Proud Sri Lankans – Buy Sri Lankan – Be Sri Lankan
Posted on November 26th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

The importance of culture, values, traditions, customs are all integrated into how a country’s identity is identified. It is this identity that gets passed down from generation to generation continued to preserve and protect what is held precious to the natives whose identity becomes a key part of who they are and what their country stands for. No country or countrymen should barter that identity or compromise upon it.

Placing the countries and people of the world into a global village has created a global economy giving windows of opportunity for manufacture, distribution, import and export of both goods and services. Disparities apart clothes stitched by locals are found in some of the world’s top up-market stores proudly displaying ‘made in Sri Lanka’. Of course the price these items are sold for is nowhere near that which the garment worker takes home in terms of salary but nonetheless these have been opportunities for employment.

In the open economy to which we all have become part and parcel, every item we buy has sometimes gone straight from our shores and returned as an imported good and we end up paying a heap of taxes, at other times despite what can easily be sourced locally the options available on counters are often priced in order to unfairly discriminate the local producer.

How many have noticed pricing in supermarkets? Onions ” local against imported are often priced so that the local price of onions is often more than the imported, the same applies to potatoes and now to fruits like watermelon and even mangoes. Much as people want to help the local farmers the price factor plays an envious role in deciding the ultimate choice and it is always the importer that wins the day. Though counters that are decorated with imported biscuits with fancy labels to attract the consumers has not thankfully deterred the locals who have remained loyal to the key brands that are keeping the flag flying. They have even secured foreign market opportunities as well. There are many amongst us however who feel it below their status to patronize local products and even rice, butter and milk has to be nothing but foreign as their digestive systems would not hear of buying or eating anything local. There are some ready to ensure local items are always below quality standards using scheming methods too.

It is not just the food with pricing that unfairly hits the local producers even state stalls tasked with promoting local handicrafts and products have priced items to limit purchase only to foreign tourists keeping an entire segment of local society left out of the marketing strategy. There is a limit to what a tourist can buy determined primarily because of the weight factor associated with travel, therefore should these state entities pricing local handicraft items (which they purchase from the local producers for a song) not price these items in a range that would entice even locals to purchase the items and adorn their homes with what can be proud Sri Lankan handicraft items?

As a nation what we have failed to of late nurture is the love for the nation, a feeling that has to come automatically and from the heart. To nurture this feeling the education curriculum plays an integral role and until and unless the authorities have a very clear notion that Sri Lanka’s history began before the arrival of the colonials and not afterwards the pride in our culture and heritage will be hanging in limbo ” we would be a nation belonging neither here nor there because a big part of the history is being purposely left out since it meets the agendas of a handful of people trying to project the nation as being what it is certainly not. Simply because a handful have a foot here and another there, the entire nation does not have to necessarily follow.

We have come to endorse customs and practices which are not heritage and in so doing we are committing to high degrees of value-blunders seen in the rise in lack of values and disciplines from child to adult. The rat-race to compete has left families in disarray and we have come to a stage where it is good to start from scratch, return to fundamentals not pretending to be what we are not but to synergize with our heritage and our former customs and values coming down from a time-tested past that no one can challenge for its record of compassion and high moral ground.

A cynic’s quick response would be to ask that all locals return to native attire totally misunderstanding the argument being made. Its not a question of all that is foreign is wrong but to realize the need to not compromise all that is local when these have more values than what we are importing. Simply to adopt all that is foreign closing the door to what we have been gifted naturally would be immoral and lead to an immoral legacy which we can witness in examples around us.

We need to think Sri Lankan and be proud Sri Lankans and that must first place our own people on a pedestal above others. We need to nurture our own products, manufacture our own instead of continuing the dependency for imported goods or we are only killing the livelihoods of people toiling their hearts out trying to give to us something local. It is time we appreciate what we produce though much of what we are producing has also become prey to another set of people finding ways to make money by inducing the artificial growth of these items with artificial boosters that leave consumers plagued with various illnesses that are seeing a rise and manifold of illnesses impossible to even diagnose unnecessarily eating into the purses to make the health sector profitable. It’s a vicious circle.

