Response to the New York Times Article of January 19, 2015
Posted on January 25th, 2015

Helping Sri Lanka’s New Democracy

In this piece of high handed journalism you have desecrated the sacred flag of Sri Lanka by altering it with figures riding the lion with an American Flag.  No Sri Lankan will accept your idea of graphic alternation to their national flag.  You need to apologize profusely to Sri Lanka for desecrating the national flag of Sri Lanka.   Protests will be made to the NY Times too.

 

Ryan Goodman, the author of this article speaks with authority as if Sri Lanka’s future should be determined by his recommendations that are based on suggested interference by the US Administration in the affairs of Sri Lanka.  Sri Lanka’s democracy does not need this kind of help.

 

This is furthest from the wishes of the Sri Lankan people who were brainwashed against the US during the Rajapakse regime due to the high handed attitude shown to Sri Lanka by the US under the influence of supporters of terrorism who had left the country and still wished to see Sri Lanka divided and decimated without any consideration for not only the Tamil people who suffered under the LTTE but all ethnic groups.  The US was intent on saving a terrorist leader who had killed 90,000 civilians over 28 years, valiantly fought by the Sri Lankan military that lost 30,000 soldiers leaving behind 50,000 or more disabled by suicide bomb attacks. Who is accountable for the 90,000 civilian lives lost.  LTTE disabled were a liability and they were blown up according to eyewitnesses.  They were Sri Lankans and their Human Rights were violated by the LTTE.

 

After successive governments failed in peace talks with the LTTE and leaders failed to bring peace to the people of the country Rajapakse took the situation in control.  There were imperfections in his regime that could have been fixed and he was one leader who was able to bring to an end the longest running terrorist struggle against a democratic nation.  The Peace that is at stake if lost will never be recovered.  Taking Rajapakses to war crimes tribunal also attaches the military that sacrificed for all including Tamils to gain their peace.  Today, the same people who object to Rajapakse, push for war crimes are happily enjoying the peace travelling at will to Sri Lanka and investing in property in any part of the country without any restrictions.

 

Goodman dictates that Sri Lanka should be punished for ending terrorism and bringing peace to all.  Then what could be said about the civilian deaths in the hands of the US troops in Iraq and Afghanistan?  What about drone attacks that are killing not only terrorists but also civilians at random?  What do you have to say Mr. Goodman about those deaths?    Would you take the US men and women in uniforms before war tribunals?

 

The reference to an insurgency is a misnomer.  Sri Lanka had an insurgency in 1971 which arose from educated youth of the Sinhala community.  The then Prime Minister Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranayake  the mother of the former President Chandrika Bandaranayake Kumaranatunge one of the architects of the regime change gave a blanket ruling to shoot them down in cold blood.  There was no Amnesty International, UN Human Rights outcry in those instances.  They didn’t have ground, sea, air power and suicide bombers as the LTTE did making the battle with terrorism for the country far worse.  Sri Lanka knows the difference between its insurgency and the terrorist war.  Use the word terrorism Mr. Goodman.  If you call ISIS terrorists, the same brand of terrorism applies to the LTTE.  It is a brand of terrorism that uses civilians as human shields as a way to bring disrepute to their opponents.  This practice is a part of their operations manual. Beheadings and killings by the LTTE were so rampant and no one was safe.  It was supposed to be the Tamil Cause” but the Tamils who suffered most because they were plundered, their children taken away and any resistance resulted in cold blooded killing.

 

The author refers to statement attributed to John Kerry which are totally misinformed.  Sri Lanka’s new chapter was peace and freedom attained in May 2009.  If Mr. Goodman saw the carnage, he could not write this nonsense if he is human.  To write such canards, one has to be paid and Mr. Goodman has consistently supported stilted writings that can only be classified as paid, corrupt journalism for a reward from sources that want only one side of the story told.

You have no authority to tell Sri Lanka’s people whether or not the ousted leaders can return to democracy.  Do not forget that Sri Lankan voter choice is not like the Florida debacle with hanging chads and half punched polling cards and the stoppage of counting votes.  The over 80% voter turnout was almost equally divided and as such if you talk about democracy people have the right to choose.

If the new team doesn’t deliver or pushes war crimes against the military that saved everyone from terror, the people have the right to choose to remove anyone who takes that away from them.  The families that sacrificed lives for the war were 90% from the majority community.  After the peace all minorities also enjoyed the fruits of development while sacrifices were made by a few poor families that gave their children to the volunteer services.  No regime is all good or all bad.  The Commander Sarath Fonseka’s unverified story about white flags has been disputed by many who knew that the terrorists who had cyanide capsules on them to avoid being captured alive were not going to surrender.  Goodman needs to read some of the reports of the Jaffna Teachers about the inaccuracies reported to international media.

 

If Goodman is calling for US intervention now, where was the US when for 28 years, the people suffered under terrorism?  When 9/11 happened, Sri Lanka had suffered 18 years of terrorism. We Sri Lankan Americans stood with President Bush in the aftermath of the single terror attack on US soil.  All US allies are going after ISIS and Al-Qaida but their record is nothing like the killing of heads of state and leaders of not only Sri Lanka but the Prime Minister of India as carried out by the LTTE.

