The Pathfinder Blueprint for Accelerating Economic Growth and Enhancing Prosperity for Sri Lankans

August 21st, 2014

Pathfinderreform agenda to all political parties look for Presidential and Parliamentary election Manifestos

 Blueprint will be based on over 50 studies commissioned by the Pathfinder Foundation in the past with special emphasis on studies it has undertaken here some Sectorial Highlights Sanwada, Alert, Flash and Blast.

- Growth momentum in Sri Lanka can only be sustained through implementation of a new cycle of reforms

-Private participation in the SOE sector with appointment of competent CEOs; recruitment of qualified professionals for procurement, finance, human resource management and other key managerial positions can assist in Loss Making SOEs.

- The public service has more than doubled In other words, one in every 15 of the total population is now on the government payroll

-Since nationalization of the petroleum sector carry the burden of operating. If is made more efficient through greater competition, its impact on the costs of energy and transport.

- The current Education system has proven to be a failure in terms of achieving without preparing its young people for today’s world.

-Sri Lankans, to live much longer with life expectancy, an increasing 20 years or more in retirement. Challenges, including issues related to the quality of life of pensioners.

 The Pathfinder Foundation (PF) has embarked upon a process to develop a ‘Blueprint’ for accelerating economic growth and development through a coherent strategy and reform program. The primary rationale is to bring to the attention of politicians the need for introducing a reform agenda in their forthcoming Presidential and Parliamentary election Manifestos. In this connection, the Pathfinder Foundation is planning to hand over the final Blueprint to the leadership of all the political parties currently represented in Parliament so that it can inform their deliberations in preparation for their manifestos in the lead-up to the elections anticipated early next year. There will also be outreach to policy-makers, leading professionals, business associations, civil society organizations and other concerned citizens through a series of public workshops, contributions in the press/media and content on the Pathfinder Foundation website. A novel concept of discussing the Blueprint with focus groups within relevant stakeholders is to be introduced to enhance the level of participation in the discourse on sound economic strategies and reforms. A key message to be transmitted will be that good economics is usually good politics, especially in the medium-term. In this respect, it will be highlighted that the window of opportunity created by a new electoral cycle should be seized.

The current strategies adopted by the authorities have been successful in stabilizing the economy with inflation in the mid-single digits; the current account of the balance of payments improving; and external reserves exceeding $9 billion. However, it has also become increasingly clear the economy’s growth framework needs to be strengthened if the target of 8% sustained growth is to be met in a manner that brings about the transformation of the people’s lives. The Pathfinder Foundation Blueprint is intended to assist in developing a new wave of reforms to achieve this objective; and to encourage all stakeholders to campaign for such reforms. A particular focus would be to promote sustainable and inclusive growth, especially in the conflict-affected and other lagging areas.

The Blueprint will be based on over 50 studies commissioned by the Pathfinder Foundation in the past with special emphasis on studies it has undertaken in 2014 covering economic issues such as: export development and diversification; strengthening the conducive climate for foreign and local investment; watering the North Central and Northern provinces; promoting microfinance to empower conflict affected communities; increasing living standards of plantation communities; addressing macroeconomic adjustments and prospects for improving efficiency and productivity of State Owned Enterprises.

These studies have benefited from lively public workshops which have been held (or are about to be held) on each of them. The analysis, diagnostics and recommendations which emerge from this process will form the basis of the Blueprint. There will also be recourse to other relevant material. The preparation of the Blueprint has already been commissioned to the well-known Sri Lankan economist Dr. Sirimal Abeyratne, Professor of Economics from the University of Colombo.

As an independent non-partisan think-tank the Pathfinder Foundation seeks to promote a lively discussion on the way ahead for accelerating the development of this country in order to build consensus among politicians and the general public regarding a commonly accepted package of economic reforms.

Published all article and research Document by the Pathfinder Foundation can read at www.pathfinderfoundation.org and Readers’ comments are welcome at www.pathfinderfoundation.lk

Life Abroad – Part 92 BRAVERY HAS NO BOUNDARIES

August 21st, 2014

Dr. Tilak Fernando

tilakfenandologo

James Emerson Tennent once described “Ceylon” as “an Island in the world that has attracted the attention of authors in so many distant ages and from so many different countries”.

While I was a student in the UK, I made my first trip home after living in London for some years to experience the marvel of my motherland, as I had not travelled far and wide before embarking on studies abroad.

In the bygone past, travelling was confined only to a few privileged sections of the society, even within the country; mostly villagers did travel only during the Sinhala and Tamil New year season visiting relatives to keep up with the old traditions.

First revolution

A lot of water had flowed under the bridge since then. The JVP mayhem in 1970s had brought devastating effects to the country with the loss of many young lives. This was followed by a Tamil youth rebellion from the North and the East, which transformed into The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), whose main objective was to dissect the sovereign island. North and the East of the country became ‘out of bounds’ to the Sinhala folks overnight. The Tamil fanatics from the LTTE hounded the few Sinhala families who lived and worked in those areas, along with the Muslims and Sinhala folk in the East, when the terrorist war ‘radicalised’ over a period of thirty long years.

BRAVERYThe circumstances that prevailed during terrorism made Sinhala people believe that they would never be able to visit Jaffna and some parts of the East again for a considerable period of time until and unless the zealotry and extremism was eliminated completely.

In a capacious contrast, Tamil community in general, whether in Jaffna, east or anywhere in the country, enjoyed freedom of travel from north to south and east to west, with the bonus of having the choice of settling down and engaging in micro and macro economies on every urban area and town, the majority forming ‘ghettos’ in Colombo conurbation.

The LTTE advanced their terrorist activities ostensibly by progressing to such lengths of inventing the lethal ‘suicide belt’; they developed maritime warfare with Sea Tigers, attempted aerial attacks with ‘home-made’ lighter aircraft and engaged in suicide bombing, massacres, robberies, ethnic cleansing, military battles and assassinations of civilians including infants, the old and the sick, political leaders and military officials unpredictably.

On May 14, 1985, the LTTE delimited the bus-depot at Anuradhapura and slaughtered many civilians, then moved into the Sri Maha Bodhi expanse and gunned down nuns, monks and worshipping pilgrims within the sacred premises and massacred altogether 146 Sinhalese men, women, children on a single day.

Subsequent to this extreme incident, I visited Sri Lanka on holiday from the UK and travelled to Anuradhapura where my two brothers ‘MR’ & ‘MG’ were based. Their official capacity afforded me the opportunity of visiting many places, which I had never seen before.

‘MG’ being a Civil Engineer attached to the National Housing and ‘MR’ as the Regional Director of Territorial Civil Engineering Organisation (later Director – Highways) had exclusive access to many areas in the Province. I thoroughly enjoyed being taken around to show many ancient ruins of historical importance, in the city of Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa, in the capacity of a ‘tourist’!

Brave sentry

‘MG’ one evening came out with a captivating story of a Sri Lankan villager who had bravely confronted a Tamil Tiger terrorist during the Anuradhapura massacre and how he had managed to escape death! Later he ushered me to R. K. Herath at the ‘Uda Maluwa’ where this brave and innocent villager was seated dedicatedly and guarding the shrine room continuously despite such horrific experiences in the past.

Startling story

Listening to his gruesome experience made my hair stand on end! This innocent man had sensed something strange was taking place at first, but got very much alarmed when he heard the sounds of gunfire inside the sacred compound. The LTTE terrorists had by then gone berserk and were spraying bullets from automatic rifles indiscriminately killing the young, old and the clergy in saffron robes without any mercy.

In a mighty rush, excitement and fear of death to his own life, Herath had tried to close the main door of the shrine room, but had only managed to secure only one half of the entrance when a LTTE terrorist in combat uniform burst into the sacred shrine room, pushed him to a side forcibly and taken the aim at the Buddha sculpture to destroy the statuette.

Brave suppliant

Herath said he could not possibly stomach what was going to happen. In a split second decision he had jumped forward, risking his own life and bravely hung on to the barrel of the machine gun while pulling it away from the terrorist’s target and at the same time yelling: “Ane Mahattayo, Buduhamuduruwantanam vedi thiayanna epa” (please sir, I beg of you not to shoot at the Buddha statue).

Herath had been jubilant momentarily that he managed to divert the direction of the gun as soon as the terrorist started spraying bullets from the machine gun, but within seconds this courageous man had realised he had been shot through the thigh muscle of his leg!

Apparently several bullets from the terrorist’s machine gun had penetrated through his thigh muscle causing profuse bleeding! Miraculously he escaped death as the terrorist had escaped after the frenzy. Subsequently, Herath had been rushed to the Anuradhapura hospital by some rescuers and the doctors at the hospital had managed to remove several bullets from his thigh muscle.

When I came face to face with Herath, he had fully recovered and continued to perform his dedicated up keep duties at the shrine room at Uda Maluwa. By then, the authorities had taken preventative steps of shielding the Buddha statue with a bulletproof glass pane.

He stretched out his left leg with difficulty to show me the seven-inch long scar of the bullet wounds, results of his brave act of facing a coldblooded LTTE terrorist. Although his life had been saved, this seven-inch long mutilation of the bullet wound on his thigh muscle held testimony to this unsung hero’s daring act.

My attempt to photograph his wounded thigh area to show to the world at large the gravity of what he had suffered became a problematic performance as Herath was not very flexible to move about and could only sit at a certain angle due to gunshot wounds, yet he continued his steadfast and faithful service of guarding the Buddha statue and the shrine room at the Sri Maha Bodhi, Uda Maluwa, in Anuradhapura until I left Sri Lanka.

To me, R.K. Herath appeared as the most fragrant flower at the Uda Maluwa shrine area, out of hundreds of other conspicuous flowers in display in front of the tranquil Buddha statue.

Situation change

Dr. Noel Nadesan, a Tamil expatriate domiciled in Australia, who edited the Tamil community newspaper, UTHAYAM, for 14 years had once confessed thus: “My experiences in dealing with the Tamil community, both in Australia and in Sri Lanka, make me feel sad about the callous way in which the media is exploiting the suffering of our Tamil people for self-serving ends”.

Change of wind

In 2014, however, when he visited Sri Lanka he published an enthralling article in the Colombo Telegraph website on March 21, 2014 under the caption ‘Winds change in Jaffna’ which read in part as follows:

“Thirty years of terror and violence perpetrated by LTTE were brought to an end by President Mahinda Rajapaksa. Whether we like him or not, we have to concede to this hard fact. The ending of a war is a defining moment, which opens up new possibilities. This is not a small achievement. Ending a war proved to be as difficult as waging a war. The frustrated Tamil Diaspora who financed Prabhakaran’s futile war decided to pursue the war through other means. They went on the warpath from abroad. They decided to fight from the safe shores”.

“I have visited Jaffna 13 times in the last five years. But nothing signified the change better than the international symbol I saw in Jaffna when I visited the place last, in January 2014. For the first time ever I saw one of the best international symbols in the heart of Jaffna. It was the face of the bearded Colonel of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was a giant leap for Jaffna to abandon the traditional “porichci koli” and go for KFC. This, to me is the ultimate symbol of Jaffna breaking away from the feudal past and arriving at last in the 21st century”.

“We travelled from north to south and east to west. There is a palpable change that you can feel and see. Just not the roads but the attitude and the new spirit that is visible in the faces”.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffzokn0LohI (depicts a clear picture of the Anuradhapura massacre).

tilakfernando@gmail.com

The Buddhist Ideals of Government

August 21st, 2014

Gunaseela Vitanage Bodhi Leaf No. 11 Buddhist Publication Society Kandy • Sri Lanka

Buddhist Ideals of Government

Our ancient kings considered hitherto the practice of virtue as their only duty; they knew how to rule without being severe and honoured the Three Jewels; they governed and helped the world, and were happy if men practised righteousness. For myself I desire respectfully, in concert with the son of heaven, to magnify the Good Law in order to save beings from the evil of continued existence (in samsara).”

Letter sent to the Chinese emperor
by king Manasam of Ceylon in 423 A.D.

Buddhism, like any other religion, lays emphasis on spiritual values rather than on material ones; on detachment from things of the world rather than on attachment to them; on the religious side of life rather than on the secular side of it. Buddhism does not, however, neglect the material, the secular and the worldly aspects of life altogether. In fact, there is a Discourse in the Buddhist Scriptures, that has been called the Gihi Vinaya or Code of Discipline for Laymen, wholly devoted to the householder’s life. [1] It sets out in detail the layman’s duties towards his neighbours and also the methods of disciplining himself to be a good and useful citizen. The Buddhist Scriptures also set out certain norms of conduct for rulers as well as for subjects. They also contain references to various forms of government, prevailing in India at the time, and, significantly, the Buddha’s own words expressing his preference of the democratic form of government.

It must be remembered that the Buddha was born into a society which, comparatively speaking, was politically advanced, and which through the ages had developed certain very sound ideals of government. In the Manu Neeti or the Code of Manu, the Hindus already had laws hallowed by time to guide them in their civic duties. Incidentally, Manu,” like Moses of the Bible, was the mythical lawgiver of the Indian people. These laws discussed not only the rights of the rulers, but also their duties towards their subjects. They also discussed the obligations of the subjects towards the rulers and also their rights. It is, therefore, necessary to have some idea about the Hindu views of government if we are to appreciate the Buddhist ideals of government.

Matsya Nyaya

The Hindu ideas of government were based on a theory called the matsya nyaya, literally meaning the law of fish”.

The term matsya nyaya can be more appropriately rendered into English by the expression the law of the jungle.”—Why should there be governments in the world at all?” Why should there be some men to rule over other men?” Why should there be laws which men were required to obey on pain of punishment?” The Hindu thinkers answered these questions by pinpointing a fundamental law of nature: The Matsya Nyaya,” the law whereby the small fish becomes the prey of the big fish. Government, rulers and laws are necessary to prevent this natural law from operating in human society. Remove the government, remove the rulers and remove the laws, and human society will degenerate into a state of anarchy in which the stronger will destroy the weak. If there is no rule of law,” says the Manu Samhita, the strong would devour the weak like fishes.” If there is no ruler to wield punishment on earth” says the Mahabharata, the strong would devour the weak like fishes in water. It is related that in the days of old people were ruined through sovereignlessness, devouring one another like the stronger fish preying upon the feebler.”

It will be seen that this Hindu theory of government was based on a belief in the innate depravity of man. If there is no strong authority to keep men under control, the stronger would destroy the weaker, just as the big fish destroy the small fish in the sea. Government, rulers and laws become necessary to prevent this matsya nyaya” operating in human society.

This theory of government naturally led to the corollary that there must be a controlling authority, and that authority must be vested with power to inflict punishment or, danda,

The Hindu monarch was thus enjoined to adopt caturopaya or the four-fold policy in ruling over the people: Sama, dana, danda, bheda. Sama means peace: the wise ruler must maintain peace among his subjects. Dana means charity: the wise ruler must be charitable. Danda means punishment: the wise ruler must punish the wrong done according to the gravity of the crime. Bheda means creating division where necessary: the wise ruler must bring about differences among his subjects in order to make his position secure. In other words, he must adopt the divide and rule” policy.

Amity

The Buddha differed radically from the Hindu view that matsya nyaya is the basic law of nature. He certainly saw the struggle for existence that was so evident in life but this he attributed to man’s ignorance rather than to his innate depravity. The Blessed One also saw that man was ever ready to live in peace and amity with his fellow beings, to co-operate with his fellow beings, and even to sacrifice himself for the sake of his fellow beings, provided he was properly guided. In the Buddha’s view it was not discipline imposed from above or external authority that was necessary to control man, but self-understanding and inward discipline.

The law of the jungle was certainly not universal even in the jungle. There was amity and co-operation even among the animals in the jungle—as the Buddha points out in several Jataka stories.

Owing to this fundamental difference in outlook between Hinduism and Buddhism, we see that Buddhism lays little or no emphasis on authority (bala) or punishment (danda). For example, we observe that instead of the caturopaya or the four-fold policy of sama, dana, danda, bheda of the Hindus, the Buddhist scriptures speak of, the catus-sangraha vastu (Pali: catu-sangaha-vatthu), or the four ways of treating subjects. They are, dana or charity; priya-vacana or kind speech; artha cariya, or the spirit of frugality and of service, and samanatmata or equality.

Thus, according to Buddhism the virtuous king should practise dana or charity. Charity here includes not only the alms given to the poor but also gifts given to those who serve the monarch loyally. The virtuous king also must practise priyavacana, or kind speech. He must on no account use unkindly or harsh words towards anyone.

The king also must cultivate artha cariya. The word artha cariya has been interpreted to mean the spirit of service as well as the practice of economy and living the simple life. The good king or ruler also must cultivate samanatmata or equality. That is, while retaining the exalted position of the ruler, he must consider himself in no way superior to the least of his subjects, and he must also learn to dispense justice to his subjects without fear or favour. The righteous monarch must also learn to treat everyone equally.

Dasa Raja Dharma

In the dasa-raja-dharma or the ten royal virtues, the Buddhist ideal of kingship is further elaborated upon. The ten royal virtues are dana, charity; sila, morality; pariccaga, munificence; ajjavan, straightforwardness; majjavan, gentleness; tapam, restraint; akkodho, non-hatred; avihimsa, non-violence; khanti, patience, and avirodhata, friendliness and amity.

Dana in this context means giving of alms to the needy. It is the duty of the king to look after the welfare of his needy subjects, and to give them food, clothing and other wherewithals.

Sila here means morality. The monarch must so conduct himself in private and public, life as to be a shining example to his subjects.

Pariccaga means the grant of gifts to those who serve the monarch loyally. By the grant of gifts not only does the monarch acknowledge their efficient and loyal service, but he also spurs them on to more efficient and more loyal service.

Ajjavan means that the monarch must be absolutely straightforward. The good king must never take recourse to any crooked or doubtful means to achieve his ends. His yea must be yea, and nay must be nay.

Majjavan means gentleness. The monarch’s straightforwardness and rectitude that often will require firmness, should be tempered with gentleness. His gentleness will keep his firmness from being over-harsh or even cruel, while his firmness will keep gentleness from turning into weakness. A harmonious balance of these two qualities is essential not only for a ruler but for all leaders of men.

Tapan means the restraint of senses. The ideal monarch is the one who keeps his five senses under strict control, shunning indulgence in sensual pleasures.

Akkodha means non-hatred. The good king must not harbour grievances against those who injured him, but must act with forbearance and love.

Avihimsa means non-violence. The Monarch should not indulge in games where killing is resorted to, or cause injury to any being. He must practise non-violence to the greatest possible extent that is reconcilable with the duties of a ruler.

Khanti means patience, The king must conduct himself with patience, courage and fortitude on all occasions. In joy and sorrow, in prosperity and in adversity, in victory and defeat, he must conduct himself with calmness and dignity without giving in to emotions.

Avirodhata means non-enmity, friendship. The king must cultivate the spirit of amity among his subjects, by himself acting always in a spirit of amity and benevolence. It will be seen that avirodhata is in this context opposed to bheda—the divide and rule policy in the Hindu statecraft.

The Buddha also laid emphasis on the fact that the evil and the good of the people depend on the behaviour of their rulers; and for the good of the people he set out these ten royal virtues to be practised by the rulers of men.

Simple though this looks to us, it must be viewed from the point of view of contemporary society where the Brahmin hierarchy divided the society permanently into various castes, and gave religious sanction to that division. No doubt the Buddha had in mind the claims of the Brahmins that they were a unique people being twice-born once in the natural way and again from the shoulder of the creator himself.

Equality

The Buddha’s rejection of caste and class was not merely theoretical. He admitted men of all castes into the Order. Upali, a former barber, Sunita a former outcaste, found honoured places in the Order.

The Buddha says: Monks, just as all the great rivers, that is to say the Ganges, the Jammu, the Aciravati, the Sarabhu, the Mahi, on reaching the great ocean lose their former names and identities and are reckoned as the great ocean, similarly the Kshatriya, the Brahmana, the Vaisya and the Sudra, after entering this Sangha lose their former identities, and become the members of one Order.”

The Chinese pilgrims Fa-Hien, Yuan Chang and I-Ttsing tell us that these democratic and equalitarian concepts were still fostered in India centuries after the great decease of the Buddha.

Oriental” Despotism

The constant reference by Western writers to oriental despotism has created the impression in the English reader’s mind that until the advent of the Europeans there was no good or popular government in Asian lands and that with rare exceptions like the reign of Asoka it was a case of despotic monarchs tyrannising over a helpless people. The study of both Hindu and Buddhist literature shows that among the Indian rulers there were certainly not more (and probably less) pleasure-seeking despots than among their Western counterparts. Ancient Indian society was, no doubt, feudal—but it was also a co-operative society. The type of oppression of the peasant by the lord as was witnessed in France before the French Revolution was never seen within the boundaries of Hindu or Buddhist India.

Story of Ummadayanti

The story of Ummadayanti in the Jatakamala illustrates this point very well.

The Bodhisattva was once born into the Royal family of the Sibis and in due time became the king of the Sibis. One day while touring the city with his retinue he saw Ummadayanti, one of the most beautiful women among the Sibis and fell in love with her at first sight. But to the chagrin of the king he learned that Ummadayanti was already married. He also learned that the husband was no other than Abhiparaga, one of the officers of the Royal household itself.

The king felt quite ashamed of his sudden passion for a woman who was married, and kept the knowledge of it to himself, and tried his best to extinguish the flame of love which arose in his heart.

The king thus suffered in silence because of the love he had for Ummadayanti. Abhiparaga, however, came to know about the king’s condition and the reason for it. One day he approached the king while he was alone and broached the subject in a most tactful way. Abhiparaga told the king that he was very well aware of the reason for the king’s poor condition and suggested to the king most respectfully that the king accept Ummadayanti as his consort.

The king was confounded and was stricken with shame. The secret love that was gnawing his heart was now known to the husband of the very woman whom he loved. And, here he was himself offering her to him, his king, because of the love and devotion Abhiparaga had for him.

No, no,” said the king, that may not be. I would lose my merit and would know myself to be immoral. Further my wicked deed would be known also to the public”.

Abhiparaga argued again and again with the king with a view to convincing him that he was doing no wrong in accepting Ummadayanti from his hands.

The king finally said, No doubt, it is your great affection for me that prompts you to the effort to promote my interest without considering what is right and wrong on your aide. But this very consideration induces me the more to prevent you. Verily, indifference as to the censure of men cannot at any rate be approved”.

The king continued, The evil and good the people do depend on the behaviour of their rulers. For this reason, and taking into account the attachment of my subjects, I shall continue to love the path of the pious above all in conformity with my reputation.

As the herd goes after the leading bull in any direction, whether the right one or the wrong one, following his steps in the very same manner, the subjects imitate the behaviour of their rulers without scruple and undauntedly.

You must take also this into consideration.

If I should lack the power of ruling my own self, say, into what condition would I bring this people who long for protection from my side.

Thus considering and regardful of the good of my subjects, my own righteousness and my spotless fame, I do not allow myself to submit to my passion. I am the leader of my subjects, the bull of my herd.”

The Buddha in this story showed how a king should conduct himself.

Firstly, he must, put his private passions aside in the interest of the people.

Secondly, he must always pay heed to public opinion.

Thirdly, there must not be any divorce between his private life and his public life—both must be without blemish.

Fourthly, he must always be regardful of the good of the subjects.

Fifthly he must give the correct leadership in all matters to the people.

Elsewhere the Buddha says that whether a nation is just and good depends on the conduct of the rulers.

Monks, when the ruler of a country is just and good, the ministers become just and good. When the ministers are just and good, the higher officials become just and good. When the higher officials become just and good, the rank and file become just and good. And, when the rank and file become just and good, the people become just and good.”

It was a belief among the Buddhists that even rains came in due season when the rulers are just and good.

Democracy

Having said so much about the ideals of kingship in Buddhism, we must ask ourselves whether Buddhism considers monarchy itself as the ideal form of government. During the Buddha’s time there were a number of great kingdoms, in India, such as Magadha and Kosala. There were also a number of democratic states at the time. The Buddha has definitely expressed himself in favour of the democratic form of government and also expressed the view that it was a form of government which was conducive to the stability of society.

Referring to the preparations made by king Ajatasattu to attack one of these democratic principalities—that of the Vajjians—the Buddha said:

Ananda, have you heard that the Vajjians regularly assemble together in large numbers?”

I have heard so,” said the Venerable Ananda.

Well Ananda, so long as the Vajjians assemble regularly and in large numbers, just so long may the prosperity of the Vajjians be looked for and not their decay.

So long, Ananda, as the Vajjians assemble in harmony and disperse in harmony; so long as they conduct their business in harmony; so long as they introduce no revolutionary ordinance or break up no established ordinance, but abide by the law; so long as they honour, revere, esteem and worship the elders among the Vajjians and deem them worthy of listening to; so long as the women and maidens can go about, without being molested or abducted; so long as they honour, revere, esteem and worship the Vajjian shrines, both the inner and the outer; as long as they allow not the customary offerings given and performed, to be neglected; so long as customary watch and ward over the holy men that are among them is well kept, so that they may have free access to the realm and having entered may dwell pleasantly therein, just so long as they do these things, Ananda, may the prosperity of the Vajjians be looked for and not their decay.”

That Buddhism helped greatly in the evolution of democratic forms of government in ancient India is borne out by what the Marquess of Zetland, a former Viceroy of India, says in his introduction to the book Legacy of India. Lord Zetland says:

We know indeed that political science—Arthasastra in Sanskrit—was a favourite subject with Indian scholars some centuries before the Christian Era. The social contract as the origin of kingship is discussed in the now famous work attributed to Kautilya, the Chief minister of emperor Chandragupta, about the year 300 B.C. And it would seem that the people who contracted for a king in these early days did so in order that there should be some external authority capable of ensuring that the laws and regulations of the various corporate bodies which had come into existence, were respected. ’The king,’ wrote Yajñavalkya, ’must discipline and establish again on the path of duty all such as have erred from their own laws, whether families, castes, guilds or associations …’ It is notable that the tendency towards self-government evidenced by these various forms of corporate activity received fresh impetus from the Buddhist rejection of authority of the priesthood and further by the doctrine of equality as exemplified by its repudiation of caste. It is indeed to the Buddhist books that we have to turn for an account of the manner in which the affairs of these early examples of representative self-governing institutions were conducted. And it may come as a surprise to many to learn that in the assemblies of the Buddhists in India two thousand or more years ago are to be found the rudiments of our own parliamentary practice of the present day. The dignity of the assembly was preserved by the appointment of a special officer—the embryo of ’Mr. Speaker’ in our House of Commons. A second officer was appointed whose duty it was: to see that when necessary a quorum was secured, the prototype of the parliamentary chief whip in our own system. A member initiating business did so in the form of a motion which was then open to discussion. In some cases this was done once only, in others three times, thus anticipating the practice of parliament in requiring that a bill be read a third time before it became law. If discussion disclosed a difference of opinion the matter was decided by the vote of majority, the voting being by ballot.”

In the context of the knowledge we now have about the democracies in ancient India, the Buddha’s appreciative reference to the Vajjian Republic is most significant.

As Lord Zetland says, the Buddha’s doctrine of equality made a profound impression on the social and political life of the Indian people—and the influence lasted for nearly 14 centuries. In the Sutta Nipata, we find the following statement of the Buddha:

Vasettha” (he replied), ”I will expound
To you in gradual and very truth
Division in the kind of living things.
For kinds divide! Behold the grass and trees.
They reason not, yet they possess the mark
After their kind; for kinds, indeed divide.
Consider then the beetles, moths and ants,
They after their kind too possess the mark.
And so four-footed creatures, great and small …
The reptiles, snakes, the long-backed animals,
Fish and pond-feeders, water-denizens,
Birds and the winged creatures, fowls of the air,
They after their kind all possess the mark;
For kinds divide. Each after his kind bears
His mark. In man it is not manifold.
Not in the hair, or head or ears or eyes,
Not in the mouth or nose or lips or brows,
Not in the throat, hips, belly or the back,
Not in the rump, sex organs or the breast,
Not in hands or feet, fingers or nails,
Not in the legs or thighs, colour or voice,
Is mark that forms his kind, as in all else.
Nothing unique is in men’s bodies found;
The difference in men is nominal.” (Sutta-nipata)

Twenty centuries before the revolutionaries of France raised the standard of liberty, fraternity and equality,” the Buddha had enunciated these very values as essentials of good government!


Notes

  1. Sigalovada Sutta: translated in Everyman’s Ethics, The Wheel No. 14. [Back]

Courtesy: Bodhi Leaf No. 11

Buddhist Publication Society,

Kandy

 

ගී සිළුමිණ – දෙවන කොටස​

August 21st, 2014

siri Bandara

සිංහල ගී කෙත සැරසූ ඔබ අප රසවිඳි අපූර්වතම හරවත් ගී සමුච්ඡයක රසය සහ ගීතයේ කතාව පිළිබඳව විවරණයක් සමඟින් ඔබට එම ගී තව තවත් සමීප කර වන්නට අපි ගන්න පුංචි උත්සාහයක් තමයි ගී සිළුමිණ. 
 
