Talks on fait accompli

October 28th, 2015

Courtesy The Island

Last week’s all-party conference on the Geneva resolution has been hailed as a success in some quarters. True, the best way to settle a vexed national issue is to adopt a collective approach and reach a consensus among all stakeholders. But, the question is why the government did not care to hold such a lekgotla before deciding to go out of its way to co-sponsor the resolution at issue. In fact, there was a pressing need for an imbizo as well for the government to consult the public before undertaking to implement the UNHRC recommendations.

Now, the Geneva resolution is a fait accompli, especially for those who do not subscribe to the involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors and lawyers in what has been made out to be a domestic war crimes investigation. It is only wishful thinking that the all-party process will reach fruition though it seems to have got off to a positive start. What we saw last Thursday was only a curtain raiser and not the play proper.

All-party conferences are not of recent origin. The previous ones, too, had much-publicised grand inaugurations, but did not yield the desired results. Therefore, we are afraid that it is naive to be euphoric at the present juncture. Hope springs eternal and one may be optimistic—but cautiously. For, the stakeholders who attend all-party conferences act like the seven proverbial wayfarers who met at an ambalama at night and prepared a ‘pot of porridge’. Each one of them agreed to put a fistful of rice into a pot of water, but all of them only pretended to so. In the end there was only boiling water for dinner.

Meanwhile, the question of how Sri Lanka should respond to or carry out the Geneva resolution does not arise because the government has, as a proud co-sponsor, undertaken to implement the recommendations therein. So, one may ask what is there to be discussed among political parties.

The government insists that the resolution is favourable to Sri Lanka and the war crimes probe will be within the confines of the country’s Constitution. If it is confident that the course of action it has undertaken is good for the country what prevents President Maithripala Sirisena, who is the leader of the SLFP, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who leads the UNP, from, as the Americans say, going the whole nine yards to ensure the full implementation of the Geneva resolution? Is it that the government’s resolution has faltered vis-à-vis emerging resistance to the proposed war crimes probe which is hybrid in all but name, and wants to wheedle other stakeholders into going to the mat with it?

The SLFP is now under President Sirisena’s thumb and, therefore, cannot publicly oppose the Geneva resolution; only some of its dissidents have had the intestinal fortitude to voice their dissent and campaign against it. The UNP does as its Working Committee says and the Working Committee does as Prime Minister Wickremesinghe says. The TNA which officially leads the Opposition is all for a war crimes probe. Only the JVP can act independently; it has already struck a discordant note though it attended the inaugural session of the all-party conference on Thursday and its General Secretary shook hands with President Sirisena. Having rejected foreign involvement in the proposed war crimes probe the JVP now wants the government to reveal its position on the issue. The outfit knows which side its bread is buttered and is sure to flog the issue to gain maximum political mileage to shore up its image in time for the next election.

In implementing the Geneva resolution recommendations the government has no alternative but to work within the parameters already set by the UNHRC at the behest of the US etc. It may have discussions with other stakeholders and invite their suggestions, but there is no way it can change those parameters on any grounds. The implementation of the resolution is fraught with huge political risks though the ruling politicians are trying to paint a rosy picture of it. All-party powwows in this country are symptomatic of lack of confidence or unwillingness on the part of governments to make tough political decisions. It looks as if the incumbent dispensation wanted to share the responsibility for implementing the resolution with others through an all-party mechanism. But, the chances of its efforts reaching fruition are remote.

 

හැමදාම නෑ.. හැමතැනම නෑ.. හිරු ‘බලය’ට පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයකුගෙන් අති විශිෂ්ඨ ප‍්‍රශ්ණයක්

October 27th, 2015

October 27, 2015 at 12:01 am | lanka C news

හැමදාම නෑ.. හැමතැනම නෑ.. හිරු ‘බලය’ට පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයකුගෙන් අති විශිෂ්ඨ ප‍්‍රශ්ණයක්හිරු රූපවාහිනියේ අවසන් වරට පැවති ‘බලය’ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහනෙන් සාකච්චා වූයේ ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ ගුණ දොස්ය. පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයින්ට සාකච්චා මණ්ඩපයෙන් පැන විමසන්නට ඉඩ දුන් එක් අවස්ථාවන එක් මැදහත් පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයෙකු විසින් අසන ලද ඉතා සාධාරණ පැනයකට විද්වත් මඩුල්ලේ සහ නිවේදකයාගේ පවා ප‍්‍රසාදය පල විය.

හිරු රූපවාහිනියේ අවසන් වරට පැවති ‘බලය’ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහනෙන් සාකච්චා වූයේ ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ ගුණ දොස්ය. පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයින්ට සාකච්චා මණ්ඩපයෙන් පැන විමසන්නට ඉඩ දුන් එක් අවස්ථාවන එක් මැදහත් පේ‍්‍රක්‍ෂකයෙකු විසින් අසන ලද ඉතා සාධාරණ පැනයකට විද්වත් මඩුල්ලේ සහ නිවේදකයාගේ පවා ප‍්‍රසාදය පල විය.

පැනය යොවු වූයේ දේශහිතෛෂී ජාතික ව්‍යාපාරයේ මහ ලේකම් වෛද්‍ය වසන්ත බණ්ඩාර මහතා වෙතයි.

සම්පූර්ණ වැඩසටහන මෙතනින්

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පැනය යොවු වූයේ දේශහිතෛෂී ජාතික ව්‍යාපාරයේ මහ ලේකම් වෛද්‍ය වසන්ත බණ්ඩාර මහතා වෙතයි.

සම්පූර්ණ වැඩසටහන මෙතනින්

Video: Many dangerous operative paragraphs in resolution-MR

October 27th, 2015

Courtesy Daily Mirror

Claiming that there are many dangerous operative paragraphs in theGeneva resolution on Sri Lanka, Former President Mahinda Rajapaksa today said that all Sri Lankans should be vigilant about what some powerful forces are trying to achieve by jailing thewar heroes, sacking through an administrative process those who cannot be jailed, and breaking the back of the nation.

Issuing a statement during a press conference at the Abhayaramaya, Narahenpita, the former President said that “according to operative paragraph 6 of the Geneva resolution the government has agreed to establish a judicial mechanism to try war crimes. They have also agreed to the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in that judicial mechanism. What this means in effect is the setting up of an entirely new parallel criminal justice system in this country outside the existing system.

According to operative paragraph 4 of the Geneva resolution, the Sri Lankan government has already agreed to allow these mechanisms that are to be set up to ‘deal with the past’ to obtain financial assistance from foreign countries. What this means is that the mechanisms that will be set up to look into allegations of war crimes and other matters will be paid for and maintained by the Western powers.

“If the Geneva resolution is implemented, the countries that sponsored resolutions against Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council, will be the same countries that provide funding for the judicial mechanisms set up under that resolution and who provide the judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers to man those mechanisms. These will also be the same countries that tried their level best to stop the final phase of the war and failed. By what stretch of the imagination are we to believe that the cause of justice will be served by such an arrangement?

The government has been putting forward various arguments to justify their decision to implement the Geneva resolution. The appointment by Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike of an Egyptian judge to the Commission of Inquiry to probe the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike assassination is taken as an example of a foreign judge participating in the Sri Lankan judicial system.

However Mrs Bandaranaike appointed that Egyptian judge to a Commission of Inquiry appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and not to a court of law. The criminal case relating to the Bandaranaike assassination was heard in the ordinary courts of the country. Similarly the instance of the Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons (Maxwell Paranagama Commission) appointed by me, being allowed to seek the legal opinions of several foreign experts in the law of armed conflict is also mentioned as a precedent for the participation of foreign legal experts in a Sri Lankan legal process.

My government did make arrangements for the Maxwell Paranagama Commission to obtain written legal opinions from several foreign experts on a written request made by the Chairman of that Commission.  Sir Desmond de Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Professor David Crane, Professor Michael Newton and Rodney Dixon – all experts in the law of armed conflict – and Major General John Holmes formerly of the British SAS provided some very valuable written opinions to the Paranagama Commission. It should be borne in mind that we are referring here not to the Maxwell Paranagama Commission Report which was tabled in parliament recently, but to the legal opinions provided to it by the foreign experts.  The government should have circulated the written opinions of these international experts to the members of the UN Human Rights Council. There was plenty of time to do so before the UNHRC sessions but the government deliberately refrained from doing so.”

Various views were expressed about the report of the Maxwell Paranagama Commission appointed to look into Complaints of Missing Persons during the recent debate in parliament. I heard this commission being referred to as “Rajapaksa’s Commission”. I saw some politicians trying to justify their own plans by saying that Rajapaksa’s own commission had made such and such recommendation. I appointed the Paranagama Commission to look into Complaints of Missing Persons in August 2013. After January this year it has functioned under the present government. It is now a commission of the present government. From January this year the incumbent President had the power to make any changes he wanted in the functions of this Commission. So it is not correct to say that was a ‘Rajapaksa commission’. In any event what is of importance to us here are the implications of the Geneva resolution.

The involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers implies the creation of a new criminal justice system parallel to the existing one. I am totally opposed to any such arrangement.  I regard that very suggestion to be an insult to our courts system, legal profession, Attorney General’s Department and investigative bodies.

Through operative paragraph 8 of the Geneva resolution, the government has already agreed to remove from office members of the armed suspected of having committed human rights violations   through an ‘administrative process’ even if there is no evidence against him that can be placed before a court of law. Some ministers claimed in parliament that there is no such recommendation in the Geneva resolution. I state with the utmost responsibility that operative paragraph 4 of the resolution requires exactly that and nothing else.

However, one of the most sacrosanct principles of criminal law is that a deed that was not a crime when it was committed should not be declared a crime through new legislation and punishment meted out retroactively. Even though the constitution allows retroactive legislation, this is never resorted to except in the most extreme circumstances.

The last time retroactive legislation was passed in was in the 1980s when SepalaEkanayake hijacked an Alitalia plane. At that time hijacking a plane was not an offence in our law. So the government at that time had to bring in retroactive legislation to make hijacking a crime and to punish Ekanayake. But there is no such issue here. If any member of the armed forces has committed murder there are laws against that in our country. Likewise if there are allegations, of torture, assault, rape or threatening of people against any member of the armed forces, all those crimes can be dealt with under our law.

If any of these crimes can be punished in our law, many would be left wondering why new criminal laws would be necessary at all. If new laws are introduced, that will be for only one purpose – to water down the evidentiary requirements and to enable the expeditious jailing of our war heroes. This is similar to wanting to remove from office through an administrative process even those members of the armed forces against whom there is no evidence, but are suspected of having violated human rights. The evidentiary rules in international war crimes tribunals have a lower benchmark than in our courts and the national legal systems of most countries. Life sentences can be handed down on little evidence.

This is one of the main reasons why the United States of America has prohibited international war crimes tribunals from ever trying any of its citizens. In 2002 the American government passed the “American Servicemen’s Protection Act” which empowers the American president to use force if necessary to obtain the release of any American citizen taken before an international war crimes tribunal. That is how the Americans protect their war veterans and other citizens. But what we see here are politicians falling over one another in their eagerness to betray our war heroes. One of the main reasons why the Americans are against any of its citizens being taken before these international war crimes tribunals is because of the glaring shortcomings in the international law relating to  war crimes and the procedures of the war crimes tribunals.   

The present attempt being made in this country is to introduce these faulty laws and procedures to Sri Lanka and to jail our war heroes expeditiously. No self-respecting citizen should allow this to happen. If any member of the armed forces has done anything wrong, he should be tried according to our law and only in our courts.

It is my belief that we as a nation are now faced with the most perilous moment since independence in 1948. We are all duty bound to come forward on behalf of the nation at a time like this.

Full statement as follows;

I address you thus, at a time of great peril to our nation. Various views have been expressed about the resolution passed against Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council in Geneva. There was a debate in parliament about it as well. Some contentious points have been raised with regard to this resolution and as the former President and Commander in Chief I am duty bound to explain to the public my views on this resolution. The people of this country should be aware of the challenge confronting the country as a result of the government co-sponsoring the Geneva resolution against Sri Lanka.

I must first draw your attention to the operative paragraphs in the Geneva resolution which will have the most serious implications for this country. There are many dangerous operative paragraphs in this resolution. I wish to draw your attention to three of the most serious and unacceptable recommendations.

According to operative paragraph 6 of the Geneva resolution the government has agreed to establish a judicial mechanism to try war crimes. They have also agreed to the participation of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers in that judicial mechanism. What this means in effect is the setting up of an entirely new parallel criminal justice system in this country outside the existing system.

According to operative paragraph 4 of the Geneva resolution, the Sri Lankan government has already agreed to allow these mechanisms that are to be set up to ‘deal with the past’ to obtain financial assistance from foreign countries. What this means is that the mechanisms that will be set up to look into allegations of war crimes and other matters will be paid for and maintained by the Western powers.

If the Geneva resolution is implemented, the countries that sponsored resolutions against Sri Lanka in the Human Rights Council, will be the same countries that provide funding for the judicial mechanisms set up under that resolution and who provide the judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers to man those mechanisms. These will also be the same countries that tried their level best to stop the final phase of the war and failed. By what stretch of the imagination are we to believe that the cause of justice will be served by such an arrangement?

The government has been putting forward various arguments to justify their decision to implement the Geneva resolution. The appointment by Mrs Sirima Bandaranaike of an Egyptian judge to the Commission of Inquiry to probe the S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike assassination is taken as an example of a foreign judge participating in the Sri Lankan judicial system.

However Mrs Bandaranaike appointed that Egyptian judge to a Commission of Inquiry appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and not to a court of law. The criminal case relating to the Bandaranaike assassination was heard in the ordinary courts of the country. Similarly the instance of the Commission of Inquiry into Missing Persons (Maxwell Paranagama Commission) appointed by me, being allowed to seek the legal opinions of several foreign experts in the law of armed conflict is also mentioned as a precedent for the participation of foreign legal experts in a Sri Lankan legal process.

My government did make arrangements for the Maxwell Paranagama Commission to obtain written legal opinions from several foreign experts on a written request made by the Chairman of that Commission.  Sir Desmond de Silva QC, Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, Professor David Crane, Professor Michael Newton and Rodney Dixon – all experts in the law of armed conflict – and Major General John Holmes formerly of the British SAS provided some very valuable written opinions to the Paranagama Commission. It should be borne in mind that we are referring here not to the Maxwell Paranagama Commission Report which was tabled in parliament recently, but to the legal opinions provided to it by the foreign experts. The government should have circulated the written opinions of these international experts to the members of the UN Human Rights Council. There was plenty of time to do so before the UNHRC sessions but the government deliberately refrained from doing so.

“The Island” web edition published all these legal opinions in full some months ago. If the contents of those well-argued legal opinions had been taken into account the war crimes project against Sri Lanka orchestrated by some western countries would have come to an end before it even got off the ground.

The Commission on Missing Persons is also a commission appointed under the Commissions of Inquiry Act and not a court of law. Furthermore the legal experts I mentioned earlier, only provided written legal opinions in an advisory capacity to this commission. All these opinions were very favourable to Sri Lanka. The difference between obtaining advisory opinions about the arguments that can be made in our favour from foreign experts and appointing foreign judges to hear court cases against our war heroes should be clear to everybody.

Various views were expressed about the report of the Maxwell Paranagama Commission appointed to look into Complaints of Missing Persons during the recent debate in parliament. I heard this commission being referred to as “Rajapaksa’s Commission”. I saw some politicians trying to justify their own plans by saying that Rajapaksa’s own commission had made such and such recommendation. I appointed the Paranagama Commission to look into Complaints of Missing Persons in August 2013. After January this year it has functioned under the present government. It is now a commission of the present government. From January this year the incumbent President had the power to make any changes he wanted in the functions of this Commission. So it is not correct to say that was a ‘Rajapaksa commission’. In any event what is of importance to us here are the implications of the Geneva resolution.

