Helping Sri Lanka’s New Democracy

February 1st, 2015

Ira de Silva London, Canada

The Editor
New York Times
New York,N.Y.
U.S.A

Dear Sir:

I am writing to you regarding this disgusting exhibition of U.S. ignorance, arrogance and hypocrisy.

To write of Sri Lanka’s “new democracy” shows how ignorant the writer and your paper is regarding Sri Lanka. It is a country that has had democracy for sixty years and the country has an educated electorate which takes it’s responsibility to vote seriously, which is more than can be said of the U.S. The percentage that voted in the last election was over 80%. You are aware of the low voter  participation at your elections, which indicates that though the U.S. preaches democracy in other countries even if it means killing people and destroying them for purely selfish U.S. political gain, democracy is very much more present in Sri Lanka than in the U.S.

U.S. ignorance and arrogance is personified in the picture accompanying this article. The U.S. has various “rituals” as to how to treat your own flag and will not hesitate to bomb, murder and otherwise attack other countries if the U.S. flag is considered to have been desecrated because it is a symbol of the United States. This picture shows complete disregard for another country’s flag. If the U.S. flag is a symbol of the U.S. so are the flags of other nations to the citizens of those countries. The fact that you have chosen to publish this disgusting picture merely illustrates your low mentality and an appalling ignorance.

Regarding “war crimes” and prosecuting perpetrators, while there is agreement that such people should be brought to justice, it would be better if you would champion prosecution of those in the United States who have committed  such crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan for which there is ample documented proof and confirmed in the recently published U.S. Senate report, before calling for action in other countries on mere allegations. This is the embodiment of U.S. hypocrisy, to commit war crimes without any accountability but not hesitate to condemn other countries without any proof.

Sri Lanka is capable of looking after it’s own matters and the U.S. would do well to stay out of attempting to interfere in the internal matters of Sri Lanka until and unless it sets it’s own house in order. The people of Sri Lanka are well aware of the destabilization promoted by the U.S. in the name helping democracy. As Sri Lanka has a well established working democracy, it does not need help from the U.S. in this regard so you would be better advised to concentrate on promoting democracy in the U.S. and to educate yourself on basic principles of democracy and respect for other countries.

Yours truly,

 

Ira de Silva

London, Canada

 

 දහතුන ධනත් එපා රීනත් එපා … කොහොමත් එපා

February 1st, 2015

 ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

දෙමල කොටි  ත්‍රස්තවාදී බෙදුම්වාදීන්ටත්  ඉන්දියානු රාජ්‍ය ත්‍රස්තයන්ටත්  තමන් විසින්  ලංකාවට  ගෙන ආ  කුලී කාරයන්ට  යන එන මන් සැපයීම ට  අවශ්‍ය   වූ ඉංග්‍රීසින්   උන් තමන්ට බරක් නොවෙනසේ  එහෙත් සිංහලයන්ට බරක් වෙනසේ  පදිංචි කිරීමේකාර්යයට  කල උප්පර වට්ටියක් වුත්  75% ක සිංහලයන්ට  කිසිදා අවශ්‍ය නොවූත්  ඔවුන්ගේ අදහස් වලට පට හානි වුත් 13 රටට  අවශ්‍ය වන්නක් නොවේ  මෙය බෙදුම් වාදයට රුකුල් දෙන්නක් මිස  විසදුමක් ද නවේ  වර්ධරාජා පෙරුමාල්  එය ඔප්පු කර පෙන්නුවේය  ජනපති බලතල මගින් එය ව්‍යර්ථ කළා මිස බෙදුම් වාදී න්  පසු බස නැත. උතුරේ  නැගෙනහිර මුස්ලිම් කාරයොත් එකතු වුනොත් එම පලාත්වල ජනමතයක් පමණක් පවත්වා  දෙක එකතුකර ස්වාධීනත්වය ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමේ ඉඩ ක් ඇතිබව  ගෝමින් දයාසිරි  නීති විශාරදයාද පෙන්වාදී ඇත. පොලිස් බලතල ඉල්ලා උසාවි යාමටද හැක  විනිසුරන් කලින් කලට  ගන්නා තීරණ මත  එය අනුමත වීමටද හැක ශිරානි බණ්ඩාරනායක වැනි විනිසුරෝ අලුතෙන් ද ආ හැක.
                                    ත්‍රස්ත පාතාල මදාවියන්ට බියෙන් රටක් පාලනය කල නොහැක  නොකළ යුතුය  75% ක සිංහල ගසේ  එතී ඉන්නට සියයට 10-12 ක සුළු ජනයින්ට නොහැකි නම් එයම  බෙදුම් වාදයකි  තමන් විනාශ කල දෙමල හා මුස්ලිම් වරු නට  මේ සා  වරප්‍රසාද දී  ඇති  වෙනත් ජාතිය ක් මෙලොව නැත . මුස්ලිම් කාරයෝ   බලවත් වූ එකම රටක අනිත් උන්ට යනෙන් මන්  වත් නැත . 13 හා සමගාමීව  ඇතිකළ පළාත් සභා  රටේම ධනය කාබාසිනියා කරනවා පමණක් නොව මදාවියන්ට සනකෙලියක්ද වී ඇත. එක දිසාපති කෙනෙක්  මගින් කල කීදේ සඳහා මැති ඇමති  සිය ගණනක් යෙදීම අපරාධයකි  ඉඩම් බලතල දුන්නොත් මාස 6 කින්  උතුරේත් නැගෙනහිරත් සියලු ඉඩම් දෙමල හා මුස්ලිම් වරු විසි බෙදා ගෙන අවසන් කරනු ඇත.ඉන්පසු මොන ජගතාටවත් එහි සිංහලයන් පදිංචි කල නොහැක්කේ  ඉඩම්  ”’වද න්නට ” නොහැකි හෙයිනි කොළඹ අවටත්  උඩරටත්   දෙමල හා මුස්ලිම් වරුන්ගෙන් පිරී ඇත.සමස්ථ දෙමල ජනගහනයෙන් අඩක්ම ඇත්තේ කොලම අවටය . එහෙත් එකද සිංහලයෙකුටවත් උතුරේ ඉන්නට නොහැක  අපේ දේශ පාලුවෝ  එහත් ඉතින්  උතුරට ”””ෆුල් ඔටෝනොමි ”” දිය යුතුයය් කියති  උන් හිතන්නේ රට උන්ගේ අම්මා අප්පාගේ බුදලයක් කියාය  විදේශාධාර ලබාගෙන  උතුර හා නැගෙනහිර  බටහිර ගැ ති විශේෂ ප්‍රදේශ  ලෙස ”’ සංවර්ධනය”””’ කල හොත්  එදා සිට ඔවුන්  මුළු ලංකාවේම  සිංහලයන්ට කෙනෙහිලිකම් කරනු ඇත. සිංහලය න්  මබ්බොද  කිරීම සඳහා බටහිරයෝ එසේ ”’සංවර්ධනය ”” කරනු ඇත  රටේ ඉතිහාසය විකුර්තිකර එම පළාත්  වල  උගන්වනු ඇත  දැනට නීති විරෝධීව එය සිදුවේ  එය සිංහල අනාගතය අඳුරු කරවය්  සිංහලයා  බෞද්ධ වීම ඉන්දියානු හින්දුන්ට රුචිකර නොවේ  සිංහලයන්ට ඇති මහාර්ගම සම්පත  නම්   බුදු දහමය්  බුදු හිමියන්ගේ  අභිලාශය අනුව  සිංහලයන් අතර  එම දහම මෙතෙක් අපි පවත්වා ගතිමු බුදු . දහම උපන්රටෙන් එය අතුගා දැමු හින්දුන්  ගෙන් අපි ප්‍රවේසම් විය යුත්තේ  ඔවුන්ද  ආගම වෙනුවෙන් මිනී මරන්නට සුදානම් හෙයිනි  ඉන්දියාව අධිරාජ්‍ය වාදීය  චීනය නැත්නම් මෙලහටත්  ඉන්දියාව  අප විනාශ කර හමාරය  පරිප්පු දැම්මා මතකද රජීව් ට වූ දෙය  රට පාවාදෙන් අපේ දේශ පාලුවන්ටත් කවදා හෝ වෙනු ඇත .

 වහා ම පැරණි ගම්සභා ක්‍රමය ස්ථාපිත කර බුධ්ධිමන්දල මගින් ගම්වල  ප්‍රශ්න නිරවුල් කිරීමේ ක්‍රමය ඇරඹිය යුතුය  ගම්සභා අහෝසි කල සු ද්දෝ පසුව එහි වටිනා  කම  අවභෝධ   කරගත්හ  . මතකයේ හැටියට නැවත ගම්සභා ස්තාපිත් කලේ  හෙන්රි වෝඩ් ය . පැරණි සාම මණ්ඩල ආදිය වැදගත්ය .තනතුරු  නිල  බල අවශ්‍ය  දේශපාලු  ආත්මාර්තකාමීන්ට මිස ජනතාවට නොවේ  ගමේ ප්‍රශ්න හැකිතරම් ගම්වසියන්ම එකතුවී විසදා ගන්නාවිට   රටේ මුදල්ද ඉතුරුය  මදාවියන්ට ඉඩද නැතිවේ  එනිසා  පළමුව ගම්සභා  වැනි  ආයතන ඇතිකර  සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාව ට එහි ඇති වදගත් කම අඟවා  පසුව බලලොභීන්ට තැන එන 13 අහෝසි කල යුතුය . සියලු ජාති හිතය් ශීහු ඒකරාශී වෙත්වා  විධායක ජනපතිත් නැතිකොට  තමන්    ඒකරාශී  නොවුනොත්  සිංහ  ලයන් ගේ රටෙන්   ඉතිරි   වනු  ඇත  ත්තේ සොච්ච මකී 

THE TERROR FORECAST

February 1st, 2015

ALI SUKHANVER

 The whole of the Indian society is under a cloud of fear and horror, every one forecasting some drastic terrorist activity during President Obama’s visit to India in the last week of this January. It is being apprehended that the terrorists would give a ‘warm welcome’ to President Obama on the Indian lands. All security and intelligence agencies of India, all analysts of Indian TV channels and all columnists of Indian newspapers are stressing upon the same apprehension. In short this terror-forecast is wrapped up in such an immaculate type of certainty that it seems no one can save India from the hazards of terrorism on this occasion. Let us pray to God Almighty that He may save India and President Obama from every type of terrorist activity during the said visit because if any thing went wrong , the Indian authorities would simply push the whole ‘credit’ to Pakistan. President Obama will be honouring India’s Republic Day parade this year on 26th January as the chief guest. He is also expected to visit Agra next day on 27th January. Keeping in view, the Indian confidence and certainty about occurrence of some terrorist activity, most of the impartial analysts are of the opinion that the world is going to meet another Ajmal Qasab very soon. It is also being expected that a Mumbai Attacks or Samjhota Express type of tragedy might occur again. Terrorism in any form and any shape and at any place is condemnable but the conviction of the Indian authorities with reference to the expected terrorist activity is in itself doubtful and suspicious.

It has ever been the dominating trait of Indian political character to frame Pakistan behind every terrorist activity in India. We can find ample examples of this behaviour in previous years. And this is not a particular Pakistani point of view; so many Indian politicians have also been saying the same thing. Last year in January the Hindu reported a statement of that time Indian Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde. Mr. Shinde had accused the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological mentor the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) of promoting Hindu terrorism, which in turn was responsible for the fatal bombings of the Samjhota Express among other Muslim targets. He had categorically admitted in his statement that the BJP and the RSS were behind the blasts aboard the Pakistan-bound Samjhota Express, in Hyderabad’s Mecca Masjid and the Malegaon mosque in Maharashtra. But in spite of all these confessions, the Indian government has ever been trying its utmost to hold Pakistan responsible for the Samjhota Express tragedy in the same way it has been doing in case of Mumbai blasts.

The Times of India reported on 12th February 2012 the arrest of Kamal Chouhan, the main culprit behind the Samjhota Express blasts. The paper said, ‘ In another arrest in the Samjhota Express blast case, the National Investigation Agency has taken into custody an Indore based man Kamal Chouhan for his alleged role in the 2007 train attack.  The arrest of Kamal Chouhan, believed to be a close aide of Ramji Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, key accused in the case. Earlier Chouhan was asked to appear before the NIA headquarters through the summons served at his home at Depalpur Tehsil in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.’ Before the confession of Kamal Chouhan, an article of Saikat Datta was published in the Outlook India on 5th March 2007; the title was, ‘Rogue ISI Footprints.’ Saikat Datta is a writer very well known for his ill-will against Pakistan. Here is an extract from that article. ‘The suspected hand of ‘rogue ISI’ will figure prominently in the talks between RAW chief Ashok Chaturvedi and his British counterpart John Scarlett, now in India. Sources say Scarlett will share information about an ISI group unofficially helping the Taliban in Afghanistan. The British are said to have offered greater access to intelligence on the ISI to help the investigations into the Samjhota Express blasts.’ The same type of story may be concocted this time also. To give these concoctions a true colour of reality India has put security agencies on nationwide high alert to avoid any ‘breach’ of security and untoward incident. Indian authorities through such alerts are attempting to create an exploitable environment which could be helpful in dragging and framing Pakistan in any terrorist activity during Obama’s visit to India. President Obama is no doubt the leader of one of the most intelligent nations; he knows well how to react and what to decide in such a dangerous situation.

 

Episode five of the conspiracy of unholy alliance (CBK,RW, UNP,JVP,JHU, RAW, CIA & LTTE)

February 1st, 2015

By mahinda

The hidden agenda of the Sirisena-Ranil govt. continues with endless mudslinging at former president, his brothers with the view to kill them politically for the obvious reason of fear that they will be a threat to the new stake holders who have accessed the govt. and the license to rob from left and right to quell their hunger and thirst of twenty years in opposition.

Sirisena keep visiting temples to hood wink monks while the plans are being prepared to cut of the Buddhism from the constitution according to the latest statement made by the utter chatter box the dentist Rajitha Senaratne. He has now been appointed as the loudspeaker of the govt.

Media enjoys greatest freedom now, all state officials are banned from issuing any statement to media without the approval from respective secretaries. All media are no under tight control of the UNP mafia advised by RAW. The ARMY spokesman position to be abolished and no one will know hereafter as to what the hell happened to the ARMY!

Nest the mafia will curtail or cut off Face book and other social media including Internet, knowing well that same media that helped them spread fallacies during the election campaign for their political supremacy would boomerang on them and their sins will also be exposed when the social media is the most powerful and fastest medium today.

The provision included in our constitution on Fortifying and developing Buddhism was not even touched by the dictator president J.R.J. who architecture the present 1978 constitution when it was amended, neither British who conquered the Kandyan kingdom in 1815 touched the position of Buddhism knowing it will be a fatal mistake.

CBK has uttered few days ago in talks with Jihadist Rauff Hakkim saying Let Gnanasaara (BBS Gen. Secretary. Ven; Galagodatthe Gnanasaara Thero;) be out until general elections” means that they have a sinister plan to ban all patriotic and Buddhist leaders and activists and arrest them to deter any up rise against the govt.’s anti Buddhist, Anti patriotic policy.

The dilemma the Sinhela Buddhist people who trusted my3 and voted to him is that they have to keep their mouths shut until their neck is severed sooner.

Ranil had stated to an Indian TV (NDTV) that he is in full agreement to separate the country. Rajitha Seneratne has promised to Muslims in Beruwala on 19th Jan. that the constitution will be amended to remove the declaration of prominence to Buddhism and make all religions same in Sri Lanka.

Same day evening, after usual sip the Whisky madam had said Let Gananasara be out until the election” addressing a monk just as she addresses one of her users.

Sinhelas must realize the victory of Sirisena is not yours who jumped for it, but this is the victory of Tamils and Muslims who were ever waiting to grab the opportunity by ballet not the bullet.

All including Sirisena had been bribed to the sky when they finalized the agreements in Singapore well ahead of election and all discussion were made via satellite phones for maximum secrecy between Sirisena, Man-gala and CBK as to how to launch the conspiracy.

As an appetizer, the govt. will hood wink the Sinhela public by marginal reduction of foods, petrol and gas while all being done to give away the North and East to Ealaam under the non negotiable agreement they have reached for months.

In order to keep people in darkness without knowing the security situation in the country, the govt. had abolished the position Military spokesman from today. Also they have imposed another rule that no govt. official issue statements to media without the approval of govt. This is the precursor to the all out media censorship to come ahead!

Day by day the cabinet being increased and now its 57 all together. Hurahh……………………….. Century up in two weeks.

There is no doubt a new country out of this country in another 86 days from today as promised by Sirisena in his election manifest and the end of Sinhela Buddhists, be ready for the final closure of your coffin!  

Let (us) not to the marriage of true minds – Admit impediments….

February 1st, 2015

By Rohana R. Wasala

Courtesy The Island

The embryonic beginning of representative government in Sri Lanka occurred in 1833, just eighteen years into the British occupation of the whole of the country, with the establishment of the Legislative Council of Ceylon along with the Executive Council of Ceylon on the recommendations of the Colebrooke-Cameron Commission. At the beginning, however, there wasn’t even a modicum of people participation in government, but there was a clear suggestion of the divide and rule policy of the British and the particularly discriminatory treatment of the majority community deemed necessary by the rulers for the purpose of putting them in their place and for ensuring a firm grip on their new ‘possession’. This is not to say that the other native Sri Lankans came to be treated any better, except when and where it served the colonialists’ selfish interests. The Legislative Council had 16 members six of whom were appointed, unofficial members. Three of these were Europeans, one Sinhalese, one Tamil, and one Burgher. (There was no seat for Muslims in this council.) The six unofficial members could take part in discussions, but could not contribute to the legislative process. After a staggered evolutionary history since then, the parliamentary system of government is today a mature adult.

With the recent presidential election result ensured by an array of diverse political groups and individuals whose coming within even hailing distance of one another would not have  been in our wildest dreams, we see that a certain possibility has turned into probability. The possibility is that of chances emerging for a successful national engagement with the minority-majority problem. Now the inescapable duty of the country’s leaders is to turn the possibility that has  become a probability into actuality. What I have in mind here is the possibility of all the minority and majority communities relinquishing or thoroughly modifying their hitherto unsuccessful, intransigent positions in order to work out a universally acceptable framework for resolving the national problem. It has to be something new that would be acceptable to all the people in the country. Instead of assigning communities to ethnic enclaves, traditional homelands etc. a new approach must be devised by consensus, and designed for a people inhabiting a single homeland that equally belongs to them all.

Personal development gurus advise us on how to transform personal and professional life by drawing on the principle of ‘thinking out of the box’. ‘The Art of Possibility’ by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander (Peguin Books, 2000) deals with this principle. Novel, constructive ways of thinking liberate us from accustomed constrictive modes of trying to solve problems, allowing us to explore other possibilities, thereby increasing our chances of success. It is an infinitely desirable alternative to frustration in our personal and professional spheres. And I choose to extend the application of the art of possibility to our participation in public affairs (i.e. in the political sphere) with which we are concerned here. Instead of feeling frustrated and resorting to fratricidal violence in the face of our failure to resolve the longstanding  minority Tamil majority Sinhalese problem, we need to move out of the box into the promising land of limitless possibility.

But, what does it mean to think out of the box that is supposed to open infinite vistas of possibility? This needs some explaining: We humans are a highly evolved biological species and we possess the highest evolved brain among animals. But we haven’t transcended the processes of evolution; we are still subject to them, because we can’t escape biology; and these processes will go on until the end of time as far as we are concerned, unless we get completely wiped out from the face of the earth in some way before that. In sensory perception of reality, we are similar to other animals, though we are infinitely more complex: our brains are programmed to receive only those sensations that are critically needed for our ‘survival’ in the special sense that the term is used in biology; and our awareness of the environment is further restricted by the fact that we recognize only those sensations for which we have mental maps or categories or frameworks or paradigms (meaning the same thing). That is why scarcely any succeed in working out the answer to the well-known nine-dot puzzle.

To state the nine-dot puzzle verbally for those to whom it might be new: On a sheet of paper, draw nine dots arranged in three parallel rows, each dot equidistant from its neighbours (only nine dots altogether, three to a row, and you get a kind of box or square). What you have to do is to join the nine dots with only four straight lines without raising the pen or pencil from the paper. If you want to try this puzzle at this point before reading on, please do so. {Pause if necessary to do the experiment.} If you find it difficult to find the answer, let me give you a cue: your straight lines need not lie within the box/square; you can use the space outside it. If you are able to find the answer now, you know where the phrase ‘think out of the box’ comes from.

Given this puzzle, nearly everybody recognizes a flat square with a dot at each of the four corners, and tries to connect the dots within the square, ignoring the space around. This is because of the human mind’s inherent necessity to classify information into categories in order to perceive it. The brain establishes this arrangement of the dots as a box even though no box exists on the page, and gets stuck there. The abstract ‘box’ here is a framework or model that our minds create. Such paradigms define and restrict our perceptions. All problems, dilemmas, and dead ends that we encounter in our personal, professional, political, and social situations, that we think are unsolvable are seemingly so because they are framed within a certain set of assumptions or model (a paradigm) that doesn’t work. So, it is necessary to break free from that ‘box’, or enlarge it, and try the new opportunities that arise. Then the problems disappear. The popular phrase ‘paradigm shift’ refers to a striking or revolutionary change in such a model of perception.

Just as the tsunami disaster of December 2004 threw thousands of people in the affected areas in the same calamitous situation irrespective of their different ethnicities, social ranks and political ideologies, the overall result of the recent election, most representative presidential election ever held perhaps, has forced all Sri Lankans into a propitious state of shared expectancy about the future. The way we behaved during that catastrophic experience ten years ago demonstrated the best qualities inherent in our common culture: spontaneous fellow-feeling towards the affected and readiness to extend mutual support in the face of adversity. We showed generosity and kindheartedness towards those who needed help, humility and selflessness in the discharge of self-imposed responsibilities in relief work. Volunteers from the south visited the north and east on relief missions, similar workers from the north and east, including LTTE supporters visited the south with relief supplies. Of course, this reaching out to each other between the northern Tamil representatives and the southerners was an isolated event. That too occurred during a tenuous ceasefire agreement signed under less than ideal conditions in the country’s political landscape. There was no chance for the friendliness to be reasserted.

The current meeting of hearts and minds between the minorities and the majority under clearly fortuitous, even somewhat forced, circumstances must nevertheless be consolidated by the respective leaders, taking into consideration our common humanity and the brevity of time that we live on this earth for better or for worse. The Sinhalese majority on the one hand and the minorities (particularly the Tamils) on the other have always been labouring under a mutual ‘siege mentality’ that dates from the time early in the twentieth century when  the nationalist agitation for self-rule started in earnest. It is a fact that during the colonial times  minorities generally received preferential treatment (while, however, the masses were subjected to equal fairly apportioned dispossession and exploitation irrespective of their ethnicity). During the struggle for independence, some Tamil leaders opposed legislation that they believed would create conditions in which the Sinhalese would dominate. They were skeptical about their chances of securing their due under the Sinhalese. However much the Sinhalese leaders wanted to convince them that they were mistaken, they didn’t succeed in doing so. The Sinhalese started thinking that the minorities were constantly out to get them. After so many decades of fluctuating majority-minority relational fortunes, we are now arriving at a stage of political maturity in this regard, where we are wise enough to ‘ditch the box’ and launch into the land of promise, that is, possibility.

Corruptions, Corruptions, Corruptions -People’s Bank defaulted by Mangala’s sister in 2001

February 1st, 2015

By Frederica Jansz   28th October 2001, Volume 8, Issue 15

This is old news but shows what Mangala was doing in 2001

Following on the heels of The Sunday Leader expose on the dubious ‘deals’ of presidential confidante Ronnie Peiris and the Bank of Ceylon’s equally dubious role in writing off a sum of over Rs. 15 million Peiris owed the state bank, we have found that the blood relative of yet another presidential confidante, Mangala Samaraweera, had been granted a

temporary overdraft four years ago, of Rs. three million at the Peoples Bank, Nugegoda Town branch, which to date remains outstanding.

Jayanthi Chandani Gunewardena, sister of Mangala Samaraweera and wife of Nimal Gunewardena (Managing Director, Bates Strategic Alliance) on November 12, 1997 was granted a Temporary over Draft (ToD) of Rs. 2.5 million at a 21 percent interest rate per annum by the Peoples Bank, Town Branch, Nugegoda.

Exactly one month later, on December 12, 1997, the same bank granted an additional Rs. 500,000 to Standard Media (Private) Limited at a twenty eight percent interest rate per annum. The overdraft was allowed on account no. 154-000597-4.

Jayanthi Gunewardena nee Samaraweera, in 1997 was a ‘Director’ at Standard Media (Private) Limited. Upon negotiating the said ToD, Gunewardena was a signatory together with three others guaranteeing that the overdraft of Rs. 3 million would be settled within a period of 90 days. The other three guarantors are A. Weerasinghe, Jagath Deerasekera and Victor Joseph Imbaraj, all close associates of Mangala Samaraweera.

Later, this overdraft was re-negotiated when the company was unable to pay back any of the interest and capital due and an extension granted to a period of one year whereby Standard Media (Private) Limited was given time until September 1, 1998 to honour their debt.

It is now well nigh upon four years since the overdraft was first negotiated and the outstanding balance as of last week stands at Rs. 3, 618, 898.85 on account no. 154-000597-4.

The reason for taking the overdraft in 1997 was to publish a Sinhala newspaper named Irida, to back the People’s Alliance government. The Peoples Bank, Town Branch at Nugegoda were coerced into granting the temporary overdraft after it had been impressed upon the chairman of the Peoples Bank that Jayanthi Chandani Gunewardena is the sister of Mangala Samaraweera who in 1997 was the powerful minister of posts and telecommunications.

Such was the influence carried that the General Manager of the Peoples Bank, Town Branch, Nugegoda on November 17, 1997 accepted a hand written promissory note from Standard Media (Private) Limited which pledged to honour the original overdraft of Rs. 2.5 million granted five days earlier on November 12, 1997. There was no other collateral. And the Bank has not acted on the promissory note either.

This same ‘understanding’ stood even after an additional Rs. 500,000 was granted one month later bringing the total amount to Rs. 3 million. The only security given was this ‘influential understanding’ and ‘promise’ to honour the overdraft.

Upon being granted Rs. 2.5 million, Jayanthi Gunewardena had requested an additional Rs. 1.5 million. This amount was however refused and a further Rs. 500,000 given instead.

The reality of this story, like all other issues of corruption, is that the loan was never honoured. The newspaper Irida hardly sold which resulted in Standard Media (Private) Limited having to close shop. The capital of Rs. 3 million remains outstanding — proof of one more instance where the funds of a state bank have been misused by political miscreants.

