Appoint a Parliamentary Committee to evaluate the OHCHR Report before deciding on further investigations

October 24th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

 One of the biggest fallacies in Sri Lanka is to get excited by false propaganda manipulated through print/electronic media that has misled public officials, government & opposition ministers including the general public. Let’s not get caught again to any further traps. Another mistake has been the lack of preparation by those representing Sri Lanka and their inability to prepare Sri Lanka’s defence and counter plans. As a sovereign nation we must stand for the rights of our nation and our people and defend those that defend the nation. Since previously we had been fooled by various diplomat juggernauts and googleys that avoided our right to question the legality of the UNHRC Resolutions, the legality of UNSG using a personally mandated panel report as basis for investigations and thereafter having held an investigation now calling for another hybrid investigation, it is time Sri Lanka says ‘wait a minute, we want to analyse the last investigation by international experts and see if there is any basis to hold another investigation’. So far other than hysterical rants and LTTE-paid films there is nothing to prove genocide and even after 6 years none of those pointing fingers have been able to come up with names of the dead or even the skeletons!

 As things stand the public of Sri Lanka are annoyed and they have every right to be. The soldiers and military are also angry. The world was well informed of Sri Lanka’s military option. The Consultative Committee which met every week were appraised by the Defense Secretary and the Military of the progress made and notes on the disbursement of food, medicines and other essentials have been given and are on record. ICRC must be asked to make public these reports as well as the complaints made against the LTTE by the Tamil people. Where is the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission reports of 2002. These need to be made public too detailing the violations committed by LTTE.

 LTTE had been carrying out murders and mayhem for 3 decades. Where was the UN and the International Community? Did they come forward and demand an end to the chaos? NO. All they suggested was to talk with the tigers. That didn’t help at all and the killings continued unabated.

 So why has the UN and the IC come into action when the LTTE was defeated? Good question but they wont give any answers. Moreover, they are insisting that the investigations should be confined to only the last 3 months totally ignoring 30 years of terror. What is also hurtful is that the UN and IC feels the only victims are the Tamils what about the Sinhalese and the Muslims. The NGOs make repeated reference to genocide and colonization why have they never mentioned the ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese and Muslims from the North some of whom have been living in the North before independence?

 LTTE fought with sophisticated weapons purchased from overseas via the LTTE fronts that are now banned but freely operating from the very nations that have banned LTTE. That is quite strange but then the leaders of these organizations are VVIP guests inside the UN/UNHRC and hobnob with the UN & diplomats. No one seems to want to investigate how the LTTE were supplied material support for their killings.

 The LTTE were given 3 opportunities to lay down arms and surrender. They refused. In fact they even claimed the people were with them voluntarily. This was confirmed by C4’s star ‘witness’ LTTE cadre Vany Kumar who said the people did not wish to leave the LTTE.  That claim has been negated by the manner scores of Tamils who had been shot by LTTE trying to escape.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waoUnN3NIHQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yPl_sGpe3js

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQwuX1nlVWc

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6_qC0YrBIQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2vHs8CwteM

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

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

 
There are some stories that never get highlighted….http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2013/05/19/from-sheer-hatred-to-stark-reality/
In May 2009 Sri Lanka’s military ended 30 years of LTTE terror. If US & the world could celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden responsible for just 1 attack why cannot Sri Lanka celebrate the end of the LTTE that had committed over 300 suicide attacks? We should feel no embarrassment for celebrating whatever Ban Ki Moon’s speech writer terms as ‘triumphalism’.

 If the US / UK and NATO can defy UN Charter and militarily intervene and lie to the world and occupy nations and the UN and Ban Ki Moon as well as the UNHRC are chicken to take action against these nations, just because Sri Lanka is a small island nation we should uphold our pride and not squirm in front of bullies. LTTE were given ample chances to surrender. They did not and the fight concluded with a victor and a loser. There is no point crying over spoilt milk now.

 Thereafter because Sri Lanka’s officials and heads were too meek to take the challenge and ask the right questions a lot of illegalities and irregularities have taken place resulting in resolutions and investigations. The PoE described LTTE as ‘disciplined’ and quotes from LTTE sources. PoE experts are regular invitees to LTTE front events and are referred to as ‘comrades’ (Sooka).

 However, the last investigation by 3 international experts is the one that should be the focus of the government. This 260 page report needs to be evaluated for credible evidence that warrants another investigation. How many investigations is Sri Lanka to hold until the West is satisfied or has been able to buy time to frame charges that would fix the people they are angry with for ending a very lucrative terrorist network that gave them diplomatic and economic leverage.

 Sri Lanka’s leaders whatever color of party need to realize that their political relevance comes from the confidence the public have in them. They can be the darlings of the West but when the people despise their actions they cannot rule the country with ease. Therefore, any government should not fall for traps that are being laid out and the most sensible thing at this juncture is to before jumping and agreeing to what the West is dictating, instead to appoint a very high profile committee comprising members of the ruling and Opposition and give them the investigation report and ask them to summarize and analyse the findings and submit their recommendations on how Sri Lanka should proceed.

  1. Appoint a Parliamentary Select Committee to analyse the OHCHR Report & the OHCHR Heads recommendations
  2. Committee to recommend how Sri Lanka should proceed
  3. Until Committee studies and makes its recommendations, the Sri Lankan Govt, the SL Foreign Ministry should not make any commitments about holding any type of investigation (domestic or international / with our without international advisors/lawyers etc)
  4. What we want to know from the Committee is whether the OHCHR international investigation by international experts have produced any evidence to warrant a further investigation
  5. If the OHCHR has not provided reasonable grounds or established a prima facie case there is no requirement for Sri Lanka to hold any type of investigation whatsoever.
  6. If any soldier(s) have been functioning outside of their line of command the Sri Lankan Military court can hold a trial and deem the soldier(s) guilty of any offence (if there is sufficient proof) and military court punishment can be given as is done elsewhere.
    So let’s stop the hysterics. Get back to fundamentals and start by first evaluating what the OHCHR report claims to produce and see if there is a prima facie case against Sri Lanka. If not, just shove it into the waste paper basket and tell UN/UNHRC to try another stunt.

    Shenali D Waduge

Sir Desmond’s opinion: Prof. Peiris alleges attempt to confuse public

October 24th, 2015

Courtesy The Island

Former External Affairs Minister, Prof. G. L. Peiris yesterday alleged that an attempt was being made to confuse the public regarding an opinion expressed by Sir Desmond de Silva on the issue of wartime accountability.

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Prof. Peiris said: “There is an opinion by Sir Desmond de Silva, QC which was submitted to the Commission on Missing Persons. This is an opinion which was published in the Oct 18 issue of The Island.

This opinion is exceedingly useful for the purpose of establishing that no form of criminal liability can be imposed on armed forces of Sri Lanka for any action by them during the closing stages of the war.

The gist of this opinion is that the armed forces acted entirely within the parameters of established principles of international humanitarian law and international human rights law.

Sir Desmond de Silva specifically concludes: ‘It is my opinion that a war crime cannot be ascribed to the government’.

Sir Desmond in his legal opinion refers to the context in which the armed forces were compelled to take action. He says ‘it was occasioned in the process of the security forces fighting to overwhelm and defeat the LTTE who had taken hostages in such large numbers that this may well be considered to be one of the largest hostage takings in history. The stakes were colossal, considering that the hostages were being murdered if they tried to escape. The end result of saving some 290,000 hostage lives and the defeat of the ruthless LTTE were legitimate military and humanitarian objectives”.

Sir Desmond goes on to state that the action by the armed forces ‘wholly consistent with the humanitarian imperatives that prevailed at that grim time.’

Prof. Peiris: “We are totally at a loss to understand why this material which is obviously of the greatest value in protecting the country’s armed forces is being suppressed by the government. It should receive the widest possible exposure. Sir Desmond’s opinion contains a wealth of legal considerations which rule out any blame or culpability on the part of our security forces. This should have been placed fairly and squarely before the UNHRC and the member states.

Far from conceding any criminal responsibility involving the armed forces and talking of measures to ensure ‘non-recurrence’, the government should have taken it upon itself to demonstrate before the bar of world opinion that our armed forces acted as they should have done in a manner entirely permitted by international law to rid this country of terrorism’.

Initiatives for migrants under Sri Lanka’s leadership of the Colombo Process commended at Cairo Meeting

October 24th, 2015

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva

Initiatives for migrants from the Asian region taken under Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship of the Colombo Process (CP) was commended at the Fifth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration (RCPs). The global meeting organized by the International Organization on Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the League of Arab States, brought together representatives of 18 Regional Migration Processes as well as 14 civil society organizations, and was held in Cairo, Egypt, 21-22 October 2015.

The Sri Lanka delegation comprised Mr.G.S. Withanage Secretary of Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Mr. Isantha Dasanayake of the Ministry of  Foreign Employment.

Detailing the progress made during Sri Lanka period as Chair-in-Office over the past 2 years, Secretary Withanage observed that Sri Lanka spearheaded a Strategic Vision/Road map that sought to strengthen engagement with countries of destination under the theme “International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together”. He said the five main thematic areas of focus were; to Develop a Qualification Recognition Processes including transnational accreditation and  monitoring,  to pomote Cheaper, Faster & Safer Transfer of Remittances, Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices (including promoting Standard Employment Contracts), Effective Pre-departure Orientation & Empowerment, and Enhancing capacities of the Colombo Process participating countries to track labour market trends and the setting up of the Colombo Process Migration Resource Centre (CPMRC) in support of CP goals.

Seeking to ensure tangible benefits accrue to the membership of the CP, through Cooperation within the Abu-Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) in order to enhance cooperation with destination countries in the Gulf region, and to enhance the CP’s cooperation with the EU with a view to secure greater labour market access. Conscious of the need to strengthen the synergies between international migration and development at the global, regional and national levels, due recognition was also given to migration as a priority in the post-2015 development agenda. The CP was also working towards enhancing cooperation between the CP and the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and other migration related forums. The CP has also devoted considerable effort to develop a self-funding mechanism that will ensure predictability and regularity of CP activities and meetings.

Secretary Withanage added that the CP is scheduled to have its third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) on 4 – 5 November 2015 in Colombo, where it will take stock of the progress achieved in the five thematic areas under Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship and discuss how to further the implementation of the other areas of cooperation.

 

Foreign involvement in mechanism a political decision – Paranagama

October 23rd, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

The Chairman of Sri Lanka’s three-member probe commission says that certain isolated incidents that may have occurred outside the activities of the war should be investigated in depth to come to conclusion.

He said that whether to permit foreign involvement in the mechanism, more than observing, is a political decision. “Those are political decisions we never wanted to tread,” Maxwell Paranagama told Ada Derana in an interview.

The Paranagama report, which was presented to Parliament on Tuesday, is relevant to the commission’s second mandate which is to inquire into violations of international human rights law during the last phase of the war, the period from January 01 to May 18, 2009.

“In this report we have set out in detail how the international laws become applicable into these incidents,” he said.

Thereafter we have set out in detail the incidents that occurred through both the security forces and the LTTE during the phase of the war and analyze them, he said.

“We also have set out where on the face of evidence we received and also other evidence from various material where you can accept certain wrongs have been accepted without much investigation.”

But there were a few incidents that were of very public importance, incidents like the Channel 4 video, the white flag case and surrendees going missing, Mr Paranagama.

“Those are isolated incidents that may have occurred outside the activities of the war which we say they should be investigated in depth to come to conclusion,” he said.

“At no time have we come to conclusion those wrongs have been committed by our security forces. We can also say security forces always acted for the safety of civilians. They took all precautions. They created No Fire Zones. They always acted in defence of the civilians. Sometimes they had to shoot to save civilians. In the midst of this crossfire some civilians may have died.”

“We have applied that humanitarian principle proportionality and we have analyzed to what extent it can be justified in regard to the number that may have died and what the army achieved by doing so,” he added.

“I could say we have set out a balanced report also when you overall take into consideration our forces have done a humanitarian operation sometimes you cannot have nil casualties because it’s a war with both sides dealing with arms.”

“We have also suggested a mechanism,” he said, adding that if someone had done wrong – be they LTTE or our security forces – “how they can go through a process of freeing themselves.”

“We have said setup a special High Court so that if some soldier is alleged to have committed crime may go before the High Court and proving his innocence by going through the process of law,” he said.

“At the same time we have recommended to set up a truth commission where if anybody – LTTE or security forces – can go before the truth commission and say ‘I did this wrong under these circumstances please have amnesty.’ So the truth commission will consider.”

“Putting into operation what we have suggested is not a difficult task.” We have recommended the process, he said.

Speaking on the 2011 report of the US Secretary-General’s Panel of Experts on Accountability in Sri Lanka, he said that: “We have been critical of the Darusman report but there are instances we have accepted some of those things said.”

“The Darusman report specifically says 40,000 died during the last phase of the war. We have said it is without any basis. In this matter the commission went through many sources to find out what the correct number of death during the last phase of the war.”

He stated that all the data and statistics the commission has analyzed point to a figure of about 7,000.

“To be honest about it even considering this we can’t come to an exact number but considering all these facts we can definitely say it is not 40,000 as set out in the Darusman report.”

Meditation Interventions for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

October 23rd, 2015

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a clinical syndrome that may develop following extreme traumatic stress (APA). It is an important, albeit relatively uncommon, consequence of exposure to traumatic events (Greenberg, Brooks & Dunn, 2015) presumably the result of life threats and conditioned fear (Ramage et al., 2015).

According to the DSM-IVTR (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual from the American Psychological Association, 2000) the symptoms of PTSD include: a) re-experiencing the traumatic event through intrusive memories, flashbacks, nightmares, and physiological responses similar to when the traumatic event was occurring b) avoidance and numbing such as avoiding situations and people that remind them of the trauma, amnesia for trauma related information, loss of interest in activities, social and emotional detachment, emotional numbing especially for feelings associated with intimacy, and feelings of a limited future; and c) increased arousal manifested by angry outbursts, problems sleeping, problems concentrating or completing tasks, exaggerated startle response, and hypervigilance.

PTSD is a global health issue (Tanielian, 2009; Jindani, ‎2015) and alleged to be associated with high rates of concurrent psychological disorders (Keane &, Wolfe, 1990) and highly impairing condition (Kessler, 2000). Patients with post-traumatic stress disorder have complex and multiple symptoms (Hawkins et al., 2015) causing significant economic and social burden.

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) develops in approximately 20% of people exposed to a traumatic event (Freedman et al., 2015). PTSD is more prevalent in females than in males: typically about twice the rate (Jaycox et al., 2004). PTSD affects 7-8% of the general U.S. population at some point during their lifetime (Gates et al., 2012). The prevalence rate of lifetime PTSD in Canada was estimated to be 9.2%, with a rate of current (1-month) PTSD of 2.4% (Van Ameringen et al., 2008). According to the Canadian Forces Mental Health Survey (2013) 5.3 per cent of soldiers reported experiencing PTSD.

Risk factors for PTSD in adults vary across studies. The 3 factors identified as having relatively uniform effects are 1) preexisting psychiatric disorders, 2) a family history of disorders, and 3) childhood trauma (Breslau, 2002). According to Kessler et al (1995) the risk of developing PTSD after a traumatic event is 8.1% for men and 20.4% for women.

Patients with PTSD have a severe clinical profile. Therefore treating patients suffering from PTSD pose significant challenges. Pharmacologic and psychotherapeutic interventions are indicated for the treatment of PTSD.

A variety of psychotherapy treatments have been developed for PTSD (Schäfer & Najavits, 2007) and psychological interventions play an important role (Bisson & Andrew, 2007). Among the psychological interventions meditation has been recognized as one of the effective modes. Meditation is an empirically-validated treatment for PTSD. A growing body of evidence suggests meditation-based interventions have the potential to reduce symptoms and improve well-being (Mitchell et al., 2014; Seppälä et al., 2014).

Meditation is a mind-body practice. Meditation is an essential element in all of the world’s major contemplative spiritual and philosophical traditions (Walsh, 1999; Shapiro, 2008). According to Manocha (2000) meditation is a discrete and well-defined experience of a state of “thoughtless awareness” or mental silence, in which the activity of the mind is minimized without reducing the level of alertness. Walsh and Shapiro (2006) described meditation as self-regulation practices that aim to bring mental processes under voluntary control through focusing attention and awareness.

Effects of meditation on health are based on the principle of mind-body connection and there is a growing body of literature showing the efficacy of meditation on various health related problems (Hussain & Bhushan, 2010). Mind-body practices are increasingly used in the treatment of PTSD and are associated with positive impacts on stress-induced illnesses such as depression and PTSD in most existing studies (Kim et al., 2013). As described by Cloitre et al (2011) meditation has been identified as an effective second-line approach for emotional, attentional, and behavioral (e.g., aggression) disturbances in PTSD. Lang and team (2012) further suggest that meditation as an intervention for PTSD.

Anapanasati meditation or mindfulness of breathing meditation can be used to treat PTSD. Deo and colleagues (2015) emphasize that breathing is an exquisite tool for exploring subtle awareness of mind and life itself. Mindfulness of breathing helps to oxygenate the body and reduce stress and anxiety. Breathing interventions have boosted emotion regulatory processes in healthy populations (Arch & Craske ,  2006; Seppälä et al., 2014). Sack, Hopper, Lamprecht and Low (2004) indicate that breathing-based meditation practices may be beneficial for PTSD. Seppälä and team (2014) reported that breathing-based meditation decreased posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms in U.S. military veterans.

Mindfulness meditation which is a non-concentrative technique helps individuals to cultivate awareness and acceptance of all mental events (Steinberg & Eisner, 2015). The term “mindfulness” has been used to refer to a psychological state of awareness, a practice that promotes this awareness, a mode of processing information, and a characterological trait (Davis & Hayes, 2011). Germer et al (2005) defines mindfulness as moment-by-moment awareness. The evidence concur that mindfulness helps to develop effective emotion regulation in the brain (Siegel,   2007; Davis & Hayes, 2011).

Mindfulness is associated with low levels of neuroticism, anxiety, and depressive symptoms, as well as high levels of self-esteem and satisfaction with life (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Tanner et al., 2009). Mindfulness meditation is indicated in PTSD. Follett, Palm and Pearson (2006) discuss positive outcome on trauma survivors after using Mindfulness. Furthermore Christelle et al (2014) suggest mindfulness meditation for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.