The involvement of foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers implies the creation of a new criminal justice system parallel to the existing one. I am totally opposed to any such arrangement.  I regard that very suggestion to be an insult to our courts system, legal profession, Attorney General’s Department and investigative bodies.

Through operative paragraph 8 of the Geneva resolution, the government has already agreed to remove from office members of the armed suspected of having committed human rights violations   through an ‘administrative process’ even if there is no evidence against him that can be placed before a court of law. Some ministers claimed in parliament that there is no such recommendation in the Geneva resolution. I state with the utmost responsibility that operative paragraph 4 of the resolution requires exactly that and nothing else.

When the Human Rights Commissioner addressed the UNHRC on 30 September the matter on which he placed the most emphasis was the need to remove from office through an administrative process member of the armed forces suspected of having violated human rights. The government has agreed even to implement this patently unfair recommendation. If there is insufficient evidence to place before a court of law, no one can be declared a wrongdoer according to our legal system. On what principle of justice are such individuals to be removed from office through an administrative process? This is nothing but a project to persecute our war heroes.

There is another ethical issue here. This war was fought in Sri Lanka. If our war heroes are to be punished for war crimes, many things that were not crimes according to our law during the time of the war will have to be entered into our laws as crimes and given effect retroactively. Our constitution does permit retroactive legislation especially to give effect to international law in this country.

However, one of the most sacrosanct principles of criminal law is that a deed that was not a crime when it was committed should not be declared a crime through new legislation and punishment meted out retroactively. Even though the constitution allows retroactive legislation, this is never resorted to except in the most extreme circumstances.

The last time retroactive legislation was passed in was in the 1980s when SepalaEkanayake hijacked an Alitalia plane. At that time hijacking a plane was not an offence in our law. So the government at that time had to bring in retroactive legislation to make hijacking a crime and to punish Ekanayake. But there is no such issue here. If any member of the armed forces has committed murder there are laws against that in our country. Likewise if there are allegations, of torture, assault, rape or threatening of people against any member of the armed forces, all those crimes can be dealt with under our law.

If any of these crimes can be punished in our law, many would be left wondering why new criminal laws would be necessary at all. If new laws are introduced, that will be for only one purpose – to water down the evidentiary requirements and to enable the expeditious jailing of our war heroes. This is similar to wanting to remove from office through an administrative process even those members of the armed forces against whom there is no evidence, but are suspected of having violated human rights. The evidentiary rules in international war crimes tribunals have a lower benchmark than in our courts and the national legal systems of most countries. Life sentences can be handed down on little evidence.

This is one of the main reasons why the United States of America has prohibited international war crimes tribunals from ever trying any of its citizens. In 2002 the American government passed the “American Servicemen’s Protection Act” which empowers the American president to use force if necessary to obtain the release of any American citizen taken before an international war crimes tribunal. That is how the Americans protect their war veterans and other citizens. But what we see here are politicians falling over one another in their eagerness to betray our war heroes. One of the main reasons why the Americans are against any of its citizens being taken before these international war crimes tribunals is because of the glaring shortcomings in the international law relating to  war crimes and the procedures of the war crimes tribunals.

The present attempt being made in this country is to introduce these faulty laws and procedures to Sri Lanka and to jail our war heroes expeditiously. No self-respecting citizen should allow this to happen. If any member of the armed forces has done anything wrong, he should be tried according to our law and only in our courts.

In ruling a country governments do come under pressure from overseas. The government of the day has to find ways and means of dealing with that. There is no need for a government if we are going to agree to everything said by other countries.

The government has co-sponsored the Geneva resolution without considering its implications and without informing parliament and appraising the people about it. If a separate criminal justice apparatus is to be set up with foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators, our ordinary law as well as the constitution itself will have to be amended. Last week in an interview with The Straits Times in Singapore, the Prime Minister had said that foreign judges will in fact be involved in war crimes trials here.

The laws will be changed in this manner for the sole purpose of punishing our war heroes. Changing the constitution itself to punish the war heroes who brought an end to terrorism which had been stalking this land for forty years and which embroiled the country in a raging internal war for 30 years is a dastardly act. People belonging to all communities are now able to live in peace in this country because of the sacrifices made by our war heroes.

If we change the law to enable foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators to serve in our legal system, what happens after they finish jailing our war heroes? If the amendments to the law continues to remain even after jailing the war heroes, foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and especially lawyers will continue to work in Sri Lanka and that may pose a major problem for the legal profession. There are many lawyers in parliament. I too am a lawyer.

One of the matters under discussion in this country with regard to the CEPA agreement with India was the provision made for Indian professionals of all categories including lawyers to work in Sri Lanka. If the laws are amended as envisaged to punish our war heroes, one of the unintended consequences of that will be the opening up of the Sri Lankan legal profession to foreigners even without CEPA.

If however, the law is changed only to punish our war heroes and after all the war heroes are jailed the laws are amended once again to restore the status quo ante, then it will become obvious to the people that this government amended the law only to punish our war heroes. That is not an acceptable situation at all.

The government has been engaged in an attempt to justify the position they have taken. One argument they have brought forward is that everything that is happening now had been agreed to in the joint statement made by the UN Secretary General and myself on May 23, 2009. They have been misquoting the final paragraph of that joint statement to find justification for their own actions. That final paragraph went as follows:

“Sri Lanka reiterated its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in keeping with international human rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations. The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.  The Government will take measures to address those grievances.”

Joint statements contain the ideas of both parties signing it. The positions taken by Sri Lanka and the UN Secretary General are clearly stated. Sri Lanka has accepted that she is committed to upholding human rights to an international standard and we are doing that. We have a whole chapter on fundamental rights in our constitution. The UN Secretary General speaks about the need for an accountability process. We never accepted that. All that we did was to look into any grievances in that regard.

We never undertook to set up war crimes tribunals or to man them with foreign judges and prosecutors or to sack members of the armed forces who have not been proven guilty of any wrongdoing through an administrative process. As per the pledge we made we appointed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and the Commission to look into Complaints of Missing Persons.

These plans that are being made to persecute members of our armed forces cannot be implemented without amending the law. Parliament has the power to thwart all these plans being made to victimise our war heroes who sacrificed so much in the war against terror. I appeal to all Members of Parliament regardless of party affiliation, not to allow the passage of any legislation aimed at persecuting members of our armed forces. This is a matter that goes beyond politics and is about our country, our nation, our sovereignty and our self-respect.

The people should be vigilant about what these powerful forces are trying to achieve by jailing our war heroes, sacking through an administrative process those who cannot be jailed, and breaking the back of this nation. It is my belief that we as a nation are now faced with the most perilous moment since independence in 1948. We are all duty bound to come forward on behalf of the nation at a time like this.

Video by Buddhi – See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/92527/many-dangerous-operative-paragraphs-in-resolution-mr#sthash.x1UiI3Bc.dpuf

Allegations and probes

October 26th, 2015

EDITORIAL  The Daily Mirror

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t is taken as a fact that Lakshman Kadirgamar — Foreign Minister from 1994 to 2005 with a three-year break in-between — was Sri Lanka’s best diplomat who played a major role in getting the LTTE banned as a terrorist group in the United States and the European Union. His outstanding diplomatic skills helped Sri Lanka to go through some of the worst years of the war and win international support from the United States and Western Europe, India, Russia and China till he was assassinated on August 12, 2005.

In Parliament last Friday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe dropped a bombshell relating to the assassination of former foreign minister Kadirgamar by the LTTE. Speaking during the two-day debate on the Geneva Resolution, the Prime Minister charged that about three months after the assassination of Mr. Kadirgamar a huge amount was paid to the LTTE to prevent several hundred thousand North-Eastern people from voting at the November 2005 presidential election. Mr. Wickremesinghe who lost this election to Mahinda Rajapaksa by about 150,000 votes charged that the deals with the LTTE had paved the way for the Rajapaksa victory. He asked whether there was a link between the Kadirgamar assassination and the payment of the huge sum to the LTTE.
The Prime Minster challenged former president Rajapaksa to respond to the disclosures or allegations he was making. The former president, now the UPFA’s Kurunegala district parliamentarian, was allocated 15 minutes to respond to the charges, but he did not turn up in parliament.Right-click here to download pictures. To help protect your privacy, Outlook prevented automatic download of this picture from the Internet.
The Prime Minister during the debate also made other serious allegations against what he described as a so-called patriotic group around the former president. The premier referred to last week’s visit of Japan’s Moto Noguchi who was in charge of the victims’ fund of the International Criminal Court and was Special Prosecutor in the Prosecutor’s Office in Japan. The Japanese prosecutor had been invited to come on January 10 this year, after the presidential election, to help investigate alleged war crimes. Mr. Wickremesinghe said the former President’s coterie had been accusing him, President Maithripala Sirisena and former President Chandrika Bandaranaike of acting like traitors. But the premier said that he was now disclosing details and would disclose more for the people to see who indeed were acting like traitors.

Referring to the white-flag issue, Mr. Wickremesinghe claimed, “this issue came up when the LTTE leaders and others were coming with white flags. The Commanding Officers on the spot should have decided whether that was a genuine surrender or a ploy to carry out an assault. But in this instance, the decision came from Colombo and was passed down to the Army. It was not a decision taken on the battlefield. Why did that happen? Whom did they want to rescue? They wanted to safeguard Pulidevan who made that deal of taking money in exchange for the LTTE telling the people to boycott the 2005 presidential elections. We will speak the truth. Who gave money to save Pulidevan? Who put the deal through during the presidential election of 2005? There are people here who are aware of it. The Tamil National Alliance (TNA) members are aware of it. What is the truth? What was the need for Pulidevan to be rescued? But Pulidevan should be held responsible for the destruction caused to the Tamils. If Pulidevan was not there Mr. Rajapaksa could not have come into power. It should have been a decision of the Army to accept the surrender or not to accept those coming with white flags.”
The Prime Minister also charged that it was the former president who was responsible for the initiation of the international inquiry. When the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon visited Sri Lanka soon after the war ended, he and the former President had signed an agreement saying they would inquire into allegations on violations of human rights and international humanitarian law.
The Prime Minister made this disclosure within the confines of parliamentary privileges. The former president has a duty and responsibility to respond in parliament. In any case such serious allegations need to be properly probed.

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/92729/allegations-and-probes-editorial#sthash.bOJ5uEj4.dpuf

The emerging two-tier food system and Dr. Mercola’s write up on “How GMOs and Glyphosate Impact Soil Biology”

October 26th, 2015

by Chandre Dharmawardana (posted: October 2015)

