“UN human rights investigators are trained to spot fraudulent submissions” Prince Zeid –   How come UNHRC was mum on the ‘doctored’ forms sent by LTTE-TNA against Sri Lanka?

November 18th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 

The new head of the UN Human Rights Council deems fit to insult a democratically elected UN Member country for bringing to the attention of the Human Rights world body the arrest of an unrehabilitated LTTE cadre collecting blank forms with signatures and handing them to a Tamil National Alliance member who hands these over to another party that enters bogus details incriminating the Sri Lankan Armed forces which are therein sent as ‘genuine’ submissions seeking ‘witness protection’ and confidentiality and used to declare Sri Lanka as guilty of war crimes and bring in command guilt against a targeted list of people. If UNHRC has investigators trained to spot fraudulent submissions why has the UNHRC not revealed it has been in receipt of such submissions before the arrest? If not for the discovery of blank forms with signatures we would not have known that a very systematic effort has been put in place to fix Sri Lanka with lies? This is the crux of the matter and this gives Sri Lanka every right to question the credibility of the UNHRC for despite having trained investigators to spot fraud the UNHRC Investigators have kept mum intentionally or they do not know how to detect forms signed by one party and details entered by another! The arrest has brought sweet justice to the injustice that would have taken place!

Thus, while UNHRC and the UN Secretary General deem fit to use very undiplomatic and uncouth language in an official statements attacking the Sri Lankan Government released to the international public accusing Sri Lanka what should not be forgotten is that it is the UNHRC and its Investigators that have been put into a very embarrassing situation for they had not disclosed receiving submissions that probably would have been signed by the same person over 100 times and entries done by some party elsewhere who are paid to enter lies to incriminate the Sri Lankan Army and set the pace for an argument that would enable the UN Investigators to charge the leaders for accountability!

That gameplan has now been blown into the open with the arrest and the information that is coming out from that arrest has unearthed the involvement of a plum set of players too – foreign envoys, diplomats, foreign embassies, Tamil lawyers, foreign funded NGOs writing the bogus submissions … a whole can of worms has now come out opening a pandoras box of lies and deceit to which UNHRC has nowhere to bury its head.

Without accepting guilt it is immoral and unethical for the UNHRC to attack the Sri Lankan state as it is now doing in a pre-emptive strategy to water down the embarrassment.

It is a challenge before the UNHRC to deny that they have received repeat signatures in the submissions received so far!

It is a challenge for the UNHRC to deny that they have accepted scores of submissions that were compiled by 3rd parties after signatures only were given.

It is a challenge for the UNHRC to admit whether they contemplated submissions being sent which had signatures by one party and entries made by others and whether they have a mechanism to detect these – if they have the UNHRC is guilty of withholding this information from the public because if not for the arrest Sri Lanka would not have been aware of a scheme being set up to frame charges against Sri Lanka’s leaders and the Sri Lankan troops!

In the light of the UNHRC’s own guilt and secrecy emerging as a major questionable offence, what right does the UNHRC head have to in a public statement say

“This continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation about the investigation, as well as the insidious attempts to prevent possible bona fide witnesses from submitting information to the investigating team, is an affront to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which mandated the investigation”.  

If there is any continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation – it is done not be Sri Lanka but by all others trying to frame Sri Lanka.

What are the ‘insidious attempts to prevent possible bonafide witnesses from submitting information’ when it has now emerged that blank forms are being collected with only signatures (that too with repeat signatures) and another party is filling up bogus accounts!

The last part of the UNHRC Head’s statement reads thus

“The Government of Sri Lanka has point blank refused to cooperate with the investigation despite being explicitly requested by the Human Rights Council to do so.” “Such a refusal does not, however, undermine the integrity of the investigation set up by the Council—instead it raises concerns about the integrity of the government in question. Why would governments with nothing to hide go to such extraordinary lengths to sabotage an impartial investigation?”  

Given that the UNHRC did not disclose that it has been in receipt of fraudulent submissions before the arrest of the LTTE with signatures on blank forms, the Sri Lankan Government has a key argument for refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

However, Sri Lankan Government not taking part certainly does not impede in the UNHRC investigators carrying out a clean and transparent investigation.

It is not the integrity of the Sri Lankan Government that is now put into question it is that of the UNHRC and the entire investigation itself.

It is not Sri Lanka that has something to hide, it is the UNHRC because Sri Lanka hasn’t sabotaged the investigation, if at all it is the people giving false submissions who have, while UNHRC is guilty of accepting these false submissions as ‘genuine bonafide witness’ testimonies.

We know now and the UNHRC is embarrassed to now say so that they have been in receipt of such false submissions – the question is how many has the UNHRC received and how many have they accepted and based on how many false accounts has the final Report been written.

What a windfall for the Sri Lankans who believe in truth and fair play because the arrest of the LTTE, the involvement of the Tamil National Alliance, the foreign envoys, diplomats, foreign NGOs and others involved in this dirty gameplan have all now been exposed from this single arrest that has blown the UNHRC investigation in its face and the embarrassment is irreparable.

 

 Shenali D Waduge

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/11/14/unhrc-investigates-sri-lanka-what-happens-when-the-other-side-is-caught-collecting-blank-submission-forms-with-signatures/

http://www.onlanka.com/news/unhrc-investigation-on-sri-lanka-an-organized-fraudulent-submission-process-favours-tamils-and-not-sinhalese-or-muslim-victims.html

PRESIDENT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA WAS ONLY CORRECT WHEN HE STATED THAT NORWAY FUNDED THE LTTE DURING THE ISLAND’S THREE-DECADE CIVIL WAR. ERIK SOLHIEM SHOULD NOT DENY

November 18th, 2014

By Noor Nizam, Peace and Political Activist and Political Communication Researcher.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa demanded on Sunday, November 16th, 2014 that the Norwegian government must probe the funding of the LTTE during the island’s three-decade civil war, alleging that Norway financed the ethnic Tamil militant group while addressing a political gathering in the northwestern town of Kurunegala. This statement has gone viral on social media and had been picked up by many news agencies the world over especially the Tamil digital media. It gained enough coverage and headline publicity in the local media and abroad. With an expected Presidential election, the date to be declared this week and the common opposition preparing for a political on slaughter against the incumbent President, it really carried the news value of a good dateline from Colombo.

The President’s statement was (according news published in the national press and other electronic media publications),

Quote:

“the Norwegian government must probe the funding of the LTTE during the island’s three-decade civil war, alleging that Norway financed the ethnic Tamil militant group. “They gave money to the LTTE. The Norwegian government must investigate. We have evidence on how they funded the terrorists,” He specifically blamed former Norwegian minister and peace facilitator Erik Solheim for backing the LTTE.

*“This man Solheim is now planning to give evidence against us in Geneva,” Rajapaksa said referring to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council’s investigation on war crimes committed by both the LTTE and government forces during the final phase of the civil war that ended in 2009. He alleged that Solheim and the Norwegians discouraged him on pursuing the war saying the LTTE was an invisible military outfit that could never be defeated. Unquote.

This brought forth a strong response from the former Peace negotiator Erik Solhiem, a former Norwegian Minister who reacted immediately via”twitter”. Solheim in a Twitter message said the Sri  Lankan President is lying as the election is approaching and he will reveal the truth on Monday. Come Monday and this is what the Erik Solhiems revelation of the truth was. (Read full statement in https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/reply-to-rajapaksas-allegations-full-text-of-statement-by-erik-solheim/).

A s a freelance journalist and a political communication researcher, what concerns me is the “media metaphor” that Erik Solhiem has used in his twitter message, attempting to disgrace a elected President of  a sovereign nation, The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, inferring  that HE. Mahinda Rajapaksa is a “damn liar”. Yet – come Monday and what Erik Solhiem states is completely contradictory to the TRUTH. For one thing, the President did not state in his speech made at Kurunegala that Erik Solhiem personally funded the LTTE then. The President had alleged that Norway financed the ethnic Tamil militant group the LTTE during the island’s three-decade civil war. Then Erik Solhiem goes on to say that President Mahinda Rajapaksa was fully aware of the funding made to the LTTE by Norway and that Norway as a 3rd., party facilitator, also supplied a radio transmitting unit and  high powered communication equipment. These sensitive equipments were later identified as a “ VSAT (Very Small Aperture Terminal) communication unit and a Radio Data System (RDS) capable of sending data from point to point with a spot frequency of 98 Mhz allocated. The gut TRUTH is that the President did not in any way know about these things as it was during the Premiership of Hon Ranil Wickremesinghe that these matters were taken care of very secretively. HE. Jon Westborg and Erick Solhiem directly handled the funding (US. 93,265), the shipment and clearing of these items duty free as Norwegian diplomatic cargo. A letter dated 3rd., January 2003 addressed by the then PM Hon. Ranil Wickremesinghe to the then President Chandrika Bandaranaike self explains the facts – http://1paththiram.wordpress.com/category/ltte/. Thus, once again Erick Solhiem has attempted to ridicule the general public and the social media in trying to propagate his lies against the present President of Sri Lanka.

But it is proper just now, that the citizens of Sri Lanka and the International community should know the facts. The President was very correct in his statement he made at Kurunegala on Sunday that Norway during the Prime Ministership of Hon. Kjell Magne Bondevik and FM official Mr. Vidar Helgesen and former Norwegian Minister and Sri Lanka Peace facilitator Erik Solhiem had funded the then LTTE with funds from Norway (apart from allowing Tamil Diaspora funding also channeled). The total funding has been to the tune of Rs. 1800 Million during the period 2008 – 2010. The web sites: http://www.sundaytimes.lk/070415/News/111.news.html

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=14631, http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=39007

will give a much larger picture of what amounts of funding from Norway were channeled during the ruthless LTTE war against civilians since 1983 to 2009.  http://indianrealist.com/2009/02/26/how-norway-funds-terror/ has more authentic information to provide.

The self biography “Nærmere” which means “close or near” which was published in 1999, Erik Solheim writes about some of his life incidents such as how he served in the air force artillery and his task was to defend airports and shoot down enemy air planes. The military task he described as boring and was mostly maintaining of artillery pieces. He states he started his military service in “Bodin” military camp in Bodø (Northern Norway). Later Solheim was transferred to Stavern in Southern Norway for specialized education. In Stavern he became a trouble maker. He ignored orders and preferred to read theory for his driving license test before he was charged for theft of uniform effects from an officer. Mr. Solheim acknowledges the charges against him was correct and was sentenced to 14 days in prison. He did not like the sentence and appealed to the military HQ, but they agreed with the military camps commanders that he should go to military prison for 14 days. It is beyond doubt that a personality of this stature and a thief of military uniform effects and found guilty and sentenced, no doubt has stooped to the level of lying about his involvements with the LTTE then. The President was only right in stating that Norway, during the three decades of war, supported the LTTE. It is now for the present Norwegian government to set-in-motion an investigation as demanded by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

*As for matters pertaining to Solhiem planning to give evidence against Sri Lanka in Geneva and Solhiem and the Norwegians discouraging the President on pursuing the war saying the LTTE was an invisible outfit that could not be defeated, has to be dealt with in length, thus the focus on both those matters have been dropped out in this article.

Noor Nizam.

A global strategy required to stop radicalization – Ahmadiyya Supreme Head.

November 18th, 2014

By A. Abdul Aziz.

 According to our Press Department U.K., on 8 November 2014, the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Fifth Khalifa, His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad delivered the keynote address at the 11th National Peace Symposium hosted by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK.

During his address, His Holiness categorically condemned the activities of ISIS and other extremists groups as “entirely un-Islamic” and said they were “viciously spreading a network of terror” in the world.

Quoting extensively from the Holy Quran, His Holiness proved Islam to be a religion of peace that promoted tolerance, mutual respect and understanding at all levels of society. His Holiness also questioned how extremist groups such as ISIS were funded and supported.

The event was held at the Baitul Futuh Mosque in London with an audience of more than 1000 people, including 550 non-Ahmadi guests comprising Government Ministers, Ambassadors of State, Members of both Houses of Parliament and various other dignitaries and guests. The theme of this year’s Peace Symposium was “Khilafat, Peace and Justice”.

During the event, His Holiness also presented Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, Founder and CEO Mary’s Meals UK, with the Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace in recognition of his outstanding efforts to provide food and education to hundreds of thousands of children in the developing world.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad began his address by speaking of the increasing threat of terrorism and extremism in today’s world.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Over the past year, one particular group has viciously spread its network of terror and has become a cause of major concern for the world. I am speaking of the group of extremists commonly known as ‘ISIS’ or ‘I.S.’ The actions of this terrorist group are not only impacting Muslim countries, but also countries in Europe and further afield are also being affected by its brutalities.”

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said it was highly “disturbing” that hundreds of Muslim youths from all parts of the world were being attracted by ISIS and were going to Syria and Iraq to fight for them. His Holiness said: “the agenda and objectives of ISIS and their so-called Khalifa are utterly horrific and barbaric”.

His Holiness said that ISIS had a vision to “take over the world” which he classed as “wishful thinking”.Nonetheless, His Holiness said that if ISIS was not “stopped in its tracks” it could cause great destruction in the world.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“Consider just how much suffering and ruin can be caused by an extremist group, which is gathering together frustrated and restless people from all parts of the world who are ready to give their lives for this unjust cause…This is especially true given the fact that this group (ISIS) does not just have willing individuals but is also heavily armed with sophisticated weapons systems and artillery. Indeed, it is not out of the question that they could eventually lay their hands on nuclear weapons.”

 Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“When all of this is considered there is no doubting the horrific threat to the world posed by ISIS and any of the groups that have similar ideologies. The fact that all of this is being done in the name of Islam sincerely grieves and pains all true and peace loving Muslims because such brutal and inhumane ideologies have nothing to do with the religion whatsoever. Rather, in every way, and at every level, Islam’s real teachings are of peace and security for all people.”

 The Khalifa went on to give a detailed account of Quranic teachings in relation to warfare, stating that wherever Muslims were given permission for a ‘defensive war’ it was given as a means to protect all religions and not just Islam. He also explained the unparalleled efforts made by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) to spread peace throughout the world.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad went on to speak about how ‘freedom of conscience’ was a fundamental tenet of Islam. He said that Muslims were permitted only to preach the message of Islam in a peaceful way.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“It is never permissible, in any circumstance, to force another person to accept Islam or indeed any religion… All people are free to believe or not to believe. And so when the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) was permitted only to convey the message of Islam and nothing further – how then can the so called Muslim leaders of today go beyond this and think they have more power, authority or rights than the Prophet of Islam?”

 Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad ended his address by questioning how terrorist or extremist groups were being funded and by appealing for world peace through true justice.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

“I would also hereby like to question those people or organisations who claim that Islam is a religion of violence on the basis of the atrocities of the extremist groups. I would ask them to consider how these groups are able to acquire such funds that allow them to continue their extremist activities and warfare for so long? How do they acquire such sophisticated weapons? Do they have arms industries or factories? It is quite obvious that they are receiving the help and support of certain powers. This could be direct support from very oil-rich states or it could be other major powers covertly providing assistance.”

 Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad continued:

“The funding of these groups is a major problem because it is through these funds that they are able to prey on vulnerable groups or individuals… Thus something has to be done to stop the funding of these groups urgently. The West has now started to realise and acknowledge that this is a war that is actually directly affecting it as well. However, this too is under-estimation – the truth is that this is a war against the entire world.”

 His Holiness concluded by saying:

“Most importantly the world must realise that it has forgotten its Creator and they must come back to Him. Only when this happens can true peace be established and without this there can be no guarantee of peace. I have spoken many times previously about the horrific consequences of another global war and perhaps it will only be after such a war that the world will come to realise the destructive results of the unjust policies that were made only to satisfy personal ambitions and vested interests. I hope and pray that the world comes to its senses before such a disaster comes to pass.”

 Prior to the keynote address, various dignitaries spoke about the importance of peace and the critical state of today’s world.

Rafiq Hayat, the National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community UK, spoke of the need for peace in the world. Referring to Remembrance Day commemorations that were taking place this week, he said the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community “honoured” all those British servicemen and women who had sacrificed their lives for the sake of their nation during the First World War.

Siobhain McDonagh, MP and Chair of the “All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’said:

“I congratulate the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community on its 125th anniversary. It is a community that has always promoted peace and harmony in the world.”

 Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon, Minister for Communities said:

“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is my Community – it is my home and this is my place of worship.”

 Rt Hon Ed Davey, MP, Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change said:

“In the world today we see ‘politics of division’ in so many parts but under the leadership of His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community promotes a ‘politics of unity’ with the aim of establishing unity across the world.”

 Rt Hon Justine Greening, MP, Secretary of State for International Development said:

“Tonight is a simple but powerful event where people are being brought together to discuss and understand each other and to eat together as families do.”

 Most Reverend Kevin McDonald, Archbishop Emeritus of Southwark, who also read a special message from the Vatican, said:

“I strongly applaud the huge contribution being made by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in spreading peace in the world.”

 The recipient of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Prize for the Advancement of Peace, Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, CEO Mary’s Meals UK said:

“I am deeply honoured and moved to receive this award and thank His Holiness, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad for this honour. The work of Mary’s Meals is very simply to feed children so that they are able to go to school.”

 Both before and after the proceedings, His Holiness met personally with various dignitaries and guests and also met with members of the western and Asian media.

The proceedings of the event – the link of which is:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uVKpfwexJk

Solheim as the common candidate of the banana intellectuals

November 18th, 2014

By Nalin de Silva

Sri Lanka is not an Arab country and the west finds it difficult to impose its will on us. The western policy with respect to Asia, Africa and South America can be partially summarized in one sentence knowing very well that summaries do not often convey the meaning of the original. The west wants weak governments in these countries and the moment they come across a strong government that does not listen to them, they want to destabilize the relevant country by hook or crook. The countries where there are strong leaders are called banana republics only to create a unhealthy impression among western educated “intellectuals” and other henchmen and henchwomen of the west.

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The west breaks up countries where there are strong leaders not liked by them and sometimes kills the leaders as well. Some Arab leaders were given adverse publicity as dictators before they were killed. The west wants a world that obeys them and to maintain the hegemony over politics, culture and economics. It is the educational system in the Asian and other countries that is used by the west together with media to maintain the western hegemony.

The banana republics are those countries, which are manipulated by the west but the western “intellectuals” as usual having hegemony as far as knowledge is concerned propagates the opposite view altogether. The so-called intellectuals in this country most of whom are maintained by the universities and the western governmental organisations can only repeat the western concepts as they themselves cannot think originally. In fact these “intellectuals” can be called banana intellectuals.

They may say that the so-called banana republics have dictators and weak economies but what is not realised by the banana intellectuals is that the yardsticks on politics, economy and culture are created by the western intellectuals. The banana intellectuals will rally round western slogans of so-called democracy and good governance etc., without realizing that there is no democracy or transparency as such in the western countries. How many Norwegians know that Norway supplied arms and funds to the LTTE terrorists? How many English people know that Norway was only a pawn in this exercise and England was the real culprit?

It is good that the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has come out openly with the involvement of Solheim and Norway in the LTTE activities. The west led by England used separatism to divide the country into pieces in the name of peace even before Mahinda Rajapaksa became the President. They continue to do the same using the dispersed pro-LTTE groups in their countries. The west has been against Sinhala Buddhists of the country and during the time of the English governors used English speaking Tamil elite against the Sinhala people in general and Sinhala Buddhists in particular. The so-called nineteenth century Buddhist revival was against mainly the cultural policy of the English and the colonialists know very well that the struggle against them continues to date.

The Sinhala people have had two leaders after 1948, who stood against western hegemony. One was Sirimavo Bandaranaike and the other is Mahinda Rajapaksa. There was a coup against Mrs Bandaranaike led by some high ranking officers in the armed forces but it failed.

It is not easy to plan a coup against Rajapaksa using armed forces as the composition of the forces have been changed since the coup of 1962. The west has to resort to other means to oust him and presidential elections are being used for that purpose.

It has to be realised that Sinhala Buddhists protected the sovereignty of the people from 1506 to 1815 and none of the European nations were able to capture the country through war. It was the crafty diplomacy of the English led by Doyle that finally annexed the country as a whole but even after 1815 Sinhala people have given the English tough time.

Though the situation has changed during the past it is the banana intellectuals with their tin-pot hegemony that dominate the media and the universities. They are not creative at all but they have been projected as intellectuals by themselves. It is nothing but back scratching and the banana intellectuals who may have read a few books here and there without pondering over them could quote from Kalama Sutta to Post Modernism, General Relativity and Quantum Physics without understanding them. However, ordinary people cannot be fooled by them though the banana intellectuals would praise each other without an end.

It was the banana intellectuals who started the campaign for good governance. Ven. Sobhitha Thera began his campaign and some academic trade unionists supported him. How many ordinary people are interested in western concepts such as good governance and transparency? How many banana intellectuals with their little ‘empires’ in the intellectual world wanted transparency from Solheim? The banana intellectuals are maintained by the west through the western governmental organisations (so-called NGOs) but the ordinary people are not. They cannot be fooled by the banana intellectuals and they knew by intuition what Solheim was up to in the country. In spite of banana intellectuals and Solheim and their campaign that the LTTE cannot be defeated the ordinary people knew that the LTTE can be defeated provided we had a strong political leadership.

It was the political leadership of Mahinda Rajapaksa and the strategically planning of the Defence Secretary and of course the heroic sacrifices made by the war heroes that defeated the LTTE. It is this victory that prevented the country being not bifurcated but trifurcated and the west is all out to take revenge. The talk on abolition of executive presidency is mainly because it was that post that enabled Mahinda Rajapaksa to give a strong political leadership. The west thought that Ven. Sobhitha Thera has support among the Sinhala Buddhists but did not know that Sobhitha Thera of the twenty first century is not the same as the Thera who became a household name among the ordinary people during the “Buddhism Betrayed” days. The Thera may be a household name among the banana intellectuals but his effectiveness ends there. The academic trade unionists and the left-out leftists who gather in Naga Vihara, Kotte have no say beyond press conferences they hold and their hunt for the common candidate to defeat Mahinda Rajapaksa has ended up in disarray. It may not be a bad idea to find out whether it is possible to have Solheim as the common candidate even by giving him citizenship as early as possible. After all he has been involved with politics of the country for so long and has the “credentials” to be the common candidate.

The west cannot try their tactics in Sri Lanka and their Arab springs with the support of the JVP are bound to fail. Whether the banana intellectuals, Solheim and Sobhitha Thera like it or not Mahinda Rajapaksa would poll more than 55% of the valid vote making the west to eat the humble pie.

 

Healing the Wounds of War

November 17th, 2014

By Dr. Ed Tick 

In contrast to our modern situation, traditional and indigenous peoples had extensive spiritually and communally based warrior medicine, practices and lineages. They lived immersed in and part of nature and its processes, conceived of themselves not as independent agents but as members of interdependent communities, and stood in wonder before a living cosmos. They considered soul and spirit to be life forces that were essential to preserve and protect those most endangered by warfare and violence. Their guidance of warriors through the life cycle, interpretations and treatments of trauma, and orchestration of the return journey were spiritual, communal, nature-based and practical. And their guidance was extensive, specific and designed to bring spirit back into their warriors’ souls.

Let us explore some traditional interpretations of combat trauma that illustrate soul wounding and give direction for restoration. The Hopi people call trauma tsawana, meaning “a state of mind that is in terror.” The Hopi name the condition directly; the mind and heart are frozen in the terror of traumatic experience as if it were happening in an eternal present.

Since the traumatic wound is this terror, healing our war wounds is Qa tutsawanavu, living in a way not intimidated by terror. The warrior learns once again to live as King David when he rediscovered faith: “I will fear no evil … ” Warriors learn to act with courage, as Hemingway said with “grace under pressure,” or Colonel Henderson, “with … the willingness to act in the face of fear.” The warriors’ spirits grow larger than their fears, confident they can master the ordeal and not be crippled by terror.

A Hopi woman soldier, Lori Piestewa (White Bear girl) was the first Native American to die in recent wars and believed to be the first Native American servicewoman killed in foreign wars. The daughter of a Vietnam veteran and granddaughter of a World War I vet, she was following both her people’s and the American warrior lineage. “There is a long tradition of Hopi women taking part in raids and defending villages.” Caught in the same attack during which Jessica Lynch was captured, Lori drove her truck trying to get her battle buddies out of danger. She died without firing her weapon. Her friends and family “increasingly opposed the war and were pleased that Lori did not harm anyone, ‘the Hopi way,’” her father proudly said.

The Lakota called trauma nagi napayape, meaning, “the spirits leave him.” Trauma was that condition in which the spirits left the person so that the body feels like an empty shell. The worst cases of shock come not only from physical processes but also from seeing such horrors that the soul flees the body. Many warriors report such experiences. Art, a machine gunner at the siege of Khe Sanh, reported his soul’s flight  during a firefight in vivid detail.

When the source of disorder is spirit loss, then healing can occur through restoration of spirit aided by community. Many cultures, Lakota and Vietnamese among them, practice community rituals for calling the souls and spirits back. In the Vietnamese countryside, a traditional belief holds that illness comes from one or more of the seven souls leaving the body.

Healing can occur when the village people gather to call the lost soul back or a shaman journeys to seek it. Reverend Jackson, who had served as a chaplain in Viet Nam, returned with us thirty-seven years later. He asked our group to surround him on his old battlefield where “my heart went dead.” Together Americans and Vietnamese called for his soul to return. It was a clear, quiet and sun-drenched day. As we cried out together, lightning suddenly flashed and exploded on the mountaintop opposite.

Sri Lanka is an island nation south of India brutalized by a civil war from 1983 to 2009. Sri Lanka reports extensive traumatic suffering among its military and civilian populations. According to Dr. Ruwan M. Jayatunge, Sri Lanka has had much historical trauma from both natural and human disasters and cultural and religious traditions that provide protection against and tools to deal with it. Sri Lankan written history dates back more than 2,500 years. As written in the Mahavamsa, the history of Sri Lanka and one of the world’s oldest chronologies, the Battle of Vijithapura fought in 161 or 162 B.C. was massively destructive and deadly. The triumphant King Dutthagamani became severely depressed  soon after the battle.

The Portuguese first invaded Sri Lanka in 1505. For the next 300 years the native population fought against the Portuguese, Dutch and British. King Seethawaka Rajasinghe entered the wars in 1560 at age sixteen. A courageous and effective warrior, he fought many battles and witnessed much suffering. He finally defeated the better-equipped and trained invaders, saving his country from becoming a colony. But after years of combat the king “was exhausted and unquestionably suffered from battle fatigue. In later years he displayed outbursts of anger, irritability, deep mistrust, alienation, emotional numbing and various other PTSD-related symptoms …[The] King … is believed to have suffered from combat-related trauma.”

Dr. Jayatunge concludes that combat trauma has been known and manifested through several thousand years of Sri Lankan cultural history, was recorded in their literature as long ago as Homer and the Bible, demonstrably occurred in ancient as well as modern times, and though tragic also helped their people develop endurance and resilience through cultural and religious practices.

The Xhosa people of South Africa believe that a warrior leaves part of his soul on the battlefield with the souls of the fallen. The warrior cannot reclaim his own soul without making peace with the dead of both sides.To the Xhosa, Professor Brooke explains, “Kanene (“k-u-n-e-nn-y”) is the warrior’s insight into the depth and burden he carries, following him like a shadow reminding him of what he has done.” Healing occurs through direct community-based response to this burden. It entails being forgiven by both the living and the dead, including the enemy dead.

The Xhosa healing ceremony called Ukubula (“Oo-koo-boo-la”) is a confessional telling of what you have done before the community. The community’s role is to “tolerate the pain of listening, no matter how difficult. The community carries the burden and pain of what happened and the warrior is forgiven and healed from private suffering.” Professor Brooke points out that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings in South Africa that helped the country heal from apartheid were national practices of ukubula. Ukubula highlights the critical role the community plays in listening and witnessing horrors without judgment and welcoming the trauma survivor back into community after confessional cleansing.

