face stepped up attacks. With the next Geneva sessions, scheduled for March, 2019, the Army Chief of Staff can expect a major propaganda offensive, directed at Sri Lanka, at his expense.

Maithripala Sirisena’s tenure as the President should be examined against the backdrop of Sri Lanka’s failure in Geneva.

SLFP spokesman Mahinda Samarasinghe, on January 09, 2019, faulted the then Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera for co-sponsoring the hotly disputed Geneva Resolution 30/1 titled ‘Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka’ much to the disappointment of President Maithripala Sirisena.

Although, Samarasinghe conveniently refrained from naming UNPer Samaraweera, the reference as regards Geneva Resolution was clearly directed at the former Foreign Minister.

Samarasinghe dealt with the issue at a media briefing at SLFP headquarters, especially called to explain President Sirisena’s four years (January 09, 2015 to January 09, 2019) Office. The National List MP Samarasinghe discussed the contentious accountability issue at the onset of the briefing, his first since he lost the Ports and Shipping portfolios on Dec 20, 2018 in the wake of the UPFA quitting the UNP-led government.

Recollecting his role as wartime President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s human rights envoy, Samarasinghe declared that President Sirisena strongly opposed the Geneva Resolution 30/1 meant to set up a hybrid war crimes mechanism, comprising foreign and local judges. Samarasinghe called the accountability issue the biggest major challenge faced by President Sirisena.

A decade after the successful conclusion of the war, on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon, the accountability issues remained a formidable challenge with a section of the international community pushing Sri Lanka to adopt a new Constitution or introduce far reaching constitutional reforms meant to abolish Sri Lanka’s unitary status.

The Geneva Resolution, adopted on Oct 01, 2015, on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations, is the basis for the division of the country on ethnic lines.

Although President Sirisena, on several occasions, vowed not to allow foreign judges in an accountability mechanism, the UNP-led United National Front (UNF) government did absolutely nothing to counter the despicable Geneva project, though Sri Lanka received credible evidence to disprove accusations.

RESPONSIBILITY OF MR GOVT.

The war-winning Rajapaksa administration, too, should accept the responsibility for the current situation as it neglected its responsibility. The top leadership owed an explanation as to why it refrained from building Sri Lanka’s Geneva defence on the basis of a declaration made by US Defence Adviser in Colombo Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith. in early June, 2011. The statement couldn’t have been made at a better a time for Sri Lanka, at that time struggling to cope up with UN accusations: (A) Sri Lanka ordered UN/INGOs to vacate Kilinochchi in September, 2008 to conduct ‘a war without witnesses’ (B) Vanni population denied medicine, food and other basic needs (C) Coordinated mortar/artillery/MBRL (multi-barrel rocket launchers) attacks on civilian population causing deaths of over 40,000 civilians. The UK’s Channel 4 News alleged that then Secretary Defence Gotabhaya Rajapaksa and then Army Commander Gen. Sarath Fonseka executed the operation (D) Rape of combatants/civilians. Subsequently, the military was accused of abusing/raping men. (E) The use of cluster bombs

Samarasinghe, in spite of being Rajapaksa’s human rights envoy. never exploited the US statement made at the inaugural Defence Seminar 2011. In fact, the previous administration was determined not to explore ways and means of using the US statement. Having reported the controversial US statement exclusively, the writer, on several occasions. personally made representations to several officials, including the then Chief of Defence Staff General Jagath Jayasuriya and the then Justice Minister Rauff Hakeem regarding the urgent need to take remedial measures.

In response to a question regarding the alleged move by some LTTE cadres to surrender during the last few days of the war, the US official denied that possibility, thereby effectively contradicting those propagating the story that security forces massacred surrendering persons. The US official was responding to a query posed by retired Indian Maj. General Ashok Metha. (Metha served in Sri Lanka during the deployment of the Indian Army in the late ‘80s in accordance with the Indo-Lanka accord). The Island exclusive on the US official’s reaction was ignored by the GoSL. It would be pertinent to mention the Indian’s question was posed to the wartime General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the celebrated 58 Division, Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva.

This is what Lt. Col. Lawrence Smith had to say.: “Hello, may I say something to a couple of questions raised. I’ve been the defence attache here, at the US Embassy, since June 2008. Regarding the various versions of events that came out in the final hours and days of the conflict, from what I was privileged to hear and to see, the offers to surrender, that I am aware of, seemed to come from the mouthpieces of the LTTE – Nadesan, KP – people who weren’t and never had really demonstrated any control over the leadership or the combat power of the LTTE.

“So their offers were a bit suspect, anyway, and they tended to vary in content, hour by hour, day by day. I think we need to examine the credibility of those offers before we leap to conclusions that such offers were in fact real.

“And I think the same is true for the version of events. It’s not so uncommon, in combat operations, in the fog of war, as we all get our reports second, third and fourth hand from various commanders at various levels that the stories don’t seem to all quite match up.

“But I can say that the version presented here so far in this is what I heard as I was here during that time. And I think I better leave it at that before I get into trouble.”

The GoSL refrained from at least referring to the US statement. The GoSL, for some strange reason, ignored the INCREDIBLE statement made over two years after the LTTE’s defeat. As the senior Colombo-based US military official, he would have certainly had access to all relevant information and wouldn’t have responded that way if he was not sure of the actual situation.

The US State Department asserted that the US military officer hadn’t been at the Defence Seminar on an official capacity. The GoSL remained silent. The State Department NEVER contradicted the statement. Instead it disputed the military official’s right to make that statement.

Maj. Gen. Silva’s plight should be discussed, taking into consideration both negligence on Sri Lanka’s part as well as external factors. Let me reproduce verbatim what Zeid-Hussein stated in his June 28, 2016, address in Geneva, to pressure Sri Lanka into adopting a new Constitution:

= “Significant momentum has been achieved in the process of constitutional reform. On 10 March 2016, Parliament adopted a resolution establishing a constitutional assembly to draft and approve a new constitution or amendments by the end of 2016, which would then be put to a referendum in 2017. The drafting process has benefited from an inclusive public consultation process overseen by a Public Representations Committee that received submissions and held district level consultations in the first quarter of 2016.

= From a human rights perspective, the constitutional reform process presents an important opportunity to rectify structural deficiencies that contributed to human rights violations and abuses in the past and reinforce guarantees of non-recurrence. These could include a more comprehensive Bill of Rights, stronger institutional checks and balances, enhanced constitutional review, improved guarantees for the independence of the judiciary, effective individual complaints mechanisms and greater direct enforceability of international human rights treaty. Also, as demonstrated by other countries’ experience, is the strengthening of civilian oversight over the military in the form of multiple oversight and accountability mechanisms over defence policy, discipline and promotion, budgeting and procurement. The new Constitution will also be important in facilitating the establishment of the transitional justice mechanisms envisaged by the Government, for instance the criminalization of international crimes in national law or allowing for the involvement of international judicial personnel. At the same time, the High Commissioner hopes that the political process of adopting constitutional changes will not involve tradeoffs and compromises on core issues of accountability, transitional justice and human rights.”

Collective failure of political party system

Sri Lanka created history by becoming the first country co-sponsoring a resolution against itself in spite of it being severely inimical to its interests. The entire process leading to the 2015 October Resolution was based on unproved allegations whereas US statement that cleared the country of such accusations were ignored. The Resolution paved the way for a new Constitution, in addition to the implementation of four specific measures meant to address accountability issues, namely (1) a judicial mechanism with a Special Counsel to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international human rights law (2) A Commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence (3) An Office for Missing Persons (OMP) and finally (4) An Office for Reparations.

Those seeking to haul Sri Lanka before hybrid accountability mechanism exploited Sri Lanka’s failure to pursue their objective. The writer firmly believes the issue at hand is not foreign judges in an accountability mechanism but Sri Lanka’s deliberate failure, since the end of war to-date, to present all relevant facts before Geneva. Western powers and the civil society shouldn’t be blamed for the failure on the part of the corrupt political parties to defend the country.

The SLFP spokesman conveniently ignored the fact that in March 2017, Sri Lanka asked for and obtained two years more to fully implement the October 2015 Geneva Resolution. The SLFP cannot absolve itself of the responsibility for taking it up with the UNP, thereby allowing the Geneva process to continue.

The SLFP also turned a blind eye to the Consultation Task Force on Reconciliation Mechanisms (CTFRM) in January 2017 calling for full participation of foreign judges, and other personnel, including defence lawyers, prosecutors and investigators, in transitional justice mechanism to address accountability issues.

Having repeatedly assured the country that the change of government, in January, 2015, had ended the likelihood of foreign participation in proposed war crimes inquiry, the government struggled to cope up with a report released by CTFRM, headed by attorney-at-law, Mrs Manouri Muttetuwegama.

