Short of options, Sri Lanka turns back to Beijing’s embrace

February 11th, 2016
Just over a year after a new leader was elected and Sri Lanka’s business ties with Chinacame under close scrutiny, Colombo is reversing course by resuming a stalled port project and naming Beijing as the front runner for a new special economic zone.

India is nervous about losing influence over the island nation off its southern tip, while China’s push into the Indian Ocean, and the possibility of dual purpose civilian-military facilities in Sri Lanka, are raising alarm further afield.

The ouster of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who steered Sri Lanka towards China until 2015, was a setback for ties, as his successor reviewed projects to check if they were fair and legal.

Now Maithripala Sirisena’s government, faced with falling foreign reserves, a balance of payments crunch and few, if any, alternative investors, is heading back into Beijing’s embrace, albeit on better terms than before.

“The stance on China has completely changed,” cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne told Reuters. “Who else is going to bring us money, given tight conditions in the West?”

Most of the focus has been on the $1.4 billion port city China wants to build in the commercial capital, Colombo, where cranes and diggers have sat idle for months.

But according to International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrama, Chinese investors have also expressed interest in a special economic zone (SEZ) in Hambantota, southern Sri Lanka, where a $1.7 billion seaport and airport built by the Chinese are operating at a fraction of capacity.

“We will agree to that. They will invest their own money. That’s the way to go forward,” Samarawickrama told Reuters.

INDIA “NOT CONCERNED”

Beijing’s rehabilitation does not mean the door is closed to other potential investors in Sri Lanka’s $79 billion economy.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe for an SEZ in Trincomalee last week, according to an Indian official.

And New Delhi said it was not unduly worried by China’s return to pole position in talks with Colombo.

“The relationship between India and Sri Lanka is robust, is getting stronger,” said Renu Pall, joint secretary in the Indian foreign ministry in charge of the Indian Ocean region.

But so far, only Beijing had come up with specific proposals for a trade zone, an official at Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment said.

Beijing has already pumped hundreds of millions of dollars into roads and ports since the end of Sri Lanka’s civil war in 2009, when Colombo was largely shunned by Western investors over its human rights record.

China’s interest is seen as part of its ambitions to build a “Maritime Silk Route” to the oil-rich Middle East and on to Europe.

That makes some countries, including India and the United States, nervous, with Sri Lanka sitting near shipping lanes through which much of the world’s trade passes on its way to China and Japan.

Western diplomats have expressed particular concern over Hambantota, located in Rajapaksa’s stronghold on the southern tip of the country, because they say it could have both civil and military use.

Sri Lanka’s government says such fears are misplaced and that it plays host to a far higher number of ship visits by other foreign navies, including India’s.

IMPROVING TERMS OF DEALS

The SEZ in Hambantota is the biggest of four proposals made by the Chinese to Sri Lanka’s Board of Investment, the official there said. He did not provide details about others.

The SEZ is one of 45 projects the government plans to help lift growth at a time when public finances have deteriorated and Colombo is seeking an emergency IMF loan to avert a balance-of-payments problem.

Trade Minister Samarawickrama said the government decided to go ahead with the Colombo port city project after proposing to the Chinese to reduce the land area and limit the environmental impact.

Already, the suspension of work has cost $380,000 a day overall, according to state-owned China Communications Construction Co Ltd (CCCC), which is financing the project.

“During negotiations, the new Sri Lankan government understood the reality and also the fact that they were legally bound by the contract,” said an official at CHEC Port City Colombo (Pvt) Ltd, the local company handling the project.

Sri Lanka and the Chinese government also discussed loan terms, which critics said were too onerous on the host country, Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Reuters.

“Everything is going well. If there were 7 percent (interest) loans, we have reduced to lower-regime loans,” he said, without detailing which loans were being renegotiated.

China said it looked forward to working closely with Sri Lanka.

“We believe Sri Lanka … will continue to deepen practical cooperation with China,” said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

Full Article

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/short-of-options-sri-lanka-turns-back-to-beijings-embrace/articleshow/50941961.cms

 

අප්‍රිකානු මිතුරන්

February 11th, 2016

 වෛද් රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග

පුත්තලම් දිස්ත්‍රික් මානසික සෞඛ්‍ය  වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී ලෙස ලෙස සේවය කරන ලද කාලයේ පුත්තලම් දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ ජීවත් වන අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාවට මානසික සෞඛ්‍ය ප්‍රවර්ධන වැඩසටහන් ක්‍රියාත්මක කරන ලෙස පුත්තලම් දිස්ත්‍රික්  සෞඛ්‍ය සේවා අධ්‍යක්‍ෂක වෛද්‍ය ආර් එම් එස් කේ රත්නායක මහතා මගෙන් ඉල්ලීමක් කලේය​. එම නිසා මම මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් කටයුතු කලෙමි.

පුත්තලම් දිස්ත්‍රික්කයේ ජීවත් වන අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාව ජීවත් වෙති. මොවුන් අතීතයේ පෘතුගීසි සොල්දාදුවන් සමග පැමිණි වහලුන් වෙති. මෙම වැඩසටහනේ ශාක්‍යතාව පිරික්සීමට  වෛද්‍ය ආර් එම් එස් කේ රත්නායක මහතාත්  මමත් අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාව සොයා ගියෙමු. අප බොහෝ ගම්මන වලට ගොස් අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාව සිටින්නේ කොහේද කියා ඇසුවෙමු. බොහෝ දෙනා එවැනි ජනතාවක් සිටින ඉසව්වක් නොදන්නා බව කීහ​. අවසානයේදී එක් තේ කඩයක් අසල සිටි පිරිසකගෙන් ද විමසුවෙමු. මම අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාව කියූ විට එක් තරුණයෙක් ” ආ මේ කාපිරිද ? මහත්තයා ඔන්න ඔහොම මේ ගුරු පාරේ යන්ඩ දිගටම යනකොට ගමක් හම්බ වෙයි ඒ ගමේ ඉන්නේ කාපිරි කීවේය​.

africa

දේසේ හැටියට බාසේ කියමින් අප වාහනය හරවාගෙන ගුරු පාර දිගේ ගියෙමු. අවසානයේදී අපට අප්‍රිකානු සම්භවයක් ඇති ජනතාව හමු විය​. ඔවුන් බොහෝ දෙනෙකු දේශීය ජනතාව සමග මිශ්‍ර වීම නිසා අප්‍රිකානු ලක්‍ෂණ දැරුවේ අඩුවෙනි. එහෙත් අතරින් පතර නියම අප්‍රිකානු ලක්‍ෂණ දැරූවන් සිටියහ​. නියම අප්‍රිකානු ලක්‍ෂණ දැරූවන් දුටු මා හට සිතුනේ ඔවුන් සෝමාලියාව වැනි රටකින් ලංකාවට පැමිණියවුන් කියාය​. පසුව මගේ නිගමනය නිවැරදි බව සනාත විය​.

අප්‍රිකානු මිනිසෙක් දෙස බලා මොහු නයිජීරියාවෙන් ද , ටැන්සේනියාවෙන් ද , උගන්ඩාවන් ද , ගිනිබසව් වලින් ද මලී වලින් ද චෑඩ් වලින් ද , සෝමාලියාවෙන් ද , ඉතියෝපියාවෙන් ද , යනාදී වශයෙන් සිකුරටම  කීමේ දක්‍ෂතාව මා සතුව තිබේ. මේ දක්‍ෂතාව මට ලැබුනේ යූක්‍රයීනයේ වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ අප්‍රිකානු රටවල්  බොහොමයක සිසුන් ඇසුරු කිරීමෙනි.

මුල් වතාවට අප්‍රිකානු සිසුන් මොස්කව් හි ශෙර්මිතෝවා ගුවන් තොටුපලේ දුටු ලාංකික සිසු සිසුවියන් බියපත් වූ බව වාර්තාවී තිබේ. මමද මුල් වතාවට අප්‍රිකානු සිසුන් දැකීමෙන් යම් චකිතයකට පත් වූයෙමි. එහෙත් ඔවුන් ඇසුරු කිරීමත් සමගම ඔවුන් තුල තිබූ මානුෂික ගුණ මා අත්වින්දෙමි.

මම දැන සිටි අප්‍රිකානු සිසු සිසුවියන් බොහෝ දෙනෙකි. ඔවුන් අතරෙන් සමහරක් මට තවමත් මතකය​. ගහනාවේ කෙනත් බෙයිඩු දීප්තිමත් සිසුවෙකි. ඔහු දකින මට මතක් වෙන්නේ දැත්තා පොතේ සිටි උගතා වූ දත්තාය​. කෙන්යාවේ කමාවූ සෑම ඉරිදා දිනයකම ඉස්තිරික්කය ඉල්ලාගෙන මගේ කාමරයට එයි. ඇන්ගෝලා වේ කාර්ලෝස් මැංගේරා නිහඞ එහෙත් කේන්ති යන චරිතයකි. මොසැම්බික් හි ෆ්‍රෑන්ක්ලීන් විනෝදකාමී කතා කියන්නෙකි. වරක් ඔහුට සුදු තරුණයන් පිරිසක් විසින් පහරදීම නිසා අප ඔහු වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටියෙමු.

ඉතියෝපියාවේ එලිසබත් පියකරු තරුණියකි. ඇය අමහර්ස්ක් භාෂාව මෙන්ම ඉංග්‍රීසි  භාෂාව දැන සිටියාය​. සුඩානයේ කූරි උසැති සිසුවෙකි. ඔහු සුඩාන ගීත ගායනා කලේය​. උගන්ඩාවේ බොස්කෝ පියකරු ලෙස ඇන්දේය එම නිසා සෑම විටම  ජෙන්ට්ල්මන් කෙනෙකු  ලෙස දිස් වීය​. කැමරුන් හි හරුණ කමාරා සිටියේ මගේ පන්තියේය​. ඔහු කුකුල් කේන්ති කාරයෙකි. වරක් ලෙබනන් ජාතික සිසුවෙකු වූ ලු ආයි ඇල් ගෝර් සමග ගුටි ගහ ගත්තේය​.

කොංගෝවේ ශාන් පියෙර් මට අමතක කල නොහැක​. ඔහු මගේ කාමරයට යාබද අසල්වැසියාය​. ඉතා උස් හඞින් කොංගෝ සංගීතය වාදනය කිරීමත් බොහෝ ලෙස බියර් බීමත් ශාන් නිතිපතා කලේය​. එහෙත් ඔහු දීප්තිමත් සිසුවෙකි. මොසැම්බික් හි සිට පැමිණි පවුලීන් ඉතා උස මහත සිසුවෙකි. එහෙත් ළමයෙකු සේ අහිංසකය​. සෙනිගාල් ජාතික සාර්ලා මට රස්තා කොණ්ඩයක් ගෙතීමේ හවරි දුන්නාය​. තවද ඇය චතුර ලෙස ප්‍රන්ස බස කතා කලාය​.

බොස්ට්වානා යුවතියන් දෙදෙනෙකුද වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ වූවාය​. ඔවුන් ආඩමබරකාරියන් වූහ​. ටැනෙසේනියාවේ මේරිට ගහනාවේ ජෝසෆ් අයිවාරු ට්‍යි එකක් දුන් නමුත් එය අසාර්ථක විය​.  මම ජෝසෆ් අයිවාරු ගේ සපෝටර් වූයෙමි. මම ජෝසෆ් අයිවාරුව සමහර විට ජෝසෆ් කයිවාරු කියා නම් කලෙමි. සිම්බාබ්වේ හි ලව් මෝ නෙකමන් ජි මගේ හොඳ මිතුරෙකි. රොක් සංගීත ලෝලයෙකි.

සැම්බියාවේ රොජර් ඉතා කටෝ‍ර හඞකින් අප්‍රිකානු උරුවට රුසියන් ගීත ගැයීය​. එම නිසා ඔහු ගීත ගයන විට අප රොජර් ගේ කාමරයෙන් පිටව ගියෙමු. මැඩගස්කරයේ සිසුවියක් ද වූ අතර ඇයට තිබුනේ ඉතා දිගු නමකි. ඇයගේ නම රසු අමීරා රංසුවා රමානා නරිඌ ය​. මොරිෂස් දේශයෙන් පැමිණි ආර්ථීට තිබුනේ ඉන්දියානු ලක්‍ෂණය​. ඇය බොහෝ සේ පොත් කියවන්නියකි.

රුවන්ඩාවේ ඩෙන්සිල් මගේ මිතුරෙකි. ඔහු රුවන්ඩා ජන ඝාතනයේදී මිය යන්නට ඇතැයි මා අනුමාන කරමි. මවුරිතානියා කියා රටක් තිබෙන බව මා දැනගත්තේ සලීෆ් හමු වීමෙන් පසුවය​. ඔහු අඟුරු මෙන් කාලවර්ණ පුද්ගලයෙකි. ටොගෝ රටින් ආ නුන් ෆුන් දාමේ ඇඩමූ සිත්තර පත්තරයේ ටොගා මෙන් පුෂ්ටිමත් නැත​. ඔහුගේ ශරීර ප්‍රමාණය කුඩාය. සෝමාලියාවේ මුක්තාර් හට   බටහිර ජර්මනියේ නිෂ්පාදිත අලංකාර හිම සපත්තු ජෝඩුවක් තිබුනේය​. සෙරලියෝන් හි ජෝසෆ් කරෝමා සිටියේ මගේ පන්තියේය​. ඔහු අලස නමුත් ඉතා හොඳ මොලයක් තිබූ සිසුවෙකි.

ඊජිප්තුවේ සාමෙක් සයීද් විනෝදකාමියෙකි. මම සහ සාමෙක් සයීද් නිතරම අරාබි බසින් කවටකමට බැනගන්නෙමු.  ටියුනීසියාවේ හාලිද් තරමක ආඩම්බරකාරයෙකි. ඔහුට රූමත් ඉන්දියානු පෙම්වතියක් සිටියේය​. මොරොක්කෝවේ රෂීඩා අරාබි සහ ප්‍රන්ස භාෂා දැන සිටියාය​. ඇය අප සමග විභාග කිට්ටුවදී පාඩම් කිරීමට ආවාය​. මෙලෙස දකුණු අප්‍රිකාවෙන් හැර අප්‍රිකානු මහද්වීපයේ රටවල සිසු සිසුවියන් බොහෝ දෙනෙකු වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ මගේ මිතුරු මිතුරියන් වූහ​.ඔවුන් සමග මානවීය ගනුදෙනු කිරීම මා ලැබූ හොඳ සහ විරළ අත්දැකීමකි.

 

Government moots canal transport in Colombo –News Item

February 11th, 2016

DR Sarath Obeysekera

As the ex-chairman Sri Lanka Land  Reclamation Corporation which owns and maintains canal system in Colombo and also as the Ex CEO of Colombo Dockyard and now a MD of a boat building company I can suggest following .

Canal system gets dried up during drought period and over flow during rainy  season  . The jetties to be built to act as stations for passengers to get in and out should be built which should be held by pivoted arms so that when the water level goes  up and down the jetty goes up and down providing  variable landing level

Canal should be dredged quite often during drought period to make the depth of the canal sufficient for a boat to sail

All the boats should be built with two passenger rows only and long enough to carry about 30-40 passengers with low noise engines

Australians have developed solar powered boats which can be run at very low cost and with least pollution

Every boat can have the side of the hull painted with advertisement of large companies who can maintain the boats

Companies like CEYNOR coming under Ministry of Fisheries can join with a private company to develop a suitably shaped long boat like the ones used in dirty canals in Bangkok

You need over 100 boats to ply along the canal starting from Diyatha Uyana closer to parliament roundabout and one boat can go  via Heen Ela to Wellawatte and the other to Kollonnawa and into Kelani river and sail towards outfall

SLLRDC may deploy private sector to operate and charge a royalty for using the canal

We may even get a cue from the Tiffany meal supply system operated in India where employment can be given to the “Vallah” who may take the lunch to office workers using the boats

Traffic Police can take a rest in the morning as they do not have to stand under the hot sun anymore

Only problem we may encounter is whether we can find a dynamic leader to  manage the operation without getting drowned  in the “canal bureaucracy “

 

 

British crimes against Tamil indentured laborers (coolies)

February 11th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

Winston Churchill said “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion” and that they were ‘breeding like rabbits’ so what did the British do, they transported them all over the world to be used as labor and to fester clashes under their famous divide and rule policy. No sooner slavery ended, indentured labor began, to end only in 1920. Some 3.5million people from India were transported to the 178 countries that the British Empire ruled over barring just 22 countries. These Indians were plucked from their homes and exported to all corners of the world in most inhuman and cruel conditions. It was these same Tamils that fought alongside the British Army against India and no sooner indentured labor ended in the 1920s the Tamils began to ask for a separate Tamil Nadu state. All post-independent colonies are carrying headaches manufactured by the British.

The short and sweet of the argument is this. Indentured Indian Tamil laborers were transported to all corners of the world to help Britain earn profits. From 1834 to the end of the WWI, Britain had transported over 3 million Indian indentured workers to 19 colonies including Fiji, Mauritius, Ceylon, Trinidad, Guyana, Malaysia, Uganda, Kenya and South Africa. Many of these coolies were low caste Tamils (dalits). The calculated emigration of Dalits from India is very much similar to the manner the British got rid of its convicts by sending them to America and Australia. The proposed bridge connecting Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu will end up in millions of Tamil Nadu Dalits freely flowing to Sri Lanka.  

None of the countries to which these Tamils were transported during colonial rule wanted them or even asked for them. Britain as invading occupiers of lands that were not their own were doling out land to these Tamil laborers as if the lands belonged to them. Thereafter, after giving independence having made off with profits and looting every country’s treasures, the British insists that the newly independent colonies give citizenship to people the British transported. What kind of logic is this? It is the British who needs to look after all the people they forcefully transported for their profit without forcing other countries to keep them. They are not citizens of these countries and they never were.

When indentured laborers formally ended towards 1920 the laborers in Guyana, Surinam, Trinidad, Jamaica, Malaysia, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Ceylon some decided to stay, some wanted to return to India while others went to the UK in the 1950s. That is how Indians came to be part of the demography in the West Indies, South Africa and parts of Asia to which the British transported them so the British could become rich and leave behind trouble for the natives to sort out and the Brits could fan these issues into further chaos.

The first batch of Tamil labourers came around 1823 from Tamil Nadu, then called the Madras Presidency. They first came to work on coffee plantations. At least 40,000 per year started flowing from India to Sri Lanka. These numbered far more than the Indians that had come earlier from Tamil Nadu. By independence in 1948, Sri Lanka had over 1million Indian Tamil indentured laborers. The total population of the country was 8million..

Even a formula was created – there were to be 7 women for 25% of the total and males were not to exceed 3 times the number of females dispatched.

Table: Tamil Population in Sri Lanka, Burma and Malaya 1871-1981 – (figures in thousands)
  1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1946
Sri Lanka 203.3 320.2 313.3  497.9 563.8 635.7 854.8 816.2
Malaya  27.5 36.3 62.7 98.0 220.4 387.5 514.8 461.0
Burma   35.1 71.4 99.6 125.7 152.3 184.l 90.0
Total 230.8 391.6 447.4 695.5 909.9 1175.5 1553.7 1367.2
As proportion of Tamil Nadu
Population (per cent)
1.5 2.5 2.5 3.6 4.4 5.4 6.6 4.9
Notes:

Sri Lanka: Population of Tamils and Indian Moors according to censuses from 1911 onwards; figures for 1981 [Guilmoto, 1987]; indirect estimates before 1911 based on the total Tamil population.
Malaya and Singapore
: Tamil-speaking population, estimates before 1931 based on the population of Indian origin.
Burma: Tamil-speaking population according to censuses; free estimates for 1946 and 1981 due to lack of statistical information.

 Source: Censuses of countries concerned and my own estimates.

The British Government that points fingers at nations and talks about human rights, treated these coolies as slaves. They were made to work under harsh working conditions, long hours, little food & water, low wages and anyone grumbling were severely dealt with. Children as young as 5  years were made to work and today these very countries speak about child labor. Work started not at 9a.m but at 3a.m. in the morning. Anyone getting up late was whipped. Rain or sun, these Tamils had to work.

The Kenya-Uganda Railway built between 1895 and 1902 was by Indian laborers. 7% of these laborers actually died due to the harsh conditions. Anyone who tried to escape had their 5 year contract doubled and sent to prison!

They were put to work on sugar, cotton and tea plantations and rail construction projects

It is not the successive Sinhalese Governments that has to be faulted for treatment of Indian Tamils but the British who brought these Tamils from India to work on British plantations under sub-human conditions.

It is not the fault of Ceylon/Sri Lanka that these Indians were treated as aliens, with no right of asylum. That was how the British wanted their status to be. The British only spoke for their rights when they were preparing to leave Sri Lanka.

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With these realities staring at us, the present government needs to seriously relook at allowing a wave of Indians to enter after ECTA (CEPA) is signed opening doors to Indian service sector to enter Sri Lanka. Previously the Indians were brought by the British, why is this government foolishly doing the same mistake?

What is relevant about the Indian Tamils used as labor by the British and the current decision to allow Indian workers to freely arrive, work and live in Sri Lanka is that Indians are poorer than their Sri Lankan counterparts and are willing to work under severe conditions for cheaper wages. It was the Dalit low castes of Pariah, Kallar, Sakkili and Palla that came during British rule and probably the same will return.

That India is keen on Mannar is a reminder that these Indian labor came from Mannar during British rule. They had to walk 150miles to Matale. Many died walking. The British human rights then did not permit medical attention because the British did not wish to spend a penny on any non-white. Those who died were just left to decay. The British human rights was such that they didn’t even provide toilets. There was nothing known as a company’s assets are its staff then! The British would not hear of educating these coolies. You cannot have educated coolies as slaves!

The usage of the term Indian Tamil came in 1911 during the census. Those that argue claiming Indian Tamils were disenfranchised need to wake up and realize that these Indians brought as coolies by the British were not citizens of Sri Lanka in the first place. Therefore the question of disenfranchisement does not arise. The issue was that the Indians did not want to take back the hundreds and thousands of Indian Tamil coolies while the Sri Lankans awaiting independence did not wish to have them in Sri Lanka. India did not wish to take these coolies back because the 3.5million indentured laborers scattered all over the world would have also had to be taken back which Nehru did not want.

Sri Lanka had every right to decide how it was to keep people belonging to another nation. Under the Citizenship Act of 1948, only 5000 out of about 800,000 Indian laborers were able to show two generations residence in Ceylon. Under the Indian & Pakistani Residents Citizenship Act of 1949 those who could show 7-10 years residence in Ceylon were given citizenship. 134,000 qualified from the 800,000. The Indian laborers were all Indians and it was subsequent to arriving to work on British plantations that they had generations of children. It was India’s fault that their mission in Colombo refused to register all Indian laborers which eventually made them stateless. Under the Indo-Ceylon Agreement of 1954 known as Nehru-Kotelawala Pact, stateless Indian Tamils were categorized separately in the electoral register for 10 years in order that they learn Sinhala. By 1964 Indian Tamils were 975,000 and under the Sirima-Shastri Pact India agreed to take back 525,000 while 300,000 were absorbed by Sri Lanka.  What is important about both the 1954 and 1964 agreements is that India accepted that over 50% Indian nationals in Sri Lanka were India’s responsibility. The 1974 Pact Sri Lanka agreed to take 75,000 of the 150,000 left. Eventually 514,000 Indians were to remain in Sri Lanka.

Then politics interfered. The government changed in 1977 and repatriation stopped. A secret agreement between JR Jayawardena and Thondaman absorbed 94,000 Indians Tamils while 83,000 who were preparing to leave for India were given employment. Not stopping there the Citizenship by Affidavit Act 39 of 1988 allowed anyone to become a citizen of Sri Lanka by signing an affidavit. This paved the way for 469,000 Indians to become citizens in Sri Lanka. In 1986 only 233,000 Indians had registered while bogus affidavits had been submitted. K H J Wijedasa former secretary to President Premadasa said that Sri Lanka ended up saddled with 634,000 Indians.

On top of Indian indentured labor, there was also the case of the kallathonis – the illegal immigrants from South India and several lakhs had been coming between 1950-1970 to the Wanni region (could these have been the LTTE cadres?). The Task Force set up to tackle illicit immigration was disbanded by the UNP Government.

