Leaked inspectors report: UK schools discriminate against non-Muslims

April 19th, 2014

Courtesy RT

Schools in the UK city of Birmingham are discriminating against non-Muslim students, practice forced sex segregation and invite extremists to promote Islamic values among the children, says an official report leaked to The Telegraph.

The report released by the inspectors from the Department for Education focuses on three Birmingham’s schools, including Park View School, a secondary school with an academy status, Golden Hillock School, also an academy and Nansen Primary School.

The Park View School practiced forced sex segregation as “boys [were] sitting towards the front of the class and girls at the back or around the sides” despite the school’s claims that such separation was voluntary, says the report.

“Students told us they were required to sit in the places which they were given by teachers,” add the inspectors, saying that this method (of sex segregation) is considered to be “non-compliance with the Equality Act” and is “less favorable treatment for girls.”

The school was missing many “un-Islamic” elements from the GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education) syllabus and the subjects were formed “to comply with conservative Islamic teaching.”

Park View also encourages to “begin and end each lesson with a prayer.” The call for prayer was broadcast via loudspeakers across the school, says the report.

School officials at Park View have invited Sheikh Shady al-Suleiman, an extremist preacher “known to extol… the stoning of homosexuals, anti-Semitic views [and is] sympathetic to Al-Qaeda,” according to the report.

“Non-Muslims” have to teach themselves

Golden Hillock school banned any discussion of sexual orientation or intimacy, a move which highly affected “the broad and balanced teaching of many subjects, including art and English literature.”

Christian and non-Muslim students also suffered discrimination, add the inspectors as many Christian students at school “have to teach themselves” in one GCSE subject after the teacher “concentrated on the students who were doing the Islamic course.”

The only primary school among them was Nansen where 10-11-year-old children were not taught arts, humanities or music while Arabic was a compulsory subject for all the children.

The biology classes at all three schools were also changed according to Islamic values. The biology teacher “briefly delivered the theory of evolution to comply with the syllabus,” and explained to the children that “this is not what we believe,” a child from one of the schools told the inspectors.

“Topics such as body structure and the menstrual cycle were not covered in class, though pupils needed them for the GCSE exam .”‰.”‰. students told us that as Muslims they were not allowed to study matters such as reproduction with the opposite sex,” wrote the inspectors.

 

Image from nansen.bham.sch.uk

Image from nansen.bham.sch.uk

According to the report, all three schools were in reality ruled by Tahir Alam, a chair of governors at the Park View School academy and a leading activist of the Muslim Council of Britain. Alam had an “inappropriate day-to-day role in the running of the schools” and received undeclared payments from them as a “consultant,” the report says.

“Rude and dismissive” attitude towards ‘non-Muslim staff’

Meanwhile, the schools also reorganized their teaching staff according to Islamic standards. According to the report, school chiefs filled leading positions at schools with close relatives, who had no teaching experience. So teaching standards as well as children’s safety were put at risk, says the report.

Female staff at one of the schools were also treated in a “rude and dismissive” way.” “One of the senior leaders [at Nansen] interviewed reported that she had never met a governor or been invited to a governing body meeting, although the male senior leader with similar responsibilities was invited to every meeting,” says the report.

Park View’s non-Muslim executive head teacher, Lindsey Clark, had been marginalized and reduced to a figurehead. The governors of the school said that she was “was unaware of the names of some of the more recent appointments to the senior leadership team.” In March Clark said that Park View established an “all-female madrasah” type of education, a specific type of religious school or college for the study of the Islamic religion. She retired at the beginning of April.

The governors at Nansen appointed the brother of a convicted terrorist as a deputy head teacher. Razwan Faraz “was appointed deputy only three years after [achieving] qualified teacher status,” the report says. Faraz is an administrator of the Educational Activists group, which is calling for an “Islamising agenda” in Birmingham schools.

Meanwhile, the shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, is prepared to attack those who promote religious values on secular schools on Saturday.

“We cannot have narrow, religious motives which seek to divide and isolate dictating state schooling. We cannot have head teachers forced out, teachers undermined, curricula rewritten and cultural or gender-based segregation,” he said at NASUWT (National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers) union conference in Birmingham.

In March, Birmingham city council started investigating the allegations that a group of radical Muslims were attempting to islamize Birmingham schools. A leaked letter to Birmingham City Council outlined a plan called ‘Operation Trojan Horse,’ which aimed at “taking over” at least four schools in areas of the city with large Muslim populations.

According to the letter, a group of radical Muslims was trying to oust head teachers and secretly turn schools into Muslim academies based on Salafi Islam principles. Salafis strictly adhere to religious traditions of the seventh century rather than 21st century realities. The movement has been linked to some terrorist groups around the world.

Alam, who was accused of being one of the plotters, said that the letter was “a malicious fabrication and completely untrue.”

The Department for Education and Birmingham City Council agreed to investigate the letter, although West Midlands Police decided that it was not a matter for them.

Meanwhile, the probe into Birmingham schools has widened. According to the reports, released from Thursday, at least 25 schools in the city are now under investigation.

Wilpattu Plunder ” Elephants and Leopards Replaced by Muslims?

April 19th, 2014

Kumar Moses

In one of the worst plunders this nation has seen after the British left, Wilpattu National Reserve is being destroyed by unscrupulous extremist elements. What is most surprising is this happens without anyone protesting against it! Wilpattu National Reserve is a national treasure. Forest cover of the island has reduced drastically from 25% four decades ago to just 15% today. With the plunder of Wilpattu, it will worsen dramatically. Led by a UPFA MP and minister, Muslim colonization of Wilpattu happens unabated. Interestingly the same is happening in Yala ” the only other large National Reserve. The culprits are the same. The reason for this massive plunder is uncontrolled humongous population growth of the Muslim community. Government attention must be drawn to this time bomb which can have huge adverse ecological, sociological, economic and security implications. The root cause must be addressed, not the symptoms.
Wilpattu3

Astronomical population growth

Astronomical population growth of the community is at the heart of the problem. Since 1881 to 2012 the Muslim population increased 10 times compared to just 7 times for the others. At this tremendous population growth rate, Muslims have run out of land in their original places of abode. Hence expansion into national reserves and forests. Special laws apply to Muslims in the country including legal polygamy and ease of divorce. A Muslim man can be concurrently married to four women but if a non-Muslim concurrently marries two men, he commits a criminal offence! A Muslim may simply and quickly divorce his wife using the Islamic ‘Thalaak’ system but a non-Muslim has to undergo a gruelling and lengthy divorce process that may take up to 7 years for him to marry again. Contraception is not practiced widely in the Muslim community. Saudi Arabian financing reaches Sri Lankan Muslims to populate the island. These four reasons are the main driving forces of their unsustainable population growth.

Unless the government addresses these issues of legal discrimination in marriage and divorce, Arabic financing of population growth and lack of contraception in the Muslim community, this problem will worsen. Not just people of other creeds but also the flora and fauna will be pushed out to create room for them.                                                       

Over 100,000 Maldivian Muslims have illegally migrated to the island. This too adds to the burden. Had the Sri Lankan government entered into a legal agreement to accept Maldivians in return for area gains adjacent to the Exclusive Economic Zone it would have benefitted the nation. In the absence of such reciprocal gains, the influx of Maldivians into the island is a large burden.

Jaffna Muslims must be resettled in Jaffna                                                            

LTTE achieved two goals by the genocide of Muslims in Jaffna District in Black August 1990. Firstly it created a Tamil-only Jaffna District as desired by Tamil nationalists. Secondly, it caused a burden to Puttlam Sinhalese as these displaced Muslims (80,000 in number) settled in Puttlam District. The demographics of Puttlam District changed dramatically and a new Tamil speaking community was artificially established in Puttlam.

The war ended in May 2009 with the annihilation of Tamil Terrorists. All displaced Muslims from Jaffna District must be resettled in Jaffna. They should not be allowed to remain in Puttlam (unless they have their own land). Fear of Tamil reprisals and Tamil racist politics keep the government from resettling Muslims in Jaffna. This is a self defeating approach to a genuine problem. If all Jaffna displaced Muslims and their families are resettled in their original places of abode, the ruling party would have created a loyal vote base in otherwise barren TNA territory.                                                    

There are no designated ethnically exclusive homelands in this island. Displaced Muslims must be resettled back in Jaffna where they lived for centuries. They have the same right to live in Jaffna as Colombo Tamils have the right to live in Colombo.

A “Brown Sahib” as our new envoy to New Delhi?

April 18th, 2014

By Bandu de Silva

          If getting a person out of sight is the new criteria in selecting candidates for higher diplomatic postings, as reportedly attributed to the President of the country in respect of a proposed higher appointment to the High Commission Australia, one need not be unduly disturbed to think that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has set a new trend. No. The first time the formula was applied was when Prime Minister SWRD Bandaranaike appointed Dr.Gunapala Malalasekera as the first Sri Lankan Ambassador to Moscow in 1957. The Prime Minister gave Dr.Malalasekera whatever he asked at his new post, whether it was in the form of emoluments, allowances, Frai de Representation, or the staff. He took W.D.Fernando (Veda), former Ayurvedic Commissioner as Counsellor, Pathirana, a former colleague of mine, a teacher from the lower school of Dharmaraja College, Kandy, who was a good Buddhist, who perhaps, made up for the abstinence practiced by Dr.Malalasekera. Other staff provided by the Ministry of Defence and External Affairs included the senior diplomat, Vernon Mendis and G.A. Fernando who too was also a well honed diplomat.

That Mr Bandaranaike wanted to get rid of Dr.Malalasekera was not publicly discussed but many knew of it because the Prime Minister thought his presence could be troublesome to his newly formed government where nationalist forces were over-active. Dr.Malasekera himself knew it. That is how I came to know about it. During a long train journey of several days visiting Chinese Buddhist shrines when he came over from Moscow on a visit to China, when I accompanied him, he discussed with me the internal politics of the country and many other matters. He wanted to share something with his former part time Pali student in the University, that is something that had been festering in his mind, the circumstances about his appointment. “They thought they were getting rid of me”.he suddenly exclaimed. I felt that he had been hurt, but he told me that it did not matter. “There is material benefits I gained since I have been able to save some money for the first time in life”. It was rumoured that he was the highest paid diplomat in Moscow after the US Ambassador. It could be true because the allowances were reduced twice after he left. Then he told me that he would like to invest in a tea property and asked me if I knew any good property.

Dr Malalasekera did not take the appointment negatively. He proved his mettle in diplomacy in Moscow with his intellectual prowess and later earned other high posts like that of High Commissioner in UK, and High Commissioner in Ottawa overseeing UN. He worked with his assistants as a team , and encouraged each one to contribute. He remained the Editor ”in Chief for reports which went out to the Foreign Office. I read his reports from New York. They were precise and stimulating but critical of some of his associates like Ezlyn Deraniyagala, a relative of the Bandaranaike’s whom the Bandaaranaike’s repeatedly sent to the UN as leader of one of the four Committees, who was critical of the Africans and even called them “uneducated and uncivilized” .

Under Prime Minister Dudley Senanayake, his diplomatic assignment had come to an end. The Sri Lankan academic community in Australia where I was then Deputy High Commissioner when Dr.Malalasekera visited Australia, informed me that the Professor was being side-tracked by Dudley and asked me to arrange a few TV interviews for him at the ABC channels in Sydney and Melbourne, to revive “the spirit of the Professor, and to let the Australians know the caliber of this Sri Lankan academic and intellectual”. I undertook this willingly, being ready to answer any queries from the government, if any were to arise. It was facilitated by the Manager of ABC who was a close friend of mine.          

Whatever the reasons may be, that was an excellent choice of an academic for diplomatic postings. That was because Dr.Malalasekera was a superior intellectual. There has been no repetition of it since though there were several academics appointed as Heads of Mission.

          Prime Minister Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike, for whatever reason, sent out during her second term in office, several academics as heads of mission to important missions like Washington (WS Karunaratne), Beijing,(Karannagoda), and Paris/UNESCO (Sarchchandra). They had all supported her Party during elections in some ways, though a person like Sarachchandra was critical of the way the JVP was treated. As Ambassador in Paris, he was counting the number of dead bodies which were floating down in the Kelani river after operations around Kegalla, and Kitulgala.

Representation in Washington had been a flop for long years. Nothing seems to have happened in developing a Sri Lanka friendly diplomatic front. When Mrs Bandaranaike’s domestic policy of nationalization brought about a head- on clash with US interests, there was no diplomatic representation in Washington capable enough to handle the crisis. No Ambassador appointed to Washington warned Mrs. Banadaranaike about the dire consequences which could result from taking over US economic interests in the island without payment of compensation though that might have appeared bravado on the part of her government. In Iran, the popular Prime Miniister Moaasadeq suffered a worse situation after nationalizing US and other foreign owned oil companies. W.S Karunaratne, a reputed Lecturer in Buddhist Philosophy, appointed as Ambassador to Washington at a critical time in US ”Sri Lanka relations when Mrs Bandaranaike’s nationalitsaion of oil companies followed, was not a diplomat to handle crisis situations though he had been an effective public speaker at political gatherings in Sri Lanka and a forceful exponent of Buddhist philosophy at as a University Don.

Sri Lanka suffered the withdrawal of World Bank sponsored economic aid and the economy was in a dire state. As Dayan Jayatillka rightly pointed out in his recent article “The crisis in US-Sri Lanka relations” (Ceylon Today, April 4,2014), it was the US Ambassador, Van Hollen, whom he calls a “master diplomat” who established such an excellent personal equation with the anti-western Prime Minister Sirima Bandaranaike that he was suspected of being responsible for the ejection of the leftwing partners of the ruling coalition, it was Van Hollen’s initiative which finally brought back the World Bank sponsored economic aid programme to Sri Lanka.

I was a personal witness to know how much this change in relations with US mattered to Mrs.Bandaranaike’s government from the way as I observed, Dr.H A de S Gunasekera, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Planning , who single-handedly, led the Sri Lanka delegation to the resumed World Banka led Aid Consortium meetings in Paris, with me to assist him for two years, handled this very delicate situation. I recall, in the second year after the resumption of aid in a moderate way, the Indian government sent its own representative, an old friend of mine from the IFS, to find out what was happening. I remember asking this representative, Sood, then Counsellor of the Paris Embassy, (later Ambassador), if his government was worried that Sri Lanka was veering away from its earlier strong anti-west policy .

At the Washington end, even our much spoken of diplomat Neville Kanakaratne remained impotent in the face of the crisis which developed ”he was just going round the States delivering impressive lectures and engaging himself in trivialities outside his domain like probing into the way I had, as Minister of the Embassy, like probing into the way I had conducted wheat aid negotiations with EEC through the French Bank for Development. I had to silence him calling his intervention gratuitous but also foolish because he did not know the basis of price-formula agreed internationally.

. .Diplomacy had to be a continuing process not something that could be attempted in fits and starts. Even if someone like Wilmot Perera in Beijng laid the firm foundation for building up a healthy foundation, unless there were others to build on it, the initiative could not have been be sustained. In the case of US, there was no evidence that such an initiative had ever been taken in the long years and sustained. As such any criticism of personae at a time has to be a qualified one.    

The other academics Mrs Bandaranaike sent out to Beijing and Paris/Unesco were found to be non-performers as far as the objects of sending them was concerned. Kaarannagoda in Beijing who was seen unable to manage his personal affairs was seen in the midst of a big diplomatic scandal. In Paris, Sarachachandra was seen spending his energies not on the objects for which he was sent, especially at UNESCO, but on playing ‘Ping-Pong’ for nearly the whole day with his female personal Secretary, or with the minor staff. His record at UNESCO which was one of avoidance, was so dismal that for the next UNESCO General Conference in Nairobi, on recommendations of Dr. Premadasa Udagama, Permanent Secretary of Education, who led the delegation, the Prime Minister sent me to take over from him.

President Chandrika Kamaratunga sent her kinsman, Prof. Senaka Bandraranayake, an academic of high standing in archaeology (not field archaeology) as Ambassador to France /UNESCO   but he was diplomatically so na¯ve to think that UNESCO would be impressed by his standing as an academic who had specialized in writing about Buddhist monastic buildings and did not see the futility of contesting the post of Director General of UNESCO, even before, as I then wrote, he “knew to walk the corridors of Palace Fontanay (UNESCO).” The result which was two votes in his favour in the first round did not commensurate the expenditure incurred by the President on that election in sending special Ministerial delegations to canvass in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, even on a greater scale than President Rajapaksa sent this time for the national cause of defending against the US sponsored Resolution in Geneva. He did not even have the sense to withdraw from the contest before he could see the vote reduced to a single one, as reported, in the second round. He was soon withdrawn from Paris/UNESCO and sent to New Delhi as High Commissioner at a time India had withdrawn IPKF forces from Sri Lanka and Indo-Sri Lanka relations were at a low ebb.

These persons may have had some expertise in their respective academic fields but never found to contribute anything except routinely to promote the diplomatic interests of the country, not to speak of meeting any crisis situations. I have nothing against academics. As I said at the beginning, we have had excellent academics, rather intellectuals, like Dr G.P.Malalasekere who adorned the diplomatic posts which he held in Moscow, London and Ottawa (New York) but haven’t had anyone like that after that. Dr. Stanley Kalpage, as High Commissioner In New Delhi at a critical time and was a good organizer, had a different role to play as President J.R.Jayewardene’s representative.

Lessons

These are a few lessons the government could look back upon when deciding on academics to represent the country as diplomats. That is not to say that successive governments since 1977 have made better choices of other personnel. As many commentators have remarked, some of them   are a shame for the country. If the most recent news of a high diplomatic appointment to the High Commission in Canberra is a case in point, one cannot complain about any appointment. Even the UNP government, later sent an active former JVP cadre as Ambassador to Cuba because his brother had who himself was an active JVPer had become a minister in the UNP government (Later joined the present government). The question is not the political allegiance (or shifting ones) but the qualifications.

“Conflict Resolution” man as new envoy

What has one to say then if the news is correct that Sudarshan Seneviratne is to be appointed as the next head of mission in New Delhi? Does that mean that the Foreign Ministry or the government has now exhausted all talent in the country to project its point of view and wants to try a person who claims to be a “Conflict Resolution ” man in New Delhi, in the hope that his thesis in conflict resolution through mis -interpretation of history and archaeology, and his old connection as a post graduate from New Delhi, could bring about a positive change in Indo-SRI Lanka relations which had reached a low ebb? That may look a better proposition than sending someone out on a diplomatic post in order “to get rid of him”.

Like the idea of Celebrating Portuguese arrival Centenary

          If the External Affairs Ministry is behind this reported choice of Sudarshan Seneviratne, it smacks of the lack of historical and cultural perspective a former government displayed once when making decisions. That is remembering how he once a former government proposed the idea to celebrate the arrival of the Portuguese, a national disaster, in a commemoration ceremony in 2005, (the idea ld to Sri Lanka by the then Portuguese Foreign Minister) perhaps, with a grand show on the Mahapanne (Mapane) beach-head at Galle Face, like what was planned on the beaches of Cochin in South West India where Vasco de Gama arrived with his fleet but which event was aborted by people arching on to the beach.

If the External Affairs Ministry was not the one which made the choice, my remark will apply to such other, whoever it is.

On the positive side, one may say that Sudarshan Seneviratne was highly rated by the late Foreign Minister, Lakshman Kadiragamar, who appointed him a Consultant on Foreign Affairs to the Foreign Ministry based on his claimed knowledge on “Conflict Resolution.” Though I considered Lakshman, my former University colleague, as a very judicious man, he seemed to have been carried away by this academic bluff. What a bogus claim Sudarshan Senevitatne was making, I have already exposed in an article published in The Island in 2007 (http://www.island.lk/2007/10/11/features-5html) (now not accessible I suppose) challenging his earlier assertion published in August 2007 in the same newspaper.

South India Sri Lanka Cultural Region (SISL) Concept

          This was the figment ofSudarhan Seneviratne, a post graduate student from the Jawaharlal Nehru University of New Delhi. It is conjecture that people moved freely during the prehistoric Megalithic and Mesolithic period between the seas of the Palk Strait, which has not been proven. It has no support from other scientists but has been grist for the mill for an academic like K.Indrapala, who has quoted him extensively to support his ideas of Tamils and Sinhalese as “two siblings growing up together” and as “joint achievers” in building up the nation before the 12th century CE , partaking even in hydro technology.

Further more, Indrapala has taken Sudarshan Seneviratne’s “demystifying ” the knowledge of the past to the other extreme to ignore the accepted evidence- based rise of a polity formation in the island with a strong cultural foundation as seen from over thousands of Brahmi -Prakrit inscriptions during a short period of three to four centuries before and around the Christian era. In other words, both have attempted to dilute (demystify) the idea of rise of a strong Sri Lankan identity formation by submerging it in his conjectured SISL project .

Seneviratne was no pre-historic archaeologist of standing like Dr Siran Deraniyagala, a scientist with international accreditation and acceptance and Sri Lanka’s first trained archaeologist in pre-history.

The contradiction in Seneviratne’s thesis exposes itself when he picks up what I called “scraps” of evidence found on the precincts of Jetavanaramaya ignoring the significance of the far more imposing evidence staring at his face in the form of the massive Jetavanarama Dagoba itself whose technological features alone, including brick manufacture calls for far greater attention. Such is the imbalance in his interpretation of archaeological data.

This is the type of false evaluation on which our scholar has based his SISL project. That is to say that South India is not foreign but part and parcel of one cultural region. Consequently, Tamil historians have built up the idea that early usurpers were no foreigners as the chronicles ay, but local chieftains. That is how our “Conflict Resolution” man paved the way, as he says, to “demystify” history.  

Can one then ask if he, as Foreign policy advisor, he was applying the SISL formula and advising the government, he could be seen as advising (read demystifying) the government that there need not be an issue over Kachchativu or fishing dispute. Let both sides enjoy the common resource, as natures gift to both, bilateral agreements notwithstanding . What else? Similarly, he might even revive the old latent idea of Sri Lanka federating with India under the Indian Union, of not annexed to Tamil Nadu as part of his pet SISL concept. No wonder K.Indrapala found his arguments grist for the mill for his new book, “Evolution of an Ethnic Identity: The Tamils of Sri Lanka c.300 BCE to c.1200 CE”.  

A Brown sahib of Macaulay’s definition

I have already exposed Sudarshan Seneviratne’s thesis as nothing but “Brown Sahaibism” of the Macaulay’s advocacy, this time around, in a new guise: “Brown in Colour but Indian in Thought”. What else can one call a person who picks up “scraps” of archaeological evidence like a stamp-size Nestorian Cross found long ago on the precincts of the Jetavanarama Dagoba at Anuradhapura which had long been forgotten, and a small Buddha figurine with a Tamil writing on it, (a recent find) to build up a “multi culturalism” thesis to interpret Sri Lanka’s past, ignoring the significance of the great monument, Jetavanarama, itself where these scraps were found. Questioning Sudarshan Seneviratne’s thesis of multi-culturaism based on ‘specs’ of evidence I wrote in The Island in2007,:

“So, it is not surprising that in Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne’s ‘deconstruction’ and ‘demystifying’ the study of heritage, (The Island of 8th and 15th August 2007, sub-titled ‘Towards an alternative dialogue -Re-reading Heritage for Conflict Resolution”, (an abridged version of his Vesak Commemoration Lecture delivered in Katmandu, on 28th May 2007),he has picked up such ‘scraps’ like the miniature Nestorian Cross (It has been there for long) and the [miniature] Buddha statue with Tamil inscriptions offered by a mercantile community (a more recent discovery) and large quantities of imported ceramics and beads found near Jetavana stupa during excavations as evidence of multiple contribution (not excluding equal contribution) to the ‘shared culture’ with all ethnic groups as ‘equal share-holders’, thereby overlooking the overwhelming evidence on the main centre of attraction which is the Jetevana stupa itself which stands on several acres of ground, complete with adjuncts, as the tallest stupa built in the world, second in height only to the great pyramid in Egypt, which is an architectural wonder both in concept, design and execution, as the greater contribution. The degree of scientific aspects displayed by the builders in the construction of this magnificent monument, including the mastery of the brick industry, receives no special priority in this scheme of presentation. That is the price of interpreting cultural heritage with the objective of achieving the objective of conflict resolution.

“The introduction of this type of imbalance in appreciation of the reality of higher cultural contributions by one group to its disadvantage and to the advantage of others, in other words, supporting the overall thesis of parity of contributions irrespective of the quality and volume of respective contributions with the further objective of subscribing to the idea of conflict resolution, is a deliberate in-put in the `deconstruction’ process.

The main issue then is the acceptability or not, of the rhetoric of giving equal weight to both large and small contributions so as to almost erase the historical reality of the predominant presence of one against others. This obliteration of superior contribution of one contained in the line of certain intellectual contributions is proposed in the name of conflict resolution. The spill”over effects of such a position has the potential of moving across to other fields including the political field to include claims of parity of status and even territorial claims. This need not be considered a hypothesis as the situation has become a reality in Sri Lanka.

“Now, we could turn around and pose the question again if Prof.Sudharshan Seneviratne’s thesis should or should not be considered in the first place as an apposite example of the kind of situation presented by Brown Sahibism, a play-around with a lot of new jargon originating from sources like UNESCO and the postmodernist school.”

The Big Question

 With the above frame of mind in interpreting archaeological evidence, virtually to deny a Sri Lankan identity/personality ,what else could one expect of Sudarshan Seneviratne except to be hailed as a good High Commissioner to represent India anywhere rather than a Sri Lankan diplomatic representative who could project Sri Lanka’s own identity which is the country’s by right. Even modern countries like the US, Canada and Australia, with nothing old to boast about beyond the colonizing period, try to project their own personality [suppressing] what there was earlier.

 The question then is, if it is a type of person who is not prepared to present even Sri Lanka’s own identity, (self) for whatever it is worth, as it should be, but would not hesitate to “almost erase the historical reality of the predominant presence of one against others” as I have stated, we need as a representative of this country in New Delhi or anywhere else.

 Is that the choice that President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government now looking for to begin a new chapter of relations with India? Perhaps, the government should have waited till India’s current General Elections were over to think of the next appointment as the present circumstances seem to indicate that an altered political climate could present itself in India after the elections. Sensible governments do not make changes in diplomatic representation with countries which they have crucial relations on the eve of elections. The issue is not changing one peg for another. Choices made in such situations could prove to be even square pegs in round holes. Granting that the news report is right, doesn’t this show how casually our Foreign Policy perceptions are made?

 If the government thinks that the academic community would be pleased by appointing another academic to a key and sensitive diplomatic post, it is mistaken. With the type of background I have discussed above, there could be much objection even from the academic community. There could be supporters, nonetheless. Ask, for example, K. Indrapala, for whose new book referred to above. Even chief Minister NCP and the TNA might agree that he is the best choice. So there we are, Mr. External Minister!

 Indrapala quoted Seneviratne’s writing in The Island of 4/8/2001,displaying a tendency towards a certain mood of impatience in treating any other discourses with the use of terminology such as `anti-Orwillian historians; or lumpent intellectuals (who) belong to dust bin of history.” This is what Indrapala himself uses to discredit Sri Lanka’s history. Indrapala ‘s book is full of other quotes from Seneviratne.

          Can an academic with such attitudes of intolerance towards even in the academic field fit into a diplomatic profession requiring patience, respect for other’s views and diplomatic finesse?

 My article in The island published in reply to Sudarshan Seneviratne’s article of 8th/15 August 2007, was published in Lanka web earlier

Sri Lankan President Rajapakse as Head of CHOGM must establish an International Claims Tribunal seeking compensation for British Colonial Crimes

April 18th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

Mahinda Rajapakse, President of Sri Lanka, took over as Chairperson-in-Office of the Commonwealth of Nations at a Meeting (CHOGM) held in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2013. He presides over 53 nations with an estimated population of 2.245 billion covering a landmass of more than 29,958,050 km2 (11,566,870 sq mi) ” a third of world population.