 මේ සඳහා දායක වන්නේ හෙළ ගී කෙත පෝෂණය කරන්නට තම නිර්මාන දායකත්වය නිර්ලෝභීව පුදන ගේය පද රචක සහ කාව්‍යය රචක ලන්ඩන් විහාර වාසී පූජ්‍යය කෝන්වැවේ අරියරතන ස්වාමින් වහන්සේ. 
 
ගී සිළුමිණ මෙවර සංවාදයට ගන්නේ සංගීත විශාරද සුනිල් එදිරිසිංහයන් ගයන “වන්නි වනපෙතේ” නම් වූ අපූරු ගීයයි. බලන්න මේ ගීයේ පසුපස ඇති ශෝචනීය පුවතේ ඔබ අපි සැවොම අඩු වැඩි වශයෙන් හෝ කොටස් කාරයෝ නොවේද කියලා. මෙය අසා රස විඳ කරුණාකර ඔබේ අදහස් අපට දන්වන්න
 
 කරුණාකර මෙය රස විඳ ඔබ දන්නා සිංහල ගීයට ලැදි සැමට බෙදා හරින්න​. 

ජාතික පර්යේෂණ හා සංවර්ධන සැළැස්මට විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ආචාර්යවරුන්ගේ අදහස් විමසයි

August 21st, 2014

මාධ්‍ය අංශය  තාක්ෂණ හා පර්යේෂණ අමාත්‍යාංශය

පර්යේෂණ වලින් ආර්ථීකයට ලැබුණ ප්‍රතිදානය කුමක්ද යනුවෙන් අද සමහරුන් ප්‍රශ්න කරති. මෙයට පිළිතුරක් ලෙස තාක්ෂණ හා පර්යේෂණ ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ ඉදිරි ගමන් මඟ පිළිබඳව පස් අවුරුදු සැලැස්ම සකස් කර තිබේ. මෙය ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමෙන් ආර්ථීකයට දක්වන දායකත්වය කොපමණද යන්න වසරින් වසර මැන බැලීමට කටයුතු කරන බව අමාත්‍ය චම්පික රණවක මහතා විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ආචාර්යවරුන් හමුවේ ප්‍රකාශ කළේය.

රටට අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය සේවා ක්ෂේත්‍ර 10 ක් හඳුනාගනු ලැබූ අතර, ඒ ක්ෂේත්‍ර සඳහා මැදිහත්විය යුතු තාක්ෂණයන් පිළිබඳව තීරණය කර මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් කමිටු ගණනාවක් මේ වන විට පත්කර ඇත. එහි ක්ෂේත්‍ර 10 ක් හා මැදිහත්වීම් 10 තෝරා ගනු ලැබු අතර ක්‍රියාකාරකම් 100 ක් ඇතුලත්ය. මේ ක්‍රියාකාරකම් 100 ට සිය දෙනෙක් පත්කොට මූලික හඳුනාගැනීමක් සිදු කළ අතර එම හඳුනාගැනීම් විද්‍යාඥයින්ට ඉදිරිපත් කොට ඔවුන්ගේ අදහස්ද ලබාගනු ලැබීය.

මේ සම්බන්ධ සාකච්ඡාවන් තව දුරටත් ඉදිරියට ගෙන යන අතර එහි එක් අවස්ථාවක් ලෙස විශ්වවිද්‍යාල පද්ධතියේ ආචාර්ය මහාචාර්යවරුන් සමඟ ඔවුන්ගේ අදහස් මේ සඳහා ලබාගැනීමට කටයුතු කරන අතර පුළුල් පරාසයක පිරිස් සමඟ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමෙන් පසු ලබන සැප්තැම්බර් මාසයේ මෙය විධිමත් සැලැස්මක් ලෙස අතිගරු ජනාධිපතිතුමාට ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම අපගේ අරමුණ බව අමාත්‍යවරයා පෙන්වා දෙයි.

සාමාන්‍යයෙන් ඉන්දියාවෙත් අප දියුණු යැයි සලකන බටහිර රටවලත් මෙවැනි සැලසුම් දස අවුරුදු හා පස් අවුරුදු ලෙස සකස් කරනු ලබන අතර ඒවා පක්ෂ භේදයෙන් තොරව බොහෝ විට අනුමත වී ක්‍රියාත්මක වේ. ඒ සඳහා ඒ රටවල සිටින විද්‍යාත්මක ප්‍රජාව බොහොම සක්‍රීයව දායක වෙයි. නමුත් අපේ රටේ එවැනි සම්ප්‍රදායක් නොමැති නිසා ඒ සම්ප්‍රදාය අළුතෙන් ආරම්භ කිරීමට හා ලංකාව තුළ විද්වත් ප්‍රජාවගේ හඬට ඉඩක් ඇතිවන ලෙස කටයුතු කිරීමට මෙම සැලැස්ම ඔස්සේ අවධානය යොමුකොට තිබේ. දේශපාලනය අද බොහෝ දුරට පටු ඉල්ලීම් මත ක්‍රියාත්මක වන අතර එහිදී පුළුල් ක්‍රියාවලියක් පිළිබඳව තිබෙන අදහස යටපත් වේ. ආර්ථීකයේ, සමාජයේ හරවත් ඉදිරිගමන් මඟ පිළිබඳව එහිදී සොයා බැලීමක් සිදු නොවන අතර විද්වත් ප්‍රජාවක් විසින් රටේ ඉදිර ගමන සම්බන්ධයෙන් තීන්දු ගැනීම කළ යුතුය. මේ එයට මුල පිරීමකි.

ආසන්න වශයෙන් අද වන විට විවෘත ආර්ථීකය ලබාගෙන අවුරුදු 40 ක් ගෙවීගොස් තිබේ. මේ කාලය තුළ අපට මොණවද ලැබිල තියෙන ජයග්‍රහණ ? මොනවද අපි අත්පත් කරගෙන තියෙන්නෙ ? මේ අවුරුදු 40 තුල අපි යම්කිසි ආකාරයක ගමන්මගක නිරත වූයේ නම් අද වන විට එහි හැකියාවන් අඩුවී ගොස් ඇත. වාසිදායක තත්ත්වයන් සියල්ල අපෙන් ඉවත්වී ගොස් ඇත.

අපේ රට අවුරුදු 14 ක් මැදි ආදායම් රටක් ලෙස ගමන් කර තිබේ. දැන් අප ගමන් කළ යුත්තේ තිරසර ක්‍රියාමාර්ගයකටයි. ආර්ථීක වර්ධනය පමණක් මේ සඳහා ප්‍රමාණවත් නොවන අතර පරිසර තිරසර භාවය කෙරෙහි අප ප්‍රධාන වශයෙන් අවධානය යොමුකළ යුතු වේ. අපේ ජල පද්ධතිය, වායු ගෝලය, පස විනාශ කරමින් සිදුවන සංවර්ධනයක්  අපට අවශ්‍ය නැත. මේ පිළිබඳව අවධානයක් යොමු කරමින් සංවර්ධන සැලසුම් සකස් කිරීම අද සිදුකළ යුතුව තිබේ.

දුප්පත් පොහොසත් පරතරය, විරැකියාව අද යම් තරමක් දුරට ජය අරගෙන තිබේ. නමුත් සමාජ අසහනය ප්‍රබලව ඉස්මතු වී තිබේ. මේ පිළිබඳව අප මූලික වශයෙන් අවධානය යොමු කළ යුතු අතර සමාජ අසහනයට විසඳුමක් අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය වී තිබේ. ඒ සඳහාද ආයෝජන සැලැස්මේදී අවධානය යොමුකොට තිබේ. තිරසර ආර්ථීක වර්ධනය, සමාජ අසමානතාව තුනීවීම, පරිසරය සුරක්ෂිතවීම යන කරුණු තුන මත තිරසර සංවර්ධනයක් ගොඩනැගිය යුතු බව  මෙම ආයෝජන සැලැස්මේදී විශේෂිතකොට තිබෙන අතර මේ සඳහා වෘත්තීයවේදීන් මැදිහත් වියයුතු වේ.

ජයවර්ධනපුර, කැළණිය, කොළඹ, මොරටුව සහ පේරාදෙණිය විශ්වවිද්‍යාල ආචාර්යවරුන් සමඟ මේ වන විට සාකච්ඡා කොට ඇති බවත් ඒ සඳහා අචාර්යවරුන්ගේ ප්‍රතිචාර ලැබෙමින් පවතින අතර මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් විශේෂ අවධානයක් යොමු කරන බවද අමාත්‍යවරයා වැඩි දුරටත් සඳහන් කර සිටියේය.

 

Unite against the west

August 21st, 2014

By Nalin de Silva

What is the most important function of a government of any country? The governments whether elected according to western democracy or not have to look after the security of the state and maintain the sovereignty of the nation. The other functions of the governments include providing health, education, employment, food, childcare, and maintaining democracy, freedom of expression, individual rights are all secondary.

What is the use of democracy if we can elect only stooges of the west as the Presidents, Prime Ministers etc.? It is unfortunate that we are all victims of western education that teach us to maintain the security and sovereignty of the western states at any cost to the non western states. The knowledge that is disseminated at schools, universities and other such institutes are created in the west that maintains its hegemony through other means as well. The western education produces in general a set of people who cannot think outside the western box and even indigenous systems of knowledge have come under the hammer of western concepts. In Sri Lanka we are worse than most other Afro Asian countries as free education has closed the eyes of many people to indigenous systems.

We would attempt to interpret Bududahama (Buddhism to use the western word) Vedakama (healing systems) and Govikama (so called agriculture) to suit the western concepts and very often adopt western systems that do not suit our conditions. For example our western educated pundits have converted Bududahama to some kind of rationalism and an empiricism that has done away with Samsara as taught in Bududahama as well as Hindu Dharma.

 The western states were not built in a day and they have been evolving from the Fifteenth Century onwards. The individual freedom is emphasised in the western books on political science and other social sciences as against collectivism of Catholic Chinthanaya but is never practiced in the western countries. Individual freedom that includes freedom of expression, human rights etc., was brought to the forefront as against the state that dominated during the European Medieval period based on Catholic Chinthanaya, but it was easily confined to the text books and journals published by so called learned societies.

 The individual rights were used as a weapon to fight the Pope and his agents in Western Europe but the so-called elected delegates of people did not care two hoots for those rights once they found themselves in the saddle of power. Today, in the US it is clear that individual rights are not cared for as evidenced in the Michael Brown case in Ferguson. The black people given the honorary title of African Americans (the whites in USA are not called European Americans, they are always Americans, and the those inhabited USA before the Europeans came to that country are called aboriginals) never have had individual freedom or even collective freedom for that matter, at least to the extent the European Americans have. The American Civil War is supposed to have ended in 1865 according to history books but it is clear that the civil war has not ended. Next year marks 150 years of officially ending the civil war but it looks like it will go on for at least another 150 years unofficially on the streets and in the homes of the US.

 The Americans in spite of what they preach the others have had no reconciliation between the blacks and whites 150 years after the civil war and there will be no international commissions to look into the deaths of people such as Michael Brown. The blacks continue to languish in poverty and any statistics would show that the unemployment rate is very high among the blacks. The so-called multiculturalism is not practised in the US which only pays lip service to it at workshops and conferences of so-called intellectuals, and the culture of the black people is not recognized. The Judaic Christian culture is the dominant culture of the US as well as the other western countries. Obama would not have been elected the President if he had not been part of the western Judaic Christian culture. It is wrong to say that Obama was the first black to be elected as the President of the US because if he had been a Muslim he would never have been elected to that post. The blacks in the US are discriminated against mainly because they have not absorbed the Judaic Christian culture to the extent that the white European Americans want.

 The west propagates the view that their states are separated from religion and are therefore secular. This is one of the most calculated myths, which is being spread by their intellectuals and their imitators in the Afro Asian countries. The western countries are not only Judaic Christian in culture but their states are associated with one or the other denominations of Christianity/Catholicism. However, their intellectuals and the imitators in Afro Asian countries, especially in Sri Lanka where due to free education we have more than our share of western educated pundits who cannot think, would protest (they can only write to the newspapers published in English, the Sinhala educated masses would simply ignore them) when we claim that Sri Lanka is a Buddhist country, India is a Hindu country or Pakistan is a Muslim country. What they want is to state that we are all secular countries, but we know that secular states are nothing but Christian states in practice. It is only in theory that they are secular. In effect these pundits want us to be Christian states.

 The pundits who have had their education in Christian schools and Christian universities argue that there are no completely sovereign states in the world. They claim that sovereignty is limited as states have entered into various agreements with other countries. They also claim that the so-called Non Governmental Organizations which are in effect western governmental organizations (WGOs) should have the freedom the individuals enjoy.

 These WGOs are not innocent associations such as Mahila Samithis (Societies of Ladies) that work on a voluntary basis with money collected from the individual members. The WGOs are very often foreign funded and the governments of the respective countries who have to maintain the sovereignty of the nation and look after the security of the country have the right to control activities of the foreign funded WGOs. The WGOs are instruments created in the 1960s by the western countries to propagate western ideology and they are used to destabilise the non-western countries. All so-called volunteer organisations financed by the foreign countries have to be monitored and they are none other than Fridays serving their masters and mistresses in the west. They work essentially to undermine the sovereignty of the non western countries and would do whatever they can do topple governments not to the liking of the western countries, especially the US and England and its colonies Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland. The Fridays who know only to serve the masters would make statements on the freedom of WGOs to topple the governments that they and the WGOs do not like with assistance from west and establish meekly governments that serve the west. The individual rights as against the state in non western countries are used to undermine the sovereignty of those nations.

 Sovereignty cannot be graded and the US or England should not have more sovereignty than the Afro Asian countries. When Cameron comes to Sri Lanka he thinks that he is the governor of the country and we all know how he behaved during the CHOGM. The Fridays might approve what he did during his visit to Sri Lanka but the majority of the people wanted to teach him a good lesson. Could Mahinda Rajapakse go to Scotland and canvas against England? England, a country that could not provide security to Rajapaksa the present chairman of the CHOGM to go to Commonwealth Games would not allow that even in their dreams. It is clear that in spite of various international agreements England has more sovereignty than Sri Lanka. The same is true of the US. Can Sri Lanka ask for a truth and reconciliation commission in the US?

In Sri Lanka Tamils are not killed by the security forces the way Michael Browns are killed in ‘peace’ time, but the US and England have the power emanating from colonialism to appoint Navi Pillai and other committees to investigate what is supposed to have happened during the last week of the humanitarian operation. This is colonialism and graded sovereignty approved by Fridays who have had western education free or otherwise and it is time that the non western countries united to defeat western colonialism forever.

Expressing concerns

August 21st, 2014

George Rupesinghe Sydney, Australia

HE the Ambassador of the USA to Sri Lanka
The United States Embassy Colombo
Sri Lanka

Excellency I have noted, with some outrage, your recent expressions of concern in the statements on incidents such as disruption of meetings, alleged lack of press freedom etc in Sri Lanka.

Is it appropriate that Sri Lanka’s ambassador to the United States expresses the Sri Lanka government’s deep concern at what is happening in Ferguson. Missouri?

The shooting of an unarmed teenage African American by police has sparked violent protests, prompting a state of emergency and imposition of a curfew.

Sadly, this is the latest human-rights and community tragedy that has plagued the United States for centuries.

Your moral preaching about the alleged abuse of human rights and freedoms in Sri Lanka rings hollow when incidents such as this erupt from time to time in your own backyard.

Perhaps it is also appropriate for Sri Lanka to express concern about the social evils of “the right to bear arms” and the continuing toll of American lives owing to guns.

Perhaps a similar expression of concern about the pervasive and growing drug culture and its medical, and social consequences will be in order.

Perhaps you would issue a statement explaining why it is proper for US diplomats to interfere in Sri Lanka’s domestic matters when you have a lot of cleaning up to do in your own house.

Sincerely

George Rupesinghe
Sydney,
Australia

The Bogus ‘Joint Statement’ between President of Sri Lanka and Ban-Ki Moon

August 19th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

There is an underpinning effort made surreptitiously across the Panel of Expert report to give the impression that the 3 member team was appointed to ‘give effect to’ the joint statement made in 2009 between the Sri Lankan President and the UN Secretary General. Firstly, the Panel’s report makes a grave error in claiming that the UNSG arrived in Sri Lanka in 23 March 2009. The UNSG according to official records arrived in Sri Lanka on 23 May 2009. That was just 4 days after the LTTE was militarily defeated. The next argument is how the Panel is taking pains to project that its appointment had everything to do with a bogus joint statement that is being promoted as the reason for its appointment.

The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address those grievances (Nowhere does the Sri Lankan Government commit to undertaking an investigation nor does the GOSL agree to an international investigation)

http://www.mea.gov.lk/index.php/component/content/article/1753-joint-statement-by-the-gosl-a-the-un-at-the-conclusion-of-un-secretary-generals-visit-to-sri-lanka

When taken word for word there is no such request made by the UNSG neither is there a commitment by the GOSL to the UNSG that Sri Lanka would undertake an investigation.

The implication is that the UNSG underlined the importance of an accountability process and the GOSL replied it would take measures. The vagueness of ‘those grievances’ leaves the doors open for people to assume what they like but it does not confine to any particular grievance or grievances or that Sri Lanka would carry out an investigation.

This being the statement jointly signed by the UNSG and the GOSL who is attempting to fool Sri Lanka and the world by bogus statements made throughout reports of an undertaking by the GOSL to an international investigation and for the Panel of Experts to ensure that Sri Lanka is fulfilling that assurance.

The following are the references to the Joint-Statement by the Darusman panel

.   Introduction 3: the establishment of the Panel of Experts is in the follow-up by the Secretary-General to that joint statement”.

  1. Introduction 4: The Panel’s mandate is to advise the Secretary-General on the implementation of the joint commitment with respect to the final stages of the war”.

With a very clear non-commitment in the joint statement between the UNSG and the Sri Lankan President, it is baffling how the Panel of Experts are taking great pains to project that their appointment is connected to the joint statement and their role is linked as a follow-up to ensuring Sri Lanka is committed to the joint statement.

The next surprising element is how the Panel attempts showcase that the Panel is the direct outcome of the UNSG’s statement The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”. and the GOSL response The Government will take measures to address those grievances

If our understanding of English is correct ‘underlining the importance of anaccountability process’ does not equate to ordering Sri Lanka to establish anaccountability process and the Government’s response that it ‘will take measures toaddress those grievances’ does not equate to assuring such. Besides there is no time, date mentioned.

Therefore, what mischief is the UNSG’s office upto in giving the impression to claim that ‘at this time and against this background’ the Panel was appointed. Moreover, letus also not that the LLRC was implemented in May 2010 so why would the UNSG go onto appoint his own Panel the following month (June 2010) which goes to show that theUNSG has hardly given Sri Lanka any time to run its own domestic process?

When the UNSG has every right to appoint committees to advise him (withoutrequiring UNGeneral Assembly or UN Security Council) approval, why was there a needto continuously establish a bogus link to the joint statement issued between himself and the Sri Lankan President? Moreover why was that ‘ADVICE’ to him given to the Sri Lankan Government and later leaked so that they could cover up illegalities?

Moreover, with so many ongoing conflicts, why has the UNSG not used his unforeseen budget to appoint other Panels to advise him on these ongoing conflicts?

The references to the Joint Statements keeps haunting the entire report

Formation of the Panel

2. ‘The purpose of the panel shall be to advise the Secretary General, on themodalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience relevantto the fulfillment of the joint statement to an accountability process.’

Was it not because there was some mischief that the UNSG has allocated an ‘unforeseenbudget’ to fund the Panel?

The overall task of the Panel

7. The role of the Panel is to provide advice to the Secretary General on the measures Sri Lanka has thus far taken and should, in the future take, to give effect to the joint statement of 23 May 2009 between the Secretary General and the President of Sri Lanka, with specific regard to accountability, in the light of the actual nature and scope of all allegations”.  (the same reference in made in point 9)

12. The Terms of Reference require the Panel to advise the Secretary General about the implementation of the joint statement regarding the ‘final stages of the war’.” (why has the final stages been included in inverted commas?) The Panel based its focus between September 2008 and May 2009.

The short and sweet of the argument is that that the LTTE was declared defeated on 19th May 2009. The UNSG arrived in Sri Lanka on 23rd May 2009. The same day a joint statement was released signed by the UNSG and the President of Sri Lanka. Obviously, the draft of this communiqué would have passed several hands and legal bodies of both the UN and the Sri Lankan State but no one needs to have a formal English qualification to understand that the joint statement that was released on 23rd May 2009 did not ask Sri Lanka to carry out an accountability process and neither did the Sri Lankan Government give assurance to carry out one. The UNSG ‘underlined the importance of an accountability process’ this does not mean that the UNSG demanded the Sri Lankan Government to carryout an accountability process and it also does not mean that Sri Lanka gave any assurance with dates and times when it would.

In May 2010, the Sri Lankan Government appointed the LLRC, the very next month the UNSG appoints the Panel of Experts and these experts claim that their appointment was to follow through on the joint statement and Sri Lanka’s commitment to it. There was no commitment as is very clearly evident and moreover the UNSG has shown no regard for Sri Lanka’s process which started in May 2010 by going ahead and appointing his own Panel which continuously makes wrong references to the joint statement.

The need to project the bogus nature of the appointment of the Panel, its lack of credibility is important in view of the Panel of Expert report being the foundation and basis for successive resolutions against Sri Lanka and used by even the UN Human Rights outgoing head.

The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address those grievances (Nowhere does the Sri Lankan Government commit to undertaking

So we need to once again ask, what is the mischief taking place?

Let us also note that in May 28, 2008 when the EU nations called for an independent investigation of Sri Lanka that motion was rejected 29 to 12 with 6 abstentions. What has happened since and who are steering the mischief?

 

Why President’s Decision To Bar Entry To UN Investigators Appears Justifiable.

August 19th, 2014

LankaWeb Weekly Editorial

August 20th 2014

Although there is every likelihood that it will cause an international furore, the choice of the President to deny entry to the team of UN investigators seems justifiable on the simplest rationale that it has been instigated by biased former UN representatives such as Navi Pillai and others who have very openly as well as blatantly taken upon themselves to be adjudicators over their perceptions of human rights violations during the decades long internal armed terrorist insurrection some mistakenly label a War.Well for their information what the Government of Sri Lanka did as many rational analysts far removed from bias interpret was a very justified defence of Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity by a nation against subversives aided and abetted by a miniscule minority whose violations of human rights during their terror campaign was far reaching and significant.While the Government and the armed forces in reality protected the rights of all citizens during the long terrorist campaign, the supporters of the terrorists both within and without Sri Lanka have taken it upon themselves to be judge, jury and executioner over the issue plying the world with falsified evidence against the Government and taking great pains to do this with far reaching responses from some world powers who beyond hearsay and digitally enhanced fictitious videos as well as the sob stories of the supporters of the vanquished, for various reasons and perhaps conducive to their own agendas have chosen to attempt incarceration of the GOSL when in reality they should isolate the criminals the Tamil Tiger terrorists were and any who continue to support them while acollading the triumph of the SL Armed Forces.

It was was a triumph over terrorism which has benefitted not only Sri Lanka but the entire world considering how well organized albeit dangerous the terrorists were and on this grounds alone the decision of the President seems more than justifiable where there was much more than meets the common eye when it came to the mendacities of the Tamil Tigers and Sri Lanka was spared the ignominy of being subjugated by them through the prompt and assertive responses which eventually saw their demise although a neavy toll was taken in the process through loss of both military and civilian life as well as horrendous harm and injury and the destruction of public and private property.
 
As posted in the international as well as local media the news that Sri Lanka will not grant visas to UN investigators probing war crimes allegedly committed during the island’s decades-long separatist conflict, as decreed by President Mahinda Rajapakse it therefore seems not only justifiable but also appropriate given the aforementioned reasons.
 
Given the bias within the UN towards Sri Lanka ( there has been similar biases in other international situations iniated by the likes of Navi Pillai and co.) it comes as no surprise that Sri Lanka has refused to accept the direction of the UN Human Rights Council, which voted in March to investigate allegations that the military killed 40,000 civilians in the final months of the separatist war in 2009.

But it is the first time that Rajapakse has said UN investigators will not be allowed into the country although not with the objective of ” effectively barring them from face-to-face access to Sri Lankans wanting to testify” as  insinuated by those who oppose government policy but on the principle of standing their ground that the facts, figures as well as the accusations are distorted and not justifiable as it was not a miniscule minority involved here but an entire nation of 20 million people who need to have their grievances addressed for what they suffered as a result of the Tamil Tiger insurrection.
 
 Quoting again from the International Press as well as the local media The President has said that “We will not allow them into the country,”, although under international pressure to cooperate with the UN-mandated investigation although he has asserted that his government was cooperating with all other UN agencies.”We are saying that we do not accept it (the probe). We are against it,” he told Colombo-based foreign correspondents at his official residence.”But when it comes to other UN agencies, we are always ready to fully cooperate and fully engage with them.” UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and other leaders have urged Colombo to cooperate with the UN Human Rights Council after ending a prolonged separatist war that pitted ethnic minority Tamil rebels against the largely Sinhalese Army.
 
Interestingly and perhaps aware that hers might be a wasted effort eventually the outgoing UN rights chief Navi Pillay earlier this month has suggested that” her staff investigating allegations of mass killings may not have to travel to Sri Lanka at all.’ which seems another ploy towards eliciting the accurate related facts which would contradict UN accusatioins, particularly hers. And when she says there was a ”  ‘wealth of information’ outside the country,”  This as dubious as it sounds points to the wealth of exaggerated and distorted fabrications presented by Tamil Tiger supportive diaspora which is now becoming  very widespread and for very obvious reasons.
 
Sri Lanka’s foreign ministry has responded that her investigation was on a “preconceived trajectory” and that her “prejudice and lack of objectivity” were unfortunate as she had conducted a worthless mission in the absence of the President from the country and only confronted the Tamil minority where the grievances of the rest of the country perhaps to suit  her own convenience was visibly overlooked once again pointing to her bias.
That the President’s decision is not  an attempt to ward off the UN investigators due to any apprehensions becomes very evident as he is simply exercising his prudence and perceptions as someone with the authority to rationally make choices which would not be detrimental to the well being of all Sri Lankans nor bow down to the puny intimidations of the likes of Navi Pillai as well as the tentative and at times seemingly confused vision of the UN Secretary General who also made his way into Sri Lanka sometime ago for  what he termed ascertaining facts but returned empty handed as there was nothing tangible to suggest that all the accusations against the Government were accurate.
 
To further consolidate its veracity Foreign Minister Gamini Lakshman Peiris has been quoted as saying that  “Colombo-based Western diplomats may have been trying to gather evidence surreptitiously. Relatives of missing people had gone to the capital earlier this month for a meeting with diplomats.
I have mentioned it to ambassadors that this is not correct.  Colombo maintains that its troops did not commit war crimes while crushing the Tamil Tiger rebel movement at the end of a conflict which lasted more than three decades and claimed more than 100,000 lives,  a figure that has yet to be confirmed.The government has chosen the path to conduct and put togethr its own fact finding mission where there are appointees in a qualified capacity already looking into missing persons issues and to expand its work and investigate the actions of both troops and Tamil rebels. President Rajapakse has said  that he was naming two more foreign experts — an Indian and a Pakistani — to join three international legal experts already on a panel of advisers helping the presidential Commission of Inquiry.Indian rights activist Avdhash Kaushal and Pakistani lawyer Ahmer Bilal Soofi join British lawyers Desmond de Silva and Geoffrey Nice and US law professor David Crane.

The Britons and the American are former UN war crimes prosecutors.Rajapakse said he was willing to give even two more years to the commission to complete its work. The commission said it was probing 19,471 cases of missing persons as of Tuesday and completed hearings only in respect of 939 cases.The president denied that naming foreigners to the list merely as advisers amounted to a whitewash, saying the government was serious about investigating rights abuses.”We appointed these foreign experts because the commission itself asked for it. They (the commission) thought it would be helpful if we had these experts to advise them. In a government decree published last month it has been indicated that the commission would investigate the military’s adherence to or neglect… of laws of armed conflict and international humanitarian law”.The commission is the latest investigation initiated by Colombo.

