Waste and misuse of public funds

August 3rd, 2016

D. Weeratunga Nugegoda Courtesy The Island

The Treasury is allocating funds to various ministries, departments and projects. We must analyze and see how this money is being used by our politicians and senior government officers.

Government funds should be used for development of the country and welfare of the people. Actually, what is happening now is not that. A fairly big portion of that money is used by politicians and senior government officers for their personal benefit.

We give some examples below:

Provide tax free luxury cars to politicians and senior government officers. Free quarters or houses are provided to most of them. Sometimes the salary of the officer is Rs. 80,000/=, but he is given a free house to stay. Sometimes the market value of the monthly rent is Rs. 1 million.

This house is in Colombo 7 or close to Colombo 7. These very big luxury houses should be used as ministries or government departments. Most of these officers are provided a Government car or Government driver and Government petrol. They can use the car for private work also. They get a Government telephone, Government security, foreign trips, very attractive pensions; medical treatment in Singapore, a peon and secretary.

Government spends around Rs one million per month to maintain such an officer. This system should change. This wastage has to be stopped. Government is allocating money for various projects and welfare of the people. But we are wasting this money in the following way: Very expensive opening ceremonies, very expensive foundation stone laying ceremonies, various unnecessary seminars and conferences in luxury hotels or at the BMICH.

There are also unnecessary foreign trips and foreign training, very expensive festivals, celebrations and anniversaries. Paying rent for government buildings. Paying for thousands of unnecessary consultants and advisors. Our country is not developing because of these unnecessary expenditure.

The rules and regulations are prepared by these politicians and government officers. These are prepared for their advantage and their enjoyment. These have to be changed. Money allocated by the Treasury should be used for the project or for welfare of people, and not to provide luxury benefits and facilities for a few privileged people.

The difference between private sector benefits and government sector benefits should be minimized. Few people living like maharajas with government money should be stopped immediately. If we do this we need not go after foreign countries and agencies looking for loans.

It is not difficult to make these changes. What is necessary is the political will to make the changes, and courage to do them, and be patriotic to make the necessary changes. Have the management ability to make the necessary changes, and determination to improve the country.

To convince the people of the country to get adjusted to the necessary changes, there must be leadership for it. Let us all be part of this proposed change.



D. Weeratunga Nugegoda

Special Message from His Excellency Hon. Mahinda Rajapaksa-JO protest march gives a good message – Mahinda

August 3rd, 2016

අපිට අද පේනවා වැට් බද්දට රට පුරාම විශාල විරෝධයක් ඇතිවෙලා තියෙනවා. විශේෂයෙන්ම නගර ආශ්‍රිත වෙළඳ ප්‍රජාව අද ජනතා සහයෝගයත් ඇතිව මේ බද්දට විරුද්ධව පාරට බැහැල තියෙනවා. ආණ්ඩුව මේ බද්ද සාධාරණීකරනය කරන්න පහුගිය කාලේ විශාල මුදලක් වියදම් කරලා හැම ජනමාධ්‍යකම දැන්වීම් දාල කිවුවේ මගේ පාලන සමය තුළ ගත්ත ණය ගෙවන්න බදු අයකරන්න වෙලා තියෙනවා කියලා. මෙතන ඇත්තටම වෙලා තියෙන්නෙ මොකක්ද කියලා ජනතාවට කියන්න ඕන කියලා මම හිතුවා.


JO protest march gives a good message – Mahinda

කොළඹට අති දැවැන්ත ජන ගංගාවක්. මෙන්න පින්තූර සහ වීඩියෝ

August 3rd, 2016


කිරිබත්ගොඩ සිට කොළඹ බලා පිටත් වූ ජන සටන පාද යාත්‍රාවට අති දැවැන්ත ජන සහභාගීත්වයක් දක්නට ලැබුණි. මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මැතිඳුන් පෙරටු කරගනිමින් කිලෝමීටර් 7 ක් පමණ එක දිගට ජනතාව මෙම පාදයාත්‍රාවේ යෙදුණි.

කලාවැවේ දිය දෝතක් අතට ගෙන මේ මගේ වත්කම යැයි, එදවස ධාතුසේන නරනිඳු කාශ්‍යප පුතණුවන් ඉදිරියේ කිවූහ. අද පැමිණි මහ ජන ජන ගංගාව දෙසට සිය දෑත දිගු කර මේ මගේ වත්කම යැයි රාජපක්ෂ නරනිඳු ලෝකයා ඉදිරියේ හඬ ගා කිවූහ.

පාද යාත්‍රාවට එක් වූ සියලුම දේශමාමක ජනතාවට අපගේ ප්‍රනාමය පුද කරමු. රට බෙදන, ආර්ථිකය වනසන, ජනතාව පීඩාවට පත් කරන දූෂිත ආණ්ඩුව එලවා දමන පළමු වෙඩි මුරය මෙයයි.

පාද යාත්‍රාවේ අවසාන දිනයේදී මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මැතිතුමන් පැවැත්වූ කථාව ඇතුළු ජන සටන පාද යාත්‍රාවේ ලබා ගත් වීඩියෝ කිහිපයක් පහතින්.


අනිත් අයටත් බලන්නට SHARE කරන්න.

Sri Lanka: Reliability of IMF’s judgments and programme efficacy

August 3rd, 2016

by C.R. de Silva, Retired World Bank Official Courtesy The Island

Continued from yesterday

The Telegraph (Business News) has just headlined a story “IMF admits disastrous love affair with the Euro and apologises for the Immolation of Greece”, and commented on the IMF’s negative evaluation scenario summarized above, as follows : “The IMF’s top staff misled their own Board, made a series of calamitous misjudgements on Greece, became euphoric cheerleaders for the Euro project, ignored warning signs of impending crisis, and collectively failed to grasp an elemental concept of currency theory…. This is the lacerating verdict of the IMF’s top watchdog on the Fund’s tangled political role in the eurozone debt crisis, the most damaging episode in the history of the Bretton Woods institutions”.

The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Report complained that “many documents were prepared outside established channels; written documentation on some sensitive matters could not be located” (hinting obliquely at IMF staff obstruction ). The Report described an IMF ‘culture of complacency’, prone to ‘superficial and mechanistic’ analysis, and traces a shocking breakdown in the governance of the IMF, leaving it unclear who is ultimately in charge of this extremely powerful organization. (Does this complaint of IMF’s superficial and mechanistic analysis imply the same policy prescriptions being applied mutatis mutandis to every country situation?)

The Telegraph in the same news report commented further, quite importantly, that the “IMF Executive Directors from Asia and Latin America are clearly incensed by the way European Union insiders used the Fund to rescue their own rich currency union and banking system…The three main bailouts for Greece, Portugal and Ireland were unprecedented in scale and character. The trio were each allowed to borrow over 2,000 percent of their allocated quota – more than three times the normal limit – and accounted for 80 percent of all lending by the IMF between 2011 and 2014…The IMF persistently played down the risks posed by ballooning current account deficits and the flood of capital pouring into the eurozone periphery, and neglected the danger of a ‘sudden stop’ in capital flows”. Is there a message of caution for Sri Lanka in these criticisms of the IMF ?

The Telegraph added: The harsh truth is that the bailouts sacrificed Greece in a ‘holding action’ to save the Euro and north European banks. Greece endured the traditional IMF shock of austerity, without the offsetting the IMF cure of debt relief and devaluation to restore viability…the country was forced to go through a staggering squeeze, equal to 11 percent of GDP over the first three years. This set off a self-feeding downward spiral. The worse it became, the more Greece was forced to cut – what the ex-Greek Finance Minister called ‘fiscal water-boarding’ – which exacerbated the (economic) contraction….The attempt to force an internal devaluation of 20 percent to 30 percent by means of deflationary wage cuts was self-defeating since it necessarily shrank the economic base and sent the debt trajectory spiralling upwards…the result is that nominal GDP ended 25 percent lower than the IMF’s projections, and unemployment soared to 25 percent instead of 15 percent as expected. “The magnitude of errors in Greek growth forecasts looks extraordinary” concluded the independent evaluation report. Therefore, how much value should Sri Lanka place on IMF judgements and economic projections ?

“The IMF strategy relied on forlorn hopes that the ‘confidence fairy’ would lift Greece out of this policy-induced nose-dive. ‘Highly optimistic’ plans to raise $ 50 billion from privatization sales came to little. Some assets did not even have a clear legal ownership. The chronic ‘lack of realism’ lasted until late-2011. By then the damage was done…The injustice is that the cost of the IMF -led bail-outs was switched to ordinary Greek citizens – the least able to support the burden – and it was never acknowledged that the true motive of the EU-IMF-Troika policy was to protect monetary union”. And, may be added, mostly European private bank creditors! (The Telegraph, Business News, 29July2016). So, the scary IMF path to Greece is now evident for all countries who want to follow it!

Greece: IMF Executive Board’s Misgivings at the Very Start.

IMF’s Executive Board meeting minutes from May 9, 2010 which approved the IMF rescue’s start in Greece, were only released five years later, ( that demonstrates Executive Directors’ powerlessness in the face of IMF staff ‘decision-making’ ), and now opens a revealing window into the Executive Directors’ pessimism and negativism about IMF staff judgements, which the Sri Lankan Government seems to consider biblically infallible.

Arvind Varma, the Director for India, fretted that the planned tightening of fiscal policy would become a ‘mammoth burden’ that could trigger a deflationary spiral of falling prices, falling employment and falling fiscal revenues that could eventually undermine the program itself. (In retrospect, It did!)

Pablo Pereira, the Director for Argentina, urged debt restructuring sooner rather than later. He reminisced that, on an earlier occasion in Argentina, similar IMF policies “had lead to catastrophic consequences…Beyond economic theories, there is an indisputable reality that cannot be contested : a debt that cannot be repaid will not be repaid without a strong period of sustainable growth”. (Why has the IMF failed to recommend restructuring/re-scheduling the country’s its massive external debt for Sri Lanka ?).

Rene Weber, the Director for Switzerland, complained that IMF staff assumptions about Greek economic growth “seem to be overly benign”. He exhorted IMF staff to prepare contingency scenarios…e.g. debt restructuring as a means to achieve fiscal sustainability and make private creditors shoulder some of the adjustment burden.

Paulo Batista, the Director for Brazil, used the term ‘Panglossian’ (meaning extreme or naive optimism) to “describe the IMF staff’s projection of a V-shaped economic recovery…growth may instead follow an L-shaped pattern, with a very sharp contraction of GDP and negligible economic recovery thereafter…the IMF program may not be seen as a rescue, as Greece will have to undergo a wrenching adjustment, but as a bail-out of Greece’s private debt-holders, mainly European financial institutions (Cigionline.org/7July2015).

These are prophetic words, uttered six years ago by authority figures, which Sri Lanka’s policy makers and their advisors would do well to take note of.

As the Guardian newspaper headlined on January 4, 2016, “Greece’s economic crisis goes on like an odyssey without end : and the predicament of ordinary people is igniting fears of social unrest. The hardest, many feel, is yet to come…people are in really bad shape psychologically. They are incredibly scared that the next step will be banks taking away their homes. The government says all will be well, but the problem is no one believes it”.

Conclusion and Lessons Learned.

At this early stage of the IMF program, the expectation dies hard that Sri Lanka should arguably be spared the “endless odyssey” the IMF has inexorably caused the people and successive governments of Greece to suffer in the last six years. The IMF should proceed to lead a concerted global effort to restructure the country’s enormous and burdensome external debt, given the small size of Sri Lanka’s economy and its limited revenue stream, helping to ease the debt service burden by postponing interest and capital repayments falling due during the IMF’s program period of three years, without arm-twisting the Government into heaping greater and unsustainable financial burdens on the middle class and poor people of Sri Lanka, and pushing unattainable fiscal goals on the Government.

The IMF’s own internal audit/evaluation on Greece recommended that its Executive Board and Management “should reaffirm their commitment to accountability and transparency and the role of independent evaluation in fostering good governance”. Do the internal audit department’s unwritten words here carry a message of extreme caution for beneficiary governments and people of IMF’s questionable bounty, and to watch out for the unexpected and surprising end-results ?

As my previously published article on Greece and the IMF concluded, ‘what important lessons flow for less sophisticated developing countries like Sri Lanka from the continuing Greek tragedy ? Objective, sincere and effective prescriptions for policy initiatives and advice are hard to come by in the currently very complex and globalized world. Today, money lenders, by any other name, have to safeguard the continuum of their own business interests in a shrinking client milieu, especially in booming Asia, where countries in trouble, seeking financial rescue, are few and far between’.

Motivations vary with the lender and the special country circumstance as proven in Greece, and therefore, caveat emptor!. The more circumspect and self-reliant our policy makers become, and we make our own momentous decisions with the interests of the country as the predominant and only objective, the economic future of Sri Lanka will be more assured and the people will reap the whirlwind for generations to come. Concluded

Tigers returning: Australian Tamil Congress head in Sri Lanka

August 3rd, 2016

 News from Sri Lanka


Tamilnet the LTTE website is operational. LTTE cadres that fled during conflict are returning. LTTE families are being given land in high security areas. LTTE cadres that refused to be rehabilitated are now released with no reason and LTTE fronts listed under UNSC Resolution 1373 have been deproscribed without any reason Australian Tamil Congress is one such deproscribed LTTE front – what happens thereafter? The men who supported terror are returning to create a new chapter in turmoil and begin a new wave of trouble so that they can sit pretty in their foreign climes and make money landing arms deals, brushing shoulders with VVIPs and securing personal benefits for themselves. Will Tamils fall prey to become guineapigs again?


This is R T Rajeswaran. He is a doctor too. He is also the head of the Australian Tamil Congress. The ATC is under the umbrella of the Global Tamil Forum headed by Father Emmanuel and the Australian counterpart of the British Tamil Forum.


Noteworthy is that these LTTE fronts were created soon after the demise of the LTTE leader.


While the GOLS proscribed the ATC in April 2014. The Terrorist Research and Analysis Consortium has also listed ATC as a terrorist organization. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/07/20/australian-tamil-congress-a-terrorist-front/


What Tamils in Sri Lanka must realize is that these entities now coming forward claiming to be the voice of the Tamils did not voice a word against LTTE terror on Tamils, was stoic silent about LTTE kidnapping of Tamil children and turning them into child soldiers, did not issue any statement when LTTE were killing fleeing Tamil civilians and the calls on their website to remember their ‘heroes’ is to remember dead LTTE cadres and not Sri Lanka Armed Forces personnel.


Dr Sam Pari (alias Sampavi Parimalanathan), Spokesperson, Australian Tamil Congress was in fact a LTTE cadre. Her handwritten application form to join the LTTE was exposed by the Sri Lanka defense ministry.




It is very clear that with the new government removing all restrictions all LTTE fronts and their representatives are now free to come back to Sri Lanka and create more tensions and trouble.

What the Tamil people must now ask themselves is whether they are willing to become guineapigs for another new wave of trouble these people will not plot on behalf of higher powers that must be funding them.

All they want is some foolish people to provide the manpower and the campaigning and fundraising will be easily done by them as was done in the past.


It is good for all citizens to wake up to these ground realities.


Do we want to have another 30 years of mayhem?

Jala jolts Sri Lanka Inc…. Malaysian official Idris Jala in the Chamber of Commerce

August 3rd, 2016

Sarath Obeysekera

Jala jolts Sri Lanka Inc….

Malaysian official Idris Jala in the Chamber of Commerce 


Addressing Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake the Malaysian official called on him to, find a way to get the private sector into a room for eight weeks and run the labs and bring the recommendations that anybody can view. The existing people in Government can do more provided the plan is brought down. If it is very detailed then even a monkey can do it.”

– See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/559042/Jala-jolts–Sri-Lanka-Inc-#sthash.8bg3iPC7.dpuf


Well ,Well .we have heard some golden words from a Non-Hayward expert .I have been writing article after article about how the investment in Sri Lanka can be boosted by having such a dialogue and expedite implementation

Nobody listened to me or read my suggestions. It is high time the bureaucrats gets together and invite all of us with wide exposure and have a brain storming session ,I can give some suggestions and proposals which will be quite useful .

First of all we have to lock up the JVP  and JOC leadership into  a big room  ( Welikada Remand may be the best location as they go in and out from there and very familiar with the surrounding ) and give the same agenda and ask them to arrive at a development plan ..

In parallel appoint top private and public sector CEO’s  also and lock them in  a large room  ( may be in a  five start hotel with only fruits to consume like moneys ) incommunicado for same time period  and ask them to thrash out a development plan

Once it is completed analyse resolutions from both parties and select the ones which are identical and similar then plan for implementation.

This may be a more democratic way of doing things in this monkey Kingdom” !

I suggest that we change the word monkey” to a  donkey and we have so many donkeys in our state apparatus !

Sarath Obeysekera

පත්තර ලොවට නව මානයක් එක්කල චින්තන ජයසේන නිසලයි

August 3rd, 2016

ධර්මන් වික්‍රමරත්න

ලාංකීය පුවත්පත් කලාවට නව මානයක් ඇතිකරමින් අළුත් පත්තර නැඹුරුවක් ඇති කල උපහාස රුසියෙකුවූ දෙටු ප්‍රවීණ පුවත්පත් කලාවේදී චින්තන ජයසේන 2016 අගෝස්තු 2වැනිදා සිය ජීවන මගින් සමුගත්තේය. මොරටුවේදී 1948 ඔක්තෝබර් 16වැනිදා උපන් චින්තන මියයන විට 68 හැවිරිදිය. ඔහුගේ අවසන් කටයුතු ගල්කිස්ස පොදු සුසාන භූමියේදී අගෝස්තු 4වැනිදා පස්වරු 3ට සිදුකෙරේ.

චින්තන ජයසේන යනු ලංකාවේ වැඩිම දේශපාලන සහ සිනමා පත්‍ර රැසක සිටි කර්තෘවරයෙකි. කලක් අදීන සිනමා විචාරකයෙකි. අද, හෙට, ඉරිදා පුවත්පත්ද  සිත්තර ඇතුළු අලුත් චිත්‍රකථා පත්තර කිහිපයක්ම ඔහු හදුන්වා දුන්නේය. ඔහු විසින් 1973දී කොලම නමින් තීරු පුවත්පතක් හදුන්වා දෙමින් තීරු පුවත්පත් කලාවට නව ආරම්භයක් ලබාදුන්නේය. එය එකල විදි නාට්‍ය, කවි කොල වාගේම ජනප්‍රිය විකල්ප මාධ්‍යයක් විය. දශක 4ක් පමණ කලා සහ දේශපාලන ලෝකයේ විවිධ හැලහැප්පීම් වලට මුහුණ දෙමින් සහෘදයන් අතර ඉහළම මනාපය දිනා ගත්තෙකි. හාස්‍යජනක කථා කීමේ රුසියෙකි. එම කථා නිර්මාණශීලි මෙන්ම විනෝද සාගරයකි.


පුවත්පත් කලාවේදියෙකු ලෙස ඔහු ප්‍රචලිත වූයේ 1973දී ‘කොලම’ මගිනි. අනුර බණ්ඩාරනායකගේ අනුග්‍රහයෙන් ඔහුගේ දේශපාලන දිවියට සවියක්වීමට ඇරඹූ අද සහ හෙට පුවත්පත්වල කතුවරයා වූයේද චින්තන ජයසේනය. එහි වරෙක චින්තන විසින් විජය කුමාරතුංගගේ රඟපෑමක් සරුවත් කඩයක් ලෙසද හදුන්වනු ලැබීය. චින්තනගේ සිනමා විචාර සඳහා ජයවිලාල් විලේගොඩ ගෙන් ආභාෂයක් ලබා ඇතැයි ඇතමුන් කීවද ජයවිලාල් පවා චින්තන තරම් සරල බසක් භාවිතා කළේ නැත.


හැරිස් හුළුගල්ල සමඟ චින්තන එක්වන්නේ 1975දී පමණය. චින්තන කර්තෘවූ එදා ‘ඉරිදා’ පුවත්පත පසුකලෙක පුවත්පත් ලෝකයේ දැවැන්තයන් බිහිකල තිඹිරිගෙයක් බවටද පත්විය. ලක්බිම සමාරම්භක කර්තෘ කිත්සිරි නිමල්ශාන්ත, ඉරිදා දිවයින කර්තෘ අනුර සොලමන්ස්, දිවයින කර්තෘ ජයන්ත චන්ද්‍රසිරි ඒ අතරින් කිහිප දෙනෙකි.  ඔහු යළිත් ‘කොලම’ තීරු ලිපිය 1992 කොල්ලුපිටියේ ලකී ප්ලාසා ගොඩනැගිල්ලේ යළි සාර්ථකව වසර 2ක් පමණ කරගෙන ගියේය. එහි අදිසි අර්ථපතියා වූයේ ජනාධිපති රණසිංහ ප්‍රේමදාසය. පසු කලෙක ආචාර්ය සරත් අමුණුගම එහි භාරකරු විය. කොලමේ සේවය කළේ චින්තනත්, ඔහුගේ මලයාවූ කිත්සිරි මෙවන් සහ ‘කොලම’ පත්‍රයෙන් පත්‍ර ලොවට බිහිවූ වර්තමානයේ මව්බිම විශේෂාංග කර්තෘ තිස්ස කොරතොටත්ය. චින්තන ආරම්භ කල සිත්තර පුවත්පතෙන් එසේ අතිශයින් ජනප්‍රිය වූ චිත්‍ර ශිල්පීන් රැසකි. කැමිලස් පෙරේරාගේ ගජමෑන්, දොන් සේතං, ලපයා, සිමෝනා වැනි චරිතද, සරත් මධූගේ ඉතිං ඊට පස්සේ, ලිලරත්නගේ ස්පාටකස්, සරත් කවිරත්නගේ හිතට වහල් වෙමි වැනි බොහෝ චරිත පාඨකයින් ඇද බැද ගත්තේ සිත්තර තුළිනි. ලේක්හවුසියේ ‘සතුට’ චිත්‍රකථා පත්‍රය පරදවා ‘සිත්තර’ අළෙවිය පිටපත් ලක්ෂ 2 පැන්නේය. එම පත්‍රයේ ලොක්කාවූ හැරිස් හුළුගල්ලද ඔහුට හොදට සැලකුවේය.