There are some pertinent questions that the Chair of the Commonwealth of Nations may like to consider answering:

  •     What can the Chair of the CHOGM do about British Prime Ministers calling for international investigations against sovereign countries when Britain continues to dodge apologizing or compensating for its war crimes and genocide committed in the nations it invaded and occupied for over several centuries?
  •  What type of shared ‘culture’ and ‘heritage’ is the Commonwealth actually promoting when the British imperial policy during colonial rule was to completely destroy and annihilate the indigenous culture and heritage and the rationale for the introduction of English education was to create a class of people who in the  words of Lord Macaulay, contained in his Minutes on Educationmay be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of persons, Indian in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals, and in intellect’. In other words, a class of craven natives submissive at all times to the British Raj, lacking national pride and patriotism, and sense of self worth and eternally dreaming of being accepted by the white man. How many sovereign nations desire to continue as clones of Great Britain’s white supremacist ideology?
  •     As Chair, what is the assurance of ‘racial equality’ by Britain towards fellow Commonwealth nations when the UN special envoy has herself declared Britain as being ruled by ‘sexist culture’?
  •  As Chair, what policy initiatives can be taken to realize the declared objectives of the Commonwealth: Democracy, Economics, Education, Gender, Governance, Human Rights, Law, Small States, Sport, Sustainability, and Youth and on whose terms these objectives are set ” Is it the values of Great Britain or do the Commonwealth of Nations offer a shared value system that encompasses the values of the East that had been flushed out by the British occupational rule? If Eastern values are not taken to account or accommodated adequately who can raise objections before the Commonwealth?
  •  Commonwealth Shared Culture ” Is this not a great opportunity for President Rajapakse to propose that the ancient cultures, value systems and ancient legal systems of the former British colonies are revived so that the world would see in its true sense the civilizational merits of the East (without only looking at the world from the lens of the West)
  •  The Commonwealth has a War Graves Commission. The CWGC is responsible for maintaining war graves of 1.7million service personnel that died in the First and Second World Wars fighting for the British Empire and succeeded the Imperial War Graves Commission set up in 1917. There are 2500 war cemeteries. As Chair, should President Rajapakse not insist that the service personnel of national armies should be included in a Commonwealth War Memorial especially those who fought heroic battles and fell to save commonwealth countries e.g. Sri Lanka, from the brutal menace of terrorism? Should similar memorials not be set up for all the fallen heroes that fought for freedom and independence of their countries from colonial yoke e.g. members of the Indian National Army under Subhas Chandra Bose, not receive similar status as the British Imperial Army?
  •  Is this not a great opportunity for the Sri Lankan President as Head of CHOGM to propose a National Heroes Museum under the auspices of the Commonwealth so that all the national heroes of the Commonwealth Nations gain international recognition and their heroism displayed for all to see.
  •  Under the Commonwealth of Learning program should President Rajapakse not take a lead in insisting that the indigenous history, culture and achievements of the Asian, African and Latin American countries that were ruled by UK be included in the school curriculum fulfilling the objective of shared learning?
  •  Commonwealth Symbols ” Is it also not opportune for President Rajapakse as Chair to propose an exchange program to ensure indigenous languages are protected.

·        Question Britain & Hold Britain Accountable ” As Head of CHOGM, President Rajapakse must also lead the way by enabling Sri Lanka and other members of the Commonwealth to question Britain’s contemporary involvements that include : British war crimes committed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yugoslavia, Kosovo, Libya and champion the case of the Chagossians of Diego Garcia, a case that deserves world attention and Britain requiring to take accountability. Also question British policies on the commonwealth nations themselves at political and economic levels and the treatment of the citizens of the Commonwealth nations by Britain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zhGvId4fcc / https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxVao1HnL1s

As Chair of CHOGM, President Rajapakse must take steps to ensure that he is on the right side of history. President Rajapakse is well placed to create history by taking the lead in drawing attention to the crimes that Britain has committed over 250 years of colonial rule in many parts of the world. Within his tenure as Head, President Rajapakse must take the side of the oppressed and use his position to champion their cause and the world will follow him.

Instead of being at the receiving end of an Inquisition at UNHRC he can turn the circus around by asking the very nations that are bellowing for his neck to subject themselves to a process of accountability and catharsis and come clean on horrendous crimes committed in the past under deceptive jingles and catchphrases such as ‘white man’s burden’ and ‘civilizing the heathens’.

The oppressed of former British colonies are entitled to an apology and reparations. If Israel can put a price tag on atrocities committed in the past there is no reason why former colonies should be denied this chance.

An International Claims Tribunal must be established without delay to inquire into crimes against humanity committed by Britain and other European nations in their colonies during the last 500 years with a mandate within a limited time frame to spell out recommendations on payment of adequate compensation and other relief measures. This measure is long overdue.

President Rajapakse will enter history books if he were to take a stand on behalf of all the oppressed nations that were once victim of cruel and inhuman British colonial rule and demand on their behalf apology, compensation and justice for the victims.

If President Rajapakse decides to belong to the right side of history he  will stake his claim to be placed alongside other heroes of the oppressed world such as Patrice Lumumba, Kwame Nkrumah, Ho Chi Minh, Sukarno, Aung San, Nethaji Subhas Chandra Bose, Mao Tse Tung and our own Sri Lankan national hero Anagarika Dharmapala.  

Yunus Social Business Centre proposed at Taiwan University

April 18th, 2014

By NJ Thakuria Guwahati:

Yunus Centre of Bangladesh and National Central University (NCU) have agreed to create a Yunus Social Business Centre (YSBC) in the acclaimed public university of Taiwan. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was ceremonially signed on April 14, 2014 between the Yunus Centre and NCU in presence of mayor John Chils-Yang Wu, deans, faculties and other dignitaries at the prestigious 99 year old public university.

“The objective of the centre will be to offer courses and research facilities in social business, conduct social business design labs, conference, undertake exchange program, academic workshop, encourage and train business executives to create social businesses, promote Yunus’s vision of creating a world without poverty and unemployment,” said a statement of Dhaka based Yunus Centre.

The MoU was signed by Nobel laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus on behalf of Yunus Centre and Dr. Jing-Yang Jou, president of National Central University, Taiwan. Professor Yunus paid a visit to Taiwan from April 10 to 14 at the invitation of NCU and the Rotary Club of Taiwan. “A Nobel chair was also unveiled in honor of Professor Yunus at NCU.

A plaque is placed on the three person garden bench where one can read the accomplishments of the Nobel laureate. There are already 29 Nobel laureate ‘chairs’ created for 29 Nobel laureates, placed at different points around the specious green area of the university. The newly crafted chair, 30th in the series, was unveiled and added to honor Professor Yunus,” added the Yunus Centre statement. Professor Yunus, who has received 2006 Nobel peace award jointly with his creation Grameen Bank of Bangladesh, has developed the idea of social business where the profit would come not in form of cash but with social benefits for those needy people.

The lone Nobel laureate of Bangladesh with 160 million population has delivered numerous lectures for the young people across the globe and preached the conscious citizens for coming forward to create a poverty free world with due opportunities to all. Professor Yunus also addressed a Rotary club conference in Taipei and a master forum organized by the Chinese association for corporate transformation, innovation & advancement.

The meeting at the international convention centre attracted over 3000 young people of Taipei, whom Professor Yunus told them that they have build the future.

The articulate orator also emphasized that the young people should not simply live through what they have inherited from the past, rather ‘they have the power to create a completely new world, without any trace of old problems created in the old world’. Hau Lung-bin, Taipei mayor formally handed over a framed certificate awarding Professor Yunus the honorary citizenship of Taipei city.

The First Lady of Taiwan Lin Hwai Min, who has been a long time fan of Professor Yunus, also showed her gesture to the visionary banker turned social business crusader.

Responding To A View In Support Of Accusations Against Sri Lanka Through An International Probe Which Appears Biased And Inopportune.

April 17th, 2014

Insight By Sunil Kumar

The recent Canadian Globe and Mail Item “Why a UN probe of Sri Lanka would spark new hope for reconciliation” posted by a team of journalists ~ Maruzka Darushman, Steven Ratner and Yasmin Sooka by virtue of some glaring errors of ommision concerning the Tamil Tiger insurrection in Sri Lanka whether deliberately or not towards an agenda which seems intended to appease Tamil Tiger sympathetic Tamil Diaspora and misrepresent information to a world unknowledgeable about the stark realities which transpired needs addressing towards correction.This as well as any intentions to mislead a world audience into continued belief that there is no other side to the realities involving the horror that was inflicted on Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tiger terrorists.    

Five years ago, Sri Lanka’s civil war did indeed  reach a bloody conclusion on a stretch of beach in the island’s northeast known as Nandithikaddal , as government forces put down the the remnants of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam  (no longer existent in Sri Lanka despite attempts to recussitate them that is) and labelled a globally condemned terrorist organization) and in the process of their elimination freed a multitude reaching into many thousands of Tamil and other civilians who were being used by the terrorists as a shield of human hostages as the Armed Forces pursued them.
 
The government of President Mahinda Rajapaksa,  was not flushed with triumphalist fever as reported and very justifiably insisted it had done no wrong during that eventful rather than fateful campaign.Eventful for those who believed in freedoms and the right to live peacefully. Those who told a told a different tale however, contrary to the realities involved  appear to have taken it upon themselves to distort the facts to suit their dissipated and frustrated mindsets relative to failed objectives through championing the Tamil Tiger terrorists  and what the UN, the USA, The UK, The EU and others are hoodwinked into believing them, base their accusations and calls for investigations on, carry little or no weight towards their justification and rationally a wast of time and the taxpayer’s money as in the end they would appear fruitless based on the hard evidence which exists to prove Sri Lanka did nothing wrong in the eyes of International Law. 
 
It also seems a travesty of justice that while  suggesting  that tens of thousands may have perished during the last phase of the war where the importance of the term ‘may’ plays a significant role towards the conjecture implied by those within Sri Lanka who are aware of the salient truth and the blatant distortions orchestrated towards contradicting it .This said on the compelling evidence that exists as well as the responses of a vast number of Government supportive Tamils who have already contradicted the accusations against the Government on the basis that they too have a say towards upholding an Administration that has delivered them from the mendacious clutches of the ruthless Tamil Tigers all of whom now live in peace, contentment and harmony in all parts of the Island although their existences are sometimes threatened by the undercurrents of Tamil Tiger sympathisers mostly from outside Sri Lanka and visibly known as the Tamil Tiger sympathetic Tamil Diaspora.
 
This team refered to,  appointed by Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to cull the evidence and advise him on holding both sides accountable for those atrocities, recommended that the Sri Lankan Government investigate war crimes and that the UN step in with its own international investigation if the Government failed to do so.
This then is a matter of opinion where attestations to the realities of what the Government is doing to address related issues exist to those who care to observe them through unbiased eyes and vision! 
 
While this report suggests somewhat brazenly that it  garnered support within Sri Lankan civil society and abroad when perhaps some of it, very little realistically came from a section of disgruntled Tamils in all likelihood, and opponents of the Government egged on by opposition parties and authoritative, autocratic leaders of high office incarcerated for their wrongs within the Nations Justice System who have also teamed up to discredit the Government for very obvious reasons instigated by the global Tamil Diaspora, there is and always has been a nationwide surge of support for the Government for the actions which resulted in the liberation of the nation from terrorism ever since that eventful day at Nandithikaddal when the Nation was finally freed from the scourge of terrorism after almost three decades. 
 
When the Government rejected the hue and cry in the aftermath as a sort of plot by LTTE sympathizers as reported there was much justification towards this  where in a clear sign of international frustration with the Government, the UN’s Human Rights Council in Geneva urged Sri Lanka in both 2012 and 2013 to investigate the events at the end of the insurrection as opposed to what is wrongfully termed a war.
It was in a sense  playing the wrong hand in choosing the wrong candidate for the job for the incredible bias and conflict of interests it involved where The UN’s top human rights official, Navi Pillay a Tamil herself who had every reason to justapose her views alongside the Tamil Diaspora, visited the country last year, telling Mr. Rajapaksa in absentia that an investigation was long overdue. This year, with no further progress as she puts it, she too called for an international investigation where the progress exists in mountains of evidence for all to see.
 
While her presence and UN’s choice appeared to be an objectionable one, there was no fairness or justice involved in her choice as much of her so called accusations too were based on conjecture and hearsay which were virtually scoffed at by those who saw the irrationality of her selection for this assignment and saw through the huge biases and conflicts of interest involved vis a vis what Sri Lanka was being transformed into today  as a Wonder of Asia. 
 
It seems unsurprising therefore that the report suggests once again in total distortion of the facts that ” the human rights situation continues to deteriorate, as opponents and journalists disappear, the Tamil areas in the north remain highly militarized, survivors live in fear, and many missing from the war remain unaccounted for. Last year, the government engineered the removal of the supreme court chief justice, silencing a rare independent voice. The peace in Sri Lanka about which the government brags is based on conquest and fear. It could not be more the opposite of the peace based on truth, justice, and reconciliation that Nelson Mandela insisted upon for South Africa; and the fate of those two states could also not be more divergent.” While tha South African analogy and quoting Nelson Mandela are debatable  it is wrong and a deliberate distortion to say all this as conditions for all Sri Lankans have improved tremendously where the Justice System as in any other country deals with those who disregard it as well as violate it, some of them in high office to whom there are no exceptions nor privy to exceed their powers or misappropriate funds as well as using their authority to suit their advantage and naturally these types are dealt with causing a huge furore from the enemies of the Government ever ready to pounce!
The military presence in the North is a necessary one which should continue until all threats from terrorism or the resurgence of the Tamil tigers (an attempt towards this was seen and put down just days ago) is eliminate totally which may take time.
The list of missing person applies to all ethnicities where it is believed many are unaccounted for having fled the shore to foreign lands ` no lists maintained and the exit of refugees continue to this day of which there is tangible proof. 
 
That the Human Rights Council has already  voted on a resolution submitted by the United States and other states that would ask Ms. Pillay to conduct a UN investigation of alleged rights violations by the Government and the LTTE seems academic although perhaps the vote by virtue of its importance relative to the accusations should have been conducted on a two  third majority rather than a simple one and given the nature of what transpired  and those who were undecided SriLanka might not have been intimidated or castigated to the extent she was and is being in some circles today .
 
While not as formal as a freestanding commission of inquiry like that for Syria, this mechanism could finally provide the independent investigation that is long overdue. It will need a budget and staff sufficient to the challenge of investigating the events of 2009.So if this is not a free standing commission of inquiry what purpose would it serve in a Sri Lanka that is making great progress towards the future and well being of all her citizens one might ask?
 
Indeed Sri Lanka has deployed her diplomats worldwide to try to persuade the developing states on the Council that an investigation by the UN is an attack on Sri Lankan Sovereignty in a show of strngth of her convictions that this is an unnecessary and unjustifiable intimidation where Sri Lanka has agreed to  maintain all the human rights standards endeavoured as always where the UN investigation could prove to be a deterrent to the morale of the country which at present is very high.
And how could a UN inquiry  ascertain the facts if distorted  and without prejudice when the prejudices, biases and conjecture it will be steeped in visibly through the peron who conducts it collectively becomes an outstanding issue?
In this sense as well as from many other perspectives detrimental to Sri Lanka the view presented here in support of an International Inquiry by itself seems biased and inopportune!

65 Reasons to Believe Jesus Did Not Die on the Cross

April 17th, 2014

By A. Abdul Aziz.

 1.   Why crucifixion?

Jews wanted him to be killed through crucifixion, so they can prove that Jesus is not a beloved of God, rather the curse of God is on him. Jews could have killed him easily as they were in hundreds of thousands in number and very strong. If killing should have been their desire, they could have done it easily. Just like they paid thirty pieces of silver to one of his disciples, if they would have paid him more, he might have done this service too. But they wanted him to be crucified so they can prove that he is not from God, rather he is an imposter and a fabricator. If he was from God, then God will definitely save him. May be that was the reason that Jesus was so reluctant to suffer on the cross.

2.   Who wanted him to be crucified?

Two of Jesus’ disciples commented (in Luke 24:20) as follows:

And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. (Luke 24:20)

They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the Governor said what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying Let him be crucified…. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. (Matt 27: 22-25)

3.   Crucifixion was demanded by the Jews

When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. (John 19:6)

The Jews answered him (Pilate), We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. (John 19:7)

4.  One incident and many aspects?

Romans took it as punishment of sedition.

The Jews made it as a punishment of blasphemy.

Jesus considers it a killing, when one of his disciples betrayed him.

Christians think a sacrifice presented for our salvation.

Who is right?

5.  Why Jesus was hiding?

That’s why the Jews paid thirty pieces of silver to Judas giving them the necessary information about Jesus.

Neither go into town, nor tell it to any in the town.  (Mark 8: 26)

And he charged them that they should tell no man of him. ((Mark 8: 30)

6.  Jesus’ prayers and supplications to be saved from crucifixion:

Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.            (John 26: 36)

And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.   (John 26: 39)

…. He went away again, and prayed the second time and prayed, saying ……and prayed the third time, saying the same words.   (John 26:42-44)

7.  God always hears his prayers and his prayers were heard

And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I think thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always.       (John 11:41-42)

Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared.  (Hebrews 5:7)

8.   An Angel was sent to strengthen Jesus?

And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.  (Luke 22: 43-44)

9.   Pilate delays in judgment

Pilate intentionally delayed in giving his verdict and did not deliver his judgment until and unless he was sure that due to the Sabbath, Jesus would be on the cross for only a few hours. Jesus a thirty-three years young person was on the cross for only few (3-6) hours.

10.  Pilate’s complete favor to Jesus

Pilate was in complete favor of Jesus, considering him innocent, and for his wife’s dream, was trying to save his life. That’s why Pilate wanted to use his special right to free one person, but the Jews did not let him do it.

Pilate said unto them, whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas or Jesus…. But the chief Priests and the elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The Governor answered and said unto them, whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said Barabbas. Matt 27: 17-21)

11.   Pilate’s wife sees a dream to save Jesus

When he sat down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.”  (Matt 27:19)

Why was this dream was against the purpose of the advent of Jesus, to give his life on the cross? Her dream should have been that crucify him immediately. Let him finish his work. But her dream was against it. Although her dream was so special that it was mentioned in the Bible.

12.  Pilate finds him “Not guilty”

… Pilate … he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person. (Matt 27:24)

13.  Earthquake, eclipse & a storm ” A sign of God’s disliking & anger

An earthquake, eclipse of Sun and a Storm, all three occurred just after the crucifixion is a clear sign of God’s anger.

Now from sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. (Matt 27:45)

…the earth did quake, and the rocks rent. (Matt 27: 51)

14.   Pilate marveled

And Pilate marveled if he were already dead. (Mark 15: 44)

When Pilate was informed about the death of Jesus on the cross, he marveled at hearing it. We know that Pilate was the most experienced person in this field; who may have experienced hundreds of crucifixions in his time. That is why; he knew very it well that a 33 years, unmarried young person shouldn’t die in few hours, while the other two thieves (elder than him) were still alive after the crucifixion.

15.   The other two (thieves) next to Jesus were still alive so they broke their legs

Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. (John 19: 32)

16.   Blood and Water ” a great sign of Jesus’ life

When a soldier pierced a spear in Jesus’ side, blood and water gushed out from his body, with full pressure, is a sign and a witness that Jesus’ heart was still pumping and he was alive

But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. (John 19:34)

Why coming of blood and water is so important that the narrator of the incident specially describes:

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. (John 19:35)

The person has put all stress on the truth of this witness, because of the great importance of it.

17.  Why the soldiers checked Jesus alive or dead, piercing him a spears. What was the criteria, then to recognize?

The concept that one of the soldiers pierced Jesus a spear to check him, either he is alive or not, does not make any sense until and unless there was really a way of checking this way. Piercing Jesus a spear or some other way? What was that? How did they do it? Because one of the soldiers pierced a spear in Jesus’ body. Not to check his life or death. Otherwise they should have done the same with other two also.

18.  Jesus legs were not broken

But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they broke not his legs: (John 19:33)

19.  Jesus was not buried in the grave

The Jewish custom for the last thousands of years was to bury the deceased in the ground. Because the disciples knew the predictions, which were made earlier by Jesus Christ, they kept Jesus’ body in a sepulcher. If they had buried him in a grave, he would have died. But his disciples placed him in a roomy “Sepulcher?” Rather then burying him in the ground according to the Jewish custom and traditions.

20.   Neither Jews nor Christians are sure about Jesus’ death on the cross

There was a very strong earthquake, a storm and an eclipse of sun just after the crucifixion of Jesus, that made all Jews and Romans run away from the sight. That is why; neither Jews nor the Christians are sure about the death of Jesus on the cross but a gesture.

21.    The stone on the sepulcher was removed

(For a spirit, does not need to remove the stone)

Jesus forbade Mary Magdalene to touch him.

Touch me not. (John 20:17)

Why?

22.  Jesus said, ” He has not ascended yet. What did he really mean?

Jesus said unto her (Mary Magdalene), touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God and your God. (John 20:17)

What are the real meanings of ascension here, when Jesus said to Mary “I am not yet ascended to my Father.”

Certainly, it was understood and very clear without any doubt that Jesus had not ascended yet, while he was standing just in front of her. Then why Jesus said that he was not ascended yet?

23.  Mary did not react, when she saw Jesus alive. Why?

 24.  Disciples were terrified seeing Jesus. (Luke 24: 39)

25.    Jesus ate food, in the presence of his disciples.

… he said unto them, have ye here any meet? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. (Luke 24:41-42)

Jesus saith unto them, come and dine. And none of the disciples durst ask him, Who are thou? Knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise. (John 21: 12-13)

A spirit does not need any food but our physical body, which becomes weak after a while, without having food. Why Jesus needed food, if he had gone back to his original body of God.

For forty days he was meeting his disciples to assure them that he was alive and now going to the lost sheep of house of Israel, as he promised and assigned by God like Jonah was assigned to the Nin-e-viets.

…many infallible proofs being seen of them for forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God.  (Acts 1:3)

26.    Jesus never showed himself to the Jews (who challenged him) after he was saved from the accursed death of cross.

 27.   How come Jesus never said “I was dead and now I am alive?”

 28.  Jesus’ prediction about his sign to be very similar to the sign of Jonah

Jesus predicted his sign would be similar to the sign of Jonas.

An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall be no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s bally; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  (Matt 12:39-40)

This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet. For as Jonas was a sign unto the Nin-e-vites, so shall also the Son of man be to this generation…for they repented at the preaching of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.         (Luke 11:29-32)

Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the bally of the fish three days and three nights. (Jonah 1:17)

And Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land. (Jonah 2:10)

And the word of the Lord came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it preaching that I bid thee. And Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh.  (Jonah 3:1-3)

Jonas entered into the belly of whale alive- Jesus died on the cross and entered in the heart of the earth dead.

Jonas remained alive in the bally of whale. ” Jesus Remained dead.

Jonas came out alive bodily. ” Jesus came out in spirit.

Jonas stayed three days and three nights in the bally of whale. ” Jesus one day and two nights.

Jonas went back to his people. ” Jesus went back to heaven. Without fulfilling the promise which he made earlier, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  (Matt 15:24)

Jesus should have gone to the lost tribe of Israel, as Jonas went to his people “Nin-e-vites”, not to heaven.

29.  Appearance of an Angel, saying, why, you looking for a living person into the dead.

And it come to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seeketh ye the living among the dead.   (Luke 24:4-5)

And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.    (Luke 24:23)

30.  The stone of tomb was removed

It was a physical body not a spiritual one:

And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulcher.  (Luke 24: 2)

31.   Jesus’ prayers against his death on the cross

Jesus prayed again and over again, saying, O God, take this cup away from him. Why he prayed against the purpose of his advent?

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me….” (Mark 14:36)

If his escape from the death on the cross was not possible then why Jesus was praying for it? Didn’t he know?

32.    Jesus awakening his disciples, requesting for special prayers for his safety

“…saith to his disciples, sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder…. And began to be sorrowful and very heavy…  And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and said unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray…” (Matt 26: 36-41)

33.  Jesus’ in flesh and bones after he had risen

Jesus showing his hands and feet to his disciples, proving and arguing them, that he was alive bodily.

They were terrified and affrighted and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts are in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see for a spirit hath no flesh and bones, as you see me have…. he shewed them his hands and his feet.” (Luke 24:37-40)

34.    Why Jesus needed the body (Flesh) again?

35.   Jesus’ wounds- a great sign of his survival

Jesus through showing his wounds to his disciples was proving that he was alive bodily:

The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he (Thomas) said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of his nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe… Then he said to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: be not faithless, but believing. (John 20: 25-27)

A Spirit can’t have the wounds. It means he was alive bodily.

Why Jesus addressed Thomas “not to be faithless but believing? Jesus advised Thomas to have faith, but in which and what? Yes! Faith in the fulfillment of the promise of God saving Jesus from the accursed death on the cross which Jews had designed for him.

Why Jesus had a physical body after he had risen from the dead? Why this physical body still had the signs of wounds? Now there should have been nothing but his soul and spirit? Did he want to take these wounds along with him to the heavens to show them to God? If that is the case, then, we know very well, that these wounds alone did not kill him, but many other things including the cross. If he needed the proofs of his service to be presented to God, then he should have taken all his wounds including, the signs of flogging, beating, hitting, kicking, spitting and the cross (piece of wood) on which he was crucified.

36.   Jesus prayers and God’s response: (Hebrews 5:7)

 37.   Hungry Jesus, asking for food

He ate fish and a honeycomb.

38.    Jesus’ shroud: -“Shroud of Turin” a sign that Jesus was alive.

And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.” Matt 27:59)

39.    Using 100 pounds of aloes, myrrh and some other spices on Jesus’ body, as the manner of Jews. Whether Jews use 100 pound of myrrh, aloes and some other spices at their burial? Or there were some special arrangements were made for Jesus’ safety. Nicodemus, who was a physician and a disciple of Jesus, made this special arrangement before the crucifixion of Jesus:

And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to burry. (John 19:39-40)

40.    Jesus said “I am going to ‘Galilee’ before the disciples.”

 41.   An error made by the Jews: ” “….the last error shall be worse than the first.” (Matt 27:64)

 Jews accepted that they had made an error. What kind of error had they made?  Now they were afraid not to make another error. Did they make another error? Yes! They did.

42.   Why Jews bribed the soldiers?

Jews bribed large money) the soldiers who had been assigned to guard the sepulcher.

And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken council, they gave large money unto the soldiers.”(Matt 28:12)

They bribed the soldiers to hide the fact. What was that?

43.   Empty tomb of Jesus (the sepulcher), is a great Mystery. Jesus body was not found in the sepulcher.

 44.   Jews were afraid of a conspiracy: -

Jews were sure, even ahead of time that his disciples will definitely announce, “Jesus had been ascended to heaven” as it is mentioned:

“…Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, after three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulcher be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal his him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead.”(Matt 27: 63-64)

45.   Jesus’ crucifixion- a test of Jews

The crucifixion was made criteria for Jesus’ truth.   The Jews at the time of crucifixion said: –      “…save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matt 27:40)

Let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.”(Matt 27:42)

He saved others; himself he cannot save.”(Matt 27:42)

46.   Could Jesus save his life? If he is God then perhaps he could.  If he could then it is a suicide.

But, he was constantly pleading to God the Father for the bitter cup to be taken away.

47.   Pilate’s complete favor for Jesus; _Pilate; the Governor tried his best to save Jesus’ life, because of his wife’s dream.

 48.   Jesus never demanded “Crucify me”, but the Jews demanded from the Pilate, “Crucify him- crucify him.”

“Then all say unto him, Let him be crucified.” (Matt 27:22)

49.   Jesus defended his case in the court, argued with the Jews, and refuted their accusations.

Jesus never said, “Hurry up crucify me, for I have come, just for this purpose, although I am already 4000 years late, going by the Biblical calendar and time of Adam and Eve.”

50.   Jesus never went to the cross happily, but in miserable situation.

 51.    Who compelled Jesus to be crucified and why?

 52.   Jesus said: “For salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22) What it means? And why only for the Jews?