Experts and activists who had said that earlier attempts amounted to a whitewash therefore have no entitlements beyond their own apparently
misconceived conclusions towards fingerpointing at the Government of Sri Lanka where the UN Investigators spurred on by the likes of Navi Pillai are in  all probabilities better off finding other agendas better suited to their particular type of bias which too would get them nowhere as bias in every form is contentious and the President has surely got wind of this quite justifiably in order to deny access to the UN Investigators whose directions appear to be steeped in bias

President Barack Obama’s admission of torture by the CIA, and Navi Pillai’s International probe into war crimes in Sri Lanka.

August 19th, 2014

By Charles.S.Perera

Barack Obama the President of USA has admitted that the CIA official who interrogated suspects after the 9/11 attacks crossed a line” into torture.  That is while the whole world knows that CIA spells not only torture but all sorts of criminal subversive activities in  Sovereign States at a global level.  His accepting CIA crossing a line’ into torture after  the 9/11 attack does not mitigate or absolve the CIA from its Criminal activities of the past and the present.

Barrack Obama added that, we did some things that were contrary to our values.” And went on to say , “….it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had.”  President Barack Obama is trying to minimise the crimes USA has committed and continues to commit.

The President Barrack Obama speaks of  American values, but what values can USA speak about when tracing the path of it sinister policies carried out  by its State Department with the support of its crimes department -the CIA.

After Barrack Obama’s admission of shame, Global Research reported, We applaud Obama admitting to this unsavoury chapter in US history. The government has denied for years that the US torture…even though we in the alternative media exposed torture 10 years ago.  But there is a lot that Obama didn’t say… Initially it wasn’t  just some folks” we tortured.  The torture was wide spread and systematic. And  it wasn’t just  bad guys  who were tortured:

(i) the commander of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq Janis Karpinski  estimates 90% of  detainees  in the prison were innocent.

(ii) the number two man at the State Department under Colin Powell, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson , says that many of those being held  at Guantanamo Bay were innocent, and that top Bush Administration officials knew that they were innocent.

(iii)U.S.Military files  show that many  Guantanamo Prisoners  were held on the flimsiest grounds such as wearing a Casio watch, being a prisoner in a Taliban prison jail, driving cabs in certain geographic regions , or being Al Jazeera reporters.

(iv) Many say that those tortured  were mainly innocent farmers, villagers, or those against whom neighbours held a grudge. Indeed, people received a nice cash reward from the U.S. government for turning people in as suspected terrorists”.

(http://www.globalresearch.ca/obama-admits-u-s-tortured-some-folks-heres-what-he-didnt-say/5394566)

But in Sri Lanka there were no torture committed against the terrorists.   There were no torture of the terrorists for the simple reason that in the war against terrorism in  Sri Lanka the Armed Forces knew where exactly the terrorists were and there was  no necessity to interrogate  terrorists taken as prisoners under tortured to get information with regard to; movements of terrorists or where they were hiding.  There were also Tamil civilians who gave information of meeting sites of terrorists to enable the Sri Lanka Air Force  use precision bombing.

The stories about torture were those made up by the UK Channel 4 and the pro-terrorists Tamil diaspora and included in the Darusman Report.  The NGO’s or the terrorist friendly foreign dignitaries such as the US Ambassador Robert O’Blake who wined and dined with the terrorists  often in Kilinochchi did not speak about Sri Lanka Armed Forces having torture camps for terrorists.

Sri Lanka’s war against terrorism was unlike any such wars  against terrorist carried out  and continue to be carried on by USA and its allies. Sri Lanka Armed Forces had a double responsibility in its war against the terrorists.  One was to eliminate terrorisms completely, and the second to safeguard the Tamil civilian population in the areas where military operations against the terrorists were being carried out.

The NGO’s , Frances Harrison, and a UN employee Gordon Weiss who were friends of the terrorists  and had no fear of terrorists attacking them, were asked by the Government to leave the war affected areas as the army could not assure their safety.  They were living in great comfort and regretted having to give it up, and turned against the Armed Forces and the Government for depriving of that comfortable living conditions and wrote books exaggerating numbers who may have died at the last phase of the military operations against terrorists to 40,000.  But yet they have not mentioned torture by Armed Forces.

Gordon Weiss, Frances Harrison , UK Channel 4, the report of Ban Ki Moon’s Darusman Panel consist of vindictive writing, without any acceptable evidence.  Even Colonel Khan and Colonel De Toit of the food convoy to North giving macabre descriptions of carnage they say they witnessed do not provide any substantial evidence to prove their recitals.  Gordon Weiss’s writings are a contradiction speaking well of the great generosity and humanity of the soldiers of the Sri Lanka armed forces and at the same time  opine that even the good could do wrong.

The following  excerpts are taken from the review of the Gordon Weiss’s book The Cage by an anti government journalist of the GroundView Sanjana Hattatotuwa:

During the course of research for this book, dozens of Tamils described the Sinhalese as inherently kind and gentle people. The front-line soldiers who received the first civilians as they escaped to government lines, those who guarded them in the camps and the civilian and military doctors who provided vital treatment distinguished themselves most commonly through their mercy and care.”

Further on in the book, Weiss gives examples of soldiers who tried their utmost to distinguish between LTTE combatants and civilians in incredibly confusing and stressful ground conditions, gave up their own rations to feed those who were dying of hunger in the internment camps established by the government just after the war and other incredible stories of compassion and mercy towards injured Tamil civilians – mothers, children, infants and men – in the hellish last weeks and days of war. This ostensibly echoes what for example Brigadier Prasanna de Silva from the 55th Division says in the film directed by Guy Guneratne The Truth That Wasn’t There. However, Weiss also then unequivocally asserts that this does not mean that soldiers did not directly kill thousands of civilians in the heat of combat” and notes that … Survivors testify that advancing soldiers lobbed grenades methodically into bunkers that often held civilians.”

No credit could be given to Gordon Weiss’s book -The Cage. He has made factual errors such as  stating that  G.L.Peiris was at the time the Attorney General of Sri Lanka, and  that when Gotabhaya Rajapakse escaped from a suicide bomb while travelling in a Mercedes, where as he had been travelling at the time in an armour plated BMW7.

Sanjaya Hattotuwa himself says in his review: The vociferous support of the UN Secretary General’s report by many sections of the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora is pegged to its repeated and deep consternation over instances where government armed forces actively targeted civilians. What the UN report also makes explicitly clear and Weiss in The Cage repeatedly underscores are the unimaginably barbaric actions of the LTTE to fire artillery into their own people” based on the terrible calculation that with enough dead Tamils, a toll would eventually be reached that would lead to international outrage and intervention.” Here’s the rub – with their leadership decimated, there’s no one in the LTTE to hold accountable.”

http://groundviews.org/2011/05/24/a-review-of-the-cage-the-fight-for-sri-lankan-the-last-days-of-the-tamil-tigers/

There are accusations of  violation of human rights and deaths of civilians  totalling up to an incredible number of 40,000 killed at the last phase of the military operations against the terrorists by the Government Armed Forces, but nowhere there is any evidence of torture committed by the Sri Lanka Armed forces except by the unsubstantiated false video footings prepared by the UK Channel four,  the Darusman report prepared on evidence collected from pro terrorist Tamil diaspora and unnamed witnesses,  and the pro-terrorist Tamil Diaspora.

As against this there is clear documented evidence of the torture committed by the US Armed Forces which has been accepted by the President of USA himself. The acceptance by the US President Barrack Obama of the torture committed by the CIA does not absolve the perpetrators of the crime of torture.

Sri Lanka which carried out a just war to deliver its people from untold suffering under terrorism and protects its people and the country, unlike USA going out to foreign countries in search and massacre Al Qaeda terrorists, has committed no war crimes  at any stage. If a certain number of civilians had died at the last phase of its terrorist war it was not  through deliberate shooting  of the Tamil civilians, or not at all a preconceived  plan to kill civilians.

If it was so why did the Sri Lanka Armed Forces rescued 300,000 Tamils civilians from the terrorist held areas taking great risks to their own lives. They were easy targets and they could have shot every one of them if the Sri Lanka Armed Forces were brutal and inhuman.………

There are malicious accusations made against the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka for killing unarmed terrorists  carrying white flags, killing of journalists, and sinister White Van kidnappings as a part of a smear campaign to discredit a great Armed Force acclaimed by the people of Sri Lanka as heroic for ending a 30 year long suffering under terrorism.  The Sri Lanka armed Forces are accused without eye witnesses or any credible evidence  for crimes it had not committed.

There is therefore no  necessity for either an International or a local investigation into the conduct of the Soldiers of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces during the last phase of its military operations to eliminate terrorists. On the other hand the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka should be felicitated and rewarded for showing to the world that terrorism could be eliminated  by an army of patriotic soldiers dedicated and determined not to turn back without achieving the target it has set.  A recipe for  a military success in elimination of terrorism  has been shown by the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka as carrying out their duties as soldiers with out hatred even for the enemy, and affection for those Tamil civilians  suffering under terrorism, as their own kith and kin.

The Armed Forces had been seen  treating the captured terrorists humanly offering them meals, and taking all risks to save the lives of the innocent Tamil civilians even carrying the old and the wounded in their arms .

The perpetrators of torture in CIA admitted to by the President Barrack Obama should be investigated and  made to pay for their crimes.

This  confession of the US President  makes  the Navi Pillai’s probe into violation of human rights and war crimes by the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka an abuse of  power, a personal vengeance against the  Sri Lanka Armed Forces.  It should therefore  be called off with an apology to Sri Lanka Government and its Armed Forces.

අපි කවුද ………… තව අමතර විස්තර

August 19th, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

වරිග පූරනිකාව අනුව එදා භාවිතාවූ  වචන කීපයක් අද වචන  සමග  ——-1 -කමොතුලැ = කම්මුතු  2 ජන්ජලියාව ==ජංජාලය 3 කො විල=කුයිල හෙවත් දුගඳ  4 ගොම්මලේ = ගොම්මනේ හෙවත් සවස 5 හුටපටය = රණ්ඩුව හුටපටය 6 එල්ලිබහ=එලිබහිනවා , මළ පහ කරනවා

 මහාචාර්ය හෙට්ටිආරච්චි  විසින්  ලංකා විශ්වවිද්‍යාලයීය  ඉතිහාසයේ දක්වූ   වෙනත් ආර්ය හෝ අනාර්ය කිසිදු භාෂාවක නැති එහෙත් සිංහල භාෂාවේ පමණක් ඇති වචන—-ඇපය ,ඔලුව කකුල,කට, කලාව, කුල්ල, තොල, පැදුර, පොත්ත, බද, ලිඳ ,ලිප, විලුඹ  මේ වචන ආර්යාගමනයට පෙර භාවිථවූ  වචන වියහැකි බව එතුමාගේ අදහසය්. ……….. මේවා  ටැමිල් මුන්ඩා  යය්ද   හෙට්ටිආරච්චි එසේ කියා තිබේ යය්  ද   බොරු කියමින්  1984 04  08 දින  james ratnam  හා ජයරාජන් දේශනා පැවැත්වූ  හ. හෙට්ටිආරච්චි කිව්වේ ආර්ය හෝ අනාර්ය කිසිම භාෂාවකට මේවා අයත් නොවන බව  ය  දෙමලු  මේවා විකුර්තිකරමින් තම දරු වන්ට උගන්වති .

අනු ඩී , නන්ද ——සර්ව ආගමික සර්ව ජාතික  කතා වලටමය්  බහු යොදා ඇත්තේ හාස්යටය්   බහුවෝ කියන්නේ . නලින් ද සිල්වා
  උපහාසාත්මකව පඬියෝ වචනය යොදනවා වාගෙය් ටිකදෙනෙක් හරි මේවා ගැන උනන්දු වීම ගැන සතුටුය්  ටික ටික  මම දන්නා දේ ලියන්නම්  ජාතික කියන පත්තරවලත් මේවා දාන්නේනැ හැ . අපි හැකි තරම් දැනුවත්වෙමු   

ඕලන්ද පෙරදිග ඉන්දීය වෙළඳ සමාගමේ සේවයකළ” හයිට් ” 1734 දී—””කාරුණික ඉල්ලීමක් කරන්නේනම් ඔවුන්ගෙන් ඕනෑම වැඩක්  කරවා ගත හැක. මුදල් වලට නම් ඔවුන්ගෙන් කිසිම  දෙයක් කරවා ගත නොහැකිය. මුදල්වලට වැඩ කරවා ගතහැක්කේ කුලී කරුවන්ග්ගෙන් පමනකැ ය් ඔවුහු අදහස් කරන හෙයිනි.””
රොබට් නොක්ස් ———”’ ධනය මෙහි අගය කොට නොසැලකෙය්  .එයින් යමෙක් සම්මා නනීයද නොවේ.”’
ජෝ න්  ඩේවි —— ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සංචාර—-”’පවුල් පිලිබඳ ඇල්ම වඩා බලවත් හා හිතෛෂී  වන්නේ මනුෂ්‍ය ජාතීන් ස්වල්පයක් අතර  පමනකිය්  මම සිතමි ඇල්ම වෙනතක  යාමටත් දුර්වල වීමටත් මෙහි කිසිත් නැත.. එය ඔවුන්ගේ ජීවන තත්වය හා ආගම නිසා  වඩ ව  ඩා  ශක්තිමත් වේ”’
ගෛගර් ——”’-ලංකාද්වීපයේ ඉතිහාසය තරම් අප මැනවින් දන්නා  ඉතිහාසයක් ඇති කිසිදු පෙදෙසක්  මුළු මහත් භාරතයේම නැත .”
ආනන්ද කුමාරස්ව්වාමි ——–”’බටහිර විලාසිතාවනට ඇබ්බැහි නොවූ උඩරට ගැමියා  තරම් අවංක වූද  විශ්වාස කටයුතුවූද මිනිසෙකු සොයා ගැනීම දුෂ්කරය.””
රාජකීය ආසියාතික සමාගමේ ශ්‍රී ලංකා ශාඛාවේ  සඟරාවට ලිපියක් ලියන    A .O  .බ්‍රෝ ඩ්   නුවර කලාවියේ වැසියන් ගැන———-””- මට මුණගැසුනඅ  ය අතරින් නුවරකලාවියේ වැසියෝ ඉතාමත් ශාන්ත දාන්ත ගති පැවතුම් ඇත්තෝය…. තද පහරදීම් හොරකම් හා මිනීමැරුම් ඔවුන් ළඟ නැත. අවුරුදු තුනක් තුල මෙහි වැසියෙකුට සොරකම සඳහා දඩුවන්  කිරීමට අවස්තාවක් උදා නොවීය.”’
අනුරපුර ඉංග්‍රීසි  දිසාපති 1884 සිය මුල්ම පාලන වාර්තාවේ ——–”’ වෙසක් දාට විසිදාහක පමණ ජනතාවක් රටේ සාම පෙදෙසකින්ම අනුරාධපුරයට වන්දනාවේ එති . සමහරු පොසොන් දක්වාම සිටිති. කච්චේරියේ කොරිඩෝවේ  පවා නිදාගන්න  ඔවුහු  උදේම නැගිට අතු පතුගා පිරිසුදුකර  ඉවත්වෙති. ඔවුන් පාලනය කිරීමට එකද පොලිස්භටයෙක් නැත. පළාතේ විනිශ්චයකාරයා හැටියට මට කිව හැක්කේ  ඔවුන්ගේ මනා  පැවැත්ම හා සුන්දර හැසිරීම පරදවියහැකි අන්කිසිවක් ගැන සිතිය නොහැකි බවය්.. අන්ඩ දබරයක් වැනියමක් ගැන  කිසිකලෙක අසන්නට නොලැබුණි. ලොකුම පුදුමය නම් කච්චේරියේ රුපියල් 700.00 අධික මුදලක් ඇති පින් පෙට්ටිය ගෙනයාමට කිසිවෙකු උත්සාහ නොකිරීමය. පෙට්ටිය ඔසවාගෙන යාහැකිය. අවට කැ ලය ඇත. එහෙත් එවැන්නක් කරන අයෙක් නැත. භයානක අපරාධ සජ උරුමකොට ඇති මනුෂ්‍ය වර්ගයාගේ සේයාවක් පමණවත් මෙහි පෙනේද? ක්‍රිස්තියානි ලෝකයේ කවර නම් රටක මෙවැනි මුදල් පෙට්ටියක් ආරක්ශාවේද?”””””’( 1884 රුපියල් 700.00 අද කීයක වේද ?)
අනේ එහෙව් අපට වෙච්ච දේ…..වෙච්ච දේද  කල දේද  නන්ද, අනු ,,. මටත් පින් ඔබටත් පින් ,,  දරුවන්ට මේවා කියා දෙන්න

Dr. Ananda Guruge – Scholar, Professor, Historian, Diplomat, Patriot, Buddhist, Sri Lankan

August 19th, 2014

A Tribute from Dr .Bhadant Rahulbodhi Mahathero (India)

Ven. Dr.                          Bhadant Rahula Bodhi Maha Thero

Tribute  to  great scholar Dr. Prof. W.P. Ananda Guruge.

Date of Birth:  December 28,1928 

Date of Expiry : August 6, 2014

 It is unbelievable very sad and shocking  news of our world renowned great Buddhist scholar in our Buddhist world  suddenly, unexpectedly  passed away on his way to USA. Everybody was very proud about his great knowledge and tireless contribution towards humanity and Buddhism .He was so much positive nature and very, very generous, very kindhearted person. His contribution to our world Fellowship of Buddhist is ever inspirable to everyone .He taught so many good things to all fellows and made every  meeting and every world Conference so much successful and  meaningful .Everyone felt very happy and very proud about his presence among all of us. It is great loss to our WFB all fellows.

When he visited our Sarvodaya Maha Buddha Vihara the great Buddhist temple in Mumbai , and guided many Buddhists  and followers of Bodhisattva Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar very interestedly .He always felt very happy and very proud about the work of Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar . He always encouraged me and felt very satisfied about my work in Mumbai. All the time very quickly he used to respond my Email and personally guided me. Recently I met him in Washington DC he invited me for lunch at his beautiful  house  and offered us Dana at his home , although our Mom Darshnika was not well but he honored the Indian monk with great respect and advised his family members the holy work of India. Being not well when he came to Sanchi for inauguration of  Buddhist University, by his eloquent speech he won the hearts of everyone and brighten name of Sri Lanka. Truly he was the great ambassador of Buddhism in the modern world. We felt great loss and I personally feel very sad for our kindhearted Mom Darshnika. May Triple Gem give her good strength ! May our beloved professor Dr. Aanda Guruge attain highest  Stage of Nibbana!   We, on behalf of BHIKKHU SANGHA`S UNITED BUDDHIST MISSION, INDIA  and myself   deeply send condolences. May Buddha bless him and his beloved all family members!

 Dr .Bhadant Rahulbodhi Mahathero Mumbai

President, Bhikkhu Sangha`s United Buddhist Mission.

Co-Chairman Standing Committee WFB.

………………………………………………………………

On October 27, 2013 Dr. Ananda Guruge delivered a memorable talk on the ‘ Role of Sri Lanka in the growth of Buddhism in India in the new millennium’ at the Sri Sambuddhatva Jayanthi Mandiraya Auditorium, Colombo. 

The transcript of this talk is appended below.

http://www.sriexpress.com/articles/item/625-the-role-of-sri-lanka-in-the-growth-of-buddhism-in-india-in-the-new-millennium.html

The Role of Sri Lanka in the Growth of                              Buddhism in India in the New Millennium
 Dr. Ananda Guruge with palms held together in a gesture of
acknowledgement and farewell at the conclusion of his memorable speech
Source: buddhistcc.net

May I begin by expressing my grateful thanks to the Indo-Sri Lanka Buddhist Network, SUCCESS Sri Lanka, German Dharmaduta Society, Buddhist Cultural Centre, Nedimala, International Buddhist Centre, Wellawatte, and in particular Venerable Kirama Wimalajoti Thero and Mr Senaka Weeraratna for the privilege accorded to me to speak to you on the role of Sri Lanka in the growth of Buddhism in India in the new millennium.

Being a part of the Indian subcontinent Sri Lanka’s relations with the mainland date back to the distant past.   Even before the arrival of Aryans in our Island, trade relations are said to have existed between the two countries.   According to the Tamil Buddhist classic Silapathikaram, a shipwreck happened near Sri Lanka and only one of its Tamil-speaking victims could speak the Naga language and seek assistance.   Onesicritus, the admiral of the naval force of Alexander the Great around 320 before Christ has recorded that a regular maritime commercial route existed between Sri Lanka and the Indus Region in modern Pakistan.

He mentions the time taken to go from the Island to that region and compares the quality of Sri Lankan ships with his own.  Megasthenes, the Greek Ambassador to the Mauryan court of Chandragupta makes reference to Sri Lanka in his book Indica.   Asoka the Righteous makes two references to Tammapanni in his edicts and sent Buddhism through his own children Arahants Mahinda and Sanghamitta.   The voyage of the latter bringing a sapling of the sacred bodhi-tree establishes that a regular sea-route connected the Indian port of Tamralipti in Bengal with Jambukola in the Jaffna Peninsula.   Gokanna, the present day Trincomalee, was also a seaport, in addition to Mahatittha or Mantai, with connections to India.

It is with the establishment of Buddhism in Sri Lanka that our relations with the mainland became stronger, perennial and fruitful.  Sri Lanka does owe an immense debt to India for giving us Buddhism along with significant cultural attributes contributing to the development of religion and philosophy, art and architecture, literature and a serene life-style.   Ever since, Sri Lanka has also played an important role in the development of Buddhism in India.

A cursory survey of the history of Buddhism in India shows that Sri Lankans were deeply engaged in Buddhist activities in several main centers.   The Sinhala  Commentaries, which are said to be an initiative of Arahant Mahinda,  continued in the Island until about the first century before Christ and appear to have been used by Indian Buddhist Sangha.   It was the evolution of the languages in our two countries which made it difficult for the Indian Sangha to use our Sinhala  commentaries seven centuries later.   The impetus for Buddhaghosa, Dharmapala and Buddhadatta to translate them into Pali came from the fact that Sinhala commentaries were indispensable for the study of Buddhism in India as well.

A Prakrit inscription at Nagarjunakonda, dated around the second century of the current era, refers to a Sihalavihara there and credits its monks for the promotion of Buddhism in Kashmir, Gandhara, China, and several parts of the mainland.   King Silamegha of Sri Lanka is known to have negotiated with the Gupta Emperor Samudragupta to establish a pilgrim rest in Buddha Gaya for the convenience of Sri Lankan pilgrims.    An inscription by a Sri Lankan monk named Mahanama of that time as well as several epigraphical records show that the Vihara, thus established, was frequented by Sri Lankan pilgrims up to the time of the disappearance of Buddhism from India.

It is also well-known that Aryadeva, the renowned disciple of Nagarjuna and his successor as the abbot of Nalanda University, was a Sri Lankan prince.  His work Catusshataka is a major contribution to the development of Mahayana Buddhism.   Our history records several waves of Mahayana Buddhism influencing Sri Lanka.   Of the three main monasteries of Anuradhapura, Abhayagiri and Jetavana were partial to the Mahayana tradition, used Sanskrit and had relations with Indian Institutions.   Apart from the massive Buddha statues of Aukana, Maligawila, Buduruvagala and Galvihara, the gold plates with the Sanskrit text of Prajnaparamita, discovered in Jetavana, provide proof for the impact of Mahayana. So is the exquisite image of the seated Bodhisattva found in Weragala.

In India Fa-hien could not find a written Buddhist Vinaya and came to Sri Lanka in search of Vinaya texts.  It is here that he found the Dharmaguptika Vinaya and enabled the Mahayana tradition to regulate its Sangha.   The Kashmir King Gunavarman abdicated his throne and came to Abhayagiri Vihara and became a specialist in Vinaya before proceeding to China.   Sanghamitra, a disciple of the Mahayana monks who were banished to South India by Gotabhaya came to Sri Lanka and prompted Mahasena to campaign against the Mahavihara.   Hsuan-tsang or (Xuan Tsang) in the seventh century wanted to come to Sri Lanka for further studies of Buddhism.   When prevented from doing so, he wrote the last chapter of his Si-yu-ki on the state of Buddhism in the Island on the basis of information he could gather in Tamil Nadu.  It is also significant that Vajrabodhi, who hailed from India and his pupil Amogharajra departed for China from Sri Lanka.

It is also possible that Sri Lankan monks held positions of authority in Indian monasteries.   Ajanta seems to have had such an eminent monk for the arrival of Sinhalas in Sri Lanka to be illustrated in one of the largest and most prominent murals in one of its caves.   Thus was the close interaction between our two countries until Buddhism degenerated into Tantric practices and ultimately disappeared when Buddhist institutions and the Sangha succumbed to the Muslim onslaught around the twelfth century.

The restoration of Buddhism in India was therefore left to Sri Lanka and this was done by Anagarika Dharmapala who was guided and encouraged by Venerable Hikkaduwe Sri Sumangala and Ven. Weligama Sumangala and ably supported in early stages by Colonel Henry Olcott and Sir Edwin Arnold.   This was gratefully acknowledged by Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, as the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of West Bengal, who presided over the golden jubilee celebrations of the Maha Bodhi Society in 1941 and declared that Anagarika Dharmapala has fully repaid the debt that Sri Lanka owed to India for the gift of Buddhism.  The main contribution of Anagarika Dharmapala and Colonel Henry Olcott was that they made the intelligensia of India aware of the prestige their motherland accrued due to the Buddha.  The campaign to have Buddhist shrines of India restored to the Buddhists had tremendous success in that the Sangha from Sri Lanka could be placed in them to assist pilgrims, develop the institutions and bring the doctrines and philosophy of Buddhism to popular attention. Buddhism ceased to be a lost religion in India and especially its egalitarian principles against caste became a source of solace to depressed communities and tribes.  Both Anagarika Dharmapala and Colonel Olcott had a message for the 141 million untouchables in India that their redemption from the oppression of ‘high caste’ Hindus could be conversion to Buddhism.

An eminent untouchable of the Dalit caste to respond to this call was Babasahab Bhimrao Ambedkar who commenced his in-depth study of Buddhism quite early in his life.   As described by Dr Narendranath Jawab in his book The Untouchables,” Ambedkar inspired all around him to study Buddhism and to give the highest possible education to children. While urging them to use education as the social elevator for the untouchables, he advised them to seek spiritual upliftment through Buddhism.   As the Minister of Law, drafting the Constitution of the Republic of India, he came to Sri Lanka to attend the founding conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists in 1950.    Foreseeing his role in the revival of Buddhism, Dr Gunapala Malalasekera introduced him on that occasion as a Bodhisattva.   Further developing his conviction with Buddhist scholars he decided on October 14, 1956 – the year of the 2500 Buddha Jayanti – to embrace Buddhism as his personal religion.  He took refuge in the Triple Gem and recited the five precepts in Nagpur at a ceremony presided over by the Sri Lankan scholar-monk Venerable Dr Hammalawa Saddhatissa Thero.   Many thousand Indians of Dalit and other scheduled castes embraced Buddhism along with him.   Urged by him, millions have followed in his footsteps and the current Buddhist population of India is estimated to be at least twenty million and growing.

Sri Lanka did play an effective role in the early stages of the new movement.  Monks trained in Sri Lanka like Kosambi Dharmanand, Rahul Sankrityayan, Jagdish Kashyap and Anand Kausalyana provided the spiritual leadership to the new Buddhists.   So did the Sri Lankan monks of the Maha Bodhi Society, as well as those from the Chakma Hill Tracts of Bangladesh.  Books were produced in Hindi and Marathi.  Monks like Venerable Rahul Bodhi spent long years in Sri Lanka to become conversant in monastic practice and have provided leadership to the new Sangha emanating from among them.

Even while Babasahab Bhimrao Ambedkar paved the way for mass conversion to Buddhism, the indigenous Indian Buddhists of Ladakh, who were adherents of the Tibetan tradition of Vajrayana grew in strength.  The arrival of the His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama with a stream of Tibetan Buddhists and the establishment of Dharmasala as their spiritual centre further enhanced the influence and presence of Buddhists in India.  Today the cooperation and interaction of these traditions have made Buddhism a living force in India.  Their vocal presence in international Buddhist fora like the World Fellowship of Buddhists(WFB) and the World Sangha Council is quite impressive.   The multiplicity of associations and societies causes some concern as the lack of communication, consultation and coordination among them results in dispersed effort.  It also may indicate obstacles to unity and solidarity.  Over the last several years, India under the leadership of the Ladakhi monk, Venerable Lama Lobzang has taken steps to set up the International Buddhist Confederation to present the collective wisdom of Buddhism to the world in a united voice.   It was officially inaugurated in New Delhi in September 2013 in a founding conclave attended by a representative body of the international Buddhist community.   It chalked out a comprehensive program of action ranging from the propagation of Buddhism to the preservation and development of the Buddhist heritage.