Vedananupassana meditation or awareness of sensations and feelings is a form of mindfulness meditation which is useful in the treatment of PTSD. Chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) commonly co-occur in the aftermath of a traumatic event (Palyo & Beck, 2005) In addition chronic pain and PTSD are mutually maintaining conditions (Sharp & Harvey, 2001) and pain sensations can trigger PTSD symptoms. People with chronic pain and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder report poorer quality of life (Morascoet al., 2013). Vedananupassana meditation is beneficial in alleviating pain in the individuals with PTSD.

Loving-kindness meditation (LKM) is a practice designed to enhance feelings of kindness and compassion for self and others (Kearney et al., 2013). Self-compassion is considered a promising change agent in the treatment of PTSD (Hoffart , Øktedalen   & Langkaas , 2015). Kearney et al., (2014) conducted Loving-kindness meditation pilot study with 42 veterans impacted by active PTSD and found increased positive emotions among them. According to Kearney and colleagues (2013) loving-kindness meditation appeared safe and acceptable and was associated with reduced symptoms of PTSD and depression. According to Hinton et al (2013) LKM has potential for increasing emotional flexibility, decreasing rumination, serving as emotional regulation techniques, and forming part of a new adaptive processing mode centered on psychological flexibility.

Research has shown that transcendental meditation (TM) can be an effective technique to treat PTSD. Transcendental Meditation (TM) is derived from ancient yogic teachings (Lansky et al, 2006) and it is an effortless purely mental technique (Rees, 2011) and this technique falls within the category of “automatic self-transcending” because the practice allows the mind to effortlessly settle inward, beyond thought, to experience the source of thought, pure awareness ( Travis & Shear ,2010). Chhatre et al (2013) describe TM as a behavioral stress reduction program that incorporates mind-body approach, and has demonstrated effectiveness in improving outcomes via stress reduction.

Rees, Travis, Shapiro and Chant (2013) indicate that reduction in posttraumatic stress symptoms in Congolese refugees practicing transcendental meditation. Rosenthal and colleagues (2011) highlight the successful use of TM meditation on the veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom with posttraumatic stress disorder. Furthermore Orme-Johnson and Barnes (2014) elucidate anxiety reduction effect of TM meditation.

Conclusion

Meditation is an important part of health and spiritual practice. It is a form of mental exercise that has an extensive therapeutic value. There are three major types of meditative practices: mindfulness, transcendental meditation and compassion meditation. There is evidence to suggest that meditation can be used to treat PTSD. Studies demonstrated that meditation is associated with reductions in PTSD symptoms and improve quality of life. Therefore meditation-based approaches are indicated in the treatment of PTSD.

Acknowledgements

 

  • Rev Harispaththuwe Ariyawansalankara Thero – Vipassana Meditation Center Colombo Sri Lanka
  • David R. Leffler, PhD Executive Director Center for Advanced Military Science (CAMS) Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy   Iowa   USA
  • Fred Travis – Post Doctoral Fellow, University of California, Davis, in Basic Sleep Research

 

 

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THE RSS ‘PARIVAR’

October 23rd, 2015

ALI SUKHANVER

The Article 370 of the Indian constitution gives a special status to Jammu and Kashmir and this privileged status is not acceptable to the Hindu extremists in any case. According to the India Today RSS had set four Hindutva conditions for supporting Modi before his selection as the Prime Minister of India. ‘Modi has been made to pledge to building a grand Ram Temple in Ayodhya. He has also been urged to enforce the contentious Uniform Civil Code across the country. He is asked to press for a repeal of Article 370. If done, it will take away the special status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir. He is asked to take steps for the protection of cows,’ says the paper. So the importance and value of this article 370 could easily be estimated by the demands set by the RSS. Mr. Modi has been very honest and sincere in fulfilling the conditions imposed by the RSS since after his appointment as the Prime Minister of India.

Mr. Modi is very much conservative and staunch in his religious concepts. He is very sincere and honest to the Hindutva philosophy and it is nothing unexpected if he co-operates with the RSS in its plans of crushing the minorities for making India a real Hindu state. On 14th October 2015, the Congress leader Rita Bahuguna Joshi in a statement alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was carrying forward the agenda of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), which is to divide the nation and to seek power. Talking to ANI Joshi said, ‘”It is the double speak of the party. Mr. Modi cannot wash his hands off. This is a Fascist ideology, supported by the BJP and Narendra Modi. He is carrying forward the agenda of RSS. The political agenda of the RSS is to divide the nation and to remain in power and to seek power and I think he is badly exposed.’

All words and actions of Mr. Modi are a proof that he is very much committed to the philosophy followed by the RSS. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, commonly known as the RSS is an organization which claims to struggle for giving India back its lost identity as a Hindu state. The RSS was founded in 1925 as an anti-colonial organization. It promotes a fundamentally different vision that draws on a mix of Hindu legends and ancient Indian history, when the subcontinent was home to some of the world’s most advanced civilizations.

The Reuters has recently published a report with the title, ‘Battling for India’s soul, state by state’. According to that report an ascendant Hindu nationalist group wants minority Muslims and Christians to accept that India is a nation of Hindus, and is pushing some of them to convert. An election in the volatile state of West Bengal has become a prime target in its game plan. The move against the Muslim and Christian minorities in India is being fully supported and supervised by the RSS. A few days back, RSS General Secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said talking to the media, “Hindustan means land of Hindus; so anyone living here is automatically a Hindu first.” RSS Joint General Secretary Dattatreya Hosabale told Reuters, “We would want the BJP to win all the state elections because only then can significant social, political and cultural changes take place in this country.” In short the RSS is planning to start something like a civil war against the minority Muslims and Christians in India. How long this war continues and what would be the ultimate outcome of this war; no one knows but one thing is very much clear that RSS is dreaming of changing the secular society of India into a Hindu extremist society. Unfortunately the RSS is enjoying a very strong support of the Indian Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Since after Mr. Modi taking charge has come into power, life for the Muslims and the Christians in India has become very difficult. The Foreign Policy says in its recent issue, ‘Subramanian Swamy, a senior BJP leader from the southern state of Tamil Nadu, declared in a speech this March that mosques, unlike temples, are not holy places and thus can be demolished. Two days later, the BJP chief minister of the northern state of Haryana announced that the teaching of the Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu holy text, would become mandatory throughout the state. A number of churches were vandalized. A 71-year-old nun in the eastern state of West Bengal was gang-raped. And the beef-ban movement was spreading to new states.’ The BJP, the RSS and Mr. Modi, all follow the same philosophy; crush the minorities. Last March The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh during its three-day Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha made it clear that no one from the RSS ‘parivar’ should work against the interests of the Narendra Modi government. And what are the interests of the Modi government, everyone knows well.

Bush-Cheney redux: Obama’s killer drone program and other crimes exposed!

October 23rd, 2015

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

Barack Obama has taken Australia’s most important ally further along the despised Bush-Cheney regime’s morally-bankrupt path of trashing international law, regime change, extra-judicial murder and war crimes.

The most egregious and disturbing of Obama’s crimes has been exposed by investigative-reporting website The Intercept, founded by Glenn Greenwald and others, which on 15 October published “The Drone Papers”. These comprise eight articles concerning America’s use of drone attacks in its post-9/11 wars, based upon leaked documents showing that President Obama, from his earliest days in office, ran a global assassination program from the White House Situation Room that killed thousands of people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Up to 90 percent of the estimated 5,000 victims of this mass-murder program were not even on Obama’s personally-signed target lists! They were classified as terrorists and enemy combatants post mortem to cover up the magnitude of Obama’s crimes. Australia is directly implicated in this criminal program, through the Pine Gap signals intelligence facility in the Northern Territory, which targets the drone strikes with its tracking technology.

On Sunday, The New York Times Magazine published a lengthy reprisal of Seymour Hersh’s May 2015 exposé of the 2011 murder of Osama bin Laden, the first prominent American media coverage of the real story. To boost his re-election prospects, Obama, his then-counterterrorism advisor John Brennan, and others in his inner circle, blatantly lied about the circumstances of the raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan, fabricating an elaborate Hollywood-style fable touting the CIA’s sleuth work. In truth, a Pakistani officer had walked in years earlier and traded the precise location of the Al Qaeda leader for US$25 million. The White House also covered up the role of the Saudis, who for years paid for bin Laden’s safekeeping under the watchful eye of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence service (ISI).

Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières—MSF) has released new evidence that the US Air Force had deliberately bombed their hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 22 patients and staff, and had then sent in heavy vehicles to plough over the evidence. An unnamed Pentagon source has confirmed that MSF had “done everything right” in documenting the location of the hospital so it was placed on an “off-limits” list of hospitals, schools and mosques—sites never to be attacked, even if there were Al-Qaeda or Taliban fighters present. It may be relevant that the bombing in Kunduz came after MSF had vowed to fight to defeat Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership deal, because it would deny life-saving generic drugs to half a billion poor people around the world. MSF has demanded an independent investigation as provided by the Geneva Conventions to preclude a cover-up.

Finally, anticipating Hillary Clinton’s 22 October appearance before the House Select Committee investigating the 11 September 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya,the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) aired a documentary on 18 October charging Obama, along with (in their roles at the time) Secretary of State Clinton, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, with lying to the American people about the assault in which US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other American officials were killed. The ABC broadcast mirrored Lyndon LaRouche and Jeffrey Steinberg’s December 2012 National Press Club briefing, proving that Obama and Clinton knew even as the attack was underway that it was no “spontaneous demonstration” against the slandering of the Prophet Mohammed in a YouTube video, but a premeditated, heavily-armed assault by Libyan Al-Qaeda affiliates. The ABC also interviewed former Congressman Peter Hoekstra, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in 2004-07, who charged that Obama had betrayed Libyan leader Qadaffi—an ally in the war against Islamist terrorists since 2003—and had trained and armed the very terrorists who carried out the Benghazi slaughter.

Like those of his despised predecessor, Obama’s actions reflect on America’s allies, including Australia. While Lyndon LaRouche and other patriotic Americans who are determined to restore their republic to constitutional rule seek to impeach Obama for his crimes, Australians should demand our government cease Pine Gap’s involvement with the drone murder program, as former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser called for in 2014, and end all cooperation with Anglo-American wars and other actions that are in breach of international law.

යස-පාලන කැලෑසිය

October 23rd, 2015

ධර්මන් වික‍්‍රමරත්න

දෙමුහුන් ආණ්ඩුවට අදට දින 286කි. දින 100ක් ඇතුළත ගෙනෙන බවට පොරොන්දුවූ තොරතුරු දැනගැනීමේ පනත තවමත් හමස් පෙට්ටියේය. හිටපු ත්‍රිවිධ හමුදාපතිවරන් ප්‍රශ්ණ කිරීම සදහා එෆ්.සී.අයි.ඩීයට කැදවා ඇති බව ජනාධිපති දැකගන්නේ පත්තරයෙනි. ඩුබායි බැංකුවල සල්ලි සැඟවීම තවත් දිය කිඳුරි කථාවකි. රුපියල් ලක්ෂ 30ක් වැයකර වැලිඅමුණ සකස්කල එයාර් ලංකා සමාගමේ දූෂණ වාර්තාවෙන්  හඬ ඇත. නඩුද නැත. ඖෂධ මාෆියාවේ කතාව දැන් වාදනයකර තැටියද පළුදුවී ඇත. රාජපක්ෂ රෙජිමයේ බේබිලා ලඟ තිබුණායැයි කියූ හෙලිකොප්ටර් නැත. රත්තරන් අස්පයින්ද හමු නොවීය. ලැම්බෝගිනි වාෂ්ප වී ගොසිනි. රගර් හාදයාගේ මෘත දේහය ගොඩ ගැනීමට තිබූ හදිසිය පරික්ෂණ වලට නැත. වැරදිකර ඇති සියල්ලන්ටම දඬුවම් ලැබිය යුතුය. ඒ පළිගැනීමක් ලෙස නොවේ. කර ඇති වරදට දඬුවමක් වශයෙනි. එවිට පසුවට රටේ වැරදි සිදුවීම අවම වනු ඇත.

බලය ලැබීමට පෙර දේශප්‍රේමය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනි සිටි වරාය ඇමති අර්ජුන රණතුංග බලය ලැබුණාට පසු දැන් පෙනී සිටින්නේ සහෝදර ප්‍රේමය වෙනුවෙනි. ශ්‍රී ලංකා ක්‍රිකට් ආයතනයේ ප්‍රධාන විධායක වශයෙන් සිටියදී තීරුබදු රහිත මෝටර් රථයක හුටපටයකට ඉවත්වීමට සිදුවූ ඇමති අර්ජුනගේ සහෝදරයාවන ධම්මික රණතුංග දැන් වරාය අධිකාරියේ සභාපතිය. “අයියණ්ඩි, මම උ‍ඹේ මලයණ්ඩි… රටෙන් නෝණ්ඩි වූවාට කම් නැත. පවුලට සලකන විදිය මම පෙන්වන්නම්” කියා ඇමති අර්ජුන කීවාද දන්නේ නැත. හෙඩ් වැටුනත් ටේල් වැටුනත් අලුත් ආණ්ඩුවේ දසත ඔඩුදුවා ගිය අපූරු සහෝදර ප්‍රේමය ඉදිරිපිට ‘යහපාලන’ ටොයියන්ට ඇපත් නැත. ගරු සරු දේශපාලනයකට මහත් හොරුන්ට එරෙහිව ගම්ප‍හින් පැමිණි කැප්ටන් කූල් දැන් හිට් විකට්ය. වරායේ හොරු ඇල්ලීමට පත්කල කමිටුවේ වාර්තාව අයියාට දැන් ඇමති මලයා විසින් කියා දිය හැකිය. ඇමති අර්ජුනගේ අමාතාංශයේ තවත් තනතුරු දුසිම් දෙකකට ආසන්න ගණනක් පත්කර ඇත්තේ ඥාතීන් සහ හිතවතුන්ය.

නැගෙනහිර ආණ්ඩුකාර ඔස්ටින් ප්‍රනාන්දු‍ගේ බෑනාද ලන්ඩන් මහකොමසාරිස් කාර්යාලයේ කොන්සල්වරයෙකු ලෙස සේවයට අද හෙටම ගියහොත් එයද පුදුමයක් නොවේ. පවුලට සැලකීම ආසියානු රටවල සම්ප්‍රදායකි. ඉන්දික කරුණාජීව, චමින්ද කුලරත්න සහ සේපාල රත්නායක එම තනතුරේ සිටියානම් ආණ්ඩුකාරයාගේ බෑනාටද එය අකැප නැත. ජනතාවට දුක රෙජිම් චේන්ජ් කියා කීවාට යන්නේ කකුළුවා ගිය පාරේම වීමය.

මහාමාර්ග සහ උසස් අධ්‍යාපන අමාත්‍යාංශය දැන් ඇත්තේ එකටය. නමටම ගැලෙපෙන පරිදි සරසවි සිසුන් දැන් මහපාරේය. ඒ අන්තරේ විරෝධතා පා ගමන් හරහාය. රුහුණේ සිට මාතරටය. සෞන්දර්යයයේ සිට කොටුවටය. කැළණියේ සිට කිරිබත්ගොඩටය. රජරට කෘෂි පීඨයේ සිට අනුරාධපුරටය. පේරාදෙණිය සරසවියේ සිට මහනුවරටය. ඒ මාළඹේ පෞද්ගලික සරසවිය අහෝසි කරන ලෙස ඉල්ලමිනි. ඇමති ලක්ෂ්මන් කිරිඇල්ලට දැන් වැඩ වැඩිය. කොළඹ හතේ වෛද්‍ය ශිවා සින්නතම්බි සරසවි සිසු කාන්තා නේවාසිකාගාරයක් සදහා රජයට පැවරූ දේපල සාප්පු සංකීර්ණයකට බදුදී ඇත. එහි තිබූ වටිනා දේපොලද අතුරුදහන්ය. චූදිත ‘යහපාලන’ ඇමතිවරයා සිටින්නේ සීට් 5ක් අතේ දුරිනි. උසස් අධ්‍යාපන ඇමති කිරිඇල්ල ඒ පිළිබදව උඩින් නෝ කථාය. යටින් මෝ සිනාය. ගෙදර ගියොත් අඹු නසීය. මඟ සිටියොත් තෝ නසීය කියන්නේ ඒවාය.

රාජ්‍ය සහ නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමතිවරුන් පත්කර මාස 2ක් ගියද ඉන් සමහරකට තවමත් තමන්ට අයත් කාර්යභාරයන් සහ විෂය පථය මෙන්ම ප්‍රතිපාදනද නැත. අමාත්‍යාංශයට පැමිණ වැඩකිරීමට කාර්යාලයක්ද නැති බැවින් නිකරුණේ කාලය ගත කරති. තමාට සහ කාර්ය මණ්ඩලයට වාහන, වැටුප සහ දීමනා ලබාගැනීමට අවශ්‍ය හෙයින් අමාත්‍යාංශ ලේකම් වෙත ගොස් ලිඛිතව පත්වීම් පමණක් භාරගෙන තිබේ. සෙත්සිරිපායේ පමණක් එක් රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍යාංශයක කාර්යාල කුලිය පමණක් මාසිකව රුපියල් ලක්ෂ හතළිහකි. නිකරුණේ කාලය ගත කරන ඇමතිවරයෙකුගේ පෞද්ගලික කාර්ය මණ්ඩලයට මාසිකව වැය වන මුදලද ලක්ෂ 15කට අධිකය. කැබිනට් ඇමති මහින්ද සමරසිංහගේ විෂය පථයට යටත්ව තිබූ මාළඹේ සිලිට් ආයතනයද අහිමිවී ඇත. විදේශ කටයුතු අමාතාංශයේ ඉහළ නිලධාරින් 8ක් ඇතුළු 13 දෙනෙකු ලබන සතියේ එම තනතුරුවලින් ඉවතට විසිවනු ඇත. විදේශ අමාතාංශයේ ඇතැම් කටයුතු ඇමති මලික් යටතට පවරා ඇත. ඇමති මංගල සමරවීර තවමත් සීරුවෙන්ය.

සංචාරක ඇමතිගේ කාර්යාලයට සංචාරක අමාතාංශය තුළ ඉඩකඩ ප්‍රමාණවත් වූවද දැන් එය පාර්ක් ස්ට්‍රීට් ගොඩනැගිල්ලකට ගෙන යෑමට සැරසේ. වර්ග අඩි 20,000කට මාසික කුලිය රුපියල් ලක්ෂ 200කි. රටට විදේශ විනිමය උපයන ප්‍රධානම කර්මාන්තය වන සංචාරක ව්‍යාපාරය දියුණු කිරීමට ලොකු මෙහෙයුමක් අවශ්‍යය. එහිදී මහා පරිමාණ හෝටල් හිමියන්ගේ සිට විදෙස් සංචාරකයා ගෙන යන ත්‍රීරෝද රථ රියදුරා මෙන්ම සංචාරකයාට තැඹිලි විකුණන තැඹිලි වෙලෙන්දාද එකලෙසම වැදගත්ය.ඒ පිළිබදව ආණ්ඩුවේ දැක්ම සහ මෙහෙය තවමත් අපැහැදිලිය.