An article by Dilrook Kannangara titled ‘Wigneswaran should know eelam (Ceylon) Tamil ethnicity is only 105 years old” draws attention to how the British created an artificial ethnic group called Ceylon Tamils in 1911. Before 1911 there was no ethnic group called Ceylon Tamils (it is identical to how the British created Rohingya issue in Myanmar).

Any Tamil born in Sri Lanka or those born in India became Ceylon Tamils in 1911. To prove this he gives the 1881, 1891 and 1901 census where all Tamils were called Tamils only (people originating from India). Dilrook goes on to write that only after creating the Ceylon Tamil League in 1922 by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam that divided the two as Ceylon Tamils and Indian Tamils at independence. It was these Ceylon Tamils that started Tamil homeland campaign. What Dilrook reiterates is that had the 1911 classification remained there would have been no homeland demands as all Tamils were referred to as Ceylon Tamils with their roots in Tamil Nadu, India so they would have had no right to seek a separate homeland in Sri Lanka. Dilrook also rightly points out that all Tamil inscriptions in Sri Lanka are of Indian origin from Chola dynasty. He sites Yalpana Vaipava Malai written by a South Indian in 1736 under colonial Dutch as being the only Tamil historical chronicle relating to Sri Lanka. Malaysia, Burma and Singapore who were recipient of British export of Tamils from India clearly defined them as Indian Tamils.

The British-Indian Tamil ties are long. Tamils served as Britains best cheap labor, they were ready to be transported anywhere around the world, they served their white masters without question, they were subservient and ready to even become part of the sepoy British army and fight against their own people. This chemistry between the British and Indian Tamils perhaps is what made the LTTE decide to choose London as their international headquarters as the British had no issues allowing LTTE to carry out their campaign from London. However, in turn the British treated Tamils like vassals – to be used, and used and used.

Given that nation-state borders are being redrawn by creating refugees and forcing them to cross continents, it is time that Tamils are wiser and as payback for their subservience to the British, demand entry to the UK rather than allowing open door policy for nationals from the Middle East/Eastern Europe.

සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරකිමු. මහින්ද අගමැති කරමු. සම්මන්ත්‍රණය

February 11th, 2016

 සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරකිමු-01   Nalin de Silva – 2016 02 08 –

සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරකිමු මැ‍ය‍ෙන් චින්තන පර්ෂදය විසින් පවත්වනු ලැබු සම්මන්ත්‍රණය-2016 02 08 -පළමු ‍‍‍‍‍ක‍ොටස

 සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරකිමු-02 Nalin de Silva – 2016 02 08 –

සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරකිමු මැ‍ය‍ෙන් චින්තන පර්ෂදය විසින් පවත්වනු ලැබු සම්මන්ත්‍රණය-2016 02 08-‍ ද‍ෙවන කොටස

UN Human Rights Chief confirms global participation in Sri Lanka war crime probe

February 11th, 2016

By Daya Gamage – Asian Tribune Political Note

Washington, D.C. 10 February (Asiantribune.com):

Putting a firm lid to the confusion and dissenting views – mostly within the Sri Lanka administration – that the Geneva UN resolution of October 01 never envisaged global participation of legal luminaries to probe Sri Lanka’s culpability of war crimes, and that Sri Lanka will never allow outside legal participation in such a probe, UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein told the Colombo media that the “resolution suggest international participation in the accountability mechanisms set up to deal with international crimes and gross human rights violations committed by individuals on both sides.United Nations Human Rights Chief addressing media in Colombo 9 February 2016

He justified the inclusion of alien participation to the flawed judicial system in Sri Lanka: “Sri Lanka has many excellent judges, lawyers, and law enforcement officials. But over the years the system they depended on, and which depends on them, became highly politicized, unbalanced, unreliable. The country’s history over the past few decades is littered with judicial failures.

“Virtually every week provides a new story of a failed investigation, a mob storming a court-room, or another example of a crime going unpunished. Sexual violence and harassment against women and girls is particularly poorly handled by the relevant State institutions — especially when the alleged perpetrators are members of the military or security services — and, as a result it remains all too widespread.

“It is for these reasons that the report and the Human Rights Council resolution suggest international participation in the accountability mechanisms set up to deal with international crimes and gross human rights violations committed by individuals on both sides.”

In recent weeks, Sri Lanka’s president Sirisena has gone on record saying that he will not allow outside legal participation, while Prime Minister Wickremasinghe has made contradictory statements on the issue. Many government leading cabinet members have dismissed the global participation.

The UN Human Rights Chief, making his departure media address, put a lid to all those speculations and dismissals.

In fact, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein linked the ‘hybrid’ war crime probe to the Sri Lanka military which battled the ruthless terrorist movement the FBI declared as worse than Al Qaeda in this manner: “the international community wants Sri Lanka’s armed forces to face up to the stain on their reputation, so that they can once again play a constructive role in international peace-keeping operations, and command the full respect that so many of their members deserve”.

The Washington officials of the U.S. State Department have told the Government of Sri Lanka that those who are selected to join UN Peacekeeping Operations should be thoroughly scrutinized to clear them of any human rights violation or war crime allegations.

The human rights chief, in presenting the official view of Geneva connecting to the global participation and the importance of the military “face up to the stain on their reputation” said “Sri Lanka needs a serious debate about these very serious issues, on which its future depends. This needs to start with a thorough, frank and honest discussion of the detailed findings of the September 2015 UN report, as it is important that all Sri Lankans rally behind the process and better understand the point of view of all the victims on all sides”.
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, previously occupied by Navi Pillai and currently by Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, viewed the Sri Lanka military, which had to combat a well armed secessionist movement which was terrorizing the entire Island of Sri Lanka, engaged in a battle against the minority Tamils. The military “stained its reputation” in engaging to safeguard the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation marginalizing its endeavor to defeat the most ruthless terrorist organization in the globe.

It is this same sentiment that the foreign service officers (FSOs) at the American diplomatic post in Colombo at that time believed – reflected in WikiLeaks-released classified cables, the United Nations Office of Political Affairs, the second most important unit next to the Office of the Secretary-General which is controlled by former state department officials, the US diplomatic office in UN and some members of the Obama National Security Council.

The operatives within the Tamil Diaspora who were once material supporters of the lethal LTTE are largely responsible for the consolidation of the mindset with this and many other sentiments connected to race relations in Sri Lanka.

The previous Rajapaksa administration was largely responsible for the internationalization of a domestic issues that led the operatives within the Tamil Diaspora to be the ‘sole voice of the Sri Lanka Tamils’. The island-wide triumphalism that took place immediately after the defeat of the LTTE alienated the north-east Tamils who were under the despotic rule of Prabhakaran for almost thirty years creating a conducive atmosphere for the former LTTE operatives and professionals to be their voice and convince the West that they were their sole voice. The international media and diplomatic network created by Prabhakaran in the late 1980s were more penetrating than the Rajapaksa foreign ministry and its overseas diplomatic cadre.

The UN human rights chief gave a long laundry list of abuse and misuse of power of the previous Rajapaksa administration which paved the way for the operatives and professional activists within the Tamil Diaspora to commence their campaign to delegitimize the Sri Lankan state which has led to the current plight of ‘internationalization’.

Quotes from his media address:

– The ‘white van’ abductions that operated outside all norms of law and order, and — as intended — instilled fear in the hearts of journalists, human rights defenders and others who dared criticize the Government or State security institutions, are now very seldom reported.

– One of the most important long-term achievements over the past year has been the restoration of the legitimacy and independence of Sri Lanka’s Human Rights Commission. The appointment of new leadership of great integrity, through the proper constitutional process, offers a new start to revitalize this all-important national institution.

– I also met the mothers and wives of people who were apprehended, or surrendered to the security forces, and then disappeared. I have met relatives of people who have been in detention for years, without being charged with any crime, or who were charged solely on the basis of allegedly forced confessions.

– Likewise if any of the four key elements of post conflict resolution — truth-telling, accountability, reparations and institutional reform — are neglected or mishandled, unresolved resentments will fester, new strains will emerge, and a tremendous opportunity to establish long-term stability, which in turn should result in greater prosperity, will be lost.

– In the case of Sri Lanka, large parts of the country have been physically, politically, socially and economically separated from each other to a greater or lesser degree for much of the past three decades, and the effort to rebuild trust in the State, and between communities, will take years of political courage, determination and skilled coordination and planning

The previous administration in subverting the social system provided enough fodder to the operatives/professional activists within the Tamil Diaspora who have become a global diplomatic movement aided and abetted by the American officials in Washington and New York. In closing the lid by the UN human rights chief on conflicting opinion about ‘international participation’ for the ‘transparency and accountability process’, the influence of the Tamil Diaspora is greatly felt.

The most significant misrepresentation in UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein’s declaration before the media in Colombo on February 9 is:“It was the country’s commitment to both itself and to the world to confront the past honestly and, by doing that, take out comprehensive insurance against any future devastating outbreak of inter communal tensions and conflict.”

The human rights chief has not been briefed either by the officials of the Sri Lanka administration or his Geneva staff that the last occasion Sri Lanka witnessed a ‘race riot’ or ‘communal disturbance’ or ‘two races killing each other’ was in Black July of 1983. Since then, there were no race riots or Sinhalese killing Tamils or Tamils killing Sinhalese.

The most recent statistics reveal that there are 54% ethnic Tamils – excluding the 5% plantation Tamils – living outside the north-east region among the Sinhalese in other districts, mostly in the Western Province.

What this Island Nation witnessed was the lethal Tiger terrorist movement in an island wide rampage terrorizing all communities, not only killing and assassinating the Sinhalese leaders and innocent villages but also Tamil leaders and Tamils who opposed the Tiger movement. The LTTE was on a ethnic cleansing forcibly ejecting the Muslims from their traditional lands in the North, forcibly removing Sinhalese who were living for generations in the north.

Since the end of the Eelam War IV, the previous Rajapaksa administration failed to understand this scenario to embrace the battered Tamils depriving of the former LTTE operatives in the Tamil Diaspora to be their voice and consolidate the human rights of the rest of the population in the rest of the country.

There are many lessons one could learn from the media address given by the UN human rights chief in Colombo.

– Asian Tribune –

http://www.asiantribune.com/node/88542

Celebrating the Inheritance of Loss

February 10th, 2016

By Rohana R. Wasala

“Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

  • Franklin D. Roosevelt, the 32nd American president (1933-45)

(This is an ordinary citizen’s personal point of view, which is open to critical assessment against contrary opinions.)

Now that the Sri Lankan voters, the common people of the country, are awakening to the reality, we may feel fairly optimistic that a trend towards recovery will start soon, if it hasn’t already started. Recovery from what? Recovery from the political and economic doldrums into which the country has been blown out of course. The ship of the nation has been blown out of course by the ill winds of the unwelcome ‘change’ inflicted on it by meddling alien powers. Some of our people who supported that ‘change’ have celebrated it as a revolution and a victory. It is a case of a monkey praising its own tail; ordinary Sri Lankans have no reason to celebrate the change of government as such. In spite of its defects in other departments, the Rajapaksa government was doing everything possible to develop the country giving precedence to the north and the east over the other provinces and thereby steadily winning the hearts and minds of the people in the area which bore the brunt of the civil conflict; the separatist demand of the Tamil expatriates living in clover in Western countries was fast losing its appeal among local Tamils. The then existing realities of a fairly well managed economy, an independent foreign policy, equitable infrastructure development covering the whole island, and improving interethnic relations did not justify an out of the blue ‘revolution’.

And what is the reality now? The economic development of the country has come to a virtual standstill and the demand for the de facto division of the country on ethnic lines has revived with a vengeance. It looks as if the police and the media are being abused to cover up the failings of the government. Why blame the police (over, for example, excesses in tackling disruptive student demonstrators, and the apparent tardiness of law enforcement in the Ambilipitiya incident and its seemingly conspiratorial aftermath) when the truth is that the police are only a state agency that is under the control of the existing government led by whatever party or alliance that has managed to get a popular mandate to rule. Where is media freedom? Isn’t there suppression of news that the government considers harmful to its survival? Why is it that media coverage of the popularly well received motorcade from Colombo to Kandy on 23rd Monday, January 2016 by a nationalist organization known as the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa protesting against the present government’s policies was effectively censored? (It is important to remember that ‘Sinhale’ refers to the country, not to a particular community.) Amidst such countless instances of misgovernment, the persecution is continuing of the principal members of the previous goernment and the government functionaries who worked under them, risking their all in the face of formidable opposition from the enemies of Sri Lanka. The anti-national nosy parkers are winning while the cabal of strange bedfellows that got together to topple a well performing government solely on the basis of alleged corruption are showing signs of breaking up. Meanwhile the  ordinary citizens are being lashed with the stingray tail of the rising cost of living. Disenchantment is rife even among those who cast their vote for the promised ‘change’.

While it is true that we are faced with  a variety of political, economic, and social issues of considerable complexity, there is no reason for despair. The problems will not be unmanageable if good sense is allowed to prevail among our politicians. We can’t choose our problems, but we can choose ways and means of solving them. We are a country that is supposed to enjoy representative government. The common people, the voters, of Sri Lanka have the power to decide who should represent them in the legislature and take policy decisions on governance on their behalf. But unfortunately, the present ill-assorted coalition between the UNP and a faction of the SLFP in the form of a bunch of infighting opportunists from its ranks, some of them electoral rejects, is making a mockery of that ideal of democracy, and miscalling itself a national government. There cannot be a genuine national government (i.e., one acceptable to the whole country as such) without the proper participation of the majority of the majority Sinhalese community which forms 75% of the electorate.

On its 7 pm news on 23rd January 2016, the Hiru TV  showed the arrival around 5:30 pm the same day of a motorcade from Colombo organized by the above mentioned nationalist organization called the Sinhale Jathika Balamuluwa protesting against the policies of the present government which the organizers of the event alleged were not in the best interest of the majority community and the country as a whole. Hiru TV repeated the same news item the following morning. When a journalist told a participating monk among them that they were being accused of racism, the monk said, “If speaking up for the legitimate rights of the Sinhalese is racism, then I am proud to be labelled a racist”. There was a large crowd of activists, who were displaying the ancient lion flag without the stripes representing the two minorities found in the current national flag. A group of monks were allowed to enter the shrine and worship there while the others stayed outside. During that time, there were some signs of tension among the people when the police tried without success to seize the flags they were carrying. But there was no indication of any untoward incidents taking place.

Hardly any newspaper carried this piece of news. The same probably goes for the electronic channels. This suggests that the government is not interfering with media freedom! The premier’s recent outburst in parliament against journalists only served to confirm our suspicions. Our hope is that the government will understand, at least belatedly, that no constructive ‘change’ is to be expected without the concurrence and active participation of the majority of the majority. The demonstration must be read as a peaceful display of disagreement by an organization of nationalists with the present regime that appears to be playing to the tune of a bunch of real communalists under the auspices of India and the America-led West. The Sinhalese are not exclusively Buddhist; there are non-Buddhist Sinhalese as well, and there is no doubt that they join their Buddhist co-ethnics in their national struggle. These are nationalists, not racists. Nationalists do not exclude the minorities. Sinhalese Buddhist unity does not mean exclusivity. Nationalism transcends ethnic boundaries. We are all one nation like our big neighbour India. India that consists of so many diverse racial groups speaking hundreds of different mother tongues is a single national entity. How strong the sense of Indian national identity is among the general populace of that country is a different matter. What we know is that constitutionally there is one Indian nation, and that it is not a collection of different ‘nations’ defined on the basis of language, religion, or skin colour. There is only one national flag, and one national anthem. Are Tamils in Tamil Nadu which is their original homeland allowed to sing the Indian national anthem Jana Gana Mana (composed in the Bengali language by Rabindranath Tagore) in Tamil?

I started writing this on February 4, 2016, the 68th anniversary of independence from Britain soon after the official celebrations ended. (But I have had to change its contents while watching events over the past few days, which only confirmed my initial assumptions.) Actually in 1948 Sri Lanka was granted what was known as ‘dominion status’, not full independence, that is, it became an ‘autonomous community within the British Empire’ with the British monarch as its nominal head. We became fully independent in 1972 with the promulgation of the republican constitution under the leadership of the late Sirimavo Bandaranaike. We are an independent sovereign nation with one national flag and one national anthem.

Sri Lanka may have made history this time by singing its national anthem in Tamil as well. The Sri Lankan national anthem was sung in Sinhala at the beginning of the celebrations. A Tamil version was sung at the end, giving it dubious significance, in my view. At that moment I didn’t know how people would react to this historical change. But I felt that it was not likely to engender feelings of mutual solidarity in the minds of Tamils and Sinhalese. If the proponents of this change were thoughtful about their reconciliation-promoting intentions, they would have had the courage to have the Tamil version sung soon after the Sinhala version in one go at the beginning, and both sung again, in reverse order perhaps, at the conclusion of the event. The facial expressions of the young Tamil singers, it seemed, gave the impression that they were not very enthusiastic about what they had been made to sing. The Sunday Mawbima (February 7, 2016) reported that while the national anthem was being sung in Tamil in Colombo, it was being sung in Sinhala the same day at the independence day celebrations held at Paranthan, Kilinochchi by rehabilitated LTTE cadres now employed as officers of the civil defence department. That certainly would be seen as a welcome development, if it was done in good faith. On the whole, I don’t think much about the national anthem being sung in Tamil also (despite its unconstitutionality which, if necessary, could be rectified in the future) if the good intentions of the government are reciprocated by the Tamil speaking Sri Lankan minority.

Some well meaning people have praised the move as a very constructive step in the right direction (e.g. Prof. Carlo Fonseka/The Island/Feb. 10, 2016). Nevertheless, many other people still wonder whether the unconstitutional change of the medium of the national song is going to bring the Sinhalese and Tamil speakers closer together or drive them apart even further? Couldn’t this be a sinister ploy of separatist sympathisers? The Northern Province Chief minister Wigneshwaran has visited the Naga Vihara at Naga Deepa and offer ed flowers at the Buddhist shrine there; he has praised the novelty of singing the national anthem in both languages. Given his pro-federal stance, his commendation of singing the national song in Tamil in addition to Sinhala cannot be taken as an unequivocal gesture. It is reminiscent of the discredited ‘little now, more later’ strategy of certain communalist Tamil politicians of the past. Days before the independence day, constitutional experts pointed out that singing Namo Namo Matha in any other language than Sinhala is illegal; and a Buddhist monk was heard saying that it would be the first salvo of federalism being imposed on the country. Federalism is not acceptable to the majority of the majority. ‘There’s the rub’, as in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

If the national flag, another symbol of national unity, is treated in the same way under this Ranil-Maithri regime, we won’t be surprised. The surprising thing is that those who agitate against such controversial moves are castigated as racists. Will Sinhalese and Tamils be any more united than they are now if they sing the national anthem in their respective languages? Not likely. Rather the opposite is likely to happen. It will only further alienate them from each other. It was the late nationalist Arisen Ahubudu, Sinhalese scholar, educator and lyricist, who argued that our present flag with different sections to represent the different ethnic communities does not make for national unity, but instead keeps communal divisions explicit and confirmed. His suggestion was that the ancient Lion Flag should have been adopted to represent all Lankans without any division.

Actually, existing communal divisions are only superficial, particularly among ordinary Sinhalese and ordinary Tamils. Sharing as they do a peaceful nonviolent religious and cultural heritage, both communities are normally tolerant, compassionate and accommodating, despite the Sinhalese being always portrayed  as fanatical racists by the few separatist communalists there are. Of course, there have been rare occasions when indiscriminate violence was perpetrated against Tamils and even against Muslims by criminal elements among the Sinhalese, and reverse violence against the Sinhalese by similar elements from among the minorities, under the provocation of scheming politicians of all ethnic colours in the past. Much worse incidence of violence took place with state involvement in 1971 and in 1988-89, in which the victims were young idealistic Sinhalese men and women misled and exploited by some short-sighted Marxist politicians, and in which Tamils and Muslims were untouched. The governments of the times (led by the SLFP and the UNP respectively) and the murderously deluded Marxist rebel leaders involved were to blame. The ordinary Sinhalese Buddhists never approve of violence in the name of politics or religion; neither do ordinary Tamils and Muslims. All prefer to live in a single free, peaceful and prosperous Sri Lanka.

We who are going to seed today belong to the first post-independence generation of Sri Lankans. We can talk about the tremendous positive changes that the independent Sri Lanka has achieved under various governments. It is customary to criticise politicians with or without reason. But no sane politician would mean to do evil for those they want to give leadership to. (Of course, we know that there are exceptions.) Every government since independence has contributed to the development of the country as a result of which we find ourselves today in a vastly different country to the one we lived in when we were children. More and more citizens have access to education and health facilities, accessories that make life easier, better houses, roads, and many common facilities which once used to be the preserve of the privileged few. The present generations may not be aware this, unless they learn about it as history, but that is not their fault; your attitudes are shaped, to a large extent, by the observable realities into which you are born. In his address at the independence day function, President Sirisena referred to what I understood as the need for working based on the experience of the ‘cultural’ children of 1948 for the welfare of the ‘technological’ children of 2016. No argument about that. In fact, that’s where we have been moving with difficulty all along, despite considerable resistance from certain communalist elements from among the minorities and political zombies from the moribund Marxist fraternity. Over the past nearly seventy years, we regained through our own collective efforts much we had lost during four or five centuries of foreign domination: our independence, our language, our culture and religion, our national dignity. But this artificial communal thing (the handiwork of communalist politicians) has been the perennial stumbling block. That problem too reached a stage where it started showing unmistakeable signs of being finally resolved with the defeat of terrorism in 2009.

Ivor Jennings, the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ceylon, had firsthand knowledge of the way the constitution that led to the grant of independence, the Soulbury Constitution, was drafted and of D.S. Senanayake’s role in drafting it. Jennings wrote that although people who had not read the documents (presumably, those relating to its preparation) thought that the constitution was produced by the Soulbury Commission, it was actually produced by Senanayake. According to Jennings ‘…he (Senanayake) was anxious for a Constitution which was so fair to all communities that they could forget that there were communities. When the distribution of seats was under discussion he was specifically asked how many Tamils he wanted in the House. His answer was typical: “I don’t care if they’re all Tamils, provided they are elected as Ceylonese”.’ (Ref. Appendix II/The Life and Times of Don Stephen Senanayake by H.A.J. Hulugalle, M.D. Gunasena & Co. Colombo, 1975). When former president Mahinda Rajapaksa said, after the defeat of separatist terrorism, that there were no majorities or minorities, but that there were only two groups of Sri Lankans: those who love the country and those who don’t, he was harking back to those Senanayake sentiments. That is the attitude that the majority of ordinary Sri Lankans still share. But unfortunately, the attitude of most Tamil politicians has been the stark opposite of this both during and since the  Senanayake era.

When all is said and done, despite some shortcomings, the ousted Rajapaksa government brought peace and prosperity to the whole country on a non-communal basis. A trend towards consolidating interethnic harmony and goodwill started at economic, social and educational levels. All communities participated in governance and the economy was looking up. What we have seen since the enforced change a year ago is not very encouraging; it’s actually a reversal of the positive changes the nation achieved by defeating terrorism at a great cost, not only in terms of blood and tears, but also in terms of the country’s wealth. I, as an ordinary Sri Lankan, don’t think that the president unfairly calling his critics in the south (racist) extremists or the prime minister saying in a jovial mood that the ceremonial Thaipongal milk-rice in the north tastes better than its Sinhalese New Year equivalent in the south (both speaking from among Tamils in Jaffna, out of good intentions, no doubt) is likely to do anything much for enhancing communal harmony, for no sensible Tamil or Sinhalese would take their flattering, specious comments seriously.

It’s time those at the helm stopped trying to suppress opposition by endlessly harassing the still popular Rajapaksa who actually did a great deal to save the country without surrendering our national independence, sovereignty and security to outsiders in the face of massive roadblocks mounted on his path by the enemies of the country. No use flogging the dead horse of corruption. (By all means, deal with those guilty of corruption in a just manner with the cooperation of the opposition if possible. However, the problem of corruption or punishing the corrupt is not the biggest issue before the country.) Something important to remember is that even if Rajapaksa’s administration had been 100% flawless, the foreign aggression against him and the country would have been the same or worse. UNHRC head Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein has come and gone. How reassuring are his statements ruling out foreign involvement in the investigation of alleged human rights violations and war crimes during the last phase of the civil conflict? (The real import of his mission here hasn’t come out in the media yet.)

