Network of corrupt people behind bond issue: JVP

November 19th, 2017

Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana Courtesy The Daily Mirror

There is no one person behind the bond issue but apparently carried out by a network of corrupt persons including some MPs, Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake said in Parliament yesterday.

He said there are other MPs other than the COPE members whose names had been disclosed.

“I agree with MP Karu Paranawithana who said there are others who had dealt with PTL owner Arjun Aloysius because a network comprising Central Bank officials, members of the business community and politicians. Information on this corrupt network will be disclosed soon,” Mr Dissanayake said.

He said it was those who had dealings with Mr. Aloysius who created havoc at the COPE meetings and claimed that some COPE members had even threatened the Auditor General.

Mr. Dissanayake said the punishment meted out to those found guilty in this instance would be an example of how the government dealt with people involved in other financial frauds. “The Presidential Commission investigating into serious frauds has completed inquiries on 17 cases such as the fraud at the ITN, the opening ceremony of the Hambantota Port and the Avant Garde, but one wonders what the outcome will be,” he said. ()

Political instability has dissuaded foreign investors – Mahinda

November 19th, 2017

By Sanchith Karunaratna Courtesy  Adaderana

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa stated that the volume of foreign investments arriving into Sri Lanka has gravely declined due to the prevailing political instability that has dissuaded many international investors.

He further stated that the only foreign reserves remaining in the country are those that arrived during the previous regime.

Mahinda Rajapaksa expressed these sentiments while addressing the media following a religious observance at the Abhayaramaya temple.

‘Robbery palanaya’ has been elected into power – Wimal (English)

November 19th, 2017

‘Robbery palanaya’ has been elected into power – Wimal (English)

Sri Lanka and International Conventions and the Debasement  of our Legislative Process

November 18th, 2017

by Sriyan de Silva

 Concerns have been expressed about the possibility that in consequence of the Government’s ratification of the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, Sri Lanka would appear to have submitted to the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and is therefore legally bound by the Convention. Therefore it is vitally necessary to examine and be clear about the point at which Sri Lanka is legally bound by International Conventions it has ratified.

My article first seeks to explain why Sri Lanka is yet not legally bound by the Convention on Disappearances. In essence, mere ratification of a Convention does not by itself create legal obligations for Sri Lanka to observe its provisions. This is of paramount importance because those who wish to give legal rights to other countries to have Sri Lankan nationals extradited in the circumstances envisaged by the Bill, may well resort to surreptitious means to have it passed in Parliament in accordance with the new strategies adopted by the Government as exposed by the media and several writers. If this fails, they may well try to fundamentally change our system of law into one where ratification of Conventions would result in their automatic incorporation into our law, thus by-passing Parliament.

My second objective is to suggest, in the last few paragraphs, the need to develop a certain doctrine or principle to enable a law which has been enacted under a procedure which is inconsistent with the democratic legislative process, to be disputed before the Supreme Court even after the law has been passed. The extent of misinformation in order to mislead the public in respect of proposed laws has been highlighted by several writers, and may well be a prelude to a strategy to further speed up the debasement of our legislative processes in the future through surreptitious means. The misinformation campaign continues even in regard to the proposed constitutional changes.

The Bill on the subject of Disappearances which was to be presented to Parliament is deeply flawed as explained by several writers. Crucially, Neville Ladduwahetty has earlier clearly and succinctly explained why the Bill is contrary to the provisions of our Constitution, and highlighted those provisions which even contradict each other. The Bill is an attempt to pass a law which in particular respects is even contrary to the Constitution and therefore would be unenforceable in those respects. The fact that the President stymied the debate on the Bill in Parliament does not necessarily mean the end of the matter. Attempts have been made to mislead the public by claiming that the extradition clause in the Bill on Disappearances is not a problem since it is the same as in our statute on torture, when in fact the latter is confined to extradition of non-nationals, while the Bill on Disappearance refers to extradition of Sri Lankan nationals to foreign countries. Obviously there must be a whole body of Sri Lankans who have been identified whose extradition to foreign countries has been already planned if the Bill is passed.

This article will deal among other things, with the point at which a Convention or Multilateral Treaty [Conventions are Treaties] becomes a part of the national law of a State that ratifies it.  For this purpose it is necessary to first be clear on what is meant by signing” and ratifying” a Convention. These two words mean the same thing unless a Convention specifically makes a distinction between them.

Signing or ratifying a Convention/Multilateral Treaty does not automatically make its provisions part and parcel of our national legal system [known in International Law as municipal law”], so as to create rights and obligations for the State. To explain why this is so, it is necessary to distinguish between two concepts in International Law – the Monist and Dualist systems of law. These concepts have been the subject of considerable discussion and debate for over seventy years among eminent international jurists. Whether Sri Lanka has submitted to international laws in the form of Conventions by only ratifying them, depends on whether Sri Lanka operates the Monist or Dualist system. The very fact that the Government finds it necessary to get Parliament to ‘transform’ international Conventions into our law, is an admission that such transformation into our legal system is necessary through our own legislative process to make such a Convention  binding on us, and therefore Sri Lanka operates under a Dualist, and not a Monist, system of law.

Those advocating the Monist Theory have claimed that both national and international law are based on one principle, which has been variously described as ‘right’ or social solidarity or that agreements must be implemented [pacta sunt servanda]. The large majority supports the Dualist theory. While the State may have consented to a Convention by ratifying it, the Dualist theory requires that to be bound by such Convention, a State should have, by whatever means it promulgates laws, incorporated the International Law into its own legal system. There is, of course, nothing to prevent a State providing in its own Constitution for automatic incorporation into its laws by mere ratification. That would make it a Monist system. The Dualist Theory is implicitly based on the supremacy of the State. It claims that International and Municipal [national] laws exist as separate systems, and cannot over-rule each other. Liability under International Law, where there is provision for enforcement, can arise when a State which has violated the International Law [such as a Convention] has, in accordance with the doctrine of transformation”, incorporated such law into its own legal system. The position has never been different where Sri Lanka is concerned. It is a matter of prime importance that no so-called developed country has submitted to the Monist theory. The overall conclusion is that Sri Lanka, operating under the Dualist system, can incur legal obligations under international Conventions ONLY if their provisions have been incorporated into our legal system through the proper procedures.

I will therefore rest my case, for the benefit of any Monists who may be lurking somewhere, on the following words of W. Friedmann the eminent former Professor of International Law and Director of International Research at Columbia University, in his classic book Legal Theory [5th ed., p. 580]:

The weakness of the ‘monist’ theory is that it stipulates the model of a sovereign equipped with the power both of command and punitive sanctions, as the only type of legal order. But once we admit that there are different types of legal systems, with different degrees of authority and sanctioning power, we can accept international law as a weaker, but nevertheless real legal order, distinct in this and many other respects from the characteristics of a municipal legal system.”

The conduct of officials of UN Agencies such as of the UNHRC for example, which includes sponsoring palpably false reports and threatening small/defenceless countries to please certain powerful countries, whilst turning a blind eye to their abuses, stands in stark contrast to that of a major UN specialized agency, the International Labour Organization [the ILO, founded in 1919]. Its impeccable Constitution ensures its governance through its tripartite structure of governments, employers’ and workers’ organizations, all of which are represented on its Governing Body and participate in its decision-making processes. This makes it impossible for a few powerful governments to control its agenda. It has passed 189 Conventions – more than any other body. ILO Conventions become a part of national law not on ratification by States, but by incorporation of their provisions in their national laws. Unlike individuals in some UN agencies, ILO officials treat members with the utmost respect and in a civilized manner – a culture alien to many of these human rights specialists.

What if a Sri Lankan Government finds a way to incorporate foreign laws into our law through a process inconsistent with the law making procedure, even unconstitutional, and by-passing the Supreme Court? In such an event, it would require the development of a doctrine of nullity [as the law has in other areas] applicable to such law. Our Constitution debars a challenge of a law passed by Parliament and has received the Speaker’s assent.  We need to develop a principle that if a law is passed by means which are surreptitious, a process which denies adequate scrutiny to prevent opposition, uses language in the Bill/Law which signifies different meanings in the three languages – such laws should not be covered by the constitutional bar to challenging it in the Supreme Court after it has received the Speaker’s assent. Prior to December 1968 Courts in England took the view that a statutory provision that a Minister’s decision on a particular matter shall not be called in question in any court or otherwise, ousted the jurisdiction of the courts to examine and rule on such decision.  However, in what came to be a famous decision of the House of Lords in Anisminic Ltd. v. Foreign Compensation Commission [1968 2 AC 147] the Court held that the principle of the exclusion of the Court’s jurisdiction to challenge a Minister’s decision in the earlier mentioned circumstances, did not apply where the MInister acted without jurisdiction [i.e. outside his jurisdiction]. A similar doctrine could be developed to the effect that the Constitutional bar to a challenge of a law after it is enacted would not apply where such enactment was improperly obtained through means earlier referred to.

The government has resorted to a strategy of introducing amendments at the last moment into Bills which are unrelated to the subject matter of the Bill. In essence, the government  introduced a Bill to increase female representation in the PCs, but subsequently added at the committee stage, provisions contained in the proposed 20th Amendment which had failed to find acceptance by the Supreme Court. These additions were unrelated to the subject matter of the Bill. What should have been done at that stage is for the Bill to have been returned as being inconsistent with proper legislative procedure. The standard work on the subject, Erskine May’s Parliamentary Practice [17th ed.] refers to types of Bills returned by the Speaker in the House of Commons. Significantly it includes a Bill which has gone beyond its title” [page 248]. The chief characteristics of the Speaker’s Office are authority and impartiality [May, page 247]. He further states: Confidence in the impartiality of the Speaker is an indispensable condition of the successful working of procedure, and many conventions exist….. to ensure the impartiality of the Speaker…..” We thus need to develop a doctrine of nullity or an equivalent in the context of what is happening in the country, or else remove the constitutional bar to challenging a law after it has been enacted and the Speaker’s assent obtained.

Legislative powers are too important for the well-being of people in a country to allow laws improperly enacted to be protected from challenge due to a failure to dispute them prior to the Speaker’s assent. Legislation pushed through by curtailing the right to proper examination of its provisions or through other practices which amount to deception and/or a lack of transparency and/or a fraudulent procedure, is surely not valid law and is therefore a nullity. If a law is enacted through such means before it can be challenged in Court authorizing the Government to seize the assets of any citizen, or even order his/her imprisonment without due process, such would not be a law that would enjoy our Constitutional protection because it must surely be deemed a nullity. These extreme examples raise questions such as: what is a law, what procedures must be followed for a law to acquire that status, etc. If the Bill on Disappearances had been passed by Parliament before being challenged in Court, it would not qualify as a valid law due to its conflict with the Constitution, and therefore should be regarded as a nullity. If it is not a nullity and therefore it cannot be contested in the Supreme Court after the Speaker’s assent, then the implication is that a government can change most of the Constitution by slipping unconstitutional provisions into other Bills. Even a fully fledged dictatorship could be established through the means presently being resorted to. If they are not contested before the Speaker’s assent, such would become law. We would then reach the situation that even non-laws become laws.

All this calls for an appropriate legal fraternity willing to challenge the actions of the Government. It also requires a degree of jurisprudential thinking. Crucially, we also require an independent Supreme Court which we do have notwithstanding politically motivated criticisms, willing to uphold such a doctrine. The law is not static. We need to accept that legal development is required not only in the sphere of human rights. Just as much as human rights are said to be an integral part of a democratic system, so also should the right to be subject to laws which are passed in a manner which does not debase or destroy the very fundamental legislative system which is an integral part of a democratic system.

13 October 2017.

 

The Illegality of the Geneva Resolution Against Sri Lanka

November 18th, 2017

by Sriyan de Silva

 The article by Mr. Neville Ladduwahetty in The Island of 07 November 2017 on Transitional Justice is a complete exposure of the hollowness of the idea that Transitional Justice applies to Sri Lanka as claimed. Further and crucially, he has pointed out [as he has done in many of his previous articles which have been published in The Island from time to time] that it is International Humanitarian Law [IHL] and not Human Rights Law that applies to Sri Lanka’s armed conflict. This position has also been confirmed by other sources he has referred to. He has further pointed out that nevertheless the Geneva Resolution requires Sri Lanka … to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of humanitarian law as applicable.”

There is a good case for arguing that the introduction of alleged violation of human rights law into the Resolution renders the Resolution unlawful. I will not develop this argument here because it would be too lengthy. In any event, this Government [other than the President] is hardly likely to even want to dilute its own, or co-sponsored, Resolution.

A second reason which would affect the legality of the Resolution is due to the following circumstances. During the first 100 days of the new President’s tenure, he specifically ruled out the involvement of foreign judges in any inquiry into alleged war crimes. Subsequent to the Geneva Resolution the Prime Minister made a similar statement. It was made clear that such involvement of foreign judges was contrary to our Constitution. This suggests that the Foreign Minister at the time who went to Geneva and committed Sri Lanka to the contents of the Resolution which included the participation of foreign judges, did so without a Cabinet decision authorizing him to do so. Moreover, he committed Sri Lanka to provisions which were in violation of Sri Lanka’s Constitution. Therefore the Resolution is not binding on Sri Lanka because it contains provisions contrary to our Constitution, and in any event was co-sponsored without the imperative procedures that should have been followed before any Resolution could have been agreed to, let alone co-sponsored.

10 November 2017.

WHY RESTRICT TELEPHONE CALLS OF ALOYSIUS TO COPE MEMBERS ONLY? IF RAVI K HAD HUNDREDS OF CALLS, TO WHOM RAVI SPOKE IMMEDIATELY AFTER EACH CALL TO GET ORDERS?

November 18th, 2017

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

The biggest financial scandal in Sri Lanka now known as Bond Scandal” is continuing to expose politicians who were supposed to be guardians of the rule of law.  However, few names so far published are not enough?  What is the reason to restrict the relationships   between Aloysius and his partners in Business” only to 6 names consisting Cope Members who refused to endorse the contents of the Report?

As all those who refused to endorse the Report  were members of the UNP, was there any person in the UNP hierarchy who influenced the UNP members sitting in the Cope Committee not to endorse the report, but to provide dissenting FOOT NOTES?  If so, who is that Person?

  1. Does this mean Aloysius had not phoned other influential  VVIPs, seeking help, including such people as: President Maithreepala Sirisena, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, (Clayton) Opposition Leader Sambandan, Laksman Kiriella, Other Cabinet Ministers other than Ravi Karunanayake ( more particularly Rajitha Senaratne, ) etc. during the intervening period when the illegal financial transactions  took place.  Opposition Leader Sambandan was in Batticaloa when the debate took place in Parliament???
  2. If POOR RAVI K ( appears to be a scapegoat) had received hundreds of calls from Aloysius, did Ravi K contact  his superiors or political God Fathers immediately after calls from Aloysius, to get approval from HIS BOSS, if so to whom did he call almost each time after incoming calls from Aloysius?
  3. Did Ravi K return the calls to Aloysius after he called HIS BOSS  to disseminate information or decision?  This will establish a link, if any, with the those who played the game behind the scenes.  It is impossible to believe that Ravi K acted alone, especially considering the Central Bank was not under his purview.

The statement made by former Minister of Justice Mr Wijedasa Rajapakse that I was removed in an attempt to sweep the bond scam under the carpet” will have far reaching consequences

පාන් නැතිනම් කේ්ක් කාපල්ලා!

November 18th, 2017

තේජා ගොඩකන්දෙආරච්චි

අප කැමති වුවත්, අකමැති වුවත් රටේ සෑම දෙයකටම දේශපාලනය ගෑවී ඇත. මෙසේ දේශපාලනීකරය වූ ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ඉතිහාසය හරහා හමාගිය කුණාටු බඳු සිදුවීම් ජාලයක මතක සටහන් මේ මාසයේ යෙදෙන නිසා, ඉල් මස යනු ශ්‍රී ලාංකික දේශපාලනය පිලිබඳව නැවත විමසා බලන්නට ජනතාව පොළඹවන සුලු මාසයකි.

ශ්‍රී ලාංකික දේශපාලන ඉතිහාසයේ ඉල් විරු සමරු දෙකකි. එකක් ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණේ නායකයාව සිටි රෝහණ විජේවීර මරා දැමූ නොවැම්බර් 13 වන දා ට යෙදෙයි. අනෙක නම් එල්ටීටීඊ නායකයා වූ වේලුපිල්ලේ ප්‍රභාකරන්ගේ ජන්ම දිනය යෙදෙන නොවැම්බර් 26 වන දා ට යෙදෙයි. දෙමළ ජනතාව මෙය සමරන්නේ මහවිරු සතියක් නිර්මාණය කිරීමෙනි. ඔවුන් ඊට හේතුව වශයෙන් පවසන්නේ උපවාසයක් හේතුවෙන්, තිලීපන් නැමති එල්ටීටීඊ සාමාජිකයා මියගිය දිනය නොවැම්බර් මස 27 වන දිනට යෙදී තිබීමයි.

කෙසේ නමුත් ජවිපෙ හි ඉල් විරු සැමරුම දෙස උපේක්ෂාවෙන් බලන සිංහල බහුතරය, ද්‍රවිඪ ජනතාවගේ මහවිරු සතිය දෙස බලන්නේ සිදු නොවිය යුතු යමක් සේ සලකමිනි. නමුත් මේ අරගල ද්විත්වයම සඳහා හේතු සාධක වූ කාරණා  ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය දේශපාලනයේ අඩු ලුහුඬුකම් මත සිදුවූ පිපිරීම්වල ප්‍රතිඵලයන්ය. ඔවුන් තම අරගලය ගෙන ගිය දිශානතියේ වෙනස්කම් තිබූ බව සැබෑවකි. කෙසේ වුවද අප යම් දෙයක් ගැන විනිශ්චයක් දෙන්නට ප්‍රථම එය එසේ වූයේ ඇයිද කියා සිතිය යුතුය.

දේශයකට පාලනයක්, නීතියක් අවශ්‍ය වනුයේ එම දේශයේ වසන සියලුම ජනයාගේ ජීවිතවල යහපැවැත්ම තහවුරු කර දීම සඳහාය. එබැවින් දේශපාලකයා යනු එම තහවුරු කිරීමෙහි වගකීම අත දරන්නාය. එම වගකීම හරියට ඉටු නොවන තැන, එය නිවැරදි කරනු උදෙසා නීතිය හා පාලනය තම අතට ගැනීමට පෙළඹවීමක් ජනතාව කොටසක් හෝ තුල ඇතිවීම වලකනු නොහැකිය. 1971 දී සහ 1987-90 යන කාල වකවානු තුල දකුණේ ඇතිවූ තරුණ නැගිටීම්ද, 1975 පමන කාලයේ ඇරඹී 1983 වන විට නිළ වශයෙන් ප්‍රකාශ වී 2009 දක්වා ඇදීගිය වර්ගවාදී යුද්ධයද මෙසේ පුපුරා ගිය ආතතීන්ගේ ප්‍රතිඵලයි. අද පවා ජනතාව නිතිපතා වීදි බැස, මාර්ග අවහිර කරමින් ප්‍රකාශ කරන විරෝධතා  තමන්ගේ නොසැලකිලිමත් අඩුපාඩු නිසා, තවත් මෙවන් යුගයකට කරන මුල පිරීම් විය හැකි යයි, මේ ගැන අතීත අත්දැකීම් ඇති පාලකයන් නිකමටවත් සිතනවාද?

1948 දී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට බ්‍රිතාන්‍යයන් වෙතින් නිදහස ලැබීමෙන් පසුව බිහිවූ පක්ෂ දේශපාලන ක්‍රමය තුල ජනතාව දේශපාලකයන් පිලිබඳව සලකන්නට වූයේ තම මතය නියෝජනය කරන අය ලෙස බව පැහැදිලිය. මේ පක්ෂ වෙත ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් නොයෙකුත් පොරොන්දු තිබිනි. එම පොරොන්දු තමන්ට අදාලවන ප්‍රමානයට ජනතාව ඒ වෙත නැඹුරු වෙති. තමන් යම්කිසි අසාධාරණයකට ලක්වේ යයි සිතෙන තැනදී එම වරද, නිවරද කරන්නට පොරොන්දුවන පාර්ශ්වය වෙත ජනතා ආකර්ශනය ඇතිවීම ස්වභාවිකය. 1940 දශකයේදී ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය ලබාදීම අරඹා තිබුනත් ස්වභාෂාවෙන් අධ්‍යාපනය ලබන පුද්ගලයන්ට සමාජය තුල හිමිව තිබූ තත්වය එතරම් සතුටුදායක නොවීය. බහුතර සිංහලයන් 56 දී බණ්ඩාරනායක රජයක් කරා ඇදී ගියේ එම හේතුව නිසාය. නමුත් ස්වභාෂාවෙන් ඉගෙනගත් දෙමළ ජාතිකයන් මේ හේතුව මත වඩ වඩාත් කොන්වී යාම, ඔවුන්ව සාධාරණය ඉල්ලා කරන අරගලයක් වෙත නැඹුරු කරවීය.