 53.  Crucifixion ” a killing in the eyes of Jesus.

Why go ye about to kill me? (John 7:19)

But you seek to kill me. (John 8:40)

For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.   (Mark 9:31)

54.  Jesus complained to God, why have you forsaken me?

It means, God for his safety made a promised.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, Lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why have hast thou forsaken me? (Matt 27:46)

55.  In Jewish law, the “Crucifixion” was an accursed death”-

“…for he that is hanged is accursed of God” (Deut 21: 23)

Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for ud: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.” (Galatians 3: 13)

56.  Why the disciples of Jesus, when they met him in Galilee, still had  some doubts?    

“…Some doubted” (Matt 28:17)

What kind of doubts and what about?

Did they have doubts about Jesus being alive and saved from the accursed death of cross or some thing else?

57.  Jesus said,   “Even so every good tree bringth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringth forth evil fruit.” (Matt 7:17)

How come that this heinous crime of persecuting him mercilessly brought such a good result?

58.  Making his arrest is a greater sin

Jesus answered (to Pilate); He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” (John 19:11)

How a greater sin can bring salvation to the world. Sin means, being disobedient to God, breaking His laws and commandments.

“…the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. (Matt 26:45)

59.  Jesus accursed Judas for his betrays.

Jesus said, “…but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! It had been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matt 26:24)

But, it was Judas who made the salvation possible. If he had not been born, there would not have been any salvation for us.

Jesus said, “It had been good … if he had not been born.”

Why the contradiction?

60.  Who can kill God? God is Holy.

Nobody can kill God. God is eternal and immortal, free from the suffering of death. He is always alive. He is out of the approach of the human hands. Sinners’ hands cannot reach Him or harm Him.

If Jesus died for three days and three nights, then he is no longer eternal and hence not co-equal to God the Father.

61.  Why Jesus (if he was a God) let the Jews and Romans disgrace Him and do all kind of insulting and persecution? 

What “The Most High” means and “God is Great.” God is not supposed to be humble and show not only humility, but actually disgrace at the hands of His enemies.

62.  Jesus never mentioned that the purpose of his coming was to give his life on the cross.

 63.  Salvation through keeping the commandments of God:

Jesus never mentioned that people’s salvation is in believing Jesus’ death on the cross. Rather he promised that the heaven’s eternal life is in following and obeying the commandments of God. As it is in the Book of Matthew:

And behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matt 19:16-17)

64.  If salvation through crucifixion, then the credit goes to Jews, Romans & Judas

They are the Jews who demanded from the Roman Governor Pilate to put him on the cross. And Judas betrayed Jesus and made his arrest possible; otherwise Jesus was hiding in the garden of Gethsemane. Chief Priests paid thirty pieces of silver to Judas for informing the authorities for his arrest.

65.   A soldier saw Jesus walking, informs the chief priest

“The watch” who saw (Jesus and his disciples meeting and going) all these things, told the Chief Priest in the city.

Now when they were going (Jesus and his disciples), behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done. (Matt 28: 11)

 

Suggested Reads:

Jesus in India | Slides

Christianity: A Journey From Facts to Fiction

Truth About The Crucifixion

 

Source: The Muslim Times ” U.S.A.

Life Abroad – Part 75: ‘The Old Left- Hartal and Trade Unionism’

April 17th, 2014

Dr.Tilak Fernando

(Nicky Karunarathna continues….)

During the Hartal (general strike) organised by Marxist parties in 1953 to express public dissatisfaction over the rise in the cost of living, especially the cost of rice, a member of the GCSU ( General Clerical Services Union) Kandasamy was shot dead by Police during a protest march led by LSSP stalwarts, NM, Colvin and Lesley et al. GCSU was a powerful and a prominent confederation of workers at the time which acted as a real power tool to demand worker rights up till 1985.

‘The Old Left’ likes to look back with heroic nostalgia of the 1953 hartal as the vital event of their history. Consequently, for many years to follow Hartal Day was used as an occasion for provoking speeches by the Left party members.

A review of the past shows that it was not the Old Left but the SLFP which benefited out of the hartal in the form of the popular upsurge of 1956 which felled the UNP and brought S.W. R. D. Bandaranaike to power as Prime Minister.

‘GCSU headquarters in Fort was a small ‘hut’ during the sixties but later it has been converted into a multi-storey building under the leadership of I.J Wickrema and K.M Karunarathna. Inside their office hanged photographs of the (in) famous 1953 hartal including that of the victim Kandasamy on display’.

‘I.J Wickrema was an outspoken guy, who was highly critical of N.M’s 21 demand overtures after becoming the Finance Minister. Finally he was kicked out of the leadership by N.M for going against N.M.

The new headquarters was opened by Mrs. Bandaranaike when she was the Prime Minster with a very colourful ceremony with a momentous Pirith ceremony throughout the night.

“When Kandasamy died of gunshot wounds, the LSSP thought it was a new beginning for their future project, vis a vis – coming to power by implementing the ‘ strike muscle’ as an ideal tool or a weapon”.

GCSU was considered as the most powerful alliance among the trade union movement where NM had a very steady and a close relationship with it. Even SWRD Bandaranaike was unable to govern the country rightfully and peacefully due to the interference of the LSSP by means of union pressure groups vigorously agitating against his government.

That very fact made Mrs. Bandaranaike to accuse NM for ‘killing her husband single handed while SWRD was still living’, Nicky Karunarathna remembers.

Tamil majority

‘Though these unions were led by Sinhala office bearers, majority of the membership consisted of Tamil workers. The percentage of Tamil membership in the Public Service would have been up to 70 per cent at the time, until politicians of T.B. Illangaratna calibre changed this framework through the SLFP government administrative policy to employ more rural youth by directly introducing the State Language Policy of Sinhala only’.

“It was in fact due to the LSSP’s deceptive, dishonest and sneaky undercurrent manipulations that the Tamil workers always got the upper hand and managed to secure good jobs while, lamentably in a country where there was a majority of Sinhala Buddhists were denied of any chance of serving their own country in a beneficial capacity, except being employed as minor workers or having to depend on labour as a means of subsistence! It was indeed a sad dilemma where the majority of the population (Sinhala population) had to succumb to minor jobs in an insignificant capacity while the minority (Tamils) enjoyed all the comforts of a healthy working environment”.

During those ‘gloomy, low-spirited days ‘the Jaffna train that ran from Colombo, Maradana station was chock-a-block with Tamil passengers which consisted of Tamils who were doing jobs in the South and returning home for the weekend, yet the irony being when the train reached the Anuradhapura station, Tamils took absolute control of the train compartments by pushing Sinhala passengers out-of-their-way up to Jaffna! It was a time where some Sinhalese from the South had businesses in the North.

Mentality

On several occasions when Colvin came to address union backed ‘strikers’ he managed to condition the workers’ minds by injecting ‘poison’ into their thinking systems by repeating in a mantra form saying “strikes alone is useless … . but you have to organise rallies and agitate from your workplaces; at least throw a stone or two at the police and spill some blood on the floor! It would not harm much, as otherwise there is no purpose in your just striking”, Nicky Karunarathna recalls.

‘One could not just fathom the mentality of those LSSP hierarchy for misleading their union members which simply boiled down to nothing else but to expose their endeavour to utilise the ‘illiterate’ working class masses for their own ends’!

“Such tactics never helped them to win any demands, even while the LSSP enjoyed three portfolios in Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike Government, and the result being all their demands were thrown out of the window and Mrs. Bandaranaike decided to get rid of the LSSP coalition from the SLFP government, within a very short period of time after their proverbial political honeymoon, with a serious allegation of blaming the LSSP for attempting to run a ‘government within the main Government”.

Nicky Karunarathna identifies NM as a personality whose indulgence centred upon luxuries and good taste in a lavish life style. He says NM having studied in a Sinhala Buddhist seat of learning (Ananda College) where he played cricket, captained the school team, took part in Tennis mostly and metamorphosed into a politician following Marxism ended up drinking Scotch whiskey with the affluent at clubs deluding the proletariat!

“Those so called ‘Red Leaders’ led a double life in the lap of luxury including Peter Keanauman of the Communist Party! I (Nicky Karunarathna) used to meet up with Peter daily, early in the morning for a swim at the Otter’s club, Colombo 7. He was a keen early morning swimmer, and the crowd who visited the swimming pool those days early in the morning was of a different breed of affluent people in the society. Peter Keanauman himself was the Minister of Construction at the time. Going by what those guys used to preach to the masses overtly and what they did covertly in their private lives completely contrary to what they advocated, was rather baffling to a rational mind to comprehend or to fathom their political philosophy”.

Betrayal

Going back to the days when Vijaya Kumaratunga was released from the prison, Vicky remembers Vijay’s inclination and penchant towards the LSSP, yet his decision to form his own Party after breaking away from SLFP instead of joining the LSSP. “When Vijaya contested for Minneriya seat during the elections, I drove all the way from Colombo to help him with his electioneering with a financial contribution of Rs. 5,000 (half of which was from my friend Kotakadeniya). On the following morning I gave him our contribution at the Minneriya Rest House, in the presence of K.P Silva who was with him at the time but he betrayed us, just like the LSSP hierarchy by going to Jaffna with Chandrika and meeting with the ruthless terrorist Prabhakaran who suffered from a mental disorder and going to the extent of sitting on the same bed with such a megalomaniac. This was widely exposed by the national press at the time”, relates Nicky.

Touching on the latest developments in Sri Lanka and referring to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s US tour on a MIT assignment, Nicky sees it as a predominantly grooming exercise by intelligence services for politicos. “This has been done to Venezuelan leader of the opposition by the United States”, and continues thus:

“This is not the first time in Sri Lanka of such an intrusion by the CIA, but it has a record of such activities from time immemorial. Especially when we emphasise on the Sinhala/ Buddhist cause, CIA gets very upset as it is their main objective in this world to wipe out or break the backbone of other nations and to get through their agendas and play their own games in foreign countries”.

“How did R.Premadasa become President of this country where voting patterns were based on caste system in its entirety? If you ask a guy like Colvin, he will elaborate on this point well, he being a De Silva! It is a question that cannot be solved even by mathematics using calculus or algorithm”!

“This secret was imbedded on R. Premadasa’s Gam Udawa program. Who funded this enormous amount of money to build villages within villages or inside villages comprising, a church, mosque, Hindu temple and a Buddhist temple? Why on earth one should be tempted to build other religious entities, other than a Buddhist temple in a 100 per cent Sinhala/Buddhist village? By the same token what was the need or the purpose to build an additional Buddhist temple when there are numerous Buddhist temples in existence in those villages”? The answer is simple he states;’ it is purely to get the requisite cover to build other religious entities, which of course was CIA’s hidden agenda and to fund through Saudi Arabian government using Alfarsi Foundation, Nestles (Vatican Churches) and rest by CIA. Saudis were asked by United States to go ahead with financing under their instructions, the idea being to break the backbone of the country and Sinhala/Buddhist perennial entity, until it came to Dambulla Gam Udawa, where Chief Buddhist monk who interrupted the ceremony by kicking the foundation laying stone in front of Mr. R. Premadasa and insisting that the monk would not allow it to happen in his sacred city where Buddhism started!

“Prior to that incident, everything went hunky dory and people with other faiths crept into these villages to dilute the majority”.

tilakfernando@gmail.com

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/old-left-hartal-and-trade-unionism#sthash.99KiTVQ6.dpuf

 

LOOKING BEYOND ELECTION RESULTS

April 16th, 2014

By Gomin Dayasri  

 The government won the provincial elections in south – west 2014 convincingly: but that is superficial if the result is analyzed objectively:  eyebrows will be raised if the opposition finds a common candidate at the Presidential elections. It may look a cake – walk for the government but race can mount into a serious challenge at a Presidential Election if a formidable common candidate emerges, where a flood of votes flow from the North against the incumbent.

  Majorities presently are overwhelming for the government but narrows considerably if the opposition parties total polled are aggregated. Hold your breath, the government has to get its act correct otherwise their supporters will not go to poll or vote for another.

 Look at it another way. Government wins every seat barring Colombo and Galle with substantial majorities after ruling the country for 25 years. It cannot expect to hold the support it had at the end of the war that was euphoric. Very few except the beneficiaries would call the government squeaky clean or maintain law and order or contain prices at market place or follow sound economic fundamentals yet the majority is securely with the government. UNP could not offer a challenge in any of electorates that it lost and cannot stand-alone. UNP cannot forfeit its position as the alternate party by twice surrendering the right to contest the presidency. Most of it relates to the fact notwithstanding numerous defeats the leadership remains constant. Still it’s the best UNP can offer presently and preferable to most on offer outside the UNP.

 The government has lost votes among the public servants though they still stand in front prominently. Normally the public servants are the trendsetters whose footsteps often are followed by the general public. If this trend develops it does not augur well for a government that has been recruiting a large number of public servants. Government is well ahead but they are in for a good run: possibly just what the doctor prescribed for the public that wanted to register a protest as an antidote for corruption, transparency in governance and lack of law and order prevalent in this government.

 Look at the flipside. Voters are seasoned and experienced hands: those that trekked to the polling booths – voted on conviction than on compulsion: living amidst adverse conditions with spiraling prices that hits their hip pockets and handbags. Like it or not, it’s the peoples’ verdict ” notwithstanding the undue advantage sought by unfair utilization of public assets by the government. If it outrageously repelled the voters, the majorities would have been slimmer. All governments in power are perennial election offenders- an accepted common denominator mindful of the infamous referendum. Voters conveyed the message: there is a protest votes developing against the government that is reflected for the first time after 2005. This is an election from which the opposition can pick the momentum. Yet, presently the government is well ahead and most of its truant supporters may make a come back more due to the frolics of the opposition.

 A significant factor is the low voter turnout compared to the last provincial elections. Was it a silent protest against the government by its supporters or a general apathy towards casting the ballot ”a virtual rejection of all political parties? Strangely UNP did not fare better when UPFA fared poorly. The result will not please either of the major parties if the voting patterns are properly analyzed but the immediate gain is for the opposition. Ballots cast show it is the UPFA voters who stayed more at home ” worrying concern for the government if it gains ground. At a critical future election, government supporters who abstained from voting this time, after watching the conduct of the government in the months to come may opt to come back home or if dissatisfied might switch to the opposition. There will be large pool of floating voters on hold to be tapped.

 People have limits to tolerance, if the economic crunch hits them in the belly. A regime change implemented locally is as unlikely to witness as a Barbie doll dressed in cloth and jacket. If any assignment is left to the Opposition- they will unwittingly strengthen the government. If it is manipulated internationally there is a distant possibility of delivery: yet it will fail to win favor with an electorate that is passionately patriotic. A point ignored by the opposition combine that costs them many elections.

 Provincial Council election results bring forth stark facts more convincingly than predictions made by calculating planetary trajectories. True, Government is fast loosing its popularity at the ground level but when it comes to the vote, notwithstanding unpardonable deficiencies, is still the preferred option. It was the Western and Southern provincial elections that nudged Chandrika Kumaranatunga to power over a long-standing UNP regime and bought her to presidency. For the opposition too, this could be the turning point. Is history repeating itself?

 A queer phenomenon lies between a sharp contrast – blatantly blame the government and afterwards vote comprehensively for its continuity. Answer is simple ” an uninspiring opposition that cannot be placed in power, in fear they might bend to hostile foreigners and sell the country. Votes gained by the opposition switched to Fonseka and JVP rather than to the UNP tells this story with better illustrations. The hangover of winning the war still prevails and haunts an Opposition that stupidly cohabits with forces hostile to the national cause alienating itself from the people. The government majorities are tough to overhaul if those who stayed at home to protest come back to vote. Yes, the next election is dependent on the floating voter. Public servants will start looking at the opposition and that will accelerate with time as the national elections near.

 Colombo city looks at its best yet that did not bring the desired vote for the government: walkers and joggers that take exercise praise the facilities but does not exercise the vote in favor of those who provided the amenities. That is democracy working overtime splendidly. It also shows the difference of mentality between the reebok society and the barefoot association.

 Some are bred and born UNP of hard rock that will not move unless detonated, some others living in Colombo accept it is truly a beautified city but find the corrosive stink within the government too nauseating to approve notwithstanding the emerging dainty landscape. Their vote speaks of their conscience. Rural folk still show gratitude for winning the war while the urbanites thrive in it for themselves.

 The emergence of Sarath Fonseka is attributable to dissatisfaction originating from the mainstream parties. Sarath Fonseka or his Democratic Party cannot make a serious challenge at the national level but the presence will prevent an anti government bulk vote being attracted to the UNP as Sarath Fonseka has a picked substantial portion of it. Being the common candidate at the last presidential election, Fonseka has been able to retain and acquire support from those that oppose the UPFA and UNP ” more a worry for the UNP. Is Fonseka, a resting place for a weary traveller from the UPFA to UNP to wait and watch and set his compass to complete the journey or go back home?  Majority of the people desire to vote for an established party like the UPFA or UNP. Party is more important than an individual. Party machinery of experience is a valued product far more than a bunch of rag tags making a fleeting appearance during election time.

 An aspect UNP needs to ponder – is there is an effort to select a common candidate for the Presidential election again, from outside the UNP?  They should not make the mistake of jettisoning the opportunity while being mindful that a common candidate is the only answer for the UNP provided it provides the candidate. Results show the JVP or Sarath Fonseka are mere shadows compared to the UNP in garnering votes.

 Damn the economy ” money jingles in the pockets of the zestful emerging rural/urban lower middle class yet does not last long with the frequent price-hikes. The boom took off with the winning of the war giving a thumbs up signal to economic resurgence of enterprising individuals in a peaceful society – it does not extend to the corporates because it is too visible to the political authority: easier to pick such pockets. Private sector has slavishly bowed humbly to accommodate the political authority and has to pay the price for it.

 Those that live for today and think of the country for tomorrow without foreign domination mostly voted for the government; but those who remember of a better yesterday where there were shades of democracy and better governance, voted for the opposition ” democrats, socialists, idealists, liberalists and colonialists. 

 On every possible classification ”except in metropolitan Colombo  ” the government maintains a formidable lead in votes. Opposition has to set up a credible road map to strategize a comeback.  The opposition in desperation may seek foreign assistance for a regime change but that is likely to backfire as bulk of the people will be hostile to any foreign inter-meddling and will rally around the lion flag and back the government. The holding of the national elections is unlikely to be delayed until 2016. The government is on notice to change its style of governance. The government might opt for a general election rather than a presidential on the results just published. Neither the UPFA nor the UNP can rest on laurels of this result. The result is more comforting to the JVP and Democratic Party, but the furthest they can travel is to battle for the third and fourth positions.

 All the benefits that accrued to the several opposition parties might finally sit on the lap of the UNP ” if it does the work an opposition is expected to perform. Problem for the government is that unless confidence is installed rapidly an exodus might quietly begin among the fortune hunters, as there are too many rats in the UPFA ship, if it sinks, waiting to run.

Britain, Stop pointing fingers and investigate British colonial war crimes first!

April 16th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

Simply because Britain claims that colonial crimes happened centuries ago and have made sure that they omitted these from being covered when they drafted international laws and legal systems the crimes the Christian Western nations committed cannot be kept hidden any longer. Simply because the UK joins US and the EU to create a bloc of nations with groups of other nations threatened to join or risk aid being cut off, enabling them to ensure UNHRC Resolutions get passed with a majority, silencing these victim nations should the Rest of the World sit silent and watch injustices prevail? For too long Britain’s crimes covering colonial rule has escaped the radar primarily because white justice rules, whites created and control international laws invariably omitting white colonial Christian crimes from ever being taken to the dock.

The rest of the world can continue to suffer under this pathetic injustice or say no more and demand that if any crimes should be investigated it must start with the worst perpetrators and look at situations from the kaleidoscope of what and which nations brought them to the level they stand today and in doing so the crimes all lead back to Great Britain and the other European nations that invaded, occupied and Christianized the nations that we are told are today’s Third World which were far more civilized (in human terms) than the Europeans that descended upon them. The moral audit against Britain must begin now.

“We are not a young people with innocent record and a scanty inheritance.

We have engrossed to ourselves – an altogether disproportionate share of wealth and traffic of the world.

We have got all we want in territory, and our claim to be left in the unmolested enjoyment of vast and splendid possessions, mainly acquired by violence, largely maintained by force, often seem less reasonable to others than to us” –

So said Winston Churchill denoting the mindset of all imperialists.

Britain with 8.6m people ruled over 458million people (1/5 of the world)

Ever since the British took to the seas with the East India Company on 31 December 1600 they followed 3 simple rules – Conquer Commerce and Christianize nations and natives. They arrived in Surat in 1608. On April 23, 1757 the Board of Directors of the Company approved Coup d’©tat as its policy in Bengal.

By 1922 the British controlled 458million non-British that is one-fifth of the world’s population at the time. In terms of land mass the British controlled 33,700,000 km2 (13,012,000 sq mi), in other words ¼ of the Earths total land area. The control over natives was such that the British enforced their legal system, their language, their culture totally denying the natives what was inherently their own. A nation that took away the culture, native legal systems and language of 458million people today speaks of respecting language and cultures!

In 1700 the population of India was 165million. It was the world’s largest economy. Together with China, India produced over 50% of the global economic output. Britain during the same period had just 8.6million population and its world output was a paltry 3%. That situation changed with colonization and the Industrial Revolution and by 1870, 150 years later the average Britain was 6 times richer than the average Indian or the average Chinese.

Centuries on without a semblance of regret or empathy towards the people whose pride had been forcibly robbed by the British the least that Britain and fellow colonialists can do is to offer a public apology, reparations and compensate for the mass murder, war crimes, religious and ethnic cleansing, theft of Sri Lanka’s cultural artifacts, forcible conversions, destruction and plunder of Buddhist and Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.

The below is just a handful of examples and does not cover the extent of atrocities committed by the British but should give a fair idea of how far white rule prevailed to deny the black, brown and yellow men, women and children their rights and their land.

slave trade :

  • One of the best kept secrets by Britain. For 250 long years the British brutalized an entire continent (Africa) capturing human beings and taking them to the plantations of the West Indies and America. This slave trade provided the basis for the rise of the West. This is the very
  • Britain was one of the most successful slave-trading countries. Together with Portugal, the two countries accounted for about 70% of all Africans transported to the Americas.
  • Britain transported 3.1 million Africans (of whom 2.7 million arrived) to the British colonies in the Caribbean, North and South America and to other countries.

Calculated policies

  • divide and rule ” manipulating tribal differences and setting parties against each other.
  • creating and encouraging internal conflicts so that British could go on plundering nations while natives were fighting each other.
  • Inciting communal conflicts by dividing people/communities and backing two-nation theory so that once nations are divided it becomes easier for the British to rule over them.
  • Western education systems inculcate racism teaching children they belong to a ‘superior’ stock and denying them the crimes and atrocities committed by their own upon the nations that they term Third World. The ‘White Man’s Burden’ has been a totally incorrect concept and if Jews demand and continue to seek apology and compensation still, it is time the Third World should demand same.

Loot auctions

  • every nation occupied by Britain had artifacts confiscated and sold and are now found across Europe
  • Former colonies must demand the return of their treasures which has been kickstarted by China.

Rape :

  • carried out by both British and Indian troops in the Battle of Peking, China.
  • Raping women of Uva-Wellassa  in 1818
  • Scores of nations under colonial rule were subject to mass rape as a British Government policy. Memoirs and other historical accounts are proof and are evidence.

Concentration camps

  • It was not Hitler or the Nazis that created the concept of concentration camps. It was the British. During the Boer War these camps were created to defeat the Boer. 107,000 people were interned in the camps. Of which, 27,927 Boers died 

Shoot to kill policy

  • 1818 Uva-Wellassa rebellion Ceylon ” orders to British troops to kill anything above 8 years. Indian sepoys brought from South India to help with British troops left Ceylon 102 years later in 1920 and the British orders sovereign nations to demilitarize!
  • Scores of Indians too have been subject to indiscriminate shooting as a British government policy as have been people in Africa and other parts of Asia. All these instances must now be tabulated by the former colonies under common subject headings.

Destroying crops and slaughtering livestock

  • What kind of ‘civilized’ occupiers would as a Government policy and on behalf of Her Majesty the Queen/King give orders for troops to set fire to entire villagers and destroy crops and livestock? Was this not done with the aim of exterminating the natives and denying them means to live by hunger?
  • Turning rice fields into poppy plantations to grow opium.

Killing animals for sport ” Elephants

  • Samuel Baker headed the elephant slaughter killing 30-40 elephants on a daily basis ” calculate this into 150 years to estimate the number of elephants the British have killed as a sport in Sri Lanka. 

Human rights violations by British during colonial rule afford them nothing to stand proud and talk on human rights today without apologizing and compensating for the crimes committed

  •  “roasting alive” Kenyans,
  • beating natives till dead
  • British troops enjoying breakfast while watching natives being hanged
  • anally raping men using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels
  • putting natives with snakes and scorpions
  • creating special tools to crush testicles of natives
  • using pliers to mutilate women’s breasts
  • rolling men around barbed wire and kicking them around compound
  • 10,000 Kenyans detained and tortured during the Mau Mau insurgency in the 1950s.
  • Africans resisting white settlers were roasted alive in addition to being hanged to death. Barack Obama’s own grandfather had pins pushed into his fingers and his testicles squeezed between metal rods.
  • Slaughter every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast)” were the orders given by Governor Robert Brownrigg (3rd British Governor of Ceylon from 1813 ” 1820) to Maj. Gen. Hay MacDowell in 1818. The British used a scorched earth policy including mass murder and genocide of innocent Sinhala civilians to crush this rebellion. scorched earth policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. 
  • Right to worship denied ” Temples and kovils razed to the ground in Ceylon and in its place churches set up. Buddhist monks killed and Buddhists denied education unless they converted to Christianity/Catholicism.

Depopulating policies

  • present day Diego Garcia is nothing compared to what the British did to nations they invaded and conquered.
  • Famine in Dhaka brought down the population from 150,000 to 30,000- Malthusian population theory adopted by British advisors to starve natives to death.
  • 6-7m Indians had been starved to death by the British in 1943-1945.
  • Indian Holocaust is in excess of 1.8billion between 1757 and 1947. 
  • Great Bengal Famine of 1769-70, caused deaths to 10 million Indians in Bihar and Bengal. 
  • Bengal Famine of 1943 killed 3 million in Bengal. 
  • During 1782-84, 11 million died for famine in Madras, Mysore, Delhi and Punjub. During 1791-92, another 11 million died in Hyderabad, Southern Maratha country, Deccan, Gujarat, and Marwar. 
  • The Agra famine of 1837”38 caused 800,000 deaths. Orissa famine of 1866 killed 1 million. Rajputana famine of 1869 killed 1.5 million. The Great Famine of 1876”78 killed 5.25 million in British territories of Madras and Bombay alone. Bengal famine of 1943 killed 3 million in Bengal. 

Killing unarmed civilians

  • 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre led to hundreds of unarmed civilians ordered to be killed by General Dyer. 
  • 10,000 people killed by British army 1818 Uva-Wellassa, Ceylon

 

Confiscating lands:

  • ‘Wasteland Ordinances” ” common lands were taken over as British Government policy.
  • Ceylon Wastland Act was introduced in 1840. All common lands, forests, chena cultivations were taken over by the British and coffee, tea and similar plantations grown. Wildlife started to perish, cattle died, elephants had to migrate elsewhere

Thus for almost 200 years, wealth from India was systematically transferred to Britain. British Banks used Indian capital to fund industry in the US, Germany and elsewhere in Europe. Industrial revolution and modern capitalism in the west were based on the colonization of India. Britain and the West are rich today after pauperizing India and other colonies.

Churchill’s crimes: He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953 ignoring the crimes he committed a shining example of how white atrocities have gotten away from criminal justice.

We continue to wonder why India has forgotten and forgive Britain for these crimes that took place from 1757 to 1947 and attributed to 1.8billion deaths.