The sordid reality today is that the current rulers, through their words and actions, are already justifying likely allegations of corruption and misgovernment against them on an even bigger scale than in the case of their rivals when, inevitably, the tables are turned on them in the future. While correcting their steps after self-scrutiny, they must turn their attention away from those who are out of power now and whose return they dread and want to somehow prevent. Instead, for the sake of the country the present administration ought to direct its attention where it is really needed: the rising cost of living, the falling rupee, stalled development, deteriorating law and order situation, endangerment of national security, steady growth of separatism, and erosion of democracy and media freedom, and a plethora of other burning issues. And they must finally, allow the voters to decide the future of our beloved motherland. Postponing the provincial council elections by one year is only one among many ways in which they are disenfranchising the people.

(Note: The appropriation of the phrase ‘the Inheritance of Loss’ in the title of this essay is with apologies to Indian American novelist Kiran Desai, the author of ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ , 2006)

Concluded

 

 

US Refuses to Cooperate With Afghan Investigation Into War Crimes

February 10th, 2016

John Glaser, Courtesy: Anti War website

November 12, 2013

http://antiwar.com/blog/2013/11/12/us-refuses-to-cooperate-with-afghan-investigation-into-war-crimes/

Last week, Matthieu Aikins at Rolling Stone shed light on evidence that U.S. forces committed war crimes against Afghans, including extra-judicial executions, torture, and disappearances of at least 17 men.

The following day, Human Rights Watch issued a statement urging an official investigation, but noted that “the U.S. has a meager record of investigating and prosecuting human rights abuses allegedly committed by its forces during its 12-year military presence in Afghanistan.”

Today, Reuters reports on the hard evidence that the U.S. has deliberately rebuffed efforts to investigate these murders:

Afghanistan’s intelligence service has abandoned its investigation into the murder of a group of civilians after being refused access to U.S. special forces soldiers suspected of involvement, according to a document obtained by Reuters.

…In the report authored by Afghanistan’s National Directorate of Security (NDS) intelligence agency, investigators said they had asked the United States for access to three U.S. Green Berets and four Afghan translators working with them but were rebuffed.

“Despite many requests by NDS they have not cooperated. Without their cooperation this process cannot be completed,” said the report, which was originally published on September 23.

Needless to say, it’s hard to investigate a crime committed by American forces in Afghanistan if the U.S. refuses to cooperate.

But even when investigations do occur, U.S. soldiers typically get off easy. Eight of the nine U.S. soldiers charged with the 2005 massacre of 24 Iraqi men, women, and children in Haditha, Iraq were not convicted. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, who was charged with leading the slaughter, was convicted in a plea bargain of a single count of “dereliction of duty.” He was demoted to the rank of private and will serve no jail time.

The “Kill Team” in Afghanistan, the army unit that planned and committed executions of multiple innocent, unarmed Afghan civilians, framing the dead as having been a threat, and mutilating their corpses as trophies received light sentences as well. All but the ringleader of the Kill Team received reduced sentences and are eligible for parole in a handful of years. Even the ringleader, described as evil by one of the other defendants, was sentenced to life in prison, but could be eligible for parole in less than 10 years.

State Department diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks revealed that U.S. forces committed a heinous war crime during a house raid in Iraq in 2006, wherein one man, four women, two children, and three infants were summarily executed. Not a single American soldier was prosecuted and no investigation was initiated.

In one notable and comparable incident in February of 2010, U.S. Special Operations Forces surrounded a house in a village in the Paktia Province in Afghanistan. Two civilian men exited the home to ask why they had been surrounded and were shot and killed. U.S. forces then shot and killed three female relatives (a pregnant mother of ten, a pregnant mother of six, and a teenager).

U.S. troops lied and tampered with the evidence at the scene. Investigations eventually forced the Pentagon to issue an apology, but none of the soldiers were charged with a crime.

Most of these incidents were revealed to the public because of intrepid journalism and they almost certainly represent a tiny minority of the U.S. crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan with impunity.

Courtesy: Anti War website

UNHR Chief malicious, unfair: GL

February 10th, 2016

Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The Statement made by the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein at a media briefing held in the last day of his four-day Sri Lanka visit, on the judicial process into alleged war crimes committed by Sri Lankan tri-forces was malicious and unfair, Joint Opposition’s expert spokesman G.L. Peiris said today.

He said that the “motive of the UN High Commissioner was not to prevail justice and equity for the victims, whose human rights have been violated, but to fulfil certain political agendas,” he said.

“In his statement wrapping up his four-day visit, the UNHR Chief has insulted Sri Lankan tri-forces, judicial system and the sovereignty of the country,” Peiris said.

He questioned as to what kind of proof caused the UNHR Chief to come to a conclusion that an investigation was a must into the alleged war crimes. “According to sources, the report of the UNHR Chief was based on the evidence gathered from anonymous witnesses and therefore, the reliability of the evidence against a reputation of a country seems to be unclear,” Peiris said.

He said that President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe should have a clear stance on the UN resolution and the implementation of its proposal in the country without making contradictory statements with regard to the issue.

“When other countries, including the United States of America (USA) are openly violating Human Rights by carrying out military exercises in war torn countries, where thousands of innocent civilians are killed, UNHRC’s strange concern on the alleged Human Rights violations in Sri Lanka is a point to be noted,” he said. Meanwhile, Prof. Tissa Vitharana charged that Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera prevented representatives of the Joint Opposition meeting UNHRC Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al-Hussein. (Piyumi Fonseka) –

See more at: http://www.dailymirror.lk/105259/UNHR-Chief-malicious-unfair-GL#sthash.Bx4xExrJ.dpuf

 

 

Theravada Kathikavatha Bill contravenes Constitution – SC

February 10th, 2016

Courtesy Adaderan

The Supreme Court determines that the proposed Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawatha (Registration) Bill contravenes the constitution of Sri Lanka.

Therefore the bill requires approval from two-thirds majority in Parliament and a public referendum in order to be enacted.

However, the bill can be approved with a normal majority if the sections repugnant to the Constitution are omitted, Speaker Karu Jayasuriya said while informing the Parliament regarding the Supreme Court determination today (10).

The bill was presented by the Minister of Buddhasasana Wijedasa Rajapaksa on 12th January, 2016.

The act proposes to provide for the formulation and registration of Kathikawath in relation to Nikaya or Chapters of Theravadi Bhikkus in Sri Lanka; to provide for every Bhikku to act in compliance with the provisions of the Registered Kathikawath of the Nikaya or Chapter which relates to such Bhikku; to impose punishment on Bhikkus who act in violation of the provisions of any Registered Kathikawath, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.

 

Theravadi Bhikku Kathikawatha (Registration)

Not-so-good governance

February 10th, 2016

Editorial Island

Good governance consists in respecting people’s verdicts at elections. Their franchise is not to be trifled with. One of the main flaws in the present Constitution is the provision for abusing the National List (NL) mechanism to appoint defeated candidates to Parliament at the expense of those whose names are presented to the people at parliamentary polls.

The UNP has appointed Democratic Party Leader Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to Parliament via the NL. He was defeated at the last general election. No less a person than Minister of Justice Wijayadasa Rajapakshe, PC has raised objections to Fonseka’s appointment as an MP, arguing that it is illegal, but to no avail!

We have seen over the years how unashamedly party leaders appoint political rejects to Parliament through the backdoor. It is not difficult to imagine what the situation will be if the preferential vote mechanism is abolished while the Proportional Representation system is retained. There has been a sustained campaign against the preferential vote or manape which enables an elector to vote for one or three candidates of his or her choice. It is claimed in some quarters that manape has resulted in intra-party rivalries which often find expression in violent clashes. But, the problem is not manape as such but the nomination of rowdies to contest elections. When social undesirables are allowed to enter electoral contests it is only natural that they resort to violence to get elected.

The preferential vote mechanism has been introduced to prevent party leaders from acting arbitrarily. Its abolition will be tantamount to giving political leaders carte blanche to appoint their loyalists at the expense of deserving candidates who are not in their good books.

The proponents of good governance won the last presidential and general elections by promising to do away with the present Constitution which they described as rotten. They condemned the previous government—and rightly so—for having made use of the draconian provisions therein for political expediency. But, now, they are unflinchingly making use of the same rotten Constitution to further their interests while extolling the virtues of good governance.

President Maithripala Sirisena, in a desperate bid to consolidate his power and keep Mahinda Rajapaksa at bay after the last general election, catapulted several political rejects loyal to him to Parliament and appointed them ministers. In so doing, he not only made a mockery of his good governance credentials but also dealt a body blow to people’s franchise. In other words, some of the politicians people deemed unfit and rejected at the last parliamentary polls are now exercising executive powers!

Meanwhile, the government has made one wonder whether the much-flaunted 19th Amendment (19-A) is worth the paper it is written on. For, it has blatantly interfered in the process of appointing the next Attorney General. Those who may have thought 19-A would be a potent antidote to political interference with appiontments to key positions in the state service must be disillusioned now.

Why should the government consult the Bar Association of Sri Lanka on the appointment of the AG? There has been an acting AG and he should have been appointed to that post. Is the government looking for a malleable person willing to make himself/herself mere putty in its hands to take over as the state prosecutor!

Ushering in good governance is an uphill task which only statesmen are equal to. Power hungry politicians pay lip service to it while practising the very antithesis thereof. This has been the name of the game in Sri Lankan politics.

IS THIS NEWS TRUE. IT APPEARED IN A TAMIL WEB INTERNATIONAL NEWSPAPER.

February 9th, 2016

Noor Nizam.

THE NEWS.

An eleven-member Consultation Task Force will enforce provisions of the US-backed resolution which was jointly sponsored by Sri Lanka at the Human Rights Council in Geneva last year.Its work will be carried out with the help of a UN expert who will arrive in Colombo next week. He is Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on the promotion of truth, justice, reparations and guarantees of non-recurrence. This will be part of an Action Plan formulated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as stated in a confidential document circulated to Western countries and India as part of the implementation of the UNHRC (UN Human Rights Council) Resolution titled promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka adopted by the UNHRC in October, 2015.

The framework for the consultation process, already formulated, will have two phases — a web-based process in all languages and a face-to-face consultation process which will focus on specific stakeholders –including children, military, disabled combatants, widows and ex-child combatants. The web-based process will begin after Mr. de Greiff arrives. According to the Action Plan, the consultation process will be “victim centric” and will be completed within three months. The 11-member Committee named by the Government comprises Manouri Muttetuwegama (Chairperson), Dr. Pakiasothy Saravanamuthu (Secretary), Gamini Viyangoda, Prof. Chitralekha Maunaguru, Visakha Dharmadasa, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Dr Farzana Haniffa, Shantha Abhimanasingham PC, Mirak Raheem, Prof. Daya Somasunderam and Gameela Samarasinghe.

The Task Force, which will report to a Steering Committee on Reconciliation and the Prime Ministerial Action Group (PMAG) will consult stakeholders on design of the domestic mechanisms. The Steering Committee is now speaking to experts and researching on options available, according to a Government note seen by the Sunday Times. It says “the actual designing and presentation of legislation to Cabinet and Parliament will begin only once the process of consultations concludes.”

On the subject of “commencing a dialogue with persons of Sri Lankan origin overseas,” the note says “267 out of 424 individuals and eight entities out of 16 entities that were listed under the UN Security Council resolution 1373 in 2014 were de-listed in 2015.” It says that the “Government is working with the private sector to organise a month-long festival in June 2016 for persons of Sri Lankan origin, inviting them to re-visit Sri Lanka.”

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

UNHRC Prince Zeid is violating Article 2.7 of UN Charter and INTERFERING in the INTERNAL AFFAIRS of Sri Lanka

February 9th, 2016

 Shenali D Waduge

Prince Zeid has come to Sri Lanka to point fingers and give orders. He is violating Article 2.7 of the UN Charter ‘United Nations has no authority to intervene in matters which are within the domestic jurisdiction of any State’. Why should the Government of Sri Lanka entertain such visits where UNHRC head is virtually giving orders to Sri Lanka and interfering in the internal affairs of a sovereign state? In fact we do not know why he has come. Is the silence due to the illegalities of the UN/UNHRC against Sri Lanka getting international attention?

http://www.un.org/en/sc/repertoire/principles.shtml#rel5

The UNHRC/OHCHR head and the UN has been demanding Sri Lanka demilitarize, confusing war crimes with general crimes which can be dealt under prevailing laws, demanding resettlement of people who we do not know are our citizens as the statistics of Tamils does not make sense and we need to question how many Tamils from Tamil Nadu have illegally made Sri Lanka their home and pose as Sri Lankan Tamils and Tamil refugees.

Questions for the UN/UNHRC to answer

  • What evidence have we seen of UNHRC/UN officials looking into the welfare of the victims of LTTE terror? 300 suicide attacks throughout 3 decades have left plenty of victims. Why are their grievances never a subject for the UN/UNHRC or human rights organizations?
  • If the Resolution says “to investigate allegations of violations and abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law, as applicable”, why is it only the armed forces/GOSL under investigation omitting LTTE and all those who supported LTTE (locally & overseas) including foreign nations and even UN officials?
  • Isn’t the UN’s failure confirmed in its own report by Charles Petrie on the total inadequacy of the UN and its agencies to handle the unique circumstances associated with the Armed Conflict in Sri Lanka proving that UN did nothing to stop terror that lasted 30 years?
  • Is it not correct that there was no commitment by the Sri Lankan President to UN Head Ban Ki Moon in May 2009 for an accountability process?
  • Is it also not correct that inspite of the GOSL appointing the LLRC on May 15, 2010 the UN Head went to appoint a 3 member panel on on June 22, 2010? How can the GOSL determine in 5 weeks what took place in 30 years? Moreover a report meant for the UNSG only was released to the public. This is a blatant violation of the UN Charter.
  • The arbitrary allegation of 40,000 civilian deaths is being used as a battering ram with no justification or evidence. This needs to be clearly corrected by the UN.
  • Moreover with no bodies, no names, no evidence of such deaths except exaggerated statements and hyper emotions on what grounds exactly are these war crimes charges stemming?
  • Let us also remind the UN/its local office and others in the UN system that they were very much functioning and involved throughout the 30 years of the conflict. They cannot pretend to be babies unaware of what took place. They were at weekly meetings with the former Defense Secretary right upto the end of the conflict. Now these participants are trying to wash their hands as if they did not know anything. Release these reports to establish how well briefed the international community were.
  • How come this Panel of Expert report that was meant to be for the UN head to refer ended up in public domain and the foundation for the UNHRC Resolutions against Sri Lanka? We would like to know how an Internal Document can be used to vilify a sovereign nation?
  • We would like to know why OHCHR set up “a special investigating team within the OHCHR in Geneva when Paragraph 10 of the Human Rights Council’s Resolution on Sri Lanka specifically states: “…the need for an international inquiry mechanism in the ABSENCE (emphasis added) of a credible national process…”.
  • Why have appeals to investigate the illegalities of the consecutive resolutions fallen on deaf ears? An advisory opinion from the ICC can easily lay to rest doubts of illegalities at play.
  • Prince Zeid is violating Article 2.7 of the UN Charter by ordering Sri Lanka what type of courts to establish and who are to sit in judgment. All these are violating Sri Lanka’s constitution.
  • Is it not correct to say that the UNHRC heads reports have all been a farce – does the UN entity really have a case with provable evidence against Sri Lanka? It most certainly does not.
  • Why has the UN ignored the contents of the reports commissioned by the GOSL one which included eminent legal experts who had been part of UN war crimes investigations in other countries? Their reports conclude that no war crimes was committed. If your office says war crimes have been committed and the international experts commissioned by the GOSL says no war crimes have been committed is it not best to appoint a new independent team of experts selected and appointed by the UN General Members?
  • Why is the OHCHR head ignoring the Sinhalese & Muslim victims? Why is it always and only Tamils being referred to and visits directed at only the North? Why has the whole world forgotten that it was LTTE who started terror and Sri Lanka was only defending its citizens?
  • Since the Prince is travelling to the North, his office should tell him to ask about the state of affairs of low caste Tamils in the rigid and cruel caste system that divides Tamils more than uniting them.
  • If Zeid is here as an unbiased official why is he not inquiring about the displaced Sinhalese & Muslims who were chased out from their homes in the North by the LTTE in the 1980s. None of these have been allowed to resettle in their original habitats? Why is the UN silent on their plight?
  • We would also like to have the OHCHR make public all the visits by pro-LTTE groups (most of whom were listed under UN Resolution 1373 as LTTE fronts) to the OHCHR office to meet officials of your office including yourself. These fronts are boasting that they have been in and out of your office which does raise eyebrows as to why?
  • Why does the OHCHR head only visit pro-LTTE leaders and their representatives? Meetings with one side obviously gives one-sided views. How can a  day visit with one sided views establish what is relevant for the whole country?

Questions for the Sri Lankan Government to answer

  • Why is the GOSL allowing the UN, UNHRC and foreign nations and their envoys to interfere in the internal affairs of the country?
  • When there is no evidence to prove that the Sri Lankan Army killed civilians with malicious intent to kill why did the present government forsake the country’s armed forces by co-sponsoring a UNHRC bogus resolution that names service commandos as war criminals?
  • This government is failing the nation in agreeing to evidence-less allegations/accusations and accepting wild notions of hybrid courts which are obviously an experiment for the UN to penetrate into nation states and overrule the existing law of the land.
  • Why is this government failing to demand UNHRC/OHCHR action on the 5000 missing soldiers?
  • What the GOSL should be doing is to table a motion in the General Assembly listing out all of the irregularities, illegalities and lies that have been manufactured against Sri Lanka and request an independent expert panel to be appointed by the UN General Assembly. All nations that abstained or voted against the Resolutions on Sri Lanka need to realize that today it is Sri Lanka, tomorrow it could be them and the day after it most likely will be them because the UN is now a puppet organization manipulated by a handful of nations only.

We cannot help that we are a small island nation without the same clout that bigger powers have. It is for these reasons that we expect better from the UN and its officials. However, the manner that Sri Lanka has been hounded and the very visible witch-hunt clearly seen and can be shown with evidence should highlight to the world that the UN should now close shop for it is not serving the world equally and is favoring the West and covering the West’s crimes unashamedly.

 Shenali D Waduge

 

මගේ ප්‍රථම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මය​

February 9th, 2016

වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග

මීගමුව දිස්ත්‍රික් රෝහලේ විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍ය  අජිත් සේමසිංහ මහතා සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මයක් සඳහා සහායක වෛද්‍යවරයා ලෙස මාව කැඳවාගෙන ශල්‍යාගාරයට ගියේය​.  අත් හොඳින් සෝදා අත්වැසුම් සහිතව ශල්‍ය ඇඳුම් ඇඳගත් අප ගැබිනි මාතාව සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මයට ලක් කිරීම ඇරඹුවෙමු. වෛද්‍ය  අජිත් සේමසිංහ ශල්‍ය සැතෙන් නිර්වින්දනයට ලක් කරන ලද ගැබිනියගේ බඩෙහි කැපුමක් කලේය​. මම රුධිරය ගැලීම නවතනු වස් ගෝස් කෑල්ලකින් රුධිර නාලිකා තද කලෙමි. එසේම කැපුණු රුධිර නාලිකා ශල්‍ය නූල් වලින් ගැට ගැසීමට උදව් කලෙමි.

ගර්භාශය දක්වා කැපුම් යෙදූ වෛද්‍ය  සේමසිංහ සෙමෙන් සෙමෙන් ගර්භාශය පාදා එමතින් සුළු කැපුමක් දමා ගර්භාශය ආංශිකව විවෘත කොට භූණ හිස ගර්භාශයෙන් පිටතට ගත්තේය​. ඉන්පසු ගර්භාශ කැපුම තවත් දිගු කොට නවජ බිළිඳා ඉවතට ගත්තේය​. හේ නිරෝගී පිරිමි දරුවෙකි. පෙකනි වැල කැපීමෙන් පසුව නවජ බිළිඳා ස්වාධීන ජීවියෙකු බවට පත් විය​. බිළිඳාව වින්නඹු නිලධාරිනියගේ අතට දෙන ලදි. ඒ සමගම විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍ය  අජිත් සේමසිංහ මහතා තමන්ට වෙනත් රෝගියෙකු බැලීමට තිබෙන බව පවසා මට ගර්භාශය මසා ශල්‍යකර්මය නිම කරන ලෙස පවසා ඉවතට ගියේය​.

childbirth

ශල්‍ය හෙදියත් සමග මම තනිවූයෙමි. එය ගුවන් යානයක පාලනය සහය නියමුවා අතට දී ගුවන් නියමුවා පැරශූටයක ආධාරයෙන් යානයෙන් පැනීමක් බඳු විය​. මීට ඉහතදී විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍ය ජී ඒ රණතුංග මහතා සමග බොහෝ සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම වලට සහයකයා ලෙස සහභාගි වී ඇතත් මම තනිවම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මයක් අධීක්‍ෂණයකින් තොරව සිදු කොට නොමැත​. මගේ නලල මතට දාඩිය බිඳු ගැළුවේය​. එහෙත් මම චිත්ත ධෛර්‍යය වඩවාගෙන ශල්‍යකර්මය කරගෙන ගියෙමි. වෙහෙස ගෙන ගර්භාශයෙන් ගලන ලද රුධිරය නවතා ගර්භාශ කැට්ගට් නූල් වලින් මැසුවෙමි . ඉන් පසු කැපී ගිය පේශි සහ පටකද මසා අවසානයේදී චර්මයද  මසා ශල්‍යකර්මය නිම කලෙමි.

ශල්‍යගාරයේදී සිහිය ලැබූ මාතාව වාට්ටුවට ගෙන යන ලදි. ශල්‍ය අත්වැසුම් ගැලවූ මම වෛද්‍ය විවේකාගාරයේ හාන්සි පුටුවේ ඇල වූයෙමි. විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍ය  අජිත් සේමසිංහ මහතා කිසිම සංඥාවකින් තොරව මාව ගැබිණිය සමග තනි කොට ශල්‍යකර්මය මැද ඉවතට යාම ගැන මට ඇතිවූයේ කේන්තියකි. නමුත් පසුව හෙළි වූයේ වෛද්‍ය සේමසිංහ ශල්‍යාගාරයෙන් ඉවතට නොගොස් දොර අසල රැඳී මා ශල්‍යකර්මය අවසන් කරන තෙක් සිටි බවයි . එසේම එතුමා වරින් වර වෙනත් හෙදියකගේ මාර්ගයෙන් ශල්‍යකර්මයේ තත්වය විමසා තිබේ. වෛද්‍ය සේමසිංහ එලෙස මාව තනි කොට යන ලද්දේ මට ප්‍රතිහානය ( confidence) ලබා දීමටය​. මෙයින් ලත් අාත්ම විශ්වාසය නිසා පසු දින මම තනිවම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මයක් කලෙමි. විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍ය  අජිත් සේමසිංහ මහතා මගේ සහයකයා විය​. මම ඉතා පරිස්සමෙන් සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මය කොට ස්ව දක්‍ෂතාවය එතුමා ඉදිරියේ පෙන්වූයෙමි. ඉන් පසු සීමාවාසික වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු සහයට ගෙන තනිවම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම කිරීම  මට පවරන ලදි.

මෙලෙස මීගමුව දිස්ත්‍රික් රෝහලේ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව අංශයේ ජේෂ්ඨ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී ලෙස මම බොහෝ සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම කලෙමි. ඒ අතර සංකූලතා තිබූ ගැබිණි මාතාවන් ද වූහ​. එක් දිනක් මම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම 13 උදේ නවයේ සිට පස්වරු පහ දක්වා එක දිගට කලෙමි. පසු කාලයක නෝත් යෝක් ජෙනරල් රෝහලේ කැනේඩියානු   නාරි හා ප්‍රසව  වෛද්‍යවරයෙකුට මෙම අත් දැකීම කියූ විට මම අසත්‍යක් පවසනවා කියා ඔහු සමච්චලයට සිනාසුනේය​. ” කිසි කෙනෙකුට එක් දිනකදී සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම 13 කිරීමට නොහැකියි” ඔහු කෙටියෙන් කීවේය​. එහෙත් මීගමුව රෝහලේ මසකට දරු උපත් 400- 450 අතර සංඛ්‍යාවක් වන බවත් එක් විශේෂඥ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව වෛද්‍යවරයෙකුත්  එක්   ජේෂ්ඨ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරියෙකුත් සහ සීමාවාසී වෛද්‍යවරුන් හතර දෙනෙකුත් විසින් වාට්ටු දෙකක් සහ සූතිකාගාරයක් බලා කියා ගත් බව ඔහු නොදැන සිටියේය​.