ඛණිජතෙල් හ ස්වභාවික වායු නියෝජ්‍ය ඇමතිනි සහ ජාතික ලැයිස්තුවෙන් පත්කල මන්ත්‍රීනි අනෝමා ගමගේ විසින් සිය අමාතාංශයට කෝටි 6ක සුඛෝකභෝගි බී.එම්. ඩබ්ලිව් වාහන දෙකක් මිලදී ගැනීමට අනුමැතිය ගෙන තිබේ. ලංකා ඛනිජ තෙල් සංස්ථාවේ සේවක ප්‍රශ්න, බවුසර් ප්‍රශ්න, ඉන්ධන මිල අඩුකිරීමෙන් උද්ගත ප්‍රශ්න රැසක් තිබියදී කලින් ඇමතිවරුන් පරිහරණය කල මොන්ටේරෝ රථ හතරක් සහ බී.එම්.ඩබ්ලිව් රථයක් තිබියදී සැප වාහන යළි මිලදී ගැනීම යහපාලනයට කැපද? ප්‍රවාහන ඇමති නිමල් සිරිපාලට අනුව මත්තල වී ගබඩා කිරීමෙන් සිදුව ඇති හානිය විශාලය. එහි ගබඩා වලට කෘමි සතුන්ගෙන් හා පරවියන් ඇතුළු කුරුල්ලන්ගෙන් සිදුවී ඇත්තේ දැඩි හානියකි.  මේවා ලඟ එන පළාත් පාලන මැතිවරණය බලා කියන කථාය.

මරේ මරුය. යස-පාලන ආණ්ඩුවේ මැතිවරණ පොරොන්දු පො‍තේ නැති ඉල්ලීම්ද දැන් ඉදිරියට පැමිණ ඇත. සමලිංගික සේවනය සහ ගණිකා වෘත්තීය නීතිගත කරන ලෙසට ස්ත්‍රී සහ පුරුෂ ලිංගික සේවක සේවිකාවන්ගේ ඉල්ලීමකි. මාධ්‍ය සාකච්ඡා පැවැත්වුණේ නාමික නායිකාවන් වන අතර සැබෑ නායිකාවන් තිරයෙන් පිටුපසය. මෙම අම්බපාලි ව්‍යාපෘතින් නෙදර්ලන්ත‍ය සහ නෝර්වේ රටවලින් ඩොලර් ලක්ෂ ගණනක් ලබාගෙන කරන එන්.ජී.ඕ ගේමේ ස්ත්‍රීවාදී නායිකාවන් සියළු දෙනාම දෙමළ බෙදුම්වාදය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටින්නන්ය. ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ සමලිංගිකත්වය නීතිගත කිරීම සදහා කළෙක සිට පෙනී සිටින්නේ “ගමන් මගේ සහකරුවෝ” නැමති සංවිධානය නමිනි. ලංකාව ආවරණය වන පරිදි දිස්ත්‍රික්ක 24ට සමලිංගික සම්බන්ධීකරණ මධ්‍යස්ථාන 24ක් ඇරඹීම ඔවුන්ගේ අරමුණය. සමලිංගික ඇසුර ශ්‍රී ලංකා දණ්ඩ නීති සංග්‍රහය යටතේ සිර දඬුවම් ලැබිය හැකි වරදක් වූවද එම නීතියට ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ අභියෝග කරමින් මෙය සිදු කරන්නේ ලංකීය සංස්කෘතිය වැනසීමේ ඒකායන අරමුණෙනි.

මානව හිමිකම් ඇත්තේ උතුරු නැගෙනහිර ජනතාවට පමණක්දැයි දැන් ප්‍රශ්ණයක් නැගේ. කැබිතිගොල්ලෑවේදී, අරන්තලාවේදී, ගෝණගලදී, වැලිඔයදි, නුවර දළදා මාලිගය, කාත්තන්කුඩි පල්ලිය, පොලොන්නරුවේ පල්ලියගොඩැල්ල, දෙහිවල සහ කොටුව දුම්රියපොල, මරදාන හන්දිය, දිගන්පතන, මහ බැංකු සංකීර්ණයේ කොටි ප්‍රහාර වලින් කැබලිවූ මිනිසුන්ට මානව හිමිකම් නැතිදැයි සැකයකි. ජවිපෙ දෙවන කැරැල්ලේදී 1986 සිට 1990 දක්වා මරදැමූ 60,000කට ආසන්න තරුණ තරුණියන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් වෙනුවෙන් ජනතා විමුක්ති පෙරමුණද නිහඬව සිටීම මහා ඛේදවාචකයකි.

 ඉකුත් වසරේ රුපියල් 84ට තිබූ අමු තේ දළු කිලෝව දැන් රුපියල් 40කි. එමෙන්ම ඉකුත් වසරේ රුපියල් 500කට අළෙවි වූ රබර් ‍‍ෆීට් කිලෝව දැන් රුපියල් 200කි. ආණ්ඩුවේ දින 100  වැඩසටහනේ තේ දළු සහ රබර් සදහා සහතික මිලක් නියම කලද දැන් එය ක්‍රියාත්මක නොවේ. අමු තේ දළු කිලෝවක් නිෂ්පාදනය සඳහා රුපියල් 40 පමණ මුදලක් වැයවේ. රබර් ෆීට් කිලෝවක් සකස් කිරීම සදහා රුපියල් 168ක් වැයවේ. සුළු තේවතු හිමියන් සහ කුඩා රබර් වතු හිමියන් අසාමාන්‍ය ලෙස මිල පහළ වැටීම නිසා යන එනමං නැතිව හාන්සිය. කුමාරතුංග මුණිදාස සූරින්ගේ හත්පණේ කිරිහාමිලා මෙන් ‘යහපාලන’ ආණ්ඩුව පිළිබදව අන්ධ විශ්වාස වල එල්බගෙන සිටි ජනයාට එම සිතුවිලි බීජය එතැනම මිය නොඇදී දලුලන්න පොලඹවීමට හෝ පැන් ටිකක් ලබාදීම ආණ්ඩුවේ යුතුකමකි.

යස-පාලන දෙමුහුන් ආණ්ඩුවේ චීන විරෝධය හරියට මහා පත්‍තර කලාවේදී ඩී.බී. ධනපාලගේ චීන විරෝධය මෙන් සංවිධානාත්මක රෝලකි. එදා රාජපක්ෂ රෙජිමය ගොඩනැගීමට චීන්නු ගේම ගැසූ බවට චෝදනා කළේය. චීන කොලනියක් බවට ශ්‍රී ලංකාව පත්වීමට ඉඩඇති බව කීවේය. මුහුදේ ඉදිකරන පෝට් සිටියෙන් රටේ පරිසරය කාබාසිනියා කරන බව පැවසීය. දැන් චීන ශ්‍රී ලංකා මිත්‍රත්වය වැඩිදියුණු වූවාලු. අධිවේගී පාරවල් සැදීමට මෙගා ඩීල් නැතිලු. දැන් සමුද්‍ර පරිසරය වනසනවායැයි කියූ චීන වරාය නිසි පරිසර තක්සේරුවකින් තොරව ඉදිකිරීමේ වැඩකටයුතු යළිත් අරඹා ඇති බව පරිසර හා සොබාදහම් අධ්‍යයන මධ්‍යස්ථානය ඊයේ නිවේදනය කළේය.

විමධ්‍යගත මුදල් යටතේ පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට වසරකට සන්ධාන රජය මගින් ලක්ෂ 50ක මුදලක් ලබාදෙන ලදී. සභාග ආණ්ඩුව එය ලක්ෂ 100 දක්වා වැඩි ක‍ළ බව ජනවාරි 17වැනිදා අතුරු අයවැය ඉදිරිපත් කරමින් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේදී  ප්‍රකාශ කළහ. එහෙත් මාස 10ක් තිස්සේ කිසිවක් ලැබී නැත. වසර 44ක් පුරා එම ප්‍රතිපාදන සියළු පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ට නොකඩවා හිමිවූයේය. එමෙන්ම කිසිදු ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කොට්‌ඨාසයක ප්‍රාදේශීය සම්බන්ධීකරණ කමිටු රැස්‌වීම් 2015දී පවත්වා නැත.

හිට්ලර් ගියාය. චැප්ලින් ආවේය. ලංකාවට ඇඩ්රස් නෑ කියන්නේ පනාපුත්‍රයින්ය. කලක් ජනමූල නායකයා කියා ලොක්කාව අන්දවා සංචාරක සංවර්ධන අධිකාරියෙන් කුට්ටියක්ද හම්බන්තොට වරාය සමාරම්භක උත්සවයේ අඩව් කස්තිරම් අංගයන් සදහා වැයකල කෝටි එක හමාරකින් පළුවක්ද, රන්මිණිතැන්න ඇතුළු මෙකී නොකී වැඩවලින් දොල පිදේනිද ලබාගත්තේද මේ ගොටුකාරයන්ය. සයිමන් නවගත්තේගමගේලා ජනාධිපති ප්‍රේමදාසගේ සට්ටැඹියෙකු වුවද මෙවැනි නීලකාසයන් නොවේ. දොන් නම් දොංය. සිමං නම් සිමංය. දෙකක් එකවර බැරිය.

කැපුවත් මහින්ද යැයි කියා සන්ධානයෙන් තරඟකර ආණ්ඩුවේ වරදාන සහ වරප්‍රසාද ලබාගත් ‍දේශපාලනඥයින් ප්ලග් ගලවා උතුර දකුණ මාරුකර ගත්තද ඒ වෙනුවෙන් ඡන්දය දුන් ජනයා එම සූදුවට මනාප නැත. මහ ඡන්දයට තව කලක් තිබුණද පුංචි ඡන්දය එන්නේ ලබන වසරේ මැදය. මෙම ගන්ධබ්බ කාලයෙන් ගැලවීමට හැක්කේ එයට එරෙහිව සැබෑ ලෙසට නායකත්වය දිය හැකි ව්‍යාපාරයකට පමණි. අනාගතය තීරණය කරන සාධකය එයයි. ඉකුත් ඔක්තෝබර් 19වැනි සඳුදා කොළඹදී මුළු දුන් ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයේ ජනහමුව ඒ වෙනුවෙන් සුභ ආරම්භයකි. ශ්‍රිලනිපයේ විපක්ෂ මන්ත්‍රීවරුන් 42කගේ සහායද එයට හිමිවී තිබිණි.  

විපක්ෂය එදා කීවේ ඉවසුවා.. ඉවසුවා.. මෙච්චර ඉවසුවා.. තව ඉවසන්න බැරි බවය. එබැවින් රාජපක්ෂ රෙජිමය පන්නන ලෙස ජනතාවගෙන් ඉල්ලා සිටියහ. ජනතාව එය ඉෂ්ඨ කළෝය. චීනා සහ ජපනා ගෝරි දමාවි යැයි කීවද එයද ෂේප් විය. ව්‍යවස්ථාව හරි නැති නිසා එයද වෙනස් කර දුන්නේය. රටකට ඕනෑ අපමණ අගයක්ය. එහෙත් ‘යහපාලන’ ආණ්ඩුවේ යස-පාලන කැලෑසියද හරියට මෙම දිනවල මුහුණු පොතේ ජනප්‍රිය රුවන්ගි‍ රත්නායකගේ ඇදුම වාගේය. ඇය ඉල්ලං කෑවේ එය ඉන්දියාවේ නිළි ප්‍රියංකා චොප්රාගේ ඇදුම වාගේ ඇදන් ගිය නිසාය. අපේ වාහේලාත් එහෙමය. යමං බණ්ඩෝ වෙසක් බලන්න කියනවා වෙනුවට දැන් කීමට සිදුවන්නේ යමං බණ්ඩෝ යස-පාලන කැලෑසිය බලන්න කියාය.(The writer is a senior journalist who could be reached at ejournalists@gmail.com)

ධර්මන් වික්‍රමරත්න 

ejournalists@gmail.com

I did not confess to Seya murder – Kondaya

October 23rd, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

Dunesh Priyashantha, also known as Kondaya, today said that he never confessed to the murder of 5-year-old girl Seya Sadewmi in Kotadeniyawa and that all he did was sign a document prepared by the police, as he could no longer stand their beatings.

Speaking at a press conference in Colombo today after he was released on bail by the Gampaha Magistrate’s Court over previous cases, he accused the officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) of repeatedly assaulting him while in custody and even causing injuries to his head which was hit on the wall.

Priyashantha also said that the moniker “Kondaya” was given to him by the media and that neither his friends nor anyone he knows calls him by that name.

Attorney-at-law Udul Premaratne, who also addressed the media, said that the only existing court cases against Priyashantha are for unlawful entry, assault and burglary. There are no cases regarding child molestation or any other serious crimes as claimed by certain media, he said.

THE ‘DEBATE’ ON THE OHCHR REPORT: SOME SUGGESTIONS AS TO STRATEGY 2

October 22nd, 2015

DHARSHAN WEERASEKERA

This article is a follow-up to my previous article of the same title published in Lankaweb on 17th October 2015. The Government’s present plan seems to be, soon after the ‘Debate’ on the OHCHR report, to push through enabling legislation for a “Domestic Mechanism,’ and to do so by a simple majority in Parliament.

If the Government gets to push through the aforesaid legislation by a simple majority, Sri Lanka as a country is finished. At the very least, the opposition—i.e. those who for one reason or another oppose a ‘Domestic Mechanism—have to force a 2/3 majority vote, or a referendum, before any such legislation is passed.

Members of the public and other concerned parties should begin now itself to prepare the arguments to accomplish the above two tasks. In this article, I present two arguments (by no means exhaustive) that could help force a 2/3 majority vote, or a referendum, in case enabling legislation for a ‘Domestic Mechanism’ is tabled in Parliament.

2/3 Majority

The basic argument here is that, the ‘Domestic Mechanism,’ whatever final form it takes, will in essence create a separate procedure for trying members of the armed forces for offences which, if committed by an ordinary citizen, would be tried in the normal courts, and this violates among other things Article 12 of the Constitution.

Former Chief Justice Sarath N. Silva has discussed the above matter in an interview given to the Sunday Island. I shall quote him at length here, because his remarks are highly pertinent. This is what he says:

‘Under Article 12 of the Constitution the law should apply equally to everybody. For any criminal offence, there has to be a uniform procedure. You can’t single out our soldiers and those who directed the war and say that they are subject to a different procedure. According to Article 12 of our Constitution you can’t have two parallel legal systems.

 Article 12 of our Constitution accords with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which places emphasis on equality before the law. If there is a case involving torture it has to go before a high court. You can’t say that in order to fulfill our international obligations these have to be referred to a separate court. Torture is an offence under the law. You can’t say that torture related offences committed by the Sri Lanka army should be taken before a special court while a torture related offence committed by a policeman or a non-military person is taken before the high court.

 If a person has been shot and killed, that is murder. A person who has committed murder has to go before the normal courts. A soldier accused of murder cannot be referred to another court while others who commit the same offence are referred to the ordinary courts system. That will be a totally irrational classification.’ (Sri Lanka in legal quagmire after UNHRC resolution, Sunday Island, 11 October 2015)

So, my argument is this. Since the ‘Domestic Mechanism’ involves setting up a special court in some form or another, any legislation authorizing such a court will invariably be inconsistent with the Constitution (i.e. Article 12 in this case). Therefore, members of the public can challenge such legislation before the Supreme Court, and ask the court to rule that a 2/3 majority should be required before passing the said legislation.

Referendum

My argument here is that, a “Domestic Mechanism,’ if it involves a special court that includes foreign judges, invariably compromises the sovereignty of Sri Lanka, which in turn means that enabling legislation intended to authorize such a court will clash with Article 3 of the Constitution. Bills that clash with Article 3 of the Constitution automatically require a referendum in order to be passed.

It may be pointed out that, Article 4(c) of the Constitution gives Parliament the power to establish courts and tribunals. I concede that Article 4 does give Parliament the aforesaid power, but, in my view, that power cannot be interpreted as extending to cover the creation of courts and tribunals that compromise the sovereignty of the country.

Parliament draws all its power ultimately from the Constitution, and the basis for the Constitution is ultimately the sovereignty of the country, since, without that sovereignty being intact, there would be no country, or at any rate no country that a free people have a hand in governing.

For someone to say that Parliament, exercising its power under Article 4, can establish courts and tribunals that can compromise the sovereignty of the country is to say that Parliament has the power, at its will, to surrender the sovereignty of the country, which is an absurdity.

It is a fundamental legal maxim that: ‘He who has not, cannot give’ (Nemo dat qui non habet). Parliament is not the owner of the sovereignty of the country: that owner is the People. Article 3 clearly states that the sovereignty of the country is in the People, and inalienable. Therefore, if sovereignty is to be surrendered it can only be done by the People, which is to say the People have to be asked first. And that means a referendum.

Only one question remains: ‘How can it be said with certainty that the special court under the ‘Domestic Mechanism’ will invariably compromise the sovereignty of the country?’

The best way to answer the above question is to ask: ‘What is the appeals process in the proposed court?’ Under the law as it stands at present, the Supreme Court is the highest court in the land, and a person found guilty or whose interests have been adversely affected by the ruling of any lower court can appeal as far as the Supreme Court.

In addition, the Supreme Court, using its inherent jurisdiction, can call for the record of any case in the lower courts, in order to redress any grave injustice, if the court considers that such as happened with respect to the case in question.

The hallmark of the sovereignty of any country is that its apex court, as aforesaid, has the power and jurisdiction to hear and dispose of all matters that pertain to the rights and interests of its citizens, and is subservient to no other judicial institution, nor prevented from looking into the records of any other institution adjudicating on the rights and interests of the same citizens.

