Evangelical Intrusions – Tripura, a case study by Sandhya Jain

April 2nd, 2013

Dr MK Teng

The study undertaken by Sandhya Jain , published by Rupa-co, New Delhi, in an attractively designed volume, titled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Evangelical Intrusions- Tripura, a case studyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is the first systematic and in-depth inquiry into the evangelical intervention in the religious cultures of the tribal societies and indigenous peoples of India to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- coerce the entire tribal populace to convert to a millenarian tradition.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The study is a bold attempt to investigate into ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-concerted efforts by several western evangelical denominations to achieve their objective of complete conversionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of the tribal peoples and the inability of the Indian state to support the tribal and the indigenous people to preserve their religious cultural tradition. The state of Tripura, situated in the north-east of India, where the evangelical intrusion has been widespread, forms the universe of the field-study. Tripura, the author notes ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-was chosen as the subject of the study because its large tribal population is resisting organized armed assault upon its native faith and way of lifeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The problem of evangelical intrusions in India is a part of the larger problem of Semitisation of the Indian Society, which has a longer history in India, and forms an important aspect of the political sociology of the Indian people. The promise of redemption basic to all religious expressions of the Semitic civilization, has been widely used during last several hundred years, more specifically, after the Peace of Westphiallia in 1648, as a portent instrument of state policy for the expansion of the political power and in the consolidation of imperial authority over the peoples subject to colonial dominance.

India, a nation of the former colonial peoples, ruled by the British for centuries, was freed from the bondage, two years after the end of Second World War, which brought the era of colonialism to its close. The ideological commitment of the colonial powers to spread the promise of redemption assumed blatantly crude expression in India, where the boundaries of the Sanskrit civilization were remotely visible and less resistant to evangelical intervention.

Sandhya Jain makes a departure from the generally accepted methodological paradigms followed in the study of social change in India. Her work makes the beginning of a new academic effort, which may in the years to come, provide an alternative methodological framework, and which may delink the study of social change in India from its reformist trappings. Sandhya Jain underlines a methodological format which is not confined to the investigation into the structure and function of a fixed-set, which the Semitic methodological paradigms underline.

Her work has a normative dimension. The frame of reference she has adopted for evaluation is not located in liberal- reformism and its abstract derivatives of logical positivism. It is located in the history of the Sanskrit Civilization of India. She takes pains to relate the evolution of tribal traditions and ritual cultures of the indigenous peoples of India to the continuity of the Indian History.

The work is a bold attempt to unravel data and facts to establish that the Semitisation, as a part of the political process of the colonial era, continues to be followed uninterruptedly in the independent India. The survey, Sandhya notes, is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-aimed to test the hypothesis that over the past few years an increasing number of tribal hamlets and households have been directly or indirectly ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”invitedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to embrace a monotheistic religion.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ She notes further: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The questionnaires were designed to learn if inducements were made, if there was any violent incident in the village or its vicinity, if there was an atmosphere of fear due to incidents in the neighboring areas, if there was native resentment against the attempts of proseletisation, and tribal leaders were contacted to understand if change of faith disrupted family or community life and culture and the resultant cultural alienation.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The revelations she has made are startling. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The conversions do not appear suomoto, but by deliberate interventions of other actors, usually organized groups, with the objective of expanding their influence in the life of a community, state and nation. Conversions by external faiths are inherently political, which is why they are backed by foreign funds, foreign evangelists and political support from foreign countries. In the contemporary world conversions are portent political and emotional issues as changes in religious demography have been intimately linked to secessionist movements and partitions. Besides being deeply divisive of natal societies, conversions (and partitions) are usually achieved with violence and foreign interventions.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Sandhya Jain admits that the inspiration to undertake the study came from the persistent reports of religious political violence in the north-eastern states of India, in some of which proseletisation and religious conversion was accompanied by the growth of separatist and secessionist movements. Her investigations have yielded facts, which establish that the political objectives of the separatists and secessionist movements are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-linked to an agenda of religious conversion which is rupturing the cultural and civilisational unity of the native faith and cultureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Evangelical intervention in the traditional social culture of India, she states, is a deliberately planned political campaign to bring about change in the tribal belief-systems and cultural mores which, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-involves the rejection of the natal socio-economic tradition and community and transferring allegiance to the faith originating outside the national boundaries.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The objectives, She stresses are evident. With foreign governments, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- playing a pro-active role in funding evangelism and promoting it through a foreign policy and the intrusive activism of human rights groupsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, proseletisation assumes the form of a religious campaign for political objectives- a form of neo-colonial expansion under the cover of religious freedom.

A large part of the study is devoted to an in-depth investigation into the religious cultures of tribal
peoples of Tripura. The inferences she has drawn from the facts and data, her investigation has yielded, has demolished many myths such as: (a) that the tribal cultures in India are an expression of a historical disconnect in the evolution of the Indian civilization and therefore the religious cultures of the tribal and indigenous people of India form a separate universe of spiritual experience; (b) that the tribal people follow religious practices which form a part of the pagan past of India; (c) that the tribal communities need to be insulated from their environment which is predominantly Hindu to preserve their autochthonous identity; and (d) the tribal people must be assured the right to religious freedom, to accept the promise of redemption that the Semitisation offers, to salvage them from their pagan past.

The study has brought to surface evidence of interlocking processes of social change in India, which relate the belief-systems and the ritual structures of the tribal peoples to the Sanskrit religious culture of India.ƒÆ’-¡  The study uncovers the Sanskrit sub-stratum of the religious culture of the tribal people. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Sandhya notes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-natal faith traditions are viewed as a part of the civilisational continuum, and tribes are embedded in this larger civilization. Movement across the spectrum is neither threatening nor objectionable because there is an intrinsic unity of the civilization as a whole.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Cutting through the conventional approaches to the understanding of the tribal cultures and the cultures of the indigenous people in India, Sandhya Jain formulates a new set of theoretical propositions for a more objective inquiry into the traditions, belief-systems and ritual structures of the tribal people in India. Sandhya notes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-TripuraƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ancient tribes represent the coherence and the continuity of a living civilization, which embraces, absorbs, exchanges values, with peoples and cultures that have arisen from the same socio-geographic matrixƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

In her search for a frame of reference, she turns to the history of the Hindu India and writes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Hindus appreciate diversity as they accept similarity; and the absence of homogeneity does not inculcate fear, loathing or intolerance, much less the desire to enforce uniformity by eradicating cultural distinctiveness A shared universe is quickly established with the threads of unity and multiplicity, and this is the most striking aspect of the description above. The religious beliefs, traditions and rituals of Tripura tribes reveal the integrated matrix upon which their culture and civilization is founded and a cohesiveness that embraces their non-tribal neighbors, whose beliefs, prayers and practices have been joyously embraced by the regions autochthones.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The study reveals that the traditions and rituals of the tribal communities and indigenous people in India are not pagan practices. The Sanskrit civilization does not have a pagan past. Pagan history is a part of the Semitic civilization. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Nor can we countenance academic distortion of the spiritual beliefs of vulnerable communities through the use of terminology such as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”animismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”spirit worshipƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ghostsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”paganƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, which have no basis in the idiom of the tradition being discussed, but are a part of verbal abuse by those seeking to exterminate an ancient way of lifeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The promise of redemption cannot salvage people who do not have a pagan past. No Right to freedom of religion can entitle the tribal communities and indigenous people in India to opt for salvation by accepting the promise of redemption. Sandhya Jain rightly notes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Dharma is primarily a matter of family, clan, social, religious and cultural inheritance. All human beings are born into a spiritual tradition and initiated into beliefs, customs, philosophy, tenants and taboos from an early period of life, just as they are provided with a family name, Jati and Kula at birth.

Ordinarily a human being does not grow without a faith and then choose a dharma on intellectual merit or emotional appeal on achieving adulthood. The argument that an individual, born embedded in a faith has the right to arbitrarily uproot himself and cause hurt and injury to his natal family, clan, tradition and community is faulty and subversive of ancient societies.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The Evangelical Intrusions exposes the perfidy. She records, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the contention that religion is a matter of individual choice is not borne out by the experience of human society anywhere in the world. This specious plea is in fact a legal subterfuge by those seeking to earn adherents to a particular religious ideology by atomizing human society in order to break and undermine traditionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Evangelical intervention to induce change in the indigenous social forms, from outside their systemic boundaries, poses a threat to the existence of the indigenous peoples and tribal communities in India. It poses a greater threat to the Sanskrit substratum of their tribal traditions and cultures. The fundamental issue, evangelical intervention underlines, is not whether India recognizes the freedom of choice of the Indian people to accept the promise of redemption for their salvation. The fundamental issue, evangelical intervention in India involves, is whether India recognizes the promise of redemption as the objective of social change. The acceptance of the promise of redemption as an objective of social change by the Indian people, is tantamount to the abandonment of the continuity of the Indian history. The recognition of the continuity of the history of the Indian civilization forms the bedrock of the unity of the Indian people and their national identity.

Sandhya Jain has sounded a warning, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Our study revealed that there is merit in the conviction of TripuraƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s tribal communities that there exists a grand coordination between the evangelical and insurgent groups operating in the state. Equally their misgivings that the drive to win converts is powered by a political agenda, viz, to carve out a separate Christian state(s) in the North-east, cannot be dismissed as utterly baseless, particularly after the carving out of an oil rich Christian East Timor from Muslim Indonesia in 2002. Evangelism in the sensitive North-East can thus pose a serious threat to IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s territorial integrity, cultural diversity and civilisational unity.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The study is expected to be of help to the common reader as well as the researcher. To the former the study is expected to help in the understanding of the issues involved in the various processes of evangelical intervention in the tribal cultures and traditions of the indigenous peoples in the North-East of India. To the latter, the study is expected to provide an alternate methodological model for the study of social change in India as well as furnish him valuable data and facts in respect of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-religio-cultural traditionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and demographic configuration of the indigenous peoples in India.

To the scholar the study is also expected to give an insight into the processes of Semitisation of the Indian society, which has been going on this country, almost unnoticed, throughout the years of its freedom. In India, the secularization of government and society is tilted in favour of the, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-right to freedom of faithƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, more than committed to the secular integration of the Indian people on the basis of the fundamental right to equality.

Both, the right to freedom of faith and the right to equality are enshrined in the Constitution of India. The cleavage between the right to freedom of faith and the right to equality as the basis for the secular integration of the Indian people, irrespective of creed and religion, is brought to surface by this study. A new beginning needs to be made to investigate into the political ramifications of the ideological conflict, evangelical intrusion in India underlines.

http://panunkashmir.org/blog/bookexcerpts/evangelical-intrusions-by-sandhya-jain/

Being pursued by Frankenstein

April 2nd, 2013

Editorial IslandƒÆ’-¡  April 2, 2013,

The US and Europe erupted in jubilation when Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi was dragged out of a culvert, paraded on streets and put to a violent death by the western-backed rebels in 2011. They may have thought that by ousting him they would be able to install a puppet regime in Tripoli and control Libya and its oil resources. British Prime Minster David Cameron and the then French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew to Tripoli during the closing stages of the war with Gaddafi still at large. They were given a rousing welcome and some overenthusiastic Libyans went to the extent of naming their newborn babies after Sarkozy.

But, today, the very rebels that the West protected, funded and armed have turned Libya into one of the most dangerous places on earth for Americans and Europeans. Under Gaddafi, there was a semblance of order. On the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Libyan rebels driven by religious fanaticism stormed the US mission in Benghazi known as the cradle of Arab Spring in that country, captured American ambassador Chris Stevens and three others and murdered them in cold blood. The situation became so bad that in January this year, western governments urged their citizens to leave Benghazi forthwith in view of an imminent threat. Having sowed the wind they are now reaping the whirlwind! Unfortunately, it is the ordinary Libyans who have had to bear the brunt of the prevailing lawlessness, tribal warfare and the attendant bloodletting.

Yesterday, we reported a shocking incident where a gang of Libyan rebels turned soldiers raped two British women in front of their father in the very cradle of Arab Spring. The victims were humanitarian workers engaged in taking an aid convoy to Gaza in a bid to defy the Israeli blockade and deliver relief to the besieged. The blame for creating such savages should be apportioned to the British government which backed the Libyan fighters simply because its plans for Libya dovetailed with theirs to some extent. Sadly, the ordinary British citizens are paying for CameronƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s blunders. Blair joined Bush in destroying Iraq, where a dictatorship has given way to anarchy and Cameron has been instrumental in plunging Libyans from the frying pan into the fire, so to speak.

Besides harming foreigners, the former Libyan militiamen are unleashing fratricidal violence and perpetrating crimes against hapless civilians who are suffering in silence. Libya is in chaos with a pusillanimous government having lost control over violent rebels who have become a law unto themselves.

The West succeeded in getting rid of dictators in countries like Iraq and Libya by engineering popular uprisings and in so doing it unwittingly paved the way for the rise of religious fundamentalism and terrorism. The worst is yet to come. In what turned out to be a queer turn of events, the US-led western governments backed al-Qaeda combatants among Libyan rebels in a bid to overthrow the Gaddafi regime heedless of the consequences of their action aimed at short term gain while carrying out deadly drone attacks on suspected al-Qaeda members in Afghanistan and Pakistan! In Syria, too, they have made the same blunder as the rebellion in that country, too, is bound to spin out of control as in Libya given the presence of al-Qaeda fighters among the Syrian fighters.

For Libyans and their counterparts in other countries where regime changes have been engineered, the Arab Spring has manifestly given way to a Winter of Despair and the Westerners are being pursued by their Frankenstein. In Libya we see the Afghanistan of Africa in the making.

A brief history of the Muslims of Sri Lanka

April 2nd, 2013

By Kamalika Pieris

Sri Lanka, known to the ancients as Ceylon, has been recorded in history books as a country that has had many visitations from foreign travellers throughout the ages. The people are mainly Buddhist, with a complex mixture of Hindus, Muslims, Roman Catholics and other Christian denominations. The main race are the Sinhalese while the Tamils, Muslims and Burghers (Anglo-Sri Lankans) form the remaining. The Muslims of Sri Lanka are a very small minority amounting to approximately 10% of a total population of 16 Million people. They claim descendancy from the Arab traders, who made Sri Lanka their home even before the advent of Islam. The Tamils comprise around 25% of the population.

Sri Lankan Muslims can be categorized into two distinct sub groups, the Moors and the Malays. The former is the name given to them by the Portuguese colonial rulers who used the word Moros to identify Arabs in general. The Malays are a group of Muslims who originated from Java and the Malaysian Peninsula. They differed from the Moors, both, in their physical appearance as well as in the language they spoke which was a mixture of Malay and local dialects.

The Muslims of Sri Lanka have a colorful history behind them punctuated by a long spell of hardship suffered during the Portuguese and Dutch ocupation of the Island. It is much to their credit that they withstood the onslaught of economic constraints, political intrigues and religious persecution to stay behind and survive. Most other peoples may have packed their bags and left for good. They not only saved their religion from the Christian enemies but also rebuilt the economy, slowly and steadily, by the 18th century when the British took over control of the island from the Dutch.

Being geographically isolated from the main centers of Islamic culture and civilization the Muslims of Sri Lanka were forced to interact closely with their neighbours, the Muslims of South India, in order to preserve their identity. Had they been denied this slender link, it is possible that, they may have lost their distinct Islamic character completely. However, it must be observed that this link has also caused many Indian (Hindu) traditions and rituals to creep into their culture and life style, some of which, even though vehemently anti-Islamic, are still practised to date. Lack of a correct understanding of the teachings of Islam has been the main cause of this sad situation.

Having adapted to the local conditions in various ways and also contributing largely to the Islands economic prosperity, the Muslim community of Sri Lanka, unlike the Hindu Tamils of the Northern Province, has saved itself from any major clash with the indigenous Sinhalese population. They have also been able to receive a fair share in the countrs Politics and Administration by virtue of their hard work and also of being an important minority whose support has been vital to all the political groups in the country. Although it may be said that the Muslim community was not politically dominant at any stage, yet, it is certainly true that they manouvered their political activity without much noise, unlike the Tamils.

This work attempts to present a brief history of the Muslims of Sri lanka from their early Arab trader beginnings to the present day minority community that is fully integrated into the Sri
Lankan society.

Historical Background
Sri Lanka (previously known as Ceylon) lies of the south-east of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The pear shaped island, often referred to as the pearl of the east is separated from mainland India by a narrow strip of water called the Palk Straits.
Being in such close proximity to and having such easy access from India, it might be expected that Sri Lanka received a large number of migrants from its neighbour from pre-historic times. The original inhabitants of the island are believd to be an aboriginal tribe called the Veddahs. The Sinhalese, presently the majority community, are supposed to be the descendants of the colonists, led by Vijaya, from the valley of the Ganges who settled in the island around the 6th century B.C. Sinhala, the language of the Sinhalese, is an Aryan language, closely related to Pali. Buddhism was introduced to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiya Tissa during the period 307-267 B.C.

Trade relations between India and Sri Lanka are traced to the 3rd century B.C. Historians have not been able to pin-point the actual date of establishment of Tamil settlements in Sri Lanka. However, during the 3rd century B.C. a Tamil General, Elara, set up a Tamil Kingdom at Anuradhapura, in the North Central Province, and ruled there for 44 years. He earned a reputation for his just and impartial administration among the Sinhalese and Tamils and was thus called Elara the Just.

The strategic location of the island, in the Indian Ocean, together with some of the coveted goods it produced, resulted in a fair degree of foreign trade even from ancient times. The Romans discovered the commercial value of Sri Lanka in the first century A.D. and the island was visited by Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, and Chinese traders. Sri Lankas trade offering included Cinnamon, which grew wild in the forests of the wet zone, precious stones, pearls, elephants and ivory.
While most of the traders were only visitors to the island, who made their fortunes and left, it was the Arabs who settled down, making Ceylon their home. Furthermore as the Muslims of Sri lanka claim their desecndancy from the Arabs it is imprtant to look at the information available on the advent of the Arabs to the island.

The Arabs:
The Tamils of Sri Lanka, throughout history, have attempted to categorize the Sri Lankan Muslims as belonging to the Tamil race. This has been mainly for selfish reasons in a bid to eliminate the minority Muslim community from having its own unique identity. The Government of Sri Lanka, however, treats the Muslims as of Arab origin and as a distinct ethnic group from the Tamils.

Fr. S.G. Perera in his book -History of Ceylon for Schools- Vol. 1. The Portuguese and Dutch Periods, (1505-1796), Colombo (1955), The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd., p 16, writes,

-The first mention of Arabs in Ceylon appears to be in the Mahavansa (Ancient Sri Lankan history) account of the reign of the King Pandukabhaya, where it is stated that this king set apart land for the Yonas (Muslims) at Anuradhapura-

With the decline of the Roman Empire in the 3rd century A.D., Roman trade also died out and the Arabs and Persians filled up the vacuum; engaging in a rapidly growing inter-coastal trade. After the conquest of Persia (Iran), Syria and Egypt, the Arabs controlled all the important ports and trading stations between East and West. It is estimated that the Arabs had settled in Sri Lanka and Sumatra by the 1st century A.D. K.M. De Silvas, Historical Survey, Sri Lanka – A Survey, London (1977), C. Hurst & Co. Ltd., p 50, states,

-by about the 8th century A.D., the Arabs had formed colonies at the important ports of India, Ceylon and the East Indies. The presence of the Arabs at the ports of Ceylon is attested to by at least three inscriptions discovered at Colombo, Trincomalee and the island of Puliantivu-

The manner in which Islam developed in Sri lanka is very closely similar to that on the Malabar coast of India. Tradition has recorded that Arabs who had settled down on the Malabar coast used to travel from the port of Cranganore to Sri lanka on piligrimage to pay homage to what they believed to be the foot-print of Adam on the top of a montain, which, until today, is called Adams Peak.

Ibn Batuta, the famous 14th. century Arab traveller, has recorded many facets about early Arab influence in Sri lanka in his travelogues.

Before the end of the 7th. century, a colony of Muslim merchants had established themselves in Ceylon. Fascinated by the scenic splendour and captivated by the traditions associated with Adams Peak, Muslim merchants arrived in large numbers and some of them decided to settle in the island encouraged by the cordial treatement they received by the local rulers. Most of them lived along the coastal areas in peace and prosperity, maintaining contacts, both cultural and commercial, with Baghdad and other Islamic cities.

According to Tikiri Abeyasinghe in his Portuguese Rule in Ceylon, 1594-1612, Colombo (1966), Lake House Investments Ltd., p 192, tradition has it that,

-the first Mohammadans of Ceylon were a portion of those Arabs of the House of Hashim, who were driven from Arabia in the early part of the 8th. century by the tyranny of the Caliph, Abdel Malik bin Marwan, and who proceeding from the Euphrates southwards made settlements in the concan in the southern parts of the peninsula of India, on the island of Ceylon and Malacca. The division of them which came to Ceylon formed eight considerable settlements along the Nort-East, North and Western coast of that island; viz., one at Trincomalee, one at Jaffna, one at Colombo, one at barbareen, and one at Point de Galle.-

It is perhaps reasonable, therefore, to assume that the Arabs, professing the religion of Islam, arrived in Sri Lanka around the 7th./8th. century A.D. even though there was a settled community of Arabs in Ceylon in pre-Islamic times.

The circumstances that helped the growth of Muslim settlements were varied. The Sinhalese were not interested in trade and were content in tilling the soil and growing cattle. Trade was thus wide open to the Muslims. the Sinhalese Kings considered the Muslim settlements favorably on account of the revenue that they brought them through their contacts overseas both in trade and in politics. The religious tolerance of the local population was also another vital factor in the development of Muslim settlements in Ceylon.

The early Muslim settlements were set up, mainly, around ports on account of the nature of their trade. It is also assumed that many of the Arab traders may not have brought their womenfolk along with them when they settled in Ceylon. Hence they would have been compelled to marry the Sinhalese and Tamil women of the island after converting them to Islam. The fact that a large number of Muslims in Sri Lanka speak the Tamil language can be attributed to the possibility that they were trading partners with the Tamils of South India and had to learn Tamil to successfully transact their business. The integration with the Muslims of Tamil Nadu, in South India, may have also contributed to this. It is also possible that the Arabs who had already migrated to Ceylon, prior to Islam, had adopted the Tamil language as a medium of communication in their intercourse with the Tamil speaking Muslims of South India. The Muslims were very skilful traders who gradually builtup a very lucrative trading post in Ceylon. A whole colony of Muslims is said to have landed at Beruwela (South Western coast) in the Kalutara District in 1024 A.D.

The Muslims did not indulge in propagating Islam amongst the natives of ceylon even though many of the women they married did convert. Islam did attract the less privileged low caste members of the Tamil community who found the factor of equality a blessing for their status and well-being.

There is also a report in the history of Sri Lanka of a Muslim Ruler, Vathimi Raja, who reigned at Kurunegala (North Central Province) in the 14th. century. This factor cannot be found in history books due to their omission, for reasons unknown, by modern authors. Vathimi Raja was the son of King Bhuvaneka Bahu I, by a Muslim spouse, the daughter of one of the chiefs. The Sinhalese son of King Bhuvaneka Bahu I, Parakrama Bahu III, the real heir to the throne was crowned at Dambadeniya under the name of Pandita Parakrama Bahu III. In order to be rid of his step brother, Vathimi Raja, he ordered that his eyes be gouged out. It is held that the author of the Mahavansa (ancient history of Ceylon) had suppressed the recording of this disgraceful incident. the British transaletor, Mudaliyar Wijesinghe states that original Ola (leaf script) was bodily removed from the writings and fiction inserted instead. The blinded Vathimi Raja (Bhuvaneka Bahu II or Al-Konar, abbreviated from Al-Langar-Konar, meaning Chief of Lanka of Alakeshwara) was seen by the Arab traveller Ibn Batuta during his visit to the island in 1344. His son named Parakrama Bahu II (Alakeshwara II) was also a Muslim. The lineage of Alakeshwara kings (of Muslim origin) ended in 1410. Although all the kings during this reign may not have been Muslims, the absence of the prefix -Shri Sangha Bodhi- (pertaining to the disciples of the Buddha) to the name of these kings on the rock inscriptions during this hundred year period may be considered as an indicator that they were not Buddhists. Further during Ibn Batutas visit a Muslim ruler called Jalasthi is reported to have been holding Colombo, maintaining his hold over the town with a garrison of about 500 Abyssinians.

In spite of this the Mulsims have always been maintaining very cordial relationships with the Sinhalese Royalty and the local population. There is evidence that they were more closer to the Sinhalese than they were to the Tamils. The Muslims relationship with the Sinhalese kings grew stronger and in the 14th. century they even fought with them against the expanding Tamil kingdom and its maritime influence.

By the beginning of the 16th. century, the Muslims of Sri Lanka, the descendants of the original Arab traders, had settled down comfortably in the island. They were evry successful in trade and commerce and integrated socially with the customs of the local people. They had become an inseparable, and even more, an indispensable part of the society. This period was one of ascendancy in peace and prosperity for the Sri Lankan Muslims.

The Malays:
Sri Lankan Muslims include the Malays although they form a separate group by themselves. Even the earliest census of Sri Lanka (1881) lists the Muslims as Moors and Malays separately. Malays too, follow the Islamic religion just like the Moors.
The real beginning of the Malays in Sri Lanka dates back to the 13th. century. Husseinmiya writes,

-The definite arrival of Malays in Sri Lanka took place in the 13th. century. Chandra Bhanu, the Malay King of Nakhon Sri Dhammarat in the Isthmus of Kra on the Malay Peninsula invaded Sri Lanka in A.D. 1247, with Malay soldiers. He was determined to possess the relics of the Buddha from the Sinhalese kingdom. In a second invasion he brought soldiers from India-.

Chandra Bhanus 50 year rule of northern Ceylon in the 13th. century is remembered by such place names as Java Patnam (Jaffna), Java Kachcheri (Chavakachcheri), Hambantota etc. Most authors have, yet, linked the origin of the Malays in Ceylon to the period when the uisland was ruled by the Dutch. Murad Jayah in -The plight of the Ceylon Malays today-, MICH Silver Jubilee Souvenir, 1944-1969, Colombo (1970), p 70, writes,

-In 1709 Susana Mangkurat Mas, king of Java, was exiled to Sri Lanka by the Dutch with his entire retinue. He was followed in 1723 by 44 Javanese princes and noble men who surrendered at the battle of Batavia and exiled to this country with their families. These familes formed the nucleus from which the Malay community grew.-

-The Dutch continued to bring more -Java Minissu- (Malay people) as exiles, and employed them to fill the ranks of the army, the police force, the fire brigade, the prison staff and other services. They formed the bulk of the servicemen during the Dutch occupation and the early British times. The British too imported Malay families for settlement in Ceylon with the idea of raising a regiment. The Kings colors were awarded in 1801 to the Ceylon Malay Regiment, the first Asian to receive that Honor.-

The unsuccessful attempts of the British to attract more Malays from overseas, the meagre salaries paid to the malay soldiers coupled with more avenues for lucrative employment in the plantation industry, resulted in the disbandment of the malay Regiment in 1873. The Malays released from the army were absorbed into the police and the fire brigade services.

The mother tongue of Malays is Malay (Bahasa Melayu). Murad Jayah writes,

-Bahasa Melayu has been preserved in this country for over 250 years due to the fact that the original exiles from Indonesia were accompanied by their womenfolk and it was not necessary for them to find wives among Sinhalese and Tamil women, unlike the Arab ancestors of the Ceylon Moors.-

The Muslims and Sri Lanka

April 2nd, 2013

By Kamalika Pieris .

The first wave of Muslims to arrive in Sri Lanka came from West Asia. Therefore let us briefly look at the Muslim achievements in West Asia. Islam originated in the Arab Peninsula, where the Prophet Mohammed preached in 622 AD. Islamic religious teachings are held in the Koran and the Islamic social life is guided by the Islamic Sharia Law. The Arabs, once converted to Islam, went on an expansionist spree which eventually swallowed up Egypt, Syria, Persia, Iraq and finally, in 711 AD, Spain. Virtually all those countries had their own civilisations prior to Islamisation. Persia had developed the Persian script and had the Zoroastrian religion. But they all converted to Islam and accepted the Arabic language. By the end of the 8th century, the Islamic empire extended from Persia to Spain and included parts of Northern Africa as well. There were two political centres. Firstly, Damascus (660-750 AD) and thereafter Baghdad (750-1258 AD).
Between the 8th and 12th centuries, there developed a great Islamic civilisation, intellectually brilliant, wealthy and enterprising. This Islamic civilisation developed an urban civilisation well before Europe, which got there several centuries later. Cairo in Egypt, Damascus in Syria and Baghdad in Iraq were very advanced cities with paved streets, tiled floors, public baths, bookshops, libraries, and universities. There developed a distinct Islamic art and architecture, which is visible even today. There were great scholars, best known of whom is Avicenna, of Persian origin, (980-1037 AD). His medical writings were used in medical schools in France, Spain and Italy as late as 1650.

Western Europe owes much of its knowledge of mathematics, medicine, astronomy and philosophy to Arabic writings. These writings preserved Greek thought as well. The Arabic writers also functioned as a conduct for the transmission of ideas from India and China. The Arabic scholars formulated the oldest known trignometric tables, introduced Indian numerals, known Arabic numerals, and compiled astronomical tables. They established obsrvatories to study the heavens. In the field of optics and physics, they explained phenomena such as refraction of light, and the principle of gravity. They made significant advances in chemistry. They discovered potash, alcohol, silver nitrate, nitric acid, sulphuric acid and mercury chloride. They originated processes such as distillation and sublimation.

Arabic scholars made significant advances in medicine. Many drugs now in use are of Arab origin. They established hospitals with a system of internees. Discovered causes of certain diseases and developed correct diagnoses of them, proposed new concepts of hygiene, made use of anesthetics in surgery with newly innovated surgical tools and introduced the science of dissection in anatomy. They furthered the scientific breeding of horses and cattle, and improved upon the science of navigation. They also developed a high degree of perfection in art of textiles, ceramics and metallurgy. (Most of this information has been taken from references in Encyclopedia Britannica, 15 ed. 1995).

Christian scholars were greatly impressed by Arabic scholarship. There was considerable cultural interaction between the two groups, with much of it taking place in the Mediterranean shoes, particularly Spain and Sicily. It is not generally known that Arabic culture influenced French culture as well. There are words of Arabic origin in the French language. More importantly, voluminous Latin translations were made in the 12th century, of major Arabic writings. These were studied successively at the major emerging intellectual centres of Europe, such as Italy, France and later England and Germany. It should also be noted that during this time, Arabic had become, not only a religious language, but also the main international language of the region. (lingua franca). It was also the main language for scholarship.

The Arabs also expanded eastwards, towards India and China, in search of trade. In the 9th and 10th centuries, an assortment of Persians, Arabs, Abyssinians, all Muslims, speaking Arabic and therefore conveniently called ‘Arabs’ dominated the overseas trade from Baghdad to China. The Muslims of Sri Lanka were a part of this trade operation. There is evidence that there were Muslim merchant settlements in Sri Lanka as early as the 7th century. M. A. M. Shukri has used the Arabic (Kufi) inscriptions in Sri Lanka to throw light on the origins of Sri Lanka’s Muslims. He says that the Sri Lanka Moors originally came from Aleppo, a city in Syria. (‘Sri Lanka and the Silk Road of the Sea’ p181). Apparently there is an Arabic document in the possession of one of the oldest Moor families in Beruwela. It said that in 604 AD two sons of the Royal family of Yemen came to Lanka, one settled in Mannar the other in Beruwela (Daily News 25.9. 98. p 16).

Muslim settlements started in Mantai, and thereafter spread systematically in the trading ports. Archaeological evidence, such as tomb stones, indicate that there were Muslim settlements in 10th century, in Anuradhapura, Trincomalee and Colombo. Thereafter, there were Muslim settlements in the port towns along the southwestern seaboard, such as Beruwela and Galle.

Lorna Dewaraja, in her book “The Muslims of Sri Lanka, 1000 years of ethnic harmony 900-1915 AD” (Lanka Islamic Foundation, 1994) has studied the situation of the Muslims in Sri Lanka, with particular reference to the Kandyan Period. She makes several important points.

Firstly, she makes a comparison between the way Muslim settlers were treated in Sri Lanka and the way they were treated in Burma, China and Thailand. In Burma, Thailand and China, Muslim traders established trading posts which eventually became permanent settlements. Every Burmese Muslim had two names, one, Burmese and the other Arabic. For all practical purposes, only the Burmese name was used. Further the Burmese king forbade the slaughter of goats and fowl and forced the Muslims to listen to Buddhist sermons. In China too, the Muslims had two names. They used the Chinese name and spoke Chinese and used their Arabic names only with fellow Muslims. In Thailand too, the Muslims were obliged to camouflage their Muslim identity from hostile eyes. (Dewaraja. p 6, 13, 15). In Sri Lanka, the Muslims had no such problems. As we all know, the Muslims use their Arabic or Persian names very openly and proudly. Even today, the Muslims in Kandyan areas have 2 names, a traditional Sinhala family name denoting the person’s ancestry and profession and an Arabic name. For all practical purposes, only the Arabic name is known and used. The Sinhala name is used only in legal documents and is useful in proving long residence in the island and ownership of land. (Dewaraja. p 12-13).

In the latter half of the 13th century, with the decline of the Caliphate of Baghdad, Arab commercial activity in the Indian Ocean decreased. This trade was taken over by the Indian Muslims of Gujerat and other Indian centres. Hindu merchants did not travel. They were based in India. They exported their marchandise in Muslim owned vessels. Thus colonies of Islamised Indians came up in the ports in India’s south western (Malabar) and south eastern (Coromandel) coasts right up to Bengal. Thus thriving centres of Muslim commercial activity studded the Indian coastline. Subsequently, colonies of such Indo-Arabs emerged along the coasts of Sri Lanka. These settlements were described by the Dutch and British as ‘Coast Moors’. (Dewaraja p 41, 43).