It is not hard to envisage that it is those that attempt to crush our heritage, our past and our former values who form the blocks of people and groups responsible for and always inviting everything foreign ” imports, intervention, interference and the like.

With the end of terror ” it is now time we put the pride back into our country by being Proud Sri Lankans ” being Sri Lankan and valuing what is ours.

To be Sri Lankan we need to first identify our history and take pride in it and not the history of identities that are foreign to our heritage ” herein lies the confusion which now needs to be cleared once and for all.

21 Responses to “Proud Sri Lankans – Buy Sri Lankan – Be Sri Lankan”

  1. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    WHY DO WE HAVE TO IMPORT WATER MELON MANGOES ETC? MOST OF THE FRUITS AND AGRICULTURAL PRODUCE THAT CAN BE GROWN HERE, SHOUL NOT ALLOWED TO BE IMPORTED. THE IMPORTS ARE ALWAYS FROM INDIA. ALL THE MONEY SENT OUT ON IMPORTS CAN BE GIVEN TO FARMERS AND AGRICULTURISTS TO PROCE HERE.
    I THINK THE ARMY SHOULD TAKE TO FULL TIME AGRICULTURE, ALL OVER THE ISLAND, AS A GREAT PEACE TIME EFFORT, TO KEEP THEM OCCUPIED, AND ALSO HELP SRI LANKA TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT IN MANY WAYS.

    THE MINISTER OF AGRICULTURE MUST MAKE THE FIRST MOVE.

    PLEASE, DOT LEAVE EVERYTHING FOR THE PRESIDENT. THE MINISTERS MUST PUT IN THEIR EFFORT, PERIOD.

  2. Mr. Bernard Wijeyasingha Says:

    Reading the article and the Comment by Susantha Wijesinghe I suggest that Sri Lankans especially in cities and towns are taught how to grow a vegetable patch in their gardens and lacking a garden then in pots. Taking a Que from Susantha some of the money used to import these products be used to create a channel on TV that teaches the steps needed to grow almost all the plants mentioned and how to take care of them without the use of pesticides of herbicides,

    Sri Lanka’s soil is rich no matter what part of the island and the nation is blessed with plenty of sunlight and a fair climate to grow these vegetable year round. In addition fruit trees should be taken up by the government where they should be planted in every village in order to increase the amount of available fruits and other foods that are freely available to the population. There is a book titled “Crucible of Decline” (Amazon.books) that deals with the collapse of the US and the US dollar. In that book there are chapters that deal with Sri Lanka as a rising power on the Global scene. It even pokes fun at the Tamil Tigers.

  3. Lorenzo Says:

    Alfred Duraiappa-2 killing yesterday!

    Delft PS chairman from pro-govt EPDP killed yesterday by LTTE/TNA in a repetition of 1975 killing of Alfred Duraiappa.

    He strongly OPPOSED Mahabooru Day celebrations in Delft island. So he was killed.

    This is the beginning of the new LTTE/TNA.

    ULESS these terrorists are KILLED in large numbers NOW, this cancer will again grow into a big one.

  4. mario_perera Says:

    Delft PS chairman from pro-govt EPDP killed yesterday by LTTE/TNA in a repetition of 1975 killing of Alfred Duraiappa.

    The signs are unmistakable and ominous. The killing machine has begun grinding again.

    To adapt a Catholic hymn:

    Yes, Ealam is the prize that all Tamils must strive to gain
    One glimpse of that paradise
    And hope will conquer pain.

    Tis Ealam, Tis Ealam Tis Ealam that is the prize.

    Sritharan’s speech in Parliament coinciding with this killing indicates the mind behind the hand that perpetrated the ghastly
    deed.

    The cycle has begun anew.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  5. Nanda Says:

    Years of development, roads , railways will be destroyed in days. Tourism will soon be over. Packer will pack up and go home.
    Wake up Maha Ranee ! Wipe out terrorism now from Delft and Battaramulla.

  6. mario_perera Says:

    And now Sambandan has popped up with a statement that Sitharan’s declaration was his personal view point and not that of the TNA!