To turn to the proposed ‘Domestic Mechanism,’ the High Commissioner has made it clear that the reason for a ‘hybrid court’ (for some reason the Government appears reluctant to use the word ‘hybrid’) is the lack of expertise of the local judiciary to handle the types of crimes mentioned in his report, and also the lack of ‘independence and impartiality’ of the said judiciary. (See the High Commissioner’s statement via video-link to the Human Rights Council on 30th September 2015, www.ohchr.org)

If the above is the case, then the Government, whether it wants to or not, will have to satisfy the High Commissioner, and also the party that is no doubt pulling strings behind the High Commissioner, namely the United States. This means that, even though the Government may allow a limited role for the local courts in the ‘Domestic Mechanism,’ they will be completely cut-off when it comes to any appeals from said mechanism.

In short, if an accused who is found guilty by the ‘Domestic Mechanism’ wants to appeal, he will either have to face a tribunal at the Hague or some such place, or put before a tribunal in Sri Lanka, but a tribunal fully under the control of foreigners. I don’t see any way the Government can get around this. If there is a judicial process that cannot, in the final analysis, be brought under the purview of the apex court in the land, that is unquestionably and invariably a compromising of the sovereignty of the country.

Recommendations

Members of the public along with other concerned parties must be on full alert for any signs that the Government is getting ready to gazette enabling legislation for a ‘Domestic Mechanism.’ The moment such a Bill is gazetted, they should start preparing their petitions, file as soon as the Bill is placed on the Order Paper of Parliament, and fight this thing to the end.

Dharshan Weerasekera is an Attorney-at-Law. He is the author of two books: The UN’s Relentless Pursuit of Sri Lanka (2013), and The UN’s Subversion of International Law: The Sri Lanka Story (2015)

The Biased OISL Report and the Dangers of Disinformation

October 22nd, 2015

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

Needless to say, officials circulating this type of clumsy propaganda do a disservice to the country’s leaders, while also undermining public trust. An invitation to address the legislature of any State is generally considered a special honour. Was this embellished story intended to show that the new Government was held in ‘high regard’ by the world community after Geneva 2015?

HRC and Sovereignty
The bigger question that arises is whether other disinformation is taking place as well and whether, as a result, the public are being misled on the implications of the US-led resolution co-sponsored by Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council.

The resolution in its present format has locked the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) into acceptance of the Report of the OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka (OISL), through Operative Paras 1 and 18. By uncritically accepting this country-specific resolution GoSL has created a precedent that would be detrimental to the interests of other developing countries too. No developing country (Asian, African, Latin American groups) signed on as co-sponsor of this resolution – except of course Sri Lanka.

With the concerned country itself having acceded to the terms of a resolution which permits interference in the domestic affairs of a member State, its friends in the HRC were compromised in voicing their opposition. Ironically it was India (and not Sri Lanka) that expressed concern over the issue of Sri Lanka’s sovereignty. In comments following talks between President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New York, the Indian External Affairs spokesman expressed India’s hope that the dual objectives of justice and Sri Lanka’s sovereignty could both be met.

Biased Report
Since the OISL Report is biased, it is difficult to see how a resolution that draws on it can deliver justice, leave alone reconciliation for Sri Lanka.  At first glance the Report’s language may appear ‘sober and balanced.’ Deceptively so. A closer look at its contents, and its gaps and omissions, betrays a serious lack of balance. Here are just a few points to consider:

Needless to say, officials circulating this type of clumsy propaganda do a disservice to the country’s leaders, while also undermining public trust ​

  • In the ‘Overview of Government, LTTE and other armed groups’ (Ch.4) the Report has 10 pages on Government security forces and paramilitary groups allegedly linked to them, replete with charts, diagrams and tables illustrating chain of command and names of officers. On the LTTE, the Report has 3 pages.
  • On the ‘Conduct of hostilities’ in the final phase of conflict (Ch.13) the Report has 7 pages on  allegations of violations leveled against government forces and less than 2 pages on allegations against the LTTE. Detailed testimony given by security forces personnel (to LLRC and MoD) on their knowledge of where civilians were located which they said helped to target fire so as to avoid civilian casualties, is perversely turned around by OISL to conclude that civilian casualties “may have been anticipated, known and accepted by the Government and military leaders” – in other words, deliberate.
  • On Torture (Ch.9) the Report has 6 pages on allegations against the Government forces and half a page on allegations against the LTTE.
  • Under ‘Patterns of unlawful killings’(Ch.6) the Report says over 1000 cases of alleged assassinations were reported to the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM). It does not mention that the vast majority of Ceasefire Agreement violations documented by the SLMM (over 3000) which were also the most serious, were by the LTTE.
  • Written submissions to OISL relating to LTTE abuses were among 329 received from within Sri Lanka, while those received from outside Sri Lanka, presumably relating to abuses by Government forces, were almost ten times that number (‘Call for submissions’ Ch.2).
  • OISL says incidents in the section on unlawful killings (Ch. 6) are analyzed within the framework of International Human Rights Law (IHRL). But it fails to mention that IHRL does not apply to non-State actors like the LTTE. The entire section on IHRL (Ch. 5) is on the State party’s responsibilities.

There is clearly an imbalance in the material that has been examined by OISL and in the methodology used. As a result its conclusions, based on a highly subjective ‘reasonable-grounds-to-believe’ standard, are also skewed. At every turn the Report refers to ‘information obtained by OISL,’ or ‘information available to OISL,’ or ‘cases reported to OISL.’  If no information was received, it didn’t happen, as far as OISL was concerned.

Though it is invisible in this Report, the heavy toll of civilian life taken by the LTTE throughout the country during 30 years of conflict 
Human shields

For example, OISL says it ‘received no information’ that hospitals were used by the LTTE for military purposes.  “There were no LTTE military installations placed inside hospitals; According to information received by the OISL,” (p.153). OISL says the LTTE by placing military positions in densely populated areas contributed to civilian casualties by drawing fire. But it does not acknowledge that this was a deliberatestrategy used by the LTTE, especially during the latter stages of the war when they used  civilians as a human shield. This episode represents one of the LTTE’s worst crimes against Tamils, whose cause they claimed to be fighting for.

A book titled ‘Narrative III – the last stages of the war in Sri Lanka’ giving a detailed account of how the last stage of the war was fought was submitted to the OHCHR. Its authors Dr. Godfrey Gunatilleke and Jeevan Thiagarajah, heads of two of Colombo’s most respected NGOs, met the OISL team leader in Geneva. Their study said the majority of the LTTE’s war crimes during the last phase were a result of this strategy.

So in this instance OISL’s omission cannot be on account of ‘information not being received.’ OISL merely raises an eyebrow in relation to LTTE behaviour, saying it raised ‘serious questions as to the intentions behind such acts.’ It does not use the words ‘systematic’ and ‘widespread.’ Is this because to do so would have undermined the OISL’s project of laying the groundwork for war crimes prosecutions against the Sri Lankan forces?

Invisibility of Sinhalese and Muslims

The High Commissioner for Human Rights when presenting the OISL Report to the Human Rights Council placed much emphasis on its ‘victim focus.’ There seems to be an assumption here that victims of the Sri Lankan conflict were only Tamils. Sinhalese and Muslim civilians targeted in LTTE attacks remain invisible in the Report. Under ‘Unlawful killings’ the Report says the LTTE killed “individuals they believed to be cooperating with security forces and the Karuna Group as well as politicians, public officials, academics and other Tamils perceived as being moderates” (p.49).  Curiously there is no mention of civilians murdered in cold blood by the LTTE for no other purpose than to instill terror. There is no mention of the Sinhalese victims of massacres at Dollar and Kent Farms, at Anuradhapura bus stop and the Sri Maha Bodhi, Arantalawa, Temple of the Tooth (Dalada Maligawa) in Kandy, the villagers massacred at Kallarawa and Gongala, the Muslim worshippers gunned down in Kattankudy mosque etc, to name but a few.

Among the very few incidents relating to targeting of civilians by the LTTE, that the OISL Report mentions is the landmine attack on a busload of Sinhalese civilians at Kebithigollewa. But this is explained as retaliation for killings in LTTE controlled areas in the North and East. OISL mentions the LTTE’s use of roadside claymore mines and suicide bombers, but suggests their main targets were security forces. Were ‘security forces’ the intended targets in the bomb attacks on the Central Bank, CTO, Pettah bus stop, Galadari Hotel, Dehiwela train and countless other public places too numerous to list? Civilians of all ethnicity perished in such attacks. They were targets and not collateral damage.

Collective memory

Though it is invisible in this Report, the heavy toll of civilian life taken by the LTTE throughout the country during 30 years of conflict, often in a most inhuman and brutal manner is indelibly etched in the collective memory of the Sri Lankan people. It is part of their lived experience. Graphic and detailed accounts (with ‘photographic evidence’) of these incidents have been recorded in local media reports throughout the period. All the media could not have lied uniformly about these incidents. It remains a mystery as to why the OISL has left this huge gap in the material it chose to survey.

The Human Rights chief calls for the disbanding of the Paranagama Commission (with no reasons given) and for the setting up of some other independent institution to deliver justice in consultation with victims’ families.  It would be interesting to know if he envisages consulting families of victims/victims/survivors of LTTE attacks in such a mechanism (seeing that the resolution expressed concern for ‘both sides’).

Focus on Karuna

From its treatment of the subject of LTTE killings, it is clear the OISL has great difficulty acknowledging that the LTTE is a terrorist group, and has failed to understand the true nature of this organization. In describing how the LTTE gained dominance over other Tamil militant groups it says “it gradually asserted its authority as the so-called “sole and legitimate representative” of the Tamil people” (p.33). The reader is given no inkling of the kind of internecine warfare that took place where the LTTE engaged in a process of ruthless elimination of its rivals, some of whom were burned alive in the streets of Jaffna.

There is a disproportionate focus on the Karuna Group and its alleged violations after breaking away from the LTTE. The references to crimes by the LTTE are on many occasions quickly deflected away from the LTTE and towards the Karuna Group. The reason for this particular imbalance could be that OISL’s information in these instances came from the LTTE or LTTE-linked sources. Pages upon pages of the Report’s text are based on unidentified witness’ statements (footnoted as ‘WS on file’). The identities of these witnesses will never be known owing to the OISL’s policy of secrecy in this regard. This leads to a further injustice, as those making grave allegations against not only Karuna Group but also against Sri Lanka’s armed forces and political leadership, can never be cross examined.

Cover of anonymity

While many OISL’s findings would be from authentic sources, the likelihood that false and distorted accounts would have been submitted under cover of anonymity by the LTTE, bent on revenge, does not seem to be factored in by the investigative team.  considering that the organization still operates a sophisticated propaganda machine and fundraising network overseas.

While its language may sound neutral, the OISL Report is actually biased in its content and prejudiced in its approach. Its conclusions seem to have been pre-judged and it works towards establishing them by using data selectively.  The tragedy is that the main casualty in the process, the Sri Lankan State, has caved in and accepted it instead of mounting a spirited defence, for which it could have easily rallied the support of representatives of the ‘majority world’ in the UN.t the end of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s recent visit to Japan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Mass Media and the Official Government News Portal announced that on 6th Oct the PM addressed the Parliament of Japan, known as the National Diet.  In fact he did not. According to Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun he delivered a ‘lecture session at an office building of House of the Representatives’ lawmakers.’ The Mass Media ministry and ‘News.lk’ further claimed that Wickremesinghe was the third world leader after Barack Obama and Narendra Modi to address Japan’s Parliament. This too was a piece of fiction. Obama and Modi have never addressed the Diet.

– See more at: The Biased OISL Report and the Dangers of Disinformation

සෙංකෝලයත් පැහැරගෙන මහ යුද්ධයක් කර පාර්ලිමේන්තුව ගිණියම් කරමින් ජනීවා විවාදයේදී විමල් කල කතාව මෙන්න…

October 22nd, 2015

First investigate those who sponsored & supported Sri Lanka’s LTTE Terrorists?

October 22nd, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

 Before any hybrid court or international investigators are brought into the scene causing another burden to the taxpayer and wasting years compiling data what is more important is to identify all those who had supported and sponsored terrorism in Sri Lanka. You can have disgruntled men and women who want to rebel against a system but it is when these men and women are supplied arms, ammunition and given training that creates a total new ballgame. We know that unemployed low caste Prabakaran and a handful of his men were unhappy with the government but things started to change only after India transported Prabakaran and coterie and trained them in guerrilla warfare. Who is going to bring India on trial for this crime? Thereafter plenty of other players entered the scene for their own agendas and helped created LTTE Inc into the internationally banned terrorist designate organization involved in illegal network of international rackets to which local and foreign players continue to make big bucks. We need to know who is going to investigate them. Moreover, the GOSL in April 2014 used UNSC Resolution 1373 to declare 16 organizations as LTTE fronts and over 400 individuals as directly being responsible for terrorism. This ban was no April Fools and we want to know why those countries harbouring these organizations and individuals are not taking any action against them?

The People have every right to know what the world bodies are going to do about investigating the following organizations that have been declared as LTTE fronts for materially supporting LTTE over the years. If not for these organizations LTTE and Prabakaran would have had to fight with sticks and stones.

We need to know …..Who helped supply arms, how was the money raised, what type of training did the LTTE cadres get, who trained them, who ran their global communications, who funded all these activities are questions that we need answers for.

It is only by roping in these entities declared banned by UNSC Resolution 1373 can we find the answers. Prabakaran would not have reached the stature he became if these banned organizations and other invisible organizations/individuals did not come forward to assist him starting out first with India. These truths now need to come out into the open otherwise words like reconciliation becomes meaningless when part of the jigsaw puzzle is kept hidden and uninvestigated mostly because those now coming forward to be the conflict resolutionists were actually steering these entities at some time or the other and so do not want to get their names exposed.

1.Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam a.k.a LTTE a.k.a Tamil Tigers – EN/CA/2013/01

2.Tamil Rehabilitation Organization a.k.a TRO. – EN/CA/2013/02 (Sri Lanka & Overseas)

3.Tamil Coordinating Committee a.k.a TCC – EN/CA/2013/03

4.British Tamil Forum a.k.a BTF – EN/CA/2013/04 (Operating from London, UK)

5.World Tamil Movement a.k.a WTM – EN/CA/2013/05 (Operating from Canada)

6.Canadian Tamil Congress a.k.a CTC – EN/CA/2013/06 (Operating from Canada)

7.Australian Tamil Congress a.k.a ATC – EN/CA/2013/07 (Operating from Australia)

8.Global Tamil Forum a.k.a GTF – EN/CA/2013/08 (Operating from UK)

9.National Council Of Canadian Tamils a.k.a NCCT a.k.a Makkal Avai – EN/CA/2013/09 (Operating from Canada)

10.Tamil National Council a.k.a TNC – EN/CA/2013/10 (Operating from Norway, Italy , Switzerland, France, Canada.)

11.Tamil Youth Organization a.k.a TYO – EN/CA/2013/11 (Operating from Australia)

12.World Tamil Coordinating Committee a.k.a WTCC. – EN/CA/2013/12

13.Transnational Government Of Tamil Eelam a.k.a TGTE – EN/CA/2013/13

14.Tamil Eelam Peoples Assembly a.k.a TEPA – EN/CA/2013/14

15.World Tamil Relief Fund a.k.a WTRF – EN/CA/2013/15

16.Headquarters Group a.k.a HQ Group – EN/CA/2013/16

The above categorized Foreign Terrorist Organizations are led by the following 4 key individuals all of whom are domiciled overseas and carrying on operations without any fuss by foreign governments and even openly lobbying against a sovereign government inside the halls of the United Nations where they are given VVIP treatment against the shoddy treatment meted to Sri Lanka’s diplomats!

1.         Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias “Nediyavan”;

2.         Rev.Fr. S J Emmanuel

3.         Visuvanathan Ruthirakumaran

4.         Sekarampillai Vinayakamoorthy alias Vinayagam

These LTTE fronts are operating openly in EU, UK, Canada, US and Australia. They are registered as charities and human rights organizations and some of these representatives have over the years been arrested though it has always been ‘business as usual’ thereafter. In addition the Tamil National Alliance that was first formed by the LTTE need to also be thoroughly investigated for links with the LTTE.

When the 16 LTTE fronts were declared banned the official statement delivered was “not only those who perpetrated the terrorist crimes but those who financed and supported terrorism will be brought to justice”. We now want that delivered.

LTTE ground force was eliminated in May 2009 along with the Leader Prabakaran and a handful of others while key layers either surrendered or managed to with the help of foreign/local NGOs escape and are now living in foreign shores and getting trained to come out with tearful and emotional stories of their harassment so as to either get refugee/asylum status or use these accounts against the military as a punishment for having ended a very lucrative terrorist business.

Any organization/individual can croak all they like but having saved 300,000 people who can be named those claiming that 40,000 to 200,000 had been killed by the Sri Lankan troops have so far in 6 years failed to show mass graves, skeletons, newly dug earth mounds (Ban Ki Moon went on a helicopter tour of the area 3 days after the LTTE was eliminated) and no names even… so instead we are going around the mulberry bush with stories about the troops ‘may have killed’ but no bodies or names to verify this and then wasting time demanding investigations until they come up with names….this means we are in for a long investigation, wasting a lot of money and a handful of selected people getting rich.

Close to 12,000 LTTE cadres surrendered. If the Sri Lankan troops had been murderers as claimed would this lot be alive? Would the 594 child soldiers have got a Presidential Pardon? This is not to say that even within the army there are some bad eggs but that cannot and should not bring the entire reputation of the army down or have the war heroes treated as they are currently being done. Moreover, where are the calls for the 5000 military soldiers whose families have officially filed the names of their missing sons/husbands with the Presidential Commission on Missing Persons. While 40,000 do not have names the 5000 military missing do – why is there no concern or calls to demand from the 16 LTTE fronts and their leaders what the LTTE did to these men?

What needs to be said is that the LTTE monster initially created by India is only part dead, its tail, feet are still very much wagging while the teeth have been removed in May 2009. The players that were involved in keeping the LTTE alive are very much active still. Their objective is nothing to do with Tamils and the day ordinary Tamils realize that they have been taken for a jolly ride all these years it would be too late. Many enjoy the ride for they have had freebies come their way as a large number of Tamils have been given the opportunity to live in foreign shores and they do not mind keeping the kitty going. They little realize the damage they are doing. However, the players that first used and turned men, women and children into killers are very much active and it is they who need to be exposed.

So long as there are entities that are ready to manufacture and supply arms, nations prepared to allow their territories to be used to train men and women to shoot and kill terrorism will continue to exist.

So long as there are entities that knowing terrorism is killing innocent people but because they make a good living and can travel widely and amass perks and privileges terrorism will continue to thrive.

So long as there are entities prepared to train terrorist groups to promote terrorism and showcase terrorists as ‘saviors’ manipulating mass media and communication channels terrorism will see no decline.