The Peoples Bank was initially told that the Irida newspaper would sell a minimum of 20,000 copies per week. As such, Jayanthi, together with her other guarantors, told the bank that the temporary overdraft could be settled in full within a period of four months from the date it was granted.

Whether Standard Media (Private) Limited ever sold 20,000 copies of Irida is something we will perhaps never know. What we do know however is that the company and its four guarantors did not settle its dues to the Peoples Bank, Town Branch, Nugegoda.

A senior manager at the Peoples Bank confirmed to The Sunday Leader that Rs. 3, 618, 898.85 remains outstanding at present on account no. 154-000597-4 since the overdraft was granted in November and December 1997, respectively.

When The Sunday Leader attempted to contact Jayanthi Gunewardena at the address given to the Peoples Bank which is one and the same as that listed in the telephone directory as Standard Media (Private) Limited, 125/3, 3rd Lane, Subhadrarama Road, Nugegoda, the five telephone numbers were no longer in use. Jayanthi’s husband Nimal Gunewardena when contacted at Bates Strategic Alliance said any faxes to his wife could be sent to his office fax number at Bates. Asked if Jayanthi did not possess a contact telephone number at Standard Media (Private) Limited, Nimal Gunewardena hedged, repeating that any official contact with Jayanthi should be made via his official telephone and fax numbers.

It remains to be seen if in similar vein to the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna’s Wimal Weeravansha, The Sunday Leader will this time around too be accused of conniving with opposition politicians and fabricating the names which took responsibility for this loan and the documents.

Weeravansha and the JVP behaved in a manner typical when caught with your pants down. Since The Sunday Leader rose to the JVP’s challenge to prove our story — we in fact did so a second time around last Sunday, — Weeravansha has remained strangely silent.

Why cannot Weeravansha and his band of brigands chastise the likes of Jayanthi Gunewardena nee Samaraweera and Ronnie Peiris who have used political influence to force state banks into granting them sums of money which they in all probability have never had any intention of honouring.

Ironically, the principal allegation levelled both by the government and the JVP against the opposition for defeating the probationary government is that it was done at the behest of bank defaulters who wanted to protect their ill-gotten wealth.

It now seems, ironically, that from Ronnie Peiris to Jayanthi Gunewardena, the beneficiaries of defaulting on bank loans have been none other than those nearest and dearest to the president and her chief lieutenant Mangala Samaraweera. No wonder then that the JVP is silent on these issues.

These sums of monies handed out by state banks with such aplomb leaves members of the general public stupefied. We are all too aware of the vigorous ‘hassle’ one has to contend with when approaching a bank for even a Rs. 10,000 overdraft. Being given Rs. 3 million as an OD would be literally like plucking money from trees for many. Not so for politicos, their relatives and henchmen. This is the bane of Sri Lankan politics that we breed politicians who blatantly lie to their electors and rob state banks in order to ensure a sullied and yes, even nefarious political career.

Brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and nephews are all part of the merry bandwagon. Holding political office in Sri Lanka certainly helps spring eternal hope in the hearts of these blackguards.

The Sunday Leader recently highlighted other instances where the Bank of Ceylon has apparently connived with rogue businessmen and politicians, granting stupendous amounts of money with little or no collateral. Loans, that now cannot be recovered and are relegated to being bad debts.

The Eelam Peoples Democratic Party (EPDP) led by Douglas Devananda has been granted a loan facility by the Bank of Ceylon, Thimbirigasaya branch for Rs. 5 million and Rs. 30 million by the Peoples Bank. Both these amounts remain outstanding and to date have not been recovered. Recently, this year, the Bank of Ceylon granted USD 15 million to Sri Lankan Airlines on a ‘clean basis’ which means no security was taken. The loan was granted on the specific instructions of the government.

Another case in point is the granting of two huge loans to a single individual who has bought himself a seat on the board of the Pan Asia Bank. A rupee loan of 68 million and a US dollar loan of 1.2 million, was given by the Bank of Ceylon to a local businessman, Sidney Jayasinghe.

The only security against the rupee loan for sixty eight million was 3,056,153 shares of Metal Recyclers (Colombo) Ltd. of which company Jayasinghe is chairman and the indemnity of directors of the company who are all family relations of Jayasinghe.

Another loan for Rs. 50 million was granted by the Bank of Ceylon to the Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thero on June 26, 1997. The Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thero apparently promised the bank that both the capital and interest on the loan would be settled out of funds received from donations from Japan.

Up to the end of August this year, Ven. Pelpola Vipassi Thero owes the Bank of Ceylon, Borella branch, Rs. 38 million against accumulated interest only. The capital of Rs. 50 million also remains outstanding.

In a separate case, a young girl by the name of Kumarasinghe Margaret Perera was given a loan of Rs. 6 million by the Bank of Ceylon, Kurunegala branch. She has given her permanent address to the bank as no. 36, Udumulla Road, Battaramulla. Two other young ladies were accepted as guarantors. Their names are Seetha Nanda Gunapala and Madara Gunapala. An address for the two guarantors was given at Pathiraja Estate, Elpitiya. According to officers at the Bank of Ceylon, all three women have since disappeared off the face of the earth. This is just one more loan than the Bank of Ceylon is forced to write off as a bad debt.

Doubtless, Mangala Samaraweera’s sister, Jayanthi, is also only too aware of how easy it is to declare bankruptcy and thereafter simply ‘forget’ one’s financial commitments. After all, these are state funds which if not recovered, are easily written off — while the banks hound members of the public who do not enjoy political patronage to honour their commitments which in most instances are meagre in comparison to financial dealings such as this one.

Asian traditional secrets of health benefits of spices are revealed

February 1st, 2015

Dr Hector Perera       London

In cooking we just use certain spices without actually knowing the value of them. Nearly all Asian food are prepared by adding a few spices but most of the people are unaware of the benefits of them that is why I thought to mention some values as follows. One thing, you must not add too much of them because too much spices lose the taste of food so need to use them sparingly.

Molecular movements

When we add these things to food such as curries, these chemicals have intermolecular and intramolecular reactions. These molecules never stay still at any one place, they rotate, vibrate and make any other complicated movements. Nearly all these chemicals have very low boiling points that means they easily evaporate. Anyone can smell any spice if they take it fairly close to the nose that means even without heating these chemicals evaporate to some extent but if heated they quickly evaporate. This what I mentioned these chemicals evaporate quickly and escape unless they are controlled in the process of cooking. The things we cannot visually see some people use the word ghost so you mean these chemicals behave like ghosts? One thing, I have noticed, nearly all Sri Lankans cook the curries with spices and they always open the piping hot curries and stir even they are boiling. I am sure they are unaware of the fact these chemicals evaporate and deposit on them in the process of stirring. Spics are added to flavour the food but not to let them evaporate away wastefully. When chemicals evaporate they exert a certain vapour pressure. In a curry there are a number of spices that means a number of chemicals and they all exert a certain vapour pressure. We need to make use of this property in cooking but if we let them escape by opening the lid of the curries repeatedly, they are lost to the atmosphere and certainly some of them get deposited on the person who cooks these curries. When a curry is boiling it creates some kind of convection current on the liquid that helps the curries to cook. Nearly all food have water as an essential constituent so these convection currents are exerted on the boiling liquid that carries all the essential ingredients. When food get in contact with these convection currents carrying the ingredients, some of them get absorbed into the food to give a flavour. It takes a certain time for the food to get into edible state that is why we cook food for a certain length of time. For example we need to cook rice nearly for half an hour before it converts into an edible state and chicken for about half an hour but harder meat such as beef must be cooked for another 15 minutes longer. If any meat is not properly cooked there will be harmful bacteria and germs hiding in them which can eventually get into the digestive system. Have you not come across any news about food poisoning and some of them are really fatal.

spices

What kind of hybridisation?

When we add these spices into curries such as chicken, fish or even to vegetable curries, some of them go under or in between the chicken or fish so we cannot easily locate where they are that is a kind of hybridisation. We come across in chemistry Sp, Sp3 and many more kinds of hybridisations but I cannot say exactly what kind of hybridisation takes place when we mix these ingredients with curries. Let me give a short list of spices only as follows. The chemical names given are not easy to pronounce and not quite familiar to general public but let me mention them as follows. Then only anyone would realise the number of chemicals involved in spices but again this is not the end of list of spices but just a few chosen ones only.

One example is cinnamon. True Ceylonese cinnamon is much more expensive than the cassia, and has a lighter and more delicate fragrance. The number of chemicals involved in one such as cinnamon is far too many to mention but let me mention some of it here. The names are not easy to pronounce but let me mention some of them as follows.

Chemicals in Cinnamon

The primary constituents of the essential oil are 65% to 80% cinnamaldehyde and lesser percentages of other phenols and terpenes, including eugenol, trans-cinnamic acid, hydroxycinnamaldehyde, o-methoxycinnamaldehyde, cinnamyl alcohol and its acetate, limonene, alpha-terpineol, tannins, mucilage, oligomeric procyanidins, and trace amounts of coumarin. I know already you didn’t like the names but let me carry on for the sake of completion.

Blood sugar control effect

Cinnamon contains an active compound known as MHCP or Methyl-Hydroxy-Chalcone Polymer which is what was thought to be the chemical in the plant that was responsible for its blood sugar controlling affects. There you are this chemical has a good effect on the blood sugar control, so cinnamon is healthy to eat.

Other health effects of cinnamon

The whole system can be treated by using cinnamon as a general tonic in the treatment of many disorders affecting a person at the physical level. Circulation can be stimulated by drinking a hot drink containing the cinnamon, this drink will also induce perspiration, and help in the prevention and resolution of common flues and colds, it can also help treat catarrh and other types of infections affecting a person. Fevers affecting the person can also be treated using the cinnamon which helps in reducing the elevated temperature of the body. The oil of cinnamon can also greatly aid in the treatment of various chest infections and can also alleviate head colds affecting the person the oil is normally inhaled by the patient. The cinnamon has stimulating and general warming properties, which can direct the action and remedial properties of other remedies used in follow up treatments thus it can be taken as an initial treatment and followed by thyme during treatment for bronchial congestion and different respiratory tract infections, it can be used as the initial treatment and followed by blue cohosh for the treatment of uterine disorders and it can also be used in the treatment of irregular and painful periods in women, the cinnamon can also be used in the treatment of heavy bleeding during menstruation, it can be used to treat all sorts of uterine infections and to stop vaginal discharges in affected women.

Bactericidal and antifungal properties

The sedative and analgesic action of the constituent of the bark cinnamaldehyde was confirmed during the 1980s, through Japanese research. This particular constituent of the cinnamon plant is believed to be capable of bringing about a reduction in any fevers and elevated blood pressure in patients. Bactericidal as well as antifungal properties have also been attributed to the cinnamon bark products.

How about the other spices such as cloves and cumin? Once again they are far too much but let me mention what they are:

Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Properties of Clove Leaf Essential Oil.

The antioxidant activity of a commercial rectified clove leaf essential oil (Eugenia caryophyllus) and its main constituent eugenol was tested. This essential oil comprises in total 23 identified constituents, among them eugenol (76.8%), followed by β-caryophyllene (17.4%), α-humulene (2.1%), and eugenyl acetate (1.2%) as the main components. The essential oil from clove demonstrated scavenging activity against the 2,2-diphenyl-1-picryl hydracyl (DPPH) radical at concentrations lower than the concentrations of eugenol, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA).

I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t read all the names or all the chemicals. Now one can imagine how many chemicals escape in the cooking aroma when this is added to curries. Clove is used for upset stomach and as an expectorant. Expectorants make it easier to cough up phlegm. Clove oil is used for diarrhoea, hernia, and bad breath. Clove and clove oil are used for intestinal gas, nausea, and vomiting.
CUMIN SEEDS

This is another common spice added in cooking. Cumin’s distinctive flavour and strong, warm aroma are due to its essential oil content. Its main constituent and important aroma compound is cuminaldehyde (4-isopropylbenzaldehyde). Other important aroma compounds of toasted cumin are the substituted pyrazines, 2-ethoxy-3-isopropylpyrazine, 2-methoxy-3-sec-butylpyrazine, and 2-methoxy-3-methylpyrazine. Other components include beta Pinene and Gamma-terpinene.

Bonna Kottaamalli, mokatada whisky brandy?”

Another common spice is coriander and the chemical composition and the benefits are far too many to mention here. When we have cough or cold or slight fever, we used to drink coriander boiled with some ginger. I listened to the karaoke style song about this, Bonna Kottaamalli”. The chemical components in coriander are borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene.[essential oil of coriander]

Chemicals in ginger

Did you know that in every piece of ginger there are eighteen different chemicals as well as several unique nutrients? Beta-sitosteol   Alpha-pinene, Beta-carotene, Beta-ionone, Beta-sitosteol, Caffeic acid, Camphor and more different chemicals, altogether 18 chemicals.

Now who would not argue the fact that spices are an essential part of Asian style of curries? When they stir the curries while they are piping hot, is it possible for the people to inhale some of these invisible volatile chemicals? Again the question is, are they healthy to inhale that kind of chemicals on daily basis in cooking? 

Bland food in some British TV shows

I have witnessed some British TV chefs, cook bland beef or pork just for few minutes on a hot cooking pan or on the grill then served to the presenter. When it is cut, one can see the red part of the meat, sometimes still see blood that means they are not properly cooked. They rush for the sake of the TV but the food are uncooked that means unsuitable for human consumption. Again they hardly add any spices as well because if spices were present some of them would have reacted on certain germs and bacteria.

More spices to mention

There are a number of other herbal spices added in cooking different style of dishes for example curry leaves and pandam leaves. The herbal spice is also used in many other roles aside from its fungicidal and bactericidal effects and the delicious aromatic spice is used as an effective and wonderful warming or strength boosting remedy to increase resistance to common cold, to beat back the winter chills and in the treatment of a variety of physical conditions associated with the common cold, it is also used in the treatment of internal congestion. The list of spices added in different style of dishes are far too many to mention here but I just managed to mention just a few ingredients only. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

SRILANKA – CURRENT REGIME AND THEIR PERCEPTION ON THE 13TH AMENDMENT??

February 1st, 2015

කන්තර් බාලනාතන්, ඔස්ට්‍රේලියා

It has been a pleasure to read the 100 days implementation program by the new regime, 2015, in a country (SriLanka) that practices, bribery, corruption, thuggery, gang warfare, religious conflicts, racial and regional ethnicity conflicts.

It be that citizens of SriLanka should appreciate and welcome the changes. The change has been change of governance, may be, in agreement with some western influence and manipulation, because of their falcon formation, defence/offence strategy. It is expected that the current regime will not genuflect down, and implement whatever is thrown onto them from the west and India.

The President and the Prime Minister should remember that LTTE was originally formed, and declared by the Tamils with the blessings and support of ITAK, on the 22nd day of May 1972, on which day, the country became a republic to govern by itself with a Head of State (late Srimavo).

Today US has allowed an illegal Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to operate, and brain wash some ignorant Tamil Diaspora, who have no interest in the development of the N&E, but sprint for absolute power. Does it mean that US is threatening SL to agree to their terms by allowing TGTE to operate freely in the US soil?

The ITAK secretary Mavai Senathirajah is a known separatist who has been campaigning for absolute power and secession in the past. In the early 2000, TNA was a part of LTTE, who were commanded to heed to the instruction of Vellupillai Prabakaran, leader of LTTE.

To date Tamils in the N&E carry that approach to secession, and their own governance. They have forgotten the past how they survived, financially, economically, technically with limited or nil resources in the North.

Reference: http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=94075

Without import, and coupon mode foodstuff, most lower and middle class Tamils could not have survived, educated their children and got employment. It could be clearly understood that we Tamils still have not got the perception that a region can become autonomous only if has natural resources and generates adequate income.

On receiving independence, Tamils should have joined the governance and developed the N&E. e.g. Water is a resource required for agriculture. All Tamils ran out of Jaffna and Batticaloa to find employment in the South. SJV Chelvanayaka(m), a Malaysian born, lived and completed his education in Colombo and became a fanatic politician to fight for Federalism. Did he perform an economical, technical, and political analysis prior to the formation and declaration of the FP? His relative Ponnambalam Ramanathan wanted lower caste Tamils not to have voting and educational rights. How is it possible for such an arrogant racial, caste oriented group of Tamils to be empowered governing rights?

100 DAYS’ WORK PROGRAMME – Ref: (http://indi.ca/2015/01/maithripalas-first-100-days/ )

The 100 days’ work programme is not a new action plan in the world. Hon Tony Abbot, PM of Australia put forward a plan in 2013. Readers could view.

Ref: http://www.pm.gov.au/sites/default/files/reports/first_100_days_of_government.pdf

SriLankan 100 days’ work programme strongly focus on authoritarianism and retribution of their opponents. Could we assume that SriLankans have a time lag in understanding politics and governance? JRJ was elected in 1977 and in 1978 changed the constitution and became an executive president. It has taken 37 years for politicians and people to understand about the presidential system.

If people voted for change of the system, what did the Tamils vote for?

DID TAMILS VOTE FOR ANTI-MR PROPAGANDA, OR VOTE FOR TAMIL EELAM, ASSUMING THAT HON MS & RW WILL GRANT SELF-GOVERNING AUTONOMY, LEADING TO SECESSION?

ANALYSIS

On the 21st January: The process will begin of abolishing the authoritarian executive presidential system …….. a Public Service Commission, an Elections Commission, a Commission against Bribery and Corruption and a Human Rights Commission. This will be through a 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which will be presented to Parliament and passed as swiftly as possible.

This is most welcome and the forum who prepared the programme should be congratulated. The Human Rights Commission (HRC); The commission should be empowered to address and punish those who ill-treat child labour, caste discrimination, regional and religious discrimination etc. Well, the 19th amendment shall detail out clearly, the HR violations that can be addressed and punished by the HRC Commission.

On the 22nd January: A Code of Conduct will be introduced for observation by all representatives of the People.

On the 2nd February: An ethical Code of Conduct will be introduced legally for all representatives of the People.

The word Observation” does not mean anything. If found guilty by the appropriate commission, the representative, irrespective of their position, should be removed from politics. Any citizen should have the rights to report such corrupt practice of representatives to the appropriate commission(s).

The 2nd February action plan of legally” is assumed that an act will be passed. Then why should the 22nd January state the word, observation”. The 2nd February should suffice for the code of ethics”.

The 100 days’ programme does not address removing Thesavalamai Law” (Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thesavalamai), which was introduced by Dutch as manoeuvred by the Elite Tamils in 1707. Do Tamils want a separate law for them? Are we not SriLankan? All SriLankan should be governed by one law. There shall be no separate law for Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese (Kandyan & Others), which clearly advocates ethnic tic supremacy. All males shall have only one legal or illegal wife (not four).

On the 29th January; – A Vote on Account will be introduced in Parliament to implement special measures to provide relief to the people by reducing the rising Cost of Living.

On the 30th January; – Salaries will be raised and direct and indirect taxes on necessary goods and services will be reduced.

Is the item focussed on relief for lower and middle income earners? If this is the case, has the regime addressed the mode of revenue accrual to cover these costs? Where is the Opportunity Cost” accrued from?

If this governance is free, fair and honest to people, then they should declare and make all income and costs transparent to public.

On the 5th February; – Special Commissions will be appointed to investigate allegations of massive corruption in the preceding period.

This is a case of retribution and avenging opponents. Yes devastating corruptions have to be investigated. However, the investigation shall not be limited to, from 2005 to 2015, but shouldn’t the investigations be from 1970 to 2015 or even before those periods? Is it not true that previous ministers and politicians were corrupt in the UNP and SLFP regime prior to 2005?

It is of the view that the Special Commissionshould investigate, current and past politicians and ministers, to crusade the country to a corrupt free country. SriLanka was once known to be an unpretentious and ethical encompassed country in the late 40s and early 50s. However, did travel to India make our politicians to copycat Indian political behavioural model?

ITEMS NOT ADDRESSED IN THE 100DAYS’ PROGRAMME

Risk No1-Cost

SriLankans are aware that the 13th amendment and the nine Provincial Councils are a burden to them because of the huge cost of managing the PCs. Dr. Laksiri Fernando in his article analyses the costs as follows:

http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2011/04/14/provincial-councils-sri-lanka-political-economy-perspective

The recurrent expenditure for 2009 was Rs 111.366 billion. Do we know the cost for the 2009-2014 periods?

How do we fund governing the PCs? How does GOSL plan to generate funds for this additional liability?

Risk No.2-Corruption Proliferation

  1. We talk of bribery and corruption. With the nine PCs, bribery and corruption will increase to nine times.
  2. How could the government fund travel and other expenses of PC Councilors?
  3. The political differences, ideological differences, personal conflicts, power avidity, may unfold and spread-out to the parliament.
  4. Already we know about the physical fights in the NPC house.

GOSL, do you think you could control the nine PCs from Colombo, either yourself or through a Governor?

Risk No.3- Racial Supremacy

Mr. Rishad Bathiudeen (RB) – Minister of Industry and Commerce has made an announcement in Seithy, a media that people who are not from the Northern Province will not be allowed to settle in the North. Isn’t this a demoralizing racial statement?

http://seithy.com/breifNews.php?newsID=124784&category=TamilNews&language=tamil

Approximately 49% of Tamils are domiciled in the South. By Mr. RB proliferating such a statement, it may clearly force people belief that either Mr. RB is racial, or the N&E (TNA) have a strategic racial ethnic program. How will the forthcoming HRC of SL address RB’s statement? Could RB be subject to political reprimand or atonement?

(Any SriLankan should have the rights to live anywhere in SriLanka!)

Risk No.4- Threat to National Security

If the government is not prepared to abolish the 13h amendment and do away with the PCs, because of fear of lack of democratic votes, and if the government consider granting Police” and Land” powers, the strategic threat to NATIONAL SECURITY may emerge as follows:

  1. Tamils are waiting until powers are granted, for them to build their own political make-up under their strategic plan.
  2. No Sinhalese may be allowed to; settle/resettle in the N&E, build Buddhist temples, have Sinhala medium in schools, and make N&E a pure Tamil settler region.
  3. Over a period it could happen and subsequently Tamils may resurrect the secession program with the UN; claiming Tamil areas and the Tamil Eelam concept.

GOSL should understand and accept the fact, undoubtedly, and comprehensively that there is no Tamil area separately in the island. All are equal and should be able to live, study, and sermonise their religion in SriLanka anywhere.

If such a threat to national security surfaces over a horizon of 5-15 years, what would the government do? The 100 days’ programme does not address and stress on 6th amendment.

I wish to refer to a letter written to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. Ref: http://nrnmind.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/open-letter-to-unhrc-from-kanthar-p.html

CONCLUSION

GOSL;

  1. It could be stressed that the only position that does not require a job specification is to become a Politician”. Anyone can become a politician in a third world country. Could it be possible to formulate a plan for job specification, either directly or through a commission?
  2. Could the credentials of current and past politicians be verified and confirmed for criminal activities, and those be removed from politics?
  3. What are the credentials of Mervyn Silva and Sajin de Vass Gunawardena?
  4. Does SriLanka need people like the above?
  5. The only organisation in SriLanka free of bribery and corruption is presumed to be the University and the University academics. Why not GOSL draw academics from each of the University, and form a non-executive, Consultative Council to provide advice on matters concerning governance, democracy, freedom, constitutional reforms, and Human Rights etc. Although University should not get involved in politics, we are discussing on Consultation, and not executive committees. Why not use the resources available in SriLanka rather paying large sum to foreign
  6. Why not all politicians read and understand the Constitution of the DSROSL?
  7. Current regime shall give serious consideration of removing/limiting powers to the Provincial Councils.
  8. Provincial Councils should be advised to manage with whatever they have been granted.
  9. India should mind her own political business, as they are the largest Human Rights violator in the world. SL is a republic and can manage her own activities and does not need any advice from Indians. India should advise her politicians not to make statements against SL, as it is construed violation against international norms of discrediting and invading into a sovereign republic, and causing a national security threat.
  10. 6th amendment shall be observed and applied to all violators.

Abolish all press restrictions and codes in Buddhist Sri Lanka

February 1st, 2015

By Professor Shelton A. Gunaratne

The recent presidential elections showed that the majority of Sri Lankans are well versed in distinguishing between propaganda and unbiased news. They paid little attention to the Goebbelsian propaganda spewed out by the Lake House press and the state-owned broadcasting and television networks and toppled an arrogant regime that was heading toward authoritarianism instead of ruling by the principles of dasa raja dharma.

However, the politicians in power tend to believe that a manipulated press will enable them to cling on to power in spite of the plain fact that in this digital era people can actively participate as both consumers and publishers of news by turning to alternative media like laptops and smartphones.

Laozi, the legendary Chinese sage, who lived in the sixth century BCE and was a contemporary of the Buddha, described the characteristics of the rulers thus (quoted from the Daoist text Dao de jing” as translated by Peter A. Merel) :

The best rulers are scarcely known by their subjects;
The next best are loved and praised;
The next are feared;
The next despised:
They have no faith in their subjects,
So their subjects become unfaithful to them.
When the best rulers achieve their purpose
Their subjects claim the achievement as their own.

This quote aptly describes the transformation of the Rajapakse clan from the next best” to the feared” or the despised.” The reason was their failure to understand the Four Noble Truths though they professed to be Buddhists. They simply disregarded the ti-lakkhana of existence—dukkha (suffering), anatta (no self) and anicca (impermanence) and in their greed (tanha) for power and wealth mistakenly thought the ruling clan had a static self or soul. They misused public property to do propaganda for the clan claiming to serve the public good.

In Laozi’s view, the best rulers do not need cutouts and propaganda to do their job. They need not muzzle the press—a useless endeavor in the era of citizens’ journalism. They will not impose unnecessary laws and will use their mind consciousness to resist the temptations offered by the Five Aggregates, which are in a constant state of flux. Citizens’ journalism cannot be controlled through  professional” codes of ethics. but they are most likely to abide by a bottom-up voluntary code of ethics.

I suggest that Lake House should cease to be the propaganda factory of the government in power because it has completely lost credibility. An alternative would be to transform it to a training institute for mindful journalism—a truly Buddhist approach to produce news as a social good, not as a commodity as practiced in the West.

sheltonarticlepic1

The first thing to do is to transform its cadre of professional” journalists from propagandists to kalyana-mitta (spiritual friends) who can teach mindful journalism based on the Middle Path (or magga), which contain principles approved by almost all religious and ethnic groups. If everyone can become a journalist in the digital era, this training should be available to anyone irrespective of caste, creed or education level. They could be the passing parade of reporters, writers, subeditors, cartoonists and photographers constituting the voluntary labor force that runs all the publications.

