Did an e-mail stop the completion of the River for Jaffna project?

December 21st, 2013

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

Introduction

            If NPCM Wigneswaran and TNA members want to help Jaffna famers there is an unusual book that they should read. The principal author of this book of collection of essays, “Community based water conservation and development: two contrasting examples from Sri Lanka and from Russia” (OPRO Printers, Moratuwa, Sri Lanka, September 2013) is the well-known engineer D.L.O. Mendis. With names and dates, he alleges, that the River for Jaffna project was derailed half-way from its completion by two or three non-engineers holding high-level positions in GOSL, just by exchanging a few e-mails between them!  Despite this arbitrary act, a technical committee which had the task of prioritizing the water resource development projects to be undertaken in the island listed River for Jaffna as the new number one priority. Therefore, instead of promoting Tamil separatism by way of planting maaveerar trees or using the word genocide, Wigneswaran can help Jaffna people by getting the RfJ project resurrected ASAP. DLOM’s book gives all the information he needs to request, if necessary, funding help from David Cameron, Manmohan Singh or the Canadian one, via MahindaR.

Cows and engineers

            DLOM’s book reminded me two engineering episodes that I could never forget. One was about the Mahaveli Authority engineers. They had a hard time figuring out why cows and buffaloes did not use the bridges that they built for the animals to cross the irrigation canals so that the canal bunds do not get damaged. The bridges were at the identified cattle crossings. When this cow issue came to the attention of a new Director General (and who told me this story), who was a people oriented manager, and a believer in the value of “community knowledge,” he asked the field engineers to arrange a joint meeting with the area farmers.

            At this high-powered meeting farmers were listening to technical, cost-benefit kind of discussion going on between head office staff and the field engineers. After witnessing this drama patiently, an elderly famer finally got up and said “cows do not like the bridges because under the hot sun concrete bridges are like burning hot coal.  Cows simply did not want to get their hooves burnt. Before the meeting turns into another technical discussion, the farmer also volunteered to offer a solution: He said, “You make adjustment to cover the surface of the bridge with a thick layer of soil.” The DG told me that after this meeting one engineer was talking about applying for a patent, and he told him if so make it a joint one with the farmer.  The other was a personal experience of visiting an abandoned working class housing scheme at Nuwara Eliya, built on a hill top by civil engineers  of the then Cement Corporation because cement was available in plenty. They were all concrete structures, ice cold for most months of the year and were not habitable even by wild dogs. How engineers lost the ability to use commonsense or to benefit from the “social capital” available in plenty with village farmers can be due at least partly to the concrete not soil-based education they have received in an ex-colony of the West. From arts graduates who joined CCS (now CAS) to medical or engineering students have received an education based on the humiliation theory””natives and native systems were primitive and needs modernization or Europeanization. This Eurocentric thinking (Europe is superior) created a perpetual class of black-whites, not just in Ceylon but all over the colonial and ex-colonial world.

Black-whites are not, they become

            Mendis in his book does not use the phrase black-whites, but the message in the book is that at least in the field that he is an expert, in irrigation, hydraulic engineering has prevailed, ignoring the native (ancient?) concept of eco-villages.  Thus, Jungle clearing is the first budget item in irrigation projects, and no space for soil restoration. It is amazing that in a dog-eating-dog world of white R2P and Geneva Human Rights, very few knows that (ancient) paddy farmer in Sri Lanka kept a small plot of the paddy field reserved exclusively for birds. The delicate ancient water conservation systems (Irrigation canal systems) became objects to be cleared (destroyed) for the construction of modern concrete reservoirs, big and bigger. Using historical evidence Mendis demonstrates that Sri Lanka should go back to its ancient eco-systems approach of using water for human benefit.

            He compares the eco village idea that became popular with the Ringing Cedar Series by the Russian, Vladimir Mergre (p.5) to home gardens found in the Jaffna peninsula and the dry zone of Sri Lanka. In 1857 the colonial secretary Emerson Tennent compared these Jaffna gardens with the market gardens of Fulham and Chelsea in London (p. 9). With mostly stupid politicians of all colors paying lip services to sustainable development, the destruction of the environment and eradication of past heritage is continuing, and Mendis’ book should be required reading for teachers of universities on the need to empower students with a balanced knowledge that everything European is not great (black-white mind set), and in the case of the story of water, Sri Lanka has had an admirable record.

Fool of bricks

            The black-white mentality is pervasive from the president of the country to the GSN (grama sevaka niladharee).  Generations of Sri Lankan people grew up under the humiliation paradigm of European colonialism.  For them, the colonial master came to modernize, the primitive people in the island. They created an inferiority complex by humiliating natives. Everything that came from Europe was good, and a class of people received training in Christian boarding schools in Colombo, Jaffna and Kandy for example, on European habits and history. Ever since successive generations, even those who go to universities in the Sinhala medium, ended up as victims of this humiliated mind-set, becoming black-whites by default. It is a process of survival that traps them in””black-whites are not; they become.

            This Eurocentric thinking is more visible today than in the past as more economic freedom and more “development” is supposed to be taking place today. It is for “development” that field officers of the archeology department give permits to dynamite granite rocks sites with ancient ruins. It is because of modernization that younger medical graduates think native Vedamahattya (Ayurvedic physician) is of no good, until they get older and seek his help as the western system they practiced cannot help them any longer. When LSSP Marxists in the 1940s called King Dutugemunu was a fool of bricks (for building the Ruvanveli Maha Saaya), was it due to stupidity, ignorance, or extremist political ideology? The irony is that white civil servants in Ceylon discovered, protected and valued ancient Sri Lankan ruins, whereas irrigation engineers and politicians in Sri Lanka after 1948 continued to destroy this heritage for short-term personal gain, placing the future generations at risk.

Black-white irrigation blunders

            Mendis points out several “irrigation blunders” made in the past.

(1) One is the wrong location of the Uda Walave Reservoir. Rather than submerging all the ancient “small tanks”, the reservoir should have been located further upstream at a new site so as to command the systems of small tanks. This suggestion made in 1967 when the Uda Walawe headworks being constructed (1965-68) was ignored and the country is paying dearly for it by way of unmet water needs (p. 131).

(2) Similarly, the Lunugamvehera was selected (Lower Kirindi Oya Reservoir) without investigating the alternative site, Huratgamuwa site because of a political desire to rush through during 1978-86 (p. 124). By leveling off and submerging small tanks both Uda Walwe and Lunugamvehera projects led to ecological imbalances and mal-development (example: droughts in the Hambantota Area) (p. 192).

These projects were all components of the Southern Area (water resource development) Plan, based on hydraulic engineering perspective, while DLO Mendis had proposed a plan based on ecosystems perspective (p. 161, 168-9).  

(3) The latest mistake, according to DLOM is the Implementation of the Moragahakande reservoir and the NCP Canal Project (p. 161). Like the two previous projects, this one was also undertaken without considering the alternatives. Because of the fact that NCP canal is a ridge channel (running along the central dividing ridge in the north-central part of the island) unlike the contour channels used by ancient irrigation canals such as the Jayaganga, DLOM thinks this will create an east-west water use conflict in the near future.

Tragedy of the commons

            Politicians acting in haste or in an arbitrary manner created untold damage to the people of Sri Lanka and yet there is no learning from the past mistakes. This is called a new kind of tragedy of the commons, because it is an abuse of the public property by a temporary group of politicians in power at a given time. For example, When the Gal Oya project was in preparation the late Dr. S. A. Wickremasinghe suggested vehemently not to build one large downstream reservoir (known later as the Senanayaka Samudraya) but to construct a large number of upstream small reservoirs so that a better fit with the ecological and societal concerns could be achieved.  The tax-paying general public of Sri Lanka has suffered so much because for known or unknown reasons politicians and engineers ignored his appeal, which now looks as nothing but commonsense advice.

            May be JR Jayawardena was also involved in that decision as a minister. But a second disaster was made by JRJ when he implemented the Mahaveli Project, and when it became an accelerated one.  Both the environment and the people had to suffer unnecessarily for this mega-techno experiment, and it was hurried for whose benefit? We only know that Mahaveli petrol had a green color added so as to try to prevent pilfering it. Mahaveli project is an insult to all those Sinhala kings who contributed to a water tank-based civilization in Sri Lanka.  No one knows, to what extent, the Mahaveli blunder is responsible directly and or indirectly for increased landslides, micro climate changes, soil erosion and kidney failure disease in the dry zone of the island.  The weight of the huge Victoria reservoir on a limestone-covered bed rock must have some repercussion.  

Paradigm failure

             Mendis now in his seventies is one of the engineers who did not become a victim of the black-whitening process. This is why he could escape from becoming a victim of the hydraulic engineering paradigm followed by engineers in developing the 1959 water resources development plan (p. 152).  In 1956 R. L. Brohier presented a four-stage model of the development of ancient irrigation system in Sri Lanka (1. Rain water tanks, 2. Small village tanks, 3. Large reservoirs, each submerging a number of small tanks, and 4. augmentation of a large reservoir by diversion from a river (p. 131)). Brohier based his hypothesis on the increasing size of storage reservoirs, without any reference to the invention of the sluice. This made his model erroneous (p. 145).

            In the 1980s a new paradigm replacing Brohier’s was presented by Mendis””a seven-stage hypothesis on the evolution and development of water and soil conservation ecosystems (irrigation systems) in ancient Sri Lanka (1. Rain fed agriculture, 2. Seasonal or temporary river diversion and inundation irrigation, 3. permanent river diversion and channel irrigation, 4. Development of weirs and spillways on irrigation channels, 5. invention of the sluice with its access tower (sorowwa and bisokotuwa). 6. Construction of storage reservoirs equipped with sluices, and 7. Damming a perennial river (p. 145))

The concept of Vetiya

            Why so many abandoned small tanks (Brohier’s stage 3) was an enigma for irrigation engineers until the engineer P.A.G. Paranagama, around 1990, discovered by accident in the Mau Ara basin (Walawe left bank) that these were not bunds of abandoned small tanks, but examples of Vetiyas, a small earth bund, essentially a water conservation device built to raise the water table (p. 147).  Each vetiya raised runoff in the Ara or Oya above the valley bottom and into the permeable reddish brown earth soils of the valley sides, before deflecting it around the vetiya so that it could drain back to the valley bottom and down to the next vetiya in the chain (p. 197).  In South India, a small tank is called a yeri or eri, and the term includes the vetiya. The result of this system was that farmers had their “Dry Zone Forests Gardens” similar to the “Market Gardens” (home gardens) in Jaffna.  In Jaffna the water table was raised by lift irrigation using groundwater whereas in the Dry Zone it was by gravity fed rain water using the vetiya.

River for Jaffna

            The concept of River for Jaffna is therefore nothing but using the Vetiya idea kind of water conservation method to raise the groundwater level in the Jaffna Peninsula. If some modern “environmentalist” is worried about its environmental impact, the only adverse impact will be the need to change from fishing in brackish water lagoon to fishing in a fresh water lagoon. It is like tobacco framers are offered subsidy to change over to onion or chilly cultivation! Transition from brackish water to freshwater lakes will take time giving room for fishermen to adjust to the change.

            The River for Jaffna does not mean creating a new river, overland concrete canal or a huge pipeline. The idea of converting several lagoons is the Jaffna peninsula into fresh water lakes is at least a century old. At present there are over 100,000 water wells in Jaffna and the top part of these wells hold fresh water.  If well water is pumped out excessively then salt water underneath comes out and spoils cultivation. So the purpose of RfJ is to saturate the groundwater with fresh water lagoons and thus keep the salt water down. This can one day help in protecting these wells from the adverse effects of a possible sea-level rise due to global warming. The RfJ is simply a plan to augment the freshwater groundwater supply in the Jaffna peninsula by a erecting a few barrages so that the water coming from the Kanakarayan Aru and three smaller streams to the Elephant Pass Lagoon is taken to the Vadamarachchi Lagoon through Muliyan Link Channel.

 

 

            The project consists of five barrages, one bund and a link channel.

 

            While RfJ is half completed and it is evaluated as the number one priority by a recent expert committee a different more costly project is being promoted by the National Water Supply and Drainage Board with an ADB loan. This new project plans to take water from the Iranamadu tank to the city of Jaffna. This new project has the following components (i) Improvement of Irainamadu Head Works including high lift irrigation (ii) provision of water supply and sanitation in Jaffna Peninsula (iii) Sewerage and (iv) Construction of Assistant General Manager office building, OIC office and Quarters. Readers can compare the work involved under the new project with the work to be done under the RfJ project.

Water supply and sanitation in Jaffna project

Component 1: Improvement of Iranaimadu Headwork including high lift irrigation.

Component 2: Water Supply

  • Construction of intake at Iranaimadu
  • Construction of Treatment Plant at Palai (35,000m3/day)
  • Supply and laying of treated transmission mains (44km)
  • Supply and laying of distribution mains (284km)
  • Construction of 17 nos of Elevated towers and 4 nos of Underground reservoirs. 

Component 3: Sewerage

  • Construction of sewerage net work
  • Construction of Sewerage treatment plant at Kallundai

Component 4: Capacity Building – Construction of Assistant General Manager office building, OIC office and Quarters

Work need to be done to complete RfJ Scheme

Step 1: Recondition Thondamanaru Barrage

Refurbish the existing Thondamanaru Barrage (where the northern end of Vadamarachchi lagoon joins the sea) and improve the discharge gates to allow for discharge of flood water. This will make Vadamarachchi a fresh water lagoon. The existing barrage is no longer watertight and allows sea water to enter the lagoon.

Step 2: Recondition Ariyalai Barrage

Provide a spillway and gates at the southern end of Upparu Lagoon where it connects to the sea, near Ariyalai to make Upparu a fresh water lagoon. Provide a link channel between Vadamarachchi and Upparu lagoons so that fresh water from Elephant Pass lagoon can be supplied to Upparu lagoon. The spillway and gates were constructed, but the gates are no longer watertight and sea water enters Upparu lagoon.

Step 3: Complete Mulliyan Link Channel

Excavate a 12 metre wide, 4 km long channel, called the Mulliyan Link Channel, from the northern side of the Elephant Pass lagoon to convey fresh water from the Elephant Pass lagoon to the southern end of the Vadamarachchi lagoon, including regulatory gates to control the flow. Unfortunately only about 80% of this was completed when funds ran out.

Step 4: Complete Spill cum Causeway at Chundikulam

Build a bund at the eastern end of Elephant Pass lagoon at Chundikulam to prevent fresh water going to the sea at that end and a spillway to discharge excess flood water to the sea. This work was completed and Elephant Pass lagoon became a fresh water lagoon for a few years but unfortunately the bund was breached by subsequent heavy floods, thus allowing sea water access since then.

Conclusion    

            When RfJ could deliver to people of Jaffna Eco villages, GOSL is trying a massive project with ADB loans. Most people think such large projects have generated a class of commission-based officers and politicians. Sri Lanka has an evil triangle: politician, officer and NGO. It began may be thirty years ago, but it is in worse shape now in 2013. This triangle of black-whites is not interested in Small Is Beautiful, Eco Villages, Sustainable Development, global warming, landslide or soil erosion. Mega projects aimed at “modernization” whether it was agriculture or irrigation has failed to deliver all over the world. As Mendis points out in his book Sri Lankan dry zone and Jaffna limestone region gave home gardens to people for thousands of years without kidney failures.

            The Eco village of the Russian Anastasia is nothing but the living Trinity of the Sri Lankan heritage. The village, the water tank and the temple (mosque/church) was an ecological unit that was in harmony with nature and with society. At a time when a debate is going on whether the need of the people is devolution of powers to politicians in the provinces or the empowerment of people at the village (GSN) level, Mendis’ book shows that eco villages is what we had and what we need.  President MR who is now in trouble for acting like a Sinhala Vessantara by accepting 13-A, still has time to consider how the Jana Sabha concept, that he himself promoted some time back with a Director General of Jana Sabha, could be implemented at GSN level with units demarcated on the basis of ecology-geography-hydrology.

            A non-political Jana Sabha system where people decide how to run their daily affairs is the only way to prevent genocide talks by Wigneswaran, to have a handle on crime and corruption rampant in the country and to prevent Sri Lanka divided into two warring units. I think Mendis is in a position to write a book linking the Eco Village concept with the GSN level empowerment of people living in eco villages as he is perhaps the only irrigation engineer who saw the link between  water conservation and politics.

High Commissioner’s Reply Re Obhrai’s Visit to Jaffna

December 21st, 2013

Ira de Silva London Canada

Ms. Shelley Whiting
High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka
Canadian High Commission
33A, 5th Lane, Colpetty 
Colombo, Sri Lanka
 
Attention: High Commissioner Shelley Whiting
 
Dear Madam,

 I have read your feeble, evasive  response to the article in The Island Newspaper regarding Mr.Obhrai’s comments when he reported back to the Canadian Tamils in Toronto, Canada after visiting Sri Lanka for the Commonwealth meeting. It was clear to Canadians that his visit and the message from the Canadian Government  was on behalf of Canadians who were anti Sri Lanka and who had in the past supported LTTE terrorism in Sri Lanka. Just as Minister Kenney before him, he dutifully reported back  to only his Tamil backers on his return to Canada and again repeated the accusation that he had been denied a flight to Jaffna.
 
Since it was the responsibility of your office to make  the necessary arrangements for Mr. Obrhrai to visit Jaffna, in an effort to practice the transparency which Canada claims to follow,  please make  public the following:
 
The name of the private airline with whom  you made the reservation, for what date and when the reservation was “suddenly cancelled”. At this time it could hardly be considered a “security” concern.
 
Did you contact the SLAF for an alternate reservation.? If so, when was the contact made with the SLAF as the SLAF maintains there was no contact by your office. Surely there has to be some documentation regarding any airline reservation so why the evasive response?  
 
When was the decision made to lay a wreath at Elephant Pass? Was the wreath taken from Colombo or was the wreath picked up in Jaffna?  Either way it had to be planned in advance. In  his ignorance of local history Mr.Obhrai thought it was at a “neutral” spot. In fact it was the place of three battles with the LTTE and a spot where there was a great deal of blood shed particularly in 2000 where nearly a thousand Sri Lankan soldiers died. Were you aware of this fact?
 
Mr. Obhrai claims the ” Sri Lankan government said that they were shutting down flights to Jaffna for security reasons.” Where  did he get that inaccurate information from? Was it from you and if so was it another cover up to hide the planned episode with the wreath. 
 
The wreath had three different messages in English, Sinhala and Tamil. Unfortunately for your office, you can not explain that subterfuge by placing the blame on the Sri Lankan authorities.  It was a deliberate  effort on your part to carry different messages and in the case of the message in Tamil, it was for the minorities who died in the war. For the benefit of your Tamil vote base, the majority Sinhalese who were killed by the thousand by the LTTE, did not count because from your Canadian perspective you were only concerned with the lives of Tamils  who died as are your Tamil vote base in Canada. It was clearly to appease the LTTE supporters who celebrated when Sri Lankan forces were killed, whose votes the Canadian Government seems desperate to secure.  If the difference in the messages was not deliberate, it illustrates  the incompetence and bias of your office. Perhaps it was that same incompetence that resulted in the inability to get a flight to Jaffna as the British and New Zealand offices in Colombo got flights without any difficulty. 
 
Once in Jaffna, it Is said, Mr. Obhrai ” continued with his planned programme.” If the wreath laying  was part of the planned programme it is another indication that your office had this stunt planned all along and that the statement that the blame for the flight cancellation was attributed to the  SLAF is another attempt to cover up your real plan for this trip.  
 
Further, Mr. Obhrai during his meeting with the Tamils on his return, stated that the Sri Lankan authorities facilitated his trip to Elephant Pass. For those arrangements to have been made indicates that this farce with the wreath had been pre-planned. You were with Mr. Obhrai. Was it your way of explaining away the incompetence/inefficiencies of your office in Colombo? Do you not consider it strange that the other leaders who came to Sri Lanka with or without any hidden agendas had no problems? The British who had the same agenda to placate their Tamil vote base were still facilitated by the Sri Lankan authorities. Why was it that you had a problem? 
 
It is unfortunate that you chose to cover up your real plans and are now seeking to make false allegations to justify going to Elephant Pass and, disregarding the request by the Sri Lankan officials, proceeded to lay the wreath on a beach without anyone around merely as a photo opportunity to appease the Tamil vote base in Canada.  As a High Commissioner one would expect that you would be aware of diplomatic protocol and abide by it. Canada keeps talking of democratic values, core values and  other principles but disregards them whenever it wants to act as a colonialistic bully. Other than the LTTE supporters in Canada, you are not convincing anyone else. Also please note that Sri Lanka is no longer a colony and that you have no right to behave as if it were a colony. Canada is a former colony too and I am sure that Canada would not tolerate this type of behavior  on it’s soil by any foreign representative. 
 
You claim that The Island report did not have the facts. Since you do it would be appreciated if you would, in the interests of truth, accountability and transparency provide answers regarding the planning and trip details of Mr. Obhrai’s visit.
 
Yours truly,
 
Ira de Silva
London

Animals, the Church, Christmas Slaughter and Climate Change

December 21st, 2013

Vlado Began, The Society for the Rights and Liberation of Animals, Slovenija

Every year people, above all Christians, remember at Christmastime the birth of Jesus from Nazareth. Many of them gather with their families rejoicing over Jesus’ birth. Christmas tables and Christmas trees are weakening under the load of presents and good food and many people have meat for their Christmas dinner and many of them wish each other Merry Christmas. But is Christmastime merry and happy for animals, too? Regretfully it is not so.

For millions and millions of animals is Christmas, similar as Easter, a time of immense suffering. Right on this occasion even multiplied number of innocent living creatures is being slaughtered, especially by Christians, who afterwards consume them as food. They kill them although they know the fifth commandment: You shall not kill. It is very clear. It states: You shall not kill and not: You shall not kill humans, which makes it very clear that it refers to animals too. Feasting of ones causes suffering and dying to the others.

Despite of the clearness of the mentioned commandment The Roman Catholic Church (RCC) in its catechism expressly permits and supports slaughter of animals for food. Animals, which are according to the Church itself, created by God, are sacrificed on the altar of pleasure and the Church gets its members and other people to destroy God’s creatures. The RCC is even of opinion, that it is human’s duty to consume meat. This can be derived from the fact, that as early as in 6th century AD the Church has excommunicated vegetarians and thus sent them to hell, where they would, according to the doctrine of the Church, suffer everlasting torment. Isn’t it an absurd condemning to everlasting torment those who save lives of animals with their vegetarianism and act ethically towards animals in this respect? Those but who torture and kill animals shall be rewarded with heaven. Fortunately this is just the doctrine of the RCC. However in the reality things work differently. As you sow so you shall reap.

The Church supports and permits stockbreeding. It’s been doing it all along its existence. Thus raises a question what can be the consequences of this support. It is well known by today that stockbreeding is one of the main culprits for the environmental pollution. The RCC therefore supports the environmental pollution. It is also well know that enormous amounts of greenhouse gases are released from the livestock industry and its share of greenhouse gas emissions is with 18% even higher then that of the entire world transportation.

Greenhouse gases cause the greenhouse effect. The RCC therefore supports the greenhouse effect. The consequences of the greenhouse effect are more frequent occurrence of extreme nature phenomena such as floods, hurricanes, droughts and others. The RCC therefore supports such phenomena. The consequences of the greenhouse gas emissions have already been catastrophic for many, but referring to the scientists’ accounts the prognoses are even worse for the future. There are further negative consequences of the Church’s support to the stockbreeding. It is well known that meat is a risk factor for many civilisation diseases and that a human can obtain everything he needs for his life from vegetal food. These diseases are in progress and more and more people are suffering and dying because of them. The Church’s support to livestock industry is therefore a support to the diseases that ride over the mankind. By doing so, the RCC supports suffering and dying of all those who fall sick because of meat consumption instead of protecting and telling them the truth about the meat. .

Stockbreeding is the main cause for hunger in the third world, since food is sold as a fodder for animals instead for humans. Livestock of the rich devours food of the poor. Every day more then 100.000 children die due to hunger. It wouldn’t happen, if there was no stockbreeding. And there would be no stockbreeding, if the Church carried out the commandment You shall not kill and apply it to animals.

Of course humans are not the main victim of the Church’s support to livestock. By all means these are animals. 45 milliards of animals are slaughtered for human’s food every year. In the entire history of the RCC several thousands of animals have been killed for the food of humans. Streams of blood of innocent living creatures have flowed and still flow. Milliards and milliards of animals suffer from unimaginable torment. The Church bears the greatest guilt for massacre of animals, which today takes place in unimaginable extent and consecutively it is responsible for the climate change.

Perhaps one would wonder how the Church can be the leading culprit for the immense suffering in slaughter of animals. The answer is very simple. For centuries and millennia the Church was the leading social power which influenced and directed social development with its doctrine and actions. The doctrine of the Church has permitted consumption of meat from its very beginning. If the fifth commandment You shall not kill would have been applied to animals as well, there would be no slaughter of animals. There would be no stockbreeding, no hunting and no other forms of abuse and killing of animals.

Development of the society would take another course and humans would be vegans. So would be animals. Very likely there would be no present climate change: no greenhouse effect, no catastrophic floods, no droughts, hurricanes and similar. There would be no water or food shortage, no climate changes. The Church is responsible for climate changes due to its millennial support to stockbreeding, but it also bears the main guilt, due to its crucial social role, for the climate collapse that is in opinion of many yet to come.

 

Ajith Salgado elected as President of Computer Society of Sri Lanka

December 21st, 2013

PRESS RELEASE-Computer Society of Sri Lanka

The Annual General Meeting of the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) was held last week at the Kingsbury Hotel and the new executive council for the year 2014 was elected. Ajith Salgado was elected as the President unanimously.

The CSSL was established in 1976 in Sri Lanka by a group of dedicated professionals for the purpose of promoting Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and professionalism among those engaged in this field, and to maintain the highest professional standards among the ICT professionals. CSSL has played this role for over 35 years now and is considered the apex body for ICT professionals in Sri Lanka. It is a not-for-profit body.

The new President Ajith Salgado has over 15 years of experience in the ICT industry. Mr. Salgado is the Head of IT of Sampath Bank and a member of board of governors of Arthur C Clark Centre for Modern Technologies. His academic credentials include BSc Engineering degree in Electronics and Telecommunications from the University of Moratuwa and Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from the University of Colombo.

The other members of the executive council members are Dr. Dayan Rajapakse ” Vice President, Yasas V.  Abeywickrama ” Secretary, Luxman Perera ” Treasurer, Dr. Malitha Wijesundara ” Asst. Secretary, Prabath S Wickremaratne ” Asst. Treasurer, Dr. Ajantha Athukorale ” Student Counsellor, Udana Wickremasinghe ” Publication Secretary, Mahesh Perera – Council Member, Chrisantha Silva ” Council Member, Damith Hettihewa ” Council Member and Sapumal Jayatissa – Council Member.

Making a speech at the AGM addressing ICT professionals, Mr Salgado said “The CSSL strategy for 2014 has six focus areas. They are Develop CSSL Brand, Strengthen CSSL Membership, CSSL Media Presence, CSSL Certifications and Accreditations, International Collaboration and Developing the Next Generation”.

He elaborated the strategies and their importance. “Developing brand is about further enforcing CSSL as the leading and relevant professional body for all in ICT industry. Increasing the membership will strengthen the society and the members it serves. Involvement in Certification and Accreditations demonstrates the capability of the organization. ICT is a global industry, therefore the CSSL will play a pivotal role on connecting Sri Lankan ICT industry to the world.

He also explained that the future of any industry is highly dependent upon the quality of the future generations that would join it. “This is true for ICT industry as well. The CSSL will play a national role in enriching school children by increasing their awareness on ICT”, he further added.

He further added that “the CSSL strategy for 2014 well aligns with the national ICT objectives set out by His Excellency the President in Mahinda Chinthana, namely creating a knowledge hub, 75% IT literacy and US 1 billion ICT related export by 2015. We are committed to developing the professionals in this field to achieve those objectives”.

LIFE ABROAD – Part 58 SURFACING OF CEYLON HISTORY AFTER FIVE DECADES

December 21st, 2013

Dr.Tilak Fernando

Cdn-2010-tag---In-Focus---i.jpgContinuing from last week’s column (Revival of Sinhala in London), Prof. Lakshman Perera could be regarded as a ‘rare flower born to blush unseen’ (in the words of poet Thomas Grey) considering the fact that his thesis on The Institutions of Ancient Ceylon, which he produced for his PhD as a post graduate student, was allowed to gather dust for half a century.

Lakshman Susantha Perera gained admission at the University College in 1938 and opted to read History for his degree course. The University College by this time had elevated to University status under Sir Ivor Jennings as the first Vice Chancellor. Under the gracious influence of Dr. G. C Mendis and inspiration of Mr. S.A. Pakeman, Principal at the University (well-known author of Sri Lanka’s past and antiquities), young Perera’s yearning to go into an original research on the ancient history of Sri Lanka became a reality.Bullock CartProvidenceAs providence dictated, young Perera was selected for the Hilda Obeysekera Research Fellowship, the first award of its kind, to investigate into ‘The Institutions of Ceylon from Inscriptions of the Third Century BC to Tenth Century A.D.’

There were two options open after his first year degree course, (a) British and European History or (b) Indian History. Hardly any student took up the latter option because of the fact Dr. D.C. Mendis being the only lecturer to cover the subject. Dr. Mendis, however, persuaded Lakshman Perera to take up the second option to become the 3rd student in that year which precluded him from taking up the more popular choice which generally opened one’s pathway to gain entry to the prestigious Ceylon Civil Service.

A member of the academic committee (Professor of Sinhala) appointed to approve the title (the 3rd Century BC to the 5th Century AD) advised young Perera of the difficulties he would have to surmount in writing thirty pages on the subject. The Vice Chancellor, on the Professor’s recommendation later extended the date to 12 century AD, the end of the Anuradhapura-Polonnaruwa kingdom.

Young Perera had the laborious task of learning the script and the ancient Sinhala language in order to arrange all the published inscriptions in chronological order and to analyse the contents under four headings – political, religious, economic and social institutions which took him almost up to two years. Prof. H. C. Ray and Dr D. C. Mendis were Lakshman Perera’s supervisors while the latter acted as the internal examiner and Professor L. D. Barnett and Cyril Philipps of the SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London) were external examiners.

Research

Perera referred to the illustrious Mahavamsa for research data, written in Pali language, which happened to be the only manuscript that had been written with much concentration on the lives of the kings and their activities after the 5th century AD, and started comparing this material.

All the inscriptions that Prof. Perera worked on were published in the Epigraphia Zelanica, a book edited by Dr. Paranavithana and published by the Archaeological Department containing pictures of inscriptions and their translations with a comment. However, in the Epigraphia Zelanica these inscriptions were not in chronological order except that they had been taken ‘as found’ and then edited without any sequence. Therefore, those could not be used for the study of history and back up with the data from the Dipavamsa and Mahavamsa.

Inscriptions

Mahavamsa, written in Pali language by monks after the 5th Century AD was the only text, which carried in written form as excerpts of some of the early Sinhala text. But on the other hand inscriptions of ancient Ceylon, dating from the 3rd Century BC and right down to the 12th Century BC series were found on rocks, pillars and sometimes on slabs.

These inscriptions dealt with the people, kings’ orders and their determination of the taxes (Bojakapati) and donations made to the Buddhist Viharas (temples) giving a glimpse of the day-to-day activities of a people during this era. It was an arduous task in an era especially where the teaching of Sinhala was not a priority under the Colonial rule, and to master the language of ancient Sinhala inscriptions and the Pali language he had to learn the Brahmi script.

In his next stage, he analysed the contents first, extracted the essence and arranged all published and unpublished inscriptions in chronological order over a period of six laborious years to complete his task. Lakshman Susantha Perera was awarded the PhD, first ever of its kind given by the University of Ceylon, which made him the Permanent lecturer in the Department of History. However, to get his work published (which ran to well over 1,500 pages) took over four decades.

Despite Professor Perera collecting material up to the 12th century AD, he had to limit the thesis to 10th Century A.D, so as not to exceed 14,000 pages. Finally in 1949 the essay containing 14,000 pages, bound into three volumes was completed.

The thesis was based on inscriptions that were published before 1948. Since that time many more inscriptions had been discovered and published and estampages were available in the Archaeological Department.

The thesis outlines the day-to-day way of life of kings, Bikkus (Buddhist order), merchants and common people not normally found in the chronicles.

The inscriptions used in this thesis, all of them in the ancient Sinhala language and script, are to be found in all parts of the country, in the centre of the kingdom as well as in the Northern and Eastern regions which at that time were part of the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruva kingdoms.

Vallipuram Gold Plate

It had been established during his research that a fair number of the institutions mentioned above were found in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of Ceylon with a considerable number in the Central Province which gave the extent of the existed Kingdoms during these periods.

It is also mentioned that there were very many inscriptions in the Jaffna peninsula too among which was the Vallipuram Gold Plate discovered at Vallipuram on the orders given by the Sinhala Kings at the time.

Prof. Perera in his thesis has drawn attention to the Vallipuram Gold Plate which has been the subject of much controversy in recent times. The gold plate has been discovered in 1936 and found with other antiquities in Vallipuram in the Vadamarachchi Division of Jaffna Peninsula, beneath the foundation of an ancient structure on land belong to the Vishnu Temple.

Prof. Perera, in his work, shows the gradual process of centralisation of majestic power with the Maharaja at Anuradhapura, and the Rajas in the periphery, superseded by provincial administrators. The inscription records that in the region of Maharaja Vasaba (67-111 AD), Ameti Isigiriya as the Governor of Nakadiva or Nagadipa as Jaffna was then known. The author concludes that sovereign power had extended to the Jaffna Peninsula which was, therefore, a province under the Maharaja of Anuradhapura. The script and language of the inscription happen to be the same as those found in Vasabha’s inscription elsewhere in the island.

Tamil inscriptions

Though the Mahavamsa refers to many Tamil invasions and migrations, very little of their movements can be traced from the inscriptions. The Tamil Householders Terrace inscription is regarded as one of the very few which refers to Tamils in the period. These are the earliest documents in which the term Dameda (Pali Damila) has been met with. This inscription shows that they preferred to use the Sinhala language of the time and that their names did not differ from the names found in other inscriptions e.g. Sujat and Tissa. However, as the author concludes, they were conscious about being a separate people, for they called themselves Dameda (Pali Damila) which has been transformed into Tamil (English).

(The Institutions of ancient Ceylon from Inscriptions to be continued next week)

tilakfernando@gmail.com 

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/features/surfacing-ceylon-history-after-five-decades#sthash.qy0FqFcK.dpuf

Jayalalitha as PM Poses an Existential Threat to Sri Lanka

December 20th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

A couple of years ago it was only a hypothesis, but now it is a possibility. India goes to polls next year. Congress cannot retain its position of power as recent state elections show. BJP is more likely to win a higher number of seats. If BJP wins but fails to get the numbers, Modi will have to compromise by allowing a small party leader to PM post and Jayalalitha is at the top of the queue. If Congress can amass support from various small parties she still has a very strong chance of becoming Prime Minister. A third avenue is to get small parties combined and then bargain for the two big parties’ support. Even in this case she has a strong possibility of getting the top job.

Kamaraj and Moopanar came close to becoming PM but couldn’t. This time around, Tamils are determined to make it a reality.

“In the past, people from Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka were elected for the Prime Minister’s post. The time is now ripe for a Tamil to lead the country,” said a resolution passed by the AIADMK’s executive committee and general council.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Time-is-ripe-for-Tamil-to-lead-the-country-AIADMK-says/articleshow/27666187.cms

To take matters into her own hands, she has decided to contest all 39 Lok Sabha seats from Tamil Nadu alone without being an affiliate of the two major parties. This gives the maneuverability in power politics. She is immensely popular among Tamils thanks to her ultra-racist political stance.

In order to form a government, a coalition must obtain 272 seats in 543 member Lok Sabha. According to predictions no party or election coalition can win an outright majority. UPA (Congress coalition) and NDA (BJP coalition) will obtain between 130 to 160 seats as per predictions.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-10-17/india/43142991_1_ysr-congress-seats-times-now-cvoter

Although many small parties will have seats and will be willing to join any coalition, five medium sized parties hold the key to any coalition that can obtain an outright majority. Three out of five would be socialist/communist parties each with around 25 to 30 seats. All India Trinamool Congress is also likely to win around 25 seats. However, BJP finds them out of reach due to their political ideologies going against that of the BJP. However, Jayalalitha’s AIADMK which is very flexible in its policy with an expected win of 31 seats will be a strong coalition partner. Unlike BJP leaders, the AIADMK leader has won the confidence of its growing Muslim minority.

Previous coalition governments too had to compromise on the post of Prime Minister. It is more likely to happen this time too unless BJP comes close to winning an outright majority.

Needless to say a Tamil Prime Minister is going to be a disaster for Sri Lanka. It poses an existential threat to the island nation and its native Sinhala population.

Quoted from the above article; [quote] lambasting the Congress-led government at the Centre for its “ineffectiveness” in handling the rise in price of essential commodities, “threats” posed by neighbouring countries like Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa said the government had to be thrown out. “A strong government is needed to put down these countries. The administration at the Centre struggles with none to lead,” she said [ends].

It is crystal clear she is going to “put down” Sri Lanka if she comes to power. This may mean total anarchy in the island and a possible Indian invasion and attacks. Tamil Elam may become a reality if she ever becomes Indian Prime Minister.

Jayalalitha has another powerful trick up her sleeve ” USA. It is no secret USA backs Jayalalitha for the top post. Between Modi and Jayalalitha, USA will certainly opt for the latter. Given India’s growing strategic defence ties with USA, the parties will consider this factor with high importance.

Sri Lanka must prepare for this dangerous possibility unless this disaster can be averted early.

Janakaraliya Mobile Theatre Tent to Kerala with new “Hunuwataye Kathawa” ජනකරළිය ජංගම රඟහල සම`ග හුණුවටයේ කතාව කේරලයට

December 20th, 2013

Parakrama Niriella’s  Janakaraliya Mobile Theatre Group

Parakrama Niriella’s  Janakaraliya Mobile Theatre Group has been invited to participate at the 06th International Drama Festival held in Thrishur, Kerala in India from 27th January to 03rd February. The invitation from Kerala extends not only to the Janakaraliya drama group but also to the Mobile Theatre. The Mobile Theatre will be used as one of the performing theatres of this international drama festival conducted by the Music and Drama Academy of the Cultural Ministry of Kerala Province. The festival is represented by drama groups from Poland, Rumania, Georgia, Norway, Italy, France, Denmark, Russia and England. Sri Lanka is represented by Janakaraliya at this prestigious drama festival.

SONY DSC

The new version of ‘Hunuwataye Katawa’ (The Chalk Circle) created by Parakrama Niriella for Janakaraliya based on the translation by late veteran dramatist Henry Jayasena will be performed at this international drama festival. Janakaraliya team has created the new version of ‘Hunuwataye Katawa’ with a different perspective and approach using the original text of Henry Jayasena. It will be performed at the theatre hall of Janadhipathi Vidyalaya, Rajagiriya on Sunday the 29th December 6.45pm prior to the departure of Janakaraliya Team to Kerala, India.

Parakrama03A

Janakaraliya participants at the festival are Dilip Rohana, Sanjeeva Upendra, Sumudu Mallawaarachchi, Nishantha Kularatne, Ronika Chamalee, Rasaiah Loganandan, Selvaraj Leelawathie, Ajantha Shanthakumar, Inoka Lankapura, Arosha Tharanganee, Thiyagaraja Sivaneshan, Palitha Abeylal, Devran Sri Livera, Sarath Banagala, Amila Dinesh Kumara, Vijitha Hettige, Janitha Dissanayake, Alaguraj Yasho Prasad, Daminda Mendis, Kumareshan Mahendran, Thilini Nimesha,  Madeera Udishani, Samanlatha Disanayake, Dinusha Alahakoon, Sathis Surendra, Channa Pradeep Herath, Nipun Nirmal Bandara

ජනකරළිය ජංගම රඟහල සම`ග හුණුවටයේ කතාව කේරලයට

2014 ජනවාරි 27 සිට පෙබරවාරි 03 දක්වා ඉන්දියාවේ කේරල ප්”à¶»à¶±à·Šà¶­à¶ºà·š ති්”à¶»à·‚ූර් නගරයේ පැවැත්වෙන
6 වැනි අන්තර්ජාතික නාට්”à¶º උළෙල නියෝජනය කිරà·à¶¸ සඳහා ජංගම රඟහලද රැගෙන පැමිණෙන ලෙස පරාක්”à¶»à¶¸ නිරිඇල්ල ඇතු`ඵ ජනකරළිය  නාට්”à¶º කණ්ඩායමට ආරාධනා ලැබ෠ඇත.  කේරල ප්”à¶»à·à¶±à·Šà¶­ රජයේ සංස්කෘතික කටයුතු අමාත්”à¶ºà·à¶‚ශයේ සංගà·à¶­ නාටක ඇකඩමිය විසින් මෙහෙයවන මෙම අන්තර්ජාතික උළෙලේ නාට්”à¶º රඟක්වන එක් පරිශ්”à¶»à¶ºà¶šà·Š ලෙස මෙම ජංගම රඟහල භාවිතා කරනු ඇත.  පෝලන්තය, රුමේනියාව, ජෝර්ජියාව, නෝර්වේ, ඉතාලිය, ප්”à¶»à¶‚ශය, ඩෙන්මාර්කය, රුසියාව සහ එංගලන්තය යන රටවල්ද ඇතු`ඵව ඉන්දියාවේද නාට්”à¶º කණ්ඩායම් මෙම උළෙලේ නාට්”à¶º රඟදක්වනු ලබන අතර ශà·à·Š”à¶» ලංකාව නියෝජනය කරන්නේ ජනකරළිය නාට්”à¶º කණ්ඩායමයි.  

ජනකරළිය නාට්”à¶º කණ්ඩායමේ ශිල්පà·à¶±à·Š සහභාගි කර ගනිමින් හෙන්රි ජයසේනයන්ගේ පරිවර්තනය ඇසුරෙන් පරාක්”à¶»à¶¸ නිරිඇල්ල නිර්මාණය කළ zzහුණුවටයේ කතාවZZ නව නිෂ්පාදනය මෙම කේරල අන්තර්ජාතික නාට්”à¶º උළෙලේ රඟදැක්වà·à¶¸à¶§ තෝරාගෙන ඇත.  හෙන්රි ජයසේනයන්ගේ නිෂ්පාදනයට වඩා වෙනස් ආකාරයකට නිර්මාණය කර ඇති zzහුණුවටයේ කතාවZZ ජනකරළිය නිෂ්පාදනය කේරල සංචාරයට පෙර මෙම දෙසැම්බර් මස 29 වැනි ඉරිž රාජගිරිය ජනාධිපති විද්”à¶ºà·à¶½à¶ºà·à¶º රංග ශාලාවේද෠රංගගත කිරà·à¶¸à¶§ කටයුතු යොž ඇත.  

දිලිප් රෝහණ, සංජà·à·€ උපේන්ද්”à¶», සුමුදු මල්ලවආරච්චි, නිශාන්ත කුලරත්න, රොනිකා චාමලà·, රාසයියා ලෝහානන්දන්, සෙල්වරාජ් ලà·à¶½à·à·€à¶­à·, අජන්ත ශාන්තකුමාර්, සතිස් සුරේන්ද්”à¶» එAකනායක, ඉනෝකා ලංකාපුර, අරෝෂා තරංගනà·, තියාගරාජා ශිවනේසන්, පාලිත අබේලාල්, දෙව්රාන් ශà·à·Š”à¶» ලිවේරා, සරත් බානගල, අමිල දිනේෂ්, විජිත හෙට්ටිගේ, ජනිත දිසානායක, අලගුරාජ් යශෝප්”à¶»à·ƒà·à¶¯à·Š, දමින්ද මෙන්ඩිස්, කුමරේෂන් මහින්ද්”à¶»à¶±à·Š, තිලි”š නිමේෂා, මදà·à¶»à· උදà·à·‚ානි, සමන්ලතා දිසානායක, දිනූෂ අලහකෝන්, චන්න ප්”à¶»à¶¯à·à¶´à·Š හේරත්, නිපුන් නිර්මාල් බණ්ඩාර(ළමා) යන ශිල්පà·à¶±à·Šà¶œà·™à¶±à·Š සමන්විත ජනකරළිය නාට්”à¶º කණ්ඩායම මෙම උළෙලට සහභාගි වෙති.

Why religion is bad for aging brains

December 20th, 2013

R Chandrasoma

It is now well established that just as limbs and joints must be regularly exercised if they are to remain supple and effective organs of locomotion, the brain must be used and challenged if is to be an efficient organ of mentation in adulthood. Children and young adults do exercise their brains as part of the routines of education that are forced on them by long tradition. There is no comparable tradition for adults – and their ‘mental improvement’ remains largely their own affair. This lackadaisical attitude to adult education has had a severe impact on the ‘flexibility’ of aging brains in this country where tradition and routines are honoured but ‘out of box thinking’ is regarded as a dereliction of some kind. While rich households have large TV systems and opulent furniture we rarely see books on display. Even rarer is a discussion on a learned work recently read and digested. This mental apathy of the grown-ups is a tragic

development in Sri Lanka and it is coupled with a rising belief in Astrology, Folk-Medicine and ancient hocus-pocus. This public and widespread weakening of cognitive powers is manifested most markedly in grown womenfolk of Sri Lanka. It is sad to see the vivacious young woman of yesteryear turning into that milddle age dullard listening apathetically to a religious discourse delivered ex-cathedra by a robed know-all.

It is about robed know-alls that more must be said. The audience is largely female and they all have a glazed look that betokens an absence in the seat of intelligence. What is said by the monk is said with an authority that brooks no challenge ” indeed the brain is asleep while the droning message from the Immaculate Authority fills the air and faintly rouses the distracted ear. The pilgrim forgets all when he leaves the religious sanctum. It is not my business to speak on the substance of what is said in these seances but to speak of the damage done to the aging brain. May women in our country have no place other than a ‘religious auditorium’ (bana salawa) wherein anything approaching profundity is discussed ” and it is this very place that stultifies the brain by boring repetition, hortatory nonsense and tales that a child of ten would find hilariously untrue. Yet this is the intellectual fare that our backward masses are forced to endure

since intelligent and honest dissent is equated with impiety. Some may find these observations constituting a veiled attack on the Ruling Religion of our land ” this is not my intention. It is, rather, a concern for the dumbing down of the intelligence and vitality that a widely-practiced soporific religious praxis has on the people of Sri Lanka. Brains lose power when they are force-fed that which wilts under the broad scrutiny of an intelligence that is free, fair and untrameled. Alas, our historic religion has been stripped of these virtues in the hands of a monkish oligarchy that is willfully blind to its own weaknesses. The reign of fools is not far off.

Is there any planning at all?

December 20th, 2013

Sent by :Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai, Vanderwert Place, Dehiwela

The whole length of Galle road in Wellewathe is dug up and now being dug up more and more on all 4 sides ” that is on both sides of both  lanes! There seems to be work going on (?) right throughout the length  of the lane at snail’s pace. Nothing is completed properly rather more and more digging, more and more inconvenience for the pedestrians and the motorists but then who cares? The traffic is almost at standstill most of the time with blaring of horns nonstop, three quarter of the road being taken up for repairs; no one seems to know what the repair is about when and how it is going to be completed.

Does it have to be so chaotic? Isn’t there a saner way of doing this? Is someone supervising this or is it being done at the whims and fancies of the  laborers?  From the Wellewathe traffic lights up to the Wellewathe bridge it is half done work, ditches dug and left open, cement blocks strewn about and when it is raining, it is pandemonium personified.

Can someone tell  the long suffering silent majority of citizens, why not do the work  at small laps of stretches  from one end and finish before going onto the next lap? Why didn’t someone think of doing one lane first and  do the other one later so that at least the people  could have used one lane for to and fro traffic? Why not close the huge holes in one stretch before digging up the next one? Why not let the workers do the repairs at night and let them rest  during daytime and make the traffic flow a little easier? Why not  employ a larger number of laborers and complete the work in shorter period? Why not leave completing the middle divider between the two lanes to a  later time and  finish the constructions at the sides first? Why not at least lay the concrete slabs properly even if cementing or tarring is  to be done later? Why, why oh why not?

Who is in charge? Who is supervising  this if at all? Is this the only way to do it?

The way it is going on it looks as if some sinister plan is there to stress out the pedestrians and the motorists or to break up the business of people of Wellewathe! Srilankans are so stupidly tolerant that no one seems to be making any effort to sort this mess out  sooner.

We were told it will be finished before the CHOGM  starts, the CHOGM  has come and gone but the chaos have not abated. Only “sogam” ( sadness ) seems to be remaining for Wellewathe!

Sent by :

Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai,

Vanderwert Place, Dehiwela

Removing Year 5 Scholarship Exam from 2016 a National Calamity

December 19th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

Students who have done well in Year 5 Scholarship Exam have no vacancy in good schools they deserve to attend. This is because politicians have filled those vacancies with their henchmen’s children. It is a grave injustice not only to deserving students but also to taxpayers who finance the education ministry. However, instead of fixing the problem, the ministry has decided to remove the Year 5 Scholarship Exam altogether! Thereafter only politicians’ catchers and their henchmen will decide who gets a good education while the common man and the talented will be condemned to underfinanced and dilapidated schools. While the talented students languish in underprivileged schools unable to reach their true potential, the unintelligent and talentless students who occupy limited good schools will not make use of the facilities. This is a national calamity.            
                                                                                                                                                                                                     
 In order to justify this national rip-off, state media and the ministry have been harping on the adverse effects of the Year 5 Scholarship Exam. It is true it is taking a huge toll on students, however, the solution is to increase secondary school budget allocation so that there will be more good schools for a larger number of students. There is no such solution offered.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 Sri Lanka offers little for its future generation which has resulted in mass migration of skilled workers. With secondary education and resultantly tertiary education too in jeopardy, things will worsen. Those who can afford to send their children to international schools and those who can migrate waste no time trying to build a future for their children in Sri Lanka.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            
 Politicisation of everything under the sun from schools to the judiciary comes at a hefty price tag. It is a new addition to the corruption, poverty, economic stagnation and crime vicious cycle. Once in motion, there is no stopping the rapid degeneration of the nation.

Canadian High Commissioner Shelley Whiting responds

December 19th, 2013

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada

19 December 2013

Her Excellency Shelley Whiting
High Commissioner for Canada in Sri Lanka
Canadian High Commission
33A, 5th Lane, Colpetty 
Colombo, Sri Lanka

Attention: High Commissioner Shelley Whiting

Dear High Commissioner Whiting:

I have just read with great interest ‘Canadian HC responds to Sri Lanka HR situation like ‘elephant in room’ in today’s The Island.

I am afraid, it certainly wasn’t convincing and you certainly got your knickers in knots, trying to defend what is un-defendable.

You certainly know the truth, but then you are paid by the Canadian Government, and you have very little choice to say other than what the Conservative Government wants you to say.

And here is my problem with your defense:

  1.  Canada being a country which tries to emulate to the world that we are squeaky clean when it comes to Human Rights even though we have been lambasted by the UN for our Human Rights violations on our aboriginal women, Canada has no moral right to preach to Sri Lanka on Human Rights.  Why?
  2. Here’s why High Commissioner. Sri Lankan Government gave back to its 22 million peoples their right-to-life, the most basic treasured human right of any human being in the civilized world, when they eliminated the Tamil Tigers on 19 May 2009.  And Canada has had difficulty to acknowledge this classic text book example of restoring human rights to a nation’s people, when every other country patted Sri Lanka’s back and said “Way to go, Sri Lanka, as we are all trying to eliminate terrorism after the 9/11 incident, and you did it single handed.  Bravo!”   Read Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon Press Release on it.  It was pathetic.   You will croak!  The 22 million peoples ‘right-to-life’ was hijacked for 27 years by the most ruthless terrorists in the world, the Tamil Tigers, whose rump that the Conservatives are flirting with right now, and joining them  to do  their Tamil tom-tom jig at gatherings.
  3. Here is why High Commissioner.   I doubt Canada understands the modules of Human Rights.  We certainly haven’t considered that liberating 295,873 Tamils from the clutches of the Tamil Tiger terrorists who herded them like unwashed cattle for 30 months from the west coast to the east coast during the last phase of the war as a classic act of Human Rights    You figure that one out High Commissioner.  With such a backgrounder pretending that we are the champions of human rights in the civilized world, Canada has the gall and temerity to preach human rights to Sri Lanka.  That is a bunch of baloney hanging from a stall in the Byward Market, isn’t it?
  4. Coming to the issue o Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai’s flight  from Jaffna and laying a wreath at Elephant Pass which  you have been trying to find a fool-proof answer, unfortunately has pock marks like  bleeding red polka-dots on a white  maple leaved canvas.
  5. You say that the “private airline informed us at short notice that flights were cancelled due to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.”   Hmmmm….that is a bit iffy, isn’t it, when the SLAF who were facilitating this requirement for the delegates says that they were never requested for such a service by the Canadians.  So that fact has been established.  You all didn’t, for obvious reasons.  As you all wanted to travel overland by passing Elephant Pass with a hidden wreath in the trunk of a vehicle.   Didn’t you?
  6. I don’t think you have identified that Private airline company that you had made such bookings with.
  7. But my hunch is High Commissioner, this whole Act is part of  the Theater of  Thuggery and Cunning.  All along you all had planned to come overland to place a wreath at Elephant Pass with photographers on hand to take proof of the incident to bring it back to the Tamils in the GTA and tell them, “Here is proof that we laid a wreath for your Tamils who died during the three historic battles to take over the isthmus, and we expect you all to vote for us at the next federal election.”  Part of your cunning was to have a wreath ready to be laid on the salt-sands of Elephant Pass.   A private airline would not have provided that opportunity.   They would  not have flown at a low altitude to open a hatch to drop the wreath on Elephant Pass, when it would have fallen and smashed  in to pieces, but then there would not have been a  photo opportunity of the event.  Right, High Commissioner?
  8.  The Theatre of “Thuggery and Cunning”, I said earlier.   Sure it was thuggery when Deepak Obhrai went ahead and laid the wreath when he was asked not to do by a Sri Lankan official.   You all slapped the face of the host country, and I wished Sri Lanka slapped the face of Canada by asking Deepak Obhrai to leave Sri Lanka for breaking diplomatic protocol, as we did to General Charles De Gaulle of France.  That was the right that Sri Lanka had.
  9. That wreath, obviously was brought all the way from Colombo, with a banner, and I doubt it was bought in Jaffna.  If you did, it would be nice to know which was the florist who made it for you all as well as the graphic/silk screening company who made the banner which said in Tamil, that it was laid in  memory of the Minorities who died during the war.  That left out the majority Sinhalese who were killed by the Tamil Tigers.

Like the 700 policemen who had surrendered  to the Tamil Tigers with the promise that they would be sent south without being harmed but were asked to kneel, blind folded, and shot through their skulls.  Each one of them.  I say shame on Canada for ignoring that bit of ground  historic-reality by  wanting to cater to the Tamils in the GTA.

  1.   Catering to the Tamils, I said.  Sure, Deepak Obhrai did cater, as when he came back he briefed his heroic act of cunning and thuggery to the Tamil community at a meeting in Toronto,   But he didn’t meet up with the Sinhalese community to brief them.
  2.  I don’t think you should find excuses for this act of well organized Theatre of  Thuggery and Cunning.   The whole incident smells of a rotting rat.
  3.  Oh! by the way Deepak Obhrai states that the choice of Elephant Pass was because the place was “neutral”.  According to the Oxford Dictionary,  the word Neutral means, “taking neither side in dispute”.   Well…well…well… a place which saw three historic battles fought where thousands of Sinhalese army soldiers were killed by the Tamil Tigers, I am surprised that Obhrai felt that it was a neutral site to lay the wreath.  Deepak disappoints me.  He is nothing but an incompetent joker who has fallen flat on this particular cunning act.

 Sincerely,

Asoka Weerasinghe (Mr.)

SLC lets down Sri Lanka by ignoring Lankan’s claim for authorship of UDRS

December 19th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

Is it jealousy or simply a couldn’t care less attitude that stops a country from taking up a just cause on behalf of one’s own countryman who has been engaged in a lone battle almost single handedly to claim public recognition of his authorship of the player – referral rule which underlies the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) used not only in cricket but in other sports as well. All that the country, its Sports Ministry and in particular the Sri Lanka Cricket Board needs to do is to officially request the ICC ” cricket’s world’s governing body to disclose who the true author of the UDRS is or carry out an investigation taking into account Senaka Weeraratna’s evidence shown through publications over the years commencing in March 1997.

 Why have both the ICC and Sri Lanka Cricket failed to do either? Why is the UDRS not named after the name of its author as the Duckworth and Lewis rule is? Is it the discomfort of naming an innovative cricket rule after a non ” white the main problem?  

 Arguments by Senaka Weeraratna to claim UDRS authorship

  • May 1997 Senaka Weeraratna submited the initial player referral proposal to former President of Cricket Board ” Mr. Upali Dharmadasa requesting the SLC to forward proposal to ICC as ICC does not accept individual proposals. SL Cricket officials failed to table the proposal at the ICC meeting held in July 1997 as requested by Mr. Weeraratna. Official records of the Cricket Board should be able to confirm receipt of this proposal in 1997.
  • Mr. Upali Dharmadasa has admitted receipt of proposal sent by Senaka Weeraratna in May 1997 in an interview given to sports journalist Mr. Saadi Thawfeek (Sunday Nation – 22 June 2008). In the interview Mr. Dharmadasa informed that he had instructed Board of Cricket CEO Mr. Tryphon Mirando to study the proposal and submit a report to the Board. Mr. Dharmadasa’s term ended in 1998 and Mr. Weeraratna’s proposal was totally forgotten. This default and gross negligence on the part of the Board of Cricket Control of Sri Lanka (predecessor of Sri Lanka Cricket) has cost Mr. Senaka Weeraratna an inestimable loss in establishing his claim to authorship of the ‘player referral’ mechanism vis a vis the ICC and deprived Sri Lanka of the honour and glory that a country gains due to the innovation of a product by one of its sons that is widely accepted and applied universally in the cricket world.
  • 25 March 1997 ” Senaka Weeraratna’s letter to the Editor of ‘The Australian’ ( Australia’s National Newspaper) titled ‘Third Umpire should perform role of Appeal Judge’ highlighted main elements  of the proposed ‘ player referral’ rule 
  • 2 May 1997 ” the article in the ‘Australian’ was republished in the Times of London

http://www.sriexpress.com/articles/item/476-authorship-of-the-udrs-evidence-in-the-london-times-may-2,-1997.html

http://www.asiantribune.com/node/64045

  • 9 May 1997 ” Pakistan’s ‘Dawn’
  • 6 Apr 1997 ” Melbourne ‘Sunday Age’
  • Malaysian New Strait Times ” May 1997
  • The International Cricketer (United Kingdom) Magazine ” May 1997
  • 6 April 1997 ” Sunday Times, Sri Lanka and several other newspapers in Sri Lanka

 https://tube-proxy.com/nph-proxified.cgi/20/http/sundaytimes.lk/970406/let2.html

  • 20 February 1999 ” The ‘Weekend Australian’ published article by Senaka Weeraratna titled ‘A Spectators Appeal: Reform Cricket Umpiring’
  • 1 Mar 1999 ” Fuller version of above article published in Northern Territory News, Darwin, Australia
  • 2 Mar 1999 ” Fuller version of above article published in Sri Lanka ‘Daily News’
  • 14 March 1999 ” Sunday Island, Sri Lanka
  • 7 Jun 1999 ” ‘Time’ Magazine

.    21 March 2003 –  ‘The field umpire’s immunity limits appeal rights’ ‘Sunday Island’  

http://www.island.lk/2003/03/21/sports08.html

Further evidence:

  • Moreover Wikipedia has also acknowledged and published the claims of Senaka Weeraratna

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Umpire_Decision_Review_System

  • UDRS ” the Sri Lankan Connection by Cricket Observer ‘Daily News’ Feb. 19, 2011

http://www.dailynews.lk/2011/02/19/spo25.asp)

Despite lack of acknowledgement from official quarters there have been people who have supported Senaka Weeraratna’s claim:

Robert Steen, senior lecturer in sports journalism at the University of Brighton, England and reputed cricket commentator, in an insightful article on the ‘Cricinfo’ website under the title ‘Will the UDRS be proved a good thing?’ (Feb. 9, 2011) referred to the Umpire Decision Review System (UDRS) as one of the most potentially far-reaching concepts the old game has ever known, and added as follows:

 http://www.espncricinfo.com/magazine/content/story/499969.html

 ” LET’S REWIND to the hotly contested conception of the review system, for which Senaka Weeraratna, a lawyer, believes we must thank/berate him ” and not, repeat not, the ICC.”

 Steen adds He (Senaka Weeraratna) has been arguing for some time, and with some vehemence, that it was his letter to Colombo’s Sunday Times, on April 6, 1997, the first of many such that sowed the seeds. In an ocean of common sense, that letter likened the players’ right to challenge to the appeal of a “dissatisfied litigant”.

As Simon Barnes put it recently in the Times: “Referral is not dissent, it is a legitimate process of truth-seeking.

 Robert Steen in another article based on a comprehensive survey done on all aspects of UDRS under the title Going upstairs: The decision review system “velvet revolution or thin edge of an ethical wedge? published in “Sport in Society Journal (Vol. 14, Issue 10, 2011) re-iterated the above as follows:

 “Senaka Weeraratna, a Sri Lankan-born lawyer .., maintains that it was his 1997 letter to The Australian, the first of many, which planted the seeds for what became the DRS. In writing it, illuminatingly, he likened the players’ right to challenge umpires to the appeal of a dissatisfied litigant.” (Allow appeals to the Third Umpire, Letters to the Editor, The Australian, 25 March 1997 (copy sent by author; referred to at

http://sundaytimes.lk/060528/sports/6.html

In August 2008 officials of Sri Lanka cricket personally handed to David Richardson, then General Manager of the ICC a folder full of publications by Senaka Weeraratna on the subject of player referral but Mr. Richardson did not give Mr. Weeraratna a meeting to present his case. Mr. Richardson as CEO of ICC is now claiming the UDRS system is borrowed from tennis. This claim is easily nullified because the use of video replay in tennis began in 2006 using Hawkeye technology and adjudication in tennis is determined by line call.

 The ICC ran trials for the new player referral system in November 2008 without identifying the author of the system. With the file of every aspect of the UDRS explained by Mr. Senaka Weeraratna in the dossier handed to Mr. Richardson in August 2008 completely ignoring to honor the Sri Lanka author boils down to nothing but to intellectual dishonesty, violation of copyright and fraud.

 What needs to be argued is that the UDRS did not fall from the sky. The system had to be conceived by a human mind or minds. If it is not Senaka Weeraratna ” who is the author? The cricket world deserves to know. This is the question that any self ” respecting nation and particularly its governing Cricket Board is morally obliged to ask the ICC given the strong claims made by a local country man and in his defence. The failure to do so on the part of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Sports and Sri Lanka Cricket is tantamount to a dereliction of public duty and betrayal of Sri Lanka’s national interests. 

 The Duckworth-Lewis rule for rain affected games was attributed to 2 English statisticians Frank Duckworth and Tony Lewis, who came up with the formula to calculate which team was in the lead at the time of rain interrupting the game. Stuart Robertson, the former Marketing Manager, England and Wales Cricket Board, has been hailed as the founder of the Twenty 20 Cricket format. The rule thus was Christened by their names. 

We would like to know why has the UDRS yet to be christened in gratitude to the author given that UDRS has been in use since November 2009? We are also wondering whether it is because the author is non-white that the ICC is adapting a very colonial attitude to simply brushing off the claims of a non ” white without doing the decent thing of conducting an investigation, calling all those who are claiming authorship to provide evidence and thereafter determining who the real author is. This should not be such a difficult thing to do.

 It is immoral for the singers to be using the song totally ignoring the composer. Both Sri Lanka Cricket and the ICC are guilty in this respect.

 The fact is that the singer cannot sing the song without acknowledging the composer and therefore cricket being a gentleman’s game it is only fair that if the ICC is not willing to accept Upali Dharmadasa’s acknowledgement or the present Board’s submission for Weeraratna’s claim of authorship an impartial inquiry conducted by a competent third party arbitrator should be held to ascertain who the composer of the UDRS system is.

It is said that the late Tony Greig had advised Senaka Weeraratna that to get the ball rolling it is the Sri Lankan State and Sri Lanka Cricket Board that must take up the cause with the ICC with full legal backing. Their failure in this instance is tantamount to a dereliction of national duty and let down of the huge cricket fan base in the country. 

 Simply because a person does not have the legal means or large scale financial resources or clout to press a case against use of his intellectual property should not mean that international corporate bodies such as the ICC and Sri Lanka Cricket should ignore and not take up the case where the prestige of awarding an internationally accepted referral system would bring pride not only to the author but to the entire nation. Is it not on this premise that the Sports Minister/Ministry, officials of Sri Lanka Cricket including former Cricketers take up this long overdue claim for justice on behalf of a fellow Sri Lankan, Senaka Weeraratna.

Aspects of Self Reformation

December 19th, 2013

By A. Abdul Aziz, Press Secretary,Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at ” Sri Lanka.

 (Given below is an excerpt of the Friday Sermons of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Supreme Head of the world-wide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Islam, delivered on 13th December 2013, at ‘Baithul Futhuh’, London, U.K. gave a discourse on aspects of self-reformation).

 Ahmadiyya Supreme Head said:-

 The teachings of Islam deal with innumerable matters, there are an unending series of directives which the Holy Quran has given to us. This is why the Founder of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad – the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) has stated in “Our Teachings,” and for the benefit of our reformation, that, “I say to you truly that whosoever from among you is guilty of not attending to even the smallest of the commandments from among the 700 contained in the Holy Quran, he shuts the door of salvation upon himself with his own hands.” This is a matter of great fear and concern for us. We need to take great care, therefore, before taking a single step or undertaking the smallest action.

 I have said this in my previous sermons also, the purpose of the coming of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) was to establish the government of the ordinances of the Holy Quran upon us and enable us to walk on the sunna, the practical exemplary life of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) And to fulfill this purpose he drew our attention to these matters again and again.

 If we carry out an honest self-analysis, as I have said before, we will realize that when we hear about these matters, we do effect a reformation but it lasts only for a few days and then most of the people again return to the same old ways on which we were progressing before. The situation is like that of the jack in the box that remains in the box so long as the lid covers it but the instant that the lid is lifted it again jumps right out.

 So, just like this, so long as a particular topic is continuously talked about most people remain affected by it but as soon as the pressure of these advices and discussions stops, the spring of a person’s own self or the spring that incites to evil again causes most people to jump back into their same old ways and some misdeed is again seen to be taking place.

 Many sincere friends wrote to me after the sermons that we are trying and praying and request you to pray also that the ‘jack’ the source of many evil practices that has been put back into the box by these sermons may remain entrapped in the box and should not come out again after some span of time.

 In any case we need to ponder on why this ‘jack’ tries again and again to come out of the box. Reformation of any particular thing can happen and the means to effect such a reformation can only be employed once we know the reasons behind the particular deficiency or once we understand the causes of the deficiency so that an attempt may be made to finish or bring to an end those causes. If the root cause remains, then after a temporary reformation the evil or misdeed will again return.

 When I started to think on things from this point of view and did more reading on this, I came across the analysis of the second Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Mirza Bashiruddin Mahmood Ahmad (r.a.). His way of writing and speaking about matters has the beauty that he poses the question and informs of a solution also by way of examples. The way that he presents the solutions in the light of the Holy Quran, sayings of the Holy Prophet (sa), and the writings of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) is not seen elsewhere. So I thought I would take benefit of his sermons and present these causes here in front of everyone in the light of guidance provided by him.

 From among the things that impede our efforts to effect a practical reformation of people’s actions or that have an impact on these efforts, the foremost among them is this feeling among the people that some sins are big and some small. In other words the people have themselves decided this or have done so on the basis of some statements of the religious scholars. They have determined that some sins are small and some big. And this is the very thing that becomes an obstacle in effecting a practical reformation.

 As a result of this a man become audacious, a sort of insubordination and brazen disregard develops in him to commit sin. A sort of defiance of evil and mischievous sinful deeds comes into being and the wickedness of such actions does not seem to be important in their estimation as a result. They begin to think that carrying out a small sin is a harmless thing or that its punishment is not very severe. The Promised Messiah (peace be on him) says:

 “That if someone becomes ill, regardless of whether his illness is small or great, if no remedy is sought for the illness and no pain is taken to find a cure for the illness, the person cannot become well. A small dark patch once it appears on the face of a person causes great concern lest it should grow and darken the whole face of the person. There is a similar dark patch that evil deeds cause to appear on a person’s heart. Small sins become big sins due to one not taking care to avoid them. The small sin is that same small dark patch that grows ultimately to darken the entire face of the person afflicted.”

 So we must take care to not take any sin as being small because once this kind of thinking develops that this is a small, tiny sin, then the seed of the illness one day definitely sprouts and these small sins, with time, develop into big sins. So we all need to do self analysis from this point of view.

 Allah, the Almighty, has assigned a punishment for every small and big sin. Then when we look at how the Holy Prophet (PBUH) has discussed and described small and big sins and good deeds, we find that he has described these differently for different people in different situations.

 In one place when asked what a great and virtuous deed is he said that serving one’s parents is a very great virtue. To another person upon him asking about a big virtuous deed he said that offering tahajjud (pre-dawn supererogatory prayer) is a great virtuous deed. Responding to another person about the same question he said that for you the great virtuous deed is to join in jihad. So it becomes clear that for different people and different circumstances the great virtuous deed is different.

 Let me also say a few words with regard to jihad because it is alleged that we do not participate in jihad. In that age when Islam was being attacked from all sides by the sword, the jihad with the sword was a very big virtue and anyone who would not join in it without any valid reason God had deemed worthy of punishment. But in the time of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) had said that he would bring the wars to an end because the ways and means of attack on Islam would have changed. Islam, the faith, would not be attacked by the sword but rather the media and press and all these means of communication would be used to attack it and the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) and his Jama’at would use the same means to defend themselves from these attacks.

 Keeping these very things in view, the Promised Messiah (peace be on him ) has said in his poetry, that: deen kay liyay haram haiy abb jang aur jidaal; meaning that it is now forbidden to engage in war and fighting for the defense of the faith. What this means is that the jihad of the sword was not only allowed but was indeed needed and was a virtuous act in that age because Islam was being attempted to be annihilated by use of the sword. Now this is no longer a virtue but in fact has been prohibited and made unlawful – or haram – till such time that someone should lift the sword against Islam; till such time as the powers that oppose Islam should take up weapons.

Now the thing that can be called virtuous and allowed form of jihad that is the jihad of spreading the teachings of the Holy Quran, or the jihad of knowledge, the jihad of spreading the message and beautiful teachings of Islam using the press media and the available means of communication.

 If someone is not taking part in this jihad due to his or her lack of knowledge or due to some other reason, there is still the door open to participate in the publishing and spreading of this message by participating in the financial sacrifices to help make this happen. But if anyone doing this type of jihad is not discharging the duties he has towards his wife and children or is not taking adequate care of them then for that person the greater and more virtuous thing is not this jihad but striving to discharge these duties that are incumbent upon him. And if he does not discharge these duties adequately and does not take care of their needs and their education etc he thereby becomes guilty of a grave sin.

 

In the time of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), despite the obligation of jihad, as I have said, he told some Muslim that the big and virtuous thing for him was to serve his parents. So for every person, depending on the occasion and the circumstances the bigger and more important virtue is something different.

Similarly we see that to heap immense amounts of wealth on wrong and illicit pursuits is a great evil from which we have been forbidden. These days there are all kinds of gambling machines and a variety of ways to participate in gambling. There are many people who are quite taken by lotteries and others who go to the gambling machines and indulge in gambling but they do not lie under ordinary daily situations with ordinary people. They do not go to excess and do not mistreat people or kill anyone because they think these to be grave sins. But they do not consider gambling and wasting large amounts of wealth in this pursuit to be bad. For such persons wasting these large sums of money is a big and very grave sin because the other sins he already considers to be grave in any case.

 Then we see that a woman does not adopt a modest and chaste mode of dress and does not take care of the needs of purdah when she goes outside the home. Despite being an Ahmadi Muslim, she goes about without a head-covering, without a hijab or a scarf or a shawl. She wears a tight dress that displays her physical beauty but if you ask her to make financial sacrifices or ask her to make a charitable donation she has an open heart, and she abhors dishonesty and cannot tolerate that anyone should lie in her presence.

 So for her, the great virtue is not in advancing in financial sacrifices or telling the truth; but rather, for her, a great virtue would be to act on the Quranic commandment that she should make her dress such as fulfills the requirement of chastity and modesty and take care of the requirements of purdah. The thing that she is neglecting, thinking it to be a minor virtue, is the thing that will push her towards the commission of a great sin also.

 So suffice it to say that every good or evil deed has to be measured and seen in the context of every person’s own situation and circumstances and in different situations the actions of different people can affect the definition of good and bad deed for that person. So long as this thought remains that such and such an evil deed is big and another is small and that such and such good action is big and another is small, a person cannot safeguard himself from evil nor become blessed with the opportunity to do goodness.

 We must always keep this in front of our minds that the big evils are those which he finds himself unable to abandon and encounters the greatest difficulty in setting aside and which have become a part of his habitual actions. And the big virtues are those that a man finds very difficult to accomplish. In other words many evil deeds are big for one person and small for another and similarly many good deeds are big for one person and quite small for another.

 So if we are to practically effect a reformation of ourselves, then at the outset, we will have to get rid of this thought from our hearts that, for example, adultery is a big sin, murder is a very big sin, theft is a big sin, backbiting is a great sin; while all other sins are, in comparison, smaller sins. We have to rid our hearts of this thought.

 And we will also have to get rid of this thought from our hearts that fasting is a great virtue, zakat is a big virtue, hajj is a big virtue and all the other virtues are small – and this is the thought that is found among most Muslims. If these thoughts are not gotten rid of from the hearts, then our actions will remain weak. Our actions will become strong when we will keep this advice of the Promised Messiah in front of us that the one who does not act on the 700 commandments of the Holy Quran closes the door of salvation upon himself.

 So we must not understand, like the others that some virtuous actions are small and some big and in these matters, like the other Muslims, for example, think that fasting is the greatest virtue but attach no great significance to prayer in congregation.

 The one on whom zakat is obligatory he tries very hard to avoid having to pay it but when it comes to fasting he will definitely try and fast because he feels that if he does not fast he would be guilty of a very big sin.

 To avoid paying the Zakat at one time it was the case – I do not know what is the case nowadays – that after 1974, when Ahmadis were declared non-Muslim for the purposes of the Constitution, some non-Ahmadis, who had money in bank accounts, would write that they were Qadiani Ahmadi on bank papers. All Muslims were forcibly made to pay Zakat at the year end and since Ahmadis had been declared non-Muslims this was not deemed obligatory upon them and this was their way of not having to pay Zakat.

 So this is the state of their faith. Ahmadis they say are kafirs – disbelievers, but when the time came to save some money and avoid Zakat, they declared themselves to be among those whom they had declared kafirs. I do not know what is the state of affairs today but this was the situation at one point in time.

 And this state of affairs exists because in order to fix the station or level of virtue and evil they do not look to God or to His Messenger but rather turn to their religious divines and have started following in their footsteps.

 The second Khalifa of Ahmadiyya Jama’at has mentioned an incident from the time of the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) that in the month of Ramadhan, while the Promised Messiah (as) was on a journey in Amritsar, he had occasion to make an address. During the speech his throat became dry and a friend, upon seeing this, offered him a cup of tea but the Promised Messiah (peace be on him) turned it away. A little while later he again felt the same difficulty and the friend again became concerned and offered him again a cup of tea which the Promised Messiah (as) again turned away and indicated by a wave of the hand also to leave it.

 But when the difficulty returned again, and the throat became dry, the friend presented the tea a third time and the Promised Messiah (peace on him) took a sip from it thinking that if he did not take the tea, people will think that he was making a show of things by not benefitting from the commandment to not fast during a journey.

 Upon seeing this, the non-Ahmadis sitting there raised a hue and cry that look, he claims to be a Mahdi and yet is not fasting in the month of Ramadan.

 In the estimation of those people the importance of keeping a fast is such that they keep a fast even if it means disobeying a commandment of God. The second Khalifa says that from among those people, perhaps 90 percent of them were such as did not even offer the obligatory prayers and 99% were those who did not tell the truth and committed fraud and robbery but this is also true that at that time 99 percent from among them were fasting because they consider fasting to be the biggest virtue. But they do not observe the fast the way the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa) has directed – that one who tells lies or is guilty of backbiting and abusing people; in the sight of God the fast of such a one is no fast at all, he simply remains hungry and thirsty.

 If we take a survey we will find that the majority of Muslims simply suffers hunger and thirst according to this level established by the Holy Prophet (sa). But in their estimation remaining hungry and thirsty thus is a very great virtue and is enough to take them safely across to safety. Or they will include the doing of some other of the few deeds that in their way of thinking are the great virtues and they will think that they have thus made enough preparations to receive the pardon from God.

 Such people can never be the ones who will establish righteous deeds in the world nor will they be able to set up the standards by which people can understand what sinfulness is. They have set up their own standards of big virtues and small virtues and big sins and small sins and as a consequence they try to attain to what they think to be a big virtuous deed.

 And the bad deed which they deem to be a minor evil they never are able to confront. Not abandoning these small evils is to admit that they cannot confront that small bad deed. And so they go on getting deeper into evil by committing one evil deed and then the next whereas Islam has labeled that virtuous deed as being big the doing of which is most difficult and it is a different righteous deed for each person. And Islam has labeled that evil deed as being big from which it is difficult to save oneself.

 So, if we are desirous of reforming ourselves, then we have to keep this thing in the forefront of our minds that we will try to adopt every good and virtuous act and will do our best to save ourselves from every evil and sinful deed. Our self-made definitions will not enable us to adopt virtues and shun evil. Many a times one can do oneself much harm if he starts to make his own definitions in deciding which evil deeds to abandon and which to hang on to and not confront; and determine some good deeds to adopt and leave others.

 Those virtues that appear to be small, because of lack of attention, deprive one from doing any good deeds altogether and many, apparently small bad deeds, cause irreparable damage to one’s spirituality and righteousness and deprive one of becoming the recipient of the bounties of purity and piety from God.

 Then there is also this that if one does not abandon the doing of some evil deeds, the seed of the evil deed remains intact which remains alert for an opportunity and an occasion and sprouts the moment an occasion presents itself. Great care needs to be paid to this.

 To bring the tendency to commit one or more evil deeds to an end can be accomplished when we all put forth a full fledged effort to achieve it – all together. There is a society, a Jama’at and the need is for every member of the Jama’at to make an effort. If everyone makes his or her own definition of virtue and evil then one person will be thinking of a thing to be bad or a big evil while another will be thinking it to be a small evil and it may be that a third would be holding on to yet another thought about the thing – in such a situation the society cannot be rid of evil.

 We will be able to uproot evil once all people will begin to think along the same lines. For example the Muslims consider the eating of pork to be something worse even than shirk or the association of partners with God. Every mischief-maker, thief, adulterer, robber – they will do any and all of these things but yet call himself a Muslim but if you say to him or ask him to eat the flesh of swine he will respond by saying that I am a Muslim how can I do this? How can I eat the flesh of a pig?

 The reason is that in the Muslims as a whole this feeling has taken root that the eating of the flesh of swine is a sin and not allowed – that it is haram, prohibited. Despite having lived in this society and having been born here and grown and lived here, the Muslims who live here, among them 99.9 percent loathe the meat of a pig. This is due to that feeling which has been developed among the Muslims as a whole community.

 So to stop evil deeds and to promote good and virtuous deeds we have to wake up the very soul of every member of the society and realize that even a small righteous act of goodness is a big virtue and that even a small evil act is a grave sin. Until this kind of thinking develops in every one of us and an effort will not be made to bring this about, the evil deeds will continue to exist in society and these will continue to impede the work of bringing about a practical reformation.

 The second cause or impediment in the effecting of a practical reformation is the environment and the tendency to copy others. Allah, the Exalted, has placed this tendency to copy in the nature of man and this makes itself apparent from the earliest part of our childhood. And it has been made a part of our nature certainly for our benefit but its abuse or wrong use leads sometimes to man’s destruction even, or takes him towards destruction.

 It is a consequence of this tendency to copy and an impact of the environment that man learns language from one’s parents or learns other things, good things and learning these the child becomes a well mannered moral person.

 If the parents are righteous and observe the salat (daily prayers) and recite the Holy Quran and live with each other in an atmosphere of love and affection and abhor falsehood, then the children, under their care and influence, will also be such as will adopt virtues.

 But if, on the contrary, lying, fighting and disputes, abusive talk of others in the house or of disrespect to others, not taking due regard of Jama’at affairs even, or other such bad actions; when the child sees these, then because of that tendency to copy or because of the impact of the environment the child learns these same bad things.

When he goes out, whatever he sees in the surroundings and in the friends he tries to learn those things. This is why I again and again draw the attention of the parents that they should keep an eye on the outside environment of the children also. And even within the house the programs that they watch on the television or see through the internet access, they should keep an eye on those also.

 Then this is also worthy of attention that the age in which the children can be trained begins from their earliest years. This must always be remembered and kept in mind. This thought should not cross the mind that when the child grows older then we will start his training. The age of two or three years is also the age of training of the child. As I said, the child looks at and learns from the parents and the elders in the home and tries to copy them. The parents should never think that the child is still very young, what does he know. He knows everything, and the child is observing every act of his parents and these things are leaving an impress on his mind automatically without any intention being involved. And then a time arrives when he starts to copy those things.

 Girls, in their own way, copy their mothers and in their playtime will copy their mother’s mode of dress. Boys try to copy their fathers. The good or bad practices or habits that the parents have will be copied by them. For example when they get older and they are taught that these are bad deeds and these are good actions; lying for example, speaking it is a bad deed, and fulfilling your promise is a good deed. But when a child who has not seen his or her parent’s high morals relating to truthfulness or has not seen the parents or elders fulfilling promises; such a child may understand things insofar as they relate to education and knowledge that speaking falsehood is a bad thing and fulfilling one’s promises is a good thing, but they will not translate this into actions, because they have been seeing that, in their house, people have been acting contrary to all this. Children become set in their ways early on and so when they get older they will not accept anything different.

 If the child sees the mother as being lazy or indifferent to the offering of salat and if the father comes home and asks whether she has offered the salat and the mother replies that I have not offered it yet and will offer it soon, the child thinks that this is a great reply. If anyone asks me whether I have offered the prayer or not, I will also say the same thing, that I have not offered it yet, I will offer it. Or he hears the response that I forgot. Or he hears the reply that I have offered it, whereas the child has been with her all the time and knows that she has not offered it, so the child registers this answer in his or her brain.

 Similarly the wrong deeds of the father leave an impress on the child’s brain and whatever wrong replies that the father gives, the child registers them in his or her brain. So the mother and father both, from the point of view the training of the child, if they are acting wrongly or doing wrong things they are taking the child in a wrong direction and imparting to him wrong education by their own actions. And when the child grows older he replies with these same types of answers.

 Similarly the wrong actions or bad deeds of the neighbors and the friends of the parents are having their effect on the child.

 So if we want to carry out a real practical reformation of our future generations and our children so that the level of our practical reformation is high, then the parents will have to keep an eye on their own situation and actions also, and will need to have friendships with such people who are alright from their practical actions point of view. So the tendency to copy in childhood and the impact of the environment are also things that leave an impress on a child. If you will place the child in a righteous environment he will keep doing good things. If you will place him in a bad environment then he will go on doing bad things. And when the one who does bad things grows up and is attempted to be taught that this is a bad thing you should not do it, he will have already gone beyond their reach and the parents at that stage should have no complaint that our children have come out bad.

 So this is a very great responsibility of the parents that they, by their actions, should make their children such as observe prayer. They should, by their actions, establish their children upon the truth and by their actions they should also impart to them the other high moral qualities also so that they too can adopt those high moral qualities. They should avoid taking false oaths so that the children too can be safeguarded against these things.

 So it is very easy for bad actions to propagate and spread. And this spreads in society by the bad actions of our own people as well as through the bad actions of outsiders. So there is a great deal of impact of the society on the spread of good and bad deeds. So we must always keep these things in front of us. There are other causes also which I shall, Inshallah, mention in the future.

 May Allah enable us always to keep our attention focused on practically reforming ourselves and our children.

 The English Translation ” the video link of which is:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-JOeCrQHIE&feature=youtu.be

Baird defends foreign policy shift

December 19th, 2013

Asoka Weerasinghe Kings Grove Crescent . Gloucester . Ontario . Canada

19 December 2013

The Editor (Letters) 
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN

Dear Editor:

Your essay on ‘Baird defends foreign policy shift’ is an eye wash when he tries to defend “…Harper’s  decision to skip a Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka” because  he was concerned with  alleged human rights violations in that island nation.

Sri Lanka had the last laugh on Stephen Harper’s boycott of the Summit which he thought he would be playing Pied Piper leading the other nations to boycott the summit, but Britain, Australia and New Zealand Prime Ministers told him, you can stay if you want  to and isolate Canada, but we are going, and they attended the Summit.   The Commonwealth Summit was a mighty success even without Stephen Harper’s presence.

What Foreign Minister Baird failed to tell us was this exercise of  “We will huff and we will puff and we will blow your house down” attitude on Sri Lanka was to shore up support from the Tamil community seeking their votes in the GTA where nine ridings depend on their votes.   This was proved positive when his Parliamentary Secretary Deepak Obhrai laid a wreath dismissing the request not to do it by a Sri Lankan official, at Elephant Pass, which was the battle ground of three major battles between the Tamil Tigers and the Government Forces to arrest the isthmus that separates the Jaffna peninsula and the south of the island.  Thousands of Sri Lankan soldiers were killed by the Tamil Tigers during those battles.  Obhrai claims that it was neutral grounds according to Canada to lay the wreath there.  The Tamil inscription on the banner said that Canada was laying the wreath in memory of the minorities (Tamils) who lost their lives in this war.  Thus ignoring the 7,000 soldiers from the majority Sinhalese community  who gave their lives to rescue 295,873 Tamil refugees who were used as a human shield by the Tamil Tigers during the last 30 months of the war.

Furthermore, Obhrai returned to Canada and briefed the Tamil community in Toronto, more or less telling them, see what I did for you guys, and now let me have your votes.  He didn’t meet the Sinhalese community in Toronto. 

Minister Baird’s defence of the shift of its foreign policy on Sri Lanka to accommodate the wishes of a small separatist Tamil community in Scarborough, Markham and Brampton of all the immigrants from Sri Lanka who have arrived since  1954 and settled across Canada, is nothing to be brag about.  Canada has  failed miserably with our policy on Sri Lanka.  The 22 million Sri Lankans in that island nation are now suspect of us and quite rightly so.

Asoka Weerasinghe

 

Why is Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe not a Hero?

December 19th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

 Robert Mugabe has to be one of the West’s worst nightmares. He is certainly one  amongst the handful remaining Africans that is open against white oppression. Africa needs African leaders rooted in Africa not African leaders that the West hero worships because they are ready to continue white supremacy. This was the difference between Mugabe and Mandela. Robert Mugabe is fighting to reverse the legacy of colonialism, Mandela was prepared to continue Apartheid economy in exchange for black political power that really meant nothing for the blacks. How wrong can Mugabe be when he says the land and natural resources belong to Zimbabwe and not to white colonialists? Mugabe has ruled Zimbabwe since independence in 1980. Mugabe is the only native leader who ever repossessed territory that was usurped by foreign colonisers. And he did so while they were in full occupation and while they were actively farming and prospering. No other African leader has ever re-possessed land while the purloined real estate was actively occupied by the usurpers. Mugabe did it! And he did so single-handedly! That surely must judge his heroism.

 Zimbabwe was formerly known as Rhodesia named after Cecil Rhodes – the only Rhodes memory today is that of the Rhodes Scholarship. Cecil Rhodes was defeated but the British were quick to appoint Idi Amin to look after their interests. The Heroes of the whites are those willing to ensure that no blacks will touch any of the land the whites had stolen. They loved Mugabe when he like many other white appointed leaders were ready to dance to the white tune. That however did not last long.

 Mugabe was in fact given knighthood in 1994 by the British Government! Sir Robert Mugabe Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath of course he was stripped of the title 7 years later. Lord Doughlas Hurd was foreign secretary when Mugabe was given knighthood and when questioned he said the knighthood may have been given because Mugabe hosted the Commonwealth. Lets hope President Rajapakse is not fooled into this possibility by his advisors!

 When these leaders started to shift allegiance, the heroes soon became villains. We all know how Osama, Saddam, Gaddafi fell from grace. BBC wrote glowing reports on Mugabe for 25 years up until the time Mugabe started introducing land reforms. Thereafter the white media started to promote Morgan Tsangvirai’s MDC party after the West started to pumping cash. MDC was no different to South African ANC ” both ready to allow the whites to continue the economic hold on their respective countries.  

 Sanctions became the best way the West knew to deal with Zimbabwe. US froze credit against Zimbabwe and this was how Zimbabwe’s economic troubles started and not during the land reclamation. The white media was quick to relay about whites being forced off the land. Every story will refer to create a false scenario that Zimbabwe’s problem are because the whites lost their land and had to leave and not because the credit was removed. Reclaiming lands did not cause starvation ” sanctions against Zimbabwe did. Robert Mugabe has not committed any action against the US, nor supported any terror but he remains on the terror list. Mugabe was wise to strike up alliances that would protect Zimbabwe and protection came. China blocked moves for military intervention that US and Britain was attempting to achieve through the UN.

 Mandela is a hero because he was ready to dance to the tune of the imperialists. 65% blacks in South Africa remain unemployed while 90% of whites remain rich and in possession of over 90% of South Africa’s wealth because Mandela was quite prepared to keep it that way and for maintaining the status quo Mandela remains their hero. Let us not forget that none of the Whites ever confessed to any crimes before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Blacks remain very poor in a very rich nation with white South Africans still very rich. This is narrative of reconciliation appears nothing but a bogey to avoid coming down to real terms to discuss violations and the redress of these violations

 The whites possessed the title deeds for the finest agricultural land upon which they established 70.000 mega-farms. And they farmed the land for 110 years. The physical labour was provided by the natives of the country. And these people were virtually enslaved.

 Mr Mugabe said he embarked on the land-grab programme in 2000 to address the expropriation of land from blacks during white rule that ended after a civil war in 1980. 

 Zimbabwe’s land reforms are an envy to most. Of course we need to always keep in mind that there are sanctions and limitations. But given that the land is now under ownership of Zimbabweans who are slowly putting the land to use, with proper investments and if treated as co-partners instead of mere employees of western foreign governments Zimbabwe would surely prosper. This is a good lesson for other Third World countries ever ready to dole out land to foreign investors and leaving their own people mere employees in lands that belong to the natives.

 The indigenisation policies in the mining sector have added to the land-owning middle class by creating mining entrepreneurs. These are people who have taken advantage of the availability of state shares in foreign owned companies. The state owns 51% of the mineral resources part of which belongs to the community, another percentage is due to the employees. Another is availed to the entrepreneurs who can purchase them. The rest is used by the state for the benefit of the country. The minerals under Zimbabwean soil belong to Zimbabwe and anyone who needs them must join Zimbabweans on that basis. The West must therefore stop the silly regime change programs that are being replicated the world over simply to put white men on indigenous ground or get indigenous men who would work on behalf of the whites ” only a thin line sets both apart. Let us remind ourselves that it was only after the British were confident that they had created enough ‘Yes Brown/Black Men’ that they decided to give independence and bumped off the real nationalists who would have stood in the way of their outsourced domination.

 Famous Speeches by Robert Mugabe

 18 April 1980 ” Independence Speech

An evil remains an evil whether practiced by white against black or by black against white. Our majority rule could easily turn into inhuman rule if we oppressed, persecuted or harassed those who do not look or think like the majority of us. Democracy is never mob-rule. It is and should remain disciplined rule requiring compliance with the law and social rules. Our independence must thus not be construed as an instrument vesting individuals or groups with the right to harass and intimidate others into acting against their will. It is not the right to negate the freedom of others to think and act, as they desire.

UN General Assembly 2007

Even after 1945, it would appear that the Berlin Conference of 1884, through which Africa was parcelled to colonial European powers, remained stronger than the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is therefore clear that for the West, vested economic interests, racial and ethnocentric considerations proved stronger than their adherence to principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The West still negates our sovereignties by way of control of our resources, in the process making us mere chattels in out own lands, mere minders of its trans-national interests. In my own country and other sister states in Southern Africa, the most visible form of this control has been over land despoiled from us at the onset of British colonialism.

Clearly the history of the struggle for out own national and people’s rights is unknown to the president of the United States of America. He thinks the Declaration of Human Rights starts with his last term in office! He thinks she can introduce to us, who bore the brunt of fighting for the freedoms of our peoples, the virtues of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. What rank hypocrisy!

Ian Smith (Prime Minister of Rhodesia/Zimbabwe) is responsible for the death of well over 50 000 of my people. ….. He would have faced a different fate here and in Europe if the 50 000 he killed were Europeans. Africa has not called for a Nuremberg trial against the white world which committed heinous crimes against its own humanity. It has not hunted perpetrators of this genocide, many of whom live to this day, nor has it got reparations from those who offended against it. Instead it is Africa which is in the dock, facing trial from the same world that persecuted it for centuries.

Let Mr. Bush read history correctly. Let him realise that both personally and in his representative capacity as the current President of the United States, he stands for this “civilisation” which occupied, which colonised, which incarcerated, which killed. He has much to atone for and very little to lecture us on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. His hands drip with innocent blood of many nationalities.

He still kills.

He kills in Iraq. He kills in Afghanistan. And this is supposed to be out master on human rights?

He imprisons.

He imprisons and tortures at Guantanamo. He imprisoned and tortured at Abu Ghraib. He has secret torture chambers in Europe. Yes, he imprisons even here in the United States, with his jails carrying more blacks than his universities can ever enroll. He even suspends the provisions of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights. Take Guantanamo for example; at that concentration camp international law does not apply. The national laws of the people there do not apply. Laws of the United States of America do not apply. Only Bush’s law applies. Can the international community accept being lectured by this man on the provisions of the universal declaration of human rights? Definitely not!

Mr President, We are alarmed that under his leadership, basic rights of his own people and those of the rest of the world have summarily been rolled back. America is primarily responsible for rewriting core tenets of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We seem all guilty for 9/11. Mr. Bush thinks he stands above all structures of governance, whether national or international.

At home, he apparently does not need the Congress. Abroad, he does not need the UN, international law and opinion. This forum did not sanction Blair and Bush’s misadventures in Iraq. The two rode roughshod over the UN and international opinion. Almighty Bush is now corning back to the UN for a rescue package because his nose is bloodied! Yet he dares lecture us on tyranny. Indeed, he wants us to pray him! We say No to him and encourage him to get out of Iraq. Indeed he should mend his ways before he clambers up the pulpit to deliver pieties of democracy.

The British and the Americans have gone on a relentless campaign of destabilising and vilifying my country. They have sponsored surrogate forces to challenge lawful authority in my country. They seek regime change, placing themselves in the role of the Zimbabwean people in whose collective will democracy places the right to define and change regimes.

Let these sinister governments be told here and now that Zimbabwe will not allow a regime change authored by outsiders. We do not interfere with their own systems in America and Britain. Mr Bush and Mr Brown have no role to play in our national affairs. They are outsiders and mischievous outsiders and should therefore keep out! The colonial sun set a long time ago; in 1980in the case of Zimbabwe, and hence Zimbabwe will never be a colony again. Never!

UN General Assembly 2013

We cannot accept situations whereby the UN Security Council is increasingly encroaching on issues that traditionally fall within the General Assembly’s purview and competence, including in the area of norm setting.

Indeed, recent events have revealed that its formal decisions have provided camouflage to neo-imperialist forces of aggression seeking to militarily intervene in smaller countries in order to effect regime change and acquire complete control of their wealth. This was so in Libya where in the name of protecting civilians, NATO forces were deployed with an undeclared mission to eliminate Muammar Gaddafi and his family. A similar campaign had been undertaken in Iraq by the Bush and Blair forces in the false name of eradicating weapons of mass destruction which Saddam Hussein never possessed.

“Shame, shame, shame we say to the United States of America. Shame, shame, shame we say to Britain and its allies who have continued to impose sanctions, illegal sanctions upon our people,”

Addressed to David Cameron on Gay rights

‘You, David Cameron, are you suggesting that you don’t know that, or is it some kind of insanity or part of the culture of Europeans?’… ‘In their newspapers, that’s one of my sins. That I called (gays) worse than pigs and dogs because pigs know there are males and females.

 ‘You are free as a man to marry a woman and that is what we follow.

‘That’s what produced you and me. This kind of insanity is now part of the culture of Europe and the United States.’

 His comments about homosexuality came after Mr Cameron told a conference of Commonwealth leaders in October that Britain could cut aid to developing nations which failed to protect human rights, including gay rights.

   “They (the UK) will praise you only if you are doing things that please them. (Nelson) Mandela has gone a bit too far in doing good to the non-black communities, really in some cases at the expense of them …

Some famous quotes of Mugabe:

§  The only white man you can trust is a dead white man.

§  “We don’t mind having sanctions banning us from Europe. We are not Europeans.”

§  “Cricket civilizes people and creates good gentlemen I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen”

§  “If the choice were made, one for us to lose our sovereignty and become a member of the Commonwealth or remain with our sovereignty and lose the membership of the Commonwealth, I would say let the Commonwealth go.”

Making interviewers speechless:

 Interviewer: ‘Mr President don’t you think 89 years old would have been a great time to rest and retire?’

 President Mugabe: ‘Have you ever asked Queen Elizabeth this question or is it just for African leaders?’

 Only a truly decolonized mind could come up with such an answer.

Robert Mugabe remains a victim of Western misinformation and a favorite whipping boy for the neo-colonial mindsets.

 Mugabe is a threat to white power and the whites just hate it

The Blacks and Asians are scared to question these lies. It is time the Third World started to stand up and question like Mugabe.

 Anyone who says you cant beat the whites at their own game says so because they have never tried and Mugabe has and did beat the whites and that’s what has annoyed them no different to why they remain annoyed at Sri Lanka’s President Rajapakse for defeating their poodle LTTE.

 Its time we set the history books straight and start sifting the lies of Western media.

 Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband best describes the plight of the West’s plans and plots against Mugabe “”Every British government in the last 20 years has scratched its head on what to do about Mugabe…Sanctions don’t work. Pressure doesn’t work. Enticement doesn’t work,”

TNA ‘rewriting’ history of Sri Lanka

December 19th, 2013

P.A.Samaraweera, Melbourne

LTTE sympathiser, Prof. Peter Salk of Sweden University in his address to the Tamil diaspora in London recently had stated that Sri Lanka is a Hindu country. There is no doubt that he had been well paid by the LTTE rump to make this statement. Since 2002, he had been a close ally of terrorist leader Prabhakaran. On the advise of the Tamil diaspora and picking up pieces from this statement, the TNA is now making a hue and cry. Referring to the statement by Peter Salk, the MP for Batticaloa Mr. Yogendran had said in Parliament that ancient monarchs in Sri Lanka were Tamils. The TNA which has sainted Prabhakaran seems to be unconcerned in reconciliation !

Yogendran had said that, as Ravana was a Hindu, all ancient monarchs in Sri Lanka were Tamils. The South Indians consider , Ravana, as a ‘demon king’. According to legend, Ravana is a mythical king who went to India in his ‘wooden plane’ and abducted Sita, wife of Rama. Later Rama defeated Ravana. The debate on Ravana is still on.

In the past, Sinhala Kings brought down South Indian royalty to pick up their queens. In their entourage they brought their religion Hinduism with them. This led to Hindu kovils being put up next to Buddhist temples and palaces. The Tamil diaspora and the TNA are trying to ‘rewrite’ history and prove their ‘homeland’ theory by their own interpretation of the great chronicle, Mahavamsa.

Can mono-ethnic Jaffna save the Tamils?

December 18th, 2013

By H.L.D. Mahindapala

It is just not possible to make a claim for statehood without first defining its physical borders. It is like making a claim for a piece of land: The claimant must have a deed which defines the boundaries. Consequently, all available evidence, including concoctions, is drawn specifically to outline the borders ” real or unreal ” as justification for the demand of a new State.

This explains why the Vaddukoddians went all out first to concoct geographical borders needed to give some shape and form to their phantom Eelam. This entity called Eelam could not exist even in the mind if there was no cartographic expression of it in a geographic space. In the absence of solid historical evidence, Tamil cartographers stretched their imagination to a past that never existed in history. When they finished drawing their map in 1976 at Vaddukoddai, it covered two-thirds of the Northern and eastern coastline of Sri Lanka which, if true, would have made the Sinhalese virtual prisoners of the maritime forces of the Tamil migrants who are supposed to have arrived first.

Take for instance the Port of Mahatitta (Mantota) in the North-western shore. It was the pivotal port for all trade with the Indians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans, Persians and all other sea-faring nations. It was never in the hands of the Sri Lankan Tamils in ancient and medieval times though the Dravidian invaders grabbed it from time to time ” all who were driven out by triumphant Sinhala-Buddhist kings. If they were an entrenched force in the Western coastline from time immemorial, as claimed in the Vaddukoddai Resolution, they would have been a formidable force for the invading Cholas and Pandyans. But the invaders fought on their own marching all the way to Anuradhapura. It was in the 16th century that the Tamils of the North had some say in the North-western coastline. By that time the Sinhala kingdoms had moved down South to make Colombo the Central Naval Base mainly for trade with the West.

The Tamil boast is that their suzerainty extended from Point Pedro to Panadura. What they refuse to accept is that the Tamil ships and ground forces that came down to Panadura were defeated roundly. Running back hurriedly to their safe havens in the North soon after they arrived in the South does not mean that they ruled from Point Pedro to Panadura. This is similar to the dubious claim of Velupillai Prabhakaran being the ruler of the North. Yes, he did run a fascist regime keeping every Tamil under his jackboots but only as a sub-ruler without parity of status, either domestically or internationally. Besides, he and his people were always under the shadow of the Sri Lankan State, dependent on it for essential supplies for survival.

If the two opposite sides of the coastline were in the hands of the Tamil settlers or kings, the Sinhala kingdoms would have been land-locked territories with the least amount of manoeuverability to sustain themselves as independent sovereignties. The Tamils could have controlled the interior with advantageous positions they held in the strategic coastal belt needed for the survival of Sinhala kingdoms. The Sinhala kingdoms did not survive only on its internal resources. It depended on external sea routes to import and export not only goods and services but also mercenaries who were vital for the defence of the Sinhala kingdoms. All these would have been in the hands of the Tamil migrants if they controlled the Northern and eastern coastline from time immemorial, as they claimed in the Vaddukoddai Resolution. There were, of course, short spells during which Sinhala kings did pay tribute to the Kings of Jaffna. But that was overshadowed by Sapumal Kumaraya ruling Jaffna for 17 years and leaving his imprint in the Nallur Kovil.

The Southern ports gained significance in the 15th century onwards when the Sinhala kingdoms came down South. Even then, they still retained the Northern and Eastern ports as an integral part of their kingdoms. Robert Knox who was captured in Trincomalee, was brought before the King of Kandy and not Jaffna. The Dutch dealt with the Kandyan kings to obtain facilities for their presence in eastern Sri Lanka and not Jaffna. Some potentates of Jaffna did gain the upper hand from time to time but not for long.

Mantota was a well-known sea port for East-West trade in ancient times but it was not in the hands of Tamils. The first Aryan settlers arrived in Tambapani in the North-West without any opposition from the Tamils, if they were in Sri Lanka. The first known opposition was from the indigenous people and not the Tamils. Even the first known Dravida opposition did not come from the Northern migrants but from kingdoms in South India.

If the Jaffna Tamils preceded the Aryan settlers to make any part of Sri Lanka their home, there would have been clashes as it did when finally the Jaffna Tamil settlements began in 12th and 13th centuries. Yalapana-vaipava-malai, one of the early sketches of Jaffna history, records how the Sinhalese in the Jaffna kingdoms rebelled against the Tamil rulers. The clash of the two cultures would have been inevitable as the two sets of migrants met on Sri Lankan soil. More than any other argument, the absence of clashes between the Sinhala and Tamil migrants in the ancient and medieval periods, proved beyond doubt that they were transient traders, mercenaries and adventurers, and not settlers ready to fight for their land. Even the Dravida invaders had their feet firmly rooted in Dravida territory beyond the Palk Straits. The Tamil migrants neither had the will nor the resources to fight for territorial claims; nor were they driven by the ideology of a Sri Lankan homeland because they knew that their homeland was in South India. This is not to deny that there were pockets of Tamils in Sri Lanka in ancient and even in pre-historic times. The issue, however, is not who came first. That is a vexed issue with no historic relevance to claim any part of the land as theirs exclusively.
In the beginning, the Tamils were an itinerant population who had no intention of putting down new roots in Sri Lanka. This is the difference between the Aryan settlers and Tamil migrants. The Aryans were determined to make Sri Lanka their home from the time they set foot unlike the Tamil migrants whose proximity to S. India made it their homeland. The Aryans, who had come along from the North of India, severed the umbilical links and set out to carve out a new destiny in their new found land. Only they went all out to transform the virgin land into a new civilization, new culture and a new home for all those who wanted to be a part of their history.

History belongs to them because it was their creative energies that made history from Point Pedro to Dondra. No other history of any other migrant group can compete or rival the achievements of the Sinhala-Buddhist history-makers. They dominated the political landscape and wrote their indelible history in rocks ranging from pre-Christian era caves to latter day Sigiriya.
The sheer numerical weight of evidence dismisses the claim of ownership of Sri Lanka based on a Tamil potsherd here and an inscription there. The historical weight of thousands of lithic evidence alone go to marginalize bits and pieces of Tamil archaeology as valid products to prove ownership of history and the land in which it was made. Like all other migrants who settled down, the Tamils certainly have a claim to be a part of Sri Lankan history, but not to exclusive ownership of territory at the expense of excluding others.

It is puerile to push the dubious claim of having arrived first as a reason to own territory. Historians agree that it is the aboriginals who were here before the arrival of Sinhalese or Tamils. And as stated above, the fact that there wasn’t a sizable amount of Tamil settlers to put up a resistance against the coming of the new Aryan settlers who built a new Sinhala-Buddhist civilization, is proof enough to demolish the argument that the Tamils have a superior claim to own Sri Lanka, or parts of it, as their homeland. Furthermore, if the Tamils were here before the Sinhalese, how come they failed to build a Tamil civilization which would have been the logical and natural outcome of their presence? As original settlers they had a head start over the Sinhalese but they never made it their home as the Sinhalese did. They also have Mahalingams, Panchalingams, Nagalingams, Pothalingams and all the other conceivable lingams and yet failed to prove over millennia that they had the virile capability to produce even a numerically strong population for the creation of a credible and viable Tamil nation. If the Tamils came before the Sinhalese, how come they failed to populate the nation with Tamils? How come the Sinhalese who came later, according to them, beat them even in the department of procreation?

The stronger argument is to quote theoretical propositions which state that internal self-determination is for the people to pursue its political, economic, social and cultural development within the framework of an existing State. But this argument is vitiated by the fact that the majority of the Tamils live with the Sinhalese and not in the so-called Tamil homeland. This creates an instant and irreconcilable contradiction. If the Tamil enclave is for the pursuit of political, economic, social and cultural development, what is going to be the position of the majority of the Tamils left out of the so-called paradisiacal enclave for Tamils in the North? The East has been ruled out by the Supreme Court and that region doesn’t come into the picture. It is the North that is claimed as the heartland of Tamils. But Yalpana-vaipava-malai states that there was a strong presence of Sinhalese who were oppressed, persecuted and driven out.

According to Northern politics, the Tamils seek separatism/self-determination because they cannot find justice under the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist’ State. So in carving out a mono-ethnic enclave in the North, is the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) seeking to provide justice and dignity only for a selected minority in the North and not for the majority of the Tamils in the South? Besides, on what basis can they demand pluralism in the South when they are all for mono-ethnic extremism in the North? Alternatively, can any political pundit visualize a time when all the Tamils would migrate from the South and go in search of equality and dignity in the North?

They repeat ad nauseam their anti-Sinhala-Buddhist myths that they have been discriminated since independence. So far, despite repeated questioning, the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, C.V. Wigneswaran, the legal fugleman for Tamil claims, M. Sumanthiran, and even the NGO braggart, ‘Paki’ SaravanaMUTTu, have not demonstrated in any way as to how they had been victims of discrimination administered by ‘the evil Sinhala-Buddhist State’ since independence. They are three outstanding examples of receiving and enjoying fully, the benefits of the ‘Sinhala-Buddhist welfare State’ in the South and shouting in the North that they have been victimized for being Tamils. SaravanaMUTTu, in particular, has enough human and financial resources to research the untold sufferings experienced by the three Tamils mentioned above at the hands of ‘the evil Sinhala-Buddhist State.’ His personal story of suffering as a victim of the Sinhala-Buddhist state could be a best seller. Why is he shying away from his duty to stand up for the victims of the Sinhala-Buddhist State?

If, however, he thinks that it is ‘a systemic failure’ why doesn’t he spell it out in detail for the public to evaluate the veracity of his claims? He can, for instance, conduct a survey of all the Tamil professionals in the Tamil diaspora and prove that it is the discriminatory policy of free education administered by the Sinhala-Buddhist State that had deprived them of using Tamil in the high level positions they occupy in Western countries. He can also add as a personal footnote to say that it is S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike’s Sinhala Only policy that makes him spin like a top on the dance floor with his daughter.

Their Vaddukoddian ideology and militarized violence that go to justify Tamil exclusivity has been detrimental to the larger interests of the majority of the Tamils. It took them only as far as Nandikadal. Their political strategy has been to blame the Sinhala-Buddhists for all their failures and missed opportunities that came their way.
The history of Jaffna is a tragic record of the Tamil casteist elite exploiting the Tamil masses for their glory. First the Vellahlas did it. And then Velupillai Prabhakaran, the first born child of the Vaddukoddai violence, followed the Vellahla-Vaddukoddai violence without any remorse.

Apart from sporadic lip service from time to time, the post-Nandikadal Tamil leadership has not taken any meaningful steps to accept the new realities and lead their people away from the Vaddukoddai ideology and its concomitant violence. First they relied on Prabhakaran to deliver their Pee-lam. Now they have turned to David Cameron, who in his youthful adoration of Margaret Thatcher, posted posters demanding that Mandela be hanged. Muthiah Muralitharan told him a few home truths. But it went in from one ear and came out of the other because there was no substance in between to retain the essence of Murali’s commonsense.

At least as a Christian, Cameron should know the Christian dictum which states that no man should put asunder what God has put together. But if you ask Fr. S.J. Emmanuel of Global Tamil Forum or Bishop Ryappah of Mannar, they will justify even hijacking the statue of Holy Mary to their Eelam in never-never-land.

What then is the future of all those Tamils who had managed to escape the watery graves in Nandikadal?

Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran a Card Board Puppet on a string pulled by TNA.

December 18th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

Tamils of Sri Lanka should change their separatist identity , to become patriots accepting Sri Lanka as their motherland.  The death of the Tamil civilians due to  terrorism and the death of Sinhala youth fighting against terrorism would be in vain if the Tamils in the North continue to claim separation from the rest of the Communities.

The TNA is the stumbling block against patriotic attachment of the Tamil people towards Sri Lanka.  TNA had been a proxi party of the terrorists, and now represent the pro-terrorist Tamil Diaspora abroad.  Hence both the TNA and the Tamil diaspora cannot expect to have patriotic affection to Sri Lanka.  Therefore they are both claiming a Separate Tamil State or demand Northern Province of Sri Lanka  left exclusively for the Tamil speaking people.

This cannot be and will never be, as the war against terrorism that had been carried out with great sacrifice had been to make the North and East of  Sri Lanka accept unity with other communities to make whole of Sri Lanka a single Nation despite the cultural, religious and language diversity of its people.  The Tamils in Sri Lanka  cannot remain as Tamils but as Sri Lankans, as much the TamilNadu Tamils cannot be Tamils but Indians.

It was considered a positive move to have selected Wigneswaran as the Chief Ministerial Candidate at the NPC elections , as he was educated and comes from amoung the Sinhala and the Muslim Communities in the South. It was a great chance Wigneswaran had to unite the Communities and contribute to the development of Sri Lanka as an exemplary  modern Nation.

Wigneswaran had the great opportunity of  getting into the history of our Country as the man who reconciled the Sinhala and the Tamil Communities to form along with the other Communities a lasting unity and build on that foundation a lasting Sri Lankan Nation. 

 But Wigneswaran has instead become a puppet of the TNA Political leadership and parrots their demands for a Separatist Tamil Province in the North without the presence of the Sri Lanka Armed Forces or the Sinhala and Tamil people as permanent residents.

TNA Sampanthan, Sumanthiran, Sivajilingam and Sritharan pull the strings and the Puppet Wigneswaran dance.   That is what has become of the retired Judge from Colombo.  Wigneswaran  has ended up in the TNA Puppet show

Unfortunately Wigneswaran did not have that political  experience, nor the spiritual or philosophical wisdom as a human being, as he has had a marginal  education confined to earn a living  in a chosen profession. Wigneswaran is  therefore not educated enough to see beyond the narrow limits of crude Tamilness to envisage greater possibilities of being an architect of the building  of a  prosperous forward looking  Sri Lankan Nation.

Passing examinations and qualifying in Law does not make  a person educated. One must be able to think beyond what one had read to pass an  examinations to earn a living, to appreciate the value of extended human relationships and national welfare.  The profession by itself does not give the philosophical wisdom to understand reality of life and acceptance of fellow beings despite their differences.

We now  see  who is  real Wigneswaran.  He is no more than a Tamil racist TNA  Provincial Councillor  like Sampanthan, Sumanthiran, Sivajilingam, Sritharan.   

 What difference is their between Wigneswaran  and Anandi Sasitharan ?

Wigneswaran cannot think independently and has no intelligence to break away from the  concrete walls of separatist racism the TNA Leader Sambanthan and his goons have built around him. Wigneswaran has to listen to the TNA MPs and act as they want him to do.

Sumanthiran  had said, “…if the government is sincere to change its present direction and treat Tamils as equals then the TNA is ready to sit down and discuss a solution which is acceptable to all communities in Sri Lanka..”

This man,  like the rest of the TNA politicians, when he speaks, speak to the enemies of Sri Lanka, who do not know the situation in Sri Lanka.   Ever since the terrorism ended in May 2009, the government had done a great deal taking care of the North and East, while the TNA MPs were fly to different countries in the world condemning Sri Lanka complaining that the Government does not attend to the grievances of the Tamil people.

The Tamils had never been treated differently even before the terrorism, and the government has not treat the Tamils  differently from the rest of the Communities after the elimination of the terrorism.

These are political propaganda TNA are vociferously carrying out to harness the anti Sri Lanka Governments to interfere into the internal affairs of the Government  and force either the creation of a separate State for the Tamils or reserve the North and the East for Tamils

The Government re-settled  nearly 300,000 Tamil IDPs the Sri Lanka Armed Forces evacuated from the terrorists,  who were keeping them like animals unwashed, unfed as their living shields. The government built roads, bridges, supplied fresh water, and  electricity to the North and East.  Built houses for  the Tamil IDPs, built schools, hospitals, put the captured hard core terrorists into special camps and rehabilitated them, teaching them handicraft, preparing some of them to sit for Examinations.  All that the government did to the North and East far exceeds the development work it undertook in the South.

Sumanthiran had continued, “…….Among the conditions, the TNA said is the need for the government to agree to make an honest effort to address the issue with an open mind and work with the international community including India and the US and learn from the South African experience.”

It is absurd for this “ignorant” man to propose the Government to learn from South African Experience. The South African Experience has no relation to the political situation of Sri Lanka. It is the Tamils of the TNA and the Tamil Diaspora  who have to learn from the South African Experience.  In South Africa it was a minority white Community that had been in control of  the black African majority.

In Sri Lanka it’s the Tamil minority that terrorised our country for 30 years and now dictate terms to the Sinhala majority  Community.  Where is the parallel of it to South African Experience ?

TNA Provincial Councillor Sivajilingam  has proposed a resolution  in the NCP urging to recommend to the President of Sri Lanka to appoint a person belonging to the Civil Society and also a Tamil from North as the Governor of the Northern Province.

The TNA MPs were the hand picked representatives of the terrorist leader Prabhakaran.  Therefore the TNA MPs cannot think differently from him. They carry with them Prbhakara’s heritage. They follow the same tactics of Prabhakaran. Prabhakaran sent delagations for talks for  peace settlements.  But he saw to it that the talks were broken down half way.  He always kept playing for time without committing to a peace settlement pretending that the government is the wrong party.

Sampanthan said that although the LLRC had recommended that the government present a political solution to the national question, such a solution was not presented by the government despite holding several rounds of talks with the TNA.  This is how they follow Prabhakaran’s tactics ”postponing, abandoning, and blaming the government .

Another instance of it is , when , ” TNA’s chief R Sampanthan reiterated his party’s resolve not to participate in the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on constitutional reforms. Sampanthan said the Tamils were not ready for another rigmarole but expected the government to talk to the TNA to thrash out a political settlement of the ethnic question.”

Even if there were to be a meeting instead of  “thrashing out a political settlement” they will abandon it half way. This is how they keep playing for time hoping that the government will  give into them.  They keep blaming the Government not allowing government to take credit for its efforts for reconciliation.

TNA politicians follow the same tactics.  Hoping that eventually they will be able to get what they want, a separate Eelam or a Northern Province only for Tamils.   Prabhakaran thought he will have his way, but failed miserably dying in the midst of it.  Therefore it is best that the TNA MPs lead by Sampanthan remember that miserable end of their leader without realising his dream,  and understand that their tactics will get them nowhere and they will also have a political end  without realising the dream of their thalaivar.

In the meantime the Puppet Wigneswaran  had said that there were four reasons for people in the North and East to try and leave for Down Under even risking their lives.  First reason he had said, “….. is  the heavy military presence in the North and East. Second – unlawful settlements of outsiders from the South in the North. Third-Our people do not have the security, Fourth- No job opportunities,”

The Puppet Wigneswaran imagines he is in his own Kingdom and the government has to give in to his wishes. He also had refused to co-chair two District Development Council meetings, as the Chair was a pro-government rival, Central minister Douglas Devananda. Wigneswaran had also declared that he would not implement the “Mahinda Chinthanaya”  which every Lankan government department is expected to implement.

Are these wise political steps taken by an ex-Judge, considered an intelligent person ?   He is like a street urchin who has suddenly grown up, to become a Chief Minister. Even the Chief Minister of Eastern Province Pillayan is far better than Wigneswaran.

With his professional experience,  and old age wisdom,  one expects him to be different from  the terrorist Prabhakaran and think of the necessity to change hackneyed ideas of Communal segregation  and work for  Communal unity, progress and development of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka had people like Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan and Lakshman Kadirgamar who understood the value of unity and working together with the other Communities.  Why cannot Wigneshwaran try to be a modern day Sir Ponnambalam Ramanathan or a Lakshman Kadirgamar ?

It is a great opportunity Wigneswaran has to work with the Governor Major General G.A. Chandrasiri.  He is the symbol of freedom, peace and democracy in the Northern Province.

Wigneswaran does not come from another planet not to know what it was to fight against the terrorists of Sri Lanka who had arms and ammunitions greater in numbers and better in quality than what the Government Armed Forces then had.  To battle again the terrorist of Sri Lanka was then like attempting to commit suicide. Every one local and foreign thought  the Sri Lanka terrorists were invincible.

Having faced such a ruthless group of terrorists and evacuated nearly 300 thousand Tamils and resettled them in their original homes Major General G.A.Chandrasiri needs the gratitude of the Tamil people. It is up to Wigneswaran to make the Tamil people aware of that duty to their Governor, without blindly following Sampanthan and the TNA MPS with blood of terrorism in their hands.  TNA was a part of terrorism and Wigneswaran has not got to be told, if he lived in Sri Lanka through out the terrorism that lasted 30 years.

Every Soldier as much as the Governor Major General G.A.Chandrasiri has a right to be in the Northern Province and be part of its future prosperity or its decadence, as the soil of the Northern Province is wet with the blood of Sinhala Buddhist Soldiers.

Wigneswaran was brought up, studied and worked in the South among the Sinhala , the Tamil and Muslim Communities , therefore it is his right to defend the flag of Sri Lanka and have the National Anthem sung in Sinhala .  That is the least that the Tamils can do for having regained the freedom and peace they had lost for thirty long years because of the Tamil terrorists..

Treating Mild Traumatic Brain Injury with EMDR

December 18th, 2013

Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.

Abstract:  Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (m-TBI) has become one of the major public health problems. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that more than 1.7 million Americans sustain TBI each year. The leading causes of m-TBI are falls, motor vehicle crashes, and sports injuries. The survivors with m-TBI often experience headaches, cervical pain, fatigue, anxiety, stress related physical symptoms and sometimes depression. Researches indicate that m-TBI can cause long lasting negative impact on mental and physical health. The survivors of m-TBI would be benefitted by an effective mode of psychotherapy such as Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR is a research proven   psychotherapeutic intervention that is effective in treating stress, anxiety, depression and psychogenic pain. The emotional, behavioral, and physical impairments associated with m-TBI can be successfully treated with EMDR. Therapeutic efficacy of EMDR is discussed with the clinical treatment of a sample of 3 individuals diagnosed with m-TBI. The interview-based assessments and self-evaluation psychometric scales indicate that EMDR is effective in treating survivors with m-TBI.

Key Words: Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (m-TBI) , Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)

Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (m-TBI) has become a significant public health concern over the past few years. Annually a large number of people sustain m-TBI following accidents and sports injuries. Majority of the mild traumatic brain injuries are undiagnosed and untreated. However m-TBI can cause long lasting impact on mental and physical health.

According to the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicines (ACRM-1993) Mild Traumatic Brain Injury can cause physiological disruption of brain function. As a result of m-TBI there can be retrograde or anterograde amnesia (post traumatic amnesia not greater than 24 hours / loss of conscientiousness for approximately thirty minutes or less) with alteration in mental state and sometimes it can lead to long term focal neurologic deficits. This definition includes a head trauma after 30 minutes with an initial Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) of 13-15.

The common symptoms of m-TBI include fatigue, headaches, nausea, visual disturbances, memory loss, impaired attention, impaired concentration, sleep disturbances, dizziness, loss of balance emotional disturbances and sometimes Seizures. Symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury typically resolve within days or weeks. However, a significant group of patients may report symptoms of Post-Concussional Syndrome (PCS) weeks, months and years post injury (Williams et al, 2010).

The National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (2004) indicate that nearly 235 000 people experience m-TBI in the United States annually. Based on epidemiological reports by Faul and colleagues (2010) the  leading cause of TBI is falls (35.2%), followed by motor vehicle crashes (17.3%), being struck by or falling against something (16.5%), and assaults (10%). Mild brain injury accounts for a substantial proportion of all persons admitted to a hospital for brain trauma, yet the amount of information on the epidemiology of this problem is quite sparse ( Kraus & Nourjah, 1988). According to the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center (2012) in the United States armed forces, 233,425 traumatic brain injuries were reported between 2000 and 2011. Of these, approximately 76% were m-TBIs.

Although many physicians are familiar with severe TBI and its management, mild TBI comprises 70%”80% of all such injuries (Arciniegas et al ,2005; Jennett 1996, 1998 Kraus & Nourjah 1988). A significant number of people who sustained m-TBI do not get adequate treatment or seek medical help. Sosin and colleagues (1996) indicate that up to 25% of patients with a concussion do not seek medical care. In addition complications related to mild TBI are difficult to identify and it often remain subtle. There are instances; both in the sports literature and military arena, of individuals who were involved in a traumatic event without any alteration of consciousness, yet these patients have subsequently developed symptoms of concussion (Kay, et al., 1993).

Most patients with M-TBI recover quickly, with a predictable clinical course of recovery within the first one to two weeks following traumatic brain injury. Persistent physical, cognitive, or behavioral postconcussive symptoms may be noted in 5 to 20 percent of persons who have mild traumatic brain injury (Mott et al. 2012). Some individuals with m-TBI continue to experience persistent or intermittent headaches, fatigue, difficulties in concentration, sound intolerance, mood swings and sometimes changes in coordination. According to Dikmen and colleagues (2001) nearly 1% and 20%  of people who sustain m-TBI will continue to experience cognitive deficits (attention, memory, and executive dysfunction) , emotional and behavioral (irritability, anxiety, depression, affective lability, apathy,   impulsivity )  problems.

Experimental injury models demonstrate that mild brain injuries are capable of producing diffuse axonal injury, both as a function of biomechanical forces and a host of injury-mediated cytotoxic processes (ie, calcium and magnesium regulation, free radical formation, neurotransmitter excitotoxicity, inflammatory responses, disruption of vascular homeostasis) (Arciniegas et al,2005; Povlishock et al 1979, 1983; Povlishock 1992; Povlishock and Christman 1995). Maxwell, Povlishock & Graham (1997) hypothesize that m-TBI could produce structural neuronal damage and sometimes diffuse neuronal dysfunction.

EMDR as one of the Potential Treatment Options for m-TBI

Although symptoms following m-TBI generally resolve with time, active treatment is centered on symptom management, supervised rest, recovery, and patient education (Marshall et al., 2012).  The cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical impairments experienced by mild TBI survivors are often treated with Cognitive rehabilitation and pharmacotherapy. In addition to these major treatment methods Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) can be successfully used to treat individuals with m-TBI.

EMDR is a relatively new psychological intervention that has been used to treat PTSD. However recent researches show that EMDR is now a full-scale protocol that is being used to treat a wide-range of disorders (Gallagher, 2002).  Sack,   Lempa,   & Lamprecht (2007) specify that EMDR may be beneficial in the treatment of a wide range of stress-mediated symptoms. Although the complete mechanism of EMDR is still unknown a large body of researches indicates that EMDR stimulates the brain’s information processing system. In addition some experts believe that EMDR stimulates natural benzodiazepine receptors in the brain (Jayatunge, 2008).

A study reported by Oh & Choi,  (2007) show changes in the resting regional cerebral blood flow after successful EMDR treatment in 2 patients with PTSD. As the researchers report ” Brain 99mTc-ECD-SPECT (Technetium 99m-ethyl cysteinate dimmer-single photon emission computerized tomography) was performed before and after EMDR, and, in addition, a pre- and posttreatment comparison was made with 10 non-PTSD participants as a control group. After EMDR, cerebral perfusion increased in bilateral dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and decreased in the temporal association cortex. The differences between participants and normal controls also decreased. Changes appeared mainly in the limbic area and the prefrontal cortex” According to the researchers these results are in line with current understanding of neurobiology of PTSD and EMDR treatment appears to reverse the functional imbalance between the limbic area and the prefrontal cortex.

Traumatic Memory linked with m-TBI

Mild TBI is often associated with traumatic events such as motor vehicle crashes, violent personal attacks, military combat etc. that can cause profound psychological distress among the survivors. Apart from the m-TBI symptoms underlying psychological distress can have a long term impact sometimes interfering with m-TBI related physical symptoms. Therefore psychological interventions are required to minimize the psychological distress connected with    m-TBI. In this context EMDR can be viewed as one of the effective mode of psychotherapies to treat traumatic memories associated with m-TBI.

de Jongh   & ten Broeke   (2007) indicate that  Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) has been shown to be a structured, noninvasive, time-limited, and evidence-based treatment for unprocessed memories and related conditions.  Studies conducted by van der Kolk and colleagues (2007) concur that the efficacy of brief EMDR treatment to produce substantial and sustained reduction of PTSD and depression in most victims of adult-onset trauma.

Posttraumatic Headache Following m-TBI

Headache after m-TBI is very common and persistent across the first year after injury (Lucas et al. 2013). Posttraumatic headache (PTH) appears to be more likely to develop following mild TBI (concussion) compared with moderate or severe TBI. Posttraumatic headache often clinically resembles primary headache disorders, usually migraine (Theeler et al., 2013). Posttraumatic Headache has detrimental effect on survives life interfering his/her day-to-day activities.  According to Lew and colleagues (2006)   18”22% of PTH lasted longer than 1 year.

A study done among the  U.S. Soldiers returning from Iraq  Hoge and colleagues (2008)  found that 32% of soldiers with mild TBI that included a loss of consciousness described having headaches in the past month. In addition they found that Headache was the only physical symptom that remained related to mild TBI after controlling for mental disorders.

According to the empirical findings of the EMDR developer- Shapiro, physical sensations can be activated by attending to a traumatic memory, may be a component of the sensory experience of the target trauma itself (i.e. an accident or an attack) and are additionally elicited by the resonance of the negative cognition. Accordingly, body sensations are invaluable focal points for EMDR processing. The clear body scan is a fundamental criterion used to determine the completion of a treatment protocol. Significant somatic involvement in EMDR is also demonstrated by the use of hand tapping as an alternative to eye movements as a method of bi-hemispheric activation (Grand, 1996).

EMDR uses the pain protocol to ease painful sensations and it is based on the Adaptive Information Processing model (Shapiro 1995).  The overlap between the experience of pain and traumatic experiences are often interconnected and EMDR Pain Protocol can be successfully used to minimize headaches and somatic pains associated with m-TBI. According to McDonald (2010) the EMDR Pain Protocol can be effective in three main ways: ”¢ Reducing the experience of pain; ”¢ Targeting pain memories and ”¢ Overcoming the impact of pain on the individual. McDonald (2010) further elucidate that the application of the protocol assumes that it is possible to influence neurological pathways involved in maintaining persistent pain messages.

EMDR combines a range of therapeutic approaches with eye movements or other forms of rhythmical stimulation (e.g., audio sound and touch) in ways that stimulate the brain’s information processing system. Some individuals with m-TBI experience intensified headaches with bilateral eye moments. In such clients using tactile desensitization and reprocessing would be advisable.

Other Somatic Symptoms in m-TBI

In addition to headaches, chronic cervical pain, body pain and fatigue are common complaints in m-TBI. Psychosomatic conditions associated with m-TBI are well known to the researchers. There is a strong link between somatic symptoms and m-TBI. These symptoms are long lasting and it can cause irritability, insomnia and occupational difficulty. Sleep difficulties could lead to tiredness, exhaustion and somatic pain. According to Buffett-Jerrott & Stewart (2002) for TBI related sleep disturbances benzodiazepines may not be suitable and as they indicate Benzodiazepines impair cognition, and exacerbating motor impairments. Sometimes stress and anxiety amplify somatic pain. On most occasions patients are poorly responding to analgesic and to pain medication. Some patients have a risk of addiction to prescription drugs. In such circumstance psychotherapy would be the perfect solution. Klaus (2008) underlines successful use of EMDR in somatic problems.

 Cognitive and Emotional Difficulties and m-TBI

The survivors with M-TBI often have affective complaints of irritability, anxiety, and depression which have negative consequences on psychosocial health. As indicated by Goodrich and colleagues (2013) many physical, psychological, and social problems are associated with m-TBI. Mild traumatic brain injury (m-TBI) leads to long-term cognitive and emotional difficulties and behavioral disturbances (Gao, & Chen, 2011). Anxiety and depression impacts the survivor’s functionality. To combat such symptoms psychotherapy is indicated.

EMDR has been recognized as an imperative psychotherapeutic method. EMDR   has proven to be effective and it brings together elements of well established approaches such as psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral and client-centered approaches (Balibey & Balik§i ,2013). Treating anxiety and depression related symptoms EMDR has shown a remarkable effectiveness. EMDR is regarded as an evidence-based practice for treatment of anxiety and depression symptoms. EMDR can be used to relief pain, fatigue and anxiety and depression that are experienced by the survivors with M-TBI.

Case Discussion

1)       Corporal BXVX486 served in an artillery battery for over 9 years. During this time period his team had fired a large number of artillery rounds.  After serving a long period in the artillery battery Corporal BXVX486 complained of tremors in both hands, frequent headaches and myalgia. The physicians who examined him found no any organic factor associated with his condition. There were no Electroencephalography (EEG) changes and his brain scan and other reports were normal. He was suspected as a malingerer at one point but later found that his symptoms were real. Corporal BXVX486 poorly responded to the pain killers. His condition started to improve with relaxation therapy and EMDR. After a 6 sessions of EMDR Corporal BXVX486 showed a dramatic improvement. The follow up in 6 , 12 and 18 months revealed that his headache and other somatic symptoms  did not interfere with his functionality. The self-report questionnaires were compared with pre-treatment scores and it indicated that   Corporal BXVX486 was able to gain a successful therapeutic outcome as a result of EMDR.

2)      Mrs.WXXBX52 met with an automobile accident in LA and she was unconscious for about 20 minutes. She was admitted to the hospital immediately and then had a fast recovery. According to the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) her head injury was recorded as a mild traumatic brain injury. After the accident Mrs.WXXBX52 had intrusions about the accident, headache that did not subside for analgesics and was troubled by insomnia. In addition she had a fear of driving vehicles. Mrs.WXXBX52 underwent (each 90 minutes) 8 sessions of EMDR for a period of 12 weeks. In the first session her headache intensified with eye movements and soon eye movements were change in to hand tapping (tactile desensitization). In subsequent sessions headache did not interfere. With EMDR her sleep improved and fear decreased. After 3 months of the accident Mrs.WXXBX52 was able to overcome her fear of driving and her headache decreased significantly.

3)       Mr. RXXNX38 experienced an interpersonal violent attack in which he sustained a laceration to the occipital region of the skull. Following the blow to the head he became dizzy but did not lose his consciousness. Mr. RXXNX38 was able to escape from the violent situation and then cried for help. He was admitted to the hospital and monitored for 48 hours and then discharged. After a few weeks of the incident he experienced transient headaches and sleep difficulties. He was referred to a Neurologist. His EEG and brain scan did not indicate any neurological pathology. Mr. RXXNX38 was treated with a small dose of Sodium valproate and Imipramine (Tofranil). Despite the medication his headache recurred. The transient headache aggravated with sleep difficulty interfered his occupational and family life. Mr. RXXNX38 agreed to undergo EMDR treatment and he was administered 6 sessions of EMDR. Upon interventions made by EMDR his transient headaches and sleep difficulties subsided. His follow up was uneventful.

Conclusion

Annually a large number of people sustain mild head injuries and it has become a growing public health concern. The cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and physical deficits produced by mild TBI are frequently more subtle and could last for a long period affecting survivor’s psychosocial health. The survivors of m-TBI would be benefitted by psychotherapy. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has recognized Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) as one of the principal modes of psychotherapeutic interventions. A large body of research has proven the efficacy of EMDR in anxiety management, combating depression and in pain management.  EMDR) seems to be effective in treating patients with mild traumatic brain injury. Future research is needed to determine the therapeutic significance of EMDR in treating survivors with m-TBI.

References

 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Definition of mild traumatic brain injury. J Head Trauma Rehabil. 1993;8:86”7.

Arciniegas, D.B., Anderson,C.A., Topkoff,J., McAllister ,T.W. (2005).Mild traumatic brain injury: a neuropsychiatric approach to diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat.  ; 1(4): 311”327.

Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, (2012). TBI numbers by severity. Retrieved from www.dvbic.org/TBI-Numbers.aspx.

Balibey, H., & Balik§i, A. (2013). Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) treatment at a patient diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder: Case report. D¼ÅŸ¼nen Adam: The Journal of Psychiatry and Neurological Sciences, 26(1), 96-101.

Buffett-Jerrott, S.E., Stewart, S.H. (2002). Cognitive and sedative effects of benzodiazepine use. Curr Pharm Des.8:45”58

de Jongh, A., ten Broeke, E. (2007). Treatment of specific phobias with EMDR: Conceptualization and strategies for the selection of appropriate memories. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 1(1), 46-56. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.1.1.46.

Dikmen S, Machamer J, Temkin N. (2001). Mild head injury: facts and artifacts. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol.  23:729”38.

Faul, M., Xu, L,. Wald, M, M.,Coronado, V,G., (2010). Traumatic Brain Injury In the United States Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations and Deaths 2002”2006. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/pdf/blue_book.pdf

Gallagher, C. (2002). Making sense of EMDR: Efficacy of EMDR and the application of Horowitz’s control process theory to a psychological analysis of EMDR psychotherapy. Dissertation Abstracts International, Section B. Sciences and Engineering, 65(5), 2625.

Goodrich, G.L., Martinsen, G.L., Flyg, H.M., Kirby, J., Asch, S.M., Brahm, K.D., Brand, J.M., Cajamarca, D., Cantrell, J.L., Chong, T., Dziadul, .JA., Hetrick, B.J., Huang, M.A., Ihrig, C., Ingalla ,S.P., Meltzer, B.R., Rakoczy, C.M., Rone, A., Schwartz, E., Shea, J.E. (2013).  Development of a mild traumatic brain injury-specific vision screening protocol: A Delphi study.J Rehabil Res Dev.50(6):757-68.

Grand, D. (1996, June). Body processing:  Innovative applications of EMDR to the somatic experience. Presentation at the 1st EMDR International Association Conference, Denver, CO.

Hoge, C., McGurk, D., Thomas, J., Cox, A., Engel, C., Castro, C. (2008).Mild traumatic brain injury in U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq. N. Engl. J. Med. 358:453”463.

Jayatunge, R. (2008) . EMDR Sri Lanka experience: (Psychological trauma management through EMDR in Sri Lanka , Sarasavi Publishers Colombo.

Jennett, B. (1998).Epidemiology of head injury. Arch Dis Child.78:403”6.

Kay, T., Harrington, D.E., Adams, R., Anderson, T., Berrol, S., Cicerone, K., Dahlberg, C., Gerber, D., Goka, R., Harley, P., Hilt, J., Horn, L., Lehmkuhl, D., Malec, J. (1993). Definition of mild traumatic brain injury. J Head Trauma Rehabil.8:86-87.

Klaus, P. (2008, June). The use of EMDR in somatic & medical problems: Special emphasis on early life interventions. Presentation at the annual meeting of the EMDR Europe Association, London, England.

Kraus, J.F., Nourjah, P.(1988). The epidemiology of mild, uncomplicated brain injury. J Trauma. 28:1637”43.

Lew, H..L., Lin, P.H,. Fuh, J.L., Wang, S.J., Clark, D.J., Walker, W.C. (2006). Characteristics and treatment of headache after traumatic brain injury: a focused review. Am. J. Phys. Med. Rehabil. 85:619”627.

Lucas, S., Hoffman, J.M., Bell, K.R, Dikmen, S.(2013).A prospective study of prevalence and characterization of headache following mild traumatic brain injury. Cephalalgia.  0333102413499645.

Marshall, K.R., Holland, S.L., Meyer, K.S., Martin, E.M., Wilmore, M., Grimes, J.B.(2012). Mil Med. 177(8 Suppl):67-75.

McDonald, H. (2010, March). EMDR chronic pain protocol. Presentation at the 8th EMDR Association UK & Ireland Annual Conference & AGM, Dublin, Ireland.

Maxwell, WL, Povlishock, J.T, Graham, D.L. (1997). A mechanistic analysis of nondisruptive axonal injury: a review. J Neurotrauma. 14:419”40.

Mott, T.F., McConnon, M.L., Rieger, B.P (2012). Subacute to Chronic Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.Am Fam Physician.86(11):1045-51.

National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. (2004). Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.

Oh, D. H., & Choi, J. (2007). Changes in the regional cerebral perfusion after eye movement desensitization and reprocessing:  A SPECT study of two cases. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 1(1), 24-30. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.1.1.24.

Sack, M., Lempa, W., & Lamprecht, W. (2007). Assessment of psychophysiological stress reactions during a traumatic reminder in patients treated with EMDR. Journal of EMDR Practice and Research, 1(1), 15-23. doi:10.1891/1933-3196.1.1.15.

Shapiro, F. (1995).  Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing:  Basic Principles, Protocols, and Procedures.  New York:  Guilford Press.

Sosin, D.M., Sniezek, J.E., Thurman, D.J.(1996). Incidence of mild and moderate brain injury in the United States, 1991. Brain Injury.10:47-54.

Theeler, B., Lucas, S., Riechers, R.G.,  Ruff, R.L.(2013). Headache. .53(6):881-900. doi: 10.1111/head.12123.

van der Kolk, B.A., Spinazzola, J., Blaustein, M.E., Hopper, J.W., Hopper, E.K., Korn, D.L, Simpson, W.B. (2007).A randomized clinical trial of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), fluoxetine, and pill placebo in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder: treatment effects and long-term maintenance. J Clin Psychiatry. 2007 Jan;68(1):37-46.

Williams, W.H., Potte, S., Ryland, H. (2010).  Mild traumatic brain injury and Postconcussion Syndrome: a neuropsychological perspective.J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 81(10):1116-22.

 

Sri Lanka: Most child friendly government in the South Asia

December 18th, 2013

By Janaka Alahapperuma

Sri Lanka has identified as the most child-friendly government in the South Asian region, according to a new groundbreaking report which measures the child-friendliness of the South Asian governments. This fact has been revealed by the South Asian Report on the Child-Friendliness of Governments compiled by the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) with the help of “Save the Children” and other stake holders, according to a study carried out during the past few years.

The Report evaluates efforts undertaken by countries towards fulfilling the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It is a new comprehensive rights-based report which, for the first time, objectively measures the extent to which the South Asian governments and non-state actors have contributed to the creation of child-friendly societies. In the overall ranking of child-friendliness of South Asian governments, Sri Lanka has been ranked number one, followed by Maldives, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The report finds that, regionally, India has done the most towards establishing an enabling legal and policy framework for children, closely followed by Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. At the same time, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have scored very well on health, education and child protection outcomes. Overall, Sri Lanka has obtained the highest index score.

Child Development and Women’s Affairs Minister Thissa Karaliyadda handed over the relevant report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa today on 17 December at a ceremony held in the BMICH in Colombo. Addressing the gathering Minister Karaliyadda said Sri Lanka becoming the most child friendly state in the South Asian region is a significant victory for the country. The government has implemented a number of programmes for the welfare of the children. Sri Lanka has made much headway in recent times in the promotion and protection of the rights of children. Out of them release of National Child Protection Policy prepared by the National Child Protection Authority is in the top place. The government has also focused special attention to prevent child abuses. He said government is ready to take every measures to protect the children of the nation.

Director General of the South Asia Initiative to End Violence Against Children (SAIEVAC) Dr. Rinchen Chophel said Sri Lanka has achieved a praiseworthy service for the welfare of the Children. He offered a special memento to the President for his services rendered to Children.

Eric Illayaparachchi, Secretary to the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs, Anu Juvonen, Head of Program Care and Protection, CRG-Save the Children, Anoma Dissanayake – National Coordinator (SAIVAC) and head of Child Protection Authority also spoke.

Minister Sumedha Jayasena, Deputy Ministers Pandu Bandaranayake, MP Sudarshani Fernandopulle, A. L. A. M. Hisbullah, others representing both local and international organisations in the relevant sector and school children were attended the ceremony.

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Minister Tissa Karaliyadda is seen presenting the report to President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

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Pix by:  Nishanka de Silva

Outline of the South Asian Report on the Child-Friendliness of Governments as follows

Save the Children, HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, Plan International, Terre des Hommes, and CRY: Child Rights and You launches a new comprehensive rights-based report which, for the first time, objectively measures the extent to which the South Asian governments and non-state actors have contributed to the creation of child-friendly societies. Based upon quantitative data feeding into a composite index and complemented by detailed country-level information, the report provides key information for more focused government action and effective non-governmental advocacy to improve and change the lives of children in South Asia. The report builds on authoritative sources and has involved a large number of researchers from each country in South Asia and beyond.

The South Asian Report on the Child-friendliness of Governments evaluates the efforts of the governments in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka towards fulfilling the obligations of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The report finds that, regionally, India has done the most towards establishing an enabling legal and policy framework for children, closely followed by Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. At the same time, Maldives, Bhutan and Sri Lanka have scored very well on health, education and child protection outcomes. Overall, Sri Lanka has obtained the highest index score. It is important to note that all countries, including Afghanistan and Pakistan, have made important progress in most of the themes covered by the report.

Since 2000 in particular, governments in South Asia have put in place a basic enabling framework of laws, policies and institutions for the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and made important progress in children’s health and education. However, the countries that have done the most towards putting in place an enabling structural framework for children have not always been able to ensure as good education, health and protection outcomes as may have been expected, nor have they necessarily promoted children’s voices in decision-making at local and national levels.

There is, therefore, still a need to better ensure children’s legally enforceable right to health, education and protection, and to ensure that the structural framework in place has the power to create change. Stronger mechanisms are needed to translate new laws, policies and institutions into meaningful entitlements and services for children; data collection should be used more systematically to track progress; and further collective efforts of governments, inter-governmental organisations, non-state actors, communities and children are necessary, nurturing a cadre of child rights professionals and activists. Of great importance is the inclusion of children’s issues at the highest political level in national planning, budgeting and governance.

Yet South Asia is a vibrant region, with increased and fruitful interaction and synergies between governments and other child rights actors, including non-governmental organisations, children and their families. Having adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child 20”25 years ago, the countries in the region have all taken notable steps to respect, protect and fulfil the human rights of children. Substantial progress has been achieved in, for instance, improving access to education and health services and a few countries have had remarkable success in ensuring birth registration for most children and almost eliminated child marriage. The many successes and lessons learnt present an opportunity for the South Asian governments. As such, the foundational structures have often been established for continued work to transform promises made into tangible realities for children.

To make sure that this opportunity to build upon the progress is taken, the South Asian Report calls on the government in the region to take action through seven key recommendations. These include the need for governments to continuously follow up on the Concluding Observations, the Universal Periodic Review recommendations and the General Comments, and undertake high-level and authoritative coordination across ministries and levels of government. Ensuring adequate and effective utilisation of private and public resources is another key recommendation.

Throughout the report, children’s participation in decision-making affecting their lives is identified as a key requirement for realising children’s human rights and fulfilling the promises to children. As part of the general principles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, child participation should therefore be promoted in all law and policy formulation affecting children, as well as in practice.

Link: http://resourcecentre.savethechildren.se/news/south-asian-report-child-friendliness-governments

Mosques and loudspeakers : A Global Issue

December 18th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

It is not only in Sri Lanka that the issue of loudspeaker usage by mosques has generated public debate and outrage. In Sri Lanka despite a Supreme Court interim order the loudspeakers from mosques are a regular feature adding to provocation has been its use even on poya days. Even in the citadel of Buddhism, the regular worship in Kandy is disturbed by the loudspeakers of the mosques showing a flagrant example of lack of respect for the predominant religion of Sri Lanka.

 The protests against loudspeakers are joined by opposition to establishment of mosques far in excess of requirement globally as well nullifying the oft given impression that only Sri Lanka, the majority populace are creating issues.  Russia has set the ball rolling by declaring that they will be no more mosques and has also clamped down on the Quran. As for loudspeaker usage it is not difficult to realize that whatever opposition coming from different corners of the world those opposing suffer from the same issues in being a captive audience not wanting to hear the mosques loudspeaker but having no choice. The situation has been made worse by corrupt officials and politicians who have given the permission thinking that public office is their public property and it appears this too has become a global issue.

 When opposition to loudspeakers first arose in Sri Lanka the noise levels were immediately reduced while some mosques decided to omit usage altogether. When the guards have been lowered it is clear that the loudspeakers have emerged once more. In Sri Lanka’s case there is a Supreme Court interim order giving police the right to take action.

 USA

§    In 2004, the Al-Islah Mosque in Hamtramck, Michigan, US, attracted national attention when it requested permission to broadcast its call to prayer. This upset many of the non-Muslim residents of the area, which has a large and long-established Polish Catholic population.  

§  New Yorks troubles with loudspeakers first started when the mosque began fixing powerful loudspeakers onto their mosques and setting them on volumes up to 130 decibels (the noise of a jet engine) that makes them loudly audible for as far as four miles away.

§  People have begun opposing to the authorities all over the world. In some cases like in Connecticut, USA, non-Muslims moved out of the mosque neighborhood frustrated by traffic jams on Fridays and the loudspeakers and thus the objective of making Bridgeport a Muslim only enclave succeeded by virtual default.

There are cases of mosques in Oxford (England), Brooklyn (New York), and elsewhere being restricted from at least the pre-dawn azaan

 Middle East / Africa

§  The Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu said “I have received numerous requests from people who are bothered by the noise from the mosques,” “The same problem exists in all European countries, and they know how to deal with it. It’s legitimate in Belgium; it’s legitimate in France. Why isn’t it legitimate here? We don’t need to be more liberal than Europe.” 

§  Dubai Department of Islamic Affairs decided to ban loudspeakers in 5 times daily prayers.

§  Cairo is said to have 4000 officially recognized mosques that use loudspeakers five times a day and they too have assured noise reduction.

§  In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Islamic Affairs banned small mosques from using loudspeakers for the nightly tarawih prayer in Ramadan. “Raising the sound of loudspeakers above the accepted level is not permissible,” said Sheikh Tawfiq al-Sayegh, imam of a mosque in the coastal city of Jeddah, to Okaz daily. “There are ill and elderly people in the neighboring houses who need rest and quietness.”

 Europe

§  Britain has some 1600 mosques. Most are small terraced houses, others converted churches and chapels, and a small handful purpose-built. The reaction to a loudspeaker in Oxford UK resulted in the following comments:

§  Elizabeth Mills, 56, said: “We don’t have a problem with the Imam climbing to the top of the minaret and shouting.”But we object to electronic amplification. The Bishop of Oxford might say it’s ok but he doesn’t have to listen to it.”

§  Dr Allan Chapman, 61, who lives near the building, said: “The universal message is what an utter cheek to inflict this on a non-Muslim area of Oxford. If this application goes forward then a large number of angry people are poised to form an opposition to it.”
The Daily Mail referred to the loudspeaker at mosques as Insensitive and unduly provocative.

§  In March 2011, a church that had been purchased by the Islamic charity JIMAS to be reopened as a Muslim-run community centre was also subject to an arson attack. The fire left the former-church in smouldering ruins.

§  In December 2011, Stoke on Trent mosque also suffered an arson attack, in this case, two members of the EDL were later convicted.

§  In April 2012, Bury Park mosque was subject to an arson attack. Although no culprits were found it was considered clearly deliberate. A mosque only a few miles down the road, Medina Mosque, had also recently been vandalised ” in this case windows smashed and EDL graffiti on the walls.

§There are 3000 mosques in Germany. A Turkish mosque in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia has begun sounding public calls to prayer. Observers believe a precedent has now been established. The Fatih Camii Mosque — run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Islamic Affairs (DITIB), a branch of the Turkish government that controls over 900 mosques in Germany — received municipal approval for a muezzin publicly to call Muslims to the mosque for prayer five times a day after Mayor Michael von Rekowski said he wanted to show the world that Wipperf¼rth “takes pride in being an intercultural and interreligious community.” In Cologne, Germany, new mosque planners have imposed a ban on loudspeakers outside the building.

 Asia

 In India, the Kerala Samsthana Jamiyathul Ulema, an association of Muslim theologians, has said that there is no need for use of loudspeakers for religious purposes at the mosques and that the Sunni Muslims in Kerala started using the loudspeaker hardly half a century ago.

 The general reaction to opposition has been that loudspeakers are an entitlement of freedom of religion though they have no arguments when asked whether loudspeakers existed in ancient times.

 In Indonesia, where 800,000 mosques serve the world’s largest Muslim population, the calls emanating from low quality and poorly synchronized speakers has become an increasing irritation. Sayed Hasan, 75, filed a lawsuit in the city of Banda Aceh, in which he complained of being disturbed by lengthy recordings of Quranic verses. “I was forced to withdraw my lawsuit as an angry mob threatened to kill me,” he said. “But after I dropped my case, the volume was significantly turned down by about half.” 

 Public interest litigation verdicts:

 “No religion prescribes performing prayers through amplifiers and the use of microphones and loudspeakers by religious denominations are to be within the limits prescribed under the Environmental Laws and Police Acts,” a division bench comprising Chief Justice Manjula Chelloor and Justice K. Vinod Chandran said in their decision on a public interest litigation (PIL) appeal.

 The Delhi High Court on Friday directed all mosques and temples in Ekta Vihar and Sunder Nagri in east Delhi to restrict the decibel level of loudspeakers. It said the loudspeakers should be positioned at a restricted height of only eight feet from the ground. The court also directed them to change the direction of the loudspeakers and make them face the wall of buildings, and not outside, to reduce the noise level.

 Mosques and loudspeakers have surrounded even the Buddhists holiest site of Buddha Gaya where meditations are disturbed by the noise emanating from the mosques. This is highly uncalled for especially when it is morally incorrect to disturb another religion. Mosques did not exist around Buddha Gaya until very recently which goes to show that surrounding non-Muslim sites has been a purposeful mission.

 In Sri Lanka, the Supreme Court made a ruling on 9 November 2007 pertaining to loudspeakers. It viewed the right of one party to use loudspeakers against the annoyance, disturbance and harm caused to other parties who were compelled against their will to listen to the amplified sounds from the loudspeakers.

 The Court  considered the right to force public to become captive listeners ” violating their right to silence and quiet enjoyment of their property. Even if the police had issued a license for the use of loudspeakers under Section 90 of the Police Ordinance of 1865, the Court held that nobody can claim the fundamental right to create noise using loudspeakers. If people have the right of speech others have the right to listen or decline to listen. Nobody has the right to trespass into the ears and minds of others on the grounds of religious freedom. The Court also held that no religious body is entitled by reason of claimed religious practice to commit a public nuisance. The police permit is not a protection against the creation of public nuisance under Section 261 of the Penal Code. The Sri Lankan Supreme Court also held that there was no requirement in the teachings of any religion to use loudspeakers as rituals. Loudspeakers are a new electrical phenomena ” they did not exist during the times the religions were created. The Court also held that harm is done to school children whose studies are being disturbed as well as sick people recovering from illness.  Court held that the noise from loudspeakers produced serious physical and psychological stress.

 The last Poya (December) in areas of Dehiwela and Wellawatte the mosque has continued to use loudspeakers the noise reaching far and wide committing an act of provocation and disturbing the O/L students preparing to face their exams.

 Why do Muslims need to listen to azan to get ready for prayers? The world is not a desert, it is not a barbaric, illiterate, uncivilized world. It is a modern world. It is 21st century, not 600 something AD. People know the time ” everyone has watches, mobile phones, phones, alarm clocks and in Sri Lanka there is a dedicated radio channel for Muslims. Therefore, we question the need for loudspeakers in mosque when there are enough channels to inform Muslims to come to prayer.

Unfinished War on Two Fronts

December 17th, 2013

Jay Deshabandu

Despite the fact that it is the policy in the “Mahinda Chintanya” to eradicate the drugs from our country, we see many more container loads of drugs coming to Sri-Lanka. This is not good news for everyone.  According to many media news, the politicians are too involved in the drug trafficking in the country.  Besides, they are also involved in other rackets such as evasions of tax income on grounds that are not legal.
 
It is unacceptable that a normal citizen has to pay duty when passing through customs for even a small thing like a used microwave oven when a secretary to the prime minister, acting on his own, according to him, to write a letter asking to reduce the tax, in this case the drug container, on the basis of an individual’s support to the prime minister.
 
Besides, the prime minister had let his secretary make decisions on his behalf him making many acting prime ministers for Sri-Lanka!
 
Does the government have this kind of favorable tax policy that reduces the tax for imported goods on party supporters?  In my opinion, as a private independent citizen in this country, any government official should not write any letter asking to reduce the tax of any goods based on the person’s support or affliation for the government or any politician.  In effect, this secretary has tried to prevent the tax income coming to the government. This is clear violation of evading tax without a legal justification. This violation is reason enough to arrest the secretary to the prime minister who is now entangled in the biggest drug shipment in the country.
 
If we as a country desire respect from other nations, and if politicians have any dignity left for themselves, it is essential that the law should be followed to the letter of the rule irrespective of the person who is committing the crime.
 
In this information driven age, politicians should learn that media is also in the electronic form which can span across the globe in seconds.   When politicians are involved in criminal acts with impunity, we are very embarrassed to even keep the Sri Lankan identity.  Personally, I am very embarrassed to show my passport when passing through immigration formalities in other countries thanks to the behavior of some corrupted leaders.
 
Unfortunately, as always, UNP is on the wrong side when it comes to Sri Lankan issues.  Only a few members of the UNP party are saying something on this issue perhaps they may have also done the same thing when they were in power.  The UNP under the leadership Mr. Ranil Wickramasinghe had stood against the country on many occasions; for example, making jokes on the military achievements in the past.  I would like to ask from the leadership council of UNP,   where are you at this time?
 
I hope the country can move forward in the right direction with the right leaders who can destroy the drug market in Sri Lanka, which is fast becoming a drug hub in South Asia.
 
I pray for a good leader who can take on the war on drugs as well as propaganda terrorists such as TNA politicians.

What are the Grievances Exclusive to Sri Lanka’s Tamils?

December 17th, 2013

Shenali D Waduge

 This question has been propping over periods of time without any conclusive answer primarily because the topic has been perfect for political advantage to both political parties and individuals. With the chapter of terrorism more or less closed it is no perfect a time than now to directly address this issue. We need to once and for all know what it is that ONLY Tamils are suffering from that are not shared by Sinhalese or Muslims or even Burghers? For it is in knowing these exclusive Tamils only grievances that any Government or foreign leader has any right to champion on behalf of the Tamils. If nothing exclusive can be proved or shown then it is time we call the bluff and ask Tamils to get on with their lives just as how the other communities are without inviting every Tom, Dick and Harry onto Sri Lankan soil whereby bringing more troubles than solutions. We do not need any sound from them either.

 Let us get down to the question itself.

 Sri Lanka’s population stands at just over 20million of which the Sinhalese comprise 14.8million, Sri Lankan Tamils comprise 2.4million (2,400,000). It is believed that 1million of this number now live overseas.

 Health sector

§  Are Tamils denied entry to Government or private hospitals because they are Tamil?

§  Are Tamils denied medical attention by doctors or nurses because they are Tamil ” do Sinhalese doctors or nurses refused to treat any Tamil because he was Tamil?

§  Are Tamils purposely segregated and denied operations/surgery because they are Tamil?

The answer is that there is nothing in the health sector of Sri Lanka that Tamils can say they are discriminated against. In fact throughout LTTE terror the Sri Lankan Government sent medical supplies to the North including the final stages of the war. It is not the fault of the Government that the TNA heroes ” the LTTE confiscated these medicines to be given to LTTE cadres and their families ONLY without giving them to the ordinary Tamils.

 It is also to be stated that the Tamils of Jaffna do not donate blood because of their high caste mentality and majority of blood supplied to the Government hospitals in the North is by the Sri Lankan Armed Forces who donate blood on a voluntary basis regularly to ensure the blood bank is not short of blood. It must also be said that Muslims too do not donate blood but they are recipients of blood by Sinhalese. A little appreciation for this gesture is quite in order instead of always finding fault with the Sinhalese.

 Education sector

§  Are Tamils denied entry to schools even day care or Montessori because they are Tamils?

§  Are Tamils denied education because they are Tamil?

§  Are Tamil children systematically denied high honors at exams?

§  Are Tamils denied entry to Universities because they are Tamil?

Answer is NO. In fact there has always been the allegation that in the North, Tamil teachers gave bogus high marks to Tamil students during paper marking and even while exams were being held so that Tamils could enter university in large numbers. These allegations were never investigated. Moreover, enough of Tamils have secured top class honors at the GCE Ordinary Level/Advanced level and even Medical/Law and other university competitive exams throughout. Gold medalists in medical and other degree programs for Tamils have been awarded ” if there was discrimination for being Tamil would such awards have taken place?

 Tamils drove out 400 Sinhalese undergraduates and lecturers from the Jaffna university in 1977. Some of these Sinhalese were handicapped for life. These attacks were so that the university would become an ONLY Tamil university while other universities throughout the country were taking students of all communities. Now the Muslims have started Only Muslim universities using their clout. There are no ONLY Sinhalese universities in Sri Lanka.

 Daily domestic chores

§  Are Tamils denied entry to post offices, public or private banks, cinema, museums, shops or shopping malls because they are Tamil?

§  Are Tamils not served vegetables or other essentials in shops, market places or malls simply because they are Tamil?

§  Are Tamils denied entry to eat at Restaurants or Hotels because they are Tamil or are they made to sit in a separate area that says “Tamils Only”?

§  Are there sign boards that explicitly says “Tamils are not welcome’ or ‘No Tamils”?

§  Are there Sinhalese shops that deny the right to purchase to Tamils?

§  Are Tamils charged more or Sinhalese are waived off on any item because they are Sinhalese?

§  Do Tamils have to stand in different queues because they are Tamil (like how America/UK and South Africa treated blacks)

§  Are public facilities and utilities like washrooms, public drinking water denied to Tamils because they are Tamils (again like America/UK and South Africa treated blacks)

§  Are public transport ” buses and trains denied to Tamils because they are Tamil or do Tamils have to sit separately because they are Tamil?

Let us remind the Tamils that the Blacks of America had to eat separately, use separate toilets, sit on separate benches, drink from separate water fountains, sit separately in restaurants, cinemas had separate ticket booths, libraries had separate sections, there was even separate telephone booths, whites had restrictive selling to ensure properties were never sold to blacks. While in Tamil Nadu 80% of its population are Dalits and over 60% of them are illiterate. This is in a State that is run by Tamils for Tamils.

 Answer is NO.

Have Tamils ever been treated like the manner the Allied nations treated the Germans for 5 years after World War 2 ” wherein all radio and other forms of communications especially posters referred to all Germans as Nazi’s and deserved to be murdered? 

Yes, the country celebrated the death of terrorists and the killing of Prabakaran. The country has no need to feel ashamed. We have every right to feel triumphant and we do not apologize for feeling jubilant that we can walk out of our homes without family worrying we will not return. For those who did not live in Sri Lanka to know what it felt like to live when LTTE was thriving have no right to be issuing how we should feel or act from overseas. Prabakaran and his terror force was responsible for murders, calculated, coldblooded murders that ran into thousands over 3 decades. If throughout these decades none mourned the deaths of those killed by LTTE, why should they mourn the death of Prabakaran unless they were part of the reason why LTTE prevailed?

 Also do Tamils ever feel shy to say ‘We sell only to Tamils’ when they are selling property or home? Is this not the same practice Muslims also follow? While Tamils and Muslims don’t sell to Sinhalese purely because of racial discrimination all the houses that Sinhalese have sold to have been to either Tamils or Muslims apart from a handful who realize that soon Sinhalese would become a majority tenant population.

 Employment

§  Are Tamils denied employment to public sector or even private sector because they are Tamil?

§  Are job advertisements specifically mentioning that Tamils are not entertained?

§  Are Tamils treated differently in the public or private sector because they are Tamil?

Answer is NO

On the contrary most of the Tamil-biased employers place their advertisements in such a way that ensures Sinhalese job applicants cannot apply.

 Most of the foreign embassies manned by Tamils ensures Sinhalese visa applicants have their visa’s requests rejected for trivial reasons too.

 In private sector there are still many high caste Tamils who will not eat with low caste Tamils in the staff canteen, they will not share their food with them or even share the same cup and saucer.

 Ponnambalam Ramanathan, went several times to London in the 1930s to ask the British government to uphold the caste system.

Sports Sector

§  Are Tamils denied participation in sports because they are Tamil?

§  Are they excluded from being nominated to the National teams because they are Tamil?

The example of Muttiah Muralitharan is a shining example of how a Tamil cricketer continues to gain the respect of the Sri Lankan polity, not because he is Tamil but because he is a great cricketer.

Public sector

§  Does the Government deny water, electricity and telephones to Tamils because they are Tamil?

§  Does the Government restrict Tamils to travel to any part of the country?

§  Does the Government deny Tamil public officials promotions because they are Tamil?

§  Does the Government have any legal, constitutional and legislative State orders or policies that can prove that the State is systematically discriminating the Tamils?

Answer is No.

The language factor has been because the Government as all foreign Governments do, did not make all natives to know the Sinhalese language. In a country where 14.8million of the 20million know Sinhalese, what has stopped the 5.2m learning Sinhalese? Now the Government insists 14.8million know Tamil whilst there is no ruling that the 5.2m need to also know Sinhalese. Only then can there be true communication. However in the public service all Tamils and Muslims are required to know Sinhalese and it is only practical as 7 out of 10 are Sinhalese in Sri Lanka.

 As for random allegations of public documents been sent to Tamils in Sinhalese the case is no different as Sinhalese are also in receipt of communications in Tamil. This is the fault of one or two public servants who need to have their eyes tested for there is no excuse they can give to say they cannot differentiate between a Tamil surname and a Sinhalese surname. These are only administrative hiccups and have nothing to do with purposeful discrimination against a race.

 Right to Live anywhere in Sri Lanka

However, as everyone can see a man who has lived virtually all his life in the South amongst the Sinhalese, was educated amongst the Sinhalese, secured employment and was nominated a Supreme Court judge by a Sinhalese who today is the Chief Minister of the North has the audacity to declare the North belongs ONLY to Tamils and asks Sinhalese and Muslims to leave the North and thinks that a mere title of Chief Minister affords him the power to dictate who the President of the country should appoint as Governor. He is definitely suffering from some complex and one that needs immediate treatment.

 Between 1971 and 1981 the more than 30,000 Sinhalese were kicked out without notice from the Jaffna peninsula where they had been living for generations.

LTTE denied access to Sinhalese for 3 decades to visit the North while no such restrictions were placed on Tamils who steadily flowed to the South to make use of the conflict situation for their own advantage which is basically why most Tamils silently feel a sense of gratitude to the LTTE for their lives became better because of the LTTE ” numerically only a handful of Tamils actually suffered the majority Tamils reaped the harvest of terrorism ” that unfortunately is the bitter truth.

 Moreover over 100s of Sinhala Cultural Heritage sites in the Northern Province and Eastern Province were destroyed with the sole aim of erasing the evidences of Sinhala civilization in the north and east. In most places after destroying the Buddhist temples Hindu kovils, Churches have been built on top of them to hide the truth.

 Ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese in Vavuniya district in 1984 ” with 73 Sinhalese shot dead in their villages to create a fear psychosis and make the Sinhalese leave on their own. 6000 Sinhalese refugees are still to return to their ancestral homes in the Wanni.

 Ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese in the Trincomalee district 1984 ” Over 150 Sinhalese villagers throughout the district including Buddhist priests have been killed and 20,000 Sinhalese refugees remain.

 Ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese in Mannar district in 1980s ” Sinhalese villages were attacked, their houses set on fire in order to either kill or chase them from the areas. Over 10,000 became refugees and some are still to return.

 Expulsion of Sinhalese from Batticoloa in the 1980s ” again attempts were made to reduce the percentage of Sinhalese living in Batticola to almost 0% by 1990s. A Sinhalese student was shot and killed in Vandaramullai University in Batticaloa in August 22nd, 2008.

Ethnic cleansing of Sinhalese in Ampara district 1980s ” attempts to chase out Sinhalese by attacking villages and killing hundreds of Sinhalese whilst asleep or in their homes have been with the sole intention of forcing the Sinhalese out of the areas of North and East to claim that these areas are occupied ONLY by Tamils.

 It was not only the Sinhalese who became targets ” Muslims were chased out of the North too. They were given 48hours notice to vacate their homes which were looted by the LTTE and those Muslims who refused to leave were all killed. Similarly, LTTE attempting ethnic cleansing of the Muslims in the East too by killing 300 in one instance and a further 100 who were praying at the mosque

 These ethnic cleansing attempts made after 1977, in 1978, 1981, 1983, 1984 and throughout 1990s have never made it to CNN, BBC or even C4. Close to 100,000 Sinhalese villagers have become refugees and around 3500 have been killed in order for the Tamils to claim a mono-ethnic area.Yet, a single event in 1983 not repeated for the past 30 odd years continues to be played like an old record still.

 Why is it that the Sinhalese people being attacked, getting killed or massacred is not considered a violation of their ‘human rights’ by UN, INGOs, Human Rights Organizations or even foreign Governments?

 Economic partners

Anyone contesting grievances of Tamils or Muslims need only to go to the commercial hub of Pettah to see who controls the wholesale establishments. Visit Pettah on a Friday just before 12noon and you can then count the number of shops owned by Muslims. Visit Pettah on a Tamil holiday to count the number of Tamil shops. 2 out of 10 shops are likely to be Sinhalese. Check the key business companies and count the numbers of minorities that hold top posts. More and more taking these statistics together the Government will realize that it is towards the Sinhalese in particular the Buddhists that policies have always been discriminated against. This unfortunately is the startling truth.

 Making this more shocking is the fact that the minorities of Sri Lanka are not really minorities. The Tamils have the moral backing at least of 72million Tamils across the globe. The Muslim backing runs into billions. Taking the same argument by religious faith Tamil Hindus, Islam and the Christian world all have powerful lobbies and Muslims/Islam and Christian and the Vatican go hand in hand because they have all the accesses to push the correct buttons which makes the Sinhalese Buddhists the real minority in Sri Lanka with hardly 14million up against all others.

 Law and Order

§  Are Tamil denied entry to police stations to lodge complaints?

§  Are there more Tamils in Sri Lanka’s jails?

§  Are Tamils falsely incriminated because they are Tamil?

Of course it is another matter how police treats ordinary citizens but that is a grievance the Sinhalese, Muslims and even Tamils can all claim equal suffering. This is not part of state strategy but simply the manner police have been inclined to behave though their courtesies have improved from what it was but not near the courtesies shown by members of the armed forces from what they were earlier.

 Sri Lanka’s jails, houses more Sinhalese than Tamils and Muslims put together. whereas in US and UK statistics reveal that blacks and browns are more likely to be arrested and be put into prisons and these prisons are all private profit making entities.

 There should be no areas designated to one race simply on the ground that they chase out the rest of the races in order to call it their own. Such is the case with the North. It started with the LTTE and is now being continued by the TNA their proxy. All those who can recall will remember how the bakeries of the North were run by the Sinhalese and when it came to April New Year the people of the North were in want of bread because the staff had all gone back home.

 Constitutional provisions for Tamils

§  Under the 1978 Constitution, Chapter IV (Language Provisions) – Article 18 (1) & 18 (2) amended by 13th amendment Sinhala and Tamil official languages of Sri Lanka. Article 19 – National Languages of Sri Lanka shall be Sinhala and Tamil.  

§  A person is be entitled to be educated through the medium of either of the national Languages. – Article 21(1)

§  Sinhala and Tamil shall be the languages of administration throughout Sri Lanka. – Article 22(1) as amended by the 16th Amendment

§  In any area where Sinhala is used as the language of administration a person other than an official acting in his official capacity, shall be entitled:

                       I.        to receive communications from, and to communicate and transact business with, any official in his official capacity, in either Tamil or English;

                     II.        if the law recognizes his right to inspect or obtain copies of extracts from any official register, record, publication or other document, to obtain a copy of, or an extract from such register, record, publication or other document, or a translation thereof, as the case may be, in either Tamil or English.

                   III.        where a document is executed by any official for the purpose of being issued to him, to obtain such document or translation thereof, in either Tamil or English. – Article 22(2) (a) – (c) as amended by the 16th Amendment

  • In any area where Tamil is used as the language of administration, a person other than an official acting in his official capacity, shall be entitled to exercise the rights, and to obtain the services, referred to in above in Sinhala or English. – Article 22(3) as amended by the 16th Amendment
  • All laws and subordinate legislation shall be enacted or made and published in Sinhala and Tamil, together with a translation thereof in English. – Article 23(1) as amended by the 16th Amendment
  • Sinhala and Tamil shall be the language of the Courts throughout Sri Lanka. – Article 24(1) as amended by the 16th Amendment
  • What do Tamils enjoy in par with Sinhalese and Muslims?
  • Sri Lanka’s national flag denotes the 2 ethnic minorities – Orange depicted for Tamils & Green depicted for Muslims.
  • All public documents are in Sinhalese & Tamil (marriage certificate, death certificate, immigration forms etc)
  • Sri Lankan currency & notes are in Sinhalese & Tamil
  • All public events are presented in Sinhalese, Tamil & English
  • Tamils have ownership rights to property, land, business ventures – Tamils & Muslims together out number the Sinhalese in Colombo. But Sinhalese are denied purchase of property in the North.

So now the readers must ask themselves ” what do the Tamils really suffer from? What are their real grievances?

 Moreover the false claim of a territory for Tamils only comes in the backdrop of LTTE killing its own people. It is on this ground that it lost its ‘freedom fighter’ status. Scores of Tamil police officers were killed on duty, the entire moderate Tamil politicians were wiped out leaving a handful of puppets that make up the TNA. LTTE has killed over 200 Tamil public servants.

 We have been misguided by the notion of grievance over aspirations. We all suffer aspirations ” there are many things we want to become but we cannot. Only one person can become the President of Sri Lanka but all of us may aspire for that role ” it cannot be categorized as a grievance. Lakshman Kadiragamar came close to becoming the country’s first Tamil Prime Minister ” but that opportunity was lost because the LTTE decided to bump him off and Sri Lanka lost a bold and patriotic crusader, smarter and intelligent and with pluck nowhere near to the incumbent in his same role.

 Loose words abound ” former Indian envoy speaks of ‘self-esteem’ then there are other fanciful names thrown in like ‘self-respect’ ‘dignity’ which all lead back to ask the simple question what is it that Tamils do not enjoy that Sinhalese or Muslims ONLY enjoy which is the only way the Tamils can claim they have no self-esteem, dignity or self-respect?

 Moreover with the divisions of caste dividing Tamils apart in every form of living in simple actions as to deny drinking from the same cup because of one’s caste is it not this self-esteem and dignity that should be the cause for concern not a piece of land that has no practical relevance to ordinary people carrying on with their lives?

 The facts speak for themselves. At a time when low caste Tamils were denied education SWRD Bandaranaike a Sinhalese introduced the Social Disabilities Prevention Act 21 in 1957. This results in high caste Tamil politicians agitating against low caste Tamil children going to school so much so that these children ended up sitting on the floor to study and the Tamil politicians even wrote to UK asking them to legitimize caste system and objected to low castes obtaining education. It was this same issue that became a hot topic during the standardization for universities because the high caste Tamils did not want low caste Tamils to gain education.

The country is not ready to seek a political solution to satisfy a handful’s aspirations.

 No Government should entertain aspirations as a basis for political bargaining.

 Our leaders have been too weak to demand answers and put questions when allegations are being made.

 Top priority must be given to the need to first demand to know what these grievances of Tamils are that requires political solutions that demand a separately carved out territory to be ruled by Tamils? What a laugh it is to demand a separate Tamil only territory while the rest of the Tamils live amongst the Sinhalese and we just have to wonder why Governmental representatives have failed to place this simple question before all those making representations for Tamil grievances.

 Simply following the same mistake the previous Governments did by not putting this all important question ” the single question that would silence all Tamil politicians is likely to make the country’s leaders commit the country towards greater divisions than we can handle.

A Local Investigation into Alleged War Crimes Has Merit

December 17th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

What happens in Sri Lanka today is far worse than a war crimes investigation. Using alleged war crimes as an extortion tool, Tamils, former imperialists and neo colonialists are making inroads into Sri Lanka’s sovereignty, national economy and the national security apparatus. Appeasing them, Sri Lanka wasted 85% of borrowings since 2009 on the north and the east neglecting productive development elsewhere, demilitarised the north to a great extent exposing national security gaps, refrained from resettling Sinhalese and Muslims evicted from the north, ushered in TNA (proxies of Tamil Terrorists) to rule the north, Indianized the local economy and scuttled further Chinese investments in the country. This madness must stop. A credible local investigation into all alleged war crimes by all parties can put this to rest for good so that the nation can get on with what is important. UNHRC 2013 resolution placed a deadline for a local independent investigation. This is a toned down version of the 2012 UNHRC resolution which called for an independent international investigation. However, a local investigation for the benefit for the nation must be done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Investigate All Allegations against Security Forces
Most of these allegations have already been investigated. These include the Trincomalee case, Bindunuwewa case, various misconduct cases against security forces personnel. Further preliminary investigations were carried out by the LLRC. All other allegations against security forces must be investigated impartially by a local panel of experts with no interest in anti-Sri Lankan activities.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
Investigate All Allegations against the LTTE and Affiliates
So far Sri Lankan investigations have been partial as they only focused on allegations against security forces. LTTE war crimes were never investigated! Thousands of LTTE war crimes must be investigated. Wrongdoers, accomplices and abetters of these crimes must be identified and punished.
                                                                                                                                                             ;                                                                      
Investigate All Allegations against Tamil Racist Political Parties and Riots
LTTE never had an ideological wing guiding it. LTTE’s ideology was invented, popularised and militarised by Tamil political parties including the All Ceylon Tamil Congress (ACTC), Ilankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK), Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF), Tamil National Alliance (TNA), Peoples Liberation Organisation of Tamil Elam (PLOTE), Tamil Elam Liberation Organisation (TELO) and other ancillary groups.                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                  
Anti-Sinhala Tar Brush Campaign (1957-58), Vadukoddai Resolution which called for war against Sri Lanka (1976), demands to unleash barbaric attacks against ethnic Sinhalese by Tamil leaders and their spouses (1977), LTTE-TNA Memorandum of Understanding (2002) and TNA manifestos of 2001, 2004 and 2010 are some of the key war crimes instigation activities. These must be investigated and offenders must be punished. These political parties spreading racism and hate must be punished.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                                                                           
Riots of 1958, 1977, 1983, 1985 and 2002 must also be investigated. It is not too late to rest these cases. For instance in 2013 Bangladesh concluded an investigation into war crimes committed in 1971. Agreements with the LTTE war criminals including the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) must also be investigated.                                               
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
Investigate All Allegations against the Tamil Diaspora (LTTE Rump)
According to the internationally acclaimed defence journal Janes Defence, Tamil Diaspora remitted over $300 million to the LTTE in 2005 which it identified as a continuing activity. In 2006 FBI arrested 15 Tamils in Canada attempting to buy weapons. UK, Australia, France, Singapore and India also made similar arrests. As terrorist financiers, Tamil Diaspora and connected groups and persons including Adel Balasingham must be investigated. This can put the ball in the court of those alleging war crimes against Sri Lanka.                                                                                                  
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Investigate All Allegations against India, Norway and the Role of Colonials and Slave Traders
India supplied weapons and provided training to Tamil terrorist groups to commit horrendous war crimes. Indian politicians including MGR, Rajiv Gandhi, Vaiko and others supported the LTTE. Once LTTE’s war crimes are established (as above) war crimes of these persons can be established. Indian secret service R&AW also had a hand in LTTE war crimes. They too must be investigated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       
IPKF committed horrendous crimes mainly against Tamils (1987-90). These also must be investigated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                   
Former colonial rulers displaced and caused to displace over a million Tamils from South India and also displaced hundreds of thousands of Sinhalese away from their land. Tamil migrants were used as agricultural slaves severely affecting the demographic balance within the island. These crimes must come under the microscope.
Norway, during the so called peace process, helped Tamil Terrorists and these activities must be investigated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Investigate All Allegations against Religious Groups and Entities and NGOs
Certain religious groups and religious leaders were in the habit of justifying and supporting separatism, violence and LTTE war crimes. These persons and institutions must be investigated. A number of NGOs were supplying material to the LTTE and were promoting LTTE violent ideology. These must be thoroughly investigated and punished.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            
Only such a comprehensive war crimes investigation can put the matter to permanent rest. Only such an all inclusive investigation can bury the past so that the nation can move forward. However no investigation can take place within a short time frame of three months. A comprehensive investigation takes years, close to a decade. However it must be done.
                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Moles within the Government
However, there are LTTE Rump’s moles within the government who don’t want a comprehensive war crimes investigation. They want this drama to continue so that they remain important personalities. They use this climate of intimidation and suspense to extort as many appeasements as possible for the separatist and Tamil Elamist lobbies. Dayan and Rajiva are key anti-Sri Lanka elements within government ranks.
                                                                                                                                                              &nb sp;                                                     
This government will not last forever. When it leaves office, the first thing the incoming government will do is a partial investigation against allegations of war crimes against current government personnel. That will be a politically motivated witch hunt. The only way to avoid such a witch hunt is to carry out an impartial local war crimes investigation now. Tamils, former imperialists and neo colonialists will never agree to an impartial war crimes investigation as it goes against their agendas. However, a comprehensive investigation covering all parties involved will leave them nothing to cling on to. Such an investigation will be a bargaining tool to force cooperation from these disruptive elements too.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
UNHRC 2014 will be Another Defeat for Sri Lanka
Periodic changes have happened in UNHRC membership with China and Russia coming back. However, the overall composition doesn’t favour Sri Lanka. France,  Mexico,  the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,  United Kingdom, Argentina,  Austria,  Benin,  Brazil,  Chile,  Costa Rica,  Cote d’Ivoire,  Czech Republic,  Estonia,  Germany,  India,  Ireland,  Italy,  Montenegro,  Peru,  Republic of Korea,  Romania,  Sierra Leone and  United States are certainly going to vote against Sri Lanka while Botswana,  Burkina Faso,  Ethiopia, Japan, Kazakhstan and Kenya are likely to be absent as in 2013. That leaves only 18 countries at most to oppose the resolution. It is not likely Sri Lanka will do better than 2012.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
Another UNHRC resolution against Sri Lanka in 2014 will be passed. However, there is little sense in wasting time over the UNHRC which is biased as a Tamil heads it. What is important is not to be swayed by UNHRC demands and to do what benefits the nation.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Conclusion
Considering all this, an independent local investigation into alleged war crimes has merit. It must be initiated without delay. It is not a defeat for the politicians who make bravado but indeed a long term victory. It will absolve the good name of Sri Lanka for good and identify real war criminals. Unless the government concludes such a comprehensive, independent and local investigation it will be exposed to a highly biased, international war crimes investigation which will be a kangaroo court dishing out ‘Kekille’ judgements. Soldiers who served the nation with dedication will be framed with bogus allegations. It will create internal divisions and subversion.

WHO ARE THE EXTREMISTS, CHAUVINISTS AND WHY?

December 17th, 2013

Anura Seneviratna.  

 Norm of ignorance
 
Any defensive stance taken by the Sinhela Nation against insidiously invasive and intrusive acts into our national heritage by the settler communities in Sri Lanka,  the immediate reaction not only from the settler communities but from many Sinhela people too is the name calling of extremists, chauvinists etc. Yet, the confrontational causes which initiated the justifiable defensive stance by the Sinhela patriots are conveniently ignored by the local reporting media as well as the foreign media siding with the settler communities publicizing the Sinhelas as the culprits. Add to the bargain, the politicians too jump in the bandwagon to harass the patient and tolerant Sinhela Nation within the only Sinhela Country, tantamount to a unique state of affairs tolerated by no other nation on the planet. Does this extreme tolerance, patience and hospitality of the Sinhela nation a good thing for the settler communities and the Sinhela people alike? Decades of its impact on the Sinehla nation and the country has thoroughly proved to be negative, disastrous and foolish as these extreme humane tokens extended by the Sinhela people are being progressively exploited by the settler communities to destroy the Sinhela nation and rob the Sinhela Island to set up additional countries for themselves.
 
Practical lessons
 
The lessons we have to learn is we have been and continue to be foolish in our conduct of ourselves to settler communities and others of the world community. Foolish, because slipping into extremes even of good deeds and attitudes will lead to stupidity as Buddha and Gandhi once stated wisely. It is proved distinctly by the result, we had to suffer by the recent attempt to rob the Sinhela country by a group of settler Tamil community to carve a second Tamil Nadu and now we see a clear indication of the other settler Muslim community too is attempting to pursue the same course. Why? After successfully defending the country, instead of upholding of the inalienable Sinhela National Sovereignty by merging and integrating all settler communities into one INCLUSIVE Sinhela Nation ” the party politicians are still engaged in more offerings of Tamil, Muslim  SEPARATISM to settler communities in an utterly irresponsible and dangerous manner. The so called Sri Lankan politicians still do not seem to understand the simple rules of inviolable national sovereignty rights that all other nations practice as a universal and justifiable principle. Yet, these same politicians do travel and see how other countries are governed in their numerous trips abroad but why they cannot see the truth as it is and do the same in SL is beyond imagination? However, they are quick to copy and bring any and every rubbish from foreign lands as if no tomorrow and happily thinking as progress. This folly not only negates the national self esteem of SL plus the credibility of these politicians to be unfit for the noble task of governance in serving the nation and country in upholding the Sinhela National Sovereignty.
 
Equality of ignorance
 
Equal treatment of citizens in a country is decided by the basis of SINGLE UNITARY NATIONHOOD of every country. It is naturally the indigenous nation of people are the root of this ONE NATION, hence the nation of the country are them but the noble principle of nation has extended an open arms welcome gesture to all settler communities ALSO to be INCLUSIVE national citizens of this nation. This nation is also termed as the HOST NATION. What is enshrined to be inalienable and inviolable of this nation and country to be upheld ever, is the NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY. This is the solid safety valve maintained through human evolution to be unchangeable and un-negotiable as the truth and justice held in the manifestation of human refinement.  The outcome of this universal principle in close examination demonstrates the fundamental concept of justice & truth in no uncertain terms.
 
Highlighting practical comparatives
 
If settler communities who settle in host countries away from the lands of their national origins, they become INCLUSIVE national citizens of those countries. The main factor of inclusivity is attained in merging with the indigenous language of the host nation as the mode of communication is the key to bonding and uniting people, irrespective of their ethnicity. Here, it highlights the importance of mental interaction through one common language to unite people within one nation to progress together. For a country to flourish as the ONE NATION, the indigenous national language is the embracing factor followed by the national culture and philosophy or religion to be the components of the country’s national sovereignty to be upheld. If the question arises there is no equality to the languages, cultures, religions of settler communities in a host country, the answer is simply plane and clear that it is justifiable that these national rights of settler communities are well preserved right now in the lands of their national origins they left behind for pastures anew in host countries.  So, the settler communities have to be satisfied when voluntarily becoming  national citizens of a host country, they have to merge with the host nation in accepting and identifying themselves as now naturalized nationals of the host nation as one. Their language, culture and religion have the freedom to practice in private with the exception that these private baggage cannot threaten or subvert the host nation who have offered hospitality. Of course, some host countries have set up mandatory laws appearing excessive in converting the settler communities to become nationals of the host nation by even banning to practice in private their original  national rights. This may be reasonable in order to remove any vulnerability to the host nation in the future, when these settler communities increase in their population and pose a threat. Quite often, in certain situations at present there is a cry of random human rights demands within which are hidden alien national rights posing as human rights where host nations need to be vigilant.
 
In putting Sri Lanka to the test of national sovereignty, it fails miserably in being vulnerable in defence of their national sovereignty and territorial integrity. The proof of this is the averted near insidious invasion of northern and eastern part of the Sinhela Island Country by a band of Tamil settler community originally from the land of Tamil Nadu. Now, there is another claim by these settler community that they had a Tamil kingdom, hence the area is their traditional homeland and national property and should be a free country. The blatant and self evident fact is, if they had a Tamil kingdom then, the crime of land robbing has been committed, which calls for compensation as crime of robbing does not entail rights. In the case of the land robbing committed by the then British on SL, they returned the whole robbed island country and at least do not claim now as a right as the Tamils, questions their psyche and of Tamils! When in every country, settler communities are encouraged to merge with the host nation, only in SL the settler communities are encouraged to attack the host nation of Sinhelas and capture the country to set up additional countries for themselves. This is self destructive and utterly irresponsible and this baffled the thinking of the international journalist Paul Harris as to why? He stated this as the “greatest giveaway in history” during SL politicians’ passivity against invasive settler Tamil terrorists. It is extremely important to discover why the SL politicians adopted this hara kiri strategy against the settler communities which is quite unprecedented in a country. In meeting Paul Harris in London once, the writer pointed out the reason for this giveaway tendency is due to the SL leaders being of hybrid nature, hence their loyalty shifted away from the indigenous nation of Sinhelas. Of course, Paul Harris could not understand but was asked to think about it. When such a cause has been consistently attacking the Sinhela nation and country for decades it became a norm to the unsuspecting Sinhela people to express that equality means settler communities too as separate nations within one country.  They were made to feel by the traitorous politicians that it is fair and justifiable to give settler communities most of the national rights enjoyed by a nation of one country as if they own the country. The Sinhela nation had no qualms about this state of affairs, no matter rest of the world is the complete opposite of it. Many travelled to other countries and still travel and settled in other countries ” yet it has not dawned to question the SL politics which is completely up side down and unjust. While this greatest nonsense is still ongoing in SL, what do the settler communities think? Yes, the Sinhela people must be congenitally foolish and we keep the pressure on till kingdom come!
 
Where is extremism and chauvinism?    
 
Extremism and chauvinism is within the settler communities settled in the host national Sinhela country. Who impregnated them with this arrogant approach are those hybrid Sinhala politicians, not by accident, mistake or error but by design to destroy the Sinhela nation and allow settler communities to capture the Sinhela Island. Now this fact may be dismissed by many Sinhelas, which is not unusual as they are not in the true frame of mind due to decades of suffered brainwashing. Even many so called patriots are unable to grasp the whole truth about the non ending conflict situation in the country as they refuse to delve into the past and locate causes for the current eventualities. Real solutions can only come about in discovering causes of the problem than symptoms.
 
For those who can see things as they really are, the extremists and chauvinists are the settler communities behaving as if they have national ownership to parts of the country, when they already have Tamil Nadu and Muslim countries to indulge in their national aspirations and national rights. But as they are made to believe by the docile stance of the Sinhela people that Sinhelas are stupid not to Uphold their national sovereignty, they use the second trick of emptying their arrogance of extremism and chauvinism on the Sinhelas as they know many of them will yield to it and sympathize with the settler communities. So the settler communities gain an upper hand, the news spreads to the world exaggerated many times by the propaganda. The truth about the Sinhela nation & country is hidden under layers of the past but many have been psychologically disabled to discover the facts and rise to their true stature. 
 
National resurgence lacking upfront facts
 
The Sinhela nation is made out to be the scapegoat of the crimes of others. When a thief is trying a getaway he points to the nearest guy and calls him thief, thief and repeats it ever so afterwards. The innocent bystander goes into a shock of confusion and begins to believe that he may have done something wrong, feels guilty to a crime he has not committed. He is unable to clear himself nor defend himself, such is the plight of the Sinhela nation.  Whenever we listen in a discussion, to a public speech, read an article from SL patriots and  experts in conflict solving, with all good intentions of the love for the country, the fact that SL is the Sinhela Country is omitted, generally for the wrongly perceived fear of being called a racist or extremist. If the Sinhela people too are a settler community like the others, meaning, if there is the Sinhela country somewhere else, then it is reasonable. Having only this tiny island to call it the Sinhela country, what is the reason and intuition for this mental blockage to avoid one’s natural identity and heritage? It can be argued then that we cannot have a Sinhela name either, in case we are called namists or racists, hence we should be called just man and woman! In order to put an end to confrontations, national rights demands hidden under political solution and human rights by the settler communities in SL;  is for the Sinhela masses together to demand out loud to restore the Sinhela National Sovereignty and true independence for the world’s only Sinhela Country. This will reveal to the world at last the truth about SL as it is, which is bound to gain the worldwide sympathy and justifiable support for the tormented Sinhela Nation.
 
Recent News
 
Mandela being the recent news, is there anything SL can take as lessons although South Africa is incomparable with its diverse but indigenous peoples unlike in SL? The principal highlight is Mandela’s policy of reconciliation that whole world highly recognize. Yet, there is one fundamental governing fact that SL should recognize in reconciliation that South African is ONE NATION inclusive of White settler community without SEPARATE devolution for none, while in SL it is promoting Tamil, Muslim separate devolutions in the name of devolution as democratic. Yes, devolution is fine if based ONLY on geographic area without any linking to separate ethnicities.
 

   

The TNA has an obligation to help in the reconciliation process.

December 17th, 2013

Dr D.Chandraratna,

The stance of the TNA in the actions of the NPC members as reported in the media lately is suggesting to all rational minds that they are either not keen on reconciliation or at worst totally opposed to it for fear of laying the ghost of the LTTE for good. We are not privy as to where they get their instructions from but what is apparent from their actions is that they would like to prepare the ground inadvertently perhaps, for another war with the connivance of forces outside. By racializing every policy demand the objective is to keep the two ethnic groups on a polarized position. Of course there are the local politicians, and the roving fleet of human rights cohorts that will rejoice any catastrophe as long as it brings them dollars from foreign lands.

Reconciliation is an exceedingly difficult task as the recent exposure on South Africa clearly shows. Governing South Africa after apartheid was problematic. The reality in South Africa even after twenty years ought to remind Sri Lanka that its post war record is exemplary, without exaggeration. South Africa after twenty years on is one of the most unequal societies according to the IMF. While there are hundreds of billionaires in South Africa half the population earns less than two dollars a day. It records on average 50 murders a day and 70,000 rapes annually. Seventy five per cent of businesses are targeted by white-collar criminals. Rampant burglary and car jacking is a cancer in the body politic. The only difference is that with the assistance of vested interest groups led by David Cameron and the so called ‘international community’ the TNA would like to see that we be despised as a pariah nation for getting rid of the their much loved terrorist out fit. Mr Mandela’s heroism in the moral sphere only saved South Africa from racial conflagration to which it appeared doomed but the political and economic aspects of reconstruction have a very long way to go.

In traumatized societies such as Sri Lanka psychological reconciliation is the biggest of hurdles. It applies to all communities. TNA as the elected leaders of the Tamil community needs to change form. The Greek word metamorphosis summarizes the ethical implications of this changed form. In order to meet the ‘other’ (those outside one’s own community) this change will be necessary. It involves the capacity to gain and lose, to cope with fears and resistances, and also to transcend given identities. When difference alone becomes the banner the results turn out be, at most times, violent. The TNA cannot be unaware of the consequences of flogging exclusive identities. The nation has experienced that  for many decades.

At a time when none is free from ambivalent feelings towards ‘the other’ peaceful coexistence calls for a leap in consciousness, which allows people to accept each other as separate individuals and groups but still firmly believe that they can communicate and co exist as one nation. The TNA must lead the Tamil community to understand the fact that taking responsibility for one’s own identity means also an acceptance of the limits of such identity. Opening up to the ‘other’ through a negotiated partnership is not a denial of the shadow of identity that one invariably carries in oneself.

A Movie by the Name “Tamil Killing Fields” ” The Best Response to Channel 4 and Tamil Diaspora Allegations

December 16th, 2013

- Kumar Moses 

It is widely accepted wisdom that “best defence is offence”. Same goes in propaganda war. Unfortunately Sri Lankan defence authorities are yet to come to terms with the propaganda war. It is not mere propaganda but propaganda war; it is a full fledged war fought using media. The old saying “the pen is mightier than the sword” can be rephrased to fit the contemporary times as “propaganda war is mightier than real war”. Sri Lanka won the real war but losing the propaganda war.

Rebuttals, responses and other reactionary hard work by the Ministry of Defence are not going to win the propaganda war. Instead a proactive tough approach is needed. Ministry of Defence must launch a full scale propaganda war targeting those who try to hide their war crimes, achieve Tamil Elam and discredit Sri Lanka.

Make a documentary film titled Tamil Killing Fields

The best response to “Sri Lanka Killing Fields” is a counter documentary film titled “Tamil Killing Fields”. If the government is unwilling to do so, it should contract out to a media agency or a group of young talented professionals to do so. It should not be a short clip but a long documentary.

Killing of Rajiv Gandhi must feature prominently in this film with graphic images. Tamil Nadu leaders, Tamil Diaspora financiers, Jihad suicide bombers, LTTE terrorists, ideological leaders of the LTTE including ITAK, TULF, ACTC and TNA leaders must be prominently displayed.

Aranthalawa massacre should also prominently display with SLRC video footage, recorded interviews of surviving monks, graphic images comparing it to the holocaust with holocaust images shown side by side. Attacks on Sinhala villages should also accompany images of the holocaust.

Training of Tamil suicide bombers, civilian terrorists, Sea Tigers and other terrorists should be compared to the images of the SS and Gestapo. Adel Balasingham, Shanthan and other foreigners complacent in war crimes must be included in detail.

Tamil child soldiers should also take centre stage. LTTE hostage taking operations should also feature prominently comparing it to Nazi leaders’ final moments when they hid in highly populated Berlin trying hard to cling on to human shields.

Various Tamil bomb attacks, cannibalisation of the own Tamil community by killing Tamil leaders and civilians by Tamils themselves must also get wide coverage.

More importantly vicious threats made by Tamil civilian leaders arousing racism and extreme violence must be included in the film. These include Malaysia born Chelvanayagam’s anti-Sinhala Tar Brush Campaign which defaced Sinhala letters, TULF leader’s wife Mangayakkarasi’s barbarous demands of swimming in Sinhala blood, Tamil atrocities in the 1958 riots, Vadukoddai Resolution which resembled the pre-WW2 Nuremberg Resolution and the demand for Tamil Homelands which eerily resemble the demand for the Third Reich. Interestingly, the Nazi term Fuhrer closely relate to the Tamil term “Thanthai” given the Chelvanayagam for his pioneering role in Tamil terrorism via Tamil nationalism.
Tamils have a clear target but Sri Lanka pursues a phantom enemy
Sri Lankan propaganda material target a phantom enemy. LTTE is now dead and gone as far as the international community is concerned. Targeting the LTTE and Tamil propagandists achieve nothing. The target of the Sri Lankan propaganda campaign must be clear.
On the other hand, Tamils very clearly identify their enemy – Sri Lanka. It is not just the government. Their target includes the government, armed forces, development partners of Sri Lanka, the constitution, the majority, even fellow Tamils. However, they make it very clear that the aim of their assault is Sri Lanka. It is easier to understand as with any branding exercise.

Why it should be “Tamil Killing Fields” and not “LTTE Killing Fields”?

The gravest propaganda mistake by Sri Lankan agencies has been targeting the LTTE instead of Tamils in its propaganda response. LTTE is now dead and there is little sense in stabbing the dead LTTE corpse over and over again. When distracted while stabbing the dead LTTE corpse, Tamil nationalists are against at it! They have now separated from the dead LTTE and attack Sri Lanka in their propaganda war. For this reason, Sri Lankan response to Tamils’ propaganda war has failed to get traction. 

The other reason is missing the wood for the trees. Anti-Sri Lanka propaganda war is not fought by LTTE cadres; all its soldiers are Tamil civilians. Targeting the LTTE instead of Tamils is a salvo of the wrong camp which does nothing to neutralize the real propaganda attackers. LTTE was one big part of the Tamil independence movement which has withered into nothingness. However, Tamil nationalism is still looming ugly and large; it is the single most dangerous threat to Sri Lanka.

Saving moderate Tamils from extremist Tamils is the other reason. Moderate Tamils are not targeted by the LTTE today. But they are under threat from extremist Tamils. These threats include economic and social deprivation, humiliation, excommunication from society, physical harm falling short of murder, threats to do harm to family members and barring from Tamil cultural education. To save moderate Tamils, extremist Tamils must be attacked in the propaganda war. Dangers the Tamil society at large is facing due to the dominance by extremist Tamils must be highlighted. It can be done by relating Tamil instigated violence to the Tamil society.

It is the old Tamil Nadu caste discrimination and violence at the root cause of the terrorist problem. It is not the creation of the LTTE but the Tamil Hindu society.

Fourthly, Tamils who had nothing to do with the LTTE are involved in major crimes and immoral acts around the world. Credit card scams, fraud, human trafficking, tax evasion, insider trading and anti-assimilation behaviour by Tamil communities in Canada, UK and Australia are examples. Tamil nationalism will eventually merge with this criminal syndicate for mutual benefit. It needs to be brought to the attention of the international community.

Fifthly, Tamils gained by the acts of LTTE than any other ethnic group. Sinhalese and Muslims gained absolutely nothing good from the LTTE. But Tamils gained heaps despite losing more. For instance when LTTE evicted Muslims from the north, Tamil civilians appropriated the displaced Muslims’ lands and valuables. LTTE bomb attacks specifically targeted ethnic Sinhalese in Colombo City. As a result Sinhalese were compelled to sell their properties cheap and seek safety elsewhere. Tamils grabbed the opportunity to colonize Colombo City in very large numbers deriving huge economic benefits. Tamil Diaspora is the biggest beneficiary of LTTE terror. Thanks to LTTE terror they could get riches beyond their wildest imagination. For this the Tamil Diaspora is grateful for the LTTE and intends on resurrecting it.

As the government is unwilling to sponsor a documentary titled “Tamil Killing Fields”, a private group should be entrusted to do it.

The fallacy of reconciliation without cooperation

True reconciliation is a two way street with both Sri Lanka and Tamils reciprocating. But Tamils have given nothing to reconciliation. In fact Tamils exploit reconciliation to get various appeasements. Reconciliation has ties Sri Lanka’s hands allowing Tamil propagandists to bash it at will.

Only a counter propaganda attack can level the playing field.
A counter attack on Tamils’ crimes indicates the potential threat a war crimes investigation can have on the reconciliation process when both sides resort to discrediting the other. It is ample conviction for the international community to stop its demand for war crimes investigations which can further split the two sides.

Game Theory for peace, reconciliation and cooperation

Game theory is an economic theory widely used in reconciliation, conflict resolution, peace building, business strategies and even in human and animal behaviour.

Game theory called tit-for-tat (TFT) is extremely important in reconciliation, conflict resolution. Imagine 2 adversarial companies ” “A” and “B” playing a TFT game in pricing. They can cooperate with each other and not change prices arbitrarily. If “A” lowers prices undercutting “B” their cooperative existence will fail. Following tit-for-tat “B” will undercut “A” in the next price change. Ultimately both will lose. As a result, both will come to an unspoken understanding not to hurt the other’s business. They are said to be in Nash Equilibrium. (Named after Nobel Prize winning mathematician Prof John Nash whose eventful life was turned into a film titled “A Beautiful Mind”.)

It is very widely used in diplomacy, peace processes, conflict resolution and war. The concept of “live and let live” emerged from the TFT game theory. During WW1 German and British troops dug up trenches close to each other. Generally they didn’t use snipers to kill the other while relaxing in the trenches between battles. If one side used snipers to kill a soldier in the other camp, the other camp will also use snipers to kill. Ultimately they both realized it is best not to use snipers on each other. An unwritten “peace agreement” came into operation that benefitted both.  

What Sri Lanka needs in its reconciliation process is to achieve Nash Equilibrium with Tamils so that reconciliation will be meaningful. For that to happen, Sri Lanka must do tit-for-tat to Tamil propaganda attacks. Otherwise Sri Lanka will be at the receiving end always and there will never be any cooperation and “live and let live” equilibrium.
Propaganda war is war itself fought differently against a broader enemy base. Until that is factored into Sri Lanka’s propaganda response, it will not be effective.
(The writer is a qualified defence expert specializing in Violent Extremist Organizations – VEOs).

Using plants as bio-scavangers of metal toxins in water and soil.

December 16th, 2013

Chandre Dharmawardana

Last October when I was in Colombo I gave several talks in symposia on Kidney disease, one of which was at the Gannoruwa Instittute of agriculture, while another symposium was at the Professional Institute in Colombo. I also raised this question of water hayacinth-like plants (water hayacynth, Japan jabara, lotus root etc), or even Murunga, and their capacity to extract and concentrate toxins from polluted water. This point has been raised by many others as well.

In principle, such plants can be used to “clean the water”. In practice this is NOT TRUE.  What do you do with the plants that have now collected all the toxic  heavy metals? Are you going to put the plants back into the soil, or disperse them in the ecosphere, or burn them? None of them will work as the pollution will just go back to the water table. You have to physically bury them in deep pits, or compound them in bitumin, or drop them in the ocean — all costly steps. So Dr. Yapa, a well respected  scientist previously at  Sri Jayawardenapure University, has looked at the problem partially, but has not discussed the final steps.

The same issue of getting rid of the waste matter arises with the reverse-osmosis process advocated in seminars by various  people and various NGOs like Sarvodaya. When 1000 litres of water are purified using reverse osmosis, 200 litres of highly polluted water remains in the reverse-osmosis machine. Now, where do you dump that water ? Do you dump it back to the soil? That will not do.

What we need to do is to cut the problem at the source. The source is the fertilizer runoff from the hill country, coming along the Mahaweli, and polluting all the water bodies connected to the mahaweli via the “accelerated mahaweli” project, and other similar irrigation projects which link agriculture and drinking water.

These problems did not exist prior to 1977. After the “open economy”
fertilizer sales became unregulated. The problem is not with the fertilizer, but with excess use where 5 to 10 times the required amount is used, and this gets washed off to our rivers like the Mahaweli, and end up in the drinking water. Testing form cadmium, arsenic etc in the drinking water shows no significant amounts of these ions, (as the WHO study found), because the culprit is not those ions, but the excessive fertilizer run off made up of phosphate, potassium, nitrate etc. The fertilizer runoff adds to the already hard water in the Rajarata. The resulting high salinity (i.e, the ionicity) of  the water destroys the inner layers of the kidney, just as brakish  water corrodes anything. Once the kidney is corroded, the small amounts of As, Cd etc., that are always found in any environment enters the body and the body accumulates them, just as the kidneys do. The resulting kidney desease ultimately killes the patients. When you analyze their organs, they too are found to have accumulated As, Cd, etc, just as some plants (that do not have the capacity to filter out the toxins) do.

So,fertilizer should be controlled by the agriculture department. The govenment should issue  to the farmers only the recommended amount of fertilizer (as was done in the 1970s) and stop the free sale of fertilizers. Then, after a few monsoons, the soil will be clear of the contamination.

The majority of plants don’t have special fitration mechanisms like the kidneys. So such plants can be used as a means of monitoring the water as it is easy to analyse in the laboratory, the more concentrated toxin present in the plant. I pointed this out in my talks at Gannoruwa and Colombo, and of course, this is not a completely new idea and I am sure other have thought of it. But trying to use them for cleaning all the water in the rajarata ecosystem is, in my view, not feasible and extremely expensive. In any case, we want to grow paddy or vegetables, and not japan jabara or Salvinia.

 The sale of fertilizers should be controlled, and fertilizer subsidies should also be stopped . The money saved can be used to help the affected farmers. If the excess use of fertilizer is used, we also save foreign exchange, and regain our pure water system. The digging and selling of  Eppawala phosphates should be stopped as the soil is already over saturated with phosphate.

God of the Bible ”and the Christian call for Human Rights

December 15th, 2013

By Charles.S.Perera

Human rights is the new arm of the former colonizers of the West who in their long history of  wars of conquest, crusades, and Inquisitions massacred innocent people of the world with their unholy desire to Christianise the World.  The inspiration for those unholy wars lies in their heritage coming from the vengeful God of the Bible who lacked  forgiveness, love or compassion.

The God of the Bible was the God of the Jews- the Israelites  the chosen people.  His cruelty was not acceptable to the  expansionist desire of the Western Nations who nevertheless wanted a God to take with them in  their wars of the  conquest of the  world and bring the natives under their control.

Therefore the old Bible written in Hebrew was re written  by the Greeks transferring a watered down God of the Bible into the New Testament as an acceptable God  forgiving, loving, and  compassionate, sitting in heaven with a wife, the son and the Holy Ghost.  But yet the West cannot help the character of the  original vengeful, cruel and unforgiving God of the Bible seeping into the implied character of the re-invented God  of the New Testament.

This is the God  that the West inherited.  It is still his wars ”the  Christian Holy Wars the West is carrying on against the feeble and the weak in different forms, with guns, bombs, threat, resolutions for violation of human rights, and demands for  international investigations into the affairs of the developing nations.

At the beginning the Holy Wars were carried conducted in the name of the God of the Bible carrying  with them the Ark of  God, thereafter they carried with them the Cross and the  torch, the Cross signifying the God of the New Testament, the torch to burn the heretics and the  unbelievers at the Stake,  then they carried the Holy Banner with a cross on it in Crusades against the Saracens , followed by the Bible carrying missionaries in white cassocks in the wars of conquests and colonisation, and now they carry with them the call for Human rights with bombs and NATO Forces to subjugate the developing Independent Nations  and for regime change accusing them for violation of Human Rights.

The God of the Bible the west inherited made the Western man.  The unholy cruelty, hatred, and vengefulness of the God of the Bible was such that he got his chosen people to kill those who trespassed  his laws and worshipped other Gods, making  killing the culture of the West.

The Greeks who feared that the cruelty of the God of the Bible will deter the followers coming into their Christian fold,  burrowed him nevertheless, to dress him differently and present him  in the New Testament as a God who forgives, generous and compassionate.  But that did not make the Western Nations that embraced  the God of the New Testament, peaceful, loving and generous. The war mongering western Nations wanted the God as an emblem of peace for their expansionist wars, in which they killed those who did not accept their “democracy” as the  God of the Bible did against the Philistines.

Having inherited Christianity as a religion one has to go to a great extent to explain to the faithful what seems ungodly in the Bible.  The God of the Bible detested  receiving cold sacrifice,  it had to be  bloody burnt sacrifice of fattened sheep, fattened cows or calves.  Today the believers should take a second look at their Holy Bible to see the misdeeds of the God, and see to what extent the God of the New Testament is different from the other of the Holy BibleolyHolyHhH.

Cain and Abel were the children of Adam and Eve the fruits of their first sin.  Abel became a keeper of sheep, and  Cain a tiller of ground. Cain offered to the Lord  the best of the fruit of the ground, but his brother Abel offered God the fattest of  firstlings of his flock.   And God had respect to Abel and his offering, and had no respect to that of Cain, which sowed the seed  of jealousy as a result of which Cain killed Abel.  The God did not foresee that the act of his demonstration of preference to Abel’s offerings  would lead Cain to kill his brother Abel.  Therefore the God was responsible for the murder of Abel by his brother. The God of the Bible was taking sides putting one against the other.( see Genesis C.4.4.5)

His creation was an utter disaster. He wanted only one man and a woman on his earth, and created Adam and Eve.  He could not foresee that a snake would one day make his great creation a failure.  He hated the men and women who had come into the world through the first sin of his created man Adam and woman Eve – ” And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart.” (First Book of Moses Genesis Chapter 6 .6)

The God then accepted the failure of his creation and decided to take vengeance by destroying every thing that came out from what he created.

“And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping things, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (First Book of Moses Genesis Chapter 6. 7)

 Only Noah found grace.  And it was with his help that the God unable to create another world by himself, planned his second creation.

But in the second  creation the  God did with Noah as a helping hand, he makes the same mistakes he made with his first creation.  God of the Bible was not the infallible God  the faithful are made to believe.  He had his chosen people the Hebrews-the children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  They were in Egypt oppressed by the Egyptians.  God wanted  to deliver them out of the hand of the Egyptians and bring them to a land  flowing with milk and honey.

The God hated all those who followed other gods and severely punished his chosen people when they erred in their faith in God. The God of the Bible did not pardon the faults of any one.  He chose Moses to  deliver his chosen people from the Egyptians to the promised land, but with all the difficulties, troubles and  tribulations  Moses had taking the chosen people through the wilderness into the promised land, Moses was not allowed to enter it along with them.

The God asked Moses to go to Mount Nebo and see from there the land of Canaan which He had promised for the children of Israel, and die there.

 “I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.” (Deuteronomy Chapter 34.4)

“and die in the mount whither thou goest up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people:

 “because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel at the waters of Mer’ibah”Ka’desh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel. “Yet thou shalt see the land before thee; but thou shalt not go thither unto the land which I give the children of Israel.” (Deuteronomy,Chapter 32.51)

That is how the God of the Bible rewarded Moses who helped Him  deliver His chosen people the Children of Israel out of Egypt.

The God of the Bible was very cruel. He did not know how to pardon even those who sinned but later regretted.  In order to “soften the minds” of the Pharaohs to make them release the God’s  chosen people the children of Israel for their exodus towards the promised land, the   almighty  God of the Bible sent to Egypt ten plagues killing Egyptian men, women and children  causing them most terrible suffering.  The God could not find any other less cruel means to ” soften the minds ” of the Pharaohs to release his chosen people. The God of the Bible had none of the divine love  he had for his chosen people, for those who trespassed his “divine patience”.

No one had seen the God of the Bible.  God showed himself it is said in the Bible to Moses.  “God revealed himself to Moses on Mt. Horeb in the burning bush (Ex. 3:2-15). Yet what Moses beheld was the remarkable bush that burned but was not consumed (vs. 2) ”

The God appeared before his chosen people when they were traversing the wilderness in the form of a column of smoke during day, and as a column of fire by night.

The God of the Bible spoke to the people through his prophets, and the judges.  The God “spoke” to the Kings of Israel through the prophets. The only true God according to the Bible is the God of Israel, other Gods are false. The God punished the children of Israel for following other Gods,  such as Baal the Gods of Philistines.

In  order to  see the vengefulness, cruelty and lack of divine love of the God of the Bible let us see the reign of  Saul the King of Israel  as recounted in the Holy Bible ( King James Version) from the beginning to the end of his reign.  The rest of the Bible is more or  less composed of  similar episodes with added variations of frightening episodes of God’s hard hearted vengeance even upon his own chosen people when they trespassed his warnings.

Samuel the Judge-the man of God was old.  The elders of Israel who did not want him to appoint his sons to succeed him asked for a King as other Nations.  When Samuel announced it to the  God , God  asked him to accept the demands of the people, as he had already decided to make Saul the King of Israel.

The God  always speaks (through his prophets) highly of his choice, without giving a thought to what he would turn out to be later.  The God of the Bible was not omniscient- all knowing.

Now these matters of administration are between the Judge and the God.  The Judge never sees the God he only hears his voice, “Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear a day before Saul came……”  (1 Samuel Chapter 9.15)

 The people believe that the God has spoken to the Judge the seer.( prophet, judge or seer are the same)  The King cannot consult the God directly, he had to go through the Prophet-the judge.

Now Nahash the Amonite  was preparing to conquer Jabesh.  When Saul heard of this ,

” …. the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

“And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.” (I Samuel Chapter 11.6,7)

 What great tiding to be sent as coming from a God  and what a way to instil fear of Lord to get peoples’ consent ?

 “And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.”  (I Samuel Chapter 11,11)

 The people of Israel gathered at Gilgal  and Samuel  anointed Saul as the King of Israel.

It was through fear that the people were made to believe in the God of the Bible.

Samuel said to the people

“If ye will fear the LORD, and serve him, and obey his voice, and not rebel against the commandment of the LORD; then shall both ye and also the king that reigneth over you continue following the LORD your God: but if ye will not obey the voice of the LORD, but rebel against the commandment of the LORD; then shall the hand of the LORD be against you, as it was against your fathers.

 Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the LORD will do before your eyes. Is it not wheat harvest today? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.(I Samuel Chapter 12.4,15,16,17)

 So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day: and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel. (I Samuel Chapter 12.18)

 Samuel spoke to Saul and told him that the God commands  him, “Now go and smite Am’alek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” (I Samuel Chapter 15.3)

 “But Saul and the people spared Agag, and the best of the sheep, and of the oxen, and of the fatlings, and the lambs, and all that was good, and would not utterly destroy them: but every thing that was vile and refuse, that they destroyed utterly.” (I Samuel Chapter 15.9)

The God was not pleased because Saul did not kill every thing living in Amal’ekites, as the God had commanded. Samuel warned of God’s wrath more than his love.  The God always asked the prophets to remind the people of what He had done for them.

“Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amal’ekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past”

 “And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.”( I Samuel Chapter15.32,33)

 “only fear the LORD, and serve him in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things he hath done for you.

 But if ye shall still do wickedly, ye shall be consumed, both ye and your king ” , said Samuel before he departed.(ISamuel Chapter12.24,25)

 Now Samuel had a son Jonathan he was in command of an Army of thousand men. When the Philistines declared war,  Jonathan smote the Philistine Garrison in Geba. Saul announced  it to his people and asked them to gather with him in Gilgal to fight the Philistines.

“And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth”a’ven.”(I Samuel Chapter14.5)

Seeing the Philistine Armies the people of Israel who had gathered around Samuel was frightened.

” When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gil’e-ad. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.” .”(I Samuel Chapter14.6,7)

 King Saul did not know how to face the Philistine Army.  Samuel who had promised to meet him in Seven days had still not turned up.  The King had no time to make a bloody sacrifice to the Lord.

 “And Saul said, Bring hither a burnt offering to me, and peace offerings. And he offered the burnt offering. « 

 Just then  Samuel turned up.  Samuel was vexed for the offering of a burnt sacrifice to the Lord and asked why ?

Saul said,  “…..I saw that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash;

 Therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.”

Samuel said that Saul had not done as he had been commanded and that the Lord is offended, and that Saul may not continue to rule, and Samuel went away angry. (I Samuel Chapter 13.9-13)

Now all the people had run away, and there were only  600 people along side Saul to fight the Philistine Army.  Not even a blacksmith was to be found in Israel.  On the day of the battle there was neither sword nor spear in the hands  of the people who were with Saul and his son Jonathan.

But Jonathan without informing the King went with his armourbearer to the Philistine Garrison. The Philistines seeing them said, “come up unto us” Jonathan taking that as a sign told his amourbearer ” the Lord hath delivered them into the hands of Israel.”

Jonathan and his man then fell on them killing  20 Philistines in a surprise attack and put the whole of the Philistine Army in disarray.  There was great panic in the Camp. Saul noticing this  brought the Ark of God, collected his people and attacked the Philistines successfully,  hence the Bible says the Lord saved Israel that day. So that no body could say that was a coincidence.

The people were tired and fatigued after the fighting.  But they could not profit from the victory because, Saul laid an oath on the people “cursed be the man who eats food until it is evening that I may be avenged on mine enemies.”

 The people  walked into the woods and saw there was honey fallen on the ground.  But they dare not put their hand to eat the honey as they feared the curse Saul had laid on them.

But Jonathan the son of Saul was not there when the oath was administered and he was not aware of it .  Hence when Jonathan went to the wood he saw the honey fallen on the ground.  He dipped the staff in his hand into  the honey and tasted it.   Then the people came to him and told about the oath Saul had laid on them  forbidding them to partake of any food.

Jonathan said his father was wrong.  He said his eyes became enlivened after tasting the honey, and asked how much more the people would be happy if they had eaten freely of the spoils of their enemies.  The people then attacked the Philistines  and ate freely of the spoils of sheep, oxen and calves  taken from the enemies.  Saul hearing of it  was angered and asked to roll a great stone, and  commanded  the people to bring  in their living spoils sheep or calf  there and slay and eat them. Then Saul built an altar for the Lord.

Saul then prayed to the Lord and asked  his counsel to go to war with the Philistines. The God did not answer.  Saul thought that the God did not answer as some one had sinned.  Saul spoke to the people and said, ” who ever sinned I shall have him killed even if it is my son Jonathan “.  Casting lots , he found that  Jonathan had sinned. Saul asked Jonathan what  sin he had done.  Jonathan said that he knew not of the Oath his father had laid and he tasted honey in the Wood.  Saul then said that Jonathan should die.

“And the people said unto Saul, Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation in Israel? God forbid: as the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of his head fall to the ground; for he hath wrought with God this day. So the people rescued Jonathan, that he died not.” (I Samuel Chapter 14.41-45)

The Lord had spoken to Samuel and told him that the Lord  rejects Saul for his disobedience for not carrying out his  Command , which was to “…. smite Am’alek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.”

When Samuel the prophet came to Saul, he  told Samuel that he had performed the Commandments of the Lord.  Then Samuel asked  Saul, if  you  obeyed the commandment of the Lord how is it that I hear the bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle.  Saul said that it was the desire of the people to save the sheep and oxen for sacrifice to the Lord, and they have brought Agag the king of Am’alek, and have utterly destroyed the Amal’ekites.

“And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.

 For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king.” (I Samuel Chapter 17.23)

 “Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amal’ekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.

 But alas Samuel said to Agag the King of Amal’ekites, “As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal

 Then Samuel went to Ramah; and Saul went up to his house to Gib’e-ah of Saul. And Samuel came no more to see Saul until the day of his death: nevertheless Samuel mourned for Saul: and the LORD repented that he had made Saul king over Israel.(I Samuel Chapter 15.32-35)

 So ends the rule of  Saul the King of Israel.  .

The Lord of the Holy Bible being the God of the people of Israel and none other, it became necessary for non Israelites, to find a suitable God for themselves.  But they could not deny the God of the Holy Bible as it would amount to denying God the creator.  Therefore, they had to find a different Strategy white washing the cruel, unforgiving and vengeful God of the Bible, make a different God of him. Hence they began by making  him father a son.

It was a difficult process.  The God of the holy Bible only created.  He created Adam and from a bone of  Adam  created  Eve. The world the God created was peopled with the Children issuing from  his first creation of  Adam and Eve.   The God cannot have his own son unless he impregnates a woman.

But  those Greek writers  (there were eight it is said who wrote the New Testament), to avoid the obstacles  preparing a modern God from  the ancient  God of the Bible to suit the  Nations other than that of the Jews the children of  Israel, invented the immaculate conception, making an omniscient, loving, and a forgiving God out of the God of the Bible. A God who sends his son to  take on himself the sins of the people.

“The central aspect of Christ’s death on the cross was atonement. He accomplished this by offering Himself on the cross as a sacrifice in order to remove the guilt of our sins. John the Baptist proclaimed this when he saw Jesus approaching “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29)

Thus the  Greeks wrote the New Testament changing the character of the other God of the Bible.  The God of the Bible is different from the God of the New Testament.

The Angels of the Holy Bible did not have wings.  They came in twos or threes and brought messages foreboding from the God.

 “And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground  (Genesis 19.1)

 Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORDout of heaven;

and he overthrew those cities,  and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground. (Genesis 19.24,25)”

That is not different from what Americans did in Vietnam, or NATO Forces did in Libya. They rained upon Vietnam Napalm, and upon Libya Bombs

The Holy Bible is called the Old Testament , and the  Greeks followed it with the New Testament.  But the Lord’s war continues taking different forms causing more disaster

 

(See New Testament Contradictions by Paul Carlson at: http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/paul_carlson/nt_contradictions.html)

Inaction from Government against TNA Fascists Puts Northern Governor in Danger

December 15th, 2013

Dilrook Kannangara

TNA controlled Northern Provincial Council brought a series of resolutions that are in gross violation of the Constitution. This comes exactly a month after the Council resolved unanimously to remove the incumbent governor. It also comes in the wake of a resolution against Sri Lanka by the European Parliament.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?type=MOTION&reference=P7-RC-2013-0563&language=EN
The new TNA resolution renews calls for the removal of the governor and demands the withdrawal of security forces. According to the Constitution the appointment of the governor is a power vested in the President, not the provincial council. There is no requirement to consult the Council either in appointing the governor. National security matters also fall on the powers of the President who is the commander-in-chief. Provincial Council has no power whatsoever to influence the decision of the President on national security matters.
However, the government has deserted the Northern Provincial Council Governor to fend off TNA fascist attacks all by himself. No punishment follows TNA’s separatist and anti-Constitutional conduct. In another despicable display of sheer racism, TNA has alleged the governor of abductions and ridiculed his knowledge on Constitutional matters.
Without government moves to punish TNA fascists, there is no likelihood of Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri continuing as governor of the Northern Province. He has already done yeoman service to the nation as a military officer and as the governor. His replacement will find it even more difficult to stand up to TNA fascism.
Government inaction against TNA separatists means no one will be willing to continue in the role. With the governor put in jeopardy, TNA will be able to cause havoc and push its separatist fascist agenda in the Council. No one seems to be in control of the situation as the nation drifts from one calamity to another.
#The government must take firm and urgent action against TNA fascists without further delay. Failure to do so will certainly result in irreversible damage to the nation and hard-won peace.

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