Do Western Delegations to Sri Lanka come to see progress and development after terrorism, or confirm their prejudices against Sri Lanka ?

July 16th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

It was announced that an European Union Parliamentary delegation led by Jean Lambert has arrived inƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka on an Official visit.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  It will meet with the Government, the opposition and other groups during their stay which is due to last one week.ƒÆ’-¡  Jean Lambert is the Chairperson of the EU Delegation for Relations with the Countries of South Asia.

She is the woman who stated that she is concerned about reports of threats and attacks on human rights defenders and journalists in Sri Lanka and encourages the authorities to hold those responsible for accountability.ƒÆ’-¡  Therefore one can be sure that the EU Delegation will not make any objective observations after ƒÆ’-¡ their visit.

These are people who take it for granted , being ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-White EuropeansƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ,that they know every thing happening in South AsiaƒÆ’-¡  and have the solutions for the problems. They come already prejudiced that the Government is accountable for all problems with regard to the Tamils of Sri Lanka.

They will officially listen to the government , but their more important concern will be what the Tamil people will have to say against the government to confirm their own views and ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-concerns withƒÆ’-¡  the governments violation of human rights and violation of free mediaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  At the endƒÆ’-¡  of their visit they may say they are satisfiedƒÆ’-¡  with the progress that has been made, ƒÆ’-¡ but , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-there is more to be done ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-

These delegations even before they come know exactly what they are going to say.ƒÆ’-¡  Therefore Sri Lanka need not be overly exited byƒÆ’-¡  the visits of these delegations.ƒÆ’-¡  They will not after seeing the extensive development projects that have been carried out by the Government after the end of terrorism, and the governmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡  remarkable progress inƒÆ’-¡  the developmentƒÆ’-¡  ofƒÆ’-¡  the living conditions ofƒÆ’-¡  the people in the North and East from what it had been before, make any positive remarks.

There is of courseƒÆ’-¡  more to be done but what has been done just after four years ofƒÆ’-¡  destructive terrorism is singular.ƒÆ’-¡  But these visiting delegates are unable toƒÆ’-¡  look at the situation from that point of view and make a statement to encourage the government and the people. They will harp on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-human rightsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and ask for accountability.ƒÆ’-¡  These are their catch phrases.

On the 11 July,2013 there was a Televison ProgrammeƒÆ’-¡  in France 2 of the French Television , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Carnet de Voyage dƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢Envoyer special.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ It was ƒÆ’-¡ a report by a special reporter ƒÆ’-¡ on Tourism.ƒÆ’-¡  In the television Magazine announcing the Programme the caption was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Sri Lanka: a paradise in troubled watersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The introduction read, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- After thirty years of Civil War (they never use the word terrorism, and for them there are no terrorists in countries like ours, they are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- freedom fightersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- rebelsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬), Sri Lanka has become a destination very much sought after, but in the North of the Island, Tamil families have been stripped of their lands.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The Special Reporter to ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka had not bothered toƒÆ’-¡  show to the television spectators the attractive scenic beauty of the land.ƒÆ’-¡  They showed a French family ƒÆ’-¡ of tourists in a poor village area searching for crocodiles.ƒÆ’-¡  There were quick shots of the South, but gave more time to a visit to a village of thatched huts of poor fisher men in the North along with a Tamil journalist from one of the Tamil Journals which they said is critical of the Government.

The Journalist took the special reporter to buildings under construction and explained they were hotels being constructed by the Ministers of the Government. They showed a barbed wire fence and said it is a forbidden area where poorer Tamil people lived. The journalist acting as a guide to the Special Reporter said that the tourists are taken only to selected areas, as the Tamil people whose lands have been robbed by the government ƒÆ’-¡ to construct Hotels live in deplorable conditions in areas where the tourists are not allowed to go.

The French Special Reporter was taken to the buildings under construction.ƒÆ’-¡  The workersƒÆ’-¡  doing the construction work, the Tamil Journalist said, were the soldiers.ƒÆ’-¡  He added speaking to the ƒÆ’-¡ Special Reporter that, as there is no war the Sinhala military men are out of work and theyƒÆ’-¡  now work in hotel construction to earn money.

There were several building constructions and the Tamil Journalist said that they are all hotels owned by Ministers, being built on land ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-robbedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ from the poor Tamil people.ƒÆ’-¡  He said thatƒÆ’-¡  25 000 people were made landless in the area.ƒÆ’-¡  The programme did not boost tourism but confined to a report of the Tamil people in the North, and how they are ƒÆ’-¡ being discriminated against by the Government. The presenter of the programme ƒÆ’-¡ said in conclusion , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- behind the beautiful Post Card showing the scenic beauty of Sri Lanka is theƒÆ’-¡  blood and tears of the poor Tamil peopleƒÆ’-¡  robbed of their lands and left destitute.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The West is out to make Sri Lanka no better than a poor country inƒÆ’-¡  Africa ƒÆ’-¡ where the ƒÆ’-¡ Government Ministers and officials ƒÆ’-¡ make money caring the least for the well being of the poor Tamil people.

That is what every Western visitor seems to say when they get back to their home countries after enjoying the hospitality of the people of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  They seek out Journalists like those of the Udayan News Paper and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-swallowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ all they say as the Gospel truth.

 

 

 

An appeal to the Minister of Defence and Secretary of Defence on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sritharan foiling army from raping 200 Tamil girlsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

July 16th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

The Island carried a statement on 15 July attributed to Sivagnanam Sritharan, Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, that he foiled the attempt by the army to rape 200 Tamil speaking girls demands immediate action.

No country has ever witnessed a rescue operation of civilians ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that included Tamil girls ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” of a scale as stupendous as that that was carried out by the armed forces of Sri Lanka in May 2009. The whole world witnessed the soldiers carrying the old and the infirm in their arms to safety, away from the LTTE killers who were shooting at the fleeing civilians.

It is essential that the Minister of Defence, Secretary of Defence or the Army Commander demands that Sritharan substantiates his allegation, announced in Montreal, Canada with evidence. If he cannot do so, he should be dealt with the full force existing in the legal system in Sri Lanka for sullying the good name of the valiant armed forces of the country and for attempting to give ammunition to the anti-Sri Lankans in Canada and other countries to disparage the island nation.

Crimes against women and children of Sri Lanka

July 16th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

There is an alarming increase of crimes against women and children in Sri Lanka. It is believed that a woman is raped every 90 minutes, and 3-5 children are raped daily. It is indeed sickening to read regular articles of rapes and abuses committed by MPs, principals, teachers, officers, clergy, ordinary citizens, et al.

  • One area to gain particular notoriety is Kahawatta, with 28 murders. All of the victims were women.
  • Foreign women are not safe either. The most prominent case in recent times is that of Victoria Tkacheva, who was alleged to have been gang-raped while her boyfriend Khuram Shaikh was killed. The police subsequently confirmed that Victoria Tkacheva was either raped or sexually assaulted. This was more than a year ago. The main suspect is yet to face justice.
  • According to statistics tabled in Parliament in April 2013, in the year 2012, 1750 case of child rape, 330 cases of rape, 5475 cases of child molestation and 1194 cases of child abuse cases were reported. Of these, 173 cases of child rape was reported from Anuradhapura, 166 cases from Kurunegala, 129 cases from Colombo, 111 cases from Gampaha and Ratnapura, 106 from Galle and 93 from Hambanthota. Anuradhapura recorded 55 cases of sexual harassment against children. 48, 41 and 40 cases of sexual harassment against children were reported from Ratnapura, Kalutara and Kurunegala respectively. 143 cases of child abuse was reported in Colombo, with 116, 99, and 67 cases of child abuse reported from Gampaha, Kurunegala and Ratnapura respectively.
  • To an extent, society is to be blamed as well. Instead of helping and supporting survivors of harassment, abuse and assault, some choose to blame the survivor, or in the case of domestic violence, view it as a private family matter. Due to this shame and the fear of being ostracized, it is believed that many cases of harassment, rape and abuse go unreported. If more cases are reported, the numbers will rise higher.
  • Domestic violence was at 60% in 2011. That number is said to have increased to approximately 80% in 2013. Sri Lanka is said to be 5th among countries that have a higher rate of domestic violence.

There should be more effort put into combating these crimes, from registering complaints to conducting thorough investigation to ensuring speedy trials to passing punishments suitable to the crime. Shielding perpetrators should carry its own penalty such as loss of rank/job/governmental position, etc, and/or a prison sentence. Further, crimes against women and children should be made non-baileble offences.

Religious orders, political parties, civil society and the police should put aside their differences and come together to bring an end to crimes against women and children. A country which boasts of the phrase ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a woman could walk from Dondra to Point Pedro with a gemstone in her hand with the assurance that no harm would come to herƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ should not turn into a land of perverts, paedophiles, abusers and rapists.

Will Americans continue to allow its politicians to get away with murder and war crimes?

July 16th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

Ignorance rarely leads to happy endings. One cannot but wonder whether American politicians would have gotten away with what they have done had the American polity been more politically aware of what was going on around them both at home and abroad. Has it not been the ability of AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s politicians to sell lies the Americans bought that has led to the deaths of MILLIONS of people and the destructions of their nations?

How Media Fools Americans

96% of world media is in the hands of 6 corporate giants ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” should we be surprised that we are being brainwashed? Media takes advantage of the ignorance of the American public and preoccupies their time by diverting attention to more physical attributes of Presidential candidates, their spouses and the way they dress, the jokes they say or the appearances they make. When people are politically ignorant what happens ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” they become prey to manipulations by the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ruling classƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and who are they? They are the transnational conglomerates who rule AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s political leaders, the news and entertainment media and special interest groups together who create what become historyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s distortions unless we are aware of the truth.

One needs to wonder whether it serves the American Governmental apparatus well to have an ignorant populace for what would happen if 344million Americans did wake up to the ground realities of the atrocities its GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s have been doing over decades? Would we be wrong to wonder if what happened to Iraq and Afghanistan, Libya and now Syria could have been averted or stopped by pressures exerted by the American public not allowing their Governments to kill innocent people, bomb nations into oblivion and eventually drug its own soldiers leaving one soldier a day committing suicide because of the side-effects of the drugs they are taking?

It is not difficult to deduce that the American public have been conditioned and are being conditioned to think according to how their GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s want them to think. Is it not because of conditioning that Big Tobacco, Big Pharma, Gun lobby and similar big boys end up deciding who gets to sit on the hot seat of the White House?

Of the top 25 magazines in the US the only news magazine is listed at number 12 (Time ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” which is dictated by the Bilderbergs). Only 12.5m people actually read the top 25 magazines of which Rupert MurdochƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Wall Street Journal is No.1. A National Civic Literacy Study conducted by Xavier University reveals that 1 in 3 native-born citizens fails the civics portion of the naturalization test compared to 97.5% pass rate among immigrants applying for citizenship. America is a nation of reality TV watchers and there are plans to induce the same catastrophe to Asian viewers now mesmerized by reality TV as well. It is good for Asian policy makers to realize this and immediately address this before Asians too end up ignoramus themselves!

How many Americans would accuse mainstream media of being a bunch of paid professional liars? They along with the new peace doves in the form of the human rights champions have no love, no decency, no shame and no fear ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” in fact they thrive of spewing disinformation, creating lies to deceive people and they hold laborious meetings to devise ways to deceive people to protect those who control the newsmedia.

Ignorance of Americans – Survey results

Pew Research which conducts surveys on the American publicƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s public affairs knowledge confirms what we perceive to be a primary reason for successive Governments to sell whatever story they like and militarily intervene and destroy entire nations and populations.ƒÆ’-¡  A Pew IQ study has revealed that only 7% of the people surveyed could correctly answer all 13 questions ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” half of those surveyed did not know where Syria was on the world map, 43% did not know what the national flag of China was, 75% didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t know the Euro symbol and thankfully 75% knew John Kerry was the new Secretary of State. How is this possible in a country where its mainstream news channels are providing 24×7 news coverage? How worse can things be when most Americans have concluded that the Boston Bomber ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” described as a Chechen is thought to be from Czechoslavakia!

More alerted American public could have stopped genocide

If the American people had known the lies their Governments tell would they have been able to question the logic of US killing 1,455,590 innocent IraqiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s to eliminate just 1 man? Thousands of IraqƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s have been killed since US military intervention in Iraq on the grounds that they accused Saddam for killing ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-50,000ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ IraqiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s without even proof? Did no American wonder why US could not have sent a professional team to strike out just Saddam Hussein and even his coterie instead of bombing an entire nation?

If the American people knew that America was murdering millions to steal Iraqi oil would they have allowed the occupation to take place given that none of these riches have benefitted the common American? Americans must now ask exactly who are profiting from these illegal occupations?

If the American people knew more about the UN laws would they have not questioned why US was invading Iraq when there was no evidence of Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Before American public officials go attributing comments such as these as Anti-American it is good for themselves to wonder exactly how they are contributing to taking their nation en route to a course that would only disintegrate their own people and possibly end up creating more enemies than friends. It is not out of any malice that facts are placed but to simply make people ask themselves whether they are going to continue to be misled by a handful of self-centred people who do not care for anyone but themselves and who are using the system to create anarchy throughout the world.

Questions Americans should ask

If the Americans knew the amounts going to these fictitious wars would they not question why US Armed Forces receive the small pay rise since 1973 while billions are going towards funding more wars!

Can Americans simply pass the blame on the Bush or Obama administration because when America declares War on Terror and America invades a nation every death makes Americans accountable because the American Government decides on the POWER the people have given them and if the Powers seated at Washington are evil and corrupt then all those under it are no different.

Do Americans think the world must think like them? Is that not being proud and arrogant? Do the other nations of the world not have cultures and civilizations that have proud histories that people do not wish to dilute them in the name of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-democracyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-liberal thinkingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬?

If Americans were not as ignorant as they are would they have not asked ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-since when did it become AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s business to interfere in the affairs of other nationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬?

If Americans were not as ignorant would they have not asked why US turned a blind eye to the millions slaughtered in Rwanda when US was alerted of the plan before the outbreak of violence?

Is it not because Americans were ignorant that US officials fooled the people into thinking 9/11 perpetrators were in Iraq and not Saudi Arabia?

Is it not because Americans are ignorant that Wall Street Bankers ripped off $23,700,000,000 (2009/2010) from the American taxpayers and the PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-representativesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ cannot do anything about it?

For Americans, all their Government needs to do is use just one word ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-terroristƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and the people are ever ready to give killing orders to their Governments but how many even wondered why their Government is using banned chemicals like DU ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” depleted uranium ƒÆ’-¡ which has resulted in abnormal children.

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Some US soldiers have even stored their sperms in California laboratories in case DU makes them sterile!

Do Americans even wonder that a criminal syndicate has taken control of the White House and do people wonder how proud they can be when their troops leave this message?

 

Do Americans know enough to question why US had no right and no legitimate reason to invade Iraq and that it was an ILLEGAL war without UN sanction and when US General James Mattis says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-its fun to shoot some peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ we know doom is on the way.

What if Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama were all part of that criminal syndicate but one person wasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t and because he didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t belong he had to go ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” well this happens when you do not tag the line ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The high office of the President has been used to foment a plot to destroy the American’s freedom and before I leave office, I must inform the citizens of this plight.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚President John Fitzgerald Kennedy – In a speech made to Columbia University on Nov. 12, 1963, ten days before his assassination! At the same time, he put a stop to the “borrowing” of Federal Reserve Notes from the Federal Reserve Bank and began issuing United States Notes (which was interest-free) on the credit of the United States. It was the issuing of the United States Notes that caused Jack Kennedy to be “assassinated.”

Upon taking the Oath of Office; Lynden B. Johnson stopped the issuing of the United States Notes and went back to borrowing Federal Reserve Bank Notes (which were loaned to the people of the United States at the going rate of interest of 17%). The U.S. Notes, that were issued under John F. Kennedy, were of the 1963 series which bore a “Red” seal on the face of the “Note.”

How many of the 344million Americans know that the Federal Reserve System is NOT a US Government owned agency? How many are aware that the member banks own all of the stock of the federal reserve banks and these heads are all members of the Council of Foreign Relations?

How many Americans know that Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act into law and amended the Constitution to make the federal income-tax known as the 16th amendment ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” once these 2 provisions became law what happens is that people are robbed of their earnings via the income-tax provision.

The day Americans start asking the correct questions either another ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-terroristƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ attack would take place or better still the new laws in place will ensure Americans are too afraid to speak up ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the fate of the whistleblowers shows enough reasons to fear the new system springing into being which will be no different under the Democrats or the Republicans.

The NSA leak and Snowden showed us that America and the world are being watched ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” their privacy is being violated. 30,000,000 US cars have black boxes. The nation preaching transparency and human rights have violated the rights of their own citizens.

Freedom gives people the right to BE wrong but Freedom does not give anyone the right to knowingly DO wrong.

When Americans are appearing to finally wake up and start asking the right questions that is why they are slapped with new laws and regulations to keep them in check and silenced. Surely 344million Americans can beat the tide and they must.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

 

I cannot vote for this Bill-Gamani-The speech GJ could not make

July 16th, 2013

The late Gamani Jayasuriya, one-time UNP minister, who died two Saturdays ago, opposed the Indo-Lanka Accord as he perceived it to be detrimental to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s national interest.

The late Gamani Jayasuriya, one-time UNP minister, who died two Saturdays ago, opposed the Indo-Lanka Accord as he perceived it to be detrimental to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s national interest.

When the 13th Amendment and Provincial Council Bill were being presented in parliament, he wanted to explain why he opposed the accord and the bill. But he was refused permission by Deputy Speaker Norman Waidyaratne. Consequently, Mr. Jayasuriya resigned from the government.

Today, The Sunday Times publishes the speech Mr. Jayasuriya never made and never entered Hansard, the official record of parliamentary proceedings.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We have reached a very crucial period in our Parliamentary history. During the past 40 years since Independence many bills have been debated and passed by this House. Members of this House during those 40 years, both from Government benches and the opposition, should be proud of their services to this House.

Two bills that have been subjected to great debate in this country now comes up for approval before us today, i.e. the 13th Amendment and the Provinicial Council Bill. These are two bills that have a direct bearing on our people. These are bills that require the greatest consideration of this House, and therefore, I thank you Mr. Speaker, for giving me this opportunity of expressing my own views on them.

Gamini Jayasuriya: opposed the Indo-Lanka accord

Gamini Jayasuriya: opposed the Indo-Lanka accord

These two bills are the outcome of the Indo-Lanka Accord. For quite some time now there has been bloodshed and destruction due to terrorist activity, and let me first and foremost express my deep appreciation of the efforts of the President to tackle these problems. While I commend the PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s efforts, I must also speak of the long-term dangers that some of these efforts may cause to the life of the Nation.

The Supreme Court has deemed that these two bills now before us are constitutional. 5 judges held in favour, 4 against. Mr. Speaker, these judges are very learned men accepted by society. 4 of these judges have held with the view I hold and have given their reasons. They too have held that the Sinhala and Muslim people living in the Eastern Province will be greatly harmed by the merger of the East with the North under the provisions of this accord.

These two bills strike at the very root of sovereignty, territorial integrity and the unitary nature of our country. These are very complex issues that require the strictest scrutiny.

How will these bills affect the peaceful coexistence between the Sinhala and Muslim people? How will it affect the Sinhala Buddhists? Will we obtain peace with honour through these bills?

The most important aspect of these bills, is the merger of the North and East Provinces. Mr. Speaker, give me the opportunity to explain to this House why I oppose this merger.

The reasons I have are very clear. They are firm. I express these views both as an ordinary citizen of this country, and as a politician who has served as a member of the United National Party and followed its ideals.

Senior members of the UNP will recall that on 15 January 1949 at the partyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s inaugural meeting held under the distinguished patronage of the late D. S. Senanayake, I was elected as one of the 16 youth league members of the party. I have therefore had a 40 year association with the UNP.

What were the fundamental principals of our party at the time? They were Freedom, Democracy, Independence, Sovereignty and the protection of our territorial integrity. We did not even dream that we may have to one day deviate from those great ideals and fundamental principles.

We went before the people with these ideals. We marched to Kandy because of those ideals.

Under the leadership of Mr. J. R. Jayewardene we launched a campaign to boycott Lake House newspapers that had been taken over by the Government for this reason. I took part in a Sathyagraha campaign at Attanagalla for this reason. I was physically attacked at that campaign by our opponents.

Mr. Speaker, even if there were differences of opinion between us, we in the UNP worked together. We did this because we all made these ideals. I spoke of those fundamental principles, the cornerstone of our work.

I have been comfortable with these ideals and on occasions when I could not agree with the party whip because it went against my conscience like the schools takeover bill or when Mr. J. R. Jayewardene decided on a no contest pact at the Kalawewa by – election if Mr. Anura Bandaranaike was to contest. Equally when Mr. Jayewardene wanted to contest the Colombo South by – election very few agreed with him. I was one of them. These were difficult decisions and often I was distanced from the party leadership for the decision I took.

But at the end of the day, His Excellency the President must have realized that those decisions that I took were taken in good faith.

Mr. Speaker, We as Sri Lankans must be proud of the heritage we have inherited. We must be equally prepared to make sacrifices to protect that heritage. We must have a clear vision for the future. In our minds must be a Sri Lanka that is united, free and independent, not one that is under the thumb or dancing to the tune of a foreign country. A country without unwanted foreigners for if we take the wrong decision today, unborn generations are going to curse us.

Sir, in 1977 the UNP won 80 percent of the seats. In 1982 an extension was granted through a Referendum but it was not a vote to deviate from those fundamental principles the party stood for. That approval cannot be mixed up with the partyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s right to change its principles. That would run countrary to the essence of democracy.

And this is a National Question. It is something that is above party politics. So, whatever decision we take it must be according to our conscience.

The merger of the North and East is part of the bill that is before this House. According to these bills prior to September 31 of 1988 or on a date to be determined by the President a Referendum must be held in the Eastern Province to endorse this merger. For those in the East to decide whether they wish to merge with the North, or remain separate.

According to section 37 of the Provincial Council Bill the President has the power to merge two provinces as one administrative council with one chief minister and one Board of Ministers, and there is provision to do so without the consent of the people.

If the people in the country react to this the way they have, can you blame them? Our members could leave us. The strength of the party will weaken. Whenever there were attempts by whatever Government to grant to Tamil minorities more privileges than were due, our party opposed them.

The best examples of this were in 1957 when the Bandaranaike Chelvanayakam Pact had to be abrogated partly due to the agitation by the UNP and partly the people.

In 1965 though Mr. Dudley Senanayake signed an agreement with Mr. Chelvanayakam it was not implemented. From 1960 despite the agitation by the Tamil parties to merge the North and East we vehemently opposed it.

We have done our part in trying to resolve the question of the minorities. In June 1985 discussions were begun in New Delhi. In July and August the same year there were the Thimpu talks. We never agreed to any mergers during these talks. Neither did Rajiv Gandhi want them. He felt that our suggestions at the time were quite acceptable.

We have seen how Indian foreign policy experts have clearly used situations to implement their plans for the region. Their plans for Indian hegemony in its neighbourhood is an open secret. The decision to air drop food over Jaffna was not a sudden decision taken at the spur of the moment.

They calculate these moves well in advance. Our Foreign Ministry was totally perplexed by the decision of the IndianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s. That is why I fear a Referendum within an year and what is in the mind of Rajiv Gandhi.

Mr. Speaker, you may recall the statement made by our government in response to a message sent on 1 December 1985 by the TULF to Mr. Rajiv Gandhi. The President refers to this in his address to this House on 20 February 1986 and it is reported in Hansard as follows:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-When we have to take decisions there are moments when we cannot shift from our principles. We cannot see the unitary nature of the state. We cannot donate our democratic institutions. We cannot merge provinces purely for a constitutional or administrative solution. Whatever race, religion or caste, all persons must have equal constitutional rights.

The President went on to say:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”We cannot accept these proposals in any way. If these proposals are implemented the TULF will obtain a separate state very close to Eelam. Even if there is a state among Tamil speaking people, there could be other differences. This is the foundation for Eelam that the TULF wants. For this Eelam they will annex not only the North and East, but also the up-country and the North central province.

That was the position taken by the government then.

The people have already expressed their opposition to these proposals now before us. Can we force them down their throats? Can we close our eyes to this opposition?

The people know that we have consistently been opposed to the question of the merger. And they know why? The Eastern province consists of all races. It has archaeological sites that prove that these were areas inhabited for centuries by the Sinhalese people.

The Sinhalese and Muslims in the East comprise 58 per cent of the population. When you merge the North with the East the Tamils become 65 per cent of that wider area. The Tamil party will use this majority to establish the foundation for Eelam.