So long as there are people who would do anything and everything for money to function as charlatans appearing as panel speakers, authors and people ready to lie and prostitute their integrity for money the loss of innocent lives, damage to property and chaos the world over would continue.

So long as there are international organizations, foreign envoys, foreign governments that make profit from the sale of arms & ammunition and create conflicts to supply both the terrorists and government troops and thereafter use terrorism to advance their own larger economic/political agendas innocent people will continue to perish and environment will be destroyed.

Shenali D Waduge

Additional reading:

LTTE Fronts Banned – Sri Lankan envoys abroad must now deliver http://www.onlanka.com/news/ltte-fronts-banned-sri-lankan-envoys-abroad-must-now-deliver.html

CHARGESHEET AGAINST LTTE : We demand accountability of 30 years of LTTE War Crimeshttp://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2015/06/19/chargesheet-against-ltte-we-demand-accountability-of-30-years-of-ltte-war-crimes/comment-page-1/

LTTE War Crimes and Human Shieldshttp://www.ceylontoday.lk/59-14938-news-detail-ltte-war-crimes-and-human-shields.html

 

Framing bogus War Crime charges: WHO are the ‘civilians’ who died in Sri Lanka’s Final War?http://www.sinhalanet.net/framing-bogus-war-crime-charges-who-are-the-civilians-who-died-in-sri-lankas-final-war

 

Indian War Crimes in Sri Lanka: IPKF Massacre of Tamil Doctors and Nurses inside Jaffna Hospitalhttp://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/02/02/indian-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka-ipkf-massacre-of-tamil-doctors-and-nurses-inside-jaffna-hospital/

 

Sri Lanka demands War Crimes against LTTE Terrorists and India’s IPKF – http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2012/05/21/sri-lanka-demands-war-crimes-against-ltte-terrorists-and-india%25E2%2580%2599s-ipkf

Bottom of Form

Commission of Inquiry on Indian War Crimes in Sri Lankaommission of Inquiry on Indian War Crimes in Sri Lankahttp://www.spur.asn.au/index.php/77-spur/274-commission-of-inquiry-on-indian-war-crimes-in-sri-lanka

The UN Investigative Panel must probe TNA – LTTE links http://www.onlanka.com/news/the-un-investigative-panel-must-probe-tna-ltte-links.html

Sri Lanka Accountability: Investigate LTTE-TNA allegiance http://www.onlanka.com/news/sri-lanka-accountability-investigate-ltte-tna-allegiance.html

Prabakaran is dead but the LTTE is not –http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/12/28/prabakaran-is-dead-but-the-ltte-is-not/comment-page-1/

 

Which religions/texts propagated hate for others?

October 22nd, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

There is a global mainstream political effort out to showcase select religions as being intolerant and hateful totally ignoring the actual texts inside the religions of those pointing fingers. Often the defence is to claim that the quotes are ‘out of context’ but when challenged to show where these texts are contradicted as wrong or stands corrected no proof can be given. The examples of texts shown below are no small number that can be ignored. Therefore, those that enjoy making disparaging remarks are well advised to read through the texts of these religions and determine  

From the Bible (Old & New Testament)

  • “Every living substance that I have made will I destroy.”
    God repeats his intention to kill “every living substance … from off the face of the earth.” But why does God kill all the innocent animals? What had they done to deserve his wrath? It seems God never gets his fill of tormenting animals. (Genesis 7:4)
  • God tells Abram to kill some animals for him. The needless slaughter makes God feel better. (Genesis 15:9-10)
  • Moses murders an Egyptian after making sure that no one is looking.(Exodus 2:11-12)
  • God decides to kill Moses because his son had not yet been circumcised (Exodus 4:24-26)
  • God gives instructions for killing and burning animals. He says that if we will make such “burnt offerings,” he will bless us for it. What kind of mind would be pleased by the killing and burning of innocent animals? (Exodus 20:24)
  • People with “familiar spirits” (witches, fortune tellers, etc.) are to be stoned to death (Exodus 20:27)
  • God gives us more instructions on killing and burning animals. I guess the first nine chapters of Leviticus wasn’t enough. He says we must do this because he really likes the smell — it is “a sweet savour unto the Lord.” (Exodus 23:12-14, 18)

Kill People Who Don’t Listen to Priests

  • Anyone arrogant enough to reject the verdict of the judge or of the priest who represents the LORD your God must be put to death.  Such evil must be purged from Israel.  (Deuteronomy 17:12 NLT)

Death for Adultery

  • If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife, both the man and the woman must be put to death.  (Leviticus 20:10 NLT)

Kill Women Who Are Not Virgins On Their Wedding Night

  • But if this charge is true (that she wasn’t a virgin on her wedding night), and evidence of the girls virginity is not found, they shall bring the girl to the entrance of her fathers house and there her townsman shall stone her to death, because she committed a crime against Israel by her unchasteness in her father’s house.  Thus shall you purge the evil from your midst.  (Deuteronomy  22:20-21 NAB)

More Rape and Baby Killing

  • Anyone who is captured will be run through with a sword.  Their little children will be dashed to death right before their eyes.  Their homes will be sacked and their wives raped by the attacking hordes.  For I will stir up the Medes against Babylon, and no amount of silver or gold will buy them off.  The attacking armies will shoot down the young people with arrows.  They will have no mercy on helpless babies and will show no compassion for the children.  (Isaiah 13:15-18 NLT)
  • 1 Timothy 2:11-12 – “A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.”  – no equality to women
  • Leviticus 21:17-24 – “Say to Aaron: ‘For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God. No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed; no man with a crippled foot or hand, or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food; yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy.’ ” So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites. – hating the handicapped
  • “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.'” (Bukhari 84:57)
  • 164 jihad verses – http://www.answering-islam.org/Quran/Themes/jihad_passages.html
  • Quran (2:216)Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”  Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time.  From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.
  • Quran (5:33)“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”
  • Quran (9:14)“Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.” Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even “healing” the hearts of Muslims.
  • Muslim (1:33) the Messenger of Allah said: I have been commanded to fight against people till they testify that there is no god but Allah, that Muhammad is the messenger of Allah
  • Tabari 9:69  “Killing Unbelievers is a small matter to us”  The words of Muhammad, prophet of Islam.
  • “So let those fight in the cause of Allah who sell the life of this world for the Hereafter. And he who fights in the cause of Allah and is killed or achieves victory—We will bestow upon him a great reward.” – Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at St. Andrews University declares this text to be used by Islamic militants to reward them for fighting for Allah.
  • “Men are in charge of women by what Allah has given one over the other and what they spend from their wealth. So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in absence what Allah would have them guard. But those from whom you fear arrogance—advise them; forsake them in bed; and, strike them. But if they obey you, seek no means against them. Indeed, Allah is ever Exalted and Grand.”
  • Surat An-Nisa 4:34

Verses in Islam have given rise to much conflict. 95% of world conflicts involve Muslims. Islamic terror groups often manipulated by Western Christian nations use verses from Islam to cause mayhem. There is no central authority to control Islam’s doctrines. That Islam is ‘misunderstood’ is a common grievance but when there are lines/verses calling Muslims to war with non-believers these verses are hard to defend. Some lines are very graphic calling to chop off heads and fingers.  When Muslims beheaded the Buddhist monks in Nalanda and destroyed the world’s oldest library it was not an act of self-defence but an intent to destroy another religion and burn all artifacts associated with it. There are even verses that ridicule Muslims who do not wish to take part in violence (4:95) “Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-” They are told that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes. (9:5) shows that non-believers had little choice but to convert to Islam and pay tax “So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.” 

When 61% of the Koran is directly referring to non-believers by name and non-Muslims cannot be faulted for making reference to this. There are also over 400 verses that give torment to those of other religions. There are also 9 places in the Quran where muslims are warned not to befriend nonMuslims (4:144)..

Sources:

http://www.targetofopportunity.com/islam.htm

 From Hinduism

 Hinduism is a collective term applied to the many philosophical and religious traditions native to India. Unlike other religious traditions, Hinduism does not originate in a single founder, a single book or a single point in time. While there are issues like caste, treatment of women etc there is nowhere that condemns other religions.

From Buddhism

 The teachings of Buddha is not based on blind belief/faith, rituals, unquestioning dogmas and unchallenged theories. Buddhism is all about questioning and seeking answers and these are all scientifically proven and not based on myths which cannot be substantiated. Unlike other religions, Buddhism encourages people to seek the truth, to prod and question every tenet taught by Buddha and there is an answer. All other religions have a ready set of answers to questions which are not expected to be challenged but passed down from generation to the next. There is nothing in Buddhism that anyone can argue against – when Buddha preaches to treat all humans including sentient beings with compassion it is nothing anyone can object to and is the crux on which Buddhists are appealing against ritual/animal sacrifice/slaughter and the reason to showcase that all the nutrients needed can be obtained without having to kill and eat animals by growing vegetation thus helping create a greener planet which would improve people’s overall health as well.

What needs to be clearly said is that there is a need to take out (remove) the religious texts inside which people can find verses and calls that motivate wicked people to quote these and manipulate people to abide by what is written and deemed sacred. Some of these verses are used by Islamic terrorists in calling for various jihads while the Doctrine of Discovery that remains embedded in the Vaticans teachings inspires Western nations in their current military interventions/incursions. Unless these verses and lines are investigated and removed we will continue to face hurdles because while none of the original religious leaders are alive it is often the lay heads of these religions who encourage hatred and evil amongst their followers against people of other faiths. This is what needs to be pointed out and stopped. Mass media however totally ignores the verses that actually create trouble and it is these lines and verses that need to be expunged.

Shenali D Waduge

Visit & Speech At Dowse Museum Lower Hutt.Tuesday 20.10.15

October 22nd, 2015

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM

Rt Hon John Key,
Prime Minister of New Zealand,
NZ Parliament.
Dear Mr. Key,
I write  among others, to thank you for giving us the opportunity once again of listening to your precise and succinct analysis of current issues pertaining to New Zealand, both nationally and internationally , as you always do on occasions such as these. As a resident of the Hutt for over two and a half decades, it has been a delight to see Hutt receive the unprecedented Prime Ministerial attention   it has received under your stewardship and the support you have given Chris Bishop MP , as he attempts to transform the “Hutt Valley” into a “Smart Valley”  technically and economically.
As indicated in the discussion, whilst acknowledging the support your government has already shown by awarding immigration points to potential new immigrants for settling out side Auckland for I believe five years, there many other measures that are conceivable to ease the housing congestion and disproportionate cost of them in Auckland compared to for e.g.  Wellington or the Hutt. Actively making those already resident  as individuals or businesses  in Auckland , aware of the opportunities of much greater space at a much lesser cost and without gridlock traffic both AM & PM, in the latter centres , through active and catchy  marketing campaigns, initiated by relevant local bodies and central government, using multi media and dedicated seminars , are  some of these measures that come to mind.
On the issue of central government supporting the lengthening of the  Wellington airport runway to take on long haul international flights, as in the past on Tuesday too  you emphasised the importance of securing the buy in from Air New Zealand for making the business case for this project. Whilst accepting this entirely. I would venture that one way to do this might be through exploring the potential for  new routs currently poorly serviced by any air line. One such rout that I have been painfully aware of  for a while is the access to South Asia  ( India,Pakistan Sri Lanka & Bangladesh) from Australia & New Zealand. At the moment the only way to access these destinations is to go east unnecessarily  to South East Asia and deviate westerly to ones destination in South Asia.. A more economical way would be to go direct to South Asia for eg. Colombo and have connections from there with local airlines to the ultimate city destinations in these neighbouring countries , so reducing considerably flying time and cost.Further accessing Europe via Colombo would also  be shorter from Australian and New Zealand   than the current flight paths via south east Asia, and  in fact used to be the flight path to Europenih before south east Asia came into prominence. These opportunities could attract potential traffic, tourist and expatriates from all of Australia and New Zealand to these destinations that account for a population of over 1.5 billion not to mention European traffic.  These are some thoughts I believe are worth pursuing .
You may remember that I wrote to you a few weeks ago updating you on the recent happenings in Sri Lanka ahead of your meeting with it’s new President, Mr Maitripala Sirisena at the UN in September. Many Sri Lankans still continue to entertain the concerns I referred to that Mr Sirisena’s government has been forced into accepting intrusive  investigations at the hands of foreign judges and lawyers based on questionable allegations initiated by the international Tiger diaspora, the very people that sustained three decades of terrorism in Sri Lanka. The real reason it is felt,  for the US led resolutions that led to this was  the economic closeness of Sri Lanka to China under the previous Mahinda Rajapakse regime. This closeness was considered contrary to US’ s interest in influencing the geopolitics of the Indian Ocean.
Listening to you on Tuesday, detailing the beneficial impact for New Zealand on the  ever increasing trade & tourism with China,  considering Australia’s extensive business links with China & now the the glittering  Golden Chariot welcome  UK led by Her Majesty the Queen is extending to the visiting Chinese president at Buckingham palace, courting Chinese investment and business  leaves me with absolute frustration at the unfairness  of  Sri Lanka  being singled out for a beating  for doing what seems to be entirely in order  for every one else to do. New Zealand’s role in the security council must surely include being aware of &  standing up against such deplorable double standards.
Thank you once again for affording us a very pleasing evening.
Yours Sincerely
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
FRCP/FRACP/ D.Med Rehab
Physician/ RheumatologistVisit & Speech At Dowse Museum Lower Hutt.Tuesday  20.10.15

මා වෛද්‍ය අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබු යූක්‍රයිනයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය​

October 22nd, 2015

වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග 

මම වෛද්‍ය අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබුවේ යූක්‍රයිනයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේය​. වර්තමානයේ මෙය Vinnitsa National Medical University යනුවෙන් හැඳින්වේ. මෙම ආයතනය ආරම්භ  කරන ලද්දේ 1921 වසරේදීය​. 

1930 වන විට සෝවියට් දේශයේ වෛද්‍යවරු පුහුණු කිරීම අතින්  විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය නමක් දිනා ගැනීමට හැකි විය​. දෙවන ලෝක යුද සමයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙනුම ලැබූ  වෛද්‍යවරු විශාල ප්‍රමානයක් යුද පෙරමුණ ආශ්‍රිතව සේවය කළහ​.  
1979 දී ලෝකයේ විවිධ රට වලින් විද්‍ය විද්‍යාව ඉගෙන ගැනීමට විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයට පැමිණියහ​. මා මෙහි ඉගෙන  ගත් කාලයේ (1986 -1993 )  ලෝකයේ රටවල් එකසිය ගනනක සිසු සිසුවියන් විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙනුම ලැබූහ​. එම නිසා  වෛද්‍යවරු පුහුණු කිරීම අතින්  විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය අන්තර්ජාතික වශයෙන් විශාල වැඩ කොටසක්  ඉටු කොට  තිබේ. 
වර්තමානයේ ඇමරිකාව​, කැනඩාව​, එංගලන්තය , ජර්මනිය , ඉශ්‍රායලය , නෝර්වේ ,ඕස්ටෙ‍්‍රලියාව යන බටහිර රටවල මෙන්ම අප්‍රිකාවේ ආසියාවේ ලතින් ඇමරිකාවේ රටවල  විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ආදි සිසු සිසුවියන් විශාල ප්‍රමානයක් සේවය කරති. 
ලංකාවේ යුද ගැටුම් උත්සන්නව තිබූ 1980  -2000  කාල වල උතුරු මැද පළාතේ රෝහල්වලද අනුරාධපුර , පොලොන්නරු රෝහල් වල  විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙනුම ලැබූ වෛද්‍යවරු අමිල සේවයක් කළහ​. නමුත් ඔවුන් විසින් ක්‍රියාන්විතයේ යෙදී සිටි හමුදාවන් සඳහා කරන ලද සේවය මෙතෙක් ඇගයීමකට පවා ලක් වී නැත​. 
යූක්‍රයිනයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙනුම ලබා ලෝකයේ විවිධ රෝහල් වල සේවය කරන ශ්‍රී ලාංකික වෛද්‍යවරු සමහරක් 
වෛද්‍ය අසේල වික්‍රමසිංහ – ඇමරිකාවේ ලොස් ඇන්ජලිස්හි රෝහලක සේවය කරයි 
වෛද්‍ය කේතිසන් නක්කුනම් -ඕස්ටෙ‍්‍රලියාවේ විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි 
වෛද්‍ය මන්සූර් – නවසීලන්තයේ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි 
වෛද්‍ය ප්‍රසානී ජයමහ -ඕස්ටෙ‍්‍රලියාවේ   වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරන්නීය 
වෛද්‍ය යමුනා අලස් -ඕස්ටෙ‍්‍රලියාවේ   වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරන්නීය 
වෛද්‍ය අනුජා ගුනවර්ධන -ඕස්ටෙ‍්‍රලියාවේ   වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරන්නීය 
වෛද්‍ය ධම්මික රත්නායක -දකුණු අප්‍රිකාවේ  වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි 
වෛද්‍ය සී ලබේරත්න -කැනඩාවේ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි 
වෛද්‍ය වික්ටර් මෙන්ඩිස්- එංගලන්තයේ  විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි 
යූක්‍රයිනයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙනුම ලබා  ලංකාවේ  රෝහල් වල සේවය කරන විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍යවරු සමහරක් 
අධිකරණ  විශේෂඥ වෛද්‍ය අජිත් තෙන්නකෝන් – කොළඹ ප්‍රධාන අධිකරණ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී (රගර් ක්‍රීඩක වසීම් තාජුඩීන්ගේ මරණය සම්බන්ධයෙන්  පශ්චාත් මරණ පරීක්‍ෂණ පවත්වන ප්‍රධාන අධිකරණ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරිවේ)
ශල්‍ය වෛද්‍ය විශේෂඥ   කීත් චැප්මන් – හලාවත රෝහලේ හිටපු ශල්‍ය වෛද්‍ය විශේෂඥ 
විශේෂඥ  නිර්වින්දන වෛද්‍ය නිල්මිනී වීජේසූරිය – කොලඹ ජාතික රෝහලේ නිර්වින්දන  විශේෂඥ  වෛද්‍ය 
විශේෂඥ අධිකරණ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරි ධනංජය වෛද්‍යරත්න – මාත‍ලේ දිස්ත්‍රික් මහ රෝහ‍ලේ විශේෂඥ අධිකරණ වෛද්‍ය 
ලෝකයේ විවිධ රටවල් වලින් පැමිණ යූක්‍රයිනයේ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයෙන් වෛද්‍ය අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබූ නවක දොස්තරවරු 
5 minutes about the life of foreign students in Vinnitsa National Medical University  in nowadayshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1FCzwUZ-9M

Are the Indians Framing Lankans to Cover Up Indian War Crimes During the Final Stages of the War?