The second wave of Muslims came to Sri Lanka from South India. They were the descendants of earlier Arab traders who had settled in South Indian ports and married local women. Thus Tamil and Malayalam came to be written in Arabic script, and was known as Arabic Tamil. The Koran was translated into Arabic Tamil. It was translated into Sinhala only recently. Since it was compulsory for Muslim children to read the Koran, they had to know Arabic Tamil. This partly explains why Muslims who have lived for centuries in wholly Sinhala speaking areas retained Arabic Tamil as their ‘mother tongue’. Generations of Sri Lankan Tamils went to theological institutions in Vellore to study Islamic learning. It has also been suggested that Muslims speak Tamil because Tamil was widely used in maritime commerce in the Indian Ocean (Dewaraja p 17).

Lorna Dewaraja points out that during the time of the Sinhala kings, from the ancient period, right upto the Kandyan Period, there was racial amity between the Sinhalese and the Muslims. The reason was that the Muslim traders were economically and politically an asset to the Sri Lankan king. The King therefore provided protection and permission for the traders to settle in Sri Lanka (Dewaraja p 4).

“Right through from the Anuradhapura period to Kandyan times there was a Muslim lobby operating in the Sri Lankan court. It advised the king on overseas trade policy. They also kept the king informed of developments abroad. The Muslim trader with his navigational skills and overseas contacts became the secret channel of communication between the court and the outside world” (Dewaraja p 8). The Sri Lankan kings encouraged the Muslims to maintain their links with the Islamic world as this was mutually beneficial. In the 13th century, Al Haj Aby Uthman was sent by the Sri Lankan king, Bhuvanekabahu I to the Mamluk Court of Egypt to negotiate direct trade. They were sent on important and confidential missions to South India right up to Kandyan times. The Muslims of Sri Lanka spoke Tamil and other South Indian languages and some even spoke Portuguese (p 8, 16).

Dewaraja says that when the Portuguese first appeared off the shores of Sri Lanka, the Muslims warned the king, sangha, nobles and the people of the potential threat to the country’s soveriegnty. When the Portuguese tried to gain a foothold in Colombo, the Muslims provided firearms, fought side by side with the Sinhalese and even used their influence with South Indian powers to get military asistance to Sinhalese rulers. Through the intervention of the Muslims, the Zamorin of Calicut sent three distinguished Moors of Cochin with forces to help Mayadunne (p 50).

When the Dutch appeared and persecuted the Muslims in their coastal settlements, the Muslims ran to the Kandyan Kingdom. Senerat (1604-1635) and Rajasimha II (1635-1687) settled these Muslims in the Eastern coast. Senerat settled large numbers of Tamils and Muslims in Dighavapi area of Batticaloa to revive the paddy cultivation. There were roads leading from Kandy to Batticaloa passing through Minipe and Vellassa (p 127).

Dewaraja points out that it is clear from the writings of Pybus that even in 1762 the authority of the King of Kandy was strongly felt in areas around Trincomalee even among his Muslim and Tamil subjects. It is necessary for us to bear in mind that the Kandyan Kings saw themselves as kings of the whole country. Through Kottiyar in Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Kalpitiya and Puttalam they traded with India, and the Muslims and Chetties acted as the middlemen. From Kottiyar (Trincomalee) to Kandy there was a land route following the Mahaweli. Muslims had pack oxen and caravans and travelled this rout. The resting places on this route became the nucleus of later Muslim settlements (Dewaraja p 91, 125, 126).

Muslims were made welcome in the Kandyan Kingdom. They were integrated into Kandyan society primarily by giving them duties which related to the King’s administration. They were made a part of the Madige Badda or Transport Department. They were allowed to trade in arecanut, which was a royal monopoly. The Muslims from Uva, which was near the salterns, had to bring salt as part of their obligatory service (Dewaraja p 100-101). In addition to this, select Muslims were involved in the Maligawa rituals and were given Maligagam lands. Their duties included salt, hevisi, silversmith (acari) also the higher function of kariya karavanarala. Therefore the Muslims were involved however minimally in the administrative and ritual aspects of the Dalada Maligawa as well (Dewaraja. p 107-8, 110). In addition, Muslims also functioned as weavers, tailors, barbers, and lapidarists (p 137-138).

Muslims also functioned as physicians, and presumably they practised Unani medicine. Dewaraja states that at this time, Unani had been practised in its pure form in towns like Colombo, Galle and Beruwela (p 128). A Muslim physician named Sulaiman Kuttiya who was practising in Galle was invited to the Kandyan court, taken into royal service and given land near Gampola. His descendants who lived till 1874 carried the prefix “Galle Vedaralala” (p 91). The most renowned of these Muslim physicians were the Gopala Moors of Gataberiya in the Kegalle District. The family traces its pedigree to a physician from Islamic Spain, whose descendants migrated to the Sind in Northern India, from where they were ordered to come to Sri Lanka to attend on King Parakramabahu II of Dambadeniya (1236-1270) (p 128). The Gopala descendants continued to function as physicians to the king, during reigns of Rajadirajasinghe (1782-1798) and Srivickrama Rajasinghe. (1798-1815). The Dutch also appointed two Muslims as local physicians in their hospitals, and one of them, Mira Lebbe Mestriar was thereafter appointed as Native Superintendent of the Medical Department in 1806 by the British (p 133).

Another important function of he Muslims in the Kandyan Court, was that they acted as envoys to the King. One Muslim envoy had been sent to the Nawab of Carnatic. Another had been sent to Pondicherry soliciting French assistance against the Dutch, in 1765. The King also made use of his Muslim subjects to keep abreast of developments outside his kingdom. The Muslims were useful in this respect because of their trade links and knowledge of languages (p 135-136).

The Muslims were received favourably in the Kandyan Kingdom, as far as can be seen. Robert Knox says that charitable Sinhala people giftd land to Muslims to live (Dewaraja p 115). Muslims adopted the outward appearance and dress and manners of the Sinhalese. Even James Cordiner couldnot see the difference (p 120). In Galagedara there are yet two villages occupied only by Muslims, surrounded by Sinhala villages. These two villages had Masjids (p 104). Masjids were built on lands donated by the king. Present Katupalliya and Meera Makkam Masjid in Kandy were built on land gifted by the king. The architcture of the Katupalliya is Kandyan. (p114-115). Ridi Vihare in Kurunegala gave part of its land for a Masjid and allocated a portion of land for the maintenance of a Muslim priest (p 113).

In 1930, in Rambukkana many Muslim boys had received their education in Buddhist monasteries. Many of them studied Sinhala and idigenous medicine. Facilities were provided for the Muslim boys to say their prayers and attend Koranic classes, while living in the temple. In this remote village in Rambukkana, Muslims made voluntary contributions towards the vihara and they participated in the Esala Perahera. The drumers voluntarily stopped the music when they passed Masjid (Dewaraja p 113).

Between Hammer and Anvil: Sri Lanka’s Muslims

Adam’s peak, a symmetrically conical mountain set in the gorgeous hill country of southern Sri Lanka, is sacred to all of the island’s main faiths. There is a strange indentation set in the living rock of the summit. To the majority Sinhalese Buddhists (69% of the total population) it is the footprint of the Buddha Gautama. The Tamil Hindus (21%) know better – it is, of course, the sacred footprint of the God Shiva. Then again, the island’s Muslims (7%) insist, it is the footprint left by Adam when, cast out of the Garden of Eden by a wrathful God, he fell to earth in the place nearest to that celestial grove in terms of beauty, fertility and climate – Sri Lanka.

In happier times Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim – together with the island’s Catholic Christians, who believe the footprint to be that of St Thomas – were content to disagree amicably, sharing the pilgrimage season between December and April each year, when every night thousands of people climb the seemingly endless stairs to the 2,224 metre summit and await the sunrise.

As the whole world knows, those days of inter-racial and inter-denominational harmony are long gone – though not at Adam’s Peak, secure in the government-dominated Sinhala heartland. Rather the troubles are at the other end of the island, where for twenty years, ever since the simmering hostility between Buddhist Sinhalese and Tamil Hindu exploded into open warfare, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have pursued their struggle for a separate Tamil state.

As the third, and smallest, of the island’s racial-religious communities, the Sri Lankan Muslims – generally if confusingly known as “Moors” – have become the forgotten losers in this vicious struggle. The Tamils, evidently misclassified by the British during their long hegemony in South Asia as a “non-martial race”, have fought with an extraordinary fanaticism under the cold command of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakharan. From the earliest days of the war they did not hesitate to employ “ethnic cleansing” – that late 20th century euphemism for genocide – against Sinhalese villagers living in the north. Subsequently, and with the same ruthlessness, the same tactic has been used against Muslims.

To understand why this should be so, it is necessary to examine the anomalous situation of the Sri Lankan Moors – Tamil speakers who yet, for the most part, support the Sinhalese-dominated government of Chandrika Kumaratunga.

There have been Muslims in Sri Lanka for well over a thousand years. Trading dhows plied the waters between the Middle East and the island known to Arab sailors – like the legendary Sinbad – as Serendib even in pre-Islamic times. The first Muslim merchants and sailors may have landed on its shores during the Prophrt Muhammad’s life time. By the 10th century this predominantly Arab community had grown influential enough to control the trade of the south-western ports, whilst the Sinhalese kings generally employed Muslim ministers to direct the state’s commercial affairs. In 1157 the king of the neighbouring Maldive Islands was converted to Islam, and in 1238 an embassy to Egypt sent by King Bhuvaneka Bahu I was headed by Sri Lankan Muslims.

From about 1350 onwards the predominantly Arab strain in Sri Lankan Islam began to change as Tamil Muslims from neighbouring South India moved to the island in increasing numbers. By the late 15th century, when Portuguese vessels first arrived in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka’s Muslims were truly indigenous to the island, representing a mixture of Sinhalese, Arab and Tamil blood, and speaking Tamil with Arabic overtones, sometimes known as “Tamil-Arabic”. None of this made any difference to the newly-arrived Portuguese, for whom all Muslims were “Moors” – the name given to their traditional enemies in Morocco and southern Spain. The name Moro – employed as a derogatory designation by the Portuguese – stuck, and is today “worn with pride” by Sri Lankan Muslims, in much the same way as the “Moros” of the southern Philippines.

In Sri Lanka, as everywhere they went, the Portuguese made a special point of persecuting the Muslims. As a consequence, many fled the western littoral which had passed under Portuguese control, and settled in the north and east of the island where their descendants live to the present day. A hundred years later, in 1656, when the Dutch replaced the Portuguese, a third (and final) element was added to the island’s Muslim population – the Malay. Malay sailors had been visiting Sri Lanka for centuries using long-distance outrigger canoes; now, with the arrival of the Dutch, many more were brought from Java to serve their Dutch colonial rulers in Sri Lanka. In time they were absorbed into the island’s ethnically diverse Muslim community, though even today many Sri Lankan Muslims identifying themselves as “Malays” rather than “Moors” can be found living in Western Province, and especially in Colombo.

Today Sri Lanka’s Muslims live scattered throughout the island, from Galle in the south to the Tamil-dominated Jaffna peninsula in the north. Generally they are involved in commerce, from running local dry goods stores to dominating the wealthy gem business associated with Ratnapura – “Jewel City” and much of the capital’s import-export business. In the disputed north and east of the country, where the LTTE are currently battling the Sri Lankan armed forces, many Muslims are farmers or fishermen, living in small villages far from the protection of government forces. It is these people – the poorest of the island’s “Moors”, descendants of the orginal refugees displaced by the Portuguese four hundred years ago – that are now caught up in the struggle for “Tamil Eelam”.

Most Moors speak Tamil as their first language, regarding Sinhalese and English as languages of commerce to be used in their business dealings. Despite this linguistic affinity they do not consider themselves Tamil, however, and have precious little sympathy for the Tamil Tigers’ cause. Rather they tend to support the government, albeit passively, wishing simply to pursue their business interests with the full freedom of religion they have long been accustomed too. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible. In those areas contested by the LTTE with a substantial Muslim population – for example, Northern Province’s Vavuniya District, and Eastern Province’s Tricomalee and Batticaloa Districts – they are under serious pressure.

Initially, it seems, the Tamil separatists hoped to enlist the Tamil-speaking Moors in their struggle for an independent Tamil state encompassing all of Northern and Eastern Provinces. When the Moors remained aloof – and even indicated support for the government position – they became identified as enemies. Worse than that, as Tamil-speakers there seemed, to Tiger minds at least, an element of treason in their lack of support. Subsequently, as the LTTE struggle for secession developed into open warfare with the government in Colombo, Prabhakharan, showing characteristic ruthlessness, targeted the Moors for “ethnic cleansing” – that is, physical expulsion or elimination – from the lands sought by the Tigers as a Tamil homeland.

The Tigers first began to attack the Moors on a systematic basis over a decade ago. In August, 1990, in two separate incidents, more than 230 Muslims were massacred at prayer at towns near Pulmoddai, in the north-east of the island. At the same time Prabhakharan gave notice that the entire Muslim population of Northern Province, including the then rebel-held capital of Jaffna, should leave contested areas forthwith or face being killed. An estimated one hundred thousand people were affected by this threat, many of who have since fled to government-controlled areas in the centre and south of the island. Tens of thousands were made destitute, the majority of whom still eke out a living in refugee camps. Following this incident, Muslim fishermen became a favourite target of LTTE maritime patrols, and Muslim businessmen a preferred target for abduction and ransom.

Muslim leaders in the north and east have responded by voicing their own claims for autonomy in the region, making it clear that – should the LTTE reach an agreement with Colombo on autonomous status – they would seek to opt out from Tamil control. Prabhakharan’s response has been as vigorous and ruthless as ever. If the Muslims won’t accept Tamil rule, they must be expelled from Northern Province and Eastern Province en masse.

Caught in the intricate and seemingly endless web of violence between Tamil Hindu and Sinhalese Buddhist, Sri Lanka’s Muslims are increasingly desperate, unsure which way to turn, and whom to trust. Forgotten victims of a particularly vicious war, they are trapped between hammer and anvil, a long way indeed from the Garden of Eden.

Response to BJPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Yaswant Singh Lok Sabha speech on Sri Lanka

April 1st, 2013

Shenali Waduge

The speech by former foreign minister Mr. Yashwant Singh recently to the members of the Lok Sabha was moving and drew attention to genocide of Tamils by Sri Lanka with a 7 point plan proposed by the BJP. The validity of these accusations needs to be analyzed. http://www.youtube.com/embed/y1y412wIsUc

Let us take Mr. Yaswant SinghƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s recommendations first

1.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Urge SL to withdraw its army from the North ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” war ended 4 years ago. SL should already have had law and order. Let them not run the north on a daily basis.

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka is a sovereign nation. India cannot ask Sri Lanka where to remove or move its forces. We donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t urge India to withdraw its army from Kashmir!

b.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka would first urge India to remove all factors that continue to carry the LTTE slogans locally, overseas and in India in order to remove the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-riskƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ factor that these elements will again start fresh insurgencies. India may well recall how it transported school drop outs including Prabakaran and trained them in India. We canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t afford a similar situation to be repeated.

 

2.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Let them sincerely implement the recommendations of the LLRCƒÆ’-¡  -ƒÆ’-¡  SL Govt is not implementing those recommendationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  LLRC is an internal set of recommendations which the Government is not duty bound to implement in toto just because a foreign nation requests Sri Lanka to.

b.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  LLRC cannot be implemented simply because it is recommended if it violates any clauses of the constitution of the country.

 

3.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Let SL implement the provisions of the 13th a plus ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” SL Govt in its discussions has always promisedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The 13th amendment to the Constitution along with the Provincial Council system was forced upon Sri Lanka by India. It does not have the consent of the People of Sri Lanka.

b.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The President of the country who is himself elected by the People of Sri Lanka is mandated to seek approval of the People of Sri Lanka. The PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s will is what must prevail.

c.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The Provincial Council system should be abolished completely given that it provides no relief or services to the people of the provinces and the large scale of crimes committed by provincial councilors serves as proof. If foreign nations are concerned about the welfare of the people of Sri Lanka they should exert pressures to abolish these provincial councils to adapt to a more practical area of district level governance where it is easier to devolve day to day administrative needs.

 

4.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Impartial inquiry be held into charges of genocide of civilian Tamils by SL forces during eelaam war ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” an inquiry with people from outside SLƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

 

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  We agree with Mr. Yaswant Singh wholeheartedly on this suggestion. The world certainly needs to know the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-crimesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and the crimes cannot cover a selected period only because a crime is a crime and the guilty must be exposed.

b.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  A Presidential Commission of Inquiry is thus recommended. International inquiry members should comprise a representative from China, Russia and Pakistan ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” nations that have openly shown solidarity to Sri Lanka without succumbing to Western pressure. Nations that Sri Lanka can rely on.

c.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  A Presidential COI should rightfully cover the entire conflict from the very 1st crime committed as those victims cannot be over looked which would be a violation of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s constitution giving ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-equalityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ before the law.

d.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  A Presidential COI cannot include India into the international observer team for India is a key player in the conflict having trained LTTE and other school drop outs and turned them into professional killers and giving arms and financial support for the purpose of destabilizing Sri Lanka. These criminal acts tantamount to IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role as a state sponsoring terror must also officially be acknowledged. Punishments aside the world must officially know what India did to its ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-friendƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Sri Lanka.

 

5.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Clear commitment on the part of SL Govt after inquiry guilty shall be punished.

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Well now this is somewhat of a tricky question given that IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s guilt is nothing Sri Lanka can punish unless the West agrees to take action against India. The Sri Lankan people will accept an apology in the least by India and acknowledgement of training the LTTE and helping them financially and with weapons as well as other militant groups.

 

6.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Let India not merely vote in UNHRC take a lead in drafting a resolution in UNHRCƒÆ’-¡  – with the language of the resolution

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  It is IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s prerogative whether it takes a leading role or plays a role behind the scenes that India is normally used to doing. Being stabbed in the back is nothing we are not surprised in view of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s past records. Therefore, it makes little relevance to us what language used because the UN and the UNHRC is in the eyes of the people just a puppet of the West.

 

7.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Finally ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” let India convey in no uncertain terms to the other nations in our neighborhood and the world at large any undue inference with SL will not be tolerated.

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Response

a.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  This looks more of a threat to other nations that are engaging Sri Lanka. Not only should Sri Lanka engage with these nations but also build greater ties with the States of India for the likelihood that these states would end up ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-autonomousƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is something that Sri Lanka should keep in mind. There are no permanent friends in politics ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” only permanent interests. Therefore Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s new foreign policy strategy should be to first realign with our natural historical allies and to next align with the geopolitical realities.

 

The BJP Government ruled India from 1996 to 2004 taking over from the Narasimha Rao Government that ruled India from 1991 to 1996. It was in 1991 that Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated on Indian soil, in Tamil Nadu by the very organization that his mother created to destabilize Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” exactly a decade after India trained the very group in India. The Jain Commission found the LTTE guilty of RajivƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s murder, Prabakaran and Pottu Amman was incriminated for the crime and the Commission also named former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister as having links to the LTTE.

Where was Justice for Rajiv?

Justice for Rajiv Gandhi meant India did nothing against the LTTE, nothing against Tamil Nadu chief minister, nothing against Tamil Nadu-LTTE ties and the greater damage was filing action in the Supreme Court to demand the Jain Commission expunge the period 1981-1987 because it revealed IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in training LTTE and many other Sri Lankan militant groups in India by Indian army and Indian intelligence. The Indian Government also sought to remove reference to the LTTE for the crime. These actions post-Rajiv death indicated RajivƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s death was insignificant for the greater Indian objective. We see that continue as his widow bows down to every demand made by the very state that assassinated Rajiv and has been planning to break away from India since early 1930s. The actions further resonates a belief that Eelaam is a Christian political strategy. Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s separatist agenda started with Christian import Chelvanayagam and not Christian-turned Prabakaran. The Sri Lankan Hindus have had their place ousted by the Church who acts as self-appointed spokesman for the Tamil people. The LTTE-Diaspora is led by Father Emmanuel which further strengthens this notion.

The BJP that ruled from 1996 to 2004 was also part of the 2002 Cease Fire Agreement shadow-managed and supervised by VajpayeeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Advisor Brajesh Mishra. The Agreement all but ceded territory and power to the LTTE and is regarded by Sri Lanka as one of the most treacherous agreements Sri Lanka signed. We hold all politicians and public officials inclusive of the present foreign minister accountable for betraying the nation and the armed forces. The CFA was unilaterally withdrawn in January 2008.

When Mr. Singh says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the tragedy of the Sri Lankan Tamils is one of the greatest tragedies of our timesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” we demand to know in what ways he is qualified to claim so. Yes, the Sri Lankan armed forces have been in the North for 4 years now. What is the genocide that has taken place? How many Tamils have been shot dead since 2009 to the present? Mr. Singh with an Indian soldier for every 7 KashmiriƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s in Kashmir you cannot afford to be speaking on the subject of militarization given the scores of mass graves and accusations of rape and indiscriminate killings that are already documented by human rights organizations who are anxiously looking forward to using these against India when the time is right.

The Sri Lankan Tamils in Sri Lanka have far more freedoms than the Tamils do in India. With 72m Tamils, a state named after its ethnic race why did IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Tamils demand a separate state since early 1930s, angered by the Indian language policies, Hindi domination and other discriminations? Instead of alleging let us know by point form what these discriminations are. Discriminations must be those in the present context and those which Tamils exclusively suffer from that are denied to them legally and constitutionally which the other ethnic groups enjoys. We would very much like to see this list.

Possibly Mr. Singh has not seen LTTE crimes over 30 years. If Mr. Singh has not seen pictures or videos of the LTTE crimes upon babies, children, pregnant mothers, the old and scores of other civilians asleep or in their homes someone from Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Ministry must immediately send a copy of the last 30 years of LTTE crimes because Mr. Singh used his allocated time to speak of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-young child, eating a biscuit and next found lying on the groundƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  to come to the conclusion that the Sri Lankan armed forces murdered him when there was not a speck of blood found on the body leave alone evidence that the Sri Lankan army shot him. Mr. Singh this is what we call playing to the gallery and we would have sent you tissues in advance.

The reference to the IPKF is certainly noteworthy given that for the first time we are told that the Indian military casualties in the IPKF operation was 2900 and not 1200. ƒÆ’-¡ While, Mr. Singh laments in 2013 that the IPKF soldiers has no memorial in India he may like to ask why BJP did not put a memorial given that they ruled from 1996 to 2004 and IPKF left Sri Lanka in March 1990. There was plenty of time for a memorial to be put up for the IPKF. It would be a good idea for the families of the jawans and officers to take legal action against the Indian Government for arming the LTTE that ended up killing the IPKF soldiers because there is evidence to prove that India supplied arms to the LTTE whilst IPKF was in Sri Lanka.

We would like to know what ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-untold atrocitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ were committed by the Sri Lankan armed forces. Give instances, dates and names of victims. All we are quoted are preposterous figures that get inflated whenever an international event is being held. We want to know who their families are, what their names are where they lived. Do not simply throw allegations without proof. The Sri Lankan state has every right to feel ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-triumphalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” we suffered 30 years of terror for which India stands also culpable in training the LTTE. India cannot clean its blood-soaked hands from this fact ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Lady Macbeth did a better job trying. Did the Americans not celebrate when the US President announced that Osama bin Laden was killed. OsamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in 9/11 has yet to be even proven. LTTE crimes last 30 years and they have accepted their atrocities.

Mr. Singh also claims that the center piece of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s policy is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-no military solution to a conflictƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that may be IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s policy but India cannot grudge Sri Lanka for adapting a Just War solution having weathered countless ceasefires, peace negotiations and agreements all nothing but failures giving no solution except to give VIP treatment to terrorists and allow them to fly overseas and forge greater links and purchase weapons. The COI should reveal all these sins and the names of the people associated with it. Even if they lead to the exposure of public officials currently holding portfolios we would like to have their sins revealed in public.

If the President of Sri Lanka organized a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-troikaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ to keep India informed of all that was happening upon Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to apply Just War theory the primary reason was that in 1987 when Prabakaran was cornered in Vadaramachchi and would have been caught India not only intervened but threatened to invade Sri Lanka. This was India threatening a sovereign nation to save a terrorist India had trained. So what is India talking about and who is India trying to fool. India did fool not only us but Tamil Nadu too because India has been selling Tamil Nadu Cinderella stories while all the time making sure no Eelaam will prevail either in Tamil Nadu or Sri Lanka. Tamils need to seriously wake up to this reality. If India is pushing for 13th amendment and removal of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s military it is only to secure the area for itself and that does not include any desire to be giving territory to the Tamils. Tamils need to wake up from this dream once and for all. Mr. Singh himself says on behalf of the BJP ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We are not in favor of a separate nation created out of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The Tamils need to realize that everyone is riding on the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-discrimination of TamilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ slogan to simply push their agendas and that is why Mr. Singh himself ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-sheds tears on their plightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Otherwise, they should openly invite Tamils to live in India if they were unhappy in Sri Lanka. Now that Tamil Nadu chief Minister is calling for Tamil Eelaam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” which rightly has to be in Tamil Nadu the onus is on India to facilitate that because obviously Tamils do not wish to live in a multicultural society and are all the time claiming to want a separate state to solve their problems on their own. India should give this in a state that already is named Tamil State and Tamil is its official language and led by Tamils too. It is already a State run by Tamils without autonomy.

A Presidential Commission of Inquiry with international presence of China, Russia and Pakistan investigating into all of the crimes committed since the inception of terror in Sri Lanka will enable real reconciliation in Sri Lanka. IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s terrorism cannot be suppressed or kept hidden any longer. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Facts of history are facts of historyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and cannot be denied ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” we agree with these words of Mr. Jashwant Singh.

 

 

Rift among lawyers after induction of new BASL President

April 1st, 2013

P.A.Samaraweera, Melbourne

CJ Mohan Pieris had not been invited forƒÆ’-¡ the convocation held on Saturday at Navarangahala to induct the new BASL president. Instead, the UNP dominated BASL, had asked a ‘pretender’ to grace the occassion. Impeached CJ Shiranie Bandaranayke with bankrupt politicians had sat at the High Table. As expected a great majority of the PC’s and senior lawyers had not participated. The Attorney General, senior Judges and seniors from the Attorney General’s Dept had boycotted the ‘get together’. So it had turned out to be an an anti-govt, pro-Eelam, bankrupt politicians ‘evening party’.
ƒÆ’-¡ 
After this meeting, the role of the BASL had been exposed by the Lawyers Association forƒÆ’-¡ Human Rights and Democracy (LAHRD) by indicating that the former is pursuing a political agenda. They have said that the outgoing President is a UNP., MP and the incoming is an active member of the opposition. They have been highly critical of the BASL for promoting an impeached CJ as the 43rd Chief Justice of Sri Lanka. They have also reminded that she has 13 corruption charges against her and had been summoned before the Bribery Commission. While condemning speeches made by pro-Eelamists they have queried the invitations extended to bankrupt politicians.
ƒÆ’-¡ 
After the BASL meeting there is a clear indication of a rift among lawyers. And it is heartening to note that there is a dialogue to form an alternative Bar Association in the interest of the nation.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Tamil Nadu game plan to take over Sri Lanka

April 1st, 2013

From a Well wisher

ƒÆ’-¡ What is the Tamil Problem ? ƒÆ’-¡ Do they have a Problem ?

ƒÆ’-¡ In India, starting from the 1920s, Tamil Nadu tried hard to form a Coalition with other Dravidian states in the South of India and break away. ƒÆ’-¡ This did not work out sinceƒÆ’-¡ the other states refused to be led by Tamil Nadu. ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Also, in 1963 PM Nehru passed a very strong anti-Secessionist Law. TN then realised they can never have a separate state in India. ƒÆ’-¡ So attention was turned to Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ Then known as Ceylon, the island had a good climate, the people were kindly and tolerant. ƒÆ’-¡ There was Free Education, Free Health Care and even Free Food for those below aƒÆ’-¡ certain income level.

ƒÆ’-¡ To head the effort to take over Sri Lanka bifurcation, SJV Chelvanayagam, who was born in Malaysia, was brought to Sri Lanka in 1902. He received completely free education at Sinhala tax payer expense. After he entered politics and formed the ITAK party and became the father of the Tamil separatist movement. If todays Tamil leaders gain an area that is Tamil only with police & land powers, then it would be a simple matter to import the 10-15 Million low caste Tamils from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ Next it is simple matter to train them and let them loose on the poor Sinhalese. ƒÆ’-¡ However, things did not work so smoothly as Chelva wanted. ƒÆ’-¡ So the Plan went to next gear which was to take over the North & East by force of arms through the LTTE. ƒÆ’-¡ As per this Plan :

ƒÆ’-¡ (a) ƒÆ’-¡ A Sinhala backlash was orchestrated by sniping Sinhala soldiers stationed in Jaffna. When their bodies were brought to Colombo they knew there would be be Sinhala riots.

(b) ƒÆ’-¡ Videos were made of the 1983 Riots and distributed in the west by then Tamil ambassadors of Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ They were Lukshmi Naganathan (Germany), Moorthy (France) andƒÆ’-¡ Balachandran (UK). ƒÆ’-¡ 

(c) ƒÆ’-¡ After this, it was easy to raise funds in the west for the Tamil Cause, with the LTTE in charge

(d) ƒÆ’-¡ The guerrilla war started in Sri Lanka with the LTTE which was supported and funded by India. They were provided training camps and bases in South India.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(e) ƒÆ’-¡ Much publicity was created in the west by the Tamil diaspora through a combination of outright lies, bribery of senior officials in various countries. ƒÆ’-¡ 

(f) ƒÆ’-¡ In the meantime, the LTTE killed large numbers of troops, senior govt officials, political leaders, robbed banks, destroyed govt property, ƒÆ’-¡ etc. ƒÆ’-¡ The LTTE ran rings around CBK/Ranil duo. ƒÆ’-¡ The LTTE also killed large numbers of Tamils who did not comply. ƒÆ’-¡ The Mediator appointed, Norway, was completely biased toward the LTTE, for reasons best known to them.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(f) ƒÆ’-¡ Even in the UNHCR, a key Tamil was placed as head (Navi PIllai), who has shown open bias against Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ 

(g) ƒÆ’-¡ The terrorists war dragged on for some 30 yrs as the GoSL tried its best to appease the Tamils.The stupidity of the GoSl headed first by Premadasa, then by CBK and Ranil combo helped LTTE to kill thousands of our Sinhala soldiers. Ranil cut spending on military and the troops were relegated to the barracks. CBK appointed her nephew and her uncle to head the defense effort which was an abysmal failure. When all seemed lost providence brought President Mahinda Rajapakse into power.

(h) ƒÆ’-¡ In May 2009, te newly elected President, Mahinda Rajapakse, decided that enough is enough and declared war on the LTTE, after the LTTE closed the water supply to the farmers of the east. The new President with the GOSL launched an offensive which resulted in total annhilation of the leader Prabhakaran and his LTTE. His efforts were opposed by the Catholic Church and the Western powers which wanted to keep the soup boiling.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(i) ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka is probably the only country in the world which ran a government infrastructure at govt costs in terrorist territory, feeding food to the enemy and providing other necessities of life.

(j) ƒÆ’-¡ After the fall of the ƒÆ’-¡ LTTE, the Tamil Diaspora turned all their attention to INTERNATIONALISE ƒÆ’-¡ their Cause and make out to the world that there was ‘Genocide’ in Sri Lanka againstTamils and therefore they needed a separate state with Police & Land Powers to safe guard themselves. ƒÆ’-¡ It was to this end that the 1983 Riots were orchestrated.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(h) It was the LTTE who killed all the Sinhala villagers in the East and also many of the moderate Tamils. During the war they rounded up civilians in the North and East and took them along with them as they retreated as hostages. They killed thousands of the Tamils who tried to retreat and get into the army held areas. The Sri Lanka army did not kill Tamils on purpose it was the LTTE who did so.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(k) The latest in the LTTE diaspora plan is to create unrest and incite and inflame Tamil Nadu people against the Sinhalese. To this endƒÆ’-¡ TN leaders lie without compunction about genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. It was the LTTE which carried out systematic genocide and ethnic cleansing in the Sinhala villages in the North and East. Entire villages were completely wiped out. Some of the children of these people who ran to the jungle and hid were later gathered by a Buddhist nun who brought them to an orphanage in Ratmalana. The army only tried to help the Tamil civilians who were kidnapped by the LTTE. At every opportunity the civilians escaped to the army lines. In the Final War alone, the army lost 6000 soldiers trying to save the civilians. Is that genocide by the army? The CH4 video is a video of the LTTE shooting captured Sinhala soldiers. They took it and dubbed it and showed it as Sinhala soldiers killing Tamils. See ƒÆ’-¡ http://www.terrorinlanka.com/ch4uk/ƒÆ’-¡ 

(l) In South India, recently NDTV showed the Kebbettigola massacres done by the LTTE as killing by the Sri Lanka army. For once the GoSL protested. Do the TN leaders even realize the danger of creating hatred between the Tamils and Sinhalese ?. The LTTE realized they cannot create another 1983 situation in Sri Lanka from within. They are now trying to create it by attacking innocent pilgrims such as the Buddhist priests in Tamil Nadu. If there is another uprising in Sri Lanka they can they really go to the UNHRC and get their stooge Navi Pillay to carve up the country and achieve the land grab they always wanted.ƒÆ’-¡ 

(m) TN leaders instead of screaming about Genocide should visit Sri Lanka and see for themselves the real situation. Most of the Tamils live in the South in and around Colombo and other cities. Some are among the wealthiest in Sri Lanka. Ken Balendran is a multi billionaire. Even Navi Pillay should come to Sri Lanka and see the situation at first hand. The Australian group of MPs are some who came to Sri Lanka and visited the north and spoke to the Tamils in the north to get first hand information. Their report is one of the few which is fair by Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2013/02/13/julie-bishop-mp-and-scott-morrison-mp-joint-press-conference-abc-news-24/ .MP Ian Paisley also made a passionate speech on behalf of Sri Lanka in the U.K. parliament. He had also visited and seen the situation at first hand. See attached.http://www.defence.lk/new.asp?fname=UK_recognizes_welcomes_progress_made_in_Sri_Lanka_Foreign_Office_Minister_20130115_02

ƒÆ’-¡ (n) I cannot for the life of me understand the silence of GoSL on all these lies put out by the Tamil diaspora. There are a lot of photographs and information of LTTE atrocities which should have been brought to the attention of UNHCR. The original video of the LTTE killing Sinhala soldiers was dubbed by them in Tamil and shown as Sinhala soldiers killing LTTE on CH4. The original true video has been circulating on Lanka Web since the false CH4 videos were shown.