 The fear that what you eat is “poisoned” and it is not good for you have produced a two-tier market with the top tier, made up of  “organic foods”  catering to the rich, while the poor have to eat the food from the large warehouse sales centers, US examples being  Costco and Wall-mart. The clout of the rich social segment is such that its campaign is likely to endanger the food market of the poor, especially in developing countries where safe pesticides and fertilizers have been banned by  frightened politicians who are faced with various illnesses whose origins are often ill-understood, and hence simply blamed on “poisoned farming”. In Canada, a small group of people from Sri Lanka were trying to sell their “traditional rice” packets, and also collect money for their NGO, claiming that normal Sri Lankan rice is contaminated with arsenic (although there is no evidence to support such a claim).
I decided to write this some what general article after reading some of Dr. Mercola’s write ups on GMOs and Glyphosate. Dr. Mercola is known to have glibly swallowed the “article” by Anthony Samsel and  Dr. Stephanie Seneff, published in the pay-and-publish anything  (PPA)  “journal”  named “Entropy” (see http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/09/monsanto-roundup-herbicide.aspx). This can be taken as a companion to my article about Glyphosate and its alleged capacity to cause Kidney disease that I put out as a response to Dr. Jeff Ritterman’s article on the mis-normed “truthout.com” publication (see http://dh-web.org/health/RitterTruthout.html) claiming that a group of Californian scientists have provided credible evidence that glyphosate causes kidney disease. Ritterman based himself on another speculative article published in another PPA journal, where the lead author was not Californian, but Dr Jayasumana, of Sri Lanka.  An account of these “predatory” for-profit PPA journals which are not peer-reviewed, and not run by learned societies, see http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/60.summary.
Recently, when the WHO classified Glyphosate (in the same class as cell-phone radiation) as an agent that can “probably” cause cancer, there has been a flurry of public activity, with internet writers like Dr. Mercola cashing in on public apprehensions. An excellent, valid scientific discussion of all this can be fond in a TV-Ontario discussion (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE_vjC0z-z4 ) which involved some of the leading researchers working on the toxicity  of Glyphosate. The new write up by Dr. Mercola adds nothing new. He says that Glyphosate inhibits protein synthesis needed for plant growth, and suppresses mineral uptake by plants. Indeed, the plants concerned are the weeds that we wish to eliminate, and we don’t eat the weeds, so to argue that “When minerals are bound to glyphosate in the plant, they will not be available to your body when you eat it” is misleading . If Dr. Mercola and others are worried about the parts-per-billion amounts of Glyphosate residues found in the environment, they should first of all worry about the parts per million amounts of petroleum, diesel, plastic  toxins and coal-burning emissions found every where, and we should begin by banning the motor car. When you have cholera, you don’t worry about an in-growing toe-nail.
Dr. Mercola is  well-known for his writings about health, and matters that  impact on human health, usually espousing a view favoured by the Californian “alternative lifestyle” movements. This readership tends to be somewhat idealist, anti-establishment  urbanites who have little experience with the realities faced by the farmer, or feeding the 7.3 billion people crowded on a planet with finite resources. Ranjith Mulleriyava has been writing to the Island Newspaper, and arguing with Dr. Ranil Senanayake on this very topic ( Island article ).
Much of the problems in modern agriculture arise due to the incorrect, un-informed use of agro-chemicals. The soil is a living eco-system teeming with micro-organisms vital to the health of the soil. However, even these organisms need the minerals inputs for their existence, but an excess will kill them. The solution is not going back to out-dated methods which were discarded because they failed, but learning modern agricultural and chemical science. You cannot rely on the village general store to sell the agrochemicals and also provide the safe technical know how, while working under free-market conditions. Agrochemicals must be sold in the same way as medicine is sold by prescription, where a farmer gets the chemical prescription after soil tests by an agricultural scientist. Instead of using informed agriculture and setting up the infra-structure for it, we have activists who want to throw out the baby with the bathwater.
Many who oppose modern agricultural practices consider it “fashionable” to be skeptical about the “green revolution” and the fruits of technological progress. They are likely to regard main-stream medicine and psychiatry in the manner that such practice is depicted in the  movie “One flew over a cuckoo’s nest”, based on Ken Kesey’s  novel. They view atomic energy within the “China syndrome” paradigm, and want “organic food totally free of contaminants”! They blame big agri-business, Monsanto being a typical target.  India, Sri Lanka and other Asian countires have their share of the prophets of doom and gloom who have no real solutions. Sarath Fernando of MONLAR used to claim that “Poisoned agriculture will slowly kill the world, while Shiva Vandana in India has made herself a career by protest action against GMO foods in India, preventing the introduction of “golden rice” (engineered to contain Vitamin A sources),  that could have saved millions.
However, while the California activists are worried about the activities of the food industry and agri-business, they insist on market competition and getting the best value for their dollar. Today they want milk in the US at less than a dollar per litre, an egg at less than a quarter (25 cents), a kilo of beef at less than $10, and a kilo of potatoes at less than $3! This has to pay the retailers, middlemen and finally the farmer, ensuring that the small farmer is dead!
The consumer and the current model of free markets are forcing on us industrial mass production. The same consumer has a lifestyle where  s/he wants his/her fruits extra sweet, food well salted, flavoured  and delivered extra fast, with extra ketchaup and pickel. That the uncontrolled consumption of salt and sugar is  largely poisonous is ignored. So a vast industry has arisen to carter to them, where we see even traditional Asian cultures embracing the fast-food franchises of the industrial nations they imitate.
However, unlike in the West where the population is stable or even dwindling, the “developing countries” have  population growths which usually exceed their rates of economic growth. Even more explosively, developing nations have aspirations of life-styles acquired from glamor TV shows which depict families living in 5000 sq. ft homes with designer toilets,  swimming pools and multi-car garages, consuming vast amounts of water and energy.  Naturally, the developing nations also want highways, fly-overs and the convenience of plastic wrap. They will consume vast amounts of energy within the next decades.
Today,  every person’s blood contains significant amounts of gasoline (petrol) residues, pharmaceuticals and plastic residues from the use of automobile and  plastics. Each discarded computer, cell phone or fluorescent light adds arsenic, mercury and other toxins to the environment. The pharmaceuticals consumed by individuals to control cholesterol, hypertension, fertility and so on end up in sewers discharged into the water table, becoming toxic to the biosphere. No government insists that the manufacturers take back their used products, as each nation’s  market wants to be competitive against other nations. This frenzied human activity is reflected even in our climate which is  “just giving up”. The developing nations blame the West for high consumerism per capita, while the developed nations blame the poor but highly populated nations for high consumption in toto. Nobody really obeyed the Kyoto accord.
Those familiar with any Asian capital will remember how leisurely  houses with large “gardens” in “residential areas” have been replaced by rabbit warrens of “flats” and apartments that now teem with humans. Palm trees and forest cover and even marshes have disappeared and taken over for  human habitations. Wild animals have no place to go and  are threatened with extinction by loss of habitat and poachers. If human populations and their greed have grown to the bursting point, and if the governments, usually run by men who care only for the vote do nothing, the only option is to look for the best technological solutions that will provide a solution to the existing mess caused by human greed and excessive fecundity.
One of the great successes in this sense was the discovery of a method of converting atmospheric nitrogen into Ammonia by Fritz Haber (Nobel laureate, 1918) enabling us to make synthetic fertilizers.
Most of the modern Nitrogen fertilizers  are made via the “Haber process”, and this is a chemical reaction which absorbes some  heat. Thus the energy cost of this fertilizer is minimal compared to the energy costs of production of most alternative fertilizers, contrary to the claims of some writers  who write  that “fossil fertilizers” require a lot of energy to produce them (The phosphates needed  in fertilizer mixes has  to be mined, be it manually or using modern methods).
 It is this single advance by Haber that has enabled the human kind to feed itself in the face of the phenomenal rise in human population since the discovery of the origin of many diseases, and their control by vaccines, antibiotics and the increasing availability of clean water and hygiene.
The human life span has more than doubled compared to the 19th century, infant mortality dropped, and most dreaded diseases of our grand-parents are now a matter of memory. All this adds to the rapid rise in populations.
 Then came the Green revolution of Borlaug (Nobel laureate 1970, and World-Food prize), and modern varieties of high-yield rice, followed by methods in genetic engineering. Ignoring that that these advances are the main stay of our food supply that feeds billions (while a lot of people in Africa who use traditional agriculture   still remain hungry), we now have the “organic lobby” wanting to go back to “traditional agriculture” using traditional seeds.
Organic farming
Proponents of “organic farming” want to use compost as their fertilizer. Of course, compost  and the labour force needed are hard to find. Compost pits are notorious for emitting green-house gasses injurious to the climate. As plants accumulate metals and other toxins, the re-use of plant matter in  “compost” needs to be done in tandem with chemical analysis. Different soils need different fertilizer mixtures, and this cannot be easily done except by high-tech methods. Furthermore, traditional seeds need more water, more land, longer periods of growth, more manual work, and finally give poor  yields. I remember a series of articles in the Island Newspaper, Colombo, where Dr. Ranil Senanayake, when asked to present data on yields and profitability, presented some theoretical computer-model estimates from a group in California (http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=87824). If I understand him right, Dr. Senanayake went on to argue that “traditional agriculture” can feed the world and that there is no other choice.
However, Sri Lankan agricultural scientists have made actual field studies giving a clearer picture of the present situation. For instance, Dr. KMC Bandara  from the Rice research Institute in Batalagoda and colleagues from the Peradeniya University (GRMD. Gunawardane and LHP. Gunaratne) published an “Evaluation of relative performances of organic rice cultivation based on experimental evidence” (Proceedings of the Peradeniya University Research Sessions, Sri Lanka, Vol. 14, 3rd December 2009, p403), where they used a traditional variety known as Sudu Heenati as a comparison against the popular hybrid seed BG360, with compost-fertilizer and mineral-fertilizer approaches used in the comparison. They conclude that:
“Both traditional and improved varieties had better performances with inorganic
fertilizer compared to that with organic practices. The highest yield was
recorded by conventionally grown improved variety which was 6.93 t/ha whereas
the lowest yield was given by organically grown improved variety which was 3.39
t/ha. Conventionally grown traditional variety recorded a higher yield than
organically grown traditional variety (5.30 t/ha vs. 4.45 t/ha).
“The breakdown of the total cost of cultivation revealed that the highest cost
component was the labour, irrespective of the variety or fertilizer applied.
The organic practices were more labour intensive than modern practices due to
organic inputs, transportation costs, and use of buffaloes in land preparation.
The analysis further revealed that conventionally grown improved variety
outperforms all with respect to the yield, revenue and the profit thus
rejecting the claims of organic rice promoters. Analysis of benefit-cost ratios
and break-even prices corroborate the same. Organically grown improved
varieties did not perform well due to inadequate supply of nutrients as these
improved varieties are unable to grow well under organic fertilizers which
release nutrients slowly.”
Although these are the facts, various organizations, often sphere-headed by respected Buddhist monks, Hindu Kururals or evangelicals operate in Sri Lanka, India and other Asian countries, pushing the agenda of “traditional seeds”. Mnay NGOs do contract planting for niche markets. A few scientists, often without any training in agriculture, chemistry or any such relevant disciplines come forward as”   “Champions” of these causes, and provide credence to beliefs which are often only a little better than urban myths. We see this phenomenon even among some electrical engineers who have come forward to oppose the setting up of cell-phone transmission aerials,  claiming that the strong radiation will cause cancer in the neighboring populace. In electromagnetic waves, the energy or “strength” is determined by the frequency, and not by the “power” of the signal, as Einstein proposed in 1905 in his theory of the photo-electric effect. No exception what so ever to this law has ever been found, except in the minds of those who believe that the use of cell-phones will give them brain cancer. There are always PPA “journals” willing to publish such claims.  Even the WHO was politically influenced to classify cell-phone radiation as a “possible cause” of cancer, as it takes off their responsibility from the issue, even though over 10 billion Wi-Fi devices have now been used in the world for over a decade, with not one properly substantiated case of cancer caused by Wi-Fi radiation.
 
 Our Conclusion
The concern over glyphosate, pesticides etc  is totally mis-directed given that much more serious environmental threats at some three orders of magnitude higher in intensity exist in our environment, our food and water. It is similar to the red-herring concerns about Wi-Fi and cell-phone radiation. On the other hand, the use of gasoline vehicles, many types of plastics, glues, fire-retardants and paints have to be curtailed, and better methods for the disposal of electronic waste have to be developed,  long before we worry about parts per billion presence of glyphosate in the environment. A push to severely restrict the intake of sugar and salt, roughly on the lines of the anti-tobacco effort has to be launched. Consumption of meat is ecologically hard to defend, and technology has solutions to feed those “carnivorous” individuals  and save the ecosystem.
The push for organic agriculture is largely a movement catering to  the worried wealthy social strata   who want “custom-made” design food, “organic beef” (and perfect bodies at any cost, including cosmetic surgery). These can provide  niche markets for specialized agriculture and specialized services, but it cannot ever serve the whole populace. “Sustainable agriculture” has no meaning in a world where even the existing population has rapidly increasing insatiable demands due to unsustainable aspirations for greedy life-styles. This earth, with its limited supply of water, phosphate and other crucial minerals cannot ever support these demands via “traditional agriculture”, unless we have a method of reducing the world’s population back to what it was in the 19th century.

ome to forward this mail to anyone interested.)

සුද්දන් කියන දේ කරන්න ආණ්ඩු මොකටද.. ජිනීවා යෝජනාවට අත නොඋස්සනු.. ජාතිය අධි අවදානම් මොහොතකයි.. – මහින්දගෙන් අභීත ප‍්‍රකාශයක්

October 26th, 2015

October 26, 2015 at 12:01 am | lanka C news

සුද්දන් කියන දේ කරන්න ආණ්ඩු මොකටද.. ජිනීවා යෝජනාවට අත නොඋස්සනු.. ජාතිය අධි අවදානම් මොහොතකයි.. – මහින්දගෙන් අභීත ප‍්‍රකාශයක්ජිනීවා යෝජනාව නිසා රට ඉදිරියේ ඇති අනතුර

(හිටපු ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා 2015 ඔක්තෝබර් 25 ඉරිදා දින, කොළඹ අභයාරාම විහාරස්ථානයේ පවත්වන ලද දේශනයේ පිටපත.)

ආයුබෝවන්,

අති පූජනීය සංඝයාවහන්ස, සියලු ආගම්වල පූජකතුමනි,මිත්‍රවරුනි,

මට මෙලෙස ඔබ ඇමතීමට ලැබීම ගැන සතුටට පත්වෙනවා. මම ඔබ සැම මෙලෙස අමතන්නේ මේ රට හමුවේ බරපතල උවදුරක් ඇති අවස්ථාවකයි. ජිනීවා මානව අයිතීන් කවුන්සිලය තුල ලංකාවට එරෙහිව මෑතකදී සම්මත වූ යෝජනාව ගැන විවිධ අදහස් අපට ඇහෙනවා. පාර්ලිමේන්තුව තුලත් ඒ ගැන අදහස් පලවුනා. ඒ පලවූ අදහස් සම්බන්ධයෙන් මතබේදයට තුඩුදෙන කාරනා තිබෙන නිසාත්, මේ රටේ හිටපු ජනාධිපති හා හිටපු සේනාධීනායක හැටියට ජිනීවා යෝජනාව සම්බන්ධයෙන් මාගේ අදහස් ජනතාව ඉදිරියේතැබීම මගේ යුතුකමක් වන නිසාත් මෙලෙස මම ඔබ සැම ආමන්ත්‍රණය කරනවා.

ජිනීවා යෝජනාවට ලංකාවේ ආණ්ඩුව පක්‍ෂ වීම හේතුවෙන් අප ඉදිරියේ ඇති අභියෝගයේ සැබෑ ස්වරෑපය ගැන මහජනතාව දැනුවත් විය යුතුයි. ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ වැඩියෙන්ම අවධානයට යොමු විය යුතු යැයි මම සිතන ක්‍රියාන්විත ඡේද ගැන යමක් මුලින්ම කියන්න ඕන. මේ යෝජනාවේ භයානක නිර්දේශ ගණනාවක්ම තියෙනවා. ඉන් බරපලතලම නිර්දේශ තුනක් පමණක් මෙහි ගෙන හැර දැක්වීමට මම කැමතියි.

ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ හයවන ක්‍රියාන්විත ඡේදයට අනුව ලංකවේ ආණ්ඩුව විසින් ඊනියා යුද අපරාධ විමර්ශනය කිරීමටයුද අපරාධ අධිකරණයක් පිහිටුවීමට බාරගෙන තියෙනවා. එසේ පිහිටුවනු ලබන අධිකරණ යාන්ත්‍රනය තුල විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකරුවන්, පරිචෝදකයන්, විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් හා නීතීඥයන් සහභාගී කරගැනීමටආණ්ඩුව දැනටමත් එකග වී තියෙනවා.

විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන්, පරිචෝදකයන්, විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් හා විදේශීය නීතිඥයන් පවා ගෙන්වීමට එකග වීමෙන් අදහස් කරන්නේ, දැනට මේ රටේ පවතින යුක්තිය පසිදලන ආයතන සියල්ලටම පරිභාහිරව තවත් යුක්තිය පසිදලීමේ ආයතන පද්ධතියක් ඇති කිරීමයි. මේ අනුව අපේ විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් වෙනුවට විදෙස් විමර්ශකයනුත්, අපේ නීතිපති  දෙපාර්තමේන්තුව වෙනුවට විදෙස් පරිචෝදක කාර්යාලයකුත්, අපේ උසාවි වෙනුවට විදෙස් විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන්ගෙන් සමන්විත උසාවිත් පිහිටුවීමට සිදුවෙනවා.

ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ සිව්වන ක්‍රියාන්විත ඡේදයට අනුව “යටගියාව ගැන” සෙවීමට ආණ්ඩුව විසින් මේ ආකාරයට පිහිටුවීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන යාන්ත්‍රනයන් වලටපිටරටින් මුදල් ප්‍රතිපාදන ලබා ගැනීමට ඉඩදීමට ලංකාවේ ආණ්ඩුව දැනටමත් එකග වී තිබෙනවා.මේ අනුව ලංකාවේ සිදුවූවා යැයි කියන යුද අපරාධ ඇතුලු කාරණා සොයා බැලීමට පිහිටුවන යාන්ත්‍රන බටහිර රටවල මුදල් වලින් නඩත්තුවන තත්වයක් ඇති වෙනවා.

ජිනීවා යෝජනාව ක්‍රියාත්මක කලොත්, ලංකාවට එරෙහිව මානව හිමිකම්  කවුන්සිලය  තුලචෝදනා ගෙන එන්නේත්, ඒ යෝජනා අනුව පිහිටුවන නව අධිකරණ යාන්ත්‍රනවලට මුදල් සපයන්නේත්, මේ අධිකරණ වල විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන්, පරිචෝදකයන් හා විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් සපයන්නේත් ලංකාවේ යුද්ධයේ අවසන් අදියර නැවැත්වීමට උත්සාහ ගත් රටවල් සමූහයමයි. මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය තුල ලංකාවට එරෙහිව යෝජනා ගෙන එන රටවල් විසින්ම ලංකාවේ යුද අධිකරණයක් නඩත්තු කරන්නේ නම් මෙතනදී යුක්තියක් ඉටුවේ යැයි සිතිය හැකිද?

ආණ්ඩුව  මෙවැනි යෝජනාවකට එකග වීම සාධාරණීකරනය කිරීමට විවිධ තර්ක ඉදිරිපත් කරමින් සිටී. එස්.ඩබ්.ආර්.ඩී. බණ්ඩාරණායක මහතා ඝාතනය වීමෙන් පසු එම ඝාතනය ගැන සොයා බැලීමට පත්කරන ලද කොමිසමට ඊජිප්තු ජාතික විනිශ්චයකාරවරයකු  සිරිමා බණ්ඩාරනායක මැතිනිය විසින් පත්කිරීම ලංකාවේ අධිකරණ පද්ධතිය තුල විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකරුවන් යෙදවීමට පූර්වාදර්ශයක් හැටියට ගෙනහැර දක්වා තිබෙනවා.

බණ්ඩාරනායක මැතිනිය විසින් එම ඊජිප්තු ජාතික විනිසුරුතුමා පත්කරනු ලැබුවේ විමර්ශන කොමිසම් පනත යටතේ පත්කරන ලද විමර්ශන කොමිසමකට මිස අධිකරණයකට නොවේ. බණ්ඩාරනායක මහතාගේ ඝාතනය පිළිබද නඩුව අසනු ලැබුවේ සාමාන්‍ය අධිකරණ පද්ධතිය තුලය. එමෙන්ම අතුරුදහන් වූවන් පිළිබද සොයා බැලීමට මාගේ ආණ්ඩුව විසින් පත් කරනු ලැබු මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම කොමිසමට විදේශීය නීති විශාරදයින්ගේ ලිඛිත අදහස් දැක්වීම් ලබා ගැනීමට ඉඩදීමද “විදේශිකයන් ලංකාවේ නීතිමය ක්‍රියාවලියට සහභාගී කරවා ගැනීමට”  පූර්වාදර්ශයක් හැටියට හුවා දැක්වෙනවා.

මගේ ආණ්ඩුව විසින් මහාධිකරණ විනිසුරු මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම මහතාගේ ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන් අතුරුදහන් වූවන් සම්බන්ධයෙන් ජනාධිපති කොමිසමක් පත්කරාට පස්සෙ, පරණගම මහතාගේ ලිඛිත ඉල්ලීම පරිදි ඒ කොමිසමට ජාත්‍යන්තර යුධ නීතිය පිළිබද  විශේෂඥයන් කිහිපදෙනෙකුගෙන් ලිඛිත නීතිමය මත විමසීම් ලබා ගැනීමට මාගේ ආණ්ඩුව සැලැස්සෙව්වා. ශ්‍රීමත් ඩෙස්මන්ඩ් ද සිල්වා, ශ්‍රීමත් ජෙෆ්රි නයිස්, මහාචාර්ය ඩේවිඩ් ක්‍රේන්, මහාචාර්ය මයිකල් නිවුටන්හා රොඩ්නි ඩික්සන් වැනි නීත විශාරදයින්  සහ මේජර් ජෙනරල් ජෝන් හෝම්ස් වැනි යුද විශේෂඥයින් ඉතාම වටිනා විග්‍රහයන් ඒ කොමිසමට ලබා දුන්නා.මා මේ කතා කරන්නේ මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම වාර්ථාව ගැන නොව, එම කොමිසමට විදේශීය විද්වතුන් ලබලා දීල තියෙන ලිඛිත අදහස් දැක්වීම් ගැන බව මතක තබා ගත යුතුයි. මේ සියලුම ජාත්‍යන්තරයුද නීති විශේෂඥයන්ගේ මතයන් මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ සාමාජිකයන්ට ලබා දීමට යහපාලන ආණ්ඩුවට යුතුකමක් තිබුණා. ඒක කරන්න ඕනෑතරම් වේලාවත් තිබුණා. නමුත් ආණ්ඩුව එසේ කිරීම සිතාමතාම පැහැර හැරියා.

මා ඉහත සදහන් කලනීති විශාරදයන්ගේ මත මුලුමනින්ම “ද අයිලන්ඩ්” පුවත්පතේ පල වූ අතර, එම මතයන් සැලකිල්ලට ගතහොත් ඇතැම් බටහිර බලවතුන් ලංකාවට එරෙහිව ගෙන යන මේ යුද අපරාධ ව්‍යාපෘතිය පටන් ගැනීමටත් පෙර නවතා දැමීමට සිදුවෙනවා.

මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම කොමිසමද විමර්ශන කොමිසන් සභා පනත යටතේ පත්කරන ලද විමර්ශන කොමිසමක් මිස අධිකරණයක් නොවේ. එමෙන්ම මා පෙර සදහන් කල ජාත්‍යන්තර යුද නීතිය පිළිබද විශේෂඥයන් සිදු කලේ එම කොමිසමට ජාත්‍යන්තර යුද නීතිය සම්බන්ධයෙන් උපදේශන මට්ටමෙන්ලිඛිත අදහස් දැක්වීම්  පමණි. එපමණක් ද නොව ඒ හැම අදහස් දැක්වීමක්ම අපේ රටට වාසිදායක වීම මෙහි විශේෂත්වයක් බව කියන්න ඕන. විදේශීය නීති විශාරදයින්ගෙන් අපේ පැත්තට කීමට ඇති කරුණු ලබා ගැනිමත් විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකාර වරුන් ලවා අපේ රටේ රණවිරුවන්ට එරෙහිව නඩු විභාග පැවැත්වීමත් අතර වෙනස ඕනෑම කෙනෙකුට පැහැදිලි විය යුතුය.

මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ ලංකාවට එරෙහි යෝජනාව ගැන පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ සිදුවූ විවාදයේදී, අතුරුදහන් වූවන් පිළිබදව සොයා බැලීමට පත්කල මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම කොමිසමේ වාර්ථාව ගැනද විවිධ අදහස් පලවුණා. මේ කොමිසම “රාජපක්‍ෂගේ කොමිසමක්” ලෙස හදුන්වනු මා ඇසුවා. රාජපක්‍ෂගේ කොමිසම විසින්ම අසවල් නිර්දේශ කර තිබෙනවාය කියමින් තමන්ගේ හිතේතිබෙන සැලසුම් සාධාරණීකරනය කිරීමට ඇතැම් දේශපාලඥයන් උත්සාහ කරන හැටි මම දැක්කා. අතුරුදහන් වූවන් පිළිබදව සොයා බැලීමට මැක්සවෙල් පරණගම කොමිසම මා විසින් 2013 අගෝස්තු මාසයේදී පත් කලා. නමුත් මේ වසරේ ජනාවාරි මාසයෙන් පස්සේ ඒක පැවතියේ යහපාලන ආණුඩව යටතේ. ඒක දැන් වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුවේ කොමිසමක්. මේ වසරෙ ජනවාරි සිට අලුතින් පත් වූ ජනාධිපතිතුමාට එම කොමිසම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඕනම වෙනසක් කරන්න බලය ලැබුණා. එම නිසා එය “රාජපක්‍ෂගේ කොමිසමක්” කියලා කියන එක වැරදියි. කොහොම වුනත්, අපිට මෙතනදී වැදගත් වෙන්නේ ජිනීවා යෝජනාව නිසා වෙන්නේ කුමක්ද යන්නයි.

විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන්, පරිචෝදකයන් හා විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් පවා පිටරටින් ගෙන්විය යුතුයැයි කීමෙන් අදහස් වන්නේ රටේ දැනට පවතින යුක්තිය පසිදලන ආයතනවලට පරිභාහිරව වෙනම ආයතන පද්ධතියක් බිහිකිරීමයි. මෙයට මම එකහෙලාම විරුද්ධ වෙමි.  මේ යෝජනාව ඒනයින්ම අපේ උසාවි පද්ධතියටත්, නීතීඥ වෘත්තියටත්, නීතිපති දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවටත්, අපරාද විමර්ශන සිදු කරන ආයතන වලටත් කල ඍජු අපහාසයක් හැටියට මම සලකමි.

ජිනීවා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ අටවන ක්‍රියාන්විත ඡේදයෙන් සිදුකිරීමට බලාපොරොත්තු වන්නේ මානව අයිතීන් උල්ලංඝනය කලා යැයි උසාවියක නඩු පැවරීමට ප්‍රමාණවත් තරම් සාක්‍ෂි නැති රණවිරුවන් පවා “පරිපාලනමය ක්‍රියාදාමයකින්” සේවයෙන් නෙරපා හැරීමයි.මෙවැනි ඡේදයක් ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ නැති බව ඇතැම් ඇමතිවරු පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ කියනවා මට ඇහුනා. ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ සිවුවන ක්‍රියාන්විත නිර්දේශය ලෙස මේ කාරණය තිබෙන බව මම වගකීමෙන් කියමි.

ඉකුත් සැප්තැම්බර් 30 වන දා මානව හිමිකම් කොමසාරිස්වරයා මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලය ආමන්ත්‍රනය කල අවස්තාවේදීද ඔහු වැඩියෙන්ම අවධාරණය කල කාරණය වූයේ මේ අකාරයට මානව හිමිකම් උල්ලංඝනය කල බවට සැක කරන අය ආරක්‍ෂක අංශවලින් නෙරපිය යුතු බවයි. මේ අතිශයින්ම අසාධාරණ යෝජනාවටද ආණ්ඩුව වග විභාගයකින් තොරව එකගත්වය පලකොට තියෙනවා. උසාවියක නඩු පැවරීමට තරම් සාක්‍ෂි නැති අයෙක් අපේ නීතියේ හැටියට වරදකරුවකු නොවන අතර එවැනි පුද්ගලයන් හුදුසැකයක් මත ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදා වලින් නෙරපා හරින්නේ මොන යුක්ති ධර්මයකට අනුවද ? මේක රණවිරුවන් දඩයම් කිරීමට පිඹුරුපත් සකස් කිරීමක් මිස වෙන කුමක්ද?

මෙතන තවත් සදාචාරත්මක ප්‍රශ්නයකුත් තිබෙන බව කියන්න ඕන. මේ යුද්ධය සිද්ධ වුනේ ලංකාවේ. රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් දීමට නම්,  යුද්ධය සිදුවෙන අවස්ථාවේ අපේ රටේ නීතියට අනුව අපරාධයක් නොවු බොහෝ දේවල් අපරාධ හැටියට නීතියට ඇතුල්කරලා  එම නීති ආපස්සට ක්‍රියාත්මක  කිරීමට සිදුවෙනවා.  අපේ රටේ ව්‍යවස්තාවට අනුව ඕන නම් ආපස්සට ක්‍රියාත්මක වෙන නීති හදන්න පුළුවන්. විශේෂයෙන්ම ජාත්‍යන්තර නීති මෙරටේ ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීමට එසේ කල හැකි බව ව්‍යවස්තාවේ සදහන් වෙනවා. නමුත් අපරාධ නීතියේ තිබෙන ඉතාමත්ම පූජනීය මූලධර්මයක් වන්නේ, යමක් සිදුවෙන අවස්ථාවේ දී නීතියෙන් අපරාධයක් නොවේ නම් ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් පසුව නව නීති හදා ආපස්සට බලපැවැත්වෙන පරිදි දඩුවම් නොදිය යුතුය යන්නයි. ආපස්සට ක්‍රියාත්මක වෙන නීති හදන්න  ව්‍යවස්තාවෙන් බලය තිබුණත්, නොකරම බැරි අවස්ථාවක් හැරුණ විට එවැන්නක් සමාන්‍යයෙන් කරන්නේ නැහැ.

අවසන් වරට එවැන්නක් සිදුවුනේ සේපාල ඒකනායක ඉතාලි ගුවන් යානයක් පැහැරගත්ත අවස්ථාවේ. ලංකාවේ නීතියට අනුව ඒකාලේ ගුවන් යානයක් පැහැර ගැනීම දණ්ඩ නීති සංග්‍රහයේ නොතිබුණු නිසා, ඔහුට දඩුවම් කිරිමට අලුත් නීති ගෙනල්ලා ඒවා අපස්සට ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන්න ඒ කාලේ ආණුඩුවට සිද්ධවුණා. නමුත් අපේ රණවිරුවන් සම්බන්ධයෙන් තියෙන්නේ ඒ වගේ ප්‍රශ්නයක් නොවෙයි. අපේ රටේ මිනීමැරුමක් සිදුවී තිබෙනවානම් ඒකට අපිට නීති තිබෙනවා. වධ බන්ධන පමුනුවා තිබෙනවානම් එයටත් නීති තියෙනවා. රණව්රුවෙක් කාට හෝ තර්ජනය කර තිබෙනවානම් එයටත් නීති තියෙනවා. අපහාස කරලා තියෙනවානම් ඒකටත් නීති තියෙනවා. ඉතින් රණවිරුවෙක් වැරද්දක් කරලා තියෙනවානම් ඒ නීති අනුව අපේ උසාවි වලට කටයුතු කරන්න පුළුවන්.

ඕනම වැරුද්දකට දඩුවම් කිරීමට අපේ රටේම නීති තියෙද්දි, අලුතෙන් නීති ගේන්නේ මොනවටද කියලා බොහෝ අයට ප්‍රහ්නයක් තියෙන්න පුළුවන්. මේ ආකාරයට අළුත් නීති ගේන්නේ අඩු සාක්ෂි සාධන භාරයක් මත රණවිරුවන්ට පහසුවෙන් දඩුවම් නියම කිරීමටයි. උසාවියට ගෙනයන්න තරම් සාක්‍ෂි නැතුව වුනත් “පරිපාලන ක්‍රියාදාමයකින්” හෝ රණවිරුවන් දොට්ට දැමිය යුතු යැයි ජිනීවා යෝජනාවේ කියලා තියෙනවා වගේ වැඩක් තමයි ඒකත්. ජාත්‍යන්තර යුද අපරාධ අධිකරණවල සාක්‍ෂි සාධන භාරය අපේ උසාවිහා සාමාන්‍යයෙන් ඕනෑම රටක ජාතික උසාවි වලට වඩා පහලින් තියෙන්නේ. ඒ කියන්නේ අඩු සාක්‍ෂි මත වුනත් ජීවිතාන්තය දක්වා හිර දඩුවම් දෙන්න පුළුවන්.

ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදය ඒ රටේ පුරවැසියෙක් කිසිම හේතුවකටවත් ජාත්‍යන්තර යුද අපරාධ අධිකරණයක් ඉදිරියට ගෙන යාම සම්පූර්ණයෙම්ම තහනම් කරලා තියෙන්නෙත් මේ හේතුවටමයි. 2002 දී ඇමරිකාව “ඇමරිකානු සෙබළුන් ආරක්‍ෂා කිරීමේ පනත” සම්මත කරගත් අතර මෙයට අනුව කුමක් හෝ ජාතයන්තර අධිකරනයකින් ඇමරිකානු සෙබලෙක් හෝ වෙනත් පුරවැසියෙක් හිරභාරයට ගතහොත්, බලහත්කාරය යොදවා හෝ එම පුද්ගලයා බේරා ගැනීමට ඇමරිකානු ජනාධිපතිට බලය පැවරෙනවා. ඇමරිකානු ආණ්ඩුව තමන්ගේ මිනිස්සු ආරක්‍ෂා කරන්නේ ඒ ආකාරයට. නමුත් අපේ රටේ නම් පේන්නේ අපේ රණවිරුවන් පාවලා දෙන්න එකා මත ඒකානැගීගෙන පොරකන තත්වයක්.  ඇමරිකාව තමන්ගේ පුරවැසියන් ජාත්‍යයන්තර යුද අධිකරණ ඉදිරියට ගෙන යන්න ඉඩ නොදෙන්න ප්‍රධානම හේතුවක් වෙන්නේ මේ ජාත්‍යන්තරයුද අපරාධ නීතියේ හා උසාවි ක්‍රියාපටිපාටියේ ඇති බරපතල අඩුපාඩු නිසා. දැන් මේ පිඹුරුපත් සකස් කරන්නේ ඒ කැකිල්ලේ නීති ලංකාවට හදුන්වා දීල අපේ රණවිරුවන් ඉක්මනට හා පහසුවෙන්ම හිරේ දමන්න. ආත්මගරුත්වයක් ඇති කිසිම රටවැසියෙක් මේ වගේ දේකට ඉඩ නොදිය යුතුයි කියලා මම කියනවා. සෙබලෙක් වරදක් කරල තියෙනවනම් ඒ ගැන හොයලා බලන්න ඕන අපේ නීතියට අනුව විතරයි.

රටක් පාලනය කරන කොට විවිධ විදේශිය බලවතුන්ගෙන් බලපෑම් එනවා. ඒවාට මුහුණ දීමට පාලකයන් දැනගෙන ඉන්න ඕන.   පිටරටින් කියන හැම දෙයක්ම කරනවනම් මේ රටට ආණ්ඩුවක් මොනවටද?

මෙවැනි ලියවිල්ලකට කිසිදු වගවිභාගයකින් තොරව, පාර්ලිමෙන්තුවෙන් වත් නොවිමසා ජනතාවට කරුණු දක්වන්නේත් නැතුව එකග වීමෙන් ආණ්ඩුව කර ඇත්තේ කුමක්ද?මේවා ගැන ඔවුන් හරි හැටි සිතා බලා තියෙනවාද? විදේශීය විනිශ්චයකරුවන්, පරිචෝදකයන් හා විමර්ෂන නිලධාරීන්ගෙන් යුත් වෙනම යුක්තිය පසිදලීමේ පද්ධතියක් ඇති කරනවානම් ඒ සදහා අපේ සාමාන්‍ය නීතිය මෙන්ම ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්තාවද වෙනස් කිරීමට සිදුවෙනවා. පසුගිය සතියේ අගමැතිවරයා සිංගප්පූරුවේ “ස්ට්රේත් ටයිම්ස්” පුවත්පත සමග කල සාකච්ඡාවේ දී මෙරටේ යුද අපරාධ අධිකරණයට විදෙස් විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන් බදවා ගන්නා බව කියලා තිබුණා.

