Lanka and her ancestry

July 6th, 2016

Professor Nishan Wijesinha (Professor of Paramedics & LAW; and Divinity and Holistic Science)

Long time ago, India consisted of many countries. Vanga was one of the countries in India at that time. The king of Vanga (present-day Bengal) married a princess named Mayavati of the Kalinga country (present-day Odisha). The couple had a daughter named Suppadevi. She was thought to be in the Hindu culture an extremely beautiful goddess. As an adult at sixteen those-days, Princess Suppadevi left Vanga to seek an independent life. She joined a caravan headed for Magadha; but it was attacked by Sinha a beastly jungle outlaw as of Robin-hood of the Sherwood Forest. Sinha was attracted to her, and she also caressed him.

All effort to find the Princess failed. Years later, the princess had twins, a son and a daughter. The son was named “Sinhabahu” and the daughter was named “Sinhasivali”.

The King of Vanga announced a reward for anyone who could kill Sinha; through a general of the Vanga Kingdom. Sinhabahu killed his own father to claim the reward. By the time Sinhabahu returned to the capital, the King of Vanga had died. Sinhabhau was made the new king, but he later handed over the kingship to his mother’s new husband, the general.

Sinhabhau founded a city called Sinhapura and married his sister Sinhasivali, They had 32 sons in form of 16 pairs of twins. Vijaya was their eldest son, followed by his twin Sumitta.

Vijaya was made the prince-regent by his father, but he and his band of followers became notorious for their violent deeds of looting and rape. After repeated attempts to stop Vijaya’s acts failed; the prominent citizens demanded that Vijaya be put to death. Then King Sinhabahu decided to expel Vijaya and his 700 followers from the kingdom. The men’s heads were half-shaved and they were put on a ship that was sent forth on the sea.

Vijaya and followers was harbored at Thammanna coast in Lanka; and was held as prisoners in the first ever recorded banishment prison then located in Lanka; by King Maha Kalasena’s most beautiful queen and general of the forces Kuweni.

Thammanna kingdom is considered as the first kingdom of Lanka and the prehistory of Sri Lanka begins at this point too.

Kuweni was supporsed to be beautiful and full of grace and being just sixteen; fell to the handsome looks of Vijaya.

Vijaya was then able to defeat King Maha Kalasena and to get the crown and rule the country of the Theravada Sinhalese with the help of Kuweni who became the wife of Vijaya.

Vijaya and Kuveni had two children, Jeewahaththa and Disala.

During this time Vijaya’s Ministers build cities by their names and also propagated Hinduism.

Minister Anuradha built Anuradhagama which later became Anuradhapura.

Ministers Uruwela, Vijitha and Upatissa built villages and named them after their names. (Upatissa Gama later became Panduwas Nuwara).

Vijaya’s Ministers wanted Vijaya to become a Hindu King.

Vijaya’s ministers, therefore, sent emissaries with precious gifts to the city of Madhura; which is Madurai State of South India as of today, which was then ruled by a Pandu king.

Madhura is identified with current Madurai State in South India.

Vijaya betrays Kuweni; and eventually kills her; and the Pandu king’s daughter becomes his queen; as Vijaya gets coroneted as a Hindu King; and reigns for 38 years.

[With this coronation, Eastern and the Northern Maritime Provinces of Sri Lanka becomes one Hindu Dominion.]

In the Meantime, on advice of Kuweni’s maternal uncle, the two children are secretly sent to Malaya Rata; which is later identified as the Kandyan Kingdom; where the two marries each other and brings the birth of a puritan Sinhala Race through their offspring, and followers.

Meanwile Vijaya had no other children after Kuveni’s death.

And when he grew old, he became concerned that he would die heirless. So, he decided to bring his twin brother Sumitta from India, to govern his kingdom. He sent a letter to Sumitta.

But by the time he could get a reply, he died. His ministers from Upatissagama then governed the kingdom for a year, while awaiting a reply.

Meanwhile, in Sinhapura, Sumitta had become the king, and had three sons. His queen was a daughter of the king of Madda that is of Madra. So, he requested one of his sons to depart for Lanka.

His youngest son, Panduvasdeva, volunteered to go.

Panduvasdeva and 32 sons of Sumitta’s Ministers reached Lanka, where Panduvasdeva became the new ruler.

King Panduwasdeva ruled the country keeping Upathissagama as the capital. He also needed an Indian high cast princess for his coronation. The princess “Badrakachchana” who came as his wife was a close relative of Gautama Buddha, as her grandfather was King Suddhodana (father of Gautama Buddha).

From henceforth was the merger back with the Theravada Sinhalese.

At the same time, Chauvinist Sinhalese authors even of the Mahavamsa have used the mythology to oppose Tamil secessionism; to safeguard patriotism; which has eventually diluted the historical truth; of Lanka and her ancestry.

 

පොලිස් නිල රථ යේත්  දෙවියෝ  වැඩ සිටී

July 6th, 2016

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

ඇමරිකාවේ  පොලිස් නිල රථ වලද    POLICE  යන වචනයට පහලින්    IN  GOD  WE  TRUST  යනුවෙන් ලියා තිබෙනු ඔබ දැක තිබේද  . ඇමරිකාවේ සාමය රකින  නීතිය ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන පොලිසිය  වැඩ කරන්නේ රටේ ව්‍යවස්ථාපිත නීතිවලට අනුකුලවද එහෙම නැත්නම් කිසියම්  නොපෙනෙන දෙවියකුගේ නීතිරීතිවලට අනුවදය් පැනයක් මතුවේ . රට ව්සියා විශ්වාසය තැබිය යුත්තේ  කා වෙතද . මැවුම්කාර දෙවියන්වහන්සේ  ඔවුන්ගේ දෙවියන්ය . දෙවියන් විසින් මවු සියල්ලෝම දෙවියන්ගේ දරුවෝය .එහෙත් මේ දරුවන් අතර බෙහෙවින් අසමානකම් ඇත .එකෙක් මවු කුසේ සිටම අබ්බගාතයෙකි එකෙක්  මෙලොව එලිය දකින්නෙම  ප්‍රකොටිපතියෙකු ලෙසය . මේ දෙන්නාම  බිහිකළ පියා ගේ අදහස්  ගැන සමහරුන්ට විශ්වාසයක් නැත අ බ්බගාතයා බිහිකළේ .  හිතක් පපුවක් නැතුවද . එසේනම් එවැන්නෙක් ගැන  විශ්වාසය තැබිය හැකිද මැවීමක් නැතිව වෙනත් ක්‍රමයකට  බිහිවන්නේ නම් ප්‍රශ්නය බරපතල නැත .ඒවාට විවිධ හේතු ඇත ලෝකයට පාඩමක් උගන්වන්න කියා අබ්බගාතයන් බිහි කරන පියෙක්  සිටිය හැකිද පාඩම් ඉගැන්වීමට හොඳම දෙය හොඳ මොලයක් ඇති ය බිහිකිරීමය් .මේවා විස්තර කිරීම අවශ්‍ය නැත .  මෙවැනි  අ  යුක්ති සහගත  ක්‍රියාවක් කරන කෙනෙක්  ගැන පොලිසියත්  ජනතාවට මතක් කරන්නේ නම් ..  ලංකාවේ කලක් රජ කල    ජේ ආර් ජයවර්ධන  කිව්වාක් මෙන් ඇමරිකන් ජනතාවද  ”””’තමන්ගේ ආරක්ෂාව තමන් විසින්ම  බලාගතයුතුය  ”’.
                                     මුදල් නොට්ටුවේද   එයම සටහා න් කර ඇත .මුදල් නොට්ටුවත් පොලිසියත් දෙකම එදිනෙදා ජීවිතයට  එකසේ වැදගත් දෙකකි  .හැමවිටම god මතක් කකිරීමට රජය කටයුතු කර ඇත  . එහෙත් රට අනාගමික    ලු . god  හැමටම ඉහළිනි .එංගලන්තයේ රැජින එහි ආගමික නායකයාය . රැජින එනවිට බිශෝප්ලාත් නැගිටිති .  සිංහලේ රට හැදුවේ බෞද්ධයන් වුවත්   ඔවුන්ගේ රට ” මේ සිංහල අපගේ රටය් ” යනුවෙන් කීමත්  ලැජ්ජාවට කරුණක්  බව  ”’ප්‍රගතිශීලී ”’ ගායිකාවෝ පවසති . දාගැබ් වෙහෙර විහාර ගඩොල් මෝඩයන්ගේ වැඩ බව මාක්ස් වාදීහු පවසති සිංහල බෞද්ධ  ”සම–  හරක් ”’ තමන්ගේම දර්ශනය   නදත්තුකිරීමේ කාර්යය    අන්‍යාගමිකයන්ට පවරාදී  බලා සිටිති උන්  දැන් වසර දෙතුන්දාහක් තිස්සේ   පැ වතී බෞද්ධ ජීවන ක්‍රමය  විනාශ කර   ව්‍යවස්තාව මගින්ම රට අනාගමික  කිරීමට  වැඩකරගෙන යති  ..
                      තව ටිකකලෙකින් ..”’IN GOD  WE  TRUST පුවරු     ”නමෝ බුද්ධාය ”’    – තෙරුවන් සරනය් ”’ පුවරු වලට ඉහලින් දිස් වෙනු ඇත .  .මල වුන් අතර සිටින    දෙවියන් වහන්සේ  නැගිට අවුත්   අවුකන  පිළිම වහන්සේ  වලට දමනු ඇත .
 එවිට                   ”’ඇසේ  මතුවන කඳුළු බිඳු  ගෙන ”” කාගේ සිරිපා දොවන්නද    බොදුනුවනි .

Twilight Zones on Planet Earth

July 6th, 2016

By Jeff J. Brown, for the Moscow-Beijing Express

Crosslinked with China Rising here: http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/07/06/twilight-zones-on-planet-earth-china-rising-radio-sinoland-for-the-moscow-beijing-express-160706/

Crosslinked with SoundCloud here: https://soundcloud.com/44-days/twilight-zones-on-planet-earth-china-rising-radio-sinoland-on-the-moscow-beijing-express-160706

Rod Serling was the creator, producer and main screenwriter for his celebrated 1940s-1960s radio and TV shows, including the Twilight Zone. A committed leftist, he suffered regular censorship and was a fierce activist against racism, McCarthyism, the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons and censorship. He was an eloquent and creative voice against American empire. (Image by baidu.com)

It has been instructive to travel this summer and get out of China for a while. What is apparent to me, as I read national newspapers and international magazines along the way, is that humanity is living in two parallel worlds, and for the most part, they are mutually exclusive. Rod Serling, the producer of the 1950-60s science fiction television show, Twilight Zone, could not write a more dimension bending script.

On the one hand, the majority of the world’s people are living in Empire World. Their perceptions are molded and manipulated by the West’s owners, those elites (and their army of enablers), who make up the top one-tenth of one percent of the economic and political pyramid. In Empire World, Planet Earth is portrayed as a very scary place, full of monsters, demons and their evil leaders, who are all hell bent on threatening the “established order”.

This Western status quo is depicted as a shining beacon on the hill, towering over the rest of the world’s people, nobly imposing its superior history, civilization, culture, goodness, capitalism, justice, rule of law and civil society on the human race. The subtle message is that non-Westerners who are not empire’s obedient servants are thus ahistorical, uncivilized, uncultured, unjust and lawless savages. This propaganda is so ruthlessly pervasive and effective, that most of Planet Earth’s non-Westerners suffer from terrible inferiority complexes and accept their status as second class citizens, in the face of Eurangloland’s relentless juggernaut.

This 85% of humanity, mostly dark skinned and surviving from day to day, are brainwashed into fatalism. It’s their fault that they only own a tiny fraction of their country’s wealth and have little to no control, nor the means to do something about it. They keep telling themselves, “If only…”, “Once I…”, “Except for the fact that…” The vast majority of them don’t even recognize that they and their inherited natural resources are being exploited by Western imperialism and its client state elites, with its noxious cocktail of racism, capitalism, colonialism, false flags, war and fascism (seehttp://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/03/27/the-cycle-of-western-empire-a-china-rising-radio-sinoland-modern-day-math-lesson/). Even though they are victims, talking about these components of imperialism is often met with disbelief or denial. The notion that the West is an empire and that colonialism and fascism are alive and thriving in their countries just does not register. Fascism was vanquished in 1945 and colonialism was finished in the 50s-60s, with all the people’s countries gaining their “independence”, right?

Yet, it is perfectly normal that Eurangloland has over 1,000 military installations around the world, that it can freely invade or bomb any country it wants, secretly or in the open, in the Americas, Africa, Asia and even Europe. It is okeydokey that Israel and NATO commit horrific war crimes and genocide, nonstop with total impunity, while Western NGOs, banks, corporations and institutions plunder this 85% and their rightful wealth. The mentality of most of the world’s non-Western peoples is like that of a rape victim,

It’s my fault, I deserve it. And I realize that I should, but it is not worth trying to seek justice, since the system is rigged, even though by not fighting back, this psychopath will continue to rape others.

Then there are those countries living in the reality of another Twilight Zone. They see the world differently, at least among their leaders and most of their citizens. I call this group the “Anti-West”. It includes Russia and its Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), China and its Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), North Korea, Iran, Syria, Eritrea and the Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) in the Americas. The fact that many of these countries are officially communist or socialist is telling, as these political systems are the only two that have historically opposed Western imperialism and its aforementioned cocktail of destruction and mayhem.

However, as we have seen recently in Venezuela, Brazil and Argentina, among their political parties and elites, there is a significant percentage of their national populations who drink from the poisoned chalice of Western empire and swallow all that “beacon on the hill” propaganda, as irrefutable gospel. They call themselves “freedom loving”, “capitalists” and “libertarian”. For maybe a few extra crumbs of the colonial pie, they are more than willing to turn their country into a socioeconomic hell hole and Western client state. Most are not even thinking on that level, they just want to emulate super-consuming Westerners and live a more materialistic existence. Ironically, the West is rich only because of its massive theft of these people’s wealth, via its colonial empire. These subversive victims create their own, perverted Twilight Zone alongside the Eurangloland version. They are often called the “fifth column”, being self-serving termites, who are happy to bring down their nation’s tree of commonwealth, for a belly full of wood (see http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/06/13/5th-column-attacks-on-china-or-a-sino-new-world-order-china-risings-jeff-j-brown-shadow-of-truth-160611/).

The Anti-West has its own propaganda, media, political parties and systems, all flailing away at the overwhelming dominance of colonialism. While the West sees in them as threatening monsters, demons of evil, the Anti-West lives in its own, opposing Twilight Zone reality, cooperating and aligning together, while building metaphorical and real bridges of commerce, infrastructure, connectivity and transportation.

The Anti-West is succeeding in all these categories, except in the propaganda and media departments. Yes, it has RT, Telesur, Press TV and China Daily, but the truth is that they are like blood starved fleas on the rump of a raging bull elephant. The West’s soft power and cultural suzerainty totally rule across the planet. Millions of Chinese, Russians, Iranians and ALBA citizens (fanatically) follow Western sports teams, musical artists, Hollywood, television, press, media and fashion. In the background, they underestimate the linguistic hegemony of English, which is the global language of empire. They often don’t make the connection between their countries’ struggles for financial and political independence, freedom from exploitation and aggression, with the Western soft power that they crave. It is as deadly as stealth bombers. Why? Because that’s how the human brain works and the resulting feelings of victimhood, inferiority and powerlessness, which take root.

Western governments, spy agencies, corporations and media work in well-coordinated lockstep to blanket humanity in a fog of withering and highly effective propaganda. It brainwashes the vast majority of world citizens into consumer nihilism, self-satisfying numbness, apathy and helplessness. Neil Postman wrote angrily about this, in his classic takedown of Western soft power, “Amusing Ourselves to Death” (see http://neilpostman.org/).

China and Russia have already officially joined hands to create a cooperative media effort. Last month, they held their huge Far Eastern Media Summit in Vladivostok, inking numerous agreements (seehttp://english.sina.com/news/2016-06-10/doc-ifxszmnz6986152.shtml andhttp://tass.ru/en/society/880965). It was actually the third summit, the first one taking place in 2014. But this is not enough. Remember those blood starved fleas on the rump of Western empire’s raging bull elephant. Russia and China may tower against the West in the spheres of economy, military, science and technology. But in terms of propaganda and media, they are on the same, humble level as Iran and Venezuela.

Thus, in order to stand up to the West’s global propaganda behemoth, they need to expand their media summit and deal-signing concept, to include all of their allies in the Anti-West. I can die trying to findPress TV, Telesur and RT on cable or satellite in China and I suspect the same problem exists in all these countries. But, I can damn sure get my brain lobotomized by an endless stream of Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and BBC, in even the remotest corners of Latin America, Africa and Asia.

This has got to change. China’s and Russia’s Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin can sign all the commercial, military, educational and S&T deals they want, together and with their Anti-West brethren, but around the world, these success stories are heavily censored and distorted behind the Great Western Firewall (see http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2016/03/02/the-xi-putin-honeymoon-is-over-now-its-time-to-make-the-china-russia-marriage-succeed-long-term/). SCO, CSTO, ALBA and all other Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) countries with state-owned media concerns need to meet regularly and sign tons of cooperative media, cross-cultural and sports agreements. Then most importantly, they must put them into effect and promote the hell out of them, day after day, year after year. Otherwise, the NBA, Lady Gaga, Batman, Game of Thrones, Time magazine, BBC and Versace will continue to win where it really matters, in the minds of the world’s people: perception and the notions of superiority and inferiority that it engenders.

Check out Jeff’s newest book release:

China Rising, the e-book, available around the world, in all formats:https://ganxy.com/i/113798/jeff-j-brown/china-rising-capitalist-roads-socialist-destinations

China Rising, the e-book, available on Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/China-Rising-Capitalist-Socialist-Destinations-ebook/dp/B01HHLHXBI/

MPS SHOULD PASS PSYCHIATRIC TEST –KEHELIYA ……..

July 6th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera 

This is a very bold statement made by the ex minister .He also mentioned that all MP’s should at least  pass  GCE  O level

We also saw how another deputy minister behaving like a lunatic trying to prove that that KDK fan was strong enough to hold his heavy weight during his purported mission of committing suicide .

Yesterday we saw the President locking up some ministers in Matara during the opening ceremony of Excise office.

Can president open ward in the Angoda Mental Hospital and place some of the Ministers and MP’s for a short while so that doctors can do a “Fitness Test “ like the annual emission test of  motor vehicles to ascertain the mental status of the law makers ?

I also suggest that all the MP’s are taught to learn acrobatics as  they keep somersaulting from one party to another  and this training may also help them jump from hotel rooms to the ground without hurting their ankles  !

 

Prof Yunus reacts to terror attacks, Dhaka social business day postponed

July 6th, 2016

 By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: The lone Bangladeshi Nobel laureate  Professor Muhammad Yunus expressed shock at the barbarity of the terrorists, who killed

20 hostages and two Bangladeshi police officers in cold blood at Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Bakery on 1 July evening and pleaded for a new world of equality and dignity.

Meanwhile, following the barbaric terror attacks the scheduled 7th social business day to be held in the Bangladesh capital city on 28-29 July has been postponed. Yunus Centre, which functions as Prof Yunus’s secretariat in Dhaka, said in a statement that all activities related to the social business day were cancelled.

“I express my heartfelt condolences to those, far and near, who have lost their loved ones and wish their souls to rest in peace,” said Prof Yunus, the economist turned  asocial thinker, who was honoured with Nobel peace award in 2006 along with his creation Grameen Bank of Bangladesh.

The nurturer of micro-finance and the architect of social business initiatives around the globe uttered dismay that ‘such attacks taking place in Bangladesh’ as Prof Yunus ‘always believed Bangladesh to be a tolerant liberal country’.

“We must do soul searching on how this breeding of violence began in our country. We want to create a society peacefully shared by everyone, with everyone having their space, having the right for all to express their views freely, without fear or social or official constraints,” asserted Prof Yunus.

Arguing that violence, military or terrorist, can no longer be contained in one country or region, Prof Yunus appealed to all nations to work to bring lasting peace in the Middle East.

“We are seeing this everyday and must wake up to the fact that violence in one place breeds violence even in remotest places of the world,” stated the global social leader adding, “I plead to the powerful nations please overcome differences among yourselves to bring peace in the Middle East so we have better chances of peace in our cities and communities around the world.”

TNA’s revelation in Washington as regards foreign judges stuns govt

July 6th, 2016

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

The four-party Tamil National Alliance (TNA) Friday (July 1) welcomed a hard-hitting statement, issued by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein, in respect of war time and post-war accountability issues in Sri Lanka. The Human Rights HC reiterated the call for international participation in the proposed war crimes probe, on the basis of Resolution 30/1, adopted on Oct 1, 2015.

The TNA comprises the Illankai Thamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) and three former terrorist groups namely TELO, PLOTE and EPRLF formed by the government of India in the ‘80s. The TULF, too, had been part of the grouping at the onset of the LTTE-TNA relationship, though it subsequently quit. TULF, leader V. Anandasangaree, told the writer, some time back, that he quit the alliance as he didn’t want to contribute to the LTTE’s despicable strategy.

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In a statement issued on the afternoon of July 1, TNA declared: “We reiterate that justice for crimes committed, in the past, by both sides, is a necessary precondition to meaningful reconciliation. In this regard, we reiterate the importance of the full implementation of operative paragraphs 6 and 7 to ensure trust and credibility.”

The TNA didn’t include the two operative paragraphs in its statement.

Let me reproduce operative paragraphs in Resolution 30/1, titled ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’, unanimously adopted by the 47-member Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Sri Lanka co-sponsored the resolution.

Operative paragraph 6: “Welcomes the proposal by the Government of Sri Lanka to establish a Commission for Truth, Justice, Reconciliation, and Non-Recurrence; an Office of Missing Persons; and an Office for Reparations; and stresses the need for these mechanisms to be independent, impartial, and transparent, as well as, led by individuals known for professionalism, integrity and impartiality.”

Operative paragraph 7: “Welcomes also the commitment by the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that each transitional justice mechanism has the freedom to obtain assistance, including financial, material and technical assistance, from international partners, including the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.”

It would be pertinent to keep in mind the TNA’s actions are fully supported by the UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) who spearheaded the overseas campaign, leading to Sri Lanka’s humiliation in Geneva.

The TNA also asserted that Resolution 30/1 represented the solemn commitment of Sri Lanka to its own citizens, and to the Tamil people, who, the grouping represented, and must be implemented.

The TNA has conveniently forgotten the circumstances under which the grouping regained the right to represent the Tamil-speaking people.

Until the Sri Lankan military, eradicated the LTTE leadership, on the banks of the Nanthikadal lagoon, in May, 2009, the group remained the sole representative of Tamil- speaking people.

In the run-up to eelam war IV, in August, 2006, the LTTE received the TNA’s recognition. The TNA worked closely with the LTTE during this period with some of its members of parliament attending passing out parades of child soldiers.

Having won the April 2, 2004, parliamentary polls, with the help of the LTTE, the TNA represented and promoted the interests of the group, in parliament. The European Union Elections Observation Mission alleged the LTTE-TNA relationship and explained how R. Sampanthan’s outfit benefited through terrorism. There had never been a previous instance of a recognized political party being accused of receiving the support of a terrorist group, in the country.

The EU report, released on June 17, 2004, described the LTTE as the primary source of violence, at the April 2 general election. The EU monitoring mission’s head, John Cushnahan, didn’t mince his words when he declared that the LTTE’s primary aim was to garner a huge majority for its proxy, the TNA, to project the group as the sole representative of Tamil speaking people. In fact, the EU endorsed what TULF chief V. Anandasangaree had been saying throughout the campaign. Unfortunately, the then government, the international community, and even the Nordic truce monitoring mission, didn’t take any notice. Anandasangaree was ignored. The UNP refused, at least, to condemn the LTTE for making an attempt on the life of T. Maheswaran, Jaffna District candidate. Anandasangaree urged the government and the Opposition not to accept the TNA. The LTTE proxy had no right to be in parliament (TULF leader applauds EU for unmasking LTTE proxy––The Island of June 23, 2004).

The EU said: “Firstly, the LTTE intended that no other rival Tamil party (or Tamil candidate from the mainstream political alliances), to the TNA, would be able to claim to represent Tamil interests. A chilling message, to this effect, was sent early in the campaign when a UNP candidate and an EPDP activist were murdered. Incidents, such as this, seriously restricted the right of the parties other than the TNA to campaign freely in the Northern and Eastern Districts. During the 2004 elections, the major incidences of violence were perpetrated by the LTTE, whereas at the earlier elections, the primary source of the violence (although not all), were the two largest political parties.”

A statement issued by the TNA, in the run-up to the April 2 general election, highlighted its alliance with the LTTE. Unfortunately, the UPFA failed to exploit the environment to its political advantage. It simply ignored the rapidly developing situation. The TNA declared: “Accepting the LTTE’s leadership as the national leadership of ‘Tamil Eelam’ Tamils, and the Liberation Tigers, as the sole and authentic representative of the Tamil people, let us devote our full cooperation for the ideals of the Liberation Tigers’ struggle with honesty and steadfastness. Let us endeavour determinedly, collectively as one group, one nation, one country, transcending race and religious differences, under the leadership of the LTTE, for a life of liberty, honour and justice for the Tamil people.”

TULF veteran Anandasangaree suggested that those who monitored the poll should have called the Elections Commissioner to annul the results. Anandasangaree said that all monitoring groups should have joined hands in exposing the LTTE/TNA alliance (Monitors should have called for fresh poll in North and East-TULF––The Island of June 24, 2004).

The TNA remained mum on the EU report. Senior TNA members refused to discuss the issue, though The Island sought their opinion on several occasions. However, they privately acknowledged that the report would never be taken up with the EU, though it caused severe embarrassment to the party. The TNA admitted that it wasn’t in a position to challenge the EU, hence its decision to remain mum (TNA mum on EU polls terror report––The Island of July 4, 2004).

Colombo – based Western diplomatic missions never raised the issue with the TNA.

During the second week of November, 2005, the TNA instructed Tamil speaking people to boycott the Nov. 17, 2005 presidential polls to facilitate the then Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s victory. The TNA issued instructions, in this regard, at the behest of the LTTE. No less a person than UNP Chairman Malik Samarawickrema told the writer of the TNA and the LTTE depriving UNP candidate Ranil Wickremesinghe of certain victory. Had that happened, the conflict wouldn’t have ended in annihilation of the LTTE’s conventional military capability.

The TNA remained firmly with the LTTE until the very end. At the behest of the LTTE, the TNA campaigned both here and abroad to force an end to the ground offensive. The TNA refrained from, at least, publicly urging the LTTE to give up human shields and halt forcible recruitment of children. The TNA leadership refrained from intervening, on behalf of those who had been wounded, fighting for the LTTE. The LTTE prevented wounded cadres from taking advantage of the ICRC run operation to evacuate them from Puthumathalan.

The TNA remained silent as the LTTE forced the entire population, living west of the Jaffna-Kandy A9 road, to accompany the retreating fighting units across the main overland supply route. The TNA had been part of the overall LTTE strategy. The TNA leadership suddenly remembered the suffering of those trapped in the Vanni after troops cleared the last pockets of resistance.

For some strange reason, the previous government never raised the issue of the TNA’s accountability and its relationship with the LTTE, when the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) intervened in Sri Lanka. The writer, on several occasions, sought an explanation from the previous administration in respect of TNA’s accountability. The Rajapaksa administration never inquired into the matter in spite of the TNA going all out against the war-winning government on the basis of unsubstantiated war crimes allegations. The Rajapaksa administration had nearly seven years to conduct a comprehensive inquiry into the LTTE-TNA alliance and also efficiently counter unsubstantiated accusations. Unfortunately, the then government failed, pathetically.

The TNA subsequently established a solid partnership with the UK headquartered Global Tamil Forum (GTF) to pursue an efficient campaign. Their project culminated in January, 2015, with Western powers facilitating the ouster of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa to pave the way for the Geneva Resolution meant to initiate war crimes probe.

Those loyal to former President Rajapaksa still remained thoroughly disorganized. They lacked a clear vision to counter accusations, as well as comprehend the on-going project to haul Sri Lanka before a hybrid court. The Island, in its June 28, issue reported TNA Jaffna District MP, M.A. Sumanthiran, declaring that the government of Sri Lanka, the US and the TNA reaching an agreement on foreign judges on a war crimes court. The story headlined ‘Constitution no bar to foreign judges in war crimes court-TNA’ was based on a statement issued by the TNA, on June 16. Although that statement had been on public domain, the Joint Opposition didn’t respond until The Island highlighted the issue.

Had the TNA remained silent, on the agreement, the country wouldn’t have heard about it. In fact, the TNA statement was meant to pressure the government, and to remind the Yahapalana leadership that it wouldn’t give up, or dilute arrangement, over foreign judges.

MP Sumanthiran declared that they had reached a tripartite consensus in respect of foreign judges, defence attorneys, investigators, etc., in a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism before the UNHRC unanimously adopted Resolution 30/1.

Attorney-at-law Sumanthiran told a recent American ‘Congressional Caucus for Ethnic and Religious Freedom in Sri Lanka’, in Washington, that the government of Sri Lanka, the TNA and the US had been involved in the negotiations leading to the agreement.

The declaration was made in the presence of Sri Lanka’s Ambassador in Washington, Prasad Kariyawasam.

MP Sumanthiran stressed that the resolution was moved in Geneva following an understanding that the participation of foreigners wouldn’t be contrary to Sri Lanka’s Constitution. Declaring that he had been personally involved in the negotiations, with the United States of America also participating in that particular process, Sumanthiran said: “There were some doubts created, as to whether the Constitution of Sri Lanka would allow for foreign nationals to function as judges and we went into that question, clarified it, and said yes they can”.

Sumanthiran told the Congressional Caucus that the resolution adopted in Geneva, had been negotiated and they settled for a hybrid model though they originally asked for an international inquiry.

The TNA didn’t find fault with The Island coverage of the issue. The government, too, didn’t dispute the reportage.

MP Sumanthiran’s revelation caused turmoil with attorney-at-law, Chrishmal Warnasuriya, strongly countering Prince Al-Hussein assertion that Sri Lanka’s judiciary lacked credibility to undertake war crimes inquiry. Warnasuriya, who had played a high profile role in the Opposition campaign to ouster the Rajapaksas, didn’t mince words when he rejected foreign judges, in a domestic judicial probe, under any circumstances.

National Freedom Front (NFF) leader Wimal Weerawansa wrote to President Maithripala Sirisena seeking a clarification regarding the TNA heavyweight’s declaration in Washington.

Dr Wasantha Bandara, on behalf of the Federation of National Organizations (FNO), too, sought a clarification from the government regarding MP Sumanthiran’s declaration. The Foreign Ministry has remained mum in spite of the TNA MP making unprecedented claim in the presence of Ambassador Kariyawasam.

Obviously, the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government appeared to have misjudged the post-presidential poll situation in Geneva. UPFA General Secretary, Mahinda Amaraweera, a few months ago, declared that President Sirisena and the government had resolved the Geneva issue and, therefore, those who had been warning of an impending war crimes probe now need not be worried. President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, too, declared that foreign judges wouldn’t be included. Instead of confirming their public stand, Al-Hussein and Sumanthiran had clearly stated that the participation of foreign judges remained a key to a credible judicial process.