(o) For the last three years the Tamil Diaspora have been working with parties interested in creating a Separate State for Tamils. ƒÆ’-¡ This is for various reasons.

(1) ƒÆ’-¡ The Catholic Church : ƒÆ’-¡ as they would like to bring in Tamil Dalits for conversion to Catholicism and create a Catholic state in the North. (Note: Buddhism is growing fast in the west due to the fact of simplicity & rationality which appeals to the educated and those who are rational in their thinking).

(2) ƒÆ’-¡ The western countries who would like to balkanize India by using Sri Lanka as a base stepping stone. Tamil Nadu has been hankering after Secession for a long time.

(3) ƒÆ’-¡ Other vested interests such as arms dealers, oil companies, corporations in search of resources.

(p) By all their activities, what have the Tamils so far gained ?

  • Tamil Nadu is viewed with some suspicion in India due to previous TN Secession ideas.
  • The Tamils have lost credibility in Sri Lanka and the western countries have noted the money fraud and other anti-social activities of the Tamil LTTE cadre there such as the wanton destruction in London costing the govt there millions of pounds. ƒÆ’-¡ 
  • Western countries have actually banned the LTTE even though their members roam freely all over those countries and collect funds. ƒÆ’-¡ 
  • If instead of creating mayhem all over Sri Lanka and other parts of the world they had spent the estimated $5 billion which was used to buy arms and ship to Sri Lanka, on developing the Tamil Nadu they could have created another Singapore in Tamil Nadu. Of course the upper caste people do not wish to either educate or develop the Tamil Dalits. They want them forever in institutionalized slavery as bucket carriers for faeces, and do other menial jobs.

(q) What steps can Sri Lanka take to protect itself from Tamil Nadu negative aspirations ?

1. ƒÆ’-¡ Create a standing army of Sinhalese like in Switzerland which keeps an army of 2 Million trained civilians in a state of readiness to take arms in a matter of hours.

2. ƒÆ’-¡ Pursue a strategy to remove NGOS & others who work against the interests of the country.

3. ƒÆ’-¡ Pass very strong anti Secessionist Laws like in India with heavy punishments for those who incite Secession. Politicians cannot be allowed contest on Separatism.

4. ƒÆ’-¡ Remove the 13-A and the useless Prov. Councils with it.ƒÆ’-¡ 

5. ƒÆ’-¡ If Tamil Separatism persists, others can boycott their businesses in protest. ƒÆ’-¡ Also, do not depend on Tamil Labor for tea plantations, etc. Mechanize instead. ƒÆ’-¡ 

British peer reveals MI6 role in Lumumba killing

April 1st, 2013

Courtesy The Hindu

The British intelligence services may have just had one of their best-kept secrets blown: their role in the abduction and assassination of Patrice Lumumba, CongoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s first democratically elected prime minister whose Pan-African nationalism and pro-Moscow leanings alarmed the West.

For more than 50 years, rumours have swirled over allegations of British involvement in LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s brutal murder in 1961, but nothing has ever been proved ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ leaving the CIA and its Belgian peers alone to take the rap for what a Belgian writer has described as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the most important assassination of the 20th century.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Now, in a dramatic revelation, a senior British politician has claimed that he got it from the horseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mouth that it was MI6 that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-didƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ it.

Patrice LulumbA

In a little noticed letter to the editor in the latest issue of the London Review of Books (LRB), Lord David Edward Lea responded to the claim in a new book on British intelligence, Empire of Secrets: British intelligence, the Cold War and the Twilight of Empire by Calder Walton, that the jury is still out on BritainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s death. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The question remains whether British plots to assassinate Lumumba ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ ever amounted to anything. At present, we do not know,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ writes Walton.

Patrice lumumba

Lord Lea retorted: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Actually, in this particular case, I can report that we do. It so happens that I was having a cup of tea with Daphne ParkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ She had been consul and first secretary in Leopoldville, now Kinshasa, from 1959 to 1961, which in practice (this was subsequently acknowledged) meant head of MI6 there. I mentioned the uproar surrounding LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s abduction and murder, and recalled the theory that MI6 might have had something to do with it. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”We did,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ she replied, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”I organised it.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

According to Lord Lea, she contended that if the West had not intervened, Lumumba would have handed over CongoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ now called Democratic Republic of Congo ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ rich mineral deposits to the Russians. When contacted by The Hindu, Lord Lea confirmed the contents of his letter to the LRB and that the conversation over tea took place a few months before Ms. Park died in 2010. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the conversation I had with her and thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s what she told me. I have nothing more to add,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said when asked if he had any other independent confirmation of Ms. ParkƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s claim.

Ms. Park was a career intelligence officer who served in Kinshasa (then Leopoldville) between 1959 and 1961. On retirement, she was made a Life peer as Baroness Park of Monmouth. Her fellow peers in the House of Lords referred to her as a spokesperson for the Secret Intelligence Service. She was also briefly head of Somerville College, Oxford University.

There has been no comment from MI6 on Lord LeaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s revelation. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t comment on intelligence matters,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ an official said.

Lumumba, hailed as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the hero of Congolese independenceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ from Belgium in 1960, was shot dead on January 17, 1961 after being toppled in a US-Belgian backed military coup barely two months after being in office.

Lumumba had been sheltered by Rajeshwar Dayal ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ the Indian diplomat who was the UN Secretary GeneralƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s representative in the Congo ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ for several days but was captured and killed soon after he chose to leave the compound. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This heinous crime was a culmination of two inter-related assassination plots by American and Belgian governments, which used Congolese accomplices and a Belgian execution squad to carry out the deed,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ wrote Georges Nzongola-Ntalaja, a specialist on African and Afro-American studies and author of The Congo from Leopold to Kabila: A People’s History.

Declassified American documents from the time have established WashingtonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s role in covert assassination plots ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ the most famous being a CIA plot to poison LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s toothbrush by smuggling poisoned toothpaste into his bathroom.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The toothpaste never made it into LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bathroom. I threw it in the Congo River,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Larry Devlin, the CIA station chief in Leopoldville, later said.

Not much is publicly known about UK role. But, in 2000, the BBC reported that in the autumn of 1960 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ three months before Lumumba was murdered ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ an MI5 operative in the British embassy in Leopoldville suggested ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-LumumbaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s removal from the scene by killing him.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Keywords: Patrice Lumumba,ƒÆ’-¡ British intelligence services,ƒÆ’-¡ MI6,ƒÆ’-¡ Lumumba assasination,ƒÆ’-¡ Democratic Republic of the Congo,ƒÆ’-¡ Congolese indipendence,ƒÆ’-¡ Lord David Edward Lea

 

Top Ambassadors witnessing Mannar IDP plight first-hand-Seven visiting Ambassadors and a 1st Secy sympathise on the sad state

April 1st, 2013

PRESS COMMUNIQUE ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY & COMMERCE, SRI LANKA

A delegation consisting of seven top Ambassadors to Sri Lanka -and a First Secretary- witnessed the plight of Muslim IDP settlements in the Mannar region when they toured the region on 30 March.

The delegation, led by HE Abdulaziz Bin Abdurrahman Al-Jammaz (UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka), consisted of several diplomats. They were the Ambassadors to Sri Lanka from Iraq (HE Kahtan Taha Khalaf), Iran (HE Dr. Mohammad Nabi Hassani), Palestine (HE Anwar al-Agha), Pakistan (High Commissioner Maj Gen (R) HE Qasim Qureshi), Turkey (HE ƒÆ’-¾°skender K. Okyay), Malaysia (HE Mr. Azmi Zainuddin, High Commissioner), and Indonesia (represented by the First Secretary Mr Albert Abdi). The y12 aircraft carrying the delegation landed on MannarƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Thallady Camp Air Strip at 8.25am on 30 March and was promptly escorted to be welcomed by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce in Mannar.

Under the guidance of Minister Bathiudeen, the delegation visited Muslim IDP resettlements in Talaimannar Pier area, the Museli division, and the Marichikatti divisions. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-They witnessed the plight of these helpless IDPs first-hand and lent a sympathetic ear to their issues. I thank the UAE Ambassador to Sri Lanka HE Abdurrahman Al-Jammaz for his leadership in this delegationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ said Minister Bathiudeen addressing the media when the tour concluded at 7.00 pm on 30 March.

muslimvisit

Minister Bathiudeen, addressing the delegation in his pre-tour briefing, said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-According to para 5.137 of LLRC Report, 75000 families were expelled from the Northern Province by the LTTE in a systematic and organized manner during a two week period in 1990. They were mainly living in Puttalam and other districts such as Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, and Colombo etc. According to the Report, around 14,000 Muslim families have returned to Mannar in 2011, and 2,455 to Mullaithivu district. Due to landlessness, the original land becoming jungles, non-availability of infrastructure facilities and lack of assistance from the donor communities they couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t resettle themselves fully in their places of origin.ƒÆ’-¡  The displaced during the height of war and later were accommodated at Menik Farm -the new IDPs- were all resettled. However, the protracted IDPs expelled in 1990s are yet to be resettled. Also, The process in this regard is taking place as per the government promise.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Does Sri Lanka need a US Resolution for it to continue to do what it is doing to reconcile the Communities and rebuild the country after 30 years of Terrorism ?

March 31st, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

ƒÆ’-¡ Though theƒÆ’-¡  President of USA Barack ObamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s father was from a developing country, the President is not interested in poor developing countries, preferring to hobnob with theƒÆ’-¡  White Nations of the West, and those prosperous Nations in ƒÆ’-¡ Asia.ƒÆ’-¡  He visited India perhaps for political reasons and because pandering itƒÆ’-¡  would help US political strategy against China.

ƒÆ’-¡ Kenya which he visited as the country of his father and where he met his relatives was not so much to his liking. In one of his books he says that his wife Michelle ƒÆ’-¡ coming back after ƒÆ’-¡ visiting Kenya said she was happy to have got away to find her America where she is comfortable and happy.

ƒÆ’-¡ Hillary Clinton made a special trip to South India to meet Jayalalitha probably first to encourageƒÆ’-¡  JayalalithaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s anti Sri Lanka stance and also perhaps as a leverage in case a US State Foreign policy may change to breakup India as it did to Russia.ƒÆ’-¡  Robert OƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢Blake who recently said that he had known Sri Lanka for six years and considers he is a friend of Sri Lanka, did not arrange Hillary Clinton to come to Sri Lanka and see for her self Sri Lanka after terrorism.

ƒÆ’-¡ AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Policy remains the same who ever is the President.ƒÆ’-¡  The President Barack Obama will have to follow the State Department, and the State Department will not ƒÆ’-¡ follow the President Barack Obama.ƒÆ’-¡  AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policies are not even made by the Secretary of State but by people like Robert OƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢BlakeƒÆ’-¡  who comes from George BusheƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s era.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ American governments ƒÆ’-¡ had beenƒÆ’-¡  from the very beginning ƒÆ’-¡ trying to assert its National identity first fighting against the American aborigine Indians , then in secessionist wars, and now asserting its world leadership stumping underfoot the developing countries.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ In recent times it helped rebels in Bengazi to oust Colonel Gaddafi, it helps rebels in Syria to oust Asad. And now with regard to Sri Lanka it is helping the pro-terrorist Tamil diaspora to oust the Government in Sri Lanka. The US resolution against Sri Lanka is without any valid substance.ƒÆ’-¡  It has been presented merely to ƒÆ’-¡ undermine the efforts of ƒÆ’-¡ a fast developing Sri Lanka, to discourage its efforts to reconcile the communities and goƒÆ’-¡  forward as a progressive nation, without being dependent on USA or its allies of the West.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ USA does not want any third world ƒÆ’-¡ country to develop.ƒÆ’-¡  It even ƒÆ’-¡ tried to stop the development of China, ƒÆ’-¡ recognizing Taiwan as representative of the Chinese people and keeping Peoples Republic of China out of the UNO.

ƒÆ’-¡ Later on USA and the WestƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  gaveƒÆ’-¡  TiananmenƒÆ’-¡  square protest in China ƒÆ’-¡ undue publicityƒÆ’-¡  expecting it would be the beginning ofƒÆ’-¡  the break up of China. The cold war against Russia was planned to break up USSR.ƒÆ’-¡  These are the tactics of USA purposely designed to keep away any Nation competing against Americas ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-establishedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ leadership.ƒÆ’-¡  USA would allow countries to develop to a certain limit subject to their being ƒÆ’-¡ dependent on USA and the West. USA keeps Cuba inhumanly under trade embargos hoping it would succumbed to Americas superiority.ƒÆ’-¡  That is AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡  slave driving mentality.

ƒÆ’-¡ USA made a big showƒÆ’-¡  at the UNHRCouncil in Geneva to bring a resolution against Sri Lanka, ƒÆ’-¡ a small country which was terrorized by a group of terrorists trained by India purposely to breakup the country and annex the North and East of it as a Tamil Eelam State. USA went all out to help the terrorists to force the government to surrender to them.ƒÆ’-¡  Robert OƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢BlakeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s repeated attempts to dissuade the Sri Lanka Government from using a military solution to settle the terrorist problem was a planned project of the US State Department.

ƒÆ’-¡ Having failed to make Sri Lanka comply to its agenda, USA State Department now seeksƒÆ’-¡  to divide Sri Lanka byƒÆ’-¡  making use of its pretendedƒÆ’-¡  interest in the Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  Tamil Community , and accusing Sri Lanka for its just war against terrorism.ƒÆ’-¡  It has selected only a part of the ƒÆ’-¡ military operations against terrorism to make accusations against Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces. It has conveniently left out the previous ƒÆ’-¡ 30 years of terrorism to avoidƒÆ’-¡  accusing terrorists and those who aided and abetted the terrorists in those atrocious years of terror.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ There being nothingƒÆ’-¡  justifiable toƒÆ’-¡  present a resolution against Sri Lanka, US state Department ƒÆ’-¡ held on to a biased anti Sri Lanka report presented by Navineetham Pillay who is not objective and independent in her position as the Commissioner of the UNHRCouncil.ƒÆ’-¡  SheƒÆ’-¡  being a Tamil her sympathies are with the eliminated terrorists of Tamil origin, and therefore biased against Sri Lanka Government and its Armed Forces.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Her report is based on a questionable report made by a panel appointed by the Secretary General of UNO for his personal use.ƒÆ’-¡  The Panel did not visit Sri Lanka in preparing the report, but depended on documents, and evidence presented to it by the pro terrorist Tamil expatriates.

ƒÆ’-¡  US resolution against Sri Lanka is a paradox. The resolution states in its preamble,

ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Reaffirming also that States must ensure that any measure taken to combat terrorism complies with their obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law, international refugee law and international humanitarian law, as applicable,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ What a hypocrisy ?

ƒÆ’-¡ IsƒÆ’-¡  USA following these strictures it makes ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ against Sri Lanka, in its wars against terrorism in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria far away from America? In PakistanƒÆ’-¡  40ƒÆ’-¡ 000ƒÆ’-¡  civilians have been killed in drone attacks-is it within human rights Law ?

Then theƒÆ’-¡  US resolution goes on to give advice (which it does not follow), first by acknowledging the work so far done by the Government of Sri Lanka, adds to it :

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦..noting nonetheless that considerable work lies ahead in the areas of justice, reconciliation and resumption of livelihoods, and stressing the importance of the full participation of local populations, including representatives of civil society and minorities, in these efforts.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Has USA that devastated Iraq, and Libya in their search for terrorists in the first and to assassinate Colonel Gaddafi in the second, gone back to those countries to reconstruct what it destroyed to allow the civilian population to resume their normal lives ?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

NextƒÆ’-¡  item in the resolutionƒÆ’-¡  is a groping in the dark without knowing the intentions of the Sri Lanka governments in appointing the LLRC, ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ and states,

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.Taking note of the National Plan of Action to implement the recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission of the Government of Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦Noting that the national plan of action does not adequately address all of the findings and constructive recommendations of the Commission. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-

ƒÆ’-¡ This is a wrong interpretation of the LLRC recommendations.ƒÆ’-¡  The intention of the government is only to make it a catalyst to search essential ways and means to avoid ƒÆ’-¡ perpetuating the existing compartmentalisation of the Communities, but bring all the communities together, whether they are Sinhala ,Tamil or Muslim to be united together as Sri Lankans. In order to make a reality of that intention only selected recommendationsƒÆ’-¡  of the LLRC could be implemented to help in the greater task of building a Nation.

The US resolution ƒÆ’-¡ demonstrates the inability of the USA to understand the underlying principle for which the LLRC was appointed.ƒÆ’-¡  It also shows that a foreign countryƒÆ’-¡  not conversant with the culture and social structure of the people of another country ƒÆ’-¡ is unable to understand the reasons behind another nations progressive actions. USAƒÆ’-¡  jumps to accuse Sri Lanka having failed to understandƒÆ’-¡  the ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lankan way ofƒÆ’-¡  reacting to a cultural and a socialƒÆ’-¡  situation.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The US resolution ƒÆ’-¡ continues to elaborate whole series ofƒÆ’-¡  issues the Government of Sri Lanka is quite aware of and is preparing to solve these problems adequately at its own pace in view of the fact that the Government is dealing with a people who had undergoneƒÆ’-¡  a perilous period of fear and uncertainty, ƒÆ’-¡ and is still in the throes of psychological fear of what it suffered under terrorism., which US and its alliesƒÆ’-¡  foreign to the way of thinking of a people will never understand.

ƒÆ’-¡ The USA and its allies, insults the intelligence of the Government of Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces which without their advice, help or assistance fought on its own, adopting appropriate war strategies to defeat the aims of ruthless terroristsƒÆ’-¡  and eliminated them in a fair military operation.

ƒÆ’-¡ Devolution of political authority is not what the ordinary Tamil people demand, it is the demand of the egoist Tamil politicians who are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-descendentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of the defunct terrorists. USA and its allies ƒÆ’-¡ have got the wrong ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-pictureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of Sri Lanka and has the pretention to teach Sri Lanka what are its duties to its people.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Calling upon the Government of Sri Lanka to fulfil its public commitments, including on the devolution of political authority, which is integral to reconciliation and the full enjoyment of human rights by all members of its population ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-,

USA in the ƒÆ’-¡ absence of any reasons on which to accuse Sri Lanka, resorts to the biased report of Navineetham Pillay the UNCHRƒÆ’-¡  to state:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Noting the High CommissionerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s call for an independent and credible international investigation into alleged violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Why should there be a credible InternationalƒÆ’-¡  investigationƒÆ’-¡  when the Government of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  has already done an adequate investigation to attend to whatever sufferings the war against terrorists had caused to the civilian population. The fact that such findings are considered not credible by the USA and its Allies is not surprising as they look at it from their own point of view.ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka belongs to the people of Sri Lanka and it is to their satisfaction that investigations should be carried out to redress any wrongs the war has caused to them.

ƒÆ’-¡ US State Department has ƒÆ’-¡ burrowed the defective report of the Office of UNHCHR, which itself is not based on facts but on a report of a Panel appointed by the Secretary General of UNO for his own purposes. TheƒÆ’-¡  defect of that report comes from the fact that theƒÆ’-¡  Panel did not move away from their comfortable office at the UNO and collected documents from pro terrorist websites and hearsay evidence from the anti Sri Lanka ƒÆ’-¡ terrorist Front Organisations of the ƒÆ’-¡ Tamil Diaspora.ƒÆ’-¡  None of the facts stated in the report of the Panel is substantiatedƒÆ’-¡  with eyewitness accounts or examination of the venue ware the violation of human rights is said to have taken place.

ƒÆ’-¡ The item one of the US resolution based on these absurdities reads:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-1. Welcomes the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on advice and technical assistance for the Government of Sri Lanka on promoting reconciliation and accountability in Sri Lanka[1] and the recommendations and conclusions contained therein, in particular on the establishment of a truth-seeking mechanism as an integral part of a more comprehensive and inclusive approach to transitional justice;ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ It is just meaningless verbiage and says nothing ƒÆ’-¡ factual.ƒÆ’-¡  Why should Sri Lanka now seek advice and technical assistance from foreigners, who did not come forward to give Sri Lanka any technical advise when Sri Lanka needed them during the military operations against the terrorists ?

ƒÆ’-¡ What advice and technical assistance could they give to Sri Lanka when Sri Lanka is well equipped with knowledgeable people and perhaps with a higher IQ than any foreign technician, and can ƒÆ’-¡ do without them to bring the Communities together and settleƒÆ’-¡  difference in intelligent dialogue.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The country needs no truth seeking mechanism as neither the Government of Sri Lanka nor the people engaged in reconciling the communities have anything to hide.ƒÆ’-¡  The problem is only with the USƒÆ’-¡  State Department and its Allies, whose relentlessƒÆ’-¡  interference to accuseƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka for its elimination of terrorism four years agoƒÆ’-¡  hampers its programme of ƒÆ’-¡ development and the unification of the people.

The second item in the US Resolution reads:

ƒÆ’-¡ 2. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to implement the recommendations made in the report of the Office of the High Commissioner, and also calls upon the Government of Sri Lanka to conduct an independent and credible investigation into allegations of violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable;

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka does not trust the UNHCHR and her report which the US resolution refers to as a panacea to solve problems of Sri Lanka. Her ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-cut and pastedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ reportƒÆ’-¡  is not worth the paper on which it has been written.ƒÆ’-¡  The US State Department should stop talking about the Human Rights Law and the International Humanitarian law as USA acts in breach of those laws with impunity with its Armed Forces posted in foreign countries, looking for Al Qaida terrorists. USA stands as the police man of the developing world without any one to questions its own deplorable breach of all Human Rights andƒÆ’-¡  Humanitarian laws.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka has ended terrorism in its own country with its own Armed Forces, and rescued 300ƒÆ’-¡ 000 of its own peopleƒÆ’-¡  held forcibly by the terrorists. Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  is not answerable to any one for deaths of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-CiviliansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ which in USA parlance is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- collateral damageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. If that explanation is good for the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-goose it is also good for the ganderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’-¡ Those civilians who voluntarily stayed with the terroristsƒÆ’-¡  were aiding and abetting the terrorists and Sri Lanka is not responsible for the death of such ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-civiliansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ The next item in the US resolution is the most ridiculous.ƒÆ’-¡  ItƒÆ’-¡  states:

3. Reiterates its call upon the Government of Sri Lanka to implement effectively the constructive recommendations made in the report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity and accountability, and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans;

It demands Sri Lanka to implement the report prepared by its own LLRC. US State Department ƒÆ’-¡ as usual is unable to understand all theƒÆ’-¡  implications of the issues in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  The LLRC was appointed to study the terrorist situation and the conflict that ended with the elimination of the terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡  The LLRC was not mandated to make recommendations.

ƒÆ’-¡ The recommendations they had nevertheless made cannot be implemented without taking into consideration other vital factors that ensues the end of a 30 year struggle and a suffering of the people.ƒÆ’-¡  The Government has to evaluate the situation and forge a different progressive path of development, reconciliation and unity. That is some thing that had to be undertaken by people who understand the culture , customs, and social values of different communities.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ It is therefore some, thing that had to be undertaken by the government of Sri Lanka and not at the behest ofƒÆ’-¡  the USA and its allies or Navineetham Pillay.ƒÆ’-¡  This was well spelt out by the president immediately after the elimination of terrorism, when he said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- there are no more minorities and a majority, but there are only good or bad Sri LankansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ This is a profound philosophical statement made by a generous man who would not hesitateƒÆ’-¡  giving up every thingƒÆ’-¡  for the betterment of his country and its people. It is ƒÆ’-¡ a clarion call for an essential unity.ƒÆ’-¡  This the Americans, the West or the separatist Tamil Diaspora will not understand.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ It is better they take a moment to understand what it involves.ƒÆ’-¡  This makes the US resolution against Sri Lanka a worthless impediment to a greater project the PresidentƒÆ’-¡  and the Government of Sri Lanka has in mind ƒÆ’-¡ for the people of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  Implementation of the US Resolution to the letter will only help separatist politics putting one community against the other when what is needed to day is Unity of all Communities.

ƒÆ’-¡ The next two items, propose continued interferenceƒÆ’-¡  into Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s reconciliation and development efforts.ƒÆ’-¡  If it is allowed Sri Lanka would only be a subject State of USA and the West.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka should refuse any mandate holders or interfering NGOs or specialists into Sri Lanka, either by invitation or as visiting dignitaries.ƒÆ’-¡  We have had enough of interference from the USA and the West ever since we rid ourselves of the terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡  None of them came to ourƒÆ’-¡  rescue then , therefore there is no reasons to invite these ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-disastersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ into, our midst now.

4. Encourages the Government of Sri Lanka to cooperate with special procedures mandate holders and to respond formally to their outstanding requests, including by extending invitations and providing access;

5. Encourages the Office of the High Commissioner and relevant special procedures mandate holders to provide, in consultation with and with the concurrence of the Government of Sri Lanka, advice and technical assistance on implementing the above-mentioned steps;

ƒÆ’-¡ The last item in the US resolution is to bind Sri Lanka to their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- beck and callƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, ƒÆ’-¡ makingƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka a subject Nation.ƒÆ’-¡  If this is allowed we will have this self same comedy being enacted at the UNHRCouncil in Geneva every year in and year out, until Sri Lanka or USA and its allies put an end to it.

ƒÆ’-¡ Therefore, it is best that Sri Lanka take the initiative to end it refusing to cooperate with the UNHRC.ƒÆ’-¡  The resolution if allowed to stand will see the end of the reconciliation of Communities , encourage enhancedƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ activities by the separatists Tamil expatriate groups against the Unity of Communities to ƒÆ’-¡ take the Nation forward, and perhaps revive terrorism once again in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ 

6. Requests the Office of the High Commissioner, with input from relevant special procedures mandate holders, as appropriate, to present an oral updateto the Human Rights Council at its twenty-fourth session, and a comprehensive reportƒÆ’-¡  followed by a discussion at the twenty-fifth session, on the implementation of the present resolution

In considering the whole of the US resolution against Sri Lanka, it is evident that it is going to be an annual exercise of the US State Department and its Western allies against Sri Lanka, therefore, the US Resolution against Sri Lanka is only good to be thrown into the waste paper basket.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is not just and fair that USA that is violatingƒÆ’-¡  human rights, human rights Law and International Humanitarian Law in its different theatres of warƒÆ’-¡  go scot free without any one making any resolutions against AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s blatant violation of human rights.

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka should propose China, Russia and the SAARC to set up a Committee to make America answerable for its violation of human rights, in Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Afghanistan and helpingƒÆ’-¡  rebels arming them and assisting them to fight against Governments in place.

Indian PM has to consult Kurshid on attending CHOGM

March 31st, 2013

Asada M Erpini

ƒÆ’-¡ Media reports dated 30 March mention that Mr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India will discuss with his Minister of External Affairs the issue of his participation at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), to be held in Colombo later in the year. Obviously the learned gentleman is undecided, and he needs the help of others to arrive at a decision.

ƒÆ’-¡ There are millions of peace-loving Sri Lankans who are ready to help the Indian Prime Minister in the dilemma he is facing, and who can help him get out of the quagmire. In a few short sentences they will say, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Thank you very much. Please do not come. No Sri Lankan is going to miss you. Spend that time mollycoddling Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi, Vaiko, Nedumaran and others of their ilk from Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

 

 

Bodu Bala Sena and LLRC (Buddhist self-reliance)

March 31st, 2013

C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.

Need for a new map of terrain

What empowers a Sinhala/Tamil medium graduate left Sri Lanka in frustration to become a professor, a scientist or a research director for example, in USA facing world-wide competition? How was it possible for young men from poor Sri Lanka to win the world cup of cricket by team effort? What reasons were the behind the capacity of village girls and boys in Sri Lanka to end a thirty-year war in less than three years surprising the whole world? In each case the old map of terrain which was not real and not true was replaced or revised with a new map, new model. Since 1832 Sri Lanka used the Eurocentric-colonial map/model. Prior to that Sri Lanka had a map based on the trinity of village, tank and the temple guided by a philosophy set out in the Buddhist Jataka Stories, 550 of them. That model was based on truth and reality. In 2013 the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) is acting to discard the old map (Colombo black-white model). We cannot escape from freedom and avoid challenge. We must be open to challenge.

Compare you-tube video clips of monks Dambara Amila, Bellanvila Wimalaratane and Baddegama Samitha with the monks Kirama Wimalajothi and Galabodaaththe Gnanasara. You can almost touch the pain the latter two monks undergo in their feeling of responsibility (Those who are genuine in their public service mission get angry and agitated like what we heard of the Anagarika Dharmapala). The former three are reading old unreal maps without any feelings, like those Marxists happened to be in front of Jetavanaramaya, Somawathiya or the Tissa weva. For them they are just brick and water. There is no national pride, no goose bumps. Meanwhile the types of Azath Salley sents secret SMS to mosques!ƒÆ’-¡ 

Reasonableness Doctrine

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  In these times of our seeing the Buddhist King Pasenadi KosolƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sixteen Dreams in real life, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) reminds one the idea known as the Pas Maha Balum. BBS is in the right place at the right time. If one surf the English medium websites like the anti-Sinhala Buddhist Colombo Telegraph and newspapers, what jumps out is venom and confusion against BBS. Those English-speaking local and foreign agents who refused to come before the LLRC then are the ones now in the forefront demanding the implementation of its report.ƒÆ’-¡  This same ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-this war is not winnableƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ boat people are so confused they think that BBS is all about Taliban-based halal and pretend that they did not know or see the BBS website. Under colonial assault the first Buddhist Renaissance began shortly after the 1848 genocide culminating with an ideological victory at the Great Panadura Debate in 1873. The public cheating of Buddhists by partisan politics since 1948 deteriorated so badly with crooks and criminals system of governing that began after 1978 forcing the arrival of the Bodu Bala Sena Movement in 2012. The business of BBS is open discussion and debate, no lurking in the dark.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  BBS is an idea based on the Middle Path doctrine in Buddhism. In ancient Greece and in China there was the idea of the Middle Way, but the Buddhist Middle Path goes along with the phenomenon of Impermanence and the cyclical nature of life (not linear). Buddhism is simply the Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Noble path (4NT+8NP).ƒÆ’-¡  This Middle Path is nothing but the reasonableness doctrine of the modern Western world.ƒÆ’-¡  For example, it was this reasonableness which allowed women to become Buddhist monks 2600 years ago. In modern politics or global geopolitics reasonableness is equated as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-moderatesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or compromise of give and take: majorities and minorities compromise in modern representative capitalist democracies. Rights as well as duties, not escape from freedom! Because BBS is based on reasonableness doctrine it was ready to discuss openly the merit and demerit of Halal certification and the gonibilla face cover. What is reasonable in Afghanistan or dessert sands of Arabia or in Paris or London may not be reasonable in the context of Sri Lankan history and geography. Thus marijuana can be legal in Bangladesh but not whiskey. If Muslim MPs did not like to see pork served in the parliament canteen, was it reasonable to ban pork from 90% of othersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ choice of almost free-lunch that all the MPs are enjoying?

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  When the Bamian Buddha statutes were dynamited and later ancient Buddhist documents uncovered were burnt, Sri Lankan Buddhists could not do anything to prevent this destruction of world civilizational heritage. UNESCO failed. But when an ancient Buddhist ruin in the Eastern province was bulldozed and the archeology department officers ignore it saying it was a pile of dirt, was it reasonable for BBS to preach non-violence and keep hands folded? ƒÆ’-¡ It would be like accepting Stanly TambiahƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s stupid theory of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Why Buddhists kill?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ floated in his Buddhism betrayed book. This theory destroyed Buddhism in India, Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, the Maldives, the Philippines, Korea and Indonesia. Buddhism will always be in books and computer disks, but Buddhist culture must be saved and protected. If tax-payer funded police cannot prevent assault on Buddhist institutions, then BBS must develop its own civilian police force based on non-violence but acting as thousands of eyes in the neighbourhood. If the horse is not drinking water when it was taken to water, in these un-Buddhistic (abuddassa) times you have to force it to drink. There is no doubt that thousands of retired people with valuable experience, skills and talents, marginalized at present, will be a technical resource police of BBS, volunteering at the village level.