  • 1857 Indian Mutiny reprisals ” 10million Indians killed
  • 6-7 million Indians (1943-45)
  • Indian Famine 1895-1897 : 6-9million starved
  • Indian Famine 1899-1900 : 6-9million starved under Churchill (Bengal Holocaust)

Scores of books have been written about what the British did to the 458million natives Britain controlled. The “The Blood Never Dried” is a people’s history of the British Empire that covers the systematic litany of crimes, murders and exploitations under the banner of the Union Jack and completely demolishes the hero in Churchill portraying him as any other racist. No world leader can be termed hero if he advocated gassing recalcitrant tribes in Iraq or shows scant concern for the billions who were led to die in the Bengal Famine of India.

 That the British knew they were committing grave war crimes is evident in the manner successive British Governments with the knowledge of the Queen have kept hidden archival evidence of these crimes. Some of the crimes have been so incriminating that they have been burned and destroyed whilst the rest have been kept in secret locations. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office went to the extent of even lying saying that records did not even exist.

 Gordon Brown once said that ‘the days of Britain having to apologize for its colonial history are over’ ” Britain cannot walk away from its crimes.

 Restitution is what Sri Lanka and other former colonies must now demand and forgiveness is very much in line with the reconciliation terminology presently used upon Sri Lanka. It therefore requires Britain, Portugal and the Dutch to atone for their sins. Moreover, the present day British, the Portuguese and even the Dutch are not aware still of what their forefathers and their Governments did to the 458million people by invading and occupying their countries. It is upto the former colonies to tabulate these crimes and have them available in the museums in both graphic and record format. When the Israeli’s continue to seek compensation for the holocaust the former colonies must now bring up the crimes of the former colonies. The chorus for compensation and apology must come from all former colonies and be loud enough that even Britain cannot ignore such calls.

 If international conventions and human rights statutes recognize without qualification that a victim is entitled to a remedy, reparation for harm inflicted is a well-established principle of international law. Such a right is now recognized in regional human rights instruments and in the jurisprudence of regional human rights courts. Since the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials criminal and civil jurisdiction has been expanded to allow payment for victims of the Holocaust. There are also cases against violations committed during colonial and apartheid periods and include case filed by Herero people of Namibia and cases against apartheid in South Africa. In 2001, slavery and colonials figured as an agenda item at the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. The victims of Mau Mau rebellion in Kenya won a landmark case prompting 14 Caribbean nations to sue Britain, France and Netherlands for colonial crimes. The Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Ralph Gonsalves even declared at the UN General Assembly that the European nations must pay for their misdeeds and crimes. These are all points that President Rajapakse need to take note with Sri Lanka being a victim of colonial rule and President Rajapakse now the Head of the Commonwealth needs to side with the victims of colonial rule and not the colonial masters.

 All the colonial rulers must tender an apology as a first step. They must acknowledge every crime committed that have affected the black, brown and yellow physically, psychologically, politically, culturally and economically.

 EU population is just 744million, Canada is 34million, US population is 313.9million but together they use the UN and international laws to reign over 1.1billion Africans, 4.3billion Asians and 599million Latin Americans.

 It’s time the Third World stood up and demands international investigations on colonial crimes.

Dr Subramanian Swamy’s Lecture on Breaking India and its relevance to Sri Lanka

April 16th, 2014

Senaka Weeraratna

With India currently in the throes of a General Election with a probable result likely to have a far reaching impact on India’s relations with the rest of the world particularly Sri Lanka it is in our interest in Sri Lanka to have as great an understanding of India as possible particularly its history, politics and most importantly the growing threats directed towards the Break – up of India. 

The break – up of either India or Sri Lanka would undoubtedly have adverse consequences on the other leading to violent convulsions of society and chain reaction in both countries. Given the trend of events in other parts of the world such as Iraq, Sudan, Libya, Syria and now Ukraine in the recent past , there is no guarantee that countries in South Asia can continue to remain immune from threats to their territorial integrity and sovereignty leading to their eventual division and balkanisation. 

New norms created and championed by neo colonial western countries like the Responsibility to Protect (R2P or RtoP) adopt the position that state sovereignty is no longer an absolute right, and the protective cover of sovereignty can be removed if states fail to protect their populations from mass atrocity crimes”” e.g. genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and ethnic cleansing.  

We have often seen the use of “moral outrage and hysteria'” as a convenient pretext for ‘interventions by the civilised world’ or ‘the international community’ and for ‘humanitarian interventions’ in countries targeted for geo – political and strategic reasons.  In other words R2P has become an excuse to conduct what is conventionally  known as proxy wars.

Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines is a book written by Rajiv Malhotra and Aravindan Neelakandan which argues that India’s integrity is being undermined by the support of western institutions for the Dravidian movement and Dalit identity. It was published in 2011. In 2011 this book was in the list of top 10 bestseller books in India.
According to breakingindia.com, the promotional website for the book,

India’s integrity is being undermined by three global networks that have well-established operating bases inside India: (i) Islamic radicalism linked with Pakistan, (ii) Maoists and Marxist radicals supported by China via intermediaries such as Nepal, and (iii) Dravidian and Dalit identity separatism being fostered by the West in the name of human rights. This book focuses on the third: the role of U.S. and European churches, academics, think-tanks, foundations, government and human rights groups in fostering separation of the identities of Dravidian and Dalit communities from the rest of India.

In the introductory chapter of Breaking India, Malhotra writes:

This book looks at the historical origins of both the Dravidian movement and Dalit identity, as well as the current players involved in shaping these separatist identities. It includes an analysis of the individuals and institutions involved and their motivations, activities, and desired endgame. While many are located in the US and the European Union, there are an increasing number in India too, the latter often functioning like the local branch offices of these foreign entities.

Reputed legal scholar Upendra Baxi says that the book essentially focuses on “3-S”:

  1. Subordination of India’s independence
  2. Surveillance of independent India
  3. Subversion of independent India

These postulates of Upendra Baxi are now more or less applicable to Sri Lanka in the light of the experience at the hands of hegemonic countries at UNHRC in Geneva. There is an increasing tendency by western countries using the tools of UN agencies and other international institutions and their ever willing staff to engage in the subordination, surveillance and subversion of independent Sri Lanka. 

 Dr Subramanian Swamy examines in a very profound and insightful way the implications and value of the work of Rajiv Malhotra’s ‘ Breaking India’ in a lecture shown on YouTube.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yD67rBIZEso

 Its duration is 34 .42 minutes. He delves into India’s History, Religion, Politics, Literature and alludes to conduct of 20th century public figures like Gandhi, Nehru, Subhas Chandra Bose and Ambedkar  and makes connections in a masterful way.   

 Dr Subramanian Swamy is the President of Janata Party which merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) prior to the current General Elections in India. Dr Subramanian Swamy is a close associate of Narendra Modi.

 Dr. Swamy is a well known critique of the State Government of Tamil Nadu and opponent of  the “Aryan versus Dravidian” politics of  Periyar E.V. Ramasamy  condemning it as a theory concocted by the British with perverse intentions. He is a fierce opponent of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) and has unequivocally supported Sri Lanka in its campaign against terrorism.

Dr. Subramanian Swamy has publicly urged the Indian government not to support the US led resolution at UNHRC condemning the Govt. of Sri Lanka and calling for an international probe into its conduct in the civil war, on the ground that this Resolution was totally one -sided and not in the best interest of India to vote against Sri Lanka, which has close civilizational links with India running for over several millennia.

Dr  Subramanian Swamy is a published author of several books, research papers and journals, including a recent book entitled ‘Sri Lanka in Crisis: India’s Options (Publisher: Har Anand Publications; ISBN 978-81-241-1260-1).

 

In Sri Lanka, we celebrate Sinhala & Tamil New Year NOT Sinhala & Hindu New Year

April 16th, 2014

 Shenali D Waduge

Is the Christian dominated press, often accused of functioning as a 5th column, attempting to create new nomenclatures or simply upto usual mischief as directed by their sponsors in attempting to throw a new phrase to what has been traditionally used? There is no Sinhala-Hindu New Year, in Sri Lanka we celebrate the Sinhala-Tamil New Year.

Sinhalese and Tamil are 2 ethnic groups. The Sinhalese were all Buddhists and the Tamils where all Hindus. Sinhalese and Tamils were either Buddhists or Hindus. There was no requirement to call people Sinhalese Buddhists or Tamil Hindus. Every Sinhalese was a Buddhist and every Tamil was a Hindu.

All this changed with the arrival of the colonial invaders who forcibly converted the Sinhalese and Tamils into Christians or Catholics dividing the two ethnic groups along religious lines. The present day Christians and Catholics need to realize that their forefathers were all forcibly converted and explains why most people living along the coastal belt areas are all Christians/Catholics. Many Hindus forcibly converted as Catholics in the North returned to Hinduism when the Dutch arrived.

It must also be noted that while the Sinhalese and Tamils were living as Buddhists and Hindus not a single call was made for a separate state, no calls for a separate homeland and no record of discord between the two races or two religions. Apart from the politicians, both Buddhists and Hindus are beginning to realize the truth.

The invading colonial nations all followed the common objective of conquest, commerce and conversion. They had the gun in one hand and the Bible in the other. The gun helped conversions then but in todays context the gun has been replaced with numerous other subtle and manipulating methods.

That the invading nations were all steered in collusion with the Church is nothing that needs to be repeatedly told. Part of the divide and rule systems introduced to the nations that were invaded and occupied by colonial rulers worked with the Church to convert non-Christians to Christianity. In turn they introduced new values systems revolved around the Church and following Western thinking and behaviors all of which were directly opposite the aesthetic culture and value systems followed by both Buddhists and Hindus.

Even today the West continues the same objective via communication channels and various modes to advance that same objective and hold key stakes in media and charities that has as their mission to carry out this objective. The western media is very much in control of them clearly establishing the influence over how people think or are made to think. The success of this is clear where amongst the elite the Eastern value systems are fast departing or subject to ceremonial events. The dangers and repercussions of adopting cultures and value systems which are not really one’s own can be seen with time and statistics have shown how children and even adults of these families are experiencing numerous issues related to drug addiction, drinking, gambling, prostitution etc.

As for the present attempt to project a new twist to the national festival, media has been and continues to be part of the same lobby out to divide the Buddhist and Hindus given that the religious component to Sri Lanka’s current conflict is one that cannot be left out of the equation and can be seen in the manner the priests come forward to represent the Tamil ‘cause’ and become linked to the Christian Eelam lobby that India is now beginning to realize for itself.

Thus, even the traditional festival has been turned into an effort to further divide the people on a day where at one single time, every Buddhist and Hindu partake of the traditional sweetmeats and involve themselves in a spirit of giving and sharing. Sharing of sweetmeats may not happen in the areas of Colombians or the elite following western values and norms but Sinhalese and Tamils continue to share sweettrays and visit each other on this day as has been happening in the past.

The influence has been such that we wonder who are preparing the speeches or who are the journalist behind the mischief and why editors have allowed such a grave error to pass without correction.

The President’s message declares “We celebrate the dawn of this Sinhala and Tamil Aluth Avurudda with pride in our efforts towards building a nation self-sufficient in an abundant harvest of nature’s blessings” http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2014/04/13/new02.asp

The Media Minister, Keheliya Rambukwella in his message says “The dawn of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year heralds unity and equality among all people. It also provides an opportunity for Sri Lankans to work in unison to make their country prosperous and peaceful.” http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2014/04/13/new21.asp

Yet the Prime Minister the person who is the custodian of ensuring that Buddhism is given the foremost place in Sri Lanka, the coverage of his message declares ‘Sri Lankans have received the opportunity to revive fresh hopes during the New Year, while holding on to the age old customs and cultural values, Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne states in his Sinhala-Hindu New Year message. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2014/04/13/new20.asp

The Prime Ministers office needs to demand a correction.

The leaders of Sri Lanka cannot afford to ignore the efforts taking place to divide people. Most often leaders themselves are prey to being influenced by members of their own cabinet who think that they have a carte blanche to do as they like in the electorates under them. Unless the leaders declare a clear policy Sri Lanka is likely to see more dissent and chaos than harmony. The very entities that are causing trouble are those that are recipients of direct foreign funds under religious themes and for religious incursions and this has directly affected both Buddhists and Hindus who have no such donors or even ruling politicians to advance their cause or protect their religions which is probably a key reason why people have taken matters into their own hands.

If a name change to a traditional national festival must take if at all it must be Buddhist-Hindu or remain Sinhala-Tamil. Nevertheless, with elements including the media upto mischief it behoves the Buddhist & Hindu organizations to not remain silent and take part in ceremonial rituals only but realize the eroding conditions associated around their respective religions. These indigenous organizations are not expected to issue Oxbridge statements but at least they must demand action by the leaders and take steps to project the incursions taking place. It is only then that the politicians wake up to reality for they have developed a habit of remembering the majority populace during election times only.

Shenali D Waduge

President Rajapaksa presides over the New Year National Oil Anointing ceremony

April 16th, 2014

By Janaka Alahapperuma

 The traditional Oil Anointing State Ceremony for the Sinhala and Hindu New Year was held this morning (16 April) at the Yatawatta Raja Maha Viharaya premises in Kossinna, Ganemulla at Gampaha under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the Chief Sangha Nayake of Siyane Korale Venerable Thorapitiye Ananda Nayaka Thero.

The President performed the oil anointing ritual at the auspicious time of 11.16 am at the special podium. The state ceremony of anointing oil was organized by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine with the guidance of the Maha Sanga.

Chief Incumbent of the Viharaya Venerable Udugampola Gunananda Nayaka Thero performed the rituals by anointing oil on the President’s head and blessed him amidst Pirith chanting. As instructed by the Ministry of Indigenous Medicine, Department of Ayurveda, Sinhala New Year Auspicious Times Committee and astrologers, oil anointing was performed by facing the South direction and standing on ‘Kolon’ leaves under a canopy of ‘Kohomba’ leaves and attired in greenish colour. ‘Nanu’ oil was anointed with a mixture of Kohomba leaves.

hisathel01

Thereafter, anointing ceremony was conducted on behalf of Ministers and MPs as well as general public fulfilling the centuries old traditions. The President was engaged in anointing on elephants.

The Nayaka Thero said that the anointing of oil for the New Year is one of the main traditions specialised to Sri Lankans. The prelate said that the meaning of this oil anointing tradition is actually wishing a healthy life for next year. He said that it could also be mentioned as a tradition linked to the natural environment. Addressing the ceremony, President Rajapaksa said that oil anointing ritual has being performed since ancient time with the objective of giving mental strength for building the nation. He said that this is also a good opportunity to get a consolation. Deputy Minister Pandu Bandaranayake, Chief Minister of the Western Province, Prasanna Ranatunga, many local politicians, several invited guests and officials were amongst a large number of people who were present at the ceremony.

Meanwhile many functions were organized countrywide to mark the anointing of oil for the New Year. Ministry of Indigenous Medicine announced all traditional herbals and creams required for the Oil Anointing ritual have been distributed freely throughout the country to 10,000 Buddhist temples and 15,000 registered Indigenous Physicians. Public are requested to get them from the nearest temple or the Ayurveda doctor in their areas.

In parallel to the National oil anointing ceremony, large crowd was present at the Natha Devala premises of the Sri Dalada Maligawa to perform the annual oil anointing ritual. Resident monks of the Asgiriya and Malwatta Chapters anointed devotees with oil and also anointed oil on the heads of the tuskers of Sri Dalada Maligawa. Devotees visited the Bellanwila Raja Maha Viharaya temple this morning for the oil anointing ceremony.

The oil anointing tradition of the indigenous community took place at the Kotabakiniya village in Mahiyangana. The function was organized under the patronage of the Veddah Chief Uruvarige Wannila-eththo. It’s only this oil anointing tradition that the indigenous community engages in New Year.

The ceremony of oil anointing was held for over 100 elephants at the Pinnawala orphanage. All elephants and calves in the orphanage were treated with fruits and special leafy diet. Another oil anointing ceremony took place at the Dehiwela National Zoo. While herbal oil was first anointed on the elephants, the other animals were also anointed with oil thereafter.

 

AAMEF emphasizes on Majithia Wage Board implementation

April 16th, 2014

By Our Correspondent

Guwahati: All Assam Media Employees’ Federation (AAMEF) has welcome the recent verdict of the Supreme Court to implement the Majithia Wage Board recommendations for journalists & non-journalists newspaper & news agency employees from this month onwards and urged the media house owners to follow the ruling of the apex court of India.

It may be mentioned that the Supreme Court on April 9 had dismissed the plea of various newspaper managements seeking review of its judgment directing them to implement the recommendations of Justice Majithia Wage Board for media employees on their pay structureand ruled that the wages as revised would be payable from November 11, 2011 when the Centre notified the recommendations of the Board.

“All the arrears up to March 2014 shall be paid to all eligible employees in four equal installments within a period of one year and continue to pay the revised wages from April 2014 onwards,” added the verdict. The Bench comprising Chief Justice P Sathasivam and Justice Ranjan Gogoi & Justice Shiva Kirti Singh said in the order, “We have carefully gone through the review petitions and the connected papers.

We find no merit in the review petitions and the same are accordingly dismissed.” AAMEF president Hiten Mahanta in a statement also appreciated the management of The Assam Tribune group of newspapers for implementing the Majithia Wage Board recommendations for the first time in the country.

He asserted that the Guwahati based pioneer media house has established that the latest wage board is very much implementable if the managements do have minimum commitments to the medium. Even voices for implementation of the new wage board have been raised by the Hong Kong based Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia and advocates for justice & institutional reform to ensure the protection & promotion of the rights.

“Taking the recent Supreme Court (of India) judgment as a standard, the AHRC urges the media houses to honour and implement the Majithia Wage Board recommendations as a matter of priority.

The State governments must take measures to ensure a safe working atmosphere for journalists and make special provisions for social benefits like health & life insurance,” said a recent statement from the Hong Kong based organization.

It is observed that most of the media groups of Assam have made it a habit to show a loss-making balance sheet every year to avoid paying proper salaries to the employees. But except few, it’s a common practice for all the media barons in the State to divert funds from the collected amount of money from the advertisers to other non-media enterprises owned by their families.

“Thus the newspaper owners continue siphoning away the essential resource of the media groups for their selfish interest only to showcase the media business as an unprofitable endeavour,” asserted the AAMEF statement.

Meanwhile, Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has urged the Union government to facilitate the media persons engaged with the privately owned satellite news channels with systematic pay hike like their counterparts in the print media.

The Assam based scribes’ body pointed out that nearly 80% television journalists of northeast India are still performing their duties with pitiable salaries, unlimited working hours and without any facilities recommended by the country’s labour laws not to speak of any statutory wage board recommendations.

“We urge both the Union Labour and I&B ministry with the State governments of the alienated region to look into the matter seriously as the managements continue employing the journalists with deplorable wages and depriving them other due legitimate facilities,” said Rupam Barua, president of JFA.

Finally both the AAMEF and JFA have reiterated their demand for a social media audit in northeast India where the readers and viewers can find a transparent picture of the financial dealings involved with their favourite newspapers and private news channels.

The media audit should address many vital issues relating to the media market in the country, asserted the media employees’ organizations adding that the exercise would hopefully help the media employees to receive their due benefits supported by the law of the land.

LTTE/LTTE fronts banned : Sri Lankan Overseas Missions must take the baton

April 15th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 The Government of Sri Lanka on 1st April 2014 banned the LTTE and 16 LTTE fronts and named 424 individuals and organizations to be investigated for links to terror. These entities are all operating from overseas with leaders having ties with foreign politicians and parliamentarians as well as tied to various charities and NGOs. Ironically, the banned entities are operating in countries that have banned the LTTE and continues to maintain the ban. With the Government taking a principled stand on the need to completely negate the overpowering influence exerted by foreign passport holding LTTE diaspora, the External Affairs Minister and Ministry cannot take a lackluster approach by simply waiting for Colombo to give them standing orders. They must take a more proactive and assertive role and counter the anti-Sri Lanka propaganda as well as come down hard on the foreign nations allowing the banned entities to prevail. This is no time for cringing diplomacy.

 The External Affairs Minister and Ministry must immediately be asked to address the following:

  • With all stations having a defense attach© in place the gazette notifications of the ban with names and entities must be sent out to all entities that the diplomatic missions deal with.
  • The Foreign Missions need to deploy teams that will inform all public meeting venues about the ban and request that facilities are not hired to these banned entities. A direct hotline must be given for these officials to contact in the event a member of the Tamil Diaspora does contact them to make a booking. Communication channels need to be made accessible 24×7.
  • The Foreign Missions need to regularly set up meetings with local councils and their staff and follow through with official letters and personal meetings to keep them abreast of the new developments.
  • Dossiers on these banned entities must be compiled and distributed to public officials and places where the LTTE diaspora have been conducting regular meetings over the years in particular the local police of the areas they are actively involved in. Photographs of these LTTE banned entities and their leaders must also be distributed.
  • Public forums should be held with question and answer opportunities for the public of these countries to come forward and ask questions regarding the ban for the anti-propaganda has been such that many foreign natives have fallen prey to the lies. This is a perfect opportunity for Sri Lanka to now set the story straight.
  • Every mission should open a website in the countries they are functioning and upload the activities that the banned LTTE fronts have been upto including statistics of how many foreign natives they have cheated manipulating the social welfare systems, credit card malpractices and other illegal activities.
  • The present Commission on Missing and Disappeared and the statistics available as well as the statistics on the post-conflict development and processes in place need to be simultaneously promoted to show the achievements of Sri Lanka in just 5 years.

 The External Affairs Ministry and staff have work cut out for them and there is no time to be lost. We cannot afford to take an armchair approach or cringe with fear of annoying the West. The opportunity to negate the anti-Sri Lanka propaganda is now before us, the external affairs ministry must take a leading role as the baton is now in their hands and they cannot afford to remain in slumber.

Another Perspective On Canada’s Suspension Of Voluntary Funds To The Commonwealth Secretariat Chaired By Sri Lanka!

April 15th, 2014

Sunny Sunil’s Column Of Critical Analysis Of Matters Involving Sri Lanka.

April 16th. 2014
Ir seems compellingly obvious that the present Canadian Administration of PM. Stephen Harper has made a Faux Pas by suspending Canada’s voluntary contribution towards the Commonwealth Secretariat chaired by Sri Lanka  through circumventing the responsibility of allocations to the Commonwealth Secretariat  where Sri Lanka will be denied through the suppression of abt. $ Cdn 9 million where the reasons given for this are linked to the accusation against Sri Lanka’s violation of human rights during the Tamil Tiger insurrection sans tangible evidence towards the claim albeit instigated at times quite melodramatically by Sri Lanka’s adversaries including the Tamil Tiger supportive Global Tamil Diaspora.
 
In an analytical sense when Sri Lanka’s Foreign Ministry accuses Canada of ” using its voluntary funds to the Commonwealth Secretariat as a political tool based on the dictates of electoral compulsions, thereby holding the membership of the wider Commonwealth to ransom, through competing claims for power,” there appears to be more than a ring of truth to it while also being indicative of a need to continue Canada’s never ending pursuit of Sri Lanka based upon hearsay, cooked up evidence and, falsified depositions that are spewed all over the globe  in a splash that defies comprehension on the instigation of Sri Lanka’s enemies whose chief promoters quite visibly are  the disillussioned group known as the Global Tamil Diaspora. They are categorically a group of frustrated and disillussioned Tamils scarttered around the globe who were unable to overwhelm Sri Lanka throug their support of terrorism but appear to have hoodwinked nations such as Canada amongst others into believing their version of what really transpired in Sri lanka during the insurrection, at times wrongfully defined as a war. 
 
It seems apathetic on the part of Canada that without a smidgen of real evidence which would hold up in an Internatioal Court of Law , to persist in the persecution of Sri Lanka which sadly also seems to be contradicting her policy of non alignment, impartiality and self righteous proclamations that at times ring hollow and perhaps putting Canadian credibility towards the entire scenario at risk.
 
This especially when there is much evidence to the contrary where Sri Lanka campaigned militarily to overwhelm a three decades long internal armed insurrection by the Tamil Tigers and supportive Tamils which is now history and perhaps even academic.
It was  affirmative action on the part of the Government of Sri Lanka to preserve Sovereignity and Territorial Integrity in the face of a terrorist uprising initiated mainly by the Tamil diaspora also suspected of instigating Canada to the extent of sanctions such as those outlined here, where no human rights violations on the part of the GOSL and the armed forces ever took place towards the definition of the accusations and there is much credible and tangible evidence to prove that this was indeed something perpetrated on all of Sri Lanka by the Tamil Tigers !  It also needs to be maintained that the Armed Forces were indeed responsible for liberating innocent civilians from the clutches of the terrorists where a multitude of those freed and willing to testify towards the accuracy of this exists in Sri Lanka today with much gratitude towards the Govenmental actions which truly restored their freedoms and values.  

 When Canada yesterday decided to suspend its voluntary contribution to the Commonwealth Secretariat and re-allocate the funds for the next two years in protest over Sri Lanka’s alleged human rights issue the rationalities involved immediatelty turn to irresponsibilty on the part of Canada.

 When the External Affairs Ministry of Sri Lanka says  that, quoting “the relentless action pursued by Canada on Sri Lanka, will only seek to undermine the delicate reconciliation process, as the bona fides of the basis of that Governments trajectory is questionable and not in tandem with the interests of the people of Sri Lanka.

It is the Government of Sri Lanka which is best placed to continue the evolution of a home grown solution for its people in accordance with a realistic time frame,” as widely publicised in the local media and hopefully has attracted global attention!!

 

The media report ( courtesy of Colombo Gazette) has also highlighted the following External Affairs Ministry statement which bears testimony to a degree of duplicity and a double standard by Canada which needs to be widely publicised that ” the action taken by Canada is at variance with the underlying spirit of the Commonwealth as a voluntary Organization of sovereign nations, with diversity being its hallmark.

The announcement by Canada is not a surprise as when the Canadian Prime Minister announced his non attendance of the 2013 CHOGM in Colombo, he also alluded to the issue of cutting back his Government’s contributions to the Commonwealth.

Further, during conversation with a Canadian Government representative in Sri Lanka over a year ago it was mentioned that Canada was considering the rationalization of their contributions to international organizations including the Commonwealth.

When Sri Lanka was to assume Chairmanship of the Commonwealth, the Canadian Government sought to make their reservations in this regard as the reason for the cut.

Concern has been expressed amongst the wider Commonwealth that the countries which provide the majority of the finances seek to unduly influence the working of the Organization. This action by Canada stands in evidence of such machinations,” the External Affairs Ministry The spokesperson said that Sri Lanka upholds Commonwealth values and has never sought their change and Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird’s comment in justifying Canada’s action is a castigation of the organization as a whole, and Sri Lanka believes that the wider Commonwealth stands in solidarity against such manipulations” end of quote by the External Affairs Ministry and its spokesperson the Hon. Minister Mr.G.L Peiris.

 In conclusion, what seems most astounding about Canada’s stance is that despite the realities involving Sri Lanka’s struggle against armed insurrection where a greater part of the world acollades the precedent setting overwhelming of terrorism which has today taken on a global perspective and Sri Lanka completely rid of the scourge despite attempts to revive it, Canada instead of acollading and recognizing the good that has been done towards ridding the world of terrorism continues to hound and persecute Sri Lanka almost as if this is in pursuit of an agenda far removed from Human Rights Accusations to which only Canada could provide appropriate answers.

Canada Suspends Commonwealth Funds For Next Two Years

April 15th, 2014

Herold Leelawardena

John Baird, Foreign Affairs Minister of Canada says, he has withdrawn Canada’s $10-million annual voluntary contribution to Commonwealth. It is obvious that Baird has joined his neo con gang to force Sri Lanka to agree to their witch-hunt. He tells us that there is no ‘principles of freedom, democracy and respect for human dignity’ in Sri Lanka and for that reason Canada had stopped their stipend to reprimand Sri Lanka. I like to open Lankaweb readers’ eyes for the fact that Baird is blind to what’s going on in his own country, Canada.