These citizens could practice a variety of journalisms—including developmental, peace, and civic/public—on the explicit understanding that they adhere to the three dimensions of the magga—discernment (panna), virtue (sila) and concentration (samadhi).

The magga (also called the Noble Eightfold Path) provides a universally applicable normative code of ethics. Therefore, I urge Karu Jayasuriya, the minister for Buddha Sasana, to persuade the government to declare it as the prerequisite for good governance. Mr. Jayasuriya should first convince the minorities that the magga is a phenomenological roadmap to alleviate dukkha, which is coterminous with cyclic existence (samsara).

In fact, the magga reinforces the Ten Commandments of the Abrahamic religions and the Hindu dharma. No one can attain perfection in the magga until s/he leaves samsara. But the joy is in the journey toward that end—the progressive alleviation of unsatisfactoriness. Mindful journalism can lead the hoi polloi toward reaching the specified norms.

Mindful journalism will emerge if citizen and professional” journalists would apply panna (right view, right resolve), sila (right speech, right action, right livelihood), and samadhi (right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration) in their daily work routine. In my latest book Mindful journalism and News Ethics in the Digital Era: A Buddhist Approach (which I wrote in collaboration with Mark Pearson and Sugath Senarath), my colleagues and I describe the operational dynamics of this genre of journalism with an Eastern touch.

Routledge (London and New York) will release the book on March 13, 2015.

I commend the book to Gayantha Karunathilake, minister for mass media, and call on him to collaborate with Mr. Jayasuriya to make the magga Sri Lanka’s normative code of ethics.

The magga complies with Laozi’s criterion of the best ruler—the least intrusion into the affairs of an interdependent and interconnected community that can exist in relative harmony by respecting one another’s rights and responsibilities.

(Dr. Gunaratne is professor of communication/journalism studies emeritus at Minnesota State University Moorhead.)

Removing Chief Justice by the Cabinet Worse Than Removing Civic Rights of Sirima

February 1st, 2015

Dilrook Kannangara

Sri Lanka is in a dismal state of lawlessness under the Sirisena-Wickramasinghe interim government. The law has indeed gone to dogs! Chief Justice Mohan Pieris was properly appointed. There was absolutely no flaw in his appointment. If there was a flaw, why not the Supreme Court consulted in his removal? The decision to remove him was taken by the Cabinet which has no jurisdiction over appointing, removing and taking any other action on the Chief Justice.

The despotic Sirisena-Wickramasinghe administration tried various tricks to get the Chief Justice removed. Firstly they threatened him with imprisonment over the alleged involvement in the concocted conspiracy. Failing that they tried to frame corruption charges against him. That too failed and rumours were spread that he was after a foreign posting to resign from the post. All failed. Then Asath Sally paid a needless visit to the Chief Justice. According to some reports he threatened him. Even if there was no threat, Sally has no business in the matter. Finally the Cabinet used coercion and force to remove him and reappoint Shirani who as planned resigned paving way for the intended Chief Justice. If the current de facto Chief Justice has any professional decorum, he must resign forthwith and allow the de jure Chief Justice Mohan Pieris to resume work. However, that is not expectable in Sri Lanka under the sorry state of the law.

This episode resembles the removal of civic rights (1980-1985) of Sirima Bandaranaike by the Jayawardana administration. That too was done without any judicial power. The Cabinet assumed judicial powers! The executive, the legislature and the judiciary are separated for a good reason. The Cabinet cannot assume all three powers and use it against political opponents.

This is the worst despotic event that happened in Sri Lanka for over three decades. It marks the dangerous slide into the abyss of absolute dictatorship.

I’ve Not Retired, Resigned Or Vacated My Office: Full Text Of De Facto Chief Justice’s Statement

February 1st, 2015

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MOHAN PEIRIS

I have not retired, resigned or vacated my office of Chief Justice, but, due to exertions by external forces reinforced by an extra judicial chain of events, find myself displaced from office by an unconstitutional process having functioned continuously in my appointment for over two years. There are times when might overtakes right and the helpless have to succumb to injustice.

Maintaining the dignity and decorum associated with the office of the Chief Justice and ensuring its respectability and propriety is my prime concern. As the pinnacle of our judicial administration, it should be preciously safeguarded in its pristine purity; now and for the future – in the need to preserve justice as a wholesome entity. I abhor and despise and do not encourage the enactment of street dramas or of invoking vengeance by resorting to horrific practices of the occult or encourage rabble rousing on pavements by a few members of the legal fraternity with their storm troopers or rouse the judiciary to come to the assistance of an affected Judicial Officer, as witnessed in the recent past. Offering patronage to such events demeans the office of the Chief Justice. It promotes division or dissension within the Bar for selfish returns.

I look upon the example set by Chief Justice Neville Samarakoon Queen’s Counsel, who held his head high and never sacrificed principle or sought to divide judges and lawyers on the plight that befell him.

I was appointed to the post of Chief Justice after my predecessor was removed by the required Parliamentary majority (155 to 49) as reflected in the Hansard of 11.01.2013 that carries the following endorsement.

RESOLUTION AS PER ARTICLE 107(2) OF THE CONSTITUTION FOR A MOTION OF PARLIAMENT TO BE PRESENTED TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE HON. (DR.) (MRS.) UPATISSA ATAPATTU BANDARANAYAKE WASALA MUDIYANSE RALAHAMILAGE SHIRANI ANSHUMALA BANDARANAYAKE FROM THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA – Passed”

At the stage of debate, on 11.01.2013 a query was raised by two opposition Members of Parliament regarding the wording of the resolution that was being debated upon. Thereafter, the Hon Speaker considered this matter and pronounced the following ruling on the validity of the resolution;

කථානායකතුමා ගරු ඇමතිවරුනි, ගරු මන්ත‍්‍ර ීවරුනි, අදාල ස්ථාවර නියෝග හා ආණ් ඩුක‍්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ ප‍්‍රතිපාදන මම අධ්‍යයනය කර බැලූවෙමි.

ජනාධිපතිතුමාට යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම සඳහා මා වෙත මන්ත‍්‍ර ීවරුන් අත් සන් කොට ලබා දෙන ලද යෝජනා සම්මතයට අමතරව අලුත් යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කළ නොහැකි බව මම ප‍්‍රකාශ කරමි.

දැනට ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇති යෝජනාව හොඳින් අධ්‍යයනය කර බැලීමේ දී මෙම යෝජනාව ඉදිරිපත් කොට ඇත්තේ ආණ් ඩුක‍්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 107(2* ව්‍යවස්ථාව සමග කියවිය යුතු 107(3) ව්‍යවස්ථාව සහ 78(අ) ස්ථාවර නියෝගය යටතේ බව ඉතා පැහැදිලිව සඳහන් කොට ඇත.

තව ද, මෙම යෝජනාවෙන් බලාපොරොත්තු වන්නේ ඉහත සඳහන් විෂමාචාර චෝදනා හේතුවෙන් එම විෂමාචාර චෝදනා පිළිබඳ පරීක්ෂණ කොට එම චෝදනා එකක් හෝ ඊට වැඩි ගණනක් ඔප්පු වී ඇතැයි විශේෂ කාරක සභාව විසින් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට වාර්තා කරනු ලැබුවහොත් ශ‍්‍ර ී ලංකා ප‍්‍රජාතාන්ත‍්‍ර ික සමාජවාදී ජනරජයේ අග‍්‍ර විනිශ් චයකාර පදවියෙන් ගරු ආචාර්ය උපති ස් ස අතපත්තු බණ් ඩාරනායක වාසල මුදියන්සේ රාළහාමිලාගේ ශිරානි අංශුමාලා බණ් ඩාරනායක මහත්මිය ඉවත් කිරීම සඳහා යෝජනාවක් අතිගරු ජනාධිපතිතුමාට ඉදිරිපත් කළ යුතු යැයි සඳහන් වන බැවින් මෙම යෝජනාවේ පරමාර්ථය ඉතා පැහැදිලි වන අතර ආණ් ඩුක‍්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ 107(2) ව්‍යවස්ථාව සමග කියවිය යුතු 107(3) ව්‍යවස්ථාව ප‍්‍රකාර යෝජනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට අද දින න්‍යාය පත‍්‍රයේ අඩංගු කර ඇති යෝජනාව ප‍්‍රමාණවත් වන බව මම ප‍්‍රකාශ කරමි.

එම නි සා අද දින න්‍යාය පත‍්‍රයේ විෂය අංක 1 යෝජනාව දැන් ඡුන්ද විමසීම සඳහා ඉදිරිපත් කරමි.”

This Ruling is final and conclusive and those who exercised their vote on the same are debarred from contesting its validity. It is pursuant to this Ruling that the House proceeded to vote on the aforesaid resolution as clarified by the Hon Speaker.

I would also like to point out that the Hon. Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe also participated in the debate and voted on the resolution, but against it.

It is also evident from the Parliamentary proceedings of that debate, which went on for two consecutive days, that the House deliberated on the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that had found Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of some of the charges. Such report had been duly tabled in Parliament on 08.12.2012 and all the members were furnished with copies of the same. Further the procedure as set out in the Constitution and the Standing Orders was duly followed.

Thereafter the former Chief Justice was removed by an order of the then President and I was appointed by a warrant to the post of Chief Justice on 15.01.2013, with the concurrence of the Parliamentary Council which comprises of Government and Opposition Members.

This Ruling is final and conclusive and those who exercised their vote on the same are debarred from contesting its validity.

It is pursuant to this Ruling that the House proceeded to vote on the aforesaid resolution as clarified by the Hon Speaker.

I would also like to point out that the Hon. Prime Minister, Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe also participated in the debate and voted on the resolution, but against it.

It is also evident from the Parliamentary proceedings of that debate, which went on for two consecutive days, that the House deliberated on the Report of the Parliamentary Select Committee that had found Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake guilty of some of the charges. Such report had been duly tabled in Parliament on 08.12.2012 and all the members were furnished with copies of the same. Further the procedure as set out in the Constitution and the Standing Orders was duly followed.

Thereafter the former Chief Justice was removed by an order of the then President and I was appointed by a warrant to the post of Chief Justice on 15.01.2013, with the concurrence of the Parliamentary Council which comprises of Government and Opposition Members.

It is significant that Hon Rajitha Senaratne was a member of panel of inquiry that probed the charges against Dr. Shirani Bandaranayake and found her unanimously guilty with the other members on some charges and acquitted on others and The Hon President Maithripala Sirisena spoke and voted in favour of the removal of the former Chief Justice.

The Hon Maithripala Sirisena in fact whole heartedly supported the entire process during the debate and in fact went on to state thus ;

Hansard of 11.01.2013, Column 528

ගරු මෛත‍්‍ර ීපාල සිරිසේන මහතා…………

ගරු කථානායකතුමනි, අග‍්‍රවිනිශ් චයකාරතුමියට එරෙහිව ඉදිරිපත් වී ඇති චෝදනා සම්බන්ධයෙන් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ විශේෂ කාරක සභාවේ විමර්ශනයෙන් පසු ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලද නි ර්දේශ මත ගරු සභානායක නිමල් සිරිපාල ද සිල්වා අමාත්‍යතුමා ඉදිරිපත් කළ යෝජනාව සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඊයේ ආරම්භ කරන ලද විවාදයට අපි අදත් සහභාගී වෙනවා. අපේ රටේ ව්‍යවස්ථාදායකය, විධායකය සහ අධිකරණය කියන ආයතන සුරක්ෂිත කිරීමේ, ආරක්ෂා කිරීමේ මෙන්ම ඒ ආයතන හරහා සිදු විය යුතු වගකීම් සහ යුතුකම් නි සි ලෙස ඉටුවීමේ කාර්යය දෙස වගකීමකින් බලා සිටින, කටයුතු කරන ආණ් ඩුවක් විදියට අපට පැහැදිලිව පෙනී යන කාරණයක් තිබෙනවා. විපක්ෂය මේ විවාදයට කරණු ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමේ දී මෙන්ම, ඊයේ දවසේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවෙන් බාහිරව කරන ලද විරෝධතා සහ මේ යෝජනාව සම්බන්ධයෙන් පාර්ලිමේන්තු විශේෂ කාරක සභාව තුල කටයුතු කළ අන්දම යන මේ සියල්ල ගත් විට විපක්ෂය කටයුතු කරන්නේ ව්‍යවස්ථාමය හෝ නීතිමය පදනමකින් නොව, ඉතා පැහැදිලි ලෙස දේශපාලන අරමුණක් සහිතව බව අපට පැහැදිලිව පෙනෙනවා. මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ ජනාධිපතිතුමාගේ ආණ් ඩුව විදිහට අපි කටයුතු කරන විට, විපක්ෂය සුපුරුදු පරිදි සියලු දේට විරුද්ධ වෙලා තිබෙනවා,……….

This is quite contrary to the position taken up now that my appointment was purportedly void ab initio. I am saddened that this machination comes after attempts to coerce me and later intimidate me into stepping down.

It must be noted that I could only have been removed from Office in terms of the specific provisions contained in Article 107 (2) of the Constitution after an address of Parliament.

Lastly, it appears that the Executive has now sought to arrogate to itself a non existent power by usurping the power of the legislature and thus engage itself in an unconstitutional process in an endeavour to remove me as the Chief Justice. This is unlawful and violates the principle of the separation of powers which is a fundamental feature of our Constitution and renders the exercise futile. As such all consequential acts will be tainted with illegality.

Mohan Pieris

Prevention of Chronic Kidney Disease in Sri Lanka: Highlights of the 5th International Sustainable Built Environment — CKD Symposium Kandy, Sri Lanka, 14th Dec. 2014

February 1st, 2015

                                                [synopsis by Professors Kittie Wyne, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.]

Professor Sunil Wimalawansa [the Symposium Chair], delivered the keynote lecture providing a detailed overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, and the steps need to take to prevent the chronic kidney disease of multifactorial origin (CKD-mfo) that is escalating in Sri Lanka, particularly in the North Central Province (NCP).  The cause(s) of this deadly disease in unknown (hence also called as CKD of unknown origin CKDuo).  He stated that the disease has spread over a 24,000 square meters and more than 150,000 people are currently affected with the CKD-mfo.  More than 5,000 are dying each year; 12 to 14 people are dying each day.

He highlighted that at the currently reported levels of any of the postulated agents/toxins, none of them (alone) is capable of causing CKD-mfo of this magnitude.  However, even at lower levels, longer duration of exposure to multiple agents can cause this disease, the knowledge of which leads to use of the practical terminology of CKD-mfo.”  Data suggest that exposure of approximately ten-years necessary before the disease is manifested clinically.  Using misleading terminology, such as agrochemical or agricultural (fluoride or iconicity) nephropathy, etc., has been suggested by some, should be discouraged because using such terms would prevent testing broader hypotheses, which may block the discovery of the real cause(s).

The disease occurs predominantly in agricultural societies, among those who live in relatively flat lands in economically poor areas in the peri-equatorial regions; it predominantly affecting male farmers.  Comparable geographical distribution exists in other equatorial countries, including Central America, South America, India, Egypt, the Balkans region, and China.  Rather than genetic changes or susceptibility as has been suggested by some, in Sri Lanka the disease appears in clusters because of common ‘toxic’ exposures.

Rather than waiting for the identification of cause(s) of CKD-mfo (a determination that is already delayed too long), disease prevention steps must be taken promptly with the view of improving the quality of lives and preventing premature deaths.  In addition to providing clean water to all, intensive region-wide programs of education, pollution prevention, environmental protection, and disease surveillance must be implemented now.

Dr. Wimalawansa emphasized the importance of disease prevention (as very little has been done to date), collaboration among all stakeholders, and cost-effective funding for the provision of clean water and safe sanitary facilities.  He stressed the need of programs, such as global education, alleviation of poverty, and the prevention of environmental pollution, as well as the need to improve the poverty and the nutrition in the region.

Although little is known about the time course and rate of development, or the need for dialysis, the clinical signs and renal biopsy data suggest a progressive, tubulointerstitial” nephritis as the aetiology, occurring early in this disease.  This is in contrast to the classic glomerular” CKD-disease seen in diabetes and hypertension.  Thus, the currently recommended use of urine protein or micro-albumin levels or the albumin/creatinine ratio are inappropriate for the diagnosis or use a screening tool for CKD-mfo (though it is the only method used) in Sri Lanka.  The use of these methods would enable identification of only approximately 35% of those who with CKD-mfo; markedly underestimating the disease prevalence and failing to provide early diagnoses to patients.  Unfortunately, this late diagnosis prohibits the opportunity to reverse” the disease, leading to premature deaths.

Other speakers discussed various topics that are relevant to the symposium theme, Prevention of CKD-mfo.”  Options for obtaining safe water were discussed, beginning with a presentation, by Dr. Tanuja Ariyananda, on rainwater as a source of safe drinking water.  The discussion highlighted the benefits of such systems while addressing the cost and lack of water during prolonged dry season in the NCP.  Alternative sources of clean water, such as reverse osmosis (RO) were discussed by Dr. Sunil Wimalawansa.  Contrary to the popular myth, his economic analysis showed that in the long run, RO is relatively inexpensive and the best source of providing safe drinking water, until pipe borne water is provided by the Water Board to the region.  Data he showed illustrated that rainwater harvesting using current methodology costs more than 35 times the cost of RO use per household.

Widespread (false) myths” about the RO method contaminating the environment (where there is scientific basis) were also discussed.  Two other expensive current practices of providing water are bottled water and transporting water via bowsers to affected villages; Dr. Wimalawansa stated that neither practice is sustainable or environmentally friendly.

Prof. Dissanayake presented her team’s assessment of possible causes of CKD-mfo.  They found no association between CKD-mfo and many of the currently hypothesised, potential causes, such as water hardness/softness, glyphosate, iconicity, or arsenic.  Their analysis, which includes affected patients from the NCP and unaffected individuals from the NCP and southern Sri Lanka, has found no conclusive associations to provide a hypothesis for designing a large prospective study.

Prof. Priyani Paranagama discussed the role of heavy metals and their geographical distribution relative to the irrigation canal structure in causing CKD-mfo.  She discussed the role of time and the season of the year, and the part that they may have play deaths due to CKD-mfo; however the findings were non-conclusive.

Dr. Douglas Olcott (USA), great grandson of the 19th century famous Buddhist revivalist in Sri Lanka, Col. Henry Steel Olcott presented his lecture via Skype from Los Angeles, California.  He illustrated a strategy that needs to be exploited in clinical practice, including the location of water resources” and the home locality of those who are suffering with CKD-mfo,” and emphasised the value of Geographic Information System (GIS) in determining the cause(s) of CKD in Sri Lanka.  His proposed to look at this as a local and global disease.  Currently, GIS is being used on a relatively small scale in Sri Lanka by various departments.

Independent water scientist, Dr. Don Van Veldhuizen (USA) presented his analysis of drinking water in Nicaragua with high prevalence of CKDuo, which has some similarities to Sri Lankan CKD-mfo.  He presented data suggesting that volatile agents, such as trichloromethane (chloroform), which has a long half-life in soil with marked increases after burning of fields, may be a potential nephrotoxic agent causing the CKD-mfo.  The team consisted of Drs. Van Veldhuizen, Wyne and Wimalawansa collected a large number of samples (using GIS locations) during their December 2014 field study; analysis of these samples may educate us in this regards.

Dr. Wyne (USA) discussed emerging biomarkers that could be used to screen CKD-mfo, with a goal of identifying cases before the onset of irreversible renal failure (i.e., early diagnosis, which would allow reversal of the disease).  These emerging biomarkers focus on pathology, specifically, damage to the tubular interstitium.  Such markers are either produced by the damaged cell or spilled into the urine because the damaged tubular cells are not able to reabsorb the proteins.  Dr. Wyne suggested that good candidates for screening programs would be to use urinary markers (non-invasive), which would include vitamin D binding protein (uVDBP), Cystatin C, NGAL, or Netrin-1.

Dr. Ravi Gooneratne’s (New Zealand) presentation on environmental health and CKD-mfo initiated a discussion on the importance of comprehensive assessment and management of safe drinking water.  He also stressed the importance of providing clean water and the environmental protection. The symposium closed with Dr. Tennakoon’s team presenting an example of community-based program for providing safe drinking water and education, regarding safe water management.

The group agreed that there is no convincing scientific evidence available to date that heavy metals, fluoride, hardness (or softness) of water, iconicity or agrochemicals (although plausible) cause the CKD-mfo in Sri Lanka.  Participants of this symposium, including Prof. Rizvi Sherif, Dr. Sarath Amarasiri, Dr. Parakrama Waidyanatha, Prof. Asoka Gunasekera, Prof. Majula de Silva, and many other physicians and scientists, actively contributed in lively and constructive discussions after each presentation.  The symposium room was full, and the program presentations lasted five hours.

The importance of early diagnosis of CKD-mfo:

In a subsequent strategy meeting organised by the department of health [Colombo, Sri Lanka], Professor Wimalawansa reiterated the importance of early diagnosis of CKD-mfo.  He illustrated that currently, the majority of patients have their disease diagnosed at or beyond stage 3b, when the disease is irreversible and dialysis is needed. In the public sector in Sri Lanka, currently there are only about 185 renal-dialysis machines.  Due to this limited resources (dialysis machines as well as kidney specialists/nephrologists), dialysis is provided to CKD patients only twice a week (i.e., insufficient) and not provided to those who are over 60 years of age.

Professor Wimalawansa emphasized the value and the importance of diagnosing the disease before the CKD-stage 3a [ideally stage 1 or 2], when with the provision of clean water, basic renal medication and nutrition, the disease can be reversed and deaths can be effectively prevented.  However, this cannot be achieve yet, as no tubular-specific assay method or any other highly specific and sensitive method is used in Sri Lanka.  Therefore, he urged the health department officials and university scientists to develop a cost-effective, sensitive and specific, urine-based, screening assay as a matter of urgency to diagnose this renal tubular CKD-mfo, early in the disease.

In addition to what was previously presented by Dr. Wyne in the CKD prevention symposium in Kandy, Dr. Wimalawansa presented other examples of screening-assays and opportunities that can be used effectively for early diagnosis of CKD-mfo.  Once the disease reaches stage 3b and beyond (as it is commonly happening in Sri Lanka), the prognosis [outcome] is poor, even when dialysis is provided.  Thus, in addition to prevent contracting this deadly disease, early diagnosis is the most effective way of preventing the premature deaths of those with CKD-mfo.

Those who are interested in preventing CKD-mfo are welcome to join the broader efforts of the Preventive Health, Environmental Protection, and Research Organization (PHEPRO.org), a coalition of several charitable groups [more information is available in: https://wimalawansa.org/community_projects ].

Let us be more independent

February 1st, 2015

Nalin de Silva 

The Presidential elections held on 8th January 2015 was on nidahasa of the country more than anything else. I prefer the word nidahasa to other concepts such as sovereignty, independence etc., and I associate  the nidahasa with eksesath rajya a form of unitary state. Thus it was nidahasa and eksesath rajya that decided on the eighth and the battle lines had been drawn with people who preferred nidhasa on one side and the people who were prepared to be instructed either directly or indirectly on the other side.

The opposition cry, initiated by Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera on so called good governance, was only a camouflage to hide the real problem from the people. There has been no government in Sri Lanka that can be said to be proud of good governance. All governments have had skeletons in their cupboards (cabinets in whatever sense one can think of) since independence in a limited sense in 1948, and even in the whole world only one or two governments that could have been proud of good governance in the history. There would have been few kings who followed dasha   raja dharma” but hardly any so called elected ruler under western democracy who presided over good governance”.

The way that Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera has been marginalized bringing forth Ven. Athureliye Ratana Thera speaks volumes for good governance”. The vested interests through their organizations, which are called NGOs , research institutes,  fora of retired and working academics in the universities and other intellectuals”, etc., promoted good governance” speaking of corruption, terror, commissions of the Rajapakse regime” as if nothing of that sort had happened previously. All these have increased over the years from government to government commencing with the 1947 government of Unge Nedeyange Pakshaya (the UNP or the party of their relatives) and there is no guarantee that the Rice, Sand Tree Quarry  Mafias will not extend beyond Polonnanuruwa.

I remember very well how Vice Chancellors were appointed during the time of JR Jayawardhne whose government that practiced ‘good governance” was responsible for the Universities Act No 16 of 1978. There was a time when the same person held the positions of Secretary to the Ministry of Higher Education and Chairman of University Grants Commission in the name of good governance”.  This person refused to talk with the FUTA and those of us who held posts in that Federation had a difficult time in getting an interview with him. I know these facts as I was the secretary of FUTA at that time. Finally only after quoting the Trade Union Act and taking steps to file a court case FUTA was granted a meeting with this servant of the government that practiced good governance.

I do not want to go into the history of the early days of FUTA under the UNP governments and the way the governments treated the agitations of students against the White Paper on education introduced by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the so called Junior Universities of Premadasa, the North Colombo Medical School. I was either the Secretary or President of FUTA during these troubled periods and I remember once FUTA executive committee had to have a meeting on the Kumaratunga Munidasa Mawatha when FUTA was not allowed to have its meetings in the premises of the University of Colombo. Perhaps the JVP and some leaders of JHU  that has now joined hands with the  UNP, Chandrika Kumaratunga, and others in the name of good governance will remember Thirimawithana and others who died in the name of free education against malpractices (sorry good governance policies) of the University of Colombo that wanted to award its degree to the students of NCMC who did not satisfy the admission requirements as laid down by the UGC.

The parties that want to follow instructions by the west led by England have now ganged up against the nidahasa and eksesath rajya. Though the TNA initially had not issued a statement on whom they supported at the elections until last minutes it was clear that the Sumanthiran faction had taken a decision to support the main candidate who opposes Mahinda Rajapakse at the Presidential Elections.  In any event the name of the game was removal of Mahinda Rajapaksa who has shown that he can stand up to pressure from England led west and removed an obstacle on our way to nidahasa, by hook or crook. When Mahinda Rajapaksa gave political leadership and Gotabhaya Rajapaksa guided the armed forces to defeat the LTTE an agent of west against Sinhala people and the  country, we gained some nidahasa. The next step in the process of achieving Nidahasa is the defeat of Tamil racism that is operated from London.

The opposition parties have ganged up to prevent that happening and to set the clock back. The SLMC would not have supported the opposition block if the latter did not agree to their demand of a Muslim administrative district from Kalmunai to Akkarapattu. The parties in the opposition are for the thirteenth amendment plus, giving police and land powers to the provincial councils, combining the Northern and Eastern  Provinces to form one administrative unit and in general for giving more powers to the provincial councils so that the combined Northern and Eastern Provinces could finally work towards a federation and finally for separation.

