NDP defends citizenship for convicted terrorists

June 14th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ Asoka Weerasinghe

Hon. Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship and Immigration of Canada.

Dear Jason:

Let’s get this right.ƒÆ’-¡  The genesis of the NDPs filibuster ofƒÆ’-¡ Devinder Shory’s Bill C-425 to stop moving it forward to strip the Canadian citizenship of terrorists, isƒÆ’-¡ everything to do with getting the support from Tamils in the Greater Toronto Area, who knows thousands of their kin who are hardcore Tamil Tiger terrorists walking the streets of Canada, and there by winning their votes andƒÆ’-¡ stealing them from your Conservative pocket.

The bottom line is – You Conservatives screw Sri Lanka andƒÆ’-¡ the NDP and the Liberals will screw the Conservatives to pick up the Tamil votes, and along the way screw 34 million of us Canadians.ƒÆ’-¡  This is the ugliness of our domestic politics.

Can’t you see this?

Good luck.

Asoka Weerasinghe

—– Original Message —–

From: jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca

To: jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca

Sent: Thursday, June 13, 2013 9:41 PM

Subject: NDP defends citizenship for convicted terrorists

Friends,

Thank you for contacting me. I always appreciate the valuable feedback I receive about the important work our Conservative Government is doing.

Yesterday during the House of Commons Immigration Committee the NDP started a bizarre filibuster to prevent MP Devinder ShoryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Bill C-425 from moving forward.

In other words, the NDP is fighting tooth and nail against stripping Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists.

I strongly believe that anyone who commits a terrorist act has clearly rejected Canadian values and the loyalty to our country that citizenship requires. Most Western democracies, including Australia and the United Kingdom, already have the authority to revoke citizenship from terrorists.

A recent poll found that over 80% of Canadians support MP ShoryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bill and stripping Canadian citizenship from convicted terrorists.

The NDP is completely ignoring the Air India 182 Victims’ Families Association, Muslim Canadian Congress, Canadian Coalition Against Terrorism, and many others who strongly support MP ShoryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bill.

If you do not support what the NDP is doing and you believe convicted terrorists should be stripped of their Canadian citizenship, please sign this petition.

http://www.jasonkenney.ca/news/ndp-defends-citizenship-for-convicted-terrorists/

Please feel free to share this message with your family and friends.

Kind regards,

Hon. Jason Kenney, PC, MP

Calgary Southeast

www.JasonKenney.ca

Prophesies on Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Global Vulnerability: a Critique

June 14th, 2013

by G. H. Peiris Courtesy Island

June 13, 2013, 7:39 pm

Since Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka has found it necessary to preface his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Devolution and Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Global Vulnerability: A Response to Prof. GH PeirisƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (The Island, 6 June) with a statement of the “fundamentals” of his stand in relation to province-based devolution, it would not be inappropriate for me to spell out the essence of my perceptions on this issue. I believe that any constitutional provision which conforms to or perpetuate the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Two Nation TheoryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and the idea of the northern and eastern parts of the island constituting an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”exclusive traditional Tamil homelandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is detrimental to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the nation-state of Sri Lanka.

There are several corollaries to this belief. For instance, I subscribe to the view that the whole of Sri Lanka is the traditional homeland of all ethnic groups that constitute its population (a basic truth which appears to be acceptable to more than 50% of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka).

I reject the oft repeated fallacy that a constitutional arrangement facilitating autonomy in respect of a range of powers and functions of government to the Northern Province would make a contribution to inter-ethnic “confidence building” (a hackneyed phrase of the reminiscent of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”peace talks eraƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ten years ago, but still popular among our amateur social psychologists) and maintain that it would, on the contrary, jeopardise the tangible post-war advances in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s efforts at ethnic reconciliation.

It is also my conviction that a semi-autonomous Northern Province, while not satisfying the demands of political groups that adhere to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Eelam ideologyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, will increase Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s vulnerability to coercive external intervention.

ƒÆ’-¡ I am not at all sure whether the JHU, NFF and the BBS (“Prof. PeirisƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ co-thinkers” according to Dr. DJ) agree with me in all my convictions referred to above. However, I do find myself in agreement with the stand taken by these organisations (and by the JVP in its latest statement) in regard to the need to abolish the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Thirteenth AmendmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

These so-called “co-thinkers” might disagree with my view that there should be a substantial enhancement of powers and functions of our minority communities in the central government, even in the form of constitutionally facilitated ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”weighted representationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”reservationsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and/or a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”bicameral legislatureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ with provision for accommodating underrepresented segments of the population.

If I were to be pushed into a political camp on the basis of my views on province-based devolution, I should say (largely by way of returning compliments) that I can highlight a great deal of common ground between the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Dayan thoughtsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ referred to above and, say, the Vadukottai Resolution of 1976ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢; the “Thimpu Declaration” made in 1985 by Nadesan Satyendra as the spokesman for the representatives of the LTTE, EROS, EPRLF, TELO, PLOTE and the TULF; the “HeroesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Day Speech” by Prabhakaran on the eve of the Oslo Negotiations of December 2002; the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ISGA ProposalsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ formulated at the LTTE Conference held in Paris under Norwegian sponsorship in August 2003 (as distinct from the UNF ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ISGA ProposalsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of May 2003); and the press statements by Surendiran, the spokesman for the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Global Tamil ForumƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, in the aftermath of the vote on the US resolution on Sri Lanka at Geneva in March 2013.

ƒÆ’-¡ I am thoroughly pleased to note that Dr. DJ has had to fall back on Aristotle to extricate himself from the total mess he has made of international analogies and comparisons. He is yet unable to grasp the fact encapsulated in my sketch of the Yugoslav Crisis (which, incidentally, is not a Wikipedia extract, but an abridged version of an earlier published study by me ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” I can send him my list of sources if it would help improve his understanding) in which, I have made it clear even to the meanest intelligence that the disintegration of Yugoslavia was due largely to the break-up on ethnic lines of its mammoth all-pervading communist party apparatus following the death of Marshal Tito, impelled also by an economic recession and the increasing economic inequalities between the ethnic groups of the federation.

It is nothing short of lunacy to compare the Serb repression of other ethnic groups (especially the Bosniaks and the ethnic Albanians in Kosovo) to anything that has happened in Sri Lanka and call it ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Aristotelian comparative politicsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’-¡ Dr. DJƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s understanding of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Indian UnityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is equally revealing. This is what he says:

ƒÆ’-¡ “(In India) violent conflicts have been manageably contained and often dampened. What is remarkable is that unity has been sustained in the face of such enormous diversity precisely by accommodating such diversity. The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”idea of India (as Shashi Tharoor among others have put it), transcending such multinational and multi-religious diversity and cross border influences has been a striking achievement, in stark contrast to the failure to generate fealty to an idea of Sri Lanka outside of cricket matches and an idea of being Sri Lankan which is not a synonym for Sinhalese or Sinhala Buddhist. India has a greater percentage of Hindus than Sri Lanka has of Sinhalese Buddhists and yet, it resisted the temptation, despite the partition and emergence of Pakistan as an Islamic state, despite the murder of Gandhi by declaring itself as anything but secular”.

ƒÆ’-¡ Glimpses of the squalid aspects of the Indian polity of the type that could be provided through a newspaper article cannot dispel the type of prejudice and ignorance which Dr. DJ has displayed in this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”AristotelianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ comparison. What could be attempted here is to refer briefly and somewhat sporadically to a few basic facts on contemporary India which could guide the reader away from the fallacies which he has tried to propagate, prefacing what needs to be stated with the general observation that one of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s greatest achievements is the preservation of the tradition of independent scholarship which continues to be evident at the highest levels.

ƒÆ’-¡ In the first place one should be aware of the fact that, apart from language and religion, caste and tribe constitute significant ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”markersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of group identity in India, and that, while socio-economic inequality tends to cut across the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s major linguistic differences, there is, at least in certain parts of India, the semblance of a correspondence between religious differences and those of economic power and privilege, more generally, in most parts of India, there is a close correspondence between caste and tribal differentiations, on the one hand, and variations in socio-economic status.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is true that, according to census enumerations, about 80.5% of the Indian population is accounted by those classified as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”HindusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. It is also correct to say that the Indian constitution has a categorical commitment to secularity of the Indian State. There are, however, several considerations germane to an assessment of the significance of these facts.

There is, on the one hand, the issue of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”who is a HinduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Romila Thapar (1989), Indian historian of global repute, while highlighting the absence of a common creed and a monolithic priesthood associated with religious practices that are labelled as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”HinduismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, has shown that it was only during the recent centuries that diverse beliefs and practices, albeit with certain ideological and ritualistic commonalities, came to be recognised as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”religionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of the vast majority of inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent.

This issue has not been confined to the plane of scholarly discourse but has a continuing practical significance in matters pertaining to poverty alleviation and ethnic relations. For instance, in the massive wave of violence that erupted in the wake of Prime Minister Narasimha RaoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s long delayed attempt to implement certain recommendations of the Mandal Commission, there were some quite eminent persons who argued that only those who belong to the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”chaturvarnaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ castes of the Hindu traditional social hierarchy should be considered Hindus.

Those familiar with the works of the great humanist Mahatma would know that even for him this issue remained a dilemma. And Dr DJ, if he is not excessively confused when confronted with facts, would grasp the reality that in most states of India, those not classed as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”HindusƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ by census enumerators continue to be denied the benefits of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”affirmative actionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ intended by the central government in favour of the underprivileged.

ƒÆ’-¡ In my research writings into the subject of religion-based intolerance in South Asia (I am reluctantly compelled to refer to this mainly in response to DayanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s uncouth insinuation that my information sources are confined to encyclopaedia entries) include a lengthy essay titled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Group Identities and Problems of Governance in South AsiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ published by the Delhi-based ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Centre for Policy ResearchƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (an e-copy could be made available to anyone genuinely interested), I have shown that, while there are inter-country variations in the intensity of religious intolerance within the region, from comparative perspectives, India appears in a very unfavourable light in respect of violent conflict generated by Hindu extremists. It is not feasible to venture into the related details here (I have done so in a forthcoming volume on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Political Conflict in South AsiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, presently with the publisher).

On the real significance of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s constitutional commitment of secularism, I confine myself here to pointing out that the aging political leader who personally led the attack on the Babri Mosque in 1992 was, until about a week ago, the leader of the second largest political party in India, and another individual, pointedly indicted for inciting mob violence by the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Srikrishna CommissionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ which inquired into the convulsions ushered in by the demolition of the Babri Mosque (ghetto-level brutalities associated with the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Gujarat RiotsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of that year, and the “serial bombing” of Bombay by Islamic militants in March 1993), is the Chief Minister of Gujarat, and is likely to be the BJPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Prime Minster candidate at the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections.

ƒÆ’-¡ Dr. DJ would perhaps be particularly interested to learn that, in the recent past, in several areas outside the Northeast where there is a numerically formidable Christian presence; conversion to Christianity has generated furiously hostile responses from certain Hindu groups.

According to a report published by the All-India Christian Council, a wave of anti-Christian violence which originated in Orissa in 2007, and spread thereafter to Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, was featured by more than a thousand incidents of killing, serious physical injury, destruction of churches and private dwellings, intimidation, and, in the State of Karnataka, even official harassment. The large majority among those proselytised are said to be drawn from the lowest caste groups and tribal communities.

The ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”HinduthvaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ flag-bearers such as the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the R?shtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (far more powerful in the Indian political mainstreams than the lunatic fringe of the Buddhists community here in our politics) legitimised these hostilities with the charge that Christian missionaries employ “unethical” modalities such as offer of monetary and other material inducements to those who opt to be converted. An Indian researcher (Chatterji, 2008) has pointed to the possibility of at least some recent incidents of anti-Christian violence which have gained world-wide publicity of having been ignited by provocateurs like the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”MaoistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ liberators (i.e. PWGs) that operate in the Deccan, sometimes in competition with the more aggressive Christian saviours of souls.

ƒÆ’-¡ Shashi Tharoor (a gifted person with a solid American education, an unsuccessful aspirant to the post of Secretary General of the UN, a maverick who has embarrassed the elite of the Congress Party on several occasion ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” is he also a role model for our Dr. DJ?), whom Dayan cites, is not an authority on the subject of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Indian UnityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He is an active and ambitions politician, a State Minister, always expected to take a hyperbolic political stance which politicians often tend to do. There have all along been more authentic interpretations on this subject.

For instance, Jawaharlal Nehru, even in the final phase of his regime, frequently bemoaned the fact that India was far from reaching the ideals of a coherent national territory with its integrity free of external and internal challenge, and an overarching sense of national unity among the diverse groups of people inhabiting that territory. Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar who figured at the vanguard of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s freedom struggle as champion of Harij?n interests declared: “I am of the opinion that in believing that we are a nation we are cherishing a great delusion. The sooner we realise that we are not yet a nation in the social and psychological sense of the word, the better for us”.

HISTORIC RECEPTION OF AHMADIYYA MUSLIM AT HOUSES OF PARLIAMENT, U.K.

June 14th, 2013

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

ƒÆ’-¡ According to our Press Department, U.K., the World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (JamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢at) and Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, was welcomed to the Houses of Parliament by the Deputy Prime Minister and various Secretaries of State and Parliamentarians on 11 June 2013.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Khalifa was visiting Westminster to deliver the keynote address at a special reception hosted by Rt Hon Ed Davey MP (Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change) and the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”All Party Parliamentary Group for the Ahmadiyya Muslim CommunityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in recognition of the 100 Year Centenary Celebrations of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in the UK. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Prior to the formal proceedings, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad held private meetings with the Deputy Prime Minister Rt Hon Nick Clegg MP, Home Secretary Rt Hon Theresa May MP, Energy Secretary Rt Hon Ed Davey MP, Shadow Foreign Secretary Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, Rt Hon Keith Vaz MP and Siobhain McDonagh MP.

ƒÆ’-¡ The formal proceedings began at 1.05pm with a brief welcome address given by Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.ƒÆ’-¡ This was followed by short addresses by the Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, by Douglas Alexander, the Shadow Foreign Secretary and by Theresa May, the Home Secretary.

ƒÆ’-¡ Rt Hon Ed Davey, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is a real privilege for us to host the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community today. We know well the amazing work His Holiness (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) does for the cause of peace and also the members of the Ahmadiyya Community. Thus it is absolutely fitting that so many MPs are here to thank you for being loyal and hard-working members of society.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Rt Hon Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The most important values and ethos which the Ahmadiyya Community has steadfastly communicated to millions of people around the world is of course one of peace, of love and one of reconciliation and that is a message whichƒÆ’-¡ is enduring, powerful at all times – amongst all ages and in all communitiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ We all join with you, whatever background, political party or religious background, in celebrating the presence of your community here over a hundred years but also to celebrate the message the community has so quietly, steadfastly and with dignity been spreading and communicating for so long – one of peace, love and reconciliation.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡  Rt Hon Douglas Alexander, Shadow Foreign Secretary said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In a world of ever greater diversity and challenges that message of reconciliation is needed more than ever before.ƒÆ’-¡ I want to place on record our admiration for the leadership you (Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) have personally shown and collectively your community has shown, for the work you have done, the difference you have made and the service you continue to do not just for the members of the Ahmadiyya Community but being a powerful voice for tolerance, reconciliation and for peace. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Love for All, Hatred for NoneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ is a philosophy from which we can all benefit and from which we have a lot to learn in the years ahead.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Rt Hon Theresa May, Home Secretary said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-His Holiness (Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad) has shown and continued to show that the only effective way of persuading extremists out of their poisonous convictions is peaceful dialogue. That is a message that you are giving around the world and it is a message we should all listen to and heed.ƒÆ’-¡ I know that you have been targeted as a community yourselves, particularly in Pakistan, where it is a criminal offence for Ahmadis to call themselves Muslims, and where you have been subjected to some horrific attacks. I am absolutely committed to tackling all forms of extremism wherever it occursƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’-¡ I have every confidence that in another 100 years there will be a group of people celebrating 200 years of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Britain. Thank you for all that you have contributed here in the United Kingdom and not just here but also the message you are giving around the world.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ During his keynote address, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the Ahmadiyya Muslim JamaatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s commitment to peace and tolerance; he spoke of the importance of loyalty to oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s country as a part of Islamic faith; he strongly condemned the recent brutal killing of a British soldier in London; he absolutely rejected the concept of a violent Jihad in todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s world and he appealed for justice in an effort to safeguard the world from warfare and conflict.

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad began his address by addressing directly all people associated with the Houses of Parliament by saying:ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is my sincere hope and prayer that all of the departments and people who work within this beautiful and grand building are able to fulfil the rights of serving this country and its people. I also hope and pray that they are able to work in the best possible manner towards fostering good relations with other nations, to act with justice and so make decisions that are of benefit to all parties. If this spirit is adopted then it will reap the very best fruits, which are of love, affection and brotherhood and will lead the world towards becoming a true haven of peace and prosperity.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said that loyalty to oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s country was an essential part of Islamic faith and that it had been ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-emphatically orderedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). He said that all Ahmadi Muslims living in the UK desired ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the progress and prosperity of this great nation.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ His Holiness also praised the British public for welcoming immigrants to the United Kingdom and allowing them to become ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-part of the fabric of British society.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The Khalifa continued by stating that throughout its 100 year existence in the United Kingdom the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat had always promoted peace and rejected all forms of extremism.

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-These past 100 years prove and serve witness to the fact that the members of the Ahmadiyya Community have always fulfilled the requirement of being loyal to their country and have always steered absolutely clear of all forms of extremism, rebellion and disorder. In reality, the fundamental reason for this loyal and loving approach is due entirely to the fact that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a true Islamic religious community.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The world leader continued by condemning and rejecting absolutely the concept of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”violent JihadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He accepted with regret that some other ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”so-calledƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Muslim scholars promoted such teachings but said they were entirely wrong and responsible for the formation of various terrorist groups and the radicalisation of certain individuals.

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The most recent example of terrorism was, of course, the brutal killing of an innocent British soldier on the streets of London. It was an attack which had absolutely nothing to do with the real teachings of Islam; rather, Islamic teachings vehemently condemn such acts.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Later in his address, His Holiness appealed for mutual religious respect and tolerance. He said that Islam had given the foundation for peace because the Quran taught that prophets of God were sent to all peoples and nations.

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-No other religion so willingly and openly praises every faith and every nation as Islam does.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Describing the true character of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It was the Founder of Islamwho developed the love of God and the love of His creation in our hearts. It was he who ingrained and established love and respect for all of mankind and for all religions within us. The Holy Prophet(peace be upon him) spent his entire life spreading peace in the world. That was his noble mission. Certainly, there will come a day when the people of the world will realise and understand that he did not bring any teachings of extremism. They will realise that all he brought was a message of peace, love and kindness.

ƒÆ’-¡ Explaining that freedom of religion was a fundamental tenet of Islam, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-If a personƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s heart desires then they are free to accept Islam, but if their heart does not, then they are free to reject it. Therefore, Islam is completely against compulsion and extremism; rather, it advocates peace and harmony at all levels of society.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ The Khalifa concluded by speaking about the critical need for justice in the modern world. He said that he feared current conflicts could escalate into a world war unless all forms of discrimination and inequality were rooted out.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Due to the acts of certain countries the signs are that another world war is on the horizon. If a world war breaks out then the Western world will also be deeply affected by its far-reaching and devastating consequences. Let us save ourselves from such destruction. Let us save our future generations from the miserable and devastating consequences of war. There is a real risk of a nuclear war breaking out. To prevent such a horrific outcome, we should adopt justice, integrity and honesty and join together to suppress and stop those groups who wish to spread hatred and who wish to destroy the peace of the world.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The event concluded with a silent prayer and thereafter guests were able to personally meet with Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Centenary Celebrations were attended by 68 dignitaries, including 30 MPs and 12 Members of the House of Lords, including 6 Cabinet Ministers and 2 Ministers. Various media organisations including the BBC, Sky TV and ITV were also present to cover the event.

ƒÆ’-¡ Prior to the event the three main party leaders had all written in support of the Centenary. Whilst congratulating the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, the Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron MP said Britain could be proud of the Community and he praised Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-a man of peace.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

DONƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢T PRONOUNCE – UNP IS DEAD!

June 13th, 2013

ByƒÆ’-¡  Gomin Dayasri

UNP is not dead: shows sign of being alive-at least breathing though not kicking-to bring forth an imitation ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-constitutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ for the country. ƒÆ’-¡ Call it a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”constitutionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢-that is a misnomer. More – a policy statement, designed to attract other political parties to come into its fold. ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s the success line-got something for everyone if the address is urban. Scripted by Colombo for Colombo ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”their lies the weakness.

Hardly sufficient to move the common- man [not his cup of tea?] unlike J.R.JayewardaneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s bag of cereals (Eta ata) or PremadasaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s family pay-package. For sure -13th Amendment remains on the scorecard deceptively retained, for better or worse, on a comeback or stay-put trail for the Party. Yet, there is movement-shake of a head or more, a raise of an eyebrow, in a body long thought dead: pins the hope of a nation desperate for an opposition.

DonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t write off the UNP -itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a worthy relic that needs preservation for antique value, a museum piece for the moment, with necessary reconditioning, still remains the party of return of the future. Taken for a token setback in 1988, has a permanent air a quarter centaury later in 2013: except in the minds of a few high spirited greener than grass stalwarts ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” living in the hope of a home coming; not projected on the radar on a reading of recent election results. That is not all.

It has sturdy frontier men capable of taking any set back, lie low, bide time in the wilderness and surface gracefully to safeguard the grand old party in the hour of need unlike the Dead Old Left, deserted by the membership surviving on the rent of a once mighty party office, whose present leadership presented with high office will sing for their supper forgetting their principled comrades who made great sacrifice for a cause.

Those men of character in the UNP will not desert the green elephant as bondage is in their blood stream and will remain in the wild like the nomads and emerge when UNP returns to understand the mood of people from whom the present policy makers are distancing by wiping its true character of a broad based provincial party of the past. The party of the SenanayakesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of Botale Waluwe lost its way to wind up at Ward Place Colombo 7 in the Jayawardane household to collect the Colombians from the garbage dump and take over over the great party of Gamini Jayasooriya, M.D.H Jayewardane, M.D, Banda, U.B. Wanninayake, R, Premadasa, E.L.B.Hurulle and Gamini Dissanayake who had their roots in the back beyond. How many of the true-blooded evergreens are in Parliament, Provincial Councils and Pradesheeya Sabhas?

With his many deficiencies Ranil Wickremasinghe with stout integrity stands out in the forefront in a party of many mediocrities and still lesser minions except for a few exceptions among the younger set and appointed MPs that make an occasional credible sound.

Indeed strange when UNP has a rich vein of talent in the wings of the professional and business community. Sajith Premadasa carries an iconic name of a revered father still a force among the common man unlike J.R.Jayewardane discarded universally.

Hidden strength UNP possesses is in the weight it carries with the popular private media- with which the hierarchy is often engaged in unnecessary conflict. UNP defeats itself most time by its own stupidity: UPFA that can by own folly bring its downfall rather than being grounded by the UNP. That does not augur well for either party in the selection of the lesser evil by the people at an election.

Call it by any name- whither national constitution, policy statement, party manifesto, guiding principles ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it is unable to impress on the much needed personal economic revival of the individual or a touch a cord of patriotism in a society conditioned after a 30 year war, necessary to bring forth the required genie for the revival spirit; badly needed tonic in an rapidly evolving society. An inevitable lapse when the constitution is printed published and presented in staid Colombo.

The purported constitution has the ingredients to please a stratum that does not generate sufficient votes touching base with Civil Society and Colombo Forum instead of attracting the Rural Folk and Outstation Intellect. It pleases those that service both the 13th and 17th Amendments and will prevent jumping fish to sway from party to party and treat the rule of law with greater respect. It will get an encore from the NGO Community and Embassy Street.

Its opinion to change the constitution by a referendum is brilliant. If so the same principle can be adopted to revise the 13th amendment? Is the UNP estopped from going to court to challenge it or raise issue over it in Parliament? A fast come back would be to challenge the government why recourse is not made to a referendum to change the 13th amendment if it so serious about it!

UNP needs to think beyond its present borders. It has to out reach where votes count. UNP pioneersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ learnt the lay of the land and knew the way of its inhabitants. Premadasa was born to it; JRJ shrewdly adopted it; Dudley happily merged into it; Sir John miffed it while DS engineered it. Poor Wijetunga overdid it. Modern UNP travels with an ipad in hand that shows the way on a GPS from the comfort of a luxury vehicle far removed from the land and the people, being un-earthed to ground. To gain proximity UNP has a great distance to cover on foot.

UNP into its twenty-fifth year on loosing occupancy of the presidential palace celebrates the silver jubilee by bringing forth a proposed new constitution for Sri Lanka to regain its past glory. ItƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a small step to reach a comfortable footrest, from where a giant leap has to to be taken to hit summit? UNP must first live up to its name in being ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-unitedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”genuinely and ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-nationalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬- truly: as a party. Presently instead of projecting unity – focuses on disparity, instead of being national – gives the appearance of being more international. It has to change its ways otherwise it will be forever a rebelsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ haven.

UNP amended the national constitution 16 times in office. Therefore amending the introduced proposed constitution (or policy statement) speedily is no hard task and relate it to issues closer to peoplesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ aspirations. UNP need tap for source material from outside its panel of lawyers. Lawyers are necessary to amend but a vision of a broader perspective is required to attract people. UNP has a wealth of talent from different disciplines at its disposal untapped. Look beyond Colombo for the vote that floats?

 

A REFERENDUM UNDER THE ARTICLES 80 (2) AND 85 (1) OF THE CONSTITUTION IS THE BEST WAY TO SAVE MOTHER LANKA

June 13th, 2013

Chanaka Bandarage, Lawyer

The Tamil National Alliance (TNA), the former LTTE proxy in the Parliament, will win the September NPC election easily.

Holding of the NPCƒÆ’-¡  election under the 13th amendment (irrespective of whether the Land and Police powers are removed or not) will lead to creation of the Tamil Eelam.

Even two weeks ago, a TNA MP publicly stated that he does ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-notƒÆ’-¡  believe in a power sharing arrangement under a unitary stateƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ (Mavai Senathrajah MP, General Secretary of the TNA – 3 June 2013: Daily Mirror). In Geneva early this year the TNA lobbied for the Tamils right for self-determination (ie, a separate state). Last April in London, they lobbied against CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ TNA have stated that the NPC election is a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”referendumƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ for a separate state by the Tamil people.ƒÆ’-¡  In such an environment, how can the Nation agree to give the administration of the Northern Provincial Council to TNA; a group that is actively advocating secession?

The Government and people of Sri Lanka should do everything possible to stop the TNA from forming the NPC Government ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” rather than doing things to facilitate them.

  • Currently, theƒÆ’-¡  JNN and JHU have started public campaigns to further amend the 13thƒÆ’-¡  amendment. Their action is praiseworthy. Both parties are campaigning to remove the Police and Land powers from the Constitution. They are happy for the NPC election to be held afterwards. We say this is still dangerous. The two parties do not favour a referendum.

We say giving ƒÆ’-¡ such important powers as health, highways, irrigation, environment, education, justice, prison, fisheries etc (the very long list of concurrent powers in Schedule 9 of the 13thƒÆ’-¡  amendment, plus the Provincial Council list; effectively they are federal powers) to a group who are advocating secession is akin to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”entrusting the surveillance of a chicken coop to a foxƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ 

The future TNA Government will seriously discriminate against the Sinhalese. They will not allow Sinhalese to re-settle in the North. They can even block the Sinhalese from travelling to the North. The TNA MP Mr Suresh Premachandan recently threatened the Sinhalese who are resettled in Navatkuli Village near Jaffna (6 km from Jaffna) that they must return toƒÆ’-¡  the South. These Sinhalese families who speak fluent Tamil have lived in the North for several generations. They now live in utmost fear not knowing what will happen to them after the Northern Provincial Council election. There are similar Sinhalese villages in the North.ƒÆ’-¡ 

For JNN/JHU actions to succeed a 2/3 majority from the Legislature is required. It is unlikely that such a majority can be obtained from the current Parliament. Already 31 MPs in the Parliament have formed an association to protect the 13th amendment. The JNN/JHU actions can take long time to bear results. Note, the NPC election is scheduled to be held on 7 September 2013 (within less than 3 months time).

  • Action by the Government ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the Government intends to abolish the ƒÆ’-¡ following 2 Articles, which is very good:

Article 154A (3) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” that allows the merger of the provinces (after forming the Government, it is possible that the TNA can merge with the East and eventually create the new state, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”North-Eastern Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” encompassing 1/3 of the current Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s land mass and 2/3 of the coast.

Article 154G (3) ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” AnyƒÆ’-¡  Bill in rgards to matters in the Provincial Council List shall become law only if they are ƒÆ’-¡ passed by every Provincial Council.

The Government also intend to seek opinion form the Supreme Court, presumably under Article 129 of the ConstitutionƒÆ’-¡  (it is not clear on what matters that such opinion will be sought).

Expecting the Legislature to solely safeguard the Nation at this most crucial juncture is too much of a risk. The politicians have failed the country miserably. The civil society must rise and demand speedy, positive action from the Government. Mere removal of the Land and Police powers from the concurrent list (9th Schedule), and other minor changes will not eliminate the threat to the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

As stated before, the Legislatures can take the people for a ride again. It is foolish to expect that they will provide 2/3 majority to revoke the 13th amendment entirely. Abolition of the 13th amendment, through a national referendum is the only and safest remedy available to save the country.

Why Referendum is the best and easiest way to protect the country?

The writer, after his ƒÆ’-¡ thorough ƒÆ’-¡ study of the Constitution states with confidence that the best and most simple way to abolish the 13th amendment is by way of a national referendum, using Articles 80(2) and 85 (1) of the Constitution (Note, these provisions have not been the subject of discussions anywhere ƒÆ’-¡ before). Changes to the Constitution, using these two provisions, will not require obtaining approval from the Parliament (can do it without even having a Parliamentary debate), furthermore, there is no need to refer the matter to the Supreme Court.

The 3 stage process is as follows:

1)ƒÆ’-¡  Per Article 80 (2): A Bill to abolish the 13th amendment should be put for the approval of the Cabinet of Ministers (a simple majority in the Cabinet is sufficient). The Cabinet of Ministers should issue a Certificate stating that they intend to submit the Bill for approval by the People at a Referendum.

ƒÆ’-¡ 2)ƒÆ’-¡  Per Article 85 (1): The President will have to submit the Bill to the people by Referendum

It is suggested that the following question should be asked from the people at the Referendum (to be held before 7 September 2013):

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Do you agree to abolish the 13th amendment to the Constitution, that was enacted in 1987, that has created the present Provincial Council system?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

ƒÆ’-¡ If the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”YesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ vote has obtained majority of the votes, then,

ƒÆ’-¡ 3)ƒÆ’-¡  Per Article 80 (2), The President is required to issue a certificateƒÆ’-¡  in the following form: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This Bill/provision has been duly approved by the People at a Referendum.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The above 1), 2) and 3) activities are sufficient to abolish the 13th amendment. Once they are successfully carried out;

ƒÆ’-¡ that will be the end of the Provincial Councils (all 9 of them). The Country will be saved!

ƒÆ’-¡ Note Article 4 (a) of the Constitution reinforces the above process ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the Sovereignty of the People shall be exercised and enjoyed by the People at a referendum.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

ƒÆ’-¡ Let us say this to the West:

ƒÆ’-¡ In 1987, the 13th amendment was enacted using ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”illegalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ means ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” ie, without seeking consent of the people at a referendum. ThereƒÆ’-¡  is enormous opposition against the 13th amendment in the country. Seeking the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s consent now, even belatedly, is the most democratic thing that the Government can undertake. Allowing people to express their opinion is the most important premise of western democracy.

ƒÆ’-¡ Let us say this to India:

ƒÆ’-¡ The Government may have given assurances to India that the NPC election will be held under the full 13th amendment, which assurances are not legally binding. They were given to India, a friendly neighbour, in good faith. However, a situation has arisen there is tremendous opposition to the 13 amendment among the populace. The people have a reasonable and genuine fear that holding of the election under ƒÆ’-¡ the 13th amendment will allow the TNA to split ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka and form the Tamil Eelam that they so desire to create. Holding of the referendum is a decision by the Cabinet of Ministers, not by His Excellency the President. Whilst the Government regrets that it may not have fully abided by the assurances given to India, at the moment the Government has absolutely no alternative but to seek mandate of the people at a national referendum. India will agree His Excellency the President of Sri Lanka is elected by the people of Sri Lanka; he has a duty of care to them, not to India.

ƒÆ’-¡ We urge the Government to conduct informal discussions with the West (and India), especially the US sitting on equal footing and explain to them why it is imperative that the 13th amendment must be referred to the people at a referendum ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” it was forced upon Sri Lanka by India in 1987. True they may not accept our point of view, but, it is important to open a window of dialogue with them. This will help to minimize any adverse action they might take against us. Note, the North East demerger did not bring us any adverse reaction from the world.ƒÆ’-¡  The Tamil Diaspora/TNA hold discussions with the West and India all the time, why should only we maintain silence?

We should not forget we have such true friends like China and Russia in the UN Security Council, and thirteen true friends in UNHRC in Geneva.ƒÆ’-¡  We should appraise them of what is happening, and seek their full assistance. ƒÆ’-¡ We should also cultivate more friends.

Commentators like Dr Dayan Jayatilleka have argued that the abolishment of 13A will lead to stringent Geneva Resolutions being implemented in 2014, imposition of sanctions against Sri Lanka etc. Some have predicted even a possible invasionƒÆ’-¡  of Sri Lanka by India ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” we believe the latter is very unlikely.ƒÆ’-¡  We should bear in mind that whether we abolish/amend theƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  13th amendment or not, the international community (our current ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”enemiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in Geneva etcƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” US, UK,ƒÆ’-¡  Canada, Norway, EU, India), due to continuous instigation by the TNA and Tamil Diaspora, will not give up its desire to carve out a separate state in North Eastern Sri Lanka for the Tamils. By holding the election now, we are simply allowing this to happen. Let us nip this new threat to our Nation in the bud, rather than allowing it to grow, like what happened with the LTTE.

In case if sanctions are imposed against Sri Lanka, or if ƒÆ’-¡ CHOGM is moved to another country, let us face those situation together as a Nation.ƒÆ’-¡  Safeguarding the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty and territorial integrity is paramount to all other issues, like holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka.

Let them take CHOGM to another country. The loser will be the Commonwealth, not Sri Lanka.

After the Provincial Councils are abolished, we can agree to decentralise moreƒÆ’-¡  power to ƒÆ’-¡ provinces including to North and East through ƒÆ’-¡ Divisional District Councils (Pradeshiya Sabhas), whose memebers are duly elected.

Chanaka Bandarage

srilankasupportgroup@bigpond.com

TNA MPs are brainless slaves without minds of their own, even frightened to participate in the PSC.

June 13th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ By Charles.S.Perera

The TNA MPs began life in 2001 ƒÆ’-¡ as slaves of the Terrorist Prabhakaran.ƒÆ’-¡  They did not have to think, but do what the terrorist Thamilchelvam and Prabhakaran asked them to do.ƒÆ’-¡  As a result they are today a set ofƒÆ’-¡  morons unable to think ƒÆ’-¡ for themselves withoutƒÆ’-¡  having to consult others to tell them what they should do.ƒÆ’-¡  It is a shame to have them in Parliament as representatives of people as in reality they represent no one, not even themselves.

ƒÆ’-¡ What can they doƒÆ’-¡  in a National Forum like the Parliament where they have to plan things for the people andƒÆ’-¡  the country.ƒÆ’-¡  They are unable to do that, andƒÆ’-¡  do only things they have learnt from their evil masters the terrorist.ƒÆ’-¡  TNA MPs cannot speak about unity , because their masters the terrorists stood for division.ƒÆ’-¡  TNA MPs cannot speak about development, because their masters the terrorist stood for ƒÆ’-¡ regression. TNA MPs cannot work to take the country and its people forward, because their masters the terrorists stood for taking the people and the country backward.

ƒÆ’-¡ Therefore, why bother about asking TNA MPs about the 13 Amendment , as they know next to nothing about it and their masters the terrorists having been eliminated they seek those who helped their masters to take orders and understand about the 13 Amendment.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ The PresidentƒÆ’-¡  Mahinda Rajapakse instead of asking these ƒÆ’-¡ set of dummies the TNA MPsƒÆ’-¡  their views on the abolition of the 13Amendment, should take his own decision as the executive President, and face the consequences without a 13 Amendment the best way possible, facing any problemsƒÆ’-¡  as and when ƒÆ’-¡ they arise.ƒÆ’-¡  If not we will remain for years encumbered with the ƒÆ’-¡ 13Amendment which we do not want, ƒÆ’-¡ and which will cause more problems as time goes on.ƒÆ’-¡  13A is something which could have been nipped in the bud ƒÆ’-¡ which ƒÆ’-¡ now requires an axe, and more.

ƒÆ’-¡ What have the TNA MPs done ever since the elimination of terrorism ? They have been running about from India to South Africa, from South Africa to Canada, Canada to UK, and from UK back to India asking them to help them set up a separate Eelam State.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Sampanthan speaking to the Foreign Press had said the Tamil people will not return to violence.ƒÆ’-¡  Then he sayƒÆ’-¡  but who knows. He says that they did not create LTTE .ƒÆ’-¡  Of course it was the LTTE that created TNA.

ƒÆ’-¡ The TNA MPs cannot speak in one voice.ƒÆ’-¡  They are divided and Sampanthan cannot profess to speak for the rest of the TNA MPs.ƒÆ’-¡  TNA MPs can speak only aboutƒÆ’-¡  devolution of power, an undefined ethnic issue, undiluted 13Amendment, police and land power to PCs. Other than that they know nothing about the Communal Unity, peoples desire for peace , inter communal relations, etc.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ What have the TNA MPs really done since they were organised in to a political party ƒÆ’-¡ by the terrorists to be their spokesmen in the Parliament and forced the Tamil people in the North and East to vote for them at the 2001 election ? They have done nothing progressive or positive other than carrying the torch of terrorism in to the Parliamentary politics, and carrying a negative image of Sri Lanka asƒÆ’-¡  violating the rights of the minorities in to the outside world.ƒÆ’-¡  They have not organised any new projectƒÆ’-¡  for the Tamil people , but has laid barriers to the Government in its work for the betterment of the Tamil people.

ƒÆ’-¡ Today a serious matter with regard to the interference of India into Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s internal affairs is to be discussed and the necessity to remove theƒÆ’-¡  13 Amendment, whichƒÆ’-¡  remains a scar in the Constitution of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡  subjugating Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereigntyƒÆ’-¡  to India, is demanded by the people, and the MPs of the TNA instead of being with the government to discuss the matter is out in India discussing the subject with India.ƒÆ’-¡  TNA MPs who were the spokesmen for the terrorists in the Parliament then , are today the spokesmen for India in the Parliament of Sri Lanka.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is time that a Supreme court Judgment is requested through legal means to disband TNA as a political party, as it is openly in breach of the Constitution of Sri Lanka. If the President does not ignore them and go ahead with the removal of the 13AƒÆ’-¡  from the Constitution in the interest of the country and the reconciliation of the Communities, it would be subjugating ƒÆ’-¡ Presidential authority to whims and fancies of trouble shooters, and nincompoops.

No Freedom in America – US is snooping in on teens to grandmas all for National Security!

June 13th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

This is just great ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s self-appointed human rights crusader has been getting its National Security Agency to spy on personal data since 2001 through the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s biggest internet companies. That project has now been revealed as PRISM by William Binney/Edward Snowden – now in hiding because US Government is angered because theyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ve spilt the beans. The victims are ALL those who use Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, or Apple ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” i.e. Americans and the entire World! An unnamed intelligence officer was quoted by the Washington Post as saying that the NSA could “quite literally ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ watch your ideas form as you type.”

The National Security Agency is no angel. Snooping on public is nothing new too. Its predecessor known as the Black Chamber worked with Western Union during World War 1 to access AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s telegram traffic. The NSA was launched in 1952 without the oversight of US Congress. ƒÆ’-¡ The abuses of the NSA, FBI and CIA were exposed by Senator Frank ChurchƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Senatorial Committee in the 1970s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” surprisingly only then that some senators of the US knew that NSA staffed with thousands even existed. So we cant blame American public for being ignorant when US senators are too!

PRISM is simply an updated version of ECHELON ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” another global tapping and sharing network run by US, Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand under ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-UKUSA AgreementƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. International spy agencies collaborate ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s nothing to be surprised over. But, the problem is a spy is spying on the spies now thatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s something for the foreign alliances to think about!

While, Americans think their Government is the most cleanest Government in the world, the American public is clueless about the US Patriotic Act which demands Google, Yahoo and all other global popular internet modes of communication give data to the NSA, CIA. So internet companies are just fooling the public by claiming ignorance and denying that it does not share its central servers. Moreover, that the US policy is to spy is clearly advocated through other laws recently passed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Stop Online Piracy Act, Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) Bill, Cybersecurity Act and the Security IT Act ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” gives the American State the right to cooperate with Corporates to track individualsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ online activities. In August 2007, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) became law. Included is a Protect America Act (PAA) amendment. It permits unrestricted warrantless data-mining.

The NSA access to live and stored communications were enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced by President Bush and then renewed under President Obama in 2012.

The information-sharing program has been happening since 2007. Microsoft is running a campaign with a slogan ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Your privacy our priorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ but it was the first to align with PRISM in November 2007. Yahoo followed in 2008, while Google, Facebook and PalTalk joined in 2009. YouTube in 2010, Skype and AOL in 2011 and Apple in 2012. PRISM actually involves direct access to a Dropbox-like system (potentially hosted by Amazon) which fulfils wiretapping requests made by spooks under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA).

A recent court order has compelled telecoms provider Verizon to hand over telephone records of millions of US customers. How many other telecommunications provider do similar sharing is a big question. These are all below the belt tactics and not expected of a First World nation claiming to lead the world in civilized good governance. The list of the vocabulary/terminology and strongly-worded statements used by the US to humiliate nations and Governments are many. But PRISM exposes the US beyond redemption.

While under US law, companies are legally obliged to comply with requests for userƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s communication inspite of this the US runs PRISM that allows the intelligence services direct access to companiesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ servers and with it the access to emails, video and voice chats, videos, photos, voice-over-IP (SKYPE for example) chats, file transfers, stored data, video conferencing, social networking details, special requests and virtually everything that is being exchanged. William Hague says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-law-abiding citizens have nothing to fearƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” but who wants to have another listening to oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s conversation with another, or photos exchanged, or skype chatsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦how can a grandma be a national security threat?

In short, PRISM does not require individual court orders or service providers permission to look at peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s communication modes both real-time and stored. By including ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-electronic surveillanceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the US has fooled the American public into thinking that the surveillance is applicable to only terrorists? A terrorist is a person who America defines terrorist ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” therefore the American public is somewhat naƒÆ’†’¯ve to think its Government is really tracking down terrorists! However, the carefully designed laws and the vocabulary used ensures that the NSA and the Attorney General has power to permit obtaining intelligence and indemnifies internet companies against actions.

So, if the US National Security Agency does not need individual or company authorizations in or outside USA to collect live and stored data of EVERYONE using internet communication systems what are the dangers if information can be leaked to others through the NSA? Will US conglomerates and others obtain a clear advantage over their competition? Will US not be aware of confidential documents being typed live for legal international documents? Will the US not be able to spy on Governmental confidential documents and exchange between MPs and others? How about US Government spying on their own Opposition Republicans? So the issue of personal privacy for those talking on phone, internet chat, exchanging emails is no different to senior public and corporates whose information is being mirrored and looked at by American intelligence. This is what should shock the entire world. Various global leaders may in view of their links and ties to America have to publicly align and agree to the PRISM spy system but surely they must also wonder whether their correspondence is not being spoofed into as well? This is something Cameron, Hague, Merkel, Hollande, Gillard and US strategic partners including India need to be worried about. There is nothing called privacy any moreƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ so no wonder secrets are kept and divulged at the opportune moment that the US sees fit to release sensitive private information. Looks like the US has learnt much after Lewinsky fiasco!

Whilst the UK Guardian exposed the PRISM program our question to world media is why have they been silent all this time?

Its just as well we are sensible enough not to take these US State Dept press releases too seriously knowing too well AmericaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s track record is nothing it can boast of except to people who are too nice and polite to give them a dose of their crimes against humanity.

Nevertheless, thereƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s no stopping America from making the world believe otherwise. The State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told Sri Lanka in May 2013, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We urge Sri Lankan authorities to protect freedom of expressionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦..ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬So as we have said many times, we remain extremely concerned about threats to freedom of expression in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and Robert Blake cannot make a statement without adding some chiding comment against media freedom in Sri Lanka. A good look at all the communications modes available in print and online (locally and internationally) it is not difficult to count the number of articles that appear against the Rajapakse Government as compared to those that praise Rajapakse.

Inspite of being aware of the lack of freedom in the US, the US is placed 32 in the Press Freedom Index of 2013, while the US is also placed quite high in all the rankings related to every type of freedom possible. However, given the reality of PRISM we can just about laugh at these findings! PRISM and Freedom just do not go hand in hand. Moreover, Susan Rice is now the new Director of NSA and Samantha Power takes over from Susan Rice as UN Ambassador equates to mean nothing but conflict for the world.

The White House is in a crisis but when President Obama says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-You cant have 100% security and 100% privacy and Zero inconvenienceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ these should be golden words to Sri Lanka and be quoted every time a US representative makes accusations!

For the people of America, Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” how can they protect their privacy? Maybe its time to return to simply writing letters!

ƒÆ’-¡ 

 

TISSA JAYATILLEKEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢S ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”WESAK THOUGHTSƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

June 13th, 2013

By Sugath Samarasinghe

This is in reference to the article by Tissa Jayatileke in the Mid-Week Review of 26/5, on his ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Weak ThoughtsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Tissa had had stated there- in that the Government should emulate the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”DutugemunuƒÆ’-¡  ModelƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ as given in the Mahavansa in respecting oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s foes as recommended by Somapala Gunadheera and condemns the Victory Day celebrations by the government. He also quotes copiously the Buddhist Scriptures to re-educate the government and particularly the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”waywardƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Sinhala Buddhists on how to handle the post-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ peace making delicately.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ 

The parallel of king Dutu Gemunu honoured king Elara and the applicability of the restrained way he is reported to have celebrated his victory to todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s situation, remains a moot point. It will take a lot of space to discuss the pros and cons of this view, yet there is little prospect of arriving at an agreement. Hence, it may be an exercise in vain. But what is interesting is that right through this eelam ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”war, there was a set of people who tried hard to discourage the government and the people of the South from seeking a military option, saying that this was an unwinnable ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and explaining the futility of war. They also alleged that the Mahavansa mindset of the Sinhala Buddhists of their ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”racial superiorityƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ was the bane of this conflict. They said that the Sinhala Buddhists were brain washed by what they called the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Mahavansa SyndromeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, a mythical chronicleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ that deluded SBs to think that they were the sole owners to this land and that, this notion and the Buddhist Monks were the main obstacle to peace etc. etc.

ƒÆ’-¡ They also discouraged the people from joining the Armed Forces and succeeded in reducing the numbers seeking to join the Services and the Police to a trickle. As a result, Gen. Anuruddha Ratwatte was unable to hold the real estate that the forces had wrested from the LTTE. The situation was so bad that he had to deploy the police in a special operation, to arrest the Military deserters, in order to put them back to the battle front, in spite of which he failed to hold on to the captured land in the Vanni.

Now that the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”unwinnable warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ has been fought and won despite those disincentives, the same people are coming back in a different garb, with a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Dutugemun modelƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of victory celebration, this time quoting chapter of the sameƒÆ’-¡  Mahavansa, the mythical fictional ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”historyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ that they discredited as what ƒÆ’-¡ stood between ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”war and peaceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, now extolling its virtues! This is the kind of reasoning that the foolish Sinhala Buddhists dismiss with just two words:ƒÆ’-¡  vaedi bana.!!

Then, Tissa finds the Victory Parade as abhorrent and a crude display of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”triumphalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Firstly, I did not see anything ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”crudeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in this Victory Parade which was not different from any other dignified ceremonial parades of the Military. I am sure the Military manuals specify the types of parades that befit different occasions. I did not see anything different or particularly ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”crudeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in this parade. It is all in the eyes of the beholder I believe. They observed a two minutes silence in honour of those who died in the battle. The Only difference was that of the wheel chair squad of some of the injured soldiers looking smartly to the right at the saluting base, which was a heartbreaking sight. I thought it was a fitting tribute to them who are maimed for life in the service of all of us irrespective of community. They are all worthy sons and daughters of our own people. They fought and maimed themselves to safeguard the territorial integrity of this country. Is that a sin or immoral? On the contrary, I thought that the entire audience should have had the courtesy of giving them a standing ovation. Their failure to do that of course is crudity and insensitivity.

Tissa thinks that the parade was a display of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”triumphalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Here, the people are remembering the deliverance they had from the dragon of terrorism which was stalking their lives for 3 decades. Is it not a matter to be celebrated? Not an occasion to remember and honour the people who sacrificed their life and limb to win back this deliverance to us at long last? Are we not relieved to get about in life free of fear of life on ourselves or on our beloved as were used to feel for the last 30 years? Are the parents of the Northern and Eastern provinces not relieved that their sons and daughters are not plucked away by the Terrorists? Are they not relieved to be assured that there they would be able to resume their peaceful life unless of course their own compatriots make efforts to disturb their hard won peace? The innocent people in the so called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”boarder villagesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ who now do not have to spend the nights in the jungles with their little children, have a cause to celebrate that they no longer have to do this and can have a peaceful nightƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sleep. The likes of Tissa JayatillekeƒÆ’-¡  living in the secure areas of the capital city may not feel this relief acutely. If he would watch the film ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”GamaniƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ made by Rear Admiral Sarath Weerasekera, he would be sensitized to the desperation and despondency of these people in the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Threatened Villages. What is the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”triumphalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in remembering with gratitude this freedom from fear? Will they not be ever grateful to the man who brought this situation about, whatever his other faults may be? I did not hear anything triumphalist or crude in his speech on this day, unlike that of President Obama who displayed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”crude triumphalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in his announcement, when his elite Marine Commandos succeeded in killing the unarmed Osama Bin Laden and his wife in their home, having entered that country without permission. Furthermore, it is because the terrorists were our own people that the government pardoned 11000 of them who surrendered and rehabilitated them. Did the US or any other country who are proposing and supporting in passing Human Rights violations resolutions against Sri Lanka at Geneva, do such things with their terrorists. Were they allowed to go back to schools and universities to continue their disrupted education? ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

He speaks with disgust the inconvenience to the people of Colombo owing to the Traffic jam in the city during the rehearsals and on the day of the Victory Parade. The other day, someone copied to me an e mail showing two lions lazing in the morning sun, on the high road to Nairobi in Kenya. The morning vehicular traffic carrying the office and school crowd to and from Nairobi on either side was brought to a complete halt. Until the lions left on their own, no one dared to persuade the lions to leave. They had to wait patiently till whatever time that the lions decided to do back to the jungle! In our case I think, the whole of Colombo could afford to stop the traffic in memory of those who made the highest sacrifice to ensure our free movement on other days of the year. Really the whole nation, if they are a grateful people, should suspend all their routine work, on this day and engage in some activity by way of paying respect to thoseƒÆ’-¡  who sacrificed their life and limb, for a better tomorrow for us. But most people are not so grateful. So Mr. Jayatilleke is no exception. He need not despair since the Buddha himself has said that people with gratitude are very rare. It is to uphold this value that he spent a week since attaining Buddhahood, paying respect in animism lacuna puja, to the Bodhi tree that helped him to attain Enlightenment, by providing him with shade and comfort.

On other hand, inconvenience caused to a section of the people in Colombo on this day is negligible when one considers the fact that the convenience and freedom from fear, disaster & relief that was brought about to the rest of the population throughout the country by the ending of a 30 years ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”warƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, by the dedication of the people who were honoured that day.

Mr. Jayatilleke has quoted the Buddha copiously, to admonish the government how the post-war trauma should be handled, what should be done and not done etc. It stuck me that, in fact if all people of this country abided by those words of the Buddha, this misery would not have come about at all. They say you need two hands to clap. But it is the way of the world, ƒÆ’-¡ that in spite of all the good words of all religious teachers, people of the world killed each other in conflict, down the history. And that is probably why Buddha did not spend much time & effort admonishing the kings on good governance, though several kings like Bimbisaara, Ajasatta, Prasnnajith Kosala the Vidudhbha princes etc were in constant touch with him. He left the task of governance to the kings and their men. The furthest he went was to wish, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Raja bhavathu dhammikoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Let the kings be RighteousƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. This would mean that many of the kings even at that time, may not have been righteous, like people in governing today. Most of what Buddha preached was for the individual to help conquer himself. Hence whether all that Buddha said in this area could be applied to governance is a matter for a lager discussion.

However it must be mentioned that the likes of Mr. Jayatilleke tried hard to dissuade the governments and the Sinhala people from looking for a military option against a diehard Terrorist and their supporters. We did not see them admonishing these categories against resorting to ruthless violence when they were using child soldiers, attacking sacred places of religious worship, harming government property which really belonged to the people and from causing general mayhem during the last 30 years. Now again this kind have re-appeared, this time inclusive of Christian clergy, with the Bana Potha in hand, admonishing the government with the teachings from the Tri Pitaka on good governance and how to bring about ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”realƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ peace.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

CHINA ON A ROAD TO WISDOM

June 13th, 2013

PROFESSOR ALI SUKHANVER

ƒÆ’-¡ The recent conflict between China and India in the Ladakh region of LAC has simply widened the already growing differences and increasing distances between the two countries. The situation remained very much tense and bitter for more than twenty days and the issue was resolved after intense negotiations during a flag meeting between Indian and Chinese commanders.

The recent conflict started when fifty soldiers from ChinaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Liberation Army crossed about 10 miles inside the disputed territory and set up a tented post. According to the DNA India, the Chinese soldiers subsequently put up four more tents and also deployed Molosser dogs. These fifty soldiers belonged to the Chinese Quick Response Force and they were directed to intrude the sector when the Chinese authorities got the news that the Indian troops were constructing fortifications in Chumar Sector which was vacated by the Chinese troops sometimes back after negotiations.

India could not afford to prolong the confrontation, therefore, requested for flag meeting to resolve the issue. During this flag meeting China remained strict to its principled stance that no permanent structure would come up along LAC. As a result of this strictness to the stance, India was not only forced by China to remove freshly constructed fortifications but was also compelled to discontinue the round the clock patrolling it used to undertake in Chumar, Sector of Ladakh.

ƒÆ’-¡ Commenting upon the recent Indo-China conflict in the Ladakh region, the world renowned analyst, Venky Vembu says in THE FIRST POST of 6th May, 2013, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In the official narrative from the Indian side, both the armies had agreed to withdraw to their previous positions. But then, as even the Defence Ministry of India had acknowledged, Chinese troops had entered 19 km inside Indian Territory, so the only thing that negotiated was their unconditional pullout.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The writer is very much true in his analysis regarding the situation but the term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”unconditionalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ used by him needs some clarifications.

According to authentic reports published in various Indian and Western newspapers, the Chinese troops withdrew only after the conditions of removal of all fresh fortifications, halting patrolling by Indian troops in the area. It was also decided that in future India will not construct any fresh fortifications. Indian leadership and Army high command accepted all these conditions imposed by China but acceptance of these conditions had a deep demoralizing impact on the Indian troops. Professor Shrikanth Kondapalli of Jawaharlal Nehru University has commented upon the miserably pathetic defeat of India in the recent conflict with China in very impressive words.

The Professor says, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Chinese soldiers came at their own sweet timing and left almost as abruptly.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ The Professor dismissed the claims that the soldiers’ exit was the result of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”clever Indian diplomacyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-They were driving a lesson to India that India is talking too much without much actual strength. For China, the forever-fizzling talks to resolve the border dispute are just another tool to keep a potential rival off-balance,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ says the Professor.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-China is aggressively conducting regular patrols to solidify its sovereignty claims in the South and East China seas and to furtively enlarge its footprint in the Himalayan borderlands,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ writes Brahma Chellaney in the Economic Times of 28th April, 2013. The writer further says, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is nothing but traditional Indian Lethargy that instead of regular Indian army troops patrolling the line of control, border police have been deployed. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police personnel, with their defensive training and mindset, are no match to the aggressive designs of the PeopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Liberation Army and thus continue to be outwitted by them.

Even in response to the incursion, the government has sent ITBP and Ladakh Scouts, not regular army troops, to pitch tents at a safe distance from the intruders’ camp.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  The important point to be noted here is that these comments of Brahma Chellaney are about a country which is the homeland to such a deprived nation where most of the people live much below the poverty line and where the political leadership is unfortunately more focused to purchase military equipment and lethal weapons to make the militarily strong. Most of the Indian foreign policy experts are of the opinion that Beijing is trying to force New Delhi to concentrate on problems within its immediate neighborhood, rather than working to become a regional power.

ƒÆ’-¡ India and China are having a very unfriendly type of relationship since very beginning. The nature of this relationship became more hostile somewhere in 1950s when the People’s Republic of China started construction of a 1,200 km long road which connected Xinjiang and western Tibet. 179 kilometers of this road ran to the south of the Johnson Line through the Aksai Chin region which was claimed by India. Unluckily the Indians could not learn of the construction of this road until the road was shown in Chinese maps published in 1958.

The construction of this road gave birth to a series of never-ending mistrust and suspicions between India and China. Now the recent conflict in the Ladakh region has proved another nail in the coffin of Indo-China relations. The strict reaction of the Chinese hi-ups in this situation has proved that India is a country which understands only the language of force and those who think that matters with India could be settled through gentle negotiations are simply living in the foolsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ paradise.

Life Abroad – Part 31: A glimpse of The Buckingham Palace

June 13th, 2013

Dr.Tilak Fernando

On August 6, 1993, the red carpet at Buckingham Palace rolled out to give access to the Royal abode for more than 400,000 visitors for the first time for a period of nearly two months up till October 1, 1993. Such a decision was taken by The Queen followed by the gutting of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Windsor CastleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ which was estimated at ƒÆ’-¡£40 million on restoration work and particularly followed by the public outcry when she expected British tax payers to foot the bill for the fire damage. The consequences of all such matters made her skirmish and to decide to open her London Home to make a licensed invasion for 400,000 or more commoners which finally seemed to have given ƒÆ’-¡£4.5 million gross.

Preparation

As the London Correspondent attached to The Island newspapers at the time, I took my position among 600 journalists from the world media at AmbassadorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Court on August 5 on the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Palace Review DayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ for the press. After a long procedure of checking out credentials media personnel had to go through a strict security check. Next we climbed the grand entrance taking a breathtaking glimpse at ten portraits of Queen VictoriaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s relatives which included William IV, George III and Queen Charlotte. The gilded balustrade had a Perspex covering to preserve it from finger prints of visitors. The Guard Room contained 19th Century statuary including Queen Victoria, a painting done in 1847.


Queen Elizabeth II

Rope cordons with brass fittings kept the visitors precisely to a defined route while some of the QueenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s valuable carpets had been rolled up to avoid damage from the exodus of the trudging peasantry.

The furniture at the Green Drawing Room included two French chests of drawers decorated with the late 18th Century marble (pietra dura) and a Sevres porcelain vase in the shape of a boat (1758) belonged to Madame de Pompadour which were used for the assembly of visitors before a state banquet.

The Throne Room used by the Queen to receive loyal addresses on formal occasions had one of the most exquisite ornamental ceilings inside the Palace illumined by seven early 19th Century glass and gilt bronze chandeliers. On the dais, under the canopy were the thrones of the Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip which were used during her Coronation ceremony at the Westminster Abbey in 1953. Along with these were other thrones used in earlier coronations.

The Picture Gallery, the largest room at Buckingham Palace contained a collection of important works by Van Dyck, Rubenas, Cuyp, Rembrandt and others.

The arranged route led from the Picture Gallery via Silk Tapestry Room to many galleries led to the State Dining room used for formal occasions was decorated with seven portraits of the Hanoverian dynasty of George IV, his parents, grandparents and great grandparents. 24 columns with sculptural reliefs of Shakespeare, Spencer and Milton by William Pitt at either end supported the brilliant Blue Drawing Room with four chandeliers.

The Music Room had been occasionally used for Royal family Christenings of Prince of Wales, Princess Royal, the Duke of York and Prince William of Wales. The White Drawing Room with a modelled and guides ceiling was supported by 28 pilasters used for the Royal family to assemble before state occasions.

Buckingham Palace, one of the most legendary buildings in the world resembles a small town with hundreds of staff with its own post office, police station, staff canteens and dining rooms. It has the capacity to serve up to 600 meals a day and the post office deals with over 100,000 items every year.

There is an army of secretaries, clerical staff, tradesmen, gardeners, butlers, and domestic staff; clock repairers wind and maintain the PalaceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s 300 clocks.

The electric bulb that glows from the QueenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s chambers at night is an indicative that even she has to work at times till late hours attending to paperwork that pour in red and blue leather pouches containing official state papers for her signature.


Buckingham Palace

Approximately 600 rooms in the Palace are more or less in constant use with more than 200 domestic staff employed at Buckingham Palace while 30,000 guests arrive for royal functions annually.

Since the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 the Royal collection comprised over 10,000 pictures, 20,000 drawings, 16,000 water colours, 500,000 prints and many thousand pieces of furniture, sculpture, glass, porcelain, arms and armour, textiles, silver, gold and jewellery including the crown jewels.

Immunity

The QueenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s immunity from taxation was under fire in the early part of 1993 and led to severe criticism and misdemeanour while the Crown earned a reputation of being ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”dishonourableƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and the treasury ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”unprofessionalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. The monarch was transformed from taxpaying to tax free status since Edward Vii in 1901. As the queenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s savings from income tax of ƒÆ’-¡£7.3 million (ƒÆ’-¡£200,000 a day) became a hot potato she volunteered to pay taxes on her private income from 1993. This was regarded as a sledgehammer blow to her income and she had to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”cut her expensive coat according to her clothƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Gloomy year

The year 1993 was certainly a bad year for the Queen who completed 40 years of executing her responsibilities as the Queen of England and Head of the Commonwealth touring thousands of miles within England and abroad and shaking millions of hands without devising any special grip to protect her fingers. Out of all her past 40 years (up to 1993) she had not experienced many a nightmare before.

It was mentioned in the news at the time that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”at the age of 67 she suddenly turned grey overnight and smiles turned into a frownƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ possibly because of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Annus HorribilisƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of royal scandals and disasters which were packed and delivered to her in a large bitter dose over a period of 12 months.

The young members of the Royal family at the time had not helped her much.

Breaking up of her sonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s marriage (Duke of York and Sera Fergusson), Prince Edward joining the millions of the British unemployed and deliberating on Harley Davidson motor cycle rides in leather gear, Prince Phillips getting exposed in the newspaper headlines by asking a girl once whether ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”she wore mink knickersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and Prince Charles and DianaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s marriage saga seemed to have naturally affected her health rapidly.

With the opening of the Buckingham Palace door to 400,000 visitors charging ƒÆ’-¡£8 per head the Palace became an attraction as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a biggest box office hitƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ in the summer of 1993.

Naturally ardent monarchists camped at St. JamesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Park to become part of the modern history between August 6 and October 1, 1993 while the cynics and the anti-royals wondered whether the tax man kept an eye on the red carpet that rolled at the Buckingham Palace.

tilakfernando@gmail.com

The BogeymanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s 13 th Amendment has to be thrown out in the National Interest

June 12th, 2013

By Garvin karunaratneƒÆ’-¡ Former SLAS, Government Agent, Matara District

ƒÆ’-¡ I was spurred to write these words because of the comments by the Friday Forum- a group of professionals stating that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-it is with deep concern that we view current attempts to dilute the already limitedƒÆ’-¡  provisions for devolution already embodied in the 13 th AmendmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. They even state that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-effective devolution is essential for building trust and ethnic harmony securing future peace and good governanceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(The Island:10/6/2013), and also because of statements made by India that dictates to us to keep the 13 th Amendment intact.ƒÆ’-¡  IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Union Minister Narayanaswamy has said that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-India wantsƒÆ’-¡  the Indo Lanka Accord signed between the Indian Prime Minister Rajiv GandhiƒÆ’-¡  and President Jayawardena to be implemented.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  India has said that it will ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-push for the implementation of the 13 th Amendment in full.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(Colombo Gazette:10/6/2013)

ƒÆ’-¡ I have already submitted my ideas on the 13 th Amendment in the following articles:

It is high time to repeal the 13 th Amendment, (The Nation:4/11/2012)

The 13th Amendment: A Trojan Horse(The Nation: 7/4/2013)

The Writing is on the Wall,(The Nation:26/5/2013,

The Trojan Horses Theory of the Defence Secretary Mr Gotabhaya rajapaksa: How True ƒÆ’-¡ (The Lanka Web:11/4/2013)

The 13 th Amendment is inimical for our development and how it will create a separate State: (The Lanka Web:27/4/2013

India shoots across the bows: In Naval jargon we have to surrender(The Lanka Web 21/5/2013)

ƒÆ’-¡ In almost all my Papers I have dealt with first hand experience as an administrator in the Sri Lanka Administrative Service. It is important to note that not a single person has dared to criticize any of my arguments.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ No less a person than Lalith Weeratunge the Secretary to the President has opined that the 13 th Amendment is an imposition by India. He has categorically stated that the 13 th Amendment provisions are inimical for national development.

ƒÆ’-¡ Administratively we are committing suicide if we continue with the 13 th Amendment. RecentlyƒÆ’-¡  Agricultural Officer Cecil Dharmasena has come out with important observations on the agricultural administration . Ranjith Mulleriyawa, anotherƒÆ’-¡  Agricultural Officer has also corroborated in his paper,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬Truth is Stranger than Fiction:Messing Up AgricultureƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬(The Island 4/6/2013), This is only as far as agriculture is concerned and a personage like Dr C.S.Weeraratne has stated that the Provincial Council had neglected taking action on the kidney disease that takes toll of thousands of farmers in the North Central Province today. They have pointed out that the administration of agricultural extension has been totally destroyed because of the devolution under the 13 th Amendment.

ƒÆ’-¡ This was because agriculture is a devolved subject and as such has to be handled by the Provincial Council. Under the Provincial Minister and his Secretary.

ƒÆ’-¡ This is regarding agriculture but this is also true of every other department because the national wide implementation of every departmental policy is now devolved to a Provincial Minister and the implementation of policies depend on the whims and fancies and cooperation of that Minister.ƒÆ’-¡ 

.There is nothing more to talk about administration. It is dead because of the 13 th Amendment.

ƒÆ’-¡ Come the North Provincial Council in its election in September the TNA has already declared what they will do.ƒÆ’-¡  Already the TNA has even stated thatƒÆ’-¡  China buildingƒÆ’-¡  the highway to the North is not in the interests of India. It implies that already Sri Lanka is a colony of India!

ƒÆ’-¡ The Friday Forum led by former DiplomatƒÆ’-¡  Jayantha DhanapalaƒÆ’-¡  has protested against any change of the 13 th Amendment and the statement bears the signatures of many professors and outstanding persons. It is easily an attempt to influence the Members of Parliament who will vote on the future of the 13 th Amendment.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is important to point out that the leader, former diplomatƒÆ’-¡  Jayantha Dhanapala stands totally discredited for the role he played in the PTOMS Agreement.ƒÆ’-¡  This PTOMS Agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka(GOSL) and the LTTE in 2005 to plan and implement and coordinate post Tsunami development work. What is important is the fact that GOSL has been accorded an insignificant role in the administration. In the High Level Committee GOSL stands equal with the LTTE and the Muslim community withƒÆ’-¡  one representative from each. However in the Regional Committee GOSL has been given a subservient place to the LTTE.ƒÆ’-¡  The Regional Committee comprises 2 representatives of the GOSL, of whom one is the deputy cxhairperson,ƒÆ’-¡  5 representatives from the LTTE of whom one is the chairperson and 3 representatives from the Muslim community.

ƒÆ’-¡ Jasyantha Dhanapala was Head of the Peace Secretariat and the fact that the Government of Sri Lanka was accorded a junior and a very insignificant place in the administration of PTOMS reflect his anti national and pro LTTE ideas. This also reflects on the signatories who are his followers.ƒÆ’-¡  Thus the views of the Friday ForumƒÆ’-¡  are not valid and not in the interests of Sri Lanka as a sovereign country.

ƒÆ’-¡ Another important fact is that our President Mahinda Rajapaksa has told the Members of Parliament of his coalition parties to discuss and vote as they please. This stands in total contrast to President JayawardenaƒÆ’-¡  who had obtained undated letters of resignation from Members of Parliament ( other than Ronnie de Mel) and threatened to dissolve parliament if they did not vote according to his dictates. Further it is a fact that President Jayawardena had incarcerated all the members of parliament in a five start hotel in Colombo, kept them under armed guard and he would personally go and take them to parliament to vote as he dictated. Thus the 13 th Amendment is a total imposition, firstly by India that threatened Sri lanka with armed intervention and secondly by President Jayawarden who dictated his members of parliament to vote.ƒÆ’-¡  The 13 th Amendment does not belong to the Sri Lankan constitution. It was an imposition and has to be treated as such.

ƒÆ’-¡ The right granted for the members of parliament today to discuss and vote as they wish reflects the high ideals of democracy which President Rajapaksa holds.

ƒÆ’-¡ It is hoped that the Members of Parliament will kindly consider these facts.

Garvin Karunaratne

Former SLAS, Government Agent, matara District

11/6/2013

Remove 13A-Lock, Stock and Barrel – People should know why President hesitates.

June 12th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

The President is respectedƒÆ’-¡  by the people of Sri Lanka. Therefore, he has a right to keep the people informed without hiding any thing from them. The 13 Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka must be removed lock,stock and barrel, without leaving any trace of it remaining in the Constitution.

It was a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-desecrationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of the Constitution of the Sovereign State of Sri Lanka, by a manipulating Indian Government.ƒÆ’-¡  At the time there was no alternative left for the then President J.R.Jayawardhane other than to give into the pressure of India, with terrorism remaining the main threat, and the friend on whom he heavily depended for support, theƒÆ’-¡  USA dropping him off like a hot brick,ƒÆ’-¡  at a time he ƒÆ’-¡ needed his friend the USA most.

It was a case of ƒÆ’-¡ accepting the proposal made by India to adopt the 13A to the Constitution or allow terrorism to continue undeterred protected by India which would have kept its armed forces ready in case Sri Lanka attacks the terrorists.

The proposal had been accepted by the President of Sri Lanka under duress.ƒÆ’-¡  Therefore, legally the document they signed accepting the inclusion of 13A into the Sri Lanka Constitution is not valid, and therefore null and void.

ƒÆ’-¡ If despite that the President having a two third majority in Parliament hesitates to remove it. He is ƒÆ’-¡ making all efforts to keep the 13 Amendment removing only some still unspecifiedƒÆ’-¡  powers given to the Provincial Councils under the 13th Amendment. He consults all ƒÆ’-¡ political parties. He even asks the TNA which is openly defying the authority of the President , the Constitution and the Parliament to participate in the PSC along with the other Political parties to decide on the 13 Amendment. There must be some ƒÆ’-¡ reason for the President to do so.

If so, the majority of the people who wants the 13A removed completely from the Constitution of Sri Lanka, ƒÆ’-¡ has a right to know why the President hesitates to take such a decision himself.ƒÆ’-¡  He could perhaps do so ƒÆ’-¡ using his Executive powers and face the consequences as he did in the case of his determination to carry out military operations against the terrorists until they were completely eliminated.

More time the President takes to take a decision, more and more international trouble shooters will pop up to stop the President carry out his duties towards his people. India our enemy number one is already on the war path, inviting the TNA the terrorists in civil to discus the implementation of the 13 Amendment.

DBS Jeyaraj accentuate the Indian Prime MinisterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s displeasure on the proposal to remove land and police powers from the 13A.ƒÆ’-¡  Jehan Perera the pro-terrorist NGO begins his articleƒÆ’-¡  with the blessings of The IslandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Sahabandu. Sarawanbavan the TNA MP informs that India has sought an urgent meeting with the TNA on the 13 Amendment.

Not only the Tamil Diaspora and the Western anti Sri Lanka players but also the Sri Lanka NGO funded goons are on the war path against the removal of the 13Amendment. It is time that the President takes a positive decision.

It appears that there should not be any difficulty in rescinding the India Sri Lanka Pact from what the ƒÆ’-¡ DMDK founder and Leader of Opposition in the Tamil Nadu assembly A. VijayakantinƒÆ’-¡  has said in a statement to Yahaoo News of the 11 June,2013 in reference to the 1974 agreement with which India transferred Katchatheevu Island to Sri Lanka:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- As circumstances change and unforeseen hardship is caused, it is quite natural for any treaty to be reviewed and altered if necessary,” ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ So why not the India Sri Lanka Pact ?

India cannot also wash its hands off ƒÆ’-¡ its responsibility of the thousands of civilians and Army personal who lost their lives between 1987 and May,2009, since the India Sri Lanka Pact was forced on the then ƒÆ’-¡ President of Sri Lanka. In intervening by trespassing into the Air Space of Sri Lanka to save the terrorists by dropping packets of lentils and forcing the government to enter into a pact, India hasƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  committed herself, committed to the very hilt to accountƒÆ’-¡  for ƒÆ’-¡ aiding and ƒÆ’-¡ abettingƒÆ’-¡  terrorism in Sri Lanka.

This is the very India which refused transport to thousands of Sri Lanka Soldiers in Jaffna besieged by the terrorists that in 1987 forced the Sri Lanka Armed forces to stop a winning war against the terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  In doing so India gave a life line to the terrorists to continue its massacresƒÆ’-¡  from 1987 to 2009.

If not for IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s intervention, forcing itself into the air space of Sri Lanka, thousands of lives would have been saved from terrorism, and the Sri Lanka Armed Forces may have eliminated terrorism in 1987 itself. India which now dictates terms to Sri Lanka to implement the 13AmendmentƒÆ’-¡  is as responsible as the terrorists for the deaths of those thousands of Civilians and the Army Personal in Sri Lanka.

Though India is our close neighbour ƒÆ’-¡ and pronounces incessantly its close connection with Sri Lank and its special relationship with the Island it cannot be ruled out that India is secretly working in close collaboration withƒÆ’-¡  America and other anti Sri Lanka, to divide the Island allowing USA to have a Military Base in Trincomalee.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-India desperately planning to divide Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ wrote Ashraf Javed Lahore on 22ƒÆ’-¡  March, 2011, in an article toƒÆ’-¡  the Nation, ƒÆ’-¡ and added , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- In a desperate move to assert its hegemony in South Asia, India is covertly planning to divide Sri Lanka in order to teach a lesson to the well-educated island nation for looking towards China for leadership and guidance, it has been reliably learnt on Monday. WikiLeaks cable also exposed New Delhis designs to divide Sri Lankan by creating ethnic and sectarian strife among its people. With reference to Sri Lanka, India has stepped up work on three-pronged strategy; divide the overall population, support militant groups which are loyal to India and urge international powers to press Colombo on war crimes, a Sri Lanka-based defense analyst (not Sri Lankan) told this report by phone.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

The President Mahinda Rajapakse should not hesitate to remove the 13 Amendment from the Constitution completely, and pass new legislation for a more workable and a progressive system of regional administration.ƒÆ’-¡  If he has any impediments against such a decision the President should inform the people.ƒÆ’-¡  It is the PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s duty to the people who elected him to the high Office.

13th amendment is a threat to both Sri Lanka and India

June 12th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

On 29 July 2013 the 25th year of the signing of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord will be marked. What did it achieve and what it did not is as important as deciding where do we in Sri Lanka want to take the Accord and the 13th amendment both imported and forced upon Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ Moreover, the chief architect of the Accord was assassinated by the LTTE which his mother trained and equipped while his counterpart in Sri Lanka is also no more. With both dead, the others tagging on to the Accord have no real basis to be demanding its continuance because none of what was promised in the Accord ever happened. If the Indo-Lanka Accord, the letters exchanged between PM Rajiv and President Jayewardene as well as the 13th amendment were ALL DRAFTED by the South Block of the Indian External Affairs Ministry we need to very clearly tell India that we no longer wish to carry its burden any more. Moreover, to make Sri Lanka sign an Accord and change its Constitution drafted by India under duress is itself is a violation of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sovereignty. 25 years on the issue is of security and both India and Sri Lanka must look at things from a security angle.

The number of pacts signed between politicians are many but how many of these have actually benefitted the masses is a question never answered. Without a doubt the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and the subsequent 13th amendment to Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Constitution on 14 November 1987 and with it the Provincial Councils Act No 42 of 1987 to establish provincial councils will go down as one such unworkable agreement of little or no benefit to the masses. Ironically, India politically offered a Peace Accord and a new administrative system whilst training and arming and financially supporting the LTTE ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” proof is found very clearly in the Jain Commission report and Indian Government went to great lengths to omit references to India training and arming LTTE in the Report.

The I3th amendment is only a POLITICAL TOY and nothing else. NE Province was merged in September 1988 and elections held in December 1988 and within 2 years the elected Chief Minister Varatharaja Perumal declared a unilateral declaration of independence forcing President Premadasa to dissolve the NE Province. Incidentally, Dayan J who was a Minister in PerumalƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s NE provincial government is now paranoid that India would invade Sri Lanka and that the country should be cowards and implement the 13th amendment. This same officer secretly changed clauses to a State document presented in Geneva which shows his untrustworthiness to be entrusted with national affairs. The NE merger was declared illegal by theƒÆ’-¡ Supreme Court of Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ in 2006. The province was formally demerged into the Northern and Eastern provinces on 1 January 2007. It was the JVP that filed the case that led to the demerger and the nation is ever grateful for them just as the JVP now unites with nationalist forces to demand the repeal of the 13th amendment. ƒÆ’-¡ 

Former IPKF Commander General A S Kalkat says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-When we drafted the 13th Amendment, most of the Sri Lankan Tamil leaders ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” TULF leaders as well as militant leaders ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” wanted Jaffna to be the capital of North and East, but we insisted that Trincomalee should be the capital because of strategic importance of the sea port to India,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. This shows that the entire agreement was created for India and for IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s interest only. This is something the Tamil people needs to take into consideration. This also brings up the issue of how many Sri Lankan Tamils think India has a legitimate right to interfere in a sovereign nation. Much of the issues that have arisen, come from the fact that we are unable to clearly articulate to India that we are a sovereign nation and India has no right to be meddling in our internal affairs. Unless the Government directly takes this issue and addresses it we are likely to face many more situations where Tamil parties continuously run to Delhi to be instructed on what to demand from Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s cabinet. This is a very unwholesome situation for both countries for it gives rise to unnecessary tension and allows foreign players to enter and make matters worse for both nations. It is not just the TNA ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the UNP too cannot think for itself and has to always run to the West for instructions. In this manner can the people ever place trust in such political parties?

This is the exact scenario that is taking place and IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s nationalists would well do to read the likely repercussions of Hillary making a special visit to Tamil Nadu for talks with a State Chief Minister which is no different to the US Ambassador striking chords with the Muslims of Eastern Sri Lanka. The lies the US administration tells is revealed only too well for Americans now find that their Government preaching freedom to all and sundry has been snooping in on everything they do and say ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” so much for freedom of expression!

None of the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord/13a/PC supporters can forget that Sri Lanka had to sign the Pact under duress, with emergency declared, media forbidden and with Sri Lankan Ministers virtually bribed having to give undated resignation signatures on blank paper. The only man with guts amongst them was Gamini Jayasuriya who resigned and R Premadasa who boycotted the proceedings. Many of the clauses India promised to uphold never even took place one of which is clause 2.16 a) promising not to allow Indian territory to be used for activities prejudicial to the unity, integrity and security of Sri Lanka ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” India cannot deny that Tamil Nadu was and continues to be a hub for anti-SL activities.

When India continues to use the slogan that its interest is primarily on the security threat to India, then the fact that India is under US surveillance would show that the hype of calling India a strategic partner is nothing but a sham and India would well do to fear being called a friend of the US rather than feel obliged about the honor.

If India wishes to trust in the TNA politicians who are chameleons and change with the weather, India is likely to fall into dire straits sooner than we thought. TNA have never represented the interests of the Tamil people ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” they have only represented an elite lot of Jaffna Tamils who never had anything to fuss about given that the 30 year conflict never affected them. Did the TNA give even a packet of rice to any of the refugees or demand the LTTE not to kidnap Tamil children and turn them into child soldiers? Instead what did the TNA do ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” they openly declared that the Tamil people were represented by the LTTE thus putting all Tamils into the same basket as the LTTE.

Apart from the fact that the Indo-Lanka Accord the 13th amendment and the PC system do not have the mandate of the people, the manner in which India ties the North East as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-tamil speaking homelandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ draws our attention to the dangers of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ethnic-based federalismƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ this has failed in all the countries the liberalists have experimented and there is no reason why we should accept it in Sri Lanka when over 2/3 Tamil population live outside of the North.

We do not expect the Tamil people to recall any of this or decide to punish the TNA by not voting for them because we know that the Tamil people will vote for the TNA. Nevertheless, we cannot allow the North to be bartered away by politicians who have been all the while attempting to divide the country and the fact that they take orders from foreign players does not rule out that India will not be victim for the anger that South India has against the North is nothing that needs to be continuously mentioned. In fact if at all, India should be concerned about placing its trust in the TNA given that it has held numerous meetings in the West with officials and it is everyoneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s guess what is likely to have been exchanged between them that would place India in a compromising situation.

Therefore, if Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s nationalists have now emerged to emphatically declare to the Government of Sri Lanka that the curse of the 13th amendment should be repealed altogether, India should be wise to factor in some of the arguments that have been meticulously presented which are valid enough for India to realize that the 13th amendment is more of a risk to India too. Given the manner IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s current leadership bends all over to the onslaughts coming from Tamil Nadu simply because of the vote factor, the sovereignty of India should become all the more reason for India to agree to allow Sri Lanka to repeal the 13th amendment and not oppose it.

Many a time India has been warned by Sri Lanka that the West is out to balkanize India and Tamil Nadu is targeted to be made into a Christian satellite state combining Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s North. A good look at all the supporters and where their affinity lies would reveal in no uncertain terms the validity of this conclusion. Yet, if India were to rely on its Congress Chairperson to call the shots, India is doomed.

A careful study of the real entities that helped LTTE thrive and their links, the people using organizations that were funded to support separatism and promote devolution and federalism as a quick stop or interim arrangement will reveal the exact dangers in store for both India and Sri Lanka.

Presently other than the TNA the opposition to the repealing of the 13th amendment is coming from the Catholic bishops, the Communist Party, the Friday Forum, the NGO peaceniks and the Muslim Congress ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” though taken together they represent a miniscule number their influence is generated by the financial and international backing they have to exert pressure on the Government. From the manner the supporters of 13th amendment articulate their argument to continue the 13th amendment we can safely say we know where they are heading.

Yet, in reality how many of these actually voted for President Rajapakse? It is therefore the voters wishes that President now needs to take into consideration for he is a politician and for politicians numbers matter more than anything. Additionally, there is the Jihad factor that even India needs to be alert to. We had Vaddukoddai being the basis for the armed struggle so we are not naƒÆ’†’¯ve to brush aside the Muslims Oluvil Declaration for autonomy. All these place the majority on alert mode and demands that politicians look at the need of the country before placing their personal needs first.

As for any other takers for 13th amendment it is a good time for us the voter to know from those we voted into parliament what their stand is on the 13th amendment ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” a simple yes/no in favor or not would do without confusing matters like some ministers are talented at doing.

Therefore, the 13th amendment has served its time and needs to be laid to rest never to rise and India is well advised to get down from its obnoxious superior pedestal to see why India should not oppose the repealing of the 13th amendment. Dangers for Sri Lanka spells more dangers for India.

 

Senator Hugh Segal says, “since the end of the war in 2009 what is going on in Sri Lanka is heading the opposite direction

June 12th, 2013

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario .Canada

10 June 2013

Senator Hugh Segal (Conservative Party of Canada)

Canadian Senate, Parliament of Canada, Ottawa

Dear Senator Hugh Segal:

In my letter to you on 7 June 2013, just three days ago, on your comment ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Canada will ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-shunƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s summit over human rights concernsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, I said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-To be honest I have not read your viewsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ I concluded the letter by addressing the Sri Lankans back in that island: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-My friends in Sri Lanka, this is just for you to note.ƒÆ’-¡  Senator Hugh Segal is a newly recruited actor in the Canadian Conservative GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I will HuffƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦andƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦I will Puff and I will BlowƒÆ’-¡  Your Island DownƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Pantomime Theater.ƒÆ’-¡  Their targeted audience is the separatist Tamil Diaspora in the Greater Toronto Area.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Senator Segal, you will be pleased to know that I haveƒÆ’-¡  now read your statements in the Sunday Island of 9th June 2013 and concluded that you are a maestro in spewing a load of poppycock about Sri Lanka and you certainly have scripted the Act II of theƒÆ’-¡  Canadian Pantomime Theatre on Sri Lanka -ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The last Dance of the Conservative Canadian Blue Crabs on Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

You are certainly entitled to your opinion Senator Segal, but let me be absolutely clear that you are not entitled to your own facts about Sri Lanka, whether you are a Canadian Senator or not a Senator.

HereƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s my response.

You said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦the Government of Canada is a very strong believer in Commonwealth Charter. We are very strong believer in the principles the underline values of the Commonwealth such as democracy, rule of law, religious freedom and in our view since the end of the war in 2009 what is going on in Sri Lanka is heading the opposite direction.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Senator Segal, come on, tell me the truth. Was your morning coffee laced with some hallucinating drug to spew out such poppycock. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦since the end of the war in 2009 what is going on in Sri Lanka is heading the opposite direction.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  ThatƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s a lot of hokeypokey hogwash Senator.

Where on earthƒÆ’-¡  did you come across in the Commonwealth Charter, that one sister nation will aid and abet a non-elected group of terrorists in a sister Commonwealth nation to destabilize her democratically elected Government?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  And you say that Canada believes in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-democracyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  Ha! What nonsense.ƒÆ’-¡  That is exactly what Canada did for 13 years by letting the Tamil Diaspora collect two million dollars a month and stuff it in the Tamil Tiger war chest to buy sophisticated arms to shoot and blow up my innocent Sinhalese people back in Sri Lanka in scores of thousands.

Senator, turn your palms and look at them and you will find a film of Sinhala red blood on your palms.ƒÆ’-¡  Wash your palms and the red film will still not disappear. Because of the callous, uncouthƒÆ’-¡  and greedy attitude by the then Liberal Government wanting the Greater Toronto AreaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Tamil votes, 34 million CanadiansƒÆ’-¡  are being cursed as sinners for aiding and abetting the Tamil Tiger killings with impunity of unarmed innocent Sinhalese and Muslim peoples.ƒÆ’-¡  And that is why I called your ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We are Holier than ThouƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ spiel about Sri Lanka as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Hokeypokey hogwashƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦since the end of the war in 2009 what has been going on in Sri Lanka is heading in the opposite directionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, you said.ƒÆ’-¡  Come again SenatorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦you are now being an absolute joker, arenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t you?

Here are some statistics that even CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Stephen HarperƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Conservatives will turn a numb ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Conservative BlueƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in embarrassment as you all cannot match even 1% of such progress in the Reservations of our First Nation peoples in the North.ƒÆ’-¡  Sit tight Senator Segal in case you fall off your chair in numbed embarrassment, and follow my thread.

  1. ƒÆ’-¡ The Tamil Tiger Eelam War ended on 19 May 2009, after a blood-curdling 27 years with the Tamils using sophisticated killer war weapons bought with monies sent from Canada.ƒÆ’-¡  One-third of the Tamil Tiger war budget went from Canada;
  2. Since the war ended puny Sri Lanka performed miracles and have been marching forward with progress by rehabilitating 295,873 Tamil people who were liberated from the clutches of the Tamil Tigers who held them as a human shield for 30 long months.ƒÆ’-¡  This is the biggest liberation of hostages executed by any country in recent history.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  And here is a fact.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka did it on its own with no help from Canada, UK, US, UN nor NATO forces. This act of upholding human rights and dignity of TamilsƒÆ’-¡ is one that Canada has had difficulty to acknowledge ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” and nor has CanadaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Senator Hugh Segal who has a skewed thesis that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sri Lanka is heading in the opposite directionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.
  3. Since the war ended 11,600 hardcore Tamil Tigers are now being rehabilitated in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  And that is progress in Sri Lanka and not that , ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sri Lanka is heading in the opposite direction.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  How skewed can your thesis be, Senator Segal! Then, of course, Senator Segal, the thousands of hardcore Tamil Tigers that Canada adopted have not been helped to be rehabilitated here, and providing them with theƒÆ’-¡  window of opportunity to promote their own culture of passport forgers and scammers, ATM Credit card scammers, extortionists, car insurance scammers, human smugglers and so forth.ƒÆ’-¡  Some Tamil refugees became millionaires within a few years.ƒÆ’-¡  I take my hat off to these Tamils for executing their smarts making you Canadian law makers look a bunch of human rights promoting 5th Graders.ƒÆ’-¡  This is brutal, isnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t it?
  4. There is a $1.6 billion dollars of programmes which have been gone into the North and the East of the island to enrich the lives of the Tamils when their quality of life was tattered, battered, quartered and buried by the Tamil Tigers, whom Canada supported surreptitiously during the war.ƒÆ’-¡  And you say, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦since the end of the war in 2009 what has been going on in Sri Lanka is heading in the opposite direction.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬:ƒÆ’-¡  What piffle, Senator Segal!
  5. After the war ended on 19 May 2009, by 26 March 2012, some 1,600 Tamils were recruited to the Police Force and stationed in the North-east of the island.ƒÆ’-¡  And there may be hundreds more recruited since then.ƒÆ’-¡  Senator Segal, if this is not progress, then perhaps you may want to explain to me according to your thesis on Sri Lanka, what is it? ƒÆ’-¡ I want to figure out how your mind works when dealing with Sri Lankan affairs. LetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hear it.Let me remind you Senator, that a government which has been elected by the people of the country holds the right to take forward initiatives and implement suitable actions, and the process and courses of action should be left in the hands of the respective country and their respective peoples.ƒÆ’-¡  And most definitely not in the hands of foreigners like Canadian Ministers John Baird and Jason Kenney andƒÆ’-¡  Senator Hugh Segal.ƒÆ’-¡  Senator, letƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s stop this tomfoolery by you lot.ƒÆ’-¡  I well understand that your theatre spectacle is for the eyes and ears of the Tamil Diaspora.ƒÆ’-¡  Since I am not one of them, I can look straight into your eyes and ask you, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Who the hell are they!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬
  6. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Senator Segal, you said that: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-There is continued Army occupation of the North in a way that does not allow vast majority of Tamils to rebuild their lives any kind of reconciliation fashion.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

DonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t you find it strange that it is only the Tamils who are belly aching about the presence of the army in their surroundings and not the majority Sinhalese community?ƒÆ’-¡  I wonder why!ƒÆ’-¡  Have you had a chance to think about it? Go figure, Senator!

Come on Senator, get down from your high-horse and drop your white-manƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s arrogance.ƒÆ’-¡  WeƒÆ’-¡  Canadians who helped the Tamil Tigers to prolong that Eelam war to eventually bifurcateƒÆ’-¡  the island into two have no moral right to talk with a sense of crocodile-tearing concern about the Tamils in the North and East of the island.

DidnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t you know Senator that the armed troops in the North are there specifically to guard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  DidnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t you know that Sri Lanka is in constant pressure from Tamil NaduƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Chief Minister Jayalalitha who wants to invade the North which is just 24 salt-water miles away, to create an Eelam for theƒÆ’-¡  3.9% Tamils in the North of the island when the real Eelam should be established in her Tamil Nadu where 72 million of them live.

With such geo-politicasl shenanigans going on, Sri Lankan government personnel are not that asinine to drop their guard so soon after liberating the North and East of the island from the Made in India and western-funded Tamil Tiger terrorists.

I believe that the Sri Lankan army wants to logistically insulate it in the security zones, by locating strategically cantonments and operate as a rapid response force just in case the Tamil Tiger insurgency will stretch their octopus arms to strangle Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s North again.ƒÆ’-¡  This is commonsense.

Senator, if you are no war strategist then keep your nose out of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s business

There are western countries like Canada who have surreptitiously taken up the Tamil TigerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Eelam cause for a re-surgence.ƒÆ’-¡  For PeteƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sake Senator, donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t expect the Sri Lankans to be that foolish to give away the freedom that they just won after a 27 year long war, for another killing-war.ƒÆ’-¡  Come on, letƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s be real Senator Segal!

Before I conclude this letter let me explain why I started this letter to you by saying that you have scripted Act II of the Canadian Pantomime Theatre on Sri Lanka : ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Last Dance of the Conservative Canadian Blue Crabs in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The Blue Crabs are meant to be the colour of the Conservatives.ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The Last DanceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ is the Blue Crabs being in a pot of boiling water, not knowing whether the Tamil Bloc vote allegiance which is fluidƒÆ’-¡  will shift to theƒÆ’-¡  party they think will govern the county at the next federal election.ƒÆ’-¡  You saw what happened to the Liberals and how Maria Minna,ƒÆ’-¡  Robert Oliphant, John Cannis, Andrew Karnia, Bryon Wilfert went down like 10 pins in the Greater Toronto Area ridings.ƒÆ’-¡  Watch it, Senator, my prediction is that you Conservative faces will turn a boilingƒÆ’-¡  red with anger, as the blue crabs would in a pot of boiling water, and that would be your last dance in the Greater Toronto Area ridings.ƒÆ’-¡  And that is what my crystal ball reading says, and I am seldom wrong.

Have a good day.

Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (a card carrying Conservative)

LORD BUDDHAƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢S VIEWS ON RELIGIOUS CONVERSIONS

June 12th, 2013

BY HERMAN PATHIGE

In an era when religious conversions are carried out by different other faiths it is relevant to highlight Lord BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s views on this sensitive subject.

Conversion to another religion is an unethical process ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” a dangerous trend ignored by many people. It involves accepting a new conviction, identity and a reference point for oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s identity. The danger of conversion, for example from a religion like Buddhism which is a liberal philosophy to a religion like Catholicism which requires a person to accept the authority of the Pope without overall unquestioning causes a radical change in a personƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s psyche.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”COME AND SEEƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢

Lord Buddha did not expect one to accept a belief as the basic requirement to attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana. He said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ehi passikoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ , the interpretation is ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”come and seeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and decide from a position of discovery. Lord Buddha expressly discouraged his followers from accepting anything they have heard without testing its validity.

Belief is not a condition to attain the supreme bliss of Nirvana according Lord Buddha. He expected people to learn by their own experience rather than drawing from the contents in books and logical deduction. Lord Buddha did not preach to win converts but to convince and enlighten listeners. In this context an event which needs to be stated here refers to an incident when a follower of a certain religion posed some questions to Lord Buddha who responded by setting out his basic teachings.

Having listened to the discourse and convinced himself he told the Buddha that he wanted to follow his teachings but Buddha advised him not to arrive at a hasty conclusion but to reason out and investigate the veracity of his teachings before finally seeking conversion.

Buddha was adamant that he should not change his religion and asked him thrice whether he really wanted to change his faith and again advised him to investigate as to the truth of his teachings. This event highlights the liberal and rational attitude of the Buddha who cannot be compared with any other religious leader.

BERTRAM RUSSEL

This trait of the Buddha was cited by Bertram Russell , one of the greatest philosophers in the western world in his book ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Why I am not a ChristianƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. In this book he states ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- I cannot myself feel that either in the matter of wisdom or in the matter of virtue Jesus Christ stands quite as high as some other people known to history and I should regard Buddha and Socrates above him in those respects.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Buddhism has never been a persecuting religion whereas Christianity has been distinguished from other religions by its greater readiness for persecution. Buddha did not preach to win converts but to enlighten listeners, nor did he resort to conversion to propagate his teachings.

In contrast to BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s views on conversion and how the Buddhist way of life rejected conversion as a means to impose religion on people it is relevant to mention how Pope Benedict XVI set up ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the ordinariate to ease conversion of Anglicans to be accepted as Roman CatholicsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

The Portuguese rule in Ceylon from 1505 to 1658 resorted to conversion and converts enjoyed special privileges.

The significant historical record relate to King Dharmapala of Kotte who ruled Ceylon when the Portuguese invaded the country. He became virtually a vassal of the colonial power. On his conversion to Catholicism he was christened as Don Juan Dharmapala. Another famous conversion was the famous poet of the Sitawaka Court who was baptised as Don Jeronius Alagiyawanna.

Conversion of Uthumankande Saradiel a rebel and murderer who was tried and a death sentence passed is another famous event. Saradiel was converted by Oblate priests. This story is related in a book authored by Father Emmanuel Jesuthasan titled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Gleanings from Oblates Mission Field ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢in being forgiven in the Holy Sacrament of Baptism and was baptised as Joseph before he was executed by hanging.

The Portuguese while pursuing a policy of destruction and plunder of Buddhist temples held d out various inducements for people to convert to Catholicism. Conversion meant a sure means of exemption from taxes payable to the Government. For example people who were converted were exempted from the tax called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”MaralaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢- a death duty. This meant they could leave their properties to their heirs upon death.

This meant ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”death bed conversionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ became very common to enable oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s relatives to inherit property upon death. This was a privilege granted only to the Catholics. Further, a person who became converted to Catholicism also received preferential judicial treatment. Murderers and thieves upon converting to Catholicism were able to escape penal sentences. In 1618 pursuant to a decree by the Jesuit missionaries, no catholic was to be sentenced to death.

A book authored by Tikiri Abeysingha ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” Portuguese Rule in CeylonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ sheds more light on unethical conversions .

The few famous cases of unethical conversions in this article amongst a large number points show how Portuguese missionaries were able to suppress Buddhism since the Buddhists at the time did not rebel against such vile proselytization.
Buddhism has been accepted by intellectuals as a philosophy without being converted. It has not used conversion as a vehicle to propagate its ideals and Lord Buddha did not endorse such methods.
ends

Blood Donation Campaign in Negombo.

June 12th, 2013

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

Sri Lanka Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Forum (The Majlis Khuddam-ul-Ahmadiyya) organized a Blood Drive programme on Sunday – 9th June 2013 at Fazl Mosque ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 28, Jumma Masjid Mawatha, Periyamulla, Negombo.

The programme started at 9.00 am and ended at 3.00 p.m. and was inaugurated by the National President, Sri Lanka Ahmadiyya Muslim JamaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢at A.H. Nasir Ahmad with silent prayers.

This program is organized to mark the Platinum Jubilee of the formation of World-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Forum and also to mark the 105th Anniversary of Ahmadiyya Khilafat.

The World-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Forum was established in 4 February 1938 by the Second Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Hazrat Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad.

The basic aims of this organization are as below:-

1. This is an organization for the youth of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (between the age of 15 to 40).

2. To infuse a spirit of patriotism and sacrifice in the youth of the Community.

3. To spread the message of Islam.

4. To inculcate in the youth a habit of working.

Today, this Organization spreads world over in more than two hundred countries. The President of Sri Lanka Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Forum Mr. Iman Fazal can be reached via phone on: 0094 757022844.

The proceedings of the event ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the link of which is as below:-

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3D5MOhJqLU&feature=youtu.be

Energy saving scientific cooking demonstration witnessed by the public.

June 12th, 2013

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

About a week after the scientific energy saving cooking demonstration to ITN TV in Sri Lanka, I thought to do a similar demonstration to a crowd of people living in a high rise building of apartments. To my surprise a whole load of crowds from outside the apartment dwelling also turned up for the event.

We had to organise everything in advance by booking tables, chairs, cookers and cutlery. Then put a small notice about the work but I am not sure if many people noticed because they never had this kind of thing, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Scientific energy saving cookingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

I always mentioned that even a child could understand my kind of cooking and to prove that one of the teenage daughters of the chairman of the building came to help me in the demonstration. In chemistry practicals, only the children above 12 yrs old are allowed to handle fire under supervision.

I wanted to show the crowd that cooking daily normal meals is just a childƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s play, not a complicated or a tedious job. I knew that I had to address a normal crowd not a bunch of scientists so I kept my explanation as simple as possible.

I was introduced to the crowd by the chairman as a chemistry teacher but not as a cook because I just apply science in the process of scientific energy saving cooking.

In the first floor of the car park, I had two gas cookers and other little things such as pots and pans only, no five star cooking facilities. I think the ordinary people also do not have much more than what I had for the demonstration. I wanted let them know these facilities are more than enough to make a family meal in a short period of time.

Just like in ITN cooking demonstration, I placed four large cups of water to boil in a stainless cooking pan then the chairmanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s wife helped me by bringing three cups of washed brown rice. I must say to begin with the crowd was very helpful in my demonstration. My aim was to show how energy can be saved, not to do other simple tasks in cooking such as cutting vegetables and onions. Then I used a cup to take out some warmed water from the pan then put the rice into the cooking pot. Any rice left in the pot was washed with the water taken out and added to the pot so that no extra water was added. There was only four cups of water in the pot with three cups of brown rice. I think the water was fairly warm by the time I added the rice. This is one of the things one can do to save time that means allow the water to warm before you start to wash the rice. You can do the normal way by having rice in cold water then check the level with the middle finger. I assumed by previous experience that one cup of rice would be sufficient for three people and that pot couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t hold more than three cups of rice to cook. Once I added the rice, from that time, I asked the crowd to notice the first trace of steam that comes out of the lid. The daughter who came to help me also watched carefully for the first trace of steam. I told the crowd it would not take no more than five minutes for the steam to come out because the water was fairly warm by the time we added rice.

Then as it showed the first signs of steam followed by a trace of froth, I immediately reduced the flame to about 30% from the original flame. That means nearly 70% of the gas was not used for cooking. That means from the start I showed some gas can be saved. All this was done in front of the crowd and the public was watching, here the public was witnessing as it happens.

ƒÆ’-¡ The time is important in chemistry practicals then here as well. I asked the crowd to note the time it started to show the first signs of steam coming out. I told the crowd that from that time about 30 minutes after that the flame should shut down that is all to be done. So far did you see it as a childƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s play? ƒÆ’-¡ From my previous work, I assumed that rice would be ready within that time. The crowd was watching when I did all these things and I didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t open the rice pot to check whether it was cooked or any water left at the bottom. You would notice no over flowing when it started to froth. When it started to show first signs of froth, a thin film of starch came up with the steam forming a seal around the lid. You must not increase the temperature so the molecules have a greater tendency to escape by breaking the water and starch seal. This water and starch seal helps to build a temporary high pressure condition inside the rice pot so there is an even temperature within the pot of rice that means almost even temperature gradient from the bottom to the top. I said the steam and froth trying to come out but balanced by adjusting the flame to attain my kind of thermodynamic equilibrium position. If I just said those scientific terms without any demonstration, certainly the crowd wouldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t have understood. I explained all these in simple words with respect to actual cooking so that the crowd would understand.

How did I know that rice is cooked, that is by experience? One thing, how many times some of these Sri Lankan ladies have cooked rice, may be two times a day for a number of years but still they havenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t got the technique. Every time it froths what they do is to take the lid off because it would fall on the cooker. Sometimes these ladies let is subside or do something like stirring to make it go down. I got a long handled spoon and showed it to the crowd. I couldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t believe the crowd was laughing when I mentioned these things because that was the thing they do. In the meantime, the pot of rice was cooking slowly, little puffs of steam jetting out from here and there under the lid, just like a little steam engine, trying to climb, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Kadugannawa hillƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

While rice was slowly cooking, I came to the other table to prepare the curries such as chicken and vegetables. That teenage daughter was standing next to me while I was adding the ingredients. Before I added anything, I showed it clearly to the crowd and asked their opinion as well for example how much chilli powder, curry powder to be added to that much of chicken. All this was watched by the daughter because she was going to prepare another one by following my work. I told the crowd not to over do chilli powder then with little things such as cloves and nutmeg because they create a burning sensation in the stomach. I showed how the ingredients to be arranged systematically on the table so that one would not miss out any ingredients. This is one if the mistakes done by too many housewives that is they keep on adding things from time to time by opening the boiling curries. I told the crowd if anyone would like to have a shower of curry smell or chicken cologne then walk about like a mobile kitchen, then they must do that way. The crowd enjoyed my simple explanations and nobody objected. I asked the daughter to check if we missed any ingredients to chicken curry and the vegetable curry. Then she gave me a packet of maldive fish to be added to chicken. The crowd was watching but I slowly said to her only, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”not for chickenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. I was wondering if we didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t show the children practically how to cook a simple dish such as vegetable or chicken, they think cooking is a tedious and a nasty job.

The ingredients were mixed by spoons and not by hand to avoid any stains on the hand. Once mixed they were left for few minutes and we call it to marinade or to absorb the ingredients. Some ingredients remain on the surface while some get absorbed and in chemistry we call it chemisorption. I mentioned that no water was added to chicken because the water that is already absorbed in the chicken and the other ingredients such as vinegar and tomatoes would ooze out enough water to cook. In my method, I minimised the loss of water during cooking so once cooked the curries are not full of gravy. If the curry is too dilute or watery, the housewives add too much salt to make it tasty but itƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s not healthy.

University students

When these young girls go to the Universities, they might eat takeaway food because they have no idea of simple cooking other than boiling an egg. Most University students have to live away from home and parents so they have to either cook at the University accommodation or depend on junk takeaways. Healthy minds in healthy bodies that is why these students need to understand how to make a simple meal than depending on rotten takeaway food. Have I got to explain in detail the state of takeaway food? Right from the start my intension was to teach some simple cooking to these young children. I am sure I need to widespread this idea to other school children as well.

Salt can affect the blood pressure

When it came to adding salt, I told the crowd that one has to be very careful about the salt because it can affect the blood pressure. One person asked me a few questions about salt and alternative salts. I told him the hotels and takeaway foods add monosodium glutamate or ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ajina mottoƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ because they are flavouring enhancers that gives more flavour. That again has lots of side effects to health.

Unlike in any other cooking demonstration seen in television programmes, I cooked after explanations, I stopped and answered the questions of the crowd, showed the daughter what has to be done, what has to be added in the right quantity. In other words the qualitative and quantitative aspect of cooking was explained in simple terms. In chemistry all chemicals react in right proportions the same principle applies in cooking.

After my instructions the daughter as well cooked some rice and prepared chicken and vegetable curries quite confidently. Her mum and dad as well as the whole crowd watched all these work quite eagerly. If I just added this and that quickly, made some jokes, set fire to vapouring ingredients that would have been more exciting. This is the way some British TV cooking programmes taking place but the public hardly learn anything. I am sure some of them have understood whatever we done. This is totally different to watching a TV programme but this was a live demonstration. Once the rice got cooked we left it for a while for the steam to settle.

Recorded for learning

We filmed this cooking demonstration as well so that at a later date some people can see and learn more work. You would see in the film that from time to time more rice was cooked by other people who came to help. This daughterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s dad who organised the event also cooked some rice then he reduced the flame at the right time then shut down the flame after the right time. That showed the crowd even the adults understood my kind of simple instructions and cooked rice on the spot as I explained. That gave the crowd additional confidence. In the meantime, I answered a number of questions from the crowd. In this cooking demonstration I was very careful about adding the right ingredients in correct proportions and explained to the crowd the reasons. The importance of time factor was also explained.

No unnecessary sauces, oils, colourings, flavour enhancers were added. This is one of the biggest mistakes make in British TV cooking programmes. They never care about the wasting gas either.

Cooking is just like chemistry practicals

The vegetable curries had only little water so the cooking had to be done carefully because it might burn. I started with about 60% flame giving time for the juices to ooze out then come to equilibrium position. Vegetables and meat are bad conductors of heat that means they absorb heat very slowly that is why I allowed only 60% heat at the start. As soon as the first trace of steam came out, flame was reduced to about 30% then shut down after about 20 minutes. During that time, it was not opened to add this and that or to check anything. This again formed a kind of water and volatile ingredient seal around the lid so any water vapour condensed back to the pot. A kind of water recycle taken place. One time there was no fitting lid then we used a plate as the lid. All this work was watched by the crowd. One must remember this as a kind of chemistry practical because these foods and ingredients are nothing but chemicals and cooking is a kind of chemical reactions.

Chicken curry takes a longer time

When we cooked the chicken, we started with about 80% flame because too much flame spread out of the base of the cooking pan. We used a cooking pan without a handle and I pointed out the handle must have burnt out due to flame spreading out of the base. In this cooking demonstration the flame was adjusted according to the size of the cooking pan so that it hits just the base only. Unlike in the vegetable curry, first trace of steam didnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t come out of chicken curry for about ten minutes then once it came to the state of dynamic equilibrium position, it remained that way for 30 minutes before it was shut down. I explained what exactly I meant by the condition I mentioned as the state of dynamic equilibrium position. The daughter as well cooked chicken, vegetable and rice in the same manner. Once she put the wrong lid on the vegetable cooking pan then changed it because without the correct type of lid, it would not create the required pressure condition.

Different kind of dansela

After cooking the whole crowd participated in tasting the cooked food. We were so glad we could organise a different kind of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”dansalaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ during the Vesak season and we regarded it as a very rare opportunity. Here we showed how a simple daily meal can be easily cooked with minimum cooking facilities then showed the crowd how to save about 60% wasting gas. I regard wasting gas means wasting money or actually another way of burning the hard earned money. One must realise wasting gas means polluting the atmosphere with carbon dioxide and with other air polluting gases.

If I invited any energy saving experts or any scientists they would have understood that this kind of cooking saves lots of wasting gas and cooking a daily simple meal is not that difficult at all but so many housewives are still using rice cookers because they cannot cook rice without ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”dankudaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

I must thank the chairman Mr Bandara, his wife and the teenage daughter who participated in the event then all others who helped to make this event successful. The public who came to witness my scientific energy saving cooking were a great help, I must thank them as well.

If any energy authority or a scientist wished to see this particular DVD in order to see, does it really saved energy and how easy was to cook a daily simple meal then you may please get in touch. Let me say this way as well, me and my wife done a good deed in this ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”VesakƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ season; not only we gave some people a simple meal but educated them to make meals. If anyone has any comments

email to perera6@hotmail.co.uk

The Shocking Truth about 13A: 13A was Drafted by India While Arming and Training the LTTE

June 11th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

13A was passedƒÆ’-¡ in parliament on November 14, 1987. However the 13th Amendment Bill was placed on the Order Paper of Parliament on October 9, 1987. The then President proceeded to send the Bill to the Supreme Court under Articles 120 and 121 to determine whether the 13th Amendment required the approval of the people at a referendum.

Negotiations with the LTTE to establish the Interim Administrative Council (IAC) started in September 1987. Protesting it, some LTTE cadres launched a hunger strike on September 15, 1987 at Nallur. After extensive discussions with the LTTE chief, the Indian High Commissioner finalised the composition of the IAC on September 28, 1987. However, the LTTE leader disputed JR JayawardenaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s choice of appointee. Ironically he was proposed by the LTTE leader himself!

On October 3, 1987, 12 out of 17 LTTE cadres arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy for transporting weapons committed suicide. Hostilities between the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE began again when in the first week of October 1987 LTTE killed 200 Sinhalese which followed army retaliation. IPKF had to militarily intervene. On October 9, 1987 IPKF commenced military operations against the LTTE. Credit should go to Sri Lanka Navy for exposing the sham ceasefire of the LTTE and reigniting war on them.

(Source for dates and events: Ethnic Conflict in Sri Lanka and Role of Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) by P.A. Gosh)

Until October 1987, the honeymoon between India and the LTTE continued. Details of the India-LTTE honeymoon can be viewed here.

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/recruited-by-raw-trained-by-army-ltte/14462-3-1.htmlƒÆ’-¡ 

13A bill was presented to parliament on October 9, 1987 on the day when IPKF and LTTE full scale war began. Obviously it was drafted months, if not years before that. In other words, 13A was drafted in India before the start of hostilities between India and the LTTE. In short, 13A was drafted while India was in bed with the LTTE, courting it. This makes 13A doubly dangerous.

The fact that LTTE rejected India and 13A is beside the point. LTTE started war with India on October 9, 1987 but by then the Indian drafted 13A had been presented to parliament. LTTE was able to stand on its own feet by then. IPKF was unfamiliar with the terrain unlike the Sri Lankan army. Restricting the Sri Lankan army to barracks was sufficient for the LTTE to survive.

13A was drafted while India was in bed with the LTTE, courting it. Why? There are only two possibilities.

Possibility one: India armed and trained the LTTE in order to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to adopt 13A (a devolution scheme plus making Tamil an official language). Once the Sri Lankan government took up the 13A bill, India dumped the LTTE.

Possibility two: Arming and training the LTTE and 13A were part of a single Indian strategy.

The Context

During the Cold War (1945 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 1991) India was on the Soviet camp. After the success in dividing pro-US Pakistan into modern Pakistan and Bangladesh, India was keen to apply the same model in pro-US Sri Lanka after 1977. Turning areas closest to India into an Indian satellite state would assure security to IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s southern flank. This is why India was keen to allow autonomy to Tamils in Sri Lanka along the areas closest to India. In addition, Tamil Nadu was turning increasingly hostile towards the central government and to the Congress party. In order to contain Tamil Nadu India was keen to allow autonomy to Tamils by creating a nation for world Tamils in Sri Lanka.

However, the Cold War ended in 1991 and there was no further geopolitical requirement to follow the Indian strategy of dividing Sri Lanka. Things changed yet again with rising antagonism between India and China. India is again in a similar predicament. No matter how friendly the Sri Lankan government is, India wants a satellite state in the island in areas closest to IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s southern flank. It will be used to deny access to Chinese and Pakistani military and commercial operations. No Sri Lankan government, no matter how Indian-friendly it is, will do such a thing. Hence, India is again paddling Tamil autonomy.

Possibility One

Under these circumstances it should be assessed if India trained and armed the LTTE only to achieve a path to Tamil autonomy (13A) and then dump it. Given the context, this possibility seems most likely. However, India could not dump the LTTE as easily as it was raised. This contradicted with the Indian strategy of creating an Indian suckling state in the island. Indians were very keen on a pro-Indian administration for the north that no elections were held for the north in 1988. Instead the Indians handpicked a pro-Indian political group by the name EPRLF and entrusted them the governing power.

It has future implications. India learnt a bitter lesson from the LTTE and now fears the re-emergence of a Tamil armed group which can disrupt the Indian nuclear power generation strategy, plunge IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s peaceful south into turmoil and a nuclear catastrophe, disrupt the multibillion dollar Sethusamudram canal and shipping and become a conduit for Pakistani terror networks now operating from South India too.

Possibility Two ƒÆ’-¡ 

Did India arm and train the LTTE and other Tamil terrorist groups and drafted 13A as part of a broader single strategy? Given the context it is very unlikely. LTTE was to be used as an expendable force by India but with Diaspora support, LTTE stood up to India. Transition of India to the post-Cold War scenario was bloody and violent. The last pro-Soviet bastion in IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s powerful security agency made one last ditch attempt in May 1991 to get the pro-US prime minister (married to an Italian) out of the way. They succeeded but within another few months the Soviet Union collapsed ending the Cold War! USA banned the LTTE in 1991 for its role. This was the first instance India directly used the LTTE against US interests.

However, if India fails to secure Tamil autonomy in LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s north and east to be used to restrict Pakistani and Chinese military and commercial movements in the region, India will raise another Tamil rebel group to do just that clandestinely. Unlike the LTTE, this new Tamil rebel group will be closely controlled by India to avoid it from developing its own motives. Nevertheless it remains a highly risky strategy. Diaspora finances will soon buy it over for Tamil nationalist demands and to disrupt South India.

What the Future Holds?

If India fails to retain 13A as it is and create a pro-Indian suckling state in Lanka, the Indian hegemonic strategy to dominate the Indian Ocean Littoral (IOL) will fail. India has no use of a nonaligned (between India and China) nation in its backdrop. It wants an aligned nation aligned to India. No right thinking Sri Lankan government can allow this to happen as it will put the island nation directly into the path of a geopolitical confrontation.

Abrogating 13A and not allowing any room for Tamil autonomy will ensure security and nonaligned status of Sri Lanka. This is the only sustainable way to peace in the region. 2013 is a crucial year for IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hegemonic strategy to dominate the Indian Ocean Littoral (IOL). Russia is doing the finishing touches of the first Indian aircraft carrier expected to be delivered this year. Simultaneously, IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s indigenous aircraft carrier will be put to testing. Already Indians have contracted with the Maldives, Thailand and Vietnam to station its naval assets in direct confrontation to Chinese naval interests. With what is rumoured to be AsiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s best air force and a formidable ship borne air launch platform, India really doesnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t need Lankan territory to dominate the Indian Ocean Littoral (IOL). Therefore, Sri Lanka must press on to make it costlier for India to grab a foothold in the island which will force India towards the more viable option of using its own aircraft carriers instead of othersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ territory.

It is time to bury the Indo-Lanka Peace Accord and the 13A for sustainable peace in the region. 13A is not just a power devolution tool but also an Indian hegemonic tool that pits the island nation against Indian adversaries. Refusing to become an Indian catƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s paw is the only way to remain nonaligned. June 13, 2013 will be a historic day not only for Sri Lanka but for all peace-loving people in the Indian Ocean Littoral (IOL), if it marks the first step in abrogating 13A.

Peace-loving Sri Lankans appeal to their elected representatives in parliament to abrogate 13A. They should not vote as they wish; but vote for the best interests of the nation and the people by voting against 13A. If the parliament fails to subdue 13A, it must be put to the people.

Doing Politics with the Constitution.

June 11th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

Having ƒÆ’-¡ won an election for the last time in 2001, Ranil Wickramasinghe is desperatelyƒÆ’-¡  pulling all the rabbits he can from his hat hoping something would pop-outƒÆ’-¡  to propel himƒÆ’-¡  onto the Presidential Chair.ƒÆ’-¡  All his yes men-Tissa Attanayake, Laksman Kiriella, Ravi Karunanayake, Karu Jayasuriy and the rest follow him wagging their tails yapping in unison,

hoping one day to follow the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-magic leaderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ in to some sort of governmentƒÆ’-¡  of their own,

while the failed politician Mangala Samaraweera isƒÆ’-¡  praying the western leaders to boycott the CHOGM, as he says he has foundƒÆ’-¡  a dictator in Sri Lanka. ƒÆ’-¡ What a looney lot ?

In the mean time the Catholic BishopsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ Conference led by Cardinal Malcolm RanjithƒÆ’-¡  has announced the wisdom to have a totally new Constitution, and proposes while waiting ,ƒÆ’-¡  to continue to keep the 13 Amendment in tact.ƒÆ’-¡  Apparently the Cardinal would like to have his say in a new Constitution toƒÆ’-¡  multiethnic Sri Lanka, providing an equal place to Christianity along sideƒÆ’-¡  Buddhism .

A constitution and the writing of it is not the activity of a political party without government responsibility, if it is so there would be numerous Constitutions prepared by different political Parties, -the TNA, SLMC,JVP,ƒÆ’-¡  and claiming their constitutions as well be ƒÆ’-¡ consideredƒÆ’-¡  to be acceptedƒÆ’-¡  as the Constitution of Sri Lanka by a referendum- a vogue term nowƒÆ’-¡  brandished in respect of the 13Amendment. Therefore, it is a dangerous precedence, and lack of respect to an existing Constitution for UNP to present a draft for ƒÆ’-¡ aƒÆ’-¡  new Constitution to Sri Lanka.

Ranil Wickramasinghe may wellƒÆ’-¡  have written a Constitution for his own part, but his attempt at writing a Constitution to Sri Lanka is a pathetic sequel to his political failure as an astute politician, despite his being the Prime Minister twice and many years asƒÆ’-¡  the Leader of the Opposition of the Parliament.ƒÆ’-¡  He seems to have learnt nothing of politics either as the Prime Minister, or as the Leader of the Opposition.

Writing a Constitution for a Nation cannot be taken lightly although again a UNP Leader had been theƒÆ’-¡  prime mover of the present Constitution of Sri Lanka with its numerous defects, with the inclusion of the 13Amendment as the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-icing on the cakeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

The Present Constitution however is the second Republican Constitution of Sri Lanka of the three Constitution she had since her independence.ƒÆ’-¡  The first constitutionƒÆ’-¡  of 1946 with Dominion status was authored by Sir Ivor Jennings. The second and the First Republican Constitution ƒÆ’-¡ of 1972 was authored by Dr. Colvin R.De Silva.

The present Constitution came into effect in 1978 . This ConstitutionƒÆ’-¡  was created by a political leader who was thrown into the political backyard after the SLFP triumphedƒÆ’-¡  at the General Election of 1970. The SLFP drew up theƒÆ’-¡  new Constitution of 1972 breaking away from the Westminster model and establishing the first Republic of Sri Lanka, with a ceremonial President. The Prime Minster was given ƒÆ’-¡ executive Authority.

In the General elections of 1977 the UNP led byƒÆ’-¡  JR Jayawardhana got a landslide victory.ƒÆ’-¡  JR Jayawadhane who had been biting his nails for seven years being out of political power had planned a revengeful come back.ƒÆ’-¡  He ƒÆ’-¡ immediately set about preparing a ConstitutionƒÆ’-¡  on the basis of the UK and French Constitutions and made himself the all powerful Executive President.

The Executive powers of the President was not questioned at the time and JR used executive power making himself a Dictator.ƒÆ’-¡  owHowever when ƒÆ’-¡ However when eventually Mahinda Rajapakse was elected President of Sri Lanka, he still retained theƒÆ’-¡  1978 Constitution, but refrained from using theƒÆ’-¡  Executive powers vested in him as the President to the detriment of the people and the country.ƒÆ’-¡  He kept strictly within the Democratic norms, whatever his antagonists have to say.

It shows that even the excessive powers vested in the officeƒÆ’-¡  of a Dictator or a President may still be used for the betterment of the people and the country dependent mostly on the characterƒÆ’-¡  andƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  a strictly religious, cultural and patriotic essence of theƒÆ’-¡  person holding the office , as it is in the case of Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse.

One cannot deny that in fact the Executive Powers vested in the President under the 1978 Constitution of Sri Lanka had been of benefit toƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka in the elimination of the terrorism and keeping at bay those who wanted to prevent the successful military operations against terrorists.ƒÆ’-¡  The retaining those powers further is still essential as the terrorism though it has disappeared in the soil of Sri Lanka it ƒÆ’-¡ still lingers amoung those Tamils who live in clover in Western Countries.

TheyƒÆ’-¡  keep alive the fires ofƒÆ’-¡  communal hatred amoung the Tamils in the diaspora and those within the country shedding crocodile tears about the suffering of the Tamil people without taking any step to help them.ƒÆ’-¡  Instead they are using all means to destabilise and weaken the government to allow the star players from the West to intervene to divide Sri Lanka to allow them to establish a separate Eelam State, to derive political benefits for themselves.

Therefore, UNPƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s latest tactic to bring disrepute to the Government of the President Mahinda Rajapakse and remove the government by a possible popular uprising of the peopleƒÆ’-¡  against it, is seeking ƒÆ’-¡ the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s approval for his Draft Constitution.ƒÆ’-¡  It is aƒÆ’-¡  dangerous initiative which had no precedence any whereƒÆ’-¡  else in the world.

It is best to have one Constitution for Sri Lanka for ever, without having a new Constitution each time a new political party comes in to power.ƒÆ’-¡  The Constitution has only to be amended to remove what is considered offensive, out dated or a danger to the unitary status of Sri Lanka .

In other words a Constitution should be Amended and not rescinded.ƒÆ’-¡  The 1978 Constitution with much of its defects had withstood the most critical period of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s history, and therefore it is worth keeping it as the basic instrument of political Authority and the one and only Constitution of Sri Lanka.

Eventually, Amendments may be brought in to reduce the executive powers ofƒÆ’-¡  the President and Committees be set up to study the ways and means to improve the Constitution always without rescinding it, but moving suitable Amendments.

In conclusion, Ranil Wickramasinghe or following him any other Political leader should not be allowed to brandish any document drawn inƒÆ’-¡  any ones back yard as a draft for a New Constitution of Sri Lanka. Such an act should be made a ƒÆ’-¡ legally chargeable act ofƒÆ’-¡  high treason.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ We already have a constitution with which we won a war against ruthless terrorists and impeached a not so good Chief Justice, therefore we should respect the Constitution we have ƒÆ’-¡ and keep it for generations to come. The future political leaders may continue to use this Same Constitution, amending it when the necessity arises but never rescind it to replace it with another.

India’s Calling For Talks With The TNA Over The 13th Amendment Is High Handed And Without Entitlement!

June 11th, 2013

LankaWeb Weekly Editorial,

June 13th 2013

The current turn of eventsƒÆ’-¡ relative to the 13rh Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution which haveƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ been reported in the global media that ƒÆ’-¡ India has called for an ƒÆ’-¡ urgent meeting with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA)ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ over the issue of the 13th Amendment revision appears to be a blatant attempt on the part of India ƒÆ’-¡ to interfere in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs.

What is more disconcerting is that despite political recognition of the TNAƒÆ’-¡  in Sri Lanka by virtue of their having gained a few parliamentary seats it still remains categorically a disentitlement of the TNA to consort with India over this all important National Issue. This said on the basis that the TNA in the first place should never have been tolerated as a political entity or given any leeway to enter parliamentƒÆ’-¡  on the singlemost basis that they were openly supportive of the now deposed terrorist entity the Tamil Tigers and in many of their activities even at the presentƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ it is quite visible that they are none but another LTTEƒÆ’-¡ supportive groupƒÆ’-¡ that needs to beƒÆ’-¡ driven to ground inasmuch as the LTTE for carrying within their manifesto as well as harbouring their objectives at times in collusion with the State of Tamil Tiger friendly Tamil Nadu of India.

They not only liase covertly withƒÆ’-¡  all the adversaries ofƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka in TamilƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Nadu and the bucket carrying sycophants there made up ofƒÆ’-¡ visionless, ageing and seemingly confused politicians and part time actors turned leaders who have no comprehension about what goes on in Sri Lanka today who attempt to discredit the Government of SriƒÆ’-¡ Lanka in the name of false sympathy with theƒÆ’-¡ Tamil people of SriƒÆ’-¡ LankaƒÆ’-¡  but also provide roadblocks towards progress in post insurgent Sri LankaƒÆ’-¡ as well as instigating the intimidation of Sri Lankan citizensƒÆ’-¡  who enter theƒÆ’-¡  State ofƒÆ’-¡ Tamil Nadu which even includes Buddhist clergy, sports groups and be aofficial representatives of the GOSL at every opportunity.

Perhaps an eye opener for the Administration to take action towards remedying the ill effects of tolerating the TNA and confronting them towards disentitlement of political involvement unless they come clean, shed their attempts to recussitate the Tamil Tigers as many believe and swear allegiance to maintain their conduct relative to the Constitution and the legislative precepts set by the Government of Sri Lanka involving the code of political conduct that serves the Nation of Sri Lanka and her best interests rather than disrupting it towards their own objectives which takes no rocket science to interpret.

In the simplest of terms there seems to be no other recourse towards their existence which will in the long term be detrimental towards the well being of Sri Lanka according to many analysts! This also incorporates the well being of all freedom loving Tamils in Sri Lanka who are quite content with how the Adminstration addresses their needs and far removed from how their so called liberators the Tamil Tigers once imperiled their very existences. Case in point towards blackmarking the TNA who have never once denounced or denied their links to them and their objectives!

In this respect a very nation friendly as well as patriotic political group the Jathika Hela Urumaya (JHU) has been quoted as saying that

“India was exerting pressure on the Sri Lankan Government on a controversial constitutional amendment.”

This relates to whatƒÆ’-¡ the Sri Lankan Government isƒÆ’-¡ presently

considering towards changing the 13th Amendment, a part of Sri Lanka’s Constitution which was created following an agreement reached between India and Sri Lanka in 1987 where the privilege to amend or change is solely the prerogative and rightƒÆ’-¡ of the GOSL needing no interference from any extraneous source particularly when it involves the demands of non nation friendlyƒÆ’-¡ former terrorist supportive elements whose direction could be interpreted asƒÆ’-¡ a blatant attempt to annex power towards their own ends.

While India wants the 13th Amendment to remain as it is as it devolves powers to the provinces, several Sinhalese political parties apart from a few exceptions in Sri Lanka want it scrapped or changed as they envision the dangers it could pose to the country based purely on theƒÆ’-¡ demands of theƒÆ’-¡ TNA, their body language and rhetoric which to the more discerning is none but a camouflaged version of what the Tamil Tigers were demanding in their attempt to annex part of the North and East of Sri Lanka during the decades long insurgency.

The JHU, which is campaigning againstƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ the clause which allocates land and police powers to the provinces under the 13th Amendment demanding itƒÆ’-¡ to be removed by voicing their contentions have said that “India is attempting to entice Sri Lankan Tamil political parties to back the 13th Amendment “ƒÆ’-¡ whereƒÆ’-¡ it isƒÆ’-¡  absolutely no entitlement of the Indians who should know better than to get involved in an issue that is strictly a matter for the Sri Lankan Government to resolve.

A JHU statement has said that “India’s actions will draw the ire of the Sri Lankan public. We urge India to stay away from our internal issues. If they have concerns then they should directly discuss it with the Sri Lankan Government,ƒÆ’-¡  India has no right to push for the 13th Amendment to remain as India had failed to disarm the Tamil Tiger rebels, which was part of the Indo-Lanka agreement.” which seemed a very appropriate response which India should realistically heed.

India’s attempt to coerce the TNA which appears to be the reason for India calling an urgent meeting with them seems high handed and without entitlement.

Clash of the Mahinda Chintana and NGO Chintana for supremacy over Sri Lanka

June 11th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

That Mahinda Rajapakse won the 2005 Presidential election was a surprise to most and a shock to the UNP block who had figured that after over a decade, victory was to bring them back to power. That Mahinda Rajapakse came to power on the Buddhist vote was unmistakable and earned the tag ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sri Lanka votes Buddhist nationalist leaderƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. His Mahinda Chintana assured the end of terrorism, unitary status of the nation and peace and guaranteed the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s confidence.

The journey of post-independence has been one of leadership shared between the two main political parties. What sought to secure eternal power by introducing the preferential voting system ended up with minority parties becoming kingmakers and making matters complicated was to entertain the crossovers ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” people who followed a different ideology, who did not vote for the political party in power and who entered parliament based on the vote given against the party in power. In short people who came through the back door, people holding opposing views, people who did not have the confidence of the people or the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s mandate. They may well do to remember that they are in the position they hold not because the people wanted or want them there. People will want them there so long as they do not use their office to threaten the sovereignty of the country or the integrity of the nation and its people. Such people can do damage and flee the country.

Those that cross over do so not out of any love for the country or desire to do a service to the masses. Cross-overs are purely steered by selfish self-interest iced with perks and remunerations that are negotiated during the bartering phase. Thus, the integrity factor will always become a question whichever party they end up selling their souls to.

One such example is a minister who has been holding key posts and drafting legislations that have been detrimental to the entire nation and these have led to Sri Lanka being placed in a very uncomfortable position on the international platform. No good came for any of the leaders who took him on board. Given his past records not only has he betrayed, Chandrika, Ranil and Karu is there a guarantee the same will not happen to President Rajapakse if power and prestige are what dictates the jump and there are many to make bids? See how the game of cricket has been prostituted and it be called a gentlemanƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s game?

The present Government is full of such cross-overs and the likelihood of the curse disappearing from the political arena depends on the willpower of the two main political parties to get their act together and start developing leaders who believe in their party manifesto and not people who are inclined to desert ranks and cause chaos. For either party this is not a good formula to continue and it is unhealthy for the country as a whole and it does not build good political parties with sound policies. Therefore, it is good for the 2 leaders of the main political party to come to a firm decision on cross overs once and for all.

Nevertheless, what concerns us at this present juncture is that whilst the present Government came to power with a very clear vision which the people accepted and endorsed the present lot of people currently functioning as executors of the Mahinda Chintana in reality never had any affinity to the PresidentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s program. This begs us to question the dangers of them making lip service to the Presidents vision since they are camouflaging what they really feel. What makes us more concerned is the fact that given their unreliableness despite enjoying the perks of office the likelihood of people who crossed over for profit being gullible entities spells dangers for the entire nation.

Added to this are people taken in as consultants and advisors who are also aligned to the NGO chintana. Some of these representatives have secretly enclosed clauses without the concurrence of the State leading to unreasonable pressures brought upon the nation. Thus, there is no telling what type of advice they give which is what has led to the 13th amendment fiasco when advisors should have no sooner the war was over advised the President to repeal the 13th amendment, replace the provincial council system with one that suited the people and the PC politicians and denazify the LTTE and all its associated slogans, entities no different to what the Allies did to Germany following the Nuremburg Trials. So long as these factors remain half-doneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” Sri Lanka will continue to be hard-pressed to find solutions to take the country forward.

Moreover, these NGO Chintana advocates are likely to use their office surreptiously to undermine the real goals of the Mahinda Chintana for most of these cross-overs are people who have been and may continue to be darlings of the NGO circle advocating their Chintana which is quite opposite to what the President professes and holds the key to his popularity amongst the masses. It is good for President Rajapakse to remember this at all times.

It is clear that the objective is to use their good offices to hijack Sri Lanka of its nationalism and to place the faults on a well campaigned and foreign funded slogan under the banner ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Mahavansa mindsetƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and blame the Sinhala Buddhists for all the ills of the nation. The examples of decisions to change the national anthem, attempts to remove Article 9, undermine the place of Buddhism, remove history from Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s education curricular, make changes to school framework and education, copycat multicultural slogans undertaken abroad, outsource national assets etc are likely attempts to slowly use the legislative powers under their purview to make the changes without the knowledge of the masses and in turn work towards undermining and making the President unpopular amongst his vote base. Once that unpopularity reaches the Maha Sangha and they in turn make their decision the fate of a government is sealed. ƒÆ’-¡ 

It is not only politicians but media themselves are subject to various encapsulating techniques by foreign Chintana proponents who knows how far money and remunerations can change people to their side. Many of the media entities that currently scream about good governance are all having such links and it is not anything confined to Sri Lanka alone ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the situation is no different globally just take a look at Rupert Murdoch.

There is a reason to feel cautious about NGO chintana clans and their plans ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” elsewhere these entities are being investigated some have been asked to close down and it all boils down to their attempts to destabilize countries and dislodge national leaders.

As for the current situation where a handful of people who care not a penny about the Mahinda Chintana but pay lip service to it for their own existence the harm they can do and are possibly are doing is one that should make the people more alert. Many of them are now decrepit MPs hanging on to power for sheer greed instead of enjoying retirement, nevertheless the message is that there is always elections and it is a good time for people to mark these politicians and ensure they do not re-emerge through the vote to undermine the country in any way. ƒÆ’-¡ 

Moreover, 30 years was the reason to deny benefits to the masses and we cannot accept that people who come through the backdoor dictate how the country runs. For the country to move forward everyone has a role to play and we should all get our act together by first disassociating those that are trying to cripple a could be prosperous Sri Lanka.

Sweep away droppings of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-rogue elephantƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

June 11th, 2013

By Susantha Goonatilake

ƒÆ’-¡ Western observers at the time were appalled on the so-called Indian Accord which brought the 13th Amendment. The Wall Street Journal called India ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-A rogue elephant trampling upon its neighborsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. The British Guardian said: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-India’s pact with Sri Lanka is the most infamous contract imposed on a small country – short of military occupation – since the Munich Agreement of 1938ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. The London Evening Standard fumed ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-India … is the colonial power in the region todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. The New York Times editorialized about ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Mr. GandhiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s…. big-stick diplomacy in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. By all accounts, it was one of the most dastardly impositions against this country.

Since the time of decolonization after World War 2 of the WestƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ill-gotten territories, it was one of the worst acts of brigandage. Indian warplanes flew overhead and Indian warships were outside the Colombo harbour. It was like a replay of Western piracy in a script from the previous 500 yearsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ of the barbaric West. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ In spontaneous anger, tens of thousands of all political partiesmarchedagainst this so-called Indian Accord.

ƒÆ’-¡ K.M. de Silva, JR. JayawardeneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sympathetic biographer called it the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-largest, large-scale demonstration and uprising in Sri Lanka since IndependenceƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ .JRƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Prime Minister Premadasa and Defence Minister Lalith Athulathmudali were against it. And most JRƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s MPs (whose letters of resignation he had conveniently pocketed)were against it. In addition wasthe SLFP,the majority parliamentary opposition. The JVP had gone underground after the JR government had falsely accused it of the 1983 riots. And the JVP now emerged in open opposition, lateras armed opposition. In the protests that ensued including the armed one by the JVP, over 60,000 people were killed – the majority probably being non-JVP as the JVPa revolutionary party knew how to run and hide.Today the JVP seem to be only marginally interested in the issue which killed most of their members. They are engaged in unsuccessful strikes with one leader quoting Lenin one of the few in the world referring to that long lost figure.

The racist Tamil political parties that came out of their suicidal Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1976,which called for a separate Tamil state, were for it. The 13 A affirmed their concocted history of an invented traditional Tamil Homeland. All the separatist groups which the Indians had armed and trained in an act of cross-border terrorism were for it, except the LTTE. The already dead old left, once great spokesman against imperialism was for this Indian sub imperialism.

ƒÆ’-¡ In the usual colonial policy of divide and rule, the majority Sinhalese especially the Buddhists were discriminated during colonialism and prominence given to ethnic and religious minorities. And the postcolonial period saw the Sinhalese regaining their natural majority. And now the spokesman of these minorities favoured by the colonialists, the Christians and the Muslims cheered for the 13th A.

ƒÆ’-¡ Real local civil society was against it. The Bar Association among others passed a resolution against it. Those who were exultant for this naked foreign aggression were foreign funded NGOs. This NGO rump propped up by foreign money included the ICES, the Centre for Society and Religion, the National Peace Council NPC and Marga through its director Godfrey Gunatilake.

Echoing Christian missionaries during the colonial period, Jehan Perera (a Christian himself) of the NPC warned that it was time ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-to tell Sri Lankans some hard truths about their IslandƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ and its limitations…ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ He said that any government will now have ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-to confront the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦ presence of the Indian army in the north and east… [Our] governments have been presented with a fait accompli… [They have no] choice but to honor the AccordƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  Godfrey Gunatilleke(another Christian) defending the Indian acts said that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-we have had to awaken to the geopolitical realities within which we existedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and then castigated ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the self-appointed custodians of our sovereignty who lamentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ the Indian incursion. He warned against a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Cyprus situation with India having to assume an enhanced role.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡  Translated, this implied Indians would carve up the country and annex the North and East. ƒÆ’-¡ Gunatilleka was not only welcoming Indian overlordship of the country but also inculcating a mood of defeatism to accept it.

ƒÆ’-¡ Dayan Jayatilleka in his fatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Lanka Guardianhad continually advocated a separate Tamil state. He wrote praising the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-solutionsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of Stalin to the ethnic issues of the Soviet Union totally ignorant of the fact that Stalin had as solution deported entire nationalities thousands of miles. Dayan during the Indian Accord was in exile in India because of a court case against him.He was now flown down to become a Minister of the Indian puppet regime in the North East. In a recent publication, Jayatillaka, as his friend H.L.D. Mahindapala wrote, was even todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-predicting that India will step in [through] its military might to divide Sri Lanka into two ethnic enclaves if the 13thAmendement ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s baby ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚ is not adopted by Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. Tigers, hidden or otherwise do not change their antinational stripes.

ƒÆ’-¡ But the Indian exercise on Sri Lanka by Indira Gandhi was similar to what she had attempted with the internal Punjab revolt by virtually creating and promoting the hardliner Bhindranwale. There was a difference though. In the case of Sri Lanka, she let loose a whole alphabet soup of armed groups which she trained and armed in different parts of India. The tragedy was that both these decisions came to roost. Indira was killed by her Punjabi guards sympathetic to Bhindranwale and her son Rajiv was in turn killed by the LTTE. And India who extra judicially suppressed Punjabi (and today Kashmiri) independence had the gall to vote against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” for winning a war started by her own machinations.

ƒÆ’-¡ In the meantime, sites sacred to Buddhists around the world namely the Maha Bodhi and the Dalada Maligawa, commemorating IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s two greatest sons, namely the Buddha and Asoka were attacked. It is suspected with the connivance of IndiaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s RAW, her secret agency. In addition, in the Eastern Province praying Muslims were gunned down while young monks were stabbed to death. When the dust settled on this Indian colonial adventure, the Christian-led LTTE was in control of the North and East. It turned the North into a mono-ethnic entity evicting 75,000 Muslims and around 25,000 Sinhalese giving them,on pain of death,just 48 hours to leave. The LTTE held huge Pongu Tamil meetings in ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-itsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ areas with an ominous map of Sri Lanka showing a large part as belonging to its future Tamil Eelam state. In these meetings,the Catholic clergy was prominently in front. The future Tamil state shown in the map was only lesser in area than the larger Eelam map concocted by the anti-Sri Lanka NGO, International Alert (it still operates in Sri Lanka.)

ƒÆ’-¡ The Hitler ideology was easy to see in the LTTE: there was Lebensraum (exclusive Tamil homelands), salute of party members withoutstretched hand and total obedience to only one leader.After the phony ceasefire, the LTTE ran riot. Chandrika and Ranil, the worst post-independence leaders allowed police stations, courts and a whole gamut of an independent state to be established. To the newspapers and other media, Chandrika brought in well-known separatists as heads. Foreign funded NGOs were allowed to dictate and according to their then writings, bribe and influence politicians, government servants, academics and media personnel.

These bribes were given sometimes in cash, sometimes in kind through foreign trips and seminars in hotels. One such seminar in a hotel was to downsize the Sri Lankan armed forces. Foreign funded NGOs were also lecturing to defence academies giving the message that the war could not be won. These outfits were funded by the very Western powers that had fought against Hitler,the biggest war in history. But for their ownstrategic reasons, these Western proxies never wrote about the Hitler parallels with the LTTE. Sri Lanka had become a sieve for maggots to eat at will.

ƒÆ’-¡ The fallout of the antinational politics gave us nearly 40 years of misery since 1973 when 20,000 detonators were smuggled into Jaffna from India. It was perhaps the longest war in the last century in any country. Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims all suffered perhaps the most, the Tamils who ran away from the LTTE Homeland and came to the Western province or went overseas. Finallythe LTTE was defeated and the countryliberated. But now, the very same groups that supported ideologically and physically the war are now once again vocal and crying for the outcome of the Indian incursion namely the 13thAmendment. We owe it to future generations to prevent another ethnic war which implementation of the 13thAmendment will create. The OPA calculated the provincial councils to be a great financial loss. And a few months ago, the OPA representing over 40,000 professionals rejected the 13th A. Not only must such provincial devolution be rescinded but also the provincial boundaries should be redrawn.

ƒÆ’-¡ The current boundaries were arbitrarily drawn and changed by colonials, for example combining the bulk of the empty lands in the Northern Province with Jaffna Peninsula. The Norwegian Westborg who later as Ambassador smuggled communication equipment to the LTTE was once director of the Norwegian NGO Redd Barna. Through this NGO, the new colonial Westborg populated these empty lands with Indians being deported from the country under the Sirima-Shastri pact. These empty lands should actually be reconnected to the region around Anuradhapura as was the arrangement in the 19th century. The Eastern province should be expanded eastwards to the boundaries in the 19th century. Only then will real harmony among ethnic and religious groups be realized. Already Western province and especially Colombo district is a peaceful mƒÆ’†’©lange of ethnicities. That should be the model for redrawn boundaries. And a fitting reply to the colonial 13thA.

The lessons we can learn from Bhutan

June 11th, 2013

Michelle Alexander

ƒÆ’-¡ The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked state in South Asia.ƒÆ’-¡ It is bordered to the north by ChinaƒÆ’-¡ and to the south, east and west by the India. Further west, it is separated from NepalƒÆ’-¡ by the Indian state of Sikkim,ƒÆ’-¡ while further south it is separated from BangladeshƒÆ’-¡ by the Indian states of Assam and West Bengal.

ƒÆ’-¡ This smallƒÆ’-¡ Himalayan nationƒÆ’-¡ is the only country to guide its policy according to Gross National Happiness (GNH) rather than Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The four pillars of GNH are: Sustainable Development, Cultural Integrity, Ecosystem Conservation and Good Governance.ƒÆ’-¡ 

  • Bhutan plans on being 100% organic. This means that it plans to eliminate herbicides and pesticides from the food chain. ƒÆ’-¡ The tiny south Pacific island of Niue has set itself a similar goal with 2020 as its target year. The same can be applied to Sri Lankan produce as well. In recent times a study had shown agricultural pesticides and fertilizers as the likely culprit for an incurable and deadly kidney disease that has afflicted thousands of Sri Lankans. The complete report can be read at the following link http://www.arsenic.lk/content/Situation_in%20_Sri%20Lnka/Arsenic_and_CKDu.pdf.

Further, an associate who was involved in the Tea Trade informed that so many pesticides and other chemicals had been used that it would take a few years up to a decade or so for the contaminated top soil to be washed off. While it would be difficult to make abrupt changes, we should be aware of the dangers posed by the overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and chemical preservatives and make mindful changes to break this trend. The emphasis could be on quality over quantity – producing less food but focusing on premium, organic crops. The success of such a venture would also depend on the subsidies extended to farmers, especially considering the current global movement for a clean environment and natural products is increasingly creating a niche market for organic products. If feasible, suppliers should also have direct access to the farmers, thus reducing the need for a middle man.

  • Bhutan aspires to be a country where development is Holistic, Inclusive and Sustainable.

Part of this is the idea of a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Green EconomyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. They already posses several advantages in this area. These include:-

A constitutional mandate to maintain 60% of the land under forest cover; limited number of polluting industries; predominantly agrarian society; nature-based economy; a very positive state of natural environment; political stability and social harmony; a young democracy opening up new socio-economic development opportunities; and an extensive development governance structure

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  The major avenues for a Green Economy in Bhutan are

ƒÆ’-¡ Development of clean energy by harnessing hydropower and renewable energy sources

ƒÆ’-¡ Agriculture, forests and biodiversity resources as assets for economic development in a manner that enhances their value including through organic production practices whilst promoting their conservation and sustainable use;

ƒÆ’-¡ Sustainable high value and low impact tourism with focus on the countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s natural and cultural endowments and engagement of local communities;

ƒÆ’-¡ Transportation based on replacement of fossil fuel with clean energy, improved road communication network, and efficient and affordable mass transport systems;

ƒÆ’-¡ Industries with strict compliance to legislated environmental standards and with access to, and capacity for, use of clean production technologies;

Bhutan: In Pursuit of Sustainable Development

National Report for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development 2012

While all of this may not be practical, we can adopt the best methods to suit our own countries requirements.

  • Bhutan maintains strict regulations on its craft industry. Bhutan established the Agency for Promotion of Indigenous Crafts (APIC), which is mandated with the task of promoting the traditional crafts industry. Certifications issued by this agency ensures that a buyer is in a positions to make an informed choice, it acts as a marketing tool for craftsperson and their dealers and protects/promotes genuine Bhutanese handicrafts and motivate local artisans. They also maintain very strict guidelines when it comes to architecture, mainly in an attempt to preserve traditional architectural design. While it may be difficult to issue standardized certification for our traditional craft industry, there must be a method to ensure genuine crafts are recognized and their makers promoted.
  • Bhutan’s traditional society has been defined as both patriarchal and matriarchal. Foreign observers have noted that women shared equally with men in farm labor. Overall, women were providing more labor than men in all sectors of the economy. Less than 4 percent of the total female work force was unemployed, compared with nearly 10 percent of men who had no occupation. The matriarchal structure -ƒÆ’-¡ where women inherit property unlike other womenƒÆ’-¡ in someƒÆ’-¡ of the neighbouring countries -ƒÆ’-¡ grants women access to land and property.ƒÆ’-¡ Bhutanese inheritance law stipulates equal rights for all children, regardless of sex or age. Unlike some other neighbouring countries, the birth of a daughter is looked on more favourably. In some of Sri Lankan families, the view is still held in favour of sons and not daughters. Perhaps this is due to the insistence of dowries. In modern times, a potential partnerƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s character, intelligence, values and a certain level of independent financial stability in terms of employment should be of more value.

Bhutan maintains a certain level of uniformity, consistency and they are mobilized for the preservation of their values. Some of their standards may not work for us, but there is a lot we can learn from Bhutan.

Lets Publicize “The Role Of Higher Education In Reconciliation”

June 10th, 2013

Janaka Yagirala

The UGC has organized a conference in Jaffna titled “The Role of Higher Education in Reconciliation” from June 13-14th, 2013. I consider it to be my solemn duty to publicize this conference.

Of course its not the kind of conference where academics will submit and discuss their research with the intent of getting a few more points for their next promotion. So lets focus on some worthwhile topics to discuss in this conference; to make sure the taxpayer money spent on it does not go to waste.

  1. Academics from archeology departments can discuss the non-existence of archeological evidence of the mythical Tamil homeland in North and East of Sri Lanka. A good place to start is Prof. Karthigesu Indrapala’s (a Tamil) PhD thesis.
  2. Dissociating the “OM” sign with cheating at exams.
  3. Allowing the Sinhalese to enjoy fair access to the virtually monoethnic Jaffna and Eastern Universities, that is the same free and fair access Tamils enjoy in all universities in majority Sinhalese areas.
  4. Putting an end to the hypocrisy of not having any problem with English being the national language prior to 1956 but throwing tantrums after Hon. S. W. R. D Bandaranayaka rightfully made Sinhalese (the national language of our nation for 2500 years) the national language in 1956.
  5. Another topic of utmost interest is how the Malay people ended up well integrated into Sri Lankan society while preserving their language, religion and cultural identity when the Tamils ended up segragated, loyal to India (instead of the country that feeds them) and trapped in a prehistoric Casteist mentality.
  6. It should be taken as an opportunity to critically analyze Black July. I have myself on numerous occasions (and will always) unequivocally condemned the vile acts that took place. I can also confidently say that only a minuscule minority of Sinhalese people will ever justify violence on innocent unarmed civilians. However, reconciliation should work both ways.

(i) Condemnation of the violence on Sinhalese civilians who lived in the North and East prior to 1983 is completely lacking. In fact, the report of the Sansoni Commission which implicated numerous Tamil politicians with violence against ethnic Sinhalese is all but forgotten.

(ii) The role of the then IG of police Rudra Rajasingham (coincidentally a Tamil!) in Black July is conveniently ignored.

(iii) Any gratitude to the numerous Sinhalese people who risked their lives to protect innocent Tamils during the pogrom is virtually non-existent.

(iv) There is also a hardly any condemnation of the violence inflicted by the LTTE on innocent Sinhalese civilians from bomb blasts to cold blooded massacres from the Tamil community.

  1. Last but not least lets hope the delegates are able to come up with at least one genuine Tamil grievance!

Had these topics been openly discussed long ago, Sri Lanka wouldn’t have had to go through the pain and sorrow of a 30 year terrorist scourge!

ƒÆ’-¡ 

Mr. Sampanthan, Sri Lanka is for Sri Lankans

June 10th, 2013

Asada M Erpini

Mr. R. Sampanthan, please be a Sri Lankan first and foremost.

Never a day seems to pass without, Mr. R. Sampanthan, the leader of the so-called major Tamil party, coming out with some statement that he is against attempts to repeal the 13th Amendment to the constitution, to dilute the powers that the Provincial Councils, to the militarisation of the Tamil areas in the North or that his party is not ready to join the Parliamentary Select Committee that is to be reconvened.

We better learn from the suicides of America, England, Holland and France, if we are to survive as a nation.

Over 30,000 members of the armed forces sacrificed life and limb to get rid of TNAƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s godfather the LTTE that plagued the once peaceful Sri Lanka for nearly three decades. All Sri Lankans have been able to enjoy four years of peace since 2009 as result of the sacrifices made by the men and women in uniform and of the prudent decisions of the political and military leadership.

Mr. Sampanthan should at least give some indication that he and his TNA MPs desire peace and wish to live in Sri Lanka as most others want to do.

It is time that Mr. Sampanthan stopped harping on the importance of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of Sri Lanka. This amendment was a bye product of the indo-Lanka accord that India forced upon Sri Lanka in 1987 in its professed aim of solving the so-called ethnic problem. A key feature of the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”accordƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ was the disarming of the LTTE within 72 hours: India lost over 1000 of its armed men in its misadventure, while Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s armed forces, comprising mainly young men and women from the rural hinterland of the island, decimated the armed wing of the LTTE based in Sri Lanka.

 

 

Minister Vitarana says Sri Lanka expects to increase high tech value added exports from 1.5 % to 10% by 2016

June 10th, 2013

Sri Lanka Mission Geneva.

Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Prof Tissa Vitarana told the 16th Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held in Geneva last week, that Sri Lanka which is now a middle income country expects to increase the contribution of high tech value added exports to the national economy from the present 1.5% to 10% by 2016 through the implementation of the National strategy for Science, Technology and Innovation. Revealing details of the national strategy he mentioned that in line with the target of doubling its per capita GDP to USD 4000 by 2016, the strategy is aimed at achieving effective social economic development, through research directed on national needs, use of advanced technologies and building a culture of techno ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” entrepreneurship between the public & private sector partnership.

ƒÆ’-¡ Prof. Vitarana made this observation when he participated in the Ministerial Roundtable on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Harnessing Science and Technology to address development challengesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ organized at the 16th Session of the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) held on 3rd June 2013 in Geneva. The Roundtable which focused on how science, technology and innovation could promote inclusive and sustainable development in countries,ƒÆ’-¡  provided a forum for the policy makers to exchange experiences, best practices and to discuss challenges faced at national level.

Prof. Vitarana shared with the audience how National Nanotechnology Initiatives (NNI) and the Vidath programme has increased its contribution to the Gross Expenditure on Research & Development (GERD) from 10% to over 30 % during the last 6 years through technology transfer in the rural micro and SME sectors. He also drew the attention of the international community on STI related challenges faced by Sri Lanka and developing countries and urged assistance in facilitating brain grain, access to scientific literature and data as a global policy, providing STI related technical assistance targeted specifically for national needs and further requested donor community and development partners to consider STI sector as an essential element for development when funding is considered.

The Ministerial Round Table was moderated by Dr. Shirley Malcom, Head of the Directorate of Education and Human Resources American Association for the Advancement of Science. The high level panelists comprised of Ministers , Vice Ministers and advisors from Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nigeria, Philippine Sri Lanka, Swaziland, USA & Zimbabwe.ƒÆ’-¡ 

The Sri Lanka delegation to the sessions led by the Minister, included Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Chairman, Institute of Industry and Technology Prof Vijaya Kumar, and Chairperson National Science Foundation / Science Advisor & Sector Specialist of the Office of the Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs Prof Sirimali Fernando, and Mrs Lakmini Mendis , Minister Counsellor of the Geneva Mission.ƒÆ’-¡ 

The Commission which provides the General Assembly and ECOSOC with high-level advice on relevant science and technology issues, at the annual session held from 3 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 7 June 2013, considered two priority themes during the sessions, the Science and Technology (S&T) theme being on “Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Cities and Peri-Urban Communities while the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) theme was on internet Broadband for an Inclusive Digital Society. The Sessions also assessed progress on the implementation of and follow up to the outcomes of WSIS, which is part of CSTD’s mandate.

ƒÆ’-¡ The Draft Resolution on the S&T theme adopted by the Commission at the Session was facilitated by the Sri Lankan delegate Prof Vijaya Kumar, Chairman Industrial Technology Institute in the Commission. It dealt with utilizing S&T to address problems arising from rapid urbanization particularly in developing countries.

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s contribution to the session was highly commended by the 43 Member countries, Observer States, Intergovernmental organizations, UN bodies, Specialized Agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations in consultative status with the ECOSOC.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ Sri Lanka Mission

Geneva.

Ministerial Roundtable on ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-harnessing S&T to address development challengesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

Prof. Tissa Vitarana, Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Sri Lanka

ƒÆ’-¡ 

Madam Chairperson,

Your Excellencies,

Ladies and gentleman,

I take this opportunity to thank the Secretary General of UNCTAD and the Secretariat of the CSTD for inviting me to this important ministerial roundtable.

The Government of Sri Lanka, in 2010 set a target to double its per capita GDP to 4000 US $ by 2016.

In this backdrop, I am happy to report that Sri Lanka now has a National Strategy for Science Technology and Innovation, developed as an indigenous effort based on the S&T policy adopted when I was the Minister of Science and Technology. The strategy has a clear focus on locally harnessing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for our socio-economic development in a coordinated manner, with the emphasis on maximizing value addition to raw materials through the use of advanced technology. Through this we hope to increase our high tech value added exports which directly contribute to our economy,ƒÆ’-¡  from the present 1.5% to 10% by 2016. It is very much aligned to the theme of this ministerial roundtable meeting.

The Strategy focuses on harnessing STI through directed research towards national needs, maximum appropriate use of advanced technologies and building a culture of techno-entrepreneurship. A close focused partnership between industry and STI is an essential part of the strategy for effective socio-economic development. This needs to be complemented by enhancing the capacity of the national research and innovation system together with improving the scientific literacy of our people and entrenching sustainability principles in all spheres of our STI activities. You would agree that no single line ministry in a government can achieve these goals as the stakeholders and infrastructure are scattered and disjointed. The key to successful implementation of our National STI strategy therefore is working together in a coordinated manner. The stakeholders from the public and the private sectors should come together to co-identify, co-plan and co produce the activities that are identified in the Strategy.

ƒÆ’-¡ In recognition of this need the Government of Sri Lanka has established a dedicated Coordinating Secretariat for Science Technology and Innovation (COSTI) under my purview as the Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs. The COSTI will also function as the Secretariat for the Inter-Ministerial Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. The COSTI will work with both public and private sectors and direct STI activities on three pillars; economic development (eg harnessing natural resources through STI), social justice (such as food, water and energy security etc.) and environmental quality ( such as a future earth programme and resilience to climate change).

ƒÆ’-¡ Appreciation of the benefits of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI) and the Vidatha programme, which has transferred technology to rural micro and SME sectors, has led to an increase in the private sector contribution to GERD (Gross Expenditure on R&D) from less than 10% to over 30% during the last 6 years. Encouraged by this the government at the last Budget offered a 300% tax relief for R&D carried out by enterprises.

Despite the global economic downturn the success of this national effort can be accelerated and sustained by the necessary support being provided by international organizations like the CSTD and UNESCO. Four main areas that need to be considered are:

  1. Facilitating brain gain for countries like Sri Lanka
  2. Promotion of open access to scientific literature and data as a global policy
  3. Facilitating provision of technical assistance and training for STI personnel specific to national needs of less industrialized countries
  4. Encouraging the development partners and donor community to regard STI as a sector essential for development and skilled jobs creation in their funding support for less industrialized countries.

Prof. Tissa Vitarana

Senior Minister for Scientific Affairs, Sri Lanka

Secretary to President at Ranbima title presentation:13A was forced on country

June 10th, 2013

Chaminda Perera -Courtesy The Daily News

* Causing disruption to admin process

* PCs a stumbling block to progress

The then government was so much under pressure that it accepted the 13th Amendment to the Constitution without calling for a referendum in the face of a threat of invasion, Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunga said yesterday.

Weeratunga added that public discussion is brewing on the 13th Amendment and many secrets with regard to the introduction of the Provincial Council system are coming to light. He said the President does not show hesitation in shutting down establishments and institutions if they do not provide the expected services to the public.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-President Rajapaksa always gives clear directives to us to close down establishments which do not provide the expected services to the people,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Weeratunga said.

The countryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s administrative process was completely changed with the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which was implemented without the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s consent, the Secretary said.

Weeratunga was speaking at the presentation of land deeds to persons who do not own land, under the 12th stage of Ranbima title presentation programme launched by the Lands Reforms Commission (LRC) at Temple Trees yesterday. It was held under the patronage of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- The time has come for the people to evaluate the pros and cons of the Provincial Council system which was set up under the 13th Amendment to the Constitution without calling for a referendum,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said.

The Secretary said it is left to the people to evaluate the benefits received from the Provincial Councils which were established in 1989.

He said public views were not sought prior to the enactment of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution on which Provincial Councils were set up.

The Secretary to the President said the provision of a plot of land to a person who does not inherit an inch of land in the country has become a cumbersome process today as there is a clash between the Provincial councils and District Secretaries over land powers.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The people seeking land have to go to various places to get approval due to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said.

The Secretary said the distribution of lands among the landless was a simple process before the 13th Amendment was in force.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-An Assistant Government Agent was able to provide a land to a family who did not have legal ownership of their own land earlier,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he said.

Weeratunga said the LRC which comes under the direct supervision of the President has carried out tremendous work in all parts of the country including the North and East.

The Secretary to the President said the country went through an era in where the peopleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s lives were in danger due to terrorist atrocities.

Parents were left with no other option than hanging around the gates of schools fearing terrorist attacks.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa who was determined in eliminating terrorism from the country faced many obstacles, he said.

He said many countries including the UK, United States, France and neighbouring India exerted pressure to stop the humanitarian operation launched by the government to free the country from terrorism.

Weeratunga said President Rajapaksa replying to these forces said the majority of the people in the country had given him a clear mandate to free the country from terrorism and he remained committed to achieve this objective.

PROPOSD CAMPAIGN TO ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”SAVE ALL POSSIBLE LIVES & LIMBSƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ IN SRI LANKA

June 9th, 2013

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Dr. Tilak S. Fernando ƒÆ’-¡  POW-WOW WITH DR. ATHULA WITHANAGE ƒÆ’-¡ – ƒÆ’-¡ (MD LMSSAƒÆ’-¡ Lond.,ƒÆ’-¡ FRCSƒÆ’-¡ Edin.,ƒÆ’-¡ FRCSƒÆ’-¡ Irel,ƒÆ’-¡  FRCS England FICS)

Tilak April 2013

Dr. AthulaƒÆ’-¡ Withanage has been working as ƒÆ’-¡ a Consultant General & Laparoscopic Surgeon, ƒÆ’-¡ Senior Lecturer in Surgery, Hon Clinical tutor at Cardiff University Faculty, WIMAT Cardiff and retired Clinical Lead at WithybushƒÆ’-¡ GeneralƒÆ’-¡ Hospital Wales for over two decades asƒÆ’-¡  the Lead Clinician and Clinical Director who won the Clinical LeaderƒÆ’-¡  and Mentor of the year awards in 2008 and 2009 ƒÆ’-¡ from the National Health Service Trust UK . Very recently he came down to Sri Lanka on a holiday and visited ƒÆ’-¡ the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Green Campus, in the middle of paddy fieldsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢, at Neville Fernando Hospital ƒÆ’-¡ at Malabe to deliver a guest lecture and commented on theƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”the most beautiful auditoriumƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ as one he had never seen before anywhere in the world!

At the request of Chairmen Dr. Neville Fernando, ViceƒÆ’-¡ ChancellorƒÆ’-¡ ProfessorƒÆ’-¡ MalkanthiƒÆ’-¡ ChandrasekaraƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ the Dean of the medical faculty ProfessorƒÆ’-¡ ShanthiƒÆ’-¡ GunewardenaƒÆ’-¡  heƒÆ’-¡  decided to stay ƒÆ’-¡ behind in Sri Lanka to help establish the Academic Surgical unit and ƒÆ’-¡ particularly ƒÆ’-¡ to write the curriculum for the New University.

Ever since, he has helped to restructure the most modern state of the art theatre complex atƒÆ’-¡ the newƒÆ’-¡ hospital inƒÆ’-¡ Malabe.ƒÆ’-¡  He says the latest ƒÆ’-¡ look is akin to his own operating theatre in the UK, built at a cost of ƒÆ’-¡£12 million pounds from the Welsh Assembly, where he received the honour to declare open due to his involvement in designing it.

NFTH in Malabe now has theƒÆ’-¡ mostƒÆ’-¡ up toƒÆ’-¡ dateƒÆ’-¡ sophisticated electronicƒÆ’-¡ medical equipments includingƒÆ’-¡ Spiral CT as well as Colour Duplex Ultrasound Scanners with all requisite facilities to make this the best teaching hospital in the private or public sector anywhere in the country, in years to come.

DisplayingƒÆ’-¡ his ambition to work for humanity,ƒÆ’-¡ he has contributed five million rupees worth of hospital equipmentƒÆ’-¡ free of charge,ƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ the Malabe hospital which was well appreciated by the hospital directors Professor Deepal Weerasekara, Dr. Lakshan Fernando, Dr. Harsha Subashana and the Administration.ƒÆ’-¡  He says more will arrive ƒÆ’-¡ with the help of an Organisation he has formed called ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Withybush Friends of NFTHƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’-¡ which will twin NFTH in Sri Lanka with WGH in UK.ƒÆ’-¡  With the popular demand of the students, he has now undertaken the task of training of budding doctors in clinical training sessions in a unique ƒÆ’-¡ and personnel style which he has developed over the years in the UK.ƒÆ’-¡  At present he uses the most up to date training video techniques until flow of patients increases to thisƒÆ’-¡ Hospital.

He took up this immense task voluntarily mainly out of concern for those well motivated youngsters, who at one stage seemed to have faced an uphill struggle.ƒÆ’-¡  He wants to be free from political involvements or arguments, but his aim being desperately to produce ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”caring and respectful doctorsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ who will place ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”patient-careƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ at the top of their list. He advises the young students at Malabe ƒÆ’-¡ that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the days of one minute consultation and decision making is definitely not for Malabe graduates who ƒÆ’-¡ will blossom out as ƒÆ’-¡ fully pledged doctors in the future.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

HavingƒÆ’-¡ taken meƒÆ’-¡ on aƒÆ’-¡ guided tour inside theƒÆ’-¡ new hospital buildingƒÆ’-¡ byƒÆ’-¡ AthulaƒÆ’-¡ Withanage, prior to the inaugural opening,ƒÆ’-¡ I can confidently state that itƒÆ’-¡ would beƒÆ’-¡ the most up to date, modern private or government hospital in Sri Lanka.ƒÆ’-¡  The building itself is so beautiful that he called it the Tajmahal of Sri Lanka, especially when it is illuminated by flash lights in the night.

Athula Withanage is a medical manƒÆ’-¡ through andƒÆ’-¡ through toƒÆ’-¡ the inner core of his heart. With his wideƒÆ’-¡ experience inƒÆ’-¡ the medical field he is not the kind ofƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”specialistƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ whoƒÆ’-¡ hasƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”no timeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ to listen to patients or inclined the see hundreds of patients to make his bank balanceƒÆ’-¡ growƒÆ’-¡ fat.ƒÆ’-¡  Patients who have consulted already at Malabe Hospital haveƒÆ’-¡ seen andƒÆ’-¡ feltƒÆ’-¡ the difference, the attitudeƒÆ’-¡ and theƒÆ’-¡ approach of this surgeon and his colleagues who spend moreƒÆ’-¡ timeƒÆ’-¡ with patients in discussion prior to making any medical or surgical decision.ƒÆ’-¡  He says surgery will be the last thing, after a full explanation to a patient and with his consent after the patient understanding fully what is committing to.

Athula Withanage states:ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Sri Lanka has produced the best of doctorsƒÆ’-¡ and health care workersƒÆ’-¡ in the world. Our health careƒÆ’-¡ system hasƒÆ’-¡ leaped forwardƒÆ’-¡ dramatically,ƒÆ’-¡ millions of miles, since it was established over hundred years ago. Our experts are performing the most sophisticated type of surgery and our doctors have made miracles in all fields of medicine here in Sri Lanka as well as during their work abroad.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Sri LankanƒÆ’-¡ Government has done a lot to improve theƒÆ’-¡ servicesƒÆ’-¡ and our hospitals are getting equipped with state of the artƒÆ’-¡ equipment.ƒÆ’-¡  Yet we read about a lot of ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”near misses and loss ofƒÆ’-¡ lifeƒÆ’-¡ and limbsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ and other horror storiesƒÆ’-¡ in the mediaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

With all the funds allocated to National Health Services,ƒÆ’-¡ more developed countries like USA and UK,ƒÆ’-¡ tooƒÆ’-¡ haveƒÆ’-¡ experienced the same problem.ƒÆ’-¡  Only 90% of patients receive good medical care (NCEPOD REPORT 2005) with the result thatƒÆ’-¡ they haveƒÆ’-¡ opened upƒÆ’-¡ campaigns to improve the quality and safety of patient care.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-It is time we start our own campaign here in Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, he firmly believes and willing to take the lead.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-The aimƒÆ’-¡ of such a schemeƒÆ’-¡ will be ƒÆ’-¡ to,ƒÆ’-¡ as much as humanly possible,ƒÆ’-¡  eradicate preventable deathsƒÆ’-¡ and life changing morbidityƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ -ƒÆ’-¡ e.g.ƒÆ’-¡  having toƒÆ’-¡ amputate a limbƒÆ’-¡ quiteƒÆ’-¡ unnecessarily; a patientƒÆ’-¡ whoƒÆ’-¡ sufferedƒÆ’-¡ a heart attack on a general wardƒÆ’-¡ dyingƒÆ’-¡ at midnightƒÆ’-¡  without basic life supportƒÆ’-¡ in the absenceƒÆ’-¡ of a professional ƒÆ’-¡ on the spotƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  and ƒÆ’-¡ withoutƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ defibrillatorƒÆ’-¡ close at hand,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ orƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ in a ƒÆ’-¡ case ƒÆ’-¡ such as ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”a ƒÆ’-¡ young motorƒÆ’-¡ cyclist ( only child in the family) rushedƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ an emergency unitƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ inƒÆ’-¡ aƒÆ’-¡ three wheeler from Dodanduwa to KarapitiyaƒÆ’-¡ (with noƒÆ’-¡ basic first- aid facilities or supportƒÆ’-¡ inside the tutƒÆ’-¡ tutƒÆ’-¡ )ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ whichƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  boils down toƒÆ’-¡  a single explanation -ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ beingƒÆ’-¡ too lateƒÆ’-¡ !

He emphasises :ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- We need to get this right , we will save lives for years to come ƒÆ’-¡ and one day everyone will be grateful for introducing ƒÆ’-¡ the concept of:

1.ƒÆ’-¡  TRAFFIC ƒÆ’-¡ LIGHT SYSTEM AND SCORE CARDS ON WARDS ( to see tiniest change to act upon preemptively)

2. ƒÆ’-¡ OUT REACH TEAM ƒÆ’-¡ to TRACK AND TRIGGER for early transfer of patients to ICU in the nick of time.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ 3..WHO Airline check in operation theatre

(ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- For thirty years IƒÆ’-¡ haven’t lost ƒÆ’-¡ a single unexpected life or limb or ƒÆ’-¡ neverƒÆ’-¡  made an error of operating on the wrong organ as I check everything myselfƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬).

4. Effective AmbulanceƒÆ’-¡ call service in place, AT THE RIGHT site.

He was horrified recently upon hearing of a patient dying suddenly in a City Hospital in Colombo as there had not been a single staff on the ward during the night shift to resuscitate! Had that patient being in the ICU it would have been a different story, he states.

ƒÆ’-¡ 

CAMPAIGN TO SAVE ONE MILLION LIVES .ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ USAƒÆ’-¡ hasƒÆ’-¡ startedƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”save one million lives campaignƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ and in EnglandƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”save one thousand lives campaignƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡  In WalesƒÆ’-¡ Athula Withanage and his team had gone beyondƒÆ’-¡ such perimetersƒÆ’-¡ and startedƒÆ’-¡ theirƒÆ’-¡ pioneering workƒÆ’-¡ onƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”save thousand lives plus campaignƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ which theyƒÆ’-¡ consideredƒÆ’-¡ asƒÆ’-¡ mother of all campaignsƒÆ’-¡ , the results of which was that his team managed to win the first price for the in the NHS Wales, UK.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ He is ever so grateful to Professor Jonathan Grey having placed complete trust on his pilot project ƒÆ’-¡ without which it would not have been possibleƒÆ’-¡  to obtain successful results.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Some have argued stating that those were ƒÆ’-¡ too ambitious targets withoutƒÆ’-¡ meaning,ƒÆ’-¡  and such campaigns were ƒÆ’-¡ already in progress, ƒÆ’-¡ and near misses could never be satisfactorily auditedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬!

To such criticism his answer has been that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-every medical system and its workers are proud of their work and they do their best to save millions of lives, nevertheless the inevitability of ƒÆ’-¡ one or two limbs or lives or near misses cannot be avoided out of thousands of patients who are being dealt with on a daily basis. For the individual family of course it becomes a one hundred percent disaster.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

ƒÆ’-¡ Athula WithanageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s perception is that Human life is the most precious gift human being is given and itƒÆ’-¡ needsƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ beƒÆ’-¡ protectedƒÆ’-¡ by all availableƒÆ’-¡ means. ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Dead cannot return to the clinic and complain how carelessly or badly he or she was treated orƒÆ’-¡ say how he or she missed all the truly wonderful events such as the wedding of an only daughter or celebration of a first grandchildƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s birthday! Therefore, as medical specialists what is required to achieve this target is a set of tools which is easily availableƒÆ’-¡  (notƒÆ’-¡ rocketƒÆ’-¡ science) which boils down to plain clinical parametersƒÆ’-¡ (ƒÆ’-¡ SayanikaƒÆ’-¡ MinumƒÆ’-¡ )ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-he emphasises.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-WeƒÆ’-¡ see frequently on all wards theƒÆ’-¡ observation charts, blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate,ƒÆ’-¡ temperature,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ oxygen saturation levels etc.,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ whereƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ the health care workers as much as ƒÆ’-¡ patientsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ relativesƒÆ’-¡  can see andƒÆ’-¡ withƒÆ’-¡ God givenƒÆ’-¡ Panchendriya.ƒÆ’-¡  If a patient complains of a pain, whichƒÆ’-¡ no doubt is aƒÆ’-¡ terrible feeling,ƒÆ’-¡ he suggests toƒÆ’-¡ give a painkiller to the patient by all means butƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ investigateƒÆ’-¡ the causeƒÆ’-¡ thoroughly and deal with the cause as a priority.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’-¡ If the wifeƒÆ’-¡ of a patientƒÆ’-¡ says ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- my husband is not the same today (She knows him better than us), so ƒÆ’-¡ listen with care and investigateƒÆ’-¡ and doƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ atƒÆ’-¡ leastƒÆ’-¡ a blood chemistryƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ he suggests with ,ƒÆ’-¡ Urea and electrolytes, bloodƒÆ’-¡ sugarƒÆ’-¡ levels or any levelsƒÆ’-¡ relevantƒÆ’-¡ to patientƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s conditionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Clinical Parameters

ƒÆ’-¡ WhyƒÆ’-¡ areƒÆ’-¡ clinical Parameters (ƒÆ’-¡ SayanikaƒÆ’-¡ Minim) so importantƒÆ’-¡ for better outcomes in patient care?ƒÆ’-¡ In Athula WithanageƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s thinking (and every other medicƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s experience)ƒÆ’-¡ thereƒÆ’-¡ areƒÆ’-¡ always subtle and simpleƒÆ’-¡ changesƒÆ’-¡ in thoseƒÆ’-¡ clinicalƒÆ’-¡ indicators that every nurse records,ƒÆ’-¡ days or hours beforeƒÆ’-¡ the actual clinical deteriorationƒÆ’-¡ takesƒÆ’-¡ place; ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the patient will complain if not unconscious.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ It is certainly not the early CT MRI or PET changes that are important, and that is why it is not rocket science as every nurse and every junior doctor observes this,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he observes.

ICUƒÆ’-¡ Out Reach Track & Trigger Team

ƒÆ’-¡ One approach Athula Withanage started on his wardsƒÆ’-¡ during his campaign abroadƒÆ’-¡ was something calledƒÆ’-¡  theƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”ƒÆ’-¡ Traffic light systemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ where normalƒÆ’-¡  levelsƒÆ’-¡ wereƒÆ’-¡ groupedƒÆ’-¡ as theƒÆ’-¡ White Zone,( anything slightly abnormal) theƒÆ’-¡ Amber ZoneƒÆ’-¡ and more abnormal indices were categorised as ƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ Red zone.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’-¡ Within the Amber zone action and vigilance were required. ƒÆ’-¡  Healthcare workers at WGH,ƒÆ’-¡ especially nurses and junior doctors, were educated in the system at a series of general compulsory meetings at the hospitalƒÆ’-¡ with senior consultants participating and advising ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ themƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ investigate andƒÆ’-¡ inform a senior, who wasƒÆ’-¡ nextƒÆ’-¡ in line, according to the superiority ƒÆ’-¡ immediatelyƒÆ’-¡ on the slightest changeƒÆ’-¡ in patientƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s condition.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-During thisƒÆ’-¡ Pilot project two intensiveƒÆ’-¡ care nursesƒÆ’-¡ wereƒÆ’-¡ alsoƒÆ’-¡ made toƒÆ’-¡ visit generalƒÆ’-¡ wards daily toƒÆ’-¡ studyƒÆ’-¡ the observationƒÆ’-¡ chartsƒÆ’-¡ to track and trigger a patientƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s transfer to high dependency unit or even an intensive care unit before actual deterioration took place, long before multi organ failure set in.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ As they did this, a substantial team of health care workers with good intentions did not express any grievances (consultants included) which under normal circumstances would have been considered as being ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-InterfearingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Whenever aƒÆ’-¡ patient suffered a massive heart attackƒÆ’-¡ it was common knowledge thatƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ life support protocols were in place and defibrillatorƒÆ’-¡ to be at close range to the patient without alarming the individual.ƒÆ’-¡  AnyƒÆ’-¡ Patient, anywhereƒÆ’-¡ onƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ wards,ƒÆ’-¡ was given full life support in the event of unexpectedƒÆ’-¡ cardiacƒÆ’-¡ arrest, unless a decisionƒÆ’-¡ hadƒÆ’-¡ beenƒÆ’-¡ taken not toƒÆ’-¡ do so (DNR)ƒÆ’-¡ beforehand for obvious reasonsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡ 

Primary Care.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-AllƒÆ’-¡ familyƒÆ’-¡ doctorsƒÆ’-¡ (GPs)ƒÆ’-¡ in the NHS had toƒÆ’-¡ familiarise with ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-red flag symptomsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒÆ’-¡ of all diseases e.g. cancer,ƒÆ’-¡ abnormalƒÆ’-¡ breastƒÆ’-¡ lump, bleeding from theƒÆ’-¡ rectum, and in general,ƒÆ’-¡ a specialist had to see urgent suspected cancer patients within 10 days or so in one-stop clinics and full treatment to be completed within 64 daysƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Everyone had to go for training to learn how to break bad news sympathetically and humanely which had not been properly taught at the medical college.ƒÆ’-¡  This vital topic of care with kindness, respect empathy and learning to prioritisation will become a MUST for Malabe Medical studentsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬, he stays quite stubbornly.

Safe Surgery Saves Life

ƒÆ’-¡ He suggestsƒÆ’-¡  that ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”all clinical parameters to be stabilised before actual ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-knifeƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ skin ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- contact takes placeƒÆ’-¡  when patients go for emergency surgery or elective, ƒÆ’-¡ unless patient is notƒÆ’-¡ exsanguinatingƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ rapidly,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ in which caseƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ the tap has to be closed.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ In his opinion, itƒÆ’-¡ is importantƒÆ’-¡ to admit such patients to ICU or anaesthetic induction areas before hand.

All elective surgical cases also must maintain normal clinical parameters, normalƒÆ’-¡ sugarƒÆ’-¡ levels, normal medicine; beta-blockers, given in the morning.

In order to prevent infections, he has always advised his team ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”to take all precautions religiously and, for same reasons, clipping of hair (Not shaving) to be done only in the anaesthetic induction roomƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

Other ƒÆ’-¡ areasƒÆ’-¡ highlighted at Withybush General HospitalƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ were to ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” reduce unnecessary chatting andƒÆ’-¡ to reduce the numbers in staffƒÆ’-¡ withƒÆ’-¡ cough and coldsƒÆ’-¡ from entering theatres; everythingƒÆ’-¡ had to beƒÆ’-¡ done toƒÆ’-¡ preventƒÆ’-¡ aƒÆ’-¡ clot in legs and lungs, the so calledƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”economy class syndromeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ where even airlinesƒÆ’-¡ today give instructions to do leg exercisesƒÆ’-¡ during flights.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ AllƒÆ’-¡ aspects of these protocols wereƒÆ’-¡ auditedƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ to find out the adherence of the staff which made Withybush to come out on top of the world leagueƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. He was proud to say that one his Sri Lankan surgical trainees was instrumental in writing the protocol under his guidance.

Mishaps in TheatreƒÆ’-¡ -ƒÆ’-¡ WHOƒÆ’-¡ Check List (June 2008).

ƒÆ’-¡ Athula Withanage and his team took WHO check list to their heart and bravely introduced first to the Day Hospital theatre, ƒÆ’-¡ possibly first ever to do so in ƒÆ’-¡ the UK.ƒÆ’-¡  At ƒÆ’-¡ the beginning it seemed like a joke and unnecessary drama before a busy operation list, but he and his team became the pioneers in Wales in introducing theƒÆ’-¡ WHOƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Airline Take OffƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-type check list to allƒÆ’-¡ surgicalƒÆ’-¡ theatres.

WHO Airline check for surgery

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-With a lot of confidence he once pronounced: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I am Mr. Withanage, Consultant Surgeon (Surgeons in the UK are addressed as Mr and not Dr)ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬¦.. And I am aware of sarcasm directed towards our new concept without really understanding the idea behind. To his delight his Sri Lankan MD supervised trainees who took part in the process which proved that not only the surgeon was familiar with this all important process.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The process, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-sign inƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ took place before induction of anaesthesia i.e.: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Identification of patient,ƒÆ’-¡  operationƒÆ’-¡ site ƒÆ’-¡ of patientƒÆ’-¡  and the operation identified loud and clear ƒÆ’-¡ for all to hear.ƒÆ’-¡  OperateƒÆ’-¡ on the correct side of the organ and above all, identification of the correct patient and operation had to be vitally important.ƒÆ’-¡ Expected blood loss and other concerns relevant to the individual patient were then declared. This procedure became all the more important when a distinguished eminent surgeon once removed the wrong kidney (normal kidney) of a 48 year old patient who died soon after the operation!ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Then came the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Time Out - the role call and confirm Sepsis bundle and clot prophylaxis really undertakenƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Final step ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Sign OutƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ ƒÆ’-¡ – began even before closing the wound with a SWAB count checked and operational notes and in instructions clearly recorded. All the post operative concerns were clearly documented.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ThenƒÆ’-¡ of course,ƒÆ’-¡ back to the all important clinical parameters (Sayanika Minum) once againƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ check anyƒÆ’-¡ subtleƒÆ’-¡ changes in track and trigger until such time patient was up and about or discharged.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Laminated cards were given to all doctors with a scoring system using clinical parameters indicating when to call the next in line according to seniority, including the consultant.ƒÆ’-¡ When there was a highest score situation the whole team was summoned.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”The knowledgeƒÆ’-¡ passed on from time to time to all concernedƒÆ’-¡ asƒÆ’-¡ how to identify sepsisƒÆ’-¡ isƒÆ’-¡ called aƒÆ’-¡ sepsis bundleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. Athula Withanage explained: ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-First, Golden hour sepsis care pathway duties are identified and acted upon. ƒÆ’-¡ This will clarify the diagnostic criteria, whether it isƒÆ’-¡ aƒÆ’-¡ new event like an unexpected surgical disaster – ƒÆ’-¡ e.g. bile leaksƒÆ’-¡ orƒÆ’-¡ bowel anastomosisƒÆ’-¡ leaks after gall bladder operation or due to previous infection which has flared up which involves finallyƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ investigateƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ find out whether any organ isƒÆ’-¡ malfunctioningƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

Key Hole Surgery

ƒÆ’-¡  Key hole surgeryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ (laparoscopic or minimal access therapy)ƒÆ’-¡ makes a wonderful progressƒÆ’-¡ in clinical operationsƒÆ’-¡ to reduce pain. Cosmesis is beautiful without ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-cross bunƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ scars and most importantly patients get back to normal quality life and work in no time. This surgical revolution which was invented by Russians in 1910 has now become common in most leading hospitals in Sri Lanka thanks to stapling revolution (by Russians) in the 1950s and eventually by the French with video usage putting all together in the late seventies.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-One must not thinkƒÆ’-¡ thatƒÆ’-¡ clinical parameters will behave or change in a different way when there is a disaster following laparoscopic surgery.ƒÆ’-¡  SomehowƒÆ’-¡ we, the surgeons, areƒÆ’-¡ so reluctantƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ look at these patients inƒÆ’-¡ a similar way as we do in open surgeryƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ Athula Withanage states.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Pride of a successful and comforting operation ƒÆ’-¡ must not allow us to over look at disasters happening insideƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢. TheƒÆ’-¡ magnitude and actual invasiveness of the operation is the same.ƒÆ’-¡  Only method of access is different, hence the term ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”minimal access ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”is used which needs further clarificationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ He explains.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In the event of a mishap all changesƒÆ’-¡ will be theƒÆ’-¡ same as before, good old clinical parameters, (SayanikaƒÆ’-¡ MinumƒÆ’-¡ )ƒÆ’-¡ temperature, pulse blood pressure, pulse oxy-meter oxygen saturations will change as before when bile leaksƒÆ’-¡ orƒÆ’-¡ bowel anastomosisƒÆ’-¡ leaks.ƒÆ’-¡  One must not wait until the ward round next day if pulse is rapid; blood pressure is low and especially if there are 800 mls of blood in the drain.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”MostƒÆ’-¡ surgeons in the UK now refer to the inordinate delays in the arrival of CT scan confirmation reports and actions as theƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-doughnutƒÆ’-¡ of deathƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡  AthulaƒÆ’-¡ Withanage states that, ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’-¡ there is no harm to act immediately with the gut feeling , but a wise surgeon willƒÆ’-¡  look in with laparoscope, ƒÆ’-¡ wash and put a drain or open before every organƒÆ’-¡ in the bodyƒÆ’-¡ ceases to function, ƒÆ’-¡ although the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…” big surgeon big incisionƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ days are over. When the clinical picture tells you to open, you open and close the tap if bleeding or plug the hole if leakingƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

In Wales he had introduced a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Disaster DayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ where surgeons from all over Wales met on a particular day to discuss any disasters and experiences openly ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ honouring patient confidentiality. ƒÆ’-¡ It was a kind of Mortality and Morbidity meeting to learn from their mistakes.ƒÆ’-¡  Equally they were not ashamedƒÆ’-¡ of to discussƒÆ’-¡ everythingƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ on this particular day in analysing chronologicallyƒÆ’-¡ to find outƒÆ’-¡ whatever had led toƒÆ’-¡ any patientƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢sƒÆ’-¡ death (No names were disclosed except patientsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ initials and age). ƒÆ’-¡  DVD recordings of the operation were rolled back to identify what exactly had gone wrong in the case of any detailed information required. On the DisasterƒÆ’-¡ DayƒÆ’-¡ surgeons from all parts ofƒÆ’-¡ WalesƒÆ’-¡ presented their cases as teamsƒÆ’-¡ to emphasise and how to avoid any adversity in the future.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-All hospital work asƒÆ’-¡ well as any taskƒÆ’-¡ anywhere else in the community is team work.ƒÆ’-¡  If we are all good team players we can do an excellent job;ƒÆ’-¡ to blame one person alone isƒÆ’-¡ akinƒÆ’-¡ to washing oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s hand of oneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s responsibilities,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he believes.

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Track  Trigger Charts 2  - (2)

Ambulance services.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”These are the days of super highways and supersonic air aircraft; therefore, it is vital to bring all seriously ill patientsƒÆ’-¡ in a ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”well stabilisedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ condition at rocket speedƒÆ’-¡ to all district hospitals.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka recentlyƒÆ’-¡ acquired 250 ambulances, adding to existing stock at various hospitals in the country.ƒÆ’-¡ But the amazing factor is thatƒÆ’-¡ in most cases of emergencies or accidents on the roadƒÆ’-¡ three wheelers, devoid of any life support, primary care or stabilising any clinical parameters, are still being used to takeƒÆ’-¡ criticallyƒÆ’-¡ illƒÆ’-¡ with multiplyƒÆ’-¡ injured patients to hospitals.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ This was clearly demonstrated in the news media a few days ago where a pregnant mother who was being taken to a hospital in her labour, over ƒÆ’-¡ a considerable distance, ƒÆ’-¡ by a three wheeler ƒÆ’-¡ and dying without any life supportƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Another drawback in Sri Lanka is the absence of a general emergency number allocated solely ƒÆ’-¡ to heath care functions such as ƒÆ’-¡ calling an ambulance in an emergency situation (barring private ambulance services which are also parked in hospital premises). All TV channels must give this information free of charge from time to time,ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he stresses.

Health Department ambulancesƒÆ’-¡ areƒÆ’-¡ parked at main district hospitalsƒÆ’-¡ only toƒÆ’-¡ transfer patients from hospital to hospital and not from the place of injury or from a site where a sudden and severe illness was reported.ƒÆ’-¡  In this scenario Athula Withanage poses the question: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Are ƒÆ’-¡ weƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ going to allow to continually ƒÆ’-¡ loseƒÆ’-¡ any lives (especially ƒÆ’-¡ the seriously injured accident victimsƒÆ’-¡ due to renal shut down due to delay or ƒÆ’-¡ exanguinationƒÆ’-¡ as a result of unavailability of primaryƒÆ’-¡ onsiteƒÆ’-¡ treatment and being unable to stabilise and transfer patients with continuing life support toƒÆ’-¡ a hospital in timeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢.

AthulaƒÆ’-¡ WithnageƒÆ’-¡ throws out many other questions which are food for thought:ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Are we going to miss out on the ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Golden hourƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ whereƒÆ’-¡ we could do more to save life?ƒÆ’-¡ Obstruction to airway kills before lack of breathing and there is no breathing before circulation,ƒÆ’-¡ yetƒÆ’-¡ occasionallyƒÆ’-¡ may need to close the tap of haemorrhage to save a life on the spot.ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-This is theƒÆ’-¡ ABC that every medical studentƒÆ’-¡ should know, but when are we going to really practice this action?ƒÆ’-¡ HowƒÆ’-¡ manyƒÆ’-¡ trainedƒÆ’-¡ first-aidƒÆ’-¡ workers areƒÆ’-¡ aroundƒÆ’-¡ usƒÆ’-¡ inƒÆ’-¡ everyƒÆ’-¡ office, everyƒÆ’-¡ factory, every school every playground, every police station,ƒÆ’-¡ and inƒÆ’-¡ every area and in hospitals?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡  Are our junior doctors getting trained for basic life support every five years orƒÆ’-¡ so?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ For that matter we,ƒÆ’-¡ asƒÆ’-¡ consultants tooƒÆ’-¡ shouldƒÆ’-¡ undergoƒÆ’-¡ some training from timeƒÆ’-¡ to time.ƒÆ’-¡  In most countries all surgical seniors go through a valid advance life support certificate, (at least some training. ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ TheseƒÆ’-¡ daysƒÆ’-¡ defibrillators in the advisory mood talk to us,ƒÆ’-¡ rest is hands-on training skills in labs ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-.

He poses a vital question: ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Are ambulances kept in the right place to start with? ƒÆ’-¡ Are we actually using ambulancesƒÆ’-¡ for hospital to hospital patient transfer only?ƒÆ’-¡  ShouldnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢tƒÆ’-¡ the ambulancesƒÆ’-¡ be kept in other smallerƒÆ’-¡ hospitalsƒÆ’-¡ or evenƒÆ’-¡ atƒÆ’-¡ police stationsƒÆ’-¡ as patients need toƒÆ’-¡ beƒÆ’-¡ transferred fromƒÆ’-¡ any areaƒÆ’-¡ toƒÆ’-¡ the nearest hospital?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Our security forces are well trained in most life support procedures andƒÆ’-¡ policeƒÆ’-¡ tooƒÆ’-¡ have some trainingƒÆ’-¡ to a certain degree.ƒÆ’-¡ AsƒÆ’-¡ PoliceƒÆ’-¡ are the first to arriveƒÆ’-¡ on a critical scene,ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ is there any harmƒÆ’-¡ in giving some regular training to a few police officers,ƒÆ’-¡ in addition to theirƒÆ’-¡ normalƒÆ’-¡ duties andƒÆ’-¡ retain anƒÆ’-¡ ambulanceƒÆ’-¡ in every police station?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ This willƒÆ’-¡ alsoƒÆ’-¡ cutƒÆ’-¡ down on additional expenditure andƒÆ’-¡ save moneyƒÆ’-¡ to maintain ambulance crews as well. In this manner, police will not only control the crowds in such an event but also save livesƒÆ’-¡  as they are ƒÆ’-¡ the one always arrive first on the sceneƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

 

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Life styleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ Clinics.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-In Sri Lanka doctors are doing wonderfulƒÆ’-¡ miraclesƒÆ’-¡ to save lives.ƒÆ’-¡  So many campaigns have begun especiallyƒÆ’-¡ onƒÆ’-¡ diabetic control, kidney diseases, worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s best malaria eradication campaign etc.ƒÆ’-¡  ƒÆ’-¡ The Government has done an immense task in buildingƒÆ’-¡ state of the art hospitalsƒÆ’-¡ and isƒÆ’-¡ opening moreƒÆ’-¡ and more. Colombo General Hospital recently opened another new ƒÆ’-¡ wing. ƒÆ’-¡ Similarly the general public also need toƒÆ’-¡ contributeƒÆ’-¡ more to change their life styleƒÆ’-¡ and help to cut down on additional expenses on the health budget by refraining from smoking and maintaining good health byƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ walkingƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ regularlyƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ eatingƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ a healthy dietƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’-¡ If someone hasƒÆ’-¡ crampƒÆ’-¡ in his leg due to narrowing or furring of an artery, theƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ likelihoodƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ ofƒÆ’-¡ him loosing that legƒÆ’-¡  in a year is approx. 1%ƒÆ’-¡ -ƒÆ’-¡ 2%, but you can almost predict at least 59% will be dead in five years time following a heart attack or a stroke.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ This fact one must understand clearly, ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Change in life style must take today not when one has pain in the chest ƒÆ’-¡ when running ƒÆ’-¡ to the bus or fallen in the bath behind closed doors and ƒÆ’-¡ paralysed with a massive strokeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Life styleƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ƒÆ’-¡ clinicsƒÆ’-¡ areƒÆ’-¡ not only for diabetic centresƒÆ’-¡ but must spring upƒÆ’-¡ in all parts ofƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ country.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ A nurse,ƒÆ’-¡ dietician, psychologistƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ aƒÆ’-¡ doctor,ƒÆ’-¡ to do the clinical and vascular examination and a few fasting blood tests, areƒÆ’-¡ all thatƒÆ’-¡ isƒÆ’-¡ required. Blood pressure manometer, hand held DopplerƒÆ’-¡ areƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ minimal equipment that isƒÆ’-¡ required.ƒÆ’-¡  As a team, these four can visit various offices, factoriesƒÆ’-¡ or set up such clinics at a minimal cost to the targeted groups at variousƒÆ’-¡ venuesƒÆ’-¡ around the country to nip something serious in the bud and save enormous amount of money for our health service.ƒÆ’-¡ Nations health is also definitely reflects in the productivity of the country.

Various expensive scans – e.g. CT, or MRI scans are not always required.ƒÆ’-¡  Doing just CT to give one a clean bill of health is just a misguided notion although good for business in the private sectorƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ he emphasises.

Blame Game

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Blame game has never workedƒÆ’-¡ anywhere in the world.ƒÆ’-¡  What we need to do is look carefully at various resources and to find out whether there is a critical mass of health care workers at each location?ƒÆ’-¡  Are there enough equipmentƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ drugs available at every site?ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ Are we giving enough rest, enough hands-on training to staff and retraining all our health careƒÆ’-¡ workers from time to time?ƒÆ’-¡  Are we rewardingƒÆ’-¡ special life savers and do we recognise people with leadership qualities and unsung heroes in our systemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬?

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Every attempt must be taken not to disfigure a patientƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s faculty ƒÆ’-¡ like ƒÆ’-¡ in the case of the young university student who lost her limb recently ƒÆ’-¡ or must not allow ƒÆ’-¡ the only child in a family ƒÆ’-¡ to lose his/her life ƒÆ’-¡ because we cannot take them to a hospital in time.ƒÆ’-¡  Discipline must be implemented everywhere – in the schools, universities, markets, assembly halls and most importantly ƒÆ’-¡ on the roads where bus drivers need to take a greater responsibility on passengersƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ lives they transport as well as the pedestrians on the road.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…- Primary prevention and secondary prevention of accidents waiting to happen must be looked in to by all citizens. This is the duty of every citizen and not only of the doctors!ƒÆ’-¡  We must not let a four year old fall into a bath tub or unprotected well and die.ƒÆ’-¡  All Samaritans must proactively save lives of our citizens regardless of their religion nationality or race.ƒÆ’-¡  Sri Lanka is a country with no frequent natural disasters, so let us live happily without any unnecessary and avoidable trauma till the end of our daysƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Now thatƒÆ’-¡ theƒÆ’-¡ unimaginable and cruel suffering of the war is over for all of us, let today be the day of peace and tranquillity and then for ever. Our religious leaders from all faithsƒÆ’-¡ haveƒÆ’-¡ to play aƒÆ’-¡ responsibleƒÆ’-¡ role starting from the very young to the knownƒÆ’-¡ grown-upƒÆ’-¡ wrong doers.

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Enough is enough;ƒÆ’-¡ thisƒÆ’-¡ is aƒÆ’-¡ great countryƒÆ’-¡ andƒÆ’-¡ certainly not a killing field. So let ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Let us start theƒÆ’-¡ SAVE ALL POSSIBLE LIVES AND LIMBS CAMPAIGN IN SRI LANKAƒÆ’-¡ earnestly todayƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬.ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’-¡ 

ƒÆ’-¡ tilakfernand@gmail.com

 

 

Remembering the martyrdom of Vietnamese Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc on its 50th Anniversary (1963 ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” 2013)

June 9th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

It was described as a revolution ignited by a single match. June 11, 1963 was the date, Thich Quang Duc, a 66 year old Buddhist monk sat down calmly in the lotus position in a busy intersection in Saigon and lit himself on fire. While those watching wailed the monk did not make a sound nor moved a muscle depicting his self-discipline. The self-immolation was to protest against the US-backed South Vietnamese Ngo Dinh DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Catholic GovernmentƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s repression of Buddhists.ƒÆ’-¡  The act brought self-immolation into ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-the global repertoire of protestƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ and the impact was immense and immediate locally and globally and brought hundreds of thousands of people together ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” expressing their rage, grief and resulted within a few months in America overthrowing its puppet.

 

ƒÆ’-¡ thich1 ƒÆ’-¡ thich2
ƒÆ’-¡ thich3 ƒÆ’-¡ thich4

50 years on flowers still adorn the spot where Thich Quang Duc sacrificed his life for the cause of achieving equal treatment of Buddhism and Buddhists in South Vietnam which had always been a Buddhist majority country but nevertheless governed by a minority Catholic led Govt. under Ngo Dinh Diem backed by the US and the Vatican.ƒÆ’-¡  Diem banned the flying of the traditional Buddhist flag in Hue on Vesak day leading to unceasing protests and civil unrest. ƒÆ’-¡ Finally President Kennedy took the decision that Diem had to go. In the space of 5 1/2 months the deaths of Quang Duc, Diem and Kennedy took place and changed the course of history of Vietnam, USA and the world at large.

US-backed Ngo Dinh Diem Government

French colonial administration in Vietnam ended in 1954 with the comprehensive defeat of the French army by the Viet Minh at the battle of Dien Bien Phu, leading to the 1954 Geneva Accords. ƒÆ’-¡ The country was divided into North Vietnam headed by Ho Chi Minh and South Vietnam by Emperor Bao Dai. Nationwide elections that were to be held in 1956, as had been stipulated by the Geneva Conference, were scuttled by South Vietnam eventually leading to War in Vietnam (1959ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…”1963) and escalation to the full participation of American combat troops following the Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. Elections held only in South Vietnam in 1956 placed Ngo Dinh Diem a US-backed candidate as President. https://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/pentagon2/pent7.htm

He was a French-educated Catholic in a 90% Buddhist majority country which questioned the agenda behind his placement. His rule was one of repression and nepotism.

DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s sister-in-lawƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s (Madam Nhu) wife of DiƒÆ’‚¡»”‚¡m’s younger brother and chief adviser Ng Dinh Nhu remarks on Quang DocƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s self-immolation was ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-let them burnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-and we shall clap our handsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. The death did change KennedyƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s view on Vietnam and on Diem who was overthrown and killed on 2 November 1963 by an Army Coup.ƒÆ’-¡  Nguyen Van Thieu was DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s replacement and Kennedy himself was killed 3 weeks later.

Quang DucƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s death forced international pressure on Diem to announce reforms to pacify Buddhists though he never carried them out making the situation worse. Raids were launched on Buddhist pagodas, Quang DucƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s heart, being a relic, was seized and led to several other monks immolating themselves.

Diem being a Catholic carried out discriminatory policies against Buddhists at all levels of public office and many Buddhist military officers had to convert to Catholicism for the sake of their careers. Only Roman Catholic villagers were armed and all Buddhists were purposely denied promotions. DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Government allowed and watched as Buddhists were attacked and their property destroyed. Buddhist villages were converted to Catholicism en masse. In a Buddhist majority country, Catholics ended up landowners given special exemptions in property acquisition and Roman Catholics were exempt from land reform. The Buddhists were banned from flying the Buddhist flag (Decree Number 10) for Vesak, the birthday of Gautama Buddha while Catholics were encouraged to fly the Vatican flag. Unarmed protestors were even shot dead.

The 5 demands made by Buddhists to DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s Government were:

(1) rescind the order against displaying the Buddhist flag;

(2) permit Buddhists the same legal rights allowed to Catholics;

(3) halt arbitrary arrests and intimidation of the Buddhists;

(4) allow religious freedom; and

(5) compensate the families of those killed and punish the perpetrators.

narada
Ven. Narada Maha Thera

Ven. Narada Maha Thera stands above everyone else in strengthening links between Sri Lanka and Vietnam. He has undertaken over 17 dhammaduta missions to Vietnam.

Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s intervention in support of the Buddhists of South Vietnam

In Sri Lanka following the abortive Catholic Army Officers coup in January 1962, the Bauddha Jatika Balavegaya (BJB) was formed under the leadership of L.H. Mettananda, fiery Buddhist nationalist, to combat Catholic Action in its numerous manifestations in both the public and private sectors, and the armed forces.

ƒÆ’-¡ mettananda
L H. Mettananda

sirima

Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike

ƒÆ’-¡ Thousands of Buddhists supported the BJB and attended the public meetings that were held all over the country. The BJB published a book entitled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Catholic Action ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” A Menace to Peace and GoodwillƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ (1963) in both English and Sinhala languages and distributed it to the public to make people aware of the designs of the Catholic Action Movement. In the public sector N.Q. Dias, CCS (civil servant) then Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Defense & External Affairs embarked on a plan to reform the Armed forces with a view to forestall a repeat of the aforesaid abortive coup which had strong links to the Catholic Church.

In hearing of the denial to hoist the Buddhist flag to mark Vesak, and subsequent shootings that led to nine deaths of Buddhists in Hue, South Vietnam on May 8, 1963,ƒÆ’-¡  and civil unrest that followed, prompted the Buddhist Jathika Balavegaya in Sri Lanka to come out in strength to show allegiance with a fellow Buddhist nation. Mettananda and the BJB led public agitation on behalf of the persecuted Buddhists of South Vietnam, having made representations to Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who did not need much to be pushed into action. She was quick to have her envoy at the UN ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” R S S Gunawardena raise the issue of the oppressed Buddhists of South Vietnam, before the UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council. R S S Gunawardena, one of Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s most effective Ambassadors at the UN and role model for current diplomats and officials at the Ministry of External Affairs, eloquently delivered Sri LankaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s appeal on behalf of the Buddhists of South Vietnam.

ƒÆ’-¡ rss
R.S.S. Gunawardena

On October 8, 1963 the UN General Assembly voted to send a fact-finding team to South Vietnam headed by R S S Gunawardena to investigate the charges of repression against the Buddhists. It was while R S S Gunawardena and the UN fact finding mission was in Vietnam that Diem was overthrown on Nov. 2, 1963 by the South Vietnamese Army backed by the US Govt.

Implications of the self ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” sacrifice of Thich Quang Duc

The self ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” sacrifice of Thich Quang Duc was not in vain. It had wide ramifications as subsequent events have shown. Malcolm Browne the Associated Press photographer was haunted by his decision to take photographs of a burning monk instead of saving him. In contrast a Vietnamese policeman that tried to break the barrier of monks and was stopped threw himself to the ground andƒÆ’-¡ prostratedƒÆ’-¡ himself in front of Duc in reverence and all others followed. It was a stunning sight and beyond what words can denote. The TheroƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s body was wrapped in saffron robes and taken to a pagoda where student Buddhist monks formed a human barrier and the thousands that began to gather claim to have seen a vision of the BuddhaƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s face in the sky at sunset.

Yet, the photos Browne took and published did help to change the worldƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s perception of the Vietnam War. The photographs won Malcolm Browne a Pulitzer Prize in 1964. The photo still remains one of the most famous and haunting images that shocked the world. A US embassy official said that the photo ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-had a shock effect of incalculable value to the Buddhist cause, becoming a symbol of the state of things in VietnamƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬. President Kennedy himself said ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-No news picture in history has generated so much emotion around the world as that one.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The world must now realize the anguish that the present day Buddhists feel in seeing similar elements out to destroy and take over Buddhist heritage and Buddhist lands.

The daring self ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” sacrifice of Thich Quang Duc may not attract contemporary media news even in pre ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” dominantly Buddhist countries, but his place in history even the US acknowledges. The only part of his body that wasnƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t burnt was his heart and it is kept at the Reserve Bank of Vietnam as a holy relic.

Incidentally, weeks after the self-immolation and the publication of the photos, the New York Times ran a full-page advertisement by American religious leaders titled ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-We too, ProtestƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ containing the photo of Thich Quang Duc and called upon the American public to support Buddhists who opposed DiemƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s regime. To understand the act of Quang Duc, a person needs to understand the Buddhist illustration of self ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” sacrifice – the story where a mother tiger ravaged with hunger was prepared to eat her cub, a Bodhisathwa had then offered himself to save the life of the cub ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” the story illustrates the sacred place Buddhism gives to self ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”…” sacrifice for a noble cause.

Last words

Thich Quang DucƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s last words before his supreme sacrifice was in a letter:

ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Before closing my eyes and moving towards the vision of the Buddha, I respectfully plead to PresidentƒÆ’-¡ Ngo Dinh Diem to take a mind of compassion towards the people of the nation and implement religious equality to maintain the strength of the homeland eternally. I call the venerables, reverends, members of the sangha and the lay Buddhists to organise in solidarity to make sacrifices to protect Buddhism.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

 

 

Travels of a journalist [2013 Series #4] – Eastward Ho from ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ”¹…”Home Sweet HomeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢ to Weligama Bay

June 9th, 2013

By Shelton Gunaratne, author of From Village Boy to Global Citizen, Vol. 1: The Journey of a Journalist; and Vol. 2: The Travels of a Journalist (Bloomington, IN: Xlibris)

WeƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚my spouse Yoke-Sim and IƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚gave top priority to visiting my birth village of Pathegama, a couple kilometers west of Weligama, on my tour of the Deep South early April. We left the Koggala folk culture museum in the early afternoon to enter our village unannounced from the backdoor through Panchaliya.

Our driver, Amal Chandrakumara, consulted the locals on how best to reach Pathegama. We left the coastal highway at the Ahangama junction, drove north on the Imaduwa Road and then east on the Panchaliya-Borala Road. [On the map, follow the backdoor route to Pathegama linking G, F, E and D. Google has dropped the Batawala-Pathegama Road that should link the unidentified points D and C, the western terminus of the Agra Bodhi Vihara Mawatha. The Panchaliya-Borala Road, E, runs directly to the Weligama city center, A.]

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Shortly, we stopped at a junction for further inquiries. To our surprise, we found that we had already reached Pathegama. Furthermore, we learned that we could reach Mederikoratuwa, my fatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s ancestral home, by turning left at the junction.

[My previous visit to Pathegama was 22 years ago in 1991 in the company of my mother, my younger sister Nayana and my 11-year old son Junius Asela. Chapter 17 of Vol. 1 of my autobiography, The Journey of a Journalist, describes that visit.]

In my childhood, the gravel road that took us to the back of Mederikoratuwa was informally called the Kitulegodawatta Road. The name came from the large rubber plantation in the vicinity.

My thoughts flashed back to my childhood bringing memories of visiting the home of the plantationƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s conductor, whom the villagers called Kondostara Mahattaya, in the company of my father. On one occasion, the English-educated conductor dressed in trousers entertained us with melodious gramophone music sung by the fabulous Rukmani Devi. ƒÆ’-¡ Now, the plantation had replaced rubber with tea. I had a nostalgic longing for the smell of ottapalu (latex) that pervaded the area surrounding the estate. I donƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢t think I missed the ottapalu smell that much on my previous visit to Pathegama.

Even after driving well into the gravel road, I could not recall which of the homes was the property of my paternal grandfather because the residents had planted bush fences to cover their backyards from the view of passers-by. We stopped the vehicle at the first sight of an opening to our right.

ƒÆ’-¡ ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Do you know where Sudu Mahattaya (Richard) lives?ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ I asked a bare-chested sarong- clad man who was hesitantly moving away from the fence down the sloping terrain without an answer. Then, I told him, ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-I am Shelton Gunaratne visiting from America.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬

He reluctantly smiled after recognizing that I was one of his cousinsƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚the older son of the postmaster (Thepal Mahattaya), the second younger brother of RichardƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s father.

He promptly invited us to his home and offered us some rice with curried brinjals (eggplants) if we were hungry. He was the only one at home with his wife gone to Colombo on an errand. He recalled that I had lunch with his family on my last visit tooƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚more than two decades ago.

Richard took us to see the grave of his older brother, Kalu Mahattaya (Francis), an attorney-at-lawƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚the pride of his family.ƒÆ’-¡  Francis was a contemporary of mine at the Peradeniya campus of the University of Ceylon.

The old ancestral home of Mederikoratuwa had been demolished years ago. Punchy Appuhamy, 81, an ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-adopted sonƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ of my paternal grandparents, and his wife Kalu Nona now occupied the house built behind the old ancestral home. The well-to-do family of their daughter lived in a two-story house built next door. We were impressed that their youngsters were deep into miniature digital gadgets.

A land dispute between Sudu Mahattaya and Punchy Appuhamy had soured the relations between these two families. Although I too was a part owner of the property, I said they should settle their differences by mutual agreement than through legal recourse.

I went to see Punchy Appuhamy, now wheel chair bound, to pay my respects. Kalu Nona joked with me about my shyness in my childhood. Their older daughter insisted that we visit their two-story home for afternoon tea.

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The writer (second from left) appears with Kalu Nona (left) and her progeny.

After enjoying the hospitality of the three families, we had to leave Mederikoratuwa to visit my maternal ancestral home, where I was born, a few kilometers further east at Habaradugewatte. Richard volunteered to show us the way.

But before getting there, we stopped at the site of the Batawala-Pathegama primary school, which I first attended as a kid. It was this schoolƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s headmaster (Palaveni Mahattaya) who first read the Sinhala alphabet to me at age 3. Now the school stood closed although the main building remained intact. Vanished was the house that the headmasterƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s family lived. I wondered about the fate of the car he ownedƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚the only automobile the village then had.

Meanwhile, word had got around about my arrival, and a few curious people gathered around me to touch me as if to see I was real. As I was pressed for time, I was unable to accept their requests to visit all the kith and kin nearby.ƒÆ’-¡  I gathered that all the characters I had featured in my ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Village SketchesƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ were now deadƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚Myna Ralahamy, Singappuru Basunnehe, Bus Mahatun, Nondi Baby, Lindagahawatte Gunapala, Weligama Hamine, et alƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬”‚who lived in the vicinity of the school. Some of them had departed well before my last visit.ƒÆ’-¡ 

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The writer visited the site of his primary school, now closed down. The woman (left), whom he recognized as a relative of Myna Ralahamy, was one of those villagers who wanted to touch him.

Our last stop in the village was our Maha Gedera (ancestral home) where all of the five siblings in my family were born. It was the spot from where my grandfather, the imperious Ralahamy, ruled the roost over Pathegama in the 1940s. ƒÆ’-¡ On our last visit, Ukkun Maama and his wife, who had purchased the house, welcomed us. After their death, their children inherited the property. The current occupants were the family of their youngest son. On this occasion, the new occupants were apparently unhappy that we chose to visit Mederikoratuwa first. ƒÆ’-¡ 

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At the house where the writer (second from right) was born, he poses with his wife (left), the current occupant of the place (second from left) and Sudu Mahattaya (Richard).

However, I managed to take a good look at our old bedrooms, grandfatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s room, kitchen and the backyard. The building was still in good shape. The entire property seemed to have shrunk in size in my imagination. For me, it was still ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ…-Home Sweet Home.ƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ The landscape of the village had undergone a change that I found it difficult to identify places that used to be familiar. My grandfatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s grave was still visible from a distance.

We had no time even to pay a short visit to adjoining Habaradugewatte. ƒÆ’-¡ As was the custom in the Alut Avurudda (New Year) season, we gave our hosts a financial gift in return for their hospitality, and continued our trip eastward to the town of Weligama via Batawala Junction and Kushtarajagala.

Weligama town was agog with shoppers in the gloaming when we arrived there. Richard guided us along the Borala Road to the home of another cousin of ours, Gamini Gunaratne (whom I used to call Mederikoratuwa Malli), the son of my fatherƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s second oldest brother who retired as a headmaster. Gamini and his older sister Grace grew up in Mederikoratuwa, where their mother, Galle Hamine, occupied the ancestral home.

Gamini, who had retired from his job as a public health inspector, was not at home for almost an hour after our arrival. We felt we had caused them inconvenience by our unannounced visit although they were aware of our visit to Sri Lanka. His wife and his daughter treated us for evening tea until GaminiƒÆ’‚¢ƒ¢-¡‚¬ƒ¢-¾‚¢s belated arrival as we were about ready to leave. Being a quiet person, Gamini himself was unable to keep the conversation going.

So, we took leave of them after handing them our Alut Avurudda gift, which they reluctantly accepted. After driving back to Pathegama to drop off Sudu Mahattaya (Richard), we drove further east to Palena, on the edge of Weligama, to spend the night at the Bay Shine Motel on the coastal highway to Matara. Before we checked in, we shared a hearty dinner with our driver at the motel restaurant.

We got up early Tuesday morning to resume our tour eastward. The elderly man who checked us out confided that he was related to Myna Ralahamy of Pathegama. He did not elaborate, and I did not ask for details.

(Courtesy: SundayTimes.lk)
Matara Brings Memories of Good Old Fifties]

 

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