 Genocide is a deliberate extermination of one ethnic group by another. That has never happened in Sri Lanka. True, throughout history, Sinhalas fought to stop plundering by invaders. But when Tamil invaders were defeated or went back to their homeland with the plundered booty, the remainder had become guests and settled down with the local polity by integrating into the Sinhala populace. We can safely assume that’s how Sinhalas grew to what they are today. 

 The indigenous peoples or the ‘first nation’ of the Americas are the various aboriginal people commonly called ‘Indians’. These indigenous peoples have cultures spanning thousands of years. Progeny of invaders say there were about two million ‘first nation’ people in the late 15th century but repeated outbreaks of European infectious diseases said to have killed up to 80% of that number. What a lie.

 That apart, what interest me is, the God’s agent, Pope Alexander VI drew a line and divided lands discovered in America between Spain and Portugal in 1493. American ‘first peoples’ were polytheistic, believing in many gods and many levels of deity. They attached supernatural qualities to animals, heavenly bodies, the seasons, dead ancestors, the elements, and geologic formations. Needle to say, Europeans hate such believers and call them pagan. So, Columbus brought a force of 17 ships on his return voyage in 1493 to implement slavery and mass-extermination on the first nation in Caribbean. Other conquistadors introduced small fox etc. to settlements of the first nation peoples in Canada and the US at later stages with the sole aim of exterminating them.

 Somehow, the average ‘first nation’ slave said to have died at 18, and the average African slave died at 25 but the average European lived to reach the age of 35 at the time. One can visualize how Bairds’ ancestors reduce the ‘first nation’ to a bare minority. That’s what Baird’s ancestors meaning European invaders to Canada and the US had done to its indigenous populace. What a contrast to past events of Sri Lanka.With all that dirty and gloomy record, Canada today has elevated itself to be a leading nation that preach others on human rights. So much so, its Foreign Affairs Minister, John Baird accuses Sri Lanka for failing to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. 

 So, let’s fast forward to 20th century. Canada says they have a National Aboriginal Day and recognizes the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal peoples of Canada. But Canada continued the force removal of the children that began in the 19th century till 1970s. At the forced boarding schools, children were forbidden to use their own languages and discouraged from learning about their own cultures. Canadian policy was not just to kill the colonized but eradicate their language, music, art, religion, healing, agriculture, cooking style, the institutions governing social life as well. We  in Sri Lanka never had such policies.

 Duncan Campbell Scott, a senior official in the Indian affairs department, wrote in 1920 that the aim was to “kill the Indian in the child” until “there is not a single American Indian in Canada that has not been absorbed”. About 90,000 of the 150,000 students who went through the system are still alive. Today, the indigenous population makes up only about 4% of Canada’s population. But they’re among the poorest.

 Canada lobbied member states to postpone United Nations Declaration on the ‘Rights of Indigenous Peoples’. Their general excuse was it would create constitutional problems. The truth is, Canada didn’t want to cede state control of lands or resources to their ‘first nation’. But 143 states voted in favour, 4 voted against (Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States) and 11 abstained (Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Burundi, Colombia, Georgia, Kenya, Nigeria, Russian Federation, Samoa and Ukraine) At the General Assembly on 13 September 2007. Are Canada and the US true human right protectors or schemers.

 Not long ago in 1937, the Pequot Indians were exterminated by the Colonists when they burned their villages in Mystic, Connecticut in adjoining state in the US, and then shot all the other people ”” including women and children ”” who tried to escape.

 Jose Noriega’s well-documented historical account of the forced indoctrination of colonial thought into the minds of American Indian children as a means of disrupting the generational transmission of cultural values, clearly demonstrates the cultural genocide employed by the U.S. government as a means of separating the American Indians from their land.

 Talking about the 21st century, HRW has prepared a report which alleged widespread abuse of ‘first nation’ women in British Columbia by members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in 2013. Many say victim numbers would exceed 600. So, HRW hoped Prime Minister Harper would start a national inquiry into the problem of murdered and missing ‘first nation’ women across Canada. But Harper merely demanded that the alleged victims of police abuse come forward and be identified. Is that an action by a protector of human rights?

 Terrified for their safety, and in some cases their lives, if they speak out publicly not many turned up for the inquiry that followed. In the 90-page report after 87 interviews with 50 indigenous women and girls between the ages of 15 and 60 in10 British Columbia aboriginal communities, one woman alleged she was gang-raped by four officers in 2011. The report’s findings include allegations that said “They threatened to kill me and make it look like an accident.”

 Two 12-year-old girls said they were Tasered. Another youth said he was pepper-sprayed. Another said, she was attacked by a police dog. A ‘first nation’ woman alleged she was arrested and taken to a basement stripped, drugged and sodomized her, then threatened to murder or “disappear” her family members if exposed. Likewise, many ‘first nation’ women who say they were abused by the police fear retribution if they report the crimes.

 There are more than 600 cases of missing or murdered ‘first nation’ women in Canada, says the leading missing-women advocate Gladys Radek co-founded the group Walk4Justice after her niece, Tamara Chipman who disappeared along northern British Columbia’s Highway. Native Women’s Association of Canada says it had a list of 582 missing women and girls from 2005 to 2010.

 What a laugh, Baird accuses Sri Lanka for failing to take meaningful action on human rights, political reconciliation and accountability. Baird should go look for the culprit in the mirror.

 

 

Article on Sri Lanka by Parag Khanna Contains Some Inaccuracies, Miscalculations and Subtle Indian Bias

April 14th, 2014

Dilrook Kannangara

Parag Khanna’s article in CNN titled “How Strategic is Sri Lanka” is both refreshing and deceiving. While it contains a number of factual observations, it also contained a number of inaccuracies and miscalculations of geopolitical issues.

 http://edition.cnn.com/2014/04/09/opinion/sri-lanka-strategic-value-parag-khanna/
Inaccuracy 1: ‘Ceylon was known under Portuguese rule; the Dutch deepened and expanded their colonial rule of the island and Sri Lanka became a British colony’
The Portuguese, the Dutch and the British only ruled the maritime zones of the island nation from the start of the 16th century to 1815. The vast interior of the island nation and some ports were firmly under the Kandy Kingdom until 1815 when the ‘English-Sinhala Pact’ was signed between Kandy chieftains and the British. Only afterwards did the island nation as a whole fell to the British rule (1815 to 1948). What is significant of this fact is powerful Portuguese, Dutch, French and British forces failed to militarily defeat Sri Lanka and were unsuccessful in capturing most of the landmass.
Battle of Mulleriyawa (1957-62) was one of the worst defeats the Portuguese suffered in Asia when native Sinhalese defeated the Portuguese forces in Mulleriyawa, Colombo. Though the Portuguese regained some of what was lost, it proved the locals had the clout to disrupt at will the European maritime and trade activity. It brought a compromised rule of the island’s maritime zones between the Europeans and the natives.
It was the height of Spanish-Portuguese Inquisition. A large number of Muslims were killed in nations under their rule. Most Sri Lankan Muslims at that time were from South Western India who settled in the South Western coast of Sri Lanka which fell to Portuguese rule. Sinhala king ruling from Kandy relocated them to the eastern coastal area which was under the Kandyan rule, saving them.
British explorer Robert Knox was captured (1659) by the forces of the Sinhala king Rajasingha when he landed shipwrecked. It is evidence of natives’ rule of certain maritime zones despite the Dutch rule of most maritime areas.
Therefore the contention that Europeans controlled or ruled the maritime activity around Sri Lanka for centuries is false. Only from 1815 to 1948 did the British manage to control the entirety of Sri Lanka and determine maritime security, shipping policies and leverage tools of geopolitical clout.
However, the Dutch rule of most maritime zones and British rule of the entire island triggered a vast migration of South Indians (Tamils and other South Indians) into the island. Dutch tobacco plantations in the 17th century in the north of the island to rival flourishing tobacco industry of Kerala attracted a large number of Malabar slaves from South India. British tea plantations also attracted close to a million South Indian workers into the island. These changed the harmonious demographic balance of the island resulting in war (1983-2009).
Inaccuracy 2: ‘China’s so-called “string of pearls” strategy’
Over-reliance on US defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton’s “string of pearls” assertion (2005) is unwise which is deceiving. There is no “string of pearls” which is a pro-US and pro-Indian terminology aimed at disrupting China’s peaceful westward maritime thrust. It should only be used to describe the Indian bias of highly beneficial Chinese investments in South Asia on a superficial level, not at any geopolitical or economic level.
China reiterated its “Silk Road” strategy when the Chinese foreign minister met his Sri Lankan counterpart. What must be appreciated is China is reaching to Europe and the Middle East in multiple ways over sea, land and air. If Sri Lanka refuses to participate in the Silk Road over sea it will be economically detrimental to the island nation. Sri Lanka is the only country in the region where China is not its largest trading partner. Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners are USA and India which indicates a grave economic misalignment problem.
The illegal and void ab initio Indo-Lanka Peace Accord (1987) is a huge hindrance to the Silk Road as India’s petty anti-China policy has not only excluded itself from strengthening ties with its largest trading partner (China) but also tries to disrupt the emergence of the new Silk Road. It will do heaps good for Sri Lanka to nullify the Accord.
Inaccuracy 3: ‘Rajapaksa’s regime is the new Kingdom of Kandy, inviting foreigners but attempting to control their influence’
This is a shockingly na¯ve comparison. Chinese involvement in Sri Lankan maritime matters is purely economic. Any defence implication of the proposed Silk Road agreement is only incidental. Though China is Sri Lanka’s largest defence supplier, there has been very little in the naval front. Only land and air battle equipment were sourced from China. Sri Lanka navy equipment came from Israel, USA, Russia and India. Destruction of LTTE floating weapons warehouses was done with the assistance of USA. On the human rights issue, getting Chinese help on the sound principle of non-interference is totally different to what the writer claims. Every country has common ground in interests with plenty more. Chinese, Pakistani and Sri Lankan interests in the human rights issue, maritime policy and peaceful rise of China converge. Too bad India finds it intolerable.
Inaccuracy 4: ‘Sri Lanka continues a ruthless occupation and crackdown in the country’s Tamil populated north, with continued widespread human rights violations’
Nothing can be further from the truth. Comparing democratic Sri Lanka (Asia’s oldest democracy since 1931) with military ruled Myanmar is comparing apples with oranges. The north has always been part of Sri Lanka, and its armed forces have every right to maintain military bases in the north which saw bloody battles. There is absolutely no ruthless occupation and crackdown in the north. It is also wrong to associate the north with Tamils. A large number of Sinhalese and Muslims lived in the north until they were evicted forcibly and their properties stolen by Tamils in August 1977 and August 1990 respectively.
US military operates military installations throughout the territorial USA despite some states having a larger African American or Hispanic population. USA even has military bases in Hawaii. Similarly India maintains military bases throughout its territory outside the Hindi Belt. As such Sri Lanka has every right to deploy its military anywhere in the island to prevent the re-emergence of Tamil terrorism. It is worthwhile to note that despite the wipe out of Tamil terrorists from Sri Lanka in 2009, USA, EU and India still maintain the ban on Tamil Tiger Terrorists.
The assertion ‘continued widespread human rights violations’ is baseless. It is made by defeated Tamil groups around the world (most are banned terrorist groups under UN Security Council resolution 1373) and agencies and powers with vested interests. It is the equal of non-existent Iraqi WMDs.
Inaccuracy 5: ‘Minority Tamils still face difficulty getting jobs against the dominant Sinhalese’
This assertion is not true as Tamils are employed and operate businesses in each and every 25 districts of the island nation whereas Sinhalese are not allowed to buy property, start business and find jobs in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mannar, Batticaloa and Mulaitivu districts by Tamil ethno centric tribal politics. They also stop Muslims from buying property, starting business and finding jobs in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mulaitivu districts. Dutch imposed laws for Malabar slaves including the infamous ‘Thesawalamei Law’ restrict land purchase rights only to people of Malabar decent (northern Tamils) and prevent others from buying land in the north.
Over 250,000 Tamils live and work in Colombo district in the heart of Sinhala areas but Tamil majority areas are no go zones for Sinhala settlers. What happens in Sri Lanka is Tamil discrimination against Sinhalese and Muslims which must be rooted out.
Trumped up charges are made by sections with vested interests to disrupt the inevitable China-Sri Lanka tie up. Human rights concerns are only excuses to interfere in Lankan affairs by Indian and western groups to prevent China’s peaceful rise and push for purely commercial needs.
Inaccuracy 6: ‘Kotte kingdom ruler Alakeshvara (1411) shackled and sent off to bow before the Yongle of Ming dynasty emperor’
This is totally out of context. In 1411 Sri Lanka didn’t seek Chinese assistance in defence or commerce. Therefore comparing it to leveraging great power machinations involving China is completely irrelevant. Besides, Sri Lanka has no problem in paying tribute to China in every way it can which is what over 126 countries do as China is their largest trading partner. This trumped up fear of China is alien to Sri Lankans which can only be found in hegemonic sections in India ” a patchwork of nations like the Soviet Union.
Sri Lanka had very close and strong relations with China for over 2,000 years. It is not something that was imposed like the 1987 Indo-Lanka Accord against the will of Sri Lankans. Strong China relations are driven by willing, much desired and much cherished love Sri Lankans have towards China in addition to commercial realities. Had India stood by Sri Lanka in the assemblies of UNHRC, not trained Tamil terrorists in 1970s and not committed horrendous crimes against Tamils (particularly Tamil women) during IPKF operations (1987-90) in Tamil dominated north, it would also command much respect in the island.

Is BJP Candidate Modi Jumping The Gun Towards Intimidatory Talk Against Sri Lanka And Others Even Before He Is Elected?.

April 14th, 2014

Sunny Sunil’s Column Of Critical Analysis Of Matters Involving Sri Lanka.

April 16th. 2014
It may be premature to assume that the current electoral process ongoing in neighbouring India would result in a New Order of political leadership but as the polls seem to suggest there is every likelihood of a regime change where hopefully it will not affect Sri Lanka adversely.
 
While there are many speculations in various media about this, the rhetoric emanating from the camp of current frontrunner and India’s BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has somnewhat brazenly seems to indicate that ” with Tamils living all over the world, including in Malayasia, Sri Lanka and Fiji, it should be a priority of the Indian government to take care of their well being and he promised to do so if a BJP-led Government assumes power after the elections.Sure sure Mr Mody! but there are also Sinhalese and other ethnicities from Sri Lanka who also fit into this category so what about their well being so why should there not  be a variance of Indian priorities towards accommodating their needs and their well being also? .
 
And what does this translate to one might ask? as there is a hint of an undertone that India might well be on a path to intimidate Sri Lanka over the Tamil issue about which he  has neither real jurisdiction nor any mandate to interfere into  in intimidatory fashion,  being the internal affairs of Sovereign Sri Lanka although in the past, history has proved that India is capable of attempting exactly this where an early deterrent to what might transpire as a problem may be a worthwhile option where dialogue over the issue as well as affirmative action involving the support of some of  Sri Lanka’s friendly global giants at the ready to come to Sri Lanka’s aid if necessary in disillussioning the likes of Modi that life’s not a one way street involving Sri Lankan and other Tamils only at any related motions that may be forthcoming on the global arena.
 
It seems foolhardy on the part of the BJP Candidate to assume moral authority over the Tamil Issue in Sri Lanka as it also involves the majority Sinhalese and other ethnicities  including Tamils who have chosen to accept the leadership of the present Sri Lankan Adminstration that is making every attempt to resolve issues related and there is no call for Mr. Modi to be presumptuous over an issue which is not only sensitive but also possibly embarrasing to India if he puts his money where his mouth is where it could also be to his detriment as no Indian leadership in recent times has openly made statements of this nature which sound intimidatory to Sri Lanka where he needs to classify his rhetoric and govern himself accordingly which seems appropriate also  for the rest of the non- Sri Lankan friendly bandwagon campaigning for office in Tamil Nadu!

 What he is so boldly implying by saying that” a strong and determined government was the need of the hour as small countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh were poking the country and they have to be met eye-on-eye and dealt with strongly” as quoted from the Press Trust of India, at an election rally in Chennai recently is, that India needs to get tough with Sri Lanka if one reads between the lines. What exactly he means by the term ‘Poking” needs interpretation from a diverse perspective but if it is what many understand through plain English is an inference to provocative actions against India which belies reality and is the furthest from it as Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh as quoted have been regarded as friendly neighbours by the incumbent Indian Administration where his opinion seems to be to the contrary and one which seems to portray him as someone ready to instigate trouble with India’s neighbours in a meddlesome and irresponsible manner which will not serve him well in the event of his election to the leadership of India.

 On the  issue of  so called ” recurring attacks on fishermen”,  Mr.Modi appears to have somewhat misguidedly charged that the UPA Government in India lacked the courage to protect the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Gujarat who were were being “harassed” by Sri Lanka and Pakistan which by itself is a distorted interpretation of the issue where Indian fishermen have from time to time boldly fished in territorial waters outside their own and have caused the related authorities to take action well within the framework of the laws that bind such matters.To accuse them of negligence shows a lack of insight towards reality on the part of Modi as related issues have been ongoing and concurrent with frequent coverage in the global media of the responses by the Indian Government towards quelling the problems involved.

The Indian Government in plain sight of the world and the countries concerned has taken very appropriate steps towards addressing and resolving the issue where it apears that the Tamil Nadu Government in a high handed manner has continued to instigate their fisherment about rights that do not belong to them where the Indian Government probably needs to take further action to deter both Tamil Nadu and her fishermen to stay away from waters they have no access to  or face the consequences of incarceration.

 While making a strong pitch for the NDA’s six-party alliance in the state as reported, Modi claims it had emerged as the third alternative to the two major Dravidian parties and also a force to reckon with in the April 24 Lok Sabha polls which may be true but does not grant him or his party Carte Blanche to create anxieties between India and her neighbours especially over lukewarm issues that have not been cast aside despite his trepidations where there are those of  far greater importance towards resolution within a nation with a populace of  over a billion and he has not even been elected as yet although bickering over topics of secondary importance quite unlike what is required of the leader of a nation of the stature of India in the hope this will project him to the highest office which would only belittle India’s image and perhaps cause endless headaches to India’s neighbours and probably plummet his popularity downwards in the process.

In Understanding Rauf Hakeem and Anti-Islamism in India: Comments on some recent Indian writings

April 13th, 2014

By Bandu de Silva

The article presented below was written last year just before I went to Australia for a few months and consequently, it remained unpublished. Mr.Hakeem’s forty-page Report given to UNHRC Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillai, which has now surfaced in the public domain, has created new interest in what Mr.Hakeem says. It is in this context that the article mentioned above is  now presented. 

Quote

Anti-Islamism in India:

Comments on some recent Indian writings

By Bandu de Silva

I was intrigued  by a statement made by the SLMC leader, Rauf Hakeem, on 3rd August 2004 in New Delhi in his interview to Hindustan Times (interview with Meenakshi Ayer) just like Apratim Mukarji who reproduced it in his newest book on Sri Lanka: Sri Lanka: A Dangerous Interlude” Vijitha Yapa Publications, 2005).

Hakeem said that the Muslims in the [formerly temporarily amalgamated) “north-east” were `in a difficult situation particularly because of the India-sponsored merger of the northern and eastern districts (provinces) to form a united northeastern province. The merger had made the Muslims politically weak. But now, we are politically organized and are a vibrant force, which has repeatedly got the mandate of the people.

“Why was it that the SLMC was now suggesting an Indian role in Sri Lanka?”, asked Mukarji. Hakeem provided an interesting explanation, that is that India had, in the intervening years, changed its attitude to the Muslims and was now showing a readiness to accommodate their interests, added this Indian journalist, who was once the Colombo correspondent of Hindustan Times, and the author of another book on Sri Lanka. As for the Sri Lankan situation, he quoted Hakeem saying that India is obviously inclined to amend it (its earlier stand ) and find a modus vivendi for resolving issues relating to an autonomous arrangement that we are seeking in the “north-east” to ensure that we (the Muslims) have self-rule along in a federal arrangement.

This statement was seen as a perception of India’s attitude towards Muslims in India in general, spilling over into affairs of the neighbouring land. In analysing Hakeem’s perception of India’s treatment of Muslims today, let me first hark back to what the well known analyst of Indian politics, Pranay Gupta, wrote on the situation of Muslims in India after Indira Gandhi’s death; and next to more recent writing of Amalendu Misra,: “Foundations of Anti-Islamism in India: Identity and Religion”  (Sage Publications, New Delhi) (Misra is a Lecturer in politics at the Queen’s University, Belfast and his book has received favourable comments from Lord Parekh, Central Professor, London School of Economics and Professor Noel O’Sullivan, Professor of Political Philosophy , University of Hull).

Pranay Gupta writing in his book: “Vengeance: India after assassination of Indira Gandhi” quoted Trvor Fishlock, London Time’s New Delhi correspondent from his book : “India File”: “They (Muslims) are the rather unhappy remnant of a once powerful and conquering people whose forts, mosques, and domes dot the landscape and remain among the most distinctive of Indian images.”  Gupta wrote in his book: “…But for an overwhelming number of India’s majority Hindus, Muslims remain the ancient enemy. There is little forgiveness towards Muslims, much less trust and tolerance, because of real or perceived historical wrongs”    

If all this sounds dramatic, he wrote, consider the following: of the 4000 officers of the elite Indian Administrative Servicemen only 120 are Muslims. In the 2,000 ”member Indian Police Service, there are only 50 Muslims. India has about 5,000 judges, but only 300 of them are Muslims. There are nearly 120, 000 officers in the country’s 14 natonalised banks, but only 2,500 of them are Muslims. Quoting M.J. Akbar, in his “India :The Siege Within”  of a survey done by India’s top private companies, he gives the following figures: Ponds Ltd: one Muslim out of 115 senior executives;. DCM, 2 out of 987; Brook Bond, 14 out of 673; J.K. Synthetics, 5 out of 673; ITC, 17 out of 966; Sarabai, only 5 out of 628 executives were Muslims. In Aligar, none of the renown locksmiths were hired by the new lock factories!

This is the situation of the Muslim minority of 130 million in India which is roughly ten percent of the population!

George Ferdinedes, India’s leading labour leader and a former member of the Cabinet had told Mukarji “Muslims don’t get ordinary jobs so easily. The Muslim is not wanted in the armed forces because he is always suspect ” whether we want to admit them or not, most Indians consider them a fifth column for Pakistan. The private sector distrusts him. A situation has been created in which the Muslims, for all practical purposes, is India’s untouchables.”

Muslims were worried as to what would happen after Indira Gandhi’s death. In Hyderabad riots 150 Muslims died and U.S.$ 10 million worth of Muslim property was destroyed, but only $10, 000 was paid in compensation, no one was arrested; no one was punished. No one had been arrested for rioting against the Sikhs either, after Indira Gandhi’s assassination. (In this country one speaks of unresolved murders!) At that the question was whether Rajiv Gandhi could break away from the communalist hold over the Congress.

Pranay says the memory of Islamic invasions were much alive and people demanded that the historical wrongs- destruction of temples, slaughter of men, rape and carrying away of Hindu women, [and] Aurengzeb’s killing of people who would not be converted ” must be avenged. Indians say today’s Muslims must pay for the sins of their fathers! These are attitudes which cannot be overcome easily. RSS flourishes on strong anti-Muslim ideology. The Congress party has to depend on Hindu votes.

   Misra’s plan, in comparison, has been to map the subject, by examining the thinking of four Indian personalities who dominated the spectrum of thinking in modern India, namely, Swamy Vivekananda, Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and Savarkar, the Marathi historian. Misra sees the writings of these four personalities suggestive and much which is extremely perspective, each exhibiting degrees of uneasiness towards Islam as a religion and Muslims as a separate national community. However, Misra’s objective was not to suggest the thinking of these four personalities towards Islam and Muslim rule was wholly pro or anti ”Islam, but on the other hand, to highlight their overall reflection on an extremely important period in Indian history and their outlook on the community that was at the helm of its affairs.

The writer observes that his study was also intended to throw light on their response to the issue of syncretism between Hindus and Muslims in India and that the picture that emerged from these varied perspectives was as diverse as the Indian culture itself. While observing that in a multi-national polity predominance of one particular culture over others can lead to institutional discrimination, one is not entirely sure whether an equal presence of cultures in the national mainstream would guarantee continuous intellectual and inter-ethnic harmony. His conclusion is that a community that finds little cultural representation in the national mainstream might justifiably feel marginalized and develop a sense of alienation.

“Vivekananda found the answer to Hindu disunity in Islam. He argued that the very factors which made Hinduism unpopular and rigid helped make inroads for Islamic expansion in India. His idea that the Vedantic philosophy of spiritual solidarity and fellow feeling which did not manifest in a particular God  and was non-sectarian, could bring together divided Muslims and Hindus in India, (the concept of a Hindu mind and Islam body) was theoretically unique. It had a number of flaws, however. Firstly, Vivekananda was wrong in assuming that Islam could be subjected to such a `spiritual concoction'; secondly, it favoured the Hindus over Muslims and was biased. Vivekananda failed to appreciate that these religions were based on centuries old practices and principles and deeply rooted in particular philosophical traditions. Since Muslims consider Islam as the final word of God and refrain from any further re-interpretations, it foreclosed Vivekananda’s recommendations to strike any roots among Muslims.” His Vedanta alienated Muslims by claiming it to be the universal religion. This `concoction’ finally helped the divided Hindus by providing them the benefit of spiritual unity but also infused in them a fighting spirit borrowed from Islam. The project, according to Misra, finally had converse results of creating Hindu chauvinism and affected the unity of India.

Gandhi’s perception of Islam changed from time to time. At the bottom of his thought was Hindu-Islam unity. He recognized the political significance of the Muslims rather than an acceptance of the teachings though at times he was carried away by suffering, renunciation and the nobility of early Caliphs. He was `well aware of the potential of 70 million Muslims though he personally disliked the prominence of Islam in future Indian politics; but he felt the best way was to recognize their worth’. In Gandhi’s analysis, the main concern was the Islam’s unadulterated belief in the oneness of God, a practical application of the truth of brotherhood and the idea of tolerance. In essence, Gandhi’s perception of Islam was that its basic principles were good; the intolerance following expansion was not; but a return to its founding ethos would be desirable. He said it was often confused that the Prophet’s greatness was his military exploits. He refused to accept it. He said “I must base my conduct on what the great teachers on earth said, and not what they did.”

However, he did not accept the claimed absoluteness of the Prophet. He did not believe any human being was absolutely perfect, he be a Prophet or Avatar. Gandhi was also critical of Muslims’ lack of respect for other religions; its “higher than the others” and “truer than the others” attitude. This was especially so in respect of Muslim-Hindu interaction. The conclusion is that Gandhi was more pro-Islam than pro-Hindu. His role in the Khilafat movement and over the Moplah (Muslim) rebellion have been heavily criticized.

The basis upon which Jawaharlal Nehru built up his secularism has been proven to be nebulous. According to Misra, the synthesis upon which he rested his secularism which he substituted for religion, had a predominantly Hindu bias than a balanced mixture of the two religions. It favoured Hindus over Muslims and created further alienation of the latter.

The fourth personality who enters Misra’s discussion is Savarkar. His interpretation of Indian history was anti-Islamic. He talked about Islamic carnage and wrong doings. By quoting Hindu, Islamic and British sources he presented an irrefutable picture of Islam which appeared to be neutral and objective.

The author observes that the four thinkers, though representing four different strands of Indian nationalist thought, nonetheless had a degree of commonality in their attitude towards Muslim rule in India. 

Historiography and Divided et Impera

Misra then goes to discuss the legacy of British historiography and `Divided et Impera‘ policy under British rule which went to perpetuate the divided history of India. The objective was to unite the rule through the emphasis of division of history.