Role of Sri Lanka in the growth of Buddhism in India in the future

The question before us is whether Sri Lanka has a role to play in the growth of Buddhism in the new millennium.  If we have a role what should be the road-map that we should adopt.  Let me begin by listing what Sri Lanka has to offer India in the present situation.  With the twenty three centuries of unbroken presence of Buddhism and a series of unique contributions made to the promotion of Buddhism in Asia in the past and all over the world in recent century or so, Sri Lanka has a wealth of experience which would be very helpful to India.   Among them, the close relationship between the Sangha and the laity is of special significance.   The Sri Lankan Sangha has tremendous experience in ensuring social well-being through education, spiritual development, social services and institution building.   The high standard of Buddhist scholarship is revealed by an extensive and constantly growing treasure house of treatises, research papers and popular literature by both Sangha and lay scholars.

What the Indian Buddhists need most urgently is a committed Sangha with a very high level of education, comprehensive monastic training and expertise in organizing the lay society to sustain the Buddhist dispensation.   Can the Sri Lankan Sangha undertake the task of providing facilities for the recruits to the Indian Sangha to acquire these qualifications through our temples, Pirivenas, the Buddhist and Pali University, the Bhikshu University of Anuradhapura and the Departments of Buddhist Studies in other universities?.  The most important thing that both countries should do in collaboration is to safeguard and develop Pali Studies so that the language of the Buddha is preserved and the invaluable resources of Pali literature are utilized for the better understanding of Buddhism.

I am aware of several institutions which already exist to serve this purpose and many foreign monks are their current beneficiaries.   All that is needed are more resources to cater to the increasing needs of the growing Sangha of India.

When speaking of the Sangha, it is necessary to highlight the importance of the Bhikkhuni Sasana to enlist Indian women to play an enhanced role in the promotion of Buddhism.  Sri Lanka has over a couple of decades developed a viable order of Bhikkhunis with the capacity to ordain and train women.   The development of a Bhikkhuni Sasana in India could be another of the initiatives which Sri Lanka is capable to embark upon.

Already in India are a fair number of Sri Lankan monks who are effectively engaged in safeguarding the sacred Buddhist shrines, assisting pilgrims and educating the people.   Sri Lanka should be able to send more Dharmaduta monksto support the relatively meagre human resources at the disposal of the Indian Sangha.

Equally important is to involve the lay Buddhists of the two countries to cooperate in joint operations to promote Buddhism and attending to the needs and challenges they encounter.   Solidarity and unity among them is a vital need.   Buddhist channels in radio and television in the two countries can function as social media among Buddhists and develop intellectual and social communications.   Similarly the sharing of information, opinion and knowledge through the Internet can be explored.

Exchange of students, seminars and conferences can bring scholars and students together.   Pilgrimage already functions as a means of taking Sri Lankan Buddhists to sacred sites of India.   A significant element of tourism could be added to the usual pilgrimage sites by adding popular centres of Buddhist art and architecture like Sanchi, Ajanta, Ellore, Karle, Bhaja and other cave temples of western India.  Reciprocally, Indian Buddhists should be provided facilities to come as pilgrims and tourists to Sri Lanka to our sacred monuments to be inspired by how the Buddha’s teachings had impacted the cultural and spiritual development outside its borders.

There is no dearth of things that can be done to bring the Buddhists of the two countries to appreciate how each country has contributed to the promotion of Buddhism.   Already Anagarika Dharmapla is remembered and honoured in India with statues, memorials and publications.  The steps taken to erect a statue of Dr. Babasahab Bhimrao Ambedkarat the Headquarters of the Maha Bodhi Society in Colombo and establish an Ambedkar Centre in Arawwala, Pannipitiya to educate and train monastic and lay Buddhist leaders of India can go a long way in creating an awareness of this eminent Indian Buddhist leader’s services to humanity. Honouring those who have worked hard and struggled to revive and spread Buddhism in our two countries will be a direct way of encouraging the present and future leaders to emulate them.

The efforts of Buddhists to cooperate in joint activities will have significant benefits in building better understanding between the two countries.    We have been neighbours whose interaction in diverse fields has had invaluable results.  Ignorance of each other’s aspirations and the unintended consequences of what each country has done in self – interest, result in prejudices, misunderstanding and even hostility which are inevitable in the present world.  Buddhism with its emphasis on loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity has the capacity to enhance tolerance, accommodation, and forbearance.  It is a task for the Buddhists of the two countries to undertake together and severally.    With our spiritual goals and training, we certainly can and should preserve and build upon the friendship between India and Sri Lanka.

(Text of speech delivered on Sunday October 27, 2013 at 2.30 p.m. at the “Sri Sambuddhathwa Jayanthi Mandiraya” ,Colombo 05. The talk was sponsored by the newly formed Indo – Sri Lanka Buddhist Network in association with SUCCESS Sri Lanka, German Dharmaduta Society, Buddhist Cultural Centre and International Buddhist Centre, Wellawatte, Colombo 06).

Courtesy:  Sri Express

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014

August 18th, 2014

Mahinda Gunasekera Agincourt, Ontario Canada

 August 17, 2014

 Hon. Ban ki-Moon, Secretary General, UNO
Copy to: President, UNHRC, Geneva
Copy to: Ms. Navi Pillay, High Commissioner  for Human Right, Geneva

 Hon. Ban ki-Moon,

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka per UNHRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1 of March 2014

I am writing to you as a Canadian of Sri Lankan origin who is at a loss to understand the high handed manner in which senior officials on the United Nations Organization act in violation of their mandates defined by the UN Charter and Specific Resolutions which outlines the limits of authority.

It is regrettable that the UNHRC adopted the above Resolution at its sessions held in March 2014 granting the High Commissioner an investigative mandate in violation of HRC Resolution 60/251 and the IB package, which is in direct conflict with her limits of authority thereby making any findings null and void.

Furthermore, the Operative Paragraph lacks clarity when it refers to the engagement of so called ‘relevant experts’ without proper definition for the purposes of assisting the High Commissioner, leaving room to outsource the investigation to external sources as opposed to an investigation by the OHCHR, leading instead to an international investigation mechanism as a result of interpretation of ambiguous language contained therein. Also, it has to be pointed out that this Operative Paragraph which requests the OHCHR to conduct an independent investigation is clearly inconsistent with Operative Paragraph 2 which requires the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent investigation into the alleged violations.

Yet another matter is the exact period to be covered by the OHCHR investigation. According to HRC Resolution A/HRC/25/1, the period to be covered by the OHCHR investigation was to be identical to that covered by Sri Lanka’s Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), i.e. February 21, 2002 to May 19, 2009. It has now been observed that the High Commissioner has on her own extended the period of the investigation from February 2002 to November 15, 2011. This is highly irregular, and is in direct variance with the enabling Resolution adopted at the March 2014 session of the UNHRC. If at all, the Resolution should have called for the investigation of the entire period of the armed conflict which commenced in 1983 and ended on May 19, 2009, as it now leaves out a major portion of the atrocities committed by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam prior to February 2002 and IPKF operations without any valid reason. The High Commissioner should be told in no uncertain terms that she has no authority to make material changes to a Resolution already adopted by the member countries, and should immediately take steps to rectify the period of the OHCHR investigation to coincide with the period covered by the LLRC.

If one were to consider the serious violations of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law by major western countries in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan and Drone attacks in Pakistan and across other international boundaries, which have been clearly established and thus proven, yet where no such international investigations have been launched by the UN or UNHRC. The selective nature of probing events in Sri Lanka based on unproven claims deemed as Credible Allegations” raises many questions about the non-principled and arbitrary conduct of the UN body.

You are no doubt aware of the so called Panel of Experts on Sri Lanka appointed from outside the UN system without the authority of the UNGA, UNSC or the UNHRC, thereby exceeding the authority granted to you per Chapter XV, Articles 97 and 98, to solely advice the UNSG on issues of accountability during the final stages of the armed action taken against the internationally designated terrorist organization known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), aka Tamil Tigers. This report is strangely leaked by your office, which the High Commissioner later attempts to table same at the UNHRC sessions when it had no legal standing. Needless to say, it was a one-sided inquiry conducted by panelists who had previously expressed their clear bias against Sri Lanka, that downplayed the UN Resident Representative’s count of 7721 deaths said to have occurred from August 2008 to May 13, 2009, and instead given credence to exaggerated guesstimates by rights groups located outside Sri Lanka which range from 40,000 upwards during the said period. Whereas the Tamilnet, a propaganda arm of the LTTE reported a total of 7398 deaths during the latter stages from January 1 to May 19, 2009 without distinguishing between Tamil Tiger cadres and non-combatant civilians. The census carried out by Sri Lanka in 2012 using Tamil enumerators reported a total of 7432 deaths of both cadres and civilians. The panel acknowledged that the distinction between cadres and civilians had been blurred as a large segment of the LTTE cadres battled in civilian attire.

According to the Op-Ed column written by B.S. Raghavan appearing in ‘The Hindu’ newspaper of June 25, 2010, he has stated that: Sri Lanka is a sovereign, independent country, having the indisputable right under the UN Charter itself, to act in its best judgment on issues relating to its internal affairs, especially where maintenance of peace and security is concerned.”   The double standards being applied by the UNSG overlooking glaring violations in other theatres involving major powers, and pursuing an interventionist role in Sri Lanka despite the absence of directives from the General Assembly, Security Council, or the UNHRC, will no doubt lead to the waning of confidence in the organization and making it irrelevant.

The UNSG’s Panel took the unusual step of locking up the evidence gathered for 20 years, and further declared that none of the allegations contained in their report had been proven, and that the report fell short of standards required of a UN report. Despite all of its shortcomings, it becomes the basis of Navi Pillay’s ( whose Tamil community of South Africa were active supporters of the LTTE’s separatist goals) plank to try and shame and punish Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka made six separate attempts over two decades to negotiate a peace deal, but finally used her military when a war was thrust on her by the Tamil Tigers in 2006 to eliminate three decades of Tamil Tiger terrorism in the country.

I hope that you would realize the damage done to the United Nations Organization by career oriented officials like yourself who in the pursuit of personal goals of advancement lose sight of the organization’s goals and become tools in the hands of major powers with geo-political agendas. I trust you will see the futility of the combined actions of yourself and the High Commissioner against a sovereign member country even at this stage, and rectify your ways before you do more harm to the world body of which you are entrusted to uphold fairness and evenly serve the member nations.

 Yours sincerely,

 Mahinda Gunasekera

අපි කවුද අපට වෙච්ච දේ සහ අපි කුමක් කල යුතුද –1කොටසේ ඉතිරිය

August 18th, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

රිටිගල පාලනය කල කිත්තිධීරගේ දුව වූද  ගිරිදේශයේ පාලක ගිරිභාද්රගේ  මෙහෙසියවූද  කවිලාශ පාලි හෙවත් රත්නාවලි පුන්න වෙළෙන්දාගෙන් බුදුගුණ අසා , බුදුගුනවඩා  සෝවාන් වී  පුන්න ලවා  බුදුහිමියන්  ට ආරාධනාකර  වැ ඩමකරවාගෙන  බන අස රහ ත් වුවාය. ඉන්පසු  යසෝධරා  මෙහෙණිය ගෙන් මෙහෙණවර ලැබුවාය. ය

තම දුව වන  කුවේණි හෙවත් මහාපාලි  ට දහම් දෙසුවේ තමන්ට බුදුහිමියන් විසින් දෙසූ  විෂකුම්භන සූත්‍රය  ඇසුරෙන් සකසූ  නාරි විලෝක විෂකුම්භන සූත්‍රයෙනි  මහපාලියද පසුව මහන වී  තම මව ආරම්භ කල යසෝධර මෙහෙණවර තවත් වැඩි දියුනුකලාය . දුටුගැමුණු රජතුමා  රත්නාවලි  රහත් මෙහෙණියට ගරු කිරීම සඳහා  ය විසූ  ස්ථානයේ රුවන්වැලි සෑය  තැනුවේය..—–”” රත්නා =රුවන් ——-වලී ==වැලි ——.සමහරු කියන්නේ ස්වර්ණ මාලි දෙව්දුව නිසා තැ නූ  බවය . මාලි -   නම්  මැ ලි    – වියයුතුය.උගත්තු නොයෙක් නිර්වචන දුන්නත්  සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාව හරි දේ දනිති.

අපට වෙච්ච දේ
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අපට  ඉතිහාසය  කියා දැන් උගන්වන්නේ ඉන්ග්රීසිකාරයන්  වන කොඩ් රින්ටන්ලා  ආදීන්ගෙන් උගත්  අපේ සරසවි ඇ දුරන්ය. අප රටේ වැඩවසම් ක්‍රමයක්ක් තිබූබවත් රාජකාරිය යනු  වහල් සේවයක් නිසා එය  තහනම් කලයුතුබවත්  අපට සුද්ද ඉගැන්වූයේය  . අදත් පොත්වල  ඇත්තේ එයමය. මේවා වැරදි බව ටික දෙනෙක් කියාදුන්නත් අපේ සිංහල පාලකයෝ  වත් ඒවා නිවරදිකරන්නේ නැත  අභිමානයක් ඇති නායකයෝ අපට නැත  ඉන්නේ  බහුවෝය. උන්ට සේරම බහුය.. මහින්දාගමනයට පෙර තිබුනේ ගල් යුගයක්ලු  හිටියේ යක්කුලු.මහාවංශයේ  වැරදි තැන ඇතොත් නිවැරදි කල යුතු වුවත්  බොහෝ ය  කැමති නැත  උන්ට අපි මොකා වුවත් කමක් නැත  මේ බහුවන්ට  බහු පාද තියෙනවා විය හැක..

ඉතිහාසය පාසලෙන් ඉවත් කලේ බදුද්දීන් මුස්ලිම් අමතියාය . ජේ  ආර්  එය තහවුරුකර ඉතිහාසය හා සාහිත්‍යය කන්නදය් ඇසුවේය . ජේ. ආර්  යනු තම්බි මුදලි  දොන් අදිරියන් ගේ  මුනුබුරෙකි   . සිංහලයන්ට විරුද්ධව අතීතයේත්  ඉංග්‍රීසි පැ ත්තගෙන මුදලිකම් ගත්තේ මේ තම්බි යා ය. තම්බිලාගේ හැටි දැන්  පෙනෙනෙනවාද  ශ්‍රීමත් ජෝ න්  කීත් ———- වාරිමාර්ග  උපදේශක එදාකීදේ—“””භූමියේ මූලික අයිතිය  පොදුජනතාව සතු පාලක පාලිත දෙපක්ෂයම  එකම අරමුණක් ඇතිව  එකට වැඩ කරන  එකම රට  ලංකාවය. පල පුරුද්දෙන් පරිනත භාවයට පත්  මේ ක්‍රමය  සාංඝික ක්‍රමයකි.””

මිහිඳු හිමියන්ද දෙසුවේ  ද  රජු භුමියේ භාරකරු පමණක් බවය. තමන්ගේ දේ  හදාවඩා නඩත්තු  කිරීමට යොදාගත් රාජකාරි ක්‍රමය  අහෝසි කිරීමෙන්  වාරිමාර්ග නඩත්තුව ඇන  හිටි හැටි  කීත් දුටුවේය  එහෙත් අපේ සරස වී ඇදුරන්ට නොපෙනුණේය.””’කීත්  මෙසේද කියය් ——- කොල්බ්රූක්  කො මිසම  පත් කල අවස්ථාව ර ටවැ සිය අධය්රමත් කිරීමේ කාල පරිච්චේධය ආරම්භ යය්.  මේ කොමිසම  පැරණි වාරිමාර්ග නඩත්තු කිරීමෙන්ප්‍රයෝජන ලැබෙන බව පිළිගත්තේය. එහෙත් ඒවා ප්‍රකුර්තිමත් කලවිට  නඩ ත්තුකිරීමට උපකාරීවන  කාර්ය සංවිධානය ( රාජකාරිය) නැතිකර දැමීමට උපදෙස් දුන්නේය  දේශීය තත්වයන් නොදත් කම  නිසාදෝ ඔවුන් එසේ උපදෙස් දී ඇත. …….. වාරිමාර්ග වැඩ  ක්රියාකාරීව පැවැත්වීමට ඉවහල්වන සමූපකාරික  බලය ඉන් වැනසී ගොස් ඇත  මෙතෙක් හැමටම අයත්ව තිබූ කාර්යය  දැන් කිසිවෙකුට අයත් නොවන කාර්යයක් වී ඇත. බහුතරය උදාසීන අතලොස්සකගේ අත්අඩංගුවට  පත්වී ඇත.”””‘ ……….සරසවි වල අදත් උගන්වන්නේ  කීත් වැනි පර්යේෂකයන්ගේ   විශ්ලේෂණ නොව කොඩ්රින්ටන් ලා මතු පිටින් දුටුදෙවල්ය . මොහු වු මේවා යටගසන්නටද උත්සාහ කරති තෙන්නකෝන් විමලානන්ද නොහිටින්නට  බොහෝ දේ  යට ගසා  අහෝසි කරන්නට  ඔවුහු ක්‍රියාකරන්නට ඉඩ තිබුනේය.

            අපේ රජවරු ඉන්දියාවේ රජවරුමෙන්  ‘රජකලේ නැත”.  වෙනත් රටවල රජවරු  ඒකාධිපති යෝය  අපේ රජවරුන්ට බෝසත් සිරිත  අනුගමනය කරන්නට සිදුවිය. බෝසත් වරුන්ට ඒකාධිපතියන් විය නොහැක. පාතාලයොත් පාතාලයේ රජකරන්නේ  ඒකාධිපතියන් ලෙසය. අපේ රජවරු “”රාජ්ජය විචාළහ –රජය කරවූයේය. වෙදකම් කළහ. ගොවිතැන් කළහ . දුටුගැමුණු රජු  අශෝකමාලවගේ ගෙදරින් බත් කෑවේය. මහචූලික මහා තිසස  රජු මහන්සිවී ඉපයූ ධනයෙන් දන්දීමට අවශ්‍ය නිසා  කුලියට කුඹුරු වැඩ කර ධනය උපයා දන්දුන්නේය  මෙහෙව් පාලකයෝ  සිටියහැක්කේ බෞද්ධයින් අතර පමණය  සිංහලේ තිබුනේ  ශිල්ප ශ්‍රේණි ක්‍රමයක් මිස  ඉන්දියාවේ හෝ අදත් යාපනේ ඇති කුලභේදයක් නොවේ  ක්‍රි.  පූර්ව  යුගයේ පෙරියකදු  පළමුවන   ශිලාලේඛනයේ “”  පරුමක  නකතික ‘   ගැන සඳහන් වේ  නැකත් කරුත්  එදා ප්‍රමුඛයෙකි. සංඝරාජ හිමියන්ගේ”” සිල්වත් සමාගමට”‘ බැ දී නොයෙක් ශ්‍රේණිවල අ  ය මහන වී සිටියහ එය තහනම් කලේ වඩුග රජුය. ඉංග්‍රීසින්ගේ වහල්කම් කල සිංහල මුලාදනිවරු පසුව තම මහන්තතකම් රැකගැනීමට අනෙක් යට පහත ලෙස සැලකීම නිසා කුලභේධය වැනි දෙයක් පසුව  ඇතිවිය . උන්ට   ඒවාද ඉගැන්වුයේ සුද්දාය. යාපනේ වෙල්ලාලයන්ට නැති  උසස් බවක් ලබා දුන්නේද ඉන්ග්රීසිකාරයාය  කිසිසේත්ම  අද වුවද ඉන්දියාවේ ඇති දුෂ්ට කුලභේදය වන්නක් මෙරට නොවීය   1587 දී විමලධර්මසූරිය රජු   උල්ලන්දුපිටියේ රාජේශ්වර හි ත්තර ආචාරියාට කුලුගම්මනසිය පත්තුවේ ඉඩම් සන් නස්  කොට දෙනලදී. 6 වන බුවනෙක බාහු රජු  සිය ශිල්පියෙකු වූ මණ්ඩලවල නෛදේ  මියගිය පසු ඔහුගේ  පවොලේ කෙනෙකු ගැන පසුව අසා ගෙන්වා  “”  එතනා” නම් පට බැඳ  නෛදෙගේ   ගම්වර ඇ .  යට දුන්නේය. ඉන්දියාවේදී නම් මේ සම්මක් ජාතියේ   නෛදෙලට උසස් විය නොහැක..
ආනන්ද කුමරස්වාමි -මෙසේ කියා ඇත.—””””””එක අතකින් ශත වර්ෂයක් විදේශීය ආධිපත්තයයට  යටත්ව  විසීමෙන් හා ජාතික සංස්කෘතිය  සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම   නොතකා හරිනලද අද්යාපනයක්  ලැබීමෙන්ද අනික් අතින් එපමණම කාලයක් නිවට නියාලු ලෙස පරසිරිත් අනුකරණය කිරීමෙන්ද තමන් දිනාගත් ජීවන කලාව  සම්බන්ධයෙන් වර්තමාන  උගත් සිංහලයාට ආඩම්බරවීමට කිසිදු හේතුවක් නැත.”””’……….. අපව විනශ කලේ වත්මන් මිෂනාරි  උගතුන් බව  මේ ලේඛකයාටද  එදත් අවභෝධාවිය.  එහෙත් අපේ අම්බරුවන්ට  අවභෝධ  වන්නේ නැත  නලින් ද  සිල්වා බටහිට අධ්‍යාපනයට විරුද්ධව මේ තරම්  කතා කරන්නේ මේ වින්නැහිය  අවභෝධකරගත් නිසාය,. දෙමල  කුමරස්වාමිත්  දුටු දේ  සිංහල උගතුන්ට  නොපෙනීම පුදුමයකි . සිංහලයෝ ඉතිහාසය අමතක කරන්නෝද? ප්‍රභාකරනුත් මේ බව කියා ඇත.
මතු බැඳේ          

Response to Senator Christine Milne: OHCHR Investigation into Sri Lankan War Crimes

August 18th, 2014

Janaki Chandraratna – Perth Australia

Dear Senator Christine Milne
Leader of the Australian Greens

 Dear Ms. Milne

 Investigation of alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka

 I write in reference to your letter dated 3 January 2014 to the High Commissioner Navi Pillay requesting her to include Australia as a venue for the above investigation due to the presence of a large Sri Lankan Diaspora community. I guess you refer to the LTTE members rather than Sri Lankan Diaspora.

 In support of your request you mentioned Public Interest Advocacy Centre’s report ‘Island of Impunity?’ as a source of Australian research that had uncovered evidence for the above investigation. I guess you are not informed or have chosen to ignore the censure of this report by informed sources.

 Although I have no issue with your request I am saddened that a responsible political leader as yourself, has not yet understood the carnage that has been created in the world by foreign intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign States, in particular by the support given to the activity of terrorist groups. It is surprising that you have not noticed that the Western intruders make a quick exit when these countries are on the boil declaring that local issues need to resolved by the locals and criticize the locals for the lack of ingenuity to handle the respective situations.

 The investigation into alleged war crimes is a similar spurious intervention by the West in support of the LTTE terrorist group, which is proscribed in many countries, as the most brutal terrorist group in the world. Needless to say this illegal investigation has set back the peace process in Sri Lanka by many years as the LTTE proxy party, Tamil National Alliance (TNA), has rejected the peace initiatives of the Sri Lankan Govt., hoping for a future division of the country by the West.

 It is extraordinary that you have not noticed that practically all Asian countries have rejected the entry of Pillay’s colleagues to investigate Sri Lanka from their shores. Did it not occur to you that this is because these countries believe the investigation is biased, unlawful and is a gross violation of rights of a Sovereign State?

 Taking a more local scenario, Senator Milne, how would you like some foreign power aiding and instigating Australian Aborigines, under the guise of human rights violations, to establish a separate state or establish a system for self determination? I am sure, you would be the first to defend Australian Government’s initiatives for reconciliation with Aboriginal people and counter any move by a foreign power to intervene in the internal affairs of this country. If this is the case, I am more than surprised why you are so concerned with Sri Lankan Govt. rejecting visas for Pillay’s investigators.  I, for a moment do not think that you seriously want to advocate another carnage in a nation broken by terrorism? This is the reason for my letter. A more honorable strategy would be to assist the reconciliation process within Sri Lanka by participation rather than supporting a deeply flawed and biased UNHRC decision.

 Further, I would like to inform you that there are many more Sri Lankan expatriates in Australia like myself, who would not want the slaughter and bloodshed that is currently experienced in other countries, due to foreign intervention, conferred on their beloved home country. In order to put your mind at rest and allay the fears of other Australians misled by the LTTE propaganda, I would like to request you to organize an un-emotive Q&A session, at the national level, with panel members chosen from both LTTE propagandists and other members of the community. The Q&A session needs to be held in a well-controlled environment, with questions given to both parties before hand and under the direction of an unbiased moderator. Unlike the Q&A meeting held in Fremantle on the so called, Sri Lankan Genocide 2009, on 30 April 2014, care should be taken to limit discussions to systemic issues with supportive evidence and not be embroiled on individual stories of emotive hearsay.

 I believe this strategy would provide a good understanding of the issues at hand. I do not for a moment suggest that everything is hunky-dory in Sri Lanka. If it were so there would not be a need for the current reconciliation process. The concern is that issues, if there are any, are clouded by a great deal of argument on generalities such as genocide, discrimination, rape etc. without any references to specifics of wide-ranging systemic occurrences. As you know, individual stories that relate to discrimination, street fighting murders etc. are common to any country. Fortunately, after the defeat of terrorism, as you may know, Sri Lanka ranks better than most countries in this regard.

 It is important that our concerns need to be focused on planned atrocities at the Government level. Quite frankly the average Sri Lankan, let alone the international community, is at a loss to understand what the LTTE fronted alleged Tamil atrocities are, as they are covered often covered in smoke screens of generalizations.

 In view of the above, I believe your office has the necessary resources and well equipped to undertake the requested Q&A. I would appreciate, and for that matter, non LTTE Sri Lankan Diaspora, which out numbers the LTTE supporters by many times in all Australian electorates, would be very pleased with the outcome, if you can give consideration to my request.

 

 

The OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka

August 18th, 2014

 Malin Abeyatunge

This letter was Emailed to Ms Sandra Beidas who is the coordinator for the Investigation against Sri Lanka to put on record that there is another side of the story.

The OHCHR investigation on Sri Lanka quotes the Resolution :

In its resolution A/HRC/25/1 adopted in March 2014 on Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka”, the United Nations Human Rights Council requested the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders”.

The OHCHR Resolution passed at the last session in March was to cover

1.   Both parties (LTTE and Sri Lankan Government)

2.   Period covered by the LLRC (2002 to 2009)

But how is that outgoing Commissioner Navi Pillay has arbitrarily gone beyond the mandate and decided to extend the period to 2011? This investigation has to be treated as null & void by the unbiased international community if it goes beyond the UN mandate (Of course even otherwise) as the GoSL has categorically refused to participate as it’s illegal.

 

It’s a known truth that the Navi Pillay used the infamous falsified Darusman Report, Fabricated and manufactured Channel 4 docs, Tamil Net, HRW, AI, ICG etc and reports from LTTE Diaspora to manufacture her report against Sri Lanka. According to her latest statement made to the Panel saying that there is a wealth of information outside Sri Lanka that panel can obtain”, I presume she would have meant the above mentioned biased sources.However, Sri Lankan Government has categorically rejected the report and its recommendations for an international investigation on war crimes against country specific Sri Lanka, refused to participate in the investigation.

The three member panel will first investigate into the alleged war crimes against both GOSL and LTTE. Well, say hypothetically they will bring charges against GOSL but how is the panel going to bring charges against now militarily non-existent LTTE. Of course, there are still few remnants of original LTTE hard core supporters operating in USA, UK, Norway, Canada, Australia, India and France. To name a few, once Legal advisor to LTTE V.Rudrakumaran of TGTE founded in USA and now spread to other countries in cyber form, Adele Balasingham who is leading a lavish unhindered life in UK albeit LTTE was banned who was the leader of the LTTE women suicide Cadre, Father Emanuel who compared murderer Prabhakarn  to Jesus Christ operating from Germany under the banner of Global Tamil Forum, Suresh Surendiran of British Tamil Forum operating from London despite LTTE terrorist outfit continues to be banned in UK, Nediyawan from Norway who took over the reign from KP as International operation head, Canadian Tamil Congress and Australian Tamil Congress. Will the panel bring charges against the names mentioned above who were actively involved with LTTE then and now. Since the LTTE military hierarchy has now been completely wiped off, the Three Member Panel should bring charges against atrocities committed by LTTE on these remnants of LTTE mentioned above as they have blood in their hands for the atrocities committed from 1977 with the killing of Jaffna Mayor Alfred Thuraiappah.