October 21st, 2015

 Dilrook Kannangara

Credible accounts of the last stages of the war indicate the presence of Indian troops in Mulaitivu area. Did they eliminate the LTTE hierarchy to cover up their involvement with the terrorist outfit?
Quoted from the Times of India
A PIL filed in the Supreme Court has said Indian military personnel took direct part in the war, and that some were even injured in the battle. A Sikh officer was commanding the forces, it said, citing eyewitness evidence and international probe. Noting that deploying Indian military without parliamentary or presidential nod is illegal, it sought a special tribunal to probe and prosecute persons who were behind the “illegal war”, besides compensation to the immediate families of the victims.
The petition was filed by Delhi-based advocate Ram Sankar, secretary of Delhi Tamil Advocates Association. The petition said Indian Army, Navy and Air Force personnel “were unlawfully sent to Sri Lanka in 2008 and 2009, without declaring an open war or without the sanction of the President of India, who is the supreme commander of the armed forces, and without parliamentary sanction required under Article 246 of the Constitution.
Unquote.
He claimed he visited Sri Lanka several times as part of international humanitarian efforts, talked to asylum seekers who said they have seen a “turbaned Indian officer commanding the armed forces that were attacking Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu”.

The Opportunity and the Motive

If true, Indian troops had the opportunity to eliminate the LTTE leadership. As it was operating outside its territory, it would have showed scant disregard of civilian life and property. It is nothing new for Indian troops. When the Indian army was in Sri Lanka (1987-90), it committed horrendous war crimes against (Tamil) civilians. Infrastructure damage caused by Indian troops was unprecedented. Hindu temples, hospitals and even parts of the Jaffna university was subject to bombing. If Indian troops were deployed in the north in 2009, its conduct would not have been different.
Why would India want the LTTE leadership eliminated?
There are many credible reasons. Firstly, it was India that nurtured the LTTE since 1970s. LTTE cadres were trained in Madurai and other places in India before deploying them to Sri Lanka. India provided them weapons and finance too. If LTTE leaders were captured alive, all these would come to the open leading to a UN war crimes investigation on India. Financing (or having financed) terrorism is also an offence under UN resolution 1373. India stood exposed.
Had this come to light India would have lost its purported moral high ground against its biggest rivals – Pakistan (which India accuses of funding terrorism) and Maoist rebels (for which India blames China and Nepal for financing them).
It will also disrupt India’s desire to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Secondly, the elimination of Rajiv Gandhi (1991) stirred up much controversy. Although the LTTE carried out the attack, there is evidence to implicate powerful Indian agencies behind it. Rajiv was instrumental in changing India’s closed economic policies and realigning its Cold War stand to a more pro-US one. Decades of pro-SU (Soviet Union) stance has be ingrained in the Indian defence establishment which resisted against changing it. Chances are that this movement eliminated Rajiv through the LTTE. Interestingly, India rehashed its powerful and independent secret service soon after Rajiv was killed.
Thirdly, as India secretly and unconstitutionally sent troops to Sri Lanka in 2008 to eliminate the LTTE leadership, it was in a mighty hurry to complete the job as delay would have leaked the matter to Tamil Nadu media. Tamils (90% living in Tamil Nadu, India) consider the LTTE to be heroes. If they came to know India’s troop deployment to fight the LTTE, that would have caused a major upheaval in India. To make matters worse, 2009 was an election year in India.
Corroborating Evidence
Indian military officers were deployed since 2007 in Sri Lanka to operate Indian 2D Indra radars. Although these outdated radar failed to detect LTTE light aircraft, Sri Lanka had to rely on them as India blocked Lanka’s attempts to buy a modern 3D Chinese ground and air monitoring radar. Given this low level deployment, there is the possibility of increasing it in 2008 and 2009.
There is evidence India despatched weapons in April 2009 to Sri Lanka. As India was reluctant to provide weapons to Sri Lankan troops, did these weapons go to Indian troops deployed in Sri Lanka?
In 1987, India imposed 13A to the constitution of Sri Lanka. However, 13A could not be implemented in any meaningful way until the LTTE was eliminated. LTTE outright rejected 13A. India was very keen for its implementation as it is tied to Indian hegemonic interests in the region. This was a powerful driving force behind India’s urgency to eliminate the LTTE leadership.
India planned to operationalise its largest nuclear power plant in South India by 2010. With LTTE operating a well resourced sea borne terror outfit (Sea Tigers), India had legitimate concerns about its safety. An attack on the Koodankulam nuclear power plant would have been cataclysmic to India and LTTE possessed the capability to do so. In 1997 and 2009, LTTE attacked power stations in Sri Lanka.
Strangely, Vijay Nambier (a former Deputy National Security Advisor to the Government of India and later the Head of the National Security Council Secretariat) was appointed to coordinate the surrender of LTTE leaders by the Indian government. Colombo consented. If India eliminated surrendered LTTE leaders to cover up its act, this arrangement made it easy.
The OHCHR report blamed Sri Lanka for not sending a sufficient amount of food to civilians trapped under LTTE control and disrupting relief supplies. Sri Lanka in part relied on Indian intelligence reports that estimated the number of people under LTTE control to be less than 300,000. Food, water and medicine sufficient to that number were sent. LTTE’s claim of 800,000 persons was disregarded and was later found to be false. A relief supply ship sponsored by the LTTE Rump in Europe was sailing with supplies to LTTE controlled regions. MV Captain Ali was intercepted by Indian troops and moored to an Indian port. If it amounts to disrupting relief supplies, India must take the responsibility.
A US Move into India’s Backyard?
With the Diego Garcia lease expiring in 2016 and wide public disgust over the military base, rising sea levels threatening the base (the atol rises a mere 1 metre of sea level and deploys $25 billion worth aircraft) and a huge distance to shipping lanes, USA was desirous of a closer-to-action base. Northern Sri Lanka is the perfect basing for US military if India didn’t object. By using the Indian troop involvement in Sri Lanka as a bargaining tool, did USA get India to toe the US line?
India had to break from the past to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Until then India maintained a principled stand of not voting for country specific resolutions.
India Always Evaded War Crimes Charges
India drafted all four UNHRC resolutions against Sri Lanka (2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016) and USA sponsored them. India is reacting to the Panel of Expert report (2011) and trying to save its troops from war crimes by pushing them to Lankan troops. Fear and loyalty towards India kept Lankan politicians silent on the matter. However, as the war crimes matter has reached a heightened level of interest, it is time Sri Lanka took a bold step to reveal the Indian involvement in the war on both sides of warring parties.
India committed horrendous war crimes in Sri Lanka directly by own troops (1987 to 1990) and indirectly by financing the LTTE (1977 to 2009); Kashmir (1947 to date), Bangladesh (1971) and elsewhere. It always managed to evade its responsibility by pinning blame on others and using its clout in international bodies.
Should Sri Lankan military and political leaders sacrifice themselves to save India from war crimes charges?
If an independent local and international investigation is launched into the matter, Sri Lankan military leaders must break ranks with politicians and implicate India in horrendous war crimes it has committed in Sri Lanka on three counts (by its own troops 1987-90), through financing the LTTE (1977 to 2009) and by the clandestine troop involvement in the final stages of the war (2009). Sri Lankan politicians better not cover it up as such a move will also implicate them in war crimes.
Truth or otherwise of the Indian involvement of the final stages of the war must be investigated.

Paranagama Commission rejects Darusman findings-Udalagama Commission faults police over probe into killing of aid workers

October 21st, 2015

By Saman Indrajith The Island

The Commission of Inquiry that probed Abductions and Disappearances (better known as the Maxwell Paranagama Commission) has found that it was the LTTE which killed majority of Tamil civilians during the last 12 hours of the final stage of the war, according to the commission report tabled in Parliament yesterday.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe tabled the Maxwell Paranagama Commission report and the Udalagama Commission report along with the UNHRC report on alleged human rights violations in Sri Lanka.

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The Paranagama Commission report has said: “In coming to its findings about the LTTE, the Commission was cognisant of the fact that every major NGO and many international organisations recognized the parasitic conduct of the LTTE in its treatment of Tamil civilian population, including the forcible recruitment of children as soldiers, particularly in the last stages of the war. It has been estimated by a respected Jaffna-based NGO that in the final 12 hours of the conflict the majority of the Tamil civilian casualties were caused by the LTTE,” Paranagama Report said.

The report “rejects the suggestion that civilians were either targeted directly or indiscriminately by the SLA as a part of an alleged genocide plan.”

“The Commission finds that the Darusman Report, as well as other reports, have taken a particularly narrow and restricted view of the obligation upon the GOSL to prosecute international crimes.”

The report says, “The LTTE was principally responsible for the loss of civilian life during the final phase of the armed conflict through their actions which included taking 300,000 to 330,000 civilian hostage, implementing a strategy of killing Tamil civilians to suit their military aims, using civilians as a strategic human buffer leading to considerable loss of civilian life, using hostages to dig trenches and build fortifications thereby exposing them to harm, sacrificing countless civilian hostages to keep the LTTE leadership in power, arming hostages and forcing them into the front line leading to the deaths of large numbers, forcing a great number of children to man the frontlines; deliberately preventing civilians, under their effective control, from fleeting to areas away from the fighting and executing civilian hostages for attempting to escape their captivity; shelling civilian hostages in order that the LTTE might assign those deaths to the SLA for media purposes to provoke international humanitarian intervention; placing their heavy weaponry amid civilians making it inevitable that there would be civilian casualties; killing civilians through the use of suicide bombers; placing mines and other explosive devices that resulted in civilian deaths; causing the deaths of civilians who drowned in an attempt to flee their LTTE captors; and adopting a practice whereby a significant number of its cadres fought in civilian clothes, thus blurring the distinction between combatants and civilians inevitably leading to civilian deaths.”

“Commission is of the view that the principal reason for the loss of civilian life during the final phase of the war was the hostage taking and use of human shields by the LTTE.”

The commission accepted that shelling by the SLA undoubtedly led to a significant number of civilian deaths, “but the commission stresses that this was an inevitable consequence of the LTTE’s refusal to permit civilians to leave their control in order to use them both as a shield and a pool for recruitment, even when the GOSL permitted a ceasefire on April 12. No government could be expected to permit young children to be forced into the front lines without taking all available measures to put an end to such ruthless exploitation of a civilian population,”

“The commission rejects the Darusman Report’s finding that ‘a number of credible sources’ have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths.”

The Commission has recommended dealing with the issue of missing persons and the establishment of effective mechanisms at various levels for that purpose. “Different contexts might require different solutions and no approach that fits every situation has yet been identified. Coordinating mechanisms and national mechanisms should always liaise with the families and communities concerned about their work, its limitations, the chances of success and the probability of finding the missing person alive or of finding the remains through exhumation and forensic identification. In addition, families should be informed about whether and how they might obtain assistance and reparation and about the possibilities for punishing those responsible for the disappearance of their loved ones.

“Several complainants stated that their family members who were abducted or caused enforced disappearances were from their place of residence, while some stated that their members were abducted from places other than their homes, which information were transmitted to the members of the family by a third party.”

The commission recommends the legal process against the inmates held in prisons related to LTTE activities, should be expedited.

“Livelihood assistance should be provided to families of missing persons by providing assistance so that they can sustain a continued livelihood for a period of time until such time they are able to sustain themselves independently. It has been observed by the Commission that livelihood is being drawn back due to the traumatic conditions of the missing persons family as a result of the war.”

The Commissions also suggested a process of counselling and psycho social related services.

The Commission of Inquiry into Abductions and Disappearances (Maxwell Paranagama Commission) conducted 12 public sittings in the North and the East. Each public sitting was spread over a period of four days.

The Commission chaired by retired senior judge Maxwell Paranagama comprised Suranjana Vidyaratne, Mano Ramanthan, W.A.T. Ratnayaka and H Sumanapala.

The second report tabled in Parliament yesterday was the final outcome of the Presidential Commission (Udalagama Commission) of Inquiry appointed to investigate and inquire into alleged serious violations of Human rights arising since August 1, 2005.

The Udalagama Commission says that the way police have conducted the initial investigations with regard to the killing of 17 aid workers of the international non-governmental organization Action Contre La Farm in early August 2006 lacks professionalism. The commission recommends that it is necessary to incorporate a comprehensive component on human rights and international humanitarian law in all police and armed forces training schemes.

In addition to the case on killing of 17 aid workers, the commission compiled separate reports with regard to the killing of 51 persons in Naddalamottankulam (Senchoali) in August 2006, alleged execution of Muslim villagers in Muttur and the execution at Welikanda of 14 persons from Muttur who were being transported in ambulances in early August 2006, killing of ten Muslim villagers in Radella in Pottuvil Police area on Sept 17, 2006, killing of five Tamil youths in Trincomalee.

“Out of the 16 cases mandated to be inquired into by the Commission proceedings seven cases have been concluded. With regard to the balance nine cases the COI is not in a position to conduct the inquiry during the mandated period. Two of the cases namely the killing of 17 aid workers of the ACF and the killing of five youths in Trincomalee attracted the attention of many parties including international organisations and foreign governments. Proceedings of these two cases took most of the time of the Commission.”

The Commission, chaired by Justice N.K. Udalagama, comprised Upawansa Yapa, Devanesan Nesiah, K.C. Logeswaran, Manouri Muttettuwegama, Jezima Ismail, S.S. Wijeratne, Javid Yusuf, Douglas Premaratne, M Faizal Razeen and Denzil J. Gunaratne.

Did not consider appointing foreign experts as judges – Rajapaksa

October 21st, 2015

Adaderana

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa on Wednesday said his government, at no time, contemplated the appointment of foreign experts as judges exercising judicial power in respect of the Sri Lankan armed forces and other Sri Lankan citizens.

Stating this during his meeting with Motoo Noguchi of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office of Japan at his residence this morning, Mr Rajapaksa said such a move was “politically unacceptable to our people and also, it involved conflict with basic provisions of the constitution of Sri Lanka,” a press release issued by the former President’s media unit said.

The release quoted Mr Noguchi as saying that the best course of action was to have judicial mechanisms manned by Sri Lanka’s own nationals.

Only on Tuesday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe informed Parliament that his Japanese counterpart, Shinzo Abe, had suggested the name of Mr Noguchi.

On the invitation given by the Rajapaksa regime to him last year to serve as an advisor to the Commission on Missing Persons, the former President said the intention of his government, in response to a written request by Chairman of the Commission Justice Maxwell Paranagama, was to secure the expertise of several international experts.

He emphasised that the role of the experts was to serve as resource persons in dealing with complex issues of international humanitarian law and international human rights law which arose in the course of the work of the Commission.

The Japanese jurist, who served as an International Judge of the Supreme Court Chamber in the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia during 2006-2012, gave an account of his experience in the war crimes tribunal of Cambodia.

The release pointed out that Mr Rajapaksa referred to the fundamental difference between the Sri Lankan and Cambodian contexts. The basic element of the salient features of the Sri Lankan situation was “the eradication of terrorism and the availability of the opportunity today for all citizens of Sri Lanka irrespective ethnic identity, to live in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.”

Former Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L Peiris was also present at the meeting.

Full Statement: 

Mr. Motoo Noguchi of the Supreme Public Prosecutor’s Office of Japan called on former President Mahinda Rajapaksa at his residence this morning. The Former Minister of External Affairs Professor G.L Peiris was also present at the meeting. President Rajapaksa cordially welcomed Mr. Noguchi and referred to the warm and mutually supportive relationship between Sri Lanka and Japan and in particular the strong support which the government of Japan had extended to his government, especially with regard to the economy and trade relations.

President Rajapaksa and Mr. Noguchi discussed a range of issues connected with current initiatives regarding reconciliation and the way forward. Mr. Noguchi described his experience in the war crimes tribunal of Cambodia and the manner in which it was functioning.

President Rajapaksa, while appreciating his insights, pointed out the fundamental difference between the Sri Lankan and Cambodian contexts, and referred to the salient features of the Sri Lankan situation, the basic element of which was the eradication of terrorism and the availability of the opportunity today for all citizens of Sri Lanka irrespective ethnic identity, to live in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. He described in some detail the challenges which confronted his government and the strategies which he put in place to overcome them.

Mr. Noguchi expressed appreciation of the invitation which had been extended to him by the government of President Rajapaksa to serve in an advisory capacity to assist the Commission on Missing Persons headed by Mr. Maxwell Paranagama. President Rajapaksa specifically clarified that the intention of his government, in response to a written request by Chairman Paranagama was to secure for the benefit of the Sri Lankan commission the expertise of several international experts including Mr. Noguchi. He emphasised that the role of these experts was to serve as resource persons in dealing with complex issues of international humanitarian law and international human rights law which arose in the course of the work of the commission. He said that the appointment of foreign experts as judges exercising judicial power in respect of the Sri Lankan armed forces and other Sri Lankan citizens was at no time contemplated by his government because it was politically unacceptable to our people and also because it involved conflict with basic provisions of the constitution of Sri Lanka. Mr. Noguchi agreed that the best course of action was to have judicial mechanisms manned by Sri Lanka’s own nationals.

President Rajapaksa and Mr. Noguchi in the course of their cordial conversation discussed other issues of mutual interest.

Sri Lanka may have to repay taxes imposed by gazette which has not been approved by parliament during the specified period, Bandula Gunewardene, a legislator and former deputy finance minister warned.

October 21st, 2015

Dr Sudath Gunasekara President Senior Citizens Movement, Mahanuwara.

21.10.2015.

Serious and immediate attention of all citizens in this country is drawn to the above important news item.

While listening to a news briefing by MEP Leader Dinesh Gunawardhana yesterday I learnt about the withdrawal of this gazette by Minister Kiriella. The whole country should be thankful to the MEP and its leader for taking up this very important issue that concerns the legitimate rights of the people in Parliament when there is no representative to talk on behalf of them in Parliament.

In this note I want to bring to the notice of the MEP leader and the general public of this country a gross injustice done by the TELECOM to its subscribers.

I have noticed for the past few years increasing charges practically almost every month by the SLT in different forms.

I give below three tele bills received by me for the months of August, Sept and October 2015 for your information. I have no doubt all subscribers of SLT throughout the Island must have got similar bills as well.

                                                                                  Bill 1

I give below three telephone bills received by me

SLT 081 2232744 period 1.9.2015-30.9.2015

Monthly subscription                                                       345.00

Domestic voice usage                                                       122.89

Discount                                                                               122.89

SLT Broadband Entrée (Rental)                                       499.00

Cess                                                                                         17.22

Telecom levy 10%                                                                 50.90

“             25%                                                              88.01

1000.13

 

 

 

                                                                   Bill 11

Aug-Sept 06/08 to 05/09 TP   071 8075326

Monthly subscription                                                 539.00

Call charges                                                                 295.00

GORS/EDGE/HSDOA                                                     91.60

Cess 2%                                                                           18.88

Telecom levy 10%                               39.84

“             25%                           136.48           176.32

Total charges for the month                                 1,120.80

Arrears                                                                           48.72

Total Payable                                                          1,169.52

 

 

                                                                   Bill 111

Sept/Oct 06/09 to 05/10 TP   071 8075326 TP 8075326

Monthly subscription                                                 539.00

Call charges                                                                   276.50.

815.50

Cess 2%                                                                           16.64

832.14

Telecom levy 10%                     30.50

“             25%                 131.76                       162.26

994.40  

Arrears                                                                       1,169.52

Total Payable                                                            2,163.92                              

Going through these bills you will notice that these bills include several charges outside the normal telephone levies like Cess, 10% and 25%. My Aug-Sept 06/08 to 05/09 TP   071 8075326 also includes a levy called GORS/EDGE/HSDOA. But it is not there in next month’s bill. I do not know what the hell are GORS/EDGE/HSDOA. BUT I presume they are also another form of Taxes haphazardly charged by the TELECOM to increase its profit at the cost of Subscribers. Monthly subscription                                                 for this month also has been jacked up to Rs 539.00 from previous months.

Very often these unjustified taxes exceed the call charges. In addition to the Monthly subscription on my land line SLT also has charged another levy called a SLT Broadband Entrée (Rental) 499.00 in addition to the 345.00. Both these charges are recurrent and also charged every month.

In the past, once a telephone is installed the customer gets a monthly bill only for the calls he/she has taken for the month. And that is all. But today the TELECOM appears to add a new kind of tax almost every month without going through the normal process of first getting the approval of Parliament.

This type of haphazard and arbitrary decision making by political appointees to satisfy the Ministers for their survival and fatten their purses is worse than daylight highway robbery.

I do not know whether TELECOM charges are also covered by the MEP motion. If it is not covered I would request the MEP leader to take up this also as early as possible and bring redress to the helpless millions exploited by these treacherous officials under the tag YAHAPALANAYA.

This is how the TELECOM shows billions of rupees profit on its balance sheet at the end of the year. This is how a government said to be democratically elected exploits its subjects without caring a damn for the plight of its citizens.

I hope Hon Dinesh Gunawardhana will take this matter also in Parliament on behalf of the hapless masses who suffer as they themselves have to pay their bills, as none of the other politicians and officials is ever concerned as it poses no problem for them, as their bills are settled by the State or in other words by the people of this country.

 

JOINT opposition asks govt. to release all documents on Geneva resolution

October 21st, 2015

By Dasun Edirisinghe

The joint opposition yesterday challenged President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to make public all documents related to the UNHRC report on Sri Lanka’s alleged war crimes.

Addressing a well-attended rally at Viharamahadevi Park in Colombo, organised by the joint opposition, Mahajana Eksath Peramuna leader and Colombo District UPFA MP Dinesh Gunawardena said that the President, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera had betrayed Sri Lankan forces in Geneva by supporting the US-backed resolution against, Sri Lanka.

He said the Sri Lanka government, Sri Lanka’s security forces, the US Embassy in Sri Lanka, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and several other local and international NGOs had information pertaining to the provision of food and other supplies including medicines to the LTTE controlled area while the war was being fought.

“Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera, who led the government’s delegation to Geneva, did not have the strength of character to reveal such information and defend the country and he had meekly given in to US pressure,” Gunawardena said.

Former Foreign Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris said Prime Minister Wickremesinghe had even gone against the country’s Constitution by supporting the US-backed resolution.

Prof. Peiris said now the resolution had become Sri Lanka’s own resolution against itself because the government supported it despite several friendly countries advising it not to do so.

NFF Leader Wimal Weerawansa, PHU leader Udaya Gammanpila, LSSP Leader Prof. Tissa Vitharana, Communist Party Deputy Secretary Chandrasiri Gajadeera and Sri Lanka Mahajana Party General Secretary Asanga Navaratne also addressed the gathering.

UPFA MPs Dullas Alahapperuma, Kumara Welgama, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Bandula Gunawardena, Gamini Lokuge, Namal Rajapaksa, Prasanna Ranatunga, Kanchana Wijesekera, D.V. Chanaka Dilshan, Kanaka Herath, Salinda Dissanayake, Niroshan Premartne, Geetha Kumarasinghe and several UPFA Provincial Councillors also attended the rally.

Dissociative Disorders among the Sri Lankan Combatants

October 21st, 2015

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

The armed conflict in Sri Lanka lasted for nearly 30 years. The soldiers who participated in this war underwent extreme forms of battle stresses. Some of the combatants who were exposed to distressing battle events had dissociative reactions.

According to Chu (1998) dissociation refers to “a disruption of the normal integration of experience. As described by Van der Hart, Van der Kolk, & Boon (1998) Dissociation is a way of organizing information and it is a compartmentalization of experience: elements of an experience are not integrated into a unitary whole but are stored in isolated fragments.

The DSM-IV refers to dissociation as “a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment (APA, 1994). The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, (DSM-5) contains dissociative amnesia (DA), dissociative identity disorder (DID), dissociative fugue, depersonalization/derealization disorder, and dissociative disorder not otherwise specified (DDNOS) (APA, 2013).

Dissociation can be interpreted as a protective or defensive reaction in extreme stress. Among the dissociative disorders, psychogenic seizures, psychogenic tremors, aphonia and fugue states were found among combatants. Some of these reactions were evident soon after a traumatic battle event and some manifested as delayed reactions.

 

The Nature of Dissociative Disorders in Combat

The dissociative disorders, including “psychogenic” or “functional” amnesia, fugue, dissociative identity disorder (DID, also known as multiple personality disorder), and depersonalization disorder, were once classified, along with conversion disorder, as forms of hysteria ( Kihlstrom, 2005). Dissociative symptoms are an important element of the long-term psychopathological response to trauma (Bremner et al., 1992). Historically, the dissociative disorders were also considered among the most rare forms of psychopathology ( Kihlstrom, 2005).

According to Pierre Janet, dissociative disorders are characterized by the dissociation from ordinary consciousness and memory of `systems of ideas and functions that constitute personality. Such systems escape personal awareness and control (van der Hart & Nijenhuis 2001). Many traumatized individuals alternate between re-experiencing their trauma and being detached from, or even relatively unaware of the trauma and its effects (Nijenhuis & Van der Hart, 1999 ; Nijenhuis,   Van der Hart,   & Steele, 2004).).

Combat related stress can generate numerous traumatic experiences and this overwhelming stress can lead to unresolved mental conflicts and dissociation. These reactions disrupt the soldier’s normal integration of consciousness, memory, identity, emotion, perception, body representation, motor control, and behavior.

 

Somatoform Dissociation  

Somatoform dissociation is a unique construct that discriminates among diagnostic categories. It is highly characteristic of dissociative disorder patients (Nijenhuis et al., 1999). Along with psychoform dissociation, somatoform dissociation has been put forth as a core aspect of dissociative states, possibly as reliable as psychoform dissociation in the screening for dissociative disorders (Simeon et al., 2008). According to Pierre Janet and several World War I psychiatrists, dissociation also pertains to a lack of integration of somatoform components of experience, reactions, and functions (Nijenhuis, 2000).

Somatoform dissociation is supposed to be a vital aspect of the general concept of dissociation (Nilsson et al., 2015). Somatoform dissociation is a lack of the normal integration of sensorimotor components of experience, e.g., hearing, seeing, feeling, speaking, moving, etc. It is a major consequence of psychological trauma that is especially prevalent when threat to life from another person has occurred (van der Hart et al., ‎2000).

Waller et al (2000) stated that Somatoform dissociation can be understood as a set of adaptive psychophysiologic responses to trauma where there is a threat of inescapable physical injury. Those responses are related to a range of psychiatric disorders, and are likely to interfere with treatment of those disorders.

Somatoform dissociation was found among a number of Sri Lankan combatants who fought in the Eelam War. Captain SXXT7 served in the operational areas for over 7 years and witnessed the gruesome realties of the war. Once his best friend – another fellow officer died in front of his eyes due to enemy fire. His initial response was shock and fear. After these traumatic battle events, Captain SXXT7 experienced anesthesia and numbness in his right arm. He was referred to a Neurophysiologist who found no organic pathology. However he continued to experience anesthesia and numbness in his right arm for over one year.

Dissociative Amnesia

Dissociative amnesia following combat trauma in various wars has been extensively documented (Witzum et al., 2002). Dissociative amnesia is a disorder characterized by retrospectively reported memory gaps. These gaps involve an inability to recall personal information, usually of a traumatic or stressful nature (Leong, 2006) and it is characterised by functional impairment (Staniloiu & Markowitsch, 2014). Psychological stress and trauma were etiologically linked to its development across various cultures ( Markowitsch & , Staniloiu 2013).

Dissociative amnesia is classified by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, as one of the dissociative disorders, which are mental disorders in which the normally well-integrated functions of memory, identity, perception, or consciousness are separated (dissociated). Patients with dissociative amnesia usually report a gap or series of gaps in their recollection of their life history. The gaps are usually related to episodes of abuse or severe trauma. In dissociative amnesia, the continuity of the soldier’s memory is disrupted. They have recurrent episodes in which they forget important personal information or events, usually connected with trauma or severe stress.

Private DLX68 witnessed the death of four soldiers following an incoming mortar. Although Private D was physically unharmed he was frightened and felt powerless. He went in to heightened stress reaction and later evacuated by a medical evacuation squadron. Even after several years Private D could not remember how he was evacuated from his bunker and he had memory gaps about the incident which occurred in the battle field.

Fugue States in the Battle Field

Dissociative fugue is a rarely reported diagnostic entity (Mamarde et al., 2013). It is a psychiatric disorder characterized by amnesia coupled with sudden unexpected travel away from the individual’s usual surroundings and denial of all memory of his or her whereabouts during the period of wandering (Igwe, 2013).

Fugue states can result from dissociative disorders as well as depressive disorders. Dissociative fugue states are not uncommon in combat situations. During the Second World War and post-war period, some psychiatrists began to pay attention to two emerging phenomena: a high incidence of dissociative symptoms such as fugue and amnesia among combatants (Nakatani, 2000)

Corporal AXCN89 has served 17 years in the operational areas. On one occasion he went in to dissociative fugue and walked in to the enemy linens. He was not intoxicated. When he was found by a friendly group of soldiers, Corporal AXCN89 had thrown his weapon and was wondering about in hostile territory. He did not have any idea of what he was doing near the enemy lines. Later this soldier was diagnosed with dissociative disorder.

Psychogenic Seizures

Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures represent a complex interaction between neurologic and psychological factors (Pritchard & Hopp, 2014). They are somatic manifestations of psychologic distress (Kumar, 2004; Alsaadi & Marquez, 2005). Psychogenic non-epileptic seizures resemble epileptic seizures; have no electrophysiological correlate or clinical evidence for epilepsy, whereas there is positive evidence for psychogenic factors that may have caused the seizure (Bodde et al., 2009). Psychogenic non epileptic seizures are diagnostic and therapeutic challenge (Auxéméry et al., 2011).

Psychogenic attacks differ from epileptic seizures. They are usually differentiated from epileptic seizures on the basis of absence of tongue biting, falling, incontinence, post ictal phenomena and concomitant abnormalities on the electroencephalogram (de Timary et al., 2002).

Psychogenic seizures are caused by subconscious mental activity, not abnormal electrical activity in the brain. (Devinsky, 2007).Psychogenic seizures can arise from various psychological factors, may be prompted by stress, and may occur in response to suggestion. It has also been found that such disorders may be self-induced. They may be used to get attention, to be excused from work or merely to escape an intolerable combat situation.

Corporal CXVB43 was exposed to traumatic combat situations. A number of times he witnessed killings and faced enemy artillery attacks. Several times his platoon was surrounded by the enemy and every occasion he felt desolated. Corporal C was lucky enough to survive without any physical injuries. In 2004 he manifested convulsions and investigated at the National hospital Colombo. His post ictal EEG report and brain scan did not confirm any pathological condition. The eye witnessed account revealed that Corporal C is experiencing psychogenic epilepsy. He was diagnosed with Dissociative Disorder by the Consultant Psychiatrist of the Sri Lanka Army.

Psychogenic Aphonia

Psychogenic dysphonia refers to loss of voice where there is insufficient structural or neurological pathology to account for the nature and severity of the dysphonia, and where loss of volitional control over phonation seems to be related to psychological processes such as anxiety, depression, conversion reaction, or personality disorder (Baker, 2003). Psychogenic dysphonia has variable clinical manifestations (Martins et al, 2014). It is important to consider the psycho-emotional aspects involving patients with voice disorders since they may cause or modify the symptoms and affect the prognosis (Guimaraes et al., 2010). Therapeutic interventions in voice disorders recommend the adoption of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment (Sudhir et al., 2009).

Bombardier TLX64 experienced horrendous combat events during 1997-1998. On one occasion he and his team went on an ambush. Unexpectedly, the enemy attacked them and Bombardier T witnessed the deaths of his friends. The enemy shot them and chopped their heads with machetes. He was hiding in the woods and observed the terrible events. He was the only member who survived that day. In 1993 he complained numbness of the right hand and difficulty in speech. Bombardier T was seen by the Consultant ENT (Otorhinolaryngology) surgeon and found no ENT pathology. He regained his voice after hypnotherapy.

Psychogenic Tremors

Psychogenic tremor is the most common psychogenic movement disorder and it should be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with tremor, particularly if it is of abrupt onset, intermittent, variable and not congruous with organic tremor. The pathophysiology of Psychogenic tremor is poorly understood ( Thenganatt & Jankovic, 2014).

Tremor is defined as a rhythmic, involuntary, oscillating movement of a body part occurring in isolation. Psychogenic tremor may involve any part of the body, but it most commonly affects the extremities. Usually, tremor onset is sudden and begins with an unusual combination of postural, action, and resting tremors (Fernandez, Machado & Pandya, 2014).

Psychogenic tremor decreases with distraction and is associated with multiple other psychosomatic complaints (Ahmed, 2014). Diagnosis is based on history, clinical signs and investigations (Bhatia & Schneider, 2007). Several tests can be useful in diagnosis, such as: accelerometry, EMG and response to placebo or suggestion (Redondo et al., 2010).  Treatment requires a strong alliance between the medical team and patient (Redondo-Vergé, &   Carrion-Mellado, 2012).

Lance Corporal SXC54 was investigated for tremors and weakness of the right hand which had no apparent organic basis. After neuro-physiological investigations it was revealed that Lance Corporal SXC54 was suffering from psychogenic tremors. Combat stress may have had a link with his psychogenic tremors. As a soldier he had undergone a numerous combat related stress events. In 1991 he and his unit were trapped inside the Elephant Pass camp for nearly one month. The enemy attacked them with mortars. He was highly distressed and uncertain about the rescue. Finally they were freed by some friendly forces. Although he was able to leave the camp physically unharmed his mind was filled with battle events. After several months he experienced tremors in the right hand and he could not use his firearm. This phenomenon could be explained as unconscious avoidance of the battle field.

Delayed Dissociative Reactions

Combat stress has a residual effect on some veterans. The delayed retrieval of traumatic events have been written about for nearly 100 years in clinical literature of military veterans who survived combat. Delayed onset dissociative reactions have been found among some Sri Lankan combatants. The diagnosis of combat related Dissociative Disorders is more difficult in cases of delayed reaction to trauma. Some of the dissociative reactions can manifest 5-10 years after the original trauma or may be after a long period.

In the beginning of this century Janet already noted that: “certain happenings … leave indelible and distressing memories– memories to which the sufferer continually returns, and by which he is tormented by day and by night” (van der Kolk, 1994). According to Dr. Michael Robertson of the Mayo Wesley Clink, aging veterans of World War 2 have manifested combat stress reactions after 50 years Therefore treatment of combat stress cannot be limited to a specific time period.

Acknowledgements

  • Dr Neil J. Fernando – The Former Consultant Psychiatrist of the Sri Lanka Army
  • Dr Monday N. Igwe Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist Federal Teaching Hospital Abakaliki, Ebonyi State Nigeria & Lecturer, Department of Psychological Medicine Ebonyi State University Abakaliki, Nigeria.
  • Yvonne Schaffler Ethnomedicine and International Health Department for General Practice Center for Public Health Medical University of Vienna
  • Dr Jan Baker Speech Pathologist and Family Therapist Clinical Consultant in Voice and Counselling Supervision of Professional Practice Adjunct Associate Professor Flinders University, SA
  • Jack Tsai, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Yale School of Medicine Co-Director, Yale Division of Mental Health Services Research

References

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බුදුසසුන රැකගැනීම

October 21st, 2015

එස්. අකුරුගොඩ

1815න් පසුව, යලිත් වරක් විවිධ උපායන් මගින් රට සුදු අධිරාජ්‍යවාදින්ගේ යටත් විජිතයක් බවට පත්කර රටත් ජාතියත් ආගමත් විනාශ මුඛයට ලක්ව ඇති මොහොතක මල්වතු හා අස්ගිරි මහනාහිමිවරුන් කටයුතු කරන ආකාරය දෙස රටේ බෞද්ධයින් බලා සිටින්නේ මහත් සoවේගයෙනි.

එහෙත් 1815 දී සුද්දන්ගේ බසට රැවටී තාන්න මාන්න බලාපොරොත්තුවෙන් රට ජාතිය හා ආගම ගිවුසුමකින් ව්දේශිකයිනට පවරාදුන් එදා සිoහලේ පාලකයින් සිදුකළ මහාපාවාදීම ඇගයීමට එදා වැඩමකළ කොබ්බෑකඩුව මල්වතු මහනාහිමි අනුගමනය කරමින්, වත්මන් මල්වතු හා අස්ගිරිනාහිමි වරුන් යලිත් රට විදේශීය බලවතුනට යටත්කොට ඇති වත්මන් පාලකයින්ගේ ගුණ ගායනා කරනු දැකීම එතරම් පුදුමයක් නොවේ. හරියටම මීට වසර දසීයකට පෙර සිදුකල ඒ අනුවන කමේ විපාක දැක බලා ගැනීමට ඔවුනට වැඩි කලක් ගියේ නැත. 1818 ඌවේ කැරැල්ල එයට නිදසුනකි.

