An open letter to Friday Forum
Posted on May 2nd, 2019

Upali Cooray Former General Manager-SATHOSA(CWE)

Apropos your statement released to the media and the public today ( 25th April)

The Friday Forum which consists of very educated and eminent person’s like you,while expressing solidarity with all those who are fighting the current terrorist menace goes on to state as follows.

“We must also understand the lessons of history, especially Hitler’s rise to power, and reject absolutely the idea that the need of the hour is a strong, authoritarian and dictatorial leader. Leaders of the former government are arguing that they handed over to the new government a secure and peaceful country so that there would be no threats to national security. They must be reminded that they created the nightmare of disappearances, abductions and killings that left people in fear of their personal security. No political party should be permitted to exploit this horrific experience to promote a divisive and authoritarian political agenda. Our nation’s commitment to parliamentary democracy must be strengthened and not undermined, recognizing that some important and positive changes have been made in the last few years.” Here I give an email I received in shortened form.

 In a statement you issued on 14th of July 2018 “From Eliya to Andura and on to vipath maga” with ridicule,you go at  Asgiriya anunayaka Ven. Wanduruwe Upali Thero,Gotabhaya Rajapaksa(probable next presidential candidate) former state minister Wijyakala Maheshwaran and Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekara for towing their own line of thinking they believe is for betterment of the people. 

“Rev. Upali exhorted Rajapaksa to give leadership for good governance, even if he has to be a Hitler” to do this. Some weeks later Weerasekara denounced Dr. Udagama as an LTTE supporter and a traitor to this country, with the battle cry death to traitors”.  Maheswaran called for a return of the LTTE to ensure the security protection and progress of the people of the North, and especially their women and children. “

Two of these three have made their statements not in it’s metopharical sense but it was in a literal sense except Weerasekara.An educated lot like you should surely know this,but you pretend not to know. Upali thera has said that we need a “Hitler” like person to make this country disciplined and prosperous, Vijayakala has said that only LTTE can give protection and discipline to her people in the North.

What SW has said could be his observation not only of Dr. Deepika Udagama,it applies to entire Friday Forum.  Your line of thinking has right through been in the veil of human rights, democracy, reconciliation etc. In actual fact you are advocates of certain global thinking opposed to stability and development of democratic states. what happened on Easter Sunday this month is this trend. We have Afghanistan,Iraq,Lybia,Syria,Egypt as examples. All these countries had dictators and they violated human rights no doubt,but Libiya was the most economically prosperous country in Africa at that time. I have visited Iraq many times on trade matters during Saddam’s tenure. They were prosperous and most literate in the middle East. Most have got educated in England. There was freedom of speech except criticizing the government. Night clubs restaurants and tourism were thriving. Here I quote an email I received recently.

*A German’s View on Islam :*          

                                      Worth reading because this is by far the best explanation of the Muslim terrorist situation I have ever read. The author of this email is Dr. Emanuel Tanya, a well-known and well-respected psychiatrist–a man, whose family was German aristocracy prior to World War II, and owned a number of large industries and estates. When asked how many German people were true Nazis, the answer he gave can guide and shape our attitude toward the present day Islamic fanaticism. He said, 

“Very few people were true Nazis, but many enjoyed the return of German pride the Nazis brought to the German nation, and many more were too busy to care. I was one of those who just thought the Nazis were a bunch of fools. So, the majority just sat back and let it all happen. Then, before we knew it, the Nazis were in control of the nation, they owned us, and we had lost control. Suddenly they plunged the country into a devastating and costly world war, and by the end of the war we had woken up to a new reality – our world of comfort, peace and freedom had come to an end. My family lost everything. I ended up in a concentration camp and the Allies destroyed my factories.

