Fernando duo’s speeches organized by Lionel Bopage & his cohorts of PHRRE
Posted on April 2nd, 2012

Asoka

Friends,

This event staged at Room4, of the Rotunda at Monash University, Clayton, on Sunday 25 March 2012 was given wide publicity, as usual, and as expected, by Australia wide SBS Sinhala Program and 3ZZZ Sinhala program in Melbourne.  Everyone knew that it will be well publicized among the Tiger circles and largely attended by their sympathizers.  As such, at first, I didn’t want to go, but later I changed my mind as I realized that at least a few white Aussies may attend, because it was held at Monash and they could think that it was an intellectual discourse and get somewhat brain-washed.

Since then, I got many calls from those who didn’t attend but wanted to know what happened.  They had heard from third parties that I questioned the speakers and wanted to know the details.  Even today, I received three such calls.  Still settling down after moving from NSW to Victoria and preparing to be away from home for a month, in a few hours time, I was too busy to repeat my account to everyone who is interested.  So, I told them that I would write up a short account and email.  But only tonight I managed to find a bit of time to write, just because I wanted to honor my word.  Here it is:

The keynote speakers were Basil Fernando and Britto Fernando.  The convener, or the master of the circus, was none other than Lionel Bopage of the so called PHREE, an organ which erects from time to time only to shout for the LTTE.  The total number of attendees were approximately 90 people, most from our Tamil community, who applauded the statements made by the two speakers.  The Fernandos, by their own account, are “activists for human rights” and belong to several NGO’s funded by whom we don’t know.

In my own opinion, correct me if I am wrong, Basil is an old lawyer, whose pass by date is long gone and had been asked to retire a long time ago by the foreign masters who had hired him to do work in Kambodia and Hong Kong.  So, to continue his earnings, he would have set up these other NGO’s and with the help of his masters, he would have been successful in peddling their messages in Sri Lanka and worldwide.  As for Britto, my opinion is not much different, except that he is more of an agent of the Mafia section of the Catholic Church; Please don’t get me wrong, there are so many patriotic Sri Lankan Catholics who have, I am told, started a fight to open up the eyes of the Sri Lankan church.  (By the way, Britto was allowed to disseminate his propaganda in a long interview  by Asia Pacific of the ABC Radio a day or two after the PHREE meeting.)

Both speakers bashed the Sri Lankan goverment left and right, above and below the belt.  They were constantly heckled by a few Sri Lankans who couldn’t stomach the lies any more.  The LTTE thugs responded in kind and it came almost to fisticuffs. But the seven odd whites who were present resented the disruptions and some of them stood up and pleaded with the hecklers to let the speakers speak and then air their own opinions.  Well, with difficulty and with patience I listened to the litanies of lies, half lies and half truths for more than two hours, just waiting for the question time.

When the question time finally came, I raised my hand first and was fortunately allowed to ask the first question, and because I was seated in the last row was asked to come to the lectern.  I went there and asked everyone to allow me to ask my question without disruptions and allow the speakers to respond.  Then, as far as I can remember accurately, this is what I said:

“Brothers and sisters, friends,  I listened to the two speakers very attentively and would somewhat agree with them that Sri Lanka is not a five star democracy, just like any other developing country.  But there are reasons for that.  I would also agree with Basil, that the human rights record of Sri Lanka started deteriorating in 1971 and continued for more than 30 years.  We should ask why.  Any result has a cause.  The start of this deterioration of human rights was due to the atrocities committed by the murderous JVP, led by people such as this convener (I turned towards the chair, pointing to Bopage), Mr Lionel Bopage, who was convicted as a criminal and jailed by the Criminal Justice Commission of Sri Lanka.  Then the record became worse, by necessity, due to the unforgivable atrocities committed by the world’s worst known terrorists, the LTTE for 30 years.

But I am amazed that neither of these two speakers spoke a single word about those horrible human rights abuses, the crimes of the murderous JVP and the terrrorist LTTE.

My short question is “WHY?”.

After I walked back to my seat, Basil responded, with something like this: “Well, we didn’t want to speak about the terrorist LTTE because they were not the government which is what we would like to be accountable.”

I was somewhat happy, because I managed, finally, to extract the words “terrorist LTTE” from the ugly lips of Basil after more than two hours. All this time, none of the speakers used the adjective “terrorist” for the world’s worst known terrorists, probably because the LTTE are their paymasters.

Dasarath Jayasuriya also managed to get a question through.  He spoke from his seat so eloquently and forcefully  about the inaccuracies of the two speeches that the LTTE rump tried to interrupt his  comments several times.

I don’t know the identities of the two or three other patriots who questioned the speakers.

Well, that’s all I can remember, and don’t ask for more as I will be away for a month.

Regards,

Asoka

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