Sri Lanka was having the terrorist conflict from 1977 but it escalated the atrocities since 1983 until 19 May 2009 when LTTE was conclusively defeated. If it’s going to be a fact finding investigation, the panel should call for a special mandate to cover the period from 1983- 2009 where the worst crimes were committed by the LTTE during this period. The following is a short list of atrocities committed by LTTE during this period for which the above mentioned LTTE remnants have blood in their hands. So panel should bring charges against these LTTE remnants. Please see the following independent links for detailed information; www.slnewsonline.net & www.lankaweb.com

This is LTTE in true form in which UNHRC trying to white wash as saints. Some of the most gruesome atrocities by LTTE terrorist army committed between the period 1983 to 2002.

  • LTTE has killed 82 Tamil politicians / 54 Tamil Government officials / 24 Tamil intellectuals & academics.
  • The LTTE is the first terrorist organization to have pioneered the human suicide with a suicide bomb strapped to body.
  • LTTE is the only organization to have killed 2 Presidents of two countries namely Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka in 1993 and Rajiv Gandhi  of India in 1991.
  • LTTE is the only terrorist organization to have air wings to land LTTE owned planes.
  • LTTE was one of the few terrorist organizations that openly had offices in over 54 countries doing terrorist propaganda work in the countries that LTTE were banned.
  • LTTE also had 32 front organizations operating throughout the world in the disguise of charity organizations enjoying tax concessions from these countries.
  • LTTE is also involved in human trafficking, drug trafficking, arms smuggling, money laundering, extortion, credit card skimming, bank loan absconding
  • LTTE is proscribed as a terrorist organization in 32 countries. In India since 1994, in the US since 1997, in the UK since 2001 & in the EU since 2006. Sri Lanka banned the LTTE in 1978 but lifted it in 1987 for the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord. Sri Lanka again proscribed the LTTE in 1998 after its attack on the Temple of the Tooth in Kandy. The ban was suspended for the 2002 ceasefire. Sri Lanka banned the LTTE again in January 2009.
  • Most LTTE attacks on civilians & military were carried out by LTTE posing as ordinary civilians.
  • Since March 2000 to March 2009 a total of 13538 civilians have been killed by the LTTE.
  • Since March 2000 to March 2009 a total of 5222 Security forces personnel have been killed by the LTTE. (No deaths to civilians or armed personnel from 2010-2012)
  • Over 10,000 civilians have been killed & a similar number injured. There is no estimates of the number of Tamil civilians the LTTE would have killed throughout decades that they ran almost a defacto government in the North.

The Sri Lankan forces have been allegedly charged against war crimes during the last days of the war. I do not want to reiterate the lies brought in by Darusman Report, Channel 4, George Weiss alleging into the deaths of over 70000 civilians by the forces which he disowned the figure later when he was confronted at his The Cage” the book launch in Melbourne and Sydney. Some British politicians thriving on LTTE money bring this figure to over 100000 but failed to pinpoint and show where such big number is buried. If GOSL’s intention was to kill all Tamils, how come Sri Lanka forces rescued 293000 Tamils fleeing from Prabhakaran’s Jackboot reign who held the ordinary Tamils as Cannon fodder to safeguard the lives of the LTTE hierarchy. This itself is strong enough to bring LTTE current supporters to ICJ for holding 293000 people as hostage by LTTE.

By now, panel would ought to be aware that during the last days of the war, Sri Lankan forces never used heavy artillery and weapons to safeguard the fleeing civilians. This was confirmed by the International Red Cross Society and the UN mission who were there at that time. In order to rescue this 293000 Tamil civilians, army had to sacrifice well over 7000 well trained army personnel and the UNHRC report produced by the Com. Navi Pillay call it war crimes”. If rescuing innocent civilians from the terror of LTTE terrorist army is called War Crime”” then it’s clear as a crystal that the report is trying the white wash the most brutal terrorist army in the world.

Finally, there is a list of 16 LTTE Fronts and 450 individuals under a Special Gazette Notification dated 21 March 2014 issued by the Ministry Of Defence affiliated to LTTE Terrorist army. If the panel by any chance get them as witnesses to appease the LTTE diaspora for their investigation and accept their comments, then that report should be and has to be treated as null and void. So if the panel wants to give some credibility to their report, they should never seek witness from the terrorist list of affiliated fronts and individuals issued by the Sri Lankan Government.

Please acknowledge receipt of this document.

Malin Abeyatunge

16/8/2014

 

A Safe Pair of Hands – A Tribute to Mahela Jayawardene

August 18th, 2014

Dilrook Kannangara

Seventeen years is a long time in Test Cricket. Lankan cricket fans grew up and grew old with Mahela. As he retires it feels like an end of a chapter in life for some of them. The slot he leaves void in the Test batting line-up will not be easily filled and the catches he used to take will have to find another pair of safe hands. With 11,814 Test runs, a whopping 205 catches and even six wickets, his contribution is one of the greatest. Batsman, fielder, bowler and captain were not his only roles. He was called upon many a time to lead the transformation of the team. He had his ups and downs, and he pushed and dragged the team along them. Many would agree Mahela spoke for the nation in his own unique way. His humility is something young cricketers must emulate, if serious about a long career in the game.

CRICKET-SRI-PAK(Photo courtesy AFP).

Young Mahela through Cricketing Transition

Mahela came to prominence in early 1990s when he played for Nalanda College First Eleven when he was just 13 years old. He showed tremendous potential both as a batsman and a spin bowler. His stroke play was as effortless and seamless as he prowled the field. Cheeky when needed, classy all other times. He lived through a family tragedy in the personal front and passed a cricketing transition in Lankan cricketing history when players turned full-time professionals from semi-professionals before the World Cup win. His permanent berth in the ODI national team came in early 1998 when he drove Team Sri Lanka to victory against England in Australia with a maiden century. Had the cricketing administration been more proactive, he should have been included in the team just after winning the World Cup in 1996. That could have changed the fortunes of the national team at the 1999 World Cup and immensely helped Mahela professionalise his play one and a half years earlier.   

Transformational Leadership

The cricketing transition of 1996 was just the start. Another one shaped the local scene. Despite the best Test and ODI captaincy till then, Sanath Jayasuriya was replaced in 2002 which didn’t work well for the national team. The task of rebuilding the team fell on young Mahela in 2004. He led a team comprising senior and young players and firmly took control of the team’s destiny which brought out the potential of every player. The team scored a number of key victories across the cricketing map. A record partnership in South Africa was a trendsetter and scintillating performance in Australia, England and the West Indies proved the team can do well outside the subcontinent. The team under Mahela peaked in 2007 reaching the final in World Cup held in fast bouncy pitches in the Caribbean.

Mahela can be credited for the grooming of Sanga as the next captain which was one of few smooth transitions in Lankan cricketing history. Mahela had his peaks and troughs; sometimes the troughs lasting longer for the fans’ liking. At times his captaincy lacked aggression and innovation. His batting performance left much to be desired in final contests except in World Cup 2011 as pressure took its toll. Fortunes of the Lankan Team showed strong correlation to his batting performance in crucial matches.

Second Call of Duty

After the World Cup 2011 final match the team underwent another reshuffle at the top. The new captain despite his remarkable skills failed to fill in the big task required of him. Mahela was appointed captain again. It was his second stint in transformational leadership. No one could have done it better. By the time he relinquished captaincy duties two young captains have been groomed.

It was an additional duty Mahela took upon himself and discharged it with true professionalism. He never complained or looked for a scapegoat. It was another difficult transition as financial crisis hit the cricket administration. He stayed out of controversies in and out of the field which is the mark of a true professional. The new exciting 20 over format was taking the cricketing world by storm and Mahela quickly adapted to its demands. If a price tag is to be placed on a cricketer in the shorter format, Mahela came on top among all Sri Lankan players.

Much More than Personal Records

Mahela was never a fan of personal records but his achievements aren’t personal alone. They are the ones that put Sri Lanka on top on the list. He may continue for the World Cup 2015 for that elusive World Cup win which he truly deserves but never quite got hold of. Mahela has stood tall from transition to transition in all three formats of the game, brushed shoulders with the greatest and still planted his feet firmly on ground. He will be missed in the green but will find a permanent abode in the hearts of his millions of fans. We wish every success to Mahela and family.

Tribute To Mahela, Lanka’s Beloved Stylist Who Wowed !The World From Many Perspectives, Not Just Cricket.

August 18th, 2014

Top Spin By Suni Perera

August 19th 2014

As outpourings of tributes and compliments flow from around the globe for Mahela Jayawardena Sri Lanka’s much loved stylist cricketer it wasn’t all about cricket that drew admiration from his fans and all those who loved him. He was a man of humility, compassion, dignity and true class which when combined with what he gave to Sri Lankan cricket through performance and personality makes him one of the true greats of the modern game.

 Irrefutably perhaps, the rating” the best Sri Lankan captain ever” rings out loud  and deservedly so where his adoring audiences were treated to everything he had to offer both on and off the field which was a subliminal example of how to play the gentleman’s game as a gentleman whilst carrying himself with pride and dignity and influencing all his teammates in a tremendous manner which will serve them all in good stead for years to come.

 It certainly has been Sri Lanka’s privilege to be served by him for nearly two decades as well as his club the Sinhalese Sports Club and prior to that his Alma Mater Nalanda College represented by a large contingent of Old and Young Nalandians who had turned out in numbers to bid him farewell  with an honour guard of raised bats and to remember the young kid who dazzled school cricket in his day, reaching  the pinnacle of Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year and eventually the great heights he reached in the world of International Cricket yet never forgetting his early years at times filled with personal distresses such as the loss of a beloved sibling and the time he went into a shell with a depressive effect on his cricket yet emerged triumphantly as he conquered adversity and rose to be the giant he is today where hardly anything stood before him as an obstacle as he marched on to greatness with a flourish of his bat, his clever catching hands in the slips and that broad grin of his which at times was quite infectious.

 While his accomplishments and records as a cricketer are innumerable where some of them truly stand out, his association with his dear friend and fellow Sri LankanCricket icon Kumar Sangakkara has also been an outstanding feature of his playing career ( it is also known that they co own a popular local seafood restaurent in Colombo known for its delectable Crab dishes!)  where the two buddies enjoyed playing together and featured in some exciting partnerships together and fittingly they shared a hundred plus stand in his final Test in Colombo and a joy to watch albeit whistfully where at the end of it all the Pakistanis graciously acolladed him as he walked off the Test Arena for the last time.

Typically in Sri Lankan fashion it was to a backdrop of deafening firecrackers and many teary eyed fans looking on as his team mates hoisted him carrying him off the field where the unsung ditty “He’s A Jolly Good Fellow !” might have  embellished the proceedings but probably rang in the minds of many who were watching despite its absence in a era  where it is sadly and  in all probabilities all but forgotten! 

 The love surrounding Mahela seemed further accentuated as he walked upto his parents, wife and baby daughter to hug them and share  their joy which was truly boundless and in his farewell speech as usual portyrayed the humble, unassuming  classy and dignified Mahela Jayawardena the world has come to love and respect.

 Happily enough Mahela will still play in limited over cricket as he did mention his desire to play in the World Cup 2015 as we wish him the very best towards his future and may he be surrounded with all the love, Joy and good fortune he deserves for all the playing years left in him as well as his journey through life surrounded by his loved ones.

WELL DONE DEAR MAHELA!

 

INTELLECTUALS ON THE BUDDHA

August 18th, 2014
Buddhism enlightened humanity twenty-five centuries ago and released from all bondages, superstitious practices.Buddha is honoured today by every cultured and intelectual man irrespective of whatever religion he may profess, while the founders of most of the religions are honoured only by their followers. Not only those who belong to some religions but also so-called free thinkers respect this world honoured Supreme Enlightened One. From the historical point of view there never lived any other Teacher who has ever given so much religious freedom as well as due credit to humanity. Before the advent of the Buddha, religion had been owned and monopolized only by a certain section of the society. The Buddha was the Teacher in history who indiscriminately opened the gate of religion to each and every man society. The Buddha has advised his followers to cultivate and develop the latent power of man and showed him how to make the best use of his willpower and intelligence without being a slave to an unknown being to find eternal hapiness which He proclaimed to the world through His own experience but not through theories, mere beliefs and traditional practices. His teaching is such that anyone can practice it without having any religious brand.Various statements made by eminent philosophers, scholars, historians, scientists, writers, religious dignitaries, social reformers and politicians who are well-known to the modern-world as most intellectual people opined about Buddha. Among them many are non-Buddhist and free thinkers. According to them, Buddhism is the most practical and rational which will apeal to scientific knowledge and which really can do a better service to mankind if the followers practise this religion properly.It therefore gives me great pleasure to present these valuable quotations extracted from various books and articles. Whatever may be the opinion of those who have given Buddhism the topmost place in the religious field, the compiler by quoting them, does not mean to belittle other religious beliefs, for the idea of publishing this book is not to show the superiority of Buddhism over other beliefs but on the contrary to reflect the unbiased views expressed by various intellectuals.- Bertrand Russell, ” Why I am not a Christian”Buddha was the embodiment of all virtues he preached. During his successful and eventful ministry of 45 years he translated all his words into action; and in no place did he give vent to any human frailty, or any base passion. The Buddha?s moral code is the most perfect which the world has ever known.- Prof. Max Muller, German Scholar

This is the blossom on our human tree
Which opens in many a myriad years
But opened, fills the world with wisdom?s scent
And love?s dropped honey.

- Sir Edwin Arnold, “Light of Asia”Buddha is nearer to us. You see clearly a man, simple, devout, lonely, battling for light, a vivid human personality, not a myth. Beneath a mass of miraculous fable I feel that there also was a man. He too, gave a message to mankind universal in its character. Many of our best modern ideas are in closest harmony with it. All the miseries and discontents of life are due, he taught, to selfishness. Selfishness takes three forms ? one, the desire to satisfy the senses; second, the craving for immortality; and the third the desire for prosperity and worldliness. Before a man can become serene he must cease to live for his senses or himself.Then he merges into a great being. Buddha in a different language called men to self-forgetfulness five hundred years before Christ. In some ways he was nearer to us and our needs. Buddha was more lucid upon our individual importance in service than Christ, and less ambiguous upon the queation of personal immortality.- H.G. WellsMost Noble of MankindIf you desire to see the most noble of mankind, look at the king in beggar?s clothing; it is he whose sanctity is great among men.- Abdul Atahiya, A Muslim PoetBuddha?s MethodIf any question has to be considered, it has to be considered peacefully and democratically in the way taught by the Buddha.- NehruLunatic and a Sane ManThe difference between the Buddha and an ordinary man is like the difference between a sane man and a lunatic- A writerHomage to BuddhaLord Buddha could be very easily singled out as the one person known to man who received homage from the greatest number of mankind.-Prof. Saunders, Literary Secretary Y.M.C.A. India, Burma, CeylonBuddha?s MessageThe Buddha has been something greater than all doctrine and dogma, and his eternal message has thrilled humanity through the ages. Perhaps at no time in past history was his message of peace more needed for a suffering and distracted humanity than it is today.- NehruNegative Answer of The BuddhaIf we ask, for instance, whether the position of the electron remains the same, we must say ?no?; if we ask whether the electron?s position changes with time, we must say ?no?; if we ask whether it is in motion, we must say ?no?. The Buddha has given such answers when interrogated as to the conditions of a man?s self after his death; but they are not familiar answers for the tradition of seventeenth and eighteenth century science.- J. Robert OppenheimerWe are impressed by His spirit of ReasonWhen we read Buddha?s discourses, we are impressed by his spirit of reason. His ethical path has for its first step right views, a rational outlook. He endeavours to brush aside all cobwebs that interfere with mankind?s vision of itself and its destiny.- Dr. S Radhakrishnan,“Gautama The Buddha”Cool Head and Loving HeartThe most striking thing about the Buddha is almost a unique combination of a cool scientific head and profound sympathy of a warm and loving heart. The world today turns more and more towards the Buddha, for he alone represents the consience of humanity.- Moni Bagghee,“Our Buddha”Philosophic geniusThe Buddha was a pioneer as a lover of men, and a philosophic genius rolled into a single vigorous and radiant personality. He had things to say that no man or woman, after 2600 years of bustling and hustling and chattering round the fountain of knowledge, can afford to ignore. Greater perhaps than his wisdom was the example he set.-Moni Bagghee,“Our Buddha”He does not speak of sinSerenity of spirit and love for all sentient creation are enjoined by the Buddha. He does not speak of sin, but only of ignorance and foolishness which could be cured by enlightenment and sympathy.- Dr. S Radhakrisnan,“Gautama the Buddha”Buddha is like a physicianThe Buddha is like a physician. Just as a doctor must know the diagnosis of the different kinds of illness, their causes, the antidotes and remedies, and must be able to apply them, so also the Buddha has taught the Four Holy Truths which indicate the range of suffering, its origin, its cessation, and the way which lead to its cessation.- Dr. Edward Conze,“Buddhism”Buddha is for whole mankindThe Buddha is not a property of Buddhists only. He is the property of whole mankind. His teaching is common to everybody. Every religion, which came into existence after the Buddha, has borrowed many good ideas from the Buddha.- A Muslim ScholarA Wise FatherBuddha is one who sees his children playing in the consuming fire of worldliness and employs different expedients to bring them out of this burning house and lead them to the safe asylum of Nirvana.- Prof.Lakshimi Nasaru, “The Essence of Buddhism”Buddha is the wayI feel more and more that Sakyamuni is the nearest in character and effect to Him who is the Way, the Truth, and The Life.- Bishop MilmanA Radiant SunIn this world of storm and strife, hatred and violence, the message of the Buddha shines like a radiant sun. Perhaps at no time was that message more needed than in the world of atomic and hydrogen bombs. Two thousand five hundred years have only added to the vitality and truth of that message. Let us remember that immortal message and try to fashion our thoughts and actions in the light of the teaching. We may face with equanimity even the terrors of the atomic bomb age and help a little in promoting right thinking and right action.- NehruGreatest man ever bornHere is a teaching we can follow with confidence. Where in the world of religions, cults and creeds, can we find a master of such brilliance? In a pageant of stars he was a giant of the greatest magnitude. Little wonder that scientists, philosophers, and men of literature have proclaimed Him ?the Greatest man ever born?. The radiance of this great teacher goes through a world of suffering and darkness, like a beacon light to guide and illuminate mankind.- A European WriterFundamental Teachings of The BuddhaGentleness, serenity, compasion, through liberation from selfish-craving – are the fundamental teachings of the great Oriental religion of Buddhism.- E.A.Burtt, “The Compassionate Buddha”Buddha Dharma is like a bridge well built of flexible steel, it gives a little to wind and water, it adapts itself to changing circumstances, but at the same time it has secured foundations and offers a safe way to the Deathless, to Nirvana.- Phra Khantipalo,“Tolerance”To Awake the Human HeartSurely the mysteriously East, that fertile mother of religions, has given us in Buddhism a true revelation, since it makes known to us the moral beauty and purity that lies in the deep of human nature needing no other divinity than that which abides in the human heart to awake them into living glory.- Charles T.GorhamNothing to Surpass BuddhismBuddhist or not Buddhist, I have examined everyone of the great religious systems of the world, and in none of them have I found anything to surpass, in beauty and comprehensiveness, the Noble Eightford Path and the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha. I am content to shape my life according to that path.- Prof. Rhys DavidsBuddhism does not leas us to a Fool?s ParadiseBuddhism is realistic, for it takes a realistic view of life and the world. It does not falsely pull us into living in a fool?s paradis, nor does it frighten and agonize us with all kinds of imaginary fears and guilt-feelings. It calls us exactly and objectively what we are and what the world around us is, and shows us the way to perfect freedom, peace, tranquility and happiness.- Ven. Dr. W. RahulaThe mission of the Buddha was quite unique in it?s character, and therefore it stands quite apart from the many other religions of the world. His mission was to bring the birds of idealism flying in the air nearer to the earth, because the food for their bodies belonged to the earth.- Hazrat Inayat Khan,“The Sufi Message”A cosmic religionThe religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, as a meaningful unity. Buddhism answers this description.- Albert EinsteinBuddhism will remain unaffectedThe doctrines of Buddha Dhamma stand today, as unaffected by the march of time and the expansion of knowledge as when they were first enunciated. No matter to what lengths increase scientific knowledge can extend man?s mental horizon, within the frame work of the Dhamma there is room for the acceptance and assimilation of the further discovery. It does not rely for it?s appeal upon limited concepts of primitive minds not for it?s power upon the negation of thought.- Francis Story ,”Buddhism as World ReligionJoyful religionBuddhism is quite opposed to the melancholic, sorrowful, petinent and gloomy attitude of mind which is considered a hindrance to the realization of Truth. On the other hand, it is interesting to remember here that joy is one of the seven ?Factors of Illumination?, the essential qualities to be cultivated for the realization of Nirvana.- Ven.Dr. W. Rahula, “What the Buddha Taught”Challenge to other religionsIt is Buddhismas we find it actually recorded, not hypothetical primitive system, which still forms a challenge to other religions.- Bishop Gore, “Buddha and the Christ.”No assumption in BuddhismIt is a glory of Buddhism that it makes intellactual enlightenment an essential condition of salvation. In Buddhism morality and interlectual enlightenment are inseparable from one another. While morality forms the basis of the higher life, knowledge and wisdom complete it. Without a perfect understanding of the law of casuality and transformation (Pratityasamutpada), no one else can even be said to be truly moral if he does not possess the necessary insight and knowledge. In this respect Buddhism differs from all other religions. All montheistic religions start with certain assumption, and when these assumptions are contradicted by the growth of knowledge it increases sorrow. But Buddhism starts with no assumptions. It stands on the firm rock of facts, and can therefore never shun the dry light of knowledge.- Prof. Lakhsmi Naras,.“The Essence of Buddhism”Buddha has seen deeper them modern idealistsGautama got rid of even that shade of a shadow of permanent existance by a metaphysical tour de force of great interest to the student of philosophy, seeing that it supplies the wanting half of Bishop Berkeley?s well-known idealist argument. It is a remarkable indication of the subtlety of Indian speculation that Gautama should have seen deeper than the greatest of modern idealists. The tendency of enlightened thought of all today all the world over is not towards theology, but philosophy and psychology. The bark of theological dualism is drifting into danger. The fundamental principles of evolution and monism are being accepted by the thoughtful.- Prof.Huxley,“Evolution And Ethics”Religious RevolutionTwenty- five centuries ago India witnessed an intellectual and religious revolution which culminated in the overthrow of monotheism, priestly selfishness, and the establishment of a synthetic religion, a system of light and thought which was appropriately called Dhamma ? Philosophical Religion.- Anagarika Dharmapala,“The World debt to Buddha”A Plan for LivingBuddhism is a plan for living in such a way as to derive highest benefit from life. It is a religion of wisdom where knowledge and intelligence predominate. The Buddha did not preach to win converts but to enlighten listeners.- A Western writerCome and SeeBuddhism is not always a question of knowing and seeing and not that of believing. The teaching of the Buddha is qualified as Ehi-Passiko, inviting you to come and see, but not to come and believe.- Ven. Dr. W. Rahula,“What the Buddha Taught”Religion of ManBuddhism will last as long as the sun and moon last and the human race exists upon the earth, for it is the religion of man, of humanity as a whole.- Bandaranaike, Former Prime Minister of SrilankaBuddhist is not a slave to anybodyA Buddhist is not a slave to a book or to any person. Nor does he sacrifice his freedom of thought by becoming a follower of the Buddha. He can exercise his own free will and develop his knowledge even to the extent of attaining Buddhahood himself, for all are potential Buddhas.- Ven. Narada Maha Thera, “What is Buddhism”Life by principleBuddhism taught a life not by rule, but by principle, a life of beauty; and as a consequence, it was a religion of tolerance. It was the most charitable system under the sun.- Rev. Joseph WainBuddhism would remainBuddhism would remain what it is even if it were proved that the Buddha never lived.- Christmas Humphreys, “Buddhism”Modern ProblemsTo read a little Buddhism is to realise that the Buddhists knew, two thousand five hundred years ago, far more about our modern problems of psychology than they have yet been given credit for. They studied these problems long ago and found their answers too.- Dr. Graham HoweMind TrainingWe hear much nowadays of thought-power, but Buddhism is the most complete and effective system of mind-training yet placed before the world.- Dudley WrightNew RaceThe Buddha created a new race of men, a race of moral heroes, a race of salvation-workers, a race of Buddhas.- Manmatha Nath SastriFirst MissionaryBuddhism is the first missionary religion in the history of humanity with a universal message of salvation for all mankind. The Buddha after his Enlightenment sent out sixty-one disciples in different directions asking them to preach the doctrine for the weal and welfare of mankind.- Dr. K.N. Jayatilleke, “Buddhism and Peace”No forced conversionIt was never, however, the buddhist way to proselytise ? in the sense of forcing ideas and beliefs upon an unwilling audience, much less to exert pressure of any kind, or any kind of flattery, deceit or cajolery, to win adherence to one?s own point of view. Buddhist missionaries have never competed for converts in the marketplace.- Dr. G.P.MalalasekaraUltimate fact of realityHere it is necessary to draw attention to another unique feature of the religion of the buddha, namely, that it is the only religion of any relgious teacher, which is the outcome of a consistent philosophy, which claims to tell us about the ultimate facts of existance and reality. The religion of the Buddha is a way of life resulting from the acceptance of a view of life, which is said to be factual. His philosophy is not without an account of the nature of knowledge.- Dr. K.N. Jayatilleke, “Buddhism and Peace”No FanaticismOf Buddha alone can it be affirmed it is free from all fanaticism. It?s aim being to produce in every man a thorough internal transforming by self conquest, how can it have a recourse to might or money or even persuasion for effecting conversion? The Buddha has only shown the way to salvation, and it is left to each individual to decide for himself if he would follow it.- Prof. Lakshmi Narasu, “The Essence of Buddhism”Buddhism and other faithsBuddhism is like the palm of the hand, the other religions being the fingers.- The great Khan MongkaBuddhism is not a melancholy religionSome people think that Buddhism is a dark and melancholy religion. It is not so; it will it?s followers bright and cheerful. When we read the birth stories of Bodhisatva, the future Buddha, we learn how he cultivated the Perfection of patience and forbearance. It will help as to be cheerful even in midst of great troubles and to take delight in other?s welfare.- Ven. Gnanatiloka, a German Buddhist scholarBuddhism and social welfareThose who think that Buddhism is interested only in lofty ideals, high moral and philosophy thought, ignores any social and economic of welfare people, are wrong. The Buddha was interested in happiness of men. To him, happiness was not possible without leading a pure life based on moral and spiritual principles. But he knew that leading such a life was hard in unfavourable material and social conditions.Buddhism does not material welfare as an end in itself; it is only a means to an end ? a higher and nobler end. But it is a means which is indispensable, indespensable in achieving a higher purpose for man?s happiness. So Buddhism recognizes the need of certain minimum material conditions favourable to spiritual success ? even that of a monk engaged in meditation in some solitary place.- Ven. Dr.W.Rahula, “What the Buddha Taugh”Example from AsokaTurn to Buddhism, and you will read that Asoka not only preached a lofty morality but exercised the power of kingship in manner that shames our modern sovereigns of other faiths.- Geoffrey Mortimer, a writer in the WestFixed PrinciplesIt will not be possible even today to Buddhism that it is worn out because it is rooted upon certain fixed principles that can never be altered.- Gertrude GararttDhamma is the lawAll teachings of the Buddha can be summed up in one word: “Dhamma”. The law of righteousness, exist not only in a man?s heart but it exists in the universe also. All the universe is an embodiment or revelation of Dhamma. The laws of nature which modern science have discovered are revelations of Dhamma.If the Moon rises and sets, it is because of Dhamma, for Dhamma is that law residing in the universe that makes metter act in the ways studied in physics, chemistry, zoology, botany and astronomy. Dhamma exists in the universe just as Dhamma exists in the heart of man. If man will live by Dhamma, he will escape misery and attain Nibbana.- Ven. A. MahindaPersecutionOf the great religions of history I prefer Buddhism, especially in it?s earliest forms, because it has had the smallest element of persecution.- Bertrand RussellAppreciation of BuddhismAlthough one may originally be attracted by it?s remoteness, one can appreciate the real value of Buddhism only when one judges it by the result it produces in one?s own life from day to day.- Dr. Edward Conze, a Western Buddhist scholarKnowledge is the Key to higher pathWithout senuous pleasure would life be endurable? Without belief in immorality can man be moral? Without worship of a God can man advance towards righteousness? Yes, replies the Buddha, these ends can be attained by knowledge; knowledge alone the key to higher path, the one worth pursuing in life; knowledge is that which brings calmness and peace to life, which renderd man indifferent to the storms of phenomenal world.- Prof. Karl PearsonFortunate BuddhistHow fortunate are the humble followers of the Buddha who have not inherited the fallacy of infallibility of any revealed book from the very beginning.- Ven. Prof. Ananda KaushalyayanaBuddhism and RitesBuddhism is thus a religion, and there is a little room in it for ritual and ceremony. An act done with an idea of one?s own conditioning ceases to be a rite. Much of the seemingly ritual of present-day Buddhism, when seen thus are really not rites.- Dr. W.F. Jayasuriya, “The Philosophy of Buddhism”SaviourIf the Buddha is to be called a ?saviour? at all, it is only in the sense that he discovered and showed the Path to Liberation, Nivana. But we must tread the path ourselves.-Ven. Dr W. Rahula, “What the Buddha Taught”No forceTo force oneself to believe and to accept a thing without understanding is political, and not spirtual or intellectual.-Ven. Dr. W. Rahula, “What the Buddha Taught”Respect other religionsOne should not honour only one?s own religion and condemn the religions of others, but one should honour other?s religions for this or that reason. So doing, one helps one?s own religion to grow and renders service to the religions of others too. In acting otherwise one digs the grave of one?s own religion and also does harm to other religions. Whosever honours his own religion and condemns other religions, thinking “I will glorify my own religion”. But on the contrary, in so doing he injures his own religion more gravely. So concord is good: Let all listen, and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others.- Emperor Asoka A genuine prideA religion or a way of life is judged not merely by the truths it proclaims but also by the change that it brings about in the life of it?s followers. So far this test is concerned Buddhism has a record of achievements in which we can take a genuine pride.- D. Valisinha, General Secrstary, Maha Bodhi Society, “Buddhist way of life”UnconsciousnessIt can also be said that India discovered the unconsciousness earlier than the Western psycholigists. For them the unconscious consists in the totality of the impressions which slumber in the individual as the inheritance from his previous existance. The Buddhis technique of meditation, which is concerned with the latent forces, is thus a fore-runner of modern psycho-analysis, of autogenic mental trainingetc.- Prof. Von Glasenapp, a German scholarRational analysisBuddhism is the only great religion of the owlr that is consciously and frankly based on a systematic rational analysis of the problems of life and of the way to its solution.-Moni Bagghee, “Our Buddha”Enemy of religionThere is little of what we call dogma in the Buddha?s teaching. With a breadth of view rare in that age and not common in ours he refuses to stifle critism. Intolerance seemed to him the greatest enemy of religion.- Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, “Gautama The Buddha”SectarianismMost meophytes of some other religions are controlled by their Guru and are forbidden to read the scriptures, doctrines, magazines, booklets and tracts of other religions. This very rarely happens within Buddhism.- Phra Khantipalo, “Tolerance”The Five preceptsThese five precepts, indicate five arterial directions in which the Buddhist self-control is to be exercised. Thus, the first rule calls upon him to control the passion of anger, the second, the desire for material possessions, the third, the lust of the flesh, the fourth, cowardice and malevolence (causes of untruthfulness) the fifth, the craving for unwholesome excitement.- Edmon Holmes, “The creed of Buddha”Man who achieved a great victoryOne of the first scholars to begin the work of translating the Pali Literature into English, was the son of a well known clergyman. His object in undertaking the work was ti prove the superiority of Christianity Over Buddhist. We must never forget the happy chance which prompted him to undertake this work and thereby make the precious Dhamma available to thousands in the West. The name of this great scholar was Dr. Rhys Davids.- Ven. A. Mahinda, “Blue Print of happiness”Human DestinyOver great areas of the world it still survives. It is possible that in contact with Western science, and inspired by the spirit of history, the original teaching of Gotama, revived and purified, may yet play a large part in the direction of human destiny.- H.G. WellsParliamentary system borrowed from BuddhismIt is probable that the tendency towards self government evidenced by these various forms of corporate activity received fresh impetus from the Buddhist rejection of the authority of the priesthood and further but its doctrine of equality as exemplified by its repudiation of caste. It is indeed to the Buddhist books that we have to turn for an account of the manner in which the affairs of the early examples of representative self-governing institutions were conducted. It may come as a surprise to many to learn that in assemblies of Buddhists in India 2500 years and more ago are to be found the rudiments of our own parliamentary practice of the present day.The dignity of the assembly was preserved by the appointment of a special officer ? the embryo of “Mr. Speaker” in our house of commons. A second officer was appointed to see that when necessary a quorum was secured ? the prototype of the Parliamentary Chief Whip, in our own system. A member initiating business did so in the form of a motion which was then open to discussion. In some cases, this was done once only, in others three times, thus anticipating the practise of Parliament in requiring that a bill be read a third time before it becomes law. If discussion disclosed a difference of opinion the matter was decided by the vote of the majority, the voting being by ballot.- Marquess of Zetland, a former Viceroy, “Legacy of India”