“I see the same situation playing out today with respect to the attitude of the majority towards the the current Islamist movement. We are told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion of peace and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace. This unqualified assertion may be true, but the fact is that it is entirely irrelevant! It is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow diminish the specter of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in history. It is the fanatics who march. It is the fanatics who are waging any one of the 50 shooting wars currently going on worldwide. It is the fanatics who systematically slaughter Christian or tribal groups in Africa and are gradually taking over the entire continent in an Islamic wave. It is the fanatics who bomb, behead, murder, and carry out the so called honour killing. It is the fanatics who take over mosque after mosque. It is the fanatics who zealously spread the stoning and hanging of rape victims and homosexuals. It is the fanatics who teach their young to kill and to become suicide bombers. The hard and quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ has been cowed and made extraneous and irrelevant.”

“History lessons are often incredibly simple and blunt. Yet for all our powers of reason, we often miss the most basic and uncomplicated of points: peace-loving Muslims have been made irrelevant by their silence. Peace-loving Muslims will become our enemy if they don’t speak up, because, like my friend from Germany, they will awaken one day and find that the fanatics own them, and the end of their world will have begun. 

Peace loving Germans, Japanese, Chinese, Russians, Rwandans, Serbs, Afghans, Iraqis, Palestinians, Somalis, Nigerians, Algerians, and many others have died because the peaceful majority did not speak up until it was too late.”

“Islamic prayers have now been introduced into Toronto and other public schools in Ontario, and, yes, in Ottawa too while the Lord’s Prayer was removed due to being so offensive! But to whom? Not to the vast majority of Canadians but to the few Islamic fanatics!”

There are some  noted examples where you applied the policy  in a manner without uniformity. Take the case of LTTE violations of human rights where your response was lackadaisical ,some prefer to call you in disdain,a rapacious NGO  savants.I do not wish to call you such names. You are a most educated lot in this country,but if one scrutinize your policy over the years it idoes not show any impartiality but an inclination towards certain global blueprints. 

Why were these countries destabilized and leaders killed. Whose requirement it is? Why aren’t you suggesting we get the assistance of the Russians who are adoptes sccessful tactics in handling the ISIS specially in Syria. For tthat matter why not the Chinese. The government has preferred to have KGB instead.This rflects to which power block Sri Lanka has been taken and seem to be endorsing iit.

Neither do I for a moment advocate a dictatorship in our country. Nor do I condone human rights violations that happened in the past. Those responsible have to be brought to book but nothing has been proven so far. Why cannot the government expedite this process. Is there a”you scratch my back and I scratch your’s” situation?

Egypy’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, Yugoslavia’s Tito, Mao tse tung,Deng shiao Ping, Chu En Lai all , from China  were dictators while Putin of Russia, Allende of Chili,Peron of Argentina, who were democradically elected,but they used their powers in an uncompromising manner for the betterment of their people. I have seen my self how Yugoslavia and Russia was progressing under Tito and Yeltstin. What happened in Yugoslavia?

Two last examples which is very popular among us when comparing our political affairs,is Singapore’s late Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yu. Was he not virtually  a dictator though elected democratically? Margaret Thatcher of UK was dubbed “Iron lady”because of her uncompromising attitude in state affairs.

Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka in his excellent speech today ,(25 the of April )was devoid of all politics and hatred. In fact he gave credit to former President Mahinda Rajpaksa for eradicating terrorism in this country and vice- versa MR in his  speech. It attracted editorials and comments in the media

The yahapalana government in order to villify the previous government and with a false complacency weakened the intelligence agencies by sending some officers to prison and some others to inactive places. Others fled the country.

This started under the UNP government in January 2002. Kulasiri Udugampola the Police  superintendent incharge of Kandy district under instructions of then interior minister John Amaratumga raided the hide out of Long range reconisceance petrol of the Srilanka army at Millennium City,Athurugiriya and  exposed the entire intelligence net work resulting in the LTTE killing Colonel Muthaliph and other officers fleeing the country.