එකල තිබූ කොට්ඨාශ ක්‍රමය තුල, චන්ද කොට්ඨාශයක ජීවත්වන ජනතාව අතරින් බහුතරයකගේ මතය නියෝජනය කරන තැනැත්තා ජයග්‍රහණය කලද, තම කොට්ඨාශයේ දියුණුව වෙනුවෙන් වැඩ කිරීමේදී එම පුද්ගලයාට සදාචාරය අනුව නම් තමාට චන්දය දුන් හා නොදුන් ලෙස වර්ග කරමින් වෙනසක් කල නොහැක. නමුත් දේශපාලකයෝද පෘථග්ජනයෝය. මුල් කාලයේදී සිටි දේශපාලකයන්ගේ අරමුණ වන්නේ බලය පමනය. මෙම බලය අත්පත් කරගන්නට තමන් නියෝජනය කරන සමාජ පන්තිය ඉවහල් වීම නිසා පැරණි දේශපාලන පරම්පරාව මොන පක්ෂයෙන්, මොන පාටින් ආවත් ඔවුන් නියෝජනය කලේ ඉහල ධනේශ්වර පන්තියයි. ඔවුන් ඒ තැනට ගෙන ඒමේදී ඔවුන් වටා රැඳී සිට උදව් කලේද එතුලින් තමන් අපේක්ෂා කරන යම් යම් දේ නොලැබෙනවිට අනිත් අතට හැරී අනෙකා බලයට ගෙනාවේද එම පන්තියටම නෑකම් කියන පිරිසකි. ඉතින් බලය ඔස්සේ ගලා එන වරප්‍රසද භුක්ති විඳින්නට දේශපාලකයන්ගේ සමීපතමයන්ට හැකිවූ අතර ඕනෑම පක්ෂයක නියෝජිතයන් අතින් කොන්වන ජන කොටසක්ද සමාජය තුල ඉතිරි වූහ. මෙය බොහෝවිට තීරණය වූයේ දුප්පත් පොහොසත් භේදය මතය. ජන වාර්ගිකත්වය අනුවද කොටසක් කඩා ගන්නට අවශ්‍ය වූ දේශපාලකයන් කොටසක්ද සිටියහ.

ඉන්දියාවේ සිදුවූයේද එයමය. බ්‍රිතාන්‍යයන් වෙතින් නිදහස ලබා ගන්නට එක්ව සටන් වැදුනද, නිදහසින් පසු තම තමන්ට රජ කරන්නට වපසරියක් මේ සියල්ලන්ටම ඕනෑවිය. ඒ අනුව ඉන්දියාව, පාකිස්ථානය හා බංග්ලාදේශය ලෙස කැඩීගිය අතර ලංකාවට අත්වන්නට ගියේද ඒ ඉරණමය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාව කුඩා රටක් වූයෙන් ජනතාව විසිරෙන, මුහුවන ප්‍රමානය අනුව රට කැඩීමට පහසු වූයේ නැත. අද දකුණු ආසියාවේම ක්‍රියාත්මකවන දූෂිත දේශපාන ක්‍රමය තුල එසේ කැබලි කැඩුවා කියා කිසිවෙකුට සෙතක් අත්වනු ඇතැයි කියාද සිතිය නොහැකිය. අදද කුමන වර්ගයක හෝ දේශපාලකයන් යටතේ සිදුවන්නේද එයමය. දෙමළ ජාතික සන්ධානය, සියලු රෝග නිවාරණය පිනිස මෙන් ස්වයං පාලන අයිතියක් ඉල්ලද්දී, ඊට අනුගතවන දෙමළ ජනතාව, රටේ අනිත් කෙලවරේ සිංහලයන්ද අනුභව කරන්නේ තමන්ගේ පතේම රැඳුන දුක් ගැහැට කන්දරාවම බව වටහා නොගනිති. එසේ වටහා ගන්නට එම දේශපාලකයන් ඉඩක් තබන්නේද නැත. මන්ද තම බලය රඳා පවතින්නේ මෙම අන්‍යොන්‍ය නොවැටහීම මත බව මොවුන් හොඳාකාරවම දනිති.

අද වනවිට රට තුල අත්‍යවශ්‍ය ආහාර ද්‍රව්‍යවල අධික මිල, ජීවන වියදම සහ වරින්වර අතිවන ඉන්ධන හිඟය වැනි ප්‍රශ්න බලපාන්නේ සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාවටයි. ඉන්ධන හිඟය රට පුරා දැවෙන ප්‍රශ්නයක් බවට පත්ව තිබියදී එය කිසිදු දේශපාලකයෙකුට බලපෑ බවක් ඔබ දුටුවාද? හිටපු ජනාධිපතිවරයා සහ ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයේ මන්ත්‍රීවරුන් පාපැදි හා ගොන් කරත්ත යොදාගෙන ගමන්කලේ ඉන්ධන හිඟය සංකේතවත් කිරීමට සහ එම ප්‍රශ්නය යට ඇති සැබෑ හේතු ගැන රටේ කතිකාවක් ඇති කිරීමට මිසෙක තම වාහනවලට ඉන්ධන හිඟයක් ඇතිවාට නොවේ. රට පුරා යමින් තම දින දර්ශනයේ ස්ථාන ගතවූ වැඩසටහන්වල නියැලුනු ජනාධිපති, අගමැති සහ මැති ඇමතිවරුන්ගේ පරිවාර රථ ඇතුලු යාන වාහනවලට එම ප්‍රශ්නය බලපෑ බවක් නොදැනුනි. ඔවුන්ගේ අති සුඛෝපභෝගී වාහනවලට ඉන්ධන වැයවන ප්‍රමානයන්ද දන්නෝ දනිති. අනික ඔවුන්ට බිමින් යන්නට නොහැකිනම් උඩින් යාමේ පහසුකම්ද ඇත. තෙල් සංස්ථාවෙන් ඉන්ධන නිකුත් කිරීමේදී පනවනු ලැබූ සියලු නීතිරීති අදාල වූයේ සාමාන්‍ය මහජනතාවටය. ඒ හැරෙන්නට අද සෑම තැනම කතා බහට ලක්ව ඇති හාල්, පොල්, අමුමිරිස්, දෙහි යනාදියේ මිල නම් දේශපාලකයන්ට දැනෙනවාවත්ද කියා නොදනිමු. මේවා පාරිභෝගිකයාට මෙසේ දැනුනද, ගොවි ජනතාවටද මින් ලැබෙන ලාභයක් නැත. කෙසේ වුවද ආහාර පිලිබඳ ප්‍රශ්නය මැතිවරණ වේදිකාවල පට්ට ගසමින් ජනතාවට තදින් බලපෑ යුගයක්ද තිබිනි. මෙයට ජනවාර්ගික වෙනස බලනොපෑවේය.

1977 දී 5/6 ක බලයක් සහිතව අගමැති ලෙස තේරී පත්වුන ජේ. ආර්. ජයවර්ධන ව්‍යවස්ථාව වෙනස් කරමින් තමාවම විධායක අගමැති බවට පත් කරගත්තේය. එදා දුන් චන්ද පොරොන්දු අතර විධායක ජනාධිපති තනතුරක් ගැන කියවුනිද කියා මගේ මතකයේ නොමැත. නමුත් සියල්ලන්ගේම මතකයේ රැඳුනේ ධාන්‍ය රාත්තල් 8 ක් දෙන බවට දුන් පොරොන්දුවයි. වරක් රොනල්ඩ් රේගන් ඇමරිකාවේ ජනාධිපති තනතුර දැරූ කාලයේ එහි සංචාරයක නිරත වූ ජේ ආර් එහිදී කල කතාවක පවසනුයේ තමා මහජනයා විසින් තෝරා පත්කරගත් ජනාධිපති බවය. 77 න් පසු 88 අග දක්වාම ජනතාවට තමන් කැමති මහජන නියෝජිතයෙකුට කතිරය ගැසීමේ වරම අහිමිව තිබිනි. අතුරු මැතිවරණවලදී කතිරය භාවිතා කලත් එම කතිරය වලංගු වනවාද නැද්ද කියා තීරණය වූයේ බලවතුන් අතය. වරක් කමලවර්ණ ජයකොඩිට එරෙහිව විජය කුමාරතුංග තරග වැදුනු මහර අතුරු මැතිවරණය මීට හොඳම නිදසුනකි. ඉතින් මේ ආකාරයෙන් තම හිමිකම් අහිමිව යාම පසුව ඇතිවූ ඛේදවාචකයනට මුල පිරීය.

1971 අප්‍රේල් මාසයේදී ඇතිවූ ජවිපෙ පලමු කැරැල්ල අවධියේදී සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාව බහුතරයකට මෙවන් දේශපාලන දැක්මක් තිබිනිදැයි පැහැදිලි නැත. පසුගිය වසරේදී මේ කැරැල්ල ගැන විග්‍රහයක් කල ලයනල් බෝපගේ සහෝදරයා පැවසුවේ  තමන්එම කැරැල්ල මෙහෙයවූයේ ‘ධනේශ්වර පන්තියේ ආධිපත්‍ය සහ ධනේශ්වර ක්‍රමය තහවුරු කරගැනීම සඳහා වැඩවසම් යුගයේ නෂ්ඨාවශේෂ යොදා ගන්නා ආකාරය ජනතාවට හෙලිදරව්කර, ඒවා අහෝසිකර දැමීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියකට අවතීර්ණ වීමට’ බවයි. එය ඉතා හොඳ අරමුණක් වුවද, එය නිසි ලෙස සමාජගත කර ගැනීමේ හැකියාවක් ඔවුනට නොතිබිනි. එබැවින් 80 දශකයේ අග භාගයේ ජවිපෙ දෙවන කැරැල්ල ඇති වනවිට, 77 න් පසු ඇතිව තිබූ දේශපාලන පෙරලිය තුල, අර එදා කියූ ධනේශවර පන්තියේ ආධිපත්‍ය වඩාත් තහවුරුව තිබිනි. හරි අවබෝධයක් ජනතාවට නොදී මුදාහල 71 කැරැල්ලෙන් වාසිය අත්වූයේ එජාපයටමය. ඒ ඊලඟ මැතිවරණයේදී, රජය විසින් තරුණ තරුණියන් 20,000 ක් පමන මරා දමන ලදැයි යන කාරණාව මගින්, රජයට එරෙහිව ගොඩගැසුන චෝදනා කන්ද තවත් අඩියක් ඔසවා තැබීමෙනි. නමුත් තමන්ට අවස්ථාව ලැබුන කල්හි යලිත් තරුණ පරපුර ඒ වෙතට තල්ලුකල එජාප ය එමෙන් තුන් ගුණයක් මරා දැමූහ.

කෙසේ වුව එදා බෝපගේලා දුටු ඒ වැඩවසම් යුගයේ නශ්ඨාවශේෂ දැන් නැවත ඉදිවී, ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණයවී සමාජයම වසා පැතිරගොස් ඇත. අද සමාජ ජාලාවල දෙපිල බෙදී වගපල කියාගන්නා මිනිසුන් බොහොමයක් දෙපාර්ශ්වයම අදහන ප්‍රතිරූප වෙත පවතින මෙම ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණයන් නොදකිති. මේ වනවිට ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ දේශපාලනය, බලය පමනක් නොව ධනයද මැවීමේ උල්පතක් බවට පත්ව ඇත. ඒ ජනතාවට ලැබිය යුතු සම්පත් දේශපාලන බලය ඔස්සේ සීමිත පිරිසක් අතට පත්වීමෙනි. එසේ සිදුවන බව දැන දැනම ජනතාවගෙන් කොටසක් මේ පිරිස වන්දනීය ප්‍රතිරූප සේ සලකති. එදා බලයේ රසයම අරභයා දේශපාලනයට පිවිසි දේශපාලකන් විසින් තම බලයේ රශ්මි කදම්භය යට ඇතිදැඩිකල දරු පරපුර අද වත්මන් දේශපාලන පිටියේ ප්‍රධාන තැනක් ගනිති. මේ බොහෝ අය දේශපාලනය දකිනුයේ තම පරවේනිගත උරුමයක් ලෙස මිසෙක එහි ගැඹුරක් ඇතිව නොවේ. ඔවුන්ට සමාජය හසුවන පරිවර්තන ගැන අවබෝධයක් නොමැත. එකල තම කොට්ඨාශයේ සුලු පිරිසකට හෝ වැඩක් ඇති ක්‍රමයක් තිබුනද අද වනවිට කිසිම කෙනෙකුට කිසිම වැඩකට නැති ක්‍රමයක් ඇතිව තිබෙන්නේ ඒ නිසාය. හොඳම උදාහරණය නම් තම ඇමති පියාගේ ආනුභාවයෙන් රාජකීය විදුහලේද, ඉන්පසු එංගලන්තයේද මෝස්තර නිර්මාණය ඉගෙනගත් මංගල සමරවීර, දැන් මුදල් ඇමති බවට පත්ව ජනතාවට පැණි බීම වෙනුවට බියර් බොන්න කීමයි. මෙය මාරි ඇන්ටොයිනට් රැජිණ කියූ ‘පාන් බැරි නම් කේක් කාපල්ලා’ කතාව සිහි ගන්වයි.

දැන් ඉතින් පලාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය ලඟ එන බව රහසක් නොවේ. මෙයට ඉදිරිපත්වන අපේක්ෂක ලැයිස්තුවල පාතාල සාමාජිකයන්ද සිටින බවත් නොරහසකි. මේ පාතාල සංස්කෘතිය ඇරඹුනේද එජාප යේ ගියවර පාලන සමයේදීය. ඒ අතර ජනතාවට බියර්, මයිලෝ තබා දිව ගිලෙනකොට වතුර උගුරක්වත් නොපෙවෙන තරමට ජීවන වියදම ඉහල ගොසිනි. ඒ අතරේ ෆෙඩරල් කතාවක්ද ඇදී එයි. මේ එකකින්වත් සමාජයේ සෑම අස්සක් මුල්ලකම පැතිර ඇති අසමානාත්මතාවයට පිලිතුරක් ලැබෙන්නේ නැත.

විශේෂයෙන් 1977 න් පසුව කෘෂිකර්මයට අත්වූ ඉරණම තුල පමනක් නොව ඔවුන් පිට මුදා හැරුනු බලහත්කාරකම් තුල තදබල පහරක් වැදුනු උතුරු නැගෙනහිර ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් එහි තරුණ පරපුර එදා ආයුධ අතට ගත්හ. නමුත් යුද්ධය ඇදී යද්දී තමන්ද, ක්‍රම ක්‍රමයෙන්, පවතින ජරාජීර්ණ දේශපාලන සත්වයන් බවට පරිවර්තනය වනු එහි නායකයන්ට නොදැනෙන්නට ඇත.

87-90 යුගයේ ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණද දේශප්‍රේමී ජනතා ව්‍යාාරය ලේබලය යටතේ කරන්නට ගියේද මේ ටිකමය. නමුත් මේ සියලු වර්ගයේ විප්ලව තුල තැලී පොඩිවී ගියේ මේවාට මැදිව අසරණ වූ සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාවයි. මේ විඳවීම් තුල ජනතාව හරි දේශපාලන දැක්මකට යොමුවනු ඇතැයි විප්ලව කලවුන් සිතන්නට ඇත. නමුත් අදද රෝහණ විජේවීර පිලිබඳව ජාතික පුවත්පතක පලවූ ලිපියකට ජනතාව වෙතින් ලැබුන ප්‍රතිචාර දකින විට ඔවුන් තම ක්‍රමයේ යම් වරදක් ඇති යැයි වටහා ගනීවිද? ජනතාව වෙනත් විකල්පයක් ගැන නොසිතනුයේ ඇයි? එය හරියට වාර්ගික යුද්ධයේ අවසන් භාගයේදී හමුදා පාලන ප්‍රදේශවලට සරණක් පතා දිව ආවාක් බඳුය.

පලාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය ආසන්නයේ දැන් දැන් ‘මුස්ලිම් ජනතාවට ආවේනික ප්‍රශ්න’ ගැනද කතා කරනු ඇසේ. ඒ අතරම බහු ජාතික, අනාගමික රටක් ගැනද කතා කරති. එය එසේ වන්නට නම් දේශපාලකයන් තම තමන්ගේ පුද්ගලික රාමුව තුල සිට නොව ‘ශ්‍රී ලාංකීය’ නම් ජාතිය පිලිබඳව කතා කල යුතුය. දේශපාලනය යනු බලය හා ධනය ඔස්සේ තම පැවැත්ම තහවුරු කර ගැනීම බවද ඔවුන් එහි ඇමට යොදා ගන්නේ ජාති ආගම් බවද මින් පැහැදිලි වෙයි.

මේ ක්‍රමය වෙනස් වන්නට නම් ජනතාව ස්වාධීන වෙමින් තමන් සතු බලය ගැන අවබෝධ කරගත යුතුය. අසීරුතම ඉලක්කය එයයි.

ජාතිවාදී බලය බෙදීම ගැසට් කිරීම ඇරඹේ

November 18th, 2017

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් පිළිබඳ යෝජනා තව වරක් යටපත් වී ඇත. පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයට දින නියම කරලීම නිසා  ව්‍යවස්ථා අතුරු වාර්තාව මදක් පැත්තක තබා තිබෙන බව දක්නට තිබේ.ලබන මාර්තු මාසයේ ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් සැසිවාරය නිමිති කොට එය නැවත වරක් කරළියට පැමිණීමට ඉඩ ඇත.කෙසේ වෙතත් යහපාලන රජයේ ඒකායන පරමාර්ථය කුමක් හෝ උප්පර වැට්ටියක් යොදා දෙමළ සහ මුස්ලිම් අන්තවාදීන් සැනසීමයි.ඒ සඳහා හොඳම උදාහරණය අඹගමුව ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා සීමාව තුනකට කැඩීමේ ගැසට්ටුව නිකුත් වීමෙන් පසු පෙන්නුම් කර තිබේ. පළාත් පාලන සභිකයන් සංස්ථාපනය කිරීමේ ගැසට් පත්‍රයට පළාත් සභා සහ පළාත් පාලන ඇමති ෆයිසර් මුස්තාපා මහතා  අත්සන් තබන ලද්දේ නොවැම්බර් මස 02 දිනදීය. එය දින දෙකක් තුළ මහජනතාවගේ දැන ගැනීම පිණිස මුද්‍රණයෙන් ප්‍රකාශයට පත් කළ හැකිය. යම් විරෝධතාවයක් තිබේ නම් නීතිමය ස්ථාවරයකට එවිට යා හැකිය.නමුත් ඇමතිවරයා විසින් අත්සන් කරන ලද මෙම ගැසට්ටුව අන්තර්ජාලයේ ප්‍රසිද්ධියට පත් කරන ලද්දේ දින නවයක් ඉකුත් වීමෙන් පසුවයි.එම ගැසට්ටුවේ අඹගමුව ප්‍රා දේශීය සභාව පිළිබඳ නිවේදනයත් තමන්කඩුව ප්‍රා දේශීය සභාව පිළිබඳ නිවේදනයත් අඩංගු නොවිණි. ඒ වෙනුවට එම කරුණු යොදා අංක 2043/57 නමින් තවත් අති විශේෂ ගැසට්ටුවක් නිකුත් කෙරී තිබේ.

         .1980 දී ගම් සභා අහෝසි කරලීමෙන් පසු පැවති පළමුවැනි පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයේ දී අඹගමුව ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා බල ප්‍ර දේශය නිර්ණය කෙරිණ. එහිදී පත් වූ මන්ත්‍රී සංඛ්‍යාව විසිතුනකි. එයින් 13 ක්ම දෙමළ මන්ත්‍රීවරුන් වෙති. එහෙත් පළාතේ වාසය කරන සිංහල ජනතාව එයට වෙනස් කමක් නොපා සාමයෙන් වාසය කළහ. මේ කාලයේ සිටම අලුතෙන් පුරවැසි බව ලැබූ දෙමළ ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් වෙනමම පරිපාලන බල ප්‍ර දේශයන් ඇති කර ගැනීම සඳහා දෙමළ දේශපාලනඥයන් තර්ක කළහ. නමුත් එයට ඉඩ නොලැබුණි.ඒ මන්ත්‍රී ආසන 13ක් හිමිව තිබියදීය. 2013 සීමා නිර්ණ කටයුතු ආරම්භ කරලීමෙන් පසු නුවර එළි දිස්ත්‍රික් ලේකම් කාර්යාලයේ පවත්වන ලද සෑම රැස්වීමකදීම මෙම දෙමළ දේශපාලනඥයන් වෙනමම පරිපාලන ප්‍ර දේශ කඩා ගැනීමට  සටන් කළහ. එසේම තමන් ගේ කොට්ඨාශ යන් සඳහා දෙමළ නම් තබා ගැනීමටද අවසර ඉල්ලූහ. නමුත් මෙම කමිටු රැස්වීම් වලට සාභාගි වූ හිටපු  ප්‍රා දේශීය සභා මන්ත්‍රී හෙළප්‍රිය නන්දරාජා මහතා ඇතුළ අයගේ තර්ක හමුවේ මෙම ජාතිවාදී ඉල්ලීම්වලට ඉඩ නොලැබුණි.

       නමුත් සීමා නිර්ණ කටයුතු අවසන්ව එම ගැසට් පත්‍රය නිකුත් වීමෙන් පසුව මනෝගනේෂන් දිගම්බරන් වැන දේශපාලනඥයන්ද රවුෆ් හකීම් ෆයිසර් මුස්තාපා වැනි මුස්ලිම් දේශපාලඥයන් ගෙන් ද සමන් විත හමුවක් අගමැති ගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන් රැස්වී නැවත එම ජාතිවාදී ඉල්ලීම් සාකච්ඡා කරනු ලැබිණ. එහිදී එම ජාතිවාදී ඉල්ලීම් වලට අනුමැතිය ලැබුණු අතර පළාත්සභා ඇමතිවරයාට තිබෙන බලතල ප්‍රකාරව 2017 නොවැම්බර් මස 02 දින මෙම බල ප්‍ර දේශය අඹගමුව නෝර්වුඩ් සහ මස්කෙළිය යනුවෙන් කොටස් තුනකටද නුවරඑළිය බල  ප්‍ර දේශය ආගරපතන කොටගල සහ නුවරඑළිය යනුවෙන් කොටස් තුනකටද බෙදා වෙන් කරන ලදී. මෙම කැඩීම තුළින් ඉස්මතු වන ජාතිවාදී බල තුලනය මෙසේ වෙයි.