මෙලෙස් කාලයත් සමගම මගේ සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම කිරීමේ වේගය වැඩි විය​. වරක් මම නිර්වින්දන වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී එච් ජී සුබසිංහ නිර්වින්දන වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී  මාංජේෂ්ඨ පීරිස් යන වෛද්‍යවරුන් ඉදිරියේ විනාඩි 20 තුල සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මයක් සිදු කලෙමි. එහෙත් සෑම විටම සුපරික්‍ෂාකාරී වීම මම අත් නොහැරියෙමි.

මෙසේ මීගමුව දිස්ත්‍රික් රෝහලේ නාරි හා ප්‍රසව අංශයේ ජේෂ්ඨ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී ලෙස  එක් මාතෘ මරණයක්වත් නොමැතිව මම සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම 723 කලෙමි.  මට පෙර සිටි ජේෂ්ඨ වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී අතින් මාතෘ මරණ දෙකක් සිදුවී තිබුණි. මේ නිසා මීගමුව  රෝහලේ දිස්ත්‍රික් වෛද්‍ය නිලධාරී පී. සිවරාජා විසින් මට සහතිකයක්ද දෙන ලදි.

මා විසින් සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම කොට එළියට ගත් දරුවන් දැන් අවුරුදු 17-18-19 වයසේ පුද්ගලයෝ වෙති. මීගමුව  රෝහලේ ගිලන් රථ රියැදුරු ජෝතිපාලගේ නැගනියගේ සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්මය කරන ලද්දේද මා විසිනි. මාව දකින විට ජෝතිපාල ” සර් එලියට ගත්ත කොල්ල දැන් නියමට ඉන්නවා ” කියයි. එය මට සතුටකි.    සීසර් ශල්‍යකර්ම කිරීම මගින් මම දළ වශයෙන් මිනිස් ජීවිත 1446 බේරාගෙන තිබේ. එය සිහිපත් වන විට මට නිරාමිශ සතුටක් දැනේ.

වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස බොහෝ යහපත් දේ කල හැකිය එසේම එම බලපත්‍රය යොදාගෙන බෝහෝ අවැඩද කල හැකිය​. මට මීගමුව රෝහලේ සිටි වෛද්‍ය සුදර්ශන බාලගේ මතක් වේ. තරුණියක දූෂණය කොට ගොඩනැගිල්ලකින් බිමට දමා මරණයට පත් කිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඔහු මේ වන විට මරණීය දණ්ඩනයට ලක්ව සිපිරි ගෙයක කාලය ගත කරයි.

අප සෑම දෙනා තුලම සුදර්ශන බාලගේ කෙනෙකු සිටියි. එම නිසා සෑම විටම තමන් ගේ හැසිරීම බාහිරව සහ අභ්‍යන්තරව නිරීක්‍ෂනය කල යුතුය​. තමන් තුල සිටින යක්‍ෂයා යටපත් කොට සාදුවරයා බාහිරයට ගෙන ආ යුතුය​.

Sri Lanka, not Sri Lankans, the OHCHR agenda

February 9th, 2016

by Tamara Kunanayakam Courtesy The Island

February 8, 2016, 7:28 am
It should by now be obvious to any keen observer of events in Geneva and vacillations of Sri Lanka’s ruling class that the ‘human rights’ game being played out has little to do with the Sri Lankan people and everything to do with the island’s strategic location on the Indian Ocean as vital maritime link between a declining West and a rising East, with China at its centre, and strategic observation post, and with Washington’s fundamental commitment to maintaining a unipolar world in which it has no peer competitor. Sri Lankans matter only insofar as they constitute obstacles to that goal, or would-be collaborators, or opportune victims to be used and abused as and when strategy requires.

tamarakunanayakam

Yesterday, Sri Lanka got too close to China and Russia, and regime-change was in order. Today, having obtained the support of collaborators within the Yahapalanaya regime to subscribe to a resolution devastating for Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, all efforts concentrate on stabilizing its auxiliaries in Colombo by ensuring implementation of a precedent-setting joint resolution whose reach extends far beyond Sri Lanka’s shores or its relations with Washington.

Washington’s ambitions are not just geopolitical, but the erection of a new international architecture that will permit its unilateral, preemptive, and preventive use of force, anywhere, at any time, unconstrained by the rules and norms of the multilateral system of international relations that is Charter-bound to respect sovereignty.

Washington’s obsession with Sri Lanka cannot be divorced from this Grand Strategy. The justification advanced by the neoconservatives who continue to influence the current US Administration is the need to respond to terrorism, new global threats that former US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld called the “unknown unknowns … things we don’t know we don’t know.” Such threats do not require evidence because invisible (“absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”) and can only be combat in this manner. President Obama’s 2015 National Security Strategy views virtually any form of economic, social or environmental disruption as strategic security issues that potentially justify US military intervention, “unilaterally, if necessary.”

Abdication of sovereignty, devastating admission of inability to govern by ‘Good Governance’ government

Washington’s problem in implementing this Grand Strategy is the sovereignty principle, which, therefore, must be recast. Such threats do not respect borders so neither can Washington. According to this neoconservative vision, countries that harbour terrorists by consent or are unable or unwilling to combat such threats forfeit their rights of sovereignty. The reader will here recognise a version of the infamous third pillar of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) utilised in the human rights arena to unilaterally intervene in countries that Washington considers are unable or unwilling to protect their own population.

In Sri Lanka’s case, the “support to terrorism” argument was untenable. On the contrary, it had succeeded in defeating terrorism within its own borders and without external (read US) intervention. It is a bad example to be crushed, flying as it does in the face of Washington’s Grand Strategy, hence, the resort to R2P’s third pillar, which underlies all resolutions against Sri Lanka.

Given developing country resistance to the onslaught against their independence and sovereignty, Sri Lanka included until the arrival of Yahapalanaya, the US-led resolutions of March 2013 and 2014 conferred this interventionist role on its proxy, OHCHR, technically part of the UN System, although under Washington’s thumb. It was only in October 2015, due to a servile new Government, Washington succeeded in making the leap and introducing foreign elements from outside the multilateral system, in the form of judges, prosecutors, investigators and defense lawyers.

The unprecedented authority to intervene conferred upon OHCHR is part of broader efforts to put in place a system in which sovereignty is the monopoly of the US, but conditional for countries that challenge its ambitions. By co-sponsoring the resolution, Sri Lanka freely abdicated its sovereign right to govern, a devastating admission of inability to govern by a Government that was voted in on the promise of ‘good governance’!

OHCHR, a Washington proxy

The timing of the visit of the High Commissioner is significant, it comes in the wake of a controversy at the summit of power over implementation of a recommendation relating to foreign involvement in a domestic judicial mechanism that is central to a resolution aimed at limiting State sovereignty. Contradictory declarations emerging from Colombo confirm that the new Government may be a reliable ally, but not a stable one.

In June this year, the High Commissioner must submit an oral update to the Human Rights Council on progress made on implementation of the resolution. If the regime in Colombo fails to do so, it is not only the credibility of an ally that is at stake, but the credibility of Washington and its ability to achieve the broader goal. Given the extreme fragility of the regime and the existence of an alternative, the US and its auxiliaries are determined to ensure that the new Government stays its course and unconditionally implements the Geneva decisions.

The High Commissioner will echo this demand. Since its establishment in 1993, following the collapse of the Socialist Bloc, Washington has heavily invested in fashioning OHCHR in its own image, an example of the type of international institution that can respond to its demands. Financed largely from voluntary funds and staffed overwhelmingly by the donors, it has become a privileged weapon in Washington’s soft-power arsenal. Today, the High Commissioner functions as UN Secretary-General bis and it is no surprise that countries posing a challenge to Washington’s grand design are channeled through the human rights system.

The High Commissioner will also seek to establish the hard-fought for OHCHR field office accepted by the Government in the October 2015 resolution when agreeing to the recommendations in the High Commissioner’s report. That Office, as I pointed out in a piece prior to its adoption, will have the combined function of investigation, monitoring, and governance, and will be the Trojan Horse that will permit direct US intervention in Sri Lanka.

OHCHR’s insidious role

The insidious role played by OHCHR in coordinating the campaign that triggered the March 2012 US-sponsored resolution was revealed in an email written only hours after its adoption by a triumphant Rory Mungoven, Head of OHCHR’s Asia-Pacific Division, paying tribute to staff who provided substantive and political support for the initiative, including the Darusman Report. Its adoption, wrote Mungoven, “seemed unthinkable” in the “the dark days of the conflict or the special session in May 2009.” The adoption in 2012 was “the culmination of the sustained and determined work by many in the team and other parts of the house over the past few years.” He lauded the staff for their support to the Darusman Panel, “without which this would not have been possible,” and paid special tribute to those involved in monitoring activities “who added a powerful dimension to our advocacy.” Anticipating the next steps, Mungoven went on to marshal support for “a good follow on strategy” to make most of “new opportunities ” opened by the resolution, “and “to pursue this agenda further.”

Mungoven, who is accompanying the High Commissioner to Colombo, is former Advocacy Director of Human Rights Watch, which has close ties to the US State Department and interventionists in the current Administration. He has been a constant in external interventions in Sri Lanka ever since his appointment as UN Human Rights Advisor following the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in 2002. According to then Secretary to the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights, Prof. Rajiva Wijesinha, Mungoven, whose job it was to assist the Sri Lankan Government in strengthening the Human Rights Commission’s regional offices, had been, instead, involved in “propagating a campaign of deceit that the Commission was illegal,” making it impossible to obtain international assistance. Mungoven, he said “had proconsular ambitions.

Wikileaks cables reveal Mungoven’s privileged access to Washington as far back as 2004, his regular reporting on confidential information to US diplomatic missions in Colombo and Geneva, and their close coordination on OHCHR actions, in particular, the establishment of a field office, one that would go beyond technical assistance to “a robust monitoring and reporting function as well.”

There is a continuum in the unfolding of events in Geneva. If we fail to comprehend the bigger picture, underestimate Sri Lanka’s strategic importance, and refuse to see ourselves as Sri Lankans, we will find ourselves, again, in a fratricidal war that will provide fertile ground for marauding invaders. It is urgent that the people of Sri Lanka regain their sovereign right to govern themselves from those who, in Geneva, betrayed their trust by surrendering the authority accorded to them to external forces whose interests are antithetical to ours, thus also demonstrating their inability to govern.

Oil and gas sector a derivatives time bomb

February 9th, 2016

Media Release  Citizens Electoral Council of Australia

The cascade of write-downs, defaults and bankruptcies now sweeping the oil and gas sector worldwide is well on the way to triggering the final, deadly implosion of the London/Wall Street-centred financial system. Like the smaller, 2007-08 mortgage debt bubble, the threat lies in the derivatives trades that are many times the value of the oil debts they are betting on, which are increasingly worthless.

Explaining the collapse in European bank stocks this year, including falls of 37 and 34 per cent in the stocks of Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse respectively, Matthew Lynn reported in the 8 February London Telegraph, “Collapsing oil and commodity prices are starting to seep into the financial system, much as collapsing house prices did in 2008. The big oil and mining conglomerates have massive debts, and so do the smaller oil explorers. Hedging contracts [derivatives] on commodity prices are scattered throughout the financial system, and enormous losses may start to crystallise in the next few months.”

A swathe of smaller US exploration and production companies—42 players in the so-called shale gas “fracking boom”—already went bankrupt in 2015, with combined debts of US$17 billion. Now, bigger fish are beginning to fry. Oklahoma-based natural gas company SandRidge Energy was delisted from the New York Stock Exchange in January, laid off 440 of its 1,157 employees on 3 February, and will file for bankruptcy unless it can restructure its US$4 billion debt, which is doubtful. Large mining and energy company Freeport-McMoRan, one of the world’s biggest producers of gold and copper, had its credit rating slashed four levels—well into “junk” status—by ratings agency Moody’s, casting doubt on its ability to continue to roll over its debts.

In Australia, Woodside Petroleum has announced that it will write down the value of its assets by US$1–1.2 billion, in part due to a six-month delay to the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas export terminal in WA. Supplier and retailer AGL announced last week that gas extraction will “no longer be a core business for the company” and that it will sell its Queensland gas wells, abandon a 300-well project in New South Wales, and write down $795 million. Even BHP Billiton has seen its credit rating at Standard & Poor’s cut by one notch, with a second cut almost assured when it releases its fourth quarter 2015 report on 23 February, thanks to a multi-billion dollar write-down of its US shale assets late last year.

Major oil refiners are also suffering. Chevron, the second largest US oil company, lost US$588 million in the last quarter of 2015, and has had its credit rating cut at S&P; BP lost US$5.2 billion in 2015, its worst ever annual result; and Shell has announced that it will sell US$10 billion worth of assets, after its annual profits collapsed by 87 per cent. The Dallas, Texas branch of the US Federal Reserve described the results of its January 2016 survey of industrial conditions as an “oil depression” in every aspect equal to or worse than that of 2009, while oil industry news sites and blog posts galore are calling it a replay of the 1986 crash, only bigger. According to the US Energy Information Administration’s second quarter 2015 figures, when oil was almost twice its present price, debt service already swallowed more than 80 per cent of US onshore oil producers’ cash flow, and S&P data suggests that one third of all oil-related companies on its international listings will not earn enough this year to service their debts. With that in mind, it is worth noting that Citigroup, in its fourth quarter 2015 report, has already recorded a 32 per cent increase in non-performing corporate loans, and that several Wall Street banks are between them setting aside billions of dollars of “loan loss” reserves.

Derivatives the real danger

Just as in the US sub-prime mortgage crash of 2008, it is the major international banks’ trillions of dollars of derivative gambling that will turn an oil-led “depression” into a global catastrophe. In a 4 February Business Spectator article headlined “A derivative dilemma for the banks”, Victoria Thieberger cited Louis-Vincent Gave of Gavekal Economics who questions the banks’ claims that they are not overly exposed to the collapse in the oil industry. Gave admits in his recent report “Red Herrings, Margin Calls And Heart Attacks” that analysts—himself included—have been “looking in the wrong place to understand banks’ commodities exposures”, and asks, “Perhaps what matters is not the banks’ direct loan exposure to the sector, but instead their exposure to commodity-related derivatives?

“In any derivatives transaction”, Thieberger explains, “one side of the deal is long and the other party is short. But the prospective rise of bankruptcies among commodity companies increases the chances that some players will not fulfil their derivatives commitments, triggering a potentially ‘catastrophic’ repercussion through the chain of derivatives holders.

Recall that the initial trigger for the global financial crisis was about $US500bn worth of losses on US mortgages. Gave cites figures [showing] that through the magnifying effects of derivatives markets, that wiped some $US7 trillion from global GDP and $US28 trillion from global equity markets.” (Emphasis added.)

View the US$5.4 trillion “alternative energy sector” debt, mainly associated with the US fracking boom, through the “magnifying effects of derivatives” and you begin to see the scale of calamity soon to befall the world’s financial institutions.

The truth is that no amount of emergency loans, bail-outs or bail-ins can prop up the more than $2 quadrillion global debt and derivatives casino. It must be shut down, immediately, along with the banks that have created it, before it collapses—and drags the whole world down with it. Governments, not central banks, must take this action, beginning with a full Glass-Steagall separation of banking from derivatives gambling.

Health camp for scribes at Guwahati Press Club

February 9th, 2016

By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: Nearly eighty percent city based scribes of northeast India have shown satisfactory outcome when they were exposed to a general health check-up on 8 February 2016 at Guwahati Press Club. Over eighty journalists participated in the daylong health check-up camp, organized  by the city based ‘down town hospital Limited’ at the press club premises. Except few participants, who were diagnosed  high sugar and high blood pressure with heart related disorders, most of them passed all the tests with satisfactory readings.

A number of practicing physicians namely  Dr Sumitav Baruah (medicine), Dr Abhijit Deb (orthopaedics), Dr Dhrubajyoti Datta (ENT), Dr Esther D Liani (gynaecology), Dr Dipanwita Mahanta (cardiology), Dr Rupam Das (diabetology), Dr Luna Dutta Baruah (specialist on food, nutrition & diatetics),  Dr Kuldeep Deka (physiotherapist) etc checked the physical status of the scribes and advised accordingly after various tests including ECG, lipid profile, random blood sugar, blood-pressure, neuropathy test, weight, height etc.

Healthcamp01

Dr N.N Dutta, chairman & managing director of the pioneering private hospital in northeast India also attended the camp, where necessary supports were extended by Banidor A Twangkhiew, Baswongnia Kharmuwai, Ibanylla Wawlang, Banbetlin Kurbaw, Ibanrilang Lyting, Mousumi Handique, Rupali Rajput, Gracelalrin Mawit, Agnes Zomuankimi, Karabi Baruah, Priyanka Borah, Ramngaihzuali etc Ramen Boro and Bulbul Saikia.

The camp was also supported by Nikhilesh Sharma (business development manager), Sajal Sinha  (marketing manager), Jiaul Hussain (assistant business manager), Geetashree Barman (public relation), Lydia Gangmei, Vethi Pralu, Dharitri Rabha, Jimi Moni Hazarika, Rumi Kujur, Arindam Bhattacharya,Rakibur R Hazarika,  Siddhartha Sankar  Bodh, Mrinaljyoti Sarma and Koushik Banerjee.

“Danno Budunge” Song, Independence Day and Emotional Intelligence (EI)

February 9th, 2016

Dr. Nalin Abeysekera Courtesy The Island

The celebrations of the 68th Independence day took place at the Galle Face Green under the theme “Ekama Deyak, Maha Balayak” (One Nation, Great Power). A cultural pageant was held in the evening at the same venue under the theme “Nidahase Hada Gasma” (Pulse of Freedom). In that show, people witnessed a variety of presenters with many combinations.

The song “Danno Budunge” was performed by very talented Kishani Jayasinghe who was a member of the Jette Parker Young Artistes Programme at the Royal Opera House from 2006 to 2008. She is also an Associate of the Classical Opera Company; an Alumni Laureate of the University of Nottingham; Zonta’s Woman of Achievement for the Performing Arts (2010) and the Asian Woman of Achievement for Art and Culture in the UK. But there is a problem with the selected song. And there are some negative and positive remarks on this among society.

“Danno Budunge” first sung in the Siri Sangabo natya in the early Tower Hall days, and made popular among the current generation by Amaradeva, and has assimilated in Sri Lankan society as one of the best meaningful, absorbing songs with the sense of Buddhism. Actually, this has been branded as a song with all virtues of Buddhism and has a sentimental appeal that is quite out of its context. Nevertheless, we can see the talent of Sri Lankans again misused without proper sense. This is one of the problems in Sri Lankan education, as people do not know the real meaning of their religion, civilization with the combination of Philosophy. We have witnessed the same a few weeks back, when which one artiste (people consider them as “Nawa Parapure” (new generation), who question king “Dutu Gamunu” which clearly demonstrates lack of knowledge, empathy and Emotional Intelligence of our New generation.

According to Goleman (who is serving as an author, psychologist, and science journalist; for 12 years, he wrote for The New York Times, specializing in psychology and brain sciences), Emotional Intelligence (EI) is a construct, as an array of positive attributes including political awareness, self-confidence, conscientiousness, and achievement motives rather than focusing only on an intelligence that could help individuals solve problems effectively. If you use only brain (say your IQ) without any sense, then you put you and country in trouble.

Now we can witness people argue with the song and the history of the song. Some were of the view that people in Sri Lanka are not mature enough to understand the real meaning of opera. (Again you put your IQ first, not your EI). Sri Lankans are very talented and people who live across the world have witnessed their talents in many fields. But there should be a proper direction. More importantly, people (especially the younger generation)should read the history of this country (at least some pieces on Sigiri Graffiti, Sasadawatha, Muvadevdavata, Kawu Silumina, Mayura Sandesha, Thisara, Parevi, Kokila, Selalihini, Gira and Hansa Sandeshas, Guttila Kavyaya and Kavyashekhara).Then we can see people with better sense.

A love for tradition has never weakened a nation; indeed it has strengthened nations in their hour of peril- Winston S. Churchill

Winston Churchill, unrepentant war criminal who escaped the gallows

February 8th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

It’s time that we name and shame war criminals that have escaped justice because they are white and come from the West. Even President Obama’s Kenyan grandfather was imprisoned without trial, tortured and died under Churchill’s empire. Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin was even warned by Cabinet colleagues not to appoint Churchill because his views were antediluvian. Churchill was described as a ‘racist soldier, politician, mass murderer and holocaust-denying writer’ though revered as a hero/icon in Western circles. It comes as no surprise when British Prime Minister, David Cameron, has called Churchill “the greatest ever Prime Minister” while Britons voted him as the greatest Briton to have ever lived. We can only conclude that either Cameron or the Brits do not know or do not care about the criminalities of Winston Churchill! “History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it” and that obviously is how all of us have been misled to believe him a hero.

John Denson is perfectly correct to say that mainstream propaganda is guilty of “patriotic political myths” surrounding Churchill.

Churchill was born in 1874, educated at Harrow and Sandhurst and taught that the white man was superior and was duti-bound to conquer the primitive, dark-skinned natives and civilize them. In his eyes all non-whites were ‘barbarous people’.

Churchill entered politics in 1900 joining the conservative party and then joining the Liberal Party in 1904. He became Prime Minister of UK in 1940 when the Chamberlain government resigned over Churchill’s aborted plan to pre-emptively invade Norway.

His greatness is supposed to come in refusing Hitlers peace overtures. Had that happened millions of lives would have been saved!

Churchill in India

  • Churchill on Mahatma Gandhi “ought to be lain, bound hand and foot at the gates of Delhi and then trampled on by an enormous elephant with the new Viceroy, seated on its back”.
  • “I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”.
  • Churchill was responsible for the Bengal famine in 1943 that killed 3million people by starving them to death. Churchill refused to send food supplies to the region. He said it was their fault for ‘breeding like rabbits’.
  • 8 billion excess deaths (between 1757-1947)
  • British mass murder of Indians commenced with the Great Bengal Famine in 1769-1779 concluded with the WW2 Bengal Famine
  • Insisted on maintaining Hindu-Muslim antipathy to preserve British rule
  • General Wavell’s diaries repeatedly make it clear that Churchill hated Indians and steadfastly refused his pleas for assistance with the Bengal Famine. in spite of repeated appeals from two successive Viceroys, Churchill’s own Secretary of State for India and even the President of the United States – Churchill not only refused to help but forbid others to help.
  • journalist Madhusree Mukherjee blames Mr Churchill’s policies for being largely responsible for one of the worst famines in India’s history (Churchill’s Secret War)

Churchill in Pakistan

  • On May 5, 1945, the very day Germany surrendered, Prime Minister Churchill ordered an appraisal of “the long-term policy required to safeguard the strategic interests of the British Empire in India and the Indian Ocean.” The British wanted a base in Pakistan from where they could use fire power against the then Soviet Union.
  • Pakistan was created by Britain with the explicit intention of keeping Pakistan under the British sphere of influence so that the game against Russia could continue.
  • The partition of India with Pakistan caused the death of about 2.5 million people and displaced some 12.5 million

Churchill in Sudan -1898

  • Churchill served as a young cavalry officer and bragged that he personally shot at least three ‘savages’.

Churchill in Singapore

  • A report by Governor of Singapore, Shenton Thomas that Britain could not defend Singapore while fighting with the Germans in Europe was not made available to the US President or allies Australia and New Zealand (as a result 2 British battleships were sunk by the Japanese)
  • Singapore fell on February 15, 1942 despite Churchill’s assurances to Australia and New Zealand that Britain’s defense of Singapore would take precedence over the Mediterranean.

Churchill – Kenya

  • Forced 150,000 Kenyans into detention camps described as ‘ Britain’s gulag’
  • Local drive for independence was crushed by “Electric shock was widely used, as well as cigarettes and fire,”
  • President Obama’s grandfather endured  “The screening teams whipped, shot, burned, and mutilated Mau Mau suspects.”

Church – South Africa 1899-1902

  • British were the first to build concentration camps (not Hitler) for white Boers. 28,000 Boers were killed.
  • Churchill wrote that he was irritated that ‘Kafirs should be allowed to fire on white men’
  • He described the concentration camps as providing “the minimum of suffering”.

Churchill – Ireland

  • As Colonial Secretary in the 1920s, he unleashed the notorious Black and Tan thugs on Ireland’s Catholic civilians
  • Church as an MP
  • Demanded more conquests on premise that ‘Aryan stock is bound to triumph’.

