Dr. Tilak Fernando
As mentioned in my ‘Life Abroad Part 71′, another Sri Lankan from down under, Nicky Karunarathna from Australia, has come out forcefully with his personal experiences against the LSSP activities of the by- gone years, having read episode 70 under the caption ‘Vivian gave beans’.
It is not my wish to get too involved in politics or religion, as no one can win at the end of the day except those getting implicated get their adrenalin levels up due to individual beliefs and egos! However, in a democratic framework of mind, impartiality and objectivity should be entertained from all sides (in this particular case from a former LSSP member who wishes to vent out his own personal experiences)! I am only able to bring such experiences and narratives out to the open as and when those reach me!
Nicky Karunarathna, who lives and writes from Australia, had been a staunch LSSP member from the ‘word go’ in the bygone years. In fact, after Dr. N.M Perera’s demise, NM’s house at Borella was handed over to Nicky by NM’s nephew N.A.C Perera (Senior Executive, the Inland revenue at the time) to indulge in electoral activities. This goes to show to what extent Nicky Karunarathna’s allegiance had been to the LSSP (Lanka Sama Samaja Party).
Nicky says he was “the person who stacked the place with sugar, tea, and refreshments and served comrades a decent cup of tea when they attended meetings which was never a practice when NM was living“! He also has arranged chairs for the members to sit during meetings with the help of a friend who was a principal of a Colombo school; got all the broken chairs, which were stacked in a store room, repaired by a carpenter to help comrades sit. He bluntly puts it thus: “This was the house comrades did not have any chance of sitting during meetings until I provided seats.”
Anemic to Sinhala Buddhists
“The irony of the LSSP was that anything coming as Sinhala/Buddhist made the LSSP stalwarts hot and bothered and to become absolutely irritated. V. Karalasingham was the theoretician of the party and he carried out this strategy with their main policy line. When NM became leader of the opposition in the Parliament after the UNP was reduced to eight parliamentary seats, the LSSP hierarchy thought they were very close to capturing power in Sri Lanka! They foresaw the rural masses, which consisted of the Sinhala/Buddhist majority, as a major obstacle which made them employ mostly Tamil Catholics and Sinhala Catholics as soon as the LSSP got three key ministries“.
|Colvin R. de Silva|
Australia’s one time PM
“The LSSP also used the up- country Indian Tamil issue as a political tool with the firm belief that one day they (LSSP) would benefit out of those seats in Tamil dominated areas. With that in mind they objected and disrupted the repatriation of Indian Tamils – not for the love of Tamils, but their forte was to work against the Sinhala/Buddhists“. Nicky continues.
Nicky Karunarathna visited the LSSP Headquarters once, when Colvin R. de Silva was delivering a speech in his inimical style attempting to convince all the top brass of the party including LSSP MPs and electoral organisers to support J.R. Jayewardene on the Provincial Council Bill to strengthen JRJ’s hand. In his lengthy political discourse, he was referring to the Sinhala Buddhist majority as ‘Mahajathiya’ (big headed) and the most powerful, whereas the rest as ‘Sulu Jathiya’ an unimportant minority, while harping on the pros and cons of the two measures of free rice given to people at the time.
“After Colvin’s brouhaha speech, which took more than two hours, the LSSP’s main idea was to somehow give a separate state for Tamils and making North and East for Tamils with Provincial Councils, with the idea of capturing power in that part of the country with Tamil votes“!
The party comrades appeared to have treated the stalwarts as brave, strong, well read and educated, but Nicky says, “the LSSP hierarchy was a senseless set of fools who with all their intellectual capacity and education did not realise that Tamils had other ideas”. The result was that, after all his humbug and gobbledygook of more than two hours, question and answer session that followed his speech was dominated by an absolute silence!
At this stage Nicky had the courage to stand up and question (in ‘simple English’), whether there was any other term than Mahajatiya to call the 74 per cent of the Sinhala Buddhist community in the country. He says it was down to simple arithmetic that when two measures of rice were distributed among the people, naturally the majority received two rations each, which Colvin attempted to make a big issue out of it!
When Nicky Karunarathna vehemently opposed to the party’s attempt to support the Provincial Council issue, Colvin R De Silva had gone berserk with anger. He had taken Nick’s question personally and thought it was very disrespectful and it undermined his intellectual capacity! Colvin had never answered Nicky’s question as a result. Nicky says, “that had always been the case….. and it was how the party ran with a superiority complex all the time … thinking that no one was above them“.
“If anyone were to question Colvin, his style was to ridicule the person who questioned him”. Following Nicky’s question, Colin R de Silva had turned to Nicky and blasted him in his penetrating tone and inimitable style thus:
“We have given you Borella electorate, you don’t do any work, and now coming here and parking your Mercedes Benz in front of the Party office, after eating from five star hotels, and try to show your strength here (apita puppana enawa)! You do not have any knowledge of the Party policies”.
With such unfriendly remarks Colvin had ordered him to ‘get out from the party office“. It was the last time Nicky Karunarathna visited the party headquarters of the LSSP! Nicky admits that he always parked on the payment, in front of the entrance of the party office as it was impossible to find a parking spot in the evening at Union Place with heavy traffic conditions. It was also true that he had been patronising five star hotels and bars, yet he was surprised as to ‘how Colvin got such information’ about his whereabouts’!
Nicky Karunarathna says the main problem with the LSSP hierarchy was that they thought they were demi-gods. “One section of the bourgeois of the party kicked Marx, Das Capital and started following Sai Baba at one of the social middle class member’s house and were signing Bajans(Hindu Prayers) to Sai Baba; the party member’s wife who was a teacher at Ananda College at the time organised those Bajan sessions for comrades“!
In a somewhat sarcastic but an uproarious line of attack Nicky poses the question as to whether anyone could believe this LSSP lot kicking out the Fourth International, founded in 1938 by Leon Trotsky, and the Works of Carl Marx, Engels, and Lenin and singing Bajans to Sai Baba in the evening…..? “They probably had gone bonkers,” he exclaims!
“One section of the party, according to their own agenda, went on their Christian beliefs worshiping Jesus with their target to make Sri Lanka similar to Philippines or South Korea (both totally Buddhist countries before)! Marx taught them religion as opium of masses…… But this lot…..? I really do not know”! Exclaims Nick Karunarathna.
NB: Hidden Past of LSSP bourgeois side – next episode
H. L. D. Mahindapala
The Vellahla political class/caste that dominated Jaffna politics in the feudal and colonial times as sub-rulers under the colonial masters was hoisted by their own petard when they passed the Vadukoddai Resolution on May 14, 1976. It was an official declaration of war by the ruling Vellahla elite against the democratically elected state of Sri Lanka. In it the Vellahlas handed over power to the militant youth to take up arms against the state until they achieve the separate state of Eelam. The Tamil militants took the guns and first turned it on the ruling Vellahlas before they targeted the Muslim and Sinhala communities.
In short, the children of the Vadukoddai Resolution devoured their political fathers. Velupillai Prabhakaran, the first born child of the Vadukoddai Resolution, calculated in his ruthless fashion, that the fathers of Vadukoddai Resolution must be liquidated first for him to be “the sole representative of the Tamils” — the main objective of all Tamil parties. Prabhakaran eliminated, one by one, his political fathers — from Appapillai Amirthalingam, the successor to S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, to potential rivals like Neelan Tiruchelvam — to consolidate his position. Following the Chinese saying, he insisted that there cannot be two tigers hunting in the same mountain.
Judging by his cold-blooded strategy which spared no Tamil rival, it can be concluded that Chelvanayakam escaped death at his hands only because he died of natural causes before Prabhakaran could get him. This then is grim story of Tamil politics. When the children of the Vadukoddai Resolution inherited the violent militarism legitimized in it they ran amok respecting no moral principle nor their own political fathers.
Drunk with the power that came out of the barrels of the Vadukoddai guns the politically immature amateurs turned into terrorists disguised as “liberators”. In handing over the guns to the Tamil youth the Vellahlas also handed over their power which they had retained and exercised in the feudal and colonial times. The Vellahlas hoped that the Vadukoddai Resolution would be the birth of a new era for them to capture power from “the Sinhala governments”. But in the end it proved to be their death warrant. The Resolution they conceived gave birth to their grave diggers. It also exposed their bogus brand of Gandhian politics.
May 14, 1976 was a decisive moment in Northern political history. In Vadukoddai the Tamil leadership took the decision to leave the democratic mainstream and resort to violence as a means of achieving their political goal of Eelam. By 1976 they had stretched Tamil ethnic extremism to the farthest point in the political spectrum. They had raised the expectations of the Jaffna Tamils to a point of no return. There was no higher point than the ultimate goal of a separate state. By the late 1970s it was either Eelam or nothing. And propelled by the internal forces of mono-ethnic extremism, which was honed by them in the preceding years into an indispensable dogma of separatism, the Tamil leadership that congregated in Vadukoddai opted for the military solution: the only logical move available at the time as there was no other place to go in the politics of mono-ethnic extremism. Separatism and violence were inseparable.
Looking back in the post-Nandikadal Vadukoddai era it is obvious that it was the wrong turn. But they had no option at the time. They had created the necessary conditions through mono-ethnic extremism to paint themselves into the corner of unattainable Eelam. They didn’t want to admit it at the time but they had to accept willy-nilly that events had overtaken them and pushed them into the inescapable corner of their own creation. They couldn’t control the forces they released by escalating ethnic demands from one extra seat in the south in the 20s, to fifty-fifty in the 30 and federalism in the forties and finally a separate state with the establishment of the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachch (ITAK ” Tamil State Party) in 1949. Within a matter of decades in the post-independence era, they had moved from the original “grievances” to “power sharing” to a “separate state”. The escalation from “grievances” to “aspirations” (meaning separate state) was a gigantic leap which was eventually embedded in the Vadukoddai Resolution. At this point they were trapped in their concocted history and fictitious geography. They were also trapped in between their unattainable promises and hard realities of living in democratic mainstream which does not move as speedily as they would like to achieve their elusive land.
Besides, the Tamil political parties embroiled in electoral politics of the North were competing fiendishly with each other to be the “sole representative of the Tamils”. These rival parties, whether it was G. G. Ponnambalam’s Ceylon Tamil Congress or S. J. V. Chelvanayakam’s ITAK , had no constructive, creative or progressive political program to offer the Tamil electorate other than to claim that each would get more from “the Sinhala governments”. Their mono-ethnic extremism was based intrinsically in the politics of Oliver Twist. The Marxist parties, both Trotskyites and Stalinists, tried in vain to break into the Northern electorate, advancing from the non-ethnic, pro-Tamil perspective. But ingrained casteism and communalism were overwhelming forces which they could not overcome. While the Marxist gained considerable ground in the open society of the South they could not breakthrough the conservative and closed society of the North. The impenetrable cadjan curtain of Jaffna kept all potential invaders that would threaten their entrenched position at bay.
The entire Tamil political class in the North survived on a perennial diet of dogmatic Sinhala-Buddhist anathema. Their political rhetoric was aimed solely at demonizing the Sinhala South as the evil force that obstructed their path to political progress. Their tried and tested political strategy was to accuse any rival party of “collaborating” or “surrendering” to “the Sinhala governments” each time the other Tamil party decided to cooperate with “the Sinhala governments”.
ITAK was, of course, riding two horses simultaneously by time they reached Vadukoddai. One leg was on their parliamentary seats and the other leg was placed strategically on the back of militant youth. Their argument was that since the parliamentary route had not taken them anywhere near their goal of a separate state they have opted to ride on the backs of the Tamil youth to grab power from the “Sinhala governments” and run it as an ethnic enclave exclusively for the Tamils with Tamil as the official language. They never dreamt that the forces they were unleashing would, sooner or later, turn against them. The so-called “moderate faction” was blindly opening the gates of violence which would eventually displace them as the chosen vehicle of Tamil politics. They did not have the foresight to calculate that they were taking a huge gamble.in deciding to go down the path of violence.
They never anticipated that power would ever shift from the Vellahlas who were the traditional and anointed guardians and holders of power. Nor did they realize that once they legitimized the arming of militant youth that power would automatically slip from their hands and empower the Tamil militants as their successors. The Vellahla leadership failed to grasp that they were virtually abdicating power to an unknown, untried militants who would decimate them methodically and ruthlessly. The casteist Tamil leadership became their own hangmen in Vadukoddai.
The Vellahlas were the last of the feudal remnants in Sri Lankan society. They were entrenched in Jaffna like the ancien regime. Attempts made by the colonial and post-colonial states to change the decadent, casteist ancient regime failed. The intransigent resistance of the Vellahla caste to let the low-castes enter the Hindu kovils even as late as the sixties and seventies confirms the power of the Vellahlas to retain their feudal, casteist grip on Jaffna against the rising tide of modernity. It was obvious that Vellahla feudalism could be forced to give way to modernity only through violence. All internal and external forces to pressure the Vellahlas to restore justice to their own people by dismantling the rigid caste system and liberating them from centuries of slavery met with defeat.
On the eve of independence in 1948 Sri Lanka was balancing on three major pillars : 1. dying feudalism; 2. rising capitalism and 3. the structural legacies of departing colonialism. In short, it was a semi-feudal, semi-capitalist and semi-colonial state with two divergent brands of politics competing for supremacy. In the South politics was mobilized around class ideology propagated by the Marxists. In the North politics was mobilized under a communalistic ideology propagated by Saiva-Jaffna-Vellahla high caste armed with an English education. The South interpreted politics in class terms and the North interpreted politics in ethnic terms. But the reality was that both were trapped in a stagnant economy where the biggest growth industry was in the public service. To be permanent and pensionable with free railway warrants was considered to be in the highest bracket of social security. Public service proved to be the primary source of income that guaranteed a secure future and social status. Since the biggest growth industry was in the public service the competition to get into the public service created rivalry between the North and the South with those competent in English having an unfair advantage over the non-English speaking majority.
The English-educated Tamil Vellahlas had got into the public service first under colonial patronage and had grabbed the lion share in proportion to their population. A minority of 12% had grabbed a disproportionate 33% jobs in the public service. A popular saying which summarized the social aspirations of the Jaffnaites went like this: the son shone in Colombo while the father collected the harvest in Jaffna. The Jaffnaites argued that they cultivated their brains because they had no land to cultivate. The Jaffnaite, however, lived a double life: one in Colombo wearing trousers and, changing into customary verti the moment the morning train carrying them back reached Vavuniya,. This Janus-faced attitude was described best in the politics of Chelvanayakam who was labeled as a “trousered Gandhi” (A. J. Wilson in his biography of his father-in-law). Chelvanayakam was having the best of both worlds though he wanted the Jaffnaites to retain their feudal modes in every respect.
Of course, the cultures of the North and the South differed in many respects. This difference needs to be delineated in clear terms. Jaffna was introverted. The South was extroverted. Jaffna was a closed society. The South was an open society. Jaffna was mono-cultural. The South was multicultural and cosmopolitan. Under colonialism the power of feudal casteism was attenuated in the South. In the North it remained as the dominant political forces ruling every aspect of religio-political life. With the impact of Buddhism the South was humanized, tolerant and inclusive. Under the grip of the Hindu casteist ideology the North was rigid, intolerant and exclusive. There was ample space in the south to breathe the air freely. The North was a narrow peninsular enclave that held the individual in the unrelenting grip of vicious socio-religious rigidities and even in shackles of slavery. The North put up defences against advancing modernity. The South took to modernity like duck to water.
When the Jaffna man comes down south he lets his hair down and opens up like a bud. But he withdraws instantly like a snail into his peninsular shell when he returns to his home in the North. Consequently, Jaffna politics was shaped essentially by the narrow peninsularity of the Northern mind. In fact, it is recorded that Chelvanayakam never bought a house in the south fearing that his children will be polluted by the cosmopolitan culture of the liberal south. Like the Vellahlas who were bent on preserving their caste purity Chelvanayakam represented the typical Jaffna mentality that was committed to retain the peninsular insularity in all matters ” from religion to the politics to caste, to food, clothing, you name it. It was by retaining peninsular feudalism that the Vellahlas could retain their casteist power anointed by Hindu religion.
Jaffna truly was the heartland of the Vellahlas not the Tamils as such. The Vellahlas found in Jaffna a haven for their feudal and colonial privileges, perks, powers and status. The Vellahlas could not find this privileged status outside the boundaries of the peninsula. This was inevitable because the Vellahla customs, traditions, laws that preserved the Vellahla supremacy did not exist outside Jaffna. The enshrined Tesawalamai law which legitimized and enthroned the Vellahlas as the supreme masters were valid only within the boundaries of the peninsula. Hence their emotional attachment of Jaffna.
To perpetuate their elevated status on an outdated feudal ideology the Vellahlas had to preserve the peninsula and its environs intact as an exclusive domain that would guarantee their casteist power and privileges. But by the 30s the casteist ideology that legitimized their supremacy during feudal and colonial times had lost it validity. It was the fear of losing everything they had that turned them into communalists as the last resort. The only alternative was to flog communalism as a unifying force that could hold Jaffna together under the grip of the Vellahla supremacists. The rise of communalism in the thirties was symbolized by the virulent anti-Sinhala-Buddhist campaigns of G. G. Ponnambalam ” the fanatical founder of Tamil communalism who claimed 50% for 12% Tamils, also twisted as 50% for 23% minorities..
After him came the deluge. All events since then led to historical and geographical fabrications in Vadukoddai, illusions of Eelam, fantasies of Prabhakaran and finally the reality of Nandikadal.
Courtesy The Daily News
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha responding to the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, informed the UN Human Rights Council on March 26, 2014 that rather than encourage and support the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka continues to maintain with the Council, it was ironic that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka being mooted by some members of this Council, is reflective of the same partisan politicized agenda through its request to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake “a comprehensive independent investigation.” Assistance to this process by third party experts whose mandate and credentials are far from clear and its deliberate exclusion of a significant part of the duration of the terrorist conflict from the period under investigation via the introduction of a particular time frame, would be both precedent setting and prejudicial to the interests of all member and observer states of this Council in the future.
Responding on behalf of Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on the High Commissioner’s Report, Ambassador Aryasinha said, the Government of Sri Lanka has consistently and with good reason rejected previous resolutions on Sri Lanka proposed by the US, which have emanated from a politicized process and mandate and without the consent of the country concerned and would do so again. He said, Sri Lanka reiterates that any action taken in the promotion and protection of human rights of a country, must have the consent of that country.
Ambassador Aryasinha said to the trajectory that had emerged with regard to the recommendation contained in the Report of the UN High Commissioner, reflects the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which has been relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka.
He said politicized processes will only impede the delicate balance of the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka had continued to maintain with the Council.
While pointing out to a clear lack of mandate and per-conceived nature of its recommendations, he said his delegation was surprised by the numerous errors and interceptions contained in the draft report on Sri Lanka which was despite the High Commissioner and her team having undertaken a comprehensive, week-long visit to Sri Lanka during which time they were provided with unfettered access to study first hand the situation on the ground. Expressing deep concern at such glaringly erroneous information in a Report of this nature, he said, one would have expected that the OHCHR to have undertaken a more stringent scrutiny of facts.
Pointing out to a deviation from last year on the OHCHR refusing to accede to Sri Lanka’s request to publish as an “Addendum” to the Report, the “Comments” of Sri Lanka on the High Commissioners Draft Report as done in 2013, he said it demonstrated the disregard of an established precedent which seriously impeded the visibility and integrity of subject between the two documents.
– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/sri-lanka-pointedly-rejects-us-sponsored-resolution#sthash.0ZTpyJqh.dpuf
Ambassador Aryasinha says request to the Office of the High Commissioner to undertake a comprehensive independent investigation reflective of partisan politicised agenda”March 26th, 2014
Sri Lanka Mission Geneva
26 March 2014
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha responding to the High Commissioner’s Report on Sri Lanka, informed the UN Human Rights Council on 26th March 2014 that rather than encourage and support the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka continues to maintain with the Council, it was ironic that the draft resolution on Sri Lanka being mooted by some members of this Council, is reflective of the same partisan politicised agenda through its request to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to undertake “a comprehensive independent investigation”. Assistance to this process by third party ‘experts’ whose mandate and credentials are far from clear; and its deliberate exclusion of a significant part of the duration of the terrorist conflict from the period under investigation via the introduction of a particular time frame, would be both precedent setting and prejudicial to the interests of all member and observer states of this Council in the future.