මේ ආකාරයට අපි නීතියත් ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්තාවත් වෙනස් කරන්නේ අපේ රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් දිමට පමණක්ම මිස වෙන කුමකටද ? දශක හතරක් පුරා ලියලමින් වැඩී, අවුරුදු තිහක් පමණ මුලුල්ලේ මුළු රටම වෙලාගත් ත්‍රස්තවාදය පරාජය කල රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් කිරිම සදහාම රටේ ව්‍යවස්තාව පවා වෙනස් කිරීම මොනතරම් සාහසික ක්‍රියාවක්ද? රටට සාමය ගෙන දුන් රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් දීමට පක්‍ෂව අත එසවීමට හැක්කේ කාටද ? අද මේ රටේ සෑම ජන කොට්ඨාශයකටම සාමකාමී වාතාවරනයක් තුල ජීවත් වීමට පුළුවන් වෙලා තියෙන්නේ ඒ රණවිරුවන් කල කැපවීම නිසා නොවේද ?

රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් දීම සදහා විදේශිය විනිශ්චයකාරවරුන්ටත්, පරිචෝදකයන්ටත්, විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන්ටත් මේ රටතුල යුක්තිය පසිදලීමට හැකිවන ආකාරයට අපි සාමාන්‍ය නීතියත් රටේ ව්‍යවස්තාවත් වෙනස් කලායැයි කියා මොහොතකට සිතමු. රණවිරුවන් හිරේ දමා අවසන් කල පසු ඒ වෙනස් කල නීතිය එලෙසම තියෙන්න ඉඩ තබනවාද? විදේශිකයන්ට විනිශ්චයකරුවන්, පරිචෝදකයන්, විමර්ශන නිලධාරීන් හා නීතීඥයන් හැටියට දිගටම මේ රටේ කටයුතු කිරීමට හැකිවෙනවානම්, එය මේ රටේ නීති ක්‍ෂේත්‍රයටම ප්‍රශ්නයක් වෙනවා. පාර්ලිමේන්තුවෙත් නීතිඥයන් බොහෝ ගණනක් ඉන්නවා. මමත් නීතීඥයෙක්.

ඉන්දියාව සමග ඇති කිරීමට යන සීපා ගිවිසුමයටතෙත්, ඉන්දීය නීති වෘත්තිකයන්ට ලංකාවේ කටයුතු කිරීමට ඉඩ ලැබීමක් ගැන පසුගිය වකවානුවෙ කතා වුනා. රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් දීමට කියා පෙර කී ආකාරයට අපේ ව්‍යවස්තාවත් නීති  පද්ධතියත් වෙනස් කලොත්, එයින් සිදු වන්නේ සීපා ගිවිසුම නැතුව වුනත් මුලු නීති ක්‍ෂේත්‍රයම විදේශීකයන්ට විවෘත කර දීමක් නොවේද? රණවිරුවන්ට දඩුවම් කිරීමට පමණක් අපේ නීති පද්ධතිය වෙනස් කොට සියලුම රණවිරුවන් බන්ධනාගාර ගත කිරීමෙන් පසු ඒ සදහා ගෙන ආ විශේෂ නීති අවලංගු කර ලංකාවේ නීති පද්ධතිය නැවත තිබුණ ආකාරයටම ප්‍රතිසංශෝධනය කරනවානම්, එතකොට මේ ආණ්ඩුව මුලු නීති පද්ධතියම වෙනස් කර තියෙන්නේ රණවිරුවන් හිරේ දැමීමට පමණක්ය යන්න කාරණය ජනතාව ඉදිරියේ තහවුරු වෙනවා. එවන් තත්වයක් පිළිගත හැක්කේ කාටද?

ආණ්ඩුව මේ ගෙන යන වැඩපිළිවෙල ජනතාව ඉදිරියේ සාධාරණීකරනය කිරීම සදහා ඔවුන් විවිධ කාරණා ගෙනහැර දක්වමින් ඉන්නවා. ඔවුන්ගේ එක තර්කයක් වන්නේ අද මේ කරන හැම දේකටම මම 2009 මැයි 23 වන දා එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ මහලේකම් බැන්කී මූන් ලංකාවට පැමිණි ආවස්ථාවේදී අත්සන් කරන ලද ඒකාබද්ධ ප්‍රකාශයෙන් එකගත්වය පලකර තිබූ බවයි. ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඔවුන් ගෙනහැර දක්වන්නේ එම ලිපියේ අවසන් ඡේදයයි.  එම ඡේදය මෙහෙමයි තිබුණේ.

“Sri Lanka reiterated its strongest commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights, in keeping with international human rights standards and Sri Lanka’s international obligations.  The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law.  The Government will take measures to address those grievances.”

මෙවැනි ඒකාබද්ධ ප්‍රකාශන වල දෙපාර්ශවයේම අදහස් සදහන් වෙනවා. මෙහිදී ලංකා ආණ්ඩුව කියා ඇත්තේ කුමක්ද, බැන්කී මූන් මහතා කියා ඇත්තේ කුමක්ද යන්න පැහැදිලිව සදහන් වෙනවා. ලංකාව ජාත්‍යන්තර ප්‍රමිතීන්ට අනුව මානව හිමිකම් ප්‍රවර්ධනය කිරීමට බැදී සිටින බව කියා තිබේ. ඒක ප්‍රශ්නයක් නැහැ. අපි කවුරුත් මානව අයිතීන් පිළිගන්නවා පමණක් නොව අපේ ව්‍යවස්තාවෙත් මූලික අයිතීන් පිළිබද පරිච්ඡේදයක්ම තියෙනවනේ.

ඉන් පසු බැන්කී මූන් මහතා මානව අයිතීන් උල්ලංඝණය වීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් වගවීමේ ක්‍රියාවලියක් නැතිනම් “accountability process”එකක් ගැන කතා කරයි. අපි ඒකට එකග වුනේ නැහැ. අපි එකග වුනේ ඒ සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඇති දුක්ගැනවිලි එනම් “grievances” ගැන සොයා බැලීමට පමණයි.

යුධ අපරාධ අධිකරණ ඇති කිරීමටත් ඒවාට විදේශීය විනිශ්චය කරුවන් හා පරිචෝදකයන් යෙදවීමටත් උසාවියෙන් වරදකරුවන් හැටියට ඔප්පු නොවු රණවිරුවන් පවා “පරිපාලන ක්‍රියාවලියකින්” සේවයෙන් දොට්ට දැමීමටත් අප එකග වුනේ නැහැ. තිබෙන්නා වූ දුක්ගැනවිලි ගැන සොයා බැලීමට මාගේ ආණ්ඩුව විසින් පෙරොන්දු වූ පරිදිම උගත් පාඩම් හා සංහිදියා කොමිසමත් අතුරුදහන් වූවන් ගැන සොයා බැලීමට මැක්ස්වෙල් පරණගම කොමිසමත් පත්කරනු ලැබුවා.

රණවිරුවන් දඩයම් කිරීමට මේ සකසා ඇති පිඹුරුපත් ලංකාවේ නීතිය වෙනස් නොකොට ක්‍රියාවට නැංවිමට බෑ. මේ රටේ පොදු මහජනතාව වෙනුවෙන් ජීවිත පරදුවට තබා ත්‍රස්තවාදීන් සමග සටන තුල ඇස්, ඉස්, මස්, ලේ දන් දුන් රණවිරුවන්ට එරෙහිව මේ කරන සියලු සැලසුම් ව්‍යාර්ථ කිරීමට පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට බලය තිබෙනවා. රණවිරුවන් දඩයම් කිරීම අරමුණු කරගෙන පාර්ලිමේන්තුවට ඉදිරිපත් කරන කිසිදු පනතක් සම්මත කිරීමට ඉඩ නොතබන මෙන් මම සියලුම ගරු පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රීවරුන්ගෙන් පක්‍ෂ භේදයකින් තොරව ඉල්ලා සිටිනවා. මෙය කුමක් හෝ එක් දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂයකට සීමා වූ කාරණයක් නොව රටත් ජාතියත් අපේ ස්වාධිපත්‍යයත්, ආත්මගරුත්වයත් පිළිබද ප්‍රශ්නයක්.

අපේ රණව්රුවන් හිරේ දමලා, හිරේ දමන්න බැරි අය “පරිපාලනමය ක්‍රියාදාමයකින්” ආරක්‍ෂක හමුදා වලින් දොට්ට දමලා, ජාතියේ කොදු නාරටිය බිදලා මේ බලවතුන් සැරසෙන්නේ කුමටද කියලා රටේ මහජනතාවත් අවදියෙන් සිටිය යුතුයි. අපි මේ සිටින්නේ 1948 නිදහස ලැබීමෙන් පසු ජාතියක් හැටියට වඩාත්ම අවදානම් සහගත මොහොතේය යන්න මගේ මතයයි. මේ මොහොතේ මව්බිම වෙනුවෙන් පෙරට ඒම අපි කාගේත් යුතුකමක් වෙනවා.

අපේ රටටත්, ජාතියටත් මම ජය පතනවා.
ඔබ සැමට තුරුණුවන්ගේ ආශිර්වාදය ලැබේවා!

මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ
හිටපු ජනාධිපති

39,022 Viewers

The big and the powerful get their way

October 26th, 2015

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Meanwhile, ‘divided but in togetherness’, local leaders continue to play
poker in the House and ordinary folk  keep seeing Yahapalanaya as a mirage

he war against the LTTE ended several years ago when the armed forces of Sri Lanka crushed the Tigers that ran wild and free for almost thirty years. It was a great relief for all Sri Lankans because it signaled an era of peace, change and opportunities for the country to emerge from the dregs of the conflict. It was unfortunate that the post-war development programmes for the country’s betterment especially of mega kinds ran into thick banks of fog of various kinds created by a corrupt and crooked government. Their pea-soupers are yet to be cleared.

Friends of terrorists

 A major LTTE tactic to secure a homeland for the Tamil people was wooing the support of western countries that had a penchant for ‘minority communities under real or imagined ‘duress’. The Tiger medium in that effort was the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora that organized meetings and demonstrations in western cities to garner support for their terrorist masters, the so-called freedom fighters. They also squeezed out donations from other Tamils to support the ‘cause’. Such support kept flowing incessantly to batter the perceived oppressors of the Tamil people–the Sri Lanka government that was compelled to take on the LTTE militarily. And it was that war that finally precipitated allegations of ‘war crimes, war criminals and human rights violations’ allegations against the Rajapaksa government, its armed forces and the possibility of hearings in The Hague. (LTTE atrocities were conveniently overlooked by its western supporters.). Such aggression against Sri Lanka labeled as a rogue nation continued well after the war until recently when that pressure began to lift after a new government assumed power. While this ‘softened stand’ of the US, its allies and the UN was welcomed by the country, it was frowned upon by some sections of the Tamil minority that lost its impetus in achieving Eelam. Their cries of being ‘hounded, harassed and murdered in Sri Lanka’ ran out of gas, baritones and tenors. The rest of the Tamil people however, turned to favour the theme ‘we are all Sri Lankans’ mooted by a Yaha government.

  When some faces turned red

“I say, Ooty,with the latest developments in the war crimes scene there’s a change in international poking into the so-called mis-behaviour of the state and the armed forces,” meowed Tommo a pussycat relaxing with his working partner an owl in the kitchen of the Wallside Restaurant and Bar. The pair employed as vermin exterminators in touch with matters that affected their governors were discussing recent events in New York on war crimes and war criminals in the Eelam war.

“Thuhoot,” responded the owl. “Who can forget the Tiger propaganda; their protests, video clips on Channel 4, 5 and 6 said to be of our governors’ soldiers shooting Tamils and reams of other cooked up stuff in the media. The pro-Tiger crowd was pinching western noses to look their way and nowhere else.”
“Meeooww, there was a time when some Un-united governors also supported the Tigers with blazing canons. Can you remember their heavy broadsides when the striped hoodlums penned in some corner were about to be written off the map?”

“Even well known ladies of Uncle Sam’s brood and ancient but vociferous actors and actresses in Tamil Nadu yelled that Lankan forces were slaughtering civilians, using them as human shields and blasting hospitals away,” hooted the owl

“When you see the continuing  waywardness in the country with even the new lokkas I think the international entry is a bloody good thing”

“They were desperate to save their pets all right. And, what about their Big Brother? He howled to have a cease fire and hold discussions; anything to protect their relations being sent to Satan’s care,” purred pussy.

“But, our governors in charge then didn’t listen, did they? They clobbered the terrorists and elevated their leader to godliness of some unknown kind,” giggled the bird.

“Purrshsh; but it had repercussions. The international community pissed off that the government didn’t listen to their commands and demands, continued their chase to hang charges of war crimes, infringements of human rights and genocide, whatever that could work, round our governors’ necks. But our governors with support from friendly countries kept that attack in check.”

“I know, I know; but now after a series of fits and starts, the internationals have introduced a hybrid menu into a ‘war crimes’ inquiry on local grounds. But first was that war a war or a struggle against some killers branded as terrorists the world over?”  The bird’s question was a common one

Unwanted hybridism

“Meeoowwyep (Yep). Your question would never be answered. Apart from the ISIS and other fundamentalists, the latest fad is democratic terrorism. That’s another story. Anyway, the Rajapaksa top-dogs–the alleged ‘culprits’ of war crimes are not the top-dogs anymore. A new regime that took over has lowered the intensity of the Rajapaksa chase has agreed to support a local inquiry under help and guidance of foreign coaches. One reason for this coaching camp is because a princely UN human rights man had said that our governors’ legal frame work was ‘not geared to handle war crimes and war criminals’ or some such thing. The intro of foreign umpires into a local inquiry is clearly to call the shots. ”

“When you see the continuing legal waywardness in the country with even the new lokkas looking the other way until kick started by some public hue and cry,  I think the international entry is a bloody good thing,” hooted Ooty.

“Yaha fire is spluttering and may  burn out altogether . The people who had high hopes of a better deal  are seeing Yahapalanya  as a mirage they have been fooled with”

“Meeoowwyep (yep). The international club has wangled itself into that position for good reason. But, I think their main aim is to gun down Rajapaksa ‘baddies’ most of whom are in troubled waters already. But surprise, surprise, some of those bad-boys are seen blooming in the Cabinet of the new regime. So there’s a worrying factor in the air. Despite the unearthed history of robbery and villainy, a huge number of Rajapaksa fans yet in government positions are poking sticks into Yaha wheels. If Rajapaksa and his palanquin bearers return, it would be the end of war crime inquiries, hybrid or otherwise and curtains for the multi-coloured Yaha crowd that wants the Rajapaksa Corps sent down to Davy Jones’ locker without safety jackets.”
“That’s a tough expectation isn’t it?

Maestros and a mirage

“What you see is the unfolding of a drama featuring a Yaha and International combo taking out the strongmen. Then the internationals would regain a position they were losing fast to worrying competition and the new regime would have a clear runway for its Yaha programme.  Recent history has proved that the two Yaha chiefs are political maestros, but theirs is a marriage of convenience. It’s not registered or solemnized but a result of a specially brokered arrangement with pre-conditions like in pre-nuptials,” Tommo laughed the way pussies do.

“Hoot! So what?”

“Meeoowww, marriages of convenience as the name suggests are for convenience. So there’s no room for permanency in the Yaha marriage. In fact when considering the sparks of sourness in it, the question is for how long it would it stay afloat?

“Marriages of convenience as the name suggests are for convenience. So there’s no room for permanency in the Yaha marriage”

“Hooot, boy, oh boy! The situ is getting thicker than a Hungarian goulash.”

“The internationals are no babes lost in the woods, chum. They know what they are doing. However a sad situation is developing for our governors who thought, ‘Thank God we are finally getting a Yahapalanaya under a convenient blue-green marriage’ not so long ago, are now wondering what the devil is going on. The new regime that promised a total turnaround is being found of being as guilty of bad governance as the former crowd. ‘And pray, of what kind?’ ‘Of every kind the former crowd didn’t follow’. The truth is that the Yaha fire is spluttering and the way things are going it may not take long for it to burn out altogether and the people who had high hopes of a better deal under a blue-green regime are seeing Yahapalanya as a mirage they have been fooled with.”

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/92551/the-big-and-the-powerful-get-their-way#sthash.ShmwgTxn.dpuf

If Britain can cozy up to China, why can’t Sri Lanka?

October 26th, 2015

Ranga Jayasuriya Courtesy The Daily Mirror

Last week saw a curious event of pomp and funfair-and political realism-that highlighted how far the States would go to maximize their benefits, even at the expense of their allies. Britain rolled out the red carpet for Xi Jinping, the Chinese President who rode in a gilded royal carriage to the Buckingham Palace with the Queen seated alongside, and was hosted in a series of banquets and signed trade deals running into billions of dollars, including a 30% investment in a new British nuclear power plant. Since the United States, Britain’s old ‘special friend’ is hedging against the rising (and increasingly assertive) China, the British cozying up with the Middle Kingdom would not go down well in Washington. That is in addition to all the righteous concerns of human rights that were put on hold in the rush for China’s gold.When all is said and done, this however vindicates one immutable premise in international relations: States are rational self interested actors driven to maximize profit. With its ultimate national security being guaranteed by the NATO (of which the overwhelming burden is taken care of by the US, the status quo power), Britain is luring China, the challenger and a potential revisionist power for the sheer allure of economic benefits that a rapprochement would bring. And long term economic benefits for Britain in its thaw with Beijing, most analysts say  would be huge in terms of investment and exports in high end sectors such as education and finances, in which Britain always has a qualitative edge.

Now, see how our new Government conducted itself since it came to power in January this year. It suspended a number of major infrastructure development projects; many of which were funded by China. Various justifications were given, ranging from inflated project cost, corruption and the other usual culprit, flimsy environmental concerns.  Since most of them were later resumed, some with certain cost reductions, but also sans, some of the flyovers, lanes and interchanges that were in the initial blueprints, one would now ask whether all the pre-election brouhaha was political gimmick. For instance, the Cabinet has now granted green light to the Kadawatha-Kerawalapitiya section of the Colombo Outer Circular Highway (OCH) to be built according to an amended Blueprint,  according to which, an inter change has been removed and the length and height of viaducts were reduced. However, it comes at a 39% reduction of the initial cost.

“If Sri Lanka is to leapfrog from our current development level, we have to adopt laws in land acquisition, environment or labour etc, to be compatible with our current economic and social standards. “

The opaque nature of the former regime’s handling of the economy and, especially, mega projects caused reasonable concerns about corruption and malpractices. However, a large part of the initial reaction was driven by political considerations and meant to discredit the ex-President’s role in the country’s infrastructure drive. Mahinda Rajapaksa can be blamed for many things, but his regime’s track record in revamping the country’s infrastructure landscape is salutary. Without his pro-active, perhaps corrupt and obviously nepotist leadership and Chinese loans; some of which were obtained at a higher interest, we would have stuck in our own infrastructure gridlock.

His predecessor spent her two terms arguing and quarrelling over project plans, whereas MR built.  This Government should pick up from where he left. Instead, it is vacillating. Perhaps, our civil society is too busy in deliberating on higher values of constitutionalism, democracy and a political solution to the ethnic problem, to talk sense to the present Government about the sad economic reality.  All those noble ideas of democracy would be in vain if the country failed to create sufficient wealth to sustain that society.  To that end, we need physical infrastructure and investment. Perhaps, the Government should listen to the German ambassador in Colombo. Last week, in an event organized by the Business Council of Chamber of Commerce, he said that the Government had still not introduced a proper economic policy framework to attract foreign direct investment. This is a clear indication that the country lacks the capability of implementing an economic development framework, he said.

One of the glaring examples of that policy paralysis is the Government’s vacillation over the largest single foreign investment to date: The $ 1.4 billion-Colombo Port City, which is expected to bring in $ 13 billion in foreign direct investment by its completion and add one per cent to the country’s GDP. The contradictory signals the Government is sending over the Port City project, which was suspended in January are mind-boggling. Now the underlining concerns over the project are said to be environmental, though, it is not so much a secret that much has to do with geopolitics. This is bad economics and bad politics. Countries at our development level should look for all available inward foreign direct investment. That is exactly why first Executive President JR Jayawardene, who unshackled  the Sri Lankan economy famously said, ‘Let robber barons come’.  That could have been the same logic MR had in mind when he tried to bring in Australian gaming mogul James Packer. That was not a bad idea though the moralists in Colombo were disturbed by the prospect of prostitution in casinos; which is the least concern in a country of which hundreds of thousands of women are condemned to toil in abusive Arab households.

“It suspended a number of major infrastructure development projects; many of which were funded by China.”

It is always good to stand on the side of  the free world, in principle, however, trying to give practical expression to those rhetoric by our own accord or due to someone’s dictat, is counter-productive for countries like ours. Now, the Government could ask its Western friends, if Britain could share its nuclear security with China, what the fuzz with us leasing a portion of reclaimed land to a State-owned Chinese company? The bottom line is that no one else would bring in a hefty load of red Yuan as China. As the Chinese economy is slowing down and the country is shifting from its debt- fuelled infrastructure-driven growth to other avenues, Beijing is looking for more and more opportunities to invest overseas, especially in infrastructure, at which China excels. Sri Lanka should try to make it a welcoming market to Chinese investors (and its growing legions of tourists). At present, we are doing quite the opposite.

Also, perhaps the Government should also tell those busy bodies of environmental industry to go and fly a kite (In fact, Indian PM Modi did that). If Sri Lanka is to leapfrog from our current development level, we have to adopt laws in land acquisition, environment or labour etc, to be compatible with our current economic and social standards. Our current laws and regulations on those accounts are not meant to facilitate the growth, but to stifle it.

This Government is free of the burden of terrorism. The best it could do to its people is to create wealth. To that end, it should think about the self-interest of the country, and by extension of its people, more than anything else. If David Cameron and Osborne — Ranil Wickremesinghe’s mates in  the International Democratic Union —  could do that, the new Government in Colombo should well be able to emulate them.

Follow Ranga Jayasuriya @ RangaJayasuriya on twitter.

– See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/92545/if-britain-can-cozy-up-to-china-why-can-t-sri-lanka#sthash.iYacOa2i.dpuf

මේ මාසයේ ටොයි ආතල් සලාකයත් කුඬේ කුඩු.. භූගත මන්දිරය ගැන ඇත්ත කතාව මෙන්න.. [Video]

October 26th, 2015

හිටපු ජනාධිපති මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතා විසින් ජනාධිපති මන්දිරයේ ඉදිකර තිබූ බව කියන භූගත මාලිගාව ගැන හිටපු ජනාධිපතිවරයා මෙසේ අදහස් පල කලේය.

මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් කථිකාචාර්ය මහින්ද පතිරණ මහතා සිය ෆේස්බුක් ගිණුමේ මෙසේ සටහනක් තබා ඇත.

ජාතික ආරක්‍ෂාව සම්බන්ධ අතිශය සංවේදී තොරතුරු මහජන අවකාශයන් වෙත මුදා හැරීම මගින් වත්මන් ආණ්ඩුව අපේක්‍ෂා කරන්නේ ප්‍රචාරය නම් අප ඔවුන්ගේ තකතීරුකම් ගැන අනුකම්පා කළ යුතු ය.

පසුගිය දා කොටුව ජනාධිපති මන්දිරයේ ඇතැයි කියන භූගත ආරක්‍ෂක කුටිය පිළිබඳ ඡායාරූප මාධ්‍යයට හෙළිදරව් කිරීම කිසිදු අයුරකින් ජනතා සුභ සිද්ධිය වෙනුවෙන් කළ කටයුත්තක් නොවේ. එවැනි දෙය ජනතාවට අවශ්‍ය තොරතුරු නොවේ. ඉන් සැනසීමට පත් වන්නේ නම් ඒ මේ රටට වෛර කරන ඉතා සුළු පිරිසක් පමණි. අප පසුගිය දා ලියන ලද “එජාප පාක්‍ෂිකයින්ට පණිවුඩයක්” යන පෝස්ටුව ලීවේ මොවුන් ගැන ය. එහෙත් ජනාධිපතිවරයා හා ආණ්ඩුව ද මෙවන් අපතයින්ගේ තත්වයට ඌනනය වීම අප සැමගේ අවාසනාවකි.

රටක ජනාධිපතිවරයා යනු හුදු පුද්ගලයෙක් නොවේ. එය ආයතනයකි. ආයතනයක් ක්‍රියාත්මක විය යුත්තේ කිසියම් නීති රීති පද්ධතියකට යටත් ව ය. වසරකට රුපියල් කෝටී ගණන් ජනතා මුදල් වැය කරන්නේ මේ නිසා ය.ඒ අනුව මහජන සුභ සිද්ධිය තකා මිස ජනපතිවරයාට වුව ජනාධිපති නැමැති ආයතනය සම්බන්ධ තීරණ ගත නොහැකි ය. මන්ද ජනාධිපතිවරයාගේ ආරක්‍ෂාව යනු රටේ ආරක්‍ෂාව ය. සිරිසේන මහතාට වුව එය හිතුමතේ අනතුරට හෙළිය නොහැකි ය. එසේ නම් ඕනෑම ජනාධිපතිවරයෙකුගේ ආරක්‍ෂාවට ඉදිකළ අදාළ භූගත කුටිය හෙළි කිරීම හරහා කර ඇත්තේ එය ඉදිකළ ආරක්‍ෂක අරමුණු සපුරා අවලංගු කිරීමකි. මේ අනුව, මෙම ක්‍රියාව ජාතික ආරක්‍ෂාව මතු නොව ඊට වැය කළ මුදල ද සපුරා අපතේ යැවීමකි.

අපි අවධාරණය කරමු. සිරිසේන ජනාධිපතිවරයාට හා මේ ආණ්ඩුවට මහින්දට පහර නොදී තම පැවැත්ම සාදාගත නොහැකි නම් කළ යුත්තේ මෙවැනි දෙකයි පනහේ ප්‍රචාරක උපක්‍රමවල සරණ පැතීම නොව, තමන් වේදිකාවල බෙරිහන් දුන් යහපාලනය ක්‍රියාවට නැංවීම ය.

– මහින්ද පතිරණ

Mahinda speaks about the underground bunker at the President’s House

October 26th, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

The US-sponsored resolution that was adopted at the recently concluded UN Human Rights Council Sessions in Geneva includes several terms that could be a threat to the island nation, former President Mahinda Rajapaksa says.

The observation was made at a press conference held in Colombo this afternoon (25).

Rajapaksa pointed out that the suggestion to form a new criminal justice system parallel to the existing one involving foreign judges, prosecutors, investigators and lawyers would be an insult to the country’s court system, legal profession, investigative bodies and AG department.

He also said that he had no intention to avoid the Parliament debate on the US-sponsored resolution last week; however he could not participate because of a personal matter.

“The government has co-sponsored the Geneva resolution without considering its implications and without informing parliament and appraising the people about it,” Rajapaksa said.

Responding to a question regarding a bunker which is said to have built at the President’s House in Colombo Fort, the former President asserted that it was built during the war time owing to security reasons.

“There is one at the Temple Trees as well. These facts should not be revealed due to security matters,” he added. (Watch full speech above)

Dharma Voices for Animals – Colombo Chapter inaugurated with call for creation of a caring and compassionate society in Sri Lanka

October 25th, 2015

Shenali D. Waduge

Bob Isaacson is an American human rights lawyer. He spent much of his professional life in defending and saving two legged people from the death penalty. For over 25 years he had been a vegetarian and vegan for more than eleven (11) years and then he came across the teachings of the Buddha and over time became a committed Theravada Buddhist. Right to life for all sentient beings was central to his own professional and philosophical outlook and that helped create the Dharma Voices for Animals in San Diego, USA in 2011 which has nearly 20 chapters throughout the USA, Europe, Asia and even Brazil.  DVA has a membership drawn from over 40 countries worldwide. Establishing a Chapter in Sri Lanka was a landmark personal achievement for Bob Isaacson as Sri Lanka stood in a class of its own as the only country that had an unbroken record of upholding and safeguarding Buddhism for over 2300 years. The Sri Lanka Colombo Chapter is headed by Attorney Senaka Weeraratna and the inaugural session was held at the Dharmavijaya Foundation on Sunday 18th October 2015 with the Speaker of the Sri Lankan Parliament Mr Karu Jayasuriya gracing the occasion as Chief Guest.

The rain did not stop a very large and notable gathering attending to mark the opening of a highly significant branch of DVA in Colombo in an effort to realign Sri Lankan society towards eating more natural healthy food and helping create a compassionate society showing empathy to all without distinction or differentiation of class, creed and species and more importantly recognizing the fundamental right of all sentient beings to life and liberty.

Contributions of Henry Olcott  

Mr. Senaka Weeraratna, Chapter Leader (Colombo Chapter) in his Welcome Address compared the visit of Bob Isaacson to an event that took place 135 years ago when another American lawyer and Civil War veteran by the name of Henry Steele Olcott arrived in Galle in 1880 with Madame Blavatsky, a Russian lady. They embraced Buddhism reciting pansil along with the Ti-sarana (taking refuge in the noble triple gem) at a Temple i.e. Vijayananda Pirivena, and thereafter embarked together with the support of indigenous Buddhist leaders like Anagarika Dharmapala to revive Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Henry Olcott addressed the weakest point in the Buddhist firmament namely Education and set up Buddhist schools which later blossomed into institutes of international renown such as Ananda, Nalanda, Mahinda, Dharmaraja, Sangamitta and Dharmasoka.

Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA) was founded because the Buddhists were not closely following the teachings of the Buddha regarding respect to all forms of life, and not giving voice to the suffering of animals.

“ Behind every piece of meat there was a feeling and caring living being whose parts have been robbed in order to feed us or serve us. This is a fact that we must unequivocally accept and morally confront to get our ethics right.” said Mr. Weeraratna.

“Being a largely Buddhist country Sri Lanka must welcome the likes of Bob Isaacson and it is my earnest hope that Bob Isaacson will play the role of another Henry Olcott to protect and foster Buddhism while giving voice to the suffering of animals”, added Mr. Weeraratna.

Animal Welfare Bill

The program commenced with Ven. Thirukunamale Ananda Nayake Thera (Mahanayake of the Amarapura Nikaya) administering Pansil. It was followed by an anusasana delivered by Ven. Siri Vajiraramaya Nanasiha Thero formerly Mr. Olcott Gunasekera who covered the issues concerning law & order, the death penalty and urged the Hon. Speaker to take action expeditiously towards the enactment in Parliament of the Animal Welfare Bill  originally prepared by the Law Commission. Ven. Nanasiha Thero further said that just as Henry Steel Olcott was honoured with a prominent statue in Colombo (opposite the Fort Railway Station), Bob Isaacson in his endeavour to save lives of animals and promoting compassionate living as taught by the Buddha may also have his statue erected one day in honor of his efforts.

Compassionate Society

The Hon. Speaker Mr. Karu Jayasuriya said that a compassionate society in Sri Lanka was a noble goal and added that an endeavour to re-direct our society to the path of peace having had thirty years of conflict and violence was a challenge that we must be prepared to accept. It must start in our schools.  Children must be given every chance to learn and practice unconditional love and respect. Children are the country’s future. In teaching kindness and practice of Metta (loving kindness) and Karuna (compassion) to our children the welfare of animals must also be included in our school teaching manuals.

The Hon. Speaker further said that “the Government of Sri Lanka will give priority and attention to the enactment of laws and statutes for the protection of animals and wild life conservation”.

A short film documentary titled “Can you guess what these girls are watching’ drew the attention of the gathering to the horrors that go inside slaughter houses giving flesh to the saying that if slaughter houses had glass walls everyone would be a vegetarian.

Vegetarian/vegan diet – potential benefits

The final presentation by Dr. (Mrs) Damayanthi Perera, nutrition specialist/independent researcher gave actual statistics of how the food industry led by people who were only interested in making profit were poisoning the world and politicians were silent in taking policy decisions to control and reverse the slow death to the world’s populace. She highlighted with authority and statistics how even the world health bodies have erred in their nutrition advocacy ignoring that a vegetarian/vegan diet can match in every way what killing animals claims to provide. She presented with graphic evidence of how the sale of processed foods and fast foods will leave the present generation dying before their parents. Dr Perera’s impressive talk was an eye opener to all present.

Bob Isaacson had earlier in the day visited the Siri Vajiraramaya Temple in Bambalapitiya to address the Sunday Dhamma school teachers and students.

During the Question and Answer session, several members of the audience shared their views and glowing examples by octogenarians on the healthy impact of eating and surviving on vegetarian diets gave much inspiration to all those present.

The DVA Colombo Chapter inaugural meeting was indeed a revolutionary and ground breaking event and likely to be a powerful source of reference to influence not only Buddhists of Sri Lanka but members of other religions also. An unqualified recognition of the right to life and liberty of all sentient beings matched with healthy living is the message that now needs to be conveyed to both child and adult alike.

A Rs 1.35 trillion hole in the Budget Finance Minister urges China to adjustterms of loans

October 25th, 2015

by Kumar David  Courtesy The Island

The government has tabled estimates of expenditure for 2016, the first reading of the Budget, and a short summary dated 9 October is available on the Finance Ministry website (Appropriation Bill for year 2016 approved by the Cabinet of Ministers). A deficit of Rs 1.35 trillion (million-million) is expected; at 11.8% of GDP this is appalling! The number is so large that it is more comprehensible in dollars – $ 9.51 billion at Rs 142 to a $. The job of finance minister Ravi Karunanayake and the government in the second reading on 20 November, the always much awaited Budget Speech, is to lay out proposals to bridge the gap.

Expected expenditure is Rs 1.94 trillion made up of Rs 1.31 trillion recurrent and Rs 0.63 trillion (630 billion) capital spending. Additional provisions of Rs 1.20 trillion have to be made for servicing the public debt, W&OP payments and minor expenses. This (1.31+0.63+1.20) adds to a grand total expected expenditure of Rs 3.14 trillion. However revenue at prevailing tax and customs duty rates, plus expected foreign grants will total only Rs 1.79 trillion. (The 1.35 trillion deficit is 3.14 minus 1.79). The budget speech is when the government explains how it intends to trim expenditure, raise additional revenue and borrow heaps more money from domestic and foreign sources. It’s pretty grim and if expenditure rises (more recurrent spending or fresh capital projects) or if revenue declines (craftier tax dodgers or belt tightening lenders) the hole becomes deeper.

Yes the task is grim but there is no need to panic. If the government is prepared to take a long view and plan three to five years ahead it can evolve a strategy of economic recovery. Yes recovery is the right word because though in his final years the wily Rajapaksa claimed to have reduced consumer and wage earner hardship, actually his regime was piling up now exploding problems. Nearly Rs 1.2 trillion or a horrendous 67% of revenue is earmarked for servicing the debt, mostly incurred by the previous government and inherited by this one. Another shocker will come when we get updated figures on how much of this is for servicing foreign debt; the previous regime and its moustachioed mafioso leader borrowed (and stole) with gay abandon. Now the task is to set the economy on a RECOVERY road.

In an interview with the South China Morning Post (19 Oct) finance minister Karunanayake urged China to let “bygones be bygones and help us by adjusting the payment terms of loans to make them bearable”. I have also done a cut-and-paste job of a part of the prime minister’s statement in the House during the Interim Budget debate at the end of January. The gist, largely verbatim, is as follows.

“The state of public finances exposes the shady operations of the previous government. The façade of duplicity has to be removed and the actual position made known. The country has incurred many liabilities in recent years. (i) The previous government gave Rs 524 billion as Treasury Guarantees to commercial banks to implement infrastructure projects by state-owned enterprises (SOE). (ii) The outstanding debt of SOEs to the local banking system is Rs 593 billion. (iii) Foreign borrowings of SOEs at end-2014 was US $ 2.36 billion or Rs 308 billion for Puttalam Coal Power, Hambantota Port and Mattala Airport. According to provisional data the outstanding government debt at end-2014 was Rs 7.4 trillion, but if these three items are included it rises to Rs 8.8 trillion”. [Rs 8.8 trillion is 78 % of GDP]

A medium term (3-5 year) programme that avoids two mantras canvassed by parties with an axe to grid, the business classes, is imperative. Mantra 1 is that it must be an all export oriented effort and mantra 2 intones that it must all be left to the private sector. Both suggestions, in moderation, have a point but it is a balanced approach that is more to the point. Yes export performance is crucial not only to correct the foreign trade account, but also to generate revenue and create employment, but domestic concerns are, if at all, of greater concern. Yes the private sector is dynamic, efficient and can raise a great deal of capital on its own, but no ways should it be allowed the freedom of the wild ass or permitted to escape directive principles in respect of where the economy should be going.

I am aware that this is a centre-right government; the centre is its populist and democratic mandate, the right the strong business interests represented by the UNP and SLFP and propped up by the Muslim Congress. Therefore policy could drift anywhere from mild social democracy to anti-populist austerity. A social democratic thrust modulated by a commitment to growth is what it should be; that’s easy to say but the devil is in the details.

This government’s drift is still not easy to foresee. It could lean on mass action and civil society to thwart a chauvinist backlash against the war-crimes probe (Weerawansa et al have gone quiet; has the threat of a sound thrashing if they invoked mob violence scared the chauvinists?). If the government opts for this populist political response, it will also automatically move in social-democratic directions in economic matters. On the other hand the prime minister (the president counts for less) may shift into authoritarian gear mimicking Lee Kuwan Yew. The political trajectory somewhere between these limits that the prime minister may opt for will in turn set economic policy in respect of both domestic-to-export balancing and in modulating the legroom permitted for the private sector to do just as it pleases.

Feeding folks or exporting for dollars

Enhancing export earnings and encouraging corresponding production drives is desirable for the reasons already noted; there can be no argument about that. Production of exportable commodities and processing of agricultural output for export is part of the answer and planning to benefit from the Trans Pacific Partnership is wise. The problem is that obsession with exports is accompanied by considerable ideological baggage. A stock in trade is anti working class legislation euphemistically called ‘labour market reform’ (easier firing, curbs on collective bargaining and trade unions, physical and legislative hostility to strikes). Strangely there is greater pressure to implement such measures in the third-world than in the West. Anybody familiar with labour laws and employee protection in California knows that no investor will touch Lanka with a barge pole if this scenario were replicated here.

Two other items of ideological baggage often associated with an export oriented paradigm are preferential or nil taxation for foreign investors and removal of all capital controls. Extreme export orientation is necessarily accompanied by heavy reliance on foreign investment and a frame of mind driven by this obsession overwhelms policy makers – FDI is slowing down so the panic is worse. Recall an extreme case, the Pinochet military dictatorship in Chile, standard bearer and poster child of neo-liberalism, called Washington Consensus in polite circles. Though exports and overseas investment played a big role in China’s take-off, the country set aside even greater resources to yank 300 million (President Xi claims an improbable 600 million) people out of poverty and to take modernisation deep into the hinterland and landlocked western regions. The CCP, for all its dictatorial character, is also a balancing act in which millions of workers and the huge peasantry exert influence at grassroots levels.

Populism will have to provide this counterbalance in Lanka to curb unconditional surrender of the UNP-SLFP-SLMC to big business. However, apart from the ideological dimension there is the straightforward matter of the product mix of national output not only to earn foreign currency but also to satisfy people’s needs. Food security is one – Lanka is not strong except for rice and marine products; nutrition and protein deficiency another; and the dilapidated state of much of the national housing stock is a shocker. Resources have also to be set aside to improve deplorable public education and healthcare and to build a suburban railway in and around Colombo.

The last three are economic issues, not welfare and infrastructure matters only. An educated and healthy population improves output and man-hour and petroleum savings from eliminating the gigantic traffic snarl-up in Colombo and environs will enhance productivity. My bottom line is that there is a lot more to do than a naïve obsession with export orientation. One other crucial matter is that policy makers and planners in Lanka completely neglect or are hostile to the informal sector. However, this sector of the economy is nimble, productive and generates large amount of employment. Economic policy must include recognition, credit facilities and regulatory assistance for this sector. A national planning framework with a light touch, staffed by intelligent people not bureaucrats, a big if, can do much to guide the government. Leaving it to the invisible hand of the private sector is playing blind man’s buff.

The state must assert itself

I have in mind more than the conventional triple-task of managing interest rates, exchange rate and capital controls. Lanka’s experience of the Rajapaksa state pushing people around has been revolting, but fortunately the public understands that a greedy dictatorship is not the same as the guiding hand of the state in setting directions of growth. The citadels of Asian capitalism – South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore – were the pioneers; China and Vietnam were late comers to the concept of the state directing private, public-foreign and public-foreign-private development models. None is to be copied blindly; each case is a candidate for bottom up thinking. However the directive paradigm common to them all is compelling. Of course the state can get it all wrong; Megacity plans promise lucrative projects for business but will impact adversely on the poor; and most of Rajapaksa’s grandiose state-led infrastructure ventures were sheer madness. So I repeat, there is no substitute for case by case bottom up thinking.

Some of my ultra-left friends still hanker after a Soviet style state-owned economy, but do they not recall that Lenin and Trotsky were thorough going pragmatists? I have just finished Michael Pearson’s biography of Inessa Armand, Lenin’s girlfriend, and here is an abbreviated quote:

“Lenin realised (late 1918) that worker control in factories was not successful. He shocked the left but was facing the facts. The first thing many workers committees had done was to vote themselves big wage increases. He did the unthinkable and ordered the creation state managers supported by managerial boards”.

And in the Red Army, desperately fighting the civil war, Trotsky rued that operational plans were drawn up by men “who could not even read a map”. Pearson reminds us:

“Trotsky called back officers of the regular army; reintroduced saluting; dissolved soldier committees; and brought back pay scales and privileges. The result was anger from the troops and a howl of outrage from the left. After a tough start Trotsky’s policy won battles. Lenin backed him since winning in the field was more important than socialist theory”.

The moral of this is, hard nosed social democratic pragmatism must take precedence over ideology, left or right, in crafting economic policy at the present time.

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා මණ්ඩලයේ දර්ශණ පථය.

October 25th, 2015

න්ද්‍රසේන පණ්ඩිතගේ විසිනි

එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා මණ්ඩලය පිහිටවන ලද්දේ ලෝක සාමය ස්ථාපිත කිරීම උදෙසාය. එ් වර්ෂ 1945දීය. මේ වනවිට ඇයගේ වයස අවුරුදු 70 කි. ඇය විසින් ස්ථාපිත නොකල වැදගත්ම දේ වන්නේද සාමයයි. මේ අපි දකිණ, අපිට පෙනෙන තත්වයයි. අැයට අපේක්ෂිත සාමය ලබා දීමට නොහැකි වූයේ අැයි‍?

මිනිස් සමාජය තුල යුද්ධය යනු ගංඟාවක් සේ ගලා යන ජල පහරකි. පලමුවන ලෝක යුද්ධය හා දෙවන ලෝක යුද්ධය විසින් මානව සංහතියට සිදුකල මහා විනාශය  නවතාලීමට එම ගඟ හරස් කර ඉදිකල මහා බැම්ම එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා සංවිධානයයි. ගඟක් හරස්කර මහා බැම්මක් ඉදි කල පමණින් ගඟ ගලා ඒම හෝ ගලා යාම නවතාලිය නොහැක. නමුත් මහා ජලාශයක් නිර්මාණය කල හැක. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය නම්වූ මේ මහා බැම්මේ විවර කලහැකි වාන් දොරටු ගනනාවක් අැති අතර, එ්වා ලෝකයේ විවිධ දිසාවන් ඉලක්ක කරගෙන නිර්මානය කර ඇත. දකුණු ඇමරිකාව, අප්රිකාව, දකුණු අාසියාව, නැගෙනහිර අාසියාව, බටහිර අාසියාව යන ඉලක්කයන්ද මේ අතර වේ. එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයට  දකුණු අැමරිකාවේ යුද්ධයක් උවමනා නම් සිදුකරනුයේ, දකුණු අැමරිකාව ඉලක්ක කරගත් වාන් දොරටුව විවර කිරීමයි. එවිට, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මන පිනවන කලාපීය යුධ ගැටුම් අාරම්භවේ. මෙය ලෝකය මත පිහිටුවාලූ නවීනතම යුධ උපාංග හා උපක්රම සහිතව ගොඩනංවා අැති  යුධ පාලක හා මුදා හැරීමේ යාන්ත්රණයයි.

මේ ලෝකය දෙස සර්ව සාධාරණව බලා මුලු මහත් ලෝකයටම උවමනා සියලුම සම්පත් ලබාදෙන බලවතා වන්නේ සූර්යයායි. ඔහු දකින ලෝකය හා ඔහුගේ සම්පත් බෙදීයන්නේ මේ අාකාරයටයි.

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යමෙක් අැත්තටම මේ පෘතුවි මාතාවට අාදරය කරනවා නම්, එ් අාදරය බෙදීයන්නේ ඉහත දක්වන, හිරුගේ දෘෂ්ඨියෙන් මේ පෘතුවි මාතාව දෙස බලන දැක්ම මත පිහිටාය.

එදා ඒ ලෝක සාමය උදෙසා පිහිටවූවා යයි කියන, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා සංවිධානය ලෝකය දෙස බලන්නේ අපූරු කෝණයකිණි. එ් උත්තර ධ්රැවයේ ඉහල අක්ෂීය ලක්ෂයක සිටය. එය ඔවුනගේ සංවිධාන ලාංඡණය සේ යොදාගෙන ඇත. ඒ මෙසේය.

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සැබෑ ලෙසම, එ් උත්තර ධ්රැවයේ ඉහල අක්ෂීය ලක්ෂයක සිට මේ ලෝකය දෙස බලන විට සැබෑ ලෙසම පෘතුවිය පෙනෙන්නේ මේ අාකාරයටය.

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ඉහත දැක්වෙන මේ සැබෑ දර්ශණයෙන්, ඔබ අප සැමට ලබා දෙන පණිවුඩය වන්නේ කුමක්ද? එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ  සංවිධානය විසින් ලෝකය දකින්නේ මේ අාකාරයෙන්ය යන පණිවුඩයයි. මේ අාකාරයෙන් ලෝකය දකින්නාට, පෙනෙන්නේ මොනවාද? යන්න ඉතා වැදගත් කරුණකි ඔබ අප හැම දකින දෙය අභිබවා යන යමක් ඔහු නොදකී. ඔවුන් දකින්නේද, අපට පෙනෙන දෙයමය. අපට පෙනෙන දෙය දෙස අප බලා සිටියාට, පෙනෙන්නේද නැත. අපගේ කන් නිරතුරුවම විවරව තිබුණාට, අපට හැම දෙයම අැසෙන්නේද නැත. අැස් විවර කර, මනස නිදිබරව අැති විට කිසිවක් නොපෙනේ. අප උපතේ සිට මේ දක්වාම, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය දෙස එසේ බලා සිටියෙමු. මේ පැමිණ අැත්තේ, එ් නිදිබරතාවය පලවා හැර, මනස පුබුදුවා, උරකුහරය, පිරිසිදු වාතයෙන් පුරවාගෙන, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ හිස් මුදුනේ සිට පාදාන්තය දක්වා පීර පීරා, එතෙක් මෙතෙක් කාලය පුරාවට මේ ලෝකය තුල සිදුකර අැති සියලු කරුණු කාරකා සම්බන්ධව සියුම් විමර්ශණයකට බාජනය කලයුතු කාලයයි.

උතුරු අක්ෂීය ලක්ෂයක සිට මේ ලෝකය දෙස බලන්නෙකුට පෙනෙන්නේ, ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදය, කැනඩාව, ග්රීන්ලන්තය, අයිස්ලන්තය, එක්සත් රාජධානිය, පෘතුගාලය, ප්රංශය, ස්පාඤඤය, නෝර්වේ, ස්වීඩනය, ෆින්ලන්තය, ඩෙන්මාර්කය, ජර්මනිය, ඉතාලිය, පෝලන්තය, යුක්රේනය, සයිප්රසය, තුර්කිය, රුසියාව, චීනය, ජපානය, උතුරු කොරියාව, දකුණු කොරියාව, හා මැදපෙරදිග හා උතුරු අප්රිකාව යන රටවල් දිස්වේ.

පැහැදිලිව මේ දෙස බලන ජනතාවට මනාව දිස්වෙන කරුන වන්නේ, පලමුවන හා දෙවන ලෝක යුද්ධයට සම්බන්ධවී සිටි රටවල් සියල්ලක්ම උත්තර ධ්රැවයේ සිට බලන විට මනාව දිස්වෙන බවයි. තවද මේ පලමුවන හා දෙවන ලෝක යුද්ධ වලට සම්බන්ධ වූ රටවල් ඒ යුගයේදී මෙන්ම, වර්තමානයේද අවි අායුධ නිශ්පාදනය හා වෙළදාම, විශේෂිතම අාදායම් මාර්ගය බවට පත්කරගත් රටවල් බව පැහැදිලිව පෙනේ. ඔවුනගේ රටවල කිසිදු යුද්ධයක්, අඛණ්ඩව ගලායන මරාගෙන මැරෙණ ත්රස්තවාදී ක්රියාවන් සිදු නොවේ. එදා එකිනෙකාට එරෙහිව සටන් වැදුන ඔවුන් එක්සත් ජාතීන් (United Nations) බවට පත්වී, එක්සත්ව, ඔවුනගේ අායුධ වෙළදාම සදහා, ඔවුනගේ දෘෂ්ඨි කෝණයෙන් බැහැර හා නොපෙනෙන රටවල් තුල, යුධ වෙළදාමට උචිත පරිසරයක් නිර්මාණය කිරීම සදහා, ත්රස්තවාදය පෝෂණය කරමින්, වෙළද පොල නිර්මාණකරනයේ යෙදී සිටී, මෙය එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයේ, පූර්ණ අාධාර හා රැකවරණය ඇතිව සිදුවන කටයුත්තකි. තමන් විසින් බොහෝ වෙහෙස දරා නිර්මාණය කරණ ලද ත්රස්තවාදී සවිධානයක් විනාශ කිරීම විශාල මාන ව හිමිකම් කඩ කිරීමක් සේ ඔවුන් දකින්නේ එබැවිණි. එක්සත් ජාතීන් වන, උත්තර කේන්ද්රීය අාසන්න රජයන්හි වාසය කරන්නේ මානවයින්ය. මේ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානයද, ඒ මානවයිගේම බව අප වටහා ගත යුතුය.

උත්තර ධ්රැවීය ලක්ෂීය දෘෂ්ඨියකින්, මේ ලෝකය දෙස බලන්නා විසින් සිදුකරනුයේ, ඒ පෙදෙසේ රට වල සාමය හා විමුක්තිය පමණක් වන අතර, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය විසින් එම වගකීම නිසි ලෙස ඉටුකර තිබේ. බලවත් සංවිධානයක ලාංජනය යනු ලෝකයට විශාල පණිවුඩයක් නිකුත් කරන දෙයක් බැවින්, මෙහි අන්තර්ගතය අපි පැහැදිලිව දකිමු. අපි අගය කරන සූර්ය දර්ශණ පථය නිරක්ෂයට ඉහලින් ගමන් කරමින් සියලුම රටවල් දකිමින් රකිමින් මනා කාර්යයක් ඉටුකරයි. යම් හෙයකින් සූර්යයා, එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය

මෙන්, උත්තර ධ්රැවීය  අක්ෂයට ඉහලින් පිහිටි විට සිදුවන සියලූම, පාරිසරික හා දේශගුණික විපර්යාශයන් සම්බන්ධව අපට මනා දැනුමක් තිබේ. එවිට සිදුවන එක් විපර්යාශයක් වන්නේ, සියලූම නිරක්ෂයට අාසන්න රටවල්, උත්තර ධ්රැවය මෙන් ඝන අයිස් තට්ටුවකින් වැසී යාමයි. මේ වනවිට වයස අවුරුදු 70 ක් වූ එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ සංවිධානය නම් වූ මහල්ලාත් සිදුකරමින් සිටින්නේත් එම කාර්යමයි. ඊට එරෙහිව, පීඩනයට ලක්වෙන රටවලට නැගී සිටීමට කාලය පැමිණ අැත.

මව්බිම බේරගන්න විදෙස් ඇමැතිතුමා ඇයි ඇත්ත කිව්වේ නැත්තේ? – දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන Why didnt the Foreign Minister tell the truth to defend Our Motherland ?” – Hon Dinesh Gunawardena

October 25th, 2015

 

Fifth Indian journalist killed this year in Gaya

October 25th, 2015

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: Another middle-aged journalist, this time it is in poll-bound Bihar, has lost his life to the perpetuators. Mithilesh Pandey, 40, was shot dead on 25 October 2015 in his hometown under Gaya district. According to the family source, the miscreants (two masked persons) entered the victim’s house on Saturday evening and shot at him to death. Pandey was taken to a nearby hospital by his family members, but he succumbed to injuries after some time.
Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has condemned the incident and reiterate its demand for a national policy for justice to all slain media persons across the country.  The murder of Pandey has increased the tally of slaughtered media persons in India this year till date up to five.
Earlier Hemant Yadav, another middle aged journalist of Uttar Pradesh was shot dead on the night of October 3 at Dheena locality of Chandauli district. Yadav, who worked for Hindi news channel TV24, was attacked by two motorcycle-borne miscreants. He was taken to a nearby hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
Prior to that, a Thane based journalist Raghavendra Dube was killed by the miscreants in July. Similarly Jagendra Singh from UP and Sandeep Kothari from Madhya Pradesh lost their lives to assassinators in separate incidents in June this year.
“We reiterate our demand for a national action plan to safeguard the brave journalists who pursue critical journalism,” said a statement issued by JFA president Rupam Barua and secretary Nava Thakuria adding that the robust Indian media fraternity must rise on the occasion to compel the authority to punish every single murderer of journalists under the rule of law.

Putin Crushes BBC Smartass INCLUDING BBC propagandist’s question

October 25th, 2015

Another certified moron bites the dust

JOHN SIMPSON, BBC: Western countries almost universally now believe that there’s a new Cold War and that you, frankly, have decided to create that. We see, almost daily, Russian aircraft taking sometimes quite dangerous manoeuvres towards western airspace. That must be done on your orders; you’re the Commander-in-Chief. It must have been your orders that sent Russian troops into the territory of a sovereign country – Crimea first, and then whatever it is that’s going on in Eastern Ukraine. Now you’ve got a big problem with the currency of Russia, and you’re going to need help and support and understanding from outside countries, particularly from the West. So can I say to you, can I ask you now, would you care to take this opportunity to say to people from the West that you have no desire to carry on with the new Cold War, and that you will do whatever you can to sort out the problems in Ukraine?

US forced to make ‘policy shift’ in Syria! RUSSIA’S ENTRY UNMASKS OBAMA’S ‘FAKE’ WAR AGAINST ISIS . . .

October 25th, 2015

by Selvam Canagaratna Courtesy The Island

“W[ith] extramarital courtship, the deception was prolonged where it had been ephemeral, necessary where it had been frivolous, conspiratorial where it had been lonely.”

– Mary McCarthy, The Company She Keeps, 1942.

Thomas S. Harrington, a Professor at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a regular contributor to CounterPunch magazine, was brutally frank about America’s deadly play-acting in Syria in his opening observation: “The great danger of faking your ability to do something in the public square is that someone with an actual desire to do the job you are pretending to do might come along and show you up.” [Wow! That’s certainly ‘telling it like it is’!]

And that, precisely, was how Russian President Vladimir Putin dramatically chose to expose Barack Obama’s elaborate and quite costly pretense in Syria – indeed, in the whole of the Middle East, for that matter. In a series of sudden, unannounced aerial strikes, the Russian Air Force bombed the hell out of the bloodthirsty US/Saudi-backed ISIS jihadist cadres in their Syrian strongholds, something that America had for long claimed to be doing, thereby giving the wrong impression to many that ISIS was, in fact, so powerful as to successfully neutralize even the awesome military might of the world’s sole ‘super-power’!

But even before Putin’s bold move in Syria, which literally caught hypocritical America ‘with its pants down’ (as Harrington put it), the world’s ‘indispensable nation’ has been shown up to be a two-timing skunk by many investigative journalists. My mind goes back to Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam, the 2006 book by Robert Dreyfuss which set out in damning detail how Washington actively promoted the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in pursuit of its own hegemonic ambitions.

As Dreyfuss made clear in his Introduction, this little-known US policy of funding and encouraging right-wing Islamist activism, conducted over six decades, “is partly to blame for the emergence of Islamist terrorism as a worldwide phenomenon”, adding, “Indeed America’s would-be empire in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and South Asia was designed to rest in part on the bedrock of political Islam. At least, that is what its architects hoped. But it proved to be a devil’s game.”

Dreyfuss noted that the US played not with Islam, but with Islamism. “Unlike the faith with fourteen centuries of history behind it, Islamism is of more recent vintage. It is a political creed with its origins in the late nineteenth century, a militant, all-encompassing philosophy whose tenets would appear foreign or heretical to most Muslims of earlier ages and that still appear so to many educated Muslims today. Whether it is called pan-Islam, or Islamic fundamentalism, or political Islam, it is an altogether different creature from the spiritual interpretation of Muslim life as contained in the Five Pillars of Islam. It is, in fact, a perversion of that religious faith. That is the mutant ideology the United States encouraged, supported, organized, or funded.”

It’s worth quoting one more crucial point made by Dreyfuss: “The US spent decades cultivating Islamists, manipulating and double-crossing them, cynically using and misusing them as Cold War allies, only to find that it spawned a force that turned against its sponsor, and with a vengeance.”

America’s hegemonic objective in the Middle East has always been, at best, a badly kept secret, thanks to leading US ‘policy planners’, a.k.a. warmongers, making known their views over the years both in published documents and in public statements. Their ‘plans’ certainly encompassed Syria from year 2000 – when that ‘accidental Prez’, George W. Bush and his partner in political criminality, Vice-Prez Dick Cheney, took office. Their sole objective was ‘regime change’ in just about every nation in the Middle East that refused to kow-tow to Big Brother’s dictats.

Dick Cheney’s focus in Syria was not, as they openly claimed, to  save the Syrian people from the ravages of the long-standing Assad dictatorship, but rather to heighten the level of internecine conflict in that country to the point where it would not be able to serve as a bulwark against Israeli regional hegemony for at least another generation.

As Professor Harrington noted, important protagonists in the Israeli-American policy planning elite have advertised the fact with a surprising degree of clarity  that the only way to deal with ‘the Arabs’ in and around Israel was through unrelenting force and the inducement of cultural fragmentation. Israeli journalist, Oded Yinon, who had formerly worked at the Israeli Foreign Ministry, published an article in which he outlined the strategic approach his country needed to take in the coming years. The main thrust of Yinon’s piece (as translated into English by Israel Shahak) read:

“Lebanon’s total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precedent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula. . . The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unique areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel’s primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short-term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon. . .

“Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel’s targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria. Iraq is stronger than Syria. In the short run it is Iraqi power which constitutes the greatest threat to Israel. An Iraqi-Iranian war will tear Iraq apart and cause its downfall at home even before it is able to organize a struggle on a wide front against us. Every kind of inter-Arab confrontation will assist us in the short run and will shorten the way to the more important aim of breaking up Iraq into denominations as in Syria and in Lebanon. . .”

Professor Ismael Hossein-Zadeh, Professor Emeritus of Economics at Drake University, noted that America’s recent call for “negotiations and a political settlement in Syria was a reflection, if anything, of the sheer hubris of a bully that wouldn’t allow him to acknowledge defeat and give up a botched plan to loot, hurt or murder.” It was an attempt by America “to wiggle its way out, regain strength and prepare for another attack at an opportune time.”

The Professor reminded readers that what he was saying had already been disclosed in congressional hearings by none other than the head of the US Central Command, General Lloyd Austin, who admitted “that a year after it was launched at a cost of $500 million, the Pentagon’s program to recruit and train a “moderate” US proxy fighting force in Syria had been able to field a grand total of ‘four or five’ fighters inside the country!

“From the time it embarked on the criminal mission of regime change in Syria nearly five years ago,” Prof. Hossein-Zadeh added, “the US and its puppet and mercenary allies rejected all attempts to negotiate with the government of President Bashar Al-Assad or its geopolitical allies Russia and Iran. Now, all of a sudden, it is calling for negotiation with these same adversaries in pursuit of ‘de-escalation’ and a political deal that would not include President Assad’s immediate removal from power. The long-term strategic goal of removing him from power, however, remains unchanged; it is simply postponed. It would be fulfilled consequent to a negotiated political settlement, or at the end of a “transitional period.”

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

October 24th, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Shenali D Waduge

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

October 24th, 2015

Courtesy The Island

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

article_image

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 24th, 2015

Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva

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

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

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

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

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

 

Foreign involvement in mechanism a political decision – Paranagama

October 23rd, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation Interventions for the Treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

October 23rd, 2015

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

Acknowledgements

 

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

 

 

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THE RSS ‘PARIVAR’

October 23rd, 2015

ALI SUKHANVER

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

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

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

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

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

October 23rd, 2015

Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

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

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

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

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

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

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

යස-පාලන කැලෑසිය

October 23rd, 2015

ධර්මන් වික‍්‍රමරත්න

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ධර්මන් වික්‍රමරත්න 

ejournalists@gmail.com

I did not confess to Seya murder – Kondaya

October 23rd, 2015

Courtesy Adaderana

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

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

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

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

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

October 22nd, 2015

DHARSHAN WEERASEKERA

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

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

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

2/3 Majority

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

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

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

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

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

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

Referendum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Recommendations

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

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

The Biased OISL Report and the Dangers of Disinformation

October 22nd, 2015

Lasanda Kurukulasuriya

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invisibility of Sinhalese and Muslims

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

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

Collective memory

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

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

Focus on Karuna

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

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

Cover of anonymity

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

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

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

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

October 22nd, 2015

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

October 22nd, 2015

Shenali D Waduge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1.         Perinbanayagam Sivaparan alias “Nediyavan”;

2.         Rev.Fr. S J Emmanuel

3.         Visuvanathan Ruthirakumaran

4.         Sekarampillai Vinayakamoorthy alias Vinayagam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shenali D Waduge

Additional reading:

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

Bottom of Form

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

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

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

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

 


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