චින්තන ලියුම්කරුට හදුනාගැනීමට හැකිවූයේ ප්‍රවීණ පුවත්පත් කලාවේදී මලල්ගොඩ බන්දුතිලක හරහා 1984දී පමණ බන්දුගේ කාසල් වීදියේ නිවසේ උඩුමහලේදීය. වසර ගණනාවක් එනම් 1994 පමණ වන වන තෙක් බන්දුගේ නිවස සහ කාසල් වීදියේ සෞඛ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ ක්‍රීඩා ශාලාව නිරතුරුව අප හමුවන තැනක් විය. ඩී.බී පෙරමුණේතිලකයන් බොහෝ විට එහි බර කරට ගත්තේය. එකල පෙරමුණේ ලංකා පුවත් ආයතනය නමින් කොටුවේ ප්‍රවෘත්ති ඒජන්සියක් කරගෙන ගියේය. නිරතුරුව එතැනට ආගිය අය අතර දයාසේන ගුණසිංහ, බී.ඒ. සිරිවර්ධන, ජයසීල ද සිල්වා, වජිර පැල්පිට, නිව්ටන් ගුණරත්න, අජිත් සමරනායක, බෙනට් රූපසිංහ, නිමල් හොරණ, මෙන්ම චින්තන ඇතුළු කලාකරුවන් රැසක් විය. ජනාධිපතිවරණය පැවති 1989 දෙසැම්බර් සිරිමා බණ්ඩාරනායකගේ ජය පතා බැහැලා වැඩකල චින්තන රටපුරා කලබල පැවති එම දිනයන්හි නැවතුනේ වැල්ලවත්තේ ඔමිගා ඉන් හෝටලයේය. එකල එයද අප අතර ජනප්‍රිය යන එන තැනක් විය.


වික්ටර් රත්නායකගේ ප්‍රථම ඒක පුද්ගල සංගීත ප්‍රසංගයට ‘ස’ යනුවෙන් නම දැම්මේද චින්තනය. ‘ස’ ප්‍රසංගය මුල් වරට පැවතියේ 1973 ජුලි මස 20වැනිදාය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට පවුල් සැලසුම් ක්‍රමය හදුන්වාදීමේ ප්‍රචාරක ව්‍යාපෘතිය භාරව තිබුණේ පසු කලෙක ජනමාධ්‍ය විෂයද අයත් කැබිනට් රාජ්‍ය ඇමතිවරයාවූ ආනන්ද තිස්ස අල්විස්ගේ ඩි අල්විස් දැන්වීම් ආයතනයටය. පුරුෂයින් සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට හදුන්වාදෙන උපත් පාලන කොන්ඩමයට දේශීය නමක් තේරීමේදී අවසානයේ ජයගත්තේ චින්තන යෝජනා කල ‘ප්‍රීති’ය. වරක් චින්තන රජයේ ප්‍රධාන ඉංජිනේරුවරයෙකුට දෙටු ප්‍රවීණ නාට්‍ය ශිල්පී ආර්. ආර්. සමරකෝන් හදුන්වා දුන්නේ මෙසේලු. ‘දන්නවානේ  මෙයා තමයි කැලණි පාලම හැදුවේ’. කිසි දිනෙක ආර්. ආර්. සමරකොන් දැක නැති ඉංජිනේරුවා කැලණි පාලමට සම්බන්ධ අයගේ නම් වැලක් කියාගෙන එය ප්‍රතික්ෂේප කළේය. පසුව ඔහුද චින්තනගේ සිනා සාගරයට එක්විය. චින්තනගේ මෙවැනි කථා සාගරයක් ඇතුළත් පිටු 128කින් සමන්විත ‘චින්තන කථා’ නම් ග්‍රන්ථයක්ද 2005දී දොරට වැඩීය. ‘මල් සතක් සේ හිරු නැගෙන්නා’ සහ 4 වාට්ටුව ඔහු ලියූ කවි සහ කෙටි කථා ඇතුළත් තවත් පොත් දෙකකි.


අනූව දශකයේ ආරම්භයේ වසර දෙක තුනක්ද චින්තනත් ලියුම්කරුත් සමීපව ඇසුරු කළේය. දඹුල්ලේද වරක් දෙවරක් ගියේය. චින්තනගේ නැගණිය සමඟ සමාජ සංවර්ධන ක්ෂේත්‍රයේදී වසර කිහිපයක්ම කටයුතු කළේය. මොරටුවේ නිවසේදී හෙදි පාලිකාවක්වූ බිරිඳ සහ දියණියද හමුවූ අවස්ථා කිහිපයකි. අවසන් වරට චින්තන ජයසේන මට මුණ ගැසුණේ 2015 ඔක්තෝබර් 9වැනිදා බණ්ඩාරනායක සම්මන්ත්‍රණ ශාලාවේදීය. ඒ ශ්‍රී ලංකා පත්‍රකලා සංගමයේ සභාපති මුදිත කාරියකරවනගේ මෙහෙයවීමෙන් ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ජේෂ්ඨතම මාධ්‍යවේදී 10 දෙනෙකුට සම්මාන ප්‍රධානෝත්සවයේදීය. කලින් වසරේ එහි ප්‍රධාන ලේකම් වූයේ මාය. ශ්‍රී ලංකා පත්‍ර කලා සංගමයට 60 වසරක් පිරීම නිමිත්තෙන් චින්තන ජනසේන ඇතුළු දෙටු ප්‍රවීණ පත්‍රකලාවේදීන් 10 දෙනාට උපහාර පිදුවේ ජනාධිපති මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේනගේ සුරතිනි. උත්සවය අවසානයේ තේපැන් සංග්‍රහයේදී චින්තන සමඟ කථා බහේදී මා ඇසුවේ ජීවිතයේ නොමියන මතකය කුමක්ද යන්නය. මා පත්‍ර ලෝකයේ සිටියේ ‘ප්‍රීති’ යෙනි. ඔහු අතිශය රසවත් වදනකින්ම මට දමා ගැසුවේය.

ධර්මන් වික්‍රමරත්න


සියලු බර අවි ටික ගෙනිහින් දැම්මා ගැඹුරු මුහුදට – විමල්

August 3rd, 2016

කොළොන්න / සුනිල් හරිස්චන්ද්‍ර GossipClanka.com

සාලාව අවි ගබඩාව පුපුරලා දවස් දෙකකට පස්සේ ගියා වේයන්ගොඩ තිබෙන අවි ගබඩාවට. එහි තිබෙන බර අවි උණ්ඩ, මෝටාර් උණ්ඩ, ඔක්කොම දැම්මා ලොරිවලට ත්‍රිකුණාමලයට ගෙනිච්චා. ත්‍රිකුණාමලයේදී නැවට පැටෙව්වා. නැව ගියා

කිලෝමීටර් නවයක් එහා ගැඹුරු මුහුදට. සියලු බර අවි ටික දැම්මා මුහුදට. කෝටි ගණනක් වටිනා අර උණ්ඩ ටික දැම්මා මුහුදට.

බලා දන්නවා සාලාව කඳවුරට මොකද වුණේ කියල. ඒ අවි ගබඩාව පිපිරුනාද පිපිරෙව්වද, සාලාවේ අවි ගබඩාව පිපිරුනා නොවෙයි අපේ නම් මතය පිපිරෙව්ව. අවි ගබඩාව පිපිරුනදාට පසුදින සාගල රත්නායක ඇමැතිවරයා මොකක්ද කිව්වේ. යුද හමුදාවේ තියෙන අනවශ්‍ය අවි විනාශ කරනවයි කිව්වා. එතකොට අනවශ්‍ය අවියි කියල කවුද තීරණය කරන්නේ, අද යුද්ධයක් නැති වුණාට අනාගතයේ යුද්ධයක් ඇති වුණොත් ඒ අවි අනවශ්‍ය අවි වෙන්නේ නැහැ. ඒ අවි අවශ්‍යයි.

කෝටි ගාණක් වන අපේ රටේ මහජනයාගේ මුදලින් ගත් උණ්ඩ දැම්මා මුහුදට. මේ මොකක්ද කරන්නේ. ජිනීවා වලින් කියනවා හමුදාව ප්‍රමාණාත්මකව අඩු කරන්න කියල. මංගල සමරවීර ගියපාර ගිහින් කිව්වා අපි දැන් සියයට තිස්හතකින් හමුදාව අඩු කරල තියෙන්නේ කියල. ප්‍රමාණාත්මකව කුඩා කරන්න විතරක් නොවෙයි, අවි බලයෙනුත් හීන කරන්න, මානසික බලයෙනුත් හීන කරන්න. මානසික බලයෙන් හීන කරන්නෙ කොහොමද, රණවිරුව ගැන දැන් ගුවන් විදුලි නාළිකාවක්වත් ඇහෙනවද? අපේ කා‍ලේ නම් හැම පැයකට වරක් සින්දුවක් ගියා. රණවිරුවා වෙනුවෙන් කියල සින්දුවක් දානව. රණවිරුවා කියන වචනය තහනම් කළා. දැන් රණවිරුවාගේ අභිමානය වඩවනවද? නැහැ. ඒ වෙනුවට මොනවද කරන්නේ?

බුද්ධි අංශයේ නව දෙනෙක් ඉන්නවා අද වැලිකඩ හිරගෙදර. අද මේ රටේ බුද්ධි අංශයෙන් පන්න පන්න පළිගන්න ආණ්ඩුවක්. නාවුක හමුදාවේ නැගෙනහිර මූලස්ථානය සී.අයි.ඩී. එක එතනට අරන් ගියා. යූ.එන්. එකේ නිලධාරීන් අරන් ගිහිල්ල පරීක්ෂාකරල බැලුවා. පහුවෙනිදා ගත්තා නාවික හමුදාවේ තුන් දෙනෙක් අත්අඩංගුවට. දැන් තමුන්නාන්සේලාට පේනවා මේ රටේ ආරක්ෂක හමුදාවලින් පළිගන්න ආණ්ඩුවක්. ආරක්ෂක හමුදාවලට අපේ කාලයේ තිබුණ වරප්‍රසාද කප්පාදු කරනවා. ආරක්ෂක හමුදාවෙන් අයින් වෙන්න දිරිගන්වනවා. ප්‍රමාණාත්මකව පිරිස් බලය අඩු කරනවා. උපාය මාර්ගිකව ස්ථාන ගත කරල තියෙන කඳවුරු ගලවනවා. යුද හමුදා කඳවුරු ගලවනවා. ගුවන් හමුදා කඳවුරු ගලවනවා. උපාය මාර්ගිකව වැදගත් තැන්වල කඳවුරු ගලවනවා. දැන් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ගෙනල්ල තියෙනවා පනතක්. අතුරුදහන් වූවන් පිළිබඳ සොයා බලා තොරතුරු එකතු කිරීමේ කාර්යාලය පිහිටුවීමේ පනත.

මේ අර හැට දහසක් අතුරුදන් වූවන් පිළිබඳ සොයන්න නොවෙයි.පසුගිය යුද සමයේ උතුරු හා නැගෙනහිර පළාත්හි අතුරුදන් කවර ප්‍රමාණයක් සිටිනවාදෝ, ඒ කවුරුන්ද කියන තොරතුරු සොයා බැලීමේ කාර්යාලයක් පිහිටුවීමේ පනත. ඒ පනතේ තියෙනවා පුදුම බලයක් ඒ කාර්යාලයට. ඕන කෙනෙකුට පැමිණිලි කරන්න පුලුවන් මේකට. බාප්ප හරි, මාමා හරි කවුරු හරි නෑදෑ කමක් තියෙන කෙනෙක් කිව්වොත් මම මේ අහවලාගේ අහවල් නෑදෑයා. එයා අතරුදන් වුණා මේ හමුදා කඳවුරෙන් තමයි අරන් ගියේ. ඒ කා‍ලේ මේකේ හිටියේ මේ, මේ, අය. ඒ නිසා එයා අද නැහැ. මේ පැමිණිලි ගන්නවා. ඇත්ත පැමිණිලි, බොරු පැමිණිලි ඔක්කොම එනවා. ඉන්දියාවට පැනල ගිය එකාත් අතුරුදන් කියල පැමිණිල්ල එනවා. මේ නිසා අතුරුදන්වූ සංඛ්‍යාව විශාල පිරිසක් බවට පේන්න පටන් ගන්නවා. මේ කාර්යාලයේ ඉන්න අයට බලය තියෙනවා ඕනම රජයේ තැනකට ගිහිල්ලා පරීක්ෂා කරන්න උසාවි අවසරයකින් තොරව.

අපි ප්‍රමාදවී හෝ මෙම කරුණ තේරුම් නොගත්තොත් මේ රට වැටෙන දරුණු අගාධයෙන් ගොඩ ගන්න නම් හැකියාවක් ලැබෙන්නේ නැහැ. ඒ නිසා තමයි ව්‍යවස්ථා මරඋගුල හා ජාතියේ අවමගුල යන මාතෘකාව ඔස්සේ මේ කැණෙමින් තිබෙන වළේ ගැඹුර හා පරිමාව මුළුමහත් ජාතියට කියාදීම සඳහා වූ මේ දේශන මාලාව අපි පසුගිය දවස්වල ආරම්භ කළේ.

රටට එන ආක්‍රමණ සම්බන්ධ සංවාද දැන් ලංකාවේ දේශපාලනයේ වහල තියෙන්නේ. අපි දන්නවා ඉස්සර මේ වගේ අනතුරු එනවිට පෙන්නුවේ ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ. කල්තියා මේ අනතුර දැකලා ජාතිය අවදිකළේ ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණ.

අද උන්නැහෙල තමයි මේ මාතෘකාව තහනම් මාතෘකාව කරගෙන තියෙන්නේ. එක්සත් ජනපද උපාය මාර්ගයට මේ ඇදෙමින් යන්නේ කොහාටද? ඉන්දියාව මේ අතරතුර මේ රට ගිලගන්න හදන්නේ කොයි විදිහටද? මේකෙන් ගැලවෙන්නේ කොහොමද ඒ ගැන සාකච්ඡාවක් නැහැ.

දැන් මොකද වෙලා තියෙන්නෙ මහින්ද හදනවා. මෛත්‍රී විවෘත කරනවා. රනිල් විකුණනවා. රුපියල වැටිච්ච නිසා රුපියල් බිලියන දෙසිය අසූ පහකින් ණය බර ඉහළ ගියා. ඊළඟට බලන්න මහ බැංකුවේ බැඳුම්කර වංචාව.

අසාධාරණ ‍පොලියක් මේ රටේ මිනිස්සුන්ට ගෙවන්න වුණා. මේකෙන් පළමු ගනුදෙනුවෙන් පමණක් බිලියන එකයි දශම නවයක් පාඩුයි. විගණකාධිපතිවරයා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට වාර්තා කළා. මේ සියල්ල නිසා ආර්ථිකය සුළිකුණාටුවකට ගොදුරු වුණා. ඔබලාට පේනවා ආර්ථිකය අද මේ අයට ගෙනියන්න බැහැ.

වික්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයා කියනවා ගුවන් සේවය විකුණනවා නැත්නම් හොරා කන්න ඉඩ තියෙනවා කියනවා. රටක ගුවන් සේවය හරි මොන සේවය හරි හොරකම් නිසා විකුණනවද. එහෙනම් මුලින්ම විකුණන්න ඕන මහ බැංකුව. අන්න නියම හොඳ හොර තිප්පල. බැඳුම්කරවලින් දුන්න සුද්දය හිතාගන්නත් බැහැ.

ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණේ නායක පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා ව්‍යවස්ථා මරඋගුල සහ ජාතියේ අවමගුල නමින් ලංකාව පුරා පැවැත්වෙන සම්මන්ත්‍රණ මාලාවේ ඇඹිලිපිටියේ පැවැති සම්මන්ත්‍රණය අමතමින් ඉහත අදහස් පළ කළේය.


Milosevic exonerated, as the NATO war machine moves on

August 3rd, 2016

Neil Clark RT

The ICTY’s exoneration of the late Slobodan Milosevic, the former President of Yugoslavia, for war crimes committed in the Bosnia war, proves again we should take NATO claims regarding its ’official enemies’ not with a pinch of salt, but a huge lorry load.

For the past twenty odd years, neocon commentators and ‘liberal interventionist’ pundits have been telling us at every possible opportunity, that Milosevic (a democratically elected leader in a country where over 20 political parties freely operated)  was an evil genocidal dictator who was to blame for ALL the deaths in the Balkans in the 1990s. Repeat after me in a robotic voice (while making robotic arm movements): ‘Milosevic’s genocidal aggression’ ‘Milosevic’s genocidal aggression’.

But the official narrative, just like the one that told us that in 2003, Iraq had WMDs which could be launched within 45 minutes, was a deceitful one, designed to justify a regime change-op which the Western elites had long desired.

The ICTY’s conclusion, that one of the most demonized figures of the modern era was innocent of the most heinous crimes he was accused of, really should have made headlines across the world. But it hasn‘t. Even the ICTY buried it, deep in its 2,590 page verdict in the trial of Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic who was convicted in March of genocide (at Srebrenica), war crimes and crimes against humanity.

There was no official announcement or press conference regarding Milosevic‘s exoneration. We’ve got journalist and researcher Andy Wilcoxson to thank for flagging it up for us.

How very different it all was when the trial of the so-called ‘Butcher of the Balkans’, began in February 2002! Then, you‘d have to have been locked in a wardrobe not to be aware of what was going on.

Supporters of Slobodan Milosevic wait in line to pay their respect at the former president's grave in Pozarevac March 10, 2007. © Marko Djurica

CNN provided blanket coverage of what was described as the most important trial since Nuremberg.” Of course, Milosevic’s guilt was taken as a given. When the sentence comes and he disappears into that cell, no one is going to hear from him again,” declared US lawyer Judith Armatta from the Coalition for International Justice, an organization which had the former US Ambassador to Yugoslavia, Warren Zimmerman, as an advisory board member.

Anyone who dared to challenge the NATO line was labeled a Milosevic apologist”, or worse still, a genocide denier”, by ‘Imperial Truth Enforcers’.

But amid all the blather and the hype surrounding the ’trial of the century’ it soon became apparent the prosecution was in deep, deep trouble. The Sunday Times quoted a legal expert who claimed that Eighty percent of the prosecution’s opening statements would have been dismissed by a British court as hearsay.” That, I believe, was a generous assessment.

The problem was that this was a show trial, one in which geopolitics came before hard evidence. It’s important to remember that the original indictment against Milosevic in relation to alleged Kosovo war crimes/genocide was issued in May 1999, at the height of the NATO bombing campaign against Yugoslavia and at a time when war was not going to plan for the US and its allies.

The indictment was clearly designed to exert pressure on Milosevic to cave into NATO’s demands.

The trouble for NATO was that by the time Milosevic’s trial was due to start, the Kosovo narrative had already unraveled. The lurid claims made by the US and its allies about genocide and hundreds of thousands being killed, catalogued by the great John Pilger here, had been shown to be false. In September 2001, a UN court officially held that there had been no genocide in Kosovo.

So in an attempt to beef up their weakening case against Milosevic the prosecutors at The Hague had to bring in new charges relating to the war in  Bosnia, accusing ‘Slobo’ of being part of a ‘joint criminal conspiracy’ to kill/ethnically cleanse Bosnian Croats and Bosnian Muslims in pursuance of a ’Greater Serbia’ project.

In normal criminal prosecutions evidence is collected and then, if it’s deemed sufficient, charges are brought. But the opposite happened in the case of Milosevic: he was charged for political reasons and the hunt for evidence then followed.

The irony is that the former Yugoslav President had already been praised by President Clinton for his role in brokering a peace deal in Bosnia in 1995, which was signed in Dayton, Ohio.

The truth is that Milosevic was no hardcore Serb nationalist but a lifelong socialist, whose commitment was always to a multi-racial, multi-ethnic Yugoslavia.

His aim throughout his time in power was not to build a ’Greater Serbia‘, but to try and keep Federal Yugoslavia together, as the ICTY now belatedly acknowledges.

Not only was Milosevic not responsible for ethnic cleansing which took place in Bosnia, he actually spoke out against it. The ICTY noted Milosevic’s repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies made by the Accused (Karadzic) and the Bosnian Serb leadership.” Milosevic, a man for whom all forms of racism were anathema, insisted that all ethnicities must be protected.

But in order to punish Milosevic and to warn others of the consequences if they dared to oppose US power, history had to be re-written. The pro-Yugoslavia socialist who had opposed the policies of the Bosnian Serb leadership had to be turned, retrospectively, into the villain of the Bosnian War and indeed blamed for all the bloodshed which took place in the Balkans. Meanwhile, the aforementioned US Ambassador Warren Zimmerman, whose malign intervention to scupper a diplomatic solution helped trigger the Bosnian conflict got off scot-free.

The ‘Blame it All on Slobo’ campaign saw facts simply thrown out of the window. One article, written, I kid ye not, by an Oxford University Professor of European Studies even had Milosevic as leader of Yugoslavia in 1991 (the year that Slovenia broke away). In fact the Bosnian Croat, Ante Markovic, was the leader of the country at the time.

Inevitably, Milosevic was likened to Hitler. It was just like watching the evil strutting Adolf Hitler in action,” wrote the News of the World’s political editor, when Milosevic had the temerity to defend himself in court. There were chilling flashes of the World War Two Nazi monster as the deposed Serb tyrant harangued the court.”

To make sure readers did get the Milosevic=Hitler point, the News of the World illustrated their diatribe with a picture of Hitler ‘The Butcher of Berlin’, in front of a concentration camp, with a picture of Milosevic ‘The Butcher of Belgrade’ superimposed on a picture of a Bosnian concentration camp. Which in fact, he had nothing to do with.

Very conveniently for the prosecution, Milosevic died suddenly in his cell in March 2006.

Going by what we had seen at the trial up to that point, it’s inconceivable that a guilty sentence could have been passed. A whole succession of ’smoking gun’ witnesses had turned out to be dampest of damp squibs.