The eleven-member committee stressed that foreign participation was required as those who had suffered during the conflict had no faith in local judiciary, which lacked expertise to undertake such a task. They endorsed Human Rights Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein declaration made in Colombo, in February, 2016, that the judiciary here was incapable of undertaking the process. The Jordanian questioned the integrity of the local judiciary.

The CTFRM comprised Muttetuwegama, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, Gamini Viyangoda, Prof. Sitralega Maunaguru, Dr Farzana Haniffa, Mirak Raheem, Prof. Gameela Samarasinghe, Visaka Dharmadasa, Shantha Abhimanasingham, PC, K.W. Janaranjana and Prof. Daya Somasundaram.

Sri Lanka also ignored invaluable representations made by Lord Naseby in Oct, 2017, in the House of Commons on behalf of Sri Lanka on the basis of wartime British High Commission dispatches (January-May 2009). Sri Lanka turned a Nelsonian-eye to the highly respected Briton’s assertion that the number of dead couldn’t have exceeded 8,000 and one fourth of them were LTTE cadres. Foreign Ministry initially dismissed Lord Naseby’s move. The British High Commission in Colombo, too, adopted a similar stand.

Former Ministers, Dayasiri Jayasekera, Sarath Fonseka and Mahinda Samarasinghe in response to queries raised by this writer, at separate press conferences, admitted that cabinet never discussed how Lord Naseby’s revelation could be used to our advantage. While The Island took up the issue with Jayasekera at a post-cabinet media briefing in Nov. 2017 several weeks after Lord Naseby revelation, Fonseka and Samarasinghe were confronted at the Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development and SLFP Office, T.B. Jayah Mawatha, respectively.

The war-winning Army Chief admitted that there hadn’t been any Cabinet discussion on how Sri Lanka should respond to Geneva allegations of war crimes against the country. (SF: Cabinet never discussed how to counter war crimes allegations with strap-line…responds to PM’s 2030 leadership change move, The Island, Sept 8, 2018).

Mahinda Samarasinghe acknowledged that Sri Lanka’s decision to co-sponsor the Geneva Resolution 30/1 in Oct 2015 hadn’t been discussed by the Cabinet of Ministers nor the Lord Naseby’s revelation (Cabinet never discussed 2009, 2015 Geneva Resolutions – MS, The Island, Aug 18, 2018).

Jayasekera said that a statement made by Lord Naseby in the House of Lords would be used by the government appropriately at the right time, though the Cabinet was yet to discuss it. Jayasekera asserted that there were far more important issues than Geneva while accusing the writer of raising an unnecessary issue (War crimes: Cabinet spokesman provoked by query on govt. response to Naseby move, The Island, Nov 16, 2018)

One-time Attorney General and Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana, PC, in spite of promising parliament in late Nov 2017 to use the Naseby disclosure at the appropriate time and the venue, never kept the promise. This assurance, given in response to a query raised by the Joint Opposition, is yet to be fulfilled.

Had Sri Lanka properly used Lord Naseby’s disclosure obtained from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) following an intervention made by the UK Information Commissioner’s Office in terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 along with US Defence advisor’s declaration made in June 2011, the Geneva lie could have been countered.

It would be important to know Lord Naseby made his request in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000 on Nov 06, 2014 though the required information was denied on the basis of false claim public disclosure would undermine their relations with Sri Lanka whereas the actual situation was other way around.

Can anyone dare to name a country that deliberately denied its armed forces an opportunity to clear their name?

(To be continued on January 23, 2019)

Prelates ask govt. to solve economic problems instead of introducing new constitution

January 15th, 2019

By Cyril Wimalasurendra Courtesy The Island

The government must strive to solve the economic problems the people were faced with instead of trying to introduce a new Constitution, Mahanayakes of the Asgiri and Malwatta Chapters told State Minister of Defence, Ruwan Wijewardene yesterday.

The minister visited the Chief Prelate of the Asgiri Chapter, Most Ven Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana There and the Chief Prelate of the Malwatta Chapter, Most Ven. Thibbatuwawe Sri Siddartha Sumangala Thera, yesterday.

The two prelates told the minister that the cost of living was increasing and that the government must do everything in its power to reduce the economic burden of the people. The crime rate was also high, they said.

Most Ven. Warakagoda Sri Gnanarathana Thera criticised the government for attempting to bring in a new Constitution by February 04 amidst opposition to its move.

Consensus likely to elude draft of Sri Lanka’s new constitution

January 15th, 2019

Colombo, January 14: Political consensus is likely to elude Sri Lanka’s draft constitution, given three factors currently at play.

The first factor is the hostility of President Maithripala Sirisena and the Leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapaksa to the draft, though only the latter has come out publicly against it so far.

Consensus likely to elude draft of Sri Lanka’s new constitution

Both Sirisena and Rajapaksa want the Executive Presidency to continue, if not made stronger. But the draft constitution wants the abolition of the Executive Presidency in favor of the Westminster system with the Prime Minister at the helm.

On the matter of Executive Presidency, Sirisena and Rajapaksa speak from experience. While Rajapaksa had derived the fullest benefit from the Executive Presidency in his nine years in power, Sirisena is beginning to savor it and enjoy it. He is asking for more.

Both also want powers devolved to the provinces to be kept to the minimum with a watered-down 13 th.Amendment being the outer limit for devolution of power.

The draft constitution envisages devolution of power over State Land and the separation of provincial police from the national police. But Rajapaksa has dubbed this scheme a blue print for the dismemberment of Sri Lanka. It will divide the country into nine semi-independent units” he has charged.

The second factor militating against the emergence of a consensus is the indeterminate stance of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. He is non-committal and dodgy, indicating that his final decision will be based on political expediency.

The third factor is that Sri Lanka is now in the threshold of multiple elections, provincial, Presidential and parliamentary. In that context, it is highly unlikely that the ruling party, which is currently the United National Party (UNP) headed by Ranil Wickremesinghe, will push for any controversial measure like a new constitution which envisages sweeping changes in the State structure and in the distribution of power between the Center and the provinces.

Abolition of Executive Presidency

The Constitutional Expert Committee’s report, which was tabled in parliament on Friday abolishes the powerful Executive Presidency and replaces it by a Westminster style parliamentary system with a powerful Prime Minister and a ceremonial President.

As per the report, which can be described as the draft constitution”, the President will cease to be directly elected by the people and will instead be jointly elected by a bi-cameral legislature comprising a 233 member Parliament” and a 55 member Second Chamber”. The President will be elected by a majority of the whole membership of the two Houses.

This will make a huge difference to the moral authority of the President. Presently, the President enjoys an enormous sense of power because he is the only occupant of a high Sri Lankan office who is elected directly by the entire voting population of Sri Lanka. Others come through smaller constituencies (and also through parliament as in the case of the Prime Minister).

Thus, a directly elected President can legitimately claim that he is the quintessential repository of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. An indirectly elected President can make no such claims.

Under the new draft constitution, the President loses his power to choose the Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers. He has to appoint as Prime Minister, not anyone who he imagines may have majority support in parliament, but one who indubitably enjoys it. The President will have to appoint ministers only on the Prime Minister’s advice. He will lose the power to allocate departments to ministries without the Prime Minister’s assent.

Unlike now, the President will not be Head of Government, take Ministerial portfolios, and chair the cabinet. He will only be Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces. But every action of his as C-in-C, will be subject to the advice of the PM.

The President will lose the right to dissolve parliament on his own volition. Parliament can be dissolved before its five year term only when the House itself passes a resolution seeking dissolution with a two third majority of its entire membership.

The Prime Minister and his Council of Ministers cannot be dismissed at will. The PM and cabinet will go only when they lose the confidence of the House in a Vote of No Confidence or when the annual budget gets defeated in the third attempt in the first two years, and in two attempts after two years.

The President will cease to have discretion over the grant of pardon. This function will be exercised by the Prime Minister and a judicial committee and the President will only be rubber stamping the decisions.

The President can be removed for mental and physical disability by a committee comprising the Speaker, the Prime Minister and the Leader of Opposition. He can be removed also by a parliamentary resolution backed by a two thirds majority in both the Houses.

After election, the President is expected to sever all links with any political party and function in a non-partisan manner. This is a major departure from the present constitution under which the President can be chairman of his party.

To meet the demand for provincial autonomy, the new constitution vests power over State Land in both the central and the provincial governments with the condition that land use is carried out as per the rules of the National Land Commission. But the commission’s policies should be shaped in consultation with all provincial councils.

The provinces will also have their own police forces headed by officers of the rank of Deputy Inspector General. There will be separate National and Provincial Police Commissions to make appointments, transfers and promotions at the national and at the provincial levels.

The new constitution introduces a Second Chamber to the national legislature. The lower and larger chamber called parliament” will have 233 members elected for a five year term. Out of these, 140 will be elected from single-member constituencies and the rest will be elected on a provincial basis.