Monks in politics

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Because politics has become such a dirty game in Sri Lanka — not only dirty politicians themselves say so, but even the Mother Teresa kind of a person like CBK has begun to say it lately– there is blind dislike to monks in politics. Since partisan politics has become a dirty profession, in Sri Lanka or in the USA, monks in party politics can get caught in corruption. BBS has declared that it will not support any political party, all 65 of them. The representative capitalist democratic system the modern world has is dirty and corrupt, but politics is after all a noble idea. Allocating limited resources the most reasonable manner, resolving community and or ethnic conflicts in a reasonable manner, providing equality of opportunities to all, protecting valuable cultural heritage, preventing the tragedy of the commons such as public pollution, forest clearing, are all political acts. Buddhist literature is full of examples of why such politics is needed. The Buddha was a great public speaker. The Four Noble Truths and the Eight-Fold Noble Path is a balancing act between inner purification and outer discipline: spiritual versus material. There is no perfect world and there are no perfect people: saint and devil both reside in human mind. Was it DNA or was it the environment: nature versus nurture. The late professor W. S. Karunaratne said this as a UNP candidate in the 1960s referring to a Santhanagatha and a Bahira Viplavaya.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  If the government is incapable of acting reasonably for whatever reasons, BBS has to come forward to save Sri Lanka from socio-economic malaise and international conspiracies to destabilize and break it into two as the second U.S. resolution of March 2013 plans to achieve in the long run. Since Sri Lanka is an island, enemies cannot destabilize it by cross border arms transfers. But spies and enemies within can capitalize governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s unreasonable, inefficient and unwise behavior in handling domestic affairs, for example food supply, healthcare management or education.ƒÆ’-¡  Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa prepared a new map of military affairs and ended the war, but in all other sectors of domestic affairs the old map is not changed. When some ministries say they changed the old map, it is only a new road added to the same old road map. People, especially the Sinhala Buddhist people, who got marginalized by governmental wrong action or no action who gave the benefit of time for the government to change road maps finally came out embracing BBS as the solution.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Public cheating of Buddhists has gone beyond reasonable limits. A president who got elected because of the Buddhist vote, Buddhist ministry PMs, a constitution which says it gave something special to Buddhists had failed to implement a single item reported by the Buddhist Commission Report of ACBC, 2009. Instead, Buddha statutes are smashed and urinated on the broken pieces by unethical evangelist-Islam converters. Actually Buddhist PM Ministry did severe damage by linking Sambuddha Jayanthi with the Inter-faith fake. In any other country such PM will be fired. Anti-Buddhist officers lead these politicians like cows. Even the Dambulla Cultural Traingle is run by non-Buddhist agents. Thus the government, if it takes a realistic assessment of the current situation could benefit from the BBS Movement. Government imporoper action and inaction gave birth to BBS. ƒÆ’-¡ It must get out of the two-valued orientationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚if you are not my friend, then you must be my enemy syndrome. It must be able to penetrate the cage created for it by its own yes men, UNP and Marxist ministers, top level and lower level officers busy in making a buck for their personal gain. Who can deny that there is no corruption triangle of evil ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” politician, officer, NGOƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚operating at local, regional and national level? It is this triangle scared of BBS.

BBS and the LLRC Report

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  LLRC had the opportunity to be on par with two previous commissions, Colebrooke-Cameron (1832) and Donoughmore (1931), in its impact on the future of Sri Lanka. Unfortunately, it did not have the capacity or courage to escape from the Eurocentric Colombo paradigm.ƒÆ’-¡  It was less pain to read the old map rather than taking responsibility to design a new road map.ƒÆ’-¡  Despite the fact that a new road map was presented to it as evidence, LLRC was willing to go only a politically correct (thinking to please Robert Blake) half way. ƒÆ’-¡ Even in its desire to please everybody in the world other than the Sinhala Buddhists, LLRC could not escape from truth and reasonableness. It dismissed the existence of any ethnic homeland (Vadukkoddei, Oluvil declarations) in the island. This meant an indirect nullification of the 1987 Rajiv-JRJ agreement and the 13-A. ƒÆ’-¡ LLRC stated ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the need for devolution of powerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ (8.212-8.226) clarifying further that devolution means ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-empowermentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of people by ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-people-centric devolutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ (9.231) and by ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-maximum possible devolution to the periphery especially at the grass roots levelƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ (8.225).ƒÆ’-¡  Health, education and agriculture for families should have received priority over roads and bridges involving major contracts and commissions.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ If the officer with a golden brain that was entrusted by the president with the task of implementing LLRC recommendations was not still a Marga Institute agent, he would have utilized this opportunity to act on the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-language-blind, ecology-based, and geography-guidedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ GSN-level action plan presented to LLRC (Plan A), because it was the alternative to replace 13-A. This monumental blunder, intended or unintended has landed Sri Lanka in a mess, all those who want to divide Sri Lanka hammering at it. Only BBS can now provide oxygen to the Mahinda R Administration to come out of this mess as what is reasonable was rejected by the officerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Action Plan (Plan B).ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ A Jayalath Jayawardena-John Amaratunga-Tilak Marapona linked UNP government is no alternative to a MahindaR administration, and Plan B is like trying to cure a cancer by feeding it. Plan B will lead to a Tamil Eelam. In this context elections for a NPC will be a new disastrous Plan C, paving way for a South Sudan in Sri Lanka. Whose brains are behind these? Ghosts of Dayan JayatilekesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in the government?

Spatial inequality

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Plan A (language-blind, ecology-based administrative units) on the other hand is a plan based on reasonableness which concentrates on spatial inequality affecting the scrambled egg-like population map of Sri Lanka. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim masses equally suffer under capitalist corruption system now in operation in the country allowing certain selected crowds to thrive. Only a movement like BBS can cut through this crap utilizing Plan A which merges three paths (1) the Buddhist Middle Path, (2) the Bio-regional Path (geography-ecology) and (3) the Reasonableness (Doctrine) Path in western jurisprudence to create a people-based democratic society in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is now faced with three kinds of threats: (1) Separatist gimmicks of Tamilnad love and politics family clans controlling Delhi political puppets (2) Prabakaran remnants in New York, London etc. with Christian evangelical and corporate imperialist plans aimed at balkanization of India (3) Emerging new threat of Talibanization of the traditional Muslim community in Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ Plan A will make Geneva USA second resolution a case of a dogs barking at a passing caravan. Like the GotaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s War, only BBS has the people power to make it happen.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Plan A rejects the new imperialist strategy called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-meaningful devolutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ by way of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unmajoritarian institutions.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ This method promoted by white Eurocentric writers like Donald Horowitz creates regional ethnic minority elites and slowly weakens the central governments in former colonies (it may take a decade or two or more), until a new Kosovo or South Sudan (or even a separate country of Scotland) is established splitting countries. Thus, the new policy of creating ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unmajoritarian institutionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-sanitizedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ version of the old divide and rule policy, providing ladders to separatist monkeys to carve out separate countries at each otherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s throat.ƒÆ’-¡  Already, South Sudan started an internal war. No wonder Christian-Marxists like Dayan Jayatileke promotes this path calling it the Nye Soft Path! Dayan J has begun his new cold war against the Sinhala Buddhists.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Plan A is the real homegrown solution which offers a new kind of 13-A plus on the new map of terrain that BBS is now drawing. The real democracy of empowering people (not separatist party politicians) locally is not in Horowitz-Nye-DayanJ or Raliv Wijesinghe Eurocentric formula. This formula stops at regional ethnic politiciansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ level and it failed in Nigeria and Lebanon, two cases that Horowitz used to cite as success stories. ƒÆ’-¡ It is also interesting to note that in his writings Horowitz did not mention even once the concept of Panchayathi Raj Institutes in India based on consensus politics (God speaks in five, if five people agree, god is with them), not western party politics of throat-cutting competition. International expert Horowitz was clueless about the Sri Lankan Gamsabhava! Sri Lankan villagers are today divided so hopelessly due to green, blue and red party politics.ƒÆ’-¡  Fortunately, LLRC did not buy the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Horowitz pathƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of devolution which would ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-empowerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Tamil separatist TNA politicians.ƒÆ’-¡  LLRC promoted meaningful empowerment of people at the village level to deal with social, economic and spatial inequities prevalent in the island, but it did not propose a mechanism. For Example, Marxist Tissa VitharanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s APC majority proposed a Tamil policeman in each Sinhala village! Plan A proposed a mechanism to escape from the death trap called 13-A.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Instead of asking ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-How can we help Tamils and Muslims to achieve their aspirations,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ LLRC could have asked, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Why most spatial units (districts, electorates, natural regions, villages or GSN units) in Sri Lanka are not developed?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ because poverty is not just a Tamil or Muslim problem. In that case LLRC could have focused on the issue of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-spatial rightsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-spatial justice.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Tamils in villages are not asking ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-group rights.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ They want water, rural roads, schools, more busses, railway line, radios, rural bridges, TVs, bicycles and hospitals. When they have these basic human needs, they will copy MaslowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hierarchy of needs and intelligently think on their own if an aspiration to have a separate Tamil country in Sri Lanka is viable, possible or desirable. What is happening now is that Tamil and non-Tamil selfish separatist politicians, local and foreign, trying to manipulate innocent Tamils and Muslims villagers to satisfy their ulterior motives. Only BBS can prevent the government jumping into a domestic mess by holding NP elections.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka cannot expect any reasonable outcomes unless the electoral system is changed and the public service is overhauled with performance evaluation and merit promotion installed.ƒÆ’-¡  Ordinary citizens have no place to go for normal/usual services.ƒÆ’-¡  They have to either know somebody in an office or give a bribe to somebody in an office. Increasing numbers in the government service or increase in expenditure on government projects cannot erase the frustration people have about the moral and ethical decay taken place in the country.ƒÆ’-¡  If the head of unit is out shopping using office time can we expect the clerks of that unit to be at the desk or not on cell phone for hours?ƒÆ’-¡  Despite preaching by ministers this is reality and only BBS civil volunteer force can stop this with thousands of eyes.ƒÆ’-¡  How can we provide incentives to the public servants to serve better and how can we remove corrupt behavior with disincentives (carrot and stick) should be the number one priority.ƒÆ’-¡  The introduction of mandatory income/assets declaration by public servants open to citizen scrutiny; community service method of punishment for crimes against society such as bribery and corruption; removal of illegal weapons in the hands of people and the utilization of military for civilian construction purposes are matters that need attention for any serious progress.

Divineguma based on old mapƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ All kinds of development work are taking place in Sri Lanka today.ƒÆ’-¡  But similar work of national magnitude was attempted in the past by Mrs. B, Dudley S, and R. Premadasa, respectively. How efficient and effective were they? Did officers act as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-yesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ men and women and deceive politicians?ƒÆ’-¡  Or were there systemic defects that even dedicated officers cannot succeed? Development work cannot be successful unless it improves the living standards of the local people impacted by it. That is the yardstick of progress. There are programs like Gami Diriya successfully empowering people marginalizing the politician-officer-NGO corruption trio.ƒÆ’-¡  Divineguma will be a sitting duck to this evil axis. The funny thing is that Samurdhi officers were given the impression by politicians that the Samurdhi program was created to give jobs and pension rights to them, and not for the purpose of uplifting village life!! Unfortunately, Divineguma is a mega job security project. It is not people-decided village development. It is officer-imposed directions to plant vegetables and save money in the bank. BBS can help change Divineguma giving its control to people at village (GSN) level which was proposed to LLRC by Plan A. One need to remember that even the Sarvodaya which says it has 6000 villages in its bosom cannot submit an impact report.

Empowerment of people ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”Plan A

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The problem in Sri Lanka is spatial inequality, not racial inequality (Teaching Tamil and Sinhala to school children will remove within ten years any opportunity Tamil or Muslim politicians now have in trying to manipulate Tamil-speakingƒÆ’-¡  people). ƒÆ’-¡ Since the government is a prisoner to Eurocentric thinking BBS can help the government to reconsider implementing the Jana Sabah concept based on polling station or GSN unit-level. Reminiscent of the Road Development Committees or Sanitary Boards during the early colonial times what Sri Lanka needs today is grass roots level non-political party entities elected to handle basic needs of people such as garbage disposal, road building and maintenance closer to home dwellings, basic health services, quality improvements in schools, prevention of soil erosion and environmental conservation and cooperative efforts to protect local farmers and producers from exploitation. Election of ten members per each entity and then one from such entity making an electorate level unitƒÆ’-¡ proceeding further up to the national level with whom the President of the country can have direct communication. This plan can be implemented by creating an office reporting directly to the president. A separate ministry or a department not needed.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  This idea is not new (MagaNaguma and DiviNaguma are two programs on these lines).Several witnesses presented similar concepts for consideration by LLRC. But Plan A is the simplest and most effective way to monitor how big projects impact on local communities and to give people an opportunity to decide and control their day to day affairs. Each unit will prepare a land use map (plan) for their locality and monitor how government and NGO projects are implemented in their area. If a contractor is corrupt and doing sub-standard work local committee can prevent it. If school teachers are not teaching and promoting private tuition the local committee can interfere via parent-teacher associations or old school boys/girls association.ƒÆ’-¡  Education ministers cannot solve these problems. If people are dumping garbage on to the road, local committee can take action against them.ƒÆ’-¡  There is no doubt that politicians of all shapes would not like this idea, but Sri Lanka cannot become a Singapore in economic development and cleanliness if local people are not linked with the governance structure.ƒÆ’-¡  At present there are no checks and balances to prevent political and official corruption rampant at the local (local government and GSN) level.ƒÆ’-¡  A citizen affected by inefficiency of a local government, district, provincial or central government officer must be able to go to the local non-political party committee for redress.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Get people behind the government

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ The need to empower people at the grass root level is not just a political strategy to meet the external threat backed by local separatist agents.ƒÆ’-¡  It is a necessity to protect peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s democracy while promoting sustainable development.ƒÆ’-¡  In the West, local level administration was done by counties and parishes for generations which are more recently supplemented by groundwater management districts, river basin management districts and more specific functional districts such as solid waste management districts.ƒÆ’-¡  In New Zealand, a smaller country like Sri Lanka, all local administrative units are demarcated using river basins as boundaries.ƒÆ’-¡  Long before think globally, act locally became a popular concept Sri Lankan society was guided since antiquity by a sustainable development-related trinity of village, water tank and the temple. Ironically, what a few enlightened, people-sympathetic, western professors are now prescribing to Sri Lanka and other countries are so similar to the principles enshrined in the concept of trinity of ancient Sri Lankan society.

Sustainable development via three merging paths

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The Jana Sabha or Gam Sabha (or GSN unit level peoplesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ committees) system can be justified utilizing three interrelated approaches. The Horowitz path (the infamous 13-A is an example of Horowitz path) can be easily dismissed as unwanted burdens (inviting snakes crawling yonder) placed on this tiny island nation by any one of these approaches. Presented as a model the three approaches (paths) are like the three sides of a triangle. The base of it is the moral and ethical foundation of a society. In the West, it is the Judo-Christian norms and values. In Sri Lanka this base has been Buddhism, Buddhist Jataka Stories. ƒÆ’-¡ The sides of a smaller triangle inside the larger triangle indicate action, perception and location. ƒÆ’-¡ Location is also described as space or place.ƒÆ’-¡  Inside this triangle at the center is the triangle of spatial inequality, a result of not following or abusing the three paths.ƒÆ’-¡  By following them inequality and inequity could be erased allowing Sustainable development to take root. The close affinity that exists between law and geography on the one hand and between law and Buddhism on the other in their applied interface generating socio-economic processes creating spatial (geographical) patterns deserves careful scrutiny by all who genuinely wish for a prosperous Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has laws in books, but no action!

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The reasonableness doctrine in law and the Middle Path in Buddhism are like the two sides of a coin. What is reasonable has a geographical contextƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚in some places people eat dog meat, in some other places stray dogs are not eliminatedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚and the kinds and types of some activities of the Eight Fold Path are also influenced by the human and physical geography of an area.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Whether it is reasonable to think of separate homelandsƒÆ’-¡  or demarcate language-based or religion-based spatial units considering the population geography of Tamils and Muslims in Sri Lanka becomes a legal as wells as a geographical issue that goes beyond separatist politics by non-Buddhists.ƒÆ’-¡  When ethnic distribution is like a scrambled egg is it not better to have smaller spatial units so that ethnicity pockets have an opportunity to have full local representation?ƒÆ’-¡  For example, in the Panadura electorate there are at least three Muslim pockets: Totawatta-Ambalanduwa, Sarikkammulla and Eluwila.ƒÆ’-¡  A GSN unit-based division will allow Muslim majority units, which the Sinhala people in proximity will not consider as an ethnic threat, unless Islam extremists from overseas try to spoil them.ƒÆ’-¡  Muslims will have to be reasonable in developing their group aspirations. Unlike India, Canada or Belgium, geography does not support language-based spatial divisions in Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Western capitalist representative democracies love the doctrine of separation of powers to death as seen from the constitutional crisis in the USA today. However, it is now uncovered that Montesquieu did not suggest a strict separation of powers among the three branches of government. ƒÆ’-¡ In fact now there are about five such branches. What he wanted was to distribute the sum total of governmental power (including even some judicial power) to as many spatial/political units as possible. It was as if Montesquieu thought about our Gamsabha system or the sovereignty enjoyed by the village-level Buddhist temple chief monk, who is free from central control unlike the local Christian church. The Buddhist Republics in ancient India were similar to the Tribal Councils Native Americans later had in North America, which Benjamin Franklin wanted the fighting 13 states to follow. These ideas later influenced the western political science theories of governance.

ƒÆ’-¡ Bioregional vision

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Empowerment of people means giving people governmental power at the lowest possible spatial unit level. The American, Kirkpatrick Sale described this as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-human scaleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in his book, Human Scale (1980). He says everything works best if it is at a scale (size) manageable by local people. This is akin to what we generally identify as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-grassroots ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-politics. In a global village one thinks globally, but acts locally. Or, as the former U.S House Speaker Tip OƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢Neil once said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-all politics is local.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Empowerment works best at the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Small Is BeautifulƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ scale. With global warming and local floods, droughts and landslides, massive development projects and environmental degradation, sustainable development at local level becomes a top priority.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  A paradigm shift has taken place in (physical-economic) development from things to people as reflected in the increasing use of Participatory Rural Appraisals and people-centered methods of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-endogenous development.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  Local knowledge (local farmers and villagers) is more valuable than an agriculture or civil engineering graduate can learn from books. The value of this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-social capitalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is now recognized by the World Bank and other UN development-oriented agencies.ƒÆ’-¡  After fifty years of technocratic misadventure, in Sri Lanka these methods are now employed in irrigation settlements in the dry zone.

Spatial justice atlas

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Empowerment of people at the local level is not just a political affair. It is a scientific endeavor. Each locally elected non-political party committee will base their work on a locally-developed land use map. Each unit will have a graduate research assistant. Ironically, in the Vavuniya District such maps are already in use as a research tool. Tamil tigers had an elaborate land use planning system developed after CFA 2002.ƒÆ’-¡  Tamil officers are ahead of Sinhala officers in this regard. Most districts in the South now have data tables displayed at GSN unit level.ƒÆ’-¡  Volunteer students from local high schools and their geography/biology teachers will no doubt take part in updating such maps available at the survey department.ƒÆ’-¡  This will help in identifying natural boundaries for the local unit. For example, such action could help to reduce 15,000 GSN units to a more reasonable number (it was only 4,000 in the late 1980s).

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  An ecologically demarcated local unit maps will lead to an ecologically demarcated electorate similar to the pre 1980 era. By converting land use data to data tables an atlas of spatial justice could be developed at the national level using local natural-ecological unit as the lowest spatial unit. An atlas of spatial justice will be the quarterly or annual report card of this monitoring process. It will be an ongoing system with feedback loops. In the 1940s, in the United Kingdom, the late geographer Dudley Stamp undertook a national land utilization survey with the help of public school students. It was continued in the 1970s and 1990s.

BBCwijeƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

The proposed spatial atlas of Sri Lanka will be an improvement of Dudley StampƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s original idea interpreting the data from land use planning with issues of spatial injustice.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Since local level watersheds/basins have a hierarchical order of progressively increasing in area/size they can become a large River Basin Region at macro level. Seven such River Basin Regions could advantageously replace the present arbitrary nine provincial units; each with an ocean front and each with more or less equal land area. If people are allowed to handle their basic affairs at GSN unit level, 70% of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s present crises can be solved.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The map above first developed by the geography professor C.M. MaddumaBandara can be used as the ultimate goal of a country administered by language-blind political units. This is the only way to develop a Sri Lankan identity.ƒÆ’-¡  The Seven River Basins are: 1. Yalpanam, 2. Rajarata, 3. Dambadeni, 4. Mahaveli, 5. Deegavaapi, ƒÆ’-¡ 6. Kelani, 7. Ruhunu (This map was published in Chapter 4, in Fifty years of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Independence: a socio economic review, edited by A.V. de S. Indraratna, 1998, p.83).

Readers are encouraged to contact the writer at Cwije7@google.com

LEGAL PRETENDERS PROSTITUTE LAW FOR EELAM PROJECT

March 31st, 2013

Sri Lanka News

* Top legal eagles, all top ranking judges, PCs boycott proceedings, evening party

* ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ConvocationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢-provocation aiming for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Eelam without one shotƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

An attempt to pass off the impeached disgraced Chief Justice as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”43rd Chief Justice of the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ with one speaker expressly stating that she remains Chief Justice, unraveled badly at the Navarangahala on Saturday.

The appointed Chief Justice Mohan Peiris was not invited.

Former Supreme Court judge C. Vigneshwaran speaking at the Bar Association of Sri Lanka annual ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”convocationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ held at Navarangahala, took the stupendously seditious position that the parliament of Sri Lanka is akin to a LTTE Kangaroo court.

He said this in the presence of the impeached Bandaranayake who contravened Supreme Court orders and was in contempt of court when she heard cases pertaining to devolution of power, when she was ordered by the Supreme Court expressly not to do so before she took office as a Supreme Court judge — thereby clearly aiding and abetting, the Eelam project for obvious reasons with this course of action.

Now, with former Justice Vigneshwaran saying that the parliament of Sri Lanka is a Kangaroo Court akin to the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s, the attempts to pass off the pretender Chief Justice as the Chief Justice of the country can be seen to be a patently pro – Eelam project, aimed at securing Eelam without firing a single shot, it was clear to a cross section of the highest echelon legal eagles who all in unison boycotted the meeting.

Political actors Chandrika Kumaratunge, now effete and smarting from a lack of a political role and nostalgic for power, and other anti-national elements that mouthed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”anti-impeachmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ slogans to coincide with the Geneva anti-national campaign in March 2013, were at the meeting.

The pro-Eelam anti national character of the session however was revolting to many members of the Bar including almost a 100 per cent of the PCs and other senior lawyers that didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t participate in the convocation proceedings, or the party that was to follow at the Cinnamon Grand.

Also boycotting the party was the Attorney General, senior judges including Supreme Court judges, and most seniors of the Attorney GeneralƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s department.

Top judges including Supreme Court judges also boycotted the proceedings.

Vaiko demands arrest of Sri Lanka High Commissioner in India for saying, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sinhalese came from North IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬!

March 30th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

ƒÆ’-¡ The depths, to which the bankrupt political numbskulls in Tamil Nadu can descend to, as reported in the media on 28 March, are mind boggling.

ƒÆ’-¡ When the average reader was convinced that the politicians, the actors and the actors-turned-politicians in the Dravidian State had given their best performances so far vis a vis Sri Lanka, now comes the story of calls for the arrest of His Excellency Prasad Kariyawasam, Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s High Commissioner in India.

ƒÆ’-¡ A man called Vaiko wants His Excellency arrested, and another individual, named Ramadoss, has said that the High Commissioner should be sent back (to Sri Lanka) for violating the norms of the Vienna Convention. The height of absurdity is the demand by a third character named Nedumaran for the expulsion of the High Commissioner ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” hold your breath, readers ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-meddling with the internal politics of the country (India)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’-¡ All the above ludicrous and pathetic statements are in the same news report which also stated that a fourth Tamilian, named Ramakrishnan, who obviously does not want to be left behind when the others are stealing the limelight, was calling for a referendum to solve the issues of the Sri Lankan Tamils.

ƒÆ’-¡ The reasons for the demand of the arrest and expulsion of His Excellency, to say the least, are beyond comprehension. What is the crime that His Excellency Prasad Kariyawasam is alleged to have committed? He is reported to have stated that the Sinhalese ethnic group, which constituted 75% of the population of Sri Lanka, are descendants of people who had come from Odisha in North India whereas the Tamils who constitute 12% have connections to those in Tamil Nadu.

ƒÆ’-¡ Many Sri Lankans, day in day out have to put up with the fabrications, brazen lies and the photoshopped images pertaining to the purported crimes committed by the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-SinhaleseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ army of Sri Lanka against the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”innocentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Tamils. They would find it difficult to understand why all these bucketfuls of tears that the Central Government of India, and by people such as IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Prime Minister and, of late, by the Congress leader ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the fair lady who a few decades may not have known where Sri Lanka was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” are only for the Dravidian Tamils in the South. A few tears, at least as a token, on behalf the Sinhalese may not be out of place.

ƒÆ’-¡ Then again, the people of Odisha do not have the power or vociferous politicos who can pull the rug from the under feet of Manmohan Singh, leading to the whole Congress government collapsing like a pack of cards. Additionally, they do not have hundreds of thousands of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-their peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ who had emigrated to settle in the rich countries to finance a propaganda war, having failed in a military campaign. So, as far the New Delhi government is concerned, there is absolutely no need to worry about anyone in Odisha.

ƒÆ’-¡ There are many writings in Lanka that say that the present Sinhala race was founded by a prince and his retinue who came from Vanga Dese ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the current Kalinga in North India. Added to that, there are poems in the present day Bangladesh (until 1971 East Pakistan; until 1947 colonial India) that mentions a Prince called Vijaya who left that region of the Indian land mass to the island of Lanka and founded the Sinhala race. The famous stage drama Sinhabahu of Prof. Ediriweera Sarathchandra, which was based on some of the orally transmitted heritage of Sri Lanka, has Sinhabahu, the main character around which the story revolves, whose son was Prince Vijaya (according to the chronicle Mahavamsa), reminding himself of his duty towards the people of Vanga Dese (Kalinga). Although no one says that whatever that is there in the Mahavamsa is archaeological evidence of the history of Lanka or the Sinhala race, the epic written around 400 AD has many pieces of information that correlate well with Indian histories of the period.

Be that it may, three fourths of the population of Sri Lanka has a right to demand that India looks at facts and be objective, without allowing one extremist anti-Sri Lanka state to blackmail it when the union of states comprises 28 states and 7 union territories. Sadly, all that India or its former princely states and mini-kingdoms did, except for rulers of the calibre of Emperor Asoka (274 BC), was to harass and wage war against Lanka and attempt to dominate the tiny island, and todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s India does not appear to be doing anything different. The South Indians were among the worst in the past ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the Chola and Pandya emperors wreaked havoc in Lanka repeatedly, destroying its Buddhist heritage and the stupendous cities such as Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa. The European colonisers who descended on Sri Lanka later and subjugated its people brought in indentured Tamil labour from South India to work in their plantations that came up in lands that were usurped from the rightful owners, the Sinhalese, under the dubious Wastelands Ordinance. The worst that the more recent India did is the support that it gave the descendents of the South Indian Tamils in Sri Lanka to destroy the island nation and massacre its innocent civilians over a three-decade period, the latter heinous crimes thankfully ending in May 2009.

ƒÆ’-¡ As long as one could remember, Tamil Nadu, as well as the government leaders in New Delhi, has been telling Sri Lanka how the island nation should run its affairs. The interference was not in mere words: many political leaders in Tamil Nadu helped in training and financing an illegal armed gang, to dismember Sri Lanka. The top rung politicians in New Delhi too joined in this dastardly act,ƒÆ’-¡  providing training facilities to the LTTE terrorists in its own army bases and even whisked away the LTTE leader to safety in India when he was about to be caught in the Vadamarachchi Operation of 1987. Rajiv GandhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s infamous parippu airdrop over Jaffna and the 13th Amendment that he forced on a hapless then President are classic examples of how India interfered in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s affairs.

ƒÆ’-¡ Before any Indian talks of Sri Lankans interfering in IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s internal affairs, he or she should turn the light inwards or go in front of a mirror to see who really has been poking an unwelcome finger in someone elseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s affairs. A person in Tamil Nadu, who obviously has no idea that one country cannot decide whether another should remain unitary or be partitioned ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” except going by the adage ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Might is rightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬- is reported to have moved a motion in the Tamil Nadu State Assembly the other day to have a referendum on the creation of Eelam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” not in India ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” but in Sri Lanka!

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka, or the former Ceylon, has managed to survive and withstand the Indian and other foreign onslaughts during a period that spans centuries, when foreigners tried their best to conquer and annihilate the Sinhalese in days gone by. Until May 2009, the very same groups and nations were glad to label the LTTE terrorists as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-invincibleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Sri Lanka has the wherewithal to resist insidious attempts by India and the so-called international community to erase the identity of the island nation from the world map: in case Sri Lanka fails its citizens, comprising the majority of the Sinhalese and a handful of peace-loving Tamils and Muslims, may be proud to go down fighting.

Timeline to abolish the 13th Amendment – A nationwide referendum on Friday, 30 August 2013

March 30th, 2013

Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

The timeline

  1. April 2013 (after the New Year) – The ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Cabinet approves the proposal to abolish the 13th amendment ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”

Preamble to the CabinetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Proclamation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”

The Cabinet agreedƒÆ’-¡  that the provincial councils are a white elephant, it was imposed on the country in 1987 under extreme duress,ƒÆ’-¡  the Government cannot any further financially sustain them, it is the GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s experience that Sri Lanka is too small to be governed by nine separate provincial governments, what Sri Lanka needs is a strong, benevolent Central Government that will duly look after all its people and the current Government is committed and capable of providing same. ƒÆ’-¡ The majority of the people of Sri Lanka have shown strong resentment towards maintaining the provincial council system, ƒÆ’-¡ the resentment has grown over the years and has now reached the peak. Over the past 26 years the provincial governments have renderedƒÆ’-¡  little service to the public, therein increased ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ corruption and other social evils, have enacted laws that are inconsistent with the powers vested with the central Government, ƒÆ’-¡ have impositioned unfair taxation on constituents and ƒÆ’-¡ have encroached into areas of power that are not vested in ƒÆ’-¡ them under the incidental heads of powers of the Constitution; ƒÆ’-¡ the most important and notable reason to abolish them being they have become a serious threat to the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty, national security and territorial integrity. Effectively, it is in the best interests of Sri Lanka that the provincial governments are abolished as soon as practicable, especially given the fact that terrorism has been eliminated from the country. The ƒÆ’-¡ violent and other ugly incidents in Tamilnadu, India ƒÆ’-¡ against Sri Lanka and Sri Lankans and the unprecedented bias that has been shown against Sri Lanka by theƒÆ’-¡  international community (ie, by the US, EU and India) where they passed another adverse resolutions against ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka in March 2013 at the Human Rights CouncilƒÆ’-¡  in Geneva, ƒÆ’-¡ which resolution if fully implemented will lead to probable secession of Sri Lanka and will cause social, economic and other damage and social upheaval in the country. It is also probable that maintaining of ƒÆ’-¡ the current provincial government system will lead to formation of a separate country in Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” something like a South Sudan, an Eretria or an East Timor ƒÆ’-¡ being formed in Northern Sri Lanka, and the Government and people of Sri Lanka do not want such a situation to arise, hence the Government will take every ƒÆ’-¡ possible step to stop that from happening. ƒÆ’-¡ Therefore, the GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision that the provincial government system should be abolished by way of amending the Constitution wherein all current powers of the said provincial governments will ƒÆ’-¡ vest with the ƒÆ’-¡ central Government.ƒÆ’-¡  However, the final decision to change the Constitution will be decided by the people of Sri Lanka at a nationwide referendum to be held on Friday 30 August 2013.

  1. April 2013 – The President meets with the heads ofƒÆ’-¡  the leading political parties
  2. April 2013 – TheƒÆ’-¡  President meets with all the Chief Ministers and Governors of the provincial councils ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” It is expected that these delegates ƒÆ’-¡ will give consent to the Government that the provincial governments should be abolished (subject to the citizensƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ consent at a referendum).ƒÆ’-¡  The provincial government politicians and their personal staff will be given notice of the possible abolishment of the Provincial Councils within 4 months. The administrative staff will be informed that they ƒÆ’-¡ will be absorbed into the central government public service. A separate authority will be set up to oversee the smooth and effective transition of the provincial government machinery into the central Government, so that no last minute corruption and other malpractices will occur.
  3. Early May 2013 – The President meets with the service commanders
  4. Early May 2013 – The President meets with Buddhist priests (leaders)
  5. Early May 2013 – The President meets withƒÆ’-¡  other religious dignitaries (leaders)
  6. Early May 2013 The President briefs the media
  7. Early May 2013 The President addresses the nation live on TV and informs the people
  8. Early May 2013 – The Foreign MinisterƒÆ’-¡  meets with the Indian High Commissioner and informs him of the process
  9. Early May 2013 – The Foreign MinisterƒÆ’-¡  meets with the US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and informs him of the process
  10. Early May 2013 – The Foreign MinisterƒÆ’-¡  meets with the Ambassadors of the EU nations to Sri Lanka and informs them of the process
  11. Early May 2013 – The Foreign MinisterƒÆ’-¡  meets with the Ambassadors of China, Russia, Pakistan and other SAARC countries and informs them of the process. If possible, he will meet with the representatives of Congo, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kuwait, Maldives, Mauritania, the Philippines, Qatar, Thailand, UAE, Uganda andƒÆ’-¡  Venezuela who opposed the recent Geneva Resolution against Sri Lanka.
  12. ƒÆ’-¡ Early May 2013 – The Foreign Minister addresses the foreign government representatives, including diplomats and brief them of the process
  13. Early May 2013 – The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New DelhiƒÆ’-¡  meets with the Indian Foreign Secretary and informs him of the process
  14. Early May 2013 – The Sri Lankan Ambassador to the US meets with the US Assistant Secretary of State in Washington and informs him of the process
  15. Early May 2013 – The Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s representative to the EU meets with the EU Commissioner and his staff in Brussels and informs them of the process
  16. Early May – 2013 The Secretary to the Ministry of Planning and Implementation addresses foreign company representatives, foreignƒÆ’-¡  NGOs ƒÆ’-¡ and other foreign agencies operating in Sri Lanka and brief them of the process
  17. Early May 2013 – for security reasons, the Sri Lankan High Commission in Chennai and the Mahabodhi temple in Chennai are closed down temporarily. Sri Lanka requests the Indian central government to provide security to these premises ƒÆ’-¡ and all other Sri Lankan assets in Tamilnadu. Sri Lankans especially the Sinhalese and more importantly Buddhist monks are strongly advised not to travel to Tamilnadu until further notice. The Sri Lankan students, especially the Sinhalese studying in Tamilnadu (if any) are strongly advised to seek transfers to other universities outside of Tamilnadu in India or return to Sri Lanka, who will then be given placements in Sri Lankan educational institutions.
  18. A nationwide referendum is to be held on Friday 30 August ƒÆ’-¡ 2013 (the Government will declare this as a Public Holiday)
  19. The question to be asked in the referendum ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Do you wish to maintain the 13AƒÆ’-¡  amendment to the Constitution that was enacted in 1987, that has created the present provincial government system?