In the run-up to the presidential and parliamentary polls, in January and August, 2015, respectively, the country was told that the threat of war crimes probe would end with the ouster of the then President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Yahapalana leaders proudly declared that as the faith in the judiciary had been restored, therefore the issue of foreign judges was irrelevant.

They have been proved wrong. Whatever the post-presidential election polls understanding between the UNP-led coalition and the TNA that helped bring Maithripala Sirisena into power, the LTTE ally remains committed to internationally discredit Sri Lanka and the Rajapaksas. The TNA underscored its readiness to do whatever necessary to oust the Rajapaksas when it backed war-winning Army Chief Gen (retd.) Sarath Fonseka’s presidential candidature at the January 2010 presidential polls. The TNA objectives at that election should be examined against the backdrop of engineering Ranil Wickremesinghe’s defeat at Nov, 2005 presidential.

None of those politicians, who had been fighting separatist sentiments, have so far bothered to study the TNA. The Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government shouldn’t forget that the TNA demands for international participation, in proposed war crimes probe, while being the recognised Opposition in parliament. The TNA has also forgotten that it wouldn’t be in this position today if not for the battlefield defeat of the LTTE and UNP machinations in parliament. In addition to the TNA, many have, for reasons best known to them, forgotten the difficult war fought for nearly 30 years.

One time Justice Ministry Secretary Dr Nihal Jayawickrama recently declared that the country lacked the experience and expertise to undertake such a task on its own, while castigating the judiciary, the military and law enforcement agencies. The outspoken former official, who played a controversial role in Mrs Bandaranaike’s United Front government, strongly justified calls for foreign judges to lead the inquiry. Dr Jayewickreme even lost his civic rights as a result of his role in that government after it was defeated soundly by the UNP in the July ’77 general election.

“Without accountability, there can be no reconciliation in any society. The hybrid court, which the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recommended for Sri Lanka, is a unique element in the human rights based approach to transitional justice in a post-conflict situation. Comprising international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, a hybrid court is designed to deal with those who bear the greatest responsibility for series of crimes, arising from, or during the conflict, such as war crimes or crimes against humanity, including sexual crimes and crimes against children. President Maithripala Sirisena has repeatedly asserted that under no circumstances will he agree to the participation of foreigners in the accountability process in Sri Lanka. The President has claimed that Sri Lanka has an independent judiciary which is quite capable of addressing the issues of accountability without any foreign assistance. It is perhaps time for the President’s advisers to brief him on the real position.”

Jayawickrama faulted successive governments for categorizing the conflict as a situation caused by terrorism. Alleging that successive governments had failed to restore good governance, Dr Jayawickrama declared: “On the other hand, there is the issue of justice, reparation and reconciliation, which has been brought to the fore through the actions of a succession of Presidents who set out to resolve a political and human rights problem, conveniently dubbed “the terrorist problem’, through the application of military power.”

To be continued on July 13

Governed by the mentally unstable

July 6th, 2016

Citizen S  Courtesy The Island

The Island Editor has been lenient in his Saturday’s editorial when he called another Thevarapperuma antic, infantile. He is the ‘Mervyn Silva’ of the present government; or, Andare in the old kings’ governments. No! That’s an insult on the great comedian of yore! Andare was not mentally unstable like these basket cases, who have weaselled themselves into the august house. He was a very clever satirist.

Anyone who commits suicide or shows suicidal tendencies are suffering from a mental disorder, which needs psychiatric treatment. Not only in this instance, but in so many other instances, Thavarapperuma has shown his mental disorder symptoms. This is seen in his unbridled and instantaneous aggression, physical violence, and cheap theatrics to get attention, and now a suicide bid. Can somebody please help this man? We’ve got some psychiatrists in Sri Lanka, and this is their chance to save the country, if not the patient.

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Thavarapperuma is supposed to have joined a people’s protest to force the government. But he IS the government! What is he doing, protesting against it? As a person who is in the government, he has ways and means of solving problems without joining protests. Maybe he doesn’t have the capability of doing so? Or maybe this is a cunning way of hoodwinking the people that he is on their side. Whatever the reason, he needs help and medical intervention. Also, it is getting extremely clear and vitally important for political parties to contain and control this kind of people, for their own good. (I think Mervyn Silva cost Rajapaksa the presidency, single handed). They should diligently screen, all individuals before letting them contest from their parties, and make sure the representatives they put forward are at least mentally stable, if not educated. It’s time to get rid of the preferential election system that allows loose cannon like Thevarapperuma on people of this country. NOW!

Citizen S

Chilcot will not save the damned

July 6th, 2016

By Dr Kamal Wickremasinghe

Politics and the English Language, the most famous shorter work of George Orwell, is notable for providing a list of writing tips to aspiring writers as well as for its savagely disdainful view of politicians’ use of language. Orwell writes: “In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India … and the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face. Political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Political language … is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

The reader is likely to be afforded a chance to experience the truth of Orwell’s conclusion today, around 10 AM London time. The occasion marks the release, at last, of the final report of the Chilcot Inquiry into Britain’s role in the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq; Chilcot’s report is said to be four times as long as War and Peace, containing 2.6 million words. But, as per Orwell’s predictions, the inquiry report is expected to do nothing more than reviving the ugly memory of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s deception of the people of Britain, and the world at large, prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq, in March, 2003.

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The report is unlikely to conclude that Blair’s government lied to the world about the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) in Iraq as justification for launching an illegal war. Chilcot will not hold Tony Blair or anyone else to account. Reports on early drafts suggest that Chilcot will only impugn government ministers, legal advisers, civil servants, army commanders and intelligence officials about their misdeeds. So, in 24 to 48 hours, the British establishment, and Hugo Swire, can go back to pursuing Sri Lanka!

Indeed, the story of the Chilcot Inquiry itself is as putrid as Blair’s original lies and deception it purported to investigate. Blair’s successor, Gordon Brown, set up the inquiry, back in 2009, with commission to examine the British government processes leading up to the invasion of Iraq and in its aftermath. The broad terms of reference embraced the dynamics of Britain’s involvement in the Iraq invasion, the military action and its aftermath, covering the period between 2001 and 2009; The expressed objective was to establish the mechanics of the decision-making process that led to the disaster, and to identify necessary changes in the British constitutional arrangement to prevent a recurrence.

The report, to be released today, after an inordinate delay of seven years – more than 10 years since the invasion of Iraq – makes it an irrelevance due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, the inquiry did not seek to hold Tony Blair responsible for the murder and torture of Iraqis by British soldiers in Basra and elsewhere in Iraq, as the concept of war crimes at the heart of international law requires; John Chilcot’s announcement at the opening of the inquiry that his intention was not to ‘apportion blame’ but to ‘get to the heart of what happened’ was an attempt to manage public expectations of true justice. Its commission did not include exploratory forays into the war crimes committed by Blair or the illegality of his disgraceful actions. Secondly, the impediments placed by the British government, by way of limiting the publication of crucial information available to the inquiry, made even its modest aims unachievable.

The failure of the Chilcot inquiry was due largely to undermining by Tony Blair through the offices of David Cameron who assumed prime minister ship in 2010, a year after it was set up; Under Blair’s instructions, Cameron first tried to prevent the inquiry proceeding altogether and later did everything possible to stifle its effective operation. Later events provided solid evidence that Blair had persuaded Cameron to hamstring the inquiry, primarily by restricting access to crucial information and by preventing the publication of other important documents. A sequence of purpose-designed legal and other procedural barriers imposed by David Cameron by withholding written electronic evidence reduced the inquiry report to a worthless pile of paper.

Chilcot Inquiry lacked competence and operated in a vacuum

Even before the information ‘road blocks’ were put in place, the Chilcot Inquiry’s capacity to properly inquire in to the subject matter at hand had been curtailed by constituting a panel that lacked the relevant professional backgrounds: the members ‘chosen’ did not include any military experts, lawyers with proven inquisitorial skills or elected representatives. Sir John Chilcot was a former diplomat and his team comprised Roderic Lyne, another former diplomat, two history professors — Lawrence Freedman of King’s College London and Martin Gilbert, an Oxford don with acknowledged Mossad contacts. The other member was Usha Kumari Prashar (Baroness), a member of the House of Lords.

It was clear from the outset that the Chilcot Inquiry included no members with the legal background or capability needed to address the substantive legal issues that arose from Blair’s actions. During a parliamentary debate over the establishment of the inquiry, MPs from all the major parties noted that the membership of the inquiry panel did not provide the requisite expertise or impartiality to enable a rigorous examination of Blair’s dishonesty; The former British Ambassador Oliver Miles wrote an article in The Independent on Sunday (21 November 2009) questioning the appointment of two historians, at the insistence of Tony Blair and his puppet-master Peter Mandelson, purely on the basis of their ardent support for Israel. The appointment of Gilbert (Churchill’s biographer) in particular, was criticised due to his recorded previous comparisons of Bush and Blair to Roosevelt and Churchill. Martin Gilbert died in February, 2015, during the inquiry process.

This collective lack of competence in the panel was compounded by the cunning devices and processes put in place by David Cameron to systematically deny public exposure of information that was crucial for an ‘open’ inquiry as required: six months in to the inquiry, by October 2009, the British Government published a Protocol, in agreement with the Chilcot Inquiry, that “sensitive” information will not be made available to the public; In 2012, Cameron got his Attorney General to embargo the release of more than 200 minutes of records of Cabinet meetings held in the days leading up to the invasion. The information was crucial if the inquiry was ever to “get to the heart of what happened” as promised by Chilcot.

The veto also covered the release of more than 130 records of “conversations” between Bush and Blair and 25 notes from Blair to Bush. Cameron also got the Foreign Office to block the disclosure of extracts of a conversation between Bush and Blair moments before the invasion. Such concealment of evidence was justified by Cameron on the basis of a “significant danger” to British-American relations. A leaked diplomatic cable revealed, however, that the British Ministry of Defence had promised the US to “put measures in place to protect your interests” during the inquiry. Cameron’s limiting of public exposure of crucial information via the Chilcot Inquiry, constituted a ‘moral crime’ that matched Blair’s heinous war crimes record.

Legal procedures connected to some of the bans on information hopelessly delayed the progress of the inquiry to as late as 2015, just as Cameron and Blair had intended. The release of the report was deferred again on account of the May 2015 general election. In August 2015,the report was further delayed into 2016 due to the legal requirement of “Maxwellisation” – a process through which all people criticised in the report are granted a fair opportunity to comment prior to finalisation and publication. Finally, in October 2015 Chilcot proposed a release date of July 2016.

The nub of Blair’s crimes

It is a sign of the shameful US-British manipulation of global power politics that George W. Bush and Tony Blair have not been held accountable for the war crimes committed in the murder of 750 000 Iraqis in a patently illegal “shock and awe” bombing campaign perpetrated by them. The UN Security Council has not been allowed to pursue the case vigorously enough. Prosecutors at the ‘kangaroo court’ of the International Criminal Court (ICC), known only for its pursuit of alleged war crimes by Black African nations, have already ruled out putting Tony Blair on trial for war crimes. Despite the sacrifice of lives of 179 British soldiers, the British government could never be expected to allow the truth about Blair’s dishonesty to surface.

The Chilcot Inquiry only ever anticipated investigating Blair’s “lesser crimes” of manipulation of the democratic process to commit Britain to a war by lying about non-existing intelligence on WMD that never existed in Iraq. Added to these abuses would be Blair’s brushing-off of legal advice that the invasion would be illegal. At the root of Blair’s enthusiasm for committing of Britain to the invasion however, was the unqualified commitment he had given to George W. Bushin 2002, unbeknown to the House of Commons and the British Cabinet.

Tony Blair has always sworn, before the Chilcot Inquiry and elsewhere, that he never committed Britain to war at Bush’s Crawford ranch in March 2002. He also told voters until shortly before the invasion that he was not proposing military action; Blair’s version of events was that he agreed with Bush on the need to confront Saddam Hussein without getting into ‘specifics’.

Unhindered publication of the records of conversations between Blair and Bush would have been the only measure that would have helped the British public and the world conclusively determine whether Blair committed the UK to back US invasion in 2002; This is the reason why the US government colluded with Blair to claim ownership of all critical pre and post-war communications between Bush and Blair, refusing to sanction any declassification. On the British side, Blair and David Cameron joined hands and hid behind a 20 years rule of disclosure.

At the near completion of the Chilcot Inquiry, on 15 October 2015, however, the truth surfaced unexpectedly, through a leaked Secret Memo from the then Secretary of State Colin Powell to George W. Bush. The leak almost certainly came from Powell himself, who was deeply unhappy about being forced to lie before the UNSC in his 5 February, 2003 presentation of the American case for war against Iraq, against the background of Pablo Picasso’s anti-war mural tapestry “Guernica” covered up with a blue shroud.

Written a week before Bush’s secretive “summit” with Blair at his Crawford ranch in Texas on 28March 2002, almost exactly a year before the actual atrocity — with Blair’s wife, daughter and mother-in-law in tow – proved in explicit terms that Blair had committed Britain to the invasion. Revealingly, Powell also notes in the Memo that apart from Foreign Secretary Jack Straw and Defence Secretary Geoff Hoon, Blair’s Cabinet and 90 per cent of the British public are unconvinced that military action is warranted now. Sir Christopher Meyer, who accompanied Blair to the Crawford ranch as Britain’s Ambassador to the US, but was excluded from the private meetings, informed the inquiry that he was ‘not entirely clear to this day, of what was agreed at the secretive meeting’. Five months after the Crawford “summit”, Blair produced the notorious ‘45 minutes from doom’ bogus dossier on Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD. The disclosure was crucial enough to have forced John Chilcot to reopen his inquiry but nothing of the sort happened.

As to Blair keeping his Cabinet in the dark, Lord Butler, the former Cabinet Secretary who chaired the 2004 Review on Intelligence on WMD in Iraq has accused Blair of deliberately preventing his ministerial colleagues from seeing important data in the run up to the invasion of Iraq. Butler said that none of “a lot of very good official papers” and the attorney general’s advice were circulated to the cabinet. Butler told the House of Lords on 22 February, 2007, that Tony Blair was being ‘disingenuous’ because intelligence reports presented to him, on 23 August, 2002, had unequivocally conveyed that “we know little about Iraq’s chemical and biological weapons work since late 1998”. Butler reminded that Blair lied to parliament a month later claiming that the picture painted by the intelligence services was ‘extensive, detailed and authoritative’.

Despite such official advice, Blair wrote in the Foreword to the Dossier presented to the parliament, “I believe the assessed intelligence has established beyond doubt that Saddam has continued to produce chemical and biological weapons, that he continues in his efforts to develop nuclear weapons and that he has been able to extend the range of his ballistic missile programme.”

Much of the most damning evidence in the public domain about Blair’s deceptive behaviour has been corroborated by the most senior civil servants who advised Blair at the relevant time: the former Head of the civil service, Sir Gus O’Donnell, told the inquiry, in 2010, that Blair was “reluctant” to hold Cabinet discussions about. Blair did not believe his Cabinet was “a safe space” in which to debate the issues involved in going to war. He added that the records of informal meetings held under Blair were not “as complete as” he would have liked.

Sir William Ehrman, director general for defence and intelligence between 2002 and 2004, told the inquiry that the government received intelligence days, before invading Iraq, that Saddam Hussein did not have chemical weapons.

The UK’s ambassador to the UN at the time, Sir Jeremy Greenstock said advice had been provided that the invasion was of “questionable legitimacy” as it was not backed by the majority of UN members or possibly even the British public. In separate evidence, former Cabinet Secretary Lord Wilson said that he alerted Blair to the legal issues involved with the intention of halting military action.

History will be the judge

Public inquiries in democracies aim to serve many purposes: they aim to establish facts and make recommendations to prevent incidents from recurring. One of their key roles is to hold those in authority to account.

The British history with public enquiries however, has been “mixed”, to put it mildly. Such inquiries appear to have a habit of turning in to devices designed and conducted by the British political class to keep the lid on its disastrous and dishonest activities.

A case in point is the 1916 Dardanelles Commission of inquiry in to the role of Winston Churchill as First Sea Lord in instigating the disastrous plan and the incompetent military decisions he made as a battalion commander (while remaining a Member of Parliament) during the Dardanelles Campaign of the First War. The appointment of Churchill’s close friend the Earl of Cromer chairman and events such as the commission holding its meetings in secret and the mysterious drowning death of Field Marshal Kitchener, who had been secretary of state for war a month before the establishment of the commission failed to instil confidence in the minds of the public. As expected, Churchill went scot-free in 1919 with the commission concluding that the campaign had been poorly planned and executed and problems were exacerbated by personality clashes at high levels. The “personality clashes” was a cryptic reference to Churchill’s obstinate war decision making, without ever having had any military experience, against the advice of Ian Hamilton, the general in command.

Similarly, the Chilcot Inquiry has faced widespread public criticism from its outset in 2009: many hearings took place in secret and there were protracted disputes with the government over the publication of Cabinet Office minutes and memos between Tony Blair and George W. Bush.

Chilcot is reported to have criticised Blair for the decision to join the US-led coalition and lying to parliament, stopping well short of accusing him of anything. Chilcot is thought to have criticised British military generals heavily for accepting the role in running Basra in the south of Iraq that led to besieged UK forces scrambling in 2007, marking possibly the greatest ever humiliation of their military might.

It will be too much to expect the Chilcot Inquiry to find the correct words to describe Tony Blair’s bigger atrocities on Iraqi people. The report is expected to have sought refuge in euphemisms; Chilcot is also likely to sprinkle his report with “terminological inexactitudes” – the phrase Churchill devised to describe lies.

As much as Blair’s lies may have debauched the standards of public life in Britain, they fail in to insignificance when compared with his war crimes in Iraq. It must never be forgotten that Blair’s (and Bush’s) deception caused the loss of life of 750,000 Iraqi women, children and men. The result of deposing Saddam Hussein on false pretences and setting up a Shia majority government is clearly behind the sectarian fury that led to the creation of IS, with disastrous impact on the world. Blair will be damned by history irrespective of what Chilcot says in his report.

From a Sri Lankan point of view, until Britain cleans its own backyard of the blood of war crimes in Iraq and elsewhere, countries like Sri Lanka are entitled to discard their uninvited lessons on morality as hypocritical garbage.

UNHRC – Modern Incarnation of Christian Inquisition: Sri Lanka case

July 5th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

We are trying our best to understand the mentality behind the manner that the UN & its bodies function. The stark bias is nothing no one can today ignore. The callous manner that the UN blatantly ignores crimes committed by a handful of very powerful nations while allowing these very nations to use UN forums to bring others to book is baffling. We can only find explanation for this behaviour in comparing historical patterns of thinking and actions to the current behaviour and conclude that the mentality of the inquisition where the operational rule of law was ‘we can commit what we like, you can too so long as you tow the line but if you don’t you will suffer consequences’ appears to be the DNA that has been pervading the rule of law preached by the UN, UNHRC and other bodies leading to the perversion of justice. This is the only explanation we can conclude for the manner that UN and in particular the UNHRC is pushing for war crimes tribunals and foreign judges when clearly no war crimes have been committed by Sri Lankan forces. All legal opinions have been thrown out and fairy-tale reports suffice to bring a nation and its forces to be crucified so that constitutional and other internal changes within Sri Lanka’s sovereign structure can be made to facilitate the incursions that would turn Sri Lanka into a client state. Behind the racism & bias there is a bigger plan.

For over 700 years the Inquisition continued starting in 1231 A.D and the last execution ending in only 1826. The Vatican’s Congregation of the Inquisition was formally abolished in 1908 but became renamed as the Holy Office which became the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith in 1960s and was headed by Cardinal Josef Ratzinger before he became Pope Benedict XVI.

We believe the UN/UNHRC are mere extensions of the colonial goal to subjugate, plunder and continue to ‘civilize’ non-Christian world and this is the reason behind the UN’s abject racism upon all non-whites except those non-whites who wish to pretend and act like they are white!

You will find no non-white within the UN hierarchy who can act according to his own conscience rooted to his roots!

  • If the Christian Inquisition was the Vatican’s response to anyone who did not believe Christian dogma, the UNHRC’s gavel comes down on any nation that does not conform to its dictates.
  • If the rule of law and human rights during the Inquisition was one sided applying to all those on the side of the Inquisitors, all those not aligned to UNHRC and those that steer UNHRC will become targeted through rules and laws that they create.
  • If Inquisitors went out into regions, questioned people intensively, conducted tribunals and meted out punishments, how different is it to the UNHRC sending its rapporteurs and special envoys only to targeted nations to doctor the case against them?
  • If the Inquisitors were excellent record-keepers but their execution records are all ‘lost’ is it any surprise that the West’s crimes almost always get swept under the carpet using some legal jargon created exclusively to absolve them!
  • If torture was an integral part of the inquisitorial process and used by the secular courts of the time with the Church even having guidelines for torture how is it different from the waterboarding & other torture methods legally permissible by US authorities.
  • If the Inquisition was persecution institutionalized for targeted groups what difference is it when UN & Its bodies are presently going after only selected people and nations?

The countries that point fingers demanding others to uphold religious freedom were responsible for burning thousands of people at the stake.

The state of mind behind the Inquisition is no different to the European policies and conduct from plundering nations, confiscating their territory, extermination of entire races, the religious crusades that killed thousands, the transatlantic slave trade and enslavement of the black, brown and yellow people. The scale of these crimes very few people know. History has hidden them because the perpetrators do not wish the world to know these crimes. These very nations have the audacity to demand apology and acknowledgement and reconciliation when none of their sins have been atoned for. This is the logic that we today question. How can nations with soiled hands talk with high moral ground? How can nations with blood on their hands with no apology or compensation for their crimes preach to others when they have committed and continue to commit worse crimes?

In 2012 at the UNHRC it did not matter that the Sri Lankan troops defeated a terrorist movement and freed a nation from terrorism, the Christian countries voted en masse against Sri Lanka (24 countries voting for the resolution, 15 against and 8 countries abstaining) The voting patterns was not hard to fathom. India sided with the majority of Christian countries at that vote thus signaling the presence of sepoy mentality pervading the Indian establishment. The behavior of India, Japan, South Korea is a glowing example of how leaders of even great nations can suffer colonial mindset inspite of their greatness.

The other countries that voted for the resolution were countries that are easily manipulated with blackmail and threats to withdraw foreign aid and technical assistance. Such is the diplomacy that prevails inside the UN! The successive resolutions that followed took a similar pattern. The bias of the UN is such that to date no Muslim, no Buddhist, no Hindu, no Jain has even been considered for the position of the UN Secretary General. Asians selected are either Christian or people with sepoy mentality ever ready to serve the white masters for their own personal ‘self-benefit’ and ‘self-advancement’ a quality imbibed through colonial education system upon all former colonies.

This is the jungle law that prevails and they introduce kangaroo courts to bring to book all those who do not conform to their will.

These laws are all written by former colonial occupiers and the law is simple to understand. All laws will apply only to those that are non-European or those that do not conform to the will of the Anglo-American rules. That was how Hitler, Milosovic and others became punished. All those however unfavourable who are willing to tow the line are also accepted – that is how Saudi the worse oppressor of rights and freedoms is one of the key allies of the West and can even influence the UN and have its name removed. Such luxuries are not afforded to other nations unless they have money to throw into the UN kitty. So money rules the UN.

Sri Lanka became crucified for ignoring calls to stop the war against LTTE. Sri Lanka’s former leaders didn’t follow orders and therefore they must be punished is the norm on which the rule of UNHRC is being applied.

There is no other explanation that can be given to understand why the UNHRC is going out of its way to push for war crimes trials against Sri Lanka that conducted a military operation to free its citizens from the menace of terrorism and in doing so saved close to 300,000 as against the ghost figures claimed to be dead. The international arguments for war crimes even referring to case laws all hold that Sri Lanka has not committed war crimes and yet the UNHRC is persisting simply because Sri Lanka defied the West’s orders and as punishment Sri Lanka has to pay for its ‘sins’. This vengeance and venom for going against the Western ‘rule of law’ is the only explanation for the West using UNHRC to demand war crimes trials.

There was no moral authority during the Inquisition and there is no moral authority in the manner the UN functions behaving as a hobby horse to advance the interests of only the West. All international laws are designed to suit the West, Western cultures, Western thinking and norms. At all-times Western superiority over non-white is the underlying status quo. There is no such thing as credible institutions. Everyone of them is biased and scales are tipped in favor of them. If the non-white nations are unable to realize this and unite to oppose this modern means of slavery our nations will be forever doomed with no real development in sight. The bogey of transparency and human rights are only applicable to non-whites. This is clearly seen by the declaration of US Chief Justice Roger B. Taney in the famous 1857 Dred Scott v. Sanford decision about the Founding Fathers’ mindset in drafting the Constitution:

“Blacks had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

  • The 3 Holy Crusades are said to account for 1.7million deaths
  • The Holy Inquisitions is said to have led to 75million deaths. http://www.cuttingedge.org/news/n1676.cfm
  • Howard Zinn says European Colonialism killed 100 million people. The colonial invaders are responsible for the deaths of MILLIONS across Asia, Africa, China, the Americas and Australiasia. It is estimated that during the initial Spanish conquest of the Americas up to 8million indigenous people died, marking the first large-scale act of genocide of the modern era (Forsyth)
  • The Congo Free State in Central Africa that was privately controlled by Leopold II of Belgium. Under his regime there were 2 to 15 million deaths among the Congolese people. (Peter Forbath)
  • Ward Churchill, a professor of ethnic studies says North American Indian population was reduced from estimated 12 million in 1500 to barely 237,000 in 1900 ….did ‘Americans’ kill 100million Red Indian natives who owned the land?
  • Between 1824 and 1908 White settlers and Native Mounted Police in Queensland, according to Raymond Evans, killed more than 10,000 Aborigines, who were regarded as vermin and sometimes even hunted for sport
  • In Brazil alone, the indigenous population declined from a pre-Columbian high of an estimated 3 million to some 300,000 (1997). (Gail Fineberg)
  • World War 1 – The total number of deaths includes about 11 million military personnel and about 7 million civilians
  • World War 2 – Civilians killed totalled 50 to 55 million, including 19 to 28 million from war-related disease and famine.
  • Remember Zimmerman’s logic? Blacks commit burglary, Trayvon was black, therefore Trayvon was a criminal – end of case.
  • Lynching of blacks took place in America even upto 1950s. They were social events where families enjoyed picnics watching African slaves being extrajudicially hung and photos became postcards. Blacks were hung for offences as small as ‘disputing a white man’
  • There is an uncanny tendency to always accuse a non-white as committing acts of terror while shootings and crimes committed by whites often get brush aside as being the result of some mental state of depression etc. All shooters and mass killers in America have been white except for the Korean student who killed 33 people in 2007.  All presidential assassins in US have been white.
  • Remember the interview with former Secretary of State Madeline Albright who did not bat an eyelid when she said bombing Iraq for false WMDs was ‘worth it’ inspite of 500,000 Iraqi children dying https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8OLPWlMmV7s
  • US drone strikes – 41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed – 90% of the time US drones kill innocent people http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/oct/15/90-of-people-killed-by-us-drone-strikes-in-afghani/
  • James Lucas writing for GlobalResearch says US has killed more than 20 million people in 37 “Victim Nations” since World War II

The latest about Tony Blair getting a clean chit is a icing on the cake to showcase that no amount of crimes committed by the West will ever get to any court and punished as war crimes so long as they the West calls the shot.

Civilian deaths are mourned when others are accused but when the same or worse crimes are being committed by the West ignoring all laws in place it is conveniently brushe under the carpet and the UNSG and the UNHRC head think they are fooling the world releasing ‘strong statements’ against these nations to show they have said something. For all other nations as in the case of Sri Lanka the insistence on war crimes tribunals and foreign judges and ridiculing our internal systems is the standard operating procedure. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-do-we-ignore-the-civilians-killed-in-american-wars/2011/12/05/gIQALCO4eP_story.html

In short it appears that the West have not shed their inquisitorial mindset. The West historically suffers the ailment of blaming only others, demanding apology from others and criminalizing others purely on accusations they think are valid and a court must uphold as truth and nothing but the truth. There is no room for the benefit of doubt or the right to question them. They can accuse and their accusations have to be accepted without question. All fundamentals of court procedures are violated and thrown out the window. Just because they hate the other party, they must be punished using the law that they control. And they have no shame or feel no shame.

This is the fate that has befallen Sri Lanka.

Yet, there are people still who will call a spade a spade and people who can see the racism of the West and the bias of the UN and we will continue to highlight these bias.

Shenali D Waduge

Zeid chants separatist mantra

July 5th, 2016

By Shivanthi Ranasinghe Courtesy  CeylonToday

Brexit had consumed local media, especially after Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. In Sri Lanka too, politicians, professionals and other pundits are as intensively divided into ‘doom’ and ‘boom’ camps as the British.

Five days later, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein renewed its call for a war crime probe in Sri Lanka with international participation. Yet, this did not excite the Sri Lankans as Brexit did.

Interestingly, just days before Zeid’s special report, Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarian, M. A. Sumanthiran disclosed that the government, the United States and TNA had come to a tripartite agreement, allowing foreign judges. According to Sumanthiran, it was a huge concession on TNA’s part to agree to a hybrid court, for they originally sought an international court. He also insisted that the Sri Lankan Constitution would not get in the way of foreign judges participating.

Sumanthiran’s statements
Federation of National Organizations (FNO) was one of the very few to visibly react to Sumanthiran’s and Zeid’s statements. Compared to Sri Lankans’ reaction over Brexit, this was a mere hiccup. It is almost as if to Sri Lankans, Sri Lanka is some far off island half across the world, whereas what happens in Britain is personal.

It was FNO which immediately sought an explanation from the government on Sumanthiran’s statement. The government, however, appears divided over the issue. Both President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe had earlier ruled that it would be foreign expertise, and not foreign judges, that would participate. Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, however, appears to be more in line with TNA.

The government is yet to accept, reject or clarify Sumanthiran’s claim. Assurance that the Constitution will bar foreign judges came instead from the civil rights activist Attorney-at-Law Chrishmal Warnasuriya.

He made the observations at the inauguration of the People’s Intellectual Assembly. Civil rights activists who were involved in forming the present government gathered to pressurize it to get on track the derailed promises of good governance. While each highlighted different issues, Warnasuriya addressed this particular point that threatens the integrity of the country’s sovereignty.

Reconciliation

Zeid’s special report, titled “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”, shockingly lacked a comprehensive understanding of the subject and was shabby in detail. Despite many experts and special rapporteurs in recent times visiting Sri Lanka to make their observations, the quality expected from an esteemed institution as the UN was markedly absent in the report.

As FNO observes, Zeid appears to be influenced by the separatists and not by Sri Lankans. He had not only failed to accurately address the challenges faced by the minorities, he had also completely ignored the majority. At the very least, he had not even questioned why the people in the North continue to be led by politicians from Colombo and not from their own province.