As I noted in an earlier piece:

Star witness Ratomir Tanic was exposed as being in the pay of Western security forces, whilst ex-Yugoslav secret police chief Rade Markovic, the man who was finally going to spill the beans on Milosevic and reveal how his former master had ordered the expulsion of ethnic Albanians from Kosovo, in fact did the opposite and testified that he had been tortured to tell lies and that his written statement had been falsified by the prosecution.

In addition, as I noted here, the former head of security in the Yugoslav army, General Geza Farkas (an ethnic Hungarian), testified that all Yugoslav soldiers in Kosovo had been handed a document explaining international humanitarian law, and that they were ordered to disobey any orders which violated it. Farkas also said that Milosevic ordered no paramilitary groups should be permitted to operate anywhere in Kosovo.

When Milosevic died, his accusers claimed he had cheated justice”. But in fact, as the ICTY has now confirmed, the injustice was done to Milosevic.

While he had to defend himself against politically-motivated charges at The Hague, the US and its allies launched their brutal, illegal assault on Iraq, a war which has led to the death of up to one million people. Last year a report from Body Count revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives as a result of the US-led ‘war on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Those sorts of figures help us get Kosovo into some kind of perspective. Even if we do hold Milosevic and the Yugoslav government responsible for some of the deaths there in 1999, (in a war which the West had clearly desired and provoked) far, far, greater death and destruction has been caused by the countries who were the keenest to see the President of Yugoslavia in the dock. As John Pilger noted in 2008, the bombing of Yugoslavia was the perfect precursor to the bloodbaths in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Since then we’ve also had the NATO destruction of Libya, the country which had the highest living standards in the whole of Africa and the backing of violent ‘rebels’ to try and achieve ‘regime change’ in Syria.

You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to see a pattern here.

Before a US-led war or ‘humanitarian intervention’ against a targeted state, a number of lurid claims are made about the country‘s leader and its government. These claims receive maximum media coverage and are repeated ad nauseam on the basis that people will bound to think they’re true.

Later it transpires that the claims were either entirely false (like the Iraq WMD ones), unproven, or greatly exaggerated. But the news cycle has moved on focusing not on the exposure of the fraudulent claims made earlier but on the next aggressive/genocidal ‘New Hitler’ who needs to be dealt with.  In 1999 it was Milosevic; now it’s Assad and Putin.

And guess what, dear reader? It’s the same people who defend the Iraq war and other blood-stained Western military interventions based on lies, unproven claims or great exaggerations, who are the ones doing the accusing.

As that very wise old saying goes: When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter @NeilClark66

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Prof Yunus in Rio  as Olympic Torchbearer

August 3rd, 2016

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: Nobel peace laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus arrives in Brazil as he was honored as an Olympic torchbearer for the Rio Olympic  Games by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach. The first & only Bangladeshi Nobel laureate was chosen to join the mission of spreading the spirit of Rio 2016 Olympic Games across the globe.

Prof Yunus is scheduled to bear the Olympic torch at the final leg of Rio Olympic Torch relay on 4 August 2016 in the city and also address the IOC, where the representatives of all national Olympic committees from different parts of  the world will be present.

yunus rioNobel laureate Prof Yunus shares a light moment with IOC president Thomas Bach at its headquarters in Lausanne of Switzerland.

He will speak on Athletics, Social Business and SDGs – the New Vision of the World,” informed Yunus Centre, the Dhaka based secretariat of  the economist turned banker (to the poor) turned social thinker.

The architect of micro finances and social business, Prof Yunus will work with the IOC to develop a social dimension to the athletics and the sports world, right from the grass root level to the global level, added Yunus Centre.

Rio Olympic is the 31 edition of the modern day Olympic Games, which started its voyage at Olympia in Greece in 776 BC. The games were held every four years from 776 BC to 393 AD. The first of the modern Summer Games opened in 1896 at Athens of Greece. The first Olympic torch relay started during the 1936 summer Olympic in Berlin of Germany.

What makes Ekneligoda’s ‘disappearance’ more important than the murder of Richard de Soysa?

August 2nd, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

Richard de Soysa was a well-known journalist, actor and activist. Yet, we are still to establish if Ekneligoda is even a journalist. Daily Mirror’s News Editor Sandun Jayasekera says I have been serving as a journalist for 30 years now. As far as I know, this person being mentioned has never written any item of news or hosted a tv program or even attended a press conference. The question I have is how Prageeth Ekneligoda became a journalist”. Why is the ‘disappearance’ more important than solving the murder of a well-known journalist?


There is enough proof that Richard de Soysa was a journalist. That was not all he was a poet, playwright, actor, author, human rights activist and a broadcaster. He was killed one week before he took over as the bureau chief of the IPS (Inter Press Service) newly opened office in Lisbon.

However other than parroting Ekneligoda as being a journalist not a single media or publication entity is coming forward to say that he was on their payroll and working for them at the time of his ‘disappearance’. This is very strange and OHCHR is not explaining how he landed up in their list of ‘missing or dead’ journalists. His name was first forwarded by the Free Media Movement – yet they too have not provided an explanation. http://lib.ohchr.org/HRBodies/UPR/Documents/Session14/LK/JS13_UPR_LKA_S14_2012_JointSubmission13_E.pdf (Joint Submission by Free Media Movement, INFORM Human Rights Documentation Center)

Richard de Soysa was taken from his home by an armed group on 17 February 1990 despite protests from his mother Manorani Saravanamuttu. On 18th February his dead body was washed ashore at the Korawella beach, Moratuwa. He was tortured and his body was mutilated, the jaw was broken. He was shot in the head and the throat. Richard’s body was identified by Taraki – Darmarathnam Sivaram, a Tamil Journalist who was also killed on 28th April 2005. The UNP Government banned the international TIME magazine 23 April 1990 issue which carried out an investigative article about Richard. Imported copies of the Magazine were seized at the customs itself. It was Victor Ivan (author of the Bandit Queen – චෞර රැජින) who dropped the bombshell revealing that Richard de Zoysa had in fact been deeply involved with the JVP. Was that the motive to kill him?

We know who Richard de Soysa was, we know he was killed, his body was discovered and his mother identified one of the kidnappers as SP Ronnie Gunasinha and through her lawyer Batty Weerakoon informed the Magistrate and the police. He was not arrested. Both Mrs. Saravanamuttu and Batty Weerakon received death threats. A.V. Karunaratne who was living at the Saravanamuttu residence said he saw Richard being dragged and forced into a vehicle (A dark green Mitsubishi Pajero jeep (plate number 32 Sri 4748) Kenneth Arthur Honter identified the photograph of the second accused, former Crime OIC attached to Slave Island Police station, B. G.G. Devasurendra as the one who had entered his house in the middle of the night with a gang of armed policemen and had asked for Richard De Soyza’s whereabouts with a gun pointed at his child. At a hearing before the court representatives of Attorney General Mr.Sunil De Silva reported that there was insufficient evidence against Gunasinghe to proceed against him. Gunasinha died on 1st May 1993 following the LTTE assassination of President Ranasinghe Premadasa.

The Attorney General’s Department had filed action against former ASP Sriyantha Dharmasiri Ranchagoda, former Chief Inspector Devasurendra and sergeant MW Sarachchndra De Soyza’s case went up to 16 years numerous hearings and was handled by several judges. One of the judges, Colombo High Court Judge Sarath Ambepitiya was shot dead by assassins at his home along with his bodyguard, Police Inspector Upali Bandara, on November 20, 2004 – under UNP rule.

In 2005, Assistant Superintendent of Police Lal Priyantha Darmasiri Ranchagoda, Officer in Charge Bodeniya Gamlath Gedara Devasurendra and Sergeant Mahawedikkarage Sarathchandra were indicted for de Zoysa’s murder. They were acquitted of all charges on November 9, 2005 by Colombo High Court Judge Rohini Perera; she stated that the evidence presented by the prosecution was contradictory and not credible”. So after 15 years all accused have been acquitted and we don’t know who killed Richard de Zoysa.

Richard joins a list of many who died under UNP rule and no one came forward to count the dead, set up missing persons organizations, set up panel of experts on accountability.

We next come to Prageeth Ekneligoda. Everything about his story is a puzzle starting out with his profession. No one can establish who he was and what he was doing for a living to conclude on a motive. There is no body therefore it is impossible to conclude he has been ‘murdered’. He is supposed to be ‘missing’ while a photo of Prageeth courtesy Lional Bopage which appeared in the Colombo Telegraph claims ‘before the day he was made to disappear’ (made to disappear is rather interesting!)


Let’s look at some of the news appearing about him

September 4, 2015 – CID convinced Prageeth was no journalist https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/cid-convinced-prageeth-ekneligoda-was-no-journalist-abducted-for-other-reasons/

CIA officer tells CT that journalism was not the key reason for his disappearance” – this opens a can of worms.

During Ekneligoda’s first abduction on the 27th August 2009 there was absolutely no evidence or talk of Ekneligoda being a cartoonist or a media person (very interesting piece of info)

He disappeared again on 24 January 2010

Prageeth’s forged documents business was first exposed by Uvindu Kurukulasuriya (editor of CT) in July 2011

When Ekneligoda’s wife Sandya accused the CT editor of attempting to derail the investigation, the CT editor responded https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/was-prageeth-abducted-for-his-journalism-or-for-mailing-human-ash/ (Sept 14, 2011)  quoting CT editor ‘It is my considered opinion that Prageeth was not abducted due to his journalism. Therefore to portray him as a missing journalist is false and unfair to genuine journalists who undergo real hardship.”

In 2011 there was even a request for UN intervention to find Prageeth

On 7th March 2016 another article ‘Who is Prageeth Ekneligoda’ appeared. This article claims that 9 military intelligence officers are in remand over their alleged role in conspiring, abducting and killing Ekneligoda. https://www.ceylontoday.lk/90-120328-news-detail-who-is-prageeth-ekneligoda.html

An article came in August 2015 titled Prageeth’s Matale Mistress & Douglas Devananda’s Secretary to be questioned” makes the situation more confusing.


Another 2011 article Disappearance Of Ekneligoda And The Chemical Weapons Saga” in which the author also asks Was he really a journalist or a poser?” The article goes on to say that ‘P Ranjith & Prageeth Ekneligoda are one and the same” and also asks if the rest of the LTTE network taken in by military intelligence are still living, why would the then government only eliminate P Ranjith alias Prageeth Eknaligoda? (good question) https://www.ceylontoday.lk/90-120328-news-detail-who-is-prageeth-ekneligoda.html

With so many questioning if Prageeth was a journalist – there are the usual culprits making merry that he is (but giving no evidence to prove so) – Free Media Movement, Reporters without Borders, Cartoonists Rights Network International, Amnesty International, Committee to Protect Journalists, International Media Support etc.

Leaving all that aside there is no dead body to claim murder. This raises the Corpus delicti which refers to the principle that a crime must have been proven to have occurred before a person can be convicted of committing that crime. With no physical dead body no one can be accused of committing a murder. There is no circumstantial evidence to prove beyond doubt of murder being committed either.

However 9 military intelligence officers have been arrested under the prevention of terrorism act. Rather strange for state officers to be arrested under acts of terrorism when there is no dead body to incriminate them. What acts of terrorism have these officers serving for the nation committed to be arrested under PTA? The news reveal that since August 2015 their salaries have been stopped and their families are facing much hardship. They have also filed fundamental rights cases challenging their arrest under PTA.

If it is fairplay and justice that we are talking about then Richard de Zoysa’s murder remains unsolved. Why are there no calls to conclude who really killed Richard? What about the scores of other journalists that also met their waterloo during this period. Why are their deaths not important?

Who is Prageeth, what was he doing for a living are questions that will reveal who might have motives to make him ‘disappear’ – we don’t know if he was made to ‘disappear’ or whether he is voluntarily ‘missing’. We don’t know if he is in hiding having committed an offence which he cannot come out and face. There are 101 reasons why he can be missing. With no dead body or a skeleton – we cannot presume he is dead and accuse people of killing him.

If the righteous lot are coming forward to stand up for Prageeth when no one says he is even a journalist, why are the same international righteous bodies silent about the 9 military intelligence officers who are being held without evidence? Why are these international bodies not taking up that injustice? These men who were employees of the state are being accused of murder and their families are suffering without salaries to even maintain their families. Why has no international body looked at this angle and come forward to demand the Govt of Sri Lanka produce the evidence to keep them or release them.

The silence of these international human rights angels including the local lackeys is not surprising. It is shameful that their actions often lead to innocent people landing up in jail, their families suffering mental tortures and economic hardships not to mention the slander to their good name and record.

Sureka Galagoda & Gamini Warushamana writing to the Sunday Observer on 20 February 2005 had this to say

After his death Richard became a symbol for courageous journalists who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of expression, democracy and against state terror in the world. Richard did not belong to the so-called pressure groups that depend on NGO dollars.

He had a political thinking and he was also a patriot that well understood the tragedy the country faced at that time.

But this truth is completely ignored by our free media tycoons who are careful not to mention about his political ideology when commemorating Richard. Revenge 

At the time Richard was killed, the JVP insurrection was completely crushed. There was no reason to kill him unless to take revenge.”

Shenali D Waduge




August 2nd, 2016

By Noor Nizam. Peace and Political Activist, Political Communication Researcher, SLFP Stalwart and Convener – The Muslim Voice” 2nd.,, August 2016.

The Muslims finally made a decisive move to joint the Pada Yatra from Kegalle, Mawanella and Thihariya. Many Muslims were seen in the march flowing into Colombo. This is how leading newspapers reported on this new political phenomenon. The Island Newspapers today (02.08.2016) reported this as: Quote. …..

Kandy District MP Mahinda Aluthgamage said that the Muslim community of Thihariya on Sunday threw their weight behind the Pada Yathra. Key Pada Yathra organizer said that the Muslim community had publicly regretted voting for Maithripala Sirisena at January 2015 presidential polls. Former Sports Minister said that the Pada Yathra had proved that former President and Kurunegala District MP Mahinda Rajapaksa still earned the respect and love of genuine SLFPers. The real SLFP responded spontaneously to the former President’s appeal to members to join the five-day campaign, MP Aluthgamage said. Unquote.

During the Presidential Elections and general elections of 2010, 20% of the total Muslim votes were polled in favour of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the UPFA. In the 2005 presidential elections, the Muslims played a major role in the victory of Mahinda Rajapaksa, it was reported.

The late T.B. Jaya said that the Muslims should not put all their eggs in one basket”. What did this mean? It meant that the Muslims should be represented in both the National Sinhala political parties. Today, for some reason, there is only one Muslim elected representation in the SLFP/ Mathri pela”, Hon. Fowzi and NONE in the Ekkabadde Vipaksaya” (the Mahinda Rajapaksa group) a political force of nearly 51 SLFP/UPFA elected” parliamentarians. Therefore the Muslims do not have a political voice.

It is true that we have allowed the affairs of our community to be taken control of unscrupulous, dishonest, deceptive, self-motivated, selfish, corrupt and manipulating Muslim politicians, Muslim political party leaders, Ulema and Media personnel, that has led our community to be considered as a 2nd., class community in Sri Lanka. In politics, we are considered as the community of political naanaas who turn the way their Fez Cap turns” to support any political party that comes to power for the personal gains of the political leaders of the Muslim parties. The Muslim politicians have hoodwinked and betrayed the Muslim Community wholesale. In the aftermath of the Aluthgama/Beruwela incidents, the decision taken by the Muslims to steer clear from these politicians and to take their own political moves was the most appropriate. But the Yahapalana government has betrayed the Muslim Community by still NOT making the probe on the violence of Aluthgama and Beruwela which happened as a result of the communal racist actions of the so-called nationalist Buddhist clergy organization and Sinhalese groups, which is suspected to have taken place with the connivance of a Rajapaksa family member, OR is the Yahapalana government trying to cover-up the involvements of a prominent former Mahinda Government Minister of the UNFGG’s who won the elections in Kalutara District at the 2015, and left the country on the eve of the violence? Mahinda might have been a bad example of a leader for the Muslims, between 2010 and 2015, but we cannot discard him as a political power. The rest we have to leave to God AllMighty Allah. Therefore the decisions for the Muslims of Kegalle, Mawanella and Thihariya joining the Pada Yatra” fits correctly to the thinking of the late Muslim political leader at that time – late T.B. Jaya. News about Muslims joining beyond Thihariya is not available at the writing of this comment. This is also what The Muslim Voice” also advocating, Insha Allah. This is what “THE MUSLIM VOICE” is striving to do from the wilderness of the Muslim political arena, Insha Allah.

It is time up that a NEW POLITICAL FORCE that will be honest and sincere, to stand up and defend the Muslim Community politically and otherwise, especially from among the YOUTH, and safeguard the DIGNITY of our community has to emerge from within the Sri Lanka Muslim Community to face any new election in the coming future, Insha Allah.

– 30 –

පෙරදිගට ගමනක් – 25 – නාගාර්ජුන නොතැකූ චිරස්ථිතිය

August 2nd, 2016

වරුණ චන්ද්‍රකීර්ති

ථෙරවාදී කලාපයේ අපි එකිනෙකා අතර බෙදා හදාගත්ත ප්‍රධාන ම – ඒ වගේ ම වැදගත් ම; දේ තමයි අපේ ආගම. ඒ කියන්නේ ථෙරවාදය. මේ කලාපයේ බෞද්ධ අපි හැමෝ ම මූලික වශයෙන් ථෙරවාදය පිළිගන්නවා. ඒ අනුව කටයුතුකරනවා. දැන් දැන් ඇතැම් අය ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් – එහෙම නැතිනම් ථෙරවාදයේ තියෙනවා කියලා ඒ අය හිතන අඩුපාඩු සම්බන්ධයෙන්; විවිධ අදහස් කියන බව ඇත්ත. ඒ කොහොම වුනත්, ඒ අය පවා අඩු වැඩි වශයෙන් ථෙරවාදය පිළිගන්නවා. එහෙම පිළිගන්න ගමන් තමන් දකින දේ, හිතන දේ ගැන කියනවා. මේ විදිහට විවිධ අදහස් තියෙන පරිසරයක අපේ ථෙරවාදය සම්බන්ධයෙනුත් එක එක අර්ථදැක්වීම් ඇතිවෙන එක පුදුමයක් නෙවෙයි. මේ ලිපි පෙළේ කලින් කියපු විදිහට අපි කොහොමත් දැන් බෙදිලා කා කොටාගන්න ජාතියක් බවටත් පත්වෙලානේ. ඒත් වාද විවාදවලට පැටලෙන්නේ නැතිව, පුළුවන් තරම් ගැටුම්වලින් ඈත්වෙලා ඉන්න තමයි මේ ලේඛකයා උත්සාහකරන්නේ. මේ ලිපි පෙළ ලියද්දි අනුගමනය කළ පිළිවෙත තමයි අගය කළ යුතු යමක් කී අය පසසමින් ඒ අය කී දේ ඇගැයීම. ඒ වගේ ම, දොස් සහිතයි කියලා හිතෙන අදහස් ගැන කියද්දී ඒවා කී පුද්ගලයන් ගැන සඳහන් නොකර ඒවායේ අඩුපාඩු ගැන පමණක් කීම. අපි අතර තියෙන මේ බෙදීම් පුළුවන් තරමින් සමහන් කරගන්න ඕන. එහෙම නැතිනම් ජාතියක් විදිහට ඔළුව උස්සන්න අපිට පුළුවන් වෙන එකක් නෑ.

මේ ස්ථාවරය උඩ පදනම් වෙලා, අපේ ථෙරවාදයේ තියෙනවා කියලා කියන අඩුපාඩු ගැන කතාවට අදාළ ව මේ ලේඛකයා යමක් කියන්නේ බොහොම ප්‍රවේශමෙන්. ඒ වගේ ම, මේ දේවල් කියන්නේ කාටවත් රිදවන්නවත්, අගතියක් කරන්නවත් හිතාගෙන නෙවෙයි. අපි අපේ ථෙරවාදී කලාපය ඇතුළේ බෙදා හදාගත්ත පොදු අරමුණක් තියෙනවා. ඒ තමයි අපේ ශාසනයේ චිරස්ථිතිය. ථෙරවාදයත් එක්ක ම මේ කලාපය ඇතුළේ අපි අපේ ශාසනික සම්ප්‍රදායයන් බෙදාගෙන තියෙනවා. බුරුම, කාම්බෝජ, තායි ජනයා මේ සම්ප්‍රදායයන් ලබාගත්තේ අපෙන්. ඒ හින්දා, කලින් ලිපියකින් දෙකකින් කියපු විදිහට ඒ සම්ප්‍රදායයන් ලංකා ශාසනය, සිංහල ශාසනය වගේ නම්වලින් හඳුන්වන්නත් ඒ අය කටයුතු කළා. ඇත්තෙන් ම ඒ අයට සිංහල ශාසනය ඇතිකරන්න සිද්දවුනේ කලින් ඒ අයට ලැබුණු ලංකා ශාසනය දුර්වල වෙලා, පිරිහිලා තිබුණු හින්දා. ඉතින් ඒ අය ආයෙත් අපේ රටට ඇවිල්ලා අපි මේ රටේ රැකගෙන තිබුණු ශාසනික සම්ප්‍රදායයන් ඉගෙනගෙන, ඒ පිළිවත් තම තමන් ගේ රටවල්වලට ඇරන්ගියා. පස්සේ කාලෙක පෘතුගීසි බලපෑම හින්දා අපේ රාජ්‍යය දුර්වලවෙලා, ශාසනයත් පිරිහුනා ම අපිට සිද්දවුනා සියමට, රාමඤ්ඤයට, අමරපුරට ගිහිල්ලා අපේ උරුමය ආයෙත් ඇරන් එන්න.