Churchill – Middle East

  • It was in 1912 at a conference in Cairo that the boundaries of the British Middle Eastern mandate was determined.
  • Before World War 1, what is now called Iraq was part of the Turkish Empire and was known as Mesopotamia—the ancient Biblical land of Babylon. During the war, the British, French, Italian, and Russian governments had signed a secret agreement to divide up most of the Turkish Empire among themselves. France gained control of what is now known as Syria and Lebanon. British acquired control of what became known as Palestine, Jordan, and Iraq (through mandates of the League of Nations) In 1899 the British had already established a “protectorate” over what is now called Kuwait. British suppression of the Arab revolt in Iraq (invaded by Britain in 1914)
  • In early 1921 Winston Churchill was appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies as well as head of a Middle East Department responsible for Palestine and Iraq in the British government of Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
  • Churchill never consulted a single Arab about his plans for them! Churchill himself boasted, he “created Jordan with a stroke of a pen one Sunday afternoon,” The huge zigzag in Jordan’s eastern border with Saudi Arabia has been called “Winston’s Hiccup” or “Churchill’s Sneeze” because Churchill carelessly drew the expansive boundary after a generous lunch. Jordan was gifted to Prince Abdullah. Abdullah’s brother was given Iraq. Iraq was created by bundling together the three Ottoman vilayets of Basra that was predominantly Shiite, Baghdad that was Sunni, and Mosul that was mainly Kurd. Churchill invented Iraq putting 3 conflicting borders that have been fighting each other ever since. If Jordanians, Iraqis, Kurds and Palestinians nurse any grievance it is all because of the British and no other.
  • When Iraqi’s rose in opposition to British rule, Churchill’s orders were to bomb civilian areas using mustard and other poisonous gases.
  • Kurdish rebellion against the British dictatorship in 1920
  • In 1919, as Colonial Secretary Churchill advocated the use of chemical weapons on the “uncooperative Arabs” in the puppet state of Iraq.
  • “I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilized tribes”.
  • The Al Saud family were given Saudi Arabia

Churchill – World War 1

  • 7m military deaths
  • 7m civilian deaths
  • 4million German soldier deaths
  • 2m German civilian deaths
  • “Perhaps the next time round the way to do it will be to kill women, children and the civilian population.”

Churchill – World War 2

  • 25m military deaths
  • 67m civilian deaths
  • Promoting Japan to enter to involve US
  • Churchill deliberately did not warn Americans about Pearl Harbor attack
  • Between 1940 and 1945, sixty-one German cities with a total population of 25 millions were destroyed or devastated in a bombing campaign initiated by the British government. supported bombing of German cities
  • indiscriminate bombing of German towns and cities makes Churchill a war criminal.
  • Churchill brazenly lied to the House of Commons and the public, claiming that only military and industrial installations were targeted. The aim of carpet bombing was to kill as many Germans as possible.
  • “The destruction of Germany was by then on a scale which might have appalled Attila or Genghis Khan.” (official history of the Royal Air Force)
  • Even after the war was over for three days and nights, from February 13 to 15, 1945, British bombs pounded Dresden, killing as many as 135,000 people or more. After the bombing was over Churchill’s response was “I thought the Americans did it.”
  • Churchill supported the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which resulted in the deaths of another 200,000 civilians
  • Churchill’s crimes also include forced repatriation of some two million old people, men, women, and children to the Soviet Union to their deaths
  • He is also guilty of the expulsion of 15 million Germans from their ancestral homelands in East and West Prussia, Silesia, Pomerania, and the Sudetenland in a plan to violently uproot the entire polish population and move Poland westward

Churchill – Palestine & Israel

  • Churchill assured to hand over the ‘Promised Land’ to both Arabs and Jews
  • Churchill laughed at the Arabs calling them ‘barbaric hoards who ate little but camel dung’ while his view of the Israeli’s was ‘take it for granted that the local population will be cleared out to suit their convenience’.
  • Balfour declaration of 1917 assured Britain’s support for a Jewish homeland
  • 1944 UK War Cabinet decision Partition of Palestine [in 1878, Jews were 5% of the Palestine population; in 1948 Jews were 1/3 of the population; there are now over 7 million Palestinian refugees; post-1967 Occupied Palestinian excess deaths 0.3 million, post-1967 under-5 infant deaths 0.2 million; excess deaths in countries partially or completely occupied by Apartheid Israel now total about 24 million; 4 million Occupied Palestinians are still illegally and abusively imprisoned by racist Zionists in their own country (Dr. Gideon Polya)

Vicious quotes by Churchill

  • In 1937, he told the Palestine Royal Commission: “I do not admit for instance, that a great wrong has been done to the Red Indians of America or the black people of Australia. I do not admit that a wrong has been done to these people by the fact that a stronger race, a higher-grade race, a more worldly wise race to put it that way, has come in and taken their place.”
  • “the multiplication of the feeble-minded is a very terrible danger to the race”. (drafting a highly controversial piece of legislation, which mandated that the mentally ill be forcibly sterilized. In a memo to the Prime Minister in 1910)

Every disaster of the 20th century had a hand of Churchill in it. From helping liberalism, to its crash in 1929, starting the World War 1, falsely bringing America into the war theatre, fanning US-Russia rift, the crimes committed by Churchill should make the Brits revisit their affection. He is no hero. He should not be celebrated just as Christopher Columbus should not be celebrated. Just because he won a war his crimes cannot and should not be whitewashed. Had a non-white committed the atrocities that Churchill committed he would have been hounded and taken before the UN & its courts and imprisoned. Why have Churchill’s crimes escaped justice?

Shenali D Waduge

Reference

 

Hegemonic India unfurls plans to colonize Sri Lanka

February 8th, 2016

By A.A.M.Nizam – Matara.

India has a set of very powerful and competent bureaucratic band fully assisted by the RAW espionage agency and thousands of wealthy, professional and influential non-resident Indians resident in the wealthy nations of the world.  This combination has already established their hegemony in the neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Bhutan and a long term objective of theirs is to spread the tentacles of their hegemonic octopus to get Sri Lanka also subjugated under them.

All these years Sri Lanka escaped from getting entrapped to their hegemonic maneuvers due to strong nationalistic Sri Lanka Freedom Party government existed under the former President Mahinda Rajapksa.  However the floodgates for Indian intrusion into our trade, professional and service sectors have been opened with the dismissal of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government with the aegis of the RAW and western espionage agencies and installing the puppet government of Bra Sirisena and the Indian stooge Ranil Wickremasinghe.

Regardless of the opposition from the exporters, professionals and service sector personnel of Sri Lanka, the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama has said that the Sri Lankan government is planning to deepen bilateral relations with India through the Indo–Lanka Economic and Technology Co-operation Agreement (ETCA) and they intend to ink it by mid-2016.

This so called new agreement has been planned to sign in place of the much criticized Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) which was being negotiated between both sides for many years as a sequel to the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (ISLFTA) of 2000,

India seems to be highly impatient to get this agreement signed and the Indian External Affairs Minister Mrs. Shushma Swaraj’s visit to Sri Lanka last week was indeed to make inroads to get this agreement signed and enlist projects in the North, the East and in the Hill country (the new  vista for Indian domination in Sri Lanka) exclusively for Indians.  One should not under estimate Mrs. Shushma like our infantile Ministers since she is a very successful Minister of External Affairs India has got similar to our former Foreign Minister the late Mr. Lakshman Kadiragamar.

The projects she has enlisted to be carried out by India includes development of the Palaly Airport, infrastructure enhancement of the Kankesanturai Port, the Sampur Power Plant, a special economic zone in Trincomalee, the Oil Tank Farms project in Trincomalee and construction of the Jaffna Cultural Centre on a grant basis and water supply projects estimated at a cost of nearly US$ 475 million to be undertaken by Indian companies under the Buyers’ Credit Scheme of the EXIM Bank of India.

Further they also want to undertake under the Small Development Project (SDP) model establishment of the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Complex in Kilinochchi; Campus of University of Jaffna; Skills Development Centre of the Faculty of Agriculture in Kilinochchi; Construction of the Rabindranath Tagore Memorial Auditorium at the University of Ruhuna; Construction of the Mahatma Gandhi International Centre in Matale; Establishment of English Language Labs in all nine provinces of Sri Lanka; Renovation of the Duraiappah Stadium in Jaffna and Renovation of the Child Development Centres in plantation areas.

She has also held discussions on the construction by India of a 200-bed ward complex and supply of medical equipment to the District Hospital in Vavuniya in addition to the supply of medical equipment to District Hospitals in Jaffna, Kilinochchi and Mullaithivu.
In the Estates sector, India will work on the construction of a state-of-the-art 150-bed hospital in Dickoya, Hatton, with development assistance from India.

In the tourism sector, they intend to establish the Ramayana Trail in Sri Lanka and the Buddhist Circuit in South Asia.

She has urged early signing of the revised Air Services Agreement that has been pending since September 2013 and both sides have agreed to enhance cooperation in the aviation sector, including in areas of aeronautical search and rescue, capacity building and training and use of the Indian satellite system GAGAN.

As regards construction and renovation of 50,000 houses it has been pointed that construction of 44,000 houses have already been completed and the construction of the remaining 4,000 houses in the Uva and Central Provinces will be undertaken shortly.

The Press Trust of India reported yesterday that India is keen to establish refinery and bunkering operations in Sri Lanka. The Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan has said that he hopes that India will once again be in a position to export petroleum products to Bangladesh with the commissioning of Paradip refinery in India which was declared open by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.

When we carefully analyze the aforementioned plans and intensions it is evident that the hegemonic India will soon dominate and economically rule the Northern and Eastern provinces and the hill country and the proposed projects will have Indians as their managers and workers thus denying employment opportunities to the much needed and deserving Sri Lankans. Earlier it was thought that India wants to rule North and East as their 26th State and with the new trends it seems that want to make the government of Sri Lanka a puppet regime and rule all parts of Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, the IT professionals in Sri Lanka have voiced reservations over the ETCA that allows free movement of IT professionals across the two countries.  They feel it will lead to a large number of Indian IT professionals flooding Sri Lanka thereby denying job opportunities for locals.

The apex body of professionals in Sri Lanka, the Organization of Professional Associations (OPA) has expressed its deep concern over the proposed ETCA. The Head of the OPA Rohana Kuruppu has said that the deal “is absolutely unnecessary as Sri Lanka has sufficient professional resources”.

He has warned that such an agreement to bring foreign professional services to the country can be detrimental to the local professional resource base.

The Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies, an organisation which looks after the interests of IT professionals in the country has also expressed concern over the proposed ECTA saying that it will not support any agreement that is detrimental to the industry and the country.

A group, called the Sri Lanka Solidarity Movement, in a letter to President Maithripala Sirisena, has also voiced opposition to the ETCA, saying the agreement will “create a situation where Sri Lanka will be flooded with labourers and professionals from India.

The joint Engineers’ Association and the joint Professionals Association have also expressed their strong opposition to signing of this agreement with India and they have organized to hold a foot walk and a rally against this ignominious agreement on the 11th of this.  All Sri Lankans should join these patriotic professionals and express their vehement opposition to this agreement which is very much harmful to this country.  Let us remain as a free nation and not become a colony of India

Singing National Anthem In Tamil – A Realistic Perspective

February 8th, 2016

Insight by Sunil Kumar

Feb. 6th. 2016

In a Naton of majority Sinhalese – an appreciable and compelling majority that is, it seems a worthless attempt to palaver to the miniscule minority of Tamils by playing the National Anthem in Tamil merely to appease all the wrong sources for all the wrong reasons.

It must be remembered that these are a part of the Sri Lankan populace who have been noxiously arrogant for generations about non existent rights in an ongoing tirade against incumbent legislators and ruling parties who continued to disrespect the Majority Sinhalese while continuing to live in a majority Sinhala Nation with many conciliations granted them  and showing no remorse at how they disrespect the Sinhalese ! (with help from their wayward and sometimes vociferous cousins across the Palk Strait in Tamil Nadu it might be added).

So when there are plaudits and commendations towards the cause by various individuals who seem to want to palaver to the Tamil populace just for then cheap sensationalism and publicity it involves and the feeble myopias of their own perceptions there seems to be something of an apathy towards the priorities related and the ludicrousness of the trivialities involved perhaps.

Taking into consideration that Sri Lanka is the only country ih the world that has national anthems sung officially and completely in two separate languages it also makes it somewhat of a joke if not a totally unnecessary anomaly.

It may have been be to a degree understandable if a verse had been included in the Tamil language out of consideration and incorporated into the main anthem like some countries like Canada, New Zealand , South Africa and others which have in fact done this but to have a full anthem in a second language represented by a miniscule minority like Sri Lanka does relative to the Tamil community  makes it somewhat of  a joke to reiterate although around 1949 there were  instances where the practice is said to have occurred according to archival records but once again seemed to have served no viable objective other than to dance to the tunes of some overpowering foreign source – in this instance in all probabilities the British.
Also with reference to placing the Tamil speaking people in a category of third class citizens, it seems a self definition created by dissenting individuals where the rights of the Tamil speaking minority has always been asserted for within the Constitution although there may have been unscrupulous zealots and nationalists who may have overstepped their metes and bound and gone into excesses to ursurp this concept but for the greater part, Sinhalese and Tamils are known to have co-existed for generations side by side until fires of hatred were fomented and set in placed by these very zealots and nationalists which then overturned the balance of the equation sadly with catastrophic consequences.

While it is the bounden as well as patriotic right of the majority Sinhalese to demand and carry banners for a national Anthem in the Sinhala language with a conciliatory verse in Tamil perhaps it is no reality that today in Sri Lanka “The joint opposition is trying to raise its head through trivial matters such an opposition for singing the National Anthem in Tamil. Through this they are trying to stoke racism and hatred once more. This is terribly lowly and disgusting effort. They are conspiring to destroy the good work pertaining to reconciliation done by the current Government.” which seems totally inaccurate for the record. To the contrary it was the previous Government that set in place many liberties and freedoms denied the Tamils by the viles of Tamil tiger terrorism and restored many freedoms the Tamils were deprived of and a blatantly inaccurate accusation by those resorting to finger point at the previous regime. It was indeed the good work pertaining to reconciliation done by the previous Government that is now being picked up by the present one in a somewhat opportunistic vein it needs to be emphatically stated.

And as far as singing of the National Anthem in Tamil towards proper construance, the definitions may be many and varied perhaps bordering on treason against the country and extreme in some perspectives as some believe where reconciliation and truth  to aid harmonious co-existence  need far greater efforts by the administrators  of the Nation than the mere singing of the National Anthem in Tamil and lip service to defend ut!

Wigneswaran Should Know Eelam (Ceylon) Tamil Ethnicity is Only 105 Years Old

February 8th, 2016

Dilrook Kannangara

The artificial ethnic group called Ceylon (Sri Lankan or Eelam) Tamils was introduced in 1911. It never existed before. It was an artificial and erroneous invention. Until then in all censuses (1881, 1891 and 1901), all Tamils were called Tamils – a people of Indian extraction. The 1911 census introduced this artificial ethnic group that never existed in Sri Lanka before. Some of the early censuses were carried out under the supervision of a Tamil. In 1922, he created the Ceylon Tamil League and called for the unity of “Tamil Eelam” (Wilson, AJ). He died in South India in 1924. The definition of a ‘Ceylon Tamil’ was (in 1911), any Tamil born in the island (even to Indian born people) or anyone else who wished to assume the Ceylon Tamil ethnic identity.

Tamil Eelam Campaign

The 1948 Ceylon Citizenship Act changed the definition. So-called Indian Tamils were given the choice between Ceylon Tamils and Indian Tamils. Since then those who are born even in Sri Lanka to the “Indian Tamil” community can be (if they so wish) classified as Indian Tamils. All others are classified as Sri Lankan Tamils. It is purely voluntary.

This artificial creation of a new ethnic group proved crucial to the subsequent Tamil separatist campaign. Ceylon Tamils started to argue of a Tamil homeland in the island while “Indian Tamils” naturally assumed they are recent arrivals from India. If the pre-1911 ethnic classification continued, Tamils would not be able to claim Tamil homelands in Sri Lanka as they were called Tamils – an ethnic group found mainly in Tamil Nadu, India.

There are no local Tamil inscriptions. All inscriptions found in Sri Lanka that contain Tamil writing are of Indian (mostly Chola – a south Indian dynasty that is now extinct) origin. The only Tamil historical chronicle relating to Sri Lanka is called Yalpana Vaipava Malai. It was written by a South Indian in 1736 under the colonial Dutch patronage.

Even today, all Tamil artwork – songs, films, dresses, religious statues; and, even traditional food ingredients are imported from Tamil Nadu, India. None is made in Sri Lanka and none was ever made in Sri Lanka.

Malaysia, Burma and Singapore – the other nations like Sri Lanka that received a large influx of South Indians during British time – didn’t do this mistake. To this date, they classify all Tamils as Indians in ethnic group. As a result, Tamils are prevented from claiming homelands there. It is timely for Sri Lanka to follow suit and classify all Tamils in the island into one ethnic group. It may be called Tamil or Indian. Given the geopolitical context, India too will be supportive to classify them as Indians.

Not Just Wigneswaran, All Tamil Chief Ministers Infected With the 13A Virus

Writing an opinion piece, Dayan Jayatilake finds fault with Chief Minister Wigneswaran for a derogatory statement he made against the Sinhala language. It is not the fault of Wigneswaran as he is just another casualty of the 13A virus just like all his Tamil predecessors. The disease is the 13A virus (and infections), the symptoms and victims are Tamil chief ministers. The other Tamil chief ministers were also infected with the 13A virus. Chief Minister Perumal made a UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) in 1989. Interestingly, Dayan was an original councillor of Perumal’s council! The other Tamil Chief Minister is currently serving a jail term for grave offences. Of course, his previous crimes including terrorism were pardoned. Therefore, the disease here is not the Chief Minister, but 13A that keeps producing monsters. Only a Tamil extremist or a terrorist can be chief minister in the north and/or east under 13A? We should not miss the woods (13A) for the trees (individual chief ministers).

How Constructive Application of 13A Has Allowed Police and Land Powers

However, the infected of the 13A virus are not just chief ministers. It infects many other aspects of the nation. The latest to be infected is police powers. According to 13A, provincial councils have police powers. Unofficially, the government has not allowed provincial councils police and land powers.

Almost all police officers in the north are Tamils. They unofficially take instructions from Tamil MPs and Tamil provincial councillors. The Tamil media in Jaffna also heavily influence their action. These media follow a very strong Tamil communal line. Essentially, the northern provincial council is exercising police powers. As it is within the law, there is nothing anyone, except the president, can do.

Similarly, it is using the Tamil-only demographic character of the north, communal bonds and the atmosphere created by Thesawalamei law to exercise land powers. Once again, it is within the powers of the provincial council according to the 13A and prevents anyone from taking action.

Northern provincial council is also interrupting archaeological work. Although archaeology is not within its purview, provincial officers and the police act in a way that ensures the disruption of archaeological work.

The Indian government through the northern provincial council is building 75,000 houses for displaced Tamils in both Sri Lanka and India. Essentially, the Northern Province is receiving foreign donations and reserves the right to its utilisation! 13A on paper does not allow it but the wording of 13A leaves enough room for it to happen. Tax collection, election administration, schools and hospitals administration and even census administration are all done by northerners who are almost entirely Tamils. Given the TNA stranglehold of northern politics and the provincial council, these activities are severely influenced by TNA politics. 13A has placed many loopholes to even exercise powers not devolved to the council.

The passage of two resolutions on war crimes investigation in 2014 and 2015 is another example of how creeping powers of the northern provincial council beyond what is allowed under 13A is affecting the nation. Nothing was done about it which has given it de facto acceptance that the northern provincial council can pass resolution affecting national security, international relations and law and order.

Sri Lanka National Anthem – Another Fraud on the Nation

February 8th, 2016

Media Release 6 February 2015 SPUR  Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka (SPUR) NSW Inc.  PNSW 1730, Australia

 Another version of a national anthem was sung at the most sacred Independence Day, the National Day of Sri Lanka, on 4 February 2016 in Colombo. This was done at the behest of the President Maithripala Sirisena and the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe. In effect, an anthem alien to the vast majority of the citizens had also been sung on Sri Lanka’s National Day.

The only version of the National Anthem of Sri Lanka is the one composed in Sinhala by Ananda Samarakone complete with lyrics, music, melody and harmony and had been in existence for 62 years. This version has been endorsed, approved, time and again by the government and the people. The anthem that was sung on the 2016 National Day to appease a few has not been through such scrutiny by the people nor their representatives.

Back in 1961, when the National Anthem had been in use for a mere seven years, an amendment to just three words of the Anthem was proposed by the government led to a major controversy. The subsequent change made, was a tragic personal blow to the composer. It led to his severe personal despair, mental depression, and finally the illustrious composer Ananda Samarakone took his own life in 1962 over the change made unilaterally.

The controversy raged on for many years. Ananda Samarakone had fought tooth and nail until his death opposing this change to just to the three words of the Anthem. Today, the whole National Anthem of Ananda Samarakone has been translated, rather than been transliterated, and sung without a mandate or consultation.

A national anthem is not just another piece of music that is translated to suit each of the languages spoken in a land. It is one to be sung at sacred official functions to specified standards. In selecting such an august and auspicious anthem a sovereign nation accepts the whole of what is approved by the composer- the lyrics, music, melody and harmony. It is not tinkered or translated thereafter to suit a few. These inviolable factors considered is seen when a version suitable is considered for adoption by any nation. Thereafter, it literally becomes set in concrete. The National Anthem and the National Flag are sacred as they are the closest to the heart of each citizen. The current action is a stab in the heart of the Nation.

Our closet neighbour India’s National Anthem is not translated to be sung with different language lyrics to suit the different States of India. It will always remain the initial works of the illustrious Rabindranath Tagore – the language, lyrics, music, melody and harmony all composed and approved by Tagore himself. It is also not one to be sung in foreign lands with locally understood lyrics so that the people of the host nation understand the meanings in a National Anthem.

The Sinhala language is understood fully or partially by over 90% of the population in Sri Lanka, so a second version is totally uncalled for. The native Bengali speakers in India is less than 9% of its population but the National Anthem of India remains in Bengali, in the language lyrics as selected by the great composer Rabindranath Tagore.

So, there is no reason for Sri Lanka’s National Anthem to be sung so that the listener understands the meaning of the words whether in Sri Lanka or overseas. It remains the sacrosanct responsibility of each citizen to learn, understand, and appreciate with joy the meanings of the words in their own National Anthem. But, if anyone has dreams of another nation within Sri Lanka in their own heart, then that task will become too difficult to achieve.

Looking back on the history of sixty two years, Sri Lanka’s National Anthem was never translated and sung with English words even in the 1950/60s when there was still an affluent Burgher population in the island nation. Their own adopted mother tongue was English. Further, in those years a large population of the Sinhalese, Tamils and

Muslims were more fluent in English than in their own native tongue. English remained the official language of the land from 1948 to 1956, but the National Anthem was in Sinhala from the time it was adopted in 1954. Prior to that we all sang in one language in English to the King or the Queen of England.

Once the National Anthem was adopted in 1954, these English speakers were happy to sing the National Anthem in one voice as a single nation with no boundaries. They were never hesitant to sing with the high notes in their lusty throats, more the chorus part of it. We were never as two nations or multiple nations – always a single Nation other than through colonial invasions for periods of time. The single National Anthem personifies that aspect. The action of 2016 Independence Day created a division not a reconciliation of any sort.

A Tamil language translation has been now brought up in the current controversy. The Sinhala version of Sri Lanka’s Constitution is supreme in every sense and the so called link language remains English. The English version of the Constitution has the transliteration and has the Sinhala sounds verbatim, and does not have words giving English meanings. It says ‘Apa…….Sri Lanka’ and not ‘Our……Sri Lanka’. This is an endorsement of the Sinhala version of the National Anthem.

This English version of the National Anthem using a transliteration of Sinhala words and sounds is a clear ratification of the Sinhala version of the Constitution. The English version of the Constitution is read and understood by most parliamentarians and legal experts. There was never a controversy on the English version to say that words with English meanings should be translated and substituted in a similar manner as had been done in a Tamil version. Such an artificial demand is yet to be created. A similar demand had not been made for over 50 years even by the Prime Minster Ranil Wickremasinghe himself and the other Parliamentarians many of whom are well educated in English, and use the English versions of critically important documents as their first reading.