MORALITYDemocracyBuddhism was a democratic movement, which upheld democracy in religion, democracy in society, and democracy in politics.- Dr. AmbedkarEthical man of geniusIn this sphere He gave expression to truths of everlasting value and advanced the ethics not of India alone but of humanity. Buddha was one of the greatest ethical men of genius ever bestowed upon the world.- Albert Schweitzer, a leading Western philosopherWorld CultureBuddhism has done more for the advance of world civilization and true culture than any other influence in the chronicles of mankind.- H. G. Wells


TOLERANCE? PEACE? LOVETo win PeaceThe question that inevitably suggests itself is, how far can the great message of the Buddha apply to the present-day world? Perhaps it may apply, perhaps it may not, but if we follow the principles enunciated by the Buddha, we will ultimately win peace and tranquility for the world.- NehruWisdom is the sword and ignorance is the enemyNot a single page of Buddhist history has ever been lurid with the light of inquisitorial fires, or darkened with the smoke of heretic or heathen cities ablaze, or red with blood of the guiltless victims of religious hatred. Buddhism wields only one sword, the sword of wisdom, and recognises only one enemy ? ignorance. This is the testimony of history, and is not to be gain-said.- Prof. Bapat, “2500 years of Buddhism”No unkind wordThere was never an occasion when the Buddha flamed forth in anger, never an incident when an unkind word escaped his lips.- Dr. S. RadhakrishnanPractise of wisdom and compassionIt seemed that the kindly aesthetic, eternally young, seated cross-legged on the lotus of purity with his right hand raised in admonition, answered in these two words: “If you wish to escape from suffering from fear, practise wisdom and compassion.”- Anatole FranceNo PersecutionThere is no record known to me in the whole of the long history of Buddhism throughout the many centuries where its followers have been for such lengthened periods supreme, of any persecution by the Buddhists of the followers of any other faith.- Prof. Rhys Davids


MAN?S POSITION IN BUDDHISMMan give law to natureLaw in the scientific sense is essentially a product of the human mind and has no meaning apart from man. There is more meaning in the statement that man gives law to nature than in its converse that nature gives laws to man.- Prof. Karl PearsonMan is not ready madeMan today is the result of millions of repititions of thoughts and acts. He is not ready made; he becomes, and is still becoming. His character is predetermind by his own choice, the thought, the act, which he chooses, that by habit, he becomes.- Ven. PiyadassiMan can stand on his own feetBuddhism makes man stand on his own two feet and rouses self confidence and engergy.- Ven. Narada Thera, “Buddhism in a Nutshell”Man can cease to be crushedMan is greater that the blind forces of nature because even though he is crushed by them he remains superior by virtue of his understanding of them. Again., Buddhism carries the truth further: it shows that by means of understanding man can also control his circumstances. He can cease to be crushed by them, and use their laws to raise himself.- Pascal


SOULBelief in soul is the cuase of all the troubleBuddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denyingthe existence of such a Soul, Self, ot Atman. According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts or ?me? and ?mine?, selfish desire craving, attachment, hatred, illwill, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilement, impurities and problems. It is the source of all troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this flase view can be traced all the evils in the world.- Ven. Dr. W. Rahula, “What the Buddha Taught”Life after death is not a mysteryThe difference between death and birth is only a thought moment: the last thought moment in this life conditions the first thought moment in the so called next life, which in fact is the continually of tha same series. During this life itself, too, one thought moment conditions the next thought moment. So, from the Buddhist point of view, the question of life after death is not a great mystery, and a Buddhist is never worried about this problem.- Ven. Dr. W. Rahula, “What the Buddha Taught”


BUDDHISM AND SCIENCEBuddhism and modern Science?I have oftern said, and I shall say again and again, that between Buddhism and modern Science there exist a close intellectual bond?.- Sir Edwin ArnoldBuddhism copes with ScienceIf there is any religion that would cope with modern scientific needs it would be Buddhism.- Albert EinsteinA spiritual ScienceBuddhism is, on the contrary, a system of thought, a religion, a spirtual science and a way of life which is reasonable, practical and all embracing. For 2500 years it has satisfied that spiritual science and a way of life, which is reasonable, practical and all embracing. For 2500 years it has satisfied the spirtual needs of nearly one third of mankind. It appeals to the West, insists on self reliance coupled with tolerance for the other ?s points of view, embraces science, relgion, philosophy, psychology, ethics and art, and points to man alone as the creator of his present life and sole designer of his destiny.- Christmas HumphreysBuddhism begins where science endsScience can give no assurance herein. But Buddhism can meet the atomic Challenge, because the supramundane knowledge of Buddhism begins where science leaves off. And this is clear enough to anyone who has made a study of Buddism. For, through Buddhist Meditation, the atomic constituents making up matter have been seen and felt, and the sorrow, or unsatifactoriness, of their ?arising and passing away? (dependant on causes) has made itself with what we call a ?soul? or ?atma? ? the illusion of Sakkayadithi, as it is called in the Buddha?s teaching.- Egerton C.Baptist, “Supreme Science of the Buddha”Cause and effect instead of rewards and punishmentsAccording to the Buddha the world is not so constituted. Buddhist believe in a just rational of Kamma that operates automatically and speak in terms of cause and effect instead of rewards and punishments.- A writer


WHAT IS NIBBANASalivation with out godFor the first time in the history of the world, Buddha proclaimed a salvation, which each man could gain for himself and by himself in this world during this life, without the least help from the personal GOD or Gods. He strongly inculcated the doctrine of self reliance, of purity, of courtesy, of enlightment, of peace and of universal love. He strongly urged necessity of knowledge, for without wisdom psychic insight could not be got in his life.- Prof. Eliot, “Buddhism and Hinduism”Buddha and the salvationIt is not the Buddha who delivers men, but he teaches them to deliver themselves, even as he has deleivered himself. They accept his teaching of the truth, not because it comes from him, but, because of personal conviction, aroused by his words, arises by the light of their own spirit.- Dr. Oldenburg, a German Buddhist scholar


BELIEFBuddha does not demand beliefThe Buddha has not merely awakened to the supreme reality, he also presents his higher knowledge that is superior to that of “all gods logical disguise and mythical clothing. Here, however, it is given in so cogent a form that it presents itself as positively and self evedent to the person to is avble to follow him. For this reason the Buddha does not demand any belief, but promises knowledge.- George Grimm, “The Doctrine of the Buddha”


BUDDHISM AND OTHER RELIGIONSPost Buddhistic HinduismThe various ways in which Buddhism influenced, modified, transformed, and revitalised Hindu religion among all the philospohical Sutras of the Hindus, are admitted post Buddhistic. The presuppostion of Indian philosophy in the doctrine of Karma and rebirth and other pre Buddhistic system have attained fullest development from Buddhistic literature and been established on philosphical basis.- Dr. S. N. Das GuptaUniversal EthicsNone the preBuddhistic religions of India may be said to have been able to formulate a code of ethics and religion that wass unversally and compulsorily valid for all.- Dr. S. N. Das GuptaBuddhism is BuddhismBuddhism and Jainisn were certainly not Hinuism ot even the Vedic Dharma. Yet they arose in India and were integral parts of Indian life, culture and philosophy. Buddhist or Jaina in India is a hundred per cent product of Indian thought culture, yet neither is Hindu by faith. It is entirely misleading to refer to Indian culture as Hindu culture.- Nehru, “Discovery of India”Eternal Debt to the BuddhaIt is my deliberate opinion that the essential part of the teachings of the Buddha now forms an integral part of Hinduism. IT is impossible for Hindu India today to retrace her steps and go behind the great reformations that Gautama effected in Hinduism. By his immense sacrfice, by his great renuniation, and by the immaculate purity of his life he left an indelible impress upon Hinduism, and Hinduism owes an eternal debt of gratitude to the great teacher.- Mahatma Gandhi, “Maha Bodhi”Dominant creedA system which knows no God in the Western sense, which denied a soul to man, which counts the belief in immorality a blunder, which refuses any effecacy to prayer and sacrifice, which bides man to look to nothing but their own efforts for salvation, which in its orginal purity knew nothing of vows of obedience and never sought the aid of the secular arm, yet spread over a considerable motley of the old world with marvellous rapidity and is still, which whatever base admixture of forcing supertitions, the dominant creed of a large fraction of mankind.- T.H. HuxleyBuddhist Idea of sinIts idea of sin differs somewhat from the Christian idea. Sin to the Buddhist is mere ignorance or stupidity. The wicked man is an ignorant man. He doesn?t need much punishment and condemnation so much as he needs instruction. He is not regarded as ?violating God?s commands? or as one who mest beg for divine mercy and forgiveness. Rather it is necessary fo rthe sinner?s friends to make him reason in the human way. The Buddhist does not believe the sinner can escape the consequences in prayerful attempts to bargain with God.- John Walters, “Mind Unshaken”Gods need salvationFor the first time in human history the Buddha admonished, entreated and appealed to people not to hurt a living being, not to offer prayer of praise or sacrifice to gods. With all the eloquence as his command the exalted one vehemently proclaimed that gods are slso in direction need of salvation of themselves.- Prof. Rhys Davids


THE WORLD AND THE UNIVERSEUnsatifactory world.Buddha was not angry with the world. He thought of it as unsatisfactory and transitory rather than wicked, as ignorant rather than rebelliou. He troubled little about people who would not listen to him and showed no nervous irritablity.- Prof. Eliot, “Buddhism and Hinduism”A great BattleThe whole universe is a vast field of battle. Everywhere there is fighting. Existance is nothing but a vain struggle against germs of dreadful diseases, molecules against molecules, atoms against atoms, and electrons. Mind is still more scene of battle. Forms, sounds, tastes, etc. are resultants of counteracting and belligerant forces. Ther very existance of war proves that there is a state of Perfect Peace. It is what we call Nibbana.- Ven. Narada Thera, “The Bodhisatta Ideal”

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UNHRC Investigation on Sri Lanka – Revisiting Ban Ki Moons Panel of Expert Report

August 17th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 The OHCHR investigation against Sri Lanka led by outgoing UN chief Navi Pillay will attempt to use the platform given to reinforce the dubious, contradictory and controversial reports that have been compiled against Sri Lanka. One such forming the basis of successive Resolutions and Navi Pillay’s own reports is the Panel appointed by UN Secretary General to advise him on the accountability during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. It is a good time to look through and analyse the contents of this report starting off with its Executive Summary

The UN Secretary General’s Panel of Expert Report (Darusman Report)  

  •  On 22 June 2010 the United Nations’ (UN) Secretary-General established a Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka” to advise him on accountability during the final stages of the war in Sri Lanka. (Note: TO ADVISE HIM / FINAL STAGES OF THE WAR) – within no time a report that was ‘to advise him’ became the ‘advise to all’ and the ‘final stages of the war’ has today included ongoing non-war related issues as well. It showcases an agenda against Sri Lanka.
  • The LTTE was militarily defeated in May 2009 putting to an end 3 decades of terrorism by a terrorist outfit banned by 32 nations. LTTE were non-state actors as well as defined international terrorists.
  • 21st May 2009, UN Secretary General arrives in Sri Lanka (barely days into the conclusion of the conflict)
  • The 23rd May 2009 joint statement issued by the Sri Lankan Government via the Ministry of External Affairs and the UN Secretary General’s office had the following serious fallacies

http://www.mea.gov.lk/index.php/component/content/article/1753-joint-statement-by-the-gosl-a-the-un-at-the-conclusion-of-un-secretary-generals-visit-to-sri-lanka

  1. At the conclusion of a terrorist conflict why was there any need to include reference to aspirations and grievances of all communities because the conflict that ended was one of TERRORISM that affected all communities and benefitted those working for and benefitting from terrorism?
  2. Given that the statement does state ‘all communities’ why did the Sri Lankan authorities include reference to 13th amendment and involvement of Tamil parties when there was no requirement to give special mention to one community and when Tamil parties have not been omitted from the democratic system of governance?
  3. The conclusion of the joint statement was The Secretary General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. The Government will take measures to address those grievances (Nowhere does the Sri Lankan Government commit to undertaking an investigation nor does the GOSL agree to an international investigation)
  • On 15th May 2010, the Sri Lankan President appointed the LLRC with a mandate to investigate period 2002 February to 2009 May. Giving no respect to the GOSL’s domestic investigation initiative the UN Secretary General appoints a Panel of Experts in June 2010. (Why did the UNSG appoint a Panel of Experts in June 2010 when he was well aware that the GOSL had appointed the LLRC on 15th May 2010 – does the UNSG’s patience on Sri Lanka last only a MONTH)
  • It is important to note that the Panel of Expert appointment was neither a UN General Assembly mandated appointed nor a UN Security Council mandated appointed. The Panel of Experts was purely a decision made by the UN Secretary General who in her personal capacity has the right to call for such a report but HE DOES NOT have a right to make this report public. Not only has this report been made public it has been the foundation and basis on which numerous Resolutions against Sri Lanka has been formulated and the UNHRC chief herself has made her reports quoting the UN Panel of Experts. These are to be taken as irregularities and manipulation of the systems and unethical conduct against a member State.
  • LLRC appointed on 15th May 2010 and report submitted on 15th November 2011.
  • UNSG Panel appointed in Jun 2010 and report submitted on April 2011.

http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Full.pdf

ASPECTS OF THE PANEL’s MANDATE

  • The Panel’s mandate was to ADVISE the Secretary General on
  1. modalities, applicable international standards, comparative experiences relevant to an accountability process
  2. The Panel included Marzuki Darusman as Chair (Indonesia), Steven Ratner (US), Yasmin Sooka (South Africa)
  3. The Panel began work on 16 September 2010 (3 months after its appointment)
  4. The Panel’s mandate does not extend to fact finding or investigation
  5. Sri Lanka’s conflict was categorized as an ARMED CONFLICT applicability of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.
  6. Page (i) of the Panel report states that ‘the Panel applied the rules of international humanitarian and human rights law to the credible allegations involving both the primary actors in the war; that is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and the Government of Sri Lanka. (UNSG’s Panel had placed a non-state actor & internationally banned terrorist outfit ON PAR with a democratically elected Government)
  7. However the Panel while stating that the GOSL having signed international treaties were bound by them and expected to investigate violations did not commit itself to displaying how a terrorist outfit like the LTTE not bound by any international treaties would be held accountable?

 Allegations by Panel of Experts

The Panel claims that contrary to the GOSL Sri Lanka stand that it pursued a ‘humanitarian rescue operation’ with ‘zero civilian casualties’, allegations ‘IF PROVED’ was indicative of violations of International humanitarian/human rights laws. 

The Panel’s CREDIBLE ALLEGATIONS between September 2008 and 19 May 2009

  1. Widespread shelling on Vanni populace causing largescale civilian deaths
  2. 330,000 civilians trapped (but kept hostage by LTTE)
  3. GOSL silencing media and critics by intimidation and white vans
  4. 3 shellings on no-fire zone
  5. Shelling UN hub, food distribution lines near ICRC ships coming to pick up wounded from the beaches.
  6. Panel report page (ii) states that ‘most civilian casualties in the final phases of the war were caused by the government shelling’
  7. Panel report page (ii) also states that
  8. ‘GOSL systematically shelled hospitals on the frontlines’.
  9. All hospitals in the Vanni were hit by mortars and artillery (some hit repeatedly) despite them being known to the GOSL.
  10. Systematically deprived people in the conflict zone of humanitarian aid (food and medical supplies, particularly surgical supplies)
  11. purposely underestimated the number of civilians who remained in the conflict zone. Page (iii) of Panel report says ‘tens of thousands lost their lives from January to May 2009”.
  12. The Panel report also accuses the Government of subjecting victims and survivors to further suffering
  13. screening for LTTE took place without transparency or external scrutiny (with international NGOs placed in the North during reign of LTTE did any of them stop recruitment of children to the LTTE)
  14. some were ‘summarily executed’ (who were summarily executed are not named)
  15. some ‘MAY HAVE BEEN RAPED’ (there is a BIG difference in MAY HAVE BEEN and actually been raped – but the MAY HAVE BEEN gets ignored and the anti-SL lobby runs off with the ‘rape’ story)
  16. The Report accuses the Government of detaining all IDPs in ‘closed camps’ (perhaps the intention was to enable all civilian-clad LTTE to escape)
  17. Other accusations included ‘massive overcrowding’, ‘breaching basic social and economic rights’ (can UN give a single example of a Government opening banks inside a camp and enabling the IDPs to keep their jewellery in safety, or providing vocational training to IDPs, day care for kids and giving tuition to students studying for competitive exams!),
  18. The Panel also says ‘MANY lives were lost unnecessarily’ (they do not give numbers or names and purposely omits to mention that those that died did so of fatigue and old age and their numbers are with the authorities)
  19. The Panel also says ‘some persons in the camps were interrogated and subjected to torture’ (this is vague – who are the SOME, the Panel should report their names and give details of the torture they were subject to)

 Panel comments on LTTE

  • ‘LTTE refused civilian permission to leave’ (does this not satisfactorily lay all blame of subjecting civilians to unnecessary harm with the LTTE? – inspite of ICRC, other NGOs with the LTTE during the initial stages of the conflict were they able to remove a single civilian, even the aged?, did the LTTE listen to the UN or any other body and release civilians – NO)
  • LTTE used civilians as ‘hostages’ – is the GOSL to be blamed for this?
  • LTTE used civilians ‘at times using their presence as a strategic human buffer between themselves and the advancing Sri Lankan Army’ (if these ‘civilians’ were kept as virtual human shields and their status were not known to the advancing Sri Lankan Army, the army cannot be faulted for shooting for these civilians were put into harms way by the LTTE and these civilians were not in a civilian zone)
  • According to the Panel LTTE ‘implemented a policy of forced recruitment throughout the war’(does this not make any to wonder how many of the civilians were actually ‘civilians’ at the end of the war, if they were forcefully recruited)
  • The Panel also confirms that ‘in the final stages, (LTTE) greatly intensified its recruitment of people of all ages, including children as young as fourteen’ (let us note that 594 of the children were confirmed LTTE cadres and underwent rehabilitation, it is anyone’s guess again how many more children took part in combat and pretend to be civilians still. The same logic can be applied to civilians who would have also had to take part in hostilities and if so even without uniform in an armed conflict the army cannot be held culpable for their deaths)
  • The Panel has also added that the LTTE ‘forced civilians to dig trenches and other emplacements for their (LTTE) own defences’ (this activity in a categorized armed conflict removes the status of ‘civilian’ from the civilians)
  • The next part of the Panel report are its golden words that should be quoted by any response given by the GOSL. The Panel says that the LTTE in using civilians for non-civilian activities had contributed to ‘blurring the distinction between combatant and civilian exposing civilians to additional harm’. THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS STATEMENT IS INVALUABLE FOR ALL OF THE ALLEGATIONS OF HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF ‘CIVILIAN’ DEATHS BECOMES ERASED IF LTTE USED CIVILIANS AS COMBATANTS (digging trenches, as child soldiers, as combatants etc) In an armed conflict any civilian engaged in combat activities LOOSES their status as a civilian.
  • It is also pertinent that the Panel admits that the war was ‘clearly lost’. This places complete blame on the LTTE for keeping civilians against their will. If the Panel says ‘many civilians were sacrificed at the altar of the LTTE cause and its efforts to preserve its senior leadership’. This goes to show that the Panel admits that LTTE thought only of its own cadres and its senior leadership and NOT the Tamil civilians. It also questions how does that fit in with the Panels own claim that ‘tens of thousands lost their lives from January to May 2009” (accusation against the GOSL).
  • The next piece of admission by the Panel is also noteworthy for all those pointing fingers at the GOSL. The Panel says ‘from February 2009 onwards the LTTE started point-blank shooting of civilians who attempted to escape the conflict zone, significantly adding to the death toll in the final stages of the war’ (do we not recall that the same Panel accused the GOSL of killing tens of thousands of people from January to May 2009?)
  1. Also negating the accusation against the GOSL, the Panel in its report states that LTTE ‘fired artillery in proximity to large groups of internally displaced persons and fired from, or stored military equipment near, IDPs or civilian installations such as hospitals’. This contradicts with the Panels allegations that the GOSL were systematically shelling ALL the hospitals and its own statement that ‘most civilian casualties in the final phases of the war were caused by the government shelling’
  • The Panel goes on to add that ‘throughout the final stages of the war, the LTTE continued its policy of suicide attacks outside the conflict zone’ ….LTTE ‘perpetrated a number of attacks against civilians outside the conflict zone’.

Inspite of the above statements by the Panel against the LTTE, the Panel concludes that it has found ‘credible allegations that comprise 5 core categories of potential serious violations committed by the GOSL’

5 accusations against GOSL

  1. killing of civilians through widespread shelling
  2. shelling of hospitals and humanitarian objects
  3. denial of humanitarian assistance
  4. human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of the conflict (including both IDPs and LTTE suspects)
  5. human rights violations outside the conflict zone including against media and other critics of the Government.

In so far as items 1 to 4 are concerned, the Panel has by its own report shown that apart from making accusations against both to compile its report there is no hard evidence and the likelihood of he said/she said scenario arises. However, item 5 is totally outside the gamut of a conflict and the item should be taken for discussion or debate outside of the investigation that is on the last phase and crimes committed therein by both parties.

6 accusations against LTTE

  1. using civilians as a human buffer
  2. killing civilians attempting to flee LTTE control
  3. using military equipment in the proximity of civilians
  4. forced recruitment of children
  5. forced labor
  6. killing of civilians through suicide attacks

Now the all important questions are :

a)    WITH THE DEATHS OF THE ENTIRE GROUND LEADERSHIP OF THE LTTE ALONG WITH ITS LEADER PRABAKARAN, WHO IS TO STAND ON THE DOCK AND CLAIM ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THE CRIMES COMMITTED BY THE LTTE?

b)   IF OHCHR INVESTIGATORS ARE READY TO INVESTIGATE THOSE THAT HAD DIRECT LINKS WITH LTTE WOULD THEY BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE AND PUT ON THE DOCK?

The UN needs to answer this before we move anywhere, otherwise it would be a case of only hounding one party while the other gets away with a paper accusation and nothing more. LTTE’s crimes lasted 3 decades and not just during the last phase and certainly not confined to the 6 areas that the Panel has listed. There has to be justice for the victims of every day, every month and every year that LTTE put to death and there numbers are far more than the numbers quoted as deaths during the last stages.

 

The Panel’s ‘ACCOUNTABILITY’ heading (after the Executive Summary)

Says that violations of international humanitarian/human rights laws must be prosecuted under domestic and international law. In which case we again ask who will take the fall for LTTE crimes given that the ground LTTE is no more?

The Panel speaks of the need for reparations for victims – how can that be possible for an internationally banned terrorist outfit that has no legal status and is not signatory to any international treaties?

Another significant and noteworthy statement in the report is that the Panel in keeping with the United Nations policy does not advocate a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula. That is in deed good news and the Panel also states that it does not advocate ‘importation of foreign models for accountability’. (this is good for some of Sri Lanka’s own advisors to take note of especially those attempting to copy the South African reconciliation model to Sri Lanka) Yet why has the Panel concluded that the Governments notion of accountability is not in accordance with international standards”. This adds to the Panels contradictory statements.

If the UN Secretary General’s panel says that it recognizes the need for the accountability process to be defined based on national assessments, involving broad citizen participation, needs and aspirations’, it is interesting to know what or who says there is no such taking place in Sri Lanka? Moreso it is an apt time to take a survey and let the international fraternity statistically come to terms with the truth that entities like CPA, Transparency Intl etc who they think as great sources of reference are entities with people that very few in Sri Lanka deem as credible.

The report also states that the GOSL emphasized on RESTORATIVE justice while the panel deemed both restorative and retributive justice as equally important.