        ශ්‍රී පාද රක්ෂිතයට ආසන්නයේ ම තිබෙන ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි කොටස සීතගඟුලයි.එය මස් කෙළියට කඩා ඇත.මස්කෙළි කොටසේ ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි වසම් 10 කි. තෝරා පත් කරගන්නා සභිකයන් සංඛ්‍යාවද 10 කී.එක් වසමකට එක් මන්ත්‍රී වරයෙකු බැගිනි.ලැයිස්තුවෙන් තවත් මන්ත්‍රී වරු 06 දෙනෙකි. මෙම ප්‍ර දේශයේ සිංහල ජනතාව පන් දහසක් පමණ දිවි ගෙවූවද ප්‍ර දේශය පුරාම විසිරී සිටින බැවින් ඔවුන් හට කිසිම නියෝජනයක් නොලැබේ. එහෙත් වතු ආශ්‍රීතව පොකුරු වශයෙන් දිවි ගෙවන දෙමළ ජනතාවට විශාල මන්ත්‍රීවරු පිරිසක් ලැබේ. ඒ පාරවල් හදන්නට ලයිට් දෙන්නට වැසිකිලි කැසිකිලි හදන්නටය. එහෙත් ඒවා දැනටමත් සම්පූර්ණ කර ඇත.  නෝර්වුඩ් කොටසේ ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි කොටස් 17 කි. තෝරා පත් කරගන්නා මන්ත්‍රීවරු 12 කි. ලැයිස්තුවෙන් 08 ක් හිමිවේ. මේ කොටසට හැටන් දිකඔය පෙදෙසින් ද ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි වසම් එක කර තිබෙන්නේ දෙමළ නියෝජනය වැඩිවන ආකාරයටයි. බහුතරයක් සිංහල ජනතාව ජීවත් වන අඹගමුව කොටසේ ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි වසම් 40 කි. තෝරා පත් කරගන්නා මන්ත්‍රී වරු 13 කි. ලැයිස්තුවෙන් 08 කි. මේ කොටසටද හැටන් දික්ඔය කොටසින් ග්‍රාම නිළධාරි වසම් කඩා දමා තිබේ.ඒ අඹගමුව බල ප්‍ර දේශයටද දෙමළ නියෝජනය ලැබ ගැන්මටයි. අතැම් ග්‍රාම සේවා වසම් කීපයක් එකතු කර එක් කොට්ඨාශයක් තනා ඇත. අඹගමුව ඓතිහාසික සෙල් ලිපිය පවතින සෙල් ලිපි වසම ද වෙනත් වසම් කීපයක්ද එක් කර එලෙස එක් මන්ත්‍රී කොටසක් ඇත කර තිබේ.ඒ සිංහල මන්ත්‍රී සංඛ්‍යාව තුනී වන ලෙසටය.

       නුවර එළි දිස්ත්‍රික් ලේකම් කාර්යාලයේ පැවති සීමා නිරණ කම්ටු රැස්වීම් වලදී අවධාරණය කළ එක් කාරණයක් නම් පැරණ ග්‍රාම වසම් වල නම් වෙනස් නොකරන ලෙසයි. මෙම ගැසට්ටුව මගින් පහළ ලෙච්චමී ඉහළ ලෙච්චමී තෙන්මදුරි යනුවෙන් මස් කෙළිය වසමේ සහ නෝර්වුඩ් කොටසේ කොට්ඨාශ වල නම් අළුතින් යොදා ඇත. මෙම වසම් කඩා ඇත්තේ   ජන ඝනත්වය අනුව වුවද භූගෝලීය විවිධත්වය ආගමික හා සංස්කෘතික විවිධත්වය ආදී අනෙකුත් නිර්ණායක නොසලකා හැර ඇත.

       නව සිය පණහ දශකය වන විට. නුවර එළි දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ පරිපාලන ප්‍ර දේශ බවට( ආදායම් පාලක කොට්ඨාශ) පත්ව තිබුණේ උඩ හේවාහැට කොත්මලේ සහ වලපනේ වශයෙනි. අඹ ගමු ඇතුලත්ව තිබුණේ කොත්මලයටයි. පසුව ගම් සභා සීමා නිර්ණය කිරීමේදී අඹගමුව උතුර සහ අඹගමුව දකුණ වශයෙන්ද එය සළකුණු කර තිබේ.මේ කාලයේ මෙහි වතු වල සිටි දෙමළ ජනතාවට චන්ද බලය හිමිව නොතිබුණි. පුර වැසි කමද නැත. සිරිමා මැතිණිය සිරිමා ශාස්ත්‍රී ගිවිසුමෙන් වතු දෙමළ ජනතාවගෙන් ලක්ෂ පහක් පමණ ඉන්දියවට යැවීමට ගිවිස ගත්හ. නමුත් 1965 බලයට පත් වූ ඩඩ්ලි සේනානයක ආණ්ඩුව ඉතාමත් ජාතිවාදී ලෙස අනාගත දෙමළ චන්ද වලට තිබෙන ආශාව නිසා ඔවුන් ගෙන් වැඩි කොටසක් මෙහිම නවත්වා ගත්හ.මේ කාලයේ නුවර එළි මන්ත්‍රී වරයාව සිටි විලියම් ප්‍රනාන්දු මහතා ශාන්ති පුර ගාමීණී පුර ඇතුළු සිංහල ගම්මාන රාශියක් බිහිකරන ලද්දේය. ඒ උඩරට සිංහල ජනතාවට සිදුවූ ඓතිහාසික අසාධාරණය සමහන් කිරීමටයි. එහෙත් එතුමා සිංහල මෙන්ම දෙමළ ජනතාවටද සිය ගම්මාන ව්‍යාපෘතින් තුළ තැනක් දුන්හ. නමුත් 1970 දශකයෙන්  පසු මෙ තත්ත්වය වෙනස් විය නුවර එළිය ආසනය නුවර එළිය මස් කෙළිය බවට පත් විය. එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂ රජය දෙමළ වතු කම්කරුවන්ට දිව්රුම් පෙත්සමකින් චන්ද බලය ලබා දුන්හ. එයින් සිදු වූයේ නුවර එළි දිශාවේ සිංහල ජනගහනයේ චන්ද බලය යටපත් වීමයි.

         දැන් වර්තමාන යහපාලන රජය යටතේ නව කඳුකර ගම්මාන අමාත්‍යංශයක් ඇති කර තිබේ. එයින් දෙමළ වතු කම්කරුවන්ට පර්චර්ස් 07 ක් පමණ ප්‍රමාණයක් නිවසක් සාදා ගන්නට ලබා දෙනු ලැබේ. එහෙත් උඩරට සිංහල ජනතාවට සිදු වූ අසාධාරණ කම් සමහන් කරන්නට එකදු නිවාසයක් සෑදීමට එයින් අනුමත නොකෙරේ. ඒ වෙනුවට අද ඔවුන් ගේ උත්සාහය වී ඇත්තේ සෑම ග්‍රාම නිළධාරී කොට්ඨාශයකටම එක් මන්ත්‍රී වරයෙකු බැගින් පත් කරගෙන අනාගත මලයහ නාඩුවට පාර කැපිය හැකි දෙශපාලන බල තුලනයක් සාදා ගැනීමයි.එවිට දිගම්බරන් මනෝ ගනේෂන් වැනි දේශපාලනඥයන්ට කඩේ යන දේශපාලන හෙංචයියන් බිහි කර ගත හැකිය. අඹ ගමුව ප්‍රා දේශීය සභාව කොටස් තුනකට කැඩීමෙන් එහි පළමු පියවර ඇරඹේ. මෙම ප්‍රා දේශීය සභාවේ හිටපු සභාපති නගුලේස් මහතා සීත ගගුල සහ මරේ වසම් වල ආසන්නයේ දැනටමත් ඉඩම් මිළදී ගනිමින් සිටී. එසේම මීට කලකට ඉහත කොත් ඇල්ලන වසම ආසන්නයෙට කඩා වැටුණු  ගුවන් යානයේ සිටි මුස්ලිම් වන්දනා කරුවන් සඳහා සොහොන් කීපයක් දැනටමත් මේ වසමේ ඉඳි කර ඇත. මුස්ලිම් දේශපාලනඥන් ගේ බලාපොරෙත්තුව වන්නේ මෙම් වසම් වල තමන්ට රිසි බලයක් ගොඩනගා ගෙන පල්ලි ඇටවීමටයි.ශ්‍රී පාද රක්ෂිතය අවට ඉඩම් නව බෙදීම නිසා මස්කෙළිය ප්‍රා දේශීය සභාවට අයත් වේ. මාවුස්සා කැලේ සමන් දේවාලයද මස් කෙළියට කැඩී තිබේ.එසේම ශ්‍රී පාද මාර්ගයේ කැලිකසල බැහැර කිරීමද  කඩ බදු දීමද මින් පසු මෙම දේශපාලනඥයන් අතට පත් වනු ඇත. ඉදිරියේදී මස් කෙළිය සඳහා නව ප්‍රා දේශීය ලේකම් කාර්යාලයක් පවා ස්ථාපිත කරලීමට ඉඩ තිබේ.මේවා අනාගත සැලසුම්ය.

         ඉංග්‍රීසීන් ගේ තාඩන පීඩන වලට හසු වුණ සිංහලයන් සදා කල් අසරණය. ඔවුන්ට ඔවුන් ගේ නව පරම්පරාවට නව ඉඩමක් නව නිවසක් පිලබඳ බලාපොරෙත්තුව සිහිනයක් පමණි. ඒවා සියල්ල මේ යහපාලන රජයේ වසල ප්‍රතිපත්ති මත සුණ විසුණු ව යයි. අනාගත මලය නාඩු ව තුළ ඇවිලෙන ජාති වාදී ගැටුම් නිවන්නට මේ දේශපාලනඥයක් කිසිවකුත් ඉතිරි නොවුණු ඇත. ශ්‍රී පාදය පවා අන්‍යාගමිකයන් සතු වීමට පසුබිම සැකසෙනු යයි කීම හුදෙක් හිතළුවක් නොවේ.එදාට සුසුම් හෙළනු ඇත්තේ අපේ අනාගත දරු පරම්පරාවයි.

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

Dinesh Gunawardena දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන

November 18th, 2017

“Lord Naseby proves 7000 not 40000, not a Genocide, no war crimes”- Dinesh Gunawardena
Parliament
2017.11.14

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13 November 2017

Hon Speaker
Parliament of Sri Lanka
Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte

Adjournment Resolution 2017 November 14

I intend to place before the House the following resolution at adjournment on 14 November 2017.

This House resolves
that,
Since Lord Naseby, addressing Britain’s House of Lords, drew attention to the fact that the casualty figures for the last period of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended in May 2009, cited in the
United Nations’ Darusman Report, were brought into question by the figures quoted by former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss, by former US Ambassador Blake, in the report by the UK’s Major General Holmes, and finally, by the heavily-redacted ommunications from the UK’s Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash released to him by the British Government; and since he further stated that the UK must recognize that this was a war against
terrorism, so the rules of engagement are based on international humanitarian law, not the European Convention on Human Rights” and that the West, and in particular the US and UK, must remove the threat of war crimes and foreign judges that overhangs and overshadows all Sri Lankans, especially their leaders,” the Government of Sri Lanka should take action to pursue this matter with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with the UN Human Rights Commission to change their unjust positions in regard to Sri Lanka and thereby remove the threat to this country, to its defence forces, and to its leaders, and that the
Government should also report back to Parliament on this matter.

Dinesh Gunawardena, MP
Leader of Joint Opposition

CC: Secretary General

Lord Naseby proves 7000 not 40000, not a Genocide, no war crim…

"Lord Naseby proves 7000 not 40000, not a Genocide, no war crimes"- Dinesh GunawardenaParliament2017.11.14******13 November 2017 Hon Speaker Parliament of Sri Lanka Sri Jayawardanapura Kotte Adjournment Resolution 2017 November 14I intend to place before the House the following resolution at adjournment on 14 November 2017. This House resolves that, Since Lord Naseby, addressing Britain’s House of Lords, drew attention to the fact that the casualty figures for the last period of the civil conflict in Sri Lanka, which ended in May 2009, cited in the United Nations’ Darusman Report, were brought into question by the figures quoted by former UN spokesman Gordon Weiss, by former US Ambassador Blake, in the report by the UK’s Major General Holmes, and finally, by the heavily-redacted ommunications from the UK’s Lieutenant Colonel Anton Gash released to him by the British Government; and since he further stated that “the UK must recognize that this was a war against terrorism, so the rules of engagement are based on international humanitarian law, not the European Convention on Human Rights” and that “the West, and in particular the US and UK, must remove the threat of war crimes and foreign judges that overhangs and overshadows all Sri Lankans, especially their leaders,” the Government of Sri Lanka should take action to pursue this matter with Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office and with the UN Human Rights Commission to change their unjust positions in regard to Sri Lanka and thereby remove the threat to this country, to its defence forces, and to its leaders, and that the Government should also report back to Parliament on this matter. Dinesh Gunawardena, MP Leader of Joint OppositionCC: Secretary General******

Posted by Dinesh Gunawardena දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන on 17. nóvember 2017

Only LG elections can prevent a Sirisena dictatorship

November 18th, 2017

by C.A.Chandraprema Courtesy The Island

The incident at Gintota in the Galle district appears to be at least on the face of it, a private dispute that got out of hand. The Aluthgama incident in 2014 was also sparked off in a similar way. When things begin to go wrong, the very elements seem to conspire to get things going in the wrong direction. The developments in the Galle district on Friday night was perhaps not unexpected given the developments on the political front in the past few weeks. Members of the Joint Opposition have been saying for months if not years that if this government is unable to prevent an election from being held, there would be a communal riot to head off the elections. Some months ago, we saw such a situation developing with petrol bombs being thrown at mosques.

That sudden flare up ended with Gnanasara Thera setting an all time record being granted bail on three occasions in a single day and even having his charges amended. The next week will bring the simmering showdown between the two factions of the government to a critical point, with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to appear before the bond commission on Monday and a demonstration being organized by the UNP in Colombo against the Bond Commission on the same day. Apart from the PM’s impending appearance before the commission, the telephone records which show that Arjun Aloysius was in contact with members of COPE during the inquiry has done immense damage to the UNP.

The attempt by the Sirisena faction of the SLFP to get the elections postponed through litigation went awry with the identities of the persons who had petitioned the Appeal Court asking for an enjoining order on the gazette relating to the delimitation of local government wards being revealed. That the UNP has become an intervenient in the case asking that the elections not be postponed shows that they are not behind this latest move. Indeed from the earliest days of yahapalana rule, it was the Sirisena faction of the SLFP that was fighting shy of elections – not so much the UNP. At a certain point, especially when it came to holding elections to the Sabaragamuwa, NCP and Eastern Provincial Councils, the UNP also got the jitters. That is why they all cooperated in getting those elections postponed.

After having literally moved heaven and earth to get the provincial council elections postponed, it just does not make sense to now have the local government elections in January. The reason why the UNP decided to go ahead and have the elections even at the risk of an embarrassing performance, it was obviously to politically finish off Sirisena before the he finishes off the UNP. The fact that Maithri Gunaratne’s newly formed United National Freedom Front has also joined as an intervenient in the case filed in the Appeal Court shows that they are not a fifth column of the SLFP Sirisena faction as originally thought by many within the UNP but an independent entity that is seeking to carve out a niche for itself. With the PM appearing before the bond commission, we are now seeing the unraveling of the process that began in 2014 against the Rajapaksa government.

Remembering Robespierre’s end

What we are now seeing is a drama worthy of a Shakespearean play. This writer has read how during the Stalinist purges in Russia one set of purged officials were tortured and executed by their successors only for the torturers and executioners of today to fall victim later to the very repression machine they had created. The man who led the great terror during the French revolution Maximilian Robespierre was himself executed in exactly the same manner and by the same executioner that he had kept busy with countless beheadings of real or perceived enemies of the revolution. This is a recurring theme in history but this writer never thought he would actually see such a process taking place in real life. The term ‘hoist with your own petard’ is now beginning to acquire a new meaning.

The conspiracy of the Sirisena group is obviously to render the UNP rudderless before the Presidential elections and for Sirisena to become the UNP’s presidential candidate once again. This writer said it earlier, and the subsequent events have confirmed that this is indeed what is happening. Readers should understand that there is now less than two years for the next presidential election process to start. The 19th Amendment reduced the term of the President to five years and Article 30(2) of the Constitution now reads as follows – “The President of the Republic shall be elected by the People and shall hold office for a term of five years”. Yahapalana ministers have been arguing that even though the term of the President has been reduced by the 19th Amendment, that applies only to future Presidents and that since Maithripala Sirisena was originally elected for a six year term, he will serve out that term before the next Presidential election is held.

Even though Sirisena was originally elected for a six year term, the 19th Amendment reduced the term of the President to five years and Section 49(1)(b) of the transitional provisions of the 19th Amendment clearly states that  “For the avoidance of doubt it is hereby declared that, the persons holding office respectively, as the President and Prime Minister on the day preceding April 22, 2015 shall continue to hold such office after such date, subject to the provisions of the Constitution as amended by this Act…” The above mentioned provisions of the 19th Amendment have to be read together with Article 31(3) of the constitution which goes as follows –  “The poll for the election of the President shall be taken not less than one month and not more than two months before the expiration of the term of office of the President in office”. Thus, according to the provisions introduced by the 19th Amendment, Maithripala Sirisena’s term as President ends on January 9, 2020. When Article 31(3) of the Constitution is applied to this date, the next Presidential election has to be held between 9 November and 9 December 2019.

This is why the two partners in the government are now at each other’s throats. Sirisena’s game plan appeared to be to destroy all possible contenders both within and outside the government so that by the time the next presidential election comes around, only he will be left standing. Ranil Wickremesinghe’s appearance before the Bond Commission will achieve part of that. The entire UNP has been seriously undermined by the revelations of phone conversations between COPE members and Arjun Aloysius, and they are hardly in any position now to be able to face a presidential election.   The Chairman, General Secretary, Assistant Leader and Leader of the UNP have been hauled before the Bond Commission and now several State Ministers, Deputy Ministers and backbenchers have also been implicated. Never before has any political party been made to suffer such ignominy.

Green frog in the cooking pot

Furthermore, once the report of the Bond Commission is in his hands, Sirisena will have a weapon to use against the UNP. Hence there is a need for the UNP to checkmate him with the holding of the local government elections. While the UNP was thus being assailed by Sirisena, the UNP itself was making plans to set up special courts to try members of the former regime accused of corruption so that they could be put in jail before the next presidential election. A decision was made at the UNP Working Committee to set up these special courts and to expedite cases against members of the former regime. This must be the first time in Sri Lankan history that the decision making body of a political party is deciding on changes to the courts structure of the country. Since the purpose of this change in the courts structure is to hear cases against political rivals, that amount to a clear politicization of the administration of justice.

While the UNP is busy making plans to finish off their political rivals, they themselves are being finished off by their allies. The biggest irony is that the UNP that is behind this move to persecute their political enemies, are themselves on the dock for massive corruption in a case that is now clearer than any corruption probe ever held before in this country. All this is a result of the cycle of betrayal, treachery, conspiracy and deceit that started before the Presidential elections of 2015. The UNP is like that apocryphal frog being cooked in a pot over a slow fire. What is supposed to happen is that since the frog changes its body temperature to suit its environment and as the heat in the pot increases, the frog keeps increasing its body temperature to keep up and ultimately dies without knowing what happened. That seems to be exactly what is going to happen to the UNP.

Having a demonstration against the Bond Commission on the day that the UNP leader is being brought before it serves no purpose except to portray the UNP in a bad light for trying to protest against an investigation that has unearthed so much undeniable evidence. This is one of the cleanest investigations ever held in this country. It should be noted that not a single person has been arrested so far in the bond investigation. All the evidence that has been unearthed is based on technology or on witness statements given voluntarily. Usually a yahapalana investigation takes the form of arresting someone and keeping him in jail or threatening to do so until he says something that implicates the main target. That in fact is how the FCID which is controlled by the UNP carried out the Malwana mansion investigation. This is a remarkably effective method.

In the Malawana case, even though its owner originally claimed the property as his, later he said that the property was not his, and he even wrote to the Inland Revenue Department asking for a refund of the income tax he had paid over a number of years for the money used to build the house which he had declared as his house to the IRD! The UNP could have given Torquemada, the Grand Inquisitor a run for his money. Even while the UNP is engaged in perpetrating such horrors, they themselves are being slowly cooked to a finish by the bond commission. This is now a race against time. The UNP needs the local government election to put an end to Sirisena’s political future before he puts an end to theirs.

The Joint Opposition for its part needs the local government election in order to effect a change in the political situation firstly to prevent Sirisena from taking disciplinary action against its members for striking out on a different path. In this respect at least there was a favourable development for the Joint Opposition last week. One of the ways in which the Sirisena faction sought to bring the Joint Opposition to heel was by holding disciplinary inquiries against them so that they can be expelled from the party and eventually removed from their parliamentary seats. A test case in this regard was the disciplinary inquiry that had been started by the SLFP into Puttalam District MP Sanath Nishantha Perera for having criticized the party leader President Maithripala Sirisena. The disciplinary inquiry was headed by one Champani Padmasekera and MP Sanath Nishantha was represented by President’s Counsel Ali Sabry.

The right to dissent

The disciplinary committee did not allow witnesses to be cross examined by Sabry and confined the evidence to affidavits.  When Sanath Nishantha filed action in the District Court against the findings of the disciplinary committee, the court issued an enjoining order on the proceedings of the disciplinary inquiry. If he had been sacked from the SLFP and he lost his seat, that would have placed the entire JO in jeopardy. Now however with the next local government elections coming due, if the election is held, that will destroy the Sirisena faction and take the pressure off the Joint Opposition. In any event, this question of taking disciplinary action for ‘criticizing the leader’ raises some interesting questions. Are the members of a political party not supposed to criticize their leaders? What constitutes acceptable criticism and unacceptable criticism? Furthermore in this instance, there is an acknowledged split in the SLFP with one part of it serving in the government and the other half remaining in the opposition.