Also in southern Africa are the Shangaan, a Nguni people who are tribal cousins of the Xhosa and Zulu. They populate the areas in what are now Mozambique and the eastern border of South Africa. The Shangaan maintain extensive rituals for post-war trauma that affirms the intimate relationship between the slain, the slayer and surviving family members, all of whom become involved in community restoration.

Among the Shangaan,A man who kills another, even in war, must build a hut with the name of the dead. He must keep it maintained for the dead’s spirit. His own daughter is then “married” to the deceased man. She must look after the hut as she matures. If she falls in love or wants to marry, then she and her father must ask permission from the dead enemy for her to be allowed to marry.

Shangaan practices demonstrate the lifelong intimacy that occurs as a result of taking a life, an intimacy many contemporary veterans feel but are at a loss to complete. Their practices also express, Brooke observes, “a truth we see in our families every day. Daughters are imprisoned by their father’s wounds, unable to live their own lives until their fathers have been released by the spirits of the dead.” We heard this same lesson from Greece in Agamemnon’s sacrifice of his daughter in exchange for winds to sail his fleet to Troy.

In another corner of the planet are the Maori, who settled New Zealand about 800 years ago and are one of the oldest, fiercest, most successful warrior traditions. Maori spirituality and lives are shaped around their relationship with the Divine, the Creation, their tribes—iwis—and each other. Increasing mana or spiritual power, protecting tapu or sacred being, and service and devotion to the community are at the core of Maori culture.

For the Maori, primary to any healing is the healing of relationship based on a sense of sacred being, tapu. When there is violence, a wound or a crime, tapu becomes negative and must be set aright. Maori restoration rituals focus on healing relationships that have been harmed in order to cleanse and restore tapu.

Warfare was a way of life for the Maori. They believed that mana, spiritual power, prestige or influence, was given by the ancestors or attained through combat and that combat was sacred to the ancestors. They fought for mana, expressing a widespread ancient belief that the powers of a slain warrior could enter the victor.

The United Kingdom invaded New Zealand in 1845 and fought the Maori until 1872. Though the British have significantly influenced their culture and there is internal violence due to their troubled social status and warrior traditions, the Maori retain much pride, honor and influence because they were never defeated.

One aspect of Maori culture that has gained worldwide attention is the haka, their traditional war dance. Haka is a group dance with intense foot stomping and body movements accompanied by rhythmic shouting. Haka can be performed by women and children as well and can be used for many purposes—entertainment, to welcome dignitaries, before sporting events, to honor important events or achievements, and for funerals. War haka were specifically meant to intimidate enemies by showing warriors’ prowess and fierceness. Made famous by the New Zealand rugby league, haka are used for many purposes today. Each branch of the military service and every army unit has its own haka, performed by all members of the units no matter their ethnic backgrounds. Haka have thus been integrated from the Maori into mainstream and military New Zealand cultures and are used at military funerals as unit rituals for bidding farewell to fallen comrades.

Korea holds an ancient belief also applied with special attention in the military. It has similarities to tapu as a core spiritual property and individual and collective karma following us through life, shaping our fates.

In Korea, the word han, from the ancient Chinese, means the injustice that must be set right in the world. Those emotions arising from life’s injustices—resentment, sorrow, regret—originate from disturbed han. Most Korean people, especially the elderly, have long believed that retaining han will cause various traumatic wounds and disorders.

Jae-sung Chung was a first lieutenant in the Republic of Korea Army. He served as liaison officer attached to U.S. Army headquarters in Vietnam from 1970 to 1971. Jae explains, “To maintain sound health, individuals must be free from such han as worry, anger, resentment, sorrow or regret. This applies to everyone, including the men and women in uniform.” Although people face different challenges, Koreans recognize that each person must be able to get rid of accumulated han. In the Korean military, soldiers are periodically educated about han by commanding officers and chaplains. On weekends ROK soldiers in military camps commonly attend church or temple to receive character guidance education by chaplains or Buddhist monks along with the respective religious service. In addition, soldiers are taught about han by their commanding officers through Troop Information and Education (TI&E).

Belief in and care of han is common in the South Korean military. Jae believes that “the majority of soldiers will resolutely manage their spiritual attitude of han.” The military itself tries to set han right. Within the military Christian chaplains and Buddhist monks do their best to heal han.

During the Vietnam War, as a nearby Asian nation Korea felt a genuine and immediate threat. Thus Korean veterans felt more appreciated, justified in service and welcomed home than did American veterans. On the other hand, war inevitably disturbs han. In order to cleanse his han after service, Jae has used self-reflection, meditation and contemplation.

The spiritual principle declares that what was made wrong must be put right. Traditional cultures considered not just individuals but the cosmic order out of balance until the souls of the living and dead were reconciled and wounded psycho-spiritual and cultural patterns and relationships reconciled and restored.

These ancient beliefs have been carried into modern conflicts and used for resolving them after bloodshed, as in South Africa after apartheid. Soldier’s Heart co-director Kate Dahlstedt presented another example:

In Papua New Guinea a brutal civil war occurred from 1975?1998. It was set off by destructive environmental practices during 1960s Australian copper mining. It was then enflamed when local people rose up and the government manipulated the native population to resist the uprising. As a result, families, friends and clans were set against each other and 15,000?20,000 people died.

A cease-fire was declared in 1998. There was so much grief, loss, remorse from the extreme violence and bloodshed among traditional families and friends that “the only way to rebuild and establish unity was through a reconciliation ceremony.” The local people spent three years discussing “the crisis” and how to reconcile. They finally came together on the island’s northwest coast for a ceremony that included preparing special foods, wearing sacred garb, sharing losses and decorating the community with flowers to chase away negativity and attract sweetness.

The ritual consisted of dancing with arrows to symbolize the old conflict, then passing betel nuts as a gesture of peace. The people then passed a pig for roasting between former foes, joined hands and together touched a peace stone. They then lowered it into the ground, throwing their broken weapons over it. To these people, this ritual was irrevocable.

Individuals who had killed returned the reclaimed and purified bones of the slain to their families in carefully constructed coffins. Slayers publically apologized to families who had lost members, offered compensatory gifts, exchanged betel nuts again, and together buried the coffin in its final grave. The ritual thus is a rite of passage for both individuals and community, giving meaning to the harm caused, lifting heartache, providing restitution, creating new personal and collective identities and “rebalancing the universal scales.”

From North America Nupkus Roger Shourds gives us a portrait of the warrior tradition as practiced by his Pend D’Oreille people:

When warriors went out the first time they sang Canvas Dance songs the night they were leaving and then all the warriors would leave during the night. They prayed and painted before going to protect themselves and their horses. New apprentice warriors were given tasks by the leader, such as going for water for the proven warriors. The leader noted if they performed their tasks with honor. If the novices performed well the leader would tell about them when the warriors returned, sang the Victory Song and reentered camp where the entire population gathered to hear the stories. 

The leaders would tell how each warrior performed in battle, how many marks could be put on their coup sticks and how many eagle feathers they earned. Each warrior would plant his ceremonial stick or spear in the ground as his hand grasped the upright spear. Then he recounted the details of each deed, stating whom he had killed, wounded or counted coup on. He spoke slowly and plainly, wore only moccasins, breechcloth, necklace, armlets and headband. His body was painted yellow except the right leg below the calf, which was painted red, because of what he had done during the battle.

As each warrior recounted his deeds, sounds from the drum and cries from the crowd followed. The drum beat one, two, three or four times, depending on the importance of each warlike deed. If the action was great the drum beat four times. If small then the drum would be hit only once. At each pause, drumbeats and war cries were given as emphasis or applause. In the center of the arena was a pole in the ground with pegs sticking out like nails. While a warrior told of his deeds, members of his family hung blankets, shawls, necklaces, moccasins or beaded bags on the center pole. Money was gathered, tied in a scarf and hung on the pole. The gifts were distributed to the poor after he completed his story. The entire tribe sat and listened to all the stories until they were finished. Then the returned warriors would start special war dances until they could dance no more.

Our culture honored our warriors right after they returned and listened to each and every warrior tell their war stories. This fact along with the survival reasons we fought and killed assisted in eliminating any PTSD.

 Ed Tick, Ph.D., is,  a psychotherapist, poet and writer, educator, and overseas journey guide. He holds an M.A. in psychology from Goddard College and a Ph.D. in Communication from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Tick is a clinical member and has held various officer positions with the American Academy of Psychotherapists and the American Holistic Medical Association, as well as many other professional organizations. 

A practicing psychotherapist for more than 30 years, Tick specializes in extensive and innovative work with survivors of severe trauma and violence — particularly combat war veterans — sexual and Substance Abuse   victims, those with severe mental and emotional disorders, men’s issues and deeply rooted psycho-spiritual healing. In all of his work, Tick applies his own innovative model of PTSD treatment based on worldwide research of spirituality, mythology and war/the warrior archetype, in order to develop a new, broadened and strengthened psycho-spiritual identity.

– LTTE CIVILIAN BRIGADE –Do we call them ‘Civilians’ or ‘Combatants’?

November 17th, 2014

Shenali Waduge

– LTTE CIVILIAN BRIGADE –

Do we call them ‘Civilians’ or ‘Combatants’?

They are not in LTTE uniforms.

They are Tamils but not LTTE

They are in civilian attire and they are civilians.

They are holding weapons and have undergone weapons training by LTTE too.

LTTE has held Graduation Ceremonies for these LTTE trained ‘civilians’

Tens of Thousands had received LTTE arms training.

They have taken part in hostilities.

They would have taken part in hostilities during the Last Phase of the Conflict

In an armed conflict as that which Sri Lanka’s conflict is now defined what is the status to be given to these ‘civilians’?

civilianBrigade1civilianBrigade2civilianBrigade3civilianBrigade4

කළු සුද්දන්ගේ සම්භවය හා ආධිපත්‍යය (8)

November 17th, 2014

චන්ද්‍රසිරි විජයවික්‍රම

හාමුදුරුවරුන්ට දහතුන්වන සංශොධනය අමතකවීම

  රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහට හා ජනාධිපති රාජපක්‍ෂට 13-ඒ අමතකවීම පුදුමයට කරුණක් නොවේ. ඊට හේතුව මේ දෙන්නාම දැන් කාර්ඩිනල් ගේ න්‍යාය පත්‍රය අනුව යන බහු ජාතික හා සර්‍වාගමික බට්ටන් දෙන්නෙක් නිසාය. මීට අමතරව පල්ලි හා මුස්ලිම් නිකාය වලට අයත් සුළු පිරිසක්ද සිටී. එහෙත් යමෙතුට අදහා ගත නොහැක්කේ අද වනවිට බොදු බල සේනාව හැරෙන විට අනිත් හාමුදුරුවරුන්ට දහතුන්වන සංශොධනයේ භයානක කම නොවැටහීමය. එක්සත් භික්‍ෂු පෙරමුණ නම් යූ ඇන් පී එකට සම්බන්ධ හාමුදුරුවරු කරු ජයසූරිය පසු පසින් සිටියත් 13-ඒ ගැන කතා කරන්නේ නැත. කරු ජයසූරිය 13-ඒ අහෝසි කිරීමට එකඟවනවා නම් ඔහුට පොදු අපේක්‍ෂකයා වශයෙන් මහින්දව පරදවන්නට පුළුවන් වන්නේ බොදු බල සේනාවද නියත වශයෙන්ම ඔහු පිටුපසින් ඉන්නා නිසාය.

    යූ ඇන් පී හාමුදුරුවරු කොටස හැරුණු විට මෙසේ නිහඬව ඉන්නා හාමුදුරුවරු කොටස් දෙකකි. ජනාධිපතිට පක්‍ෂව විමල් වීරවංශ විසින් කරගෙන යන ජාතික සංවිධාන එකතුමුතුවට සහභාගි වුන හාමුදුරුවරු එක කොටසකි. මීට ගුණදාස අමරසේකර මහතාද අයත් ය. මෙයින් සමහර හාමුදුරුවරු 13-ඒ එකේ භයානකකම දන්නා අය බව නිසැකය. ප්‍රශ්ණය ඒ රැස්වීමේදී 13-ඒ ගැන කවුරුන්වත් කතා නොකිරීමය. ඊට සහභාගීවූ හාමුදුරුවරු දේශපාලන කටයුතුවලට සහභාගි වන අය නොවීය. ලංකාවේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ සමාජයට ද්‍රෝහී වන අය කළුසුද්දන් කියා හැඳින්වේ නම් මේ කොටස ඒ ගොඩට එක පාරටම තල්ලුකර දැමීම අපහසුය.

    දැන් දැන් මහාචාර්ය නලින් සිල්වාද ජනාධිපති වෙනුවෙන් සිංදු ගායනා කරමින් සිටී. 13-ඒ එකට හිතේ කිසිම චකිතයක් නැතිව විරුද්ධවන කිසිකෙනෙකුට හිතට එකඟව මේ ගායනය කල නොහැකිය. 13-ඒ එක ගැන සංවිධාන එකමුතුවේදී විමල් වීරවංශ කිව්වේ යමෙක් 13-ඒ නැතිකරන්නට කතා කරනවා නම් ඔහුද ඊට එකතුවන බවය. ඔහුට කෙලින්ම ඒ ගැන කතා කරන්නට ශක්තියක් හෝ බලයක් මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ රජය යටතේ නැති බව මින් පෙනේ. මේ තුන්‌දෙනා අතරින් නලින් හා අමරසේකර මෙසේ නිහඬවූයේ කෙසේද? සිංහල බෞද්ධ ලේ වලට මෙම 13-ඒ නැතිකිරීම කාවැද්දිය යුතුය.

     අනිත් හාමුදුරුවරු කොටසේ, පිවිතුරු හෙටක් හා සාධාරණ සමාජයක් යන කණ්ඩායම් දෙකේ, පසුබිම මීට වෙනස් ය. රතන හා සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවරුන් දෙනම මේ කොටසේ එන්ජින් දෙකය. මේ හාමුදුරුවරුන් දෙන්නාගෙන් සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවන් කාලයක සිටම 13-ඒ වෙනුවට විධායක ජනාධිපති ධූරය (එය දරණ පුද්ගලයා වෙනුවට)අහෝසිකිරීම අල්ලාගෙන ඉන්නා කෙනෙකි. රටට අත්‍යාවශ්‍ය ශල්‍යකර්‍මය වශයෙන් 13-ඒ වෙනුවට ජනාධ්පති ධූරය පස්සේ යාම කළුසුද්දන් දුන් ලණුවක් ගිල ගැනීමක් ය. උන්වහන්සේ පිටුපස ඉන්නේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි, මාක්ස්වාදී, රටකඩනවාදී එන් ජී ඕ නඩ(ජයම්පති වික්‍රමරත්න, නිර්‍මල්දේවසිරි) හා රවි කරුණානායක ප්‍රධාන යූ එන් පී පෙඩරල් කාරයින් ය. ඇමරිකන් තානාපතිනිය පිරිකර රැගෙන නාග විහාරයට එන්නේ පින් ලබා ගන්නා පිණිස නොවේ. රටක් ඇතුලත පිරිසම එකිනෙකාට විරුද්ධව බෙදීම ඇමෙරිකන් උපක්‍රමය බව ඉරාකයෙන්, ලිබියාවෙන් පෙනී ගියේ නැද්ද? සදාම්ට විරුද්ධව අරාබීන් යොදවා ගත්තේ ඔහුට කුවේට් ආක්‍රමණය කිරීමට අනුබල දීම මඟිනි. දැන් ලංකාවේ හාමුදුරුවරුන්වද දෙකට තුනට බෙදා ඇත. මෙය සෝම හාමුදුරුවන් ගේ කාලයේ සිදු නොවීය. ඒ වෙනුවට උන්වහන්සේව පරලොව යැව්වේය.

    මෙම ව්‍යාපාරයට අන්තිම මොහොතේ රතන හාමුදුරුවන්ව බිලිබා ගැනීමට හැකිවීම ලංකාවේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ බලවේගය බෙදා වෙන් කර වලලා දැමීමේ උපක්‍රමය ජය ගැනීමකි. උන්වහන්සේ ද 13-ඒ ගැන කතා කරන්නේ දයාන් ජයතිලක, රජීව විජේසිංහ වගේ අය කතා කරණ ආකාරයට මය. සෝම හාමුදුරුවන් ඝාතනයෙන් යට ගිය බෞද්ධ බලයට හෙල ජාතික උරුමය මඟින් බලාපොරොත්තුවූ ආකාරයේ පණ ගැන්වීමක් නොලැබුණි. බොදු බල සේනාව විසින් ඝොෂාකරන තෙක් එය අතරමංව, යටපත්‌ව තිබුණේය.

    ගලගොඩ අත්තේ ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ ගර්‍ජනාවලින් මේ රටේ දේශපාලක පවුල් 1948 ගේ සිටම සිංහල බෞද්ධයාට හිත හොඳ ගෑණුන්ට මෙන් සලකන බව මහජනයාට ඒත්තු ගියේය. මේ නිසා අවදිවූ සිංහල බෞද්ධයා ඉදිරියේ භයවූ රාජපක්‍ෂ ජනාධිපතිද ඇතුළු නා නා මාදිලියේ ඒකක, ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ හිස ගසා දැමීමට පුළුවන් හැමදෙයක්ම කලේය. අයිලන්ඩ් පත්තරේ චන්ද්‍රප්‍රේම වැනි අය බොදු බල සේනා රැස්වීම්වලට ගොස් හූ කියන ලෙස, ගල් ගසන ලෙස, පවා යෝජනා කලේය. සෝභිත හා රතන හාමුදුරුවරු දෙන්නා පාවිච්චි කරගෙන මේ දැන් යන ප්‍රෝඩාව බොදු බල සේනාවේ තර්‍ජනය මොට කිරීමට ගත් ශූක්‍ෂම උපායකි. බොදු බල සේනාව ගොඩ නැඟූ බෞද්ධ ප්‍රභොධය දැන් රතන හා සෝභිත හමුදුරුවරු දෙන්නා විසින් කැලේ පාරකට හරවා ඇත. කාර්ඩිනල්ලා මොනවා හිතනවා ඇද්ද? සිංහල බෞද්ධයාට අබ සරංණයි!

    හාමුදුරුවරුන් දෙන්නෙක් (සෝභිත හා රතන හාමුදුරුවරු) විධායක ජනාධිපති තනතුර අහෝසි කිරීමක් හෝ එහි තටු කැපීමක් හෝ බදාගෙන, යූ එන් පී එකට මුක්කු ගසමින් මේ කරන්නේ 2010 දී සරත් ෆොන්සේකා රටට කල කොඩිවිනයම නොවේද? 2010 දී සරත් ෆොන්සේකා 13-ඒ නැතිකරන තුන්වන අපේක්‍ෂකයෙක් වශයෙන් ආවා නම් අද වන විට ඔහු රජෙක් වගේ බැබලෙනු නිසැකය. ඔහු රනිල්ගේ හා රොබට් බ්ලේක්ගේ ලණු කෑවේය. ලංකාවේ මහජනයාට විධායක ජනාධිපති ක්‍රමය අහෝසි කිරීම හෝ නොකිරීම වැදගත් නැත. 13-ඒ හරහා රට කැඩීයාමේ මඟක් දෙමල බෙදුම්වාදයට සදා දීම මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂට විරුද්ධව මහජනයා ඉදිරියේ තැබිය යුතු මූලිකම චෝදනාවය. ඊට අමතරව ඔහු විසින් කර ඇති වැරදි සම්භාරය අති මහත් ය. සිංහල බෞද්ධ චන්දයෙන් බලයට ඇවිත් බහු ජාතික සර්‍වාගමික යෙක්ව බෞද්ධයින්ට හානිකර වන ලෙස කරගෙන යන හා නොයන ක්‍රියා පෙන්නා දුන් විට ඔහුට සිංහල බෞද්ධ චන්ද අහිමි වේ.
   
    ඔහු 13-ඒ අහෝසි නොකලා පමණක් නොව මේ රටේ ජාතික බලවේගය හා හසළක වීරයින් විසින් පණ දුන් යුද්ධ ජයග්‍රහණය විනාශ වන ආකාරයට ටී එන් ඒ හොරුන්ට රට කඩා ගැනීමට අවශ්‍ය වේදිකාවද සදා දී ඇත. 2015 ජනවාරි සිට සත්‍යග්‍රහ අරඹණ බවට ටී එන් ඒ එක දැන් නෝටිස් දී ඇත. මෙසේ වන විට යුද්ධය දිනා ගත්තාය යන කීර්තිනාමය පළුදුවී ඇතිබව මහජනයාට දැනෙන්නට පටන් ගනී. දෙමල සත්‍යග්‍රහ, දකුණේ සිංහල පෙළපාලි, ස්ට්‍රයික් වලට වඩා වෙනස් ය. සමහර විට සාස්තර කාරයින් කියා ඇත්තේ ද මේ අර්බුදය විය හැකිය. මේ නිසා තුන්වන පාරට ඉක්මණින්ම ඒමට මහින්ද තතනන්නේ ටී එන් ඒ එක සත්‍යග්‍රහ කලබල කරන විට හදිසි නීතිය දමා එය අළුත් හිඟන්නාගේ තුවාලයක් කර ගැනීමටය. ලංකාවේ දුප්පත් කතෝලික ජනයාට හෝ සිංහල බෞද්ධයාට මින් වන සෙතක් නැත. ඇමෙරිකාව, බැන්කි මූන් හෝ යුරෝපා හවුල මැදිහත් වුනත් නැතත් ටී එන් ඒ එක හදන්නේ දිගෙන් දිගටම කචල් ඇති කිරීමටය.

    විධායක ජනාධිපති ධූරයේ තටු කැපිය යුතු බව, මේ බහුභූත ව්‍යවස්ථාව හා චන්ද ක්‍රමය කුණු කූඩයට දැමිය යුතුබව හැමෝම දන්නා කරුණකි. සිංහල බෞද්ධ බලවේගය, සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ගෙන් පාඩමක් ඉගෙන ගත්තා නම් ඒ පාඩම රතන හා සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවරු දෙන්නා විසින්ම අමතක කර හෝ පාවා දී ඇත. මහින්ද හා රනිල් දෙන්නාට ඕනෑ මඟුලක් කරගන්නට ඉඩ හැර මේ හාමුදුරුවරුන් කල යුතුව තිබුණේ තුන්වන බලවේගයක් වශයෙන් සෝම හාමුදුරුවන් කරන්නට ගියා වගේ වෙනම චන්දයට ඉදිරිපත්වීමය. එසේ කලා නම් බොදු බල සේනා ජන බල ගංඟාව ඔවුන් පිටුපසින් ය. එසේ කලා නම් මහින්ද හා රනිල් දෙන්නාම කොට උඩ යෑමට ඉඩ තිබුණි. යම් විධියකින් ඉන් එක්කෙනෙක් දිනුවත් බලවත් තුන්වන සිංහල බෞද්ධ බලවේගයක් ඉදිරියේ තමන්ට ඕනෑ නැටුම් නටන්නට ඒ තැනැත්තාට ඉඩක් නොලැබේ. එවැනි තුන්වන බලවේගයක් ඉදිරියේ යුදහමුදා භටයින් ගන්නේ ජනයාගේ පැත්තය.

    ලංකාව බෙදීමේ ව්‍යාපාරය වෙස්සන්තර ක්‍රමයෙන් නතර කල නොහැකිය. එසේ කරන්නට ගිය ප්‍රේමදාස හා චන්ද්‍රිකා යන දෙන්නා පිළිවෙලින්, ජීවිතය හා ඇහැක් නැතිව සිරි සංඝබෝ ලා වශයෙන් අවසාන විය. රුද්‍රකුමාරන් ලාගේ මරණයත් සමඟ ඩයස්පොරා කෑගැහිල්ල වැඩි දුරටත් පවතින්නේ නැත. ඊට හේතුව නිව් යෝර්ක්, ටොරොන්ටෝ හෝ පැරිසියේ අළුත් පරම්පරාව ලංකාවේ රටක් ගැන කතාව අමතක කර දමන නිසාය. යුදෙව් ජාතිකයින් මෙන් ඩයස්පොරා සංකල්පයක් ලංකාවෙන් කැනඩාවට හා නෝර්වේට පැනගත් දෙමල ජනයාට නැත. ඔවුන් පැන ගත්තේ ලංකාවේ සිංහල ජනයා හෝ ආණ්ඩුව හිට්ලර් කලා මෙන් දෙමල ජන සංහාරයක් (ජෙනෝසයිඩ්) ආරම්භ කල නිසා නොව රටින් පිටව යහපත් දුගීභාවයෙන් තොරව ජීවිතය ගෙවිය හැකි නිසාය.   

    යුරෝපයේ, කැනඩාවේ හා ඇමෙරිකාවේ කම්කරු රක්‍ෂාවල් කර දරුවන්ට හොඳ අනාගතයක් උදාකරදීම ඔවුන්ගේ අභිලාශය ය. 1983 ජූලි සිද්ධිය ඔවුන්ට ලැබුණ වෙස්වලාගත් භාග්‍යයක් විය. 2014 වුනත් මේ 1983 හරහා රටින් පැන ගන්නට බලන අය නැද්ද? එසේ පැන ගෙන අළුත් රටෙන් පාස් පෝට් ගත්ත හැටියේම ඔවුන් කරන පලවෙනිම දේ ලංකාවට සංචාරයකට ඒම නොවේද? සිංහල ජනයාද මේ සෙල්ලම කරන්න පුළුවන් නම් නොකරාවිද? කොරියාවට, ඩුබායි යන්නට කොච්චර පෝලිම් තිබෙනවාද? අවුරුදු පතා කී දාහක් ඇමෙරිකන් විසා ලොතරැයියට ඉල්ලනවාද? මෙතරම් දුෂ්කරතා ගැන ආරංචි තිබියදී තාමත් අරාබි රටවලට යන්න පෝලිම් නැද්ද?

    පිට රටවලින් හෝ ලංකාව ඇතුලින් හෝ රට බෙදීමට එන බලවේග නතර කල හැක්කේ පාරවල් හා පාලම් හරහා ද නොවේ. යාල් දේවි දිව්වාට චෙල්වනායගම්ලා කොළඹ සිට රට බෙදාගන්නට ක්‍රියාකලේ නැද්ද? පාරවල් හා පාලම් ගැන විග්නේෂ්වරන් කිව්වේ යුද හමුදා වාහන වලට ඒමට හා යටත් කරගත් යාපනය බැලීමට එන දකුණේ ජනයාට ඒමට එසේ පාරවල් දැම්මා කියාය. ලොක්කා මෙසේ කියන විට දෙමල ජනයාද එසේ සිතන්නට පෙළඹේ. එවැනි දුෂ්ට කතා ජය ගන්නට නම් ලංකාවේ අගනුවර රජ රටට ගෙනයාම වැනි භෞතික වෙනස්කම් සැලසුම් සහගතව රට ගැන සිතා කල යුතුය. අවුරුදු දහයක ප්ලෑනකට අළුත් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවක් වව්නියා-මැදවච්චි ප්‍රදේශයේ සදනවා නම් එයින් වන ජාතික මට්ටමේ බලපෑම හම්බන්තොට වරාය හෝ මත්තල ගුවන් තොටුපොල කලබලේට හැදුවා වගේ නොවේ. රට වැසියා ඒ ගැන දක්වන ප්‍රතිචාරය බෙහෙවින් වෙනස් හා හිතකර වනු නිසැකය.

    රට කැඩීමේ යුද්ධයක් ජයගත් විට හමුදාව ඉන් ඉවත් වන්නේ සියළුම පිළිකා මුල් ඉවත් කලාට පසුවය. එම තීරණය බාහිර බලපෑම් උඩ ගත්තොත් රට අමාරුවේ වැටේ. ගිව් වෝර් අ චාන්ස් කියා කියන්නේ මේ නිසාය. ලංකාව දිහා බැළුවොත් යාපනේ මිනිසුන්ගේ හිත් දිනා ගැනීම යුද සෙබළුන් ඉතාමත් හොඳින් කරගෙන ගියේය. එය ප්‍රශ්ණ කිරීමකට ලක්වූයේ ටී එන් ඒ දේශපාලකයින්ට යාපනයේ සැරි සරන්නට ඉඩ දීම නිසාය. හිතුවක්කාර ලෙස උතුරේ චන්දයක් තැබීමෙන් මේ ජනාධිපති රට බෙදීමේ ව්‍යාපාරයට වේදිකාවක්, ඉණිමඟක් සදා දුන්නේය. යුද්ධය කලේ බෝම්බ නැතිකිරීමට නොව රට බෙදීම වැලැක්වීමට නම් දැන් රට යුද්ධයෙන් පරාජය වී ඇත. පරාජය නියම වශයෙන්ම දකින්නට ලැබෙන්නේ විග්නේශ්වරන් සත්‍යග්‍රහ ආරම්භකල විටය.