 The Panel on Sri Lanka’s LLRC

The Panel that initially stated that it does not espouse a ‘one-size-fits-all’ formula once again repeats that the LLRC is ‘deeply flawed does not meet international standards for an effective accountability mechanism’ and does not satisfy with the joint commitment by the President of Sri Lanka and the UNSG. Repeated again is that there is no line in that agreement that claims Sri Lanka will investigate. (pl refer the joint statement)

 The Panel on ‘Other Domestic Mechanisms’

The Panel after taking 10months to review Sri Lanka has concluded that

  • the panel has little confidence in the justice system
  • independence of Attorney General weakened
  • Emergency Regulations and Prevention of Terrorism Act obstructs judicial system
  • the panel has no confidence in the military court system carrying out crimes against final phase.
  • most commissions of inquiry have failed and recommendations rarely implemented

 The Panel on ‘Other obstacles to Accountability’

  1. Triumphalism on the part of the Government, expressed through its discourse on having developed the means and will to defeat ‘terrorism’ thus ending Tamil aspirations for political autonomy and recognition, (this statement is way off mark. When after 30 years a terrorist movement that killed not only military but civilians who were Sinhalese, Muslims, Tamils and even foreigners is finally defeated who does not celebrate? Let us not forget that a man the world came to know as the person behind the 9/11- a single incident without proof was killed while unarmed after US Navy Seals entered a country without informing the Government and lit crackers all night long – is that not triumphalism?. The next point is how dare the Panel claim that the end of ‘terrorism’ which the panel has purposely put in inverted commas to be compared with ending Tamil aspirations for political autonomy. Has the Panel not been given the list of over 250 Tamil leaders gunned down by the LTTE?
  2. ongoing exclusionary policies, which are particularly deleterious as political, social and economic exclusion based on ethnicity, perceived or real, has been at the heart of the conflict. It would be good to have examples of where there is any such ongoing exclusionary policies legislatively, legally or constitutionally instead of making vague statements.
  3. continuation of wartime measures, including not only Emergency Regulations and the Prevention of Terrorism Act, but the continued militarization of the former conflict zone and the use of paramilitary proxies all of which perpetuate a climate of fear, intimidation and violence. To answer this allegation let us wonder what if all the LTTErs that posed as civilians did not go through rehabilitation and continued to move around amongst the people and the Sri Lankan military did not bother to gather all hidden catchments of arms and ammunition, what would happen when these LTTE cadres with no leader, no money and no means of livelihood would do amongst their own if there were no military presence? The answer was found when 3 LTTErs posing as civilians had to eventually be gunned down!
  4. restrictions on the media contrary to democratic governance and limit basic citizens rights – what are these restrictions?
  5. role of the Tamil diaspora which provided vital and moral support to the LTTE over decades – if they are foreign passport holders it is for those governments to take up with them why they are supporting a terror group.

 There is an uncanny shift throughout the report to take away reference to LTTE as a terror outfit and compare LTTE as representative of Tamil aspiration. This notion is fermented when the Panel states that ‘there should be a genuine commitment to a political solution that recognizes Sri Lanka’s ethnic diversity and the full and inclusive citizenship of all of its people, including Tamils as the foundation for the country’s future’. Lets also get something straight, there is no ethnic diversity. The population of Sri Lanka is 74% Sinhalese, 11% Tamil, 9% Muslims. Everyone is equal before the law. If anyone is treated different it is not because of ethnicity it is because they are rich or politically linked (whether they are in opposition or government and these links and rich include all the ethnic groups)

 The Panel on ‘International role in the protection of civilians’

The Report states that the UN political organs and bodies failed to take actions that might have protected civilians during the final stages. Lets be practical, what does the Darusman, Ratner and Sooka expect the UN bodies to have done. Could they have gone inside the conflict zone and taken out the civilians and would the LTTE have waited and watched this happen. Let’s get real. There were ICRC presence, the UN convoys took food and medicines not one returned even with injured or elderly. That is not the failure of the UN staff but the reality that they were dealing with animals.

 The Darusman Report : Recommendations

The paragraph on Recommendations ONLY requires complementary action by the GOSL and the UN and associatates.

Recommendation 1: Investigation

  1. Domestic investigation into international humanitarian/human rights law committed by both sides involved in the armed conflict (Note it does not say last phase, thus the provision to include entire conflict has been left open)
  2. Recommends that the UNSG establishes an independent international mechanism with a mandate to cover
  3. monitor and assess how Sri Lanka is carrying out domestic accountability process and periodically advise the UNSG
  4. conduct investigations independently into alleged violations
  5. collect and safeguard information related to final stages of war

 Recommendation 2: Immediate measures to advance accountability

A. GOSL to implement short term measures

  1. End violence by the State, its paramilitaries and others tolerated by State
  2. facilitate recovery of human remains to families and allow cultural rites of the dead
  3. provide death certificates for the dead/missing (first they must have a name and a birth certificate too!)
  4. facilitate psychosocial support for all survivors respecting their cultural values
  5. release all displaced persons and facilitate their return to their former homes or provide for resettlement (all those who have not seen how the people in the Vanni were living may need a reality check because they should think twice before asking people to return to areas that have not been de-mined)
  6. continue to provide interim relief to assist the return of all to normal life (the Darusman team needs to be given the list of provisions the GOSL provided to those who were eventually resettled.

 B. GOSL to investigate and disclose the fate of all forcibly disappeared. GOSL must invite the Working Group of Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances to visit Sri Lanka. (Has the Darusman team given a list of all those they claim to be forcibly disappeared?)

 C. GOSL should immediately repeal Emergency Regulations and modify provisions of the PTA that are inconsistent with Sri Lanka’s international obligations. The GOSL should take the following measures against suspected LTTE

a. publish their names with locations of their detention and notify legal basis of their detention (does the US give those held at Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia, Abu Ghraib prisons!)

b. All detainees access to family members and legal counsel

c. Allow detainees to question justification of their detention in a court

d. Charge those against whom there is sufficient evidence of serious crimes and release all others and allow them to reintegrate (let the Darusman team note that close to 12,000 such former LTTE cadres have been successfully reintegrated and are leading normal lives)

 D. GOSL should end state violence and practices that limit freedom of movement, assembly and expression or contribute to climate of fear (let is also be noted that during LTTE defacto rule there was no freedom of movement, now with the Tamil National Alliance heading the provincial council, the Chief Minister says Sinhalese are not welcome in the North, does anyone speak on behalf of Sinhalese right of movement?)

 Recommendation 3: Longer term accountability measures

a. Sri Lanka should initiate process with strong civil society participation to examine the root cause of the conflict including ethno-nationalist extremities on both sides, the conduct of the war and patterns of violations and corresponding institutional responsibilities.

b. GOSL should issue a public, formal acknowledgement of its role in and responsibility for extensive civilian casualties in the final stages of the war (this is going overboard because much of the detail on the LTTE by the Panel suffices to show that the mayhem was caused by LTTE and civilian deaths were as a result of LTTE too) This statement is totally out of line.

c. GOSL should institute a reparations program to international standards for all victims (what about those that the Panel confirms were deaths as a result of LTTE?)

 Recommendation 4: United Nations

  1. UNHRC should reconsider May 2009 Resolution regarding Sri Lanka (A/HRC/S-11/L.1/Rev.2)
  2. UNSG to conduct a comprehensive review of UN system during the war in Sri Lanka and after

  To be continued….

Investigation on Sri Lanka – a violation of the time frame given under UNCHR resolution

August 17th, 2014

S. Akurugoda

As can be seen from the flowing facts, the ‘time frame’ covered under the UNCHR Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 has been extended by the Navi Pillay’s controversial Panel by misinterpreting the time frame covered in the LLRC.

Under the terms and reference of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka published in the web page http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/Pages/OISL.aspx, , the ‘time frame’ of investigation is defined as the period under investigation is that covered by the LLRC, that is, from 21 February 2002 until 15 November 2011, when it presented its report to the President of Sri Lanka”.

Time Frame covered in UNCHR Resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1

Section 10 (b) of the UN HRC resolution A/HRC/25/L.1/Rev.1 dated 26 March 2014 states as follows.

To undertake a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations

and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the

period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and to establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, with assistance from relevant experts and special procedures mandate holders;”

 Time Frame covered in the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC)

As per thehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lessons_Learnt_and_Reconciliation_Commissionthe ‘time frame’ given in the LLRC is as follows.

“To inquire and report on the following matters that may have taken place during the period between 21st February, 2002 and 19th May, 2009, namely:.. ”

Thus the above extension of time is s a blunt violation of the time frame given by the Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/25/1. This is a clear indication of the direction as to what we will get at the end of its so-called investigations. As per the previous UN reports and the way things are happening, such as the infamous Darusman Report, it is justifiable to believe that the ‘final’ report has already been cooked up & ready for presentation at the appointed time.

 

අපි කව්ද ,,අපට වෙච්ච දේ ,,සහ අපි කුමක් කල යුතුද -1 කොටස

August 17th, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

අපි  කවුද
වත්මන්  බොහෝ සිංහලයෝ  තමන් කවුදැ ය්  නොදනිති . අපට උගන්වා ඇත්තෙත්  අපි විජයගෙන් පැවතෙන්නන් ලෙසය. මහාවංශ කරුවාගේ සිට  ඉංගීසි ඉතිහාසඥයන් හා ඔවුන්ගෙන් ඉගෙනගත්  අපේම අයත්  කියන්නේ විජය එනවිට  අප රටේ හිටියේ  අමනුෂ්‍යයන් බවය් . කුවේණි යකින්නක් නම් ඇය  සමග රති සුව විඳි   විජය යකුන් කන පරා ක්ෂයෙකු විය යුතුය  . බුදු හිමි තෙවරක් අපේ රටට වැඩම කර ඇත එකල  සිටි යක්ෂ   , නාග  වැනි  මිනිස් කොටස් .. බුදු හිමි ස්රිමුඛයෙන්ම බන ඇසූ  අ  ය  වූහ .  විජය වැනි ආර්යයන් එන විටත්බොහෝ  වැසියෝ බෞද්ධ  වී සිටියහ . බුදු මුවින්ම  නිර්මල දහම ඇසූ  මොවුහු ඉතා දැහමී අයව සිටියහ. විජය සටන්කාමියෙකි . තරමක හෝ මදාවියෙකි. දඹදිවින්   බුදු දහම  අතුගා දැමීම සඳහා හින්දු බ්‍රාහ්මණයන්  ගත පියවර නිසා එරට සිටි  බෞද්ධයෝ  මේ වන විට  කල කිරී සිටිය මෙන්ම  ආත්මාරක්ෂාව සඳහා අබෞද්ධ  හතුරන් සමග  සටන් කිරීමටද  පෙළබී  සිටියහ  ඔවුහු    එවකට මේ රටේ සිටි  හෙළ බෞධයන්ට  වඩා  බල පරාක්‍රමය පෙන්වීමට පුරුදුවූ අය  වන්නට ඇත්තේ  මෙසේ අබෞද්ධ   හ  තුරන් හා සටන් කල අය    වූ නිසා විය හැක,   කෙසේ හෝ  දැහැමි හෙළ බෞධයන්ට    බෞද්ධ ආර්යයන්  සමගත්  ආර්ය බෞධයන්ට    හෙළ බෞධ්ධයන් සමගත් පයුරුපාසානය  අපහසුවක් නොවුයේ  දෙවර්ගයම බෞද්ධයන් වූ නිසාය. ආර්යයන්ට අ  කැමති   වූ ස්වදේශිකයන්ද  මේ අතර සිටියහ.

බුදුන් උපන් දේශයෙන් පැමිණි නිසාත්  බෞද්ධයන්   වූ නිසාත්  බලපුලුවන්කම් පෙන්වන  සටනට බරඅ  ය නිසාත්. හෙළයෝ  ආර්ය  මුලිකක්ත්වය  බාරගෙන මිතු රුවන්නට ඇත.. මෙහි පැමිණි ආර්යයන්  එවකට මෙහි සිටි ස්වදෙශික යන්ගේ ගනනට වඩා බෙහෙවින් අඩු විය යුතුය. කුඩා බෝට්ටු හා නැ ව්  වලින්  දස දහස් ගණන් පැමිණෙන්නට නැත.

විජය ගේ පිරිස 700 යනු 70 ද විය හැක්කේ  සාහිත්‍ය කාරයෝ අතිශයෝක්තියෙන් වර්ණනා කරන නිසාය. දාමරිකයෙක් 700 ක්  සමග  පිටුවල් කරන්නට රජෙක් කටයුතු කරය්ද ..හෙළ ආර්ය මිශ්‍රන යෙන්  සැදී සිංහල ජාතියේ  හෙළ ප්‍රතිශතය  ආර්ය ප්‍රතිශතයට බෙහෙවින් වැඩි විය යුතුය. . මිහින්තලේ සෙල්ලිපියේ සඳහන් පරිදි මිහින්දුහිමියන් විසින්  රාක්ෂ ශයන් 500 ක් මහන කරන ලදී. .

එක ගෙදරක  4ක් සිටියත් මේ පවුල්වලම  2500 කි.. මහන වන්නේ කීයෙන් කීදෙනාද. අද බෞද්ධ  මිලියන  14  ට ඇත්තේ  භික්ෂුන්  30000 ට අඩු ගණනකි. එක අවස්ථාවක පමණක් 500ක් මහ න කිරීමට  විශාල ජන ගහ නයක්  සිටි .ය යුතුය.  මේ නිසා අද සිංහල ජාතිය  යනු  ආර්යයන්ට වඩා   හෙළයන් ගෙන් යුක්තය. .  සිංහලයන්ගේ පෙනුමෙන් යුතුඅ  ය වෙන රටවල නැත.

  මානෑවේ  විමලරතන හිමියන් විසින් සොයාගෙන එලිදක්වූ  ”’වරිග පූර්ණිකාව” ට අනුවද  දැරණියගල හා සොමදෙවයන්ගේ පුරාවිද්‍යා  ගවේෂණ වලට අනුවද  මහින්දාගමනයට  පෙර සිටම අපරටේ දියුණු මිනිස් කොට්ඨාසයක් විසූ  බව   තහවුරුවෙමින් පවතී. මේ ගැන  මහා චාර්ය නලින් ද සිල්වා ලිපි   කීපයකම  පැහැදිලි කර ඇත. නලින් කියූ පසුව මමද ඒ  වරිග පූරනිකාව  කියවුයෙමි. මේ කරුණු අනුව  බලි තරු රාවන යුගයන්  මිත්‍යා ලෙස ඉවත දැමූ යුගය අවසන් කිරීමට සිදුවනු ඇත.’

මේ පොත අනුව කවිලාශ  අග්නිපාලි හෙවත් මුක්තලතා රත්නාවලි එකල සිටි රහත් මෙහෙනියකි. පුන්න වෙළෙන්දා   වෙළදාමට පැමිණි අවස්ථාවක  ඇය  බන අසා සෝවාන් විය  පසුව  ඇය  බුදුහිමියන්ට මෙහි වඩි .න ලෙස පුන්න මගින් ඇරයුම් කලා ය..ඇ  ය ගිරි දේශයේ  ගිරි භද්‍ර නම් සෙනෙවියාගේ බිරිඳය.  බුදු හිමියන්ගෙන් බන අසා රහත් වුවාය.  මේ කිසිවක් ගැන   බොහෝ සිංහලයන්ට දැනුමක් නැත  සුද්ද ඉගැන්වූ ඉතිහාසය ම  වමාරමින් සිටිනවා හැර බොහෝ ඉතිහාසයග්නයන්ට  මේවා අවශ්‍ය නැත .. අපි දඹදිවින් ගත්තේ  බුදුදහම පමණි හින්දු සිරිත් විරිත් පුදපූජා ඇතුලත් සංස්කෘතිය ගත්තේ නැත.  එනිසා අපි ඉන්දියාවට ගැ .තිවිය යුතු නැත අපි අපටම විශේෂ වූ ජාතියකි  මේ ජාතිය වෙන රටක නැත.      .        

එක්තරා මිනිසකුගේ සංඥා පද්ධතිය.

August 17th, 2014

චන්දුසේන පණ්ඩිතගේ විසිනි.

වසර ගනනාවක පුරා පලමුවන ලෝකයේ ජීවත් වූ ඔහු කටුනායකට ලගාවූයේ, බොහෝ කාලයකට පසුවය.,

උදෑසන මද ශීතල ගතිය ඔහුගේ මුලු සිරුරම පිනවන්නට විය. මහත් අමන්දානනයට පත් ඔහුගේ ස්පර්ශේන්ද්රියන් “ෂ්හ හරි සනීපයි” යන වදන පෙල නිකුත් කලහ. ඔහුඟේ සිතද මේ පිරිසිදු වාත දහරාව ඇලුම් කල බවක් පෙනිණි.

ගමන් මහන්සිය, නිදිබර ගතියක්. සිරුරට ආරෝපනය කලද, ඔහුගේ දෑස් ඔහුට නිදා ගැනීමට අවසරයක් දුන්නේම නැත. රට සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම වෙනස් වෙලා, මේ වෙනස බලා ගන්න ඕනි ඈස, ඔහුට බල කරන්නට විය. රථය මෙන්ම රියදුරාද, නව පනක් ලද දේශයට, අනුකූලව, නිර්මිතව ඇත. රියදුරු කථාවක ආරම්භයක් අපේක්ෂාවෙන් සිටී. නමුත් මේ මහ වෙනස, ඔහුට රියදුරු හා කථාවකට ඉඩ දෙන්නේම නැත. ඇස ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ, නිර්මිතව ඇති, අධිවේගී මාර්ගයේ හා දෙපස ඇති සෞන්දර්යේ රස විදින ලෙසයි. පලමු ලෝකයේ රටකින් පැමිණි ඔහුට, අධිවේගී මාර්ග යනු නැවුම් දෙයක් නොවුනද, තමන් කිසිදා බලාපොරොත්තු නොවුන දෙයක් තම මවුු බිමේ සිදුව ඇති බව නම දැනේ. ඇස ගැටෙන ගැටෙන තැන ඇති සුන්දරත්වය,ඇස මනා ලෙස වාර්තාකරණය කලද, තමාගේ වාතාකරණය හේතුවෙන් මේ මිනිහා හොදටම හෙම්බත්ව ඇති බව වටහා ගත්හ. “ඔහු කැමති වුනද, නොවුනද, මේ දකින්නේ සිදුව ඇති මහා වෙනසයි. ඒ නිසා මම දකින දේ, මම වාර්තා කල යුතුයි. ඒක මගේ කාර්යයයි” ඇස සත්යේ පදනම මත සිටගත්තාය. “වාර්තාකිරීම පමණක් නොව, මේ වාර්තා මනාව සුරක්ෂිතව ගබඩා කරන ලෙසද මොලයෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටියාය.

“හ්ම්! මේ අධිවේගි මාර්ගය කොහ‌ෙට වෙනකම් යනවද?” ඔහු රියදුරු තැන අපේක්ෂාවෙන් සිටි කථාව ඇරඹුවාය.

“සර්, මේක පෑලියගොඩින් ඉවරයි.”

ඔහුට සියුුම් සතුටක් හැඟිණි. “මේකද මේගොල්ලො මහ ලොකුවට වර්ණනා කරන අඩිවේගී මාර්ගය” ඔහුට සිතිණි.

“පොඩි දුරක්නේ” ඔහුගේ මුවින් පිටවිණි.

“ඔවු සර් හරිම කෙටි දුරක්, ඒ වුනාට ලොකු වැඩක් කරන, කෙටි හයිවේ එකක්” රියදුරු මහතාගේ පිලිතුර විය.

රියදුරුගේ පිලිතුර, ඔහුගේ නොසතුටට හේතු විය. “බක පණ්ඩිතයෙක්” ඔහුට සිතුණි.

“මේකට කීයක විතර වියදම් යන්න ඇද්ද?”

“ඒක නම් දන්නෙ නැහැ සර්”

“කිලෝ මීටරයකට රුපියල් බිලියන 1.8ක මුදලක් වියදම් කරල තියෙනවා,ඇත්තටම, මහා අපරාධයක්. මේ රටට මේ වගේ ලොකු වැඩ කරන්න, ආදායම් තියෙන රටක් නෙමෙයි. මේ ආණඩුව කරන්නේ, මුලු අනාගත පරපුරම ණය කරල හයිවේස් ගහනවා, මේව කණ්ඩද අයිසේ?” ඔහු තුලවූ සගවා ගත යුතු යමක්, කඩා පැනනේ ඔහුගේ පාලනයේ දුර්වලතාවය හේතුවෙණි.

“සර් ඉන්න රටේ හයිවේස් නැද්ද?”

“එහෙ තියෙන්නෙ මෙහාට වඩා විශාල හයිවේස්.” ඔහුට ඒ රටවල්වල සැරිසරන ජීවියකු බව සිතුන විටත් මහා සතුටක්ද හැගිණ.

” සර් පොඩඩක් හිතල බලන්න ඉස්සර මේ ගමනට පැයකුත් විනාඩි 15ක් විතර යනවා. දැන් විනාඩි 15කින් ගමන ඉවරයි. මේ පාරෙ දවසකට යන්නෙ, 40,000ක් කියල නිකමට හිතන්න. ඒ කියන්නෙ සර් දවසකට මිනිස් පැය 40,000ක් උපයනවා. ඕක තව විදියකට කියනව නම් දවසකට, වැඩ කරන දින 5000ක් මේ හයිවේ එක උත්පාදනය කරනවා. ඒ දිනක ආදායම වූ රුපියල් මිලියන 4ක ආදායමට අමතරව තවත් රුපියල් මිලියන 4ක් ජනතාවට බෙදල දෙනව වගේ වැඩක් නේද  සර්.”

“දවසක ආදායම රුපියල් මිලියන 4ක්!” රියදුරු මහතා කිව් කථාවේ, ඔහු කැමතිම වගන්තිය යලි යලිත් සිතන්නට විය.

“අපේ ආණ්ඩුවක් පිහිටුව ගෙන මේ හයිවේ කෑල්ල ලබා ගත්තත් ඇතිනේ ” ඔහුට සිතිණ.

“මේ ආණ්ඩුවෙ ලොක්කො මේ වැඩෙන්, බිලියන ගනනාවක් හමබකරගෙන ඉවරයි. ඒක මේ රටේ ඉන්න මෝඩයින්ට තේරෙන්නෙ නැහැ.” ඔහුගේ හිතේ ඇති වෙෙරය මුවින් එලියට ගලා එනන විය.

” ඉස්සරට වඩා දැන් කොච්චර ලස්සනද? ඇස තව තවත් දෘෂ්ය රසය විදින ගමන්ම “මේව ඉතින් කටට පේන්නෙ නැහැනේ, ඔහේ කියවනවා, තේරුමක් නැතිව ” යයි සිතුවාය.

ඇසට කට කංකරචලයක් සේ හැගුණි. ඇස තමන් දකින හැම දෙයක්ම නිවරදිව වාර්තා කලද,, මුවින් පිටට ගලා එන්නේ, ඇසින් දකින සංවර්ධනයට එරෙහි ව වචන මාලාවන්ය. “මොලය ඇයි හරියට වැඩ කරල මම වාර්තා කරන දේ එලිදක්වන්නේ නැත්තේ? මේ මිනිහා වැඩ කරන්නේ මෙහෙම නම්, මෙයාට ඇස් වල සේවය වැඩක් නැහැනේ” ඇසට සිතිණි.

“ඔයා කීවනේ මේකෙන් දවසකට රජයට රුපියල් මිලියන 4ක ආදායමට අමතරව ජනතාවට, මිලියන 4ක පමණ වටිනා කාලයක උරුම  වෙනවා කියල. හොදයි කියන්න බලන්න, ඔබට උරුම වෙන ඒ කාලයෙන් ඔබ මොනවද කරන්නේ කියල?” ඔහු නැවතත්  රියදුරු මහතා සමග කථාව ඇරඹුවාය.

“සර්, ඇතතටම මේ වගේ ව්යාපෘතියක් හරියට මී වදයක් වගේ, මේ ව්යාපෘතිය, පටන් ගන්න වෙලාවෙ ඉදලම රටට ලබා දෙන්නෙ ප්රතිලාබ. මේකෙන් සර් කීව වගේ මැති ඇමතිවරුනුත් විශාල ලාභයක ලබනවා, මේ කොන්ත්රාත්තුව ගන්න සමාගමත්, විශාල ලාභයක් ලබනවා, මේකට භාණඩ සපයන සමාගම් වලටත් විශාල මුදල් කන්දරාවක් ලැබෙනවා, මේ යටතේ උප කොන්තරාත් කරුවන් රාශියක් බිහි වෙනවා, ඒ අයත් ඉතා හොදට මුදල් හම්බ කරනවා. මේකෙ ඉන්ජිනේරු මහතඒමයාගේ ඉදල කම්කරුවා වෙනකම් විශාල පිරිසක් සේවය කලා, ඒ හැමෝම මේ වැඩේ හින්ද හොදට ජීවත් වුණා. ඒ විතරක නෙමෙයි සර් හොරකම හැම තැනම තියෙනවා. ඔය පාර දෙපැත්තෙ මිනිස්සුත් හම්බ කලා. දැන් වැඩේ ඉවරයි. අපිට කාලය ලබාදීල තියෙනවා.අපිට පුලුවන් මේ ලබාදීල තියෙන කාලය, විනාශ කරන්නත්, ඒ වගේම ඒ කාලය මුදල් බවට පත් කරල අපේ පවුලේ දියුණුවට යොදවන්නත් පුලුවන්. මම ඉස්සර මේ වගේ හයර් එකකට, යන්න එන්න ගත්තම පැය තුනක් යනවමයි. දැන් මම පැය දෙකහමාරකට හයර් දෙකක් යනවා. ‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌‌මේක නිසා මගේ අදායම නම් වැඩි වෙලා. හැබයි මම තව කාව හරි අල්ලගෙන මේ වැඩේ විවේචනය කර කර, මේකෙන් ගහපු මිනිස්සු ගැන කිය කිය හිටියට කාටත් වැඩක් නැහැ. සර්, දැන් අපි ලැබිල තියෙන එකෙන් පල ප්රයෝජයක් ගමු”

මේ අවස්ථාවේදී කණ තමන්ගේ කාර්යය නිසි ආකාරයට ඉටු කලාය. හොද වැඩේ මේ මිනිහට මම හැම දෙයක්ම හොදට පෙන්නලත් ඇත්ත දැක්කෙ නැහැ. ඇසට සිතිණ. දැන ටිකක් මහන්සියි ඇස් දෙක පියා ගන්න ඕනි. අස් පහාටු ඇසේ අණ පිලි පැදීමත් සමගම, මහා අදුරක් සමග වටපිටාවේ සුන්දරත්වය, මේ පුද්ගලයාට ලබාදීම තාවකාලිකව නැවතිණි.

 

Foreign Secretary Level Talks between India and Pakistan

August 17th, 2014

By Afshain Afzal

 Despite all pressures and coercive measures to fail any dialogue between two potential defence allies, Pakistan and India are once again going to have Foreign Secretary level talks, tentatively on 25 August 2014. The military brass and secular parties are much aggrieved to see Prime Minister Mr. Narandra Modi and his counterpart, Mr. Muhammad Nawaz Sharif applying new theories of international politics and political science that as sovereign Muslims and Hindus neighbours, Pakistan and India are not threat to each other. In other words, all theories relating to religion as instrument of clash between civilizations are going to be challenged. As the date is approaching nearer, media in both the countries have renewed their campaigns of intensifying enmity drills. Salman Khurshid, spokesperson of Congress party, who also remained Indian External Affairs Minister, criticized BJP government’s dialogue strategy with Pakistan, jumping straight to Foreign Secretary level talks. He linked dialogue process with improvement or expectation of improvement in relations between the two countries and enquired basis behind the decision to send the Indian Foreign Secretary to Pakistan.

 As the media in Pakistan and India are projecting the two neighbours as traditional enemies, engaged in border / Line of Control (LoC) violations and having potential to indulge into a nuclear war, Mr. Narandra Modi is quite optimistic that neither Pakistan nor India is going to use their nuclear deterrent against each other. The recent media’s twisting of statement of Indian Chief of Army Staff, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, on the very first day of assumption of charge, was among the steps to mentally prepare Foreign Secretaries of both countries to think on the old lines of continuity of hate-hate relation due to suspicion and communication gap. However, recent rescue of India Border Security Force (BSF) personnel, Satyasheel Yadav, who had unintentionally crossed over to Pakistani territory and his honourable return by Pakistani authorities to BSF authorities has exposed media’s yellow journalism. The smiling faces of Pakistani and Indian personnel on media after the incident gave a hope that India would realize that unfortunate and sad incident of beheading of Lance Naik Hemraj of Indian Army along the LoC in Poonch sector on 8 January 2013 was not carried out by Pakistan personnel and was handiwork of some common enemy of Pakistan and India. Ironically, Indian Media even tried to give this incident negative touch by claiming that Pakistani military personnel interrogated him, ignoring the facts that procedure in both the countries requires completion of Interrogation Report before handing over to the country of origin.