The half that is in the opposition routinely votes against the budget presented by the government and even speaks against it in parliament. They routinely oppose decisions made by their other half in government and hold separate political rallies. In such circumstances, how are they not to criticize their leader because their very action of remaining in the opposition constitutes a criticism of their leader who heads this government. Be that as it may, since the strategy of the Sirisena camp hinges on destroying both the UNP and the Joint Opposition, both these latter political parties have an interest in getting rid of him. This is why a yahapalana website has already mooted the possibility of an impeachment motion being filed against Sirisena by the UNP. An incipient coming together of all political forces opposed to Sirisena was seen in the political parties that joined up as intervenient petitioners in the case filed against the gazette notification regarding the delimitation of wards.

The JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake too made it known that they would join up even with people they would not otherwise join with for the purpose of having the local government elections held. The Sirisena group’s willingness to undermine democracy has made the local government election a need even for the JVP which has hitherto been a fellow traveler of the yahapalana camp. The way in which Sirisena benefited and then turned against the UNP and Lanka e News when it suited him, is obviously not lost even on the JVP. The struggle to have the local government elections held has now become the main rallying cry for all political parties other than the Sirisena faction.  Last week, as soon as Prof. G.L. Peiris, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna heard that six petitions had been filed in the Appeal Court asking for a writ against the Gazette regarding the delimitation of wards for the local government elections, he had instructed Manohara de Silva PC to file papers on his behalf as an intervenient against this attempt to get the elections postponed. It was almost immediately established that the petitioners were people linked to Sirisena loyalist SLFP ministers including Dayasiri Jayasekera, Dilan Perera, and Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. It was revealed that the lawyer appearing for the petitioners was a junior lawyer working for Faizer Mustapha’s father’s law firm. Minister Mustapha has not denied the allegation. The SLFP (Sirisena faction) was also conspicuous by their absence among the intervenient petitioners opposing the request for a writ against the LG delimitation report.

The possibility of the Joint Opposition once again being hoodwinked into contesting under one banner with the SLFP seems remote for many reasons. Firstly the lessons of what happened last time is not lost on the MPs representing the Joint Opposition. Then there is a visceral dislike of Sirisena among the supporters of the Joint Opposition and there is the likelihood that many voters will keep away from voting in the event of a tie up. Thirdly, the Joint Opposition will not be able to claim that they are contesting against the government if a partner in the government is contesting on the same list. Furthermore, the two sides of the SLFP have been drifting apart and now are for all practical purposes two different organizations. Almost all members of the SLFP who decided to take Mahinda Rajapaksa’s side have lost their SLFP organizer positions and other people have been appointed to fill those slots.

Besides, the appeal of the Joint Opposition is because they are the only genuine opposition left in the country. They would not be in a mood to give up this advantage by contesting together with the now irreparably discredited Sirisena faction. Another practical difficulty is that the Joint Opposition has already divided up all the local government wards among themselves in many districts and this process is going on even as this is being written. A tie up with the SLFP is now virtually impossible due to practical reasons because there aren’t enough slots to go around even within the ranks of the JO.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe at Commission of Inquiry (COI) tomorrow: The end of the beginning or the beginning of the end?

November 18th, 2017

Rajan Philips Courtesy The Island

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe is expected to appear tomorrow at the inquiry to answer direct questions from the Commissioners, after submitting an affidavit of answers to their questions in writing. The revelations this week about phone calls between UNP parliamentarians, serving on the Parliamentary Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE), and Arjun Aloysius, the young principal of Perpetual Treasuries Pvt Limited (PTL), has led to wildly contrasting reactions. Second tier Joint Opposition MPs are calling for an inquiry into the alleged contacts between UNP MPs and the PTL chief. One of them has gone so far as to ask President Sirisena to leave the (UNP) government and appoint a new Prime Minister (Don’t JO MPs know that 19A has erased the President’s power to remove a sitting PM?). According to another story, dismissed by many as fake and floated by the Rajapaksa entourage, the President has been sending signals to the Prime Minister to temporarily step down before appearing at the inquiry.

On the other side, the UNPers on COPE are crying foul that they are being publicly tarnished based on phone records and that their social relationship with Mr. Aloysius (hence the calls) did not in any way compromise their roles and responsibilities in the Committee. They want a full inquiry into the contents of the phone calls involving not only the COPE UNPers, but all 225 parliamentarians. The media also appears to be split in that some of the outlets are reporting one side or the other, and not both. The build up to tomorrow’s full serial event has been going on for some time and is public knowledge. What the fallout would be after tomorrow is anyone’s guess. The government is about halfway through its term, a point where, and especially for this government, it could be either the end of the beginning or the beginning of the end. What will it be? It depends!

It depends on whether President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe are able to start all over again from where they stood before the country on 10 January 2015, made their pledges and raised people’s expectations – that together they will break with the past and take the country in a new and better direction. There has to be a free and frank discussion between the two men and honest acknowledgements of the mistakes and mistaken actions by one another, their ministers and their parties. Everyone knows the commissions and omissions of this government, but what no one can figure out is whether the President and the Prime Minister have ever tried to talk about them one on one, and to do anything about it.

Without a candid discussion and a united effort to reverse the wrongs that have been committed and act on what have hitherto been omitted, the derailed government train is not going to be put back on track. The blessing in disguise is that every instance of commission and of omission is so obvious and so wieldy that all that needs to be done is for the two leaders to keep working on them, one at a time, more than one at a time, or even all at a time – as their wit and resources would permit them. If so, it could be the end of a bad beginning. If not, it will be the beginning of a worse ending.

Ending a bad beginning

Take the biggest act of commission: the Central Bank fiasco. The Commission of Inquiry will do its work, thanks to the excellent choice of the three Commissioners and the way they have been acquitting themselves. There are many facets to this inquiry that are arrayed in a bewildering spectrum – ranging from human avarice, calculated impunity, plain stupidity, political misjudgement, and all the way to institutional breakdown and technical confusions. We all get what is at the human and political end of the spectrum. These facets are easy to grasp and easily digestible for instant gratification. But we would be poorer at the end of this accidental process of catharsis, if we do not learn about what went wrong technically and institutionally at the Central Bank, and how long they have been going wrong.

The rot certainly did not start in February 2015. It got metastasized. There have been plenty of allusions that the impunity in and around the Central Bank even after the election was predicated on an unspoken understanding of quid-pro-quo between those who came in the door after January 2015 and those who went out the door. The unspoken understanding spectacularly crashed when the cash hit the fan and the country. The sheer volume of transactions and their brazenness were breathtaking. Equally breathtaking were the highhanded attempts to cover up and the presumption that everything could be buried under an August parliamentary election victory and the crumps of a million jobs. In the end, it was poetic justice that the UNP did get a majority in parliament because of the bond scam.

Beneath all the layers of sensational stupidity, what went wrong institutionally and technically at the bank is yet to be fully exposed. At the inquiry itself, there has been plenty of cross-examination theatrics befitting a criminal trial in an original court. Precious little has been forthcoming in contrast, by way of technical education or enlightenment except when the Commissioners took to probing themselves. And they are our last best hope.

Nonetheless, the President and the Prime Minister do not have to wait for the Commission’s report and recommendations. There is plenty they can do starting now. As the Executive President, Mr. Sirisena has the constitutional duty and the responsibility to ask the Prime Minister if there is any good reason why the Central Bank should not be relocated to the Finance Ministry where it had been for all its life until 2015. There was no good reason why it was moved in the first place from the Finance Ministry to the Prime Minister’s portfolio by gazette notification. The only plausible reason might have been that the former Finance Minister, Ravi Karunanayake, could not be trusted with the commanding institutions of the Ministry: the Central Bank, the state banks and other financial institutions.

There could not have been a sillier reason than that. If someone is not fit for a job, don’t give the job to that candidate. Don’t change the job description to suit the candidate. What is common sense and commonplace in any low level hiring, public or private, is blatantly breached in making cabinet appointments. That is the second biggest commission of error by the President and the Prime Minister. But before I turn to the cabinet, let us see why the ministerial location of the Central Bank is such a litmus test for good governance.

First, it should not have been done in the first place. There is tradition and there are also legal implications of not having the CB in the Ministry of Finance. It has nothing to do with who the Finance Minister is, or who the Bank Governor is. Taking the Central Bank and other banks out of the Finance Ministry is no different from landing Legal Drafting under the Defence Secretary in the Rajapaksa government. Good governance does not mean that what was not permissible under country bumpkins in the old government is now allowable under a city sleek Prime Minister in a new government. Will relocating the Central Bank to the Finance Ministry start putting good governance back on track? No, but it is the wrong question to ask.

The right question is- if the President and the Prime Minister cannot reach agreement and restore the Central Bank to its natal home, how can they be trusted to undertake any other restorative measure and put good governance back on track? Moving the Central Bank out of the Finance Ministry was one of the first acts of derailment. How the government deals with it now will be a test, or a sign, to see which way the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government is heading in the second half of its mandate. The test, or the sign, can be applied to not just the Central Bank, but every other matter or instance of commission or omission, and how the President and Prime Minister will deal with each and every one of them as they move forward.

Restart, Muddling through, or Maverick Presidency

The first approach the two leaders could take is what I have been talking about, if not advocating: restarting from January 2015 and bringing to an end what has been for the most part a long and bad beginning. In this approach, call it the restart approach, the Central Bank and all other banking institutions will be reassigned to the Finance Ministry, to function as they used to not just before 2015, but really when the Finance Ministry was on its own and not a presidential portfolio as it has been from the time of President Premadasa. Then they can wait till the Commission of Inquiry produces its report to start acting on its recommendations in regard to bond procedures in the Bank.

The second approach is to keep going along the same old paths of the last two years. I will pejoratively call it ‘muddling through’ – although technically, in policy analysis, it describes one of the ways in which a government bureaucracy works. In this scenario, the Bank will remain under the PM, the PM and the President will keep going their separate ways, deliberately avoiding a principled confrontation about the government’s goings on, and conveniently pretending to see no corruption, hear no corruption, and speak no corruption. This will be the continuation of the status quo and the beginning of an inexorably disastrous end.

There is a third possibility, where the President can start asserting his powers far more than he has been doing until now. He has the constitutional authority to do that, although somewhat clipped by the 19th Amendment. In the current circumstances, the President also needs to show some maverick qualities. Does he have any? Historically, a good example would be Dahanayake, that most colourful MP from Galle and a short-term Prime Minister in sad circumstances. He would have gone to town if he is president now and perhaps all too gung ho for his own good. President Sirisena is quite measured, but can he be a little bit maverick – not only towards the PM and the UNP, but also to his SLFP Ministers who are acting as though they made Sirisena President?

Specifically, on the Central Bank, he will insist and make sure that the Central Bank and other financial institutions are reverted back to the Finance Ministry. He will show the same firmness and success that he did in having his away in not extending the tenure of the former Governor and getting the current Governor to occupy the position instead. He had his way as well in appointing the Commission of Inquiry into the bond matter, which although resented by many in the UNP has in fact given the government as a whole some respite and the opportunity to change direction. The ideal situation would be for the President and the Prime Minister to reach common ground and act in unity. That is the ‘restart approach.’ If that were not possible, the more rational way out for the President is to act maverick than to muddle through.

Acting maverick has political implications. They could be positive if President Sirisena could be more circumspect and even calculating in acting maverick. The challenge is if he would be so bold as to rely on his constitutional powers and distance him equally from the UNP wing of the cabinet and from the SLFP wing of the cabinet – not to play one side against the other, but to facilitate, or force if necessary, bipartisan consensus on the 100-Day Programme he campaigned for and most of which have not been touched even though he has been in office for over a 1000 days.

With Prime Minister and the UNP leaders, the President could and should insist on having people like Harsha de Silva and Eran Wickremaratne as frontline ministers in his cabinet while getting rid of old deadwood and corrupt UNPers. He could also insist on a more rational alignment of ministers and portfolios – and eliminate the odd pairings such as Highways and Higher Education, Finance and the Media etc. To the SLFP Ministers, the President should read the riot act and make it clear to them that he owes his position to the voters who gave him victory in January 2015, and they owe their position to him because he won and their candidate (Mahinda Rajapaksa) lost.

Vicious Triangle and the three wise men

Presidential power assertion could backfire, in that the UNP and the SLFP could start asserting themselves against one another, and severally against the President. The upshot will be a triangular stalemate, thanks to the 19th Amendment–because the President cannot fire the Prime Minister, even a reunited SLFP will not have the numbers to topple the UNP majority, the two parties are not going to unite to get the two-thirds majority to pass a resolution for dissolution and new election, and no one is likely to be interested in impeaching the President. Politically, it is the President who would be in a vantage position. He could reach out to the people over the heads of parliamentarians and mobilize their support to pressure parliament to implement the mandate they gave him in 2015.

But the President has his vulnerabilities too. The attacks against him in the LankaeNews have been apparently reason enough to have the electronic tabloid from abroad banned in Sri Lanka apparently under presidential orders. The former Finance Minister is alleged to be behind these attacks. But the three wise men of the UNP and all senior Ministers – Malik Samarawickrema (UNP Chairman), Kabir Hashim (UNP Secretary) and Mangala Samaraweera (man of both parties) took a different tack; and two weeks ago they went in delegation to express their concerns to President Sirisena about the political implications of Prime Minister Wickremasinghe testifying before the Commission of Inquiry. We do not know what the delegation of wise men was trying to achieve other than airing their concerns and indirectly appealing to the President to be more circumspect in his follow-up actions after the Commission releases its report.

The discussion apparently took a soul-searching turn to reflect on how a government that was popularly elected to expose the corrupt ways of the Rajapaksas has come to devouring its own leaders. The President’s deadpan answer was: “don’t blame me!” According to the Sunday Times political column last week, the President went on to name a “UNP Minister”, an “important person” and another “person holding a high office in a province”, as people who passed information to the Rajapaksas, tried to interfere on their behalf, or approached the President for potential mediation.

Those in political and social circles and many others know the identities of the Minister and the two important individuals. The question many are asking is why the President and the Prime Minister are not publicly naming (and shaming) these individuals and why they are allowing the Minister in question to remain in the cabinet. That is the ‘omission’ story of the government and its long and bad beginning that has lasted over two years. So will it be the end of that beginning, or the beginning of a worse end? It depends!

Curiouser and curiouser

November 18th, 2017

Editorial Courtesy The Island


We might follow Alice in Wonderland and say that proceedings at the Bond Commission are getting “curiouser and curiouser.” The technical evidence of a CID officer led before the probe last week revealed that Mr. Arjun Aloysius of Perpetual Treasuries has had many conversations with members of Parliament’s Committee on Public Enterprise (COPE) that was examining the so-called “bond scam.” These revelations predictably raised a great deal of dust with the Joint Opposition seizing the opportunity presented to demand among other things that President Maithripala Sirisena quits the incumbent government and appoints a new prime minister. With Prime Minister Wickremesinghe due to appear before the commission tomorrow, the ‘full serial’ as we dubbed it in this space some Sundays ago, appears to be approaching its climax. Public proceedings and recording of evidence would most likely end with the PM’s testimony but surprises have been plentiful during the commission’s proceedings and more cannot be ruled out altogether.

We don’t have long to wait before we will see whether lawyers from the Attorney General’s Department assisting the commission will have no questions for the premier as was the case when two other cabinet ministers appeared before the probe; and also whether counsel representing persons being investigated will seek elucidations and clarifications. The Commissioners themselves would probably have questions based on the responses by affidavit of the prime minister to matters that have been raised but these, certainly, would be sans the theatricals indulged in by counsel from the AG’s department which undoubtedly provided sensational news to the media and entertainment to newspaper readers and television viewers as scandalous revelations always do.

The former president did not do himself any good by saying that we seem headed towards a police state with telephone conversations of MPs “tapped.” He surely knew that the evidence led was not the result of surveillance of lawmakers but from extraction of data from the telephones of persons under investigation. Time was when even amateurs could eavesdrop on telephone calls by rapidly tapping the various digits of a number they were trying to break into on the cradles of their old-style dial phones. But surveillance methods have advanced by leaps and bounds in ensuing years and intelligence agencies as well as private snoopers now have massive technological support for activities routinely undertaken not only for reasons of national security but also for less defensible purposes. Mr. Rajapaksa who served as president of this country for over a decade would surely have had access to the security apparatus during his time in office and would know best what was done and ordered to be done in his day. Even though the national dress he customarily sports is pristine white, his image sadly is far from squeaky clean. He would have therefore done best keeping his mouth closed and letting events unfold without his assistance.

COPE members who have had telephone contact with Mr. Arjun Aloysius during the time their committee was examining the bond issues have neither done themselves, their party, nor yahapalanaya any good. The Island reported yesterday that former COPE Chairman DEW Gunasekera had called on his successor, the JVP’s Sunil Handunneti, to call on the Speaker to remove those MPs who have been implicated from COPE. One MP whose name has been mentioned said that Aloysius’ grandfather was his father’s friends and he had known the family from childhood. Having talked to him on the phone did not compromise his work on COPE, he said, pointing out that COPE had unanimously recommended that the bond issues are fully investigated. Be that as it may there have been demands that that all MPs, and not only those who are members of COPE, are investigated for contacts with bond scam suspects. This obviously is a task more formidable than calling for affidavits from all of them declaring that they are not dual citizens following Geetha Kumarasinghe’s case as has also been demanded by public interest activists and sections of civil society.

The bond investigation has demonstrated that no telephone communication is beyond investigation and even deleted data can be recovered. Criminals have found to their cost that signals of conversations on mobile phones can provide reliable indications of their places of origin pointing to where a suspect may be holed out. In the case involving the abduction and torture of journalist Keith Noyahr, it was possible to get very close to where he was being held thanks to data obtained from phone signals. The public perception of our legislators have sunk so low that the worst possible construction is placed on any contact between Aloysius, who has not been convicted of any offence and any lawmaker. The MPs have to blame themselves for that. Unfortunately all legislators are tarred with the same brush though the integrity of some is impeccable.

CID evidence on COPE members and Aloysius JO urges Speaker to investigate

November 18th, 2017

By Gagani Weerakoon and Methmalie Dissanayake Courtesy Ceylon Today

Controversial evidence revealed at the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (PCoI) investigating into the issuance of Treasury Bonds to the effect that Perpetual Treasuries Limited owner Arjun Aloysius had spoken to several members of the Parliamentary watchdog, Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) during the hearings, resulted in a heated situation in Parliament yesterday (17).

Joint Opposition Member C.B. Ratnayake urged Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to conduct an inquiry, through a special committee on COPE members, who were alleged to have had conversations with Aloysius, while COPE Chairman Sunil Handunnetti requested the Speaker to obtain voice recordings of the alleged phone conversations.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekara said, for the sake of the dignity of all COPE members and Parliament, the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) should be asked to handover all the conversations, with detailed voice recordings to the PCoI.

He said, this when United National Party (UNP) MP Hector Appuhamy raised a privilege issue accusing the media of carrying out a mudslinging campaign against him and the others.

“I have never discussed the Bonds issue with Aloysius. I can talk to Aloysius anytime, even tomorrow as I am clean and did not have any fraudulent deals with him,” he said.

Deputy Minister Lakshman Seneviratne who joined in the cross talk said that it was wrong for COPE members to have conversations with Aloysius. “I am a member of COPE and I believe it is wrong for any COPE member to have any conversations with Aloysius while sittings of the committee were in progress.”

The Hawk and the Dove: World War II at Okinawa and Korea

November 18th, 2017

The Hawk and the Dove is one of the best books on war experience that I have read after Erich Mariya Remarque’s “All Quiet on the Western Front.” — Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge   The Author of PTSD Sri Lankan Experience

By Devin Beliveau
World War II veteran Roland Glenn knows that combat soldiers face unimaginable challenges both on the battlefield and when they return home following their service. With his new book, The Hawk and the Dove, Glenn hopes his own life story will illuminate those challenges.  Glenn, an 85-year old Kittery resident, served in the US Army from 1943-1946. As an Infantry Combat Company Commander, Glenn saw significant action at the Battle of Okinawa Island, Japan, the last battle of WWII. I was in charge of about 200 soldiers, an enormous amount of responsibility for someone 20 years old,”

Glenn reflected. Asked about his most vivid memories, Glenn doesn’t hesitate. The killing of fellow human beings in the name of democracy. I was brainwashed to think of the Japanese as sub-human monkey runts. At the time that I served I totally believed in the mission to obliterate the Japs.” Over 109,000 Japanese soldiers were killed at Okinawa, and 12,000 American lives were lost.  As fate would have it, Glenn’s next mission after Okinawa would not be to kill Japanese soldiers, but to help them. After Japan’s surrender following the dropping of two atomic bombs by the US, Glenn was sent to North Korea to repatriate the occupying Japanese soldiers back to Japan.

I had the fortunate experience during the time I was in Korea, getting to know the Japanese as fellow human beings rather than the enemy. In the matter of a few weeks I went from killing the Japs on Okinawa to collaborating with them in Korea, and I was able to see them as fellow human beings and develop some friendships, and I’ve written about that transition from killing to collaborating in my book.” Glenn began what would eventually become The Hawk and the Dove back in the 1985.

Following a major heart attack, a friend suggested I start writing stories about my life. I got up very early and just wrote whatever came into my head, stuck it in a file folder and stuck it away. In 1995, we had the fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and I realized I had written a number of stories about my life in the 1940s. I pulled those stories together into a manuscript and that ‘s how the book got started.” As his narrative progressed, the scope of Glenn’s story expanded beyond the 1940s.

The onset of the Middle East wars brought to my attention that I was writing about my own recovery from the massive killing I experienced on Okinawa. As we saw the thousands of personnel returning from the Middle East wars returning with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), my publisher and I began to see that I had written a story about my own recovery from the traumas of combat,” Glenn explained. There’s nothing in our training that prepares us for the taking of another human life, or observing that happening. I was trained to kill, and that’s exactly what I did on Okinawa Island.