The only National Anthem of Sri Lanka is the one accepted in the Sinhala version of Sri Lanka’s Constitution. This primary version of the Constitution has been ratified by the transliterated version in the link language, English. When sung, it merely assists in the common signing of the anthem composed in Sinhala by the Illustrious Ananda Samarakone complete with lyrics, music, melody and harmony. Two out of three versions of Sri Lanka’s Constitution are very clear on the National Anthem in every aspect and both endorse only the use of language of the vast majority, Sinhala.

SPUR, NSW unequivocally condemns the ambush perpetrated on the citizens at the official Independence celebrations by the Government of Sri Lanka by allowing the singing of an anthem other than the National Anthem. It is the latest fraud on the people, and the newest futile attempt to appease the never ending greed of the racist separatist lobby of Tamil Eelam.

Now, the whole National Anthem has been tinkered with and the citizens ambushed. This rash and heartless action has wounded the Nation as never before.

 

Nimal Liyanage Spokesperson/ Secretary

Dudley Upasiri President

Prince Zeid, why have you forgotten the Sinhalese & Muslim victims of LTTE terror

February 8th, 2016

Shenali D Waduge

Before anyone forgets. It was not the Tamils that the Sri Lanka Military fought and defeated but a globally banned terrorist organization called the LTTE banned in 32 countries. This LTTE had open offices in London and elsewhere. This LTTE had LTTE fronts operating overseas who were providing material support. Nevertheless, somehow after the LTTE was defeated in 2009, the whole world has forgotten we fought against terrorists and the UN and International Community are telling us to reconcile. Why should we reconcile with Terrorists? We have never had any antipathy with Tamils (only the politicians suffer from this). However, with the UNHRC head in Sri Lanka, we would like to know why none of the victims of LTTE terror get any international attention? Why is the emotional, physical and economic plight of the Sinhalese & Muslim victims of LTTE terror never highlighted?

There are some misconceptions that need to be corrected

  1. The 3 decade conflict did not affect ONLY TAMILS.
  2. The 3 decade conflict victims were NOT ONLY TAMILS.
  3. The post-conflict development beneficiaries should NOT ONLY BE TAMILS.
  4. Sinhalese & Muslims were the FIRST victims. It was LTTE that fired the first shots. These shots were against Sinhalese & Muslims who were virtually ethnically cleansed from the North within a few hours.
  5. Census statistics will give evidence that there were thousands of Sinhalese & Muslims living in the North? Where are they? If alive, why are they not assisted to resettle in their homes?
  6. Some of these Sinhalese & Muslim refugees have been languishing in refugee centres since 1980s why does the UN, human rights organizations and media never highlight their plight or raise the need for them to be looked after too?
  7. Why has India, US, UK, EU, UN, UNHRC never highlighted the plight of Sinhalese & Muslims who were evicted from the North and who have yet to be resettled in their original homes in the North?
  8. Why is the GOSL going overboard to provide lands, land deeds (to people who never even owned land) and homes ONLY TO TAMILS? Why have the Sinhalese & Muslim victims been forgotten? Some Sinhalese had been living in the North since 1940s. Some of these victims even sent submissions to the UNHRC.
  9. LTTE eventually went on to attack Sinhalese, Muslims and even Tamils.
  10. LTTE used suicide missions, placed bombs inside buses, cars, exploded these by remote control, LTTE sent suicide cadres dressed as pregnant mothers, even children were sent. These explosions did not distinguish their victims.
  11. 300 suicide attacks were committed by LTTE in 30 years upon innocent people carrying on their daily lives. These attacks were not in any theatre of war.
  12. LTTE also carried out assassinations on politicians of all communities leaving only those that would peddle their song.
  13. Why are foreign governments and donors building homes ONLY FOR TAMILS? Today 1million Tamils plus scores of runaway LTTE cadres are living overseas thanks to the false propaganda of ‘Sinhala discrimination’, ‘genocide’ campaigns none of which has been proved but paid to give enough publicity to ensure refugee/asylum status is given and these cheap labor uplifts foreign economy.
  14. As a result of LTTE suicide attacks Sinhalese & Muslim families lost the sole income provider, these families are living with great difficulty. They do not have money to educate their children.
  15. Some of the Sinhalese & Muslim victims of LTTE terror suffer lifelong physical injuries – some are blind, some are disabled, some unable to work while others are not given employment because of their physical and mental disabilities – why have they never got any international attention?
  16. Does the UN, UNHRC, foreign envoys, India, US, UK & EU governments know the suffering that the Sinhalese & Muslims have gone through the past 30 years or do they even care?
  17. These Sinhalese & Muslim victims of LTTE terror suffer emotional pain in seeing the entire world rally around ONLY THE TAMILS
  18. 600 Sri Lanka policemen were killed by the LTTE one after the other, where is the justice for these victims who were on duty
  19. LTTE’s first attacks were on innocent villages. These villagers, their wives and children were cut into pieces, pregnant mothers had their belly slit, babies were decimated. In Palligodella, an entire Muslim village was wiped out by the LTTE, scores of Temples, mosques were attacked, Muslims in prayer inside mosques were slain in cold blood, student monks travelling in a bus were waylaid and killed one after the other, army informants were hounded and killed….these victims run into thousands and these killings took place almost every day, every month and every year for 30 years. But all the attention is always on ONLY TAMILS.
  20. Why do the Sinhalese & Muslims not have right to freedom of movement and freedom of residence? What right do foreign envoys and UN have to refer to traditional homelands where there is no historical proof or evidence of such? This is a violation of people’s rights and the rights of people mean not only Tamils must have rights disregarding the rights of the majority ethnic group and the Muslims who were also victims.
  21. We would like to make reference to a letter sent by the Swarnahansa Foundation to the US Ambassador complaining against the behaviour of one of its diplomats who had visited Navatkuli to question the Sinhalese who had returned to their original home in 2013. This was the same diplomat who was exposed by the Sunday Leader newspaper for links with Sun Master of the TNA to whom the rehabilitated LTTE cadre had supplied scores of blank UNHRC submission forms with signatures but no date. This put the UNHRC, OHCHR and the OISL investigators in an embarrassing situation which they covered by blaming the then GOSL accusing it of trying to tarnish its image without answering whether the accusation was right or wrong.
  1. Another very important item forgotten and ignored by the UN & UNHRC is the MISSING 5000 SRI LANKAN SOLDIERS why have these missing soldiers been overlooked – their wives and children have petitioned the UN seeking justice but nothing has been forthcoming.

Prince Zeid cannot just land in Sri Lanka and ask the GOSL what they have done for the Tamils only. Prince Zeid and the entire world are reminded that the first victims were the Sinhalese & Muslims who were chased out of their homes in the North by the LTTE, evicted giving just a few hours notice. Ever since there are scores of Sinhalese & Muslim victims of LTTE terror. They have NEVER HAD ANY INTERNATIONAL LIMELIGHT for their grievances. They have never been dished any of the reconciliation dividends or been recipients of anything.

The principle of Nemo judex in causa sua must apply. No one can be the judge of their own case. There cannot be selective justice. The nations that have directly/indirectly played a role in fanning terror and organizations that have helped too can have no say or no role in any post-conflict. Since these very same entities are involved, the real victims have been given step-motherly treatment while their agendas are being fulfilled by concentrating only on their preferred choice.

This is unfair, immoral and completely against the ethics of what these international entities boast of providing.

Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done

Shenali D Waduge

INDIA KEEN TO ESTABLISH REFINERY ,BUNKERING OPERATIONS IN SRI LANKA ..news Item

February 8th, 2016

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

We have been pushed by India to sign peace accord with Tigers and simultaneously blackmailed us to sign the agreement  to develop Trinco Tank farm built by British

The tanks are located far apart and laying pipeline  and equipment in the tank farm and jungle clearing is very costly and Indians knew about it that it cannot be developed

We might as well clean the tanks and repaint them to be used as silos for storing paddy and flour and even cement rather than developing a tank farm as it is very costly  !!!!!

My experience in Oil and Gas Downstream projects in other countries indicate that building new tank farm elsewhere is much more economical

I was invited by Hon Ministr Fawzi to assist the SOREM project  with Iranian funding but it was abandoned which due to sanctions imposed on Iran

SOREM is the 125000 BPD refinery to be built next to the existing refinery and the land was being acquired to build the refinery

Now Indians want to build a refinery in Trinco perhaps with coal power  Samper is still hanging in the balance with no plans  to implement

They have blocked CPC and prevent CPC in finding a new investor o develop Trinco and Sampur power plant and they want the presence in Hambantota perhaps ?

They will sign an agreement again and hold us by the b…s and block other investments coming in

If they want to build a refinery they can do it in Trincoand expand bunkering and bring more super tankers to Trinco not putting their fingers in the south also !!!!!!

Government should get  Chinese to get cheaper funds and American or Middle east to build refinery in Hambantota and establish a Private Public  Partnership ( PPP) to manage Bunkering  in Hambantota so that local bunker players get a fair chance

Managing the bunker farm can be done with an international operator running  of  Hambantotota bunkering farm which has miserably failed due to stubbornness of previous management  of SLPA who had some ulterior motives

It will be like Indians promise their girls and boys at very young age to get engage with a plan to get married in 10-20 years , so that outsiders have no chance even it is for their betterment ,we will get stuck with Indians forever with no chance like in Trinco

We have to be more broadminded after learning few lessons in Trinco with Indian promises

පක්‍ෂය ගොඩගැනීම හා ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීම

February 8th, 2016

නලින් ද සිල්වා

අද ගොඩනැගීමක් හා ගොඩගැනීමක්් ගැන දේශපාලනයෙහි කතාවෙයි. එකක් ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂය ගොඩගැනීම ය. අනෙක ඊනියා ශ්‍රී ලාංකික ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීම ය. ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂය දෙකඩ වීමක් නිසා දුර්වල වන බව  ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂයෙහි සිට මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන සමග ගොස් ආණ්ඩුවේ ඇමතිකම් ලබාගත්තෝ කියති. ඔවුන්ට අනුව මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂට හිතවත් අය ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂය කැඩීමට සැරසෙති. ඔවුන් පිටුපස වෙනත් දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂවල නායකයන් ඇති බව ද කියැවෙයි.  ශී්‍ර ල නි පක්‍ෂයේ කැඩීමට දෙයක් ඉතිරි වී නැත. ඒ මරා දමනු ලැබ ඇත. පක්‍ෂය මරාදමනු ලැබුයේ මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන විසිනි. ඔහු පක්‍ෂය මරා දැම්මේ පක්‍ෂ නායකයාට එරෙහිව ජනාධිපතිවරණයට තරග කිරීමට නිල වශයෙන් ඉදිරිපත් වූ දිනයෙහි ය.
එහෙත් එයට පෙර ද ඒ සඳහා සාකච්ඡා තිබූ බව අමතක නොකළ යුතු ය. වෙනත් දේශපාලන පක්‍ෂවල අයට ශී්‍ර ල නි පක්‍ෂය නොමෑරී තිබුණි නම් කැඩිය හැකි යැයි මම නො සිතමි. මරා දමනු ලැබූ පක්‍ෂයක කැඩීමට දෙයක් ද නැත. කැඩිය හැක්කේ ජීවමාන පක්‍ෂයකි. ආණ්ඩුවේ සිටින ශ්‍රි ල නි පක්‍ෂයේ කියන ඇමතිවරු බොහෝ දෙනෙක් ජනතාව විසින් ප්‍රතික්‍ෂෙප කරනු ලැබුවෝ වෙති. අප්පච්චි මළා යැයි කියමින් ඔවුහු ශ්‍රී ල නි ප මරාදැමූහ.  ශ්‍රි ල නි පක්‍ෂය මරාදැමුණු බව ද ඒ සමග සංධානය ද මියගිය බව තේරුම් ගත් අපි පසුගිය මැතිවරණ සමයේ දී වෙන ම පක්‍ෂයක් පිහිටුවිය යුතු යැයි යෝජනා කෙළෙමු. එහෙත් එයට ශ්‍රි ල නි පක්‍ෂයේ ජී එල් පිරිස් හා ඩලස් අලහප්පෙරුම මෙන් ම ජාතික නිදහස් පෙරමුණෙහි විමල් විරවංශ ද විරද්ධ වූහ. ඔවුන්ට අවශ්‍ය වූයේ එකල ළාවට තිබේ යැයි සිතූ මහින්ද මෛත්‍රිපාල එකතුව ශක්තිමත් කිරීම ය.  
මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන හෝ වෙනත් යමකු හෝ හරහා ඉන්දියාව බලාපොරොත්තු වූයේ ශ්‍රී ල නි ප හා එ ජා ප එකතුකර දෙමළ ජාතිවාදය තමන්ට අවශ්‍ය ආකාරයට සිංහල බෞද්ධයනට එරෙහිව යොදා ගැනීම ය. මෛත්‍රිපාල සිරිසේන ආප්ප රාත්‍රියෙහි තම නික්ම යෑමෙන් ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂය මරා දැම්මේ ය. අද ඊනියා ජාතික හෙවත් අවුල් ආණ්ඩුවේ හැල හැප්පීම් ඇත. එහෙත් මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතාගේ වචනවලින් නම් ගෙම්බන් ගැන  විශ්වාසයක් තැබිය නො හැකි ය. එසේ් වුවත් අපි අවසාන අවස්ථාවක් ලෙස ඊනියා ශ්‍රී ල නි ප ඇමතිවරුන්ට තමන් තවමත් පැරණි ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂයේ ප්‍රතිපත්ති අනුව සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතිය සුරැකීමට ඉදිරිපත්වන්නේ නම් මහින්ද අගමැති කිරීමට ජනාධිපතිට බලකරන ලෙස කියා සිටිමු. ව්‍යවස්ථාවට පටහැණිව දෙමළෙන් ජාතික ගීය ගැයීමෙන් පසුවවත් ඔවුන්ට තමන් ආණ්ඩුවක් ගෙන යන්නේ කවුරුන් වෙනුවෙන් ද යන්න පැහැදිලි විය යුතු ය. ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ දෙමළ පරිවර්තනයේ ජාතික ගීය දෙමළට පරිවර්තනය කළේ කවු ද යන ප්‍රශ්නය මෙහි දී පැන නගී. ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ ඉංගිරිසි පිටපතේ ඇත්තේ ඉංගිරිසි අකුරෙන් ලියන ලද ශ්‍රී ලංකා මාතා ගීතය මිස එහි ඉංගිරිසි පරිවර්තනයක් නො වේ. මෙතෙක් කල් මේ වරද, එනම් ජාතික ගීය දෙමළට පරීිවර්තනය කර ව්‍යවස්ථාවේ සඳහන් කිරීම, පිළිබඳ ව කිසිවක් නොකිරීම ගැන මම ජාතියෙන් සමාව අයදිමි. ජාතික ගීය ඒ ඒ භාෂාවලට පරිවර්තනය කළ හැකි නො වේ. මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් පාර්ලිමේන්තුවේ හා උසාවියේ ගත හැකි ක්‍රියා මාර්ග සොයා බැලිය යුතු ය. ඒ කුමක් වුවත් තමන් කැමති වුවත් නැතත්් මෛත්‍රිපාලට කළ හැක්කේ රනිල් කියන දේ ක්‍රියාත්මක කිරීම පමණ ය. දෙමළෙන් ජාතික ගීය ගැයීම ගැන සිංහල බෞද්ධයන් නොවන්නන්ගෙන් ඉතා වැඩි පිරිස ප්‍රීති ප්‍රමෝදයට පත් වී ඇත. ජනාධිපතිට අවශ්‍ය නම් මහින්ද අගමැති කිරීමෙන් තමන් කර ඇති වැරදි නිවැරදි කර ගත හැකි ය. ව්‍යවස්ථාවෙන් එයට අවහිරයක් නැත. ඒ බව හෙට (8) කොළඹ දී පැවැත්වෙන සම්මන්ත්‍රණයේ දී පැහැදිලි කරමු. 
1951 දී ලිබරල් පක්‍ෂයක් ලෙස පිහිටුවනු ලැබූ ශ්‍රීු ල නි පක්‍ෂය 1952 න් පමණ පසු ජාතිකත්වයේ පක්‍ෂය බවට ක්‍රමයෙන් පත්විය. සිරිමාවෝ බණ්ඩාරනායක මහත්මියගේ කාලයෙහි දී ද ඉන්පසු මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ මහතාගේ කාලයෙහි දී ද පක්‍ෂය ජාතිකත්ව ලක්‍ෂණ විදහා පෑවේ ය. ශ්‍රි ල නි පක්‍ෂය මරාදැමීමේ කාර්යයට සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධීන් අතගැසුයේ අනූවේ දශකයේ මුල ය. මියන්මාරයට යැවූ අවුං සාං සුකී සිහිගන්වමින් චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග මෙරටට ආනයනය කරනු ලැබුයේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධීන් විසිනි. එහෙත් චන්ද්‍රිකා අවුං  සාං සුකී මෙන් ම ජාතික නායකයකුගේ දියණියක වුවත් අබෞද්ධයන් සමග විවාහ වී සිටියත් සුකී මෙන් සාර්ථක නො වී ය. ඇයට ශ්‍රී ල නි පක්‍ෂය හෝ සිංහල බෞද්ධකම හෝ මරාදැමීමට නොහැකි විය. එහෙත් ඇය තවමත් තම උත්සාහය අත්හැර දමා නැත. 
ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීම යන්නට අපට මේ සමග අවතීර්ණ විය හැකි ය. චන්ද්‍රිකාට  අනුව ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීම සඳහා මෙරට සංහිඳියාව ඇතිකිරීමට නොහැකි එක් කරුණක් නම් පාසල් ආගම් වශයෙන් බෙදී සිටීම ය. එහෙත් මෙයින් ද කියැවෙන්නේ ඇගේ නොදැනුවත්කම ය. පසුගිය උසස් පෙළ පරීක්‍ෂණයෙන්, මට මතක ඇති ආකාරයට, වාණිජ අංශයෙන් ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම ස්ථානයට පැමිණියේ කුරුණෑගල මලියදේව විදුහලේ ඉගෙනුම ලැබූ මුස්ලිම් ශිෂ්‍යයෙකි. මලියදේච විදුහල හෝ බෞද්ධ පාසල් නමින් පෙනී සිටින පාසල් හෝ බෞද්ධ පාසල් යැයි මම නො කියමි. ඒ පාසල් ද අනාගමික යැයි කියන රාජකීය විදුහල මෙන් ම ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංස්කෘතියේ පාසල් ය. එහෙත් චන්ද්‍රිකා සිතන්නේ මෙරට බෞද්ධ පාසල් ඇති බවත් ඒවාට අන්‍යාගමික සිසුන් බඳවා නොගන්නා බවත් එය ඊනියා  යුද්ධවලට මගපාදන බවත් ය.
දෙවනුව චන්ද්‍රිකා අමතක කරන කරුණක් වෙයි. කලකට පෙර රාජකීය, ශාන්ත තෝමස්, ත්‍රිත්ව ආදී පිරිමි පාසල්වල මෙන් ම කාන්තා, බිෂොප්, ශාන්ත බ්‍රිජට් වැනි බාලිකා පාසල්වල සියළු ජාතිවල. ආගම්වල සිසු සිසුවියන් එකට ඉගෙනගත් බව ඒ පාසල්වල ආදී ශිෂ්‍යයෝ ද ආදි ශිෂ්‍යාවෝ ද මහත් උජාරුවෙන් කියති. දැනුදු ඒ පාසල්වල මෙන් ම ආනන්ද ආදී පාසල්වල ද තත්ත්වය එසේ ම ය. එහෙත් යටකී පාසල්වල ඉගෙන ගත් අය සුද්දන් ආරම්භ කළ මෙරට ඊනියා දෙමළ ප්‍රශ්නයේ දේශීය වගඋත්තරකරුවෝ වෙති. අප අවුරුදු සියයකට එහා පැත්තට ගියහොත් පොන්නම්බලම් රාමනාදන්, පොන්නම්බලම් අරණාශලම් ආදීන් රාජකීය  විදුහලේ ඊනියා දීප්තිමත් ආදි සිසුන් බව සිහියට නැගෙයි. ඉන්පසු කලෙක ජී ජී පොන්නම්බලම් ඒ පාසලෙහි ම ඉගෙන ගත්තේ ය. එයටත් පසු කලෙක නීලන් තිරුචෙල්වම් එකී පාසලෙහි ආදි ශිෂ්‍යයෙක් විය. මැත කාලයෙහි සුමන්තිරන් ද ඒ පාසලෙහි අධ්‍යාපනය ලැබී ය. අනෙක් පැත්තෙන් චෙල්වනායගම් ශාන්ත තෝමස් විදුහලෙහි අධාපනය ලැබී ය. මේ සියල්ලන්  ගැන ප්‍රභාකරන්, ඔහුගේ සීයලා බාප්පලා හා මස්සිනාලා කෘතියෙහි විස්තර කෙරෙයි.
ඉලංකෙයි තමිල් අරසු කච්චි හෙවත් ලංකා දෙමළ රාජ්‍ය පක්‍ෂය හෙවත් ඊනියා ෆෙඩරල් පක්‍ෂය චෙල්වනායගම් විසින් පිහිටුවනු ලැබුයේ හතළිහේ දශකයේ දී ය. ඒ චන්ද්‍රිකා චෝදනා කරන තම පියා ඉදිරිපත් කළ රාජ්‍ය භාෂා පණතට කලින් ය. ඊළාම් අදහස එයටත් පැරණි ය. එය සුන්දරලිංගම්ගේ අදහසක් ලෙස ඉදිරිපත් විණි. එහෙත් මට කීමට අවශ්‍ය සෘජුව ම එය නො වේ. ඊනියා ෆෙඩරල් හෙවත් දෙමළ රාජ්‍ය පක්‍ෂයේ භාණ්ඩාගාරික වූ නාගනාදන්ගේ දියණිය ඉගෙන ගත්තේ ද චන්ද්‍රිකා ඉගෙන ගත් ශාන්ත බ්‍රිජට් කන්‍යාරාමයෙහි ය. බොහෝ  විට දෙදෙනා ම එකම පංතියේ ඉගෙන ගන්නට ඇත. නාගනාදන් දෙමළ සිසුන් සිංහල ඉගෙනීමට විරුද්ධ විය. එහෙත් තම දියණියට සිංහල ඉගැන්වී ය. ඇය පසුව තානාපති කාර්යාලයක නිලධාරිනියක් ලෙස ද “සේවය” කළා ය. චන්ද්‍රිකා තම යෙහෙළිය ගැන දන්නේ යැයි සිතමි.
චන්ද්‍රිකාට මේ මෑත ඉතිහාසය අමතක ය. පාසල්වල එකට ඉගෙන ගත් පමණින් දෙමළ නායක නායිකාවන්ගේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධය නැති නො විණි. අවුරුදු එකසිය පනහක පමණ ඉතිහාසයෙන් අපට පෙනී යන්නේ එය ය.  මෙරට ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීම යන්න ව්‍යාජ සංකල්පයකි. බටහිර ජාතීන් ගොඩනැගුණේ ධනපති විප්ලවයෙන් පසුව ය. ඒ නිසා ම බටහිර පඬියෝ ජාතියක් ඇති විය හැක්කේ ධනපති ක්‍රමය ඇතිවීමෙන් පසුව යන ප්‍රවාදය ඉදිරිපත් කරති. මෙය බටහිර පඬියන් ඉදිරිපත් කරන තවත් පට්ටපල් බොරුවක් පමණකි. මෙරට සිටින කසිකබල් උගත්තු තම ඊනියා දැනුම පිළිබඳ ඇතිකර ගත් මහත් ආඩමබරයෙන් ඒ බොරුව නිතර කියති. එහෙත් ඔවුන්ගේ ජාතිය පිළිබඳ නිර්වචනය කුමක් ද? ඔවුන්ට පැහැදිලි නිර්වචනයක් දිය නො හැකි ය. ජාතිය යනු කුමක් ද යන්න ගැන පැහැදිලි අදහසක් නොමැතිව මේ පඬියෝ බටහිර ආධිපත්‍යයට යටත් වී ඔවුන් මෙන් ම කිසිම වටිනාකමක් නොමැති දේශපාලනඥයන්ට ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීමට උපදෙස් දෙති. පඬියන්ට අනුව ලංකාවේ අපට යම්තම් දැන් ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීමට අවස්ථාව එළඹී ඇත. ඒ මෙරට දැන් ධනවාදය ඇති බැවිනි.
එහෙත් මේ පඬියන් නොදන්නා කරුණ නම් සිංහල ජාතිය අඩුම තරමෙන් ගැමුණු රජුගේ කාලයේ සිට පවතින බව ය. එතුමාට ජාතියේ පියා යන්න යෙදීමට මම අකමැත්තෙමි. මේ යුදෙවු ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංකල්පයකි. ගැමුණු රජු කළ කාර්යය පේළි දෙකකින් විස්තර කළ හැකි නො වේ. එතුමා යක්‍ෂ නාග දේව ගෝත්‍ර මෙන් ම විජයගේ සිංහ වංශය ද එකතු කෙළේ ය. යක්‍ෂ ගෝත්‍රිකයන්ගේ බුදු සසුන හා අශෝක අප වෙත එවූ අශෝක බුදු සසුන එකතු කෙළේ ය. රුවන්වැලි සෑය මේ එකතුව විදහා පාන සංකේතයක් ද වෙයි. සිංහල ජාතිය යන්න කා විසින් යොදන ලද නමක් වුව ද ජාතිය ඇති වූයේ ගෑමුණු රජුගෙන් පසුව ය. 
ඉන්පසුව මෙරටට පැමිණි විවිධ ජනවර්ග යථාකාලයේ දී සිංහල ජාතියට අවශෝෂණය කරගනු ලැබූහ. ඒ ක්‍රියාවලිය නැති වූයේ මුස්ලිම්වරුන් අවුරුදු හත්සියයකට පමණ පෙර අද දකුණු ඉන්දියාව නමින් හැඳින්වෙන ප්‍රදේශයෙන් පැමිණීමෙන් පසුව ය. දෙමළ කතාකළ මේ පිරිස සිංහල ජාතියට ඇතුල්වීම ප්‍රතික්‍ෂෙප කළහ. ඔවුන් සිංහල මුස්ලිම්  යනුවෙන් තම ආගමික අනන්‍යතාව රැකගනිමින් සිංහල ජාතියට එක් වී නම් අද වන විට රාජකීය විදුහලේ තවත් ආදී ශිෂ්‍යයකු වූ හකීම්ට තැනක් නැතිවීමට තිබිිණි.  මෙරටට ලන්දේසීන් විසින් ගෙන්වනු ලැබූ වෙල්ලාලයන්ට ද සිංහල හින්දු යනුවෙන් ජාතියට ඇතුල්වීමට හැකියාව තිබිණි. එහෙත් ලන්දේසිහු හා ඉංගිරිසිහු ඒ එසේ නොවන බවට වග බලාහත්හ. ඊළාම් යන්න සිංහල යන්නෙන් බිඳෙයි. ජාතිය ගොඩනැගීමට දෙයක් නැත. ජාතිය ගොඩනැගි අවුරුදු දෙදහසකට වඩා ගත වී ඇත. කළ යුත්තේ මෙරට සංස්කෘතිය ගොඩනැගූ ඒ ජාතියට විවිධ ජනවර්ග තම අනන්‍යතාව රැකගනිමින් එකතු වීම ය. නව පක්‍ෂයට ඒ කාර්යය ද පැවරෙයි. 
 