Six years ago Friday Forum was worried about “Muslim Hunting”. As emphzied earlier,your Colombo elite group is seeing things with a particular aim. Some members are in the camp of Chadrika Kumaratunga. She ridiculed young village boys and girls fighting the LTTE at the risk of their life,by promoting “Sudu Nelum”  (white Lotus) through Mangala Samaraweera. She also promoted ruffians such as Baddegane Sanjeewa and Mervyn Silva. Sinhala people were hiding their faces in shame.It was  Ven.gangodawila Soma Thera who came forward to pump oxygen to the Sinhala Buddhists.  He would brought up the Muslim Rand grab and radicalization issue to the fore. He was not a radical and would have played the role now being played by the Malcolm Cardinal Rangith.Most people now sympathise with Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara thera. What was wrong with him was preached violence instead of compassion to draw Muslims out of extremism. Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith is a shining light in this regard.  The government should nominate him for the Nobel peace prize though he is unlikely to accept it. He even refused to receive a bullet proof car.

Why not the CBK and RW combine excercise due diligence as far back as 2006 when Islamist extirmists raised their head?

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa helped his brother to win the terrorist war and bring peace to this country and development was progressing at a fast pace when yahapalanaya took over. That has now been drawn back at least,by five years. This does not mean that MR government was Lily white. There was large scale corruption and bribery during this period.It is alleged the leaders own seven star hotels in Dubai and slush funds in sychells. Why aren’t these allegations being investigated? Is this to compromise with larger scams such as the Bond scam, Central higway etc?.

You wine and dine in five star hotels and make statement from your comfort  zone. It is time you just limit yourself to your Friday meetings and go home without spreading facts to suit a docket belonging to a source you prefer. Only thing I agree with you is the abolition of the Presidential system. 

Also note that there are very eminent persons  such as Ven Prof. Madagoda Abhayatissa,Prof Janitha Liyange,Prof Raja Gunaratne, President’s councilor Manohara de Silva, Major Genaral Kamal Goonaratna ,Rear Admiral Daya Dharmapriya , Dr. Priyath Bandu Wickrama, President’s councilor Razik Zarook,Dr.Nalaka Godahewa,Gevidu Kumaratunga and many others who supports a Gotabhaya Presidency. 

It has to also be noted that not a single Buddhist  or Hindu Monk is in your forum.

Upali Cooray

Former General Manager-SATHOSA(CWE)

[email protected]

3 Responses to “An open letter to Friday Forum”

  1. Vaisrawana Says:

    Thank you, Mr Upali Cooray. What you are saying here is mostly true. These are ivory tower ‘intellectuals’, spending their sunset years in clover with money earned due to their Western education, that has drained them of any fellow feeling they instinctively had for their own people before. They have culturally alienated themselves from them. There may be one or two exceptions, however.

    But I don’t agree with you about Ven Gnanasara: “What was wrong with him was preached violence instead of compassion to draw Muslims out of extremism”. Only his speech was violent, not his actions, though enemies have demonized him in the public eye. He is still a compassionate person.

    You are also wrong about the leaders of the previous MR government, including obviously the Rajapaksa brothers: “There was large scale corruption and bribery during this period.It is alleged the leaders own seven star hotels in Dubai and slush funds in sychells. Why aren’t these allegations being investigated? Is this to compromise with larger scams such as the Bond scam, Central higway etc?”.

    The yahapalana government tried their level best to find evidence to support these allegations with American help. But they didn’t find any. Had they found even an inkling of such evidence, do you believe, they’d have let them free? Don’t forget they are keeping some innocent Navy and Intelligence people (who rendered yeoman service to the nation at the risk of their life and limb) in prison only because they refuse to falsely implicate Gota in some alleged crimes>

  2. Vaisrawana Says:

    Ps

    Of course, no one can argue that there was no large scale bribery and corruption during MR rule. Almost the culprits found refuge in the yahapalana government. But unfortunately, MR, as a pragmatic politician soft peddled corruptio, within limits though, (not that this was quite moral, but politics is an amoral game) among his own ranks under pressure of circumstances. Ruffians like Mervin, Rajitha, Champaka Ranawaka, etc flourished. Gota, not being a politician then, was not obliged to tolerate corruption, that’s why Mervin became his enemy. I remember Gota complaining (can’t remember whether this was during MR’s government or after) that people who challenge criminals at elections often lose, because they are powerful among the ignorant voters.

  3. Vaisrawana Says:

    Oops, sorry.

    Correction: Almost all the culprits found refuge in the yahapalana government.

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