Bipan Chandra, another respected writer on Indian politics, observes that British historiography highlighted both Muslim and Hindu nationalists and communalists to embrace diametrically opposite hostile positions. Misra while subscribing to the role played by British historiography, points to other factors which contributed to the divide. He quotes the contemporary interpretations of V.S.Naipal who points to `Arab imperialism’ (Nico Kaptein: “V.S.Naipal’s New Islamic Travalogue: The Believers Revisited”) which demands a new allegiance from the converted.  Islam, in other words, is used as an ethnic identity in various countries where Muslims are in a minority. In fact, Muslims have found it hard to compromise between the expectations of their religion and that of their country of origin. The first casualty of this divided loyalty is the national mainstream identity. Misra asks, if this is true, can Indian Muslims be asked to reposition their identity according to the demands of Indian society, one that is overwhelmingly determined by the Hindu majority. Misra also refers to the role played by what is called `les lieus de memoire‘ (the imagination of memorial sites) in the current Hindu-Muslim rivalry as symbolized by the dispute over `Ayodhya (Babri Mosque). Hindu folk sociology, oral memory and indigenous tradition harboured centuries of hatred towards Muslims. He points out that this memory was selective and highlighted a prejudicial image of Muslim rule. As such, he says, these agents were equally responsible for promoting a negative idea towards Muslims. He brings out the other side of the Muslim rule such as music, architecture, art, food and even religion where some substantial interaction took place between Hindus and Muslims, which British historians ignored. The British prejudices against Muslims leading to highly disparaging discourse on Muslim rule and Islam went to separate the two communities      

Against this background, Misra maps out the future strategy for India in the inclusion of Muslims. He says the Hindu majority needs to re-evaluate its attitude towards its Muslim minority counterpart, if not for anything else, for the daily contribution of its 130 million citizens in every conceivable form and content to the working of the nation. The syncretism which has been developed over 1000 years is the `primer’ on which the idea of `India’ has been etched. Therefore, those who seek a starkly decided identity and interpret the present as two fundamentally irreconcilable opposites deny the opportunity to the state to function effectively. India’s inability to interpret the nature and function of the attribute of `national identity’ has led to countless bloody frictions among various communities.

One could posit that, if India is to be a home for all its various communities and develop a genuine sense of common citizenship and common belonging, it must evolve an identity which all its citizens can equally share. This involves a broadly shared view of its history and a broadly sympathetic appreciation of each other’s religions, cultures and life styles. This would mean that the Muslim past in India needs to be re-interpreted.

Finally, the author observes that the greatest danger to a society is the moral bankruptcy of its citizenry and the elites who influence and rule them. A society endowed with a good balance and distribution of solid social and cultural resources is able to manage tensions better than a society marked by the destablising conditions.   

The question is, has India set herself to coming to terms in accommodating its now 130 million Muslim minority despite having had three Muslims as Heads of State. Then, on what basis Rauf Hakeem came to his conclusion that India `had in the intervening years, changed its attitude towards the Muslims and was now showing a readiness to accommodate their interests’ is not clear. Perhaps, he was thinking of the situation in Sri Lanka, i.e., in the North and the East when he told the Indian media that India was obviously inclined to amend it (its earlier stand) and find a reasonable modus vivendi for resolving issues relating to an autonomous arrangement that we are seeking in the (formerly temporarily amalgamated) north-east (now North and the East) to ensure that we (Muslims) have self-rule along with a shared rule in a federal arrangement.”   

Comparison with Sri Lankan Situation

The discourse presented above in very summary form should provide a useful comparison for judging the situation in Sri Lanka in relation to minorities. The first point that strikes one is that in comparison, the situation of minorities here is being examined in splendid isolation without any look at the more volatile situation in the neighbourhood of this country, as if the problem is unique to Sri Lanka. At the same time our neighbouring country too has not been wanting in advising us while the situation at its own door-step has nothing to commend about it. In contrast, India would not tolerate any Islamic country in the neighbourhood or what V.S. Naipal called `Arab imperialism’ intervening in her affairs using the same arguments. One may even ask if she is trying to use the Sri Lankan situation to detract international focus on her situation.  

Critics of Sri Lanka may have a point in that they are dealing with a different society whose  historical record had been clearly marked with accommodation extended to peaceful visitors as much as different groups of her own inhabitants rather than exclusion. This became even more evident not only during the Gampola / Kotte eras when families like Senalankadhikaras and Alagakkonars came to be not only accepted but became respected members of the society but even later, down the line, when Kandappas became Senanayakes (Nora Roberts), and many hundred others have shed the South Indian names to make them cursive to appear Sinhalese as in the case of many Peruma (originally Perumal)  but some names like Dewarajas, Devendras, Rasputrams, Kandambys (see E.V.Naganathan’s writings) and Nambis (of my wife’s paternal side who became Rajapakses but still continue to use the name ‘Nambi’), Agampodis, (Arasa) Marakkalas, -Kuttis like Sembakutti (Gupta or Tamil Kutti) and Weerakkod[y]I (Weerakuttis) whom one meets down south in numbers, have not been loath (some are even proud) to retaining the pure original form.

Social integration has been the dominant feature resulting from that accommodation, the new comers integrating into the larger social matrix. The temporary nature of the immigrations such as during invasions was emphasized when the invaders returned with the plundered booty. Peaceful settlers integrated into the local polity and settled down among the local populace (e.g., caste groups, and Vanniyas including Mahavanniya of Bulankulame/Nuwarawewa) and Hurulles).[Hugh Nevil & D.G.B.de Silva in JRAS, Sri Lanka,N.S.Vol.XLI, Sp.Number, 1996].

 A change in pattern took place in Sri Lanka in the 17th and 18th centuries when large scale Vellala migration into the Jaffna peninsula took place induced by the Dutch who commenced the lucrative tobacco farming there. This new class imbued with ideas of caste superiority (arising, according to Prof., J.H. Hutton, William Wyse Professor of Anthropology in the University of Cambridge,(his Report to the Indian Census of 1931 and his book “Caste in India” (1946), from their knowledge of lift irrigation techniques which made them claim superiority in India) not only brought their slaves but exterminated the Veddas (that is the memory of their tradition) and reduced to slavery and to sub-castes, the original Sinhalese population who formed the peninsula’s principal population even under Ariya Cakravarti rule (Ariyacakravarttis ruled with the support of the Tanjore army). The land -deprived Sinhalese became the  Koviyas (Sinh.Goviyas = cultivators) and Nalavars (Toddy tappers) and others living in the periphery of palm groves. The affluence acquired from tobacco gold made them even more assertive.

That was a reversal of the process which was taking place earlier; but unlike in the Jaffna situation, the Tamils became honoured citizens among the Sinhalese. For example, Algakkonara came to be referred to as `Mantrisvarayano‘ by the Bhikkus.(Nikaya Sangrahaya). Kandure Bandara became a respected courtier (see Michael Roberts quoting D.G.B de Silva). So were the Malalas, who produced the chief prelates of Totagamuva and Vidagama centres of learning and the poet Alagiyavanna; and the Cola bhikkus throughout history down to Kotte times.

 

Muslims in Sri Lanka

Looking at the situation of Muslims in Sri Lanka, there is no bitter legacy left by invasion or forceful occupation which is characteristic of the south Indian situation. Early Arab writers were amazed at the state of tolerance prevailing in the country which was predominantly Buddhist. Muslim interaction with Sri Lanka is, therefore, a peaceful one. They were more interested in the trade with the island which consisted of pearls, precious stones and spices. Only once, the legend speaks of a Muslim ascending the throne at Kurunegala but he became the victim of a murder conspiracy soon. The Muslims were very much involved in Sri Lanka’s carrying trade when the first colonial power, the Portuguese arrived in 1505. Their advice to the King of Kotte resulted in period of animosity against the new comer. The Musslim ruler, the Zamorin of Calicut provided military and naval support to the Sinhalese kings of Kotte and Sitawaka  against the Portuguese. After the Portuguese occupation of maritime areas of the South and the West, when the Muslims were expelled the King of Kandy came to their succour and settled them on the eastern parts of his kingdom. The Muslims of Sri Lanka claim intermarriage with local women and that as the causative factor of the increase of their numbers.

It was only in 1915 that any known serious friction developed between the Sinhalese and the Muslims. These were in the form of Sinhalese ”Muslim riots which first arose over a dispute over the route of the traditional procession at Gampola in which traditional music was practiced. As independent observers Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan have remarked, even these riots arose as a result of a new group of Muslims, generally referred to as ‘Coast Muslims’,  new comers from southern India who dominated trade and having set up a new Mosque on the Perahera route and their having objected to the procession proceeding past the Mosque.(Dewaraja).

There had been no such opposition from local Muslims earlier to the Perahera passing their Mosque. As an accommodation, on Perahera days they did not conduct their prayer sessions. These Muslims had lived long among the local people and understood the cultural practices of the land. Not so, the new arrivals from Southern India who had inherited a tradition of domination over the Hindus of South India as rulers and were the economically powerful group. Despite the acrimonious situation which developed as tension and riots spread and the imposition of Martial Law by the colonial government, the incarceration of all Sinhalese leaders and many bogus claims being made against wealthy Sinhalese, as it proved itself,  on destruction of Muslim property, the situation settled down and there had been no such volatile situations since then. Occasional fracas have occurred from time to time, but these are like clashes between certain Sinhalese neigbouring villages and others over trivial affairs. No situations like what takes place almost every other day around the Red Fort of Delhi or the terrible incidents in Guzarat, kindled by inherent animosity between the groups have been taking place herein Sri Lanka.

It is only some journalists trying to create unnecessary tension especially using the Face Book mode of popular communication that is worry-some. A most recent distortion was the presentation by a run-away journalist, a clash between two groups of Muslims at Beruwala as an anti-Muslim attack by the Sinhalese. Such attempts are not only insidious ways used to highlight tension but also drown the far more heinous crime of attacking Muslims at prayer at Kattankuddy several times by the LTTE and chasing about 80,000  Muslims out of the Northern province within 48 hours without allowing them to take away their personal belongings. (K.M de Silva: Sri Lanka and the Defeat of the LTTE, 2012,Vijtiha Yapa, pp 249/250. De Silva observes that there is very little prospect of these Muslims receiving compensation from the resources of the LTTE or from their successors.          

It is important that Sri Lankans should look with reservation over attempts made by interested groups to disturb the harmony which exists between communities in Sri Lanka and avoid falling prey to them. It is easy to call these conspiracy theories. But one can see the way Muslims have become victims of neo-colonist destabilization in the Middle East and the Maghreb, as was seen in the situation that has been caused in Iraq, Libya and other lands and now threatening Iran too.

UK should be declared a ‘Country of Concern’ not Sri Lanka

April 13th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 When the country that had been occupying Sri Lanka, plundering its wealth and advocating policies to exterminate the majority populace and dividing the people continues to harp on inquiries against Sri Lanka and now declares a travel advisory against Sri Lanka, we need to next question exactly how safe Britain is. Having being declared the most violent country in Europe, with crime statistics worse than South Africa or the US, the UK can hardly afford to be issuing travel advisories. Instead, countries including Sri Lanka must issue ‘country of concern’ advisories against UK. UK appears to continue to think it rules Sri Lanka to be poking its nose into affairs that are domestic and outside the conduit of the UK Parliament. It is for the UK politicians in particular the Prime Minister to be more concerned about the grave situation in the UK than wasting UK tax payers money globe trotting to look into affairs of citizens who are not British or British subjects either.

The British are angry. One if 5 jobs are filled by immigrants. In the last 5 years 160,000 immigrants have taken jobs that would have gone to British subjects (75% of all jobs). Mass immigration has left an alarming legacy. This has diminished the integrity of UK parliamentarians and aspiring politicians. Cameron whose government has been allowing the influx of immigrants to patch up things declares ‘’We must say no to giving work to immigrants just because our young people aren’t up to the job’ yet he and fellow politicians run behind these immigrants for their bloc votes and even compromises UK policies for such votes. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2478336/David-Camerons-anger-factories-staffed-foreigners.html  So the British must now ask the MPs of both Labor and Conservative Parties not to fool them anymore. As for the British themselves they are getting a taste of how natives felt when the colonial British occupying their countries had no choice when thousands of indented labor were brought in and dumped in their countries and these countries had to be saddled with them. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/9831912/I-feel-like-a-stranger-where-I-live.html

For the country that should be declared the mother of all the world’s troubles, the UK has a heavy price to pay for the crimes it has plotted upon every nation it has descended up over time.

How safe is UK?

Racial profiling / Racial Harassment in UK

Lets not forget racism started with the British when they launched translatlantic slave trade transporting blacks and Indians across the world in millions.

We can also recall numerous race riots across UK throughout 20th century. Riots in black areas of St. Pauls, Brixton, Toxteth, Moss Side, Notting Hill, Handsworth and Tottenham comes to mind.

The Joint Campaign Against Racism committee reported that there had been more than 20,000 attacks on non- Indigenous Britons including Britons of Asian origin during 1985 alone.

  • A BBC undercover investigation revealed that UK tenants do not rent out homes to non-whites though under the Equality Act 2010, it is illegal for businesses to refuse to provide a service based on ethnicity.. http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-24372509
  •  Muslims must note that over 700 mosques have been attacked in the UK since 2001 ” how safe will Sri Lankan Muslims be travelling to UK? how safe are Sri Lankan dual passport holders living in the UK?
  • As of 11 February 2011 attacks on Muslims in Scotland have contributing to a 20% increase in racist incidents over the past 12 months. Reports say every day in Scotland, 17 people are abused, threatened or violently attacked because of the colour of their skin, ethnicity or nationality. Statistics showed that just under 5,000 incidents of racism were recorded in 2009/10, a slight decrease from racist incidents recorded in 2008/9
  • From 2004 to 2012 the rate of racist incidents has been around 5,000 incidents per year.
  • In 2011-12, there were 5,389 racist incidents recorded by the police, which is a 10% increase on the 4,911 racist incidents recorded in 2010-11.
  • A third of Brits admit they are racist. Data from 90 councils detail 87,915 ‘racist incidents’ at primary and secondary schools between 2007 and 2011.
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2151056/Is-Britain-racist-nation-One-Brits-admits-racist-according-poll.html

UK Racism at work

·         Undercover job hunters reveal huge race bias in Britain’s workplaces – http://www.theguardian.com/money/2009/oct/18/racism-discrimination-employment-undercover

  • According to the UK government, there were 1.94 million violent crimes in the UK during 2011.
  • The violent crime rate in the UK is 3,100 per 100,000, and in the US it is 380 per 100,000 population.

UK police are no saints

Police forces in the United Kingdom have been accused of institutionalised racism since the late 20th century.

During the 2011 London riots, a Metropolitan Police officer, PC Alex MacFarlane, arrested and attempted strangling an African origin male and used racial words like ‘nigger’ and ‘black cunt’ on him.

Prison guards are almost twice as likely to be reported for racism than inmates in the UK; with racist incidents between prison guards themselves being nearly as high as that between guards and prisoners. The environment has been described as a dangerous breeding ground for racist extremism

Attacks on Lawyers

New laws violating human rights

  • Justice and Security Act ” enables secret courts to be set up with secretive closed material procedures (CMPs) into the main civil courts in England and Wales
  • The system of Special Advocates ” lawyers who are vetted and chosen by the government ” “have a very limited ability to conduct a cross-examination and cannot discuss full content of confidential materials with their client thus undermining the right to a fair trial,” ” this highlights heresay evidence or evidence based on torture.
  • Failure for public inquiry into the State’s hand in the 1989 murder of the Belfast lawyer Pat Finucane. David Cameron has even apologized to the Finucane family after a scathing report by the former war crimes lawyer Sir Desmond de Silva QC
  • The UN Committee against Torture accused UK of human rights abuses during the so-called war on terror and the mistreatment of prisoners in British custody in Iraq. The Committee says it is “deeply concerned at the growing number of serious allegations of torture and ill-treatment, as a result of the state party’s military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
  • UN has flagged 40 separate incidents on which the UK government must act.
  • an escape clause” in the Criminal Justice Act (1988) enabling British officials to escape prosecution for inflicting severe pain or suffering if they can show that they had “lawful authority, justification or excuse” for doing so.
  • Intelligence Services Act (1994), ensures intelligence officers cannot be prosecuted within the UK once a warrant giving them lawful authority has been signed by a government minister.
  • failure to date to prosecute anyone for the torture of Iraqi prisoners and in particular the failure to convict anyone for the murder of Baha Mousa who died in British custody in 2003.
  • Accusations of UK officials being evasive when questioned about Britain’s human rights record during a two-day hearing in Geneva
  • The British Crime Survey reveals that in 2004, 87,000 people from black or minority ethnic communities said they had been a victim of a racially motivated crime. They had suffered 49,000 violent attacks, with 4,000 being wounded.
    • UK is accused of colluding with US in the torture and rendition of terror suspects. The Constitution Project dossier also claims MI5 agents under the last Labour government knew prisoners were ill-treated at the hands of their captors.   Abdel Hakim Belhadj is suing the British Government, its intelligence agencies and former foreign secretary Jack Straw for helping transfer him illegally to Libya, where he was tortured.

Mr Belhadj and his wife were seized in Malaysia in 2004 and flown to Tripoli on a CIA jet, which it is claimed flew via Diego Garcia, the British territory in the Indian Ocean.

War Criminals living in the UK

 Press freedom in UK!

UK passed the Transparency of Lobbying, Non-Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Bill.  A bill gagging charities, NGO’s, bloggers, community groups and most attempts at organised opposition to the government in the year prior to a general election…and just in time for the General Election next year.

UK security agency GCHQ gaining information from world’s biggest internet firms through US-run Prism programme

Britain appearing 28th (while US is 47th) on the World Press Freedom index hardly gives Britain any moral ground to preach.

What can Britain that demands other countries provide press freedom arrests the Guardian reporter David Miranda for leaking Edward Snowden’s documents? Under the UK government’s logic, several Guardian reporters and editors could also be guilty of engaging in “terrorism”,

The UK already has draconian measures in place that prevents newspapers from reporting freely on government. Newspapers are under constant fear of being censored under the Official Secrets Act, the Guardian was forced to destroy harddrives containing the Snowden files last year, and they are reportedly under active criminal investigation as well.

Why is the US silent about UK using terror laws to curb press freedom in the UK?

Like everywhere else you get the traitors within your own. The Daily Mail’s headline was: ‘MI5 CHIEF: GUARDIAN HAS HANDED GIFT TO TERRORISTS‘. The Times had: ‘SPY LEAKS PUT BRITAIN IN DANGER SAYS MI5 CHIEF‘. And the Daily Telegraph: ‘MI5: LEAKS A GIFT TO TERRORISTS TO ATTACK US AT WILL‘ and, for good measure: ‘GUARDIAN LEAK OF MI5 FILES CRITICISED‘.

Not only did these newspapers appear to have no qualms about uncritically adopting the views of the security service rather than defending investigative journalism, but they gloated about participating in the official pressure on the Guardian.

Be that as it may, UK’s statistics doesn’t allow it to gloat upon any country and it is better for Cameron to use the British taxpayers money to improving Britain rather than concentrate his time on countries that are no longer under the British Empire.

Botched up ‘OPERATION PRABHAKARAN’ triggers off ‘OPERATION SURROGATE’

April 13th, 2014

Vijitha Tennekoon Courtesy The Daily News

In 2005, when the Rajapaksa government was elected to power, a small coterie of the International community(SCIC) had, through the vehicle of Tamil Nationalism (powered by motors of terrorism), through Wickremesinghe’s CFA, through Kumaranatunga’s PTOM, then again through Kumaranatunga’s Norwegian funded Sudu Nelum ‘Kolama’, and through the Foundations and NGOs funded by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), the German NGO Berghof and by the big Corporations, broken the will of the people to protect the sovereignty of this country; they had manufactured opinion in the people’s minds that the terrorists were invincible; without the political will and leadership to defend the country, the SCIC had been successful in bringing Sri Lanka to the brink of break up and in the process gained suzerainty over, the North and the East which included 2/3rd of Sri Lanka’s coastline(or rimland), the heartland attached to that rimland and the sea adjacent to the rimland.

It was in the late 1970s that ‘Forward’, a reputed English political weekly in Sri Lanka, carried a major news item alerting the people to an imminent danger: It warned the country of the General Abram plan to destabilize Sri Lanka; in Phase one of the operation, Eelamists using Tamil Nadu as their base were to destabilize the North and the East of Sri Lanka to create dual control therein; when the two Sri Lankan territories were sufficiently unhinged with de facto control exercised by Eelamists and de jure control by Colombo, Phase two of the operation was to commence; in this Phase the base of operations would be shifted to the North of Sri Lanka and the destabilization of Tamil Nadu would begin. When Tamil Nadu was sufficiently destabilized and unhinged Phase three would commence in creating the State of Eelam Nadu.

Rajapaksa refused to accept the Kumaranatunga-Wickremesinghe legacy. Sri Lanka’s ‘Operation Hostage Rescue’ tolled the death knell for ‘Operation Prabhakaran’ hatched by the SCIC; the Goliaths never imagined that their proxy terrorists would be brilliantly out – manoeuvred by the ‘political-military – people’ combine of little Sri Lanka working cohesively for the first time in three decades. When finally the Goliaths read the writing on the wall it was too late; their last minute attempts to stop Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorist juggernaut proved futile; they sent high powered emissaries to the island to attempt negotiate a ceasefire; they used their influence to delay a vital 1.9 billion USD loan from the IMF; an attempt was made to kidnap and take hostage the Sri Lankan cricket team through another terrorist proxy group, the L eT, headed by American David Headley(had the kidnap operation been successful, the tradeoff may well have been termination of ‘Operation Hostage Rescue’ for the lives of the cricketers.); the Goliaths allegedly attempted to broker a highly improbable surrender of terrorist leaders who had previously demanded from and ruthlessly enforced on their rank and file the ‘Cyanide – Ever – Surrender – Never’ pledge ; to coordinate this improbable surrender a Nordic ambassador in Sri Lanka travelled incognito to an Asian country in contravention of diplomatic protocol; protocol demands that diplomatic personages keep the Foreign Ministry briefed of their movements.

The Co Chairs – US, EU, Norway and Japan – directly held sway over some of Sri Lanka’s own coffers. Norway was the viceroy of the territory.

The Kumaranatunga-Wickremesinghe combination was responsible for internationalizing Sri Lanka’s internal problem and bringing in Norway as a facilitator. The LTTE had been elevated to international status, recognition and respectability despite being branded as a terrorist organisation while Sri Lanka had been manipulated to surrender a major portion of its sovereignty over her Northern and Eastern territories and compelled to eat humble pie. De facto, the SCIC controlled the territory via the LTTE while de jure control was with Sri Lanka. Phase one of mission ‘Operation Prabhakaran’ was nearly accomplished.

‘Operation Hostage Rescue’ wiped out the massive gains that ‘Operation Prabhakaran’ had given the SCIC. As the John Kerry Report of 2009 candidly suggests, the US made a gross miscalculation when they placed all their chips on an ‘invincible’ LTTE.

“A classic case of getting drunk in one’s own cellar of disinformation” said a caustic wag. In its editorial of April 30, 2009, the New York Times commented “American officials say privately they will try to delay Sri Lanka from getting a desperately needed $1.9 billion loan from the IMF until the modalities of a ceasefire is achieved.”

Reflecting on the brilliant military campaign that eliminated Prabhakaran and the terrorists, Sarath Fonseka in an interview with the ITN said, “The last ditch effort made by certain countries in the West to impose a ceasefire on Sri Lanka in the guise of saving civilians was actually made to save Prabhakaran and his top men; this effort is being made with a view of destabilizing countries like India and Sri Lanka, like the Middle East with a never ending problem”. With ‘Operation Prabhakaran’ badly botched, the SCIC lost no time in launching ‘Operation Surrogate’. Veteran diplomatic analysts say the Aim of ‘Operation Surrogate’ is, “To regain for the SCIC all the advantages it lost when ‘Operation Hostage Rescue’ crushed ‘Operation Prabhakaran’ “.

As Clausewitz famously said “War is an extension of diplomacy”; the corollary being that when war ends diplomacy resumes. Operation Surrogate is a diplomatic offensive on many fronts; in the present Phase it is essentially a ‘Mind Game’ and the SCIC are moving their major pieces like the Albert Einstein Institute (AEI), the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the big Corporate Foundations into place on the board. The SCIC is leading the assault on Sri Lanka in Geneva at the HRC.

Some of the objectives (or mile stones) that the SCIC are hoping to achieve in this Phase of ‘Operation Surrogate’ according to some Intelligence analysts are:

a. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to believe that the ‘Conflict’, which was over, is not over.

b. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to believe that the SCIC is invincible.

c. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to feel ashamed for having defeated the terrorists.

d. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to believe that in defeating the terrorists they defeated the Tamils.

e. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to believe that the only way to atone for the shame of defeating the terrorists is to concede Federalism in the North and the East.

f. Mould the minds of the people of the world to believe that the cyanide carrying terrorists whose deadly pledge of ‘Cyanide – Ever – Surrender – Never’ had surrendered, only to be killed in cold blood by the Sri Lankan Forces.

g. Conduct soap box court house drama on television to allow embedded newsreaders to pass judgement on Sri Lanka

h. Mould the minds of the people of the world to believe that the Sri Lankan military is ruthlessly indisciplined.

i. Re establish SCIC suzerainty over the North and the East

j. Resist all measures to integrate the Tamil community in the North with the other ethnic communities while vilifying Sri Lanka internationally for not integrating the Tamil community.

k. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans to believe that the Constitution is evil. (Minister Tissa Vitharane at a symposium in Sri Lanka a couple of years ago on ‘Winning the War and Winning the Peace’ publicly conceded that had the Executive system of government not been in place, Sri Lanka would not have been able to defeat the terrorists).

l. Mould the minds of the people in the world to believe that in Sri Lanka today, gung ho Sinhalese are running around killing, maiming, raping and making disappear, members of the Tamil community.

m. Distract the minds of the people of Sri Lanka to believe that Tamil Nadu and Delhi are their greatest adversaries

n. Mould the minds of the people of Tamil Nadu to believe that Sri Lanka is their greatest adversary.

o. Mould the minds of the fishermen of Tamil Nadu to believe that they have an equal right, as do the fishermen of Jaffna, to fish in Sri Lanka’s waters.

p. Mould the minds of the Sri Lankans and the Indians to set the two countries on a collision course.

Visiting Sri Lanka a month before the HRC sessions in Geneva was Donald Horowitz, a major beneficiary of Corporate and Congress funds and closely associated with the dubious AEI, the NED and the Ford Foundation that has been criticized for its revolving door relationship with the CIA since the days of Richard Bissell and John McCoy.

During his foray into the island the adjunct Professor, like Rama Mani an active proponent of the infamous R2P doctrine, badgered Sri Lanka to bite the carrot of Federalism: “There could possibly be a drop down in the level of the ‘Conflict’ which may be confined to the Northern and Eastern provinces” waffled Horowitz.

An acolyte of anarcho capitalism Horowitz was not particularly discreet when he alluded that to act to the contrary would be to court the inevitable, the break up of the Nation State of Sri Lanka.

Arab Spring

Horowitz was clearly uncomfortable when responding to a query regarding his role as advisor to Gene Sharpe’s ‘Albert Einstein Institution’ or AIE, which analysts have directly linked to all the Colour ‘Revolutions’ that swept Eastern Europe (including Ukraine) and Asia and all the ‘Arab springs’ along the entire length of the South Mediterranean rim.

Sharpe’s handbook on non-violently toppling governments and creating ‘Regime Changes’ was the ‘bible’ in every protestor’s hand.

The Einstein Institute receives funding from the Ford Foundation and the NED and has on its board members from RAND and the Ford Foundation. Horowitz is considered as a ‘Regime Changing Expert’ and lectures on the Arab Spring; on February 16, 2011 the Washington Post reported that he was consulted by the White House on the Egyptian problem.

The National Endowment for Democracy or NED is the creation of Reagan; in 1983 to circumvent the Roland Amendment banning further funding of Contra terrorists by Congress Reagan created the NED. Says author William Robinson, “NED employs a complex system of intermediaries in which operative aspects, control relationships, and funding trails are nearly impossible to follow and final recipients are difficult to identify”. Commenting on the NED funding former agent Phillip Agee said, “The NED was set up as a private Foundation but there is nothing private about it; its money comes from the Congress.” The end user of these Congress funds channeled through the NED is neither accountable to the Congress for the funds nor for the amplitude of its usage.