Responding on behalf of the Sri Lanka to the 25th Session of the Human Rights Council on the High Commissioner’s Report, Ambassador Aryasinha said, the Government of Sri Lanka has consistently and with good reason rejected previous resolutions on Sri Lanka proposed by the US, which have emanated from a politicized process and mandate, and without the consent of the country concerned, and would do so again. He said, Sri Lanka reiterates that any action taken in the promotion and protection of human rights of a country must have the consent of that country.
Ambassador Aryasinha drew attention to the trajectory that has emerged with regard to the recommendation contained in Report of the UN High Commissioner reflects “the preconceived, politicized and prejudicial agenda which has been relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka”. He said politicized processes will only impede the delicate balance of the ongoing reconciliation process in Sri Lanka, as well as the constructive engagement Sri Lanka has continued to maintain with the Council.
While pointing out to a clear lack of mandate and pre-conceived nature of its recommendations, he said his delegation was “surprised by the numerous errors and misperceptions contained in the draft report on Sri Lanka” which was despite the High Commissioner and her team having undertaken a comprehensive, week-long visit to Sri Lanka during which time they were provided with unfettered access to study first hand the situation on the ground. Expressing “deeply concern” at such glaringly erroneous information in a Report of this nature, he said, “one would have expected that the OHCHR to have undertaken a more stringent scrutiny of facts”. Pointing out to a deviation from last year on the OHCHR refusing to accede to Sri Lanka’s request to publish as an “Addendum” to the Report, the “Comments” of Sri Lanka on the High Commissioner’s Draft Report as done in 2013, he said it demonstrated the disregard to established precedent which seriously impeded the visibility and integrity of subject between the two documents.
Sri Lanka Mission
26 March 2014
It will be the burial of reconciliation if the UNHRC resolution goes ahead. The best chance for reconciliation was immediately following May 2009 when the war ended. However, the Tamil community driven by vengeance, defeatism and false beliefs of Tamil homelands, and due to the absence of a Tamil leader with foresight, reconciliation was replaced by vengeful UNHRC and other foreign action against Sri Lanka. The sum product of all these was the murder of reconciliation in cold blood. Now the most decent thing they can do is to give reconciliation a decent burial. It borders total absurdity to call the anti-Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution a step closer to reconciliation. On the contrary, it is the demise of reconciliation.
Reconciliation for Tamils is Antagonism for Others
Tamils are only 15% of the Sri Lankan population roughly the same percentage as African Americans in USA. What about the other 85%? What Tamils call reconciliation is not reconciliation for the others. For them it is antagonism. In other words, what Tamils consider to be reconciliation is antagonism for 85% of Sri Lankans. UNHRC resolutions have driven a wedge of suspicion, mistrust and hatred between Tamils and non-Tamils in Sri Lanka. Almost all non-Tamil Sri Lankans are highly appreciative of the 2009 war victory. That is 85% of the population. They are extremely grateful for security forces personnel for winning peace which has given every Sri Lankan a far safer life and new avenues of economic prosperity. Alleging war crimes on them arouses disgust and hatred among most Sri Lankans. What if Allied action in Germany and Japan during World War 2 was depicted as war crimes? That would have resulted in disgust and hatred among the populations in Allied nations.
Tamils must redefine what they call reconciliation. Division of Sri Lanka, investigating heroics of Sri Lankan security forces and passing UNHRC resolutions against Sri Lanka are the opposite of reconciliation. They are modes of antagonism. Tamils must overcome their defeatist mentality because they are not treated as the defeated by other Sri Lankans. Unless this paradigm shift in their thinking takes place, Tamils are doomed to fail, yet again.
UNHRC Cannot Create Tamil Elam
Apart from vengeance, the other driving force of Tamils is Tamil Elam. Leading up to UNHRC sessions of 2012, 2013 and 2014, Tamils around the world petitioned the Council to take steps to create Tamil Elam ” an ethnically exclusive nation for Tamils in Sri Lankan territory. However, UNHRC has no mandate to do so. In fact any such attempt violates the United Nations Charter. Just because the UNHRC High Commissioner is a Tamil from South Africa, Tamils should not expect she can bring them any closer to Tamil Elam than the LTTE could.
Retaining Apartheid residuals like the Tamil Thesawalamai Law (enacted by colonial rulers for the benefit of Malabar migrants), protesting against Sinhala settlements in the north and demanding demilitarisation in the north are other highly vengeful acts of Tamils. For true reconciliation, these demands must be shed.
Any attempt to create a separate state, federal unit or independent nation within Sri Lanka will certainly lead to full-scale war. Partitioning of Sri Lanka will be no sweeter than the bloody partitioning of India-Pakistan and Pakistan-Bangladesh. If partitioning were to take place in the island, resultant violence will erase the Tamil community. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh had massive populations that could withstand the violence but the same cannot be said about the Tamil community in the north and the east.
Therefore it is in the best interests of the Tamil community to build their desired homeland in South India leaving Sri Lanka aside.
Gobi Only the Tip of New Tamil Terrorist Iceberg
Tamil terrorists were annihilated in Sri Lanka in 2009. However, Tamil terrorists remained active in other countries; they still are. This is why 33 countries maintained the ban on LTTE and other Tamil front organisations. USA, India and EU have very well developed counter terrorism and intelligence gathering units constantly following up on Tamil terrorists active in their territories. Consequently they all decided against lifting the LTTE ban. Moreover, Tamil terrorist businesses including credit card fraud, gold smuggling, human trafficking and TGTE terror activities are in full gear as before. No further proof is needed to convince anyone Tamil terrorists are still alive outside Sri Lanka. It was this network that reached to Sri Lanka in the recent terror plot.
The timing of the terror attempt by the LTTE Rump could not have come at a more appropriate time. They planned it very well to coincide with the UNHRC session. However, the government acted with resolve to nip the terrorist attempt in the bud. Mother of three terrorists who rented out part of her house to Gobi was rightfully separated from her daughter. Otherwise she would take pride in ‘sacrificing’ her fourth child too for the ‘Tamil Elam cause’.
Attempting to use terror to extort a separate state will fail with drastic consequences on the Tamil community. UNHRC provided tacit and covert support for the resurgence of Tamil terrorism but failed to cow down the government.
Bury Reconciliation, Welcome Ethnic Integration
Reconciliation will be unceremoniously buried on the 28 March, 2014 with the passage of the anti-Sri Lanka UNHRC resolution. In its place ethnic integration should be placed. What Sri Lanka needs is ethnic integration, not reconciliation. Tamil exclusive territories should be turned into harmonious communities where people of all ethnicities coexist. Imaginary ethnic boundaries must be dismantled. Thesawalamei law which is a residue of Apartheid must be repealed.
Sri Lanka must present to the 2015 UNHRC session a bold National Integration Plan by own initiative and canvass for support among its membership. That should relieve the UNHRC to concentrate on more burning issues like Kashmir, Afghanistan, Chagos Islands, Falklands, Iraq and Syria.
Sandasen Marasinghe Courtesy The Daily News
He said though they talk of human rights violations today, the Colonial rulers violated those rights and imprisoned heroes and deprived them of their civic rights and seats in the Senate, sometimes even without a court trial or using henchman of the imperialists to achieve their ends.
He said the country needs heroes like Philip Gunawardena to face the pressure of the imperialist foreign pressure against Sri Lanka, supported by their henchmen. Silva made these observations delivering the keynote address at the 42nd Commemoration Ceremony of Philip Gunawardena at the BMICH on Tuesday.
It was organised by the Philip Gunawardena Memorial Foundation. Ven. Dr. Ittepane Dammalankara Thera presided.
Silva said Philip Gunawardena who was well known as Boralugoda Sinhaya (the lion of Boralugoda) was banned by the British rulers while he was in Britain from coming to Sri Lanka in the early 1930s as he engaged in politics against colonialism.
“He who was a founding member of the Lanka Sama Samaja Party engaged in rebellious politics not only in Sri Lanka but in the USA, South America, England, European countries, India etc before he came to Sri Lanka after higher studies,” the former Chief Justice said.
He added that in 1936, Philip Gunawardena received a massive victory from Avissawella at the election contesting from the Lanka Sama Samaja Party but the imperialists introduced emergency regulations and arrested him and N. M. Perera immediately after an incident following a trade union action. “They were imprisoned even without a court trial. They were deprived of their civic rights.” He added that the rulers also removed them from their seats as they failed to attend the Senate due to their arrest by the same rulers.
Former Chief Justice Silva said Philip Gunawardena won the election in 1947 from Avissawella again but British rulers managed to imprison him soon after he won the election.
He was imprisoned based on a few words he allegedly told a conductor during a trade union action. His civic rights were deprived for seven years again. However he was appointed the Agriculture Minister in the 1956 government and worked hard to guarantee the rights of the farmers in the country, Silva added. Water Supply and Drainage Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, Western Province Governor Alavi Mowlana, Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena, Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa, Senior Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayake, Minister Geethanjana Gunawardena, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Ambassadors of Cuba, Pakistan, India and Deputy Ambassadors of China and Brazil also participated in the ceremony.
– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/colonial-rulers-violated-human-rights-former-cj#sthash.No7v5RrX.dpuf
Kalinga Seneviratne Courtesy: Dhaka Courier (Bangladesh)
Pillay has last month released a report calling for an international investigation into alleged war crimes when the Sri Lankan armed forces crushed the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in a final battle in May 2009.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Envoy in Geneva conveying the Sri Lankan Government’s response to Pillay’s report stated that the UN High Commissioner’s recommendations, “reflect the preconceived, politicised and prejudicial agenda which she has relentlessly pursued with regard to Sri Lanka,” and in a 18-page document pinpointed her double standards accusing her of giving “scant or no regard to the domestic processes ongoing in Sri Lanka”. The government has also criticized the report for arriving at conclusions in a “selective and arbitrary manner” and ignoring requests from the Sri Lankan government to provide factual evidence to substantiate allegations and to refrain from making general comments.
United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) head Navi Pillay
Sri Lanka’s criticism of Pillay is not new. But, commentaries in both mainstream and online media in Sri Lanka indicate a hardening of attitudes in Sri Lanka against her perceived bias and abuse of her power as head of UNHRC. She has perhaps got away with it in the international media because of a complaint western media that had believed most of the propaganda put out by the LTTE supporters in the Sri Lankan Tamil diaspora over the past 30 years and still continuing.
At the 25th sessions of the UNHRC beginning in Geneva this week, Pillay’s report is due to be officially tabled, and she has refused to entertain a request from the Sri Lankan government that its response to the report be attached as an appendix. The United States has indicated ” supported by EU and India ” that they may table a resolution at the meeting to establish an independent international investigation into alleged war crimes and human rights violations in Sri Lanka, which the government is sure to reject.
“How many of the bullying countries accusing Sri Lanka of crimes against humanity and war crimes have clean hands or a flawless record?” asks Senaka Weeraratna, a Sri Lankan lawyer and international affairs analyst.
“What we see today in western dominated international organisations such as the United Nations, and related bodies such as the UNHRC, ICC and the like are proceedings conducted on an Inquisitorial footing i.e. witch hunts aimed at devastating the target country or individual usually of non”European descent thereby perverting the course of justice. No quarter is given to the other party until it submits to the political will of the bullying nations” argues Weeraratna. “It is a shameless display of brute power making a mockery of institutional rules and procedure. The targeted country is assumed to be guilty right from the start ruling out any mitigating circumstances. It is virtually a re-enactment of the Inquisition under the auspices of the United Nations rather than the Catholic Church as in the days gone by”.
It is not only Sri Lankans that are complaining about the UNHRC and Pillay’s tactics. Anti-war activists in the West and supporters of the former Libyan regime and that of Syria have also pointed out how these UN agencies, and particularly UNHRC under Pillay, are practicing double standards to promote Western imperial designs.
Veteran Canadian antiwar activist Ken Stone writing in the website ‘Syria 360′ argued in an article written last year that Pillay has abused her power to facilitate western military interference in Libya and Syria to change regimes. He argues that the western media, and CNN in particular, has used interviews with Pillay to promote military intervention in Libya and Syria, where she relates the actions of these regimes to defend their country from rebel forces, to human rights violations and crimes against humanity.
“Two very useful precedents for illegal, but so-called ‘humanitarian’, intervention by NATO were set by the United Nations in regards to Libya” argues Stone. “The first was that the doctrine of the responsibility to protect (R2P) was successfully invoked, for the very first time, as a legal grounds for over-riding the fundamental principle of national sovereignty as the basis of international law”.
R2P holds that, if a government cannot protect the human rights of its own citizens, the international community may step in to do so. In the case of Libya, R2P was used to justify United Nations Resolution 1973, the motion that authorized NATO to create a no-fly zone over Libya.
“Resolution 1973 was perverted by NATO within hours into a full-blown military intervention for regime change in Libya that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Libyans, pogrom against black persons resident in Libya, the assassinations of Muammar Gaddafi and members of his family, massive infrastructure damage, the de facto partitioning of the country, and a failed state machine” notes Stone, who argues that the first precedent (above) could not have been realized without the fancy legal footwork executed in advance by the nimble Pillay in demonising Mouammar Gaddafi and his son, Saif, at the UN. “The second precedent, then, was the initiative taken by the UN Human Rights Council, chaired by Pillay, in calling for an international inquiry into violence against civilians in Libya” he added.
Stone goes on to detail how Pillay has been playing a similar role in appearing in the international media accusing the Syrian government of crimes against humanity and calling upon the ICC to mount a war crimes investigation against President Assad, while ignoring the role played by foreign-funded mercenaries in the civil war. “Humanitarian intervention is a powerful tool in the West, where even people on the ‘left’, who should know better, fall for it” notes Stone.
Libya is the real tragedy of the so-called ‘Arab Spring’ that has turned into an ‘Arab Winter’. This brings into question the real motives of those International NGOs who promote human rights with an evangelical zeal.
Libya under Mohammar Gaddafi may have been an authoritarian state in terms of freedom of speech (not any worse than US allies in the region such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and UAE), but, was a success story in human development. In Gaddafi’s Libya, the right to free education for everyone from elementary school right up to university and post-graduate studies at home or abroad were implemented with government subsidies; there was free health care with 1:673 doctor-patient ratio; free electricity for all citizen; interest-free housing loans; and free land for farmers. Libya had no external debts and its reserves amounted to $150 billion. Today we have a Libya that is ruled by warlords and terrorists and human rights campaigners are silent about the human rights abuses taking place today in Libya and no one is asking the question what is happening to Libya’s huge financial reserves and its oil? Who is benefiting from it?
What happened in Libya amounts to a war crime for which both NATO and International Crisis Group (ICG) that came up with the R2P formula, should be held accountable. But, UNHRC is muted about it. Instead, a report will be tabled at the current session titled “Technical assistance for Libya in the field of human rights”. The report does not discuss accountability issues with regards to human rights in the implementation of the R2P formula nor does it address in any serious manner the problem of the anarchy created as a result of regime change. It assumes that there is a regime in charge, when there is not.
A question often asked by Sri Lankans is why Pillay is not calling upon President George W Bush, Tony Blair, David Cameroon and ICG to account for the war crimes US, UK and NATO forces have indulged in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya? During her visit to Sri Lanka last year, at a press conference, she said that UNHRC has indeed questioned these countries on certain human rights issues and they have responded. But, what the Sri Lankan journalist didn’t press her on is why she cannot do the same with Sri Lanka, rather than indulge in a public spat and witch hunt?
Most people in Sri Lanka believe that what she is trying to do is to open up old wounds and it is completely counter productive to promoting reconciliation between the Sinhalese and Tamil communities. Nor is it helping to improve human rights in Sri Lanka, where a government that is threatened by what they see as an international conspiracy to change regime, has cracked down heavily on internal dissent and freedom of expression.
Weeraratna argues that Pillay’s methods are harming human rights and increasing the credibility gap of UN agencies in the eyes of the international community (which is not just the US, EU and its allies). Instead he argues that UNHRC should adopt the Japanese model of solving a post-war crisis.
“The Japanese approach advocated by the Buddhist Prince Shotuku to use the method of consensus and dialogue, and not allow the accused party to lose face is a far more enlightened approach to resolution of complex human rights issues than the ‘ burning at the stake’ inquisitorial approach of the West” notes Weeraratna. “It is the employment of double standards and devious methods to achieve ulterior political ends of powerful Western actors that have resulted in the moral collapse of the UN and related agencies”.
Kalinga Seneviratne is a Journalist, Media Analyst and Lecturer at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
The Persistence Of A Deluded UN Rep Laced Visibly In Her Conflict Of Interests Hell Bent On Pursuing Sri Lanka Impedes Progress!March 26th, 2014
Insight By Sunil Kumar
March 27th 2014
At the UNHCR Summit it appears almost in desperation that The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, in a statement after presenting her report on Sri Lanka today at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva has said that an international investigation is a must in Sri Lanka.
Pillay has said that new evidence has surfaced over the war in Sri Lanka and witnesses are willing to come forward and give evidence before an international commission. “Sure Sure Navi Pillai!” are these coerced witnesses loaded with false evidence? one might ask as she continues to flog a dead horse of wrongful accusations against Sri Lanka laced in her own bias of conflicts of interest where she must be made to realise that she is putting her own credibility at risk where alongside her motley crew of Sri lanka’s tormentors seems to be using what appears to be an abuse of her authority, mandate and overstepping her metes and bounds consistently without an iota of tangible proof beyond speculation, innuendo and the crocodile tears of the so called affected where no tears are shed for the vast majority of Sinhala and other ethnicities that suffered greatly at the hands of what now appears to be her champions also, the Tamil Tigers as she has indicated through her actions, words and body language.
That she should not only be confronted to provide the evidence necessary to prove beyond reasonable doubt her acccusations and recommendations but should also hang her head in shame as in Sri lanka today there is contentment, progress and absolute recourse to all displaced persons on the singlemost effort of the President recognized by many despite the blinkered vision of Pillai et al that is, is putting it mildly!
What Sri Lanka has accomplished and continues to build on is no mean task albeit the hampering of the likes of Pillai who should in all probabilities be booted from her UN high horse alongside her namby pamy boss Ban Ki Moon. Quite astoundingly they turns a blind eye on a daily basis on the horrors of real human rights violations around the globe with living first hand proof to moot where in the case of Sri Lanka they have no real claim to their persistent demands and a consternation to the smooth functioning and well being of Sri Lanka!
There are many who wonder if she is now on the payroll of the Global Tamil Diaspora all dressed up with the codswallp of falsified evidence which she calls” new evidence” with nowhere to go as it appears.
When she dares to say say that “so far there has not been a credible and independent domestic investigation into alleged human rights abuses during the war.” she seems to be deluded and oblivious towards what Sri Lanka is today and what has brought about the remarkable changes there for all her citizens despite her gung ho attitude towards dragging down Sri Lanka in the eyes of the world to what many believe is an end to justify the means.
Sri Lanka would never have launched a push towards posperity and posterity had it not been for the unprecedented thrust by the Armed Forces led by their CEO to eliminate the scourge of terrorism that lasted almost three decades where she seems to have failed to get an honest opinion from the Tamils who praise the Government today for liberating them from the villainous Prabhakaran and how they were protected by then Armed Forces ~ evidence of which remain as writing on a wall to those who are unafraid to attest to,
While she continues her tirade against the Government solely to appease her consorts who have been humiliated by the very legitimate actions of a Sovereign Democratic Nation towards preserving all the tenets that constitute the freedoms of all Sri Lankans and not bowing to terrorists who almost destroyed the Nation, the marvel of it all is how she continues to be tolerated mostly by equally blinkered powerful Western sources who attempt to make an issue of her calls to censure Sri Lanka this despite her track record of failed ventures of similar premise which ultimately turned sour on her exposing her trasparencies and affinity for bias, which she does not seem to bat an eyelid about.
When Pillay raised concerns over “the harassment of human rights defenders in Sri Lanka, including the recent arrest and subsequent release of two human rights activists, even as the UN Human Rights Council was meeting in Geneva” once again she has no real evidence to carry the burden of proof towards her accusations as some of the refered to indicted as opposed to harassment were indulging in actions against the State while dabbling with matters related to the internal affairs of Sri Lanka with no mandate whatsoever and probably deserved to be brought to task and held accountable in keeping with the laws of the land which were quite blatantly disrespected and violated in some cases.
Words it is said can be cheap and meaningless, tantamount to mere rhetoric of self opinionated jargon as illustrated by her words”We regret to report that there has been little progress in other critical areas identified by the Council in resolution 22/1 and by the LLRC, notably the need to ensure independent and credible investigations into past violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” in her bold utterance sans first hand evidence that is! which shows no cognizance on her part towards what Sri Lanka is today, what transpired during the internal armed insurgency of the Tamil Tigers and merely natters on in gay abandon in a clarion call which truly sounds like a response to the laments of her disillussioned and disgruntled Diaspora accomplices which the world is now becoming quite familiar with and sheds veritability towards the adage of a canine barking at the moon which is unlikely to fall!
It seems fair to conclude therefore thatThe Persistence Of A Deluded UN Rep Laced Visibly In Her Conflict Of Interests Hell Bent On Pursuing Sri Lanka Impedes the Progress vitally needed by Sri Lanka!
Peace without lies
In 1818 to quell the rebellion against colonial British, Indian sepoys were ordered from India. They arrived in Sri Lanka to serve their white masters.
We can but feel pity for India.
Mahinda Gunasekera Toronto, Canada
The Members of the UNHRC – 2014
Dear Heads of Missions to the UNHRC,
Re: US/UK sponsored resolution HRC#25 of March 24, 2014 relating to Sri Lanka
It is indeed regrettable that the USA and UK thought it fit to bring up a resolution for the third successive year relating to Sri Lanka’s ongoing healing and reconciliation following a three decade long conflict with the internationally designated terrorist movement called the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), aka Tamil Tigers, which was decisively ended with the defeat of the LTTE in May 2009, especially when much has been achieved in the vital areas of resettlement of displaced civilians, rehabilitation of former Tamil Tiger combatants and wide ranging improvements to infrastructure has been carried out in the conflict affected areas. The resolution acknowledges Sri Lanka’s achievements in many areas which by far exceeds the attainments of other countries in similar post-conflict situations. Most of the clauses of the resolution are redundant because Sri Lanka is already taking steps in accordance with a domestic process following the extensive hearings conducted by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission and publication of its report in July 2012, to fully implement the Commission’s recommendations numbering 285 through a National Plan of Action with timelines and named agencies entrusted with the process of accomplishing the set goals. Instead of an externally imposed process, Sri Lanka has adopted her own home grown system based on restorative justice as opposed to retributive justice to achieve healing, national reconciliation, ensure accountability and justice in accordance with the laws of the land which recognizes international human rights laws to which Sri Lanka is a signatory.
With regard to matters covered by clause 22, Sri Lanka is currently in consultation with the South African authorities to study their Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other such judicial processes to determine their applicability to the Sri Lankan situation and adopt what may be suitable for Sri Lanka. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) held public sessions from 1996 to 1998, and concluded its work in 2004 taking a total of 8 years. According to Alex Boraine, South Africa’s TRC was designed to be independent””from the presidency, the government and the African National Congress, which had become the ruling party. It was an investigative body, with powers of search and seizure, but it did not conduct trials and it did not supplant the criminal justice process. The work of the Commission was subject to judicial review and many of its actions and decisions were challenged in the courts. The Commission failed to achieve much in the area of reparations for victims, but its final report articulated the responsibility of both the state and the private sector to work toward economic justice. As Machel notes, “South African society is violent, intolerant, accusatory and angry because it has failed to address the emotional mutilation wrought by apartheid.” Gracha Machel pointed out that South Africa had still not healed after the end of aparthied and participation in the TRC. Today, whites control 4/5ths of the farms and 95 % of industry. A defacto segregation lingers as most of the poor blacks find themselves confined to slums.
Clause 23- the responsibility of States to comply with their relevant obligations to prosecute those responsible for gross violations of human rights and serious violations of international humanitarian law constituting crimes under international law, with a view to end impunity. This is nothing new, and all states subscribe to these principles, and Sri Lanka is no exception.
Clause 25 deals with a special role for the High Commissioner based on her oral and written reports on Sri Lanka’s progress, including her undertaking a comprehensive independent investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka, during the period covered by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, and establish the facts and circumstances of such alleged violations and of the crimes perpetrated with a view to avoiding impunity and ensuring accountability, The High Commissioner who was invited to visit Sri Lanka delayed to come by nearly two years and after a brief stay reaches various arbitrary conclusions based on her casual meetings with a few agitators and partisan groups that were supportive of the separatist movement spearheaded by the Tamil Tigers who engaged in all forms of violence including suicide terrorism without conclusive proof, citing a few incidents of intolerant behaviour that was being duly dealt with by the authorities, which she blows completely out of proportion painting a picture of widespread dissension, repression, and division within the society. She being a member of the Indian Tamil community having linguistic, cultural and emotional links to one party of the conflict, i.e. the Tamil Tiger separatist terrorists who were supported by members of her own Tamil community in South Africa with funds and even volunteers undergoing military camps which were dismantled by President Nelson Mandela at the request of Sri Lanka’s Foreign Minister, the late Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar. The High Commissioner found fault with Sri Lanka even one week after the defeat of the Tamil Tigers on May 26, 2009, without any evidence based on propaganda carried out by the defeated LTTE terrorists which she apparently accepted without proper scrutiny. Considering her links to one of the parties to the conflict in Sri Lanka, it was incumbent on her to recuse herself from conducting investigations and making scathing reports against Sri Lanka. Most Sri Lankans do not have confidence in the High Commissioner as she has demonstrated that she is not able to make inquiries and reach impartial decisions, and her continued role in dealing with Sri Lanka would even affect the credibility of her office and the Human Rights Council.
Sri Lanka is an independent sovereign country which has been a member of the united nations since 1955 where she has made valuable contributions in the areas covering disarmament, law of the sea, international terrorism, peacekeeping, sustainable development through UNCTAD , and much more. She has at all times briefed the UNHRC members of the issues affecting human rights and international humanitarian laws and corrective steps undertaken by her in terms of the established mechanism referred to as the Universal Periodic Mechanism, ruling out any justification for a country specific resolution. Sri Lanka has the capacity to look into her internal matters in keeping with a domestic process designed by independent local experts drawn from all of her constituent communities. Any externally imposed inquiry will only hinder the ongoing healing and reconciliation taking place within the country. Such an inquiry would only give an impetus to members of the Tamil diaspora mainly domiciled in western countries that funded terrorism in Sri Lanka, who are still engaged in distorting the ground situation with the aim of demonizing Sri Lanka to use their enormous funds accumulated through extortion, drug running, human smuggling, credit card fraud, etc. to stir up hostilities leading to communal violence in pursuit of their goal of a separate mono-ethnic Tamil state in Sri Lanka.
The US delegation left the UNHRC chamber when a motion was tabled by a member relating to the USA’s use of unmanned armed drones which enter the sovereign air space of other nations to attack and kill those deemed terrorists hostile to the USA, which has resulted in the deaths of innocent civilians numbering thousands who are dismissed as collateral damage. Illegal invasion of Iraq by the USA, UK and other allies resulting in the deaths of over a million persons and the displacement of millions of civilians, destruction of civilian infrastructure of an inestimable amount which resulted in fractious violence within the country has not been taken up by the High Commissioner up to now. A documentary produced by Maggie O’Kane of the Guardian newspaper claimed that the US authorities had established a death squad of Shia militias numbering 10,000 to attack Sunnis who were retaliating against American aggression, but no questions have been raised by the UN or UNHRC about these war crimes and serious violations of international humanitarian laws. The UK which is a co-sponsor of the resolution on Sri Lanka which pretends to be a champion of human rights has a terrible track record as a colonial power in Sri Lanka and elsewhere, and the recent ouster of the Chaggosians from their native islands in order to establish a military base in Diego Garcia along with the USA.
If the UNHRC is to be relevant and respected by the global community it should not be selective in dealing with violations, and should ensure that all member countries are treated uniformly. The members of the UNHRC assembled in Geneva should act in keeping with established procedures and reject draft resolution HRC#25 which is intrusive, country specific against Sri Lanka which creates a bad precedent of empowering the High Commissioner to carry out independent investigations of a member country thereby contravening UNGA resolution 60/251 which established the Human Rights Council.
Dated: March 25, 2014
By Shelton Gunaratne
The Minnesota Buddhist Vihara (MNBV) will celebrate its 10th anniversary on Sunday (March 30, 2014).
A guest monk, the Venerable Pallebage Chandrasiri Nayaka Thera, chief monk of Oregon Buddhist Vihara, will conduct the Atawisi Buddha Puja and anusasana.
The Venerable Witiyala Seewalie Nayaka Thera, the founder-president of the vihara, said that he came to the United States in 2003 and founded the MNBV the very next year with the assistance of the Vietnamese temple in Blaine, a suburb of the Twin Cities.
Currently, the vihara is located in North Minneapolis.
The Malwatte Chapter of the Siam Sect appointed Venerable Seewalie as the deputy Sangha Nayaka for North America in June 2011.
Bhikku Bisho Kirthi Maharjan, a monk of Nepali origin, serves as the assistant abbot of MNBV. He is also the principal of the vihara’s Dhamma School.
Bhikkuni Satima, a former Montessori teacher from Sri Lanka, serves the vihara’s Children’s Dhamma Program, Buddhist & Pali College of USA and the Meditation Program.
Venerable Seewalie said a two-hour ceremony (from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Central time) has been organized to celebrate the 10th anniversary at the temple premises. It begins with Atawisi Buddha Puja followed by pirith chanting and meditation practice. The program includes the expression of appreciations and will end with refreshments.
Courtesy The Daily Mirror
The Supreme Court yesterday issued an Interim Order suspending the operation of the Administrative Standing Instructions of the Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran.
- Except in instances relating to matters explicitly indicated in the Constitution all reporting and submissions to the Governor and to any others outside the Provincial Council shall be done only with knowledge of the Minister in charge. The Chief Secretary, Secretaries and Heads of departments will be held responsible for any breach of communication channel at their respective levels.
- Senior officers shall travel out of Province only with the prior approval namely Chief Secretary approved by the Chief Minister.
- All Staff officers who are required to attend programs outside the working stations shall work on a monthly advance program with prior approval namely Chief Secretary approved by Chief Minister.
- All appointments including contract appointments and re-employment of all category and inducting of any officer of the All Island Services in to the Provincial Administration should be done with the prior approval of the Board of Ministers.
- All annual transfers and other transfers in-between shall have an ultimate object of strictly enforcing the transfer policies at least until the end of next two years.
- Any transfer into the Provincial council and out of Provincial council should have the prior approval of the Board of Ministers.
- No officer without permission from the Chief Minister shall have any media conference on their own. All enquiries by the media should be directed to the Media Unit. No information pertaining to the activities of the Provincial Council should be released without the concurrence of the Ministers concerned.
H. L. D. Mahindapala
The names of the 205 Catholic priests listed in the anti-Sri Lankan letter sent to UNHRC reveals the low depths to which the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka has fallen. It reveals that the Catholic Church is divided on ethnic lines into two irreconcilable camps. It confirms that the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church does not sing from the same page of the Bible as the Catholics in the rest of the nation. Like Rev. Fr. S. J. Emmanuel they say alleluia to Tamil racist politics than to the universal brotherhood of non-Tamil Catholics in the Roman Catholic Church. This is not unusual in Tamil Catholicism. It is in keeping with the racist politics of Fr. Emmanuel who once declared: “I am a Tamil first and a Christian second.” It is even reported that he compared Prabhakaran to Jesus.
Not surprisingly the list of 205 names attested to the anti-Sri Lankan letter sent to UNHRC starts with Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, Catholic Bishop of Mannar, No.1 in the list, and runs down to Rev. Fr. S. Philip Ranjanakumar, OMI, Vavuniya No.205. The manipulative hand of Bishop Rayappu, perhaps with some nudging from Fr. Emmanuel from abroad, is quite evident in this political move. The deliberate attempt to enlist only the names of the Tamil priests in the North and the East, leaving the Sinhala Catholic priests out, seems to be a direct challenge by the racist Tamil-wing of the Church to the spiritual and temporal power of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the highest authority in the Catholic hierarchy in Sri Lanka.
But Bishop Rayappu is out to impress that the Tamil priests are behind him and not under the Cardinal appointed by the Pope. In other words, he is brazenly playing the same political role of Prabhakaran who claimed to be “the sole representative of the Tamils”. Bishop Rayappu is also proclaiming that the Catholic Church is now divided into two separate dioceses, one under his command with the Cardinal Ranjith having whatever is left in the south.
True, Bishop Rayappu has managed to get a couple of Silvas and Fernandos into his list. Other than that the rest in the list are all “Suntharams” and “Sundaris”. This un-Christian division of the universal Catholic Church into ethnic camps questions whether Rome has any prospect of reconciling the divided Catholic Church in Sri Lanka. Rome is aware of this cleavage but has been turning a blind eye for a longtime. It pretends that it does not exist because it fears that any open attempt to bring both parties together would open the festering wounds in the Church. But the problem cannot be wished away. It is the racist undercurrents of the Tamil-wing that is threatening the unitary state of the Church in Sri Lanka. If the Tamil-wing of the Church is bent on dragging the Tamil priests into the anti-Sinhala camp headed by Bishop Rayappu,, as seen in the recent attempt to enlist Tamil priests for Tamil extremism, what is the future of Catholic Church in Sri Lanka? Isn’t the Church putting up a show of sham unity when the Church is split right down the middle: one played with impunity by Bishop Rayappu and the other more benignly by Cardinal Ranjith.
Ethnic division in the Churches has been a perennial malaise in the post-Chelvanayakam era. Ever since the separatist movement was launched by S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, a member of the Anglican Church in Colombo who switched over to the South Indian Church following his racist politics, the Catholic Church has been fighting a covert battle to maintain the unity of the Church threatened by divisive ethnic politics. The overt acts of Bishop Rayappu reveal that the Church is merely putting up a show of unity to the congregation and the world at large. However, behind closed doors the Church acts very much like the houses of Montagues and Capulets (Romeo and Juliet) than a shared and sacred refuge for all Catholics. The Church seems to have fallen from the high wall like Humpty Dumpty and it is clear that not all the Pope’s men will be able to put it together again as long as racism rules the Tamil-wing of the Church.
The execrable ethnic extremism of Bishop Rayappu belongs to the Tamil Tigers and TNA and not to the Catholic Church. Some Catholics are quite certain that the day he goes knocking on the Pearly Gate St. Peter will send him directly to the nether world where Prabhakaran and Bishop Rayappu will be comfortable in each other’s racist company. He certainly has no place among the saintly angels in heavens above who accept humanity, without distinctions, as the children of God.
Of course, this means that Rome can never promote him to be the leader of the Catholic Church in Sri Lanka because he is totally incapable of bringing the divided Church together. He has done enough damage to the Church as it is. The Church needs a healer and not a separatist. His putative campaign asking for justice for the Tamils (why only the Tamils when all other communities too suffered?) is a mere cloak to hide his political objective of seeking revenge. His ceaseless campaigns to vilify Sri Lanka indicate that he has gone berserk with his vindictive Tamil politics. His idea of reconciliation is retaliation. This is also the cancer eating into all Tamil separatists in the diaspora who are dreaming of the day when Prabhakaran would do a Lazarus and return to lead the Tamils once again into suicidal Nandikadal.
Judging by the quantum of his anti-Sri Lankan activities he can’t be having much time for either man or God. In contrast the Cardinal and his Bishop in Jaffna, Bishop Savundranayagam, has taken a more responsible attitude towards reconciliation. It is significant that Bishop Savundranayagam’s signature is not in Bishop Rayappu’s list. That seems to be the only silver lining in the racist clouds darkening the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church.
This racist role of the Catholic Church has been underplayed and under-reported by the political analysts some of whom are committed Catholics. Earlier, when the English-educated Vellahlas were ruling the roost in the North the Catholic Church went along with the casteist elite. To accommodate the Vellahla patrons of the Church the hierarchy even established separate pews for the higher caste. The Vellahlas always were allotted the front pews and the low-castes were thrown into the obscure rear.
In other words, the Catholic church was casteist before it became racist. They sided with the ruling Vellahla elite and legitimized their casteist hierarchy that oppressed and suppressed the fundamental rights of the helpless low-castes, some of whom were not allowed to walk in daylight in case they polluted the sight of Vellahlas. The casteist culture introduced by Arumuka Navalar reigned supreme in the North. Unlike the Anglican Church which did put up some resistance against the caste-ridden Vellahlas the Catholic Church, by and large, compromised with the fascist political culture of Vellahlas.
Though casteism was an integral part of Hinduism the Catholic Church took over casteism as a part of their Christian culture. One of the most outstanding features of the northern political culture has been the role played by the English-educated, Vellahla Catholics with the official blessings of the Church leaders. The Church had no hesitation is going along with the ruling elite of the day. In the days when the Vellahlas ruled Jaffna with an iron-fist the Catholic collaborated with the Vellahlas elite. When Velupillai Prabhakaran took command of Jaffna and the North the Church readily collaborated with Tamil Tiger fascism. Bishop Rayappu is an unrepentant remnant of the fascist regime of Prabhakaran.
Another feature of the northern political culture is the pre-eminent role played by the Church in driving Jaffna towards racism. Though Jaffna is predominantly Hindu it is the Catholic Church that had taken the lead in Tamil politics. In the south the Buddhist monks play a lead role in shaping its political culture. In the north the Hindu priests are missing outside their temple premises. Their role has been primarily to service the Hindu community with their socio-religious needs. They confine themselves to performing the rituals which brings them an income. They do not come out to give any political leadership. Not since Arumuka Navalar (1822 ” 1879) led the revolt against Christianity and its intrusive social activities to infiltrate Jaffna culture, including education, has Jaffna produced a single eminent Hindu priest to lead Tamil politics. Swami Vipulananda too played the role of a reformist but his role was more in the sphere of culture.
It is the Catholic priests who filled the gap. The Catholic Church was successful in penetrating Jaffna society to a larger extent than in the south. They achieved this success by aligning themselves with the Tamil language and mono ethnic Tamil extremism. First they were led by Tamil scholars like Fr. Xavier Thaninayagam who was also linked to the Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (ITAK) through the language issue. I remember seeing him at Galle Face Green, lending his support with his presence, when the ITAK staged their first anti-Sinhala Only Bill demonstration in 1956. As a reputed Tamil scholar he must have been moved by the perceived threat to the Tamil language arising from the introduction of the Sinhala Only Bill. But later, in the post-Vadukoddai period (starting from May 14, 1976) when Tamil politics was militarized and when Chelvanayakam’s forehead was marked with a red pottu drawn from the blood of a Tamil militant, the Church as a whole aligned itself with Prabhakaran and his brutal politics.
The Church should take its share of responsibility for prolonging the 33-year-old north-south conflict by aiding and abetting Prabhakaranist violence. They were not helpless bystanders. They were active participants who wielded considerable influence over the LTTE. In the main the Church was the conduit thorough which the Tamil Tiger excesses were either white-washed or justified internationally by the Church. They had no qualms of being a part of the movement, either covertly or overtly. Bishop Rayappu continues to this day the work left undone by Prabhakaran. At the height of the conflict he ran away with the statue of Holy Mary. Now he drafts anti-Sri Lankan resolutions to help the American Ambassadress to pursue her anti-Sri Lankan politics. But the reality is that neither of these acts has produced any beneficial results to him, to his political cause or to his God.
So how does Bishop Rayappu justify his Tamil racist extremism to his God? Isn’t he a pathetic symbol of Tamil politics in the post-independent era: a monument of labour that produced in the end a mouse like Prabhakaran? Is he now trying to step into the shoes of Prabhakaran to carry on the futile war through other means? Where is that going to take him? Where will it take the Church? Will it not take the Tamil people once again to Nandikadal through rivers of blood?
And with priests like him does the Church need another Satan to undo the monumental foundations laid by Jesus Christ for peace and reconciliation between man and man and man and God?
USA has great scientists and technicians who have develop technology to reach into the outer space.They sent men to the moon. But the minds of the American Presidents, even Senators and those of the US State Department have not seen a parallel development, remaining at a primitive level following the rule of the jungle – the survival of the fittest.
It has not changed, it is what America is even today. It pounces on the developing nations, like the animals in the jungle hunting the weak and feeble animals of prey, not allowing them to rise above their under development, holding them tied to America’s own set of jungle rules obey us lest we change regimes, or impose sanctions.
In this lawless state USA is the deciding force for those who have not developed proportionately to challenge its might power. How else can one see this Honourable Delegates, the sadistic delirium in seeking satisfaction in claiming others are wrong without looking over its shoulders to see the sufferings it has left behind ?
The ruling class of USA which accepts no challenge, nor reasons has gathered around it a coterie of supporters from the European Union with UK, Canada, France, Germany etc. the “Yes Men”. They have all their skeletons in their cupboards, but pretends to the world they are shining knights of honour.
They are all present in the UNHR Council in Geneva, with a resolution against a small country Sri Lanka- which suffered for thirty years under terrorism, and with a great effort and at a great cost of lives, eliminated terrorism hoping to bring peace, prosperity and happiness to its people after those long years of suffering.
But since that historic elimination of terrorism in Sri Lanka, USA with its coteries have gathered like vultures around a carcass, demanding accountability for violation of human rights and war crimes.
The Prime Minister of UK David Cameron had said speaking in support of the US Resolution against Sri Lanka, that, “…. without a credible investigation in to very serious allegations of the past, it will be very difficult for the Sri Lankan people to move forward in the true spirit of lasting peace, reconciliation and unity and for Sri Lanka to reach its true potential”. It was repeated by Hugo Swire, Minister of State at the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
British Foreign Minister William Hague has in the meantime said , that a Special Court for Sri Lanka on the lines of UN backed Special Court for Sierra Leone should be set up to investigate into atrocities allegedly committed by the Sri Lankan military.
Honourable Delegate, please ask yourself why UK is so keen about an investigation into Sri Lanka’s just war against terrorism, when UK has still not published the Report of the Chilcot Inquiry -the British Public Inquiry into the Nation’s role in the Iraqi war.
In the accusation of Sri Lanka and presenting a resolution against Sri Lanka for its just war to end the thirty year old terrorism, David Cameron, William Hague and Hugo Swire have conveniently ignored their own violation of human rights and war crimes during the Iraqi war.
The war crimes and violation of human rights by the UK armed forces in Iraq have been well documented. Some of these items of violation of human rights are reported as follows:
On Januray ist, 2004 Ghanem Kadhem Kati, an unarmed young man, was shot twice on the back by a British Soldier at the door to his home. Troops had arrived at the scene after hearing shooting, which neighbours said came from a wedding party. Investigators from the Royal Military Police exhumed the teenager’s body six weeks later but have yet to offer compensation or announce any conclusion to the inquiry…………..
Details of beating, electrocution, mock executions, and sexual assault by British troops during the Iraqi war were alleged in a 250 page dossier on January,2014. These alleged abuses could result in some Britain’s leading defence figures facing prosecution for “systematic” war crimes by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in which Britain is the state party. The allegations included range from “hooding” prisoners, to burning, electric shocks, threats to kill and “cultural and religious humiliations”. Other forms of alleged abuses include sexual assault, mock executions, threats of rape, death and torture.
These are real allegations unlike those of doctored videos and faked films of the UK Channel 4 which the UN Commissioner for HR Navi Pillai has taken as evidence to demand an International Independent Investigation into Sri Lanka’s military operations against the terrorists. The UK Channel 4 is heavily paid to make this horror films by the anti Sri Lanka Tamil Diaspora, some now manifesting with their red flags of terrorism in the UNHRCouncil premises in Geneva.
They are false and without substantial evidence of any sort. The selection of the UK Channel 4 films as evidence on which UNCHR propose an International Independent Investigation in Sri Lanka shows the partiality of the UNCHR Navi Pillai of Tamil origin, and her determination to punish Sri Lanka for the elimination of her distant cousins the Tamil Terrorists.
In the meantime the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper demands Sri Lanka to respect human rights and rule of law and supports the US resolution against Sri Lanka demanding an International Independent Investigation in to Sri Lanka’s violation of human rights. But Honourable Delegate the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper in doing that he is throwing stones sitting inside a glass house.
Utter discrimination of indigenous Indian/First Nation minority population is taking place under his Conservative regime. His Conservative Party-dominated parliamentary committee has rejected the establishment of a national commission to investigate the blatant discrimination, murders , disappearances and rape of women and young girls who belong to indigenous minority ethnic communities, saying it has no use. Is it no hypocrisy to be more concerned with the Tamils of Sri Lanka to the exclusion of the aborigine Canadian Indians ?
Now with regard to USA the Prime Mover of the Resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC Geneva, the Honourbale Delegate knows very well the record of USA with regard to violation of Human rights and war crimes. It is not necessary to give in detail the torture camps of Abu Ghraib in Iraq, Guantanamo Camps in Guantanamo Bay, My Lai Massacre in Vietnam, Hadith Massacre in Iraq, where there are crying evidence of American violation of human rights and war crimes.
There is the recent case of which the Honourable Delegates may have taken note. It is the draft of Pakistan Resolution which proposes that nations “ensure transparency” when discussing drone strikes, and conduct prompt, independent and impartial investigations whenever there are indications of any violations to human rights caused by their use.”
“But the Obama administration has largely refused to supply UN experts with details about the classified US drone program, which has killed hundreds of suspected militants in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and other countries over the past decade. Independent investigators say the strikes have also killed thousands of civilians, including large numbers of women and children, a charge the White House denies without providing evidence to the contrary.
Andrea Prasow, an American lawyer who tracks national security issues for Human Rights Watch, said the United States was passing up a golden opportunity to influence the UN debate on drones.
“This resolution would be the first time the council is going to do anything about drones and the US is not participating in any of the informal discussions about language”, she said. “They are telling us they are reserving judgment on the resolution, which means they won’t be happy with it. They are concerned that the council doesn’t have jurisdiction over this issue. I think it’s ludicrous to say the Human Rights Council doesn’t have anything to say about drone strikes.”
The declassified papers on Vietnam war US Atrocities went far beyond My Lai : Nick Turse and Deborrah Nelson reported to the Times on August,2006. The men of the 8 Company were in a dangerous state of mind having lost five of their men in a fire fight the previous day. The following day there were orders to resume their sweep of the country side, a green patchwork of rice paddies along Vietnam’s central coast. They met no resistance as they entered a nondescript settlement in Quang Nam province. So Jamie Henry, a 20 year old medic, set his rifle down in a hut, unfastened his bandoliers and lighted a cigarette. Just then, the voice of a lieutenant crackled across the radio. He reported that he had rounded up 19 civilians, and wanted to know what to do with them. Henry later recalled the company commander’s response: Kill any thing that moves. Henry stepped outside the hut and saw a small crowd of women and children. Then the shooting began. Moments later , the 19 villagers lay dead or dying.
These are some of the atrocities the prime movers of the resolution against Sri Lanka is trying to hide calling for an International Independent Investigation into the violation of human rights and war crimes committed by the Sri Lanka Armed Forces in the course of the elimination of the terrorists. But no one challenges them because the future of the Sovereignty of small independent nations depend on being on their side, without pointing fingers at them.
The President and the government of Sri Lanka have after the elimination of terrorism developed the country to a great extent. There are no poor people in rags living in shanties and dilapidated houses. The communities in Sri Lanka are living in harmony. Sri Lanka has risen from its development stage to become a middle income country.
But these are the Tamil sympathisers of the former terrorists living in USA, UK, Canada, Netherlands, Australia etc. and Tamil Politicians the former supporters of the terrorists who have come to UNHRC premises in Geneva, to manifest against Sri Lanka trying to hide the real ground situation in Sri Lanka, supporting the USA resolution to pressure the Honourable Delegates to vote for the US resolution hoping thereby to force the International Community to change the regime in Sri Lanka, and divide the country to set up a Tamil State.
Honourable Delegate Sri Lanka really needs no such resolution, and there is no need for an International Investigation.
UNHRC is really wasting its time passing resolutions against Sri Lanka, which needs no immediate change as the country is in peace and fast development, and the Communities are living in harmony.
While UNHRC is passing resolutions against Sri Lanka, in Nigeria, Somalia, Central Africa, Syria, and in Lebanon, men, and women are being killed or massacred, young women and children kidnapped raped and killed, others live in utter poverty in shanties, or in refugee camps, without , food, water, proper sanitary conditions, or schooling for children.
Those are the places that need the presence of the UN Commissioner for Human Rights, where USA and its allies should rally round not to wage wars but to bring the people together and settle political issues in peaceful dialogue.
In Sri Lanka they are raking the past where Sri Lanka was engaged in a just war to eliminate terrorism to bring peace to the people who for thirty years lived uncertain lives, waiting for their children to return home safely , or worry until husbands return home, living in panic on hearing news of a bomb that exploded, when the husbands and wives avoided travelling together lest that one would live if the other were to die in a bomb explosion.
If they want to rake the past they should go to Agentina where the people are still looking for lost persons.
The Sri Lanka Armed Forces did not fight against the Tamil people but against the ruthless terrorists. USA and its allies want to know how many civilians had been killed by the armed forces at the last phase of the military operations against terrorists, some say there were 40,000 deaths others say, 100,000, yet others say 7000. How can one really say what exactly happened at the end of a war, and how many people were killed ?
Does numbers count? If there had been any deaths at all, at least they had given their lives to allow millions to live in peace.
Seven years after USA imposed sanctions on Iraq 1.5 million people had died. Of them half a million were children, that is more children than in Hiroshima after the Atomic bomb. When Leslie Stahl ( CBC -11 May,1996) asked Madeleine Albright (USSecretary of State) Is the price worth it ? She replied ” I think this is a very hard choice. But the price, we think the price is worth it.” Leslie Stahl says, ” Worth it, because she (Ms.Albright) believes the sanctions are working.” ((http://www.addictedtowar.com/docs/sanctions.htm)
Honourable Delegate, please see the hypocrisy of the US Resolution against Sri Lanka. It is a cover up for its own violation of human rights, and war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Libya etc.
Therefore, if you hesitate because your country needs USA and its allies for political and economic advantages, or because of bilateral agreements, you have still the independence and freedom to act in defence of your principles and convictions. Today USA and the West are not the only Nations the developing countries could turn to for their needs , but there are others such as China, and Russia.
Honourable Delegate, it is fair and just that you reject the US Resolution against Sri Lanka and allow this country to look forward to a peaceful future during which it could develop the country and build a Nation of united Communities.
Please say no to the US Resolution against Sri Lanka
by Senaka Weeraratna Attorney – at – Law
The term ‘Bias’ is defined as an inclination of temperament or outlook to present or hold a partial perspective and a refusal to even consider the possible merits of alternative points of view. An individual may be biased towards or against another individual, a race, a religion, a social class, or a political party. Being Biased connotes being one-sided, lacking a neutral viewpoint, and not having an open mind. Bias arises in many forms and shapes and is generally treated as synonymous with prejudice or bigotry.
Bias and Conflict of Interest
The current High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) Ms. Navi Pillai has been accused of racial bias and conflict of interest in respect to her handling of the allegations on human rights violations relating to Sri Lanka.
Ms Navi Pillay is a South African of Indian Tamil origin. Race is a critical issue in this conflict which has been painted as an ethnic conflict between the Sinhalese and Tamils. An UNHRC sponsored investigation into alleged serious violations and abuses of human rights and related crimes by both parties in Sri Lanka would require such an investigation, in the interest of fair play and justice, to be conducted by a third party unrelated to either of the two parties in conflict. The neutrality of the party conducting the investigation is sine quo non (an indispensable or essential condition) in such a process.
The question has been raised whether Ms. Navi Pillai having emotional, genetic and ethnic ties being an ethnic Tamil with roots in Tamil Nadu, India (her Tamil grandparents had migrated as part of indentured labour from Tamilnadu to South Africa sponsored by the then British colonial Government in the early part of the 20th century) can function evenhandedly, and in an unprejudiced and unbiased manner and be emotionally detached and act impartially in an investigation where her race and the manner in which the Human Rights of members of her race are alleged to have been violated are the primary issues in the probe.
Ms. Navi Pillai’s recent pronouncements and her own conduct vis a vis Sri Lanka while being at UNHRC and on her visit to Sri Lanka in 2013 provide much cause for worry not only to people of Sri Lanka but to all right thinking people in any part of the globe who have an interest in the moral credibility of the UNHRC and the integrity and uprightness of its High Commissioner.
The Influence of the Inquisition on the UNHRC
“Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done”. is no doubt a hackneyed phrase but it is still relevant particularly in the context of an investigation on human rights abuses in Sri Lanka. If it is going to be conducted on the lines of an Inquisition as has happened in Europe over a period of 600 years where a mere accusation was sufficient to establish guilt with the High Commissioner playing the role of a Grand Inquisitor, it will certainly revive memories of some of the most evil people in history such as Tom¡s de Torquemada, a 15th-century Spanish Dominican friar and the first Grand Inquisitor in Spain’s campaign to achieve religious orthodoxy and rid the country of heresy. Torquemada sent thousands of innocent people to their deaths by conducting fake trials. He died in 1498.
His tomb was ransacked in 1832””two years before the Spanish Inquisition was disbanded. His bones were stolen and ritually incinerated as though an auto ” da ” fe (an execution by burning at the stake) took place. Such was the revulsion of the people of Spain towards the Inquisition which was a huge crime against humanity committed by both the Church and State acting together.
The Inquisition spread Terror throughout Christian Europe. Its victims were mostly Jews, Muslims and those who had the moral courage to challenge the dogma or religious orthodoxy of the Church. They included prominent philosophers and scientists e.g. Giordano Bruno (a martyr of science burnt at the stake) and Galileo Galilei who played a major role in the scientific revolution but was punished nevertheless by the Church for holding the scientific view that earth revolved around the sun rather than vice ” versa. The Inquisition also led to a serious questioning of the role of the Church and State in society. In Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel ‘The Brothers Karamazov’ (1879”1880), the ‘The Grand Inquisitor’ is used as a parable. It is a significant part of the novel and one of the most cherished passages in Western classical literature because of its ideas about human nature and freedom, and its fundamental ambiguity.
Judicial disqualification, also referred to as recusal, refers to the act of abstaining from participation in an official action such as a legal proceeding or an investigation due to a conflict of interest of the Judge or investigating officer. The underlying rationale of recusal is that the judge or investigating officer must be free from disabling conflicts of interest as it makes the fairness of the proceedings or investigation less likely to be questioned.
Even a first year law student knows that if a Judge or Commissioner realizes that he or she cannot look at a case or matter at hand dispassionately the correct thing to do in such an event is to withdraw and arrange for a totally neutral person to take over. Judges, investigators or anyone else acting in a quasi ” judicial capacity are expected to recuse themselves from cases where bias or personal conflict of interest may arise.
Using the analogy in International cricket we know that a Test cricket match between two countries is always refereed by Umpires selected from a Third country. This is not to say that well trained International umpires are not neutral. All umpires are expected to be neutral. But the appearance of ‘ free of bias’ is as important as being free of bias.
High Commissioner Navi Pillai fails this very important test of natural justice in her role as an UNHRC Official investigating Human Rights abuses in Sri Lanka.
Moral Obligation of the High Commissioner
Ms. Navi Pillai is morally obliged to withdraw from any dealings with and in relation to Sri Lanka. Her failure to perform this ethical and professional obligation as a legally trained person who has once acted as a Judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) is tantamount to serious misconduct or impropriety and contempt for justice. A conflict of interest exists even if no unethical improper act results. A conflict of interest in the person handling an inquiry (a quasi- judicial role) can create an appearance of impropriety that can undermine public confidence in the objectivity or neutrality of the investigation or inquiry.
It appears that Ms. Pillai is unsuited to function in any role where Sri Lanka is concerned or for that matter any issue relating to India given the strident nature of Tamil Nadu calls for separatism and establishment of a greater sovereign Tamil nation through a balkanization of India with support from Western countries and with major parts of Sri Lanka annexed to it.
By A. Abdul Aziz.
23 March 2014, marks the 125th anniversary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community ” a global Muslim community that has evolved from very humble beginnings into one of the most dynamic social, humanitarian and spiritual movements in the world today.
The community was established in 1889 in Qadian, a modest Indian village, by the prophet Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad claimed to be the awaited Messiah whose advent was foretold in the Muslim, Christian and Jewish traditions. He set out to revive the central Islamic message of peace and tolerance in order to address the root causes behind war, oppression and inequality.
Commenting upon the purpose of his advent, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad said:
”My desire, my wish and my objective is serving humanity. It is my job, my faith, my inspiration and my way.”
Today the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community remains united under the leadership of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Fifth Successor (Khalifa or Caliph) to the Founder of the Community, who resides in south-west London. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is the only Muslim sect today operating under the Islamic system of Khilafat, which has been in establishment since 1908.
From its humble beginnings, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has grown into the largest organised Muslim community in the world with tens of millions of followers spread across 204 countries.
Under the leadership of Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the Community has established itself as one of today’s leading social and humanitarian movements having established hundreds of schools, hospitals and charitable projects in under-developed parts of the world.
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a peace-loving community that acts entirely in accordance with the true teachings of Islam. It is a community that not only promotes peace but whose every act and activity is conducted in an entirely peaceful manner.”
To mark the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, its World Head, the Fifth Khalifa, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has delivered an historic address to members of the community. This was broadcast on MTA International later 23 March 2014..
For the very first time, His Holiness delivered an entire address in the Arabic language – the language in which the Holy Quran was revealed.
Speaking from his office in London, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad spoke of the truth of the Founder of Islam, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and of his devoted servant, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadian, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi.
Speaking about the blessed status of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Surely, we bear witness that our Master and Guide, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), is the Messenger of Allah and the Seal of the Prophets and we proclaim to the world the perfection of his excellences.”
Commenting upon the purpose of the advent of the Promised Messiah, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“After the era of decline and darkness, we witnessed the revival of Islam, with all the major signs of the prophecy of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) having being fulfilled, on the 23rd of March 1889. It testified to the truthfulness of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) who was the Seal of the Prophets.”
The Khalifa spoke of how the truth of the Promised Messiah’s claim had been supported by countless signs. He gave the example of the lunar and solar eclipses that occurred during the months of Ramadan on certain prescribed dates as prophesied by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“This phenomena [of the lunar and solar eclipse] never occurred as a sign for any other claimant. And so this prophecy testified to the truth of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) and the truth of the One who had been sent as the Promised Messiah and Mahdi.”
Speaking about significance of the date, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“On this day Allah the Almighty honoured Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Aá¸¥mad of Qadian to be the Promised Messiah and the long awaited Mahdi because of the loyalty and love he showed for his Master, the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).”
During his message, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad also quoted extracts from the writings of the Promised Messiah in which he expressed his absolute love for the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his great respect for the Arab people.
Addressing the Arab people, Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, the Promised Messiah and Imam Mahdi said:
‘No nation would be able to obtain your glory and status. Most sufficient is the honour that Allah bestowed on you by commencing His revelation with Adam and completing it with that Prophet, who is from amongst you and from your land, which was his abode, his shelter and his place of birth… It is Muhammad (peace be upon him) the Elected One, the Pride of the Prophets, the Seal of the Messengers and Imam of all Mankind.”
The Promised Messiah further said:
“O, dear Arabs! Allah has favoured you with His extraordinary blessings and special qualities and with His great Mercy. Amongst you is the House of Allah, which has endowed the mother of towns with blessings and amongst you is the tomb of the Blessed Prophet, who spread the unity of Allah to all corners of the world and clearly manifested the Glory of Allah. From amongst you there were people who supported Allah and His Messenger with all of their hearts, all of their souls and all of their minds. They sacrificed their wealth and their lives to propagate the religion of Allah and His most pure Book. You are the ones who have been bestowed these special blessings and certainly one who does not honour you is committing injustice.”
At a time when parts of the Arab world have been torn apart through internal conflicts and warfare, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad asked the Arab members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community to convey to the Arab World the need to stay united and to accept the Promised Messiah.
Addressing the Arab Ahmadi Muslims, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad said:
“Go out and preach with full of wisdom to all Muslims, especially those who speak the language of the final [law-bearing] Prophet, who was the dearest to Allah Almighty… Inform them that their safety and prosperity is determined in their being united and all joined at the hands of the Promised Messiah and by becoming one Community. Be Helpers of the Promised Messiah by conveying his anguish and sorrow for your people by telling them to raise aloft the peaceful and loving banner of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) across the entire world.”
The English Translation of the Arabic address ” the video link of which is:-
Ira de Silva London, Canada
For the second time in succession, India has voted against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC for the resolution brought by USA and its allies against Sri Lanka. Let our President at least now realize that India is not a friend and for that matter Pakistan is a sincere friend. Of course, she has never been a friend who trained LTTE, the most notorious and brutal terrorists outfit in the world LTTE to set against Sri Lanka. We reminisce the true courage President Mahinda Rajapaksa had at the last stages of the war against LTTE terrorist without bowing down America, UK, France and other western allies to stop the war but continued until LTTE was completely annihilated. Of course, our Defence Secretary Gotabaya ‘s unstinted and unvarying support facilitated Presidents task to go ahead with the war. But unfortunately, since of late we see the gigantic courage President had gradually diminishing over the years specially in relation with India. Too much of appeasement on India is very visible. President Rajapaksa has become na¯ve (though still locally popular) and unable to stop Indianising Sri Lanka. Over the years, the GoSL has been tying diplomatically to be a friend but Indian Government has prostituted our friendliness into timidity and acting as an arch enemy and playing a double game. It’s high time Sri Lanka understood that India is not a friend and took constructive steps to show our strength. For the second time, India showed that they have no faith the way Sri Lanka is heading. If so then why the hell are they trying to bring more and more investments to Sri Lanka if the condition is not conducive to good governance. Sri Lanka is already Indianised.
What moral right that India has to blame Sri Lanka for human rights violation when half a billion Indians are deprived of basic human needs like shelter, water and sanitation. It was reported that half a billion people don’t have toilet facilities. (reminds me of the reality film “Slum Dog Millionaire). When few of the richest in India live in luxury, the poorest of the poor live together with cows, water buffaloes, goats pigs and dogs in way side shanties. This is common scene in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar state. I suppose other states are no different other than Haryana State. Should we remind India of the human rights violations in Jammu-Kashmir borders?
It’s time we treated India as a foe and not a friend. We need to take some bold decisions mentioned herein to make India realize that we are no more a scapegoat for their internal Tamil Nadu politics.
- Close the Indian consular office in Jaffna immediately;
- Stop accepting dangling carrots from India for our development. Surely Sri Lanka can survive without their self motivated help;
- Stop any future Indian investments flow into Sri Lanka and ask the current investors like IOC, Palali airport construction etc to pack up and leave the country;
- Boycott all Indian imports including food items and import from other countries even at a price.
- Stop importing Tamil Nadu films;
- Stop visa over the counter to Indians who travel to Sri Lanka (many of them are not genuine tourists but who cross the borders from Tamil Nadu (TN) to seek Kallathoni work( working illegally). Make obtaining visa difficult and hard and follow the Indian immigration agonizing practice in granting Visa to Sri Lankan even to the pilgrims who go on pilgrimage); (adding insult to injury, India has allowed visa over the counter to majority countries excepting a few countries including Sri Lanka since this letter was written)
- Stop import of Maruti cars and instead encourage Japanese small cars by reducing import duty;
- Ask the Centre Government to take action against Tamil Nadu who harass and assault Buddhist pilgrims including Buddhist priests and Catholic pilgrims who visit Chenai;
- Lastly all steps should be taken by the GoSL to stop India taking over our economy gradually.
The above letter which was published in Lankaweb on 23 March 2013 stands currency even today. For the third time, India has proved to us that she is not a friend of Sri Lanka as we think but a born enemy by agreeing to support the US sponsored Resolution against Sri Lanka at the forthcoming UNHRC Sessions. It’s high time the present Government treated her as our number one enemy in the neighbourhood.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Canadian Sri Lankans in Toronto held a large Hands Off Sri Lanka protest rally in front of the USA Consulate on Monday March 24 2014 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm. The rally was organized with the leadership of Sri Lanka United National Association of Canada [SLUNA – Est. 1983]
The rally organizers called on USA and the co-sponsor UK to withdraw the country specific resolution against Sri Lanka, and to refrain from bringing similar unfair resolutions to harass Sri Lanka which is an independent sovereign member country of the UN and UNHRC. Various Sri Lankan Canadian community organizations, 2014 Toronto Mayoral Candidate Dewitt Lee and Canadian Sri Lankans of all ethnic origins braved the cold temperature in unity to make a stand for Sri Lanka during the rush hour in Toronto.
Separately, a petition was signed by a large number of Canadian Sri Lankans which will be forwarded to the USA Consulate this week. Canadian Sri Lankans in Ottawa will also be holding a similar rally outside the USA Embassy on Tuesday March 25 2014 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM Spokesperson, United Sri Lanka Association, Lower Hutt New Zealand.
To:Hon Julie Bishop MP
Foreign Minister of Australia
Australian Parliament ,
Re ; Australian Response To Pressure On International Inquiry On Sri Lanka
Dear Ms. Bishop,
Dr. Chula Rajapakse MNZM
United Sri Lanka Association,
I have submitted the following to The Sydney Morning Herald in response to their editorial today.
To The Editor
The Sydney Morning Herald
It is distressing that the Herald, too, has succumbed to the widespread propaganda of the defeated Tamil Tiger terrorists to draw a smokescreen over the decades-long conflict in Sri Lanka and concentrate on unsubstantiated allegations of war crimes in the closing stages of the war and on-going issues on human rights (Australia abetting Sri Lanka’s stand on human rights inquiry, 25 March).
Ira de Silva London, Canada
New York Times
New York, New York
Re: Dispute on Sri Lanka War Crimes Escalates – March 23 by G. Harris and D.Bastians
There are several statements in this article that indicate to anyone who has a knowledge of Sri Lanka and the ground realities, that the writers are merely using information that is questionable and unsubstantiated, perhaps believing that it becomes “fact” by constant repetition. For example, “about 40,000 people, many of them civilians, are estimated to have been killed in the war’s final stages in 2009″. This number of 40,000 was claimed by Gordon Weiss to promote his book The Cage. When he was in Sri Lanka working for the U.N. during the final stages of the war, the U.N. itself placed the number at around 7,000. There has been no correction of the U.N.’s original number of 7,000 and it is still the official number. Weiss inflated the numbers without any evidence. When he was traveling in Europe the U.S. and Canada, sponsored by supporters of the Tamil Tigers to promote the sale of his book, at public meetings he said that the number was around ten thousand (this was his number in Toronto, Canada, he admitted that it was not 40,000). Have these writers got any factual evidence to continue to promote this lie of 40,000 or is it due to ignorance, bias or just shoddy journalism?
Regarding the two “activists” who were arrested, they were taken in for questioning and produced before a court and released. What is the problem when they are dealt with according to the law? Are “activists”, like some journalists, above the law? Everyone knows that there are many Tamil terrorists at large in Sri Lanka, that various NGO’s supported the Tamil terrorists during and after the war and that the Tamil terrorist organizations overseas are attempting to re-group, recover the weapons they have buried all over the north and with the help of the foreign interests/governments such as Tamil Nadu, are intent on de-stabilising Sri Lanka and dividing the country as was the goal of the Tamil terrorists the LTTE. This includes the U.S. who, as indicated by regular news reports in Sri Lanka, are busy interfering in the internal matters of Sri Lanka against all norms of diplomatic protocol. For example, members of the U.S. embassy had questioned and harassed those who had been expelled from the north by the Tamil terrorists when they returned to their homes in the north. This is the insidious role of the U.S. in attempting to upset the hard won peace and escalate the dispute on war crimes to serve their interests. (See letter below to the U.S. ambassador regarding this harassment.)
As for “fearing that a failure to investigate the past could rekindle a violent insurgency, the United States and other nations have lost patience with the Sri Lankan government and are now pressing for an outside investigation”, it is not fear of a failure to investigate the past that would rekindle a violent insurgency but the blatant interference by the United States and other nations in the west who euphemistically call themselves the “international community”, who incidentally were the same countries that held the view that the LTTE should be given what they want, were opposed to the military campaign against the LTTE and since 2009 have backed the left over LTTE overseas that are doing their utmost to support the forces of separation. It is the same deceit of the U.S. and other western countries who try to tell the world that they, the “international community” knows what is best for other countries while in fact they are interfering everywhere creating chaos, unrest, invading countries based on lies, destroying these countries and then leave having killed hundreds of thousands, displacing millions and destroying the economies of those they have attacked.
Swarna Hansa Foundation
262” Densil Kobbekaduwa Mawatha, Battaramulla,Sri Lanka Tel/Fax: 2869901 E. mail :email@example.com
March, 4, 2014
Her Excellency Ms. Michele J. Sison
Embassy of the United States of America
210, Galle Road,
I write as a citizen of Sri Lanka concerned with the national security, the sovereignty of the State and the liberty, freedom, welfare and the development of the people of Sri Lanka.
“Swarna Hansa Foundation” is functioning as an incorporated body (under the Companies Act) and a non-profit making voluntary organization, dedicated for the enhancement and uplifting the living conditions of the people of Sri Lanka and engaged in activities to achieve and secure the personal and national rights, liberty and freedom since its inception in 1982; whereas I am the founder and the de-facto head of the said foundation.
On 22nd of February, 2014, “The “ISLAND”, a National News Paper registered in Sri Lanka carried a news item under the heading “Now, US probes TNA allegation of GOSL change in demographic pattern in NP”, which referred to, among others, the following acts or conduct of a US diplomat named Michael A. Ervin who was visiting Navatkuli, a village close to Jaffna town in the Northern province of Sri Lanka; i.e.;-
a. Interrogating some of the Sinhala families who had returned to Jaffna peninsula on conclusion of the terrorist activities May 2009.
b. Interrogating them in regard to the circumstances under which they had been displaced, who supported them now and details pertaining to Sinhala population in Jaffna peninsula at the time they fled the area.
It is noted that said officer and several other officers accompanied him from your embassy acted in collusion with the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and its members in engaging in the above mentioned and related other activities during this visit. In that the said diplomat had endeavored to deliberately and unlawfully interfere with and undermine the authority and the rights of the State, having over the territorial jurisdiction of Sri Lanka. Further your diplomats attempted to prevent the Government from resettling the families in their respective native lands, who had been displaced due to terrorist activities, and thereby directly and/or indirectly justify the baseless, malicious, racial and separatist claim of TNA, that the Government of Sri Lanka was attempting to change the demographic pattern in the Northern Province.
I wish to bring to your notice that the said families (that your agents had interrogated) had fled their native places of residence due to death threats inflicted on them by the LTTE. According to the accepted norms and laws these people have every right to return to their places of origin, where they studied and lived for years from the time of their birth. After the restoration of peace in the Northern Province these families exercised their natural and legal rights and started to return to their respective native lands. All these families who were subjected to your interrogations are “Singhalese” and had been living in peace in their respective lands and properties for years before the brutal LTTE terrorists forced those people to leave such native lands. Their limited livelihoods were/are also based on the natural resources and the facilities available in that area/region and therefore, they are unable to survive independently outside their native places.
We understand that after the visit of your diplomat, the said families were placed in unnecessary fear of ejectment and displacement. Such unwise and irresponsible activities would definitely lead to create an artificial disharmony among the people who are presently enjoying freedom after reviving from the memories of brutal terrorism. Seeds of malicious thoughts that diplomats of your embassy are endeavoring to plant in the hearts of our people by engaging in such unbecoming activities, would re-direct the country into another vicious era of terrorism.
Further, by engaging in such unlawful acts your officers/agents have interfered with the property rights of the families returned and struggling to establish their usual livelihoods in their native places in that part of Sri Lanka. Such unlawful interferences are amounting to acts of infringement of the democratic rights and freedoms of the citizens of Sri Lanka as protected by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Constitution of Sri Lanka.
I wish to bring to your notice that being personnel in the diplomatic service, your officers have no right whatsoever to directly interfere with the lives of the people of this country. If you have any legitimate expectation to carry out any investigation affecting the people of the country still you are obliged to first obtain the sanction of the Government of Sri Lanka. It is so surprising and pathetic to note that the officials of the United States diplomatic mission execute their purported professional activities by totally disregarding the basic procedures that should be followed in dealing with the receiving State. In that sense the same act of undue interference (resulted by undue interrogation) is also amounting to violation of Sovereignty Rights of the State of Sri Lanka (receiving state) and the Democratic and Sovereignty rights of the People of Sri Lanka. These unbecoming activities of your diplomats, would lead to destabilize
the even and equal application of the objectives of the United Nations, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, other International Conventions and the Rule of Law.
The claim that such conduct were amounting to acts carried on regular basis and part of the normal diplomatic work, cannot be accepted as the said conduct do not come within the ambit of diplomatic/official functions in terms of the Vienna convention and the contemporary International Law. In the circumstances such activities fall outside the ‘official functions’ of the diplomatic officers of your embassy/mission.
It is obvious that Your officers deliberately misinterpret the provisions of the international conventions for your egoistic advantage and repeatedly engage in similar arbitral and capricious activities on the soils of the receiving state (Sri Lanka) with ulterior motives of creating precedents.
In the circumstances I, as a citizen sharing common interest with the families already returned and will return in the near future to their respective native places in the Northern province of Sri Lanka, hereby demand for an assurance in writing within 10 days of receipt hereof, to the effect;-
a. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service, shall not interfere with the sovereignty of the State of Sri Lanka and its people.
b. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service, shall not interfere with the State Actions executed within the territory of Sri Lanka.
c. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy, mission or other officers engaging in the diplomatic service shall not engage in any activity outside their official functions:
d. That the diplomats and the other officials of your embassy shall restrain from unduly interfering with the rights of the citizens relating to private immoveable property situated in Sri Lanka.
In the event of your failure to comply with this demand, I am compelled to take appropriate action available and provided by the international and the domestic law to obtain such assurance for and on behalf of the Citizens of Sri Lanka.
Head – Swarna Hansa Foundation
An Appeal to all Peace Loving Nations and People to Save Sri Lankan Muslim Community from Islamic ExtremismMarch 25th, 2014
From Peace Loving Moderate Muslims – Sri Lanka.
Secretary General, United Nations.
The Commissioner, UNHRC.
Secretary to the President of Sri Lanka.
Secretary, Ministry of Defense and Urban Development, Sri Lanka.
Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sri Lanka.
Secretary, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Sri Lanka.
Hon. Cabinet Ministers of Sri Lanka.
Ambassadors and High Commissioners in Sri Lanka.
Media Institutions of Sri Lanka.
Dear Sirs / Madams,
An Appeal to all Peace Loving Nations and People
to Save Sri Lankan Muslim Community from Islamic Extremism
We wish to draw your urgent attention to the extremist Islamic religious movement by the name of Thawheed Jamaat that is spreading its tentacles throughout Sri Lanka rapidly. This movement has fast become a cancer within the Muslim community in Sri Lanka, preaching and practicing religious intolerance, exerting pressure on other Islamic movements, making it compulsory to attend mosques, making it compulsory to learn the Arabic Language, making the implementation of Sharia law above the civil laws of Sri Lanka, forcing females to wear the burka, and the construction of many mosques and madrassas in many parts of the country are some of these activities. This movement which started in the Eastern Province has now spread to many different parts of Sri Lanka.
Wahabbism and the Thawheed Jamaat
The Thawheed Jamaat movement is based in the Wahabbi Sect of Islam. Wahabbism is the Islamic sect that was based on the preachings of Mohammed Bin Abdul Wahaab. He was born in 1703 in the Central Arabian city of Uyaina and was able to come in to a pact with the Al-Saud clan which ruled the area. He rose to prominence with the conquests made by the Al-Saud clan which came to control the Holy shrines of Mecca and Medina and later founded Saudi Arabia. The pact still persists and the ruling family of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is behind the financing of the Wahabbi movements and is assisting the spread of this sect to other countries. Abdul Wahaabs teachings are contained in a book named the Book of Tawheed and is full of intolerant statements. This is one such statement. ”We must find out what true Islam is, it is above all a rejection of all gods except God, a refusal to allow others to share in that worship due to God alone.” Wahabbis do not tolerate fellow Sunnis and Shias, and preach the slaughtering of them. During the First World War, the Al-Saud clan helped the British to fight the Turks and were in turn helped by the British to establish themselves within a vast territory and establish Saudi Arabia. In this programme to expand and establish their kingdom, the Al-Saud clan was helped by the Wahabbi Ulemas who sanctioned and authorized all their schemes.
The second phase of the Wahabbi expansionism was the result of the Seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca in 1979, on the first day of the Islamic epoch. This shaked the Al-Saud clan to the core as it was led by a former officer of their Republican Guard, who was a fellow Wahabbi and who openly preached that the ruling family has deviated from true Islam, that is from Wahabism. The Ulemas of the Wahabbi sect stood behind the ruling family and were in turn rewarded by the help provided to expand the Wahabbi sect throughout the world. The Saudis had enormous wealth from the petroleum industry and they used this generously to keep the Wahabbi Ulemas happy, rather than helping the poor Saudi Arabians to improve the lot. The first bodies established to export Wahabism is known as the Muslim World League (MWL) and the World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). This was followed by the establishment of several institutes to teach their Wahabbi faith to foreign Islamic students and scholars. These institutes are the Islamic University of Medina and the King Faizal University of Riyard. The third step was to fund and assist various extremist Muslim groups in the world such as the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hamas in Palastine, Taliban in Afganistan, Al-Quida, Let in India, the JI in Malaysia, the Tamil Nadu Thawheed Jamaat in India and other countries including Sri Lanka.
The Thawheed Jamaat in Sri Lanka was established by the Tamil Nadu Thawheed Jamaat and is led by those who have studied in Saudi Arabia. In the 1980’s, the Madrasas in Sri Lanka were given the opportunity to send their best students to Saudi Arabia on scholarships. This opportunity was welcomed by many as it gave them the best opportunities for higher studies and the modern facilities and the excellent living conditions and financial support. The graduates from these bodies returned to Sri Lanka and started preaching the extremist brand of Wahabbism which was said as the pure form of Islam. These preachers called themselves as Ulamas and not Moulavis as the Islamic preachers were called in Sri Lanka since ancient times. These preachers took over the existing mosques in the Eastern Province and thereafter started implementing the extremist form of Wahabism on the faithful. The first target was women, who were ordered to wear the burka, followed by the order for prayers and the strict enforcement of the Sharia laws. They went on doing these in the Eastern Province and no one took any notice of it. Then they established the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaat as a charitable and service organization. No one took much notice. Then the Ulema council was established and was later incorporated by an act of parliament (Act number 53 of 2000) on 15.08.2000. No one took any notice of it either and the bill was passed unanimously without even a debate. Now the Wahabbis have expanded throughout Sri Lanka with more than 3000 Madrasas or Islamic schools, 1300 mosques, more than 2000 Arabic schools (including international schools) and 05 Islamic Universities.
Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaat
The Thawheed Jamaat was started in the Tamil Nadu state in India in the early 1980’s by a group of Islamic graduates who studied in Saudi Arabia. It was named as Tamil Nadu Thawheed Jamaat. (TNTJ) They first operated small and secretly, offering social services to the poorer Muslim communities. They had money and provided much needed medical help and infrastructure facilities and became popular and powerful within a short period of time. Then came the expansion of the movement within the Tamil Nadu state and thereafter spread itself to the neighboring Karnataka State. Later on, the TNTJ initiated the establishment of the All India Thawheed Jamaat (AITJ), which quickly established itself among Muslim communities all over India. This organization established branches in Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Brunei, Middle East, Great Britain, U.S.A., Australia and some other countries. The Tamil Nadu Thawheed Jamaat is allied to the Dravida Munnethra Kazagam (DMK) party of M.Karunanidhi. It is the same person who wants to establish a Tamil Eelam in Sri Lanka and helped the LTTE till the end and is now trying to force the Indian government to take action against Sri Lanka.
In Sri Lanka, about 99% of the Muslims are Sunnis while the remaining 1% are Shiaas. Of the Sunnis, the majority belongs to the Tableeq Jamaat which accounts for 73% of the total and is followed up by the Thawheed Jamaat with about 10%, Jamaath Islam with 8%, Sunthul Wal Jamaat with 6%, Jamaatul Muslimeen with 2% and Ahamadias with 1%.It is clear that the Thawheed Jamaat represent a small minority among the total Muslim population in Sri Lanka. It is seen that the Tableeq Jamaat that represents ¾ of the Sunni Muslim population in Sri Lanka is virtually unheard of within the other religious groups in this country and they are not linked with any controversies or disruptive activities. The other groups, comprising of 17% of the Muslim population of the country are also unheard of in the media or are not associated with any controversies. This shows that 90% of the Muslim community in Sri Lanka is not in any way linked to the controversial and divisive activities that are the cause of much unrest, disharmony and distrust in the country. It is tragic that the majority of the Muslims who are essentially peace loving are to pay for the actions of this minority.
The Thawheed Jamaat has directed their violence towards the other Sunni groups in the Eastern Province for a long time. It is tragic that these incidents have been covered up by interested parties and are not known to even a majority of the Muslim community. They are almost unheard by other religious groups. Lately, they have expanded their activities in other areas of the country and carry on a campaign against others, notably against the Tableek Jamaat that represent the majority.
After peace dawned on Sri Lanka 19-05-2009,
Some of these incidents are given below,
1. Beruwala on 29.07.2009 ” two persons Mohomed Sai Mohomed and Mohomed
Manzoor Thaheer were killed, 41 were injured. No legal action has been initiated as yet.
2. Telambugolla in Gokarella on 02.11.2012 ” 8 persons were injured.
3. Horagolla in Nittambuwa on 11.01.2013 ” attack on M.U.M. Sahajan and 8 families.
4. Watadeniya in Kadugannawa on 29.03.2013 ” attack on New Mosque ” 6 were injured.
5. Mahiyanganaya on 07.02.2014 ” attack on a welfare center and a day care center.
6. Madampe in Chilaw on 14.02.2014. ” attack on house of Mohomed Ramesh ” 7 were injured.
7. Horagolla in Nittambuwa on 22.02.2014 ” clash between Thawheed Jamaat and Tableeq Jamaat ” 14 were injured.
8. Madampe in Chilaw on 28.02.2014 ” demonstration against extremists.
9. Kuchchaweli, Trincomalee on 03-03-2014 ” attack on prayer center, one severely injured.
10. Madampe in Chilaw on 07-03-2014 ” attack on house ” 9 were injured.
From 2004 many such clashes were reported from Kalmunai, Addalachenei, Muthur and Kuchchaweli injuring dozens of people.
The Thawheed Jamaat is propagating their Wahabbi doctrine by resorting to violence against other Muslims. This has created a fear psychosis among the Muslims who belong to other groups. They have organized groups to enforce their way of faith among other Muslims. The forcing of the burka on female Muslim university students is one such move. The female students are harassed till they submit themselves to the will of the Thawheed Jamaat student bodies. Thawheed Jamaat organized Harthal, boycotts and protest campaigns against Deyata Kirula in 2013.
The most unfortunate aspect of the actions of the Thawheed Jamaat is the violence and disharmony they create among the Muslims and other religious groups. They have, of late, created inciting incidents against the Buddhist majority which is creating much misunderstanding between the Buddhists and Muslims. It should be noted that after 2009 not a single incident of killing anyone due to minor incident between misled Buddhists extremists and Muslims, although some sections tried to portray out blown religious disharmony in the country. The average Buddhists or members of other religions do not see that this problem is only a one created by a minority within the Muslim community. This has been responsible for the mistrust and they are more and more suspicious of the Muslims in general. This is because the Thawheed Jamaat never shows their face publicly in these activities but hide behind the banner of Islam. We fear that these activities of the Thawheed Jamaat, if left unchecked by the authorities, would create a situation in which the majority of the Muslims in Sri Lanka, already under threat and harassment from this extremist minority, may have to face the wrath of other religions.
Therefore, we urge the Sri Lankan government to ban the Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaat without delay. Also we plead with world bodies not to allow extremists groups with Sri Lankan Muslim community to destroy the hard earned peace in the country.
Peace Loving Moderate Muslims – Sri Lanka.
H. L. D. Mahindapala
Of the many contradictions, misinterpretations, distortions and perversions in the political culture of the north the role of religion, in all its dimensions, is the least explored and understood. In contrast, Buddhism has been explored almost exhaustively in the south, mainly to demonize it as the force that exacerbated inter-ethnic relations..
One of the remarkable contradictions of Jaffna society, missed by sociologists and other social scientists, is that it is primarily a Hindu society dominated by the Christian ” mainly Catholic ” hierarchy. From S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, the Christian leader of Tamil separatism, to Bishop Rayappu Joseph, the Bishop of Mannar, the English-educated Christian elite has dominated its political class.
Of the all the Western institutions it is the Catholic Church that loom large over the northern political landscape. To paraphrase Bishop S. Jebanesan, Catholicism that came with the Portuguese remained deep-rooted unlike the subsequent denominations which had a tenuous hold on Jaffna. (p.42 ” The Bible Trembled, R.F. Young and S. Jebanesan). The Catholic Church became a stronghold of the Karaiyar caste (fisher caste) in the coastal belt. They also joined the Tigers in large numbers and were in the forefront of this movement.
The diocese of Mannar under Bishop Joseph stands out as a typical example where Catholicism and Tamil extremism intertwined to make mono-ethnic Tamil extremism an inextricable and indistinguishable part of the Catholic Church. After Biahop Deogupillai he became leading local symbol of the Tamil crusade to politicize the Catholic Church and turn it into a tool for the extremist separatist ideology of Velupillai Prabhakaran. For instance, his act of allowing one of his priests to hijack the Statue of Holy Mary at Madhu and run with it, nearly 20 km north of Mannar into Vellankulam, a territory held by Prabhakaran, was a political act designed to bless the cadres of Prabhakaran fighting with his back to the wall. It had nothing to do with saving the image of Holy Mary because the advancing forces were under strict orders not damage the Madhu Church. And they didn’t despite the LTTE forces using the Madhu grounds to fire at the Sri Lankan forces inching their way up the north-western shoreline.
The first concern of Bishop Rayappu should have been to make the sacred image accessible to the Catholics in all communities. He had the opportunity to take the sacred image to the Bishop’s House in Mannar or to a cleared area in the south, away from the war zone, which would have been the safest move. But his racist politics overtook his religious obligations. This is not surprising. The tendency of the Catholic hierarchy has been to go along with fascist dictators. For instance, when Duce (leader) Mussolini invaded Ethiopia in 1935 the Bishop of Cremona consecrated a number of regimental flags and said: ‘The blessing of God be upon these soldiers who, on African soil, will conquer new and fertile lands for the Italian genius, thereby bringing to them Roman and Christian culture. May Italy stand once again as the Christian mentor to the whole world.’ (Wikipedia).
Bishop Rayappu’s mission was no different. He was out to serve the fascist / racist politics of Prabhakaran. As a last minute desperate act he even appealed to Vatican to stop the advance of the Army in the name of saving the sacred image of Holy Mary. Vatican which may have seen through the politics of Bishop Rayappu, maintained a stony silence, neither saying “yes” or “no” to Bishop Rayappu. It was also an emotive issue with the poteontial to rouse the sympathies of the global Catholic community. By exaggerating the threat to the Holy image he was hoping to mobilize international opinion to save Prabhakaran. But no one stepped in to save him. Nor did they step in to stop Bishop Rayappah from hijacking a holy image common to all Catholics to an exclusive Tamil enclave. It happened in Bishop Rayappu diocese and he was solely responsible for the hijacking.
The significance of this brazen act is this: the Catholic church had embraced Tamil extremism in all its violent manifestations as its main political agenda, with a modicum of dissent from the odd priests here and there. But as a collective force, the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church has been in the forefront of promoting mono-ethnic Tamil extremism. Its covert and overt activism, using its clerical channels as conduits for propagating and promoting Tamil extremism, has been a significant force in propelling Prabhakaranism as a political force in the north.
Bishop Rayappu Joseph has been the spearhead of this Catholic action more than any other in the Catholic hierarchy, leaving aside Fr. S. J. Emmanuel, a Karaiyar, who operates abroad. The hijacking of the statue of Holy Mary is an act that demonstrate his political fanaticism. In the end, it served neither the Church nor God. And least of his Tamil extremism. It is a statute that belongs to the Sinhala Catholics as well, After all they constitute the major part of the Catholic Church. By his act he was depriving the majority of the Catholics ” including the Tamils Catholics who were living with the Sinhalese outside the territory controlled by Prabhakaran — their right to share the Mother of God which belongs to the Catholic community as a whole.
In the post-Chelvanayakam decades, dominated by Tamil separatism, the Christian political culture of the north took a rabid turn drawing close to the point of being only one step away from putting a pottu and holy ash on the statues of Holy Mary and Jesus to identity them as being one with the Tamils. They went as far as they could and stopped at hijacking the Madhu statue. They could not go beyond that though the Tamil theologians threatened to write a separate theology for the Tamils. The former Vicar General of Jaffna, Fr. S. J. Emmanuel, was the first to declare that he was writing a Tamil theology for the Tamils excluding the Sinhala Catholics. So did Bishop S. Jebanesan, a scholar of considerable repute. In the end, neither of them produced a theology for the Tamils. If they did they would have added their bit to the prevailing religio-political culture of the north which they had already distorted and perverted. As false prophets they used their own brand of Christian theology to promise a land which was beyond their reach. The only land promised to them was not by any divine authority but by delusional Tamil extremists who met in the electorate of Chelvanayakam, Vadukoddai, in 1976 and drafted the Vadukoddai Resolution loaded with fabricated history and fictitious geography.
With all the backing of the false prophets of the Christian Church, both abroad and at home, Tamil extremism failed to get anywhere near their political mirage. Despite feint protestations the hidden agenda of the Catholic Church was, covertly and overtly, to create a separate state for the Tamils which would help the Tamil-wing of the Catholic Church to set up their separate, independent Church under an exclusive Tamil hierarchy. Their theology was bent on constructing an ethnic road to heaven for Tamils that ran through a separate Tamil Church, organized by Tamil hierarchy operating in the elusive Tamil Eelam. Their proposed theologies and actions were premised on the assumption that it was possible to go to heaven through an Italian Pope in Rome but not through a Sinhala Cardinal in Colombo.
The hijacking of iconic statues and the promise of new Tamil theologies were to make-believe that God was on the side of the Tamils. Their fanatical commitment to Tamil extremism, which they equated to divine forces in the Old Testament, made them believe that they were re-enacting dramas of Biblical proportions like Moses leading his people out of Egypt. For instance, when Velupillai Prabhakaran forced the Tamil residents of Jaffna to withdraw into Vanni after he was defeated by Maj-Gen. Janaka Perera in 1995 (the Tamils terrorists never could return to their heartland) Fr. Emmanuel wrote a pamphlet titled Let My People Go, in which he projected Prabhakaran as Moses leading his people out of Egypt. In another instance, he is reported to have equated Prabhakaran to a latter day Jesus come to save his people.
The Tamil propagandists, exploiting every bit of fiction and theory to win over the West, particularly the Western churches, were going all out to prove that they were guided by a divine hand. Some even went to the extreme of claiming that Eelam was first mentioned in the Bible. If my memory serves me right, it was Kumar Ponnambalam Jr., among others, who claimed in one of his propaganda pieces that “Eelom” was prophesied even in the Bible. The facts, however, are different. A place called “Elim” ” note, not Eelam or Eelom ” is mentioned in two places in the Bible. First in the Exodus 15:27 and 16:1. and second in the Numbers, 33:9 which, more or less, repeats the Exodus.
Elim was the second encampment of the Israelites after they crossed the Red Sea. But the Tamil propagandist somehow skip the third encampment which was in Sin, perhaps because it was too close to the reality faced by the Tamil in Vanni. In James’ version it reads like this: “And they came to Elim, … and they encamped by the waters.” (Ibid 15:27). The next stop was in Sin and Exodus (16:1) says: “And they took their journey from Elim, all the congregation of the children of Israel came unto the wilderness of Sin…….”
This happened in the second month after the Israelites left Egypt. And Exodus adds: “And the whole congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness (Ibid- 16:2). And the children of Israel said unto them, Would to God we had died in the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the flesh pots, and when we did eat bread to the full; for ye have brought us forth into this wilderness, to kill this whole assembly with hunger..(Ibid – 16:3). Those who know the history of the exodus of the Tamils from Jaffna may agree that, if there was any prophecy in the Bible, it corresponds to what happened in Sin than in Elim. And if there was a benevolent interventionist force that showered bread and medicine to the Tamils in the wilderness of separatists’ “Sin” it was the Government of Sri Lanka and not Prabhakaran. By all known accounts, it is hard to deny that Prabhakaran turned Vanni into a veritable “Sin-ni”.
One of the great tragedies of the universal God in all theologies has been the fragmentation of His image into a multitude of denominations, each with a twisted theology claiming to have a special relationship with Him. If the Jaffna Tamil “theologians” were to produce another theology for the Tamils it would not only be otiose but also a desecration of the brotherhood of man proclaimed so pronouncedly in the Bible. It would have been, at best, a political catechism more than a credible theology which any respectable Christian could have accepted in this day and age as doctrine for human salvation.
The mono-ethnic extremism of Jaffna politics infiltrated and polluted even the religion of the Prince of Peace to justify the violent politics of the Vadukoddians. The active participation of the Churches in the fascist / racist politics of Prabhakaran’s politics is a denial of the non-violent principles laid down by Jesus. He told Peter not to draw the sword even to save him. If the sword could not be drawn to save Jesus what right had Bishop Rayappu to run with the image of the Holy Mother of Jesus to save Prabhakaran?
This betrayal of the fundamentals of Christianity, incidentally, is a phenomenon quite common to the Church. The Catholic Church actively supported Hitler in his anti-Semitic politics. The Church in Rome turned a blind eye to the persecution of the Jews. Pope Pius XII is accused of giving more than a nudge-and-a-wink to the persecution of Jews by Hitler. The Catholic Church in Germany actively worked with Hitler, a Catholic, in glorifying the fascist regime. So did the Catholic Church in Franco’s fascist Spain.
It is not surprising, therefore, to find Catholics in Sri Lanka playing ball with the Tamil Hitler in persecuting his own people, let alone other communities. In return these dictators did not touch the Church, or the prot©g©s of the Church. Prabhakaran was one of them. He attacked Muslims and Buddhists but he never touched the Church which was backing him internationally and nationally. The black mark against the Catholic Churchmen for aiding and abetting the inhuman politics of Prabhakaran cannot be erased easily. It will remain as an indelible mark in the pages of history like the innocent Catholics who were massacred by Sankili on the eve of the Christmas of 1544.
The complicit role of the Church in aiding and abetting Tamil Tiger crimes against their own people is symbolized in the tragic story related to me by Dr. Noel Nadesan , Editor of UTHAYAM in Australia, a novelist, a veterinarian and Tamil activist. Dr. Nadesan said that the Tamil parents, frightened by the threat of Tamil Tigers in Mullativu forcibly abducting their school-going children, handed over their teenage daughters to the local Catholic Church in Valayar Maddam, near the Mullativu coast, trusting them to protect their young ones. The next morning when the parents came to look for them they had all disappeared. In the night the Catholic priests had rung the LTTE office in Mullativu and tipped them about the Tamil girls in their care. The Catholic fathers had no compunction whatsoever in handing over the children of trusting Tamil parents to fill the depleted cadres of brutal Tamil Tigers.
By Garvin Karunaratne-Formerly of the Administrative Service of Sri lanka
It is sad that the UNHCR, an international institute which should look after Human Rights has today been hijacked by certain Imperialist Countries and is being used to punish sovereign countries that do not follow their dictates.
The UNHCR of today was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2006 charged with the task of upholding “the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights”.
One year after its institution the UNHCR adopted its “Institution Building Package”, where the UNHCR held as its aim, “to assess the human rights situation in all 193 UN member states” In addition there is a Complaints Procedure where individuals and organizations are entitled to bring complaints about human rights violations.
What we are seeing today is a situation where the UNHCR has failed miserably in its task of assessing the human rights situation in all UN countries and has allowed itself to be hijacked by mighty members like the USA to do their imperialist bidding of bringing charges against particular members, who fail to carry out their dictates.
It is up to the members of the UNHCR to stand up to be reasonable and to judge the complaint resolution moved by the USA ,the UK and certain EU countries, assess whether the accusations leveled against Sri Lanka are true and factful giving the country full chance to explain the circumstances. Today we hear of a twenty minute slot of time granted for the leader of the Sri Lankan delegation to speak.
Having worked long in the Administrative Service of Sri Lanka I have held many important inquiries and investigations. In all of them I have granted ample time, time without any restriction for the accused to speak out and find evidence in defence. It was never a twenty minute restriction..
I must point out that the complaint against Sri Lanka is serious and Sri Lanka should be awarded more time to substantiate facts.
It is also important for the UNHCR to look into the motivation that the movers of resolution. Are the movers of the resolution having so exemplary records of human rights, what motivates them to castigate a country like Sri Lanka, while they are involved in infringing the human rights of many- thousands of citizens of sovereign countries on various pretexts all around the World.
In particular, as far as the USA is concerned the UNHCR members are kindly requested to look into how the USA has without any authority from the United Nations invaded Iraq and caused the deaths of thousands of people. It has now been fully established that the USA had no legitimate reason to invade Iraq and that even in the Chilcot Report the contents of discussions between President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair are to be erased. Why was it necessary to erase. It was because the two leaders had made a wrong, a decision that has caused the death of a nation enabling both of them to be hauled before the International Courts for crimes. . Even today a full ten years after the invasion of Iraq that country is a mass of rubble. The UK Inspector of Arms who was a leading member of the UN Panel that was sent to Iraq to establish whether Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, said that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction, yet he was silenced and the two countries the USA and the UK invaded Iraq. In my words in the Lanka Web,
“The Weapons Inspector’s body was found after he was unmasked as a source of a damaging BBC Report questioning the grounds for the Iraq war. Dr Kelly was found dead on an evening walk a few days later. A strange inquest was held, not by the normal coroner, but by Lord Hutton who concluded that Dr Kelly had committed suicide, with no evidence. However Lord Hutton decided that his post mortem report and photographs of the body should not be released for seventy years- till ,after everyone in the deciding line were dead. After protests in 2010, the Report was released. Dr Kelly being silenced speaks volumes for the Human Rights standards being upheld by Great Britain!.
The UNHRC members are kindly requested to request the USA to take them to any of the Indian American Reservations in the USA where the American Indians who were the occupants of the USA that were defeated to take over the country to create the USA are yet living in poverty, confined to land that is unhabitable, where the basics of education and health are not provided. The poverty in which the original settlers live today deserve immediate investigation. I know this for certain as I have traveled in the USA going through these areas of poverty and squalour. Is it right and fair for the mightiest country in the World today- the USA, to confine the original inhabitants of the USA to this type of segregation and poverty. This is well documented and books have been written by world renowned authorities, but the USA is not concerned.
The UNHRC members are kindly requested to look into the plight of the two thousand Chagossian Islanders who were forcibly evicted from their land- the Chagos Islands by the UK in order to enable the USA to build the San Diego Military Base. I quote from my own Paper in the Lanka Web:
“The Chagossians lived a peaceful life in the Chagos Archipelago “till they were forcibly evicted in the late 1960s and 1970s so that Diego Garcia could serve as a location for a military base shared by the UK and the US. On 16/4/1971, the UK issued an Order called BIOT Immigration Ordinance No 1 which made it a criminal offence for those without military clearance to be on the island without a permit. Between 1967 and 1973 the Chagossins then numbering 2000 were expelled by the British Government. The food stores were allowed to deplete in order to make the remaining inhabitants to leave. The homeless Chagossians moved from pillar to post and took to the Courts and “on 11/5/2006 won their case in the High Court of Justice that they were entitled to return to the Chagos Archipelago. However the British Government filed a motion in the Court of Appeal against the decision of the High Court. The Court of Appeal upheld the decision of the High Court. Then the British Government appealed to the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords On 22/10/2008 the House of Lords reached a decision in favour of the British Government, ending the legal process in the UK and dashing the islanders’ hopes of return. Further in April 2010 the British Government established a Marine Natural Reserve around Chagos Islands. This was the most effective long term way to prevent any of the Chagos Islanders from resettling in their islands. The Chagos islanders launched an appeal that the reserve was unlawful aimed at preventing them from returning home. In June 2013, the Pair of Judges turned down the appeal, because the reserve was compatible with EU Law”(Wikipedia & Press Association 11/6/2013)
Today as we write the Chagossians numbering over 2000 are homeless eking a life wondering in many countries. What a record of Human Rights!
If one goes through the annals of recent history it will be found that the USA has been meddling with the human rights of many people in a large number of countries and taking unilateral action while the UNHRC has remained silent. The few instances quoted above alone serve for the UNHRC members to veto the resolution on the grounds that it has been submitted by two countries who have again and again infringed the human rights of many sovereign countries.
Sri Lanka has today come to face a resolution accusing it of infringing norms of human rights in defeating the terrorist LTTE that tried to establish a separate state in a portion of its island.
The very manner that the USA, the UK and certain other countries are pursuing this resolution, insisting on an international investigation in to the manner in which terrorism has been eradicated speaks in no uncertain terms of their role in furthering terrorist activities in different parts of the world that would serve their imperialist purposes.. Both countries speak out against terrorism, but create and advocate terrorist activities. The UK allowed LTTE leader the late Anton Balasingham to live and plan his terrorist activities in the UK. His wife Adele Balasingham the creator of baby terrorist brigades has yet been given a home in the UK. It is well known that the UK, Germany, France and many other Imperial countries tried their best to stop President Rajapoaksa from defeating the LTTE. As much as the LTTE was created by India to destabilize Sri Lanka the UK and its allies wanted the LTTE to continue its terrorist activities!
The LTTE was a terrorist outfit created by no other than the Government of India- then under Indira Gandhi to destabilize Sri Lanka which in the late Seventies went to the USA. Camp. Former Union Law Minister Ram Jet Malini has said recently that the LTTE was a creation of India. India did not like President Jayawsardena allowing the USA hegdemony in Sri Lanka and allowing it a few miles of land in Trincomalee to establish a center for satellite reconnaissance. Trincomalee was a coveted sea base and India did not want it to be a naval base for the USA. India established training camps to train LTTE cadres, ferried across from Sri Lanka, trained them the art of making bombs, equipped them with sophisicatd weapons and poured them back to Sri Lanka to destabilize Sri Lanka. The motive of India is clear- they want a subservient country on their doorstep.
In considering the resolution submitted by the USA castigating Sri Lanka, the member countries of the UNHCR are requested to consider the following facts.
The LTTE waged a battle to establish a separate state in Sri Lanka, a democratic country.
In the area controlled by the LTTE Prabhakaran established a fascist state, where every person that opposed his reign of terror was summarily killed. In parliamentary elections where citizens were requested to vote, the LTTE ordered that no one should vote. The first person that voted had his arms chopped off, The LTTE forced families to hand over their children to be trained as baby terrorists.
The LTTE murdered all Tamil leaders including two Mayors of Jaffna, Tamil Members of Parliament, Tamil Leaders, Rajiv Gandhi, the former Prime Minister of India, President Premadasa of Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgama and many other Tamil leaders.
The LTTE attacked civilians in all parts of Sri Lanka, including pilgrims venerating the Sri Mahaha Bodhi at Anuradhapura when the number killed was over five hundred.There were frequent attacks in the entire island and the entire population lived in mortal fear of death at the hands of the LTTE
The Government of Sri Lanka made overtures to the LTTE and military action was taken only when the LTTE stopped the irrigation water from the Mavil Aru Anicul to farmers. This itself is highly humanitarian because if the irrigation water had not been provided the farmers would have been deprived of their crop for an entire year.
Since 2009, the Government of Sri Lanka has spent a massive amount of funds to develop the North and has actually neglected the rest in an attempt to help the people who were traumatized during thirty years of LTTE rule when they were ruled with the gun, not knowing when they will be summarily killed by the LTTE. The problems of unemployment and poverty are universal to Tamils as well as the other communities. The massive spending done by the Government has actually brought more development in the North than in all other areas.
There is talk about accountability. This was a war situation and the manner in which the LTTE took with them civilians as a human shield and used hospitals and schools to house weapons are well documented. In such a scenario the LTTE is responsible for the collateral damage which they brought upon themselves
The International Community talk of a political settlement. The fact is that the majority of Tamils live amongst the Sinhala people and enjoy all the priviledges enjoyed by the entire population. They do not require a political settlement as they are fully fledged citizens enjoying the peace that has been brought about by the defeat of the LTTE. The Wignesvarans and Sumathirans did not exist during the LTTE days because they had no voice. It is only the politicians that want a political settlement, not the Tamil people.
The LTTE in the last stages of the battle compelled civilians to proceed with them as a human shield to avoid being attacked, In the last stages of the battle the Sri Lankan Army liberated this mass of some 280,000 people
In the annals of warfare there is no other parallel to the humanitarian manner in which the people in the LTTE areas were provided with food, medicines and essentials of life like building materials etc. all supplied free throughout the thirty years. Hundreds of lorries laden with rice, dhall, medicines and cement etc were driven to the gates of the LTTE at the border every week. The LTTE took charge of the goods and they sold it to the people and raised funds. My own driver in the Agrarian Services got a promotion as a lorry driver and he too went on such a humanitarian mission. My driver Lionel as well as a number of other lorry drivers who took provisions never returned. It is beyond parallel for the enemy to be fed, housed and medically attended to. This fact alone belittles the USA for its “humanitarian” act of sponsoring this resolution against Sri Lanka, a country that fought a humanitarian battle. Right throughout this thirty years every teacher and administrator in the LTTE territory was paid by the Government of Sri Lanka. The LTTE controlled the education provided and dictated to the administrators. Five Government Agents- the chief officers of the districts were murdered by the LTTE. This humanitarian manner in which the Tamil people were fed and housed while they lived under the LTTE alone should open the eyes of the USA and the UK the sponsors of this resolution against Sri Lanka.
Let me write no more. It is time that the members of the UNHRC opened their eyes and act fairly and not play poodle to the USA and the UK. It is time for them to realize that Uncle Sam will willingly put them in the dog house someday.
Formerly of the Administrative Service of Sri lanka
India Voting Against Sri Lanka Paves Way for a Comprehensive Defence-FTA Partnership with China in AprilMarch 24th, 2014
India has been the bane of Sri Lanka since historical times. In addition to raising, arming, training, financing and protecting Tamil terrorist groups, India invaded Sri Lanka in 1987 and forced the 13A to the Constitution which has caused its share of miseries. Further, India voted against Sri Lanka twice at the UNHRC despite preferential trade and defence ties.
India will likely vote against Sri Lanka this year too. It is time Sri Lanka turned to dependable alliances as almost all UNHRC members have. It is time to recognize that the Non Aligned Movement is long dead and NAM members, including its legendary leader Yugoslavia (or what is left of it), have joined alliances with superpowers. Flogging the NAM dead horse achieves nothing.
There are beneficial factors and essential reasons for joining China in a comprehensive economic and defence pact.
Benefits of Joining China in Economic-Defence Alliance
Historically China-Sri Lanka economic and defence partnerships always benefitted Sri Lanka whereas economic and defence pacts with India were always to Lanka’s detriment. All Indian pacts involved Sri Lanka disregarding its national interests but Sri Lanka interests came first in pacts with China. Rubber-Rice Pact with China (1952) and a multitude of economic agreements with China during the Premadasa administration benefited Sri Lanka immensely. Current Chinese funded projects are also extremely beneficial to Lanka.
China is the largest trading partner of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, ASEAN countries, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh in Asia (among others) and many other nations elsewhere including the US and the EU. Unfortunately USA and India are Sri Lanka’s largest trading partners! Depending on countries with animosity against Sri Lanka poses a grave threat to the economy.
The Danger of Not Joining China in an Economic-Defence Alliance
The end of an international investigation with UNHRC input is certainly the Hague through the UN Security Council. Only Russia and China have the necessary veto power and senses to protect Sri Lanka. However, as seen in Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Burma and Syria, Russia and China don’t protect other nations for no reason. There should be sufficient benefits for China or Russia for them to defend Sri Lanka. It is up to Sri Lankan leaders to create that necessity.
The Fallacy about US-EU-Indian Sanctions
Only Sri Lanka in the region has USA and India as its largest trading partners. It is foolhardy for them to impose trade sanctions on Sri Lanka. Given that exports to USA yield a very marginal economic benefit for the nation as all factors except labour are imported, US or EU trade restrictions have a marginal impact on the economy as a whole. While the large garment industry suffers heavily, the savings on imports and freeing up of capital for other investments benefit the nation. It will only be a structural adjustment on the economy with short term pain followed by long term gains. India will never impose sanctions on Sri Lanka as it would ruin billions of dollars worth Indian investments. Sanctions requiring import restrictions will have a disproportionately graver impact on the minorities.
If India votes against Sri Lanka again, it is sufficient motivation to team up with China. No matter at what level one thinks and what level of analyses done on the matter, everything points towards an intertwined future with China. How long can India take Sri Lanka for granted?
The Crimes against humanity by British Governor Robert Brownrigg – Butcher of Uva-Wellassa in Sri LankaMarch 24th, 2014
Shenali D Waduge
” Slaughter every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast)” were the orders given by Governor Robert Brownrigg (3rd British Governor of Ceylon from 1813 – 1820) to Maj. Gen. Hay MacDowell in 1818 that left the people in the agriculturally rich grain growing region of Uva-Wellassa of then Ceylon in a state of famine and starvation. Uva ” Wellassa region was the granary of the Kingdom of Kandy before it was annexed by the British in 1815 under an Agreement now known as the ‘Kandyan Convention’ entered into with the Traditional Chiefs of the Kandyan Kingdom. No sooner was the ink made dry after the signing of this Treaty that the British Colonial Govt. began to dishonor this Agreement in both spirit and substance that it led to a popular uprising of the people led by the Kandyan Chiefs in 1818 that nearly brought the collapse of the British Colonial Government in Ceylon.
The British used a scorched earth policy including mass murder and genocide of innocent Sinhala civilians to crush this rebellion. A scorched earth policy is a military strategy which involves destroying anything that might be useful to the enemy while advancing through or withdrawing from an area. It is a military strategy where all of the assets that are used or can be used by the enemy are targeted, such as food sources, transportation, communications, industrial resources, and even the people in the area.
Robert Brownrigg arrived in then Ceylon at the age of 53 to take over as Governor of Ceylon from Maitland his predecessor. Brownrigg had no experience of civil administration, no previous contact with oriental people when he arrived in 1812. These shortcomings did not affect colonial rule largely on account of John D’Oyly who had mastered the Sinhalese language and who corresponded with the Kandyan chiefs.
Kandy was occupied by February 14th, 1815 using only 3744 British troops. The King of Kandy Sri Wikrama Rajasinha was taken prisoner on 18th February at Gallehewatte in Dumbara and deported to Vellore, South India and he died in 1832 while his only son born in exile died in 1843. That Sri Lanka was not conquered is proved in the Act of Settlement read at the Convention on 2nd March 1815 stipulating the conditions under which the British Crown would administer the annexed Kingdom. The ceding of Kandy ended Sinhalese independence of 2357 years.
In recognition of his ‘achievement’ of helping Britain to annex the Kandyan Kingdom, Brownrigg was made a Baron in 1816. D’Oyly was rewarded making him a Resident of Kandy.
The genocide committed by the British to quell the uprisings between 1818 and 1822 by slaughtering every man, woman and child including babies suckling at the breast in the Uva Province (Badulla and Moneragala districts) goes down as notable examples of British crimes against humanity. Uva occupies a prominent place in Sri Lanka’s history for the first recorded visit of Lord Buddha to Sri Lanka was to Mahiyangana, south of Uva.
British human rights campaigners now pointing accusing fingers at Sri Lanka have forgotten the Madulla Massacre that led to razing and annihilating entire villages. In the entire Uva region members of the male population above the age of 18 were killed in revenge for resisting British imperial occupation under Governor Brownrigg. No paddy or chena cultivation could be done for 10 years due to lack of man power. Davy’s records reveal that during an inspection of the Uva region with Governor Brownrigg they had not seen a single person or house for 7 days.
The Britain that today preaches human rights and demands accountability and upholding of universally accepted standards on human rights needs to recall some of the orders given by men Britain knighted in recognition of their services to Her Majesty the Queen during Imperial colonial rule.
The British that is now demanding demilitarization in Sri Lanka may like to note that the auxiliary force that was brought as reinforcements from India in 1818 only left Ceylon in 1920 ” after 102 years and we wonder how many women were raped and were left with child!!! 10,000 Sinhalese Buddhists are said to have been killed in battle.
The people of Uva were very proud people as they had also fought against the Portuguese and the Dutch.
The entry of Herbert White, a British Government Agent in the (Compendium of Uva) Journal reads as follows “there is no record of the population of Uva after the rebellion. No record is left about Uva before the rebellion. If thousands died in the battle field they were all brave fighters. If 4/5 of the remaining population after the rebellion is considered as children and the old, the damage done is unlimited’.
British human rights champions have conveniently avoided acknowledging how their troops killed all cattle, animals, burnt homes, property, burnt their grain, cut down their coconut, jak and breadfruit trees, agricultural crops and fields and even salt that the people possessed? Simply to say neither UN nor the Human Rights Council existed at the time is simply not enough. The Statute of Limitations does not apply to Crimes against Humanity. WE DEMAND BRITAIN COME CLEAN ON ITS CRIMES IN ALL OF THE COLONIES.
British human rights preaching in modern context omit how the irrigation systems of the duchies of Uva and Wellassa the rice-bowl of Sri Lanka were systematically destroyed under British Government orders. Wellassa which means ‘WelLakshsa’ ” Lakh of paddy fields, was brought to ruins by the British.
The British who preach now about honoring commitments made may like to ask how they betrayed the core terms of the Kandyan Convention in particular the assurance given to protect Buddhism as state religion (Article 5 of the Convention which refers to the inviolability of the Buddhist religion). Unfortunately, every post-independent leader continues to break this key commitment.
Governor Robert Brownrigg who issued the gazette notification on 1 January 1818 condemned all 17 who rebelled against the British, termed them ‘traitors’, confiscated their properties by Government declaration. They were declared ‘Rebels, Outlaws and Enemies of the British’. It took over 180 years for the Sri Lankan Government recognize them as ‘National Heroes’ and behoves the Government to declare an official memorial for them.
The people of Sri Lanka need to know who their true heroes are:
1. Keppetipola, former Dissawe of Oova (Uva)
2. Goadagedara, former Adikaram of Ouva
3. Ketakala Mohattala of Ouva
4. MahaBetmerala of Kataragama in Ouva
5. KudaBetmerala of Kataragama in Ouva
6. PalagollaMohattala of Ouva
7. PasserewatteVidane of Ouva
8. KiwulegederaMohottala of Walapane
9. YalagommeMohotalla of Walapane
10. UdamadureMohottala of Walapane
11. Kohukumbure Rate Rala of Wellassa
12. KohukumburaWalauweMohottala of Wellassa
13. Bootawe Rate Rala of Wellassa
14. KohukumuburaGahawela Rate Rala of Wellassa
15. MahaBadullegammene Rate Rala of Wellassa
16. Bulupitiye Mohottala of Wellassa
17. PalleMalheyaeGametirale of Wallassa.
The British that now claim to stand for righteousness and seek the high moral ground wherever possible need to be reminded how they treated Madugalle UdaBagada Nilame who was dismissed from office, arrested without been given the opportunity to bid farewell to his family (what today resembles extraordinary renditions), his residence was publicly burnt on Governor Brownrigg’s orders, possessions confiscated and sold with proceeds going to a British pension fund.
What must also be mentioned here is that the British army in Ceylon comprised Europeans, Javanese, Malay, African troops, Indian sepoys and Sinhalese Lascorins. The 1818 rebellion was crushed by bringing Indian Tamils (Sepoys) from the Madras Presidency (Tamil Nadu).
Other cruel British officers who served in Ceylon were Lieut. J. MaClaine of the 73rd regiment (he enjoyed having breakfast while viewing Sinhalese being hanged), Lieut. Col. Hook was ready to hang any officer whom he suspected to be a rebel or collaborator.
Scorched Earth tactics banned under the Geneva Convention
“It is prohibited to attack, destroy, remove, or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population, such as foodstuffs, agricultural areas for the production of foodstuffs, crops, livestock, drinking water installations and supplies, and irrigation works, for the specific purpose of denying them for their sustenance value to the civilian population or to the adverse Party, whatever the motive, whether in order to starve out civilians, to cause them to move away, or for any other motive”.
British Scorched Earth tactics and crimes against humanity in other wars
British Lord Kitchener used scorched earth policy during the latter part of the Second Boer War (1899”1902) when the Boers not conforming to classic military defeat when their two capital cities were captured, but never on the battlefield, adopted the first modern form of what we know today as guerrilla warfare, in order to rid their republics of the British. In response the British ordered destruction of the farms and the homes of South African civilians in order to prevent the still resisting Boers from obtaining food and supplies. An eloquent description of this comes from an Army officer at the time (Phillips, Lisle March (1901) With Rimington in the Boer War. London: Edward Arnold). This destruction left innocent women and children without means to survive since crops and livestock were also destroyed.
It was the British and not the Germans who first established large scale Concentration Camps. The existence of British run concentration camps was exposed by Emily Hobhouse who toured the camps and began petitioning the British government to change its policy. In an attempt to counter Hobhouse’s activism, the British commissioned the Fawcett Commission, that confirmed Hobhouse’s findings. Negligence by the British, lack of planning and supplies and overcrowding led to much loss of life. A decade after the Boer war P.L.A. Goldman officially determined that an astonishing number of 27,927 Boers died in the concentration camps: 26,251 women and children (of whom more than 22,000 were under the age of 16), and 1,676 men over the age of 16, of whom 1,421 were aged persons.
Boer civilians watching British soldiers blow up their house with dynamite: Boers were given 10 minutes to gather belongings
The British Governments throughout its infamous colonial history had always applied double standards. The duplicity of the British Government in calling for accountability in Sri Lanka is best illustrated by its own handling of the ‘Chilcot Inquiry’ which investigated the conduct of the UK government and military in relation to the invasion of Iraq. This inquiry ran from November 2009 until February 2011 and it cost approximately £7.5 million, but its Report is not yet made public for fear of the huge embarrassment it would cause to both the British Government and British military once its contents are released. What is Britain now preaching against Sri Lanka with blood on its hands?
Irrespective of the outcome of the vote at UNHRC in Geneva, the Government of Sri Lanka must no longer hesitate to immediately appoint a fully fledged Commission of Inquiry to investigate British crimes in Ceylon during the colonial period (1796 ” 1948), seek evidence from the public and then once the findings are announced and if they are revealing of British crimes against humanity, take approximate steps to seek reparations from the Government of Britain for the damage and destruction caused to Sri Lanka together with an unconditional apology and penance that are long overdue.
Robert Brownrigg must be condemned for his crimes in Ceylon even at this late stage because that is a historic duty that posterity owes to our freedom fighters and national heroes who sacrificed their lives and liberty in the Uva ” Wellassa based war of independence in 1818.
Ruwan M Jayatunge M.D.
Abstract: This paper discusses the use of EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) in addictions providing two case studies. Addictions have become a major public health problem impacting millions of individuals and their families. Although the etiology of addiction is multi-factorial clinical evidence shows that frequently the addictions are associated with concurrent mental health problem such as PTSD, or depression. Treating these concurrent conditions would help to reduce the negative impact of addictions. EMDR has been proven effective in the treatment of PTSD and Depression. Therefore EMDR can be used as one of the effective supportive therapies in addictions. Recent researches too support the effectiveness of using EMDR in the treatment of addictions. Further research is warranted to understand the total therapeutic impact of EMDR in treating addictions.
Key Words: EMDR, Addictions, PTSD, Depression, Addiction Memory
EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a clinically-proven evidence-based psychotherapeutic method that was developed in 1987 by Francine Shapiro. According to Shapiro (2002) EMDR is an integrative psychotherapy approach. EMDR offers a structured, client-centered model that integrates key elements of intrapsychic, behavioral, cognitive, body-oriented, and interactional approaches (Shapiro, Vogelmann-Sine, & Sine, 1994). Shapiro and colleagues (2007) further elucidate that EMDR contains with a theoretical model that emphasizes the brain’s information processing system and memories of disturbing experiences as the basis of pathology. The eight-phase treatment comprehensively addresses the experiences that contribute to clinical conditions and those that are needed to bring the client to a robust state of psychological health.
EMDR has been initially used to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A large body of research has found that EMDR is one of the efficacious psychotherapeutic methods to treat PTSD. The American Psychiatric Association has recognized EMDR as one of the effective and potential methods to treat PTSD (APA, 2004). Silver & Rogers (2005) and Bisson & Andrew (2007) reported positive outcome using EMDR to treat PTSD. The recent research has also revealed that EMDR is effective in treating people with Addiction Disorders.
Addiction Disorders and EMDR
Addiction is defined by the World Health Organization as “repeated use of a psychoactive substance or substances, to the extent that the user is: periodically or chronically intoxicated, shows a compulsion to take the preferred substance(s), has great difficulty in voluntarily ceasing or modifying substance use, exhibits determination to obtain psychoactive substances by almost any means, and tolerance is prominent and a withdrawal syndrome frequently occurs when substance use is interrupted (WHO).
The disease model of addiction describes an addiction as a disease with biological, neurological, genetic, and environmental sources of origin (McLellan et al., 2000). Addiction has serious social economic, and health consequences. Addictive behaviors are major causes of chronic disease, premature death, and high health care costs (Prochaska, 2004). Substance use and dependence cause a significant burden to individuals and societies throughout the world. The World Health Report 2002 indicated that 8.9% of the total burden of disease comes from the use of psychoactive substances. The report showed that tobacco accounted for 4.1%, alcohol 4%, and illicit drugs 0.8% of the burden of disease in 2000 (WHO, 2004).
An important characteristic of addiction is its stubborn persistence (McLellan et al., 2000). It has recurrent cycles of relapse and remission. Although addiction usually (but not always) begins with a conscious decision to use a drug, changes that occur in the brain at some point can turn drug use and then abuse into a chronic, relapsing illness Wasilow-Mueller et al., 2001). According to Hyman (2005) the goals of the addicted person become narrowed to obtaining, using, and recovering from drugs, despite failure in life roles, medical illness, risk of incarceration, and other problems. There is a large and growing body of evidence about the neurobiologic basis for addiction behaviours, the role of genetic, environmental and epidemiologic factors. This evidence demonstrates that substance use is not a simple matter of choice (Stanbrook , 2012).
Although addiction behaviors are multifaceted EMDR can be used to treat addictions. EMDR has been successful with addiction disorders. Hase and colleagues (2008) provide evidence to support the successful application of EMDR in addictions. Marich (2009) illustrates EMDR in the addiction continuing care process with a case study. In this case study of a cross-addicted female was able to achieve 18 months of sobriety and important changes in functional life domains following EMDR.
Psychological Trauma and Addictions
Addictions and psychological trauma are highly correlated. The comorbidity between addiction and psychological trauma has been discussed by numerous researchers. According to Jacobsen, Southwick, and Kosten (2001) 22%”43% of people living with PTSD have a lifetime prevalence rate of substance use disorders. Based on an Australian national survey Mills and colleagues (2006) were of the view that alcohol was the most common substance of misuse by the survivors with PTSD who had a comorbid substance use disorder. PTSD was most prevalent among those using opioids (Ahmed, 2007).
Individuals living with severe psychological trauma often use alcohol and other substances as a negative stress coping method and to displace traumatic memories. This could lead to a vicious cycle. Avoidance of trauma reminders and associated distress may be achieved by the use of drugs and alcohol, alternatively a substance abusing lifestyle might predispose such individuals to experience traumatic events (Reynolds et al., 2005).
In addition unresolved trauma plays crucial role in addictions. The impact of unresolved psychological trauma could be callous and overwhelming. The ramifications of unresolved trauma can be endured for decades. According to Shapiro and Laliotis (2010) these disturbing memories are the cause of psychopathology.
It is essential to address deep rooted psychological trauma and unresolved mental conflicts associated with addictions. Addressing unresolved intrapsychic trauma associated with childhood abuse may increase the efficacy of treatment outcomes and reduce relapse rates among individuals with alcohol addiction (Windle et al., 1995). EMDR can be successfully used to treat psychological trauma (including unresolved mental conflicts and grief) improving functionality of the individual.
Depression and Addictions
Depression is a common mental disorder. Depression and substance abuse frequently occur together. A substance-abusing patient who exhibits symptoms of a mood disorder may be suffering from acute intoxication or withdrawal, substance-induced mood disorder, preexisting affective disorder, or a combination of these conditions (Quello et al., 2005). Depression comorbid with alcohol or substance abuse requires stabilization of the mood and decrease in drug use or cravings. Treating patients’ co-occurring mood disorders may reduce their substance craving and taking and enhance their overall outcomes (Quello et al., 2005).
EMDR has also been proven effective in treating depression. Bae & Park (2008) report that potential application of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) for treatment of depressive disorder. Jayatunge (2008) indicates that the Sri Lankan combatants who were diagnosed with depressive disorder with alcohol abuse achieved successful treatment outcome following EMDR.
EMDR as a Potential Method to Treat Addiction Disorders
Individuals with substance use disorders are heterogeneous with regard to a number of clinically important features and domains of functioning. Consequently, a multimodal approach to treatment is typically required (APA, 2006). Medication and psychological therapies are widely used in treating Addiction Disorders.
Among the psychological interventions EMDR remain as one of the effective therapies. A relatively small but growing body of literature indicates that EMDR may be an effective adjunctive treatment for substance abuse (Abel & O’Brien, 2010). Zweben and Yeary (2006) reported on the potential uses of EMDR in addictions treatment. When combined with traditional addictions treatment approaches, EMDR can enhance client stability, prevent relapse, and promote recovery (O’Brien, & Abel, 2011).
Clinical reports highlight that EMDR is an important addition to the treatment of substance abuse. The application of EMDR apparently stimulates an inherent physiological processing system that allows dysfunctional information to be adaptively resolved, resulting in increased insight and more functional behavior. In addition EMDR is used to incorporate new coping skills and assist in learning more adaptive behaviors. (Shapiro et al., 1994).
Hase and colleagues (2008) reported a randomized controlled study which investigated the effects of eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) in the treatment of alcohol dependency. As they report: thirty-four patients with chronic alcohol dependency were randomly assigned to one of two treatment conditions: treatment as usual (TAU) or TAU plus two sessions of EMDR (TAU+EMDR). The craving for alcohol was measured by the Obsessive”Compulsive Drinking Scale (OCDS) pre-, post-, and 1 month after treatment. The TAU+EMDR group showed a significant reduction in craving posttreatment and 1 month after treatment, whereas TAU did not. Their results indicated that EMDR might be a useful approach for the treatment of addiction memory and associated symptoms of craving.
Breaking the Addiction Cycle via EMDR
The etiology of addiction is multi-factorial and complex. Addiction or dependency may be viewed as a subset of brain and behavior disorders (Wasilow-Mueller & Erickson, 2001).Negative childhood experiences, onset of psychological trauma, depression inducing life events play a role in the development of addictions. In such events EMDR can be used as a robust psychotherapeutic intervention.
The mechanism of EMDR has become a central topic. According to Solomon and Shapiro (2008) the Adaptive Information Processing model proposes that the mechanism of action in EMDR is “the assimilation of adaptive information found in other memory networks linking into the network holding the previously isolated disturbing event”. Based on this assumption Schubert and Lee (2009) suggest that EMDR transmutes the dysfunctionally stored memory by integrating it with preexisting memory networks.
Describing the neurobiological mechanism of action of EMDR Stickgold (2002) hypotheses that repetitive redirecting of attention in EMDR induces a neurobiological state, similar to that of REM sleep, which is optimally configured to support the cortical integration of traumatic memories into general semantic networks. They further suggest that this integration can then lead to a reduction in the strength of hippocampally mediated episodic memories of the traumatic event as well as the memories’ associated, amygdala-dependent, negative affect.
Addiction memory plays a decisive role in addictions. The human brain is an open learning system, which reveals its own neuronal connectivity through the experience of the perceived environment with its own state; the personal addiction memory is interpreted as an individual acquired software disturbance in relation to selectively integrating “feedback loops” and “comparator systems” of neuronal information processing (Boening, 2001). Addiction memory has an effect on relapse occurrence and maintenance of learned addictive behavior.
It is essential to work on addiction memory in order to break the addiction cycle. Hase and colleagues (2008) discuss the successful application of EMDR to reprocess the addiction memory in chronically dependent patients.
The standard EMDR protocol for treating addictions involves reprocessing the earlier (traumatic) memories that set the basis for the dysfunction (including contributing elements to the development of addiction), the present triggers that activate disturbance, and the development of future templates for more adaptive behavior, which is essentially a form of relapse prevention for this population. Strategies for addressing specific targets related to the addiction are a valuable addition (Shapiro et al., 1994: Hase et al., 2008).
Behavior modification (reprocessing) is an important aspect of EMDR (Rafferty, 2005). EMDR works on conscious and unconscious craving reducing occurrence of relapses.
1) Captain KHZ86 was an officer of the Sri Lanka Army who participated in a number of military operations. In 1992 he went on a rescue mission and accidently walked into an ambush. In this unexpected situation he lost 23 of his men in front of his eyes. Many were killed by the enemy gunfire and mortar attacks. After this incident Captain KHZ86 felt that he was personally responsible for the deaths of his men. He was troubled by survival guilt and ruminations. In order to avoid guilt, intrusions and night disturbances he started indulging in alcohol. He became numbed and withdrawn. He silently suffered abusing alcohol in large quantities. Following his drinking behavior he was diagnosed with harmful use of alcohol and referred for psychological therapy.
Captain KHZ86 underwent the full therapeutic protocol of EMDR with 8 sessions. His image was dead soldiers lying on the battle field with a negative cognition: I am responsible for their deaths. His SUD (subjective units of distress) was recorded the peak of 10. With the reprocessing therapy his disturbed feelings and intrusive memories disappeared. At the end of 8 sessions his SUD reduced up to zero with a newly established positive cognition: Their deaths were caused by the enemy and I did my utmost to save them even risking my life.
He was able to come to terms with his past trauma. The survival guilt that drastically affected him for a long time diminished gradually. He was able to sleep without experiencing depressogenic combat related mental images. He detached from the negative coping method and started to spend time without abusing alcohol. Hence Captain KHZ86 was able to fight back his addition. After sometime Captain KHZ86 got an honorable discharge from the military and now married and working in a multinational company. He has been sober for more than two years.
2) Mr. BXXF14L- a Sri Lankan Tamil expatriate experienced stressful life events before migrating to North America. He had to flee his hometown when the militants tried to forcibly recruit him. He came to Colombo and worked in a company for a short period. He lived in Colombo without proper documents and in a random search he was caught by the Police. Mr. BXXF14L was detained and questioned for a period of one week. Following these distressing events and foreshortened future he decided to migrate. He came to Canada and claimed refugee status.
While living in Canada Mr. BXXF14L gradually became depressed. He sadly missed his hometown, friends and family. Practically every day after work he started drinking alcohol and tried to forget grief-stricken memories. He frequently smoked cannabis. He became more and more depressed and reluctant to seek psychiatric help due to social stigma. Sometimes he engaged in self harm such as head banging and punching walls out of anger.
Mr. BXXF14L was referred for EMDR by a close relative. Although Mr. BXXF14L was ambivalent in the first few sessions later became an active participant. He willfully followed the EMDR treatment protocol. After six sessions of EMDR, Mr. BXXF14L became less agitated and reduced alcohol abuse considerably. His depressive feelings became less prominent. His sleep improved and he stopped smoking cannabis. Eventually he cut down his drinking volume for more than 80 %. Now for the last seven months he drinks only in social occasions and alcohol consumption does not exceed more than 2 cans of beer.
Addictions have negative consequences in private and social life. It has become one of the public health concerns. Psychological trauma and stressful life events often trigger addiction behaviors. A large number of individuals with addiction disorders are affected by PTSD, Depression and sometimes unresolved psychological conflicts. Often these core conditions hinder the individual’s functionality and sustain addictive behaviors. These individuals would be benefitted by EMDR. Numerous researches indicate positive clinical outcome in addictions following EMDR. EMDR is safe, cost effective and seems to have no side effects. Therefore EMDR is one of the efficacious psychotherapeutic interventions to treat addictions.
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by J.B. M¼ller
The Sri Lankan Diaspora overseas (mainly in Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and the USA) eagerly and indiscriminately absorbs everything appearing about their Motherland in the international print and electronic media. All what is done is done in the na¯ve belief that there isn’t a spin on the news and that it is completely unbiased and objective. Nothing could be further from the truth! Of course, expatriates would like to believe that the BBC, VOA, Deutsche Welle, and CNN, and others are feeding their hungry and even curious minds with the unadulterated truth.
It might be useful for those in the Diaspora to know, understand and acknowledge that Sri Lankans are no longer Eurocentric Anglophiles having at long last seen through the various Anglo-Saxon-Celtic ploys to continue their domination and exploitation by other, indirect means. No longer are Sri Lankans willing to regard their erstwhile masters as ‘superior’ beings with a ‘higher’ civilization to which they should slavishly defer. Those ‘good old days’ are gone and good riddance!
Sri Lanka is a very old country with a long history of civilization and a matured polity unlike some ‘Johnny-come-lately’ countries with hardly 500 years of history. The latter period of its history was marred by 443 years of European exploitation, each European power building on its predecessors to refine its instruments of exploitation. The British were the worst and the bloodiest when it came to merciless brutality as is evidenced by the manner in which it quelled the uprising of the Kandyans between 1818 and 1822. It committed genocide before that word was coined by slaughtering every man, woman, and child (including babes suckling at the breast!) in the Uva Province . That province comprised of the present Badulla and Moneragala Districts is yet to recover and is just now being developed by government. The Colonial Office 54 series of documents available at the Public Records Office in London holds all the General Orders issued by Lt. Gen. Sir Robert Brownrigg, governor and c-in-c, to Maj. General Hay McDowall and the correspondence with the Colonial Secretary, the Earl of Bathurst. (The Great Rebellion of 1818 by Prof. Tennekoon Vimalananda, Five Volumes, Gunasena Historical Series, Colombo, 1970)
In 1823 the British began selling Crown Land at two shillings an acre to British entrepreneurs””first, to cultivate cinchona [from which quinine is obtained], then coffee, then tea and rubber””from which they made huge profits for 149 years””and Mincing Lane and the members of the London Stock Exchange prospered beyond the dreams of avarice. (Land Reform Commission Report by Colvin R. de Silva, tabled in Parliament)
They created a huge ethnic and social problem by transporting indentured labour from the Ramnad district of Madras Presidency (present day Tamil Nadu). These helpless people were auctioned off at Matale like the African slaves at Charleston, SC, and families were cruelly torn apart. They reached Matale walking over 100 miles from Talaimannar along a route that came to be known as the ‘Skeleton Road’ because of the numbers that had perished by the wayside from hunger, thirst, snakebite, attack by wild beasts, cholera, dysentery, and what-have-you. Their tragedy has been carefully documented by Donovan Moldrich in his ‘Bitter Berry Bondage’””the story of the 19th century coffee workers in Sri Lanka . Another Burgher author, Lorna Ruth Wright, OAM, wrote “Just another shade of Brown” which graphically details the sexual exploitation of the women plantation workers and the creation of the Eurasian Community (disowned by their very prim and proper British fathers!) Many authors domestic and foreign have written about what colonialism did to Sri Lanka (Ceylon up to 1972) and it is a wonder that the people of this country tolerated what was done to them for so long, so patiently. (‘Bitter Berry Bondage’ by Donovan R. Moldrich and ‘Just another shade of brown’ by Lorna R. Wright)
Father Paul Caspersz, SJ, head of Satyodaya, Kandy, has been labouring amongst the Tamil plantation workers of Indian origin for decades and has written extensively about how these human beings have been mercilessly exploited. They have lived in sub-human conditions for over one hundred years and their emancipation has been a long and hard struggle to restore to them their intrinsic dignity as human beings. (Satyodaya Centre, Kandy, Sri Lanka)
When I was working at the then Ceylon Broadcasting Corporation as a Relief Announcer on the Commercial Service I distinctly remember reading a sign affixed to the gate of a British Club facing the Dutch Burgher Union headquarters which said: “Natives and dogs NOT allowed.” This was in 1969! I phoned friends working on the ‘Ceylon Daily News’ and they sent a photographer round to snap a picture. It was published and shortly thereafter the Government ordered the Club to take down the offending notice. Do any self-respecting people endowed with inherent dignity have to tolerate such barefaced arrogance?
Britain was one of the most ‘successful’ imperial powers on earth and they created a worldwide empire (on which the sun never set because it was everywhere on the globe) and bled its colonies. London is such a magnificent city despite its foul weather because it has risen, literally, on the blood, sweat and tears of countless millions in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Australia. In their imperial schema of things Australia produced the wool, New Zealand the milk, Malaya the rubber, Ceylon the tea, Rhodesia the tobacco, South Africa the diamonds and gold, Mauritius the sugar, West Africa the cocoa and so on””to the great delight of those who sat in London and counted their pounds, shillings and pence. They didn’t mind exploiting their own in the textile mills of Lancashire and the coal mines of Scotland . [Charles Dickens]. The exported their poor Scots, Irish, and Welsh to all these colonies to supervise the black, brown and yellow natives [and the ‘half-caste’ Eurasian offspring known as Burghers, Anglos and even bastards]. The slightest rumble from their workers and the Redcoats (now Khakied) were there to shoot their b***s off!
Look at the Burghers. The British looked down on them with great disdain classifying them as ‘half-castes’ and included them amongst the indigenous population. In 1796 they issued the Burghers an ultimatum””learn English or leave. Many who had the means went to Batavia (modern Jakarta). The others stayed and learned the new tongue. Very soon, these Burghers knew better English than the British themselves and were therefore enlisted in that great corps of clerks that they employed. These Burghers also learned how to play cricket and challenged the British to a one-day on Galle Face Green. They were superciliously asked what the name of their ‘club’ was to which a Burgher sharply retorted: “Nondescripts Cricket Club, Sir!” The name stuck. The club still exists (from 1889). So do the ‘nondescript’ Burghers. The entire British establishment including the ‘shoppies’ turned out one fine Sunday morning to watch these half-caste upstarts being licked. The imperial governor himself came and occupied the clubhouse that now stands before the Taj Samudra Hotel. Well, to cut a long story short, the Burgher ‘nondescripts’ beat the British who were ‘hoist with their own petard!’ They were learning, ever so painfully, that other people were not only their equals but could also better them in many spheres and they learned this lesson on this Island.(People Inbetween by Michael Roberts, Ismeth Raheem, Percy Colin-Th´m©, Sarvodaya, Ratmalana, 1989).
There is no land on the globe that the British touched that has not been left with a wholly untenable legacy of problems: India with Pakistan have Kashmir; the Holy land has Jewish Israel contending with Arab Palestine; the Cypriots are divided between the Greeks and the Turks; Africa is an indescribable mess. Glaring problems were created on the North American continent with the marginalization of the native Amerindian and Inuit peoples not to mention the stand-off between Blacks and Whites. In Australia the original inhabitants, the aborigines were decimated and then marginalized whilst their land was robbed from them by white colonists. It is a despicable record of man’s inhumanity to man carried forward on the specious premise that ‘White is Right’ and because they had a head-start in the practice of barbarism! What is even more despicable is that their so-called ‘Christianity’ condoned their barefaced discrimination and unfettered brutality.
Today, these Anglo-Saxon-Celts pontificate to the whole world about human rights””yes, fundamental human rights which they denied millions from the 16th to the 20th centuries of the Common Era. They sanctimoniously presume to interfere in the internal affairs of countries that attempt to stand-up to their bullying (amply exposed by Wiki-Leaks). The ongoing bloodletting in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate their manifest hypocrisy.
They left behind what were basically alien concepts, structures, systems, and constitutions that have confused and confuted the peoples they formerly ruled. They uprooted and deliberately destroyed indigenous systems that had endured for millennia and which the indigenous people were comfortable with. Today, the peoples of these lands are divided into innumerable factions and cliques contending bloodily for command and control in the name of the ‘democracy’ they left behind. They are happy with what they see because it is a continuation of their ‘divide et imperia’ or ‘divide and rule’ policy. It is easy to manipulate and exploit those who are divided!
Sri Lanka’s problems which some expatriates gleefully point out (as a justification for their living overseas) is a damaging inheritance bequeathed by the departing British to a class of indigenous people brainwashed and nurtured by them in their own image: the English-speaking Middle Classes represented by several leading families of Low-country upstarts and Up-country traitors. These families have lick-spittle hangers-on who have attained some upward social mobility and the privileges that go with that mobility and occupy the second and third tiers of governance. Whether they inhabit the governing party or the Opposition or their sundry and various coalition cohorts they have become the ‘corrupt of the earth.’
The decent and law-abiding majority are a patient, tolerant and hospitable people (sometimes referred to as the ‘broad masses’) who have taken much abuse. If you believe the many travellers who passed through, they are a giving and forgiving people. If we are to trust the historical record, these gentle, hard-working people have been driven to and fro by the Pandyans, Cholas, Cheras, Pallavas and Javakas; then, by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British””each, in turn, more subtly brutal than the previous. Ever since 1186, when the indigenous polity began disintegrating with the breakdown of central authority [and fissiparous tendencies manifested themselves], there has been a traumatic crisis that is yet to come to a conclusion. We know that history works in cycles and that that conclusion will come, perhaps unobtrusively or dramatically to sweep away the detritus of several centuries.
True civilization does not consist of the worship of science & technology or the tinsel and glitter of modernity or of roads, railways, harbours, airports, and the frenzied rush one might be bemused by. It consists of the maturity and wisdom gained through the practice of virtue, the development of good moral character, to decent family life and values, the unswerving commitment to social justice and equity. This also means and implies the practice and active pursuit of harmlessness and a belief in the sacredness of all life””all mankind is of one blood. The serene tranquility of spirit thus attained is a universal norm that needs no sectarian labels. This is the civilization that grew and was nurtured on this Island for centuries until rudely and repeatedly disturbed. It is yet the goal of those who appreciate the intrinsic beauty of Nature rather than that of soulless concrete, glass and steel.
Let’s discuss this further if you are minded to,