There will be a Second Chamber of 55 members, for which members will be elected by parliament and the provincial councils. The Second Chamber will be there not to block bills passed by parliament, but to have a second look and give suggestions for improvement. In drafting bills, parliament will be expected to give due consideration to the view expressed by the Second Chamber.

The draft constitution has described Sri Lanka as Ekiya Rajya” in Sinhala and Orumittha Nadu” in Tamil which mean a United Country”. The experts had avoided labeling the constitution as either unitary” or federal” given the strong feelings for and against these two concepts.

It has retained the foremost place” given to Buddhism in the country while guaranteeing freedom to practice other religions.In a departure from other constitutions, it guarantees individual and family privacy and has stated that gender and sexual orientations will not be a bar to public employment.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe told parliament while tabling the draft constitution, that what has been made available is only a draft. Members have also been given summaries of all the views expressed in the six sub- committees, he pointed out. He appealed to the members to study the drafts and the views expressed and come to a consensus on each and every aspect of the constitution.

(The image at the top shows Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maithripala Sirisena and Mahinda Rajapaksa)

Sri Lanka says has $406 million loan offer from Bank of China, may increase to $1.35 billion

January 15th, 2019

Courtesy straitstimes

COLOMBO (REUTERS) – Sri Lanka is considering an offer from Bank of China for a loan of US$300 million (S$406 million), which could be raised to US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion), to help it meet repayments in coming months, junior finance minister Eran Wickramaratne told Reuters on Tuesday (Jan 15).

He also confirmed that Sri Lanka had started negotiations to increase the amount of a swap deal with India’s central bank to US$1 billion, up from a previously negotiated US$400 million.

A series of credit rating downgrades amid a political crisis have made it harder for Sri Lanka to borrow as it faces record high repayments of US$5.9 billion this year, US$2.6 billion of which fall due in the first three months.

“A government subcommittee will assess and negotiate on the tenure, size, and the price of this loan (with Bank of China). The cost of political crisis is high.” Investor confidence took a hit when President Maithripala Sirisena abruptly sacked Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in October and replaced him with pro-China former president Mahinda Rajapaksa and dissolved parliament.

Sri Lanka’s top court then ruled the dissolution of parliament illegal and Wickremesinghe was restored to power in December – but the seven-week-long crisis hurt the rupee and drove sovereign bond yields higher, straining state finances.

As of the end of 2018, nearly a quarter of Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt was owed to China, which has lent some US$8 billion while building ports and highways and planning other major investments in the island state as part of its drive to build a 21st century ‘Silk Road’ across nations and shipping lanes.

Calls to the Bank of China in Colombo went unanswered.

A source with knowledge of the Bank of China offer told Reuters earlier on Tuesday that Sri Lanka’s cabinet had already asked Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to negotiate the loan, which has been offered at 6-month Libor plus 260 basis points (Libor is a benchmark lending rate between banks). It has to be repaid within three years, the source said.

The 6-month Libor was at 2.865 per cent on Tuesday.

World’s oldest clove? Here’s what our find in Sri Lanka says about the early spice trade

January 15th, 2019

Courtesy the conversation.com

The history of the spice trade conjures up exotic images of caravans plying the Silk Road in storied antiquity as well as warfare between European powers vying for control of what, pound for pound, were among the most valuable commodities in the known world.

One of the most valuable of the spices was clove – the versatile immature bud of the evergreen clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum) which is native to the Maluku Islands or the Moluccas in the Indonesian Archipelago. Prized for its flavour and aroma, and also for its medicinal qualities, clove quickly became important for its use as a breath freshener, perfume and food flavouring.

We believe we might have found the oldest clove in the world at an excavation in Sri Lanka, from an ancient port which dates back to around 200BC. This port, Mantai, was one of the most important ports of medieval Sri Lanka and drew trade from across the ancient world. Not only that, but we also found evidence for black pepper (Piper nigrum), another high-value low-bulk product of the ancient spice trade.

These cloves found at Mantai in Sri Lanka are believed to be 1,000 years old. Author provided (No reuse)

Ancient history

Western knowledge of Sri Lanka dates back to at least 77AD, when the Roman philosopher Pliny the Elder wrote about the island as Taprobane in his famous Natural History. This is the earliest existing text which mentions Sri Lanka, however Pliny states that the ancient Greeks (and Alexander the Great) had long known about it.

Sri Lanka, wrote Pliny is more productive of gold and pearls of great size than even India”, as well as having elephants … larger, and better adapted for warfare than those of India”. Fruits were abundant and the people had more wealth than the Romans – as well as living to 100 years old. No wonder then, that ancient Sri Lanka drew trade ships not only from the Roman world, but also from Arabia, India and China.

Decades of archaeological exploration has sought to uncover evidence for the rich kingdoms of ancient Sri Lanka. Mantai (also written as Manthai and known as Manthottam/Manthota), on the northern tip of the island, was one of the port settlements of the Anuradhapura Kingdom (377BC to 1017AD) and has been recently radiocarbon dated to between about 200BC and 1400AD.

Today, the site is barely visible from the ground – but it is still an important location with Thirukketheesvaram temple sitting in the centre of the ancient settlement. From the air, the defensive ditch and banks of ancient Mantai can be seen covered in trees, as can the area where the defences were cut away to build the modern road.

Mantai as seen from the air today. The ancient circle of ditches built to defend the site can be seen in dark green. The main settlement was inside these defences. Google Maps

The site was excavated in the 1980s – during three seasons of excavation an amazing array of artefacts were uncovered, including semiprecious stone beads and ceramics from India, Arabia, the Mediterranean and China. But in 1983 Sri Lanka’s civil war broke out, bringing an end to archaeological exploration in the Northern Province, as well as many other areas of the island. Unfortunately, many of the records related to this archaeological work became lost or were destroyed, including detailed stratigraphic information of how the layers of soil excavated related to one another, which would have been used to identify how and when the site developed, prospered and came to an end.

Mantai revisited

In 2009-2010, after the end of the civil war, a multinational team of researchers went back to Mantai and began new excavations. Work was jointly carried out by the Sri Lankan Department of Archaeology, SEALINKS and the UCL Institute of Archaeology. This project aimed to collect as much evidence from these excavations as possible, including fully quantified and systematically collected archaeobotanical (preserved plant) remains. The plants remains recovered include some of the most exciting finds from the site. Crucially, these include what were incredibly valuable spices at the time when they were deposited at the site: black pepper and cloves.

Scenes from an excavation. Dorian Fuller (UCL)Author provided (No reuse)

Only a handful of cloves have previously been recovered from archaeological sites, including these from France, for example – other archaeological evidence for cloves, such as pollen from cess pits in the Netherlands, only dates from 1500AD onwards – and there are no examples from South Asia.

Earlier finds of clove have been reported from Syria – but these have since largely been discredited as misidentifications. The clove from Mantai was found in a context dating to 900-1100AD, making this not only the oldest clove in Asia – but we think the oldest in the world.

We also found eight grains of black pepper at Mantai, plus a further nine badly preserved grains that we think are probably black pepper too. The earliest are dated to around 600AD, the time when international maritime trade became increasingly large and well established across Asia, Africa and Europe.

Spice wars

Clove was one of the rarest and most expensive spices in the Roman and Medieval world. It was not grown in Sri Lanka, but came from the Maluku Islands of South-East Asia (some 7,000km away by sea) for trade onwards to Europe, China or one of the other many regions that traded with Mantai.

Black pepper was also traded along these routes, and was most likely grown and harvested in the Western Ghats of India. Although less rare and valuable than clove, it was still known as black gold” on account of its value in the Early Modern Period from 1500AD to about 1800AD.

From the 16th century, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) was colonised by various European powers, from the Portuguese (1500s-1600s) to the Dutch (1600s-late 1700s) to the British (late 1700s-1948). They were all drawn by the island’s profitable trade in spices – although the British turned the fledgling coffee industry there into an incredibly lucrative tea trade which is still important to the island’s economy to this day.

But, whether or not the cloves we unearthed at Mantai turn out to be the oldest in existence, the presence of the spice at this 2,000-year-old site is solid evidence of the ancient spice trade that existed long before these wars of conquest.

British photographer, 36, dies after ‘suffering a seizure’ while surfing off the coast of Sri Lanka

January 15th, 2019

By GEORGE MARTIN Courtesy MAILONLINE

  • Jon Lewin, 36, reportedly suffered a seizure while he was out surfing in Sri Lanka
  • Three Scandinavian doctors were by chance also present but failed to save Jon 
  • His girlfriend Immy Clifton paid tribute to the photojournalist after his death 

A British photographer and travel writer described as an ‘inspiration’ who ‘touched so many people’s lives’ has died while surfing off the coast of Sri Lanka.

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday and doctors were unable to revive him.

His devastated girlfriend Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, paid tribute to ‘soulmate’ Jon in a heartbreaking Facebook post.

Mr Lewin’s best friend Charlie died surfing in 2004 – and Ms Clifton says they have been reunited in the afterlife.