Some nationalists with good intentions believed that the leaders of the JHU would prevent such things happening. Now anybody such as me who knows the history of these leaders would have any such dreams. I know the history of them who they changed from being JVP activists to nationalists who worked with Chinthana Parshadaya and then formed Janatha Mithuro and a plethora of organisations later. When they formed Janatha Mithuro they claimed that the nation cannot be marketed and joined hands with Mangala Samarweera to form Ratavesi Peramuna that stood for federalism. They worked for Mangala Samarawera at the 1994 elections and then switched over to nationalism after bombs were blasted by killing school children. They formed the National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT) and they were supported by some bell bottomed Viharamaha Devis. Then  they formed Sihala Urumaya, Jathika Hela Urumaya around the Bana of Ven. Soma Thera and how they ditched SL Gunasekera and others is now part of history. The Bhikkus were made to contest elections but finally Champika Ranawaka ended up as a minister. I do not want to go into further details but today one finds these leaders with Chandrka Kumaratunga and Mangala Samaraweera as in 1994.

These leaders have vacillated between pseudo nationalism and federalism in their history and to add they had a Gota bhaya (Gota phobia) as well. They claim that they could not get things done for the Sinhala nation from Mahinda Rajapaksa implying that they do not have the strength to do so. If they do not have a mass base to get Mahinda Rajapaksa to agree to their policies how could one expect them to get things done from a defacto Chandrika  Ranil government backed by the west led by England. All these are day dreams and those who wanted a so called change have to be warned that they would not be able to change the so called change for fifty years as it is the western countries led by England that would be in the driving seat.

I am not talking of so called conspiracy but of colonialism that has been practiced by England over two hundred years (it is two hundred years after 1815 the year of Sinhala English pact) and how they have used Tamil racism for more than 180 years of the two hundred years to weaken if not destroy the Sinhala culture and the people. We gained some nidahasa by standing up to the west in 2009 defeating the LTTE and 2015 should have been the year in which we would have taken a further steps to gain more nidahasa by defeating the opposition candidate who is backed by the agents of England led west.

(This articles is based on an article written before the elections which was not published by the Island. You may decide for yourself the policy of the Island editor. There is no so called freedom of expression in the newsparers in Sri Lanka)

 

වයඹ යහපාලනය

February 1st, 2015

වයඹ යහපාලනය පියවර 02

හිටපු ප්‍රධාන අමාත්‍ය අතුල  විජ්සිංහ සහ ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙව්ඩරුව බලය අැල්ලීම සදහා ජනාධිපතිනියෙග් සහාය පැතීමට තීරණය කරයි. එ් අනුව ඔවුන් ෙදෙදනා චන්ද්‍රිකා මැතිණිය හමුවීමට කීප විටක්ම උත්සාහා කලා. එම උත්සාහය ව්‍යර්ථ වුනා. පසුව රාජිත අැමතිතුමාෙග් පුතා චතුර හමුවුනා. ඔහු සමග පළාත් සභාව ෙපරලන්න සැළසුම් කලා. ඉන් පසු අතුල තමාට ජනාධිපතිනිය මුණ ගස්සවන ෙලස චතුරෙගන් ඉල්ලා සිටියා. එ් අවස්ථාව ඔවුන්ට හිමි වුනා. ජනාධිපතිනිය ලබා දුන් ෙවලාවට අතුල සමග ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙවඩරුව, ධර්මසිරි දසනායක යන අය අැයව හමුවුනා. එහිදී ලක්ෂ්මන් කියා සිටිෙය් මම ජනාධිපතිතුමා පරද්දන්න කැප වුනා, වැඩ කලා එ් වෙග්ම ඔබතුමියත් එක්ක එකතුෙවලා ෙෙමත්‍රිපාල සිරිෙස්න ජනාධිපතිතුමාට වැඩ කලා. මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාත් තිබ්බා. මම නිලන්ත රාජපක්ෂ මන්ත්‍රීතුමාත් මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාවට ෙග්නාවා. එතුමා ටිකක් බයවෙලා පස්ස ගැහුවා. දැන් ඔබතුමිය අපිට උදව් කරන්න ඔ්නෑ යැයි එහිදී ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙව්ඩරුව කියා සිටියා. ජනාධිපතිනිය ඔවුන්ෙග් අදා්නාව අහෙගන හිටියා මිසක් කිසිවක් කීෙව් නෑ,

වයඹ යහපාලනය පියවර 03

නිලන්ත රාජපක්ෂ නිකවැරටිෙය් මන්ත්‍රී. එයාට තිබුෙන් ෙජානී අැමතිතුමා එක්ක ප්‍රශ්ණයක්. ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්ෂය එක්ක ප්‍රශ්ණයක් එයාට තිබුෙන් නෑ. ෙජානී එක්ක තිබුන තරහට එයා ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙවඩරුව එක්ක මැතිණිය හම්ෙබන්න ගියා. හැබැයි එයා හංසයාට එකතුෙවන් නැතිව මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡාෙවන් ගැලවුනා. මහින්ද ජනාධිපතිතුමා දිනවන්න වැඩ කෙලත් නෑ. එෙහටත් නැතිව ෙමෙහටත් නැතිව පෙතා්ල වෙග් හිටියා.

වයඹ යහපාලනය පියවර 04

පහුගිය 15 ෙවනිදා මාවතගම ෙජ්.සී ෙග් නිවෙස් රහස් සාකච්ඡාවක් පැවතුනා. එ් සදහා සහභාගී වුෙන් ෙහක්ටර් අප්පුහාමි, පියසිරි රාමනායක සහ ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙවඩරුවයි. ඔවුන් පළාත් සබාෙව් බහුතරය ෙපන්නන්න කුමන්ත්‍රණයක් සැළසුම්කලා. එ් අනුව ඔවුන් කියා සිටිෙය් සංධාන මන්ත්‍රීවරු 15 ෙදෙනක් අද හවස 2.30 ට ෙජ්.සී. අලවතුවල විපක්ෂ නායක නිවසට එකතුවන බවයි. ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙවඩරුව හා රාමනායක සංන්ධාන මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට එම ස්ථානයට එන ෙලස දුරකතනෙයන් දැනුම් දුන්නා. විවිධ අවුල් හැදුනු මන්ත්‍රීවරු කීපෙදෙනක්ටම ඔවුන් කතා කලා. එ් මන්ත්‍රීවරුනුත් එන්නම් කියලා ෙපාෙරාන්දු වුනා. හැබැයි හවස් ෙවනකල් කවුරුත් ගිෙය් නෑ. ලක්ෂ්මන් ෙවඩරුවයි පියසිරි රාමනායකයි ෙජ්සීලාෙග් ෙගදරින් දවල්ට කාලා හවස ෙත්ත් බීලා හිස් අතින්ම ෙගවල්වලට ගියා. එදා ඔවුන් සැළසුම් කෙල් ෙජ්සීට මහඅැමතිකම දීලා ඔවුන් ෙදෙදෙනාට අැමතිකම් ෙදකක් අරෙගන රජ ෙවන්නයි. අාණ්ඩුකාරවරයාට දැනුම් දීලා තිෙබුෙන් තමන් බහුතරය අරෙගන නිල නිවසට එන බවයි. ෙජ්සී එ් ෙලස අාණ්ඩුකාරවරයාට කියා තිබුනා. අවසාෙන් ඔහු පචවුනා.

වයඹ යහපාලනය පියවර 05

ඔය අතෙර් හිටපු මහ අැමති අතුල සහ ධර්මසිරි දසනායක ෙජ්සී අලවතුවල එක්ක රහස් සාකච්ඡාවක් 16 ෙවනිදා කලා. එහිදී ධර්මසිරි දසනායක කියා සිටිෙය් මෙග් සභාපතිකම ෙහා් අැමතිකමක් ලබා ෙදන ෙලසයි. අතුල කියා සිටිෙය් අෙප් කට්ටිය මට ඉන්නවා මම බහුතරය හදා ගන්නම් ෙජ්සී මට සහය ෙදන්න මම ඔයාට අැමතිකම් ෙදකක් ෙදන්නම්. එ් ෙදක ඔයයි, ෙහක්ටර් අප්පුහාමියි ෙබදා  ගන්න. දිගටම ෙජ්සී අැනෙගන හිටපු නිසා අතුලෙග් කතාවට ෙජ්සී එකගවුනා අතුල 16 රෑ ඉදලම වැෙඩ් පටන් ගත්තා. මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට දුරකතන පණිවිඩ දුන්නා. කීපෙදෙනක් ෙගදරටත් එක්කරෙගන අාවා. එ් ෙමෙහයුම තවම ක්‍රියාත්මක ෙවමින් තිෙයනවා.

වයඹ යහපාලනය 06

ෙම් සියලු කුමන්ත්‍රණ ෙදස බලාසිටි ෙසෟඛ්‍ය අැමති ඩී.බී.ෙහ්රත් 17 රාත්‍රිෙය් ඔහුෙග් කුමන්ත්‍රණය පටන් ගත්තා. දයාසිරි ගියාම මමයි මහ අැමති. එ්ක ෙවන කාටවත් ෙදන් නෑ. එෙස් කියමින් ඔහුෙග්ම වාහන වලින් මන්ත්‍රීවරු හතර ෙදෙනකු ෙගදරට ෙගන්වා ගත්තා. ඔවුන් සමග සාකච්ඡා කෙල් තමන් වටා බහුතරය හදා ගන්නයි. එ්කට ෙජ්.සී.සමගත් සාකච්චා කලා. එ් දුරකතන සාකච්ඡාව එච්චර ෙවලා ගිෙය් නෑ. ෙජ්.සී එ් ෙයා්ජනාවට අකමැති වුනා. නමුත් ඩී.බී.ෙහ්රත් වැෙඩ් අත අැරලා නෑ. ඔහු දිගටම මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට කතා කරනවා. එක් මන්ත්‍රීවරෙයක් ඔහුට කියා අැත්ෙත් අයිෙය් අපි වයඹින් හත්ලක්ෙෂකට වැඩිය බුලත් ෙකාෙල්ට ඡන්ෙද ගත්තා. යූඅැන්පී කාරෙයා් ගත්ෙත් යන්තම් ලක්ෂ ෙදකයි. ෙම් ලක්ෂ හ ෙත් ජනතාව ලක්ෂ ෙදකකට පාව ෙදන්නද හදන්ෙන්. මටනම් ඔය පවුකාරකමට අත ගහන්න බෑ. ජනතාව අපිට මූණට ෙකල ගහයි කියාය

S L Gunasekara: Officer (Nationalist) and Gentleman (British)

February 1st, 2015

By Susantha Goonatilake

I cannot quite remember when I first met S L Gunasekara. As I recall,it was a few decades ago at an embassy cocktail party, at a time when heads like me of scientific associations were also invited. He recalled his correct stand at the Thimpu talks which I had dismissed as Indian interference after Indian subversion. I knew the Indian academic scene reasonably well and I explained to him how Mrs B, (once co-fighter with Indira) and her SLFP were being denigrated in Indian circles.

I also mentioned how that excellent Dr Mackie Ratwatte had on hearing this complaint of mine had taken me to meet Mrs B.And when I suggested to her that she send around India someonefrom her party to explain, she replied that they did not have the money. And that was a time when a round India trip would cost around Rs. 10,000. The then ruling family was more cultivated than the recent one but had similar money problems”. Over the embassy drink, S L and I shared his hearty laugh.

But the time we interacted most was when I was living largely abroad and saw the false anti-Sri Lanka propaganda being spread around the world by the LTTE and by paid Western elements in the form of NGOs. S L and a group including Lieutenant Col. Anil Amerasekera and Dr.AnulaWijesunderawere then working tirelessly in villages threatened by LTTE barbarity while the then government buried its head in the sand. I, with others in the expatriate community also began visiting these areas to give help. We gave CDMA phones with our family funds (that was before mobile phones) and motorcycles to threatened villages, helped build irrigation tanks for displaced villagers and repaired their schools. I remember well one such visit to a repaired school accompanied among others by Venerable MadulwaweSobhitha, S L and ChampikaRanawaka.

The laypersons rested for the night in a farmer’s house and SL pullout a bottle of arrack, I did sip a bit as I don’t like hard liquor and Champika conversed-unprotesting.

These welfare actions were mostly by middle-class professionals. But when two former students involved in the late 1980s anti-Indian protests met me and my wife, we arranged a meeting between them and the middle class activists. This turned out to be the beginning of the National Movement against Terrorism (NMAT) which frankly we wanted only to be a discussion forum to remove the falsities generated by foreign funds.

Later, in spite of misgivings by several of us, NMAT turned into the JHU and contested. Some of us were disappointed that Buddhist monks would contest instead of acting as a pressure group or advisers as they had done for millennia. And when the then general elections came about and I heard that JHU grassroots were campaigning against SL, their first leader I felt downcast.

When at their last election meeting, SL was being ignored and others being pushed into the front, I telephoned SL and said your own people are undercutting you”, his response was that it was too late. And later SL was removed on the false pretext that he, an atheist with a Christian background was drinking alcohol. I had not heard such an accusation when he had his arrack at the farmer’s house.

At the time of Chandrika, we with SL through the expatriate group World Alliance for Peace in Sri Lanka (WAPS)organised a series of meetings against LTTE propagandaincluding a couple at the BMICH and one in Norway. Speakers included also non-Sri Lankans. One telling audio recording we played was the Norwegian Ambassador in cahoots with local officials smuggling transmission equipment to the LTTE. We also invited political figures to the audience which included Dinesh Gunawardene, Moulana, Anandasangaree and a big contingent from the JVP and JHU. We had sniffing dogs to prevent LTTE attacks. But we did manage to get the truth out including later in a seminar in Norway.

Perhaps the greatest favour that SL did to the country was when Sri Lanka expatriates wanted to sue the LTTE on behalf of the innocents they had murdered. I had missed the meeting in Washington with the US lawyers but back in Sri Lanka, I put SL in contact with them. SL got legally binding statements from the farmers who were attacked in the region of Anuradapura and forwarded them to the US lawyers. The case is still pending.

A related personal event was when he represented me. I had published through a well-known international academic publisher a book on foreign funded NGOs in Sri Lanka as subverting our sovereignty. Over 10 years,I had collected much data from different sources around the world including on International Alert (IA) which had published a map of their future Tamil Eelam, much larger than the area claimed even by the LTTE. My information included some incriminating correspondence supplied by IA employees in London who were dissatisfied with the then Sri Lankan head of IA.

When my book came out, a prominent lawyer meeting me at the OPA asked me to brief him about NGOs because he said he was to appear on a TV program. I said I could not summarise but he could borrow a book from a library. Shortly I found articles in the Daily News written under a pseudonym and in a florid style attacking the Sri Lankan ex- director of IA. Before long I found the writer being appointed politically as an ambassador to a Western country. Soon too, I found myself sued for half Rs. 1 billion by the IA gentleman for the anonymous article I had not written. SL agreed to appear for me free and his reply truly frightened me. He said that the suing gentleman had no reputation to lose. SL said not to worry. The case dragged for years and ultimately was withdrawn simply because I did not write the article.

We shared much irreverence. SL an ex-Christian and I, a secular Buddhist who had once being suspended from my job for one year as the founder editor of the Peoples Bank’s Economic Review for publishing a computer in a meditating pose. This was to illustrate how current computer developments were challenging the mind cultures of Buddhism and Hinduism. When I heard that SL had fallen and was in a near coma, I was advised not to visit as he would not recognize.

SL would have also been amused at recent events when our Buddhist MR went to the IndianThirupathy Hindu Kovil to pray to non-existent gods and fixed political events based on astrology. SL an ex-Anglican would also have been amused at the current Pope’s visit where the latter called for investigation to the very war conducted by MR and his brother Gota. Both had gone on bended intellectual knees to the very Vatican that had destroyed Buddhist culture so much so that Buddhism had to be imported later from Siam and Myanmar.

SL would have been truly amused at the Catholic areas voting heavily against MR (and indirectly against MR’s Catholic wife). He would have been tickled at Siam Nikaya monks getting up to the Pope at the BMICH meeting, remembering that the very same Siam Nikaya had once denounced monks of so-called lower castes getting up in respect to our then KandyanKing. SL would have also laughed at the very monks from the Kotte chapter from the very temples that were set on fire by papal instructions (Bulls) that demanded the destruction of other religions. He would have been especially amused at the silence of the JHU monks at the papal visit. The JHU had objected to SL’satheism and alcohol but ignored the Catholic practice of drinking wine as the blood of Christ. I am sure SL would have called it a cannibalistic rite.

SL and I, both secular from different religious backgrounds in all probability would not meet again. Hewalked the lonely road and departed upright and unafraid. I only hope when the time comes, people could say the same of the likes of me. I hope

Letter to the editor: Why fear the politicians?

February 1st, 2015

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Dehiwela

There are many many  postmortems on why MR lost and the mistakes he made.

But there is another side to this coin. We also must dissect why all the politicians who crossed over and then told the world of his misdeeds did not open their mouths when they were with him. 10 years is a long time for them to have suffered all these in silence. Usual excuse is that they themselves had skeletons in their own cupboards – or commonly known as files on them – but if so, even when they crossed over the danger of these being publicized was there. Besides a person of the caliber of MS also suffered in silence.

Not only of the president but even the other politicians’ misdeeds and fraudulent actions are coming to light only now. Why not then? In every ministry/ institute there would have been right thinking honest people would have been there and even when these atrocities were committed quite blatantly, quite openly they did not open their mouths. Why?

The main reason is fear – not the fear of white vans, but just fear of the superior, especially when it is a politicians. This is the culture we have today in Srilanka. This, has to change. No better time to change than with Maithree at the helm. His oath taking in the simplest possible fashion with open invitation to everyone sets up the correct tempo for this change.

Why do we (all) fear the politicians? Because we ourselves have blown them out of proportion and have created a false sense they are omnipotent and that they deserve our servility and subservience. I remember when I was in UK in the 90’s one day when we were in a shopping mall someone pointed out a politician – if I remember correct the Prime minister – shopping sans any body guards or fanfare. Even at that time it was a novelty for us Srilankans.

We must change this culture. How do we do it?

  1. Resist the practice of the politicians lording over on the roads, driving at break neck speed, with screaming sirens and flashing head lights even in broad day light, shooing all the motorists to a side, breaking all the road rules as if they are doing a life and death duty. They don’t. They are government servants and if they have important appointments let them start early like all of us do. Only ambulances must be given such privilege.
  2. One of the reasons they give is that they are so over worked- well, if they are, they are not proper leaders. The leaders should know time management and how to delegate. If they have to attend a function let them plan to be there in time like any of us. If they cannot let them send a substitute.
  3. It is we the common men who make them feel great even when they are not. We invite them to our weddings and functions even when they are not related to us or friends of ours. This is just a vulgar show off. We must stop this practice. And if they chose to attend even a relative’s function, treat them like any one and give respect they deserve because of their age or place in the family like anyone else will get.
  4. We must also stop inviting them as chief guests to official functions unless absolutely essential. Their duty is to do the politicians’ work not to show their face at these functions. Often they come late, keeping everyone waiting, interrupting the function even if it started in time, by their arrival being announced, and many rush off soon after their  arrival causing another interruption; but the worst is they have no useful speech to make and often their presence serves no purpose at all other than being able to say” so and so came” – again pure show off. Let’s put a stop to  this practice.
  5. Invite only relevant politicians if you must. For example there is no point in inviting a smoker to an anti-smoking campaign. Often the schools invite totally irrelevant politicians who have no idea of the educational value at all. Let us invite only  relevant authorities to our functions so that the audience too gain from their knowledge and experience.
  6. We must not invite them for a function of donation of any material – such as wheel chairs, trishaws etc. unless they themselves are donating form their own pockets. Even when a ministry is distributing anything for the people, we must bring a practice of an important official distributing them rather than the minister. If when a ministry is distributing anything, it is not a gift from the minister, rather from the government.
  7. Even the politicians must learn to politely refuse all such unnecessary invitations in order to bring about this change.
  8. Do not – DO NOT – AT ANY SITUATIONS, LET THE GOONS AND THUGS AROUND THEM intimidate you. At times those ignorant fellows without even primary education shooing even professionals in certain circumstances is painful to watch. This boost the politicians’ ego and they feel big and we tend to feel submissive and the fellow beings give in to the habit of venerating them.
  9. They must not have too many body guards around them as if they are precious possessions of the country. They are not. There is no danger lurking around them anymore and if the Pope can travel in an open vehicle, why do these people need body guards?
  10. The last but not the least of course anyone in the ministry or even a common man must have access to complain about any misdeeds any politician does, be it the President or a peon. No police station should refuse to entertain a complaint. The government must make arrangements for all complaints to be looked into. The officers must not have the fear of being punished or sacked for doing so.

May look a long list but not an impossible one. Let’s work towards a country where the politicians are just politicians not bloated up heroes to be worshiped nor Lords to be terrified of.

ASTRONOMICAL INCREASE IN NUMBER OF VOTERS 2010 VS 2015 IN TAMIL AREAS – HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?

February 1st, 2015

Dilrook  

January 15th, 2015 at 5:46 pm

I’m not going to take sides here. Mahinda deserves his defeat as he disregarded the majority and served a proven ungrateful minority. But this coupled with other facts cast serious doubts on the validity of Sirisena’s election as president.

The astronomical increase in the number of persons polled in the districts of Jaffna, Vanni, Batticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Trincomalee and Digamadulla against 2010 indicates a large number of voters from these districts voted twice. Thanks to the efficient road network today it is possible for a person to vote in both Colombo and Jaffna districts. And in Vanni, Batticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Trincomalee and Digamadulla districts too with ease. Each of these districts show an increase of 20% in polling compared to 2010 which is only 14% for other districts. It was unthinkable in the past!

As a side note, it is really unfortunate Mahinda’s excellent road network defeated him, literally.

As Sirisena won by only 155,436 additional votes (not the lead by the excess over 50%), it is possible to successfully challenge his election based on voter fraud in the districts of Jaffna, Vanni, Batticaloa, Nuwara Eliya, Trincomalee and Digamadulla.

Those who support Mahinda and wish to see a ‘safe Sri Lanka’ (as they claim) must take up this challenge instead of verbally defending the former president. In my view, there is substantial merit in such a legal challenge. The current setting of the Supreme Court is also beneficial. If successful, the outcome will not be Mahinda getting elected as president. Instead the outcome will be a situation as if there was no election​”.

A friend of mine did a small analysis and this is what he came up with. The numbers do not make any sense at all. How can the number of voters increase by 91% in Jaffna and by 71% in Vanni.​ These numbers are from Ada Derana.  If Dilrook’s hypothesis is true then the Election Commissioner must open investigation to possible voter fraud.  ​Somebody should do a full analysis of the increase in number of voters for all districts and compare and publish the results.

District 2010 2015 Increase in Voters % Increase
Digamadulla 306562 357817 51255 16.71929332
Batticaloa 211891 256586 44695 21.09339236
Jaffna 178369 340751 162382 91.03711968
Nuwara Eliya 346382 423466 77084 22.25404322
Vanni 105252 180225 74973 71.23190058
Trinco 162072 195356 33284 20.53655166
Totals for above Districts 1310528 1754201 443673 33.85452276

 

Fifty Years Away From Lanka & Counting: Part IV: ‘Sugunasiri helped shape the development of Buddhism in this country’ (Canada)

February 1st, 2015

By Prof. Suwanda H J Sugunasiri, writing from Canada

Getting my PhD was first on the agenda upon return to Canada. Helping dig a canal in Lanka was inspirational enough. Why was there suffering in the world? So I chose to work on national development, organizing my thesis along the paradigm of the Four Noble Truths. My thesis, Humanistic Nationism: a Language- and Ideology-based Model of Development for Post-Colonial Nations, 1978 <http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4325> was called “extraordinary”, not by one, but two Examiners.

A few years later (1992), I would earn my third Master’s – in ‘the Scientific Study of Religion’, specializing in Buddhism. Resulting from it was my paper, “Whole Body, not Heart, the Seat of Consciousness: the Buddha’s View,” Philosophy East and West <https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/4320>. Ven. Buddhaghosa’s view (in the Visuddhimagga) was that Consciousness was in the heart. In my paper, I trace his view to the Upanishads.

But perhaps I’ve done a bit more in the field of Buddhism in Canada. Ask the Canadian Professors Victor Hori and Janet McLellan. Writing a Chapter in Wild Geese: Buddhism in Canada, 2010 (McGill-Queen’s U Press), they say ‘Sugunasiri helped shape the development of Buddhism in this country’ (p. 378).

I did? OK, if you say so.

article_image

Wesak

I remember one early initiative – bringing the Buddhists together for the first time in Canada in 1980. In one stroke, what the Buddhist texts and cultures had put asunder, under questionable labels Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana, Christian Canada had ironically helped put together! Imagine our happiness when the next year saw Wesak at City Hall, under a 30 ft banner of the Buddha, put up by the Vietnamese Buddhists. Said to be the first anywhere in North America, it was attended by a thousand people in pouring rain! Auspicious, wouldn’t you say? Elected Founding Coordinator of the newly formed Buddhist Federation of Toronto, I’d proposed the event, introducing the term Wesak to Canada. Since then, the event has been held, in one form or another, over the years.

2005 was special in this connection. Commemorating 100 Years of Buddhism in Canada (first Japanese Buddhist ‘Church’ established in 1905), we had the Buddhist flag heralded on the grounds at Queen’s Park, home to the Ontario government. This was another Canadian first (see photo) – raising the Buddhist flag on public soil.

Helping form the Buddhist Council of Canada in 1985, I was now traveling across Canada as President – to organize Chapters of BCC. Later, we held the first Buddhist Congress with participation of Regional Representatives. Part of the event was another first ever, and only – Canada-wide Wesak telecast over the CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), me addressing my fellow Canadians in French. Did you say broken French? Nah!

Remember the old adage, ‘A good community worker is one that works her/himself out of a job’? So, finding the now expanding Buddhist community too dependent on me, I would step down as President. But alas, thanks to some Buddhist competition, BCC was not to last long. But, dormant for 25 years, I was to revive it in 2010. (See www.buddhistcouncil.ca for some recent activities.)

Buddhism in the Media

Wesak 1981 was a hit and now I was looking for a wider audience. Well, whaddaya know… Soon Buddhism was on candid camera – on a Community TV channel. We knew that the word had gotten around when invitations poured in. Now I was the face of the emerging winsome Buddhism in the Canadian media – TV, Radio and Print. On open-line TV and Radio, I would explain Buddhism to callers.

Invited to present Buddhism on an Evangelical TV program, it was, sorry, no holds barred: “God is a fiction of the human imagination”! Ahem! It zoomed into Christian homes across Canada. But on another TV appearance, I implored Canadians to light up from the rooftops to celebrate the birth of Lord Jesus. This was when Johnny-come-lately minorities, bringing their cultural baggage with them, were objecting to celebrating Christmas. I pointedly asked, “Isn’t it thanks to Christians that we’re all here?”