නලින් ද සිල්වා
 
2016 පෙබරවාරි 04

The Post War Period and Psychosocial Health of Combatants 

February 8th, 2016

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. War trauma negatively affects the mental health parameters. Odenwald et al. (2007) have shown that consequences of war-related trauma cause enormous suffering and problems adjusting to post-war life in many parts of the world.

After facing traumatic combat events the soldiers experience hopelessness, low self-fulfillment, rage, guilt, sense of emptiness, alienation and whole range of negative emotions. War has a catastrophic effect on the health and well-being of nations (Murthy& Lakshminarayana, 2006). Wars can change the psychological makeup of the combatants making them vulnerable to psychological disorders. Recent research suggests that military employees are at risk for acquiring PTSD (Danckwerts & Leathem, 2003).

The armed conflict in Sri Lanka ended in 2009 and the Sri Lankan Armed Forces militarily defeated the LTTE. But the military victory came with a huge human and social cost. Over 300,000 members of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces (including the Police Force) had been directly or indirectly exposed to combat situations during these three decades. Following the thirty year armed conflict in Sri Lanka many combatants underwent traumatic battle experiences that caused immense physical, emotional, and psychological distress. These experiences were events outside the range of usual human experience. Some combatants were diagnosed with combat related PTSD and other battle related psychological trauma. It has been estimated that there are a large number of combatants with undiagnosed combat related psychological ailments and many are without any kind of treatment. Stigma, lack of information, lack of resources etc. have prevented them getting professional help. For many veterans the combat stress has become an insidious disease – existing without marked symptoms but ready to become active upon some slightest psychological trigger.

War is profoundly political and social, yet terms such as, “trauma” tends to medicalize and individualize the problem (Martín-Bar”, 1994; Punamäki, 1989)., The armed conflict in Sri Lanka became extremely political and political decisions overruled the military decisions. Hence the war became a part of the political power struggle and war trauma naturally became an under discussed subject. There was no National strategy to address  combat trauma.

The Sri Lankan military authorities delayed to recognize the psychological impact of the Eelam War. Combat related PTSD was not regarded as a disabling condition that could affect the soldiers. Although the armed conflict started in way back in 1980s until 2005 the Sri Lanka Army did not give a medical discharge based on the diagnostic criteria “PTSD”. There were no strong socio political voices to address the psychological repercussions of the armed conflict. The Health Ministry had less power and minimal access to treat the soldiers with battle trauma. The health care providers did not receive adequate training to identify combat related symptoms among the combatants. These hindering factors have increased the psychological casualties among the armed forces.

Post-war situations are often characterized by the traumatization of large groups. In war, situations, people become victims of violence, destruction and displacement. Some have, experienced violence personally, others have lost relatives and friends, all, however, continue to live in an environment still marked by war and its consequences, even after, the end of the war (Scherg, 2003). The sequence of the, survivors’ post-war experiences usually, follows a pattern that includes a profound disorientation; despair and lust, for revenge (sometimes denied and/or, turned upon themselves); a process of, deep but incomplete mourning; the tentative reaching out for emotional solace in the form of new relationships and the rebuilding of a family world (Wolberg &Aronson,1975).

During the post war period in Sri Lanka delayed combat related posttraumatic reactions surfaced. Some extreme reactions manifested as self-harm, suicides and social violence. According to the Military Spokesperson of the Sri Lanka Army from 2009 to 2012 postwar period nearly 400 soldiers had committed suicide.

War related psychological symptoms could last for many years affecting individuals, their families and society. Van der Kolk et al. (1996) identified the significance of dissociation, affect, dysregulation, and somatization as “associated features” of PTSD. According to Van der Kolk and colleagues these associated features lasted for years even after full-blown, PTSD symptoms, subside. The combatants with affect dysregulation have persistent dysphoria, chronic suicidal preoccupation, self-injury, explosive or inhibited anger, compulsive or inhibited sexuality. Therefore Posttraumatic Mental Health of the combatants should be addressed appropriately. Evidence-based care system has to be introduced to increase and improve the post war psychosocial health.

 

Preventing Re-traumatization

Veterans affected by war trauma have a re-traumatization risk. Re- traumatisation is defiend as a situation, attitude, interaction, or environment that replicates the events or dynamics of the original trauma and triggers the overwhelming feelings and reactions associated with them. Dutton et al.( 2005) elucidate that sometimes the term “revictimization” rather than “retraumatization” is used to, designate re-experiencing interpersonal trauma again, especially later in life after an, earlier trauma.

Combat involves multiple types of life-and-death experiences associated with strong and wide-ranging emotional reactions. The emotional scars of the war remain for a long period. Traumatized veterans are a vulnerable group and measures would be needed to prevent them from re-traumatization. Many traumatized people expose themselves, seemingly compulsively, to situations reminiscent of the original trauma. These behavioral reenactments are rarely consciously understood to be related to earlier life experiences (van der Kolk, 1989).

Redeployment , working in adverse environments could trigger past traumatic memories. When the working environment becomes adverse or less supportive, there is a high tendency for the soldiers to become AWOL. A large number of Sri Lankan soldiers have become deserters over the past few decades. The numbers are exceeding over 50, 000 (AFP, 2011). Many deserters were exposed to battle events and they still relive with traumatic combat memories. A large number of traumatized combatants have joined the underworld gangs and committed crimes. Some have joined with local politicians and engaged in election related violence: the irony is many veterans who had got honorable military discharges have rejoined as security officers in private firms. van der Kolk (1987) indicates that some traumatized people remain preoccupied with the trauma at the expense of other life experiences. Effective measures must be implemented to minimize the re traumatization of combatants who underwent gruesome realities of the Eelam War.

Zeid here to check the situation – WImal

February 8th, 2016

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein is here to check the situation, says WImal Weerawansa.

ජිනීවාහි එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මානව හිමිකම් කවුන්සිලයේ යෝජනාව අනුව ශ්‍රී ලංකාවට කටයුතු කරන්නට සිදුවීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂය විසින් කරුණු පැහැදිලි කරන අයුරු.

 

Presidential Crimes Then And Now

February 8th, 2016

By Paul Craig Roberts

Reprinted from Paul Craig Roberts, The Neoconservative Threat to World Order (Clarity Press, 2015)

Are Nixon’s and the Reagan administration’s crimes noticeable on the scale of Clinton’s, George W. Bush’s, and Obama’s?

January 25, 2016 “Information Clearing House” -Not much remains of the once vibrant American left-wing. Among the brainwashed remnants there is such a hatred of Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan that the commitment of these two presidents to ending dangerous military rivalries is unrecognized. Whenever I write about the illegal invasions of other countries launched by Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, leftists point to Chile, Nicaragua and Grenada and say that nothing has changed. But a great deal has changed. In the 1970s and 1980s Nixon and Reagan focused on reducing Cold War tensions. Courageously, Nixon negotiated nuclear arms limitation agreements with the Soviet Union and opened to China, and Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the dangerous Cold War.

Beginning with the Clinton regime, the neoconservative doctrine of the US as the Uni-power exercising hegemony over the world has resurrected tensions between nuclear-armed powers. Clinton trashed the word of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations and expanded NATO throughout Eastern Europe and brought the military alliance to Russia’s border. The George W. Bush regime withdrew from the anti-ballistic missile treaty, revised US war doctrine to permit pre-emptive nuclear attack, and negotiated with Washington’s East European vassals to put anti-ballistic missiles on Russia’s borders in an effort to neutralize Russia’s nuclear deterrent, thus bringing major security problems to Russia. The Obama regime staged a coup against a government allied with Russia in Ukraine, traditionally a part of Russia, and imposed a Russophobia government as Washington’s vassal. Turning to China, Washington announced the “pivot to Asia” with the purpose of controlling shipping in the South China Sea. Additionally, the Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama regimes fomented wars across a wide swath of the planet from Yugoslavia and Serbia through the Middle East and Africa to South Ossetia and now in Ukraine.

The neoconservative ideology rose from the post-Reagan collapse of the Soviet Union. The doctrine met the need of the US military/security complex for a new enemy in order to avoid downsizing. Washington’s pursuit of empire is a principal danger to life itself for everyone on the planet.

Unlike Clinton, George W. Bush, and Obama, Nixon and Reagan went against the military/security complex. Nixon opened to China and made arms reduction agreements with the Soviets. Reagan negotiated with Gorbachev the end of the Cold War. The military/security complex was displeased with these presidential initiatives. Both left and right accused Nixon and Reagan of nefarious machinations. Right-wing Republicans said that Nixon and Kissinger were selling America out to the communists and that the scheming Soviets would take advantage of Reagan, the old movie actor. “Communists,” we were assured, “only understand force.”

Nixon and Reagan focused on eliminating dangerous rivalries, and the three stooges—Clinton, Bush, and Obama—have resurrected the rivalries. Those who cannot see the astonishing difference are blinded by prejudices and their brainwashing.

In this article, I describe unappreciated aspects of the Nixon and Reagan presidencies. What I provide is neither a justification nor a denunciation, but an explanation. Here is what Patrick Buchanan, who was in the White House with both presidents, wrote to me in response to my explanation:

“Craig, you are dead on in what you write about both Nixon and Reagan and what they sought in their presidencies. Reagan often talked of those ‘godawful weapons,’ meaning nukes. I was at Reykjavik with him, and was stunned at Hofde House to learn that Ronald Reagan pretty much wanted to trade them all away. And when, years later, Tom Wicker wrote favorably about the Nixon presidency, he accurately titled his book One of Us. All his life Nixon sought the approbation of the [pre-neocon] Establishment. Am deep into a new book, based on my experiences and my White House files, and all through it I am urging him [Nixon] to be and to become the kind of conservative president I wanted, but he never was. My thanks for bringing in The Greatest Comeback, which covered the period when I was closest to Nixon. All the best, Pat.”

Writing for Americans is not always an enjoyable experience. Many readers want to have their prejudices confirmed, not challenged. Emotions rule their reason, and they are capable of a determined resistance to facts and are not inhibited from displays of rudeness and ignorance. Indeed, some are so proud of their shortcomings that they can’t wait to show them to others. Some simply cannot read and confuse explanations with justifications as if the act of explaining something justifies the person or event explained. Thankfully, all readers are not handicapped in these ways or there would be no point in trying to inform the American people.

In a recent column I used some examples of Clinton-era scandals to make a point about the media, pointing out that the media and the American people were more interested in Clinton’s sexual escapades and in his choice of underwear than in the many anomalies associated with such serious events as the Oklahoma City bombing, Waco, the mysterious death of a White House legal counsel, US sanctions on Iraq that took the lives of 500,000 children, and illegal war against Serbia.

Reaganphobes responded in an infantile way, remonstrating that the same standards should be applied to “your dear beloved Ray-Gun” as to Clinton. Those readers were unable to understand that the article was not about Clinton, but about how the media sensationalizes unimportant events in order to distract attention from serious ones. Examples from the Clinton era were used, because no question better epitomizes the level of the American public’s interest in political life than the young woman’s question to President Clinton: “boxers or briefs?”

It is doubtful that journalists and historians are capable of providing accurate understandings of any presidential term. Even those personally involved often do not know why some things happened. I have been in White House meetings from which every participant departed with a different understanding of what the president’s policy was. This was not the result of lack of clarity on the president’s part, but from the various interests present shaping the policy to their agendas.

Many Americans regard the White House as the lair of a powerful being who can snap his fingers and make things happen. The fact of the matter is that presidents have little idea of what is transpiring in the vast cabinet departments and federal agencies that constitute “their” administration. Many parts of government are empires unto themselves. The “Deep State,” about which Mike Lofgren, formerly a senior member of the Congressional staff has written, is unaccountable to anyone. But even the accountable part of the government isn’t. For example, the information flows from the cabinet departments, such as defense, state, and treasury, are reported to Assistant Secretaries, who control the flow of information to the Secretaries, who inform the President. The civil service professionals can massage the information one way, the Assistant Secretaries another, and the Secretaries yet another. If the Secretaries report the information to the White House Chief of Staff, the information can be massaged yet again. In my day before George W. Bush and Dick Cheney gave us the Gestapo-sounding Department of Homeland Security, the Secret Service reported to an Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, but the Assistant Secretary had no way of evaluating the reliability of the information. The Secret Service reported whatever it suited the Secret Service to report.

Those who think that “the President knows” can test their conviction by trying to keep up with the daily announcements from all departments and agencies of the government. It is a known fact that CEOs of large corporations, the relative size of which are tiny compared to the US government, cannot know all that is happening within their organizations.

Nixon: Villain or Centrist Reformer?

I am not particularly knowledgeable about the terms of our various presidents. Nevertheless, I suspect that the Nixon and Reagan terms are among the least understood. Both presidents had more ideological opponents among journalists and historians than they had defenders. Consequently, their stories are distorted by how their ideological opponents want them to be seen and remembered. For example, compare your view of Richard Nixon with the portrait Patrick Buchanan provides in his latest book, The Greatest Comeback. A person doesn’t have to agree with Buchanan’s view of the issues of those years, or with how Buchanan positioned, or tried to position, Nixon on various issues, to learn a great deal about Nixon. Buchanan can be wrong on issues, but he is not dishonest.

For a politician, Richard Nixon was a very knowledgeable person. He travelled widely, visiting foreign leaders. Nixon was the most knowledgeable president about foreign policy we have ever had. He knew more than Obama, Bush I and II, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, Ford, and Johnson combined.

The liberal-left created an image of Nixon as paranoid and secretive with a long enemies list, but Buchanan shows that Nixon was inclusive, a “big tent” politician with a wide range of advisors. There is no doubt that Nixon had enemies. Many of them continue to operate against him long after his death.

Indeed, it was Nixon’s inclusiveness that made conservatives suspicious of him. To keep conservatives in his camp, Nixon used their rhetoric, and Nixon’s rhetoric fueled Nixon-hatred among the liberal-left. The inclination to focus on words rather than deeds is another indication of the insubstantiality of American political comprehension.

Probably the US has never had a more liberal president than Nixon. Nixon went against conservatives and established the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by executive order. He supported the Clean Air Act of 1970. Nixon federalized Medicaid for poor families with dependent children and proposed a mandate that private employers provide health insurance to employees. He desegregated public schools and implemented the first federal affirmative action program.

Declaring that “there is no place on this planet for a billion of its potentially most able people to live in angry isolation,” Nixon engineered the opening to Communist China. He ended the Vietnam War and replaced the draft with the volunteer army. He established economic trade with the Soviet Union and negotiated with Soviet leader Brezhnev landmark arms control treaties—SALT I and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 1972, which lasted for 30 years until the neoconized George W. Bush regime violated and terminated the treaty in 2002.

These are astonishing achievements for any president, especially a Republican one. But if you ask Americans what they know about Nixon, the response is Watergate and President Nixon’s forced resignation.

In other words, here is more proof that all the American media does is to lie to us. The US media is no longer independent. It is a servile captive creature that turns lies into truths via endless repetitions.

I am convinced that Nixon’s opening to China and Nixon’s arms control treaties and de-escalation of tensions with the Soviet Union threatened the power and profit of the military/security complex. Watergate was an orchestration used to remove the threat that Nixon presented. If you read the Watergate reporting by Woodward and Bernstein in the Washington Post, there is no real information in it. In place of information, words are used to create an ominous presence and sinister atmosphere that is transferred to Nixon.

There was nothing in the Watergate scandal that justified Nixon’s impeachment, but his liberal policies had alienated conservative Republicans. Conservatives never forgave Nixon for agreeing with Zhou Enlai that Taiwan was part of China. When the Washington Post, John Dean, and a missing segment of a tape got Nixon in trouble, conservatives did not come to his defense. The liberal-left was overjoyed that Nixon got his comeuppance for supporting the exposure and prosecution of Soviet spy Alger Hiss two decades previously.

I do not contend that the left-wing has no legitimate reasons for hostility against Nixon. Nixon wanted out of Vietnam, but “with honor” so that conservatives would not abandon him. Nixon did not want to become known as the President who forced the US military to accept defeat. He wanted to end the war, but if not with victory then with a stalemate like Korea. He or Kissinger gave the US military carte blanche to produce a situation that the US could exit “with honor.” This resulted in the secret bombing in Laos and Cambodia. The shame of the bombings cancelled any exit with real honor.

The Reagan era is also misunderstood. Just as President Jimmy Carter was regarded as an outsider by the Democratic Washington Establishment, Ronald Reagan was an outsider to the Republican Establishment whose candidate was George H. W. Bush. Just as Carter’s presidency was neutered by the Washington Establishment with the frame-up of Carter’s Budget Director and Chief of Staff, Reagan was partially neutered before he assumed office, and the Establishment removed in succession two national security advisors who were loyal to Reagan.

Reagan’s Priorities and the Establishment’s Agenda

When Reagan won the Republican presidential nomination, he was told that although he had defeated the Establishment in the primaries, the voters would not be able to come to his defense in Washington. He must not make Goldwater’s mistake and shun the Republican Establishment, but pick its presidential candidate for his vice president. Otherwise, the Republican Establishment would work to defeat him in the presidential election just as Rockefeller had undermined Goldwater.

As a former movie star, Nancy Reagan put great store on personal appearance. Reagan’s California crew was a motley one. Lynn Nofziger, for example, sported a beard and a loosely knotted tie if a tie at all. He moved around his office in sock feet without shoes. When Nancy saw Bush’s man, Jim Baker, she concluded that the properly attired Baker was the person that she wanted standing next to her husband when photos were made. Consequently, Reagan’s first term had Bush’s most capable operative as Chief of Staff of the White House.

To get Reagan’s program implemented with the Republican Establishment occupying the chief of staff position was a hard fight.

I don’t mean that Jim Baker was malevolent and wished to damage Reagan. For a member of the Republican Establishment, Jim Baker was very intelligent, and he is a hard person to dislike. The problem with Baker was two-fold. He was not part of the Reagan team and did not understand what we were about or why Reagan was elected. Americans wanted the stagflation that had destroyed Jimmy Carter’s presidency ended, and they were tired of the ongoing Cold War with the Soviet Union and its ever present threat of nuclear Armageddon.

It is not that Baker (or VP Bush) were personally opposed to these goals. The problem was that the Establishment, whether Republican or Democratic, is responsive not to solving issues but to accommodating the special interest groups that comprise the Establishment. For the Establishment, preserving power is the primary issue. As The Saker makes clear, in both parties the Anglos of my time, of which George H. W. Bush was the last, have been replaced by the neocons. The neocons represent an ideology in addition to special interest groups, such as the Israel Lobby.

The Republican Establishment and the Federal Reserve did not understand Reagan’s Supply-Side economic policy. In the entire post World War II period, reductions in tax rates were associated with the Keynesian demand management macroeconomic policy of increasing aggregate demand. The Reagan administration had inherited high inflation, and economists, Wall Street, and the Republican Establishment, along with Reagan’s budget director, David Stockman, misunderstood Reagan’s supply-side policy as a stimulus to consumer demand that would cause inflation, already high, to explode. On top of this, conservatives in Congress were disturbed that Reagan’s policy would worsen the deficit—in their opinion the worst evil of all.

Reagan’s supply-side economic policy was designed not to increase aggregate demand, but to increase aggregate supply. Instead of prices rising, output and employment would rise. This was a radically new way of using fiscal policy to raise incentives to produce rather than to manage aggregate demand, but instead of helping people to understand the new policy, the media ridiculed and mischaracterized the policy as “voodoo economics,” “trickle- down economics,” and “tax cuts for the rich.” These mischaracterizations are still with us three decades later. Nevertheless, the supply-side policy was partially implemented. It was enough to end stagflation and the policy provided the basis for Clinton’s economic success. It also provided the economic basis that made credible Reagan’s strategy of forcing the Soviets to choose between a new arms race or negotiating the end of the Cold War.

Ending the Cold War and Bad CIA Advice

President Reagan’s goal of ending the Cold War was upsetting to both conservatives and the military/security complex. Conservatives warned that wily Soviets would deceive Reagan and gain from the negotiations. The military/security complex regarded Reagan’s goal of ending the Cold War as a threat comparable to Nixon’s opening to China and arms limitations treaties with the Soviet Union. President John F. Kennedy had threatened the same powerful interests when he realized from the Cuban Missile Crisis that the US must put an end to the risk of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union.

With the success of his economic policy in putting the US economy back on its feet, Reagan intended to force a negotiated end to the Cold War by threatening the Soviets with an arms race that their suffering economy could not endure. However, the CIA advised Reagan that if he renewed the arms race, he would lose it, because the Soviet economy, being centrally planned, was in the hands of Soviet leaders, who, unlike Reagan, could allocate as much of the economy as necessary to win the arms race. Reagan did not believe the CIA. He created a secret presidential committee with authority to investigate the CIA’s evidence for its claim, and he appointed me to the committee. The committee concluded that the CIA was wrong.

Reagan always told us that his purpose was to end, not win, the Cold War. He said that the only victory he wanted was to remove the threat of nuclear annihilation. He made it clear that he did not want a Soviet scalp. Like Nixon, to keep conservatives on board, he used their rhetoric.

Curing stagflation and ending the Cold War were the main interests of President Reagan. Perhaps I am mistaken, but I do not think he paid much attention to anything else.