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday in Sri Lanka on Sunday last week

Jon Lewin, 36, is believed to have suffered a seizure in the water while on holiday in Sri Lanka on Sunday last week

The couple were joined by Mr Lewin’s best friends from the UK – and the group woke at 5am for an early surf.

Mr Lewin, a long-term sufferer of seizures, disappeared under water and failed to resurface two hours later.

The ‘free spirit’ grew up in Long Clawson, Leicestershire, before studying photojournalism at Swansea University.

He also wrote a travel cookbook titled The Locals’ Kitchen.

Three Scandinavian doctors were by chance also present but failed to save Mr Lewin.

She said: ‘They didn’t know anything was wrong until they noticed his surfboard floating in the water.

His devastated partner Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, posted an update after his death

His devastated partner Immy Clifton, who he was on holiday with, posted an update after his death

‘Everyone swam over to it and when they got there, felt that he was still attached to the leash.

‘Incredibly there were also three super efficient Scandinavian doctors in the water.

‘They were apparently amazing with him. Everything that could have been done was done but, it wasn’t meant to be.

‘It is presumed that he had a seizure, as he had no injuries, he knows the water so well and the waves were not that big.’

Immy added that she is ‘absolutely devastated’ and said ‘words can’t even describe the hole I feel through my heart physically and emotionally.

She said: ‘He died in the water (where he’d always said he wanted to die) doing something that he loved so much. He was in such a happy place in his life.

According to girlfriend Immy Mr Lewin's best friend Charlie also died while out surfing in 2004

According to girlfriend Immy Mr Lewin’s best friend Charlie also died while out surfing in 2004

‘If it was a seizure (most probable) then he would’ve instantly blacked out and it would have been painless.

‘He had said to me before that he never remembered his seizures or felt them coming on so his last moments on this earth would have been surfing a wave in his absolute element, loving life.

‘Although at this moment I can’t imagine life without him, his wise words are still ringing in my ears.

‘He knew death and grief intimately and said that his mum and best friend dying, at such young ages, spurred him on to live life to the absolute fullest, don’t waste precious time, make the most of every moment and make your dreams and passions a reality.

‘Be open and honest and full of love as you never know what’s around the corner.

Immy Clifton and Jon Lewin embarking on their trip to Sri Lanka. His body will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches

Immy Clifton and Jon Lewin embarking on their trip to Sri Lanka. His body will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches

‘Always look for the positive in life and the lessons. When things like this happen it’s so hard to but I know that’s what he would’ve wanted.

‘He had so much love for everyone in his life and inspired and connected with anyone that was lucky enough to cross his path.

‘He had such a simple and positive outlook on life. That’s why I called him Pooh bear (Winnie the Pooh).

‘I really feel that he was my soulmate and although we weren’t together as long as we wanted, he will always be with me and everyone else who shared love with him.

‘I hope I meet him again in another lifetime but for now, he’s with his mum and his best friend Charlie.

‘Good luck on your journey my one. I hope we find each other again in another lifetime.

Mr Lewin will be cremated in Sri Lanka and his ashes spread across his two favourite beaches.

He will then be carried home where the rest of his ashes will be laid in places close to his heart.

Jon Lewin pictured surfing in Sri Lanka was said to have had no injuries when he was pulled from the water - leading authorities to believe he had a seizure

Jon Lewin pictured surfing in Sri Lanka was said to have had no injuries when he was pulled from the water – leading authorities to believe he had a seizure

Statement by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Meeting with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy

January 15th, 2019

IMF Communications Department MEDIA RELATIONS

January 15, 2019

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), met today with Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Governor Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

Following the meeting, Ms. Lagarde made the following statement:

I was pleased to meet with Minister Samaraweera and Governor Coomaraswamy this afternoon. We discussed the challenging economic environment and the policy priorities for the country. The authorities stressed Sri Lanka’s continued commitment to their economic reform agenda under the IMF-supported program.

We agreed that a strong policy mix, with effective implementation of that agenda, is key to strengthening confidence, while putting Sri Lanka on a sustainable, high-quality growth path that would benefit its people.

The IMF remains ready to support the Sri Lankan authorities in these endeavors and an IMF team is scheduled to visit Colombo in mid-February to resume program discussions.”

දමිළ සන්ධානයේ ණය බේරන්න රට උකස් තියන්න අපි ඉඩ දෙන්නේ නෑ

January 15th, 2019

ඉෂාරා සිල්වා උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

ඊනියා ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා වැඩපිළිවෙළට නිර්භීතව ඉදිරිපත් වන සංඝරත්නය, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රිවරුන්, මාධ්‍ය හා වෘත්තීය සමිති විවිධ උපක්‍රම හරහා නිශ්ශබ්ද කිරීමට උත්සාහ කරන බව ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ සභාපති මහාචාර්ය ජී.එල්. පීරිස් මහතා පවසයි.

දමිළ සන්ධානයට ණය ගෙවන්න රට උකස් තියන්න තමන් ඉඩ නොදෙන බවත් මැතිවරණයක් පවත්වා සුජාත භාවය ලබාගෙන මෙම ව්‍යවස්ථා වැඩපිළිවෙළ ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන්නේ නම් කිසිදු ප්‍රශ්නයක් නැති බවත් ඔහු සඳහන් කළේය.

ඊයේ (14දා) බත්තරමුල්ල නෙලුම් මාවතේ පැවැති ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ මාධ්‍ය හමුවට එක්වෙමින් ඒ මහතා මෙසේද කීය.

ආණ්ඩුවේ ප්‍රමුඛම අරමුණක් විදියට පෙබරවාරි 04ට පෙර නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කරනවාලු. ඊට පෙර වාර්තා පහක් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළා. ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ මේ වැඩපිළිවෙළට සහමුලින්ම විරුද්ධයි. මේක නැති ප්‍රශ්න ඇති කරන දෙයක්.

සිකුරාදා මේ වාර්තා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළ අවස්ථාවේ එජාපයේ මන්ත්‍රිවරු කිව්වා මේ ගැන ඔවුන්ට වැටහීමක් නැති බව. විශේෂයෙන් ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු කියන දේ ගැන පැහැදිලි කරන්න කිව්වා. අපි දන්නේ නැති අධ්‍යයනය කරලා නැති දෙයකට ඡන්දයක් දෙන්න බැරි බව හෘද සාක්‍ෂියක් ඇති මන්ත්‍රිවරුන් කිව්වා.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු ස්ථාවර නියෝගවලටත් පටහැනිවයි මේ දෙය කළේ. මේ ලියවිලි හදාරලා එහි හරය අවබෝධ කරගන්න අඩුම තරමේ දින තුනකට කලින්වත් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට දැනුම්දීමක් කළ යුතුයි. ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය මේ ගැන කිව්වත් නොසලකා හැරියා. පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළ හැක්කේ මෙහෙයුම් කමිටුවේ වාර්තාවක් පමණක් වුවත් මොකක්ද ඉදිරිපත් කළේ. ඉදිරිපත් කළා කියන්නේ විද්වත් කමිටුවේ වාර්තාවක්. මේ නිසා නීතියට හා සම්ප්‍රදායට පටහැනි දෙයක් සිදුවුණේ. විද්වත් කමිටුවත් ප්‍රධාන කරුණු සම්බන්ධයෙන් එකඟතාවකින් තොරවයි මේ වාර්තා ඉදිරිපත් කරලා තියෙන්නේ. පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රිවරුන් මෙයට එතරම් උදේ‍යාගයක් නැහැ.

පෙබරවාරි 04ට කලින් මේක පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට අනිවාර්යයෙන් ගේන බවයි අගමැති කියන්නේ. දමිළ සන්ධානයයි මේ ආණ්ඩුවට ඔක්සිජන් දෙන්නේ. දමිළ සන්ධානය ආණ්ඩුවට සහාය දෙන්නේ නැහැ කිව්වොත්, හෙට උදේ වෙද්දී මේ ආණ්ඩුව කඩා වැටිලා ඉවරයි. අගමැතිතුමා ආරක්‍ෂා කරන්න දමිළ සන්ධානයේ මන්ත්‍රිවරු 14ක් තීරණයක් ගත්තා.

අය-වැය ලේඛනය පරාජය වුණොත් ආණ්ඩුවක් නැහැ. පරාජය වුණොත් කැබිනට් මණ්ඩලය විසුරුවා හැරියා ලෙස සලකනවා. දෙමළ සන්ධානයේ 14 දෙනා නැතිව අය-වැය සම්මත වෙන්නේ නැහැ. ආණ්ඩුව යැපෙන්නේ දෙමළ සන්ධානය මතයි. මේ නිසා කැමැත්තෙන් හෝ අකැමැත්තෙන් දෙමළ සන්ධානය එක්ක ඉන්න වෙනවා. ඇත්තටම මේ රට පාලනය කරන්නේ සුමන්තිරන්ද? වික්‍රමසිංහද? එජාපයද? දෙමළ සන්ධානයද? ජනතා මතය උරගා බැලූ පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයේදී ඡන්ද කොට්ඨාසවලින් 71%ක් මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා ප්‍රමුඛ පොදුජන පෙරමුණට ලැබුණා. පරාජය වෙන බව දන්න නිසා එජාපය මැතිවරණය තියන්නේ නැහැ. ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාව යටතේ කල් දාන්න බැරි එකම මැතිවරණය ජනාධිපතිවරණයයි. මේකත් කල් දාන්න උත්සාහ කරනවා. මින් මත්තට ජනාධිපති පත් කරන්නේ ජනතාව නෙවෙයි පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කියලා යෝජනාවක් ඇවිත්. මෙහි එකම අරමුණ ජනාධිපතිවරණයත් කල් දාන්නයි.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි රෝහිත අබේගුණවර්ධන: මේ වන විට රට තුළ ආගමික නායකයන්, විද්වතුන් අතර වගේම ජන සමාජය තුළ නව ව්‍යවස්ථාව සම්බන්ධයෙන් කතාබහක් ඇතිවෙලා තියෙනවා. මාධ්‍ය ආයතනවලට අපේ ගෞරවය, ස්තූතිය පුද කරනවා, ගේන්න හදන නව ව්‍යවස්ථාව ගැන ඇත්ත ඇති සැටියෙන් රට හමුවේ හෙළි කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන්. මේ නිසාම ඉදිරියේදී මාධ්‍ය ඉදිරියට සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම මුහුණ වහගත්ත අයත් එන්න ඉඩ තියෙනවා.

අපේ පක්‍ෂයේ සභාපති ජී.එල්. පීරිස් ගියා මල්වතු පාර්ශ්වයේ අනුනායක හිමියන් බැහැදකින්න. උන්වහන්සේ කිව්වේ ජන මතයට පිටුපාමින් නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් ගෙනඒම අවනම්බුවක් බවයි. ඒ වගේම අස්ගිරි පාර්ශ්වයේ අනුනායක හිමියන් කිව්වා, රටට අවශ්‍ය ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් නෙවෙයි ඡන්දයක් බව. තෛ්‍රනිකායික අනුනායක හිමියන්ගේ අදහස් මේ විදියටයි. ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් රටට ඕනේද නැද්ද කියන පණිවුඩය එන්න ඕනේ රටේ ජනතාවගෙන් මිස පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ඉන්න කිහිප දෙනෙක් අතරින් නෙවෙයි.

සුමන්තිරන් මහත්තයාට දැන් ව්‍යවස්ථා නාට්‍යයේ අලුත් චරිතයක් භාර දීලා. සුමන්තිරන් උතුරට ඇරලා කියනවා සිංහල ජනතාවගේ ආදරය දිනාගන්න ඕනේ කියලා. සුමන්තිරන් මහත්තයෝ සිංහල ජනතාවගේ ආදරය දිනා ගන්න කලින් දෙමළ ජනතාවගේ ආදරය දිනා ගන්න.

ජනාධිපතිවරණයට එද්දී ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණ හා ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්‍ෂය ඇතුළු එජාප විරෝධී කණ්ඩායම එකතු වෙනවා. 58%ක් ජනතාව ඉන්නේ මේ කඳවුරත් එක්ක. එජාපය එක්ක එකතු වෙන්නේ කවුද? වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයාගේ බාල සහෝදරයා ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ අනුර මල්ලී, දෙමළ සන්ධානය. මේ අලි කොටි නරි ටික එකතු වුණාම 41%යි. ඊළඟ ජනාධිපතිවරණයට කුලුඳුල් ඡන්ද ලක්‍ෂ 14ක් එකතු වෙනවා. මේ ලක්‍ෂ 14 තීරණාත්මක සාධකයක් වනවා.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි ගාමිණී ලොකුගේ: අලුත් ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ යෝජනා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කරන අතරේ වැඩ කරන පන්තියේ නැඟීසිටීම වළක්වන්න වෘත්තීය සමිති නායකයෝ දඩයම් කිරීමත් ආණ්ඩුව අරඹලා
ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය, වෘත්තීය අයිතීන් ගැන, නිදහස ගැන කතා කළාට ඒ දේවල් මේ ආණ්ඩුව අහිමි කරලා. අද ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොදුජන පෙරමුණේ වෘත්තීය සමිති රටේ ප්‍රධාන වෘත්තීය සමිති වෙලා ඉන්නේ.

තෙල් සංස්ථාවේ සේවකයෙක් මියගියා. කෝලාහලය ඇරැඹුව කෙනා ඇප අරන් ගෙදර. බේරගත්ත කෙනා ඇප නැතිව හිරේ. දර්ශනවල කොටසයි ඉදිරිපත් කරලා තියෙන්නේ. මුහුණු පොතේ තියෙන දර්ශන කිසිවක් අරන් නැහැ. ඒවා ගැන අධිකරණය සැලකිල්ලක් දක්වලා නැහැ. මෙහෙම අසාධාරණ නීතියක් රජ කරන රටකයි අපි ඉන්නේ.

 

සුමන්තිරන් ලියලා දුන්න වාර්තාව රනිල් කියවලාවත් නෑ

January 15th, 2019

දෙනගම ධම්මික රණවීර උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

බුදු දහමට ප්‍රමුඛතාව දෙමින් ඒකීයභාවය ආරක්ෂා කරන්න කැමැති නම් එම වගන්ති වෙනස් කරමින් යෝජනා ඉදිරිපත් කොට තිබෙන්නේ ඇයි දැයි අගමැතිතුමා ප්‍රකාශ කළ යුතු යැයි පිවිතුරු හෙළ උරුමයේ නායක පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි නීතිඥ උදය ගම්මන්පිල ප්‍රකාශ කෙළේය.

ඔහු එම අදහස් පළ කළේ ඊයේ (14දා) ජාතික හෙළ උරුමය පිටකෝට්ටේදී පැවැත්වූ මාධ්‍ය හමුවකදීය. එහිදී ගම්මන්පිල මහතා මෙසේද පැවැසීය.

පසුගිය 12 වැනිදා යාපනයේ පැවැති රැස්වීමකදී ඉලංකෙයි තමිල් අරසු පක්ෂ නායක මාවෙයි සේනාධිරාජා කිව්වා එ.ජා.ප. ආණ්ඩුවට අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩල තීරණ ගැනීමට පෙර දෙමළ සන්ධානය සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කොට තීන්දු ගැනීමේ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් සකස් කරල තියෙනවා කියලා. ඒ වගේම එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් කියනවා උතුරු පළාත් සංවර්ධන විෂය අගමැතිතුමා භාර ගත්තේ අපේ ඉල්ලීමට බවත් උතුර සංවර්ධනය සිදුවෙන්නේ අපගේ අවශ්‍යතා මතයි කියලා. දෙමළ සන්ධානය ආණ්ඩුවේ තීරණ ගැනීමට සම්බන්ධ නම් එම සන්ධානය අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම ආණ්ඩුවේ පාර්ශ්වකරුවෙක්.

එක් පැත්තකින් ඇමැති මණ්ඩලයේ තීරණ ගනිමින් අමාත්‍යාංශ මෙහෙයවමින් අනෙක් පැත්තෙන් විපක්ෂයේ වරප්‍රසාද ලබා ගන්න දෙමළ සන්ධානයට කිසිම අයිතියක් නැහැ.

ජාතික තෛපොංගල් උළෙලේදී අගමැතිතුමා ඉරිදා (13දා) කියනවා නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවෙන් පොලිසිය කැඩෙන බවට මාධ්‍ය වාර්තා කිරීම බොරුවක් කියලා. විද්වත් කමිටුවකින් හදපු බව කියමින් අගමැතිතුමා පසුගිය 11 වැනිදා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ව්‍යවස්ථාදායක සභාවට ඉදිරිපත් කරපු වාර්තාවේම තමයි ඒක තියෙන්නේ. එහි 185 වැනි පිටුවේ ‘ශ්‍රී ලංකා පොලිසිය ශ්‍රී ලංකා ජාතික පොලිසියෙන් සහ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පළාත්බද පොලිසියෙන් සමන්විත වන්නේය’ කියල සඳහන් වෙනවා. ජාතික පොලිසියත් පළාත්බද පොලිසි 9ක් වශයෙන් තමයි පොලිසිය කොටස් 10කට කැඩෙන්නෙ.

එම වාර්තාවේ 259 ඡේදයේ සඳහන් වෙනවා ජාතික පොලිසියට විමර්ශන කළ හැක්කේ වැරැදි 15ක් පමණයි කියලා. සාමාන්‍යයෙන් පොලිසියට වැරැදි 300ක් ගැන විතර විමර්ශන කරන්න පුළුවන්. ඉතිරි විමර්ශන කරන්නේ පළාත් බද පොලිසිය කියලා 284 ඡේදයේ සඳහන් වෙනවා.