Becoming a Columnist on Buddhism at the Toronto Star (1990’s), I would deal with the bioethical issues of the day – abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, cloning, meditation, etc. (see https://www.academia.edu/ 8970828). One of my most popular columns was on the four letter word, when many a reader wrote to me in disgust of the emerging trend. Writing my columns in the Saturday Star, with a million readers across the country, I knew I was being read. It was the correspondence. Even my university colleagues were reading me.

Buddhist-Christian Dialogue, with the United Church of Canada, helped me open windows to a wider intellectual presence. Buddhists and Christians meditating together was energizing.

At a Buddhist-Jewish Dialogue held at a Synagogue, a Rabbi made no secret of why he was there. To plug a hole! More and more Jews were becoming Buddhists. He wanted to see just why.

Invited to be on an Ad Hoc Interfaith Committee on the Canadian Constitution, I wrote a Preamble, accommodating both God-believers and non-believers, including atheists. Hijacked by vested interests, and excluded in the final version, the Toronto Star gave me front page coverage, under the banner headline, ‘Buddhist protests ‘God’ in Constitution Preamble’. I wrote a Letter to the Editor that I wasn’t against God, but only wanted other Canadians included.

Buddhism in the Academy

Although I had been knee deep in Socially Engaged Buddhism, none of my four degrees (BA, MA, MEd, PhD) was on Buddhism. So it was that I’d enrolled in my third Master’s Program. Degree earned, I opened a third front – taking Buddhism to the Academy. I was now organizing Seminars and Conferences on Buddhism at Trinity College, University of Toronto, where I was on the Faculty of Divinity. The presentations varied from topical subjects (as e.g., Buddhism and Science, Women in Buddhism, Poverty in the Pali Canon, Buddhism in North America, Tibetan Medicine, etc.) to audiovisual presentations – Journeys to Sacred Buddhist Landscapes. I made a presentation on, surprise surprise, the ancient Anuradhapura Buddhist civilization. The Conferences were on ‘Buddhism After Patriarchy’ and on ‘Kierkegaard and Upaya in Mahayana Buddhism’.

Founding Editor of Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies, I’ve just published the tenth issue.

However, my boldest academic venture was outside of the University – founding Nalanda College of Buddhist Studies (Canada) (2000), which, alas, now lies in a state of disrepair. The motto was ‘Cultivating a Community of Better Human Beings’. The Founder’s personal vision was, after the Buddha: “I do as I say; I say as I do”. Nalanda offered first a Certificate in Buddhist Studies. Meditation was mandatory but offered no credit.

Even today, while there are an increasing number of academic courses on Buddhism, no Canadian University offers a Program of Buddhist studies. I had developed a 4-year curriculum for a B A (Hons.) in Buddhadharma Studies, now wearing my educator hat. Approved by both evaluating committees set up by the quasi-government Provincial Educational Quality Assessment Board, it was recommended for approval. But the Minister thought otherwise. Consent declined!

So what? Nalanda gave me the opportunity to become a designer. Of what? An academic robe, using the five colours of the Buddhist flag (see photo). Now wasn’t that worth all the trouble that went into building a foundation for Buddhist studies in Canada?

Stepping down from Nalanda in 2008, I would give Canada an intellectual gift: a Vision for Buddhist Education in Canada.

A more recent initiative was my Four Lectures on Buddhism at the University of Havana, Cuba (2010). An early presentation that caught world attention was on the Buddhist view of the dead body, at an International Conference of Doctors and other Medical Practitioners. <https://www.academia.edu/7511257/The_Buddhist_View_Concerning_the_Dead_Body>. Many were the letters of inquiry I received, mostly from East European scholars.

Buddhism at Hotels!

But it was not at Nalanda I had the first opportunity to teach Buddhism to Canadians. There were first the Continuing Education courses at the University of Toronto and other private institutions. Church and Community Halls, and Hotel lounges provided other space. Among the course-takers were Executives, Media personalities, Teachers, working men in jeans and working women in high heels and mini skirts …

Mindfulness Meditation is a hit in North America today. But not then. What my adult students liked most was the ‘acknowledge and return’ technique of the Satipatthana Meditation, the Buddha’s ‘one-way street to nibbana’ (ekayano maggo). Car horns, air/heat conditioner humming, memories of good food or good times had, an itch to scratch, the urge to move, the monkey mind – whatever it is, not going after, not pushing away, but just acknowledge and return – to watching the breath. Busybodies doing meditation for the first time in particular were happy to get a reprieve from the day’s stresses.

Any good sculptors?

In their chapter in Wild Geese: Buddhism in Canada, 2010, Professors Hori of McGill University and McLellan of Wilfred Laurier University write: “Sugunasiri’s life .. is an example of how one man has dedicated his life to Buddhism.” (p. 378). I’m said to hold a lotus to the rock until it takes root. Would you allow me some happiness, then, to say that I have seen not just the roots, but the flowering of the rock itself! Could there be more happiness than seeing the results of one’s work in one’s own lifetime?

Featured in Canadian Who’s Who, I am a ‘National Treasure’ on Vision TV – not so much for my work on Buddhism, but on a whole host of others, including Literature, Canadian and Sri Lankan (see http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2013/05/05/mon01.asp).

I know you’re all good sculptors. So can you now kindly show me the shape of Buddhism in Canada I’ve said to have helped develop? Thanks. Ain’t it pretty! But, hey, let’s not get carried away here. I was only turning the ignition key. It was the other conditions that made it all happen. So don’t put all the blame on me! Thank you.

But thank you Canada, for the opportunity to spread my wings…. Now that the secret is out, tell me, did I need Canada or did Canada need me? Both or neither? You be the judge.

And I hope I’ve helped energize your Metta ‘friendliness’ and Karuna ‘compassion’, reading my escapades, in four parts. Won’t you then kindly let me stop? Thank you.

Wishing you the best in health and happiness!

(US Fulbright Scholar, Buddhist Scholar, Buddhist Fieldworker, poet and novelist, Prof. Sugunasiri’s latest breakthrough research is on the Agganna Sutta (http://dhammawheel.com/ viewtopic.php?f=14&t=21993.) in which the Buddha unfolds the universe, found to be compatible with the western scientific view. in Canadian Buddhism. He  is featured in Wild Geese: Buddhism in Canada, 2010 (Eds: John Harding, Victor Hori & Alex Soucy, McGill-Queen’s U Press) for his leadership of over three decades and on https://buddhistfictionblog.wordpress.com for his “extraordinary first novel”, Untouchable Woman’s Odyssey, available at Vijita Yapa.)

(Part I (“On my Fulbright: a Bahubootaya at Ivy League University of Pennsylvania, USA!”) appeared on Dec. 7, 2014, Part II (“First Humanities Fulbright Scholar”) on Dec. 21, and Part III (“A Second Degree for Swarna and a ‘Re-entry Casualty’”) on Jan. 3, 2015.)

Why Mahinda Rajapakse lost the Presidential Elections

February 1st, 2015

Percy Silva

In 2005 Mahinda Rajapakse won the Presidential elections with a wafer thin margin. To date, controversy remains as to whether Prabakaran was bribed though that seems quite far fetched though it is pretty obvious that the tiger leader did not wish to deal with Ranil and his Western Christian agenda though LTTE is closely linked to and steered by the Catholic church. Essentially the Church plays a critical role in the political framework of Sri Lanka and President Rajapakse would know too well for he has countless times submitted himself before the Church in what we can term a cowardly act of appeasement. While the lion in him roared to take Sri Lanka to the international map claiming to be the only nation to have defeated terrorism in 2009, thereafter it was a downfall orchestrated by his own pigheaded behaviour and do not care attitude for his people.

Thus the 2010 Presidential election bid was an effort to oust him which failed though the experiment encouraged the current success story as a result of Rajapakse’s own follies… we now list down these in no particular order.

  1. Bloated head following victory over terrorism – thinking that he and only he was the man behind the war effort. Though partly true, the soldiers should not have been forgotten and more benefits should have come to them far more than they have got over the years.
  1. Betraying the Sinhala Buddhists that voted for him, that backed him throughout the war effort, throughout the calls calling for war crimes trials – whereas other than a small handful of Tamils and Muslims the majority of them were all not bothered what happened to Mahinda Rajapakse, Gotabaya Rajapakse or any of the soldiers who won the war.
  1. Betraying his religion and going 4 times to the Vatican to bring the Pope and allow an Indian to be made a Saint in Sri Lanka where in he should have known that Joseph Vaz came as a spy to convert the masses and therefore what an insult it was on the part of a Govt that was bound by the constitution to protect and foster Buddhism to have initiated a visit of the Pope and a canonization just because his wife was a Catholic. It was this very Church that worked behind the scenes to orchestrate his downfall with European intelligence agencies and they must all be laughing at Mahinda Rajapakse and his family. Yet inspite of this Mahinda Rajapakse did not have any qualms about coming all the way to Colombo to kiss the hand of the Pope and worship him. He cannot come before the people as a Buddhist leader. He has given up that right.
  1. Advice was given in galore to his administration on what the govt needed to do and should not do. None of these advice were taken despite expats working tirelessly on their own money as think tanks to help the govt deal with pressing policy matters… 13a was ignored, taking legal action against TNA was ignored, judicial action against ltters were ignored, Sinhala settlements to north given step motherly treatment and treated shabbily while the govt saw no issues in allowing tamils to build condomoniums/flats throughout Colombo where none of them are rented out to Sinhalese. proposals to allocate flats as per national ethnic ratio was ignored and flats went into the hands of muslims and tamils because of the palms greased.
  1. Nefarious sets of advisors, thugs, goons and what not beame the inner circle of a president making him a laughing stock amongst the masses and the international public. little did mahinda rajapakse realize that all ‘dictators’ are allowed to flush the nation of its wealth but a scorecard is kept and when they go for the kill the downfall is no better than death… now can the rajapakse sons enjoy car racing in lamborghini’s? the other example that gave a message to the people that mahinda rajapakse cared not what the people thought was the incident when his golden boy sajin vaaz slapped uk ambassador chris nonis and despite requests for sajin vaaz removal.. what did the former president do.. he took him to Nepal and to the Vatican…. these are just a handful of examples that go to show that he did not care what the masses thought and took the people for suckers thinking that just because he kept LTTE at bay he could drain the country dry and his family could do as they like… people thought different…it is a total different matter that we have landed ourselves in bigger trouble.. but the people thought that this was enough and that should show that as a lesson to others as well.

Mahinda Rajapakse has been punished by higher celestial powers… that he fell prey to… astrologers could not save him from the sin he committed in betraying the nation and his religion – Buddhism… a lesson to other leaders too…

 

 

Are you a Buddhist Mr. Karu Jayasuriya?

February 1st, 2015

percy silva – a disgusted Buddhist.

Dear Hon. Mr. Jayasuriya

I am writing this to you because of the dangerous predicament that has befallen our nation. The UNP stalwarts seem to only see green and power… they are deaf, dumb and blind to everything collapsing before their eyes.

As a Buddhist with a family that are likely to be future leaders are you not bothered that the moment the historical place for Buddhism is nicely shifted and omitted we have lost our nation and Joseph Vaz the Saint wins the day.

We were all shocked to see the release of the portfolios with the Christian Affairs ministry getting 3rd place while you being a senior member of the party found yourself right at the bottom.

Have you not noticed that Buddha Sasana ministry has been replaced with Buddhist affairs.. this is constitutionally incorrect and needs to be immediately rectified and highlighted….

When Christians and Islam take over Sri Lanka do you seriously believe there would be any place for Buddhists even those that are falling before these two Abrahamic religions?

Do you not have any morals and integrity to realize this danger? In your last years of life should you not leave having done the Sinhala Buddhist race proud instead of handing over what our people fought and sacrificed their lives for.

You have much to think about… this country is slowly but surely falling into the grasp of western powers and people like you are not just watching it happen but are facilitating the hand over by your silence. There is doubt that you can find a single Buddhist in the present Govt except those that pay lip service and run to temples to appease the wrong they have done by offering donations… it is not in their blood to realize that Muslims wont defend them, Christians wont defend them… but stupid Buddhists defend and deny their own people just to get praise and accolades from others who do so with ulterior motives. Former President paid dearly for this exercise.

We can preach to you until the cows come home but you need to sit back and realize what is happening because you know that the green man represents Christianity and not Buddhism…. are you going to let the Buddhist side down or are you going to return the Buddha Sassana status to this ministry… just like former President paid for his sins in inviting the Pope and kissing his hand thereby facilitating a spy and a missionary to become a saint in Sri Lanka, the karma is behind you too… now former President must be repenting but his punishment came with vengeance… the karmic sins are coming behind our politicians…do the right thing that is all that our ancestors ask of you.

percy silva – a disgusted Buddhist.

මෛත්ත්රී යන මග  කටුකොහොල් ඉවත් කර ගන්නේ කෙසේද ?

February 1st, 2015

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

 මයිත්‍රී හොඳය කිව්වත් වැරදිය මහින්ද හොඳය කිව්වත් වැරදිය රනිල් හොඳය කිව්වොත්  පට්ටප ල්  බොරුය  . චන්ද්‍රිකා හොඳය කිව්වොත් ‘ ‘ පට්ටම පට්ටපල් බොරුවකි” . මයිත්ත්රී  මහින්දට විරුද්ධව සටන් කරන්නට  එකතු වුනේ  ලපය්  සිපය් හේවායන් සමගය  කොටි හා මුස්ලිම් අන්තවාදීන්  ගේ සහය  මයිත්ත්රී ට නොලැබුණේ නම්  මේ ලපය් සිපය් හමුදා   වලින් වැඩක් නැති වී මයිත්ත්රී පරදින්නට   ඉඩතිබුනේය එබව    නලින් ඉදිරි පත් කල  සිතියමේ  පැහැදිලිය  මේ සිතියම සිංහල  බෞද්ධ යන්ට  වහාම    ගෝචර  විය යුතුය  මේ සිතියම පෙන්වා  දීමෙන්  අදහස් කරන්නී  භේද වැපිරීම නොව  සුළු වාර්ගිකය  සුද්දා ගේ කාලයේ සිට  සිංහලයන් යටපත් කර  ගන්නට වලිකෑ මේ  සාර්ථක එක ප්‍රයත්නයකි  උන් ඉදිරියටත් කරන්නේ මෙයමය

                      නලින්  කෝට්ටේ පාසලක  1957  ඉගැන් වූ අයෙක්දය් අයෙක් අසය් නලින් ගැන නොදන්නා  අයෙක් ජාතික වාදීන් අතර නැත  කොමිඋනිස්ට් වාදීන් අතරද නැත්තේ  ඔවුන්ට නලින් පෙන්නාන්නට බැරි නිසා ය  නලින් නැත්නම්  මේවා ලියන අපද  තවමත් කොමිඋනිස්ට් කාරයෝ හෝ ධන වාදියෝය  ඔහෝ  ඉතාම චාම් ජීවිතයක් ගෙවමින්  බස් රියේ දුම්රියේ යමි න්   වසර දහයක් රැකියාවද අහිමි කර ගනිමින් ජාතික වාදය ඔසවා තැබීමට  ලිපි දහස් ගණනක් ලිව්වේය  පිටරට සිටින බොහෝ අ  ය  ඔහු විදුසර මගින් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ””අපේ  ප්‍රවාද   ” ලිපි  දැකලාවත් නැතුවා විය හැක . අලුත් ප්‍රවාදයක් ලංකාවේ  බිහිකලා නම්  ඒ නලින් පමණය

                                       වරක්   දිනේෂ් ගේ පක්ෂයෙන් නලින්  පානදුරේට තරංග කරන විට  ඔහු කිව්වී  ම ඒ පෙ හොඳම පක්ෂය  නිසා  නොව  නිරවද්‍ය තාවට  කිට්ටුම පක්ෂය එය නිසා තමන් එයට සම්බන්ධවූ බවය . ලැබී අතිදෙයින් සෑහීමට පත්වී  ඉදිරියේදී  මහින්ද  නිවරදිකරවා ගනී ම  ඔහුගේ අපේක්ෂාව  වුයේ අනිත් ය එතරම් වත් විශ්වාස කල නොහැකි බැවිනි  ම ඒ පෙ ගැන කී කතාව  මෙහිදීත් අදාලය  රැකියාව සඳහාවත් ඔහු කාටවත් කඩේ ගිය කෙනෙක් නොවේ  .  එස් එල් ගුණසේකර වැනි ජාතිහිත්ය්ශීහු  නලින් වෙනුවෙන්  රැකියා නඩුවට නොමිලේ  පෙනීහිටියේ නලින් ගැන දන්නා නිසාය

                         ඔස්ටින්  ප්‍රනාන්දු  ජයන්ත ධනපාල වැනි ය ලං කර ගැනීමෙන්  පෙනෙන්නේ මයිත්‍රී නැවතත්  ද්‍රෝහීන් ගේ ලනු කා ඇතිබවය  පුලි  දේවන් ට  ” මචන් පුලි ” කියමින් ඇපල් මලු ගෙනගිය  ඔස්ටින් එදාත් සිංහල දීනයන්ගේ  හොඳම නිදර්ශනය.ය් . කොටි සමග එකත් පස්ව  ඉද ගෙන නිවට නියාලු  ස්වරුපයෙන් ඔවුහු පින්තුර ගත්හ  මුන්ගෙන් මයිත්ත්රී අමාරුවේ වැටෙන හැටි අප බලා නොසිටිය යුතුය . දැන්  මහින්දත්  මයිත්ත්රීට සියලු බල තල පවරා දී ඇත  ශ්‍රීලනිපය  කැඩී  බින්දී ගියොත්  වෙනත් ජාතික වාදී පක්ෂයක් අපට නැත  .  නැවතත් දේශද්‍රෝහීන්ට හිස එසවීමට නොදෙන්නට නම්  මයිත්‍රී සහ මහින්ද  එකට එකතු විය යුතුමය .

මහින්ද  හොරකම් කල නිසා ඔහු එපායය්  ””උගත්තු”” කොතෙක් කීවත්  බොහෝ සිංහල බෞද්ධයන්  ට ඔහු එපාවීනත.. 47% ක් ම සිංහල බෞද්ධයෝ මහින්දට  කැමති ”””””””’ සල්ලි මල්ල  අරගෙන ගියත්  මගේ– අපේ  ජීවිතය  බේ රුවානේ ”””’ යන  උපේක්ෂා සිතින් ඔවුන්  බලන නිසාය . නොසන්ඩාල දරුවන් නිසා  සම හැරු  අමාරුවේ වැටෙති  සරත් ෆොන්සේකාගේ  බෑණත්  මයිත්ත්රී ගේ පුතත්  මහින්දගේ පුතාලත් වැරදි වැඩ කර ඇත . බලා ගෙන ගිහාම ”’ නොමරුන  ගෙදරකින්  අබ ඇටයක්  සෙවීම  වැනි   කල නොහැකි කාරිය ක් ””””’වී  හොරු පන්නා දැමීම අසාර්ථක වනු ඇත .

දැන් කල යුත්තේ ජාතික වාදීන්  එකතුවී  මයිත්ත්රී දේශද්‍රෝහී ගොඩෙන්  එලියට ගැනීමය  මයිත්ත්රී  එයට අකමැති නොවනු ඇත  එසේවන බවට මම නම් ප්රාතනා කරමි  මිනිස්සු එනු ඇත යනු ඇත   සිංහල පුන්න්ය භුමිය දිගටම තිබිය යුතුය          

True results of the 2015 Presidential elections have come out so quickly

February 1st, 2015

Nimal R

People in Sri Lanka (I mean a minority of the majority), voted for a Yaha Palanayak” (Just Rule). Of course within just a week after the results have been announced, today I saw the two news items appended.

Who funded the change? One main person has already arrived in Sri Lanka as per news item 1. What they expected from funding (Eelam) is in the process of being carved as per the news item 2. The SLFP too has been bought by these separatists and federalists have been appointed as advisors to President. Without a SLFP, the majority will have no strength what so ever to fight the separatists.

Those who have not yet listened to the voice cut revealing the details of the coup, please listen to it through the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUvmR_qp9sE

In my opinion, the defeat of the majority is worse than the defeat they had in 1815.

Nimal R

News item 1:

http://www.divaina.com/2015/01/16/news40.htmlNews

charlesgna

News item 2:

https://lankacnews.com/sinhala/news/127304/

charlesgna2

Revenue deficit up by Rs. 149 billion through Sri Lanka’s new budget

January 31st, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

Though it was planned to reduce the budget deficit through the interim budget of the new government to 4.4 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the government revenue deficit being increased by Rs. 149 billion is a significant feature.

The total revenue expected by the government for 2015 would be reduced to Rs. 1,622 billion as compared to the former government’s estimate of Rs. 1,689 billion and the reason for this is the concessions provided on a range of consumer items, pointed out Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake.

While the current spending has risen from Rs. 1,525 billion to Rs. 1,612 billion through this interim budget due to the salary hikes of government employees and pensioners, the Finance Minister said that this is the highest pay increase in history for Sri Lanka’s government employees.

While capital expenditure has been reduced from Rs. 521 billion to Rs. 499 billion through this budget, the 4.4 per cent budget deficit proposed by the former government has thus been maintained.

The main feature evident here is the increase in the revenue deficit related to monthly financial payments possibly causing negative impacts on economic stability and foreign exchange.

Analysts point out that if revenue deficit is not covered soon through bank loans without increasing interest rates, it may result in the weakening of exchange rates and the reduction of foreign reserves.

Another fact pointed out by economic analysts is that though there are possibilities of collecting higher tax revenue through proposals like a tax of 25 per cent on companies which have gained profits of over Rs. 2,000 billion and imposing huge taxes on telecommunications companies and casinos, it would be impossible to collect the Rs. 01 billion imposed on the sports television channel linked to the former government.

However, the Finance Minister said that this time the tax imposed on the people has been reduced from 14.4 per cent of the GDP to 14.1 per cent.

‘Yahapalanaya’ – Another ‘decapitation drama’

January 31st, 2015

S. Akurugoda

Soon after the Prabhakaran-Ranil Pact (MoU prepared by the notorious ‘Peace Maker’ Norway and initiated by the so-called international community)  was signed , I remember, an article written by  Dr  Gunadasa Amarasekara  titled ‘Sama Diyareddde’appeared on a newspaper (in March 2002).

For those who have not read this ‘decapitation drama’, let me quote this great novelist’s and patriot’s own words used to describe what it is all about.

‘Diyaredden Bella Kapanawa’ is a pithy Sinhala saying to illustrate how one is decapitated or destroyed without his being aware of what is happening to him. He is taken completely unawares. It’s only much later that he realizes that he has been decapitated and that too with hardly any pain or trauma.

The producer, the so-called international community was well aware that the ‘Sama Diyaredde’ is the simplest device available for the ‘decapitation of the nation with a minimum of pain and trauma’ as the writer correctly identified.

Dr. Amarasekara identified the First Act of this drama as the signing of the MoU. He quite accurately predicted the second act as the de-proscription of LTTE. His third prediction of interim councils appeared under various names to keep the Sinhalese in a state of blissful ignorance, first to form the ‘Tsunami Joint Mechanism’ and to the stage of proposing a Interim Self governing Authority (ISGA) as a part of Peace Process’ mediated by the so-called Peace Maker.

The producer of this tragi-comedy, appeared very pleased with the achievements of their plan and reported even to have increased their “Aid” package to lubricate the decapitation processes.

But thanks to our patriotic people, who did not allowed this drama to be a reality, by choosing the correct political leadership at the right time thereby saving the mother Sri Lanka, not only from Terrorist but by driving away the myths generated by the so-called  ‘Pease Makers’ for more than a decade.

‘Yahapalanya’ or Good Governance’ is the latest device used by, probably, the same producers of the previous tragi-comedy for the ‘decapitation of the nation with a minimum of pain and trauma’.

Unlike the ‘Sama‘  (Peace) weapon used with the previous drama,  the ‘Yahapalana‘ weapon used this time appears to be well planned and set to ensure the main actor to perform a  role similar to that of a princess of ‘Maname’ who facilitated the enemy hunter to kill her loved husband , a story based on betrayal.   In this drama, the hunter is the UNP  while the husband is SLFP.

SLFPers are being beaten up by the UNPers  while the so-called leadership of the SLFP is keeping a blind eye.  The so-called leadership of the SLFP is appointing Cabinet Ministers, State Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Governors, practically any one recommend to any position by the  very same person who signed the notorious pact with Prabhakaran without any hesitation.  Basically the so-called SLFP leadership has kept his own  SLFP parliamentarians  under house arrest. Nearly 5,8 million people who voted for Mahinda Rajapaksa, former SLFP Leader,   are being kept in a state of  dilemma by high jacking the SLFP.

Meanwhile it is also interesting to see that the very same actors, both in and outside the ruling regime, who were playing various roles during the previous ‘Sama’ drama produced by the so-called international community are appeared to be playing  some supportive roles in this tragi-comedy too.

If everything goes as planned by the producers, only the future generation will see the final outcome of this drama as per the last paragraph of the said article.

Many years later, when ethnologists were researching into causes that had led to the extinction of races by the 21st century, they came across a very strange case which they had not encountered before. A race called Sinhala confined to a tiny island, had become extinct, by being subjected to decapitation with a women’s bath cloth-a ‘Diyaredde’ named                                          ‘Yhapalanaya.’

  1. Akurugoda

An interim-government has no right to make Constitutional changes through an ‘Urgent Bill’

January 31st, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

On 8th January 2015 Sri Lankan voters voted for a President to lead the nation. The election that was to vote a President ended up with a Prime Minister being sworn in followed by close to 50 MPs majority belonging to the UNP while the rest composed of MPs that crossed over from the previous government and those that were part of the common alliance. With the next election being the general where all MPs will need to go before the people including the PM, there appears to be a rush to resort to change the constitution. Transferring powers from the Executive President to the Prime Minister is a major political shift and when sovereignty of the nation lies in the hands of the People their consent must take place. The crux of the argument is that Constitutional Changes cannot be done and should not be done by resorting to ‘Urgent Bills’.

The argument that Constitutional Changes cannot be made through an ‘Urgent Bill’ was presented by Dharshan Weerasekara in a paper that appears in the foreign policy journal of 2012. Please view this important article http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/07/09/the-fatal-flaw-in-the-sri-lanka-constitution/ The Fatal flaw in the Sri Lankan Constitution’.

Dharshan Weerasekera’s lengthy essay with examples takes readers through the logic of his assessment exploring the fundamental nature of using an Urgent Bill.