    13-ඒ අහෝසිකර රට බේරා ගැනීමට සුදානම් ජනාධිපති කෙනෙක් රටට අවශ්‍යය. ඒ තැනැත්තා රනිල් හෝ මහින්ද තුලින් හෝ නිල් හෝ කොල පක්‍ෂ දෙකෙන් හෝ නොලැබේ. ඒ තැනැත්තා තුන්වන බලවේගයකින් පැමිණිය යුතුය. 1921 දී පමණ සිටම ලංකාවේ මතුවුන ප්‍රශ්ණය වූයේ උගත් දෙමල නායකයින්ට අනාගත ලංකාවේ නායක කම නැතිවී යන නිසා ඊට ගත හැකි ප්‍රතිකර්‍මය කුමක් විය යුතුද යන්නය. ජාතිවාදී නියෝජනය තබා ගැනීමටත්, භූමි ප්‍රදේශය අනුව නියෝජිතයින් තෝරා ගැනීමට ව්‍ර‌ැද්ධවීමටත් දෙමල නායකයින් හැමවිටම ක්‍රියාකලේ මේ නිසාය. සිංහල යයි කියාගත් ක්‍රිස්තියානිවූ කළුසුද්දන්ගේ කල්ලියේ අරමුණ වූයේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ ජනයාට ලැබෙන චන්ද බලය හෝ නිදහස් අධ්‍යාපනය හෝ අඩපණ කිරීමය. ඩොනමෝර් සුද්දා එසේ සිතුවේ නැත. ඔහුට ඕනෑවුනේ දුප්පත් ජනයාට සර්‍ව ජන චන්ද බලය දී ඔවුන්ට ශක්තියක් ලබා දීමය.

    පසුව බෙහෙවින්ම ක්‍රිස්තියානිවූ දෙමල නායකයින්ටවත්, මුල සිටම ක්‍රිස්තියානි වූ  සිංහල කළුසුද්දන්ට වත් මෙම 1921-24 කාලයේ මතුවු අර්බුදයෙන් ගැලවීමට මඟක් සොයා ගත නොහැකිවූයේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි පල්ලි සංවිධානයේ අනියම් බලය නිසා බව මගේ වැටහීමය. දැන් 2014 දීත් මේ අර්බුදය එසේම පවතී. සිංහල බෞද්ධ තුන්වන  බලවේගයකින් මිස මෙයින් ගැලවීමට නොහැකි යයි මා කියන්නේ මෙම ක්‍රිස්තියානි හස්තය නිසාය. අද පොදු අපේක්‍ෂක ඉල්ලිමේ පිටිපසින් තිබෙන්නේද මේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි හා ක්‍රිස්තියානි මාක්ස්වාදී, ක්‍රිස්තියානි දෙමල මාක්ස්වාදී හස්තමය. පොදු අපේක්‍ෂකයාගේ චන්ද වාක්‍යය විය යුත්තේ 13-ඒ නැති කිරීම නොවන්නේ ඒ නිසා නොවේද?

    13-ඒ නැති කරනවා කියන්නේ දෙමල ජනයා හෝ මුස්ලිම් ජනයා අතරමං කිරීමට නොවේ. ජනතාවට ගම් මට්ටමෙන් නියම (මීනින්ෆුල්) හෝ තිරසර බලය බෙදීමක් ලබා දෙනවා යන සහතිකයක් සහිතවය. 13-ඒ නැති කලයුත්තේ එය සිංහල මිනිසුන්ට කල විනාශයක් නිසාය. මහ ඇමතිලා හා පලාත් සභා මන්ත්‍රී නමැති වසංගතය නිසාය. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් ලංකාවේ අධ්‍යාපනය සඳහා අධ්‍යාපන ඇමතිවරු නමයක් පලාත් නමයකටත්, මධ්‍යම ආණ්ඩුවේ ඇමතිලා හතරක් පහකුත් සිටියත් වැසිකිළියක් නැති පාසැල් බීමට වතුර නැති පාසැල් කෙතරම්ද? අධ්‍යාපනයේ ගුණාත්මක භාවය කුමක්ද? දේශපාලකයින් 13-ඒ ට කැමති ඒවා ඔවුන්ගේ ඥාතීන්ට දේශපාලන මොන්ටිසෝරි නිසාත්, පලාතේ දේශපාලන හොරුන්ට රන් ආකර නිසාත් ය. ජනාධිපතිවරයා පලාත් සභා පුදුම අන්‌දමට ඔහුගේ වාසියට හරවා ගත්තේය. ඔහු යූ ඇන් පී කාරයින්ට ඉන් පුදුම විධියට දුක දෙන්නේ චන්ද පිහියෙන් අනිමින් ය. ලංකාවේ යහපත ගැන අවංකව සිතනා කෙනෙකුට මේ පලාත් සභා ක්‍රමය මර උඟුලක් බව ප්‍රත්‍යක්‍ෂ වේ. එසේ නම් එය මෙතරම් කාලයක් පැවතියේ දුෂ්ට දේශපාලක පවුල් නිසා නොවේද?

    පලාත් සභා වෙනුවට සිදුවිය යුත්තේ ජනසභා මට්ටමින් මහජනයාට බලය (සෑහෙන කොටසක්) පවරා දීමය. එදිනෙදා ජීවිතයට බලපාන සෑහෙන බලතල කොටසක් දේශපාලකයාගේ ඇඟිලි ගැසීමෙන් තොරව කරගෙන යාමට දීමෙන් පලාත් වල බලය අල්ලාගෙන, පලාත් වල රජවරුන් මෙන් වැජඹෙන කට්ටියක ග්‍රහණයෙන් මහජනයා මිදේ. රටේ ඉහ වහා ගොස් ඇති දූෂණය, වංචාව, අපරාධ අඩු කර ගැනීමට මෙසේ ජන සභා පාලන ක්‍රමය යොදාගත හැකිය. නූතන තාක්‍ෂණය ඉදිරියේ මුළු රටේම ජන සභා රටේ සම්පත් සංවර්‍ධනයට යොමු කල හැකිය. දිවි නැඟුම යටතේ නිලධාරී පලනය මෙන් නොව ජන සභා හරහා සිදුවන්නේ එහි සාමාජිකයින් එක් රැස් වී සාමූහික තිරණ ගැනීමය. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන්, හැමෝටම මිරිස් පැල බෙදීම වෙනුවට, ඊට කැමැත්තක් ඇති අයට පමණක් මිරිස් පැල දීමය. ගමෙන් ගමට හා ගම තුල ඇති විවිධත්වය රැක ගැනීම මිස එය බුල්ඩෝසර් කිරීම නොවේ.

    13-ඒ වෙනුවට ජන සභා සංකල්පය ආදේශ කිරීමේදී වැදගත් වන කරුණක් නම් අද රටේ සිදුවන ගංවතුර, නාය යාම්, නියඟ ආදියට දිගු කාලීන හා තිරසර විසඳුම් වශයෙන් පරිපාලන භූමි ඒකක ස්වභාව ධර්‍මය හා එකඟවන පරිදි ඉකොලොජිකල් ඒකක වශයෙන් මායිම් කිරීමය. මෙහිදී නිව සීලන්තය යොදා ගත්තේ මතුපිට ජලය නොහොත් ගංඟා නිම්නය. ලංකාවේ අප කල යුත්තේ, අතීතයේ තිබුණා වගේ ජලය ආශ්‍රිත ජනාවාස බිහි කිරීමය. ගම-වැව-දාගැබ යනු අතීත සිංහලේ රටේ ආර්ථික, සමාජික හා දේශපාලන ත්‍රිමුර්තිය විය. මෙවැනි සංකල්පයක් ක්‍රියාවට නැඟීමෙන් 4,000 ක් ව තිබී 14,000 දක්වා ප්‍රේමදාස විසින් වැඩිකල ග්‍රාම සේවා වසම් සංඛ්‍යාව නැවත රටේ පරසර විද්‍යාවට අනුකූල වන වසම් බවට පෙරලිය හැකිවේ.

    1948 නිදහස ලබා ගත්තේ කළුසුද්දන් නොවේ නම් ලෝකයේ අනිත් රටවලින් ආදර්‍ශ ලබා ගෙන රට දියුණු කර ගැනීමට ඉඩ තිබුණි. ශ්‍රී පාද අඩවිය නිසා නොවේ නම් මහවැලි, කළණි, වලවේ හා කළු ගංඟා හිඳී ගොස් ලංකාව හේති මෙන් ගස්වලින් තොර කාන්තාරයක් වන්නට ඉඩ තිබුණි. ආගමික හේතුවක් නිසා සමනල අඩ්විය තේ වතු වලට එලි කිරීමෙන් වැළකුණි. මේ මිසක් හිතාමතාම පරිසරය රැක ගැනීම, පාංශු ඛාදනය වැලැක්වීම, වනාන්තර රැක ගැනීම නීති පොතට පමණක් සීමා වුවා වැනිය.

    ලංකාවේ සිතියමක් දෙස බලන විට මධ්‍යම කඳුකරයේ සිට වටේට ගලනා ගංඟා දක්නට ලැබේ. ලංකාවේ පලාත් නමයේ මායිම් මේ ගංඟා කපා ගෙන යයි. අඩු තරමින් දැන් ලෝකයේ සිදුවන ගෝලය රත්වීම, පරිසර දූෂණය, ජල හිඟය යනාදිය ඉදිරියේදීවත් මෙම පලාත් නමයේ මායිම් 21 වන සියවසට ගැලපෙන ආකාරයට වෙනස් කිරීමට අළුත් තුන්වන බලවේගයක් ක්‍රියාත්මක විය යුතුය. 1832 දී කෝල්බ්‍ර‌ැක් කොම්සම ලංකාව පහකට බෙදුවේ සුද්දන්ගේ න්‍යාය පත්‍රයකට අනුවය. ඉන්පසු එය නවයක් වූයේද එසේමය. මේ නිසා ග්‍රාම් සේවක වසම් මට්ටමෙන් සිදු විය යුතු පරිසරය හා එකඟවන සිවිල් පරිපාලන ඒකක බෙදීම ක්‍රමයෙන් ඉහලට ගොස් විශාල ගංඟා නිම්න හතකින් අවසාන වන 13-ඒ බෙදීමක් විය හැකිය. ජන සභා වලට පවරන බලතල අනුව, සිංහල, දෙමල හා මුස්ලිම් ජන සභා වලට එක්තරා ආකාරයක ස්වෛරීභාවයක් ලැබෙන අතර, දැන් උතුරු පලාත, යාල් පානම් නම් එක් ගංඟා නිම්නයක් වේ. එහෙත් රට දෙකට කැඩීමේ ව්‍යාපාරයකට භූමීය වශයෙන් සිතීමට දිරි ගැන්වීමක් ඉන් නොලැබේ. රටේ ජන සභා භාෂාව හෝ ආගම අනුව බෙදා නැති නිසා මිනිසුන් තුල ජාතිවාදීව නොව ජාතිකවාදීව සිතීම ආරම්භ වේ. සෑම පාසැලකම සිංහල හා දෙමල අනිවාර්යයෙන් ඉගැන්වීමෙන් දෙමල බෙදුම්වාදීන් දැන් ගෙන යන ජාවාරමට ඇති ඉඩකඩ ඇහිරී යනු ඇත.

    ඉදිරි මැතිවරණයේදී මෙම 13-ඒ අහෝසි කිරීම මුල් කරගෙන (හා ඊට අනුබද්ධ පක්‍ෂ දේශපාල්නයෙන් තොර, ඉකොලොජිකල් ඒකක වන ජන සභා පිහිටුවීම)  අපේක්‍ෂකයෙකු ඉදිරිපත් කිරීම මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ ජනාධිපතිව දමනය කල හැකි හොඳම ක්‍රමවේදයය. මෙම සැලැස්ම හමුවේ රතන හා සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවරු දෙන්නාත්, යූ ඇන් පී හාමුදුරුවරුත් අතරමං වනු ඇත. මෙය බොදු බල සේනාවේ ඓතිහාසික වගකීම කියා මම සිතමි.

කසුරි නම් වූ ඔහු සමුගත් වගයි!

November 17th, 2014

ආචාර්ය චන්දන ජයලත්

ජන සමාජයක යහ පැවැත්ම උදෙසා හඳුනා ගත් හිඩැසක් පිරවීම වෙනුවෙන් කැපවන්නා යුග පුරුෂයෙක් වන්නේය. එය සමාජ මෙහෙවරක් ලෙස අපි දකිමු. එහෙත් යුග පුරුෂයින් බිහිවන්නේ කලාතූරකිිනි.

නවසිය අසූව වන විට මමත් සාමාන්‍ය පෙළට සූදානම් වන ශිෂ්‍යයෙක් මි. උදෑසන 7.20 ට පමණ මරදාන සිට පොල්ගහවෙල දක්වා ධාවනය වන මන්දගාමී දුම්රියෙන් මීරිගමට එන ශිෂ්‍යයින් අතර එක්තරා සුවිශේෂී පුද්ගලයෙකු සිටියේය. අන් අය අතර වඩාත් කැපී පෙනුණ මනා පෞරුෂයක් හෙඹවූ ඔහු නමින් කරුණාදාස විය. එවකට මීරිගම ගුරු විද්‍යාලානුබද්ධ විදුහලේ විද්‍යාව ඉගැන්වූ කරුණාදාස සූරියාරව්චි කුරුල්ලෝ පියාඹති නාට්‍යයේ නිර්මාපකයා වූයේය. ඒ වෙනුවෙන් රාජ්‍ය සම්මානයක් ලබද්දී කාගේත් ඇස් ඔහු දෙසට යොමුවන්නට විය. ඔහු ගැන කතා කරන්නට විය. ඊටත් වසර පහළොවකට පමණ පසු මට මොහු නැවතත් හමුවන්නේ කොළඹ ජෝන් ද සිල්වා රඟහල අසල එවකට තිබූ කොළඹ නගර සභාවට අයත් අවන්හළේදීය. ඒ වන විට කසුරි නමින් ජනතාව අතර ඉමහත් ප‍්‍රසාදයට පත්ව සිටියේ සීයාගේ කෝළම, වට රවුම යනාදිය හරහා නව පුවත්පත් ශෛලියක් හදුන්වා දීමෙන් පුවත්පත් ක්‍ෂේත‍්‍රය අතික‍්‍රමණය කළ දැවැන්ත පුවත්පත් කලාවේදියෙක් හැටියටය. එ්කාධිපති නාට්‍යය දෙවන වරටත් නැරඹීම සඳහා මා ගිය ගමන බලාපොරොත්තූ නොවූ අයුරින් වෙනස් කරන්නට සිදුවූයේ එ්කාධිපති නාට්‍යය සම්බන්ධයෙන් අවන් හලේ සිටිමින්ම කරන්නට යෙදුන විචාරය නිසාවෙන්ය. එතනදී අහඹු ලෙස හමුවූ අනෙක් අමුත්තා මහාචාර්ය සුනන්ද මහේන්ද්‍ර මහතායි. නාට්‍යය පසෙකින් තබා මම ද ඊට සම්බන්ධ වූයේ එතරම්ම අපූර්ව අත්දැකීමක් යමෙකූට ලබා ගත හැක්කේ කලාතුරකින් බැවිනි. නැවතත් මට හමුවන්නේ තවත් වසර දහ අටකට පමණ පසුවය. ඒ මීට මාස දෙකකට කළින්ය. ඒ මාගේ කුළුදුල් නවකතාව වෙනුවෙන් සංවිධානය කළ දොරට වැඩුමට ආරාධනා කරන්නට ගියවිටය. ‘මෙම නවකතාව කියවද්දී අතිශය දුර්වල නිර්මාණයක් ලෙස ඔබට හිතේවි’ කියමින් මම මගේ පොත ඔහු අතට පත්කළේය. ‘ඒ කතාව වැරදියි. ඕනෑම නිර්මාණයකදී හොඳ නරක දෙකම තියෙනවා. එකම කාරණය නිර්මාණකරුවා හැටියට තමා සෑහීමකට පත්වනවාද යන එකයි.’ ඔහු කීවේය.

කරුණාදාස ගුරුතුමා මා සමග පැය දෙකක් පමණ ඉතා සැහැල්ලුවෙන් කතා කළේය. නාට්‍යකරණය, පුවත්පත් කලාව, නවකතාව වශයෙන් බොහෝ දේවල් ගැන කතා කළේය. පුවත්පතක කතෘධූරය දැරීමට තරම් ලොකු මානසික ආතතියක් ගැනීම මගේ කාලය නොවන නිසා මම ඉන් ඉවත් වී උපදෙස් පමණක් දීමට තීරණය කළ වග ඔහු මට කියා සිටියේය. බොහෝ දේ හිතට එකඟව සිදුනොවන බව මට නොකියා කීවේ එසේය. ඔහු විසින් මෑතකදී රචිත උන් ගියාදෙන් නමැති නවකතාවට වස්තු බීජ වූ කාන්තා විමුක්තිය පිළිබඳව ද කතා කළේය. මිනිස් අමිනිස් දෙකොට්ඨාශයටම ආවේණික පොදු ගතියක් වුන බලයෙහි රුදු බව මිනිස් ශිෂ්ඨාචාරය පුරාවට පැහැදිලි බවත් දුර්වලයා යටපත් කරමින් බලය හබා යෑමේ කාරණය තුළ මිනිස් මනසේ සංකීර්ණ කි‍්‍රයාවලිය පිළිබඳ විද්‍යාත්මක විග‍්‍රහයන් දිනෙන් දින අලූත්වනවා මෙන්ම ලාංකීය දේශපාලනය තුළ නවමු චර්යාවන් හා අනුභූතීන් අප වටා සක‍්‍රීය වන චුම්භක ෙක්‍ෂ්ත‍්‍රයක් වැනි දෙයකැයි ඔහු පැහැදිලි කළේය. මම කසුරිගේ නිර්මාණකරණය පිළිබඳව කතා නොකිරීමට වග බලා ගනිමි. එක අතකින් මා දන්නා ඉටිගෙඩියක් නැත. එහෙත් එක දෙයක් කිව යුූතූය. කලාව තූල තිබිය යුතූ පිළිගත් සම්මුතීන් කෙරෙහි ලොකූ විශ්වාසයක් තැබීමට ඔහු වග බලා ගත්තේය. බොහෝ පිටපත් ඔහු අතින් ප‍්‍රතිෙක්‍ෂ්ප වූයේ එබැවිනි.
තවද, දිවයින නම් වූ පෙරළිකාර පුවත්පත අසූව වකවානුවේ තිබූ දේශපාලන හිතුවත්කාරකම් හමුවේ නොසැලෙන ඉන්ද්‍රඛීලයක් මෙන් සිටුවා තැබූ පහන් ටැඹ කසුරි යැයි කීවොත් මා සමග කිසිවෙකු උරන නොවනු ඇත. ඔහුගේ පරිකල්පන ශක්තියට සම කළ හැක්කෙක් සිටී නම් ඒ මහගම සේකරයන් විය හැක. කේ. ජයතිලකයන් විය හැක. මේ හැමෝම ගම්පහෙන් මතූවූ සියනෑ පුත‍්‍රයින්ය.

මේ සියල්ල පසෙක තබා මා ඔහු කෙරෙන් දකින සුවිශේෂී චරිත ගුණාංගය නම් අල්පේච්ඡුබවයි. සරල ජීවන රටාවයි. ඔහුට එතරම් ලොකු බලාපොරොත්තු නොතිබුණේය. ඔහු රැුල්ලට හසු නොවීය. ඔහුට තරගයක් නොතිබුනේය. මා දන්නා හැටියට ඇතැම් කලාකරුවන් මෙන් දේශපාලණය හඹා ගියේ නැත. ඔහු ඉතිරිකර යන්නේ ද එම පූර්වාදර්ශයයිි. එහෙත් ඔහු රටට දැයට ලේඛණය හරහා කළ සේවය අභිමානනීයයි. ඔහුගේ සියලූ නිර්මාණ සංරක්‍ෂණය කරමින් අනාගත පරම්පරාවට දායාද කරදීම අප කාගෙත් යුතුකමක් වනු නොඅනුමානය. අපි ඔහුට නිවන් සුව පතමු.

Birth of a patriot

November 17th, 2014

By Rohana R. Wasala

At the time of Don David Hewavitharne (Anagarika Dharmapala)’s birth 150 years ago, there were no Buddhist places of worship in Colombo. Devout Buddhists had to go to the Kelaniya Viharaya 10 miles north of the city on full-moon poya days for their religious observances; the only other viharaya was at Ratmalana, 7 miles south of Colombo, where the learned Buddhist monk Walane Nahimi (Nahimi=Chief Monk) lived. Neither were there any schools for the education of Buddhist children; there were only a few schools even for the secular education of the Sinhala speaking children; Buddhists’ attempts to establish schools for their children were discouraged on various pretexts. This is mentioned in the Anagarika’s short autobiography in English ‘My Life Story’ (edited and completed from the author’s diaries and other writings by Lakshman Jayawardane, Media Advisor, Maha Bodhi Society of Sri Lanka, in 2013). The deplorable situation of the Buddhist Sinhalese in the capital city of their native land was indicative of the almost total sweeping away of the traditional Sinhalese Buddhist culture of the country by the successive tsunamis of Portuguese, Dutch and British invasions. Fortunately today this is not more than a bitter memory in our national consciousness, which, however, will remain indelible for a long time to come.

Let bygones be bygones, some people may murmur. True, generally we must. But certain past injustices in the form of racial and religious discrimination that we suffered under foreign occupation are worth remembering for properly appreciating the freedoms we Sri Lankans of diverse ethnicities, religions, and cultures enjoy today without discrimination in this common homeland of ours; recalling the sordid iniquities we were subjected to by foreign intruders, and the commemoration of the visionary leaders who made emancipation from them a reality, are as cogently necessary for preventing new forms of barbarism from destroying our freedom and wellbeing again.

Under the earlier Dutch rulers, Buddhists had been compelled to declare themselves as Christians. The British enforced the same law for 70 years until they were compelled to abrogate it in 1884.The American colonel Henry Steel Olcott had it repealed by making representations to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in London on behalf of the Buddhists of Ceylon (Sri Lanka). Children born of Buddhist parents in Colombo at that time had to be taken to a Christian church for the minister there to record the names of the parents, and the dates of birth of the babies who were given Christian names by him. In territories under European occupation including Colombo most Sinhalese were given an English Christian name and a Portuguese surname if they were Catholic ‘converts’ or an English Christian name and a Sinhalese surname if they were ‘converted’ to Anglicanism. The majority of  the Sinhalese in these areas were ashamed or afraid to own themselves to be Buddhists. Only those in the interior villages were relatively free to observe the religion of their forefathers without hindrance. Even there they were not free from the attacks of thousands of catechists who went about disparaging and disgracing the Buddhist faith for twenty rupees a month. Buddhist boys and girls were peremptorily taught bible tracts and subliminally influenced to turn against their own religion.

In these bleak circumstances, the members of the Sangha also degenerated spiritually and intellectually. But there were a few notable exceptions who were devout, disciplined, and learned and who somehow managed to keep the weakly flickering flame of the Buddha Dhamma alive. It was some of these bhikkhus who did much to save the day for the Buddhists. In 1873, in response to hostile Christian activism against Buddhists in the form of  proselytizing activities through the school system and the publication and distribution of books and pamphlets in the vernaculars among the non-Christians, one of these monks, Ven. Mohottiwatte/Migettuwatte Gunananda Thera, challenged the Christians to defend their faith at a debate. This challenge was accepted by the Christian clergy. The debate took place as arranged by mutual consent. It concluded with a decisive victory to the Buddhist monk. The debate received wide coverage in the press, and it was news of this that attracted here theosophists Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky who were instrumental in initiating a long overdue re-awakening of Buddhist education in the country. The young Dharmapala was a lad of 15 when they arrived in Colombo in 1880, and he accompanied them as their translator on their travels across the island.   

The imperialists made every attempt to teach the children to be ashamed of and disown their own race, religion, language, culture, and the colour of their skin.  In the case of Don Hewavitharne, he had to be admitted to the Pettah Roman Catholic School (also known as St Mary’s School), where he remained from age 6 to 10 years. The reason for this was that around 1870 the government closed all Buddhist Temple schools in the country because children attending these places of instruction were found by a government-appointed commission “to be too loyal to the traditions of old Ceylon” (which most probably meant that they were difficult to convert). After 1870, therefore, Sinhalese Buddhist children were denied an opportunity to receive any religious instruction in a school unless they got it at home. Chances of their getting any secular education were also few, because the government said that they had not enough money to establish schools for Sinhalese children. Meanwhile the Christian missionaries opened their schools throughout the island. Their real motives were candidly revealed later to David by Warden Miller of St Thomas’ College in Colombo which he attended after receiving his primary education in the Roman Catholic school mentioned above, when he told him: “We don’t come to teach you English, but we come to Ceylon to convert you”.

His parents, meanwhile, saw to it that he had a normal Buddhist training at home. Even as a child he knew that he owed no allegiance to the Christian religion. When the Catholic Bishop Hilarian Sillani visited the school, the young David was asked to kneel to kiss the ring on the clergyman’s finger as the other children were required to do; but he refused to obey.

Buddhist parents in Colombo at that time had no choice but to be content with either a government or a missionary school for their children. David’s parents chose the second for him. It was as a result of this that he was admitted, at age six, to the Pettah Roman Catholic School  (St Mary’s School). At this school he became a favourite with the padres (fathers) because of his good behavior and his studious disposition. He used to take flowers from his father’s garden to the school to decorate the altars there on feast days and he also took part in the church services. The padres treated the Buddhist children kindly, but they also constantly   ridiculed and insulted the Buddhist religion which was their proud heritage, saying such things as “Look at your mud image. You are worshipping clay”. Some impressionable young boys, thus humiliated, got converted to Christianity, but David never turned away from the Buddhist training he had had at home. After leaving St Mary’s School at ten, he passed through a number other schools, first in a Sinhalese medium school learning Sinhalese and then in St Benedict’s Institute, submitting himself to further instruction in Christianity. In 1879, when he was 15,  he found admission to ‘St. Thomas Collegiate’ (as he calls it), where he remained until 1883. It was during this time that David Hewavitharne came in touch with Buddhist bhikkhus (there were not many in Colombo then) and eventually with theosophists Colonel Olcott and Madame Blavatsky mentioned above.

David Hewavitharne had to leave St. Thomas’ College in 1883, even before passing the London Matriculation examination because his father didn’t want his son to go to a Christian school after the Catholic  riots of March 1883: some fanatical Catholics attacked a peaceful Buddhist procession that was passing St Lucia’s Church in Kotahena. Ven. Migettuwatte Thera who had taken part in the Panadura Debate was living at a temple in Kotahena at that time, but this had no connection with the incident.

Anagarika Dharmapala began his career of selfless service to his people and religion in these circumstances. He was not a Buddhist fanatic or a Sinhalese racist, but a patriot who bravely stood up to defend his people and their religion from religious fanatics and foreign racists. The Temperance Movement he initiated around the turn of the last century later metamorphosed into an eventually successful national agitation for independence drawing into its ranks many patriots that his example had inspired.

(First published in The Island on 20th September 2014; slightly edited)  

GL to Resident Coordinator of the UN -DEADLINE JIGGERY-POKERY

November 17th, 2014

External Affairs Minister Prof. G.L. Peiris met the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations yesterday and conveyed to him the government’s extreme discontent regarding the unprofessional manner in which the investigation on Sri Lanka is being conducted by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

The minister’s protest to the UN Resident Coordinator focused on the unacceptable way in which the deadline for submission of evidence to the investigation, October 30, that had been originally set by the OHCHR had been changed unofficially and re-set once again.