A glaring hypocrisy is his promise of a visit from the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression in early 2017. Yet, “he is concerned by continued aggressive campaigns in social media and other forms (such as the ‘Sinhale’ bumper sticker campaign) that stoke nationalism against ethnic, religious and other minorities”. When Charles Hebdo was murdered for his insulting caricatures, his freedom of expression was defended by all civilized societies, despite the hurt he caused to millions of people.

Stoking racialism
Whether ‘Sinhale’, stokes any racialism is much debated. What is quite disturbing is when so-called experts on Sri Lankan matters do not take all sides into consideration. His partiality is highlighted when ‘Sinhale’ catches his attention fully, the increased unfurling of the proscribed LTTE’s flag completely misses his eye.

He notes the formation of the National Unity Government, where even the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) “has consolidated its position, creating a political environment conducive to reforms,” ignoring completely those who cast their vote for the alliance in which SLFP is a partner categorically voted against the formation of a unity government. Thus, those voters’ fundamental rights are being blatantly violated has escaped Zeid.

He points out, “The fate of remaining security detainees held under the PTA remains a major concern for the Tamil community”. He however fails to note the concern of those, who did not vote for the incumbent government, over the arrests of the government’s political opponents. The opponents are detained without proof, to aid investigations; whereas government allies, who are also supposedly under investigations with proof stacked against them, moves unhindered.

Military presence
The presence of military in the North and East, he claims in his report, is heavy. He recommends the “Government in asserting full civilian control over the military and intelligence establishment and dismantling the units and structures allegedly responsible for violations”.

“Heavy military presence” is a mantra drummed by separatists. When Zeid also picks up the chant without substantiating, he stands exposed as a sympathizer of separatists. He must explain the assessment criteria that led him to conclude that the military presence is indeed high.

The Sri Lankan military played a significant role to bring normalcy to the North and the East. No longer are eight –year-olds forced to become cannon fodder. Teen girls are allowed to blossom without being turned into potential bombs. Children enjoy uninterrupted schooling and adults no longer pay exorbitant taxes for their daily survival. The Sri Lankan military, comprised entirely of Sri Lankan citizens, has the right to be present in concentrations deemed necessary in any part of Sri Lanka, because they are the national security force and not an occupying army.

Indian Peace Keeping Force
This was not the case with the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) that occupied the North and East in the late ’80s. Interestingly, the very forces that object to Sri Lankan military in these areas, welcomed the IPKF occupation, even when they were severely harassing the civilians and violating all norms of human rights.

However, the role of the IPKF is not the only annals to be obscured from world history. Dr. Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University, co-author of the bestselling book and HBO series, ‘The Untold History of the United States’ in an interview with Abby Martin, explains the real reasons for the use of atomic bombs, the Japan’s role in World War II, Japan’s relationship with US in present day and the danger of that relationship leading to a new war. (The full documentary,https://youtu.be/dUPkeQbKCVU and https://youtu.be/ZhL5Xlef4yE)
After 72 years of dropping the atomic bombs in Japan, Obama was the first US President to visit the memorial site in Hiroshima. Throughout his visit, the one message as reiterated by US Secretary of Interior, Sally Jewell, “it was tragic in some ways, but at least it ended the war,” and therefore saved lives – half a million American lives to be exact. What happened to all the Japanese lives, points Kuznick, was conveniently ignored.

Thousands perished

In the immediate aftermath, 80,000 civilians were incinerated in each of the two cities. In the weeks and months after, thousands more perished due to radioactive silt. In the years to come, tens of thousands were to die because of radioactive poisoning.
Obscured from history, says Kuznick, is that “The US has been fire bombing the Japanese cities for months already…we were wiping out entire cities. The Japanese were desperate to surrender.
The question was not whether or not Japanese leaders would surrender, but who they would surrender to – Americans or Soviets.
“We dropped the bomb anyway. Why? To send a message to the Soviet leaders that if they don’t go along with US plans for Europe and the Pacific, this is the fate that awaits them. The Soviet leaders interpreted the message just as intended and it led to this uncontrolled arms race – a race for mutual annihilation. To kill hundreds of thousands of lives is a war crime by every definition, but to threaten the entire mankind and also life on planet to extinction goes far beyond that!
Cold War
“This notion of American goodness during the entire cold war is a myth. The entire Soviet role in winning the war in Europe and their contributions to victory in the Pacific has been wiped out. For most of the war, the US and the British faced 10 German divisions, whereas Soviets faced 200 German divisions. When US lost about 300,000-400,000 in combat, Soviets lost 27 million [civilians and military according to Wikipedia].

“Imagine, if Nazi Germany had developed the bomb first and used it. The world would look upon the atomic bomb, nuclear weapons with appropriate horror. We’d say that this is the kind of weapon that a fascist country would use.
“But US is the only country to have used one and every president since Truman to have repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons. Obama in his famous speech in Prague where he calls for nuclear abolition effectively says US won’t be the first country to get rid of nuclear weapons – US would be the last.”

No innocent ducklings
Japanese by no means were innocent ducklings sitting in a row. Their role in WWII is as horrifying as the Nazi’s. From 1800s, as the Japanese feudal order transformed into industrialism, they needed to expand and conquer. By the 1930s the Japanese Empire had conquered large parts of China and most of East Asia.

“Rule under the Emperor,” notes the documentary, “was a horror of historic proportions. A policy of so-called comfort women bound over 200,000 sex slaves for Japanese soldiers. Torture, human experiments, mass rape and executions cast a shadow on its present nation.”

“The war crimes should have been more severe,” says Kuznick. “We never raised the charge against Japan for their bombing of Chinese cities, because we were afraid that they’d raise the charge against the US for our own bombing of Japanese cities as well as the atomic bombings.
“The bedrock of the Japanese Peace Constitution from 1946 was Article 9, where they renounce the right of war as a sovereign nation and to have offensive military forces. The Japanese loved it. During the Korean War, the US tried to get Japan to revoke Article 9, so that they can help US in the Korean War. They refused.

Pressurizing Japan
“US had been since pressurizing Japan to do away with Article 9, so they can form the backbone of what the US is doing in Asia. The Japanese have been resisting until now.

“The island of Okinawa was entry point to the US invasion in 1945. After decimating 90 per cent of the island, the US took it over and had been occupying it ever since, setting up bases wherever they want. Okinawa houses 74 per cent of US military bases in Japan. Approximately half of the 50,000 troops over in Japan are stationed in Okinawa. It has since served as the launch point for US invasions of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.”
The documentary highlights, “the armed presence of 32 military bases had violated Okinawan culture and environment from spilling 13,000 tones of poisoned gas to the legacy of sexual abuse, corruption and impunity. Between 1972 and 2015 police states, say US Forces committed 26 murders and 129 rapes.
Accountability is virtually non-existent with US immunity. In over 100 cases, rapists were fined, demoted or confined to barracks and letters of reprimand was the only punishment for the balance perpetrators.

Raping and killing
“In 2010, 100,000 people fought against the construction of a new base. Tensions reached a boiling point earlier this year when a marine admitted to raping and killing a 20-year old. In response, over 65,000 Japanese rallied with signboards, ‘Our fury has gone over the limit!’

The current Japanese leaders, argues Kuznick, are becoming increasingly amendable to American pressure to scrapping Article 9 and becoming an ally in American’s expansionist plans for the Pacific. It is this new war path that the Japanese are opposing concludes the documentary.
The question for the UN is what are their special rappoteurs recommending to addressthissituation.

ranasingheshivanthi@gmail.com

Letter on the Canadian Prime Minister and his Liberal Government

July 5th, 2016

Asoka Weerasinghe Ottawa, Canada

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

Canada Day, 2016, 12:24 PM

Her Excellency Shelley Whiting,
High Commissioner of Canada in Sri Lanka
Canada House. 5th Lane
Colombo 3, Sri Lanka.

  1. His Excellency, Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Dear High Commissioner Shelley Whiting:

I just came inside my house at Beaconhill North having watched with pride the Canada’s Snowbird acrobatic team thundering in a diamond formation quite low over my roof in celebration of Canada Day.

Then going to my computer and reading ColomboPage of the day, I felt strange to read your statement that “Canada remains committed to working with the Government of Sri Lanka toward building this lasting peace, reconciliation and prosperity in Sri Lanka.”

I held my breath for a moment threw my two arms to the sky and said:       “Hallelujah!  Sweet Mother of Jesus, did you hear what Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka had said.  Sweet Mother, I wonder what made this Canadian Government say, what they said.  Is it that they have just heard and understood the Commandment of Matthew 5:21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be liable to judgement”.   Shish! these are the same political characters in the Canada’s Liberal Government who aided and abetted the  thousands of massacres,  killings and assassinations in Sri Lanka  for 13 long years by the Tamil Tigers, when the Liberal government looked aside letting the Tamil Diaspora collect 2 million dollars every month to stuff the Tamil Tiger war-chest to buy sophisticated killing weapons supporting the Tamil Tiger’s separation war wanting their mono-ethnic, racist Tamil state, Eelam.  That too carved out of the island’s North-eastern one-third of the productive real estate bordered by 66% of the coast line.  And this  Eelam was for the then (1983) 12.6% of the population. It is hard to believe, isn’t it, Sweet Mother of Jesus!”

High Commissioner Whiting, it almost sounded like a sick joke, when a country that aided and abetted in the killing of innocent Sinhalese and Muslim people in the thousands by supporting the separatist Tamil Tigers, and now wanting to commit to work with the Government of Sri Lanka towards building a lasting peace…”

My world says, “Beware of these strange people who really wouldn’t care two prairie straws about Sri Lanka’s peoples, but only want the thousands of Tamil votes in nine ridings in the Greater Toronto Area to have their Liberal candidates sit on embellished wooden pews of the Canadian Parliament’s Chamber.”  I smell a rat here, High Commissioner Whiting!

High Commissioner Whiting, I consider your statement an inhumane cruel joke on the majority Sinhalese population.  And I am a true-blooded Sinhala-Canadian Buddhist.

And here is the backgrounder and seven reasons for the Sri Lankan Government to “Beware of the Greeks who are really Liberal-Canadians bringing you gifts of waffles dripping with Maple syrup and bags of capelin from Middle Cove in Newfoundland, saying that Canada is committed to working with the Sri Lankan Government toward building a lasting peace…”

All the major Canadian political parties are after the Tamil votes to get into parliament and there are oodles of Tamil votes, almost 75,000 in the Greater Toronto Area and depend on them to win nine ridings.  And as former Liberal Justice Minister Irvin Cotler admitted to the National Post Editorial Board that they did not ban the Tamil Tigers as a ruthless terrorist group while the rest of the world did, was not wanting to antagonize the Tamil community.  Thus lose their votes by doing so.  High Commissioner Shelly Whiting there is something fishy and immoral about your statement on behalf of the Canadian Government and I have difficulty to accept it.   And here are 7 reasons why I do not trust that statement.

Reason  1:  Even with the advise by High Commissioner Shelley Whiting’s diplomat colleague Ruth Archibald then Canadian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka, requesting the Liberal Parliamentarians not to attend the $60-a-plate fund raiser

for the Tamil Tigers organized by the Federal Association Canadian Tamils (FACT), two arrogant senior Cabinet Ministers Paul Martin (Finance) and Maria Minna

(CIDA) attended it with nine other Liberal back benchers on 6 May 2000, in Toronto.  With such arrogance and pro-Eelam sentiments one should be an idiot to accept this statement by the Canadian Government:  ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ – Beware of Greeks even those bearing gifts.

Reason 2:  It was this Liberal Government who looked the other way letting the separatist Canadian-Tamils collect two million dollars a month for 13 long years to stuff the Tamil Tiger war-chest to buy war weapons to keep on fighting for their separate state, Eelam, by killing innocent civilians, mainly my unarmed Sinhalese people.  How can you trust this Canadian statement?  I say to the Sri Lankan Government: ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ – Beware of Greeks even those bearing gifts.

Reason 3: It was Derek Lee, the Liberal MP for Scarborough-Rouge River, the host of the Community Forum  who eulogized the late leading Tamil Tiger terrorist Anton Balasingham at his wake, who by right should have been brought to the International Court of Justice in the Hague and charged for War Crimes, as he was the head honcho of the massacre of 600 policemen in the eastern province, who had surrendered to the Tamil Tigers as ordered by President Premadasa with the expressed agreement with Anton Balasingham that the policemen would be sent south alive without being harmed.  Well, Derek Lee was soliciting the Tamil votes for him and for his Liberal candidate colleagues in the Greater Toronto Area. With this blatant anti-Sri Lanka act by Lee how can the Sri Lankan government trust the Canadian statement?  I say to the Sri Lanka Government: ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ – Beware of Greeks, even those bearing gifts.

Reason 4:  Judy Sgro, the MP for York West in the Greater Toronto Area had an unchristian attitude when dealing with the peoples of Sri Lanka.  According to her psyche, Tamils are the only children of God while she couldn’t care two hoots for Muslims and Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.  She painted the Liberals as a bunch of haughty, arrogant, heartless, opportunistic politicians when after the Tsunami, as the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship she vowed to send Immigration Officers to the Tamil Tiger controlled areas in Sri Lanka to help expedite immigration applications. She ignored the fact that the most Tsunami affected communities were of the Muslims and Sinhalese.  That’s how brutal she was, and she was a Liberal.  Being heartless and it was easy to comprehend why she wanted to bring only the Tamils over to Canada.  It was a case of garnishing the Tamil votes in the thousands and fill her Liberal voter Bank.  That is how heartless and brutal the Liberals were and one cannot trust them wanting to help Sri Lanka to achieve reconciliation among the two communities. How insane can Judy Sgro be?  I told Judy Sgro in a letter, that there was something called international protocol and that she should get off her high horse and take a basic course at College in ‘Diplomacy 101’.   And she is a Liberal. With that arrogance and being a pro-Eelam supporter, I say to the Sri Lanka Government, watch out for these Greeks.  ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ – Beware of Greeks, even those bearing gifts like waffles dripping with Maple syrup and bags filled with dead capelin from Middle Cove in Newfoundland.

Reason 5:

The 6th November of 2007,  was a freezing cold day at the Markham Recreation Ground bordering the Greater Toronto Area.  That evening eleven Liberal parliamentarians tripped through freezing rain drops and stood in vigil with 10,000 Tamils cursing the Sri Lankan Government for bombing a meeting place of S.P. Thamilchelvam, the leader of the Political Wing of the Tamil Tigers killing him.  This is proof positive that the sanctimonious Liberals who made that statement were anti-Sri Lankan Government and pro-Tamil Tigers who wanted their mythical separate state, Eelam.  The highlight of the evening was that these  Liberal MPs christened and crowned the Tamil Tigers as “Doves of Peace”.  What codswallop coming out of these Liberal fools, High Commissioner Whiting!  It wasn’t long when the Liberal ‘Doves of Peace’ mutated to become “Killer Doves” as they executed scores of innocent Sinhalese by detonating a claymore mine.  And Borys Wrzesnewskyj, the Liberal MP for Etobicoke Centre lambasted the Sri Lankan Government at that vigil in front of 10,000 Tamils for killing their Tamil Tiger friend Tamilchelvam.  And all what I tell the Sri Lankan Government is: ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ – Beware of these Greeks, even those bearing gifts like a Bison meat sandwich wrapped in a piece of paper with printed  words, “Canada remains committed to working with the Government of Sri Lanka toward building this lasting peace, reconciliation and prosperity in Sri Lanka.”

Reason 6:

It was in 1994 that a Canadian-Tamil cut a cheque for a sum of Cdn. $990,987 from a Bank in Vancouver from his account to purchase 60 tons of RDX and 10 tons of TNT explosives from the Rubezone Chemical Factory in the Ukraine.  They used these explosives in a Truck bomb to bring down the Central Bank Building in the Finance District of Colombo, on 31 January 1996, killing 114 innocent people and maimed for life another 1338.  Sri Lanka is still waiting for an apology from Canada for aiding and abetting this murderous act.  And do you, High Commissioner Whiting, really expect the Sri Lankan government to swallow your statement hook-line-and-sinker without questioning Canada’s Liberal Government’s honesty.  And I say to the Sri Lanka Government, ‘Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes’ –Beware of these Greeks, even those bearing gifts like a tin of Tim Hortons dark roast coffee, or an elegant Haida-art stamped crafted  wooden box of smoked salmon.  I am willing to bet my last dollar that these Justin Trudeau Liberals will do nothing to antagonize the separatist Tamil Diaspora who won’t have anything to do with ‘reconciliation’ without a guarantee of their mythical mono-ethnic, racist Tamil state, Eelam.  Name me one Liberal politician who wants to lose the bloc of Tamil votes by working with the Sri Lankan government on peace and reconciliation without an Eelam as their ultimate prize at the end of the tunnel?  Let’s stop this Humbug!

Reason 7:

What is jarring, what is disingenuous, what is sick, is that none of the Liberal parliamentarians past and present passed my simple litmus test of honesty of their concerns about Sri Lanka. Some even charged Sri Lanka of Tamil genocide.

Not a single Liberal parliamentarian respected the call of their God to be honest with their dealings on Sri Lanka.  None of them proved to me that they had the guts and a spine to stand up in the House of Commons Chambers and acknowledge that Sri Lanka was involved in the biggest Humanitarian Rescue  Mission of refugees in recent recorded history when Sri Lanka’s soldiers, mainly from the majority Sinhalese community rescued 295,873 Tamils who had been herded as a human shield under a hot tropical sun for 30  sweat-dripping months, from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers during the latter months of the Tamil Tiger separatist war by 19 May 2009.  Every Liberal parliamentarian has been deaf, dumb and blind since 19 May 2009, since the last Tamil Tiger was eliminated with a bullet on the sandy banks of the Nandikadal lagoon in Mullaitivu.  And that is a Fact which questions the Canadian Liberal‘s honesty with their statement, which I say is a white-wash to paint ourselves a lily-white bunch of goody-two-shoes.   What nonsense! This rescue also questions the veracity of the charge of Liberal’s ‘Nasty-Five’ Robert Oliphant, Jim Karygiannis, Derek Lee, Judy Sgro and Albina Guaineiri, of “Tamil Genocide” when they spoke during the February 4, 2009, Special Debate in Parliament on Sri Lanka, which I had christened as the ‘Canadian Tamil Tiger Blarney Gong-Show.’  And the dishonesty of these Liberals showed  their lack of decency again, when none of them had the gumption to acknowledge the humanitarian side of this separatist Eelam war when the Sri Lanka Government prepared a million hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners daily to feed the 295,873 Tamil refugees housed in temporary tents for months.  The Liberals have been deaf, dumb and blind on this issue and had failed my simple litmus test of honesty and decency that questions the honesty of the Canadian Government’s statement which you announced on Canada Day.

My humble request to you Dear High Commissioner Shelley Whiting is to cut out this eye-wash and piffle and spare the 21 million Sri Lankans of this  Canadian Humbug.

And I say to the Sri Lankan Government –Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes – Beware of these Greeks even those bearing gifts from Canada. I have little trust in them as they have their own agendas marching to the tom-tom beat of the separatist Tamil-Canadians who would guarantee their votes only if the Liberals promise to help them to achieve their mono-ethnic, racist Tamil state, Eelam.  It is that simple.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

——————————————————————————–

Kings Grove Crescent , Gloucester , Ontario, Canada

14 June 2016

Hon. Maithripala Siresena
President
Republic of Sri Lanka
Colombo, Sri Lanka

  1. Hon. Ranil Wickremasinghe Prime Minister of Sri Lanka

Dear President Sirisena:

ColomboPage of June 8, 2016 told us that “Sri Lanka President vows to eradicate LTTE ideology which is still present locally and globally to ensure long term peace in Sri Lanka.”

It continued, “He said, since being elected, he had been able to cultivate friendships with all world leaders.  He would rely on their assistance to achieve reconciliation.”

While you have every right to “Dream On”, Mr. President, I would hate to rain on your parade when you come to deal with Canada and its leader.  You obviously didn’t read Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s statement, “Canada’s Prime Minister willing to assist Sri Lanka address serious violations of International law during the war,” and my response to him of May 19, 2016, which could be found, posted in Lankaweb on May 24th, 2016.

If your research staff hadn’t been diligent to pick them up and place them in your daily Briefing File, then let’s forget that lot.   But, please ask your son or daughter to find them by Googling Lankaweb, read them and brief you.  That certainly will shake you out of your naive “Dream On” world.  The chances that the Canadian government will help you to eradicate LTTE ideology in Canada, has a Snow ball chance in Hell.

President Sirisena, here is the rub.  As you are aware, parliamentarians around the world are all cookie-cutter-produced characters who would do any shenanigan, whether legal constitutionally or illegal to sit their butts on a carved wooden bench in their parliament’s chamber.  Sri Lankans have always been good at that, bribing their constituents and promising heaven and earth to seek their votes, or even get the President and the Prime Minister to act as twin Gods to get themselves through the back door of Parliament after having been rejected by the masses by a democratic vote, and still manage to seat themselves in parliament and some even at the Cabinet table.    This incident will go down in history as a classic example of how your Yahapalanaya Good Governance worked.

Not only that Mr. President, the perks that come being a parliamentarian has a handsome monetary value to  give enough reasons to try any shenanigan to become a member of parliament, whether it is in Sri Lanka or Canada.

For example, Mr. President, your Yahapalanaya Good Governance shocked every ordinary citizen, when you let your caucus members milk the country, not withstanding the rural poor wracking their brains how to put cents from their salli-malla together to buy a coconut to cook a decent meal for their family, and your parliamentarians were going after their perks of getting luxury vehicles worth billions of rupees.  This was decadence of the first order, this is sick, Mr. President.  While a 6 and an 8 year old brother and sister in a white shirt and blue shorts and a white dress with school ties, started to walk to school and 6 in the morning to get to school by 7:30 in the morning down Kandalama way, and your parliamentarians are after luxury cars to travel in.    These two kids needed bicycles and no luxury car riding parliamentarian cared. What’s going on, Mr. President?  The airport car driver who drove me home said that he was still missing a couple of thousand rupees to buy his young son the top sprinter at school, a pair of good sprinter’s track shoes which he had promised that he would buy him,  and we have parliamentarians  grovelling for their luxury cars costing the tax payer billions of rupees.  This is the airport car driver working on commissions. That is his Karma and the luck of the draw.

Little wonder why when I asked 23 rural folk across Sri Lanka in February, “Kohomada may aluth arnduwa?”   Everyone snickered and told, almost in pirith-unison, “Oya okkoma hora yakku, Mahaththaya.”  That is the pulse of your rural folk, Mr. President in Kosgoda, Galle, Nuwara Eliya, Rattota, Gatambe, Ibbagamuwa, Galewella, Melsiripura Hakgala, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Colombo’s Kanatta grave diggers. And this is the holy truth, and nothing but the truth.

But here’s what was extraordinary about these 23 rural persons.  I am not kidding, everyone placed their palms together, stretched their arms to the sky looked up and blessed Ranasinghe Premadasa Mathithuma.  Not Mahinda Rajapaksa nor Maithripala Sirisena or Ranil Wickremasinghe.   Are you out of touch with these rural people, Mr. President?  Go figure that one out!

Mr. President, coming back to your wanting to eradicate LTTE ideology,  of wanting their mythical mono-ethnic, racist, Tamil state Eelam, which is still present locally and globally to ensure long term peace, I wonder from where on earth did you get the idea that you can achieve that among the separatist Tamil-Canadians?  I told you earlier, “Dream On”, Mr. President.  Who said they wanted reconciliation sans an Eelam?

Do you honestly believe that your new found friendship with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will help you along for you to achieve your “Dream”?

What nonsense!  These Canadian political parties, Liberal, Conservative and NDP are as hungry as the My3-Ranil Combo who wanted power, and wanted to get elected by hook or by crook as you lot did.

Are you aware that nine ridings in the Greater Toronto Area depend on the Bloc-Tamil-Canadian votes?  I doubt the Canadian politicians have rocks in their heads wanting to let go of these Tamil votes and lose power to govern the country so that you could achieve your “dream’.  That is not going to happen.   But, what might very likely happen is that Canada’s political leaders might tell you:

“President Sirisena, why don’t you have a good shot of Mendis Special  and a healthy plate of rice with kukul muss curry for lunch, and fly a kite at Galle Face Green, as we are not going to antagonize the Tamil community as they want nothing but their piece of real estate up North and East  of your island for their Eelam and we are leaning towards supporting them.”

Mr. President, but here are some brain-teasers for you to give some thought.

  1. Do you know why the Liberal parliamentarians, Jim Karygiannis, Roy Cullen, Tony Ianno, John McKay Tom Wappel, Byron Wilfert and Joe Volpe followed their two senior Cabinet Ministers Paul Martin (Finance) and Maria Minna (CIDA) to patronize a $60-a-plate fund raising dinner organized by FACT in Toronto on 6 May 2000 for the Tamil Tigers?  They were grovelling for the Tamil votes in the Greater Toronto Area.  Do you honestly feel that they would give up their political power, lucrative perks and building up their pensions to accommodate your “Dream.  The chances are zilch!
  1. Do you know why the Liberal parliamentarian Derek Lee (retired from politics) from the Greater Toronto Area eulogized the Tamil Tiger Anton Balasingham at his funeral service in Toronto? He was grovelling for the Tamil votes for him and his colleagues in the Greater Toronto Area.  Do you honestly feel that they would give up their political power, lucrative perks and build up on their pensions, to accommodate your “Dream”.  The chances are Zip!
  1. Do you know why Liberal parliamentarians Jim Karygiannis, Maria Minna, Derek Lee, Borys Wrzesnewsky, John Cannis. John McKay, Mark Holland, Yasmin Ratansi and Lui Tenmelkovaski stood outdoors in vigil with 10,000 of their Tamil constituents at the Markham Recreation Ground in Ontario, on that rain-spitting cold shivering day on  6th November 2007,   for S.P. Thamil Chelvam who was killed by a bomb dropped by the Air Force on a Killinochchi building where  Tamil Chelvam was attending a palaver?   And why the Tamil Tiger terrorists, the most ruthless in the world, were christened in public that evening by these Liberal parliamentarians as “Doves of Peace”?  The Liberals were grovelling for the Tamil votes.  Do you honestly feel that they would give up their political power, lucrative perks and building up their pensions being MPs to accommodate your “Dream”?  The chances are Zero?
  1. Do you know why the Conservative Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon put out a pathetic Press Release with no congratulatory pat on Sri Lanka’s back when Sri Lanka’s armed forces wiped out the Tamil Tigers, the most ruthless terrorist group in the world, on 18 May 2009, the last one dying on the sandy banks of the Nandikadal lagoon, while all other western countries said “Good for you Sri Lanka!” and patted Sri Lanka’s back. The Conservatives knew that they couldn’t handle 20,000 Tamils, men, women and children and their grandparents storming Sussex Drive in protest the following morning under a sky of 20,000 red Tamil Tiger terrorist flags.  And along the way lose every single Tamil vote and lose nine ridings in the Greater Toronto Area at the next Federal election.  So honestly do you feel that they will give up their Tamil votes, their bread and butter, and their monthly handsome pension cheque to accommodate your “Dream”?  I say Diddly-squat!
  1. Do you know why Jack Layton, the NDP leader compared Velupillai Prabakaran to South Africa’s Nelson Mandela in front of 10,000 Tamils celebrating Pongu Thamil at Queen’s Park in Toronto? It was because he wanted to garner every one of the 10,000 separatist Tamil votes in that crowd for the NDP.  Surely, Mr. President,  you are not that naive  are you to believe that the NDP will support your ‘Dream’ of eradicating the LTTE ideology  among the separatist Tamil-Canadians do you?   The chances are pretty slim, and you are skating on thin ice on that one.
  1. Do you know why Deepak Obhrai, Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs who represented Canada at the Commonwealth Summit Meeting in Colombo took off  to the North with a photographer in tow,  to record his laying a wreath at Elephant Pass for the Tamil soldiers who died at war                                                                                                      and not the Sinhalese soldiers who got killed and when asked not to do it by a Sri Lankan official?  (read Deepak Obhrai: His defence in laying a wreath at Elephant Pass by Asoka Weerasinghe posted in Lankaweb, December 7, 2013)  Obhrai was brave and acted like a thug.  He was the hit man for the Tamil Diaspora doing this thuggish act.  When this cunning, disingenuous politician was challenged he said that Elephant Pass was a neutral location to lay the wreath.  I had to educate this fool in a letter on December 6, 2013, that there was nothing neutral about Elephant Pass where three historical battles were fought by Tamil Tigers killing hundreds of Sri Lankan, mainly Sinhalese soldiers.

This thuggish act was exposed as a deliberate Tamil vote begging act.  He returned to Canada and immediately goes to Toronto to proudly tell the Tamil community what he had done for them to promote their racist separatist cause.  So you see Mr. President, you will be treading on some difficult slippery rocky terrain if you think that you can convince Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help you eradicate  the LTTE ideology among the Tamil Diaspora in Canada.  And I could  go on with many more examples to reason out that your wish  is just a ‘Dream’ and will not happen.  Prove me wrong, Mr. President, and may be I will start to believe in your Yahapalanaya Good Governance which has eluded me pretty badly.

However, I hope you will read this letter in the spirit of being cautioned by a Sinhalese-Canadian not to get embarrassed personally with your venture in Canada and embarrass your country you represent.  You no doubt, are being honest with what you want to achieve, but also being naive at the same time.

This information for my reasoning you will not get from the Canada desk at the Foreign Ministry in Colombo nor will you from the Sri Lanka Mission in Ottawa.  That is a realty check for you, Mr. President.

All what I can say to you Mr. President is, “I wish you Good Luck in all my heart!”

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)
(formerly from Colombo 9 and
an old boy of Nalanda College)

නොතේරෙන නිසාම අසමි…..

July 5th, 2016

තේජා ගොඩකන්දෙආරච්චි

පලාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය 2017 සිංහල අවුරුද්දට පෙර පවත්වන බව ඇමති ෆයිසර් මුස්තාපා අවසානයේදී ස්ථිරවම ප්‍රකාශ කලේය. ඒ දිනවලම මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ සමග අලුත් බලවේගයක් ගොඩනැගීම ඌව පලාතෙන් ආරම්භ කරන ලදී. ඇත්ත වශයෙන්ම මේ මුලු කාලය පුරා රාජපක්ෂ පිල අකර්මන්‍යව සිටියේ නැත. ඔවුහු දිගින් දිගටම තම ප්‍රතිරූපය ගොඩනගා ගැන්මෙහි යෙදී සිටියහ.

මේ අතර නව රජය ඉදිරිපත් කල අය වැයේ සිටම මුලු රට පුරා අවුල් ජාලාවක් නැගෙන්නට පටන් ගත්තේද ඉහත සඳහන් කල වැඩපිලිවෙලවල බලපෑම් ජනතාවටද දැනුන නිසා විය යුතුය. ඒ අතර අගමැති ඇතුලු සමහර ඇමතිවරුන්ගේ දුරදිග නොබලා කරන ක්‍රියාවන්ද මේ තත්වය තීව්‍ර කලේය. යහපාලන රජයේ සම කොටස් කරුවන් වූ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයද ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂයේ මෙෙත්‍රී පිලද සමව නියෝජනය වන සමහර ස්ථානවල ගැටුම් පැහැදිලිව දක්නට තිබිනි. ධීවර ඇමති මහින්ද අමරවීර සහ නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමති දිලිප් වෙදආරච්චි අතර ඇතිවූ ගැටුම මෙන්ම කලුතර දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ පාලිත තෙවරප්පෙරුම සහ මහින්ද සමරසිංහ අතර ඇති වූ ගැටුමද ඉතා විවෘතව ජනතාව ඉදිරියේ රඟ දැක්වුනු සිද්ධීන්ය.