අපේ වංශකතාවලින් පැහැදිළි වෙන විදිහට, බුද්ධ ශාසනයේ චිරස්ථිතිය කියන අරමුණ අරිට්ඨ කුමාරයා පැවිදි කරවීමේ අවස්ථාවේ දී ම පනවාගත්ත එකක්. මේ අරමුණ හොඳින් ම ප්‍රකාශයට පත්කළේ ගැමුණු කුමාරයා විසින්. තමන් එළාර සමඟ යුද්ධයට යන්නේ රජ සැප පිණිස නොවන බවත්, බුද්ධ ශාසනයා ගේ චිරස්ථිතිය පිණිස බවත් එතුමා කිව්වා. අටුවාචාරීන්වහන්සේලාට පවා තිබුණේ මේ අරමුණ. ඒ බව උන්වහන්සේලා මෙහෙම කිව්වා. ථෙරීය වංශයට පහන් බඳු වූ විනිශ්චයෙහි මැනැවින් නිපුණ වූ මහා විහාරවාසී තෙරවරුන්ගේ දහම නො ඉක්මවමින්, සුදනන් ගේ සතුට පිණිස ද ධර්මයේ චිරස්ථිතිය පිණිස ද යළි යළිත් පැමිණි අරුත් හැර අර්ථ ප්‍රකාශ කරන්නෙමි. ගත වූ අවුරුදු දෙදහස් තුන්සියයක් විතර කාලය ඇතුළේ මේ අරමුණ වෙනුවෙන් අපේ මුතුන් මිත්තන් කළ කී දේවල් අපි හැමෝ ම දන්නවා. අන්තිමේ දී රටේ පාලනය ගිවිසුමකින් ඉංග්‍රීසි ජාතිකයන්ට පවරාදෙන අවස්ථාවේ පවා මේ අවශ්‍යතාව ඒ ගිවිසුමට ඇතුළත්කරන්න අපි කටයුතු කළා. අද පවා වරින් වර ඉස්මතුවෙන ව්‍යවස්ථා සංශෝධන, එහෙම නැතිනම් අලුත් ව්‍යවස්ථා හදන වැඩවල දී මේ කාරණය ඉස්සරහට එනවා. ආණ්ඩුව ශාසනය රකිනවා නම්, ඒ වෙනුවෙන් කරන්න ඕන දේවල් කරනවා නම් ඒ ආණ්ඩුව කරවන අයත් එක්ක අපිට ආරවුලක් නෑ.

ඉතින් අපේ ථෙරවාදය ඇතුළේ බොහෝ දේවල් අපි පනවාගෙන තියෙන්නේ මේ අවශ්‍යතාවට ගැලපෙන විදිහට. අටුවා පාලියට පෙරලීම පවා කරලා තියෙන්නේ මේ වෙනුවෙන්. දැන් දැන් අපේ සමහර අය හිතනවා සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් තිබුණු අටුවා පාලියට පෙරලපු එක බුද්ධඝෝෂ හාමුදුරුවෝ මුල්වෙලා කරපු සහගහන අපරාධයක් කියලා. මූලික ම කාරණය තමයි අටුවා පාලියට පෙරලලා තියෙන්නේ බුද්ධඝෝෂ හාමුදුරුවෝ මුල්වෙලා නෙවෙයි කියන එක. ඒ වැඩේ කෙරෙව්වේ අපේ මහා විහාරීය තෙරුන්වහන්සේලා විසින්. ඒ බව හැම අටුවාවක ම මුලින් ම ඉතා ම පැහැදිළි ව කියලා තියෙනවා. ඒ වැඩේ වෙනුවෙන් වෙනත් අය ව යොදවාගෙන තියෙනවා. අටුවාචාරී බුද්ධඝෝෂ හාමුදුරුවෝ කියන්නේ ඒ විදිහට යොදාගත්ත එක් භික්‍ෂූන්වහන්සේ නමක් විතරයි. ඇතැම් අය මේ කාරණය නො සළකා නොයෙක් ආඩපාලී කීවට, මේක හංගපු දෙයක් නෙවෙයි. එළිපිට පැහැදිළිව ම කියපු දෙයක්. ඒ හින්දා ඒ ගැන වැඩි යමක් කියන්න මේ ලේඛකයා උත්සාහකරන්නේ නෑ.

එහෙම නම්, සිංහලෙන් තිබුණු අටුවා පාලියට පෙරලන්න මහා විහාරවාසී තෙරවරුන් කටයුතු කළේ ඇයි? ඒ වැඩෙන් කොහොම ද බුද්ධ ධර්මයේ හරි ශාසනයේ හරි චිරස්ථිතියට උදව්වක් වෙන්නේ? සිංහල කියන්නේ එදිනෙදා භාවිතා වෙන, භාවිතාව තුළින් යළි යළිත් අර්ථගැන්වෙන, සජීවි භාෂාවක්. උදාහරණයක් විදිහට, මම දැන් කන්නේ පරිප්පුමයි කියලා කවුරුහරි කීවොත් ඒක තේරුම් කරගන්නේ කොහොම ද? මේක තමයි ඕනෑ ම සජීවි භාෂාවක එදිනෙදා යොදාගන්න වචනවලට සිද්දවෙන දේ. භාවිතයත් එක්ක ඒ වචනවල අර්ථ වෙනස්වෙනවා. ඒ වචනවලට අලුත් අර්ථ කැවෙනවා. ඉතින් සිංහලෙන් අටුවා පවත්වාගෙන ගියා නම් සිද්දවෙන්න ඉඩ තිබුණු දේ ගැනත් හිතාගන්න පුළුවන්. අද ඇතැම් අය ධර්මය අර්ථදක්වන විදිහ දැක්කා ම මේ ගැන හිතාගන්න එක සුළු දෙයක්. මේ ලේඛකයා රාජකාරි කරන කාර්යාලයට පොසොන් පෝය වෙනුවෙන් වැඩම කරවපු, තමා විසින් ම පැවිද්ද ලබාගත්ත කියලා කියන එක්තරා භික්‍ෂූන්වහන්සේ නමක් හාමුදුරුවෝ කියන වචනයේ අර්ථය අපේ අයට කියලා දීලා. උන්වහන්සේ වදාරලා තියෙනවා හාමු කියලා කියන්නේ රැස්කරනවා කියන එක කියලා. මොකද හාමුලා කරන්නේ නා නා ප්‍රකාර දේවල් රැස්කරන එකනේ. ඒ හින්දලු ඒ අයට මිනිස්සු හාමු, හාමු කියලා කියන්නේ. ඉතින් ඒ විදිහට රැස් නොකර, හාමු චේතනාව දුරුකරන්නේ කවුද? හාමුදුරුවෝ!

පාලි කියන්නේ දිනපතා අර්ථදැක්වෙන සජීවි භාෂාවක් නෙවෙයිනේ. ඒ භාෂාව රැකිලා තියෙන්නේ ධර්ම පුස්තකවල. ඉතින් අපේ මහා විහාරීය තෙරුන්වහන්සේලා කරලා තියෙන්නේ සජීවී බසකින් – ඒ කියන්නේ සිංහලෙන්; තිබුණු අටුවාව ඒ විදිහට වෙනස්වෙන්නේ නැති භාෂාවකට – ඒ කියන්නේ පාලියට; පෙරලන එක. ඒ කියන්නේ උන්වහන්සේලා ක්‍රියාකරලා තියෙන්නේ ධර්මයේ චිරස්ථිතිය වෙනුවෙන්. අද අපේ අයට හිතෙන හිතෙන විදිහට අර්ථදක්වන්න හරි ධර්මයක් ඉතිරිවෙලා තියෙන්නේ උන්වහන්සේලා කරපු ඒ කටයුත්ත හින්දා.

ඊට අමතර ව කියන්න තවත් දෙයක් තියෙනවා. ඒ තමයි ථෙරවාදී සම්ප්‍රදාය ඇතුළේ සමහර ධර්ම කරුණු අර්ථදක්වලා තියෙන විදිහ ගැන. දැන් දැන් මේ ගැන ආඩපාලි කියන අයත් ඉන්නවා. ඒ අය කියන විදිහට ථෙරවාදයෙන් ඉදිරිපත් කරලා තියෙන්නේ එක්තරා ආකාරයක ධර්මවාදයක්. පුද්ගල නෛරාත්මතාව පිළිගත්ත ථෙරවාදී මහ තෙරවරුන් ධර්ම නෛරාත්මතාව නොතකා හැරියාලු. මේ වැඩේ වුනේ ක්‍ෂණය ගැන, එහෙම නැතිනම් උත්පාද – තිථි – භංග ගැන කියන්න යාමේදීලු. ධර්මයක් ක්‍ෂණයක් තුළ පවතිනවා කියලා ගන්න ථෙරවාදීන් මේ හින්දා පෙළඹිලාලු. ඉතින් දැන් දැන් මේ නිරීක්‍ෂණය මත පදනම් වෙලා ථෙරවාදයට අශෝක බුද්ධාගම කියලා නමකුත් පටබැඳලා. මේ කියන කතාව ඇත්ත ද? සුදනන් ගේ සතුට පිණිස එහෙමත් නැතිනම් හුදිජනයා ගේ පහන් සංවේගය පිණිස ලියැවෙන මේ ලිපි පෙළේ දී මේ ධර්ම කාරණා ගැන ගැඹුරින් සාකච්ඡාකරන්න අදහසක් මේ ලේඛකයා තුළ නෑ. ඒත් කියන්න ඕන මූලික කාරණයක් දෙකක් තියෙනවා.

මූලික ම දේ තමයි අනත්ත – ඒ කියන්නේ අනාත්ම ලක්‍ෂණය; ගැන අපි කියන දේ. ආර්ය පර්යේෂකයා මේ ගැන හිතන්නේ ඒ කාරණය විතරක් තනිවම සළකලා නෙවෙයි. ආර්ය පර්යේෂකයා හොඳින් ම දන්නවා ලෝක ස්වභාවය අනිත්‍යයයි කියලා. ඉතින් ක්‍ෂණය කියන්නේත්, තිථිය කියන්නේත් නිත්‍ය, දෘඪ දෙයක් කියලා ථෙරවාදී අපිට හිතෙන්නේ නෑ. අනිත්‍ය ලක්‍ෂණය අමතක කරලා අනත්ත ගැන විතරක් හිතන අයකුට ක්‍ෂණය කියලා කියන්නේ බොහොම දෘඪ, ආත්මවාදී අදහසක් කියලා හිතෙන්න පුළුවන්. ඊ ළඟ කාරණය තමයි අපි මේ හැම දෙයක් දිහා ම බලන්නේ පටිච්චසමුප්පවාදය මුල් කරගෙන. පටිච්චසමුප්පවාදයට අනුව අපි දන්නවා ක්‍ෂණය, තිථිය විතරක් නෙවෙයි හැම දෙයක් ම අවිද්‍යාව හින්දා අපි හදාගන්න සංස්කාර බව. කාලය කියලා කියන්නේත් පනවාගත්ත දෙයක් කියලා පිළිගන්න අපිට කාල මාත්‍රයක් විදිහට සළකන්න පුළුවන් ක්‍ෂණය ගැන වෙනත් අදහසක් ඇතිකරගන්න හේතුවක් නෑ. ඉතින් මේ හැම කාරණයක් ම කිසි අඩුවක් නැතිව ථෙරවාදයේ සංග්‍රහවෙලා තියෙනවා. අපි බුද්ධ ධර්මය කියන්නේ මේ හැම දේ ම එකතුකරලා ගත්ත ඉගැන්වීමකට. එහෙම නැතිව, ඒ ඒ ඉගැන්වීම් එකිනෙකින් වෙන්කරලා ඇරගෙන නෙවෙයි.

නිවන වෙනුවෙන් වෙහෙසෙන්නේ කවුද? පෘථග්ජනයා. ඔහු මුලින් ම දකින්නේ මොකක්ද? සම්මුති සත්‍යය. ඒ ඔස්සේ තමයි ඔහු ලෝකෝත්තර සත්‍යය සොයාගෙන යන්නේ. ඉතින් මොන බුද්ධාගමෙන් හරි සේවයක් වෙන්න ඕන – ඒ කියන්නේ මාර්ගය පෙන්නන්න ඕන; මේ පෘථග්ජනයාට. තම තම නැණ පමණින් සම්මුතියේ වැරැද්ද දැකලා, පියවරෙන් පියවර ඔහු නිවන කරා ගමන්කරාවි. ඒ වෙනුවෙන් කරන ආර්ය පර්යේෂණයේ දී ඔහු ලෝකෝත්තර සත්‍යය අවබෝධ කරගනීවි. ඒ හැම දෙයක් ම පොත්වල ලියලා තියන්න ඕන නෑ. ඉතින් මේ ලේඛකයා විශ්වාසකරන විදිහට මහා විහාරීය තෙරුන්වහන්සේලා විසින් කරලා තියෙන්නේ ඒ මගපෙන්වීම වෙනුවෙන් යොදාගන්න පුළුවන් ධර්මය සංග්‍රහකරලා, ආරක්‍ෂාකාරී ව පවත්වාගෙන යන එක.

හැබැයි මේ වගේ අරමුණක් ක්‍රිස්තු වර්ෂ 150 – 250 අතර කාලයේ දී, දැන් තියෙන ආන්ද්‍ර ප්‍රදේශය ආශ්‍රිත ව වැඩ වාසය කළා කියන නාගාර්ජුන හිමියන්ට තිබුණා කියලා හිතන්න බෑ. ධර්මයේ හරි, ශාසනයේ හරි චිරස්ථිතිය වෙනුවෙන් උන්වහන්සේ වදවෙලා නෑ. ථෙරවාදීනුත් ඇතුළත් හීනයානිකයන් ධර්මාත්මවාදයක් ගැන කතාකරනවා කියලා චෝදනාකරලා ශූන්‍යතාව කියන සංකල්පය ඔසවලා තියන්න තමයි උන්වහන්සේ කටයුතු කරලා තියෙන්නේ. ඒත් මේ සියල්ල ශූන්‍යයයි කියන අදහස උලුප්පලා පෙන්නන්න අපේ සම්ප්‍රදාය කටයුතුකරලා නෑ. මහා විහාරීය තෙරවරුන් එහෙම කරලා තියෙන්නේ ලෝක ස්වභාවය ගැන අනවබෝධයකින් කියලා හිතන එක වැරැදියි. අපි දන්නවා ශූන්‍යතාව උස්සලා පෙන්නපු නාගාර්ජුන හිමියන් ජීවත් ව හිටිය බිමේ බුද්ධාගමට වෙච්ච දේ. ඒ වගේ ධර්මයක් රැකෙන්න පුළුවන් පොත්වල විතරයි. පෘථග්ජන මිනිස්සු ඒ විදිහේ අදහස් තම තමන්ට හිතෙන හිතෙන විදිහට අර්ථදක්වන්න පටන්ගනියි. අපි දැනටත් අත්දකිනවා අපේ සමහරු තම තමන්ට ඕන විදිහට සූත්‍ර ධර්ම පවා අර්ථදක්වන විදිහ. ඉතින් ධර්මයත් හොඳින් රැකලා දීලා තියෙනවා නම්, ඒ ධර්මයේ උපකාරයෙන් නිවනට යන්න ඕන මාර්ගයත් ඉස්මතු කරගන්න පුළුවන් නම්, අපි ඇයි ථෙරවාදයටත්, එහි චිරස්ථිතිය වෙනුවෙන් කැපවුනු අපේ මහා විහාරීය තෙරුන්වහන්සේලාටත් ගරහන්නේ?

ඉතින් ශාසනයේ චිරස්ථිතිය කියන කාරණය සංස්කෘතික අරමුණක් බවට පත් කරගත්ත සිංහල අපි අදටත් ඒ වෙනුවෙන් වදවෙනවා. ඒ අරමුණට බාධාවෙන විදිහට කවුරු හරි කටයුතුකරනවා කියලා දැක්කම අපි කලබලවෙනවා. කිරිබත්ගොඩ ඤාණානන්ද, පිටිදූවේ සිරිධම්ම වගේ හිමිවරු අපි හැමෝ ම පිළිගත්ත පොදු ශාසන සම්ප්‍රදායයන් විවේචනය කර කර, ඒ වෙනුවට තම තමන් ගේ හිතු මතයට අලුත් සම්ප්‍රදායයන් හඳුන්වලා දෙන්න උත්සාහ කරන කොට අපේ අය කලබල වෙන්නේ මේ සංස්කෘතික අවශ්‍යතාව අපේ ශරීරයේ හම්, මස්, නහර සිඳගෙන, ඇට, ඇටමිදුළු දක්වා ම කිඳා බැහැලා තියෙන හින්දා. මේ වගේ වැඩ හින්දා අපේ ශාසනයේ චිරස්ථිතියට අනතුරක් වෙයි කියලා බයක් අපි තුළ ජනිතවෙනවා. ඒ බයෙන් අපි තැතිගන්නවා. ඒ අනතුරුවලින් ශාසනය බේරගන්න දිවා රෑ වෙහෙසෙනවා. ඇත්තෙන් ම මේ කාරණය ථෙරවාදී කලාපයේ අනෙක් ජනයාත් අඩු වැඩි වශයෙන් උරුම කරගෙන ඉන්නේ. ධර්මයේ හා ශාසනයේ චිරස්ථිතිය කියලා කියන්නේ මේ කලාපයේ ජීවත්වෙන අපි හැමෝට ම නොතකා හරින්න බැරි සංස්කෘතික අවශ්‍යතාවක්.

වරුණ චන්ද්‍රකීර්ති෴

ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවෙන් ඊළමට දොරවල් අටක්‌!

August 2nd, 2016

වෛද්‍ය කේ.එම්. වසන්ත බණ්‌ඩාර උපුටා ගැන්ම දිවයින

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ගේ ප්‍රශ්න වලට සාධාරණ උත්තරයක්‌ ලබානොදෙන ”යහපාලන රෙජීමය” පාර්ලිමේන්තුවෙන් පරිභාහිරව ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවක්‌ නිර්මාණය කොට මන්ත්‍රීවරු සියලු දෙනාගේ සහභාගීත්වයෙන් ව්‍යවස්‌ථාවක්‌ හැදීමට තරම් ‘ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදී’ වන්නේ කුමක්‌ නිසාද? විපක්‍ෂයේ විවිධ කණ්‌ඩායම් එම ප්‍රශ්නයට තර්කානුකූල උත්තරයක්‌ සොයාගත් බවක්‌ මහජනයාට පෙනෙන්නේ නැත. කෙසේ වෙතත් මෙම නව ක්‍රමවේදය තේරීමට ආණ්‌ඩුවට බලකරන්නේ නිල විපක්‍ෂය වන ටී.එන්.ඒ. පක්‍ෂය බවට කිසිදු සැකයක්‌ නැත. ඔවුන් ශ්‍රී ලංකා ආණ්‌ඩුව සහ ඇමෙරිකානු රාජ්‍ය දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව සමග අත්සන් කළා යෑයි කියන තුන් පාර්ශවීය ගිවිසුමේ ප්‍රධාන කොන්දේසියක්‌ වන්නේ ද එයම බවට විවාදයක්‌ නැත. අර්ධ විපක්‍ෂයක්‌ වන ජනතා විමුක්‌ති පෙරමුණට ලබාදී ඇති භූමිකාව බව පෙනෙන්නේ හොරු අල්ලන ඝෝෂාව මගින් එම ක්‍රියාවලියේ භයානකකම වසන්කිරීම බව පෙනේ.

ඒ අතර ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂයේ විවිධ කණ්‌ඩායම් විවිධ උපකල්පන වලට එළඹෙන්නේ තම තමාගේ ස්‌ථාවරයන්ට සාපේක්‍ෂව ඊට සරිලන ආකාරයට බවද පෙනේ. ඔවුන් තවමත් යහපාලන රෙජීමය බලයට ගෙනඒම සඳහා පිඹුරුපත් සකස්‌ කළ ඉන්දියානු සහ ඇමෙරිකානු ඔත්තුසේවා වල වුවමනාවන්ට සාපේක්‌ෂව හෙවත් සතුරාගේ පැත්aතේ සිට ප්‍රශ්නය දෙස බලන්නට ඉගෙනගෙන නැත. එම බුද්ධිමය දුප්පත්කම නිසා ඔවුන් දැනුම්වත්ව සහ නොදැනුවත්ව යන ආකාර දෙකටම අනුව සතුරාගේ න්‍යායපත්‍රයට පහසුකම් සලසන තත්ත්වයකට පත්ව ඇත. ඔවුන් හැදෙමින් පවතින ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව ජාතියට මර උගුලක්‌ වන බවට දේශපාලන ස්‌ථාවරයක සිටිමින් සහ ආණ්‌ඩුවේ ප්‍රමුඛතම ව්‍යාපෘතිය වන එම ක්‍රියාවලියට දායක වන අතර ආණ්‌ඩුවට එරෙහිව මහ ජනතාව මහපාරට කැඳවීමේ තම දේශපාලන උපායමාර්ගය පැහැදිලි කරන්නේ කෙසේද?

බාහිර බලවේග විසින් ආණ්‌ඩුව බලයට ගෙන එන්නේ බෙදුම්වාදී න්‍යාය පත්‍රයට අවශ්‍ය ආකාරයට රාජ්‍යයේ ව්‍යqහය වෙනස්‌ කිරීමේ කොන්ත්‍රාත්තුව ඉටු කිරීම මුල්කරගෙන නොවේද? වර්තමාන ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සංශෝධන ක්‍රියාවලියේ මූලිකයා ලෙස කටයුතු කරන ආචාර්ය ජයම්පති වික්‍රමරත්න මහතා 2014 දී ලන්ඩනයේ අමිර්තලිංගම් අනුස්‌මරණ දේශනය පවත්වමින් කියාසිටියේ මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ බලයේ සිටිනතුරු දෙමළ ජනතාවගේ ”ප්‍රශ්නය” විසඳීම සඳහා ව්‍යවස්‌ථාමය විසඳුමක්‌ ගෙනඒමට ඉඩක්‌ නැති බවය. ඊට පෙර ”එන්.ජී.ඕ. ගෝඩ් µdදර්” කෙනෙකු වන ”ඉන්ටර්නැෂනල් ක්‍රයිසින් ගෲප්” නැමති සුප්‍රසිද්ධ බෙදුම්වාදී රාජ්‍ය නොවන සංවිධානයේ නායක ඇලන් කීනන්ගේ මුවින්ද ඒ වචනම පිටවිය. 2013 දී මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ පරාජය කිරීම සඳහා ඇතිකරගත් කුප්‍රකට ”සිංගප්පුරු එකඟතාවයේ” ප්‍රධාන කොන්දේසිය වූයේද එයයි. ‘විකිලික්‌ස්‌’ හරහා එළිදරව් වූ තොරතුරු අනුව ඇමෙරිකානු තානාපතිනි පැටි්‍රෂියා බුටනේස්‌ සහ සහකාර රාජ්‍ය ලේකම් රොබට්‌ ඕ බ්ලේක්‌ 2009 සිටම එම අවශ්‍යතාවය අවධාරණය කළේය.

