President battles to keep coalition, ultimatum backfires

July 15th, 2017

Courtesy The Island

 ECONOMYNEXT – President Maithripala Sirisena returned from a state visit to Bangladesh yesterday to grapple with a new threat of defections  that could lead to a break-up of his shaky coalition government.

A week after issuing an ultimatum to two ministers to deliver or depart,  the President himself has been put on notice by his own Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) which wants him to dissolve the coalition or face a mass exodus.

At a meeting just before leaving for Bangladesh on his three-day state visit, several seniors of the SLFP said they wanted to leave the coalition ahead of local elections later this year unless the President formed an SLFP government before that.

“It was a very heated meeting, and the president said he will discuss this issue on his return from Bangladesh,” a ministerial source at the discussion said. “He does not appear to have many options.”

The SLFP and its allies won 94 seats at the August 2015 elections and the group is deeply split between those loyal to Sirisena and former president Mahinda Rajapaksa. Even if there is a complete rapprochement between Sirisena and Rajapaksa, they need 19 more MPs to cross the half-way mark in the 225-member parliament and enjoy a majority.

With no other likely candidates to bank on, the unlikely Sirisena-Rajapaksa combine will have to engineer defections from the UNP, a difficult ask despite there being dissatisfied elements within the green party.

An SLFP ministerial source said the President’s July 4 warning to two UNP ministers – Sagala Ratnayake and Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe – to clean up their act within three months had emboldened some SLFP senior to call for action to dismiss the entire UNP government.

They want Sirisena to do to the UNP what president Chandrika Kumaratunga did to Ranil Wickremesinghe’s UNP-led cohabitation government in 2004. Kumaratunga sacked Wickremesinghe’s government just two years into its six-year term and called fresh elections which she won with the support of the JVP.

However, under the 19th amendment to the constitution, President Sirisena cannot dismiss the current parliament until early 2020. Kumaratunga had come to power with her own mandate unlike Sirisena who was propelled largely through UNP votes.

More than a dozen SLFP ministers and deputies have already said they will leave when the two-year national unity government memorandum of understanding ends in September. However, should they carry out their threat, there is no immediate danger to the administration.

The coalition could break up, but the UNP-led government could end up in a stronger position as it will no longer have to balance its economic agenda to appease the ideologically different SLFP.

However, the downside would be the lack of two-thirds majority to push constitutional reforms.

Unlike the SLFP, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s UNP, which commands 107 seats in parliament, requires only six more MP’s to ensure an absolute majority. They may be able to tap into the JVP which has six seats and the Tamil National Alliance which has 16.

SLFP sources said their MPs in government were preparing to field their candidates at upcoming local elections, including three provincial councils which must go to the polls by the end of this year.

Not all those who want to defect from the government want to hitch their wagon to the Rajapaksa-led joint opposition either. An SLFP stalwart from Sabaragamuwa said he preferred to remain neutral rather than be seen as supporting the Joint Opposition whose leaders are being hauled up for major corruption.

රහස්‌ පොලීසියෙන් හිටිහැටියේ අත්අඩංගුවට ගත් කවුද මේ කොමදෝරු ඩී.කේ.පී.දිසානායක

July 15th, 2017

මනෝඡ් අබයදීර උපුටා ගැන්ම දිවයින

මේ එළඹ තිබෙන්නේ වීරයා දංගෙඩියට දක්‌වන තරග ඉසව්ව යෑයි කිව්වාට වරදක්‌ නැත. වසර දෙකහමාරක්‌ තිස්‌සේ යහපාලනය විසින් කරන ලද කිසිම දෙයක්‌ නැතැයි රටම කීවද එල්ටීටීඊ ඩයස්‌පෝරාව නම් කියනු ඇත්තේ, මේ ටික කාලයට මාර දේවල්නේ කරගත්තේ…, කියලාය. ඒ තරමට වීරයන් පේළියක්‌ දඟ ගෙයට දක්‌කන්නට යහපාලනය බරටම වැඩ කර තිබේ. කොමදෝරු ඩී.කේ.පී. දසානායක පිළිබඳ කතාන්දරය ද අවාසනාවට, එවැනි වර්ගයේ තවත් කතාවකි. 

හිටපු නාවික හමුදා මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශක කොමදෝරු ඩී.කේ.පී. දසනායක දැන් සිටින්නේ රහස්‌ පොලිස්‌ අත්අඩංගුවේය. ඔහුට එල්ල වී ඇති චෝදනාව වනුයේ යුද සමයේ නිරායුද තරුණයන් පිරිසක්‌ පැහැරගෙන ගොස්‌ කප්පම් ගෙන ඝාතනය කිරීමේ සිද්ධියට අනුබල දීමය. එය පහසුවෙන් අහක දැමිය හැක්‌කක්‌ නොවේ. නමුත් විකෘතියේ ලිප මත ඉදෙන ද්‍රෝහියාගේ බත් හැලිය තුළ වරදකරු වීරයා කර වීරයා දඟ ගෙට දැක්‌වීම අතිශය පහසු සහ ලාබ කටයුත්තකි. 

මේ චෝදනාව එල්ල වනුයේ මුහුදු කොටි නායක සුසෙයි ගේ බිරිඳ සහ දරුවන් ඇතුළු පිරිස අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන නිය පහරක තරමේ වත් හානියක්‌ නොකර ඔවුන්ට අභය දානය ලබා දුන් මිනිසාටය. යුද්ධයේ අවසන් දින කීහිපය අතිශය සංකීර්ණ විය. කුඩා බෝට්‌ටු 700 පමණ පැමිණි සිවිල් වැසියන් 13000 ආසන්න ප්‍රමාණයක්‌ නාවික හමුදා ආරක්‌ෂක වළල්ලට ඇතුළු වූහ. මේ පිරිස නිරුපද්‍රිත කිරීමේ වගකීම දැරුවේ දසනායකය. එහෙව් දසනායකට කප්පම් පතා මිනිස්‌ ඝාතන කළා යෑයි චෝදනා එල්ල වී තිබේ. රටක ඇති බරපතලම අපරාධය අපරාධකරුවන් රිසිසේ හැසිරීම නොවේ. අවංක මිනිසුන් ඒ දෙස නිසොල්මනේ බලා සිටීමය. කොමදෝරු දසනායක වැනි විරුවන් දඟගෙට යන විට, ඇති වේදනාව එයය. එක්‌ නාවික හමුදා නිලධාරීයෙක්‌ දසනායකට සිරගෙය ප්‍රාර්ථනා කරන්නේ, දසනායකට ලැබීය යුතු ශිෂ්‍යත්ව ඔහුට දිනා ගැනීමටය. කාලය, දේශය ඒ තරමටම නපුරු වී ඇත. 

දසනායකට එල්ල වී ඇති චෝදනාව සරල ලෙස ගත් කල මෙසේය. 

පොලිස්‌ වාර්තා අනුව මෙම පැහැරගැනීම සිදුවන්නේ වර්ෂ 2008 සැප්තැම්බර් මස 17 දිනය. මෙම සමූහ ඝාතනයේ පළමු සැකකරු මේ වනවිට ඉන්නේ ඇප පිට නිදස්‌වය. ඔහු එවකට සිටි නාවික හමුදාපති වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩගේ ප්‍රධාන ආරක්‌ෂක නිලධාරීයාය. එවකට ලුතිනන් කමාන්ඩර්වරයෙක්‌ වන ප්‍රධාන සැකකරු සම්පත් මුණසිංහ නමැත්තෙකි. ඔහුගේ උපදෙස්‌ පිට අලි අන්වර් නමැති ඔත්තුකරුවෙකුගේ තොරතුරු මත දෙහිවල ප්‍රනාන්දු මාවතේ පිහිටි නිවසකදී රජීව් නාගනාදන්, ප්‍රදීප් විශ්වනාදන්, තිලකේෂ්වරම් රාමලිංගම්, මොහොමඩ් තිලාන්, මොහොමඩ් සාජිත් යන අය පැහැර ගෙන තිබිණි. ප්‍රධාන සැකකරුගේ උපදෙස්‌ පිට ඔවුන් පැහැර ගන්නේ එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ සංවිධානයට මුදල් උපයන ත්‍රොaනන් අන්නා නමැති පුද්ගලයෙක්‌ හා සම්බන්ධව ව්‍යාජ ක්‍රෙඩිට්‌ කාඩ් ඇසුරින් කොළඹ අවට ප්‍රදේශයේ මුදල් කොල්ලකන බවට ලද තොරතුරු අනුව බව අධිකරණ වාර්තාවල සඳහන් වේ.

මෙසේ පැහැරගත් පුද්ගලයින් කොළඹ චෛත්‍ය පාරේ නාවික හමුදා මූලස්‌ථානය පිහිටි ස්‌ථානයකට රැගෙන ගොස්‌ ඇත. අනතුරුව 2008 අගෝස්‌තු මාසයේ සිට 2009 මාර්තු මාසය තෙක්‌ ශ්‍රී ලංකා නාවික නෞකා පරාක්‍රම ආතතනයේ හා 2009 අප්‍රේල් මාසයේ සිට ජූනි මාසය දක්‌වා ශ්‍රී ලංකා නාවික තාටාකාංගන ආයතනය තුළ හා ශ්‍රී ලංකා නාවික සාගරික විද්‍යා ආයතනය තුළ පිහිට ගන් සයිඩ් නමැති ස්‌ථානයේ රඳවා තබාගෙන ඇතැයි එම වාර්තා දක්‌වයි. මේ පුද්ගලයන් අතුරුදන් වී ඇත්තේ ඉන් අනතුරුවය. මේ පිළිබඳ සැලවූ පසු නාවික හමුදාව සිද්ධියට සම්බන්ධ ප්‍රධාන සැකකරුවා පිළිබඳව පරීක්‌ෂණයක්‌ කළ බවත්, එහිදී අතුරුදන් කළ තවත් පුද්ගලයින් පස්‌ දෙනෙකුගේ ජාතික හැඳුනුම්පත් හා වෙනත් සාක්‌ෂි හමුවූ බවත් මේ අනුව අතුරුදන් කර ඇති මුළු පුද්ගලයන් ගණන 11 බවත් නාවික හමුදාව වාර්තා කර තිබුණේය.

මේ පුද්ගල අතුරුදන් වීම සම්බන්ධව මුලින්ම රහස්‌ පොලිසියට පැමිණිලි කරන්නේ එවකට නාවික හමුදාපති රියර් අද්මිරාල් වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩය. ඔහු පැමිණිල්ල ගොනු කරන්නේ ස්‌වකීය පුද්ගලික ආරක්‌ෂක නිලධාරියාට එරෙහිවය. ඒ වර්ෂ 2009.05.28 දිනය. නාවික හමුදාපතිවරයා ලෙස කරන්නාගොඩ විසින් එම පැමිණිල්ල කරන්නේ කොළඹ අපරාධ කොට්‌ඨාසය වෙතය. පැමිණිල්ල ගොනුකරන විට නාවික හමුදාවෙන් පැන ගොස්‌ සිටි මේ තැනැත්තා රහස්‌ පොලිස්‌ අත්අඩංගුවට පත්වන්නේය. පුරා වසරක්‌ රඳවා තබාගෙන ප්‍රශ්න කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුව රහස්‌ පොලිසිය විසින් වර්ෂ 2011 මාර්තු මස 30 දා අධිකරණයට වාර්තා කරන්නේ මේ අපරාධයට මෙම සැකකරු සම්බන්ධ බවය. 

එහෙත් අධිකරණ ක්‍රියාවලිය වෙනත් මගක්‌ ගන්නේ තමන් මේ අපරාධයට සම්බන්ධ නැති බවත්, තමන් සමඟ වූ පුද්ගලික ආරවුලක්‌ මත මේ අපරාධයට තමන් පැටලවීම සඳහා හිටපු නාවික හමුදාපති වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩ හා ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායක එක්‌ව කළ සැළසුමක්‌ බවත් ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුවය. ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායකට චෝදනා එල්ලවන්නේ ඉන් අනතුරුවය.

අධිකරණය හමුවේ ඇති බී වාර්තා අනුව ඔහු සැකකරුවෙක්‌ බවට ඉදිරිපත් වී ඇති චෝදනා තුනකි. එක්‌ චෝදනාවකින් කියෑවෙන්නේ පැහැරගත් පුද්ගලයන් දෙදෙනෙක්‌ පැහැරගැනීම පිළිබඳව ඔහු දැනුවත්ව සිටි බවය. ඒ සම්බන්ධව ඔහු ක්‍රියාත්මක නොවූ බවය. අනෙක්‌ චෝදනාවෙන් කියෑවෙන්නේ මේ පැහැර ගැනීම සිදුකළ වකවානුවේ එම සිද්ධියට සැකපිට අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන සිටින නිලධාරීන් දෙදෙනෙකුගේ ප්‍රධානියා ලෙස කොමදෝරු දසනායක කටයුතු කර ඇති බවය. තුන්වන චෝදනාව එල්ලවන්නේ නඩුවේ ප්‍රධාන සැකකරුගෙනි. ඔහු අධිකරණයට කියන්නේ මෙම ඝාතන වැල සිදුවන්නේ එවකට නාවික හමුදාපති වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩ හා ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායකගේ මෙහෙයවීම යටතේය.

මේ චෝදනා සම්බන්ධව ඩී.කේ.පී. දසනායක විසින් දිවුරුම් ප්‍රකාශයක්‌ මගින් අධිකරණයට කරුණු දක්‌වා තිබේ. සාක්‌ෂි සහිතව ඉදිරිපත් වූ එම දිවුරුම් ප්‍රකාශය ප්‍රකාරව පුද්ගලයන් පැහැර ගැනීම ගැන දැනුවත් කළා යෑයි කියන වකවානුවේ ඔහු ලංකාවේත් සිට නැත. ඒ වනවිට ඔහු සිටින්නේ කොරියාවේ විශේෂ පාඨමාලාවක්‌ හදාරමිනි. එමෙන්ම හිටපු නාවික හමුදාපතිවරයාගේ හා චූදිත නිලධාරීන්ගේ සාක්‌ෂි උපුටා දක්‌වන දිවුරුම් ප්‍රකාශයට අනුව ඔහු කිසිම විටෙක උක්‌ත නිලධාරීන් දෙදෙනාගේ ප්‍රධානියා ලෙස කටයුතු කර නැත. එමෙන්ම වර්ෂ 2016 ඔක්‌තෝබර් 05 දින රහස්‌ පොලිසිය හමුවේ සාක්‌ෂි දෙන හිටපු හමුදාපති අද්මිරාල් වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩ දීර්ඝ ප්‍රකාශයක්‌ කරමින් තමන්ට එල්ල වුණ චෝදනා මෙන්ම කොමදෝරු ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායකට එරෙහිව ඇති චෝදනා තර්කානුකූලව ප්‍රතික්‌ෂේප කරයි.

ඉදිරියේදී සිදුවන නෛතික ක්‍රියාවලිය තුළ මේ අපරාධයත් එම අපාරාධය යටිපෙළෙහි ගැබ්වුණු හෙළි නොවුණ නිහීන දේශපාලනයත්, හෙළිදරවු කෙරෙනු ඇත. එතෙක්‌ දැනට රහස්‌ පොලිසිය විසින් අත්අඩංගුවට ගන්නා ලදුව මාධ්‍යය හරහා අපරාධකරුවෙක්‌ බවට පත් කර ඇති ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායක කවරෙක්‌ද යන්න පිළිබඳව ලියා තබනු වටී. 

ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායක දැනට නාවික හමුදාවේ සිටිනා විශිෂ්ටතම නිලධාරීන් අතලොස්‌ස අතරීන් කෙනෙකි. ඔහු ත්‍රිකුණාමලය ප්‍රදේශයේ උපන්නේය. දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයේම පළවෙනියාට සා.පෙළ සමත් වන දසනායක, උසස්‌ පෙළ සමත් වන්නේ ජීව විද්‍යා අංශයෙනි. පේරාදෙණිය සරසවියේ දන්ත වෛද්‍ය පිඨයට තේරුණු ඔහු ඒ සඳහා යැමට සැරසෙන විට, ජවිපෙ කලබගෑනි හේතුවෙන් සරසවිය වසා දැමීම නිසා නාවුක හමුදාවට එක්‌වීම සඳහා ඉල්ලුම් පත්‍රයක්‌ දමයි. 1987 වසරේ නාවික හමුදාවට කැඩෙට්‌ නිලධාරියෙකු ලෙස එක්‌වීමේ සිට අධිකාරි ලබන තෙක්‌ ඔහු කැපිපෙනෙන නාවිකයෙක්‌ විය. බැඡ් ටොප් හෙවත් සිය කණ්‌ඩායමෙන්ම පළමු වැනියා වූ දසනායක දැනට කොමදෝරු වරයෙක්‌ වශයෙන් සේවය කරනා නිලධාරියෙකි. ඔහුගේ සේවා කාලය අවුරුදු 30 කි. ඔහු නාවික හමුදාවේ තමා හදාරන ලද පාඨමාලා තුළ බැඡ් ටොප් වූයේ වරක්‌ දෙවරක්‌ නොවේ. පසුගිය යුද සමයේ දසනායක අතින් සිදුවු සංග්‍රාමික මෙහෙවර පිළිබඳව මේ රට දන්නේ නැත. මේ රටේ මිනිසුන් හිරි වැටී ඇති තරම කිවහොත් ඒවායෙන් ඔවුන්ට වැඩක්‌ ද නැති ගාණය. මේ ගැන පුවතක්‌ දුටුවද එය එතැනින් අමතක කර සැහැල්ලු වී, හෙට වැඩට යැමට බඩු ලැහැස්‌ති කර ගන්නා නිහීන ජාතියක්‌ බවට අපි පත්ව සිටිමු. ජාතියට රටට හෙටක්‌ නැති වුවාට අපට කම් නැත. හෙට වැඩට යන්නට තිබුණහම අපට ඇතිය. 

යුද්ධයේ අතිශය තීරණාත්මක වූ සඵල නාවික මෙහෙයුම වූයේ කුඩා යාත්‍රා මෙහෙයුම්ය. මේ කුඩා යාත්‍රා මෙහෙයුම් හඳුන්වාදීම සඳහා මේ වනවිට අයිතිකරුවන් දහස්‌ ගණනකි. එහෙත් මේ සංකල්පය නාවික හමුදාවට හඳුන්වා දුන්නේ දසනායකය. අවසන් මහා සටනේ දී මුලතිවු මුහුදේ නාවුක වළල්ලේ අණ දෙන නිලධාරීයා වූයේ ඔහුය. නාවික හමුදා ඉතිහාසයේ විශාලම මෙහෙයුම වූයේ සාගර බලය මෙහෙයුමය. එවැනි මෙහෙයුමක්‌ යළිත් එන එකකුත් නැත. එල්.ටී.ටී නැව් විනාශ කිරීමේ මේ ඓතිහාසික මෙහෙයුමේ නියෝජ්‍ය මෙහෙයුම් අධ්‍යක්‌ෂ වූයේ ඔහුය. මේ වික්‍රමයන් නිසා යුද්ධයෙන් අනතුරුව ඔහු අධිශේ්‍රණියක්‌ සඳහා නිර්දේශ කිරීමට නාවික හමුදාපතිවරයා කටයුතු කළේය. එය සලකා නොබැලුනත් මීට පෙර අවධියක නොකඩවා සංග්‍රාම භූමියේ දක්‌වන ලද නිර්භීත භාවය වෙනුවෙන් ලුතිනන් ධූරයේ සිට ලුතිනන් කොමාන්ඩර් ධූරයට ඔහු අධිශේ්‍රණි ලබා තිබිණි. එවන් වික්‍රමයන් වෙනුවෙන් අධිශ්‍රෙණි ලද නිලධාරීන් දැනට නාවික හමුදාවටම සිටින්නේ තිදෙනෙකි. දසනායක ඉන් එක්‌ අයෙකි. ශ්‍රී ලංකා නාවික හමුදා ඉතිහාසයේ එතෙක්‌ මෙතෙක්‌ බිහිවූ දැවැන්තම චරිතය වන අද්මිරාල් වසන්ත කරන්නාගොඩ, සිය යුද අත්දැකීම් අළලා රචනා කරන ලද අධිෂ්ඨානය කෘතිය කියවන විට කොමදෝරු දසනායක මේ රටට කරන ලද සේවය පිළිබඳව අවබෝධයක්‌ ලබා ගත හැකිය.

වර්ෂ 1992 වන විට එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ යට යාපනය සම්බන්ධ කරනා එකම සැපයුම් මාර්ගය පිහිටි කිලාලි කලපුවේ නව අනු ඛණ්‌ඩයක්‌ පිහිටුවා එම මාර්ගය අවහිර කරනු ලැබීම, රිවිරැස මෙහෙයුම ඇරඹී තිබූ වර්ෂ 1995 දී එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ හමුදා සෙබලුන් 250 ක්‌ සමඟ එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ බෝට්‌ටු 12 කට කොටු වූ රණගජ නෞකාව මුදා ගැනීමට 486 ඩෝරා යාත්‍රාවේ අණ භාර නිලධාරීයා ලෙස කටයුතු කිරීම, වර්ෂ 1995 – 96 කාල වලදී කොළඹවරාය ආශ්‍රිත මුහුදු මංකොල්ලකෑම් වැලැක්‌වීම, වර්ෂ 1997 පරාක්‍රමබාහු නෞකාවට එල්ල වූ ත්‍රස්‌ත ප්‍රහාර වලක්‌වා එය බේරා ගැනීමට කටයුතු කළ පී 440 ඩෝරා යාත්‍රාවේ අණ භාර නිලධාරියා ලෙස කටයුතු කිරීම, එම යාත්‍රාවේම අණ බාර නිලධාරියා ලෙස කොටි වෛද්‍ය අංශ ප්‍රධානී දොස්‌තර ඩෙස්‌මන් ඇතුළු සිව් දෙනෙක්‌ යාත්‍රාවක්‌ සමග අත්අඩංගුවට ගෙන එල්.ටී.ටී.ඊ බෝට්‌ටු 3 විනාශ කිරීම, ඇතුළු ක්‍රියාන්විත ගණනාවක්‌ ඔහුගේ නාවුක හමුදා සංග්‍රාම ජීවිතයේදී දසනායක විසින් සිදුකර තිබිණි. යුද සමයේ නාවික හමුදා මාධ්‍ය ප්‍රකාශක ලෙස ඔහු කටයුතු කළේය. ඒ අවසන් මහා සටනේ දී මුලතිවු මුහුදේ නාවුක වළල්ලේ අණ දෙන නිලධාරියා ලෙස කටයුතු කරමිනි.

ජනාධිපතිවරයෙක්‌ විසින් ලිතව ප්‍රශංසාවට ලක්‌කළ, දැනට නාවික හමුදාවේ සිටිනා එකම නිලධාරියා දසනායකය. ඒ රෙකමදාරුව ඔහුට ලැබෙනේනේ හිටපු ජනාධිපතිනී චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග ගෙනි. නාවික හමුදාපතිවරුන් සිව් දෙනෙක්‌ යටතේ ප්‍රශංසා ලේඛන 10 ක්‌ ලද නිලධාරියා ඔහුය. හෙතෙම රණවික්‍රම පදක්‌කම් 04 ක්‌ දිනා ගත්තේය. රණ සූර පදක්‌කම දිනා ගත්තේය. ඩී.කේ.පී දසනායක එවැනි නිලධාරියෙකි. 

දසානායක යනු ජාතියට ලෙහෙසියෙන් හමුවන වර්ගයේ විරුවෙකු නොවේ . යුද්ධය අවසන් සමයේ පුරා මාස හයක්‌ම ඔහු ගත කළේ මහ සමුදුරේය, රට වට බැඳි රන් වැට යන්න නාවික හමුදාවට ඔබින පාඨයක්‌ බවට පත් කළේ, ඔහු වැනි විරුවන්ය. එක්‌ ත්‍රස්‌තවාදියෙකුට හෝ මුහුදෙන් පැන යන්නට, ඔහු සහ ඔහුගේ සේනාංක විසින් අවස්‌ථාව ලබා දුන්නේ නැත. වීරයා ද්‍රෝහියා ලෙස නාමකරණය කිරීමේ තවත් එක්‌ කතාවක්‌ අනුව ඔහුගේ දෑතට දැන් මාංචු දමා හමාරය. 

නාවක්‌කුළියට බුදු එළිය විහිදුවන්න දෙමළ  නඩුකාරතුමිය දුන් ඓතිහාසික නඩු තීන්දුව…  ඉදිකිරීම් කඩිනම් කරන්නැයි නියෝග කරයි

July 15th, 2017

උපුටා ගැන්ම දිවයින

උතුරු පළාතේ යාපනය දිස්‌ත්‍රික්‌කයේ නාවක්‌කුලිය දඹවල ශාන්තිපුර, යාපනයේ ඇති එකම සිංහල ගම්මානයයි. පවුල් 57 ක්‌ පදිංචි මෙම ගම්මානයේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ ජනයාගේ ආගමික කටයුතු සිදුකරන විහාරස්‌ථානය “සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරයයි” සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරය බුද්ධ ශාසන අමාත්‍යාංශය යටතේ බෞද්ධ කටයුතු දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ ලියාපදිංචි විහාරස්‌ථානයකි.

පන්සලේ කුඩා විහාරයක්‌ද බෝධි ප්‍රාකාර සහිත බෝධීන් වහන්සේ නමක්‌ද, දෙතුන් සියයකට රැස්‌විය හැකි ශාලාවක්‌ද ශාලාවට යාබදව කාමර දෙකක්‌ සහ කාමර දෙකට පිටුපසින් කුඩා දාන ශාලාවක්‌ද, මෙම ගොඩනැඟිල්ලට පිටුපසින් කාමර හතරක්‌ හා නාන කාමරයක්‌ද ඇත. එමෙන්ම දාන ශාලාව අසල නාන කාමරයක්‌ සහිත අංග සම්පූර්ණ වැසිකිළියක්‌ද ඇත. 80ං 20 දෙමහල් ශාලාවක්‌ සඳහා අත්තිවාරම දමා ඇති අතර ගිහි පාර්ශ්වය සඳහා වැසිකිළි හතරක්‌ ඇත. ජල පහසුකම් විදුලි පහසුකම් ඇත. පන්සලේ ඇති ජල ටැංකියෙන් නිවාස සඳහා ජලය සපයා ඇත.

මෙම විහාරයේ අඩුවක්‌ව පැවතියේ චෛත්‍යයක්‌ හෙවත් වෙහෙර වහන්සේ නමක්‌ පමණි. විහාරස්‌ථානය අංග සම්පූර්ණ වන්නේ වෙහෙර වහන්සේ ඉදිකිරීමෙන් පසුවය. මෙම අඩුපාඩුව පිරවීම සඳහා 2017 මැයි 01 සහ මැයි 02 දා සමස්‌ත ලංකා කළණ මිතුරෝ දහම් සභාව” මුල් පිරූ අතර මැයි 14 මුල් ගල තබා චෛත්‍යයේ පාදම දමන ලදී. ඒ සඳහා වැය වූ මුදල රු. ලක්‍ෂ 7 කි. ජුනි 16, 17 දිනවල කළණ මිතුරන් එක්‌ව අඩි 9 ක්‌ පළල කළුගල් බැම්ම, අඩි 6 1/2 ක්‌ උසට බඳින ලදී. ඒ සඳහා වැය වූ මුදල රු. ලක්‍ෂ 10 ක්‌ පමණ වේ. පැය 24 පුරාම මිනිස්‌ ශ්‍රමය යොදාගෙන සිදු කළ මෙම කටයුත්ත, අතිශය දුෂ්කර විය. භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා මෙන්ම ගිහි පින්වත් පිරිස දින 2 ක්‌ තුළ කරන ලද මෙම ඉදිකිරීම සුළුපටු එකක්‌ නොවීය.