As per the OHCHR’s call for submissions on its website, the deadline, October 30, was definite and mandatory.

However, the Spokesperson of the OHCHR, in response to a question from a local newspaper said that although officially the deadline was October 30 and will not be extended, it is understood that some material may take time to arrive and that submissions arriving late, therefore, will not necessarily be refused.

Corresponding to this comment, the website of the OHCHR did not announce the closure of the e-mail address for the receipt of submissions even after the official deadline had passed.

It was only pursuant to the matter having been taken up very strongly by the government that the OHCHR later issued a news release announcing that submissions ended on October 30 and that the e-mail address had ceased to exist.

Minister Peiris pointed out that what was particularly disturbing was that this development took place while a campaign to collect fabricated evidence was underway in Sri Lanka with the collusion of both local and foreign parties.

During this period, evidence was being concocted fraudulently in Sri Lanka on blank sheets of paper, with signatures procured under false pretences and with financial inducements. One of the main agents in this criminal enterprise was arrested, while another has left the country unlawfully.

The spokesperson’s comment indicates that although as far as the public was concerned, no submissions could be made after October 30, the investigation remained open to receiving a specific category of evidence which seems to have been anticipated.

The minister observed that no reasons have been given so far by OHCHR as to what inspired the spokesperson to make a statement that was entirely inconsistent with the OHCHR’s original deadline and for the insistence much later, and in response to protests by the government of Sri Lanka, that the submissions had ended on October 30.

Expressing objection to OHCHR’s conduct that is inconsistent with essential standards of objectivity and fairplay, Professor Peiris questioned why such irregular behaviour has to be resorted to in carrying out this investigation which claims to be open, candid and fair.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/deadline-jiggery-pokery#sthash.4Ek4iLkb.dpuf

Buddhism In China: Zen And Now

November 17th, 2014

Courtesy: Buddhist Channel Free Press Journal Bureau, Nov 15, 2014

Kolkata, India — An exhibition of priceless Indian Buddhist Art that the Indian Museum in Kolkata has put together for display all over Asia is a reminder that Buddhism is becoming the new Communism – the ideology through which governments seek to make friends and influence people.

India’s well-meaning efforts in this direction are nothing compared to China’s massive programme with two objectives. Abroad, China is anxious to impress the Buddhist countries of East and South-east Asia. At home, it hopes its newfound Buddhist credentials will distract attention from the repression of Buddhism in Tibet and, when the time comes, allow it to choose the next Dalai Lama.

The message from China is that it isn’t only the world’s supplier of goods and services.  Last month’s 27th general conference of the World Fellowship of Buddhists, held in Baoji in Shaanxi province, which China hosted for the first time, proclaimed China to also be the global source of Buddhist wisdom. China claims to be the world’s largest Buddhist country, with some 675 million Buddhists, more than 240,000 monks and nuns, over 28,000 monasteries and 16,000 temples. The world’s tallest Buddha statue and the world’s highest Buddhist pagoda testify to its devotion.

It’s not that there are no genuine Chinese Buddhists. I have seen diners in restaurants in Beijing and Shanghai stand up with deferentially folded palms as small groups of monks entered. These ordinary people suffered a great deal for their faith during the Cultural Revolution. There are indications that Zhou Enlai was sympathetic to them. Jiang Zemin is said to have been a secret Buddhist. Xi Jinping also reportedly veered towards Buddhism until he decided that revolutionary credentials would serve him better. But none of this makes China the vigorously Buddhist nation it pretends to be.

There’s a certain competitiveness between India and China on the subject. The Chinese don’t deny that their Buddhism came from India. But they refuse to admit it came via Tibet. They also boast that China exported Buddhism to Japan, Korea and South-east Asia. The last region is the main bone of contention, as was evident from two exhibitions – “KaalaChakra” and “On the Nalanda Trail” – in Singapore. A banner at the former read, “The influence of Indian cross-cultural interactions was the major common factor across early South-east Asia”. That was the point India was making. As an Indian diplomat in Singapore gloated, “The Chinese only gave South-east Asia what we had given them to start with!” The religion of love, peace and the brotherhood of man provides cultural camouflage for competition in political, economic and military influence.

Not that such exploitation is altogether new. China’s non-Han rulers promoted Buddhism to limit Confucian influence. The first Wei dynasty emperor, who made Buddhism a State religion, wrote that the Han Chinese wouldn’t worship a barbarian god like the Buddha. But his people being also barbarian, deserved “the privilege to worship the Buddha and adopt the Buddhist faith.” K Natwar Singh says that even at the height of Communist militancy, China always produced an adequate number of Buddhist monks for dignitaries like Myanmar’s U Nu and Nepal’s Tanka Prasad Acharya.

India hasn’t been above making political use of Buddhism either. The most actively practising Indian Buddhists today are Dalits who feel the need to emphasise their rejection of Hinduism. But when we speak of Buddhism, we don’t mean Dr B R Ambedkar’s public conversion with 600,000 other Dalits. Nor do we refer to the Sri Lankan monk, Loknath, who dedicated his pamphlet, ‘Buddhism Will Make You Free’, to India’s “Depressed Classes.” Even less do we remember Rabindranath Tagore’s poignant poem, Pujarini, which describes how Ajatsatru, the 5th century BC Magadha ruler, exiled or executed anyone who dared to practise Buddhism.  Indian propaganda projects a dead faith as contemporary culture.

India isn’t the only country where Buddhism has been under attack. Although the number of self-confessed Japanese Buddhists and Shintoists add up to more than Japan’s total population, the 1868 Meiji Restoration denounced Buddhism as “a corrupt, decadent, anti-social, parasitic, and superstitious creed, inimical to Japan’s need for scientific and technological advancement.” The Meiji exalted Shintoism. China’s Confucianists, Taoists and officials resented the power of the tax-exempt sangha. Some claim Buddhism never fully recovered from the Tang Emperor Wu-tsung’s persecution in 845.

But as the Chinese are now demonstrating, Buddhism has always had its uses. Jawaharlal Nehru sent the last Chogyal of Sikkim, a rimpoche as well as the Mahabodhi Society’s president, to Lhasa in 1956, to invite the Dalai Lama to the Buddha’s 2,500th birth anniversary celebrations.  The invitation was informal enough not to indicate head of state ceremonial, but it did convey disapproval of the erosion of Tibet’s status. The Chinese retaliated by keeping the Chogyal waiting at the border, rejecting his international driving licence, and making him take a fresh test for Lhasa. When the Dalai Lama reached Nathu-la, a Chinese agent clipped a Chinese flag to his car.

The Indian Museum’s exhibition of 91 items of stone, wood, silver, parchment, silk and other materials is similarly expected to serve a diplomatic purpose when it is displayed in Shanghai from December to February, and for two months thereafter in Tokyo. After that, the exhibition (which includes the first piece of Gandhara carving) may go to Singapore and Thailand. In recent years, the Indian Museum has displayed in South Korea, Mongolia, Taiwan and Australia.

The global conference in Baoji promised to preserve Buddhism’s tangible and intangible heritage and protect and promote Buddhist culture and values. But obviously these pledges don’t apply to Tibet, where Chinese Red Guards destroyed most of more than 6,000 monasteries and where monks and nuns are subject to vicious discrimination. Tibetans yearn for the return of their exiled leader, the Dalai Lama. They mourn the mysterious disappearance of their rightful Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima. They lament the persecution that forced the head of the Karma Kargyu sect, the 17th Karmapa Lama, to flee to India.

None of  this matters to China because as the old saying goes, it’s under the lamp one finds the greatest darkness. In any case, by projecting its supposed Buddhist identity, China is setting the stage to appoint its own Dalai Lama, as it has done with the Panchen Lama.

http://buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=8,12091,0,0,1,0#.VGoRcmdh7TM

 

What Dick Cheney’s lies on 9/11 has cost the US and impacted the world

November 16th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

In a documentary “The World According to Dick Cheney,” Dick Cheney then Vice-President of the USA admits that it was he and not President Bush who ordered the shooting down of the plane that fell into a field in Pennsylvania in September 2001. He also admits that he falsely linked Iraq with 9/11 and influenced Justice Department to legalize torture. He admits too that he used 9/11 to enable spying on Americans, start the Afghan and Iraq war and the ‘war on terror’ which were all planned before 9/11 which in other words has to leave us to deduce that 9/11 itself was pre-planned as well!

A little bit of reading and relearning would tell us that there was no Al Qaeda in Iraq when US invaded it – now ISIS, an Al Qaeda affiliate controls an area a size of a country inside Iraq. Al Qaeda, Hillary Clinton herself admitted was a creation of the CIA and little dots lead to all other Islamic groups having the covert backing and blessings of US, Allies and NATO nations too.

As far as terrorism goes, there are more suicide attacks post US invasion and occupation in Iraq than when Iraq was run by dictator Saddam. 95% of all suicide attacks are in reaction to the foreign military occupation (Air Force Institute of Technology and the School of Advanced Airpower Studies) Suicide attacks since invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan increased from 300 between 1980 to 2003 to 1800 from 2004 to 2009 and rising.

Post 9/11 – Impact on world

  • Afghanistan, a country that took no part in the 9/11 was bombed and occupied by US/Allies.
  • Secret renditions, torture chambers, prisons like Guantanamo Bay, Diego Garcia prevail where people are whisked off and kept with no legal counsel, no family access and the likelihood of never returning. The UN has done little to close down these illegal and internationally questioned prison cells. There are ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’. Military Commissions Act in 2006 passed authorized trial by military commissions for combatants.

Post 9/11 – Impact on America

  • The USA PATRIOT Act is an Act of the U.S. Congress that was signed into law by President George W. Bush on October 26, 2001. The Patriot Act expanded the definition of terrorism to include domestic terrorism, thus enlarging the number of activities to which the powers can be applied. Criticism prevail on sections that authorize the indefinite detentions of immigrants, searches through which law enforcement officers search a home or business without the owner’s or the occupant’s permission or knowledge, and the expanded use of National Security Letters, which allows the FBI to search telephone, e-mail, and financial records without a court order.
  • The United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a cabinet department of the United States federal government, created in response to the September 11 attacks. Whereas the Department of Defense is charged with military actions abroad, the Department of Homeland Security works in the civilian sphere to protect the United States from within. With more than 200,000 employees, DHS is the third largest Cabinet department in the U.S. government, after the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs
  • There are some 1,271 U.S. government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence.
  • It has been estimated that 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.
  • In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001
  • Television and music were censored
  • US National Security Agency was authorized to activate data mining tap into communications of American citizens, including e-mail conversations, phone calls, financial transactions, and Internet activity (Stellar Wind operation)
  • School and university curriculum has changed to include domestic security programs. New research programs are all at the cost of US taxpayer
  • The President’s Surveillance Program (PSP) is a collection of secret intelligence activities authorized by George W. Bush – warrantless wiretapping of international communications where one party is believed to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments of 2008 – makes it illegal to intentionally engage in electronic surveillance under the appearance of an official government act.  The act prohibits any person from illegally intercepting, disclosing, using or divulging phone calls or electronic communications.  It prohibits the individual states from investigating, sanctioning, or requiring disclosure by large telecoms and protects them from lawsuits.  The act requires the government to keep records on surveillance for a period of 10 years. It increased the time for warrantless surveillance from 48 hours to 7 days.  It requires government agencies to cease warranted surveillance of a targeted American if they enter the United States. The changes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act allows the government to conduct surveillance of any person for up to one week (168 hours) without a warrant
  • Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 is a 236-page Act of Congress, signed by President George W. Bush that broadly affects U.S. federal terrorism laws. The act is notable for a section which directs the Commissioner of Social Security to “restrict the issuance of multiple replacement social security cards to 3 per year and 10 for the life of the individual.”

Post 9/11 – Impact on US citizens

  • Some 3000 US citizens are said to have died in 9/11 – US responded by bombing Afghanistan and killing 3500 Afghans who took no part in 9/11
  • Since 9/11 which killed 3000 US citizens, less than 30 American civilians have died since 2001 due to terrorism whereas 1.2m die from heart attacks, cancer, over 16,000 American youth die from motor accidents – thus an American is 35,079 times more likely to die from heart disease than from a terrorist attack
  • Since 9/11, Only 33 Deaths From Muslim Terrorism Vs. 150,000 Deaths From Murders
  • There have been 10 deadly attacks in the United States by nonjihadist extremists since 9/11
  • Between 2012 and 2014 there have been 74 school shootings!

Post 9/11 – Impact on US troops

  • US police have killed over 5000 US civilians since 9/11 (almost equivalent to the US soldier deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan). Majority of those killed are either Blacks or Latinos – Americans are eight times more likely to be killed by a police officer than by a terrorist
  • More than 6000 US servicemen have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan needlessly
  • More than 40,000 US servicemen are wounded some unlikely to eve recover
  • Soldiers unemployed – The unemployment rate for post-9/11 vets was 9 percent in 2013, down from 9.9 percent in 2012
  • Soldiers on medication and prescription drugs – The military spent at least $2.7 billion on antidepressants alone in the decade after 9/11. between 2009 and 2013, the Defense department increased its number of therapists by 43 percent, to 9,425, and in 2010, the army issued a policy on the use of multiple medications that called for increased training for clinicians and comprehensive reviews of cases in which patients are receiving four or more drugs. 2010 internal report by the DOD’s Pharmacoeconomic Center said 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug — antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics or other controlled substances. http://www.ibtimes.com/medicating-our-troops-oblivion-prescription-drugs-said-be-endangering-us-soldiers-1572217
  • Soldier suicide – 22 veterans commit suicide every day. Since 9/11, in excess of 100,000 American veterans have died from suicide. 49,000 took own lives between 2005 and 2011 http://www.publicintegrity.org/2013/08/30/13292/suicide-rate-veterans-far-exceeds-civilian-population
  • Military rape – Active-duty female personnel make up roughly 14.5 percent — or 207,308 members — of the more than 1.4 million Armed Forces, One in three military women has been sexually assaulted. According to the most recent report by the Pentagon’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, 3,192 sexual assaults were reported out of an estimated 19,000 — roughly 52 a day — between Oct. 1, 2010, to Sept. 31, 2011.

Post 9/11 – Statistics

  • US Congressional Research estimates the price tag on the 2 wars to be $1.3trillion plus excluding medical and disability costs of treating war veterans
  • Costs have risen for military intelligence, homeland security spending
  • How far is America safer given the costs the American tax payer ends up dishing out for endless security-related costs burdened upon the tax payer when breaking the supply of weapons, stopping the training of terrorists and funding of them would have easily addressed terrorism instead of counterterrorism.
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times article, noting that “federal and state governments are spending about $75 billion a year on domestic security,” described how local police departments receive so much homeland security money from the U.S. government that they end up forced to buy battlefield equipment they know they do not need
  • On the one hand the countries that are manufacturing arms are also covertly using terrorists for their own agendas but claim to be running programs to eliminate them and curtailing the freedoms of the people by imposing numerous counter-terrorism initiatives which deny them to question the authorities once they find out the truth! In actual terms these counter-terrorism initiatives appear to be pre-emptive measures to protect those that are molly-codling terrorists but pretending they are their enemies!
  • US towards militarization : A bill passed in 1988 authorized the National Guard to aid local police in drug interdiction, a law that resulted in National Guard troops conducting drug raids on city streets and using helicopters to survey rural areas for pot farms. In 1989, President George Bush enacted a new policy creating regional task forces within the Pentagon to work with local police agencies on anti-drug efforts. Then-Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney declared in 1989, “The detection and countering of the production, trafficking and use of illegal drugs is a high priority national security mission of the Department of Defense.” In 1980 there were just 3,000 annual SWAT deployments, by 1996 there were 30,000 and by 2001 there were 40,000
  • Based on public records requests to more than 260 law enforcement agencies in 26 states, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) concluded that “American policing has become excessively militarized through the use of weapons and tactics designed for the battlefield” and that this militarization “unfairly impacts people of color and undermines individual liberties, and it has been allowed to happen in the absence of any meaningful public discussion.”

Some questions to ask and seek answers for

In 2001 we came to know of an organization called Al Qaeda and a leader called Osama Bin Laden. Within no time both entities became the World’s Most Wanted. Their profiles were known to the US authorities and this loosely connects with US own admission that they created Al Qaeda as far back as the 1980s. Islamic militancy has become a super geopolitical weapon. It has changed the dynamics of entire nations and enabled nations to be split into fragments under the banner ‘self-determination’ facilitated through R2P and humanitarian interventions all meaning nothing other than military interventions and a handful of corporates walking off with the natural resources and assets of nations taken over.

Not many seem to follow the trail to see how these terrorists are getting their weapons. Indoctrination of people to become followers of Islamic cult practices is one thing but who manufactures and supplies the arms is the key component that counter terrorism should deal with. Nevertheless, how can that be done when the counter-terrorism activists and the suppliers of arms to terrorists are perhaps one and the same? President Obama even waived ban on arming terrorists to allow aid to Syrian opposition!

Dick Cheney’s admission is important for several reasons for a series of lies has turned the world upside down and unleashed monsters of a kind the world public find it impossible to get rid of. With majority of US soldiers on prescription drugs and the militarization of the West through bogus terror threats that have tightened domestic laws and curbed the people’s freedoms it is obvious that the perpetrators continue to be upto mischief.

It is time the world starts to wake up.

Sri Lankan President says “Norway funded LTTE”

November 16th, 2014

Hot News from Sri Lanka

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s president has accused Norway of covertly financing the island’s separatist Tamil Tigers during peace talks ahead of a military campaign that crushed the rebels in 2009.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa demanded that the Norwegian government must probe the funding of the LTTE during the island’s three-decade civil war, alleging that Norway financed the ethnic Tamil terrorist group.

“They gave money to the LTTE. The Norwegian government must investigate. We have evidence on how they funded the terrorists,” Rajapaksa said addressing a political gathering in the northwestern town of Kurunegala.

He specifically blamed former Norwegian minister and peace facilitator Erik Solheim for backing the LTTE.

Solheim failed to secure a peace deal despite arranging a truce which broke down in April 2006. Three years later, Sri Lankan forces extinguished the campaign for a separate homeland in a controversial military campaign.

Rajapakse in his address, a copy of which was obtainable from his office on Sunday, said Solheim gave money to the guerrillas even while peace moves were underway.

“This man Solheim is now planning to give evidence against us in Geneva,” Rajapaksa said referring to the ongoing UN Human Rights Council’s investigation on war crimes committed by both the LTTE and government forces during the final phase of the civil war that ended in 2009

Solheim, a key figure who led Norwegian peace efforts between 1999 and 2006,

Rajapaksa, who opted for a military solution to the conflict, quit the Norwegian-led peace process during the height of his successful war effort which crushed the LTTE.

Sri Lanka crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) by May 2009 in a massive military operation that also triggered allegations that troops killed up to 40,000 Tamil civilians, a charge Colombo denies.

“Solheim told me that our forces will never be able to defeat the LTTE. He said (leader Velupillai) Prabhakaran is a very very clear man. A military genius,” Rajapakse said.

“Today Solheim is trying to jump up and give evidence against us. The Norwegian government should investigate his conduct. We have evidence of him giving money to the LTTE. We are ready to share that evidence.”

THE OHCHR COMPLAINTS SUBMISSION FORM THAT LTTE UN-REHABILITATED CADRE HAD ON HIM WHEN ARRESTED ON 25TH OCTOBER 2014

November 16th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

UNHRC investigation on Sri Lanka : An organized fraudulent submission process favours Tamils and not Sinhalese or Muslim victims?

Sri Lanka is accused by the UNHRC head himself of sabotaging an ‘impartial’ investigation. Why…because Sri Lanka revealed the arrest of a LTTE un-rehabilitated cadre who had in his possession 25 blank forms in Tamil of which 6 had signatures? The concern Sri Lanka has every right to raise is that the arrest uncovered a systematic and organized effort to take signatures (in exchange for money) and a third party ends up writing lies and submitting these as genuine witness testimonies. The overseas witness testimonies are most likely to follow the same procedure. If not for the arrest we would not be aware that forms had been created, blank signatures obtained and third parties were filling details to be sent to the OISL investigation team. Is it not natural to next wonder how many blank forms have been distributed, how many signatures obtained and how many bogusly filled forms have actually been accepted by the OISL investigators and how much of the fraudulent entries will end up influencing the OISL final report? What happens when ONLY one group of ‘victims’ get forms and third parties are making fraudulent entries and UNHRC Head and Office show no alarm that such blank forms are being circulated for one group of ‘victims’ only except to berate those who exposed the devious plot!

Our Concerns

  1. We would like to know how many LTTE or non-LTTE members are involved in this exercise of collecting signatures on blank forms of Tamil ‘victims’ only? (anyone can agree to place their signature for a payment when another party is making entries and sending the form to OISL as a ‘victim witness testimony’)
  2. We should know who are the Third Parties involved and tasked to fill the signed forms both in Sri Lanka and overseas?
  3. We are keen to know why the OHCHR head/ UNHRC and the OISL are not alarmed and shocked that printed forms have been distributed amongst Tamils only and third parties are filling details on signed blank forms which OISL is accepting as ‘witness testimonies’ giving 20 years anonymity.
  4. The People of Sri Lanka are shocked that the OHCHR head and UNHRC without commending Sri Lanka and its intelligence authorities for unearthing a sinister plot to manipulate the investigation have resorted to berating the Government instead.
  5. Inquiries from non-Tamils to the OISL email were informed that there was no format to make submissions but that submissions had to be limited to 10 pages (font size/font type was also not mentioned nor was there any acknowledgement or automatic acknowledgement mail to confirm receipt of submissions sent)
  6. In the light of the discovery of formats for only Tamils there is a big question mark as to whether any of the Sinhalese and Muslim submissions have been entertained by the OISL thus far.

 

Questions for OHCHR Head / UNHRC Office / OISL Investigation team

  • Did the OHCHR/UNHRC or the OISL print or advise how to format submission forms to be distributed amongst Tamils only?
  • Did the OHCHR/UNHRC or the OISL agree to make payment for witness information/testimonies and have such payments been made?
  • Why is the OHCHR head/UNHRC or the OISL reluctant to admit or deny if they had any role (direct/indirect) in making available blank forms and compensation payment for testimonies – previous fact finding missions against other countries and leaders and COI have also had allegations of witness payment!
  • Why is the OHCHR head chiding Sri Lanka for exposing a fraud taking place in the investigation when OHCHR/UNHRC and the OISL team should be the first to be shocked!
  • Why doesn’t OHCHR/UNHRC or OISL make a statement that such fraudulent submissions will affect the testimonies of Sinhalese and Muslims who do not have such privilege or favour?
  • Sinhalese and Muslims have not resorted to making submissions in such fraudulent means therefore it is unethical for the OISL team to accept any of these submissions on the format though we may not know if other formats following the same process of blank signatures and third party entries have been adopted in Sri Lanka and overseas as well.
  • Why doesn’t OHCHR head/UNHRC or OISL engage with the GOSL to find out more details about what else the LTTE member/the TNA advisory panel member and other accomplices have been upto to tamper with the investigation?
  • THIS PARTIES FILLING FORMS AND SUBMITTING AS GENUINE WITNESS TESTIMONIES IS A SERIOUS OFFENCE. OISL/OHCHR/UNHRC NEED TO INVESTIGATE HOW MANY SUCH FRAUDULENT FORMS HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED THUS FAR FROM SRI LANKA AND ABROAD. THE KEY TO THE CREDIBILITY OF THE INVESTIGATION IS WITHHELD UNTIL THESE DETAILS ARE DISCLOSED OFFICIALLY AND LEGAL ACTION TAKEN AGAINST THE PARTIES RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FRAUD AND MANIPULATION OF THE UN SYSTEM.

All the fancy terminologies that the OHCHR/UNHRC claim to stand for are currently placed on the dock with the international public as jury watching to see how partially or impartially the OHCHR Head/the UNHRC office and the OISL investigators respond to a very clear fact that there are forms available to Tamils only and third parties are filling these forms and submitting to the OISL team. Making matters worse is that for signatures on blank forms a monetary compensation has been promised. Two wrongs for which the UNHRC Head or his office have yet to admit or deny. It is futile reprimanding the messenger for the GOSL had no part in printing forms, promising payment or organizing teams to fill lies.

The OHCHR Head, his office and the OISL investigators need to go after the culprits involved!

The conspicuous absence of empathy for Sinhalese and Muslims by the OHCHR head and his Office and the UNHRC in the light of the arrest and discovery certainly questions the credibility of a supposed impartial office. Let us not forget that the Sinhalese and Muslims have been the real victims of 30 years of LTTE terrorism which is why LTTE came to be internationally proscribed as a terrorist organization, lest people have forgotten that too!

It is extremely important that we unearth who are complicit in the preparation, printing and monetary inducement tactic for it holds the key to the entire credibility of the final report and recommendations therefore if the UNHRC Head refuses to take action by commencing an investigation as to how forms came to be found in the hands of a former LTTE and a TNA advisory panel member.

please refer attachment for the specimen form found on the arrested LTTE cadre with a signature on the blank form (no date and no details – a Third Party would enter lies and submit to the OISL as ‘genuine’ ‘witness testimony’ and claim witness protection and 20 years anonymity)

Details on the form (specimen form given below page 2/3)

  1. Details of incident
  2. Place
  3. Witness
  4. Full name
  5. Present address
  6. Telephone number
  7. Relationship with victim
  8. Victims full name, Date of Birth, Address
  9. Details of damages / other damages
  10. Persons responsible
  11. “I ……………….request that the secrecy of the details that I forward along with my safety be assured. I certify that the above information is true and request action be taken against those responsible and I be granted redress” Yours faithfully
  12. Date (kept unsigned)
  13. Signature place (on blank form)
  14. Attached NIC,

Comment:

How can there be ‘secrecy of details’ when the person is signing a blank form?

How can anyone claim that ‘information is true’ when the person signing the blank form does not know who or what information is being written?

 The gist of the issue is that there is an organized effort to collect signatures on blank forms and a third party or parties are filling lies and submitting them as true witness testimonies.  

We may never know if the same is being done for overseas submissions as well which is why the OHCHR /UNHRC must launch an internal investigation

 

complianform1complianform2

ලීෂිං නමැති ආණ්ඩුකාර තුමා වර්ෂ 1870 වේ දී මෙසේ ලියා තිබේ ……

November 16th, 2014
සිද්ධස්ථාන යැයි නම් ලත් දේවල් දැකීම පිණිස ලක්දිව සැම පළාත් වලින් සමුහයා අවරුදු පතා අනුරාධපුරයට පැමිණෙයි.
Aukana වර්ෂයකට වරක් රැස්වී දින ස්වල්පයක් නැවතී යන සමුහයාගේ සංඛ්‍යාව විසි දහසක් පමණ යැයි මම කල්පනා කරමි. ප්‍රධාන උත්සවය පවත්වන වේලෙහි භුමිය මනුෂ්‍යන් ගෙන් පිරී  පවතියි. මෑත වනතුරු ආණ්ඩුවේ කාසි තබන යකඩ පෙට්ටිය ස්වදේශී මුරකරුවන් බාරේ පැවති නමුත් එය මිනිස්සු ස්වල්ප දෙනෙකුට පහසුවෙන් පැහැර ගත හැකිව තිබුනේය. එකම පොලිස් කාරයෙක්වත් නොමැති මේ භූමියට රට හැම තැනින් විසි දාහක් සෙනග වර්ෂයක් පාසා රැස්ව කටයුතුකර ආපසු යයි. ඔවුන් අතරේ දබරයක් ගැන කිසිත් අසන්නට නැත. පළාතේ මහේස්ත්‍රාත් ධුරය උසුලන්නා වූ මා විසින් කිව යුතුව තිබෙන්නේ ඔවුන් අතරේ විද්‍යමාන වූ යහපත් පැවැත්මක්ද සංසුන් ලීලාවද පැරදවිය හැකි ගුණාංගයෙන් යුත් තවත් ජන සමූහයක් ඇතැයි මට නම් කල්පනා නොවන බවය. අපරාධ කිරිම කෙරෙහි ප්‍රියවන්නා වූ ජාතියක් කෙරෙහි එබඳු ගුණාංග ඇති විය නොහැකිය. ක්‍රිස්තියානි ලෝකයේ කවර නම් ප්‍රදේශයක කාසි පෙට්ටිය පරිස්සම් වේද?
ඒ 1870 වේ දීය.