මනාප ඡන්ද 5268 ක් පමනක් ලැබුන, තමා ගැන අධි තක්සේරුවෙන් සිතන උද්ධච්ච මිනිසෙකු වූ සරත් ෆොන්සේකාට ඇමති ධුරයක්ද පිරිනමා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට රැගෙන ඒමේදී, ඇමති විජේදාස රාජපක්ෂට පසුබාන්නට සිදුවූයේ ඊට පෙර සිටම ඔවුන් දෙදෙනා අතර පැවති මත ගැටුම් පිලිබඳව දැන දැනම එජාප නායකයන් දැක්වූ අන්ධ භාවයෙන් යුතු ප්‍රතිපත්තිය නිසා විය යුතුය. ඉන්පසු පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදීද වරින් වර හෙලි වූ මෙම ගැටුම් අදටද කෙලවරක් නැත. මෙවර මනාප ඡන්ද ඉතා සුලු ගණනකින් ආසනය අහිමි වූ රෝසි සේනානායකට අපේක්ෂා භංගත්වයට පත්වීමට සිදුවූයේද සරත් ෆොන්සේකාගේ ආගමනය හේතුවෙනි.

කිසිදා නොවෙනස්ව එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයට දරදිය ඇද්දා වූද, දින 100 රජයේදී තම ඇමතිකමේ කටයුතු හැකි උපරිමයෙන් කලා වූද, විනයක් ඇතිව හැසිරෙන ඇයට මෙය කෙසේ බලපෑවාදැයි නොදැනුනේ අදටත් ඇය විනය ගරුකව තම නායකයාගේ තීරණයට හිස නමා සිටින බව පෙනෙන්නට ඇති බැවිනි. නමුත් පිටතට පෙනෙන්නට තිබෙන දර්ශනය නරඹන අපට තිරයෙන් පිටුපස සිදුවන දේ ගැන හරියටම කිව නොහැක.

ඊලඟට සමහර විවෘත කිරීම්වලදී නිල් පැහැ කොඩි ඉවත්කර කොල පැහැ කොඩි පමනක් දක්නට ලැබීමද, රාජපක්ෂ රජය යටතේ සිදුකල යම් කර්තව්‍යයන් තමන්ගේ නමින් විවෘත කිරීමද දක්නට ලැබුන අතර අද යහපාලනයට එක්ව සිටියද, එදා රාජපක්ෂ රජයේ කොටස් කරුවන් වූ ඇමතිවරුන්ගේ සිත් මේවායින් වේදනාවට පත් නොවන්නේ යයි කාට කිව හැකිද? නිමල් සිරිපාල සිල්වා ඇමතිවරයා හෝ ඩිලාන් පෙරේරා ඇමතිවරයා තම මතයන් යම් ප්‍රමානයකට හෙලිදරව් කලත් ඔවුන්ගේ ක්‍රියාවන් විවේචනය කරන පිරිසක් එජාප සහ ශ්‍රීලනිප මෙෙත්‍රී පිල යන දෙපාර්ශ්වයේම සිටිති.

ඒ අතර වත්මන් රජය බලයට ගෙන ඒමට සහය දැක්වූ කලාකරුවන් රැසක් මෙවර රාජ්‍ය නාට්‍ය උළෙලේ දී ප්‍රදර්ශනය කල විරෝධයද සැලකිය යුතුය. මේ සම්බන්ධව මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ පාලනයට පක්ෂපාතී අය උපහාසයෙන් කතා කලද, ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී සමාජයක තමන් නිවැරදි යැයි දකින පාර්ශ්වය තෝරා ගැනීම තම අයිතියක් වන අතර තම හැඟීම් මෙසේ අවංකව ප්‍රකාශ කිරීම ද අගය කල යුත්තකි. වරදක් වෙතොත් වන්නේ උගුරට හොරා බෙහෙත් කන්නට යන්නේ නම්ය. එදා කුරුණෑගලදී ඔවුන්ට කල පහර දීම නාමල් රාජපක්ෂගේ නිල් බලකාය පිට පැවරුනත් ඒ සිද්ධියේ ප්‍රධාන කොටස්කරුවකු වූ කමල් ඉන්දික කෝරලගේට හිරියාල ශ්‍රීලනිප ආසන සංවිධායක තනතුර පිරිනැමීම තුල එම සිද්ධිය සිතා මතා සැලසුම් කල එකක්දෝ යන සැකය උපදී.මන්ද එවකට හිරියාලේ ආසන සංවිධායකව සිටි සාලින්ද දිසානායක මෙම පහර දීමට සහභාගි නොවූ අතර ඔහුව සංවිධායක ධුරයෙන් නෙරපා හැරීමට ජනාධිපති සහ වත්මන් ශ්‍රීලනිප මහ ලේකම්වරයා දෙවරක් නොසිතූ නිසාය. කලාකරුවන් මෙන්ම ඔහුද යම් වරදක ගොදුරක් වූයේය.

සෑම දිනකම ප්‍රවෘත්ති විකාශනයන් ඔස්සේ ප්‍රචාරය වන විවිධ දේශපාලන පක්ෂ සහ සිවිල් සංවිධාන විසින් කැඳවනු ලබන මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාවන්හි නම් අඩුවක් නොමැත. මේවා තුල අනිකුත් පාර්ශ්වයන්ගේ අරමුණු පැහැදිලි මුත් ශ්‍රීලනිප යේ කතන්දරය නම් තරමක් වෙනස්ය.

මෙෙත්‍රී පිලට සහය දක්වන අය නිතරම මතුරන මන්තරය නම් ‘ශ්‍රී ලනිප ය කඩන්න එපා’ යන්නයි. ඔවුන් මේ ඉල්ලීම කරනුයේ මහින්ද පිලෙනි. විසුරුවා හරින ලද පලාත් පාලන ආයතන නියේජිතයන් පිරිසක්ද මේ ඉල්ලීම කරන ගොඩට අලුතින් එක්වූයේ පලාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය පැවැත්වීමේ කාලය ස්ථිරව එලඹීමේ සලකුණු ඇති හෙයිනි. ශ්‍රීලනිප ය කඩන්නට එපා යයි පවසන, මෙෙත්‍රී පිලට පක්ෂපාතී වන මේ පිරිස නවතම තත්වය ගැන බැසිල් රාජපක්ෂට බලවත් සේ දොස් නගති.

මේ දේශපාලන අවුල් වියවුල් තුල ඡන්දදායකයාට ලිහාගත නොහැකි ගැටලුව ලෙස අප දැකිය යුත්තේ මේ ශ්‍රීලනිප ය කැඩීමේ පුවතයි. මේ භේදවීම තුල සම්පූර්ණ වරද පැටවෙන්නේ විමල් වීරවංශ සහ උදය ගම්මන්පිලගේ කර මතටය.

2014 නොවැම්බරයේදී සිදුවූ සිද්ධියේ ස්වභාවය මේ චෝදනා කරන පිරිසට නොවැටහීම තදබල ගැටලුවකි. 2014 දී මේ අයුරින්ම සුලු පක්ෂ නියෝජනය කරමින් රජය හා සන්ධානගතව සිටි චම්පික රණවක හා රාජිත සේනාරත්නත්, රජයේ නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමතිවරයකුව සිටි දුමින්ද දිසානායකත්, ජනපතිවරණ සටනට මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂට එරෙහිව එජාපය හා එක්ව පිටියට බැසි, එවකට ශ්‍රීලනිප මහ ලේකම්වරයා වූ මෙෙත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේනට සහය දුන්හ. රාජපක්ෂ පාලනය පිටුදැක තම පාලනය යලි ස්ථාපිත කරනු පිනිස වූ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂයේ සිහිනය සැබෑ කරගැන්මට තමන් එජාපය ට සහය දැක්වූවේ නැතැයි ඔවුන්ට අවංකව පැවසිය හැකි නම්, වෙනම බලවේගයක් ගොඩනැගීම සම්බන්ධව බැසිල්ට, විමල්ට හෝ උදයට දොස් කීවාට කම් නැත. මේ වන විට 2015 අගෝස්තුවේ මැතිවරණයෙන් තේරී පත් වූ සංධානයේ මන්ත්‍රීවරු 93 න් ශ්‍රීලනිප 42 ක් පමන සිටින්නේ රජය සමගය. එජාප ය මෙහිදී ආසන 106 ක් දිනා ගත්හ. ජවිපෙ, ද්‍රවිඪ ජාතික සන්ධානය හා වෙනත් සුලු පක්ෂ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ ස්වාධීනව කටයුතු කලා වුවත් මේ ශ්‍රීලනිප පිරිස එකම මතයක සිටියා නම් රජයට අභියෝග කල හැකි විපක්ෂයක් බිහිවන්නට හැකියාව තිබිනි. නමුත් අර 42  ජනාධිපති සිරිසේනගේ පාර්ශ්වය ගෙන රජයට එක්ව රජය ශක්තිමත් කලහ. ඊලඟට විපක්ෂ නායක තනතුර ද්‍රවිඪ ජාතික සන්ධානයට ලබා දුන්නේ එය මේ රටේ සැබෑ විපක්ෂය නොවන බව පැහැදිලිව දකිමිනි. ඔවුන්ගේ න්‍යාය පත්‍රය වෙනමම එකකි. එනම් ‘තම රාජධානිය සහ තම මිනිසුන්’ වෙනුවෙන් පමනි.මෙතැනදී බරපතලම වරද වූවේ ශ්‍රීලනිප ය ට ඡන්දය දුන් ජනතාවටය. නිල විපක්ෂය ක්‍රියාකාරී වන න්‍යාය පත්‍රය ගෙන බැලූවිට ඔවුන් වෙනුවෙන් හඬක් නගන්නට විපක්ෂය කියා දෙයක් මේ රටේ නැත. රජයේ අපමන කෙනිහිලි කම් මැද ක්‍රියාත්මක වන ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂය ඔවුනට යම් සවියක් වනු ඇත.

නමුත් අප තවත් දෙයක් සැලකිල්ලට ගත යුතුය. එදා මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ ව්‍යවස්ථාව වෙනස්කර තමාම තෙවන වතාවටත් ජනාධිපතිවරනයට ඉදිරිපත් වීමේ ඉඩකඩ ලබා ගත්තේය. එනම් එවකට පැවති තත්වය අනුව ව්‍යවස්ථාව වෙනස් කිරීමේ හැකියාව එතැන තිබී ඇත. ඔහු ඒ වෙනුවට ඒ හැකියාව යොදාගෙන විධායක ජනාධිපති ක්‍රමය අහෝසි කර තීරණ ගැනීමේ උත්තරීතර බලය පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට පවරා දුනි නම්  මේ වන විට මේ ආරවුල් අවම වීමට හැකියාව තිබිනි. මේ වන විටද ඔහු කෙරෙහි ජනතාව තුල ඇති කැමැත්ත අඩු නොවී ඇති බව පෙනෙන හෙයින් පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණයක් දිනා ගැන්ම ඔහුට එතරම් අසීරු නොවනු ඇත. නමුත් යුද්ධය ජයග්‍රහණය වීමත් සමග ජනතාව තුල නැගුන උද්‍යෝගය මේ සිද්ධීන් සමගම ජාතිවාදී ප්‍රවනතාවක් බවට වර්ධනය වීමට බලපෑවේය. සියල්ල උඩු යටිකුරු වූයේ එම තෙවන වර තරග කිරීමේ තීරණයත් සමගය.

දැන් ඉතින් විය යුතු දේ සිදුවී හමාරය. දැන් සිතිය යුත්තේ ඊලඟට සිදුවන දෙයයි.

දැන් ඉතින් මේ දෙපිරිසම එක්ව පලාත් පාලන මැතිවරණයට සන්ධානය වශයෙන් ඉදිරිපත් වේ යයි සිතමු. මේ තුල මෙෙත්‍රී – මහින්ද දෙපිලේම අය තේරී පත්වනු ඇත. ඊලඟට මෙෙත්‍රී පිලේ නියෝජිතයින්ගේ ඉදිරි පියවර කුමක් වනු ඇත්ද? පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ සිටින ලොකු අයියලා කලාක් මෙන් සම්මුතිවාදී පාලනයකට යාමද? එමෙන්ම මැතිවරණ සමය තුල පක්ෂයේ සියලු ජ්‍යේශ්ඨයන්ට තම ආසනයේ, තම දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ මැතිවරණ ප්‍රචාරන වේදිකාවලට නැගීමට සිදුවෙයි. මෙතැනදී ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයට නම් ප්‍රශ්ණයක් නැත. නමුත් රජයට එක්ව සිටින සන්ධාන ඇමතිවරුන් වේදිකාවට නැග ජනතාවට පවසන්නේ කුමක්ද? ශ්‍රීලනිප ය ට ඡන්ද ඇද ගැනීමට නම් පවතින පාලනය විවේචනය කල යුතුය. රජයේ කොටස් කරුවන් වී සිටින ගමන් මෙය කෙසේ කල හැකිදැයි අපට නම් නොවැටහේ. එසේ විවේචනය කලා යැයි කියමු . ඉන්පසු ඔවුන් දිගටම රජය හා රැඳෙනවාද යන්නත් ගැටලු සහගතය. එසේ රැඳෙනවා නම් තම කණිශ්ඨයන්ට වෙනම ශ්‍රිලනිප පලාත් පාලන ආයතනයක් පවත්වාගෙන යන්නැයි කියන්නේ කෙසේද?

දැනට විචකිච්ඡාවක පැටලී හිඳගෙන අලුත් බලවේග සාදනවාය කියමින් මහින්දට හෝ බැසිල්ට දොස් කියන පලාත් පාලන නියෝජිතයින්ට තබා ජනාධිපති ඇතුලු ශ්‍රීලනිප ප්‍රධානීන් ලඟ වත් මේ ප්‍රශ්ණ වලට පැහැදිලි පිලිතුරු තිබේද යන්න සැක සහිතය. කෙසේ වෙතත් මේ තත්වය තුල තමන්ගේ මී ලඟ ජයග්‍රහණය ගැන එජාපය රහසින් ගණන් බලන එක ගැන නම් සැකයක් නැත.

අන්තෝ ජටා. බහි ජටා !

 දේශපාලන පඹයා සහ පඹයාගේ දේශපාලනය

July 5th, 2016

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්   

සකලයන් නැතිනම් කුරුල්ලන්ගෙන් කෙත්වතු ආරක්ෂා කරගන්නට පැරණි ගොවියන් තමන්ගේ කුඹුරේ පඹයෙක් සිටවූ බව අසා ඇත්තෙමු. කෙතේ ගොඩගසා ඇති පිදුරු වලින් පුරවන ලද මේ පඹයාට මුළුතැන් ගෙයින් ඉවත් කළ හැලියක් ඔළුවක් වෙයි. ඒ නිසා මේ පඹයාට හැලිකටා නමින් ද ව්‍යවහාරයක් වෙයි. පඹයා ගේ කාර්යය කෙත රැකීමයි. ගොවියා සැම විටම කෙතේ නොසිටින බැවින් මේ අජීවී පඹයා ට නියම කරන ලද රාජකාරිය අකුරටම සිදු විය යුතුය. පැරණි ගොවියන් පඹයා සිටුවන්නේ නැකතකිනි. එම සුභ මුහුර්තය නිසා පඹයාට ගොවියාගේ ප්‍රාණය පිහිටුවයි. පඹයා අතපය වනමින් හෝ අත්පුඩි සලමින් කෑගසමින් සිය රාජකාරිය නොකරන්නෙකි. නිසොල්මනේ කෙත මැද සිටින විට සකලයන් පඹයාට බිය වී වෙනත් අතකට පියාසර කරති. ගොවිපළක පඹයා හිටුවා තබන්නේ කාරණා දෙකක් ඉටු කර ගැනීමටයි. ඉන් එකක් නම් පක්ෂින් ඇතුළු සකලයින් බියට පත් කිරීමයි.අනෙක නම් පඹයා තුළින් ගොවිපළ ආරෝපණය කිරීමයි. ගොවිපලේ මිනිසුන් සිටින අවස්ථාවලදී සාමාන්‍යයෙන් ගිරවුන් සහ රංචු ගැසී එන කුරුල්ලන් ලන් නොවෙති. ගොවියාගේ ජීවමාන ප්‍රතිරූපය පිහිටුවා ලීම මෙහි අර්ථය වශයෙන් දැක්විය හැකිය. එහිදී මිනිසා ගේ කුයිල නැතිනම් ගන්ධය ගොවිපලේ ඇති කළ  යුතුය.

සඳුදා දිනයක උතුරුසල නැකතින් සඳු සිටින ලග්නයෙන් හෝ කුජ සිටින ලග්නයෙන් ද සඳනැති අමාවක දිනයක හෝ කුජ දිනක පුෂ නැකත යෙදෙන සෙනසුරාදාවක ශනි සිටින ලග්නයෙන් ද පඹයා බැඳීම කරති. අවසානයේ දී පඹයා දිරාපත් වන තුරුම තිබෙන්නට හැරීම කරති. මෙහිදී උතුරුසල නැකත අයත් වන්නේ වායෝ භූතයට බව කිව යුතුය.සෙනසුරාදා දිනය ද වායෝ භූතයට අයත්ය.මෙහිදී පඹයා පිහිටවනු ලබන පුද්ගලයා අනුව මෙම භූත ලක්ෂණ ක්‍රියාත්මක වීමට පටන් ගනී. ලග්නයේ අඟහරු සිටින විට ඇතිවන තේජස් භාවය ද සඳු ඇති විටදී සිදු වන කාන්තියද එකලෙස මෙහිදී බල පැවැත්වේ. ශනි ලග්න භාවයේ සිටීම මගින් ද සතුරන් මැඩීමට ශක්තියක් ඇති වේ. මේ නිසා පඹයා නිකම්ම නිකම් රූකඩයක් නොව මිනිස් ගති ගුණ පිහිටුවා ලූ ප්‍රාණ කරන ලද වස්තුවක් විලස හැඳින්විය හැකිය. ඒ මගින් සකලයින් බය ගැන්වීම හෙවත් සිංහ වික්‍රමය පෙන්වීම  කරති.

පඹයා ගේ මේ දේශපාලනය ගැන අද බොහෝ දෙනෙක් නොදනිති. ඒ නිසාම ඇතැම් මිනිසුන්හට පඹයෙක් යයි කියමින් ගර්හාවටද ලක් කරති.

ලංකාවේ ජනාධිපති තනතුර රජෙක් හා සමාන කරන්නට ජෙ.ආර්. ජයවර්ධන හිටපු ජනාධිපති තුමා කටයුතු කළහ. ලංකාවේ අනාගත පෞරුෂය කෙබඳු විය යුතු දැයි  ඔහු ගේ දේශපාලන ශෛලියෙන් ප්‍රකට වේ. අත්තනගල්ලේ චන්ද දායකයන්ගෙන් තොරා පත් කරගත් සිරිමාවෝ බණ්ඩාරනායක මැතිණිය ලංකාවේ විධායක අගමැති වශයෙන් සිටීම නුසුදුසු  වනබව ජේ.ආර්.ගේ මතය විය. ඒ නිසා සියළුම රටවාසීන් ගේ චන්දයෙන් පත්වන්නා රටට රජෙක් හා සමානව කටයුතු කරනු ඇතැයි  බලාපොරොත්තු වක් ඔහු තුළ විය. සැබවින්ම ජේ.ආර්. ගේ පාලන සමයේදී එය එසේ විය.නමුත් දඩබ්බර ඉන්දියානු දේශපාලකයන්ගේ ගැටයකට අසුවූ  ඔහු ලංකාව සාදාකාලික දේශපාලන වහල්භාවයකට ඇද හෙළීය.වර්තමානය තුළ මේ ජනාධිපති තනතුර සතුව පවතින බලතල කප්පාදු කරන්නට ව්‍යවස්ථා ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණයක් සිදු කළ යුතු යයි හඬක් නැගී ඇත. රාජ්‍ය නොවන සංවිධාන සහ විවිධ දේශපාලන සිවිල් සංවිධාන මේ හඬ නැගීමට උත්සුක වෙමින් ඇත. ඒ තත්ත්වය තුළ වත්මන් ජනාධිපතිවරයා අගමැතිවරයාට යටත් වෙමින් ඔහු අනුව ක්‍රියාකරනු දක්නට ලැබේ. දෙමුහුන් අධිකරණයක් මෙරට තුළ ස්ථාපිත නොකරනු ඇතැයි ඔහු පවසන විට රජයේ විදේශ ඇමතිවරයා එය ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කරයි. බැංකු අධිපතිවරයා ගේ දූෂණ මත ඔහු ඉවත් කරලීමට ජනධිපතිවරයා ඉදිරිපත් වන විට අගමැතිවරයා මැදිහත්ව එය වළක්වයි.කෙත රැකීමට පඹයා කරන දේශපාලනය හෝ අවම තරමින් ඉටු කරලීමට නොහැකි වන තරමට අද රටේ ප්‍රධාන පුරවැසියා පත්ව තිබේ. එදා ජේ.ආර්. ජයවර්ධන මහතා බලාපොරොත්තු වූ ඒකීය රට රැක ගන්නට මේ තනතුරට තව දුරටත් නොහැකි බව ඔප්පු කර තිබේ. එසේ නම් ලංකාවේ අනාගතය කුමක්දැයි අප තේරුම් ගන්නේ කෙසේද.

ඉතා පැරණි සංස්කෘතියක් සහිත කොරියාව  සහ එහි දේශපාලනය ගැන ලක් වැසියන් බහුතරය තුළ වටහීමක් ලැබ ගන්නට රූපවාහිනය මගින් විකාශනය  වන ටෙලි නාටක මාලාව ඉවහල්ව ඇත. කොරියාවේ දේශපාලනය සමග බුදුසමය බද්ධවී තිබූ ආකාරය මෙන්ම පසුකාලීනව එහි ඇති වූ වෙනස්කම් කෙනෙකුට අධ්‍යනය කළ හැකිය. 1910 වසරේ දී කොරියාව ජපනුන්ට යටත් වීමෙන් පසු 1911 දී සිදු කළ ආගමික ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ නීති මගින් ජපන් ඌරුවට බුදුදහම හැඩ ගැසුණු හැටි අපට පෙන්වා දී ඇත. 1961-1979 අතර කාලවකවානුවේදී පාක් ජුන් හී පාලකයා විසින් හඳුන්වා දෙන ලද ආගමික ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ කොරියාවේ බුදුදහම පමණක් නොව දේශපාලනයද වෙනස් කර ඇත. 1980 වන විට චුන් ඩූහ්වාන් නම් ජනාධිපතිවරයා පත් විය. ඔහු ප්‍රොතෙස්තන්ත මෙතොදිස්ත යෙකු විය. ඔහු කොරියාවේ ආගමික සම්භවය සහමුලින්ම වෙනස්කලේය. විහාරස්ථාන සහමුලින්ම සංචාරක නිකේතන බවට පත් කිරීමට නීති සම්පාදනය විය. භික්ෂූන් පුන්රුත්ථාපන කඳවුරු වලට ගාල් කිරීම ඇරඹුණි. එම තත්ත්වය තුළ සියවස් ගණනක් තුළ කොරියානු ඉතිහාසයේ දක්නට තිබූ බෞද්ධ හැඩ ගැස්ම  මෙන්ම රාජ්‍ය මැදිහත් වීම ක්‍රමයෙන් අතුරුදහන් විය. අද වන විට එහි බෞද්ධ ජනගහනය සියයට විසිහතරක් දක්වා පහත බැස ඇත. ක්‍රිස්තියානකරණය බරපතල අන්දමින් ක්‍රියාවට නැගෙමින් පවතී. ආගමක් නැති නූතනවාදීන් විසින් මෙහෙයවන බහුභාණ්ඩික සමාජයක් බවට කොරියාව පත් කර තිබේ.

ලංකාවේ රාජ්‍ය පාලකයා ක්‍රිස්තියානි කිරීමට සහ ඔහු යුරෝපයේ යටත් පාලකයෙක් බවට පත් කර ගැනීමේ මෙහෙයුම ආරම්භ වන්නේ දාසය වන ශත වර්ෂයේ සිටයි. ධර්මපාල කුමරුගේ අනුරුවක් පෘතුගාලයට ගෙන ගොස් අභිෂේක කරනුයේ ඒ සඳහාය. එසේම වරින් වර යාපනයේ කුමාරවරුන්ද එලෙස බෞතීස්ම කොට පෘතුගාලයට යටත් පාලකයන් ලෙසට තබා ගැනීමේ මෙහෙයුම් ක්‍රියාත්මක ව තිබේ.එහෙත් වසර පන්සීයක කාලයේ දී එතෙක් මෙතෙක් මේ රට සහමුලින්ම අබෞද්ධ රටක් බවට පතකර ගැනීමට යටත් විජිතවාදීන්ට හැකියාව ලැබී නොමැත. වර්තමානය දෙස බලන කල්හිඉතිහාසයේ එවැනි අඳුරු කාලවකවානුවක් නැවත උදාව තිබෙන බව සක්සුදක් සේ පෙනේ.ලංකාව අනාගමික රාජ්‍යයක් ලෙසට පත් කළ යුතු යයි යෝජනා පැමිණෙන්නේ එ නිසාය. පඹයෙක් නොව රූකඩයක් බවට පත්ව තිබෙන ජනාධිපති තනතුර අව භාවිතා කරමින් රටේ ව්‍යවස්ථාව වෙනස් කොට එහි බුද්ධශාසනයට තිබෙන තැන අවලංගු කොට ඇමරිකාවට හෝ ඉන්දියාවට යටත්වූ ඔවුන් ගේ අණසක මගින් පාලනය කරන්නා වූ රටක් වශයෙන් පත් කිරීමට පියවර ගනිමින් ඇත. කොරියාවට අත්වූ ඉරණමට ක්‍රමයෙන්  ලංකාව පත් වන්නේ දැයි සිතා බැලිය යුතුය.බෞද්ධයන් මර්දනය කොට සංහිඳියාව නාමයෙන් යෙහෝවා යාඥාකරුවන්ට සහ මුස්ලිම් අන්තවාදීන්ට රට අත්පත් වීමට ඉඩ තැබීම රූකඩ දේශපාලනයේ නවතම ප්‍රයෝගය බවට පත් වී තිබේ. මෙම තත්ත්වය තේරුම් නොගෙන ඇති බව පැහැදිලි වන්නේ රට භයානක නිශ්ශබ්දතාවයකට පත්ව තිබීමෙනි.

මතුගම සෙනෙවිරුවන්

UNP CAMPAIGNING FOR NEW MEMBERS IN  A THREE WHEELER  ( TUK TUK) !

July 5th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Do you know how three wheelers came to Sri Lanka and when ? My driver who is an ardent UNP supported who was working closely with Siri Kotha tells  me that first Three Wheeler ( Tuk Tuk ) was brought to Sri Lank by UNP paid by Sri Kotha ( party office of UNP)

I vehemently protest against the party leader and  the youth leader of the party travelling in this undesirable mode of transport, thus promoting tuk tuk  more and more .

I wonder whether party will take steps to further promote membership drive by  giving a tuk tuk as an  incentive like many companies promote their products by offering rice cookers ,hair dryers etc !!

UNPCampaign UNPCampaign2 UNPCampaign3

I am one of the ardent supporter of anti-tuk tuk campaign  and a supporter Yahaplanaya and UNP ,I always advocate the idea of stopping the  importing of three wheelers to this country .One of the main reason is that Tuk Tuks is the main mode of transporting  and  muling of drugs in Sri Lanka and taking away our young productive  labour force .They are also a menace in the streets as most of the traffic violations are done by Tuk Tuks

One of the ideas for politicians and Governor of Central Banks should promote  is to prohibit further importation of three wheelers to Sri Lanka if they intend to increase national productivity by making more and more young people are available  to work in productive areas.

Surely reduction of three wheelers in Sri Lankan roads will reduce fuel consumption as we will have less traffic jams and also emission of C02 .

Yesterday I saw another article where our president locked up some of his ministers in the Matara newly opened office of the agency which monitors illegal ( legal as well)  liquor trade .

Similarly ,Prime Minster should have travelled  in a bullock cart to promote the membership drive and get ministers to pull the cart in turns instead of bulls .( parden me for this proposal not all ministers can be called Bulls other than may be called some of them as stud bulls !)

God save Sri Lanka from Tuk Tuk’s

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

A well-known herbicide finds  re-approval  by the European Union, while “Toxin-free” Sri Lanka continues to  throttle  its  farmers.

July 5th, 2016

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada.

Last year the Yahapalanaya leaders, flush with electoral victory banned Glyphosate, the well-trusted but controversial herbicide, heralding their “toxin-free nation” policy announced with much fanfare. The government hopes to replace modern agriculture with “traditional agriculture”, based on “traditional seeds” and “traditional farming methods” that do not use modern technology, chemical fertilizers, insecticides or herbicides. Even large plantations of  tea, rubber, coconut, and paddy have to be manually maintained against weeds and pests. The farmer must by himself produce the needed “organic fertilizer”, and not use “chemical” fertilizers,  as dictated by the  anti-agrochemical lobby in Colombo, inspired by  the fashionable fringe groups in California. This is a  pie-in-the-sky vision indeed!

Glyphosate is the the most widely used herbicide in the world; it has been used in agriculture for over three decades  with no casualties or directly attributable illnesses caused by it to agricultural workers. In fact, according to world-bank data, the usage of agrochemicals is higher in the more developed countries with virtually no chronic disease, and  lower in the less-developed countries with high levels of  chronic diseases. For instance, New Zealand or Malaysia use some ten times more agrochemicals per hectare  than Sri Lanka does. There seems to be a clear anti-correlation between the use of agro-  chemicals and the presence of chronic diseases, as I pointed out in greater detail in a previous  article published in the Lankaweb ( http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2016/03/17/moving-from-conventional-farming-to-organic-farming-jumping-from-the-frying-pan-into-the-fire/), the Island (March 16, 2016) and elsewhere.

The government leaders of the “Toxin free” movement include  Ven. Ratana as well as  Champika Ranawaka of Politpto notoriety (see Dr. Pethiyagoda’s articles in the Island and Lankaweb, 19 June, 2016). Those who wanted a ban on glyphosate claimed  (without evidence) that glyphosate is the cause of CKDu,  the mysterious chronic kidney diseases of unknown origin that has begun to plague the North-Central Province (NCP) of Sri Lanka since about 1990, even before the use of glyphosate in Sri Lanka. The herbicide has not been chemically detected in the soil or water of the NCP. The very  presence of green algae in the NCP water proves the absence of herbicide residues which would kill the algae. The ban was propelled by a hysteria of public fear fanned by the technical reclassification of glyphosate by the  World Health Organization (WHO).  Glyphosate, taken in unusually large doses over a long period of time may cause cancer. Here we are not talking of acute toxicity but of chronic toxicity. The daily dosage of glyphosate needed for chronic  toxicity is quite large, and comparable to those of kerosene or carbolic soap .