 

However, the same push was not seen when Sri Lanka suffered and even our peace is now at stake with a push from people like you.  You forget that the LTTE invented the suicide bombing paraphernalia that continues to be used in other conflicts and has killed many US soldiers.  They have connections with Yemen and the same sources that network all terror groups.  In May 2009 Sri Lanka ended terror and not a single bomb exploded since then.   In January 2015 the same is happening from Paris to other European countries with emerging terror threats and cells in Europe and the US and the hype was not seen when Sri Lanka had daily bombings and killings.  Your article is a bifurcation of the truth applying it to Sri Lanka differently.  The LTTE were terrorists and no matter what name you use to describe them, their actions were just like other you continue to call terrorists.

They procured arms using connections while on US soil violating laws of this country.  The US should have gone to the aid of Sri Lanka when the terrorist war ended.  Instead of pandering to pro LTTE diaspora who pressured the US to take a wrong turn in foreign policy and turn against Sri Lanka, they should have been there first.  When China came to their aid instead, all hell broke loose.

Goodman has the audacity to push war crimes allegations against the formal military when the non-state players are getting off without a scratch.  The end of the war was a few months. Sri Lanka’s people suffered for decades.  The funding to cause all the hardship and terrorist bombings was raised in western countries including the USA.  The USA naively opened their doors for immigration to illiterate liars who earned US dollars and fed the terror coffers. They are here now and raising funds for future terror under your noses and you are turning a blind eye.  Now it is coming out the same way with all the revelations of what the Jihadists are following. Sri Lanka’s issues were never considered by the US although it was the same type of carnage.

 

Goodman wants the Obama administration to step in.  No thank you.  The US has enough on their plate.  What the Obama administration should be doing is to watch those who made large contributions to political campaigns like Tamils for Obama”  Tamils for Hillary” to push their one sided agenda to destabilize Sri Lanka.  This is all about separatism.  They find an excuse cause, the Tamil people.  They did nothing for the Tamil people except torture them if they didn’t join them, take their kids as child soldiers, they created the women suicide bombers and even strapped bombs to young people as they did to destroy Sri Lanka’s President Premadasa.  Your article calls them insurgents.  Get your facts straight Mr. Goodman.  Who are you to decide what is good for Sri Lanka?    Sri Lanka fought a terrorist war and ended it.  They can do the rest too. You are nitpicking something the US has not been able to achieve with all the large scale resources.  Stay out of Sri Lanka’s business.  They can manage it without your stilted opinion.

 

An anti-terrorist US Citizen

3 Responses to “Response to the New York Times Article of January 19, 2015”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    douglas said to Charles

    “You still dabble in this vote analysis by indulging in “Tamil”, “Sinhala”, “Buddhist”,”Christian”, classification of votes and voters without getting to know that citizens of the country called Sri Lanka have equal right and “Freedom” to “choose” and vote the candidate whom they want.”

    Now, in trying to educate Charles on voters right to decide whom to vote for, you are teaching your grandmother to suck eggs!

    Charles LEARNED WELL before you learned your graduated from wearing nappies; he dos not need to be given a lesson on that.

    But, what YOU HAVE TOTALLY MISSED in what Charles was SAYING, is that there is an issue here that goes beyond individual voter rights, that is related to how they VOTED EN BLOCK as COMMUNITIES.

    You made the same CRITICISM when I pointed out the BLOCK VOTING PATTERN on the day after the Presidential Election. Unfortunately, I did not CALL YOU ON THAT THEN, but I am DOING SO NOW!

    So douglas, my man, READ & LEARN why BLOCK VOTING by Communities is COMMUNAL and IS A PROBLEM for the cohesion of Sri Lankan Society and the future integrity of our Nation!

    The Sinhala vote was SPLIT nearly 50-50, whereas the minority vote was OVERWHELMINGLY against the war-winning PATRIOTIC President who DEFEATED the SEPARATISTS, REUNIFIED Sri Lanka, and DEVELOPED it at a RAPID PACE never seen before in INDEPENDENT Sri Lanka …. all achievements that are UNDENIAL+BLY in the best interest of ALL Sri Lankans!

    On the surface, the exercise of the freedom of choice by the minorities seems innocous but, here is the KEY POINT: If the MINORITIES were NOT COMMUNAL, they too would have voted nearly 50-50 for the two candidates. just like the majority community.

    Why didn’t they? What drove them to vote SO DIFFERENTLY? If they feel and act like the majority community exercising their right to vote as they choose, why was that vote so lopsided and not spilt nearly 50-50 like the Sinhala majority?

    Therefore, WE MUST CONCLUDE that BLOCK VOTING PATTERN is INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF that they don’t SHARE THE SAME GOALS and ASPIRE TO A COMMON National DESTINY as the MAJORITY COMMUNITY! Does it mean that the Sinhala peoople are MORE BROAD MINDED, while the MINORITIES are NARROW MINDED looking to always enhance ONLY THEIR OWN COMMUNITY’s NARROW INTEREST? SELFISHNESS at PLAY, shall we say?

    If so, we must ask, what DIFFERENT GOALS do they espouse?

    If those goals are CONTRARY to those of the majority community, then are they patriotic or anti-national in the sense that they are INIMICAL to the Majority Vision of ONE Sri Lankan Nation, of ONE Sri Lankan People, sharing ONE Sri Lankan National DESTINY?

    CLEARLY this Presidential Election showed that ALL MINORITIES, Tamil, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, VOTED in LOCKSTEP with each other to OUST President Mahinda Rajapaksa supported by the VAST MAJORITY of Sinhala Buddhists!

    With that INCONTROVERTIBLE CONCLUSION, what can the Sinhala Buddhist community, against whom ALL MINORITIES are ganging up, DO?

    In my view, there are SEVERAL IMPORTANT THINGS the Sinhala Buddhist Community should do:

    1. CONTINUE TO ESPOUSE the VISION of ONE Sri Lankan Nation, of ONE Sri Lankan People, sharing ONE National Destiny with EQUAL RIGHTS and EQUAL RESPONSIBILITIES for all, irrespective of COMMUNITY. This is consistent with our Dharmishta Mindset as Buddhists, and will find acceptance throughout the world as both Just and Fair.

    2. Recognize that it is the SPLITTING of the Sinhala Buddhist vote that ROBS US OF VICTORY, and RESOLVE: TO NEVER LET OUR VOTE BE SPLIT AGAIN, and THUS get ELECTED TO POWER again in the near future, and to DISMANTLE & REVERSE ALL STEPS CURRENTLY BEING TAKEN by current GOSL to undermine and weaken the governance of our Motherland.

    In particular,

    2.1 RESTORE the Executive Presidency as the MOST STABLE FORM of government for Sri Lanka threatened by a host of external enemies.

    2.2 REMOVE Term Limits on the Executive President subject to 6-year Presidential Elections. A term limit is NOT NECESSARY to remove a non-performing president; an election is both NECESSARY & SUFFICIENT. STAGGER the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in time for GREATER Stability,

    2.3 REPEAL the 13th Amendment and DISSOLVE the Provincial Councils replacing the PCs with Districts Administered by GOSL Appointed Government Agents. Provincial Governments ONLY serve as CENTERS of REBELLION against the Central Government, FRUSTRATES the National Will on National Development Programs, and CONSTITUTES another layer of USELESS Bureaucracy burdening the people. The FREEDOM to ELECT One’s Candidate to the National Parliament is SUFFICIENT FRANCHISE for any Law Abiding Citizen!

    2.4 STRENGTHEN the Laws against TREASON and PROSECUTE Traitors to the Fullest Extent of the Law including those who CONNIVE with Foreign Powers to undermine the elected government of Sri Lanka, and to promote separatism within the country.

    2.5 BAN ALL Political Parties and Organizations with Communal Separatist Agendas in their constitutions, party names and election platforms, WITHOUT EXCEPTION.

    2.6 BAN ALL NGOs from accepting foreign funds, or collaborating with foreign powers, for ANY POLITICAL or RELIGIOUS MISSIONARY PURPOSE. We don’t lessons on “Human Rights” and “Democracy Building” from the GREATEST Violators of Human Rights, Destabilizing and Overthrowing POPULARLY ELECTED Governments across the world to sere their own National Agendas.

    3. ENACT and ENFORCE Laws that INTEGRATE the Nation into ONE INDIVISIBLE SOCIETY, IGNORING the DIVISIVE SEPARATIST DEMANDS of the Minorities designed to convert Sri Lanka into a PATCHWORK of ETHNO-RELIGIOUS BANTUSTANS.

    The GOSL should ENCOURAGE settlement by ALL Citizens in the North and East by every means possible, with the OBJECTIVE of achieving a UNIFORM DEMOGRAPHY throughout the Nation as the ONLY PERMANENT Solution to SEPARATISM. What the Tamils enjoy in the Western Province TODAY, the Sinhala People MUST be able to enjoy in the North & East. What is GOOD for the GOOSE, should be GOOD for the GANDER as well.

    Anything else is RACIAL & RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION against the Sinhala People!

  2. Nimal Says:

    Sri Lanka fought the war that was imposed on a small country by a bunch of terrorists that took the likes of thousands of innocent people that included the elected president and the respected foreign minister. With the limited resources of the country.sl has a right to defend her self though the last days of the conflict was questionable where the end might justify the means and the mitigating circumstances thus arose could be submitted to Geneva using an eminent lawyer like Sir Desmond De Silva.

  3. Marco Says:

    The defacing and desecrating of the Sri Lankan flag was uncalled for and in extremely bad taste. Poor Journalism for NYT standards.
    I understood there was a penal code in the US for defacing its own national flag.
    Our US citizens at Lankaweb perhaps maybe able to shed some light and write a strong protest to NYT.

    The US should keep out of the internal affairs of a sovereign nation like Sri Lanka. The track record of US meddling in foreign countries (large or small) is not exactly brilliant.

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