Although Congress banned funding to the terrorists, the terrorists continued receiving funds from the Congress through the NED mechanism which finally led to the overthrow of the democratically elected Sandinista government in Nicaragua. Similarly, the LTTE too were banned by the Congress.

Allen Weinstein one of the founders of the NED summed up its role pithily when he said, “A lot of what we (NED) do today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA” Jeffry Blankfort reporting from Syria writes, “The NED is currently involved in Syria where the Damascus Center for Human Rights Studies, headed by Radwan Ziadeh has served as a front for its activities”.

In Sri Lanka, in a highly publicized event, the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) recently received NED funds.

Federalism per se may have been an attractive option for Sri Lanka to have considered but for the fact that the vehicle of Tamil Nationalism has been hijacked on numerous occasions by Regional and International power centres to achieve their parochial geo political objectives, more often than not at the expense of the majority of the Tamil people.

The distrust towards Federalism lies not in any emotional perceptions of the Sinhalese and the Tamils of the other but rather from the studied experience of the Sri Lankan people in their dealings with those perfidious external forces who have hijacked the vehicle of Tamil Nationalism; these interlopers masquerading as Tamil sympathizers attempt to manufacture dissent in their effort to weaken and dismantle the Nation State of Sri Lanka, establish a beachhead on the island for Corporate Colonialism, destabilize India and gain control of one of the 27 choke points in the oceans of the world.

As John Kerry points out in his 2009 report, this choke point is of vital geo- political importance to the SCIC as it is to the other players in the ‘New Great Game’.

Horowitz is clearly out of step with the realities on the ground; the ‘Conflict’, which by verbiage, it would seem, he was attempting to resurrect, was long over when terrorist Prabhakaran and his fellow foreign funded mercenaries were annihilated on the banks of the Nandikadal putting the cherry on a brilliant and daring military campaign. What remains today are the scars and the healing wounds of a near 30 years of ‘Conflict Creation’.

From a narrow perspective what is happening in Geneva is Sri Lanka’s problem and Sri Lanka’s alone. Analysts say that the SCIC, hijacking the vehicle of Tamil Nationalism, are attempting to break up the country through weapons of diplomacy following their failure to do so during the 30 year terrorist war. From a broader perspective however, what is happening in Sri Lanka is applicable to the Third World, the break up of sovereign Nation states. New Colonialism is on the march and the Third world countries must wake up before it is too late. We need to stand together and present a united front against the New Colonialists. Otherwise it would be a case of Hodie mihi cras tibi; Today it is me, tomorrow it will be you.

http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/botched-operation-prabhakaran-triggers-operation-surrogate

Hypocrisy on human rights is astounding

April 13th, 2014

George Rupesinghe Sydney, Australia

Where is the sound and the fury from the vocal human rights campaigners to the travesty of justice in Egypt where 529 people have been sentenced to death after a two-day trial and without any opportunity to defend themselves? And where Australian journalist Peter Greste is being put through a farcical trial?

If such a thing occurred in Sri Lanka, the US, Britain and Canada would be making big noises about the “deteriorating human rights situation” there. Organisations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International would be campaigning to humiliate and censure the Sri Lanka Government and calling on the West to impose sanctions and the like. But no! Not a whimper from anyone.
Not a whimper from the US, the biggest perpetrator of human misery in the world, whose ambassador in Colombo had the effrontery to express US concern when two people, described as human rights activists, were arrested last month in connection with the shooting of a police officer by a terrorist operative.
Not a whimper from British Prime Minister David Cameron or his Canadian counterpart, Stephen Harper, who are hostages to their Tamil constituencies that wield great electoral power and still continue to raise massive funds in their countries to wage a propaganda war to foment unrest and destablise Sri Lanka and destroy the palpable peace prevailing there after 30 years of conflict.
Not a whimper from UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay, whose thick blinkers, supplied by the LTTE rump, make her focus on human rights abuses only in Sri Lanka.
Human rights is the modern sword to censure countries that do not toe the West’s line in their quest to achieve their geopolitical objectives. The hypocrisy of their position is astounding.

 

A Matter of Huffing And Puffing To No Avail As Nothing Of Any Worth Towards Realities Is Likely To Come Out Of It If Sri Lanka Stands Her Ground!

April 13th, 2014

Insight By Sunil Kumar

April 15th. 2014

Sri Lanka in the aftermath of the UNHCR Summit in Geneva with respect to the passing of US led resolution for an international investigation into human rights violations during the Tamil Tiger insurgency passed by simple majority albeit the requirement of a two third majority in the opinion of some analysts outstanding and in all probabilities a firm requisite has opted not to comply with its demands and well within the right to do so being a sovereign democratic nation. This has been done on the grounds  that such a call is a violation of sovereignity and interference into the internal affairs of a sovereign democratic nation as outlined by Sri Lanka’s Minister for Foreign Affairs the Hon. G.L.Peiris as well as the firm resolve of the President as the overall decision making authority on the issue.

As expected, those calling for this investigation have their transparencies towards the motive behind the call so visibly exposed portraying bias without real tangible evidence that they appear to show a desperation behind their call that can only be linked to the urgency of the Tamil Diaspora and a group of global Tamils who continue to be disillussioned about what the Government of Sri Lanka has done to restore the rights of all Sri Lankans and to safeguard the Nation from disintegration at the hands of the Tamil Tigers and their supportives and this is the most burning issue that is not only disturbing to all peace loving Sri Lankans who have had a new era of prosperity, tranquility  and progress which is not only perplexing but brings to bear the worthlesness of the demands while also portraying those who call for such demads as insensitive, bull headed and ignorant where these points have to be driven hard and deep into the minds of all sane and reasonable people around the world that what the US and its bandwagon of anti-Sri Lankan resolve are doing is simply not acceptable especially given the true circumstances of the Tamil Tiger insurgency and who was really responsible for the violation of human rights.

Regardless of what the international community has been presented with in the form of falsified documentaries and testimonials the  sob stories of hastily assembled injured parties which appear to be the only evidence ( far from being conclusive) where the US and its allies in the related perspective seem to be making a mockery of the justice and rationality needed towards conclusive closure as they have little or nothing to go by beyond speculation, conjectire and the mendacities of the global Tamil Daspora in this instance which more than rivals at times those of the Tamil Tigers.Their relentless pursuit of a perilously worthless venture egging on powerful global sources who appear to relish their involvement towards this worthless venture which seems tantamount to the flogging of a dead horse at best needs to stop! And the sooner they and all concerned realise this the better it would be for all concerned. Especially those who now try to rebuild their lives and aid the Government’s phenomenal progress in thr aftermath of the  tainted and putrid Tamil Tiger insurgency.

In response to the strong armed tactics of the British Government with respect to their latest rhetoric that Sri Lanka will be subject to punitive action by opting not to cooperate with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) resolution, perhaps their shots need to be called to produce the real tangible evidence beyond the doctored presentations and grossly exaggerated information the world has been presented with by pro Tamil Tiger sympathetic sources towards their cause  which beyond a reasonable doubt includes the Tamil Diaspora amongst a vast network  of global anti Sri Lankan conspiratorial brigade which seems to be gathering momentum by virtue of the support of sources like the USA and others which need to be halted in their tracks specifically for the harm it threatens Sri lanka with at a time when progress within the Nation for all her citizens appear to be at a phenomenal peak. Thus it seems of little or no consequence that the British government  has ‘warned’ that it will use its position in the Geneva-based key human rights body to actively press for an international investigation and contrary to such warnings there is a strong case for Sri Lanka to confront these warnings on the grounds that they are based on speculation and the falsifications of evidence sponsored by the Tamil Tiger sympathetic global lobby which needless to say includes the Global Tamil Diaspora or parts therof.

While it  seems all well and good for British Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire in all his British pomposity to say that”‚”the international community now has a duty to act, and we will be using our position on the UN Human Rights Council to actively press for an international investigation given the lack of a credible domestic accountability process to date.” he seems to be well out of his ground to make such a binding statement where he seems not only unaware of the real facts surrounding the Tamil Tiger led internal armed insurrection which almost brought the Nation to her knees but also appears to be obnoxiously adamant in opposition about related issues which favour the actions of the Government of Sri Lanka towards self preservation of her loyal citizens and the protection of sovereignity and territorial integrity done well within the international statutes which govern them and in no way contradicted a bounden requirement that safeguarded all those in favour of Sri Lanka’s sovereignity and territorial integrity which of course excludes the terrorists and their supportives and what Sri Lanka’s adversaries are attempting to use as cannon fodder towards heir cause which in reality is pitiful.

To say that the international community has spoken through the United Nations Human Rights Council without reference to the bias and conflict of interest  it is steeped in by virtue of Navi Pillai and her supportives with links to and sympathies with the Global Tamil Diaspora as knowledgeable sources are aware  of where what is truly  imperative is that that the Government in Colombo has no cause to listen to what has been said and what is asked of them purely on the basis that there appears to be a conspiratorial ring to it as proclaimed by many in a capacity to evaluate the related realities where eventually those hounding Sri Lanka would more than likely to be barking at the moon and relent their stance . Particularly the US of A with so much real issues related to human rights violations around the globe
To the discerning observer all of these sounds like a lot of huffing and puffing to no avail if Sri Lanka stands her ground!

A Response to “Is Dr Sudharshan Seneviratne a suitable envoy to India under Narendra Modi”?

April 12th, 2014

by Bandu de Silva

With reference to Shenali Waduge’s article, I find that my article (two parts) published in 2007 s not accessible on the Internet though the title is present. Therefore, I am repeating it below.

A look at an Insider’s Challenge to History   – Brown Sahibs and Cultural definitions

Reading the last part of Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne’s article published in The Island of 8th and 15th August 2007, sub-titled ‘Towards an alternative dialogue -Re-reading Heritage for Conflict Resolution”, (an abridged version of his Vesak Commemoration Lecture delivered in Katmandu, on 28th May 2007), which came to my attention a little late, my immediate reaction as a student of history of the old school, was one of astonishment. I asked myself first of all whether it was possible to subvert, in the guise of ‘demystifying all forms of parochialism in a scientific manner, and placing alternative histories before the next generation,’ the tenets which guided the study of the two disciplines of archaeology and history, two disciplines which try to interpret ‘heritage.’ Our scholar was seeking a different paradigm away from what he called ‘Orientalist ”Antiquarianism’ to introduce ‘alternate concept of shared cultures representing the actual but somewhat less known Heritage sites situated in multi-cultural societies.’

It seemed to me that the very idea of interpreting these disciplines to meet certain objectives like conflict resolution claimed as a ‘totally novel concept, and state-of-the ”art techniques’  [in the presentation of heritage sites], is external to the methods of scientific investigation relating to these disciplines, then or now, and therefore, the proposition opened up with a contradiction. Apart from the use of ‘scrap’ of evidence to give an equal footing to some [ethnic] groups, which had contributed to the ‘heritage pot,’  in a comparatively lesser proportions, thereby placing the greater contributions of other groups in a lesser light, as the learned scholar’s thesis seems to suggest, such deviation could also let lose forces which are quite opposed to the very objective which one seeks to achieve, namely, heritage as a tool for conflict resolution. My fear that the established basic tenets of historiography and archaeological interpretations were being discredited was vindicated, when I found, on careful reading of the article, that the very purpose of it was what they call in ‘postmodernist’  language, the ‘deconstruction ‘ of the existing order, which has received various nomenclatures, ranging from ‘exclusionist nationalism’  (Romila Thapar) and others.

In a rather superficial response to this idea emanating from this scholar, my thoughts first went to the book which Tarzie Vittachchi published in 1987, under the title ‘Brown Sahib Revisited.’ (Penguin, New Delhi). Encapsulating his thoughts Tarzie wrote “in all cases, the goal was the same; to rearrange the ‘neutral intellectual circuitry’ of the co-opted individuals in a ‘colonial pattern’ and to ‘replace a clear white colonialism’ with a murky brown colonialism.”

Tarzie was not the only person to bring out the nature of the ‘Brown Sahibs’,’ or ‘Orientalised Orientals’, as they were sometimes called. “They are not a very specific Western creation” wrote Zainudden Sardar, visiting Professor of Post-colonial studies at the Department of Art Policy and Management, City University, London who is the author of over half a dozen books, two recent ones of which were ‘Introducing Cultural Studies’ (1997) and ‘Postmodernism and Others’ (1998). He traces the beginning of the Western creation of ‘Brown Sahib’ to Macaulay’s famous Minute of (Indian) Education of 1835, which was compulsory reading for us when we were University students in the Department of History. Macaulay wrote, “We must at present do our best to form a class who may be interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern; a class of person, Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinion, in morals and in intellect.”

The Director-General of Census of India, William Hunter, who followed wrote: “The first step towards this goal was to give the educational system of the Musalmans a death blow.” These Indian institutions of learning were ‘systematically uprooted and their products, who were among the leaders of those challenging British dominance, were abused, ridiculed, and identified as the prime cause of Muslim backwardness.’ (Sardar).

The patterns were the same all over the colonies, British, French, and others.

There are many more in this galaxy of writers like N. S. Sogul (Reflections on Orientalism), Francis Fukuyama (The End of History and the Last man) and M. R. Singer (The Emerging Elite) and others. The history of the Orient, has for a long time been determined, assessed and described from superior authority by the West. Sardar wrote that it was little surprising that sociological, anthropological studies conducted by scholars of and from non-West on their community provided a seamless contention of the scholarship of the West.

Speaking of India, Western analysts claimed that the country had no tradition of history in the Western sense. This was also repeated more recently by a Sri Lankan writer, Dr. Ananda Guruge in the Prolegamena to the transliteration of the first 37 chapters of Mahavamsa, compiled as he says, with Geiger’s translation of the Pali Mahavamsa in his presence, i.e, without a single manuscript of the original Pali Mahavamsa and its several variations which Geiger compared. He was only trying to place Mahavamsa on a higher pedestal as a work with a historical sense. These old ideas have been challenged by men like Bankin Chandra Chatterjee(19th century) and Dr. D. D.Kosambi, but Mahatma Gandhi (1924) dispelled the assertion made on behalf of Mahabharata when he said: “To me it was not a historical work.” The recent Ram Report of the Indian government has debunked the notion of the other Epic, Ramayana as well, as a historical work.

Should one dismiss Prof. Sudarshan Seneviratne’s above quoted part of writing superficially in the light of the discourse on ‘Brown Sahibism’? No. It is not fair. So, let us try to understand what he is trying to project. Before articulating his final argument, which in essence is to re-project cultural heritage to achieve the purpose of conflict resolution, he enters into a didactic discourse to prepare the foundation for his argument. It is wrapped up in such mystifying terminology as has invaded the cultural space especially through UNESCO during the last three decades which he has borrowed without hesitation. He seems to think that he is non-pareil in the field of interpretation as the assumption in his transcendental meditation where he indirectly assumes that others are incapable of achieving the heights he proposes for himself. That is when he speaks of ‘demystifying all forms of parochialisms in a scientific manner and placing alternative histories before the next generation for a better rational understanding of the past; and ‘study of heritage in the most scientific manner devoid of biases and prejudices’ as if such task were beyond reach of all others.

In the final thesis of presenting the idea of ‘shared culture,’ another drop-off from the jargon of UNESCO and others, our learned scholar in re-constructing the concept of ‘multi-culturalism’ and ‘cultural pluralism’ has surpassed the space to ‘deconstruct’ history and cultural definition to arrive at what certain intellectual forces like Edith Wyschogroid (An Ethic of Remembrance: History, and the Nameless others) advocated, namely, parity of status to all contributors to the ‘heritage pot’, however big or small that contribution was.

This is even surpassing the space of the concept of ‘multi-culturalism’ and ‘cultural pluralism’ which themselves are so elastic that they could lend themselves to varied interpretation.

So, it is not surprising that in Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne’s ‘deconstruction’ and ‘demystifying’ the study of heritage, he has picked up such ‘scraps’ like the miniature Nestorian Cross (It has been there for long) and the [miniature] Buddha statue with Tamil inscriptions offered by a mercantile community (a more recent discovery) and large quantities of imported ceramics and beads found near Jetavana stupa during excavations as evidence of multiple contribution (not excluding equal contribution) to the ‘shared culture’ with all ethnic groups as ‘equal share-holders’, thereby overlooking the overwhelming evidence on the main centre of attraction which is the Jetevana stupa itself which stands on several acres of ground, complete with adjuncts, as the tallest stupa built in the world, second in height only to the great pyramid in Egypt, which is an architectural wonder both in concept, design and execution, as the greater contribution. The degree of scientific aspects displayed by the builders in the construction of this magnificent monument, including the mastery of the brick industry, receives no special priority in this scheme of presentation. That is the price of interpreting cultural heritage with the objective of achieving the objective of conflict resolution.

The introduction of this type of imbalance in appreciation of the reality of higher cultural contributions by one group to its disadvantage and to the advantage of others, in other words, supporting the overall thesis of parity of contributions irrespective of the quality and volume of respective contributions with the further objective of subscribing to the idea of conflict resolution, is a deliberate in-put in the `deconstruction’ process.

The main issue then is the acceptability or not, of the rhetoric of giving equal weight to both large and small contributions so as to almost erase the historical reality of the predominant presence of one against others. This obliteration of superior contribution of one contained in the line of certain intellectual contributions is proposed in the name of conflict resolution. The spill”over effects of such a position has the potential of moving across to other fields including the political field to include claims of parity of status and even territorial claims. This need not be considered a hypothesis as the situation has become a reality in Sri Lanka.

Now, we could turn around and pose the question again if Prof.Sudharshan Seneviratne’s thesis should or should not be considered in the first place as an apposite example of the kind of situation presented by Brown Sahibism, a play-around with a lot of new jargon originating from sources like UNESCO and the postmodernist school.

Jetevana stupa- Impact of Postmodernism

The impact of the debate on Postmodernism has spread to fields of humanities like history, archaeology, not to speak of soft furnishing and bathroom fittings, from its original application to areas like architecture and arts (1960s). It seems to me that the extension of the application of Postmodernism to these other areas is more a fashion than scientific; and depends to a larger extent on the manipulation of the language, greater use of terminology, whose foundations are vague, with greater use of `irony and rhetoric.’ In Prof.Sudharshan Seneviratne’s article one can recognize elements of these Postmodern ideas that a galaxy of modern writers on the theory of knowledge have expounded in their own terminology and language. One thing common to all of them is that they seek to `deconstruct’ old structures which were based on genealogy and other factors, which our scholar himself claims he is doing. From this arises other derivations like bringing ` responsibility to the heart of history,’ a responsibility to describe the life of those who were silenced in the past.’ (Edith Wyschogrod): These are the same ideas that are being recycled in Prof.Sudharshan Seneviratne’s article. However, he does not claim that he is entering the space of the debate on knowledge, which of course, is never ending, despite the bright sparks that emerge out of it.

However, in presenting his thesis, it is the UNESCO terminology like “cultural pluralism’, `respect for other cultures’, demystifying all forms of parochialisms in a scientific manner’, that our scholar has chosen to wrap up his presentation and as its authority. The manifestations of this jarring common vocabulary of that Organization, have been circulating for over three decades as I remember when I was closely associated with its cultural debate under its cultural studies and cultural heritage programmes. I myself profusely used this jargon in my interventions in the General Conference sessions from Nairobi to Paris and to Belgrade so much so that an offer of professional category post came my way even without my applying for one. That is how the organization sometimes picks up its men and women and I do not see anything wrong in that. One gets into UNESCO’s seminar circuit and it also benefits when such persons are absorbed because they already speak the UNESCO language and the need for in-house orientation is minimized.

This is no way to look at the transcendental thinking presented by Prof. Sudharshan Seneviratne who is one of our leading modern interpreters of pre-historic archaeology but I referred to UNESCO because he himself quoted it as his authority in the use of terminology. I have no intention of trying to bring him into a comparative relationship with Dr.Siran Deraniyagala who, as far as I knew, was Sri Lanka’s first professional pre-historic archaeologist, and an expert of international standing, whose exclusively scientific methodology has impressed me as a keen reader on archaeology from the time I was one of the three pioneering students at the University of Ceylon when archaeology was first introduced (1950-51) as a subject though in rudimentary form. The absence of the slightest evidence of rhetoric and introduction of any political ramifications of local or international kind in the works of Dr.Deraniyagala is too significant to go without mention.

In contrast, I find it difficult to discern such clear manifestations in both serious writings as well as the newspaper articles of Prof. Seneviratne’s under discussion. The display by him of the tendency towards a certain mood of impatience in treating any other discourses with the use of terminology such as `anti-Orwillian historians; or lumpent intellectuals (who) belong to dust bin of history.” (The Island, dated 04 / 08 / 2001); quoted by Dr.K.Indrapala, are alien to serious scholarship. It seems to be part of the transcendental mediation of assumed `superiority’ of the scholar’s method which runs through his writing.

It would be rather awkward for a layman like me to make the simple observation that in the academia, controversy is often common. This is a point that Andreas Wegner, Professor of International Security Policy and Director of the Centre of Security at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, and his co-researcher Doron Zimaarman, brought out more recently in relation to the study of both international relations and history. They wrote: “Notably, experts do not agree but lack of consensus does not so much denote controversy as it emphasizes a variety of perspectives enriching both academic disciplines”.(Wegner & Zimmerman: International relations, Lynee Ryner, U.S.A, & Viva, New Delhi).

Others have said it before. Even a scholar like S.J.Tambiah, who pleaded for recognition of `multiple discourses’ on any given subject could not be pleased with these remonstrations, (`Betrayal of Buddhism’), but for a scholar like Dr.K.indrapala, it was grist for the mill. For him, even a newspaper article, written by Prof.Seneviratne, obviously meant for non-sophisticated readers, was good enough to be used in his denouncement of other reputed historians, e.g., to have a special section in his book devoted to Dr.Paranavitana, dragging even Prof.Leslie Gunawardana, one of his oft quoted authorities and not sparing Prof.K.M.de Silva and Prof. C.R.De Silva to the murky dialogue.(K.Indrapala: `The Evolution of an Ethnic Identity, The Tamils of Sri Lanka’).

Now, returning to UNESCO’s views on the cultural question, one may ask whose primary interests the organization is representing in the present unipolarized and `globalized’ world? Gone are the days when one heard the voice of the developing world more; of such themes as `The International Economic Order’, action to keep Multi-nationals in check. One saw how, even then subjects like media freedom and artistic freedom were manipulated in favour of Western countries. In retrospect, even looking at the cultural question, in the light of views presented on the issue of `orientalism’ ” the `Brown Sahibs’ ” one begins to see a Western tilt in that dialogue, where Western cultural supremacy dominates the cultural space as now advocated by President Bush through his claim of `civilizational clash’ and the undisguised `denouncement of Islam. In short, the Sword of Damocles held by the West which is ever ready to withdraw financial and scientific support weighs heavily on this organization. It is not that Macaulay’s thesis is not relevant today; it works in a far more subtle way.

It is true that the UNESCO’s thinking is inspired by the thoughts which its founding fathers imbued into it, and one can even see something of the oriental philosophical thought in it on its basic conceptions, and that the idea of promoting international harmony through the disciplines of UNESCO’s competence ”education, science and culture, communication later added ” and notably, its cultural programme both cultural studies and cultural heritage, by and large, try to promote that primary goal, but in the real operation, it is the Western ideas which seems to dominate the intellectual stream of thinking.

As such, there is nothing sacrosanct in invoking UNESCO to sustain decades old concepts on multi-culturalism whose effects have been negative in many instances and even counterproductive. The ideas of cultural pluralism and respect for other people’s culture have helped marginalized communities who previously did not think in terms of cultural identity to assert themselves to some degree; but in societies where there are over-active culture conscious communities, the promotion of cultural identity seems to have generated proportionately over-enthusiasm and minority chauvinism on one hand, and the response of majority chauvinism, on the other hand, leading to exacerbation of tension and conflict. Sri Lanka is a case in point where international sanction is used as the very reason for demand of parity by smaller communities.

Reference was made earlier briefly to certain intellectual forces which advocate parity of status to smaller groups (e.g., Wyschogrod) however insignificant their contribution to the `heritage pot’ may be. That could extend from language to territorial demand and even to demand the removal of a historical situation like the honoured place given to a certain religion despite the mention in the constitution does not lead to a discrimination against other religions. On the contrary, UNESCO’s above mentioned outlook and that of a few other intellectuals has not had an effect on Western societies like U.K and Norway where far more special treatment is given to a single religion to the extent of making [them] the status of `state religions.’ The contrast shows how in certain societies, when over-stimulated as it was in the Reich, ideas of cultural pluralism can lead to `parochialism’ working in a reverse direction.

In constructing the idea of `shared culture’  et al, Prof.Sudharshan Seneviratne has, like Dr.Indrapala, used what I quoted as `scraps’ of evidence, leaving out evidence of greater bearing. This type of imbalance in appreciation of cultural contributions of one group to the overwhelming advantage of others, though introduced in order to support the overall thesis of parity of contributions irrespective of the degree and volume of respective contributions with the further objective of subscribing to the idea of conflict resolution, is a distortion of historical reality.

LTTE Resurrection, Hawala money transfer & how many more Gobi’s are out there?

April 12th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

There was a sigh of relief throughout Sri Lanka when the announcement that fugitive Gobi and accomplices were shot dead in the jungles of Padaviya on Friday 11th April 2014. The incident coming 5 years after the end of the elimination of ground force of the LTTE draws attention to some key factors.

1.    TNA & International Community wrong : Attempts to resurrect LTTE remains alive: That Gobi was not a long LTTEr is proved by his links to 2 other LTTE members who were also shot dead – Sundaralingam Kajeepan Thevihan (who was involved in aerial attacks on Anuradhapura Air Base and Kollonnawa Petroleum Storage in year 2007), Navaneethan alias Appan.

2.   Questions how many ‘civilians’ or LTTE members the Sri Lankan troops saved:This question has never been explored but it is time we should. That Sri Lanka’s army saved close to 300,000 Tamils during the last stage of the war raises the question of how many of them were actually ‘civilians’ in a definition that requires civilians to be only those who had not engaged in any assistance direct or indirect to the LTTE. No one is able to give the answer. No one is able to clearly say how many civilians died in the final stage either for they cannot honestly admit that these civilians did not take part in hostilities for the UN Secretary General himself is on record asking LTTE not to use civilians for terror activities. With this fact looming before us it answers the question as to why the sudden resurgence of LTTE members are those who had not surrendered or been caught by the army and sent for rehabilitation. Our next question is how many other ‘civilians’ are there in the North and even elsewhere in Sri Lanka who were LTTE but pretended to be civilians and many of these are likely to have been recipients of even homes gifted by the State.

3.    Presence of National military a MUST:Numerous attempts have been made to demand the removal of the military from the North exerting so much pressure short of bribing tweaking of UNHRC Resolution if forces were removed. Juxtapose the removal with the current scenario of LTTErs posing as civilians remaining at large and Sri Lanka will be walking into another mine of trouble. This is obviously what numerous foreign intelligence now working on the ground with remnants of the LTTE are upto. Who are these foreign intelligence? It is a good time for public officials and Government ministers to seriously sit down and address the context of the decisions they take in giving projects and investments to countries that have armed and funded LTTE over the years and how far the ‘officials’ they send are not linked up with these LTTE remnants or trying to rope in youth for a 2nd wave of trouble. It is in this light that the majority populace are extremely disappointed that the GOSL has not taken a principled stand and declared that Sinhalese and Muslims have every right to make the North their home by taking up residence, purchasing property and running businesses. It is time that the international community and the TNA are told quite clearly that the North is not for Tamils only and belongs very much to Sri Lanka and as such Sinhalese and Muslims have every right to live there and they do not need to take permission from the TNA or its Chief Minister or Western Governments or the Catholic Church.