  1. JuneƒÆ’-¡  2013 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” August 2013 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Referendum campaigning. It is expected that the UNP, TNA and minor parties may campaign for the Yes vote. The Government will campaign for the No vote. The position of the JVP is to be articulated by them.
  2. 30 August 2013 – the Referendum day with foreign observers monitoring the island wide referendum
  3. 31 August ƒÆ’-¡ 2013 – the Referendum results are announced ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” It is hoped that the No vote has won, with a resounding majority. Majority of the people in the North and East would vote ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”NoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢
  4. Early September 2013 The parliament sits – ratifies the referendum results by way of a majority decisionƒÆ’-¡  and amendsƒÆ’-¡  the Constitution ƒÆ’-¡ formally ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” also sets ƒÆ’-¡ out how the government machinery will work in the provinces (it will be a going back to the old Government Agent (GA/AGA) system ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” what existed prior to 1987.
  5. Mid September 2013 ƒÆ’-¡ - TheƒÆ’-¡  Supreme Court will ratify the amendments to the Constitution
  6. Mid September 2013 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Amendments to the Constitution receive the PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s assent
  7. Late September 2013- Mr Ravinatha Aryasinghe informs the Geneva Council Sessions about the new developments in Sri Lanka, and why Sri Lanka could not comply with the Geneva Resolutions (the provincial councils have been abolished by public referendum)
  8. October 2013 -CHOGM isƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  held in Sri Lanka very successfully.ƒÆ’-¡  If the member countries decide against of holding same in Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka consents to transferring the Conference to another country (ie Malaysia or Mauritius). Sri Lankans cancels the order for delivery of 100 odd new Benz cars for the foreign dignitaries. if they are already delivered then sold to locals at a public auction. The President will still attend CHOGM to be held in another country, unless Sri Lanka is suspended from CHOGM. Then ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka will happily accept the suspension, the ultimate loser will be CHOGM and not Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka will not vie for CHOGM games ever again
  9. 31 December 2013 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Lankans celebrate the dawn of 2014 with a sigh relief that their country has yet again being saved by a thin margin, due to the fine efforts of the patriotic and intelligent citizens of Sri Lanka

srilankasupportgroup@bigpond.com

OUR MOTHER LAND: SRILANKA – Contributions of Muslim people for the socio-political and economic development of Srilanka:

March 30th, 2013

by Dr Rifai Naleemi. London

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Srilanka Muslims have been living in peace and harmoeny in the Island for more than 1000 years.ƒÆ’-¡  They have been cooperating and supporting the majority Singhalese communities throughout Srilankan history since pre-independence period.ƒÆ’-¡  Since pre-colonial times, Muslim people in Srilanka have been contributing for the unity and integrity of Srilanka: Muslims have greatly contributed to Srilanka in many fields and yet, their contributions are sometimes not rightly recognized, highlighted or made to be known to non-Muslim people in Srilanka. It is a duty and responsibility of Muslim community to record all these contributions and made to be known to other communities in Srilanka. In pre-colonial times Muslim people in Srilanka introduced Srilankan spices, diamonds and gems to Arab world and they acted as mediators between local people of Srilanka and Arab traders of Middle East.ƒÆ’-¡  During the time of colonialism Muslims of Srilanka defended the Island against all colonial powers and indeed, they stood with Srilankan Kings all times in history and they never been traitors of Island at any point in Srilanka history. Muslim leaders fought along Singhalese leaders to liberate the Island from English Rule.

Unfortunately, Economic contributions ofƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Srilankan Muslim have not been recognized. They did greater contributions for the economy of this country. Unlike other colonial people Muslim people did not run away with wealth of Srilanka to any other Muslim countries rather they worked hard in Srilanka and they earned money and contributed for Srilankan economy. Yet, Muslim contribution to Srilankan economy is not yet, well documented either historical contribution of Muslim to Srilankan economy or economic contributions of Muslims today. It is high time for Muslim people to document all these contributions so that people in Srilanka could appreciate Muslim peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s contribution to Srilanka. Muslims people have some natural skills and talents in ruing business. Muslim people are greatly interested in business for some religious, cultural and historical reasons in Srilanka. That talents, skills and experience should be recognized, encourage and rewarded for the greater interests of Srilanka. So that Srilanka become economically strong nation in Asia.

Politically Muslim people have been actively engaging in all political affairs of the country during the colonial and post colonial times: Muslim politicians stood with Singhalese people in time of difficulties and hardship. During the 30 years wars Muslim politicians helped as much as possible to find peaceful solution for the ethnic conflict and indeed, they supported the successive governments to protect the sovereignty of the Island. They never call for the partition of Srilanka at all.

In recent times Muslim people made many sacrifices to defend the country from the LTTE attacks:ƒÆ’-¡  Thousands of Muslim people died during the thirty years of war with LLTE. Many Muslim army officers lost their lives in fighting with LTTE.ƒÆ’-¡  More than 600 Muslim police officers were killed in Eastern province in LTTE attack in defense of Island in 1990 alone.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Many Muslim traders and business people lost their trade and business in the war with LTTE. The entire northern Muslim people from Jaffna and Mannar are chased out from the north part of Srilanka. 100 thousands Muslims people lost all their belongings and properties in a single day. Without any human remorse or humanism LTTE chased out all Muslim people from Jaffna without any reason. Still today these Muslims are victimized and all successive Srilankan government failed in their moral and political duty to look after these innocent Muslims and still resettlement has not been made officially.

Some reckon that Muslims are greedy economicƒÆ’-¡ exploiters who want to accumulate wealth and lead a luxury style of life and sometimes they too point their fingers at some rich Muslim villages to support their arguments: Even one leading Non-Muslim Srilankan professor once said to me that Srilankan Muslim communities are people of traders and businessmen. As if we do not have any other missions/ contributions in Srilanka? This is a glimpse of other community peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s perception of Muslim community in Srilanka.ƒÆ’-¡  I do not deny the fact that millions of Srilankan Non- Muslim people have good perception of Muslim community as well. Indeed, more than 95% Srilankan Non-Muslim people are getting own well with Muslim people.ƒÆ’-¡  I do not need tell this Srilankan history itself witness this except a few isolated incidents in history Muslim people have been living in peace with Singhalese people more than 1000 years.ƒÆ’-¡  This is an historical fact and we one deny and all historical studies support such claim.

It is wrong to believe that Muslims people have not made any contribution to Srilanka or the nation building process in Srilanka. Indeed, they have made many contribution and sacrifices. It is a duty of Srilankan governments to recognize these contributions and help Muslim people to integrate fully in Srilanka and like all other community Muslim people too greatly contribute to the Srilankan economy locally and internationally and unlike in the past today each nation depend on other nations for its development and progress:ƒÆ’-¡  it is believed that more than 80%ƒÆ’-¡  Srilankan Tea isƒÆ’-¡  exported to Middle Eastern countries or Muslim countries and it is believed that more 70% oil is imported from Muslim countries into Srilanka.ƒÆ’-¡  Some of the major development projects are supported with help of Muslim nations in Srilanka and yet, why this hatred against Muslims people today in Srilanka?ƒÆ’-¡  Some people assumed that some international conspirators are trying to do some dirty work behind to destabilize peace and harmony in Srilanka?

Muslims have greatly contributed to Srilanka in all fields of development: They have contributed for the safety and security of the country since ancient times. They have contributed economically since the Muslim landed in this Island. They have contributed educationally and culturally since the time of Muslim settlement in Srilanka. Yet, recent time some extreme elements have been trying tarnish good name of Muslim people for no reasons. These people recently started to make some false accusations on innocent peace loving Muslim community in Srilanka:ƒÆ’-¡  it is generally believed that only a handful of people from the majority community have been engaging in this anti-Muslim campaign: It is believed that they are creating troubles in expectation that Muslim people should react to them:ƒÆ’-¡  recent events for the last few years indicate that these people are making some deliberate attempt to destabilize Muslim community in Srilanka: Yet, Muslim contributions are not systematically documented in Srilanka. Even Muslim history in Srilanka is not really documented in Srilanka.ƒÆ’-¡  We have only a few books on Srilankan Muslim history andƒÆ’-¡  Muslim peopleƒÆ’-¡  have been living in Srilanka for more than 1000 years and only a handful of books have been written on Muslim history, some of them have been written by Non-Muslim people. It is high time that Muslim academics write on this subject

Unfounded and unsubstantiated accusations of innocent Muslim people in Srilanka

Now abruptly Muslims have been accused of many things for no reasons. They have been alleged by some Buddhist extremist groups for no crimes they have ƒÆ’-¡ committed; some Mass media, News papers, some radio stations, some TV stations and some websites have been tirelessly campaigning against innocent Muslim community in Srilankan: The most of accusations are unfounded ,ƒÆ’-¡  unrealistic and unwanted: some of them are mere deliberation. It is appropriate to record some of the accusations and reply to them here in this short article so that diligent people will know the truth and do justice for the innocent Muslim community in Srilanka.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ It is also often said that some international conspirators are acting behind the scene to destabilise the Muslim and Singhalese relationship in Srilanka. It is a historical fact that the Muslim people have been living in peace and harmony with all other communities in Srialnka. Whoever are the conspirators behind the scene (Only God Knows) it is a fact Muslim people are facing some problems and challenges in Srilanka these days:ƒÆ’-¡  it is a fact that concerns each and every Srilankan Muslim today.ƒÆ’-¡  I shall highlight some of contributions that Muslim people made in Srialnka here to remind our Singhalese friends and also I will repulse some of these unfounded accusations.

A Muslim theological organization (non-Political and Non profitable) organization has been accused of many things:ƒÆ’-¡  It has been accused of accumulating money by issuing Halal certificates to Singhalese business enterprises, ƒÆ’-¡ Muslim people are being accused of increasing their population growth to over come Singhalese population. It is alleged that Srilanka will be a Muslim country in 2050. It is alleged that Muslim people are marrying more than one wife. It is alleged that Muslim boys are marrying Singhalese .girls to increase Muslim population. Moreover, Muslim people are accused of building more mosques. ƒÆ’-¡ Muslim people are accused of slaughtering cows and they are accused of converting Singhalese people into Islam:

The sacred places of Muslim people have been destroyed in many places, Muslim people shops and business places have been removed in some places, demonstrations are being carried out in many parts of Srilankan against very basic teaching of Islam. Islamic organizations are being of falsely accused of collocating with international terrorist organization: All Ceylon Muslim theological (Non- political and non-profitable organization that aim to provide services for humanity beyond all racial limitations. It has been providing service for Srilankan communities over 60 years in Srilankan.

Responses to these unfounded accusations and fabrication

Accusations against all Ceylon theological organization:

ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ It is a registered organization and it does not engage in any political or violence at all. It does not have any connection or affiliation with any intentional organization at all. It is a grave mistake to accuse any organization without substantiated evidence and proof; Muslim people in Srilanka do not subscribe or belong to any international groups or any international networks: Muslim people in Srilanka are against all international extreme organisations. Indeed, Islam rejects all forms of violence and extremism and suicide killing of innocent people.ƒÆ’-¡  This organization is a mere theological and spiritual organization that aims to uplift the moral, spiritual, religious needs of Muslim people. This is fundamental religious rights of each community in Srilanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The Issue of issuing Halal certificates:

The allegation against this certificate has been debated recently in many Srilankan News papers and TV stations: It is alleged that Muslim people are forcing Singhalese people to eat Halal food items. Halal food items are made only for Muslim customers locally and internationally and no one force any one to buy or consume Halal food items. It is entirely at people discretionary choice if they want they could buy it or they could buy some thing else.ƒÆ’-¡  It is primarily made for international demands because of increasing touristsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ arrival and international markets.ƒÆ’-¡  It is wrongly perceived that this organization has made this halal food certificate to make profits and spread Islam among Singhalese people.ƒÆ’-¡  It is non-Muslim companies that approach All Ceylon Muslim theological organization to ask for this certificate and not other way around. In this competitive international marketing all companies will make every effort to increase profits and market their products in the best way to attract more customers.ƒÆ’-¡  It would be a disaster for any business to think in any communal line: it does not work like that in this global and multicultural world and particularly in a country like Srilanka with four major religious groups.

In western countries all major supper markets have halal food products and they do not think in any religious or communal line and in cosmopolitan cities like London/ New York it is impossible to think in this line: Sooner or later in a few years time Srilankan capital will become one of cosmopolitan cities with people living fromƒÆ’-¡  different nations. ƒÆ’-¡ Alternatively, Muslim people have no objection if our Singhalese people have their own brand of food in the religious name:ƒÆ’-¡  It is their freedom to eat what they want and Muslim people have no objection and this halal food certificate is made for business purpose and no one is under any duress to buy them:

It is alleged that this organization is a profit making organization: if it is so why can not these people check the accounts of this organization to examine all its financial transaction and expenditures:ƒÆ’-¡  These are all fabrications and lies to tarnish the good name of this organization:

Muslim marrying Singhalese girls:

It is alleged that Muslims boys are marrying Singhalese girls: It is reported that this take place in Srilanka and on could argue that other way around as well. If Muslim boys are marrying it is not the fault of Muslim boys rather why Singhalese girls become friends of Muslim boys:ƒÆ’-¡  Marriages can not take place without the contents of both parties: Why do Singhalese girls like Muslim boys? What are the reasons for that? Why attract them to go with Muslim boys? This is a sociological question that has to be asked by Singhalese medical, religious and academic people:ƒÆ’-¡  It is not a fault of Muslim community or Muslim boys and they never force them to marry them? Why do they blame us for this social phenomenon?ƒÆ’-¡  Today, we live in an age of information technology and people have all communication facilities and moreover, a large proportion of Singhalese girls go abroad and interact with Muslim boys in abroad. These give them freedom to marry Muslims and it is not our fault. Srilanka should ban sending all girls abroad.

Population growth of Muslim people in Srilanka:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ According to the latest census of Srilankan population Muslim population has slightly increased and Singhalese population too has increased marginally.ƒÆ’-¡  Rather than analyzing some socio-religious and economic factors behind this population increase no point in accusing Muslim community for population increase: Not only in Srilanka globally Muslim population increases dramatically:ƒÆ’-¡  Islam as a principle does not permit excessive birth control/abortion for no reason. This is faith issue and that may be one of the reason that global Muslim population dramatically increases. Srilanka Muslims are not exceptional for this rule: Rather complaining about growth of Muslim people Singhalese people do some thing increase their population: today in our modern world healthy and skilled population of a nation is the great assert and wealth of that nation: So what if Muslim population increase it is good for the country as does Singhalese population growth?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  It is pity every aspect of social life has been seen in light of communal line and communal dichotomy. It is not good at all for the country that just comes out of the long wars.

Muslim Business ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ It can be said that most of Muslim people are doing some sort of business in Srilanka for some historical, political social, economical and religious reasons. Yet, to say that Muslims in Srilanka are a community of business people is a myth today and not a reality? Unlike in the past most of Muslim people are doing some retails business or some sort of small business. Or exchanging goods from one party to another for a small profit? In reality Muslim community today in Srilanka is not a community of business and industries rather they are a community of deprived and unemployed compared to any other community. Today we see most of Muslim youth are unemployed or are doing petty jobs in the Middle Eastern countries?ƒÆ’-¡  Compare the employments rate of Muslim community people in Srilanka in public and private sectors: more than 60% Muslims are today unemployed and more than 60% Muslim people live below poverty line and Less than 4% of Muslim students get admission to the local universities in Srilanka annually or less than 1% of Muslim women are employed in Srilanka. Yet, we have been seen a community of business even today for some historical perceptions.

It is said that Muslim people are under represented in all types of government sectors and public administration jobs: How many percentages of Muslim graduates are recruited to SLAS service? How many percentages of Muslim graduates are recruited to SLES service? How many percentages of Muslim graduates are recruited for SLOS service? What are other public examinations? ƒÆ’-¡ Muslim graduate do not are being selected in all these examination. This is despite the fact that Muslims graduates are fluent in three major national languages with some excellent qualifications.ƒÆ’-¡  Despite all discriminations, prejudice and injustice Muslim people have been living in peace and harmony and yet, now these extreme elements want to further marginalize Muslim people? What an injustice is this?ƒÆ’-¡  Do we get equal representation in all employments, and job market?ƒÆ’-¡  It is in the interest of country that all communities are treated equally and fairly in all aspects of job opportunities.ƒÆ’-¡  of course, Srilanka has a long tradition of protecting minority right and minority groups and yet, it is concerned of all communities that protection seems to be in jeopardy in these days.

Law college entrance:

Skills, knowledge, talents and qualification should be given preference over other criteria in selections of process for high education and employment. This is in a greater interest of nation. What is the point in giving admission for less talented persons to become lawyers at the expense of more qualified student? This is waste of national talent and national skills: A more qualified law/medical student of Srilankan origin could become internationally recognized legal/medical professional on the other hand if we give admission to a less qualified person at the expense of the qualified students he or she may kill more people though his medical negligence orƒÆ’-¡  unprofessional attitudes. In each and every field Srilanka should have some strict criterion to select and elect highly qualified people in all posts and careers. Otherwise, we will be wasting our talents and skills. Whoever has got skills and talents in Srilanka such skills and talents should be recognized and reward for the greater interest of the country?ƒÆ’-¡  People should not be discriminated in line of colour, race and religions in a country like Srilanka:

The reconciliation is timely needed: ƒÆ’-¡ 

Peace and harmony is imperative for any progress and development. The safety and security of country and its people is paramount important for economic development; any social disturbance in Srilanka will greatly cost the country: any violence and communal tension will put the country back for more another two decades: It could be a huge blow on national economy and international reputation of Srilanka. Already some countries are still trying find fault in some internal affairs of Srilanka and any communal tension at this juncture will give them one more opportunity to put all blame on Srilankan government and it is duty of this government to act quickly against all these communal hatred activities.ƒÆ’-¡  It will tarnish the good name of entire Srilankan community internationally. A handful of people today could give bad name for the 14 million good Singhalese people. It is in the greater interest of country and Singhalese people to act swiftly against this racist anti-social behavior of a few hundred people.ƒÆ’-¡  Srilankan can not afford to loose a good reputation that is being built up after the way:ƒÆ’-¡  it is high time now to fully engage in nation building process and attract more investment from international community and attract more tourists to Srilanka. Any social disturbance will put the country off from international tourism and investment and the country may go back to the dark age once again as it was for more than 30 years:ƒÆ’-¡  Years of fear, uncertainty andƒÆ’-¡  desperation. I hope that Singhalese people are today cleaver enough to know the consequence of the 30 years wars and hence, the majority would not endorse these anti-social behaviors of a handful people.

What could be done?

In a recent meeting with Bdu Bala Sena the President reiterated that Singhalese people live in peace with all communities and there is no room for violence in Srilanka: all priests who met the President assured that they do not endorse violence: Priests form the Bodu Bala Sena addedƒÆ’-¡ that they too do not condone such behavior. Referring to the protest in front of the Nolimit store in Maharagama, one of the Buddhists priests said,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We said donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t do it. ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s not good for Buddhism or the country. LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fix problems within our own religion. LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s learn from the Muslim community and their discipline.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. For several questions that arose pertaining to the Halal certification,ƒÆ’-¡ President Rajapaksa and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa outlined in detail the Halal certification process and the reasons for its use by businesses.Before the discussion ended, President Rajapaksa once again repeated his request for Buddhist priests to help maintain ethnic and religious harmony in the country.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is OK to work to strengthen the Buddhist religion, but it should be done without creating conflicts with other religions,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ President Rajapaksa said. Thus assurance is very good to ease the tension and we all should welcome such move and yet, there must of concrete actions against those who violate law and order in the country: there can not one law for Muslims and another for Singhalese: Police and security forces should act swiftly to maintain peace and order in the country.

It is responsibility of Buddhist religious and academic leadership to calm the situation by talking these extreme elements in their society: BBS group not only going to tarnish good name of the country but also good name of majority of Buddhists rtelgious leadership as well.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  BBS should know that they are trying to destroy the country by this type of extreme action against Muslims: it national asserts of Srilanka that they are trying to destroy. It will be huge blow to economy as the chairman of Colombo chambers of commerce has already warned: I think that all religious leaders should set together and talk about these issues and solve the problems once and forever rather than talking about these in press and media: We need to move on in a right direct sooner rather later:

MUSLIM LEADER INAUGURATES SECOND MOSQUE OF AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMAAT IN SPAIN

March 30th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ By A. Abdul Aziz,Press Secretary,Ahmadiyya Muslim JamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢at ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Lanka.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad opens Baitur Rahman Mosque in Valencia

ƒÆ’-¡ According to our Press department U.K., the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim JamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢at and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, last Friday (29th March) inaugurated the Baitur Rahman Mosque in Valencia. It is the second Ahmadiyya Muslim Mosque to be built in Spain, following on from the historical Basharat Mosque in Pedro Abad which was opened in 1982.

Baitur Rahman was inaugurated as the Khalifa of the Promised Messiah led the Friday Prayers from the Mosque. The event was broadcast live globally on MTA International.

During his hour-long address, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke about the significance of the new Mosque and of its location. He said he had purposely chosen Valencia, because centuries ago, when Spanish rulers set out to remove all traces of Islam from the country, the local Muslims continued to practice their faith until they were forcibly banished.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also talked about demographic changes occurring in the Spanish population. He said that the Muslim population had greatly increased in the past 30 years and was set to increase further in the coming decades. Therefore it was the responsibility of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Spain to propagate the true and peaceful message of Islam to the Spanish people.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-IslamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s re-entry into Spain was made through the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat when it built the Basharat Mosque. However today, we will only come to see the real Islam flourish in this country when the servants of the Promised Messiah, realising their significance, strive to spread the beautiful and pure teachings of Islam to every single person in Spain.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that underpinning all efforts made by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat to spread Islam was the QurƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢anic injunction that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-There should be no compulsion in religionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. In light of this teaching, Ahmadi Muslims would seek to win the hearts of the Spanish people with love, compassion and kindness.

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Spanish people are the fellow citizens of the Ahmadi Muslims who live here and to fellow countrymen we must spread the message of love and peace. We must seek to win the hearts of the Spanish people by displaying the beautiful and pure teachings of Islam.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad concluded by praying:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-May this Mosque prove to be a means of presenting the true and beautiful image of Islam to the Spanish people and may all Ahmadi Muslims who live here fulfil their responsibilities in this regard.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

To further mark the occasion, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, also unveiled a plaque to commemorate the inauguration of the Mosque.

RE: Big Power Politics flush UN Charter Down the Toilet- H. L. D. Mahindapala

March 30th, 2013

Ranjini Deraniyagala

Mr MahindapalaƒÆ’-¡ has outlined a true record of the Western politics.ƒÆ’-¡ But is all this digging upƒÆ’-¡ help Sri Lanka.

Here areƒÆ’-¡ my take on all these scenarios:

1. Did Sri Lanka succeed in downplaying the past military ƒÆ’-¡ roles of USA and EU Alliances.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  They are united and whatever done was under Human Rights according to their definitions.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  They all stand by that in unisom. Any criticism of them as regards their HUman RightsƒÆ’-¡  actionsƒÆ’-¡  though may be right or wrong were not in dispute at the time. The fact is thereƒÆ’-¡  were no big powersƒÆ’-¡ refuting their actions. They all stood by together. We all know thatƒÆ’-¡  scenario. It is good thing for USA congressman to analyze these thoughts and defendƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka. But Sri Lanka organizations and individualsƒÆ’-¡  should not have wasted timeƒÆ’-¡  endorsing these again and again and giving their point of view. The west knows the truth; they do not want small countries to tell them what to do. it is a waste of time; especiallyƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  when Sri Lanka do not have many alliances. What Sri Lanka should have done was given aƒÆ’-¡  true picture what happened after the was and what the govt. did for the innocent TamilƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  victims who were terrorized by the LTTE.

Meanwhile Tamil organizations aboard were feeding all these countries with false information as regards human rights and who actually did the terrorist activities and Sri Lanks played a defense role al along to protect all civilians. Sri Lanka should have countered the false information one by one. Also written to all those countries who were ill-informed by the LTTE supporters.

2. India’s role as regards Sri Lanka was in question. But they let Sri Lanka down at the lastƒÆ’-¡  moment, although that was ot a surprise by the govt. On the Human Rights resolutions-ƒÆ’-¡ they gave a lame excuse of supporting Sri Lanka,ƒÆ’-¡  howeverƒÆ’-¡ they reinforced alongside others that Sri Lanka must stand by theƒÆ’-¡  enforcedƒÆ’-¡ Resolutions,ƒÆ’-¡ whereas Sri Lanka had met most of the requirements of theƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  resolutions which were suggested last year and now reinforced as LLRC resolutions thisƒÆ’-¡  year at UN Human Rights.

3. Sri Lanka did not get the support/vote of some countries as Sri lankans did not educate theƒÆ’-¡  other countries as masterfully done by the Tamil organizations aboard.ƒÆ’-¡  Instead of wasting time criticizing the western worldƒÆ’-¡ and allowing the Tamils abroadƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡  send derogatory false information on Sri Lanka to these countries who had no ideaƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  what was actually happening.ƒÆ’-¡ It is not surprising they had only one sided view to castƒÆ’-¡  their votes.ƒÆ’-¡  Naturally they were convincing one- sided;ƒÆ’-¡ unchallengedƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ made up stories!

4. Meanwhile Sri Lanka organizations spent all their time to prove their cause by criticizingƒÆ’-¡  whatƒÆ’-¡ USA and Western world did in various wars and the effects on Human Rights.ƒÆ’-¡  The irony was that the West did not want to hear comments on how they conducted warsƒÆ’-¡  and if there were Human Rights abuse in them or not. Nobody was challenging them.ƒÆ’-¡  They all acted inƒÆ’-¡ unison. Whether this was fair or not, Sri Lankans should have acted in their defense in a more convincing manner.ƒÆ’-¡  Try to show the whole truth to all nations, instead of wasting time on what theƒÆ’-¡  West did in the past. They are not under trial here. That was the mistake done by Sri Lanka.

5. Sri Lanka should have tried to win the votes of the other nations who were ignorant of theƒÆ’-¡  real situation in Sri Lanka. it was too late when the vote came in.

6. Even USA and the Western countries were not convincedƒÆ’-¡  properly with the defense putƒÆ’-¡  forward. If that was so then, Sri Lanka should try to proveƒÆ’-¡ it at least now to the WestƒÆ’-¡  while persevering toƒÆ’-¡ implement the Resolutions now put forward in front of theirƒÆ’-¡ face.

7.ƒÆ’-¡  Put in a factual defense. Tell briefly and convincingly what actually being done to adhere to the resolutions so far:

1. Tamil and other civilians more than 300,000 or more had to be protected from terrorists and given shelter.

2. Demining activities that had to be done due to LTTE acts of terrorism. That is very expensiveƒÆ’-¡  and a ƒÆ’-¡ specialized role.

3. Housing, medical services, shelter, food and clothing etc. andƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ still being done

4. Tamil civilians do not want the SinhaleseƒÆ’-¡  to be settled nt he North,who were chased by the terrorists.

5. Sri lankan Tri forces (Army, Navy and Air forces) protected not only Tamil civilians, butƒÆ’-¡  Muslims and Sinhalese as well.

8. The financial aid that come to SriƒÆ’-¡ Lanka at present from USA and the WestƒÆ’-¡ was for the NGO’s. They are under the control of the West and some organizations in Sri Lanka(You know who)ƒÆ’-¡ and they dealt with projects that they thought fit. Some of these were in accordance with the affiliations with specific groups in Sri Lanka. One has to imagine how that goes. The govt. will not speak out. But Sinhalese will have to speak out on these issues.

9. ConsequentlyƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka had to find her own money to carry out the UNƒÆ’-¡ resolutions as demanded by UN Human Rights Just imagine when India, the neighbor too joins that band wagon to enforce their regulations on a sovereign island. You all know India has her own human rights violations issues. but no one will challenge that at present. They are not yet on trial. Sri Lanka will have to fight that internally.

10. Then there is the question of 13th Amendment, which India try to impose earlier and was quite obvious in their motivations going back to Indira Gandhi days. it is in the interest of Sri Lanka, not to enforce the 13th Amendment in partial or any other form; must abrogate it -pure an simple and still be on diplomatic terms with India. After all the main group who wants this enforced is S. india- Tai Nadu. They want to enforce a separate country in Sri Lanka. Fortunately, as of recent news; India is not supporting the Tamil Nadu intentions.

It is in the interest of a sovereign independent island to be free from any enforcement by a neighbor or whoever. Sri Lanka is fully aware ofƒÆ’-¡ India’s intentions. Hence ƒÆ’-¡ ifƒÆ’-¡ some door mat is placed in that corridor at all even for a moment. It wood be foolishƒÆ’-¡ bargain or compromise with India on that score;ƒÆ’-¡  however much the pressure SrI Lanka gets from India, Tamil Nadu or someƒÆ’-¡ political parties in Sri Lanka who has other ambitious roles to play in the future.

11. USA being a large country is divided amongst States; has one central government. There are no separate country or countries within the main country; except local govt’s.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  So why should SrI Lanka be deprived of her independent sovereign rights imposedƒÆ’-¡  by outsiders?

12.ƒÆ’-¡ Recently Tamil Nadu had made a statement to boycott Sri Lanka. However India has stepped up; strangely enough, to say “No”;that they do not agree with Tamil Nadu policies and will notƒÆ’-¡ support their views. Tamil Nadu’s aim is to set up a separate state in Sri Lanka for the Tamils only. Why can’t the Tamils who do not wish to live with the Sinhalese go back to their own state and country?

13. Sri Lanka is treating all minoritiesƒÆ’-¡ on equal capacity on all anglesƒÆ’-¡ .ƒÆ’-¡ This equality of treatment is not found in several countries. Why are they demanding it here? Is it because SinhaleseƒÆ’-¡ are tolerant and also weak? I thought they come under the slogan they are lions.

Minorities are foreigners; they are living happily all over the island. it is therefore Sri Lanka isƒÆ’-¡ a country for the majority treating minorities on equal terms on all aspects. This is so in all countries. it cannot be divided up into different states for Tamils, Muslims, Burghers, Malays etc.

14. Sri Lankans fight for your rights. DO not allow innocent Sinhalese in villages be converted to other religions just because they are deprived of normal food clothing and shelter and are now innocent victims of converters, who are taking an ideal opportunity,ƒÆ’-¡ as in the historic past. They are in a worse situation than the Tamils in the North who are getting benefits both from the West (NGOs) and the Sri Lanka gove. who are are forced toƒÆ’-¡ comply with the UN resolutions, as now enforced, due to loss of equal votes at the recent UN Human Rights conference.

Stand up and be intelligent and brave. Do not try to prove how smart you are with diverse views Cooperate with he government and help the govt.

The BBS is doing a great job I believe in trying to protect Sinhala culture, civilization and Buddhist sacred places. Try to understand them and speak to them politelyƒÆ’-¡ and work with them. Do not spend all your time criticizing everyone. No one will want to listen to you.

I have very little time to write all this. But I am doing that for Sri Lanka. No intention of making individual criticism, just general ones.

Take it with a sincere heart. for your country!

Ranjini D.

ANTAGONISM AMONG MUSLIMS IN SRI LANKA

March 30th, 2013

Dr. Daya HewapathiraneƒÆ’-¡  Vancouver, CANADA

ƒÆ’-¡ Sufism or the Sufi Muslim Ideology

ƒÆ’-¡ Traditionally, Sufism or the Sufi Muslim ideology had been the predominant Islamic spiritual tradition observed throughout Southern Asia, including Sri Lanka. Sufism is considered to be the mystical, ascetic branch of Islam which emphasizes personal experience with Allah. Sufis can be members of either the Sunni or ShiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢a divisions of Islam who share most of the basic principles of Islam. These two divisions stemmed from ancient political strife among Muslims. Sunni Muslims being in the majority, amount to about 88% of the global Muslim population.