දෙවන ලෝක යුද්ධයක් නොවන්නට අපට 1948 දී නිදහස නොලැබෙන්නට ඉඩ තිබින. දෙවන ලෝක යුද්ධයෙන් පසුව බටහිරයන්ගේ හුදු දේශපාලන අරමුනු උදෙසා දෙකඩකළ බෞද්ධ වියටිනාමය හා කොරියාවත් ගැන සිතන්න. එවකට 85% බෞද්ධ වූ දකුණු කොරියාව අද බෞද්ධ රටක් නොවේ. මෙයින් වියටිනාමය බටහිරයන් පරදවා තම රට එක් සේසත් නොකළේ නම් වියටිනාමටද දකුණු කොරියාවටවූ දෙයම සිදුවනු නිසැකය.. බටහිරයන් ගේ යටත් වජිතයක්ව පැවති, අදත් ඇමරිකානු බලපෑමට ලක්ව ඇති, පිලිපීනයේ බුදුදහමට සිදුවූ විනාශය තවත් උදාහරණයකි.

එදා 1948දී අපට කිසියම් නිදහසක් සුද්දන්ගෙන් ලැබී, පසුව පනස්හයේ පෙරලිය නොවන්නට අද අප රටේ බුදු දහමටද කොරියාවට හෝ පිලිපීනයට සිදුවු දෙයම වන්නට ඉඩතිබින. 1948 -1956 කාලය තුල රට පාලනය කල එ.ජා.පය සුද්දන් අනුගමනය කරමින් පූර්ණ බටහිර ගැති පාලනයක් ගෙන ගියේය.

හැටේ දසකයේ මුල් අවදිය තෙක් රජයේ ආධාර ලබමින් පවත්වා ගෙන ගිය ආගමික පාසැල් රජයට නොගත්තේනම් හා එතෙක් රජයේ මුදල් මත යැපුන අනාත මඩම් නතර නොවූයේනම් ඇතැම්විට කොරියාවට වූදේට සමවන්නට අපටද ඉඩතිබුනි. පාසැල් රජයට පවරා ගැනීමත් සමගම 1962දී සිදුවන්නට ගිය හමුදාමය කුමන්ත්‍රණය සාර්ථක වී නම් අද මෙරට බුදු දහමක් තිබේවිද?

මල්වතු හා අස්ගිරි මහනාහිමිවරුන් දළදා වහන්සේගේ භරකාරත්වය දරණ තිදෙනාගෙන් දෙදෙනකු බැව් පැවසේ. එම මහනාහිමි තනතුරු ථේරවාද බුදු දහමේ වත්මන් උරුමයද අත්පත් කොට ගෙන සිටියි. එසේ වුවද, බෞද්ධයින්ගේ මුදුන් මල්කඩක් බඳූ දළදා මාළිගාවට හා සිරිමහා බෝධියට එල්.ටී.ටීය බෝම්බ ගසා වනාශකිරීමට දැරූ උත්සහය, අද අපේ බොහෝ ගිහියන්ට මෙන්ම, ථේරවාද බුදු දහමේ වත්මන් භාරකාරයින්ට පවා අමතකවී තිබීම අවාසනාවකි.

බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන වලට එරෙහිව එදා එල්.ටී.ටීය ආරම්භකල විනාශයන් ‘ඹ්නෑ ගොනෙකුට යුද්ධ කරන්න පුලුවනි’යයි කියමින් දිගටම සිදුකිරීමට ඉඩ හැරියේ නම් අද මෙරට බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන තිබේවිද?

එසේම, එම භාරකරුවන්, එදා දළදා මාළිගාවට හා සිරිමහා බෝධියට බෝම්බ ගැසූ එල්.ටී.ටී නායක ප්‍රභාකරන් සමග ඊනියා බියඟුලු සාම ගිවිසුම් ගැසූ හා දැන් එම වියසනයෙන් රට මුදවාගත් විරුවන්ගෙන් පලිගැනීමට බටහිරයනට රිසි පරිදි පහසුකම් සලසාලන අදූර දර්ශී වෛරී පාලනයේ ගුණවයමින් ඔවුන් තව තවත් දිරිගැන්වීම අද මෙරට බුදුදහම මුහුණදී ඇති කනගාටුදායක ඉරනම කියාපායි.

බුදුසසුන රැකගත යුතුය. ඵහෙත් ඵය රැකගත යුත්තේ සසුනෙන් පිටත සිටින සතුරන්ගෙන් පමනක්ම නොවන බැව් පෙනෙන්නට තිබේ.

 

Wimal Weerawansa 2015-10-19 Wihara mahadewi Parck Speech Video

October 21st, 2015

ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්‍ෂය විසින් සංවිධානය කරනු ලබන ජන සමුළු මාලාවේ පළමුවැන්න අද(19) කොළඹ විහාර මහාදේවී එළිමහන් රංග පීඨයේදී පැවැත්විය

Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka (RASSL), Monthly Public Lecture

October 21st, 2015

Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka (RASSL)

Royal Asiatic Society Sri Lanka (RASSL), Monthly Public Lecture The Challenges in Protecting the Monuments of the Ancient Fortress of Kotte” by Mr. Ishan Wiratunga, Secretary, Kotte Heritage Foundation  will be held on Monday 26th October 2015 at 5.00 p.m. at the Gamini Dissanayake Auditorium No. 96, Ananda Coomaraswamy Mawatha, Colombo 07.

Kotte is the 4th longest serving capital in ancient Sri Lanka but it is the most neglected archaeological site. Other than  the Alakeshwara Palace and Beaddgana mounds, the Rampart, ancient moats and associated locations are in great danger of extinction. Encroachers who destroy monuments get away as there are no proper name boards covering the entire kingdom of ancient Kotte. Although the DG of Archaeological Department had agreed to attend to this matter, it had delayed for a long period of time.

ALL ARE WELCOME

 

TULF Leader Sangaree’s Lawyer son Gary Anandasangaree elected to Canadian Parliament

October 21st, 2015

http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/43600

A 43 year old lawyer Sri Lankan Tamil origin has been elected as a Canadian member of Parliament from the Liberal party at the 42nd Canadian general elections held on October 19th 2015.

He is none other than the son of veteran Sri Lankan Tamil politician Veerasingham Anandasangaree leader of the Tamil United Liberation Front(TULF) who was formerly MP for Kilinochchi electorate and Jaffna electoral district.
Anandasangaree’s second son Sathiyasangaree Anandasangaree known as Gary Anandasangaree was elected from the newly created Scarborough – Rouge park constituency polling 29,906 votes. He won with the huge majority of 16,302 votes.His nearest rival Leslyn Lewis of the Conservatives got 13,302 votes.
The constituency termed “riding” in Canada is in the Ontario province of Canada.
Canada’s first ever Federal MP of Sri Lankan Tamil origin Radhika Sitsabaiesan lost her seat in the adjoining Scarborough North constituency. She made history as the first Sri Lankan tamil woman to be elected as an MP in a Western country when she won at the last elections contesting from the New Democratic Party.
The elections saw the incumbent prime minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative Govt being swept away by a Liberal party wave that resulted in the party led by Justin Trudeau winning convincingly. The prime minister elect Justin Trudeau is the son of former Canadian Prime minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau.
Gary Anandasangaree with his mother came to Canada as a ten year old boy in 1983. Following in the footsteps of his lawyer father Gary Anandasangaree qualified as a lawyer in Ottawa and established a lucrative practice in Toronto.
He also joined the Liberal party and engaged in Canadian mainstream politics. He was nominated as Liberal party candidate and has now entered Parliament after tasting success in his first attempt to contest a Canadian parliamentary election.
Former Sri Lankan cricketer KM Shantikumar now known as Kanthratnam Shanthikumar also contested in the same constituency as an NDP candidate and lost
Gary Anandasangaree has also been actively engaged in Tamil nationalist politics and human rights campaigning in Canada. He has regularly participated in the UN Human Rights Council sessions in Geneva.
In a bizarre twist the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam(LTTE) and pro-LTTE elements in Toronto canvassed strongly against Gary Anandasangaree at the elections. Tiger elements supported the conservative party in the current poll
The final result of Gary Anandasangaree riding the crest of a Liberal wave and winning has effectively snubbed the local tigers in a big way
Besides the Conservatives too have been defeated.
Besides Gary Anandasangaree from the Liberal party several other candidates of Sri Lankan Tamil origin also contested from the Conservative, New Democrats and Green party also contested in Ontario but failed to register victory.
​​

http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/43600

Why Is The U.S. Silently Bombing Syria’s Electricity Network?

October 21st, 2015

By Moon Of Alabama Information Clearing House

October 19, 2015 “Information Clearing House” – The Aleppo power plant is a 1,000 megawatt thermal plant in five units build by Mitsubishi Heavy Industry in 1995-1998. It is situated some 25 kilometers east of Aleppo city center.  During the fighting around Aleppo various electricity distribution stations were damaged and electricity in parts of the city has become scarce and unpredictable. But the main power station had so far not been hit.

The plant is in the hands of the Islamic State but there is an informal agreement between the government, which controls the distribution network, and those who hold the power generating station:

[T]he agreement of understanding pertains to the division of the electricity supply between the parties, whereby ISIS will receive 60% of the quota and the Syrian regime will receive 40%.

Both sides will have some electricity and the civilian as well as fighters on both side will be better off than without electricity. No side has a motive to destroy that plant.

But last night the U.S. coalition bombed the Aleppo thermal power plant and destroyed parts of it:

A military source told SANA that warplanes of the Washington alliance violated Syrian airspace and attacked civilian infrastructure in Mare’a, Tal Sha’er, and al-Bab in Aleppo countryside on Sunday.

The source added that the warplanes attacked the biggest electric power plant that feeds Aleppo city, which resulted in cutting off power from most neighborhoods in Aleppo city.

Just a week ago U.S. air attacks had attacked another power station and a big distribution transformer al-Radwaniye also east of Aleppo.

The electricity generation and distribution system is civil infrastructure. It is used and useful to everyone no matter what side of the conflict. After the first U.S. attack on a power station a week ago the Russian president Putin was asked about the strikes. He called them “strange”:

“On Sunday, the American aviation bombed out an electrical power plant and a transformer in Aleppo. Why have they done this? Whom have they punished there? What’s the point? Nobody knows,” the president said at a meeting with the Russian government members.

The Russians and the Syrians are sure that it were F-16 planes from the U.S. coalition that bombed the power infrastructure even though the coalition reports do no mention the attacks. Why are these bombings not mentioned in the U.S. coalition reports?

The U.S. claims it is only fighting the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. It accuses Russia of not only attacking ISIS even though Russia, and Putin himself, always said that ISIS is not their sole target but that supporting the Syrian government against all its enemies is the overarching aim. The Russian just snuffed out a 16 vehicle ISIS convoy. Something that the U.S. somehow never manages to do. The U.S. itself, by the way, has killed and kills some non-ISIS “moderate rebels”. All its complains against the Russians are just nonsense.

But why would fighting ISIS or this or that “moderate rebel” terrorist necessitate the destruction of valuable infrastructure which serves all sides of the Syrian society?

Without the plant Aleppo city, with some 2-3 million inhabitants and refugees, as well as the surrounding areas in Aleppo governate have no electricity. The damage the U.S. bombing caused will make sure that any repair will take a long time. This will make life for people on every side of the war more unbearable and more people will leave to seek refuge in foreign countries.

Is that the purpose of the U.S. bombardment of electricity infrastructure in Syria? If not what else is this supposed to achieve?

Arjuna in post-fixing, appoints brother as ports chief

October 21st, 2015

Yahapalana New

Ports and Shipping Minister Arjuna Ranatunga has appointed his brother, former cricketer Dammika Ranatunga, as Chairman of the Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA). Mr. Ranatunga, a younger sibling of the Minister, assumed duties on Thursday, SLPA sources said.

The move took many by surprise as the elder Ranatunga had been at the forefront of the campaign against nepotism and corruption against the previous Government.  Once he took over as Minister, however, he facilitated the removal of the earlier chairman, vice chairman and the SLPA’s board of directors and then installed his brother in the topmost position.
There was a pirith ceremony this week at the Colombo Port to shower blessings on the new appointee. His selection also puts paid to promises made by President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that top posts at vital Government institutions will be filled on a “scientific basis” by an independent committee headed by them.
Before the August 17 parliamentary elections, Minister Ranatunga (who held the same portfolio in the interim Government) requested the SLPA chairman, vice chairman and board members to give him signed letters of resignation. He assured them the letters would be used only if necessary.
On September 8, the minister faxed them notes stating he had accepted their resignations. There was no prior warning. The new chairman has played in two Test matches for Sri Lanka.

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Truth-seking and Path-following – A moral conundrum for the Ardant Buddhist.

October 20th, 2015

R Chandrasoma

The Tathāgata was a Seeker of the Truth before his enlightenment – and his career as the Great Expositor was preceded by a dialectical interaction with the leading saintly intellects of the day. The Jaina Teachings provided the initial stimulus for his path-breaking spiritual innovations and the Brahaminic wisdom of the day was an everpresent background against which he set his revolutionary teachings on Anatta and Anicca. The point to stress is that he was a quester of the truth before he turned discoverer of the path. The earnest Buddhist Pilgrim or Devotee of today is faced with a puzzling choice – must he, like the Great Teacher, seek the truth before adopting a creed or Follow the Path that  the Enlightened One had discovered and luminously set forth for the good of all? Seemingly all established religions set forth a path that must be traversed before the attainment of that spiritual and moral excellence that is the necessary pre-requisite for a fulfilled life. Must it not be conceded, however, that a huge gulf separates the Seeker from the mere Follower? As that Modern Sage Krishnamurti puts it ‘Truth cannot be brought down, rather the individual must make the effort to ascend to it. You cannot bring the mountain-top to the valley. If you would attain to the mountain-top you must pass through the valley, climb the steeps, unafraid of the dangerous precipices’.

We say all this because the Buddhists of Sri Lanka are fast becoming Path Followers and that questing metaphysical spirit – the desire to know the truth through personal endevour – has all but gone. Earnest seekers of the Truth must tussle with the enemy of ignorance by reviewing all pretenders to this truth – including those beliefs and systems of thought that seem greatly at variance with the enthroned beliefs of their own religion. In this day and age Science is religion’s chief adversary – and for a sincere Buddhist to set aside or overlook this high achievement in secular matters is not merely odd but perilous. In our country contrariness is equated with the heretical and to hew to a well-known path of lofty indifference to anything outside the professed orthodoxy seems to be the accepted wisdom – the wisdom of only looking backwards.   Orthodox Monks of the Sinhala Tradition speak glibly of Heavens and Hells –  glorious Abodes for the Worthy and Punishment Centres of extraordinary cruelty for the Wicked. This phantasmagoric vision of ethical re-balancing in distant worlds is an acient but  childish dream – but it persists in the kind of debased folk-Buddhism that the masses  are made to believe. In the latter, Karmic Merit is treated as a transferable commodity and placatory ‘poojas’ for the gods play a foremost role in the pious endevours of the lackadaisical Buddhist masses of our country.  Above all, an Ecclesiastical Brotherhood of Renunciants – the Monks – now play the role of the Exclusive Interpreters of the Doctrine (Saerdotalism). Religious Services – not the pursuit of the Sacred Truth – is at the heart of the new orthodoxy. That this is a truly lamentable metamorphosis of a great religion that has illumined the lives of countless millions will be conceded by all who treasure the truth as against the trumpery of a show-piece public religion for the masses. A concluding word on Buddhism – it is an awakening to transcendence – the aqustion of a spiritual vision that makes the worldly and mundane a distraction in the great task of being one with the Absolute. (Nirvana)

Let bygones be bygones; Colombo urges Beijing, as Chinese loans take their toll

October 20th, 2015

Adaderana

Sri Lanka is urging China to put their disputes behind them and help the South Asian nation through one of its worst financial crises ever, caused partly by excessive Chinese loans contracted by the previous government of Beijing ally Mahinda Rajapaksa.

 

“Chinese loans are a big part of our problem. A bulk of the government expenditure goes into servicing them,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told the South China Morning Post in an exclusive interview.

 

“I urge China to put the acrimony of the past behind us and come and help us by adjusting the terms of the loans to make them more viable. We are serious about putting our relationship on the right path and mending the pathetic finances we have inherited from a corrupt regime.”

 

Relations between Colombo and Beijing have been strained since Rajapaksa was ousted in January’s presidential election. The new unity government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe have put on hold several Chinese infrastructure projects alleging graft.

 

Beijing this month rushed a special envoy, Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhenmin, to Colombo to engage the unity government, reinstated by parliamentary elections in August.

 

Nearly 70 per cent of the infrastructure projects in the country in the last six years have been funded by China and built by Chinese companies.  With foreign debt shooting up since China started pouring concrete and money into Sri Lanka, economists now say the country is heading into a debt crisis.

 

“In 2010, foreign debt was 36 per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product). By the end of 2013, it was about 65 per cent, and is estimated to rise to 94 per cent this year,” said Palitha Ekanayake, a former director-general at the ministry of rural economy. “Debt instalment and interest obligations already exceed government revenue. That means we have to borrow to square existing loans.”

 

With the exchequer creaking and the fiscal deficit widening, Karunanayake will next month present one of the most difficult budgets in Sri Lanka’s history.

 

Foreign reserves have fallen from US$9.1 billion in August last year to US$6.8 billion by the end of September this year. To beef up reserves, he has urged citizens holding Swiss bank accounts to move their money to Sri Lanka, promising there would be “no questions asked”.

 

The Sri Lankan rupee has lost about 7.5 per cent this year and foreign investors are selling down rupee bonds. The government is, naturally, desperate for foreign direct investment (FDI).

 

“The focal point of our coming budget will be FDI. We need foreign participation and we will give very specific incentives to encourage FDI. It’s a good opportunity for Chinese companies to invest here,” said Karunanayake.

 

China, however, has made it clear that it first wants to see an end to the impasse over its existing projects, especially a mega reclamation project called Colombo Port City, before making fresh commitments.

 

Asked what Sri Lanka is doing to address Chinese concerns over its investments, the minister said: “We did not create the problem, we inherited it. But it has to be fixed all the same. Any country would want FDI. but in accordance with the laws of the land,” South China Morning Post reports.

 


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