Grenada and the Contras in Nicaragua were explained to Reagan as necessary interventions to make the Soviets aware that there would be no further Soviet advances and, thus, help to bring the Soviets to the negotiating table to end the nuclear threat. Unlike the George W. Bush and Obama regimes, the Reagan administration had no goal of a universal American Empire exercising hegemony over the world. Grenada and Nicaragua were not part of an empire-building policy. Reagan understood them as a message to the Soviets that “you are not going any further, so let’s negotiate.”

Conservatives regarded the reformist movements in Grenada and Nicaragua as communist subversion, and were concerned that these movements would ally with the Soviet Union, thus creating more Cuba-like situations. Even President Carter opposed the rise of a left-wing government in Nicaragua. Grenada and Nicaragua were reformist movements rather than communist-inspired, and the Reagan administration should have supported them, but could not because of the hysteria of American conservatives. Reagan knew that if his constituency saw him as “soft on communism,” he would lack the domestic support that he needed in order to negotiate with the Kremlin the end of the Cold War.

America Playing the Foreign Policy Game

Today Western governments support and participate in Washington’s invasions, but not then. The invasion of Grenada was criticized by both the British and Canadian governments. The US had to use its UN Security Council veto to save itself from being condemned for “a fragrant violation of international law.”

The Sandinistas in Nicaragua were reformers opposed to the corruption of the Somoza regime that catered to American corporate and financial interests. The Sandinistas aroused the same opposition from Washington as every reformist government in Latin America always has. Washington has traditionally regarded Latin American reformers as Marxist revolutionary movements and has consistently overthrown reformist governments in behalf of the United Fruit Company and other private interests that have large holdings in countries ruled by unrepresentative governments.

Washington’s policy was, and still is, short-sighted and hypocritical. The United States should have allied with representative governments, not against them. However, no American president, no matter how wise and well- intentioned, would have been a match for the combination of the interests of politically-connected US corporations and the fear of more Cubas. Remember Marine General Smedley Butler’s confession that he and his US Marines served to make Latin America safe for the United Fruit Company and “some lousy investment of the bankers.”

Information is Power

Americans, even well informed ones, dramatically over-estimate the knowledge of presidents and the neutrality of the information that is fed to them by the various agencies and advisors. Information is power, and presidents get the information that Washington wants them to receive. In Washington private agendas abound, and no president is immune from these agendas. A cabinet secretary, budget director, or White House chief of staff who knows how Washington works and has media allies is capable, if so inclined, of shaping the agenda independently of the president’s preferences.

The Establishment prefers a nonentity as president, a person without experience and a cadre of knowledgeable supporters to serve him. Harry Truman was, and Obama is, putty in the hands of the Establishment. If you read Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick’s The Untold History of the US, you will see that the Democratic Establishment, realizing that FDR would not survive his fourth term, forced his popular Vice President Henry Wallace off the ticket and put in his place the inconsequential Truman. With Truman in place, the military/security complex was able to create the Cold War.

From Bad to Worse
The transgressions of law that occurred during the Nixon and Reagan years are small when compared to the crimes of Clinton, George W. Bush and Obama, and the crimes were punished. Nixon was driven from office and numerous Reagan administration officials were prosecuted and convicted. Neither Nixon nor Reagan could have run roughshod over both Constitution and statutory law, setting aside habeas corpus and due process and detaining US citizens
indefinitely without charges and convictions, authorizing and justifying torture, spying without warrants, and executing US citizens without due process of law.

Moreover, unlike the Clinton, Bush, and Obama regimes, the Reagan administration prosecuted those who broke the law. Assistant Secretary of State Elliott Abrams was convicted, National Security Advisor Robert McFarlane was convicted, Chief of CIA Central American Task Force Alan Fiers was convicted, Clair George, Chief of the CIA’s Division of Covert Operations was convicted. Richard Secord was convicted. National Security Advisor John Poindexter was convicted. Oliver North was convicted. North’s conviction was later overturned, and President George H.W. Bush pardoned others. But the Reagan Administration held its operatives accountable to law. No American President since Reagan has held the government accountable.

Clair George was convicted of lying to congressional committees. Richard Secord was convicted of lying to Congress. John Poindexter was convicted of lying to Congress. Alan Fiers was convicted of withholding information from Congress. Compare these convictions then with James R. Clapper now. President Obama appointed Clapper Director of National Intelligence on June 5, 2010, declaring that Clapper “possesses a quality that I value in all my advisers: a willingness to tell leaders what we need to know even if it’s not what we want to hear.” With this endorsement, Clapper proceeded to lie to Congress under oath, a felony. Clapper was not indicted and prosecuted. He was not even fired or forced to resign. For executive branch officials, perjury is now a dead letter law.

The destruction of the rule of law and accountable government has extended to state and local levels. Police officers no longer “serve and protect” the public. The most dangerous encounter most Americans will ever experience is with police, who brutalize citizens without cause and even shoot them down in their homes and on their streets. A police badge has become a license to kill, and police use it to the hilt. During the Iraq War, more Americans were murdered by police than the military lost troops in combat. And nothing is done about it. The country is again facing elections, and the abuse of US citizens by “their” police is not an issue. Neither are the many illegal interventions by Washington into the internal affairs of other sovereign countries or the unconstitutional spying that violates citizens’ privacy.

The fact that Washington is gearing up for yet another war in the Middle East is not an important issue in the election.

In the US the rule of law, and with it liberty, have been lost. With few exceptions, Americans are too ignorant and unconcerned to do anything about it. The longer the rule of law is set aside, the more difficult it is to reestablish it. Sooner or later the rule of law ceases even as a memory. No candidate in the upcoming election has made the rule of law an issue.

Americans have become a small-minded divided people, ruled by petty hatreds, who are easily set against one another and against other peoples by their rulers.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West, How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

United Nations complicity in war crimes Interview with former UN assistant secretary-general Hans-Christof von Sponeck

February 8th, 2016

By Silvia Cattori  Courtesy Global Research, March 24, 2007

Reseau Voltaire 24 March 2007
http://www.globalresearch.ca/united-nations-complicity-in-war-crimes/5170

For Hans Christof von Sponeck, the former assistant secretary-general of the UN, the United Nations, far from garding the respect for international law and the consolidation of peace, have themselves become a factor of injustice. Thus, the sanctions imposed on Saddam Hussein’s Iraq caused a human disaster, whereas treaties such as the nuclear non-proliferation treaty are used to ensure the domination of certain powers and to threaten others. It is time to change the system completely.

23 March 2007

Hans-Christof von Sponeck Count Hans-Christof von Sponeck, born in Bremen in 1939, has been working for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for 32 years. Appointed by Kofi Annan in 1998 as United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, with the status of UN Assistant to the Secretary General, Mr. von Sponeck resigned in March 2000 in protest against the sanctions, which had led the Iraqi people to misery and starvation. It is with sorrow and bitterness that he speaks about the sufferings endured by the Iraqis, a people he knew well and learned to love, and he appeals to the political leaders responsible for the catastrophe in a moving interview he gave to Silvia Cattori.

Silvia Cattori: In your book ”A Different War: The UN Sanctions Regime in Iraq”, [1] you denounced openly the fact that the Security Council betrayed the principles of the UN Charter. Could you give us specific examples where the UN Secretariat behaved in an especially condemnable way?

Hans von Sponeck: The Security Council must follow the UN Charter and it must not forget the Convention on the rights of the child and the general implications of these conventions. Moreover, if the Security Council knows that conditions in Iraq are inhuman – people of all ages have been in deep trouble, not because of a dictator, but because of the policies around the ’oil for food programme’ – and it decides not to act, or not to do enough to protect the people against the impact of its policy, then one can argue very easily that the Security Council is to be blamed, for the very strong increase in the mortality rates in Iraq. A definite example is that during the 1980s, under the government of Saddam Hussein, UNICEF identified 25 children per thousand under the age five years of age that were dying in Iraq for various reasons. During the years of sanctions, from 1990 to 2003, there was a sharp increase from 56 per thousand children under five years of age in the early 1990s to 131 per thousand under five years of age at the beginning of the new century. Now everyone can easily understand that this was due to the economic sanctions, so it is out of the question that the Security Council preferred to ignore the consequences of its policies in Iraq under the pressure excercised by the major intervening parties including, and in particular, the United States and Great Britain.

Silvia Cattori: How could the Security Council neglect to consider the fact that these sanctions allowed the superpowers to misuse their position and uniquely pursue their war objectives, when it voted for other resolutions, like for example resolution 1559 which was particularly intended to provide the United States and Israel with a cover for future military strikes? Does that mean that the Security Council and the UN Secretariat, supposed to defend the people, have become mainly responsible for humanitarian catastrophes?

Hans von Sponeck: I would say, only those who either are ignorant, or those who cannot accept the defeat, will continue to argue that the humanitarian drama in Iraq was largely not due – not exclusively but to a large extent –to an erroneous policy, a policy of punishment. The Iraqi people were punished for having accepted the government in Baghdad, even though they were completely innocent.

Silvia Cattori: Our political leaders, who are present in all international bodies, knew perfectly well that these sanctions would have disastrous consequences. Does that mean that, by remaining silent, they have accepted innocent civilians to be killed, tortured, and starved?

Hans von Sponeck: I would say, unless the international community has a very bad memory, we cannot forget that, either there was silence or there was connivance, support, or there was a deliberate effort to promote conditions of the kind that prevailed in Iraq during thirteen years of sanctions. Therefore, you get different levels of accountability, of political accountability. Not only the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the President of the United States and their governments are responsible, but others as well; Spain and Italy played a supportive role that means the former governments are responsible as well. Mr Aznar in Madrid and Mr Berlusconi in Italy are very much responsible for having contributed to the humanitarian disaster that evolved in Iraq. They will not accept this responsibility but the evidence is there.

Silvia Cattori: If the manipulation of the Security Council by the United States is the main problem and if the US continues to commit crimes pretending that they have a UN mandate, what can be done to correct that unacceptable situation?

Hans von Sponeck: I think that this is a very important question. It is relevant for the debate about what kind of United Nations we need to protect the international community or to protect the 192 member governments from the danger that certain other governments misuse their authority, their information, their finances and their power to serve their own interest, but against the interests of peace, the interests of justice and the interests of mankind.

Silvia Cattori: How did you react to the execution of Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants, sentenced to death by a tribunal established by the USA?

Hans von Sponeck: I would say, first of all, that I was not surprised. This was the ultimate objective of those in power in Baghdad and of those who occupy Iraq. It is impossible to defend Saddam Hussein, but we can respond to the fact that there was no due process, but a masquerade. It was a tribunal that hid a prearranged death sentence under the cover of respectability. Saddam Hussein, like any other person, deserved the right to a fair trial, but he was not given a fair trial. And therefore I was upset by this obvious act, although we have international law, despite the fact that the European nations, the US and Canada as well as other western nations repeatedly express their intention to maintain justice, that they in fact did not protect justice.

Silvia Cattori: You wrote to President Bush and asked him to free Tarek Aziz. Did you get an answer?

Hans von Sponeck: I did not get an answer. I wrote this letter because I know Mr Tarek Aziz. My predecessor and I both think he is a person with whom we had a correct relationship, a person who – despite what we read in the mainstream media – tried to look to the Iraqi people. He was ready and willing to consider proposals for the improvement of the humanitarian aid programme. From our perspective, from my perspective, he was a correct person. I cannot judge what Mr Tarek Aziz did in Iraq outside my fields of responsibility, but all I want to ask for is that a person, who is ill, if for no other than humanitarian reasons, should be treated with dignity, should be allowed to obtain medical care while having a fair trial. Just like Saddam Hussein, Tarek Aziz deserved, and deserves, to be treated in accordance with international law, in accordance with The Hague and the Geneva Conventions. I object to the fact that over three years after he voluntarily turned himself in to the occupation forces, he has not even been charged, and still remains in custody while he is badly in need of medical care.

Silvia Cattori: While the situation created by the occupation of Iraq is frightening, it is to be feared that the Resolution against Iran will be used by the United States to strike that country. The German Navy – formally under UN mandate – is in place in the Eastern Mediterranean. Is it because you know to what extent your country is involved in the projects of war of the United States that you recently wrote an open letter to Mrs Angela Merkel asking her to refuse all use of violence against Iran?

Hans von Sponeck: That is correct. I feel very strongly that, gradually, Germany and other European countries are getting involved into power policy defined in Washington by power-hungry people. This is becoming more serious because these power-hungry people begin to realize that they cannot, on their own, implement a policy of domination. So they need the help of other governments now, and these others seem to be Central-European and Eastern European governments from Lithuania to Great Britain. They also try to politicise NATO and make it an instrument, which to a large extent has in fact already become a US instrument. Therefore, just like any normal individual in this world, I cannot accept the attempts – supported by Chancellor Merkel during the recent NATO summit – to provide this military alliance with a political mission. NATO is an instrument of the Cold War; for many years NATO was looking for a new mission, for a new role. The only thing the allies knew was that they have a military responsibility but, with the end of the Cold War in Europe, that responsibility no longer existed and was no longer necessary. So there was this desperate search for a new role.

I personally think that it is extremely dangerous that NATO now presents itself as a democratic instrument for western democracies while, in fact, it is a tool in the hands of the United States to implement the Project for the ‘New American Century’. Neoconservatives in the United States made this famous proposal in the 1990s – while the Bush administration converted it into its national security strategy of 2002 and subsequent years – and NATO is supposed to assist its implementation. The responsible politicians that recently met in Munich should have rejected this concept. Mr Vladimir Putin, the Russian President for once did not mince his words and expressed plainly what many of us feel. Of course, those who follow a different agenda rejected his suggestions. However, there is a reality in what Mr Putin said.

I am convinced that, due to this militarised politicisation of NATO, we will have taken a big step backwards to what is not only a Cold War atmosphere between major powers, but also, and this is the tragedy, to an increase in defence spending in many countries including China, Russia, and Western Europe. This spending has already been greatly increased in numerous countries, and it can serve no other purpose than escalating the polarisation between different groups around the world. The world beyond Central Europe and North America is no longer willing to accept a western one-sided policy. The public no longer accepts the requirements of last century’s military and economic powers. Their days are over and, if we do not take this into account, we will only make things worse. To me, the key words at the moment are dialogue and diplomacy. We have to accomplish this in a clearly multilateral spirit, not in the spirit of a superpower, which is anything but a superpower be it economically, politically or morally, let alone ethically. Even if there is a little bit of superpower spirit left in the United States because of its military power, it is not going to be enough to save the ‘Pax Americana’. ‘Pax Americana’ is a thing of the past and the sooner we recognise this in Europe and prepare ourselves for multilateral cooperation – which is something different from the bilateral or NATO type cooperation – the better it will be.

Silvia Cattori: NATO is taking part in wars of occupation – in contradiction to its own Charter – and, in collaboration with the CIA, it is involved in secret criminal operations: What I think of in this context are the abductions of suspects to secret prisons. If Europe continues to submit itself to and accepts the installation of American anti-missile systems in NATO member states, might this not lead to confrontation, or even to the return to the worst days of Cold War?

Hans von Sponeck: It is insane. There is no excuse, and Condoleezza Rice’s argument according to which Russia had no reason to worry about ten anti-missile systems to be stationed in Poland and in the Czech Republic is so dishonest. If ten can be placed today, twenty might be placed tomorrow. The very fact that these antimissile systems are positioned at the border of the former USSR, or Russia, is already enough to augment the reasons for confrontation between Russia and the West, let alone China.

We are creating and we are shaping tomorrow’s enemy. I, and with me many others around the globe, cannot accept this development. We do not count, however, we are weak, we are considered naïve, we are considered ’blue-eyed people’, as the Americans have often called us, who do not understand the ‘global vision’.

Well, if we are living in a democracy, then I have the right to understand this ‘global vision’, but I am not informed about it. I am just asked to rely on the good will and on the good intentions of a government like the one in Washington. But I cannot do so, we cannot do so, because we have been disappointed over and over again by misinformation, by brutal dishonesty, by power politics that only served one party. I am far from accepting this and, therefore I regard the whole policy of convincing the Czech and Polish governments to have these antimissile systems as extremely dangerous and misplaced. That is nothing but blatant and brutal power politics, which we do not need and which we will fight against. Peace, future internationalism and the consolidation of nations and progress – in the spirit of the UN Charter and other international laws – don’t have any need of that.

Silvia Cattori: You were in Kuala Lumpur in February, to attend a conference on war crimes. There was, in the West, very limited media coverage on this important event. If such meetings, which denounce the drifts of NATO and the violations of the UN Charter, are ignored, how can a debate be opened for reforming these organisations? Don’t you feel like speaking in a desert while the media, the UN, the States, go on lying and ignore your struggle?

Hans von Sponeck: Well, you know, one should not be discouraged by the fact that the media ignore us. Most of the time, when citizens tried to convince their leaders to change direction, they have been ignored. Well, should that be the end of the effort? I do not think so. The very fact that people, not just fools, not just misguided dreamers, but very realistic people who have an overall view on the world, who understand the political processes, come together to debate in a serious way the conditions and misuse of power, gives important evidence that the international conscience is alive, that an international conscience exists. Kuala Lumpur did not make it to the headlines; Hollywood makes it to the headlines, cheap emotionalism, and cheap quality media events like the Big Brother programme in London make headlines.

The fact that 5000 people got together in Kuala Lumpur to discuss war as a crime, against the background of all the global sufferings that these illegal wars have caused, did not make it to the headlines is regrettable, but it should not make people less willing to speak out. Those attacted by these crimes should notice it. Every one of us, as an individual, has a responsibility to observe, has to make his or her views known. In addition, I am sure that the Kuala Lumpur meeting has created more awareness in many circles around the world, which will ultimately be transferred into a greater resistance against these feint and selfish and one-sided policies that the West tries to enforce.

I am not anti-West, I am a ’Westerner’ but that does not mean that I cannot critically look at the one-way street which has developed, the one-way traffic on which international power, international trade, international culture are travelling. That, as I have said before, cannot continue because it is no longer acceptable, and Kuala Lumpur brought together people from all over the world, who are of the same opinion. So this has, I am sure, added to an awareness, and a willingness to invest time in order to make views known. And if that does not hit the headlines today and bring about a change immediately, it may do so tomorrow, and if it is not tomorrow, then the next day.

Silvia Cattori: Voices who, like Mr Jimmy Carter’s and Mr John Dugard’s denounce the crimes of Israel in Palestine, voices who, like Mr Dennis Halliday’s [2] and your own voice put the finger on UN’s drifting off course in Iraq, all these voices are demanding for an immense respect. However, these are rare voices, which can be easily marginalised by the political powers. Aren’t you disappointed that hardly anybody or only a few people at your level follow your example and take position against these state crimes and abuses?

Hans von Sponeck: Of course, I am disappointed. You know, these days, every day, I am waiting anxiously for a senior American general, a senior American political personality to come out and say: enough is enough, I will not continue to support insanity, I will not go on supporting illegality, I will no longer support policies that have led us into deep difficulties and deep violations of anything that a civilised person should stand for. Of course, one is disappointed, but in view of what has happened during the last few decades, particularly during the years when Mr Bush has been in power, we cannot allow ourselves to be idle. This is an appeal for the international peace movement which should be oriented towards a better coordination, i.e. much better networking, much more combined effort, much more joint declarations. People from all over the world should join hands and demonstrate to themselves and to the larger public that they have the firm intention not to accept what has led us into a world in which the gulf is wide open between those who have nothing – and that is a very, very large majority, over one billion people out of the six and a half billion people on our planet living with less than one dollar a day – and the top ten percent who are living in unimaginable luxury and well being.

This cannot continue. And if some people who listen to our conversation may say ’here is really a very naïve person’, and others say ’look this is a communist, terrible, he is asking for equality for everybody’, I will tell them ’no, I am not’. First of all I do not think I am naïve, secondly, I do not think I am a communist in the traditional sense. I am a person who, in 32 years of work for the United Nations and beyond, has learned to accept the fact that all of us are not equal, but that all of us should have equal opportunities to develop our own contribution to peace. It is not a question of lack of money, there is plenty of money for everybody but, what is missing is the will to share the resources and to do more than pay lip service to this wonderful body of instruments that has been established by good people after the Second World War. Over the last sixty years, this body has tried to lay the basis for greater justice and for socioeconomic progress for everybody.

Silvia Cattori: All the hope that you feed must make you suffer, as you are well aware that for the Muslim peoples that the West is humiliating, the worst is still to come?

Hans von Sponeck: Of course. If you read and if you see, what is happening in the Middle East, there is no single day on which you do not feel ashamed, you do not feel the humilitation that strikes us when we see these poor people suffering hard, people from Palestine to Iraq and in other parts of the Middle East as well. The human language is not, at least for me, capable of expressing the feelings that I really have. It is horrifying. I come from a country, which experienced and caused this horrible Second World War. It lasted for five years, and we still talk about it. What about the many years in Iraq, thirty years of dictatorship, and thirteen years of sanctions, and now three and a half years of occupation: how much can an individual, how much can a nation endure? And if you see – I think of the universities I visited was in Baghdad, Mustanseriya University, Baghdad College, Baghdad University – that these institutions where young innocent people are supposed to prepare for life, were destroyed by bombs. When I was in Iraq, I saw people living peacefully in integrated neighbourhoods! I never heard a conversation like “I am a Shiite, you are a Sunnite, and you are a Turcoman” at that time.

Baghdad is the largest Kurdish city of the world with over one million Kurds, and there were many problems, for sure, there was a dictator, there were political murderers but, compared with what we see today, that was nothing. The sectarian confrontation that exists now was created by this illegal war. And the threat towards the Al-Maliki government is the limit of dishonesty: “If you do not bring security to Iraq, then we, the Americans, will reconsider to what extend we will continue our support”. What is this? Who established these kinds of conditions? Who is responsible for this chaos and the sectarian confrontation?

Silvia Cattori: Western countries condemn Iran that has signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, for a bomb that it does not have. They do not condemn Israel that did not sign this treaty, and that has nuclear bombs. Choosing between Israel that does not conceal preparing for waging a pre-emptive nuclear war, and Iran who wants to have a civil nuclear industry, is not Israel the one that is really threatening world peace, and is not Iran the target? How do you react to this denial of justice?

Hans von Sponeck: I have only one immediate response: it is a classical example of a double standard. We have a demand for a nuclear free zone: It is the Security Council’s resolution 687 of April 1991 which in paragraph 14, calls for a nuclear free zone for the complete Middle East. Israel has not even signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Iran may have intentions that are against the long-term international interests, but Iran has not yet passed the red line. Mister El-Baradei, the director of the International Atomic Agency did not say that Iran had passed that line. All he did was to say that Iran has not fully disclosed, not transparently enough, its intentions and that Iran has put more centrifuges into operation.

But what an extraordinary demonstration of double standards, not to point the finger at Israel and others! What about Pakistan, what about India? And about the US itself which is openly working on a new generation of nuclear weapons, totally in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of which the US is an initiator. So this is a disastrous double standard. If I were an Iranian, I would say: ’Sorry, take yourself measures to put into practice of what you say is the norm and then we can talk, let’s sit down at the table, at the same eye level, with no preconditions.’

I accept the Iranian demand for dialogue. I think it is absolutely the right thing to do. Iran says: ’You have a disagreement, so let’s meet, but do not come and tell me before I can meet you, that I must have fulfilled certain conditions that you want me to fulfil; I am sorry, we come, we meet, we talk, and we lay the cards on the table. And what we discover when we look at reality is a frightening attempt to keep up a double standard.

Silvia Cattori: What message would you like to give to those political leaders who do not care about human rights who wage wars and violating international and human rights? What message would you like to give to the populations who are, at present, exposed to the terror of occupying states? And what message would you like to give to those who oppose these wars but do not know how to stop them and are grieving over the inaction of the political parties?

Hans von Sponeck: To those who are violating human rights, I would say: You must live with your own guilty conscience, and how can you, in the light of all the evident damage, live with your guilty conscience? Don’t you think that there are better ways to protect your interests by at the same time allowing others to benefit from existing opportunities?

To those who are victims and those who are concerned, I would say: Never give up, just try your best, we all live in freedom, as healthy individuals, to make our contribution small as they may be. If we gather for that aim, if we cooperate, if we network, if we try to make our views known to those in power, we can make a contribution. We can use our votes –those of us who live in countries with free elections – let us make use of our votes but not in a mechanical way. For it is a great act of responsibility to cast a vote. Know your political candidates, put pressure on them, hold them accountable, check their records and, when there is a re-election, if you are not satisfied, encourage those who deserve your confidence to run for office. What else can we do?

The original source of this article is Reseau Voltaire
Copyright © Silvia Cattori, Reseau Voltaire, 2007


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