Politically vociferous “eco-activists” have  targeted glyphosate for decades, because a glyphosate  ban is a necessary step in their Luddite-like opposition to ALL genetically modified (GMO) crops.  The European parliament, in its recent  review of pesticides  gave the anti-glyphosate lobby  a day-long hearing where several scientists presented their studies on the toxicity levels of glyphosate, as well as the toxicity arising from substances added (adjuvants) to the herbicide  to facilitate its use.  However, weighing all the  facts and taking account of the disagreements, the European commission decided to re-approve the use of glyphosate until its next periodic review (see the German news item dated 28-June 2016: http://www.tagesschau.de/wirtschaft/glyphosat-179.html).

The dose for causing chronic toxicity was set by the WHO as a daily ingestion of at least eight table spoons (i.e., about 40 mg) of full-strength  glyphosate  taken regularly,  for a farmer weighing 70 kilos. This implies that even if workers did not wear gloves or goggles, they are unlikely to be affected, unless they directly  drank it!  The ingestion by normal farm workers is so small that their urine is found to contain perhaps a few billionth of a gram of the substance, and  not milligram quantities. Furthermore, this chronic toxicity was not related to kidney disease, but to cancer, a disease that can be provoked far more easily by  a whole host of other common substances, e.g., diesel and petroleum  fumes,  DDT-contaminated  tea, cloves, citronella oil, re-used cooking oil, organic solvents, lead paint, electronic waste, and  discarded Ni-Cd batteries, all of which are widely present in the Sri Lankan environment.

According to a study by the chemistry department in Colombo led by Prof. Mahanama, even the gasoline (petrol) sold in the country is found to be highly adulterated.  They say:

“Diesel adulteration was found to be in the range of 0 to 35 % while petrol adulteration was found to be in the range of 0 to 48 % in Colombo and its suburbs. (Kulathunga et al, J..Natn..Sci.. Foundation Sri Lanka 2013 41 (4): 287-292. )”.

Adulterated fuels produce partially oxidized toxic products that get distributed in every nook and corner of the country via motor vehicles. And yet, ignoring all these high levels of contamination, the eco-activists of Colombo who fashionably follow Californian concerns, misguidedly focus on the alleged parts per billion presence of agrochemicals and pesticides like glyphosate as THE most important health threat!

The WHO  banned DDT in the mid 1970s and Sri Lanka followed it, while India ignored the ban and uses DDT in her plantations as an insecticide. India is also a big user of glyphosate and other agrochemicals.  Sri Lanka imports many food stuffs from India. Indian tea (contaminated with DDT) is imported  to supplement and blend  with tea grown in the so-called “toxin-free” land.

It should be noted that the WHO re-approved the domestic use of DDT in 2006 while maintaining its ban for agricultural use. However,  Sri Lankans are not allowed  the domestic use of DDT even against the Dengue mosquito, or the use of  glyphosate that had hitherto been used widely (and safely) in our own agricultural sector. Every news report indicates that dengue is reaching epidemic proportions. It is being countered by ineffective spraying programs which use questionable insecticides. The rational, inexpensive and effective  solution is to use a few drops of DDT  in a ten gallon spray for spraying INSIDE homes, just one every six months. No spraying  the outside (i.e., garden and compound) environment is needed or allowed as even mosquitoes are a part of the biosphere and should not be destroyed.

A recognized toxin that causes kidney disease is the  metal cadmium, (Cd)  found in the environment in trace amounts. Excavation and geological activity can raise the level of Cd in the soil. However, since Cd is not toxic to plants, many plants absorb  it, and simply concentrate Cd  in leaves, seeds and vegetative parts. Organic fertilizers made by composting common plants, often including Neem ( Kohomba) for its insecticidal properties, can contain elevated amounts of cadmium. Neem is a Cd accumulator. Grass also accumulates metal toxins, and hence cow-dung contains elevated amounts of Cd and other toxic metals.  Rice, being a grass,  is well known to concentrate Cd. There is a legitimate concern that  CKDU  may be caused by soil Cd  from organic fertilizers, or from the use of poor-quality tri-phosphate  fertilizers.  Arsenic is another  toxin that causes kidney disease. It too is found naturally and also may be  in the soil via the use of chemical or organic fertilizers. The Eppawela triphosphate contains high amount  (about 25 parts per million) of Arsenic. Thus the study of kidney disease sponsored by the WHO and the Sri Lanka National Science foundation (NSF)examined  the possible  presence of heavy-metal toxins. It also studied pesticide and insecticide residues, and concluded in 2104 that that metal toxins including Arsenic,  or pesticide residues CANNOT be the cause of CKDU.  However, it left open the possibility that  Cd is the cause because the urine of CKDu victims were high in Cd. Nevertheless, control groups that did not have CKDu also had high levels of Cd, making the results somewhat puzzling. The puzzle is  partly resolved when we recognize that Cd absorption, and its toxicity depend on the chemical form of Cd (i.e., bio-availability) as well the co-presence of mitigating substances like zinc (Zn). High levels of zinc suppress the toxicity of Cd. Furthermore, several studies have shown that the much-maligned glyphosate is found to suppress the toxicity of  Cd by binding to it and making it unavailable to plants. A  recent study of the Mahaweli river by Diyabalanage and co-workers showed that “cadmium that is often attributed to the etiology of unknown chronic kidney diseases in certain parts of the dry zone is much lower than previously reported levels”. The presence of phosphate is, in our view, the cause of this removal of cadmium from the bio-active environment since cadmium phosphate is highly insoluble in water.

Dr. Sarath Amarasiri, a distinguished past Director General of Agriculture, Sri Lanka, has penned an article in the Sunday Observer pointing out the looming (July 3rd, 2016) threat of continuing to use chemical fertilizers containing high amounts of Cadmium. Indeed, better quality fertilizers, with lower amounts of metal toxins cost only a bit more and are probably worth the additional expense. However, it should be noted that Cd, if used in the presence of phosphate in soils which are NOT acidic, pose no threat as cadmium phosphate is one of the most insoluble substances that one may come across. The WHO specifications also note that Cd is NOT a danger unless the soil is acidic. That danger exists in our tea plantations, where acidic  soils are found. This is why the addition of the required amount of dolomite to the soil is a standard practice  in managing tea plantations. The danger arises mostly in the hands of non-technical farmers who do not monitor the soil acidity, do not use enough phosphate and zinc to suppress the effect of cadmium, and use organic-based fertilizers which are also often equally contaminated with cadmium.

However, given the  use of mineral-phosphate fertilizers (indeed, even in excess) by most farmers in Sri Lanka, the danger of cadmium toxicity rearing its head is correspondingly reduced due to the presence of phosphate in the soil. However, the problem of Cd toxicity needs to be managed. This is seriously and systematically managed  in many countries which use very large amounts of fertilizers (e.g., New Zealand). Japan, another country which uses large amounts of fertilizers has began to study the possibility of using crops (e.g., rice varieties) which have been genetically modified to not to absorb cadmium. Then the cadmium  remains in the soil, and does not enter into the food chain. It should be again noted  that neither Japan, nor New Zealand has any chronic diseases associated with Cd, to any significant extent, even though they are very heavy users of agrochemicals.

How does traditional agriculture fare in producing our food?

Sri Lankan agricultural scientists have made actual field studies giving a clearer picture of the present situation. For instance, Dr. K.M.C Bandara  from the Rice research Institute in Batalagoda and colleagues from the Peradeniya University (G.R.M.D. Gunawardane and L.H.P. Gunaratne) published an “Evaluation of relative performances of organic rice cultivation based on experimental evidence” (Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions, Sri Lanka, Vol. 14, 3rd December 2009, p403), where they used a traditional variety known as Sudu Heenati as a comparison against the popular hybrid seed BG360, with compost-fertilizer and mineral-fertilizer approaches used in the comparison. They conclude that:

“Both traditional and improved varieties had better performances with inorganic

fertilizer compared to that with organic practices. The highest yield was

recorded by conventionally grown improved variety which was 6.93 t/ha whereas

the lowest yield was given by organically grown improved variety which was 3.39

t/ha. Conventionally grown traditional variety recorded a higher yield than

organically grown traditional variety (5.30 t/ha vs. 4.45 t/ha).

“The breakdown of the total cost of cultivation revealed that the highest cost

component was the labour, irrespective of the variety or fertilizer applied.

The organic practices were more labour intensive than modern practices due to

organic inputs, transportation costs, and use of buffaloes in land preparation.

The analysis further revealed that conventionally grown improved variety

outperforms all with respect to the yield, revenue and the profit thus

rejecting the claims of organic rice promoters. Analysis of benefit-cost ratios

and break-even prices corroborate the same. Organically grown improved

varieties did not perform well due to inadequate supply of nutrients as these

improved varieties are unable to grow well under organic fertilizers which

release nutrients slowly.”

If we can avoid doing agriculture and live  off the forests, as was done by the hunter gatherers of yore, our impact on the environment would be minimal. But today the world is inflicted with a huge monoculture of  billions  people. Feeding this monoculture with the minimum use of agrochemicals, water  or clearing of land is the ideal goal. But the solution does not lie in traditional methods that have failed, but in using science and technology in even more clever and innovative ways.

Scientists must advise the government to lift the politically-motivated sham ban on glyphosate  introduced an year ago, throttling the agriculture sector which can no longer compete  with its international-export  rivals. Indeed, the new policy of providing money (instead of fertilizers) to the farmer, and the tactic of making the farmer find for himself the (non-existent) organic fertilizer for engaging in “traditional agriculture” will lead to the rapid extinction of farming in this country. A “Divaina” article (http://www.divaina.com/2016/06/30/feature01.html) by Seneviruvan has even raised the possibility that  the government is pursuing  the deliberate extinction of the farmer. Then farm land could be acquired for  “megapolis projects” favoured by the global investor. Disaster capitalism eyes Sri Lanka to buy assets at fire-sale prices, with the rupee in free fall, with foreign-exchange controls removed, so that capital can be moved out of the county at a mere mouse-click of a computer.

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada.

Buddhist-Muslim Violence in South and South-East Asia: The Local Becomes Regional, or a Clash of Civilizations?

July 5th, 2016

by Bruno Marshall Shirley, International Policy Digest, 29 Jun 2016

United Nations, New York — This month the UN released a report addressing “serious” human rights violations against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar at the hands of the Buddhist majority, and the two-year anniversary of Sri Lanka’s deadly Aluthgama and Dharga Town riots, allegedly incited by Buddhist monks and targeting Muslim homes, property, and lives.

<< Buddhism and Islam in South and South East Asia: Peaceful co-existence or a “Clash of civilization”?

Farther east, Thailand’s Deep South struggles into its twelfth year of violence, which has seen soldiers escort teachers to schools and monks on their alms rounds amidst clashes with Salafists and Malay Muslim nationalists, while less recently Muslim hardliners in Jakarta have bombed Buddhist temples and Myanmarese embassies.

Drawn on a map, these clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in South and South-East Asia begin to resemble something of a “fault-line” between the Buddhist and Muslim worlds, such as those famously described by Samuel Huntington in his ground-breaking and now generally dismissed book, The Clash of Civilisations. While his theory is now generally considered a simplistic and poor analysis of the global conflict post-Cold War, there are still those who see some explanatory value in his work and the apparent transnational conflict between two of his “civilisations.”

Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Indonesia might well serve to reinforce their convictions. This would, however, be a foolish mistake and one that policy-makers should avoid at all costs. While these countries may share both historical connections on religious lines and contemporary relationships between extremist groups, the conflicts we see today have recent, contingent, and independent origins, not some essential tension between fundamentally opposed “civilisations.”

Huntington’s theory famously supposes that the world is divided into a number of great “civilisations” transcending national boundaries, and that these civilizations have such fundamental differences that, in the post-Cold War era, their differences will inevitably lead to conflict. Advocates claim that such differences between the civilizations of “the West” and “Islam,” can help to explain the recent rise of violent Islamist terrorism and the War on Terror.

This theory has been thoroughly criticized, not least because it supposes some essential values shared by all “Islamic” civilizations from North Africa to Indonesia that affect intercommunal relations more profoundly than any local cultural, economic, or political factors. Despite these criticisms, it is tempting to see something of a pattern in the waves of Buddhist-Muslim violence sweeping South and South-East Asia and to attribute this pattern to another clash between fundamentally different “civilisations,” Buddhism and Islam.

There is some evidence to support this analysis, both historical and contemporary: Sri Lanka, Myanmar, and Thailand were all part of the “Pali cosmopolis,” that shared a religion and liturgical language and frequent movement of people, goods, and ideas throughout the region. A more contemporary connection is the 2015 announcement of an alliance between Myanmar’s notorious 969 movement and Sri Lanka’s Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) in a bid to create a regional anti-Muslim network. Interestingly, they have also reached out to India’s Hindutva Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as a potential member of this network, as the BJP is also fiercely anti-Muslim (the BJP has rejected this offer).

However, despite these connections, Buddhist-Muslim violence in South and South-East Asia is far from the inevitable product of a clash of different “civilisations.” A closer examination reveals that the conflicts are instead highly contingent, and not reflective of broader histories in which Buddhists and Muslims frequently coexisted peacefully. While Sri Lanka, for example, has previously experienced anti-Muslim violence in its 1915 riots, these riots began as local protests against perceived advantages held by Muslim traders, not against any ideological or theological differences. Since this time, Buddhist nationalists in Sri Lanka have been preoccupied not with violence against Muslims, but against Tamil separatists in the long and bloody civil war (1983-2009) that split the country.

It is only since the fall of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam in 2009 that nationalists like Galagoda Gnarasara and the BBS have turned their attention to Sri Lanka’s Muslim minority, claiming that Muslims are “terrorists” who will bring “creeping shari’ah” to Buddhist Sri Lanka. As well as drawing on tropes like “terrorism,” “extremism,” and “radical Islam” to legitimize their campaign against Muslims, the BBS also deliberately associates them with the earlier threat of the LTTE, claiming that Muslim terrorism will be an even greater threat than that posed by the separatists, and that pious Buddhists should take up the mantle of the semi-mythical king, Dutthagamini, famous for slaying Tamils and thereby saving Buddhism. In this context, and given the centuries of coexistence that preceded even the 1915 riots, the idea that Buddhism and Islam are fundamentally at odds in Sri Lanka appears less convincing and a more plausible explanation begins to emerge: nationalists like Gnanasara and the BBS simply need a new enemy to fight in the wake of the LTTE.

Anti-Muslim violence in Myanmar, despite 969’s recent ties to the BBS in Sri Lanka, has similarly local origins. Rohingya Muslims are denied citizenship by the Myanarmese junta, which considers them to be illegal immigrants from Bengal. They are considered to be among the most persecuted people in the world, not just by the state but also by groups of Buddhist civilians and monks like the 969. Wirathu, the spiritual leader of the movement who denies that the group is anti-Muslim, stating instead that they are attempting to protect Rakhine Buddhists from Bengali terrorists. Here again, we see no ideological differences or clashes of conflicting values, but intercommunal violence justified by reference to colonial-era migrations, tensions inflamed by successive waves of crime and vigilantism, and contemporary references to the looming specter of Muslim terrorism.

The alliance between the BBS and the 969 shows that these groups clearly understand themselves to be taking part in a Huntington-esque clash of civilizations, and are actively seeking to reinforce the “fault lines” between Buddhism and Islam in South and South-East Asia through transnational links. The crucial point here, however, is that the BBS and the 969 movement are actively seeking common ground against what they perceive as a common foe, despite the local origins of their respective clashes with Muslim minorities in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Similar cases may be made for the Buddhist-Muslim violence in Southern Thailand, or even in Indonesia (even despite claims that violence was carried out as justice for the Rohingya). The fault line between Buddhist and Muslim worlds is not an inevitable result of essentially clashing civilizations, but an actively constructed transnational phenomena serving to reinforce the legitimacy of the local conflict: by claiming that Buddhism and Islam are fundamentally at odds beyond the local context, the local conflict appears more inevitable and therefore more necessary. By forming transnational alliances and creating a narrative of a Muslim threat across the broader region, the local actors can more effectively claim that it’s “us or them,” and thereby more effectively recruit others to their local cause.

Policy-makers concerned with Buddhist-Muslim violence in South and South-East Asia should neither be convinced by this narrative nor inadvertently legitimize it by accepting its terms. Operating under the false assumption that this is a regional phenomenon with common causes (and the hope of a common solution) can only serve to reinforce the belief held by hardliners on all sides that they are engaged in a broader struggle, and therefore can only serve to increase their ability to recruit others to their cause.

The key to resolving intercommunal violence in South and South-East Asia lies in understanding and addressing the local issues, with all their subtleties and nuances. Engaging with the claims of fundamental conflict between Buddhists and Muslims made by, for example, the BBS in Sri Lanka, can only legitimize their fearmongering. Instead, policy-makers should be attempting to defuse those local tensions which fuel anger and resentment against Muslims on the grounds of a poor economic outlook, for which it is easy to blame the perceived outsider group; weakened institutional integrity after years of violence and wartime corruption and widespread chauvinism borne of fear and hatred during the long civil war, so easily directed against a new “threat.”

Courtesy: Buddhist Channel
http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,12875,0,0,1,0#.V3vZbUt96Uk

Are Sri Lanka’s Cricketing Woes Compounded Through Mismanagement, Lack of Application And Team Selection ?

July 5th, 2016

Top Spin By Suni

July 6th 2016

It must be a sorry state of affairs when a team such as Sri Lanka appears to be full of woes and under performing today much to the chagrin and heartaches of adoring fans and there appears to be many deciding factors contributing to this demise.

A team that only the last time around against England virtually demoralised and defeated them resoundingly where England have struck back and sent the Lankans packing in all forms of the game with a single T -20 remaining where the outcome at best could be a forgone conclusion although an unexpected Sri Lankan win is not impossible.

It seems almost beyond speculation to attribute Sri Lanka’s poor form to various factors, of which the foremost undoubtedly appears to be lack of application, poor performance which seems to point directly to  management  responsible for team selection where key players have been excluded for various reasons ranging from personal  to lack of experience  (seemingly  heavily dependent on an ingrained pomposity to moot on the part of certain selectors  whose authoritarian attitude leaves much to be desired) and of course the inevitable injury factor but all in all the current England tour and ominously the forthcoming Australian tour does not hold much expectation for success on current form for the Lankans unless of course by some stroke of good fortune circumstances change for the better.

Alas ! the dependence on the likes of Murali,  Vaas,  de Silva, Ranatunga, Sangakkara and Jayawardena  et al are things of the past as Sri Lanka rebuilds but seems to have an apathetic approach to team selection where brilliant young players like Milinda Siriwardena  and others equally more deserving than some of the passengers in the side, have been sidelined and there are whispers that there is more to it than meets the common eye and that administrative bungling is the real culprit, some of it straying into personal vendettas and incarcerations based thereon which is shameful if proven true.
Also citing the inclusion of the likes of Maharoof despite his token performance, a mediocre performer regardless of domestic plaudits given the wealth of talent available as alternatives and Upul Tharanga forced to bat lower in the order when he is a brilliant opening bat more often than not, decisions that could only be attributed to bad insight by greenhorn selectors who probably need their marching orders.

Given that in recent times, players have actually retired from the game (perhaps in disgust) despite being in decent nick and probably in their prime in some cases there is room to speculate that there must be something seriously wrong with Sri Lanka’s cricketing health and needs immediate attention as this is a team that was climbing in the rankings, were World Cup winners in more than one format of the game and had a reputaion of being formidable opponents where it only takes a bit of bungling on the part of a few individuals basking in the glory of an impressive past and empowered  to make executive decision which are detrimental for the team and hence the sorry state of affairs the Sri Lankans find themselves in.
Something which needs immediate remedial action or else the Lankans could find themselves in an inextricable mire competing with minnows at  the bottom of the playing chain in this sudden albeit avoidablr fall from glory.
True enough this England tour was in all probabilities planned to throw the Lankans off balance by the choice of venues unsuitable from many perspectives to them such as climate and playing conditions but then they aren’t the only team that have played in blustery English conditions and overcome the odds.
On a final note. watching the Lankans on the field today they seem to be an unfit bunch, some overweight and others whose body language points to the gym rather than basking in past glory and thickening their waistline through various  excesses of over indulgence and it is not surprising that there are so many injuries  that suggest the team is in serious need of a new approach towards fitness and concentration towards a better direction on getting there!
And with the Aussie tour looming hopefully another disaster is not in the making.

FM Samaraweera accused of acting contrary to the Constitution

July 5th, 2016

Courtesy The Island

July 5, 2016, 7:41 am
The Global Sri Lanka Forum (GSLF) has accused Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera of reaching agreements and understanding with a section of the international community at the expense of Sri Lanka’s interests.

The GSLF has, in a letter to foreign missions of countries represented at the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), alleged that Minister Samaraweera’s actions at the UNHRC were inconsistent with Sri Lanka’s Constitution.

The GSLF has said that Foreign Minister Samaraweera couldn’t pursue policies contrary to the Extraordinary Gazette No. 1933/13 dated Sept. 21, 2015 governing the powers enjoyed by the Foreign Minister.

The GSLF has pointed out that Minister Samaraweera has acted against Sri Lanka’s interests in the following instances:

Admitting false assertions such as “that Sri Lanka has not initiated a credible national process of accountability whereas several independent commissions have been appointed pertaining to accountability issues involving human rights and humanitarian law; Samaraweera failure to submit reports prepared by such commissions to the Office of the Human Rights Commissioner, the UNHRC and the international community;

The GSLF says: Further Samaraweera also failed to enlighten the UN High commissioner for Human Rights and the UNHRC and its members on the LLRC Report (Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission Report) which carries cogent scientific evidence capable of countering and negating major allegations leveled by the High Commissioner against Sri Lanka;

iii. Samaraweera directly and/or indirectly admitted (without any ground whatsoever) that the prevailing judicial system in Sri Lanka is neither credible, impartial nor competent to adjudicate issues involving accountability on issues relating to human right and humanitarian law violations;

  1. Samaraweera directly and/or indirectly admitted that the security forces of Sri Lanka were accountable for committing alleged violations of Human rights and Humanitarian Law as stated in the Reports of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner and the Secretary General.

The Foreign Minister was not immediately available for comment.

Did Sri Lanka commit ‘war crimes’? International Legal luminary Sir Desmond de Silva says NO.

July 5th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

The legal opinion of Sir Desmond de Silva covers all areas of allegation against the Sri Lankan Army and takes every leaf of relevant international law relevant to war crimes and clearly establishes why Sri Lanka cannot be accused of committing war crimes. Even individual soldier misbehaviour he says can be dealt with within existing framework of internal laws which clearly reveals we not only do not require war crimes tribunals and we certainly do not require international judges whatsoever. With these clear and precise legal arguments in place why is the Government of Sri Lanka betraying its national army and accepting bogus propaganda to be the basis for trials promoted by nations who have blood on their hands for which no UN war crimes trials have commenced. What the citizens of Sri Lanka must realize is that there are NO legal case for war crimes against Sri Lanka and so there should be no war crimes trials at all.

Sir Desmond de Silva takes on the task of providing the legal opinion related to collateral damage in the context of Sri Lanka’s non-international armed conflict.

Legal Opinion of Desmond de Silva

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=122971

Legal pronouncements by former Prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo that justified collateral damage in the US led invasion of Iraq.

  • “During this final phase of the conflict it is undoubted that there was considerable loss of civilian life; the figures, however, vary considerably. Sadly, this is what is called ‘collateral damage’ in military parlance…”
  • “Following the military defeat of the LTTE a host of allegations had been made against the Sri Lank an Army (SLA) in having committed war crimes” (a very one-sided propaganda to which the powerful nations of the West were also party)

The legal opinion of Sir Desmond de Silva is subject to the following questions

  1. The law related to collateral damage. The pronouncement of Luis Moreno-Ocampo, state practices & official positions taken by US, UK, Israel before Courts & Tribunals & UN agencies/bodies including Security Council & Human Rights Council and its predecessor bodies on COLLATERAL DAMAGE.
  2. Facts relating to prosecution of war against LTTE, civilian casualties in closing stages of the War against LTTE as not constituting a war crime
  3. a) sole intention of SL Army was to gain a decisive military advantage over LTTE and bring to an end 30 years of terror by LTTE against all ethnic and religious groups in Sri Lanka
  4. b) SL Army pursued objecting respecting principles of distinction and proportionality which SL Army strove to follow
  5. c) Following the end of 30 year war against LTTE the peace, freedom, democracy and development was seen in the whole of the North and East post-conflict phase validating the intent and purpose of the military action.

Materials provided to Sir Desmond by the GOSL

  1. Humanitarian Operation Factual Analysis – Ministry of Defence, Sri Lanka July 2006-May 2009
  2. Opinion by Luis Moreno-Ocampo – 9 February 2006
  3. 31 page document entitled ‘Instructions to Queens Counsel’

Summary by Sir Desmond

  • “By 2009 the Government of Sri Lanka had been in an ongoing internal armed conflict with the Liberation Tigers for Tamil Eelam (LTTE) for some thirty years. The LTTE waged a ruthless secessionist campaign to create an independent state in the North and East of Sri Lanka.”
  • “After many failed attempts at peace the GOSL launched an operation to finally end the conflict and bring to a close the war that had claimed tens of thousands of lives,, both civilian and military. The Government created No Fire Zones (NFZs) with view to saving civilian lives. Indeed, the creation of these zones is only realistically consistent with that intention. The first NFZ was created in January 2009. Upon realizing that the Army refrain from firing into NFZs the LTTE promptly moved it’s CADRES and Artillery into the midst of these innocent civilians.” (Note: LTTE moved its cadres and artillery amidst civilians inside the NFZ)
  • This is…a war crime committed by the LTTE. In the final phase of the conflict when the LTTE was facing inevitable defeat it resorted to holding hostages as a human shield and shelling the Sri Lankan Army (SLA) from No Fire Zones so as to force the Army to run the risk of causing civilian casualties in responding. No doubt, this was done for the purpose of assigning allegations of civilian killings to the Army. In addition, there was evidence from many sources that the LTTE fired artillery into their own people. This strategy, is not unknown in hostilities of this kind where there is a need on the part of the losing side to provoke a propaganda storm so as to invite international intervention to prevent impending defeat.” (so now we know why NGOs and certain parties inside the UN were making a ruckus about civilians dying from army shelling – it was to pin blame on the SLArmy while trying to give time to the LTTE to re-group)
  • “It was the duty of the GOSL to free the civilian hostages from their LTTE captors. Attempts by the civilian hostages to escape from their unlawful captivity were met with their being shot. The operation to free those hostages and defeat their LTTE captors resulted in significant civilian casualties with a range of figures from 8,000 to 40,000. Whatever be the true figure of the civilian casualties, the overwhelming number of innocent civilians taken hostages were saved. This was a humanitarian triumph achieved by the military defeat of the LTTE by the SLA, thereby ending the LTTE practice of forced recruitment in which “the LTTE took one child per family for its forces”. As the war progressed the policy intensified and was enforced with brutality, often recruiting several children from the same family, including boys and girls as young as 14”
  • Upon the defeat of the LTTE a host of allegations were launched against the SLA which included the unlawful targeting of civilians and causing illegal collateral damage.. References to the use of the atom bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki at the end of WWII for the purpose of determining the degree of acceptable collateral damage in a given set of circumstances is not helpful. The threshold as to what constitutes acceptable collateral damage under International Humanitarian Law (IHL) has changed significantly since WWII. Whereas, during WWII, it was generally held that widespread civilian death was acceptable so long as it furthered a legitimate military target, this broad view has changed markedly since WWII. Increasingly, the international community, and by extension IHL, requires a higher threshold in determining that civilian casualties are allowable under the laws of armed conflict.”
  • “Currently, whether or not an attack that results in civilian deaths is legal under IHL depends on whether the attack meets the requirements of three principles which guide the legality of actions under the laws of armed conflict and IHL:

o   (1) Distinction,

o   (2) Military Necessity, and

o   (3) Proportionality.

  • “In evaluating the legality of civilian casualties in the final stages of the war, in order to determine if they are permissible collateral damage, a violation of IHL only occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (violation of principle of distinction), or if an attack is launched on a military objective with the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (violation principle of proportionality).”
  • “In the final stages of the war, according to the Report of the Secretary General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka around 330,000 civilians were trapped in an ever decreasing area, fleeing the shelling but kept hostage by the LTTE and being used as a strategic human buffer between themselves and the advancing SLA.”
  • From February 2009 onwards, the LTTE started the point blank shooting of civilians who attempted to escape the conflict zone whilst continuing a policy of suicide attacks outside the conflict zone.”
  • “On Friday (April 3) the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called on the LTE to allow civilians to leave the conflict area of theirs own free will. He expressed his deep distress by continuing reports of civilians being kept at extreme risk, against their will and with heavy casualties in a very small area by the LTTE. The UN Secretary-General (UNSG) deplored the forced recruitment of civilians, particularly children, stating the severe restrictions of the LTTE on their freedom of movement violated international law.”
  • “The and immediate duty of the Government forces was to free the hostages by defeating their captors and in order to do so they were entitled to use as much force as was absolutely necessary to completely overwhelm their enemy, subject to the principle of Proportionality. This was done, and 296,000 civilian hostages whose future was uncertain in the hands of the LTTE, were now saved. In my view, this was a military and humanitarian necessity. When military necessity is understood to require non-combatant death, such killing is permissible and legal if it is proportionate to the expected military advantage of the operation.
  • “By doing their due diligence to ensure that the number of casualties was as low as possible and that only military targets were fired upon, the Government satisfied the principles of Necessity, Distinction and Proportionality.”
  • I bear in mind that there was an urgent need to bring the war to a swift conclusion, save as many hostages as possible and to prevent the escape of the LTTE leadership by sea. Their escape would have enabled them to position themselves elsewhere in the World and continue directing murderous terrorist activities against the people of Sri Lanka. The phenomenon of a group from outside waging war against a state was exemplified by the Al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers in New York in 2001 and indeed by the murder of Rajiv Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India by the LTTE.”
  • “Thus, the damage and loss of life, regrettable as it was, was merely collateral damage. It is my opinion that a war crime cannot be ascribed to the Government on the basis of the facts set out above.
  • “I set out my reasoning and conclusion in Sections 9 and 10 of this Opinion.
    This is not to say that there were not, in the heat of battle, cases of war crimes committed by individual members of the SLA. However, the evidence does not suggest that the commission of a war crime by reason of the collateral damage referred to was Government policy. In other words, there is no evidence of state sponsored war crimes in this regard.