4.    Local Tamils helped catch Gobi and others: In what the Army can boast as breaking barriers is the manner that after 30 years the locals had helped locate these LTTE fugitives. It was on the news from local Tamils that search operations were carried out. It was with the help of the Tamils that Gobi and others were cornered and this is obviously a slap to the TNA and certain members of the international community who are continuously trying to project a notion that the Army is not wanted in the North. The TNA and numerous other parties linked to the LTTE over the years had accelerated a propaganda that neither the Army or the Governor or even Sinhalese are welcome in the North while instances such as this are poignant to show that it is only a handful that hold such diabolical views while the majority of people in the North are now realizing the folly and moving away. It is no better a time than now that these Tamils start to build a new political party that would not canvass people against the majority but begin to build bridges. Obviously TNA is now a defunct party.

5.    LTTE / LTTE front ban / 424 individuals & Organizations named calls for COOPERATION of Western nations and India:With the ban by GOSL and the fact that Gobi and team were sent orders from Nediyavan operating from Norway requires full diplomatic pressure upon these Western governments harboring leaders and key kingpins of the organizations banned. Diplomatic letters must go out immediately to investigate these banned entities on the fundraising and other activities they have been involved in, in addition to projecting themselves as angels of charity and giving a quota of what they have raised for terror towards some charity outfit simply to buy themselves some grace. This charade has gone on for far too long and they need to now be exposed and arrested and even the foreign parliamentarians and foreign organizations linked to these entities must have their bank accounts investigated as well.

6.    NGO ‘missing’ mine detectors :The report of an NGO claiming to have had its mine detectors stolen and several of these mine detectors  found at the residence of R. Madani of Vishvamadu and no guessing that she was a former LTTEr. The next mine detector (serial number N 21838) was found in the home of the ‘human rights activist’ the now globally famous Balendran Jeykumari on 13th March 2014. This takes us back to times when NGO equipment and vehicles that suddenly went ‘missing’ and were helpful to LTTE to make bunds, bunkers etc. It also raises once again the question of LTTE links to foreign NGOs which are invariably funded by foreign governments and questions the modus operandi behind their so called ‘humanitarian’ and ‘charity’ cause. The Modern Day Mercenaries: LTTE – Foreign NGO links revealed – http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=The_Modern_Day_Mercenaries_LTTE_Foreign_NGO_links_revealed_20121213_07 By David Ferguson

7.    Hawala money transfer : If we had been wondering how LTTE has been dealing in money and handing bundles amongst their own, it is now revealed that the LTTE like most other terrorist organizations have turned to an ancient money transaction system known as the Hawala. Hawala is an age-old, secretive, and globe-spanning banking system developed in Asia and has come to also be defined as ‘Islamic banking’. “Hawala” consists of transferring money (usually across borders and in order to avoid taxes or the need to bribe officials) without physical or electronic transfer of funds. Money changers (“Hawaladar”) receive cash in one country, no questions asked. Correspondent hawaladars in another country dispense an identical amount (minus minimal fees and commissions) to a recipient or, less often, to a bank account. E-mail, or letter (“Hundi”) carrying couriers are used to convey the necessary information (the amount of money, the date it has to be paid on) between Hawaladars. The sender provides the recipient with code words (or numbers, for instance the serial numbers of currency notes), a digital encrypted message, or agreed signals (like handshakes), to be used to retrieve the money. Big Hawaladars use a chain of middlemen in cities around the globe. Hawala arrangements are used to avoid customs duties, consumption taxes, and other trade-related levies. Suppliers provide importers with lower prices on their invoices, and get paid the difference via Hawala. Legitimate transactions and tax evasion constitute the bulk of Hawala operations. Modern Hawala networks emerged in the 1960’s and 1970’s to circumvent official bans on gold imports in Southeast Asia and to facilitate the transfer of hard earned wages of expatriates to their families (“home remittances”) and   their conversion at rates more favourable (often double) than the government’s. Hawala provides a cheap (it costs c. 1% of the amount transferred), efficient, and frictionless alternative to morbid and corrupt domestic financial institutions. It is Western Union without the hi-tech gear and the exorbitant transfer fees. Pakistani Hawala networks alone move up to 5 billion US dollars annually according to estimates by Pakistan’s Minister of Finance. “Hawala remains a significant method for large numbers of businesses of all sizes and individuals to repatriate funds and purchase gold…. It is favoured because it usually costs less than moving funds through the banking system, it operates 24 hours per day and every day of the year, it is virtually completely reliable, and there is minimal paperwork required.” (Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). Hawala hurts the national economies of developing countries desperate for foreign exchange deposits, but every individual in the chain has the incentive of earning a commission. And that’s what keeps the networks going.

Additional reading on hawala :

 The challenge before law enforcement in Sri Lanka in particular the Government is not to be rattled by the calls and threats by the international community who really have no moral right to be making such calls in view of their own covert actions in destabilizing nations through NGOs, Church lobbies and bribing local groups and entities. Those on such payroll should ideally be investigated and exposed before they get up to irreversible mischief. What the Government also needs to immediately do is to direct the External Affairs ministry to appraise the UN and all diplomatic missions of the revival attempts by the LTTE. We do not need to give excuses or seek permission from either the UN, UN Secretary General, Navi Pillay or foreign leaders to station our troops wherever security demands such. Therefore, there is no requirement to even mention the plans to deploy troops and seek permission for such. Did US and UK and NATO seek permission from the world to invade and occupy nations? Additionally, what must be done immediately is to take the ban the full length by asking our envoys to request the governments they are stationed in to investigate the entities that are now gazette including the individuals as well as investigate the foreign partners, associates and their accounts for how far their allegiance has been in monetary terms. We would then realize why Weiss, McCraes, Harrisons etc are so obsessed about Sri Lanka and there has to be a long list of other recipients of the LTTE hawala system too.

Hypocrisy of the United States – Peter Dyer DomPost 10.4.14

April 12th, 2014

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM Spokesperson, United Sri Lanka Assn. Lower Hutt.

The Editor ,
The DomPost.

Dear Editor,

More facets to American  Hypocrisy raised by Peter Dyer bear highlighting.

In the 70’s US ensured the relocation of  the entire population of the island of  Diego Garcia against their wishes to establish a  base and prevented them from even being employed on the base though they recruited thousands of expatriates from  elsewhere to work there, so depriving the original inhabitants their most basic human right , to live in their country.

Yet, for the past three years at the annual sessions of the UNHRC in Geneva, US has been Grandstanding on human rights,  initiating resolutions against Sri Lanka, alleging human rights violations by the Sri Lankan forces in their war of liberation from Tiger Terrorism based on allegation of the same Tiger Diaspora. The ulterior motive is regime change to install a weak administration that is easy to manipulate to further US interests in the Indian Ocean to counter increasing Chinese influence there.

Yet again, the films Twelve Years a Slave & The Butler   show vividly how every morsel and sinew of human rights of American slaves were brutally violated by US, during centuries of slavery to build today’s US, that so grandstands now.

Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM

Spokesperson,

United Sri Lanka Assn.

Lower Hutt.

Arrest of Nanthagopan: Turning point in battle against LTTE remnants

April 12th, 2014

By Manjula Fernando- Courtesy The Daily News

The recent arrest of key LTTEer Nanthagopan while attempting to flee to UK and his repatriation by Malaysian authorities for questioning in Colombo, is claimed to be a turning point in Sri Lanka’s second war with the LTTE on the diplomatic front.


Prof. Rohan Gunaratne

International Terrorism Expert Prof. Rohan Gunaratna based in Singapore said that Subramanium Kapilan (45) alias Nanthagopan was the senior most leader of the LTTE international secretariat and is even senior to Perinpanayagam Sivaparan alias Nediyawan who heads one of the major LTTE international factions today.

At the time of his arrest the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees had been processing his application for refugee status not knowing his background as a key member of the LTTE.

Excerpts of the interview with Prof. Rohan Gunaratna:

Q: The Nanthagopan (who was arrested in Malaysia) is said to be one of the two deputy leaders of Nediyawan faction of the LTTE. How important is this arrest for the Sri Lankan Government in its objective to dismantle LTTE international network and do you believe that the LTTE is trying to make a comeback in Sri Lanka and revive its military wing?

A. With the centre of gravity of the LTTE shifting to the international arena, the international law enforcement and security and intelligence services are concerned about the regrouping of the LTTE.

They do not want their host countries to be exploited by the LTTE to target another country. To fight the revival of the LTTE, there is extensive counter-terrorism cooperation and collaboration. After the return of Selvarajah Pathmanathan alias Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP, the head of International Affairs in 2009, the return of Nanthagopan is the most significant operation.

After Castro committed suicide, Nanthagopan was the senior most leader of the LTTE International Secretariat. Nediyavan was junior to Nanthagopan. There has been half a dozen plots targeting Sri Lanka since May 2009. The security platform during the three phases – humanitarian assistance, socio-economic development and political engagement – prevented a revival.

The LTTE overseas lobbying focused on dismantling the security platform in Sri Lanka to make a surreptitious come back. Like terrorism returned in Iraq and Afghanistan, terrorism will return if government dismantles the security platform. Committed to long term stability, Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa understands separatist sentiments, intentions and strategy and has resisted external and internal pressure.

Q: Was Nanthagopan playing a pivotal role in the international wing?

A: Subramanium Kapilan (Date of birth: November 4, 1969) alias Nanthagopan was the key advisor to the LTTE after its defeat in Sri Lanka. Previously, he served as deputy leader of the Wanni-based LTTE International Secretariat under Castro. In addition to managing LTTE branches and fronts overseas, the Secretariat also had a Media House that churned out propaganda.

The Secretariat coordinated political and financial activity, and also procurement. Nanthagopan was involved in a full range of activities.

Q: From where was he operating?

A: Nanthagopan was active in Southeast Asia but travelled to the Middle East.

He came to the attention of several governments and was under watch for a considerable period before arrest.

As Nanthagopan did not disclose he was a member of a terrorist group, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was processing his claim for refugee status.

International organisations and governments must honour claims for genuine asylum seekers. This is one of the many recent examples of how the existing international system is exploited by terrorists and terrorist groups.

The gaps, vulnerabilities and loopholes of the system needs to be closed.

Q: Was he in Sri Lanka during the LTTE era and when did he migrate?

A: As a trained member of the LTTE, Nanthagopan served in Jaffna until the Sri Lankan security forces cleared the peninsula. Thereafter, Nanthagopan operated in the Wanni directly reporting to Castro until the LTTE was dismantled in May 2009. One of the many functions of Nanthagopan was to run the Media House of the LTTE where they produced large volumes of misinformation and disinformation that fed diplomatic missions in Colombo, western governments, INGOs, NGOs, especially human rights organisations, mass media and the expatriate community.

Instead of surrendering to the authorities and undergoing rehabilitation – like over 11,000 cadres did – Nanthagopan illegally left Sri Lanka and continued to revive the LTTE.

He linked up with the LTTE network that had supported terrorism for three decades.

He engaged in attempts to revive the LTTE in Sri Lanka.

Q: What is Nanthagopan’s background? How did he join the LTTE ?

A: Nanthagopan came from a respectable family. His father Subramaniyam from Jaffna was a middle level government servant or a grama sevaka.

Reasonably well educated, Nanthagopan was politicised and radicalised by the environment.

Q: Could there have been a connection between his arrest and the issuance of the extraordinary gazette notice banning LTTE and 15 fronts, and 422 people for having terrorist links?

A: The designation of the LTTE, its entities and people under UN Security Council Resolution 1373 is a dynamic process. The Ministry of Defence under Secretary Rajapaksa will continue to review people and institutions engaged in terrorism periodically.

The process will continue as long as the threat persists. The process is assisted multiple streams of information. The Sri Lankan authorities recovered a huge LTTE archive including Castro’s holdings. This included Castro’s diaries where he maintained meticulous records of people, organisations, events, conversations, visits and finances.

The designation is based on a review of multiple streams of raw and processed information, past and present.

In addition what foreign governments have shared, access to high value detainees and others transformed and reintegrated, helped to verify existing data banks. When the existing gazette is revised, Nanthagopan’s vast knowledge of LTTE branches, fronts and individuals will be useful.

Q: Will this arrest lead to more overseas arrests in the near future?

A: Nanthagopan’s arrest and deportation is a process that will end when the threat diminishes. The worst is over but remnants seeking to regroup is a common feature.

The Sri Lankan government will focus on dismantling the LTTE network as long as there is a threat to the country.

After the end of terrorism in May 2009, the LTTE network started with propaganda and gradually supported the building of cells to mount attacks. Despite the geopolitical differences and strategic challenges, governments will continue to cooperate on security as long as terrorism remains a tier one threat.

Q: Are we seeing good progress in the diplomatic front to win our other crucial war with the LTTE?

A: Sri Lanka has won the war on the ground but lost the media war. The LTTE has largely transformed from a terrorist group to a propaganda organisation disseminating misinformation and disinformation.

The impact of this transformation is manifested in resolutions against the government in Colombo and a hostile human rights lobby. Sri Lanka defeated one of the most brutal terrorist groups in the world but the international narrative is influenced by negative reporting about the huge progress and development.

This is a direct result of Sri Lanka failing to counter the terrorist and separatist information campaign and its missions oversees neglecting the Tamil expatriate community driven and hijacked by LTTE propaganda.

Sri Lanka should proactively engage those living abroad, inviting Sri Lankan expatriates to invest and participate in the development and peace building process. Sri Lanka should work with the Tamil media, both training and retraining and mainstream their reporting.

Sri Lanka should groom a young generation of political leaders who are not racists. Ultra nationalism whether by Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, has no place in history.

There should be a harmony act and laws to punish those who insult others religions and ethnicities. While building upon the sound security platform, government should recruit more Tamils and Muslims to the security forces.

To counter false news and promote the truth, a strategic communication ability should be built throughout government departments. By strengthening its diplomatic service, Sri Lanka should engage the human rights NGOs and restore relations with the West.

Prof. Gunaratna is the head of the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, one of the largest counter terrorism research and training centres in the world.


Friendship tour: A group of rehabilitated ex LTTE cadres on a tour of the South organised by the Rehabilitation Department. (File photo)

IGNOBLE HISTORY OF LEFT PARTIES

April 12th, 2014

Dr.Tilak Fernando

 tilakfenandologo

(Nicky Karunarathna continues…….)

One ‘Faqi Hussain’ wrote to me after reading Life Abroad Pt.73 stating thus: “What relevance has this week’s article got to do with Life Abroad? In any case, who is this guy Nicky Karunarathna, you talk so much about”…? Obviously the respondent had not followed the earlier episodes! Had he done so, he would have read in episode 70 (under the caption ‘Vivian gave beans’) what Vivian Gunawardena discussed with me in London about the LSSP some years ago!

premaJR

Nicky Karunarathna, who is a Research Scientist, now resident in Melbourne, Australia sent me a feedback (in response to ‘Vivian Gave Beans’ article) with some fascinating occurrences concerning the LSSP while he was completely attached, involved and a contributor to the Party. I followed it up in a subsequent column, with an explanation stating that ‘many affluent professionals with numerous experiences in their life are now living abroad (some in their retirement) and show their willingness to share their personal experiences impacted on matters closer to home’. Indeed, judging by the feedbacks I receive, it is evident that such information has brought back memories of the past to many ‘seniors’ who are still alive!

To be fair and objective, I directed Faqi Husain’s enquiry to Nicky Karunarathna for his comments. Nicky had this to say:

Some unknowns will become inquisitive and be upset when the unrevealed past of political parties get exposed. We cannot satisfy every Tom, Dick and Harry or Harriet (Harriet for gender balancing)! So if we carry on regardless giving the truth and absolute truth and nothing but the truth in our endeavour, especially at this juncture where our country is facing enormous challenges locally and internationally, and how these problems developed to such proportions (including third resolution in UNHRC) and big global powers taking such an interest in a small country like Sri Lanka, we have to give a correct assessment of events that led to our present predicament as a country. So best is to ignore for the time being, as more sensational revelations are still in the pipeline for them to digest”!

More revelations

As a long standing party member and the Chief Organiser for the LSSP, Borella electorate once, Nicky Karunarathna is more determined to reveal his past experiences endorsing the dictum: ‘Comment is free, but facts are sacred’. Thus he continues as follows:

When J.R. Jayewardene contested the Presidential election for his second term, Colvin came forward as a ‘Red’ candidate while Kobbekaduwa was nominated from the SLFP (Sri Lanka Freedom Party). The second Presidential election was enfolded with tremendous enthusiasm as J.R. Jayewardene got himself elected as the Executive President of Sri Lanka, after serving as the Prime Minister in the first instance“.

Nicky presided over all election meetings in Colombo where Colvin made an extra effort to participate, especially in the Borella electorate. He says, even Vijaya Kumaratunga and members of the Communist party too were present at such meetings intermittently.

Colvin used to visit my residence at Havelock Town in the evenings to pick me up before proceeding for election meetings”. It had been sort of a ritual where ‘two socialists’ were seen occupying the rear seat of a chauffeur driven limousine in full comfort! He continues, “The days Colvin could not make it to my place, he made sure that I went to his Colpetty residence where both of us proceeded together for meetings and returned home very late at night, mostly after midnight”.

Insatiable appetite

Recapturing a peculiar predicament, he describes how he was seated close to Colvin’s office room once when a party supporter (businessman) arrived with a bundle of money rapped in a newspaper.

From where I was seated, through a small gap in the curtain, I could see him parked himself on his desk and counting that money very miserly like his own – each note at a time, taking a long time! He, (Colvin) was a strange man when it came to money matters. If that money was given for his election campaign then why was he counting it so avariciously over such a long period of time? He should have given to his secretary as campaign funds? Then only I realised his insatiable appetite for money”!

“When the Presidential campaign was in full swing we had a busy schedule. Once at Gampaha District, when so many party supporters arrived in a convoy of cars, lunch had been arranged at Narada Jayakody’s residence, so all the cars came to a temporary halt at the ‘Wallawa’ where over 30-50 comrades sat at a massive dining table to have lunch with Colvin“.

It had been a sumptuous lunch with many dishes. Astonishingly, as soon as Colvin sat at the table he had blurted, ‘I can’t eat rice and I will eat only chicken because if I eat rice in the afternoon I become sleepy and won’t be able to address any meetings‘! So, he had pulled the vast dish of chicken curry towards him and started gobbling down without caring for any other or sharing with his comrades!

But I am a character who does not approve of mean-spirited behaviour,” says Nicky. “So, I too followed suit and pronounced that I was also suffering from the same disease, my sole intention being to get through to him that among the comrades assembled there, not all were stupid suckers! It was a gathering which consisted of distinguished lawyers and many professionals, yet they all appeared to be timid and allowed to be dictated and bullied by such ridiculous and irrational tactics.”

On a public holiday, during this Presidential election race, a senior police officer friend, Kotakadeniya, visited my residence and after a usual chit chat he invited me for a drink at the Senior Police Officers’ mess, but I suggested Otter’s Club instead, where I had my life membership“.

As we entered the clubhouse, whom did we bump into? A.J. Ranasinghe (Director General of the Tower Hall at the time and right hand man of R. Premadasa) in the company of Punchi Banda Dissanayake (entrepreneur from Anuradhapura) enjoying a drink“.

The moment they set eyes on us, Punchi Banda came running towards us and invited us to join them. I whispered in my police friend’s ear that A. J. Ranasinghe was a devious character, as such, we should change the venue. But he insisted that we stay put, so the drinking session commenced at 11.30 am and went on until 4.30 pm with discussions focused on nothing but politics in our intoxicated moods – especially on the Presidential election“.

Naxalite coup

Immediately afterwards AJR hurried to Temple Trees and repeated everything that transpired at Otter’s Club which made Prime Minister R. Premadasa to summon the Director of CID, Amarasena Rajapaksa immediately and order him to obtain details from AJR about the conversation and manipulate a Naxalite coup coining various names together“.

According to Nicky Karunarathna, “The Prime Minister had no idea about the Naxalite business, but J R. Jayewardene congealed the idea to make the story more palpable and palatable for a serious case! In the meanwhile, Mr. Premadasa sent a message requesting me to join the UNP stating that he would welcome me on stage at a Hultsdorf meeting (accompanied by his bodyguard S.P. Jayantha Wickremaratna – later became IGP), which I flatly refused”.

Having tried his best twice and realising that Nicky Karunarathna was a tough nut to crack, Mr. Premadasa’s next move had been to make Nicky a witness and to make him give evidence at the Naxalite case, in favour of the JRJ Government, which he says, “I completely ignored“, and the result was that I was called to the fourth floor of the CID, interviewed by SP Lal Mendis for six long hours and taken down my statements”.

I was treated like a VIP with lot of courtesy, but I didn’t budge an inch”, says Nicky. However, the gist of his recorded statement had been: “Whatever we discussed or transpired at Otter’s Club was through full intoxication of liquor, and on my part I have had eighteen pegs of cognac“!

‘Finally, after a scrutiny of Otter’s club records and bill payments on that particular day, the case was dropped on the strength of his declaration as whatever statements made under the influence of liquor were invalid in a court of Law’!

Nicky Karunarathna states that under such circumstances, Vijaya Kumaratunga who was kept in Welikada prison incommunicado too had to be released hurriedly.

tilakfernando@gmail.com

Inland fisheries and Buddhism

April 12th, 2014

Observer -Courtesy: Sunday Times

“Ordering by the beat of the drum that no animals should be killed within a radius of seven gau from the city, he gave security to animals. He also gave security to the fish in the twelve great tanks, and bestowing on (the region’s people) gold and cloth and whatever other kind of wealth they wished, he commanded them not to catch birds and so gave security to birds….”

This inscription, which is engraved in an upright stone slab at Ruwanweliseya, Anuradhapura, is a transcript of a decree issued in the late12th Century by King Kirthi Nissanka Malla of Polonnaruwa. It is reflective of the high moral concern that the rulers and people of Sri Lanka showed towards animal life in ancient times.

Likewise scattered through the pages of the Mahavamsa, are other records of royal protection granted for the preservation and well being of all forms of animals. It can well be said that the policy of compassion and tolerance initiated by Emperor Asoka in India in 270 BC in the form of state protection to animals, was followed in earnest by a long line of Sri Lankan Kings. Buddhism played a major role in influencing the development of this benevolent public attitude towards animals.

Whatever interpretation may be put on the First Precept of Buddhism i.e. whether it prohibits the consumption of flesh foods, it is without dispute that Buddhism has never countenanced the ‘kill and eat’ principle, which is found in monotheistic religions. Neither does Buddhism adopt a purely utilitarian attitude towards animals by insisting that animals exist solely for the benefit of man.

Instead, Buddhism advocates a peaceful co-existence between man and animal. It unequivocally prohibits in its very first precept, the taking away of life of another living being, for whatever the reason. Ahimsa, or nonharming, and Metta, or loving-kindness are central to Buddhist thinking and colours all Buddhist practices.

As regards Sri Lanka, it has been said that the dietary habits of our people prior to the arrival of the Europeans were essentially vegetarian. Robert Knox in his ‘Historical Relation of Ceylon’ admits that his beef eating habit was despised by the Sinhalese people of 17th Century Sri Lanka.

Though the meat eating habit gradually began to spread among the people upon the colonization of this country by three Western powers, yet the majority i.e. the Buddhists, never assumed directly the actual responsibility of rearing and killing animals for food. Such restraint on their part was clearly due to the influence of deep seated moral considerations.

However these moral restraints which have been enshrined in the collective mind of the Buddhists for over a period of 2300 years would be rapidly lost if the state succeeds in promoting animal husbandry (leading to slaughter of animals) and inland fisheries schemes.

The biggest danger to the underlying Buddhist Civilization of this country from the establishment of inland fisheries schemes, is the great likelihood of the creation of a new sub-group of Sinhala Buddhists in the hinterland of Sri Lanka, who may be forced to disown or react against Buddhism sometime in the future, because their breach of the Buddhist First Precept for the purpose of earning a living would never receive scriptural sanction or the moral approval of the Buddhist public and the Buddhist Sangha.

In other words these policies of the Government would be laying the foundation for the emergence of sub-groups within the ranks of Sinhala Buddhists, who would be most susceptible to the influence of religions which sanction the slaughter of animals for food. The wholesale conversion of the entire Buddhist population in the Maldives in the 12th Century, to Islam, is a good example of a case where choice of livelihood e.g. fishing, led, among other things, to the loss of faith in Buddhism.

Buddhism lost ground in countries such as Maldives, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Bangladesh partly due to the gullibility of then Buddhist rulers of those counties, who failed to exercise the necessary vigilance to protect Buddhism.

It was such fears which prompted leading Buddhist monks to protest strongly in 1990 at the gradual introduction of inland fisheries into areas which have been the traditional bases of Buddhism in this country. After a careful consideration of the relevant issues, President Premadasa accepted the position of the Buddhist monks on inland fisheries and thereafter ordered the Govt. Departments to discontinue all links with inland fisheries schemes.

To the credit of President Premadasa it must be said, that he abandoned the development of inland fisheries in the larger interest of protecting the foundation of Buddhist Culture which still exists more or less intact in the rural areas of Sri Lanka.

King Kirthi Nissanka Malla and other Sinhalese Kings granted ‘Abhayadana’ (sparing of life from slaughter) to the fish in the twelve great tanks which are found in the Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa and Dambulla districts. These Kings with the most noble of intentions, would have expected succeeding generations of Buddhists, to honour rather than repudiate these inspiring injunctions, which are a part of this country’s rich spiritual heritage. Yet, these are the very lakes which are being earmarked for the introduction of inland fisheries.

Sometimes people tend to defend fishing on the ground that it is a harmless activity causing neither pain nor suffering to the victim. This is a wrong presumption. Fish have been discovered to show most of the pain behaviour that mammals do. In some species there is even vocalization.

They make vibratory sounds indicating ‘alarm’ and ‘aggravation’ and show signs of distress when they are taken out of water, hauled up into air and allowed to flap around until they die. Because their gills can extract oxygen only from water and not from air, fish out of water cannot breathe. They usually die slowly in pain from suffocation.

The argument that fish provide protein and therefore it is important for people including the Buddhists of this country, to actively participate in inland fisheries schemes, is a proposition which can be logically extended to cover the slaughter of many other animals. In fact it may well happen.

The Buddhists who are being encouraged by Government incentives to engage in fishing in inland reservoirs, may in the course of time take to slaughtering other animals for food and the making of profit. Right Livelihood as propounded by the Buddha, being one of the noble Eightfold Path, eschews conduct such as trading in live or dead animals for profit.

There are a number of new foods coming into the market which are not slaughter products. The protein rich Soya Bean and derivatives such as Tofu, now constitutes the basic diet of several Asian countries including China and Japan. It is also becoming popular in Western countries.

Why is there no public drive towards promoting a large scale Soya Bean cultivation, production and consumption in this country? It is more economical to produce protein rich vegetables rather than flesh food.

Dr. E.F. Schumacher in his celebrated book ‘Small is Beautiful’ spoke of ‘Buddhist Economics’. He stressed the need for developing countries to fashion economic policies in such a way that they did not conflict with the religious and spiritual traditions of the people.

In this context the question arises whether the advice of the Buddhist Sangha was sought by the Government of Sri Lanka before it embarked on re-developing inland fisheries, a policy which was abandoned by a previous government largely as a result of the convincing submissions made by the Maha Sangha.

It is true that flesh food consumption is now quite widespread even among Buddhists in Sri Lanka. As realists we must accept this, but we need not extend it, particularly in a way which requires Buddhists to slaughter animals. Sinhala Buddhists, generally as a group (subject to a few exceptions), have always maintained, throughout our history, a marked distance from slaughtering animals for food.

These restraints, influenced by the principles of Ahimsa (non-violence to all living beings) contributed substantially to the making of the Sinhala Buddhist identity and its authenticity, which in turn drew the admiration and sometimes the envy of others.

If killing animals for food is promoted as an occupation among Buddhists, whether in the form of inland fisheries, prawn farming or household chicken farming, much damage will be done in the long term, to one of the finer traits of the Sinhala Buddhist image.

Observer

Courtesy: Sunday Times ( letter to the Editor) October 06, 1996


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