 With regard to unprovoked firing and violation of cease fire, Lieutenant General D.S. Hooda, Commander Indian Northern Command had have been complaining New Delhi a sharp increase in the incidents. Basing on intelligence reports from Military Intelligence and BSF, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 16 Corps, Lieutenant General K H Singh had been repeatedly claiming infiltration by ghost infiltrators from Pakistani side. It is difficult to confirm authenticity of such reports of infiltration; however, on firing from Indian side, Pakistani troops also retaliate. Pakistani troops deployed at the LoC also receive similar kind of intelligence input of sneaking by Indian agents and same procedure is adopted. Carrying out firing drills against unseen targets by both the countries has become routine affair. This drill is being followed by both sides since decades and reported as Cease Fire Violations”. Ironically, as always, when any positive move in confidence building and cooperation between Pakistan and India is scheduled, the firing between the two Armies and intelligence inputs against each other intensifies.

 In a recent development relating to major bone of contention between the two countries Jammu and Kashmir state”,  Government of India has asked United Nations Military Observers Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), which has strength of 40 military Observers, 23 international civilians and many locals, to vacate its rent free building in New Delhi or start paying rent. Interestingly, UNMOGIP annual budget US $ 19.64 million (2014-2015) but the group has very little contribution in the shape of either reports on cease-fire violations along the LoC or reporting of developments that could lead to cease-fire violations. Islamabad is of the view that asking UNMOGIP to move out of the building does not abolish the mandate which was given by the UN Security Council under Resolution 91 of 1951 and as long as the Kashmir dispute is not resolved, the UNSC mandate remains. On the other hand, there is a debate in India that UNMOGIP has outlived its mandate and that its role has been overtaken by the 1972 Simla Agreement. One wonders there is no harm in resolving all the outstanding issue between the two countries bilaterally on the basis of Simla Agreement. However, New Delhi must come forward with a formula giving assurance that documents relating partition of India including Independence Bill and Cabinet Mission plan would not be sidelined. 

 As the date and agenda point is being finalized between the two countries, there is a lot of optimism in Pakistan and India. There are high hopes that Prime Minister Mr. Narandra Modi and his counterpart would be able to achieve breakthrough in overcoming suspicion and misunderstandings due to communication gap and misreporting by intelligence agencies and interest groups. The foreign offices of both the countries, for the time being, need to ignore media reports and intelligence alerts to make the talks successful. There are a lot of avenues as Prime Ministers of both the countries will also be getting opportunity to meet on the sidelines of UN General Assembly session in September.  Let the military brass and intelligence agencies do their job, which has nothing to do with diplomatic and political efforts to remove the curtain of suspicion, mistrust and speculations between the two countries.  Let there be delay in granting MFN status to India and commitment of Kashmir and other outstanding issues but both countries should keep their hopes high for a better tomorrow.  Pakistan and India need to be cautious that foreign powers, especially powers outside the region, would never like peace and stability to prevail in the region. It is in the interest of both the countries that irrespective of the results, we must not give up hope in dialogue. Let us develop mutual trust and try to accommodate each other rather than feeling proud in defeating the other side.  There are high hopes that if we meet with an open mind without preconceived suspicions, in a matter of couple of meetings, we would comfortably win each other.  afshain@hotmail.com

The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka condemns reported evictions of Christians by ISIL

August 17th, 2014

Press Release -The Muslim Council of Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan Muslims and the global Muslim community are shocked and dismayed by reports that the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL) has ordered the forceful eviction of Christians in Mosul and Yazidee community and other provinces. This action is against the vehemently condemns this act of barbarism and calls upon the ISIL and other groups to desist from ethnic cleaning of non–‐Muslims in Iraq. There is no place in Islam to commit injustice against any people. The rights of all as per the teaching of Islam are unambiguously clear. It commands the establishment of brotherhood based on liberty, equality and equity. Islam commands Muslims to show kindness to even their adversaries at all times, especially in times of need. The great amnesty given by Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) at the time of the great Meccan victory to those who persecuted him and his followers is an outstanding example and guidance to Muslims of all time.

PRESS RELEASEMCSL01PRESS RELEASEMCSL02a

Disunited Nations Organisation.

August 15th, 2014

By Charles.S.Perera

United Nations Organisation ceased to exist the day George Bush with false evidence of  an imagined Iraq’s stock pile of weapons of mass destruction provided by the UK Prime Minister Tony Blair stepped over UN to wage a war against Sadam Hussain of Iraq.

The President Barrack Obama  did nothing to revive the UNO after  the debacle of George Bush. He instead made UNO an unofficial  Agency of the US State Department  making a  puppet of its Secretary General. The President Barrack Obama who every one expected would change the aggressive United States foreign policy,  made it worse by ignoring the UN forming a United Front with his Western allies using the NATO Forces to destroy Nations, and kill National Leaders.

They bombed Libya, killed its Leader and left it in chaos.  America avoided UN as a forum to settle disputes amoung countries, and  imposed sanctions on Iran and North Korea.  Barack Obama with his allies in EU used lies to impose sanctions on Russia. Like Tony Blair’s lies about WMD in Iraq USA accused Russia without any proof for the shooting down the Malaysian Air plane.  USA and its allies of the UE have become a law unto themselves. They assist rebels against governments in place. Libya, Syria and Ukraine are examples of their  thuggery” to make UN powerless.

UN Secretary General is a puppet who bends backwards to accommodate the new  world order being set up  by USA and its allies.   Ban Ki Moon lies to implicate Nations without knowing their ground situations, without respect to their culture and in breach of their Sovereign Status.

Ban Ki Moon who said that the report of the  Darusman Panel on Sri Lanka was an advisory report  without  official status, allowed Navi Pillai a Tamil woman  who was the UN High Commissioner for Human rights to use the Darusman report as an official UN Document to allow her to take revenge from Sri Lanka for the elimination of the group of Tamil terrorists in Sri Lanka. USA and its allies backed  false evidence provided by Navi Pillai, as they did to destroy Iraq, Libya and now Ukraine on false information, to back an unwanted probe into Sri Lanka’s just war against terrorism.

USA and its allies of the EU are interfering every where in the world  to create political catastrophe against Sovereign Nations that do not fall in line with their views.

It is time that the member States of UNO  demand the USA and its  Western allies of EU to dismantle NATO Forces and realine with  a renewed UNO or in the alternative abandon the UNO to form another more realistic Organisation of Nations outside USA and the West.

The USA and the EU are working together to subordinate  China, Russia, and India to their leadershp in the world.  They want to form a hegemony of military power to  force the other nations outside their circle to accept their leadership, to become vassal Sates. USA and  its Western allies of the EU with their NATO forces cannot fulfil the original intentions of those who mooted the idea of an Organisations to avoid wars and settle disputes in dialogue.

Today  China and Russia are ready to help Nations in need of help to rise above their  economic backwardness, which the USA and the West failed to do.   They –USA and its allies have their laws first to protect themselves and develop their countries, and keep others at bay  by making them get caught in their  debt trap  giving aid without transference technology.

USA and UE Countries are destructive forces as they have never helped third world countries to develop to come out of their under development.  They stand by their preoccupation of their own protection and development, making others depend on crumbs falling from their sumptuous tables.

They want  wars in the world to provide employment for their Armed Forces.  USA and its allies  have a lot to learn from Sri Lanka as to how the Armed Forces could be used not to destruct but to construct.  They want to dictate terms without learning from others how best to govern and use their manpower for constructive employment.  It is in giving you receive.  It applies to countries as well as to persons.

USA and the West should learn to look outwards and contribute in some way to unity in the world and peace without armed conflicts. The conflict in Ukraine could have been  settled by a sincere dialogue with the willingness to find an acceptable solution, without expecting the other party to give into demands by the USA and UE.

The Middle East is  in turmoil.  The Nations from Egypt to Saudi Arabia, Israel to Palestine are unable to find peace amoung themselves making religion a barrier for a political settlement. Muslims are divided according to their own belief systems.  The world is different today from the time when the Bible  or the Koran were written.  The Creator God is the same for the Muslims, the Christians and the Israelites.  Therefore why bring the religion to stand in the way of their unity ?

There is already a faction of the Israelites who are not averse to unity between the  Palestinians and the Israelites to  form a nation living together in a multi-ethnic environment.  Why cannot the UNO take this question  with the support of USA and EU to the Israel hardline Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu to demand him to be flexible and accept a reconciliation with Palestine ?

The USA has  miserably failed in its military adventure in Iraq, proving that political problems cannot be solved by bombs, by sanctions, massacres,  destruction of people and property, or by inflicting  torture in American Military Prisons.

What is the voice that can bring sense to stubborn minds of USA and Netanyahu ? Ban Ki Moon is clueless and the UNO is laid to rest.

There should be a sincere effort to find reconciliation between communities without  politicians standing in the way of the people.  Let to themselves the people will be able find solutions.  It is the ambitions of politicians and religious leaders that bar unity of the people whether it is in Palestine and Israel, or between Sunnis and Shias in Middle East or between Tamils and Sinhala in Sri Lanka.

USA and the Western Countries are out to create conflict within countries hoping that it would be a means to keep developing countries under their control and stop the forward march of China and Russia to win over the trust and  confidence of the developing nations in the world.

Can the Pope intervene ?

But the old God of the Bible or the New Testament has failed to establish peace amoung people from the beginning of time, and what solutions can we expect from the same old God for the present day conflicts.  It is not the God but it is for the men to find peace amoung themselves and for that we should have correct political leaderships that find salvation  for the people in the modern day conflicts.

That was the reason why the world leaders in Europe  after the World War  I, sought to set up the League of Nations to stop  the world suffer no more from Wars. Its intension was to prevent wars through collective security and disarmament, and settling international disputes through negotiations  and arbitration.  It was a failure and the Second World war began soon after. It was replaced by the UNO after the Second World war in October,1945.

Its objects are large but with passage of time they have become blurred and   indistinct due to interferences by powerful countries making use of the UN for their own selfish ends.   This was not foreseen in its  Charter where all member states were equal without distinction of  their size or wealth.  Failure of the UN is due to rich member States using their wealth and power to dictate terms to UN and withholding contributions (sanctions) when necessary  to cripple the  UN System.  It is no different from USA imposing sanctions on countries with which it has disagreement-Cuba, Iraq, Iran, and now Russia.

Hence the UNO has either to be replaced by another organisation with different objectives. The UNO should not be allowed to be  manipulated by rich and powerful countries of the West, which has already made it different from what it was intended to be.  The Member States of the UN should demand USA and the Western Countries to disband the NATO or bring it within the control of the UN.

An Objective of the UNO, amoung others is the maintaining of International peace and Security and thus stop wars. Therefore its Member States should not have their own Armed Forces  which would then be a rival  force to usurp the objectives of the UNO. It is the actions of the Member States of UNO such as USA and the Western Countries that has prevented the UNO becoming an institution to provide  security  and ensure peace in member states. UNO has thus lost its confidence amoung the rest of the Member States.

When there are incidents in a member state of UNO, it should first be reported to the UNO.  The  role of the UNO then is  to interact with the country not as a wrong doer but as a Member State to examine  the incidents and settle it in an open dialogue with the Member States, without making it an interference into the internal affairs of the Member State.

No Country should be allowed to act contrary to any decision of the UNO.  This has not happened in the recent past.  Even the present issues in Iraq, with ISIS, Ukraine  with Russia and Syria  between rebels and the Government, should be taken over by the UNO barring USA and its allies interfering on the issues arming the rebels or the people.

The UNO therefore  has a primary role to play concerning its member states, not a secondary role, sitting obediently behind USA and its allies.

The freedom with which Sri Lanka’s Media denigrates Sinhala Buddhists

August 15th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The freedom with which Sri Lanka’s Media denigrates Sinhala Buddhists

§  There are accusations that there is no media freedom in Sri Lanka.

§  There are accusations that the majority are discriminating the minorities in Sri Lanka.

§  There are accusations that the minorities are unable to voice their views in Sri Lanka.

 The following headlines are for readers to decide if this is the freedom that is claimed to be denied.

 The below specimen samples are just but a handful of hundreds of other online and even print name calling.

 Buddhist monks have been referred to as : mob of monks’, ‘marauding monks’, ‘monkish terror’, ‘monkish violence…represents evil incarnate’, ‘thug monks’, ‘these are the modern day Devadattas and Buddharakkithas who are out to destroy Buddhism’, ‘delegation of saffron robed horrors’, ‘bhikku death squads’. ‘monkish anarchy’

 The high priests were not spared as well:

‘most revolting of all is the capitulation of the Mahanayake of the Malwatte chapter in the face of this unprecedented monkish thuggery’.

 The Malwatte Mahanayake thero was accused of ‘limp acquiescence’ and accused of turning himself ‘into a cipher’.

 Given that Sri Lanka’s media has been only too pleased to carry such articles it is not difficult to imagine how people are commenting on the below titles too. These comments are too vile to showcase as examples however, most often the websites themselves make comments entering pseudonyms to project that in Sri Lanka the Sinhala Buddhists are hated.

 What would be a nicer thing is to reveal exactly why they are angry but that is an unlikely option because behind the denigration there is another plan.

Title/Link

Date

Justice Minister (and leader of the Muslim Congress) Rauf Hakeem at a meeting in Kalmunai had demanded President Rajapakse should defeat ‘yellow-robed terrorism’

 

Aug 2012

Fascists’ in saffron robes? The rise of Sri Lanka’s Buddhist ultra-nationalists

http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/32133

 

July 2014

Buddhist extremists attack innocent

http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2014/06/buddhist-extremists-attack-innocent.html

 

June 2014

Barbarism of Sinhala Buddhist extremist forces against Muslims

http://www.latheeffarook.com/index.php/9-sri-lanka/1188-barbarism-of-sinhala-buddhist-extremist-forces-against-muslims

 

June 2014

Bodu Bala Sena’s Thug Leader Gnanasara Thero Should be Flogged Publicly and Chased on the Road with Full Exposure on TV

http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/29655

 

4 May 2014

Why Gnanasara has to be dealt with’ 

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=102690

 

3 May 2014

Saving Sri Lanka from the Monkish Terror

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=102281

 

26 Apr 2014

Expose Thugs In Robes And Isolate Them

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/04/27/expose-thugs-in-robes-and-isolate-them/

 

27 April 2014

The ‘Mad Monk’ Phenomenon: BBS as the underside of Sinhala-Buddhism

http://groundviews.org/2014/04/15/the-mad-monk-phenomenon-bbs-as-the-underside-of-sinhala-buddhism/

 

15 April 2014

Saffron robed destroyers of Sinhala-Buddhism

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=101536

 

11 April 2014

An unholy alliance of Buddhists

http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2014/04/an-unholy-alliance-of-buddhist.html

 

April 2014

Email subject heading circulating amongst ‘intellectuals’ & Colombo elite

 

Yellow robed Jackals of the BBS invade Fatima Church”

 

Aug 2014

Summon Lord Buddha to Geneva – Sharmini Serasinghe

Colombotelegraph

 

Jan 2014

Buddhist Extremists Hope to Attain NIBBANA” by Attacking Muslims, Mosques and Muslim Owned Businesses

http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/24278

 

14 Aug 2013

Buddhist fanatics on the streets

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=80392

Jun 2013

Mad men of Dambulla

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/04/29/the-mad-men-of-dambulla/

 

Aug 2012

 The editors were well aware of the contents of the articles. Yet they published them.

 The newspapers owners were well aware that their newspapers were carrying articles with inappropriate headings, yet they allow such publications.

 The 1964 Press Commission Report is invaluable for its findings remain valid in todays context and highlights the same issues.

 No other minority religion has been called by such names to the extent the Buddhist priests have been subject to, even the Catholic priests who have been linked to LTTE have not been subject to the same denigration despite terror links.

 There were and are no foreign envoys, UN special rapporteurs, UN human rights head, civil society organizations that came out to say that the trend of denigrating the majority Sinhala Buddhists of Sri Lanka via disproportionate media coverage was incorrect, unjustified and unethical. Yet, we ask, is this the freedom with which media should function?

 When these examples are highlighted the easy way out is to claim that  these are attempts to incite ‘racism’ for it affords the perfect excuse to evade responding.

 With the examples given it is for the readers to decide for themselves.

 Shenali D Waduge

 Further reference:

https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/buddhism-bashing-columnists/ 

Buddhists, victims of HATE SPEECH and Media manipulation

August 15th, 2014

Shenali Waduge

They say you cannot fool the people all of the time and the recent announcement by a Minister who thinks he is doing a favour to those he closely associates with is like a blessing in disguise for the real victims of hate speech and the likelihood that it is going to boomerang on the very authors of the proposed hate speech legislation is something they have not yet taken into consideration. Almost 50 years ago the Press Commission Report of 1964 revealed some startling truths on the conduct of the Press and its manipulative activities, which 50 years on remains relevant. Victims of hate speech were and continue to be the Buddhists and there is ample evidence to prove it.

To approach the argument of hate speech we need to re-visit the Report and re-state the golden words contained in para 112, page 56 of the 1964 report of the Commission that was chaired by Justice K D de Silva, Press Commissioner:

If these English language newspapers were sufficiently patriotic they could have made a very useful contribution to bringing about unity among the various communities after the country achieved its independence. They should have advised the minority groups to adapt themselves to the changing circumstances and exhorted the majority to be generous towards the former. They failed to do that. What they consistently did was to poison the minds of the minority groups and encourage them to fight to retain the unjust privileges they had received during the era of foreign domination. ”

In today’s context is the above statement not relevant to the manner in which the private English language mainstream newspapers function?

Taking into consideration the editorial population: –

* How many of these editorial posts are held by Buddhists?
* How many of these newspapers belong to non-Buddhist ownerships?
* Who are the regular columnists and to what ethnicities and religions do they belong to?

* How many articles are regularly featured that denigrate Buddhists through these private English newspapers or subtly attribute the fault at the doorstep of the Buddhists?

Now the answer to the real victims of hate speech becomes easier to comprehend.

Buddhism bashing columnists

The regular columnists appearing in all the private English newspapers are: Anne A (never misses a chance to engage in Sinhala and Buddhism Bashing), Dharisha B, Dushey R, Harim P, Kishali P, Kumar D, Latheef F, Shanie (Notebook), Tisaranee G, Uvindu K, R Philips, Sonali S, Fredrica J, RM Senanayake, Izeth H etc… these articles are then complimented with another set of regular columnists that include Kumar R, Surendra Ajit, Basil F, Nimalika F, Pakisothy, Jehan P, Dayan J. Their writings do not shower praises about the Sinhalese, the Buddhists or their love for the country.

What they write is not their personal opinion either. By virtue of their profession, the allegiance to forums, organizations and other associations they are tasked to denigrate the Buddhists in a plan to project a Mahavansa Mentality” so as to take away the nationalistic pride that the Sinhalese Buddhist possess in view of their heritage and Buddhist civilization. Recolonization and subservience appears to be the goal. We now need to call their bluff.

A closer look will also reveal links to foreign funded organizations most of whom back destabilizing of the nation, distorting history by regularly feeding lies which the English readers come to accept, most linked to non-Buddhist organizations that have a clear plan to demonise and denigrate the Sinhala Buddhists, break their will and confine them to a corner even legislatively by slowly planting their people into key Governmental roles secured by virtue of their English education, contacts that promote their position and because they belong to the fashionable circles of Colombo society.

Thus, Sri Lanka has been accustomed to opening the English newspapers to read headlines that almost always carry fascist Buddhists”, Buddhist extremists”, Sinhala supremacists”, Racist Sinhalese Buddhists” and the list is endless. Some headline names are appalling.

In contrast, how many articles are written that praise the Rajapaksa government or our Buddhist Kings or heroes in our ancient past? The literary achievements of the Sinhalese in the pre-colonial era are hardly covered. And if anyone writes about how nice the roads are in Colombo, or how well the infrastructure is in the North – is that equated to mean that the writers are pro-Rajapaksa? Can people not write about the good things the government does without them being labeled? Do people always have to write like the above columnists painting a sordid picture of a failed state?

What appears to be the difference from then and now is that the THEN” Buddhism bashing or slandering slogans were silently accepted by the majority Buddhists without challenge and thus these hate speeches” had been so commonly used that it did not appear as hate speech” and it was almost as if every article had to use these terminologies to get published. But, the ballgame has now changed. There is a limit to what the people can tolerate or should tolerate. Now, when the Buddhists are demanding fair play and equal platform with right of replies and equality in newspaper coverage in the private English media – the response is to quickly gather the editors and columnists together and project a picture of victimhood using the statistical reality of the population yet ignoring the statistical reality of how the minorities were using the private English media to totally ridicule the Sinhalese Buddhists and generate contempt for them. This is the issue that needs to be highlighted and addressed.

False depiction of Buddhists as intolerant

The 1964 Commission report perfectly summed this up: With regard to the English reading public, the impression has been created that the communal and religious minorities must get together and oppose the Sinhalese Buddhist majority if they are to get any rights at all. The point of view is put forward that the Sinhalese Buddhist majority is intolerant and is trying to deprive the minorities of their rights. As a matter of fact it is not so.’”(PCR para 46, pages 25 -26)

This is further strengthened by Sir Nicholas Attygalle, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ceylon in his evidence who said that he had come across mischievous propaganda against the Sinhalese on his visits to England and USA, and he believed that the source of this false news was our own leading newspapers. (PRC para 49, page 27).

All the columnists mentioned above are regularly quoted internationally – therefore should we be in the least surprised why the world gets a wrong impression of Sri Lanka? Some of them are even invited to international conferences where they tearfully” bemoan the fate of journalists” and the lack of good governance” in Sri Lanka. No one is bold enough to challenge them at the virtuous ways they function!

Insinuations

The challenges therefore are that there are many local journalists who are being funded and sponsored to write against their own country. Most are now located in foreign stations claiming to be victim”. Some of these are able to quickly pack a suitcase and take a flight, get a scholarship and a job while for us the process of visa application, submission of financial statements and sponsorship letters and interview decides whether we are to be given visa or not.

They are paid to use their local knowledge and talent to fabricate lies, create mischief, engage in slander, twist stories and promote disunity among communities through well-funded websites and email campaigns. If we say this is gutter journalism” who can disagree and who will demand freedom of expression for such journalists?

So where in them do we find ethics”?

Take a segment of any private newspapers – browse through the articles published and count the number of articles that ridicule the Buddhists and blame the Sinhalese for all the troubles in Sri Lanka.

Buddhist Channel

The media fraternity that is ever ready to cry foul over freedoms denied may well like to explain why they have selected attacks on what and about whom they write. A good example is how all these years the media kept very silent on Lalith Kotelawala and his corrupt investment activities because they were all part of what was called the kept press”. How many can afford to silence media from publishing news by virtue of how well they can look after” the press? Is press freedom and journalism equated to mean that the English press can laugh at a heritage or be paid to write untruths? Is it unfashionable for them to speak about the Sinhala Buddhist kings who kept the civilization of Sri Lanka together and they would prefer to write more about how many times the Queen sneezes or the DNA of Prince William? As against the pro-West news that dominate the English newspapers how many articles are published about Asian heroes, Asian leaders or their high achievements? Does the media ever attempt to promote links between Sri Lanka and Buddhist Asia? Do we want to belong to the Asian continent? Are we to always follow copy cat type of journalism where we do not create our own niche but replicate what is available in Western news? Do we always have to wait for a Westerner to praise Asia to write about something Asian? The editors of English newspapers in Sri Lanka feel satisfied by running a one page Poya day supplement to argue that equal status to Buddhism is given in a nation that has over 70 per cent Buddhists but are poorly served with a lack of quality feature articles and news stories concerning Buddhist events and Buddhist personalities. The ‘Buddhist Channel’ based in Kuala Lumpur provides a good role model for choice of content.

Discrimination

The discrimination is very visible. The Hate Speech will certainly provide an opportune platform with which to bring out with examples of how not a single editorial was written when Wahhabi gangs in Bangladesh attacked Buddhist temples and destroyed the artefacts, when even the Thai PM’s visit to Sri Lanka was given step-motherly treatment and not a single line was written about the Thai King while she was in Sri Lanka. Juxtapose this was the manner the newspapers were full of articles when the Middle East went on a rampage over a video that the rioters hadn’t even seen!

The situation is really no different in India. The mainstream English media is owned by the Christians and Muslims and when Hindus make their voice the immediate reaction is to claim hate speech” and this was well articulated by Dr. Subramaniam Swamy as well.

No government should think it can throw a lavish cocktail and court media personnel and think they can twist their stories to national advantage. Those that are courted by foreign interests earn far more than what the government can afford to give.

Therefore, the best way to move forward is to properly remedy the problem and that remedy must come in the form of another National Media or Press Commission along the lines of the Justice K D de Silva Press Commission of 1964 where a thorough content analysis can be made of print and electronic media and expose the anti-national, anti-Buddhist, pro-LTTE bias of the media. Hate speech must first target those that created, initiated, and planted the chaos before going after those that react. Those that cause the conflict must be first named and accused.

Witch-hunt

The government which has come to power on the exclusive Buddhist vote must not fall into traps laid by those who support the ‘NGO Chinthanaya’ attempting to slyly promote sinister agendas.

These legislative proposals must be rejected because the country is now beginning to open their eyes and to understand what is taking place. Certainly ‘hate speech’ is welcome for it will enable the Buddhists to come out in their numbers and log complaints with the Police given that they have been the victims of the witch-hunt all these years. It is now time to name and shame. In all matters the playing field must be level – then only there is fair play.

*This article appeared on 20th June in the state run daily News under the title; Buddhists, victims of HATE SPEECH and Media manipulation”

OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka

August 15th, 2014

 Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya, Melbourne Australia

UNOG-OHCHR
The Chairman,
Dear Sir/Madam

Your mandated inquiry into alleged Human Rights Violations is for the period year 2002 to May 19th 2009.

You have exceeded your authority by extending this period 15th of 2011, obviously your intention is to pry into internal affairs of Sri Lanka administration. It has been crystal clear since the conclusion of the brutal conflict in Sri Lanka all UN affiliated organizations have been parroting the concocted allegations against Sri Lanka word to word as they appear on the Tamilnet online forum!

 Your obstinate decision without paying attention to due process makes a mockery of the UNHRC constitution. This action in itself is a violation of your jurisdiction!

 We Sri Lankans vehemently protest not only to this illegal extension of investigative period but also for the whole charade!

 Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya,

Melbourne

Australia

In response to the news bulletin of the 12th Augest 2014 under the caption “Buddhist extremists oppose Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka”

August 15th, 2014

Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya, Melbourne

In response to the news bulletin of the 12th Augest 2014 under the caption “Buddhist extremists oppose Pope’s visit to Sri Lanka” I posted the following.

http://www.ucanews.com/news/sri-lankan-buddhists-up-in-arms-over-papal-visit/71654

If the Holy See has been invited by the Government I don’t think non-Catholics have any objections to that. Buddhists are tolerant; they have been co-existing with all religious denominations in Peace and Harmony for many many years.

Since of late it is becoming obvious that the minority religious groups have started to misappropriate the goodwill that existed between these two groups by capitalizing on the wrath that the West developed against the country since Sri Lanka went on to annihilate the LTTE movement regardless of Western interference at the last phase of the conflict!

Sri Lanka was plundered of her riches, Buddhist Temples flattened to the ground and churches built on the sites, Buddhist Monks were slaughtered and Buddhist literature burnt by Dutch, Portuguese, English and Catholism was indoctrinated compulsorily.

Therefore anyone has the right to demand for compensation for all the devastation in the past, be it BBS or anyone else!

Sri Lanka is festooned with anti Sri Lankan NGOs indirectly funded by the LTTE coffers. Naturally they are infested with Traitors”, who are ready to sell their mother if the price is right!

The Government currently has appointed a committee to inquire into the issue of missing persons. If a meeting was called to discuss this issue, the correct procedure would have been to go to this committee instead of conducting a separate  meeting with journos, Embassy reps, Nuns, Priests, human rights activists, lawyers & lay people. Looking at the calibre of those present would put a doubt in any sane mind as to the real nature of this meeting; whether another episode for Ch4 is being concocted here. Or is it a coaching session in readyness for the international investigation on Sri Lanka by UNHRC.

There was no conflict between Sinhalese and Tamils; it is only a conflict between Sri Lankans Vs brutal LTTE movement. It has become a famous slogan to say Sinhalese/ Tamil conflict purposely to tarnish the Sinhala Buddhist name by every English newspaper and the anti-Buddhist groups. For the heck of it, if a census of those who joined the forces to fight the LTTE terrorists is taken, one might be surprised to note the percentage of the non-Buddhists. Fortunately, patriotic Catholics in Sri Lanka believe that some radical Catholic groups are working against Sri Lanka thus tarnishing the good image of the

Vajiragnana Warnakulasuriya,

Melbourne


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