The merger of the North and East is not only the problem of the people living there, but also that of all the people of Sri Lanka. It applies to the landless people in the South. How can the Sinhala people in the South reap the benefits of the Mahaveli scheme for instance if this merger takes place?

One merged council will have the control of 28 percent of the land mass of Sri Lanka and 60 percent of the coast. Jaffna and Bintenne will be ruled by one council.

There can be no objection to the North which has 92 percent Tamils being administered by one council. But to have a multi ethnic East being annexed to the North is not reasonable to say the least.

To give you some statistics: In Batticaloa there are 72 percent Tamils but in Trincomalee and Ampara Tamils are a minority – 34 percent in Trinco and 20 percent in Ampara. And 46 percent of the land mass in the East comes under the Ampara district (which has 20 percent Tamils) and all this is to be controlled by one Tamil dominated council.

According to the 1981 census, divisions like Gomarankadawela (99%) Sinhalese, Kantalai (82%), Morawewa (55%), Seruvila (57%) have the largest land mass in the Trinco district.

These are traditional homelands of the Sinhala people. If these areas come under the control of a council controlled from Jaffna the Sinhala people of the East will have no more say in the areas of health, education, agriculture or culture.

Archaeological sites that prove Sinhala civilization in the area will be in danger of annihilation. Deegavapi, Seruvila, Thiriyaya and even Nagadeepa Viharaya are already subject to terrorist attacks. For how long will these ancient sites that have existed for more than two thousand years be preserved?

Under the Indo-Lanka Accord 2.1 states on a proposal by the government of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-2.1 Since the Government of Sri Lanka proposes to permit adjoining provinces to join to form one administrative unit and also by a Referendum to separate as may be permitted to the Northern and Eastern Provinces as outlined below:

2.2 During the period, which shall be considered an interim period (i.e. from the date of the elections to the Provincial Councils, as specified in para 2.8 to the date of the referendum as specified in para 2.3), the Northern and Eastern Provinces as now constituted will form one administrative unit, having one elected Provincial Council. Such a unit will have one Governor, one Chief Minister and one Board of Ministers.

2.3. There will be a referendum on or before 31 December, 1988 to enable the people of the eastern province to decide whether:

(a) Eastern Province should remain linked with the Northern province as one administrative unit, and continue to be governed together with the Northern province as specified in para 2.2, or (b) The Eastern Province should constitute a separate administrative unit having its own distinct Provincial Council and a separate Governor, Chief Minister and Board of Ministers.

The President can postpone a referendum but what I say is that even a temporary merger must not be accepted. Why? Because you are then yielding to the argument that the East is a traditional homeland of the Tamil speaking people.

To divide Sri Lanka on the basis of language arouse fear among the Sinhala people. That is why it must be opposed at the all cost.

We will be able to see the motives of the Tamil parties even if the North and East are merged temporarily. We must consistently reject the concept of a Tamil traditional homeland. Clause 1.4 of the Accord says:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-That the North and East Provinces of Sri Lanka are the traditional homelands of the Tamil speaking people and that they have lived therein with those of other communities within this area.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

What is meant by ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Within this area?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ How did this concept come to be agreed upon by this Government?

It is clear to anyone the intentions with which those words have been used. If one were to use the classification of those areas properly it should be said that they are the traditional homelands of the Sinhala people. There is historical and archaeological evidence of this. There is evidence to show that the Sinhala race was in situ prior to the arrival of the Tamils there. There is evidence of ancient Buddhist temples. How can the Tamils ever say this is their traditional homeland?

The Accord says that the President can postpone a referendum. Who can say if the terrorists will stop fighting? The President says he will campaign against the merger at the referendum.

That alone shows that the President himself is against the merger. That he accepts it as not good for the country. Then what is the logic in granting a temporary merger? After a temporary merger the Sinhala and Muslim people in the East will be subjected to the will of the Tamils.

The contradiction is this. On one occasion we say small units are best for local administration. Then we devolve power to such huge units which can be stepping stones to separate states.

The British divided this country for their benefit. Now the Indians are doing it. Their Army and their Navy is already here.

Immediately after the Accord we watched helplessly as the terrorists chased away hundreds of Sinhalese from the East. The IPKF was in charge of ensuring peace. Under the Accord we could do nothing about it. Can anyone accept this situation?

The IPKF acted against the terrorists only after they themselves were attacked. That was as an act of being ashamed of getting a bloodied nose. We released terrorists in our custody under the Accord. But they did not release our prisoners nor did they surrender their weapons.

They were to surrender weapons in 72 hours. Now 100 days have gone by.

There are other dangerous provisions of the Accord. Provincial elections will be supervised by Indian officials. The Indians will monitor the cessation of hostilities in the North. They are still going on.

Generations of our people have made sacrifices for our freedom and independence. Many have lost their lives towards this noble cause. History proves that it was when foreigners tightened their grip over Sri Lanka making slaves of our people that the freedom struggle gathered momentum.

To get rid of the Portuguese, we welcomed the Dutch. They became a bigger headache. Then we got the British to oust the Dutch. In 1815 the entire country fell to foreign hands. At first the British ruled under the provisions of the Kandyan Convention. Within 3 years the people revolted and Keppetipola beheaded. As time went by the people of Sri Lanka came under the Jackboot of British colonialism.

After a series of bitter struggles it was in 1948 that we freed ourselves from 133 years of foreign rule. I appeal that this freedom we have so dearly achieved not be bartered away so easily.

I am proud to have been a member of Cabinet that has achieved so much economic progress in the past few years. I am proud that we have raised the living standards of the common man of Sri Lanka. But all this takes second place to the question of freedom, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Whatever differences we have had during the past 39 years since Independence we have retained our National Freedom. It is a fundamental right of any citizen in this country to be able to reside wherever he or she so wishes. Sinhala and Muslim people must have the equal right to live peacefully in the East. The Tamil people must have an equal right to live anywhere in this country.

While the Tamil people must have this right, they cannot be given the exclusive right to a part of this country.

No country in the world will permit such unequal treatment for 12.6 per cent of the population to be given control over such a large area as the North and East of Sri Lanka.

If this Bill is to purely demarcate boundaries for administrative purpose I can accept it. So too if limited powers are devoted for such administrative purposes.

The President recently told a gathering at the BMICH that the temporary merger is a small sacrifice we have to make towards peace. I firmly believe such a merger, even a temporary one will only muddle issues further and see endless conflict and bloodshed.

Mr. Speaker, you may recall that in 1957 I was opposed to this kind of merger. That was when there was peace. There was law and order then. There was also racial amity. There was no bloodshed then as we see now. There were no terrorists then. But even then the UNP opposed the Bandaranaike-Chelvanayakam Pact.

The situation on law and order today is completely different. Therefore the dangers now in the merger are far more dangerous than they were then.

I have considered these matters very intensely. We cannot forget the sacrifices made by our forefathers towards the freedom of our country. Many of them as I said, have put Nation before self and even sacrificed their lives for it.

Mr. Speaker, under these circumstances I find that I cannot vote for this Bill that provides for the merger of the North and Eastern Province.

Thank You!

 


 

The day he resigned- from the Hansard of November 10, 1987

(Mr. Gamani Jayasuriya – Minister of Agricultural Development & Research and Minister of Food) rose.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! We are having a list of 11 speakers for today – (Interruption).

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

The Hon. Minister of Agricultural Development and Research & Minister of Food is a very senior Minister in this House. He has earned the respect of everybody in this House including yourself, and if the Government is not prepared to allocate time to the Hon. Minister, I am prepared to give him 30 minutes from the time of the Opposition whenever he wishes to speak.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! Hon. Leader of the Opposition, there are only three more speakers for the whole day from the Opposition but there are eleven speakers from the Government side. So it cannot be done – (Interruption). I am balancing it well. But certainly I shall consider the suggestion you have made.

Mr Samaraweera Weeravanni and Mr. K. D. M. C. Bandara spoke; Then Mr. Jayasuriya rose.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker).

I am sorry. As much as I would like to, I cannot recognize you, there are six other MPs of the Government to speak.

(Mr. Gamani Jayasuriya)

Well, I will always abide by your decision, Sir. I am not a person who does readily…….. I am not a chap like that. But, Sir I asked for 50 minutes. I wrote to the Chief Government Whip. He got the letter by 2 oƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢clock yesterday.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

You will have to decide it with the Chief Government Whip. He is the person who sends me the list.

(Mr. Gamani Jayasuriya)

I know.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

It is not the question of time.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

Sir, I will give him my time. We will give from our time. Sir I would like to have a ruling on that.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

The ruling is this: As he is a Government MP, I am unable to recognize him at the moment.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

He is a Member of Parliament. Why can he not speak?

(Mr. Richard Pathirana)

Garu Niyojya Kathanaya-kathuamni, Kalin Avasthav-aka Kelaniye Cyril Mathew Garu Manth-rithumata Ape Kalayen Deela Thibenava.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

There is a precedence in this House.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please!

But I am asking the Hon. Member for Gampaha to speak. Are you speaking? If you are not, I ask the Hon. Deputy Minister of Fisheries to speak.

(Mr. Anil Moonesinghe)

It is very unfair.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

He is an Honourable Member of the Government side. He has to come to an understanding with the Chief Government Whip.

(Mr. Anil Moonesinghe)

No- (Interruption).

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

He is a Member of Parliament.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! This is Party Government and the Party Whip has not given him any time today: Nobody can give time excepting the Chair.

(Mr.. Anura Bandaranaike)

He is a Member in this House – (Interruption).

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

No, unless he joins the Opposition.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

There is no such rule.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

If he joins the Opposition, I shall certainly recognize him – (Interruption). Order, please! ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Karunakara vadiwennaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

(Mr. Richard Pathirana)

Meka tharu pahe prajathanthravadayak (interruptions) Vipakshayata ven kala velaven katha karanne. Meeta issara Kalaniye garu manthreethumata (C. Cyril Mathew) ida deela thibenewa(interruptions)

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Hon. Minister, I think you realize the embarrassment of the Government if you were to speak on Opposition time – (Interrupion). I am unable to recognize you. It is not a matter for the Opposition.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

You are the custodian of the rights of every Member of this House. How can you do that?

(Mr. Deputy Speaker) Definitely.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

You are not the custodian of the Governement. How can you do that, Sir?

(Mr. Dupaty Speaker)

This Debate is confined to Members of the Opposition and the Members of the Goverment. The lists are made by the Chief Whips of the two Parties.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

No. That is not correct.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Then I will have to recognize 140 Members of the Government. – (Interruption). My order has been made.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

Sir, you must accept that the Hon. Minister of Agriculture is a senior Member of this House. he is a senior Minister in this Government. How can you do that?

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! As an Hon. Member of the House he holds one of the most important portfolios of this Government and as a Member of this Government he cannot defy the Chief Government WhipƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s order in making the list. There are certain rules – (Interruption).

There is some reason. Opposition time is for Members of the Opposition. – (Interruption). I am asking for Order. I have recognized the Members for Gampaha and if he is not speaking –

(Mr. G. M. Premachandra)

I rise to a point of Order, Sir.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

Sir, the Member for Gampaha is speaking anyway: The Hon. Minister can take 30 minutes of our time.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! It is not a question of anybodyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s time. He is a Member of the Government.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike)

He has the right to speak.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

I am sure he does not want to speak. I am sure he will accept my Ruling. He has accepted it.

(Mr. Anura Bandaranaike) No!

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Of course, he has.

(Mr. Dinesh Gunawardene)

It is not in the Standing Orders.

(Mr. Deputy Speaker)

Order, please! The Speaker will now take the Chair.

Resignation of Mr. Gamani Jayasuriya, Member of Parliament for Homagama

(Mr. Speaker) The Secretary-General of Parliament has received a letter from Mr. Gamani Jayasuriya, Member for Homagama, which will now be read to the Parliament:

Whereupon the Secretary- eneral read the following letter:

Parliament

10th November, 1987.

The Secretay-General of Parliament,

Parliament of Sri Lanka,

Sri Jayawardenepura Kotte.

Sir, Under the Constitution of the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, I hereby tender my resignation, with immediate effect, from my Seat as the Member of Parliament for Homagama I thank the Hon. Speaker, yourself and the rest of the Staff for the kindness shown to me during my tenure of Office as a Member of Parliament.

Yours faithfully,

Gamani Jayasuriya,

MP.for Homagama.

http://www.sundaytimes.lk/980510/news4.html

Life Abroad ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”Part 34 MIGRANT PASSPORT TEST – ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”LIFE IN THE UKƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

July 16th, 2013

Dr. Tilak Fernando

How many British born in the UK will be able to say confidently in which year Emperor Claudius invaded their country?ƒÆ’-¡  Did King Henry VIII create The Church of England?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Which scientist named the return of a comet after his name?ƒÆ’-¡  Was it Isaac Newton, Richard Arkwright, Samuel Pepys or Edmond HalleyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦. ?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Not many will be able to give a concise answer I bet, but these are the types of questionsƒÆ’-¡  anyone seeking British Nationality now ƒÆ’-¡ has to answer by sitting a special test called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” Life in the United KingdomƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

The test was introduced on 1 November 2005 for naturalisation and on 2 April 2007 for settlement which is supposed to fulfill the language requirement by demonstrating ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a sufficient knowledge of the English languageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Nature of the Test

The test is computer-based, consists of 24 questions of which a minimum of 18 answers should be correct. The total duration of the test is 45 minutes. The pass mark is around 75%. Testing is not directly administered by the UK Border Agency, but it is carried out by Ufi Limited via a secure web connection at a fee of ƒÆ’-¡£50 from June 2011.

Those who had completed the EOSL course (English for Speakers of Other Languages certificate)ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  studied at an accredited college accepted by the Home Office before 6 November 2010 were regarded as having fulfilled the sufficient language and knowledge of life in the UK

Criticism

Upon publication of an associated handbook that was supposed to help candidates to pass the examination with ease, it was widely criticised, particularly the section on the UK’s history, which was described as a “turgid, abysmal piece of writing,” filled with “factual errors, ƒÆ’-¡ sweeping generalisations and gross misrepresentations.” The book contains about 3000 facts including five phone numbers, 34 web sites, 278 historical dates and several excerpts of poetry. In 2011, the government announced its intention to include questions on the UK’s history and remove questions on the EU from the test.

Every member of the New Statesman editorial team failed the test in 2012 and described it asƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ mocking Brutishness since there is no general agreement amongst the population on what is or isnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t relevant to culture and historyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

What is British citizenship?

British citizenship is one of the six different forms of British nationality. Some of these were defined in the British Nationality Act 1981, which came into force on 1 January 1983.

The forms of nationality are: British citizenship; British overseas citizenship; British overseas territories citizenship; British national (overseas); British protected person; and British subject.

Other forms of British nationality have existed, but they are not current – for example, citizenship of the United Kingdom and colonies (CUKC) or British Dependent Territories citizenship.

Only British citizens, and certain British subjects with right of abode through qualifying connections under the Immigration Act 1971, have the right to live and work in the UK. People holding one of the other forms of nationality may live and work in the UK if their immigration status allows them to do so.

University Research

Durham University recently after a recent survey has been highly critical of the new system adopted by the Home Office which made compulsory for migrants to sit for what they called ƒÆ’-¡ this a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”multiple close testƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

According to Dr. Thom Brooks, a member of the Labour Party in the UK states that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” the test does notƒÆ’-¡  touch on GCSC or A Level examinations or about practical necessities in daily UK life such as how to ƒÆ’-¡ register with a General Practitioner or ƒÆ’-¡ how to go about reporting an emergencyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Dr. Brooks sat the test in 2009 after arriving from the US and has been since complaining that much of the information included in the official hand book did not appear to be part of the examination. HeƒÆ’-¡  takes the view thatƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” Britain will not beƒÆ’-¡  more cohesive because many have heard aboutƒÆ’-¡  the Battle of Trafalgar, but rather if future citizens understand better how to participate in daily BritishƒÆ’-¡  life and make a contributionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

However, officials at the Home Office who introduced the updated format of the test at the beginning of 2013 maintain they had deliberately placed the focus on British history, rather than the likes of how to claim benefits!

Past History

Prior to the introduction of the latest modus operandi Britain has been concerned (in 1960s) with the possible effect of large-scale immigration from its former colonies in Asia and Africa.ƒÆ’-¡  All Commonwealth citizens could enter and stay in the United Kingdom without any restriction until the Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 came into effect.

The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1962 made Citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies whose passports were not directly issued by the United Kingdom Government (i.e. passports issued by the Governor of a colony or by the Commander of a British protectorate) subject to immigration control. Those with passports issued at a British High Commission in an independent Commonwealth country or British Consulate remained free from immigration control.

The 1962 Act also increased the residence period for Commonwealth citizens (plus British subjects and Irish citizens) applying for registration as Citizens of the UK and Colonies from one year to five years.

The Commonwealth Immigrants Act 1968 sharpened the distinction between citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies (CUKCs) who had close ties with the United Kingdom and were free to enter, and those citizens who had no such ties and were therefore subject to immigration control. Particularly in the newly independent Commonwealth countries of East Africa, the result was that there were now citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies who had the right of residence nowhere.

Immigration Act 1971

The Immigration Act 1971 developed this distinction by creating the concept of partiality or right of abode. CUKCs and other Commonwealth citizens had the right of abode in the UK only if they, their husband (if female), their parents, or their grandparents were connected to the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

This placed the UK in a position where the immigration problem not only became an important tool for political football when it came to Election campaigns. As the numbers of immigrants started to expand and some nationalities who could not utter a word of English began to enter the country, let alone having any knowledge on the traditions of the host country.

Seemingly with the expansion of the immigration influx , especially from the ƒÆ’-¡ Asian commonwealth countries, where not only the spouse or the children of the immigrant but it lead to parents and grandparents etc., to arrive in England without knowing a single letter in English !ƒÆ’-¡  This caused numerous problem and expense too to the British government in their welfare activities where additional notices, leaflets and booklets in two three languages had to be published for the benefit of the non-speaking immigrant communities in Britain.

Democracy and multiculturalism

As the British society became a multicultural society and immigrants were able to contest in local and general elections, seemingly immigrant councilors and parliamentarians began to emerge. Simultaneously numerous associations and counseling organisations working for the welfare of immigrants started to develop which reduced the need or the urgency to learn the language or the British way of life of the host country for an immigrant.

Additionally, those who arrived in the country on the pretext of further studies began to hoodwink the home office and started moonlighting which made the Home Office to restrict and remove student working hours which has greatly affected the genuine students who are diligently engaged and focused on their future.

An accumulation of such abuses over a period of time has made the British authorities to modify the period of stay in the United Kingdom from one year at the beginning, then to 5 years and now expanded the time limit to 10 years before one could apply for British citizenship.ƒÆ’-¡  The latest ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”immigrant passport testƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is the ultimate result of a continuous process of controlling the immigration to the United Kingdom.

tilakfernando@gmail.com

TNA MP foils army from raping 200 Tamil girlsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

July 15th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

The Island carried a news item on 15 July that Sivagnanam Sritharan, Jaffna District Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP, foiled the attempt by the army to rape 200 Tamil speaking girls. He probably means that the army is the Sri Lanka army and that the Tamil speaking girls are of Tamil ethnic origin (although women in the Moor community, too, come into the category of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Tamil speakingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬).

All Sri Lankans who value human rights and love peace will applaud the laudable act apparently performed by the TNA MP. There are a few points, though, ƒÆ’-¡ that may bother them as to why the gentleman had to travel all the way to Montreal in Canada which is situated over 5000 miles away from Sri Lanka to reveal his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”knight in armourƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ act that saved the damsels from worse than death.

According to the MPs own words, as reported in the Island, he intervened when the girls were being taken away. He does not say that there was rape or attempted rape, but the MP from the North knew for certain of what was in store for them. Anyway, it would be great relief for Sri Lanka Tamils that the MP wishes to remain in Sri Lanka to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-save the Tamil speaking peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, although the rest of the world knows, and witnessed through live broadcasts, how the armed forces of Sri Lanka saved 300,000 Tamils – the young, the old, the infirm as well as young Tamil lassies, who would have been prime prey to vultures from many other armies – from the clutches of their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”saviourƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in May 2009.

All that Sritharan has to do is to lodge a complaint with the legal authorities and provide the evidence that supports his accusation. Of course, he may say that the police and other custodians of justice in Sri Lanka do not function as he desires, but that is what the rest of Sri Lanka including the three quarter Sinhalese population lives with.

Leaving all the above issues aside, there is a more sinister and grave implication in what Sritharan is reported to have said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We cannot start a war in Sri Lanka, only you (the Tamil Canadians who emigrated from Sri Lanka) can start itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. This man is inciting non-Sri Lankan Canadian citizens to wage war against sovereign Sri Lanka, while he remains a Sri Lankan citizen, and an MP who has sworn allegiance to the sovereignty of the country. In any other country he will be arrested the moment he sets foot in Sri Lanka and be charged for treason. But, in Sri Lanka one can commit the most heinous crime and yet live at the expense of the taxpayer!

Jayalalitha does it again

July 15th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J. Jayalaitha has written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, urging the Central Government of New Delhi to “take all possible steps to bring pressure to bear upon the Sri Lankan government not to take any steps to repeal or even dilute the 13th amendment in any manner”.

She has also stated while the aspirations of the Sri Lankan Tamils can be realized only through an independent Tamil Eelam, the process of securing the right to self determination, through democratic decentralization, should not be derailed. She further stated that there are disturbing signs that the Sri Lankan government is not serious about rehabilitating and restoring the lives of the Tamil minority.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha:-

  • The 13th amendment was implemented by the Sri Lankan Government under duress. Furthermore, the very text for the 13th Amendment was compiled by New Delhi, not by Sri Lanka. Due to these reasons alone, whether or not the 13th Amendment is kept as it is, diluted or done away with altogether should be at the discretion of the Government and citizens of Sri Lanka, not the Government of India.
  • The president at the time, JR Jayewardene was said to have repeatedly offered to make Prabhakaran the chief administrator of the north-eastern provinces. He had further stated that if Prabhakaran accepted the responsibility he would not insist on a panel of nominees for the post of the chief administrator. Prabhakaran refused.ƒÆ’-¡  The next President, Ranasinghe Premadasa was said to haveƒÆ’-¡ presented Prabhakaran with power sharing opportunities plus other incentives such as weapons and money. Again, this was refused. If he had accepted the terms offered by JR or Premadasa, Prabhakaran could have been the leader of a de facto Eelam in the North and East. Fortunately for the country, it was his own stupidity in refusing these offers that brought about the final fate of the LTTE. On a side note, readers should also check out the following link http://www.rediff.com/news/nov/04dixit9.htm.
  • Any legitimate grievances should be addressed according to proper legal procedures. And yes, the Government should see to the rehabilitation and resettlement of Tamils. At the same time, the Government also has to look into the rehabilitation and resettlement of Sinhala and Muslim families that were driven out by the LTTE. They should not be seen favouring one community over the others.
  • ƒÆ’-¡ From 1983 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 1987 there had been up to 32 LTTE training camps all over India. It is believed that up to 3363 militants were given military training to fight against Sri Lankan armed forces. A country that had allowed terrorists to conduct training camps within its territory has no moral authority to dictate terms to a country that has been the victim of these terrorists.

Chief Minister Jayalalitha should be reminded that Sri Lanka is an independent, sovereign and unified country. Any solutions to the problems facing all of the communities living in Sri Lanka should be solved locally and as a unified country, not as a divided country.

Mind, Brain and Buddhism

July 15th, 2013

Akila Weerasekera

On July 20, 2007, neurologists at the University of Marseille revealed the remarkable case of the 44-year-old French tax official who had been doing just fine with a fluid-filled cavity taking up most of the space where his brain should have been. He had gone to the hospital in 2003 complaining of a slight weakness in his left leg. When the doctors scanned his brain they found mostly a black hole.

The patient told the attending physicians that as a six-month-old baby he had suffered from hydrocephalus (commonly known as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-water on the brainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬) and that a shunt had been inserted to drain away the fluid. His physician ordered a tomography scan (CT) and an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging scan) and discovered that the lateral ventricles, chambers that hold and cushion the brain, were extremely enlarged. In the normal brain, these ventricles are very small.

Upon close examination, the doctors found that a massive cavity had built up in the manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s skull and that it had filled with fluid and a thin sheet of functioning brain tissue, which was pushed back against the inner walls of his cranium.

Tests performed by the medical team revealed that the patient was neither physically nor mentally disabled by his strange condition and that it had not hindered his socialization. The man was married with two children and carried out his duties at the tax office without difficulty.

With a weight of about three pounds, the human brain is regarded as an astonishing instrument. According to neuroscientists the neocortex, the outer layer of the brain, by which we perform higher thinking, consists of a thin sheet of cells about 2.5 millimeters in thickness. The neocortex is also made up of cortical blood vessels and supportive cells for the neuronal (nerve) matrix. If the neocortex is damaged in humans and higher mammals, the result is a condition known as decorticate rigidity in which the thinking processes are shut down.