One reason for childhood obesity is too much sugar in drinks

November 16th, 2014

Dr Hector Perera            London

Prof Graham Mac Gregor, of the Wolfson Institute, Queen Mary University of London, and chairman of Action on Sugar, said: “It is a complete scandal that these drinks are marketed to children and parents as if they are healthy. This has to stop. We need to stop Britain’s childhood obesity epidemic spiralling out of control.”

Far too many smoothies

Supposedly healthy supermarket smoothies and juices aimed at children can contain up to eight teaspoons of sugar – more than one-and-a-half times as much as in Coca-Cola, according to a survey carried out for a health campaign group.

Some smoothies are green that are supposed to contain spinach, others with different colours such as strawberry smoothie, banana then mango smoothie then mix fruit smoothie are some of them are commonly found in supermarkets. Then there are peaches and passion fruit smoothies, cherries and strawberry smoothies, then also strawberry, raspberry, blackberry smoothies. That is not the end there are apple, mango and pineapple smoothies. Actually there are some more combination of fruit smoothies but the most common thing is sugar in them. The question is how much sugar is found in each different kinds?

 Healthy mixed fruit drinks in Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka some shopping centres in Colombo there are places who make fruit drinks of your choice then and there. They have fruits on display then you choose whatever you need in your mixed fruit juice. Try and see passion fruit, papaya, mango and pineapple mixed fruit juice, it tastes so delicious, and certainly nutritious as there are no added sugar. I think it is no harm to have some ice cream as well on top of the drink. Some people add colourings and vanilla essence as well but it is your choice. Perhaps you may add some condensed milk, yogurt or some plain milk as well but not necessary. Who would say that combination needs any added sugar? Now there are coconut water bottles and packets are in the UK supermarkets.

Attractive packaging can mislead

Some are bright and child friendly packaging tempt the parents to buy them for their children but they contain plenty of sugar. The parents are given the wrong impression that those smoothies are healthy and notorious, no wonder they are tempted to buy them for the children. It was found out that some smoothies contain 7 or even 8 grams of sugar in 200 ml of smoothies. It is shocking to find a few milk shakes have 32 grams of sugar in 320 ml of fluid. Who would argue that is quite healthy and child friendly.

Fruits are naturally sweet

Naturally the fruits are sweet so the juice as well are sweet but some producers add far too much sugar as said before. In places like Sri Lanka they have naturally sweet fruit drinks such as young coconut and king coconuts where one can drink the water in the fruit then if necessary eat the soft and tasty kernel. Health experts from Action on sugar warned the parents to avoid fruit juices altogether unless it was at mealtimes. They also advised watering down drinks or swapping them for plain water. Their advice was to eat the fruits but not to drink fruit drinks or juices unless at an occasional treat, but not as an everyday drink, said Katharine Jenner, Campaign Director of Action on Sugar.

A quarter of the products tested had at least six teaspoons for every 200ml glass, the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the World Health Organisation, the research found.

Action of Sugar analysis

The campaign group Action on Sugar analysed 203 juices, juice drinks and smoothies marketed for children and found that more than a quarter (57) contained as much sugar or more than Coca-Cola, which has 10.6g for every 100ml (equivalent to five teaspoons in a 200ml glass). More than half (117) would attract the red warning on the traffic light labelling system for high sugar content.

The group said the drinks were a “major and unnecessary” source of sugars and calories that were contributing to record levels of tooth decay, obesity and type 2 diabetes among children. It urged parents to give children water or whole fruit instead of juice.

Fifty-nine products also contained sugar or glucose-fructose syrup as an added ingredient, providing unnecessary extra calories and further damage to growing teeth.

UK health guidelines state that a small (150ml) glass of unsweetened 100% fruit juice can count as one of the recommended five a day. But Action on Sugar said this was misleading and should be withdrawn.

Katharine Jenner, campaign director of Action on Sugar, said: “Juice should be an occasional treat, not an everyday drink. These processed drinks are laden with sugar and calories and do not have the nutritional benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables.”

WHO recommendations

The group said fruit juice consumption needed to be limited according to the draft recommendations from the World Health Organisation. “For far too long people have been drinking litres of fruit juice thinking it is good for them, but actually fruit juice is loaded with naturally occurring sugars that are released from cells to cause damage to our teeth and it has been associated with type 2 diabetes. Many companies now use the five a day logo on fruit juices even though their products exceed the amount of juice recommended by the government. This is totally misleading.”

British Soft Drinks Association

Gavin Partington, director general of the British Soft Drinks Association, said: “Given that government figures show that the vast majority of adults and children are not getting their recommended five fruit and veg a day, it is unfortunate this survey omits to mention the established health benefits of fruit juice, such as vitamin C. Then again, one should not be surprised that politically motivated campaigners are prepared to ignore the evidence in pursuit of their goal.”

The increase in childhood obesity over the past several decades, together with the associated health problems and costs, is raising grave concern among health care professionals, policy experts, children’s advocates, and parents. Patricia Anderson and Kristin Butcher document trends in children’s obesity and examine the possible underlying causes of the obesity epidemic. They begin by reviewing research on energy intake, energy expenditure, and “energy balance,” noting that children who eat more “empty calories” and expend fewer calories through physical activity are more likely to be obese than other children. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

 

 

වසවත් මරු ඉදිරිපිට  ඩෙ ඟා  නටන  සිංහලයෝ

November 16th, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

13අ සහ පළාත් සභා  නම් වසවර්තිමාරයා පරාජය කිරීම පසෙක තබා අ නම් මනම් දොඩමින් කල් මරණ සිංහල බෞධයන්ට යන එන මන් නැතිවෙනු ඇත.රතන හාමුදුරුවොත් අතන මෙතනය.

හෙළ උරුමය,  ම එපේ සහ ජාතික වාදී සංවිධාන  කතා කරන්නේ  මරු පරද වීම ගැන  කතා නැත.මාදුළුවාවේ හිමිට අවශ්‍ය මාරු පරද වීමට නොව  ” විරු” පැරදවීමට පමණි. 

ගුණදාස අමරසේකරගේ ජාතික එකමුතු සමුළුවේදී වීරවංශ  කීවේ””” මෙයාලා මොකටද මේ එන්ඩ කියන්නේ. 13 අහෝසි කරන්න එන්න කියනවනම් අපිත් එන්නම් ”””””වීරවංශත් බලාගන ඉන්නේ වෙන කවුරු හරි අඩ ගහන කම්ද. 

ඇ ය්  ඒ සමුළුවේදී 13අ සහ පළාත් සභා අහෝසිකරනුය් මහින්දට බල කරන්න බැරි වුනේ.  සිංහල බෞධ්ධයන්ගේ පරම හතුරා හෙවෙත් මාරයා 13 සහ පළාත් සභා ය. 

සියලු විදේශ බලවේග හා දේශ ද්‍රෝහීන්   මහින්දට  එළවන්නට බලාගෙන සිටින හෙයින් ඔහුට පක්ෂ වෙතත් ඔහුලවා  මේ මාරයා පැරදවීමට ප්‍රතිඥා  වක් ගන්නට මේ  සියලු ජාතික වාදීන් ක්‍රියා නොකරන්නේ ඇ ය් .

මෙවෙලාවේ මහින්දගේ නුගුණ කීම  හතුරන්ට උඩගෙඩි දීමක් යය කියා  ඇ ග බේරා ගැනීමට ගියොත් අපේ සකල සර්වාංගයම අපට නැති වෙනු ඇත.

අඩුම ගනැනේ මේ අවසන් අවස්තාවෙවත්  මේ ටික කර  නැවත ඉල්ලන්නට  ඔහුට බල කල යුතුය නැත්නම් තුන්වන වාරයේදී දෙමල ජාතිවාදය  පරදවන  13අ සහ පළාත් සභා අහෝසි කරන බවවට ප්‍රතිඥාවක් ලබාගත යුතුය.. 

දිනේෂ්  ට හෝ හරිස්චන්ද්‍ර විජේතුංගට චන්දය නොදුන්  සිංහල බෞද්ධයෝ  කවදාවත්  කිසිවක් තේරුම් ගන්නේ නැත.  ප්‍රධාන පක්ෂ දෙකෙන්  ඒ ජා පෙ කෙතරම් ජාති ද්‍රෝහී කම් කර තිබුනත් තවමත් සියයට 30 ක් බෞධයෝ  අපට කල දේ දන්නේ නැත.

අනගාරික ධර්ම පාල රටෙන් එළවා දමූයෙත් උන්මය. මාදුලුවාවෙත් රතන හාමුදුරුවොත්  දෙන්නාම බිලීබාගත් දේශ ද්‍රෝහියෝ දැන් ඉතාම බලවත් ය.මේවා නොසිදුවිය යුතු දේවල්ය. මහින්දත් 13අ ගැන කතා නැත. වෙසවලමෙය් හෝ ෂරියා ගැන  කි යනුම කවරේද

 මහින්ද මෙවරත්  සියට 51 ක් වත් ගෙන දිනනු ඇත. එහෙත් සිංහල බෞද්ධයි  න් දින න්නේ ද. සියම් රාමන්ඥ   අමරපුර  ආදී නිකාය වල මහානායකයෝ  තවමත් නිද්රාවේය.  බොදු බල සේනාවද  දියාරුය.  අනූ නාහිමි  කෙනෙකුට අනුව ඒ ජා ප යේ  වෙනස් විය යුත්තේ පක්ෂ ලකුණත් නමත්  පමණි  එයාට ප්‍රතිපත්ති හොඳය. 

සිංහල බෞධයන්ගෙන් තමන්ගේ මාරයා වන  13අ සහ පළාත් සභා ගැන අවභෝදයක් ඇති  ය ඇත්තේ  සියයට 20 කටත් වඩා අඩු ප්‍රමානයකටය..බොදුබල සේනාව  මේ දැනුම බෞද්ධ යන්ට දීමට කැපවුණා මදිය.

මේ වෙලා වේ මහින්ද රක ගැනීම හොඳ වුවත්  අනාගතය  සරු කරන දේත් ජාතික වාදීන් විසින් කලයුතුය. තවත් හාමුදුරුවරු ඩොලර් වලට  යටවෙන ලකුණු පෙනේ. සිංහලේ  ශ්‍රීලංකා වී අවසානයේ ඉල්ලන්කා වෙනු ඇත. ජාතික වාදීනි මහින්ද සමග වුවත් ප්‍රවේසමෙන් වැඩ කරමු ඔහුත් දේශපාලකයෙක් විනා ජාතික වාදී  ධර්ම පාල තුමෙක් නොවේ. නමුත් රනිල් තරම් නරක නැත. 

Reconciliation – How far have Tamils extended the hand of friendship to Sinhalese?

November 15th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The buzzword is reconciliation. It enters into every report, every public speech, every public statement and every communication. Yet, in real terms what does it mean and to whom should it apply? If there is any confusion it is primarily because people are finding it hard to differentiate Tamils from Tigers Terrorists. That difficulty is brought about by the conduct of the Tamils themselves. Yet, in attempting to forge a better tomorrow it is good to look back at where the shortcomings have been to avoid repetitions.

  • Clandestinely since the 1970s Tamil youth had been trained in arms – Not a single Tamil brought this to the public attention sufficient enough for the authorities to prepare itself and take counter action. Tamils referred to these armed youth as ‘their boys’. These ‘boys’ eventually killed off the leaders of other Tamil militant groups. By 1980 there were over 30 Tamil armed militant groups. Eventually LTTE became the ‘sole’ voice of the Tamils by virtue of the gun. Tamils were split into those that voluntarily cheered the LTTE, funding and helping them in every possible way, Tamils that did not like armed militancy but were happy to see a land declared Eelam for Tamils, Tamils that saw the scenario as an avenue to advance self-interests which became the norm for all refugee/asylum seekers, Tamils that were shocked at what the outcome would lead to as they belonged to a handful of people who had been peacefully living with the Sinhalese, shared cultures and events and saw no reason for the friction.
  • Yet, what needs to now be acknowledged is that the majority of Tamils did not mind their own people to be used as bait, as cannon fodder by the LTTE. It must be acknowledged too that all throughout the Tamil high castes/class did not say a word against the Tamil children that LTTE recruited by force. This was so because these were ALL children of low caste families in the forgotten and poverty-stricken areas of the Vanni.
  • Sad to say but there is a need to say that 95% of the Tamils actually have benefitted from the LTTE for they have found avenues to better their lives while the 5% Tamils have been the one’s that have suffered throughout and who remain voiceless until the economy can pick up and they can rise up to make up for all that their culture has denied them.
  • If the world does not or have not heard the other version it is because this 5% or so of Tamils do not have a voice, have never had a voice and are unlikely to have a voice and when the Government is trying to give them a voice, those that deprived them are searching for all the reasons to deny that.
  • It is extremely important to understand the element of caste and its role in the manner Tamils live, eat, think and behave – caste factor happens at every stage and in every step. LTTE curtailed it because it interfered in its dominance over Tamils but caste differences have again resurfaced following the fall of the LTTE. This next raises the question whether Tamils abhor their own low castes more than the Sinhalese and the answer is certainly yes but one that they won’t admit openly.
  • In terms of numbers
    • How many Tamils actually cheered the LTTE initially and over the years? How many secretly cheered the LTTE on its ways!
    • How many Tamils used the LTTE as a means to seek refugee/asylum status and as a result remain indebted to LTTE still?
    • How many Tamils silently rented out their homes or watched LTTE operatives pretend to act as civilians entering parts of South from where they planned their suicide missions and other terror acts and when caught pretended not to have even doubted them?
    • How many Tamils disliked the idea of Tamil youth taking up arms, breaking the bond between Tamils and Sinhalese?
    • How many had nothing to do with the LTTE initially and throughout until its demise in 2009? (either contributing to the kitty, helping LTTE in numerous other ways etc)
    • How many still want for the LTTE to resurrect itself and are silently working towards this objective either in Sri Lanka or overseas?
    • How many are working towards building another terror factor or working towards separatism of Sri Lanka in collaboration with the very same factors that were involved in terror throughout 3 decades?
  • How many Tamils openly say they will not rent to Sinhalese and continue that policy while they buy land/rent or lease homes from Sinhalese
  • How many living in the South among Sinhalese actually want Sinhalese and Muslims to settle in the North or they silently agree with the TNA that no Sinhalese or Muslim should be allowed to settle in the North?
  • How many Tamils have come out to denounce the TNA’s racist statements made from the mouths of its Chief Minister and by all other TNA MPs against the Sinhalese in particular? How many Tamils have openly invited Sinhalese and Muslims to settle down in the North which is their Constitutional and fundamental right too. How many Tamils are able to question the logic behind Tamils coming to live in the South but Tamils complaining that Sinhalese want to live in the South
  • How many Tamils have questioned the Tamil Diaspora most of whom had links to the LTTE? How many Tamils will now ask from these LTTE Diaspora groups what they did with the money they collected or will they not because 95% had their needs met by this network! Is it not the Vanni Tamils who were the voiceless few and the Eastern Tamils who were out of this equation as well?

 

What needs to be said clearly is that without identifying who cradled the tiger, silently and secretly cheered LTTE on and how many continue to do so even now, reconciliation efforts becomes meaningless and is just a paper effort without real meaning.

Given that there are scores that openly and secretly supported LTTE though not taking direct role in terrorism, it now requires them to reach out to the Sinhalese to rebuild Sri Lanka in an island-wide effort that should break borders and barriers. A crucial part of any reconciliation is to accept the wrongs, to identify the wrongs and to acknowledge those wrongs. Given above are crucial elements that drew Tamils away from harmonizing with the rest of the communities in Sri Lanka.

The Sinhalese at every turn have offered a hand of goodwill the examples of which go as far back as opening their homes when the UNP government unleashed thugs made up of all communities to attack Tamil homes. The Sinhalese gave shelter to the Tamils – that open acknowledgement is still awaiting. Then when the 2004 tsunami occurred the Sinhalese did not ask who was Tamil or Muslim but before the state or foreign organizations got their acts together, the Sinhalese in their private capacity sent food, clothing and other essentials to all areas affected. Thereafter, immediately after the end of the war and throughout all the calls made for relief was responded by the Sinhalese in giving whatever they could and sending these to the North. The Sinhalese did so without questioning whether they were going to Tamils or Muslims.

Nevertheless, it saddens us when even foreign aid is given foreign governments say that these aid are meant for Tamils or Muslims and Sinhalese have never been included. Little do they forget that the victims of 30 years of terrorism were mostly Sinhalese! People seem to have also forgotten that the North was not developed not because the Government of Sri Lanka or the people of Sri Lanka did not want the North to be developed but because areas of the North were out of bounds for the State of Sri Lanka and their officials and only LTTE law prevailed. It was the LTTE that denied development to the North and not the Sinhalese. Let people also remember that if Tamils were taken and held hostage it was the LTTE that kept them and refused to release them and it appears that the very entities who had been calling for their release knew all along that the LTTE were going to use them.

However, in making demands, the Tamil politicians will demand rights for the Tamils and the Muslim politicians will demand only for the Muslims and the Sinhalese politicians will look after the Muslims and Tamils first before they look at what the Sinhalese Buddhists do not have. We think it is time that everyone learns to look after everyone because only then can we start building a proper future.

Reconciliation has always had the Sinhalese extending their good will first, it is time for the Tamils and Muslims to now do so too.

 

OHCHR’s collusion on Sri Lanka Investigation

November 15th, 2014

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . K1J 6G1 . Canada

14 November 2014

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein
UN Human Rights Council
Palais Wilson, 52 rue des Paquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland.

Dear Mr. High Commissioner Zeid:

Five days ago I received  a nine page letter titled: Sri Lanka Investigation: OHCHR must admit or deny it printed submission forms and if monetary compensation was paid for testimonies, and lo and behold Zeid, I happened to  be one of the 237 recipients  of this letter around the world.  I consider myself a Lilliputian among all  powerful big names in the world of International politics,  Presidents and Prime Ministers of Nations, High Commissioners, Editors of renowned News papers and journals, Human Rights Organizations, et cetera. With that letter circulating around the world, you have been bestowed with an additional first name as ‘Mud’ Zeid, unless you come clean and be honest to answer the questions that have been directed to you in that nine-page letter, and have‘Mud” erased off your name.

It was obvious that who ever sent me this letter felt that I ought to read it as it would fascinate me since I was involved in commenting on the Tamil Tiger issues for 30 years from Ottawa, Canada, and watched with dismay how the Canadian politicians, the Conservatives, Liberals and the NDPrs   alike getting sucked into the vortex of the  separate mono-ethnic, racist, Tamil state Eelam cause for their Tamil-Canadian constituents, and doing their song and dance and directing their venom at Sri Lanka’s President Mahinda Rajapaksa, saying, “We will Huff and we will Puff, until we Blow your House Down.”     And my Prime Minister Stephen Harper getting into a hissy-fit and deciding to boycott the Commonwealth Summit last year because it was held in Colombo, the capital of the Commonwealth country that managed to wipe out the Tamil Tiger terrorists the most ruthless in the world in 30 months, when they took on the Tamil Tigers challenge. By then the Tamil Tigers had hemorrhaged the island for 27 bloody years and killing over 100,000 people including India’s Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lanka’s President Premadasa.

What is nauseous about Prime Minister Harper’s decision is that his Government since 19 May 2009,  has not acknowledged the bare fact that Sri Lanka liberated 295,873 Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tiger terrorists who used these Tamils as a human shield and herded them like unwashed cattle from the west coast to the east coast for 30 months.  Furthermore, his Government has still not acknowledged that the Sri Lankan Government not only saved 295,873 Tamils but also prepared a million meals a day to feed them hearty breakfasts, lunches and dinners. This was a classic text book example of a positive human rights act which has been ignored up to today.  I smell a rat here, don’t you, Zeid?  The reasoning is very clear when the Canadian  Federal election is  just  a few months away in 2015 and they want  the 1000s of Tamil votes.

Coming back to the letter that I received, I am quite sure that the sender also wanted me to be Judge and Jury on your attack on the Sri Lankan Government while sitting on the warmed up saddle on the high horse that your predecessor,  Tamil Navi Pillai had just vacated.  I did read the letter diligently, and made my judgment as a jurist for the Layman’s Court, and will announce my judgment at the end of my letter to you.

Reading the letter asking  “Sri Lanka Investigation: OHCHR must admit…”, it was obvious to me that you forgot to bring on the plane on your way to Geneva to take up your appointment,  the Middle Eastern  Jordan brand Alibaba-broom to  sweep the UN’s Geneva office clean of every vindictive smouldering Navi Pillai’s dregs on Sri Lanka.  Too bad, as it shows the world that you are another  member of the Human Right’s Mafia Navi Pillai cookie-cutter brand of World’s Human Rights Police.  So it does seem that Sri Lanka has to deal with you, with your warts and all.  And believe me, and they will.

That circulating letter is clear as  the  tut-tut-tut sounds of the firing NATO guns at the Taliban terrorists.    The two part Question is: Were the UNHRC War Crimes submission forms printed in  collaboration with your  UN office in Geneva and delivered to the TNA (Tamil National Alliance); and were monetary compensation  promised in exchange for  fraudulent testimonies?

Zeid, this is not a tricky question for a PhD from Cambridge University’s Christ College.  After all you are not a High School drop out who has difficulty to understand simple questions.   Let me repeat the question that calls for your response: Were the UNHRC War Crimes submission  forms printed in collaboration with your UN office in Geneva and delivered to the TNA (Tamil National Alliance); and were monetary compensation promised in exchange for fraudulent testimonies?

What is expected from you is a simple three word answer.  “Yes, we did” or “No we didn’t.”

You know the genesis of the story, don’t you Zeid?  An un-rehabilitated Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE aka Tamil Tigers) cadre, Sinnathamby Sinnarasa, whose arrest was reported on 25th October 2014.  When arrested   he had in his possession signatures on blank UNHRC War Crimes Submission forms of unknown Tamil IDPs since re-settled in the northern region of Sri Lanka.  He had been collecting these signatures on the instructions of a Tamil National Alliance (TNA), a proxy political party of the banned Tamil Tiger’s political advisor (Sun Master alias Alva Pulle Vijendrakumar) who has now fled to India and was associated with the US embassy political affairs officer Mike Erwin.   The question that I ask you is: What are the UNHRC and LTTE and TNA and Foreign Envoys up to?   I believe that they all want to screw Sri Lanka onto the same wall that they screwed Libya’ s Muhammad Kaddafi, and invade Sri Lanka on a lie the way the Americans did to Iraq  killing 1.2 million innocent Iraqis and dissect Sri Lanka into two.  One part for the  minority Tamils and the other for the majority Sinhalese and other ethnic groups.  You know all that Zeid don’t you as you come from that part of the world and a Prince to  boot of the Hashemite dynasty.   Right Zeid!

And so you get angry, and in the typical  Tamil Navi Pillai fashion accused the Sri Lankan Government of “This continuing campaign of distortion and disinformation about the investigation, as well as the insidious attempts to present possible bona fide witnesses from submitting information to the investigating team, is an affront to the United Nations Human Rights Council which mandated the investigation…Since the end of the conflict in 2009, Sri Lanka has continued to obstruct any independent investigation despite the persistent, compelling and widespread allegations that possible serious international crimes were committed by both sides during the conflict in Sri Lanka.”     Wo…Wo…Wo…hold your horses right there, Mr. Zeid, I mean Your Highness, Prince Zeid.  Let’s be less stupid and less arrogant on this score rather than mouthing off your  Tamil Navi Pillai brand of vindictive venom.    Letting your mouth spit out dragon breath before your brain permits you to by saying… “Yes, do it, go ahead, Zeid.”

Hey!  But didn’t you realize that what you did not do was to answer those two simple questions.  You are obviously feeling the heat of Sri Lanka Government’s allegations that caught you with your pants down, your cummerbund splitting asunder and your trousers slipping down over your hips and legs and dropping in a crude bundle at your feet. That is what it is.  But you cannot get away from those two simple questions.   Let me repeat the two questions one more time:   Were the UNHRC War Crimes Submission forms printed in collaboration with your  UN office in Geneva and delivered to the TNA (Tamil National Alliance); and were monetary compensation promised in exchange for fraudulent testimonies?   Stop going around the Sumac bush…the Sumac bush…the Sumac bush…as the questions will not brush away!

Zeid, how dare you accuse the Government of Sri Lanka of attempting to prevent bonafide witnesses from submitting information to the investigating team, as they have sworn that neither was any attempt made to deter and intimidate individuals from submitting evidence?  Sri Lanka’s Ambassador of the Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, has told you all in simple English, and not in Sinhala nor in Tamil, in case you get distorted information in translation: “The submissions that the investigation would have received by now would stand to prove this fact.”

 It is shame on you Zeid that you have taken upon yourself to continue with the Tamil Navi Pillai’s Tin-Goddess-arrogance and issue a Press Release questioning the integrity of the Government of a sovereign nation that has been a member of the UN since 1955.  This incident is going to boomerang on you and is going to question your integrity, as was with Tamil Navi Pillai.

What you cannot ignore is the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka had informed a selected group of Ambassadors based in Sri Lanka about the revelations made by an individual who was apprehended on the grounds of being a non-rehabilitated Tamil Tiger cadre.  What was revealed was that this person had been employed to collect signatures of persons affected by the conflict on blank submission forms by deceiving them into believing that they would be granted monetary compensation by the UN.  The forms were to then be used to submit false and fabricated information to the OISL.  So what have you got to say to those mischievous, dishonest shenanigans by the UN, Zeid?

Your response should be honest and clean as a whistle and not bamboozle us by going around the Sumac bush…the Sumac bush….the Sumac bush… as it will only crush your credibility.

Zeid, and then you have griped that “The Government (of Sri Lanka) has refused point blank to cooperate with the investigation (into allegations of human rights violations in the last phase of the war); such refusal does not undermine the integrity of an investigation set by the Council – instead it raises concerns about the integrity of the Government in concern”.  Zeid, you have the gall even to walk that path.  You are certainly walking on thin ice.  Don’t you understand that the Sri Lankan Government have explained to you guys, not once, not twice but scores of times the reason by detailing you and your Office’s lack of consistency, you and your Office’s lack of partiality, you and your Office’s lack of rigor and integrity, and especially that of your predecessor Tamil Navi Pillai.   You can take it or leave it Zeid.  And I say tough  tiddy to you and your gang in Geneva.   With these facts in place, Sri Lanka has every right to object, and every right to question your integrity for letting your office unleash invectives on Sri Lanka in a Press Release.

The fact is Zeid, that you have made a choice to cast aspersions and denigrate a democratically elected Government.  And Sri Lanka is within its rights to make its choice to strongly defend its people’s dignity against the vilifying western harassing forces making sure that all of her citizens can live in dignity, enjoying equality and self-respect.   And that is the very reason why the Sri Lankan Government has made its choice to steadfastly maintain that it owes to the country’s dignity and not subject its peoples to a  roguish investigation of yours which does not conform even to the basics of justice and fair play. And it was restoring her peoples dignity that made the Sri Lankan soldiers liberate 295,873 Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers by 19 May 2009, that neither your UN nor my Canada have had the curtsey and gumption to acknowledge up to now this amazing human rights act.  And by eliminating the Tamil Tigers on 19 May 2009, gave back to 21 million of her people their right-to-life that was high jacked by the Tamil Tigers for 27 long years.  Neither your UN nor my Canada patted Sri Lanka’s back and say, “Thanks for your commitment on human rights and getting rid of terrorism in your nation.  Way to go, Sri Lanka!” 

And that is how the UN’s investigation on Sri Lanka’s cookie crumbles.  And that is where the rub is on your UN.

My conclusion as a  judge and jurist for the Layman’s Court, Zeid, is  with that Press Release you have lost your credibility as the  UN High Commissioner of Human Rights in Geneva, and you have just hung your portrait beside that of Tamil Navi Pillai’s at the UN’s  Sri Lanka Bashers Rogues Gallery. You certainly shouldn’t be crazy about that, being born Prince  Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein of the Hashemite dynasty.  I have concluded that your office in Geneva is an institution that harasses the puny nations and scared to take on the powerful nations who are the ones who pay for your slice of  bread, the dollop of  butter, the 14 ounce steak of beef and a glass of wine at supper time.  And I understand, as how could you not serve your Master who sustains you and your staff.  And that is the bottom line and a reality check for you, and to hell with puny Sri Lanka.

And the question that still needs an answer from you is: Were the UNHRC War Crimes submission forms printed in collaboration with your  UN office in Geneva and delivered to the TNA (Tamil National Alliance): and were monetary compensation promised in exchange for  fraudulent testimonies.

Oh, by the way, I did make three submissions to the UN Investigating Panel.  Read them if you can manage to retrieve them and have the time.  It will be a learning curve for you on the abusers of Sri Lanka

Sincerely

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

A ‘cartel’ has hijacked the State

November 15th, 2014

 Courtesy Ceylon Today

Former Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations and present Chairperson, Intergovernmental Working Group on the Rights to Development, Human Rights Council, Geneva, Tamara Kunanayakam, says the government and the Ministry of External Affairs has no direction or clear orientation to follow and she was pushed to step down due to a ‘deliberate’ action played on her by the foreign office.
“I got caught in the middle of a power play run by a ‘cartel,’ she told Ceylon Today.
Following are excerpts:

Q: You were an outstanding diplomat who defended Sri Lanka during your tenure as the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Geneva. But, you seems to have ‘fallen from grace’ now. Were you a political victim?
A: No, I don’t consider myself as a political victim. There were differences, and we all have our differences. In the case of the GOSL /the Foreign Ministry (FM), there was a change in orientation in the foreign policy. When the change took place I was not aware of it. I joined the Foreign Service to defend the non-aligned policy because I believe in it. I am not a career diplomat and I don’t have to accept any orientation to agree or not, with their decisions. I have my own values and principles.

I left the UN and joined the Foreign Service because of the non-aligned policy. Sri Lanka should have closer cooperation with the Latin American region, Africa and Asia, because they are our historical allies and we are a founder member of the Non-Aligned Movement. I want to be that way, especially when we are targeted by the Western countries because they have a strategic interest in the country, and that’s why I joined.

So when I was in Geneva, there was a sudden change from non-aligned to aligned, whereas I was instructed to follow the non-aligned strategy. I was unaware of this. In 2012, the delegation that came from Colombo with senior FM officials took a different line, which I was not aware of. I discovered it during the course of the session of the Human Rights Council when the US draft resolution against Sri Lanka was coming up. I discovered from other diplomats of other countries during the session that we were negotiating with Washington. I was told ‘don’t negotiate and don’t even ask for the draft of the US resolution that is going to be tabled because they would think we are interested in negotiating.’

So, I did not talk to anyone and I was clear with our position. There was actually no need to align with them as there were no bombs exploding and peace prevailed and there were no huge gross systematic violation compared to other countries. To negotiate for something else the West put us in a weaker position they wanted. This is the way the Human Rights Council functions. When Sri Lanka was in the agenda, to me, it was evident it was truly political and they did not have the interest of the people of this country at heart. I also knew in the UN System an initiative was coming from Washington to impose a new international law calling the responsibility to protect it, which is completely in violation of the UN Charter. This was, in fact, to legitimize the external intervention into any country. So it was clear to me and we had to defend ourselves against this multi-national system – the only system that forces small countries like us to have equal relationships with the powerful.

Q:
Why were you not told about the agenda and why did you come to know through other diplomats that Sri Lanka was having talks with Washington?
A: There was a different faction within the FM and also within the government. I was caught in the middle of that power play. There was this ‘cartel’ or ‘mafia’ who ‘hijacked’ the State apparatus. They had other interests that are not the interests of Sri Lankans. These elements were powerful forces that were functioning within various institutions of the State, and the FM was one. The FM is very important when it comes to all external relations – even economic and financial relations have to go through the FM. This petty group wants to take control of that, in order to have access to various other sectors’ power, which are finance and economic ultimately. They want to gain and maintain power.

Q:
The J.R. Jayewardene Government branded you as a terrorist agent supplying false information on the 1983 riots to World Vision International. How did you end up being a diplomat defending allegations against the present Sri Lankan Government on alleged human rights violations?
A: I don’t see any contradictions as to what I said then and now. I always acted based on principles and policies. In 1983, the Tamils were targeted for political and electoral reasons. There were economic crises and there were JVP insurgency too. So there was a threat to the power and they found the Tamils as the scapegoat. If that happens now I would take up that position again. I consider myself Sri Lankan. If each one considers themselves by their race, where will we all stand? I was in Cuba and I worked for Sri Lanka. At the UN I found we were being unfairly treated. In the war that was fought against the separatists there were Tamil groups that were killed by the LTTE. I was against all these. I was never an Eelamist, but people found it convenient to brand me so. I was even physically threatened by the LTTE in Geneva in the 80s.

Q:
What was your experience serving at the UN?
A: In Geneva I worked a total of 15 years in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), UNDP and the ILO. I have a bigger picture about what was going on in the UN. I defended Sri Lanka on the multilateralism. I realized while working there that countries tried to use Sri Lanka because we were an easy target. However, we had not done our homework, and so we were isolated. I think my aim was to defend all these.

Q:
How is Sri Lanka known by the UN/Geneva?
A: We are known as a ‘single issue’ country because we go by saying ‘we did not do that’, ‘we have not killed anyone’ ‘we are not a Sinhala-Buddhist country’… that sort of thing. Rather than that we never took the issues of common interests. There is a battle going on with the non-aligned countries and Sri Lanka does not play a part in that because we don’t want to offend London and Washington. We have been playing on the fence and also known to be a country that cannot be relied on. When I was there I think I managed to change that image. I never in any statement said that ‘we did not do that, we did not kill etc’. All I said was we should fix local remedies before going to international remedies. I advocated to first exhaust the internal remedies before reaching for an international mechanism.

Q:
So what went wrong while all was going great for Sri Lanka?
A: In March 2012, many came to know that there were two groups. I was the permanent representative, but I was on my own basically. We had the Foreign Minister and the Special Envoy for Human Rights. But the Foreign Minister was not the head of the delegation, which should not be the case under the UN protocols. It should have been the Foreign Minister.

The Special envoy was making the official statement on behalf of the country, while the Foreign Minister was seated behind. I was not anywhere to be seen and I did not even have a seat to sit. There were nine ministers, including MP Sajin de Vass, Mohan Peries, along with Ministry Secretary, Kshenuka Seneviratne. They were all fighting to be in front of the camera, to be seen in Sri Lanka. They were not interested in what was going on there. They were entertaining the local gallery. Many saw this happening. Our Justice Minister, Rauff Hakeem, was told by the Foreign Ministry that he should be introduced to an Asian diplomat, who was also a Muslim. But, the Asian Ambassador told me that they were a secular country and that they don’t address persons based on religion. He told me if Sri Lanka wanted to talk to them, it had to be the UN representative and not any ministers.

Another African Ambassador told me that K. Seneviratne had contacted him. As you may know she was the ambassador before I was there. She should not have come again after leaving the office. No country sends a former envoy when another one is present there because then there would be confusion. She left just two months before I joined and then appeared with the team for the March Geneva session in 2012. Many who knew her thought she was still the ambassador. She shouldn’t have spoken to the African Ambassador. I was calling a meeting with all the ambassadors, including that African Ambassador. But, he told me he already spoke to the ambassador and I asked who it was and he quoted Kshenuka and refused to hold meeting with me again.

There were many such incidents that took place there that were totally confusing. At the same time, I also heard that Khenuka had a private email via which she had contacted Washington and they had sent her the draft resolution and called for an interaction on the draft before the March 2012 Geneva session. I did not know about this. This is prior to coming here to discuss the strategic plan to face the US resolution. Then I asked the minister, copying to President’s Secretary Lalith Weeratunga asking for instructions now that the draft has been sent to Kshenuka. But the FM or the President were not aware of the draft resolution being sent to Kshenuka. Panicking, all embassies received instructions ‘no negotiation with the US’.

Q:
Why do you think she did that?
A: I think she did it deliberately.

Q:
Why did Washington contact her on her private email?
A: US and UK Ambassadors were close to her. She was very much friendly with them, partying with them also. She did not inform me because she did not want me there.

Q:
Who was backing Kshenuka and why such events took place?
A: I think they wanted the US to introduce a resolution against Sri Lanka. If not, why did they do the things they did and weakened ourselves? Even to say ‘don’t worry Tamara will be out when the resolution is passed’? It seems they anticipated the resolution.

Q:
Was Geneva, a UN body, watching all these?
A: Yes. They knew what was going on. The Indian Ambassador said they came to know that Sri Lanka is negotiating with the US. She told me, ‘If you are negotiating with them, then there would be issues. India will not support a developing country. If you do this, you will lose support.’ On the day before the resolution, the Indian Ambassador told me to tell the minister about their draft and the edited US draft with the word ‘in consultation’. I told him over the phone. Again, the Indian Ambassador told me to tell Minister Peiris that this draft is only known to India and the US and not to publicize the matter.

When I told this to the minister, he said he knows about the Indian wordings in the US draft and he also said that it has been circulated to all. Within half an hour, Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe made an official statement that India is backing Sri Lanka. Tamil Nadu was up in arms and the matter reached the Indian PM office. The Indian Ambassador called me and asked if something was wrong with us. She said the decision was then going to be a political decision on Sri Lanka and they would have to think in terms of Tamil Nadu. The Indian delegate told me ‘tell that man’ to decide if he is defending Sri Lanka’s interest or Washington’s. So we lost their vote.

Q:
Based on this scenario, can you be referred to as a political victim?
A: I think so, but not at personal level. Just that they did not want me there. I was a non-aligned advocate and they were for aligned – they had vested interest with the rich countries. There was an internal struggle in the FM. Business and personal interests. The audit on Geneva office shows that too. The group needed this infrastructure to make money through these channels.

Q:
Isn’t it the duty of Monitoring MP Sajin de Vass Gunawardena to support a foreign mission, if they fail to perform?
A: I don’t know what role he is playing. Only the President knows and perhaps the FM. I have not heard of such positions because he is just a MP and we don’t have to deal with him, but I hear he takes decisions and not even the foreign Minister.

Q:
What is the audit report of the Geneva office, the end results which is still to be revealed?
A: There are irregularities in the audit report, which has been exposed.

Q:
What are your claims on the audit based on your official residence?
A: When I checked in, I wanted to see all the financial records whether it was in order, but I saw several billings and notes contradicting the inventory. Mainly in the procurement process. There were quotation of furniture, vehicle, travel tickets purchasing, renovation of the house, etc. It read there was a sofa but there was only a table. When I asked where is the sofa they pointed out at the table that was in the house.

Q:
So what did you do?
A: I checked. There were things that were not in the house but in the inventory. You can’t have a table instead of a sofa. The house had been renovated with no proper estimate. The contract had no estimation. The company that wanted the mission to move out elsewhere is the company that carried out the renovation and this company raises funds for LTTE propagandas. I told the President I have an issue about the audit and the security of the residence. I wanted an audit carried out and specifically told the President that I don’t want the MEA to do it and the President sent a group from the Finance Ministry. They came immediately. The Defence Ministry sent a team to look into the security issue.

Q:
Who undersigned all the bills pertaining to the Geneva office finance?
A: The MEA.
Q:
Why did not other ambassadors before you notice such irregularities?
A: No one cared about it. I do because I have a background and I am strict about such matters.
Q:
Do you think the President is unaware of these things?
A: He has many tasks to look into. These are nitty-gritty matters for him.

Q:
Where is the audit final report?
A: It is with MP Sajin Vass. It has been taken up in Parliament. But, the group is defending Thurairajah, the LTTE fundraiser, who is responsible for renovating the mission building in Geneva, instead of correcting what is in the audit report. Why are they defending Thurairajah? He has his lawyers to defend him. What Sri Lanka should do is expose the irregularities and find the persons behind it.

Q:
Do you want to act on the audit report?
A: It has to be done by the MEA.

Q:
After the resolution was passed how was your status in office?
A: I was not getting any official mails. They wanted me out before September 2011, but they did it by 2012. At the September 2011 session of the Human Rights Council, we had succeeded in forcing the US and Canada to withdraw the draft resolution on Sri Lanka. The Canadians, acting on behalf of Washington, had already tabled the resolution. If adopted, it would have put Sri Lanka on the Council’s agenda at its March 2012 session. Its withdrawal was a singular victory for Sri Lanka. So, it intrigues me why Kshenuka Seneviratne and Sajin de Vass wanted me out, why they intervened in the affairs of the mission and re-assigned our best diplomats to transport and serving tea to the delegation from Colombo. Why, right in the middle of the session, they tried to have recalled one of them who, despite the pressures, did a remarkable job. Why they then sent this person to a punishment station because, according to ministry sources, ‘without (this person’s) help,’ they could have ‘put me out already in September 2011,’ and, why during the March 2012 session of the Council they told certain mission staff ‘you will see there will be a resolution against Sri Lanka at this session, and she will be out!’

Q:
Will you take up any FM post if offered by the government?
A: No way, at present circumstances.
Q:
When will you accept?
A: The moment the government shows keen interest on its people and not themselves.

Q:
Do you regret working for the government?
A: I would have continued if I was allowed to serve the Sri Lankans which they did not allow me to. I continue to work in the interest of Sri Lanka still, which I do though I don’t directly work for this country. I serve the interests of the developing countries now.

Q:
Why didn’t you step down when matters turned bitter and expose then?
A: Well I did step down. While serving the mission we should work for the country and we take oath that we would maintain the country’s dignity and integrity.

Q:
What ails the Foreign ministry?
A: There is no direction. The orientation of the government is not there. There is no clear direction on the government policies on various sectors. You cannot carry a coherent foreign policy. That has been hijacked. Also, huge debt, poverty and unemployment, and crashing education system have not been people friendly.
(amiesulo@gmail.com)

Pope Francis arriving in majority Buddhist Sri Lanka must apologize for the crimes of the Catholic Church?

November 15th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The head of the Catholic Church and head of the sovereign nation known as Vatican City is to arrive in Sri Lanka in January 2015. It will be the 2nd visit of a Pope to a majority Buddhist nation wherein Catholics comprise just over 1million of a 20million population of which 14million are Sinhalese Buddhists. It is also a good time for the Pope to make a long overdue apology for the crimes committed to Sri Lanka by the Church and the Portuguese an apology that deserves to be extended to all of Asia and in particular India.

What is unusual about the Vatican is that it is the only religion in the world to be granted the right to a sovereign state and the Pope is the head of the sovereign government (the Vatican). This makes the Pope in par with any President or Prime Minister of another sovereign country and Catholicism the only religion to be recognized with statehood. While the heads of the other countries take care of the needs of all communities in their respective countries, as head of the Vatican, the Pope is concerned ONLY about the promotion and fostering of Roman Catholic faith. This differentiation is extremely important for no matter what speeches are given those have no legal binding to the real aims and objectives of the Catholic Church.

The Church and the Pope have apologized for crimes committed by the Church. Sri Lanka asking for a similar apology is nothing that should thus surprise anyone.

The Pope has apologized to the Jews, Galileo, women, Europeans, Muslims killed by the Crusades, the Chinese for the role of the missionaries, the slave trade in Africa. Some apologies like the ones to Canada’s native people have come without mentioning what the crimes committed by the Church were. Some apologies as in the case of Galilieo came 359 years too late while the apology for the execution of religious reformer Jan Hus came 584 years later!

The apologies by the Church also reveals the atrocities the Church has been involved in and include : murder of 1.6million Jews, slave trade, male domination, burning people on the stake, Church stand against women’s rights, forcible removal of aboriginal children from their mothers, abuse towards Eskimos and native Indian Americans, sexual abuse by priests.

But why has the Pope not apologized to India for the Goa Inquisition and to Sri Lanka for 153 years of crimes?

The apology to India for the Goa Inquisition is yet to come and that inquisition was extended to Sri Lanka as well.  Is it too much to ask that Pope Francis arriving to a majority Buddhist nation that has not objected to the canonization of Joseph Vaz, should extend a gesture by apologizing for the crimes committed by the Church to the Buddhists in particular as well as to the Hindus and Muslims in Sri Lanka because together they make up 98% of Sri Lanka’s present population?

The right of Sri Lanka to seek apology from Pope Francis falls well within the declaration made by Pope John Paul II on 12 March 2000 when he said “Christians have violated the rights of ethnic groups and peoples, and shown contempt for their cultures and religious traditions’. We now want to hear from Pope Francis himself that these policies and attitudes have actually changed in the present context. We feel we are not asking too much.

Therefore, we feel both India and Sri Lanka deserve to be included into the Pope’s apology list.

The Portuguese Roman Catholics ruled Sri Lanka from 1505 to 1658. One Hundred and Fifty Three Years the country suffered irreparable damage.

In case many jump to declare that these allegations are all hallucinations and figments of the imagination of non-Catholics, it would be good for critics to read the works of Fernao de Queiro, Friar Paulo da Trinidade whose historical chronicles corroborate with the local accounts.

The crimes committed in Sri Lanka were by the Roman Catholic Emperor of Portugal, His Viceroy in Goa & the Roman Catholic priests in Sri Lanka. Together these are the crimes they committed:

Conversion
  • Buddhists / Hindus / Islam to Catholicism but prohibiting Catholics from converting to Buddhism/Hinduism/Islam
  • Imposing Catholicism violently upon Buddhists and Hindus
  • Examples of churches built over temples – Kochchikade Church in Colombo, Madhu Church was a Pattini devale. Fellippe de Oliveria, conqueror of Jaffna had destroyed 500 temples. Filipe De Oliveriya punished all those who practiced anything anti-Christian. The Society of Jesus – the Roman Catholic missionary, constructed nearly 30 Catholic churches by vandalizing and demolishing Hindu temples. He introduced compulsory proselytizing. Franciscan Friars converted more 6000 Tamils to Christianity (Prof. Endagama)
  • Papal Bulls of 1452, 1455, 1456 sanctioned Portugal to acquire territory and convert heathens (Lorna Devaraja). Coastal communities (Jaffna, Mannar, Negombo, Chilaw) underwent mass conversions (That anti-Portuguese feeling in Lanka) Prof Abeyasinghe of University of Colombo, notes that in the period 1624-1626, the Franciscans alone converted 52,000 Jaffna Tamils.“According to detailed statistics furnished in Friar Paulo da Trinidade’s work, there were in Jaffna in 1634, over 70,000 adult Christians and children being instructed in the faith under 25 parishes of the Franciscans alone.” “Taking that figure as a rough basis for the calculation of the total number of Christians in Jaffna under the care of the 42 parishes, one gets the figure 115,000,” he concludes. Antonio Bocarro’s report of 1634 states that in Jaffna, “nearly all natives are Christians”. Fernao de Queiros, the renowned Portuguese chronicler of Ceylon (as Sri Lanka was then called) had described Jaffna as being “wholly Christian”.
Demolishing all heathen places of worship
  • Portuguese historian Father de Queyroz gives a list of all Buddhist temples razed to the ground on top of which Catholic Churches are erected.
  • Examples of temples destroyed 1000 pillared temples in Devundara, Trincomalee, Kailasanathar Temple (Nallur), in 1575 Muneswaram Temple, Chilapam (Chillaw), Saman Devale in Ratnapura, Kelaniya temple (Dr. Susantha Goonetilleke). in 1575 Muneswaram Temple, Chilapam (Chillaw), in 1588 Vishnu Temple in Devinuwera, Tirukethieswaram Temple, Mathoddam (Matota) and in 1622 Tiru Konesar Temple, Thirukonamalai (Trincomalee), Nallur Kandasamy Kovil razed to the down and replaced with a Christian church at Nallur and a fort in Jaffna There are hardly many Buddhist temples over 150 years old in areas once ruled by the Portuguese.
Killing non-Catholic clergy
  • Scores of Buddhist monks / Hindu priests were slain
  • According to MU de Silva from 1574 onwards Buddhist and Hindu temples were all destroyed along the West coast and monks/priests had to either flee or were killed
Crimes against Muslims
  • Crimes of Captain General Constantino De Sa de Noronha under orders by King Philip of Portugal expelled the Muslims. Muslims were saved by King Senerath (ruler of the Kandyan Kingdom) who rescued and settled the Muslims in Batticoloa – the wrath against Muslims was because of their refusal to convert and because Muslims posed a threat in trade
Looting, ransacking and destruction of Buddhist schools (pirivenas) and Buddhist mini universities
  • Sunethra Devi Piriven in Kotte, Vidagama Pirivena in Raigama, Tottagamuwe Pirivena in Hikkaduwa. Dr. Goonetilleke points out that the level of scholarship was so high in some of these schools that mathematicians could count upto 10 to the power of 54 when the Greeks knew to count only upto 10,000 while their knowledge of medicine was far higher than Europe.
  • Setting up of Catholic schools to teach Portuguese language (Had the Portuguese rule prevailed and spread throughout Sri Lanka, it would have completely lost is Buddhist heritage and become a Westernized Catholic country.
Seizure of non-Christian texts
  • All sacred religious text books seized and destroyed
Denial to practice religion
  • All Buddhists and Hindus prohibited from visiting their respective temples
Prohibiting non-Christian events
  • Buddhist/Hindu wedding ceremonies, religious processions prohibited
Taking over non-Christian orphans
  • Non-Christian orphans given to Christians foster parents and baptized
Prohibiting lodgings with non-Christians
  • Christians were prohibited from living or lodging with non-Christians
Divide & Rule
  • Dividing the amity between the Sinhala Buddhists and Hindu Tamils (Prof. Endagama) for conversion
Breaking the existing Eastern family system of respect for elders
  • the Asian family obligation structure broken to place God above all else and Catholic converts were told to view God as supreme (Prof. Endagama)

 

Changing Sinhala Buddhist / Hindu Tamil names
  • changing rituals and ceremonies to adapt to western,

 

Destroying the traditional economy and social structure of the Sinhalas
  • downgrading agriculture and making the country reliant only on trade (Prof Endagama gives examples of how Sri Lanka sent engineers even to India to construct canals and storage tanks and the ancient Kashmiri chronicle “Rajatarangini’ mentions this)
  • Introducing liquor to get Sinhala & Hindus intoxicated leading to numerous problems that would divide families and country
Nurturing Sinhala/Tamil Christian mercenaries
  • to act against the State which continues unabated.

 

Applying Roman law “Cujus Regio, Illius Religio”
  • (he who rules the land determines the religion) famous Battle of Danure in 1593 when Kandyan peasants battled with the Portuguese to stop the kidnapping of 12 year old Dona Catherina to be married to the Portuguese which would have given legal authority to fully conquer Sri Lanka.

These will be argued as things of the past to be forgotten but the very Christian countries of the world are seeking ‘accountability’ from Sri Lanka when having weathered 30 years of terror and having eliminated that terror the people would like to move on. If ‘accountability’ is the witch hunt by mostly the EU bloc of nations, should they not admit to some of their sins as well? Is that logic too difficult to accept? There cant be a time bar on crimes especially the type of crimes that took place before the establishment of the UN. The victims of the Europeans that conquered the new world to conquer, commerce and convert committed atrocities of the kind that are today referred to as ‘genocide’ and crimes against humanity’ and ‘war crimes’ but these happened in far worse scale than that which media currently projects using the same terms.

What the Pope, the Church, the Catholics and members of the other Abrahamic religions should realize is that the non-Abrahamic religions lost out on entire indigenous races, religions and territory because of the policies adopted by the Church and its rulers via the Papal Bulls that ordered Catholics/Christians to take over lands and declare them Christian.

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/10/17/papal-bulls-the-crimes-the-churchpopes-ordered-the-kings-to-commit/ (Papal Bulls – the Crimes the Church/Popes ordered the Kings to commit

This imperial domination has not ceased and men, movements and money (links to Western Governments, NGO lobbies, secret intelligence agencies) continue to be allocated to harvest souls. Those that claim that non-Abrahamic religions are exaggerating and pretending to raise unnecessary fears of Catholic-Christian-Islam expansionist movements may like to explain what happened to the once Buddhist Maldives, the once Buddhist Bangladesh, the once majority Buddhist South Korea where a 90% Buddhist population in the 1940s has within 65 years declined to 23% and is one of the Church’s success stories and where Pope Francis will leave for after Sri Lanka to celebrate that victory.

We would also like to have Pope Francis make a statement on certain elements within the Catholic Church collaborating with the LTTE

  • links of some Church fathers in Sri Lanka to LTTE terror and launch an immediate investigation on their conduct to decide whether they deserved to be ex-communicated.
  • Father Emmanuel is named by Sri Lankan Government as head of a banned LTTE front
  • Father Rayappu Joseph allowed LTTE to use Madhu Church and declared open the “Embassy of the Tamil Eelam”, the Eelam House in London.
  • Fathers of the Church writing letters to the UNHRC repeatedly calling for war crimes inquiry against Sri Lanka

 

Francis Xavier to the Pope, the Church and Catholics in Sri Lanka will be hailed as a Saint but to the rest of the Sri Lankans he would be remembered for the conversion drive started in 1543, the punishment he ordered from Portugal against Sankili of Jaffna and the mass conversions that took place from 1619 onwards. Fernao de Queiros, the Portuguese chronicler had written that the people of Jaffna had been “reduced to the utmost misery” under Portuguese rule. When the Dutch arrived, the converted Hindus returned to Hinduism while some became Christian while the coastal Paravas remained Catholic.

Many others have been made Saints despite dubious past. Giving sainthood is a right of the Pope and the Church, however, being asked to deliver an apology is not too much to ask and it is well within our rights as descendants of those who suffered and apology and reparation is a legal entitlement that Pope Francis should seriously consider before arriving to Sri Lanka.

Given that apologies have been made for other crimes committed by the Church, an apology is nothing compared to the atrocities that were committed in the name of religion on the orders of the Church and followed by the Kings.

An apology from the Pope/Church will serve justice the Sinhalse Buddhists, the Hindu Tamils and the Muslims. That is virtually 98% of Sri Lanka!

It will be nice to see the Pope projected as amicable and understanding look at the request from a victim’s point of view.

Secession and the TNA stand

November 15th, 2014

Chandre DharmawardanaOttawa, Canada

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Writing to The Island Newspaper, 5-11- 2014, Dr. Nirmala Chandrahasan has contested one of the issues that emerges from the article published by Prof. Gerald Peiries (Island, 24 October) . In effect, Nirmala C suggests that, given the assertions found  in the TNA Manifesto, and the public statements of the Hon. Mr. Sampanthan, the issue of the fear of a secessionist policy is no longer a concern. In fact, Nirmala C writes  “am not sure whether the writer is aware that the TNA leadership in general and the leader of the TNA in particular Mr. R. Sampanthan have in Parliament and outside, and in their Manifesto categorically stated that they are for a United Sri Lanka, and are not espousing a separate state.”

Prof. Gerald Peiries, Nirmala C, and I myself were students at the Cambridge University and knew each other closely, and we all respect the advantages we had then, and  have today after the Eelam wars, in being able to discuss these issues openly and  and as friends, even when we may hold somewhat differing political views regarding how to achieve a peaceful, “united Sri Lanka.”

As Poongakoothai Chandrahasan has noted in some of her film clips, the people in the south were immensely joyous  in May 2009  “because the war is over”, while those in the North were also overcome with relief, even if expressed in a more muted manner.

However, there rests  a vast bulwark of suspicion in the country, as well as a genuine fear of the possibility of a recrudescence of terrorism in the country.  This suspicion  drives a  set of  low-key  gestapo tactics allegedly orchestrated by the state.

So it is necessary for the TNA to take some explicit steps to allay these fears, instead of referring to its Manifesto. Even in the case of the TNA manifesto, an official English and Sinhalese translation should be available.  Is it  13A, 13A+, federation, confederation, ISGA, or Arasu? The average person is confused. Federalism versus Arasu  is a question that has plagued the ITAK since its foundation in 1949.  The Tamil language election presentations since the 1950s,  often written to reflect, e.g., Mr. Navaratnam’s more militant views, differed significantly  from those written in English, and many Tamil-language documents are said to have talked of Arasu in its true sense, even in 1952. This ambiguity still exists, perhaps in the minds of many people including those in the TNA.

What many people remember of the TNA is its unstinted support for the LTTE, as well as its refusal to categorically denounce the assassinations of people of the calibre of Amirthalingam, Kadirgamar  and others. Unlike, say,  Mr. Anandasangaree, the leaders of the TNA have not taken a clear stand on the terrorism of the LTTE.

In France, after the World War II, the Vichy government leaders  who  collaborated with the enemy were prosecuted. The present government has, instead, very rightly accepted the TNA into the mainstream of politics, probably in the hope that the TNA would assist it in the reconciliation effort. It went ahead with the Northern provincial-council elections in spite of  hard-liner attempts to prevent it. The conciliatory attitude of the government towards the TNA that collaborated with the LTTE  has been met with has not been appreciated.

A great step for confidence building would be for the TNA to clearly denounce the crimes committed by the LLTE – its assassinations, abductions of children etc., even when the TNA was the political mouthpiece of the LTTE.  The impression that many observes have is that the TNA continues to  recognize Prabhakaran as their “guiding spirit” and  Talaivar.  That is a serious road-block to confidence building.

Given that most nations had listed the LTTE as a terrorist organization, what is the moral difficulty that the TNA faces in distancing itself from Prabhakaran and his legacy?

The other issue that most Southerners cannot understand is the claim  that the North and the East , merged , form the “exclusive” homeland of the Tamils. Michael Roberts has given an excellent narration of  the rise of Tamil militant nationalism” and the homeland concept (South Asian Studies, Vol XXVII.  2004). Mr. G. G. Ponnambalam used to assert that the whole of Sri Lanka is the homeland of the Tamils. The latter, modified to mean that it is the homeland of all Ceylonese, was the position taken by D. S. Senanayake  (Hansard, 1945, Nov. 8). The TNA has to clarify its stand on this “exclusive” homeland issue as well, not just in legalistic jargon whichmeans nothing to the ordinary person, but in actions, by being inclusive in practice, rather than by being “exclusive”.

Chandre Dharmawardana

Ottawa, Canada

 

UNP, JVP, JHU, DNA, TNA and Sarath N.Silva- the Birds of Feather Flock together.

November 15th, 2014

By Charles .S.Perera

Athureliye Ratana, Madoluwawe Sobita and Omalpe Sobita are naïve politicians playing into the hands of the political sharks of the opposition. They little understand that they are  being made the cats paw to draw political benefits for the opposition political parties. Ranil Wickramasinghe has now dropped every other catch phrase in favour of  “ implement the 19 Amendment presented by Athureliya Ratana of JHU ”.

 With the Presidential Elections around the corner time is appropriate for the West to intervene to make an “Arab Spring” like situation in Sri Lanka.  In Libya all started with a small group in Bengazi manifesting against the government of Colonel Gaddafi  , which was immediately infiltrated into by the CIA Agents in hand, in American  Embassies supplying the manifestants ,  who the west called the rebels and later freedom fighters

 “The impact of the Arab Spring concerns protests or by the way attempts to organize growing protest movements that were inspired by or similar to the Arab Spring in the Arab-majority states of North Africa and the Middle East, according to commentators, organisers, and critics. These demonstrations and protest efforts have all been critical of the government in their respective countries, though they have ranged from calls for the incumbent government to make certain policy changes to attempts to bring down the current political system in its entirety. In some countries, protests have become large or widespread enough to effect change at the national level, as in Armenia, while in others, such as Djibouti, were swiftly suppressed.” (Wikipedia)

 There are dangers of  these proxi wars instigated by a major power which does not itself become involved.

 The National Council for a Clean Tomorrow  or the Movement for a just society may well be considered as   movements  organised by concerned political leaders who want to change the present system of the President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s  government taking away the executive powers given to him under the constitution.  Thus making the President a wingless bird, a decoration.

 But to what extent are these opposition manifestants aware they are probably in the collimator of the West as potential movements for a regime change.  Any attempt to repress such moments by the government would  result in the NATO forces kept alert,  with the American embassy and the UN moving in to warn the government to allow  these political movements to continue their manifestations  against the  Executive  Presidency thus  forcing  an internal struggle for power; to take side with a political leader already groomed to be their puppet.

 Whole of West is playing a hypocritical  role in buying over the developing countries. “ The EU has always felt most comfortable working on its neighbors with the instruments of trade and aid. In this way it has bound them closer, helped them to become more like European societies – and often, in the end, brought them into the Union – (See more at: http://www.ecfr.eu/article/commentary_europes_role_in_the_arab_spring#sthash.L21p7RDo.dpuf)

 This should be seen with the recent EU Court’s decision to remove the ban on LTTE and  refusal to buy Sri Lanka fish.

 Therefore the Minister Champika Ranawaka should move into inform the misguided Athureliya Ratana thero of the dangers involved in going against the government;  If the government falls and  Mahinda Rajapaksa is to be sent home as you all want  that would be the end of all the progress Sri Lanka has  made since 2005.

 These politicians of the opposition do not know what they may be in for with   modern methods of regime change the West is employing in a subtle manner,   first by financing them and then  advising them of different methods to adopt to make a success of their movements and then arm them if necessary.

 It cannot be denied that there are already well trained NGOs amoung the manifestants to influence them to make  the peaceful manifestations take  an  uncontrollable dimension ending up in riots. Then it would be police and the army intervening  and one would not know where it would end……..” An Arab spring” ?

 These movements  started by demanding the abolition of the executive presidency, but amoung the politicians present there were variations of these demands.  Sarath N.Silva said that as the SC has  ruled that the President Mahinda Rajapakse  can present himself for a Presidential election for a third term no one can now contest that decision, but can  continue their call for the abolition of the Executive presidency. 

 JVP says that the Election is illegal and therefore they will be protesting against the Presidential election. UNP wants  the Amendment 19 presented by JHU accepted.   Madoluwawe Sobhita wants a modified version of the Executive President.  Hence they are not united in the demand they make.

 UNP says that the President is not respecting the Parliament and acting as if it does not exist.  But every one other than Ranil knows, that the  President Mahinda Rajapakse is very democratic  and respects the Parliament. It is  unlike Ranil Wickramasinghe who turned his back to the President and to the elected President to sign a MoU with Prabhkaran the terrorist.

 Omalpe Sobhita thera in the meantime wants the President Mahinda Rajapakse to be like the King Mahsen.   King Mahasen was a lucky man to have been born in that era, the problems today would have been beyond him to settle.  The Kings those days could fight opposition with impunity.  It was  not like it is today, to-day’s enemies are unpredictable and could strangle a nation in various ways.   Therefore to fight the enemies within and without  President Mahinda Rajapase has to have special powers.  Therefore the executive power is imperative to wade through the barriers put before him,  to develop the country and take it towards further development.

 President Mahinda Rajapakse’s enemies are innumerable.  Sri Lanka now has no major problems but has to be left alone to develop the country.  But yet the West concentrates all its attention on  Sri Lanka, when they should turn to other centres of trouble and turmoil.  In Nigeria on the 14th of April 2014,  276 girls from a secondary school  in Chibok  was kidnapped by the Nigerian terrorists Boko Haram.  To date no body knows of the plight of these young girls. 

 So far neither the Western governments that interfere to question violation of human rights in the elimination of terrorists in Sri Lanka five years ago, or  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein the UN Commissioner of Human Rights very keen on a probe into Sri Lanka  have not  taken any action to get these 276 girls released, though they( west and UN) are ever ready with their NATO forces and their bombs to solve political problems.

 But these are Western countries, therefore  we have to keep our eyes  open to see their hypocrisy and their determination to stop poor countries of the so called third world from progressing  to development and parity with the developed  west.  They are watching  and the moment they see a political leader of a developing country organising the resources for development and prosperity, they  find various means to change such progress by their new method of regime change.

 It is in the interest of our country  that every Sri Lankan should open their eyes to see these threats coming from the West and not allow themselves to be their cats paw for a regime change.  The Executive Presidency in Sri Lanka is a great boon offered by JR Jayawardhane even if some of us do not agree with his politics.  It helped greatly in the elimination of the terrorists and it is still useful to keep at bay the Western wolves at our threshold.

 The American Centres in Jaffna and Colombo are very active.  They can influence young minds against our leaders who challenge the  West for the sake of the development of the country and bring peace, unity and prosperity to our people.  This is a time that we should be  very carful while being alert and watchful to see from where the dangers come  to our  President, his government, the people and the country.

 It is in this situation that  it is sad to see our monks falling in line with the reactionary forces to  allow the deadly vipers of the west to slither into our midst to destroy every thing we have gained  since 2005 after elimination of terrorism.

 The speech of Omalpe Sobita Thera’s speech invoking King Mahasen, at the Jana Raliya –National Council of Clean tomorrow ( cleanliness in what way) shows how ignorant these priests are of the implication of politics in a global sense.

 When he says that Mahinda Rajapakse who once walked from Colombo to Kataragama calling for abolition of  the executive presidency could become another Mahasen, if he only listened to reason, it is he who should listen to reason, as  he confounds with time and place.  It was a different time  and the problems then were not as  serious as they were when Mahinda Rajapakse was elected President in 2005.

 JR Jayawardhane had in fact abused the powers of executive presidency.

 “One cannot compare President Jayawardena with President Rajapaksa. When the LTTE was cornered at Vadamaratchi, why did President Jayawardena agree to stop battling the LTTE?. He had the absolute ability to tell Rajiv Gandhi to stop bullying Sri Lanka in the manner that President Rajapaksa told all the Superpowers when they wanted him to stop battling the LTTE in May 2009. But President Rajapaksa could not be moved by all the Superpowers including the USA that at first cajoled him and later even threatened him. President Jayawardena abused his power in becoming a poodle to Rajiv Gandhi and even foisting the 13 th Amendment onto the Constitution of Sri Lanka. On the contrary President Rajapaksa stood by the people of the country and maintained the sovereignty of Sri Lanka in not stopping the assault on the LTTE.”  (Garving Karunaratne in Lankaweb)

 This explains how well the President Mahinda Rajapakse  used his executive powers.  As Sri Lanka is still not really out of the terrorist menace and the Tamils refusing to cooperate with the rest of the communities to unite into one  Nation of Sri Lankans, and the Muslims  calling for a regional administration, the President should keep his executive powers intact as it may still be useful .

 We saw lately the Chief Minister  C.V.Wigneswaran who was invited  to Tamilnadu  for a lecture making use of that occasion instead of making an ennobling lecture ,  to lash out at Sri Lanka Government projecting the Tamil ethnicity, and discrimination against the Tamils by the government keeping them under surveillance by the Armed Forces.

 It is time that CM Wigneswaran realise at least now it is time to stop referring to ethnic Tamils in Sri Lanka as they are  all  Sri Lankans.

 Coming back to Omalpe Sobita thero’s speech, he said that it was true that the LTTE’s eventual defeat occurred under President Rajapaksa’s watch, but the abuse of his executive powers in the post war era, left much to be desired and there was no doubt that he had to change his ways. 

 Here  Omalpe Sobita  failed to  mention what abuses of executive power the President has committed.  We the ordinary people know that he has been a model president respecting  democracy and looking after the welfare of the people and developing the country.  If Omalpe Sobita knows of  abuse of the executive powers of the President Mahinda Rajapakse  it is his duty to show them.

 Omalpe Sobhita continued , “ We are willing to help the President mend his ways and the first step in this direction has to be the abolition of the executive presidency which, with its unbridled powers is the main cause of undemocratic  rule, rampant corruption, breakdown in the law and order situation and the unprecedented crime rate.”

 The President should not listen to this mad ranting of a monk, corruption, break down in law and order cannot be wholely put to the President, who has not failed the people who elected him.  He has governed within the democratic norms.  It is Omalpe Sobita and other Buddhist monks who have abused their role of  Buddhist monkhood to leave the people behind to take to politics who are responsible for  unprecedented crime rate in Sri Lanka.

 Omalpe Sobita stressed “that the executive presidency had to be scrapped for the greater good of the country and its people. He hoped that President Rajapaksa would listen to reason.”

 This is certainly not good advice . The giving up of the executive presidency now is committing political suicide, in the sense it would  leave a gap that would open Sri Lanka for its enemies to do what hey want with it.  Sri Lanka’s continued existence as a sovereign state preserving what it has gained so far and what developments it has made depends on the re-election of the President Mahinda Rajapakse for a third term and more.

 This ignorant  Omalpe Sobita says, “ The President, he noted, was trying to take all the credit for the war victory but he has forgotten that it was “One man cannot take all the credit for the sacrifices made by millions.”

 Certainly the victory over the terrorists is to the credit of  the President Mahind Rajapakse.  If this man  was not elected President in 2005, despite  able  Military, Naval, and Air Force  Commanders , Officers and soldiers , the terrorism would never have been eliminated.    That these foolish people should understand. We should of course be very much thankful to our great heroic Armed Forces, but one man who made the victory over terrorism possible was none other than the President Mahinda Rajapakse.

 To top it all another very power thirsty political monk Athureliya Ratana  has said , “The government has alleged that we are being backed by NGO’s funded by Western powers, but they have failed to realize that what you hear today is the people’s genuine voice. Our movement is gathering steam. It has the backing of a cross section of political parties, civil society, professional organisations and the masses. Many Ministers have told me that they would quit the government the day that Mahinda announces a presidential election. He will then realize the strength of our mission,”

 These people little know how the West and its secret services work. The Western Secret Service Agents  will not make funding manifestants and influencing them to militancy and taking up arms openly.  They will not bother with the leaders of these movements. They will select a few influenceable unruly  elements  from the crowd and it is through them they will start their “deadly” activity.  This is how they did it in Libya, Syria, and recently in Ukraine.  This is how proxi wars begin.

 JHU should go back to the President and support him to keep his executive powers  and win his third term in office as the Executive President of Sri Lanka.  It is for the good of all of us and the good of our motherland which we all love so dearly.

 Another Constitution for Sri Lanka or Amendments to the Present Constitution should come later during the Presidents third term.

China – Four days in Buddhist temple takes life back to a simple level

November 15th, 2014

By Cang Wei in Wuxi, Jiangsu province

(Courtesy China Daily, USA)

Chen Yu was one of 50 city-dwellers chosen by Qixia Temple in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, to experience four days of traditional Buddhist life. And it was a body-changing experience.

“I never took sleep and food this seriously,” Chen said.

After seeing on the Internet that the temple was recruiting 50 people nationwide to take a meditation journey from Tuesday to Friday, college student Chen made a phone call and was chosen from among 3,500 applicants.

“I felt dizzy several times when I chanted with the monks at 5:30 in the morning on an empty stomach,” Chen said. “I used to stay up late, but the temple has a regulation that we should wake up at 5:00.

“Sitting cross-legged for hours also makes some participants feel strange. I couldn’t bear even 10 minutes this morning as my legs gradually became numb. The monks told us that it always happened to newcomers, and we could walk around for a while.”

An hour later, when the participants had breakfast together with the monks, the whole dining hall, though it housed hundreds of people, was silent. People are supposed to make no sound when they eat. Breakfast was a bowl of soy milk, a fried breadstick and some vegetables.

“We had various kinds of vegetables for lunch and dinner because people are not supposed to eat meat at Buddhist temples,” said another participant, office worker Yu Ying. “To my surprise, the dishes at the temple tasted good. I may try to become a vegetarian in the future for my health.”

The temple also requires participants to refrain from using cellphones to achieve a better meditation experience.

“Many people’s lives are filled with anxieties and desires,” said Zhang, a college teacher in Nanjing who preferred that only his surname be used. “But as social animals, sometimes we cannot fight off our desires. I consider that the meditation journey at the temple provides people a chance to look inside themselves and find inner peace.”

It is suggested that participants go to bed before 9 pm and refrain from drinking, smoking and gossip. Also, only unscented soaps, shampoos and toothpastes are allowed.

“Come with no prejudice and leave with ease, that is what Zen is about,” said Master Longxiang, abbot of Qixia Temple, when he greeted the participants. “You will meditate, chant and learn traditional Chinese culture, such as calligraphy and a tea ceremony, during the four days.”

According to the temple, another meditation class will be provided to 150 people during the New Year festival. There is no charge for food, accommodation and activities provided by the temple.

http://usa.chinadaily.com.cn/epaper/2014-10/23/content_18791033.htm

The Šešelj Case: Justice At Last?

November 15th, 2014

by Stephen Karganovic Courtesy  VINEYARDSAKER Blog

After almost twelve years of extra-judicial agony at the Detention Unit of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at the Hague, on November 12 Serbian political leader Vojislav Šešelj returned home to Belgrade. True, the circumstances of his release (regarded as “provisional” in the terminology of the Tribunal which incarcerated him) leave quite a few more questions than they provide answers. To state just a simple one that immediately comes to mind, why isn’t there a verdict after the seemingly interminable trial? (Chief Prosecutor Serge Brammertz forecasts there might be one at the end of 2015.)

Sordid background of the Šešelj case. All who have followed attentively these lengthy proceedings will attest to their uniqueness, even by unconventional the standards of the ad hoc political court in the Hague. Politics has undisguisedly directed these proceedings from the start. A nationalist political gadfly, Vojislav Šešelj and his Serbian Radical Party were a most inconvenient presence for the slavishly pro-Western regime installed in Belgrade after the October 2000 “color revolution,” which saw the rise of the infamous “Otpor” outfit of professional subversives backed by Western money and logistics who were the operational precursors of a succession of similarly orchestrated coups elsewhere. In a memorable exchange with the then Hague Prosecutor Carla del Ponte, Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjić pleaded with her to “take Šešelj to the Hague and never bring him back.” Del Ponte obliged in 2003 and issued an arrest warrant for Šešelj soon thereafter, never mind the fact that neither the indictment was ready nor was there evidence to support it. That was leisurely compiled over the following several years, while the defendant Šešelj was rotting away in his prison cell in the Netherlands and waiting for the procedural niceties which usually precede detention to be completed.

But all the while he was under guard a safe political distance away from Western-installed minions in Belgrade who were busily tearing Serbia apart and following subserviently the cues of Western ambassadors who assumed proconsular authority in the devastated country.

Procedural travesty. One would think that the five-year pre-trial delay in the commencement of the Šešelj trial was enough of an egregious violation of the accused’s human and procedural rights to cause the matter to be dismissed. But not at ICTY. It would seem self-evident that the outrageous delay and concomitant denial of provisional release throughout that period, coupled with the inexpeditious pace of the trial after it finally started, constituted a sufficiently grave violation of the right to speedy trial and thus a valid reason for quashing further proceedings. Be it noted that the right to a “fair and expeditious trial” is guaranteed in Rule 65ter (B) of the Tribunal’s own Rules of Evidence and Procedure, which the ultimately twelve year incarceration of Vojislav Šešelj appears by any reasonable standard to have violated. Add to that the complete collapse of prosecution’s case by the time it ended in March of 2011 and its consequent failure to demonstrate a single charge in the indictment. According to the Tribunal’s own rules, Rule 98bis to be exact, at that stage the Chamber should have assessed the evidence in the light most favorable to the accused and abrogated further proceedings if it appeared that the prosecution failed to present proof that might reasonably lead to a conviction.

Despite Prosecution’s manifest failure to present such proof, and the clearly expressed view of Chamber president Antoneti that the concept of joint criminal enterprise, upon which much of the indictment hinged, was misapplied in the Šešelj case, the majority of the Chamber voted for the trial to proceed. The political beneficiaries of this prolongation were the then and present rulers of Serbia. As a result of it, they were shielded until a few days ago from the unsavory prospect of a triumphant Šešelj returning to lead his resurgent Radical Party in the next Serbian elections. To make matters even more absurd, instead of moving forward to some sort of conclusion after the 98bis hearing in the Spring of 2011, the case-in-chief since then has been meandering around collateral issues, specifically contempt of court charges against the defendant for allegedly publicizing the identities of prosecution’s protected witnesses. It did not matter that all those witnesses had signed affidavits that they do not object to the lifting of protective measures. The trial was thus effectively prevented from advancing into the defence phase or the issuance of a verdict while these contrived issues were being considered, although the conclusion of the tedious proceedings as a whole was long overdue.

A word is in order about the presiding judge Jean-Claude Antonetti. After several judges in succession were replaced, he was appointed to head Šešelj’s Chamber on the eve of the trial’s commencement. Judged by purely formal standards, his performance has been commendable. But note should be taken of the fact that, though unlike his predecessors he has been a generally fair umpire in the courtroom, Antonetti alone had no decisive influence, flanked as he was by judges Harhoff (replaced recently by judge Mandiaye Niang) and Latanzzi who made no attempt to conceal their animosity toward the defendant. There is no particular reason to question Antoneti’s personal honour and professional rectitude, but his practical role in the Šešelj proceedings was limited and may be likened to that of Dubček: his role is to act as the Tribunal’s “human face”. Whatever the ultimate reason for Antoneti’s assignment, it must be recognized that his generally reasonable conduct has had the paradoxical effect of improving the quality of Šešelj’s performance. No longer obliged to assume the posture of an enfant terrible in order to dramatise the unfairness and absurdity of the proceedings against him, Vojislav Šešelj, who may not be a man of great social refinement but happens to be a person of enormous erudition and legal competence, could at last focus on the effective conduct of his defence and demonstrate publicly his complete mastery of the lawyer’s craft.

The list of procedural violations in the Šešelj case is long and varied, but we may reduce it to the following principal issues.

Undoubtedly, a fundamental issue in this category is the apparent fact that the indictment itself was not motivated by legal but crassly political motives. Though scandalous, Prime Minister Djindjić’s invitation to prosecutor Del Ponte to make Šešelj disappear from Belgrade was somewhat understandable coming from politician Djindjić seeking to get rid of his foremost political rival. But that a supposedly reputable international judicial institution should act upon such a crudely political invitation, as The Hague Tribunal has done, is an outrage of the first order.

The “Trial”. Such an infelicitous inception of the Šešelj case could not but lead to a lengthy train of subsequent abuses. In spite of the fact that Šešelj turned himself in voluntarily within days of being informed of the warrant for his arrest and that at various junctures during his incarceration he satisfied all of the Tribunal’s own criteria for pre-trial release, he was consistently denied that privilege afforded to others. That remained the position until the Chamber finally faced the insoluble dilemma of having to legally rationalize a guilty verdict and at the same time justify a politically correct lengthy prison sentence exceeding the accused’s already unreasonably lengthy pre-verdict incarceration. The priority became getting rid of the pesky defendant. When a few months ago Vojislav Šešelj was diagnosed with a metastasis of liver cancer, a Solomonic solution for a virtually unconditional “conditional release” emerged. The Tribunal practically threw him out of his UN Detention Unit cell and packed him off to Belgrade. They undoubtedly did it in the fond expectation that the unpleasant prisoner will be called to meet his Maker and spare his jailers another in-house death before it became simply untenable to further delay the preordained and politically mandated (but given the overall judicial fiasco, enormously embarrassing) guilty verdict.

Tainted from the outset, the case against Vojislav Šešelj began to really unravel once the trial started. It turned out that “expert” witnesses brought by the prosecution were a parade of half-wits and ignoramuses or, in Šešelj’s own memorable courtroom phrase referring to prosecution experts, “If they know less than I do about the subject matter of their expertise, they have no business being here.” The alleged percipient witnesses to Šešelj’s crimes were an unmitigated disaster for the prosecution, and their performance was marked by wholesale perjury. The vast majority admitted in court, under Šešelj’s merciless cross-examination, that they were blackmailed, pressured, or suborned to give false evidence against him under the direction of the prosecutor. One even revealed in open court that prosecution investigators had promised him access to “girls” if he agreed to give incriminating evidence against the defendant. Many prosecution witnesses, apparently relieved that they could finally do so in the relative safety of open court, withdrew large portions or all of their previously given statements and one, to the apparent amazement of the judges, requested permission to walk over to the defendant and to embrace him.

The prosecution of Vojislav Šešelj, more than any other scandalous proceeding at ICTY, illustrates the true nature of the Hague Tribunal and symbolises most clearly its institutional corruption which was best encapsulated by the distinguished authority John Laughland in the title of one of his books: travesty.

Oh, yes, and haven’t we forgotten to mention the official charges against Vojislav Šešelj? Not at all, they just happen to be completely ludicrous and of negligible import in relation to the gross subversion of basic legal principles that the conduct of his trial in all its phases represents. The defendant stands accused of “inciting” to violence and ethnic persecution in his political statements, an offence that is not even listed as a crime in the Tribunal’s Statute, any more than is the elusive doctrine of Joint Criminal Enterprise, which in any event would be regarded as legally protected free speech from any but a politically vindictive point of view.

The known “political unknowns” of the Šešelj case. Heading this list is uncertainty about the impact that Šešelj’s abrupt return from the Hague might have on the foremost political issue of the day in Serbia: how to get rid (hopefully by peaceful means) of the unsavoury tandem of President Tomislav Nikolić and Prime Minister Alexander Vučić, until 2008 Šešelj’s close associates and his designated Radical Party caretakers while the leader was incarcerated, who are currently running the country into the ground. In a stunning about face, five years ago these former lieutenants completely renounced their long held views to become leading exponents of joining the EU, signing off on the takeover of Kosovo, and embracing just about every other notion that previously they vigorously opposed and claimed to abhor. It is rumoured that their sudden conversion may have been encouraged by some irresistible monetary inducements combined with promises of Western backing to gain power in Serbia after several previous unsuccessful attempts. The renegade tandem’s palpable nervousness mounted as the day of Šešelj’s triumphant return to Belgrade on Wednesday, November 12, approached.

Though perhaps dying of cancer, Vojislav Šešelj is entitled to regard this, perhaps final, stage of his political career and physical life with considerable satisfaction. Singlehandedly (because he chose to use his knowledge as a former law professor to represent himself at the Hague) he not only slew but also utterly humiliated the ICTY dragon. Under Šešelj’s relentless pounding the prosecution case simply fell apart. It is thus that in the end what began as a standard Hague litany of “crimes against humanity” (including murder, torture, cruel treatment, persecution, wanton destruction of villages, and even pillage of public and private property, to name just a few) essentially shrank to politically incorrect rhetoric, hardly unusual for exuberant politicians in many parts of the world and scarcely an offence warranting long-term incarceration.

A few years ago, in his annual press conference Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov singled out the persecution of Vojislav Šešelj for particular criticism and cited it as one of the significant reasons for closing down the Hague Tribunal. The record of illegality and systematic professional misconduct that has characterised the Šešelj case makes Mr. Lavrov’s recommendation urgent and entirely appropriate. One should only like to add that after almost two decades of serious damage to international law it would not be enough to merely shut it down. Particularly in light of the paradigmatic nature of the abuses inflicted on Vojislav Šešelj, but no less for a long train of similar misconduct in a host of other cases, all the decisions and verdicts of the Hague Tribunal must be reviewed, the pernicious precedents it set dismissed, and its willing servants professionally disciplined.

ON WHAT INSTANCES PRESIDENT MAHINDA RAJAPAKSE USED EXECUTIVE POWERS AGAINST THE COUNTRY, ITS PEOPLE, RELIGION OR CULTURE? THREE SIMPLE QUESTIONS TO VEN. SOBHITHA, ATHURELIYA RATANA  AND CLAN

November 14th, 2014

By M D P DISSANAYAKE

Those in the opposition, including some Buddhist monks who are agitating for the abolition of Executive Presidency  have not been able to provide a comprehensive analytical report highlighting  instances where the President has acted against the country, its people, religion or culture using the executive powers.  To convince the general public, it is the duty of the opposition to provide such information in a detailed manner.  As we live in a democratic society, such a document will provide the basis for public consultation and debate.  Their failure to comply with this requirement, highlight the lack of evidence  that would be essential  on a vital national issue. 

The main reasons for the opposition to demand the abolition of President are:

  1. Inability of the opposition to find a national Leader of the stature of Mr Mahinda Rajapakse as an alternative policy maker;
  2. Opposition has no clear plan or vision, outlining the next course of action after the abolition of Presidency;

iii. Major opposition party leader Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe had no courage to face the Mr Mahinda Rajapakse in the previous election, instead fielded a scape-goat;

 We urge the major opposition party leader Mr Ranil Wickremasinghe to come forward as the Presidential Candidate at the 2015 election.  What is the use of being a leader of major opposition political party, if the party or the party leader avoid facing the voters at the Elections?   The main aim of a political party ought to be to regain power and serve the power, but the UNP is a reluctant and backward organisation without fighting spirits.  It is failing continuously to provide the Leadership.

We also ask  the following three  simple questions from Ven Sobhitha and associates:

  1. If Ranil Wickremasinghe had been the Executive President during the last phase of the War, will our people able to live freely in any part of the island as a unitary state?
  2. Had Sarath Fonseka won the last Presidential Election, with Ranil Wickremasinghe pulling the strings, to what extent the social lives of our society would have been disintegrated?
  3. If President Mahindra Rajapakse had not restored the ancient religious civilisation in all parts of the Island, including Naga Deepa, Madu Church etc. what would be plight of all religious communities?

With  the highway network completion connecting North and East with the rest of the country, the danger of Terrorists occupying  those areas in future have reduced dramatically, but there is still more work to be done.  People in South are taking week end holidays and pilgrimages to North, keeping constant eye on the day to day happenings.  Isolation of North from the rest of the country was maintained in the past, due to poor political leadership in the South. 

There is no need whatsoever for the President Mahinda Rajapakse to succumb to the pressure being mounted by the opposition, as their ulterior motives are clearly known.

During the War and since the conclusion of the War, the President has used his executive authority for the betterment of the nation as a whole.  The entire world is witnessing a massive transformation of the economy and enhancement of social lives of the people throughout the country. 

The next Presidential Election result  will be a further positive step in the development of Sri Lanka.

PRESIDENT READY TO FACE ANY HURDLES AHEAD

November 14th, 2014

Lucien Rajakarunanayake

Tag-on.jpgIf there was a legal hurdle before him, he had a flying leap over it. Mahinda Rajapaksa now shows he is ready to face whatever hurdles he has to face in politics in the coming weeks and months.

With the birthday anniversary that brought him victory in the poll for the Executive Presidency in November 2005 fast approaching, he is moving swiftly in a strategy of leaping far ahead of rivals, who are still planning their own tactics of opposition. His meetings are with many thousands each day, and the declarations of support keep growing with each meeting. What is emerging is an election, the like of which, in its planning and strategy by the one who holds the reins, has not been seen in this country before.

Meanwhile, there remains glaring uncertainty, in the call for a Common Candidate to match him at the coming polls. The uncertainty on the candidate is compounded by that over both policy and promise. Meetings of many types among political strategists and politicians with great expectations, closed door meetings and those that give statements to the media, and public meetings that give an uncertain message to people gather in momentum, yet with a lack of clarity in purpose.

z_p06-President.jpg
President Mahinda Rajapaksa

Just as the poser in Hamlet – “To be or not to be” – the question that hangs in the air is that of the Executive Presidency. The political strategists who seem to be geared to oppose Mahinda Rajapaksa are faced with a tough question. What is it that will rally the people? Is it the pledge to abolish the Executive Presidency or the pledge to keep it and change the conditions under such a presidency? There is much thinking, both good and bad, on both sides of this divide. But the larger question is how is anyone to believe either of those pledges.

Political circus

All those in the political circus calling for the abolition of the Executive Presidency, not those applying political science to current events or declaring their ideological positions on it, are those who have benefited in one way or the other from the Executive Presidency. Among the loudest voices that call for its abolition come from those who brought the system, with all its ingrained faults, and ruled the land for more than a decade, bringing a series of amendments to it to further strengthen their position. Others who now cry against it are those who took oaths and observed it; gave clear pledges to have it abolished no sooner the oath was administered – or in a few months after that. The months did come and go, but the Constitution with the Executive Presidency remained.

Let’s admit that Mahinda Rajapaksa also pledged to do away with the Executive Presidency. But, in addition to the insufficient majority he had in Parliament to change it at the time, he also realized some important aspects of its value in defeating the terror of the LTTE, which was also a pledge he gave to the same electorate that elected him in November 2005. There are many well versed in political science that see the call for the abolition of the Executive Presidency as not serving the needs of the people. They see the need for changes, who does not? But not to be wholly rid of what did hold this country together during really troubled times, and could in many ways help in the future too.

The personality

The other issue is the need to match the person of Mahinda Rajapaksa. Hardly any of his opponents, even the loudest of them, would doubt his popularity, and his personality; that of a politician who has been at it from his early twenties. He has been in every aspect of political life in the country. He has won and lost elections. He has been on the back benches, made good impacts on the front bench as a Cabinet minister. He has led the Opposition, has been Prime Minister…and then Executive President.

That is certainly no easy record to match in politics and governance. But here is also the experience in agitation and mass action. In organizing and participating in protests for the people; fighting for Human Rights, when those who now call for it today were violating every aspect of it. He did take the issue to the United Nations, and did play a major role in forming and working with the Mothers’ Front to fight the green terror of that time.

He walked with the people for political rights and held hands in chains of unity against the forces of oppression. And, he did use the Executive Presidency to best effect against a Ceasefire with the forces of separatist terror…and saw the end of well nigh three decades of this brutality that had struck the nation. That is no easy persona to match – whatever combinations that may gather in the yet failed search for that Common Candidate.

Sri Lanka has a good history of electoral democracy. Our people know their leaders and the parties they lead. They have elected governments and defeated them too. The trends have been clear both in candidacy and campaigning. But now we see a lack of this in what seems to be rising confusion in the search for the Common Candidate; there seems to be more of Common Chaos. A good election deserves much more good thinking and clear policies than what we see in the desperate hunt for the rival in the coming race.

Pressure from New Delhi

If President Mahinda Rajapaksa had success in the apex legal hurdle in the politics of Sri Lanka, there is another hurdle of law that is emerging from New Delhi. He did initiate a phone call and speak with Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, where common issues of concern were discussed. One was that of the five Indians sentenced to death by a Court in Colombo on drug related charges. The concerns were shared by both leaders and suggestions made of possible action, while preserving the good relations between the two countries.

Since then there is more pressure from New Delhi with some authorities there looking at the possibility of an unconditional pardon for the Indian convicts. Journalists, the media, politicians and diplomats too, appear to be pushing harder for this, which can please the politics of Tamil Nadu, much more than the larger interests of India. There is something that those who are making these moves must clearly bear in mind. This is a legal issue, and the practices in such cases are not very different in Sri Lanka and India. It is not the legal tradition to give a presidential pardon when a matter is before the courts. There is also another important issue. The accused were not charged with poaching in Sri Lankan waters. It is not a fishing matter. President Rajapaksa has been always ready to arrange for the rapid release of those arrested and charged on fishing matters, very often done as an act of goodwill towards our closest neighbour. This is a matter of drugs, and such matters are taken with much more seriousness than issues of illegal fishing, even across national maritime boundaries. The death penalty for drug offence is carried out in Singapore and Malaysia.

There is a strong public feeling here about the need for firm action on curbing all dealings in drugs. This is not a matter that could be ignored by these movers in India. Those who are trying to bring pressure on Sri Lanka for an unconditional pardon, as some reliable sources mention, do not seem to realize that there are Sri Lankans too convicted in this case, which does add to the gravity of the issue. What legal sources and more serious diplomats, both in India and Sri Lanka think, is that this is a matter that could be best resolved through commuting of sentences of the convicts, with the Indian convicts serving their prison terms in their own country. This seems a realistic approach to what could be a really vexed question, if there is too much pressure from across the Palk Strait.

I also learn that the new pressure from New Delhi could be due to the absence of Prime Minister Modi from the country. There seems to be a bigger play being worked out now by those close to Tamil Nadu, with the Indian Prime Minister away on a long tour to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji. It is the view of observers in India that this is a matter that should be best left to be resolved through discussion between the two national leaders, with due respect to the legal practices and traditions of Sri Lanka and India, and due recognition of the gravity of the charges presented to court; especially that this cannot be dealt as the matter of poaching by Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lankan waters, which also needs a truly lasting solution.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/president-ready-face-any-hurdles-ahead#sthash.6udznuah.dpuf

Sri Lanka-Israel comparison of how UN/UNHRC officials treat Third World nations

November 14th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

62% of all Resolutions (over 400) at the United Nations have been against Israel. US, UK, EU not even the UN Secretary General or the UNHRC head have hounded Israel the way they have Sri Lanka. This is no exaggeration nor is it unsubstantiated but it is to highlight a very clear bias in how Third World nations are being treated by the UN system. There cannot be a global body that does not treat nations equally. Israel has over 400 Resolutions against it, UNSG never called for an Expert Panel Report, the UNHRC never demanded international investigations and no US, UK or EU nations called for international investigations or reference to the ICC either – why is the treatment for Sri Lanka any different? We are made to understand whether a nation is large or small they would be treated equally as per UN Charter itself.

Israel too have their own grievances. Israel claims the UN & UNHRC are anti-Israel. Israel complains that there is a disproportionate number of Resolutions against it. That may be true, but every Resolution brought to the UN or the UNHRC have been vetoed by the US or watered down into inaction. There are no threats of sanction, cuts in aid/trade, asset freeze, travel bans etc. Sri Lanka has not been so fortunate. Ironically, it is the same countries that do not go after Israel that are pressing for UNHRC action against Sri Lanka!

In 2010 – 5 Resolutions were brought against Israel at the UNHRC

In 2013 – 21 Resolutions were brought against Israel at the UN

There have been fact finding missions on the Gaza Conflict –

The resolutions against Israel covered:

http://guardian.150m.com/palestine/UN-condemnation-of-israel.htm

  • Human rights violations in the occupied Syrian Golan heights
  • Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory
  • Grave human rights violations by Israel in the Occupied Palestinian Territory including East Jerusalem
  • Condemning Israeli attacks against Southern Lebanon and Syria
  • Deplored Israel’s altering the status of Jerusalem
  • Demanded Israel’s withdrawal from Golan Heights
  • Condemned Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip
  • Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Lebanon.
  • Urged sanctions against Israel if it did not withdraw from its invasion of Beirut
  • Urged cut off of economic aid to Israel if it refused to withdraw from its occupation of Lebanon.
  • Condemned Israeli brutality in Southern Lebanon and denounced the Israeli ‘iron fist’ policy of repression
  • Condemned Israel’s hijacking of a Libyan passenger airplane.
  • Deplored Israel’s attacks on civilian populations of Lebanon
  • Warned Israel to abide by the Fourth Geneva Conventions
  • Called for a fact-finding mission on abuses against Palestinians in Israeli-occupied lands
  • Resolution 127 recommended Israel suspended its ‘no-man’s zone’ in Jerusalem’
  • Resolution 162 urges Israel to comply with UN decisions
  • Resolution 259 deplores Israel’s refusal to accept UN mission to probe occupation
  • Resolution 347 condemned Israel for violating Lebanon’s sovereignty
  • Resolution 425 calls on Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon
  • Resolution 444 deplored Israel’s lack of cooperation with the UN peacekeeping forces
  • Resolution 467 deplored Israel’s military intervention in Lebanon
  • Resolution 517 censured Israel for failing to obey UN resolutions and demanded that Israel withdraw its forces from Lebanon
  • Resolution 607 and 608 deeply regretted Israel defying the UN and deporting Palestinian civilians
  • Resolution 673 deplored Israel’s refusal to cooperate with the United Nations

The issue is not about whether Israel is right or wrong, what is being conveyed is that the scores of Resolutions brought before the UN and UNHRC wherein even non-cooperation with the UN has been highlighted several times what is the action that the UN has taken? This leads to the next question could Sri Lanka have done the same and would the UN/UNHRC and the other countries that back Israel have not taken action against Sri Lanka?

Our grievance is that in defeating a terrorist movement, globally proscribed by the very countries that drafted the Resolutions against Sri Lanka are continuing to hound Sri Lanka with baseless allegations that keeping piling with allegations that were never included into the original list of allegations. Moreover many other irregularities have also been taking place. The most serious is and continues to be the appointment of an advisory panel by the UNSG in his personal capacity which ended up being the basis on which the UNHRC’s reports and UNHRC resolutions were formulated.

At another level, the Israel Government has been continuously lambasting the UN and UNHRC even going so far as to call it a ‘kangaroo court’ but the most recent has been the international inquiry opened by UNHRC into Israeli violations committed during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

If Sri Lanka felt every right to militarily defeat LTTE terrorists, Israel to feel it has every right as a democratic state to respond to violations by Hamas.

While Israel is always assured of America’s veto and at least 17-20 countries abstaining from voting, Sri Lanka’s case is often dismal as most of these powerful nations end up resorting to give a call of threat and Sri Lanka loses even those that have assured support to Sri Lanka. While US always vetoes Resolutions against Israel UK and EU either abstains or rejects Resolutions against Israel – this they do whether Israel does right or wrong.

The issue is that these very same countries end up giving hundred and one reasons why Sri Lanka should face war crimes charges but insists on punitive action against Sri Lanka completely ignoring the fact that Sri Lanka was dealing with an internationally declared terrorist outfit.

Why is it that the US, UK and EU take the side of Israel when Israel says that Hamas is committing war crimes by firing at innocent Israeli civilians, turning hospitals into military command centres (which LTTE also did), using schools as weapons depots (which LTTE also did), placing weapons in homes and religious places (which LTTE also did) but UNHRC investigation on Sri Lanka has only a selected period of victims covered ignoring most of the victims that the LTTE targeted through its initial years of terror.

If Israel can pull up Hamas for systematically using ‘human shields and blaming Israel for the deaths’ why can’t Sri Lanka say the same of the LTTE though UNHRC have paid little attention to this fact except making a passing comment on it.

UNHRC will be quick to defend itself by saying that it appointed the South African judge Richard Goldstone, but Israel says that the Goldstone Report was renounced by its own author.

Of course the UNHRC heads have condemned Israel, Navi Pillay issued her customary statements almost identical with her statements on Sri Lanka “These are just a few examples where there seems to be a strong possibility that international humanitarian law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

If Israel can say that Hamas was using these same homes and hospitals to store weapons and carry out attacks against Israeli civilians using Palestinian civilians as human shields, was this not what the LTTE did as well? Pillay’s response to Israel’s allegations was that ‘civilian homes are not legitimate targets unless they are being used for or contribute to military purposes at the time in question….even where a home is identified as being used for military purposes, any attack must be proportionate, offer a definite military advantage in the prevailing circumstances at the time and precautions must be taken’. When Israel asks Pillay if she would act proportionately if her home were under terrorist attack and what precautions she would take, can’t Sri Lanka ask the same question?

Israel also questions UNHRC’s determination of International law and asks what UNHRC has done about Hamas violating it in targeting Israeli civilians – the same question Sri Lanka has been asking for 3 decades too. If Israel asks ‘would it be too much to ask Pillay to empathize with the millions of Israeli civilians under rocket fire and the dozens of young Israeli soldiers killed or wounded’ can Sri Lanka not say the same for the thousands of civilians that the LTTE targeted since the 1980s wherein the UN did nothing to stop terrorism in Sri Lanka but have got into a twist because the LTTE is now out of the equation.

What is being conveyed is that despite both the UN and UNHRC drafting Resolutions and issuing statements against Israel and these have run into over 400 and even appointing fact finding missions and investigations, not only Israel can get away by calling them ‘kangaroo courts’ but US will always use its veto power and US and EU nations will back Israel no matter what. These very nations that back Israel no matter what, are hounding Sri Lanka for the same allegations that they ignore against Israel.

While Israel can refer to UNHRC’s investigations as ‘kangaroo courts’ and neither the UN Secretary General or the UNHRC head make any public statements against Israel, we like to cite the stark difference in the behaviour of both UN/UNHRC officials against Sri Lanka.

When Sri Lanka brought to the attention of the UN/UNHRC the arrest of the LTTE cadre who had with him 6 blank submission forms with signatures and no date, it was clear that there was a systematic effort to collect signatures on blank forms and for another party to fill forged accounts and submit to the UNHRC/OISL investigation. Instead of thanking the GOSL for bringing this to the attention of the UNHRC/OHCHR and OISL, the UNHRC head reprimanded Sri Lanka and accused the country of going to ‘extraordinary lengths to sabotage an impartial international investigation’ and not only that going to the extent of saying that Sri Lanka has been uncooperative since 2009.

“Instead it raises concerns about the integrity of the government in question. Why would governments with nothing to hide go to such extraordinary lengths to sabotage an impartial international investigation?” Zeid asked

“The Secretary‑General supports the views of High Commissioner Zeid and he agrees with High Commissioner Zeid that the Government of Sri Lanka should cooperate.  And we will continue to urge that they do so,” Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq.

 Nonetheless, it is interesting to see what the reaction of the UNHRC would be now that Israel as rejected the UNHRC international investigation and calling it a ‘kangaroo court’ as well.

What is highlighted however, is that a colossal amount of time and energy is being wasted in drafting Resolutions against Israel when the outcome of nothing happening is clear and on Israel’s part it too has every right to question UNHRC inaction on Hamas. Then we have the same countries that ensure Resolutions against Israel never get beyond drafting and holding elections while the same countries are hounding after Sri Lanka and the UNHRC head and UNSG are careful not to issue derogatory statements against Israel but does so against Sri Lanka!

 

UNHRC Investigates Sri Lanka: What happens when ‘the other side’ is caught collecting blank submission forms with signatures?

November 14th, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

The signatures are genuine but the witness account is false – how does the OHCHR/UNHRC and OISL define this? Is it a forgery or false evidence or how else would OHCHR define such mischief? It certainly is not a bonafide witness account. The OISL or the OHCHR have not to date revealed even before the arrest how many such forms they have received despite having experts to detect forgeries and when it was discovered after the arrest that there is a concerted effort in Sri Lanka and probably overseas as well to collect genuine signatures but write false accounts no one but the OHCHR and the UNSG have got upset at the disclosure. Is this not strange?

The UNHRC/OHCHR/ OISL or the UN Secretary General has not satisfactorily responded to the arrest and in particular the findings.

The submission format can vary too – the LTTE Diaspora may have compiled their own submission format. The crux of the matter is that there are groups of people collecting signatures of people with no date and photos, NIC copies and death certificates as well. When a form is blank and the collectors are LTTE, surely we are not childish to think that whoever is making entries will be showering praise or singing hosannas’ for the Sri Lankan soldiers!

Thus, Sri Lanka and the general public have every right to be concerned. That concern is elevated because of several other factors.

  1. On 22nd October 2014, the LTTE unrehabilitated cadre had handed blank forms with signatures to a TNA advisory panel member known as Sun Master. This naturally raises more questions as to how many such forms the LTTE cadre would have handed over. Sun Master however has fled to India.
  2. There are serious doubts as to how many other LTTE cadres would have been given a similar task and how many such blank forms have been thus collected since the announcement of the investigation.
  3. There is also the doubt of the same exercise being carried in countries where Tamil diaspora prevail. We are aware that the GOSL proscribed organizations have launched online appeals via their websites and have set up ‘investigation’ teams to tabulate ‘grievances’. This all leads to the question of who and how many are involved in doctoring information and building up false accounts via ghost writers!

The global scale of this initiative is nothing we should take lightly particularly so when the UNHRC boasts of having wonderful systems in place to assure transparency.

Yet, our surprise and disappointment comes in the manner that both the UNHRC head and UNSG has behaved after the GOSL questioned the credibility of the investigation after the arrest.

Let us also point out that the UNHRC is on record for saying that they have means to detect forgery, if so why has the OISL/OHCHR or the UNHRC not brought up the fact that they have been receiving forged submissions because the arrest of the LTTE with blank forms on 25th Oct 2014 within days of the deadline and the fact that on 22nd Oct 2014 he had handed more blank forms to the TNA member means that this effort must have been taking place for some time and filled forms would have already been sent via soft copy or post to the OISL in Geneva.

That the OHCHR/OISL and the UNHRC have kept mum about receiving ‘doctored’ forms (given that they have systems to discover such) gives Sri Lanka every right to question complicity on the part of the investigators or raise doubt as to the credibility of their in-house systems to discover forgeries.

Of course the quick defence of the OHCHR/UNHRC and OISL would be is to declare that they do not need to disclose how many they have rejected but such secrecy and lack of transparency gives us every right to think that the OHCHR/UNHRC and OISL may not have rejected these forged forms!

The important factor that needs to be continuously stressed by Sri Lanka is that there has been a concerted and systematic effort to collect from Tamils their signatures on blank forms with no date alongside NIC and death certificate copies and photos. The promise of monetary compensation would need to be further investigated because a promise is one thing and an actual payment is another. It would be good to investigate how many have actually been paid and who paid them too.

  • The Sri Lankan envoys need to show the manner in which the OHCHR/UNHRC has treated Sri Lanka following the arrest of the LTTE cadre. That arrest and the revelation and exposure of a well-planned out effort to fix the Sri Lankan soldiers with fraudulent accusations cannot result in the OHCHR head accusing Sri Lanka of ‘continuing a campaign distortion and disinformation’ going on to say that Sri Lanka has been making insidious attempts to prevent possible bonafide witnesses from submitting information to the investigation team’.
  • OHCHR head must realize that blank forms and signatures with no date means that there are no bonafide witnesses and the only ‘witnesses’ submitting information to the OISL investigators are some ghost writers putting together falsehoods to corner Sri Lankan troops to war crimes charges. It is appalling to see the lengths people are going to since they have nothing concrete to hold against Sri Lankan troops.
  • The Sri Lankan envoys should also query about the OHCHR heads statement that says that they have mechanisms to detect forgeries – if so why has the OHCHR not released that they were in regular receipt of such forms without waiting for the arrest of the LTTE cadre which brought this plot out into the open?
  • Had it not been for the arrest Sri Lankan troops would have been charged with war crimes and the OHCHR would have kept mum about receipt of forged submission forms – This is what needs to be continuously brought out among member countries of the UN

http://www.ohchr.org/en/newsevents/pages/media.aspx

OHCHR Head says “We don’t accept anything at face value. UN human rights investigators are trained to spot fraudulent submissions. The process of analysis and corroboration of information and evidence is well defined, refined and codified on the basis of many years’ experience,” – See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/en/newsevents/pages/media.aspx#sthash.OSo3HYKX.dpuf

The question is CAN THESE EXPERTS SPOT SUBMISSIONS THAT HAVE GENUINE SIGNATURES BUT FORGED ACCOUNTS?

OHCHR Head also says “It is a false equation to suggest that because someone may have been trying to submit false submissions, the inquiry is discredited. In addition, the submissions form only a part of the investigation.” – See more at: http://www.ohchr.org/en/newsevents/pages/media.aspx#sthash.OSo3HYKX.dpuf

The question is if we do not know (only the OISL know but do not say so) how many submissions of the type the LTTE cadre was collecting have actually been submitted to the OISL who have accepted them as ‘genuine’ bondafide witness accounts, the Sri Lankan state has every right to question the OISL investigation on Sri Lanka and declare it has NO CREDIBILITY whatsoever.

What we are continuously reiterating is that not only is there a plan by various pro-LTTE entities to collect signatures on blank forms and fill details that would fit into a plan to fix Sri Lankan troops and send as submissions to the OISL investigation, that these have been accepted by the OISL, though we do not know how many. Additionally, the OHCHR inspite of having mechanisms to detect forgeries have kept mum because they have not disclosed that they were in receipt of forms that had genuine signatures but forged accounts.

The arrest has exposed that silence so now the OHCHR have now got upset that they have been put into a very embarrassing situation.

However this does not warrant the OHCHR, its head and the UNSG to rashly accuse Sri Lanka with unwarranted accusations because they have been exposed.

Thus, the OHCHR and the UNSG must offer an apology to Sri Lanka for accusing Sri Lanka of ‘continuing a campaign distortion and disinformation’ going on to say that Sri Lanka has been making insidious attempts to prevent possible bonafide witnesses from submitting information to the investigation team’.

Now that Israel has rejected the UNHRC investigation and called it a ‘kangaroo court’ we are waiting to see OHCHR Head or UNSG’s statement accusing Israel in the same manner they have insulted Sri Lanka.

UN Member nations need to be appraised of these developments and these arguments via diplomatic channels since the OHCHR has not come clean on forged submissions being sent to them PRIOR to the arrest when it has emerged that forged submissions are being sent as supposed bonafide witness accounts.

Sri Lanka ready to share its experience in comprehensive demining as a ‘best practice’ with other countries

November 14th, 2014

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka Geneva

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said Sri Lanka stands ready to share its experience in comprehensive demining as a ‘best practice’ with countries which are facing similar challenges. Noting that “Sri Lanka’s continuing progress in demining has been achieved by telescoping what according to some estimates was to take 15 – 20 years, into one of 5 – 7 years duration, he said this was not only a rewarding experience for our people as they now move about freely across the country, but also a positive lesson for other conflict affected countries, where nationally owned and nationally driven programmes could achieve their intended purposes, if the necessary political commitment, resolve and pragmatic vision is put in place”.

 Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations when he addressed the 16th Annual Conference of the High Contracting Parties to Amended Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the use of Mines, Booby-Traps and other Devices of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) on Wednesday (12 November 2014) at the Palais des Nations in Geneva. The Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons came as a result of an increased international realization that the effects caused by certain conventional weapons may be excessively injurious and indiscriminate.  The Convention and its Protocols together manifest a clear intention and commitment of the Contracting Parties to address this challenge effectively, through the adoption of national programmes and measures.

 Ambassador Aryasinha said “the GoSL successfully embarked on a very difficult challenge of demining an area of approximately 5,000 square kilometers of land initially estimated to be contaminated with mines, out of which approximately 2,064 square kilometers were confirmed as hazardous areas. The scale of the problem Sri Lanka faced in demining can be clearly seen from the number of mines and other devices unearthed and neutralized during the demining process.  Over  1,128,336 explosive devices (1,712- anti tank,  615,669-anti personal and  510,955 UXOs) have been recovered as at September  2014. Five years since the ending of the terrorist conflict in Sri Lanka, so far this year alone, a total of 55,761 explosive devices, including 78 Anti- Tank mines, 28,577 Anti Personnel mines and 27,106 UXOs have been recovered. Demining continues to take place as the number of mines and IEDs laid by the LTTE was extensive and their locations unknown.”

 He said, “75% of this demining work had been allocated to the Sri Lanka Army, which was the largest single area assigned to any of the parties involved in demining and included most of the densely mined regions. The demining process was also supported by funding from donor countries and the UN and carried out by INGOs/NGOs such as the Halo Trust, DDG, MAG, FSD, Sarvatra, Horizon, MMIPE and DASH.”

 “Out of the total confirmed hazardous area, 96.2% has already been cleared and only 78.8 square kilometers of territory remains to be cleared. It is expected that these areas too will be completely cleared in the near future.”

 Ambassador Aryasinha said, “due to this efficient and effective demining process and also to the infrastructure development in the former conflict affected area, the Government of Sri Lanka was able to resettle a total of 510,710 persons (153,837 families) out of nearly 767,748 IDPs (226,824 families), in the Northern Province and 257,038 persons (72,987 families) in the Eastern Province. As per the Joint Study undertaken by the Ministry of Resettlement, the Presidential Task Force for Resettlement, Development and Security in the Northern Province (PTF); and the UNHCR, as of August 2014, only a total of 26,056 persons (7,840 families) remain to be resettled, which includes 21,747 persons (6,498 families) from the North and 4,309 persons (1,342 families) from the East.”

 He noted that “while focusing on the operationalization of the Amended Protocol II and considering matters arising from the annual reports presented by High Contracting Parties, it is imperative that special attention is paid to the development of technologies which could protect civilians. Similarly, it is important that concerted efforts be taken to create greater awareness among the public about indiscriminate effects of mines, booby traps and other devices. It may also be timely to look into effective cooperation to ensure the wellbeing of victims in a more coordinated manner.”


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