One of my major concerns right now is all the veterans returning with the same condition (PTSD). This has got to be one of the biggest stories to come out of the Middle East wars. These veterans will require medical and psychological care for the remainder of their lives.”  Asked what he hopes readers will take away from his book, the retired educator stresses I do not think that wars solve problems. I strongly believe that stronger diplomatic efforts should be undertaken to resolve international problems. I’m hoping that youth who are considering careers in the military will have the opportunity to read my book. I’m not advocating that young people not have careers in the military, but I am suggesting to our youth that there are many more options to serve our country and our communities than going to war.” The Hawk and the Dove is now available at www.amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and through orders at local bookstores.

Roland Glenn 

ප්‍රේමදාස සහ සෙන්ට් ජෝසෆ්

November 18th, 2017

වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග

ප්‍රේමදාස අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබුවේ කොළඹ ශාන්ත ජෝෂප් විදුහලෙන් නොවේ. ඒකාලේ මරදානෙ තිබ්බා ශාන්ත ජෝෂප් නයිට් ස්කූල් කියලා දුප්පත් ලමයින්ට පොඩි පාසලක්.

මේ පාසල කොලඹ සෙන්ට් ජෝස්ෆ් එක සමග කිසිම සබඳතාවක් තිබ්බේ නෑ. ප්‍රේමදාස නයිට් ස්කූල් ගියේ කේ ජයතිලක සමග . කේ ජයතිලක මේක කිව්වේ ප්‍රේමදාස මිය ගිය පසුව​.

නමුත් කොලඹ සෙන්ට් ජෝස්ෆ් එක ප්‍රේමදාසව අන්දවලා පැවිලියන් එකකුත් හදා ගත්තා. වරක් කොලඹ සෙන්ට් ජෝස්ෆ් ඕබීඒ එකේ මීටිමක එක් පුද්ගලයෙක් ප්‍රේමදාසගේ ක්ලාස්මේට් කෙනෙක් ඉන්නවනම් ඇවිත් ගන්න කියලා රුපියල් 1000 කොලයක් පෙන්නුවා.

ඒ කාලේ රුපියල් 1000 කොලයක් කියන්නේ ලොකු මුදලක්. කවුරුවත් ආවේ නෑ. බොරුවක් බව දැනගෙනත් මෑතකදී අග්‍රාමාත්‍ය රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා කොළඹ ශාන්ත ජෝෂප් විද්‍යලයට ගිහින් ප්‍රේමදාස ශාන්ත ජෝෂප් විද්‍යාලයේ සිටි උදාර ආදි සිසුවෙකු බව කිව්වා.

බොරුවක් බව දැනගෙනත් ශාන්ත ජෝෂප් විද්‍යලයේ ෆාදස්ලා ඒක අනුමත කරමින් අත්පුඩි ගැහුවා. ඇයි අපි බොරුව බොරුව වශයෙනුත් සත්‍ය සත්‍ය වශයෙනුත් දකින්න බය​? 

Cooking, what is it?

November 18th, 2017

Dr Hector Perera, London

The proposal I find most congenial both as a cook and as a chemistry teacher is this.  Cooking is the whole series of operations used by humans to turn raw materials, mainly animal carcasses and harvested plants, into food, that is, into something edible, digestible and nutritious. Those operations which I’ll talk about is energy wasted in cooking.

What is cooking?

Cooking is one of those everyday words that everyone knows. But what does it really mean? Is reheating leftovers cooking? How about making an emulsified salad dressing? Scrambling eggs? Baking cookies? Back home in Sri Lanka majority of people didn’t have the present day modern facilities such as gas and electric cookers, microwaves and ovens. They mainly depended on firewood for cooking. Even at our home including our mum used firewood for cooking. Most of the times a kitchen servant helped cooking and we call her Kussi amma”. Majority of the present day people in Sri Lanka have these facilities just like in Western countries but they waste plenty of energy that is gas and electric during the process of cooking. Most British TV chefs hardly care about energy wastage in cooking. To believe me one should watch these British TV cooking programmes.

At its most basic, cooking means applying heat to food. But cooking is as much about the ways heat changes the food as it is about the heat itself. That’s because heating food does more than just make it hotter. It changes the food in other ways, too.

Proteins

The proteins in food (like in meats, poultry, and eggs) become firmer. This is why the liquid interior of an egg gets hard when you boil it, and why a well-done steak is tougher than one cooked medium-rare. You might have noticed that in majority of British TV cooking, steak is virtually blood dripping red meat even after their so called cooking. Who would say that kind of steak is safe to eat? You all know that steak is always contaminated with plenty of germs and bacteria. The outside might look cooked but the inside is virtually raw red meat with plenty of germs and bacteria.

Interestingly, other proteins, namely the collagens that make up cartilage and other connective tissues in meats, can be made to break down by heating them in certain ways, specifically through moist heat cooking methods. This is why tough cuts of meat like lamb shanks or oxtails can become so incredibly tender when braised slowly.

Cooking also causes proteins to lose moisture, typically via evaporation in the form of steam. This loss of moisture then causes protein-rich food to shrink, as we see with burgers that shrink when cooked on the grill.

Sugars & Starches

Carbohydrates like sugars and starches are also transformed by heating. Sugars turn brown, as we see when we caramelize the tops of a crème brûlée.

The browning of bread when we bake it is caused by the caramelization of the carbohydrates. Starches tend to act like sponges, soaking up water and expanding in size, as when pasta noodles expand when we cook them.

Fats & fibre

Fats, such as butter and oils, liquefy, and eventually start to smoke when they get too hot. In Sri Lanka majority of people use coconut oil for cooking and frying. The doctors agree that it is one of the best oils to use in cooking and frying.

The fibres in vegetables and fruits soften and break down, which is why a cooked carrot is softer than a raw one.

Other Changes

Cooking can affect the colour of foods, too. Green vegetables (like green beans) first brighten when cooked, but they eventually take on a drab olive hue if they’re cooked for too long. Sri Lankans eat plenty of green vegetable such as mukunuwenna, kankun, tampola, Gotukola” and many more. Only thing is they must be properly washed to get rid of the dust, mud, traces of insecticides and pesticides on them. I have my doubts that in most restaurants do they care for any hygienic and cleanliness in handling those valuable and nutritious vegetables. In home cooking they are properly washed before cooking. That is one of the reasons why I am scared to eat those things from hotels and restaurants.

Cooking food causes other, less obvious, changes, too. Nutrients like vitamins can be destroyed or leached out, literally cooked away. One must make use of the water that comes out from vegetables while cooking but you would not notice them if you put too much heat while cooking. Anytime you boil vegetables, some nutrients naturally dissolve into the cooking water or into the air via steam. Flavours can be lost in this same way, too. When you smell the aroma of food cooking, what you’re smelling are the flavour compounds evaporating into the air. And if they’re in the air, they’re not in the food, no wonder the people who cook get showered with cooking aroma then walk up and down like Tandoori Chickens”.

A lot of cooking terminology is pretty straight forward, but some terms can be a bit trickier. Simmering is one of those pesky culinary terms that can mean the difference between fluffy and burnt rice. What the term actually means is to bring a liquid to the state just before boiling. You’ll see lots of little bubbles forming and rising to the surface due to convection currents created by the heat. If your pot begins to boil, turn the heat down to maintain that gentle bubbling, this is where you lose some heat while cooking.

I have practically demonstrated in front of The Sustainable Energy Authority then to The Invention commission in Sri Lanka how to cut down wastage of energy in cooking. Not only I just pointed it out but I gave a solution as well. Before I went to see these authorities for many years I experimented out how to save some energy in cooking that is I cooked and tried how to save energy.

When I first arrived in England I had only one room for studies, sleeping and for cooking so cooking aroma depositing on my clothes was a problem. The room next to my room was a former kitchen but no one used it for years then I moved my cooker to that room to cook. Most Asians like me eat rice and curries and I ate that kind of things in the weekend and for supper. Just like any other University student, I had my lunch at the University and hardly ate takeaway food for supper. There were so many reasons why I didn’t like takeaway food.

Demonstrated how to cook scientifically

A whole team of officials arrived at our apartment in Colombo to witness my work. I knew they are visiting to witness my energy saving cooking but not to see how I added ingredients to a chicken curry so I added them before they arrived and allowed to marinate. Then cooked some rice with a measured amount of water but not checking the water level by dipping fingers into the water just like most people do. I explained my work with appropriate scientific terms so they understood my kind of scientific energy saving cooking.  All the scientific terms were explained in simple terms so they knew exactly what I was talking about. I talked about how energy is lost by, convection, conduction and radiation then how to cut down radiation energy in cooking so that some energy is saved in cooking. Once the temperature reached a thermodynamic equilibrium condition, I adjusted the temperature to maintain it like that way until cooking is completed. This time both the rice and chicken were cooking while I made these explanations to the officials who watched cooking by standing near the cooker. They were surprised that there was no cooking aroma to shower from the boiling chicken curry. Most British TV chef shower themselves with cooking aroma while cooking but there was none in my kind of scientific cooking. If the British TV wanted to know how it was done then I must show it by a cooking demonstration than limited to verbal explanation. I was thinking, if my work was good enough to be witnessed by the energy authority and for the Invention Commission in Sri Lanka, sure it should be good enough for British TV. Sometimes I feel that I am discriminated for no reason.

Some British TV chefs run run like Tandoori chickens

In most British TV cooking programmes, the contestants and even the chefs who judge the cooking, just waste energy and shower with cooking aroma. The contestants think that they also should follow the method and sometimes they even let the cooking aroma catch fire to excite the viewers and the judges. Sometimes back there was a famous chef who used rude words that means swears while cooking also set fire to the cooking aroma. Who would say that is acceptable kind of cooking and helpful to the public to cook something at home?  The TV broadcasting authorities just allow these programmes to be shown with an idea that they are entertaining and popular but I have my doubt. My idea is to cook and save a considerable amount of energy that means to save money wasted in energy then to avoid any cooking aroma while cooking. I have already helped some Sri Lankans to cook my way that is to cook scientifically and save some energy wasted. If British TV didn’t allowed me to demonstrate my scientific energy saving cooking then it does not matter me. What can I say, some British TV chefs, waste energy, burn money and shower with cooking aroma and run run just like Tandoori chickens and they are HANDSOMLY PAID, HONOURED BY GIVING AWARDS, REWARDS. HOW’S THAT UMPIRE?  Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

Dr Hector Perera

THE JOURNEY IN SEARCH OF THE DEPRIVED

November 18th, 2017

By Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

 Sirasa TV1 initially stimulated the writer and wife to visit Habarana, when a little seven-day-old girl was mauled by a dog and died. Upon arrival in Habarana, it was found that the entire area, consisting three villages, Asirigama, Eppawala, and Haba Divul Wewa, did not have pure water for consumption, as a consequence the number of chronic kidney disease (CKD) patients was on the increase. It was revealed further, that these villages require a water purification unit (RO Plant) that is normally installed by the Sri Lanka Navy. In this respect, a detailed report indicating the current percentage of the CKD patients and so forth (covering all villages), is being prepared with the help of the Samurdi Officer, Dhanapala. He has undertaken the responsibility to obtain signatures from the full gamut of villagers, and post the petition direct to the Gammedda Secretariat, for onward transmission to the Sri Lanka Navy for their vetting purposes.

 

Such experiences increased the tendency of the writer towards concentration of the deprived and neglected in the Matara District, focussing particularly on one poor family, with three young kids, (shown on TV1), who has been discarded and abandoned completely for the past two years, and living under atrocious conditions in the rural village of Midigama, in Weligama.

Latrine Conditions

During the prolonged terrorist war in Sri Lanka, the LTTE did an effective propaganda campaign, by forcing innocent Tamils into disused latrines, photographed them and circulated throughout the world, to depict the level of inhuman discrimination on Tamils in the North and the East. Obviously, the naïve international community swallowed the bait, and believed such fabricated photographic evidence as the gospel truth, the results of which, are still hanging by a hair. This is evident from the amount of allegations still prevalent within the United Nations assemblies. Today, the LTTE terrorists have been eliminated and the country is supposed to enjoy freedom of speech, and people are able to move about

Today, the LTTE terrorists have been eliminated and the country is supposed to enjoy freedom of speech, and people are able to move about freely.

However, what is appalling was to come across a Sinhala family in Medigama, having to live in ‘latrine conditions’, due to deprivation. In this confined, disused latrine, they have managed to squeeze in two single beds, two plastic chairs, a ward robe and a wall rack, where a small battery operated radio keeps them entertained; a kerosene lantern supplies light in the night, and a mosquito net, hanging from the roof, protects them from the debilitating viral disease – dengue fever.

Eighteen giant type sewage tanks, in two rows, that collect all toilet waste from the area, surround this disused latrine. The family is frequently subjected to inhale the fumes that emanate from those sewer tanks; the worst being the family is forced to put up with the stench, which their nasal cavities have got accustomed to! The gloomiest aspect of all this is, that this family does not have any toilet facilities, nor water for their daily consumption, but having to depend on neighbours for toilet amenities and water.

Penury

Poverty is certainly the lack of material possessions or money, but outright destitution is the complete lack of means that are necessary to meet the basic personal needs such as food, clothing, and shelter which, in the case of Chaminda Prasanga, labourer, and his wife P. Chandanie, along with Charuka (8 years), and two young girls Tharusi (6) and Jennet (3), are compelled to bear the brunt. Considering this pathetic situation, the Government officials and the local authority cannot escape, but having to conceal their heads in shame, because it boils down to downright violation of human dignity, and denial of basic capacity for this discarded human beings to participate effectively in society.

The two little girls apparently attend a neighbouring school, while the malnourished mother looks after the youngest child. One needs to witness personally the atrocious conditions of such degrading human living. The writer has, therefore, taken the initiative to contact his worldwide acquaintances and charitable organizations, in liaison with the Sirasa Gammedda Secretariat, to organize and build a small house for this family. The plan has been drawn up for the house, and the estimated cost, including eight perches of land, will be around Rs.1.8 – Rs.2 million. There are so many Sri Lankan expatriates around the world, who would like to help and come forward to help this unfortunate family in many ways, to relieve them out of such woeful conditions.

The construction of the house will be undertaken, controlled and overseen by the Sirasa Gammedda Secretariat, at a minimum cost, by cutting expenses to the bone by their stringent auditing department, so as not to waste a cent unnecessarily. In the meanwhile, a Sri Lankan friend of the writer in Melbourne has kindly offered to broadcast this pathetic story and an appeal through a Sinhala Radio programme in Melbourne. He has also undertaken to export the necessary solar panels to the new house, free of charge, so that this family will not have to incur any electricity bills once occupied.

Any compassionate individuals, who would like to be part of this meritorious deed, may contact the writer through email, who will be pleased to guide and provide whatever information one needs.

“We cannot help everyone, but everyone can help someone” – Ronald Reagan

tilakfernando@gmail.com

Phone–O–Rama of Bond thievery

November 18th, 2017

By Lucien Rajakarunanayake Courtesy The Island

Ring, ring…..

Hello…Are you coping well…this is Arjun…

C’mon…is it the Governor or the Perpetual?

What difference does it make…both of us want to know about COPE…can we have a good deal with COPE?

I don’t know about any deal…I’m trying to get one footnote…not only me…my other green players, too…it’s not so easy…looks like we will leave our footprints all over and have no footnotes…

That could be the type of talk that went on, in what must be a world record of phone calls on Treasury Bonds.

This is a real Ring-along episode, in the Treasury bond scam. More than a thousand phone calls, on landlines and cell phones, smartphones – on WhatsApp and Viber, and SMS too. It is a fast move to the world of digital technology in the crooked world of Bond Fixing.

Imagine the contacts that Members of Parliament of Green Politics had with the Perpetual dealer in Bond Scams – this not likely to be explained as one more example of Blue-Green politics moving on to Vision 2025. It is very much the reality of the Crooked Vision that has embraced the players in Green Politics, who came with loud promises to do away with the Dirty Politics of the Rajapaksas.

You can’t blame the Rajapaksas for laughing. Nothing done so far about all those millions that the country lost in their own crooked days; instead, we are learning every day about how the yahapalana torchbearers are setting fire to the security of the Central Bank and the Employees’ Provident Fund.

Have you heard of any Governor of a Central Bank of any country talks so much on the phone on the crucial days of Treasury bond auctions, to those who were directly handling the bond transactions? Could this be part of the Singapore culture that Arjun Mahendran brought here? Many of his calls were to Indika Saman Kumara – the EPF Dealer in the Central Bank. They must have brought rings of great joy to Saman Kumara, coming from the Governor himself. Let’s not talk about profit. That would be in bank accounts.

The Governor’s calls went to Saman Kumara’s partner too – Ms. Thakshila Kumari. What a generous Governor this must be, one with an unusually extended interest in the affairs of an EPF dealer and his unmarried partner. Is this the opening up of a new phone call culture in this country? Governors or Chairmen of banks being so ‘phonely’ and profitably linked with the unmarried partners of their dealers?

There is another phone rascal or villain we must not forget. None other than Ravi Karunanayake, former Minister of Finance and still a member of parliament, too. The one who is known as the ‘Forgetful Hero’ of Perpetual Treasuries. Just imagine the Bond Connections of this penthouse personality. He talks to Arjuna Aloysius, his Perpetual Rentmaster, with 84 calls during the crucial Bond period.

That is not all. Ravi Penthouse K and members of his family spoke to the Perpetual Aloysius over 700 times, from early February 2015 to mid-June 2017. Do you think he will remember any of these calls? Not likely. It is not the stuff he is known to remember, as he stated before the Bond Commission not so long ago. What do you think the other members of his family spoke about, possibly without ever telling him about it all? Could it be about the penthouse facilities? Or could it be about better accommodation, in even better days to come? After all, let’s not forget that he remains the most forgetful leader in UNP or Green Politics of today.

What we have found is the Phone-O-Rama of Treasury Bond Racketeering. It is the UNPs great contribution to what it so often refers to as the new Knowledge Economy. I would not know whether all these phone contacts were meant to increase phone bill payments to support the economy. There may have been a little thought about that, with the former Governor of the Central Bank and the former Finance Minister being so phone committed in these crucial times and matters.

Yet, the other truth is the huge phone call footprint the UNP MPs left, in what were their desperate to leave footnotes to shade their party leader, and his trusted Governor, in the COPE Report on the Bond Scams. The calls were not green, but purple with the politics of the crooked.

Diplomatic appeasement: The misconception of Sri Lanka losing international support

November 17th, 2017

Shenali D Waduge

In international relations there are no permanent friends only permanent interests. That explains why Germany & Japan are best of buddies with the very countries that bombed them! It also explains the manner politicians cross over and sing hosannas for those they previously were at loggerheads with. It should also explain that today’s world is run not by politicians but by think tanks, secret societies, transnational corporates & even invisible intelligence networks who are even capable of eliminating world leaders as JFK found out too late. Though diplomatic corps would have us believe that actions/inactions of our government have been responsible for the angst of the international community, in reality this perception is a farce as the strategies and plans are generally plotted and designed and diplomatic international relations is just a show – a charade to make the world believe that diplomats decide policy and strategy, which is in reality far from the truth. Diplomacy is not foreign policy but if there is no foreign policy there is certainly no diplomacy and diplomats become clueless to their exact role. Foreign policy is lacking when a country has no vision/mission for its future except to sustain those in power somehow while for their own career survival they follow an appeasement policy peddling the foreign policy of other nations!

It is important that we realize that all laws are Eurocentric and devised and designed to suit the advantage of Western hegemony. It is simply an advanced & sophisticated system of rule from the colonial murderous policies of the past. With R2P and military interventions as evidenced by bombing sprees that took place throughout Yugoslavia, Middle East and even parts of Africa, we can but wonder whether we are returning to that colonial era!

However, there is a major difference in the functions of Western diplomats and those of lesser powerful and smaller nations & the level of power they exert even diplomatically. The role played by the diplomats of the powerful countries is more like the Governor’s role during colonial rule. We can see how that has exceeded even decency and polite levels of diplomatic decorum in the manner some diplomats stationed in Sri Lanka have been behaving of late. So much so they have even been nicknamed ‘Viceroys’. A ‘new diplomacy’ is certainly taking shape. It is certainly not the Westphalian model of state to state relations that diplomats were originally taught.

There are plenty of non-diplomatic approaches too which get far more funding than embassies are allocated. New groups have emerged into the scene – Think Tanks, NGOs, lobby groups often government funded, lobby far more vigorously than the diplomats. They produce research, statistics, promote panel discussions, produce books & peddle public opinion in their favor. Making them powerful is the networks they have developed internationally & their ties to local entities.

An example is how Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave $5m to its partner in US to lobby top officials at the White House, Treasury Dept & Congress to double spending on a US aid program. Think tanks do not disclose terms of agreements with foreign governments and neither do they register with US Govt as representatives of donor countries. Similarly, at times even politicians and government policy makers get roped into adopting policies that are detrimental to foreign relations. This can be seen by the manner that pro-LTTE fronts through their international networks both legal & illegal encompassing charities, humanitarian organizations, cultural & religious bodies, ethnic ghetto areas, money & lobby groups have been able to influence foreign governments & politicians against the Sri Lankan state. What needs to be reiterated is that these foreign governments have not fallen blindly but have found it convenient to ride on these channels as it advances their own foreign policy framework which meets the four pillars of their own foreign policy – protection, profits, principles & pride.

All these are direct challenges to a country’s diplomatic framework especially when the diplomats themselves are non-career diplomats, often political appointees.

As we see the influence of terrorism affecting foreign policy decisions of countries we cannot ignore answering where these terrorists are coming from, who is training them, who is funding them and who is transporting them to all corners of the world to stir trouble and exert pressure on countries to change foreign policy. India’s role in Sri Lanka’s LTTE militancy has still not been accounted for. When Sri Lanka banned 16 LTTE fronts and individuals using the UNSC Resolution 1373 why did no foreign government take action by investigating the organizations and individuals who were stationed and functioning from their countries, some even holding foreign passports.

Similarly, trade and terrorism have also become interlocked to foreign policy and so has human rights as can be seen by the manner that the UN and international trade bodies heavily influenced by and to the advantage of the West have found it very convenient to plug human rights with trade agreements whereby countries are forced to remove restrictions and regulations that protect natural assets by threatening action against countries citing human rights violations. UNHRC resolutions on Sri Lanka go far as to even insist on changes to constitution and amendment to internal structures all violations of the UN Charter itself. This has become an ugly trend that Sri Lanka has fallen victim to.

Similarly, we cannot ignore the role played by the Church in Sri Lanka’s terror. However, much adherents of the faith may not like to have this issue highlighted the fact remains that Church fathers/nuns openly helped LTTE terrorists over the entire period of terror in Sri Lanka – some have openly attended LTTE rallies and protests, had kept children whom were later given to turn into child soldiers. Those that deny, we challenge to explain why no action has been taken by the Church against Father Emmanuel, Bishop Rayappu Joseph and many others who have not minced words about their support for LTTE terrorism. It is as a result of Church lobbying and Faith-based organizations / NGOs that the anti-conversion bill or the animal-welfare bill in Sri Lanka has not been passed.

However, we have some diplomats and former diplomats who peddle the notion that Sri Lanka’s inertia has resulted in the international community going against us – generally citing the previous government’s faults. This is a very naïve opinion to promote given the reality that whether Sri Lanka gives or does not give the wish list of those exerting pressure on Sri Lanka, their foreign policy manoevres are unlikely to change. Giving in or applying the appeasement approach is only advancing the realization of the foreign policy objectives of those countries and exposes Sri Lanka’s lack or inability to counter these policies with proper policies themselves. In the absence of think tanks and country-friendly lobbying groups, the failure of Sri Lanka’s diplomats to counter or at least match the one’s at work overseas exposes our diplomats who have not developed a strategy to present to the Government in power on how to respond and counter foreign policies of countries trying to strangulate Sri Lanka.

In short there is a great game or competition for who rules the world and that often is determined by the power that countries can yield economically, militarily, in terms of numbers shown from the power of people belonging to a religious faith, terror groups, cults, liberal groups etc. All these generate international lobbying and are able to steer policy and determine the already designed plan & strategy. It is often a clash of civilizations when efforts are afoot to bring changes after dislodging people’s ties to their histories, traditions, cultures, ideologies and mindsets for only then can the enemies remove the will of the people to defend their nation. How far even Sri Lanka’s diplomats realize this status quo and diplomatically resolve to protect the ethos that has built the nation is a big question mark. The importance in the answer lies not so much in the training or policy imparted to them but the will of diplomats to defend the heritage of the nation that has to be embedded in them requiring no special tuition to be given. This is why it is ever more important for the foreign ministry to appraise its diplomats and officials of the need to foster, promote and protect that historical heritage. It is the last defense line of a country.

There was a reason for Sri Lanka’s terrorism to last 30 years without the West or India assisting it to be eliminated. There is a reason for the West to enter with their yellow umpire card citing accountability, human rights reconciliation etc. All these align with both West & India’s foreign policy objectives. The question is what did Sri Lanka’s foreign policy makers and the diplomats do to counter it rather than agreeing to implement what the foreign powers wanted!

 

Shenali D Waduge

WION Exclusive: Lord Naseby on Tamil charges of Rape, torture in 2016

November 17th, 2017

This segment of WION brings to you exclusive interview with Lord Naseby. Watch this video for full interview.

නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සහ පොදු සේවා සේවක සංගමයේ 2018 අයවැය ප්‍රකාශය සේවකයින් වැදගත් නොවන මංගලගේ 2018 අය වැය

November 17th, 2017

ඇන්ටන් මාකස් සම ලේකම් නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සහ පොදු සේවා සේවක සංගමය

2017 නොවැම්බර 16 වන දින

පසුගිය නොවැම්බර 09 වන දින මුදල් හා මාධ්‍ය ඇමති මංගල සමරවීර ඔහුගේ මංගල අයවැය 2018 වසර සඳහා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළේ ය.

zzනීල හරිතZZ අයවැයක් ලෙස ඉදිරිපත් කළ එහි සාධනීය යෝජනා කිහිපයක් විය. ඉන් එක් වැදගත් යෝජනාවක් වූයේ පාරිසරික දූෂණයට හේතුවන ඉන්ධන මත ධානවය වන වාහන වෙනුවට විදුලියෙන් ධාවනයවන වාහන සඳහා ඉලක්කගත දිරි ගැන්වීම් ලබා දීමය. අනෙක නම්, විශේෂයෙන් සමාජයේ දුප්පත් බහුතරය අතර ඇති නීති විරෝධී, ප්‍රමිතියකින් තොර මත්පැන් සඳහාවන ඇබ්බැහිවීමට උත්තරයක් ලෙස ඇල්කහොල් සාන්ද්‍රණය මත බදු අයකරමින් බීර මිල අඩු කිරීමය. ඒවා වර්තමාන සමාජ ආර්ථීක සන්දර්භය තුල ඉහළ ප්‍රමුඛතාවක් සහිත යෝජනාදැයි ප්‍රශ්න කළ හැක්කේ, බහුතරයට අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය භාණ්ඩ හා සේවා සම්බන්ධ එවැනි වූ යෝජනා නොවීමෙනි.

එනමුත් බීර මිලට එරෙහිව ලොකු වාදයක් මාධ්‍ය හරහා ඉස්මතු කරනුවන් මේ රටේ ශ්‍රමිකයින් හා ආර්ථීක වර්ධනය ගැන ඇති සහසම්බන්ධය සඳහා එවැනි කිසිදු වැදගත් අවධානයක් නොදීම කණගාටුවට කරුණකි. මේ අයවැයෙහි මේ රටේ සේවක සේවිකාවන් ගැන මෙන්ම මැද පෙරදිග සංක්‍රමණික ශ්‍රමිකයින් ගැනද කිසිදු සඳහනක් නැත.

එහෙත් මංගල සමරවීර ඇමති විවිධ ව්‍යාපාරිකයින් හා ව්‍යවසායකයින් ගැන අවධාරණය කරන්නේ, zzදැනටමත් ව්‍යාපාර කටයුතුවල නිරත විශාල පෞද්ගලික ව්‍යාපාරවලට පමණක්ම නොව, අපගේ ආර්ථීක ව්‍යුහයේ වර්ධන යාන්ත්‍රණය වන සු`ඵ පරිමාණ ව්‍යාපාරිකයන්ටත්, ස්වයං රැකියාවල නියුතු වූවන්ටත්, ත්‍රිරෝද රථ ධාවකයින්ටත්, සිල්ලර වෙළ`දාමේ යෙදෙන කඩහිමියන්, සු`ඵ ව්‍යාපාර පවත්වාගෙන යන කාන්තාවන්ටත්, තොරතුරු තාක්ෂණය පදනම් කරගත් තරුණයන්ගේ ව්‍යාපාරවලටත් අවශ්‍ය පහසුකම් zzඑන්ටර්ප්‍රයිස් ශ්‍රී ලංකාZZ වැඩසටහනින් සපයනවා.ZZ යැයි සඳහන් කරමින්ය.

ඔවුන් ගැන ඔහු කියන්නේ, තරගකාරී වෙළ`දපල පරිසරයක සැමට සාර්ථක විය නොහැකි බවය. zzඑසේ වුවත් ඒ අය නොසලකා හැරිය නොහැක. රජය විසින් සමාජ ආරක්ෂණ ජාල යාන්ත්‍රණයක් තුළින් අවදානම් දරන ව්‍යවසායකයින් රැක බලා ගත යුතුයි.ZZ ඔහු කියන්නේය. අසාර්ථක ව්‍යාපාරිකයින් වෙනුවෙන්ද zzසමාජ ආරක්ෂණ ජාලZZ යාන්ත්‍රණයක් යෝජනා කරන මංගල සමරවීර ඇමතිවරයා ඒ වෙනුවෙන් වැය කරනු ඇත්තේ වැටුප්ලාභී සේවක සේවිකාවන්ද ඇතුලූ මේ රටේ ජනතාවගෙන් සෘජුව හා වක්‍රව අය කර ගන්නා බදු මුදල් ය.

අයවැය සඳහා යෝජනා ඉදිරිපත් කරන මෙන් ඇමතිවරයා කළ ප්‍රසිද්ධ ඉල්ලීමට අනුව එයට හාත්පසින් වෙනස් ආණ්ඩුවටත් රටේ ජනතාවටත් සතයක් හෝ අලූතින් වැය නොවන ලෙස පෞද්ගලික අංශයේ ලක්ෂ 23 ට වැඩි අර්ථසාධක අරමුදලේ සකී්‍රය සාමාජික සේවක සේවිකාවන් වෙනුවෙන් සෞඛ්‍ය ආරක්ෂණ ක්‍රමයක් තහවුරු කිරීම පිළිබඳව අප සංගමය මංගල සමරවීර ඇමතිවරයාට යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කළේය. හැම ආණ්ඩුවක් මෙන්ම මේ ආණ්ඩුවද විශාල වශයෙන් සේවක අර්ථසාධක අරමුදල් මත අයුතු ලෙස යැපෙන්නේය. මහ බැංකු වාර්තා අනුව හිමිකරුවන් නොමැති, අතිශය විශාල මුදලක් එම අරමුදලේ ඇත. එබැවින් අප සංගමයේ යෝජනාව වූයේ පෞද්ගලික අංශයේ සේවක සේවිකාවන්ට සහ ඔවුන්ගේ යැපෙන්නන්ට එකී මුදල යොදා ගනිමින් විශේෂයෙන් වෛද්‍ය ප්‍රතිකාර සඳහාවන සෞඛ්‍ය ආරක්ෂණ ක්‍රමයක් අයවැය මගින් තහවුරු කිරීමය. ඒ සඳහා වන යාන්ත්‍රණය සැකසීම ගැන සාකච්ඡා කිරීමටද අප සංගමය සූදානම් බැව් අපි කල් තියා ඇමතිවරයාට දැනුම් දුන්නෙමු. එහෙත් ව්‍යාපාරිකයින්ට මහජන මුදලින් යෝජනා කරන සමාජ ආරක්ෂණය, සේවක සේවිකාවන්ට ඔවුන්ට හිමි ඔවුන්ගේ අර්ථසාධක අරමුදලින් හෝ ලබා දීමට මේ ඇමතිවරයා සූදානම් නැත.

එවගේම මංගල සමරවීර ඇමතිවරයා අධ්‍යාපනයේ බොහෝ වෙනස්කම් සඳහා මහජන මුදල් වැය කිරීමට යෝජනා ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත. එනමුත් ඒ කිසිවක් සඳහා අවශ්‍යයෙන්ම තිබිය යුතු ජාතික අධ්‍යාපන ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ වැඩසටහනක් නැත. අප තේරුම් ගන්නා තරමින් ඒවා සැරව ගලන වත්මන් අධ්‍යාපන අර්බූදයට පැලැස්තර තරම්වත් ප්‍රයෝජනවත් නොවේ.

zzඅනාගත රැකියා සඳහා අපගේ ශිෂ්‍යයන් සූදානම් කිරීම අරමුණු කර ගනිමින් පාසැල් විෂය මාලාව සඳහා ජාන විද්‍යාව, කේතකරණය, රොබෝ විද්‍යාව සහ නැනෝ තාක්ෂණය ඇතුලත් කරනවාZZ යැයි අයවැයෙහි ඇති සඳහන පරම්පරා ගණනාවක් තිස්සේ හරියාකාර ඉංගී්‍රසි ගුරුවරුන්වත් ලබාදිය නොහැකි අධ්‍යාපන ක්‍රමයක ග්‍රාමීය පාසල් වලට වලංගු වන්නේ කෙසේදැයි අපි අසමු.

zzඊ-පෙළපොත් සංවර්ධනයත් සමග ඩිජිටල්කරණයේ මෙහෙයුම තුළින් zස්මාර්ට් පංති කාමරZ සංකල්පය තවදුරටත් ශක්තිමත් කෙරේZZ යැයි ඔහු කීවත් පසුගිය සැප්තැම්බරයේදී අගමැති කියුවේ එය සමස්ථ ලංකාවට ව්‍යාප්ත කිරීමට අවම අවුරුදු 10 ක් ගතවනු ඇත කියා ය. එතෙක් විශේෂයෙන් පාසල් 8,000 ට වැඩි ග්‍රාමීය පාසල්වල දරුවන් සිටින්නේ යුත්තේ වරප්‍රසාදිත ජාතික පාසල් සිසු සිසුවියනට පිටුපසින්ය.

එවැනි නගරයේ වරප්‍රසාදිත දරුවන්ගේ අනාගතය ගැන කතා කරන ඇමතිවරයාට, නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සේවක සේවිකාවන්ගේ දරුවන්ට ඔවුන්ගේ අධ්‍යාපනය සඳහා කිසිදු අවකාශයක් ඒ අවටින් නොලැඛෙන හෙයින් දෙමාපියන්ට රැකියාව අතහැර ගමට යෑමටද සිදුවන්නේ යැයි අපි කරුණු ඉදිරිපත් කළෙමු. එබැවින් ඔවුන්ට නවීන දියුණු පෙර පාසලක් සමග ඔවුන්ටම විශේෂ වූ ප්‍රාථමික පාසලක් නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප ආසන්නයේ පිහිටුවීමට ආයෝජන මණ්ඩලයේ අරමුදල් ඇති බවත් අපි පෙන්වා දුන්නෙමු. එහෙත් එම සේවකයින් මේ අය වැයට අයත් නොමැති බැව් ඇමතිවරයා කල්පනා කර ඇත.

එසේ වූවත් හාම්පුතුන් කලක් තිස්සේ ඉල්ලා සිටි පැය 08 වැඩ දිනය අතහැර දැමීමේ යෝජනාව වක්‍රාකාරයෙන් ගෙනෙන්නට මංගල සමරවීර ඇමති අයවැය යොදා ගෙන ඇත. සාප්පු හා කාර්යාල පනත සංශෝධනය කිරීමට යෝජනා කරමින් සේවක සේවිකාවන්ට තමන්ගේ කැමැත්ත අනුව, තමන්ගේ නිදහස වෙනුවෙන් වැඩ කිරීමේ කාලය තීන්දු කළ හැකි අයුරු එය වෙනස් කරන්නේ යැයි කීම දෙව්දත්ගේ බණකි. විධිමත් ආයතනගත ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ සේවා කාලය එක් එක් සේවකයාට තමන්ගේ අභිමතය අනුව තීන්දු කළ නොහැකි බැව් සාමාන්‍ය දැනුමකි. එය තීන්දු කෙරෙන්නේ හාම්පුතාගේ අවශ්‍යතාව සහ සේවා හා නිෂ්පාදන අවශ්‍යතා අනුවය. එබැවින් ඉන් විය හැකි එකම දේ නම් හාම්පුතා පැය 08 වැඩ දිනය තව දිගු කිරීම පමණි. රාතී්‍ර 10 න් පසු ස්තී්‍රන් සේවයේ යෙදවීම සාමන්‍යකරණය කිරීමට ඉඩ දීමය.

ග්‍රාමීය සමාජයේ රැකියා ගැන ඇත්තේද බහුතරය අමතක කර යන ගමනකි. ඇමතිවරයා ක්ෂුද්‍ර, සුළු හා මධ්‍යම ප්‍රමාණයේ ව්‍යාපාර සඳහා ආයෝජන ලබාදීමට කරන ණය යෝජනා දසක ගණනාවක් පැරණි අසාර්ථක වූ යෝජනාවකි. ඒ වෙනුවට මේ රටේ කෘෂි නිෂ්පාදනය ග්‍රාමීය සමාජයේ තරුණ තරුණියන්ට නම්බුකාර ආදායම් මාර්ග සැපයිය හැකි අයුරු නවීකරණය කිරීමක් ගැන යෝජනා කිසිත් එහි නැත.

එවැනි වූ අයවැයක් ඉදිරිපත් කළ ආණ්ඩුවක් හා ගනු දෙනු කළ හැක්කේ අපගේ සංවිධානාත්මක ශක්තිය මත පමණි. ඒ වෙනුවෙන් මෙවර අයවැයෙන් අතහැර දැමුනු සියලූ ජනකොටස් සමගින් එක්ව කටයුතු කිරීමට වෘත්තීය සමිති ඉදිරිපත් විය යුතු යැයි අපි කියමු.

2017 නොවැම්බර් මස 15 වන දින නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සහ පොදු සේවා සේවක සංගමයේ විධායක කාරක සභාවේ තීරණය පරිදි

ඇන්ටන් මාකස්
සම ලේකම්
නිදහස් වෙළඳ කලාප සහ
පොදු සේවා සේවක සංගමය

NewsLine: Effects of “Good governance” with Maithree Gunarathne (17-11-2017)

November 17th, 2017

Website: www.newsfirst.lk

Let genie be kept in bottle

November 17th, 2017

Editorial Courtesy The Island


Police have reportedly been ordered to take legal action against anyone who will commemorate the dead Tigers including LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran on Nov. 27. Curiously, if it is against the law to commemorate the slain Tigers how come the same law does not apply to the commemoration of the dead JVP leaders and cadres responsible for the reign of terror which plagued the country from 1987 to 1989? True, the JVP did not ask for a separate state, but the fact remains that what it employed in an abortive bid to achieve its goal of capturing state power was naked terrorism. It killed members of the armed forces and the police, civilians, destroyed public property worth billions of rupees, extorted money and robbed banks and people. It also suppressed political dissent in the most barbaric manner and killed people for exercising their franchise while involving children in subversive activities.

The LTTE, in its heyday, turned the areas under its control into an open prison. Child abductions were galore. Dissenters were gunned down. Politicians were kept under its jackboot. Illegal taxes were collected. Rights and freedoms were conspicuous by their absence in those parts of the country. Anyone who commemorates those who kept people in such inhuman conditions and advocates the LTTE’s cause has no moral right to speak of human rights let alone champion them.

Reconciliation is the new buzzword in this country. The Rajapaksa government branded anyone who refused to toe its line a ‘traitor’. The yahapalana administration pillories the opponents of its constitution-making project as ‘enemies of reconciliation’. The TNA was the mouthpiece of the LTTE. It went so far as to announce the LTTE’s presidential election boycott in 2005 and even recognised the LTTE, which was responsible for heinous crimes against civilians, as the sole representative of Tamils. It was the main beneficiary of the LTTE’s violence spree aimed at sabotaging parliamentary polls as the EU monitors noted in their report on the 2004 general election. Even the TNA is in reconciliation mode now! On Thursday, its leader R. Sampanthan treated former President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament to a long lecture on the value of communal harmony and how to keep the country undivided!

Rajapaksa needs to be told some home truths though the TNA leader may not be the right person to do so. He, as the war-winning President, did not care to grab the opportunity which presented itself after the conclusion of the war to rise above petty partisan politics, as a statesman, and win the hearts and minds of the people he had liberated from the clutches of terrorism in the North and the East. His mega infrastructural development drive stood the victims of war in good stead but the trust deficit remained. Politically motivated victory celebrations etc prevented the healing of wounds of war. His failure to manage the war victory and reach out to the people in the former conflict zone and reassure them enabled the extremist political groups to crawl out of the woodwork and tap public resentment to fuel their separatist project.

The biggest enemies of reconciliation are those who try to keep the LTTE flag flying on some pretext or the other. Former LTTE combatants must not be discriminated against in any manner. They must be able to live as equal citizens just like their JVP counterparts who are currently engaged in democratic politics. The onus is on the state to ensure that all ex-Tigers are properly rehabilitated and gainfully employed. But, not-so-surreptitious efforts being made in some quarters to revive the LTTE’s macabre cause must be thwarted for the sake of democracy lest the genie should be out of the bottle once again.

The present government consists of some leaders who once grovelled before the LTTE, turning as they did a blind eye to its terrorist activities and compromised national security to placate the big Tigers in the name of a ceasefire agreement. Their henchmen even hosted barbecue dinners for LTTE leaders at the BIA, which had come under devastating terrorist attacks. In an interesting turn of events replete with irony, they are today all out to prevent the commemoration of the slain LTTE leaders they shamelessly kowtowed to!

Treasury bond scams: Joint Opposition asks Maithri to quit govt., appoint new PM

November 17th, 2017

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

Alleging that the ruling UNP had been grossly implicated in the alleged Treasury bond scams involving the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the Perpetual Treasuries Pvt. Limited, the Joint Opposition (JO) yesterday urged President Maithripala Sirisena to quit the unity government without further delay.

President Sirisena committed a section of the SLFP to the UNP-led government after the latter’s failure to secure a simple majority at 2015 Aug parliamentary polls. President Sirisena’s move caused a split in the SLFP with the majority of 95 members elected on the UPFA ticket throwing their weight behind former President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Kandy District MP Mahindananda Aluthgamage made a public appeal on behalf of the JO at a hastily arranged media briefing at a Punchi Borella temple, in the wake of startling CID exposure of some UNP MPs of the Committee on Public Enterprises (COPE) having clandestine contacts with Arjuna Aloysius of PTL.

MP Aluthgamage was flanked by colleagues, Ranjith Zoysa, Dilum Amunugama, Udaya Gammanpila, Saranath Basnayake, Shehan Semasinghe, Priyankara Jayaratne, Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena and Bandula Gunawardena.

The JO called for the immediate suspension of all those named Deputy Ministers, Sujeewa Senasinghe, Ajith Perera, Gampaha District MP Harshana Rajakaruna and Puttalam District MP Hector Appuhamy of the UNP and Kurunegala District MP Dayasiri Jayasekera of the SLFP (Maithri faction) from the COPE for being in touch with Aloysius.