From the perspective of (western) human evolution, the neocortex is built upon the older brain in the cerebellum and brainstem which perform the autonomic functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, and the onset of sleep. The brainstem is a primitive area of the brain that merges the lower brain into the spinal cord. Scientists believe that without the neocortex, consciousness as we understand it would not exist. However, studies have shown that the neocortex canƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t even stay awake to perform the simplest of tasks without constant stimulation from the brainstem.

Although the neocortex is considered the crowning achievement of human evolution, it does contain large cavities without any brain cells, as well as considerable amounts of cerebrospinal fluid, white matter, blood vessels, blood, and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-non-thinking cells.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Also, as we saw earlier some individuals have been able to function with only a tiny fraction of the brainƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚or no brain at all.

The reductionist view popular with many scientists and philosophers is that knowledge of the neuronal structures and functions (or their molecular underpinnings) is sufficient for defining and explaining consciousness and mental activities. But then how could we explain the case of the French tax official and others who do not have a defined brain?

Today we are virtually forced by the scientific establishment to regard conscious subjective experience as a phenomenon that somehow emerges from an appropriate system of activities of the physical nerve cells in the brain.

According to western neuroscience our subjective experiences are based on widespread networks of thousands of nerve cells, located in separate places in the brain. Also, appropriate nerve cell activities can influence the content, or even the existence, of subjective experiences.

How can conscious subjective experience arise from activities of nerve cells in the brain? That is, how can the mental arise from the physical?

Is the reverse true? That is, can our conscious intentions really influence or direct the nerve cell activities in the performance of a freely voluntary act? Can we consider conscious experiences as real phenomenon that are not reducible to the physical activities of the neurons in the brain?

According to Buddhist teachings it is specifically mentioned that consciousness and physical body are interdependent. When the Buddha explains the constituents of the physical body, he had referred to the brain as matthalunga but had not given any special attention to it and it is not maintained that brain is the seat of mental activity.ƒÆ’-¡ According to Dr. Y. Karunadasa, in one of the books of the Abhidhamma Pitaka the physical basis of mind is referred to, but apparently it does not identify what it is. It says: “whatever materiality on which mind and mind-consciousness depend, that materiality is a condition by way of support to mind and mind-consciousness”.

Based on Abhidhamma teachings and Professor Nalin de SilvaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s philosophy of Constructive Relativism (ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”PaticcasamuppadinƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ view) we say that interaction between the mind and the brain can go in both directions, in other words, subjective experiences are the result of the functional interdependency of mindƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”nervous system (central nervous system & peripheral nervous system) processes. Techniques such as functional MRI and regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) have shown that cerebral events or processes can influence, control, and presumably ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-produceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ mental events, including conscious ones. We believe that the reverse of this principle that mental processes can influence or control neuronal ones to be also true, although it has been generally unaccepted within the scientific community. We regard the mind as a stream of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-cittasƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(the Pali word citta is derived from the verbal root citi, to cognize, to know) and to have a relative existence (relative to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ self).

Before we go any further let me explain a bit about the neuronal communication theory in order to get a better understanding of our proposed theory.

Communication between neurons, or nerve cells, is regarded as the cellular basis for thinking, decision making, and control of muscular movements. Neurons are cells with a particular shape: they possess two types of long ramification, called the axon and the dendrites. The axon of one neuron is in contact with the dendrites of other neurons. These contacts are termed synapses or neuronalƒÆ’-¡ junction. Each neuron forms thousands of synapses with other neurons. Neurons communicate by sending electric signals along their axons. When a signal reaches a synapse, it triggers the release of neurotransmitters, which are small molecules that diffuse in the intercellular space and activate receptor on the surface of the other cell forming the synapse. In turn, activated receptors generate electric signals of variable intensity. The signals coming from every synapses of a neuron passively converge to the base of its axon and are summed up. If the resulting signal is intense enough, the axon will actively propagate the signal further; otherwise, the signal will stop there.

We theorize that a single citta or a group of cittas with accompanying mental factors (cetasikas) can affect the probability of release of the chemical transmitter substance at synaptic junctions. This triggers the cascade of electrical signals necessary for neuronal communications. The probability of release could be dependent on the nature of the citta. LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s say according to diverse manifestations of citta(s) the probability of release of chemical transmitters fluctuate between 0 and 1. 0 being no chemical transmitter is released and 1 being appropriate trigger amount of chemical transmitter being released depending on manifested citta(s). We say that everything between 0 and 1 correspond to potentialities of subjective experiences. As to where and how exactly the interaction takes place and which sub-neuronal structure is directly involved is yet to be determined.

Furthermore, we say that interaction of cittas with sub-neuronal structures of five-sense-organs create neuronal communications necessary for perception and interaction of cittas with themselves creates the mind (or the illusion of a mind). Hence, as expected there is a built-in circular causality associated with this process which we believe exists until the emergence of cuti-citta (death consciousness) and the process starts all over again according to relinking-citta (patisandhi vinnana).

However, unlike physical emergent phenomena, the emergent subjective experience is not directly observable or measurable by any physical means, as subjective experience is only accessible to the individual having the experience. The emergent subjective experience of this system is unlike the properties of the responsible nerve cells, it could not have been a predicted outcome of these neural activities. For us Buddhists it should not be surprising that the emergent subjective experience exhibits unique unexpected characteristics. We hope to further develop this theory and add to its explanatory power. Clearly, the scope of further work is vast but our goal is to put the theory into experimentally testable formats (at least indirectly), which I believe is possible.

Please note that this is a brief description of a larger project in progress. The intention to develop such a theory is purely academic and in no way intended to give interpretations to Abhidhamma or assimilate Buddhist concepts to scientific theories. Our sole purpose is to create new knowledge based on Sinhala-Buddhism and in the process build our own neuropsychology and neurology. Any input is welcome.

 

 

 

Grounds for voiding the Indo-Lanka Accord

July 15th, 2013

By Neville Ladduwahetty Courtesy Island

The earlier call by IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Minister of External Affairs Mr. Salmon Khurshid urging Sri Lanka to implement the 13th Amendment in full and even go beyond was followed by a similar call by IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon during his recent visit to Sri Lanka. While India does not seem to miss any opportunity to remind Sri Lanka of implementing the 13th Amendment, a vibrant debate is going on within Sri Lanka regarding its retention in the current form, revision of certain provisions, or repealing its altogether.

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While the focus is on the 13th Amendment, little attention has been paid to the agreement that precipitated the 13th Amendment namely, the Indo-Lanka Accord. This may be due to a perception that the 13th Amendment is an internal construct and therefore within Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s jurisdiction to revise or repeal, while the Indo-Lanka Accord is a Treaty between two sovereign states. If a Treaty, it needs to comply with the provisions of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 for it to be valid. Therefore, if Sri Lanka demonstrates that India failed to fulfil provisions of the Vienna Convention, grounds exist under provisions of international law for the Indo-Lanka Accord to be voided.

The Island editorial of July 10 listed 5 specific obligations [2.16 (a) to (e)] specified in the Indo-Lanka Accord that the Indian Government was expected to fulfil, and commented on the effects of non-compliance against each of these 5 obligations, the most important being IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s failure to stop the violence which actually grew in ferocity and intensity over the operation of the Accord. The editorial concluded that the Accord “is now defunct to all intents and purposes”.

The choice for Sri Lanka then, is to either void the Accord unilaterally or to renegotiate it as suggested by the Indian Minister of State Prime MinisterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s office, V. Narayanaswamy, who in an interview with the BBC, stated: “When it [international agreement] is signed between two sovereign governments, both governments are bound to implement the agreementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦If one government wanted to change it, it should re-negotiate with the other government. One government cannot unilaterally cancel the agreement” (Hariharan, Daily Telegraph, July 8, 2013).

Considering the political compulsion that exists between the central government of India and the political formations in Tamil Nadu whose hostility towards Sri Lanka is manifest in a variety of forms, there is little or no hope whatsoever of Sri Lanka gaining any relief through negotiations with the Indian Government. However, as a first step, Sri Lanka should as a matter of courtesy formally convey to the Indian establishment, the instances of non-compliance of the Accord by India in terms of the Vienna Convention and thereby officially establish grounds to void the Accord.

GROUNDS FOR VOIDING THE ACCORD per VIENNA CONVENTION on the LAW of TREATIES

If the Indo-Lanka Accord is to be accepted and recognized as a Treaty it has to comply with the provisions of the “Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties” of 1969 since it is the internationally recognized instrument governing treaties. Therefore, even though both India and Sri Lanka are not signatories to the Convention the following articles are grounds for voiding a treaty since they are within the domain of Customary Law:

(1) Article 52: Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force;

(2) Article 60: Breach of treaty obligations;

(3) Article 62: Fundamental changes in circumstances.

The Preamble to the Vienna Convention states:

“Having in mind the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations such as the principles of the equal rights and self-determination of peoples, of the sovereign equality and independence of all states, of non-interference in the domestic affairs of States, of the prohibition of the threat or use of force and of universal respect for and observance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all”.

ARTICLE 52 titled “Coercion of a State by the threat or use of force” states:

“A treaty is void if its conclusion has been procured by the threat or use of force in violation of the principles of international law embodied in the Charter of the United Nations”.

PROOF OF COERCION, THREAT AND USE OF FORCE:

Having attempted and failed to resolve the conflict in Sri Lanka, India realized the need to mount a show of force. The first of these was to send a convoy of ships to northern Sri Lanka which was intercepted and turned back by the Sri Lankan Navy. The next attempt was a show of naked force by the Indian Air Force code named Operation Poomalai in broad daylight. The operation was for 5 AN – 32s India Air Force planes under cover of heavily armed Indian fighter jets to drop 25 tons of supplies in support of the LTTE. At the same time Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Ambassador to India was summoned by the Minister of External Affairs, K. Natwar Singh and informed that if the ongoing operation was hindered in any way India would launch a full scale military retaliation against Sri Lanka (Bharat-rakshak.com). Thus, THE SHOW OF THREAT, USE OF FORCE AND INTIMIDATION REFLECTED ABOVE ARE GROUNDS FOR VOIDING THE ACCORD UNDER ARTICLE 52 OF THE VIENNA CONVENTION.

ARTICLE 60 titled “Termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty as a consequence of its breach states:

1. A material breach of a bilateral treaty by one of the parties entitles the other to invoke the breach as a ground for terminating the treaty or suspending its operation in whole or in part.

3. A material breach of a treaty for the purpose of this article consists in:

(b) the violation of a provision essential to the accomplishment of the object or purpose of the treaty.

BREACH OF THE FOLLOWING OBLIGATIONS:

Article 2.14 of the Accord states: “The Government of India will underwrite and guarantee the resolution, and co-operate in the implementation of these proposals”.

Article 2.16 of the Accord states: “These proposals are also conditional to the Government of India taking the following actions if any militant groups operating in Sri Lanka do not accept this framework of proposals for a settlement, namely,

a) India will take all necessary steps to ensure that Indian territory is not used for activities prejudicial to the unity, integrity and security of Sri Lanka.

b) The Indian navy/coast guard will cooperate with the Sri Lankan Navy in preventing Tamil militant activities from affecting Sri Lanka.

c) In the event that the Government of Sri Lanka requests the Government of India to afford military assistance to implement these proposals the Government of India will cooperate by giving to the Government of Sri Lanka such military assistance as and when requested.

d) The Government of India will expedite repatriation from Sri Lanka of Indian citizens to India who are resident here, concurrently with the repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees from Tamil Nadu.

e) The Government of Sri Lanka and India will cooperate in ensuring the physical security and safety of all communities inhabiting the Northern and Eastern Provinces.”

Thus, THE INABILITY OF THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA TO PREVAIL ON THE MILITANT GROUPS TO ACCEPT THE FRAMEWORK OF THE PROPOSALS, AND NOT FULFILLING THE TREATY OBLIGATIONS CITED ABOVE ARE GROUNDS FOR VOIDING THE ACCORD UNDER ARTICLE 60 OF THE VIENNA CONVENTION.

ARTICLE 62 titled “Fundamental Changes of Circumstances”.

“A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to those existing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a grounds for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty UNLESS (emphasis added);

(b) The effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of the obligation still to be performed under the treaty”.

PROOF OF CHANGES IN CIRCUMSTANCES

The second paragraph of the Accord states: “ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦the imperative need of resolving the ethnic problem of Sri Lanka, and the consequent violence”. It was intended primarily to persuade the militant groups to cease violence and accept the proposed framework that precipitated the Accord. The fact that violence continued for over two decades means that the militants rejected the framework proposed in the Accord. Now that the militants have been neutralized and violence has ceased, the framework proposed in the Accord has no relevance. These circumstances have radically altered the basis for and relevance of the Accord. Thus, the above fundamental changes in the circumstances warrant a fresh take on a framework that would restore a durable normalcy. THIS WARRANTS THE ACCORD TO BE VOIDED UNDER ARTICLE 62 OF THE VIENNA CONVENTION.

FORMALIZING GROUNDS FOR VOIDING THE ACCORD

Whom does Sri Lanka engage with for the purpose of voiding the Accord? Is it the Minister of External Affairs or the National Security Advisor?

Judging from an article titled “IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Feeble Foreign Policy” in the May/June 2013 issue of Foreign Affairs it is neither. According to this article:

“By and large three bodies in the Indian government work together to make foreign policy: the prime ministerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s office; the National Security Council, led by a powerful national security adviser; and the foreign ministryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ All three officers and their top positions are filled by Indian Foreign Service officers”.

Continuing the article states: “Not only do IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foreign service officers wield enormous power; they also enjoy near autonomy. The ultimate responsibility lies with the political figures in charge: the prime minister and the foreign minister. They must play the tricky game of persuading the political leadership to accept their decisions, resulting in a bottom-up policymaking process. As Jaswant Singh, a former foreign minister, explained, “If a [foreign] minister has the skills to command the respect of the [foreign ministry] officers, he will make policy and implement it. Otherwise, it is the civil servant who makes the policy and the minister is simply the figurehead”.

If there is any validity to the comments cited above Sri Lanka should forward grounds for voiding the Accord to the Indian establishment in the three branches that make policy and convince them that it is only by voiding the Accord that Sri Lanka would be free to evolve a political arrangement that would bring stability to Sri Lanka since in the final analysis what is at stake as stated by a former Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna is that the security of India depends on the stability and security of Sri Lanka.

CONCLUSION

The focus both in India and Sri Lanka is on the 13th Amendment. However, what needs to be appreciated is that even though the 13th Amendment is an internal construct it is the product of the Indo-Lanka Accord; a treaty between two sovereign states. Therefore, instead of attempting to adopt piecemeal measures to modify the 13th Amendment or repealing it, Sri Lanka should address the first cause and demonstrate officially to the Indian establishment that violation of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties on the following 3 counts warrants voiding the Accord thereby making the 13th Amendment irrelevant:

1. Coercion, threat and use of force;

2. Breach of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s treaty obligations;

3. Fundamentally changed circumstances from those that precipitated the Indo-Lanka Accord.

Grounds for voiding the Accord should be submitted to the three branches cited above of the Indian establishment that determine foreign policy. Attempting to limit this issue only to the political arm of the Indian government would not be productive given the nexus that exists in coalition politics whatever government is in power between the center in Delhi and Tamil Nadu. IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s response is likely to be that Sri Lanka should renegotiate judging from reported comments from officials of the Indian government. While such a course of action would save face for all concerned except perhaps for Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka should demonstrate that the changes needed to make good the damage done to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s national interests imposed by the Indo-Lanka Accord of 1987 are too significant for revision. Therefore, the Accord of 1987 should be voided and replaced perhaps with a fresh statement of understanding drawn up between the governments that reflect the fundamentally changed circumstances in Sri Lanka. Such an outcome would result in voiding the 13th Amendment since it a product of the Accord of 1987.

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s future depends on the strategies the government adopts in regard to the Accord, and its product the 13th Amendment. The government must have the fortitude, just as it did to bring closure to the military phase of the conflict despite considerable international pressures, to free the nation to exercise its inalienable right of national self-determination, based on internationally recognized Conventions.

Ramadhan – Virtues of Fasting

July 15th, 2013

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

ƒÆ’-¡ (Given below is an excerpt of the Friday Sermons of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Supreme Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam, delivered on 13th July 2013, at ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Baithul FuthuhƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, London, U.K. gave a discourse on the subject of Ramadhan.

ƒÆ’-¡ Ahmadiyya Khalifa started his sermon by reciting the following Quranic verse ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the meaning of which is:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”O ye who believe! fasting is prescribed for you, as it was prescribed for those before you, so that you may become righteous.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (2:184)

ƒÆ’-¡ With the grace of God, Ramadan started here (the UK) from yesterday. Thank God that He has granted us the experience of yet another Ramadan. In the above verse God draws attention of true believers to the significance and obligation of fasting and has reminded them that communities of earlier Prophets were also prescribed fasting because fasting is essential for progress of faith as well as for spiritual progress. Although fasting in other religions has changed with time, yet the concept remains in some shape or form. We find fasting prescribed at the time of Hazrat Moses and Hazrat Daud (peace be on them both). Hindus also have fasting as part of their faith although their abstinence is only from cooked food. Christians also have the concept of fasting, some Christian denominations only abstain from eating meat when fasting and can eat vegetables.

Recently Ahmadiyya Khalifa had the experience to see someone fasting in this manner. A Christian friend, whose name or the country they come from His Holiness refrained from divulging, sat near Huzoor at a dinner. Food was being served in plates and His Holiness noticed that the friend had not been served. When His Holiness asked him the reason he said that he was fasting. Respecting this, His Holiness stayed silent and was amazed that in spite of his standing as a politician he was abiding by his faith. Soon after His Holiness saw that he had been served vegetables and rice and said to him that he could eat those while fasting and he said yes, he would eat. Next, chicken was served in dishes and His Holiness noticed meat in the plate of the friend. As His Holiness is familiar with the guest, His Holiness asked him if he was allowed to eat chicken during his fast. He laughed and said those serving food had insisted and his faith teaches him that if the host offers you something, you should eat it. Such is state of fasting of people of ancient religions. The chicken was delicious, when he saw everyone around him eating – there were perhaps two people serving – he may have declined to one of the servers and accepted from the second out of courtesy. Thus courtesy took precedence over religious commandment because the books giving the religious teachings are not clear.

However, God Himself promised to safeguard the Holy QurƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢an and believers are enjoined that if they believe then fasting for a month is obligatory on them during which they have to abstain from all food and drink in order to attain Taqwa (righteousness), to enhance in Taqwa and try and attain pleasure of God. Certainly, the Bible commands the disciples to fast to seek GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s pleasure and not for pretentious reasons. Fasting enhances oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s spirituality but the concept of atonement has negated the spirit of fasting, which is attainment of Taqwa. In this way it has made it devoid of its beneficence and fasting remains but in name leading one to move on from raw and boiled vegetables to cooked meat.

The Holy QurƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢an enjoins fasting by making clear its objective and has given tiding of its reward. In order to keep its teaching alive, reformers and saints kept coming in Islam. Later, by sending the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) God facilitated revival and renaissance of religious teachings for all, Muslims and non-Muslims. Ahmadiyya Founder Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The third pillar of Islam is fasting. People are also unaware of the reality of fasting. The truth is one cannot talk about a place that one does not go to and is not aware about. Fasting is not merely staying hungry and thirsty; rather its reality and its impact can only be gained through experience. It is human nature that the less he eats the more his self/spirit is purified and his capacity for [spiritual] visions increases. The will of God is to decrease one kind of sustenance and to increase the other. A person who is fasting should always be mindful that he is not just required to stay hungry. On the contrary he should remain engaged in remembrance of God so that he can cut asunder ties of worldly desires and amusements and is wholly devoted to God. Hence, the significance of fasting is this alone that man gives up one kind of sustenance which only nourishes the body and attains the other kind of sustenance which is a source of comfort and gratification of the soul. Those who fast only for the sake of God and not as something which is customary, should remain engaged in Hamd (glorification of God), Tasbih (saying: SubhanAllah) and Tahleel (saying: La illaha illAllah) of Allah the Exalted, through which they will get the other sustenance.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (Translated from Malfuzat, Vol. 9, pp. 122 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 123)

ƒÆ’-¡ The above extract could have given the impression that starvation was the only way of purification of the self/spirit, therefore the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has elucidated that staying hungry is not the objective of fasting, rather, it is attainment of Taqwa and if one fasts for the sake of God, one should spend time in GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s remembrance. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said at another place that by starvation even hermits gain the capacity for visions, but the objective of the life of a believer is to cut ties with worldly matters and be devoted to God, for which remembrance of God is essential and Salat is the best way for this. When fasting, apart from reduction in food intake, one also abstains from other permissible things and is more focussed about Salat and remembrance of God. If one used to combine Salat or offered it late, particular attention should be given during these days to remembrance of God and worship of God; it should take precedence over everything else.

When we say Alhamdolillah (All praise belongs to Allah), it should not be mere verbal profession. When we recite is, we should be conscious that Hamd (praise of Allah) is for the Great God alone and it reverts to Him alone. We praise that God Who guides those who are lost. If we did not turn to Him during the rest of the year as is His due, then may He guide us in this month so that we are saved from going astray and through the beneficence of Hamd, gain Taqwa. Regarding this, the Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that when engaged in Hamd, one should be mindful that all honour is in GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hand. In this Ramadan we should pray that whatever virtues we do may they give us nearness of God and may we not be drawn to worldly renown and negligence.

The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) said that one should focus on Tasbih (saying SubhanAllah). However, it is not sufficient to simply utter SubhanAllah. When GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s holiness is acknowledged one should be deeply moved to pray for oneself to be freed of all kind of foulness of the world. He then enjoined to say Tahleel. One should worship God in a manner that He alone is worthy of worship. When one is in need of support, one should only seek GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s support. Indeed, man is always in need of GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s support, therefore effort should be made to always turn to the True Beloved.

When fasting we should pray to stay in GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s refuge and to partake of the change that God has decreed for those who seek beneficence from fasting, and for this change to grant us beneficence for the rest of our lives. Hamd, Tasbih and Tahleel bring about the condition of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”TabattalillahƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ which means to separate oneself for the sake of God from every kind of worldly desire and inculcate perfectly sincere connection with God as well as the condition of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”InqitaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, which means to separate oneself from all kinds of worldly amusements and be drawn to the worship of God. This leads to the objective that God has stated as the reason for fasting, that is, a person who is fasting will attain Taqwa. This Ramadan will benefit us only if we keep this in view. This is a great objective and it requires hard work. It requires paying the full dues of worship of God as well as dues of mankind because discharging both these dues in conjunction lead to Taqwa.

We should be mindful, as the episode about our Christian friend illustrates, people of other religions gave up their practices and gave preference to apparent courtesy and gave up the essence of fasting, as it was prescribed to them. Fasting is a form of worship and its objective is to attain Taqwa and pleasure of God which was lost. If reflected over, it is also a kind of Shirk (associating partners with God) to dismiss GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s commandment for the sake of oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s host. If we give preference to someone over God, we gradually diminish the Being of God and Shirk overtakes. Earlier people forgot the essence of the commandment of fasting and mere pretention remained. Herein is a lesson for Muslims. Those, who instead of understanding the spirit of fasting, aiming for Tabattal, engaging in Hamd and remembrance of God during fasting and observing oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Salat are simply proud of their fast, will have their fasts reduced to the fasts of people of earlier religions.

Some so-called holy people also keep optional fasts in addition of the obligatory fasts but mention them, although optional worship is usually kept private. The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has also mentioned such people. If such people have guests, they would offer them food but would excuse themselves from eating or they would visit people at meal times and when the host served food, they would say they could not eat or drink due to some reason. In other words, the objective would be to let others know slyly that they were fasting. Then there are those who unnecessarily mention the length of a fast, as these days duration of fasts is lengthy due to summer time. In order to assert their piety they give details of how little they eat at Sahoor and Iftar. Of course, at times one spontaneously mentions such matters, but there are some who do it deliberately and for effect. In fact there are some so-called religious leaders from among the others (non-Ahmadis) who say that grief for religion has reduced them to eat very little.

A non-Ahmadi friend related an incident of one such so-called religious leader. He was a good orator who especially made fiery speeches against our JamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢at. The non-Ahmadi friend was his follower and once the religious-leader went to stay at his place. A very lavish breakfast was served to the guest who ate three roast chickens. Later, they went to a rally where the religious leader was to make a speech. For effect, he started off by saying that in grief of the Ummah, the servant of religion (him) could not eat a single grain since the morning! The non-Ahmadi friend said he was amazed to hear him say that to his face, from whose house he had just consumed three whole chickens. In any case, the religious leader was right, he had not eaten a grain; he had eaten three chickens. There are such Muslims, whose fasting, which is a worship, is not to seek the pleasure of God but is for pretence whereas God has stated that the objective of every worship should be Taqwa.