Factual Assertions by Sir Desmond de Silva

  • “For thirty years, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were responsible for conducting numerous attacks against the Sri Lankan government and its citizens as part of its effort to create a separate Tamil state.” (No UN came forward calling for accountability for these deaths)
  • “After repeatedly failing to reach a peaceful settlement with the LTTE leadership through peace talks, the government decided to conduct a large-scale “Humanitarian Operation” in 2006 to finally rid the country of the organisation.” (the LTTE were even given a change of weather by taking them overseas on foreign trips to stop killing people – even that didn’t work!)
  • By around January 2009, the SLA had pushed the LTTE fighters into a small area of the country. However, due to the significant number of civilians that were in that particular location, the government established “No Fire Zones” (NFZS) where the greatest concentration of civilians was located. The LTTE fighters decided to take advantage of the NFZs and began firing at the military forces from within the zones.” (key points is that the LTTE positioned themselves INSIDE the NFZ and fired at the SL Army from INSIDE the NFZ)
  • “Additionally, the LTTE held tens of thousands of civilian hostages in the NFZs as human shields in order to deter the military from firing upon them while they conducted their attacks.’ (key point is that the civilian hostages were kept as human shields by LTTE)
  • “Throughout the operation, the military followed a “zero civilian casualty policy.” However, in order to properly counter the LTTE attacks coming out of the NFZs, the military needed to launch counter-attacks against them. The military enacted several protective measures in order to limit the number of civilian casualties during the operations including specialised training for the troops, selectively using artillery fire, the use of snipers, the use of smaller fire teams, and the change in weaponry from rapid fire to deliberate fire.
  • “In addition to what has been said, the care exercised by the security forces included several institutional mechanisms in place to safeguard human rights.

o   The Directorate of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law of the Sri Lanka Army (SLA) was established in January 1997. Its role was to further improve the appreciation and knowledge of SLA personnel of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and Human Rights (HR) through training, monitoring the compliance of its personnel to these norms, and inquiring into and reporting alleged transgressions.

o   The Sub Directorate on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) was established in June 2002 as a means of providing advice, conducting training programmes for naval personnel, disseminating information and coordinating work with various agencies on all matters related to HR & IHL.

o   The International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights cell of the Sri Lanka Air Force (SLAF) was established in 2002 along similar lines. Training on Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law. Security Forces personnel receive in-depth training on HR and IHL through the directorates described above. In particular, officers and soldiers actively engaging in operations were trained to be of their responsibilities with regards to the safety of civilians and the protection of human rights, and to make appropriate and informed decisions in the heat of battle.

o   Training comprised three distinct programmes:

  • a. Training of instructors to conduct seminars and awareness programmes on HR and IHL for other personnel on a continuous, full time basis,
  • Regular field level training for other personnel conducted by these trained instructors in the operational areas
  • Formal training for officers and other ranks at established training centres
  • These training programmes are supported by the dissemination of written materials including leaflets, instruction booklets, placards etc., dealing with human rights, codes of conduct, offenses in armed conflict and other relevant material.
  • Assistance for these training programmes has been obtained from Governmental, non-Governmental and international organisations such as the Ministry of Disaster Management, the ICRC, the UNDP, the British Council, the National Commission on Human Rights, the National Institute of Education, the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at the University of Colombo and the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute.
  • Overall, more than 175,000 personnel of the SLA have undergone training in this subject area since the year 2001. Education on IHL and HR has been a compulsory subject for all SLN personnel in induction training courses, On the job training and all mandatory courses pertaining to promotion. More than 24,000 personnel of the SLAF have also received training in this subject area.

Applicability of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) to Internal Armed Conflicts

  • “GOSL is a party to the four main Geneva Conventions of 1949, and thus has an obligation to comply with International Humanitarian Law (IHL).” (pl note LTTE is not signatory to any international treaty and is not bound by any law except customary laws)
  • “war crimes could only be committed during an international conflict, but after the ICTY’s 1999 decision in Prosecutor v. Tadic, it is now well settled that violations of IHL can occur during internal conflicts as well.” (developments in law)
  • “Internal conflict is defined as “protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed group or between such groups within a state.” (also known as non-international armed conflict)
  • “If such a conflict exists, the relevant IHL provisions will govern the parties’ actions throughout the entire territory until a peaceful settlement has been reached.” (“parties” imply that LTTE is also bound by ILH)
  • “Both Common Article 3 (CA3) and Additional Protocol II (APII) to the Geneva Conventions apply to internal armed conflict. Because Sri Lanka is not a party to APII, the provisions of CA3 and customary international law govern the conflict in question. CA3 includes the following important provisions that parties to an internal conflict must abide by

o   “Persons not taking part in the hostilities, including combatants who have laid down their arms shall be treated humanely, including the prohibition on discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, birth or wealth; murder or torture; hostage-taking; cruel or degrading treatment; and the use of executions as a sentence without due process are prohibited. The wounded and sick are to be cared for.” Any serious violation of these provisions could constitute a war crime.

Applicability of International Human Rights Law

  • “International Human Rights Law (IHRL) is made up of a set of treaties and conventions that member states have drafted in order to cooperate in the protection of rights that the international community recognizes as fundamental”
  • “The most relevant agreements to this conflict that Sri Lanka is a party to include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, (CAT), and the International Covenant Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. These instruments contain non-derogable rights that states are required to uphold for their citizens at all times.
  • “IHRL is applicable both in armed conflicts and in times of peace. As a result, IHRL and IHL usually overlap with regards to crimes committed during armed conflict because a state is bound to respect both bodies of law. If the two bodies of law converge the most during internal conflicts because IHRL governs, how a state treats its citizens and is therefore less applicable in cases of international conflict.”
  • “internal armed conflicts, it is most heavily relied on when the state refuses to recognize the applicability of CA3 to the conflict because certain human rights conventions, such as the ICCPR, contain non-derogable rights that cannot be ignored.”

Applicability of Customary International Law (CIL)

  • “Article 38 of the statute for the International Court of Justice (ICJ), customary international law is defined as evidence of a general practice that is accepted as law.”
  • “To reach this level, the practice must be considered both extensive and uniform so that states essentially believe that the custom is actually required by law. These practices may include treaties and other international agreements.”
  • “There are certain bodies of customary international law that do apply to internal armed conflicts such as the Sri Lanka conflict. In Nicaragua v U.S., the ICJ determined that CA3 has become so widely accepted that its provisions should be considered to be customary international law. Additionally, although APII is not considered customary international law as a whole, there are core provisions within it that reaffirm and supplement CA3 and are, therefore, considered to be binding as customary law. These provisions include articles 4-6, 9 and 13, which cover the protection of civilians, medical and religious personnel, and the fundamental rights guaranteed to all those involved in the conflict.”
  • “Finally, the ICRC has drafted a list of rules that it considers be a part customary international law in both internal and international conflicts based on its recognition of state practice because these provisions are customary law, they are considered binding on all parties of an internal conflict”

Liability of Non-State Actors – the LTTE

  • “The LTTE, as non-state actors engaging in armed conflict, still have liability under IHL, and thus are liable for any transgressions of the laws contained therein.”
  • “Two theories support this conclusion. The majority view holds that non-State actors, like the LTTE here, are bound by IHL “by reason of their being active on the territory of a Contracting Party (a State Party to the Geneva Conventions and/or its Additional Protocols).”
  • “This theory is also referred to as the `principle of legislative jurisdiction’. Put simply, this theory posits that any agreements that a State may enter into (here, Sri Lanka) are subsequently binding on anyone it its jurisdictional territory. The advantage of this theory is that it may subject all armed groups active on a State territory to IHL, whether or not these groups have consented to be bound by IHL. Applied here, this theory would hold that the LTTE-by virtue of their physical presence in the sovereign, land of Sri Lanka, are subsequently subject to jurisdiction for any obligations or treaties it is a party to, including IHL and the Geneva Conventions.” (in other words every law Sri Lanka signs becomes automatically applicable to LTTE)
  • An alternative rationale has it that, because some armed groups exercise de facto control over territory, they behave like States, and therefore the international obligations – including obligations under IHL – incurred by States should also be incurred by non-state actors engaging in armed conflict.”
  • Such a theory, however, requires that a non-state group exercise de facto control of an area, and so this does not apply universally.”
  • “Irrespective of its limited scope, however, it is worth looking at this explanation in respect of those groups that do exercise territorial control. Additional)
  • “this theory would also apply to the LTTE as they did exercise de facto control over large portions of the North and East of Sri Lanka at the relevant time.”
  • “Finally, it should be noted that IHL, to the extent that it’s embodied in customary international law, would also be binding on non-state actors like the LTTE.”

Right of a State in International Law to ensure national security and defend itself from insurgents and terrorists

  • Article 51 of the U.N. Charter recognizes a State’s right to use force to defend itself, and under this provision Sri Lanka is justified in using necessary and proportional force to defend itself from insurgents and terrorists. This interpretation gives Sri Lanka a military right to defend itself under the clear mandates of the Charter. This conflict was an internal armed conflict and, therefore, IHL applies.”

History of IHL in Non-International Conflicts and the Law of Collateral Damage

Principles of International Humanitarian Law (“IHL’) – The rules of international humanitarian law govern armed conflict.

  • “Although the concept of ‘armed conflict’ is not defined in the Geneva Conventions or its subsequent Protocols, it has elsewhere been described a conflict “arising between states and leading to the intervention of members of the armed forces” and that it exists “whenever there is   resort to armed force between states or protracted armed violence between governmental authorities and organized armed groups within a state”.
  • Armed conflicts have traditionally been classified as either international or non-international, with each governed by separate rules.”
  • “As there is no debate that the present conflict in Sri Lanka is non-international in nature, this Opinion will only address IHL as it relates to non-international armed conflict;

Non-International Armed Conflict – Sources of Law

  • “Whereas the regulation of international armed conflict is “comprehensive and elaborate,” comprising the majority of the provisions in the 1949 Geneva Conventions, the law governing non-international conflict is sparse. Specifically, only one provision of the 1949 Geneva Convention, Common Article 3, and the later-added Additional Protocol II govern non-international armed conflict. Additionally, it has been argued that customary international law also governs non-international armed conflict, although the extent to which this is true has been debated.

Common Article 3 & Additional Protocol II

  • Article 3, common to all four Geneva Conventions, is the only article in the Conventions that applies to non-international armed conflict. It provides minimum guarantees for protecting those not taking an active part in hostilities.
  • Sri Lanka both signed and ratified all four Geneva Conventions, and thus is bound by the provisions of common article 3. Additionally, common article 3 has gained customary international law status, and so is binding on all state parties now, not just signatories.
  • Additional Protocol IICommon article 3 was developed and expanded upon by Protocol II (1977), which applies to all non-international armed conflicts that take place in the territory of a state party between its armed forces and dissident armed forces. The stated aim of Protocol II was to extend the essential rules of the law of armed conflicts to internal wars. Thus, Additional Protocol II provides additional protections to those engaged in internal armed conflict. In particular, Protocol II lists a series of fundamental guarantees and other provisions calling for the protection of non-combatants. In particular, Additional Protocol II requires that, so long as they do not take part in hostilities, the civilian population and individual civilians “shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations” and “shall not be the object of attack. Protocol II does not apply to situations of internal disturbances and tensions, such as riots and isolated and sporadic acts of violence. Sri Lanka neither signed nor ratified Additional Protocol II. However, the Protocol which acceded to or not by individual nations have assumed the weight of customary international law because they have broadly accepted by a majority of nations as good law. See Appeal Chamber judgment in Tadic in the Defence Motion for Interlocutory Appeal on Jurisdiction rendered on October 2, 1995 in the Prosecutor v Dusco Tadic.

Customary International Law

  • “Customary international law is generally binding on all states regardless of agreement or objection because custom emanates from universal norms of behavior among states.”
  • “Applicable customary law here includes Articles 4-6, 9, 13. of AP II and all of common article 3.

Sources of IHL Governing Collateral Damage

  • Defining Collateral Damage : Providing civilian protection while simultaneously allowing for military objectives to be fulfilled is a central goal of IHL.
  • Accordingly, IHL seeks to protect civilians from the causalities of war to the greatest degree possible, while still allowing belligerents to engage in armed conflict.
  • If is well established that, “under international humanitarian law… the death of civilians during an armed conflict, no matter how grave and regrettable, does not in itself constitute a war crime.” (extremely crucial argument so long as SL Army has following Distinction / Military Necessity and Proportionality)
  • International humanitarian law and the Rome Statute permit belligerents to carry out proportionate attacks against military objectives, even when it is known that some civilian deaths or injuries will occur.
  • In particular the three principles already referred to namely—

o   (I) distinction,

o   (2) military necessity, and

o   (3) proportionality—guide the legality of actions under the laws of armed conflict and IHL.

  • “During the reporting period, senior Sri Lankan officials made repeated public statements denying that the GSL was shelling the NFZ or targeting hospitals and was not responsible for any civilian casualties. However, sources alleged that the majority of shelling in the NFZ was from GSL forces. The GSL announced that it would observe a 48-hour ceasefire on two occasions. The stated aim of these was to allow civilians to move into areas in which they would not be subject to shelling. Incident reports suggest, however, that the GSL may have begun shelling before the end of the second 48-hour ceasefire. Reports also indicated that the LTTE forcibly prevented the escape of IDPs and used hem as “human shields.”
  • “Distinction requires that combatants distinguish between civilian and military personnel and targets in planning and executing military action.”
  • “The principle of military necessity stipulates that the use of force must be used only to “compel the complete submission of the enemy … [T]he destruction of property to be lawful must be imperatively demanded by the necessities of war… There must be some reasonable connection between the destruction of property and the overcoming of the enemy forces. Thus, the doctrine of military necessity requires that legitimate targets are, “limited to those that make an effective contribution to military action and whose destruction or neutralization offers a definite military advantage in circumstances ruling at the time.”
  • “The final principle of lawful engagement, proportionality, offers the strongest protection to civilians. Proportionality holds that the anticipated military advantage of any use of force must be balanced against the probable or expected civilian losses. In order to meet the requirements of proportionality, such losses cannot be “excessive” when compared to the military advantage gained by the use of force. The civilian casualties from otherwise permissible attacks on valid necessary military targets are called collateral damage.”
  • “In evaluating the legality of civilian casualties in order. to determine if they are permissible collateral damage, a violation of IHL only :occurs if there is an intentional attack directed against civilians (violation of principle of distinction), or if an attack is launched on a military objective with the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (violation principle of proportionality). Thus, there may very well exist a valid military target that is unlawful to attack because the civilian loss expected greatly exceeds any military advantage conferred.”

Proportionality Explained

  • “As stated above, the death of civilians in non-international armed conflict is only lawful when the attack that precipitated it was in furtherance of a necessary military target (encompassing “military necessity” and “distinction”) and when the attack was in accordance with the principle of proportionality.
  • where civilians were killed by intentional military action engaging a valid military target, the critical issue in determining whether the act was lawful was whether it comported with the principles of proportionality. Proportionality’s fundamental premise is that the “means and methods of attacking the enemy are not unlimited.”
  • “The function of the principle of proportionality is to relate means to endsdid the military result justify the means required to accomplish it, the death of innocents. It is not easy to assess what attacks are disproportionate; to a large degree the answer depends on an interpretation of the circumstances prevailing at the time, the expected military advantage gained by striking a certain military target, and other context-specific considerations.”
  • “It should also be noted that the principle of proportionality is often misapplied. For instance, in some cases the mere quantum of collateral damage and incidental injury causes critics to condemn a strike as disproportionate. However, the extent of harm and damage is relevant only as it relates to the military advantage that was reasonably expected at the time the attack was launched. Importantly, the standard is “excessive” (a comparative concept), not “extensive” (an absolute concept)
  • Damage to civilians or their property can be extensive without being excessive. Assuming the military advantage anticipated itself is high extensive damage will not be excessive. Thus, where the military object is of paramount importance the right of civilians to be free from the effects of hostility diminishes.”
  • “When assessing the legality of “collateral damage” under lHL, disproportionate attacks are prohibited in two ways.
  • First, military commanders must evaluate the potential civilian losses anticipated, and not pursue the attack if they are excessive in relation to the, military advantage gained”
  • International courts and national military tribunals use a “reasonable commander” standard based on the circumstances at the time to determine whether a particular military act was proportional. For example, in Prosecutor v. Stanislav Galic, the defendant was charged with illegal deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians. Explaining the ‘reasonable commander’ standard, the court in Stanislav Galic opined that “[in] determining whether an attack was proportionate it is necessary to examine whether a reasonably well-informed person in the circumstances of the actual perpetrator, making reasonable use of the information available to him or her, could have expected excessive civilian casualties to result from the attack.”
  • Second, once a decision has been made to target a necessary military objective that will likely result in the loss of civilian life, every reasonable effort must be made to minimize civilian losses. For example, in Isayeva Russia, the European Court of Human Rights held that a Russian aerial attack on a village violated the principles of proportionality because the attack continued even when civilians tried to escape the village. Even though the Russians were attacking a valid military target—insurgents in the village—they were found to violate the mandates of proportionality because they failed to show that the attack was carried out with the “requisite care for the lives of the civilian population” that is required ‘by the laws of armed conflict.” Thus, commanders must exercise great caution in avoiding targeting even necessary military targets.

Human Shields

  • No specific textual prohibition of human shielding exists in the law of non-international armed conflict.”
  • Additional Protocol 11, however, does contain a more general proscription against endangering civilians, holding that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations.”
  • “Thus, because human shields clearly place civilians in unnecessary danger from military operations, their use would violate AP II would thus is prohibited in non-international armed conflict too.

Historical shift in prevailing views on acceptable collateral damage: WW3 to Present

  • “The international view on what constitutes acceptable civilian casualties in armed conflicts has changed significantly since the end of the Second World War. In particular, the twentieth century following the end of World War 11 has, with each conflict, seen a decreasing tolerance for what is viewed as acceptable collateral damage. What follows is a treatment of the change in views throughout history relating to collateral damage”
  • WWII saw a bombing strategy all actors—first the Germans, then followed by the British and Americans—that for the first time was focused heavily on civilian population centers, and defeating civilian morale. The Germans executed large-scale bombing runs on London early in the war, and the British and Americans followed suit in Germany and along the Axis lines.”
  • The American’s finished the war with what stands today as arguably the greatest accepted act of “lawful” collateral damage—the use of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
  • Although at the time the act was considered lawful because the targets were a military necessity” required to end the war, this expansive view would not be shared in later conflicts.
  • War in the Balkans: Operation Allied Force : From March to June 1999, the U.S. and NATO allies engaged in military operations to end Serbian atrocities in Kosovo, and force Slobodan Milosevic to withdraw forces from the area. During this operation, Milosevic’s Serbian forces employed a wide variety of concealment warfare tactics to deceive NATO forces, including dispersing troops and equipment throughout and within civilian population centers and hidden in civilian homes, barns, schools, factories, and monasteries. Serbian forces even dispersed among Civilian traffic during their movements used human shields to protect military equipment. These tactics contributed to several incidents of collateral damage resulting in civilian casualties, the most notable of. which included: inadvertent attacks on refugees over a twelve-mile stretch of a major road in Kosovo, resulting in seventy-three civilian casualties; ballistic attacks near a small town where 87 civilians were killed; and two incidents involving attacks on civilian buses that each involved heavy civilian causalities. In spite of these incidents, an investigation conducted by a committee of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) concluded that none of the foregoing collateral damage incidents presented sufficient evidence to warrant additional review or prosecution for violations of LOAC. The circumstances of the collateral damage in the form of civilian casualties referred to in the Kosovo Operation and in relation to which the investigation by a committee of the ICTY is highly relevant to the circumstances that appertained to the situation in the final phase of the conflict in Sri Lanka.

State Practice on Collateral Damage

  • The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) NATO has been an integral part to many military operations (especially those that are stability/peacekeeping in nature) around the world. This section will address NATO’s policies regarding collateral damage during armed conflict and present some examples from Operation Unified Protector and Operation Allied Force for consideration.

    NATO Collateral Damage Policy: As an organisation made up entirely of states that are party to the Geneva Conventions, NATO considers the laws of war to be extremely important to the planning of military operations. For example, in Secretary General Anders Fog Rasmussen’s annual report for 2011, he stated that in the preparations for Operation Protector in Lebanon, it was understood that there was an “absolute requirement to minimize collateral damage and civilian casualties.” Additionally, NATO’s Military Committee has drafted a number of military doctrines that outline its policies regarding the use of military force during certain circumstances. For example, in its Peace Support Operations doctrine, there is an entire doctrine devoted to exercising restraint in the use of force. It stresses that, at all times, LOAC should be complied with and that force should be “precise, appropriate, proportionate, and designed to resolve and defuse a crisis.” All options other than force should be considered first, and when necessary, only the minimum force necessary should be used. However, this does not exclude the use of force that might be sufficient to overwhelm the entire enemy force, so long as it is proportional.

    Additionally, its Counter-insurgency (COIN) doctrine advises military commanders to consider the extent to which collateral damage might occur as a result of the proposed operation. In many locations throughout the document, it recognizes that collateral damage, especially the loss of civilian lives, can be used against NATO as propaganda and undermine its efforts as a result. In fact, the doctrine states that counter-insurgency operations will inevitably be counterproductive if the level of collateral damage is significant. Accordingly, the manual recommends that the smallest and most precise amount of force should be applied in order to yield the greatest effectiveness out of an operation. For these reasons, the document also advises commanders to be extremely cautious in the planning of operations to be conducted in urban environment because they possess the greatest risk of causing collateral damage.

  • Overall, both doctrinal documents consistently recommend the use of the least amount of and the most precise use of force in conducting military operations. In most cases, the doctrine recommends using precision air strikes and small arms. At the same time, military forces are permitted to use as much force as absolutely necessary to completely overwhelm the enemy. The bottom line is that NATO commanders shall use as much force as necessary until the predicted level of collateral damage makes it counterproductive, which is identical to proportionality.
  • Examples of Collateral Damage in NATO Military Operations: Two of the most prominent examples of collateral damage issues in NATO military operations include Operation Allied Force in Kosovo and Operation Unified Protector in Libya. This section will examine the type of collateral damage that occurred and response made by NATO and the international community.

    Operation Allied Force: Operation Allied Force was a NATO response to the horrific human rights abuses that were occurring throughout Kosovo and the Former Yugoslavia in the late 1990’s under President Milosevic. The objectives of the operation included a stop to all military action and violence; agreement to establish station an international military presence in Kosovo, and ensure the withdrawal of President Milosevic’s military and police forces from Kosovo.

    In order to best minimize collateral damage, NATO forces relied heavily on strategic air power to strike key military targets in the region. While many of the legitimate military targets were successfully hit during the operation, it was reported that a significant number of civilians were killed as well as a great degree of damage to civilian infrastructure as a result of the air strikes. Some of these incidents included:

    1. civilian passenger train at the Grdelica Gorge on 12 Apr 1999 in which 10 civilians were killed;

  1. The attack on the Djakovica Convoy on 14 Apr 1999 in which 70 to 75 civilians were killed
  2. The attack on the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade on 7 May 1999, which damaged the building and killed 3 civilians; and
  3. An attack on Istok Prison on 21 May 1999, which killed 19 civilians.

    These incidents of collateral damage, among others, caused allegations to be launched against NATO that their forces committed war crimes and that their use of force was not legitimate in the first place. The allegations even prompted the ICTY to inquire into whether the incidents justified a formal investigation by the prosecutor.

In many of the instances, NATO responded by admitting responsibility for the attack, but arguing that the targets were legitimate, and the attacks were either made with no knowledge that civilians were present or that they would equal the numbers that they did. In some cases, NATO representatives alleged that Milosevic’s forces used human shields. Additionally, on the question of legitimacy, NATO asserted that they were acting pursuant to collective self- defence and acting to stabilize the region. Civilians were never the intended targets and had they known civilians were present or that the degree of collateral damage was so high, they would never have followed through with some of those missions.

Notably, the ICTY ended up agreeing with the NATO assertions and found that no formal investigation by the prosecutor’s office was necessary. The court found that before each attack, the military and its legal advisors carefully analyzed the proposed targets, that the targets were legitimate; and that the number of civilian deaths was in fact proportional to the urgent military objective to overwhelm and defeat Milosevic’s forces.

Operation Unified Protector: In 2011, amidst the backdrop of the Arab Spring, the people of Libya rebelled against the government of Moammar Gadhafi. In response to the serious risk that Gadhafi was going to commit atrocities against his people, the U.N. Security Council issued Resolution 1973, which authorized military intervention in Libya. Pursuant to the resolution NATO implemented Operation Unified Protector, which called for the use of military force to protect the civilians caught up in the middle of the Libyan conflict. Again, due to the potential risk to life to the NATO members and civilians, military involvement was limited to and naval precision strikes as well as the enforcement of a no fly zone. This operation ended up being much less controversial in the long-run due to the level of caution that the NATO commanders put into their planning of each mission and the sound legal basis it had for intervening pursuant to Resolution 1973. Additionally, NATO representatives boast that essentially no civilian casualties were reported due to their immense focus on minimizing collateral damage. Secretary General Rasmussen stated that as a means of ensuring the low degree of collateral damage, military forces never targeted civilian infrastructure, such as water supplies or oil production facilities, or the general area surrounding those locations.

Additionally, in October 2011, NATO Military Committee Chairman Admiral Giampaolo Di Paola remarked that, from the very beginning, all members understood that “no civilian casualties and no collateral damage was an absolute must.” U.N. Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon even stated that the low degree of collateral damage during the operation was unprecedented. He also attributes this success to the use of “persistent surveillance and reconnaissance” of each target location in order to know exactly what is going on and know for certain whether a precision strike can be made without creating any collateral damage.

Some watch groups, such as the Human Rights Watch, claim that civilians were indeed harmed as a result of NATO’s air campaign during Operation Unified Protector. Even if these reports were true, NATO representatives would still argue that each target was carefully analyzed, that it was believed the targets were free of civilians, the targets were all necessary in weakening Gadhafi’s military campaign, and that they complied with their obligations under international law to take all means necessary to minimize civilian casualties.

ISRAEL: Israel Policy on Collateral Damage. Israel has not ratified Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, and thus is not bound by the Protocol’s broad protections of civilian populations during armed conflict. Nevertheless, Israel Defense Force (IDF) written statements of policy indicate that they adhere to the principle of Distinction that is central to IHL. For example, an Israeli Defense Force policy doctrine mandates that, “IDF soldiers will not use their weapons and force to harm human beings who are not combatants or prisoners of war, and will do all in their power to avoid causing harm to their lives, bodies, dignity, and property.” Although the Israeli government has acknowledged the laws of war, it nevertheless justifies some military operations against civilian targets—including the practice of destroying the homes of Palestinians suspected of assisting terrorists—on the basis of military necessity.

The Israeli government and IDF additionally publicize a robust policy meant to affirmatively minimize collateral damage during armed conflict with Hamas and. other Palestinian groups operating in the Gaza strip. In particular, the IDF claims that the following are some methods they used to minimize civilian causalities in recent conflicts.

Phone calls: During the last 24 hours of the operation, thousands of Israeli phone calls were made to residents of the Gaza Strip, warning them of. IDF strikes in the area.

Leaflets: The Israel Air Force has dropped leaflets over Gaza that warns civilians to avoid being present in the vicinity of Haman operatives.”

Diverting missiles in mid-flight: During Operation Cast Lead in 2008-09, the IDF aborted many missions seconds before they were to be carried out, due to civilians being present at the site of the target. The following video is an example of an IAF airstrike that was called off as the missile was on its way to the target.

Roof Knocking: “Roof knocking” is when the IAF targets a building with a loud but non-lethal bomb that warns civilians that they are in the vicinity of a weapons cache or other target. This method is used to allow all residents to leave the area before the IDF targets the site with live ammunition.

Pinpoint Targeting: The IDF, whenever possible, singles out terrorists and targets them in a way that will endanger few or no bystanders. This can often be hard to do, since terrorists prefer to hide in crowded areas.

Examples of Collateral Damage in Israeli Military Operations: Over the years, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has been engaged in conflicts with Hamas in’ the Gaza Strip and Hezbollah militants in Lebanon. Both cases have provided issues regarding collateral damage for consideration.

  1. Hamas Conflict: For years, Israeli citizens have suffered as a result of constant Hamas missile strikes into Israel. 98 For example, in 2012 alone, 1,650 rockets were fired into Israel from the Gaza Strip. 99 As a result of these missile attacks and other.. Hamas terrorist attacks, the IDF has conducted a number of operations in response. One such operation was “Operation Cast Lead” which took place from December 2008 to January 2009. In that operation, the IDF sought to deinfrastructure that Hamas was using to launch attacks against Israeli citizens. During Cast Lead, hundreds of civilian homes, infrastructure, and lives were destroyed as a result of Israeli rocket fire. This led to allegations that Israel had committed war crimes. This caused so much controversy that calls for the ICC to get involved were made, but, due to jurisdiction concerns over Palestine not being a state, the matter was never considered. However, Israel contended that just because civilians were killed does not necessarily make their conduct illegal because they were strictly acting in self-defence and each of their targets were thus legal.

Israel further asserts that it was their policy during this mission to warn civilians of rocket fire before in struck in order to help minimize the number of civilian casualties. For example, for some strikes, the IDF utilized missiles that could be aborted in flight if unexpected civilians appeared in the vicinity of the target. Additionally, they dropped leaflets over areas that would be subject to heavy rocket-fire so that civilians could leave the area. Also, IDF members would sometimes use “Roof Knocking Bombs, which are non-lethal projectiles that are used by IDF to warn civilians that they are in the range of the reach of their weapons in order to give them time to leave the area.

Based on this, and the fact that targets were selected because they were believed to be where Hamas was launching its attacks from, Israel asserts that their targeting practices were legal and that any civilian death or property damage is just collateral damage.

  1. Operations Against Hezbollah Israel has also suffered the effects of attacks from Hezbollah militants that operated inside of Lebanon. One of the major operations that took place as part of this ongoing conflict occurred from 12 July 2006 to 14 August 2006. In response to Hezbollah rocket fire into Israel, the IDF launched thousands of rockets and artillery shells into residential areas where it believed Hezbollah operatives to be located.”‘ As a result, significant damage was done to civilian homes and infrastructure and hundreds of civilian lives were lost. This operation also created controversy for Israel because it appeared that these counter-attacks were being launched indiscriminately. However, just as they did in the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, the government asserted that their targets were legitimate because Hezbollah was hiding in residential areas to fire rockets into Israel and the IDF was trying to be as precise as possible but needed to target those areas to protect their own citizens. This still generates much controversy today.

UNITED STATES: U.S. Policy on Collateral Damage

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) defines collateral damage Unintentional or incidental injury or damage to persons or objects that would not be lawful military targets in the circumstances ruling at the time. Such damage is not unlawful so long as it is not excessive in light of the overall military advantage anticipated from the attack.

As a matter of policy, the DoD requires its service components, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines, to comply with the laws of war during all military operations and armed conflicts. In relevant part, the Department of Defense defines the law of war as, “[t]hat part of international law that regulates the conduct of armed hostilities. It is often called the ‘law of armed conflict. The law of war encompasses all international law for the conduct of hostilities binding on the United States or its individual citizens, including treaties and international agreements to which the United States is a party, and applicable customary international law.”

Although the United States is not a party to Additional Protocol I, the American military openly endorses the Principle of Distinction. American armed forces include that endorsement in their training materials, ensuring that every member of the U.S. military is aware that civilians may not be targeted. For example, the U.S. Air Force provides its entire force with a copy of the Airman’s Manual, an instructional reference guide. The Airman’s Manual codifies the policy of Distinction simply, saying “Do not . . . Attack non combatants who include civilians. Current doctrine from the US Army’s accredited Judge Advocate General’s (JAGC) Legal Center and School emphasizes the fundamental. elements of the laws of war essential to avoiding unlawful civilian causalities, including the following: military necessity, distinction, proportionality, and no unnecessary suffering. Army lawyers are instructed to address these elements in all circumstances and d to follow specific international legal obligations, including treaties and customary international law.

Additionally, the U.S. Army includes the Principle of Distinction in its training materials too. The first chapter of the Soldier’s Manual of Common Tasks is about the laws of war. The Manual explains that the Hague conventions and customary international law limit targeting decisions, and that the latter prohibits “targeting or attacking civilians. It goes on to state that civilians are protected from “all acts or threats of violence. Likewise, the Army’s field manual on ‘the law of land warfare says that “[a]ttacks [a]gainst the [c]ivilian population as [s]uch [are] [p]rohibited.

The United States Joint Operations Targeting Doctrine also provides guidance regarding the DoD’s position on targeting as it relates to collateral damage. Per the doctrine, all targeting decisions involving attacks must comply with controlling rules of engagement as well as international humanitarian law, including the “fundamental principles of military necessity, unnecessary suffering, proportionality, and distinction (discrimination) The targeting doctrine cautions that, in relation to avoiding collateral damage, the primary threats to the civilian population depend, on “engagement techniques, weapon used, nature of conflict, commingling of civilian and military objects, and armed resistance encountered”. The doctrine further suggests that military commanders should further verify with reliable intelligence that attacks are directed only against military targets and that any incidental “civilian injury or collateral damage to civilian objects must not be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage expected to be gained”. The doctrine even indicates that, when it is practicable, advance warning of the attack should be given to allow civilians to depart the targeted area. Finally, the doctrine provides that the attack must be cancelled or suspended when “it becomes apparent that a target is no longer a lawful military objective”. The DoD has, even expanded its emphasis on mitigating civilian categories in recent years, publishing further guidance on how to avoid unnecessary civilian death during armed conflict.

Examples of Collateral Damage in Recent U.S. Campaigns : Drone Strikes

In the decades since 9/11, the United States has engaged in a robust campaign of targeted killings of purported enemies of the War on Terror, mostly effectuated through unmanned drone strikes. These attacks ostensibly balance the principles of military necessity, discrimination, and proportionality, and in theory are billed as a surgical means of fighting the war that minimizes collateral damage. In practice, however, drone strikes have faced significant criticism from the international community because of allegations that they account for unjustified and disproportionate civilian causalities. Some of the best known examples of the alleged disproportionate effect that drone strikes haven civilians involve numerous cases where funeral processions were targeted, killing numerous civilians attending those funerals.

In response to criticism about the legality of drone strikes, the Obama Administration has argued that the U.S. is in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda and the Taliban, and that the U.S. may thus act in self-defence pursuant to the Authorized Use of Military Forced issued by Congress on September 18, 2001. Specifically, State Department Legal Advisor Harold Koh has argued that, because al-Qaeda has not abandoned its intent to attack the United States, the United States, “has the authority under international law, and the responsibility to its citizens, to use force, including lethal force, to defend itself, including by targeting persons such as high-level al-Qaeda leaders who are planning attacks.” A study by Stanford and NYU Law Schools that included over 100 interviews and two trips to Pakistan to investigate drone strikes opined that; “[i]n the United States, the dominant narrative about the use of drones in Pakistan is of a surgically precise and effective tool that makes the US safer by enabling ‘targeted killing’ of terrorists, with minimal downsides or collateral impacts. This narrative is false. Interestingly, in light of widespread criticism, the Obama Administration, although still defending drone strikes, just last year purported to take a “zero tolerance” for civilian causality policy, claiming that moving forward, “before any strike is taken, there must be near-certainty that no civilian can be killed or injured— the highest standard we can set.”

IRAQ: Operation Iraqi Freedom : It is undisputed that the American-led invasion of Iraq has resulted in numerous civilian deaths. Although the United States military does not officially track civilian deaths figures, outside sources estimate that since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, civilian causalities total between 121,000–134,000 deaths. Most of the civilian casualties attributable to Coalition conduct in the ground war appear to have been the result of ground-launched cluster munitions, which were reportedly responsible for 273 civilian casualties at al-Hilla and al-Najaf, and ground combat was responsible for 381 civilian deaths at al-Nasiriya. In some instances of direct combat, especially in Baghdad and al-Nasiriyya, problems with training on as well as dissemination and clarity of the rules of engagement (ROE) for U.S. ground forces may have contributed to loss of civilian life. The Los Angeles Times completed a survey of twenty-seven hospitals in Baghdad and the local area, reporting that at least 1,700 civilians died and more than 8,000 were injured in the capital during the initial ground operations at the beginning of the war.

Numerous accounts exist detailing allegations of permissible killings of civilians. In one case, U.S. Army soldiers opened fire on an unidentified vehicle as it was approaching a U.S. Soldiers attempted near al-Najaf on March 31, 2003 to direct the vehicle to stop, and then opened fire, killing seven of the fifteen civilian passengers on board. The London Times also reported an account of a firefight between Coalition forces and insurgents in which sixteen Iraqi soldiers were killed along with twelve civilians. There were even reports of U.S. forces targeting a hospital where two high profile Iraqi political leaders arrived, brandishing satellite phones. Although two Red Crescents marked the roof of the hospital, a coalition attack killed four and injured 70 patients. Accounts of extensive civilian deaths were so widespread, even among coalition force members, that two reporters wrote a book detailing the allegations of misconduct by U.S. troops in killing civilians.

Afghanistan: Operation Enduring Freedom: Many of the most flagrant examples of egregious collateral damage during OEF involve aerial bombing campaigns. In the first few months of the war, the United States mistakenly bombed a Red Cross building—twice. Although there were no direct casualties from this attack, the bombing left some 55,000 people without food and blankets. The mistake was alleged to be due to a “human error in the targeting process.” More seriously, a 2008 bombing of Azizabad, Afghanistan left over 90 civilians dead, including 60 children. The attack was aimed at killing just one militant, leader.

The International Criminal Court (ICC): In relation to the Coalition invasion of Iraq, the Office of The Prosecutor of The ICC received over 240 communications expressing concern regarding the military operations in that country and the resultant human loss. On the 9th February, 2006, The Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo indicated that he had a very special role in mandate as specified in the Rome Statue and that in accordance with Article 15 of the Rome Statute he had a duty to analyse information received with regard to potential crimes in order to determine whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a particular investigation. As the Chief Prosecutor he had to consider whether the available information provided a reasonable basis to believe that a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court had been or was in the process of being committed. Where this requirement was satisfied he had to consider admissibility before the Court in the light of requirements relating to gravity and complementarily with national proceedings. Thirdly, if those factors were positive he had to give consideration to the interests of Justice.
Sri Lanka, of course, is not a party to the International Criminal Court. However, the reasoning by the Chief Prosecutor in relation to the complaints made in relation to Iraq are worthy of consideration. The. conclusion The Prosecutor arrived at was this; the events in question occurred in the territory of Iraq which, again, like Sri Lanka was not a State Party to the Rome Statute and which had not lodged a declaration of acceptance under Article 12 (3) thereby accepting the jurisdiction of the Court.
Therefore, in accordance with Article 12 of the Rome Statute, acts on the territory of a non-State Party fell within the jurisdiction of the Court only when the person accused of the crime is a national of a State that has accepted jurisdiction (Article 12(2)(b)). The Prosecutor did not have jurisdiction with respect to actions of non-State Party nationals on the territory of Iraq.

The first Prosecutor of the ICC Luis Moreno-Ocampo was to say FOOTNOTE 1

For war crimes, a specific gravity threshold is set down in Article 8(1), which states that `the Court shall have jurisdiction in respect of war crimes in particular when committed as apart of a plan or policy or as part of a large-scale commission of such crimes’. This threshold is not an element of the crime, and the words ‘in particular’ suggest that this is not a strict requirement. It does, however, provide Statute guidance that the Court is intended to focus on situations meeting these requirements.

According to the available information, it did not appear that any of the criteria of Article 8(1) were satisfied.

Even if one were to assume that Article 8(1) had been satisfied, would then be necessary to consider the general gravity requirement under Article 53(1)(b). The Office considers various factors in assessing gravity. A key consideration is the number of victims of particularly serious crimes, such as wilful killing or rape. The number of potential victims of crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court in this situation 4 to 12 victims of wilful killing and a limited number of victims of inhuman treatment – was of a different order than the number of victims found in other situations under investigation or analysis by the Office. It is worth bearing mind that the OTP is currently investigating three situations involving long-running conflicts in Northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Darfur. Each of the three situations under investigation involves thousands of wilful killings as well as intentional and large-scale sexual violence and abductions.. Collectively, they have resulted in the displacement of more than 5 million people. Other situations under analysis also feature hundreds or thousands of such crimes.

Taking into account all the considerations, the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute He went on to say that in accordance with Article 15(6) of the Rome Statute that his conclusion at that stage were that the statutory requirements for the seeking of authorisation to initiate an investigation into the situation in Iraq had not been satisfied.

Based on the factual assertions and known prevailing conditions at the time, the actions of the Sri Lanka Army DO NOT CONSTITUTE WAR CRIMES.

The war crimes allegations against Sri Lanka appear to fall into three main categories, which include

(1) harm to civilians and civilian objects;

(2) killing of captives or combatants seeking to surrender; and

(3) preventing necessary food and medicine from being provided to civilians.

This section will provide a brief overview of the law that is relevant to war crimes and then analyze whether the government of Sri Lanka is liable for the above allegations based on the assertions they provided.

The Law Pertaining to War Crimes
According to the ICTY judgment of Prosecutor v. Tadic, four requirements need to be met in order for someone to be prosecuted for a war crime:

1. The violation must infringe a rule: The rule must be found in customary law or applicable treaty law;

  1. The violation must be serious in that the rule protects important values and the breach involves grave consequences for the victim; and
  1. The violation must entail individual criminal responsibility.

As discussed earlier, the applicable IHL provisions to this particular conflict is common article 3 (CA3) and customary international law. Customary international law includes CA3 and the core provisions of Additional Protocol II (APII) Tactic held that any violation of these provisions should satisfy the elements outlined above. Additionally, the three categories of allegations against Sri Lanka are all considered violations of these provisions.

Whether harm to civilians or civilian objects, a violation of CA3 and customary law, was unlawful is typically analysed against the principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality and humanity (unnecessary suffering), as discussed previously. So long as a military commander or government complies with these principles, the harm will be considered lawful collateral damage.

With regards to the allegation of killing captives, CA3(1) and APII(4) strictly forbid inhumanely treating combatants who have laid down their arms, such as by ,the use of torture or execution. These crimes are illegal per se, so no analysis is needed to determine whether it was excused or not. All that is required is a determination as to whether it happened or not

Finally, the allegation that Sri Lanka prevented civilians from receiving necessary medicine and food would, if true, violate the relevant IHL. It is well settled under CA3 and customary IHL that the wounded and sick shall be collected and cared for, and no party to the conflict shall impede that effort. Again, this type of crime is illegal if it is committed, and is not subject to a balancing. test to determine whether it is excused or not.

Harm to Civilians and Civilian Objects:

As previously discussed, one of the most serious allegations made against Sri Lanka is that they indiscriminately shelled civilians and civilian structures during the Humanitarian Operation. These assertions are made based on the fact that sources consistently reported that, during the months of January to May 2009, the government indiscriminately fired into the NFZs as well as during a 48-hour cease-fire. Most of the shelling, according to the allegations, was actually directed at areas where major hospitals were located.

The government contends that, although targeting was made toward these areas, several measures were put into place to limit the effect on civilians. First, the government asserts that the LTTE forced civilians into these areas to create human shields in order to deter the military from attacking. The government’s case is importantly supported by Jacques de Maio, International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Head of Operations for South Asia informed US officials that the LTTE “had tried to keep: civilians in the middle of a permanent state of violence”.

 The LTTE saw the civilian population as a “protected asset” and kept it’s fighting men embedded amongst them. He went on to say, that the LTTE Commanders’ object was to keep the distinction between the civilian and military assets blurred. The Government established the NFZs in order to reduce civilian casualties but the LTTE moved its men and heavy weaponry into these zones from which they began to shell SLA positions. Again, the position of the Government is supported by the following observations by Sir John Holmes, UN Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator;

 “There are continuing reports of shelling from both sides, including inside the ‘no-fire zone, where the LTTE seems to have set up firing positions.”

Additionally, the SLA took several measures in order to minimize casualties such as using snipers, selectively using artillery power, change from rapid fire to deliberate fire, the establishment of a “zero civilian casualty policy,” and the use of smaller fire teams to conduct missions. Furthermore, the damage described by the government is minimal.

Based on the above instructions, it is unlikely that the operations of the SLA constituted any war crimes, even though civilian lives were lost during the operation.

First, the principle of necessity is satisfied. GOSL asserts that the necessity was to respond to attacks being launched from the NFZs and in order to free civilians that were being held hostage in these areas both of which are considered legitimate reasons to use force under IHL.

 

For example, the 2009 State Department report to Congress acknowledged that there was clear evidence that the LTTE was firing artillery shells from within the hospital premises and concentrations of civilians.

In addition, the International Contact Group (ICG) also documented that there were “LTTE gun positions within n 500m of the Centre”. The ICG also recorded that most “of the LTTE artillery was located in the no fire zones.

Additionally, the principle of distinction is satisfied. The government asserts that they established the NFZs to help troops distinguish between civilians and non-civilians and even when it the SLA had to fire into those zones, it did so selectively and targeted only the locations that LTTE artillery was coming from.

Further, the hospitals in question were not directly targeted and some, for the most part, were no longer being used for treating patients.

Based on these assertions, it is evident that the government did its best to distinguish between military and civilian targets.

The proportionality and unnecessary suffering principles have also been satisfied based on the assertions. As previously stated, proportionality is violated where the incidental loss to human life outweighs the anticipated military advantage. Here, despite the fact that civilian casualties might have been expected, the government appeared to do their utmost to minimize those casualties in order to achieve their military objective of stopping future attacks from the LTTE out of those locations and rescuing the civilians among their many other objectives outlined on page 27 of my instructions.

In this case, the incidental civilian deaths and property damage was collateral Additionally, 290,000 civilians were rescued as a result of this operation.

It is also important to note that, at many times, the direction of fire could not be discerned, so it is difficult to attribute most of the deaths to the government. For example, Gordon Weiss, the UN Spokesman in Sri Lanka, acknowledged that there is good evidence that the LTTE fired artillery shells at their own people as a method of causing international outcry against the government.

It should be noted that the mere presence of civilians or the use of human shields does not bar an attack against the enemy force. In fact, the test of proportionality tends to be relaxed in those circumstances and any civilian deaths will be attributed to the party using the human shield.

War is imprecise and unpredictable and as long as the principles are satisfied, the incidental deaths will be considered as collateral damage. Where military operations are conducted among civilian populations, civilian casualties have always been a tragic consequence of armed conflict. The principle of military necessity allows for the intentional of potentially large numbers of people if the harm is both unintended and is not disproportionate to a legitimate military objective.

Therefore, based on the government’s assertions and the established facts, it is unlikely that the harm to civilians in this context constituted a war crime

Killing of Captives or Combatants Seeking to Surrender
Another allegation made against the Security Forces was that they executed surrendering soldiers of the LTTE. These allegations are based on video footage allegedly showing Sri Lankan soldiers killing captive LTTE members in January 2009 as well as other sources that reported that government forces filled several LTTE leaders while they attempted to surrender in May 2009.

CA3(1) and APII(4), strictly prohibit the murder of former combatants who have laid down their arms so any violation of this provision would certainly constitute a war crime. However, it is correct to say that a great deal of controversy attaches to the accuracy of videotape footage that has been produced.

Based on my instructions, however, it is unlikely that this crime was committed. As I have observed before, if there were individual acts that amounted to war crimes the authorities have the judicial structures within which to deal with perpetrators.

According to the government, 11,986 LTTE members were either detained or surrendered and 10,490 have already undergone rehabilitation and have been reintegrated into society. The rest are either currently under rehabilitation or are scheduled for prosecution. Additionally, the government asserts that the same accommodations were made for family members of LTTE.

Therefore, based on these facts alone, it is unlikely that this crime occurred.

Preventing Necessary Food and Medicine From Being Provided to Civilians

Finally, the government was alleged to have deprived civilians in the conflict zone from receiving necessary humanitarian aid. This allegation is based on the fact that there was a significant shortage of food and medicine available despite deliveries that were made to the conflict zones.

Under the relevant IHL’s requirements to provide for the sick and wounded, it could be considered a war crime to actively prohibit access to humanitarian aid. It might also be a violation of the relevant Human Rights Law, such as the International Convention on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESR), which is discussed further elsewhere.

The government asserts that they worked with several UN agencies to provide aid to those in need in the conflict zones. Additionally, if there was any shortage in aid supplied, it was due to the fact that the LTTE consistently targeted the UN food convoys throughout the operation. Furthermore, few facts have been asserted that actually attribute responsibility to the government for the shortage in aid.

Based on my instructions (Sir Desmond), however, it is unlikely that this particular crime was committed.

 CONCLUSION OF SIR DESMOND DE SILVA

It is difficult to establish how many civilian casualties there were at the end stage of the conflict. Suffice it to say the UN Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka said:

“Two years after the end of the war, there is still no reliable figure for civilian death.”

What can, however, be said is this but for the taking by the LTTE of hundreds of thousands of hostages for reasons I have already gone into in this Opinion, the casualties would largely have encompassed LTTE fighters alone. (in other words no civilian would have come to harm IF LTTE did not forcibly take them with them)
Based on my instructions, my analysis of the relevant law, from the factual matrix made available to me and other research, my opinion is that the great mass of civilian deaths which occurred in the final stage of the conflict were regrettable but permissible collateral damage.

It was occasioned in the process of the security forces fighting to overwhelm and defeat the LTTE who had taken hostages in such large numbers that this may well be considered to be one of the largest hostage takings in history. The human stakes were colossal considering that the hostages were being murdered if they had tried to escape. The end result of saving some 290,000 hostage lives and the defeat of the ruthless LTTE were legitimate military and humanitarian objectives and the collateral damage was not disproportionate to the military advantage and was wholly consistent with the humanitarian imperatives that prevailed at that grim time.

Shenali D Waduge  

ETCA Will Destroy Lankan Economy Along With Businesses of UNP, TNA and SLMC Supporters

July 5th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

Already the nation is in financial, balance of payment and debt crisis. There is not enough foreign currency to pay for imports and repay loans and interest. It is unwise to enter into a trade agreement with India under these conditions as it will worsen these crises. Since signing the FTA with India in 2000, trade deficit with India has widened badly to over $5 billion. With ETCA, it will further worsen ruining local industry and bankrupting local investors.

All investors take away many times more than they invest. Otherwise, their venture makes no sense. Indian investors will invest a little in Lanka and take back many times more. Sri Lankan rupees are worthless in India and they will convert rupees into US dollars. That will further destroy the scant forex reserves. Sri Lankans of South Indian ethnicities have been appointed to top positions in judicial and fiscal sectors of Lanka already. ETCA is set to pass.

However, what the UNP government seems to have either missed or tries to push under the carpet is the severe impact of ETCA on UNP, TNA and SLMC businessmen. They will end up bankrupt and in ruin with Indian businesses coming to Lanka in a big way. Most Sri Lankan businesses are owned by UNP, TNA and SLMC supporters. Indian businesses will simply wipe them out. Import industries in particular are vulnerable to the Indian invasion. This will in turn destroy the UNP within. TNA and SLMC on the other hand can continue to attract minority voters using their racist exclusive policies.

By the next election, even traditional and hard-core UNP supporters will be cross with the UNP government. It will try its best to pin the blame on Sirisena and his pro-Indian SLFP. Their businesses in ruin with economic calamity engulfing the nation, they too will turn against the UNP. However, cheaper Indian goods and services will benefit the people, which will amass some support for the UNP. It is the impact of rupee depreciation and the consequent rise in prices overall that will arouse their anger against the UNP.

However, this doesn’t mean Mahinda’s party will automatically succeed. In fact, Mahinda’s party will have to be bold to win the votes lost by the SLFP and the UNP. Otherwise voters will dump it in the same rubbish bin. Any coward can talk against ETCA and weep for the plight of the people due to ETCA but it takes a hero to stand up and vow to abrogate ETCA. Mahinda’s party must promise to abrogate ETCA to win votes. Merely lamenting the ills of ETCA and blaming the UNP and Sirisena for ETCA will not bring it any votes. Past conduct of Mahinda and his brothers after 2009 doesn’t favour them well. They failed to take any bold stand on any issue after 2009.

Given the very strong anti-Indian sentiment by then, many new small parties will cash-in from the situation by taking a strong anti-India stand. That will ruin chances of winning the election for Mahinda’s party unless it also follows a bold stand against ETCA. At the moment the JVP is heavily canvassing against ETCA and JVP MP numbers will increase in parliament at the expense of the Joint Opposition. People will want bold and clear leaders to abrogate ETCA, not cowards unable to take a bold stand to do so. Very strong anti-Indian sentiments will also popularise the abrogation of 13A and the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord. A party that cannot stand up to these challenges will lose the election. Parties that will emerge with the sole purpose of abrogating ETCA will amass votes and unlike the Rajapaksas will have minority support as well. Rajapaksas will never have minority support and it is futile going after their votes.

The Joint Opposition and the JVP cannot prevent ETCA from happening but they can abrogate it with the change of government. If they take a bold stand to abrogate ETCA, even aggrieved UNPers in their millions will support them. If they only lament the ills of ETCA without vowing to abrogate it, they will lose the election, again.

There was no War in Sri Lanka therefore there were neither war crimes nor violation  of human rights.

July 5th, 2016

By Charles.S.Perera

The Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain, as an intelligent man if using his unbiased mind may understand why Sri Lanka has neither committed war crimes nor violated human rights. It was because there was never a war in Sri Lanka. Wars are between countries and bombs and gunfire from the warring parties  may kill innumerable number of civilians and violate human rights. It happened in the World War I and World War II. It happened in USA and Iraq war.  There was a tribunal  in Nuremburg to  try the war criminals. In a war there are two sides or more countries may join one or the other. The warring parties of both sides kill civilians as well as the soldiers from each side.  Both warring parties are equally responsible for the deaths in war. Those killings are the war crimes and violation of human rights.

Sri Lanka never had a war.  “War” is a wrong word to use in the military operations of Sri Lanka Armed Forces against the terrorists.  In Sri Lanka there was terrorism, the terrorists came from amoung its own people. They were  Tamil youth. These young people  were taken over by India and trained in the jungles of South India as terrorists and released later in the North of Sri Lanka to carry out terrorism to divide the country to establish a Tamil Eelam.

Sri Lanka used its Armed Forces to eliminate the terrorists. In this military operation it was fighting against the terrorists, not against the Tamil civilians, or not in a country away fro Sri Lanka. It was an internal military operation to stop continued ruthless terrorist activities for thirty years within the country .

Unlike in a conventional war, in a military operation by the armed forces of a country  against  terrorism within the country, it is to stop  crimes being  committed by the terrorists against its people. Therefore the Armed Forces of the Government were fighting to remove terrorism which was causing damage to human life and property.

The military operations of the Armed Forces of the Sri Lanka government was a means to protect its people and the country. If there had been deaths  to civilians,  it was in the course of eliminating a great danger to the country-terrorism, which would have  caused greater number of deaths in the future as it had  been in the past.

In a conventional war  there are certain regulations and agreed conventions such as the Geneva convention the breach of which would be interpreted as war crimes or violation of human rights. After the World War II there were military tribunals  held by allied forces for Nuremberg trials  for the prosecution of the members of  the political, military and judicial leadership of Nazi Germany who planned and carried out the Holocaust and other war crimes.

Sri Lanka needs no  tribunals in the lines of those established for Nuremberg Trials to try our soldiers and the political leadership that carried out the military operations to eliminate terrorism in Sri Lanka. Our soldiers  and those who gave leadership to carryout the military operations against the terrorists, did a necessary service to stop a thirty years of suffering  and massacres of innocent civilians by the terrorists.

If there were civilians deaths  in the course of those military operations it was unfortunate. They were  collateral and our Armed Forcers cannot be tried for war crimes for the deaths caused during the military operations, in the aftermath of the elimination of terrorism as it was in the course of carrying out their military duties in the protection of the country and the people. Such courts may be acceptable in a conventional war between countries and not in  military operations to rid the country of terrorism.

Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain despite being the Commissioner of UN Human Rights Commission, should use the intelligence of the man he is,  to see through the ridiculous move of USA to pass a resolution against Sri Lanka for war crimes and human rights in the elimination of a ruthless group of terrorists.

If there had been deaths to  civilians caught in the cross fires between the government Armed Forces and the terrorists in the course of that military operation the responsibility for those deaths fall wholely on the terrorists who held the 300,000 Tamil civilians as a human shield for their own protection, and the Sri Lanka Armed forces cannot be called upon by any one to face a tribunal to answer for those deaths. The Armed Forces in fact saved the lives of those 300,000 Tamil civilians kept as human shields by the terrorists in a remarkable humanitarian rescue operation.

The Sri Lanka Armed Forces were carrying out their duties in the service of the country to bring peace and security for all communities in Sri Lanka including the Tamil Community which now take exception for the elimination of terrorism.

The Tamils of Sri Lanka and their kith in the Tamil diaspora are under the delusion that they are not a minority Community in Sri Lanka,  despite they being just a 11 percent of the population as  against a 75 percent of the Sinhala population.  They presume they have the same rights as the Sinhala population. Not satisfied living in a Sinhala country as a minority they have even begun re-writing the history of Sri Lanka to claim that they had been in Sri Lanka even before the advent of the Sinhala.

USA seems to be giving credence to this false assertion of the Tamils as they the Americans in USA as well as Canadians, and Australians  have intruded into countries that did not belong to them and decimated  its original inhabitants –the Native Americans in USA, First Nation in Canada and Aboriginals in Australia, to claim ownership to those lands and now have become nations of their own of those countries.  Perhaps USA thinking of  its  own experience wants to establish the Sri Lanka Tamils as a Nation in Sri Lanka by decimating, weakening or  dispersing the Sinhala population, as they have done to the native Americans.

How else could we understand the willingness of USA and the West going all out to demand  the Government of Sri Lanka for reconciliation with the Tamils, accept even their terrorism in Sri Lanka justifiable, and call the Government of Sri Lanka to set up a Tribunal with foreign judges and prosecutors to put our Armed Forces on trial for war crimes as they did to the political, military and judicial leadership of Nazi Germany ?

Incidentally,  AlJazeera had a discussion with A Sri Lanka Minister D.M.Swaminathan, Sivanathan, Subramaniam Sentilkumar of the British  Tamil Forum and Bhavani Fonseka of Centre for Policy Alternative about  reconciliation and distribution of land occupied by the Armed Forces to Tamil owners. Thousands of acres of land that had been occupied by the Armed Forces have  already been given back to the people.  The British  Tamil Forum representative wanted more lands to be handed back to the people and claim that  about 150000 Army personal in the north should be removed.

This is how the Tamil diaspora is using the Western media for their purpose to  wrench off more benefits to the Tamil Community minimizing  the importance of all the benefits the Sri Lanka Government  had been giving to the Tamils of North and East since the elimination of terrorism. The Tamil Diaspora that creates most of the  problems feeding false information to the International Community has contributed  nothing  for the development or the welfare of the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka.

What prevents reconciliation of Communities in Sri Lanka is this interference of Western Media and the Tamils of the diaspora who are for the most part going on information received from third parties without having any idea about the ground situation.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain should now evaluate the situation independently as he is the one who presented  the special report, titled “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka”,   without first  discussing it  with the Government of Sri Lanka.

The matter as a whole should not be the concern of the UN as the elimination of terrorism cannot be considered a war. It is against the principle on which first the League of Nations and then the UNO was set up. UNO was set up to “save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… to re-affirm  faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person,in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small….”

The most disastrous than war is terrorism, because terrorists show “ no respect to fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person…” No rules could be set as  to “ how to conduct terrorism.” And agreements cannot be entered into with terrorists as to how to carry out terrorism !!!

The  terrorism is  out side the Charter of UNO which came into effect in June,1945 , therefore it is wrong for the UNO to interfere in the settlement of terrorism  within  a country. The fundamental human rights referred to in the Charter of the UNO is in respect of breach of human rights in the conduct of wars and not terrorism.

The wars as referred to above are between countries, and terrorism is against governments by a group of armed men who act on their own. Therefore the UN should not  misinterpret the UNCharter to interfere into sovereign states  in the settlement of terrorism or to call for accountability for the consequences in the elimination of  terrorism  which is a sovereign State’s  internal problem.

Therefore, USA has no moral right to move a resolution against Sri Lanka calling for accountability and accusing its Armed Forces for war crime and violation of human rights, and the report of the UN Commissioner Prince Zeid is equally uncalled for .

The UN Commissioner for human rights Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain, instead of calling the Sri Lanka Government to set up a hybrid court to prosecute the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka for war crimes, should point out to the USA and the countries that sponsored the resolution against Sri Lanka,  that no country or the UN has the right to question Sri Lanka on the elimination of terrorism, therefore the USA should withdraw its resolution even at this stage, and that he will himself withdraw the report he presented.

As it has been correctly declared in the preamble to the constitution of UNESCO, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed “.  Hence it is  the Government  and the people of Sri Lanka that should search within themselves  the means to bring the Communities within the country together  to find a solution to create unity amoung themselves to usher in peace for social welfare and economic development of Sri Lanka.

UNO is not serving the purpose for which it was setup, but getting involved in internal affairs of Sovereign States which the UNO has no right to do unless invited by the Sovereign State.  In the case of Sri Lanka UNO interfered to accuse Sri Lanka and  appointed a committee to make a report on Sri Lanka which the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said was for his personal use.

But the document called the Darusman Report was finally made official accusing Sri Lanka on the finding of the report.  The Darusman Report was not reliable as the report was made on evidence collected  from third parties and which were biased and accused without eye witness accounts atrocities supposed to have been committed by the Armed Forces. It was highly improper to have released the report which was prepared for the use of the Secretary General as an official report of the UN.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain, should take note that under no circumstances a report should be accepted if  the names of witnesses who provided information for the preparation of the report has not been divulged as such a document is not legal and raises doubt about the honesty of its intention-its bona fides. The same can be said of the report of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid , “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka ”.

What is necessary is not to have hybrid courts to prosecute  the Armed Forcers of Sri Lanka for war crimes, but to tell the Tamil Community that reconciliation is not having separate rights within Sri Lanka according to the ethnicity of each community, but to live in communal unity with all Communities without segregation according to religion, language or race.

Minority and Majority Communities in other  countries of the world are not a new phenomenon.  But the minorities  in other countries respect  the rights, customs, language, laws and religion of the majority community, and accept  to live as citizens sharing the rights of the Majority without demanding the majority of that country to accept the language, laws and customs of the minority community. There is a mutual respect between the Majority Community and the minority community.  It is how it should be and it’s the role of the UNO and  the UN Human Rights Commission to make the Sri Lanka Tamil Community understand that fundamental conditions of living as minority in a country where the majority is not Tamil.

That is the role of the UNO, because we cannot accept the USA or the West to do it because they have political interest in dividing populations in countries either by war or by other subtle means using Human Rights as a tool for example to maintain their leadership.  It is for that reason the forefathers of UNO set up that august Institution, which today  has been made what it should not be-an institution to divide populations in the interest of more powerful member States.

It is perhaps now up to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin ra’ad Al Hussain, to call to order what is in disorder, and demand USA and the sponsors to withdraw  the  anti Sri Lanka resolution they presented and passed  at the UN HR Council. .  The whole resolution against Sri Lanka presented to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva by the USA as well as the report , “Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka ” of UNHCHR Prince Zeid. are based mostly on the Darusman Report an unofficial report made official by the Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in the interest of USA and the West to make Sri Lanka what the USA , the West and the Tamils of the diaspora want it to be- a communally divided failed state, dependent on USA and the West with part of it separated in the interest of the Tamil Community.

Dr Coomaraswamy responds to claims over ties with Rajaratnam

July 5th, 2016

Courtesy Adaderana

Dr Indrajit Coomaraswamy says that his primary responsibility as the governor is to uphold the reputation and credibility of the central bank, one of the very great intuitions of the country.

I intend to do my best to make sure that this organisation’s reputation, prestige, credibility is upheld, he said addressing his first media briefing today (5).

With regard to the future task, he said that Sri Lanka needs to stabilize the economy and get strong macro economical fundamentals. “That is the key building block and the central bank has a key role to play.”

On the steps taken and policies implemented by the government so far, he said: “I think we are on the right track but we have to sustain it.” He stated that the implementation of policies will be crucial.

Responding to a question, he said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) simply endorsed what the government needed to do and that it did not impose any conditions on Sri Lanka.  Asked about his ties with Galleon Group hedge fund cofounder Raj Rajaratnam, who was convicted in 2011 on insider trading charges, Dr Coomaraswamy said that he did macroeconomic research for the Sri Lankan-American Billionaire who he knew as a friend.

“It was a question of delivering some professional services for him, which is basically doing macroeconomic research,” he said, adding that the time he did that work was before Rajaratnam was charged with any misdemeanor.

“In fact I have known him for a long time. When I was a research student at the University of Sussex, he was an undergraduate and we became friends.”   “When I was finishing at the Commonwealth Secretariat, he knew what my background was in terms of macroeconomic trend.

He wanted me to help him,” he said.  Dr Coomaraswamy said that he did macroeconomic research for Rajaratnam for about 10 months. “I actually worked for him for about 10 months and my job was to provide research reports for him.”

“And then of course he was charged and the operation stopped. It took another year for the whole think to be wound up legally.”    “I knew him as a friend from the university.” He stated that one year before he was arrested, Rajaratnam helped a lot in Sri Lanka.

“He helped this market, he helped after the tsunami, he had done a lot of positive things.”

He had set up a charitable fund which helped projects in the north and south of the country, he said.

“That’s the Raj Rajararatnam that I knew.”

“I thought I was working with somebody for whom I actually had a lot of regard because he had made a tremendous amount of money and he used that money often and in socially very positive ways.”

– See more at: http://adaderana.lk/news.php?mode=beauti&nid=35944#sthash.bz5cvWwI.dpuf

CBSL’s new Governor outlines Bank’s prime aims in address to staff

July 5th, 2016

By Hiran H.Senewiratne Courtesy The Island

The new Governor of the Central Bank Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said that the primary objectives of the Bank will be to ensure macro-economic and local financial stability.

“During Sri Lanka’s post-independence history, politics have interfered in economics. The Central Bank needs to convince politicians that good economics is good politics and find a way to give the correct advice to the government to steer the country forward, Coomaraswamy said while making his maiden address to the Bank’s staff after taking office as Central Bank Governor, at the CBSL head office in Colombo.

According to some of those who were present on the occasion, the Governor revealed that the President had advised him to take ‘straightforward decisions with no fear. Furthermore, the Prime Minister had informed him about the need to have in mind the vision for the country’s future.

Coomaraswamy recalled that the Central Bank had ‘an awesome reputation’ in the 1970s, when he first joined it. He asked the staff to work with him as a team to build the reputation and credibility of the Bank.

Joining the Central Bank of Sri Lanka in 1973, Coomaraswamy served in the Economic Research, Statistics and Bank Supervision Divisions, as a staff officer until 1989. From 1981 to 1989 he was also seconded to the Ministry of Finance and Planning.

Thereafter, he worked for the Commonwealth Secretariat from 1990-2008, holding the posts of Director, Economic Affairs Division and Deputy-Director, Secretary-General’s Office. He was brought back subsequently to the Commonwealth Secretariat to head the Social Transformation Programme Division, as Interim Director.

කොටි රාජ්රත්නම්ගේ ලේකම්ට මහ බැංකුව බාර දීම නරියට කුකුල්ලූ බාර දුන්නා වගේ..

July 5th, 2016

lanka C news

කොටි රාජ්රත්නම්ගේ ලේකම්ට මහ බැංකුව බාර දීම නරියට කුකුල්ලූ බාර දුන්නා වගේ..රට තුළ බලයේ සිටින අයගේ වැරදිවලට නීතිය ක‍්‍රියාත්මක නොවන නමුත් ආණ්ඩුවට අභියෝගයක් වන ජාතිකවාදී, ප‍්‍රගතිශිලී නායකයන් කවර වරදක් හෝ පෙරට දමා සිරගත කරන මෙහෙයුමක් ක‍්‍රියාත්මක වන බව ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණේ නායක, විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා පෙන්වා දෙයි.

ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණේ ප‍්‍රචාරක ලේකම්, හිටපු පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත‍්‍රී මොහොමඞ් මුසම්මිල් මහතාට එරෙහි නඩුව කොටුව මහේස්ත‍්‍රාත් අධිකරණයේදී විභාගයට ගැනීමෙන් අනතුරුව මාධ්‍ය වෙත අදහස් දක්වමින් ඒ මහතා මෙසේ පැවසීය.

එහිදී වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දැක් වූ විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා මෙසේද සඳහන් කළේය.

‘‘අද රටේ නීතිය ක‍්‍රියාත්මක වන්නේ එක් එක් පාර්ශ්වයන්ට වෙනස් ආකාරයන්ටයි, මහදවල් තරුණයන් යටකරගෙන යන ඇමතිවරුන් අඩුම ගණනේ එම සිදුවීමේ සැකකරුවකු බවටවත් පත් වන්නේ නැහැ. ඊට අදාළ සීසීටීවී දර්ශන මැකෙනවා, හඳුනා ගැනීමේ පෙරෙට්ටුවක්වත් අඩුම තරමින් පවත්වන්නේ නැහැ. නීතිය නිසි පරිදි ක‍්‍රියාත්මක නොවන බවට වන මෙවැනි උදාහරණ  ඕනෑ තරම් අපට පෙන්වා දෙන්න පුළුවන්. නමුත් බලයේ සිටින පාර්ශ්වයේ අයට නීතිය ක‍්‍රියාත්මක නොවන රටේ මේ ආණ්ඩුවට අභියෝගයක් වන ජාතිකවාදී, ප‍්‍රගතිශිලී නායකයන්ට එරෙහිව කවර හෝ වරදක් පෙරට දමලා හිරේ දමන මෙහෙයුමක් අද ක‍්‍රියාත්මක වෙනවා. ඒ මෙහෙයුමෙහි ගොදුරක් බවට තමයි අද මොහොමඞ් මුසම්මිල් මහතා පත්ව සිටින්නේ. මොහොමඞ් මුසම්මිල් මහතා අද යහපාලනයේ කටු ලෙවකන තත්වයකට පත්ව සිටියානම්, වාහන එකක් නොවෙයි 100ක් පාවිච්චි කළත් කිසිම ප‍්‍රශ්නයක් වෙන්නේ නැහැ. ඒක තමයි අද මේ රටේ තත්වය. මේ තත්වය පරාජයට පත් කිරීම සඳහා මේ රටේ ප‍්‍රගතිශිලී ජනතාව පෙළගැසෙන්න  ඕනෙ. එහෙම නොවුණොත් මේ අය තමන්ට අභියෝගයක් වන සෑම දේශපාලන නායකයකුම සිරගත කරන තත්වයකට පත් වෙයි.

එහිදී මාධ්‍යවේයකු නැගූ වෙනත් ප‍්‍රශ්නයකට පිළිතුරු දුන් විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා,

  • ප‍්‍රශ්නය :- පත්කරන ලද මහ බැංකු අධිපතිවරයා පිළිබඳව ඔබ සෑහීමකට පත් වෙනවාද?
  • පිළිතුර :- නව මහ බැංකු අධිපතිවරයාගේ පැටිකිරිය සොයා බැලූවාම අපට සෑහීමකට පත් වෙන්න බැහැ. රාජ් රාජරත්නම් මහතාට අයත් ආයතනයක ඔහු ලේකම්වරයකු ලෙස කටයුතුකර තිබෙනවා, රාජා රාජරත්නම් කියන්නේ කුප‍්‍රකට කොටි හිතවාදී ව්‍යාපාරිකයෙක්. අද වරදකරුවකු ලෙස  ඇමෙරිකානු සිරිගෙදරක දඩුවම් විඳින කෙනෙක්. නව මහ බැංකු අධිපතිවරයා එලෙසම පෞද්ගලික ව්‍යාපාරික කටයුතුවල යෙදෙන කෙනෙක්. මෙවැනි පුද්ගලයකුට මහ බැංකුවේ අධිපතීත්වය භාර දුන්නාම ඒක හරියට ‘නරියාට කුකුල්ලූ භාර දුන්නා වගේ’ වැඩක් කියලයි අපට නම් හිතෙන්නේ. ඒක සුදුසු පත් කිරීමක් ලෙස අපි පිළිගන්නෙත් නැහැ.
  • අනෙක් අතට හිටපු මහ බැංකු අධිපතිවරයා මේ රටට කර තිබෙන මහා පරිමාණ වංචාව සහ පාඩුව සම්බන්ධයෙන් කිසිම නීතියක් ක‍්‍රියත්මක වන්නෙත් නැහැ. අද බැඳුම්කරවලින් කෝටි ගණන් වංචා කරපු අයට නිදහසේ ඉන්න පුළුවන්. ‘වාහනයක් වෙනුවට තවත් එකක් පාවිච්චි කළාද?’ කියන ඒවාටයි අද උසාවිවල නඩු ඇහෙමින් තිබෙන්නේ’’

අනුරුද්ධ බණ්ඩාර රණවාරණ
මාධ්‍ය ලේකම්

Gammanpila questions new CB Governor’s integrity

July 5th, 2016

The Courtesy Daily Mirror

Pivithuru Hela Urumaya (PHU) General Secretary Udaya Gammanpila today said they had no doubt about new Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy’s capabilities since he was an experienced and a qualified person, but they had questions about his integrity.

“He was charged in an insider trading case. Founder of the Galleon Group, an American-based investment fund management firm Raj Rajaratnam was jailed for 11-years in that case.

In 2009, when the incident took place, our newly appointed Central Bank Governor was an adviser to the group. Further, he worked as a director of a subsidiary company of the Galleon Group,” Mr. Gammanpila said.

He claimed that Mr. Rajaratnam, who employed Dr. Coomaraswamy, was a person who funded the LTTE. “The Government’s decision to appoint Dr. Coomaraswamy to replace former CB Governor Arjuna Mahendran is similar to exchanging ginger for chilli,” Mr. Gammanpila said.

He said the 66-year-old Dr. Coomaraswamy would not be able to handle nationally responsible job because at that age he would lack the physical and mental fitness for it. (Piyumi Fonseka) –

See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/112031/Gammanpila-questions-new-CB-Governor-s-integrity#sthash.M7Jt3XWh.dpuf

Sri Lanka cannot be a China or Vietnam: An Economic Science lesson to political liars-Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy   -Opion

July 4th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

I have read the above statement made by new Governor of CB with dismay ,as he has not specified what reforms we need to initiate .

As an economist he will speak about GDP ,Export Potential, High Labour cost and nothing about how to improve the productivity.

He talks about attracting investors, but he does not know about the unbearable obstacles Industrialist and investors are facing to get a project of the ground

( I as an investor is facing so much difficulties in  getting the  approvals from  agencies like CCD.CEA ,SLPA ,UDA,MEEPA  .Megapolis,Southern Development Board  etc etc etc to start a foreign currency generating project which will also provide employment  )

The governor also states that under such a situation, Sri Lanka should plan its future economic growth through a policy of promoting increased private sector centric exports and attracting more direct foreign investments.

Can he spell out how to attract those foreign investors??

As an industrialist and a foreign investment promoter let me suggest  what we should do .

Our labour laws are too democratic and too anti productive ,hence we need to have hire and fire  policy to make the labour force and blue collar workers to have a fear  psychosis from losing the job. If they get fired ,the whole family may starve hencethey will be reluctant to strike.

State should make them borrow more for education ,health care and  housing at a reasonable low rate of interest to entice them to have a high loan burden.

When they have a obligation to repay high loan instalment, they will work harder and become fearful in losing the job .

With a democratic government we cannot have strict labour laws. In Vietnam and China they do not have much democracy, hence the labour force cannot revolt.

Second suggestion is to get the women be  the head of the family who should be signing for the borrowing, as they are more responsible in repayment of loans ,In order to repay the loans she will not allow her somewhat revolutionary husband to play around with his job.

(This idea was given to me by an ex JVP leader in seventies –Mr Susil Siriwardane !)

Third suggestion is for the mighty president to suspend the constitution and become a “ Benevolent Dictator “ ( The way he appointed the Governor and now tackling VAT issue, amply proves that he does not have to listen to MP’s !)

If I have a chance of being his right hand man to implement above ,I will work harder as I will be a worker who will have a  fear of getting fired.

Lastly, stop giving and financing facility to buy cars ,three wheelers and  lend the money  to Industrialists so that they  work harder to repay the loans and produce more and more .

I cannot think any other way to come out of this economic mess

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

 

මට ‘මහරජාණෝ’ කියලා නම දැම්මේ මෛත‍්‍රී.. – මහින්ද නොකී රහසක් හෙලි කරයි…

July 4th, 2016

තමනට මහ රජාණෝ යන නම දැම්මේ වත්මන් ජනාධිපති මෛත‍්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතා බව හිටපු ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා පවසයි.

ඔහු මේ බව කියා සිටියේ බලංගොඩ ප‍්‍රදේශයේ පැවති උත්සව සභාවක් අමතමිනි.

එසේ අමතනු එපා යයි තමන් නිතරම කියූවද පලක් නොවූ බවද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා පැවසීය.

BREXIT: Lessons to be learnt

July 4th, 2016

By Neville Ladduwahetty Courtesy The Island

It would take months and years for the world to absorb the aftershocks of the stunning decision taken by the People of Great Britain to leave the European Union (EU). The consequences of this decision would be felt globally and would affect the lives and livelihoods of millions in Britain and around the world,not only in the near term but also in the long term as well. The decision to exit the EU has been described by some as the end of history,perhaps because the diminished role of Britain in global politics would redefine the role of the West in a manner that cannot be fathomed at this time. The President of the EU Parliament is reported to have stated that “A whole continent is taken hostage because of an internal fight in the Tory party.” (Washington Post, June 27, 2016).

The internal politics was not confined only to the Tory Party. There are divisions within the Labour Party as well. Whatever the nature of the internal divisions 3/4th of the Parliament was for remaining within the EU. However, the fact that the British people voted to defy their elected representatives reflects a disturbing disconnect between all those associated with the political establishment, the elected representatives and their people thus projecting a shocking breakdown in representative democracy.

An article in the Washington Post states: “The gap between the people and their representatives has never before, at least on an issue of this significance, been so wide. You do not speak for us, voters said, and we hold you in some contempt for your failure to represent, or even understand our concerns” (June 26, 2016). What happened in Britain should serve as a wake-up call for all elected representatives in democracies,and of the need for them to be in close touch with their electors if they are to fulfill their responsibilities.

READING the SIGNIFICANCE of the VOTE

A host of explanations have been offered to explain the reasons why the British People decided to opt out of the EU. They range from age differences to class differences to urban versus rural and how each views their place inside or outside the EU. The young see issues in the context of a globalized world in which they are comfortable. To the young remaining in the EU means greater integration, bigger markets and greater opportunities, all of which means support for globalization. It also means economic growth, tangible prosperity for the educated ending in a greater share for the “haves”. As a United Kingdom with the 5th largest economy the young see a greater role for UK in which they could participate in shaping the future of the global landscape.

The older generations and the rural people, on the other hand, see their sovereignty and lives being marginalized from the effects of globalization. They see the influx of immigrants from Europe threatening their job security and straining the social entitlements they had once enjoyed(and threatening their job security). They also see their identity being compromised in a subsumed multiculturalism that they find hard to accept. They see integration as having to conform to standards dictated by a distant bureaucracy in Brussels over which they have no control. The vote to exit the EU is how they expressed their wish to retake control of their lives and their place in Britain.

The concerns of this section of British society are so immediate and compelling that they are not concerned about the consequences of exiting from the EU even if it means isolating Britain from the stage of world affairs because of its diminished role. Similar inward looking trends exist in other parts of the world. The call by a prospective US Presidential candidate to take back America reflects similar sentiments. In respect of class, the wine drinking class see globalization as an opportunity whereas the beer drinking class see globalization as a threat to their identities and to their livelihoods. These differences saw a 52% vote mostly by the elderly and the rural to exit the EU and 48 % mostly young and urban voting to remain.

These contrasting views reflect a divided society with contrasting values attributed in the main to byproducts of globalization. Without addressing such pressing issues political parties in most democracies are preoccupied with their internal politics. Commenting on this situation the Washington Post cites the views of Anthony King, Professor of Politics at the University of Essex who states: “In the face of that change in public attitudes, much of the political class is behaving the way it used to behave, the old arguments, the old fights, the adversarialism. That has created what he calls ‘the palpable disconnect’ between political leaders and ordinary people. That is true across much of the democratic world” (June 28, 2016).

LESSONS for SRI LANKA

The inability of the political establishment in Britain to recognize the divisions in the society arising from contrasting values that obviously had been festering for some time reflects a breakdown in the abilities of elected representatives to be sensitive to the disconnects in their democracies. Similar fractures are taking place in Sri Lanka as well. What is visible in Sri Lanka are the gathering protests by traders in various parts of Sri Lanka against taxes imposed by the government; the protests by the farmers for denying the entitlements they had previously enjoyed, and the concerted campaign by the professionals against globalization in the form of Trade Agreements particularly with India such as ETCA to prevent mass immigration to Sri Lanka; a fact that was downplayed by the British Government but turned out to be in far higher numbers than predicted. Promoters of ETCA in Sri Lanka are also downplaying the possibility of an influx of immigrants from India, but what they fail to recognize is that the combination of serious unemployment in India and much higher wages in Sri Lanka would tempt every loophole in the Agreement to be exploited,after which it would be too late to take any meaningful action to contain the tide.

Instead of recognizing and responding to the concerns of a significant section of Sri Lanka’s citizens,the obsession of the current Government to push for robust urbanization and greater engagement with India reflects the degree of disconnect between the political establishment and the people. The intention of the Government to bring prosperity to the country through urbanization and greater global engagement in the hope that its benefits would trickle down is a flawed approach. While it is hoped that the visible protests would not gather momentum and spiral out of control as happened in the revolt of the English Peasants in 1381,the invisible and yet muted protests against the push for urbanization in the form of Port Cities and Project Megapolis would further marginalize sections of the society outside these urban centers thereby exacerbating the divisions that already exist.

Those who are for urbanization are driven by values similar to the Brits who are for remaining within the EU; these being a wider world view that promotes connectivity with the world and unrestricted freedom of movement etc. etc. Those opposed to urbanization see its effects on the society where those currently outside urban areas would become guest workers who end up living in the margins providing services to the urban elite and yet others who would be left behind in the rural hinterland as it is with most mega cities. When those left behind end up being the “have nots”, the societal schisms could precipitate electoral outcomes that end up being a rebuke and a dismissal of the establishment as has been demonstrated in Britain.

The report cited above states: “The seeds of what has brought Britain to this moment exist elsewhere, which makes this country’s problems the concern of leaders elsewhere. In Belgium and Brazil, democracies have faced crises of legitimacy; in Spain and France, elected leaders have been hobbled by their own unpopularity…” In Sri Lanka too there is a crisis of legitimacy and popularity. There is also a deficit in democracy both at the level of the leadership and at the level of the elected representatives due to their preoccupation with personal issues to a degree that is making them insensitive to the simmering disconnect within the polity.

In Britain it was essentially the agricultural heartland that voted to exit the EU. In Sri Lanka also the discontent is most palpable among those engaged in agriculture, in particular, the paddy farmers and the tea and rubber small holders. Of these, the most vulnerable are the paddy farmers because they live from harvest to harvest. Consequently, they are victims of the money lenders in between harvests and are victims of powerful millers after harvest. One possible way to bring relief to this significantly large section of the population is to arrange for a percentage of the guaranteed price for paddy based on average yield per hectare to be paid to them monthly. This would make the farmer independent of the money lenders and place them in a position of strength to negotiate with the millers for the best price. Whatever the arrangement, successive Governments have failed to address the plight of a section of society that assures food security for the whole nation.

CONCLUSION

The prevailing disconnect between the political establishment and the people’s needs whether in Britain, Sri Lanka or any other democracy is due to a failure of the political leadership and the elected representatives in democracies to read the rising anxieties in their respective countries. Collectively, they are preoccupied with either retaining power or gaining power. The effect of this preoccupation is to ignore the issues that matter to the people. Stark evidence of this phenomenon is the decision of the British majority to exit from the EU much to the shock of the political establishment as well as to others associated with the establishment.

At the end of the day what really should be the role of elected representatives and their leaders in a democracy? Are they to lead the nation in a direction that from their perspective is best for the people, or should they work towards fulfilling the needs of the People in respect of what matters to them or is it a combination of both. What we have today in Sri Lanka is a trend towards the former.This is reflected in the focus for greater global engagement for which the needed infrastructure is urbanization in the form of Port Cities and Mega-cities with facilities to meet the demands of the high rollers both within and without who patronize them. The fact that such a direction has a social and environmental cost not to mention the attendant cultural degradation is not factored.

On the other hand, the priorities of people in most countries concern their immediate livelihood. To them the GDP rank of the country means little. What matters to them are freedoms and opportunities to pursue meaningful and prosperous lives that are sustainable both for themselves and for the future generations. This was the message that the people of Britain brought to the attention of the world. They were not prepared to bear the cost of the global engagement that their leaders set out for them. The message in the protests in Sri Lanka is no different.

For the people of Britain their place in Britain is more important than Britain’s place in the world. Such a vision also goes for most in Sri Lanka and most other countries. This does not mean a tendency to look inward or a hard-nosed nationalism, but a view where people in general want to engage with the world without losing sight of who they are and the values they nourish and stand for. The people of any country would respect a leadership that could answer such a call.

Sri Lanka cannot be a China or Vietnam: An Economic Science lesson to political liars-Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

July 4th, 2016

Courtesy Adaderana BIZ

Sri Lanka is currently stuck in a position while being unable to compete against countries with lower labor costs or labor productivity. If to emerge from this trap, Sri Lanka has to go for reforms immediately, warns an economic academic.

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy points out that Sri Lanka is unable to compete with countries like Bangladesh with lower labour costs since the island’s labour costs are higher.

Furthermore, since Sri Lanka is trapped by being unable to compete with countries like Thailand where labour productivity is higher, it has to immediately go in for wide reforms in its labour force to increase productivity, adds Dr. Coomaraswamy.

Sri Lanka cannot become a China or Vietnam

Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy identified the government’s foreign loan funded infrastructure development projects and the utilization of neglected capacities as significant reasons for Sri Lanka’s development growth after the end of the war.

Though the lower foreign borrowing countries like China and Vietnam follow a policy of economic growth through state investments, it is difficult for Sri Lanka to widen its state investments any further through foreign loans since the island’s foreign borrowings are nearly 75 per cent compared to its GDP.

Similarly, the neglected capacities have been utilized to their maximum by now, points out economic academic Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy.

The way forward for Sri Lanka

Under such a situation, Sri Lanka should plan its future economic growth through a policy of promoting increased private sector centric exports and attracting more direct foreign investments, says Dr. Coomaraswamy.

Hence, Sri Lanka’s policy planners should immediately introduce economic reforms which could promote exports and attract more direct foreign investments, he added.

Attracting direct foreign investments towards a 10 per cent economic growth is something feasible and productivity should be enhanced in ways to expose the creativity of Sri Lanka’s labour force, Dr. Coomaraswamy added further.

Interim budget and relief package

Sri Lanka’s macro-economic stability has been weakened due to the unbearable relief packages provided through the recent interim budget and hence it is vital that Sri Lanka reconsiders whether it is treading on the right path, said Dr. Coomaraswamy.

It is not so easy to find the funds for the relief measures provided through the interim budget and this would force the increasing of taxes and interest rates, control expenditure or to some similar mixed decisions, he pointed out.

http://bizenglish.adaderana.lk/sri-lanka-cannot-be-a-china-or-vietnam-an-economic-science-lesson-to-political-liars/

බදු, පොලී වැඩි කර වියදම් පාලනය කල යුතුයි… පුද්ගලික අංශය මූලිකයි.. – මෙන්න අලුත් මහ බැංකු අධිපතිගේ දැක්ම..

July 4th, 2016

lanka C news

2015.05.28– biz.adaderana.lk

බදු, පොලී වැඩි කර වියදම් පාලනය කල යුතුයි… පුද්ගලික අංශය මූලිකයි.. – මෙන්න අලුත් මහ බැංකු අධිපතිගේ දැක්ම..

ශ්‍රමයේ මිල අඩු රටවල් සමග හෝ ශ්‍රමයේ ඵලදායීතාවය වැඩි රටවල් සමග තරග කිරීමට නොහැකි ලෙස ලංකාව මේ වනවිට හිරවී තිබෙන බවත් මේ උගුලෙන් ගොඩඒම සඳහා ලංකාව වහ වහා ප්‍රතිසංස්සකරණ කළ යුතුව ඇති බවත් ආර්ථ ශාස්ත්‍රඥයෙකු අවධාරණය කරයි.

ආචාර්ය ඉන්ද්‍රජිත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා පෙන්වා දෙන්නේ මෙරට ශ්‍රමයේ මිල වැඩි නිසා ශ්‍රමයේ මිල අඩු බංග්ලාදේශය වැනි රටවල් සමග තරග කිරීමට ලංකාවට මේ වනවිට නොහැකි බවයි.

මීට අමතරව, තායිලන්තය වැනි ශ්‍රමයේ ඵලදායීතාවය වැඩි රටවල් සමගද තරග කිරීමට ලංකාවට මේ වනවිට නොහැකිවී තිබෙන නිසා ලංකාව හිරවී තිබෙන බවත් මෙම උගුලෙන් ගොඩඒම සඳහා ශ්‍රම බලකායේ ඵලදායීතාවය නැංවීමේ පුළුල් ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ ඉතාමත් ඉක්මනින් කළ යුතුව ඇති බවත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා පැවසීය.

චීනය සහ වියට්නාමය වගේ වෙන්න අපිට බෑ

ලදායිතාවය නැංවිය යුතු බවත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා වැඩිදුරටත් කීය.

අතුරු අයවැයේ සහන මල්ල ගැන කියූ කතාව

පසුගිය අතුරු අයවැ

යුද්ධයෙන් පසුව ලංකාවේ ආර්ථික වර්ධනයට ප්‍රධානතම හේතු ලෙස විදේශ ණය මත රජය සිදුකළ යටිතල පහසුකම් සංවර්ධන ව්‍යපෘති සහ අත්හැර දමා තිබුණු ධාරිතාවයන් ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගැනීම කැපී පෙනුණු බව ඉන්ද්‍රජිත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා සඳහන් කළේය.

විදේශීය ණය අඩු චීනය සහ වියට්නාමය රාජ්‍ය ආයෝජන මගින් ආර්ථික වර්ධනය ඉහළ නැංවීමේ ප්‍රතිපත්තියක සිටියත් මේ වනවිට, ලංකාවේ විදේශ ණය ප්‍රමාණය දළ දේශීය නිෂ්පාදිතයට ප්‍රතිශතයක් ලෙස සියයට 75කට ආසන්න නිසා තවදුරටත් ණයට මුදල් ගෙන සිදුකරන රාජ්‍ය ආයෝජන පුළුල් කිරීම මෙරටට අසීරු යැයි හෙතෙම කීය.

එසේම, අත්හැර දමා තිබූ ධාරිතාවයන්ද අපි මේ වනවිට උපරිමයෙන් ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගෙන ඇතැයි අර්ථ ශාස්ත්‍රඥ ආචාර්ය ඉන්ද්‍රජිත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා පෙන්වා දුන්නේය.

අපි ඉදිරියට යා යුත්තේ කෙසේද ?

මෙවැනි තත්ත්වයක් තුළ ලංකාවේ ඉදිරි ආර්ථික වර්ධනය සැලසුම් කළ යුත්තේ පුද්ගලික අංශය කේන්ද්‍ර කරගනිමින් අපනයන වර්ධනය කිරීම සහ වැඩිපුර සෘජු විදේශීය ආයෝජන කැඳවා ගැනීමේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීම මගින් යැයි කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා අවධාරණය කළේය.

මේ නිසා, අපනයන ප්‍රවර්ධනය වන ආකාරයේ සහ සෘජු විදේශීය ආයෝජන වැඩිපුර කැඳවා ගතහැකි ආර්ථික ප්‍රතිසංස්කරණ මෙරට ප්‍රතිපත්ති සම්පාදකයින් විසින් වහාම හඳුන්වා දිය යුතුයැයි හෙතෙම පැවසීය.

සියයට 10ක ආර්ථික වර්ධනයක් ලබාගැනීමට හැකි සෘජු විදේශීය ආයෝජන ගෙන්වා ගැනීම කළ හැකි දෙයක් බවත් ලංකාවේ ශ්‍රම බලකායේ නිර්මාණශීලීත්වය එළි දකින ආකාරයෙන් ඵ

ය මගින් ලබාදී ඇති ඔරොත්තු නොදෙන සහන හේතුවෙන් මෙරට සාර්ව ආර්ථික ස්ථායීතාවය දුර්වල කර තිබෙන බවත් අපි යන්නේ හරි පාරේදැයි නැවතත් විමසා බැලීම වැදගත් බවත් කුමාරස්වාමි මහතා සඳහන් කළේය.

මෙම අයවැය මගින් ලබාදී තිබෙන සහන සඳහා මුදල් සොයාගැනීම එතරම් පහසු නොවන බවත් මේ හේතුවෙන් බදු සහ පොලිය වැඩිකිරීමට, වියදම් පාලනය කිරීමට හෝ එවැනි මිශ්‍ර තීන්දු ගැනීමට සිදුවනු ඇති බවත් හෙතෙම පැවසීය

2015.05.28
– biz.adaderana.lk


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