මෙම සෑය ඉදිකිරීම සඳහා ඇස්‌තමේන්තු ගත මුදල රුපියල් ලක්‍ෂ 100 කි.

උස අඩි 60 කින් යුත් සෑය ඉදිකිරීම සඳහා සමස්‌ත ලංකා කළණ මිතුරෝ දහම් සභාව කටයුතු කරන අතර කුරුණෑගල, පුත්තලම මුල් කරගෙන සමස්‌ත රටේම භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා සහ බෞද්ධ පින්වතුන්ගේ දරුවන්ගේ සහය ලබා ගනියි.

ඉහතින් දැක්‌ වූ පරිදි කළණ මිතුරු සෑයේ ඉදිකිරීමේ කටයුතු ආරම්භ කළ වහාම යාපනයේ ජීවත් වන ආගම්වාදී, ජාතිවාදී කීප දෙනෙක්‌ එක්‌ව තම පටු අරමුණ ඉටු කරවා ගැනීම සඳහා චාවකච්ෙච්රි ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවේ ලේකම්තුමිය පාවිච්චි කරන ලදී. චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීම් සඳහා ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවේ අවසර ගෙන නොමැති බව දන්වමින් ලේකම්තුමිය මැයි 18 දින යොදා ලිපියක්‌ එවා ඇති අතර ඉදිකිරීම් කටයුතු නතර කරන ලෙස දන්වන ලදී. මැයි 19, 20 දිනවල සහ දින කීපයකට පසුව විවිධ මාධ්‍යවල මෙම පුවත පළවිය. චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීම තහනම් කළ බව ප්‍රකට විය. මැයි 18 දින යොදා තිබුණද, එම ලිපිය සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරයට ලැබුණේ ජුනි 07 දායි. ආගම්වාදී, ජාතිවාදී කුහකයන්ගේ ස්‌වරූපය මෙයින් ප්‍රකට වේ. රාජ්‍ය ආයතනයක්‌ වන ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා බල ප්‍රදේශයේ ඉදිකරන චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීම නවතන ලෙස දන්වන ලිපිය අදාළ චූදිත ස්‌ථානයට යැමට සති දෙකකටත් පෙර මාධ්‍ය වෙත නිකුත් කිරීම කුහක බව ප්‍රකට කිරීමයි.

ජුනි 07 ලිපිය ලද වහාම විහාරාධිපති පූජ්‍ය හංවැල්ලේ රතන සිරි හිමියන් ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවට ගොස්‌ අවසර ඉල්ලූ අතර ලේකම්තුමියගේ ප්‍රකාශය වූයේ ඉදිකිරීමට එරෙහිව නඩු දමන බවකි.

කෙසේ නමුත් ජුනි 16, 17 දිනවල ඉදිකිරීමෙන් දින කීපයකට පසුව චාවකච්ෙච්රිය මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් අධිකරණයෙන් විහාරාධිපති හිමියන්ට නොතීසී ලබා දෙන ලදී. ඒ අනුව 9 වරක්‌ බුදු රජුන්ට පූජා කළ ධර්මද්වීපය ලෙස හැඳින් වූ ලක්‌දිව භාග්‍යයවතුන් වහන්සේගේ ධාතු තැන්පත් කර ඉදිකරන චෛත්‍යයක්‌ ඉදිකිරීමට එරෙහිව මධ්‍යම රජයේ පාලනය යටතේ පවතින චාවකච්ෙච්රිය ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාව කටයුතු කළේ ඉතිහාසයට තවත් පාඩමක්‌ එක්‌ කරමිනි. ඉතිහාසයේ පළමුවරට චෛත්‍යයක්‌ ඉදිකිරීමට එරෙහිව රාජ්‍ය ආයතනයක්‌ නඩු දැමීම ඓතිහාසික සිද්ධියකි.

චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීමට එරෙහි නඩුව ජුලි 07 චාවකච්ෙච්රියේ මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් අධිකරණයේ විභාග විය. මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් එස්‌. චන්ද්‍රසේකරන් මහත්මිය අධිකරණයට පැමිණ අසුන් ගැනීමෙන් අනතුරුව සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරයේ විහාරාධිපති හිමියන් ඇතුළු භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේ හතර නමක්‌ අධිකරණ ශාලාවට ඇතුළු වූ අතර මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් තුමියගේ නියෝගය අනුව පොලිස්‌ නිලධාරියෙක්‌ භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා හතර නමට ආසන හතරක්‌ පෙන්වා අසුන් ගන්වන ලදී. ඇතැම් විට මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් තුමියගේ නඩුකාර ජීවිතයේ භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා උසාවියට වැඩම කළ පළමු දවස ද විය හැකිය. භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේ අසුන්ගත් බව තහවුරු කරගත් නඩුකාර තුමිය ඉතා කෙටි නඩු කීපයක්‌ අවසන් කොට 10.00 ට පමණ 22319 අංක යටතේ පවරා තිබූ නඩුව විභාගයට ගන්නා ලදී.

චූදිත හිමියන් විත්ති කූඩුව අසලට යනවාත් සමඟම රෝම ලන්දේසි සම්ප්‍රදාය කුණුකූඩයට දැමූ මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් චන්ද්‍රසේකරන් මහත්මිය රෝම ලන්දේසි සම්ප්‍රදායට වඩා 2325 වසරක්‌ පුරා ලක්‌දිව මුල්බැඳ ගත් සිංහල බෞද්ධ සම්ප්‍රදාය මුදුන් මුල්කඩ ලෙස සලකමින් විත්තිකාර හංවැල්ලේ රතනසිරි හිමියන්ට අසුන් ගැනීමට විත්ති කූඩුව අසල වෙනම ආසනයක්‌ පනවන ලෙසට පොලිසියට නියෝග කරන ලදී. පොලිසිය වහා ක්‍රියාත්මක වූ අතර අධිකරණ ශාලාවේ සිටි සියලු දෙන මෙන්ම භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලාද විමතියට පත්විය.

ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවේ ලේකම්තුමිය වෙනුවෙන් නීතිවේදීන් දෙදෙනකු පෙනී සිටිය අතර විත්තිකාර හිමියන් වෙනුවෙන් දමිල ජාතික නීතිඥයෙකු පෙනී සිටියේය. නීතිඥවරිය සහ නීතිඥ මහතා චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීම සඳහා සභාවේ අවසරය ලබා නොමැති බැවින් ප්‍රාදේශීය සභා පනත උල්ලංඝණය කොට ඇති බැවින් මෙම ඉදිකිරීම නීති විරෝධී බවත් එය තහනම් කර කඩා ඉවත් කිරීම. ප්‍රතිපාදන ඇති බැවින් අධිකරණයෙන් ඒ සඳහා අවසර ඉල්ලා සිටියේය. විත්තිකාර පාර්ශ්වය වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී සිටි නීතිඥ මහතා ද කරුණු දක්‌වමින් සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරය බෞද්ධ ශාසන අමාත්‍යාංශය යටතේ ලියාපදිංචි ආයතනයක්‌ බවද විහාරයට හිමි ඉඩම විහාරස්‌ථානය සඳහා ජාතික නිවාස සංවර්ධන අධිකාරියෙන් පවරා ඇති බවද පසුගිය වසර කීපයේ රාජ්‍ය ප්‍රතිපාදන යොදා ගනිමින් මෙම විහාරයේ ගොඩනැඟිලි ප්‍රාදේශීය ලේකම් කාර්යාලය මගින් කිසිදු අවසරයක්‌ ගෙන ඉදිකර නොමැති බැවින් චෛත්‍යය ඉදිකිරීම සඳහා වෙනම අවසර ලබාගෙන නොමැති බවයි. කෙසේ වූවත් ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවේ ලිපිය ලද වහාම විත්තිකාර හිමියන් සභාවේ ලේකම්තුමිය හමු වී අවසර ලබා දෙන ලෙසට වාචිකව කළ ඉල්ලීම පැමිණිලි පාර්ශ්වයෙන්ද පිළිගෙන ඇති බැවින් සභාවේ නීති රීති අනුව අවසරයක්‌ ගත යුතු නම් ලබාගත හැකි බවද අධිකරණයට දන්වන ලදී.

නඩුව විභාග කරන අවස්‌ථාවේ අධිකරණ ශාලාවේ අපූර්ව සිදුවීමක්‌ දක්‌නට ලැබුණි. නීතිඥ මහතුන් තම පාර්ශ්වයන් වෙනුවෙන් කරුණු කාරණාවන් දක්‌වන අතර තුර මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් තුමියට වතුර පිපාසයක්‌ ඇති විය. තම මේසය මත ඇති වීදුරුව වෙත අතයවා පීරිසය ඉවත් කර භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා දෙස බලා නැවත පීරිසියෙන් වතුර වීදුරුව වසා පොලිසියට යමක්‌ පවසන ලදී. පොලිස්‌ නිලධාරී භික්‌ෂූන් වෙත පැමිණ ගිලන් පස ගෙනෙන්න දැයි විමසීය. අවශ්‍ය නොවන බව භික්‌ෂූන් ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමෙන් අනතුරුව නඩුකාර තුමිය පොලිසියට නියෝග කළේ ජල බෝතල් භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලාට පිළිගන්වන ලෙස. පොලිසිය භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලාට පැන් පිළිගන්වන අතර නඩුකාරතුමියද තම වීදුරුවේ ඇති ජලය පානය කර පිපාසාව සන්සිඳුවා ගන්නා අයුරු දුටු විට මට සිහි වූයේ දුටු ගැමුණු මහරජතුමාය. තමන් බුද්ධ භෝග පරිභෝජනය කරන බැවින් භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලා උදෙසා දානය පිළිනොගන්නවා කිසිදා තම ආහාරය දුටුගැමුණු රජ නොගනී. එක්‌දිනක්‌ මිරිස්‌ ව්‍යාංජනයක්‌ සංඝයාට නොදී භුක්‌ති විදීම නිසා තමන්ට දෙන දඬුවමක්‌ ලෙස සලකා මිරිසවැටිය චෛත්‍යය දුටු ගැමුණු මහරජු ඉදිකරන ලදී. සිංහල බෞද්ධ සංස්‌කෘතියේ සම්ප්‍රදායන්ට ගරු කරමින් නඩුකාරතුමිය අධිකරණ භූමිය තුළ කටයුතු කිරීම සිංහල බෞද්ධ විනිශ්චයකාරවරයන්ට හා රට කරවන සියලු දෙනාට මහත් වූ ආදර්ශයකි.

දෙපාර්ශ්වයේ කරුණු අත්විදීමෙන් අනතුරුව චන්ද්‍රසේකරන් නඩුකාරතුමිය දීර්ඝ දේශනයක්‌ සිදු කරන ලදී. තමා කුඩා කල බුද්ධ රූපයක්‌ දැක බුද්ධ රූපයේ සිරස පිටුපසින් විහිදෙන රශ්මි මාලාවක්‌ දැක ඒ සඳහා පැහැදී තමන්ගේ මවගෙන් මේ කවුදැයි ඇසූ බවත් අම්මා විසින් ” මේ ගෞතම බුද්ධ” කියා පැවසූ බවත් එතැන් පටන් බුදු රදුන් ගැන පොත පත කියවා ධර්මය ද දැනගත් බවයි. කුඩා කල සිටම තමන් බුද්ධ ප්‍රතිමාවක්‌ වන්දනා මාන කරන ස්‌ථානයේ තබාගෙන ඇති බවත් බුදු රජුන් වහන්සේ කෙරෙහි තමන් තුළ මහත් ගෞරවයක්‌ ඇති බවය. තමන් නඩුකාර ධුරයේ කටයුතු වසර 15 ක්‌ කර ඇති බවත් තමන්ගේ ආරක්‍ෂාවට සිටින පොලිස්‌ නිලධාරියා සිංහල බෞද්ධයකු බවත් ඔවුන් ගුවන් විදුලියෙන් රූපවාහිනියෙන් බණ අසන බවත් බණ දැමූ විට එම දේශනා වැඩ සටහන වැඩියෙන්ම බලන්නේ තමන් බවත් එතුමිය කීවාය.

නඩුකාරතුමිය තවත් අපූර්ව කථාවක්‌ හෙළි කළාය. තමන්ගේ පුතා ශිෂ්‍යත්ව විභාගයෙන් සමත් වූ විට තෑග්ග ලෙස කුමක්‌ ඕනදැයි ඇසූ විට බුදු පිළිමයක්‌ අවශ්‍ය බව කී නිසා බුදු පිළිමයක්‌ ගෙනවිත් දුන් බවත් ළඟදී එහි සිරස කැඩුණු බැවින් අලුත් බුදු පිළිමයක්‌ ගෙනත් දුන් බවත් ඇය කීවාය. දැන් තමන්ගේ පුතා ජීව විද්‍යාව හාදාරණ බවද තම පුතාට දෙවියන් වහන්සේ කෙරෙහි විශ්වාසයක්‌ නොමැති බැවින් බුද්ධ ප්‍රතිමාව ළඟ තබාගෙන පාඩම් කරන බවත් බුද්ධ ප්‍රතිමාව දෙස බලාගෙන තම පුතා භාවනා කරන බවද එතුමිය තදුරටත් කීවාය.

තමන් හින්දු ආගමික කාන්තාවක්‌ වුවත් බුදු දහම කෙරෙහි ගෞරවයක්‌ විශ්වාසයක්‌ ඇති බවත් සෑම කෙනෙක්‌ම සියලු ආගම් කෙරෙහි ගරු කිරීම වඩාත් සුදුසු බවද ප්‍රකාශ කරන ලදී.

බෞද්ධ වේවා, හින්දු වේවා, කතෝලික වේවා, ඉස්‌ලාම් වේවා වැරදි වැඩ, නීති විරෝධී වැඩ කරනවානම් දඬුවම් දීමට තමා මැලි නොවන බවත් අද බොහෝ බෞද්ධ, හින්දු, ඉස්‌ලාම්, කතෝලික ක්‍රිස්‌තියානි අය වැරදි වැඩ කරන බවත් විනිසුරුතුමිය පැවසුවාය.

නාවක්‌කුලිය ජීවත් වන සිංහල පවුල් 57 කගේ ආගමික කටයුතු කරන සමිද්ධි සුමන විහාරයේ ඉදිකරන චෛත්‍ය මූලික අවශ්‍යතාවයක්‌ බැවින්ද කෙතරම් නීති රීති තිබුණද රජය ආණ්‌ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්‌ථාව තුළින් 9 වන වගන්තියෙන් බුද්ධාගමට ප්‍රමුඛතාවය ලබා දී ඇති බැවින් මූලික නීතියට ගරු කරමින් නඩුව ඉවතට දමන ලදී. ප්‍රාදේශීය සභාවට නියෝග කර සිටියේ නීතිරීති අනුව විත්තිකාර හිමියන්ට චෛත්‍ය ඉදි කිරීමට අවශ්‍ය අනුමැතිය ප්‍රමාදයකින් තොරව ලබා දෙන ලෙසය. එමෙන්ම රජය බුදු දහමට ප්‍රමුඛතාවය ලබා දී ඇති බැවින් විත්තිකාර හිමියන් කිසිදු බැඳුම්කරයක්‌ යටත් නොකර නිදහස්‌ කරන බවද පැවසීය.

ආගම්වාදී ජාතිවාදී අන්තවාදී පටු අරමුණු ඇති මිනිසුන්ගේ එම පටු පරමාර්ථයක චාවකච්ෙච්රිය මහේස්‌ත්‍රාත් අධිකරණයේදී කුණු කූඩයට දැමූ එස්‌. චන්ද්‍රසේකරන් නඩුකාරතුමිය භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලාට අවසරයි එහෙනම් හොඳයි ගිහින් එන්න බොහොම ස්‌තූතියි” කියා සමුදෙන විට භික්‌ෂූන් වහන්සේලාගේ ඇස්‌වලට කඳුළු පිරුණි. එසේ අපට කඳුළු ඉනුවේ බලාපොරොත්තු නොවූ ආකාරයෙන් නඩුකාර තුමිය සිංහල බෞද්ධ සම්ප්‍රදායට දක්‌වන ලද මහත් වූ ගෞරවය නිසාය.

YAHAPALANA ELECTIONS AND ‘REGIME CHANGE’ Part 2

July 15th, 2017

KAMALIKA  PIERIS

REVISED 28.8.17

Because it was an externally managed  ‘regime change’,  the ‘changers’ decided that it was best to install Maithripala Sirisena as President quickly,  before the island woke up to what had happened. The election results were announced on January 8, 2015 and the very next day, January 9th, in a hurriedly prepared ceremony at Independence Square, Maithripala Sirisena was sworn in as President.

Within minutes of the swearing in, Ranil Wickremasinghe, leader of the United National Party (UNP) was sworn in as Prime Minister, though there was already a PM at the time, D.M. Jayaratne.  The UNP was not the majority party either. The oaths were not broadcast and we do not know what they swore to. Soon after, television showed former President Chandrika Kumaratunga   steering the new, rather uncertain, President Sirisena   towards the diplomatic ranks. She was very visible at the ceremony.

The general election was held in August 2015, ten months ahead of schedule. The UNP formed a coalition , known as  ‘United National Front for Good Governance’ (UNFGG), consisting of UNP, Jathika Hela Urumaya, Sri Lanka Muslim Congress,  All Ceylon Makkal Congress ,  Tamil Progressive Alliance and   some other political parties. Tamil Progressive Alliance consisted of the Democratic Peoples Front, National Union of Workers and Up country Peoples Front.

There was no clear majority at the     2015 General election.  To the delight of the UNP and the consternation of the UPFA, President Sirisena      succeeded in getting a number of SLFP MPs on to his side. They agreed to form a ‘national government’ with the UNP for two years, with Ranil Wickremasinghe as Prime Minister.  Analysts said that the UPFA probably created world history by sitting in the government and the opposition at the same time.

This led to a problem in appointing the Leader of the Opposition. There were two issues. SLFP was now part of the government, so it could not be in the Opposition as well.  Also though the UPFA ranked second it was unable to calculate how many seats were left after the SLFP crossover to the UNP.  Tamil National Alliance (TNA), who polled only 4.6% of the votes, came third   with a clear 16   seats and its leader R. Sampanthan was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. The Leader of the Opposition was expected to ‘oppose’. But Sampanthan never opposed the Yahapalana government. G.L. Pieris said that ‘Mr. Sampanthan was probably the only Leader of the Opposition, in any country, at any time, to vote for a government Budget, unreservedly and without moving any material Amendment to its contents.

This ‘regime change’ was carefully planned and choreographed. There were speech writer and speech trainers. Yahapalana MPs came into Parliament on the first day dressed in pure white, high collared, tunics and white sarong, looking very confident and smug. There was a readymade 100 days progamme. The ‘first hundred days in office’ is an American tradition this provides concrete evidence that USA was behind the regime change.  The Yahapalana hundred days however, were not successful. The Central Bank bond scam took place in the hundred days.

The regime change, it is suggested, was initiated by India, through its National Security Advisor, Ajit Doval. It is Doval, apparently, who persuaded Maithripala Sirisena to defect, and united the Opposition and the minorities against Mahinda Rajapaksa. ‘He was here in November 2014.’ The motivation, apparently, was the docking of a Chinese submarine at the Colombo Port without Colombo informing India first. Doval’s role, it appears is not well known. It is not possible to accept this statement. This is probably a red herring. It is far more likely that regime change was masterminded by USA. The first visitor to Sri Lanka after regime change was John Kerry, US Secretary of State, followed by a host of other top American officials.

It is now openly acknowledged that there is foreign interference in Sri Lanka politics. The Jathika sangha Sammelanaya stated at a press conference in 2012 that international conspiracies were being hatched to undermine the sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka. In 2014, President Rajapaksa observed that    certain powerful nations with vested interests  were trying to destabilize   countries by installing   puppet leaders as head of state. Survival  today  depends on being awake to such conspiracies by the west said Kamal Wickremasinghe. A reader wrote to Island  in 2011to say that Western powers are out to destabilize government because our President refused to bow down to their pressure to stop the war on LTTE.

It is now believed that the Yahapalana regime change was a foreign conspiracy, said Ven. Muruttetuwe Ananda in 2015.  People say this country is now ruled by America, he said. The methods used to oust Rajapakse are the methods America uses to achieve regime change and install governments loyal to it. They include charges of human rights violation, corruption, waste, abuse of power and family bandyism with full media backing, said Dinesh Gunawardene.  Rajapaksa said the US had spent nearly 650 million dollars to get him out. However, one voter said  in a letter to the editor,  that  it is an insult to the 62 lakhs who voted against Rajapaksa, to say that the election was a ‘foreign engineered one’.

The regime  change was carried out, under instruction from the West by   carefully selected groups of persons. President Sirisena had signed agreements with 49 organizations when he was selected as the Presidential candidate. We do not know the names of   these 49 organizations. That is secret. But the existence of these NGOs is now confirmed. In May 2017 the SLFP spokesman said on television that President Sirisena had consulted the NGOs that had helped him to come to power, before deciding on a cabinet shuffle.

This NGO group would definitely have included the CIA funded anti-Sri Lanka NGOs. These CIA funded anti-Sri Lanka NGOs, would have been part of the inner ‘regime change brigade’. In addition, new NGOs were created to act as a front and bring in the votes. These new NGOs probably did not know what they were supporting. Yahapalana government   also frankly admitted that it ‘had an understanding’ with the Tamil National Alliance and the Janata Vimukti Peramuna, about supporting Sirisena at his election.  The  sheep-like Tamil block vote helped Sirisena come to power and Sirisena was grateful. ‘ I have gone to Jaffna 11 times in 22 months as President.  About 90% of the Tamils in Jaffna voted for me. We are building houses for them and giving them back their land,’ said Sirisena in 2016.

Lawyers played an important role in this ‘regime change’, not as individuals but as a body. Rajapakse charged that some office bearers of the Bar Association had played a major role in toppling him. Chandraprema observed that the President of the BASL played a major role in the regime change project of 2015  and was amply compensated with a plum office,  that of Chairman, Board of Investment.

 

A carefully orchestrated anti-Muslim movement played an important role in the election. The Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) engaged in various highly publicized activities which earned them the label of ‘mad monks’. In 2014 there was a monk led lynch mob,   monks rampaging through the streets and monks invading ministries. TV showed Ven. Watareka Vijitha of the BBS   running away from his pursuers. Alutgama anti-Muslim riot, which got immediate international publicity, also took place in 2014.   These anti Muslim campaigns of the BBS brought incidents that would otherwise have been provincial news into the national and international spotlight.

This sudden anti –Muslim fervor is just an excuse to create trouble in Sri Lanka. It is definitely a part of the international conspiracy against Sri Lanka, said Chandraprema.  There is no need for Buddhist monks to target minorities. USA and EU know that they cannot attack the country from without. Their earlier strategies failed so now they are using Buddhist monks.  BBS whipped up hysteria against Muslims and also said President Rajapakse is not looking after the Buddhists. There was a sudden decrease of activity once Yahapalana came in. That shows who their real master is, said Political Watch.  These groups were formed by the western powers to destabilize the Rajapakse government.

Chandraprema stated that the BBS had links with Jathika Hela Urumaya and the JHU was associated with the BBS campaign against Rajapakse. President Rajapakse said in an interview with Ceylon Today in April 2015 that  said that when the cabinet discussed the BBS, ( before the elections, ) Champika Ranawake went berserk and demanded not to lay hands on the BBS or any other organizations that were mushrooming at the time. (Daily News 7.8.13 p 4;,See also https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/champika-the-ultra-nationalist-hardliner-shows-signs-of-mellowing/)

The Weliweriya   incident of 2013, over contaminated water, also had similar overtones.  Shenali Waduge observes that the Weliweriya water issue had been under discussion for some time, it was nothing new. When the same people gang up together and come up with the same set of notions joined by the US embassy then you wonder whether there is something more than merely protesting over water, she said.  It was said that the sangha were instigating the commotion. However, she pointed out that the protesters were carrying petrol bombs and  swords which shows that it was not a peaceful assembly.   Weliweriya was an attempt to create a ‘Sri Lanka Spring’ like the ‘Arab Spring’ uprising.

The Sirisena victory raised expectations. “Yahapalanaya” was a concept, a vision, a promise for a better tomorrow, an assurance extended to a despairing public, a last straw that disillusioned millions collectively clutched at, said Anura Gunasekera. The  Yahapalanaya agenda included the restoration of genuine democracy, re-engineering of the economy and the curtailment of wasteful expenditure, total freedom of expression for the press and other dissenters, without fear of official reprisal as a response to the exposure of unpalatable truths, restitution of denied rights to the minorities and the implementation of measures for genuine reconciliation, the impartial investigation of allegations of mega –corruption of the previous regime and the re-investigation of serious crimes, especially politically motivated murder, shelved or otherwise sanitized by the Rajapaksa regime.

Krishantha Prasad Cooray, Roman Catholic, said I felt immense satisfaction for having been part of the effort that brought about the spectacular victory. But more than that, it was a sense of relief and hope. Things would be better because things would be different. I told myself that a powerful few will no longer be able to impose their will on the people. Sri Lanka would move away from the dictatorial regime marked by corruption, the politics of patronage, nepotism and waste. Sri Lanka would turn a new leaf and ensure good governance where no one will be above the law and nepotism will give way to meritocracy.”

Krishantha continues We were going to be living in a democratic country where there is rule of law, where rights are protected, and where the judiciary is independent. There would be development that was sensible, the economy would be managed prudently and it would benefit the general citizenry and not a few individuals and cronies bent on bankrupting the country. No more wastage of public funds, no more kick-backs, no further bloating of the public service and no excessive borrowings. There is freedom of speech and freedom even after the speech. No one is shot in the dead of night, no one is abducted. The President and the Prime Minister have demonstrated their vision and courage.  Don Manu said   Ranil Wickremasinghe had ‘the strength of ten and the whole of the Parliament put together because his conscience is pure’. 

But this euphoria did not last long. Admirers of Yahapalana soon found that the government was not delivering what it had promised. Before the election, everybody was going to vote for ‘Hansaya’ deserting Rajapakse. They announced this proudly in buses and trains. After the election you could not find anybody who had voted for Sirisena. One supporter said the social media campaign and youth involvement had made a huge impression on her at the Presidential election. But she is now disillusioned. There is now a deep groundswell of dissatisfaction, discontent and disillusionment with the present, combined with deep unease about the future, said Sinharaja Tammita Delgoda. Two years ago everyone I met said they had voted for a change, for Yahapalanaya, for  ‘Good Governance’ . Now I can hardly find anyone who says that they did , he said.

The audience at Yahapalana meetings, shown daily on TV, have glum, unsmiling faces. Whether it is an opening ceremony at a temple,graced by the President, a  meeting to  distribute land deeds,  a village political meeting, or the May Day rally at Getambe, 2017, the Yahapalana    audience is with long faces. They look fed up and disbelieving. In contrast, those at the Mahinda Rajapakse rallies are waving and cheering like at a pop star rally, despite the fact that Rajapaksa  is no longer  in power.

The public is concerned about the present state of government .  I have been travelling on intercity buses for decades. The intercity bus usually plays music on the journey. The two buses on which I travelled up and down to Kandy in January 2017, played the news broadcasts, not music. No one protested.

Some NGOs  have started to get restless.  A group of civil society activists said the Yahapalana government was pursuing an agenda extremely inimical to the national economy. Having campaigned for restoration of democracy and accountability, the government was causing unbearable losses to the economy. The electorate hadn’t voted out the previous government for the new rulers to continue same policies. Earlier the Rajapakse robbed, now  Yahapalana is ‘robbing the country in a different manner’they said.

The ‘Anti Corruption Front’   held a media conference in January 2017  and said they did not agree with several of the Yahapalana actions. Having campaigned for Yahapalana they are now deeply embarrassed. They had never expected Yahapalana to support shady deals. They said that the government was acting contrary to the mandate it had received at the January election. The ‘main speaker’   had prudently  left the conference before the press could ask him why his NGO had, in the first place,  backed a well organized project involving western powers and the TNA to defeat Rajapaksa.

There is no Yahapalana, said Razeen Sally.”Governance is back to where it was bad to mediocre, rife with corruption and nepotism.” It was ‘Yama palanaya’ not Yahapalana said the public. There is no strong leadership, Rajapakse was a strong leader, they said..’ N.A. de S Amaratunge said, under Rajapakse, we had corruption and nepotism but also development, under Yahapalana there is rampant corruption and nepotism but no development.

Ven. Maduluwawe Sobitha, head of the NGO ‘National movement for social Justice”, gave tremendous leadership to President Sirisena’s campaign and helped him to win. He was a highly visible, highly vocal supporter of Yahapalana.  But when he saw what Yahapalana government was doing, Sobitha turned against the government. Maduluwawe Sobitha had the ability to bring down the Yahapalana government speedily. He could have done it single handed. But before he could do so, he died.

Within a week of starting his anti-Yahapalana programme, Sobitha was taken ill, and died abroad at Mount Elizabeth Hospital, Singapore. Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka   who had been associating with him was surprised as Sobitha did not seem that ill. The ‘National movement for social Justice” called for an impartial probe into Ven. Sobitha’s death. A medical team appointed by the Chief Magistrate, Colombo,   looked at the local medical records. The Singapore hospital did not send their records. The team accepted the cause of death given in Singapore, saying it was in keeping with the clinical features of Sobitha’s illness. The team stated that there was no evidence of negligence.

The leading figures in the Yahapalana government rapidly lost their popularity. The very first request, once the Right to Information Act was gazetted was from Transparency International, Sri Lanka requesting information on the assets and liabilities of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe.  Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said this move was an insult and ridicule to the two leaders who made immense sacrifices to bring in good governance to the country.

The leading political personalities of Yahapalana seem to be the most unpopular.  YouTube presentation titled ‘Traitors of Mother Lanka’ includes Mangala Samaraweera, Ravi Karunanayake and Ranil Wickremasinghe. Ada Derana news of 16.3.17 said that the leading names in the top ten corruptions was Ranil, Malik and Ravi.  In 2016 Joint Opposition lodged a complaint with CIABOC (Committee to Investigate allegations of Bribery and Corruption) against Ranil Wickremasinghe and was planning to do so against Ravi Karunanayake too.

Ranil  Wickremesinghe  who wass Prime Minister of Sri Lanka  from 7 May 1993 to 19 August 1994 and from 9 December 2001 to 6 April 2004 was described as a ‘menace to this country’. Ranil’s first cousin Rajiva Wijesinha, had said, it appears, on TV that Ranil was a slimy crook” and “a disgrace to his grandparents”. Sri Lankans in Australia held a protest during Ranil Wickremasinghe’s visit to Melbourne in February 2017.

Malinda Seneviratne observed that the most serious human rights violations took place in the 1980s, with over 60,000 people being killed in the course of two years. It was a time marked by proxy arrests, abduction, torture and assassination and dubbed ‘bheeshanaya’. Ranil Wickremasinghe was a minister then, said Malinda. ‘It is hard to claim that Ranil has no blood on his hands.’

Ranil signed the Ceasefire Agreement of 2002. This CFA was the greatest betrayal of the country, said critics, the agreement equated LTTE to the legally constituted armed forces   and its officers was asked to shake hands with the LTTE and discuss peace. While there were 3000 odd violationd of the CFA, the army had to look the other way.

Prime Minister Wickremasinghe has openly called for Sri Lanka’s economy to be linked with five South Indian states including Tamilnadu,  He is giving India a large foothold in Trincomalee and the island’s North in general, through highway building and economic projects. He is also hell-bent on signing ETCA which will allow greater penetration of the whole Sri Lankan economy by India. I have not heard of nor can I think of a worse act of treachery by any Sri Lankan leader nor indeed any leader anywhere in the world today, and possibly during my lifetime, said Dayan Jayatilleke.

During Eelam War IV Ravi Karunanayake ridiculed the army, saying it was going to Medawachchiya and Pamankada and not Kilinochchi or Alimankada. Karunanayake had been charged in court with helping Raj Rajaratnam invest money in an irregular manner. Critics observed that the Colombo High Court in May 2015 discharged him due to a defect in the indictment.  The Attorney General should file a fresh indictment. At the concert by Trini Lopez in July 2016, the audience had ‘jeered loudly’ when it was announced that Ravi Karunanayake was in the venue as the chief guest.

Namini Wijedasa reported that Ravi Karunanayake’s name had come up frequently in the investigations she carried out on the Central Bank bond scam.  The presidential commission of inquiry relating to the Central Bank bond scam revealed that Ravi Karunanayake had been present at a CEO meeting of primary dealers at the Central Bank. He had attended such  meetings previously too. Karunanayake openly stated that the Mahendran family has been ‘family friends for years’.  Karunanayake questioned the bond scam. ‘Tell us where the loss is’, he asked.

Karunanayake’s policies and decisions as Finance minister were criticized and challenged. The Customs Department was having a continuing battle with Karunanayake over the new Customs Ordinance and other matters.  Karunanayake retaliated. He carried out a midnight-inspection of the Sri Lanka Customs in March 2017.  The Customs officials at the two container yards at Orugodawatta were surprised by this unexpected visit. Karunanayake then went to the Customs Headquarters and at that late hour   ‘discussed the problems faced by the Customs officers in discharging their duties’. Minister told the media that importers had complained of delay at the Customs. ‘Consequently, we chose to engage in an inspection tour at a slack time of this nature. We observed that the customs is progressing very well.’

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake made surprise visits to several super markets in Colombo on April 9 to ascertain whether they maintain standard commodity prices.We engaged in a similar surprise visit to Colombo wholesale market recently and, enquired about prices of consumer goods in the market. Later we worked out how much should be the price of each item when it reaches the retail outlets. During this visit, we came to know that not only the ordinary retail shops but also super markets sell goods at lower prices,” the minister said.

A  Foreign Minister is expected to defend and advance the nation’s interests robustly and with quiet dignity, He is expected to represent the country’s best interests with fortitude and quiet pride.  Mangala Samaraweera instead is seen genuflecting the west at every opportunity, said critics. From the time he assumed office, Mangala Samaraweera  has denigrated the previous leadership of the country before his Western counterparts, Badmouthing a previous leadership who could return to power at some point, is not in the country’s best interests. Dayan Jayatilleka said that Samaraweera poses an existential threat to the State’s sovereignty and security, and gravely jeopardizes political stability and governability.”

 

Minister Samaraweera was hosted  at a function by the Sri Lankan consul  in Los Angeles after attending the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly in New York in 2016.About 200 residents from Southern California were present at the event. Minister Samaraweera, dressed in open shirt while the invitation called for formal attire.  Notably absent were Buddhist monks from the local Sri Lankan temples. In contrast to other Sri Lankan leaders who from time to time have addressed the expatriate community here, Mr. Samaraweera, speaking for about 20 minutes, solely in English, did not have one good thing to say about Sri Lanka from independence to present.  he painted a grim picture of a country that couldn’t evolve,” a nation, contrary to the promise shown when it became independent, is still struggling to move forward.”

 

Now, after sliding for almost 70 years, Sri Lanka has finally caught a break according to the minister.  There’s hope in the horizon with a new vision for democratization and development” being pursued by his government which came to power in 2015. All the countries are coming forward to help us,” he declared. he said the government will take measures to make it easier for foreign investors to do business in the island as well as for foreign nationals to buy land. the government felt it important to show the world” its commitment to reconciliation by cosponsoring the Geneva Resolution (Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1).

John Amaratunga was jeered, hooted and forced to leave after he laid a foundation stone for a Tamil medium school at Oliyamulla, Wattala in August 2016. The public protested that they wanted a playground not a school. Amaratunga had to be escorted through the back door as the irate villagers turned aggressive. They burnt a banner with photo of Amaratunga and stoned the vehicle of a former Provincial Councilor who was also there at the time.

There is  rising anti-government feeling. A heated situation had arisen at the opening of a bus-station in Moragahahena area, Horana in October 2016. Work on this project had commenced during the Rajapakse regime under the initiation of the then MP Vidura Wickramanayaka.  The building was completed and Minister Champika Ranawaka had been invited to open it. About half hour before he arrived, the former MP came and declared open the bus station.

Biyagama multipurpose building at Mawaramandiya was due to be opened by the Yahapalana government in November 2016. The public stated that it this had been built during the time of President Mahinda Rajapakse. They removed the plaque and replaced it with a   new plaque which bore the name of Mahinda Rajapakse. The building was   prematurely ‘opened ‘by former chairman of Biyagama pradeshiya sabha. TV news showed them coming in accompanied by a cheering public. When the government representative spoke the   audience hooted and jeered. A playground created by Presdient Rajapaksa in 2014 in Bandaragama had been kept closed by Yahapalana.  In 2017,  the Joint Opposition  led by Kumara Welgama  opened it.

At the Anamaduwa cooperative society election in March 2017,   Joint Opposition got 180 seats, UNP 18 with SLFP (Sirisena faction) and the JVP getting none. At an Economic Forum  attended by 200 corporate executives,   in the same month, when  they called for a show of hands of those who thought that Sri Lanka was “on the right track, not a single hand was raised, though the call was made twice.

Yahapalana seems unable to get anything right and after two years in power they have very little to show for it, said Ryp van Winkle. There is no other government that has deteriorated to this level so   rapidly in the post independent Sri Lanka said critics.  Ryp Van Winkle     advised in January 2017, ‘some at least of the   6.2 million who voted for you, Maithri, are not very happy. Most of the time we are confused about what your government is doing and who is the boss. There is hardly any development that we can see. I do not know what your plan is for the next three years but it better be different to the last two.

හීන තිබුනට කෝටියක්… අතේ නෑ එක රුපියලක්….

July 15th, 2017

තේජා ගොඩකන්දෙආරච්චි

මෑතකදී පොළොන්නරුවේ පැවති උත්සවයකදී, ජනාධිපති මෛත්රීපාල සිරිසේන සුපුරුදු පරිදි අනාගත කාලයට වලංගුවන පරිදි කතාවක් කලේය. කුමන අභියෝග ආවත් මාතෘභූමිය සහ ආණ්ඩුව ඉදිරියට ගෙන යන බවයි. මාතෘ භූමිය කෙසේ වෙතත් ආණ්ඩුව නම් කෙසේ හෝ ඉදිරියට ගෙනයාම පිලිබඳ අප විචිකිච්ඡාවක් තබා නොගත යුතුය. රටේ මෙපමන ප්රශ්න තිබියදී යලිත් වරක් ඇමතිවරු, නියෝජ් ඇමතිවරු සහ වෙනත් නිළතල දරන අය වෙනුවෙන් වාහන කිහිපයක් ගැනීමටත්, නිවෙස් අලුත්වැඩියාවටත් තවත් රුපියල් කෝටි ගණනාවක මුදල් පරිපූරක ඇස්තමේන්තුවක් මගින් වෙන් කලේ ආණ්ඩුව ඉදිරියට ගෙනයාමේ ක්රියාවලියේ එක් අදියරක් වශයෙන් බව පැහැදිලිය. පසුගිය දිනවල, රජය පාර්ශ්වයෙන් 18 දෙනෙකු මහින්ද පාර්ශ්වයට එකතුවන බවත්, ඇමතිවරු 8 දෙනෙකු හිටපු ජනාධිපතිවරයා සමග සාකච්ඡා කල බවටත් පුවත් පලවිය. සමහරවිට මේ හදිසි පරිපූරක ඇස්තමේන්තුව මේ අය වෙනුවෙන් ලබාදෙන දොලපිදේනියක් විය හැකිය.

 

කුමක් හෝ සිත් බිඳීමක් මත ජනාධිපති ලේකම්වරයා සිය පදවියෙන් ඉල්ලා අස් වූ විට, වෙනුවට නැගෙනහිර පලාත් ආණ්ඩුකාරවරයාව සිටි ඔස්ටින් ප්රනාන්දු පත්කර ගැනීමට ජනාධිපතිවරයා කටයුතු කලේය. ඔහු 2001 – 2004 දක්වා කාලය තුල රනිල් වික්රමසිංහ රජයේ ආරක්ෂක ලේකම්වරයාව සිටි තැනැත්තාය. ඔහුගේ එම සේවා කාලය ඇතුලත ඔහු විසින් සිදුකල, ජනතා අවධානයට ලක්වූ කාර්යභාරයන් අතර ප්රධානතම කාර්යය වන්නේ අතුරුගිරියේ මිලේනියම් සිටි නිවාස සංකීර්ණයේ නිවසක පවත්වාගෙන ගිය යුද හමුදා බුද්ධි අංශය පාවාදීමයි. එතුලින්ආරක්ෂක ලේකම්වරයාලෙස තම විෂය පථය පිලිබඳව ඔහු තුල තිබූ දැනුම සහ පරිණතභාවයේ තරම මැනවින් ප්රදර්ශනය කලේය. ශ්රී ලංකා ගුවන් හමුදාවේ හෙලිකොප්ටර් යානයකින් කොළඹ පැමින නාරාහේන්පිට ඇපලෝ රෝහලට ඇතුලත් වූ එල්ටීටීඊ නායකයෙකු බැලීමට ඇපල් මලු රැගෙන නෑ ගම් ගියේත්, ප්රභාකරන්ගේ උපන්දිනයට සොල්හයිම් නම් සාම නියෝජිතයා අතේ රිවෝල්වරයක් තෑගි ලෙස යැව්වේත් මොහුය. පසුගිය සමයේ මොහුගේ රුව අපේ මතකයේ රැඳුනේ නැගෙනහිර පැවති උත්සවයකදී පලාත් සභා මහ ඇමතිවරයා විසින් පලාත භාර නාවික හමුදා නිළධාරියාට ඉතා නින්දිත ආකාරයෙන් බැණ වදිත්දී, හරියට පුංචි පුතාගේ හුරතලයක් නරඹන තාත්තා කෙනෙකු මෙන් සිනාවෙවී බලාසිටි ආකාරයෙනි. සමහරවිට ජනාධිපතිවරයා ගෙනයන ඊනියා සංහිඳියා ක්රියාදාමයට මේවා ගෝචර විය හැකි වුවත් දිනෙන් දින තමාට ලංකර ගන්නේ මොන ආකාරයේ ධාරිතාවක් හා පෞරුෂයක් සහිත පුද්ගලයින්ද කියා අවබෝධයක් නැති නායකයෙකු සිටින රටක ඉදිරි ගමන ගැන කුමන අපේක්ෂාවක්ද?

 

ජනවර්ග කිහිපයක් ඇති රටක මේ ජනවර්ග අතර සාමකාමී බවක් නොමැතිව රටක් ඉදිරියට ගෙනයාම කල නොහැක්කක් බව එදාටත්, අදටත් එකසේ වලංගු සත්යයකි. එම ජනවර්ග කිහිපයටම එක හා සමානව සැලකීම පාලකයාගේ යුතුකමය. මහජාතියට වැඩිපුර සලකමින් සුලු ජාතීන් කොන් කිරීම සුදුසු නොවන්නා සේම සංහිඳියාවටය කියමින් සුලු ජාතිය සතුටු කරනුවස් ඔවුනට වැඩි වරප්රසාද දෙමින් මහජාතිය නොසලකා හැරීමද අනුමත කල නොහැක. මීට උදාහරණ ඕනෑ තරම් දිය හැකිය. උතුරේ සහ දකුණේ පොලිසිය සම්බන්ධවීම නිසා සිදුවන සිද්ධීන්හිදී පොලිසිය හැසිරෙන ආකාරය, පසුගිය වසරේ  යාපනය විශ්ව විද්යාලයේ ඇතිවූ සිසු ගැටුම් හා දකුණේ සරසවි සිසුන් සම්බන්ධව අනුගමනයකල ක්රියා මාර්ගයන් මෙන්ම කිලිනොච්චි වෙළඳ සංකීර්නය ගිනිගත් පසු වන්දි ලබා දුන් ආකාරය සහ දකුණේ සිදුවන ආපදාවන්හිදී ජනතාවට සලකන ආකාරය මෙවැනි අවස්ථාවන්ය. නමුත් සැබැවින්ම මේවා සිදුවනුයේ ජනතාව නොව එම නායකයන් සතුටු කිරීමටයි. අද අපේ ජාතිකත්වය හැඳින්වෙන්නේශ්රී ලාංකිකයනුවෙනි. එබැවින් ශ්රී ලාංකික ජනතාවගේ සුභසිද්ධිය තකා යමක් කරන්නේ නැතිව, ජන කොටසක් ඇපයට තබාගෙන තම බලය පවත්වාගන්නට කටයුතු කරන නායකයන් සැනසීමට ක්රියා කිරීම තුල හෙලිදරව් වන්නේ තම බලය පවත්වා ගැනීම පිනිස එම නායකයන්වද, ඔවුන් හරහා එම ජනතාවද යොදා ගැනීමේ කතන්දරය සහ රටට මෙන්ම සෑම ජන කොටසකටමත් සංහිඳියාවේ නාමයෙන් ඔවුන් කරන වංචාවයි.

 

අතර නැගෙනහිර පලාත සඳහා අලුතෙන් පත්කල ආණ්ඩුකාරවරයා වන රෝහිත බොගොල්ලාගමට නව වාහනයක් ගැනීමටද අලුත්ම පරිපූරක ඇස්තමේන්තුවේ මුදල් වෙන්ව ඇත. මෙහි අදහස හිටපු ආණ්ඩුකාරවරයා වූ ඔස්ටින් ප්රනාන්දුට නිළ වාහනයක් නොතිබුනා කියාද? නැතිනම් ඔහු තම නිළ වාහනය ගෙදර අරන් ගියාද? දෙකම නොවේ නම් ජනාධිපතිගේ සිතැඟි පරිදි පත් කරනු ලබන ඕනෑම පලාත් සභා ආණ්ඩුකාරවරයෙකුට සැම අවස්ථාවකම අලුතින් පුද්ගලික වාහනයක් දෙනවා කියන එකද?

 

ජනාධිපති, අගමැති හෝ වෙනත් ඇමතිවරයෙකුගේ අවශ්යතාව පරිදි මෙසේ අලුතින් පත්වන අයටද අලුතින්ම වාහන ගැනීමට අවශ්යවීම වටහාගත නොහැකිය. වත්මන් රජයේ ඇත්තන්ට වැළඳී තිබෙන රථගාය වෙන කවරදාටත් වඩා බරපතල බව අලුත් කතාවක් නොවේ. නමුත් මෙතරම් අසාධ් තත්වයක්? තමාට කලින් එම ධුරය දැරූ තැනැත්තා ගිය වාහනයේ යාමට නොහැකි තරමේ අසාත්මිකතාවයක්ද මෙම රථගායේ රෝග ලක්ෂණවලට ඇතුලත්ව ඇත්තේ ජනතාවගේ අවාසනාවටය. ඉතින් මේ රෝගයට වෙදකම් නොකර රට ඉදිරියට ගෙන යනවාය කියා කයිවාරු ගැසීම ශෝචනීය විහිලුවකි. මින්පසු මැති ඇමතිලාට වාහන ගැනිලි නැතැයි ජනාධිපතිවරයා පැවසුවේ නොබෝදාය. මෙය වඩාත් බරපතල වන්නේ මේ පරිපූරක ඇස්තමේන්තුවට අදාල රථය පමනක් නොව තවත් ජාති කිහිපයක් ඇතුලත් වීමය. හරියට ගෙදර නෝනා සීනි කිලෝවක් ගන්නටය කියා සුපර් මාකට්එකට ගොස් තව ඕනෑ එ්වාත්, එපා එ්වාත් මිලදී ගෙන අතේ තියන තුට්ටුව නාස්ති කරන්නාක් මෙනි. පරිපූරක ඇස්තමේන්තු කෙරුවාව මෙලෙසය. අරණායක, කොස්ගම, මීතොටමුල්ල ආපදාවලින් විපතට පත් වූවන්ට නිසි සහනයක් සැලසී ඇත්ද? උමා ඔය ව්යාපෘතිය නිසා උන්හිටි තැන් අහිමිවන ජනතාවට කුමක් සිදුවනු ඇත්ද? අලි මදිවාට හරක් කිව්වා සේ අප පරිසර ඇමතිවරයා වන ජනාධිපතිගේ නියෝගයෙන් උමා ඔය ව්යාපෘතියෙන් විපතට පත් ජනතාවට සහන සැපයීම සඳහා පත්කල කමිටුවේ සභාපතිවරයා, නිල්ගල වනය විනාශ කිරීම සම්බන්ධව වැරදිකරු වී මාස 06 සිර දඬුවමක් අවුරුදු 7 අත්හිටුවා ඇති පුද්ගලයෙකි. මෙසේ පුද්ගලයන් ගැන තක්සේරු කරන ගමන් රට ඉදිරියට ගෙන යාමක් පිලිබඳව ජනතාවට චිත් ඇඳ පෙන්වීම කෙසේ සාධාරණීකරනය කරන්නද?

 

2009 වසරේ හා 2017 වසරේ සිදුවූ ඩෙංගු අසාදනයන් සහ ඩෙංගු මරණ සංඛ්යාව සන්සන්දනය කල සෞඛ් ඇමතිවරයා පවසන්නේ එදාට වඩා දැන් තත්වය හොඳ බැවින් ලෝක සෞඛ් සංවිධානය ශ්රී ලංකාවට ප්රශංසා කරන බවයි. නමුත් වෛද්යවරුන් පවසන පරිදි මේ වන විට ඩෙංගු අසාදිත සංඛ්යාව 100,000 ඉක්මවා ගොස් ඇති අතර සංඛ්යා ලේඛණ යාවත්කාලීන වීමද නැවතී ඇත. ජුලි 11 වන දා දැක්වුන පුවතක කියැවුනේ ලෝක සෞඛ් සංවිධානයෙන් පත්කල විදේශීය වෛද්යවරුන් සිව් දෙනෙකුගෙන් යුතු කමිටුවක් විසින් ශ්රී ලංකාවේ මාසයක කාලයක් කල සංචාරයකින් පසුව රට තුල ඩෙංගු පැතිරීම 50% න් අඩු කිරීම සඳහා වන නිර්දේශ ඇතුලත් වාර්තාවක් සෞඛ් ඇමතිවරයාට භාරදුන් බවයි. මෙතැන කාරණා දෙකක් තිබේ. එක, ලෝක සෞඛ් සංවිධානය තමන්ට ප්රශංසා කරන බව සෞඛ් ඇමතිවරයා පාර්ලිමේතුවේදී පවසන වකවානුවේත් මේ වෛද් කණ්ඩායම පෙර සඳහන් අධ්යයනයේ යෙදී සිටි බවත්, දෙක, මේ අධ්යයනය සඳහා වෛද්යවරුන් පිටරටින් ගෙනෙන්නට සිදුවූයේ අප රටේ ඩෙංගු මර්ධනය සඳහා ක්රම සහ විධි දන්නා වෛද්යවරුන් නැති නිසාද, එසේ නම් ලෝක සෞඛ් සංවිධානය ශ්රී ලංකාවේ සෞඛ් ක්ෂේත්රයට ප්රශංසා කරන්නේ මොන පදනමකින්ද යන කරුණුය. ඔවුන් මේ අධ්යයනය කරන කාලයේ රටේ ගොඩ ගැසෙන කසල කඳු නොදැක්කාද? එය එසේ වූයේ ඇයි කියා විමසා බැලුවාද?  ඩෙංගු පැතිරීම යනු සංවර්ධනයේ ලක්ෂණයක් ලෙස දකින සෞඛ් ඇමතිගේ රෙකමදෝරුව නිසා රට පුරා කසල ගොඩ ගැසී කුණු ගඳ හැමීමද සංවර්ධනයේ නිර්ණායකයක් ලෙස දේශය පාලනය කරන ඇත්තන්ට පෙනී යාම පුදුමයක් නොවේ. මේ වසර දෙක තුල සිදුවී ඇති පුදුම එලවන සංවර්ධනය ගැනත් ඉදිරියට තමන් රට රැගෙන යන්නට අපේක්ෂා කරන ඉසව් ගැනත් අපේ රටේ පමනක් නොව පිටරට ඇති සමුලුවලදීද කයිවාරු ගසනු ඇත්තේ එබැවිනි. මේ බොරු කයිවාරු නැමති බිත්තිවලින් සැදුනු සිහින මාලිගා තුල සිට තමන්ට ජාත්යන්තරය ජයගත හැකියැයි මොවුන් කියනවා නම් කියන්නට ඇත්තේ ජාත්යන්තරයද හිස් බොරුවේම කොටස්කරුවන් වන බවය.

 

රටේ පරිසරය දිනෙන් දින වැනසී යන්නේ වන සම්පත් විනාශය, ජල දූෂණය, අනවසර ඉදිකිරීම් සහ හා සම්බන්ධ ක්රියාකාරකම් ආදිය නිසාය. මේවාට ආම්පන්න සපයන්නේ දේශපාලයන්ය. කෘෂිකර්මාන්තය මේ වන විට මිනී පෙට්ටියකට දමා ඇති අතර, ඉතිරිව ඇත්තේ පියන වසා ඇණ ගැසීම පමනි. කඳුකර තේ ඉඩම් එකින් එක හෝටල් කර්මාන්ත සඳහා පවරන විට තේ වගාවටද කණකොකා හඬනු ඇත. මෙතුල අනාථ බවට පත්වන වතු කම්කරුවන් නිසා අනාගතයේ තවත් අලුත් ප්රශ්නයක් ඇතිවිය හැකිය. පුරාවස්තු විනාශය ගැන ඇසෙන පුවත් නිමක් නැත. මේ පුරාවස්තු සිංහලද, දෙමළද, මුස්ලිම්ද යන කරුණ අදාල නොවේ. එතැන ඇති වැදගත්කම නම් පුරාවස්තු යනු දියුණු මානව ශිෂ්ඨාචාරයක සළකුණුය යන්නයි. මෙය වලක්වා ලීමට සංහිඳියාවේ අභිලාෂයන් බාධාවක් විය යුතු නොවේ.

 

දේශපාලකයන්ගේ අදූරදර්ශී සහ ආත්මාර්ථකාමී බව තුල දිනෙන් දින ඇතිවන, වැඩෙන ප්රශ්න එකින් එක ගැන සිතනවිට හදවතක් ඇති අයෙකුට වාවාගත හැකිද?

 

නමුත් මේ දේශපාලකයන්ට අනුව රට දිනෙන් දින දියුණුව කරා යන අතර අපේ රට විවිධ අංශයන්ගෙන් ආසියාවේ පලමු තැනට ගෙන එන බවට ජනතාව හමුවේ වපුරන හිස් වචනවලින් දෙන පොරොන්දුවලද නිමක් නැත. කණගාටුවට කරුණ නම් මේ කතන්දර අසාගෙන සිට අත්පොලසන් දීම සඳහා දක්කාගෙන හැකි ජනතාවක්ද තවමත් අප රටේ ඉතිරිව සිටීමයි.

 

අනිකුත් හීන කෙසේ වෙතත් ජනතාවට දැන් ඉතිරිව ඇත්තේ දැනට සිදුවේගෙන යන මේ විනාශයන් නතරවේවිද නැද්ද යන භයංකාර හීනයයි.

 

මේ වසරේ මැයි 1 වන දා ඒකාබද්ධ විපක්ෂයේ මැයි රැලියට ගාලු මුවදොර පිටියට ලක්ෂ ගණනින් ජනතාව එකතු වූයේ මෙවන් අපේක්ෂාවක් සිතේ දරාගෙන විය හැක. නමුත් ජුලි 10 වන දා බරපතල මූල් අපරාධ විමර්ශන ඒකකයට, පාර්ලිමේන්තු මන්ත්රී දිනේෂ් ගුණවර්ධන සමග පැමිනි හිටපු ජනාධිපතිවරයා අපූරු කතාවක් කීවේය. , තමා රජය පෙරලනවාය කීවේ මාස දෙකකින් නොවවෙසක්පෝය දෙකකින් බවය. මොවුන් මෙවැනි දේ පවසන්නේ ජනතාවගේ හැඟීම් විහිලුවට ගන්නා නිසාද, තුට්ටු දෙකට ලා සලකන නිසාද? පිලිතුර දන්නේ ඔහුම පමනි. තව වෙසක් පෝය දෙකක් යනවිට කොහොමත් රජය පෙරලන්නට කාලය හරිය. ඔවුන්ද ජනතාවගේ රිදුනු හැඟීම් සහ අපේක්ෂාවන් සමග මේ අයුරින් සෙල්ලම් කරන්නේ නම් තව වෙසක් පෝය දෙකකින් සිදුවන පෙරලියේදී වෙනත් විකල්පයක් ගැන සිතා බලන්නට ජනතාවට සිදුවනු ඇති.

 

කවුර කවුරුත් මතකයේ තබාගත යුතු කරුණක් වෙයි. එනම් දැන් අපේ රට යන ගමන් මග ඉදිරියේ ලෝකාන්තය බඳු ප්රපාතයන් ඇති බවයි. ජනාධිපතිවරයා පවසන පරිදි මේ ක්රමයට රට සහ රජය ඉදිරියටම ගියහොත්, තව වෙසක් පෝය දෙකකින් මහින්ද රාජපක්ෂලාට රජය පෙරලා දිනා ගන්නට රටක් ඉතිරිවේද යන්නයි.

“The Ben Emmerson affair”.

July 15th, 2017

By Noor Nizam – Convener “The Muslim Voice” July 13th, 2017.

I am NOT a sympathizer of the “YAHAPALANA” government, but I will not fail to commend the stand taken by our President Maithripala Sirisena and the Hon. Minister of Justice, Dr. Wijeydasa Rajapaksa.

THESE ARE INTERNATIONAL BEGGARS UNDER THE DISGUISE OF CALLING THEMSELVES UN SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND COUNTER TERRORISM WHO HAVE NO RIGHT TO CHALLENGE THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE AUTHORITY OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST REPUBLIC OF SRI LANKA WHOSE DECISION HAS ALREADY BEEN ANNOUNCED THAT SRI LANKA WILL NOT ALLOW FOREIGN JUDGES IN ANY PROBES IN SRI LANKA VIZ-A-VIZ THE  SO-CALLED UN GENEVA RESOLUTION TRYING TO MAKE A LIVING BY TRYING TO BULLY A SOVEREIGN STATE AND ONE OF THE OLDEST MEMBER OF THE FAMILY OF THE COMMONWEALTH.

Ben Emmerson is a suspected sexual assault criminal. The former senior counsel on the national child abuse inquiry in England and Wales in the UK, Ben Emmerson QC, quit the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse (IICSA) in September 2016.

He was paid £400,000-a-year in this post, when he was named in a BBC Newsnight programme after an inquiry worker revealed details of an alleged sexual assault in a lift.

As the counsel of (IICSA), Mr Emmerson was paid £1,700 a day and worked 240 days in the financial year 2015-16, adding up to £408,000. His role was to guide the panel through the evidence, including cross-examining witnesses.

The abuse inquiry, under the chairmanship of Prof Alexis Jay, which probed his criminal sexual assault on the inquiry worker, has repeatedly refused to release any further information about Emmerson’s departure.

Using his “high profile links” this culprit has been able to sweep his crime under the carpet of the “Rule of Law” in the UK and relinquished his post before been brought before the “Rule of Law” in September 2016.

HOW HE GOT THIS HIGH PROFILE ASSIGNMENT AGAINST SRI LANKA NEEDS A UN PROBE.

This fellow may claim to have the best knowledge and background on Human Rights and Counter Terrorism reading books or law suites, but he has to go to school to former Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa to really learn some practical knowledge and on the ground experience how to Counter Terrorism.

I am sure that his encounter with our Hon. Minister of Justice, Dr. Wijeydasa Rajapakse would have given him better lessons of proper Human Rights. I do not know why the Government allowed these types of scoundrels to enter Sri Lanka under the disguise of being a UN Rapporteur and try to show their long arm of using UN Resolutions, when our President Mathripala Sirisena has already resolved that NO FOREIGN JUDGES will be entertained in any of the so-called inquiries on our brave security forces these rascals are trying to set-in-motion through the UN Geneva Resolution.

I am NOT a sympathizer of the “YAHAPALANA” government, but I will not fail to commend the stand taken by our President Maithripala Sirisena and the Hon. Minister of Justice, Dr. Wijeydasa Rajapaksa who has stood his ground to tell these fellows that we in Sri Lanka mean real business when it comes to matters concerning our Security Forces, Ant-Terrorism and International Relations.

The conundrum about organic and conventional  food, and how to make it  safe and affordable.

July 14th, 2017

Chandre  Dharmawardana, Ottawa, Canada.

There are many toxic substances used in our food. Because every substance  is toxic when exceeded beyond certain limits, and these limits are quite low for many substances.

It is not just tobacco which is now well known as being dangerous, but the CEOs of tobacco companies have not been hauled into court. Perhaps equally important is the toxic effect of sugar, or meat eating, consuming “preserved foods” etc. But no labels are put on them. However,  public fear of “preservatives” in conventional food seems disproportionately  high, especially among the educated upper classes who may however be more prone to internet propaganda, who have the elitism to demand a choice of foods even in a world where Africa and parts of Asia are hungry. . The most common preservatives, namely  salt, sugar and fat are ignored and are of course  they are bad. Their effect is seen in the increasing obesity and cardio-vascular health of populations all over the world. But this is ignored, and people are concentrating on parts per billion traces of preservatives and pesticides”, following the lead of the California elite and its judiciary lead by people who have supermarkets filled with inexpensive food, and  now demand the right to have food which is 100 % safe and pure, natural  foods”. The vasha visha naethi rata” is a copy of the Califronia Elitist paradigm.

Let us take the view that:

” if a worm has eaten a into a papaw (papaya) or mango or any other fruit I think is a virtual guarantee that the fruit is not affected by any harmful chemical”.

If worms have eaten into a fruit or vegetable, and if there are insects, weevils, aphids, thrips,

(http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/14-001.htm), or signs of snail tracks, I would be very concerned.  Contaminated water can get in via the worm holes. Flies lay eggs in them. A fruit good for a worm is not  necessarily good for a human. The fruits may have been  grown  “organically” and human or animal feces (excreta) may have been used without  proper composting. If so, the  product may very well  contains  parasitic worms, E-Coli etc. Also, worms eat the fruit and their excrement may contain  toxins and allergens. Moulds and fungus growth are  likely near worm holes, and will affect sensitive consumers. We come to this question again, further below.

Here is a fairly common point of view which is fine for individual use, but may not be applicable on a wider scale:

“Also fruits grown using organic or natural fertilizer and allowed to ripen in due course (without making it ripen faster it by artificial means) are generally tastier, which is my experience”

This is what they tell you about preservatives. What are these preservatives? Ask what are the trace amounts of pesticides (not preservatives)  in Australian fruits, and you can that find out. But ask for details of what is in organic fruits or vegetables, and they have no information. It is the same problem with organic fertilizer. If you take it to the lab and get it analyzed  yourself, you find that they are quite contaminated. People want to buy fruits, even during winter and  as cheaply as possible. The market caters to this demand by providing fruit ripened “artificially”. In natural ripening, the plant produces the same chemical or a similar chemical to ripen the fruit. But most people cannot afford the fruits produced by the slow “natural” process. Naturally ripened fruit may get crushed in transport.

Here again  is a fairly common point of view which is fine for individual use, but may not be applicable on a wider scale:

“Also I seldom or never buy apples and other fruit imported from the West or Australia or New Zealand because of the preservatives used for preventing them rotting during long sea voyages. It is safer and tastier to consume fruits brought by a relative or friend from such a country since their traveling time is a matter of few days and therefore the fruits remain almost fresh having been purchased from markets or cultivators there”.

Fruits and vegetables, meat and fish are no longer shipped by sea route, at least for several decades;  in fact they are sent by air as it is cheaper than sending  by ship as the cost of harbour operations, refrigeration for the sea voyage etc., are  prohibitive.

Preservatives have been mentioned several times as if they are a danger.

What preservatives are one thinking of? Wax is used as the preservative for fruits, cucumbers etc.

Fruit farmers need a solution to protect their produce beyond the harvest season. Fruit wax is used as a preservative to keep apples, oranges, cucumbers, and other produce from going bad.  Fruit wax seals in moisture and such fruits taste better than unwaxed “organic” apples unless they are just plucked”. The wax seals in the flavours that enter  the nose when one eats the fruit. Waxes also make fruits look more attractive. Wax creates a shine and protection from browning. On average , produce that has  been waxed  will have a 50-60% longer shelf life.

Markets  claim that consumers prefer shiny waxed fruit, and in many cases it’s sprayed for cosmetic reasons rather than by necessity. But fruit wax can also prevent fungi from growing on produce. So certain food products that tend to grow mold quickly may get waxed  to lengthen shelf life. Waxing  makes the food safer for people who can be allergic to fungal growth on fruits.

If you are buying conventional non-organic fruit you need to be more concerned about pesticides than about wax and such preservatives. But fruits are washed thoroughly (and in a way better than you can do at home) mechanically before they are sprayed with wax. Now, some people have claimed that the wax may contain petroleum residues. But you can wash  off the wax with hot water.

Another example is fish. In Canada, the most fresh salmon is what is air-freighted from Chili (overnight), while the salmon caught in the  Atlantic or in Quebec take four days to come by train unless airlifted. It is well known that eating local food is not ecologically more optimal than transporting food from major producers (see the book  Just Food” by Prof. McWilliams for the detailed data.)

The argument about better taste is a common elitist argument of the upper classes who have enough food and now worry about choice.  But  the real problem of the food scientist is feeding  large areas of the world with famine, malnutrition,  and hunger,  coupled with exploding populations with poor education. If social planners and religious leaders cannot teach family planning to poor societies, we need to at least keep up the food production. The environment we live in is threatened by the billions of people who live on earth.   They cut down our forests and build homes, and depend on  mass agriculture to feed themselves. In reality we need to go to a higher level of technology where we return our  plantations and tea estates back to forests, and grow our food in food towers which use only a minimal  amount of land and water. In such grow towers   the water and the fertilizer, CO2 emitted etc.,  are  recirculated without release to the environment. As the tower is enclosed, no insects and pests can you hardly  need insecticides. You still need to control against viruses. Or, the alternative is,  we have to reduce the world population and its GREEDY elitist consumption patterns.

If  your friends brought  apples from Australia  or from Canada, they are not allowed to bring them in to an island country like Sri Lanka without fumigation  requirements – they have to be treated. Illegal importation can be disastrous to the fauna and flora of a country. Also, if  they bought the apples from a supermarket in Australia, then they  are no different from  what is imported legally to Sri Lanka from Australia. If they are imported from India,  beware of DDT  and worse things, even in tea or  in Neem products. If they are from Australia they are safe and probably freshly air-lifted.

Similarly, some people think that unpasteurized milk (containing bugs), or cheese containing worms, are safe “because there are worms”. Actually, unpasteurized milk is a leading cause of hospitalization in communities that insist on the basic human right” to drink unpasteurized milk or what ever they want.  Quack doctors  like “Doctor” Mercola are  against pasteurization, vaccination, fluoridation to prevent dental carries etc., as they want it all natural, or treated by their  own alternative products which cannot be sold  in pharmacies, so they use  the internet.

Here is a typical guide to dealing with fruits and vegetables. If they are claimed to be “organic”  I myself exercise MORE CAUTION because no body knows what is in them:

———————————————————————————————————————

Instructions for washing and checking fruits and vegetables for use at all certified caterers and food establishments:

(A document like this was prepared by me, together with more details of chemical analysis procedures,  in the 1970s for student use, when I was setting up the Food Science and Technology department at the Vidyodaya University, at which time I worked there as the Head of the Chemistry Dept. Here sections on chemical analysis  are removed and the common sense “washing” procedure is stated, and I have updated the preamble about “Keera” (leafy vegetables like Kankun, Mukunuvenna) ).

In the tropics, all fresh vegetables should be washed and cooked.  Many herbs are grown in unsanitary marshes and sold by “keera karayas” and street vendors. Of course, they are organic” since no pesticides  or fertilizers are used. They were  grown in Vanathamulla marshes some years ago and in the 1970s,  and now they have moved further out. Some “keera” is grown even now in Meethotamulla-like areas;  the “fertilizer” comes from the rotting  garbage and sewage via the  common water table. Such urban waste usually contains toxic heavy-metal (e.g., cadmium, lead, arsenic ) contamination.

Washing is mandatory, and  best done with a touch of baking soda and mechanical rubbing – the longer the better because vegetables grown along the road side or sold on the road side are contaminated with diesel and petroleum residues which are the main problem in Sri Lanka. Toxic leaded petroleum is still used in the country. If the fresh vegetable is to be consumed without cooking , wash with condis crystals (permanganate) and then thoroughly wash many times as amoeba and chigella  and such organisms are not killed  or removed even by boiling, let alone  simple washing, and they may be  found in all fruits and vegetables (irrespective of being  “organic” or otherwise) grown in the tropics. Obviously, fruits like banana are safe because they have an outer skin, if they are NOT insect or worm infested, or if their skin is not damaged allowing water and contaminants o get into the fruit.

Fresh Vegetables: check (a) type of Insect (b) location of Insect (c) methods of Inspection (d) Aphids and thrips (e) tropical worms, invisible worm eggs, weevils etc. The latter  have to be destroyed by boiling or by applying radiation. They are found on organic as well as conventional  fruits, but to a lesser extent in the latter. If fruits and vegetables have been in contact with with organic matter or  untreated (e.g., unchlorinated) water, they are very likely to contain E-Coli. We begin by looking at some vegetables which are not too familiar in Sri Lanka but found in Up-country.

Examine   solid , Cabbage, Articoke or similar sheath vegetables:: On the surface and lodged deep between the leaves.    Thoroughly wash and rinse prior to use. Make certain that leaves are attached and not falling off.

Arugula and similar leaf vegetables:  Check for thrips or leaf miner worms (indicated by trails), in the leaf curls and inside the leaf.

Asparagus: Thrips under triangle parts, along the stem, and in the tips at the top of the asparagus

Green Asparagus:  1. Shave down the tips located on the head  2. Remove the triangle parts along the side of the asparagus – ensure that the asparagus is smooth 3. Wash thoroughly

White Asparagus: Wash thoroughly before use; may have been grown in a soil rich in metal toxins, or in contaminated water. Those problems are more important than chemicals as the white asparagus is under the soil and less subject to sprayed chemicals.

Broccoli

Aphids, thrips, spider mites, or broccoli worm; some of these insects may appear brownish after parboiling process. Lodged in the floret head or at the base of the under-part area connecting the floret to the stem.

Florets: Fresh: Fresh broccoli, carefully check and wash stuff, mites possibly lodged in the florets

Frozen: safe,  as insects and bugs would be killed. Thaw and wash thoroughly. Mechanical action

and slight backing soda help to wash clean. Stems only: Wash thoroughly; Most frozen vegetables are

a safe, inexpensive alternative.

In general inspect the source of the product (i.e. in what locality  it is produced, what type of soil and likely contamination of soil and water, because plants absorb and ACCUMULATE toxins found in the soil and water, and that is much more important than the parts per billion glyphosate that may be on the skin of a banana ). So  inspect the product, then wash thoroughly with agitation and even a soapy detergent, backing soda etc.  Products from large organizations are likely to conform to regulations, while small private farmers do not usually conform to any regulations (even if it happens to be one of your “friends”), especially in countries like Sri Lanka and India.

Then, if these precautions have been taken,  the product being organic or not does not matter, and it can be consumed without worry. If you are willing to pay more, and if you are willing to hire a good cook, you get tastier fruit and vegetable. Food technology can make lousy food taste good because we know that “taste” is controlled by the influx of certain esters and polyphenols, sugars etc., by the nose and via the mouth.  They can be added to the food,  A good cook or a food scientist can make even lousy vegetables taste good! They are mere attachments and cravings.

Chandre  Dharmawardana, Ottawa, Canada.

වෛද්‍ය පීඨයට පා තැබූ නවකයෝ

July 14th, 2017

වෛද් රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග 

1986 දී වෛද්‍ය පීඨයට අප පය තැබුවේ නවක වධය පිළිබඳ යම් චකිතයකිනි. ඒ වන විට දේශීය විශ්ව විද්‍යාල වල තිබෙන නවක වධ පිළිබඳ විවිධ තොරතුරු අප අසා තිබුණි. මේ කාලයේදී මොරටුව සරසවියට ගිය මා මිත්‍ර  ප්‍රසන්න මීගම ඔහුට මුහුණ දීමට තිබූ අප්‍රසන්න නවද වධයන් ගැන මා සමග කීවේය​.   එසේම මැණික් මහවත්ත (කැලණිය විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය​) ඇයගේ අප්‍රසන්න නවක වධ  අත්දැකීම් කීවාය​. මේ හැර අප සමග මහජන පුස්තකාලයේ පාඩම් කල කොලඹ වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ බාලසූරිය තිබෙන්නාවූ නවක වධ ක්‍රම පිලිබඳ  කීවේය​.  ඒ අතර පෑන් ගැසීම නම් නවක වධයට බිය වීම නිසා රාමනාදන් ශාලාවේ උඩු මහලින් බිමට පැන ආබාධිත වූ රූපා රත්නසීලීගේ කතාව , නවක වධයේ නාමයෙන්  ඇනටමි ශාලාවේ මල මිනී අතර මිනියක් මෙන් වැතිර හිඳ සිසුවියක බිය කොට ඇයව මානසික ආබාධයකට ලක් කල සිදුවීම  , අළුත් සිසුන්ව  බලහත්කාරයෙන් නිරුවත් කරවීම වැනි සිද්ධීන් නිසා නවකයන් සිටියේ දෙගිඩියාවෙනි. 

මොස්කව් නගරයට පැමිණි ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සිසු සිසුවියන් නාඳුන පරිසරයකට පැමිනි නිසා අවිනිශ්චිතතාව හිස දරාගෙන සිටියහ.  මෙහෙත් නවක වධය තිබෙනවාද කියා සමහරු එකිනෙකාගෙන් ඇසූහ​. මොස්කව්හිදී එක් ලාංකික ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුවෙක් සෝවියට් විශ්ව විද්‍යාල වල නවක වධය නොමැති බව පවසා අපව අස්වැසුවේය​. ඉන්ද නොනැවතුනු ඔහු අපව මොස්කව් සිට යූක්‍රයීනය බලා යන රාත්‍රී දුම්රිය  එන තෙක් කීව්ස්කි දුම්රිය  ස්ථානයේ අප රැඳී සමග සිටියේය​.  නවකයන් සමග සෝවියට් උසස් අධ්‍යාපන දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවේ භාෂා පරිවර්තක තරුණියක්ද සිටියද මෙම ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුවා අප සමග සිටීම සිතට සහනයක් විය​. ඔහු තමන් ගේ වියදමින් අපට ඇපල් යුෂ බෝතල්ද මිලට ගෙන දුන්නේය​. රාත්‍රී දුම්රිය පැමිනි විට ඔහු අපට සුභ පැතීය​. අප වහ වහා දුම්රියට ගොඩ වූයෙමු. භාෂා පරිවර්තක තරුණිය එක් සිසුවෙකුට රූබල් තුන බැගින් දුන්නේ දුම්රියේ අතරමග වියදමටය​. එකල රූබල් තුනක් යනු විශාල මුදලකි. පාන් ගෙඩියක් කොපෙක් 25 ක් වූ අතර කිරි පයින්ට් එකක් කොපෙක් 22 විය​. ( රූබලයට කොපෙක් 100 කි)

මුළු රාත්‍රියේම  දුම්රිය  මහා වේගයකින් නොනවත්වාම ධාවනය විය​. අගෝස්තු මාසය වූවද සෝවියට් දේශයට අළුතින් පය තැබූ අපට තරමක් ශීත දැනුනි. ඒ නිසා බ්ලැන්කට් පොරවාගෙන අප නිදන මැදිරි වල ගුලි වී සිටියමු. 

අප අවධි වූයේ උදෑසන අටට පමණය​. නවකයන් වූ අප සිසු සිසුවියන් හත් දෙනා දුම්රියේ රෙස්තොරාන් මැදිරියට ගොස් උදෑසන ආහාරය ඇණවුම් කලෙමු. තැම්බූ බිත්තර දෙකක් , සොසේජස් , අර්තාපල් ඉස්ටුවක් සහ තේ කෝප්පයක් වේටර මවෙත ගෙනාවේය​. ඒ සඳහා මට වියදම් වූයේ රූබල් එකක් සහ කොපෙක් විස්සක් පමණි. අප අතර ද්‍රවිඩ සහ මුස්ලිම් සිසුන් ද සිටි නිසා සැම දෙනාටම සාධාරණය සඳහා අප ඉංග්‍රීසි බසින් කතා කලෙමු. යාපනයේ සිට පැමිනි වෝල්ටර් සහ සුන්දරී අරුලම්පලම් සිංහල වචනයක් වත් දැන සිටියේ නැත​. 

දහවල් වන විට දුම්රිය  විනිට්සා නගරයට සේන්දු වන බව දුම්රිය  නියාමක අපට කීවේ හස්ථ මුද්‍රාවෙනි. විනිට්සා නගරය පිහිටා තිබෙන්නේ කීව් නගරයට කිලෝ මීටර් 260 ක දුරිනි. මෙම නගරය 14 සියවසේ සිට පැවතෙන්නකි. මෙම නගරය ගැන වානේ පන්නරය ලැබුනු හැටි පොතේද සඳහන් වේ. එසේම දෙවන ලෝක යුද සමයේ හිට්ලර් නැගෙනහිර යුරෝපය පාලනය කිරීම සඳහා මූලස්ථානය ස්ථාපිත කලේද මෙම විනිට්සා නගරයේද​. මෙම නගරයට හිට්ලර් මෙන්ම ගෝරිංද පැමින තිබේ. ට්‍රෑම් කාර් , ට්‍රොලි බස් යනාදියෙන් සමන්විත වූ ඉතා කාර්‍යක්‍ෂම  ප්‍රවාහන සේවයක් තිබූ විනිට්සා නගරයේ සෝවියට් යුද ගුවන් යානා නවතා තිබූ විශාල ගුවන් හමුදා මර්මස්ථානයක්ද විය​. 

අපගේ කෝච්චිය   විනිට්සා  දුම්රිය  පළට සේන්දු විය​. අප අපගේ ගමන් මළු , බෑග් බා ගත්තෙමු. මෙම  දුම්රිය පළ කොලඹ කොටුව දුම්‍ රිය පළට වඩා විශාලය​. රේල් පාරවල් විශාල ගනනකි. කෝච්චිද යන්න්නේ ඉතා වේගයෙනි. අප පසු කල එක් බඩු කෝච්චියක පෙට්ටි හැට ගනනක් තිබුනු බව මතකය​. 

අප දුම්රිය  වේදිකාවේ සිටින විට සිය ගනනක් වූ සුදු පැහැති මුහුණු අතරින් දුඹුරු පැහැති ලාංකික මුහුණක් දැක අප සැනසුම් සුසුම් හෙළුවෙමු. ඔහු අප වෙත පැමින සිනාසුනේය​. ඔහුගේ නම සමන් සූරියආරච්චිය​. හෙතෙම විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ තෙවන වසරේ ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුවෙකි. ඔහු අප කැටුව දුම්රිය  පළ අද්දර වූ ට්‍රෑම් කාර් නැවතුම වෙත ගියේය​. ට්‍රෑම් කාර් එක සඳහා ඔහුගේ අතින්ම මුදල් ගෙවා අපට ටිකට් ගත් සමන් අයියා අපගේ ගමන් මළු ට්‍රෑම් කාර් එකට ගැනීමටද උපකාර විය​. 

මෙම ට්‍රෑම් කාර් එක කෝච්චි පෙට්ටියක් තරම් විශාලය​. එහි වැගන් දෙකක් විය​. එක්දහස් නවසිය හතලිස් පනස් ගනන් වන තෙක් කොලඹ ට්‍රෑම් කාර් තිබුනද ආචාර්‍ය එන් එම් පෙරේරා විසින් මෙම පරිසර හිතකාමී ට්‍රෑම් කාර් සේවය අත් හිටවා තිබුණි. මේ නිසා ට්‍රෑම් කාර් ගමන නවකයන්ට අළුත් අත් දැකීමක් විය​. 

සමන් අයියා අපව විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ අංක හතර නේවාසිකාගාරයට ගෙන ගියේය​. මෙය මහල් නවයකින් යුතු විශාල ශිෂ්‍ය නේවාසිකාගාරයකි. එහි ලෝකයේ බොහෝ රටවල සිසු සිසුවියන් වූහ​. ඊශ්‍රායෙලය සහ දකුණු අප්‍රිකාව හැරුණු විට ලෝකයේ සෑම රටක්ම නියෝජනය කරමින් සිසු සිසුවියන් මෙම නේවාසිකාගාරයේ සිටියා කිව හොත් නිවැරදිය​. අපගේ නවකයන් ගෙන් සමහරක් අප්‍රිකානු සිසුන් දුටුවේ ජීවිතයේ ප්‍රථම වතාවටය​. ඒ නිසා නවක සිසුවියන් තිගැස්මකට ලක් වූ බව ඔවුන් පසුව ප්‍රකාශ කළහ​.

සමන් අයියා අපව ලිෆ්ට් යන්ත්‍රයට ගොඩ කරවාගෙන හතරවන තට්ටුවට ගෙන ගියේය​. එම තට්ටුවේ කාමරයක සිටි නාමල් අපව සාදරයෙන් පිලි ගත්තාය​. ඇය පළමු  වසරේ සිසුවියක් බව කීවාය​. නාමල් කවියෙකු වූ ජයවඩු විතාණගේ දියණිය බව අප පසුව දැනගත්තෙමු. පසු කාලයක මම ජයවඩු විතාණ විසින් ලියන ලද කවි පොතක් කියවූයෙමි. එහි නම කිණිහිරයේ පිපුණු මල් විය යුතුය​. 

නාමල් තවත් සිසුවියන් දෙදෙනෙකුගේ සහායෙන් අපට දිවා ආහාරය පිලියෙල කලාය​. බත්, හරක් මස් කරියක් (හරක් මස් නොකන්නන්ට කුකුල් මස්) , පරිප්පු හොද්දක් සහ තක්කාලි , මාළු මිරිස් සිහින්ව කපා මෙයොනෙයිස් යෙදූ සලාදයක්ද ඔවුන් නවකයන් වෙනුවෙන් පිලියෙල කළහ​. දිවා ආහාරය රසවත් විය​. දිවා ආහාරයෙන් පසුව ඔවුන් රුසියානුවන් මෙන් තේ කෝප්පයක් බොති. අපද ඒ නිසා ඔවුන් අනුව යමින් තේ කෝප්පය බැගින් බීවෙමු. 

ඉන් පසුව සමන් අයියා අපව නවකයන් ගේ නේවාසිකාගාරය වූ මහල් හතරකින් යුතු ගොඩනැගිල වෙත ගෙන ගියේය​. අතරමගදී අප විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය දුටුවෙමු. එය ග්‍රීක ගෘහ නිර්මාණ ශිල්පය අනුව යමින් තනා තිබුණු විශාල ගොඩනැගිලි සංකීර්ණයකි. දෙවන ලෝක යුද සමයේදී යූක්‍රයීන පෙරමුණට වෛද්‍ය සේවා ලබා දීමේදී විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය මහත් කාර්‍යභාරයක් කල බව අපට අසන්නට ලැබුනේය​. පසු කාලයක ඊලාම් යුද්දයේදීද මෙම වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉගෙන ගත් ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සිසු සිසුවියන් සෙබළුන්ට ප්‍රතිකාර කලෝය​. 

වෛද්‍ය පීඨය අසලදී සමන් අයියාගේ මිතුරන් වන කොලොම්බියානු සිසුන් දෙදෙනෙකු අපට හමුවූ අතර ඔවුන් කැඩුනු ඉංග්‍රීසියෙන් අප සමග කතා කොට වෙල්කම් ටු විනිට්සා කියා කීවෝය​. වෛද්‍ය පීඨය අසල උද්‍යානයේ ඉවාන් පව්ලෝව් ගේ සහ වෛද්‍ය  නිකොලායි පිරගෝව් ගේ විශාල ප්‍රතිමා දක්නට තිබුණි. 1810 මොස්කව් හි උපත ලැබූ නිකොලායි පිරගෝව් රුසියාවේ ප්‍රකට ශල්‍ය වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු  විය​. ඔහු ක්‍රිමියානු යුද්දයේදී සංග්‍රාමික ශල්‍ය වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස අමිල සේවයක් කලේය​. ඒ කාලයේ යුරෝපයේ සිට රෝගීන් ඔහු වෙත ආවෝය​. අවසාන කාලයේ ඔහු ජීවත් වූයේ විනිට්සා නගරයේ විශාල මන්දිරයකය​. අද එය කෞතුකාගාරයකි.  ඔහුගේ මරණින් පසු ඔහුගේ දේහය බෙහෙත් ගල්වා  මෙම කෞතුකාගාරයේ තැන්පත් කොට තිබේ. විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨය නම් කොට ඇත්තේ ඔහුගේ නාමයෙනි. 

නවක සිසුන් ගේ නේවාසිකාගාරය වූ හොස්ටල් නම්බර් වන් පැරණි එහෙත් ශක්තිමත් ගොඩනැගිල්ලකි. එහි Commandant හෙවත් කොමෙන්දාන්ත් සිහින් උස පුද්ගලයෙකි. සමන් අයියා ඔහුට රුසියන් බසින් කතා කොට අළුතින් පැමිනි නවකයන් සඳහා කාමර ඉල්ලා සිටියේය​. අප සියළු දෙනාටම තෙවන මහලේ කාමර ලැබුණි. මගේ කාමරයේ අංකය 322 විය එය රුසියන් බසින් ත්‍රිස්ත ද්වත්සත් ද්වා බව සමන් අයියා කීවේය​. මම කාමර අංක ත්‍රිස්ත ද්වත්සත් ද්වා කියා කොමෙන්දාන්ත් ගෙන් මගේ කාමරයට අවශ්‍ය භාණ්ඩ ගබඩා කාමරයෙන් ලබා ගත්තෙමි. ඉන්පසු කොමෙන්දාන්ත් අපගේ ඇඳන් වලට අවශ්‍ය රෙදි , බෙඩ් ෂීට් , බ්ලැන්කට්ද​ දුන්නේය​. අප ඇඳන් අස් කොට බඩු බාහිරාදිය එකලස් කොට තබා නෑම සඳහා ගියෙමු. දුම්රියෙන් දීර්ඝ ගමනක යෙදී සිටි අපට නෑම ගතට සිසිලක් ගෙන ගෙන දුන් බව කිව යුතුද ? 

සවස් වරුව එලැඹී තිබූ නිසා තේ පානය සඳහා ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සිසුවෙකු වූ මන්සූර් තේ බීමට ඔහුගේ කාමරයට එන ලෙස ආරාධනා කලේය. අංක හතර දරන නේවාසිකාගාරයේ අට වන මහලේ සිටි මන්සූර් ගේ කාමරය ඉතා අලංකාරය​. එය කාපට් කොට තිබූ අතර ඔහුගේ කාමරයේ නවීන පන්නයේ විශාල ජපන් සෙටප් එකක් විය​. මන්සූර් තමන් ගේ මාසයක් වූ ග්‍රීෂ්ම නිවාඩුව ගත කොට තිබුනේ එංගලන්තයේය​. ඒ නිසා එංගලන්තයෙන් ගෙන එන ලද චොක්ලට් බිස්කට් ඔහු අපට පිරිනැමුවේය​. මන්සූර් එවකට සිටි විදේශ අමාත්‍ය ඒ සී එස් හමීඩ් මහතාගේ ලඟම ඤාතියෙකු බව සමන් අයියා පසුව අපට කීවේය​. 

අප අතර සිටි ගැහැණු ළමයි දෙදෙනාට ඉවීම සඳහා භාජන ගත යුතු බව කීවෙන් මන්සූර් අපව උනිවෙර්මග් හෙවත් සුපිරි වෙළඳ සැලට ගෙන ගියේය​. නේවාසිකාගාරයේ සෑම මහලකම ලිප් අටකින් පමණ යුතු කුස්සියක් තිබේ. සිසුන් කෑම උයන්නේ මේ ලිප් වලය​. සෝවියට් සුපිරි වෙළඳ මහල් පහකින් යුතු විශාල ගොඩනැගිල්ලකි. එහි තිබුනේ සෝවියට් දේශයේ , පෝලන්තයේ , නැගෙනහිර ජර්මනියේ , යූගොස්ලෝවියාවේ නිෂ්පාදනය කරන ලද භාන්ඩ විය​. මම මෙම සුපිරි වෙළඳ සැලෙන් ප්ලග් පොයින්ට් එකක් මිලදී  ගත්තෙමි. 

අදාල භාණ්ඩ මිලදී ගත් පසු මන්සූර් අපව සුපිරි වෙළඳ සැළ අසල තිබූ පාර්ක් එකට ගෙන ගියේය​. මෙම පාර්ක් එක මොස්කව් වල මෙන් ගෝර්කි පාක් කියා නම් කොට තිබූ අතර එහි මධ්‍යයේ මැක්සිම් ගෝර්කිගේ පිලිරුවක් විය​. මෙම උද්‍යානයේ රුසියානු ක්ලැසිකල් සංගීතය වාදනය කරන  ගාන්ධර්වයන් වූ අතර ඔවුන් චයිකොව්ස්කිගේ ස්වෝන් ලේක් වාදනය කලෝය​. උද්‍යානයේ තිබූ අයිස්ක්‍රීම් සැලකින් මන්සූර් අපට අයිස්ක්‍රීම් අරගෙන දුන්නේය​. එම අයිස්ක්‍රීම් ලංකාවේ පාන් කාලක තරම් විශාලත්වයෙන් යුක්ත වූ අතර  කිරි රසයෙන් අනූන විය​. අප අයිස්ක්‍රීම් කමින්  සාවුන් ගේ මෙන් අලංකාර දෙනෙත් තිබෙන රුවැති යූක්‍රයීන සහ රුසියානු තරුණියන් දෙස බලන දුටු මන්සූර් අපට විහිළු කලේය​. රුසියානු තරුණියන්ට වඩා යූක්‍රයීන තරුණියන් රුවැති බව ඔහු කීවේය​. 

අප ඉර බැස යන තෙක් උද්‍යානයේ ඇවිද ඉන් පසුව නේවාසිකාගාරයට ආවෙමු. මන්සූර් අපට අළුත් අත්දැකීමක් දෙනු වස් අපව ට්‍රොලි බසයක නංවා ගෙන යලි නේවාසිකාගාරයට ගෙන ආවේය​. ට්‍රොලි බස් ලංකාවේ තිබූ බවක් මම අසා නැත​. අප ශිෂ්‍ය නේවාසිකාගාරයට එන විට අප එන තෙක් සමන් අයියා පහත මාලයේ රැඳී සිටියේය​. ඔහු පැමිණ සිටියේ රාත්‍රී ආහාරය සඳහා අපව ඔහුගේ කාමරයට ගෙන යාමටය​. රාත්‍රී ආහාරයෙන් පසු අප නවකයන් ගේ නේවාසිකාගාරයට ගියෙමු. එය විනිට්සා නගරයේ අපගේ ප්‍රථම රාත්‍රිය විය​. 

පසුදින උදෑසන අපට වෛද්‍ය පීඨයට එන ලෙස දන්වන ලදි. එහිදී සෑම නවක සිසුවෙකුටම මාසික වියදම සඳහා රූබල් අසූව බැගින් දෙන ලදි. එසේම අපට හැඳුනුම්පත්ද නිකුත් කරන ලදි. මෙම හැඳුනුම්පත ස්තුදෙන්චෙස්කි බිලියත් කියා හඳුන්වන ලදි. හැඳුනුම්පත් කාර්‍යාලය අසලදී මම ඊබ්‍රාහීම්  (ජෝර්දානය ) , තස්ෆාය මබ්‍රාතු (ඉතියෝපියාව ) , ජෝසෆ් අයිවාරු (ඝනා) , ගැස්පා (ඉක්වදෝරය​) අමීරා (සුඩානය​) , ආර්.පී සිං (ඉන්දියාව ) , සයීද් මුෂ්තබා (ඉරානය​) , සාමෙක් සහීද් (ඊජීප්තුව​) ,රශීදා  (මොරොක්කෝව​) සර්ලාෂ්ද් (ඇෆ්ගනිස්ථානය ) , මොහොමඩ් කාබා (ගිනියාව ) මේරි (ටැන්සේනියාව ) , ජස්ටීනා (නයිජීරියාව​) , මරියා (ඇන්ගෝලාව​) , ෆ්‍රෑන්ක්ලීන් (මොසැම්බික්) රසු අමීරා (මැඩගස්කරය​) , මොරාද් (ටියුනීසියාව​) , හාලීද් ෂව්කත් (බංලාදේශය ) යන සිසු සිසුවියන් හඳුනා ගත්තෙමි.  ඒ අතරවාරයේ ලබන සඳුදා අපගේ භාෂා අධ්‍යනයන් ඇරඹෙන බවත් අපගේ රුසියානු ගුරුවරිය තත්‍යානා ඉවානොව්නා බවත් වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ භාෂා පරිවර්තිකාව රේඩියෝ මොස්කව් ඉංග්‍රීසියෙන් අප අමතා කීවාය​. එසේම ප්‍රංස බස කතා කල මොරොක්කෝ , චෑඩ, මාලි , ගිනියා , සිසුන් සඳහා ඇය එය ප්‍රංස බසින් ද කීවාය​. අරාබි බස කතා කල සිසුන් සඳහා සිරියානු ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුවෙක් එම පණිවිඩය අරාබි බසින් කීවේය​. ඉන්පසු මම අළුත් යාලුවන් සමග දිවා ආහාරය සඳහා සිසුන් ගේ අවන්හල වූ ස්තුදෙන්චෙස්කි ස්තලෝවයා වෙත ගියෙමි. එම අවන්හලේදී රුසියාවට ආවේනික වූ කැපූස්තා, පිල්මේනි , ස්මෙතානා , යන කෑම වර්ග අප කෑවෙමු. බීමට ඇපල් යුෂ හෝ දොඩම් යුෂ තිබුනේය​. 

සවස් වරුවේ නේවාසිකාගාරයේ සිටින විට ශ්‍රී ලාංකික නවක සිසු සිසුවියන් සඳහා වෙල්කම් උත්සවයක් ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුන් විසින් පවත්වන බවත් එය හතරවන නේවාසිකාගාරයේ වික්ටර් මෙන්ඩිස් ගේ කාමරයේ සූදානම් කොට තිබෙන බවත් සමන් අයියා කීවේය​. එක්  නවක සිසුවෙක් අපිට රැග් දෙයිද දන්නේ නෑ කියා මුමුනන්නට විය​. කිසිවක් නොකී සමන් අයියා සිනහවක් පා “කට්ටිය හත වෙනකොට ලෑස්තිවී ඉන්න ” කියා යන්නට ගියේය​.  කෙල්ලන් දෙදෙනා සැක සහිත දෙනෙත් වලින් එකිනෙකා දෙස බැළුවෝය​. මම ඕනම දෙයක් උනාවේ  නවක වදය කියා ඇඟට අත තිබ්බොත් සීනියර්කම් නොබලන බවට ශපත කලෙමි. 

කෙසේ නමුත් අප නවකයන් හත් දෙනා හත වන විට සූදානම් වී සිටියෙමු.  එහෙත් සියළු දෙනා තුලම යම් චකිතයක් තිබූ බව පෙනෙන්නට තිබුණි. සවස හත වන විට සමන් අයියාත් තවත් ජේෂ්ඨ සිසුවෙකුත් අපගේ නේවාසිකාගාරයට ආවේ වෙල්කම් පාටියට අපව ගෙන යනු පිණිසය​. සාරි වලින් සැරසී සිටි කෙල්ලන් දෙදෙනාද බියෙන් සැකෙන් අප පසුපසින් ආහ​. 

වෙල්කම් පාටිය සූදානම් කොට තිබුනේ වික්ටර් මෙන්ඩිස් ජීවත් වූ හත් වන මහලේ විශාල කාමරයකය​. එහි මේසයක විවිධ වර්ගයේ කෑම බීම තිබුනේය​. ” මුං අපිට කන්ඩ දීලා රැග් කරයිද දන්නේ නෑ ?  කියා එක් නවක සිසුවෙක් මගේ කනට කර කීවේය​. මම මඳ සිනාවක් පෑවෙමි. වික්ටර් මෙන්ඩිස් ගේ කාමරයේ තවත් ලාංකික සිසුවෙකු ජීවත් වන බවත් ඔහුගේ නම කීත් චැප්මන් බවත් කියවුනේය​. කීත් චැප්මන් ස්ටුවට් චැප්මන් ගේ සොහොයුරා බව මට වැටහුණි. ස්ටුවට් චැප්මන් මම ලංකාවේදී දැන සිටියෙමි. ඔහු ශ්‍රී ලංකා ගුවන් විදුලි සංස්ථාවේ ඉංග්‍රීසි අංශයේ නිවේදකයෙකු විය​. 

මුලින්ම අප පිලිගෙන සුළු කතාවක් කල ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුවෙකු වූ අසේල වික්‍රමසිංහ විනිට්සා වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ සියළුම ශ්‍රී ලාංකික සිසුන් වෙනුවෙන් නවකයන් වූ අපව සාදරයෙන්  පිලි ගන්නා බව කීවේය​. අසේල වික්‍රමසිංහ අවසන් වසරේ සිසුවෙකු විය​. අනෙකුත් ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසුන් වූ ධම්මික රත්නායක , කේතිසන් නක්කුණම් , අජන්ත , රුවන් විජයමුණි ,නදීරා , නිල්මිණි යනාදී සිසු සිසුවියන් රැසක් අපට සංග්‍රහ කළහ​. ඔවුන් ගේ මිත්‍රශීලී ලීලාව නිසා රැග පිලිබඳ වූ අනියත බිය පහ විය​.  

රාත්‍රී ආහාරයෙන් පසු සංගීත සාදය ආරම්භ විය​. ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සහ නවක සිසු සිසුවියන් රුසියානු සහ ඉංග්‍රීසි සිංදු වලට නැටූහ​. ඉන් පසු  විනිට්සා පොලිටෙක්නික් ආයතනයේ සිසුවෙකු වූ සුමාල් පෙරේරා ගිටාරය වයමින් සිංදුවක් කීවේය​. නවකයන්ටද ගීත ගයන ලෙස ආරාධනා ආවේය​. එහෙත් බලහත්කාරයක් නොවීය​. වෝල්ටර් ජිම් රීව්ස්ගේ ගීතයක් කීවේය​. මම නීල් ඩයමන්ඩ් ගේ සෝං සං බ්ලූ ගීතය සෘතියෙන් පිට කීවෙමි. සුන්දරී අරුලම්පලම් ද්‍රවිඩ ගීතයක් කීවාය​. මෙලෙස ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සහ නවක සිසු සිසුවියන් ගීත ගායනා කිරීමෙන් පසු රාත්‍රී එකට සාදය හමාර විය​. 

එය අපගේ අනුගත වීමේ අංගය විය​. කිසිවෙකු අපට පරුෂ වචනයක්, කුණුහරපයක් කීවේ හෝ බැන්නේ නැත​. බලහත්කාරයෙන් ව්‍යායාම කෙරෙව්වේ නැත​, බලහත්කාරයෙන් වැලි සහ කුණු මිශ්‍රිත බත් කැව්වීමට උත්සහ කලේ නැත , බකට් කලේ නැත , නිරුවත් කිරීමට උත්සහයක් කලේද නැත​. එය ඉතා මිත්‍රශීලී ශිෂ්ට සම්පන්න  අනුගත වීමේ අංගයක් වූයේය​. එය ජීවිත කාලය පුරා මතක තිබෙන අන්දමේ අත්දැකීමක් විය​. 

එදා අපව දුම්රිය පොලේදී පිළිගත් සමන් අයියා ජාතික රෝහලේ ස්නායු අංශයේ බොහෝ කාලයක් සේවය කලේය​. ඔහු  විශේෂඥ ස්නායු වෛද්‍ය ජේ.බී පීරිස් ගේ ගෝලයෙකු විය​. 2006 වසරේදී ජාතික රෝහලේදී වරක් ඔහුව මට හමු විය​. අසේල වික්‍රමසිංහ ඇමරිකා එක්සත් ජනපදයේ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි. ඔහුව මට හමුවී නැත​. කේතිසම් නක්කුණම් ඉමුනොලොජි හෙවත් ප්‍රතිශක්ති විද්‍යාව පිලිබඳ මහාචාර්‍යවරයෙකි. ඔහු ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාවේ විශ්ව විද්‍යාලයක සේවය කරයි. මන්සූර් නවසීලන්තයේ වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු ලෙස සේවය කරයි. ඔහු ගැන තොරතුරක් නැත​. වික්ටර් මෙන්ඩිස් කායික රෝග විශේෂඥයෙකු ලෙස එංගලන්තයේ සේවය කරයි.  දකුණු අප්‍රිකාවේ රෝහලක සේවය කරන ධම්මික රත්නායක ඒඩ්ස් රෝගය පිලිබඳ දැණුමැති වෛද්‍යවරයෙකි. විශේෂඥ ශල්‍ය වෛද්‍යවරයෙකු වූ කීත් චැප්මන් 2008 වසරේදී මට මාදම්පේ නියෝජ්‍ය පළාත් සෞඛ්‍ය සේවා කාර්‍යාලයේදී හමු විය​. 

වෛද්‍ය පීඨයේ ඉතා මිත්‍රශීලී ලෙස සුහදව උපකාර කරමින් අපව පිලිගත් මෙම ජ්‍යෙෂ්ඨ සිසු සිසුවියන් වචනයකින් හෝ අපගේ පෞරුෂත්වය පහළට දැමීමට කටයුතු කලේ නැත​. නවක වධයෙන් තොරව සරසවි ජීවිතයක් ලබා දීම පිලිබඳව  අද දිනයේද මම ඔවුනට කෘතඥ වෙමි. 

වෛද්‍ය රුවන් එම් ජයතුංග 

භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යයේ අංශයක්

July 14th, 2017

නලින් ද සිල්වා

කලකට ඉහත ටේ‍රවෝ ලිං පවසා තිබුණේ ථෙරවාද බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යය රජු, භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ හා ජනතාව යන ගල් තුන මත රැඳුණු බවයි. රජු භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේට සිවුපසය ලබාදුන් අතර ජනතාවගේ වුවමනා එපාකම් බලා කියා ගත්තා. භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ රජුට හා ජනතාවට අවවාද අනුශාසනා කළා. ජනතාව භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේට සිවුපසයෙන් සංග්‍රහ කළා. ඒ අතර ඔවුන් යුද්ධයක දී රජු හා රට වෙනුවෙන් සටන් කළා.

මෙහි ටේ‍රවෝ ලිං නොකියන කරුණක් තියෙනවා. රජු තීරණ ගත්තේ රාජසභාව විමසීමෙන්. එහෙත් අවසාන තීරණය රජුගේ. ජනතාව රාජ්‍ය පාලනයට මැදිහත් වුණේ නැහැ. රාජ්‍යය සම්බන්ධයෙන් ගත් කල ගල් තුන එකම මට්ටමක වූයේ නැහැ. රාජ්‍යය සමන්විත වූයේ රජුගෙන් හා සංඝයා වහන්සේගෙන්. අප මේ කාරණය නොසලකා හැර තිබෙනවා. රාජ්‍යයේ අංශ දෙකක් වූවා. එක් අංශයක් රජූ අනෙක් අංශය භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ. භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ රජුට අනුශසනා කෙළේ ධර්මයෙන් පමණක් නො වෙයි. අර්ථයෙන් ද අනුශාසනා කළා.

සංඝයා වහන්සේ රාජසභාවේ අසුන් ගත්තේ නැහැ. රාජසභාවේ භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ අසුන් ගැනීමට සැලැස්වූයේ එදත් අදත් බලයට පැමිණීමට හා බලයේ රැඳී සිටීමට ජාතිකත්වය ගසා කන අවස්ථාවාදී චම්පක. එමගින් ඔහු උන්වහන්සේට වැරදි අර්ථකථනයක් ලබා දුන්නා. සංඝයා වහන්සේ එදා රාජසභාවේ අසුන් නොගත්තාට වෙනත් ක්‍රම මගින් රාජ්‍ය පාලනයට හවුල් වුණා. ඇතැම් අවස්ථාවල උන්වහන්සේ තමන්වහන්සේට ප්‍රිය කුමරුන් රජ කරවීමට පවා කටයුතු කළා. ඇතැම් අවස්ථාවල උන්වහන්සේ ගත් තීරණ නිවැරදි වූයේ නැහැ. එහෙත් උන්වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යයේ වැදගත් අංශයක් වූවා. රජු ගත් තීරණත් සමහරවිට වැරදුණා.

අප අද ප්‍රශ්න දෙස බලන්නේ බටහිරයන්ගෙ බොරු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය පැත්තෙන්. ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයෙ දී හැමෝටම එක ඡන්දයක් තියෙනවා කියලා කියනවා. හැට දෙලක්‍ෂයක් ගැන කතා කරනවා. එතකොට පනස්අට ලක්‍ෂය වැඩක් නැද්ද? එක ඡන්දෙන් දිනන එක්කෙනා ද ඊනියා ජනතා කැමැත්ත නියෝජනය කරන්නෙ. නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවකට ජන වරමක් ලැබිල නැහැ. ජනාධිපතිවරණයේ දී කිසිවකු නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් ගෙනෙන බවක් කිව්වෙ නැහැ. පාර්ලිමේන්තු මැතිවරණයේ දී එ ජා පෙරමුණ නව ව්‍යවස්ථාවකට ඡන්දය ඉල්ලුවත් ඔවුන්ට ඡන්දවලින් සියයට පනහක් ලැබුණෙ නැහැ.

කොහොමටත් සිවල් සාමාජිකයන්ගෙ බොරු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයට අනුව භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ තිස්දාස් නමක් පමණයි වැඩ ඉන්නේ. උන්වහන්සේගේ මතය සලකන්න ඕන නැහැ. එතකොට සිවල් සාමාජිකයන් රටේ කී දෙනකු ඉන්නවා ද? ඔවුන්ට ජනමාධ්‍යයෙන් මෙතරම් ප්‍රසිද්ධියක් දෙන්නේ ඔවුන්ගේ ඔළුගෙඩිවල වටිනාකම ඩොලර්වලින් තීරණය කරන නිසා ද? මා මෙය තර්කයක් ලෙස ගෙනෙන්නේ නැහැ. ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ බොරුව පෙන්නීමට පමණයි මෙහි දී මට අවශ්‍ය වුණෙ. ඇතැම් භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ තිස්දහස් නම හැට දෙලක්‍ෂයට වඩා වටිනවා කියනවා. ඒ තර්කය වලංගු නැහැ. උන්වහන්සේ තර්ක කරන්නෙ ඔළුගෙඩි සංඛ්‍යාව මුල් කරගෙනමයි. එය දුබල තර්කයක්. 

ගැමුණු රජු කල සිට 1815 දී රට ගිවිසුමකින් සුද්දන්ට භාර දෙන තෙක් රාජ්‍යය කලින් කී පරිදි අංශ දෙකකින් සමන්විත වූවා. ගිවිසුම අත්සන් කළ දිනත් උන්වහන්සේ වාරියපොළ සුමංගල හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේගේ මූලිකත්වයෙන් බ්‍රවුන්රිග් ආණ්ඩුකාරයට හා කුප්‍රසිද්ධ ඩොයිලිට අභියෝග කළා. ඒ සිංහල බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යය වෙනුවෙන්. 1815න් පසු සුද්දන් කලින් පැවති රාජ්‍යය පවත්වා ගෙන ගියේ නැහැ. ඔවුන් ගිවිසුමෙන් පොරොන්දු වුණා සිංහල සිරිතට අනුව රට කරවනවාය කියා. එහෙත් ඔවුන් එසේ කළේ නැහැ. සිංහල සිරිතට අනුව රාජ්‍ය පාලනයෙහි යෙදුණි නම් සුද්දන් සංඝයා වහන්සේගෙන් රාජ්‍ය පාලනය පිළිබඳ උපදෙස් ගත යුතුව තිබුණා. භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යයේ අංශයක් ලෙස (චම්පකගේ අවස්ථාවාදී ක්‍රියාව අනුව නොව) පිළිගත යුතු ව තිබුණා.

එහෙත් සුද්දන්ට අවශ්‍ය වූයේ සංඝයා වහනසේ රාජ්‍ය පාලනයෙන් ඉවත් කිරීමට. සුද්දන් දළදා සමිඳුන්ගේ භාරකාරත්වයෙන් 1840 දී පමණ ඉවත් වීමෙන් 1815 ගිවිසුම කැඩුවා. 1817 දී ම මුස්ලිම් බදු එකතු කරන්නකු වෙල්ලස්සට පත් කළා. සිංහල සිරිත (නීතිය) 1815 දී අහෝසි කළා. අපට දැන් සිංහල සිරිත මතක නැහැ. අප තර්ක කරන්නේ සුද්දන්ගේ බොරු ඔළුගෙඩි ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය මත පදනම් වෙමින්. 1972 ව්‍යවස්ථාවෙනුත් අප සිංහල බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යය අමතක කළා.

දහනවවැනි සියවසේ ඕල්කට්තුමා පැමිණ සියල්ල අවුල් කළා. ඔහු ඇස් මහින්ද හිමිපාණන් වහන්සේ මෙන් සිංහල බෞද්ධ වුණෙ නැහැ. ඔහු කිසිවකටත් නැති පරමවිඥානාර්ථවාදී ඊනියා ජාත්‍යන්තරවාදී බෞද්ධයකු පමණයි. එහෙත් මෙරට ප්‍රභූන් ඔහු අනුගමනය කළා. ඒ අය සිංහල බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යය ගැන සොයා බැලුවේ නැහැ. ඉංගිරිසින් භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේට නායකකම් ප්‍රදානය කරලා වැරදි චිත්‍රයක් ලබා දුන්න. කිසිම බලයක් නැති නායකකම්වලින් සසුනට වැඩක් නැහැ. අධිකරණ නායක හාමුදුරුවරු අලුත්කඩේට වඩිනවා. මහානායක හාමුදුරුවන්ට සුද්දන් ඒ තනතුරු ලබා දුන්නෙ තමන්ට ඔත්තු සැපයීමටත්.

සංඝයා වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යය තුළ, රාජ්‍යය පිටුපස, තවත් රාජ්‍යයක් ද කියලා පුහු පඬියන් අහනවා. බටහිර ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයෙ රාජ්‍යය මෙහෙයවන්නෙ කවුද කියන එක මේ පඬියන්ට ලෙනින්ගෙන් දැනගන්න තිබුණා. ඒත් මට ඒක තර්කයක් ලෙස යොදා ගන්න අවශ්‍ය නැහැ. ඒ සාදෘශ්‍රයෙන් තර්ක කිරීම. අපි ප්‍රමූල ධර්මවලට යමු. සංඝයා වහන්සේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යයෙහි තවත් රාජ්‍යයක් නො වෙයි. උන්වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යයේ අංශයක්.

ඕල්කට් බෞද්ධයන් මේ කාරණය තේරුම් ගත්තෙ නැහැ. විහාරගම් දේවාළ පනත සුද්දන්ගෙ වැඩක්. පිං පෙට්ටිවලට සීල් තැබීමත් සුද්දන්ගෙ හා ඊනියා ප්‍රභූන්ගෙ වැඩක්. එකල භික්‍ෂුන් වහන්සේටත් මෙය තේරුණෙ නැහැ. අදත් හරියට තේරෙන්නෙ නැහැ. සාංඝික දේපොළවලට හෝ පන්සල්වලට හෝ ලැබෙන ආදායම  රාජ්‍යයේ ගිහි අංශයට අයත් කාරණයක් නො වෙයි. ඒ සඳහා ඒ ඒ නිකාය නිසි පිළිවෙළක් අනුගමනය කළා නම් හොඳයි.

පුරාවිද්‍යා දෙපාර්තමේන්තුවට බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථානවලට ඇඟිලි ගහන්න පුළුවන්. එයත් සුද්දන්ගෙ වැඩක්. බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන පාලනය ගැන විධිමත් ක්‍රමයක් නැහැ. මේ සියල්ලට හේතුව සිංහල බෞද්ධ රාජ්‍යය ගැන නිසි අධ්‍යයනයක් නො කිරීම. කලකට පෙර ඇතැම් සිද්ධස්ථාන ලෝක උරුම බවට පත් කිරීමේ දී මා විරුද්ධ වුණා. ඒ ගැන ලිපිත් ලීිව්වා. ඒ ලිපි අද මා සතුව නැහැ. එහෙත් එදා කිසිවකු සුපුරුදු පරිදි මගේ අදහස් සතපහකටවත් ගණන් ගත්තෙ නැහැ. බොහෝ දෙනා ලෝක උරුම බවට පත් කිරීම මහා ගෞරවයක් ලෙස සැලකුවා. අදවත් ඒ ලොකුකම පැත්තකට දමා බෞද්ධ සිද්ධස්ථාන නිදහස් කරගන්නවා නම් හොඳයි.  අප සුද්දන්ගේ මිනුම්දඬු අනුව ලොකුකම මැනීම නවත්වන්නේ කවදා ද?

භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ නමක් පුද්ගලයකු ලෙස රටේ නීතියටත් යටත්. බුදුන් වහන්සේ ඒ බව දේශනා කර තිබෙනවා. එහෙත් භික්‍ෂු සංඝයා ලෙස යටත් වන්නේ බුද්ධ නීතියට (විනයට) පමණයි. අද මේ කරුණු දෙක පටළවා ගෙන. භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ රාජ්‍යයේ වෙන ම අංශයක්. රාජ්‍යයේ ගිහි අංශයට පැවිදි අංශය පාලනය කරන්න බැහැ. රටට ව්‍යවස්ථාවක් සම්පාදනය කිරීමේ දී රාජ්‍යයේ අංශ දෙකට ම මැදිහත් වීමට පුළුවන්. භික්‍ෂූන් වහන්සේ මෙරට රජවරුන් පත්කළ බව පඬියන් දන්නේ නැතිව ඇති. මෙය සුද්දන්ගේ බොරු ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදයේ ඔළුගෙඩි ගණන් කිරීමකින් තීරණය කරන්න බැහැ. අප සුද්දන්ගේ ඇහෙන් ලෝකය බැලීම නවත්වන්නේ කවදා ද?    

 

නලින් ද සිල්වා

2017 ජූලි 13

   

Upul Jayasuriya resigns as BOI Chairman……..  News Item

July 14th, 2017

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

I am not surprised!

We change the pillow as a means to cure your headache ? I am sure that Upul is a honest person but he failed to deliver .We have been dealing with BOI since the inception and we have seen how the dynamism has deteriorated .There was a time during MR when BOI was run by a Tycoon owning Casinos .Then it was run by a chemical engineer who had no clue about industries in Sri Lanka.Even now there are DG’s .and plethora of directors who have no power to push any government agency to  provide help to investors ,They used to call a Stop Shop ,but lately we call it Non Stop shop .

I remember the case when I approached BOI to expedite the approval to recommence the Ship Repair Yard in Galle which was delayed due to Saudi Investors bolting away after Aluthgama Fiascos by BBS .UPUL called a meeting and invited SLPA Director to investigate and assist where they agreed to consider recommencement. BOI did not  followed up at higher level to instruct the minister at that time to assist the investor .SLPA took a unilateral decision and cancelled the project .Today Galle Harbour is overgrown with weeds representing a bush land in Africa with no tangible project getting off the ground  .I kept pressing BOI and once called the Female DG who had no clue about such an important project .When I called her secretary ,I was asked to wait to give her the call and I overheard her blasting  the secretary Who is that ? I told you to tell everyone that I am not in !”

This is how overpaid extravagant BOI top brass help investors.

I wonder who will take the helm of BOI ,but I can guarantee that unless President and PM holds by weekly meetings like Premadasa and follow up action to speed up investment in Sri Lanka nothing will happen .

BOI should be placed under the President Directly and appoint a dynamic Private Sector CEO who does not have strings attached to his own business activities .All the top brass from BOI should be sent on compulsory retirement with the whole board and revamp the structure.

 

BoI woes

July 14th, 2017

Editorial Courtesy The Island

The so-called yahapalanaya has become another Rajapaksa palanaya. The holier-than-thou politicians currently at the levers of power stand accused of all wrongs they vehemently condemned while they were in the Opposition. The accuser has now become the accused and vice versa!

Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI) Upul Jayasuriya has resigned in a huff. We yesterday quoted sources close to him as having said his resignation was due to political interference, which prevented him from acting according to his conscience. As a very senior lawyer and twice-President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka, Jayasuriya should have known what he was getting into when he accepted that political appointment. It is said that he who lies down with dogs is bound to rise up with fleas; he also runs the risk of suffering canine bites. Political appointees are always at the mercy of politicians. They get kicked out the moment they fall from grace. Conscience in a highly politicised, corrupt state institution is like chastity in a house of ill fame.

Whether Jayasuriya is free from blame for the pathetic performance of the BoI during the last two years or so and various allegations against it is not immediately known. But, if he dares ruffle the feathers of the powers that be he will be asking for more trouble. He has made a name for himself as one of the main architects of the 2015 regime change. He intrepidly stood up to the Rajapaksa government, which went all out to frighten him into silence. He stood his ground and fought back courageously. This, he did at a time many other Opposition big guns including the cantankerous UNP politicians were whimpering and cowering before the Rajapaksas, who bulldozed their way through.

Jayasuriya has got the typical karapincha treatment from the UNP; he has been used and discarded like curry leaves, as a local saying goes. He now finds himself in the exalted company of the disgruntled advocates of yahapalanaya like our Rathu Sahodarayas and some civil society activists.

The yahapalana administration is obviously down at heel. This situation is mainly due to massive election bribes it imprudently showered on the electorate after the Jan. 2015 presidential polls with a view to winning the general election a few months later. There is no way it can recoup the losses however much it regrets having fulfilled its election promise to grant the public sector employees a huge pay hike. Aggravating its financial woes, foreign direct investment has dwindled drastically. The Volkswagen project has not come about and a much-hyped tyre manufacturing plant in Horana, too, has become a farce.

The country’s premier investment promotion institution must have as its head a dynamic technocrat of integrity adept at attracting investors. Trust is the key. Foreigners or Sri Lankan expatriates will invest here only if they can repose their trust in those who handle the country’s investment sector; they also need proper infrastructure and an investor-friendly environment sans negatives such as labour disputes, political interference, corruption and bureaucratic red tape. This country, we are afraid, is not investor friendly if the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index is any indication. It has been ranked 110th. Last year it was in the 109th position. It ought to learn from countries like Singapore, the second easiest country to do business in the world, how to promote FDI.

The BoI has remained rotten to the core over the last several decades with politicians, their family members and cronies interfering in it and amassing wealth with impunity. Even the few foreign investors who have come here are disgusted because they are without proper facilities and have to grease palms to get anything done. If the government is to attract FDI it has to get rid of Messrs Ten Percents within its ranks as the first step towards making the country investor friendly. But, how can a bunch of rulers who have earned notoriety for shielding racketeers who have robbed the Central Bank be expected to give the BoI a shake-up?

More on ‘clash’ between Justice Minister and UN official

July 14th, 2017

By Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island


Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, had a heated argument with Ben Emmerson, QC, Special Rapporteur at the onset of a meeting over latter leveling unsubstantiated allegations at law enforcement authorities and the judiciary.

Emmerson had a series of meetings over the past few days after his unexpected encounter with the Justice Minister early this week.

At his meeting with the Justice Minister Emmerson accused the Sri Lanka police of torturing most of the suspects; he placed the number of terrorist suspects in custody at 200. Government sources told The Island that Minister Rajapakse had inquired from Emmerson who had provided such inaccurate information. The UN official attributed his information to reliable sources, prompting Minister Rajapakse to remind the visiting official that he was the Justice Minister and he spoke with responsibility.

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Minister Rajapakse stressed that 71 persons held under the Prevention of terrorism Act (PTA) in respect of 46 cases were hardcore terrorists responsible for mass murder.

In response to Emmerson’s criticism of law enforcement authorities obtaining convictions through confessions, Minister Rajapakse pointed out that British Premier Theresa May’s recent vow to protect officers and men fighting terrorism at the expense of human rights laws. The minister said that it was absurd for British UN official to condemn Sri Lanka for obtaining convictions by confessions when the UK followed the same policy.

Recently human rights chief Zeid Hussein referred to accusations made by retired navy Chief of Staff Sarath Weerasekera as regards the UN turning a blind eye to Theresa May’s declaration while purusing Sri Lanka.

Addressing the media at the conclusion of his visit yesterday at the UN compound, Emmerson appreciated assurances given by Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake and Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya. Many an eyebrow was raised when he referred to the recent arrest of Commodore D. K. P. Dassanayake regarding alleged war time disappearances. Emmerson said that in the wake of Lt. Gen. Senanayake’s assurance that members of armed forces who had committed crimes would be brought to justice, senior naval Commander was arrested for his alleged involvement in the disappearance of 11 persons during the closing stages of the conflict.

Emmerson on the basis of data provided by the government said that out of 81 persons currently in the judicial phase of the pre-trial detention, 70 had been in detention sans trial for over five years and 12 without trial for over 10 years.

Alleging that in spite of change of government in January 2015, the PTA was remained operational Emmerson demanded that all of them should be granted bail immediately or prosecuted within weeks or months.

Emmerson called for immediate remedial measures by way of reviewing the legality of the detention of those still held by the government and grant them fair trials. The UN official insisted that tangible measures should be taken to inquire into all accusations against the police through the appointment of an effective mechanism.

Implement Geneva resolution or face consequences – UN

July 14th, 2017

by Shamindra Ferdinando Courtesy The Island

  • flays security establishment and its allies in govt
  •  Geneva to review New Anti-Terrorism Act

Alleging that ‘retrograde elements in the security establishment and their allies’ in the government were trying to undermine post-war reconciliation process, the UN yesterday warned Sri Lanka of dire consequences unless the government fully implemented Geneva Resolution 30/1 co-sponsored by the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe administration in Oct 2015.

The warning was given by Ben Emmerson, QC, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

Addressing the media at UN compound in Colombo at the conclusion of a five-day visit undertaken on the invitation of the government, the British lawyer explained a range of measures available to the UN in case reneged its promises. Emmerson declined to speculate what their options would be but indicated that punitive measures could be taken.

Emmerson was flanked by UN Resident Representative Uma McCauley.

The Special Rapporteur asserted that fulfilling Geneva Resolution wouldn’t be an easy task. Responding to a query, Emmerson said that Sri Lanka shouldn’t test patience of the international community. Sri Lanka last march received two year period to accomplish the challenging task.

Emmerson emphasized that Sri Lanka couldn’t under any circumstances refrained from implementing the Geneva Resolution.

The Britisher who had held Special Rapporteur post since Aug 2011 declared Sri Lanka’s anti-terrorism law as one of the worst in the world. Emmerson declined to compare the situation in Sri Lanka with any other country.

Asked by The Island whether he could explain argument with Justice Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakse, PC, over Sri Lanka’s human rights situation, Emmerson said that he didn’t wont to comment on discussions he had with government representatives. Emerson emphasized that it was his policy not to reveal discussions. When The Island pointed out that Emmerson, in his opening remarks, had referred to discussions he had with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Law and Order Minister Sagala Ratnayake, Foreign Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya as well as Army Commander Lt. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake though he declined to discuss his meeting with Justice Minister Rajapakse, Emmerson acknowledged that he was being selective. Having listed all politicians, officials, military and police top brass, Emmerson said that he had also met the Minister of Justice.

The UN official said that those who had been obstructing the process of post-war national reconciliation were known and it would be up to Parliament and the people to decide on them.

Emmerson again declined to comment when P.K. Balachandra, The New Indian Express correspondent in Colombo asked him whether during his meetings here he had met any one of those who had been obstructing the UN led process.

Justice Minister Rajapakse is a key member of the Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s ministerial team tasked with implementing the Geneva Resolution.

Emmerson attributed the inordinate delay in the implementation of the Geneva Resolution 30/1 to agenda pursued by elements in the security establishment and their allies in the government. In spite of much touted promises by the government, Emmerson said: “Two years on and already four months into a two-year extension granted to the government by the Human Rights Council the progress in achieving the key goals set out in the Geneva Resolution is not only slow but seems to have ground to a virtual halt. None of the measures so far adopted to fulfill Sri Lanka’s transitional justice commitments are adequate to ensure real progress and there is little evidence that perpetrators of war crimes committed by members of the Sri Lankan armed forces are being brought to justice.”

Emmerson revealed that Sri Lanka had promised to discuss the proposed Counter Terrorism Act (CTA) in place of the PTA and bring in required changes before being presented for parliamentary approval. Emmerson emphasized in no uncertain terms that the proposed Act wasn’t acceptable to the UN though there were significant improvements. Emmerson alleged that the proposed CTA was meant to continue with the existing security policies that would guarantee the continued violation of those human rights of suspected terrorists.

Emmerson revealed that he had received an assurance from the Foreign Ministry that the CTA would be discussed with his Geneva-based team to redraft it in line with international standards.

Sri Lanka Must Shift its Growth Model to Sustain its Economy

July 14th, 2017

World Bank

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Sri Lanka’s performance in 2016 was broadly satisfactory and saw several highlights including the passing of a Right to Information Act.
  • For Sri Lanka to sustain growth and create jobs in the medium term it will need to shift its growth model towards one more focused on private investment and tradable sectors.
  • Attracting more foreign direct investment could help create jobs, especially for women.

In June 2017, the World Bank launched the most recent edition of the Sri Lanka Development Update (SLDU). Produced every six months, the report provides a more in-depth examination of selected economic and policy issues, and analysis of medium-term development challenges. This edition’s special focus has pages dedicated to policy discussions on promoting trade and investment.

Ralph van Doorn, the Senior Country Economist for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, sat down for an interview on the Sri Lankan television show Biz 1st review 360, to talk about the SLDU, a report which he said, sought to track Sri Lanka’s performance in the recent past, assess its present context, and look to future opportunities. Below are some highlights from the interview.

Looking back on 2016

Sri Lanka’s economy in 2016, and the first half of 2017 has been broadly satisfactory, Van Doorn explained. Some of the highlights were the passing of a Right to Information Act which will improve transparency and accountability,” he said, adding that other highlights included the restoration of the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP+), a preferential trade arrangement which will improve exports to the European Union, and VAT reforms which will help strengthen the tax base.

Noting that Sri Lanka’s outlook had improved thanks to a strengthening global economy, Van Doorn was careful to clarify that this was subject to the continuation of fiscal consolidation. It was essential that the government take proactive policy measures and remain committed to the reform agenda to protect the economy. While World Bank economists projected a 4.7 growth rate in 2017, that figure did not take into account the impact of the recent floods.

How can Sri Lanka sustain its growth in the medium term?

We believe that for Sri Lanka to sustain growth and create jobs in the medium term it will need to shift its growth model towards one more focused on private investment and tradable sectors,” said Van Doorn.

Reforms would be critical Van Doorn emphasised, adding that the time to undertake these was now. With a strengthening global outlook, the restoration of GSP+ and the improvement in public finance among other factors, Sri Lanka had been given a clear window of opportunity.

In the report we point out four policy recommendations,” Van Doorn told the reporter. The first one is continue on the fiscal consolidation path which means strengthening the revenue base and making the tax system fairer, simpler and more efficient.” Other recommendations included that the government align fiscal spending with revenue policies and improve the country’s fiscal competitiveness.

SLDU makes clear recommendations

The report suggested that way forward for Sri Lanka would be to adopt trade policy with a gradual but firm liberalization schedule and make progress on bilateral trade agreements, while carefully evaluating the costs and benefits to the country. Other focus areas could include trade facilitation and attracting foreign direct investments.

Improving the business and innovation environment will ensure that firms and non-traditional export sectors can also benefit by the opportunities that are presenting themselves,” said Van Doorn, adding that attracting more foreign direct investment could help create jobs, especially for women in a country that could see growth on the back of increased female labour force participation.

2011 World Cup Final: India vs Sri Lanka match was fixed, says Ranatunga

July 14th, 2017

Courtesy business-standard.com

“I was also in India giving commentaries at the time. When we lost, I was distressed and I had a doubt,” Ranatunga said. “We must investigate what happened to Sri Lanka at the 

“I cannot reveal everything now, but one day I will. There must be an inquiry.”

Former Sri Lanka skipper today demanded an investigation into the country’s defeat by India amid allegations of match fixing.

Ranatunga, 53, in a video posted on his Facebook page, said he was shocked by Sri Lanka’s six-wicket defeat in the final at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.

 Without giving names, Ranatunga said players could not hide the “dirt” with their clean white cricket clothing.

Sri Lanka, batting first, scored 274-6 off 50 overs and appeared in a commanding position when Indian superstar Sachin Tendulkar was caught for 18. India turned the game dramatically thanks partly to poor fielding and bowling by Sri Lanka.

Local media have raised suspicions of Sri Lankans throwing the match, but there was no formal call for an investigation till Ranatunga’s outburst.

Ranatunga’s spokesman Thamira Manju told AFP that he was writing to President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe complaining about the state of cricket in the country.

There have been recriminations in the country since Sri Lanka suffered a humiliating 3-2 loss to bottom-ranked Zimbabwe in a five-match one-day series on home soil this month.

There is also growing tension between Sri Lankan authorities and players about the use of managers, including an agent who represents more than half the national team.

Minister Dayasiri Jayasekera has said he wants to regulate agents in cricket in a bid to prevent the possibility of one individual fixing matches using a network of players under his management.

Former skipper Kumar Sangakkara, who led Sri Lanka in the 2011 World Cup defeat, has publicly defended his manager, a foreign national, who is also an agent for many other local players.

Last year, the International Cricket Council imposed a three-year ban on a top Sri Lankan official Jayananda Warnaweera for failing to cooperate with an anti-corruption investigation.

Warnaweera, a former Test player who was facing a two- year domestic ban over allegations of involvement in match- fixing, failed to attend interviews with an ICC anti- corruption unit.

Sri Lankan players and umpires have been accused of match fixing in the past, but Warnaweera was the high ranking official to be found guilty and penalised.

Sri Lanka’s cricket board suspended a fast bowling coach and sacked a part-time employee for their alleged roles in approach to two Sri Lankan players to arrange a defeat by West Indies at Galle in October 2015.

An unnamed man linked to a bookmaker had offered the two players some 10 million rupees (around $70,000) to lose the match.

Betting is illegal in most of the cricket-mad Indian subcontinent, but backstreet bookmakers — many with underworld links — still flourish.

Although no big-name Sri Lankan player has ever been convicted of corruption, several former stars have made allegations of match fixing or spot-fixing — when players deliberately bowl or field badly to give away a set number of runs.

How political interference made SriLankan crashland!

July 14th, 2017

By K.K.S.Perera Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The first Sri Lankan flag carrier Air Ceylon [1947-1979] terminated its operations to pave way for Air Lanka [1979-98]. Following its partial acquirement by Emirates in 1998, it was re-branded SriLankan Airlines. From 1998 it was dressed in the current livery. The Dubai-based Emirates Group invested in local flag carrier under an agreement signed by the Chandrika B Kumaranatunga government for a ten-year strategic joint venture.They initially invested US $ 70 million for a 40% stake, which later increased to 43.6%. The ground handling and airline catering at Colombo-Bandaranaike airport became the exclusive right of Emirates along with full control for investment and management decisions for a ten-year period. Refurbishing the airline’s image and fleet was another important task for Emirates under the agreement. However, this partnership ended abruptly due to political maneuvering by the Rajapaksa regime. However it has sustained its re-branded name and logo.


Burdened Tax Payer 
The airline started plummeting for a nosedive after former President Mahinda Rajapaksa ended the management deal with Emirates. Treasury data reveals a loss 50 billion in the tenure of the new unity administration. In simple terms, the airline went down from earning a profit of Rs 12 million a day under Emirates in 2008 to a loss of whopping 80 million a day in 2017. The Government of Sri Lanka in a deal that was finalized in 2010 bought Emirates 43.63% stake in the airline, thus ending any connections the two international airlines had with each other.
Failing to find a private stake-holder for the National carrier during its two years in office, the UNP-SLFP government altruistically contributed to the National carrier’s accumulated losses brings it to a staggering 170 billion rupees as at end April 2017.

In simple terms, the airline went down from earning a profit of Rs 12 million a day under Emirates in 2008 to a loss of whopping 80 million a day in 2017

In 2008, Peter Hill, the Emirates-appointed Chief Executive Officer declined to accommodate President Rajapaksa’s family and his coterie returning home on a fully booked flight from London. Obliging the ex-president would have meant removing paid passengers and allowing their seats to the party. Rajapakse abrogated the Chandrika-Emirates agreement and removed CEO Peter Hill, who had over 30 years of experience in the Airline industry. Hill, during his initial stages, gained experience with British Airways and Gulf Air, before playing a major role in developing Dubai-based Emirates to its present position. During his tenure, the airline survived a major pre-dawn attack by LTTE on July 24, 2001, where at least 19 people died, two Airbus A330 planes, one each of A320 and A340, and two other planes along with a number of military planes were destroyed.

 Wickremesinghe lacked the experience or formal learning that would qualify him to run an airline

MR later appointed planter Nishantha Wickremasinghe as the airline’s Chairman. Wickremesinghe lacked the experience or formal learning that would qualify him to run an airline. The accumulated profits during Emirate-managed Sri Lankan were 9.2 billion. The loss for the seven years under first lady Shiranthi’s brother from 2008 to end of regime was Rs. 128 billion.  A Board of Inquiry investigation into corruption at SriLankan under the chairmanship of Wickramasinghe released a report in March 2015. The report stated that corruption was widespread and established the allegations of CEO Wickramasinghe’s ‘affairs’. It also discovered an instance of a female crew member being released to allegedly work at ‘Temple Trees’ who admitted that she had worked at Namal Rajapaksa’s office. She was drawing a fuel re-imbursement of Rs. 75,000 a month submitting bogus petrol bills that totalled to Rs. 2.8 million [in addition to salary and perks]. A flight to Paris was supposed to wait for a group of 80 tourists going to Paris.They were to arrive from Maldives. An influential” female member telephoned her boss complaining about the long wait. The flight was commanded to take off for Paris immediately without the inbound passengers. The 80 passengers from Male had to be rerouted on other flights causing a massive loss to Sri Lankan Airlines.

We are losing in spite of low oil prices, when most international airlines are doing well. Claiming compensation by AerCap, the victimized leasing firm on premature termination of lease on A350 aircraft which the last regime ordered, has contributed to the losses in 2016. All state enterprises burden the people with corruption, mis-management, and bad appointments. Currently the airline industry has grown to be highly competitive with private airline’s innovative management skills overriding state run entities.

Successive governments appointed Boards on the basis of loyalty to political leaders, to their families, and schoolmates ignoring the significance of relevant expertise or competence and merit in corporate supremacy

RTI Application
In a high profile application for the Right to Information, last week, the Pilots Guild of Sri Lankan Airlines used the provisions of the RTI Act and requested details of salaries and perks to top administrators at SriLankan, which is about to crash land being unable to face huge losses. Creating history, The Guild has sought clarification on the payments made to the Chief Executive Officer, the Textile Technologist; Director Human Resources and the Chief Commercial Officer. They also seek information on the short-lived deal SriLankan had with Pakistan International Airline, the termination of order for Airbus A350s and Airbus A320 jet conversion. Since inception, all transactions of SriLankan Airlines were dealt with in secrecy. The Maithri-Ranil Unity Government is seeking a partner to revive the ‘sick giant’. Apart from the Pilots Guild, RTI law, a great step forward by the government, has provided an opportunity to the members of public a right to know about these covertly carried out exploitations.

Who is Responsible?
Successive governments appointed Boards on the basis of loyalty to political leaders, to their families, and schoolmates ignoring the significance of relevant expertise or competence and merit in corporate supremacy. President Jayewardene appointed Rakitha Wikramanayake as CEO in 1978. Wickremanayake, an expert in the flying industry, was appointed along with few other qualified high caliber members to run the show. JR refrained from interfering in any manner in its affairs. A Presidential Commission was appointed in 1986 by him to inquire into affairs of the airline. The commission reported on a few irregularities including financial mismanagement. After JRJ retired in 1988, the National carrier experienced a jet lagnever to recover. The findings of the commissiongreatly benefited the national carrier. A change in high command was effected. In this instant a senior SLAS with few other quality men that included DS Jayasundera, the multitalented dynamic industrialist, who was in the vanguard of Hayleys group’s growth were recruited. The airline prospered as an independent body causing no burden to the treasury.

In the latter part of 1988, a change of Head of State saw a re-structuring of the Board. The newly elected Executive President, R Premadasa dissolved the board of directors for no valid reason and replaced it with handpicked ‘flying without wings’ variety. His son-in-law, a horticulturist, too sat on the new board.

SriLankan flew through many political tornados experiencing bumpy rides. The airline incurred losses before and after Emirates and ended with a cumulative loss in excess of Rs 190 billion. It’s not only the Rajapaksas who contributed to the destruction of the national carrier. The Executive Presidents who preceded and Prime Ministers who succeeded him too planted family members, cronies and schoolmates to the ‘cockpit’  [excluding JRJ and CBK]. All of them added to the disaster that commenced in the 1970s. The successive administrations that stifled the airline created artificial sonic booms and debt traps which caused the carrier to crash land and should be answerable to the tax payer.
What Next?
The main worry now is converting the carrier to an economically viable stable entity, if not a valuably running undertaking. The government’s objective to bring in a foreign partner and restructure SriLankan will be assessed on priority basis. However, disposal of assets including the aircraft; and use proceeds to settle part of debts and compensate the employees is another alternative. Legislation has to be enacted to confiscate assets of those responsible for the ruin to cover part of losses incurred. They need strength to grapple with impending turbulences the Big bird would experience. Decisions need to be taken by good governance. Unwrap the oxygen masks and prepare for a coarse bumpy touchdown.

SriLankan is the only airline in the world where a Textile technologist who knows nothing about running an airline was made the Chairman of an Airline Company. Promises of good governance made to get the votes go unaccounted. These positions should be properly advertised at international level and quality men should be employed. These appointees require a global approach to business and have a broader vision. It’s the tax payers who have invested in these undertakings. Establishments like SriLankan mustn’t be treated like the birthright of corrupt politicians to find employment for their acquaintance and relatives.

‘If happy little birds fly beyond the rainbow, why oh why can’t I?’ — Yip Harburg

Bangladesh, Lanka sign 14 instruments

July 14th, 2017

By Mizan Rahman/Dhaka Courtesy  Gulf Times

Bangladesh and Sri Lanka yesterday signed 14 instruments beginning a ‘historic journey’ in their bilateral relations as the Sri Lankan president termed his visit to Bangladesh a ‘historic one.
The instruments – one agreement and 13 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) – were signed to strengthen co-operation between the two countries in the areas of economy, agriculture, shipping, higher education, information and technology and media.
Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina witnessed the signing of the instruments at the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) following a bilateral meeting between the two leaders.

*
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka also agreed to sign free trade agreement (FTA) by this year, aiming to further strengthen bilateral trade co-operation.
After the signing, Foreign Secretary Shahidul Haque briefed reporters.
The foreign secretary said the FTA with Sri Lanka would be Bangladesh’s first such deal with any country and necessary study would be done prior to signing of the agreement.
The lone agreement on visa waiver for diplomatic and official passport holders of the two countries was signed by Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Sri Lankan Foreign
Minister Ravi Karunanayake.
He said that if the FTA was inked it would help Bangladesh sign such FTAs with other countries. He also mentioned that there are some FTAs in the pipeline.
To me, this is a big political process towards trade and investment between the two countries,” he added.
About signing of 14 instruments and deals after the official talks, Haq said seven of these were on trade and investment which means that the two sides highly focused on boosting trade relations.
About the MoU on agriculture co-operation, Haq said Sri Lanka wants to develop its agriculture sector taking lessons from Bangladesh’s tremendous success.
Pointing out the co-operation on higher education, he said a large number of medical students from Sri Lanka are studying in Bangladesh and the two sides signed the MoU to further enhance co-operation in the sector.
Besides, an agreement on visa rebate of the official and diplomatic passport holders was also signed, aiming to make official level consultations more effective, he added.

Stranded elephant saved in dramatic sea rescue 8 miles from shore

July 14th, 2017

Taylor Rogers Yahoo News

For members of the Sri Lankan navy, a routine morning patrol took an unexpected turn on Tuesday when an elephant was spotted struggling to stay afloat after having been pulled miles off the coast by currents.

When naval personnel said it spotted the elephant eight miles from the shore, the animal was struggling to keep just its trunk above the waves while the rest of its body was underwater. Navy divers then tied ropes to the elephant and called for two additional boats to help gently pull it back to shore in what became a 12-hour rescue mission.Sri Lankan navy divers try to tie a rope around an elephant that had strayed into the open sea and was struggling to stay afloat. (Photo by Sri Lanka Navy Media Unit HA/REX/Shutterstock)

t is not unusual for elephants to swim long distances, Avinash Krishnan, a researcher for the  Indian animal conservation group A Rocha, told the Guardian, but they tire quickly.

And the saltwater isn’t good for their skin, so in this case, the situation probably warranted human intervention,” Krishnan said.

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Nave media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island, 12 July 2017. After being initially spotted by the crew of a fast attack craft of the East Naval Command about eight Nautical miles off the coast of kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai, the elephant was safely pulled ashore with the help of another fast attack craft and two Cedric boats and the close watch of Wildlife Personnel. Further action was taken over by the Wildlife Authority after being safely landed ashore. Sri Lanka Navy rescue elephant strayed away to the open sea, Kokkuthuduwai - 12 Jul 2017
Sri Lankan navy divers tie a rope around an elephant that had strayed away into the open sea. (Photo by Sri Lanka Navy Media Unit HA/REX/Shutterstock)

After the dramatic rescue at sea,” as described by the Sri Lankan navy on its website, naval personnel gave the elephant to wildlife officials before releasing it back into the wild.

A group of naval personnel attached to the Eastern Naval Command saved an elephant caught in a current in the seas about 8 Nm off Kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai. (Source: maps4news/Sri Lanka Navy/Yahoo News)

They usually wade through shallow waters or even swim across to take a shortcut,” said Sri Lankan navy spokesperson Chaminda Walakuluge. It is a miraculous escape for the elephant.”

A handout photo made available by Sri Lanka Nave media unit shows Sri Lanka Navy divers trying to tie a rope around an elephant who had strayed away into the open sea and trying to stay afloat off the East coast of the Island, 12 July 2017. After being initially spotted by the crew of a fast attack craft of the East Naval Command about eight Nautical miles off the coast of kokkuthuduwai, Kokilai, the elephant was safely pulled ashore with the help of another fast attack craft and two Cedric boats and the close watch of Wildlife Personnel. Further action was taken over by the Wildlife Authority after being safely landed ashore. Sri Lanka Navy rescue elephant strayed away to the open sea, Kokkuthuduwai - 12 Jul 2017
Sri Lankan navy divers attempt to rescue the elephant. (Photo by Ari Lanka Navy Medical Unit HA/REX/Shutterstock)

Read the FULL STORY by Talyor Rogers/Yahoo News >>>

‘REGIME CHANGE’ BEFORE ‘YAHAPALANA’

July 13th, 2017

KAMALIKA PIERIS

Revised 13.7.17

‘Regime change’ made its first appearance in Sri Lanka in September 1959 when S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was assassinated by a Buddhist priest, Somarama, on the verandah of his home. The assassination was planned. That was obvious. But it was not difficult to execute. Bandaranaike had no security protection whatsoever.  Anyone could kill him anywhere.

The public agreed that the person responsible for the assassination was the High Priest of Kelaniya, Buddharakkhita. They readily accepted the ridiculous argument that Buddharakkhita got Bandaranaike killed because Bandaranaike had refused to give Buddharakkhita a contract to import rice and another to set up a sugar factory. Heads of state are not assassinated for such flimsy reasons.

D.B.S.Jeyaraj has openly questioned whether any ‘foreign hand’ was involved in Bandaranaike’s assassination. Did Buddharakkhita and Somarama act on their own? He points out that USA had a strong anti-communist policy at this time. It was well known, he said, that between 1959 and 1962, the CIA was involved in assassinations and assassination attempts on political leaders who were pro-Left, like Lumumba, Sukarno and Fidel Castro. In the 1990s it was found that the CIA had given money to the Dalai Lama who was opposing Communist China’s takeover of Tibet. (http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/33515)

The 1956 MEP government of Bandaranaike marked the start of genuine political independence in Sri Lanka. Bandaranaike took the country away from its darling British loyalties. He made Britain hand over its military bases, Katunayake air base and the Trincomalee naval base to the government of Sri Lanka. Diplomatic relations were established between Sri Lanka and Communist China. Chinese Premier Chou en Lai visited, Beijing Opera followed. Sri Lanka  co-sponsored the resolution to restore China’s legitimate seat at the UN. Bandaranaike’s policies were supported by the powerful ‘sangha, veda, govi,   kamkaru’ pressure group. Bandaranaike had to go.  He went.

There is an interesting religious twist to the Bandaranaike assassination. Somarama   gave up robes during the trial and weeks before his execution was converted to Christianity and was baptized in his cell by the Anglican priest Mathew Peiris. Somarama had used a revolver which had belonged to a notorious underworld figure, Ossie Corea. Ossie Corea was a Catholic. Vimala Wijewardene, another accused, converted to Catholicism and gifted her houses and land to the Catholic Church.

The participation of the sangha in this assassination was expected to be a triumph for anti-Buddhist forces and a terrible blow to the powerful Buddhist movement of the time. But that did not happen. The intended regime change did not take place either.  Bandaranaike’s wife, Sirima took his place as Prime minister in the SLFP led government of 1960 and, to the surprise of everybody, including probably, Sirima herself, ran the country better than SWRD had done.  She     took firm decisions as PM, without dithering, and was excellent in her foreign policy. She seemed set to go on forever. Another round of ‘regime change’ was necessary,

A coup d’état was planned for 27 January 1962. The coup was planned by an assortment of army and police officers.  They were almost entirely, Christian, upper class, westernized, right wing and UNP. The leaders were F. C. de Saram, Commanding Officer, Ceylon Artillery  who later made a confession assuming full responsibility, Maurice De Mel, former Chief of Staff of the Army and Royce de Mel, Captain of the navy. They were joined by  five subordinate officers  from the Ceylon Artillery, several commanding officers from the Ceylon Signals Corps, and one from Ceylon Electrical and Mechanical Engineers .The Police  was represented by C.C.Dissanayake Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sidney de Soysa, former Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) , three Superintendents of Police and two Assistant Superintendents  of Police.

The coup was to be carried out by troops from the 3rd Field Regiment, 2nd Volunteer Antiaircraft Regiment of the Ceylon Artillery, almost the entire officer corps of these regiment were involved, 2nd (V) Field/Plant Regiment of the  Ceylon Engineers, 2nd Volunteer Signals Regiment of the  Ceylon Signals Corps, the  Armored cars of the Sabre troop of the Ceylon Armoured Corps and some members  of the Police.

It was to be a swift, surgical strike, accomplished within a few hours from midnight on the 27th.Police cars equipped with radio and loudspeakers were to go around Colombo and outskirts at midnight, announcing a 24 hour curfew. People had to remain indoors. Anyone seen outside would be shot on sight. Soldiers with vehicles and radio equipment were to be stationed at key locations in suburban Colombo and strategic junctions within Colombo city. Armoured cars and army vehicles fitted with radio equipment were to be stationed at the two Kelani bridges.

Police headquarters, Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and the Central Telephone and Telegraph exchanges would be taken over and all tele-communication suspended until further notice. A special telephone line from the Army headquarters to the Army barracks in Echelon square in Fort had been set up earlier, to be used for urgent intra-army communication. Fully armed Signals corps dispatch riders on motor cycles were to be positioned from 11 pm  at Torrington (Independence) square, to storm Radio Ceylon” and take it over when the password ‘Holdfast ‘ was given.  Lake House and Times of Ceylon were also to be taken over and newspapers were to cease publication for a few days. At Temple Trees the duty officer for the night had been replaced.

After 1956, many Sinhala-Buddhists were taken into the armed forces to counter the large number of Christians who had been recruited in British times. These soldiers it was anticipated would be loyal to the government. The coup leaders had to therefore prevent a potential counter-strike by such officers and troops.  Soldiers stationed at the Panagoda cantonment had to be prevented from entering Colombo at all costs, until the transfer of power was completed. Armoured cars and army vehicles fitted with radio equipment were to be stationed at the Kirillapone Bridge.

The Prime Minister , Cabinet Ministers,  Parliamentary Secretary for Defence and External affairs (Felix Dias Bandaranaike), Permanent secretary to the Ministry of Defence and External affairs (N. Q. Dias),  Army Commander,  acting Captain of the Navy,  Inspector General of Police as well as DIG (CID) (S A. Dissanayake) and SP (CID) (John Attygalle) were to be arrested and taken to the Army Headquarters, where they would be held as prisoners in the ammunition magazine, which was an underground bunker. Government members of Parliament and all LSSP, MEP and CP members of the opposition were to be detained en masse at e the Sravasti” MP’s hostel. Other officials, including service commanders, were to be placed under house arrest in their own homes in Colombo.

Maurice de Mel was to coordinate from Army headquarters, F.C. de Saram from Temple Trees” where the password  was to be British Grenadier” and Dissanayake from President’s House, then known as ‘Queens House”, password was Dowbiggin”. Queen’s House was the official residence of the Governor-General Sir Oliver Goonetilleke. Once the coup was successful, the coup leaders would meet Sir Oliver, request him to dissolve Parliament and take direct control. The country would then be run by a ‘junta’ of ex-Prime Ministers, Dudley Senanayake and Sir John Kotelawela.

The coup never happened. The government was alerted by P de S Kularatne, the leaders were rounded up, charged and found guilty. They got off on an appeal to Privy Council, London. This aborted coup had certain weaknesses. Stanley Senanayake, who held the key position of Superintendent of Police, Colombo was only told of the coup and invited to join it on the morning of the coup. He was also given the option of refusing! Senanayake said he would think about the matter and around noon told Dissanayake that he was not prepared to participate in a coup attempt against a democratically elected government. If a change of government was to be brought about it could only be through elections. Senanayake reported the matter to Kularatne, who alerted the government. Coup leaders should have sounded out Senanayake well before the day of the coup.

Successful military coups are either led by the head of the army, as in the case of Pakistan in 1977 or with the support of the king and army chief as in the case of Greece in 1967.  The Colombo coup was not led by the head of the army which meant that other high ups were masterminding it. It was alleged that several VVIPs were in on this. Sir Oliver Goonetilleke, who was never charged, resigned as Governor-General and went into self-imposed exile in Britain.

I cannot recall what the public thought of this coup at the time, but people are now saying, on the Internet, that western powers were probably behind it. One commentator said the coup was Plan B. Plan A was the assassination of Bandaranaike, which was easily achieved but did not bring the expected outcome. Another said he thought the CIA, MI5 and ‘other such organizations’ were trying to set up puppet governments in the emerging nations. A third commentator wondered whether ‘those guys were being groomed by the CIA to carry out their agendas. Such actions were openly carried out in other countries’.

The next attempt at ‘regime change’ came in 1971, with the JVP insurrection. This  also  was speedily crushed by the government .This insurrection took the country by surprise because it was against a popular,  people oriented  SLFP  government  which  had just one year before, won 91 seats out of 151 in the 1970 general election.  Several politicians, including N.M. Perera   thought the JVP were CIA agents. It is alleged that Rohana Wijeweera had been recruited as an American agent when he was studying in Russia! My view also is that this was a CIA project which jumped the gun.

This particular ‘regime change’ had Marxism as its theme. By 1970, Marxism’s role as a genuine social movement had come to an end and Marxism   was nestling in the arms of non-Marxists like the USA’s CIA.  Shocked readers found in 1967 that the highly regarded magazine ‘Encounter’ had been secretly funded by the CIA. Mature  students from the third world were recruited as ‘socialists ‘ in London and elsewhere  in the early 1970s  and  told to start   a revolution when they went home.

The JVP, like other destabilization movements was headed by a Politburo with district secretaries who met every two months in Colombo. Cadres were organized according to police divisions and police districts. Aliases were used, communication was by code. Training camps were held in secret places. A rudimentary form of military training was given with sketches of guns, rifle drills and karate.

The movement was still at a nascent level when the young JVPers jumped the gun and attacked police stations in April 1971.   They gained control of some areas but did not know what to do next. Instead of taking over neighboring towns and cities and marching on to other areas, they simply waited until those areas were also captured.   They also failed to set up a new government or new administration in the areas they controlled.  They were not trained for that. They were trained to await orders from a higher authority.

There is evidence to show that the JVP had western links. In the late 1980s the JVP had the money to buy three houses. Araliyawatte in Lilambe area Wariyapola, the house at Gonapola junction, Batuwita and the mansion, Katugaha walawwa in Neluwa near Attampitiya road. When an armed gang abducted eight bhikkus of the Manawa hithawadi organization in 1988, Somawansa Amarasinghe phoned Amnesty international in London. Somawansa’s wife and son were sent out of Sri Lanka in 1989, to UK via Italy. Somawansa left the country in 1990, first to Italy and then Switzerland. He returned to Sri Lanka in 2001 from Paris.  In 2010 Nalin de Silva observed that the JVP was being used by the western forces.

The next attempt at ‘regime change’ was the Presidential election of 2010. This became a dress rehearsal for the 2015 election. Sarath Fonseka was persuaded to   contest Rajapakse for the post of President. Commentators noted that the ‘regime changers’ were faced with the problem of ‘how to present a coarse, humorless general as an erudite individual of some refinement and polish and dent Rajapakse unbelievable popularity.’ In one speech broadcast on television, which I listened to, Fonseka referred to one individual as ‘mey ura’ and another as ‘kalaguna salakanne nethi kalavedda’ to which the delighted opposition replied ‘kalavadda kalaguna nosalakana bava dene gatte adai.’

It was said that foreign powers were behind Fonseka’s candidature,’ UK, US and Norway were supporting Sarath Fonseka. Sunday Observer ran a headline, ‘west behind moves to regime change’ and   said that if Fonseka won there would be external interference in Sri Lanka on an unprecedented scale. (Sunday Observer 24.1.10)    Wikileaks leaked a classified US missive, dated 6.11. 2009, which showed that there was US involvement in the election. Asian Tribune said that a massive USD 140 million was pumped into the country through conduits, including NGOs that were friendly to US interests. ‘There are interests which make attractive the disrupting of our democracy. Corruption is the charge now made for changing President Rajapaksa. Before the next wave of development comes after the war, there interested parties who want to breakdown what we have built on the efforts of our soldiers. There are individuals working as puppets to western big powers, said the media.

Many said Fonseka was a tool of the US government and western interests.  Fonseka had been given permanent residency in USA, Fonseka went to the US in Sept 2008 to tour Washington, while the Sri Lanka army was fighting at Muhamalai and Killinochchi,   another, ‘highly controversial’ trip to the US was arranged in 2009 with US ambassador Blake choreographing the moves, they said.  It was also rumored that USA had instructed Fonseka to give US exclusive access to the   Pulmoddai sands. (Daily News 28.1.10 p  7 ).

Presidential election 2010 was characterized by the amount of rumors, by the ‘katakatha brigade’. Using emails and SMS.  Most of these were from the elite in Colombo and other urban areas. the English speaking ‘intellectuals’ mainly Tamils or NGO Christians not to mention a few ‘broad minded’ Sinhala Buddhists  took the lead in the misinformation. Week after week they told us that this was going to be a close fight. Chandrika Kumaratunga had also supported Fonseka. In Jan 2010, BBC reported that she had said she was backing Fonseka. She had warmly      welcomed Fonseka when we visited her in Horagolla in a motorcade with media personnel in tow and posed for a picture with him.

Fonseka won in North and East. TNA’s Sampanthan said at an election rally that Rajapakse had refused to consider TNA demands, while Fonseka said he would consider the demand for merger of North and East.  Fonseka also won in Dehiwela, Negombo, Galle and Colombo Municipality, all electorates where there were less Sinhala Buddhists. Only about 8% Sinhalese voted for Fonseka.  Fonseka lost even in his home town of Ambalangoda.   Rajapakse became the president for a second time through the Sinhalese Buddhist vote. In some electorates he got about 70%. The rural voters were strongly behind Mahinda.

Prior to the election Fonseka was moving to Colombo, soldiers he considered loyal to him from the Sinha regiment and the Special Forces. He was also collecting deserters. After the elections results were announced, Fonseka and his entourage behaved peculiarly, Fonseka took up residence in a posh hotel, hiring a whole floor, together with, as I recall, Karu Jayasuriya Mangala Samaraweera and army deserters. A few slaps had been exchanged. My view, at the time was that Fonseka’s foreign handlers had arrived to run the country. Nothing happened however, the defeated group eventually left the hotel. President Rajapaksa had taken the precaution of stationing the army in front of this hotel.

After the election, there was open discussion about the impending foreign intervention in Sri Lanka. Gunadasa Amarasekera said in 2010, ‘We should now be able to see the conspiracy which had been initiated, hatched and executed meticulously going from stage to stage. This is the last stage of that conspiracy and probably the most decisive one which would determine whether we would be able to preserve our country. They would have worked on it for quite some time. In my view Fonseka has been contracted to perform three main tasks, defeat Mahinda, divide the Sinhala vote and get the Tamil vote in Fonseka’s favor. Then secondly, to garner necessary information that could be used as evidence for war crimes. Thirdly, to contest the general elections and break the power of the other parties, with JVP and breakaway sections of the UNP and SLFP. Since the UNP and JVP cannot work together there will be anarchy. And then this would help Fonseka to become a dictator to quell this ‘anarchy’.

The media warned in 2012 that protesters should be careful that they are not being manipulated by vested interests, they should check if any of the NGOs involved are funded by ultra right foundation or by proxies of foreign intelligence organisations. The Jathika Sangha Sammelanaya said, at a press conference, that international conspiracies were being hatched to undermine the sovereignty and independence of Sri Lanka.

In 2014, President Rajapakse said certain powerful nations with vested interest are trying to destabilize countries by installing puppet leaders as head of state. Foreign forces which do not wish to see a stable government in Sri Lanka are plotting with some political elements to set up a puppet government, he added.  Nalin de Silva said ‘What the west wanted is another government like that of Ranil and Chandrika, between 2002 and 2004 when the ceasefire agreement was signed.’

 

සංඝ දමනය

July 13th, 2017

චන්ද්‍රසිරි විජයවික්‍රම

පන්සලේ විප්ලවය

ක්‍රිස්තියානි-මාක්ස්වාදී හා රාවය කතෘවූ වික්ටර් අයිවන් මහතා විසින් 2002 දී පන්සලේ විප්ලවය නමින් පොතක් ලිව්වේය. කුලියට කල එන්ජිිෝ ඩොලර් නිෂ්පාදනයක් යයි සැකකල හැකි  මේ පොතෙන් ලංකාවේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ සමාජය ශීලාචාර කිරීමට අනුශාසනාවක් සපයා ඇත. පොතේ මූලික ඉලක්කයක් වී ඇත්තේ ගංගොඩවිල සෝම හිමියන්ගේ කතාවය. උන්වහන්සේව අපවත්කරවීමේ කුමණ්ත්‍රනයක් නොතිබුණු බව තහවුරු කිරීමට වික්ටර් වෙර දරයි. සෝම හාමුදුරුවන් ස්ත්‍රී පෙම් පටලැවිල්ලකට හසුවී මානසික කරදරයක වැටී සිටි බවත්, පින්තූරවල තමන්ගේ මුහුණේ පෙනුම පිළිඹිබු වන ආකාරය ගැන විශේෂ අවධානයකින් සිටි බවත්, තමන්ටත් ආචාර්‍ය උපාධියක් නැතිකම ගැන උත්සුකව සිටි බවත් වික්ටර් වාර්‍තා කලේය.

මේ පොත ලියා අවුරුදු දහයකට පසුව අහම්බෙන් එය කියවීමට ලැබුණු මගේ මතකයට ආවේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ස්ටැන්ලි තම්බයියා නම් ඇමෙරිකාවේ වාසයකල ඇන්ත්‍රොපොලොජි ප්‍රොපෙසර් විසින් 1992 දී ලියූ බුඩිසම් බිට්‍රේයිඩ් යන සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධී පොත හා එහි පිටකවරයට තරුණ මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමියන්ගේ මාරාවේශවූවා වගේ පෙනෙන මුහුණක පින්තූරයක් යොදාගැනීමය. එය ඔහුට සපයාදී ඇත්තේ විශාඛා කුමාරී (සොයිසා) ජයවර්‍ධන නම් ඉංග්‍රීසි මවකගේ, මාක්ස්වාදී දියණියය. පොතේ පෙරවදන ලියා ඇත්තේ හා එය මුද්‍රණයට මුදලින් උදව්කර ඇත්තේ ඇගේ සැමියාවුන ලාල් ජයවර්‍ධනය. ඔහු ඒ කාලයේ යුරෝපයේ ලංකා තානාපති කෙනෙකි. මෙම එකිනෙකාගේ පිටවල් කසා ගන්නා කළු සුද්දන්ගේ අන්තෝජටා බහිජටා ජාල ගැන ලංකාවේ මහජනයා දන්නේ නැත.

සංඝ රෙවොලූෂන්

මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත හිමියන්ගේ අභාවය සම්බන්ධයෙන්ද යම් යම් සැක පහලවූ නිසා ඒ ගැනද සමහරවිට වික්ටර් විසින් පොතක් ලියාවිද කියා මට සිතුනත්, තිරයෙන් පිටුපස ඉන්නා අදෘෂ්‍යමාන බලවේග වලට (උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් ඇමෙරිකන් තානාපතිනි මිචෙල් සිසන් අටපිරිකර අරන් ගියේ මහනුවර මල්වත්තට නොව පිටකෝට්ටේ පන්සලටය) සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ භූමිකාව මෙන් නොව සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවන් විසින් ඉතිරිකර ගිය නව අධිරාජ්‍යවාදයට පටහැනි දෑවැද්දක් නොවූ නිසා පොතක් ලියා මඩ ගැසීමේ අවශ්‍යතාවයක් නොවීය. තමන්ගේ ගෝල ශිෂ්‍යයින් කීප දෙනෙක්ම ඉවත්කිරීම නිසා රටේ සිටීමට වීසාවත් නැති කොරියන් ගෝලනමක් ඉතිරිවූ උන්වහන්සේ ගැන ඕනෑතරම් මඩ සොයාගැනීමට වික්ටර් අයිවන්ට ඉඩ තිබුණි. සෝභිත හාමුදුරුවන් සිටියේ සිය පිරිසිදු චේතනාව කඩවී රැවටුන පරාජිත මානසික මට්ටමකය. කල්තියා යවනු වෙනුවට සිංගප්පුරුවට යැව්වේද අවසන් හුස්ම හෙලමින් සිටි පංචස්කන්ධයකි.  මේ නිසා වික්ටර් වැනි කෙනෙක් වෙනුවට ඇමෙරිකාවේ සිට සිංහල සිවුරට තඩිබානා විශ්‍රාමලත් ඇන්ත්‍රොපොලොජි ප්‍රොපෙසර් එච් එල් සෙනෙවිරත්න 2017 ජූනි අග සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධී කලම්බු ටෙලිග්‍රාෆ් වෙබ් අඩවිය හරහා කදිම යෝජනාවක් ගෙනාවේය. 1956 ට කලින් තිබූ සුන්දර ලංකාව, 1956 අප්‍රේල් චන්දයෙන් පසු විනාශවූයේ (පිරිසිදු බෞද්ධ දර්‍ශනය වෙනුවට) සිංහලයින්ගේ බුද්ධාගමට අනුව රටේ (දේශ)පාලනය වෙනස්වීම නිසා හෙයින් මෙය ආපස්සට හරවා රට ප්‍රපාතයෙන් ගලවා ගැනීමට හැකි එකම ආකාරය නම් රටේ ඉන්නා තරුණ බුද්ධිමත් හාමුදුරුවරු එකතුව විප්ලවයක් කිරීමෙන් යයි ඔහු කියා සිටී.  වික්ටර්ගේ හා සෙනෙවිරත්නගේ මේ මෝඩ කතා ගැන දීර්‍ග වශයෙන් ලිවීමට මෙය අවස්ථාව නොවේ. මේ දෙන්නා සමඟ ලංකාවේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ පදනම බිඳ දැමිය යුතුය යන ව්‍යාපාරයේ ඉන්නා චන්ද්‍රිකා කුමාරතුංග, රෝසි සේනානායක, දඹර අමිල හිමි, වික්‍රමබාහු, මනෝ ගනේෂන්, රාජිත සේනාරත්න, ඩිලාන් පෙරේරා, ගාමිනී වියන්ගොඩ වැනි අයට, 1505 න් පසුව ප්‍රථම වරට කතෝලික කාඩිනල්තුමා විසින් නොබෝදා පිළිතුරක් දෙන ලදී.

සිවුරෙන් බෙල්ල කැපීම

නිර්‍මල බෞද්ධ දර්‍ශනය රැක ගැනීම වෙනුවෙන් පෙනී ඉන්නා ක්‍රිස්තියානී හා මාක්ස්වාදී එන්ජිිෝ නඩ සිංහල සංස්කෘතික බුද්ධාගමට පහරදීම දියරෙද්දෙන් බෙල්ල කැපීමේ උපායකි. වයි බුඩිස්ට්ස් කිල් යන තම්බයියා සූත්‍රය (උපක්‍රමය)  ඔහුගේ ගෝලයින්වන සෙනෙවිරත්න හා ගණනාත් ඔබේසේකර විසින් ඉංග්‍රීසි කතාකරණ ලෝකයට පතුරුවා හරින ලදී. දැන් 2017 වනවිට දක්නට ලැබෙන්නේ කුමන හෝ සිවුරක් තනිකර ඊට බැටදී බෞද්ධ බලවේගය අඩපන කිරීමේ ප්ලෑනය. මේ අනුව දේශීය හා විදේශීය බෞද්ධ විරෝධී බලවේග උඩින් හා යටින් බොදු බල සේනා ජාතික ව්‍යාපාරයට පහර දෙන්නේ ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ චරිතයට පහර දීම හරහාය. ඒ කාලයේ 1930-40 ස් ගණන්වල ධර්‍මපාලතුමාට රට එපාවී යන්නටම පහර දුන් (පිංකැට වලින් සල්ලි හොරකම් කරනවා වගේ කතා පවා කියමින්) අය අතර සර් ඩී බී ජයතිලකද සිටියේය. කුඩා කාලයේ කැළණිය පන්සල ආශ්‍රයෙන් හැදුන නිසා මාක්ස්වාදීන් රාජ්‍ය මන්ත්‍රණ සභාවේදී ඔහුට ඇබිත්තයා කියා කෑගැසුවේය. එවන් බෞද්ධයෙක් ධර්‍මපාලතුමාට හතුරුවූයේ කෙසේද?  ඔහු නොදැනම ඔහු සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධී බලවේගයට යටවිය. සමහර හාමුදුරුවරු ඥානසාර හිමියන්ට භාර්‍යාවන් හතරක් සිටියේ යයි ටීවී වලට කියනවා වගේය. දඹර අමිල හිමි ඔහුට රිලවා කියා නොකියා කියනවා වගේය.