ඒ අනුව මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ බලයෙන් පහකොට රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා බලයට පත්කරන්නේ ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සංශෝධන ක්‍රියාවලිය ”බුල්ඩෝසර්” කිරීමේ මූලික සහ පළමු උපාය මාර්ගික අවශ්‍යතාවය ඉටුකරගැනීම සඳහා බවට දේශපාලනයේ ”අයන්න” දන්නා අයට නම් කිසිදු සැකයක්‌ තිබිය නොහැක. ආණ්‌ඩුව ආරම්භකොට ඇති ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක ක්‍රියාවලියේ දිග පළල වටහාගත යුත්තේ මෙම මහා පින්තූරය හොඳින් වටහා ගනිමිනි. මේ වන විට විපක්‍ෂය විසින් නිර්මාණය කොට දී ඇති හිදැස හෙවත් රික්‌තකය තුළ ආණ්‌ඩුව විසින් කිසිදු බාධාවකින් තොරව ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදන මාර්ග සිතියම දිගහරිමින් ඇත. පළමු වටයේදීම විධායක ජනාධිපති ක්‍රමය සහ ඡන්ද ක්‍රමය වෙනස්‌ කිරීම වැනි සැරසිලිවලින් වසා තිබෙන බෙදුම්වාදී ව්‍යවස්‌ථා උගුල ඉදිරිපිටට විපක්‍ෂය කැඳවාගැනීමට ආණ්‌ඩුව සමත්වී ඇත. ඒ සඳහා ආණ්‌ඩුව විසින් ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාව නැමැති දියුණු තාක්‍ෂණික උපාංගය භාවිතා කළේය. විපක්‍ෂය විසින් බරපතල දේශපාලන ගැටලුවක්‌ හෙවත් අභියෝගයක්‌ තාක්‍ෂණිකව විසඳීමට උත්සාහ කිරීම නිසා එම උගුලට කොටුවිය. ඒ අනුව 1995 දී චන්ද්‍රිකා බණ්‌ඩාරනායක විසින් ආරම්භ කළ බෙදුම්වාදී ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදන ක්‍රියාවලිය නව මානයකට ගෙන ඒමට රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා සමත් වී ඇති බව පිළිගැනීමට සිදුවේ.

පාර්ලිමේන්තු තේරීම් කාරක සභා හරහා ආණ්‌ඩුවේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති රාමුව පළමුවෙන්ම ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට සිදුවීමේ අවුල බේරමින් සමස්‌ථ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව මත වගකීම පැවරෙන ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභා ක්‍රමය හඳුන්වා දීමට ඔහු සමත්විය. එම ක්‍රියාවලිය 1972 දී යොදාගත් ක්‍රියාදාමයට වඩා ජාත්‍යන්තර පිළිගැනීමට ලක්‌වන ආකාරයට සිදුවේ. එහිදී සමස්‌ථ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවම ඊට සහභාගීවනවාට අමතරව මහජන අදහස්‌ ලබාගැනීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියක්‌ ඊට බද්ධ කිරීම මගින් එම ක්‍රියාවලියට වැඩි වලංගු භාවයක්‌ ලබාදී ඇත. දැන් එම ක්‍රියාවලිය බෙදුම්වාදී ටී.එන්.ඒ. පක්‍ෂය සහ ආණ්‌ඩුවේ එක`ගතාවයෙන් ජාත්‍යන්තරව පිළිගත හැකි ආකාරයට සිදුවෙමින් ඇත. ඒ පිළිබඳව මානව හිමිකම් කොමසාරිස්‌ගේ ප්‍රසාදයද පළවී ඇත. එම තත්ත්වය තුළ සකස්‌වන ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව රනිල්ගේ ”පැකේජය” ලෙස නම් කෙරෙනවා වෙනුවට සමස්‌ථ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේම පැකේජයක්‌ බවට පත්වේ. ඒ අනුව එම ජයග්‍රහණය පශ්චාත් යුද නව ඊළාම් මාර්ග සිතියමේ පළමු බාධකය හෙවත් පළමු දොර විවෘත කිරීමක්‌ ලෙස සැලකිය හැක. ඉන්පසුව පැනනගින දේශපාලන තත්වයන්ට අනුව විවිධ මට්‌ටම්වලදී ඊළාම් මාවතට විවෘතවන විවිධ දොරවල් විවෘත කිරීමට මෙම ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළ ඉඩ ලැබේ.

එම ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළ ආණ්‌ඩුවට මුහුණදීමට සිදුවන බරපතලම අභියෝගය වන්නේ දැනටමත් පිටත සකස්‌ වෙමින් පවතින ව්‍යවස්‌ථා කෙටුම්පත් වලින් පවතින තත්වය අනුව ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට වඩාත් සුදුසු කෙටුම්පත ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට පෙර ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවෙන් එළියට පැනීම වළක්‌වා ගැනීමය. එසේ වුවහොත් ”සමස්‌ථ පාර්ලිමේන්තුව” යන ලේබලය ඉවත්කර ගැනීමට සිදුවන නිසා එම ක්‍රියාවලියේ වලංගුභාවයට බරපතල අගතියක්‌ සිදුවේ. ඒ අනුව ආණ්‌ඩුවේ න්‍යාය පත්‍රයට අනුගත වී ඇති ශ්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස්‌ පක්‍ෂ අමාත්‍යවරුන් සහ වෙනත් සැකකටයුතු උපදේශකයන් යොදාගනිමින් ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවේ දිගටම රැදී සිටීමේ තාක්‌ෂණික වැදගත්කම විපක්‍ෂයට අවධාරණය කෙරෙමින් ඇත. නමුත් ඒ තුළ රැඳී සිටින ලෙස පොදුජන ඉල්ලීමක්‌ බිම් මට්‌ටමේදී නොමැති බව සහ එදා 2000 දී පැකේජය ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමේදී කළ ආකාරයට ලේඛනය පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කළ පසුව ඊට එරෙහිව වාද කිරීමේ පැහැදිලි ඉඩක්‌ තිබෙන බව විපක්‍ෂය විසින් තේරුම් නොගැනීම කනගාටුදායක තත්වයකි. ආණ්‌ඩුවට සැබෑ ලෙසම අභියෝගය වන්නේ ව්‍යවස්‌ථා කෙටුම්පත සභාවට හෝ මෙහෙයුම් කමිටුවට ඉදිරිපත් කරන තෙක්‌ විපක්‍ෂය කොටුකර තබා ගැනීමය. ඊට පසුව ඔවුන් එළියට පැනගත්තද එය අර්ථ ගැන්වෙන්නේ ඡන්දය නොදීමක්‌ ලෙසය. එවිට ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවේ වලංගුභාවය අභියෝගයට ලක්‌ නොවේ. එනම් පළමු ඊළාම් දොරටුවේ යතුර නැතිවන්නේ නැත.

ආණ්‌ඩුව මුහුණ දෙන දෙවන අභියෝගය හෙවත් ටී.එන්.ඒ. පක්‍ෂය ප්‍රමුඛ බෙදුම්වාදීන් විසින් විවෘත කර ගැනීමට බලාපොරොත්තුවන දෙවන දොරටුව වන්නේ ව්‍යවස්‌ථා කෙටුම්පත සභාවේ සාමාන්‍ය බහුතරයකින් සම්මතකර ගැනීමය. රනිල් – සම්බන්ධන් සන්ධානය දැනටමත් ඒ සඳහා අවශ්‍ය යතුර සංඛ්‍යාත්මකව තමා අත තබාගෙන ඇත. එම ක්‍රියාවලිය එතැනින් ඉදිරියට ගෙන යාමට ඉඩක්‌ නොලැබුනද බෙදුම්වාදී බලතල සහිත ව්‍යවස්‌ථාවක්‌ සමස්‌ථ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවම නියෝජනය වන ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක මණ්‌ඩලයකින් සම්මතවීම යනු බෙදුම්වාදීන්ගේ පැත්තෙන් ගත්විට බරපතල ජයග්‍රහණයකි. මහජන විරෝධයන් පැන නොනගින තත්වයක්‌ තුළ එම ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට හෝ ජනමත විචාරණයකට ඉදිරිපත් නොකර Rජුව ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමේ නීතිමය ඉඩක්‌ ඇත. එය ජාත්‍යන්තරව පිළිගත් භාවිතාවකි. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේදී 1972දී එම භාවිතාව සාර්ථකව අත්හදාබලා ඇත.

තුන්වන දොරටුව විවෘතකර ගැනීම අවශ්‍යවන්නේ සාමාන්‍ය බහුතරයෙන් අනුමත වූ ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව Rජුව ක්‍රියාත්මක නොකර එය පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ අනුමැතිය සඳහා ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමේ අවශ්‍යතාව මතු වූ විටය. ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාව තුළ විශේෂ බහුතරය ලබාගත නොහැකි වුවහොත් අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලය හරහා පාර්ලිමේන්තුව දක්‌වා යන මාර්ගය වෙනුවට පාර්ලිමේන්තුව හරහා අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලය දක්‌වා යැමේ මාවත තෝරාගැනීමට සිදුවේ. ඒ අනුව ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාව හරහා ඊළම දක්‌වා යන තුන්වන දොරටුව විවෘත වන්නේ ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවේදී විශේෂ බහුතරයකින් ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව සම්මතවුවහොත් පමණි. එවිට පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී මුල්වටයේදී අභියෝගයට ලක්‌ නොවී අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලය දක්‌වා Rජුව ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමේ අවස්‌ථාව හිමිවේ. එවිට හතරවන දොරටුවක්‌ අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලයේදී විවෘත කිරීමට ඉඩ ලැබේ.

පාර්ලිමේන්තුව විසින් සම්මත කළ ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවක්‌ පිහිටුවීමේ යෝජනාව තුළ අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලය විසින් කළයුතු දේ පිළිබඳව නිර්ණායක පනවා ඇතත් ව්‍යවස්‌ථාදායකය මගින් විධායකයට එවැනි නියෝගයක්‌ පැනවීමේ ඉඩක්‌ නැත. ඒ අනුව පවතින දේශපාලන තත්වයට සාපේක්‍ෂව අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලයේ උප කමිටුවක්‌ මගින් ව්‍යවස්‌ථා කෙටුම්පත නැවත සංශෝධනය කිරීමේ ඉඩ ලැබේ. එම හතර වන යතුර මගින් ඒ වන විට පවතින දේශපාලන බාධක ජයගැනීමේ ඉඩ ලැබේ. ඒ දක්‌වා ඊළාම් මාර්ග සිතියම දිගට ගෙනයාම අවශ්‍ය වන්නේ බරපතල බෙදුම්වාදී බලතලවලට නීත්‍යානුකූල වලංගුභාවය ලබාදීම සඳහා ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවෙන් අනුමත වූ ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව Rජුව ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට වාතාවරණයක්‌ නොමැති තත්ත්වයක්‌ තුළය. ඉන්පසුව පස්‌වන යතුර අවශ්‍ය වන්නේ අමාත්‍ය මණ්‌ඩලය විසින් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ විශේෂ බහුතරය සහ ජනමත විචාරණය සඳහා ව්‍යවස්‌ථා කෙටුම්පත පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමේදීය. ඒ මගින් අධිකරණයට ඉදිරිපත් නොකර Rජුව මහජනයාට ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම හරහා අධිකරණ බාධකය නැමති දොරටුව හෙවත් හතරවන දොරටුව විවෘතකර ගැනීමට හැකිවේ. එසේ නොමැතිව අධිකරණයේ බාධකයට මුහුණදීමට සිදුවුවහොත් ඒ මගින් සිදුවන මහජන දැනුම්වත් වීම නිසා ජනමත විචාරණයේදී බරපතල නිශේධනාත්මක බලපෑමක්‌ සිදුවිය හැක. එම බාධකය ජයග්‍රහණය කිරීම හෙවත් පස්‌වන දොර විවෘත කිරීමට ඉඩ සලසා ගැනීම යනු බෙදුම්වාදී න්‍යාය පත්‍රයේ ප්‍රබල ජයග්‍රහණයකි.

පස්‌වැනි බාධකය හෙවත් දොරටුව ඊළාම් මාර්ග සිතියම තුළ මුණ ගැසෙන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී විශේෂ බහුතරය ලබාගැනීමේදීය. එහිදී ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය විසින් ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාවේදී අනුමතකළ ව්‍යවස්‌ථාවක්‌ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කෙරෙන්නේ නම් එය ඉතා සරල බාධකයකි. ඊට අදාළ යතුර ආණ්‌ඩුවේ සාක්‌කුවට දමා ගැනීමට ඉඩ ලැබෙන්නේ ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය විසින් සභාව තුළ වාද විවාදවලට සහභාගීවීමේ උගුලට පයතැබුවහොත් පමණි. කෙසේ වෙතත් විපක්‍ෂය ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සභාවේදී එක පයක්‌ උගුලට තැබුවත් නැතත් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළදී විවිධ සංශෝධනවලට ඉඩ සලසමින් සහ සමහර බොරු යෝජනා අකුලා ගැනීම මගින් විපක්‍ෂයට උගුලක්‌ ඇටවීමට ආණ්‌ඩුවට ඉඩ ලැබේ. උදාහරණයක්‌ ලෙස එහිදී මහජන අදහස්‌ කමිටුව හරහා මේ වන විට මහජනයාට අටවා ඇති උගුල ගලවා පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට ඇටවීමට ඉඩක්‌ ලැබේ.

මහජන අදහස්‌ ලබාගැනීමේ කමිටුවේ ප්‍රධාන අරමුණක්‌ වන්නේ මහජන සංවාදය වෙනත් අතකට රැගෙන යාමය. එනම් අන්‍යාගමික රාජ්‍යයක කථාව, සිංහ කොඩිය හෝ ජාතික ගීය ඉවත් කිරීම හෝ සමලිංගික කථා මගින් බරපතල බෙදුම්වාදී බලතල පිළිබඳව ඇතිවිය යුතු සංවාදය වෙනත් පැත්තකට යොමු කෙරේ. එය අවශ්‍ය වන්නේ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී එම යෝජනා ඉවත්කර ගැනීම මගින් මන්ත්‍රීවරුන් සහ මහජනයා අතර ව්‍යාජ ආරක්‍ෂිත මනසක්‌ ඇති කිරීම සඳහාය. ඒකීය වගන්තිය ව්‍යවස්‌ථාවේ තිබීම බෙදුම්වාදීන්ගේ අරමුණට බාධාවක්‌ නොවන බව සුමන්තිරන් මන්ත්‍රීවරයා ‘සිංගප්පුරු එක`ගතාව’ මගින් එළිදරව්කොට ඇත. එම වගන්තිය සිංහල බහුතරය සහ ඔවුන්ගේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු නියෝජිතයන් ගොනාට ඇන්දවීම සඳහා ඉතා නිර්මාණශිලීව භාවිතාවන බවට කිසිදු සැකයක්‌ නැත. ඒ අනුව සයවන දොරටුව විවෘතකර ගැනීමට අවශ්‍ය ප්‍රමාණයට හෙවත් ජනමත විචාරණයක්‌ අවශ්‍ය නොවන බලතල ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ සඳහා පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ විශේෂ බහුතරය ලබාගැනීසෙන් බෙදුම්වාදී න්‍යාය පත්‍රයේ හැරවුම් ලක්‍ෂයකට ළ`ගාවිය හැක. එසේ වංගුවක්‌ ගැසීම අවශ්‍යවන්නේ ජනමත විචාරණයක්‌ දක්‌වා ගමන් කිරීමට තරම් වාසිදායක දේශපාලන තත්වයක්‌ නොමැති නම් පමණි. හත්වන දොරටුව හෙවත් ”කොන්ෙµඩරල්” බලතල සහිත ඊනියා එක්‌සත්, රාජ්‍යයක්‌ හරහා රට බෙදීමේ න්‍යාය පත්‍රයට පහසු ජයග්‍රහණයක්‌ අත්පත්කර ගැනීමේ දොරටුව විවෘත වන්නේ ජනමත විචාරණයට කෙටුම්පත ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම මගිනි. එහිදී ජයග්‍රහණය නොලැබුණත් උතුර නැගෙනහිර පළාත තුළ ප්‍රතිඵලය වෙනම විග්‍රහ කිරීම මගින් බෙදුම්වාදයට වාසි සහගත තත්ත්වයක්‌ ලැබේ. එම වාසිය තුළ සිට ගනිමින් සහ පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ විශේෂ බහුතරය මගින් ලබාගත හැකි දේ ලබාගැනීම තුළින් බෙදුම්වාදී මාර්ග සිතියමේ තව දුරටත් ඉදිරියට ගමත් කිරීමට හැකිවේ. ඒ අනුව අටවන දොරවුට හෙවත් මහජනයා විසින් බන්දේසියක තබා ඊළම පිරිනැමීමේ තත්ත්වය නිර්මාණය වන්නේ ජනමත විචාරණය ජයග්‍රහණය කළහොත්ය. ඒ සඳහා ඩයස්‌පෝරාව ඇති තරම් මුදල් විසිකරනු ඇත. එසේම සංවිධානාත්මකව හොර ඡන්ද දැමීමේ සිට මැතිවරණ කොමිසමේ වාසිදායක තත්ත්වය මෙන්ම ජාත්‍යන්තර නිරීක්‍ෂකයන්ගේ මැදිහත්වීමද බරපතල ලෙස යොදාගනු ඇත.

ජාතියේ අනාගත ඉරණම තීන්දු වන්නේ ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය මෙම මහා පින්තුරය තේරුම්ගන්නා ප්‍රමාණයට සාපේක්‌ෂවය. ජනතා විමුක්‌ති පෙරමුණ මෙම ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළදී ආණ්‌ඩුවට පහසුකම් සලසමින් රට අර්බුදයට යෑවීම තමාට දේශපාලන වශයෙන් වාසිදායක වන බවට කල්පනා කරන බව දැන් ඉතා පැහැදිලිව පෙනේ. ව්‍යවස්‌ථා සම්පාදක සභාව මගින් දියත්කොට ඇති ක්‍රියාදාමයට විපක්‍ෂය විසින් සුජාතභාවය ලබා දුනහොත් බෙදුම්වාදීන්ට විවිධ මට්‌ටම් වලදී විවෘත වන දොරවල් ප්‍රමාණයෙන් එම ක්‍රියාදාමයේ භයානකකම පැහැදිලි වේ. කෙසේ වෙතත් මේ එක්‌ යතුරක්‌ හෝ නොමැතිව වුවද බෙදුම්වාදීන් දැනටමත් තමා සතුකොට ගෙන ඇති 13 වැනි සංශෝධන යතුර නියම ආකාරයට භාවිතා කිරීමට ඉඩ ලැබුණහොත් යම් දුෂ්කරතා සහිතව වුවත් ඊළම දක්‌වා දිවෙන කැලෑ පාර විවෘත කළහැකි බවද අමතක නොකළ යුතුය.

තරුණ හාදයාගේ ආශාව

August 2nd, 2016

කතුවැකිය උපුටා ගැන්ම දිවයින

කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැතිවරයා ඉතා විශාල මුදලක්‌ ගෙවා තම අමාත්‍යාංශය සඳහා ගොඩනැඟිල්ලක්‌ මිලදී ගත් කතාව මාස හතරක්‌ පහක්‌ පරණ කතාවකි. කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැතිවරයා ගිය මගම අනුගමනය කරමින් තවත් ඇමැතිවරුද ඒ ආකාරයට ගොඩනැඟිලි මිලදී ගත් කතාවද පරණය. එවැනි බොහෝ ඇමැතිවරු සිය අමාත්‍යාංශ එම ගොඩනැඟිලිවල ආරම්භ කළ කතාවද, එම ගොඩනැඟිලි සඳහා මිල අධික බඩු බාහිරාදිය ගැනීමේ කතාවද පරණය.

අපට කියන්නට තිබෙන අලුත්ම අලුත් කතාව ඊට වඩා වෙනස්‌ අමුතුම එකකි. කතාව කෙටියෙන්ම කියනවානම්, “කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැතිවරයා විශාල මුදලක්‌ ගෙවා කුලියට ගත් එම ගොඩනැඟිල්ලේ පදිංචියට තවමත් ගොස්‌ නැත. එහෙත් ඒ වෙනුවෙන් මාස හතරකට ගෙවිය යුතු රුපියල් අටකෝටි හතළිස්‌ ලක්‍ෂයක කුලිය ගෙවන්නට කටයුතු කර තිබේ. කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැති ධුරයට අමතරව ශ්‍රීලනිප මහලේකම්වරයා ලෙසද කටයුතු කරන දුමින්ද දිසානායක ඇමැතිවරයාට එම ගොඩනැඟිල්ලේ පදිංචියට ඒමට තවමත් හැකියාව ලැබී නැත්තේ වැඩකටයුතු අධිකවීම නිසාද, නැකතක්‌ හරි නොගිය නිසාද යන කාරණය වැදගත් නැත. මේ මොහොතෙහි රටට වැදගත් වන්නේ රටේ ජනතාවගේ බදු මුදල් මේ තරම් නොසැලකිලිමත් ලෙස අත්තනෝමතික ලෙස නිර්ලඡ්ජිතව නාස්‌ති කිරීමය. කොහොමත් මේ ගොඩනැඟිල්ල කුලියට ගැනීමේ ගනුදෙනුවම “යහපාලන ආණ්‌ඩුව” පවසන නාස්‌තිය දූෂණය අවම කරන ප්‍රතිපත්තියට ගැළපෙන්නේ නැත. කෘෂිකර්ම අමාත්‍යාංශය සඳහා එම ගොඩනැඟිල්ල කුලියට ගන්නේ මසකට රුපියල් දෙකෝටි දසලක්‍ෂයක කුලී පදනමක්‌ යටතේය. ඒ පසුගිය අප්‍රේල් 08 වැනිදාය. ඒ අනුව එම ගොඩනැඟිල්ල වෙනුවෙන් අමාත්‍යාංශය වසර දෙකක කුලිය වශයෙන් රුපියල් පනස්‌කෝටි හතළිස්‌ ලක්‍ෂයක මුදලක්‌ අත්තිකාරම් ලෙස ගෙවා ඇත. රජයේ මුදල් මේ අන්දමින් වැය කිරීම කොතරම් යුක්‌ති යුක්‌තදැයි විගණකාධිපතිවරයාද, කෘෂිකර්ම අමාත්‍යාංශයේ ලේකම්වරයාගෙන් පසුගිය මැයි මාසයේදී විමසා තිබිණි.

කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැතිවරයා මෙම ගොඩනැඟිල්ල මිලදී ගැනීමේ තීන්දුව ගන්නේ ඒ සඳහා රජයේ ගොඩනැඟිල්ලක්‌ අවම මිලකට මිලදී ගන්නට පූර්ණ හැකියාව තිබියදීය. එසේත් නැත්නම් මේ වැයකරන මුදලින් සුදුසු ඉඩමක අමාත්‍යාංශය සඳහා නවීන ගොඩනැඟිල්ලක්‌ ඉදිකිරීම කළ යුතුව තිබිණි. එම ගොඩනැඟිල්ල මිලදී ගැනීමට තිබූ හදිසිය දැන් පෙනෙන්නට නැති නිසා සුළු කාලයක්‌ ගෙන ගොඩනැඟිල්ල ඉදිකිරීම කළ හැකිව තිබිණි. එහෙත් ඒ කිසිවත්ම නොතකා මෙවැනි අවලස්‌සන ගනුදෙනුවකට යැම සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම නාස්‌තිකාර වියදමක්‌ බව කිව යුතුය.

මෙවැනි නාස්‌තිකාර වියදම් කර ගොඩනැඟිල්ල මිලදී ගන්නා කවර අමාත්‍යාංශයක්‌ වුව රටේ ජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් කරන්නේ මොනවාදැයි අප අසන්නට ඉක්‌මන් වන්නේ නැත්තේ වසරක්‌ පිරුණු ආණ්‌ඩුවකින් එසේ ඇසීම සාධාරණ නැති නිසාය. මුල් වටයේදී තීරුබදු රහිත සුපිරි කාර් ගෙන්වීමටත්, තම සුපිරි දීමනා “තවත් ටිකක්‌” වැඩිකර ගැනීමටත්, මිලියන ගණන් වැය කොට බොරු ව්‍යාපෘති ආරම්භ කිරීමටත් තමන්ගේ කතිරයෙන් පත්වූ මහජන නියෝජිතයාට ඉඩ නොදෙන්නේ නම්, රටේ ජනතාවගෙන් ඇති වැඩේ මොකක්‌ද?

නැවතත් සිහිපත් කරනවානම් කෘෂිකර්ම ඇමැති දුමින්ද දිසානායක පක්‍ෂයේ මහලේකම්ය. දේශපාලන පරපුරක පුරුකක්‌ය. යහපාලන ආණ්‌ඩුව ගෙන එන්නට මාරක තීන්දුවක්‌ ගෙන ඒ වෙනුවෙන් කැපවූ අයෙකි. නාස්‌තිය දූෂණය වළක්‌වන්නට ප්‍රතිඥ දුන් කණ්‌ඩායමේ මහත්මයෙකි. ඒ සියල්ලටම වඩා තරුණ කොල්ලෙකි. එහෙව් තත්ත්වයක්‌ තුළ ටිකක්‌ කළඑළියට සිටින්නට ඔහුගේ ඇති කැමැත්ත මොන ප්‍රතිපත්තිවලටත් වඩා ඉහළය. එහෙත් අපට කියන්නට යමක්‌ තිබේ. ජනතා ඡන්දයෙන් පත්ව ජනතා නියෝජිතයන් ලෙස පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ගිය සියලුම දෙනා මේ ආකාරයෙන් තමන්ගේ “ගොඩ වැඩිකර ගැනීමේ” මාරාන්තික මෙහෙයුමට සහභාගි වී සිටීම ගැන අපට අවබෝධ කරගත හැකිය. එහෙත් ඒ වෙනුවෙන් ජනතාව ගොනාට අන්දන වැඩපිළිවෙළ අනුමත කළ නොහැකිය.


August 2nd, 2016

Sugath Samarasinghe

I learn that the Sri Lanka Tourist Board under the Minister of Tourism and Christian Affairs(a curious combination!) has signed an MOU with the Government of India to create Ramayana Tourist Trail in Sri Lanka. I recall that such an effort came up when the last UNP government was last in office in early years of year 2000 and later went down either due to opposition locally or after the change of government later. It seems to have raised   its ugly head again.

It is fairly well known in this country the type of Indian tourist who comes here on such religious kind of tourism live a frugal life here and spend as little money as possible thus bringing little revenue to this country. It also appears that this matter has been initiated by the Foreign Minister of India on her last visit here. Why is India pushing this matter? I think we have to look at the larger picture here. There is more to it than meets the eye. It is high time that our policy makers take a hard look at it.

It appears that Indian policy makers are looking at acquiring a hegemony over all its neighbours following the doctrine spelt out by Panikkar, to make all its small neighbours vassal states of India. The strategy appears to be through signing various MOUs and Treaties with these countries in different fields including trade, cultural and social services etc. leading to their free access to and presence in these countries with a view drain their economic resources and exploiting whatever other resources they have and make them their economic consumers.

This could well be seen in the manner India has progressively achieved this objective with its land locked neighbours, Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan since Independence in 1947. After a series of Treaties between the two countries, Sikkim was annexed to India as the 22nd state of India. It is important to note that the leader of that country who facilitated these treaties ended up as the first Chief Minister of this State. Similarly India signed altogether 14 such treaties and MOUs since 1950 with Bhutan exploiting all its economic resources disempowering her into submission through bullying tactics. Bhutan has virtually become a vassal state of India.

It is well known how during the last few decades India bullied Nepal, latest step by not supplying Nepal fuel in terms of the agreements between the two countries. India’s bullying has reached such a state that India dictated to Nepal what should be included in their Constitution.

Sri Lanka being an island separated from India by sea, enjoying some extent of isolation, we have been able to exercise some degree of independence. But since 1977 India has been making clear inroads to influence this country violating our independence ignoring the Panchaseela Principles originally enunciated by Jawaharlal Nehru. We should recall that India sought to brazenly destabilize this country by training and providing succor to the Tamil Terrorists, interfered with aggression when Sri Lanka government forces sought to deal the final blow on the Terrorists, illegally forced a Peace Accord with a 13th amendment to our Constitution creating Provincial Councils that have become a white elephant. The only resentment to this dastardly act was by a lone Naval Rating who tried to assault Rajiv Gandhi with his rifle butt, followed of course by the countrywide insurrection lead by the JVP. India was then taught a lesson by the LTTE that they were not pushovers whom India anticipated to vanquish them in 72 hours. LTTE then went on to kill Rajiv Gandhi in his own country. Anyway, Sri Lanka could only defeat the LTTE because India did not interfere this time probably having learnt a lesson. However, no sooner than the LTTE was defeated India sought an established two consular offices, one at Jaffna, and other, of all places, at  Hambantota,  no doubt watch posts. They then grabbed the contract to rebuild the Northrn Railway line when it could have been done cheaper and better by the Sri Lanka Railway. Now they secured another contract to build houses for the homeless in the Northern Provinces despite the fact that the homes so planned to build are not suitable to this country climatically. India has already acquired the rights in the distribution of oil by the IOC depriving the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation a return of Rs.525 billion. In the meantime India is planning to build a Bridge across the Palk Strait at their own expense, for whose benefit? Sri Lanka did not ask for such a bridge. Then they are foisting on this country an ambulance service, unasked by Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka’s ability to deploy its Health Department fleet in a network as has already been demonstrated by the NP Provincial Health Minister. It is obvious that by this means India is going to run a spy service all over the country. The peculiar situation is that, it is India that is deciding what Sri Lanka needs!

At the moment, the Northern Fishermen are deprived of their catch by intruding fishermen from Tamil Nadu using prohibited fishing gear, so blatantly that some arrests of these intruders have been made as far down as Kalpitiya. India, whilst violating law of international waters, is urging Sri Lanka to negotiate with them to accommodate the Indian poachers!

Apart from all this, we are now confronted with an ECTA initiated by India. Sri Lankan government appears to be trapped into it already. All this, in spite of the disadvantages suffered by this country with the already signed CEPA. And now a cultural invasion in the form of a bogus Rama Trail, signing an MOU with the SL Tourist Board in order to  bring down hordes of Indian tourists here. Now as said before, it is common knowledge here that Indian tourist are such a frugal set that they spend hardly any foreign exchange here. What the SL Tourist Board does not seem to realize is that it is not the number of tourist arrivals that matter but the foreign exchange that they spend here. Hence it is to be surmised as to what India is expecting out of such an MOU. Judging by what came about to Sikkim, Nepal and Bhutan with such treaties, it is not difficult to see what India is upto. We must be smart enough to see that India is slowly but surely closing on us on all sides.

If our governments do not realize this danger even at this late stage and withdraw from these MOUs, Treaties and other seemingly benign traps, we are going to deprive our future generations the space to live in an independent country for which our ancestors fought and died for two millennia, we are destined to fall into the same trap that Sikkim, Bhutan and Nepal have fallen.

Sugath Samarasinghe

Marketing Ravana

August 2nd, 2016

Editorial Courtesy The Island

Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation Nimal Siripala de Silva took pride in telling the world the other day about Ravana, the mythical Lankan king thought to have been capable of super human feats. He told an international conference of aviation high-flyers in Colombo on Monday that Ravana was the first to fly an aircraft—of course, according to legend.

It was a supreme irony that the civil aviation minister had to admit almost in the same breath that his government was looking for a partner to operate the Mattala airport!

The legend is silent on Ravana’s ministers. But, there is reason to believe that the mythical king did not have a minister in charge of aviation. Else, his flying machine, Dandumonara, would have been more grounded than airborne or he would have had to mortgage or sell it to the Indians to settle debts! He may also not have had an agricultural minister. For, the legend does not tell us that paddy was stored at the Dandumonara parking stand!

Flying is not the only first Ravana has been credited with. A little known fact is that Genghis Khan was the father of biological warfare in that he had rotting corpses catapulted into the forts he laid siege to so that diseases would spread, causing his enemies to surrender. His method worked and others developed it later on. Similarly, we are told that millennia before the Americans devised the method of extraordinary rendition, which, in plain English, means abducting people and airlifting them to prisons in various parts of the world, Ravana had practised it. He flew across the Palk Straits alone and returned, carrying Sita in his Dandumonara. His was an act of revenge. However, according to legend, he did not harm the damsel in distress.

One may argue that Lanka has experienced bloodbaths because of two notable Indian women—Sita and Indira. Sita was not responsible for violence her husband unleashed here on her behalf according to legend, but Indira was real and had a hand in creating militant outfits to terrorise this country.

Modern-day Sri Lankan rulers are in the habit of boasting of the country’s glorious past, especially its engineering marvels and, at the same time, begging for foreign assistance even to fix dilapidated sewers built by colonialists! We hope Minister Siripala hasn’t, due to his speech which extolled Ravana as a genius, incurred the wrath of his political bosses who are currying favour with the worshippers of Rama and Hanuman.

Ravana perished in an epic battle with Rama and his monkey army mainly because he was betrayed by his brother Vibhishana, who sided with his enemies from India. Ravana’s genes may not have got passed down. For, today, Sri Lankans cannot at least maintain an airport without foreign assistance let alone manufacture aircraft. But, some of them have inherited Vibhishana’s DNA as evident from their frantic efforts to hammer out trade, economic and technological pacts loaded in favour of India at the expense of Lanka. Vibhishana’s descendants are amenable to attempts to rebuild the ‘monkey bridge’ between India and Sri Lanka. They have also sided with invading armies throughout history; they even made elaborate arrangements to celebrate the quincentenary of the arrival of the first western conquerors, the Portuguese, but, thankfully, lost power one year before the event scheduled for 2005.

Now that a senior minister has spoken so highly of Ravana before an international audience, let him and others of his ilk urge the government to ensure that the mythical king of Lanka is given due recognition or, more appropriately, parity of status in the Ramayanaya trail project.

Economists tell Sri Lanka president, finance minister, their policies inconsistent

August 2nd, 2016

Couresy The Daily Start (Lebanon)

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka: Two Sri Lankan economists told a summit attended by President Maithripala Sirisena and his finance minister Tuesday the government’s economic policies were destabilizing and inconsistent, one calling its price controls “supreme idiocy.”

Sri Lanka has been struggling against a balance of payments crisis, partly caused by heavy external borrowing under the previous government. In May, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Colombo signed a $1.5 billion bailout agreement.

“There has been supreme idiocy of price controls,” Razeen Sally, an economics professor and head of Sri Lanka’s economic policy think tank, the Institute of Policy Studies, told an annual economic summit in Colombo.

Sri Lanka last month announced price controls of essential goods but local traders protested saying the new prices were lower than those of imports.

“There has been many ad hoc measures on taxation. Businesses are very vexed because of the high level of unpredictability and uncertainties,” Sally said, and accused the government of an “excessive increase in state spending and salaries.”

Sirisena, who came to power in January last year, and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake were both in the audience at the time.

After the 2016 budget was signed off in November, the government introduced a number of amendments, including tax increases, which were among the measures requested by the IMF as part of the loan deal.

But last month the Supreme Court temporarily suspended these because they had not yet been approved by the parliament.

Sally said the government should refrain from further “ad hoc” tax measures, and should focus on fiscal consolidation and improving local business and investment climate.

Another economist, former deputy central bank governor Weerakoon Wijewardena, told the forum he believed the government’s fiscal and monetary policies were contradictory, referring in particular to the finance ministry’s introduction of tax concessions for some vehicles, days after the central bank raised rates last week.

The central bank raised the key policy interest rates by 50 basis points last week for the first time since February.

“Both monetary and fiscal policies are working in opposite directions,” Wijewardena told the audience.

“Now, in order to negate the tax concession, the central bank will have to increase the policy rates further in the near future.”

Finance Minister Karunanayake responded at the forum to defend the tax concession for vehicles, saying it was targeted and would therefore have minimum impact on the government revenue.

Sri Lanka says Chinese firm drops claim over Colombo Port City’s delay in return for getting additional land for the project,

August 2nd, 2016

Courtesy Asia Times

China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) has dropped its claim against the Sri Lankan government for $143 million in compensation for delaying the $1.4 billion Colombo Port City development, in return for getting additional land for the project, the government said on Tuesday.

The news completes a U-turn on the Port City project on Colombo’s new waterfront by President Maithripala Sirisena’s administration, which had suspended the project in March last year because of concerns over the award of the contract to the Chinese construction giant by the previous government.

It will now award CCCC a minimum of 110 hectares of land out of a total 269 hectares that have been reclaimed from the sea in the commercial heart of the capital adjacent to the main port and the historic Galle Face Green.

The project is managed locally by CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, which signed an agreement with the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) in September 2014 in the presence of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

“The project company has agreed to withdraw all compensation claims for losses due to suspension of the project,” the government said in a document seen by Reuters.

However, the government has stuck to its decision not to grant the freehold on 20 hectares of land to the Chinese firm, the cabinet document said, as India has strongly protested against the move. Instead, all the land will be held on a 99-year lease, a cabinet document said.

India, which uses the adjoining Colombo port to tranship 80 percent of its imports and exports, has raised strong concerns over granting freehold land to China.

Since coming to power at the start of 2015, President Sirisena’s administration has suspended most Chinese-backed infrastructure projects that, it says, were overpriced and financed on onerous terms harmful to the national interest.

Soon after the project’s suspension CCCC estimated it was losing more than $380,000 a day as a result and had sought $143 million in compensation as of March 23, another document submitted to the cabinet showed.

Pada Yathra: The coming of age of a new political force

August 2nd, 2016

by C. A. Chandraprema Courtesy The Island

The Joint Opposition’s pada yathra from Kandy to Colombo over five days from the 28th of July to the 1st August undoubtedly made political history. This country has not seen anything like it before. I observed the commencement of the pada yathra in Kandy on the 28th and its end in Mawanella that day and the commencement of its final leg from Kiribathgoda as well as the final janahamuwa at the Lipton Circus. Before the final leg began from Kiribathgoda, Mahinda Rajapaksa, addressing the crowd that had assembled for the start, said he had organised pada yathras before but that was going to be the biggest such event the country had yet seen, and he was right. The sky was overcast from morning but the weather held till the pada yathra concluded at Lipton Circus and that was a major contributing factor to its success.

A pada yathra is by far the most gruelling and exhausting form of protest that one can think of. This is not for the old or the infirm or the overweight. As such the participation at events like this will be considerably lower than for any other political event. Despite this when the pada yathra commenced in Kandy on the 28th, the crowd that participated was larger than at most political meetings. I thought would compare very favourably with the attendance at the first ‘Mahinda Sulanga’ rally in Nugegoda in February last year. The commencement of the last leg from Kiribathgoda was also a sight to behold. The police cleared the three lanes of the road leading to Colombo and at around 10.30 am the pada yathra commenced with the pilot vehicles moving into position. As the procession began to move, large numbers of people came rushing out onto the other side of the road from of the Kiribathgoda bus stand where they had assembled, and moved on ahead of the pilot vehicles.

In Kandy as well as during the last leg from Kiribathgoda, the pada yathra was actually led by a disorganised crowd several thousand strong, with the more organised groups coming later. After having observed the start of the procession, I fell in behind the last group in the pada yathra which was led by D. V. Upul and walked with the procession for several kilometres. The three lanes of the road were a sea of heads as far as the eye could see. It was not a procession made up of people walking in groups of five or six or even ten or fifteen. People were walking 25 to 30 abreast, from the pavement to the centre fence and the entire road was densely packed.

Even with the road completely cleared of traffic, it took an hour for the procession to pass one spot. Aerial footage of the Kiribathgoda town would have been quite a sight. I dropped out of the procession after a few kilometres and after relaxing with a friend, went to the Lipton Circus to see the final janahamuwa. The pada yathra started moving from Kiribathgoda to Colombo without knowing where exactly in Colombo they were headed. Even after crossing the Kelaniya bridge and moving onto Baseline road, nobody knew where they were headed. A few people inquired from me whether I knew where they were going. After a while this writer received a call from a university academic who was in the procession saying that they had turned towards Maligawatte from Baseline road. That was the indication that the pada yathra would be moving towards Hyde Park which they had booked earlier for the final meeting.

Even though the grueling walk from Kiribathgoda to Colombo would have made several thousands including this writer drop out of the procession half way, some more would have joined en route so the final group that assembled at Lipton Circus would have been as large as the crowd that began the march. After all the marchers had reached the destination, the whole of Lipton Circus was one sea of heads – probably the largest crowd to assemble at that location yet. From the very beginning the government leaders made a mess of the way they handled this opposition protest. They made it obvious that they were in a blind panic about the opposition march. They tried to obtain magistrates’ orders banning the protest from every Magistrate’s court along the route from Kandy to Colombo and failed. They tried to convey the impression that UNP membership drives were to be held in Kandy and Mawanella on the same day as the pada yathra but failed to get the respective magistrates to issue restraining orders on the Joint Opposition protest.

Ultimately, no membership drives were held at all in Kandy and Mawanella making it look as if the pada yathra had caused the UNP membership drives to get washed out. The stated objective of the pada yathra was to protest against ETCA, the VAT increase, the persecution of armed forces personnel and other such issues. However, the obvious unstated objective was to solidify public support for the opposition coalition so as to be able to strike out on their own as a political party against both the UNP and the SLFP at future elections. The latter objective they have certainly achieved with the Hyde Park meeting in March, the May Day rally and now this pada yathra. The overwhelming success of the pada yathra has laid the groundwork for the Joint Opposition to form a new political party to contest the local government elections or the provincial elections whichever comes first.

In fact, the May day rallies this year was a desperate contest between the rival political forces in the country to see which side drew the biggest crowds. This writer went to observe the UNP rally in Campbell Park, the JVP rally in BRC grounds and the Joint Opposition rally in Kirullapone as the rallies peaked between 4.30 and 5.30 pm. The UNP rally had commenced by that time in Campbell Park but people were still marching to the venue from Panchikawatte through Maradana and Borella. Taking into account all the people at Campbell Park and those still on the road, and the JVP rally which was easier to observe since the entire procession had arrived at the BRC grounds by that time, this writer found that the Kirullapone rally was much larger than both the UNP and JVP rallies. So, the government lost the contest to draw the largest crowds on May day. As for the pada yathra, it can be stated with confidence that neither the UNP or even the UNP and SLFP Sirisena faction combined, will be able to even think of organising something like that.

If the UNP and the SLFP (Sirisena faction) was not able to outdo the Joint Opposition on May Day, it stands to reason to assume that they will not be able to compete in organising a pada yathra bigger than the Joint Opposition’s show because of the greater difficulties involved. The Hyde Park rally in March, the May day rally and now the pada yathra coming just six to eight weeks after one another shows an incredible capacity on the part of the Joint Opposition to mobilise huge crowds. They are now well prepared to enter the hustings as a separate political party. Mahinda Rajapaksa has an advantage that neither SWRD Bandaranaike nor the DUNF led by Lalith and Gamini had when they split from the UNP. When Bandaranaike split from the UNP, he went into an opposition which was then dominated by the LSSP and he had to elbow his way to the top. In the case of the DUNF the opposition was dominated by the SLFP.