    What is all this nonsense about? What is the TNA other than the sum total of its members. Each and everyone can make statements identical with that of Sritharan, and Sambandan or Viggi will appear and say they were all personal opinion and not the stand of the TNA.

    This is nothing but history repeating itself. We have seen such attempts at covering up before. When a TNA makes a statement in Parliament it must be deemed to be the stand of the TNA as a whole. It was in Parliament and it was not contradicted in that place and at that time. It is the statement in parliament that will make the news, and not the retarded explanation of the old fool, Sambandan.

    Terror is once again rearing its head for sure.

    Mario Perera
    Kadawata

  7. mjaya Says:

    At least now lets hope our imbeciles understand that there is a real danger.

    Unfortunately it will be too late for the Delft PS Chairman.

    People have been warning about this for ages, unfortunate the Chairman had to pay the price with his life for not listening. How many more will have to die before action is taken?

    Lorenzo: Noticed the latest action in Angola??? Now that’s having guts to do something!!!

  8. Lorenzo Says:

    Mjaya,

    Angola has BANNED mosques and the spread of Islam. Obviously a BOLD decision future generations will LOVE.

    Our fools NEVER learn.

    Other 2 Buddhist countries Thailand and Burma suffers from Islamic terrorism already. EVERYDAY Buddhists are killed there by ISLAMICS. SOON it will spread to SL too. But our fools NEVER learn!

  9. Fran Diaz Says:

    Lankans are capable of producing quality goods. Yes, please do buy Lankan whenever possible. This problem with locally produced good beset all countries where the free market operates.

    ————-

    The Northern small islands are big trouble for Sri Lanka, one way or another. Their proximity to Tamil Nadu is the cause. Pity that the Tsunami did not remove all those islands from Jaffna to Mannar included – it would have brought more peace to Lanka.

    The TNA must know how to lead Tamil people to peaceful co-existence, or depart. Activate the 6-A now.

  10. Lorenzo Says:

    Agree with Fran.

  11. Lorenzo Says:

    ALL the IMPORTERS of cheap goods MAINLY from Tamil Nadu to compete against our local produce are TAMILS.

    Just walk in Pettah streets and you will know what I mean.

    By that they achieve 4 targets.

    1. SCREWW UP SL’s foreign reserves.
    2. BUST local industries.
    3. EARN billions.
    4. GIVE billions to TN businesses.

    1983 BUSTED them and gave a MASSIVE BOOST to SL local industries. All these Tamil import businesses in Colombo were razed to the ground. AFTER 1977 they started importing like a dishrea affected dog shittting. IF allowed to continue they would have INDEBTED SL so much that SL could NOT have imported weapons!!

    But within years they were back and our local industries collapsed AGAIN.

    e.g. DASA GROUP did well from 1983 to 1987. But collapsed again.
    e.g. Hardware Corporation did very well from 1983 to 1987 but collapsed again.

  12. Lorenzo Says:

    CAPITAL goods importers from Endia (vehicles) and importers of oil and gas from Endia are NOT Tamilians from Pettah.

    We have to import oil.

    We have to have a GREAT WALL PLANT in Hambantottai to produce vehicles.

  13. Lorenzo Says:

    In Pettah you get MANY Tamilian RICE import joints. They DOMINATE rice imports. Our farmers are f***** up because they can’t compete on price.

    In 1983 they were burnt down. BAD BAD BAD!! NO supporting riots.

    BUT look at the IMPACT objectively.

    Rice imports REDUCED drastically (because the importers were busted, warehouses BURNT, lorries burnt, some of them killed too). PLease check INDEXMUNDI for SL rice imports.

    1983 – 150,000 MT (LOWEST after independence!!!)
    1984 – 81,000 MT (LOWEST after independence!!!)
    1985 on wards – imports recovered.

    Then check LOCAL produce.

    1983 – HIGHEST after independence!!!

    When farmers get a HIGH PRICE (as imports cannot compete with them) they produce MORE despite disturbances and war!!!.

    Same with chillies, potatoes, etc.

    But by 1986 they collapsed again because the importers had established AGAIN.

    The point is NOT violence but peacefully (or otherwise) BUST TAMIL NADU importers in SL if you want to save the SL economy and give a good life to farmers.