If one wants to be rewarded for piety and fasting, it cannot be possible without Taqwa and only God decides who has Taqwa and who does not. If a believer abides by this mind-set and fasts to attain GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s pleasure, purification of spirit will take place and such a person will be included among those about whom the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said that whoever fasts during Ramadan in a state of faith while self-examining will have his previous sins forgiven. God has stated that fasting is for Him and He Himself is its reward.

Each one of us should try and fast in this manner and not simply as a customary exercise by simply staying hungry and thirsty. Our fast should be that fast which becomes a shield and saves us from every evil and opens up the door to every good. Our nights should be adorned with optional worship of God. Indeed, the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) laid great significance to optional worship during Ramadan and said that one who offers optional Salat during Ramadan has his sins forgiven.

One positive aspect of fasting which is now acknowledged by a section of scientists is that once a year diet-control is beneficial for human health. If the intention is to please God, then the physical benefit takes place and there are many other benefits. When fasting is based on Taqwa it produces a beautiful society creating a spirit of sacrifice for each other. One is drawn to the needs of oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s under-privileged brothers and this is very important because it was the blessed model of the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) that during Ramadan his alms-giving and charity would gain intense momentum like a wind storm. This becomes a source of removing anxiety from society and creates feelings of empathy for the less fortunate among those who are well-off and feelings of love and gratefulness in the hearts of under-privileged believers for their well-off brothers. When fasting is for the sake of attainment of Taqwa, it inculcates the practice of bearing with hardship. Eating less at Sahoor and Iftar is not for broadcasting to others, but is designed to lessen oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s food-intake and be drawn to purification of self/spirit. Therein is lesson for those who may think that eating less may harm their health, they should control their diet.

The Holy Prophet (peace and blessing of Allah be on him) enjoined that in situations where there is danger of disturbance or grievances escalating, one should simply say, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”I am fastingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Therein is indication to ways of Taqwa, that it is also important to control oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s emotions. One has to avoid altercations so that the objection of fasting is fulfilled. One has to avoid back-biting so that the objective of fasting is fulfilled, one has to avoid falsehood and dishonesty so that the objective of fasting is fulfilled. The practice to control oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s tongue for one month, which is essential for Taqwa, inculcates the habit to avoid many sins and mistakes in future life and one develops a constant habit of abiding by Taqwa and such a habit is indeed the objective of fasting and Ramadan. Otherwise to abide all that God commands in this month and to be wayward and embroiled in sins for the rest of the year does not achieve any objective.

It is needed that everyone self-examines and self-reflects in this month. It is needed to look for the spirit of the month of Ramadan. It is needed to look for ways of Taqwa. It is needed to utilise the experience of giving up permissible things during Ramadan to bring about a general moral change in oneself. It is needed to make constant the practice of paying the dues of mankind and helping underprivileged brothers. It is needed to make constant the special atmosphere of worship of God and sacrifices of Ramadan so that we may work our way towards those who are included among the righteous.

It is needed that we try our utmost to gain nearness to God during this Ramadan. It is GodƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s favour on us that He opens the doors to Paradise and shuts the doors to Hell during this month. We should try through worship of God to attain purification of self/spirit and through paying the dues of mankind to enter the doors of Paradise which may stay open forever. We should repent and engage in Istaghfar (seeking Divine forgiveness) so that we are included among those whose repentance pleases God more than a mother is pleased at finding her lost child. May we give God the happiness of more than a motherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s happiness at finding her lost child! However, for this we have to abide by Taqwa and raise the standards of offering our obligatory and optional Prayers and pay attention to paying the dues of mankind. May God out of His sheer grace enable us to attain this during this Ramadan.

The English Translation of the Sermon ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the link of which is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gp9YBNhlRHY&feature=youtu.be

Travels of a journalist [2013 Series # 9]-CCF must re-think its policy of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”fleecingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ foreigners at Cultural Triangle sites

July 14th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of Village Life in the Forties: Memories of a Lankan Expatriate (Bloomington, IN: iUniverse); and From Village Boy to Global Citizen Vol. 1& Vol.2 (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris).

During my early April 10-day tour of Sri Lanka, the country where I was born and raised, I tried to examine my experiences as a naturalized American fully conversant with the Jathika Chintanaya (national way of thinking) of the indigenous inhabitants of the island. So, I shall point out the negative side of the Central Cultural FundƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s (CCF) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-smartƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ policy of enforcing highly steep admission charges on foreigners, including expatriate Lankans, who wanted to appreciate the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s heritage by touring the Cultural Triangle linking Kandy, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa (plus Sigiriya and Dambulla within the triangle).

I thought that the CCF had gone too far by charging steep admission fees from foreigners to see the UNESCO-approved World Heritage sites in the triangle. ƒÆ’-¡ The following anecdote will illustrate my point:

My foreign-born wifeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚a naturalized American of Chinese-Malaysian origin, and I arrived in Polonnaruwa (pop. 13,900) on Friday (April 5) night and checked in at the Rice Villa Retreat ƒÆ’-¡ (21 Mile Post, Jayanthipura), which privilege cost us a tidy Rs. 5,500 ($ 45) plus an additional Rs. 1,045 (more than $ 8) for a modest dinner. Jayanthipura is about 9 km north of the ancient royal city or the old city of Polonnaruwa.

culturaltrianglemap

Polonnaruwa Anecdote

Saturday morning, we enjoyed our breakfast in a hut in the bucolic backyard of the Rice Villa, and drove south on the Hathamuna Road (B522) to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-exploreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the old city, which became the administrative center of the Polonnaruwa Period when King Vijayabahu I abandoned Anuradhapura as the capital of Rajarata in1070 because of continuing South Indian invasions. King Parakramabahu the Great (1153-1186) built the samudra (sea), a huge reservoir with a surface area of 22.6 million square meters. His successor, Nissanka Malla I (1187-1196) continued to maintain the Golden Age of Polonnaruwa, but continued invasions and South Indian infiltration of the royalty weakened the kingdom resulting in the shift of the capital to Dambadeniya and a few other places.

culturaltrianglemap2

Now, as a student of Ceylon History, I had visited the ruins of the Cultural Triangle on earlier occasions. But because my wife could not recall the magnificent ruins of the royal palaces and other monuments she had seen during her first visit to Sri Lanka in 1976, we thought of refreshing our memories of the archeological marvels of ancient Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  So, I went to the ticket counter of the visitor center and bought two ticketsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚one at the foreignerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s rate of Rs. 3,125 ($ 25) and the other at the local rate of Rs. 50.

But the female ticket checker refused to let me into the archeological museum at the local rate. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-YouƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ll have to purchase a foreignerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ticket unless you show me your Sri Lanka passport to determine whether youƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢re local,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ she intoned.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I am Weligama Podda of yore.ƒÆ’-¡  I was born and raised in the village of Pathegama in the Deep South. I have a birthright to see the historical ruins of Sri Lanka without having to pay ridiculously high admission fees,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ I said in southern Sinhala while a guide was trying to sell me his services for an additional $25.

The haughty ticket checker was unrelenting and obstinate.ƒÆ’-¡  She insisted on seeing my passport, which I did not carry.ƒÆ’-¡  Then, to demonstrate my displeasure, I withdrew the tickets, cashed them, and left the premises. I surmised that the ticket checker had caused the CCF to lose more than $ 25 because of failure to apply the simple principles of public relations.

I ask the CCF to advice its underlings to cease trying to play detective to harass Sri Lankan expatriates. Whoever uses a discriminatory pricing system would have to expect a degree of evasion because human beings have the natural tendency to minimize their expenditure on accommodation, food, sightseeing and travel irrespective of the size of their wampum.

Right now, in my opinion, the CCF is trying to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-fleeceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the foreigners for the upkeep of the islandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s architectural ruins. Having access to the architectural sites of a country is a birth right of all those who were born in that country. Imposing exorbitant fees to access them is a violation of that right. Perhaps, the CCF could make the admission fees more reasonable by using the GDP (purchasing power parity) per capita of each country as the basis for calculation. (Sri Lanka had a GDP ppp per capita of $ 6,107 in 2012 similar to those of Bhutan, Egypt, Angola, Samoa, Paraguay, and Jordan.) ƒÆ’-¡ Another way out would be to re-introduce a Cultural Triangle passbook validƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  for the duration of the visa with special concessions for families, children, and seniors.

Thus, we missed the palace complexes of Parakramabahu and Nissanka Malla and the archeological museum. However, our driver Amal took us along the outer ring of the ancient city to show us the grandeur of Parakrama Samudra (including its northern arm Bendiwewa), which flanks the west side of the city with the Angammedilla National Park stretching to the west and south of the samudra. The Mahaweli Ganga (River) vertically cuts through the Flood Plains National Park on the eastern side of Polonnaruwa.

Anuradhapura

We arrived in Anuradhapura (pop. 63,208) Sunday (April 7) night via Mannar because we wanted to visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Madhu, the 400-year-old Catholic Marian shrine. To reach the shrine, we drove 12 km north on Madhu Road from its intersection with the Mannar-Medawachchiya (A 14) Highway. Both Sinhalese and Tamil Catholics were at prayers together during the evening we visited. We paid no admission fee.

In Anuradhapura, we stayed overnight at the Milano Tourist Rest (596/40 Stage 1) in New Town. Lodging and breakfast cost us Rs. 4,000 (about $ 32).

 

After the negative experience in Polonnaruwa, I was not interested in paying CCF-endorsed admission fees to see the ancient ruins and sacred city of Anuradhapura wedged between the 900-hectare Nuwara Wewa (tank) to the east and the smaller Basawakkulama Wewa and Thisssa Wewa to the west. Many years ago, I had seen the atamasthana (the eight sacred places of veneration) and the dozen or so other historical structures that every Sinhala child learns about in primary school. Therefore, I decided to skip these because the CCF has turned them into tourist entrapments to fleece foreign tourists.

The only exception we made was to stop at Jethawanaya Museum on Watawandana (Outer Circular) Road, which just about encircles the city. Yoke-Sim paid the foreignerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s entrance fee of Rs. 3,125 ($25) while I managed to enter for Rs. 20 to see the site. The 122-meter high Jethawanaya stupa occupies a floor area of 5.6 hectares.

Dambulla and Sigiriya

Inasmuch as we had hardly any rest since we started our tour on March 31, Amal brought us from Anuradhapura to Dambulla (pop. 68,821)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚a distance of 64 kmƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚Monday afternoon to allow us to rest at Eden Garden Hotel in Inamaluwa. The roadside stalls along A9 provided us all the sustenance we needed. We relished the little pots of delicious curd and assortedƒÆ’-¡  fruits and vegetables.

Tuesday (April 9) was the last day of our island wide tour. After breakfast, Amal suggested that we visit Sigiriya, only about 10 km northeast of our hotel. We found that the CCF now issued two types of admissionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚one to climb the Sigiriya rock fortress; the other to visit the new Sigiriya Museum. During our 2000 visit, we declined climbing the rock because the ticket checkers insisted that we pay the foreignersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ rate. On this occasion, we chose the more reasonable rate to see the museumƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚Rs. 625 ($5) for foreigners and Rs. 50 for locals. Now in the geriatric stage, we had no strength to climb the rock, anyway. The magnificent reproduction of the frescoes alone was worth the money we spent on admission to the museum.

culturaltrianglemap3

Then, Amal brought us back to Inamaluwa, and drove us another 10 km south on Trincomalee Road (A6) to visit the Dambulla Cave Temple. Administered by the templeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s office of the trustee, not by the CCF, it too penalizes the foreigner with an admission fee of Rs. 1,500 ($12). To compensate for our unwillingness to climb the Sigiriya rock, we began climbing the Dambulla rock with gusto, despite the intense heat, until we reached the temple at the top.

After eating a light lunch, Amal drove another 10 km east on Kandalama Road (B615)
for us to re-visit the Heritage Kandalama hotel, where we holidayed with our American pals, Jim and Kathleen Bowers, in 2000. I recalled the incident when a couple of wild monkeys bravely invaded the BowersesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ room and toppled a table to grab a bunch of bananas. On this occasion, our driver and we were there only for afternoon tea. The three cups of milk tea we drank in the lounge overlooking the pool cost us Rs.867.40 (about $ 7), including Rs. 177.40 for tax and service. Unlike in 2000, the hotel did not give us a discount as expatriates. Nor did we ask for any concession.

Our 10-day tour ended when our driver dropped us at my sister RaniƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s home in KurunegalaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚57 km southwest of Dambulla.

AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s treatment of whistleblowers and Americans in a police state

July 14th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

America must be humoring us. Otherwise how is it possible for the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s human rights watch dog, crusader of peace, champion of democracy and the beacon of truth and reconciliation simply to jail and lock up all those who we are now told are ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-whistleblowersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ because they divulged the dirty tricks America had been up to and is upto? Interesting indeed.

So our latest whistleblower ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the entire world now knows who he is because for letting the world know that the nation committed to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-privacyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-confidentialityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ has been taping and snooping on the entire world, Edward Snowden has become the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hero. Edward Snowden was not garlanded for letting us know that the American Government is eavesdropping on not only Americans but the entire world and Snowden has become such a fugitive that planes are forced landed because thereƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a bounty out for him and if caught heƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s likely to spend 30 years in prison. Hopefully he wonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t land up in Guanatanomo Bay or other rendition points since the US Government and its media cohorts are now experts at creating stories and versions to suit them.

If we recall John Kiriakou, who now remains in prison ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” his crime was to publicly acknowledge that torture was an official US policy. For divulging this bit of saucy news, Kiriakou was slapped with the accusation for violating the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) and packed off to prison. From prison he now writes and his handwritten letter of advice to Snowden was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-DO NOT, under any circumstances, cooperate with the FBI. FBI agents will lie, trick, and deceive you. They will twist your words and play on your patriotism to entrap you. They will pretend to be people they are not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” supporters, well-wishers, and friends ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” all the while wearing wires to record your out-of-context statements to use against you. The FBI is the enemy; itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a part of the problem, not the solutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. And what does US Ambassadors preach to us locals?

Then there is Bradley Manning ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” as a result of his case the Director of National intelligence and the Office of Personnel Management has been asked to establish standards to allow federal agencies the power to fire employees without appeal and ineligible to hold ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-noncritical sensitiveƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ jobs. This would make federal agencies bypass civil service law and to classify jobs as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-sensitiveƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ depending on their wishes. How is that for freedom and rights?

ƒÆ’-¡ In 2010, Franz Gayl who had been deployed in Iraq in 2006 claimed he was being punished for publicly disclosing that Pentagon bureaucrats had ignored battlefield requests for mine-resistant armoured vehicles since roadside bombs were killing and maiming soldiers. GaylƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s fate would be no better than other whistleblowers.

ƒÆ’-¡ What is most amusing is that while the number of whistleblowers are increasing so too are the convictions against them. So many acts are now in place for the punishments ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Espionage Act was thrown at John Kiriakou for disclosing ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-classified informationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ on waterboarding. Obama administration has already charged 6 people under the Espionage Act (pre-Obama in the history of the US only 3 such cases existed). Thomas DrakeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s crime was that he veiled that the National Security Agency spent $1.2billion for a data collection program called Trailblazer ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Drake lost his job.ƒÆ’-¡  Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis went public that senior leaders of the Department of Defense intentionally and consistently misled the American public and Congress on the conduct of the Afghan War.

What is more intriguing is that there are Acts in place to protect employees and whistleblowers. There is the Federal Employee Anti-Discrimination and Retaliation(NO FEAR) Act effective since 2003, there is also the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 signed by Obama himself so the question is why are these people being hounded and put in jail? If the EU won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in EuropeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ should it not be telling the US where it is going wrong?

With the type of real-time sensationalism that the US Government is capable of doing one may never know if these whistleblower showdowns are part of a larger drive to introduce stringent draconian laws that would ensure not just one or two whistleblowers but all Americans are kept in check. Voila ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” we now have the National Defense Authorization Act.

HereƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the time we cant wait to hear what the peace doves and human rights activists global and local have to say when anyone, anywhere even if they are US citizens can be held WITHOUT charge or trial, based solely on SUSPICIONƒÆ’-¡ or none at all. HowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s that for human rights? NowƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the time countries need to tell America to stop wasting time printing Annual HR reports on other nations!

US President will have virtual dictatorial powers to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens, if they pose a threat ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” but we are not told what ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-poseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is of what the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-threatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is even! Its for them to know and for us to find out ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” once in prison!

Constitutional, statute and international laws wont apply and martial law can even be applied. Is America moving towards becoming a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-police stateƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in the light of intense domestic surveillance, restrictions on the movement of citizens and a standing political police? The signs are all there.

Verizon phone records are now being scrutinized, NSA agents are going through a British database of US telecommunications and email, Federal Governments say they can examine the contents of laptops of US citizens when they enter the US and over 60million Americans travel overseas annually. (this violates the 4th amendment to the Constitution though). We must also add that the US is proud to have the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s highest incarceration rate with over 2.2million inmates, 6million convicted felons cannot vote and have been disenfranchised! Police can take DNA samples of all arrestees and some 13million are arrested annually ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 1.6million on drug charges. There are US SWAT teams everywhere, they use drones, GPS tracking devices and military equipment. US Government is also visibly seen to criminalize public protests and a current bill will strive to make it a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-crimeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-trespassƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ security zones ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” so authorities are planning to restrict public protesters to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-protest zonesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ which will enable them to photo all those protesting! AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s version of freedom!

If anyone reads the US Patriot Act they will realize that persons and companies are forbidden from revealing that the Government has secretly asked for surveillance records but Government agencies are allowed to issue ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-National Security LettersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ without any warrant demanding records from anyone on anything.

None of this is coming out into the open because the media is keeping tight lipped with only a handful of people writing to show AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hypocrisy. Moreover, the peace doves local and international all gearing to champion human rights in weaker and smaller nations are totally mum themselves so too are all the authors especially the local ones who are conspicuously silent about the human rights abuses the US or its allies does but love to ridicule their nations though compared to what the US has been doing and is doing these crimes pale into insignificance.

People need to wake up to the lies that prevail.

 

 

Instil the killer instinct in all Sri Lankans!

July 14th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

Sri Lankans, on the whole, are ready to accept subservience and docility. This nature probably is related to the fact that most Sri Lankans are Buddhists, a religion that advocates compassion and non-violence, as opposed to some other religions that promote even the killing of those who do not profess their own faith as acceptable, guaranteeing eternal bliss.

ƒÆ’-¡ Two fields which show that the Sri Lankans cannot deliver the knockout blow when it really matters or are ready to accommodate the whims and fancies of bullies are cricket and international relations.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Cricket Triangular among the West Indies, India and Sri Lanka that was concluded on 11 July is a stark example of how Sri Lanka fails when it counts. In the Finals between India and Sri Lanka, although Sri Lanka managed to get only 201, they possessed the determination to have India reeling with a score of 182 with nine down. Virat Kohli, IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s present day trump card, had been despatched back to the dressing room with a score of two, prior to that. But what does Sri Lanka do? It allows Dhoni, who had been listed as injured before the match, to take the trophy that was all there for Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s taking. In a previous match that was played in Jamaica on 02 July, the same Sri Lanka beat India with a margin of 162 runs. All these statistics might help the individual players to boost their records, but the fact remains that India beat Sri Lanka in the Finals.

ƒÆ’-¡ The writer is an ardent Sri Lanka supporter and a Sri Lanka cricket fan. But anticipating how things would turn out at the Finals, he did not want to watch the match on TV. When he checked the cricket news the next day, hisƒÆ’-¡  suspicions had come to pass: espncricinfo had a report headlined ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Iceman Dhoni breaks Sri Lanka heartsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Then, Sri Lanka had taken part in the ICC Championship that was held in the UK in June. In the 8th Match Group A, Sri Lanka beat England by 7 wickets with 17 balls remaining, and in the 12th the same Sri Lanka despatched Australia out of the competition by beating them by 20 runs. But at the 2nd Semi Final held on June 20 India beat Sri Lanka by 8 wickets with 90 balls remaining. All that the Sri Lankans were left to do was to pack their bags and get to West Indies hoping for better luck in the Caribbean.

Various pundits in India keep on telling Sri Lanka how the island nation should manage its affairs. Jayalalitha, Karunanidhi and Vaiko of Tamil Nadu shed bucketfuls of crocodile tears on behalf of the Tamils of Sri Lanka and complain that the Sri Lanka Navy keep on arresting the Tamil Nadu fishermen. Incidentally, the fact that the Indian fishermen who get arrested are those who had entered the territorial waters of Sri Lanka and were robbing the livelihood of Sri Lankan Tamil fishermen does not seem to be an issue at all. It is always the Sri Lanka Navy that is at fault!

India financed, armed and trained a group of street thugs from the Northern regions of Sri Lanka to take on the armed forces of the legally constituted government of the island nation. When the LTTE killers with their leader were about to be caught by the armed forces of Sri Lanka in the Vadamarachchi Operation of 1987, India intervened, rescuing the LTTE leaders and forcing a so-called Indo-Lanka Accord down the throat of the then Sri Lanka President. In spite of all that, what Sri Lanka does is to treat the Minister of External Affairs and the National Security Advisor of India as if they were viceroys who are being sent by a mighty empire to ensure that the puny island does IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bidding and abides by its dictats. It is a relief that Sri Lanka at least has the current Secretary of Defence, who has been able to tell the Indians how the country wishes to handle its own issues.

It is essential that the young, the adult and the old be trained to go for the kill, come hell for leather, and win. The Sri Lankan armed forces and the political leadership that directed the war against the terrorist LTTE is an example that all Sri Lankans should emulate. Children in schools should be driven to believe in themselves and to be proud that they are Sri Lankan. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We can winƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is the mantra that should be drummed into their heads day in day out. Win, they will, then!

 

 

 

WHAT HAPPENED THAT DREADFUL NIGHT

July 14th, 2013

ALI SUKHANVER

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-That was no doubt the most dreadful night of my life,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ a Swiss tourist in her late thirties was talking to the media in a tone filled with harassment and fear. She had been on a visit to India this March with her husband. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I had just changed my dress and was simply wearing a night gown when six wild stinking Indians thronged at the door of my room. They started beating my husband ruthlessly, threw him out of the room and within a few minutes I was a helpless prey and they were the hunters. I could never forget their wild brutality.

The whole of my body was painfully bleeding when they left my room after raping me for the continuous three hours. That time I did not have even the strength and courage to go to the reception desk and ask for some help.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The Swiss lady told the media-men she was staying that night at a rest house near Datia Town India with her husband.

The whole of the local administration was well aware of their being there and there were two security guards from police also to provide them security. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I believe those two guards were also among the culprits and they did this brutality to me in collaboration with the rest house staff.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ According to the details published in Indian newspapers, after the incident the lady had to stay in a hospital for more than two weeks. I came by this story of brutality when I was searching for the details of sexual atrocities against low-caste women in India, but this incident of raping a foreign tourist popped up from somewhere during that search.

It was really very shocking to know that it is not only the low-caste Hindu women who are leading a miserable life regarding sexual exploitation in India; the foreign women tourists are also facing the same problem. According to the Indian newspapers, most of the victims in such cases usually remain silent but sometimes a very few of them succeed in getting out of this insulting trouble; they defeat the attackers.

One of the papers reported the incident of a British holidaymaker in the northern city of Agra who had to sacrifice one of her legs in her attempt of saving her honour from the clutches of two Indian villains. She simply jumped out of the hotel window to save her honor as two men entered her hotel room with the intent to molest her. The same thing happened to a South Korean student in January 2013. She was drugged and raped by the son of owner of the hotel where she was staying.

Keeping in view all these incidents the British and Swiss governments recently issued instructions to women tourists to refrain from going to India due to growing risks of insecurity. Unfortunately the Indian officials never take such incidents serious. Most of the time they are found pleading that foreigners are victims of such acts of crime all over the world and that India was no exception.

ƒÆ’-¡ The BBC News published a report few months back with the title, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”WomenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Tales from Brutal India.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ The report concludes on the following words, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The mistreatment and abuse of women is a particular problem in Delhi and northern India. A stiflingly patriarchal social mindset, a brazen culture of political power, a general disdain for law, a largely insensitive police force and a rising population of rootless, lawless migrants are only some of the reasons. There must be many others. So if you are a woman – unless you are very rich and privileged – you are more likely to face indignity and humiliation here.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Throughout the world, rape is nowhere regarded and dealt as a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”routine matterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢; everywhere this heinous act is considered and treated as a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”grievous sinƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ against humanity. The culprits involved in this wicked act are everywhere dealt as those who never deserve any forgiveness. It is true that since the very beginning of civilization and socialization on earth, rape has been a very powerful tool and effective weapon against enemies but it is also true that in every age and every period of history, the civilized and cultured strata of society has always denounced it as the worst disgrace of humanity.