However, the advantage that Rajapaksa has over both SWRD Bandaranaike and the DUNF is that he has a complete monopoly of the national opposition in a situation where even the JVP is seen for the large part as a yahapalana coalition partner. The contest between the government and the opposition is a straight fight between the MS and RW-led government and the MR-led opposition and that is what makes the shows of strength in Hyde Park, on May Day and the pada yathra so important. Many people feel that though the Joint Opposition put up grand shows of force with the ‘Mahinda Sulanga’ rallies starting from the historic Nugegoda rally of 18 February 2015, that still did not enable them to win power. However, the circumstances before and after August 2015 are very different. Before August 2015, the Joint Opposition and Rajapaksa were captives, so to speak, of Maithripala Sirisena, who could by giving speeches and writing letters, undermine the entire campaign led by MR. That situation has changed since August. What we saw with the pada yathra of the Joint Opposition is not only a political event of historic significance, but also the coming of age of a new opposition force.

Sri Lanka: Reliability of IMF’s judgments and programme efficacy

August 2nd, 2016

by C. R. de Silva, Retired World Bank Official Courtesy The Island


In two recent feature stories published in The Island, ( titled Sri Lanka – Case for $ 3-4.5 Billion in IMF Funding in May 2016 and Sri Lanka – Avoiding the Road to Greece? on 13 June 2016), some important issues were raised by this writer questioning the current IMF program assisting Sri Lanka and raising related issues for the government to consider.

More specifically, the above-mentioned articles raised the critical issue whether any kind of structural economic shift like a ‘lift-off’ of the economy, as forecast by the IMF, could even be conceived in the county’s dire economic and fiscal circumstances with such a modest inflow of IMF funds as $ 1.5 billion, doled out in six meagre tranches over a three-year period, given the country’s massive accumulated external debt and after satisfying a politically difficult, IMF-mandated reform program, which was inherently difficult to achieve in the current context of coalition unity pressures, and given the very radical and politically sensitive nature of some of the policy reforms the government was required to achieve.


In summary, the questions posed in the previous stories were: Is too little IMF financial transfusion creating too high expectations given the goals the program set out to achieve? In the context of a reported government request for $ 3-4.5 billion in IMF relief, was there a justifiable case for a much larger IMF operation under the EFF, when compared to $ 350 billion bail-out for Greece?

A final substantive question was also raised in the articles about IMF procedures. Given fairly conclusive staff-level decisions which were publicly communicated to the Government, and also from IMF headquarters subsequent to the mission’s field work, almost no discretion was left to an 18-member Executive Board representing some 185 member countries to reach its own considered and objective decision in regard to the proposed IMF program in Sri Lanka.

As a result, IMF’s Executive Directors became a rubber stamp board ratifying publicly announced staff lending decisions, already communicated to the government, which had already begun to act on the recommended policy measures though the funding level was grossly inadequate to address the huge external debt burden without debt restructuring, and the policy measures themselves being quite controversial and politically difficult to achieve. The disastrous Greek saga is evidence that this is an inherently faulty procedure. The important point was also made that this procedure of the IMF varied radically from that in similar organizations such as the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, where the Executive Board took the substantive decision to approve loans on management and staff proposals.

The discussion in the second published article mentioned above, namely Sri Lanka – Avoiding the Road to Greece? concluded with the question : where does the above IMF relief operation take Sri Lanka in the next months and years, given that the country’s critical current economic situation brought to the fore the IMF’s role in recent and ongoing crises in Greece, which continues to afflict another democratically elected Government in a more developed economy, in a country of only 11 million people which had received $ 350 billion in bail-outs from a troika of lenders, including principally, the IMF.

There, too, the country has lived way beyond its means, raised billions in foreign exchange by issuing bonds in every conceivable market, a strategy which became progressively more expensive in interest rate terms, causing the value of its currency to crash, leading to an inability to meet the demands of its external and domestic creditors, culminating in a run on its local banks, and a series of financial bail-outs by the IMF, the European Development Bank and Germany, its three principal sources of financial rescue.

Now, the time has come for the IMF’s role and program in Greece to be evaluated. Their fallout is very relevant and highly significant for Sri Lanka, where substantive issues have been publicly raised about the appropriateness of the size and substance of the IMF relief program, following the results of the bail-out for Greece implemented by the above-mentioned principal external creditors. What important lessons flow for less sophisticated, emerging market economies like Sri Lanka from the continuing Greek economic tragedy, and for a Sri Lankan Government which is implicitly following every IMF prescription placed before it ? What does the the IMF’s own independent department dedicated to evaluate the organization’s programs have to say about the IMF’s bailouts for Greece?



The IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office (IEO) has issued a critical Report on the organization’s role in the economic crises in Greece, which makes the following points:

1. the IMF move to lend Greece more than normally permitted being an European country, raised eyebrows in the developing world where IMF’s assistance in crisis has been less flexible (eg. compare $ 1.5 billion to Sri Lanka over three years with $ 350 billion for Greece);

2. weaknesses in IMF’s decision-making process for Greece, created a precedent which was essentially repeated for Ireland and Portugal in crisis;

3. the IMF failed to achieve the necessary debt relief for a deeply-indebted country within the bail-out framework, which was critical to restore debt sustainability (eg. compare absence of IMF focus on debt restructuring for Sri Lanka, which would have relieved the current debt service burden);

4. by rushing to agree with EEC institutions not to restructure Greece’s massive debt, the IMF not only forfeited its independence (unable to change course when the Greece program stumbled early on), and lost its effectiveness and agility as an independent assessor and crisis manager, but also failed to lighten Greece’s financial burden;

5. therefore, while Greece’s debt restructuring was off the table at the very outset of the IMF program, the IMF did not push for it when the likelihood of program success increasingly came into doubt; debt restructuring became required later when early bail-outs failed;

6. the IMF-assisted programs in Greece (and Portugal) incorporated overly optimistic economic growth projections, and lessons from past crises were not applied (compare IMF forecast of a ‘lift-off’ or a major structural shift from the $ 1.5 billion EFF program in Sri Lanka);

7. the IMF always led by European Managing Directors (e.g: Camdessus, Strauss-Khan and now Lagarde, all French) was too embedded in European sensitivities and unable to make clear-eyed assessments of economic risks;

8. the IMF evaluation report held back from concluding that the management and staff bowed to political pressure from European partner institutions; but stressed that since the credibility of the IMF comes from staff technical competence and independence, the Managing Director must ensure that IMF technical work is protected from political influence. (To be continued)

Bribery Commission urged to probe nearly Rs. 1 bn transaction-SLFP Gen. Secy denies any wrongdoing on his part

August 2nd, 2016

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

National Freedom Front (NFF) MP Jayantha Samaraweera yesterday alleged that the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) hadn’t initiated an inquiry into his complaint in respect of the Agriculture Ministry renting a building for a five-year period at a staggering cost of about Rs 1bn.

Kalutara District MP Samaraweera said that in accordance with an agreement between the Agriculture Ministry and Upali Jayasinghe, the proprietor of the building at No 288, Rajagiriya-Kotte, Jayawardenepura road, the government had paid him rent for two years amounting to approximately Rs. 570 mn. The MP said that he was acting on behalf of the Joint Opposition.

MP Samaraweera told The Island that the CIABOC had been obviously reluctant to inquire into his complaint lodged on April 28, 2016 against Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake, who was also the General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

“I have received a communiqué dated May 2, 2016 from the Secretary to the CIABOC acknowledging the receipt of my complaint:”

Minister Dissanayake on Monday night admitted that the CIABOC hadn’t even contacted him regarding the complaint. The SLFP General Secretary was responding to a spate of questions regarding the controversial transaction on ‘Salakuna’, a live political programme on Hiru TV. Minister Dissanayake repeatedly denied allegations that CIABOC had only inquired into complaints against those opposed to the yahapalana government.

Pressed for an explanation why the Agriculture Ministry had rented a new office space, Minister Dissanayake said that the Parliament wanted to acquire Govijana Mandiraya on Rajamalwatte road, Battaramulla. The SLFP General Secretary said that parliament planned to set up sectorial oversight committees therein.

The Island sought a clarification from MP Samaraweera in respect of Minister Dissanayake claim that the sectoral oversight committees were to be established at Govijana Mandiraya. MP Samaraweera said that the parliament had established Sectoral Oversight Committees as well as Committee on Public Finance. The Parliament had suspended Standing Orders that set guidelines for Consultative Committees which oversaw ministries, to pave the way for Sectoral Oversight Committees’ and Committee on Public Finance, MP Samaraweera said.

The 16 Sectoral Oversight Committees empowered to examine all Bills, Resolutions, Treaties, Reports and other matters relating to subjects within their jurisdiction are: Economic Development; International Relations; National Security; Sustainable Development and Environment and Natural Resources; Women and Gender; Education and Human Resources Development; Health and Human Welfare, Social Empowerment; Transport and Communication; Agriculture and Lands; Legal Affairs (anti-corruption) and Media; Youth, Sports, Arts and Heritage; Business and Commerce; Energy; Manufacturing and Services; Internal Administration and Public Management; and Reconciliation and North & East Reconstruction.


MP Samaraweera said that that the Agriculture Ministry still functioned at Govijana Mandiraya though the government had already paid Rs 570 mn rent for a private building which was still being refurbished. According to him, monthly rent amounted to over Rs 20 mn and rent had been paid for five months though the Agriculture Ministry was weeks if not months away from moving there. In line with the agreement, following completion of three years of five-year agreement, the owner would receive 15 per cent increase in monthly rent, MP Samaraweera said.

MP Samaraweera said that Sectoral Oversight Committee had been functioning in parliament though an attempt was being made to deceive the public they couldn’t function for want of required accommodation.

The MP said parliament had received two proposals regarding the proposed setting up of Sectoral Oversight Committees. Some believed they could be established outside the parliamentary complex, MP Samaraweera said, adding that others felt that the space used to park vehicles belonging to officials could be modified to accommodate the proposed committees. Although, there had been several rounds discussions in this regard the parliament never decided on this matter, MP Samaraweera said, alleging that the Agriculture Ministry went ahead with the transaction in spite of the Auditor General’s Department strongly recommending against it.

MP Samaraweera said that he was in possession of the relevant documents pertaining to the transaction.

Responding to another query, MP Samaraweera said that the Chief Government Valuer estimated a square foot of the rented building at Rs 150 whereas the Agriculture Ministry finalized the transaction at Rs 167.50 a square foot plus service charges amounting to Rs 60.50 per square foot.

The MP said that the Agriculture Ministry could have moved to the government-owned Sethsiripaya as their total staff was about 90. However, the Agriculture Ministry had declined to move there claiming lack of space and instead made fresh representations to cabinet regarding the private building.

Those who had been preaching the country about good governance, accountability and transparency in the run up to presidential and parliamentary polls last year remained silent, MP Samaraweera said.

CIABOC didn’t respond to a query regarding MP Samaraweera’s complaint forwarded by The Island.

The MP said that he would take up the Agriculture Ministry matter again with the CIABOC and other agencies probing waste and corruption. The government should review the entire transaction as obviously Sectoral Oversight Committees could comfortably function in parliament and even if there was a problem regarding space, the country couldn’t afford to waste taxpayers’ money.

Dayan Jayatilake replies to Mangala

August 2nd, 2016

Dayan Jayatilake Courtesy The Daily Mirror

 Sri Lanka’s former Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Dayan Jayatilake has sent the following statement as a right of reply to the statement made by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera since Mr. Jayatilake’s name has been mentioned.

I write to refute a statement made with direct reference to me, by Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera in the course of his response to former President Rajapaksa in the newspapers of Monday August 1, 2016 under the caption Enough is Enough,” he said.

The following is his reply: “I have no intention of replying to Minister Samaraweera’s counter-critique of President Rajapaksa’s critical remarks on the structure of the Office of Missing Persons. However, as a student of comparative international politics I cannot help but note that Minister Samaraweera’s model of the OMP derives from contexts that are very different to that of Sri Lanka and thus has little relevance to us. The OMP derives from mechanisms for investigation into persons missing under military juntas in Latin America or mechanisms set up, also mainly in Latin America, in consequence of negotiated settlements arrived at, usually with external mediation/facilitation, between guerrilla movements and incumbent regimes.

Sri Lanka’s context is drastically different, i.e. that of a democratic state, with democratically elected governments, and whose legitimate armed forces fought a war strictly within its borders, against a terrorist enemy and won an outright victory. In no such context has there been a mechanism structured as the OMP is.

Nowhere in Asia, in the aftermath of war or even transitions from prolonged military regimes, has a mechanism such as the OMP been set up. Quite apart from Asia, even in liberal democratic Spain, an EU and NATO member, there isn’t anything remotely like the OMP to investigate into disappearances during the Civil War.

One cannot help but point out that the morally laudable and ethically necessary quest –from any humanistic and humanitarian perspective–for closure for the families and loved ones of missing persons, has already been carried out by the Maxwell Paranagama Commission. Any lacuna could have addressed by a renewed and modified mandate for that Commission. One fails to grasp the logic of the new structure, the OMP.

That said, may I move on to the point made with direct reference to me by the Hon. Minister. He writes:

This was also evident when he [President Mahinda Rajapaksa] and UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki Moon agreed to an accountability process in their 2009 Joint Communique, which was later made into a formal commitment to the entire international community via the 2009 Geneva resolution when Dayan Jayatilleka was Sri Lanka’s ambassador in Geneva.”

To use diplomatic language, I shall content myself by saying that the Honorable Minister’s statement is entirely without foundation in fact and fails to either correspond with empirical reality or accord with logic.

A smidgeon of logic alone should make Minister Samaraweera wonder why the resolutions moved by the US in the UNHRC on Sri Lanka in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015, made no mention whatsoever to the Resolution of May 2009. Surely, if Minister Samaraweera were right and he is grappling with a legacy of President Rajapaksa’s and my commitments to the international community in May 2009, then the subsequent resolutions, all of which commence with a preamble establishing continuity and locating itself in an institutional context, should have made some reference to the UNHRC resolution of May 2009. The fact that they do not, make amply clear to any logical mind, that there is no continuity with the UNHRC resolution of May 2009.

Foreign Minister Samaraweera and his Prime Minister must stop telling untruths on the public record that President Mahinda Rajapaksa agreed to an accountability mechanism-they sometimes say an international investigation – in his May 23, 2009 Joint Statement with Ban Ki Moon and later in the May 2009 Resolution in favor of Sri Lanka which obtained a near-two thirds majority in the UN Human Right Council.

The understandings contained therein” (in that Joint Statement) were that the Government would take unspecified measures to address grievances regarding an accountability process with regard to human rights and humanitarian law violations. It merely and blandly stated that the Government will take measures to address those grievances”. This is hardly a smoking gun! There is no statement to the effect that the UN S-G and the Government of Sri Lanka agreed” on any accountability approach or measures. There is no evidence of any commitment to an accountability mechanism, domestic, international or hybrid. Indeed it is a semantic model of anodyne diplomatic ambiguity.

Our victory in the vote in May 2009 did not put or retain Sri Lanka on the agenda of the UN HRC. The EU driven Special Session did, but our diplomatic victory removed it from the agenda and there was no further action mandated– not even the need to report back to the Council.

That is why even Callum Macrae of Channel 4 laments as late as November 2014 that …the Rajapaksa regime pulled off a stunning coup when it gained 29 votes for a resolution congratulating them on their victory”.

The LLRC and the Disappearances Commission are the measures that the previous Government took, as promised, to address those grievances. That Government’s lapse was in failing to fully implement the LLRC report. That is pretty much all the new government had to do. The return of Sri Lanka to the UN HRC agenda has therefore to be sourced in the actions or inactions – the sins of commission and omission– in the years following the UNHRC success of May 2009, i.e. the post-war years. It has nothing to do with the UNHRC resolution of May 2009.”

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/113452/Dayan-Jayatilake-replies-to-Mangala#sthash.rBW20Kgl.dpuf

පාද යාත්‍රාව පිලිබදව ඥානසාර හිමි ගාල්ලේදී දැක්වූ අදහස්

August 2nd, 2016

මාධ්‍යවේදීන් ඉදිරිපත්කල  ප්‍රශ්න


 Gnasara thero at Galle .mov

1- පාද යාත්‍රාව පිලිබදව ඔබ වහන්සේගේ අදහස කුමක්ද?

2- ජන සටන රැලියට ක්‍රීඩාංගනය  නොදීම පිලිබදව ඔබ වහන්සේගේ අදහස කුමක්ද?

( මෙම ප්‍රශ්න සදහා ඥානසාර හිමි ලබාදුන් පිළිතුරු වීඩියෝව තුල ඇතුලත්ය)

මේරටේ පාලකයින් හා වගකිවයුත්තන් සංහිදියාවක් යැයි ජනතාවට නොතේරෙන අටමගලයන් ගැන කතාකරමින් සිටින අතර අන්‍යආගමික මූලධර්මවාදී කණ්ඩායම් හාරසිය පණහක් පමණ මේබිම තුල ක්‍රියාත්මක වෙමින් පවතින බැව් බොදුබල සේනා සංවිධානයේ සභාපති පූජ්‍ය ගලගොඩඅත්තේ ඥානසාර හිමියෝ අද (1) ගාල්ලේදී පැවසූහ.

උන්වහන්සේ මේ අදහස් පැවසුවේ අද (01)ගාල්ලේදී මාධ්‍ය අමතමිනි.මෙහිද වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දැක්වූ පූජ්‍ය ගලගොඩ අත්තේ ඥානසාර හිමියෝ මෙසේද පැවසූහ.2000 වසරේ සිට අපි ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා මේ බෞද්ධයන් ටික රැකගන්න පණතක් ගේන්න කියලා. නමුත් ඒවා ක්‍රියාත්මක වන පාටක් නෑ. අන්තිමට වෙන්නේ අන්‍යාගමික මූලධර්මවාදී කණ්ඩායම් අපේ ගම් වලට ඇතුල් වෙලා සාමකාමව තියෙන බෞද්ධ ගම් අවුල් කරන එකයි.රට කරවන අයට සම්මා දිට්ටිය පහල වෙන්න කියලා ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරනවා. මොකද උන්ට පේන්නේ නෑ. උන්ට පේන්නේ ඡන්ද විතරයි. දවසින් දවස සංස්කෘතිමය වශයෙන් බෞද්ධ ප්‍රජාව ඝාතනය වෙමින් තියෙනවා. මෙම ප්‍රශ්න වලට විසදුමක් සොයන්න වැඩපිළිවෙලක් හදන්න කියලා අපි ඉල්ලනවා.රටතුල ක්‍රියාත්මක වන අන්‍යාගමික මූලදර්ම වාදී කල්ලි කණ්ඩායම් වලට එරෙහිව අපිත් එක්ක එකතු වෙලා නීති පද්ධතියක් හදලා බෞද්ධයන් සහ අන්‍ය ආගම් අතර තියෙන ආගමික සහජීවනය ආරක්ෂාකරගන්න සියලුදෙනාගේ සහයෝගයත් අපි අපේක්ෂා කරනවා.

පාදයාත්‍රා නොවයි තවටිකක් කලි යනකොට මිනිස්සු ගම්වල ඉදලාම පටන් ගනියි මේ නපුන්සක දර්ශණයක් නැති රෑකඩ ඉන්දියාවේ සහ ඇමරිකාවේ උවමණාවට නැටවෙන ආණ්ඩුවට එරෙහිව වීදි බසිවී.

BCCI opposition to UDRS – irrational and unconvincing

August 2nd, 2016



It is time that Cricket lovers of India join hands with the rest of the Cricket loving world to drive home to the rather rigid mind set of the controllers of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) that their stance on opposing UDRSwithout good convincing reasons, make them appear ridiculous and silly in the eyes of all right thinking people.

Rules including cricket rules are there to serve a purpose and once it is abundantly clear that a new mechanism harnessing technology to achieve greater accuracy in umpire decision making is readily available, then the obligation of the controllers of the game is to embrace that new mechanism and apply it as part of the rules of the game.

The UDRS Rules which are primarily based on my ‘player – referral’ mechanism which I expounded for the first time in the world beginning in March 1997 (see letter to the Editor, ‘Australian’ – March 25, 1997) constitute that sensible approach. UDRS has reduced umpiring errors to a substantial degree through a correction using the Third Umpire and video replay based on player referral.

The point that it is not 100% accurate is not necessarily a sound logical basis to reject it. The Traditional Umpire system using field umpires exclusively without reference to a Third Umpire and video replay is not even 80% accurate.

This was clearly illustrated in the recent First Test match between Sri Lanka and Pakistan played in Galle without UDRS. It had altogether 12 umpiring errors (9 against Pakistan and 3 against Sri Lanka), vividly highlighted by video replays.

Must a system be 100% fool proof for society to embrace it? It never happens in other spheres of life. Aircraft, Locomotives, Motor Vehicles and the like all have an accident prone factor embedded in them. But we still use them. Progress is never measured by negatives. When merit far outweighs demerit as in the UDRS then there is a strong case for its application.

The obstinacy of the BCCI on this issue has caused irreparable damage to the cricket image of India and more importantly undermined the confidence that the cricket lovers all over the world can be expected to place on the BCCI in the context of India’s new found clout in international cricket and the wider international arena.

The conduct of BCCI on this issue is morally indefensible. It must respect the collective wisdom of the Cricket Boards of almost all the other Test Cricket playing nations which have unreservedly accepted the UDRS.

BCCI must accept the challenge to give leadership in international cricket based on universal perspectives rather than on narrow self – interest. It must begin by supporting UDRS which would be consistent with espousal of fair play and more importantly the spirit of cricket. 




Courtesy: Daily News

see also

Without DRS Technology the Test Lottery spins away from India



Hegemonic Idiocy: BCCI and Dhoni on the DRS in cricket

by Michael Roberts


UDRS – Wikipedia 


When a person admired for qualities of sense, sensibility and intelligence adopts a position on a critical issue that is the height of irrationality and imbecility, it is both alarming and disconcerting. Such becomes the case for Mahendra Singh Dhoni when he reiterated India’s opposition to the fuller use of the DRS technology in adjudication. Insisting that human error” is an understandable facet of cricket, he went on to say: we have seen people being really happy with DRS in one series when it goes in their favour and then it doesn’t go in their favour, they’re quite unhappy about it. I’m quite happy with the two umpires in the middle, the third and fourth umpires, the match referee and the scorer. If that ball-counting error still happened, it’s better off accepting it, because as humans we are bound to make mistakes.”[i]

This has been the standard position adopted by Indian cricket’s governing body, the BCCI, over the past few years. Its present Chairman, Srinivasan, continues to insist that the ball-tracking technology is not fool-proof (Times of India 2012). As elaborated upon recently by Niranjan Shah, a former Board Secretary, the argument is that (a) DRS technology has not been subject to competitive bidding and has not been adequately tested by the ICC; (b) it is not full-proof; (c) it is extremely expensive. For this reason the human element must be preserved.”[ii]

This line of reasoning has been supported in various ways by Ravi Shastri, Sunil Gavaskar, Sourav Ganguly and Harsha Bhogle. So, MS Dhoni is just one cog in a long assembly of majestic vehicles servicing the Indian cricket establishment. Ganguly gave the game away when talking to the Times of India: Ganguly, who had played the series against Sri Lanka in 2008 when the DRS was first used on trial basis, said that the problems of the technology were extremely obvious as India could manage to get only one of their 20 referrals right.”