Dharshan’s argument, in brief, is as follows:

The Constitution sets out a regular procedure for enacting Constitutional amendments, and that procedure gives citizens an opportunity, albeit a brief and limited one, to challenge proposed amendments before the Supreme Court.  Citizens have this same right with respect to any proposed new law.

Since the Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, it stands to reason that if citizens get an opportunity to challenge other laws before they are enacted, they ought to have that right more than ever when it comes to proposed changes to the Constitution.

The Urgent Bills” provision allows the president and the Cabinet to bypass the normal procedure for enacting new laws, which means citizens do not have a chance to challenge the proposed law, at the Bill stage, even to the limited extent they are normally allowed.  All that is needed to pass an urgent Bill” is an endorsement by the Cabinet that the Bill in question is urgent in the national interest,” and a two-thirds majority in Parliament on the day the vote is taken on the Bill.

With regular legislation (i.e. proposed laws other than Constitutional amendments) the law in question, even if it is passed as an Urgent Bill” it can be repealed later with just a simple majority in Parliament.  So, for instance, if a law passed as an Urgent Bill” becomes obnoxious to the people later on, it can be repealed by a simple majority in Parliament, and that’s the end of the matter.

With a Constitutional amendment, if it becomes obnoxious later on, a simple majority in Parliament cannot repeal it.  One has to obtain a two-thirds majority, which is obviously much more difficult.

So, in essence, what using the Urgent Bill” provision to enact Constitutional Amendments does is, it deprives the citizen of even the limited chance he or she has to challenge the proposed amendment before it becomes law, and makes it more or less impossible to repeal the new amendment were it to become obnoxious later on.  It is a thoroughly dangerous invention, to say the least.

Dharshan has a further technical argument to show that, according to the inherent logic of the Constitution itself, the Urgent Bills” provision could never have been intended as a means for bringing about Constitutional changes, (but it is best for the reader to read this in the original.)

To return to the present, a President that has promised good governance which became the basis on which people took a decision to vote for change should not be hijacked to satisfy the political careers, agendas and aspirations of a handful of people who command a key component in the alliance.

Is it not bad governance, lack of ethics and complete disregard to the spirit of law to use the Urgent Bill provision to change the constitution and in a hurry before the general elections.

People need to be given time to think over the changes that are proposed. They need to be given the arguments as to what the changes are likely to be and why they are being done and if there are no other alternatives without changing the constitution.

What will remain a concern for the country is that given the national security question the People do not wish the country to have a weak executive handling issues when provinces under ethnic-based parties remain vocal about separatism and autonomy only for their ethnic group. In particular the Northern Province now under the Tamil National Alliance a key party ITAK which is being challenged to prove its constitution is federal and not confederal. If Confederal, despite present claims by the PM that 13th amendment will be given within a UNITARY Sri Lanka, the ITAK & TNA can and will call for a referendum to separate – which is the ultimate gameplan. Therefore the unitary status will be meaningless and this is what the new Government and in particular the President and his advisors need to take stock of.

It doesn’t take much imagination to see that, if a weak executive is imposed, and the minorities start overtly pursuing a separatist agenda soon afterwards, including demanding referendums” on self-determination, and so on, it will be impossible to take decisive action against such attempts. 

Meanwhile, with the minorities voting as blocs, and the majority vote divided among a number of contending factions in parliament, it might be very difficult to get a two thirds majority to re-impose change the Constitution and re-impose a strong-executive.  The damage, in short, will have been done, and without a single citizen having had a chance to challenge the original amendment that imposed the weak executive!   

So, to repeat, it is dangerous to allow anyone to use the Urgent Bill provision to bring Constitutional changes.  If a new Government wants to introduce Constitutional changes, they should follow the regular process wherein the People who control the sovereignty of the land are able to challenge and question the planned action, at least to the limited extent they are allowed.

With the people looking forward to a new governance culture under President Maithripala Sirisena they should not be disappointed, not to mention irremediably harmed,  by an interim government attempting to make sweeping changes before elections.

 

Shenali D Waduge

In the matter of an application for an order in the nature of a writ of Prohibition under and in terms of Article 140 of the Constitution

January 31st, 2015

IN THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

In the matter of an application for an order in the nature of a writ of Prohibition under and in terms of Article 140 of the Constitution

Jayantha Liyanage

14/7 Dharmapala Avenue

Pollatthapitiya

Kurunegala                                                                                                                                                                 CaseNo:CA(Writ)57/2015                                                          Petitioner

Vs.

  1. B. Abeykoon

Secretary to the President

Presidential Secretariat

Old Parliament Building,

Colombo

  1. Sumith Abeysinghe

Secretary to the Cabinet

Office of the Cabinet of Ministers

Republic Square

Sir Baron Jayatilake Mw.

Colombo 1

  1. Ranil Wickremesinghe

Prime Minister

Prime Minister’s Office

No. 58 Sir Ernest De Silva Mw.

Colombo 7

  1. Attorney General

Attorney General’s Department

Hulftdorp Street,

Colombo 12

Respondents

TO HIS LORDSHIP THE PRESIDENT AND THEIR LADYSHIPS AND LORDSHIPS THE OTHER HONOURABLE JUDGES OF THE COURT OF APPEAL OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA

On this 26 Day of January 2015,

The Petitioner appearing through his attorney K.M. Niroshi De Alwis states as follows:

  1. The Petitioner is a citizen of Sri Lanka.
  1. The 1st Respondent is the Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka, the President being the head of the Executive Branch of the Government, and head, inter alia, of the Cabinet of Ministers. The 2nd Respondent is the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers, the sole body authorized by the Constitution to endorse Urgent Bills.”
  1. The 3rd Respondent is the Prime Minister, duly appointed under Article 43(3) of the Constitution, as the person who, in the President’s opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.” He is made respondent for the purpose of giving notice of this action.  The 4th Respondent is the Chief Legal Officer of the State and is made Respondent for the purpose of giving notice of this action.
  1. The Petitioner considers that, as a general matter, where he or any other citizen perceives that there is an imminent likelihood that a Statutory Authority, including the Executive Branch of Government, will act in excess of its powers, and such ultra vires act has the potential to do irreparable harm to his interests, along with the interests of the public at large, he has a right and a duty to plead to Your Lordship’s court and request a writ of Prohibition to prevent the commission of such act.
  1. The Petitioner states that, as a result of his perusal of a statement published by the Office of the President titled, 100-day Program”, articles in newspapers describing the plans of the new Government, and also statements made in Parliament by the Prime Minister, he has come to a reasonable conclusion that there is an imminent likelihood the Executive Branch will attempt to enact Constitutional amendments through the Urgent Bills” provision of the Constitution, and/or, a misuse of Article 84 of the Constitution.
  1. The Petitioner considers that, recourse to the Urgent Bills” provision, or any misuse of Article 84, will deprive him of the limited opportunity he (and other citizens) have, under the regular procedure for amending the Constitution set out in Article 82, to challenge the proposed changes before the Supreme Court.
  1. The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and the basis of all the other rights and privileges enjoyed by the Petitioner, as a citizen of this country. Indeed the Constitution is the very basis of the legal existence of all citizens.
  1. The Petitioner considers that any attempt by the executive branch, the legislative branch, or any other statutory body, to change the Constitution without allowing citizens an opportunity to challenge the proposed changes before the Supreme Court, a right explicitly given them under the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution, is an ultra vires act.
  1. Therefore, the Petitioner considers that he has a right and a duty to plead before Your Lordship’s court and request a writ of Prohibition to prevent the imminent commission of that aforesaid act.
  1. The Petitioner’s argument with respect to the above matters consists of three components, as follows:
  1. The Petitioner’s reasonable conclusion that an attempt will be made within the 100-day program” to resort to the Urgent Bills” provision, or a misuse of Article 84, to bring about Constitutional changes,
  1. The Petitioner’s arguments with respect to why, according to the inherent logic of our Constitution itself, resorting to the Urgent Bills” provision, or any misuse of Article 84 as aforesaid, to enact Constitutional changes, is illegal.
  1. The Petitioner’s general argument as to why, the right of citizens to challenge proposed Constitutional changes before the Supreme Court, a right allowed them under the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution, cannot, and should not, be by-passed.

The Petitioner will now proceed to explain each of these components in more detail.

  1. First, the Petitioner reached the reasonable conclusion that there is an imminent likelihood of a resort to the Urgent Bills” provision, or a misuse of Article 84, to bring Constitutional amendments, as a result of his perusal, inter alia, of the following documents:
  1. The 100-day Work Program” put out by the Government contains the following statement:

Wednesday January 21:  The process will begin of abolishing the authoritarian executive presidential system and replacing it with an executive of a Cabinet responsible to Parliament, and of repealing the 18th Amendment to the Constitution with legislation to establish independent institutions, including a Judicial Services Commission, a Police Commission, a Public Service Commission, an Elections Commission, a Commission against Bribery and Corruption, and a Human Rights Commission.  This will be through a 19th Amendment to the Constitution, which will be presented to Parliament and passed as swiftly as possible.”

The Petitioner annexes a copy of the aforesaid 100-day Program” in Sinhalese, obtained from the President’s official website, marked as P1, and submits as part and parcel hereof.  The Petitioner also annexes a copy of the same 100-day program” in English, published in the Daily News of 10 January 2015, marked as P2, and submits as part and parcel hereof.

  1. An article in The Island of 21 January 2015, titled, Ranil promises constitutional reform to solve national problem.” That article quotes from the Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament on that day.  In that statement, he says, inter alia,

We hope to bring about radical pieces of legislation before this Parliament under the 100-day program including a bill to transfer the executive powers of the President to Parliament through the Cabinet of Ministers, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution repealing the provisions of the 18th Amendment and to establish independent commissions, a bill on national drug policy, national auditing act and the right to information act.

The Petitioner annexes a copy of the aforesaid article, marked as P3, and submits as part and parcel hereof

  1. Finally, an article in the Daily Mirror of 17 January 2015, titled, NEC TO MOVE 19TH AMENDMENT AS URGENT BILL” says the following:

The National Executive Council (NEC), the all-party body responsible for the execution of the 100-day Programme, decided at its Thursday meeting, to move the 19th Amendment to the Constitution aimed at reforming the presidential system as an urgent bill in the national interest, informed sources said.”

The Petitioner annexes a copy of the aforesaid article, marked as P4, and submits as part and parcel hereof.

  1. The Petitioner interprets the above statements, particularly the Prime Minister’s statement taken in conjunction with the related quote from the 100-day Program,” as follows:
  1. There are only two ways to bring radical pieces of legislation, including a bill to transfer the executive powers of the President to Parliament,” by initiating action through the Cabinet of Ministers: one, by resort to the Urgent Bills” provision, and two, by a misuse of Article 84, as follows.
  1. The Urgent Bills” provision, if accepted as a legal means of making Constitutional changes, allows an amendment to be enacted by by-passing the requirements of Articles 78(1) and 121, which allow citizens to challenge proposed legislation at the Bill stage. (Article 78(1) requires that the Bill be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and Article 121 allows a citizen one week’s time to challenge the bill before the Supreme Court, and gives the court 3 weeks to issue its ruling.)
  1. The relevant portions of Articles 84(1) and 84(2), meanwhile, are as follows:

84(1):  A Bill which is not for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, but which is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution may be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament without complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of Article 82

84(2):  Where the Cabinet of Ministers has certified that a Bill is intended to be passed by the special majority required by this Article or where the Supreme Court has determined that a Bill required to be passed by such a special majority, such a Bill shall become law only if the number of votes cast in favour thereof amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present) and a certificate by the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, is endorsed thereon in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 or 79.”

  1. The Petitioner considers that, it may be possible, through a misuse of Article 84(2) above, to push through a Bill containing provisions that transfer at least some of the executive powers of the President to Parliament, without designating the Bill in question as a Bill intended to amend the Constitution, but certifying it as a Bill requiring a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
  1. In such a scenario, it may be possible to pass the Bill without complying with the provisions of Article 78(1) and thereby deny citizens the chance to challenge the Bill, allowed them under Article 121.
  1. Therefore, given the explicit statements made by the Government that it will bring about radical Constitutional changes within the 100-day program, and that it will do so by action through the Cabinet of Ministers, the Petitioner reiterates that he has reasonable grounds to believe that there is an imminent likelihood of the breach of the provisions of Chapter 12 of the Constitution, the normal procedure set out to bring Constitutional amendments.
  1. The Petitioner will now give his specific arguments regarding why the Urgent Bills” provision, or a misuse of Article 84, cannot—and should not—be used for purposes of bringing Constitutional amendments.
  1. The Petitioner’s claims with respect to the Urgent Bills” provision consists of two arguments, one general and the other technical, as follows:
  1. The general argument
  1. First, as a general matter, the Petitioner considers it reasonable to presume that, when a Statute, or a Constitution, sets out a procedure for bringing amendments, the framers of that Statute or Constitution intended that procedure, and none others, to be used for the purpose of bringing amendments.
  1. The Sri Lanka Constitution has a chapter titled, Amendment of the Constitution” (Chapter 12), comprising of Articles, 82, 83 and 84.
  1. Article 82(6), meanwhile, says,

No provision in any law shall, or shall be deemed to, amend, repeal or replace the Constitution or any provision thereof, or be so interpreted or construed, unless enacted in accordance with the requirements of the preceding provisions of this Article.”

  1. The preceding provisions” of Article 82(6) are: 82(1), 82(2), 82(3), 82(4), and 82(5)
  1. Article 83, meanwhile, sets out a special requirement (i.e. a referendum in addition to a 2/3 majority) in order to amend certain specific provisions—for instance, Article, 1,2,3,6,7,8,9,10, and so on.
  1. Article 84 (relevant portions of which are quoted in paragraph 10(c) above) is clearly intended as a mechanism for passing Bills that are not Constitutional amendments, but which are inconsistent with the Constitution.
  1. On account of the matters set out in paragraphs ‘c,’ ‘d,’ ‘e’ and ‘f’ above, it is reasonable to presume that, the framers of the Constitution intended Articles 82 and 83 to cover the subject of Constitutional amendments comprehensively.
  1. Article 122 (the Urgent Bills” provision) obviously cannot be considered a preceding provision” of Article 82(6).
  1. Therefore, prima facie, the framers could not have intended Article 122 to be used for purposes of bringing Constitutional amendments.
  1. The technical argument
  1. a) First, the portions of Articles 122 and 123, relevant for the Petitioner’s argument, are as follows:

122(1):  In the case of a Bill which is, in the view of the Cabinet of Ministers, urgent in the national interest, and bears an endorsement to that effect under the hand of the Secretary to the Cabinet-

  • The provisions of Articles 78(1) and of Article 121, shall, subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this Article, have no application;
  • The President shall by a written reference addressed to the Chief Justice, require the special determination of the Supreme Court as to whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution. A copy of the reference shall at the same time be delivered to the Speaker;
  • The Supreme Court shall make its determination within twenty-four hours (or such longer period not exceeding three days as the President may specify) of the assembling of the Court, and shall communicate its determination only to the President and the Speaker

123(1):  The determination of the Supreme Court shall be accompanied by the reasons therefore, and shall state whether the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, and if so, which provisions of the Constitution.

123(2):  Where the Supreme Court determines that the Bill or any provision thereof is inconsistent with the Constitution, it shall also state-

(a)  whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraphs (1) and (2) of Article 82; or

(b)  whether such Bill or any provision thereof may only be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 84; or

(c)  whether such Bill or any provision thereof requires to be passed by the special majority required under the provisions of paragraph (2) of Article 84 and approved by the People at a Referendum by virtue of the provisions of Article 83, and may specify the nature of the amendments which would make the Bill or such provision cease to be inconsistent

  1. b) A Bill to amend the Constitution is fundamentally different from all other Bills, because the former is explicitly identified in its long title as a Bill to amend the Constitution.
  1. c) The above means that, if a Constitutional amendment is submitted as an Urgent Bill” and the Supreme Court is asked to evaluate whether it is inconsistent with the Constitution, the Court must evaluate whether the proposed amendment is inconsistent with the Constitution when the latter contains the provision the new amendment is intended to repeal.
  1. d) The Supreme Court cannot conduct its evaluation by presuming that the provision intended to be repealed or replaced does not exist, or has already been repealed.  The Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land, and not a comma in such a document can be removed or altered except by proper and prescribed procedures.
  1. e) In the circumstances, the Court will have no choice but to conclude that the amendment is inconsistent with the Constitution.  Furthermore, the inconsistency is incurable, as long as the provision to be repealed or replaced remains in the Constitution when the evaluation as to inconsistency with the new amendment is carried out, and that situation, as explained in paragraph ‘c’ above, does not change
  1. f) Therefore, with respect to the options for recommendations available under Article 123(1), the only option available to the Court is the one set out in sub-paragraph ‘a’, i.e. to state whether such Bill is required to comply with the provisions of paragraph (1) and (2) of Article 82.
  1. g) In the case of a Constitutional amendment which is designated as such, but submitted as an Urgent Bill,” the only option for the Court is to return it back to Article 80(1) and trigger the normal procedure for bringing about Constitutional changes.
  1. Sub-paragraphs ‘b’ and ‘c’, and the addendum to Article 123(1) give the Court options with respect to Bills that are not designated as Constitutional amendments. In those instances, the Court can recommend that the Bill be passed by a 2/3 majority, a 2/3 majority plus a referendum, or suggest the necessary amendments that will make the Bill cease to be inconsistent with the Constitution.
  1. i) Since the long title of a Constitutional amendment submitted as an Urgent Bill” will say it is an Act to Amend the Constitution,” the options set out in sub-paragraphs ‘b,’ and ‘c’ of Article 123(1) are not available. Furthermore, as explained in paragraphs ‘c’ and ‘e’ above, since the inconsistency between a proposed amendment and the Constitution as it exists at any given point in time is incurable as long as the provision to be amended is a part of the Constitution, the option suggested in the addendum to Article 123(1) is also not available.
  1. j)   Thus, even if a Constitutional amendment is submitted as an Urgent Bill,” by the operation of sub-paragraph ‘a’ of Article 123(1), it has to be referred back to Article 80(1), which means the Amendment in question has to be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and once it is placed on the Order Paper, it is impossible to pass the Bill without allowing the requisite time for citizens to challenge the Bill before the Supreme Court.
  1. k) Hence, the Urgent Bills” provision cannot be used to bring about Constitutional changes.
  1. The Petitioner will now turn to his argument regarding Article 84, since it is his view that an attempt might be made to bring Constitutional changes through a misuse of this Article also.
  1. The Petitioner will repeat the portions of Article 84 relevant to his argument:

84(1):  A Bill which is not for the amendment of any provision of the Constitution or for the repeal and replacement of the Constitution, but which is inconsistent with any provision of the Constitution may be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament without complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of Article 82.

84(2):  Where the Cabinet of Ministers has certified that a Bill is intended to be passed by the special majority required by this Article or where the Supreme Court has determined that a Bill required to be passed by such a special majority, such a Bill shall become law only if the number of votes cast in favour thereof amounts to not less than two-thirds of the whole number of Members (including those not present) and a certificate by the President or the Speaker, as the case may be, is endorsed thereon in accordance with the provisions of Article 80 or 79.”

  1. b) The Petitioner considers that:
  1. i) Article 84(1) says explicitly that a Bill (which is not a Constitutional amendment) but which is inconsistent with the Constitution may be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament without complying with the requirements of paragraph (1) or paragraph (2) of Article 82.” This means 84(1) envisions that the Bill in question, even though it may by-pass 82(1) and 82(2), will still be placed on the Order Paper of Parliament.
  1. ii) If a Bill is placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, Article 121 allows a citizen to challenge it before the Supreme Court.

iii)  Therefore, it cannot be that Article 84(1) contemplates a situation where a Bill inconsistent with the Constitution is ever submitted for a vote without it being first placed in the Order Paper of Parliament, and hence, without a citizen ever having an opportunity to challenge it before the Supreme Court.

  1. iv) Second, there is a fundamental difference between the Cabinet of Ministers certifying” that a particular Bill is intended to be passed by a special majority, and the Supreme Court determining” the same thing.
  1. v) The Supreme Court is vested with exclusive jurisdiction to determine all questions relating to the Constitution (Article 118(a)). It is reasonable to presume that when the Supreme Court determines that a particular Bill requires a 2/3 majority, it has looked into the substance of the issues involved, and excluded, for example, the possibility that the Bill might also require approval at a referendum.  And, in any event, the Supreme Court’s determination, once made, cannot be challenged.
  1. vi) The Cabinet of Ministers, on the other hand, when it certifies” that a particular Bill requires a 2/3 majority, cannot be presumed to have assessed the Constitutional issues involved in the same manner as the Supreme Court, and in any event the Cabinet is not authorized to make any such final assessment.

vii) The Supreme Court, therefore, continues to have the authority to review the Cabinet’s certification,” and determine whether, in addition to the 2/3 majority, the Bill in question also requires approval at a referendum.

viii)   Therefore, prima facie, even if the Cabinet certifies” that a Bill requires a 2/3 majority, it does not deprive a citizen of his or her right to challenge the Bill before the Supreme Court, to see whether it requires a referendum in addition to the 2/3 majority.

  1. ix) On account of the matters discussed in sub-paragraphs i-viii above, the Petitioner considers that Articles 84(1) and 84(2) cannot be construed as allowing the Cabinet to pass a Bill inconsistent with the Constitution, by compelling Parliament to by-pass the normal procedure of publishing the Bill in the Gazette, the Order Paper of Parliament, and so on, thus allowing citizens a chance to challenge the Bill at the Supreme Court.
  1. The final component of the Petitioner’s argument consists of his general reasons for why the normal process of enacting Constitutional amendments set out in Chapter 12 (and consisting of Articles 82, 83, and 84) must be rigidly adhered to, and not deviated from any way, when bringing Constitutional amendments.
  1. Article 3 of the Constitution reposes sovereignty in the People, and says that Sovereignty consists of the powers of government, fundamental rights and the Franchise.
  1. Article 4 of the Constitution explains how each of the aforesaid elements is to be exercised.
  1. In Re: Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution (2002) 3SLR 85, Article 4 was interpreted as follows.

The powers of government are separated, as in most Constitutions, but unique to our Constitution is the elaboration in Article 4(a), (b), and (c) which specifies that each organ of government shall exercise the power of the People attributed to that organ.  To make this point clearer, it should be noted that subparagraphs (a), (b) and (c) not only state that the legislative power is exercised by Parliament, executive power is exercised by the President, and judicial power by Parliament through courts, but also specifically state in each subparagraph that the legislative power of the People” shall be exercised by Parliament, the executive power of the People” shall be exercised by the President, and the judicial power of the People” shall be exercised by Parliament through courts.  This specific reference to the power of the People in each subparagraph which relates to the three organs of government demonstrates that the power remains and continues to be reposed in the People who are sovereign, and its exercise by the particular organ of government being its custodian for the time being, is for the People.”

  1. The Petitioner reiterates that the key point in the above interpretation is that the powers of government may be exercised at different times by different representatives, but those powers remain at all times with the People, and the representatives exercise the powers in question only in trust for the People.
  1. In such an arrangement, a change to any provision of the Constitution is a change to a right or privilege held by the People, and not by their representatives, in the latter’s capacity as representatives.
  1. The Petitioner considers it a self-evident truth that a person cannot give away that which he or she does not own.
  1. Therefore, it follows that, when any Constitutional change is contemplated, the People must be given even a limited opportunity to voice their concerns (if any) and to challenge the proposed changes, if they so wish.
  1. Chapter 12 of the Constitution sets out a comprehensive mechanism for citizens to challenge proposed Constitutional changes either at the Bill stage, or, with respect to certain specific provisions, at a referendum.
  1. It must necessarily follow, therefore, that any mechanism that allows the executive branch, or for that matter the legislative, to bring Constitutional changes by obviating even the limited opportunities set out in Chapter 2 for individual citizens to participate in the process of Constitutional change, is ultra vires, illegal, and wrong, not to mention contrary to common-sense, reason, and the interests of justice.
  1. On account of the matters pleaded herein before, the Petitioner considers that as a citizen he has an inherent right and a bounden duty to seek solace of Your Lordship’s court, and request a writ of prohibition to prevent the commission of the aforesaid act, and imminent breach of the Constitution.
  1. The Petitioner also respectfully points out that once a Constitutional change is made, by operation of Articles 80(3) and/or Article 124, he (or any other citizen) will never be able to challenge the validity of the change before the Supreme Court, or any other judicial forum, on any ground whatsoever.” The Petitioner considers that all the more reason for him to challenge the proposed change in this instance, before it is made.
  1. It may be argued that the 18th Amendment to the Constitution was enacted by using the Urgent Bills” provision, that the Supreme Court did not see anything wrong with using that provision on that occasion, so, there is precedence for the same provision to be used for the same purpose on this occasion.
  1. The Petitioner replies that, the arguments presented in this Petition to oppose the use of the Urgent Bills” provision to bring Constitutional amendments, were never placed before the Supreme Court on that previous occasion. Other arguments were placed before the court, and the court in its wisdom rejected those arguments. It is a well-accepted legal maxim that:

Nihil debet forum ex scena (The Court has nothing to do with what is not before it)

  1. The Petitioner therefore considers that, if the Court’s ruling on the 18th Amendment is a precedent for anything, it is only a precedent as a rebuttal to the arguments for why the 18th Amendment ought not to be brought through the Urgent Bills” provision, presented before the court on that previous occasion, and has no bearing on the arguments presented in this Petition.
  1. Therefore, the Petitioner reiterates that he has a right and a duty to request Your Lordship’s court for a writ of Prohibition to prevent an imminent ultra vires act, that would do irreparable harm to his interests, as well as the interests of other citizens of Sri Lanka.
  1. The Petitioner states that he has not previously invoked the jurisdiction of Your Lordship’s Court in respect of the subject matter of this application.
  1. An affidavit of the Petitioner is appended hereto in support of the averments contained herein.

Wherefore, the Petitioner pleads that Your Lordship’s Court be pleased to:

  1. Issue Notice on the Respondents
  1. Grant a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Prohibition preventing the 2nd Respondent from endorsing a Constitutional Amendment as an Urgent Bill”, if such Bill is submitted to him for such endorsement under the provisions of Article 122(1) of the Constitution.
  1. Grant a mandate in the nature of a Writ of Prohibition preventing the 2nd Respondent from endorsing any Bill submitted to him under Article 84 of the Constitution, for endorsement as a Bill requiring a special majority, if that Bill has the effect of amending or repealing or in any other way changing any provision or part of a provision of the Constitution.
  1. Grant an interim order, preventing the 2nd Respondent from endorsing a Constitutional Amendment as an Urgent Bill”, if such Bill is submitted to him for such endorsement under the provisions of Article 122(1) of the Constitution.
  1. Grant an interim order, preventing the 2nd Respondent from endorsing any Bill submitted to him under Article 84 of the Constitution, for endorsement as a Bill requiring a special majority, if that Bill has the effect of amending or repealing or in any other way changing any provision or part of a provision of the Constitution.
  1. Grant Costs, and
  1. Grant such other and further relief as Your Lordship’s Court may deem fit.