අගමැතිතුමා කතා කරන දේවලින් පෙනෙන්නේ එතුමා ඉදිරිපත් කළ වාර්තාව එතුමාවත් කියවා නැති බවක්. සුමන්තිරන් ලියා දෙන වාර්තා කියවන්න ගියොත් ඔබත් අපත් මවුබිමත් අලි අමාරුවක වැටෙනවා. ඒ වගේම සැබෑ අගමැති සුමන්තිරන් බවත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ කියන්නේ සුමන්තිරන්ගේ ප්‍රකාශකයෙක් පමණක් බවත් ජනතාවට හැඟෙන්න ඉඩ තියෙනවා.

අද ලංකාවට කේරළ ගංජා ගෙන්වන්නේ උතුරු පළාතෙන් බව නොරහසක්. පසුගිය සතියේ පලෙයි පොලිසිය කේරළ ගංජා වැටලීමක් කළාම ඊට දමිල ජාතික සන්ධානය මැදිහත්වීමෙන් එම ජාවාරම පිටුපස ඉන්නේ ඔවුන් කියන එකත් රටටම පැහැදිලි වුණා. මෙහිදී මාධ්‍යවේදීන් විසින් අසන ලද ප්‍රශ්නවලට උදය ගම්මන්පිල මහතා මෙසේ පිළිතුරු දුන්නේය.

ව්‍යවස්ථා කෙටුම්පතක් නැහැ. යෝජනා පමණක් ඉදිරිපත් වී ඇති බව අගමැතිතුමා කරන ප්‍රකාශය ගැන කුමක්ද හිතන්නේ?

විද්වත් කමිටු වාර්තාවක් කියලනේ කියන්නේ. මේකේ කොතැනකවත් ඒ ගැන නමක් සඳහන් වෙන්නේ නැහැ. ඇයි හංගන්නේ. මේ වාර්තාවේ ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ තියෙන සියල්ල තියෙනවා. ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා මණ්ඩලය පිහිටු වූ පාර්ලිමේන්තු යෝජනාවේ 17 වගන්තියේ තියෙනවා මෙහෙයුම් කමිටුව විසින් වාර්තාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතුයි කියලා. ඒ වාර්තාව තමයි දැන් ඉදිරිපත් කරලා තියෙන්නේ. මේ වාර්තාව අනුමත කරලා නීති කෙටුම්පත් ආයතනය වෙත යවලා කෙටුම්පත් කරනවා. ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ ඇති මේකෙ නැති දෙයක් නැහැ.

මේ වාර්තාවට සංශෝධන ඉදිරිපත් කළ හැකිද?

බැහැ. දැන් මීළඟට තියෙන්නේ කෙටුම්පතක් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම පමණයි. ඒකීය රාජ්‍යය සුරකින්න කැමැති නම් දැනට ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ සඳහන් ඒකීය යන වචනයේ දෙමළ වචනය වන ඔට්ටි්‍රආච්චි වෙනුවට ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු කියලා යොදන්නෙ ඇයි කියලා සුමන්තිරන් මන්ත්‍රිතුමා කිව යුතුයි.

ෆෙඩරල් ව්‍යවස්ථාවකට එකඟ නොවන බව චම්පික රණවක ඇමැතිතුමා කියනවා?

රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයට අගමැතිකම අරගෙන දෙන්න කටයුතු කළේ චම්පික රණවක ඇමැතිතුමා. රනිල් කියන්නේ ‍ෙදාන් ජුවන් ධර්මපාලගෙ පුනරුත්පත්තියක් කියලා තමයි ඔහුට බලය අරගෙන දුන්නේ. ඒ නිසා රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා කියන දෙයට ඔහු විරුද්ධ වෙන්නෙ නැහැ.

 

සුමන්තිරන් සිංහල-දමිළ ජනතාව රවටනවා

January 15th, 2019

ඩබ්ලිව්.කේ. ප්‍රසාද් මංජු උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලද ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සභාවේ මෙහෙයුම් මණ්ඩල විශේෂඥ කමිටු වාර්තාවෙන් සිංහල, දෙමළ ජනතව රවටමින් ෆෙඩරල් විසඳුමකට පදනම දමා තිබෙන නිසා එම විශේෂඥ කමිටු වාර්තාව ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරන බව ඊ.පී.ඩී.පී. සංවිධානයේ නායක යාපනය දිස්ත්‍රික් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි ඩග්ලස් දේවානන්දා මහතා ‘මව්බිම’ට විශේෂ ප්‍රකාශයක් කරමින් කියා සිටියේය.

මෙම කමිටු වාර්තාවේ සිංහල පරිවර්තනයෙහි ‘ඒකීය’ යන වචනය තිබෙන අතර දෙමළ පරිවර්තනයෙහි ‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ වචනය තිබෙන බව ඩග්ලස් දේවානන්දා මහතා පෙන්වා දෙයි.

‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ කියන දෙමළ වචනයෙහි සිංහල තේරුම ‘එක්සත්’ බව පෙන්වාදෙන දේවානන්දා මහතා ප්‍රකාශ කරන්නේ ‘ඒකීය’ යන වචනයෙහි දෙමළ නියම අර්ථය විය යුත්තේ ‘ඔච්චයිආච්චි’ බවයි.

‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ යන වචනය වෙනුවට ‘ඔච්චයිආච්චි’ යන වචනය ඇතුළත් කරන ලෙසට ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා සභාවේ මෙහෙයුම් මණ්ඩල රැස්වීම්වලදී තමා කොතරම් ඉල්ලා සිටියද දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රි එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මහතා ඊට දැඩි විරෝධය පළ කළ බවද ඩග්ලස් දේවානන්දා මහතා පෙන්වා දෙයි.

මෙම විශේෂඥ කමිටු වාර්තාවේ දෙමළ පරිවර්තනයට ‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ කියන වචනය ඇතුළත් කිරීම තුළින් පෙනී යන්නේ නව ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ පදනම ෆෙඩරල් රාජ්‍යයක් බවත් දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ එම්.ඒ. සුමන්තිරන් මන්ත්‍රිවරයා සිංහල හා දෙමළ ජනතාව රවටමින් රට ෆෙඩරල් කිරීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියේ ඉතා සූක්ෂ්මව නිරතව සිටින බවත් දේවානන්දා මහතා පවසයි.

මෙම කමිටු වාර්තාව විශේෂඥයන් විසින් සාදන ලද බවට ප්‍රකාශ වුවද මෙම කමිටු වාර්තාව මුළුමනින්ම සකස් කර තිබෙන්නේ සුමන්තිරන් මහතා බවට තමා චෝදනා කරන බවද දේවානන්දා මහතා ප්‍රකාශ කරයි. ඒකීය රාජ්‍යයක් තුළ දේශපාලන විසඳුමකට කැමැති බවට දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය ප්‍රකාශ කරන්නේ අවංක අදහසින් නොවන බවත් ඔවුන් තුළ තිබෙන එකම යටි අරමුණ ෆෙඩරල් පාලනයකට රට ගෙන යෑම බවත් ‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ වචන ඇතුළත් කර තිබෙන්නේ ඒ නිසාම බවත් දේවානන්දා මහතා අවධාරණය කරයි.

‘ඔරුමිත්තනාඩු’ වචනය යොදාගනිමින් දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය සිංහල හා දෙමළ ජනතාව රැවටීමට සිදුකරන ක්‍රියාදාමය පිළිබඳව ආගමික නායකයන්, ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන, අගමැති රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ, විපක්ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහත්වරුන් ඇතුළු දේශපාලන පක්ෂ නායකයන් හා විවිධ ක්ෂේත්‍රවල විද්වතුන් මෙන්ම රටේ පොදු මහජනතාවද දැනුවත් කිරීමට පියවර ගන්නා බව ඊ.පී.ඩී.පී. නායකයා වැඩිදුරටත් ප්‍රකාශ කළේය.

රනිල් ප්‍රමුඛ එන්ජීඕ නඩය මාධ්‍යවලට කරන බලපෑම්වලට එරෙහිව පියවර ගත යුතුයි

January 15th, 2019

උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

ව්‍යාජ කරුණු දක්වමින් මාධ්‍යවලට කරන බලපෑම සම්බන්ධයෙන් අගමැති රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ එන්.ජී.ඕ. නඩයට එරෙහිව නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කළ යුතු බව නීතිඥ ප්‍රේමනාත් සී. ‍ෙදාලේවත්ත පවසයි.

මාධ්‍ය අද යම් කිසි නිදහසක් ලබන අවස්ථාවේදී එම නිදහස නැති කිරීමේ උත්සාහයක ආණ්ඩුව නිරත වන බවද නීතිඥ ‍ෙදාලේවත්ත අවධාරණය කළේය.

ජනමාධ්‍යවේදීන්ට තර්ජනය කරමින් ඔවුන්ගේ වෘත්තීය කටයුතුවලට සිදුකරන බලපෑම පිළිකුලෙන් යුතුව හෙළා දකින බවද හෙතෙම කීය.

මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දක්වමින් ඒ මහතා කියා සිටියේ විහාර මහාදේවි උද්‍යානයේ හට් ගහගෙන දඹර අමිල හිමිත් සමඟ ඉඳගෙන නැවත රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාව අගමැති කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලා සිටියේ මෙම එන්.ජී.ඕ. නඩය බවයි.

කළු ඇඳුම් ඇඳගෙන, කළු පටි මුහුණුවල බැඳගෙන පැමිණි මෙම එන්.ජී.ඕ. නඩයට ගෙවපු කළු සල්ලි ලැබුණේ කොහෙන්දැයි ප්‍රශ්න කරන බවද ඒ මහතා අවධාරණය කළේය.

වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දක්වමින් නීතිඥ ප්‍රේමනාත් සී. ‍ෙදාලේවත්ත මහතා පවසා සිටියේ ජනමාධ්‍ය අවදියෙන් සිටින තුරු රට බෙදන ව්‍යවස්ථාව ගෙන ඒමට නොහැකි බැවින් ආණ්ඩුව ජනමාධ්‍යයට බලපෑම් කරන බවයි.

‘මව්බිම’ පුවත්පතට ගිහින් පිළිකුල් සහගත ආකාරයට හැසිරෙනවා. ‘සිරස’ ආයතනය ඉදිරිපිට ගිහින් බලපෑම් කරනවා. අපි අහනවා මේ කළු ඇඳගත්ත අයගෙන් ඒ කළු ඇඳුම්වලට කළු පටිවලට ලැබුණු කළු සල්ලි ලැබුණේ කොහෙන්ද කියලා.

ජනතාවට ඇත්ත දැනගන්න තිබෙන්නේ ජනමාධ්‍ය විතරයි. හෙට වන විට මේ අය මාධ්‍ය ආයතන ඇතුළටත් යන්න හදයි. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා විතරක් නෙවෙයි ඔහුගේ පියත් මෙවැනි දේවල් සිදු කළා. එස්මන්ඩ් වික්‍රමසිංහලා, විජේවර්ධනලා තමයි අනගාරික ධර්මපාලතුමා වගේ අයට මේ රට එපා කෙරෙව්වේ.

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව අද බොරු ගුහාවක්

January 15th, 2019

ආචාර්ය නාලක ගොඩහේවා උපුටාගැණීම  මව්බිම

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව යනු ගෞරවාන්විත තැනක්ය යන හැඟීම දිනෙන් දිනම ජනතාව අතරින් ගිලිහෙන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ ව්‍යවස්ථාදායකයන්ගේ බාල හැසිරීම නිසාය. විශේෂයෙන්ම මෑත ඉතිහාසයේ ආණ්ඩු පක්‍ෂයේත් විපක්‍ෂයේත් හැසිරීම සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාවගේ අප්‍රසාදයට ලක්වූ බව නොරහසකි.

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ බොරු කීමේ ප්‍රවණතාවද දිගින් දිගටම ඉහළ යමින් පවතී. සාමාන්‍යයෙන් එවැනි හැසිරීමක් බලාපොරොත්තු විය හැක්කේ පසුපෙළ මන්ත්‍රිවරයකුගෙන් වුවද රටේ අග්‍රාමාත්‍යවරයා පවා පාර්ලිමේන්තු වරප්‍රසාදවලට මුවා වී ජනතාව මුළා කිරීමට උත්සාහ කරනු දක්නට ලැබීම සැබැවින්ම කනගාටුවට කරුණකි.

මෙහි සමීපතම උදාහරණ කිහිපයක්ම පසුගිය සතියේ රූපවාහිනි නාළිකා හරහා ජනතාවට දැකගන්නට ලැබිණි. ඒ අගමැතිවරයා ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය ණය හා විදේශ සංචිත ගැන කළ ප්‍රකාශ දෙකක් හා ත්‍රස්තවාදයට එරෙහි යුද්ධය පිළිබඳව දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ මන්ත්‍රිවරයකු කළ ප්‍රකාශයකි.

අගමැති රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී ප්‍රකාශ කළේ 2019 ලංකාව විසින් ගෙවන්නට ඇති සමස්ත ණය ප්‍රමාණය ඩොලර් මිලියන 590ක් බවය. මේ අවස්ථාවේ ඔහු පාර්ලිමේන්තුව අමතා පැහැදිලිවම කියා සිටියේ මේ සියල්ල පසුගිය ආණ්ඩුව විසින් ලබාගෙන ඇති ණය කියාය. මෙය සත්‍යයක්ද අසත්‍යයක්දැයි සොයා බැලීමට අපට යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව විසින්ම මින් පෙර ඉදිරිපත් කළ සංඛ්‍යා ලේඛන විමසා බැලිය හැකිය.

2015දී යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුවේ පළමු මුදල් ඇමැති වූයේ රවි කරුණානායක මහතාය. ඔහුත් ඔහුගේ නායකයා මෙන්ම රාජපක්‍ෂ යුගයේ ගත් ණය ගැන දිගින් දිගටම ප්‍රකාශ නිකුත් කළ අයෙකි. එක් අවස්ථාවක රවි කරුණානායක හිටපු මුදල් ඇමැතිතුමා 2015 සිට 2020 දක්වා සෑම වසරකම ආපසු ගෙවිය යුතු ණය ප්‍රමාණය සඳහන් කරමින් මාධ්‍ය නිවේදනයක් නිකුත් කළේය. මේ ඔහු එදා ඉදිරිපත් කළ අගයන්ය.

2015 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 276
2016 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 269
2017 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 355
2018 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 377
2019 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 586
2020 වසරේදී ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල රු. බි. 509
මේ අනුව 2019 ගෙවීමට නියමිතව තිබුණු රු.බි. 586ක මුදල එදා ඩොලර්වල අගයට අනුව ඩොලර් මිලියන 4400ක් පමණ වේ.

නමුත් අද රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා කියන ආකාරයට 2019 ගෙවිය යුතු ණය මුදල ඩොලර්වලින් නම් මිලියන 5900කි.

එසේ නම් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ප්‍රකාශයට අනුව පසුගිය වසර 4 තුළ 2019දී ගෙවිය යුතු ණය ප්‍රමාණය ඩොලර් මිලියන 4400 සිට ඩොලර් මිලියන 5900 දක්වා ඉහළ ගොස් ඇත.

ඒ ඩොලර් මිලියන 1500ක පමණ විශාල ණය වැඩිවීමකි.

මෙම ඩොලර් මිලියන 1500 අද වටිනාකම අනුව රුපියල්වලින් නම් රුපියල් මිලියන 2,70,000ක පමණ ඉහළ අගයකි.

ජනතාවට සාධාරණ ලෙස උපකල්පනය කළ හැක්කේ 2019 ගෙවිය යුතු ණය ප්‍රමාණය මේ ආකාරයට ඉහළ ගොස් ඇත්තේ යහපාලන රජය විසින් පසුගිය වසර 4 පුරා ගත් කෙටි කාලීන ණය නිසා බවය. වෙනත් හේතුවක් තිබිය නොහැකිය.

මීට අමතරව ජනතාවට සිතා ගත හැක්කේ මේ යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව පසුගිය වසර තුළ ගත් අති විශාල ණය කන්දරාවෙන් 2019 ගෙවිය යුතු මුදල පමණක් බවය. පසුගිය වසර 4 තුළ රජය ඇමෙරිකානු ඩොලර් මිලියන 20,000කට වඩා ණය ලබාගෙන ඇත. මේ ණයවලින් බහුතරය ගෙවන්නට සිදුවන්නේ අනාගතයේ පත්වන ආණ්ඩු විසින්ය.

තමන්ගේ බැරිකම වසා ගන්නට අනුන් මත වරද පැටවීම රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ඉතිහාසගත පුරුද්දකි. 2015 යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව බලයට පත්වූ දා සිට ඔහු කීවේ මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා රට ණය උගුලක පටලවා ඇති නිසා ආර්ථිකය හැසිරවීම අපහසු බවය. රාජපක්‍ෂ ණය ගැන නහයෙන් අඬමින් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ ආණ්ඩුව ඉතිහාසයේ කිසිම ආණ්ඩුවක් නොකළ ආකාරයට ලංකාව ණය උගුලක පැටලුවේය. 2017 අවසන් වන විට රාජ්‍ය ණය රුපියල් බිලියන 7391 සිට රුපියල් බිලියන 10,313 දක්වා 40%කින් ඉහළ ගියේය. 2017 දෙසැම්බර්වලින් පසු ණය විස්තරය යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුව සඟවා ඇත. ඒ විස්තර මහ බැංකු වෙබ් අඩවියේවත් නැත. බලයට එනතුරු ජනතාවට තිබුණ තොරතුරු දැන ගැනීමේ අයිතිය පවා කාටත් හොරෙන් නැති කොට තිබෙන ආකාරය අපූරුය.

ණය සම්බන්ධයෙන් මේ ප්‍රකාශය කළ දිනම ලංකාවේ විදේශ සංචිත සම්බන්ධයෙන්ද ජනතාව නොමඟ හරින ප්‍රයත්නයක අගමැතිවරයා නිරත වනු දක්නට ලැබිණි.

ඔහු කියා සිටියේ 2018 ඔක්තෝබර්වල මහ බැංකුව සතුව විදේශ සංචිත ඩොලර් මිලියන 7900ක් තිබුණ බවත් 2018 නොවැම්බර් හා දෙසැම්බර් මාසවල පැවැති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතාගේ දින 51ක කෙටි පාලන කාලය තුළ මේ සංචිත අඩු වී ඇති බවත්ය.

මෙයද හුදෙක්ම ජනතාව නොමඟ යැවීම සඳහා කළ ප්‍රකාශයකි.

2015 ජනවාරිවල රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා අගමැති වශයෙන් පත්වන විට ආණ්ඩුව සතු විදේශ සංචිත ඩොලර් මිලියන 8300ක් තිබිණි. ඒ 2005 මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා බලයට එන විට තිබුණු ඩොලර් මිලියන 2,300ය. වසර 9ක් තුළ ඩොලර් මිලියන 6000කින් වැඩිවීමකි.

2015-2014 මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා ජනාධිපතිව සිටි වසර 9යෙන් 4 1/2ක්ම මේ රටේ යුද්ධයක් තිබිණි. එසේ තිබියදීත් වසරකට ඩොලර් මිලියන 667කින් සංචිත වැඩි වී තිබිණි.

මේ අවම වේගයෙන් ගියත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා ආර්ථික කළමනාකරණය අතට නොගත්තා නම් අද වන විට විදේශීය සංචිත අවම වශයෙන් ඩොලර් මිලියන 10,900ක්වත් විය යුතුය.

එසේ නම් එදා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ විපක්‍ෂය ප්‍රශ්න කළ යුතුව තිබුණේ 2014 අවසන් වන විට තිබුණු ඩොලර් මිලියන 8,300 වසර 4ක් තුළ ඉහළ යනවා වෙනුවට ඩොලර් මිලියන 7,900ට පහළ ගෙන ආවේ කෙසේද කියාය.
2015 ජනවාරි මස 09දා සිට මේ වන තෙක් දින 51ක් හැරුණු විට මුළු කාලයම එනම් දින 1400කට වඩා රට පාලනය කළ රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා සහ ගෝල පිරිස අලුතින් පත්වූ ආණ්ඩුව රටට පෙන්වමින් රඟන නාටකයට රැවටෙන අයද සිටිනා මුත් රටේ සියලු ජනතාව මෝඩයන් නොවේ.

අගමැතිවරයාගේ බොරු කීමට නොදෙවැනි වන්නට සිතාදෝ දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානයේ මන්ත්‍රි ශ්‍රී ධරන් මහතා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව අමතමින් කියා සිටියේ යුද්ධයේ අවසාන කාලයේ ලංකාවේ හමුදාව දෙමළ ජනතාවට එරෙහිව රසායනික අවි භාවිත කළ බවය.

ශ්‍රී ධරන් මහතාගේ කතාවට පිළිතුරු මීට වසර කිහිපයකට පෙර පළ වූ ඉන්දියාවේ හිටපු ආරක්‍ෂක ලේකම් ශිවශංකර් මෙනන් මහතාගේ ‘ඉන්දීය විදේශ ප්‍රතිපත්තියේ ඇතුළාන්තය’ නමැති පොතේ සඳහන්ව ඇත. එහි ඔහු මෙසේ කියයි.

ත්‍රස්තවාදය යුද්ධයකින් අවසන් කළ අවස්ථා ලෝකයේ සීමිතය. ලංකාව ඊට එක් උදාහරණයකි. යුද්ධයකදී දෙපැත්තටම හානිවීම වැළැක්විය නොහැකිය. මෙහිදී යමකුට ඇසිය හැකි සාධාරණ ප්‍රශ්නයක් නම් ශ්‍රී ලංකා රජය යුද්ධය කඩිනමින් අවසන් කිරීමට දරුණු අවි භාවිත නොකළේ මන්ද යන්නයි. එසේ දරුණු අවි භාවිත කළද එය සාධාරණීකරණය ලංකාවේ ආණ්ඩුව අපහසු නොවන්නට ඉඩ තිබිණි. මන්ද ඇමෙරිකාව පවා දෙවැනි ලෝක යුද්ධයේදී ජපානයට එරෙහිව රසායනික අවි භාවිත කොට කීවේ ඒ නිසා යුද්ධය කලින් අවසන් කර ගත හැකි වූ බව කියාය.

නමුත් ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය නායකයා වූ මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ සිතුවේ වෙනස් ආකාරයකටය. යුද්ධය නිසා තමුන්ගේම රට වැසියන් වූ සාමාන්‍ය දෙමළ ජනතාවට වන හානිය අවම කිරීමට ඔහුට අවශ්‍ය විය.

යුද්ධය අවසන් කාලයේ බර අවි භාවිතය පවා හමුදාවට තහනම් වූ නිසා හමුදාව යුද්ධ කළේ සැහැල්ලු අවිවලින් පමණි. ඒ නිසා හමුදා සෙබළුන් වැඩි පිරිසකට හානි සිදු වුවද දමිළ සිවිල් වැසියන් වැඩි පිරිසක් ආරක්‍ෂා විය.
ශ්‍රී ධරන් රසායනික අවි භාවිතයක් ගැන පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ ගජබින්න ඇද බාන්නේ එවැනි මානුෂික මෙහෙයුමක් කළ නායකයකුට හා හමුදාවකට එරෙහිවය.

ලංකාවේ වත්මන් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ සුජාත භාවය ගිලිහී ඇතැයි පසුගිය සතියේ විපක්‍ෂ නායක මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා කළ ප්‍රකාශය සමඟ මේ රටේ ජනතාවගෙන් බහුතරයක් පක්‍ෂ භේද නොතකා එකඟවනු නිසැකය. එසේ නම් මේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව කෙසේ හෝ විසුරුවා අලුතින් ඒ සඳහා නියෝජිතයන් පත්කර ගැනීමේ අවස්ථාව ජනතාවට ලබාදිය යුතුම කාලයක් එළැඹ ඇත.

 

Singapore FTA: SL given visas to 242,000 foreign workers: Lakshman Yapa

January 15th, 2019

Lahiru Pothmulla Courtesy The Daily Mirror

MP Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena said yesterday Sri Lanka has already given visas to some 242,000 foreign employees and the experts report on Singapore FTA has said this number could increase through the FTA.

He said the experts committee which studied the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) has verified the concerns expressed over the previous months.

What we have said had been accepted by the experts committee which said our market would not be expanded by the SLSFTA. Through the Board of Investment (BOI), we have already given visas to 242,000 foreigners for investments and industries. The report by the expert committee says many more may come to Sri Lanka through the SLSFTA,” he said.

According to the report, he said the fields of engineering, dentistry, labour and architecture could be open up to foreigners.

Any foreigner who holds a Singapore visa would be able to visit Sri Lanka through the SLSFTA to work. This trade agreement, which may benefit only one percent towards SL, should be annulled,” he said.

Contradictions in new Constitution – Professor G.L. Peiris

January 15th, 2019

RANMINI GUNASEKARA Courtesy Ceylon Today

There are contradictions in the trilingual reports presented to Parliament with regard to the new Constitution, claimed Chairman of the SLPP, Professor G.L. Peiris.

He said this at a SLPP Media briefing held at Party Headquarters today (14). Parliamentarian Rohitha Abeygunawardana also attended this briefing.

Speaking of the said reports, Abeygunawardana made specific reference to the Tamil words ‘Orumittha Naadu’and added the said words do not have a definite meaning in Tamil, although the words purportedly meant a ‘unitary State.’

Prof. Peiris further alleged the Government is conspiring to postpone the Presidential Election.

The Government is trying to bring a proposal stating that from henceforth the President is not appointed by the people, but instead by Parliament. They’re not trying to bring this due to any inherent weakness in the Executive Presidency, but in order to postpone the Presidential Election,” he opined.

He further claimed the current Government did not have the power to make independent decisions, as the TNA exercised a powerful hold over it. It was also said the Government was also at the mercy of the TNA concerning the upcoming Budget.


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