Precisely, say I in reference to the last phrase. That was as it should correctly be. It so happened that I watched most of that series with the benefit of a press pass which gave me views from up above and behind the wicket. The fact was that India succumbed to the combination of Muralitharan and Ajantha Mendis in the two Tests they lost. As a new mystery weapon, Mendis snared 26 wickets during that series. A fair proportion of these outs were lbw; while in some cases the Indian referrals were denied because DRS confirmed the field umpire’s decision. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand why: Mendis bowls from close to the wicket and tends to keep his trajectory wicket to wicket. He foxed the Indian batsmen from time to time and got some batsmen bowled or lbw. Dravid’s amazed consternation when he was bowled at the SSC was a sight for any cricket buff.

One dismissal that graphically underlined the virtues of DRS is sharply etched in my memory camera: this was when Tendulkar, batting at the southern end of the SSC grounds, swept a ball from one of the spinners and under-edged it onto his leg from where it looped in an ark for Dilshan at leg-slip to take an athletic catch. No head umpire could have seen the course of the ball from his position; but all the pressmen behind the keeper could. When Sri Lanka referred the decision to the third umpire, he reversed the on-field call. Tendulkar had to march off (reluctantly). Justice was served.

India’s dismay over the results from the DRS in this their first experience was exacerbated by the fact that their use of referrals was quite ha handed. Losing the series two to one did not help their temper or, it seems, their mental acumen on this issue.

Grapevine gossip indicates that Tendulkar is among the Indian cricketers who are adamantine in their hatred of the DRS. Another vein of information from MCC committee chambers remarks that Tendulkar has for long perfected the art of padding the ball with bat alongside. The DRS system threatens this subtle bending of the cricketing rules. In commenting on one of Bhogle’s essays on the topic, a perceptive blogger named Ahmad Uetian, had this to say:

1) modern coaches teach batsmen to defend with bat in front of the pads and lot more modern day batsmen are using this technique……………………2) Earlier batsmen would come on front foot and would play spinners virtually with their pads and conventional umpires would never give batsman out lbw in case of sppiner (sic) bowling and batsman playing on front foot but now umpires give such outs. 3) Now Umpires like Simon Toufel and Aleem Dar who give higher percentage of lbw decisions are in ellte (sic) panel earlier good umpires were supposed to never give lbw….”[iii]

Tendulkar may be a legend in many eyes. His obduracy on DRS reduces this status in my eyes. Gods must be pure.

Remarkably a number of Indian reporters also remain hostile to the DRS. To my dismay, Sambit Bal, whose analytical writing I have always admired, displayed this antipathy when we met socially in the Fort of Galle n 2008. A young female journalist from Mumbai presented a similar face in parrot-like fashion when I raised the topic at Adelaide Oval the other day.

Counterpoint: Every student of cricket knows that on-field umpires make mistakes. Some of these errors can turn a game in favour of one side. Such an outcome is criminal. The introduction of DRS adjudication has reduced these errors without eradicating them. A recent study by the ICC of decisions during the World Cup indicated that verdicts were improved by more than seven per cent.[iv]

In other words, by insisting on the status quo, Dhoni, BCCI and company are stating that they prefer a more deficient scheme of things to that which is better albeit not perfect. … so that, say, 85-89 per cent accuracy is preferred to 93-95 per cent accuracy. Ramesh Thakur, an Indian no less,[v]got to the nub of the issue in pithy terms:

In rejecting the use of the best available technology to assist umpires and rectify the few mistakes they make, the BCCI has also shown itself to be a dinosaur. In effect, the BCCI position is: technology cannot guarantee 100 per cent accuracy, so we will stay with 80 per cent accuracy rather than move to 90 per cent.”

This means that Dhoni is among the dinosaurs on this particular issue. The fossilized character of those who defend the status quo is underlined by the specious forms of reasoning that they bring to this debating table. Nasser Hussain is jealous of India’s success,” said Shastri when Hussain castigated India for rejecting DRS in its fullest form. The DRS is not bigger than the game” and should not submerge cricket argues Bhogle, wielding a grandiose cliché that is no less a smokescreen because of its elevated airs.

Demanding scope for the continuation of human error” is a conservative, diehard reaction that is as idiotic as it is specious. Can anyone sustain such an argument when reviewing the processes utilized for the maintenance of aircraft or the training of pilots? Certainly, the tracking technology within DRS needs to be continuously tested by skilled teams (and Tony Greig indicated that Cambridge University is pursuing a fresh testing at this moment). Likewise, the technological teams at each match should be monitored in order to (a) ensure standardization cross series/matches and (b) to prevent home-side bias and/or dishonest manipulation of mats and replays. Such fine-tuning does not negate the obvious superiority of the DRS system in reducing the number of on-field mistakes.

The arguments trotted out by Indians attached to the status quo are as specious as they are imbecile. Both collectively and individually they can be tarred with a whole array of adjectives: one-eyed, prejudiced, irrational, obdurate and dogmatic.

Unfortunately the BCCI is also powerful. It has secured a hegemonic position in the cricketing universe. It is a standing indictment of the present ICC that it permits this Leviathan to bully the show and subject cricketing results to human error that could be obviated. The beauty of cricket is in its topsy-turvy character; but such vicissitudes should emanate from the hands and feet of the players not the fingers and nods of the umpires.


An old friend sent me an email note indicating that I should outline proof” before essaying such strictures. Let me note in response that apart from (a) a reference to the ICC estimate on World Cup DRS effecting a seven per cent improvement (B) one anecdotal observation on my part referring  a peculiar dismissal (that of Tendulkar at the SSC), I assumed that (c) cricket fans who read my article would be less than imbecile and would be guided by their observations of referrals during both test matches and ODI matches where the DRS was in operation.

Thus, on several occasions I have observed on-field decisions being reversed by the on-field umpire after the Third Umpire has used the available technology to evaluate the evidence. These reversals, note, have gone two ways: (X) when someone declared not out” is deemed out; and (Y) when a batsman declared out” is reprieved. In brief, in the course of a series several human errors” by on-field umpires have been rectified via DRS, the Third Umpire and some dialogue between the head umpire and Third Umpire.

In other words, on every such occasion a mistake that may well have swung the game one way has been averted. This is a momentous GAIN.

I have not kept count of such reversals. If any readers can provide statistics it would be appreciated. In any event I invite reader recollections and commentary on this point. Anecdotes with empirical precision can aid our evaluations.

Let me add that, from snatches of information, my impression is that most of the younger generation umpires actually welcome the use of the DRS because they are as interested as anyone in getting it right; and because such reversals are outnumbered by the (proportion of instances where the on-field decisions are confirmed (am I correct here?). That is, where several old school umpires such as Dickie Bird and Darrell Hair object to the DRS, those still active are partial to it. One reason for this leaning is the fact that DRS has also revealed how well they are performing a difficult job.

The paragraph above is attentive statement based on grapevine threads. I would appreciate any information that rectifies or clarifies this issue.

Third Umpire: On the odd occasion the human error” is that committed by the Third Umpire. If my recollections are correct, Asad Rauf was in serious error in overturning an on-field decision and declaring Chanderpaul out in a Test Match at Adelaide at one stage during the last Windies tour. Again, I believe one of Daryl Harper’s decisions in the West Indies created a great stir and alienated the England squad against the DRS.  Again, my dim memory indicates that Harper was responsible for a Third Umpire bloomer on another occasion.

Such errors by Third Umpires are inexcusable because they have more time to reach a decision. This type of mistake is not the fault of the DRS scheme, but is a product of ”human error.” We are aware of such howlers because the TV commentators also have the evidence before them and provide their views. Third Umpires who make such errors should be demoted (though I would not impose such a harsh act on Bruce Oxenford for pressing the wrong button in Michael Hussey’s case recently at the Gabba).


UDRS – Wikipedia= http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umpire_Decision_Review_System

Authorship of the UDRS= http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2013/01/31/authorship-of-the-umpire-decision-review-system-udrs-a-plea-for-reparative-justice/


The field umpire’s immunity limits appeal rights


ICC to implement Lankan lawyer’s concept?


Lankan lawyer challenges ICC on origin of UDRS


Will the UDRS be proved a good thing?= http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/499969.html

Point-blank: It’s never too late = http://www.nation.lk/edition/columns/point-blank-saadi-thawfeek/item/7031-point-blank-it%E2%80%99s-never-too-late.html


Anon 2011 The BCCI on DRS,”http://cricketingview.blogspot.in/2011/06/ bcci-on-drs.html

Gavaskar, Sunil 2011 DRS Technology still not 100% accurate,”http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/521352.html

NDTV Correspondent 2011 England are jealous of India, says angry Ravi Shastri,” http://sports.ndtv.com/cricket/news/item/176511-england-are-jealous-of-india-says-angry-ravi-shastri

Thakur, Ramesh 2012 Poor Governance in Indian Cricket and Indian Politics,”https://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/poor-governance-in-indian-cricket-and-indian-politics/
Times of India 2011 BCCI not wrong to refuse DRS, says Sourav Ganguly,” 27 Dec. 2011, http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/series-tournaments/india-in-australia/top-stories/BCCI-not-wrong-to-refuse-DRS-says-Sourav-Ganguly/articleshow/11269081.cms.

Times of India 2012 BCCI stand on DRS has been vindicated, says Srinivasan,” 13 Feb. 2012,http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/cricket/top-stories/BCCI-stand-on-DRS-has-been-vindicated-says-Srinivasan/articleshow/11873162.cms

[i] In the Island, 16 Feb. 2012: Dhoni not fazed by five-ball over after tie.”

[ii] Anon 2011 The BCCI on DRS,” http://cricketingview.blogspot.in/2011/06/ bcci-on-drs.html

[iii] See http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/521352.html.

[iv] Tom Pilcher, DRS in cricket…to use or not to use?”http://blogs.reuters.com/sport/ 2011/12/27/drs-in-cricket-to-use-or-not-to-use/

[v] Ramesh Thakur is Director, Centre for Nuclear Nonproliferation and Disarmament, at the Australian National University.

French PM Valls: ‘Hard’ for France to guarantee freedom of Islam if Muslims don’t help country

August 2nd, 2016


If Muslims in France don’t help the country to battle extremists and those who threaten the Republic, it will be “increasingly hard” for Paris to guarantee freedom of Islam, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said.

“Through its history and its geography… and through its immigration, France maintains very strong ties with Islam,” Valls wrote in a long essay in Le Journal du Dimanche, a French weekly newspaper.

According to the PM, Islam is “second-largest religion” in France and many French Muslims don’t have to identify themselves “as an Arab-Muslim culture.”

However, a “terrible poison” of extremism has started spreading in the country, the French PM wrote.

“Slowly, insidiously, against the background of influences from abroad and rising communalism, developed against a model of society which contradicts the Republic and its values. Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalist Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood, who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”

And thus Paris must “invent a balance with Islam” under which “the Republic offers a guarantee of free exercise of religion,” Valls concluded.

“If Islam is not helping the Republic to fight against those who undermine public freedoms, it will be increasingly hard for the Republic to guarantee this freedom of worship.”

He added that the country should “build a true pact with Islam in France, giving this foundation a central place.”

Extremism “pushes hundreds of individuals, sometimes the very young – men, women of Muslim culture or recent converts – to take up arms, and turn against their country,” Valls wrote.

“We must be – and we are – ruthless with all those who promote hatred and advocate violence. Places of worship that house these [jihadist] preachers are and will be systematically closed. If preachers are foreign [nationals], they will be deported.”

The French PM has previously proposed a re-think of relations with Islam. On Friday he said he was considering a temporary ban on the foreign financing of mosques.

France has been shaken by a series of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS)-linked attacks since January 2015. By far the worst was in November 2015 when at least 130 people were killed. Following that attack, France introduced a state of emergency which is presently ongoing.

A tragedy in Nice on July 14 killed at least 84 people when a truck driven by an IS sympathizer plowed through a crowd during Bastille Day celebrations.

After that attack, Valls asserted that that France “will have to live with terrorism.” The statement angered social media users who shamed the PM, saying that more people apparently need to be killed in terror attacks to wake up the French government.

Last week France was shaken by the murder of Father Jacques Hamel in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, northern France, by two purported IS militants. The 85-year-old was killed on Tuesday when his throat was slit during a hostage situation at the local church. French police killed the IS-inspired attackers, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, both 19, as they tried to flee the church.

The attack was heavily-criticized by Muslim groups across France and abroad. French Council for the Muslim Faith (CFCM), which dubbed the attack as a “cowardly assassination.” The Muslim community in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray refused to bury one of the attackers, Adel Kermiche, saying that he had “tainted Islam.”

Shekhar Sen to attend GPC program

August 2nd, 2016

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: Eminent cultural personality and the chairman of Sangeet Natak Akademi, Padma Shri  Shekhar Sen will attend the next ‘Guest of the Month’ program of Guwahati Press Club (GPC). The interactive session with the distinguished singer, music composer, actor & theatre director is scheduled to start at 1  pm on 7 August next.

Born in 1961, Sen learned music from his parents and emerged as a renowned classical singer of Gwalior Gharana. With the fame of Tulsi, Kabeer, Vivekanand, Saahab, Soordas etc, Sen received critical appreciation from the audience in India as well as in UK, Belgium, Singapore, Mauritius, Indonesia, USA etc.

Member-journalists of GPC are requested to participate in the program.

Port City: Indian pressure forced SL to suspend and revisit project: Rajitha

August 2nd, 2016

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne revealed today that the Chinese funded ‘Port City Project’ (PCP) initiated by the Mahinda Rajapaksa government had to be suspended and re-visited under pressure from India.

He told the weekly Cabinet news briefing that a new tripartite contract would be signed shortly with all clauses in the original agreement inimical or unfavourable to Sri Lanka being removed with new conditions included.

There was opposition to the project from several quarters leading to the UNP vowing to suspend it on assuming office. However, it was the Indian government that forewarned Sri Lanka of the negatives in the event Sri Lanka went ahead. India said once completed, the project will not come under the jurisdiction of Sri Lanka with a big question mark on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty,” the minister said.

He said India had pointed out that the project management could refuse landing rights to Sri Lanka’s aircraft on the properties under its purview and prohibit the use of its air space.

Under the new tripartite agreement to be signed by the China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC), a subsidiary of the of the China Communications and Constructions Company Ltd (CCCC), the Megapolis and Western Development Ministry and the Urban Development Authority (UDA) has removed the contentious issues in the original contract.

For instance, according to the agreement signed in September 2014 by the Rajapaksa government, 20 hectares of land was be granted to the CHEC Port City (Pvt) Ltd on a freehold basis and the rest on 99-year lease. The new government has decided that no land will be given on freehold basis but on 99-year lease.

Under the new agreement the above has expanded in favour of the GOSL to include healthcare and hospitals and exhibition and convention centres and the new Colombo International Financial Centre. Also no restrictions will be placed on developing the North and West ports of the Colombo Harbour. In addition, the project company has agreed to set up the CIFC building in the land area reclaimed first including making a new investment in the CIFC building no sooner it is technically feasible to build on reclaimed land and upon mutually acceptable terms being agreed with the GOSL after a feasibility study. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/113509/Port-City-Indian-pressure-forced-SL-to-suspend-and-revisit-project-Rajitha#sthash.TBq0qn2G.dpuf

To thine own self be true– a reply  by Jayantha Vincent Perera Counter reply ……..

August 2nd, 2016

Sarath Obeysekera

I am glad that I opened the Pandoras box ( by the way my blog is called pandorasbox 50)  to raise the importance of the Ambulance Service in UK and also in Sri Lanka ,which is the subject of many news items today .I never meant to run down or criticize the ambulance service in UK ,but my contention was to explain how good our government health service .With such a poor income levels among the poorest and inefficient tax collection system in Sri Lanka ,our state doctors are trying their best to give the service people deserve .

My samyak prayoga” I exercised in UK was decided collectively with my wife because my health condition  was so critical ,and my wife and I knew it was the only way to get urgent medical attention in UK during the weekend .

As he has  provoked” the debate ,I would like to highlight similar incident I have experienced in UK last November when I attended my daughter’s wedding in a rural wedding hall in Gloucetershire ,It was a cold winter and the room my self and my wife were allocated was not very well heated  and I started getting similar systems of getting asthmatic attack . As we went back to UK from Sri Lanka where we had a very warm whether ,sudden weather change would have been the reason for the attack.

Next day I had to usher my daughter for the wedding ceremony ,hence I did want to be taken to emergency Unit in Gloucester , and yet I called the  Ambulance service in the middles of the night as I had all the symptoms of chest pain and difficulty in breathing .  Paramedic came driving her own car alone just after 1 am in the morning ,brought her own ECB unit ,nebuliser and all the medication and spent almost 1 hour trying to ease by breathing . She uggested that I should be taken to emergency care and I begged her to treat me so that I can be at the wedding service until next day  .

It went well ,I recovered and attended the wedding next day and again in the night I started getting asthmatic attacks and paramedic came again ,this time it was he” and he was so kind and nebulised me on the spot .

Came back to London ,and I had it again and this time I decided to that I should be taken to Emergency Care ,I did not fake this time .

I was taken to the Emergency care in Northwick Park Hospital and as I am not a critical patient I was asked to sit in the lobby inside for three hours until the staff doctor came to me to treat me for my somewhat eased breathing condition  .

The doctor checked me and prescribed some drugs to be taken ,like prednisolone” and I went home by a taxi next day morning  after spending 5 hours in the emergency care unit .

I asked for a prescription to buy the drugs ,but he asked me to go to GP next day and collect a prescription .I was annoyed but he was adamant .

Next day I was trying to get an appointment with GP ,and I was told by the GP’s  secretary over the phone that next immediate appointment is in a week!

Well, it was like whole in the bucket –in the song Harry Belafonte sang.I went back home  an almost called the ambulance to go to Emergency Care to get treatment

I almost  used the samyag Payoga” again ,to get the medical attention ,but under protest from my wife I refrained .

I went to GP service in Clementine Churchill Private Hospital ,paid 60 pounds to the GP and got the drugs which suited me fine .

Point I am trying to make is that I have paid so much tax in UK and we retired people find it difficult to get emergency medical attention through conventional GP service in UK ,hence using such    tricks is somewhat used by many in UK

Mr Vincent Perea,s claim that I should have been honest ,may ne justifiable ,but when you lie down on the bed ,being unable to breath due to the purported Asthmatic attack ,I would have ended up in the morgue with course of death as heart attack ,which would have culminated from the breathing problem.

I do not agree with him that paramedics could have given me wrong medication, but  am sure that they would have known my condition well.

By the way when you have had a Quadruple by pas 10 years back, you are always worried that any pain below the neck, up from torso is a heart attack !!

The attacks are sometime silent and you would not know when you are diabetic .

Sarath Obeysekera ( dropped my Dr title as I am not a medical doctor )

President  Maithripala Sirisena’s  comments on Pada Yathra

August 1st, 2016

S. Akurugoda

Addressing a meeting in Mawanella , President Maithripala Sirisena has said that if the previous government had governed the country properly its members, currently in the Opposition, would not have had to hoof it until they got blisters on their soles. Speaking further, President has said ” The previous government had boasted of mega development while plunging the country into debt to the tune of Rs. 90 billion”

The previous government was led by a SLFP led coalition where the  current President of the country Mr Maithripala Sirisena  was a leading Cabinet Minister throughout the tenure of office of the government , until he joined the anti-Rajapaksha campaign  in order to be the Presidential Candidate opposing  President   Mahinda Rajapaksa.    Are we to believe  that Mr Sirisena and  the members of the previous government following him are not responsible and only the members in the Opposition are responsible for any wrongdoings of the previous government?

Ironically, Mr Sirisena is the current President of the country and the  leader of the very same SLFP lead coalition said to have been responsible for failing to govern the country properly for 11 years  and  were boasting of mega development while plunging the country into debt to the tune of Rs 90 million.

The basic questions are whether there were any good things done by the previous government, and if so, who are responsible and  what Mr Sirisena and the members of the previous government with him have done during the Rajapaksa rule to win the masses in order to be qualified for the current positions?

As far as we are aware, there is a thing called ‘Collective Responsibility’ in a government with a Cabinet of Ministers and one cannot simply pass any wrongdoings   to one person and get the credit for the rest after being a member of  that cabinet  throughout  its rule. Further Mr Sirisena was  the Secretary  General of that party, SLFP, throughout the previous administration and we have heard several speeches  (and still on record) of Mr Sirisena upholding  the its work and the  leadership of  Mr Rajapaksa.  We also remember the  stories of Mr Sirisena  telling us about Rajapaksa’s ‘Lamborghinis’ and ‘gold horses’ during his presidential campaign.

As per media reports, there were massive crowds and protestors were joining the Pada Yathra enthusiastically. They were carrying  banners and shouting slogans against the government’s witch hunt against political opponents , arresting soldiers, removal of farmer subsidies, heavy taxes, ‘constitutional death trap’, postponement of local government elections, foreign war crime courts etc.

The massive protest which we have not witnessed before during our lifetime is not against what  Mr Sirisena and his followers have done during the  11 years rule of the previous government, but for what Sirisena-Ranil led government has done since they came to power with the full blessings of the regional and western powers backed by anti-Rajapaksa   elements, both in and outside the country.

The various statements and promises made by the current rulers to grab the power and to remain in power, time to time, and the  massive crowds and the protestors joining Pada Yathra reminds us the following statement of  Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States of America.

You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time”

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