    Why now? Because as I said before Colombo Tamil businessmen have started giving BILLIONS to TNA/LTTE in this Mahabooru week. It is the money they earned by KILLING our farmers and local produce.

  14. Lorenzo Says:

    Also read the island defence part TODAY.

    (I said it yesterday).

    Now TNA going to Australia to collect money after the HUGE success in Colombo which earned BILLIONS already. Australia has NOT banned LTTE unlike Canada.

  15. Ananda-USA Says:

    As we had PREDICTED, CM Vigneswaran goes full blast on the Eelam Project.

    Now, he claims Jurisdiction over GOSL High Security Zones, and the TNA celebrates “Heroes Day” in style!

    The GOSL begins to REAP what it SOWED when it allowed the Northern Provincial Council to fall into the hands of AVOWED Separatists!

    These ACTIVE PROVOCATIONS will INCREASE in number of events and in intensity, until the Norther Province is in Full Insurrection against the GOSL!

    It is not by accident that the students of Jaffna University describe it as “resurgence”, IT IS IN FACT the first steps towards resumption of the violent struggle of the late unlamented SunGod to create a Tamils-only Racist Apartheid Eelam!

    NOW the GOSL has the necessary PROOF that both Wigneswaran and the TNA dominated Nprthern PC is Anti-National and is DEDICATED to the destruction of Sri Lanka as a UNITARY Nation.

    NOW,

    1. REPEAL the 13th Amendment to the Constitution

    2. DISSOLVE ALL Provincial Councils and replace with Districts administered by Government Agents. DISMISS Wigneswaran as CM for DUE CAUSE!

    3. INCREASE the Military’s presence in the NORTH & EAST; PERMANENTLY settle them and their families there.

    4. CREATE Navy & Coast Guard bases all along the COASTLINE within eyesight of each other to protect the nation’s marine resources, and to prevent human/terrorist ans weapons smuggling, and influx of illegal drugs and goods that will fund terrorism.

    5. REDUCE Indian involvement in ALL areas of Sri Lanka’s internal affairs: Military, Economic, Diplomatic, Political, Reconstruction & Rehabilitation of the North & East. DO it FAST; DO it NOW!

    DO NOT allow the Evil Plotters of the Eelamist Diaspora, the TNA, Tamil Nadu and India, and jaundiced Westerners plying their own vote bank politics and Anti-China global agendas succeed!

    What MORE does the GOSL need to see …. Blood flowing in the Streets, AGAIN?? STOP playing the harp while flames are fanned into a raging fire in Sri Lanka!

    ACT FAST, ACT NOW …. do not let them GROW in strength and RESURRECT the SunGod’s EELAM!

    ………………………………

    North CM on War Path With Sri Lankan Government

    By P K Balachandran – COLOMBO
    NewIndianExpress.ccom

    After a month of cooperation with the Mahinda Rajapaksa government, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province, C V Wigneswaran, has switched to confrontation.

    On Thursday, Wigneswaran tried to inspect the Hindu temples and houses allegedly damaged by the Sri Lankan army in the Weligamam North High Security Zone (HSZ) knowing full well that no one could enter the HSZ without prior permission. When Lankan troops told him that he ought to get prior permission from the Ministry of Defence in Colombo, Wigneswaran argued that, as CM, he had the right to visit any part of his province and that he was accompanied in this case by the priests of the damaged temples. But the troops would not budge.

    On Wednesday, Wigneswaran and his Tamil National Alliance (TNA) observed the LTTE’s Great Heroes’ Day (Maaveerar Naal) defying the army’s warning that anyone observing the day dedicated to the dead of the terrorist LTTE, would be arrested. While Wigneswaran and his colleagues planted samplings symbolizing “renewal”, the students of Jaffna University lit torches symbolizing “resurgence”. The common people lit lamps in their houses.

    On Monday and Tuesday, leaflets saying: “We will commemorate those who laid down their lives for freedom. We will remember them till the last breath,” were distributed at the main bus stand in Jaffna. For the first time after the 2006-2009 war, a Tamil MP praised Prabhakaran in Parliament. TNA MP S Sritharan had hailed him as a “hero”, drawing the ire of the Treasury Benches.