 

________________________________

Attorney-at-Law for the Petitioner

At Sri Lanka’s independence: How ‘Independent’ are former Colonies  

January 31st, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

As we approach what we are told is to be our ‘independence’ day it is good to ponder exactly how independent we are and what we connote to mean as being an independent nation. Are we to celebrate the symbolism of being called a ‘sovereign’ nation or do we feel and act as one? More importantly to feel independent we must know from what we became independent from. Essentially the cruelty that our people suffered under the tyrannical rule of the 3 colonial invaders has never been given due publicity by even post-independent leaders. None have so far wished to reverse the discriminations suffered by the majority race and none of the leaders have sought to return all that was confiscated when power was ceded. This questions, how many are truly aware of the history of the nation before colonial conquest and how many are proud of the heritage and heroes of pre-colonial Sri Lanka? It is only in feeling a sense of belonging, a sense of pride in one’s nation that inspires us to want to protect the nation from foes (local or foreign). How many of us truly feel the nation is ours to truly protect and defend?

Humans evolved from apelike status approximately 6million years ago in Africa. People are said to have walked on two legs over 4million years ago. Fossils found are evidence. Early humans first migrated out of Africa into Asia probably between 2 million and 1.8 million years ago. The beginnings of agriculture and the rise of the first civilizations occurred within the past 12,000 years.

Church & State acted hand in hand

Once upon a time nations were independent in the true sense of the word. What needs to be clearly established is that countries prevailed, people lived in them and nations existed (though not in name) far before the Church and Colonial crusaders were ordered to declare them ‘Discovered’ and ‘Christianize’ them into submission.

These inhabited countries followed their own customs, traditions, laws, and cultures and had their own systems of governance. They lived off what they grew and there were no chants of ‘rights’ ‘freedoms’ etc. Life was simple and uncomplicated. All that changed when the Catholic Church inaugurated a major effort to spread its faith. The Papal edicts issued by the Roman Catholic Church changed the lives of millions of indigenous natives and their lands. Territories and boundaries were redrawn separating families from each other. Tribes were divided new nations were created with the West Christening them under names convenient to them.

The edict issued by Pope Urban II in 1095 Terra Nullius’ ordered Kings and Queens of Europe to ‘discover’ or claim non-Christian lands. The edict issued in 1452 Dum Diversas’ declared war against non-Christians, authorizing conquests of their nations and territories, non-Christians were declared uncivilized and to be treated as subhuman without rights to land or nation (despite living in them for centuries before arrival of the European invaders). The 1455 Romanus Pontifex’ edict and the 1493 ‘Inter Caetera’ decree were orders by the Pope to convert natives of non-Christian lands to Catholicism in order to strengthen the ‘Christian Empire’. Manifest Destiny introduced by John L ‘O Sullivan in 1845 was nothing other than another name for Doctrine of Discovery to defend US expansionism. All expansionism was tied to and remains tied to the continuance on the Church notion that whites held natural rights to expand their domination on the pretext of spreading ‘freedom and democracy’.

Thus, there was no ‘Discovery’ of America by Columbus for there are documented instances of Black Egyptians led by King Ramses III in 1292BC sailing and settling in the Americas. In 445BC, Greek historian Herodotus had written of the Ancient Egyptian pharaohs great seafaring and navigational skills. American historian and linguist, Leo Weiner of Harvard University quotes from Columbus himself black skinned people had come from the south-east in boats, trading in gold-tipped spears.” Thus not only did people live in the Americas, seafaring from Africa to the Americas took place long before the Europeans took sail. Some western historians are refusing to accept this claiming that seafaring was a European monopoly. This history needs to be corrected. Highlighting the false ‘discovery’ of Americas by Columbus further is the civilization of the Olmecs (African) of 1200 BC, a civilization that prevailed far before Incas, Aztecs and the Maya. Ancient African historian Professor Van Sertima has illustrated how Olmecs were the first Mesoamerican civilization to use a written language, sophisticated astronomy, arts and mathematics and they built the first cities in Mexico, all of which greatly influenced the Mayans and subsequent civilizations in the Americas. This again questions the ‘inventor’ rights given to Europeans when possibly these were all invented by non-Europeans far before they ‘discovered’ these nations and it was Africa that ‘civilized’ the America’s far before the Europeans claimed credit for it. Not many Western text books will acknowledge that even inventions and discoveries were already invented though the White Europeans have taken credit for them.

Not many text books or Western history will cover the crimes committed by either the Church or the colonial invaders. Crimes in the name of the Church for disbelievers of Christianity run into millions. The Crusades killed over 1million, the Inquisition led again to millions cruelly put to death, another million were killed accused of witch-hunting, Rudolph J. Rummel estimates that 14 million native North and South Americans were killed by Europeans. He also estimates 17m Africans to have been killed. The Church refused to excommunicate Catholics involved in the Holocaust and the Church did the same in Rwanda in 1994 (90% of Rwandans were Christians). Colonial crimes throughout 500 years of tyrannical rule remains unapologized or compensated.

‘Scramble for Africa’ (1880-1900) was the nomenclature used for the manner Europeans scrambled to divide Africa among themselves and steal its wealth and resources.  The Berlin Conference 14 foreign ministers of European nations and the US divided Africa among themselves without so much as inviting the Africans to voice their views. The French dominated most of West Africa, and the British East and Southern Africa. The Belgians acquired the vast territory that became The Congo. The Germans held four colonies, one in each of the realm’s regions. The Portuguese held a small colony in West Africa and two large ones in Southern Africa. That was how democracy was practiced and continues to be. To exploit Congo it is estimated that 10million people were killed. The British adopted a different strategy of discovering how to get locals to act as their agents and do the dirty work of the British. It worked to perfection. There were enough of locals waiting to be servants of the British in exchange for being ‘favored’ above the rest of their own. Over time such people became known as Pukka Sahibs or Kalu Suddas and there are plenty among us still.

The white West thought fit to divide the world into 2 between Spain and Portugal after signing the Treaty of Tordesillas on 7 June 1494. Conquests became ‘discovery’ taking a religious character in the manner that all nations that were not Christian were to be declared as ‘discovered’ and turned into Christian nations. These were direct orders from the Vatican and proved through numerous decrees issued via Papal Bulls that have not been repealed to this date. The moment these truths are brought into the open these facts become automatically shut down by calls of racism and attempts to upset peaceful coexistence. All the while what is happening is that whitecrimes are being shielded and swept under the carpet. Africans have been more vocal but Asians continue to suffer from a weakness to function as slave to the White master as in colonial times.

Thus whether it was Columbus to America or Vasco da Gama’s first East India voyage a decade after 1492 the name of the game was to take over all that belonged to the natives. Thus, the Portuguese, Spanish, Belgians, Dutch, British, French and Germans began a cultural ‘superiority’ presuming themselves to be ‘civilized’ and projected themselves as ‘civilizing the uncivilized’ world that they had found. Civilizing the natives meant stealing all the wealth they could get their hands on. The development done in return was not to provide any relief to the natives but to facilitate the transportation of what they were stealing and for their own comforts while they ‘roughed’ it out trying to civilize uncivilized people. Enough of colonial notes by various Governors and others provide evidence to the ghastly impression that the White rulers had for the people they were ruling over with iron fist. Accounts of killing elephants for sports and watching natives being hung while having breakfast shows the mentality with which these colonials functioned.

Millions of deaths have been caused by both Christian and Islamic rulers who have confiscated lands that did not belong to them. None of these have been held accountable as ‘victors justice’ prevail and international laws are written by them.

Let us also add that it was not only Western Christian imperialism but Islamic expansionism too saw much bloodshed. The sword was enough to convert all non-Islamic nations into followers of Islam and entire continents were declared Islam. The Christian and Islamic expansionist agenda using religion has not abated and both are on track to compete with each other for world domination by numbers while non-Abrahamic religions of Hinduism and Buddhism are bearing the brunt of their agendas. Both have found solace in using ‘gunboat diplomacy’, manipulation of free trade agreements and other means to entice nations to succumb to their agendas. In reality we need to realistically question how free nations really are.

Europeanization’ of the world has meant a plethora of ideologies thrown to divide people further and provide opportunity to manipulate systems through divisions facilitated by the fact that global economy, banking systems, control of religions, manufacture of arms, intelligence and spying techniques, global supply chain and a host of other key components lie in the hands and control of the same people who decide what to give, when to give, when to hoard, when to be liberal and when to deny as they see fit.

http://archives.dailynews.lk/2013/06/26/fea01.asp International law is Eurocentric and Colonial – TIME TO CHANGE

Modern international law traces its roots to 1648 Peace of Westphalia Treaty meant to grant freedom to nations that were originally free but came to be acquired by European powers. International law comprises doctrines and principles developed in Europe and tilts to European history ignoring all laws and cultures that existed before European colonial expansion. Laws were meant to promote Christian faith by civilized nations (European West) now developed after stealing the wealth of the developing ‘uncivilized’ nations. Their racist, biased and discrimination that became the rule of law has been deviously channelled to accuse the victim nations. As we can see the concepts of military intervention, humanitarian intervention and R2P are today applicable only to West’s enemies. The IMF, World Bank are all under control of these Western nations and they ensure that the developing nations of South America, Africa, Asia remain in eternal debt and eternal strife for which they have found multiple means to trigger conflict made possible by following the British strategy of galvanizing local stooges to align to their agenda. Of course even stooges end up enemies as Saddam, Gaddafi and Osama bin Laden found out too late. Whereas nationalist leaders like Aung San of Myanmar and Patrice Lumumba of Congo were put to eternal rest before their nationalism posed a problem to the colonial rulers. Similarly, even those within their own systems who function out of line are also dealt with as UN Secretary General Dag Hammerskjold whose untimely death screams ‘murder’ most foul.

Even the concept of Westphalia and sovereign nation systems are being challenged by introducing further complicated ideologies like self-determination, homeland myths as a means of continuing the desire to put people against each other and benefiting from the outcome.

What we can see if we accept reality is that only non-Europeans/Americans are objects of international law and ‘treaties’ are nothing but sham pieces of paper that suit western hegemony.

Yet, the dynamics is that the First World though functioning as virtual bully and dictator cannot function without the Third World.

Unfortunately, the Third World instead of helping their own have seen fit to cut themselves a disastrous path of putting down their own in order to curry favour with the West.

 Whither Sri Lanka’s future

Colonial, imperial rule and mass conversions using Christian missionaries became the norm. Joseph Vaz was one such Christian missionary arriving as a spy to convert masses by force and was rewarded with sainthood – a key step in an effort to harvest souls in Asia. Missionary schools were set up with the projection of inculcating Western discipline, Western Christian culture, attitudes and liberal secular thinking as a long term effort meant to denationalize locals and gradually move their thinking away from nurturing nationalist sentiment that would form a defense against neo-colonial adventures. This was a cultural revolution that was initiated during colonial era which has continued unabated with only a handful of Western-educated natives realizing the gameplan and preferring to put their efforts to protecting the history and heritage of nations that have continued to be flogged ever since Western rulers set foot on non-Christian nations. Yet, education, communication channels (electronic and print), industry and legal structures as well as the dynamics of global politics continues to entice the leaders of the developing world and their cohorts towards continuing to function as agents of the West in no different a manner to how the locals served their colonial masters.

Thus we come to view the 67th independence of Sri Lanka by asking the question how independent is Sri Lanka and from what have we become independent? We can call to mind that it has been the behaviour of our own that have betrayed the nation. There are plenty of Don Juan Dharmapala’s amongst us and leaders intoxicated with power as was Sri Vickrama Rajasinghe a trait suffered by many post-independent rulers. Leader and other kalu suddas with their accent and pretentious western attitude and copy cat western behaviour have been a curse to any nation striving to call itself ‘independent’. What nation can be called independent if it prefers to eternally go running to the West for advice, for templates, plans and methodologies in how to run a nation and helps the West to oust leaders following nationalist agendas. The West and in particular the British have found plenty of ways to divide post-colonial nations – dividing them by ethnicity, by tribes, by political parties, by pitting castes against each other etc and a lot of funds are disbursed to keep these dissent alive. After a honeymoon with their chosen local agents the West will find some way to go against these locals as the new Government are beginning to realize within days of taking over!

If we are truly to believe we are an independent nation, the school curriculum must adjust its history books to show the true story of the manner our people suffered, the agendas that prevail still and our own shortcomings by virtue of the weak stands that have been taken because our own people have chosen to betray the nation for their own selfish ends.

As we approach independence day on 4th February, again we must ask ourselves are we really an independent nation, why are we not and how do we truly become one. It is not a task left to only the ruler and his cabinet but one in which every single citizen requires to play a role in. The first step is to start to appreciate what is ours and not what is foreign to us, the next step is to realize which part of our history is our real history – it is not the history that we are taught to believe started after the colonial conquest and thereafter it is left to us to preserve, protect and foster the history, heritage and culture that existed before it was cruelly snatched and destroyed by those that continue their expansionist agenda which is camouflaged by their media pretending to be democratic and righteous. We must be intelligent enough to not copy what was forcibly and cruelly imposed on us but have the courage to fight for to reverse and preserve whatever is left that is being attempted to be taken away again.

The independence of our nation will come only when we take pride in our pre-colonial history and begin to dictate our destiny and not when it is allowed to be remote controlled from offshore bases.

Shenali D Waduge

Dalada Maligawa road: There’s more than meets the eye

January 31st, 2015

By Rohana R. Wasala

Courtesy The Island

In his opinion piece in The Island (24-01-2015) Professor O.I. Illeperuma urges the authorities to re-open the Maligawa road immediately. I, for one, share  Professor Illeperuma’s great concern with the problem of air pollution in Kandy that has led to an increasing incidence of respiratory diseases particularly among school children attending schools in the vicinity. To show how sharply the air pollution levels in Kandy dropped when this road was re-opened for traffic in 2002 after it had been closed since the 1998 January bombing of the shrine, he writes:

When Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe opened this road to traffic in 2002, there was a drastic drop in the air pollution levels. The particle concentration dropped by nearly 70% and the sulphur dioxide levels, too, dropped by about 50% after the roads were reopened.”

Here it is not clear whether the drop was exclusively due to the opening of the Maligawa road or whether  it was the result of all previously closed roads including this one being re-opened. Anyway, no problem. Point taken. Professor Illeperuma also writes:

Again, the former president was not in favour of this move since he did not understand the seriousness of this issue and considered only the pilgrims who visit the temple of tooth.”

The professor is saying that former president Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa was not in favour of re-opening the Maligawa road because he did not understand the seriousness of the problem of vehicular air pollution in Kandy, but cared only about the pilgrims who visit the temple of tooth”. (The lack of respect for the special person and the sacred place mentioned – both objects of open and veiled attacks respectively outside this context, too – reveals the writer’s prejudice, which detracts from the sincerity of his appeal.)

To dismiss Mr Rajapaksa’s support for a permanent closure of the road in question (which is a fait accompli now) as due to his ignorance of the gravity of the air pollution problem, is, I’m afraid, not correct. A ruler is duty- bound to be sensitive to different aspects of a problem, not one,  and is responsible to all the people of the country for his decisions and actions; a scientist’s obligations are different. A scientist can play only an advisory role here. As to the acquiescence of  Ven. Malwatte Mahanayake Thera about its re-opening, that is his opinion. Ven. Asgiriya Mahanayake Thera is the other custodian monk of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic and shares equal responsibility for its service maintenance and physical protection as a place of worship of all Buddhists the world over. He does not want the old road that used to be there re-opened. Let them decide this between them. But they cannot ignore the opinion of other stakeholders, including the lay custodian, the Diyawadane Nilame, and the provincial and central government authorities.

Opinion on this matter is divided; but opinion about the urgent need to significantly relieve, if not totally eliminate, the longstanding air pollution problem in Kandy is not divided; there is 100% unanimity of opinion about that both among those who clamour for re-opening/reconstructing the old road stretch near the door step of the Maligawa and among those who oppose it. How to ‘re-open’ a non-existent road is also a problem. So the authorities must  patiently find another option that satisfies both sides. It is not wise to allow personal prejudice (based on political, religious, academic or social grounds) to obfuscate a sensitive issue.

But I am not saying that Professor Illeperuma is intentionally asking the new administration to do something unpardonably rash in strike while the iron is hot” fashion. My usual impression of him is as a gentle human being devoted to his professional work as a scientist/ a university chemistry professor. He is right to express his personal opinions and preferences to which he is perfectly entitled; he may do so even when he wants to dispense his expertise for the benefit of the country/fellow humans; but he must the decision-makers to make their choice of method in answering his concerns. He is probably unaware that the Maligawa road controversy could provide an opportunity for certain mischievous elements with anti-Buddhist axes to grind to come to the scene.

There is more than meets the eye here. Not all those who feel sincerely concerned about both sides of the issue (the vital problem of public health and the protection of a cultural monument) may be mindful of this. There is a need to pay special attention to the preservation of the country’s Buddhist and other cultural and historical monuments. Before writing this, I just dipped into the Wikipedia to check what it says about the Maligawa, and found this amidst pieces of authentic information: The temple sustained  damage from bombings at various times but was fully restored each time.” Bombings? But it doesn’t say bombed by whom or when. As far as I know, the Maligawa was bombed only once, and that was on 25 January 1998 causing the destruction of the lives of some sixteen or so early morning devotees that happened to be there at the time, and of the façade of the edifice including some valuable sacred artifacts  inside. Whoever entered that bit of (mis)information must have done so out of ignorance; and there is no need to feel paranoid about this. We need not worry too much about the Wikipedia being abused through concocted information by individuals either for or against Sri Lanka for their own purposes. Anyone interested can edit these entries, and tell the world the truth. The Wikipedia is an invaluable resource available free for all including young intellectuals (with a knowledge of English and a grasp of the country’s history, but unlike certain colonial clones of an earlier age) who want to brighten the image of our nation in every sphere by volunteering as editors.

The importance of the Dalada Maligawa as a cultural and historical relic to the Sinhalese Buddhists and to all other fair minded Sri Lankans as well need not be reiterated. It was originally a royal palace complex, where the Tooth Relic was enshrined, close to the residence of the king, because the custodianship of the relic was then considered a prerequisite for claiming sovereignty over the country. It has been declared a UNESCO cultural heritage site, suggesting that it is recognized as part of the cultural heritage of all civilized humanity. I wrote about this nearly five years ago (‘Why the Maligawa road should not be reopened’, The Island, 23 July 2010). The Maligawa was built around the end of the 16th century under the auspices of King Vimaladharmasuriya (Konappu Bandara, a Sinhalese prince, brought up as a Catholic, and trained as a soldier by the Portuguese, the first European invaders of the island, among whom he found refuge having fled from a troubled Kandy due to internecine strife among the nobles there; he later returned, re-embraced his native Buddhism, and established himself as king, frustrating the attempts of his Portuguese mentors to subjugate the kingdom). So, it is more than five hundred years old and is also historically important as an early symbol of resistance to European political and cultural invasion. What used to be called the Maligawa road until recently was made during the British occupation. It comes in verbal tradition that a track was built round the lake for British soldiers to ride their horses in defiance of the normal custom that even the king never rode on horse back near the Shrine of the Tooth Relic before. The Kandy-Tennekumbura road running adjacent to the Maligawa was probably an extension of the same track away from the lake. If the British built a big Christian church where the Tooth Relic Temple stands now, would they have desecrated it by constructing a thoroughfare passing near its gate without looking for alternative routes to circumvent it? The imperial policy was to kill off the local culture, to kill off the native language, to kill off the independent spirit of the people they were exploiting, all of which they did with a fair measure of success. The Dalada Maligawa was a prime target to desecrate. The occupying power could thus humiliate the people to whom it was the foremost place of worship. During the 1818 Rebellion the British made a special effort to recover the hidden Tooth Relic. It was only when the ordinary people were convinced of the fact that the British were in possession of the Sacred Tooth Relic that they resignedly accepted British rule.

The road was not made for the Maligawa, Professor Illeperuma says. Yes, that’s true, for it was built against it. But there are two questions that we must find answers to: Is the closure of the Maligawa portion of the Dalada Vidiya  the only factor responsible for increasing air pollution? Isn’t there an alternative to re-opening it as a solution?

First, let me take up the second question: Isn’t there an alternative…? Yes, there is. I myself pointed this out about sixteen years ago (as something that had been proposed even before that during President Premadasa’s time) in an article entitled The Kandy Lake and Its Future” (The Island, 26 November 1999): build a bridge across the lake at its narrowest point (which is close to where the Central Province Provincial Council Office Complex is/was? for this may have been shifted to Kundasale already?). Six months later, The Island (13 June 2000) reported that the then Ministry of Transport and Highways was considering a proposal to build a bridge across the lake. But, it was abandoned, apparently on the pretext that such a structure would be an eyesore, that it would harm the scenic beauty of the spot that the lake enhances. This is not an acceptable reason for not going for that easy solution. The sensible leaders of the new government must revive this proposal and carry it out as soon as possible, after examining due environmental and feasibility reports and getting the approval of the Maligawa authorities and others concerned. We have our own qualified young engineers who can do it without harming the beauty of the place, but instead adding to its beauty.

Let us prioritize the three demands involved here in this way: As a healthy life, especially for our children, is more important than anything else, let us give precedence to the need for relieving the air pollution problem; the second is the case of preserving the sanctity of the Maligawa; the least is the aesthetic aspect. A bridge will meet all three demands. Dr Lakshman Ranasinghe, in his very sensible response (The Island, 27 January 2015) to Professor Illeperuma’s opinion piece, proposes the construction of  a metal tunnel from the Trincomalee Street (i.e., D.S. Senanayake Street) to the Ampitiya turnoff. I appeal to the authorities as urgently as I do above regarding the bridge proposal to consider Dr Ranasinghe’s idea also and any other novel proposals offered by others, and make a final decision.

Now, to answer the first question, i.e., Is the closure of the Maligawa portion of  the Dalada Vidiya  the only factor responsible for increasing air pollution?: The answer is a clear ‘No’. Traffic congestion has other causes. The streets of Kandy are cramped for most of the day with vehicles and pedestrians. The general indiscipline of both drivers and pedestrians adds to the problem. Under an efficient, no-nonsense young DIG, some time ago, (I don’t know what the situation is today) Kandy was almost free from traffic congestion; both drivers and pedestrians were made to behave. Then there is unauthorized pavement hawking in addition to unauthorized structures obstructing pedestrian and vehicle movement. In Kandy’s narrow streets some businessmen park their vehicles at their shop-fronts; they don’t use the excellent car park built at enormous cost, because they are averse to walking the short distance from their shops to the car park. President Premadasa had the William Gopallawa Mawatha built between Kandy and Gatembe, even ignoring expert opinion against it, as a matter of urgency to ease the perennial traffic congestion on the old Kandy-Peradeniya road which is at a slightly higher elevation.  When these two roads were made one-way streets, they became safer and faster, and the traffic congestion disappeared. Only for a short time. Businesspeople didn’t like it. The authorities buckled under pressure, instead of answering their concerns by constructing a couple more link roads between the two roads which are only a few metres apart. Those who are agitating for the reopening/rather the reconstruction of the ‘Maligawa road’ are probably unwittingly serving the interests of the business folk who are being now inconvenienced, instead of helping to find a less controversial solution. A new bridge has been built over the Mahaweli at Katugastota to remove the usual traffic bottleneck that existed there for long decades previously. Different governments have done a great deal to solve this problem; but yet the problem remains. In addition to making roads and bridges wherever possible, imaginative, peaceful ways of tackling environmental pollution (including sound pollution which is a similarly sensitive issue in Kandy) must be found.

Buddhist Jātaka Stories and Positive Mental Health

January 31st, 2015

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge 

Provencher and Keyes (2011) define positive mental health as feeling well, functioning well, and being resilient in the face of life’s challenges — improves quality of life and is integral to overall health and well-being, even when there are on-going limitations caused by mental health problems and illnesses. According to Buddhism mental suffering is due in large part to imbalances of the mind (Gunaratana, 1985; Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). Numerous Jātaka stories indicate the mental imbalance caused by Akusal Chitta (or pathological mind). These pathological elements impact the mental wellbeing.

Dr. Yukio Ishizuka, a Harvard trained Japanese psychiatrist hypothesized that there are three basic psychological needs or spheres that determined psychological health such as  the search for self, the need for intimacy, and the quest for achievement. As described by Westerhof & Keyes, (2010) there are three core components of positive mental health: feelings of happiness and satisfaction with life (emotional well-being), positive individual functioning in terms of self-realization (psychological well-being), and positive societal functioning in terms of being of social value (social well-being) The Jātaka Stories highlight the importance of positive mental health by spiritual enhancement. These stories help to promote spiritual wellbeing.

Having a sense of spiritual well-being is an important component of positive mental health. Spirituality is something holistic, beyond religious practices and beliefs, which includes broader values and principles that give meaning to life. Coyle (2002) describes spiritual well-being as a feeling connected to something larger than oneself and having a sense of purpose and meaning in life. The Jātaka stories encourage finding the purpose and meaning in life thus promoting positive mental health.

Search for self or know thy self is one of the dictums in Jātaka stories. Dr. Yukio Ishizuka as well as Eric Fromm strongly believed that Know thyself” is one of the fundamental commands that aim at human strength and happiness. Fromm’s notion Know thyself” was stated by the Buddha over 2600 years ago.

The story of Bhaddawaggiya Princes reveals the importance of knowing thyself. The Bhaddawaggiya Princes where looking for a woman who stole their valuable possessions. When they met the Buddha the princes asked Venerable Sir, did you see a woman? The Buddha answered What is more important whether look for a woman or to look for thy self? (i.e. know thyself). The princes replied that more important is to know thy self.

 

The Buddhist tradition has focused for over 2,500 years on cultivating exceptional states of mental well-being as well as identifying and treating psychological problems (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006). The Jātaka stories encourage self-perceived positive mental health. Perceived mental health is a subjective measure of overall mental health status. Jātaka stories reveal how virtuous people attained positive well-being through the cultivation of optimum mental balance.

Buddhism promotes an ideal state of well-being that results from freeing the mind of its afflictive tendencies and obscurations and from realizing one’s fullest potential in terms of wisdom, compassion, and creativity (Wallace & Shapiro, 2006).

Descartes’ Error

The French Philosopher René Descartes argued that the mind a thinking thing can exist apart from its extended body and therefore, the mind is a substance distinct from the body, a substance whose essence is thought. According to René Descartes mind and body are really distinct and Descartes believed that the nature of the mind is completely different from that of the body.

Beginning with the spirits of Animism in the 3rd millennium BC, the Greek invention of the soul and its properties, of thymos (emotion), menos (rage) and nous (intellect) are then traced from the time of Homer, in which the soul does not last the death of the body, to Plato in the 4th century BC who argued that the soul, incorporating the nous (now called mind) is incorporeal and immortal. Plato’s pupil, Aristotle, commented on the impossibility of an incorporeal soul interacting with a corporeal body (Bennett, 2007).

The modern psychology views mind as the totality of conscious and unconscious mental processes and activities  by which one is aware of surroundings, and by which one experiences feelings, emotions, and desires, and is able to attend, remember, learn, reason, and make decisions.

The Buddhism does not divide mind and body. The Buddhism defines mind as a non-physical phenomenon which perceives, thinks, recognizes, experiences and reacts to the environment. Mind impacts the body. These two entities have close connections. The Jātaka stories indicate how mind affects the body providing numerous case studies.

The Neurologist António Damásio (1994) intensely discussed Descartes’ Error. He assessed the mind/body dualism question. He argues that René Descartes’ “error” was the dualist separation of mind and body, rationality and emotion.

In Buddhist Psychotherapy mind and body are no two different entities. There is no sense in Buddhism that the body is a “vessel” that is guided or inhabited by the mind or spirit. Rather, the body and mind combine and interact in a complex way to constitute an individual (Wilson, 2004). The Buddhist Philosophy teaches the mind is supreme and it can have a profound impact on the body. The Jātaka stories provide numerous case studies of psychogenic ailments which have somatic impacts. However according to Kriel (2003) mind and body dualism still persists in the field of medicine.

Egnew (2005) states that Medicine is traditionally considered a healing profession, but it has neither an operational definition of healing nor an explanation of its mechanisms beyond the physiological processes related to curing. He further states that Healing is an intensely personal, subjective experience involving a reconciliation of the meaning an individual ascribes to distressing events with his or her perception of wholeness as a person. Buddhist Psychotherapy is holistic and it addresses individual’s suffering and helping him to find a meaning.

The Human Body and Mind

According to the definition provided by the NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) Life is a self-sustained chemical system capable of undergoing Darwinian evolution.

Buddhism regards life as the unity of the physical and the spiritual. The teaching of Buddhism centers primarily on human existence consisting of life, suffering, death and the way out of it. In Buddhism, the primary purpose of life is to end suffering.

A man is composed of six elements: solidity, fluidity, heat, motion, space and consciousness. Human beings were viewed as biological organisms (materialism) to be understood by examining their constituent parts (reductionism) using the principles of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and physics. Disease was seen as a deviation from the biological norms, caused by some identifiable physical or chemical event and intervention involved introduction of a corrective physical or chemical agent (Mehta, 2011). According to Gold (1985) human body is not an object, but multiphasic, experiential beings of finite freedom.

Buddhist psychology analyses the person into five constituent aggregates (khandhas): matter or physical body (rūpa), feeling (vedanā), perception (saññā), volitional activities (saṅkhāras) and consciousness (viññāṇa). The first aggregate  represents the material component of a person (rūpa) and remaining four represent mental  components of a person or what we call mind (nāma) (Sumanacara, 2011). Buddhism offers a vision of radical inter-identification. A vision where all living beings are identified with all other entities. This vision does not merely teach that we are all in this together, but that we all are this, rising and falling as one living body” (Cook, 1977).

The human mind can be viewed as a cluster of functions that are developed and shaped by the ongoing interaction between man and his surroundings (MIELI). The Buddhist theories of mind center on the doctrine of non-self which postulates that human beings are reducible to the physical and psychological constituents and processes which comprise them (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

In general, the mind can be defined as an entity that has the nature of mere experience, that is, “clarity and knowing.” It is the knowing nature, or agency that is called mind and this is non-material. But within the category of mind there are also gross levels, such as our sensory perceptions, which cannot function or even come into being without depending on physical organs like our senses. And within the category of the sixth consciousness namely- the mental consciousness, there are various divisions, or types of mental consciousness that are heavily dependent upon the physiological basis, our brain, for their arising. These types of mind cannot be understood in isolation from their physiological bases (Dalai Lama).

The Jātaka stories help to understand the dynamics of the human mind by giving a variety of stories. These stories highlight how human mind perceives ideas. How mind reacts in extreme situations. It narrates self centeredness to selflessness, anger to loving kindness, self indulgence to search for meaning. The Jātaka stories emphasize the power of mind and mind’s supremacy. The Buddhist doctrine underlines that all things are preceded by the mind, led by the mind, created by the mind. In Dhammapada the Buddha states: In Our life is shaped by our mind. We become what we think.

Mind and Mental Factors in Buddhism

Understanding the nature of the human mind is arguably the greatest intellectual quest of all time (Kanwisher, 2010).

Psychomotor theory explains the neural origins of human mind. This theory rejects the mind-brain duality. Psychomotor theory was created to explain the psychomotor coupling in health and disease, stating that, not the mind-brain duality or unity, but the mind-brain-body triad as a functional unit may be essential in health and disease, because mind does not end in the brain, but further controls movements, in a reciprocal manner; mental and motor events share the same neural substrate, cortical, and spinal motoneurons; mental events emerging from the motoneuronal system expressed by the human language may be closely coupled with the unity of the mind-brain-body triad (Tan , 2007). Psychomotor abilities can be defined as the process of interaction between the perceptual systems (or five senses), the brain (where perceptual information is interpreted) and the body (where the individual reacts to such perceptual stimuli) (Vorster, 2012).

Buddhism is a religion that deeply discusses human mental process. Human mind has a special place on Buddhist philosophy and it has gone in depth to analyze the human mind. In Abhidhamma (which is the higher teaching of the Buddha profoundly analyses human mental process) man is described as a psycho-physical being consisting of both mind and matter, and it gives a microscopic analysis of the human thinking process (Narada, 1956).

The system that the Abhidhamma Pitaka articulates is simultaneously a philosophy, a psychology, and an ethics, all integrated into the framework of a program for liberation. The Abhidhamma may be described as a philosophy because it proposes an ontology, a perspective on the nature of the real (Bodhi , 1993).

The Abhidhamma states that consciousness performs a task of ‘selfless’ data processing (there is action without an actor) and speaks mainly about ‘conscious cognition’, the dynamics of input and output (Barendregt, 2006). In Abhidhamma the Buddha describes consciousness as a flowing stream intensely interconnected. These words were echoed by William James and in his theory of mind (1890) described that conscious mental life flows continuously like a stream. William James further illustrates the consciousness and writes thus – the transition between the thought of one object and the thought of another is no more a break in the thought than a joint in a bamboo is a break in the wood” (James, 1988).

Abhidhamma describes the mind as a combination of citta (consciousness) and cetasikas (mental factors or concomitants of the mind). There are 52 cetasikas or mental factors—some can defile the mind, some can purify the mind and some are neutral. The total number of possible combinations between citta and cetasikas is 121.  When the unwholesome mental factors such as lobha (greed), dosa (anger), uddhacca (restlessness), kukkucca (remorse), vicikicchà (doubt), thina-middha (sloth and torpor) can be calmed down not to arise in the mind, then the mind is in unperturbed, peaceful and lucid state. This is the state of upacàra-samàdhi (neighbourhood concentration or access concentration), meaning it is close to jhàna (absorption). (Tin Mon, 1995).

Sanity vs Insanity

The Buddha said “Sabbe Puthujjana Unmantaka” (All non-enlightened folks are insane). In Civilization and Its Discontents Freud wrote: All neurotics, and many others besides, take exception to the fact that ‘inters urinas et faeces nascimur.”  

Although sanity refers to the soundness, rationality and healthiness of the human mind there is no clear demarcation between sanity and insanity. Some believe the distance between insanity and sanity is measured only by success. Thomas Szas states that insanity is the only sane reaction to an insane society.

The causes for insanity are multi-factorial. Genetics, life stressors, infections, injuries to the central nervous system, drug abuse and even society and culture can contribute to the progression of different mental disorders. In addition Deficits or defects in the structural or functional integrity of the nervous system could lead to insanity. For instance Neurotransmitter imbalances can cause mental disorders. Neurotransmitters are endogenous chemicals that allow the transmission of signals from one neuron to the next across synapses. Acetylcholine, dopamine, GABA, serotonin, epinephrine, norepinephrine and endorphins are the most significant or crucial neurotransmitters found in the human brain and neurotransmitter imbalances within the brain   are the main causes of psychiatric conditions.

The Anti-psychiatry Movement which was formed in 1960 questioned the fundamental assumptions and practices of psychiatry. Foucalt pointed out that the specific definitions of, or criteria for, hundreds of current psychiatric diagnoses or disorders are vague and arbitrary, leaving too much room for opinions and interpretations to meet basic scientific standards. In addition inappropriate and overuse of medical concepts & tools to understand the mind and society, including the miscategorization of normal reactions to extreme situations as psychiatric disorders. Hence Foucalt emphasized that prevailing psychiatric treatments are ultimately far more damaging than helpful to patients. 

The Psychologist Eric Fromm proposed that, not just individuals, but entire societies may be lacking in sanity”. Eric Fromm further says that yet many psychiatrists and psychologists refuse to entertain the idea that society as a whole may be lacking in sanity. They hold that the problem of mental health in a society is only that of the number of ‘unadjusted’ individuals, and not of a possible un-adjustment of the culture itself.”

Mental Disorders and the Influence of Buddhist Jātaka Stories

In general terms a mental disorder is a psychological or behavioral pattern that is associated with subjective distress or disability that occurs in an individual and which are not a part of normal development or culture. The mental disorder is characterized by impairment of an individual’s normal cognitive, emotional, or behavioral functioning, and caused by social, psychological, biochemical, genetic, or other factors, such as infection or head trauma.

The DSM- IV defines Mental Disorders as thus.

A clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that occurs in an individual and that is associated with present distress (i.e., a painful symptom) or disability (i.e.,  an impairment in one or more important areas of functioning) or with a significantly increased  risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom. The syndrome or pattern must not be merely an expectable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event. It must currently be considered a manifestation of a behavioral, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual. No definition adequately specifies precise boundaries for the concept of mental disorder. Also known as mental health, mental impairment, mental illness, brain illness, and serious brain disorder. 

A mental disorder is an undesirable (e.g. harmful) condition caused by a dysfunction in a mental Cummins-function (Brülde, 2003). Cultures differ in what is considered normal and what is considered abnormal (Hall, 2009). Psychiatry itself, like most of the rest of medicine, is a product of Western culture. As such, it embodies ideas of illness and wellness, of normal and abnormal, of well-functioning and malfunctioning, of adaption and maladaptation which have their roots in our own shared sentiments regarding the character of reality, of what is desirable, and of what ought to be desired (Leighton & Hughes, 2005).

In traditional societies human distress is more likely to be seen as an indicator of the need to address important life problems than as a mental disorder requiring treatment (Burton, 2012). As described by Dube (1979) Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine is described in Atharva Veda and in subsequent treatises by Charak, Susrut, and Vagbhatt, containing the details of etiology, symptoms, diagnosis, and therapy of afflictions in humans and animals.  The Buddhist literature also possesses the esoteric material of Medical Science, which is practiced and conserved in India since centuries. It refers to the fundamentals of medicine, rules of good living, which lay considerable emphasis on the hygiene of body, mind (Narayana & Lavekar, 2005).

In ancient India, two branches of knowledge are concerned with human suffering, trying to theoretically explain as well as to practically overcome its reasons: (practical) philosophy and medicine. Buddhism was regarded as a medical discipline (Butzenberger & Fedorova, 1989).

The Buddhist philosophy talks about the human mind and its pathological and non-pathological portions. Jātaka stories describe extensively conditions from mild neurosis to severe psychoses.

Stigma and discriminations are often associated with mental illness. Mental illness stigma is defined as the devaluing, disgracing, and disfavoring by the general public of individuals with mental illnesses.(Abdullah & Brown,  2011) Stigma often leads to discrimination. Public stigma and discrimination have pernicious effects on the lives of people with serious mental illnesses (Corrigan et al., 2012).

The Buddhist Jātaka stories describe various types of mental disorders and how it affects the individual as well as the society. For centuries these stories helped the people to treat individuals affected by mental illnesses with utmost compassion. There is no evidence of persecution of psychiatric patients in the ancient Buddhist societies.

In the Medieval Europe, psychiatric patients were often targeted as the agents of Satan and subjected to torture and execution.  Mentally ill women were often burnt at the stake as witches. As indicated by Schoeneman (1982) the psychopathological interpretation of the European witch hunts of the 16th and 17th centuries, which has been prominent in histories of psychiatry, contends that demonology overwhelmed psychiatry in the late middle Ages, with the result that the mentally ill were executed by the thousands as witches. The witch hunts of sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe impeded psychiatric progress for centuries (Schoeneman, 1977).

In his famous book Gendercide and Genocide by Prof Adam Jones of the international studies at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City writes thus.

…….. for three centuries of early modern European history, diverse societies were consumed by a panic over alleged witches in their midst. Witch-hunts, especially in Central Europe, resulted in the trial, torture, and execution of tens of thousands of victims; about three-quarters of victims were women. Arguably, neither before nor since have adult European women been selectively targeted for such largescale atrocities. Modern estimates suggest perhaps 100,000 trials between 1450 and 1750, with something between 40,000 and 50,000 executions, of which 20 to 25 per cent were men. (Gendercide and Genocide – Adam Jones).

In 1247 London’s Bethlem asylum was found and the term bedlam” became associated with chaos, confusion, and poor treatment, which reflected the general attitude toward mental illness. The mentally ill received harsh treatments. The 17th century English physician Thomas Willis declared that: discipline, threats, fetters, and blows are needed as much as medical treatment for the mentally ill.

Institutions for the mentally ill were established beginning in the 14th century. Institutionalization is a deliberate process whereby a person entering the institution is reprogrammed to accept and conform to strict controls that enables the institution to manage a large number of people with a minimum of necessary staff. Until the end of 1960 s Institutionalization was considered as the viable option to treat psychiatric patients. In these institutions psychiatric patients were often subjected to humiliations and maltreatment. Prolonged years of Institutionalization diminished the social and life skills of the patients. This condition was identified as Institutionalization Syndrome which had the features of loss of independence, loss of self-confidence, erosion of desire and skills for social interaction, excessive reliance on institutions and fear of authority.

The humane way of treating mental patients started in Europe mainly with the reformations introduced by Dr Philippe Pinel (1745- 1826) and he initiated moral treatment for the psychiatric patients.  In 1793 he was appointed the director of the Bicêtre Insane Asylum and took numerous revolutionary decisions. He unchained the mental patients and stopped ill treatments.   Dr.  Pinel treated the patient as well as his surrounding environment. His innovations in treating mentally ill patients are still used by the modern psychiatry.

Conversely many centuries before Philippe Pinel the Buddhist societies in Asia treated psychiatric patients with empathy. The King Buddhadasa of Sri Lanka (398 AD) treated psychiatric patients with compassion.  The King Buddhadasa used herbs, empathetic words and healthy community atmosphere to treat the mentally ill.

It is important to note that in the ancient Buddhist societies the mentally ill were never persecuted, excommunicated or subjected to any maltreatment. The Jātaka stories may have had a weighty effect on de-stigmatizing mental disorders.  For centuries, these stories helped people to view individuals with mental illnesses with a compassionate eye.

Chance made them 100 day Ministers sniffing dirt searching material to accuse the previous Government, please vote them out at  next General Elections.

January 30th, 2015

By Charles.S.Perera

They  the 100 day Ministers would not have even dreamt they would be  Minsters this soon. If UNP had contested  the elections with Ranil Wickramasinghe as the leader  they would have surely lost again. This time it is through sheer good luck, and thanks to Maitripala Sirisena  they have become 100day Ministers  in a mostly UNP Government of 100 days.

But what they are doing as chance” Ministers is sniffing dirt to accuse the previous government for corruption, fraud, and irregularities committed by it. It is 20 days since good luck hit them but they have done nothing positive. They are still cleaning a dislocated drainage system.

The 20 day experience since 9th January,2015,  the people had with these Ministers has given them  an idea  as to what they could expect from them if they were to be  Ministers in a government after a General Election.  It would be a disaster from what we have seen  if we are to continue with this same men as Ministers again in a  government  after the general  election.  They are mostly from the UNP and UNP has no good record of  work to take  Sri Lanka forward towards progress.

And if we examine  what contribution the UNP governments have made, since that of JR Jayawardhane in 1977  for the progress and development of Sri Lanka we will see that they have  contributed very little or nothing at all , but each UNP Government since 1977 ended up with disastrous consequences to the country.

All  UNP governments were west oriented. JR was in fact called Yankee Dickie for his attachment to America.  But when JR was in dire need of a friend in 1983 after India turned against Sri Lanka   dropping dry ration to the terrorists sieged  in  Jaffna, America did not come to his help, resulting in his having to give into Indians and sign  the notorious Indo Lanka pact and  forced by India to introduce the 13th Amendment  into the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

JR also carried out a witch hunt and took away the civic rights of the leader of the SLFP(  Is there  any difference in what the 100day UNP Ministers are trying to do to-day?  Shameless Isn’t it ?)

JR’s UNP government  was followed by the UNP Government of R.Premadasa in 1989. His period  saw the brutal killings and torture camps. According to a commission report  he was involved in the assassination of Lalith Athulathmudaly and also in the death of  Lt.General Denzil Kobbakaduwa. He was also known to have provided arms  and ammunition to terrorists to fight against the Indian Peace Keeping Force. Few development projects were completed  but  Sri Lanka did not see much progress under him.

Then came the UNP government  of Ranil Wickramasinghe, under President Chandrika Kumaratunga  .  Ranil Wickramasinghe ignored the presence of the President and took control of the government and led the country to near disaster signing a CFA with the terrorist Prabhakaran, giving an area to be kept under terrorist control.

That is how  this treacherous man Ranil Wickramasinghe started to play with our motherland.  He has no sense of patriotism, and unless the people are watchful, this is what Ranil Wickramasinghe is planning to do,  proposing to implement the 13 Amendment.  He has no right to do it being only a nominal Prime Minister  without any legal authority of a Prime Minister under the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

 Ranil Wickramasinghe will even agree to allow the TNA to set up Eelam State as what he wants is to have Tamil votes  for his election at the next general election and if possible become the President after Maitripala Sirisena. May God Forbid !

President Chandrika Kumaratunga was an  immature politicians who messed up completely the situation with the terrorists even offering the north of Sri Lanka to Prabhakaran for a trial period of  ten years, which he refused as what he wanted, as the TNA wants today, is a separate Eelam State.

That is what UNP had been to Sri Lanka.  Even today we do not see any difference with the UNP.  They are unable to bring about any substantial progress to Sri Lanka acting completely without a vision for the development of the country.  The only passion of the UNP Ministers of 100 days is raking  the past in search of material to sling mud at the former President , his government, his family and children.

From what they are doing today  the people will judge  their quality as Ministers unable to contribute  any thing positive  for the development  of  Sri Lanka.  The  budget they have presented is a  mediocrity  for those who wants to satisfy their stomachs and taste buds without any creative  contributions for development.  Even the Budget has been  twisted to please the Tamils- see the consumer commodities the price of which have been reduced-dhal, kur kuma, coriander, ulundu dhal, mung eta.

It is now that the people realize the mistake they made not to have voted  the former President back into power.  It was the President Mahinda Rajapakse who within the short time after elimination of terrorists  contributed to the vast development,  progress and prosperity of Sri Lanka more than all the UNP governments past, present or future, put together. 

This government of 100 day Prime Minister can only throw mud at the previous government of the President Mahinda Rajapakse, but will  never be able to even half  emulate it to equal the fantastic development  the former government under the President Mahinda Rajapakse was able to perform within just five years after the elimination of  terrorists who left the country in ruin.

UNP as all capitalist oriented governments cannot bring about progress to Sri Lanka.  All counties develop and progress under socialist form of governments be it Democrats in America, Labour in UK, Socialists in France and so on.

The UNP Ministers  in their tweed suits and the British ties  are by their ignorant pretension to belong to a higher form of a political system are confined to a restricted view of development .

 Their idea of  development and progress come from  the Western Books they have read and from  ideas gathered in  Western universities they may have been to, or what the Western politicians have put into their heads.

It is their restricted idea of democracy, their restricted idea of justice,  their  restricted idea  of development that  keep them within a restricted frame, beyond which they cannot see.  Hence they are devoid of  new ideas for development and progress.   They  are playing to please the West,  and only the West and the local crowd with high opinion of western values

The greatest folly of Sirisena’s government led by a Prime Minister pandering to the Western lobby,  was in  setting aside an impeachment to  reinstate the impeached Chief Justice Shriyani Bandaranayake.

If there is an error in Justice it should be rectified only through an appeal to justice.   It is a  complete reversal of justice for the executive to interfere to rectify a judicial error. Why did they do it ?  to prove that former President was wrong and to vilify him. Is that Justice  ? is that Good Governance ?   Perhaps they will receive the accolade of the west, creating a shameless legal precedent. 

And the worst of it is, it is they who speak of justice ,that claim that the appointment of Mohan Pieris was illegal, and terminate his services without justice.

If  that appointment was illegal  there are correct ways and means to have terminated the services of the C.J.  It was completely incorrect to have given  into  a set of jack asses calling themselves  men of law bringing disrepute to BASL.  A Chief Justice  once appointed notwithstanding what a set of foolish” lawyers with self interest say about the  manner  of his appointed, should be given the honour and esteem  of the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. 

 What is yahapalanaya in allowing a set of brutes from the BASL crying for the blood of Chief Justice Mohan Pieris ?  They should be ashamed to call themselves the men of law.  It is a complete negation of justice  for lawyers to  manifest within the sanctimonious precincts of the Court Complex against none other than the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka.

It is only a Prime Minister who is really lowly and  without  respect to  accepted cultural norms of Sri Lanka that would have acted as he did to remove the Chief Justice unceremoniously. It has to be emphasised that Ranil Wickramasinghe is not an accredited Prime Minister in terms of the Constitution of Sri Lanka

 Every thing that is being done by this crude, uncultured, venomous  hastily collected 100 day Ministers led by a characterless Prime Minkister is to revile,vilify scandalise, insult and add accusation of wrong doing  against the former President Mahinda Rajapakse and his government.  It is pitifully impolite and lacking in goodsense.

Even the appointment of Ministers was to spite, injure and revile  the former President Mahinda Rajapakse.  Mangala Samaraweera is an enemy of the former President. Ravi Karunanayake  mocked the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, Lakshman Kiriella an adorer of the West, Rajita Senaratne a venomous man.

The 100 day Ministers of UNP, they  criticise , they condemn and they accuse the former President Mahinda Rajapakse , treating him as their opponent  their political rival.  But they do not take the time to understand the man, his philosophy and his fantastic political vision, which is worth emulating notwithstanding  on what side of the barrier he stands.

 Maithripala’s election manifesto is incomparabl to the Mahinda Chinthanya which is  a complete philosophical and a practical political means to modernise Sri Lanka taking it away from the  dependence on the West, its democracy, its legal system, its cultural influence, and  its political and Christian methodology .  It embraced every aspect of development and facet where attention is required for improvement in a country rising out of the ashes of terrorism with the Tamil Community embedded in a deeply racial separatist mind frame.

Mahinda Chintanaya was  to shatter the long existing  minority and a majority complex, to unite Communities  taking them away from  the narrow sense  of  Communal belonging, to build a multi cultural Nation out  of a country  once  poverty  stricken, enslaved by foreigners,  thrown into a foreign civilisation  strange to its culture, and religion and devastated by a ruthless terrorism.

The Present President or none among the venomous minded collection of  Ministers in  his government will ever be able to set down a document like Mahinda Chintanaya. These 100 day Ministers, not selected by the people but by a Prime Minister appointed  by a President  new to National leadership cannot even present pleasant faces when they appear in the television.

Even the Members of the Supper  Committee Aruna Kumara Dissanayake, Champika Ranawake etc. and frequently appearing Rajita Senaratne , with their  hearts swollen with anger, hatred and ambition  refusing to summon on to their angry faces a smile which they seem to have lost since long time, are a bane to Sri Lanka’s  political system which for the last ten years was in the interest of the people  as a whole without any communal difference.

The Sinhala do not seek to be separated  but united with the other Communities.

The Sinhala are not racists but a magnanimous people.  Mahinda Rajapakse  was the epitome of that magnanimity.

It is the egoist short sighted opposition politicians of Sri Lanka with their selfish agendas , attempting to  hoodwink the poor people  with cheap food and minor mediocre interests, without considering more important issue that  was being mooted against Sri Lanka by the West that manipulated the t Mahinda Rajapakse forces to defeat him at the elections.

The West  feared  MahindRajapakse-the most visionary foresighted leader taking Sri Lanka forward to wards development and progress with  out depending on the West, but forging new political relations  and developing the old with different countries in the worlds.

President Mahinda Rajapakse was interested in the development of Sri Lanka and uniting the people at whatever cost without  witch hunting or raking the past of his opponents to accuse them for their illegal transactions , their involvement in torture camps etc. Mahjinda Rajapakse  was a gentleman politician, unlike the new set in action.

The opposition politicians enlisted the TNA Tamils the most unpatriotic racists with their ambition for the establishment of a Tamil Eelam to get them to vote in favour of the Common Candidate and against Mahinda Rajapakse.

Ranil Wickramasinghe who cares less for  Sri Lanka’s unitary state  or  Communal unity has a penchant for the Tamils, as he knows  it is with the Tamil votes he may one day succeed in being the President of Sri Lanka..  He even signed the CFA with the Tamil terrorists against the Sinhala. 

 Ranil Wickramasinge rejected by the people 29 times, given the opportunity   will not hesitate to give the TNA and the Tamils-a Tamil only Province for them to have their Tamil Eelam.

 Some people have short memories , but at the next general elections  the majority of the Sinhala people( if not the Tamils and Muslims ), will remember who were the  patriotic politicians who worked  most to give them peace and protection  and delivered them from the ruthless terrorist to live without fear. Therefore to who they should vote.

 Sinhala be advised not to seek the satisfaction of the stomach , but think  of greater things for our country and nation, and sacrifice the desire to satisfy the stomach in favour of a Greater Sri Lanka where the people are united non-racial willing to a one Nation of Sri Lankans .

This time,  outvote the Tamils of the North  in order not to bring back the Ministers of the 100 day government and deafeat  Ranil Wickramasinghe at the general elections to stop him from dividing Sri Lanka.


Copyright © 2015 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress