Wimal attacks Govt Traitors on UNHCR Report

September 17th, 2015

PLEASE watch this about the Geneva report and potential dire consequences if allowed to go ahead.  

අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයේ ශාඛාවක් මිශ‍්‍ර අධිකරණයක් නමින් රට තුළ පිහිටුවා රට බේරාගත්, රටට සාමය හා නිදහස දිනා දුන් රණවිරුවන් දංගෙඩියට දැක්කීමට ඉඩදී නිහඩව සිටිය හැකිදැයි ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණේ නායක, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත‍්‍රී විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා මුළුමහත් ජාතියෙන් විමසා සිටි.

ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණේ ප‍්‍රධාන කාර්යාලයේදී පැවති විශේෂ මාධ්‍ය හමුවක් අමතමින් ඒ මහතා එසේ විමසා සිටියේය.

එහිදී වැඩිදුරටත් අදහස් දැක් වූ විමල් වීරවංශ මහතා මෙසේද පැවසීය.

‘‘2002-2011 කාලසීමාව තුළ ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාව තුළ සිදු වූවා යැයි කියන යුද අපරාධ පිළිබඳව තමයි එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමසාරිස්වරයා විසින් නිකුත් කළ මෙම වාර්තාවෙන් විශේෂ අවධානය යොමුකර තිබෙන්නේ. පිටු 261කින් සමන්විත මෙම වාර්තාවේ ප‍්‍රධාන වශයෙන් ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදාවන්ට තමයි බරපතළම චෝදනා ඉදිරිපත්කර ඇත්තේ.

කොටි සංවිධානයට පමණක් අදාළ වන සේ එල්ල කොට ඇති එකම චෝදනාව වන්නේ, ‘දරුවන් යුද්ධයට සම්බන්ධකර ගැනීමේ චෝදනාව’ පමණයි. එම චෝදනාව පවා එල්ලකොට ඇත්තේ නැගෙනහිර පළාතේ හිටපු කොටි නායක, කරුණා අම්මාන්ගේ නම පවා සඳහන් කරමින්. කරුණා අම්මාන් කොටි සංවිධානයෙන් ඉවත් වෙලා ඇවිල්ලා ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා හමුදාවන්හි මෙහෙයුම්වලට උදව් කළ වාඩුව ගැනීමට ඒ චෝදනාව එල්ලකොට ඇති බවයි පෙනෙන්නේ. එහෙම නැතිව දෙපාර්ශ්වය කියන වචනය මෙම වාර්තාවෙහි ඇතැම් තැන්වල සඳහන් වුණාට ඇත්තෙන්ම මෙහි දෙපාර්ශ්වයක් නැහැ. දැනට ඉතිරි වෙලා ඉන්නේ එක පාර්ශ්වයයි. වේළුපිල්ලේ පිරබාහරන් ඇතුළු කොටි සංවිධානයේ ප‍්‍රධාන පෙළේ නායකයන් කිසිවකුත් අද ජීවතුන් අතර නැහැ. මෙම වාර්තාව මගින් සැබෑ ලෙසම ඉලක්ක වී ඇත්තේ ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදාවන් පමණයි.

මෙම වාර්තාව මගින් අපේ ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදාවන්ට බරපතළ චෝදනාවන් ගණනාවක් එල්ල වී තිබෙනවා. එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ. සැකකරුවන්ට එරෙහිව ලිංගික ප‍්‍රචණ්ඩත්වය යොදා ගැනීම, බලහත්කාරී අතුරුදහන්වීම් සිදු කිරීම, වධහිංසා ඇතුළු කුරිරු අමානුෂික, අවමන් සහගත සැලකිලි දැක්වීම්, සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාවට බර අවි ප‍්‍රහාර එල්ල කොට ඝාතනය කොට තිබීම, ගැටුමට ලක්ව සිටි ප‍්‍රදේශවල ජනතාවට මානුෂීය ආධාර ලබාදීම අවහිර කිරීම ආදිය ඒ අතර වෙනවා. මෙවැනි චෝදනා ගණනාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කරලා මහ කොමසාරිස්වරයා නිර්දේශ කරන්නේ කුමක්ද? මිශ‍්‍ර අධිකරණයක්. මිශ‍්‍ර අධිකරණයක් කීවාට එය එසේ වන්නේ නැහැ. සුදුජාතික විනිසුරුවන්, තාක්‍ෂණ කටයුතුවලට අදාළ නිලධාරීන්, නීතිඥයන් ඇතුළු කණ්ඩායම් මීට ඇතුළත් වෙනවා. ඒ නිසා ‘රම්පෙ කරපිංචාවලට’ ශ‍්‍රී ලාංකික විනිසුරුවරුන් ඇතුළත් වුණාට මෙම අධිකරණය මෙහෙයවන්නේ සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම ඔවුන්ට උවමනා ආකාරයට.

මෙම අධිකරණය සඳහා මුදල් යොදවන්නේ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය විසින් බව මීට ඉහතදී ප‍්‍රකාශය වුණා. මේක පැහැදිලිවම අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයේ අනු ශාඛාවක් බවට පත් වෙනවා. මෙම අධිකරණය ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා භූමිය තුළ ගොඩනැගිල්ලක ස්ථාපිත වුණාට මේක සම්පූර්ණයෙන්ම පාලනය වන්නේ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයට(UNHRC) උවමනා ආකාරටයි.

‘සුද්දන් නඩු ඇහුවේ යටත්විජිත කාලයේ’

දැන් රනිල් වික‍්‍රමසිංහ මහත්තයලා මහ උජාරුවෙන් කියනවා, ‘අපි රට ජාත්‍යන්තර පරීක්‍ෂණයකින් බේරා ගත්තා’ කියලා. ඒ අය ජාත්‍යන්තර පරීක්‍ෂණයකින් රට බේරා ගෙන නැහැ. ඔවුන් ජාත්‍යන්තර පරීක්‍ෂණයක් රට තුළට රැගෙන ඇවිත් තියෙනවා. මේක මේ රට යටත්විජිත තත්ත්වයට ඇද දැමීමක්. සුදුජාතිකයන් නඩු ඇසුවේ යටත්විජිත යුගයේදීයි. මීට කලින් මෙහෙම ව්‍යුහයක් ඇති කරලා තියෙනවා කාම්බෝජයේ. එහෙම කළේ කාම්බෝජ රජයේ හමුදාවන් ගැන හොයන්න නොවෙයි. පොල්පොට්ගේ හමුදාවන් විසින් සිදු කළ අපරාධ ගැන සොයන්නයි.

රටක් ත‍්‍රස්තවාදයෙන් බේරාගත්තු, සාමය සහ නිදහස රැගෙන ආපු කීර්තිමත් හමුදාවක් වැරදිකරුවෝ හැටියට අර්ථකථනය කරලා විදේශිකයන්ට නඩු විභාගයක් පැවැත්වීමට දැන් ඉඩකඩ සලසා දීලා තිබෙනවා. ඒ සඳහා ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාවේ පවතින නීති පද්ධතිය සංශෝධනය කිරීමට වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුව එකගවෙලා තියෙනවා. දණ්ඩනීති සංග‍්‍රහය සහ සාක්‍ෂි ආඥා පනත සංශෝධනය කරලා විදේශ විනිසුරුවන්ට නඩු අහන්න පුළුවන් විදිහට අපේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතිය සංශෝධනය කරන්නයි මේ ආණ්ඩුව සූදානම් වෙන්නේ. එවැනි නීති පද්ධතියේ වෙනසකට පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ 2/3ක බලයක් අවශ්‍යයි. ඒකට ඇමතිකම් ‘හෝල් සේල්’ දෙන්න ඕනෙ. ශ‍්‍රී ලංකා නිදහස් පක්‍ෂය බලහත්කාරයෙන් හෝ ගැට ගහලා තියා ගන්න ඕනෙ. මේක තමයි අද සිදු වෙමින් තිබෙන්නේ.

මෙවැනි අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණයේ අනු ශාඛාවක් ඉදිරියේදී සාක්‍ෂි දෙන පිරිස් පිළිබඳව වසර 20ක කාලසීමාවක් යනතුරු දැන ගැනීමට විදිහක් නැහැ. කොටි සංවිධානය විසින් සිදු කළ අපරාධ පිළිබඳ කිසිඳු වගවිභාගයක් මෙමගින් සිදු වන්නේ නැහැ. අනෙක දෙමළ ජනතාව සාක්‍ෂි දේවිද, කොටි සංවිධානයට එරෙහිව? ඒ නිසා ඉතාම පැහැදිලියි මේ ක‍්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට යන්නේ ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදා දඩුකඳේ ගැසීමේ මෙහෙයුමක්. ඒ නිසා මේකට එකගවීමට හෝ ඉඩ දීමට බැහැ.

මංගල සමරවීර විදේශ අමාත්‍යවරයා මෙම මිශ‍්‍ර අධිකරණයක් පිහිටුවීමේ යෝජනාවට, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ 30 වැනි සැසිවාරයේදී සිදු කළ තම කතාවේදී එකගතාව පළකොට තිබෙනවා.

‘සත්‍ය ගවේෂණය සඳහා, ව්‍යවස්ථාව මගින්, යාන්ත‍්‍රණ දෙකක්, ඇති කරනවා.

(i) දකුණු අප‍්‍රිකාවේ නිසි බලධාරීන්ගේ උපදේශ යටතේ සත්‍යය, යුක්තිය, ප‍්‍රතිසන්ධානය, හා නැවත ඇති නොවීම සඳහා කොමිසමක් ඇති කිරීම.

(ii) අන්තර්ජාතික රතු කුරුස කමිටුවේ විශේෂඥ දැනුම යොදාගනිමින් ජාත්‍යන්තර වශයෙන් පිළිගත් තත්ත්වයන්ට අනුකූලව පවුල්වල දැනගැනීමේ අයිතිය යන මූලධර්මය මත පදනම් වූ අතුරුදහන් වූ පුද්ගලයන් පිළිබඳ කටයුතු කරන කාර්යාලයක් ව්‍යවස්ථාව මගින් පිහිටුවීම. සිදු කෙරෙනු ඇත.’ කියලා ඔහු පවසනවා.

දැනටමත් වජිර අබේවර්ධන ඇමතිවරයා, ‘අතුරුදහන් වූවන්ට වන්දි ගෙවීම සඳහා කැබිනට් පත‍්‍රිකාවක්’ ගෙනවිත් තිබෙනවා. මෙම කැබිනට් පත‍්‍රිකාව මහ මැතිවරණයට පෙර එවකට නැවත පදිංචි කිරීමේ අමාත්‍ය ස්වාමිනාදන් මහතා විසින් රැගෙන ආවා. එය ඡන්දය නිසා හකුළා ගත්තා. දැන් නැවතත් එය කරළියට ඇවිත් තිබෙනවා. කවුද මේ අතුරුදහන් වූවන් කියන්නේ? මේ රටේ ඒකීයභාවයට එරෙහිව ආයුධ සන්නද්ධව සටන් වැදුණු ත‍්‍රස්තවාදීන්ට. ආයුධ සන්නද්ධව සටන් වැදුණු ත‍්‍රස්තවාදීන් පිරිසක් ඇතුරුදහන් වූවන් සේ සලකා වන්දි ගෙවා ඇත්තේ ලෝකයේ මොන රටේද? නමුත් මංගල සමරවීර මහතා එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය හමුවේ පොරොන්දු වෙනවා මියගිය ත‍්‍රස්තවාදීන් අතුරුදහන් වූවන් සේ සලකා ඔවුන් වෙනුවෙන් වන්දි ගෙවීමට කාර්යාලයක් පවා ස්ථාපිත කරනවා කියලා.

‘මේ අරමුණ සඳහා ව්‍යවස්ථාදායක සභාවක්’

‘පරිපාලනමය මෙන්ම අධිකරණමය ප‍්‍රතිසංස්කරණ හා නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් සම්මත කරගැනීම ඇතුළු පියවර ගණනාවක් අනුගමනය කල යුතුය. ද්වේෂ සහගත කථාව හා බලහත්කාරයෙන් අතුරුදහන් කරවීම අපරාධයක් වශයෙන් හැදින්වීම සඳහා දණ්ඩ නීති සංග‍්‍රහය සංශෝධනය කිරීම ඇතුළු පියවර මාලාවක් ගැනීමට නියමිතය. නැවත ඇති නොවීම සඳහා වන හොඳම තහවුරුව නම් දමිළ ජනතාවගේ දුක් ගැනවිලි සඳහා විසඳුම් ලබාදිය හැකි දේශපාලන විසඳුමක් ලබාදීම වේ. අප සිතනවා නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් සම්මත කරගැනීම තුළින් අපට එය කළ හැකියි කියා. මෙම අරමුණ සඳහාම පාර්ලිමේන්තු ව්‍යවස්ථාදායක සභාවක් නුදුරේදීම පිහිටූවීමට නියමිතය.’ යනුවෙන් විදේශ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යවරයා තම ජිනීවා කතාවේදී පවසා තිබෙනවා.

මේ ටික කරගන්න තමයි මේ ඊනියා ජාතික ආණ්ඩුව බලහත්කාරයෙන් අටවා ගත්තේ. 08 වැනි පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ තියෙන්නේ අටවපු ආණ්ඩුවක්. ශ‍්‍රී ලනිපය සහ එජාපය අර එළ හරකයි, මී හරකයි වගේ එකට ඈඳලා තියාගෙන ඉන්නේ මෙන්න මේ කියන දෙමළ ජාතිවාදී බෙදුම්වාදයට ඕනෙ කරන ව්‍යවස්ථා වෙනස සිදු කරන්නයි.

තවදුරටත් මංගල සමරවීර මහතා සිය කතාවේදී පවසා තිබෙනවා. ‘වාණිජ කටයුතුවලින් යුද හමුදාව ඉවත් කිරීම, ආරක්‍ෂක අංශයේ ප‍්‍රතිසංස්කරණ කටයුතු කිරීම, විශේෂ ජාත්‍යන්තර නියෝජිතයන් හට 2015දී හා ඉන් මතු ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාවේ සංචාරය කිරීම සඳහා ආරාධනා කිරීම, වධ හිංසා පැමිණවීම, ස්ත‍්‍රී දූෂණය, ලිංගික ප‍්‍රචණ්ඩත්වය හා අනෙකුත් මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කිරීම තහනම් බව හා ඒවාට වගකිව යුතු පුද්ගලයන්ට එරෙහිව පරීක්ෂණ පවත්වා නිසි දඩුවම් ලබාදෙන බවට ආරක්ෂක හමුදාවල සියළු අංශ වෙත උපදෙස් ලබාදීම, ත‍්‍රස්තවාදය වැළැක්වීමේ පනත සමාලෝචනය කර අවලංගු කිරීම ආදිය සිදු කරනවා’ කියලා. මේ කිසිවක් මේ අය මැතිවරණ කාලයේ කියපුවා නොවෙයි.

‘අප රටේ සන්නද්ධ හමුදා තම විනය හා වෘත්තීය විශේෂඥතාවය හේතුවෙන් අතීතයේ පිළිගැනීමට ලක්විය. නමුත් පසුගිය කාලයේ බලයේ සිටි කිහිප දෙනෙකු විසින් රට තුළ ඇති කරන ලද පද්ධතිය හා සංස්කෘතිය හේතුවෙන් එම කීර්ති නාමය පළුදු විය. කියලත් මංගල සමරවීර මහතා සිය කතාවේදී පවසා තිබෙනවා. මේ අනුව පෙනෙන්නේ කුමක්ද? එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කොමසාරිස්වරයාගේ වාර්තාව මේ ආණ්ඩුව පිළිගන්නා බවනේ. පසුගිය කාලය කියන්නේ මේ වාර්තාවේ සඳහන් කාලයනේ. මේ දෙගොල්ලො මේ වැඬේ කරන්නේ අන්‍යෝන්‍ය අවබෝධයෙන් බවනේ පෙනී යන්නේ.

මේ ආණ්ඩුව වීරත්වය ආරෝපණය කරගන්න කියනවා, ‘අපි ජාත්‍යන්තර පරීක්‍ෂණයෙන් රට බේරාගත්තා’ කියලා. නමුත් ජාත්‍යන්තර පරීක්‍ෂණය, දැන් දේශීය ලේබලය ගහලා රට ඇතුළට ගෙනවිත් තිබෙනවා. මේ ආරම්භ කරන්න හදන්නේ රට බේරාගත්තු සේනාධිනායකයා ඇතුළු රණවිරුවන් සියලූ දෙනාට දඩුවම් කිරීමේ මෙහෙයුමයි.

රාජිත සේනාරත්න ඇමතිවරයා බීබීසී පුවත් සේවයට කියනවා, ‘චෝදනා තිබෙනවා නම් මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ, ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්‍ෂ ඇතුළු ඕනෑම කෙනෙක් මේ යුද අපරාධ අධිකරණය හමුවට අපි කැඳවනවා’ කියලා. ජනවාරි 08 වැනිදා මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ පරදවන්න මේ අය එකට එකතු වුණා. පරද්දලා මහ මැතිවරණයට කලින් මේ වාර්තාව දැම්මේ නැහැ. මේ වාර්තාව ආවාට පස්සේ මහ මැතිවරණය තිබ්බාම මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂට වඩා වාසි වෙයි කියලා මේ අය හිතුවා. ඒ නිසා උසස් පෙළ විභාගය කාලසීමාව තුළදීම ඉතිහාසයේ පළමු වතාවට මහ මැතිවරණයක් පැවැත්වූවා. මෛත‍්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහත්තයා එක එක වෙට්ටු දාලා ඒ මැතිවරණය දිනා ගත්තා. දැන් මේ අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණය දාලා ඉතිරි ටික කරගන්න බලනවා.

අපි අහනවා මේ රටේ සියලූ සිංහල, දෙමළ, මුස්ලිම් අම්මලාගෙන්, ‘ඔබ මේ අපරාධයට ඉඩ දෙනවාද?’ කියලා. ඔබේ දේශපාලන මතය කවරක් වුවත් මේ අන්තර්ජාතික අපරාධ අධිකරණය ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාව තුළ පිහිටුවලා මේ රට බේරාගත්තු, රටට සාමය හා නිදහස රැගෙන ආපු රණවිරුවන් දංගෙඩියට දක්කන්න ඔබ ඉඩ දෙනවාද? එවැන්නකට ඉඩ දෙනවා නම් අපි කෘතවේදීත්වය තිබෙන මිනිසුන් වෙන්නට බැහැ.

ඔබ දන්නවා ශ‍්‍රී ලංකාවේ අවුරුද්දකට වරක් තිබෙනවා යුද අත්දැකීම් පිළිබඳ ජාත්‍යන්තර සමුළුවක්. මංගල සමරවීර කවරක් කීවත්, 2009 යුද ජයග‍්‍රහණයෙන් පසු මුළුමහත් ලෝකයම අපේ ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදාව කීර්තිමත් හමුදාවක් ලෙස පිළිගත් නිසයි එම සමුළුවට රටවල් විශාල ගණනක් සහභාගී වූයේ. දැන් මේ කරන්න හදන්නේ හමුදාව අපකීර්තියට පත් කරලා ඔවුන් දිනා දුන්නු සාමය භුක්ති විඳින ගමන් ඔවුන්ව බිල්ලට දෙන එකයි. මේ පොළොවට යාන්තමින් හෝ අදරයක් තිබෙන මිනිසකුට මේ අපරාධවලට ඉඩ දෙන්න බැහැ.

අපි එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ කොළඹ කාර්යාලය ඉදිරියේ මීට වසර කිහිපයකට පෙර උපවාස කළේ, මේ අය දිනුවොත් කොටියා නැගිටින යුගයක් ඇති වෙනවා කිව්වේ මේ තත්ත්වය කල් තියා වටහා ගෙනයි. නමුත් මේ රටේ ඇතැම් කොටස් එය අවශ්‍ය බරින් තේරුම් ගත්තේ නැහැ.

බටහිර බලවතුන් විසින් හදාගත්තු මේ රූකඩ ආණ්ඩුව පාවිච්චි කරලා රණවිරුවන්ගේ බෙල්ලට තොණ්ඩුව දාන මෙහෙයුම දැන් ආරම්භ වෙලා තිබෙනවා. මේ මෙහෙයුමට අදාළ අණ පනත් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ සම්මත කිරීමට සහාය නොදෙන ලෙස ඔබගේ ඡන්දයෙන් තෙරී පත් වූ මන්ත‍්‍රීවරුන්ට බල කරන්න. ජාතික අණ්ඩුවේ හිටියත්, නැතත් මේ රටට හතුරු ක‍්‍රියාවලියට සහාය නොදෙන්න කියලා ඔබගේ මහජන නියෝජිතයන්ට බල කරන්න. ඔබ එජාපයට ඡන්දය දුන් කෙනෙක් වුවත්, බුලත් කොළයට ඡන්දය දුන් කෙනෙක් වුවත් ඔබ පත් කළ මන්ත‍්‍රීවරුන්ට අදාළ බලපෑම කරන්න.

ඒ ආකාරයට පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ ඔබ පත් කරපු මහජන නියෝජිතයන්ට අදාළ බලපෑම සිදු කළහොත් මේ ජාත්‍යන්තර අපරාධ අධිකරණය පිහිටුවීමට අවශ්‍ය නීතිමය සංශෝධනයන් පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුළ සම්මතකර ගැනීමට බැරි වෙනවා. එයයි ඔබ කළ යුත්තේ.

ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණ විදිහට අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා මේ පිළිබඳව රට පුරා පුළුල් දැනුම්වත් කිරීමේ ව්‍යාපාරයක් ආරම්භ කරන්න. පළමු සම්මන්ත‍්‍රණය සැප්තැම්බර් 27 වැනිදා ජනකලා කේන්‍ද්‍රයේදී පැවැත්වීමට අපි බලාපොරොත්තු වෙනවා. රට තුළ වගේම විදෙස්ගත ශ‍්‍රී ලාංකිකයන් වෙනුවෙන් මේ සම්මන්ත‍්‍රණ මාලාව ඉදිරි මාස 02 තුළ පැවැත්වීමට අපි කටයුතු කරනවා. ‘රටට සාමය දිනා දුන්නු විරුවන්ට අත නොතබනු’ කියන සටන් පාඨය මත පදනම්ව සෑම ජන බලවේගයක්ම එකතුකර ගත් පුළුල් ජනතා ව්‍යාපාරයක් ඇරඹීමට අපි දැන් සාකච්ඡා කරමින් සිටිනවා. එම පුළුල් ජනතා ව්‍යාපාරයත් අපි නුදුරේදීම ආරම්භ කරනු ලබනවා’’

මෙම මාධ්‍ය හමුවට ජානිපෙ ජාතික සංවිධායක, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත‍්‍රී ජයන්ත සමරවීර, ප‍්‍රචාරක ලේකම්, මොහොමඞ් මුසම්මිල් යන මහත්වරු ද සහභාගී වූහ.

– අනුරුද්ධ බණ්ඩාර

 

The Borulagoda Gunawardenas  via A Requiem for Indika Gunawardena

September 17th, 2015

Senaka Weeraratna: “A Very Personal Memoir”

Death of Indika Gunawardena

 Indika Gunawardena, former Cabinet Minister and MP passed away on September 14, 2015. He was 72.

Indika, the eldest son of late MEP leader Philip Gunawardena was the brother of Dinesh Gunawardena MP (a member of the RC 1960 group).

The family of Phillip and Kusuma Gunawardena had five children (four Boys and one Girl).

All four boys namely Indika, Prasanna, Dinesh and Gitanjana had their primary and secondary school education at Royal Primary School and Royal College respectively.

 Three brothers Indika, Dinesh and Gitanjana became Members of Parliament and held Ministerial Portfolios. This is an unique record for one family. Both Indika and Dinesh were Cabinet Ministers.

The other brother Prasanna Gunawardena (a member of the RC 1958 group) served as the Mayor of Colombo for some time.

Indika was born in India in 1943 (hence the name having an ‘India’ connotation) when his parents fled to India in 1942 after Phillip together with several other prominent left leaders escaped from Jail in Welikade having been imprisoned by the then British rulers in 1940 on grounds of suspicion of possible sabotaging of the allies war effort. At the outbreak of the Second World War, Nazi Germany and the Communist Soviet Union under Stalin had a non – aggression pact and leftists in British colonies were therefore suspect of colluding with the enemy. It was only after Germany’s attack on Russia commencing on June 22, 1941 that left wing leaders openly came out in support of the Allied war effort against the Axis powers.

Indika’s  mother the late Kusuma also entered Parliament (in 1948) like his father Phillip who was known as ‘the Lion of Boralugoda’, a pioneer of socialism in Sri Lanka and founder of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party (LSSP).

dineshg1

Dinesh with his father Philip Gunawardene in a Mahajana Eksath Peramuna May Day procession in the late 1950s.

P.H. William de Silva in national attire can be seen on the left of Phillip Gunawardena.

dineshg2

left to right (clockwise)

Dinesh, Prasanna, Indika, Kusuma, Lakmali, Phillip and Gitanjana

A very personal memoir

 I came to know Indika in 1960 when I entered Royal College as a student of ‘1B’ class under Mr. Lennie de Silva (Class Master). Dinesh Gunawardena, Malik Samarawickrema, R.J. de Silva, Ruwan Ratnatunga, Jayantha Jayasinghe among others were all in ‘1B’ class. It was through Dinesh that I first came to know his brother Indika. Dinesh was seated next to me in that class as we had a lot in common those days. My father was a strong supporter of Phillip Gunawardena and the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) which won 10 seats at the General Elections held in March 1960. Ranil Wickremesinghe and C.R. de Silva were in Class ‘1D’ which had Mr. Harold Samaraweera as the Class Master. The composition of these classes was mixed, however since several subjects such as Arithmetic, Algebra and Geometry were then taught in Sinhala the  classes were rearranged for these subjects. Ranil and Chitta Ranjan( Bulla) joined the class in ‘IB’ class room for these subjects, ‘Bulla’ who was a very close friend of mine from the Kindergarten days was seated next to me on the right hand side in class IB for the subjects taught in Sinhala.

Class ‘1A’ (under Justin de Silva as Class Master) had a very elite group of students including Anura Bandaranaike, Ajita Wijesundere, T.P. Murugesar, Rohan Wijetileke, Nalin Walpita, K.Win Baw, Sepala Amarasuriya and S. Anketell among others.

It must be mentioned here that the authorities at Royal College took a deliberate decision to keep both Anura Bandaranaike and Dinesh Gunawardena in two separate classes when they entered the First Form at Royal College from Royal Primary School as their parents( S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike and later Sirima Bandaranaike, and Phillip Gunawardena) were at logger heads in the political spectrum of those days. Phillip Gunawardena was a co – architect together with S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in the political revolution that took place in 1956, but Phillip fell out with S.W.R.D. in 1958 over the Paddy Lands Act and both Phillip and P.H. William de Silva resigned their portfolios as Cabinet Ministers and left the Government giving warnings to S.W.R.D that later proved to be prophetic. But that is another story.

Malik Samarawickrema joined Royal College from St. Anthony’s College at Katugastota, where he had his primary school education. His father was Ivan Samarawickrema, a Civil Servant. His uncle was Edmund Samarawickrema, Member of Parliament for Colombo South. I remember my initial conversations with Malik in class ‘IB’ which were all centered on his connections to Edmund Samarawickrema (Public Auctioneer) and the UNP.

Seated next to Malik in Class ‘IB’ were R.J. de Silva and K.R. Peiris. ‘R.J.’ too enjoyed a high prominence in class being the nephew of C.P. de Silva (high profile Cabinet Minister and leading politician) and son of R.T. de Silva (Vice Chairman of the C.T.B).

Coming back to Indika Gunawardena who was then becoming prominent in Buddhist Brotherhood, Sinhala Literary Society related activities in School in 1960, in my earliest encounters with him he sold me a ticket to a Concert at School called ‘Starlight Cavalcade’ which featured Des Kelly as the main artist. This was the first time that I came across the name Des Kelly (who has since migrated to Australia and is now giving a strong backing to Sri Lanka in whatever way he can). This concert was held in aid of a School Society fund sometime in January or February 1960 any way before the March 1960 general elections. The ticket cost me Rs. 7.00 which was quite an amount those days for an impecunious school boy.

Indika rose to prominence in School through his involvement in aforesaid activities and he was made a School Prefect by Dudley K.G. de Silva. The most distinctive feature of Indika Gunawardena at Royal College was his dress code. He wore the ‘Arya Sinhala’ national attire while in the upper classes of the School. The Photographs of the School Prefects published in the College Magazine in the early 1960s capture Indika in this distinguishing dress code and make him pronounced in the photos.

Indika’s dress code in School had its detractors more in fun than anything else. He was called ‘Redda’ because of his sarong attire. It was not unusual for school boys in their formative age at school to engage in mischief and make fun of others by shouting and hooting. This is something I never did – hooting at others. It is foreign to my bones. But others did. On one occasion while we were in the 3A class (1962) several school prefects walked down the corridor and were subject to shouts from some of my class mates. Indika was visibly annoyed when he heard the shout ‘Redda’ being directed at him. He came to the class and asked for those who shouted to own up. Nobody did. He then called me as he knew me to come to the Prefect’s room. He asked me (inside the Prefect’s room ) to name those who hooted. I refused though I knew who did it. I did not want to sneak in on my friends. I was reported to the then Vice – Principal Mr. Bogoda Premaratne who gave me a caning (for something I never did). But that is part of school life. No grudges. But what came out of this incident was more valuable. U.L.Kaluarachchi, school prefect and Rugger captain, came to the same class ‘3A’ and asked us all to wait in detention after school. He then during the detention period delivered a priceless talk on our civic obligations to ‘Respect Authority’.

School prefects were never loath to detain us or force us to write lines in punishment. The School Song was a favourite choice of topic to write lines on. But as Ajita Wijesundere pointed out the other day we were never called upon to write lines on the National Anthem.

Is Royal College more school centered than nation centered as some other schools are?

Let others answer this question.

I have shared these thoughts on Indika Gunawardena in the wider context of school life because much of what I have said here has never been aired in public or reduced to writing. It may sound like a ‘warts and all’ write up of Indika. There is no intention of disrespect.

Indika is a scion of the Gunawardena family from Boralugoda (in Avissawella, Sitawaka) which has left an indelible impression in the annals of politics in the country.

May he rest in peace.

May his sojourn in Samsara be short.

 Senaka Weeraratna

 Obituary Notice

 GUNAWARDENA – INDIKA (Former Cabinet Minister). Dearly beloved husband of Dr. Padmini Gunawardana, father of Diyath & Yasith, father-in-law of Thaslima, brother of Prasanna, Lakmali, Dinesh & Gitanjana, brother-in-law of Gamini, Shrimathi, Irangani, Subadhra & Tissa, passed away at the age of 72. Remains lie at residence in Boralugoda (Kosgama). Cremation at 5 p.m. on Thursday 17th at Boralugoda.

http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=obituaries

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philip_Gunawardena

http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~lkawgw/gen3069.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indika_Gunawardena

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rWrJDZxnr0

 

විදේශ රටවලින් ලබාගන්නා දැනුමට අමතරව දේශීය විද්‍යාඥයන්ගේ ඥාණය  රටේ සංවර්ධනයට යොදා ගැනීමට ප්‍රමුඛතාවයක් ලබා දෙනවා.- අමාත්‍ය සුසිල් ප්‍රේමජයන්ත – 

September 17th, 2015

මාධ් අංශය තාක්ෂණ, තාක්ෂණ අධ්යාපන හා රැකියා අමාත්යාංශය

අමාත්යාංශයට අනුබද්ධ ආයතන තුළින් සංවර්ධනයකොට ඇති යම් යම් මෙවලම් මාර්ගයෙන් විදේශ රටවලින් ලබා ගන්නා දැනුමට වඩා දේශීය විද්යාඥයින් විසින් දේශීය ඥාණය තුළින් නිර්මාණය කරන උපකරණ භාවිත කිරීම තුළින් විශාල සේවාවක් රටේ සංවර්ධනය සඳහා යොදාගත හැකි බවත්, සඳහා විදෙස් ගතවී සිටින ශ්රී ලාංකීය විද්යාඥයන් හා බුද්ධිමතුන්ට මෙරටට පැමිණ එයට දායකත්වය ලබාදීමට කටයුතු කිරීම රටේ සංවර්ධනයට ප්රබල දායකත්වයක් බව තාක්ෂණ, තාක්ෂණ අධ්යාපන හා රැකියා අමාත් ගරු සුසිල් ප්රේමජයන්ත මැතිතුමා අවධාරණය කර සිටී. අමාත්යවරයා මේ බව සඳහන් කර සිටියේ අද(17) උදෑසන මහනුවර ජාතික මූලික අධ්යාපන ආයතනයේ අළුතින් ඉඳිකරනු ලැබූ සිව්මහල් විද්යාගාරය ගොඩනැගිල්ල විවෘත කිරීමේ උත්සවයට සහභාගී වෙමිනි

එහිදී වැඩි දුරටත් අදහස් දක්වමින් අමාත්යවරයා සඳහන් කර සිටියේ, අද වන විට නාසා ආයතනයේ ශ්රී ලාංකීය විද්යාඥයන් 262 ක් සේවය කරන බවයි. අපේ විද්යාඥයන් අපේ රටේ රඳවා ගැනීම සඳහා පූර්ණ අවධානය යොමුකොට සඳහා ඔවුන්ට අවශ් පහසුකම් ලබාදීමට අමාත්යාංශයට අදාළ ආයතන හරහා කටයුතු කරන බවද සඳහන් කළ අමාත්යවරයා ගරු ජනාධිපති මෛත්රීපාල සිරිසේන මැතිතුමාද මෙම විද්යාඥයින්ගේ සේවය අපේ රටට ලබාදෙන ලෙස ආරාධනා කර ඇති බවද පෙන්වා දුන්නේය. එමෙන්ම අපේ ආයතන තුළ දැනට ක්රියාත්මක වෙමින් සිටින විද්යාඥයින්ගේ පර්යේෂණවල ප්රතිඵල අපේ රටේ සංවර්ධනයට හා සමාජ දියුණුව සඳහා යොදා ගැනීමට කටයුතු කරන බවත්, සඳහා ඔවුන්ට අවශ් ප්රතිපාදන ඇතුළු සියළු පහසුකම් ලබාදීමත්, නවක විද්යාඥයින් බිහිකිරීමට කටයුතු කරන බවත් සඳහන් කළේය.

විද්යා හා තාක්ෂණ ක්ෂේත්රයේ සංවර්ධනය සඳහා මානව සම්පත් වැඩිදියුණු කරගෙන රජයේ ආයතනවලින් පමණක් නොව විවිධ පෞද්ගලික හා විදේශ ආයතනවලින් අරමුදල් සපයාගත හැකි බවත් අද දින විවෘත කරනු ලැබූ නව විද්යාගාරය සහ පුස්තකාලය නවීන තක්ෂණික උපාංගයන්ගෙන් පරිපූර්ණ කිරීම සඳහා ක්ෂේත්රයේ ඉහළින්ම සිටින විදෙස් රටවල් වල සහය තානපති කාර්යාල හරහා ලබාගැනීමට කටයුතු කරන බවද අමාත්යවරයා සඳහන් කර සිටියේය.

අධ්යාපන ක්ෂේත්රය තුළින් ගමට තාක්ෂණය ගෙන යාමට පසුගිය කාලය තුළ විශාල ප්රයත්නයක් දැරූ බවත් එය ඉදිරියටත් ක්රියාත්මක කරන බවද අමාත්යවරයා පෙන්වා දුන්නේය. පාසල් පද්ධතියේ විෂයන් හැටියට හඳුන්වාදී ඇති තාක්ෂණ විෂය ධාරාවේ ප්රගමනය සඳහා පූර්ණ දායකත්වයක් අමාත්යාංශය හරහා ලබාදීමට කටයුතු කරන අතර එමඟින්් විද්යාත්මක ක්ෂේත්රය තුළ අපේ රටේ උගත් බුද්ධිමත් පිරිසක් බිහි කිරීමට හැකිවන බවද අමාත්යවරයා පෙන්වා දුන්නේය

පාසල් පද්ධතිය තුළ විද්යාව හා ගණිතය යන විෂයන් දෙක ප්රචලිත කිරීම සහ එහි ගුණාත්මක භාවය වැඩි කිරීම සඳහා විශාල කාරය භාරයක් අමාත්යාංශයට අදාළ ආයතන මගින් ඉටුකළ හැකි බවත් ජාතික විද්යා පදනම හරහා කොළඹ අවට විද්යා මධ්යස්ථානයක් ඇති කිරීමට සාකච්ඡා කර තිඛෙන බවද සඳහන් කළ අමාත්යවරයා සඳහා මේ වන විට මූලික ව්යාපෘති ක්රියාත්මක කරමින් සිටින අතර සඳහා විශ්වවිද්යාල සම්බන්ධ කරගැනීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන බවද සඳහන් කළේය. දැනට පාසල් 600 පමණ උසස් පෙළ විද්යා විෂය ධාරාව ක්රියාත්මක වන අතර එම ගණන 1500 ක් දක්වා වැඩි කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන බවත්, ඉන් විශේෂයෙන්ම දිවයිනේ ග්රාමීය ප්රදේශ ඇතුළු සෑම ප්රදේශයකටම විද්යා හා තාක්ෂණික දැනුම ලබාදීමට කටයුතු කළ හැකි බවද පෙන්වා දුන්නේය.

අමාත්යාංශයට සම්බන්ධ ආයතන වල පවතින වෘත්තීය ගැටළු හා වැටුප් විෂමතා පිළිබඳව සති දෙකක් තුළ සාකච්ඡා කිරීමට කඩිනමින් කටයුතු කරන බව සඳහන් කළ අමාත්යවරයා, ප්රතිපාදන ලබාගෙන හොඳ පර්යේෂණ සිදුවී තිබුණත් ඒවා පර්යේෂණ පත්රිකාවලට පමණක් සීමා වීතිඛෙන අතර ක්රියාත්මක තත්ත්වයට පත්වී නොමැති බවත් අපේ ආයතන හරහා එම පර්යේෂණ වලින් සොයාගත් ප්රතිඵල අදාළ ක්ෂේත්රවල සංවර්ධනය සඳහා ක්රියාත්මක තත්ත්වයට ගෙන ඒමට හා ඒවා සම්බන්ධීකරණය කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන බව සඳහන් කර සිටියේය. සඳහා අමාත්යාංශය තුළ වෙනම ඒකකයක් පිහිටුවීමට කටයුතු කරන බවත් කිසිම දේශපාලන භේදයකින් තොරව, දේශපාලන පත්වීම්වලින් තොරව කටයුතු කිරීම තමාගේ ප්රතිපත්තිය බවද අමාත්යවරයා වැඩි දුරටත් අවධාරණයකොට සිටියේය.

මෙම අවස්ථාවට අමාත්යාංශ ලේකම් විජයලඩ්චමී, අමාත්යාංශ අතිරේක ලේකම් අනුරාධා ඉලේපෙරුම, ජාතික මූලික අධ්යයන ආයතනයේ අධ්යක්ෂ සී. බී. දිසානායක, ලේකම් පී. එස්. වඳුරාගල යන මහත්ම මහත්මීහු මෙන්ම අමාත්යාංශ හා ආයතන නිළධාරීහු රැසක් එක්වී සිටියහ

(ඡායාරූප ඔබගේ විද්යුත් තැපෑලට යොමුකර ඇත).

 

මාධ් අංශය

තාක්ෂණ, තාක්ෂණ අධ්යාපන හා රැකියා අමාත්යාංශය

2015.09.17

PPFA bats for refugee to minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan

September 17th, 2015

Issued by Rupam Barua, Nava Thakuria, Pramod Kalita, Anup Sarma, Jagadindra Raichoudhury, Tarali Chakrabarty for PPFA.

Guwahati, 17 September 2015:  The Patriotic People’s Front Assam (PPFA) has welcomed the Centre’s initiative to exempt the minority communities of Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have entered into India on or before 31st December last year due to religious persecution there, from the relevant provisions of rules and order made under the Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 and the Foreigners Act, 1946, and said that they may be given the refugee status.

The PPFA, however, asserted that Assam alone should not be burdened with all the asylum seekers, which includes Hindus and the Union government in New Delhi must clarify its stand at the earliest over the issue.

The PPFA also demanded a concrete refugee policy with a legal framework to be adopted by New Delhi and urged the people of Assam not to get carried over by the ongoing debate of ‘granting citizenship to these minority communities from Bangladesh and Pakistan’ and said that granting mere refugee status does not mean granting citizenship to those asylum seekers.

“Even though a refugee in a country is legally allowed to enjoy some basic rights for life, liberty, equality, healthcare, primary education, work etc, (s) he may not be entitled to have the status permanently. Once the refugee voluntarily prefers to return back to his/her country of origin (or any other country of his/her choice), for the situation/circumstance that made him/her a refugee is resolved/improved significantly, the asylum seeker would cease to receive those rights,” said a statement issued by the PPFA today.

The PPFA, which is a forum of like-minded nationalistic citizens, further said that the United Nations High Commission for Refugees

(UNHCR) has recognized nearly 185,000 refugees in India. It is well accepted that the actual number of refugee or asylum seekers in India from its neighbouring countries should be much higher. Though the UNHCR is functioning from its office in New Delhi, India is yet to sign the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention. More over, New Delhi has not ratified its 1967 Protocol relating to the status of refugees.

Need not to mention that India today officially supports nearly half a million asylum seekers from Tibet, Burma (Myanmar), Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, Afghanistan with few other countries including Bangladesh.

According to the World Refugee Survey (conducted by US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants), the estimated number of refugees who are taking shelter in India would be over 4,56,000 nationals.

The PPFA argues that the process of providing asylum to the Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Sikh, Parsee nationals from Bangladesh & Pakistan should be temporary and New Delhi must continue pursuing with the authorities in Dhaka and Islamabad diplomatically to help those refugees to return to their respective countries when the situation normalize.

 

Issued by Rupam Barua, Nava Thakuria, Pramod Kalita, Anup Sarma, Jagadindra Raichoudhury, Tarali Chakrabarty for PPFA.

Tamil protesters call for Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena to be tried for war crimes and genocide committed during civil war

September 16th, 2015

On the eve of a delayed UN report into the bitter conflict, Tamils are on the march calling for justice from the international community

“I’m looking for my daughter, my daughter-in law and two little grandchildren who disappeared during the war,” says Sivaneswari, rubbing her arthritic legs as she rests after a five-day protest march across the northern tip of Sri Lanka. “I have faith they are still alive.”

Like Sivaneswari, 63, most of the bedraggled Tamil protesters from Sri Lanka’s biggest ethnic minority community, holding up photographs of their missing family members and placards calling for a war crimes investigation into the tiny island, are women. And six years after a three-decade war, they are old and they are tired.

The duo leading the protest march are the wife of a “missing” Tamil Tiger terrorist chief who was responsible for hundreds of child soldier conscriptions and a cousin of the Tiger supremo Velupilla Prabhakaran who ran a ruthless terrorist organisation replete with suicide bombers. Now, they are ready for another kind of battle – they want the international community to try the island’s Sinhalese leadership for war crimes.

“Maithripala Sirisena is a war criminal,” says Mahalingam Shivajilingam, a provincial council member and a cousin of Prabhakaran, referring to the current President. “And we demand that he be tried for war crimes and genocide against the Tamil people of this country.”

Maithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan President, served as Defence Minister at the end of the civil warMaithripala Sirisena, the Sri Lankan President, served as Defence Minister at the end of the civil war (Getty)
Allegations against Mr Sirisena are spurred by the fact that he served as Acting Defence Minister under the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa during the last two weeks of the war, where, according to the United Nations, more than 40,000 Tamils were killed. Sparing no one, Ms Shivajilingam accuses the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Mr Rajapaksa, his brother the former Defence Secretary Gotabhya Rajapaksa and the field marshal, Sarath Fonseka, who commanded the military during the final war years, of also being war criminals.

The protest in the former northern war zone is timed to coincide with an ongoing United Nations Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) investigation in Geneva, where the head of the organisation Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein will release a delayed report on Sri Lanka’s war crimes tomorrow. The report addresses alleged extra-judicial killings, rape of Tamils and bombing civilian “no fire zones” by the Sri Lankan military. Addressing a session in Geneva, Mr Al Hussein said that the report’s findings “are of the most serious nature”.

READ MORE: TAMIL LEADS SRI LANKA OPPOSITION FOR FIRST TIME IN 32 YEARS
FOUR SOLDIERS HELD IN CONNECTION WITH MISSING JOURNALIST
EX-TAMIL FIGHTERS BECOME POLITICIANS AS QUEST FOR SELF-RULE GOES ON

Mr Rajapaksa has refused to comment until the release of the report. Mangala Samaraweera, the Foreign Minister, told the human rights commission that Colombo will set up a truth and reconciliation commission modelled on post-apartheid South Africa to look into atrocities committed during the final phase of the war. But the Tamils call any effort of an internal investigation “an eyewash”.

“You cannot compare South Africa with us,” says Ananthi Shashitharan, the wife of the eastern Tiger chief who, she says, disappeared after surrendering to government troops. “We are not ready to trust any Sinhala government,” adds Manmohini, another woman with missing children. “We want justice for the ethnic cleansing that happened to us Tamils. For the 2009 and 1983 riots.”

The mistrust between the two communities goes beyond to the riots in 1983, when a faction of the majority Sinhalese killed more than 3,000 innocent Tamil civilians across the country. While the Government watched, Sinhalese rioters dragged out and shot, clubbed and stabbed Tamil men and women, burnt their homes and set aflame vehicles with entire families inside. The Tamils have always felt marginalised.

Tamil qualms go beyond the Government too. They blame the West, particularly the United States and the UN, for “watching while genocide was committed during the final phase of the war”.

“We are angry with the international community,” says Ms Shashitharan. “All of them, with their fancy satellite technology watched while we died by the thousands and now the US is backing out on its promise.”

The broken promise of the United States that the Tamils refer to has been America’s recent change of heart towards Sri Lanka following the new pro-West Government that came into power in January. After sponsoring and pushing for an anti-Sri Lankan resolution that called for an international investigation into the country’s war crimes, the US recently said it would adopt a “collaborative approach” where Sri Lanka would be allowed to conduct a domestic investigation.

“We don’t believe in domestic inquiries. We’ve been cheated by America,” says Rahumalar Thiruchchelvan, 52, a Tamil woman who joined the walk in protest against a probable softer UN report. “A change of presidents and governments doesn’t wipe out our losses,” she says.

We warned Mahinda of international regime change conspiracy – Prof. Vitarana

September 16th, 2015

Courtesy Island

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When it came to the presidential elections, we warned Mahinda that an American led regime change conspiracy was afoot in this country and we suggested ways out of this trap. But astrology outweighed scientific socialism and the country is now faced with this situation.

A part of the conventional political wisdom in this country was that the SLFP loses when they contest elections on their own but wins when they contest together with the political parties of the traditional left. This was the pattern from the first SLFP victory in 1956 where they had no-contest pacts with the LSSP to defeat the common enemy the UNP. What started off as no-contest pacts later developed into coalitions and this partnership with certain ups and downs has continued for the past several decades. But for the first time since 1975, the traditional left has now been deliberately left out in the cold by an SLFP leadership. In this interview, LSSP leader Prof. Tissa Vitarana speaks to C. A. Chandraprema about the future of his party and the trajectory the country has taken after the August 17 parliamentary election.

Q. The LSSP was left out of the UPFA national list and is now no longer represented in parliament. This was an unexpected turn of events and it came as a surprise to many especially members of the UPFA itself. What do you make of this move on the part of Maithripala Sirisena?

A. We are deeply disappointed because it has been the established practice over the years to have a representative of the LSSP appointed to parliament on the National List. The composition of the national list and the number of LSSP candidates who would contest in the districts was agreed on between the party leaders of the UPFA. My name was included in the national list. For the oldest political party to be thrown out of the national list and candidates rejected by the people to be taken in is not only a violation of the understanding that existed among our political parties, but also a betrayal of the trust that the progressive voters placed in the UPFA.

Q. What now is the way forward for the LSSP?

A. As far as we are concerned, this does not mean the end of the world. The same thing happened in 1977 and the LSSP was without representation in parliament. So we are used to this.

Q. Could we say that the relations between the LSSP and the SLFP are at its lowest ebb since 1975 when the LSSP was thrown out of the coalition government?

A. Not really, because the SLFP itself is divided. There is a large progressive wing of the SLFP and that wing enjoys the confidence of the people at grassroots level. We are working together with that progressive wing. We are prepared to work with the SLFP and the UPFA if they are prepared to do the same. There is a need to save our country from a great calamity with the election of a government headed by the UNP and Ranil Wickremesinghe. There is a danger to our country and we would like to work with all progressive forces, the SLFP in particular to prevent the retrogressive changes that they are contemplating.

Q. The LSSP has worked with several SLFP leaders since the 1960s. In your view, who was the easiest to work with?

A. In the early days, we had figures who were nationally, historically established figures like Dr N. M. Perera, Colvin R. De Silva, Leslie Gunawardene, Bernard Soysa, Vivian Gunawardene and others. Therefore the relationship with the SLFP was on a different footing. Though the right wing of the SLFP was manoeuvring to marginalise us during the Sirima Bandaranaike governments, we got on well. Unfortunately, the global food crisis, the oil crisis, and drought in Sri Lanka had a telling effect on the government and the economy at that time. Furthermore, the policies that we were following like the Senaka Bibile medicinal drug policy which went counter to the interests of drug multinationals in this country were inimical to American led imperialist forces. They brought pressure to bear on the SLFP to get rid of the LSSP. The SLFP right wing connived in that process and we were booted out. Up to that time the relationship with Mrs Sirima Bandaranaiake was cordial. There were SLFP leaders like T.B.Illangaratne and T.B.Subasinghe and others who were left inclined so the relationship with the SLFP was strong. From 1994 onwards we had good relations with Mrs Chandrika Kumaratunga though there were issues like the privatisation of state owned enterprises and so on. But on the whole Chandrika’s positive attitude to solving the national question helped overcome those other problems. We were able to get Mahinda Rajapaksa to move more to the left than Chandrika and to stop all privatisations and to reclaim some of the institutions already privatised. But in any alliance you have people operating at various levels with private agendas and these matters would come up from time to time. The changes that we advocated as the left in the UPFA alliance were not heeded. When it came to the presidential elections, we warned Mahinda that an American led regime change conspiracy was afoot in this country and we suggested ways out of this trap. But astrology outweighed scientific socialism and the country is now faced with this situation.

Q. In an earlier interview with our newspaper, you described Maithripala Sirisena as an SLFP thinking person. It was Sirisena who deprived your party of a national list seat. It was not done by the UNP or the right wing reactionary forces in the government. What do you make of him now?

A. Maithripala Sirisena was being made use of as a part of an international conspiracy . As Asoka Metha reported in The Hindu in January, the conspiracy started in London with America and Delhi joining in. He mentioned the people who were involved in that conspiracy. He said very clearly that Ranil Wickremesinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga, Mangala Samaraweera, and several others were involved and they were working on it for 18 months. Thereafter Maithripala Sirisena was brought in, in the last few months. We too carried out a campaign against some of the objectionable aspects of the UPFA government such as cronyism and corruption. This is an endemic problem in all capitalist societies because of the corrupting influence of the profit motive. Even the Communist Party of China has been having problems with their higher-ups. But we realised the dangers of crossing the line and making common cause with the UNP. Maithripala however took a different path. He may think he can control this process, but those forces are too powerful.

Q. From January this year, an Alice in Wonderland element has entered the politics of this country. The SLFP leader is helping to keep a UNP government in power. Then we see a UNP national list parliamentarian organising an N.M.Perera commemoration. What comes to your mind in observing these strange occurrences?

A. N.M.Perera was not only my uncle but also my political guru and I know what he stood for. What is taking place now is a betrayal where the country is being sold to international capitalist forces. Some have got into the UNP national list in the name of the LSSP. Our Kalutara District leader even contested on the UNP list. I have been to meetings in Kalutara where he used to start his speech by recalling how his father the LSSP leader in the Agalawatte area was gunned down by UNP thugs. I would have no issue with any stand they took if they had left the LSSP and said they want to support the UNP. But to join the UNP in the name of the LSSP, is a gross act of hypocrisy. It’s a good thing N.M.perera was cremated. Had he been buried, he would have been turning in his grave.

Q. You played a major role during the debate on the 19th Amendment to make the independent commissions responsible to parliament. That was something that all the political parties represented on the Public Petitions Committee of parliament including the JVP and the TNA had been asking for. But as of now, no mechanism has been set up to monitor these commissions and ensure that they are answerable to parliament. In 2008, the Public Petitions Committee wanted the independent commissions made answerable to them. But the 19th Amendment has merely stipulated that the independent commissions will be answerable to parliament and left it at that. Parliament has not yet amended the standing orders and devised some mechanism through which the answerability of the independent commissions to parliament will be put into practice. Now that the constitutional council is up and running isn’t it about time that parliament got down to the task of setting up an oversight mechanism over the independent commissions?

A. There has to be a body set up for the purpose. Whether this task will be handled by an existing parliamentary committee or a new body is a matter for parliament to decide but it has to be done. We can’t have a situation where officials appointed to these commissions are able to act in an arbitrary fashion. The knowledge of some of these officials appointed to these bodies may also be limited. If there are unjustifiable delays on the part of these commissions, there should be some way to address those issues. When I was the minister of science and technology, I wanted to set up a support service for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in the rural sector in the form of the Vidatha programme manned by a science graduate with a computer operator supported by a field officer with the express purpose of helping existing SMEs and also those wishing to become entrepreneurs. We wanted to link up rural entrepreneurs with scientists and researchers in the universities so that they can improve their products and remain competitive. When I first put up this proposal, it went to the Public Service Commission and it was stuck there. I met the PSC chairman three times and explained the importance of this programme. But various petty officials haggled over matters like the salaries of computer operators and the whole project was delayed for over one and a half years. I finally had to go to the president and he intervened and approval was given for the cadre. People who don’t understand matters can get into those positions and even buckle the work of the government. So the government should take the initiative to set up a mechanism to make the independent commissions answerable to parliament.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) – A Malady Shared by East and West

September 16th, 2015

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

 Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed life-threatening events such as natural disasters, serious accidents, terrorist incidents, war, or violent personal assaults. Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs in an estimated 8% of men and 20% of women who are exposed to traumatic events.

The cross-cultural validity of the PTSD has been questioned by many experts. Some consider PTSD is a Western culture-bound disorder. However psychological trauma is a universal phenomenon. Traumatic experiences are universal and it has psychological, neurological, biological, and social impacts. Although there are ethnocultural variations in PTSD it is a common occurrence around the globe. Many cultures report PTSD type anxiety based reactions.

 The History of PTSD

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a relatively newly defined disorder with a very long medical history. Historical literature reveals clinical symptoms similar to PTSD dating back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. In 1900 B.C. an Egyptian physician eloquently described hysterical reactions of a patient after traumatic experience.

Great literature from around the world provides stories of individuals and peoples with extraordinary suffering due to the trauma experienced in great calamities. For example, the biblical story of Job records a heartbreaking story of human trauma. Job was subjected to extreme suffering, loss of material possessions, and psychological anguish.

In his 1952 book Answer to Job, pioneer psychiatrist Carl Jung analyzed the psychological components associated with the nature of his emotional suffering. Job was deeply shattered by the trauma that fell upon him. He expresses self-pity and troubled desolation. The trauma left him feeling hopeless, and his mental agony is similar to one who suffers from PTSD. Job could very well be diagnosed with PTSD within today’s clinical definitions.

Another ancient sacred text from a separate cultural tradition, the Mahabharata, describes vivid combat stress reactions exhibited by the ancient warriors. This epic tale of India chronicles a great war between the Pandavas and the Kauravas in 3139 B.C. The horrendous combat events described in the Mahabharata and the demeanor and death of the main warrior characters such as Jayadratha graphically illustrate the trauma and symptoms now recognized in the PTSD diagnosis.

Homer’s great epic, The Iliad, which was composed circa 730 B.C., narrates a series of harrowing episodes of battle stress that were experienced by the ancient Hellenic combatants. He clearly paints the picture of the horror of war and trauma of combat. Achilles, the archetypal warrior, cries out in anguish and rage at the death and mutilation of his friend Patroklos.

Battle scenes and human suffering occupy much of The Iliad. When exposed to the atmosphere of combat, soldiers have feelings that become more intense and unpredictable. They may include amplified emotional responses or the reawakening of past mental disturbance. Homer artfully captures such responses. In The Iliad some combatants suffer from extreme confusion and experience feelings of insecurity. Their reactions are similar to modern-day combat-related PTSD.

The Iliad epitomizes another tragedy of war: the agony of war widows when encompassed with physical and mental trauma. The pages of The Iliad echo the woe and affliction of the Trojan women. Homer expounds their lamentation and helplessness comprehensively. Trojan women have become the ultimate symbol of the consequences of war on the survivors.

Buddhist Jataka Stories 

According to archaeological and literary evidence, the Jataka stories were compiled in the 3rd Century B.C. to the 5th Century A.D. The Khuddaka Nikaya contains 550 stories the Buddha told of his previous lifetimes as an aspiring Bodhisattva. According to Professor Rhys Davids, Jataka stories are one of the oldest fables.  The Jataka stories deeply analyze the human mind. They contain profound psychological content. In the Jataka stories there are numerous characters who have displayed hysteria-type reactions. For instance, in the Maranabheruka Jataka one monk shows anxiety-based reactions that are similar to modern day PTSD. This monk displays extreme fear, hyper-arousal, avoidance, having frightful mental pictures (flashbacks?) and emotional anesthesia.

Shakespearian Work and British Experience of PTSD

The eminent English poet and playwright William Shakespeare created many characters that appear to be afflicted by psychological and psychiatric disorders. Shakespeare had an extraordinary ability to grasp the dynamics of the human mind and fathom the dysfunctions of the human psyche. Indeed, Shakespeare was very comprehensive in his descriptions of various psychological and psychiatric symptoms. Shakespeare’s influence on psychopathology was immeasurable. Many of Shakespeare’s lead characters seem to be having mental disorders and even psychoses.

Macbeth, probably written sometime between 1603 and 1607, reveals an act for which the perpetrator is subsequently filled with guilt, one that is emotionally overwhelming, replete with nightmares, hallucinations, and disturbing reminiscences. Macbeth was a Scottish Army general who wanted to rise to nobility and become the king of Scotland. To fulfill his ambition he was pushed to kill King Duncan by his ambitious wife. Macbeth murders Duncan while Duncan is a guest at his castle. After the murder Macbeth and his wife become emotionally unstable. Lady Macbeth sleepwalks (a form of dissociation that is evident in trauma). She continuously washes and wrings her hands in an attempt to make them clean (an obsessive-compulsive disorder type of behavior that could be co-morbid with PTSD). Her nights are full of disturbances and she becomes hyper-vigilant. Following the distressing mental condition, Lady Macbeth commits suicide.

Around half a century after Shakespeare’s death English civil servant Samuel Pepys witnessed the great fire of London in 1666. His diary famously and vividly described nightmares, intrusions, and flashbacks, all of which are associated with what we today call PTSD.

PTSD victims of Russo-Turkish War 

From 1676 to 1681 a series of military conflicts occurred between the Russian and Ottoman Empires. Professor V.I Buganov, a renowned Soviet Historian, described unusual events that occurred during the war between the Turkish troops and the forces of Peter the Great. According to Buganov, some soldiers lost their voices (became aphonic as a result of a hysteria-type dissociative reaction). Some manifested fear feelings and became insane (possibly a stress-related behavior following acute stress disorder).

Railway Hysteria 

In 1800 a condition was identified that bore a remarkable resemblance to modern-day PTSD. It was called railway hysteria or railway spine. The sufferers of this condition showed anxiety and somatoform symptoms after having been in catastrophic railway accidents. Railway spine was a nineteenth-century diagnosis for the post-traumatic symptoms. A large numbers of casualties were reported on Britain’s Victorian railways between the 1840s and the 1860s. The medical experts regarded “Railway as a condition produced by a jolted and shaken spinal cord to one of traumatically-induced mental and nervous collapse fraught with implications of hysteria, neurasthenia and degeneration.

Neurasthenia 

In 1879 neurologist George Beard called a group of symptoms he observed “neurasthenia.”9 This was characterized by chronic fatigue and weakness, loss of memory, and generalized aches and pains, formerly thought to result from exhaustion of the nervous system.

Soldier’s Heart

In 1876 US Civil War physician Dr. Mandez Da Costa introduced the term “soldier’s heart,” which illustrated the physical and emotional symptoms displayed by Civil War veterans, including startle responses, hyper-vigilance, dyspnea (difficulty in breathing), palpitation, chest pain, fatigue, faintness and heart arrhythmias. Soldier’s heart or Da Costa’s syndrome is considered the manifestation of an anxiety disorder, and treatment is primarily behavioral, involving modifications to lifestyle and daily exertion.

Effort Syndrome

The term “effort syndrome” was introduced in 1900. This condition was characterized by chest pain, dizziness, fatigue, palpitations, cold moist hands, and sighing respiration. The condition is often associated with soldiers in combat, but occurs also in other individuals. The pain often mimics angina pectoris, but is more closely associated with anxiety states and occurs after, rather than during exercise. (7) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (introduced in 1900) Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that may worsen with physical or mental activity, but does not improve with rest. There are many theories about what causes this condition, ranging from viral infections to psychological stress.

Shell Shock 

By 1918 British military doctors identified a group of symptoms that included tiredness, irritability, giddiness, lack of concentration and headaches among the soldiers who fought in  World War I. Colonel Fredrick Mott, a British pathologist, coined the term “shell shock,”11 and he considered it an organic condition produced by miniature hemorrhages of the brain. Between 1914 and 1918 the British Army identified 80,000 men as suffering from shell shock. Shell shock was generally seen as a sign of emotional weakness or cowardice.

Combat Fatigue 

Over 110 million persons were mobilized for military services in World War II. The term “combat fatigue” was introduced to describe the combat trauma reactions that occurred during the war. Combat fatigue was characterized by hypersensitivity to stimuli such as noises, movements, and light, accompanied by overactive responses that include involuntary defensive jerking or jumping, easy irritability progressing even to acts of violence, and sleep disturbances, including battle dreams, nightmares, and inability to fall asleep. A longitudinal study of Harvard University alumni found 56% of World War II veterans who experienced heavy combat were chronically ill or dead by age 65.

Pierre Janet on Trauma

In 1889 Pierre Janet published L’automatisme psychologique, his first work to deal with how the mind processes traumatic experiences. Janet coined the word “dissociation” and explained the effects of dissociation of the traumatic memories and their return as fragmentary reliving experiences

Jean-Martin Charcot

In 1901 the Parisian clinical neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, known as “the founder of modern neurology,” described traumatic memories as parasites of the mind. He formulated a comprehensive, neurogenic model of “the great neurosis.” For Charcot, hysteria was strictly a dysfunction of the central nervous system. In Charcot’s view, traumatic hysteria and male hysteria were identical. He acknowledged the relevance of psychological traumas, dissociated from the patient’s consciousness, in determining the nature of its symptoms. Charcot’s views immensely affected Sigmund Freud’s early theory of hysteria and the notion of psychical trauma.

Sigmund Freud and Traumatic Neurosis

Sigmund Freud used the term “traumatic neurosis,” to describe the condition that resembles the present-day PTSD. The term designates a psychopathological state characterized by various disturbances arising after an intense emotional shock, either immediately or even sometimes long after the event occurred. Freud specifically wrote about effects of traumatic memories and traumatic shock.

In Freud’s words, “The symptomatic picture presented by traumatic neurosis approaches that of hysteria in the wealth of its similar motor symptoms, but surpasses it as a rule in its strongly marked signs of subjective ailment . . . as well as in the evidence it gives of a far more general enfeeblement and disturbance of the mental capacities.”  Freud’s understanding of trauma was well represented in his works, mainly in Mourning & Melancholia (1917), Beyond the Pleasure Principle (1920), and Symptoms, Inhibitions & Anxiety (1926).

Freud assumed that the negative emotional energy associated with traumatic memories unconsciously converted into the somatic manifestations of hysteria. Freud’s lectures in 1917– 1918 eloquently described the broad clinical picture of what we know today as PTSD. In one of his famous lectures, Traumatic Fixation – The Unconscious, which he gave in America.

Freud states: The closest analogy to this behavior in our nervous patients is provided by the forms of illness recently made so common by the war – the so-called traumatic neurosis. Of course, similar cases have occurred before the war, after railway accidents and other terrifying experiences involving danger to life. The traumatic neuroses are not fundamentally the same as those which occur spontaneously…. The traumatic neurosis demonstrates very clearly that a fixation to the moment of the traumatic occurrence lies at their root. These patients regularly produce the traumatic situation in their dreams, in case showing attacks of a hysterical type in which analysis is possible; it appears that the attack constitutes a complete reproduction of this situation. It is as though these persons had not yet been able to deal adequately with the situation, as if this task were still actually before them unaccomplished.

In 1910 Freud stated that hysterical patients suffer from intrusive reminiscences. There is much evidence to suggest that Sigmund Freud knew the spacious clinical picture of PTSD.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 

1952 DSM 1 – The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 1) was published in 1952 by the American Psychiatric Association and provided new diagnostic criteria for neurotic reaction (stress response syndrome).

1968 DSM 2 : Transient Situational Disturbance Transient situational disturbance is defined as a form of maladaptive reactions to identifiable psychosocial stressors occurring within a short time after the onset of the stressor. They are manifested by either impairment in social or occupational functioning or by symptoms (depression, anxiety, etc.) that are in excess of a normal and expected reaction to the stressor.

1980 DSM 3 PTSD In 1980 the American Psychiatric Association added PTSD to the third edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III) nosologic classification scheme. In its initial DSM-III formulation, a traumatic event was conceptualized as a catastrophic stressor that was outside the range of usual human experience.

In 1993 World Health Organization (WHO) Recognizes PTSD The International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems 10th Revision (ICD-10) is a coding of diseases, signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, complaints, social circumstances and external causes of injury or diseases, as classified by the World Health Organization (WHO). ICD-10 was endorsed by the Forty-Third World Health Assembly in May 1990 and came into use in WHO member states. The ICD is the international standard diagnostic classification for all general epidemiology, and is used for many health management purposes and clinical use. In 1993 it recognized PTSD as a separate diagnostic entity.

1994 DSM 4 The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders- Fourth Edition (American Psychiatric Association, 1994) defines PTSD as a constellation of symptoms and behaviors that includes three core clusters: re-experience of the trauma in the form of intrusive thoughts, dreams and images; avoidance of thoughts or reminders of the trauma, together with emotional numbing and withdrawal; and signs of increased central and autonomic arousal. In 2000 the American Psychiatric Association revised the PTSD diagnostic criteria in the fourth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR).

DSM 5: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) is the 2013 update to the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) classification and diagnostic tool. It is the product of more than 10 years of effort by hundreds of international experts in all aspects of mental health. Compared to DSM-4, the diagnostic criteria for DSM-5 draw a clearer line when detailing what constitutes a traumatic event. DSM-5 introduced a preschool subtype of PTSD for children ages six years and younger.

PTSD in the Soviet Union

Since the October Revolution and the Soviet Union’s dissolution in 1991 USSR faced a number of internal and external socio- political calamities that generated immense stresses among its population. Unsurprisingly these manmade and natural disasters had caused waves of traumatic stress among the people. But little is known to the outside world about the psychological trauma experienced by the Soviet People. The state governed Medical and Psychological establishments imposed heavy restrictions to study and publish psycho trauma that prevailed among the people of the Soviet Union. The state media constantly promoted the Soviet Socialist way of life as an idealist society and highlighted the maladies of the Western Capitalist World.

The accurate statistics of the psychological ailments such as PTSD that existed within the Soviet Society are still not known. The term PTSD or Traumatic Neurosis were not profusely used by the Soviet researchers. To denote psycho trauma the terms such as “Dushevnaya Bolezen”  Stresavaya Situatsia , Pshicheskaya Rastroisthva were often used. However by the end of the Soviet era the Russian clinicians assertively used the term   Posttrumaticheskaya Stresovaya Rastroistva (PTSD) to diagnose anxiety based traumatic stress using DSM or ICD -10 classifications.

US Focus on PTSD

The US military’s historic concern with PTSD was revived during combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, as over two million personnel have served in these theaters since 2001. Of that total, 1,353, 627 have since left the military and 711,986 have used Veterans Administration (VA) health care between fiscal year 2002 and the third-quarter fiscal year 2011.19

The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Survey (NVVRS) report provided the following information about PTSD among Vietnam War veterans: the estimated lifetime prevalence of PTSD among American Vietnam theater veterans is 30.9% for men and 26.9% for women. An additional 22.5% of male Vietnam veterans and 21.2% of female Vietnam veterans have had partial PTSD at some point in their lives. Thus, more than half of all male Vietnam veterans and almost half of all female Vietnam veterans – about 1,700,000 Vietnam veterans in all – have experienced “clinically serious stress reaction symptoms.” 15.2% of all male Vietnam theater veterans (479,000 out of 3,140,000 men who served in Vietnam) and 8.1% of all female Vietnam theater veterans (610 out of 7,200 women who served in Vietnam) were diagnosed with PTSD at the time the survey was conducted (1986-1988).

There is not a consensus on the PTSD rates for the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts. Science magazine reports that of the total American military personnel deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, 4.3% of troops developed PTSD. This is a composite of the deployed combatants, (7.6% of whom developed PTSD) and the deployed noncombatants (1.4% of whom developed PTSD).21 A fact sheet from the RAND Center for Military Health Policy Research concludes the true rates of PTSD are not known and that studies existing as of 2010 vary too widely to be helpful.22 The United States Department of Veteran Affairs asserts that 11-20% of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars have PTSD.23 The VA estimate could point to 20,000 to 40,000 current cases of PTSD.

Americanization of Mental Illness

There is a growing critique of the conventional Western psychological approaches to trauma and PTSD. Voices from academia, clinical practice, and victims themselves are joining to proclaim the “widespread variations across ethno-cultural boundaries.”

Author Ethan Watters examined trauma and cultural factors in depth. He states that the Western conception of mental health and illness might be shaping the expression of illnesses in other cultures, and that this is rarely discussed in the professional literature. Many modern mental health practitioners and researchers believe that the scientific standing of Western drugs, Western illness categories and Western theories of the mind have put the field beyond the influence of endlessly shifting cultural trends and beliefs. Others still seek to understand the cultural context as a diagnostic factor.

Dr. Sing Lee a psychiatrist and researcher at the Chinese University of Hong Kong watched the Westernization of a mental illness firsthand. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, he was busy documenting a rare and culturally specific form of anorexia nervosa in Hong Kong. Unlike American anorexics, most of his patients did not intentionally diet nor did they express a fear of becoming fat. The complaints of Lee’s patients were typically somatic — they complained most frequently of having bloated stomachs. Lee was trying to understand this indigenous form of anorexia and, at the same time, figure out why the disease remained so rare.

PTSD: Universal Experience and Cultural Treatment

War is institutionalized violence that has intrinsically unique elements. It is a multidimensional manmade disaster. War can be an individual as well as a collective form of trauma.26 Wars represent a mental health emergency. Mental health is the springboard of thinking and communication skills, learning, emotional growth, resilience, and self-esteem. War trauma can shift the parameters of mental health towards the negative side. The circumstances of the armed conflict can produce a range of emotional and behavioral stress reactions among soldiers and civilians alike. In a war situation combat stress is an inevitable factor.

Combat stress is a specific stress factor that can affect both mental and physical health. It is a form of psychological pathology that results from traumatic exposure to battle events. Combat in most cases involves fear, despair, shock and anxiety. Combat stress is the result of internal and external stresses. Combat stress does not come from the enemy action alone. Some stress is generated from the soldiers’ own unit leaders and mission demands. Combat stress symptoms and reactions interfere with mission performance. Battle stress affects both combatants and civilians, especially those living in the war zone. War disrupts the existing social structure. The major impact of war includes disintegration of psychological well being; creating a specific calamity subculture that often generates vicious cycles that echo even after the war.

Sri Lankan Experience: 

Sri Lanka experienced a prolonged armed conflict that changed the psychological landscape of the islanders. From 1983 until 2009 a large number of government combatants, civilians and members of the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) underwent the detrimental repercussions of combat trauma.

The concept of trauma in general was not new to the Sri Lankans. Throughout history Sri Lankans have experienced natural and manmade disasters. The religion and culture have provided great resilience to cope with trauma. Culture consists of traditions, values, customs, folklore, rituals and artifacts that help give meaning to the physical world. It is transmitted primarily through language and everyday interactions. These cultural factors sometimes act as buffers to trauma and assist in coming to terms with psychological trauma.

Combat Trauma in Sri Lanka

Combat trauma, a notion that is not new to Sri Lankans, has been of profound historical, cultural, social, and religious significance to them. The written history of Sri Lanka dates back to 600-500 BC.29 According to the Mahavamsa , the great chronicle history of Sri Lanka and one of the oldest chronologies in the world, the great Battle of Vijithapura that occurred in 205 B.C. was hard fought, with great carnage and death. The triumphant King Dutthagamani experienced severe depression soon after the battle.

Throughout the Sri Lankan history there were foreign invasions and internal conflicts in which the islanders had to fight fearsome battles. Western nations arrived in 1505 AD, and until 1815 AD the Sri Lankans fought against three of them: Portuguese, Dutch   and English.  Some of the local warriors who fought against the foreign invaders later became the victims of combat trauma.

The Portuguese came to Sri Lanka in 1505 and launched a massive armed campaign against the islanders. King Seethawaka Rajasinghe (1544 A.D – 1593 A.D) was a great warrior who came to the battlefield at the age of 16. He fought against the Portuguese invaders and witnessed many deaths and much destruction. He was a fearless fighter who used proficient war tactics and overpowered the fully equipped and fully trained Portuguese Army, considered a superpower in the 16th-century world. He defeated the Portuguese in a number of decisive battles. His military campaigns prevented Sri Lanka from becoming a Portuguese colony.

Following long years of combat King Seethawaka Rajasinghe 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. King Seethawaka Rajasinghe probably suffered from combat-related PTSD. The king’s abnormal behavior pattern was described by the Portuguese historian Fernão de Queyroz in his multivolume work, Temporal and Spiritual Conquest of Ceylon.

The culture and history of Sri Lanka reveals that PTSD types of illnesses were common in the ancient days, and the recognition of this malady was not unique to the West. Ancient and modern narratives tell of the posttraumatic symptomatology of the trauma victims.

The Eelam War in Sri Lanka and PTSD Denial

Over 200,000 members of the Sri Lankan armed forces and police had been directly or indirectly exposed to combat situations during the recent 30-year conflict. Traumatic experiences include seeing fellow soldiers being killed or wounded, seeing unburied decomposing bodies,   hearing screams for help from the wounded, and helplessly watching the wounded die without the possibility of being rescued.

Following the Eelam War in Sri Lanka, a significant number of combatants suffered from PTSD, but remained undiagnosed. For a number of years the Sri Lankan authorities denied the fact that combat-related PTSD was emerging in the military. PTSD was regarded as an American illness and there was an unofficial taboo to use the term PTSD.

The tension of combat trauma was mounting in the Sri Lankan military over the years, and there had been suicides and incidents of self-harming reported from the battlefield. The soldiers affected by war trauma had behavioral problems and their productivity was plummeting. Many soldiers who had symptoms of combat-related PTSD, but without any physical disabilities, were compelled to continue to serve in the operational areas and engage in active combat. Some were charged with malingering when they sought medical attention. Many traumatized veterans deserted the army and even joined underworld criminal gangs.

Until 2005 the Sri Lankan Army did not medically discharge any combatant on psychological grounds. The monumental work of Dr. Neil J Fernando, the former consultant psychiatrist of the Sri Lanka Army, eventually provided insight to the authorities, resulting in having war trauma and PTSD thought of more seriously. The first soldier who was able to get a medical discharge with PTSD was a lance corporal with malignant PTSD. He was a POW who had been held by the LTTE for nearly five years.

Combat Trauma and Cultural Factors

Psychological trauma is a very complex and damaging factor to the human psyche. It is a unique individual experience and the individual’s interpretation is mostly based on his subjective experience. Individual differences in posttraumatic response have been known to the mental health clinician for many decades. Numerous psychologists indicate the close association between trauma and the cultural factors. Some argue that the impact of trauma and trauma recovery sometimes depends on cultural factors as well. Therefore the victims of trauma should be treated in a culturally appropriate manner. Batista & Wiese argue that trauma must be considered within a culture, because it is the cultural context that shapes life experiences, including the ones that are considered traumatic.

No culture is immune to the pain and suffering caused by catastrophic or life-threatening events, but there are important cultural differences in how these events are interpreted and dealt with.  The cultural impact of combat trauma in Sri Lanka can be followed from the earliest beginnings of the Tamil insurgency in the north. Combatants and civilians experienced the aftermath of combat trauma. It is significant that their religious beliefs played a key role in trauma management. Many Sri Lankan combatants believe in reincarnation and the effects of Karma. The victims believe that their physical and psychological symptoms are due to karmic actions in past lives. Often these concepts help them to come to terms with their trauma by providing an explanation and cultural context for the traumatic events.

During World War I conversion reactions (characterized by the presence of bodily symptoms having no discernible physical cause) were commonplace. Even Freud wrote about these war hysteria reactions, which he termed as “traumatic neurosis.”

Although in Europe and North America the number of conversion reaction cases was minimal in WWII, the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, the Eelam War in Sri Lanka has generated a large number of such cases.  This could be due to several factors.

In the Sri Lankan conflict soldiers had no psychological debriefing or similar trauma management soon after the traumatic combat events. The combatants were not informed about possible combat trauma reactions. Although the Sri Lankan Army had top surgeons and physicians throughout the war, for the last 30 years it did not have even a single combat psychologist. The field military doctors had little knowledge about traumatic combat reactions and the effects of PTSD. The psychological victims were often charged with malingering. In addition, the soldiers were reluctant to admit to emotional problems, which would have been considered cowardice. Therefore, many combat reactions were expressed through dissociative channels.

Dissociative reactions have a special cultural significance in Sri Lanka, especially in rural areas. Some combat-related dissociative reactions are often interpreted as disturbances created by “bad spirits.” In many rural parts of Sri Lanka psychogenic paralysis is considered an act of black magic, and traditional healers use a ritual called Thovilaya (this ancient ritual is a form of psycho drama) to treat the sufferers. The possession state, which is categorized as a dissociative disorder, could be observed among soldiers with combat trauma.

In possession the person enters an altered state of conscious and feels taken over by a spirit, power, deity, or other person who assumes control over his or her mind and body. In many rural areas the possession state is often regarded as mediation with the gods and goddesses. Some ex-soldiers with possession state have become so-called spiritual mediators.

On most occasions cultural factors and religious beliefs have helped the victims of combat trauma to integrate their traumatic experience into a meaningful context, and have worked as a buffer to prevent further traumatization. After exposure to combat trauma many people have embraced their cultural and religious practices more holistically and completely. These individuals interpret their posttraumatic symptoms in spiritual terms. Somehow these traumatic experiences have been transformed into a meaningful attitude and non-self-destructive manner.

Sri Lankan combatants have more somatic ailments when they manifest anxiety and depression. Many combat trauma victims with depression get treatment for migraine or joint pains before seeking medical assistance for the psychological trauma that underlies the symptoms and ailments.

The relationship between trauma and culture is an important one because traumatic experiences are part of the life cycle, universal in manifestation and occurrence, and typically demand a response from culture in terms of healing, treatment, interventions, counseling, and medical care… The concept of traumatic stress and the multidimensional nature of cultures require a conceptual framework by which to address core issues that have direct relevance to understanding the nature of trauma as embedded within a culture and its assumptive systems of belief and patterns of behavioral regulation.  Summerfield argues that when it comes to the issue of cultural differences and posttraumatic syndromes (e.g., PTSD) it cannot automatically be assumed that advances in Western psychotherapeutic techniques can be exported and applied to non-Western cultures.

Treating Combat Trauma in Sri Lanka

Combat trauma can be identified soon after a traumatic combat operation or exposure to a violent combat-related event. Some combat reactions manifest themselves as immediate acute stress reactions and some take months, even years to develop. Many victims have clinical features, as well as behavioral issues, after facing traumatic combat events. Some go in to negative stress-coping methods, such as alcoholism, drug abuse, and social violence or self-harm. Traumatic post-combat reactions can cause significant distress to the victim and to his family, and in the long run it could negatively affect society.

In Sri Lanka the psychological victims of war trauma are treated with allopathic medicine (mainstream Western medical practice), traditional Ayurvedic medicine, psychotherapy and spiritual therapies. Psychiatrists treat war trauma victims with depression and PTSD and other anxiety-related disorders by using selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and sometimes combine antipsychotics when there are signs of severe disturbed behavior with psychotic manifestations. Ayurvedic specialists use various types of traditional remedies to ease the anxiety.

Psychologists and psychotherapists often use cognitive behavior therapy, which is an effective form of insight therapy. Exposure therapy is one form of cognitive behavior therapy unique to trauma. It is a treatment which uses careful repeated, detailed imaging of the trauma (exposure) in a safe controlled context. This is meant to help the survivor face and gain control of the fear and distress that were overwhelming in the trauma.

Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) is one of the effective modes of psychotherapy that has been used to treat Sri Lankan combatants. In a white paper published by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs the authors conclude that “…Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing is considered a first-line treatment for PTSD and has a strong evidence base. The United States VA/ DoD Clinical Practice Guideline for Management of Post-Traumatic Stress states that, “Results of clinical trials, meta-analytic studies, review articles, and extant practice guidelines suggest that EMDR successfully treats symptoms of PTSD when compared to no treatment or delayed treatment conditions. When compared to other treatment modalities, most studies reviewed indicated that EMDR possessed comparable efficacy to other well-accepted cognitive behavioral treatments to include stress inoculation training (SIT) and exposure therapies.

Spiritual therapy frequently helps war victims to reduce their depression and anxiety- related symptoms. Many Sri Lankan clinicians have observed that spiritual therapy diminishes the suicidal ideation in combat trauma victims. Many combatants and civilians with war trauma are encouraged to practice meditation and yoga. Meditation methods such as metta meditation (meditation of loving-kindness) and vipassanna meditation (mindfulness mediation) are widely used in rehabilitation centers.

Conclusions

Every culture is unique and has distinctive ways of interpreting psychological trauma. The client’s religious and cultural beliefs play an important role in the treatment process. Using these innate factors in trauma management obviously gives more effective results. Since psychological traumas are a universal human experience, every nation and culture would do well to learn from one another the successful means to treat PTSD.

Acknowledgements

  • Ivan Welch- The Foreign Military Studies Office (FMSO) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas USA
  • Professor Daya Somasundaram -Clinical Associate Professor: University of Adelaide –Australia
  • Roger Brooke -Professor of Psychology at Duquesne University USA
  • Dr Sarath Panduwawala – Consultant Psychiatrist Sri Lnakna

Energy cannot be saved in baking but direct heat cooking can save 60% energy wasted

September 16th, 2015

Dr Hector Perera     London

There are a number of ways to cook our food for example, dry heat cooking, baking, steaming, grilling, roasting, boiling, stewing, frying, shallow frying, deep frying, barbequing and basting.

In dry heat cooking methods, the food being cooked does not use water to cook the food. The food is left dry and heat is applied to cook the food. Such methods of cooking are: baking, steaming, grilling, and roasting. When heat is applied to the food, the food cooks in its own juice or the water added to the food during its preparation evaporates during the heating process and this cooks the food. Heat is applied directly to the food by way of convection thus making the food to get cooked. By definition in Physics the transfer of heat by circulation or movement of the heated parts of a liquid or a gas is convection. Liquids and gases are fluids. The particles in these fluids can move from place to place. Convection occurs when particles with a lot of heat energy in a liquid or gas move and take the place of particles with less heat energy. Heat energy is transferred from hot places to cooler places by convection. The action or movement of air around the food takes by convection in cooking. Let us now have a look at each of these cooking methods

Heat is lost in three different ways, convection, conduction and radiation. In baking method of cooking, the food is cooked using convection heating. The food is put into an enclosed area where heat is then applied and the movement of heat within the confined space, acts on the food that make it get cooked.

To steam food, water is added to a pot and then a stand is placed inside the pot. The water level should be under the stand and not above it. There is no contact between the food and the water that is added to the pot. Food is then placed on the stand and heat is applied. The hot steam rising from the boiling water acts on the food and the food gets cooked. It is the hot steam that cooks the food, as there is no contact between the food and the water inside the pot. This method of cooking for vegetables is very good as the food does not lose its flavour and much of the nutrients are not lost during the cooking.

There are two methods of grilling that are used these days. One type of grilling is the one that is commonly used by the people in the village. This is when food is cooked over hot charcoal on an open fire. The food is placed on top of the burning charcoal. Sometimes people improvise by using wire mesh and place it over the open fire to grill fish or vegetables. The other method is using grills that are inbuilt in stoves. In this method, the griller, which has a tray, is heated up and the food is placed on the grill tray to cook. The heat can be gas-generated or electric-generated depending on the type of stove used. The food is again left to cook on the grill with the doors of the grill open. Obviously lots of heat is wasted during this process that is no energy saving. People who can afford to buy a stove would use the grilling part to grill their food. What happens in this type of cooking, the heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks it. The flavour of the food is not lost and much of the nutrients are not lost either. Food is frequently turned over to prevent it from burning and to ensure that equal heating and cooking time is applied to both sides of the food. By doing this, the food is cooked evenly and thoroughly.

With roasting, direct heat is applied to the food. The heat seals the outside part of the food and the juice inside the food cooks the food. Roasting is mainly used when cooking fleshy food like fish, meat or chicken. This is a common practice in cold weather countries during the summer time. Most of the time it is done in the garden or in open space but not inside the kitchen unless it is in small scale. When heat is applied to the outer covering of the food, it seals it up thereby trapping all the juices inside the food. The action of direct heating, heats up the juices inside the food, which then cooks the food. Again there is very little nutrient lost and the flavour is not spoilt. Food is frequently rotated over the spit so that there is even heating applied to all parts of the food. This is so that heat is applied evenly to the food to make it get cooked properly. Again I do not think there is energy saving in this type of cooking.

Moist Heat Cookery Methods

In moist heat cookery methods, liquid is used as a medium to cook the food. Such medium could be water, coconut cream or oil. These liquids are added to the food before heat is applied to it or sometimes heat is applied to the liquid before the food is added into the cooking utensils to be cooked. The moist heat cookery methods include: boiling, stewing, shallow frying, deep frying, barbequing and basting. All these moist heat cooking methods use liquid to cook the food in.

Boiling

This is the most common method of cooking and is also the simplest. With this method of cooking, enough water is added to the food and it is then cooked over the fire. The action of the heated water makes the food to get cooked. The liquid is usually thrown away after the food is cooked. In the case of cooking rice, all the water is absorbed by the rice grains to make it get cooked. During the heating process, the nutrients can get lost or destroyed and the flavour can be reduced with this method of cooking.

My scientific energy saving cooking is applied to this kind of cooking where nearly 60% energy wasted can be saved. Practically I have demonstrated the technique for the approval of the Sustainable Energy Authority in Sri Lanka and also for the invention commission. The demonstration is found in the Google search and you tube as well.  Then for the benefit of the public, I demonstrated in a live cooking programme over 45 minutes with Sirasa TV. This was all done quite recently in beautiful sunny Sri Lanka. If I had the chance to demonstrate for the benefit of the public in England then they would also benefit by saving energy in their day to day cooking.

Stewing

My scientific energy saving cooking technique can be adopted to this kind of cooking as well. In the process of cooking using the stewing method, food is cooked using a lot of liquid. Different kinds of vegetables are chopped, diced or cubed and added to the pot. Sometimes pieces of selected meat, fish or chicken is also chopped and added to the stew. The liquid is slightly thickened and stewed food is served in that manner. This method is also used when preparing fruits that are going to be served as desserts. With this cooking method, every food is cooked together at the same time in one pot. The flavour, colours, shapes and textures of the different vegetables that are used, makes stewing a handy method of cooking. The only disadvantage is that some of the vegetables might be overcooked and thus the nutrient content becomes much less. It is therefore important that the vegetables that take the longest to cook to be put into the pot first and the ones that need least cooking to be put in last. In this way much of the nutrient contents of the food does not get lost.

Frying

When food is fried using oil or solid fat it is important that you observe some rules in handling oil or fat. There are simple rules to follow when frying but need to adopt as required. If simple things such as papadams and red chillies to be fried then you need to be careful about the temperature. If the temperature is too high they immediately get burned so adjust the temperature as required. The dry red chillies can be fried soon after frying papadams because that oil has enough heat to get it fried without any additional fire. I usually shut off the gas and add the chillies to hot oil then it is hot enough to fry them. My method reduces the convection current that carries the vapour of chillies, sprats and papadams so that you don’t sneeze or cough by inhaling that air. The method cannot be all explained in words, need to be demonstrated to believe my work. There I am making use of the thermal capacity of the oil and the cooking pan. I am sure most of you have experienced sneezing, drooling nose and tears dribbling while frying these red dry chillies but if you follow my method the things can be really different. As Asians we like to fry dry sprats that again can be done scientifically to avoid any smell depositing while frying. It can be better explained with respect to a demonstration.

£50,000 challenge is still open

Honestly I didn’t get a chance in England to show my scientific energy saving cooking for the benefit of the general public. Sometimes I feel that I am being discriminated.  I even challenged the energy saving experts with £50,000 yes fifty thousand sterling to come forward and disprove my method. The challenge is still open. If no energy to be saved then carry on but if one needs to save energy in cooking, you may contact me. If I failed the challenged money is handed over.

Deep Frying

This is when a lot of oil or fat is used in cooking the food. The oil or fat is usually put into a deep pan and is heated to boiling point. Food is then put into the hot boiling oil and is cooked in that way. Such food as fish fingers, potato chips, meat balls, and dough nuts to name a few, are cooked using the deep frying method. You must have witnessed some British TV chefs let the cooking pan catch fire to show off but that is not proper frying.

Barbequing or BBQ

The method of cooking food by barbequing is usually associated with fund raising activities, parties or picnics. It is most suitable to cooking meat cutlets, fish or chicken pieces. The food is usually marinated with spices and tenderizers (for meat cuts) for some time before it is cooked. With this method of cooking, a sheet of metal with stands is heated up and oil is used to cook the food. A sufficient amount of oil is heated up and food is added. The food is then turned over a couple of times before it is dished out. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

Zeid urges creation of hybrid special court in Sri Lanka

September 16th, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

A UN report published today has identified patterns of grave violations in Sri Lanka between 2002 and 2011, strongly indicating that war crimes and crimes against humanity were most likely committed by both sides to the conflict.

The report recommends the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, as an essential step towards justice.

“Our investigation has laid bare the horrific level of violations and abuses that occurred in Sri Lanka, including indiscriminate shelling, extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, harrowing accounts of torture and sexual violence, recruitment of children and other grave crimes,” High Commissioner Zeid said. “Importantly, the report reveals violations that are among the most serious crimes of concern to the international community as a whole.”

“This report is being presented in a new political context in Sri Lanka, which offers grounds for hope,” Zeid said. “It is crucial that this historic opportunity for truly fundamental change is not allowed to slip.”

Among the most serious crimes documented in the report are the following:

•         Unlawful killings: Numerous unlawful killings between 2002 and 2011, were allegedly committed by both parties, as well as by paramilitary groups linked to the security forces. Tamil politicians, humanitarian workers, journalists and ordinary civilians were among the alleged victims of Sri Lankan security forces and associated paramilitaries. There appear to have been discernible patterns of killings, for instance, in the vicinity of security force checkpoints and military bases, and also of extrajudicial killings of individuals while in the custody of security forces, including people who were captured or surrendered at the end of the conflict. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE) also reportedly killed Tamil, Muslim and Sinhalese civilians, through indiscriminate suicide bombings and mine attacks, as well as assassinations of individuals including public officials, academics and dissenting Tamil political figures.

•         Sexual and gender-based violence: One shocking finding of the investigation was the extent to which sexual violence was committed against detainees, often extremely brutally, by the Sri Lankan security forces, with men as likely to be victims as women. Harrowing testimony from 30 survivors of sexual violence who were interviewed indicates that incidents of sexual violence were not isolated acts but part of a deliberate policy to inflict torture, following similar patterns and using similar tools. The report describes sexual torture which occurred during interrogation sessions, and also patterns of rape, much of which appeared to occur outside of interrogations sessions. Sexual torture was performed in a wide range of detention locations by different security forces, both during and after the conflict. Not a single perpetrator of sexual violence related to the armed conflict is so far known to have been convicted.

•         Enforced disappearances: Enforced disappearances affected tens of thousands of Sri Lankans for decades, including throughout the 26-year armed conflict with the LTTE. There are reasonable grounds to believe that enforced disappearances may have been committed as part of a widespread and systematic attack against the civilian population. In particular, there are reasonable grounds to believe that a large number of individuals who surrendered during the final phase of the war were disappeared, and remain unaccounted for. Many others, including people not directly linked to the conflict, disappeared, typically after abduction in ‘white vans.’

 

•         Torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment: Brutal use of torture by the Sri Lankan security forces was widespread throughout the decade covered by the report, and in particular during the immediate aftermath of the conflict. Some of the more commonly used centres had rooms that were set up with torture equipment, illustrating the premeditated and systematic nature of the use of torture. These rooms contained objects including metal bars and poles for beatings, barrels of water used for waterboarding, and pulleys from which victims were suspended. Victims interviewed for the report described seeing bloodstains on the walls or floors of these rooms, and described their own torture in detail.

•         Recruitment of children and their use in hostilities, as well as abduction and forced recruitment of adults: Information indicates patterns of abductions leading to forced recruitment of adults by the LTTE, which intensified towards the end of the conflict. Extensive recruitment and use of children in armed conflict by the LTTE and by the paramilitary Karuna group, which supported the Government following its spilt from the LTTE in 2004, was also documented.  Children were often recruited by force from homes, schools, temples and checkpoints, and, after basic training were sent to the frontlines. According to numerous reports, in the last few months of the conflict, the LTTE increasingly recruited children below the age of 15. These practices would amount to war crimes if established in a court of law.

•         Attacks on civilians and civilian objects: There are reasonable grounds to believe that many attacks during the last phase of the war did not comply with international humanitarian law principles on the conduct of hostilities, particularly the principle of distinction. The report documents repeated shelling by Government forces of hospitals and humanitarian facilities in the densely populated ‘No Fire Zones,’ which the Government itself had announced but which were inside areas controlled by the LTTE. Directing attacks against civilian objects and/or against civilians not taking direct part in hostilities is a serious violation of international humanitarian law and may amount to a war crime. The presence of LTTE cadres directly participating in hostilities and operating within the predominantly civilian population, launching attacks from close proximity of these locations, and the LTTE policy of forcing civilians to remain within areas of active hostilities, may also have violated international humanitarian law. However, this would not have absolved the Government of its own responsibilities under international humanitarian law. The duty to respect international humanitarian law does not depend on the conduct of the opposing party, and is not conditioned on reciprocity.

•         Denial of humanitarian assistance: There are reasonable grounds to believe that the Government placed considerable restrictions on freedom of movement of humanitarian personnel and activities, and may have deliberately blocked the delivery of sufficient food aid and medical supplies in the Vanni in the Northern Province, which may amount to the use of starvation of the civilian population as a method of warfare. Such conduct, if proven in a court of law, may constitute a war crime.

•         Violations during the detention of internally displaced people (IDPs) in closed camps: The manner in which the screening processes were carried out, to separate former LTTE combatants from civilians, failed to meet international standards and facilitated ill-treatment and abuse. Almost 300,000 IDPs were deprived of their liberty in camps for periods far beyond what is permissible under international law. There are also reasonable grounds to believe that IDPs were treated as suspects and detained because of their Tamil ethnicity. This may amount to discrimination and the crime against humanity of “persecution.”
The report documents years of denials and cover-ups, failure to carry out prompt investigations, stalled investigations and reprisals against the family members of victims and others who have pushed for justice.

It notes that the repeated failure of successive domestic inquiries to bring justice has led to scepticism, anger and mistrust on the part of victims, particularly since “many of the structures responsible for the violations and crimes remain in place.” The report demonstrates the systemic weakness in addressing these crimes, especially when the military or security forces are involved. It also describes “reprisals against judicial and other professionals who try to prosecute human-rights related cases involving State officials.”

“The commitment by the new Government  to pursue accountability through a domestic process is commendable…but the unfortunate reality is that Sri Lanka’s criminal justice system is not yet ready,” the report states. “First and foremost is the absence of any reliable system for victim and witness protection. Second is the inadequacy of Sri Lanka’s domestic legal framework to deal with international crimes of this magnitude. The third challenge is the degree to which Sri Lanka’s security sector and justice system have been distorted and corrupted by decades of emergency, conflict and impunity.”

The High Commissioner welcomed the positive steps taken by the new Government of President Mathiripala Sirisena since January this year, but said that “Sri Lanka must now move forward to dismantle the repressive structures and institutional cultures that remain deeply entrenched after decades of erosion of human rights.”

“This will not happen overnight, and no one should underestimate the enormity of the task,” he said. “We have seen many moments in Sri Lanka’s history when governments pledged to turn the page and end practices like enforced disappearances, but the failure to address impunity and root out the systemic problems that allowed such abuses to occur meant that the ‘white vans’ could be, and were, reactivated when needed. It is imperative that the Government seizes the unique opportunity it has to break the mold of impunity once and for all. This means there must be a root-and-branch transformation of the ways in which institutions and officials operate.”

The report recommends a range of measures to develop a comprehensive transitional justice policy to address the human rights violations of the past 30 years and prevent their recurrence.

The High Commissioner urged all communities and sections of society, including the diaspora, to view the report as “an opportunity to change discourse from one of absolute denial to one of acknowledgment and constructive engagement to bring about change.”

“After so many years of unbridled human rights violations and institutionalized impunity, the wounds of victims on both sides have festered and deepened,” Zeid said. “Unless fundamentally addressed, their continued suffering will further polarize and become an obstacle to reconciliation, and – worse – may sow the seeds for further conflict.”

“The levels of mistrust in State authorities and institutions by broad segments of Sri Lankan society should not be underestimated,” the High Commissioner said. “It is for this reason that the establishment of a hybrid special court, integrating international judges, prosecutors, lawyers and investigators, is so essential.  A purely domestic court procedure will have no chance of overcoming widespread and justifiable suspicions fuelled by decades of violations, malpractice and broken promises.”

“The domestic criminal justice system also needs to be strengthened and reformed, so it can win the confidence of the public, but that is a process which will take several years to achieve and needs to be undertaken in parallel to the establishment of a special hybrid court, not in place of it. Indeed such a court may help stimulate the reforms needed to set Sri Lanka on a new path to justice, building public confidence along the way.”

The UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR) was mandated by the UN Human Rights Council last year to conduct a comprehensive investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka during the period 2002-11.

The investigation report is based on eye-witness testimony, interviews with victims and witnesses, video and photographic material including satellite imagery (much of which is not in the public domain) that was analyzed by forensic and military experts, and an extensive review of documentation, including about 3,000 written statements and submissions, as well as previously unpublished reports.

The OHCHR investigation team was not granted access to Sri Lanka and faced other constraints, including the previous Government’s use of threats, intimidation and surveillance to prevent people, particularly in the north of the country, from cooperating with the investigation.

See Below for Advanced Unedited Version of Report:

 

UNHRC report on Sri Lanka – 2015

Full Report of OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka

September 16th, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

The long-anticipated report of the United Nations investigation into allegations of human rights violations during the war in Sri Lanka was released a short while ago.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN high commissioner for human rights, unveiled the report on war crimes and atrocities during a press conference at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on Wednesday morning.

The report was commissioned under a 2014 resolution drafted by the United States and strongly backed by Britain while the former government under Mahinda Rajapaksa had refused to co-operate with the international community.

But the diplomatic atmosphere has changed dramatically since President Maithripala Sirisena assumed office and Washington and London have made clear that they will work with the new government when a follow-up resolution is placed before this session of the human rights council.

Mr Zeid threw some light on the contents of the report when he delivered his opening remarks to the council on Monday.

The report contained “findings of a most serious nature,” he said. “This council owes it to Sri Lankans and to its own credibility, to ensure an accountability process that produces results decisiveness, moves beyond the failures of the past and brings the deep institutional changes needed to guarantee non recurrence.”

Mangala Samaraweera, the foreign minister, made his government’s pitch to the Human Rights Council in Geneva this week as he outlined its three-pronged proposals for justice and reconciliation.

He said Sri Lanka would establish a truth and reconciliation commission modelled on most-apartheid South Africa; an office for missing persons backed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC); and a judicial mechanism with a special prosecutor and assistance from international bodies.

Mr Samaraweera cited South Africa’s policy of tackling its apartheid era through a truth a reconciliation commission rather than criminal trials when he addressed the council.

“I say to the sceptics: don’t judge us by the broken promises, experiences and U-turns of the past,” he said. “Let us …not be held back by the fears and prejudices of the past. Let us not be afraid to dream.

“Let us not be afraid to engage in meaningful dialogue aimed at finding solutions to problems as opposed to pointing fingers, heaping blame and scoring political points at the expense of future generations.”

However, the Sirisena government seems to set to win international backing for its proposals. A US-drafted resolution that will be tabled in Geneva later this month, is widely expected to endorse Colombo’s three-tier blueprint.

Britain and America have already offered to assist the Sri Lankan government to implement the recommendations of the UN investigation.

 

See Full Report (Advanced Version) Below:

 

 

Full Report of OHCHR Investigation on Sri Lanka

Episode  11 – Main Actor Maitripala Sirisena the President.

September 15th, 2015

Sudath Gunasekara, Mahanuwara 15.9.2015

I for one do not blame or underestimate the attempts made by President Sirisena to appease and reconcile the so-called Tamil problem or his trying to win over the Tamil population to the SLFP as he may be doing so in good intentions as the President of the whole nation. Even otherwise as a traditional Sinhala Buddhist villager it is no wonder he is trying to display his gratefulness to the Tamils who voted him en masse at the last Presidential Election. That is really magnanimous for him to do so in keeping with the Sinhala Buddhist ethos that has enriched our civilization for millennia.

Nevertheless going by our past experience I doubt whether they will vote him or his party the SLFP as the SLFP is usually looked upon as an anti –Tamil Party or at least as predominantly a pro-Sinhala Buddhist Political party by the majority of Tamils. Because, that is the indelible image the Tamil Politicians have injected in to the hearts and minds of the Tamil people for the past hundred years. For Tamil politicians this is their country; Sinhalese have robbed it or are trying to posses it, whereas according to history the truth of the fact is just the other way about.  On the part of the Tamil politicians,  such cheap political strategy is justifiable as it is the only way open to them to be in power though their intention is definitely not genuine welfare or good of the ordinary Tamils but their own survival as politicians only. This in short is what all Tamil Politician have been doing almost for the last ten decades in this country. They never wanted to be a part of one nation. They never accepted this country as the Land of the Sinhala people. Though they constituted a minor fraction of the country’s population Tamil leaders always acted as a separate nation. That is why their leaders like Arunachalam and Ponnambalan broke away from the Ceylon National Congress and began to agitate before the Donoughmor Commission for 50, 50, Federal status in 1947 and finally took to arms in 1980s   claiming an EELAM. Even after the defeat of the LTTE in 2009 these Tamil politicians have not change a wee bit in their communal approach. The following TNA’s election manifesto 2015 clearly proves this point.

(1) දෙමළ ජනතාවට ස්වයංපාලන අයිතිය ඇත  Right of self determination for Tamils

(2) උතුරු නැඟෙනහිර පලාත් දෙක එක් කල යුතුය North and Eastern Provinces should be merged

(3) ඒකීය වෙනුවට පෙඩරල් ක්‍රමයක් ඇතිකල යුතුය Federal system instead of unitary system

(4) යුද අපරාධ ගැන ජාත්‍යන්තර විමර්‍ශනයක් කල යුතුය. There should be an International inquiry on war crimes

No Tamil politician, unlike the Sinhala politicians likes to join a national political party like the UNP or SLFP. All Tamil Political parties start with the word Tamil. In 1947 it became Ilankai Tamil Arasukachchi  (Lanka Tamil State Party) dubbed  as Federal Party  in English to mislead the world and in 1980  it ended up as EELAM Party.  Note none of them are national parties .All of them are either Tamil or Eelam. See the list below.

Tamil National Alliance, Democratic Tamil National Alliance (aka Tamil Democratic National Alliance), Tamil National People’s Front, Ceylon Workers’ (Plantation Tamils), Puravesi Peramuna(Esate Tamils Ranga ), Tamil National People’s Front, Eelam People’s Democratic Party, Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation,  Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi, (English: Lanka Tamil State Party), National Union of Workers ( Digambaran),Tamil Eelam Liberation Organization, Akila Ilankai Tamil United Front, All Ceylon Tamil Congress, Democratic People’s Front, Democratic People’s Liberation Front,,(political wing of People’s Liberation Organisation of Tamil Eelam Eelam, National Democratic Liberation Front, Eelam People’s Revolutionary Liberation Front,(Padmanaba wing), Eelavar Democratic Front (political wing of Eelam Revolutionary Organisation of Students), Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal
(English: Tamil People’s Liberation Tigers), Tamil United Liberation Front (formerly Tamil United Front).

Now let us look at the attitude of TNA and allied Tamil political Parties in the wake of the forthcoming UNHRC resolution. They all want an International investigation against the alleged war crimes of the Sri Lankan Government and they organized a protest march from Kilinochchi to Tottupuram in Jaffna asking for an international inquiry against the Sri Lankan armed forces. But none of them ask for any investigation against the Tiger terrorist. No one talks a word about the atrocities or devastation LTTE had done to Tamils. At election time all Tamils, where ever they live, whether North, East, South, West or on the Hills all Tamils get together. The only difference between the Tamils on the Hills and others is, those on the hills like the Muslims join whatever the party that forms the Government changing their allegiance to the new government dropping the previous like a hot potato and get the maximum benefit while Tamils living all other areas fight for separation. Both National Parties on the other hand get elected on the Sinhala vote and sell all their right to the minority Parties with impunity to remain in power. This was the vicious circle that has been going on since 1962 and that is why the country has got reduced to this sorry state affairs.

I can vouch for certain this scenario will never change as long as the sun and moon will last unless and until a Sinhala Buddhist National Leader like Dutugemunu will emerge again in this country. Immediately after the 2009 with the defeat of the LTTE here was a ray of hope among the patriotic people that Mahaind Rajapaksa will emerge as the Sri Lankan national leader of the 21st C who will fulfill the aspirations of the Sinhala people. In a series of articles I appealed him to scrap the 13th A, abolish the Provincial Councils that has come to stay as a political and economic disaster and a veritable canker in the body politics of this country for the past 3 decade. I gave the plan in details and pointed out how the Government could reduce the present  890 odd guinea pig politicians to about 290 and cut down the state expenditure by 2/3. I also pointed out how the ancient Tunrata geopolitical structure could (Rhunu-Pihiti and Maya) could be used not only to put an end to the present ethnic problem and bring about permanent ethnic reconciliation but also to usher in an era of balanced prosperous economic and social development. But neither MR no his so-called advisors had eyes to see or ears to hear what I said. May be that is why today they are paying the heavy toll in retribution. Apart from his downfall the country also has once again fallen in to a no return situation

Mr. President Your visiting Sampoor, releasing some lands to Tamils and even closing down Omanthe check point is not bad. But please remember Tamils ever remain Tamils. The Tiger’s spots will never change. If you look without coloured glasses you will definitely see the vast amount of work done by MR to the N and E. But is there a single Tamil who speak a word in apreciation. You will get the same treatment if you don’t grant all their requests, and aspiration. They want the exact pound of flesh like Shylock the Jew. Even if U gives the Sun and Moon they want be satisfied until they get their aspirations fulfilled. They vote you last time not because they like you but only to get rid of MR. Therefore your hope of getting Tamil and Muslim support for the SLFP is only a pipe dream. It will never happen unless and until someone ban all communal political Parties in this country and only allow national Parties to remain.  That will turn a new page in politics of Sri Lanka paving the way for national reconciliation as one nation. To enable you to take that kind of decisions first you need to unite the Sinhala people under one national policy, one flag and one National anthem without fighting and killing each other on petty personal agendas.

I know you will also not agree with me as MR did. Nor will your advisors and new political allies will allow you to take such drastic measure as such action will destroy their personal political agendas. You might even get annoyed and angry with me and prefer to listen to petty and selfish sycophants hanging around you and who praise you for everything you do for that is the time tested secret to win royal favours. But I don’t have to do that as I don’t expect to get anything from anybody at the expense of my country or my principles

Returning to your Tamil and Muslim reconciliation theory contrary to your great expectations on their return to the SLFP under your leadership I will vouch you they will never change their diehard ethnic approach to Sri Lankan politics. They will get the maximum from you and join the political force emerging at the next election dropping you like a stinking rat.

Looking at the way how these minority politicians were sworn in as Ministers shows how communal minded and how anti Sinhala they are. All Tamil MPP did it in Tamil while all Muslims did it in English not because they cannot speak Sinhala but merely to assert themselves as separate from the Sinhalese. Next time the Muslims will definitely want to swear in Arabic. It clearly shows they don’t want to be identified as sons of this soil. Though their bodies are here in their minds they always live in India and Arabia. None of these people are prepared to accept this as the Land of the Sinhala Nation. Here lies the crust of the problem. I always ask them as to why they don’t go back to those countries to which their love and allegiance are wedded to without trying to make this country an India or an Arab country. On the other hand none of the Sinhala politicians dare to speak a word on this issue. They all are engaged in a hide and seek game of selfish politics devoid of any love to their own country. This country will never be able to punt on the correct tract until it gets patriotic national Sinhala leader who could stand up on his own feet and call a spade a spade.

Now as you have given new wings and a horn too to Sambandan, he and his communal gang will definitely work forward relentlessly day and night, to get the government to commit to grant their demands in their election manifesto for making you the President. That is the time where you are going to get bogged. If he doesn’t agree then Sambandan will go to India, UK and USA and get them to give a direction to Ranil and you. Then you have only two options in this game. That is either, agree or disagree.’ If you disagree then you too will have to face the same consequences MR had to face. Then they will install another puppet government in the South West. The West and India together will install Sambandan, Hakeem and Digambaran in their respective Kingdoms. The new puppet President and PM will reign in the rest of the country until Digambarans Hill Country is also attached to the North-East EELAM as a consequence of the ongoing 10 year Tamil village development programme deployed by the present government and heavily funded by the West and India. With the South Asian American Command bases in Trincommallee (naval) and Katunayaka or Mattala (Air) or both this Island will end up as the replacement for both Diego Garcia and Okinava. The new puppet President and PM will reign in the rest of the country until the Hill Country is also attached to the North-East EELAM as a consequence of the ongoing 10 year Tamil village development programme deployed by this government

The only way out for this catastrophe in my opinion is building better relationships with China the emerging world leader of tomorrow while keeping India at arm’s length. In view of the emerging geopolitical and economic importance of the Indian Ocean in the future as has been observed by eminent analysts on emerging global political and economic changes like Samuel Huntingdon the competition between India, China and USA for control and supremacy is obvious. As it is called the Indian Ocean India would naturally like to have the command over that. While trying to assert so she is also aiming to dominate and consolidate its hegemony over all her neighbours. This is where the real threat especially to Sri Lanka lies. Considering the strategic location at the centre of the Indian Ocean it is always better for Sri Lanka to remain non-aligned to any power camp. Alignment towards USA or the western camp who wants to keep Sri Lanka divided and under internal confusion will be disastrous.

That will give birth to a new Island baptized with an American or English name very soon, cursed with eternal ethnic conflicts where the remaining Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims will kill each other until all are wiped out. Then finally the curtain will fall on the 2500 year old Sinhala Buddhist civilization of this beautiful Island.

Ending Kafka’s trial: Can “Good Governance”  name the  unnamed accusers  used by the Darusman report ?

September 15th, 2015

By Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

Let us recall that the United Nations secretary general appointed a committee of four individuals to ADVISE HIM about the human rights situation in Sri Lanka. This report, known as the Darusman report has since then assumed a role that the secretary general never intended it to have.  It has become one of the  key weapons used against  Sri Lanka by the UN human rights commission. This September we see the return of the gladiators where the “trial” was delayed because of the change of government in Sri Lanka.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR),  Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, making his opening address at the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva,  claimed that there had been serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s battle against LTTE. He did not even bother to say that there is “credible allegations”, as stated in the Darusman report.

Al Hussein said,  “Six years ago, we were confronted with serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s long civil war. This Council has been deeply engaged with the need for accountability, as a necessary step towards reconciliation in that country. On Wednesday I will release the report of the comprehensive investigation that OHCHR was mandated to conduct in March 2014, including my recommendations”.

Critics of the UNHCHR’s office claim that the  UNSG’s Panel of “Experts” on Accountability in Sri Lanka  arrived at conclusions deemed “credible allegations”, using one-sided information coming from pro-LTTE sources which they recommended should be locked away from scrutiny for 20 years.  Critics of the report point out that this was an unofficial report which was surreptitiously leaked by the UNSG’s office and used by Ms. Navi Pillay (former UNHCHR), who attempted to table it but failed to do so.  However, it became the basis the  Geneva sessions aimed at bringing to trial the leaders of Sri Lanka . They stand accused of  alleged war crimes and violations of international humanitarian law which  have not been proven according to the Drausman report).

However, the language used by Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has even dropped the nuance of “credible evidence”, and asserts that “there had been serious violations and loss of civilian life in the last months of Sri Lanka’s battle against LTTE”.  The mounting crescendo of accusations orchestrated by the successive  channel-4 movies, the transformation of an advisory report to an official document which would have normally required a higher level of scrutiny, and now the shift from “credible allegations” to  assertions of certain guilt surely reveal a high degree of unfairness. The principle that the accused also should be given a chance to answer the allegations at every level where the allegations are made has been suppressed.

In fact, the UNHCHR is seen to be orchestrating a process which should appear to many as a version of Kafka’s trial. Who are the accusers? What are these “credible allegations” that have now become “credible evidence”? Is this “credible evidence” based on  just what is contained in the Channel-4 movies?

Interestingly enough, both sides in the debate have brought our scholarly as well as technical evidence to support, or question, the allegations of the Darusman report and the channel-4 movies. The pro-Darusman-Channel-4 community has had the upper-hand in the propaganda war, even getting the movies shown in parliamentary assemblies. The critics of the Darusman report and the channel-4 moves have had less success in capturing the attention of the West, even though some excellent, scholarly analysis have been carried out. Here we mention the work of the UK-based  “Engaged Sri Lanka” group has published a comprehensive analysis in book form entitled “Corrupted Journalism: Channel 4 and Sri Lanka” (www.amazon.ca/gp/product/0992684544?redirect=true&ref_=cm_cr_ryp_prd_ttl_sol_0), and this may be considered a convenient single source for the claims of the critics of the Darusman report.

Further more the Report of the International Jurists, Paranagama commission,   should be tabled at the Geneva sessions as an independent view of the legal position in regard to the conduct of the war. However, the critics of  the UNHCHR  have had  no  success with Western governments  precisely because the Western governments have been spear-heading the accusations against Sri Lanka as a part of the American and NATO  foreign policy initiatives in South-Asia.

The coming in to power of the Sirisena-Ranil government fits into the agenda of the  NATO powers.
However, the Srisena government claims to stand for the  millions of  Sri Lankans who voted for the new president last January.  Good governance, justice to all, and in  particular, freedom from fear of state reprisals against critics of the government were emphasized. Mr. Sirisena himself came forward as a critic of the previous regime.  He wanted to breakaway from a tradition that may well have  been a continuation of the methods of the war years.,  when fighting a foe that always brutally assassinated its critics, and shut the Sampanthans into a state  of total obedience to the Tiger Talaivar.

Even the US secretary of state has expressed satisfaction at the new government’s “restoration of confidence” and the “removal of fear of reprisals” of opponents. Thus, there is no longer any reason what so ever for continuing the 20 year moratorium on revealing the sources of the “credible allegations” that are mentioned in the Darusman report, especially as these allegations have now been morphed into “accepted war crimes” in the loose language of Mr. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein.

Hence this nightmare of a Kafka’s trial faced by Sri Lanka can be made into a more transparent process if the UNHCHR’s office puts into place the due process of justice. This involves  (a) the release of the sources of the war crimes allegations (b) making a thorough international investigation to establish  the veracity of these allegations. (c) Once that is done, a suitable investigation of the alleged crimes should be put in place.

It is the duty of the Good Governance movement to ensure that justice is done in Geneva.

By

Chandre Dharmawardana, Canada

Gadkari, Lankan PM Discuss 5.19 Billion Dollar India-Lanka Road Project

September 15th, 2015

Courtesy The Indian Express

NEW DELHI: An ambitious USD 5.19 billion road project to connect India and Sri Lanka with a sea-bridge and an underwater tunnel is believed to have been discussed today by Union Minister Nitin Gadkari during his talks with visiting Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport, Highways and Shipping, called on Wickremesinghe here today and discussed construction of a sea bridge and an underwater tunnel linking 22-km stretch between Talaimannar in the island nation and Dhanushkodi in India, official sources said.

To improve connectivity with the neighbouring nations, India has signed motor vehicle pacts with Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal and is also proposing to improve connectivity with Sri Lanka.

“Multi-lateral funding agency ADB, which has already agreed to finance infrastructure projects worth about USD 8 billion for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) region, has also shown keen interest in financing USD 5.19 billion India-Sri Lanka proposed project,” a source said.

Sources said it was also proposed during the meeting that a Secretary-level meeting along with the representatives of ADB can be held in Sri Lanka to discuss the project.

India also wants Sri Lanka to join the BBIN Motor Vehicle Agreement, signed in June this year in Bhutan during Gadkari’s visit there, which aims to facilitate cross-border movement of all types of vehicles in the BBIN region.

Work on the USD 8 billion road connectivity projects among Bangladesh, Bhutan, India and Nepal (BBIN) is likely to be completed within two years.

India would also enter into another landmark motor pact with Myanmar and Thailand by year-end.

Gadkari had earlier said ADB is ready to finance the project “for providing connectivity to Sri Lanka”.

He had said there was a missing link of narrow corridor of about 22 km in connectivity to Sri Lanka from Rameshwaram which is presently being serviced through makeshift ferry service arrangements.

“We are working on the project and as soon as it is completed, Trans Asia Road and transport network could be extended to Sri Lanka,” Gadkari had said.

Monsanto’s Sealed Documents Reveal the Truth behind Roundup’s Toxicological Dangers

September 15th, 2015

by Richard Gale and Gary Null Courtesy www.organicconsumers.org

The year 2015 hasn’t been kind to Monsanto. In March, the World Health Organization declared that the company’s flagship product, its herbicide glyphosate or Roundup, is a probable human carcinogen. Increasingly, national health ministries are taking a hard second look at glyphosate’s health and environmental dangers and efforts are underway to ban the herbicide.[1] To protect its citizens, last year the Netherlands, Bermuda and Sri Lanka have either banned or imposed strict limits on Roundup. Last June, France banned its use in gardens. Brazil, Germany and Argentina are considering legislative bans. And this month, California’s environmental protection agency launched plans to label Roundup as a carcinogen.[2]

Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide in the world today. Over 130 countries currently permit extensive use of the chemical. The US is the largest consumer, using approximately 20% of the world’s Roundup.[3] The latest reliable figures from the US Geological Survey record 280 million pounds of Roundup were used in 2012, nearly a pound for every American.[4] In 2013, gross profit of $371 million on crop chemicals including Roundup climbed 73% due to a 37% increase in sales. That same year Monsanto’s net income rose 22% to $1.48 billion.[5]

Over the years a large body of independent research has accumulated and now collectively provides a sound scientific rationale to confirm that glyphosate is far more toxic and poses more serious health risks to animals and humans than Monsanto and the US government admit. Among the many diseases and health conditions non-industry studies identified Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and autism since Roundup has been shown to instigate aluminum accumulation in the brain. The herbicide has been responsible for reproductive problems such as infertility, miscarriages, and neural tube and birth defects. It is a causal agent for a variety of cancers: brain, breast, prostate, lung and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other disorders include chronic kidney and liver diseases, diabetes, heart disease, hypothyroidism, and leaky gut syndrome. In addition to lung cancer, glyphosate may be responsible for today’s growing epidemics of chronic respiratory illnesses among farm workers and their families.[6] However, these findings derive from outside the Big Agriculture industry. Private industries routinely defend themselves by positing their own research to refute independent reports. Consequently, for several decades it has been a he-said-she-said stalemate. Monsanto is content with this. It can conduct business as usual, Roundup sales increase, and the debates and media wars continue without government interference. Then who is protecting the public?

Government officials and health regulators more often than not simply ignore these studies even if published in peer-reviewed journals. The bulk are independently funded. Most have been performed in foreign nations and therefore American bias dismisses them outright. Furthermore, Monsanto and other large chemical agricultural companies are quick to counter and discredit adverse scientific findings. The company has the financial means to retain large international PR firms, such as Burson-Marsteller and Fleishman Hillard, consultation firms and think tanks, as well as large armies of hired trolls and academic spokepersons to mobilize damage control upon notice and protect the integrity of Monsanto’s products and public image. It funds and orchestrates self-serving research at universities and research laboratories to increase an arsenal of junk science. And of course it has Hillary Clinton and Bill Gates as its celebrity cheerleaders.

The EPA continues to align itself with Monsanto’s safety claims and limits glyphosate’s risks to kidney, reproductive and carcinogenic damage; and the warning only applies for very long-term exposure to high levels of the toxin. Anything under that is considered harmless. The EPA continues to approve small amounts of glyphosate as safe in drinking water to children. Its safety level is 0.7 ug/L. This was determined back in 1994, and after 20 years of further research into glyphosate’s biomolecular activities and health risks, the level has remained the same.[7,8] A review of existing data sponsored by Moms Across America found that out of 21 drinking water samples analyzed, 13 had glyphosate levels between 0.08 and 0.3 ug/L, well below the EPA’s limit, but significantly above the European Union’s limit of 0.1 ug/L.[9]

While the company manages to successfully dodge scientific research outside its purview, the tables would certainly turn if it could be proven in a court of law that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate is one of the most toxic substances ever launched on the public, which adversely affects almost every tissue and cell in a mammal’s body.

Imagine for a minute that evidence emerged to implicate Monsanto on a massive cover-up and manipulation of scientific data from hundreds of research trials. If it were Monsanto’s data indicting itself about glyphosate’s toxicity, and if it can be shown the company falsified, masked or fudged its data to win regulatory approval, it may likely be the largest corporate scandal in history. The question could Monsanto be charged with crimes of omission and more deservingly crimes against humanity?

This scenario may not be fantasy or the wishful thinking of GMO’s opponents. The case has a precedent and has been played out in the courts before. In November 1998, the US government won a judgment against the four largest US tobacco companies: Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds, Brown & Williamson, and Lorillard. The case came to trial after a former vice president of research and development at Brown & Williamson, Jeffrey Wigand, turned whistleblower and revealed that his company concealed the tobacco’s health risks and was making concerted efforts to addict people to smoking. High ranking executives were found to have approved the inclusion of known addictive and carcinogenic chemicals, such as coumarin, in its cigarettes to increase smoking, sales and profits.

Before the trial there had never been a lawsuit lost by a tobacco company because no one could prove with absolute medical certainty that smoking had ever caused lung cancer or emphysema. During Congressional hearings, all seven CEOs representing the four tobacco giants lied under oath stating they had no knowledge about an association between nicotine and brain addiction. Their rationale was that they believed their research data and marketing strategies were protected under propriety secrecy claims and therefore they could avoid conviction. Although FDA scientists possessed all the necessary information that could condemn Big Tobacco’s false claims, the industry relied upon proprietary rules in order to hide behind legal protection. The FDA was silenced and powerless to make the industry’s information public. Consequently it is estimated that millions of people died from a risk that could have been prevented or at least reduced substantially. Instead, the FDA honored the tobacco industry above all human life.

The guilty verdict, which resulted in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement against the tobacco companies, enforced a minimum $206 billion settlement over a 25 year period. While the majority of payments were to settle 46 states’ Medicaid lawsuits to recover smoking related health costs, the settlement unfortunately exempted the industry from private tort claims. Many critics of the Agreement state that the settlement was too merciful. No tobacco executive went to prison and evidence indicates the industry emerged stronger and consolidated the companies into an ever more powerful cartel.[10]

What busted the tobacco companies was not the scientific evidence piling up outside the industry. Rather it was its crimes of omission about cigarettes’ health risks within the industry. The industry’s own research prosecuted itself. And this is demanded today in order to bring down Monsanto’s chemical regime and to protect populations and children throughout the world.

Perhaps we might want to consider the atmosphere Monsanto faced after it first developed glyphosate in 1973 and prepare for EPA approval for the remainder of the decade.

During the latter half of the 1970s, Monsanto’s leading products were under federal inquiry and public assault regarding safety. Dioxin had been banned. Safety concerns arose over its sweetener saccharin, and cyclamate was removed from the market. The company’s attempts to get it’s new artificial sweetener aspartame confronted obstacles during FDA scientific review. Independent research had shown that aspartame caused brain tumors in mammals. And its best selling herbicide at the time, Lasso, was showing signs of carcinogenicity. Today Lasso is a restricted-use pesticide due to its oncogenicity. With sales falling and future growth under threat, Monsanto faced a desperate need to launch a new and novel flagship product. Monsanto found itself banking its future on its new herbicide glyphosate. As we recently discovered, enormous amounts of research, analysis and hundreds of trials were conducted to learn as much as possible about the compound’s bioactivity in mammals and its potential health risks. All of this research data, studies and reports were subsequently sealed as trade secrets upon submission to the EPA. For over thirty years it has sat in the EPA vaults.

Monsanto has yet to be caught and charged for falsifying scientific data on glyphosate. However on earlier occasions two laboratories Monsanto outsourced research to were caught and indicted. In 1978, the EPA busted Industrial Biotest Laboratories for rigging laboratory results; the company’s executives were found guilty for submitting fabricated data supporting glyphosate positively to the government. In 1991, another firm, Craven Labs, was found guilty on similar charges with 20 felony counts.[11]

To this day, Monsanto continues to assert that Roundup is environmentally friendly. We are told it biodegrades rapidly and therefore poses no long-term risks after repeated usage. We are told that the herbicide is ideal for weed control. Throughout the US, it is liberally sprayed on our public parks, school playgrounds, sporting fields, and throughout our lawns and gardens. We are told it doesn’t bio-accumulate in the body’s cells and tissues and is excreted rapidly. We are also told that glyphosate toxicity is dose specific. Only exceedingly high levels of the pesticide pose any serious health risks.[12]

How factual are these claims or are they mere propaganda to obscure scientific truths far more deceptive and sinister? To answer that we would have to know for certain whether or not Monsanto conducted long-term studies on glyphosate that revealed devastating toxic effects on mammal health. We would need evidence that their own data clearly negates their scientific declarations, and that the company intentionally, and with forethought, either distorted or concealed data from federal regulatory officials and the public.

There is now an enormous cache of evidence on both scientific and legal grounds that Monsanto in fact conducted numerous studies in the 1970s and 1980s on glyphosate’s toxicity and health risks and intentionally sealed this research from independent and public review and scrutiny. As with Big Tobacco’s proprietary claims that prevented the FDA from publicly warning Americans about the dangers of smoking, the EPA has sat on Monsanto’s own deleterious data for decades.

Anthony Samsel is an independent research scientist working internationally in the interest of public health and the environment. He is a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and a former scientist and consultant at Arthur D. Little, one of the world’s leading management consulting firms. Now retired, Samsel has devoted much of his independent research on Roundup’s toxicological characteristics and bioactivity. Unable to gain access to research reports and data Monsanto submitted to the EPA through FOIAs, he turned to his senator’s office, who assisted in the procurement of studies and reports he sought. Months later he received a hoard of scientific documents, over 15,000 pages worth, covering Monsanto’s complete glyphosate research.

With his co-investigator Dr. Stephanie Seneff at MIT the two have been reviewing Monsanto’s data. Their conclusion is Monsanto’s claims about glyphosate’s safety are patently false. The company has known for almost four decades that glyphosate is responsible for a large variety of cancers and organ failures. Clearly it was for this reason that Monsanto demanded the data and reports to be sealed and hidden from public scrutiny as proprietary trade secrets.

During an exclusive interview on the Progressive Radio Network on September 4, Samsel stated that Monsanto used an industry trick to dismiss evidence about glyphosate’s risks in its own research. “Monsanto misrepresented the data,” says Samsel, “and deliberately covered up data to bring the product [glyphosate] to market.”[13]

In order to minimize and cancel out its adverse findings, Samsel explained that Monsanto had relied upon earlier historical animal control data, toxicological research with lab animals afflicted with cancer and organ failures, and completely unrelated to glyphosate. In some cases the control animals displayed kidney, liver and pancreatic diseases. Many of Monsanto’s own studies required the inclusion of extraneous studies in order to cancel out damaging results. This is not an uncommon industry habit, particularly in toxicological science. It enables corporations to mask undesirable outcomes and make claims that observable illnesses and disease are spontaneous occurrences without known causal factors. Frequently, Monsanto would have to rely on three external control studies to negate the adverse effects of a single one of its own. Samsel found other incidences in Monsanto’s data where 5, 7 and in one case 11 unrelated studies were necessary to diminish the severity of its own findings. In effect, glyphosate received licensure based upon a platform of junk tobacco science. By ignoring cause and effect relationships behind the onset of multiple cancers and other life-threatening diseases throughout many of its research trials, Monsanto engaged in a radical scientific denialism that has since raked in tens of billions of dollars.

But the cache of Monsanto documents, after Samsel’s and Seneff’s review, reveals much more that we should be worried about.

In addition, Monsanto’s studies included doses from low to high range. Samsel observed that low glyphosate doses were equally if not more toxic than higher doses. The company later discontinued low dose trials, relying only on higher levels because it is customarily assumed to have greater toxicological risks. Samsel’s observation has recently been confirmed by a study published in the August issue of the Environmental Health Journal by scientists at Kings College London and the University of Caen in France. The two year study found that glyphosate administered at an ultra low dose of 0.1 ppb (the EU’s safety limit) in drinking water altered over 4000 gene clusters in the livers and kidneys of rats. These alterations, the study reports, “were consistent with fibrosis, necrosis, phospholipidosis, mitochondria membrane dysfunction and ischemia.”[14] Consequently low doses of Roundup are far more toxic than US EPA limits.

During its years investigating glyphosate’s bioactivity, Monsanto conducted hundreds of trials on mice, rats, beagle dogs, rabbits and other life. Among the many cancers and diseases Monsanto’s own research found associated with glyphosate are:

   Adenoma cancer in the pituitary gland
   Glioma tumors in the brain
   Reticular cell sarcomas in the heart
   Malignant tumors in the lungs
   Salivary mandibular reticular cell carcinoma
   Metastatic sarcomas of the lymph gland
   Prostate carcinoma
   Cancer of the bladder
   Thyroid carcinoma
   Adrenal reticulum cell sarcomas
   Cortical adenomas
   Basal cell squamous skin tumors

In female mammals there were cancers of the lung, liver, thymus, stomach, bladder adrenal glands, ovaries, colon, uterus, parathyroid and mammary glands.

Samsel and Seneff also noticed that Monsanto had conducted many long-term studies, as much as two years, on mice and rats. When Gilles-Eric Seralini and his French team reproduced and extended the length of Monsanto’s 3-month GMO maize rat-fed study for the life of the animals, they observed profuse cancer and tumor development started after the 4th month of the study. Monsanto continues to stand by its 3-month study as sufficient proof of GM maize’s safety. Yet the thoroughness and variety of Monsanto’s research operations should give strong reason to suspect that Monsanto has likewise conducted long term studies and knows all too well the deleterious effects of its pesticides, herbicides and genetically modified crops.

One of Monsanto’s claims is that glyphosate doesn’t bio-accumulate in tissues, rapidly bio-degrades and is excreted from the body readily. Contrary to this claim, Monsanto carried out meticulous studies to determine levels of accumulation and the organs, tissues and cells glyphosate reaches. Glyphosate was radio labeled with carbon 14 and given in 10 mg doses to seven groups of animals, male and female. After only 24 hours, the toxic chemical was found in the lungs and all body fluids: lymph, blood, urine and cerebral spinal fluid. Glyphosate also accumulated in the bone by 30 ppm and in the bone marrow by 4 ppm. Monsanto’s studies were comprehensive. It found an accumulation of the chemical in red cells, thyroid, uterus, colon, testes and ovaries, shoulder muscle, nasal mucosa, heart, lung, small intestine, abdominal muscle and the eyes.

Samsel and Seneff noted that the bioaccumuilation in the pancreas was not reported. Why would such meticulous efforts be made to measure radio labeled carbon 14 laced glyphosate levels in all the other organs, tissues and bodily fluids and then ignore the pancreas? The scientists believe this was deliberate.
Samsel notes that glyphosate does a “particular number on the lungs.” According to a 2014 report by the National Cancer Institute, lung cancer rates have been declining. The decline is largely due to the national decrease in smoking. However, other lung cancers such as adenocarcinomas are on the rise. The NCI is unable to account for this anomaly.[15] Yet the Institute is not considering that Americans are increasingly being exposed to glyphosate in their food, water and environment?
During the PRN interview, Dr. Seneff stated that the pancreas may be driving glyphosate to gather in the lungs. The pancreas is responsible for the release of the enzyme trypsin. which in turn infiltrates the lungs. A study published by Brazil’s Universidade Federal de Santa Maria in the medical journal Ciencia Rural measured glyphosate’s reactivity with digestive enzymes including trypsin. Trypsin activity was found to increase in parallel to higher glyphosate concentrations.[16] Seneff suggests that this may be contributing to the increase of glyphosate in the lungs that is contributing to the dramatic rise in COPD and asthma conditions, as well as lung cancers.

The occurrence of cataracts is rising rapidly, particularly in Mid-Western states such as ND, SD, NB, IA, KS, and MO. According to Prevent Blindness America’s statistics, 17% of adults over 40 years have cataract problems. The NIH projects the rate will reach nearly 40% by 2030.[17] Monsanto’s study showing glyphosate activity in the eye may be contributing to this epidemic. Dr. Seneff stated that the eye’s exposure to sunlight reacts with glyphosate residue thereby potentially making the chemical more toxic. Farmers often apply glyphosate on crops when it is warm, moist and when there is plenty of sunlight in order for the chemical to activate more effectively. These are similar conditions to our eyes during the day.

Monsanto’s research was not limited solely to the Roundup compound. It also performed extensive research on glyphosate’s individual metabolites, the intermediate molecules that result after Roundup’s breakdown through metabolic reactions. Many of these metabolites are every bit as toxic as glyphosate. All the glyphosate metabolites in solutions fed to rats were measured before and after feeding. One of Samsel’s more disturbing discoveries was that levels of the metabolite N-Nitrosoglyphosate (NNG) were found in higher concentrations in the rats’ feces and urine excretions than the original amount in the feeding solutions. NNG is a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor. Samsel postulates that our own body’s natural nitrous acid reacts immediately with glyphosate, without requiring a catalyst, to produce NNG. Both the EPA and the World Health Organization acknowledge that NNG is present in glyphosate during the manufacturing process. The agencies therefore have established safety limits for NNG. However, for any endocrine disruptor, there is no realistic safety limit because such chemical disruptors destroy cells on a molecule to molecule basis.

Nitrous acid naturally occurs in the colon, urinary tract and skin tissue. According to the CDC, skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the US, and affects more men than women. The Skin Cancer Foundation estimates that “each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than the combined incidence of cancers of the breast, prostate, lung and colon.”[18,19] Basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas are the two most common forms, both which have been identified by Monsanto with glyphosate exposure, particularly in males. When glyphosate reacts in the skin along with nitrous acid the metabolites NNG contributes to skin melanomas. Other chemicals are added to Monsanto’s Roundup to increase its effectiveness such as the surfactant POEA (polyethoxylated tallow amine), which also increases its toxicity.

We don’t pay enough attention to these other ingredients, Samsel states, because the EPA permits Monsanto to add anything it wants to enhance Roundup’s potency while identifying these substances innocuously as “inert.” When Monsanto convinces the public that glyphosate breaks down quickly, we are not told that the compound’s metabolic byproducts are equally toxic.

Therefore Anthony Samsel’s unprecedented discovery and review of Monsanto’s actual scientific and toxicological data of Roundup has provided us with information that warrants a thoughtful pause. Samsel and Seneff cover the subject in more detail in a new peer-reviewed paper titled “Glyphosate Pathways to Modern Diseases IV: Cancer and Related Pathologies.” The paper has been approved for publication in October.

During recent years dozens of states are submitting bills to label GMO foods. These food crops are heavily laced with glyphosate residue. Not only GM crops, but even non-GM produce are sprayed with Roundup. According to the Organic Consumers Association, non-organic and non-GM foods such as wheat, barley, oats, flax, peas, lentils, beans and sugar cane are also being sold to farmers “as a dessicant, to dry out all their crops so they could harvest them faster.”[20] Monsanto, Dupont, Syngenta, Grocery Manufacturers of America and other agro-chemical companies are aggressively combating labeling efforts. The Big Ag lobby is today pushing for a national bill to prevent GMO labeling that would supersede individual state’s rights. We can only wonder what the voting outcome in California, Colorado, Washington and Oregon may have been had Monsanto’s own research been made available to the media and public. Is it therefore not time for full Congressional hearings to learn the truth once for all and make the disclosure of Monsanto’s Roundup research public for all?

Richard Gale is the Executive Producer of the Progressive Radio and a former Senior Research Analyst in the biotechnology and genomic industries. Dr. Gary Null is the host of the nation’s longest running public radio program on nutrition and natural health and a multi-award-winning director of progressive documentary films, including Seeds of Death about GMOs and Poverty Inc. More at the Progressive Radio Network

REFERENCES
[1] Daniel Cressey. “Widely Used Herbicide Linked to Cancer” Nature. March 25, 2015
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/widely-used-herbicide-linked-to-cancer/
[2] RT (Russian TV). “California EPA mulls labeling Monsanto’s Roundup as being ‘known to cause cancer” September 6, 2015                                                                                                                       https://www.rt.com/usa/314544-california-epa-glyphosate-carcinogenic/

[3] Alexis Baden-Mayer, “Monsanto’s Roundup. Enough to Make You Sick” Organic Consumers Association. January 21, 2015
https://www.organicconsumers.org/news/monsanto%E2%80%99s-roundup-enough-make-you-sick
[4] Mary Ellen Kustin. “Glyphosate Is Spreading Like a Cancer Across the U.S.” Environmental Working Group. April 7, 2015
http://www.ewg.org/agmag/2015/04/glyphosate-spreading-cancer-across-us
[5] Jack Kaskey, “Monsanto Raises Forecast as Profits Tops Estimates on Corn” Bloomberg Business, April 3, 2013.http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2013-04-03/monsanto-raises-forecast-as-profit-tops-estimates-on-corn-seed
[6] Alexis Baden-Mayer, op.cit.
[7] Environmental Protection Agency “Glyphosate Fact Sheet” http://www.epa.gov/safewater/pdfs/factsheets/soc/tech/glyphosa.pdf
[8] Environmental Protection Agency. “Basic Information about Glyphosate in Drinking Water”
http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/glyphosate.cfm
[9]Zen Honeycutt, Henry Rowlands, Lori Grace. “Glyphosate Testing Full Report: Findings in American Mothers’ Breast Milk, Urine and Water,” Moms Across America. April 7, 2015 http://www.momsacrossamerica.com/glyphosate_testing_results
[10] “Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement,” Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement
[11] “Monsanto Timeline of Crime 1901-2014” Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance. February 16, 2015.http://covvha.net/monsanto-1901-2014-timeline/
[12] EPA, “Glyphosate Fact Sheet” op cit.

[13] Interview with Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff. Gary Null Show, Progressive Radio Network. Broadcast on September 4, 2015.http://prn.fm/the-gary-null-show-09-04-15/
[14] Mesnage R, Arno M, Costanzo M, Seralini G-E, Antoniou M., “Transcriptome profile analysis reflects rat liver and kidney damage following chronic ultra-low dose Roundup exposure”   Environmental Health 2015, 14:70  doi:10.1186/s12940-015-0056-1
[15] “Lung Cancer Fact Sheet.” American Lung Association. http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/lung-cancer/resources/facts-figures/lung-cancer-fact-sheet.html
[16] Salbero I, Pretto A, Machado da Silva V, Loro V, Lazzari R, Baldisserotto B. “Glyposate on digestive enzymes activity in piava (Leporinus obtusidens). Cencia Rural Vol. 44 no. 9. September 2014.
[17] “Vision Problems in the US,” Prevent Blindness America. http://www.visionproblemsus.org/cataract/cataract-map.html
[18] Skin Cancer Foundation. “Skin Cancer Facts.” http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts
[19] “Skin Cancer Statistics,” Centers for Disease Control. http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/skin/statistics/
[20] Alexis Baden-Mayer, op cit.

රටට හොරෙන් CEPA අත්සන් කරන ලකුණු. මෙන්න පිළිගත හැකි මූලාශ්‍ර…

September 15th, 2015

උපුටාගැණීම www.mahinda.info

සීපා ගිවිසුම නිසා ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට වෙන හානිය හේතු කොටගෙන එය අත්සන් කිරීමෙන් වැළකීමට මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ ජනාධිපති තුමා කටයුතු කළේය.

රනිල් වික‍්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ඉන්දීය සංචාරයේදී ‘සීපා’ ගිවිසුම් අත්සන් කිරීමක් හෝ ඒ ගැන සාකච්ඡා කිරීමක් හෝ සිදු නොවන්නේ යයි මලික් සමරවික්‍රම මහතා පවසා තිබුණි. විස්තරය.

නමුත් සීපා ගිවිසුම ගැන සාකච්ඡා සිදුවෙන බවත්, අත්සන් කිරීමට නියමිත බවත්, පිළිගත හැකි ජනමාධ්‍ය වාර්තා බැලීමේදී පෙනී යයි. (මේවා පිළිගත හැක්කේ මුල් වාර්තා දෙක ඉන්දීය ජනමාධ්‍ය වීමත් 3 වැන්න එජාප ජනමාධ්‍යයක් වීමත් හේතුකොටගෙන ඒවා CEPA ගිවිසුමට අදාල පාර්ශවයන්ගේම මාධ්‍ය වාර්තා නිසයි). අපි ඒවා එකිනෙක බලමු.

[1]. අද දින පළවූ ඉන්දියවේ “ද හින්දු” පුවත්පත රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ඉන්දීය සංචාරය විස්තර කරමින් වාර්තා කර ඇත්තේ  වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ඉන්දියා සංචාරය තුළදී දිනා ගැනීමට කැමති වැදගත් එක් කරුණක් වන්නේ සීපා ගිවිසුම ලෙසිනි.

It is in these circumstances that Mr. Wickremesinghe is visiting India. A Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) will be one of the important issues that India would like to clinch during this visit.

source: 2015/09/15 thehindu.com / archive.org 

(වෙබ් අඩවියක තිබෙන දෑ ඕනෑම මොහොතක පහසුවෙන් වෙනස් කළ හැකි නිසා සෑම විටම මූලාශ්‍රයක් පරිශීලනය කිරීමේදී archive.org හි save කළ ලිපිය භාවිතා කරමු. වැඩි විස්තර: Internet Archive)

 

[2]. ඉන්දියාවේ පළ වෙන ප්‍රධානතම ජාතික පුවත්පතක් වන “The Indian Express” මගින් 2015/09/06 දින හෙළි කර ඇත්තේ රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ සංචාරයේදී සීපා ගිවිසුම සම්පූර්ණ කිරීමට ඉන්දියාව බලාපොරොත්තු වෙන බවයි. රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතා සීපා ගීවිසුම සඳහා තම සහයෝගය පළ කර ඇති බවත් එහි සඳහන් වෙයි. එසේම විපක්ෂ කණ්ඩායම එය නතර කිරීමට කටයුතු කරන බවත් එහෙත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහගේ ජාතික ආණ්ඩුව සමග කටයුතු කර එම ගිවිසුම ඉටු කිරීමට සූදානම් බවත් ය.  ලිපියේ අදාල කොටස පහතින්.

Sri Lankan PM Ranil Wickremesinghe to visit on Sept 14

India is likely to push for an early finalisation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Sri Lanka during the September 14-16 visit of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to New Delhi.

Wickremesinghe had expressed his support for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) with India only two months ago at a business forum in Colombo, asking Sri Lankan businessmen not to fear it but see it as an opportunity.

The two countries have been talking about a CEPA for several years, but Sri Lankan opposition to it stalled its finalisation. India, government sources said, will now be looking to tie up the details with Wickremesinghe’s “national unity government” and work towards finalising the agreement.

source: 2015/09/06 indianexpress.com / archive.org

 

[3]. එක්සත් ජාතිකපක්ෂයෙන් පත් වූ රාජ්‍ය ආරක්ෂක රාජ්‍ය අමාත්‍ය රුවන් විජයවර්ධන මහතාට අයත් සන්ඩේ ටයිම්ස් පුවත්පත් වෙබ් අඩවියේ දැක්වෙන්නේත් රනිල් වික්‍රමසිංහ මහතාගේ ඉන්දීය සංචාරයේදී සීපා ගිවිසුම කෙරෙහි අවධානය යොමු කරන බවයි. ඒ බව නියෝජ්‍ය විදේශ ආමත්‍ය හර්ෂ ද සිල්වා මහතාත් තහවුරු කර තිබේ.  මූලාශ්‍රය: 2015/09/13 sundaytimes.lk / archive.org

 

සීපා ගිවිසුම ගැන සාකච්ඡා කිරීමක්වත් සිදු නොවන බව මලික් සමරවික්‍රම මහතා පැවසුවද, ඉහත මූලාශ්‍ර අනුවනම් පෙනී යන්නේ සීපා ගිවිසුම ගැන අනිවාර්යයෙන්ම සාකච්ඡා සිදුවෙන බවත් හොර රහසේම අත්සන් කරන බවත් ය.

අනිත් අයටත් බලන්නට SHARE කරන්න.

මහින්ද රු 350 ට දුන්න පොහොර මිටිය දැන් රු 500 යි. ගොවීන්ට අපමණ අගයක්!

September 15th, 2015

උපුටාගැණීම www.mahinda.info

මහින්ද චින්තන ප්‍රතිපත්තිය යටතේ එදා පොහොර මිටිය නිකුත් කළේ රු 350 ක ටයි. “රු 350 ට නිකුත් කරන පොහොර මිටියට රු 150 ක ඉන්ෂුවරන්ස් එකක් සමග මේ වන විට රු 500 ක් අය කරන බව” ගොවීහු පවසති. පහත වීඩියෝව බලන්න.

යම් ලෙසකින් රු 150 ක රක්ෂණයෙන් ප්‍රතිඵලයක් අත් වූවානම් තව කමක් නැත. ගොවීන් පවසන පරිදි අස්වැන්නට හානි වී තිබියදීත් එම රක්ෂණයෙන් වන්දි මුදලක් ලැබී නොමැත. ඒ අනුව එය රක්ෂණයක් නොව යහාපාලන ආන්ඩුවෙන් කළ තවත් අය කිරීමක් බව පැහැදිළි වෙයි. රටේ සමස්ත රක්ෂණ ක්ෂේත්‍රයේ කීර්ති නාමයටම සිදු කර ඇති අපහාසය නිසා රක්ෂණ සේවයෙන් යැපෙන වෘත්තිකයින්ටත් සිදුවී ඇත්තේ විශාල හානියකි.

යහපාලනය ආ පසුව රු 60 ට වී මිලදී ගන්නවා යැයි පොරොන්දු වුවද වී කිලෝව රු 25 ට පහත බැස ඇත. වී විකුණාගන්න බැරිව බලා සිටින කාලය අතරතුරදීත් ලොරියකට දවසකට රු 3000 ක් ගෙවිය යුතු අතර දවස් 3 ක් යද්දී වී වලින් ලැබෙන ලාභය ලොරි වලටම ගෙවා අවසන් වෙයි… පහත වීඩියෝවේ දැක්වෙන පරිදි, යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුවට වී මිලදී ගැනීමට නොහැකිව ඇත්තේ ගබඩා නොමැති නිසා නොව, ප්‍රමාණවත් නිලධාරීන් නොමැති නිසා බව වී අලෙවි මණ්ඩලයේ සභාපති වරයා ප්‍රකාශ කරයි. සම්පූර්ණ ලිපිය

ගොවියන් වෙනුවන් රට කරවීමට සහ රටම අස්වැද්දීම ගැන කියමින් එදා මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාට එරෙහිව තරග කළ එක්සත් ජාතික පක්ෂය ප්‍රමුඛ පොදු විපක්ෂයේ අපේක්ෂකයාගේ දැන්වීම් මෙලෙසයි.

අනිත් අයටත් බලන්නට SHARE කරන්න.

Let’s remember Keppetipola and other heroes

September 15th, 2015

K. Godage Former Ambassador Courtesy Island

September 9, 2015, 9:16 pm
Year 2018 will mark the two hundredth anniversary of the first uprising against the British rule in 1818 in the Uva-Wellassa. This region was known as the granary of the Kingdom of Kandy before it was annexed by the British in 1815 under the ‘Kandyan Convention’.

Even before the ink on the treaty was dry the British Colonial Government began to violate it in both spirit and substance. This led to a popular uprising led by the Kandyan Chiefs in 1818 and subsequently in 1838 in Matale. Those rebellions almost brought the collapse of the British Colonial Government in old Ceylon.

What was the response of the British government to the Wellassa uprising? Orders were given by Governor Robert Brownrigg (3rd British Governor of Ceylon from 1813 – 1820) to Maj. Gen. Hay MacDowell in 1818 to’slaughter every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast)’. Savage violence unleashed against civilians left the people in the agriculturally rich grain growing region of Uva-Wellassa of then Ceylon in a state of famine and starvation.

The British used scorched earth policy including mass murder and genocidal violence to crush that rebellion. It would be recalled that Kandy was occupied by Feb. 14, 1815 using only 3,744 British troops. The King of Kandy Sri Wikrama Rajasinha was taken prisoner on February 18 at Gallehewatte in Dumbara and deported to Vellore, South India, where he died in 1832 while his only son born in exile died in 1843. That Sri Lanka was not conquered is proved in the Act of Settlement read at the Convention on March2,1815 stipulating the conditions under which the British Crown would administer the annexed Kkngdom. The ceding of Kandy ended Sinhalese independence of 2357 years. In recognition of his ‘achievement’ of helping Britain to annex the Kandyan Kingdom, Brownrigg was made a Baron in 1816. D’Oyly was rewarded by making him the ‘Resident of Kandy’. The genocide committed by the British to quell the uprisings of 1818, 1822 and 1838 in areas like Badulla, Moneragala and Matale districts, goes down as notable examples of British crimes against humanity.

Uva occupies a prominent place in Sri Lanka’s history for the first recorded visit of the Buddha to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyangana, South of Uva. British human rights campaigners now pointing accusing fingers at Sri Lanka have forgotten the massacres including the Madulla Massacre and the razing and annihilating of entire villages. In the entire Uva region the males including boys were killed in revenge for resisting British imperial occupation under Brownrigg. No paddy or chena cultivation could be undertaken for 10 years due to lack of man power.

Davy’s records reveal that during an inspection of the Uva region with Brownrigg they had not seen a single person or house for seven days. Britain that preaches human rights and demands accountability and upholding of universally accepted standards on human rights ought to recall some of the orders given by men, Britain knighted, in recognition of their services to Her Majesty the Queen during Imperial colonial rule. The people of Uva were very proud as they had also fought successfully against the Portuguese and the Dutch and defeated them.

Britain not releasing the Chilcott Report which exposes the war crimes of Blair and Bush is no surprise. The British human rights champions have conveniently avoided acknowledging how their troops killed all cattle, animals, burnt homes, property, burnt grain, cut down their coconut, jak and breadfruit trees, agricultural crops and fields and even salt that the people possessed. Simply said neither UN nor the Human Rights Council existed at the time is simply not an excuse. The Statute of Limitations does not apply to crimes against humanity.

We demand Britain come clean on its crimes in all of the colonies. Governor Robert Brownrigg who issued the gazette notification on January 1,1818 condemned all 17 who rebelled against the British, termed them ‘traitors’, and confiscated their properties by government declaration. They were declared ‘Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies of the British’. It took over 160 years for the Sri Lankan Government to recognise them as ‘National Heroes’ and it is about time that the Government establishes an official memorial for them. The people of Sri Lanka need to remember our true heroes. They were

1 .Keppetipola, former Dissawe of Uva 2. Godagedara, former Adikaram of Uva3. Ketakala Mohattala of Uva 4. Maha Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva 5. Kuda Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva 6. Palagolla Mohattala of Uva 7. Passerewatte Vidane of Uva 8. Kiwulegedera Mohottala of Walapane 9. Yalagomme Mohotalla of Walapane 10. Udamadure Mohottala of Walapane 11. Kohukumbure Rate Rala ofWellassa 12. Kohukumbura Walauwe Mohottala of Wellassa 13. Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa 14. Kohukumubura Gahawela Rate Ralaof Wellassa 15. Maha Badullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa 16. Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa 17. Palle Malheyae Gametirale of Wallassa and the heroes of the Matale rebellion Monarawila Keppetipola Disaw.

The British that now claim to stand for righteousness and seek the high moral ground wherever possible need to be reminded how they treated Madugalle Uda Bagada Nilame, who was dismissed from office, arrested without being given the opportunity to bid farewell to his family while his residence was publicly burnt on Governor Brownrigg’s orders, possessions confiscated and sold with proceeds going to a British pension fund. What must also be mentioned here is that the British army in Ceylon comprised Europeans, Javanese, Malay, African troops, Indian Sepoys.

The British Governments throughout its infamous colonial history has always applied double standards. The duplicity of the British Government in calling for accountability in Sri Lanka is best illustrated by its own handling of the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’ which investigated the conduct of the UK government and military in relation for the invasion of Iraq. This inquiry ran from November 2009 until February 2011 and it cost approximately £7.5million, but its Report is not yet made public for fear of the huge embarrassment it would cause to both the British Government and British military once its contents are released. What is Britain now preaching against Sri Lanka with blood on its hands? Meanwhile, Robert Brownrigg must be condemned for his war crimes other excesses in Ceylon even at this late stage because that is a historic duty that posterity owes to our freedom fighters and national heroes who sacrificed their lives and liberty in the Uva-Wellassa based war of independence in 1818 and again in 1838 Matale rebellion.

K.Godage

Former Ambassador

 

MR Questions New Stand On HR

September 15th, 2015

By Ashanthi Warunasuriya Courtesy The Sunday leader

Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa has questioned the new position taken by some countries on the human rights issue in Sri Lanka. Rajapaksa’s spokesman Rohan Weliwitta said that the former President, feels that the new position clearly shows how political the human rights issue was. He said that the United States, which at one point called for an international investigation, is now backing a domestic investigation. Weliwitta said that if Rajapaksa was still the President, the US and its partners would have maintained calls for an international probe.

When Rajapaksa was in power, he had sought support for a domestic investigation into allegations over the war, but the US and member states in the UN Human Rights Council rejected the proposal. The UN Human Rights Council will be meeting in Geneva this week, and the US will be co-sponsoring a resolution backing a domestic investigation. Weliwitta also said that neither Mahinda Rajapaksa nor former Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa have been approached to assist the domestic probe.

Prospects Of The Gargantuan Cabinet

September 15th, 2015

Courtesy The Sunday Leader

The gigantic number of cabinet, state and deputy ministers keeps mounting with such frequency that it is quite a difficult task to keep pace with the expansion. At the time of writing the collective number is nearing a century.

With nine provincial councils comprising chief ministers and ministers for various subjects, Sri Lanka could possibly claim a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the number of ministers to look after the interests of only 20 million people. Critics have pointed out that India, with a population of 2.1 billion and being a sub-continent stretching from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, has only 31 cabinet ministers and 39 ministers of state.

Giant-sized cabinets are not a new political phenomenon in this little island. The previous government set a precedent with an equally gargantuan-sized cabinet and a swarm of state and deputy ministers of the same multitude. The Sri Lankan tradition of following bad precedents has been followed.

The bureaucratic and security backup for these legislators could far outnumber the ministers and the financial burdens placed by them on public expenditure which could, if diverted, help alleviate quite a number living in poverty. To these unfortunates, glib politicians have pledged to alleviate poverty ever so often.

It could be argued that this large number of ministers is justified because of tremendous development plans envisaged in election manifestos of the constituent parties. But the public will have doubts about the capabilities of very many of them going by the past performances they are known for: creating rumpuses both inside and outside parliament for petty political gains.

If the politicians can contribute a worthwhile service to the people, the funds and resources devoted to them would be justifiable but previous experience gives no such hopes.

This gargantuan cabinet, with their equally large number of junior ministers, begs the question: What kind of public services are this army of politicians with their bureaucracy going to provide or are capable of?

There are qualified professionals both in the UNP and SLFP ranks who understand the kind of development called for to match economic development abroad. Some young politicians have displayed their talents on TV, the print media and the pubic have placed their confidence in them by returning them to parliament with unprecedented majorities. For the benefit of the country they should not be covered by the pall of their seniors who are less competent or be pushed to the background by electoral rejects who are now ministers.

The cabinet of ministers, as well as their junior ministers, have already been sworn in but there should be no reluctance to re-shuffle the cabinet or re-allocate posts of junior ministers if the occasion demands.

The large size of the cabinet and appointment of rejected candidates by their electorate have been justifiably criticised by the public including the Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha Thero, who was the spearhead in the breakup of the previous regime and the formation of the new government. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and President Maithripala Sirisena have not reacted to these criticisms as yet. It will be prudent if these leaders give ear to such criticisms which have been levelled while the government is in its infancy.

The issue of defeated candidates and unnecessary enlargement on the number of junior ministers seem to mainly involve the SLFP faction of the government. Rumblings within the SLFP are heard loud and clear. Whether the intake of ‘loyalists’ who have been his bitter critics and supporters of Mahinda Rajapaksa can assure him loyalty and security is keeping well wishers of the National Government wondering.

The welfare of this National Government is of prime importance to the welfare of the nation. Criticism directed at it is made with the best of intentions.

JVP sees power having shifted from one family to cartel of cronies

September 15th, 2015

By Saman Indrajith Courtesy Island


The administration came to power promising good governance, but the reins of government has shifted from a family to a cabal of cronies, the JVP says.

Addressing the media at the JVP Headquarters in Pelawatte, Battaramulla, party Propaganda Secretary MP Vijitha Herath said those who had obtained a mandate by promising a 35-member cabinet, among other things, were now striving to break the record of the previous regime, which had 106 ministers.

“One of the main accusations against Mahinda Rajapaksa government was the high number of ministers maintained at a huge cost to the public purse. This government has already appointed 93 cabinet, state and deputy ministers. It is expected to have 22 district ministers and then we will have 115 ministers breaking the record of the previous regime.”

He said the election manifesto of the UNP had promised to appoint ministers on what it called a scientific basis. “There is no such basis as evident from the composition of the Cabinet. We have Higher Education and Highways under one minister. Then there is an environment minister who is responsible for the trees while there is another wildlife minister to protect animals. Three ministers have been appointed to look after provincial affairs but the provinces that need government attention most have been left without any minister.

The people did not vote for the UPFA to join a coalition government. “Those who vowed to rise with Mahinda now enjoy the perks with Ranil. They declared that there was no other leader but Mahinda and now most of them are going behind the new government to get their share from a pie they did not make.”

The JVP propaganda secretary said both sides were withdrawing the cases they had filed against each other. Dropping of the case against Avant Garde floating armoury, too, was also consequent to what was being flaunted as consensual governance. The UPFA owed Rs 14,000 million to the SLTB for hiring buses for election rallies during the previous regime. It was revealed by former transport minister of the 100-day government. Now, that ministry is under a UPFA minister. We can simply guess what would happen to that case too,” Herath said.

“They may call it whatever they like. But, what we have should be branded cartel democracy. The country is now run by a coalition cartel to safeguard its own interests rather than the people’s.”

Herath warned that the day may not be far off when the people at the end of their tether came out to get rid of those who had duped them.

 

Rupee devaluation: Is it to save the country, exporters or the opposition?

September 15th, 2015

http://i.mobypicture.com/user/cityvista/view/18463949

In 1990 one USD was LKR 40. This rate has nearly trebled to 115 by 2010. Do we see a related growth either in exports or balance of payments during this period? There can be multiple explanations why previous LKR devaluations didn’t work …

The devaluation of LKR naturally increases the cost of living. Any devaluation is associated with an immediate rise in imported food, fuel and other input prices. As we know by experience this puts immediate pressures not only on households but even local industries. It eventually forces the government, goods and
services producers for both local and export markets to increase wages of labour, offsetting the gains.

The last one can mean far reaching negative impact. The inflation that will certainly follow the devaluation will lead to the increase of prices, wages and inflation. This is what the economists call a ‘devaluation/inflation spiral’. This ‘wages chase prices and prices chase wages’ situation will have the opposite impact on the industry to the intended.

Going back to the previous example, we hope exporters and neo classical economists come out of the mentality of dry zone peasants who expect the government to subsidize their fertilizer. The exports are important, no doubt, in the economic growth of a country but we reach nowhere by perennially waiting for a
weaker LKR.

A more rational approach is to increase productivity and product quality. Unless we improve product quality and introduce product diversification devaluation will not help exporters in the long run. It might perhaps help the opposition in the next elections, though.

(Mr Siriwardena, holds an MA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and Mr Wattegama an MBA from the University of Colombo. They are independent policy researchers and can be contacted at lankaecon@gmail.com

By Luxman Siriwardena and Chanuka Wattegama -Published in 2011

The main opposition party has recently demanded a devaluation of the Sri Lankan Rupee (LKR) to ‘increase exports’ and ‘boost the economy’. This process, claims our ‘government-in-waiting’, is the assured remedy to increase the share of exports in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which, according to them has fallen to ‘miserable levels’.

As almost all policy decisions, a currency devaluation too has a positive and a negative impact. This is an attempt to present a balanced view. To begin with, there is nothing new in this call. For many decades local currency devaluation has been prescribed as a panacea to most economic ills of developing nations by the IMF and neo classical text book economic pundits. Of course, exporters love a weaker LKR. It improves their short term competitiveness as well rupee gains. Just like a peasant in hard times anticipates the government to subside his fertilizer costs, which will in turn lower his vegetable prices in a competitive market, the exporters too eternally look for a helping hand from the government.

The opposition becomes their typical messenger. The advantage of sitting across the floor is that one can take the credit for a policy intervention by the beneficiaries without risking the wrath of the losers. That could well be the raison d’être behind this proposition. It would be too naïve to assume sincerity. After all, oppositions love to see governments losing popularity, not gaining.

LKR devaluation was not a high priority of the short-lived government of the current opposition from 2001-2004. For this period LKR only fell from not more than one tenth of a US cent, which can hardly be called devaluing. Regaining Sri Lanka, the policy document of the times (still downloadable from multiple sites including that of the External Resources Department) neither mentions the terms ‘devaluation’ or even ‘Rupee’ if it were not to denote a figure, though it emphasizes the importance of increasing exports and expanding access to overseas markets to reach the planned 10 percent growth rate. Why preach policy changes one does not practice oneself?

The opposition, like anyone with the basic commonsense, knows the government has no compulsion to devalue LKR at this juncture. The probability of a major devaluation of 25% is almost nil. The immediate focus of the government is growth. Sri Lanka is enjoying a healthy and consistent growth in its economy. Per Capita GDP (real) of $1,000 in 2005 has more than doubled to $2,400 in 2010, with an unprecedented growth rate in the post-independence period.

The aim is $4,000 by the year 2016. This is no reason for complacence; we will still be below Thailand and Tunisia, but fourfold increase within a mere 10 years will be no small achievement.
Sri Lanka, except the micro state Maldives, will be the first South Asian nation to reach this milestone. Every cog, nut and bolt in the system is tuned to achieve this growth. The government certainly will not welcome any deviation from its blueprint.

What can devaluation possibly achieve?
What were our past experiences?

First, a word about the choice of terms. Though incorrectly used synonymously to denote a drop in currency value with respect to other currencies, ‘devaluation’ and ‘depreciation’ have different implications. ‘Devaluation’ means official lowering of the value of a country’s currency within a fixed exchange rate system, by which the monetary authority formally sets a new fixed rate with respect to a foreign reference currency. In contrast, depreciation is used for the unofficial decrease in the exchange rate in a floating exchange rate system. Under the second system central banks maintain the rates up or down by buying or selling foreign currency, usually USD.

Under its previous fixed value system, LKR has undergone two major devaluations. First was in 1965, under the Dudley Senanayake government. The immediate reaction of the then opposition was to coin a new term ‘rupiyala baaldu karanavaa’ underlining the negative bearing of the move. It was further devalued in 1977, when the newly elected, market oriented government under the leadership of President J. R. Jayawardena found no other way to bridge the huge gap between the nominal and real exchange rates.

India’s experience is not too different. India had first devalued the Indian Rupee (INR) in 1966. The continued trade deficits of increasing effects, since 1950s, have made foreign borrowings impossible. The situation was further deteriorated by the massive defence spending of the Indo-Pak war of 1965.
India has also lost some of its financially important foreign allies who backed Pakistan. The nationwide drought was the last straw that forced the devaluation. In 1991, on the second time, it wasn’t a war but the balance of payment issues that forced the INR devaluation.

The exchange reserves had dried up to the point that India could barely finance three weeks’ worth of imports. Dr. Manmohan Singh, as the finance minister in Narasimha Rao’s government saw no other alternative than a significant devaluation of INR. None of these devaluations was pre-planned. They were extreme measures forced by the conditions. The objectives too were not to improve the exports, but to ease the immediate tensions in the economy. They wouldn’t have simply happened under normal circumstances.

Pro-devaluation economists are correct in saying a lower LKR improves our competitiveness in the short run. We fully agree. It is basic economics. That is why China pegs Yuan (CNY) to USD, despite the pressure not to. The problem is devaluation is no free lunch; it comes with a massive price tag.
To take the most straightforward example, devaluation will immediately skyrocket all loans in foreign currency, further burdening a debt ridden nation. So the question is not whether devaluation improves exports, but whether it does so to a level that justifies the price tag.

Let us take this simple illustration. The on-going market price of a lunch packet near Sethsiripaya, Battaramulla is LKR 100. At LKR 110, one will sell a less number of packets, and at LKR 200, may be none. Anything below LKR 100 makes the product competitive and increases the sales.
This does not mean a vendor can price tag a lunch packet at LKR 50. It will be below the production costs and irrespective of the sales, there will be no gain. The more he sells the more he loses.
This is the age of policy based on evidence, not just on theory. Does the past evidence support the hypothesis of LKR devaluation improves the exports? The top half of Figure 1 shows the annual effective LKR devaluation rates since 1950. The bottom half shows the variation in imports, exports and current account balance, taken as percentages of GDP of the respective year, to maintain uniformity. Please see the highlighted five years periods after three significant devaluations. Do we see an improvement in exports or current account balances?

Then to gradual devaluation. In 1990 one USD was LKR 40. This rate has nearly trebled to 115 by 2010. Do we see a related growth either in exports or balance of payments during this period? There can be multiple explanations why previous LKR devaluations didn’t work. We give four below. There can be others.

  • For some export commodities the local value addition is limited to labour. When we import raw material just to be processed here, the devaluation of LKR is of little use as the competitive gain gets partially offset by the increase in the cost of raw mterials.
  • The price elasticity of the demand of some of our export products is low. Two good examples are cinnamon for which we have a significant global market share and high-end apparel products. Price variations will have little impact on the sales of these products.

The positive outcome of devaluation depends largely on the significant reduction in budget deficit, maintaining prudent macroeconomic policies and stabilised wages. These are killer assumptions to make, not just in a developing country, but sometimes developed as well.

  • The devaluation of LKR naturally increases the cost of living. Any devaluation is associated with an immediate rise in imported food, fuel and other input prices. As we know by experience this puts immediate pressures not only on households but even local industries. It eventually forces the government, goods and services producers for both local and export markets to increase wages of labour, offsetting the gains.
  • The last one can mean far reaching negative impact. The inflation that will certainly follow the devaluation will lead to the increase of prices, wages and inflation. This is what the economists call a ‘devaluation/inflation spiral’. This ‘wages chase prices and prices chase wages’ situation will have the opposite impact on the industry to the intended.

Going back to the previous example, we hope exporters and neo classical economists come out of the mentality of dry zone peasants who expect the government to subsidize their fertilizer. The exports are important, no doubt, in the economic growth of a country but we reach nowhere by perennially waiting for a weaker LKR.

A more rational approach is to increase productivity and product quality. Unless we improve product quality and introduce product diversification devaluation will not help exporters in the long run. It might perhaps help the opposition in the next elections, though.

(Mr Siriwardena, holds an MA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and Mr Wattegama an MBA from the University of Colombo. They are independent policy researchers and can be contacted at lankaecon@gmail.com).

Source: Author calculations based on data from Central Bank of Sri Lanka

CB circular to reduce vehicles on Lankan roads -(Circular attached)

September 15th, 2015

Adaderana

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has introduced a circular last night (14 September) preventing the purchase of vehicles on a 100 per cent or ‘Full Lease’ or ‘Hire Purchase’ basis without any initial down payments, in a bid to reduce the number of vehicles on Sri Lanka’s roads.

A senior official from the CBSL said that according to this circular, lease facilities could be obtained only on 70 per cent of the value of the vehicle being purchased. The balance 30 per cent has to be paid by the buyer of the vehicle, added the official.

“At present, any vehicle could be purchased on a full lease basis even without a single cent in hand. However, under this circular lease facilities could be obtained only on 70 per cent of the vehicle’s value,” he reiterated.

Currently a large number of vehicles are being imported into Sri Lanka and traffic congestion has become a common feature.
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SL Rupee records historic low today

September 15th, 2015

Adaderana

The lowest ever depreciation in history of the Sri Lankan against the US Dollar was recorded today (15 September).

At the close of the money market today, the Sri Lankan Rupee recorded Rs. 140.25 against the US Dollar.

The historic depreciation of the Rupee against the US Dollar is due to the lack of supply according to the demands.

The Sri Lankan Rupee has continued to depreciate significantly against the US Dollar from the time it was left to float without the intervention of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

The Central bank has refrained from intervening in Sri Lanka’s foreign exchange market unless it is absolutely necessary.

Lankaweb you gave us space from where  to shout our anger against enemies of our motherland.

September 14th, 2015

By Charles.S.Perera

I think I started writing to Lankaweb somewhere in 1997. Lankaweb perhaps did not make me a writer, but helped me to express my battered thoughts about my country.  It was an outlet to my pent up feelings.  A space where I could cry out as loud as I can  against those who were perpetrating injustice, treason,  and wrongs  against my country.

For once I feel that we have been let down by my own people who have handed over Sri Lanka to merchants of driftwood and scrap, to be sold to our enemies. We have been made helpless on lookers  while the enemies of the nation are bargaining to sell the country that nurtured me into being a patriot, gave me a culture –a Sinhala Buddhist Culture that I am proud of, my Island home Sri Lanka is today an object on sale in the hands of ambitious politicians full of hatred, anger and jealousy, trying to sell it off for their political gain.

My feelings for my country are greater than those of the vicious parasites that come to my country, enjoy freely  the hospitality of the people and condemned  the governments,  the Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International , UN Human rights Commissioners, and the UN itself. and the rest of those human rights activists, who have failed to bring about a just society in their own countries, but   seeking to put things  right in Sri Lanka as if it belongs to them.

UN has become a non  entity with the USA State Department taking over  duties entrusted to the UNO by Charter. Recently Sri Lanka was visited by an Assistant Secretary of State  for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour.  There are country reports on human rights to the US Congress. So where does UNO stand ?

UN is either an appendage to USA Sate Department or a powerless entity dictated to by the USA. Normally Member States of the UN are equals.  But USA is acting as a superpower not caring for the Sovereignty of the member states of UN.

What is this rotten world where USA the worst violator of human life by the use of Drones, declare wars on countries producing false documents as evidence, and reduce them to rubble by unconcerned bombing  with the use of their NATO Forces ?

What moral right has USA to accuse Sri  Lanka and move resolutions in  the UNHRC in Geneva against  Sri Lanka’s  just cause of elimination of terrorists that had caused immense damage to the country and human life ?

And no one dares stop USA ,which is like a vulgar thug employing killers to eliminate objectors , immoral in every sense of the word, uncontrollable USA that change regimes , set up new regimes and dictate the way they should rule their people. We write but it is  just barking at a speeding caravan.

When Barack Obama was elected President, we were waving the American flag and  lighting crackers, as if an Angel had descended on earth to eliminate a cruel war mongering USA Government and bring peace and justice to the world. We thought we were right in that  gleeful demonstration after all America which had been imposing its law on every one else in the world was finally going to meet with its destiny before the new messenger of the God-Barack Obama.

At last an uncontrollable USA is to be reigned in by a black American who knows, we thought, the suffering of the  poor , the unprivileged people and States, and stop distasteful scandalous  American “bossing” of the world.  But what happened was the opposite.  Barack Obama became another  war mongering , regime changing American pushing for the leadership of America , carrying on American wars in the world as usual, stopping any undeveloped country raising its head over economic hardship.

Barack Obama became an unjust, biased, pompous Black American and the office that was cast upon him making him the 64th President of America, did nothing for the betterment of the unprivileged Americans in USA or the people elsewhere in the world who were looking for justice from USA’s mean “dictatorship” in the world.

Barack Obama is privileged to be there in the White House, but the ordinary black Americans have still not found their just place in the American Society.  And that is the America of which Barack Obama is the President that continues its history of regime change, setting up trade and economic embargos on nation, indiscriminate use of Drones killing civilians in its search for terrorists.

It is that America of Barack Obama which is dividing nations like Sri Lanka accusing the country that had been  menaced with territorial division and made to suffer for thirty years  by a group of terrorists going on rampage. This America of Obama is now accusing Sri Lanka for war crimes, and passes resolution at the UNHRC in Geneva trying to take the Armed Forces  before a tribunal for war crimes.

USA is like the Goliath, but who is  David that will stop its wild rampage. We thought it would be Barack Obama, but now  he has  become a part of it?

Where is this blessed democracy, justice  and fair play, or  peaceful coexistence ?  Who can we appeal to against injustice that is being committed by the  West seeking means to maintain its leadership in the world ? USA and the West still continue the same tactics they carried out during the past in colonising countries. It is a game they play, as they have no interest in the developing countries or their people other than the extent to which they could use the countries as pawns in their checker board of world political strategies.

There were the times after Independence,  that I detested those who ruled my country. But yet with all their wrongs they were after all  my people and I could understand them better than those from the West that knows nothing about my people or the culture  of my country which they always tried to treat as insignificant. They chose from the countries only those that did not represent the real people or  those that represent the  real culture of the country, to give them the reins of the destinies of the people fooled by their invented methods to make unpopular the popular local regimes , and make popular the unpopular local politicians.

The UNP  could never think without taking examples from the West.  UNP was so entrenched in the British culture and their way of thinking it had no vision of development of Sri Lanka that had been nicknamed  Ceylon  for colonial convenience, beaten, trodden, its pride and values squeezed out, wronged and changed in every way possible during 500 or more years of colonization.

The Sinhala people I am ashamed to say  had learnt from the west to treat my country  as  a country without a proper religion, a  culture, a language or a dress. They have no gratitude, they easily forget the past  for a carrot of  development and prosperity that  any one would dangle before them. They have become so pathetically non-Sinhala they do not think twice before they would cut the throat of one of their own for a political, financial or any lesser benefit.

The Independence itself began with denying the deserved his place.  Sir Baron Jayatilleke was tricked to accept a diplomatic post in India, for D.S.Senanayake to become the Prime Minister.  That was the beginning of the UNP reign, backstabbing cut throat tactics. What did UNP give to Sri Lanka other than a set of boot lickers wearing the Englishman’s coat and trousers, speaking their language, worshipping their gods, and trying pathetically to behave like them.

It was UNP now acclaimed by the Tamils that passed the Citizenship act in 1948 to disenfranchise the Tamil plantation workers of Indian descent.

When D.S.Senanayake died, his son Dudley became the Prime Minister, he was a political misfit in the UNP Clan. Having had to reduce the rice ration  to the dictates of the aid providers of the West  UNP had to face a people’s uprising- Hartal,  organised by the LSSP and the Left wing political parties, in 1953, and good man Dudley resigned, allowing his uncle Kotalawala to become the Prime Minister.

The UNP did nothing  significant either under Dudley nor under John Kotalawela. Under John Kotalawala the Catholics became  an important political support for  UNP.

The people had enough of capitalist UNP and were awaiting for a different political movements to displace UNP; allowing them to breath the air of real Independence. The man the people sought  to replace the UNP with a different and a more acceptable  political movement was SWRD Bandaranaike with his SLFP.

Bandaranaike changed the path Sri Lanka was taking under the leadership of a non visionary hackneyed upper class black sahibs of the UNP following a foreign policy dictated by the British.  SWRD changed drastically the existing  UNP’s withered government policies. He made Sri Lanka an Independent nation making ordinary people of Sri Lanka a part of the political system, allowing them to breath the air of freedom in a new independence away from the  Black Sahib culture of the UNP.

It is towards this self same British, American and Western influence of the fifties that Ranil Wickramasinghe is even today trying to drag back our Sri Lanka under the guise of a new political culture.

During the short time that he lived after 1956 SWRD brought the left together and brought back the battered, shunned , neglected  and decadent Sinhala Buddhist Culture to the fore.  The Sinhala language that was the language the UNP hierarchy used to converse with the kitchen staff and other manual workers; was made the  National language, and the old Sinhala  flag brought  down by the British to hoist their own Union Jack , was recognised as the National flag of Independent Sri Lanka.  SWRD said addressing the UN General Assembly in November,1956:

“This is an age when we have to live and let live, when we cannot afford to hate each other so much that we are prepared to sacrifice all mankind in the name of peace or for some other reason. We cannot afford to do that today. Within the limits of honour, of course, and those principles which we hold dear, we have to live and let live. That is the philosophy behind the doctrine of co-existence. We in Asia do not hate anybody. We want to be friends with all. We have to build up a new society for ourselves; one, as I have said, which best suits the genius of our country. …………That is why we do not range ourselves on the side of this power-bloc or that power bloc. This is the philosophy of neutralism. ……”

He set up an independent foreign policy pulling Sri Lanka away from the, “ British ruler –colony” complex. His vision of an Independent Nation like any other in the world was thwarted first by the racist Tamil Nationalists, and then by the local  pro British politicians-the UNP.

After the  assassination of SWRD,   Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike became the Prime Minister making history as the first woman Prime Minister of the World.  She turned out to be a remarkable  politician despite having been in the shadow of her brilliant husband. She was able to introduce a new facet to Sri Lanka foreign policy as changed by her husband.

Her nationalization of Petroleum companies earned her the disapproval of the USA and UK which resorted to their  pseudo democratic brilliance of  imposing trade and economic embargo by cutting aid to Sri Lanka.  It made her get politically closer to China and Soviet Union out of which came the non-align movement of which she became the Chairman. She had her share of problems from the Tamils.

She is  remembered for getting back the real identity of the country as Sri Lanka casting away the nickname “Ceylo”  given to it by the colonialists.

These are things that never come into the cramped minds of the UNP leaders who cannot think beyond certain limits.  The UNP as USA,  has a one track mind and as usual accused  Ms. Sirimavo Bandaranayaike for corruption. Nevertheless Sirimavo Bandaranayake  took forward the  country from where her husband was stopped by an  assassin. After her defeat in the elections,  UNP came back to power with Dudley Senanayake as the Prime Minister.   When ever the UNP relying on the USA and the West came to power  manifestly Sri Lanka takes a few steps back from progressive political advancement.

 In 1978 J.R.Jayawardhana of the UNP became the President of Sri Lanka.  His government was far from being democratic. Today,  his nephew Ranil Wickramasinghe  brings back memories of the  UNP’s repressive government under JR.

JR took deliberate actions against his opponents .  He saw to it that Sirimavo Bandaranaike would not come back into politics by taking away her civic rights. You see the repetition of this in Ranil Wickramasinghe doing all that he can to keep Mahinda Rajapakse away from politics.

Even Buddhist Priests and Buddhist Temples did not escape JR’s wrath.  JR Jayawardhane’s  rival Presidential candidate  Hector Kobbakaduwa  went through almost the  same  political difficulties Mahinda Rajapakse is made to suffer by Ranil Wickramasinghe.

Perhaps Madoluwawe Sobhitha thero has not forgotton  what happened to Professor Sarathchandra  at Peradeniy, when he was beaten and pushed to a drain by the thugs sent by JR’s supporters, and   barb- wired  the Getambe Rajopavanaramaya, to teach a lesson to the High Priest who supported Kobbekaduwa.

“Hector Kobbekaduwa, had to face a very difficult period after the Presidential elections. …………….Hector Kobbekaduwa was taken to the 4th Floor on 64 occasions for questioning by the CID. But, the J. R. Jayawardene Government was unable to prove any of the allegations.

Even at the last stages of his political career, Hector Kobbekaduwa was deprived of his right to use his ballot by the United National Party Government at the 1982 Referendum as his vote was used by another.” 

http://archives.dailynews.lk/2006/09/16/fea02.asp

Like Uncle JR like nephew Ranil.  Fortunately for Sri Lanka Ranil Wickramasinghe is not the President .

JR Jayawardhane was an unconditional admirer and a loyal friend of America.  He thought he was politically strong with the backing of the powerful USA.  But in 1978 when the Indian Air Force trespassed into Sri Lanka air space to drop dry ration to the  terrorist  held in siege in Jaffna by the Sri Lanka  Armed Forces, and forced  JR  to enter in to the Indo Sri Lanka pact demanding him to introduce the 13A prepared by India in to the Constitution, JR had none to appeal for help as USA would not interfere and burn its fingers antagonising India.

So Ranil Wickramasinghe is better advised to be aware of his  American and Western friends , re-dressed and introduced anew by Mangala Samaraweera.

It is better  he thinks twice be fore he considers himself a skilful politicians with the backing of the USA and the West. USA and the West as they did to JR,  will drop him as well like a hot brick if he finds himself in a political fix with India, which is not unlikely, unless he becomes a blind stooge of India.

Maithripala Sirisena’s loud boast that his government will go the full term and no one will be able to topple will be an empty boast when things begin to change. JR also thought as much,  but he too learnt his lesson the hard way.

JR Jayawardhane, who took over the reigns of government from Mrs.Bandaranaike a very capable politician who made Sri Lanka proud, came beating drums and blowing trumpets  like his nephew is doing at present, promising to rid Sri Lanka of all its ills brought about by SWRD and then his wife Sirimavo.

But he lost to Rajive Gandhi, a young politician who did not have the experience of JR who some called the “old fox” JR gave into Rajive without a whimper signed the Indo Sri Lanka Pact, accommodated the Indian PKFforces,  accepted a politically crippling 13A to the Sri Lanka Constitution and made worse the situation Sri Lanka was in added to an unabated terrorism.

His successor the other UNP President R.Premadasa was no better.  Premadasa even armed the terrorists against the Indian PKF. Killed innumerable numbers of Sinhala youth who foolishly took up arms to seize political power. The UNP after Mrs. Bandranayake proved they were unable to solve the problems of Sri Lanka and take the country forward leave alone develop it.  Mahaweli Project and Gamudawa did very little or nothing at all to Sri Lanka by way of development.

The UNP experience   showed  the people that Sri Lanka is in need of a leader  who could really solve the problems of the people, eliminate terrorism, develop the country from the intolerable condition to which it had been put by the previous incapable UNP Presidents, who had neither the ideas nor the vision to think  saving Sri Lanka from terrorism , ameliorate the  living conditions of the people and change  the situation in Sri Lanka.

It was then that the people sinking in the deluge of  unsoluble problems with the terrorists in the north, insurgents in the south, strangled by a mismanaged  economy,  ready to hang onto any straw to save themselves voted to put  Chandrika Kumaratunga into  power at the elections of 1994 .  Chandrika had the sympathy votes of the  people as she was widowed by the assassination of her husband,  and was a  mother of two young children, and above all she was the daughter of SWRD and Sirimavo the dearly loved leaders of the people.

Though she could have done much as  she was young and active, but  the accumulated problems  in Sri lanka was too much to handle.  She was ambitious, pretentious, and thought she had the backing of the people, but that was not sufficient to put Sri Lanka back on an even keel to make it safe to sail on the troubled waters of politics.

She thought of pacifying the terrorists she knew nothing about, and having failed thought of a military solution. She selected the wrong people to handle the terrorist problem. She brought in Eric Solheim to mediate between the government and the terrorists. Solheim became an agent of the terrorists, and handled the terrorist problem in the interest of the terrorist helping the  terrorists to become militarily more powerful than the Armed Forces of the government .  The Embassy of Norway imported sophisticate telecommunication material  for the terrorists using its diplomatic priviledges.  Bradman Weerakone allowed the material to be transported to terrorist Controlled area.

Then came the tsunami adding more to the already existing problem. The terrorists wanted no baby sitter and wanted to assassinate Chandrika but succeeded only blinding her in one eye.  Her mother Sirimavo then old and sickly would still have been a better President than her daughter Chandrika.  Chandrika messed up the situation further with enormous sums of money that came as aid to reconstruct areas damaged by the tsunami and the  large numbers of NGOs that descended who became a law unto themselves. Chandrika handled terrorism badly and so with the distribution of  tsunami Funds.

To make matters worse, she was forced to dissolve the Parliament due to the unreliable back stabbing Rauff Hakeem leaving  her government with his seven followers. The general elections that followed  put into power the UNP with Ranil Wickramasinghe, adding more to the miseries of Chandrika-the President.  Ranil Wickramasinghe was now her Prime Minister.  This ambitious man who always puts himself before even the country was in no mood to take orders from Chandrika the woman President.

Ranil Wickramasinghe  completely ignored Chandrika as President, and wanted to take credit for settling the problem of terrorism. He got Eric Solheim  to mediate to start peace negotiations with the terrorist. Eric Solheim the traitor who was waiting for his chance prepared the CFA  along with Prabhakaran without consulting the President Or the Prime Minister and got Ranil Wickramasinghe to  sign the agreement.

Ranil Wickramasinghe who thinks that he knows every thing signed the CFA perhaps even without reading, because on signing it he gave the control of parts of the North to the terrorists forfeiting the right of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces or the Police to enter into the areas controlled by the terrorists. Finally when Ranil was enjoying himself dining and wining  in style with George Bush  in USA Chandrika sacked three Ministers of  Ranil’s Cabinet and took over the Ministries herself, thus ending the unholy alliance with the UNP.

 Hence what we see today with Ranil Wickramasinghe  forming a coalition  government  with Maithripala Sirisena as President is a repetition of what had already happened before, when ever UNP was ruling the country.

There is nothing for the President Sirisena  or Prime Minister Ranil to be exceptionally happy about. The unholy alliance will topple over by itself without any body having to take a hand to topple it.  Nothing is permanent , every thing is impermanent and so is Ranil Wickramasinghe-Sirisena combination.

It has not been said enough that  it was the great fortune of Sri Lanka to have elected Mahinda Rajapakse as the President of Sri Lanka. Mahinda Rajapakse, not only eliminated terrorism, (which the UNP Presidents beginning from JR Jayawardhana  miserably faile to do , and Chandrika got one eye blinded  without getting anywhere near even trying to end terrorism),  but also shortly after the defeat of terrorism Mahinda Rajapakse developed the country raising it from a developing country to a middle income  State.

That was the great achievement of Mahind Rajapakse  what ever his antagonists make him out to be , and none of them including Maithripala Sirisena, Ranil Wickrmasinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga or Mangala Samaraweera will ever be able to do. None of  them also will ever be even equal to him let along being greater than him.

The mess that we see today will continue, and it could be re-established  and put things back in right order  only when  this unholy honeymoon of UNP, JVP,TNA,JHU is over,   by the return of Mahinda Rajapakse or some one equal to him from perhaps the UPFA, but never from the UNP. 

 The UNP spells disaster both then and now. Sri Lanka has no place for USA or Western shaped capitalism of the UNP. SWRD Bandaranaike once said that the river of socialism cannot be made to flow backwards as  it will always flow downwards.

 And that is the only hope we have while the UNP and its crowded alliance are building dams to make the river of socialism  flow backwards.

 To-days political situation in Sri Lanka is utterly debased, brutal beyond comprehension, with so much of hatred , jealousy and revenge in minds of those in power . There are two Buddhist monks in the  ruling clan of good governance, they are also a part of this malicious destructive political leadership. They could perhaps tell the trio  Sirisena-Ranil-Chandrika how to run the  country like human beings, without giving into animal instincts.

Sirisena wants to see the end of Rajapakses and so are Chandrika and Ranil.  They have no time to rule the country. Never in the world’s political history could be found a politically degenerated  trio trying to rule with so much of hatred towards one man who saved Sri Lanka and developed it without thinking of taking revenge from his political foe.  The vicious trio could be compared to Caligula. in the absence of any one else.

This is the first time we have the likes of them in Sri Lanka politics.  They are actually running a police state and not doing politics to develop the country and help the people  live peacefully  in an environment of  universal love, without hatred, fear and uncertainty.

Words of Advice to PM Ranil Wickremasinghe before signing anything with India

September 14th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

 

It is good to always keep in mind that the well-funded campaign that dislodged Mahinda Rajapakse did so because he did not tow the line. If the next choice is a group that agrees to tow the line it is also good to remember that so long as one tows the line only they too can expect to be in power. Mahinda Rajapakse at least remains a man of honourable mention among his citizens for standing up to and defending the nation, an accolade that no smear campaign can take away from him. However, the lessons for the present leaders towing the line and giving into all the commands and orders of the parties that dislodged Mahinda Rajapakse should well remember that other once favourite ‘friends’ ended up eliminated or now lying in prisons after they had served their purpose. In short, it is good for the new leaders currently on cloud nine showered by Western & Indian pats on the shoulders and praise to take note that these showers of praises come only until they get what they want from our leaders. Once that is gotten the fates of Gaddafi, Mubarak, Saddam and Osama are likely to come to them.

 

Governing a country is not about feeling happy that one has the blessings of external parties or the ability to dish out portfolios and create a jumbo cabinet contrary to all the good governance that was promised. That forums like Friday Forum are silent and entities paid and living off foreign government funds also choose to ignore or make a passing statement just to record they have stated one will also highlight a lot of hypocrisies that prevail in politics. Nothing happens without money and everything happens because of money is what we need to all keep in mind. There are only a few men and women of integrity in this world and these cannot be found in the present political or global ‘good governance systems’. Every decision, action or inaction has a dollar/euro/pound value to them. Let us not be naïve not to realize this.

 

We should also not be naïve to the manner that there is a wheels inside wheels taking place globally. Terrorism is just one aspect of a bigger headache. Terrorism is a very lucrative business just as conflict resolution is. Its employment generators and the longer conflicts continue people are secured with life time jobs.

 

We next come to the hurried visit of the new Sri Lanka premier to India. That India has been the main player and key party accountable for militancy in Sri Lanka remains unacknowledged. India has been portraying itself as a friend but functioning as a snake behind the scenes. It favors no government nor leader and it is only India’s self-interests that come first. History should have taught lessons by now.

 

Therefore, no sooner the very nation that gifted us armed militancy pretends to be a partner in post-conflict development we would be insane not to at least wonder why. 17 times India tried to invade and occupy Sri Lanka and failed. The LTTE exercise was to ensure that Sri Lanka’s development remained in limbo as development of Sri Lanka’s ports and interior would have been a blow to India. The next option was to use India’s political might and Sri Lanka’s foolish politicians to wriggle and bring out a commercial takeover of Sri Lanka – that virtually has happened with isolated disapproval and protests.

 

Now we are told about a visionary road/rail link in addition to the CEPA agreement which more or less would seal Sri Lanka’s fate as a colony of India when Tamil Nadu Tamils will begin storming the country and business will come under the iron fist of a superior thinking Indian nation. Sri Lanka’s handful of conglomerate businesses are making a damning mistake were they to look at their own personal benefits and bring down the nation turning into a vassal state of India with no turning back. Let us also be reminded that 35% of LTTE cadres were hired from Tamil Nadu that is why no one can make sense of the LTTE fighters against the deaths and India is unwilling to allow any DNA of people to reconfirm this. But LTTE leaders themselves have acknowledged this.

 

Are the new leaders happy to forsake the national security interests of the country and give away Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and compromise it to India just to be heralded as wonderful leaders?

Does the current leaders of Sri Lanka not understand what it is to be sovereign? Have the current leaders thought about the outcome if Indian businesses are set up, Indians start arriving to live and work in Sri Lanka and of their own ability to control and manage affairs of the country until such time that too is usurped from them. When we cant control Indians poaching and stealing Sri Lanka’s fish in our territorial waters or stop smuggling illegal items can Sri Lanka’s leaders control the influx of 76million from Tamil Nadu alone?

 

Have we forgotten the mathematics at play. The real minority is the SINHALESE with 14.8million as against 76million Tamils and 1.3billion Muslims.

 

With time when Indian numbers start to expand and grow do the Sri Lankan leaders have the might and power to revoke these agreements and ask Indians to return to their nation? Will Indians living and enjoying life in Sri Lanka agree to return? Have we forgotten that there are still Indians living in Sri Lanka who have not returned to India from previous agreements that have not been honoured?

 

In this scramble to cut out and divide Sri Lanka in the unpleasant and ugly manner that Nepal is being done where will it lead Sri Lanka and what explanation can the present leaders provide the citizens when the country comes in control of foreigners as we are seeing taking place by the manner the current leaders are appeasing by agreeing to be influenced in how Sri Lanka is to be governed.

 

These examples are future predictions of Sri Lanka’s downfall and the end of living as free citizens in our country. We would be under the dictates of Indian masters and what will be the fate of these nincompoop politicians, we can but wonder, but care not what happens to them for destroying and giving away what should remain ours.

 

 Shenali D Waduge

අහෝ ගෝඨාභයව එලෝගෙන අපි කරගත් විනාසයක් – සිරස ටත් ටික ටික තේරෙයි.

September 14th, 2015

උපුටාගැණීම www.mahinda.info

සීග්‍රයෙන් වැඩි වෙමින් පවතින අපරාධ රැල්ල ගැන අදහස් දක්වමින්, සිරස මාධ්‍යවේදීන් පැවසූයේ “ගෝඨාභය රාජපක්ෂ මහතා සිටියානම් රටේ මීට වඩා විනයක් පවත්වාගැනීමට හැකියාව තිබූ බව” යි.

සිරස මීට කළින් සමාජගත කළ දේවල් හාත්පසින්ම වෙනස් කරමින්, “රටට අවශ්‍ය වන්නේ සොඳුරු ආඥාදායකයෙක් බවත් ඕනෑවට වඩා ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය අනවශ්‍ය බවත්” පැවසීය.

පසුගිය ජනාධිපතිවරණයේදී මෛත්‍රීපාල සිරිසේන මහතා විසින් මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂ මහතාව හැඳින්වූයේ “සොඳුරු ආඥාදායකයා” යනුවෙනි.

සිරස සාකච්ඡාවේ අදාල කොටස පහතින්.

ලෝකයේ නීතිය සම්බන්ධ සමීක්ෂණ කරන අන්තර්ජාතික ආයතනය වන World Justice Report අනුව මහින්ද යුගයේ ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ නීතියේ ආධිපත්‍යය දකුණු ආසියාවෙන් පළමු තැනට ඇවිත් තිබුණි. විස්තර. නමුත් එවකට විපක්ෂ කණ්ඩායම් විසින් හුදකලා සිද්ධීන් කිහිපයක් අල්ලගෙන මඩ ගසා ජනමනස වෙනස් කිරීම සිදු කළෝය.

වර්තමානයේදී ඇත්තටම සිදුව ඇත්තේ ඕනෑවට වඩා ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයක් නොව රටේ නීතිය හරියාකාරයෙන් ක්‍රියාත්මක නොවීමය. පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ සිදුවෙන දේවල් වලින් රටේ ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ තරම මැනැවින් පැහැදිළි වෙයි.

එම සාකච්ඡාව තුළ සිරස මාධ්‍යවේදීන් අතින් එකිනෙකට පරස්පර අදහස් ප්‍රකාශ විය. එනම් රටේ වත්මන් තත්ත්වය ගැන සිරසටත් ඇත්තේ වික්ෂිප්ත භාවයකි. ඒ ගැන අදහස් දක්වමින් ජේෂ්ඨ කථිකාචාර්ය මහින්ද පතිරණ මහතා පවසා තිබුණේ මෙලෙසයි.

සිරස ‘දවස’ වැඩ සටහනේ දී සංජීව රණතුංග කියනවා රටකට සොඳුරු ආඥාදායකයෙක් ලු ඕන. දැන් යන අපරාධ රැල්ල මහින්දගේ කාලේ පාලනය වුණේ ගෝඨාභය නිසාලු. ඔහු රටේ විනයක් ඇති කළා ලු ටොපි කොලයක් හරි කෙනෙකුට පාරේ නොදමන තැනකට. දැන් ඒක නැති වෙලාලු. ඒ නිසා අපරාධ රැල්ලක් ඇති වෙලාලු.

ඒත් එක්ක ම නීතිපතිට බනිනවා ගෝඨාභයට එරෙහි නඩුව නීතිපති විසින් එහි වරදක් නැති බව කියමින් ඉල්ලා අස්කර ගත්ත කියල. දැන් වරදක් කරල නැත්නම් නඩුවක් පවත්වා ඉදිරියට ගෙනි යන්න බැරිබව නොදරුවොත් දන්නව ඇති. මේ මහින්ද පන්නල රට විනාශ කරන්න ගොතපු බොරු බව මේ අය දන්නේ නැහැ.

මේ අය හරියට ප්‍රභාකරන් වගේ. ප්‍රභාකරන් විනාශ වුනේ ඔහු තමන් ව පරදවන්න බැහැ කියල ඔහු විසින් ම ගොතපු බොරුවට ඔහුම රැවටුන හින්දා. යහපාලනයට ඡන්දය දුන්න අය දැන් ගෙවමින් සිටින්නේ ප්‍රභාකරන්-මොහොතක්.

ඒත් එක්කම සංජීව කියනවා මේ ජනතාව ඕන වුණු දේලු. ඒ නිසා ජනතාව මේ දුක විඳින්න ඔනැලු. සමහරි විට ප්‍රභාකරන් වගේ දුක් විඳින්න ඕන කියලයි කියන්නේ.

මේ අයට අඩුම තරමින් බෑ තමන්ගේ අදහස වත් සංගත ව කියන්න. තමන් කියන්නේ මොකක් ද කියලවත් මේ ළදරුවන්ට තේරෙන්නේ නැහැ. මේ අය නේ ද යහපාලනයට ඡන්දෙ දුන්නෙ ? ඇත්තට ම මේ අනුකම්පා කළ යුතු පිරිසක් නේ ද?

2015/09/13 දින සිරස සම්පූර්ණ සාකච්ඡාව පහතින්.

අනිත් අයටත් බලන්නට SHARE කරන්න.

SHAME ON US THAT WE HAD A ROAD NAMED AFTER MASS MURDERER BROWNRIGG

September 14th, 2015

K G Courtesy:  Sunday Island

September 13, 2015
I had written no less than three times requesting that the road named after the butcher of Uva-Wellassa, Brownrigg, be changed and it was appropriately changed subsequently to Keppetipola Mawatha.

Many Brits and other western countries at the behest of the non-resident Sri Lanka Tamils now living in their countries, have been promoting attacks on our country claiming gross HR violations. Our HR record certainly is not what it should have been but who is Britain in particular to point a finger at us —- for when they point a finger at us they should know that there are three pointing at them. After Blair, of Iraq mass murder fame, came for his holiday of sorts, I decided to recall what they did here when they ruled our country and cite  just one instance alone to make my point.

“Slaughter every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast)” were the orders given by Governor Robert Brownrigg (third British Governor of Ceylon from 1813 – 1820) to Maj. Gen. Hay MacDowell in 1818. It is the edict that left the people in the agriculturally rich grain growing region of Uva-Wellassa of then Ceylon in a state of famine and starvation. Uva-Wellassa region was the granary of the Kingdom of Kandy before it was annexed by the British in 1815 under the ‘Kandyan Convention’ entered into with the Traditional Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom. No sooner was the ink  dry, after the signing of this Treaty, that the British Colonial Government began to dishonour it in both spirit and substance; that  it was that led to a popular uprising of the people, led by the Kandyan Chiefs in 1818 that nearly brought the collapse of the British Colonial Government in Ceylon.

The British used a scorched earth policy including mass murder and genocide of innocent Sinhala civilians to crush this rebellion. A scorched earth policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. It is a military strategy where all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area.

Kandy was occupied by February 14, 1815 using only 3,744 British troops. The King of Kandy Sri Wickrama Rajasinha was taken prisoner on February 18 at Gallehewatte in Dumbara and deported to Vellore, South India and he died in 1832 while his only son born in exile died in 1843. That Sri Lanka was not conquered is proved in the Act of Settlement read at the Convention on March 2, 1815, stipulating the conditions under which the British Crown would administer the annexed Kingdom. The ceding of Kandy ended Sinhalese independence of 2,357 years.

In recognition of his ‘achievement’ of helping Britain to annex the Kandyan Kingdom, Brownrigg was made a Baron in 1816. D’Oyly was rewarded by making him the ‘Resident of Kandy’.

The genocide committed by the British to quell the uprisings between 1818 and 1822 by slaughtering every man, woman and child including babies suckling at the breast, in the Uva Province (Badulla and Moneragala districts) goes down as notable examples of British crimes against humanity. Uva occupies a prominent place in Sri Lanka’s history for the first recorded visit of The Buddha to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyangana, South of Uva.

British human rights campaigners now pointing accusing fingers at Sri Lanka have forgotten the Madulla Massacre that led to razing and annihilating of entire villages. In the entire Uva region the male population above the age of 18 were killed in revenge for resisting British imperial occupation under Governor Brownrigg. No paddy or chena cultivation could be done for 10 years due to lack of man power. Davy’s records reveal that during an inspection of the Uva region with Governor Brownrigg they had not seen a single person or house for seven days.

Britain’s shame

The Britain that today preaches human rights and demands accountability and upholding of universally accepted standards on human rights needs to recall some of the orders given by men Britain knighted in recognition of their services to Her Majesty the Queen during Imperial colonial rule.

The British that are now demanding demilitarization in Sri Lanka may like to note that the auxiliary force that was brought as reinforcements from India in 1818 only left Ceylon in 1920 – after 102 years and we wonder how many women were raped and were left with children!!! 10,000 Sinhalese Buddhists are said to have been killed in battle.

The people of Uva were very proud people as they had also fought against the Portuguese and the Dutch.

Britain  not releasing the Chilcott Report  which exposes the crimes of Blair and  Bush is no surprise.  The British human rights champions have conveniently avoided acknowledging how their troops killed all cattle, animals, burnt homes, property, burnt grain, cut down their coconut, jak and breadfruit trees, agricultural crops and fields and even salt that the people possessed? Simply said neither UN nor the Human Rights Council existed at the time is simply not an excuse. The Statute of Limitations does not apply to Crimes against Humanity. We demand Britain come clean on its crimes in all of the colonies.

British human rights preaching omit how the irrigation systems of Uva and Wellassa, the rice-bowl of Sri Lanka, were systematically destroyed under British Government orders. Wellassa which means ‘WelLakshsa’ – Lakh of paddy fields, was ruined by the British.

The British who preach now about honouring commitments made may like to ask how they betrayed the core terms of the Kandyan Convention in particular the assurance given to protect Buddhism as state religion (Article 5 of the Convention which refers to the inviolability of the Buddhist religion). Unfortunately, every post-independent leader continues to flout this key commitment.

Governor Robert Brownrigg who issued the gazette notification on January 1, 1818 condemned all 17 who rebelled against the British, termed them ‘traitors’, and confiscated their properties by Government declaration. They were declared ‘Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies of the British’. It took over 180 years for the Sri Lankan Government recognize them as ‘National Heroes’ and it is about time that the Government establishes an official memorial for them.

The people of Sri Lanka need to know who their true heroes are: they were:-

1 .Keppetipola, former Dissawe of Uva

  1. Godagedara, former Adikaram of Uva
  2. Ketakala Mohattala of Uva
  3. Maha Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva
  4. Kuda Betmerala of Kataragama in Uva
  5. Palagolla Mohattala of Uva
  6. Passerewatte Vidane of Uva
  7. Kiwulegedera Mohottala of Walapane
  8. Yalagomme Mohotalla of Walapane
  9. Udamadure Mohottala of Walapane
  10. Kohukumbure Rate Rala of Wellassa
  11. Kohukumbura Walauwe Mohottala of Wellassa
  12. Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa
  13. Kohukumubura Gahawela Rate Rala of Wellassa
  14. Maha Badullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa
  15. Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa
  16. Palle Malheyae Gametirale of Wallassa.

Monarawila Keppetipola Disawe

The British that now claim to stand for righteousness and seek the high moral ground wherever possible need to be reminded how they treated Madugalle Uda Bagada Nilame who was dismissed from office, arrested without being given the opportunity to bid farewell to his family (what today resembles extraordinary renditions), while his residence was publicly burnt on Governor Brownrigg’s orders, possessions confiscated and sold with proceeds going to a British pension fund.

What must also be mentioned here is that the British army in Ceylon comprised Europeans, Javanese, Malay, African troops, Indian sepoys. The 1818 rebellion was crushed by bringing Indian Tamils (Sepoys) from the Madras Presidency (Tamil Nadu).

The British Governments throughout its infamous colonial history had always  applied double standards. The duplicity of the British Government in calling for accountability in Sri Lanka is best illustrated by its own handling of the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’ which investigated the conduct of the UK government and military in relation for the invasion of Iraq. This inquiry ran from November 2009 until February 2011 and it cost approximately £7.5 million, but its Report is not yet made public for fear of the huge embarrassment it would cause to both the British Government and British military once its contents are released. What is Britain now preaching against Sri Lanka with blood on its hands?

Robert Brownrigg must be condemned for his crimes in Ceylon even at this late stage because that is a historic duty that posterity owes to our freedom fighters and national heroes who sacrificed their lives and liberty in the Uva-Wellassa based war of independence in 1818.

K G

Courtesy:  Sunday Island

http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=131639

Zeid Al-Hussein’s Remarks & Mangala’s Geneva Speech

September 14th, 2015

By Dayan Jayatilleka 

Makes me sick, motherf*****, how far we done fell.” – Detective ‘Bunk’ Moreland to Omar in ‘The Wire’

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Zeid Ra’ad Zeid Al-Hussein, referring to the Report on Sri Lanka which he plans to release on Wednesday, made comments which are dangerous, saying:

“…Its findings are of the most serious nature. I welcome the vision shown by President Sirisena since his election in January 2015, and the commitments made by the new Government under his leadership. But this Council owes it to Sri Lankans – and to its own credibility – to ensure an accountability process that produces results, decisively moves beyond the failures of the past, and brings the deep institutional changes needed to guarantee non-recurrence”.

What Mangala Samaraweera and this government must remember is that the UN Human Rights Council is not the government or State of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is governed primarily by its own Constitution. In the absence of an international government, international law is subordinate and secondary to a country’s Constitution. The main duty and responsibility of the Sri Lankan government, state and armed forces were and are the defense of its citizens from an armed enemy and the defense of its sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity—then, during the war, and now, in peacetime. That is the Social Contract. The UN Human Rights Council and most certainly the Office of the High Commissioner do not constitute a world government or state! There is no such entity! Therefore, neither the Council nor the Office of the High Commissioner have either a right or mandate to “ensure an accountability process that produces results…and deep institutional changes” in any sovereign country. That is primarily an internal matter, and in a country like Sri Lanka which is at peace and does not constitute a threat to regional still less international peace, it is a purely internal matter.

Meanwhile Mr. Mangala Samaraweera seemed to forget where he was when he addressed the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva today, September 14th. He seemed to have woken up and thought he was in the Sri Lankan parliament. I say this because he spoke so much about Sri Lanka’s domestic political and electoral events and processes in his address to the UN HRC, where no one, especially not distinguished visiting speakers at Ministerial level, talks at any length or any degree of concrete detail, about local politics and electoral outcomes.

In short, Mangala made a blatantly partisan political speech, which is in violation of the norms of discourse at the UN HRC. But that was the very least of his transgressions.

The word ‘Tamil” appears four times in Mangala’s speech. Now that in and of itself is unexceptionable, but a non-Sri Lankan child listening to his speech would think that there were only Tamil people in Sri Lanka, because he made no reference to any other community living here— the words Sinhala or Muslim never appear in Mangala’s discourse.

He talked twice in his speech of “the necessity of reaching a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people” (paragraph 6) and “a political settlement that addresses the grievances of the Tamil people (paragraph 16). He pledged a new constitution through a constituent assembly, in the near future, in order to address the grievances of the Tamil people, which indicates that it is only the Tamil people who have grievances worth addressing; that Sri Lanka’s ethnic problem can be resolved by addressing only the grievances of the Tamil ethnic community; that it is not incumbent upon the Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim peoples to arrive at consensus through compromise (above all which reflects the demographic realities of the island). We seemed to have moved from the deplorable formula of “Sinhala Only” to the no less deplorable one of “Tamil Only”!

His pledge also reveals that the primary aim of the new constitution is to address Tamil political grievances, and that logically, the proposed solution would be one that cannot be accommodated within the existing Constitution, even by serious reform such as the 19th amendment. So what could be the change that requires a brand new constitution to address Tamil grievances and aspirations but one that goes qualitatively beyond the parameters of the existing solution, namely the 13th amendment?

I say ‘qualitatively’ because a mere adjustment to the 13th amendment would only require an amendment. Whatever lies beyond the 13th amendment, also resides—if one is to go by the Supreme Court’s determination of 1987 on the 13th amendment—outside the framework of the unitary state.

One must recall that the unitary state was deemed necessary for Sri Lanka by two stellar legal intellects during the Constitutional debate of 1972 with Mr. SJV Chelvanayakam, and none of the two were Sinhala Buddhist chauvinists: Dr. Colvin R de Silva and Mr. Felix Dias Bandaranaike. Dr. de Silva, a Marxist of Trotskyist persuasion, argued from his scholarly vantage point as the winner of the prize for the best results for the subject of History in the British Empire, that given Sri Lanka’s history and geography, a unitary state was imperative to maintain its unity.

For him, in other words, in the concrete case of Sri Lanka, there could be no daylight between ‘unitary’ and ‘ united’; united and unitary were coterminous; ‘unitary’ was the condition, indeed the precondition, of unity and territorial integrity.

Mr. Samaraweera made certain other dangerous promises with regard to accountability, a concept which he uncritically embraced. He indicated that there would be new laws to create new legal mechanisms, which he attempted to justify and cover up by a reference to the special legislation which set up the Criminal Justice Commission in the early 1970s.

This undemocratic piece of retroactive legislation was severely criticized at the time by the Civil Rights Movement and it led to a split initiated in the government’s ranks, by Dr. SA Wickramasinghe and Sarath Muttetuwegama of the Communist Party.

More importantly, Mangala is being manifestly dishonest because that new legislation was deemed necessary for a very simple reason—the JVP rebels of April 1971 had to be prosecuted for the offense of “bearing arms against the Queen”, which was highly anomalous. There was no law on the books under which they could be prosecuted. Under such highly exceptional circumstances, exceptional laws were arguable necessary.

What on earth could be the need for such new laws and new mechanisms today, when there is manifestly no such exceptional situation? Any wrongdoing during or after the war can be investigated and prosecuted under existing laws and by existing institutions which have been rendered more independent by the 19th amendment. What is it that cannot be done under the normal law and by the existing framework? What is the need for new laws and institutional mechanisms, except to initiate a witch-hunt, with foreign involvement and participation?

Mangala also pledged a Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the involvement of South Africa. South Africa’s TRC was in lieu of punitive, lacerating prosecutions. It was itself an accountability mechanism, not an addition to another one. Mangala has just pledged a South African type TRC, not in lieu of but together with a new, special mechanism for accountability!

Sri Lanka’s Minister of External Affairs took a sideswipe in his speech at the concept of “sovereignty”. It would have been alright to criticize an erroneous use or even an erroneous notion of sovereignty while simultaneously reiterating one’s own commitment to the concept and its defense, in keeping with the use of that concept in the founding Charter of the United Nations and the platform of the Non Aligned Movement to which Sri Lanka belongs. Significantly Mangala did no such thing.

Quite significant was the fact that the full text of Mangala written speech (doubtless distributed to the Council) contained pledges which his spoken address omitted. In it he pledges “security sector reform”, “the repeal of the PTA” and the review of the Public Security Ordnance– which dates back to 1947. The full text reads: “Additionally, Mr. President, the Government is committed to … disengagement of the military from commercial activities; undertake security sector reform …review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in line with contemporary international best practices; review the Public Security Ordinance Act…” (https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankas-response-to-unhrc-the-full-text-of-foreign-affairs-ministers-speech-today/)

Listening to Zeid Al Hussein and Mangala Samaraweera, I was reminded of the Special Session of May 2009 in which Sri Lanka earned the support of a near two-thirds majority of the Council’s members for our defense of our sovereignty, unity and territorial integrity. During the war years we had successfully fended off, with the support of the Council, two High Commissioners for Human Rights— Louise Arbour and Navi Pillay. Today I was struck by the difference between Sri Lanka—and Sri Lanka’s UN diplomacy– then and now. What immediately sprang to mind were the lines of the character Detective ‘Bunk’ Moreland (modeled on a real veteran of the Baltimore Police Force) talking to the criminal anti-hero Omar, the favorite character of President Obama, in what was his favorite TV series at that time, The Wire: “…As rough as that neighborhood could be, we had us a community…Makes me sick, mother******, how far we done fell.”

*Dayan Jayatilleka, PhD, was Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations Geneva 207-2009 and a vice President of the UN Human Rights Council 2007-2008

HELPLESS VATERENS OF THE INDIAN ARMY

September 14th, 2015

ALI SUKHANVER

In civilized societies neighbors are just like brothers but in uncivilized societies the situation is vice-versa. Since after 1965, the ever worst threat to the security and safety of Pakistan has been from its closest neighbor India. It is India which taught Pakistan that safeguarding independence is far difficult and far different from getting independence; and no doubt it is India which revealed upon Pakistan that one must always be careful of one’s neighbors. But there is a ‘credit’ that directly and solely goes to India; the credit of making Pakistan a nuclear power. If India were not so unfriendly and hostile to Pakistan; the resources Pakistan spent on its nuclear assets must have been spent on the projects of health, education and other schemes of public betterment. In other words India has tried its utmost to deprive the Pakistani nation of the better opportunities of health, education and employment. Fortunately the will and determination of the people of Pakistan very successfully defeated all these hostile intentions of India in the same way as the Pakistan Army had defeated the evil designs of the Indian Army in 1965 war. This year Pakistan is celebrating the Golden Jubilee of its war with India in 1965. For the whole of Pakistani nation this occasion is just like a national festival. The nation is paying marvelous tribute to those who sacrificed their lives for the security, peace and prosperity of their country. The Armed forces, the common public, the media and the political leadership, in short everyone is celebrating this Golden Jubilee of Pakistan’s success in the war of 1965. But on the other hand the situation in India is very much different rather disappointing regarding this Golden Jubilee. Some of the analysts are of the opinion that for Pakistan 1965 war is a mark of honour but for India this war is a blob of shame and insult; that is why we do not find any zeal and zest in the Indian public regarding the Golden Jubilee of 1965 war.

Shockingly it is not only the Indian public which is not interested in the Golden Jubilee celebrations but also the in-service and the retired officers and jawans of the Indian Army are not expressing any interests in these celebrations.  A report published in the Gujrat Info, an Indian e-paper says that the retired Indian Army personnel have threatened their government that they would strictly boycott the celebrations of 1965 war because the Indian government has not increased their pays and pensions for a long time. According to the details Indian Army chief General Dalbir Singh had also held a meeting with the representatives of the veterans who have been protesting for the past 75 days demanding the implementation of the one rank one pension but no significant development could take place. Decorated veterans have in the past returned medals and signed petitions in blood to draw the government’s attention to the issue. This protest of the Indian Army veterans and the indifference of the Indian government to the issue have conveyed a very negative image of the Indian government throughout the world. Moreover the helplessness of the retired army officers is creating a lot of heart-burning among the in-service army personnel. They are afraid that in future they would also have to face the same helplessness. The retired Indian Army Officers are re-acting very aggressively on the silence and indifference of the Indian government to the issue of their pension matters. According to the India Today, Wing Commander (R) SD Karnik, who was awarded with nation’s third highest gallantry award, Vir Chakra cancelled his presence at a function in Pune where the Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis were to felicitate him. Talking to the media men Wing Commander (R) SD Karnik said, ‘A soldier retires at 37 and a civil employee retires at 60. So while the Jawan has all responsibilities ahead of him after retiring whereas a civilian can fulfill all of them. Thus OROP (one rank one pension) is critical. When this invitation came I said of course I should go since it was the Defence Minister, but then I got a feeling that we are being short changed. So many assurances on one side but nothing is changing on ground. There is NATO (No Action Talk Only) from them.’ The situation is really very painful for the Indian army officers and Jawans and it would be very much unjust if we expect from them to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of 1965 war with the same zeal and zest with which Pakistani nation is celebrating it. Moreover it is also an important question; what does the Indian Army have to be proud of regarding 1965 war????

Sheikh Hasina wins UN award

September 14th, 2015

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: The Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is awarded by the United Nations ‘in recognition of Bangladesh’s far-reaching initiatives to address climate change’. Ms Hasina will receive the Champions of the Earth award in the Policy Leadership category at a ceremony scheduled for 27 September 2015 at New York.

A media statement, provided by the United Nations Information Centre for India and Bhutan in New Delhi, said that the award ‘recognizes Bangladesh’s first-off-the-block initiatives under Prime Minister Hasina’s government to prepare the ecologically fragile country for the challenges it faces from climate change’.

“With a population of more than 159 million, Bangladesh is one of the world’s most populated countries. It is also one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Cyclones, floods and droughts have long been part of the country’s history, but they have intensified in recent years,” said the statement.

Serving as Prime Minister of Bangladesh – one of the world’s least-developed countries – Sheikh Hasina has proven that investing in climate change is conducive to achieving social and economic development, added the statement.

The annual Champions of the Earth award is the highest environmental accolade that the United Nations can confer upon outstanding individuals and organizations. Previous laureates of this inclusive award range from leaders of nations to grassroots activists – all visionaries whose leadership and actions drive the world ever closer to its aspirations of environmental sustainability and a life of dignity for all. To date, the Champions of the Earth has recognized 67 laureates in the categories of policy, science, business and civil society.

The other winners named so far are the National Geographic Society (Science and Innovation); Brazilian cosmetics firm Natura (Entrepreneurial Vision); and South Africa’s Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit (Inspiration and Action). Other winners will be announced throughout September.


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