Pointing out that nearly 10 UNPers including its Chairman Malik Samarawickrema, General Secretary Kabir Hashim and its Assistant Leader Ravi Karunanayake had been summoned by the bond commission and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe was scheduled to appear on Monday (Nov 21), President Sirisena couldn’t remain in the ruling alliance.

MP Aluthgamage urged President Sirisena to appoint a new PM in the wake of shocking revelations at the bond scam probe.

MP Aluthgamage alleged that the UNP distributed among its candidates at the 2015 August parliamentary elections funds to the tune of Rs 5 mn each though it found it difficult to pay monthly electricity bill of its headquarters, Sirikotha while it was in the Opposition.

Recalling how some UNPers on the COPE had been on their hand phones sometimes during sittings in Parliament, MP Aluthgamage said that they never believed their colleagues were in touch with Aloysius even at the time of the inquiry.

Obviously, they had received instructions from Aloysius and shared information and perhaps allowed him to listen to proceedings, MP said.

Aluthgamage said that massive sums of money that had been paid to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of PLT, Kasun Palisena and some senior Central Bank officials by the PLT was in the public domain thanks to the bond commission. Against that background, it would be pertinent to ask whether those COPE members had received benefits from PTL, MP Aluthgamage said.

Anuradhapura District UPFA MP Shehan Semasinghe said Parliament couldn’t be allowed to be used to protect alleged bond racketeers. He said that recent revelations pertaining to some COPE members’ links with Aloysius couldn’t be ignored under any circumstances. The MP said that those who had voted for Maithripala Sirisena at 2015 presidential polls would not approve of what was happening in Parliament now.

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya leader Udaya Gammanpila, MP, pointed out that allegations against COPE members should be examined against the backdrop of Sports Minister Jayasekera declaring that he had turned down a request from Aloysius to defend him.

Gammanpila said Minister Jayasekera had received several calls as he didn’t give in. Had there been any involvement with Aloysius, those COPE members should have quit the watchdog committee citing conflict of interests, the MP said.

Attorney-at-law Gammanpila compared the COPE members’ clandestine links with Aloysius with that of wartime Army Chief Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka sitting on a board that procured equipment from Hicorp, an enterprise owned by his son-in-law Danuna Tillekaratne

MP Gammanpila urged Speaker Karu Jayasuriya to immediately suspend those five COPE members and initiate an inquiry. The MP also expressed the belief that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) would act swiftly and decisively regarding a complaint on COPE members’ links with Aloysius lodged on Friday.

There is no journey with the UNP

November 17th, 2017

By Ranjith Kumara Samarakoone Courtesy Ceylon Today

Matara District UPFA Member of Parliament Kanchana Wijesekera said his leader is Mahinda Rajapaksa, and went on to say, “We engage in politics with policies. We are with the individual who represents the Party policies. Maithripala Sirisena became Party Chairman through various methods.”

Excerpts of interview :

If we say that you came into politics because of your father, is that correct?

A: Actually I did not plan and come into politics; however, it was a strength that my father was engaged in politics. My father was a victim of a bomb that exploded in the South on 10 March 2009. As a result he had to distance himself from politics. I was invited by the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa and Dullas Alahapperuma to contest the Provincial Council Election held after that. It was from there that I started.

Mahinda who was in power for many years was defeated and a new Government was established by two parties. Were you not invited to join them?

A: At the very first meeting itself, President Maithripala Sirisena invited us. The request he made was to join the National Government as a group. About 30 of us told him that the mandate received was not to govern with the United National Party. We said that in common and then sent him a letter as well. However, he said that several were ready to join. Then some joined.

Friends, who were with us and said that they would dedicate themselves to Mahinda’s victory, also joined the Government. However, we did not join. Even now they are trying to take some from us. But our numbers are increasing.

Did you not get a personal individual invitation?

A: I received continuous messages, but we engage in politics with policies and I cannot disillusion the people who voted for us. The other thing is that these are two parties and there can be no common journey. Then we had 41 members and today it has increased to 50.

Even though you say that, the Government of Good Governance which was going to defeat Mahinda said from the very beginning itself that they will establish a National Government. And the mandate was given for that. Why are you saying a contradictory story?

A: It was stated in the UNP Manifesto only, we never said so. From 8 January onwards we said that we will establish a Government led by the SLFP. The reason is because we know how Ranil Wickremesinghe runs Government. Today, it has been proven. See, a decisive debate on the Constitution is taking place in Parliament. Do the two parties have one opinion? No. Look at the Cabinet media briefings; there are three persons to give the same information. These are comical.

What is your party?

A: My Party is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party.

So, the leader of that is not Mahinda. It is Maithri isnt it?

A: Yes.

So, it is he who says that we will stay within a National Government. Isnt it the Party stance?

A: Party leader is not important to us. We are doing politics with policies. If we were to think that Ranil Wickremesinghe became the leader of the SLFP, if he does not follow the policies of the Party, can we accept him? We are with the individual who represents the policies. Maithripala Sirisena became the Chairman of the Party through various methods. After which he did not get on any stage to help the Party to win, he did not even help with words; at that time, Mahinda came forward with an entire group to rebuild the Party. We invited Maithripala Sirisena to the rally in Anuradhapura, but he did not come. Then we invited him for all the other meetings too. He did not come. By that, he established that he was representing Ranil Wickremesinghe.

You are saying that. However, Mahinda contested from Kurunegala and polled a lesser number of votes than at the Presidential Election?

A: There are two reasons for that. One is that, at a General Election the voting pattern is different from that of a Presidential Election. At the same time, the UNP put greater weight on Kurunegala saying they would set up factories and even distributed job applications. The other thing is Mahinda did not campaign in Kurunegala. He had to go around the country. Finally the Chairman of the Party, himself, said that even if he won Mahinda was not going to be made the Prime Minister. With 48 hours to go for the election, the General Secretary of the Party even removed the General Secretary of the Alliance. Then people started thinking, if we are not given a chance to form a Government what is the point in voting.

Did you at sometime avoid working for the Joint Opposition?

A: Yes. It happened because of an incident in the district. We were not defeated because of Mahinda. He is the most distinguished leader this country produced. Even then there were a few people who were using his name for personal advantage. Such persons had got together and were coming forward; they are the ones who initially tried to cross to the other side after the election was lost. Later it was corrected.

What is your take on your fathers politics?

A: Yes. My father was in several parties. He was in the JVP. He was the President of the Inter-University Students Union the Shishya Bala Mandalaya, then the Secretary was Ranil Wickremesinghe. Later my father left the JVP. That was because he was not in agreement with the armed struggle. When the SLFP joined the JVP then my father joined the UNP due to the incompatibility between those two parties.

Are you following him?

A: It is like this. He changed parties in keeping with policy. I am not joining this Government because of my policy. Ranil Wickremesinghe can get together with either the JVP or the TNA and rule the country, without us. Why has he taken members of our Party to do that?

When a Party wins an election isnt it obliged to fulfil the promises to the people?

A: Most definitely.

Whoever prepares the new Constitution, it has to be adopted in Parliament with a two thirds majority and then go for a Referendum.

Then only will it be passed. It is a complex task. However, what you are objecting to is the Interim Committee Report!

A: As soon as the war ended the then President Mahinda invited all Tamil Parties including the TNA to join an All-Party committee.

Did they come? No. They boycotted for several years. Then they doubted it. Today, it is those who did not come then, who have joined together.

Where is the room for our opinion today? Only seven members of the Joint Opposition got the opportunity to speak at this debate.

Can those seven give the opinion of fifty odd persons? The TNA is on all these committee. We are only in one or two. Does that mean that the right of a certain group is suppressed in order to provide someone else’s right? Anyway there is suspicion about this Government. Everything they do is suspect. See the speeches made by the TNA. They talk as if Prabakharan is still alive. The other thing is that, they think that Tamil people live only in the North. Do they not live in the South too? Don’t those people have any rights?

If the people in those areas also make a request, in a short time, will they also be provided with solutions? Rajitha and others say they thought about this for the past 40 years. A Constitution is prepared for several hundred years; it isnot the aspirations that existed then that are there now.

Even though you say that, if Mahinda had treated the other races properly, how could he have lost in the North? The other accusation against that Government was that they were not mindful of the minorities.

A: I will give you one example. As soon as the war ended an election was held in the North. Then Rajitha, Champika and others said not to hold the election. Those who are shouting today that power should be devolved, then said, that if an election was held then the power will go to the TNA. However, what Mahinda said was that we should give them that opportunity. The North has the same powers as the others have. However, do they carry out work there? No. Allocated money is sent back to the Treasury. What is the Bill this Government presented to strengthen democracy?

Your faction is accusing the Government of corruption and fraud. However, does the Government take any action against those?

A: What action!

The Minister accused in the Treasury Bond fraud resigned. Even the Prime Minister is ready to face the Commission. Other Ministers also left or were removed?

A: Resigning, being removed and having to go because of pressure are three things. When the President removed Arjuna Mahendran, the Prime Minister appointed him as his own Economic Adviser. After Marapana resigned he came back as the fourth citizen. Ravi Karunanayake resigned as otherwise the Government would have in peril. Karunanayake who resigned has now become the pilot in strengthening the UNP countrywide.

In reality Arjuna Mahendran, Aloysius and Ravi should have been in prison by now. Has that happened? However, they capture our people then put them in prison and only then start the rest of the work.

There were others in your Government, in the past, who had accusations against them?

A: Yes. That is our fault. Those persons have joined this Government of today. They are receiving protection from ministerial positions. There are accusations about hedging, about irrigation, so they are in this Government. Even the President is being targeted by accusations from Australia. This is the Government that took persons into custody merely on allegations.

Everyone was waiting for an election. Are you ready for it now?

A: We waited for years. We are ready. The Commissioner says it will be held in January. However, we have no faith until the date is announced. Meantime, if someone else goes to Court it could drag on.

If there is an election from where will you contest?

A: We will contest from wherever our policies are upheld. Now, anyway we are in two factions. We will contest with the SLFP only if they leave the Government.

Your party is the Sri Lanka Freedom Party?

A: Yes. I represent its policies.

Who is your leader?

A: Mahinda Rajapaksa

But then the leader of the SLFP is Maithripala Sirisena?

A: He could be the leader in name but what is important to us, are the leaders who safe guard the policies.

If Maithripala Sirisena leaves the Government with the SLFP?

A: If so we will provide total support and work with him. That is what we always said. The person who comes forward to protect our policies is our leader.

Now the Party has been broken into two?

A: Yes. That is not a secret. Now, everyone is leaving the Government. Already three have left.

Will you stop with the Podujana Peramuna?

A: There is no decision about that as yet. However, if the election is being contested from there we will win it.

Are you for abolishing the Executive Presidency?

A: We are against assigning executive powers to Provincial Councils. However, I agree with, to it being abolished.

Are there any allegations against Kanchana Wijesekera?

A: Nothing against me but I heard that they are looking to find out whether there was anything done by my father.

If you had joined the Government you would have been a minister?

A: My goodness, they will give me any ministry I ask for.

Woman with Buddha tattoo abused on Facebook

November 17th, 2017

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The British woman who was deported from Sri Lanka for having a tattoo of Buddha on her arm said she had to leave Facebook after being abused by extremists, the BBC reported today.

The 41-year-old Naomi Coleman from Coventry won compensation on Wednesday after being detained in the country for four days, in April 2014.

Ms Coleman, a Buddhist herself, said she will not return to Sri Lanka.

Following her deportation, she says she received online messages telling her she should die and burn in hell.

“I have never experienced anything like this with Buddhism. They mostly seemed to be sent from Buddhist extremists in Sri Lanka. They were writing that I should die and burn in hell. I came completely off Facebook for a few weeks and have now changed my name on social media. To me, this is not the Buddhist way. Buddhism is about compassion and understanding,”she said.

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court said Ms. Coleman’s treatment while she was in custody was “scandalous and horrifying” and awarded her compensation of 800,000 Sri Lankan rupees – about £4,000.

It said there was “no legal basis” for her arrest and she had been subject to “degrading treatment” by some officers and a prison guard.

Ms Coleman, who has been a Buddhist for about 10 years, has travelled widely and continues to go to retreats in Thailand and Nepal.

She said she was “overwhelmed” by the ruling but would not be returning to Sri Lanka.

“It’s a shame – it’s a beautiful country and most of the people are very welcoming. However, it seems there is a small percentage of people who want to cause trouble for me. I’m not sure if it’s because I am a woman travelling alone. But, at the moment, I wouldn’t feel safe going back,” she said.

Hiru TV Paththare Wisthare EP 1928 | 2017-11-17

November 17th, 2017

 

Sri Lankan Army Peacekeepers

November 17th, 2017

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 Canada

15 November 2017

Michael Cooke, The Editor
Toronto Star
1 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario
MSE 1E6

Dear Editor:

Having returned from abroad after an absence of just over two weeks, I have just read your article Sri Lanka’s military aren’t ready to be peacekeepers” which was published in your Toronto Star on 3rd November 2017.  That was Hogwash!

It happens that you had reported the words spoken by the Member of Parliament

Gary Anandasangaree (GA), who I gather,  happens to be  a Tamil from Sri Lanka.

So we are now on to Part 2 of the ‘Canadian Parliament’s  Tamil Tiger Blarney Gong Show’. The first one happened on the evening of February 4, 2009, when an all party Emergency Debate on Sri Lanka  happened in the Parliamentary Chambers called by the late leader of the NDP, Jack Layton.  It was a stupid Tamil vote soliciting Ha! Ha!!  Sri Lanka bashing exercise, as they were going after the Tamil Tiger terrorists who were on the run before they we annihilated militarily on May 19th on the shores of the Nandikadal lagoon along the east coast.

Of all  the Sri Lankan Tamils residing in  the Greater Toronto Area, it would be Gary A, a lawyer and a political activist, who would know best that eradicating the ruthless Tamil Tiger terrorists by the Sri Lankan Army, brought Peace to that beautiful island nation that Gary A and I come from.  The Sri Lankan Army knows best what Peace is, and they know how to achieve it too, having got it for the island peoples after a 27-year long war with the separatist Tamil Tiger terrorists who hemorrhaged. that island nation with their heavy armoury, truck bombs, suicide bombers, claymore mines and over 1.5 million buried land-mines

GA knows best that annihilating the Tamil Tiger terrorists by the Sri Lankan Army gave back the right-to-life to 21 million peoples, his and mine, which was hijacked by the Tamil Tiger terrorists for 27 bloodying years,   What more credentials does GA  honestly want to say that the Sri Lankan Army is ready for Peacekeeping.

Here are three more valid credentials of the Sri Lankan Army to prove to you, Editor, that the Sri Lankan Army is ready to take over the responsibility of Peacekeeping.  They have proved to the world, that they are the best Army that was, is and will be in the future to accept the role of peacekeeping,  and Member of Parliament Gary Anandasangaree was absolutely wrong, wrong and wrong with his unfortunate comment about the Sri Lankan Army.

GA knows pretty well, that it was the Sri Lankan Army who rescued 295,873 Tamil civilians from the clutches of the ruthless Tamil Tiger terrorists by the end of the war, who were used as a human shield.  They were herded from the west coast to the east coast like unwashed cattle under the scorching Jaffna sun for three months.  And who rescued them may I ask?  It were the Sri Lankan Army, an act of peace building by saving innocent Tamil lives from the  flying Tamil Tiger bullets and feeding them to sustain their starving lives.

GA also knows  very well how the Sri Lankan soldiers carried the Tamil GrandMums and GrandDads in their arms like babies and ran them to safety dodging the Tamil Tiger bullets.  An act of valour and courage risking their own lives to save Tamil lives and keeping Peace.

GA also knows that it were the Sri Lankan Army soldiers who joined the local Sinhalese to cook a million hearty meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day to sustain the lives of the 295,873 rescued Tamils  housed in temporary shelters.  If these acts by the Sri Lankan Army navigating the suicidal path  of flying-bullets and claymore mines detonating conflict, to life saving peace, I am not sure what it is then.  I am not quite sure what this Member of Parliament is griping about.

All these acts by the Sri Lankan Army is  proof-positive that they are Masters of providing security, and the political and peace building support to countries to make the  difficult early transitions from conflict to Peace and Peacekeeping.

I have proved positive that this member of  Parliament’s statement of ‘Sri Lanka’s military aren’t ready to be peacekeepers’ is a bunch of baloney hanging from a  delicatessen stall in the Byward Market.  I have no difficulty to dismiss this statement as poppycock without any more consideration.

As for the response from Sri Lanka’s High Commissioner in Canada, Ahmed Jawad, it is sound, honest and foolproof.   He is a career diplomat and not a lackey of Sri Lanka’s President nor the Prime Minister, which would have made his thesis suspect.   It would be difficult for the Member of Parliament to pick holes in it.  I hope he would use it as a learning  curve on  the subject

As a concluding remark, I hope and wish that your Editorial Board would consider rebooting your policy on Sri Lanka and stop providing ink for such negative and malicious Statements on Sri Lanka.  It is time that the Toronto Star graduate to a higher level in journalism and provide your readers a balanced account on issues on Sri Lankan -Tamil separatism as fed by its sympathizers of this Eelam movement.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe

Cc.  Sri Lanka High Commissioner, Ahmed Jawad

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND YAHAPALANA Part 4

November 17th, 2017

KAMALIKA PIERIS

Yahapalana eagerly compared its foreign policy with that of former President Rajapaksa. ‘During the last regime the Lankan mouse from its peephole was roaring at India Instead of fostering relations with India’, said Don Manu. India slammed the door in their face, similarly America, England, France, Germany and the rest of the powerful western world. Due to its anti Indian and anti west stance the island had no friend in the world except the       region’s superpower aspirant China, continued Don Manu. Lanka isolated and alone, with no friends, turned to China and gave it access to areas of strategic value. Rajapakse turned to China not because of a good foreign policy but because political survival depended on it, concluded Don Manu.

Foreign relations have been re-balanced from a ‘China weighted’ one, to one that has restored relations with India and the West, said Yahapalana. Under Rajapakse there was too much reliance on China, ignoring traditional friends like US, Europe and India. Now old friendships are restored and there is less reliance on China, said Razeen Sally.  Unlike the previous regime, the current regime has sought to balance its policy between India and China, giving India a stake in Hambantota airport, Colombo port project and a key expressway, besides preventing Chinese submarines in Sri Lankan waters , observed India’s Foreign secretary, S. Jaishankar.

Unfortunately, neither India nor America have a good public image in Sri Lanka today. The public see modern India as the enemy. Direct Indian involvement in operating Sri Lanka’s second international airport  at Mattala would be 100 times more dangerous than leasing Hambantota port to China said one critic. US is no longer considered a rich, happy, perfect country after the California forest fires and the shootings at Las Vegas and Texas.

Sri Lanka must learn to balance international relations, Sri Lanka cannot become a military facility of any one country,  Sri Lanka can’t play one country off against another,   said Jayanath Colombage. Dayan Jayatilleke warned, ‘Sinhala fundamentalists’ count on the rise of China as a counterweight to India as well as the combined weight of India and the US. India and US are the regional superpower and the world’s sole superpower, though admittedly it is in slow, relative decline. We are an easily blockaded, small island on India’s doorstep and unlike Pakistan, we have no land route to China.

Building and balancing military relationships with India, China,  US and Japan will be crucial if Sri Lanka is to remain ‘a friend of all and an enemy of none’, warned critics. It may be best therefore for Sri Lanka to take middle ground at this moment. We are located at a meeting point between the east and west in the Indian Ocean and our location is of significant geo strategic importance, said analysts. However, no analyst has pointed out that China is a rising power, USA is a declining power. It is ridiculous for Sri Lanka to link with a declining power instead of the  rising one.

The Yahapalana tilt to US has led to a couple of   issues at the UN. Sri Lanka shocked the Arab and Islamic world by not supporting a pro Palestine, at UNESCO, said critics.  They were referring to the Occupied Palestine Resolution passed in October 2016. The resolution condemned Israel for aggression against the Palestinian people. Sri Lanka abstained.

Island ran a headline, ‘Mangala denies being US lackey.’ Mangala Samaraweera, then Foreign minister, said that Sri Lanka’s stand on the Palestine issue was that both Israel and Palestine should find a negotiated settlement and Sri Lanka had not voted against Palestine, he said. Sri Lanka abstained because Sri Lanka had reservations about the text and not because Sri Lanka had changed its mind about Palestine, explained the Ministry of Foreign affairs. India had also opted to abstain, along with many other countries. ‘We have supported Palestine’s entry as observer state to the UN. Our position on Palestine has not shifted at all’.

‘Now it has refused to vote against a resolution on Iran in UN General Assembly’, howled critics in November 2016. Iran has stood by Sri Lanka with military aid and credit lines to buy oil and carry out development projects. Iran stood by Sri Lanka in Human Rights Council.  Sri Lanka position on the vote is eagerly watched. Sri Lanka abstained in this election too.

Sri Lanka is a small nation, surrounded by much larger countries, all with economic and military power, greater than its own. It is essential that Sri Lanka maintain mutually beneficial economic and political ties with them, but Sri Lanka has to take utmost care to ensure that it does not enter in to asymmetrical agreements of long duration with a super power. The damage to national interests will be irreparable, said Anura Gunasekera.

Once entrenched, the super power will not relinquish its hold, it will only ask for more. National interest will not be a consideration in their calculations. We have to bear in mind at all times that we do not have the wherewithal, to exert economic, political or military force to evict an undesirable occupant from our soil, warned Anura Gunasekera

The main military attraction in Sri Lanka is of course, Trincomalee. Trincomalee is one of Sri Lanka most valuable assets. Trincomalee is one of the largest deep water natural harbors in the world. It consists of approximately 2000 hectares of sea and 6000 hectares of land.  The entrance is four miles wide and five across.  The inner harbor which lies to the north covers about 12 sq miles and is securely enclosed by rocks and small islets.