Even in the most developed and civilized countries like America, England, Australia, Russia, France, oneƒÆ’-¡  finds hundreds of examples of women ,particularly the foreigners, molested every year but none of these countries ignores and overlooks or defends this menace on the ground that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’-¡  foreigners are victims of such acts of crime all over the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Even in the third world countries, the situation is not very much different but in India, things seem completely out of control. It is not only the sex-thirsty criminals who molest the chastity of foreigner women in India, but also the security personnel posted at different areas, particularly in the state of Indian Occupied Kashmir.

Recently a report on the state of affairs in the Indian Occupied Kashmir said that the Indian military officers posted in Kashmir are so sex-thirsty that they do not spare even their fellow female officers but for most of them the local Kashmiri women are the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”desired mostƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ target.ƒÆ’-¡  Usually the families of the alleged Kashmiri Extremists are targeted for sexual harassment.ƒÆ’-¡  But in spite of all these bitter realities the most painful fact is that the western media portrays India as a safe heaven for the tourists and Pakistan is painted as a land hell for the tourists.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

A presentation to the Select Committee of Parliament to Recommend and Report on Political and Constitutional Measures.

July 13th, 2013

By Charles.S.PereraƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

Mr.Neil Iddawala,

The Secretary to the Select Committee of Parliament to Recommend and Report on Political and Constitutional Measures to Empower the People of Sri Lanka to Live as One Nation
Parliament of Sri Lanka
Sri Jayawardenepura,

Kotte,

SRI LANKA

Dear Sir,

Reference to the request made by the Select Committee of Parliament on the 10th July, 2013, to make representations with regard to (i) preserve and promote their respective identity and live with dignity and security as one Nation, (ii) enhance the unity of the people of Sri Lanka, and (iii) ƒÆ’-¡ empower the people and the country to promote social, economic, political and cultural development,ƒÆ’-¡  I make the following presentation.

The 13 Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka should be completely and wholely removed for the following reasons.

The 13 th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka could be looked at ƒÆ’-¡ from two different points of view.

ƒÆ’-¡ (i)ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  as a part of the Constitution of Sri Lanka, without taking into account how and when it was introduced in to the Constitution, and

(ii)ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  as a ƒÆ’-¡ requirement under the Indo Sri Lanka Peace AccordƒÆ’-¡  signed inƒÆ’-¡  July,1987, toƒÆ’-¡  include itƒÆ’-¡  in the Constitution of Sri Lanka as the 13th Amendment in return for India to disarm the Militant groups and the LTTE terrorists, and establish peace.

Hence, ƒÆ’-¡ under item (i)ƒÆ’-¡  there is no problem in keeping orƒÆ’-¡  removing the 13th Amendment considering it only as an Amendment to the Constitution.ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka had three Constitutions since its Independence.ƒÆ’-¡  The Present Constitution was promulgated in September,1978. It has 18 Amendments.ƒÆ’-¡  If the circumstances necessitate, ƒÆ’-¡ the Parliament ƒÆ’-¡ could remove the 13 AmendmentƒÆ’-¡  by a mere two third majority in the ParliamentƒÆ’-¡  or ƒÆ’-¡ seek a mandate from the people to ƒÆ’-¡ remove it.

All promulgations of a Constitutions, ƒÆ’-¡ or amendments to the Constitution of Sri Lanka could be carried out by the Parliament of Sri Lanka accept where it is necessary to ƒÆ’-¡ call for a referendum of the people.ƒÆ’-¡  No foreign country has the right to intervene and dictate in the preparation of a Constitution, promulgation or bringing in Amendments to it.

Under such circumstances what we do with the 13 Amendment to the Constitution is the business of Sri Lanka and not that of any other country in the world.ƒÆ’-¡  The Parliament could modify the 13 Amendment, or remove it completely from the Constitution according to the powers vested in it.

But under item (ii) referred to above, if the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka were to be considered a part of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord, then the question arisesƒÆ’-¡  as to whether there is a legal and a valuable reason to leave the 13 Amendment ƒÆ’-¡ in the Constitution of Sri Lanka after March, 1990, when the last IPKF contingent left Sri Lanka having lost 1155 of its cadre and having failed to settle the on going terrorism or disarm the LTTE and theƒÆ’-¡  different TamilƒÆ’-¡  Militant groups under the terms of ƒÆ’-¡ the India Sri Lanka Peace Accord- withoutƒÆ’-¡  giving satisfaction to the ƒÆ’-¡ Peace Accord by India.

The deployment of an Indian Peace Keeping Force to disarm the LTTE and the different Tamil militant Groups and establish peace byƒÆ’-¡  India, in return for Sri Lanka to enter the 13 AmendmentƒÆ’-¡  into the Constitution of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  and establish Provincial Councils were the requirementsƒÆ’-¡  under the Peace Accord entered into by Rajiv Gandhi and JR JayawardhanaƒÆ’-¡  signing the India Sri Lanka Peace Accord on the 29 July,1987.

Unfortunately when India withdrew its IPKF having failed to satisfy the ƒÆ’-¡ Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord, Sri Lanka had already satisfied its part of the Peace Accord by introducing the 13 Amendment in to the Constitution and establishing Provincial Councils, believing that India would be able to disarm the LTTE and the MilitantƒÆ’-¡  Groups to end terrorism and establish peace.

However, Sri Lanka did the mistake of not making provisions in the Peace Accord to hold the insertion of the 13 Amendment into the Constitution of Sri Lanka until the IPKF showed to the satisfaction of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  that it was able to carry out its promise to disarm the LTTE and the Militant Groups and establish peace.ƒÆ’-¡  The result of that failure was that Sri Lanka satisfied its part of the Accord well before IPKF proved not only that it was incapable of disarming the LTTE, but also that the LTTE terrorists were a force far stronger thanƒÆ’-¡  it ƒÆ’-¡ expected.

The end result was that the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord was breached by India without giving satisfaction to the Accord , with Sri Lanka ƒÆ’-¡ having an unwanted 13 AmendmentƒÆ’-¡  left in its Constitution.

Therefore the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord entered into by Rajiv Gandhi and JR Jayawardhana was revoked in March, 1990, by one party to the Peace Accord-namely India having failed to give satisfaction. Therefore the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord signed in July,1987 is a defunct instrument without any legal value, and logically the 13th Amendment which is an off shoot of that Accord is now an illegal instrument which has no place in the Constitution of Sri Lanka.

If in June,1987 India did not intervene by dropping relief food supplies to the terrorists held in siegeƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, the terrorists would have been defeated ƒÆ’-¡ and terrorism in Sri Lanka would have been terminated in 1987.

But because of the Indian intervention the terrorism continued itsƒÆ’-¡  destructive presence for 22 long years.ƒÆ’-¡  Therefore, the Indian Government is responsible for all those loss of ƒÆ’-¡ lives, wounded soldiers and civilians ,ƒÆ’-¡  damages to material and the economic ƒÆ’-¡ cost of war during that period.ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka Government therefore has a legal right to claim compensation from India.ƒÆ’-¡ 

It is clear that Since 1987 India had acted in bad faith vis ƒÆ’†’  vis Sri Lanka with an ulterior motive. ƒÆ’-¡ It is an open secret that India took an active role in the defence of terrorism in Sri Lanka. It was made evident when India sent ƒÆ’-¡ a convoy of unarmed ships in June, 1987 to Jaffna, followed by airdropping ƒÆ’-¡ relief supplies to terrorists in siege.

Sri Lanka should also not forgetƒÆ’-¡  that in NJune,1987, the Indian External Affairs Minister K.Natwar Singh hadƒÆ’-¡  summonedƒÆ’-¡  the Sri Lanka High Commissioner in New Delhi to inform him of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to air drop relief supplies to the rebels(terrorists) and had ƒÆ’-¡ threatened that if the Indian Operation was hindered in any way India would launch a full force military retaliation against Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  It was after that Sri Lanka was forced to sign the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord on the 29 July, 1987.

Has India changed since then ?

But Sri Lanka had always acted in good faith despites IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hidden motives.

India fooled Sri Lanka to accept the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment prepared by Indian legal Officers to facilitate the terrorist toƒÆ’-¡  eventually establish a separateƒÆ’-¡  Eelam State by strengthening their hold in the Provincial Council once established.ƒÆ’-¡  For that purpose North and the Eastern Provinces were merged into one under the so called Peace Accord.

Sri Lanka naively ƒÆ’-¡ included the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment into the Constitution in good faith in order to get the Indian Peace Keeping ForceƒÆ’-¡  to disarm the LTTE and the Tamil Militant Groups andƒÆ’-¡  establish peace as India had agreed under the Peace Accord.ƒÆ’-¡  India however failed to keep its part of the agreement and abrogated it by pulling out the IPKF in 1990.

India cannot nowƒÆ’-¡  claim any legal right under the defunct Peace Accord to intervene to demand Sri Lanka to implement the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment is an appendage that remain from an rescindedƒÆ’-¡  accord and has no legal value.ƒÆ’-¡  The Sri Lanka Government need notƒÆ’-¡  turn to India to have its consent to remove the unnecessary vulgar appendage-a symbol of shame, the 13th Amendment.

The government may get a legal opinion and remove it by a resolution in ParliamentƒÆ’-¡  failing which it may call for a referendum.

India has to stop its continued aggressive demands with regard to the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment as India has lost its right to make such demands as far back as in 1990,ƒÆ’-¡  and implementing or not implementing the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment is now a matter which has to be decided by Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  alone, without IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s unnecessary interference.

However, Sri Lanka has the legal ƒÆ’-¡ right toƒÆ’-¡  demand India to pay compensation for the breach of the Peace Accord through IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s failure to give satisfaction to the Accord, resulting in the loss of ƒÆ’-¡ human lives, disability to persons and damage to property caused from 1987 to 2009 through terrorism, plus the economic cost of the war ƒÆ’-¡ against terrorism to Sri Lanka which ƒÆ’-¡ is estimated ƒÆ’-¡ at USDollars 200 billion.

The 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment has no relevance to Sri Lanka in its present context, therefore it has no reason to remain as anƒÆ’-¡  Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The Government of Sri Lanka is making considerable effort to reconcile the Communities eliminating even ƒÆ’-¡ the majority and minority concept of the people.ƒÆ’-¡  The Tamil people have to be made to accept themselves as a part of the Sri Lankan people and unite with the other Communities in a Unitary Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  That would not be possible under the Provincial Council System established under the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment which will only perpetuate separatism.

Sri Lanka should set up a system of Regional Administration in keeping with its own cultural and social background with a view to eliminate Communal Separatism.ƒÆ’-¡  Such a system of Administration should stretch ƒÆ’-¡ from village level to Government as the Centre.ƒÆ’-¡  In itƒÆ’-¡  all Communities should be brought together preserving their respective identity andƒÆ’-¡  assuring security from village level on wards.ƒÆ’-¡  Such a system will promote unity of the Communities that will be able to settle differences at village level. It will also pave the wayƒÆ’-¡  for the people of Sri Lanka as a whole ƒÆ’-¡ to promote and participate in ƒÆ’-¡ social, economic, political and inter cultural developments.

These positive developments will not be possible under the Provincial Council System which has created an ƒÆ’-¡ intermediate system of Administration which is akin to a Parliamentary System, distancing the Provincial Councillors from the ordinary mass of people , unable to integrate into the different social levels of the society because of a pseudo sense of a higher economic and social status.ƒÆ’-¡ 

The 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment should therefore be removedƒÆ’-¡  completely from the Constitution of Sri Lanka, which would enhance the Independence of Sri Lanka as a Sovereign State without India claiming a right to intervene in view of a breached, andƒÆ’-¡  now defunct Peace Accord to whichƒÆ’-¡  India was a party.

Therefore, it is my opinion that in the interest of our people ƒÆ’-¡ who should live in dignity and in security amoungƒÆ’-¡  their fellow country men in peace and harmony, ƒÆ’-¡ the 13th ƒÆ’-¡ Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka should be removedƒÆ’-¡  wholely and completely leaving noƒÆ’-¡  trace of it by a ƒÆ’-¡ two third majority in Parliament, ƒÆ’-¡ or ƒÆ’-¡ by a referendum of the people.

In conclusion I would like to remind the Select Committee of the Parliament that the President since his election, without the support of the UNP and the rest of the Opposition, had determined and carried out under immense difficulties tasks that none other political leader of Sri Lanka had dared even attempted, and achieved success.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Therefore, in the removal of the 13th Amendment from the Constitution too he need not dependƒÆ’-¡  on the support of the UNP, the TNA andƒÆ’-¡  other Political Parties which have only restricted self interests. The President should without hesitation do what has to be done in the interest of the people and the country as he has already proved he is capable of doing, and remove the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and face boldly any consequences for which he will have the support of the people.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ I pray for the President, the people and the Country the blessings of the Triple Gem

ƒÆ’-¡ 

Yours Sincerely ,

ƒÆ’-¡ 

Buddhist Economic and Geopolitical Revival through Kra-Isthmus Canal

July 13th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

If ThialandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s much discussed Kra-Isthmus canal is dredged, it shifts South East Asian prosperity to the three historically close-knit nations of Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka.

Following a strong pro-Sri Lanka stand at the UNHRC, a top Thailand delegation visited the island. They proposed Thailand-Sri Lanka-Burma naval co-operation. Superficially, it is yet another shallow statement. After all around the same time Indian, Japanese, Chinese and US naval missions berthed at Colombo. However, there is a deeper meaning to naval co-operation among the three historically close nations bound by one common thread. If ThialandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s much discussed Kra-Isthmus canal is dredged, it shifts South East Asian prosperity to these three nations.

Kra-Isthmus Canal

A map of Thailand shows a narrower sliver of land between Gulf of Thailand on its east and Andaman Sea on its west. Kra-Isthmus Canal is a proposed canal to be dredged linking the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea. It was first proposed over 300 years ago. Enthusiasm surfaced over and over again but no action was ever taken. At the moment Thailand donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t intend to dredge it. However, it makes very good sense to do so. It will be a shipping industry gold mine. If made, it cuts travel distance by over a thousand kilometres; travel time by days and saves billions to shipping companies. Cost of import and export involving Asia will reduce significantly making more and more industries viable. Hambantota and Burmese ports will replace Singapore. Ships travelling west to east will have to call at either of these ports before making the journey across the canal. Still, many ships will be travelling from Suez to Singapore and Australia. Hambantota will be their interim destination as it sits at the three-way junction.

Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka will immensely benefit from the Kra-Isthmus Canal that will propel them to become developed countries. Today it is more about reviving their historical cooperation in the modern capitalist world than limiting to religious affinities.

Interestingly, the proposed canal requires lesser dredging than the Suez canal and the Panama canal. However, due to various geopolitical setbacks deliberately caused by Singaporean and Malaysian interests on Thailand, the project has been buried. If the canal comes into existence, it will take prosperity away from these two nations. ASEAN was formed to keep these pressures on Thailand indirectly thereby not allowing it to go for the project. In 2006 a retired Thai diplomat revealed how a Tamil Singaporean diplomat blocked Sri Lanka from entering ASEAN in the 1960s. However, with Lee Kuan YewƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s days numbered, and, with no real replacement for him as the mentor and de facto ruler of Singapore ever since its independence, the time for action is fast approaching.

The project costs a few hundred billion dollars to complete. However, it can be recovered within a couple of years, if not months. Once in operation, it will be a huge geopolitical clout to all three nations.

A Departure from the Current Geopolitical Impasse

All three nations are caught up in a geopolitical gridlock pinning them down. ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s progress is severely crippled by outside influence on political stability to keep the most populous ASEAN nation well below its potential. In addition, Malaysian and Indonesian funded Islamic terrorists cause further economic and security distress. ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s handling of these terror groups has been criticised by ASEAN. Chinese preference for Singapore as a shipping hub where most shipping related industries are owned by the Chinese doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t help ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s progress either. The once influential nation has withered to insignificance between US and Chinese geopolitical manoeuvrers.

Burma is also in a geopolitical rut. On one hand powerful Islamic extremist groups exert pressure while on another front the Indian-Chinese pressure restrains it. Western pressure and sanctions also bite into Burma. Just like Thailand, ASEAN heavyweights censure Burma for taking defensive action.

Sri Lanka may be the most geopolitically challenged of the three. Indian interference coupled with western pressure threatens fragile peace. Perceived Chinese connections drive panic-stricken US and Indian strategists against the nation. On the other front is the block of Islamic nations with own narrow, mostly extremist interests in the island. Swinging between these two extremes has not done any good for the island nation. On the other hand ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s support comes without strings attached which must be grabbed in both hands.

If the canal is operational, the three friendly nations can manage and manipulate worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s largest and fastest growing shipping routes in their favour without being aligned to any of the superpower camps. This benefits the entire world.

Interestingly, USA is supportive of this plan which fears increasing Chinese and Indian influence in the region depriving US interests. Once the shipping and commercial naval clout is separated from military navy power of India and China, it creates space for all. At the moment India, USA and China can (if needed) enforce chokepoints in the region potentially disrupting commercial shipping.

Creating a Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma shipping triangle is the only sustainable way this country can become a commercial hub and regain its geopolitical clout.

If ThialandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s much discussed Kra-Isthmus canal is dredged, it shifts South East Asian prosperity to the three historically close-knit nations of Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka.
Following a strong pro-Sri Lanka stand at the UNHRC, a top Thailand delegation visited the island. They proposed Thailand-Sri Lanka-Burma naval co-operation. Superficially, it is yet another shallow statement. After all around the same time Indian, Japanese, Chinese and US naval missions berthed at Colombo. However, there is a deeper meaning to naval co-operation among the three historically close nations bound by one common thread. If ThialandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s much discussed Kra-Isthmus canal is dredged, it shifts South East Asian prosperity to these three nations.
Kra-Isthmus Canal
A map of Thailand shows a narrower sliver of land between Gulf of Thailand on its east and Andaman Sea on its west. Kra-Isthmus Canal is a proposed canal to be dredged linking the Gulf of Thailand and Andaman Sea. It was first proposed over 300 years ago. Enthusiasm surfaced over and over again but no action was ever taken. At the moment Thailand donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t intend to dredge it. However, it makes very good sense to do so. It will be a shipping industry gold mine. If made, it cuts travel distance by over a thousand kilometres; travel time by days and saves billions to shipping companies. Cost of import and export involving Asia will reduce significantly making more and more industries viable. Hambantota and Burmese ports will replace Singapore. Ships travelling west to east will have to call at either of these ports before making the journey across the canal. Still, many ships will be travelling from Suez to Singapore and Australia. Hambantota will be their interim destination as it sits at the three-way junction.
Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka will immensely benefit from the Kra-Isthmus Canal that will propel them to become developed countries. Today it is more about reviving their historical cooperation in the modern capitalist world than limiting to religious affinities.
Interestingly, the proposed canal requires lesser dredging than the Suez canal and the Panama canal. However, due to various geopolitical setbacks deliberately caused by Singaporean and Malaysian interests on Thailand, the project has been buried. If the canal comes into existence, it will take prosperity away from these two nations. ASEAN was formed to keep these pressures on Thailand indirectly thereby not allowing it to go for the project. In 2006 a retired Thai diplomat revealed how a Tamil Singaporean diplomat blocked Sri Lanka from entering ASEAN in the 1960s. However, with Lee Kuan YewƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s days numbered, and, with no real replacement for him as the mentor and de facto ruler of Singapore ever since its independence, the time for action is fast approaching.
The project costs a few hundred billion dollars to complete. However, it can be recovered within a couple of years, if not months. Once in operation, it will be a huge geopolitical clout to all three nations.
A Departure from the Current Geopolitical Impasse
All three nations are caught up in a geopolitical gridlock pinning them down. ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s progress is severely crippled by outside influence on political stability to keep the most populous ASEAN nation well below its potential. In addition, Malaysian and Indonesian funded Islamic terrorists cause further economic and security distress. ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s handling of these terror groups has been criticised by ASEAN. Chinese preference for Singapore as a shipping hub where most shipping related industries are owned by the Chinese doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t help ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s progress either. The once influential nation has withered to insignificance between US and Chinese geopolitical manoeuvrers.
Burma is also in a geopolitical rut. On one hand powerful Islamic extremist groups exert pressure while on another front the Indian-Chinese pressure restrains it. Western pressure and sanctions also bite into Burma. Just like Thailand, ASEAN heavyweights censure Burma for taking defensive action.
Sri Lanka may be the most geopolitically challenged of the three. Indian interference coupled with western pressure threatens fragile peace. Perceived Chinese connections drive panic-stricken US and Indian strategists against the nation. On the other front is the block of Islamic nations with own narrow, mostly extremist interests in the island. Swinging between these two extremes has not done any good for the island nation. On the other hand ThailandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s support comes without strings attached which must be grabbed in both hands. ƒÆ’-¡ 
If the canal is operational, the three friendly nations can manage and manipulate worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s largest and fastest growing shipping routes in their favour without being aligned to any of the superpower camps. This benefits the entire world.
Interestingly, USA is supportive of this plan which fears increasing Chinese and Indian influence in the region depriving US interests. Once the shipping and commercial naval clout is separated from military navy power of India and China, it creates space for all. At the moment India, USA and China can (if needed) enforce chokepoints in the region potentially disrupting commercial shipping.

Creating a Thailand, Sri Lanka and Burma shipping triangle is the only sustainable way this country can become a commercial hub and regain its geopolitical clout.

Why there should not be an ethnic-based Arabic University in Sri Lanka

July 13th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

The Minister of Education announced recently that the Ministry would do away with ethnic-based schools given its own ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-principledƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ stand we would next like to know how using the same logic of not allowing ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ethnicƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ based learning, the education authorities have signed an MOU to establish the Malik Abdulla University College in Kattankudy, in Eastern Province.

When the announcement was given by the Ministry of Education that they would remove ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ethnic-basedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ schools the first thoughts of everyone was whether leading schools that have been in existence for years, Government or Semi-Government would agree to changing their names. Ministers have a way of drawing public attention by announcements that provide no logic just as absurd as some came out with the need to change the national anthem and the national flag and now it appears someone has landed a lucrative deal to change the national ID card to include Tamil as well.

Obviously, objections would have been made with former schools, children, parents or past-pupils NOT wanting to change the name of their alma-mater that the Ministry quickly reversed its stand and declared ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-No NEW schools would be ethnic-basedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. What do authorities propose to do about the rising number of Muslim Only and Tamil Only international schools, day care centers springing up in every corner while there are no Sinhala Only universities? Does this fall within the oft quoted ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-multiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ label?

So if the Ministry has decided to not allow no NEW ethnic-based schools what explanation can be given to allowing a MUSLIM ONLY university college?

The University College is to be funded by Saudi Arabia which is known for funding institutes that radicalize youth and draws them towards Saudi brand of Islam and Sharia law.

The newspaper announcements claim that the University was requested by Deputy Minister Hisbullah and is established as part of the Mahinda Chintanaya which clearly goes to show how authorities have a way of manipulating the system because no where in the Chintanaya does it say to create ETHNIC-based private colleges unless another Chintanaya is being practiced. But the college itself is earmarked to be inaugurated by the President himself. The announcements last line that it would ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-cater to the needs of all three communitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is obviously a whitewash.

The argument against the establishment of an ethnic-based university has nothing to do with being against learning but everything to do with the principle that if authorities are attempting to integrate the youth and not segregate them why are they establishing places of learning that is imparting a brand of education that distances them from other communities?

Students coming out of such universities end up mentally and physically alienating themselves out of choice (in view of their new Arabic attire and thinking) and disassociating themselves from those in their age group ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” this affects the team spirit, the ability to work as teams even when they join employment. Is this a healthy environment we wish to create?

Moreover, we cannot ignore the rise in Saudi-funded Islamic radicalism to be naƒÆ’†’¯ve that while this may exist elsewhere it is unlikely to create similar catastropheƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s here in Sri Lanka too.

Recently wikileaks released US Embassy in Colombo cable identifying 4 such groups based in Sri Lanka – Jamthi Islam, ThauhidƒÆ’-¡ Jamath, Thableeq Jamath, and Jamathi Muslim. The cable was written by Ambassador Lunstead on 9 June, 2004. The cable also details training camps, while other youth are sent to Saudi and says that a Saudi-based NGO World Assembly of Muslim Youth fund these activities. The Ambassador cites that the Muslim youth initially started training to defend themselves against the LTTE. The cable also mentions the Muslim Congress being supported by the Islamic Unity Foundation which has military, intelligence, religious and political wings as well as weapons. Other groups mentioned in the cable include Knox group, Ossama group, Jetty group, Mujahadeen, Banda group all with Muslim Congress backing. Links to the underworld is also mentioned. Ambassador Lunstead also notes ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-very little insight into the veiled world of Muslim militancy in eastern Sri Lanka and the information provided is just one part of a vast puzzle that makes up the cultural/political/religious melting pot of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ This clearly shows that we need to be alert to all Saudi-funded seats of learning because the outcome of these in other parts of the world have resulted in fatal consequences and have torn entire nations apart. The question is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” do we want to invite the same in Sri Lanka when we have just come out of a 30 year chaos?

The argument is further strengthened by the fact that ALREADY there are 5 types of institutes offering Arabic in Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the GOSL conducts 2 types of examinations, there are the Madrasas (religious based schools) which offer 8 years Sharia courses, then 4 Government universities which offer degree level courses and the Jamia Naleemia in Beruwela which is also a private university. There is a rising number of children as young as 7 attending these madrasas instead of schools which raises the question of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s international commitment that ALL Children must attend schools ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” not religious based schools.

However, Arabic language courses selected by undergraduate students raises more questions than answers ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” normally in marketing the demand creates the supply ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” from what is happening is that the supply is been geared to create the demand.

University 2010/2011 2009/2010 2008/2009
1.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  University of Peradeniya 15 14 13
2.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Eastern University of Sri Lanka 11 15 14
3.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  University of Colombo 2 4 3
4.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  South Eastern University of Sri Lanka 22 27 20

ƒÆ’-¡ 

There are 749 Muslim schools in Sri Lanka, and 205 Madrasas registered under the Department of Muslim cultural affairs which provide Islamic education though unregistered madrasas number far more.

For the 1.8million Muslims of Sri Lanka the number of already existing religious and educational establishments suffices to say the least. Authorities now need to work out a moratorium so that the demography of the country is kept intact and the peace dividends that 27,000 soldiers sacrificed their lives for is not eliminated by the shortsighted decisions taken by officials and public servants.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

Why didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t President Premadasa throw out the Indo-Lanka Accord along with the IPKF?

July 12th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

Since we are on the subject of 13th amendment it is no better a time to look back since 25 years has passed of a virtually non-existent Indo-Lanka Accord that remains a binding nuisance which has been passed down from one Government to the other with the present President left to deal with all the bag and baggage! What must intrigue many is the golden question ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” if President Premadasa could ask the IPKF to exit Sri Lanka and India conceded without fuss, why was the opportunity not taken to abrogate the Indo-Lanka Pact as well? It was the most suitable time to have done so and Premier V P Singh would not have stood in the way. Similarly, when Opposition Leader signed what he claims to be the greatest ceasefire in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s history, why did he not do away with the Indo-Lanka Accord given that the 2002 CFA had achieved what the Accord failed to do?

In a game of blame who do we point fingers at most? JayawardenaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s folly was to take a pro-US stand which did not deliver to him the support he needed and expected. Had he received US backing the Indo-Lanka Accord would not have gone through ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” when Indian ships and Indian Airforce are used to show India means business, Jayawardena succumbed and the Accord was signed. The same strategy is unlikely to work this time round though! That India did not deliver, could not deliver or did not intend to deliver is nothing we need to repeatedly write on. What we are surprised though is how an aspiring to be super power nation with a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-superƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ army that boasted it would disarm the LTTE in no time could not ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-guarantee and enforce cessation of hostilitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ from a group of militants India trained when these militants were being handled by IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s intelligence! The student ended up taking the lives of over 1200 Indian jawans and injuring double that number and injecting one of the most embarrassing examples of loss of faith to the Indian Army so much so that it took Sri Lanka to even moot the idea of a war memorial for these dead Indian soldiers and it took India over 25 years to thank the men who died by the arms India gifted to the LTTE ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” how is that for dƒÆ’†’©jƒÆ’†’  u.

While Tamils who welcomed the IPKF with garlands and banners ended up being victims of rape and indiscriminate shootings by IPKF soldiers, no short of a civilian nightmare. IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s crime of aggression in demanding the halt to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s offensive cost Sri Lanka 27,000 of its war heroes, thousands of civilians and 30 years of no development.

Premadasa had enough grounds to rescind the Accord given that having merged the Northern and Eastern Provinces as promised and holding elections with Indian-backed EPRLF candidate Varatharaja Perumal being elected as its first Chief Minister, IPKF went on to arm Tamil civilians and created the Tamil National Army to support Perumal in whose cabinet Dayan Jayatilake was an MP. By virtue of arming and creating another armed force India breached the Accord yet again.

Premadasa while sending off the IPKF to earn a score with the LTTE ended up only half solved. Had Premadasa annulled the Accord in toto along with the packing off of the IPKF, IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s incursion on Sri Lanka would have been taken care of. Advisors again failed. No different to the manner LTTE were given VIP treatment in Colombo staying at the Hilton and with STF having to provide guard while the same Government ordered over 600 policemen to surrender themselves to the LTTE who shot each one dead in what remains one of the greatest betrayals by the Head of State to its police force and no different to how his fellow UNP leader exposed the names of 43 of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s army intelligence and LTTE shot each member dead. The number of times the UNP Governments have failed the armed forces and the nation are too many to count.

The ground reality is that Premadasa did not throw out the Indo-Lanka Accord, neither did D B Wijetunga, Chandrika did not even contemplate it even though her mother Mrs. B who despite being great friends of the Nehru family denounced the Indo-Lanka Pact in toto while Gamini Jayasuriya was the only UNP member to resign against the Accord and Ranil Wickremasinghe was a member of the then UNP Government. Chandrika herself was a devolutionist but what looks nice in text books and what the ground realities are were never factored in.

This was how the Accord came to drag on for almost 20 years with leaders politicizing issues instead of devising how best to steer Sri Lanka on a track of development by bifurcating what was stifling Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡ 

We now come to the question of who can the nation actually trust? In answering this question it is good if we explore some tidbits from the past which will help us conclude who we should not trust in handing over affairs of the nation. With the present crisis revolved round the 13th amendment it is important that the countrymen do not continue to make the same mistakes.

With regard to the bag and baggage the country has been carrying ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” they number many. The UNP Government burnt the Jaffna Public Library in 1981 and thereafter was largely responsible for the 1983 riots which left Sinhalese Buddhists unfairly labeled as discriminating the Tamils and the problem was dabbed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ethnicƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Yet Tamils have forgiven the UNP and continuously votes for it in the same manner they vote for the Tamil National Alliance despite its open allegiance to the LTTE and we thought the Tamils were suffering because of the LTTE.

This same UNP Government often falsely projected as ushering the open economy had in reality brought small industries and self-sustainability to ruin. We have little memories. The very person faulting the Government for appeasing to India sought IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s help even for fisheries! We have forgotten how the economy of Sri Lanka was ruined when the UNP embarked upon a maiden privatization and selling of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s infrastructure which directly impacted on the gradual demise of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s agriculture. Yes, a handful became very very rich but the masses became very poor too. Today, that agriculture is picking up but not without the farmers becoming victims of the world agriculture mafia in the form of reliance on fertilizers and pesticides. We have also forgotten how the UNP scrapped the Guaranteed Purchasing scheme where instead of producers benefiting the rice millers and traders struck gold and the rice mills and paddy stores became neglected to pave the way to import rice and farmers bringing their vegetables and fruits to the Fair had to sell their goods to traders at low prices and we came to purchase same at double the price! The strikers may also like to look back at how they had been treated in the past as well. These are good lessons for the present Government not to follow the same garden path.

Have we also forgotten the 2002 UNF budget where 100% tax levied on foreigners was reduced giving them the opportunity to purchase real estate in Sri Lanka which was a total sell out. Thankfully ChandrikaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Government put a stop to this.ƒÆ’-¡ 

The ceasefire of 2002 was a story of selling Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty for personal glory at the cost of the lives of our war heroes. Just as JR kept from his cabinet any details of the Indo-Lanka Accord, Ranil agreed to the CFA without a vote in Parliament and the agreement was announced only after it was signed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” so much for democracy the UNP now demands! It appears Premadasa too kept even Gen. Ranatunga in the dark about most of his dealings with the LTTE. ƒÆ’-¡ 

When we accuse the US of torture we also forget the Batalanda chamber in Kelaniya which the Presidential Commission of Inquiry confirmed was a torture chamber. When education was entrusted to him his Secretary was an underworld thug ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Gonawala Sunil. It was RanilƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Government which even collaborated with AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s rendition of alleged terrorists! So the question is do we continue this legacy or should we slowly try to move away and break away from these ugly precedents that are throttling the country. The next question is how?

Every Government had to carry the bag and baggage of ruin created by the UNP. The agreements with IMF to sell resources of the country, to slash the welfare assistance to people, to privatize state institutes, to impose tax concessions to the wealthy and impose taxes to the ordinary masses were all encouraged and agreed to by the UNP ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” once these agreements are signed with international authorities it is extremely difficult to break away from them.

It is in the backdrop of this legacy that the present Government took office and in fairness to it we must be thankful that to break away from the tentacles of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-systemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ that no leader dared challenged, the decision the Government took to militarily defeat the LTTE and deliver the promise to end terrorism is something we need to be thankful for. That task was made possible by first eliminating the bogus classification that Sri Lanka had an ethnic problem ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” if so the Indo-Lanka Accord and 13th amendment plus the PC system should have provided the solution. Solutions are not achieved in carving and creating a country simply to satisfy the whims of a handful. It was under the stewardship of the Defense Secretary that the lies the country had to suffer 30 years came to an end in just 3 years despite being surrounded by the same proponents who carried the opinion that we were suffering an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unwinnable warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Being veteran politicians means not to be veterans of deceit and these are good lessons for both the Government and especially for voters to think about before casting their vote at future elections. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

Contracts can also come to a close on frustration ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” IPKF withdrawal was one such frustration that led to the President of Sri Lanka demanding the exit of IPKF from Sri Lanka. Had he gone a step further and completely closed the Accord ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Lanka would have been in a very different situation. As things stand the region has become quite crowded and stronger players are fishing in the Indian Ocean which requires suave diplomatic maneuverings to make India realize that in its best interest the 13th amendment is best done away with when it should know how within its own internal contours the manner India is being destabilized ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” therefore the annexure plan is likely to be usurped to create a bigger nightmare for India that may lead to India ending up what it was like before the arrival of the British ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” disunited in territory and regions.

If the Government managed to defy the odds and deliver a magnificent victory in 2009 there is no reason why it cannot resolve the 13th amendment and conclude the Accord which is virtually existent by name and because of our courtesy only.

What the Government must resolve to do at all times is not to make the mistakes the previous Governments and leaders made ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” then only will their credibility remain amongst the majority who voted for them and will continue to vote for them.

With the country now more alert and watching the onus is on the Government and all leaders to lead the country out of the mess instead of leading it towards more messes given that we are already paying for the crimes of the past.

The country is confident that the President can still deliver and take the nation out of the turmoil it is now in.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

 

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Send Sri Lanka Tamils to AustraliaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬: Karunanidhi comes out with a gem!

July 12th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

Muthuvel Karunanidhi, the former Chief Minister of Tami Nadu, should be applauded by all peace-loving Sri Lankans. There is clear evidence that some of his grey matter cells are still functioning, although the man is almost 90 years old.

According to a report in Hindu dated 12 July, Karunanidhi has suggested that the government (of India) could facilitateƒÆ’-¡ migrationƒÆ’-¡ of Sri Lankan Tamil refugees to Australia. Going by this suggestion, the Sri Lanka government should muster all its strength and collaborate with India ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Lanka keeps on getting lambasted by every Tom, Dick and Harry for not cooperating with India to ensure the welfare of the Tamils in Sri Lanka – to see that KarunanidhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s idea comes to fruition. The limited resources that the Navy and the Coastguards of Sri Lanka possess need not be spent on preventing Tamils who do not want to be in Sri Lanka from leaving. Instead, the time and energies of the security forces will become available to preventing the illegal and the undesirables coming into the island nation.

Then again, Karunanidhi being Karunanidhi, the poor man obviously cannot keep away from the theme that appeals to Indian politicians, and helps many of them to steal the limelight and hoodwink the illiterate and uninformed Tamil Nadu voters. He laments Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s poor track record of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-reneging on earlier commitmentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and adds, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-it remains to be seen whether the country will fulfil its promises made to National Security Adviser (of India)!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Sri Lanka is under no obligation whatsoever to promise anything to India, represented by its foreign ministry or the security apparatus high ups. In the same tone, dumping in the garbage any such promises that had been made, for whatever reason, too, is Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s pristine prerogative, as the island nation is not a vassal state of India or one of the states or union territories that comprises the behemoth that goes today as India.

Rather than worrying about implementing whatever promises, agreements, accords or pacts between Sri Lanka and India, what Sri Lanka should do is to demand compensation through the International Court of Justice for the damage India has inflicted upon it. India turned a rag tag bunch of street thugs originating from Velvetithurai and other regions of Northern Sri Lanka to a powerful and ruthless and killing machine that was ready to take on the armed forces of sovereign Sri Lanka head on. It is only after the Sri Lanka-based LTTE killers were annihilated in May 2009 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the terrorists would have been vanquished in 1987, if not for India poking its dirty finger ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that Sri Lankans have started enjoying the peace that had been hijacked by LTTE.

Karunanidhi, please take all Tamils in Sri Lanka who do not want to be Sri Lankans to Tamil Nadu or send them to Australia. Sri Lanka then will be a peaceful country.

No Statement on Buddha Gaya Bombings : World Buddhists are disappointed with UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban ki Moon

July 12th, 2013

Shenali D WadugeƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka

It was 7/7 for the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s 4th largest religion of 350million Buddhists when on 7th July 9 bombs went off in quick succession in the Holiest Place for the Buddhists in Buddha Gaya (Bodh Gaya), India. While, no fatalities were reported apart from injuries and even the bomb placed to destroy the Buddha Statue did not explode ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the news shocked Buddhists all over the world. What is disturbing more than anything else is that not a single non-Buddhist world leader condemned the attack and now into the 5th day having waited to see a statement from the Office of the United Nations, Secretary General it appears he too has decided not to issue a statement of condemnation, while UNESCO also has kept mum inspite of Buddha Gaya being a world heritage site.

Sri Lanka a predominately Buddhist country which takes pride in its Buddhist origins and civilization are quite perturbed at the silence though we are thankful at the prompt response of the Indian Prime Minister, the Congress Chairperson Mrs. Sonia Gandhi who visited the site and the media coverage given by Indian news agencies regularly covering the story.

The interrogation by the National Investigation Agency revealed that David Headley in June 2010 claimed that the Lashkar-e-Taiba had prepared a video on the Mahabodhi Temple and was planning bomb attacks. The Indian Mujahideen revealed their plans to attack the Mahabodhi temple in October 2012. On 2 July 2013, just 5 days before the actual bombings the Intelligence Bureau had alerted the Bihar police that 2 terrorist suspects had entered Gaya town ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” all these point to the fact that Bodh Gaya was a terrorist target. Who actually is responsible the Indian authorities will determine after they conclude their investigations.

The more important question that disturbs us is why has the world been silent. That no statement was issued from the US is reason why its cohorts in the UK and EU did not think of issuing a statement themselves. If we remember the furor over a film on Prophet Muhammed (which incidentally was only a trailer) the entire world began issuing statements, protesting and holding mass demonstrations when most had not even seen the film.

What is perturbing about the silence of the UN Secretary General is that we are accustomed to seeing the UN Secretary General ever ready to jump and condemn Sri Lanka no sooner an event had been flagged across the world and the former UN Secretary General even issued a condolence message to a dead LTTE terrorist, we are bemused as to why being an Asian he cannot issue even a line of condemnation against the Buddha Gaya attack. We are not expecting any party to be blamed except to hear from the world leaders and the supposed custodian of peace that they too feel saddened by the Holiest Place of Buddhists becoming a victim to terrorist attacks. Would the UN Secretary not issue a statement had such an incident occurred in Vatican or Mecca?

Whilst we are grateful to all the public and the numerous other religious leaders and various organizations for issuing statements condemning the attack we cannot ignore the manner world leaders and the UN Secretary General purposely ignored the Buddha Gaya bombing. Anyone going through the UN Secretary GeneralƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s speeches and statements would also be shocked at the silence of his Office ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it is simply not done, Mr. Ban-Ki Moon. Buddhism is the most compassionate religion and philosophy any human being can embrace for it enfolds the compassion and respect to even sentient beings ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” there is no bigger human right than that.

 

 

India wants ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Equality, justice, dignity and self-respect” for Sri Lanka Tamils

July 11th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

The National Security Adviser of IndiaƒÆ’-¡ has said, according to media reports on 09 July, that his government expects a political solution going beyond the 13th Amendment and meaningful devolution of power to ensure, among other things, the Sri Lankan Tamil community would lead a life marked by equality, justice, dignity and self-respect.

The news report carries so many intrusive, unwanted and incorrect perceptions held by the Indians who occupy positions of power in the high echelons in New Delhi.

First and foremost is that the top guns in India do not seem to realise or accept that Sri Lanka is a separate, independent and sovereign nation and not a state or territory among the states and union territories that comprise todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s India. Sri Lanka has every right to do what it wants with its constitution as long as that is the desire of the Sri Lankans.

A second point is the implementation of the 13th Amendment and the so-called Indo-Lanka accord that bore it in 1987. There was no accord ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” a two-party agreement ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” whatsoever, although India keeps on referring to it as such. The pact was forced on the then President of Sri Lanka under the threat of invasion, with the Indian air force violating Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s airspace and Indian warships hovering menacingly close to Colombo. Getting the LTTE to surrender arms within 72 hours was a key feature of the pact, but the whole world knows that it was Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s valiant armed forces that disarmed the LTTE in 2009. All that mighty India could do in this regard was to sacrifice over 1100 of its soldiers to the very LTTE that it had previously financed, trained and armed to take on the Sri Lankan soldiers.

Another absurdity is IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s statements and position that Tamils in Sri Lanka should have a life of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-equality, justice, dignity and self-respectƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. If there are problems that the law-abiding Sri Lankan Tamils face, they are no different from those that the rest of the communities ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sinhalese, Moor, Malay, Burgher or Aaadhivaasis ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” face. If the National Security Adviser of IndiaƒÆ’-¡ cares to visit Sri Lanka and take a walk in Wellawatte, Bambalapitiya, Kotahena or Sea Street in Pettah, he will find, to his utter surprise, that these regions, which until recently had Sinhala people as the majority community, are today almost twins of various parts of Tamil Nadu. There will be many Sinhalese who are ready to trade places with the Tamils there, who happen to be ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-more equal than the restƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

It is time that India stops repeating the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-equality, justice, dignity and self-respect for TamilsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ mantra. They should go for another slogan, and leave Sri Lanka alone to handle its own affairs.

 

 

No room and no need for a Tamil Nation in Sri Lanka

July 11th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka has 64 registered political parties. Then, there is a group that goes under the label Tamil National Alliance (TNA) that is not even registered with the Commissioner of Elections. Ironically, TNA is always referred to by the media, including some in Sri Lanka, as a major Tamil political party, in spite of the fact that the proportion of the population of Sri Lanka that it can even claim to represent falls below 4 per cent.

ƒÆ’-¡ All the parties and groups that are associated with Tamils, except two, have Thamil, Tamil, Eelam or Eelavar in their names. None of the parties that is voted for by the rest of ethnic groups has Sinhala or Buddhist inserted into their names – although some may argue that Hela is there in one.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ TNA was born with the blessings of the LTTE when the latter held sway over fast swathes of land that it acquired illegally through the force of arms. It served as the spokesperson for LTTE while the terrorists ruled the roost in the North and East of Sri Lanka while holding the rest of the country to ransom by doing what it could do best: suicide bombings, massacring unarmed civilians and bogus peace talks. It was during the period of the so-called peace talks that the criminals brought in shiploads of arms, and even high tech communication equipment with the help some western embassies such as that of Norway.

ƒÆ’-¡ TNA, by its very name, stands for a Tamil nation. One of its major constituents, Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kadchi (ITAK) that was founded by Chelvanayakam was deviously presented in English as Federal Party but the name stands for Lanka Tamil State Party. Today, the Secretary of ITAK is one of the strongest anti-Sri Lanka advocates who never misses an opportunity to denigrate Sri Lanka and its Sinhala majority at every possible forum, in Sri Lanka or abroad.

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka can have only one state or nation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that of Sri Lanka. If one were go back to its past, then there are other names that would surface: Ceylon, Serendib, Tambrapanni or Hela Diva. Tamils certainly can aspire for their own nation or state, but what they want is already there in Tamil Nadu ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the Tamil country ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” which lies a mere 30 kilometres to the Northwest of Sri Lanka, in India. Sampanthan, Senathirajh, Adaikalanathan and others of their ilk are rarely reported to have done anything substantial to improve the lot of the Tamils of Sri Lanka, especially those living in the Northern region of the country: all that one reads about the TNA politicians is their globetrotting, to Tamil Nadu, New Delhi or the European capitals, complaining about the raw deal that the Tamils in Sri Lanka receive at the hands of the Sinhala government or the Sinhala ethnic group. Now that the armed wing of the LTTE that was based in Sri Lanka has been vanquished, the TNA has found it convenient to serve as the mouthpiece of the Tamils, who immigrated from SL, legally or illegally, to the most affluent countries in the world.

ƒÆ’-¡ Instead of harping on the nauseating complaint of lack of reconciliation moves by the Sri Lanka government, TNA has very clear other options. It should get its supporters and LTTE backers to give it at least a small proportion of the LTTE war kitty (which would be substantial as, according to JaneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Defence Weekly, the annual earnings of LTTE were estimated to be $ 300 million) and use it for some development and infrastructure rebuilding work in the North. A better alternative, especially as TNA does not seem to be capable of weaning themselves off the LTTEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mono-ethnic Eelam for Tamils mentality or treating Sri Lanka as their mother country, is to move 30 kilometres North across the Palk Straits for good and live with their blood brothers in Tamil Nadu. Sri Lankans who love their country can then live happily ever after.

Parliamentary Select Committee calls for public representations on future political and constitutional measures

July 11th, 2013

PSC

Government Ministers of Sri Lanka should be more mindful of what they say

July 11th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

Government Ministers in our country are developing quite a name for themselves when it comes to issuing statements that land them in a spot of bother. Some gems are reproduced for readers:-

  • ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I am so happy to answer a question by a beauty queen like Rosy Senanayake.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  You are such a charming womanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I have no words to describe my feelings,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I cannot explain my feelings here. But if you meet me outside Parliament, I will describe them.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ – Transport Minister Kumara Welgama.

Ms. Rosy Senanayake was not amused. This comment was published in a Top 10 Sexist Moments in Politics list produced by the Guardian, UK.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/jun/14/top-10-sexist-moments-politics

  • ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Boys will be boysƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Minister Keheliya RambukwellaƒÆ’-¡ after reports of a son f a senior minister, who with his companions, allegedly assaulted another. The victim needed hospitalization as a result of his injuries.
  • ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This is not something I am saying. WhenƒÆ’-¡ women take the lead there is a tendency to not listen to anyone else. It is like this in a lot of places. It becomes difficult to work. If a woman is in charge of a District Secretariat or Divisional Secretariat or any other high office, they have a tendency to exert their authority over that place. So because of that, sometimes justice is not done,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa

ƒÆ’-¡ This is something common in every sphere, though it is not a trait specific to women. From experience, not all women are difficult to work with/for, just as I am sure you find men who can be extremely difficult to work with/for.ƒÆ’-¡  Capable women should be allowed to lead, if not, we are halving the pool of talented and capable people.

This trend is not unique to politicians of Sri Lanka. Regardless, one would expect their leaders to be more circumspect in what they say. It is indeed sad and embarrassing when government ministers speak in this manner. Politicians who talk sense and conduct themselves in a respectful manner are becoming a dying breed.

Politicians should be mindful of what they say as their statements are picked by print and online media. The end result is that people do not take their views seriously, and they become the butt of jokes and snide comments in conversation and on social media.

Perhaps itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s time local politicians invested in a good PR team to help them avoid making public gaffes by uttering such statements, as it inevitably results in them being subject to public scorn and ridicule. There is indeed great merit to the term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-think, before you speakƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Sending Basil Rajapakse to India has srirred up a HornetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Nest.

July 10th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

In 1987 India illegally ƒÆ’-¡ forced into the airspace of Sri Lanka and thereafter forced Sri Lanka to enter in to an Agreement or an Accord.ƒÆ’-¡  An agreement , or an Accord is no different to a contract between two parties, whether it is between two persons, two Companies, or two Counties.ƒÆ’-¡  It has to have essential basic requirements to bind the parties legally to the agreement.ƒÆ’-¡  It should be voluntary.ƒÆ’-¡  It should have ƒÆ’-¡ one or more legalƒÆ’-¡  obligations to be performed by one party to the other.ƒÆ’-¡  If any of the obligations is not performed by either one of the parties there would be a breach of the agreement and it could be rescinded without any legal effect.

India was from the beginning sympathetic towards the terrorists. They were trained by India and release in Sri Lanka to allow the Terrorists to form a separate Eelam State. The Indian Government has not denied the fact, as it cannot do so as there are enough evidence of their close involvements with the terrorists of Sri Lanka. In June,1987 when the terrorists were sieged in Jaffna and were about to be eliminated by theƒÆ’-¡  Operation Liberation of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces, India sentƒÆ’-¡  a convoy of armed battle ships to North of Sri Lanka for ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-humanitarian AssistantƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. The Sri Lanka Navy intercepted the Indian convoy of armed ships and forced it to turn back.

India then decided to air drop of relief supplies to the terrorists besieged ƒÆ’-¡ in Jaffna, and the Indian Minister of External Affairs K.Natwar Singh summoned the Sri Lanka Ambassador in New Delhi to inform of the IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s decision to air drop relief supplies to the terrorists, and had threatenedƒÆ’-¡  if the Indian Operation was hindered in any wayƒÆ’-¡  that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-India would launch a full-force military retaliation against Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

It was afterƒÆ’-¡  that threat of the IndianƒÆ’-¡  External Affairs Minister K.Natwar Singh theƒÆ’-¡  militarily powerful India forced upon militarily powerless Sri Lanka to accept a Peace Accord on the understanding thatƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka would not proceed with its military offensive againstƒÆ’-¡  the terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡  The Accord was not among equally powerful parties and was not voluntary on the Part of Sri Lanka.

Now the PactƒÆ’-¡  entered into by JR Jayawardhana on behalf of Sri Lanka and Rajiv Gandhi on behalf Indian on the 29 July, 1987 was called Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. It was an accord of necessity.

However the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord was entered into on the acceptance by both parties, for India: (i) to resolve the on going terrorism, and (ii) to get the Tamil terrorists to surrender Arms and establish peace.

andƒÆ’-¡  for Sri Lanka, (i)ƒÆ’-¡  to devolve power to the Provinces, and (ii) to withdraw itsƒÆ’-¡  troops to their barracks.

The Sri Lanka readily performed its part of the Accord by introducing the13Amendment prepared and demanded by India ƒÆ’-¡ to be included in the Constitution of Sri Lanka in terms of item (i) of its agreement under the Peace Accord to devolve power to the Provinces.ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka also withdrew its armies to the Barracks under item (ii) of its agreement under the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord.

That means Sri Lanka had performed its obligations under the Indo Lanka Peace Accord.

Now for this Peace Accord to be legally binding India had to performs the two items it had agreed to perform under the Pact.

Now to make the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord legally binding on the two parties, India had to perform its part of the Agreement under the Peace accord to the satisfaction of Sri Lanka the second party to the Peace Accord, which was to (i) to resolve the on going terrorism.

Did India performƒÆ’-¡  its part of the Agreement ?

No India failed in both counts, (i) to resolve the on going terrorism or, (ii) to get the terrorists to surrender their Arms. The terrorists initially agreed to surrender their arms, but laterƒÆ’-¡  declared they will continue their struggle until they set up an independent Eelam State and refused to surrender Arms.

In 1990 the Indian Army left with 1155 of its cadre lost, ƒÆ’-¡ without having performed eitherƒÆ’-¡  part of their agreement under the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord, leaving Sri Lanka which had already performed its part of the Agreement, with the terrorists problem more aggravated after the Indian intervention with its Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. And to make matters worse with a 13 Amendment which Sri Lanka had included post haste in to the Constitution in good faith.

In ordinary circumstances as it would happen in an ordinary contract the Party to the Agreement or Contract who fails to perform his part of the contract is legally bound to pay compensation to the other party,ƒÆ’-¡  who had in good faith performed his part of the contract.

ƒÆ’-¡ But what is happening to-day with regard to the Indo Sri Lanka Peace Accord is not normal ?

India which is legally responsible for the breach of the Peace Accord still remains theƒÆ’-¡  Party that is dictating terms to Sri Lanka, which was made to suffer not only materially but ƒÆ’-¡ with the deaths of tens of thousands of its youthful soldiers andƒÆ’-¡  even more wounded, and large numbers of dead and wounded civilians.

But India which lost only 1155 of its soldiers cannot demand any thing from Sri Lanka, sighting the Indo Sri Lanka which had been legally rescinded by India itself as a Party to the Peace Accord having failed to perform its part of the Accord.

Now it is for Sri Lanka to demand India to pay compensation, and India to accept that the India-Sri Lanka Peace AccordƒÆ’-¡  has failed and that Sri Lanka is not bound any more by the Peace Accord to ƒÆ’-¡ respect the inclusion of the 13Amendment forced into the Constitution of SriƒÆ’-¡  Lanka, ƒÆ’-¡ which Sri Lanka had ƒÆ’-¡ accepted to do in good faith, expecting India to honour its part of the Accord.

Sri Lanka political leadership nowƒÆ’-¡  behaves ƒÆ’-¡ like thieves who have been caught stealing some thing from India and indebted to it.

Sri Lanka has one thing to do , and that is to remove the 13Amendment without consulting or informing India as if Sri Lanka is a Vassal State of India.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ There was no necessity for Sri Lanka to have sent the Minister Basil Rajapakse to India to inform India of its proposal to hold the PSC with regard to removing certain parts of the 13Amerndment and requesting that the TNA be requested to be a part of the PSC.

The removal or keeping of the 13 Amendment is a matter for Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  The Indo Sri Lanka Pact through which the 13Amendment had been introducedƒÆ’-¡  has been rescinded by IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s failure to abide by its ƒÆ’-¡ promise to perform its part of the Agreement. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ India-Sri Lanka Peace Accord has no legal value any more, noƒÆ’-¡  court wouldƒÆ’-¡  deny it.

It is the Sri Lanka Government Leadership that is keeping the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord alive binding Sri Lanka to honour its pledge (which it had already done). It is India that has not honoured its pledge.

It is time that the President Mahinda Rajapakse awakens to that fact and go ahead with the removal of the 13 Amendment and be bold to face consequences.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  IfƒÆ’-¡  the President cannot get the 13 Amendment Removed by PSC or using his executive powers, he should then go to the people, to have the 13 Amendment removed by a referendum of the people.

The Minister Basisl Rajapakse, the emissary of the President who was sent to inform the Indian Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid and theƒÆ’-¡  Indian National SecurityƒÆ’-¡  Adviser Shiv Sankar Menon thatƒÆ’-¡  the Government of Sri Lanka is proposing small changes to the 13 Amendment, came back like aƒÆ’-¡  kicked dog lapping his woundsƒÆ’-¡  having achieved nothing and keeping mum about his visit.

Only thingƒÆ’-¡  Basil RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit to India has done is that Sri Lanka has made giants of not only Salman Kurshid and Shiv Sankar Menon, but also TNA which is now asking the Government of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  to confine the soldiers to their barracks.ƒÆ’-¡  And the Government of Sri Lanka seems to be acting as if it cannot to do any thing without the assent of TNA.

It is a shame that Sri Lanka is unable to assert its right to do what it thinks is the best by its country and by its people.ƒÆ’-¡  We are not at all indebted to India.ƒÆ’-¡  India had always been an enemy of Sri Lanka and will continue to be so.ƒÆ’-¡  It is only the President and his Government that seem to be assiduously licking the posterior of India.

It was reported that the the President ƒÆ’-¡ Mahinda Rajapaksa had told visiting Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦. that most of the points in the 13th Amendment will be implementedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  And , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦that there were issues in the clause dealing with land and police powers to the provinces and that needs to be addressed by the Parliament Select Committee.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The President had also requested Menon to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.Convince the TNA to join the Committee.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Is it really necessary thatƒÆ’-¡  India be informed that only small things in the 13Amendment will be removed ?

Why does not the President realise that we have nothing to askƒÆ’-¡  India about what we are doing with our constitution ?

Does it really matter whether TNA joins the PSC or not ?

It is a Parliamentary requirement that every member of the Parliament should respect the Parliamentary procedures, if any member fails to respect those democratic Parliamentary procedures they are in breach of the constitution and should be impeached.

Basil RajapakseƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s visit to India to inform the affairs of our country to the Indian Leader Ship has only stirred a hornetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s nest.ƒÆ’-¡  Only statement Basil Rajapakse had made since his return from India is that , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Some things can be said openly and some things cannot be said openly in diplomatic business between governments. They [India] gave us some of their views, we expressed our views. That is what usually happens .ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

If that is any thing to go by, both the Government of Sri Lanka and that of India, share secrets of which the people are allowed only the right to guess hoping that such secrets are in their interest and that of the country.

 

The Gordian Knot of the IMF- the Structural Adjustment Programme. The IMF itself created it.

July 10th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ By Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D.(Michigan State University)

It looks as if the IMF is unaware that it was the IMF itself that through its Structural Adjustment Programme stifled job creation and poverty alleviation. This is because the World Development Report 2013 stresses the creation of jobs. It states, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Creating opportunities for jobs are critical for reducing povertyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Further, it states, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In Developing Countries jobs are a cornerstone of development with a pay offƒÆ’-¡  far beyond income alone. They are critical for reducing poverty, making cities work and providing youth with alternatives to violence.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Thus it is clear that the IMF and the World Bank have forgotten what they did.

ƒÆ’-¡ Historically from the Fifties, when the newly independent sovereign countries were making progress in marshalling their economies to create production, alleviate poverty and create jobs, it was the IMF and the World Bank that created the process where that process would reverse. At that time ,the Developing Countries had developed systems to control and utilize the use of foreign exchange in the national interest, resorted to national planning and managed their budgets within their incomes controlling the foreign exchange they earned. There were no budget deficits and most countries were not overly indebted. They were producing their own requirements of industrial and agricultural productsƒÆ’-¡  and this led to a situation where the Developed Countries could not sell their manufactures. They suffered from stagflation- a mixture of inflation and high unemployment.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Developed Countries then set up their open market-liberalization policies, guided by Professor Milton Friedman of the Chicago School of Economics, pursued by President Regan and Prime Minister Thatcher. This wasƒÆ’-¡  aimed at aborting the development that was taking place in the Developing Countries, and making them indebted so that they could be reigned in.

ƒÆ’-¡ This was done in a very nefarious manner through the IMF and the WB in the guise of helping them.

ƒÆ’-¡ The first indications came from Robert McNamara the President of the World Bank, when heƒÆ’-¡  at a speech at Columbia University in 1970 stated that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We plan a new and expanded program of Country Economic MissionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ The mandate will be to assist the member government to draw up an overall development strategy which will include every major sector of the economy. Once the Mission is completed we will promptly produce a thorough Country Economic ReportƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Bruce Rich in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Mortgaging the EarthƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ rightly refers to this process as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a vision of global central planningƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ by World Bank executives. The sovereignty of the country goes out of the window and the World Bank executives take over!

ƒÆ’-¡ The strategy was simply to restructure the economies of the Developing Countries. This was done by enforcing the Structural AdjustmentƒÆ’-¡  Programme(SAP). This move is best expressed in the World Development Report of 1988:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- The all out approach attempts to replace central planning with the rudiments of a market economy in a single burst of reforms. These include rapid price and trade liberalizationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’-¡  the immediate opening of markets to entry by new businesses.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ This was the Structural Adjustment Programme and any country that faced financial difficulty and wanted funds had to agree to this. The oil price hike in 1973 when the prices tripled made the countries flock to the IMF for assistance and this assistance was available only when they agreed to the conditionality of the SAP.

ƒÆ’-¡ The SAP provisions include action to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- devalue and ultimately free float the currency. The foreign exchange that came into the country was taken out of the control of the country and allowed to be handled by the market forces- by traders, investors and the banks.ƒÆ’-¡  A high interest rate policy was followed. The other policies were: privatize State commercial undertakings, follow free trade, removal of tariffs, de regulate, accept the private sector as the engine of growth and limit the public sectorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬,

ƒÆ’-¡ In other words the economies were restructured to enable goods manufactured in the Developed Countries to find markets in the Developing Countries. This led to a situation where the industries already developed in the Developing Countries were forced to close down due to the fact that the Bank loan interest was increased to as much as 24%. When the foreign exchange available in the country was insufficient to meet this liberalization, the IMF advised that paying State ventures should be sold off to find funds and loans should be obtained. The countries inevitably became indebted in this process. The private sector was enthroned, central planning was disbanded. This led to the impoverishment of the masses and also to the creation of a small class of rich people who paid very low taxes, who could enjoy- travel abroad, go on cruises, enjoy luxury imports, send off their children for foreign education, all funded on borrowed funds. This method of handling foreign exchangeƒÆ’-¡  led to a process whereƒÆ’-¡  the funds obtained on loans somehow went back to the Donor Countries, while simultaneously leaving the country indebted.

The foreign exchange earnings of the countries were manipulated

The incoming foreign exchange itself was manipulated by the foreign banks to earn profits. A condition of the SAP was that the foreign exchange incomes of the country was taken out of the control of the country and handed over to the market forces. The banks accepted foreign currency deposited by people and fixed their own rates for sale. When the government had to pay a large bill in foreign currency and the public sector banks did not have sufficient foreign funds to meet it, they had to go to the foreign banks that had hoarded foreign currency. The foreign banks then increased the price of the foreign exchange they held. This did happen in Sri Lanka on 25/1/2001, when the US $ that was trading around Rs 82.00 was increased to Rs. 100.00 and Rs. 106.00. The profit goes to the foreign bank. The Central Bank of Sri Lanka was helpless. It said, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-in a free floating regime the market forces determine the exchange rate. The Central Bank does not intervene in the process. The Central Bank has control over the domestic money supply.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(The Island17/2/2001, quoted in my book ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-How the IMF Ruined Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ page95). This is the policy even today. Thus even the foreign exchange earningsƒÆ’-¡  of a sovereign country is a commodity exploited to make a profit!ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Manipulation of currencies isƒÆ’-¡  quite a common occurrence. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Royal Bank of Scotland was among 20 banks punished by SingaporeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Central Bank for trying to manipulate benchmark borrowing and currency ratesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.133 traders had tried to rig the Singapore Interbank Offered rates, and swap the offered rates in the latest scandal to rock the financial world. Other banks included Barclays and Standard Chartered.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(The Independent, UK:15/6/2013).ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ It has been established that premier banks manipulated interest rates(Libor rates) since 1991 to make profits and were fined. The Libor(London Interbank offered rate) Scandal resulted in Barclays being fined pounds 200 million by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, $ 160 million by theƒÆ’-¡  US Department of Justice and pounds 59.5 million by theƒÆ’-¡  Financial Services Authority. It has been established that Barclays, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-artificially lowered rate submissions to make their bank seem healthy.(Dept of Justice:27/6/2012), In December 2012, the UBS Investment Bank of the USA agreed to pay regulators $ 1.5 billion for its manipulation of Libor(BBC:19/12/2012) Other banks were also involved.

ƒÆ’-¡ Mahatir Muhhamed, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, has said that any country that does not control its foreign exchange is not fit to rule. He was the only ruler who could steer his country out of the East Asia Financial Crisis without getting a handout from the IMF.

ƒÆ’-¡ Making the Developing Countries indebted was the new method of controlling them once again.ƒÆ’-¡  The IMF thus brought about not only the bankruptcy of the countries but also increased the poverty and deprivation in them, while creating a process where foreign exchange went from the Developing Countries back to the Developed Country- the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”donorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

The effects of the Structural Adjustment Programme

The United NationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Human Development Report: 1996ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ stated:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The stabilization measures of the IMF, aimed at reducing both budget deficits and usually involvedƒÆ’-¡  public spending and increasing interest rates. Although these policies reduced deficits in some countries they often did so at the cost of inducing recession. In short they often balanced budgets by unbalancing peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s lives,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Professor Jeffery Sachs, Professor of Sustainable Development at Columia University and Advisor to the United NationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢; Secretary General on Millennium Development Goals states how African countries were totally ruined due to the IMF & the WB:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Western Governments enforcedƒÆ’-¡  draconian budget policies in Africa during the 1980s and 1990s. The IMF and the WB virtually ran the economic policies of the debt ridden continent recommending regimens of budgetary belt tightening known technically as Structural Adjustment Programmes. These Programmes had little scientific merit and produced even fewer results. By the start of the Twenty First CenturyƒÆ’-¡  Africa was poorer than in the late 1960s when the IMF and the WB had first arrived on the scene.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The End of PovertyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬: 2005)

ƒÆ’-¡ This process of creating poverty, creating unemployment in the Developing Countries has been the hall mark of the SAP imposed by the IMF and the World Bank and the statements made in the World Development Report of 2013 to the effect that job creation is essential to get rid of poverty perhaps implies that the IMF and the WB have at last realized their own folly of imposing the SAP.

ƒÆ’-¡ However, it is too late as the countries now stand totally impoverished, with a population steeped in poverty, countriesƒÆ’-¡  with massive budget deficits, overly indebted to such an extent that they can not even service the loans with their revenue. Loans are serviced by raising further loans. The countries are totallyƒÆ’-¡  bankrupt though this word is forbidden when referring to sovereign countries.

ƒÆ’-¡ In fact the Center for American Progress, of Washington has been critical of the World Development Report of 2013. It states that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the World Bank embraces jobs but not the institutions that support them.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ This is very true. Take Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  a country that had a negligible foreign debt of $ 750 million in 1977 and that too on projects, (not for consumption) became indebted. In my own words, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-by the time the UNP was defeated in 1995, the foreign debt was at $ 9772 million which meant that in order to service that debt the country had to actually raise a further loan.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(From, Karunaratne: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Papers on the Economic Development of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, Godages,2012)

ƒÆ’-¡ Further, the imposition of the SAP had eroded all the processes ofƒÆ’-¡  planning and implementation that had been in place for the creation of employment. The imposition of the high interest rate policy- as high as 24% on bank loans had killed all enterprises as the localsƒÆ’-¡  foundƒÆ’-¡  it impossible to compete with imports coming in with no tariff charges and the manufacturers in those countries worked on loans with very low interest rates- even 2%, and the enterprises closed up.ƒÆ’-¡  TheƒÆ’-¡  necessary administrative infrastructure to enable production, the march of peasants to become commercial farmers which had been developed by these countries was abolished or privatized onƒÆ’-¡  the grounds that the Government should not undertake commerce. The Developing Countries are now helpless, totally bankrupt, annually getting further into debt in order to service their loans, without the development infrastructure they once had to bring about development.

The IMF and the WB have to come up with a strategy that will bring about growth, instead of the SAP that stifled job creation. Such a strategy that will bring about growth and development has not yet been found.

Even IMF and World Bank lieutenants renege and desert them

The IMF failed to listen to theƒÆ’-¡  Chief Economist of the World Bank, Professor Joseph Stiglitz who dared to object to the WB and IMF policy enforced on Indonesia,

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I suggested that the excessively contractionary monetary and fiscal program could lead to political and social turmoil in Indonesia. .. If the people we entrust to manage the global economy- in the IMF.. donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t begin a dialogue and take their criticisms to heart things will continue to go very wrong,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Stiglitz: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-What I learned at the World Economic CrisisƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬: TheƒÆ’-¡  Insider)

Stiglitz was given a standing sack for his comments of wisdom.

ƒÆ’-¡ Professor Jeffery Sachs, the Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Advisor to the UN Secretary General was once a proponent of free market economics and served as the Advisor to the Governments of Bolivia in 1985, to Poland in 1989 and to Russia in 1991. In all of these he was advising his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shock therapyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬- how to be a success in following the market economy,ƒÆ’-¡  through open trade, privatization of state assets, elimination of price controls and subsidies. This was done through obtaining more loans- actually making the countries more indebted and as pointed out by me earlier, the liberal foreign exchange use directed the foreign exchange back to the donor Developed Countries leaving the country that borrowed indebted. His shock treatment was furthering the Structural Adjustment policies. Jeffery Sachs has been criticized for his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shock treatmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in that it had ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-produced misery and death for an untold number of working peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.(internationalist.org/jefferysachsachsows1110.html)

ƒÆ’-¡ Jeffery Sachs in the Eighties and the Nineties when working to further the SAP did not have the foresight to understand that the very policies he implemented would not only push the countries more towards bankruptcy and debt , but also leave the people impoverished and poorer. What happened to the Bolivian currency through the process he aided isƒÆ’-¡  revealing. In my words,

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the drop in the value of the peso amounts to a reduction from 116 pesos to the GBPound(GBP) in 1983, to 15.1 Bolivianos in 2007, where a boliviano was equal to one million pesos in 1987 amounts to a drop in value of 13,000,000 % in the period 1983 to 2007.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(From, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-:Success in DevelopmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Godages)

The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shock therapy of Jeffery SachsƒÆ’-¡  has aided this process. Bolivia is a leading copper exporter and the Developed Countries were able to get copper at a discount of 13 million percent- the extent to which the local currency had been devalued. Imagine the profits created for the multinationals!

ƒÆ’-¡ On Jeffery SachsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ contribution to Poland and Russia, the Left Business Observer statesƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Poland looks like a success to some but with the transition come high unemployment, falling real wagesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦Russia though was a thorough disaster, one of the worst collapses in human history. Living standards fell and the population shrank an almost unprecedent event in a country not at war.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(The Long Strange Career of Jeffery Sachs, Left Business Observer 111, August 2005.)

ƒÆ’-¡ There is also John Perkins who once worked for a multinational furthering the SAP in Ecuador, where in his book, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Confessions of an Economic Hitman,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ confesses that he drafted projects with fabricated statistics, designed in a manner where the funds obtained onƒÆ’-¡  loans will be disbursed in a manner where in some form or other the funds will go back to the Donor Developed Countries , leaving Ecuador indebted to the extent of the loan.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is sad that these experts who are considered economic luminaries today had failed to understand what the IMF and the WB were doing to the Third World economies. They had insights into what was happening as they were insiders working for the SAP but they miserably failed to grasp the negative effects of their own action.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Jeffery Sachs later became very critical of the IMF and the World Bank. In ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-End of PovertyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(2005), he states that nowƒÆ’-¡  Africa is poorer than in the late 1960s when the IMF and the WB had first arrived on the scene.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

What he states of the African countries also happened to Bolivia, Poland and Russia, where Jeffery Sachs was one of the agents furthering the SAPƒÆ’-¡  with his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shock therapyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

In fact in his later publication, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Price of CivilizationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(2011) Jeffery SachsƒÆ’-¡  is highly critical of the free market economy which he once furthered. He now argues: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-free markets by themselves are not able to ensure the efficiency of the economy.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-free Markets also need Governments to help regulate the marketƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦it is only the present day free market acolytes of Hayek and Friedman who neglect the key role of government in ensuring the efficiencyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦. Freemarkets do not guarantee fairness for the citizens of a generation, they do not guarantee sustainability for future generationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. In this book he devotes an entire chapter to detail ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Free market FallacyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and he ultimately concludes, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the free market system must be complemented with government institutionsƒÆ’-¡  that accomplish three things: provide public goods such as infrastructure, scientific research and market regulation, ensure the basic fairness of income distribution and long term help for the poor to escape from poverty.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

It is interesting to note that Wisdom to understand that the IMFƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s strategy did makeƒÆ’-¡  the countries poor has at last got into even the chief lieutenants of the IMF and the World Bank!

The SAP policies continue unchanged

Though the World Development Report 2013 calls for action in job creation, the IMF and the WB have not changed any of theƒÆ’-¡  provisions of the SAP.

ƒÆ’-¡ Instead what the IMF and the World Bank has done is to grant some measure of relief to severely indebted countries.

In the East Asian Financial Crisis, the countries that went bankrupt were helped with further loans of $ 43 bn. to Indonesia, $ 17.2 bn. to Thailand(1998), $ 58 bn. to South Korea. In every case the debt was re scheduled with further conditionalities i.e. with more chances for funds to flow back to the Developed Countries.

ƒÆ’-¡ When poor countries became heavily indebted and had reached the end of their tether and were really helpless with a debt that they could not even service, the IMF came up with the HIPC(Highly ImpoverishedƒÆ’-¡  Poor Countries Initiative). In 2005, the HIPC was supplemented with the MDRI( Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative) and given a 100% debt relief, provided the country implemented further reform. For instance,ƒÆ’-¡  Ghana was given a new lease of life by the cancellation of all debts in 2005, provided Ghana followed further conditions. This enabled Ghana to borrow again andƒÆ’-¡  Ghana was again overly indebted to the extent of $ 28.4 bn, byƒÆ’-¡  2011, and thenƒÆ’-¡  the debt servicing cost was over the total revenue of the country.ƒÆ’-¡  The HIPC has been criticized as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a program designed by creditors to protect creditorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s interests, leaving countries with unsustainable debt burdensƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(Carrasco et al: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Foreign Debt Forgiveness & RepudiationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬:University of Iowa, Center for International Finance & Debt:2007)

ƒÆ’-¡ What the IMF has done is to help the indebted countries to borrow againƒÆ’-¡  provided they proceed on the same path to devalue their currencies further, and continue to further liberate the use of foreign exchange to their citizens. They also want the countries to open up for foreignƒÆ’-¡  investment- corporations will come in, invest a pittance on condition that they can withdraw the investment at any stage and draw their profits away without paying any taxes.ƒÆ’-¡  McDonalds, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut are all in this categoryƒÆ’-¡  and milk dry the countries for profits. They import even paper cups with the foreign exchange of the country. The profits earned in local currency is repatriated in foreign exchange. The country is the net loser! Take Noritaki in Sri lanka: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-They come in search of assets that are available for exploitation. Noritake came to Sri Lanka on a tax holiday and used the clay deposits for making porcelineware. When the tax holiday period ended it was extended. It is now realized that the clay deposits are very low.ƒÆ’-¡  Further it is important to note thatƒÆ’-¡  though the investors do not pay any taxes to Sri Lanka, they are heavily taxed in their own countries. The Governments forget that the resources in the country are exploitedƒÆ’-¡  to find incomes for shareholders mostly foreigners and for foreign countries in the form of taxes levied( in the US when foreign goods are sold a Federal tax as well as a State tax is charged)(From ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Karunaratne: Success in DevelopmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, Godages).

ƒÆ’-¡ Foreign Investment is a ruse to exploit and get more earnings for the Developed Countries.ƒÆ’-¡  The earnings of US Multinationals in 2007 from overseas trade outlets amounted to $ 99.1 billion. From Africa the earnings netted $ 6.1 bn. while from Asia it was $ 22.2 bn.(Tax Foundation:26/4/2011). This is all collected from McDonalds, Starbucks etc. all from commercial activities thatƒÆ’-¡  can be done locally and then this income will stay within the country.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Another method used by the IMF is to classify countries by the GDP and upgrade them and any country that struggles to bring about any development that is possible under IMF policies and increases its GDP is classified as a country that is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-advancingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and is denied Aid at concession rates. In other words the earth is dragged under its feet and the country slumps further as it has to find funds at high interest and the country has to find foreign funds somehow to finance its debt, even to stay afloat. Sri Lanka unfortunately is basking in this category. What is important to note is that GDP incomes are misleading because inflation and the purchasing power parity is not included in the calculation.

ƒÆ’-¡ The exploitation of the rest of the world to bring riches to the Developed Countries has been the hall mark of the Developed Countries. China was given membership of the WTO only after it opened its borders for exploitation by US multinationals. China had to agree to allow AIG the US insurance giant to enter China to sell its insurance policies. China has been again and again urged to free float its Yuan but this has been fiercely resisted.

ƒÆ’-¡ Countries like India have avoided becoming indebted and have been able to maintain their currencies without severe devaluation because they did not accept the Structural Adjustment Programme. The US has again and again tried to open up India to setƒÆ’-¡  up retail sale units by US multinationals and US banks. These countries are being pushed to accept the SAP.

As the Wall Street Journal, the epitome of capitalist journals,ƒÆ’-¡  itself remarked, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Is this any way to run an international monetary system?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(22/2/2001)

ƒÆ’-¡  All the countries that followed the IMFƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s teachings ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the SAP are now saddled with enormous debts that they cannot ever repay and the IMF and the World Bank now spurring them to create jobs is something that they do not have the resources to attend to. The development infrastructure that they had before the IMF came on the scene, the Marketing DepartmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Cannery, its vegetable Purchasing and Sales Scheme, the Small Industries Programme, the Agricultural Programme with its seed farms and coordinated extension service etc. in Sri Lanka are all abolished or privatizedƒÆ’-¡  and can never be brought back overnight. In Indonesia BULOG, the infrastructure for paddy production was sacrificed at the instance of the IMF and thereafter paddy production is in the doldrums. This is true of every country that faced the IMF axe.

ƒÆ’-¡ Odious Debt

In this predicament, Raffael Correa the President of Equador stands out as the only ruler who has had the nerve to take the bull by the horns. It was his country that suffered from the machinations of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”AidƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, detailed by John Perkins in his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Confessions of an Economic HitmanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, where the Aid that came in was designed to get back to the donors leaving Equador indebted to that extent. President Correa appointed a commission to investigate all loans obtained by Equador from 1970 and it was found that traces of illegitimacy ran through much of the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡  $ 10 billion debt. President Correa defaulted on the loan repayments claiming them as illegitimate and odious. In his words the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Debt was immoral and a betrayal of the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’-¡ I am not surprised at this decision because most loans and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”AidƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ packages given to countries after they commenced the Structural Adjustment Programme, were purely meant to support the demand on foreign exchange created by liberalising the use of foreign exchange for use by the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s rich for them to travel, go on cruises, enjoy luxury imports, send off their children for foreign education, the very process created by the policies enforced on the countries by the IMF itself. It is the IMF alone that has to take responsibility for this excessive use of foreignƒÆ’-¡  exchange when the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s incoming foreign exchange could not afford it. The IMF should have actually provided a growth strategy which could have made the country develop its production which would in turn enable the country to enjoy its earned riches. Advising the countries to borrow and spend extravagantly was the IMFƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s method of making the Aid go back to the Donor Developed Countries while simultaneously making the Developing Countries indebted.ƒÆ’-¡  The IMF can never get over this charge.

ƒÆ’-¡ In the case of Sri Lanka, economic luminary Professor Indraratna urges that we should step up exports to meet our debt servicing. We are getting back to the colonial days when we were exporting raw materials Who created this debt is what is important in this regard.

Austerity Measures

The World Bank and the IMF press on austerity measures, which increase poverty and deprivation. The IMF fails to understand that Austerity does not create growth. Austerity only places the burden of debt on the entire population irrespective of incomes and increases poverty.ƒÆ’-¡  Marcus Miller and Robert Skidelsky, professors at the University of WarwickƒÆ’-¡  have stated that, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Across Europe austerity policies have caused stagnation and despair. There is a more humane way to restore our fortunesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(New Statesman:27/6/2013)ƒÆ’-¡ 

The IMF has miserably failed to provide a framework for the indebted countries to get cracking into production, creating jobs and alleviating poverty in the process.

Austerity measures can only help by reducing expenses, thereby reducing the budget deficit. However the path to growth lies in increasing production causing increases in the incomes of the people on the one handƒÆ’-¡  and thereby decreasing poverty. The production enables a country to reduce its imports. This is achieved through import substitution in agriculture and industry whichƒÆ’-¡  requires coordination in research, appropriate training, setting up enterprises through the private sector or cooperatives and effective marketing. It is interesting to note that this development infrastructure that had been built up by the Developing Countries was disbanded and privatized and thereby lost on the advice of the IMF itself.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is high time that the IMF understands that its own policies have caused poverty, deprivation and debt and comes forward with a growth strategy, instead of talking nonsense, leading the countries further astray.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Garvin Karunaratne, Ph.D. Michigan State University

Author of:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-How the IMF Ruined Sri Lanka & Alternative Programmes of SuccessƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, Godages,2006.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Success in DevelopmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, Godages, 2010,

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Papers on the Economic Development of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Godages ,2012

7/7/2013

An Interview with Professor Dharma-wardana, author of ‘A Physicist’s View of Matter and Mind’ by Daniel Baron

July 10th, 2013

worldscientific.com

14 June 2013
  1. Discuss the differences between teaching physics at the University of Montreal and conducting research at the National Research Council of Canada?
    The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) is the premier arm of government research in Canada. The NRC has always worked closely with the cutting-edge technological giants in Canada, in fields like nanotechnology, communications, materials, energy, biotechnology, aerospace etc. It also works with universities in accepting post-graduate students and researcher associates. In my career at the NRC I have had the privilege of working in almost every area of physics, and overlapping into chemistry and engineering, touching on the most fundamental and basic questions in quantum physics, and at another extreme, working directly on very practical applications like light-emitting diodes, semi-conductor field-effect transistors, photonics or plasma physics.
    The University of Montreal is the largest French-language university in North America and has a very vibrant faculty and student body. I have had the privilege of supervising graduate students preparing for their PhDs at this university, and also working closely with very distinguished researchers of this university. This university has most of the features of ‘american’ universities as well as some of the cultural values of the university system that we associate with Universite de Paris, in France. I supervised Doctoral students at the Faculte de Science, Universite de Paris, Orsay many years ago, and I myself did my studies at the University of Cambridge, England. I see that increasingly, there is more and more emphasis on course work and publications, whereas in the old days in Europe there was less emphasis on course work or publications. However, the performance at seminars and colloquia, and the breath of one’s knowledge were more important then.
  2. When did you first develop a love for physics? What draws you to physics research?
    I have moved around among Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics in my research, but I think it has always been heavily towards Physics because physics attempts to give you a fundamental understanding of nature, and has the capacity to satisfy one’s curiosity. I became interested in science from a young age as it seemed to deal with most problems honestly and actually get results. Once knowledge gets established, it becomes engineering.
  3. You have studied physics in various parts of the world. Do you feel there is any disparity between research done in North America versus other areas of the world?
    I have mostly worked in Canada, USA, and Europe, with a stint in Sri Lanka, a developing country, where I started as a faculty member, and ended up as a University Vice-Chancellor. I also worked as a Director of a number of Industrial organizations in the private or corporate sector. Doing good research requires (i) a supporting infra-structure of technology, (b) a vibrant intellectual climate, libraries and colleagues to support intellectual effort. In addition, you need (c) some steady funding where politicians and businessmen do not attempt to micro-manage the scientists and academics.
    Developing countries lack all of these. The western world has all three. However, the last item is getting increasingly eroded. That is, micro-management of scientists by funding agencies with their pre-set ‘milestones’ and focused goals set by business has converted scientific research into mere engineering research. People like Maxwell, Niels Bohr and Feynman would have a hard time getting tenure today. Science managers have become people who have only a very narrow or negligible culture in science itself. They are narrow technocrats or pure business managers, and not people who have a broad vision over the scientific landscape to recognize a paradigm shift in technology.
    However, there is still much respect for learning in oriental cultures. I see that in time to come, the Asia-Pacific region could become what Florence was in the Renaissance, unless the Western world gets rid of its false paradigms about scientific research and scientific revolutions. Some of these topics get discussed in my book, in the chapters dealing with philosophical and sociological aspects of science (e.g., Chapter 2, Chapter 14).
  4. Have you seen drastic changes in quantum theory from its introduction to today? If so, what are the changes?
    Indeed. The quantum theory is probably the explanation to everything there is, and it will one day extend itself to encompass some form of quantum gravity. However, it has not yet become a theory understood by the public or even among practitioners of science. However, those scientists who have studied it have seen a major development in our understanding of the nature of quantum phenomena. Feynman in his BBC lectures of the early sixties could say that we shouldn’t even attempt to understand what a photon is, and how it goes through multiple slits to form an interference pattern. Today, thanks to the work of John Bell, David Bohm, and the experimental work on what is known as quantum ‘entanglement’ that started off in Orsay, University of Paris, we have a much better picture of quantum reality. Of course, there will always be people who contest this, and look for metaphysical views of reality. There are others who take a neutral view, and treat the theory merely as a calculational tool whose ‘meaning’ is irrelevant.
    However, modern physics has produced all kinds of experimental spin offs that were never anticipated, creating new technologies and wealth. Every time you use your cellphones, NMR diagnostics, GPS etc., you have to thank the quantum theory and the theory of relativity. These theories have so far worked precisely, without any exceptions, and across all cultures, nations and in outer space. If you want to understand why gold (Au) is golden, and lead (Pb) is not golden in colour, you need relativistic quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics is for real, and not a pie in the sky.
    Physical law determines every little detail of our existence, and the world we live in. And yet there is indeterminism at the human scale. If we paraphrase what Einstein said, the amazing thing about nature is, “all this is quite comprehensible within physics”. Physical reality may seem weird and display what Einstein called ‘spooky action at a distance’ in the behavior of two quantum particles at absolute zero temperature. However, at the level of complex systems (like living things), and at room temperature, there is no ‘weirdness’ in quantum reality. It is necessary to explain all this, not just to the public, but even to science students, teachers, researchers and philosophers. One purpose of my book is to explain all of this, and emphasize the consilience and convergence of all knowledge and understanding towards a coherent whole.
  5. What advice would you offer to a young student who is interested in pursuing a career in physics or studying complex systems?
    Nowadays, students always ask about job prospects in the field, and what sort of money they can make. At that level, the question is simple. You might make a lot more money by becoming a fund manager or a banker. However, a physicist is never likely to be out of a job because s/he acquires a large number of skills that can be used in many areas. However, if it is physics itself that you care for, then you need to specialize and get into research; it not just a vocation but a personal calling. It is like deciding to have a career in music or opera. You are in it for much more than a job. You have to be prepared for a lot of hard work, and for the need to compete with colleagues who are equally dedicated and smart. Furthermore, the prevailing cultural ethos insists on competition between each other and among teams. In the end, after working very hard for four or five years, you might write a four-page article which cannot be understood by most people; it gets published – after stiff peer review – in a ‘prestigious journal’ unheard of by most people and read by a handful. If the work is very close to engineering it might be immediately applicable, and you might get some money and even fame!
  6. What is the proudest moment in your career?
    If you are a physicist, you are like a mountaineer. Each time you reach some peak you are not satisfied, and you look toward the next, more difficult peak higher up. So the proudest moment has to be the solution of the next theoretical and experimental problem! Otherwise you retire!
  7. Do you find that your philosophies differ much from those of your colleagues?
    Scientists do not worry about a philosophical approach when working on a project. You acquire a certain ‘physics culture’ that retains you within a main-stream approach to problems. This ‘physics culture’ may not even assume the existence of an external world with an objective reality. However, I believe that it enriches one’s understanding if one could stop a bit and examine the philosophical and cultural underpinnings of what we take for granted, be it in science or in other areas of knowledge.
    One can treat science merely as a calculational and predictive tool that tells you ‘how’ to achieve a given objective. It does not tell you if you ‘ought’ to achieve that objective or not. That is, on the whole science is ‘value neutral’. However, there is a hidden morality in the scientific method. A good scientist learns to respect facts, and recognize that one’s ‘judgment’ is usually false, and that we need to put ‘the numbers’ and ‘do the calculation’ to see if our judgment is correct. This means, even if people can egoistically hold onto a personal theory, such attempts are in the end doomed. There is a systematic method for detecting errors, as we saw with the false claims of ‘cold fusion’, and other cases of ‘science fraud’, or honest error. They all got corrected.The ‘social sciences’ (e.g., economics, political ‘science’) do not have that capability, and much of it becomes a ‘pretense of knowedge’, as Fredrich von Hayek, the famous economist stated in his Nobel address about his own subject. The famous Sokal hoax, where post-modernists were tricked into publishing gibberish, also underlines this problem in the social sciences. However, social scientists studying ‘the nature of science’ have claimed that science is just another ‘folk-lore’ associated with this age. Most scientists are not even aware of these so-called ‘science studies’ that proliferate the humanities faculties!
  8. What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing ‘A Physicist’s View of Matter and Mind’?
    The challenge of how to organize all the material covering the science, philosophy and the history of ideas into one book was most interesting. The modern knowledge about matter has come up from the earliest days, through the Renaissance to modern times. At first glance one might naively think that modern physics (e.g., of Einstein) is a complete negation of what Galileo and Newton had to say. Such a view is common in popular journalism designed to shock the reader. But to display the consilience and continuity of the ideas with as little mathematics as possible is a challenge. I was very excited about the possibility of including new ideas from density functional theory, not treated in other similar books.
    Then there is the new knowledge about mind, memory, consciousness and brain function. It was very enjoyable to assemble everything and see that it makes a coherent whole. Writing it, and drawing all the figures and graphs become a bit painful, hence the finishing of the book, its actual publication with the efficient help of the World Scientific staff, was also a most enjoyable thing! It was also very nice to get words of appreciation from individuals like Edward O. Wilson, Niel Ashcroft, David Peat and several other distinguished colleagues and friends.

You are wrong Mr. Foreign Minister – Majority Sinhalese Buddhists are very much affected by the Buddha Gaya Bombings

July 10th, 2013

Shenali D. Waduge

ƒÆ’-¡ You are wrong Mr. Foreign Minister – Majority Sinhalese Buddhists are very much affected by the Buddha Gaya Bombings
ƒÆ’-¡ The Minister of Foreign Affairs quite casually answering the Opposition Leader on the floor of the Sri Lankan Parliament when questioned about the situation following the serial explosions in Buddha Gaya the heart of the World’s Buddhists had only a very curt response to conclude that Sri Lankans are not affected by the bomb.
Sinhalese Kings right down from King Devanampiyatissa venerated Buddha Gaya and that continued through the 180 kings who ruled Sri Lanka.
The Buddhists of Sri Lanka would like to tell the Foreign Minister that we are very upset and saddened by the fact that the place the Buddhists of the World regard as their Holiest Place was the target of extremists attack. Whether Sri Lankans were hurt or not hurt is immaterial to the feeling of dismay and shock that everyone of the over 14million Sinhala Buddhists witnessed over the mainstream media following over 9 bombs 3 of which did not explode one of which was aimed at creating the same fate as fell upon the Bamiyan Buddha.
Whilst we are not the least surprised by the manner the Foreign Minister treats Buddhism or Buddhists ƒÆ’-¡ (given that he has come from the back door with a history of treacherous agreements to question his credibility) he is clearly seen by the manner he subtly omitted Article 9 (a place given to Buddhism since King Devanampiyatissa and which even the British agreed to) in his 2000 draft constitution and the fact that he refuses to open a Buddhist desk or to even inquire after a fellow Theravada Buddhist Nation – Myanmar and not even considering a Fact-Finding Mission to Myanmar initiated by Sri Lanka.
A TRUE BUDDHIST would not have made such a statement that the Foreign Minister did and we regard his statement no different to the NO Statement that has yet to come from the UN Secretary General or even UNESCO given that Buddha Gaya is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Minister does not seem to realize that every politician running for President is elected by the majority Buddhist vote and so long as Article 9 is enshrined in the Constitution, the place of Buddhism cannot be diluted. If he personally does not wish to submit to it he is welcome to resign without using his portfolio to undermine the status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. Buddhists have done no harm to any religion and it is as a result of the actions of such selfish power hungry and prestige driven politicians by way of creating issues that the country is continuously saddled with problems.
The Buddhists of Sri Lanka expects that the Foreign Minister continue to keep a close tab on the investigations and appraise the Sri Lankan public daily on the results and findings. That should not be too much to ask.
We suffered 30 years because a handful of people who followed a policy of “unwinnable war” and as a result thousands of brave soldiers and civilians perished. We will no longer be ready to allow the same set of people to ruin the country again.
ƒÆ’-¡ 
We are very well aware that the threats to the Buddhist world are very much prevalent and we do not expect these unwinnable war proponents to court another enemy to roost inside Sri Lanka who will end up a far more formidable force than the LTTE.

After how long one would save energy?

July 10th, 2013

Dr Hector PereraƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  London

ƒÆ’-¡ One might think that they have to wait for 6 months or an year before they save a little energy by practicing my scientific energy saving technique.ƒÆ’-¡  The answer is, from the moment you start to cook in my scientific way, you can save energy. Now there are dimmer switches for household lights where you can control the amount of light. Anybody can understand that the amount of brightness can be controlled by turning the control knob to left or right. Try and get some dimmer switches to control your electricity bills. Similarly try and control the amount of gas burning by turning the gas knob as required at the right time. There is no waiting, you save as you use. When is the right time that is a good question? I have explained this term before with respect to an actual demonstration. The right time is when it attains the thermodynamic equilibrium state.

Yes everything has time for results or profits. When you plant a coconut plant, how long you need to wait to get any coconuts, certainly not six months or an year, may be three years or more. Then if you employ a watcher, you might not get anything for longer that time because, I am sure you know the reason. It happened to one of my friends who got 25 acres of coconut lands in Chilaw then employed four watchers but he didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t get enough turn out to pay even their wages.

If you deposit some money in some investment banks, one might be promised 25% or more interest per annum. I am sure you heard in the past thousands of people lost millions and millions of rupees in certain fake investment banks. A person I knew said that he lost 30 million rupees in such an investment bank. Now many people are very careful to deposit even in normal banks for reasonable turn outs but still have to wait for an year for the full interest. In the meantime monthly payments are also available; still you have to wait for a month.

What I am trying to say is there is a time limit to wait to get the money from banks then one has to wait for few months if one plants crops such as paddy, chillies or any vegetables such as tomatoes, beans or even sweet potatoes. If the weather was fine with rain in time and sun shine then one might get benefited by the crops but droughts and floods also might affect the crops. Similarly the banks might cut down the promised interest due to various excuses. One must appreciate how difficult to get any profits from certain agricultural products.

London is a multicultural city, perhaps there are lots of Sri Lankans as well living in many parts of London. When I went to near by Buddhist temples on special days, the places are packed with nothing but Sinhalese Buddhists. I believe they might eat rice and curries at least a few times a week rather than on daily basis. Back home many of them eat rice and curries twice a day, lunch and dinner so they have to cook twice a day. If they can adopt my scientific energy saving cooking in cooking rice and curries, I am certain they would save some gas and electricity. No one is forcing them to save gas and electricity; itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s up to them to use these sources as freely as possible because they are the people who meet the expenses of these gas and electricity. These sources of energies are not available for free, so why not they use these energies efficiently than wasting? Everybody knows that wasting energy means wasting money, in a way burning money. Who would like to burn currency notes, no one. Then why some people buy gas and use carelessly?

How many restaurants prepare rice, pasta, spaghetti then curries such as chicken, beef, mutton, pork and fish? In these types of cooking, one can save some energy, if they followed scientific energy saving technique. May be these restaurants donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t care to save energy because they get money by selling what they cook for high prices. One other reason is their cooks have no idea of scientific cooking; just put fire on full blast and cook, open the cooking pans and get shower of cooking aroma. Why do they cook these curries and open when they piping hot, is it due to habit? If they want to stir the curries or need to add some ingredients, why not shut the gas off and give a few minutes then open and stir or add the ingredients. Even when you shut the flame of boiling curries, it will cook by itself for few minutes due to thermal capacity and heat content already absorbed by the curries. When they open these instantly, they loose some chemical ingredient vapours then also loose energy. Did you see a way of loosing energy? Have these cooks got any idea of science, thermal capacity of the cooking pan and the heat content of the things in the cooking pan? Why the kitchens are so unbearably hot, itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s due to radiated energy or wasted energy. Who would say, hotter the kitchen, faster the cooking? I must say firewood kitchens are always too hot to be inside because too much heat is radiated as the fire cannot be controlled unlike in gas and electric cookers. How these poor servants stood by that kind of heat and cooked tasty delicious meals?

 

Not easy to pay energy bills

Gas and electricity are essentials commodities for everybody and they are using more and more on daily basis. I can tell by experience itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s not easy to meet the other household expenses and these energy bills. What about the people who have a few school age children? Nothing is getting cheaper; every single food item goes up in price from time to time. Have I got to say the price of gas and electricity, they never come down and take my word they would go up again and again, blaming the world price increase or something. The suppliers just blame the world market, you see! I know Petticoat lane market is the LondonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s oldest market near Algate East under ground but where is world market?

University students eat junks?

If possible we must find some ways to reduce the expenses of the gas and electricity. Some people eat nothing but takeaways so no cooking at home, then no expensive gas bills. Any family has to cook and even any University student has to cook and eat than depending on junk food. I have the evidence to show that some University students mainly eat takeaways because either they have no idea to prepare some simple things at the place where they stay, itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sad to understand the reasons. Their mums and dads looked after while they attend schools and colleges but they cannot help when they attend Universities far from home.

Let me tell you frankly that if one follows my kind of scientific energy saving cooking technique, one would save gas and electricity from the moment they started to cook. One can see actually the amount of gas or electricity is using by looking at the flame. If you turn the gas knob to full power it would give out gas what you turn the knob for but if you turn it to half way then it would give around 50% gas with a smaller flame. No scientific understanding is required to understand this explanation, am I correct? Are there any energy saving experts who are prepared to find out my kind of cooking then why not find out by contacting me. No words would do, must demonstrate to convince energy saving scientific cooking. I have already demonstrated it to the public twice in May 2013, if required prepared to repeat. If you disprove my method you would get a reward as well, so why the energy saving authorities are waiting for? Any comments please perera6@hotmail.co.uk

 


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