    Earlier, Chief Minister Wigneswaran refused to co-chair two District Development Council meetings, as the Chair was a pro-government rival, Central minister Douglas Devananda.

    Wigneswaran had also declared that he would not implement the “Mahinda Chinthanaya” which every Lankan government department is expected to implement.

    In Colombo on Thursday, TNA’s chief R Sampanthan reiterated his party’s resolve not to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on constitutional reforms. Sampanthan said the Tamils were not ready for another rigmarole but expected the government to talk to the TNA to thrash out a political settlement of the ethnic question.

  16. Ananda-USA Says:

    “Minister” Sanath Jayasuriya is a CONGENITAL IDIOT if he believes that India is STILL a FRIEND of Sri Lanka!

    Now, India “won’t rest until 13A is Fully Implemented” …. to its satisfaction!!

    GOSL, KICK India out of Sri Lankan affairs NOW!

    Start ADVOCATING self-determination for Kashmiris …. NOW. Let us see how Inda likes its own bitter medicine poured into its own mouth!!

    …………….
    India won’t rest till implementation of 13th amendment: PC

    Business-Standard.com
    November 30, 2013

    India today asserted that it would not rest till the Sri Lanka implemented the 13th amendment and insisted on an “elaborate, independent and genuine probe” acceptable to the international community into the ‘genocide’ by that government during 2009 civil war.

    “There are attempts being made there for not implementing the 13th amendment in the Sri Lankan Constitution. Efforts are being made to dilute many provisions by the Rajapaksa government. TNA (Tamil National Alliance) is opposing it… the 13th amendment cannot be diluted. India has been and will continue to insist for its implementation,” Finance Minister and senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said.

    Addressing a party meeting to explain the government’s stand on the Lankan Tamils issue here, he said LTTE chief V Prabakaran and thousand others would have survived if the LTTE and Lankan government had heeded India’s words.

    “None can deny that there was genocide. We will continue to exert pressure on the Sri Lankan government for an elaborate probe. I call upon the people of India, including Tamils here to support the government’s efforts to protect the 13th amendment, while Lankan government is trying to not implement it,” he said.

    Referring to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision to stay away from the Commonwealth summit in Colombo earlier this month, he said it was a “shock treatment” to Lankan President Rajapaksa.

    He accused the Lankan government of not following up on the functions of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Committee and not punishing the guilty in the genocide, despite having constituted it.

    India has been consistently insisting for implementation of 13th amendment. “It is only because of India, countries are aware of the developments in Sri Lanka and that’s how Canada decided to boycott the Commonwealth summit,” he said.

    Referring to an invite extended by C V Wigneswaran, the Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Northern Province to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he said, “The invite is still open. There are chances that our Prime Minister will go to Jaffna and hold talks with him. If he visits Jaffna, it would amount to a visit to Lanka. There are chances that Lankan President Rajapaksa would change his mind.”

    Contending that is not an “easy task” to fight for minority rights in another sovereign country, which is also a neighbour, he asked “Are we saying it is right to fight for a separate land for Mizos or in Kashmir or in Manipur.

  17. Ananda-USA Says:

    Sanath Jayasuriya is a FOOL if he thinks INdia is a fiiend of Sri Lanka. He should stop trying to score points with Indias on these matters.

    ………………………
    India always a good friend of Sri Lanka, no rift over CHOGM – Minister

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 30, Colombo: India is always a good friend of Sri Lanka and there is no rift in the relationship between the two neighbors over Indian Prime Minister’s non-participation in the recently held Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Colombo, a minister of the Sri Lankan government said.

    Sanath Jayasuriya, former legendary cricketer and current Deputy Minister of Sri Lanka’s Postal Services, Saturday ruled out any dents in the relationship between the two countries over the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s decision not to attend the Commonwealth Summit due to the pressure from Tamil political parties in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

    “India has always been a good friend of Lanka. The decision to send whom to an international meet is the individual choice of that particular nation,” he told Indian media.

    Jayasuriya, who arrived in Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala state of India to attend a cricket tournament as the chief guest pointed out that the Indian PM also did not participate in the CHOGM 2011 in Perth.

    “If my knowledge is correct, the Indian Prime Minister did not participate in the CHOGM held in Perth also,” he told reporters.

    Responding to media queries, the former cricket captain said there is no need for anyone to ask for an international probe to address the accountability issues during the last phase of Sri Lanka’s conflict since Sri Lanka has its own process.

    “There is no need for any international probe because as a sovereign, independent country, we have our own law and judicial system and the process of law is going on,” Jayasuriya said rejecting the British Prime Minister David Cameron’s call for an international probe if the Sri Lankan government failed to address the allegations of human right violations by March 2014.

    Praising the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, the Deputy Minister said it is not easy to address all the problems of a three-decade long war.

    He said the President’s determined efforts have led to the development in the country ravaged by the war for three decades and there is progress in all sectors.

    “Our President has done a wonderful job and is doing everything possible to see that there is overall development in the country. Both the country and the government are going in the right direction. Without a war in the last four years, the country has achieved immense progress in all fronts,” he said.

    He said the peace in the country has made it possible to attract investors from countries like China and Pakistan.

    On relationship with China, Jayasuriya said China is participating in Sri Lanka’s infrastructure development, especially in road building.

  18. Ananda-USA Says:

    Is this the TIP OF AN ICEBERG of something much more sinister? A weapons/special forces smuggling network under the guise of providing maritime security for destabilizing/undermining South Asian Nations?

    The GOSL should take this VERY SERIOUSLY and INVESTIGATE the MOTIVE and FUTURE IMPLICATIONS!

    …………………….
    US maritime security firm contradicts Indian Navy chief … alleges Sri Lankan waters not safe

    November 29, 2013, 10:11 pm

    Galle Dialogue 2013:

    By Shamindra Ferdinando

    Much to the surprise of the defence establishment here, a US maritime security firm, AdvanFort, has claimed that it was avoiding Sri Lankan waters due to ‘high crime’ and piracy, among other criminal activities.

    In a statement issued from Washington DC, the security firm quoted its own intelligence analysts as having said that there were increasingly organised crime throughout Sri Lanka, including in anchorages and coastal waters.

    AdvanFort is providing security to ships vulnerable to attacks by pirates operating off Somalia.

    The statement quoted AdvanFort President William H. Watson as having said that due to security concerns in Sri Lanka the firm was providing protection teams free of charge from the western border of the High Risk Area (HRA) to the western end of the Malacca Strait.

    Authoritative naval sources told The Island that there hadn’t been a single case of piracy in Sri Lankans waters since the conclusion of the conflict in May 2009. In fact, piracy had never been a threat in Sri Lankan waters even during the conflict, sources said. The Sri Lankan navy had the wherewithal to finish off the Sea Tigers on the high seas and was now considered one of the foremost experts in fighting unconventional forces, sources said.

    Sources alleged that AdvanFort was propagating lies to undermine post-war Sri Lanka. AdvanFort claim that it had chosen a new point for disembarkation of its privately-contracted armed security personnel (PCASP) in the Western Malacca Strait because it didn’t want to slow or stop its clients’ vessels in Sri Lankan waters and was nothing but a malicious lie.

    Navy headquarters said that its fleet of Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) and Fast Attack Craft (FACs) spearheaded by Israeli-built vessels remained ready to face any eventuality. “Sri Lankan waters are safe and free of foreign threats. We have earned the appreciation of many countries for getting rid of the Sea Tigers, which operated a fleet of floating arsenals on the high seas, therefore AdvanFort’s claim is baseless.”

    Sources said that the AdvanFort statement was timed for the fourth edition of the two-day Galle Dialogue which began on Nov. 25.

    Sri Lanka too provides well experienced onboard security teams to those wanting to protect their vessels from possible attacks by pirates. Among those accommodated on security teams are retired navy personnel with years of combat experience.

    Meanwhile, AdvanFort has challenged Indian navy chief Admiral Devendra Kumar Joshi over The Island news report titled “India tells Galle Dialogue: Regulate ‘private maritime security’ onboard vessels now,” which dealt with India’s perspective on the contentious issue of counter-piracy operations.

    The Island quoted Admiral Joshi as having expressed serious concern over private armed guards, with or without uniform, on-board ships crossing the Indian Ocean. Admiral Joshi cited the recent seizure of a Sierra Leone flagged ship, MV Seaman Guard Ohio, within Indian territorial waters, carrying 25 armed personnel to highlight the need to regulate private maritime security industry.

    Admiral Joshi said: ‘The master was unable to produce authorization to carry 34 automatic arms and ammunition found onboard the vessel and clarify other details. Lack of any provision or regulation to deal with such vessels or armed personnel is hampering any legal action by the state.’”

    US based spokesperson for AdvanFort told The Island that at the time of the Indian seizure of the vessel, there were 35 maritime security contractors and crew aboard the MV Seaman Guard Ohio. They hadn’t been armed while in transit through international waters well outside India’s territorial jurisdiction, the official said, adding: “Their weapons and ammunition were locked and sealed in storage throughout their stay on the ship.”

    The official said: “The weapons and ammunition – all of which were purchased in the UK – were authorized and licensed with the appropriate authorities and governing bodies. All necessary certifications and documentation were provided to Indian law enforcement authorities. It should be especially noted that India has yet to officially charge the men with any crime after more than six weeks of detention.”

    Responding to The Island queries, the spokesperson said the company continued to urgently pursue every possible measure to secure the release of maritime security contractors and crew, through all available political, economic and judicial channels.

    “Our legal counsel in India submitted a bail petition to the High Court of Madurai on Thursday (Nov. 28) and we are cautiously optimistic that a hearing will be held next week. We maintain that the men were acting legally, professionally and in good faith. It should be noted that Indian law enforcement authorities are yet to officially charge them with any crime.”

    AdvanFort President Will Watson personally has taken up the issue with the U.S. Departments of State and Homeland Security, he said.

    “For the first time since they were arrested in October, India permitted AdvanFort’s country representative to visit the men in jail last week. He brought miscellaneous personal hygienic necessities, several varieties of fruits, chocolates, books and magazines, as well as money that will enable them to purchase higher quality of food than the Indians had been providing. This was the maximum that the Indian authorities would allow. The men appeared in good spirits, but we remain concerned that some might need medical attention.”

    AdvanFort said that Sierra Leone too, had protested against the Indian action.

  19. Ananda-USA Says:

    Who is this Pestiferous Catholic Christian Priest hiding in a Tiger Striped Cassock?

    ………………………..
    Swamy urges Jayalalithaa to nab LTTE operative

    ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

    Nov 30 (Hindu) BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to take immediate action on the Home Ministry’s communication to her seeking the State government’s assistance on the whereabouts of an LTTE operative, a Catholic Christian priest.

    BJP leader Subramanian Swamy on Friday urged Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to take immediate action on the Home Ministry’s communication to her seeking the State government’s assistance on the whereabouts of an LTTE operative, a Catholic Christian priest. FBI charge In a statement, Dr. Swamy said the priest had been named as accused by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a complaint filed before a court in the United States for terrorist related activities. He as a LTTE operative in the U.S. had tried to bribe U.S. under-cover State Department officials to obtain material assistance for the LTTE two years ago. “Warrant issued” Dr. Swamy said: “Subsequently, warrant for his arrest had been issued and the FBI is now on a lookout for him. He has since escaped to India. Recently he surfaced on a NDTV & CNN IBN panel discussions on Sri Lanka. And hence it is clear that he is hiding somewhere in Tamil Nadu. Therefore the Ministry of Home Affairs alerted to this LTTE terrorist on the run and has sought the help of the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister in nabbing him so that he can be dispatched to the U.S. for facing criminal prosecution.”

  20. Christie Says:

    Pettah merchants burnt their own rice shops in1983.

  21. Lorenzo Says:

    Ananda,

    He is Fr. Jegath Gaspar Raj.

    He was the MAIN link between LTTE/TNA and Tamil Madu govt.

    IF Endia arrests him, Tamil Madu politicians will be in trouble.

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