Trincomalee harbor is very strategically located.  Also Trincomalee is a sheltered port unaffected by seasonal weather changes and tidal waves. A remarkable feature of this harbor is its great depth. It has an average depth of 25 m, which could accommodate even mega container ships carrying over 18,000 TEUs that requires a draught of 19 meters.

It has a submarine canyon with walls as high as 1350 cms and a depth of over 3350 meters.  This canyon is one of the 20 largest submarine canyons in the world. Trincomalee is therefore   ideal for nuclear submarines.  They can dive low in the inner harbor and effectively avoid radar and sonar detection. Therefore any power that controls Trincomalee   had a great advantage from naval and strategic perspective.

This has political implications. A fleet so protected is in a position to dominate the Bay of Bengal and the eastern Indian Ocean and   the foreign power owning such a fleet was at an advantage. Currently, it has been observed that Trincomalee can comfortably accommodate the Seventh fleet of the US Navy.

US does not hide its desire to get into Trincomalee. US is working towards establishing  its bases in Trincomalee for its Seventh Fleet and was making Sri Lanka military vacate strategically important locations in the port,  said a news report of 2015.    Accordingly, Sampur navy base was vacated in 2015. The entire camp was removed and its 400 sailors sent to Boossa navy camp in Galle. The reason given was that Sampur was going to be used for resettlement.

The government has decided to allow Trincomalee to be a US base for the 7th fleet said a news report in 2016. Speculation is rife that the Trincomalee Harbor, a portion of the Colombo Port and many other key resources will go to India and the US, said Sumanasiri Liyanage in January 2017.  In May 2017 Vitarana said that an American Naval camp is to be set up in Trincomalee, with the Trincomalee harbor as the focal point. A bilateral agreement has been signed secretly to establish an American naval camp in Trincomalee.

Several international conferences on the Indian Ocean have taken place  in Colombo and elsewhere. Yahapalana is going to lead in this as well. We will continue to take a leading role, in bringing our partners in the Indian Ocean together to deliberate on issues of importance to all of us, said Prime Minister Ranil  Wickremesinghe at the opening of the 2nd Indian Ocean Conference.

Pathfinder Foundation, Carnegie India together with Vivekananda International Foundation in India conducted a conference in Colombo discuss six major areas of connectivity in the Indian Ocean.  Pathfinder Foundation ‘s Centre for Indo-Lanka Initiatives  and National Maritime Foundation  based in New Delhi, India signed a Memorandum of Understanding to embark on research into maritime strategy and security studies in the Indian Ocean. Their first bilateral conference in February 2018 will be on maritime security.

Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute of International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKI) held a dialogue on the theme ‘Sri Lanka’s Foreign Policy: Choices in a Changing World’  at this Dialogue, Mahdev Mohan, Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore, observed that Sri Lanka’s attempt to craft a dual identity as the centre of the Indian Ocean and a gateway to India would give it a competitive advantage. This was ‘a space that nobody had had the chance to exploit just yet.’

I end this series with a survey of Yahapalana utterances on the politics of the Bay of Bengal. These utterances range from the ridiculous to statements that show that Yahapalana is planning to lead Sri Lanka into war.

Sri Lanka is a small island right in the middle of a large world. For thousands of years we have benefitted from being located strategically. Unfortunately, we seem to have forgotten this competitive advantage of the location. Our vision is to reclaim that mantle of international connectivity, said Prime Minister Ranil  Wickremesinghe

The Government of Sri Lanka has a clear vision of what it wants Sri Lanka to be said Minister Harsha de Silva in January 2017, we would like to position Sri Lanka at the centre of the Indian Ocean.  Sri Lanka is going to be the Hub of the Indian Ocean said  Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in May 2017. Sri Lanka will be the Hub in the Indian Ocean announced Yahapalana in September 2017.

The notion of Sri Lanka as  a Hub is not as absurd as  I had  initially thought. Jayanath Colombage  made out the following case for Sri Lanka . Colombage  pointed out  that Sri Lanka has a  unique advantage in its geographical location.  Sri Lanka is located in the centre of the Indian Ocean, almost equal distance from the eastern and western Indian Ocean littorals. Sri Lanka is located just 12 nautical miles from the busiest east-west shipping route across this ocean, linking Europe, Americas, Far East, Middle East and Asia, which is considered a key shipping lane in the 21st century. .Further, Sri Lanka is blessed with deep-water ports and deep navigable waters around the country and especially along the approaches to major ports.. Port of Colombo is the only port in the region which is capable of docking and handling even the latest version of mega container ships.

Sri Lanka is well connected digitally to the world and possesses an advanced telecommunication network. Sri Lanka is also enjoying well connected aviation network linking major cities in the region and beyond.  Sri Lanka maintains a balanced and equi-distance diplomatic posture and is considered to be a friendly country by many countries. . Sri Lanka is the only country in this region, where all states arrive without any restrictions, be they  Indians, Chinese, Pakistanis or Americans. Sri Lanka has already taken leadership roles in the India Ocean with Indian Ocean as Zone of Peace initiative,  its role in creating SAARC and creating of UNCLOS. Sri Lanka has presently taken the initiative to discuss a Code of Conduct for Major Maritime Users in the Indian Ocean region and a new Indian Ocean Order.  

Therefore  the   ‘Hub’ possibility  is based on Sri Lanka’s strategic location as well as the availability of ports on all coasts and two international airports with good land connectivity. Colombo will also be a center for offshore finance and business, said Yahapalana . Once it becomes a Hub, Sri Lanka future  will depend on how well the country leverages its geo strategic location as an Indian Ocean hub, said analysts.

‘We don’t want the Indian Ocean to become a militarized arena for great power rivalry. We don’t see here maritime and territorial disputes like those in the South China Sea, said Frances Adamson, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. However, a maritime build up is taking place in the Indian Ocean, which includes  nuclear capability. India , USA and China are increasing their naval presence in the Indian Ocean. Very soon, countries will compete for naval power and control of the sea in the Bay of Bengal.  Naval power will play an important role in the region said analysts.

The US is interested in creating partnerships in the Indian Ocean. The U.S.-India-Japan ‘Malabar’ naval exercise in July 2017 was ‘our largest and most complex to date, involving over ten thousand personnel’ said US.  US is also interested in building the coast guard capacity of ‘our Indian Ocean partners’. US says it wants to see greater naval cooperation in the Indian Ocean. US wants to Improve community policing, aviation security, and forensics analysis in the region as well,    in order to combat terrorism, transnational crime, human trafficking and illicit drugs. There is no mention of war.  Analysts however say that US will not be fighting in the Indian Ocean, the fighting will be done on behalf of USA by its partner states.

Maritime security in the Bay of Bengal is now a matter of much concern, said analysts. No single power or coalition will be able to rule on their own in the Indian Ocean. South Asia will need to build military alliances  to effectively counter security threats. Small nations such as Sri Lanka, with comparatively limited maritime resources also can become an integral element of maritime security in the region, said Minister Harsha de Silva. Sri Lanka  should  carve out a role for itself in the region, said  admirers.

Sri Lanka is well positioned  to play a strategic role in the Indian Ocean, due  to its strategic location in the international maritime route.  Sri Lanka  is   also at the crucial entry points of the Bay of Bengal, observed analysts. ,Sri Lanka  has an important responsibility for regional security in addition to national security, announced Yahapalana   we share responsibility in keeping its waters safe said  Prime Minister Ranil  Wickremesinghe .

It was the duty of the Sri Lanka navy to protect the entire Indian Ocean region without limiting its operation to the exclusive economic zone of Sri Lanka, said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.  Critics pounced on this remark. This comment is cause for grave concern said Vitarana. Sri Lanka navy was been asked to protect the entire Indian ocean. Our navy cannot even protect us from the Indian fishermen. If Sri Lanka navy is to carry out this huge responsibility, then US ships will have to be berthed in Sri Lanka.   The US 7th fleet will come to Trincomalee.  (CONCLUDED)

Do not give Land and Police powers to the Northern Provincial Council

November 16th, 2017

Chanaka Bandarage

The current Northern Provincial Council (NPC) is a racist government. The NPC discriminates against the Sinhalese in the North.

At the moment the NPC does not have the Land and Police powers (under the 13th  Amendment, the Land and Police powers were granted to the provincial governments; but JR Jayawardane, realising the danger, effected measures to stop the final grant). At the moment the central government holds these two powers.

Even without having these two powers, the NPC discriminates against the Sinhalese hugely in the  North. It is not difficult to imagine what would happen when those powers are formally granted to the NPC  – that would be the creation of the Tamil Eelam.

LAND

  • NPC opposes Sinhalese people from living in the North. It even blocks the 2nd and 3rd generation Tamil speaking Sinhalese from returning to the North. Sri Lankan parliamentarians maintain a mum on this blatant discrimination.
  • NPC Chief Minister openly campaigns against the settlement of Sinhalese in the His actions amount to contravening local and international laws including human rights laws. The Chief Minister has single handedly stopped the establishment of Sinhalese settlements in the North . He has done this with impunity; since establishment of the NPC in 2013. A fear psychosis has been created among the Sinhalese that they should not contemplate settling down in the North. The sad irony is that the NPC, since its establishment, has received the implied consent to do so from the central governments.
  • There is hardly any land available in plenty for the growing populations of Sri Lanka to live except in the North and the East. The NPC and the central government instrumentalities (like the Tamil speaking Grama Sevakas) have imposed ‘red tape’ upon the Sinhalese from settling in the North. As it was impossible to comply with the stringent (unlawful) rules, the Sinhalese who wanted to settle in the North returned to the South (note, the North and the South have been traditional homelands of the Sinhalese).
  • NPC has a huge budget and spends lavishly on the upliftment of the Tamil citizens in the North (funds largely provided to them  by the central government), it has basically done nothing to uplift the lives of the very few Sinhalese living in the North. Lots of the Northern Sinhalese still live in half built houses or tin sheds.  The roads in the areas where they live have been neglected.  The NPC has shown no desire to attend to repairing these roads.
  • The Madu Road Sinhalese who were the first settlers of that area have been overlooked when allocating recently built shops. The Sinhalese in Silawathura have not been provided with proper drinking water (until the NGO that the writer is involved with went ahead to build wells and provide them with clean water). Kokilai Sinhalese (including the Buddhist monk) are constantly facing legal action in relation to land matters; the sinister objective is to evict them from those areas. Tamil speaking Navatkuli Sinhalese have been asked to return to the South alleging that they are illegal squatters. No attempts have been made by any government to rebuild the ‘Sinhala Maha Vidyalaya’ in Jaffna, flattened by Prabhakaran’s bombing in the early 1980s (it had over 2000 students and was considered to have one of the best school laboratories in the North). This prime land, adjoining the Jaffna Hospital, has been encroached by squatters, to a certain extent.
  • The former TNA MP Suresh Premachandran (presently the Leader of EPRLF) threatened Navatkuli Sinhalese that they must return to the South (youtube.com/watch?v=fKfrUStwIs). This is a good forewarning as to what we can expect from a future TNA or other Tamil government when they have full Land (and Police) powers in the North.
  • After the war, the Madu Road Sinhalese were given 20 perches of land by the then central government to resettle, new Tamils who were brought into the area, probably under the instigation of the NPC, to live next to them were given 40 perches of land. The Sinhalese understand that they were discriminated against on the ground of race. In Madu Road, a prime block of land belonging to the central government was acquired by a Tamil businessman to establish a new business.
  • NPC opposes and sometimes prevents the few Sinhalese Buddhists in the North from practising Buddhism. Even to build a ‘chaithya’ within their temple premises, the Sinhalese in the North had to seek orders from the Court of law. We are aware of incidents where Buddha statutes placed in public places in the North had been damaged by subversive elements.
  • Sinhalese living in the North have been denied the right to practice their livelihoods – due to this some Sinhalese left the North and returned to the South. We are aware of incidents where self-employed Sinhalese have been harassed by the NPC officials imposing unfair conditions and restrictions on their businesses (Tamils doing the same businesses have not been imposed with such unfair restrictions and conditions). A Sinhala shop owner in the North was frequently harassed by errant officials alleging he had encroached into the pavement,  other adjoining non-Sinhalese shop owners, did not even receive a warning for committing the same offence.
  • TNA runs the NPC. TNA was the LTTE proxy in the Sri Lankan parliament.
  • TNA politicians have worked to chase out Sinhalese from lands and give those land to Tamils (eg. after the war, about 100 Sinhalese were chased out from the land (up to 1000 acres) in Dehiwatte in Trincomalee district (Eastern Province) and those lands were given to new Tamil settlers. A high level public servant of the Trincomalee District Registry related that the ‘order’ to evict the Sinhalese from the lands had come from a prominent TNA parliamentarian (who is ‘venerated’ in the South).

සංහිඳියාව (Reconciliation)

NPC has shown least regard to සංහිඳියාව (reconciliation), though the Central Governments preach this non-stop to the people in the South. In the North, government work is conducted in Tamil exclusively. The Sinhalese in the North who are unable to speak Tamil find it extremely difficult to obtain services from government offices. The Jaffna Railway station had not regularly announced the arrival of the train from Colombo in Sinhala language. Huge bill board advertisements in the North (eg on A9) are being confined to Tamil and English languages only (some advertisements are displayed by banks and leading businesses housed in the South).  To a traveler to the North, it is obvious that Sinhalese signage is largely lacking. This is not the situation in the South. A Northern Sinhalese Buddhist monk related to the writer that when buses are crowded, he had to travel standing on them as no one would offer him a seat.

Future

  • Once they have the Land power, the NPC not only would be able to legally block the Southern Sinhalese from settling in the North, but also from visiting the North. The NPC may be able to impose a law that without its permission no person can enter the Northern lands, say, beyond Vavuniya. This means the Sinhalese can be asked not to enter the North.
  • The very few Sinhalese who are already in the North could be repatriated to the South.
  • Once the Land power is given, it will be easy for enemies of Sri Lanka in Thamilnadu, like Vaiiko, Nedumarann and Seman et al to set up anti-Sri Lankan establishments/institutions in the North.
  • Tamilnadu people may have easy access to enter the province. Their fishermen may freely poach on our waters.
  • As the land will be theirs, without Sri Lanka’s consent, the NPC would be able to negotiate with India and build a bridge to connect the two lands.
  • With the Land power legally granted to them, the NPC can impose more pressure on the Army to vacate its camps (note even the Leader of the Opposition in the recent past trespassed into  the Kilinochchi Army camp and demanded that the Army should vacate that land). The NPC can agitate people to conduct hartals etc demanding the military to entirely vacate from the North. Such actions can endanger the lives of the military and the Sinhalese police (if any) stationed in the North. With Land powers fully in their control,  basically the NPC will be able to do anything in relation to land – sell, transfer, lease, mortgage, donate, acquire in any way it likes – without even paying just compensation to the land owners (note, there will  be some land still vested with the central government).

POLICE

  • Historically the majority of the Policemen and Police women in the North have been Sinhalese. This is the situation even now. Once the Police powers are given, the new Northern Police Force may be comprised exclusively of Tamil speaking officers. If the NPC wants, it may be able to impose a condition that all police officers must speak Tamil fluently.  This would eliminate most Sinhalese police personnel from serving in the North.
  • The NPC police will be like a para military force, it will bear arms. As the central government will have no control over recruitment to the NP police force, ex-Tigers may be able join. After the two powers are given, if the Sri Lankan military continues to remain in the North, it is possible that confrontation may occur between the two ‘armed’ forces.
  • A Police officer from the South may not be able to enter the North without the permission from the Northern Chief Minister. If a federal Police Officer is allowed permission to enter the North, he/she could be asked to remove his/her federal uniform and wear civilian clothes.
  • As the Northern Provincial Police Commission will come under the control of the NP Chief Ministry, it will be the Chief Minister who will appoint the head of its police force, not the President.
  • It will be very difficult for the central government Police force (federal) to investigate offences committed by criminals; it will be largely the duty of the provincial government police forces (imagine, having nine separate Police forces, wearing nine different uniforms + a federal police force in this tiny Sri Lanka! – we are less than 1/3 of the population of Tamilnadu).
  • The central government Police force (federal) will become a minute Police force who will be confined to duties in federal institutions like the Airports (2), Ports (about 4 or 5), Defence installations, Federal Parliament, Foreign Ministry, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, Post Offices, SLBC/Rupavahini and the Customs etc. As the provinces are likely to get the powers currently in the concurrent list (still unsure); majority of the country’s public establishments/ buildings will be manned by the provincial police forces.
  • A person who would commit a crime in the South, like planting a bomb (eg, a future Pottu Amman), can flee to the North and stay hiding there. It will be up to the Northern Police whether or not to arrest him. The Federal Police will have to seek an ‘extradition order’ from the NP Chief Minister to receive and prosecute the person in the South. Whether or not to issue such an order will be the prerogative of the NP Chief Minister.
  • In 1991 Vartharaja Perumal (co-founder of EPRLF) used his paramilitary force like an ‘Army’ and unilaterally declared the ‘Tamil Eelam’ in Northern Sri Lanka. This led the then President Ranasinghe Premadasa to dissolve the provincial council and impose a direct rule on it. Such a scenario can recur; next time the situation would be more serious, given that NPC will have a police force in its command and under the proposed changes the Governor’s powers are likely to be severely curtailed.

TNA  has not given up on the separate state, it is foolish to think otherwise

  • When overseas, TNA politicians speak in a different language and tone – they espouse separation. There are instances where the TNA has openly stated that they do not believe in a unitary Sri Lanka. In Geneva in the past, they have lobbied for the Tamil right for self- determination (ie, separate state).
  • When overseas, TNA politicians make fabricated claims that Tamils are being discriminated in Sri Lanka, including the accusation that Tamil women are currently being raped by the military (this writer has confronted them in foreign western forums, the TNA leaders have then retracted).
  • Tamil separatists follow their leader, Chelvanayakam’ s teaching – ‘little now, more later’ (please refer to my earlier article ‘Tamil demand for unfair and unreasonable power – due to Sinhala stupidity, complacency, ignorance and infighting).’
  • NPC has openly indicated that they are not afraid to breach the country’s Constitution. That is why they have shown a desire to seek foreign aid and direct foreign participation (by passing the central government) to build the NP. According to the Constitution the NPC does not have the Foreign Affairs powers, it is vested with the central government.
  • TNA, though leads the opposition in the current parliament shows little regard to issues relating to the whole of Sri Lanka. They are predominantly focused on Tamil rights. This should not be the behaviour of a responsible opposition.
  • It is likely that the parliament will give 2/3 majority to further amend the Constitution (among other things to grant the Land and Police powers to all the nine provinces). Afterwards like JR Jayawardane did in 1987, sanction may be obtained from the Supreme Court  to the proposals (subject to the Supreme Court’s approval). If the matter is referred to the People at a Referendum, it is likely that the proposals would fail. Whatever the outcome of the Referendum,  TNA will use the results to show that in the North and the East they received a majority vote which shows that those people support the proposals. Based on the Referendum results, the NP Chief Minister may call for an UDI (unilateral declaration of independence). Given that the West (US and the European Union) and India are now in good terms with Sri Lanka, it is interesting to note whether or not they would accept the call or stick its loyalty with Sri Lanka. Whatever the situation, it is quite probable that a Tamil Eelam would be dawned one day as a new nation within Sri Lanka (Kosovo was accepted in that manner). The only way to defeat this is to have Sinhalese and Muslim people settled in the North (this is also the solution to the country’s land scarcity in order for people to live comfortably), and try to preserve as many as possible Army camps there.

Our weak fight thus far against the proposed amendments to the Constitution  (six subcommittee reports and the interim report)

Our fight has largely been confined to the below mentioned misguided areas (in bullet points). When the masses realise that these fears that we try to portray  are actually not there, they may consent to the new proposals (at the moment there is lukewarm interest in the South about the Constitutional debate):

  • That the prominence currently being given in the Constitution to Buddhism may be removed. It is quite evident that the proponents of the proposals are not stupid to remove this prominence already given in Chapter II, Article 9 of the Constitution. Even the Cardinal of the Catholic Church has stated that that should not be done.
  • We fight tooth and nail whether it will be ‘orumiththa nadu’ or ‘Otriyatchi’. In this debate does it really matter?  Surely, this should not be the key issue of the debate.
  • We continue to argue that the proponents of the proposals are trying to convert the country into a federal state (even the proponents have sometimes stated that federalism would be the outcome!). It was the Banda-Chelva pact in 1957 that first tried to create a federal state in Sri Lanka.  In the mid 1990s the country attempted to do this again. But, in 1987 we in fact became a federal state (created by the 13th Amendment in 1987). Therefore, rather than making the shallow argument that the country will become a federal state as a result of the current proposals ; we must  demonstrate that they may lead to a much more sinister end – secession.  We have failed to understand that many ordinary Sri Lankans now believe that it is alright to grant federal status to the provinces, believing that the country will still remain a single nation.  There is justification to this belief. They know that countries that have federal governments such as Canada, Australia, India, France, Mexico, Brazil, Germany have remained a one nation. What we must also stress is that unlike those countries, in Sri Lanka, we deal with Tamil politicians most of who have the hidden agenda to create a separate state – Tamil Eelam.
  • What we must do is to highlight the real damage these proposals might do to the country. Giving the Land and the Police powers to the NPC, the federal (central) government giving up its concurrent list powers are the most dangerous and scary proposals. They are changes that can lead us to lose our sovereignty and territorial integrity. Unfortunately, in our fight thus far, we have given less deference to them.
  • Finally, the populace must be educated about the grave danger  that we will face if these powers are given to the NPC. To overcome the problem, we must all work together. Like our other problems, if we continue to  look at them as a UNP/SLFP/JA issue,  we would never win. What we ought to understand is that this is a National problem; we must disregard our party affinities and all of us must work as united Sri Lankans to defeat the threat we now face to our sovereignty and territorial integrity.
  • This time, once we lose sovereignty and territorial integrity, it will be permanent. It will be impossible to regain them. Again, that is why  we must fight with full force and vigour to defeat the adverse proposals.

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