ƒÆ’-¡ Threats to the Dominance of Sufism

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka has a long history of Sufism dating back several centuries, although some modern elements have been imported in recent years. During the past five decades the dominance of Sufism has been undermined by the increased presence of other Islam sects. Among them is Tabligh Jamaat, which has been active since the 1950s and has developed a mass following in the last two decades. Initially it avoided explicit political activity and concentrated on encouraging Muslims to engage more actively in religious rituals. It particularly focused on encouraging performance of daily prayers and religious rituals, and also promoted rigid dress codes for its members. It promoted and encouraged a more conservative view of Islam.

ƒÆ’-¡ Tabligh Jamaat was initially a religious movement founded in India in 1926 as a response to the deteriorating values and negligence of fundamental aspects of Islam which was becoming a threat to Muslims. Subsequently it became a transnational movement with followers in many countries. This ultraorthodox Islamic sect preaches that Muslims should replicate the life of Muhammad and tells them it is their duty to travel across the country converting non-believers to the Islamic faith. It has become common practice for Tabligh members to make regular journeys around the country to propagate the virtues of Islam. Young members are particularly encouraged to do so. This is said to be giving the younger generation of Muslims a chance to mix with other ethnic groups. Although Tabligh was of appeal to different classes of Muslims, its rather simplistic approach to religious belief and antipathy towards political and social action made it less popular among the educated, middle-class Muslims.

ƒÆ’-¡ Jamaat-i-Islamiya (JI)

ƒÆ’-¡ Jamaat-i-Islamiya (JI) became active in Sri Lanka since the 1950s, and gained many adherents during the past fifteen to twenty years. The JI was founded in Pakistan in 1941, starting as an Islamic political party with the objective of establishing an Islamic state, governed by Sharia law. The JI opposes Ideologies such as capitalism, socialism and secularism, and practices such as bank interest and liberalist social mores. In its operations in Sri Lanka, the more intellectual approach of Jamaat-i-Islamiya (JI) generated greater appeal among the more educated middle class Muslims. It largely concentrated on religious orthodoxy and did not openly advocate radical political ideas.

ƒÆ’-¡ Emerging Trends of Ultraorthodox Islam

ƒÆ’-¡ According to reports, in Sri Lanka, since the late 1980s there has been a strong growth in ultra-orthodox interpretations of Islam that have provoked conflicts with Muslims who traditionally profess Sufism. There are several emerging trends, with issues of identity and Muslim separatism also coinciding with the influx of some religious ideas from the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and elsewhere. These new trends appear to presage more difficult developments in the future.

ƒÆ’-¡ Arrival and Expansion of Wahhabism

ƒÆ’-¡ Wahhabism as opposed to Sufism, is an ultra conservative branch of Sunni Islam which is dominant in Saudi Arabia. It is a movement that started in the 18th century, in Saudi Arabia, among fundamentalist Islam believers who were promoting a return to the earliest fundamental Islamic teachings of the Quran and Hadith or religious law and moral guidance enunciated by Prophet Mohamed.

ƒÆ’-¡ After 1973, with the Arab oil embargo resulting in the enrichment of Saudi Arabia, the ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi sect, dominant in oil-rich Saudi Arabia, began to have impact on Muslims living in other countries. Soon, it began encroaching Sri Lanka and having impact on adherents of the traditional form of Sufi Islam prevalent in Sri Lanka. Wahhabis began establishing itself in Sri Lanka despise the Sufis. They started operating through a movement called Thawheed funded by Saudi Arabian sources. They were instrumental in the establishment of numerous madrasas in Sri Lanka where young Muslims are being subject to various forms of indoctrination and brainwashing in Wahhabism including the jihad approach and Sharia law. During the last few decades, many Sri Lankan Muslims found employment in Saudi Arabia. Also, many young Sri Lankan Muslims were awarded scholarships by Saudi Arabia to study Wahhabism in Saudi universities. Upon their return to Sri Lanka they undertook in an organized manner the propagation of the ideology of Wahhabism. They were instrumental in the establishment of numerous madrasas where young Muslims were subject to various forms of brainwashing in Wahhabism including the jihad approach.

ƒÆ’-¡ In Arabic, the word jihad translates to mean “struggle”. Persons engaged in jihad are called mujahideen. Jihad is an important religious duty for Muslims. There are two meanings of jihad: an inner spiritual struggle and an outer physical struggle. The “greater jihad” is the inner struggle by a believer to fulfill his religious duties. The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”halalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢-haram- practices are related to this type of struggle. This is a non-violent struggle. The other meaning of Jihad is the physical struggle against the enemies of Islam. This physical struggle can take a violent form or a non-violent form. The proponents of the violent form translate jihad as “holy war”.

ƒÆ’-¡ Indoctrination of Younger Generation

ƒÆ’-¡ Zachary Abuza, in his book titled Militant Islam in Southeast Asia (Crusible of Terror), highlights the role of Madrasas or exclusively Islamic schools established by Muslim extremists in indoctrinating the younger generation. The author comments that “In their pursuit of the creation of Islamic states, many Southeast Asian jihadis established Islamic schools to indoctrinate, propagate, and recruit. The leaders of many militant groups in Southeast Asia, returned from training in Mid Eastern countries and established madrasas as the base of their operations and recruitment.” These radical Islamic madrasas, with unrestricted material support from foreign Muslim countries, especially Saudi Arabia, have begun to recruit and brainwash many Muslim children and youth in Islamic Jihadist movement and Islamic fundamentalism.

ƒÆ’-¡ Trend of Intolerance and Extreme Forms of Violence

ƒÆ’-¡ Newspapers have reported a significant influx of Wahhabi preachers and activists from Saudi Arabia and South India during the past three decades in particular. The Saudi Embassy in Sri Lanka, has admitted that certain wealthy Saudi persons are helping various Muslim religious groups in Sri Lanka to put up mosques. The Wahhabi jihad trends have revealed their ambition to control South Asian Islam communities even by means of using violent methods. The traditionalists such as the Sufis of Sri Lanka, appear to be resisting this Saudi initiated Wahhabi- jihad aggression, hostility and violence.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is evident that the traditional practices of Islam of the island’s Sufi Muslim community, are under threat by the Wahhabi group. Sufis are under attack not by adherents of other religions but by their own Muslims brothers. Worship of saints practiced by the Sufi Muslims of Sri Lanka is frowned upon by the Wahhabi group. Owing to increasing threats, many Sufi Muslims appear to be distancing themselves from their traditional practices such as mosque feasts and the worship of saints. Wahhabi groups are violently opposed to these traditional practices. They are in actual fact promoting the theology endorsed by senior scholars in Saudi Arabia. They claim that the religious practices of Sufi Muslims are impure, tinged with superstition and mystical rituals and they are determined to make ƒÆ’-¦ƒ…‚¡rƒÆ’-¾« Lanka’s Muslim community conform to more orthodox strictures and they are will use violence if necessary to achieve their ends.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Sufis in the meanwhile has begun a campaign against the Wahhabis appealing to Sri Lanka authorities for an impartial inquiry into Wahhabi activities in the country, to disarm the Wahhabis and to enable the reconstruction of its headquarters in Kattankudy which was destroyed by the Wahhabis and the Sufis affected and displaced to be compensated by the Wahhabis so that they can rebuild their ruined homes and businesses.

ƒÆ’-¡ Thareekathul Mufliheen Organization of Sufi Muslims

ƒÆ’-¡ In late 1980s, the Sufi Muslims formed an organization known as All Ceylon Thareekathul Mufliheen organization defining itself as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a peace loving and non-violent Religious Society, where members are expected to be patient and tolerant even in times of grave injustice and calamity brought about by the Wahhabis. This organization was founded by Sheihul Mufliheen M.S.M. Abdullah, known as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Rah,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in the southeastern Sri Lanka village of Maruthamunai. It was registered as a cultural society with the civil authorities in 1989. The headquarters of Thareekathul Mufliheen is now located in the small eastern coast village of Kattankudy.

ƒÆ’-¡ This organization maintained that each human being is free to choose a path of faith and that there should not be any compulsion to embrace the views of the organization. This was published in a book in Tamil, in 1980, by the founder of this organization titled Imanin Unmaiyai Nee Arivaya, or Do You Know the Truth of Iman? ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” iman referring to Islamic belief. This led to serious problems. A book was translated into English as The Court of Reason, and was published in 2010. The countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s official Council of Islamic Scholars, the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, purportedly without reading the book or holding a hearing to examine it, published a fatwa or religious opinion on September 10, 1989, declaring Abdullah (Rah) and his followers as murtadd or apostates, who renounced Islam, in the judgment of the clerics.

ƒÆ’-¡ Abdullah (Rah) the founder of Thareekathul Mufliheen organzation filed a defamation suit against the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama in 1990 in Colombo which led the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU) revoked the fatwa in 1996, and settle the complaint. Besides the fatva, the AUJU also took action to deny the Thareekathul Mufliheen to register marriages and the burial of the dead in conformity with Islamic practice. However, through legal action these rights were restored.

ƒÆ’-¡ Thareekathul Mufliheen organzation of the Sufis opened a Meditation Centre at Kattankudy in 1996. Wahhabi extremists struck the building setting fire to it. Abdullah (Rah) and the members of the order were targets of shooting and grenade attacks, and other physical aggression, as well as threats.

ƒÆ’-¡ In 2004, many Wahhabis organized under the title ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ again set the Meditation Centre ablaze, destroying its library, along with homes and businesses owned by Sufis. Financial loss to the injured parties was considerable, and one Sufi was shot and killed while another was wounded by gunfire.

ƒÆ’-¡ In 2005, a protest was filed by the organization, with the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) in 2005. The HRC found in favor of the Sufis, stating that their constitutional right to adhere to the belief of their will and choice had been violated. The Meditation Centre and headquarters were rebuilt in 2006.

ƒÆ’-¡ Sheihul Mufliheen M.S.M. Abdullah (Rah) the founder of the Thareekathul Mufliheen organzation died in December 2006. Wahhabi preachers and the armed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ incited the local clerics and politicians (Jamiathul Ulama Kattankudy, the Muslim Federation of Mosques, and the Urban Council of Kattankudy) to oppose his burial according to Islamic rites, in the Meditation Centre, as he was a supposed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-apostate.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ According to the Wahhabis and their accomplices, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-apostatesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ could not be buried in Kattankudy.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Jihadis, armed with lethal weapons, rioted after the death of Abdullah (Rah), causing widespread social disruption in Kattankudy resulting in a general work stoppage, shutting down of schools, government and private offices, banks and businesses. Some banks and shops were looted and burned in the process. The official clerics of All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, Jamiathul Ulama Kattankudy, the Muslim Federation of Mosques, other Islamic organizations, and the Kattankudy Urban Council initiated a judicial argument on December 11, 2006. They denounced Abdullah (Rah) as defying Muslim norms and traditions and charged that Thareekathul Mufliheen organization had failed to seek permission from the authorities for the burial. The petition by the official clerics and Wahhabis was dismissed in 2007. The Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission declared in 2007 that it could not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-interfere in the disputes between various sects of a religionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and recommended the conflict be referred to the Council of Ulemas ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, or to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

ƒÆ’-¡ In December 2006, in a separate controversy, the Urban Council in Kattankudy had ordered the dismantling of the minaret at the Meditation Centre, as an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unauthorized structure. Although the Police tried to prevent the commencement of the demolition, Wahhabi extremists interfered with the police resulting in shootings and the death of three rioters. A police post and police vehicle were assaulted. However, subsequently members of the Urban Council joined a Wahhabi mob and invaded the Meditation Centre and knocked down the minaret, removing the body of Abdullah (Rah), either burning or reburying it in a location yet unknown. The houses of 117 Sufis were leveled by fire. Many were threatened and fled the district.

ƒÆ’-¡ Since then, however, abuses against the Sufis of Kattankudy have continued, with the Wahhabi Thawheed faction in the forefront of violence. Official ulema and the village authorities attempted unsuccessfully to prevent celebration of a Sufi festival in 2008. That year, a Sri Lanka Supreme Court order, providing that 200 members of Thareekathul Mufliheen be allowed to return to their homes in Kattankudy and practice their beliefs in freedom, was obstructed by armed Jihad members. In response to the campaign against it, Thareekathul Mufliheen has appealed to the Sri Lanka authorities for an impartial inquiry into Wahhabi activities in the country; to disarm the Wahhabis; to provide for reconstruction of the headquarters of Thareekathul Mufliheen in Kattankudy; to enforce the revocation of the fatwa issued by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama against Abdullah (Rah) and his disciples, as ordered by the Colombo District Court, and to compensate the displaced Sufis, facilitating restoration of their lost heritage, ruined homes, and businesses. The Sufis of Kattankudy seek ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-peaceful resettlement with honor.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ There is clear evidence of increasing tension and extreme forms of violence between traditional and more fundamentalist Islamic groups in Muslim communities across Sri Lanka. During the latter period of the war with Tamil LTTE terrorists, Muslim Home Guards were recruited by the Sri Lankan government to fight the terrorists. In the East some of these Home Guards deserted with their weapons and joined the Wahhabis rebels to fulfill its demand for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ against traditional Sufi Muslims.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Beruwala Violence

ƒÆ’-¡ The most cruel and crude nature of violence was well evident in the 2009 attack and devastation of the Beruwala Rahuman Masjid Mosque during its annual Buhari feast, which has been a practice in this mosque for over 130 years. A fundamentalist group of Muslim extremists armed with knives, swords and axes stormed the mosque, yelling that all those participating in the feast were infidels who had deviated from the path of Islam. The attackers set fire to the mosque and caused millions of rupees of damage.Two men were brutally hacked to death in the violence. They damaged cars, motor cycles and bicycles, and a special Police team had to be deployed in control the situation. A curfew was imposed in the area and some of the perpetrators were arrested but some had escaped.

ƒÆ’-¡ In 2009 the Wahhabis vandalized and destroyed a 150-year old shrine located in Ukuwela near Matale. This was associated with violent clashes between Muslim groups. According to Muslim community leaders and groups this violence contradicts the fundamental teachings of Islam.

ƒÆ’-¡ Saudi Arabian funding for fundamentalist groups

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lankan Muslims, especially young males found easy employment in Saudi Arabia during the past few decades. Some were awarded scholarships by Saudi universities. Those who completed their studies returned to Sri Lanka and started to propagate the ideology of Wahhabism. In pursuit of their mission to expand their sphere of influence among Sufi Mulsims and others, these Wahhabis resorted to violence and intimidation culminating in death and destruction.

ƒÆ’-¡ Most Muslim problems in the country at present appear to stem from foreign, particularly Saudi Arabian funding for fundamentalist groups. Also, the young Muslims who have been exposed to Saudi Islamic religious norms and who are being indoctrinated in madrasas and universities in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Pakistan and reading Wahhabi texts which are opposed to traditional practices such as those of Sufi Muslims. What is wrong with this trend is the approach adopted by these extremist groups to propagate and promote their ideology, thinking and practices among the traditional Sufi Muslims of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ Their approach is unacceptable because it is causing disharmony and violence within the Muslim community. They should be aware of the fact that they are living in a non-Muslim country where Sinhala Buddhists form the mainstream dominant community. The approach to change by the extremist Muslim groups are not compatible with the social values of the country.

ƒÆ’-¡ Harmonious Community Relationships threatened

ƒÆ’-¡ The traditional Sufi Islam practiced by Muslims in Sri Lanka for centuries, and related lifestyle of Muslims facilitated harmonious relationships with other religions and communities in the country. Maintaining such relationships was necessary for most Muslims who were businessmen dealing with a market consisting mostly of non-Muslims. Owing to their living among Buddhists most Muslims were inevitably influenced by, and learnt to respect the social values of Sinhala Buddhists marked by tolerance and non-violence in particular.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is unlikely that the more fundamentalist Muslim groups and related extremist attitudes and practices that appear to be emerging will help Sri Lankan Muslims to coexist successfully with the island’s other religions, as before. In fact the Wahhabis do not seem to be able to coexist peacefully with their own Muslim brothers.

ƒÆ’-¡ As a nation with a historic cultural tradition that extends to over 2200 years, where freedom, compassion, tolerance and accommodation of people of all faiths and ethnicities have been the founding principles, it is necessary that we as a nation take necessary steps to protect and preserve these noble and wholesome cultural traditions. We cannot allow them to be undermined under any circumstances. It is necessary that all communities living in this country develop respect towards the social values and norms of other communities inhabiting this land and not pursue policies and activities that would jeopardize the quality of life and stability of our nation.

ƒÆ’-¡ Today there is increased interest in general, in the country, for the consolidation of national unity. Under the circumstances, divisive tendencies of any nature should not be encouraged or tolerated. With our massive success in containing Tamil terrorism and our determined efforts to bring the various communities together as One Nation, it is important that divisive tendencies in our society be eliminated. It is important that we try to prevent polarization tendencies in communities living in Sri Lanka and all communities are duty bound to see that this happens for the benefit of everyone that calls Sri Lanka their motherland.

ƒÆ’-¡ Dr. Daya Hewapathirane

Vancouver, CANADA

 

Ban Wahhabism in Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Save Muslims and Save Sri Lanka

March 30th, 2013

Shenali Waduge

There comes a time when tough actions need to be taken in the interest of the country. Inaction leads to dire consequences – 30 years of LTTE terror is what happened. The similarities between what we went through and what is enfolding now gives sufficient reason for prompt action. Power and money were the curses that delayed then and are likely to be the key obstacles for present inaction. Previous Governments were not resolved enough to take action and the country ended up suffering. That same fate cannot be repeated. The root causes for the current turmoil unfolding is well-known. If Muslims say Islam is a peaceful religion we must remove the factor that is not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that has been identified as Wahhabism. The common enemy of Islam, the Muslims and all non-Muslims is Wahabism. The Government of Sri Lanka needs to ban Wahhabism in Sri Lanka alongside all associate entities. Our soldiers cannot sacrifice their lives again when actions get delayed by the forces of political correctness, power and money.

What is pertinent and needs to be stressed is that while Sinhalese never had second thoughts about admitting the wrongs the JVP committed through its terror period of the 1980s, not very many Tamils were ready to openly denounce LTTE atrocities and it appears Muslims are taking that same path. Admitting and identifying the mischief maker is what is important in the interest of the peaceful existence that needs to prevail.

When areas of concern were identified which were likely to lead to worse situations, the messengers were branded as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-racistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-rabble rousesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-militantsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and extremistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. These were the first of planned incursions to provide foundations for issues that would lead to future tensions. When these were identified as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-proliferation of mosquesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-incursions on sacred areasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-loudspeaker usage at mosquesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-halal certificateƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-indoctrination of youthƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-sharia laws/animal slaughterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the power of money ensured silence of officials combined with hired non-Muslim voices to promote an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-anti-MuslimƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ slogan. Adding further spice are conspiracy theories by factors doing their best to divert the issue. Muslims are made to believe they have to accept Islam at face value while the Wahhabis are using automatic submission by Muslims to Islam to push their rigid agendas to eventually take over nations and even the Muslim people. This is what has happened to all the nations now victims of West combined Wahhabi destabilizing operations.

The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-hiredƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ voices of all ethnic groups are part and parcel of the greater damage being done because they are purposely deployed to divert and de-track efforts to solve issues. Their links and contacts with media also hired for the same role end up relaying conflicting, biased and manipulated versions fooling the public. There is no better word to describe them other than ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-traitorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of peace. Ironically, they herd as groups for all issues making it very obvious who they are. Be that as it may they should not be allowed to divert the present crisis situation.

Tamils had USD300million to promote a hidden agenda through an exterior shield of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-EelaamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ while the WahabiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s are using USD87billion where the agenda is pretty clear.

The issue of Tamils and Eelaam was never highlighted as that being transported from India. Ignoring key pieces of the puzzle ends up allowing external factors to usurp the issue to their advantage ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it is only then that conspiracy theories can be applied. That is how a host of external forces became associated with the Tamil/Eelam issue. The present Muslim issue too is no different. Over a period of time the Wahhabis have been at work inside Sri Lanka and funding has made sure none of their agendas get exposed or banned ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” MEDIA, politicians, public officials, law enforcement authorities, NGOs, Islamic clerics and even Muslims are accountable for silently allowing such extremism to eat into the country and infiltrate the minds of youth who in time are likely to play the roles of insurgents who have unleashed unbearable suffering throughout the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and now South Asia too.

A closer look at the chaos in the Muslim world the root cause is none other than WahhabiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s in association with foreign Governments and foreign intelligence to destabilize nations. It was they who were responsible for 9/11, terrorism that prevails in Afghanistan, Iraq, Philippines, Abu Sayaf, Thailand, Indonesia, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, Jordan, Europe while in Egypt they support the Muslim Brotherhood.

Soon Africa will create its own Taliban. We cannot afford to have an Asian ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-TalibanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Arab countries are all being ruined and people are selling their souls for money and power and the promoters of Wahhabism have plenty of it to dole out. The bulk of this funding goes to the construction and operating expenses of mosques, madrassas, and other religious institutions that preach Wahhabism. It also supports the training of imams; domination of mass media and publishing outlets; distribution of Wahhabi textbooks and other literature; and endowments to universities (in exchange for influence over the appointment of Islamic scholars).

Countries need to realize where the root cause lies and in what sense the Muslims themselves are victims. India has identified the root cause ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 100,000 Muslims gathered in IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s largest Muslim populated state to boldly denounce fundamentalist Wahhabism (Oct 2011) as a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-virus for societyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ declaring that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the flag-bearers of WahhabismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ do not lead the 80% Sunni and Sufi Muslim population of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. (India’s MuslimsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚some 150 million, or 14 percent of its citizensƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚are the third largest Islamic community in the world, after those of Indonesia, 215 million, and Pakistan, 160 million).

The term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-WahabisƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ / ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-WahabismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ was invented by the British to divide Muslims and for them to fight each other and weaken each other so the British could conquer Muslim land and rule them. That was far before Saudi Arabia even existed. The memoirs of Mr. Hempher, the British Spy to the Middle East shows British Foreign and Commonwealth Office created Wahhabism. This was another imperial ploy no different from the divide and rule. Britain created Saudi Arabia in collaboration with the Wahhabi Al-Saud tribe in 1932. It is illegal for a Muslim to wage a war on another Muslim so the British created Wahhabism that sanctioned a new fratricide with a new interpretation of Islam. Muslims need to realize their enemy. Being silent will not protect Islam or Muslims. Just as being silent on LTTE did not bring Eelaam for the Tamils. The British and the Wahhabi sponsors are no different. WahabiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s go by different names ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Ikhwan, Salifiyya, Mowahabin, Taliban, Deoband. They all follow a strident militant view of Sunni Islam. Osama bin Laden capitalized on this to indoctrinate youngsters to hate. WahhabiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s are obsessed with purging Sufis, Shiites and other Muslims and all other Muslims who do not conform to their interpretation of Islam. Sounds similar to the LTTE rule of law and explains why many Tamils ended up dead.

If we know the culprit of peace it is good to keep a watch on those attempting to whitewash these culprits. Civil society movements emerged because of the silence of politicians and they must realize that their inaction is likely to worsen situations. The mistake Sri Lanka made with the LTTE was not to nip it in the bud when they could. A double jeopardy cannot be repeated.

Malaysia has a list of all radical Islamic groups and has banned many and has its intelligence keeping tab on their movements throughout the nation. Various other countries have adopted similar methods. Sri Lanka must follow best-practices as well.

If the common enemy of Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims has been identified as Wahhabism ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it is this factor that is disuniting the people and communities of Sri Lanka and it is the duty of the Government of Sri Lanka to ban Wahhabism in Sri Lanka and to arrest and charge all those associated with it.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

 

Police say rumours baseless:GIRL BOY AFFAIR CAUSED PEPILIYANA ATTACK Govt. requests public vigilance:

March 30th, 2013

Sandasen Marasinghe, Disna Mudalige and Ridma DisssanayakeƒÆ’-¡  Courtesy The Daily NewsƒÆ’-¡ 

Although rumours abound on the tense situation created by an attack on a textile shop in Pepiliyana by an unruly mob on Thursday night, the root cause of the incident was a personal dispute, said Police Spokesman SP Buddhika Siriwardena.

He said a love affair between a youth and an underage girl had been the reason for the attack on this reputed textile store in Pepiliyana. A violent group attacked and pelted stones at the popular clothing store causing severe damage to the premises and merchandise.

The commotion that also caused injuries to one person, was brought under control after the deployment of a special Police team. Police investigations have commenced into the incident. He said that various baseless rumours were circulating regarding this matter, which could have serious repercussions.

The government requested the public to be vigilant over the activities of certain groups that are out to foment violence by provoking the public. These groups are intent on creating ethnic disharmony and disturbing the peace. Therefore, it is the obligation of the public to protect the hard earned peace achieved by the Security Forces under the guidance of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, and resisist attempts to reverse the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s victory.

The Government Information Department in a press release yesterday noted, it is the responsibility of all citizens in Sri Lanka to safeguard the peace at this moment, when local as well as international inimical forces are conspiring to ignite ethnic clashes and religious disputes to destroy the prevailing atmosphere of freedom in Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It also requested the full cooperation of the media to promote unity and correlation among the communal groups and to make people aware on the recent situation. It further stated the moves to trigger disharmony in society are an attempt to tarnish the image of the country internationally.

The press release also requested the people to stay alert on such anti-democratic, extremist and terrorist activities that destroy national and private property and to refrain from supporting such activities.

It also requested the people to draw the prompt attention of the Government towards such attempts. It stressed the need for all Sri Lankans to stand together to defeat this conspiracy keeping in mind that we are a proud nation that lived for centuries in unity, while maintaining religious and cultural identities.

Ven Galabodaatte Gnanasara Thera of the Bodu Bala Sena Organization at a press conference said yesterday said the organization urges the authorities to bring the culprits of this attack on the Pepiliyana textile shop to book. He added that the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities are living in peace and harmony in this country. The inimical forces in certain Western countries do not like peaceful co-existence in our country.

The Thera also added that various groups attempt to spread rumors against Bodu Bala Sena organization as the same has rendered a great service to the Buddhist community in the country. He also added that a large group of Muslims in Kandy appreciated the Bodu Bala Sena activities.

Defeating secularist plot to usurp majority Hindu India and majority Buddhist Sri Lanka

March 29th, 2013

Shenali Waduge

Independence to colonies came at a cost with a legacy that bound nations in debt by spending on solving the problems the colonials implanted. People were divided. Populations were divided. Ethnicities were divided. Tribes were divided. Boundaries were created and endless issues associated with each. Muslims have issues, Christians have issues, but when Hindus in India and Buddhists in Sri Lanka voice their issues it is referred to as communal. To be Hindu and to say one is Hindu is considered taboo just as Buddhists and Sinhalese are finding out too. Political correctness has meant politicians are to view issues from the lens of what benefits non-Hindus and non-Buddhists for that meets the criterion of the WestƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s policy of multiculturalism.

When Sri Lanka has been repeatedly warning India not to take the path that would eventually lead to Balkanize India, the warnings have not reached the people concerned. That is because the warnings are being deciphered by people who are helping that balkanization. We can name similar actors in Sri Lanka promoting the same notions. When media in India has been usurped and in the hands of the Church we can only express shock as to why such a great nation allowed such to happen. The great orators, the great thinkers/philosophers and politicians would not have expected Hindu India to fall this way. Was it not the Westerners that created the Aryan-Dravidian divide? Is it not established that North and South Indians both carry the same DNA differentiated only by the pigmentation as a result of weather.

In juxtaposing the situation currently faced in Sri Lanka and the growing bribery taking place by Tamil Nadu all we need is to put the dots together to see where the ultimate orders are coming from. We now realize that India is in a worse pickle than Sri Lanka and with so many intellectual IndianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s safely outsourced for foreign climes the West has deviously planned ways to evict the brains out of India. We can see similar ploys in Sri Lanka as well. ƒÆ’-¡ 

When India is now pointing fingers at the self-serving secular leaders and blaming them for not heeding the concerns of Hindus in their preoccupation with minority votes is this not what we are saying of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-self-serving secular leadersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and it is not difficult to name them.

With 1.2billion Indian population, 82% Hindus, 400,000 Hindu Temples but Subramaniam Swamy alleges that the Govt was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-lootingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the temples to support churches and mosques (ex: Andhra Pradesh state government to help build churches in Tirupati-Tirumal area, the seat of Hindu deity ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Venkateswara.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Subramanaiam Swamy also claims that the Indian Government is feeling shy to call India as a Hindu nation and reverberates the same sentiments about Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Government. He even goes on to say that most Hindus today were passive to announce their Hindu identity in saying so he is also voicing what Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Buddhists suffer from as well. Dr. Swamy goes on to speak about appeasement policy by some in the Government of India which resonates exactly what has ailed and continues to ail Sri Lanka. Dr. Swamy is calling for at least 40% of the 82% to rise in unity against the divides taking place in reference to a Bill being introduced by Sonia Gandhi that would automatically incriminate Hindus.

What is noteworthy is that Dr. Swamy called upon Indians in particular to become ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Virat HindusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” proud Hindus to save India because only Hindus could protect secularism and without HinduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s there would be no secularism and that essentially is what we can say about Sri Lanka. People need to simply imagine how a country ruled by non-Hindus and non-Buddhists would be like!

If the Vatican can say itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a Christian state (Roman Catholic) and no other religion is tolerated inside the Vatican, England is a secular state but the Angelical Church has official status and all nations with over 60% Muslims are not secular it is a bit strange that India is unable to call itself a Hindu state when it has 82% Hindus and Sri Lanka inspite of an Article 9 in its Constitution giving foremost place to Buddhism the political leaders cringe to say the country is Buddhist because they fear the world would come down on them. ƒÆ’-¡ 

Secularism cannot be defined in relation to a country alone. Though Christians may be in the minority in a country by virtue of its global reach and assistance given reaching out to all nations the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-minorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ status is not truly applicable. The same can be said of Islam as well and in particular to nations like Sri Lanka the effects of influence by global Christians and global Islamic lobbies. This brings Buddhists leaders and Buddhists into minority status and these lobbies have used effective ways to penetrate the decision makers. Both Christianity and Islam are global majorities making Hindus and Buddhists local minorities in their respective nations.

ƒÆ’-¡ If there is a threat that Hinduism is likely to be extinct in India in 100 years time the same can be said of Buddhism in Sri Lanka.

It is for these very reasons that India needs to seriously look at the manner India is being forced into submission by Tamil Nadu that is greatly influenced by outside forces and these are NOT associated primarily with Sri Lanka. These forces are devising a greater plan piggybacking on the hyped ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-eelaamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ tag for it provides the local sauce needed to gain the emotional unrest.

Helping that is the media who are the agents of these external forces in both nations which is why the discriminations against Hindus in India and Buddhists in Sri Lanka are quite obvious. ƒÆ’-¡ 

How many newspapers give unbiased coverage in either of the two nations? How quick are media to tag Hindus as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-communalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in India and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-BuddhistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-extremistsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-militantsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ etc.

Most Sri Lankans are angered by IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s actions but in looking deeper we need to realize that non-Hindus helped by self-seeking Hindu secularists are steering India towards its downfall and that same situation is taking place before our very eyes in Sri Lanka.

It would be a good time for IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Hindus to finally wake up and evaluate what has become of their Bharat nation and attempt to as Dr. Subramaniam Swamy advised to become ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Virat IndiansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. In Sri Lanka, of course the people have realized in time the forces at play and foresee the future.

IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Hindus need to certainly wake up ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it is not in IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s best interest to be separating India or Sri Lanka therefore it is a good time to stop diplomatic snobbery just to please the world and expect Sri Lankan populace to empathize with them.

Power Devolution and 13A Will Totally Mess Up Our Foreign Policy Creating Enemies the World Over

March 29th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

The recent racism boilover in Tamil Nadu teaches us many things. It is how Sri Lanka will be after meaningful power devolution. TNA, TULF and ACTC led Northern Province will be no different to DMK and AIADMK led Tamil Nadu state of India, if not worse. However, things get far worse than that. What we also saw in the devolution model of India is how states/provinces manipulated the CentreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy to the extent of creating an adversary out of a friend and making a mockery of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s otherwise consistent foreign policy! Tamil tail was wagging the Indian nation. This is what will happen in Sri Lanka after meaningful devolution of power with far nastier consequences.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Foreign Policy is a Matter for the CentreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

Devolution pundits say foreign policy is a matter for the centre as it is not in the Provincial List or the Concurrent List in 13A. However, these devolution pundits and NGO advocates of 13A donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have their feet on ground. What actually happens is far remote from what the book says. Events in India over a long period of time indicate irrespective of what the Constitution says, if power is devolved to provinces and provinces are run by communal elements, foreign policy becomes a direct casualty as a result.

Writing to India Today, a former Indian Foreign Secretary says; quote, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-If our foreign policy towards Sri Lanka should be based on the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu today, then sentiments in West Bengal should dictate our foreign policy towards Bangladesh tomorrow, and those in UP and Bihar should determine what we do with Nepal day after. It would be a mistake to begin treating our relations with our neighbours as extensions of the pulls and pressures of our domestic politicsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, unquote.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/stance-on-sri-lanka-a-blunder-dmk-upa-govt-rajapakse/1/259379.html

In fact this has happened in West Bengal in the 1970s over the war with Pakistan/Bangladesh. Tensions in India-Nepal relations heightened during the period of transition a decade ago from a powerful monarchy to democratic rule and it boiled across the border to UP and Bihar. The patchwork that is India is a hotbed of tribalism that often spills over to and from its neighbours.

Our policymakers must learn from these events before it is too late and abrogate the 13A forthwith.

IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Foreign Policy Tragedy

Tamil tail wagging India is just the tip of the iceberg of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy tragedy. Until 2011 India strictly followed a policy of not supporting any resolution that targets and singles out a nation. But India broke away from this policy in 2012 when it voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. Once broken loose from the policy, India continues to vote in country specific resolutions.

Worsening the situation, Indian conduct became a mockery just a day before the US sponsored resolution was debated. Indian representative to the UNHRC previously worked to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”tone downƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the resolution. Following Tamil Nadu pressure, he was summoned to New Delhi and once returned to Geneva he made a last ditch attempt to change the resolution once again; this time to roughen it. USA and EU rejected all these moves. It made India the laughing stock of the UNHRC exposing its indecision. India has been reduced to an indecisive and weak nation in the eyes of the world community. Such a weak and indecisive nation must not be allowed to become a permanent member of the UN Security Council where serious matters will have to be decided upon.

Tamil Nadu leaders were conniving with the former US Secretary of State and western Tamil groups to cripple IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy and they succeeded. This success has given USA and other interested parties an access point to manipulate IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy at will. Today India is emerging as a foreign policy garbage dump with contradictory foreign policy priorities of its states. It is a house divided as each householder developing independent relationships with different outsiders. This is a prelude to IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreseeable disintegration.

If 13A is not abrogated, IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy tragedy will befall Lanka too.

Northern Provincial Council and Eastern Provincial Council with Vested Foreign Relations Interests

When TNA has the majority, the Northern Provincial Council will oppose any Chinese or Pakistani related development, business, political or business project in the north. Instead it will want more Indian, US, British, Australian, Canadian and other pro-UNHRC resolution countries to have their presence in the north. It will also forge closer relations with the one-million-strong Tamil Diaspora that is almost entirely pro-LTTE. TNA, TULF and ACTC leaders have already formed these links. Despite his meek presentation, V Anandasangaree of TULF has a very close personal link to the Canadian Tamil Congress ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the most active pro-LTTE front organization in Canada which was once led by his son. TNA and ACTC have their own links to Global Tamil Forum, British Tamil Forum and other Tamil movements abroad. Therefore TNA, TULF and ACTC will have strong links with these groups that are in turn connected to various regime change agents.

Once elected, the Northern Provincial Council will pass resolutions in support of UNHRC resolutions although it is not within the powers of the Council. It will be at the forefront of all anti-Sri Lanka activities. Tourists and businesses from countries that vote against anti-Sri Lanka resolutions may be attacked.

Then there are NGOs operating to advance the strategic objectives of the anti-Sri Lanka camp. The website aligned to Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) – ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”GroundviewsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ – was initiated by the Ford Foundation USA which is a frontline regime change agency operating from the USA. The Northern Provincial Council will be their outlet.

The combined weight of these pressures will weigh down on the government. If the government doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t yield to the demands of the Northern Provincial Council led by TNA and its connected parties, they will stage civil disobedience campaigns, violent protests, vandalism and sabotage. Then the government will have to act either way. If it gives in, the nation will make enemies of its friends. If it resists, protests and boycotts will grow to the extent of a violent confrontation.

Muslim controlled Eastern Province will demand an end to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s relations with USA, Israel and the EU. If Sri Lankan government resists, it will also lead to violent clashes. If it caves in, Israel, USA and the EU will turn against Sri Lanka.

When their international friends have contradictory interests, worse clashes will erupt. For instance, if tensions between India and Pakistan rise, a corresponding increase in confrontational policies of the Northern Provincial Council and the Eastern Provincial Council will be seen. One may pass a resolution condemning India while the other will condemn Pakistan. IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s unenviable position will be what Sri Lanka will be in by then.

Ultimately Sri Lanka will have many enemies than friends around the world and a hybrid foreign policy based on Tamil and Muslim interests. Regime change agents will have a safe haven to operate from.

Then it will be easier to inch forward towards total Tamil autonomy ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Tamil Elam.

13A relates to a bygone era of the Cold War and a war in the island. Things have changed and these events are no longer valid. Hence the prescription is not valid anymore. 13A must be abrogated completely without delay.

At the moment the nationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign policy goes against the national security policy (if any). Foreign policy priorities determine where to have army camps, whether or not to release terrorists and a host more matters relating to defence. It will be unthinkable what will happen to the nation foreign policy (in addition to provincial pressures) when it is on a collision course against national security interests and Sri Lankan geopolitical interests.

 

 

Attempt to create a South Sudan in Sri Lanka

March 29th, 2013

Sri Lanka Support Group, Canberra

It is believed Eric Soheim was instrumental in creating the separate state of South ƒÆ’-¡ Sudan. Norway, with help of the West threatened Omar Al Baashir that unless he agreed to hold a referendum on South Sudan, war crimes charges against him (in relation to the Darfur conflict where it is alleged that up to 400,000 people died) will be vigorously pursued. By then the UN Security Council had passed a resolution to refer Al Baashir to the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague (in 2009).ƒÆ’-¡  The HagueƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s prosecutor, Acampo, ƒÆ’-¡ quickly issued an indictment against him. ƒÆ’-¡ Note, China, the great ally of Al Baashir, also voted in favour of the Security CouncilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s resolution. Afterwards, Al Baashir was vulnerable to be arrested, he evaded foreign trips. He knew that the only way to avoid the Hague was to allow the UN to hold a referendum and he consented to same.ƒÆ’-¡  The UN held the referendum and it was passed with 99% of the vote, thus the new nation of SouthƒÆ’-¡  Sudan was born, in 2010. A special invitation was extended to Tamil separatists to attend the inauguration ceremony. Tissa Witharana represented Sri Lanka.

The birth of the new nation, South Sudan, did not stop violence between North and South Sudan, in fact the conflict escalated. It is reported ƒÆ’-¡ since inauguration ƒÆ’-¡ up to 6,000 people ƒÆ’-¡ have died on boarder wars between the two nations. The good thing for Al Baashir is that the West somewhat gave up the hounding ƒÆ’-¡ down of him. Apparently Al Baashir is now safe and freely travels within Africa, including a trip to Egypt recently. He also travelled to China (in 2011). None of the western assets he hold were frozen (it is alleged he had invested US$ 9 billion with LloyydƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Bank in the UK, the bank had denied this).

The West by linking the Sudanese war crimes allegations with the South Sudan referendum was engaged in an unethical act. They were two separate issues.

By threatening to bring war crimes charges against Sri Lanka, the West is trying the same tactic again ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” hoping that like Al Baashir, Sri Lanka will also one day consent to a referendum – confined to the voters of northern and eastern Sri Lanka,ƒÆ’-¡  asking them whether or not they wish to remain within one Sri Lanka or wish to live in a new country. (Al Baashir failed to stress that it should be a Sudan-wide referendum).

Sri Lanka should strenuously fight against the fraudulent war crimes allegationsƒÆ’-¡  made against its leaders and the war heroes , but, at the same time, it should not fall into the same trap that North Sudan fell into. Today the people of North Sudan curse Omar Al Baashir for consenting ƒÆ’-¡ to hold the referendum. The Muslim North Sudan has become poorer, the Christian South Sudan ended up owning the rich oil wells.

We live in an era today where new nations are constantly being created. Kosovo is a creation entirely by the international world ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it was created despite the severe opposition by its former ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ownerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Serbia. They had the support of Russia and China, but still failed. ƒÆ’-¡ East Timor was created due to bunglings by the then Indonesian Presidents, Gus Dur and Sukharnopoutri (note during the strong leader, SuhartoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s time, he held on to East Timor). Other recent examples of the creation of new countries are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”Eritrea, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Ingushetia, Then, all the new nations that emerged from the old Soviet Union.

The US and India demand Sri Lanka to hold the northern provincial council election soon (in September 2013). This has been acknowledged in the recent Geneva Resolutions also. They know once the Land and Police powers are given to the two provincial governments (north and east) (it is possible that with the SLMMƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s support both provincial governments can be led by the TNA), it is possible for the two provinces to re-merge and make a claim to secede from Sri Lanka.

If the two powers are not given, the northern provincial government may seek redress from the Sri Lankan Supreme Court. How the ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lankan Supreme Court would address their grievance, it is premature to say. ƒÆ’-¡ They will also appeal to the West and India, who will squeeze Sri Lanka using the UN machinery such as Geneva, Security Council and the General Assembly.

In our previous media releases we have clearly shown that giving Land and Police powers to the northern and eastern provincial governments will lead to creationƒÆ’-¡  of theƒÆ’-¡  Tamil Elam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” name of the new nation is immaterial now, it is more likely to be called ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”North Eastern Sri Lanka. The truth is that the new nation will be led by the TNA or a different Tamil group that is very closely aligned with Tamilnadu.

Like what is happening on the boarders ofƒÆ’-¡  north and south Sudan now, boarder wars will erupt between North Eastern Sri Lanka and Southern Sri Lanka. Thousands of people from both sides may die, including civilians. The ex-Tamil Tigers (about 11,000 of them), will be the leading fighters for the new country. It is likely that at least preliminarily,ƒÆ’-¡  mainly due to the direct military support from Tamilnadu, the war unready Southern Sri Lanka will suffer heavy casualties.

The only way to avoid this (forming of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”South SudanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in northern Sri Lanka) is to do the following:

Abolish the 13th AmendmentƒÆ’-¡  – then there will be no provincial governments in Sri Lanka including the TNA led northern (and possibly eastern) provincial government. There will be no necessityƒÆ’-¡  to implement the LLRC recommendations, and there will be no requirement to hold a provincial government election in the north in September this year or any other time.

How to abolish the 13th Amendment (either of the below 3 ways would be sufficient) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”

  1. By way of an island wide referendum (see our media release below, dated 29 March 2013)
  2. Obtain a declaration from the Sri Lankan Supreme Court that the 13th amendment is void ab initio (can also use the reasons articulated by the late Supreme Court Justice Raja Wanasundera). Any ordinary citizen can bring in the Supreme Court Application.
  3. By an enactment – passed with 2/3 majority in theƒÆ’-¡  Parliament (see the fine and refreshing statement to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the IslandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by the Sri Lankan Defence Secretary ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Lankaweb, 29 March 2013

We believe the 1st method is more appropriate and that process has ƒÆ’-¡ more credibility than the other two. The 3rd method is the easiest but will be the least acceptable to the US and India. Once the 1st method is successfullyƒÆ’-¡  completed, to fully abide by the Constitution and impress the world, the 2nd and 3rd steps, especially the 3rd, , should be followed.

Some of the big mistakes Sri Lanka made after the end of the warƒÆ’-¡  (we are not discounting the many good things that the government has done):

  1. Upon PrabhakaranƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s death, Sri Lanka failed to articulate to the whole world that there exists no ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka, only ƒÆ’-¡ a terrorism problem existed and it was successfully defeated. We should have stressed that all people live in peace, harmony and unity and there exists no discrimination of people on ethnic ground (eg. more than 40% of ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s population is Tamil and they live in harmony with the Sinhalese. Tamils run most of the businesses in Colombo). There is no necessity to consider political solutions when no political problems exist.
  2. Released the murderous Tamil Tigers (about 11,000) ƒÆ’-¡ back into society in the belief that they have been rehabilitatedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” this may boomerang on us one day. The correct thing that should have been done was to prosecute the ex-Tigers after establishing a special judicial commission (like how the JVPers were prosecuted at end of the 1971 insurrection) and release only those who have been totally innocent,- not almost all of the combatants that were captured with difficulty. Note Cambodia is currently prosecuting the murderous Khamer Rouge guerillas through a special tribunal, more than 30 years after the end of thatƒÆ’-¡  war.
  3. Failed to internationally ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”marketƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the many good things that the government has doneƒÆ’-¡  including the prompt resettlement of the IDPs
  4. Failed to adequatelyƒÆ’-¡  confront the Channel 4 fabrications and nip the wrong accusations in bud, mainly by our Foreign Ministry (we note the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Lies Agreed UponƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, which was excellent) . The Channel 4 went ahead and produced further 3 or 4 videos. They may produce more.
  5. Failed to very comprehensively respond to the Darusman report.
  6. Failed to adequately confront the foreign NGOs including human rights organisations who have produced incorrect reports about Sri Lanka.
  7. Failed to initiate legal action against Channel 4 and ABC Four Corners (Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  Support Group went into great extent in this regard, but, unfortunately failed, it is still ready to take up the task), Mr Gordon Weiss, The UK Guardian newspaper etc. We can say the prospects of success in defamation are good.
  8. Failed to convince or failed in trying to convince the West (ie, their politicians) that their perception about Sri Lanka is wrongƒÆ’-¡  and that the Tamil Diaspora and their allies are spreading false, concocted stories about SriƒÆ’-¡  Lanka and that they should not be believed, but the Sri Lankan government.ƒÆ’-¡  For this, just like the Tamil Diaspora, after identifying the correct people ƒÆ’-¡ we ƒÆ’-¡ should have lobbied them on a continuous and regular basis ( it is still not too late to do this).ƒÆ’-¡  Only people with excellent diplomatic and communication skills are able to handle this type of arduous tasks, unfortunately, they were not engaged, but unqualified people were used to do the difficult job. Lots of money was wasted on foreign PR agencies, law firms etc. who had no real knowledge about Sri Lanka.
  9. Indicated to give 13+ to India and may have sent inconsistent messages to India.
  10. Appointed a LLRC Commission basically to please the WestƒÆ’-¡  and somewhat encouraged the Commission to write a strenuous report about Sri Lanka. They came up with almost impossible to implement recommendations. This is hugely boomeranging on us now.
  11. Failed to obtain assistance from the patriotic Sri Lankan (mainly Sinhala) Diaspora scattered throughout the world for the just cause
  12. Unlike the Tamil Diaspora, we failed to bring in the foreign (ie, western) allies of Sri Lanka (say, the politicians, academics, doctors, lawyers, journalists etc.) under oneƒÆ’-¡  umbrella.
  13. Failed to mount an international campaign to expose and/or prosecute the Tamil Diaspora who are LTTE members or strong sympathisers in their respective countries.
  14. Failed to assist the displaced Sinhalese and Muslim people to be re-settled in the north and east.
  15. Failed to formulate a Lawyers Front (comprised of patriotic lawyers who have a sound knowledge on international and Human Rights laws) to advise the government and our foreign missions, rebut the human rights and other wrong allegations made by the West, NGOs and the Tamil Diaspora against Sri Lanka. Note the very effective Lawyers Front of the ƒÆ’-¡ Tamil Diaspora .
  16. Agreed to hold the Northern Provincial Council Election in September 2013.ƒÆ’-¡  (see our media release below of 29 March 2013).
  17. Concentrated on mega development projects for the north and east which have borne little yield and many of the ex-Tigers are still unemployed (this failure applies to the whole country).ƒÆ’-¡  What the Government should have done was to use the precious borrowed monies for micro- economicƒÆ’-¡  projects (eg. giving Gramin Bank type loans to the citizens to overcome poverty, build their houses/toilets, self-employment projects etc, and spend monies on public health/sanitation, education and restoration of irrigation tanks etc).

srilankasupportgroup@bigpond.com

Tamil Nadu Does Not Execute Indian Federal Government Foreign Policy As India Has Clearly Stated Over The Ongoing Issue Anti Sri Lankan Sentiment

March 29th, 2013

LankaWeb Weekly Editorial

March 30th 2013
ƒÆ’-¡ 
ƒÆ’-¡ It was always a forgone conclusion that despite all the hooing and haaing byƒÆ’-¡ the likes of Jayalalitha, Vaiko and Karunanidhi to name some. over Sri Lankan matters relative to Tamils,ƒÆ’-¡ India would not toe the line with theirƒÆ’-¡ agitations which are plainly visible as linked to the pro LTTE Global Tamil diaspora.This seems somewhat reprehensible and contentious as today inƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka there are many TamilsƒÆ’-¡  who have shed their shackled past links with the LTTE and are returning to a life of normalcy quite happy to accept the programs towards resettlement offered by the Government of Sri Lanka which speaks volumes against the motley mindset of the Tamil Nadu politicos namedƒÆ’-¡ who should really find better things to do with their time.

ƒÆ’-¡ To add to the positive side of good relations between India and Sri lanka which most unfortunately these political adversaries of Sri Lanka deemable as a bunch of agitated clowns at times with no real political pedigree like the Gandhis, Nehrus etc continually try to disrupt,ƒÆ’-¡  the Indian Government has rejectedƒÆ’-¡  a Tamil Nadu Assembly resolution on Sri Lanka that called for slapping sanctions against Sri Lanka and holding a referendum to create a separate Tamil Eelam in the country which really sounds like a joke orchestratedƒÆ’-¡ by a trio of clowns but of course fuelled by the Global Tamil Diaspora or parts thereof with no rocket science neededƒÆ’-¡ .

ƒÆ’-¡ When IndianƒÆ’-¡ External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid flatly rejected the Tamil Nadu government resolution that had asked the Central Government to stop treating Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and slap economic sanctions while demanding a referendum for a separate Tamil Eelam,ƒÆ’-¡  he has taken the only viable option as a response in that India maintains cordial relations with Sri Lanka despite the UNHRC impasse of blunders which India in all probabilities will eventually come to regret as it is based purely on the coercion of certain Western powers of which the USA and Canada have a predominant hand in whereƒÆ’-¡ these countries too appear to be swayed by the power of the Global TamilƒÆ’-¡ diaspora and its unmitigatedƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  capacity for innuendo and false presentations which at times are the furthest from the truth and tangibility.

ƒÆ’-¡ Perhaps dashing the hopes of the Tamil Nadu politicians, whenƒÆ’-¡ in an interview to CNN-the American News carrier,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  IBN Minister Khurshid has unequivocally stated that”ƒÆ’-¡ the Indian Government considers the very strong feelings in Tamil Nadu and those are not entirely “out of sync with” what many people in the world

(noting a degree of parochiality) think but the Government believes that its negotiations, the dialogue with Sri Lanka and the effort it has made with Sri Lanka are equally important.” elaborates where India’s response to Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ is directed and in plain sight not a dance to the tunes of Tamil Nadu! This quite significantly so when asked” if the Centre was rejecting the three crucial aspects of the resolution – declaring the country unfriendly, slapping economic sanctions and holding a referendum- adopted by Tamil Nadu Assembly on March 27, ” where the Hon.ƒÆ’-¡ Minister said a firm no to each demand.

“There is no question of accepting that and that is not the only state that has a stake in this. What about the other states? There are many other assemblies. The rest of India is not supporting this,” the MinisterƒÆ’-¡  has saidƒÆ’-¡ to further moot the solidarity India has maintained towards which the Nation of Sri Lanka needs to be responsiveƒÆ’-¡  in acclamation. The minister has further said that “If all of India was supporting it, it would be another matter. But if one state supports something we are sensitive to their concerns, but we don’t have to necessarily accept everything they say,” he stressed where the message sent to Tamil Nadu whether it is accepted or not is implicit.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Tamil Nadu Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution urging the Centre to slap economic embargo on Colombo till the “suppression” of Tamils was stopped and those responsible for “genocide and war crimes” faced an international probe where the terms “suppression “, “Genocide” andƒÆ’-¡ ” Warcrimes” quite obviouslyƒÆ’-¡  are taken out of context.

ƒÆ’-¡ On the strength of all this it is perhaps also time appropriate that the ƒÆ’-¡ Indian Government takes appropriate steps~ stringent at best~ƒÆ’-¡ to curb the unnecessary intimidation of Sri Lankan travellers, sports personalities, students, members of the diplomatic corpsƒÆ’-¡ and Buddhist priests to Tamil Nadus as it seems a crying shame that irresponsible individuals calling themselves politicians from Tamil Nadu appear to be fomenting and inciting hatred against innocent and well meaning Sri Lankans choosing to go there for various reasons and all in good faith which seems something the likes of Jayalalitha, Vaiko, Karunanidhi and a host of others have never heard of!

ƒÆ’-¡ And it needs to be reiterated in the best interests of all concerned and towardsƒÆ’-¡ a greater understanding by those unaware or marginally so,

ƒÆ’-¡ that Tamil Nadu does not execute Indian Federal Government Foreign Policy as India has clearly stated over the ongoing Issue ofƒÆ’-¡ anti Sri Lankan sentimentƒÆ’-¡ and intimidatory action against the Nation of Sri Lanka per se!ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

Tamil Nadu seeks Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka

March 29th, 2013

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

29 March 2013

Mr. Vinod BabuƒÆ’-¡ 
Deccan Herald
The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd

2-A Ground Floor, PrestigeƒÆ’-¡  PointƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 
47/2 Haddows Road, 2nd Cross Street, ThousantƒÆ’-¡  Lights
Chennai ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 600 006, Tamil Nadu, India

Dear Vinod Babu:

Your news item of March 27, 2013 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Tamil Nadu seeks Tamil Eelam in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ sounds a bit clownish and crazy!ƒÆ’-¡  I question why Sri Lanka and not Tamil Nadu?

What is logical is that Tamil Nadu has 72 million Tamils, and that is where this crazy thought sits comfortably like a Chennai frog on a lily pad on a sunny day,ƒÆ’-¡  and Sri Lankan Tamils have dwindled from 12.6% of the population in 1981 to 4% in 2012. AndƒÆ’-¡  then why Eelam in a Tamil depleted Sri Lanka when almost all the Tamils have either gone south to places like Wellawatte, a suburb of Colombo orƒÆ’-¡  the capital Colombo, or down Main Street in Pettah, or left the island for good, to places like Canada, the US, England, Germany, Norway, Denmark, Germany, France and Australia.

And do you know, or really does Chief Minister Jayalalitha, and DMK leader Karunanidhi know, where these Tamils went to?ƒÆ’-¡  As that will tell you all that Jayalalitha is performing using the wrong script.ƒÆ’-¡  If her story was filmed, the Tamils who left Sri Lanka after the riots in July 1983, 300,000 of them came to Canada, they will all thumb their noses at Tamil Nadu, their Motherland, when they were passing by Tamil Nadu, before landing on the shores of Canada who are now happily settled.

The storyline would have shown Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi standing on the shores of Chennai and wiping their tears while the Sri Lankan Tamils on freighters and boats and planes thumbing their noses at them, when the two of them cry out loud (sound effects) to them waving their hands,ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Ayyo! VaangaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦vaangaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ThambiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.ayyoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.vaangaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦vaanga!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  And these Sri Lankan-Tamils, men and women, would be thumbing their noses and telling Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi in unisonƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Na..nanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦nana, NaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦nanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦nanaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦we are going to Ka-na-da. TinƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦TinƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦NaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦DhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦Na..DhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦Na,,,donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t cry for us Jayalalitha, Poittu varen!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  And that is the story.ƒÆ’-¡  So you got two foolish politicians in your folds who have difficulty to understand the ground reality.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The resolution also urged India to stop describing Sri Lanka as a friendly nation and sought an international probe on war crimes during the war against the Tamil Tigers,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ you reported.ƒÆ’-¡  This resolution had two parts.

Touche. I had requested Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s President Mahinda Rajapaka in a letter that it is time that Sri Lanka declares that India is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-hostile neighbourƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  When Tamil Nadu in south India beats up the Sri Lankans going there on a pilgrimage, and beats up and chases a Sinhalese Buddhist monk visiting an archaeological site, when Tamil Nadu bars Sri Lankan cricketers playing in Chennai, when Tamil Nadu stops young Sri Lankan soccer players playing on their soil,ƒÆ’-¡  when the Mihin Lanka office was smashed by some protesters surely this is not a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We love you Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  love call by crude and thuggish Tamils in Tamil NaduƒÆ’-¡  singing lullabies ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Hush-a-by baby on the tree topƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦when the winds blow the cradle will rockƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Aararo arirao araaro ariraroa ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Yar adichu nee azharaey un anjana kan mayi karayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ That is indeed the rub.ƒÆ’-¡  And Sri Lanka better understand it and let India know, and stop accepting this humiliation andƒÆ’-¡  the trampling of ourƒÆ’-¡  peoples dignity without an official protest.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦..And sought an international probe on war crimes during the war against the Tamil Tigers.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ You reported about the resolution.ƒÆ’-¡  It also said those responsible for the alleged war crimes should be tried before an international court.

I will certainly go for that knowing that the Tamil Tiger terrorists, who converted Sri Lanka into aƒÆ’-¡  Channel4 Killing Field for 30 bloody years, was a Tamil Nadu creation.ƒÆ’-¡  LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s go after the Tamil Nadu rascals and haul them in front of an international court for aiding and abetting the killer Tamil Tigers by training and sustaining them with military killer weapons and funds.

Jayalalitha certainly has lost her long memory of Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s recent history.ƒÆ’-¡  How Periyar Ramaswamy Naikkar in 1944 split the Justice Party and had the larger faction found the Dravida Kazhagam, a Tamil only party which cried for a separate Tamil country, and not a state within India.ƒÆ’-¡  How Naikkar also appealed to the British not to leave India without creating a separate country for the Tamil people.

HowƒÆ’-¡  because of the 1963 vociferous campaign and agitation for a separate Tamil state which was led by C.N. Annadurai that NehruƒÆ’-¡  introduced the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution of India which made it mandatory for those who are running for public office to take an oath that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I will uphold the sovereignty and integrity of India.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Thus, since this Fairy Tale Kingdom of Dravidastan was squashed by Pundit Nehru,ƒÆ’-¡  that the sly three musketeers, the late M R Ramachandran,ƒÆ’-¡  Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi thought that they could get a foot hold of a separate Tamil state Eelam in Sri Lanka through the back-door,ƒÆ’-¡  and hence the bullying and disregarding the sovereignty of the island of Sri Lanka.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha has forgotten how they in Tamil Nadu in the late 1983 and 1984 had several army camps providing military training toƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lankan Tamil guerrillas in the thousandsƒÆ’-¡ ofƒÆ’-¡  the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam); EPRLF (Eelam Peoples Revolutionary Front); TELO (Tamil Eelam Libeation Organization); PLOT (Peoples Liberation Organization of Tamil Eelam); EROS (Eelam Revolutionary Organizations) and TELA (Tamil Eelam Liberation), and sent them back to Sri Lanka to kill and destabilize Sri Lanka after graduating as Terrorists.

The Military training camps happened to be Parangamali, a place about 40 miles from the Chennai airport; Salem Kollimalai Kanjipuram; Kollimalai Kakavel,; Anna Nagar; Sengalpattu Presawakkam, Valacheri and Thenikramam.ƒÆ’-¡  And their instructors were Subehar Major Narashimma Varman of the Indian Army, Alagasamy a retired police officer and so forth.

Well, as Jayalalitha has suggestedƒÆ’-¡  lets haul these Tamil Nadu culprits who aided and abetted to create killing fields in Sri Lanka in front of an International War Crimes Court.

It is apparent that IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Prime Minister Manmohan Sing is up the creek in a boat without a paddle unable to rein in Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Chief Minister Jayaram Jayalalitha who has almost declared UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) of Tamil Nadu as she is running her state according to her whims and has snubbed her nose at the writ of the Centre.

All what I ask Prime MinisterƒÆ’-¡  Manmohan Sing of India is, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-WhatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s next under your sleeve on Sri Lanka, Manmohan to apply Indira-MonroeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s doctrineƒÆ’-¡  to destabilize Sri Lanka and get her under IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s wing? But for God SivaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sake donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t be a joker and preach that the Indian model of devolution is the panacea of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ethnic ills.ƒÆ’-¡  But surely not after witnessing Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Chief MinisterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s antics disregarding the writ of the Centre, nor with the race riots in Gujarat and Mumbai in spite of your kind of Indian-federalism.ƒÆ’-¡  And how Jayalalitha of theƒÆ’-¡  southern state of Tamil Nadu has rendered the Center impotent and antagonized the Sinhalese population of your southern neighbour.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

My advise to you is to encourage Jayalalitha to invite all the Sri Lankan-Tamils who are unhappy in Sri Lanka to her Tamil Nadu where 72 million of their brethren live, which is where they belongƒÆ’-¡  in the first place, and make them her happy citizens and ask them to live happily ever after in their Motherland, Tamil Nadu.ƒÆ’-¡  That will for the most part solve Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s problem with the whining Tamils.

ƒÆ’-¡  And as for you, Manmohan SingƒÆ’-¡  and your Central Government you may want to continue your pretence that your India is a friend of Sri Lanka when we all know that you are a hostile neighbour and a lackey of Uncle Sam, to whom India jumps when ordered to jump.ƒÆ’-¡  Remember the twoƒÆ’-¡  UN Geneva Resolutions against Sri Lanka and you voted for with the US.?ƒÆ’-¡  Why should Sri Lanka search for any more enemies when they have a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”friend like IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, who is willing to stab her back when ever India finds it beneficial.ƒÆ’-¡  As far as I am concerned, India couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t care two dung covered paisa for the Sinhalese and Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  It is IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s selfish self interest and it a case of MeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦MeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.Me.

Vinod Babu, that is in fact how the Indian cookie crumbles.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

The Wahhabi Invasion of Sri Lanka

March 29th, 2013

M. Gunasekera Toronto, Canada

There have been some inner rumblings within the Sri Lankan Muslim community with the Wahabi (Saudi form) and Thawheed groups taking aggressive steps against the Sufi order known as Tharikathul Mufliheen in the eastern coastal village of Katankudy (the same village where the LTTE killed nearly 150 Muslims at prayer in Aug 1990) building up into violent clashes in 1996, 2004 and 2006 resulting in a few deaths and destruction of a mosque and 117 homes.ƒÆ’-¡  These clashes spread to other centres in 2009 causing serious harm to persons and property in Ukuwela in the central hills and Beruwela on the southwestern coast.ƒÆ’-¡  The Sufis have had issues with the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama in 1990 where Court intervention was sought to have the fatwa against the Tharikathul Mufliheen revoked.
The tiny village of Kattankudy today has a total of 42 mosques built for the small community of adherents with financial support from Saudi, etc.

It was the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama (ACJU) that forced an issue with the non-Muslim community of Sri Lanka by actively seeking consumer products to be certified by them as “Halal” (acceptable to those of the Islam faith) for an annual fee of Rs.175,000.00 for each product, thereby forcing all consumers to purchase “Halal” certified merchandise.ƒÆ’-¡  The ACJU did not have the authority to undertake such certification based on their religious beliefs, as product approval came under the Health authority and the Sri Lanka Standards Bureau.ƒÆ’-¡  Fortunately, the SL authorities have taken action to defuse a serious clash between the ACJU Muslim wing and other non-Muslims led by Buddhist groups.ƒÆ’-¡  There is no objection to Muslims seeking “Halal” certified products for their own consumption or export to Muslim countries overseas which require such certification, without compelling others to conform to their religious beliefs through such manipulation of the trading world.

Any other issues that have the capacity to cause religious friction should be promptly dealt with by the community elders and the spiritual leaders without allowing same to cause unnecessary conflagration.ƒÆ’-¡  The authorities too should enforce the available regulations to prevent harassment of one community by another, deal with issues of illegal use of microphones deemed sound pollution on which the courts have ruled.ƒÆ’-¡  Steps should also be taken to ensure that churches, temples, mosques, kovils, etc. are duly approved for construction by the local authority based on the needs of specific communities and construction governed by approved building codes.ƒÆ’-¡  Installation of crosses, Buddha statues, or other religious symbols in public places should be prohibited, and any such constructed should be re-located to approved sites in consultation with the parties concerned, as proliferation of these symbols in unauthorized places does not in any way enhance the spiritual growth but may in reality tend to devalue these symbols which are held in much veneration possibly depreciating spirituality.

Mahinda Gunasekera
Toronto, Canada

*This article in first appeared in Washington, DC basedƒÆ’-¡ Center for Islamic Pluralism -ƒÆ’-¡ July 18, 2012

The Wahhabi Invasion of Sri Lanka

ByƒÆ’-¡ Stephen Schwartz and Irfan Al-Alawi -

To many non-Muslims, the existence of an Islamic community on the island of Sri Lanka may be surprising. Sri Lanka has been known for the past three decades as the scene of an atrocious civil war. Its Buddhist Sinhala majority, with 69.1 percent of the national population of 21.5 million, was challenged by Tamils ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 7.1 percent, and mainly Hindu in religion, whom the secessionist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Tamil TigersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ aspired to represent. The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Tamil TigersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ were defeated militarily in 2009.

But Sri Lanka also counts 7.6 percent of its people as Muslims, and among them, as elsewhere throughout South Asia, the spiritual tradition of Sufism is vigorously present. After 1973, and the Arab oil embargo that enriched Saudi Arabia greatly, the ultra-fundamentalist Wahhabi sect, which is the official religious interpretation in the Saudi kingdom, began to penetrate Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s adherents to Islam. The Wahhabis in Sri Lanka act through a movement called Thawheed, or Monotheism. They opened numerous medresas. They despise Sufis.

According to M.C.A. Hameed, president of the All Ceylon Thareekathul Mufliheen, a Sufi order whose name means ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-path of the fearless victorious,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Sri Lankan Muslims then began to find employment in Saudi Arabia, and many young Sri Lankan Muslims were awarded scholarships by Saudi universities. But ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-those who completed their studies returned to Sri Lanka andƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ propagat[ed] the ideologyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of Wahhabism, Hameed says. Further, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-to pursue their goal the Wahhabis resorted to violence and intimidation culminating in death and destruction. Our religious societyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ was not spared and had to face untold hardship.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The All Ceylon Thareekathul Mufliheen was founded in the late 1980s by Sheihul Mufliheen M.S.M. Abdullah, known as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Rah,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in the southeastern Sri Lanka village of Maruthamunai. It was registered as a cultural society with the civil authorities in 1989. The headquarters of Thareekathul Mufliheen is now located in the small eastern coast village of Kattankudy, which has 42 mosques. The order maintains branches around the island, and claims 15,000 members.

Hameed states that the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-visionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of Thareekathul Mufliheen is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-to expound the true meaning of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”kalimathuth thayiba,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fragrant sacred words.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ These words are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-la ilaha illallah,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the essence of Islam, meaning ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-there is nothing but God.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ In the teachings of Thareekathul Mufliheen, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This word Allah (God) denotes a great power, unbound by time and space, infinite and beyond human imagination. The creation is only the manifestation of this eternal truth and [is] not separate from it.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

This principle underlies the doctrines of Thareekathul Mufliheen, but its founder denied exerting any compulsion anywhere to embrace his views, given that each human being is free to choose a path of faith. In 1980, Abdullah (Rah) published a book in Tamil titledƒÆ’-¡ Imanin Unmaiyai Nee Arivaya, orƒÆ’-¡ Do You Know the Truth of Iman? ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”ƒÆ’-¡ imanƒÆ’-¡ referring to Islamic belief. The countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s official Council of Islamic Scholars, the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, purportedly without reading the book or holding a hearing to examine it, published a fatwa or religious opinion on September 10, 1989, declaring Abdullah (Rah) and his followers asƒÆ’-¡ murtaddƒÆ’-¡ or apostates, who renounced Islam, in the judgment of the clerics.

Abdullah (Rah) filed a defamation suit against the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama in 1990 in Colombo, the Sri Lankan capital. Many hearings later, in 1996, the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama revoked the fatwa and settled the complaint. In a similar act of discrimination, members of Thareekathul Mufliheen were denied registration of marriages and burial of the dead in conformity with Islamic practice, but through legal action these rights were restored, at least on paper. A book by Abdullah (Rah) translated into English,ƒÆ’-¡ The Court of Reason, was published in 2010.

Thareekathul Mufliheen opened a Meditation Centre at Kattankudy in 1996. On May 29 of that year, at 1 A.M. in the morning, Wahhabi arson struck the building. Abdullah (Rah) and the members of the order were targets of shooting and grenade attacks, and other physical aggression, as well as threats. Worse was to come. On October 31, 2004, at 12:30 p.m., 500 Wahhabis organized under the title ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ again set the Meditation Centre ablaze, destroying its library, along with homes and businesses owned by Sufis. Financial loss to the injured parties was considerable, and one Sufi was shot and killed while another was wounded by gunfire. Thareekathul MufliheenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s president Hameed accuses police of assisting the assailants. Eight alleged perpetrators were arrested, but were released on bail with no further consequences. A complaint was entered at Police Headquarters in Colombo in 2004, and a subsequent protest was filed with the Sri Lanka Human Rights Commission (HRC) in 2005.

The HRC found in favor of the Sufis, stating that their constitutional right to adhere to the belief of their will and choice had been violated, and submitting recommendations for redress to the Inspector General of Police. But Thareekathul Mufliheen asserts, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sadly, the Police were inactive in implementing these recommendations in an equitable manner.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Still, the Meditation Centre and headquarters were rebuilt and a birthday celebration for the founder of the order was held on July 25, 2006, with 15,000 people provided free food.

Sheihul Mufliheen M.S.M. Abdullah (Rah) died on December 6, 2006. Wahhabi preachers from the Thawheed network and the armed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ incited the local clerics and politicians (Jamiathul Ulama Kattankudy, the Muslim Federation of Mosques, and the Urban Council of Kattankudy) to oppose his burial according to Islamic rites, in the Meditation Centre, as he was a supposed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-apostate.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Another member of the Sufi order had died on December 1, 2006, was buried that day, and on December 2 was exhumed by Wahhabis on the same pretext and laid out on the soil. According to the Wahhabis and their accomplices, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-apostatesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ could not be buried in Kattankudy.

The Jihadis, armed with lethal weapons, rioted after the death of Abdullah (Rah), bringing life in Kattankudy to a halt by a general work stoppage (hartal). Schools, government and private offices, banks and businesses shut down and some banks and shops were looted and burned. The official clerics of All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, Jamiathul Ulama Kattankudy, the Muslim Federation of Mosques, other Islamic organizations, and the Kattankudy Urban Council initiated a judicial argument on December 11, 2006. They denounced the interment of Abdullah (Rah) as defying Muslim norms and traditions and charged that Thareekathul Mufliheen had failed to seek permission from the authorities for the burial. The petition by the official clerics and Wahhabis was dismissed in 2007. But the Sri Lanka HRC declared in 2007 that it could not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-interfere in the disputes between various sects of a religionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and recommended the conflict be referred to the Council of Ulemas ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama, or to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

In a separate controversy, the Urban Council in Kattankudy had ordered the dismantling of the minaret at the Meditation Centre, as an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unauthorized structure,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in a decision announced on December 13, 2006. Police prevented commencement of the demolition, but Wahhabi fanatics interfered with the officers. Three rioters were shot and killed. A police post and police vehicle were assaulted. On December 15, 2006, nevertheless, members of the Urban Council joined a Wahhabi mob that invaded the Meditation Centre and knocked down the minaret, removing the body of Abdullah (Rah), either burning or reburying it in a location yet unknown. The houses of 117 Sufis were leveled by fire. Many were threatened and fled the district. Two were injured, and one lost an arm.

Evidence of persecution of Thareekathul Mufliheen was submitted to Asma Jahangir, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, during a visit she made to Sri Lanka. In her 2008 Report to the UN, the Special Rapporteur expressed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-regrets that she has not received a reply from the Government [of Sri Lanka]ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ regarding the 2006 incidents. She affirmed that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the Government of Sri Lanka has to fulfill its positive obligation to protect the right to freedom of religion or belief of all its citizensƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ in most of the cases that have been brought to her attentionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ these obligations have not been satisfactorily fulfilled by the Government.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The 2007ƒÆ’-¡ International Religious Freedom ReportƒÆ’-¡ issued by the U.S. Department of State noted the Wahhabi interference with Thareekathul Mufliheen. Since then, however, abuses against the Sufis of Kattankudy have continued, with the Wahhabi Thawheed faction in the forefront of violence. Official ulema and the village authorities attempted unsuccessfully to prevent celebration of a Sufi festival in 2008. That year, a Sri Lanka Supreme Court order, providing that 200 members of Thareekathul Mufliheen be allowed to return to their homes in Kattankudy and practice their beliefs in freedom, was obstructed by armed Jihad members.

In February 2009 a 150-year old shrine was destroyed by Thawheed in the city of Ukuwela, in the central hill country of Sri Lanka. Conflict in July 2009 between Thawheed and the Qadiri Sufi order, in the southwestern town of Beruwala, led to two deaths, more than 40 people injured, and 132 arrests. The Qadiri devotees complained that the Wahhabi mosque in their town, named Masjidur Rahman (Mosque of the Merciful) had accused the Qadiris of the Bukhari Thakkiya mosque of beingƒÆ’-¡ qafirunƒÆ’-¡ (ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-disbelieversƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-concealers of the truthƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬) continuously in the eight years since the Wahhabi mosque was inaugurated.

According to the Sri Lanka newspaperƒÆ’-¡ The Sunday TimesƒÆ’-¡ of August 16, 2009, Muslim Home Guards recruited by the Sri Lankan government to fight the Tamil rebels had deserted with their weapons and joined Thawheed to fulfill its demand for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ against traditional Muslims. The newspaper described a significant influx of Wahhabi preachers and activists from south India and Saudi Arabia. Riyad S. Al-Khenene, counsellor of the Royal Saudi Embassy in Sri Lanka, denied that official Saudi support was granted to the Wahhabi interlopers, while admitting that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-certain wealthy personsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ are helping various religious groups in Sri Lanka to put up mosques. But this has nothing to do with the Government of Saudi Arabia,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Al-Khenene insisted.

In response to the campaign against it, Thareekathul Mufliheen has appealed to the Sri Lanka authorities for an impartial inquiry into Wahhabi activities in the country; to disarm the Wahhabis; to provide for reconstruction of the headquarters of Thareekathul Mufliheen in Kattankudy; to enforce the revocation of the fatwa issued by the All Ceylon Jamiathul Ulama against Abdullah (Rah) and his disciples, as ordered by the Colombo District Court, and to compensate the displaced Sufis, facilitating restoration of their lost heritage, ruined homes, and businesses. The Sufis of Kattankudy seek ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-peaceful resettlement with honor.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Thareekathul Mufliheen defines itself as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a peace loving and non-violent Religious SocietyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ The members have displayed their patience and tolerance even in times of grave injustice and calamityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ The words of wisdom of our spiritual leader are to detest arms and adopt peaceful means to find a solution in a crisis situation.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The Wahhabi, Deobandi, and Mawdudist jihad trends have revealed their ambition to control South Asian Islam through violence in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. In all these countries traditionalists resist them. The Sufis of Sri Lanka, although obscure to the rest of the world, deserve no less support than anti-radical Muslims elsewhere in the region and around the globe.

*This article in first appeared in Washington, DC basedƒÆ’-¡ Center for Islamic Pluralism -ƒÆ’-¡ July 18, 2012

 

Lanka plays Bengal card – Envoy links Sinhalese to eastern states, TN groups fume

March 29th, 2013

G.C. SHEKHAR Courtesy the Telegraph Calcutta

ƒÆ’-¡ A portrait of Balachandran, the slain son of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, held up by protesters on Marina Beach in Chennai last week during a demonstration against alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan government. (Reuters)

Chennai, March 28: A claim by the Sri Lankan envoy that the Sinhalese are descendants of Odias and Bengalis and therefore deserve Indian support has angered Tamil Nadu groups who have accused him of trying to divide Indians and sought his expulsion.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Today, India seems to be concerned only about the 12 per cent Tamil population in Sri Lanka who share ethnic links with Tamil Nadu. But Sinhalese too have similar but ancient links with Odisha and north India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Prasad Kariyawasam, the Sri Lanka high commissioner to India, has said in a statement.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is believed that 75 per cent of the Sinhala race in Sri Lanka originated from in and around Kalinga (modern-day Odisha). Therefore, the people in Odisha and Bengal consider the Sinhala population in Sri Lanka as having its origins in India. The strong links that existed were torn asunder by Moghul and British invasion.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement came in response to the prolonged protests in Tamil Nadu against ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s alleged war crimes against Lankan Tamils.

According to the Mahavamsa, an ancient chronicle of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s kings written in Pali, a king from Singhapur in Rarh (southwest Bengal) named Vijaya sailed on eight ships to Sri Lanka with 700 of his people in 543 BC and established the kingdom of Sinhala. Legend describes the Sinhalese as descendants of Vijaya and his people, who would have lived in parts of todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s East Midnapore, close to Odisha.

Some scholars believe that todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Singur ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ which changed BengalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s political climate a few years ago ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ is where Singhapur was located and that Singur derives its name from that ancient town. The Mahavamsa mentions another town in Rarh called Banganagar.

In a quirk of history, Mamata Banerjee, who owes her electoral triumph to her Singur agitation, has been the first non-ally to openly offer support to the CentreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s by and large pro-Colombo foreign policy while expressing sympathies for the Tamils.

Bhaktiprasad Adhikari, who was an aide to former Bengal agriculture minister and Trinamul member Rabindranath Bhattacharya, has written a book, Singur Theke Singhal ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ Banglar Bismrita Adhyay (From Singur to Sinhala ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ A Forgotten Chapter of Bengal), which has articles on Vijaya. In VijayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s days, the people of Bengal had a reputation for seafaring and, according to legend, the Saraswati river flowed through the Singhapur area.

While some scholars feel that the Bengal-Odisha-Sri Lanka link is little more than folklore, some others said not all of it might be wrong.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-What the high commissioner has said may be possible,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ said T.K.V. Subramanian, historian and former Delhi University teacher.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Buddhism spread in eastern India during the period (third-century BC) of emperor Ashoka. There is a theory that Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka skipping Tamil Nadu. This suggests that people from the eastern coast would have gone to Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In addition to ethnic links with Kalinga, the Sinhalese speak and write an Indo-Aryan language based on Sanskrit which is linked to Hindi, Odia and Bengali. India must be concerned about the rights of the Sinhalese too and must not allow Sinhala leaders to be isolated in India.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Historian P.S. Dwivedi, former head of history at St StephenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s College, confirmed that the Sinhala language belonged to the Indo-Aryan family. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Going by the language, there is a likelihood that the Sinhalese would have migrated from India. But I have no information that they were originally from Odisha and Bengal,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said.

Gaganendranath Dash, former head of linguistics at Barhampur University, Odisha, said there were similarities between the Sinhala and Odia languages. He pointed out that Pali, in which Mahavamsa was written, was prevalent in the eastern parts of ancient India.

Indeed Ashoka of Magadha, also in eastern India, provides another Lanka-Odisha link. It was his bloody conquest of Kalinga that drove him to remorse and to Buddhism, whose message he spread to the island nation.

The Cambridge History of India says Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries, including his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra, to convert the Lankans.

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Tamil separatism and Tamil nationalism in Tamil Nadu is a concern for Sri Lanka, which cannot be allowed to be divided on ethnic lines. And India must allay the fears of the Sinhalese. The violent separatism that affected Sri Lanka for three decades was defeated by the government of President Rajapaksa. He must be congratulated since he eliminated a Tamil terrorist group, LTTE, that had killed former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Tamil groups view the statement as an attempt to rally the support of non-Tamils in India at a time Tamil Nadu politicians are united in trying to isolate Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution asking New Delhi not to describe Sri Lanka as a friendly country and demanding a referendum among Tamils in Sri Lanka and other countries about the establishment of a Tamil Eelam (homeland).

Tamil Nationalist Front leader P. Nedumaran accused Kariyawasam of a brazen effort to divide Indians, who he said were united in their anger against ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s war crimes against Tamils.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-That the high commissioner has sent this email only to the chief ministers of north Indian states and journalists in Delhi proves his intent to cause fissures in India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Nedumaran said in a statement. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Since this is against all diplomatic norms, he must be expelled at once.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

MDMK leader Vaiko alleged that Kariyawasam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-has tried to instigate the people of north India, Odisha and BengalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-concocted, unbelievable storiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Vaiko has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the high commissioner ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-has blatantly violated his diplomatic immunity, crossed his legal limits and circulated the most atrocious narrative to pour venom into the minds ofƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ north Indians and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-instigate them against not only Eelam Tamils but also the people of Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

He has demanded that Kariyawasam be prosecuted for sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code.ƒÆ’-¡ 

 

Lanka plays Bengal card

- Envoy links Sinhalese to eastern states, TN groups fume

G.C. SHEKHAR

A portrait of Balachandran, the slain son of LTTE leader V Prabhakaran, held up by protesters on Marina Beach in Chennai last week during a demonstration against alleged war crimes by the Sri Lankan government. (Reuters)

Chennai, March 28: A claim by the Sri Lankan envoy that the Sinhalese are descendants of Odias and Bengalis and therefore deserve Indian support has angered Tamil Nadu groups who have accused him of trying to divide Indians and sought his expulsion.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Today, India seems to be concerned only about the 12 per cent Tamil population in Sri Lanka who share ethnic links with Tamil Nadu. But Sinhalese too have similar but ancient links with Odisha and north India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Prasad Kariyawasam, the Sri Lanka high commissioner to India, has said in a statement.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is believed that 75 per cent of the Sinhala race in Sri Lanka originated from in and around Kalinga (modern-day Odisha). Therefore, the people in Odisha and Bengal consider the Sinhala population in Sri Lanka as having its origins in India. The strong links that existed were torn asunder by Moghul and British invasion.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement came in response to the prolonged protests in Tamil Nadu against ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s alleged war crimes against Lankan Tamils.

According to the Mahavamsa, an ancient chronicle of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s kings written in Pali, a king from Singhapur in Rarh (southwest Bengal) named Vijaya sailed on eight ships to Sri Lanka with 700 of his people in 543 BC and established the kingdom of Sinhala. Legend describes the Sinhalese as descendants of Vijaya and his people, who would have lived in parts of todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s East Midnapore, close to Odisha.

Some scholars believe that todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Singur ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ which changed BengalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s political climate a few years ago ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ is where Singhapur was located and that Singur derives its name from that ancient town. The Mahavamsa mentions another town in Rarh called Banganagar.

In a quirk of history, Mamata Banerjee, who owes her electoral triumph to her Singur agitation, has been the first non-ally to openly offer support to the CentreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s by and large pro-Colombo foreign policy while expressing sympathies for the Tamils.

Bhaktiprasad Adhikari, who was an aide to former Bengal agriculture minister and Trinamul member Rabindranath Bhattacharya, has written a book, Singur Theke Singhal ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ Banglar Bismrita Adhyay (From Singur to Sinhala ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ A Forgotten Chapter of Bengal), which has articles on Vijaya. In VijayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s days, the people of Bengal had a reputation for seafaring and, according to legend, the Saraswati river flowed through the Singhapur area.

While some scholars feel that the Bengal-Odisha-Sri Lanka link is little more than folklore, some others said not all of it might be wrong.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-What the high commissioner has said may be possible,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ said T.K.V. Subramanian, historian and former Delhi University teacher.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Buddhism spread in eastern India during the period (third-century BC) of emperor Ashoka. There is a theory that Buddhism spread to Sri Lanka skipping Tamil Nadu. This suggests that people from the eastern coast would have gone to Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In addition to ethnic links with Kalinga, the Sinhalese speak and write an Indo-Aryan language based on Sanskrit which is linked to Hindi, Odia and Bengali. India must be concerned about the rights of the Sinhalese too and must not allow Sinhala leaders to be isolated in India.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Historian P.S. Dwivedi, former head of history at St StephenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s College, confirmed that the Sinhala language belonged to the Indo-Aryan family. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Going by the language, there is a likelihood that the Sinhalese would have migrated from India. But I have no information that they were originally from Odisha and Bengal,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said.

Gaganendranath Dash, former head of linguistics at Barhampur University, Odisha, said there were similarities between the Sinhala and Odia languages. He pointed out that Pali, in which Mahavamsa was written, was prevalent in the eastern parts of ancient India.

Indeed Ashoka of Magadha, also in eastern India, provides another Lanka-Odisha link. It was his bloody conquest of Kalinga that drove him to remorse and to Buddhism, whose message he spread to the island nation.

The Cambridge History of India says Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries, including his son Mahendra and daughter Sanghamitra, to convert the Lankans.

KariyawasamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statement said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Tamil separatism and Tamil nationalism in Tamil Nadu is a concern for Sri Lanka, which cannot be allowed to be divided on ethnic lines. And India must allay the fears of the Sinhalese. The violent separatism that affected Sri Lanka for three decades was defeated by the government of President Rajapaksa. He must be congratulated since he eliminated a Tamil terrorist group, LTTE, that had killed former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Tamil groups view the statement as an attempt to rally the support of non-Tamils in India at a time Tamil Nadu politicians are united in trying to isolate Sri Lanka.

On Wednesday, the Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a resolution asking New Delhi not to describe Sri Lanka as a friendly country and demanding a referendum among Tamils in Sri Lanka and other countries about the establishment of a Tamil Eelam (homeland).

Tamil Nationalist Front leader P. Nedumaran accused Kariyawasam of a brazen effort to divide Indians, who he said were united in their anger against ColomboƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s war crimes against Tamils.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-That the high commissioner has sent this email only to the chief ministers of north Indian states and journalists in Delhi proves his intent to cause fissures in India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Nedumaran said in a statement. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Since this is against all diplomatic norms, he must be expelled at once.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

MDMK leader Vaiko alleged that Kariyawasam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-has tried to instigate the people of north India, Odisha and BengalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-concocted, unbelievable storiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Vaiko has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that the high commissioner ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-has blatantly violated his diplomatic immunity, crossed his legal limits and circulated the most atrocious narrative to pour venom into the minds ofƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ north Indians and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-instigate them against not only Eelam Tamils but also the people of Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

He has demanded that Kariyawasam be prosecuted for sedition under Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code. (Courtesy the Telegraph Calcutta)

IN FOCUS – LIFE ABROAD. Pt 21-TRANSFORMATION

March 29th, 2013

Dr. Tilak S. Fernando

During the late General Sepala AttygalaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s tenure ƒÆ’-¡ as ƒÆ’-¡ the High Commissioner in London,ƒÆ’-¡  President Premadasa decided to take some remedial actionƒÆ’-¡  to give a face lift to ƒÆ’-¡ the ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka High Commission building at 13 Hyde Park Gardens, upon realising ƒÆ’-¡ the historic value of this vast building where Lord Northcliff had lived with 24 servants in the basement in an era when ƒÆ’-¡ the British aristocracy occupied the main house, known asƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”upstairsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and the domestic staff ƒÆ’-¡ occupied the basement as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- downstairsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. A popular British Teledrama called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Upstairs & DownstairsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ illustrated this fact distinctively.

Successor to Buluwela, the long served caretaker of the building, a new replacement believed to be a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”trustworthyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ employee (namely Ranasinghe) recommended by President Premadasa took over the reins as the caretaker at a time when terrorist attacks became vulnerable. ƒÆ’-¡ 

TUNNEL TO BAKER STREET

ƒÆ’-¡ A historic feature of thisƒÆ’-¡  building was the underground tunnel that stretched up to Baker Street in London where Lord Northcliff had been using for his daily walks from his residence to Baker Street through this tunnel. However, in recent times the tunnel has been blocked out.

President PremadasaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to convert the whole basement area into several flats as staff quarters was to save foreign exchange drain on rent paid out to private landlords every month on diplomatic staff accommodation.

To attend to all building conversion work President Premadasa sent a workforce of tradesmen all the way from Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  Although the building was on a long lease from the Church Commissioners in the UK, the lease agreement allowed for such modifications by the lessee.

ƒÆ’-¡ For a long period of time Sri Lanka government owned only one property in the UK, after being there for decades! Ultimately a fairly large house with a spacious garden and an additional three bed-roomed house, at St JohnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Wood, West London, became Sri Lankan property. Subsequently, the GardnerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s cottage was refurbished and used as staff accommodation. ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ NAIVETY

Although it was thought to be a cost effective operation to send tradesmen from Colombo to London to do refurbishing and plumbing work, what the Sri Lankan authorities had not realised was that Sri Lankan tradesmen were not conversant with the UK building regulations!

An apparent disaster during pluming work had been evaded in the nick of time when the Sri Lankan plumbers started on water pipe connections by ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”turning the sewerage into the storm water drainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

This, in fact, was highlighted by one ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”NimalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ as a feed back to one of my earlier episodes which appeared in the www.lankaweb.com website, who introduced himself as a Professional in the Building Industry in the UK. On 8 February 2013 ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ he wrote explaining ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ how he managed to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-avert a dreadful situation, which otherwise could have created a stench in the affluent neighbourhoodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Mini Studio

Prior to the conversions, a section of the basement was transformed into a mini TV studio to groom senior diplomats to face TV cameras and forthright British journalists. ƒÆ’-¡ 

For this purpose a well knownƒÆ’-¡  British advertising companyƒÆ’-¡  was contracted out ƒÆ’-¡ at an extravagantƒÆ’-¡  cost, but the operation did not last long with the resultƒÆ’-¡  that SriƒÆ’-¡  Lankan diplomats apparently becoming ƒÆ’-¡ diffident from ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ TV ƒÆ’-¡ appearances ƒÆ’-¡ duringƒÆ’-¡  live panel discussionsƒÆ’-¡  with Tamil terrorist sympathisersƒÆ’-¡  who were making good use out of ƒÆ’-¡ fabrications. ƒÆ’-¡ 

In such circumstances, to fill the vacuum ƒÆ’-¡ and ƒÆ’-¡ safeguards oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s motherland, ƒÆ’-¡ a ƒÆ’-¡ few Sinhala Patriots ƒÆ’-¡ and Sinhala Associations who were brave, brainy and knew their onions appeared on TV and came on radio discussions to counter adverse arguments with historical factsƒÆ’-¡  when ƒÆ’-¡ LTTE sympathisers ƒÆ’-¡ attempted to tarnishƒÆ’-¡  the good name of the country ƒÆ’-¡ .

The general consensus in London at the time was that the Diplomatic deficiency helped the LTTE sympathisers to germinate the seed of doubt and fear among the TV audiences which has today become a gigantic tree. This is crystal clear from what the world has seen recently from UKƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Channel 4 concocted stories and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”doctoredƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ videos such as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Killing FieldsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

The saddest part of it all wasƒÆ’-¡  how and why the ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ British authorities including the Scotland Yard ƒÆ’-¡ did ƒÆ’-¡ not ƒÆ’-¡ pay much heed to ƒÆ’-¡ individualƒÆ’-¡  protests ƒÆ’-¡ by the ƒÆ’-¡ Sinhala Diaspora ƒÆ’-¡ againstƒÆ’-¡  LTTE activities and ƒÆ’-¡ turned a Nelsonian eye ƒÆ’-¡ by statements such as ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-officially we have not heard ƒÆ’-¡ anything fromƒÆ’-¡  your government sourcesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Such clemency on the part of the British ƒÆ’-¡ on a ruthless terrorist organisation, whichƒÆ’-¡  had been proscribed by many countries in the world including the UK itself, ƒÆ’-¡ and permitting them to behave freely on London streets ƒÆ’-¡ by crippling the whole transport system, blocking the parliament area for weeks and most of all tolerating ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ the LTTE spokesman Anton Balasingham ( being a British Citizen) to continue his terrorist activitiesƒÆ’-¡  openly fromƒÆ’-¡  the LTTE Headquarters, ƒÆ’-¡ compounded and ƒÆ’-¡ aggravated the conflict ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ to drag the terrorist war for 30 long years.

It needs to be acknowledged, however, ƒÆ’-¡ that whatever the High Commission staff did covertly, a major part of combating was done overtly by patriotic Sinhala expatriates to make them heard by organising protest marches, holding placards in front of 10 Downing Street, writing numerous articles to ƒÆ’-¡ Newspapers and websites, and one or two prominent personalities even travelling abroad at their own personal expenses to other countries fearlessly to participate in Tamil ForumsƒÆ’-¡  without which the LTTE would haveƒÆ’-¡  outshined completely ƒÆ’-¡ in their publicity stunts internationally. ƒÆ’-¡ 

Internal Politics

There were instances on record where at least one senior High Commission official who did not have the mettle to face up to TV confrontations attempting to block out certain visits of a patriotic individual who had always appeared earlier on TV and Radio at every instance to defend the country when no single face of a diplomat was seen on the box!ƒÆ’-¡  There is factual documentary evidence on recorded tape to prove such specifics which no one can dare challenge.ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ 

In the meanwhile, the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”internalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ politicsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ between ƒÆ’-¡ the High Commission staff and the Sinhala Diaspora atƒÆ’-¡  one stage ƒÆ’-¡ managed to divide loyalties among themselves ƒÆ’-¡ on a national issue by gettingƒÆ’-¡  embroiledƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ in Internet andƒÆ’-¡  email-battles condemning one another, throwing mud at each other ƒÆ’-¡ and/or ƒÆ’-¡ being partisan through yahoo forums which only ƒÆ’-¡ helped the ƒÆ’-¡ critics ƒÆ’-¡ of the country to have a hearty laugh using satiricalƒÆ’-¡  phrases such asƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Sinhalaya modaya kevun Kanna yodayaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬!ƒÆ’-¡ 

The level-headed patriots ƒÆ’-¡ in such unfortunate situations referred ƒÆ’-¡ to such ill-fated situations as an act ƒÆ’-¡ of vendetta using a Sinhala ƒÆ’-¡ simile summarising the melodrama ƒÆ’-¡ as ƒÆ’-¡ : ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’-¡  Balla pidiru kanneth neha kana gonata denn eth nehaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ (the dog doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t eat straw, neither does he allow the one who eats to do eitherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢)!

The Sinhala Diaspora even today seem to lament on what could have been done ifƒÆ’-¡  the responsible officials who were acting as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”custodians of the motherlandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡  had theƒÆ’-¡  full knowledge and oratorical skillsƒÆ’-¡  that were required at the height of terrorist activities to crush allƒÆ’-¡  adverse propaganda spread by the terrorist sympathisers.

ƒÆ’-¡ It also needs to be acknowledged ƒÆ’-¡ in fairness that most of the time ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”hands of the ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lankan were ƒÆ’-¡ bound and mouths gaggedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to speak out on their own accord during any critical situation prior to obtaining authority and the green light fromƒÆ’-¡  the Foreign Ministry, Colombo! This largely embarrassed the Head of the Mission when British journalists and TV crews bombarded within minutes of an incident in Colombo, such as a bomb blast. ƒÆ’-¡ 

The main and oldest organisations representing the Sinhalese community in the UK, The UK Sinhala Association and The Sinhala Bala Mandalaya ƒÆ’-¡ has today given ƒÆ’-¡ rise to multiples of Sri Lankan Associations under different names ƒÆ’-¡ and categories.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Man is the only one that knows nothing, that can learn nothing without being taught. He can neither speak nor walk nor eat, and in short he can do nothing at the prompting of nature only, but only weep.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ –Pliny the Elder.

tilakfernandi@gmail.com

TN crisis bolsters anti-devolution project ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Gotabhaya

March 28th, 2013

March 28, 2013, 12:00 pm

article_image

by Shamindra FerdinandoƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Courtesy TheƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Island

Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa yesterday said that the ongoing crisis in the Southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, over accountability issues here, should discourage those pushing for devolution of power under the 13thƒÆ’-¡ Amendment to the Constitution.

A hostile provincial administration in the Northern or the Eastern Province in Sri Lanka could be inimical to the post-war national reconciliation process, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said in an exclusive interview withƒÆ’-¡ The Island. Such an administration could be as intimidating as the conventional military challenge posed by the LTTE, he said.

Asserting that Tamil Nadu was clearly dictating terms to the Central government of India at the behest of some Western powers as well as the LTTE rump, represented by the UK-based Global Tamil Forum (GTF), the outspoken official said that the deepening crisisƒÆ’-¡  in Tamil Nadu was nothing but a glaring lesson for the Sri Lankan government.

“Could we afford to have a provincial administration here, which pointed a gun at the national leadership at the drop of a hat? We donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t want to be at the mercy of scheming provincial administrations,” the Defence Secretary said, highlighting the danger in foreign powers using bankrupt local elements to influence sovereign governments.

“We have had bad experience on a number of occasions due to foreign interference in our affairs. We are determined not to allow external elements to meddle in domestic politics at the expense of national reconciliation,” the Defence Secretary said. With an unprecedented two thirds majority in Parliament, the government could take tangible action in accordance with the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Constitution to safeguard national interests.

The Defence Secretary said that those wanting to drag Sri Lanka before an international war crimes tribunal should peruse a recent commentary by former Indian Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal. He said that Sibal had lucidly highlighted the absurdity of the situation in one paragraph: “If our foreign policy towards Sri Lanka should be based on the sentiments of the people of Tamil Nadu today, then sentiments in West Bengal should dictate our foreign policy towards Bangladesh tomorrow, and those in UP and Bihar should determine what we do with Nepal day after. It would be a mistake to begin treating our relations with our neighbours as extensions of the pulls and pressures of our domestic politics. Our neighbours are independent, sovereign countries, which require that we control our domestic lobbies and prevent them from distorting our policies in our periphery. Moreover, when the states are today resisting strongly encroachment on their powers in a federal system, they should also respect the prerogative of the Centre to make foreign policy.”

The former Indian Foreign Secretary couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have made the statement at a better time, the Defence Secretary said alleging that Tamil Nadu was being used by Western powers to influence the Center much to the embarrassment to all those concerned. India would never have voted against Sri Lanka at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for two consecutive years if not for heavy Tamil Nadu pressure over this particular issue, the Defence Secretary said.

According to Rajapaksa, in the backdrop of member states of the European Union and those waiting to join the grouping voting against Sri Lanka in Geneva, in accordance with a policy decision, the role of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) should be examined. The Defence Secretary pointed out that EU countries and those waiting to join the grouping spoke in once voice during six votes moved against Israel also at the recently concluded UNHRC sessions, in spite of the US taking a different position. However, SAARC hadnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t probably discussed the issue, with major power taking position in Geneva contrary to the stand taken by other SAARC nations in two consecutive years, the Defence Secretary said.

Responding to a query, the Defence Secretary said that SAARC couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t be blind to what was happening, both regionally and globally. He insisted that whatever differences member states could have had on political issues, terrorism shouldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t be tolerated and tangible action should be taken to protect interests of those countries fighting terrorism.

Gotabhaya said that an effort was still being made to undermine the government in a bid to effect a change of the Rajapaksa administration. But that wouldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t be an easy task as long as the vast majority of people remained with the government, he said.

Commenting on the recent anti-Sri Lanka sentiments expressed by Tamil Nadu politician Sebastian Seeman during a meeting in Oslo, Defence Secretary Rajapaksa said that those who couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t stomach the LTTE demise were still propagating lies against Sri Lanka. He said that some of those countries taking a hostile approach towards Sri Lanka, like the failed peacemaker Norway should know the despicable strategies adopted by the LTTE. Had they bothered to go through the file pertaining to the Kadirgamar assassination and talks between Norwegian representatives and Anton Balasingham in London, the government would realize what was going on, the Defence Secretary said.

The External Affairs Ministry quoted Seeman as having said in Oslo: “Only 50,000 Tigers gave their lives for Eelam but there are over 500,000 Tigers in Tamil Nadu. We will start our war from this point.

“*Not only Karuna but also Tamils did not give Tamil names to their children and are using other languages when speaking. Therefore Tamils are their own traitors.

*We have to ensure there is a day where Sinhalese will combat for their freedom from Tamils like Tamils are fighting them now.

*If a Sinhala student gets 35 marks he will enter the University but a Tamil student must get 85 marks to enter the University in Sri Lanka.”

*Sinhalese who cut ladiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ breasts and hang on ropes now need Tamils thigh curry. Nine crore Tamils join hands and should chase out the one and a half crore Sinhalese.”


Copyright © 2014 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress