American Embassy officials wanted me to cross over to Opposition-Minister Gunaratna Weerakoon,recorded voice tape with him

December 7th, 2014

Hot News

The Minister Gunaratna Weerakoon had accused the American embassy officials that they had attempted to bribe him to cross over to the opposition.to change the political base of the country this attempt is made he had said addressing a meeting,and had said the related voice tape of the telephone discussion is in his possession he had added.The American Ambassador Mitchel Sison had refuted the allegation as it is baseless.

How does diet influence ADHD symptoms

December 7th, 2014

Dr Hector Perera        London

There are two types of approved colour additives – dyes and lakes. Dyes are water-soluble and usually come in the form of powders, granules, or liquids. Lakes are not water-soluble. They are found in products containing fats and oils.

Some food colourings are synthetically produced. Examples of these colour additives include FD&C Blue Nos. 1 and 2 and FD&C Green No. 3. Other food colourings come from pigments of vegetables, minerals, or animals. Examples of these natural additives include beta-carotene, grape skin extract, caramel colour, and saffron.

Does sugar cause symptoms of ADHD?

Processed sugars and carbohydrates may have an effect on a child’s activity level. These sugars produce a rapid increase in blood glucose levels because they enter the bloodstream so quickly. A child may become more active due to an adrenaline rush produced by this blood sugar spike.

Ben Feingold created a popular elimination diet designed to treat hyperactivity. This diet proposes the elimination of artificial colourings, flavourings, and preservatives in order to decrease hyperactivity. Some studies have disproved Feingold’s theory. Nevertheless, many parents who have tried it have reported an improvement in their child’s behaviour.

Regardless of whether a child suffers from ADHD, children should eat processed sugars in moderation, if at all. High-sugar foods contribute to tooth decay, contain empty calories that can lead to obesity, and tend to have little nutritional value.

ADHD and food additives

As reported by Amanda Gardner the health news reporter there are a number of food additives that are responsible for ADHD behaviour.

Will eliminating dye-containing foods from a child’s diet help ADHD? Experts say there’s not enough evidence to recommend this action, although a small subset of children may benefit. Most studies of a possible link analysed blends of additives, not single ingredients, making it difficult to find a culprit.

However, here’s a list of additives that could aggravate attention problems, although none (with the exception of Yellow No. 5) has been studied alone in humans. A comprehensive list of dyes in food products can be found at the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.

Another food additive is Blue No. 1 also known as: Brilliant blue and used as a food colouring. It is found in some foods in US market such as in certain kinds of chips, French onions, chocolates, ice cream products, Chew Candy, chewing gums and far too many to mention. I am sure many of us are not familiar with these products but just buy and eat. They are in attractive packaging so the kids tend to buy or actually grab hold and dump into the shopping trolley.

Another food additive that is used as a colouring is Blue No. 2 also known as Indigo tine. This chemical is supposed to be found in a number of children’s food such as in sweets, chocolates and biscuits. Even if they are mentioned, sometimes they may be not found in the supermarkets in England.

Then there is Green No.3. A food colouring, though rarely used these days. It is usually found in candy, beverages, ice creams and puddings. Then Orange B. A food colouring, but no longer used, Sausage casings. Red No. 3. Also known as: Carmoisine. A food colouring found only in a few types of food products such as in Candy, cake icing, chewing gum. Sodium benzoate another food additive and also a food preservative. This food additive or which as a food preservative is found in some fruit juices, carbonated beverages, and pickles.
You’ll find sodium benzoate in abundance in acidic foods. It is used to stymie the growth of microorganisms, according to the Centre for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). Then Red No, also known as: Allura red. A food colouring and the most widely used food dye in the U.S, trumping both Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6. It is found in a number children’s food. Then there is Yellow No. 5, also known as: Tartrazine. Yellow No. 5 is the only food dye that has been tested alone and not simply as part of a mix. Those studies did link it to hyperactivity. It is the second most commonly used dye in the U.S. This is found mainly in cheese and hamburgers.
 This is not the end, there are far too many of these in food but who would check the good and bad effects on health when one goes shopping? They just buy or the kids grab and drop into the trolley so the parents would pay for them. If there were more than two or children in the family shopping trip, one can imagine how many things that each one grabs and drop into the shopping trolley. These are most widely used food dye in the U.S than in England.

 ADHD Hyperactivity and Food Dyes

Artificial dyes in foods can cause hyperactivity in a child with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD). Here are healthy substitutes.

Some mothers served breakfast for their little ones, with attention deficit disorder (ADD ADHD), little did she know that the tasty foods he was gobbling up — a blueberry muffin, a bowl of Fruit Loops, and a glass of Citrus Punch — would worsen his ADHD symptoms, making the child more inattentive and fidgety.

Although the child knew his math problems perfectly the night before, he did poorly on the day’s test because he couldn’t focus on his teacher’s instructions. Then a few mothers found out that it wasn’t the foods themselves, or their high sugar content, that increased her son’s distraction, but the rainbow of artificial colours they contained.

Studies published in The LancetPaediatrics, and Journal of Paediatrics suggest that some children with ADHD are adversely affected by food additives. And a new study indicates that artificial colouring and flavours, as well as the preservative sodium benzoate, can make some non-ADD kids hyperactive.

When some parents heard about the new study on TV, they have avoided foods that contained colouring. Within a matter of days, they saw an improvement in their children with ADD symptoms. The children sat down nicely to eat, stood still long enough to get their hair combed and the teeth brushed, put their coats on by themselves, and had plenty of hugs and kisses for their mum and dad. Their teacher called to some parents to say how well some children did in class, and asked if a new medication was responsible for their improved behaviour.

How do you know if food additives are compromising your child’s focus? Conduct a quick test at home. For one week, avoid foods and drinks that list on their labels U.S. certified colour Red #40, Blue #2, Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow), as well as sodium benzoate. Do you find your child less fidgety?

After seven days, reintroduce food additives into the child’s diet by squeezing a few drops of artificial food colouring. Observe his behaviour for two or three hours. If you don’t see a change, have him drink a second glass. Does he become more hyperactive?

What to Do

If so, wean your child off foods that are artificially dyed or flavoured, or that contain sodium benzoate. Here are some helpful tips about what foods to avoid and what to serve in their place:

Substitute 100 percent fruit juice for soft drinks, fruit drinks, and fruit punches — all of which are typically artificially coloured and flavoured. There are brands naturally flavoured and free of dyes—though they all contain sodium benzoate. Even better, buy natural sodas or fruit spritzers sold at health food stores. 

If you have time to bake, make muffins, cakes, and cookies from scratch. Cake mixes contain red and yellow collaring. Use pure extracts instead of artificial vanilla (called vanillin), almond, peppermint, lemon, orange, and coconut flavours. Pure extracts taste better, although they are more expensive. No time to bake? As you would expect, the more colourful the cereal, the more food dyes it contains. Look for breakfast cereals that are free of dyes try and look for which doesn’t contain artificial collars, flavours, or preservatives. We can say this here but the question is, I wonder is it really practical? One thing who would be reading the food labels in the supermarkets? I have my doubts.

If your kids love barbecue sauce, or if you use it to spice up every day dishes, read the label before buying a bottle. Many brands are loaded with Red #40. Does your child enjoy popsicles? Buy one of the few brands without dyes or preservatives.

Some gelatine mixes are loaded with artificial collaring and flavours. Make your own gelatine salad or desserts by dissolving plain gelatine in 100 percent fruit juice for a pretty, and nutritious, dessert.

Dyes and preservatives found beyond Food

Dyes and preservatives can also be found in personal care products, such as toothpaste and mouthwashes, some of which may be swallowed by young children. Again, read the labels carefully before buying them. Certain toothpaste, for instance, contains blue dye; but some are free of it. Clear, natural mouthwashes are a good substitute for those brightly coloured varieties. Again who would practically do that?

Most podiatric medicines are also artificially coloured and flavoured. Ask your doctor if there is an additive-free substitute that would work just as well. For over-the-counter medicines, choose dye-free white tablets. Be sure to adjust the dosage for your child’s age. The liquid form of the over-the-counter antihistamine is artificially coloured with red dye, but the medication also comes in clear liquid capsules.

Avoiding foods with artificial colours and preservatives has another big benefit: It will raise the nutritional value of your family’s diet, since the “junkiest” foods on supermarket shelves tend to be — you guessed it — most heavily coloured and flavoured. The present day generation have no idea that the additives and colourings can have any influence on the behaviour of children. We can tell these things many number of times but, I have my doubt if they have any effect. Once they are in supermarkets, they buy anything that appears the price within reason. Your comments are welcomed perera6@hotmail.co.uk

UN resolutions for combating defamation of religions

December 7th, 2014

By Rohana R. Wasala

(The fifth and last of my series of articles on religion and related issues.)

Indo-British novelist Salman Rushdie’s fourth novel ‘Satanic Verses’ (1988) and the so-called Muhammad cartoons published in the Danish liberal-conservative daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten on 30 September 2005 outraged many Muslims around the world and led to angry, frequently violent demonstrations and other forms of protest. Salman Rushdie had to go into hiding when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the then supreme leader of Iran, issued a fatwa sentencing him to death for blasphemy against Islam. Several unsuccessful attempts were made on his life in consequence. In 1991, the Japanese translator of the book, Hitoshi Igarashi, was assassinated in connection with the same perceived offence. The Danish cartoonist was accused of insulting the founder of that religion, and the ambassadors of a number of Islamic countries urged the Danish authorities to take action against the alleged offender.

Now if the writer and the cartoonist actually meant to harm the good name of a religion by publishing malicious falsehoods about it or its founder or its believers, no civilized individual, community or country would approve of that. But in these cases only the Muslims believed that such an offence had been committed by the novelist and the cartoonist and were offended, while in the West the novel and the cartoons were received as products of the artists’ exercise of their right to freedom of thought and expression. So the two cases served to expose a stark difference between the secular Western democracies and the predominantly Muslim states everywhere in their attitudes towards direct expression or suggestion of independent views regarding their religion and its leader.

Sadly both these episodes happened more than a decade after the enforcement of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (adopted by General Assembly resolution in December 1966, and in force from March 1976 in terms of Article 49 of the same document). The ICCPR explicitly stated global agreement on the basic human rights of all. Articles 19 and 20 of the Covenant are specifically about the right to holding and expressing opinions:

Article 19

  1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.
  2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.
  3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

Article 20

  1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.
  2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.

Since 1999 a number of non-binding resolutions for ‘combating defamation of religions’ have been adopted at the UN. The concerned countries of the United Nations had eventually to revert to a position indicated by the above two articles in pacifying parties that were affected by instances of alleged acts of defamation of religions. During more than a decade of debate and discussion about the subject under the auspices of the UN, strangely, but also understandably, key concepts of the discussion such as religion, defamation and tolerance remained undefined. The reality is that these terms mean different things to different parties who are at loggerheads, which makes a consensual settlement of the matter to everybody’s satisfaction  almost impossible.

It was in April 1999 that a demand for a resolution against defaming a religion came before the UN’s Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). Pakistan presented to the Commission a resolution entitled ‘Defamation of Islam’ sponsored by the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) which claimed that there was a concerted campaign to defame Islam. This title was later changed to ‘Defamation of Religions’. From then on almost every year until 2011, non-binding resolutions were passed against defamation of religions. But right from the beginning there was no consensus about these resolutions between Western countries and some nations of the developing world with predominantly Muslim populations. The former opposed such resolutions saying that they were equivalent to an international blasphemy law, that interfered with the freedoms of opinion and expression.

In 2006, the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) was created to succeed the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR). After UNHRC approval in that year, a resolution entitled ‘Combating Defamation of Religions’ was submitted to the General Assembly. It was adopted with 111 member countries voting for it, 54 against, and 18 abstentions. Russia and China, permanent members of the UN Security Council, voted in favour of the resolution. The voting history of these non-binding UN resolutions against defamation of religions shows a steady decline in support for them among the UN members and a corresponding rise in the number of opponents and abstentions from 2006 to 2010. There emerged in 2011 a shift of concern from protecting beliefs to protecting believers, protection of whose rights being regarded as what really matters.

Western objectors to defamation combating resolutions justify themselves by emphasizing the crucial need for the protection of the human rights of all people. In terms of freedom of thought, conscience and religion that the UN recognizes as a basic human right, one has a right to profess a religion, to practice it, and even to change it. That the average faith systems restrict freedom of thought when applied to those systems themselves needs no elaboration. But in the multicultural society which is the norm today, realization of even religious freedom is not possible under a fundamentalist system, because, without the freedom of thought and speech, how can an individual change their religious identity or shed it altogether by asserting their fundamental human right to conscience and belief? It is a paradox that arises in this kind of controversy.

But this is something that is hardly recognized by the religious majority in the world. Finding fault with religion in general or with a particular system of religious belief is not politically correct. Those who dare do that are the irreligious (professing no religion) minority, but naturally they cannot influence the formulation of measures to resolve the defamation issue in a big way. However, the anti-religious few too must enjoy the same right to freedom of opinion and expression as the religious majority. When Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief Doudou Diene opined (2007) that “A growing anti-religious culture and rhetoric is a central source of defamation of all religions and discrimination against their believers and practitioners”, he was making a generalization that was probably both right and wrong, more wrong than right in fact. But Carlos Portales of Chile alerted the members to a potential danger posed by the anti-defamation resolution drive by observing at the UNHRC (2009) that: “The concept of the defamation of religions took them in an area that could lead to the actual prohibition of opinions”.

Paragraph 48 (reproduced below) of  the 52-paragraph General Comment No. 34 (which is on Article 49 of the ICCPR which I have quoted above) that the UN Human Rights Committee issued speaks on behalf of all stakeholders in the ‘Combating defamation of religions’ controversy:

“ Prohibitions of displays of lack of respect for a religion or other belief system, including blasphemy laws, are incompatible with the Covenant, except in the specific circumstances envisaged in article 20, paragraph 2, of the Covenant. Such prohibitions must also comply with the strict requirements of article 19, paragraph 3, as well as such articles as 2, 5, 17, 18 and 26. Thus, for instance, it would be impermissible for any such laws to discriminate in favour of or against one or certain religions or belief systems, or their adherents over another, or religious believers over non-believers. Nor would it be permissible for such prohibitions to be used to prevent or punish criticism of religious leaders or commentary on religious doctrine and tenets of faith.”

 As is well known, the UN Human Rights Committee comprises independent experts who monitor the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. For better or for worse, and for the time being at least, they seem to have had the last word on the defamation of religions controversy.

දුක හිතෙන කතාවක්

December 6th, 2014

 ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

1983 සැප්තැම්බර්  1 වැනිදා  දිඹුලාගල නා හිමියන්ගේ  ප්‍රධානත්වයෙන්  හා මහවැලි අමාත්‍යංශයේ  මෙහෙය වීමෙන්  මා දු රු ඔය ව්‍යාපාරයේ පදිංචි කිරීම සඳහා  විශාල සිංහල සෙනගක් ගෙනයාම ඇරඹුනේය.  ඩොලර් සහ කෙන්ට්”’ ගොවිපලවල”” සිදුවූ බිහිසුණු  කොටි ඝාතන වැනි ඝාතනයන් නැවත සිදු නොවීමට නම් රටේ ජන අනුපාතයට අනුව ගැලපෙන සිංහල ප්‍රතිශතයක්  උතුරු පළාත් වල පදිංචි කල යුතු බව  ගාමිණි දිසානායක  ඇමති ඇතුළු ඒ මහවැලි නිලධාරීන්ගේ  අදහස විය.  මේ කාර්යය කිරීම  සඳහා ඔවුන් විසින් තෝරා ගත්තේ දිඹුලාගල හිමියන්ය . උන්වහන්සේ වරෙව් කී සැනින්  එන්නට දහස් ගණන් මිනිස්සු  සිටියහ. මේ අභීත හිමි පාණෝ  සෙත් පිරිත්  සජ්ජායායනා කර පිරිස අමතා ”’අද ඔබ මෙතනට රැස්ව සිටින්නේ ඉඩම් කැබැල්ලක් ලබා ගැනීමට  පමණක් නොව  ඊට වඩා උසස් අරමුණක් සන්දහාය්.  අද රට ඇත්තේ ඉතාම අඳුරු යුගයකය්.  බෙදුම් වාදීන්ට අවශ්‍ය ඊලාම් නමින් හැදින්වීමට යාබද ඉඩම්  සමුහයක්  මෙය කඩා දමන්නටය් අද ඔබ සුදානම් වන්නේ .  අහිංසක ද්‍රවිඩයන් සමග  සහෝදරයන් ලෙස ජීවත් වන්න .. මෙරට බෙදන්න දෙන්න  දෙන්න බැ  හැ   ඉඩම් කාටත් අයිතිය්  මෙය අපේ උරුමයය්  කැමති තැනක පදිංචි වීමේ අයිතිය කාටත් තිබිය යුත්ය්  මේ රටේ වෙනම රාජ්ජයක් තිබිය නොහැකිය  අන්තිම ලේ බින්දුව දක්වා සටන්කොට  එක්සත් ශ්‍රී ලංකාව  සුරැකිය යුතුය්  එය ඔබේ කාර්යයය්. ……. කෙසේ හෝ ත්‍රස්තවාදීන්  ඔබ යටපත් කිරීමට පැමිණියහොත්  අන්තිමයා දක්වා සටන් කරන්න  ..මේ ගමනේ ආපසු හැරීමක් නැත. ඔබ එහි නොරදුනහොත් ””’තොත් නසී  අඹුත් නසී  රටත් නසී ”’ දෙශාරක්ෂකයෝ වන්නේ නු   බලාමය්. ……..”””””””’
                                                වෑ න් ලොරි කාර් බස්  ආදී වාහන 200 ක් පමණ මේ සඳහා නොමිලේ ලැබුනේය . පදවිය ව්‍යාපාරයේ ඩී  එස් විසින් පදිංචිකළ  සිංහලයන් පසු කාලයේදී  සියලුම රජයන් විසින්  අමතක කර දන ලද  නිසා අසරණ වූ ඔවුහු  දෙමල  ත්රස්තයන්ගේ  අඩන්තේට්ටම් වලට ලක් වුහ  මේ නිසා මාරු ඔයේ පදිංචි කරන්නවුන්ට  දේශය අරාක්ශ්ශා  කිරීම සඳහා  ආයුධ පුහුණුවක දීමටද  නාවික හමුදාවෙන් ඉවත්වූ දේශ මාමක නිලධාරීන්සමුහයක් ද ඔවුන් අතර පදිංචි කිරීමටද  සැලසුම් කර තිබුනේ ය.  මේ වන විටත්  ඉන්දියාව ලංකාව ආක්‍රමණය කිරීමේ  සුදානමක් තිබු බව  ලංකාවෙන් ඉන්දියාවට ගිය හමුදා නිලධාරියෙක් ගාමිණි දිසානායකට පවසා තිබුනේය. නලීන්     නම් මේ නිලධාරියා අමතමින් ඉන්දීය   මිතුරු භටයෝ  විහිළු කරමින් ළඟදී ඔබේ රට අපි ක්‍රමණය කරනකොට අපට පාර පෙන්නන්න පුලුවන්ද  කියා විහිළු බස් දොඩවන විට  නලින්  ඇතුලාන්තය තේරුම් ගෙන ඇත.  මේ නිසා  මෙවැනි විශේෂ වැඩ පිළිවෙලක් දියත් කලයුතු බව අමතිගේද අදහස විය……………. මෙසේ සියල්ල සිදුවන විට දෙමල ජාතිවාදියෝ කුලප්පු වුහ. දේවනායගම් ඇමති විරුද්ධත්වය පාමින් දෙමල පළාත් වල සිංහලයන් දහස් ගණනින් පදිංචි කිරීමට ගාමිණී දිසානායක  උත්සාහ ගන්නේයය් කියා  ජාතිවාදය වපුරන්නට විය  . සිංහල බල වේගයක් විසින් ජේ ආර්  ව නෙරපන්නට කැසකවන බවට  ද්‍රෝහීන් විසින්  ජේ ආර් ගේ කනේ තියන ලදී   .ජේ ආර්  මෙතෙක්  ගාමිනීලාගේ ව්‍යාපෘතිය  මනාව දන සිටියේ නැත.  ඇමති හෝ පණ්ඩිතරත්න නම් පක්ෂයේ ලේකම්  යම් කරුණක් නිසා  මේ කරුණු ජේ ආර් ගෙන් වසන් කළේය.  ජේ ආර්  රනිල් වික්රමසින්හ මාදු රු ඔයට යවා ඔහුගෙන්  විස්තර ලබාගත්තේය රනිල් ගාමිණී අමාරුවේ වැටෙන අන්දමටම  කරුණු ඉදිරි පත් කළේය  . කෝපවූ  ජේ ආර්  වහාම පෝල්  පෙරේරා නම්  දාමරික  කිතුනු මන්ත්‍රී පොළොන්නරුවේ දිස්ත්‍රික් ඇමති කර   බෙනඩික් සිල්වා නම්  කතෝලික  ස්වෙච්චා කර්නල්  කෙනෙකු ලවා  පදින්චිවුවන්ගේ සියලු පැල්පත් කඩා දමා  පහරදී  සියලු දෙනා එළවා දමන ලදී .
 

                                                සිංහලයෝ තමන්ගේ පාරම්පරික ඉඩම් වල පදිංචි වීම  බලහත් කාරයෙන් දෙමල ඉඩම්  අල්ලා ගැනීමක්  ලෙසත්  දෙමලු මුළු උතුරෙන්ම සිංහලයන් පන්නා දැමීම  උන්ගේ නිජ භුමිය ආරක්ෂා කර ගැනීමක් ලෙසත්  පෙන්වාදෙන්නට බටහිර  ගැ ති  මාද්‍ය වෙදියොත්  සමසමාජ කොමියු නිස්ට් කාරයොත්  එක පහර නැ ගීසිටියහ. තත්වය දරුණුවන විට  ගාමිණී දිසානායක හා පණ්ඩිත රත්න  ආදීන්  කර අරින්නට පටන්ගත්තේ ඔවුන් ජේ ආර් ගේ  හැටි දන්නා  දේශ පාලකයන් නිසා ය. මේ වැ ඩ යට  මුළුමනින්ම කරගැසූ  අමාත්‍යංශ යේ අතිරේක සාමාන්‍යාධිකාරි    හර්මන් මාලිංග ගුණරත්න  තනිවිය ඔහු පසු පස රහස් පොලිසිය  ලුහුබදින්නට විය . තැනින් තැන සඟ වීසිටි ඔහු අන්තිමේ දී ගලවා ගත්තේ  පෞද්ගලික මිතුරෙකු වූ  තොන්ඩමන් විසිනි   මාලිංග වතු  පාලකයෙකු වශයෙන් හඳුනා ගෙන සිටි තොන්ඩමන් ඒ යාලු කමට ජේ ආර් ට කියා මාලිංග බේරා ගත්තේය .  ජේ ආර්  සිංහල යන්ට  ඇහුම් කන් නොදුන්නත්  තොන්ඩ මන් ට ඇහුම් කන් දුන්නේය. ඒ  තොණ්ඩා  රජුන් තනන් නෙකු නිසා ය  අනේ රට කට ගිය කල   (  කියවන්න””’ ඒකීය රාජ්ජය ක් සදහා””’)))
  

                            උතුරු නැගෙන හිර  75% සිංහලයන් පදිංචි කර ඔවුන්ට ආයුධ පුහුණුව දී වෙරළ ආරක්ෂාවට නාවික හමුදාවේ විශ්‍රාමිකයන්  ඇතුළු සිංහල ධීවරයන් පදිංචි කර ඔවුන්ට සියලු ආරක්ෂාව දීමේ වැඩ පිළිවෙලක් දියත් කරන තුරු  දෙමල ජාතිවාදය  පරාජය කල නොහක  වහාම දැන් ඇති  පළාත් බෙදීම්  අහෝසි කර  භූගෝලීය පදනමකින් බෙදිය යුතුය  ගම්සභා ක්‍රමය නැවත ඇතිකර පළාත් සභා අ හෝසි  ක ල යුතුය    මෙය කරන්නට  කෙනෙක් අවශ්‍ය වී තිබේ      

Anti-tobacco campaign: Sirisena agreed to reduce size of health warnings – Nimal

December 5th, 2014

Hot News

Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva yesterday claimed the anti-tobacco and anti-alcohol regulations had been introduced under his tenure as Health Minister in keeping with Mahinda Chintana programme. “[Former Health Minister] Maithripala Sirisena has claimed the paternity of another person’s child.”

Minister de Silva said though his estranged colleague had claimed the size of the pictorial health warnings on packets of cigarettes had been reduced due to political interference, it was the judiciary that had made that decision. “He agreed to a settlement with the tobacco company and have the pictorial warnings printed in an area covering 60 percent of the display areas of packets of cigarettes. He cannot blame anyone for what he himself approved. Regulations placed on the parliament order paper can be challenged in the Supreme Court and that is a constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens.”

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said his government had launched its anti-smoking campaign way back in 2006 and its efforts had yielded desired results. “Nobody dares to smoke in buses, trains and public places and our campaign was responsible for a drastic reduction in the sale of cigarettes. There is an allegation that the sale of white beedi has increased and contemplating action to tackle the issue.”

Minister de Silva accused the tobacco industry of having bankrolled the Oppositions Uva PC polls campaign.

Certain politicians want to take me before ICJ – President

President Mahinda Rajapaksa said that certain politicians are hell bent on defeating him at the forthcoming Presidential Election to bring him before the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

“The ulterior motives of these people came to light during a program telecast over Al-Jazeera recently,” he said.

He said the Tamil diaspora together with certain politicians are engaged in this.

President Mahinda Rajapaksa had quoted that in the forthcoming presidential election he is contesting not the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena but former president Chandrika Kumaratunga is contesting me.This is a combined effort of Mangala and Chandrika.He was of the view that Ranil Wickremasinghe would have been a better force as he has a knack,while Maithripala is in a side was said to the media heads at temple trees

The viewer who called Mahindananda Aluthgamage traced-He is Ranjan Ramanayake

The day before yesterday the caller,a viewer who questioned Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage during the live “wada pitiya” which prompted the Minister to end the programme abruptly causing a severe embarrassment to him has been traced as Member of parliament, UNP’s Ranjan Ramanayake.He had used the name as Sunil from Matara.This has been revealed through special information.
The call has been initiated through mobile phone 0712781811 and channeled via the Madiwela telecommunication tower.The name and address of the owner of the mobile phone Ranjan Ramanayake, 4D,parliament housing complex,Madiwela,Kotte.The identity card address is No 26/9 C.S Perera Mawatha, Moratuwa.

 

වාද පිටියේ දුරකථන ඇමතුම
රන්ජන්ගෙන් මිලියන 500ක්‌ ඉල්ලා මහින්දානන්ද නඩු යයි

නෝමන් පලිහවඩන

දෙරණ රූපවාහිනිය ඔස්‌සේ විකාශය වූ “වාදපිටිය” දේශපාලන වැඩසටහන අතරතුරදී තමාට අපහාසාත්මක වන අයුරින් දුරකථන ඇමතුමක්‌ දුන්නේ එජාප පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්‍රී රන්ජන් රාමනායක මහතා බවත් ඔහුගෙන් රුපියල් මිලියන 500 ක්‌ ඉල්ලා නඩු මගට යන බවටත් ක්‍රීඩා ඇමැති මහින්දානන්ද අලුත්ගමගේ මහතා “දිවයින” ට ඊයේ (05 වැනිදා) පැවසීය.

පසුගිය 03 වැනිදා රාත්‍රි වාද පිටිය විශේෂ දේශපාලන වැඩසටහනට තමා සහභාගි වී සිටියදී රන්ජන් රාමනායක මහතා ඔහුගේ ජංගම දුරකථනයෙන් කටහඬ වෙනස්‌ කරමින් තමාට අපහාස වන ආකාරයට කතා කළ බවට චෝදනා කරමින් අලුත්ගමගේ මහතා මෙසේ නඩු මගට පිවිසීමට තීරණය කර ඇත.

එදින වාදපිටියට දුරකථන ඇමතුමක්‌දී මාතර – සුනිල් නමැති අයකු කළ ප්‍රකාශයක්‌ නිසා උරණ වූ මහින්දානන්ද අලුත්ගමගේ මහතා තමාට මඩ ගැසීම නතර නොකිරීම සම්බන්ධයෙන් දෙරණ නාලිකාවට දොaෂාරෝපණය කරමින් වැඩසටහන අතරතුරදී ඊට සහභාගි වූ රමේෂ් පතිරණ මන්ත්‍රීවරයා සමග පිටව ගියේය.

පසුව රාත්‍රි 12.30 ට පමණ අලුත්ගමගේ මහතා මිරිහාන පොලිස්‌ ස්‌ථානයට ගොස්‌ මෙම සිද්ධිය පිළිබඳව පැමිණිල්ලක්‌ කර ඇත.

එම විමර්ශනවලදී මෙම ඇමතුම දී ඇත්තේ රන්ජන් රාමනායක මන්ත්‍රීවරයා විසින් බව තහවුරු වූයේ යෑයිද ඇමැතිවරයා කීවේය.

Protecting the freedoms of religious belief and rational thought

December 5th, 2014

By  Rohana R. Wasala

 (Fourth in the series of religion-related articles)

Articles 18 and 19 of The United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights  guarantee to all common people ‘the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion…. (and) …. ‘the right to freedom of opinion and expression ….’.  Though no clear definition of the term ‘religion’ is available in the context of the UN document, let me, for the purpose of this essay go by the following commonsense definition: ‘A religion is a system of devotional practice and ethical conduct based on a doctrine that advocates belief in a creator god’. Belief or faith requires no support of evidence unlike scientific knowledge. Under normal circumstances, there’s no way we can question the truth of a religion, because it is a matter of faith. When we consider the  generic sense of the word ‘religion’, we find nothing comparable to the uniform mode of knowledge that we call science. All the various sciences follow the same scientific conventions, principles and practices, and partake of the character of science. On the other hand, the different religions, each of which claims a monopoly over truth, cannot be regarded as different organic aspects of  something single called religion, for if one religion is true all the others must be untrue. This can be problematic unless the followers of each religion are content to remain true to their own faith until death completely ignoring the truth claims of other religions (which is what normally happens), and unless all those who want to join a new religion do so blindly accepting its dogmas.

However, it is the nature of modern humans (of the species of ‘homo sapiens’, ‘wise or rational humans’) to be guided by reason in whatever they do, unless made to behave otherwise through some such cause as force of circumstance, low intellectual inheritance, or indoctrination. Rational thought is a human characteristic. But religious faith is not compatible with rational thought. In fact, they are mutually exclusive. At the same time, we cannot forget the fact that the high level of civilization (i.e. collective material and moral advancement) that we have achieved we owe more to the triumph of reason over ignorance than to the mere advent of religion.

I know that it is unseemly to talk about religion in this manner; it is, in fact, not good manners. I know that the religious readers are likely to feel hurt by this. I am truly sorry about that. I kindly request them to bear with me. The existential truth is that all of us, whether religious or non-religious, are being threatened by forms of virulent religious fundamentalism. It is true that religious fundamentalists are a small minority in each mainstream faith. Yet we shouldn’t forget that in human history it took only a handful of maniacs to play havoc with the lives of innocent millions in the name of politics and religion.

 In my opinion as a citizen of the world, there has been no better time than the present to talk really seriously about religion, because we might soon lose the freedom to do so, considering the way mindless religious fundamentalism is sweeping across the world. The time has come for every rational human being to think carefully about the role that religion has played so far and is still playing in human affairs. This is in order to enhance the benefits if any that may have accrued to us through religions, while eliminating the evil that fundamentalist interpretations of religious dogmas invariably lead to. We can no longer be sure about our future while the behemoth of  religious fundamentalism is threatening to devour human civilization itself.

The large brain capacity that humans possess (the largest among the higher animals in the evolutionary ladder) gives them their uniquely advanced power of reasoning or rational thought; they also characteristically depend on the use of language and the invention and utilization of complicated implements. Free creative thinking is what fuels the historical process of civilization. Freedom of thought and freedom of expression where these are most important, that is, in matters that are vital to our emotional and spiritual wellbeing (which religion is traditionally taken to address), are denied us by certain murderously deranged religious zealots.  

However, we cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater. Every religion has an ethical content which cannot be ignored, and which is at least partly valid. Probably it is one of the major reasons, apart from the emotional succour that religions are known to provide to some people, that account for the fact that religions have managed to survive the onslaught of reason for so long. But religion-based ethical systems are not perfect. For example, nearly all religions treat women as inferior to men; killing in the name of god is a moral thing to do for some fanatical believers of a particular religion. So religious morals may sometimes need to be humanized by an ethics based on a scientific understanding of the psychological principles that underlie the way one should behave so as to maximize the happiness and minimize the suffering of oneself and of others in a community.

In reality, though, there is no essential correlation between religion and morality. Though all religions preach moral virtues such as love, charity, compassion etc towards others the basic character trait that gets reinforced is inborn selfishness. Selfishness is the antithesis of the altruism implied in the terms love, compassion etc. Genuine love, charity,  compassion are selfless as demonstrated by spiritual leaders like the Buddha and Christ. What we find in practice in the name of religion is not exactly that selflessness, but the opposite. Of course, there are people who are inspired to be selfless in their behavior as expected by their religions, but they are only a few; the majority claim to ‘follow’ religions for the rewards that are promised. That is hypocrisy. Selfishness and hypocrisy characterize many who claim to be religious. This may not be the fault of religions. ‘No religion preaches evil’ is the general acceptance. However, in view of what is happening, and what happened in the past this claim needs examining.

Most religious parents think that they must pass on their religious beliefs to their children. Religious education of children is essentially indoctrination, which leads to attitudinal maladjustments in interpersonal relations such as superiority or inferiority complexes, discrimination , aloofness, condescension, or contempt towards fellow humans on account of differences in religious affiliation in any culturally heterogeneous society today that is the norm everywhere.  It is religious indoctrination in childhood that robs many grown up people of their ability to think rationally about religion and acquire the courage to give up irrational beliefs; they instead pass them on to their progeny in the same way that they were made to imbibe them from their parents. Even an otherwise sound education fails to wean some people from harmful forms of religious belief because of this vicious cycle.

False religious beliefs may be of limited harm by themselves. The problem is that the general tendency among believers is to equate their own belief with ultimate truth, while denouncing the beliefs of other religions as heresy. Even that may be ignored as harmless, if they stop at that. Their piety can sometimes kill others who subscribe to different religious beliefs with a similar degree of piety. Peaceful coexistence of adherents of different religions is usually advocated. But whether this is really achievable is a question. It’s a different matter when a particular religion claims an absolute monopoly over truth and wants to impose its values on all the others on pain of death. This is exactly the danger that we are facing today. When religious faith tries to kill freedom of thought, needless to say, it undermines our very civilization. That is why some serious dialogue about religion among thinking people is an absolute necessity at this juncture.

දෙවියන් විසින් ක්‍රිස්තියානීන්ට ලංකාව අහිමිකිරීම

December 5th, 2014

චන්ද්‍රසිරි විජයවික්‍රම

    දැනට අවුරුදු 500 කට පෙර කෲර හා අමානුෂික ලෙස කතෝලික ලබ්ධිය ලංකාවේ පැතිරවූ ආකාරය ගැන අද ලංකාවේ ජීවත්‌වන දුප්පත් සිංහල කතෝලිකයින්ට හා සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට නිරවුල් දැනුමක් නැත. එපමණක් නොව මේ වන විට කතෝලික පල්ලිය ලෝකයේ විවිධ රටවලදී මුහුණ පාමින් සිටිනා අර්බුද ගැනද ඔවුන් දන්නේ නැත. මීට හේතුව පුදුම ආකාරයේ මාධ්‍ය නිශ්ශබ්දතාවයක්, මුකවාඩම් දමා ගැනීමක්, අපක්‍ෂපාතව, මධ්‍යස්ථව ක්‍රිස්තියානි තොරතුරු නොසැපයීමේ කූට සැලැස්මක්, පුද්ගලික මෙන්ම පොදු රාජ්‍ය ඒජන්සි විසින් අනුගමනය කිරීමය. නමුත් මේ රට යටත් විජිතයක්ව සිටි කාලයේ සිට මේ දක්වාම, ලංකාවේ ඉංග්‍රීසි හා සිංහල මාධ්‍ය බුද්ධාගමේ පන්සල් හා භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ සම්බන්‌ධයෙන් අනුගමනය කරන්නේ මීට හාත්පසින්ම වෙනස් –මඩ ගැසීමේ — ප්‍රතිපත්තියක් ය. 1964 පුවත් පත් කොමිෂන් සභා වාර්‌තාවේද මේ ගැන සඳහන් කර තිබුණත් එයින් පලක් නොවීය. එය, 1948 න් පසුවද, ලංකාවේ පාලනය, ක්‍රිස්තියානී හා ක්‍රිස්තියානිකරණයට ගොඳුරුවූ කළුසුද්දන් පිරිසකගේ ග්‍රහණයට හසුවී තිබීමේ ප්‍රතිපලයකි.

    ක්‍රිස්තියානී ලබ්ධියේ ආරම්භය පිළිඹඳ මෙම අතීත විස්තර හා එහි වත්මන් ඇදහීම් වෙනත් ආගම් හා සංස්කෘති වලින් කොපි කරගත් බව ක්‍රිස්තියානි හා බෞද්ධ සිංහල ජනයා දැනගත් විට ඔවුන් අතර දැනට වඩා හිතකර සංහිඳියාවක් ගොඩනැඟෙනු නිසැකය. මෙය බෞද්ධයින් හා හින්දුන් අතර සම්බන්‌ධතාවය වැඩිදියුණු කරනවා වැනිම උත්සාහයක් වන්නේය. නිදසුනක් වශයෙන් දුප්පත් කතෝලික සිංහලයින් යුද භටයින් ලෙස රට බේරා ගැනීමේ යුද්ධයට සහභාගි වුවත්, කොළඹ කතෝලික කාඩිනල්වරයා ප්‍රමුඛ පෝසත් ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංවිධානය රට බෙදීමේ මුල් පියවර වන පෙඩරල් ක්‍රමයම 1949 සිටම අනුමත කරමින් සිටී. උතුරු හා නැඟෙනහිර පලාත් දෙමල නිජ භූමිය යන චෙල්වනායගම් මිථ්‍යාව කාඩිනල් දැඩිලෙස අනුමත කරයි. අතීතයේදී සිංහල බෞද්ධයින් විසින් දුප්පත් සිංහල කතෝලිකයින් උදෙසා කර ඇති පරිත්‍යාග දැනගත් විට ඔවුන් දෙකොටස අතර ඇති ළඹැඳියාව තවත් ත්‍රීව්‍ර වනු නිසැකය. මෙය සිංහල ජාතියේත්, රටේත් අභිවෘධියට හේතුවන්නේම ය.

    මෙම පරමාර්‌ථය නිතරම සිතේ ඇතිව පොත් ලියා ඇති ලේඛකයින් දෙදෙනෙක් වන කොලට් සේනානායක හා නාරද කරුණාතිලක විසින් අළුතෙන්ම මුද්‍රණය කරණ ලද, “කොන්කිස්තදෝස්: ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ ක්‍රිස්තියානියට මුල පෑදීම” (බෝධි සභාව, 2014) යන කෘතිය ඉතාමත් කාලෝචිත වන්නේ, රෝමයේ වටිකන් පල්ලියේ ඉතිහාසයේ ප්‍රථම වරට බෞද්ධ රටක බෞද්ධ ජනාධිපති කෙනෙක් විසින් තම රටට සැපත්‌වන ලෙස ඔහු ලඟටම ගොස් කල ආයාචනය පිළිගෙන පෝප්තුමා 2015 ජනවාරි මැද ලංකාවට ඒමට නියමිත නිසාය. ඒ ආ විට ජෝෂප් වාස් නම් 1550ස් ගණන්වල ලංකාවට ආ ඉන්දියන් ගෝවේ පූජකයෙක්ව ලංකාවෙන් පහලවුණ ප්‍රථම කතෝලික සාන්තුවරයා ලෙස නම් කිරීමටද නියමිතය. උඩරට පැවති දිගුකාලීන නියඟක් ධාරානිපාත වර්‍ෂාවකින් නිම කරවීම ඔහු කල එක් හාස්කමකි!

    පෝප්තුමා විසින්, කතෝලික පෘතුගීසීන් විසින් ලංකාවේ සිදුකල අමානුෂික මිනිස් සංහාර වලට, එතුමා මීට පෙර වෙන රටවලදී කලා මෙන් ලංකාවේදීද මෙරට බෞද්ධයින්ගෙන් සමාව ගතයුතු යයි පෝප් කෙනෙකු ලංකාවට ආ සැම වේලාවේදීම කෙරෙන ඉල්ලීම මෙවරද ඉදිරිපත්වී ඇත. ඒ ගැන කොළඹ තරුණ ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංවිධානය විසින් කියා ඇත්තේ පෘතුගීසින් කල සංහාර ගැන සමාව දිය යුත්තේ පෘතුගාලයේ පෘතුගීසී අගමැති මිස පෝප් විසින් නොවේය කියා ය.  ලංකාවේ මුස්ලිම් සංවිධානයක්ද මෙම ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංවිධානයේ මතය අනුමත කලේය. ලෝකයේ මුස්ලිම් ආක්‍රමණ ඉතිහාසයද එවැනි මිනිස් ඝාතන හා දේපල සංහාර වලින් පිරි ඉතිහාසයක් නිසා මෙය එක වර්‍ගයේ කුරුළ්ලන්ගේ රංචු ගැසෙනවා වැනිය. කොලට් හා නාරද ඉතා සරල භාෂාවෙන් පෙන්වා දෙන්නේ පෘතුගීසී සංහාර කතෝලික පල්ලියේ උවමනාවට කල කතෝලික ආක්‍රමණ බවය.

    මෙම සංහාර කොතරම් දරුණු වූවාද යත් ඒ කාලයේ සිටි කතෝලික ලේඛකයෙක් කියා සිටියේ මේ ක්‍රියා නිසා කුරිරු කතෝලික පෘතුගීසීන්ට ලංකාව තබා ගැනීමට ඉඩ නොදී දඬුවම් කිරීමට දෙවියන්වහන්සේ තීරණය කලාය යනුවෙනි (45 පිටුව). ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ පිරිමි දරුවන් ලවා ඔවුන්ගේම මව්වරුන් දූෂණය කරවීම කතෝලික ලබ්ධියට නොෙන අයට දුන් එක් දඬුවමක් විය. විදේශ රටවල් යටත් කර ගැනීමට ගිය පෘතුගීසි හා ස්පාඤ්ඤ භටයින් ජාතික වීරයන් ලෙස කොන්කිස්තදෝස් හෙවත් ජයග්‍රාහයකයෝ, රටවල් ජයගත්තෝ යනුවෙන් හැඳින්වුවත්, ඔවුන් ලංකාවේ හැඳිවූයේ මුහුදු කොල්ලකරුවන් ලෙසය. කොලට් හා නාරද ඔවුන්ගේ කෘතියට දී ඇත්තේ මේ නමය.

    සංවිධානාත්මකව යම් ක්‍රිස්තියානි කොටසක් විසින් කරගෙන යන ව්‍යාපාරයක් නම් ලංකාවේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ලබ්ධිය ආරම්භවූයේ 1505 දී නොව සීගිරි මුගලන් රාජ කාලය තරම් ඈතකදී යන කතාවය. අනුරාධපුරයේ හමුවු කේරළ කුරුසය ලංකාවට ආ වෙළෙන්ඳන් ගෙන ආ දෙයක් මිස ඒ උඩ ඒ කාලයේ සිටම ලංකාවේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ජන සමාජයක් තිබුණා යයි තර්‍ක කිරීම දුප්පත් කතෝලිකයින් හා බෞද්ධයින් නිරපරාදේ නොමඟ හැරීමකි. ඉන් ඒත්තු ගැන්වීමට තතනන්නේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ලබ්ධිය ආරම්භවූයේ මිනිස් ඝාතන සංහාර හරහා 1505 දී සිට නොව ඈත අතීතයේ අනුරාධපුර යුගයේ දීමය කියා ය (කොලට් හා නාරද, පෙරවදන).
    යුරෝපයෙන් පිට ක්‍රිස්තියානි ආගම තිබුණායයි 1505 කාලයේදී විශ්වාස කලේ ඉතියෝපියාවේ ප්‍රෙස්ටර් ජෝන් රජු යටතේය. යුරෝපීයයින් 1407 දී ඉතියෝපියාවටත් ඉතියෝපියන්වරු 1306 දී යුරෝපයටත් ගොස් ඇත. ඉතියෝපියාවේ සිටිනවා යයි කියන ක්‍රිස්තියානි රජු හා එකතුව මුස්ලිමුන්ට විරුද්ධව සටන් කිරීම (කුරුස යුද්ධ) පෘතුගීසි අභිප්‍රාය විය. එසේ නම් ඉතියෝපියාවට අමතරව අනුරාධපුරයේත් ඈත අතීතයේ සිට ක්‍රිස්තියානි ජනාවාස තිබුණානම් ඒ බවද ඒ කාලයේ සඳහන් වනවා නිසැකය.

    කොලට් හා නාරදගේ කෘතිය මාතෘකා 20 ක් යටතේ අප බොහෝ දෙනා නොදන්නා තොරතුරු ඉදිරිපත් කර ඇත. පාඨකයාට පහසුවෙන් වටහා ගත හැකි කෙටි විස්තරයක් එක් එක් මාතෘකාවට අඩංගු කර ඇත. මෙම මාතෘකා පහතින් සඳහන් ආකාරයට කොටස් හයකට බෙදා ඇත.

1. පාප්තුමාගෙන් වරම් ලැබූ මුහුදු මංකොල්ලකාරයෝ   
2. පෘතුගීසි සහ පරංගි දේවගැතිවරු
3. මරියා වන්‌දනාව
4. ජෙසුයිට්ස් දේවස්ථානයේ මිලිටරි හමුදාව
5. දේවගැති ප්‍ර‌ැන්සිස් සේවියර්
6. කතෝලික දේවගැතිවරුන්ගේ නව තාක්‍ෂණය

    මාලදිවයිනෙන් බුද්ධාගම විනාශකර එය අල්ලාගත් මොහමදිකයන් මෙන් රජ පවුල් හරහා ලංකාව අල්ලා ගැනීම පෘතුගීසි උපාය විය. දොන් ජුවන් ධර්‍මපාල ලංකාවේ ප්‍රථම හා එකම කතෝලික රජු විය. දෝන කතිරිනා උඩරට රජු කිරීම ඊලඟ අවස්ථාවය. එහෙත් ඔවුන් පුහුණුකල දොන් ජුවන්ට සිංහල බෞද්ධකම මතුවීම නිසා ලංකාව කතෝලික රටක්වීම වැළකුණි. විමලධර්‍මසූරිය නමින් රජවී රට ජාතිය බේරාගත්තේ මේ දොන් ජුවන් ය.

    කතෝලික අධිකරණය තම ලබ්ධියට නොහැරෙන අයට දඬුවම් කිරීම සඳහා යොදාගත් ක්‍රමය විය. ඉන්කියුසිසaaෝ නම් මේ කතෝලික ආගමික උසාවි පිලිම වන්‌දනා කරණ මිනිසුන්ට දරුණු වධ දෙන ලද්දේ කතොලික ආගමට නොහැරුණු නිසාය. කොට්ටේ රජු භුවනෙකබාහු ගැන ප්‍ර‌ැන්සිස් සේවියර් පූජකයා පෘතුගාල රජුට දන්වා ඇත්තේ ඔහු විශ්වාසකල නොහැකි රජෙකු බවත් ඒ නිසා කතෝලික ආගම පැතිරවීමට වඩා බලවත් ලෙස, දරුණු ලෙස ක්‍රියාකලයුතු බවත් ය. 1594 දී ලංකාවට ආ ජෙරනිමෝ අසවේදු මෙසේ ඇරඹුණ කෲර ක්‍රියාකලාපයේ යක්‍ෂයෙක් වැනි විය.

    මේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි සංවිධානය පැතිරවූ මෙවැනිම තවත් විකෘති අදහසක් නම් සිංහල අළුත් අවුරුද්ද සිංහල කතෝලිකයින්ට අයත් නැත, ඔවුන්ගේ අවුරුද්ද ජනේරුව යන්නය. මෙසේ කතෝලිකයින් සිංහලයින් නොවේ යයි ව්‍යංගයෙන් කීම ඓතිහාසිකව සිංහල බෞද්ධයින් සිංහල කතෝලිකයින්ට පෙන්වූ මිත්‍රශීලීභාවය අමතක කර දැමීමකි. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් අනාගාරික ධර්‍මපාලතුමා කියා සිටියේ සිංහල ජාතිය ගොඩනඟා ගැනීම සඳහා ක්‍රිස්තියානී හා බෞද්ධ දෙකොටසම එකමුතුව ක්‍රියාකල යුතු බවය (පෙරවදන). මෙහි සත්‍යතාවය එලිවූයේ ප්‍රභාකරන්ගේ හා පසුකාලීනව මුස්ලිම් ෂාරියා/වහබි ප්‍රහාර වලට ක්‍රිස්තියානී හ බෞද්ධ යන සිංහල දෙකොටසම එකසේ ලක්වූ විටය.

    පෘතුගීසීන් තෝම්බු ක්‍රමය යොදාගත්තේ ඒ මඟින් ආගම පැතිරවීමටය. ක්‍රිස්තියානි වන අයට ඉඩකඩම් දීමත්, බෞද්ධයින්ගෙන් බදු අයකිරීමත්, විවාහ රෙජිස්ටර් කිරීමත් මේ මඟින් සිදුවිය. පෘතුගාලයේ අනාථවූ ගෑණුන් ගෙනැවිත් ලංකාවේ ප්‍රාදේශීය නායකයින්ගේ පුත්තුන්ට විවාහ කරවා දෙන ලදී. ඒ සඳහා ලොකු ඉල්ලීමක් රටතුල තිබිණ! විවාහය පල්ලියේ කල නිසා උපදින දරුවන් ඉබේම කතෝලික විය.

    මුහුදුබඩ ප්‍රදේශයේ තිබූ සියළුම විහාර ස්ථාන, පිරිවෙන්, දේවාල (මුන්නේශ්වරම පැගෝඩාව, දෙවිනුවර නාථ දේවාලය) පෘතුගීසීන් විසින් විනාශකර ඒ ඉඩම්වල කතෝලික පල්ලි ගොඩනැඟීම හෝ කතෝලිකයින්ට බෙදාදීම කරණ ලදී. පත්තිනි දේවාල මරියා වන්‌දනා ස්ථාන බවට පෙරලීමේ හොඳම නිදසුන මඩු පල්ලිය ය. මුලදී හෙලා දකින ලද පිලිම වන්‌දනාව, පැගෝඩා, පත්තිනි වන්‌දනාව අන්තිමේදී කතෝලික වන්‌දනා ක්‍රම බවට පෙරලීම කොලට් හා නාරද පෙන්වා දේ.  අවලෝකිතේශ්වර බෝසතුන්ගේ පතිනියවූ පත්තිනි දේවිය කොපිකර, මරියා මාතාව සුරුපී දෙවඟනක ලෙස පෙන්වීම ක්‍රිස්තියානි ආගම බුද්ධාගමෙන් කොපිකර ගන්නා ලද ජනප්‍රිය අදහසකි. මේ ආකාරයට දායක සභාව, කිතුනු සංඝ, සසුන, හිමිපාණෝ, පින්දීම, දානය, අසපුව, පැවිදි, ආරණ්‍යය, වැඩමකිරීම යනාදී බෞද්ධ වචන කොපිකරමින් පවතී. කුස්තන්තීනු හටන කන්නි මරියා ලෝකය රකින්නේය යනුවෙන් බයිබලයට පටහැනි මතයක් ඉදිරිපත් කරයි (56-57 පිටු)

    කොළඹ සිට පුත්තලම දක්වා දිගටම දක්නට ලැබෙන්නේ කතෝලික පිලිම වන්‌දනාවයයි කොලට් හා නාරද පෙන්වා දේ. කටුනායක ගුවන් තොටුපලේ සිට ආ විදේශිකයින් (අධිවේගී මාර්‍ගයට පෙර) ලංකාව කතෝලික රටක් කියා සිතුවේ මේ නිසාය. 1547 දී පෝප් විසින් ප්‍ර‌ැන්සිස් සේවියර්ගේ උපදෙස් උඩ නිකුත්කල බුල්ලාවට අනුව “පිලිම වන්‌දනාකරුවන්ගේ පැගෝඩා (විහාර) පෙරලා දැමීම, පොත්පත් ගිනි තැබීම, පූජකයින් (හාමුදුරුවරු) පුළුස්සා දැමීම, මිසදුටුවන් නසමින් ආගම පැතිරවීම” ආගමික රාජකාරි විය. එහෙත් අද කතෝලිකයින් පිලිම වන්‌දනාවේ පමණක් නොව පල්ලි ඇතුලේ යක් බෙර ගැසීම පවා කරයි.

    මන්නාරම පෘතුගීසි බලකොටුවේ කෝට්ටේ, සීතාවක හා මහනුවර රජපවුල්වල අය බෝඩිම් කර (සිරකර) තබාගෙන ජෙසුයිට් පූජකවරුන් යටතේ ක්‍රිස්තියානීකරණයට ලක් කල හැටි එහි අරක්කැමියෙකුව සිටි ලේඛකයෙක්වූ පේදුරු ද බැස්තෝ විසින් ලියූ විස්තර ක්වේරෝස් පියතුමාට කියවීමට ලැබිණ  (එස් ජී පෙරේරා පාදිලිතුමා විසින් මේවා කොපිකර ඇත). ඒ අනුව පේදුරු කියා ඇත්තේ පෘතුගීසීන් ලංකාවේ කල මහා සංහාරය නිසා දෙවියන් ඔවුන්ට දඬුවම් කර ලංකාව ඔවුන්ට අහිමිකල බවය (45 පිටුව).

    ජෝෂප් වාස් හා ප්‍ර‌ැන්සිස් සේවියර් මෙහිදී වැදගත් නම් දෙකකි. සේවියර් පැරිසියේ පල්ලියක මිලිටරි සංවිධානයක් පිහිටුවාගත් ස්පඤ්ඤ ශිෂ්‍යයින් හත් දෙනාගෙන් එක් අයෙකි (62 පිටුව).  කතෝලික ආගම බේරා ගැනීමට හා පතුරවා හැරීමට බිහිකල මේ සංවිධානය වත්මන් කාලයේ ත්‍රස්තවාදී සංවිධානයක් වැනිය. දිනකට 20,000 ක් කතෝලික ආගමට හැරවීම දිව්‍යමය (මැජික්) බලයක් තිබුණා යයි කියන සේවියර් ලංකාවටද පැමිණ ඇත. අසවේදු මිනිසුන් කිඹුලන්ට දමා බලා සිටීම, ගැහැණුන්ගේ පියයුරු ගැලවීම කලේ මේ සේවියර්ගේ ඝාතන ක්‍රමයේ කොටසක් වශයෙනි. සේවියර් චීනයට යමින් සිටියදී වයස 46 දී උන රෝගයකින් (වසූරිය?) 1552 දී මිය ගියේය. ඔහුගේ සේවය නිසා ඔහුව 1625 දී ශාන්තුවරයෙක් ලෙස පෝප් විසින් නම් කරන ලද නමුත් ඉන්දියාවේ හින්දූන් ඔහුව සැලකුවේ මුහුදු කොල්ලකාරයෙකු ලෙසය. පෝල්ට පසු ඉතාමත් සාර්‌ථක ලෙස අස්වැන්න නෙලාගත් දේවගැතිවරයා ඔහු යයිද වාර්‌තාවේ (71 පිටුව).

    1978දී පමණ ඇරඹුණ ජෝෂප් වාස් නම් ගෝවේ උපත ලැබූවා යයි කියන (ඔහු කොචින්හි උපන අයෙකි) පූජකයා ශාන්තුවරයෙක් කිරීමේ ව්‍යාපාරය, 2015 ජනවාරි මස ලංකාවේදී සිදුවීමට නියමිතය. යාචකයෙකු සේ වෙස්වලාගෙන ලංකාවට පැමිණි ඔහු ඔත්තුකාරයෙකු සේ සැකයට පත්වී පසුව දෙවන විමලධර්‍මසූරිය රජු විසින් අභයදානය දෙන ලද්දෙකි (67 පිටුව). ලංකාව ආපසු පෘතුගීසීන්ට ලබාගැනීම සඳහා කටයුතු කිරීමට ගෝවේ සිට කරණ ලද උත්සාහයට එක්වූ ඔහුට යේසුතුමාට මෙන් නොපෙනී අතුරුදහන් වීමේ බලයක් තිබුණා යයි කියවේ.

    ආසියාවේ රටවල් අතරින් වැඩියෙන්ම ක්‍රිස්තියානිකරණයවූ රට ලංකාවය. එහෙත් අවුරුදු 500 කට පසුව ලංකාවේ කතෝලික ආගමට හරවා ගෙන ඇත්තේ සියේට 6 කට අඩු පිරිසකි. දහනායක, ප්‍රේමදාස හා විජේතුංග යන තිදෙනා හැරෙනවිට අන් හැම ලංකා අගමැති/ජනාධිපති කෙනෙක්ම මව/බිරිය/පියා ක්‍රිස්තියානිවූ අයය. මේ නිසා ලංකාවේ මහානායකවරුන්ගේ එකමුතු කියමනකට වඩා බලයක් කාඩිනල්ට ලංකාවේ ඇත.

    බෞද්ධයා කාරුණික වන්න වන්න ක්‍රිස්තියානි බා ගැනීම තීව්‍ර වෙමින් පවතී (83 පිටුව). අතීතයේදී  අනුරාධපුර ශුද්ධ නගරය මුස්ලිම්, දෙමල හා ක්‍රිස්තියානි මිසදුටුවන්ගෙන් බේරා ගැනීමට බ්‍රහ්මචාරී වලිසිංහ හරිස්චන්ද්‍රතුමාගේ 1901 දී ඇරඹූ සටන නිසා ඔහු හිරගෙදර (වසදී?) මිය යැමට සිදුවිය. ඔහුට විරුද්ධව බෞද්ධ විරෝධී පුරාවිද්‍යා කොමසාරිස් එච් සී පී බෙල් ශාක්‍ෂි දුන්නේය (105 පිටුව).

    කතෝලික ආගම දේශීයකරණය කල යුත්තේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්කෘතියට අනුකූලව මිස හරහට සිට නොවේ (97 පිටුව).  උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් “අල්ලා” යන ඉස්ලාම් වචනය ක්‍රිස්තියානි ආගම විසින් භාවිතා නොකල යුතුයැයි මැලේසියාවේ උසාවියක් තීන්දු කලේය. සිංහල කවි සම්ප්‍රදාය පල්ලිය විසින් කොපිකල යුත්තේ සුහදශීලී අන්‌දමට මිස ආක්‍රමණශීලී ලෙස නොවේ. අලගියවන්න මුකවැටිතුමා බෞතීස්මවී කුස්තන්තීනු හටන ලිව්වාද යන විවාදය මෙහිදී සඳහන් කල හැකිය (101 පිටුව). මෙය සිංහල කවියට වස දමා කවි ලිවීමක් සේය.

    සෙනරත් පරණවිතාන මහතාගේ යේසු බුද්ධා කතාව තවත් එවැනි සිද්ධියකි. මුගලන් රජුගේ කාලයේ සිට දකුණු ඉන්දියාවෙන් ක්‍රිස්තියානීන් පැමිණ ඇතැයි ඔහු පැවසුවේය. බුදුහාමුදුරුවන් ලංකාවට වැඩම කිරීමද ඔහු සැකකරයි. ප්‍රෙස්ටර් ජෝන් ඉතියෝපියාවේ සිටියා මෙන් ඉන්දියාවේ හා ලංකාවේ සිටි ක්‍රිස්තියානී ජනාවාස එකල යුරෝපය නොදැන සිටියේ කෙසේද? ඔහු මිය ගොස් නොබෝ දිනකින් ඔහුගේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි වැන්ඳඹුව රුපියල් 30,000 කට දෙමල ව්‍යාපාරිකයෙකුට ඔහුගේ පුස්තකාලය වෙන්දේසි කලේය. මෙහි තිබූ පන්සල්වලින් ලබාගත් වටිනා ඉතිහාසය අද කා ලඟද? තවත් ක්‍රිස්තියානියෙකුවූ ලෙස්ටර් ජේම්ස් පීරිස්, සීගිරි කාශ්‍යප චිත්‍රපටිය මඟින් පරනවිතාන අදහස් ප්‍රචාරය කලේය (108 පිටුව).

    සිංහල කතෝලිකයින්, සිංහල බෞද්ධ පවුලේම කොටසක් වශයෙන් සිතිය යුතු කාලය පැමිණ ඇතැයි පෙන්වාදීම කොලට් හා නාරදගේ අභිප්‍රායවී ඇත. මේ සඳහා බොහෝ අප නොදන්නා කරුණු ඔවුන් අප ඉදිරියේ තබා ඇත. තොරතුරු සඟවනවා වෙනුවට තොරතුරු එලිදරව් කල යුතුය. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් ගෝවේ වල කොන්කානි ක්‍රිස්තියානි සරණාගතයින් නම් සංවිධානය, ෆැන්සිස් ක්‍ෂේවියර් සාන්තුවරයාගේ යයි කියමින් අවුරුදු 500 ක් තිස්සේ වන්දනාමාන කරන මෘත දේහය ගෝවෙන් ඔහු උපන් රටවන ප්‍රංශයට යවන ලෙස ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ ක්‍ෂේවියර් විසින් කොන්කානින්ගේ මුතුන් මිත්තන්ට අවුරුදු 500 කට පෙර කරණ ලද කෲර සංහාර දැනගැනීමෙන් පසුවය.

    මෙම මෘත දේහය ලංකාවේ ජීවත්වූ තොටගමුවේ ශ්‍රී රාහුල හිමියන්ගේ (1409-1491) දේහය කියා පැවසෙන්නේ රාහුල හාමුදුරුවන් සුවිශේෂ බෙහෙත් තෙලක් සදා බිව් නිසා ය. ලංකාවේ ඇල්පිටිය අසල අම්ඹන, ඉඳුරුගිරි ගුහාවෙන් සොරාගත් එම දේහය මුහුදින් චීනයට ගෙන යන අතර ක්‍ෂේවියර් පාචනය රෝගයෙන් මිය ගිය බවත්, ඉන්පසු දේහය ක්‍ෂේවියර්ගේ දේහය සේ ගෝවට ගෙනා බවත් කියැවේ. දැනට ගෝවේ ඇති දේහයේ එක අතක් නැති අතර, ඒ අත 1949 මැයි 27දා ජපානයේ වටිකන් තානාපති විසින් පරමාණු බෝම්බය දැමූ නාගසාකි නගරයේ කතෝලික පල්ලියේ තැන්පත් කරන ලදී.  ඩී එන් ඒ පරීක්‍ෂණයක් මඟින් මෙම නාගසාකි හා ගෝවා මෘත ශරීර කොටස් කාගේද යන්න තීරණය කල හැකි නිසා ලංකාවේ ආණ්ඩුව මෙම ඉල්ලීම යුනෙස්කෝවට ඉදිරිපත් කල යුතුය. එය යුරෝපීය නොව ආසියානු ජාතිකයෙකුගේ නම් එය රාහුල හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ නොදිරණ දේහයය.

    ඇමෙරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදයෙන් පමණක් වසරකට ඩොලර් බිලියන් 170 ක් ඩොනේෂන්ස් වශයෙන් වටිකන් කතෝලික පල්ලියට ලැබුණත් චැරිටි වශයෙන් වටිකන් වලින් ආපසු දෙන්නේ ඉන් සියේට 2.7 පමණය. මේ ධන සම්භාරය ටැක්ස්වලින් නිදහස් ය. ලංකාවේ පල්ලිවලින්‌ද මෙසේ වාර්ෂිකව වට්කන්වලට ඩොනේෂන් යවයි. ලංකාවේ දුප්පත් කතෝලිකයින් මෙම තොරතුරු දැනගත යුතුය.

    පාදිලිවරුන් විසින් කුඩා ළමයින් හා ගැහැණුන් සමඟ ලිංගික අපචාරයේ යෙදීම, ඒ බව දැන දැනත් සඟවා ක්‍රියාකිරීම නිසා ඇමෙරිකාවේ කතෝලික කාඩිනල්වරු විශාල අර්බුදයකට මුහුණ දුන්නේය. වන්දිගෙවීමට සිදුවූවා පමණක් නොව පල්ලිවලට එන ජනයා ශීඝ්‍රයෙන් අඩුවිය. මේ නිසා ආසියානු රටවල ප්‍රචාරක කටයුතු ගැන පල්ලිය අවධානය යොමු කර ඇත. එය හරියට සිගරැට් දුම්කොළ ඇමෙරිකාවේ තහනම්වූ විට සිගරැට් කොම්පැනි චීනය, ඉන්දියාව, ඉන්දුනීසියාව, අප්‍රිකාවට ගියා වගේය.

    සිද්ධාර්‍ථ කුමාරයා යසෝදරා දේවිය හා විවාහව සිටියා වගේ ජේසුස්තුමාද මැග්ඩලින් හා විවාහව සිටි බවත් ඔවුන්ට දරුවන් දෙන්නෙක් සිටි බවත් දැන් පුරාවිද්‍යාත්මක ශාක්‍ෂි මඟින් එලිවී ඇත. මෙසේ නම් ඔහු ඉන්දියාවට හෝ ටිබැටයට ගොස් බුද්ධාගම ඉගෙනගත්තා යන කතාවද සත්‍යවීමට ඉඩ ඇත.   
සාංචියේ යුදෙව් ජාතිකයින් සිටි බවටත්, මිහිදු-සංඝමිත්තා වරුන් සංචියේ සිට ආ යුදෙව් ජාතිකයින් වියහැකි බවටත් අදහස් කොලට් හා නාරද සඳහන් කර ඇත. මෙසේ නම් ජේසුතුමාද සාංචිවල යුදෙව් ජාතිකයින් සමඟ විසුවා විය හැකිද? ඔහු මහායාන බුද්ධාගමේ බෝධිසත්ව අදහස් උපුටා ගත්තා විය හැකිය. මෙම ප්‍රවෘත්ති සිංහල කතෝලිකයා හා සිංහල බෞද්ධයා ලංකරවන්නේය.

    ජේසුස් තුමාගේ “බෞද්ධකම” යුරෝපීය රිවීල්ඩ් ආගමක් (දෙවිකෙනෙක් විසින් එලිකල) බවට පෙරළුවේ කවුද? තෙම්පරාදු සිංහලයින් වෙනුවට, දෙමල හා මුස්ලිම් අන්තවාදීන්ගෙන් බේරීමට සිංහලයා එකමුතු කිරීමට හේතුවන්නේය. බෞද්ධයින්ගේ මංගල දැන්වීම් වලදී ආගම වැදගත් කරුණක් ලෙස හුවා දක්වන්නේ නැතිබව ඔවුන්ගේ නම්‍යශීලි බව පෙන්වන්නකි. කොලට් හා නාරදගේ පොත කියවීමෙන්, පෝසත් පල්ලියේ බලපෑමෙන් ගැලවී මෙම නම්‍යශීලී ගුණය වඩා ගැනීමට දුප්පත් සිංහල ක්‍රිස්තියානි ජනයාට ශක්තියක් ලැබෙනු නිසැකය.
   
    අන්‍ය ආගම්වලට හිංසා නොකිරීම යනු සර්‍වාගමික පූට්ටුවක් නොවේ. දෙවියන් මවා දුන් ආගමක් (භක්තිය) හා චතුරාර්ය සත්‍යය-ආර්ය අෂ්ටාංගික මාර්‍ගය මත පදනම්වුණු (හේතු-ඵල ධර්‍මය)  බුද්ධාගම අතර එකගෙයි කෑමකට ඉඩක් තිබිය හැකිද? මක්කම ඇතුළු සව්දි අරාබියේ පල්ලි අතීත බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන යයි ශාක්‍ෂි දැන් මතුවෙමින් පවතී. සිල්ක් මාවත ඔස්සේත්, මුහුදිනුත් ඉන්දියාව, කාශ්මීරය, කන්‌දහාර්, ටිබැට් හා චීනය සමඟ අරාබි, ඊශ්‍රායෙල්-ග්‍රීක-රෝම සමාජ දිගටම සම්බන්‌ධතා පවත්වාගත් නිසා බුද්ධාගම මේ ප්‍රදේශවල ප්‍රචලිතව පවතින්නට ඇත. දැනට එකිනෙකා මරාගන්නා ඉස්ලාම්-ක්‍රිස්තියානි ලබ්ධීන්ට බුද්ධාගමෙන් ලබාගත හැකි සේවය කුමක්ද?

US examines Gen Fonseka’s candidacy Jan 2010 prez poll

December 5th, 2014

By Shamindra Ferdinando  Courtesy Island

The then Chief of Defence Staff General Sarath Fonseka claimed that he didn’t want to lose his popularity, within 24 hours, by seeking a political career.

The Sinha Regiment veteran was responding to a query, at a packed media conference, at the Joint Operations Headquarters, situated within the army headquarters premises, on the morning of July 15, 2009. The writer was among those present on the occasion.

The war-winning army chief was meeting the media after having handed over the command to the then Vanni Commander, Maj. Gen. Jagath Jayasuriya, under acrimonious circumstances. In fact, an officer, at the behest of Gen. Fonseka, queried the newly appointed army commander, whether his briefing could be cut short to enable the newly appointed CDS to address the media. Having being promoted to the rank of Lt. Gen, over nearly a dozen Majors General, a confident Jayasuriya continued with his scheduled briefing. The armoured corps officer revealed that he hadn’t been aware of President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s decision to name him as Gen. Fonseka’s successor, until the evening of July 11, 2009.

article_image

 

Gen. Fonseka’s choice had been the then Chief of Staff and one-time Jaffna Commander, Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri, incumbent Governor of the Northern Province.

Gen. Fonseka reminisced the fate of two of his senior colleagues, Maj. Gen. Lakshman Algama (assassinated on the night of Dec 18, 1999, at the final UNP rally, held in Ja-ela, in support of its candidate, Ranil Wickremesinghe) and Maj. Gen. Janaka Perera (on the morning of Oct 6, 2008, in Anuradhapura). LTTE suicide cadres carried out both attacks (“Politics not for me,” says Gen. Fonseka-The Island, July 19, 2009).

For want of a better strategy to deprive incumbent President Mahinda Rajapaksa of a second-term, the Opposition fielded a disgruntled Fonseka at the January 26, 2010 presidential election. Enticing Gen. Fonseka had been a stunning political coup that caused panic at the highest level, though President Rajapaksa and Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa resorted to immediate damage-control measures. The defection sent shock waves through political and military establishments.

With the UNP-led Opposition, again engineering another high level defection (SLFP General Secretary Maithripala Sirisena), ahead of the January 8, 2015 presidential, it would be pertinent to examine the last presidential election.

MR called ‘tinpot’ dictator

Having publicly ruled out a political career, on July 15, 2009, Gen. Fonseka announced his candidacy for the January 26, 2010, poll at a media briefing, at JAIC Hotel, on the morning of November 29, 2009. Gen. Fonseka informed President Rajapaksa of his decision to leave the army at a one-on-one with the President on Nov 11. There had never been such a mega press conference, with Sirasa giving live coverage of the event from the venue – JAIC Hotel. Fonseka didn’t mince his words when he lambasted President Rajapaksa for failing to take advantage of the LTTE’s defeat to win over the Tamil community. Calling President Rajapaksa a ‘tinpot dictator’, Gen. Fonseka declared that he was ready to work closely with UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, and UNP, MP Mangala Samaraweera, in spite of having serious differences with them during the Eelam War IV. Emphasising his readiness to work with anyone, to ensure a regime change, Gen. Fonseka declared that he would even accept the support of Prabhakaran’s parents to see the back of the Rajapaksas. The first four-star General revealed that the JVP extended an invitation to him on behalf of those political parties, opposed to President Rajapaksa. (Fonseka ready to secure even support of Prabhakaran’s parents to defeat MR-The Island, November 30, 2009).

Responding to a query, raised by the writer, at the media briefing, Gen. Fonseka said that far reaching constitutional amendments were required to prevent MP’s from switching allegiance for personal gain. The retired Gen acknowledged that crossovers caused political instability, therefore constitutional measures were needed to address the issue (Fonseka promises to prevent crossovers-The Island, November 30, 2009).

Consequence of US visit

Even before President Rajapaksa proclaimed the presidential election, during the third week of November, 2009, the US approached the then CDS Gen. Fonseka in a bid to obtain a statement from him that could be used against Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa. The war veteran, a long term permanent resident of the US, had been visiting the country (late Oct-early Nov, 2009). The US felt that Gen. Fonseka’s statement could be used to implicate Defence Secretary in ordering Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva (General Officer Commanding 58 Division) to execute surrendering LTTE cadres on the Vanni east front. Fonseka had been contacted by the Department of Homeland Security to obtain a special statement on Nov 4, 2009. Sri Lanka thwarted the US attempt (US seeks info on Gota from Fonseka, The Island, Nov 2, 2009).

The Department of Homeland Security had contacted Fonseka on Oct 28, 2009, whereas he alerted Defence Secretary, Rajapaksa, on Oct 30, 2009. (Gota says Gen. Fonseka alerted him to US move, The Island, Nov 3, 2009). Fonseka returned to Colombo on Nov 4, 2009.

In spite of failing to obtain a statement from Gen Fonseka, as regards an alleged execution order given by Defence Secretary Rajapaksa, the US had been closely involved in the ‘events’, leading to the nomination of the former army commander as the Opposition common candidate.

Thanks to Wiki Leaks, Sri Lanka knows the US involvement in the Opposition project at the January, 2010, presidential election. The whistle-blowing website, in collaboration with international media agencies, commenced releasing confidential US diplomatic cables, in November, 2010 much to the dismay of the administration. Among them were classified documents that dealt with the January, 2010, presidential election and related matters, including accountability issues. Possibly, one of the most important cables, originating from the US mission in Colombo, was dated Nov 6, 2009.

The classified missive revealed that the US Embassy had been exploring ways and means of uniting Opposition forces for a specific project, meant to deprive President Rajapaksa of a second-term. It would be important to keep in mind that discussions between US diplomatic staff and leaders of Opposition political parties had taken place many days before Gen. Fonseka informed President Rajapaksa of his decision to quit the defence establishment. In other words, Sri Lanka’s top soldier had been talking politics, while being in uniform.

Unfortunately, the government did not make a genuine effort to examine diplomatic cables, relating to Sri Lanka. Due to the lethargic attitude of the External Affairs Ministry, the country missed a golden opportunity to study US perspective. In fact, the Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies (LKIIRSS) should have closely examined the US cables, relevant to Sri Lanka, in accordance with overall strategy, to meet post-war challenges. Even five years after the conclusion of the war, LKIIRSS hadn’t made a cohesive attempt to conduct a thorough study on international dimensions of the conflict.

Let me examine the Nov 6, 2009, dated US diplomatic cable, titled ‘Muslim Congress leader on elections, Fonseka and Tamils’

US told of SLMC strategy

SLMC Chairman and Eastern Provincial Council Opposition leader, Basheer Segudawood, had told the Political Officer, at the US Embassy, in Colombo, that President Rajapaksa could be deprived of a second-term by forming a broad coalition, that included the UNP, for the specific purpose of abolishing the executive presidency. Segudawood had been confident of securing the support of minority political parties, and Tamil Diaspora, for the project. Segudawood expressed support for Gen. Fonseka’s candidature, during his covert meeting with the US Embassy representative.

Interestingly, Segudawood had discussed the signing of a political pact, involving the UNP, SLMC Mangala Samaraweera’s Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP-Mahajana), Mano Ganeshan’s Western People’s Front, as well as 19 other organizations. Segudawood declared that the UNP-led grouping had the backing of many Tamil political parties, including the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) and other Tamil groups.

An understanding on the abolition of the executive presidency, and the restoration of the parliamentary system of governance, paved the way for the grand coalition. The UNP and MP Mangala Samaraweera’s outfit had publicly declared their support for the coalition, wheres the SLMC was silent. However, Segudawood pledged SLMC’s support to defeat President Rajapaksa at the January, 2010, presidential poll.

Segudawood had stressed that UNP leader, Ranil Wickremesinghe, couldn’t defeat President Rajapaksa, though the minorities liked him. The then US Ambassador, Butenis, too, endorsed Segudawood’s ascertain. Butenis said: “SLMC Chairman underscored UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe’s popularity with minorities but echoed the sentiment, expressed privately by many political observers in Colombo of Wickremesinghe not being the ideal candidate to beat President Rajapaksa. Segudawood also discussed the pivotal importance of having a common strategy, instead of the Opposition making disputed statements at the expense of the coalition against the Rajapaksas.

MR and SF compared

Gen. Fonseka’s Sinhala nationalistic ideology was similar to that of the Rajapaksas, Segudawood said, emphasizing that there couldn’t be a better person to be fielded at the presidential poll. Interestingly, Segudawood had claimed that the major Opposition political parties and minorities would throw their weight behind Gen Fonseka, depending on an agreement to do away with the executive presidency, within 90 days.

According to Segudawood, Gen. Fonseka had sought clarifications from the Opposition as regards two matters. The war veteran had queried about his future, following the abolition of executive presidency and his security, as well as safety and security of his family. Gen. Fonseka had feared that the Rajapaksas would resort to violence to prevent him from contesting the poll, Segudawood said. Segudawood discussed a JVP effort to guarantee security of retired senior military officials by moving a bill in parliament.

Commenting on the Tamil Diaspora, Segudawood said those living away from Sri Lanka would play a critical role in the presidential election.

Butenis, is on record, as having said that she wanted to meet TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, before the Trincomalee district leader left for the UK to attend a two-day conference, on Nov 12-13, to discuss post-LTTE future of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka. Butenis was reacting to Segudawood commenting on the forthcoming meeting in London. There had been an exchange of views regarding the Tamil-speaking electorate and how the Diaspora could be used to influence a national election here.

Segudawood also revealed the possibility of engineering two defections from the UPFA to the UNP to undermine President Rajapaksa’s campaign. The SLMC Chairman asserted that had the Opposition succeeded in convincing two members (undoubtedly, he was talking about members of parliament) to switch their allegiance, more UPFA members could revolt. (UPFA National List MP, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, switched his allegiance to the UNP on Dec 2, 2009).

Segudawood declared that people resented President Rajapaksa repeating the war propaganda. Due to growing unpopularity of President Rajapaksa, among the Tamils and Muslims, the SLFP needed at least 75 per cent of votes from the Sinhalese electorate, according to Butenis’s cable to Washington.

While expressing the belief that Gen. Fonseka could eat into President Rajapaksa’s vote base, Segudawood stressed that the common candidate’s success would largely depend on the Tamil and Muslim voters.

Butenis advised Washington that the Tamil community would find it extremely difficult to exercise their franchise for Gen Fonseka, who had conducted the war, though the community disliked the Rajapaksas, too. Butenis, however, admitted that Gen. Fonseka was the only one who could split the Sinhala vote and also deprive Rajapaksas of using the war victory to their advantage. Butenis quoted TNA leader, R. Sampanthan, as having said he (TNA) would support the Rajapaksas as they were lesser of the two evils.

Butenis asserted that the difficulties experienced on the political front, as well as other issues, including GSP plus, and Gen Fonseka coming forward, as his main rival, may prompt President Rajapaksa to drop plans for early polls. Butenis was wrong. President Rajapaksa declared presidential poll on Nov. 15, as planned.

Butenis made another significant miscalculation on the basis of Sampanthan’s statement. The five-party TNA supported Gen. Fonseka, at the January, 2010, presidential election, in spite of its earlier decision to back President Rajapaksa. Had the TNA given a free hand to the Tamil electorate, it could have had much better relations with President Rajapaksa.

At the Nov. 2005, presidential election, the LTTE-TNA combination engineered the defeat of UNP presidential candidate, Ranil Wickremesinghe, that led to the bloodiest phase of the conflict. The grouping deprived Wickremesinghe of the Tamil vote, especially in the Jaffna peninsula.

At the last presidential poll, the TNA told Tamils to vote for the senior most army officer who executed the war, at the expense of President Rajapaksa, who gave the political leadership.

In another classified cable, dated January 15, 2010, Butenis dealt with the contentious issue of war crimes accountability. Butenis implicated President Rajapaksa, his brothers, Gotabhaya and Basil, and Gen. Sarath Fonseka. Butenis pointed out “that responsibility for many of the alleged war crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate.

To be continued on Dec 10

 

UNHCR manipulated by the Tamil Tiger supporters and TNA – to scuttle the reconciliation process -Lanka Questions Credibility Of UNHRC

December 5th, 2014

The Government has questioned the credibility of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) since an investigation on Sri Lanka mandated by the Council continued despite objections being raised.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in New York, Dr Palitha Kohona, speaking at the Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly accused the Human Rights Council of being increasingly politicised and warned that its credibility was gradually eroding.

Kohona told the UN that Sri Lanka feels that a handful of countries have been selected for adverse attention b්y the UN Human Rights Council, while others in similar circumstances were ignored

Inexperienced Sirisena Taken on a Ride: UNP to Field Own Nomination?

December 4th, 2014

Dilrook Kannangara

As expected, UNP is trying to field its own candidate for the upcoming presidential election.

http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2014/11/21/despite-the-common-candidate-agreement-unp-plans-to-field-own-candidate/

(Despite the Common Candidate Agreement, UNP Plans to Field Own Candidate)

This was stated by the UNP leader Ranil at a public meeting held recently. Maithripala Sirisena, who was always protected from the main thrust of election by a powerful party, fell hook, line and sinker into the UNP trap and submitted his nomination papers early! He should have waited till the 8th December when nominations close as usually happens. As Ranil quite correctly said, he has enough time to file his own nomination from the UNP.

Since declaration of the ‘common candidate’ agreement, the UNP has not done any canvassing for the common candidate. Now UNP leaders are looking for excuses to field its own candidate. The UNP plan was to get as many government MPs into the common candidate platform, get Maithripala to submit his papers and field its own candidate in the race. However, its plan to get many government MPs failed miserably. Only a handful of them crossed over. That too are unpopular National List MPs with no following in the electorate.

It is foolhardy to trust the UNP with its LTTE Diaspora connections, an active agreement with the TNA, financiers in the western regime change camp and a naturally anti-Sri Lanka mindset would wholeheartedly support the ‘common candidate’.

In the event of the UNP fielding its own candidate, Maithripala should immediately call off his election campaign as he has no chance of coming even second. However, it gives smaller parties more bargaining power. Nationalist parties should make use of the opportunity to push their demands to the incumbent who will be even more hard-pressed than now to keep the vote base intact. May be the common candidate can come to an electoral agreement with the incumbent for the common good of the nation. If UNP leaders once again backstab the politically naïve, as they did in 2000, it will lose the little credibility it has. UNP should learn to face the people directly without playing games or stick with its commitments. MPs with crossover ambitions must put them in the backburner until after the nominations are close. Sirisena’s security must also be guaranteed as his assassination would bring a UNPer into his place. UNP has a history of sacrificing nationalists to advance its political ambitions. Examples include General Lucky Algama and General Janaka Perera. Even the mysterious deaths of top military chiefs in 1992 are blamed on the UNP.

Maithripala’s mantra of UNP making sacrifices will prove to be comical as the UNP may sacrifice him before nominations, after nominations but before the election or after the election. This is best explained by the old adage “if you sleep with dogs, you will wake up with fleas”.

GATHERING OF BARBARIANS AT THE GATE 

December 4th, 2014

Well Wisher

 ACCORDING TO VEN WALPOLA PIYANANDA MAHANAYAKE THERO REMOVAL OF THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY WILL PAVE THE WAY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF POLICE POWERS AND LAND POWERS TO THE PROVINCIAL COUNCILS ALLOWING THE NORTH AND EAST TO HAVE THEIR SEPARATE STATE. ACCORDING TO HIM WHEN PRESIDENT J.R. JAYAWARDENA CREATED THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY POST HE WAS VERY WISE AND KNEW IT WILL ACT AS A CHECK AND BALANCE AGAINST PROVINCIAL COUNCILS GAINING TOO MUCH POWER. IF THE EXECUTIVE PRESIDENCY IS REMOVED WITHOUT REMOVING THE PROVINCIAL COUNCILS THEN THE BALANCE IS REMOVED. PLEASE LISTEN TO THE SPEECH BY HIM ON ITN AND COMMENT IF MY INTERPRETATION IS WRONG. IF THAT HAPPENS IT WILL BE A DISASTER FOR SRI LANKA. ALL WILL BE LOST.

 

http://www.itn.lk/2014/12/02/hathweni-peya-2014-12-02/

 

TtHE ABOVE VIDEO WARNS OF THE DANGERS TO SRI LANKA. THE SWORD OF DAMOCLES IS BEING HOISTED OVER OUR HEADS BY A CONSORTIUM OF LOCAL TRAITORS(With track records) and FOREIGN INTERESTS ON POLITICAL AGENDAS. THE JANUARY ELECTIONS ARE NOT MAINLY FOR CORRUPTION ERADICATION, GOOD GOVERNESS OR COST OF LIVING  IT IS THE VISION FOR TAKING OVER OUR SOVEREIGNTY USING WILLING QUISLINGS !. WHILST THE BARBARIANS ARE MASSING AT OUR GATES—-THE TROJAN HORSES HAVE NOW BEEN INFILTRATED IN TO PLACE

 

http://www.itn.lk/2014/11/24/hathweni-peya-2014-11-24/

 According to Priyantha once upon a TIME THERE WAS A POWERFUL WHITE  LADY IN AN EMBASSY BY THE SEA who decided that there should be a regime change as all attempts to change our regime had failed from foreign plots and  sources..She is said to be part of the human rights organisation, the CIA. Whilst in Lebanon, she helped the violent confusion there. 

watch the video above to learn startling facts!

  An excellent view expressed by Priyantha Chandraprema which includes a vivid account of and why The Queen of Deceit had attempted to jail Ranil Wickremesinghe on the Batalanda issue and made him a scapegoat by falsely MANIPULATING evidence AND putting him in jail for 3 months. Victor Ivan will tell the rest You are invited to read it on the internet—CLICK http://www.kapruka.com/shops/booksStore/SrilankaBooks_Preview.jsp?id=book01295

 

We must be confused as to how people who were at each others throats NOT LONG AGO are becoming overtly ready to kiss and cuddle each other NOW. The answer is not blowing in the wind it is exposed in these 2 videos.

Incomparable Family Bandyism -Corrupt Sirisena responsible for lowering normal level of Parakrama Samudraya by a half meter to save their hotel from going under water

December 4th, 2014

Hot News from Sri Lanka

Not one drop of water must flow into the ocean without serving the purposes of man
King Parakrambahu the great (1164-1196 AD), the builder of rainwater reservoir “Sea of Parakrama”

The vision of the King Parakrambahu the great is now overridden by the bandyism of  Sirisena family in Polonaruwa  to save their hotel illegally constructed on the bank of Parakram Samudraya from submerging.

According to irrigation department Parakrama Samudraya is a shallow reservoir with an average depth of 5m and a surface area of 26,500,000 m2 supporting to  irrigate over 18000 acres of paddy land, By lowering the normal level by 0.5 m  7500 acres of paddy land will be deprived of their vital water supply.

The report says “After the hotel expansion work in 2009, the sluice gates were secretly opened every night on the instruction of the area Irrigation Engineer escorted by the police. The fishermen who went fishing in the middle of the night in Parakrama Samudraya have seen this and when they exposed it farmer organisations protested against this unscrupulous act. By this time heavy rain fell causing floods in Polonnaruwa during 2010- 2011 that made some unknown party to break the sluice gates,” farmer organisation sources claimed on condition of anonymity.

The sources further claimed that the tank that can retain 110,000 acre feet of water now holds only 80,000 due to lowering the water levels. According to the sources, around 7,500 acres of paddy lands could have been cultivated with the 30,000 acre feet deficit of water. They also said how the hotel sewerage pipes are diverted to the tank underneath.

“This has deprived the downstream farmers of enough water for their paddy cultivation. This was clearly evident by the way the Irrigation Department did not allow the farmers to cultivate paddy in all their paddy lands during the recent drought but half or one third of their lands due to lack of water. As a result the country faced a severe rice shortage during the past few months and had to import rice from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Even the sewerage tanks were overflowing very often due to high water levels,” sources claimed.

Full Report  Courtesy Sunday Leader

Watering Corruption

By Nirmala Kannangara

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2014/10/19/watering-corruption/

The Irrigation Department has come under severe criticism for releasing water from Parakrama Samudraya in Polonnaruwa to safeguard interests of a sibling of a powerful politician in the District thereby depriving farmers, who live along either side of the downstream, of water for their agriculture purposes.

The Irrigation Department has succumbed to political pressure and allow Hotel Sudu Araliya on the banks of Parakrama Samudraya, to disregard all norms of irrigation rules and expand the hotel encroaching on ‘Sea of Parakrama’.

Hotel Sudu Araliya was earlier by the Parakrama Samudraya but after it was bought out by Dudley Sirisena of Nipuna rice fame, the brother of Health and Nutrition Minister Maithreepala Sirisena, the hotel encroached its property on the tank reservation. Although this illegal expansion work has been brought to the notice of the Irrigation Department and the Central Environmental Authority (CEA) by the people and environmental organisations, no action was taken by these two government institutions to stop the illegal constructions, alleged farmer organisations.

According to the farmer organisations, a part of the hotel including the sprawling garden is well within the tank reservation and is below the spill level. “If the tank is filled to its full supply level (spill level), part of the hotel and its garden will go under water,” the sources said.
To prevent the hotel from submerging, the Irrigation Department is compelled not to fill the tank to its maximum capacity but one foot below and the sluice gates were secretly opened every night to prevent the hotel from going under water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Secret affairs

“After the hotel expansion work in 2009, the sluice gates were secretly opened every night on the instruction of the area Irrigation Engineer escorted by the police. The fishermen who went fishing in the middle of the night in Parakrama Samudraya have seen this and when they exposed it farmer organisations protested against this unscrupulous act. By this time heavy rain fell causing floods in Polonnaruwa during 2010- 2011 that made some unknown party to break the sluice gates,” farmer organisation sources claimed on condition of anonymity.

The sources further claimed that the tank that can retain 110,000 acre feet of water now holds only 80,000 due to lowering the water levels. According to the sources, around 7,500 acres of paddy lands could have been cultivated with the 30,000 acre feet deficit of water. They also said how the hotel sewerage pipes are diverted to the tank underneath.

“This has deprived the downstream farmers of enough water for their paddy cultivation. This was clearly evident by the way the Irrigation Department did not allow the farmers to cultivate paddy in all their paddy lands during the recent drought but half or one third of their lands due to lack of water. As a result the country faced a severe rice shortage during the past few months and had to import rice from India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Even the sewerage tanks were overflowing very often due to high water levels,” sources claimed.

Meanwhile National Organiser, All Ceylon Farmer Federation Namal Karunaratne said, neither the Irrigation Department nor the CEA has prevented Hotel Sudu Araliya violating irrigation and environmental rules simply because Health and Nutrition Minister’s brother owned it. Meanwhile questions have been raised whether the Irrigation Department’s responsibility is to look after farmer interests or the politicians’ and their siblings’.

This is the second biggest tank after the Senanayake Samudraya. King Parakramabahu the Great constructed this tank to provide enough water for the farmers, not to promote tourism. As it is illegal to open sluice gates at any tank before it is filled to its maximum capacity, we want to know from whom the Irrigation Department obtained the approval to reduce the water level in the tank by one foot, Karunaratne queried.

According to Karunaratne, as a result of needless water releasing, farmers along the downstream were unable to cultivate paddy in more than 2,000 acres.

“Having had to abandon 2,000 acres of paddy lands is a great loss to the country. This is not the only instance where paddy was not grown due to lack of water as the Irrigation Department has continuously released water in many tanks to ‘satisfy’ the ruling party politicians. There are also instances the Irrigation Department is accused of drying up tanks to enable politicians to build hotels on tank reservations. This is the main cause for the prevailing rice shortage,” Karunaratne alleged.

Politicians’ hotels

Yodakandiya tank in Tissamaharamaya, Balalu Wewa in Anuradhapuara, Nuwara Wewa in Anuradhapura, Magalla Wewa in Kurunegala are few tanks the Irrigation Department lower the water levels almost daily to prevent the hotels, which have come up on their respective reservations, from going under water. All these hotels belong to powerful politicians in the ruling party.

Meanwhile, questions have been raised why the CEA has allowed this hotel to violate the National Environment Act by allowing the project to ‘establish a suitable reservation’.

The Sunday Leader is in possession of the letter the CEA has sent to P.G.W. Sirisena, Managing Director Sudu Araliya Hotel instructing that any obstruction to the natural flow of the tank shall not be done.

Director General, CEA, Ramani Ellepola in her letter dated July 26, 2012 to the hotel has also stated that a monitoring committee consisting of representatives of the CEA, Irrigation Department, Urban Development Authority, Department of Archaeology, Divisional Secretariat and Thamankaduwa Pradeshiya Sabha and Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority will monitor and supervise the project ensuring that stipulated environmental conditions and mitigating measures are being complied with.

“If all these government institutions monitored the project, why couldn’t they monitor the way the Irrigation Department keeps on lowering the water level of the tank? Has this hotel obtained the Environmental Protection License (EPL) in accordance with section 23 (A) of the National Environmental Act No: 47 of 1980 as amended by the act No: 56 of 1988 and No: 53 of 2000 prior to the commencement of operation and if so, have they got the license renewed thereafter,” Karunaratne queried.

Meanwhile Attorney-at-Law who specialises in Environmental Laws, Jagath Gunawardena said it is the responsibility of the CEA to make a periodic inspection and see whether the hotel has violated any environmental laws.

“The Irrigation Department has a primary responsibility to maintain the maximum water level of the tank. In addition if there is a violation of law, the Irrigation department has to inform the CEA in the first instance. The CEA has no authority to instruct the project proponent to take action to establish a suitable reservation to the tank in consultation with the Irrigation Department and maintain it properly. The CEA has to carry out periodic inspection whether the project proponent has complied with the environmental regulations or has violated them,” Gunawardena said.

Meanwhile a senior Irrigation Officer on condition of anonymity said that all tanks in the country have to be filled to its full supply level since these tanks provide the required water for the farmer community.

“It is highly illegal for the Irrigation Department to avoid filling Parakrama Samudraya to its full supply level. According to the State Land Ordinance, there should be a reservation at every tank. This hotel has been constructed within the reservation and we don’t have any powers to avoid filling any tank to its maximum. Every tank has to be filled to its full capacity. The Irrigation Department has the authority to open the sluice gates when the tank overflows or when there is a threat to the tank bund,” sources said.

According to her, this is a ‘mafia’. This fraud is not only done by the Irrigation Department but also by Mahaweli Authority, he said. All hydropower generations are derived from Mahaweli river water and the Mahaweli Authority too follow a ‘secret’ method to release water to prevent hydropower generation.

Impediment to Hydropower generation

“There are allegations against Mahaweli Authority that they lower water levels to prevent hydropower generation in support of private parties who supply electricity to the national grid. By lowering the water levels, these officials restrict hydropower generation and encourage the Ceylon Electricity Board to purchase the necessary electricity from private thermal power plants for a higher price. Likewise the Irrigation Department lowers tank water to prevent hotels on reservation from submerging,” she alleged.

She further said how Irrigation officers came under constant pressure to give approval to build a hotel on the Bolgoda Lake reservation.

“A ruling party MP from Kolonnawa wanted to get the Irrigation Department’s approval to build his hotel in Bolgoda lake reservation. Although our officers came under severe pressure we made sure not to give it. But however, Irrigation Department’s approval has been given to all other hotels that have been built on tank reservations due to political pressure,” she alleged.

According to her, the same devastation has been taking place at the nearby Minneriya and Girithale tanks as well and added that although the Kavudulla tank reservation has not yet encroached by any politician, hotels could be built at any moment without any proper approvals.

She further said that it is disheartening to note how the CEA and the Irrigation Department have allowed Sudu Araliya Hotel to encroach the buildings on the reservation when the minimum water levels have been given to prevent any construction work.

“At least 0.5 metres have to be kept for the high flood level from the full supply level. Another minimum 0.5 metres have to be kept above the high flood level to give approvals for any construction work. All these regulations have been allowed to violate openly. As water levels are lowered to ‘satisfy’ the politicians and their siblings, this has adversely affected the paddy cultivation in the country. The rice shortage the country faced during the past few months is a direct impact of this situation,” she alleged.

Speaking further she said that releasing sewerage to the tank is completely illegal and added all attempts to get the higher irrigation officials to take action against this have gone to deaf ears.

“The then Irrigation Engineer Polonnaruwa is the Ministry Secretary now. Even the CEA has clearly stated that treated or untreated waste water should be discharged into a properly designed waste water treatment system and should be discharged into agricultural lands and should not be discharged into either Parakrama Samudraya or to any waterways or any storm water drainage system at any time. Since the project proponent has openly violated all these condition the CEA too can take stern action against the hotel. It is also interesting to find out whether the CEA has renewed the EPL and if so, how they did it,” she said.

 

Sirisena comes to town

December 4th, 2014

By Dushy Ranetunge  in Havelock Town  Courtesy Island

It was a sunny Thursday morning in Havelock Town, as my wife and I opened the front gates of my property to take our vehicle out to go on some errands. Before us were a line of vehicles blocking the private road.

Maithripala Sirisena had come to town—Havelock Town! I explained to a gentleman who was about to park yet another vehicle that this was a private road, and if he was to park, I would regard it as trespass and will have to let out the air of his tyres. He obliged and removed the vehicle, but there were just too many and I could no longer leave the blocked private road.

It seems the commotion was over the opening of a campaign office for Mr. Sirisena and several neighbours expressed their displeasure as to what was going on.

article_image

Maithripala Sirisena launches his campaign in Colombo (file photo)

My wife and I then walked to the property in which Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, Mr. Ravi Karunanayake, Athuraliye Rathana Thera, and Mr. Rajitha Senaratne were standing, surrounded by a large crowd.

We approached Mr. Sirisena and requested if he could spare us 2 minutes. He kindly obliged. I explained to Mr. Sirisena, that the road he was participating in opening a campaign office was a private road and that all the properties in this road had a legal covenant written into the deeds stipulating that all the properties within the private estate could be used for residential purposes only. Therefore I explained that if an office was to be opened, that he would be abetting in the breach of a legal covenant.

Mr. Rajitha Senarathna then commented that the property had been an office before. I conceded that was so, but that we had expressed our opposition to that “use” as well, and that we expected higher standards from Mr Sirisena as per his campaign promises.

Mr. Senarathna’s comment was worrying. If a new Sirisena administration was to breach legal rights of citizens within the country, would Rajitha Senarathna defend such breaches on the basis that such breaches have happened in the past? Not a very promising comment by a politician presenting himself to the country aspiring higher standards and accountability?

We explained to Mr. Sirisena that we were not opposed to him and that we supported him and that we would welcome his success at the pools, but was only opposed to the breach of the legal covenant and trespass on a private road by a large number of vehicles.

Mr. Sirisena was apologetic and gave an assurance that they will be leaving by 12.15pm and we thanked him and left. Those in his entourage were kind and moved some of the vehicles to facilitate our exit.

On our return at about 1pm, several vehicles were still in the close, and without warning or provocation one of the political entourage started being abusive. I stopped my vehicle and got down. A politician’s convoy that started rolling minutes later was blocked. The abusive man now got into my vehicle and tried unsuccessfully to move it. He seemed somewhat confused sitting in my driver’s seat and staring at the dashboard, unable to start a keyless entry automatic vehicle. While I walked up to the tinted glass BMW to speak to the politician hiding inside to complain about the abusive behaviour of his staff and demand an apology from that gentleman of quality, he had started being abusive to my wife and grabbed her phone as she was about to photograph him.

My wife, a lawyer and a lady of formidable character, had punched the man and grabbed the phone back. This had been a response that he clearly did not expect and he was lucky. This gentleman of quality was not to know that my wife has received and continues to receive training by the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) in the United Kingdom with specialist techniques to deal with aggressive bahaviour.

She refused to move from the middle of the road, adding to the blockage caused by my vehicle and preventing the convoy from leaving, until an apology was received.

It seems to us, that there is no difference between these Sri Lankan politicians. They are quite happy or may I say ignorant in trespassing onto clearly marked private road with an entry barrier, which has a restrictive legal covenant and block the lawful residents from leaving their homes, but when it comes to them wanting to leave, everyone is shoved aside.

Some of the political entourage were being apologetic and called for that gentleman of quality who had been abusive to return and apologise, but he had got into a vehicle and fled the scene.

The politician hiding inside the BMW did not get down or try to address the issue, while his confused security personnel were blowing hot and cold. It was amusing that we saw several instances of people being abusive and apologetic at the same time.

I saw and heard another gentleman of quality commenting in Sinhalese that it would be the last time we travelled down this road, insinuating in a very Sinhalese rural manner that we would be killed or disposed of. Intimidation seems to come naturally to these champions of democracy. I found the comments and behaviour amusing, making me wonder if there was any difference between the mindsets of rural Hambanthota and rural Polonnaruwa.

I inquired loudly if this was the new Sri Lanka that Sirisena was aspiring to?

While we abhor the rampant corruption in this society that we live in, devoid of any respect for women’s rights, minority rights, human rights, respect for judicial independence and good governance, a society that I would not want to bring up my children in, it would be a serious mistake to get carried away with Sirisena as the panacea to our problems.

For me the only attraction of Sirisena is that unlike the Hambanthota incumbent, the Polonnaruwa aspirant will be far more vulnerable in Parliament. Other than that it would be a mistake to have faith that Polonnaruwa will deliver on its promises any better or worse than Hambanthota.

 

Memorandum of understanding

December 4th, 2014

Nalin de Silva

The memorandum of understanding has been signed between the UNP and some insignificant parties and individuals who are supposed to be members of insignificant organizations, in front of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera whose organization consisting of academic trade unionists and left out leftists who are in search of a platform to mark their presence to the people through media politics. If not for media politics nobody would have heard of these organizations.

MoU is nothing but a document that declares that a UNP government would be formed with the assistance of Ven. Maduluwawe Sobhitha Thera and Chandrika Kumaratunga who do not have a mass base at present. It is not known whether Maithripala Sirisena signed as an individual or as the so called secretary of the SLFP. Incidentally according to John Amaratunga the MoU was signed at Victoria Park revealing his colonial way of thinking long after the park was named Viharamahadevi Park. Perhaps John Amaratunga does not recognize Viharamahadevi and her son who were able to unify the country more than two thousand years ago. John Amaratunga is the Chief Opposition whip of the present parliament whom the UNP would appoint as the Chief Government whip if and when Ranil Wickremesinghe becomes the Prime Minister after the 8th of January 2015.

Tag-Point-of-View-2013l.jpg

z_p07-Memorandum-01.jpg
Ranil Wickremesinghe
z_p07-Memorandum-2.jpg
Chandrika Kumaratunga

As far as the UNP, its lawyers are concerned Sarath Silva is still the chief justice of the country while Mohan Peiris is the de facto CJ. Similarly they must be thinking that Maithripala Sirisena is the secretary of the SLFP while Anura Priyadarshana Yapa is the de facto secretary of the party. However, unfortunately for the UNP, the agent of the Western powers in the country, the removals and appointments have been made according to the constitution of the SLFP. Thus Maithripala Sirisena does not represent the SLFP or even the faction (one or two former SLFPers) that went with him to the opposition. Chandrika Kumaratunga similarly does not represent the SLFP. She and Maithripala Sirisena failed to bring the thirty MPs from the SLFP thus giving their first “broken province” to Ranil Wickremesinghe.

No common opposition

The TNA, JVP and JHU have not signed the main MoU thus indicating that there is no common opposition though there may be a so called common candidate. Maithripala Sirisena does not represent a common opposition, and as it is he represents at least four oppositions most probably with four programs. The main MoU that has been signed is also not very clear as far as the positions of Chandrika Kumaratunga and the UNP are concerned.

The JHU and the TNA will sign pacts or MoU s with Maithripala Sirisena who does not represent a mass base as a member of a party. The JHU and the TNA are trying to deceive the people but finally together with Chandrika they will all agree with the UNP on the program that will be finally adopted. It is because the UNP is the only party among the groupings that have some mass base though less than 40% of the vote, and also due to the fact it gets the blessings of the Western powers.

It would be interesting to analyze the contents of the MoUs that Maithripala Sirisena would sign with the JHU and the TNA separately though it would be only an academic exercise. What would be carried out is the program of the West through the UNP and Maithripala Sirisena whatever the leaders of these parties and Chandrika Kumaratunga may be dreaming of. This may not be even the main MoU signed by Maithripala Sirisena with the UNP and Chandrika Kumaratunga as an individual.

Contrary to what some have to say the article 37(1), gives the power to the executive president to appoint the prime minister to perform the duties of the President. Also the president can appoint any person whom in his opinion is most likely to command the confidence of the Parliament. The relevant articles are reproduced below. The program of the West depends on these two articles.

43. (3) The President shall appoint as Prime Minster the Member of Parliament who in his opinions is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament.

37. (1) If the President is of the opinion that by reason of illness, absence from Sri Lanka or any other cause he will be unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office he may appoint the Prime Minister to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period, and may also appoint one of the other Ministers of the Cabinet to act in the office of Prime Minister during such period:

Provided that if the office of Prime Minister be then vacant or the Prime Minister is unable to act, the President may appoint the Speaker to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the office of President during such period.

Curtail public service

Under 43 (3) it is not necessary to have a vote in the parliament to elect a prime minister and according to 37(1) the president if he is unable to function in the post of president for some reason which is not specified he can appoint the prime minister to perform the duties of the President. It is clear that the understanding according to the main MoU and probably the other MoUs to be signed to have the present Parliament for two more years until the constitution is amended and to have Parliamentary elections with the amended constitution under a different voting system. However it is clear that at least for two years nothing will happen to the executive powers of the president though they will be carried out by the prime minister appointed for the purpose.

The plan is clear. If and when Maithripala Sirisena wins he will appoint Ranil Wickremesinghe as the Prime minster without consulting the Parliament under 43(3) as the former could say in his opinion the latter commands the confidence of the opposition. Having appointed Ranil Wickremesinghe to carry out the duties of the president (some who are not clear in conceptual thinking may call him the executive prime minster though there is no such position defined in the constitution) Maithripala Sirisena will declare that for some reason he is unable to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of his office and appoint the new prime minster Ranil Wickremesinghe to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the post of President. Then Ranil Wickremesinghe will carry out the program of the West.

The UNP which under instructions from the West wanted to curtail the public service and sacked thousands of government employees in July 1980 when they wanted a salary increase of Rs. 300 per month will never increase the salaries of the latter.

The good governance and the rest are mere rhetoric as there is no good governance in the UNP itself. Democracy or whatever should start at home, and by now Tissa Attanayake could have given Maithripala Sirisena some lessons on good governance in the UNP. In any event the ordinary people are satisfied with the governance of the government and the present state of democracy in the country.

It is some UNPers in the city and the towns and some pundits together with Ven. Sobhitha Thera who talk of good governance and democracy as if they enjoyed them under the UNP governments. The main MoU talks of law and order, and are they going to say that under the UNP and the SLFP of Chandrika Kumaratunga they had law and order in the country. It is not necessary to give the long list of examples for bad governance in their regimes, not to mention the explosion of bombs by the LTTE killing of innocent people (perhaps it was the order of the day) and the acts of underworld godfathers such as Sunil who was given a Presidential pardon, if I may use the term very much liked by Ranil Wickremesinghe, and Maithripala Sirisena would be the nominal executive president of a regime that has Ranil Wickremesinghe functioning as the President. The West may be thinking of buying some SLFP MPs to obtain the two third majority in the parliament but they are only day dreaming.

Chandrika Kumaratunga claims that she could not obtain the two third majority during the time she was the President to abolish executive presidency. If it is true it implies that the UNP was not in favour of abolishing the executive presidency from 1994 to 2005. During this period there was a time from 2002 to 2004 when Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe governed the country jointly without attempting to amend the constitution and abolish the executive presidency. Instead they jointly signed a ceasefire agreement with Prabhakaran contrary to the wish of the great majority of the people. Chandrika Kumaratunga cannot claim that she was not a party to the ceasefire agreement mentioning that it was signed by Ranil Wickremesinghe and not by her. However under the constitution (Article 33) only the president can declare war or peace and Ranil Wickremesinghe who had not been given powers under 37(1) did not have the authority to sign a ceasefire agreement with Prabhakaran.

However, Chandrika Kumaratunga who as the president could have annulled the agreement did not do so as it was against the wish of the West communicated through Norway. That was the understanding between Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickremesinghe and the present main MoU is about the same understanding that would help Tamil racism through TNA and the dispersed Tamils in the West, and not about the rhetoric mentioned therein.

– See more at: http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/memorandum-understanding#sthash.t7t2y68n.dpuf

Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga after watching C4 video Killing Fields

December 4th, 2014

Ms. Chandrika Kumaratunga is back at work. We remember…

“I shall remember till the end of my days the morning when my 28 year-old son called me, sobbing on the phone to say how ashamed he was to call himself as Sinhalese and a Lankan, after he saw on the UK television a 50 minute documentary called Killing Fields of Sri Lanka which I also had the great misfortune of seeing. My daughter followed suit, saying similar things and expressing shock and horror that our countrymen could indulge in such horrific acts. I was proud of my son and daughter, proud that they cared for the others, proud that they have grown up to be the man and woman their father and mother wanted them to be.”

President Chandrika Kumaratunga in her student day in Paris:

http://www.thesundayleader.lk/archive/20041219/politics-1.htm

LIFE ABROAD – Part 107 NEVER SAY DIE!

December 4th, 2014

Dr.Tilak Fernando

If there is any Sri Lankan who had to fight consistently for eighteen consecutive years to obtain the dual nationality, the writer certainly qualifies as the first!

It all started from London after the Sri Lankan Citizenship (Amendment) Act No. 45 was ratified in Parliament on September 28, 1987. When the writer contacted the Sri Lanka High Commission, he was advised to send a written request initially to the Ministry of Defence, Colombo. This was done on May 23,1988; the MoD acknowledged it under their reference CIT/U77/19(2) 70 on June 8, 1988.

A reminder sent to the MoD at Chaithiya Road, Colombo on April 1, 1989 had no effect. JVP turmoil in the meanwhile paralised almost every administrative function at the time. While the writer was in Sri Lanka in 1990, he listened to President R. Premadasa making a statement to the effect that ‘if there was any bureaucratic bungling in his administration any one was free to write to him personally’. The President was intimated on this score on December 27, 1990 by letter.

On March 25, 1991, a semi-official letter was sent to President Premadasa expressing the writer’s disappointment and highlighting the fact that the initial dual nationality fee of Rs.5,000 had gone up to Rs.100, 000 by then. Secretary to the President advised the writer, under Ref. PPA/5 that ‘the matter had been referred to the Secretary, Ministry of Defence for necessary action’. However, the MoD officials chose to reign silence, which obligated the writer to draw President’s personal attention yet again.

Out of the blue

In the midst of such a hullabaloo, Walter Fernando, the Controller of Immigration and Emigration, a buddy of the writer’s brother (the late M. R. Fernando-Director of Highways) had contacted him to inform him about the writer’s involvement on the dual nationality issue with the MoD.

In July 1992, the writer arrived in Colombo and met with Walter Fernando officially, obtained an application form for the first time and handed it over back to the Immigration and Immigration Dept. On October 23, 1992 Asst. Secretary for Secretary, H.R. de Silva at the MoD advised the writer under reference CIT/U7/19(2) 2725 that H.E. President had approved the application for Dual Citizenship of Sri Lanka, and requested to pay Rs.100,000 to the Controller of Immigration and Emigration at Chaithiya Road, Colombo 1. Imprudently the applicant wrote back to President Premadasa once again seeking his advice whether to pay Rs.5,000 retrospectively, as he was first registered as far back as June 8, 1988, or to pay the requested amount of Rs.100,000!

When the late General Sepala Attygalle (former Secretary of State) assumed duties as the High Commissioner in London, the writer briefed him about the iniquitousness of the whole situation. He immediately wrote to his former Secretary, Mahinda Bandusena, requesting him to review the case emphasising on the applicant’s first registration in 1998 under ref. CIT/U77/19(2) 70.

The writer followed up the General’s letter by telephoning Mahinda Bandusena, all the way from London, and submitted a detailed summary on 14th April 1993, detailing what had taken place. Mahinda Bandusena’s reply dated 24th August 1993 really took the cake. At the start he stated ‘there was ‘no trace of any communication under the reference CIT/U7/19(2) 70 at the Immigration Department’ (though it was the original reference quoted by the MoD in 1988). Secondly he made two injudicious statements as follows:

In paragraph (e) he stated, “If the Dept. of Immigration or Ministry had not sent you the application within a few months of writing to the Department/Ministry, you would have, without waiting for a printed application form, typed an application or in your own handwriting sent it to C/I & E. Even with shortcomings, Dept/Minstry would have accepted this as an application. The fact that you have not attempted even that method shows you were not keen at that time”(sic).

In the same breath, immediately underneath, in Para (f) he contradicted himself thus: “Merely writing a letter to the Dept/Ministry asking for an application form cannot be construed as forwarding an application” (sic).

It certainly was an ill-advised reply coming out of a responsible Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, which made the writer put the whole matter into a limbo state, out of sheer exasperation.

General Cyril S. C. Ranatunge, who succeeded General Sepala Attygalle as the Secretary to Ministry of Defence, was briefed with the history of the case on March 28, 1994 when he was the High Commissioner in London. On May 6, 1994 Gen. Ranatunge wrote back to the writer stating:

“The law being very clear on the issue, I regret I am unable to revise the fee, as such a course of action will lead to an Audit Query, and therefore reference to the Public Accounts Committee”.

The writer’s intention however had never been to revise the fee but only to seek advice whether he could be entitled to the retrospective payment from the time he was registered initially.

On May 12, 1995 Secretary/Defence, Chandananda de Silva, was approached on the same subject, however, a cut and dry reply, under reference SMOD/126/6/PER, dated July 15, 1995 stated, …. “Having gone through all the documentation forwarded to me, I find that there is no way I could be of assistance to you in this regard”. R. A. A. Ranaweera, Additional Secretary had signed the letter.

Seemingly, the dual nationality fee had gone up to Rs.200,000. However, the writer persistently followed the matter up by writing to President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga on September 4, 1995, emphasising on the two separate reference numbers: CIT/U7/19/(2)70 and CIT/U7/19(2)2725, but to no avail!

After many challenges and vexations and repeated correspondence, copies of two communications were faxed to Assistant Secretary, Administration Mr. W.A.S. Perera as per his request later. On February 1, 1999 a communication reached the writer with the following encouraging comments:

“Please make the payment i.e. Rs.100,000 under the same reference number assigned to you(CIT/U7/19(2)2725)and NOT NECESSARY TO RE-REAPPLY AS A NEW APPLICANT”(sic). Signed squiggly – Assistant Secretary.

In Sri Lanka

The writer upon returning to Sri Lanka in early January 2006 met with Abeykoon Bandara, Controller of Immigration & Emigration hoping to get the above mentioned Assistant Secretary’s letter dated 01.02.1999 re-validated to make the payment of Rs.100,000.

Controller, Abeykoon Bandara, expressed his ‘inability to validate the produced letter without cross referring to the original in the applicant’s file’, the reason given being that the Immigration office had just shifted from Colombo 3 to Borella, and all official files were in disarray at the time, as such, it posed a problem to detect the writer’s file! As an alternative he suggested to reapply for dual nationality on a fresh application!

The writer managed to unearth his old file ‘miraculously’ with the help of an official peon at the Dept. Immigration and Immigration, and completed a fresh application too on 18 January 2006. Finally the old file (with the new application attached to it) was sent for the Committee for approval (instead of simply revalidating the document) even after the original letter was found in the applicant’s file!

On 04.04.2006 an Assistant Secretary MOD wrote to the writer’s Borella address, under reference CIT/U7/19(2)20920 (2725) confirming his dual citizenship, with a request to make the necessary payment of Rs.200,000 to the Controller of Immigration on or before 28.08.2006

The payment of Rs.200,000 was made and a yellow receipt (bearing two reference numbers (CIT/U7/19(2)70 & CIT/U7/10/(2)2725) was issued by the cashier at Immigration and Immigration Dept. Having paid the requested fee, the writer had to cultivate patience for over six months to hear and/or receive his dual nationality certificate!

Despite having gone through every rack for eighteen years, the writer still had to seek President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s assistance at the end and ask the responsible officials to take suitable measures in handing over the dual nationality certificate to the writer.

The writer could hardly believe at the end how the Department had written to his London address ‘to come and collect the Certificate’, when in fact, his address was in the new application and in all the correspondence with the Controller, Abeykoon Bandara, from 1 January 2006!

To cut a long story short, the writer approached the Chief Clerk personally at the immigration office (dual nationality section) in Borella one morning. He was flummoxed to see a female clerk bringing two certificates up to the Chief Clark, as the writer was about to sign on a register for receiving it.

Prior to placing his signature on the register, the writer made a request to the Chief Clerk to have both certificates (which were staring at him on the table). However, the matter was referred to an Assistant Commissioner to get authorisation.

The writer’s attempts in explaining to the Assistant Commissioner about the existence of two certificates, under references CIT/U7/19(2)70 & CIT/U&/((2)2725), which he had seen from his own naked eyes on the Chief Clerk’s desk, fell on deaf ears; instead it turned into a conflict situation where the Assistant Commissioner blatantly refused the writer’s claim making him look like a fibber, which naturally led to an exchange of words between the two parties. Finally, the writer had to leave the office with only one Certificate under reference CIT/U&/((2)2725) for which he had paid Rs.200,000.

Subsequent attempts to locate the writer’s file to contest against the overcharge amount of Rs.100,000 came to a nonentity despite the official letter issued by an Assistant Commissioner under reference CIT/U7/’9(2)2725 on 01.02.1999, specifically requesting to pay Rs.100,000 without having to re-apply for dual nationality, remained glaring and conspicuous on the writer’s file.

Immigration & Emigration department still owes the writer Rs.100,000 paid in excess, after such ham-fisted experiences for eighteen long years while the authorities shamefacedly dealt with a simple administrative task.

tilakfernando@gmail.com 

 

“If my name is not mentioned as the Prime Minister to be appointed on stages,I will forward nomination and contest on own”-Ranil

December 4th, 2014

Hot News

In the election propaganda platforms in the forthcoming presidential election the common candidate should vouch and say that Ranil Wickremasinghe is to be made the Prime Minister when Maithripala Sirisena becomes President. This should be categorically promised in the political meetings. This statement was made by the leader of the opposition Ranil wickremasinghe  referring to  Maduluwawe Sobitha thera’s refusal to Sirisena  to take part in opposition meetings if he promise executive Prime Minister post to Ranil…Ranil said he would leave the election campaign and submit nominations on his own and still there is enough time for that.

Nimalka,Nirmal,Pakyasothy,Kumar Rupasinghe to support common candidate

December 4th, 2014

To support the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena several non governmental organisations have promised.Accordingly Nimalka Fernando, Pakyasothy Saravanamuthu, Kumar Rupasinghe and Nirmal Devasiri are hoping to have a media briefing shortly.

WHY MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA IS NOT A DICTATOR PART 2

December 3rd, 2014

Harvey Perera 

I wish to continue my earlier article since there is a lot more that can be written of MR’s achievements. The purpose is to remind people of the good done by MR and to suggest some ideas to bring peace to the entire country for the future.

  1. In the teeth of opposition from the Common Opposition MR handled many issues quite well. The thousands of soldiers who were incapacitated and injured in the war were treated with compassion.  The thousands of Tamil refugees from the war front as well as the defeated LTTE cadre were cared for.  They were well looked after by GOSL and Gota.
  2. With so many developed countries trying to pin false ‘war crimes’ charges on him, MR has been courageous. The Common Opposition was none existent when it comes to defending the Nation, the Armed Forces and the President against these so called ‘war crimes’.  Some even promoted that ! They also did not provide GoSL with any constructive criticism in the post-war stage as a effective and dynamic Opposition should have.  They have been counter productive as an Opposition.
  3. I would like to reiterate that MR has achieved a great deal in spite of unending opposition from within and outside the country. He has a vision for development of the country and has carried out his vision with dynamism. The work done in development of the roads, infrastructure, and the cleaning up of the major cities is incredible. People take it all for granted now but forget the troubles and what it was like in the so called ‘good old days’ under other leaders.  It was a problem for ordinary citizens of Lanka to carry on their daily lives, not knowing if they could return home safely after leaving home in the morning.  Such was the fear and uncertainty.
  4. MR created a viable foreign policy and has reached out to all the countries West and East alike to obtain the maximum assistance to the country. He stands well above the average world leader.
  5. I would suggest that if he and his Government can do the following it would be the greatest service to the Nation.
    • Remove the 13A since his coalition party has the 2/3 majority.
    • Take strong action against the TNA since they are not a registered party. They have spoken about Separatism with Foreign countries (legal for him to do so under Amendment 6). They should be banned in Sri Lanka.
    • Take urgent steps to fight the false propaganda of the LTTE diaspora.
    • Take action against Ranil W for speaking against the country in foreign countries.
    • Appoint a  Commission to inquire into why Ranil W when he was PM allowed the release of the names of the long range intelligence group to the public.
    • Take strong steps to curb illegal activities of some of his party members.
    • Change the laws in the country so that there is one law for all. Right now we have one for Muslims which lets them marry up to 5 women, Thesavalami law for Tamils which prohibits Sinhalese and others from buying property from Tamils.
    • Pass an anti Burqa law like in France and Netherlands so that terrorists cannot move around the country disguised as Muslim women.
    • Stop all illegal migrations. Deport those who came during the last 30 years of LTTE domination of the north and the east, and ship them back to India. Prime Minister Modi has already invited those of Indian origin to come back to India. What are they waiting for when their home land is calling.  Strong Anti-Separatist Laws must be there on a forever basis.
    • Create a large reserve army which can be called up any time there is an emergency. It will give good discipline, training and equipment for many of the young people, for life. We will have to maintain a core strong army, navy and air force also to ensure the security of the country as is done is USA, and many developed countries. In Switzerland every citizen is a trained Militia man so that they can call up 2 million soldiers to duty in a couple of days. This is the only way Sinhalese will be able to survive against Tamil Nadu machinations in the future.

 

It is apparent that the Common Opposition is well funded to win crossovers. I wonder from where all that money is coming from? Even if MR wins the election it will be only for another 4 years. What will happen after that? MR and the GOSL has to ensure that there is peace in Sri Lanka for generations to come.

 

Abraham Lincoln said on June 18, 1858,  “A House divided against itself cannot stand”,  referring to the state of America’s seemingly intractable internal divisions at that time. The same applies to any country even today.  If serious divisions continue, confusion, chaos, disorder and anarchy results, then outside sources will govern.

 

අලි වලිගෙ එල්ලී දෙව්ලොව යන ගමරාල

December 3rd, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

 මෙහිදී ගමරාල යන වචනය මා යොදා ගන්නේ  කිසිවෙකුට අපහාසයකට නොවේ . ගම රාල යනු ගම ප්‍රධානියාය . ක්‍රිස්තු පූර්වයේ සිටම ”ගමික ” නම් ප්‍රධානියෝ සිටියහ.ගාමිණී  යනු සමාන වචනයකි . පැරණි ගම්  සභා ක්‍රමයේ  දී ගමරාලට හෙවත් ගමික ට වැදගත් තැනක් තිබුනේය.

ගමරාල මෝඩයෙක් කර  කතා ලිව්වේ  බටහිරින් මෙරටට ඕල්කොට් ලා සමග පැමිණි ඇ නී බෙසන්ට්  ලා ය  බුදුදහම දියුනුකර ලීමටයය් කියා පැමිණි ඔවුහු”” පරමවිඥාන”’ හා ” බුද්ධ ඇදහිල්ල ” ආදිය මගින් ‘ දහම” හින්දු”’ පරම බ්‍රහ්මන්”    මුසු  ” ඇදහිලි  ආගමක්”  කළහ. . මොවුහු අධ්‍යාපනය මගින්  බෞද්ධ පාසල් වලද  ගමට හිනාවෙන පිරිසක් බෝ කළහ.

මහදැ නමුත් තා  සහ ගොලපිරිස  ගේ කතා හැදුවේ ගම්සභා සහ වරිගසභා ආදී  ආයතන වල ජනතා කටයුතු සොයා බැ ලු විනිශ්චය දුන්  ගමේ  දැනුමැ ති යන් පාච්චල් කිරීමටය.  

අමුඩ ගසා ගොවිතැන් කල  සරම්  ඇ න්ද ගැමියා  හාස්‍යයට ලක් කර කලිසම් ඇ න්ද  බටහිර අනුකරණය කරන්නා  ඔසවාතැබීම නිසා  කුඩා කාලයේ සිටම සිංහල බෞධ්ධයා පුරුදුවුයේ  අපේ ගම්  ප්‍රධානීන්පාච්චලයට ලක් කිරීමටය.   සිරිසේනට  ගමරාලා ගොය්යා  ආදී  ලෙස  පාච්චල් කරන්නන් ද   මේ ඕල්කොට් බෞද්ධයන් ය. කිසිදාක අපි අපේ ළමයින්ට   බෙසන්ට් ලා ලියු  ගමරාල ට හිනා වෙන කතා නුගන්විය යුතුය. එය අපි අපිටම හිනා වීමකි
පැරණි කතාවක් ඇසුරෙන්  ලිව්වත් මම මේ ටික කිව්වේ  රනිල් චන්ද්‍රික වැනියවුන්ට වඩා  සිරිසේන හොඳ නිසාය. මම සිරිසේන  ට අකමැති ඔහු ජාතියේම  සතුරන් වන රනිල් හා චන්ද්‍රිකා  සමග නිසා මිස ඔහු ගමරාල කෙනෙක් නිසා නොවේ .

අලිවලිගේ එල්ලී දෙව්ලොව යන්නට උත්සාහ ගත එදා ගමරාල  බිම වැටී චප්ප චුරුප්පන් වුනේය. මේ ගමරාලට එ සේ නොවේවාඔහු දෙව්ලොව යන්නේ නම් ඔහුටත් අපටත් හොඳය.  එහෙත් බාලයන් ඇසුරෙන් වන්නේ පරිහානියක් මිස දෙව්ලොවයාමක් නොවේ 

හාමුදුරුවරු දෙන්නෙක් දෙපස සිටිනවා මෙන්ම  ජාතිද්‍රෝහීන් දෙන්නෙකුත් දෙපස තබා ගෙන  දැ ලිපිහි  යෙන්  කිරිකන්නට හදන  සිරිසේන මහතාණනි   මොලේ ඇත්නම්  දිනුවොත් දිනු වහාම  ඔබ කල යුත්තේ ඔබ බිල්ලට දී   අවස්ථාවෙන් ප්‍රයෝජනය ගන්නට වලිකන සතු රන්  පිටු දැක  සිංහල බෞධ්ධයා විසින් ගොඩනගා සංවර්ධනය  වසර 2500 කට වැඩි කාලයක්  රැකගත් මේ රට  තව වසර 2500ක් වත් රැකෙන සේ 13අ   සහ පළාත් සභා අහෝසි කර  රටේ උරුමක්කාරයින්ගේ අයිතිවාසිකම් රකදීමය්

නැත හොත්  ”’ගමරාල අවීචි මහා නරකාදියට  ගිය හැටි ” නමින්  තවත් කතාවක් සිංහලයන් විසින් ලියනු ඇත.  මහින්ද  විසින් ඉටු නොකළ  මෙම අත්‍යවශ්‍ය කාර්යය වන  13අ අහෝසිකිරීමට ඔබ ප්‍රතිඥා දී නැත.

හෙළ උරුමයවත් එය ඔබෙන් ඉල්ලා නැත, දින 100 තුල  මේ සඳහා ජනමත විචාරණයක් පවත්වා  ජනමතය අනුව එය අහෝසිකළ විට චන්ද්‍රිකාත් රනිලුත්  නිකම්ම විසිවී යනු ඇත.  මහින්දට වඩා වීරයෙක් වීමට නම් ඔබ එය කල යුතුමය.

  මහින්ද පරදා රනිල් චන්ද්‍රිකා බලයට පත් කර  ඔබ දත නියවා ගෙන හිටියොත් ඒ මහා පාප කර්මයෙන්ම ඔබ  අපා ගත වෙනු නියතය,.  මේ දේ කලොත්  අපට වීරයන් දෙදෙනෙක්  ලැබේ එවිට සතුරා හා සැතිරිය බල රහිත වේ . මුදල් වංචා දූෂණ  ගසා කෑම්  පසුව  නිවැරදි කර ගත හැක. .

රට රැකුනොත්  කවදා හෝ දියසේන පහල වෙනු ඇත. අපට අවශ්‍ය රට මිස පුද්ගලයන් නොවේ . මහින්ද හෝ ඔබ සුදනන් නොවේ  එහෙත්  රනිල් හා චන්ද්‍රිකා මෙන් දුදනන් ද නොවේ    

Is The Presidency Already Done And Dusted For Sirisena And Where Does He Get His Brash Arrogance Which  May Fall Short Of His Ambitions?

December 3rd, 2014

Sunny Sunil’s Column Of Critical Analysis

December 4th, 2014
 
Bearing in mind that the sensible and more discerning voters  in Sri Lanka are not usually in favour of ship jumpers, past leaders who have made grave errors towards the detriment of the Nation and messed up the economy fair and square and bungled their way through leadership add to which conundrum bi-partisan sections  of the Buddhist Clergy who would be better off carrying out  their role as priests and prelates rather than dabbling in politics where the Maha Sangha the legitimate Buddhist Hierarchy has always been with the President, it seems somewhat incredulous that opposition common candidate Maithripala Sirisena is already bragging about his anticipated Presidential win and what he intends to do or not to and strutting around like a peacock when all his aspirations could fall flat and the possibility that  he would  be a laughing stock alongside his mentors and promoters like Ranil Wickremasinghe, Chandrika Kumaratunga, the campaign supporters of the JHU, JVP and others who appear to have become glorious opportunists and wannabe legislators.
 
It seems a fair conclusion to arrive at, that all the rhetoric being pumped by this unlikely coalition on their election platforms towards dragging down the incumbent President may not necessarily work in their favour and a scenario of counting chickens before they are hatched prevailing at the end of it all!
 
So it seems short of conjecture and speculation that  the Joint Opposition’s Presidential candidate Maithripala Srisenahas has said with a touch of bravado that he would win the January 8th Presidential Election but would not step into the President’s House since he was committed to abolishing the Executive Presidency within 100 days.
It seems not only far fetched that abolishing the Executive Presidency will be within his reach as he hardly knows what the ultimate statistics would be towards his attempt to unseat President Rajapaksa let alone having a two third majority which will be needed for such an action and not surprisingly a cart before the horse type of mentality from an individual with little or no credentials towards becoming President beyond his eagerness towards an imagined victory egged on by the motley crew who have a stake in the imagined pie themselves which truly is in the hands of the voters who still love and respect the present President.
 
It also seens rank ingratitude on the part of Sirisena who was given so much respect and accord towards the position he held within the UPFA to literally back bite in his quest for unattainable power and attempt to create verbal chaos within a Nation emerging very successfuly albeit with great difficulty, from adversity and together with his  new found team with an ‘also ran’ track record distort much of the facts and figures relative to Government spending and citing the state of the Country as being in disarray  hardly realising that these past leaders in his entourage as well as some of the other deserters from the President’s camp are far more culpable of actions which at one time or the other resulted in financial chaos as well as a near betrayal of the Nation to the enemies who sought to destroy it whether inadvertently or not and surely people have not forgotten who delivered them from the axis of evil noe would they risk a second one which could well be the case once the UNP coalesces with their Western idealogues who have apparently been the inspiration for this sudden surge of animosities against President Rajapaksa. where many extraneous factors such as the UNHRC and the urgings of the Tamil Diaspora appear to play a dark and hidden hand!
Is Sri Lanka about to be betrayed a second time one might ask?

It is almost laughable that while addressing a campaign meeting at Hyde Park in Colombo, Srisena, who recently resigned as SLFP General Secretary and Health Minister has, said that he was on a mission to rescue the country from the abyss it had fallen into in the post conflict era with chaos and unprecedented lawlessness and corruption gripping the country which are mere concocted rhetorical riposts given the true nature of what Sri Lanka is today, furthest from being in an abyys when considering the acclaim of being” the Mracle of Asia” and somewhat of a joke also if an individual with no academia or intellectual high ground as his forte could match the attributes of President Rajapaksa and stand on a world stage like he has done towards all the aclaim he carries as a leader! not to mention the important rapport he with leaders like Narendra Modi of India, and the respect he has around the world particularly in South Asia.

Might not he have said for his own credibilities sake that  “If and when I am elected President on January 8, ( which is more wishful thinking at the present) I will not go to the President’s House” ( which is also speculative) with every likelihood that he may not have the opportunity to do so uninvited as there is every likelihood the present President will still be the occupant there. It is not a place him as he says because he may not find the  mandate from all Sri Lankans   needed to carry him to the presidency  or to abolish  the executive presidency within 100 days of his election and replace it with a parliamentary system of government where the legislature would elect the Prime Minister but a tough ask given the uncertainty of what the final tally of his support amongst the voter could turn out to be bearing in mind that there are many avid and devout supporters of the PresIdent  throughout the Nation from all walks of life, cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds unprepared to let a bunch of interlopers who are more than likely to cause greater problems for Sri Lanka than the blessings they promise if they gain access to the running of the country!
 
Srisena, who has picked the Swan as his symbol, appears to have pledged more than he could realistically deliver where his  aspirations  could fall well short of his expectations  relative to promises he seems hardly likey to keep and the Swan he has chosen as his symbol in every likelihood taking flight towards an unknown destination based on the speculative gamble he has chosen, taking his motley crew with him as none of them could accomplish what the President has done in post Tamil Tiger insurgency Sri Lanka today where all the negative rhetoric posted in the manifestos of the opposition seem insufficient to unseat the President.
 

Dhamma Aboard Evolution-Breakthrough Research on the Aggañña Sutta now expanded into  book  

December 3rd, 2014

  By Prof. Suwanda H J Sugunasiri, writing from Canada

“The Buddha’s universe is compatible with Western Science”, I boldly proclaimed, introducing  Part I of my recent research on  the Aggañña Sutta  of the Dīgha Nikāya. No ‘satire’ or ‘parody’ as claimed by acclaimed western scholars,  Prof. Bruce Mathews, Dean of Arts at Acadia University, Canada, notes how the   study “…provides a unique insight into Gotama Buddha’s putative scientific insight…”

The   study seeks   to establish that segment # 10-16 of the Sutta is a historically and scientifically accurate picture of Devolution and Evolution. Compatible as it may be with Western Science, the research points to   the Big Bang (13.5 billion years ago), however,  as  being the Devolutionary phase (samvaṭṭa), leaving no room for a theistic first cause as implicit in the Big Bang.  In this Devolutionary phase are âbhassara Beings that are ‘self-luminous’, ‘mind-made’ and  ‘sky-flying’.   Ābhassara Being  has been traditionally understood as referring to  one from the  Abhassara Brahma Realm who has attained to the higher spiritual experience of the 2nd Jhana.  But I  take it  in a literal etymological sense as ‘Hither-come-shining-arrow’,    identifying it with  a Photon with Consciousness.  This, as noted by a critic,  has been  the breakthrough that has allowed me to explore the Sutta as Cosmology.

Sugubook

I’ll spare the reader with the details of how the universe unfolds, referring them to my earlier article (March 8, 2014). But just to give an overview, the Ābhassara Beings  move over ‘to the present’, i.e.,  the Evolutionary phase (vivaṭṭa), when  it’s ‘all water’ and ‘blinding darkness’.  And  no females and males (yes, in that order).  Next appears the earth (4.5 bya).

Well, whaddaya expect?  Beings go hungry, and one of them digs its finger into the savoury earth and tastes it. Hmm, yum yum! Others follow, and now the Buddha tells us that ‘craving’ has set in. Savoury earth giving way  to mushroom like ‘ground pappataka’, ‘badalata’ and ‘rice’,  over time, something else happens to Beings. Their luminosity disappears, and the skin colour changes. You guessed it  – bragging about being handsomer than you others over there!  Jealousy and hatred   making  their appearance, something else, too. Sexuality matures in the Beings, and there’s sex, couples running into hiding to get away from cowdung hurled at them. Houses get built. Food getting more abundant, there’s hoarding, attracting thieves.

Craving, passion, theft …. Hm,  lawlessness. Beings get together and  elect the handsomest as the Great Elect for a promise of half the share of the crop. This, then,  is the gist of the seven paragraphs of the Sutta dealing with cosmology.

The study, with additional material (see below)  is now available in book form,  under the title   Dhamma Aboard Evolution: A Canonical Study of Aggañña Sutta in relation to Science.

            I was happy to see the   positive reaction to my research,  among both  lay and Sangha.  Ajahn Punnadhammo Mahathero, of Canada, speaks to the “… exacting scholarship” which   “teases out many fascinating and unexpected parallels to the modern scientific account..”

Mahathera Madawela Punnaji, of Sri Lanka, formerly of Toronto and now teaching in Malaysia, sees my research as  “…a monumental presentation of a generally ignored part of the teachings of the Buddha.”

Prof. Emerita Lily de Silva  appreciates the “… profound interdisciplinary knowledge..”, and the British  Biologist and author of Science Set Free, Dr Rupert Sheldrake,  notes how my research “goes into areas I’ve never seen explored before in Buddhist scholarship”.

But   traditionalists also had their  day. Wasn’t the question of the beginnings of  the world  one of the ‘undeclareds’ (avyākata) of the Buddha? They’re  presumably thinking of the  Culamalunkya Sutta.   Yes, indeed. But for the very good reason that “it does not lead to … to Nibbāna”, as explained by the Buddha. Secondly, the audience was not intelligent enough either. In the Agganna Sutta, the Buddha was speaking to  two intelligent listeners, Brahmin youth Vàsettha and  Bhàradvàja who had given up on their Brahminism, and were on a spiritual search. They undoubtedly had in their heads the Vedic myth of the beginnings of the universe. It was to dislodge this  mythical  view of  the universe, and the claims of the superiority of Brahmins, then,  that the Buddha uses the niche to unfold the universe. So did it lead to Nibbāna? You bet! The   two youth eventually become disciples and attain Arhanthood. So Evolution was  indeed the vehicle aboard which  Dhamma comes to be  accessed.

This is one of the points I speak to in my book Dhamma Aboard Evolution, in   Chapter 12, “Intended Audience”. In   Ch. 11,   “Cutting through the Vedic Myth”, I contrast the Buddha’s objective view of the universe with the mythical take on it in the Vedas. In another chapter, I   make the point that while the Buddha did  indeed have the intention of outlining the universe (13), it is merely as a takeoff to make the  critical point, a refrain in fact in the Sutta – that ‘Dhamma is the best’(Ch. 14), explaining the title. It is as if the Buddha takes us on a space flight to allow us a glimpse of  the ground reality that Dhamma is best! The reader will also read about the “Structure and Quality of  Agganna Sutta” (15).

For Western Scientists, from Greek times right up until Einstein, the hand  that had guided  them, and this  may come as a surprise to many, was ‘Trust in God’.   Thus I invite  Buddhist scholars to take a bold stand of ‘Academically Engaged Buddhism’ by adopting  “Trust in the Buddha as a Methodological Imperative” (Ch. 17).

Finally, we’re  all familiar with the well-known beast fables, Pancatantra  and the Hitopadesha. But do you know the originator of  this literary genre?  If you read the Appendix, “Buddha as Originator of the Embedded Story Genre”, you’ll see   how  much the genre is owed to the Buddha, both in style and content.

Dhamma Aboard Evolution: a Canonical Study of Aggañña Sutta in Relation to Science (ISBN 978-0-9867198-5-1)  is now available as an ebook for FREE download at

https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/handle/1807/66312.

 

(US Fulbright Scholar Prof. Sugunasiri is  Founding Editor of the Canadian Journal of Buddhist Studies,   now in its tenth year. Author of You’re What You Sense: Buddha on Mindbody, 2001;  Sri Lanka: Buddhist Cultural Centre, his leadership of over three decades  in Canadian Buddhism  is featured in Wild Geese  (Harding, John, Victor Hori and Alexander Soucy (ed.), 2010, McGill-Queen’s University Press)).

 

TV Commercials Riding on the Backs of Children:  Maliban Biscuits Sri Lanka Pulls “Offensive” Ad

December 3rd, 2014

By: Gamini Dissanayake St Catharines. ON. Canada

To watch this commercial please type www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7mph-nafCw. Or search youtube for Maliban pulls  offensive white chocolate puff ad

An annual visitor to Sri Lanka over the past eight years,  I have been watching   how kids are  ruthlessly exploited in over 70 percent of all advertising and commercials.

Yes, we had McDonald’s  commercials here like the one ‘Are we there yet, mommy?’ about 20 years ago. Some of us are familiar with the infamous McLibel Trial in the mid 90s in England and, those  myriad  protests and charges against Coca Cola, Tobacco Companies  and the Big Pharma

Yet,   I am not sure if any other country can beat Sri Lanka in this game now. I watch very little TV wherever I am but what I saw and heard in Sri Lanka  have been increasingly disturbing and saddening .

They want you to have unlimited  ‘fun’  plus  nutrition from Prima KotthuMe,  the   two-minute noodles ,  pop like Coke,  Pepsi and Fanta,  cakes like Tiara  and many kinds of cookies/biscuits, candy  and ice cream. More ambitious claims  are made for powdered milk like Nestomalt [for nutrition, energy and strength], Raththi [for smart intelligence, in this case of a young wife] Anchor to win at Chess, and others.

In one clip,  a young white mother is visibly overwhelmed,   when her toddler correctly identifies a Cat from a line sketch, thanks to Pedia Pro!   [Never to mother’s milk, no way] Wean early, go Formula and switch to the mother of them all, PediaPro !  Thank goodness, breast feeding mothers, in my village told us that their kids hated/refused    the pricey  Formula stuff when they were offered.

Yet, this clip which is an import,  reminds us that  race and color  are still  very much in the mix.

It was my turn to be  overwhelmed when I saw a near bill board size ad depicting a bunch of kids in the lobby of a new location of the Bank  of Ceylon  at New Malkaduwawa in Kurunegala.

It was pitching a Kids Savings plan to its customers who are adults, of course. All the kids in the artwork were white!. The simplest of vision needed to have Sri Lanka’s own kids Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim, let alone Burgher, Malay and aboriginal or Veddah kids in that ad was missing and that was amazing. So much for the kids

This  Philips Electric Shaver  commercial sponsored by Dinapala Bros.

begins with a young Sri Lankan  guy who has not had a shave or a hair cut in the new millennium. He first tries to shave off  his beard with a razor with no luck. He burns himself. Picks up an electric shaver . The clip cuts  to a close-up of   a clean shaven face , of a handsome, well groomed, white guy with blue eyes,  caressing his face as if to say “a man can get his  best”   only from a  Philips Electric Shaver. The “state- of- the- art” tool however, is not for a stupid native.   [A new razor’s edge?]

In Sinhala, powdered milk, junk food,  candy and beverage ads are  pitched as rasa guna piri meaning rich in taste and nutrition, like those  matrimonial print classifieds looking  for grooms  insist that  prospective candidates be hundred percent clean and virtuous:   Siyalu Dusirithen  Thora or free from ALL evil or bad habits.

Paying megabucks for  celebs like Bhatiya and Santosh [Koththu Me- fun thamai/ nothing but fun] Mahela and Sanga  who say something like without Coke , food is nothing or ‘No Coke, No Meal’, the duo is featured prominently holding Coke bottles on the signs that are hung over the front of  many groceries and restaurants all over the country. And Angelo Mathews for Elephant House Ice Cream, and  for Milo,  to name a  few.

When big bucks come through the door, ethical behaviour and moral responsibility  beat it through the window. Trite but still very true.

It’s funny to see how cameras  zoom in to the panel of  judges of  the very popular Dream Star TV series where bottles of pop like Fanta sit longingly staring at them [and us ]  throughout  the show. You expect them to drink it, but no, not in this one. Look but don’t even touch.

And Maliban, long before they started marketing fresh milk [Delight, I think] they were calling their  powdered milk, ‘Maliban Kiri’  In Sinhala kiri denotes  real fresh milk not the powdered junk. They would sponsor a [repeat]  broadcast of a Buddhist sermon by a late distinguished  monk as the day begins on SLBC radio and then bombard you for minutes on not seconds mind you,  hell- bent on praising their Maliban Kiri, and cookies.

Over the years I saw only one good article in Sinhala   on how harmful the powdered milk is for the human body  and that was written by a lady who had earned her  PhD on Nurtrition from the prestigious Imperial College in London, England [if I remember right]   and carried in the editorial page of  the best selling Sunday Lankadeepa.

Recently  [in September] I watched a good program in Sinhala on nutrition on SLRC/  Rupavahini in the early evening. Other channels also broadcast  a few  good ones on health, nutrition and parenting.  But they are slotted for mid morning when almost all household members  that matter are out at work. The prime time , specially in the evening does  seem  like non-negotiable  preserve of tele-drama sponsors.

Early this year  two medical doctors from Anuradhapura jointly wrote an informative piece on the adverse effects of  chemical pesticides on food supplies to an English language daily. It did not deter a scientist [easy to understand where funding comes from in these cases]   to a retort extolling one of the most harmful weedicides  Roundup, which was  discussed in some length by French director Marie-Monique Robin  in her  2008 documentary The World According to Monsanto.   [Watch the full movie free on Youtube]  Until recently Roundup was heavily advertised  for the ‘benefit’ of the rice-paddy farmer in Sri Lanka

The  daily Island [Nov 14] reported of an upcoming International Symposium on Biodiversity, Food and Nutrition  to be held in Colombo on Dec 8.  And quotes Dr Renuka de Silva of the Wayamba University  “Despite attempts to reduce the dramatic rise in the incidence of non-communicable diseases, a formidable challenge is posed by obesity and other NCDs and nutrient deficiencies”   due to  “neglect of  nutritional importance of the diverse foods available in Sri Lanka and  to production strategies focused on few crops –maize, rice and wheat- resulting in reduced consumption of legumes, fruits and vegetables which in turn are associated with negative health impacts.”

True. Add all the best selling  junk food, snacks and beverages displayed on the serried shelves of even in some remote rural groceries,  Dr de Silva’s findings win hands down. What  is missing here is that  almost all  fruits and veggies sold in Sri Lanka are  sprayed or injected  with harmful chemicals [mostly pesticides] for them to grow bigger and have longer  shelf life

Back to the Sri Lankan media.  The commercials are chopped off when for example,  Little Star editions are uploaded to the net. In one cookie commercial that I  happened  to watch with my 15  month old daughter,  in what looks like a concert,  a little girl of about four would not render   her  Tikiri Liya [sweet little girl] song until a  Munchee cookie   was waved at her and shown nibbled by an older girl,  most likely her sister while their anxious mother was about to swoon, both standing in the opposite wing of the stage behind the curtain!  [A new version of Pavlo’s Dog ]   To Watch a 1997 clip of this commercial search youtube for Munchee Tikiri Marie [tikiri liya] 1997. www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOCf1mSpVzM

This is certainly not to throw black paint on all ads/commercials.

Around 2011 while visiting Sri Lanka, I watched a great 30 second clip for Tokyo Super Cement. After the recent 30 year civil war, a Tamil family [parents and two kids]  who seemed to have been trapped in a border village  are seen returning to their former village in a  mini  tractor/trailer loaded with what’s left of their belongings . Across the road we see a Sinhala family building a new home [with palmyrah trees still  in the background] and their  young son spotting the tractor runs towards it screaming in joy   Kannan! Kannan!!.  And we see the two families Tamil and Sinhala happily reunited for a few seconds before the former move on after getting a gift from the latter.  A 50 kg bag of Tokyo Super Cement.

The symbol here was  very powerful. Cement bonds material things. Construction. Spiritually it can heal and bond  the  hearts and minds of people transcending all differences. Reconstruction/reconciliation. The videography was brilliant too. Set in a red sunset, the silhouetted figures begin to disappear towards  a new dawn. No more bloodshed.  [Here is the link to watch this clip. www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9ETWyRXUNA   or search Youtube for Tokyo Cement Commercials Sri Lanka.

My thoughts rushed to Deepika Priyadarshini’s 1997 song Saroja: about an  orphaned little Tamil girl in a border village. The lyrics by Mahinda Chandrasekara  who then was a teacher in Anuradhapura  went like  “ Amidst deafening salvos  of incessant machine gun fire , I see your tiny hands shaking when you write  my child. …I am the [Sinhala] teacher and you are my [Tamil] student, but forget not we both belong to the same class” switching on the  spotlight to a new dimension of  an ongoing  tragedy .

When watching an international  cricket game on TV, one gets justifiably  annoyed when commercials become intrusive. Between overs is OK but the moment when a batsman  gets out commercials hit you like swarms of locust, most times blocking out the immediate replay which is supposed to show in slow motion how the batter  got out.

For over two years running  now,  this  insidious commercial can be seen many times over during a cricket game. Set in a busy wayside kiosk [looks close to a bus terminal in a big city] a young female walks  briskly in to buy a  reload for her cell phone. In comes a young guy, virtually shoves her to a corner and gets his  reload first!  For a fraction of a second she shows her displeasure, then watching the guy gets a bonus deal, asks the salesman “ Can you get that too, really?  But it is the young guy who interrupts again saying “Sure, why can’t you?  And walks away.

I know something is lost in translation here. The guy says to the girl  “ Mokada Aney Bari? in Sinhala. Certainly not in a refined manner [specially when you speak to a female]  carrying with its subtle sexual association. [Wilson Bray Keys examined  these in detail in his  controversial book on advertising:   Subliminal Seduction: Are you being sexually aroused  by this picture?]  As expected , the reload commercial fades out  with the sponsor’s slogan:   Mobitel. We Care Always!

This is certainly not an isolated case and will never be.  The Sri Lankan women, lest we forget   got their  suffrage or their right to vote in political elections  way back in 1931 along with men. Today over 60 percent of  university students are female. [For a population  of 21.4 million, Sri Lanka has 15 universities, almost 10, 000 government schools  and a literacy rate of 98.1. Plus universal health care and free education ]  The first woman Prime Minister of the World [and for three times] first appointed in July 1960 was our own Sirmavo Bandaranaike. Despite all that the way a young woman is treated like in the above clip is totally unacceptable under any circumstance. She was assaulted and then insulted.

The tragedy looks mainly three-fold. [A] One needs only the  brain of a mosquito to know that kids  get very much influenced by what they see and hear on TV

Here on CBC we get some  good stuff like David Suzuki’s  “Nature of Things “  on Thursday nights at 8  but not  in Sri Lanka. You might remember when SL launched TV in April 1979  they had Nature of Things in their evening programming soon after.  Now  like Hiru TV  boasts itself it is Tele Perahera  or a Procession of Tele Dramas from 7 thru 9  [raking in bagfuls of big bills from sponsors]

Even  programs  for kids except for a few  like the UK made serial called the Car, abound with aggression  and violence.

[B] Little or no ethical and moral concerns seem to affect the sponsors and distributors, publishers and broadcasters.

[C] Regulatory process by government authorities seems totally absent or dead

Back to where we began. It was both funny   and interesting, reading  the response   from Maliban’s  director  of the commercial Udaya Dharmawardena  who had said he had no say over the script since the project was merely handed  to him by a PR agency

“ We’ve come across worse adverts in the recent past, many viewers do not know the extent to which children are abused for the sake of an advert , so this isn’t particularly glaring” 

Well said dude. If   Andare,   Sri Lanka’s  legendary court jester were around he would surely have said,   your words were  worth in 24 carat pure  gold, and would have even tried to ram some pebbles [for gold  nuggets ]  down your throat,  all for  good “fun” of course..  Udaya, at least you are honest. Thank you.

When in Sri Lanka, you  hear over and over again     that school children  are getting more and more diabetic and that 25 percent  of big  city kids are now obese. Obviously, advertising has  done its  part successfully, like the cliché  from its jargon goes    “exceeding their expectations”.

Sure you can buy Dialog or SLT bundles to watch Discovery Channel or may be Nature of Things, but only if you got rich parents. My  house sits in a village which has about 300 households. Almost all got electricity, cell phones, TV and most own  a motor bike or a bicycle but  to my knowledge only four families  got  those bundles. One girl got through to med school this year.

Let me close this short essay with a quote from  James B. Twitchell’s  trail blazer Twenty ADS That Shook The World:  The Century’s Most Groundbreaking Advertising and How it Changed Us All  [Three Rivers Press: NY .  2000]

Calling ads the sponsored art of capitalism, and the dominant culture of today,  Twitchell wrote   “ As the language of commercialism has become louder , the language of high culture has become quieter..  Our cultural literacy, the wink-wink of  allusions to hundreds of years of  ‘the best that has been thought and said’  has all but disappeared thanks to ‘a few words from the sponsor’..”

Life Abroad – Part 106 – ‘C’EST PAS LA’ IN FRENCH SOUNDED SIMILAR TO SEPALA

December 3rd, 2014

Dr.Tilak Fernando

Sri Lankan Barrister Sepala Munasinghe, who had a lucrative legal practice in London for many years, is now spending his retirement in France with his German wife Dorothea. Apart from a passionate reader of the ‘Life Abroad’ column, he has been able to contribute various experiences of his own that have made the column more colourful. Last month he and his wife celebrated their golden jubilee in London with the family and their close friends.

When we met in Colombo last week at the Cinnamon Grand hotel for lunch, I managed to collect some interesting information relating to his student days in London and Paris including his initial experiences with his ‘then girl friend’ Dorothea, whom he met in Hampstead NW London. That itself was a fascinating story.

Sepala Munasinghe (Left) with the writer in Colombo

During early days in London he had his student digs in Hampstead. Telecommunication facilities at that time were not widespread; therefore, whenever he wanted to take a call out he had to use a public telephone in a NHS hospital, which was the only one available in the area.

One day when he finished using the telephone Sepala noticed two white Caucasian girls waiting outside the kiosk to use the same telephone. One girl was tall and brunette and the other was short and blonde. Even at that Sepala knew what his limitations were! He opened the door of the telephone kiosk in such a way for the tall brunette to enter the telephone box leaving the short blonde outside. There hangs the tale of subsequent meetings in London, Paris and Münster, Germany and eventually marrying her in Kurunegala, Sri Lanka, with the blessings of his parents and family!

Algerian revolution

The Algerian War of Independence, or the Algerian Revolution, was a conflict between France and the Algerian independence movements from 1954 to 1962, which finally managed Algeria to gain its independence after a characterised complex guerrilla warfare. It was also seen as a struggle between loyalist Algerians supporting a French Algeria and their insurrectionist Algerian Muslim counterparts. Most of the former were carried out by the Organisation de l’armée secrète (OAS), an underground organization formed mainly from French military personnel supporting a French Algeria.

The conflict made the French Fourth Republic (1946-58) fragile and unsteady and on the first of November 1954 French Presidency was strengthened with the appointment of Charles de Gaulle.

In 1962 the General abandoned the Colonists, held talks with the FLA and directed a referendum in which the French public voted for Algeria to be an Independent State. On third July (1962) the General pronounced Algeria to be a self-governing state.

In London

Elsewhere, in London South Kensington, Sepala Munasinghe was faced with a different dilemma. His girl friend of two years, Dorothea, was proceeding to Paris to prepare for a diploma in the French Language at the Alliance française (an international organization that aims to promote French language and culture around the world. Created in Paris on July 21, 1883, its primary concern is teaching French as a second language and is headquartered in Paris. In 2014, the Alliance has 850 centres in 137 countries, on all five continents).

In the meanwhile Sepala was getting prepared to write his final exam in Law in the Michaelmas Term. (The first academic term of the university year in a number of English-speaking campuses and schools, especially in the United Kingdom). Michaelmas term derives its name from the Feast of St Michael and All Angels, which falls on September 29.

He also had to keep three dinning terms at Lincoln’s Inn Hall before he could be called to the Bar in the UK. It was a case for him to decide whether he wanted to stay in London and study, or move to Paris and be with his girl friend!

After much deliberation, Sepala Munasinghe reminded himself of the famous Shakespearian advice couched in a speech by Brutus to Cassius in Julius Ceaser:

“There is a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune….”. So it was, he decided to leave for Paris at last.

In those days Air France operated cheap night flights between Le Bourget and London Heathrow, flying Super G Constellation Airplanes. This helped him to hold his Dinning Terms in London, learn some French and revise his law lecture notes in Paris and take the night flights as well conveniently.

In Paris

In Paris he rented a studio flat in Neuilly – sur – Seine with Les Sablons as the nearest Métro (Underground Railway). The flat was adequate, although it was on the 12th floor without a lift! For showers he had to walk to the public baths situated some distance away. There was a Monoprix supermarket (a major French retail chain with its headquarters in Clichy, Hauts-de-Seine, France, near Paris) just by the Metro, and all seemed very convenient for a student’s life on the cheap!

Algeria having obtained Independence, life in Paris was relatively devoid of the disturbances that preceded the referendum at the hands of the ALN (Armée de Libération Nationale) – the military wing of the FLN. For the Algerians it was difficult to forget the discrimination that was meted out to the Muslims and the massacre of their demonstrators in Paris in 1961 by the Police. However, Paris became Paris with the Bohemian life style on the left bank where still one had to tread carefully.

Cous cous (a popular dish in France akin to rice, but smaller grains) restaurants were in abundance and that was all that could be afforded on a student’s budget. The French language had to be learnt during conversation with the ordinary day-to-day life in Paris.

Sepala Munasinghe remembered a French woman, of not too insignificant proportions, at the entrance to Monoprix supermarket, whose only task was to flog lobsters to the affluent people frequenting the supermarket from Neuilly. He became affable with her only because his was an identifiable face there; his vocabulary and the knowledge of the odd French phrase got a tremendous boost because of his acquaintance with her. His first name was not difficult for the French because ‘Sepala’ phonetically sounded similar to ‘c’est pas la’ (it’s not there!)

Paris at that time was culturally the Centre of Europe. For song there was Edith Piaff, for films Alain Resnais gave Hollywood something to think about with movies like ‘Hiroshima mon amour’ and for comedy Jacques Tahti was outstanding. Of course, for Haute Courtier, none could rival the House of Dior.

Sepala felt that whilst London was ushering in the psychedelic revolution, with Twiggy and others in train, movements of the like of Hare Krishna for eccentricity was hard to match! Beatles were everywhere and he thought Peace would really get a chance in the world Politique – not so, thanks to the almost maniacal thrust of the US for world domination!

Unexpected enquirer

In between all this, Sepala Munasinghe was able to study his law notes, fly off to London to keep his Dinning Terms in his Hall, until a minor crisis took place. He had a telephone call from a Monsieur Gautrey, speaking immaculate English and introducing himself to say that he knew Sepala’s father when he (Monsieur Gautrey) was working in Colombo at E. B. Creasy who were then representing Michelin in Ceylon.

Monsieur Gautrey was then Michelin’s International Director at the Head Office, and he wanted to know “what the hell Sepala was doing in Paris” when he was supposed to be studying Law in London!!

Subsequently, when Sepala Munasinghe dined with him in a posh French restaurant he explained everything….. ‘not quite everything’ but sufficed to send a report back to Colombo for his father’s information’. At about the same time his girl friend’s father intended to visit her in Paris. Naturally things became too hot to handle and Sepala had to make a quick exit to London – law notes and all!!

The post script to all this was, like Brutus in Julius Ceasar, Sepala Munasinghe’s life was not ‘bound in shallows and in miseries’ but he had ‘taken the current when it served’ and did not ‘lose his ventures’.

Eventually, Sepala married his girl friend, Dorothea, in Kurunegala, blessed by his parents and family, lived for nearly nine years in Sri Lanka producing two daughters, Karin and Gitanjali. Married for 50 long years, the couple now lives in France.

tilakfernando@gmail.com

– See more at: http://dailynews.lk/?q=features/c-est-pas-la-french-sounded-similar-sepala#sthash.cmTFNBRD.dpuf

MOU: THE BIGGEST HOAX IN ELECTORAL POLITICS

December 2nd, 2014

H.L.D. Mahindapala

In the history of coalitions formed in the post-independent era the latest one signed at Vihara Maha Devi Park on Monday is unique not for any distinguishing characteristics that give promise of better things to come but for the heap of bland platitudes that have been recycled time and time again at all previous elections without delivering the promises. As for the launch, the whole scene lacked the aura that was supposed to radiate from a reformist movement that was going to be beacon to the nation.

Besides, the generalities promised in the MOU may sound glorious in the ears of those who have come together to grab power. But how relevant are they to the 11 million voters who have seen the same old tired faces repeating their same old promises which they can’t deliver with the best will in the world.

Ranil Wickremesinghe with Chandrika Kumaratunga

Take, for instance, promise No. 4: “The oppressive burden of the cost of living of the people will be reduced…..” Which politician has not promised this when he/she was in the opposition and which politician has fulfilled it when he/she moved over to the government benches? The cost of living is like the poor. Neither of them will ever go away. So if Sirisena-CBK-Wickremesinghe trio can bring down the cost of living it would be possible to treat them with some respect, discarding their current image as incurable con artists.

Launch of the MOU

That apart, the lackluster launch of the MOU, which every “leader” – so many — hailed as a “historic event”, was a damp squib. It failed to take off to make any sort of lasting impression. Everyone was trying to show off that he/she is the leader who can make and break governments. The gloss that would have been there for a new candidate from the opposition too was erased by the presence of the two ghouls from the graveyards of the past — Ranil Wickremesinghe and Chandrika Bandaranaike – who flanked Maithripala Sirisena on either side. Both positioned themselves next to Sirisena to make it clear to the public that they are the king-pins behind the throne. Sirisena, sitting in the middle, looked more like a prisoner of these manipulators who are fretting impatiently to get their hands on the levers of power.

At the end of the day it was very clear that they had nothing substantial to offer the people. The whole scene was a pathetic drama enacted by the inmates of Angoda who had come to believe that they are Napoleon Boru-parts plotting to take on the whole world. All in all, the launch lacked the aura that was supposed to radiate from a reformist movement that was going to throw a bright light across the new path to the future.

The hands of every leader were flailing somewhat like windmills gone haywire, each trying to make an impression on the crowd that he/she is more important than the other. From time to time Wickremesinghe and CBK, from either side, were trying to grab the attention of Sirisena. Both looked like two “dwarfs whispering obscenities into the emperor’s ears” (Churchill).

Both were vying with each other to be centre of attraction. Their underplayed rivalry foreshadowed the shape of things to come. For instance, JVP, bent on eliminating CBK from the centre stage, has indicated that they have no objections to Wickremesinghe becoming the Prime Minister as long as he is elected by the popular will of the people. But Sirisena wants to appoint him on his arbitrary preference, and not on the popular will of the people. So how would the public rate the political morality and the judgment of the JVP when Sirisena appoints a prime minister who has lost 29 elections in a row? On what grounds can the JVP endorse a prime minster handpicked by Sirisena and not by the popular will of the people?

In the un/written codes of parliamentary democracy, it is the people who elect a prime minister by voting for the largest number of candidates who will invariably form the government. Parliamentary precedents and traditions endorse the leader who commands a majority in parliament as the prime minister. The head of state merely endorses the will of the people and the parliamentarians. Contrary to established tradition, Sirisena has decided to appoint Wickremesinghe who has yet to win a majority in parliament. Sirisena will then have to face a parliament that may not back Wickremesinghe as the prime minister.

Unless there is a mass exodus from the SLFP after January 8, 2015 Wickremesinghe may not have a majority to get his appointment confirmed by parliament in the proposed interim parliament of 100 days. What is more, there is no guarantee that he can win a majority even in the proposed next general election. Like most other promises in the MOU the possibility of Wickremesinghe becoming a prime minister could be another pipe dream.

The list of promises in the MOU was no better. It did not come anywhere near the expectations/aspirations of the people. What the signatories to the MOU failed to understand was that their political agenda to grab power is not the priority of the voters. To them changing regimes is like changing pillows for a headache. They have lived through so many false promises that only the naïve greenhorns would believe that Monday’s MOU has the capacity to deliver their promises. In fact, in all probability the “My-three-pala-naya” of CBK, Ranil and Sirisena, can come apart sooner or later – perhaps more sooner than later — and pave the way for chaos and instability. Neither Sirisena as President nor Wickremesinghe as Prime Minister will be able to hold together incompatible partners like the JHU on one hand and the TNA on the other.

Before dealing with some of the other issues it is necessary to focus on the central theme that has brought the cows, the goats, the sheep and the pigs together. All the rhetoric and the promises of the joint opposition boils down to a single theme: change the presidential system into the parliamentary system and hand over “executive power” of the president to Ranil Wickremesinghe, handpicked by the common candidate Maithripala Sirisena, then all the problems of the nation – Hey presto! Abracadabra! –will be solved within 100 days.

Executive power

First, this is a slick formula easily said than done. Whoever dreamed up this formula must get his/her head examined. Only a military coup backed by the Security Forces can ram this insane formula down the throats of the people within 100 days. It is fraught with such complex legal, political and administrative snags that it might, in the end, prove to be unworkable, leaving the status quo untouched. The unpredictable consequences that will ensue in trying to rush an unprecedented constitutional change within 100 can only result in unmanageable chaos, particularly in an environment where political passions would be at intense and dangerous levels. It will be worse than the promises that preceded the “Arab Spring”: seemed rosy and promising at the beginning but unravelled in unforeseen brutality and unmanageable political consequences.

Right now Chandrika Bandaranaike, Ranil Wickremesinghe and Maithripala Sirisena (in that order of importance) are acting in an indecent hurry to get their hands on the levers of power, claiming that power in their hands will be better than power in the hands of the Rajapaksas. But what is the known record of achievement when they had power?

Before we consider the records of CBK and Wickremesinghe – the evil twins who sold the nation to Prabhakaran – let’s consider the achievements of Sirisena who is marketing himself as an “al-lay (channel), wel-lay (paddy field), pal-lay (hut)” man of the soil. But the story told by his brother to the media is different. On the admission of his brother, Dudley, he has accumulated a fortune of three billion rupees mainly by selling, as the middle man, the paddy grown and harvested by the Polonnaruwa farmers. Sirisena in his media interview was shedding tears for the poor workers and farmers. That sounds good for marketing his image as a poor man’s poor man. But what is the quantum of benefits that the poor farmers derive from the billions amassed by Sirisena’s brother? Shouldn’t charity begin at Sirisena’s home?

Particularly as a man who had studied his Marxism in the Peking-wing Sirisena should know that his brother could accumulate multi-billions only by exploiting the poor farmers. Sirisena, if he has read his Marx correctly, would know that all property is legalized robbery. And according to Proudhon and Marx his brother, Dudley, could amass billions only by “stealing” from the poor farmers of Polonnaruwa. So how can he condone/explain his brother Dudley sitting on a Himalayan pile of billions while the poor peasants of Polonnaruwa are still scraping the dry earth to collect a grain a rice for a one-meal-a-day existence?


A poor paddy farmer in Polonnaruwa

Besides, Sirisena, like the JVP, has carved out a career by blaming the iniquities in the capitalist system. He has blamed the capitalist policies of the UNP throughout his political career (37 years) until he went on the UNP platform the other day. More than to the Sirisena, the tacit approval of capitalist Wickremesinghe questions the moral principles of Comrade Dissanayake. He is happy to go to bed with billionaires while excoriating the social injustices of evil capitalism. How can he ensure social justice for the poor farmers when he is happy to give a nudge-and-a-wink for Sirisena to carry on with capitalist UNPers and SLFP billionaires? Is this the kind of social revolution that the JVP plans to promote for the welfare of the farmers?

How does Comrade Dissanayake propose to bring equity to the poor farmers when he turns a blind eye to their exploiters? Will he raise his voice in the name of social justice, or continue to spin yarns about his political goal of creating a just society where there is equity and justice? Sharing the same TV panel with Sirisena the JVP guru, Anura Kumara Dissanayake, waxed eloquent about the social changes and economic reforms that he would introduce to lift the people into JVP’s paradise. But he did not mention one word about how he would reform the system that, according to his guru Marx, makes billionaire’s out of “robber barons” exploiting the poor farmers of Polonnaruwa. Why?

Also if with the assistance of JVP, Sirisena’s brother accumulates some more billions whom will the JVP blame for the suffering of the farmers and workers? Will he continue to blame the Rajapaksas or will he go along with Sirisena shedding crocodile tears for the poor farmers? With his tongue-twisting verbal gymnastics Comrade Dissanayake has convinced himself to believe in his own propaganda of creating a society of distributive justice where everyone will live happily ever afterwards. He has yet to learn that his utopian fantasies collapsed many decades ago with the Berlin Wall. So reluctantly, slyly, without facing the socio-political realities, he settles down to accept CBK-Ranil-Sirisena combination where billionaires thrive with the blessings of Marxists like him.

One TV interviewer told him quite bluntly that the coalitions that the JVP signed in the past had not brought the promised social changes nor served the interests of the poor as promised by the JVP. Dissanayake was asked how he would make their support to Sirisena work for the poor. There was no reply. Fortunately, for him the anchorman took it in another direction just at that time.

It should also be noted, since it comes from the admission of Sirisena, that he had benefited from the deals he put through – part of which would have been for his billionaire brother Dudley — with the backing of Gamini Dissanayake and also through Gamini Atukorale. So the image he tries to portray of being a poor humble man who came through “al-lay, pal-lay and well-lay” established by D. S. Senanayake does not sit well with billions stacked up his brother’s bank account.

The main silver lining seen so far in his political career of 37 years is his discovery of the greatness of pioneers like D. S. Senanayake who opened up paths for the rise of billionaires like his brother, Dudley. For all practical purposes Sirisena has finally ended up in the bosom of the right-wing UNP. He has followed in the footsteps of the founding fathers of Marxism – from Phillip Gunawardena to Dr. Tissa Vitharana – and gone home to spend their last days either in the bosom of capitalists in the UNP or the billionaires in the SLFP, which Dr. Colvin R. de Silva once categorized as “the last remnants of feudalism”. Sirisens, however, has placed himself in the comfortable zone of petty capitalists and multi-billionaires.

So when Sirisena moves upwards from “al-lay, wel-lay and pal-lay” into the affluent zones of billionaires in his own backyard should we be surprised that he has followed his natural acquisitive instincts and moved incrementally from (1) Shanmugathasan’s Peking-wing to (2) SLFP and (3) finally to the UNP? After all, Sirisena seems to have discovered his natural habitat. Sirisena has at last found his final resting place. No wonder Wickremesinghe leaps from his seat, each time Sirisena appears on the stage.

The way both acted on the Vihara Maha Devi stage it was quite apparent that the jadiya has, at last, found its moodiya.

 

පොදු ජනතාවට  මහින්ද එපාවීම සහ බලවත් ධනවතුන්ට මහින්ද එපා වීම

December 2nd, 2014

ධර්මසිරි සෙනෙවිරත්න

මේ වන විට සාමාන්‍ය ජනතාවගෙන් කොටසකට මහින්ද එපාවී ඇති බව  අසත්‍යයක් නොවේ . එහෙත් ඒ හැමටම නොවේ .මහා ත්‍රස්තවාදියා මරාදමා රටට  සාමය උදාකරදීම නිසා  සාමාන්ය ජනතාවගෙන්  බොහොමයක්  තවමත් මහින්දට ආදරෙය. තවත් වසර කීපයක් යනතුරු  ඔවුහු මහින්ද ට කෘතවේදී වනු ඇත.

එහෙත් මින් සමහර අයගේ හිත වල  හීන් කලකිරීමකුත් ඇත්තේ  වැඩිවන ජීවන බර  නොසලකා  මහා ව්‍යාපෘති වෙනුවෙන්  රටේ සියලුම මුදල්  වැය  කිරීමත් දුප්පතාගේ ඇඟට  දැනෙන  සංවර්ධනයක් නොවීමත් රටටම වින කල උතුරේ මිනිසුන් දිනාගැනීම ගැන හිතා  දකුණේ හම්බන්තොට හැර අනෙක් ප්‍රදේශ නොතකා  75% කගේ  මුදල් උතුරට වියදම් කර උන් නැවත  නැ ගටවා මේ 75% ට උන් ලවානැවත  ගැස්සවීමට උන් සූදානම් කිරීම  ආදී කරුණු නිසාය.

දුප්පතාට අධිවේගී මාර්ග වැඩක් නැත.  බොහොමයක් ගමේ දුප්පතුන්ට  සෙරෙප්පු දෙකකුත් නැති විට කාපට් පාරවලුත් වැඩක් නැත. එහෙත් ඔවුහු ඒවා   ප්‍රයෝජනයට ගන්නා  අ  ය ගැන අහිතක්  නොහිතති ඔවුන් දුක් වන්නේ ගම්වල අන්ත දුප්පතුන් ට අඩි  පාරක් වත් නැති එක ගැනය.

මේ අයගෙන් ටිකක් හෝ උගත් අය  මේවාට අමතරව  පළාත් සභා  සහ ඒවා  මගින් කරන මුදල් නාස්තිය  මෙන්ම රට බෙදීමට ඉන් ඇති අවකාශය ගැන  දැන  එය අහෝසි නොකිරීම  නිසා මහින්ද ගැන කල කිරී ඇත,  ඔවුන් හිතන්නේ මහින්ද ප්‍රභා මරා  තමන් බේරී  තවදුරටත් තමන්ගේ අතවැසියන්ට රකියා සපයීමේ අරමුණින් දුප්පතුන් ගැන නොසිතා  පොරොන්දු කඩ කළේය යනුවෙනි

කොටි ගණන් මුදල් ඉතිරි කල හැකි පහසුම ක්‍රමය වන පළාත් සභා අහෝසි නොකරන විට  ඔවුන් වෙන මොනවා හිතන්නද  මොවුන්ට විධායක ජනාධිපති ක්‍රමය එපාවී නැත.  මහින්දලා  පමණක් නොව 1948 සිටම  මැති ඇමතිවරු  ගසාකාපු හැටි දන්නා ඔවුහු  ඉන්නේ  ඒවා ගැන උපේක්ශාවෙනි කොය් එකා ආවත් කෙරෙන හැටි ඔවුහු දනිති.

නිදහස් අද්‍යාපනය හැ ටම දීම ගැනත් ඩී  එස්  විරුද්ධ වුනත්  මිනිස්සු ඔහුගේ  ඒ මහන්තත කම් නොසලකා හැරියහ මහ උ න් ඔහොමතමය් කියා සැ නහුනහ. ඒ දුප්පතුන්ගේ හැටිය. ඔවුන්ට රටේ යටිතල පහසුකම්  හෝ මහින්දගේ” යටිතල පහසුකම්”’  දියුණුද නැද්ද යන්න ගැන සෙවීමට අවශ්‍ය තාවක් නැත.

බල ලෝභී  ධනවතුන්  ගෙන් බොහෝ ය  බටහිරයන් විසින් පාලනය වන  බටහිර ගැ ති අ  ය නිසා ඔ වුහු මහින්දට විරුද්ධ  වී ඇත්තේ   13 අ පූර්ණ ලෙස ක්‍රියාත්මක නොකිරීම  සහ පළාත් සභා වලට වැඩි බල තල නොදීම හා අබෞද්ධ  සන්ස්ක්රිතිය පූර්ණ වශයෙන් රට තුල ක්‍රියාත්මක කර ජේ ආර් ගේ  විවුර්ත ආර්ථික ක්‍රමය මගින් මුළු රටම  බටහිර ගති රටක් කිරීමට

මහින්ද තවමත් පසු බසින නිසාය අම්මා තාත්තා පවා පාවාදුන් ගැහැනියක් යලි නැ ගී සිටුවා  මෙරටට  එ  වා . හාමුදුරුවරුත් මුදලට ගෙන නැවත උතුරේ දෙමල බෙදුම්වාදීන්ට හිසොසවන්නට ඉඩ සලසන ව්‍යාපෘතියකට  මුල පුරන්නට බටහිරයෝ විශේෂයෙන් එංගලන්තය  ක්‍රියා කරන්නේ උන් විසින් ලංකාවට ගෙන ආ දෙමල කම්කරුවන් ට සැලකීමක් වශයෙනි .

රනිල්  බලයට කෑ දර වුවත්අදක්ෂ්යෙකි. චන්ද්‍රිකා   ද්වේශයෙන් දැවෙන  ඕනෑම කුප්ප කමක්  කල හැකි  දේශපාලනයෙන් පමණක් නොව සදාචාරයෙන් පවා පිරිහුණ   ගැහැනියක් නිසා ඇ  ය නැවත බටහිරයන් විසින් කරලියට ගෙනවිත් ඇත. ධනපතියන්ට ”යටිතලේ ”’ වැදගත්ය එහෙත් ඊට වඩා  බටහිරයන් වැද  ගත් ය. මහින්ද  මොන යටිතල  දියුණු කලත් උන් මහින් දට වඩා  කැමති රනිල් ලාගේ පැලැන්තියේ  අ  යටය

සාමාන්‍ය සිංහල බෞද්ධයාට ඇති දුක නම් මේ එක අයෙක් වත් රටේ උරුමක්කාරයන් වන තමන්ගේ  උරුමය  නැවත තහවුරු කරදී තමන්ට ඇති එකම රටේ ගව්රවයෙන් ජීවත් වීමට  ඉඩ සලසා නොදීමය් එකෙක් වත් ඒගැන කතා නැත. සිරිසේන ගැමියාටත් අවශ්‍ය රනිල් මදාවියාට මෙන්ම දෙමළුන්ට” තවත් ” දීමටය .

සෝභිත හා රතන හාමුදුරුවොත්  එගොඩේ මය. හෙළ උරුමය රකින්නට ආ සියල්ලෝම චන්ද්‍රිකා ගේ ඔඩොක්කුවේ  නලවෙමි න් උක්කුං  බොන්නට ලෑ ස්තිවෙති.

මේටික  කරදෙන්නට පොරොන්දුවෙන කෙනෙකුට පොදුජනතාව  චන්දය දෙනු ඇත.  දූෂණ හා  ගසා කෑම් ගමෙත් ඇති නිසා  දුප්පත් ගැමියා මහින්දටත් . ඒවගේම කුඩු දුමින්දටත් චන්දය දෙති . වහාම අවශ්‍ය 13අ සහ පළාත් සභා අහෝසි කර රට බේරාදෙන අයෙකි  ඔහුගේ ජයග්‍රහණය සිකුරුය.  

What are the rights Constitutionally & Legally denied to Tamils in Sri Lanka?

December 2nd, 2014

Shenali D Waduge

 Mr. Venkaiah Naidu, BJP Union Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs has declared that Sri Lanka should give equal rights to Tamils. Does this imply that Tamils do not enjoy equal rights, or perhaps that is the perception? If Sri Lanka’s closest neighbour thinks Tamils do not enjoy equal rights we can’t blame others for the same perceptions. The statement does mean that Sri Lanka has failed to project what Tamils and minorities actually enjoy in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has also failed to statistically show that in many ways the minorities are economically and socially placed above the majority Sinhalese Buddhists of Sri Lanka.

Those that are under the impression that Tamils do not enjoy rights constitutionally and legally need to first look at the Constitution which clearly sets out fundamental rights. There is no word in the constitution that denies Tamils or minorities equal rights.

The foremost place afforded to Buddhism cannot be challenged because Buddhism was the state religion chosen by royalty and that status changed only upon colonial invasion and occupation though the colonial invaders assured that they would not depose the place afforded to Buddhism in Sri Lanka passed down from King to the next (a promise the British didn’t mean to keep, but nevertheless is important on the context of the historical status that Buddhism held and should continue to hold).

In a population of 20m there are less than 2.2m Tamils and less than 1.6m Muslims in Sri Lanka as against 14.8m Sinhalese. Those that place their arguments must realize that 7 out of 10 in Sri Lanka are Sinhalese, the country has been ruled by over 180 Sinhala Buddhist kings that status only changed because Sri Lanka was taken over. Those that invaded and occupied Sri Lanka brought workers from Tamil Nadu and before independence these Tamils numbered more than the Tamils that had settled down following various South Indian invasions throughout history. This was one ground that these settled immigrant Tamil politicians desired the Tamil Nadu labor Tamils to be sent back and the pacts signed between Indian and Sri Lankan leaders gave the choice of remaining in Sri Lanka or returning to India.

In responding to the question of rights the world needs to look from the lens of what people currently enjoy and not what Tamil politicians are demanding for themselves.

Let us therefore stick the most basic of questions

  • Are Tamil pregnant mothers denied entry to State hospitals to deliver their baby because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamil patients denied State doctors and nurse care because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied admission to State schools because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils given less marks because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied State scholarships because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied employment in State sector because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils not allowed to travel in public buses because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils given separate seats in public places because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils made to stand in separate queues because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied right of freedom to travel throughout the country? NO
  • Are Tamils denied right of residence because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied right to worship because they are Tamil? NO
  • Are Tamils denied burial/crematorium rights because they are Tamil? NO
  • Will public or private entities refuse or deny to serve a Tamil because they are Tamil? NO
  • Will parcels, letters and postcards not be accepted or delivered because people are Tamil? NO
  • Are there separate areas for Tamils? NO
  • Have Tamils being terminated from service because they were Tamil? NO

The examples we can give are many and this list will be quite a long one.

Nevertheless, there is also the need to look at the reciprocity.

  • While Tamils can live, buy property, indulge in business, educate their children throughout Sri Lanka even in the South of Sri Lanka where most Tamils now live and have lived, do Tamils and in particular Tamil politicians want Sinhalese to live in the North? NO. How fair is this behaviour from those demanding equal rights?
  • While Tamils buy property, build houses/flats etc are people aware that the majority of them sell or rent/lease only to Tamils? NO. How fair is this behaviour from those demanding equal rights?
  • While Tamils own businesses and the wholesale market is virtually run by the minorities in Sri Lanka as are most coated companies why are Sinhalese not allowed to run businesses in the North and everyone together shouts ‘colonization’. People seem to have forgotten that Sinhalese were living in the North evidence of which can be proved by the architectural/archaeological remains as well as the fact that all bakeries in the North were run by the Sinhalese. Today, in the commercial capital of Colombo the Sinhalese are a minority and the Tamils and Muslims make up the majority. This gives the minorities access to all the leaders with ease and thus able to get their ways through any other means! Go through areas of Kotahena, Wellawatte, Dehiwela to see and people will be surprised to see how the Maldivians have taken over entire parts of Dehiwela/Mt Lavinia too!
  • How many job adverts purposely omit Sinhalese by declaring that Tamil is a must (these are all NGO/INGO jobs/projects) discriminating Sinhalese from applying and getting the job.

Very few speak about reversing the discrimination not looking at what the Sinhalese had been denied right through invasion and occupation and thereafter when colonial sub-servients were created to take reigns and little have post-independence leaders done to undo the injustices meted out to the Sinhalese when even by 1956 (8 years after independence) Tamils held over 75% jobs in the public service.

With the BJP Union Minister demanding equal rights for Tamils, it is good to ask what place India gives to Tamil Nadu Tamils when out of the 74million Tamils in the world 67million Tamils live in Tamil Nadu?

Give us an example where when 7 out of 10 people belong to one race/ethnicity and religion what other country has given just 1% equal language status as Sri Lanka has done? Rightly, there should be only one national language and English as the link language. If Sinhalese is the official national language it means that every citizen must know Sinhalese. Do not Tamils have to learn German to live in Germany, French to live in France and Japanese to live in Japan? One language and English bridges people. Two languages are dividing people

While Tamil is an official language in Sri Lanka (which has less than 2.2m Tamils against 14.8m Sinhalese), let us remind India that Tamil is not an official language in India though it is an official language in Tamil Nadu state. It is good to recall BJP’s Tarun Vijay demanding national status for Tamil. It was in 2014 that Jayalalitha opposed the UGC circular on Hindi in Tamil Nadu universities

Sri Lanka has a separate color to depict Tamils and Muslims in the country’s national flag – has India shown such a gesture when it has 9/10 of the world’s Tamils in India?

Let us also remind India that in Tamil Nadu – close to 20% of its population are Dalits and 80% of this number live in villages where illiteracy is over 60%. 62% of these Dalits suffer from some type of abuse ranging from physical assault, sexual harassment, verbal abuse to even rape. This is how Tamils appear to be treating their own in India where the Indian Government is telling Sri Lanka to treat Tamils with “dignity and respect”.

Let us remind India that even in the Madras High Court, the language of the court is NOT Tamil but Hindi!

 Therefore, it is advisable for people to accuse after having investigated for themselves whether Tamils have any rights denied to them which ONLY Sinhalese enjoy. To claim that a right is denied they first have to prove that the Sinhalese are enjoying what Tamils are denied to enjoy constitutionally, legally and legislatively. So far every time Tamil politicians begin their mourning about rights being denied when they are asked to name them they are unable to do so. Let it also be reminded that those that believe the TNA need to realize that the TNA and LTTE are one and the same and this was told by none other than John Cushnahan EU monitoring mission’s head in 2004 and we can’t disagree with him on that assessment.

What needs to be clearly asked is where in this world can people be given everything they want or aspire. In the case of Sri Lanka anyone who wishes to say that Tamils or minorities have no rights must first prove that the right they say they can’t enjoy is enjoyed only by the Sinhalese. As things stand the minorities enjoy far more rights than the majority.

Let us also remind readers that for Sinhalese this is the ONLY country they have. The Tamils have Tamil Nadu where 9/10 Tamils live – they can go to Tamil Nadu. The Sri Lankan Muslims have the Middle East – they can any time be welcome in the Middle East. The Sri Lankan Christians/Catholics have the West and Vatican – they too will anytime welcome them. Where does that leave the Sinhalese Buddhists? Who will accept the Sinhalese Buddhists? – they only have Sri Lanka and that is why they want to protect it and they should protect it and why they have every right to protect it, but in so protecting they have not denied any others their right to live in Sri Lanka. All that they ask in exchange for these equal rights is for them not to try to make Sri Lanka lose its historical/cultural Buddhist identity.

These aspects must be on everyone’s minds when making accusations because politicians only use them as slogans for political mileage and personal benefits.

Rathika Sitsabaesan, Canadian MP puts her Foot in her Mouth re LTTE Heroes Day

December 2nd, 2014

 Mal Munasinha

Office of the Hon. Steven Blaney

House of Commons

Ottawa, ON

K1A AO6

 

Honourable Steven Blaney,

I was very happy to hear your rebuttal on Rathika Sensebastien’s speech in Parliament. I agree that the speech she did about the Tamil Tigers comparing them to the Remembrance Day, is nothing more than a insult to the soldiers who fought and died for the country, so there will be unity and peace What this New Democrat Party member was trying to do was, encourage more violence and give credit to the very leader who carried out a suicide bombing, and bombing and assassinations in Sri Lanka for 30 odd years.

Her speech was not of peace, but more venom to bring out the Tamil Tiger war fare in Sri Lanka. And by that, use the very poor people and children to continue a another massacre. Children would be drawn out to be used for war.

With much gratitude, I end this letter.

Yours truly,

Mal Munasinha

Einstein’s Religiosity

December 2nd, 2014

By Rohana R. Wasala

(This is the third of my quintuplet of essays on the subject of religion. I am only expressing a personal point of view as an interested layman who claims no academic knowledge of the subject. Readers need not buy my opinions offhand without examining them for themselves. Many educated religious people try to justify their belief in religion by claiming that certain prominent scientists are also religious. Einstein is a favourite for such claims because of his undisputed eminence among his kind. But when he was living, he made it very clear that he did not at all accept the concept of a personal god who created the universe.)  

 I’d like to start with a few Einstein quotes about his idea of religion before trying to explain (for what it is worth) my understanding of the attitude of the great scientist (perhaps the greatest of the last century) towards creator-god based religion. But he says apparently contradictory things about the subject, the reason for which I will explain as best I could:

 “My religiosity consists in a humble admiration of the infinitely superior spirit that reveals itself in the little that we, with our weak and transitory understanding, can comprehend of reality. Morality is of the highest importance – but for us, not for God.”

This statement recurs in a number of slightly different and sometimes more elaborate forms in Einstein literature, with its basic meaning unchanged, nevertheless. For example:

“My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind. That deeply emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God”.

“The most beautiful and most profound religious emotion that we can experience is the  sensation of the mystical and this mysticality is the power of all true science.”

“I don’t try to imagine a God; it suffices to stand in awe of the structure of the world insofar as it allows our inadequate senses to appreciate it.”

 But the following two quotes seem to contradict each other:

 “The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.”

 “Mere unbelief in a personal god is no philosophy at all.”

There were many more instances where Einstein felt it necessary to explain to ordinary people what he thought, as the celebrated scientist he was (though unaffected by the fact), about religion, god, science morality etc, and the relationships between them. Now we must remember that the world he lived in was very different from the one where we are living today. Those were comparatively less liberal times. During his lifetime two World Wars (WW I,1914-18 and WW II, 1939-1945) were fought; the fact that he, as a member of the Jewish race so inhumanely persecuted by the Nazis, was a potential victim of that persecution. The infamous pogrom of the Jews was masterminded by Hitler who took care to advertise his Christian credentials. Einstein’s discoveries were used in making the bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan during the genocidal World War II, killing thousands of innocent men, women, and children. However, Einstein was not a willing perpetrator of violence against fellow humans. He later regretted having contributed to the making of the atomic bombs (“I’ve created a monster!” he said about it). All his work and words as a scientist leave us in no doubt that he was a man of peace and possessed a genuine moral sense.

Ordinary unenlightened common people could not think of morality without a belief in religion. So, how could he be stridently critical of such beliefs (as the equally sincere Richard Dawkins, for example, is today)? But at the same time, as an honest and cultured person and a scientist with a deep sense of moral responsibility to the society, he didn’t want to tell lies to please people; he modulated his language as best he could to express himself sincerely so that those of his audience who were intelligent enough were able to sift through his words and get at what he really meant while the others  were left in their comfortable ignorance with their accustomed religious convictions unchallenged and undisturbed, but perhaps propped up a little, instead. It should be remembered that he was known to pepper his speech with religious flourishes with tongue in cheek.

My impression about Einstein’s ‘religiosity’ is this: Einstein’s ‘religiosity’ has nothing to do with any blind belief in a personal god which he has very explicitly and repeatedly rejected all the time. It is the ‘religious’ emotion, the awe and the wonder that he experienced when he gazed on or meditated on the amazing structure, order, the breathtaking beauty, majesty, inscrutability of the universe that he really meant. Einstein says that this sense of wonder, this ‘mysticality’ as he calls it “is the power of all true science” (see above). Well known American astrophysicist Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson occasionally articulates the same sort of spiritual emotion about the universe.  Most probably it was this sense of the numinous that he meant by the word ‘religion’ in his oft-quoted aphorism: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind”. But he did not ridiculously trivialize the mysterious power that ought to be there behind the magnificent spectacle that surrounds us and that we are an organic part of by anthropomorphizing it as a rewarding and punishing   superman deity. He rejected such religion as ‘childish superstition’.

The quote before the last one above (“The word God is for me …”) is from Einstein’s letter dated January 3, 1954 to philosopher Eric Gutkind who had sent him his book ”Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt”. In the same letter, he also wrote about his attitude to the Jewish religion he was born to:

“For me the Jewish religion like all others is an incarnation of the most childish superstitions. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong and with whose mentality I have a deep affinity have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything ‘chosen’ about them.”

Generally, Einstein’s expression of his agnosticism was guarded, and cluttered with reservations and ambiguities. He won’t have described himself as an atheist as clear in his statement: “Mere unbelief in a personal god is no philosophy at all”. When he communicated with people of  his own level of understanding, he was more open, and less inhibited as in his letter to Gutkind.

While repudiating the existence of a personal creator- god, Einstein did not deny the reality of the natural  ‘religious’ emotions which the unimaginable immensity and wonderful structure of the universe excite in all normal human beings and which he articulated in his own way; neither was he unconcerned with morals. But he believed that  morality is a human phenomenon,  not a matter for an anthropomorphic supreme being to decide.

The difference between traditional religion and Einstein’s humbling emotion of owe and wonder at the mystery and majesty of the universe is that the former is an enslaving superstition while the latter is a  liberating inspiration for our species. It is this kind of ‘spirituality’ in human consciousness that inspires great art and also the insatiable desire for scientific knowledge about the universe.

JFA demands action Andhra journalist killers

December 2nd, 2014

 By NJ Thakuria

Guwahati: The failure of  Andhra Pradesh police in making any breakthrough regarding the brutal murder of a Telugu journalist a week back has prompted a northeast India based journalist body to express serious concern and annoyances.

While condemning the vicious killing of MVN Shankar, a senior journalist working with Andhra Prabha, a popular Telugu daily published from Hyderabad, by the miscreants, the Journalists’ Forum Assam (JFA) has demanded exemplary punishment to the culprits.

Shankar (around 53 years old) was attacked by the unknown assailants with iron rods and sticks on the night of November 25 in front of his residence at Chilakaluripet of Guntur district in the central Indian province.

He was shifted to Guntur hospital with severe head injuries where Shankar succumbed to the injuries next day. He left behind his wife Vijayalakshmi and a daughter with a host of friends and well-wishers.

A brave soul and a media activist demanding due benefits to his fellow journalists,  Shankar prepared a number of news-stories relating to the kerosene mafia, which used to sell the domestic fuel, supplied through the public distribution system of the country, in the black market. Shankar also lodged a complaint in the Guntur police station asking actions against the corrupt food item dealers.

The local journalist bodies including Andhra Pradesh Union of Working Journalists and Andhra Pradesh Newspaper Employees Federation had demonstrated their angers against the murder of Shankar. They also organized protest rallies asking punishments to the perpetrators at the earliest.

Lately the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) as well as its affiliate Indian Journalists Union had come out with condemnations against the murder of the journalist and urged for ‘the prompt arrest and investigation on the attack so as to ensure that there is no chilling effect on journalism in the region and deliver justice to the deceased journalist and his family’.

With the murder of Shankar, India has recorded the second killing of working journalists this year (2014). The first one was reported from Odisha, another central Indian province, when a television journalist named Tarun Kumar Acharya (35) of Kanak TV in Oriya language, was killed by assailants on May 27 last.

“The killing of journalists indicates that there are still people in our country, who dare to deny the journalist’s right for freedom of expression. This is unacceptable in the largest democracy of the globe,” said JFA president Rupam Barua.

The JFA also appealed to the Andhra Pradesh government led by N Chandrababu Naidu to take all possible steps to book the culprits under the law. It also extended moral supports to the agitating journalists of Andhra Pradesh demanding justice to the bereaved journalist family.


Copyright © 2015 LankaWeb.com. All Rights Reserved. Powered by Wordpress