ඌරාගේ මාළු උගේ පිටේම කැපීම

බුද්ධාගමේ අවිහිංසාවාදය (නවගුනවැල) ඉස්සරහට දමා සිංහල බෞද්ධ පදනම බකල් කිරීමේ (අවසානයේ රට කැබලි කිරීමේ) මෙම ශූක්‍ෂම ප්ලෑන ප්‍රමාදවී හෝ එසේ නැත්නම් ඉචසීමේ සීමාවට ආවාට පසු අස්ගිරි හාමුදුරුවරුන්ට වැටහීම නිසා ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන් බිල්ලට ගැනීම අතරමග නතරවිය. දැන් සිදුවන්නේ අස්ගිරි පාර්‍ශවයට හින්ට් පාස් කරමින් ඒ හාමුදුරුවරුන් පසුපස හඹා ඒමට ගන්නා කූඨ උත්සාහයකි. ජේ ආර් ගැටඹේ පන්සල වටේ කටු කම්බි ගැසුවා මෙනි. මෙම ප්ලෑන අන්‍යාගමික ව්‍යාපාරවලට දෙපැත්ත කැපෙන අයුධයක් පමණක් නොව සිංහල බෞද්ධ යයි කියා ගන්නා හොර දේශපාලකයින්ට සුළු වාර්ගික චන්ද ගැනීම සඳහා සිංහල බෞද්ධ ප්‍රශ්න යටගසා සැඟවීමට කඩතුරාවක්ද සපයයි. ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන් අසන සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ගේ කැකෑරෙන ප්‍රශ්න ඇත්තද යන්න සාකච්චා කරනවා වෙනුවට මේ හොරු ඉදිරියට ගේන්නේ හාමුදුරුවෝ පොලිස් නිලධාරීන්ට අසභ්‍ය වචනයෙන් බණිනවා යන්නය. මෙයට ඉංග්‍රීසියෙන් කියන්නේ කිල් ද මෙසෙන්ජර් කියාය.

බොදු බල සේනාවේ උපත (2012 මැයි)

ඥානසාර හිමියන්ගේ ජීවිත/චරිත කතාවේ ඉතිහාසය කුමක්ද, නෝර්වේ වලින් සල්ලි දුන්නාද, ඔහු වංක දේශපාලකයින්ට කඩේ ගියාද, ඔහු ජාතිවාදියෙක්ද යන කතා වෙනුවට අප විසින් ඇසිය යුතු ප්‍රශ්න නම් බොදු බල සේනාව කියා සංවිධානයක් මතුවූයේ ඇයි, එය ගෙනා පණිවුඩය කුමක්ද, ලංකාවේ කළු සුද්දන්ගේ සමස්ථ සමාජ-දේශපාලන සංස්ථාවම එය හතුරෙක් ලෙස සළකන්නේ මන්ද යනාදී කාරණාය. මේවා උභතෝකෝටික ප්‍රශ්න නොවේ.  හොරු මේවා මගහැර යනවා පමණය. මෙම ලිපිය සෝම හාමුදුරුවන් ගේ කතාවෙන් ආරම්භ කලේ ඒ මඟින් මේ ප්‍රශ්න තේරුම් ගැනීමට පහසුවන නිසාය. ඉංග්‍රිසිකාරයින් ලංකාව අල්ලාගත් 1802 සිට මේ දක්වා සිවුර හා පාලකයින් අතර තිබූ ගණුදෙණු/ගැටුම් සලකා බලන විට එම ඉතිහාස කතාවේ විවිධ සිද්ධි අවධි/කාල හා අවස්ථා කැපී පෙනේ. අද ඉන්නා දේශපාලක රංචුව සිංහල බෞද්ධයාගේ ඇස් වලට වැලිගසමින් කරගෙන යන ප්‍රෝඩාව පුදුමයක් නොවන බව මෙම ඉතිහාසයෙන් ස්ඵුටවේ. වෙඩිකෑ ඌරන්මෙන් රාජිත සේනාරත්න, දඹර අමිල හිමි ප්‍රමුඛ පුරවැසි බලය ත්‍රයිනිකායික මහා නායක හිමිවරුන්ට අපහාසකරන මෙවන් අවධියක් මීට පෙර තිබුණේ නැත. මීතොටමුල්ලේ කුණු (මඩු පල්ලියට වෙනුවට?) ජේතවනාරාමයට ගෙනගොස් දැමූ පින්තූරයක් කලා නිර්‍මානයක් යයි කිසි පැකිලීමකින් තොරව සමනලී ෆොන්සේකා නම් නිළිය කියන්නේ ඒ නිසාය.

අධර්මිෂ්ඨ සමාජය

ජෙොර්-ප්‍රේමදාස-චන්ද්‍රිකා-රනිල් පාලන කාලවලදී සිංහල බෞද්ධයින් මුහුණපාමින් සිටි මහා ව්‍යසනයට විරුද්ධව ඉදිරියට ඒමට මරණ බියනැති කිසිම ගිහියෙක් රටේ නොසිටි නිසා තමන්ට ඒ සඳහා ඉදිරිපත්  වීමට සිදුවූ බව ගංගොඩවිල සෝම හිමියන් කියා සිටියේය. තමා බෞද්ධ යයි කීමට අදිමදි කරණ තරමට මිනිසුන්ගේ ආත්ම ශක්තිය හා අධ්‍යාත්මය පිරිහී තිබුණි. චන්ද්‍රිකා ජනාධිපති විසින් පත්කල බුද්ධ ශාසන කොමිෂන් සභාව 2002 දී වාර්‍තාවක් ඉදිරිපත් කලත්, එය මුද්‍රණය කලත්, එය හමස් පෙට්ටියට නොව කුණුකූඩයට දැම්මා සේ විය. මඩිහේ පඤ්ඤාසීහ හා නාරද වැනි හාමුදුරුවරුද ඉඳහිට ලිපි ලියු බව සැබෑය.  2003 දෙසැම්බර් මස සෝම හිමියන්ගේ හදිසි සැකකටයුතු අභාවයෙන් පසු උන්වහන්සේ ගොඩනැඟූ සිංහල බෞද්ධ ප්‍රභොධයෙන් වාසියක් ලබාගැනීමට ජේවීපී එක පවා ක්‍රියාකලේ හාමුදුරුවරුන්ට පාර අයිනේ සිට පෙලපාලිවලදී ඔවුන්ගේ අතේ පිරිත්නූල් බැඳීමට ඉඩ දෙමිනි. සිංහල උරුමය, ජාතික හෙල උරුමය හා මහින්ද රාජපක්‍ෂ සෝම හිමියන්ගේ දෑවැද්දෙන් ලාභ ලැබූ අයය.

සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට නායකයෙක් නැතිවයාම

මොවුන්ගෙන් සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට වැඩක් නැතිබව විශේෂයෙන් 2009 මැයි 19 දාට පසු සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට ඒත්තු ගියේ ශීඝ්‍රයෙන් පැතිරෙන අන්‍යාගමීකරණය, හලාල්-ශාරියා වාදය ඉදිරියේ ජනාධිපතිවරයා විසින් යුරෝපයෙන් ආ අළුත් යටත් විජිතවාදී ලණුවක් වුන බහු ජාතික-සර්‍වාගමික බහුභූතයක් අසාධාරණ ලෙස බදාගැනීමෙන් පසුවය. දළදා මාළිගාව වටේ රෑට කාර් රේස් යන කාලයක, පාලකයින් තමන් කියන දේට ඇහුම්කන් නොදෙන නිසා ඒ ගැන යමක් කරණ ලෙස මල්වත්තේ මහානායක හිමියන් විසින් පවා වරක් බොදු බල සේනාවෙන් ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ ඉල්ලා සිටියේය. 2012 මැයි මස බොදු බල සේනාව බිහිවූයේ මෙසේ දේශපාලකයින් කඹවැනි පිරිත්නූල් අතේ බැඳගෙන, අපේ හාමුදුරුවනේ-අපේ හාමුදුරුවනේ කියමින් බෞද්ධයින් රවටන පසුබිම යටතේය. ඊට විරුද්ධව හැම හොර බෞද්ධ දේශපාලකයෙක්ම නැඟීසිටියේ කලින් සෝම හිමියන් බණ මඩුවේ සිට මට සිළුටු භාෂාවෙන් දුන් පණිවුඩය, ඥානසාර හිමියන් විසින් වේදිකාවල ප්‍රසිද්ධියේ ශුද්ධ සිංහල භාෂාවෙන් රටට හෙලිකිරීමය. සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට මේ රටේ දේශපාලකයින් සළකන්නේ සමහර පිරිමි හිතහොඳ ගෑණුන්ට සළකන ආකාරයට වගේය යන්න මේ පණිවුඩයය (ඇල්ලේ ගුණවංශ හාමුදුරුවන් මෙය කියන්නේ හාමුදුරුවරු දේශපාලකයින්ට කොඩි උස්සාගෙන ගොස් අන්තිමේදී ඔවුන්ට ඉතිරිවුනේ කොඩිවල පොලු පමණක් යනුවෙනි). මේ පණිවුඩය රටේ දේශපාලකයින්ව ගලේ පැහැරූ බළලුන් බවට පත්කල විට සමහර දේශපාලකයින් ඥානසාර හිමියන්ට අශීලාචාර ලෙස ඇමතීම නිසා ඊට පිළිතුරු වශයෙන් හාමුදුරුවෝ ඇමතිලාට හාස්‍යයෙන් හෝ අවඥාවෙන් වෙනුවට අපහාස මුඛයෙන් කතා කලේය. ඔවුන්ගේ සායම් ගැලවී ගියේය. සමහර ලොකු කුඩා ඇමතිලා අවලංගු කාසි වගේ විය. මේ යුද්ධය නම් කවදාවත්ම දිනන්න බෑ කියූ චන්ද්‍රිකා, රනිල්, රාජිත, ඩිලාන්ලා වැනි පෙඩරල් කාරයින් පමණක් නොව විමල් වීරවංශ, මෛත්‍රීපාල, මහින්ද, බැසිල් යනාදී හැම දෙනාම ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන්ගෙන් බැට කෑවේය.

සිවුරු ඝාතනය

රටේ වංක දේශපාලකයින්ට, එන්ජිිෝ නඩවලට, විදේශ ඔත්තු සේවාවලට හා වත්මන් ලෝකයේ නියම ස්වරූපය නොතේරෙන නවගුනවැල් බෞද්ධයින්ට ඇති කැක්කුම ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ අසභ්‍ය වචන නම්, ශාන්තුවරයෙක් මෙන් බණ දේශනා කල සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ට සිදුවූ විපතට හේතුව කුමක්ද?  නාරද හාමුදුරුවන් ලිපි ලියනවා වගේ, මල්වත්තේ හා අස්ගිරියේ මහනාහිමිවරු උපදෙස් දෙනවා වගේ හෝ වරින්වර බොරුවට කොමිෂන් සභා පත්කරනවා වගේ යම් හාමුදුරුනමක් බණ කියන ගමන් සමාජයේ පිරිහීම, බුද්ධාගමට, ශාසනයට වන හානිය ගැනත් සඳහන් කලාට, රටක සම්පත් සූරාකෑම හා උපරිම ලාභ උපයාගැනීම යන ලෝක ධනවාදයට හවුල්වී ජය පැන් බොන ලංකාවේ දේශපාලක-නිලධාරී-මුදලාලි කළු සුද්දන්ට භීතියක් නැත. පෙනෙන හා නොපෙනෙන විදේශ බලවේග යටතේ ලණුවෙන් බැඳ ඇති සතාට කණුව වටේ කැරකිය හැකි සීමාවක් ඇත. ප්‍රශ්නය හටගන්නේ ඉන් එහාට යන්නට ගියොත් ය. තමන් ජනාධිපතිකමට තරග කරනවා යයි ප්‍රකාශ කිරීමෙන් සෝම හාමුදුරුවෝ ලණුව කැඩුවා පමණක් නොව ඉන් ඔබ්බට ගොස් වැටද කඩාදැමීමේ අවදානමක් මතුකලේය. උන්වහන්සේව විනාශ කිරීමේ ව්‍යාපාරයක් දියත් වුණේ ඒනිසාය. වික්ටර් අයිවන්ම කියන අන්දමට හාමුදුරුවන් රාත්‍රීකාලයේ පන්සලේ නොසිට වෙන ගෙයක සැඟවී සිටි කාලයක් උදාවූයේ මෙසේය.

මෙසේ බණ කියූ සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ ජීවිතයට තර්‍ජනයක් ආවා පමණක් නොව සෝම අවතාරයට පවා මඩ ගැසීමේ කොන්ත්‍රාත්තුවක් වික්ටර් විසින් භාරගත්තා නොවේද? මේ නිසා ඥානසාර හිමියන්ගේ ප්‍රශ්නය ශීලාචාර රටක වාග් විද්‍යාවේ ප්‍රශ්නයක් නොවේ. උන්වහන්සේව නිශ්ශබ්ද කලයුතු වන්නේ  පවතින සිස්ටම්  එකට හරහට සිටින නිසාය. වැලිවිට ශ්‍රී සරණංකර සංඝරාජ හිමියන් ඝාතනය කිරීමට කොළඹ සිට කුමණ්ත්‍රනය කල කාලයේ සිට 1959 දී අගමැති බණ්ඩාරනායක මහතාට කැබිනට් රැස්වීමේදී නයි විෂ දමා කිරි වීදුරුවක් දීමට සැදීම (වැරදීමකින් එය බිව්වේ සී පී ද සිල්වාය), 1959 සැප්තැම්බර් මස හාමුදුරුකෙනෙක් යොදවා ඔහුව ඝාතනය කිරීම, 1962 සිංහල-දෙමළ ක්‍රිස්තියානී පොලිස් කුමණ්ත්‍රනය, කොටගම වාචිස්සර, පානදුරේ අරියධම්ම යන හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ සැකකටයුතු අභාවය වැනි සිද්ධි ප්‍රොපෙසර් සෙනෙවිරත්නට නොවැදගත් වුවත් මේවා සිංහල බෞද්ධ විරෝධී ව්‍යාපාරයක විවිධ අංගය. සෝමාරාම හා බුද්ධරක්ඛිත ඇම වශයෙන් යොදාගත්තත්, ඒකාලයේ ක්‍රිස්තියානි ඔසී කොරයා හිස බූගා සිටීම, රොස්මීඩ් නිවස පිටිපස තාප්පයෙන් යමෙක් පැනයනු දුටු අල්ලපු ගෙදරක ගෘහ සේවිකාවක් සිටීම, සෝමාරාමට වෙඩිතියන්නට පුහුණුව දුන් පොලිස් පරීක්‍ෂක නිව්ටන් පෙරේරා හා 1962 කුමණ්ත්‍රනයට අසුවූ සිඩ්නි ද සොයිසා අතර කොල්ලුපිටිය පොලිසිය ඉදිරියේ ගාළු පාරේ සිදුවූ රහස් සාකච්චාව, විමලා විජේවර්‍ධන නිවසේදී නිව්ටන් හා ඔසී මුණගැසීම වැනි කාරණා අනුව ඇමෙරිකාවේ ජෝන් කෙනඩි ඝාතනය මෙන් සත්‍යය අප හිතා ඉන්නා දේ නොවිය හැකිය. සත්‍යය වසන් කිරීමකට හොඳම නිදසුනක් නම් තම්බයියා තම පොතේ 1966 හේන්පිටගෙදර ඥානසීහ හාමුදුරුවන් හා රිචඩ් උඩුගම බොරු කුමණ්ත්‍රනය (ඔසී කොරයා විසින් දොඩම්පේ මුදලාලි මට්ටුකල) සඳහන් කර තිබුනත් 1962 නියම කුමණ්ත්‍රනය හෝ දෙමළ භාෂා සාධාරණ විධි විධාන පණතට විරුද්ධව 1957 ඔක්තෝබර් 3 ජේ ආර්-ඩඩ්ලිගේ ඉඹුල්ගොඩ ගමන හෝ සඳහන් කර නොතිබීමය.

හාමුදුරුවරුන්ගේ විනය

හාමුදුරුකෙනෙක් යනු වෙනම ස්වාධීන සංස්ථාවකි. මහණ කිරීමට පෙර දරුවා සිය මෑණියන්ට වඳියි. ඊට ටික වේලාවකට පසු සාමනේර නමට අම්මා වඳියි. ලෝකයේ වෙන කිසිම ආගමික සංස්ථාවක මේ සංකල්පය නැත. ථෙරපුත්තාභය යෝධයාට මෙන් සිවුර පැත්තක තබා යුද්ධයට යාමටත් යුද්ධයට පසු නැවත සිවුර දමා ගැනීමටත් අවකාශ ඇත්තේ ඒ නිසාය. යුද්ධ කිරීමට පසුබටවූ ජනාධිපතිට ආත්ම ශක්තිය දුන්නේ රතන, ගුණවංශ වැනි හාමුදුරුවරුය. සිදුවිය හැකි අන්තරාව දැක දැක සතුරාගේ ගුහාවට යාමට තරම් නිර්භීත විය හැක්කේද ගිහියන්ට නොව හාමුදුරුවරුන්ටය. කුමාර් රූපසිංහගේ ටයිගර් සාම රැස්වීමට කඩා පැනීමටත්, සිරිකොත චෝගම් ප්‍රදර්‍ශනයට ඇතුළුවීමටත් ඥානසාර හිමියන් බිය නොවීය. මඩකලපුවේ මංගලාරාමයේ සුමනරතන හාමුදුරුවන් කරගෙන යන සටන නවගුනවැලෙන් කල හැකිද? කොළඹින් ආ නිලධාරියෙක් උන්වහන්සේට පන්සලේ හොර ගෑනියෙක් ඉන්නවා යයි කී විට නයෙක් පෙන් කිපී සමාව ගන්නා තුරුම තර්‍ජනය කලේ හා හොර පොලිස් නිලධාරීන්ට හා පක්‍ෂග්‍රාහී දෙමළ ග්‍රාම සේවකලාට අසභ්‍ය වචනයෙන් බනින්නේ අවංකව තනිවම කරගෙන යන සටනක සාධාරණකම ගැන වගකිවයුත්තන් නිහඬව සිටීම නිසාය. එසේ සිටිමින් ඒ නිසා මානසිකව කෝපවන හාමුදුරුනමක් අසිල්වත් යයි ලේබල් කිරීම අශූචි වලින් පිරුණු ශිෂ්ටයයි හිතන ලෝකයේ උගුලය. ඒ කාලයේ රටේ සිටි ප්‍රභූ පන්තිය ධර්‍මපාලතුමා විකල් මනසක් ඇත්තෙක් යයි කිව්වේ නැද්ද?

එක්තරා අන්දමක අසාමාන්‍ය මිනිසෙක් (මනසක්) නොවේ නම් ධර්‍මපාල කෙනෙක්, ඥානසාර කෙනෙක් හෝ සුමනරතන කෙනෙක් සමාජයකට නොලැබේ. අශිෂ්ට යයි සළකණ වචන (කුණු හරුප?) ඇමෙරිකාවේ ජනාධිපතිගේ සිට කසල එකතුකරන්නා දක්වා හැමෝම අඩුවැඩි වශයෙන් භාවිතා කරනවා මා අසා ඇත. කේන්තිේම මිනිස් දුර්‍වල කමකි. රීතියක් වශයෙන් දේශපාලකයින් කුණුහරුප කියන්නේ චන්ද දායකයින් නැති තැනක වුනත් ජෝන් අමරතුංග ඇමති අවුරුදු 80 වෙලාත් අම්මා මතක් කර මාධ්‍යවේදියාට බැන්නේ ඒ නිසාය.

කාඩිනල්තුමා හා මහානායක හිමිවරු

මෙවැනි දුර්‍වල කමක් නැත්නම් අද ඥානසාර හිමි කියා කෙනෙක් රටේ නැත. සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ටවත්, රතන හෝ ගුණවංශ හෝ නාරද හෝ පඤ්ඤාසීහ හාමුදුරුවරුන්ටත් කල නොහැකිවූ දෙයක් ඥානසාර හිමියන් රටට කර ඇත. එය නම් හොර දේශපාලක පන්තියක් විසින් ලංකාවට කරමින් සිටිනා විනාශය බල බලා නිහඬව සිටි මහානායක හාමුදුරුවරුන්ව අවදිකරවීමය. ඥානසාර භික්‍ෂුවගේ සමහර හැසිරීම් අපි අනුමත කරන්නේ නෑ නමුත් ඔහුගේ මතවාදයට අපි එකඟයි යන ත්‍රයිනිකායික ප්‍රකාශනයට පෙඩරල් ඇමතිලා, 13-ඒ සපෝටර්ලා, හා ජේවීපී අතරමංවූ අය වෙඩිකෑ ඌරන්වගේ වී සිටී. පුදුමය නම් කාඩිනල්තුමා මේ කතාවම මීට කලින් වෙන වචන වලින් කී විට (ලංකාවේ සිංහල බෞද්ධ පදනම අනිත් සුළු ජන වර්‍ග විසින් පිළිගතයුතුය) කිසිවෙක් ඒ ගැන කට නෑරීමය. යුද්ධ කාලයේ ජෙනරාල් සරත් ෆොන්සේකා කිව්වේත් මේ කතාවම නොවේද?

සාමන්‍යයෙන් කියනුයේ ඉලක්කය හොඳ වුවත් ඊට යාමට යොදාගන්නා විධි නරක නොවිය යුතුය කියාය (එන්ඩ්ස් ඩෝන්ට් ජස්ටිෆයි ද මීන්ස්). එහෙත් මීයන් අල්ලනවා නම් බළලා මැටියෙන් වුනත් කමක් නෑ කියාද කියමනක් තිබේ. අයිවර් ජෙනින්ස් විසින් ඩී එස් සේනානායක මහතාට සදාදුන් 1944 අමාත්‍ය මණ්ඩල කෙටුම්පත සෝල්බරි කොමිෂම විසින් 1947 ව්‍යවස්ථාව කරන ලදී. මේ කෙටුම්පත ප්‍රථමයෙන් කොළඹ කතෝලික අගරදගුරුතුමාට ඉදිරිපත්කල බව වාර්‍තාවේ. දැන් 2017 ජූලි මාසයේදී ලංකාවේ ජනාධිපති විසින් යම් ව්‍යවස්ථා කෙටුම්පතක් පිළියෙල වේ නම් එය ප්‍රථමයෙන් මහානායක හාමුදුරුවරුන්ට ඉදිරිපත්කරන්නට පොරොන්දුවීම 1815 ගිවිසුමේ කොන්දේසි සිහිපත් කරවයි. ලක්‍ෂ 62 ක චන්දය මහානායක හිමිවරුන් තුන් දෙනෙකුගේ චන්දයට වඩා වැඩි නොවේ යයි රාජිත කියතත්, ඒ නාහිමිවරුන්ගේ මොළයේ සෙන්ටිමීටර් ප්‍රමාණය ගැන පුරාවිද්‍යාධාරී අමිල හිමියන් තර්‍ක කලත් හසලක වීරයාගේ මවට මෙන්ම ඥානසාර හිමියන්ගේ මවටද දැන් සතුටු විය හැකිය.

බොදු බල සේනා මතවාදය

මෙම ලිපියේ ආරම්භයේදී සඳහන් කල පරිදි සිවුර හා ආණ්ඩුව අතර ඉතිහාසයේ එක් එක් අවධි විමසා බලනවිට බොදු බල සේනාව ඉල්ලා සිටින්නේ කුමක්ද යන්න ඉතාමත් පැහැදිළි වන්නේය. එම අවස්ථාවල ලැයිස්තුවක් පමණක් මේ ලිපියේ පෙන්වන්නේ මේ ලිපිය දිග වැඩිවෙන නිසාය. මීලඟ ලිපියෙන් ඒ අවධි විස්තර කරමි.  කෙසේ නමුත් නීතිය, ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය, ලෝක මතය යනාදී පිදුරු ගස් අල්ලාගෙන කෙස් පැලෙන තර්‍ක ගේනා බංගවේවා මාක්ස්වාදීන්ට, ක්‍රිස්තියානී, ඉස්ලාම් ශාරියා, පෙඩරල්-ඊළම්, පිරිත් නූල් බෞද්ධයින්ට, එන්ජිිෝ ඩොලර් මුදලාලිලාට හා කළු සුද්දන්ට පෙන්වා දිය යුතු මූලික කරුණු කීපයක් ඇත.

  1. අනිත්‍යය හා අවිහිංසාව මත පදනම්වූ දර්‍ශනයක් වශයෙන් අන් ආගම් හෝ ඇදහිලි වලට හානි කිරීම බොදු බල සේනාවේ අරමුණ නොවේ. එහෙත් ශාරියා කාරයින් කඩුවෙන් බෙල්ල කපන තෙක් බණ මඩුවක ඉඳගෙන නවගුනවැල ගැන ගැන ඉන්නට එය සූදානම් නැති බව එහි ලාංචනය වන නාගයා පෙනයේ පණිවුඩයයි.
    2. 1505 සිටම සිංහල බෞද්ධයින් මුහුණදුන් හිරිහැර, වෙනස්කම්, කෙණහිලි හා සමූල ඝාතන වල අහිතකර ප්‍රතිඵල, 1948 න් පසුව හෝ දැන් 2017 දී හෝ ඉවත්කර නැත. උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන් උඩරට ගැමි පුනරුථාපන කොමිෂම, පුවත් පත් කොමිෂම, නොයෙක් බුද්ධ ශාසන කොමිෂම් වල නිර්දේශ උවමනාවෙන්ම යට ගසා බොරු බෞද්ධ කටයුතු අමාත්‍යාංශයක් අටවා ඇත.
    3. ආසියාව ක්‍රිස්තියානි කිරීම, ක්‍රිස්තියානි මූලධර්‍මවාදය හරහා අයුතු අන්‍යාගමීකරණය, ලෝක ශාරියා වහබ් වාදය,  ලෝකයේ වෙනම දෙමළ රටක් සඳහා වන ඊළම් ව්‍යාපාරය, කළු සුද්දන් හරහා ලෝක ධනවාදය යටතේ දුප්පත් රටවල සම්පත් සූරා කෑම, ඒ සඳහා රටවල් ඇතුලත මානව අයිතිවාසිකම් යන අට්ටාලයක් ඇටවීම ලංකාවේ ජනාධිපතිට මෛත්‍රී භාවනාවෙන් පාලනය කලහැකි කාරණා නොවේ.
    4. බොදු බල සේනාව ඉල්ලා සිටියේ සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට ඇති ප්‍රශ්න සාකච්චා කර විසඳාගන්නට අවස්ථාවක් වුවත් රාජපක්‍ෂ ආණ්ඩුවත්, සිරිසේන ආණ්ඩුවත් එය පැහැර හැරියේය. මේ නිසා 2002 කොමිෂම් වාර්‍තාවට පසු දැන් තවත් අළුත් කොමිෂමක් පත් කරන්නට එකඟවීම ඥානසාර මතවාදයට ගරුකිරීමකි.

ඉහත සඳහන් කරුණු සියල්ල ලිස්සා යවන දයාන් ජයතිලක නම් ක්‍රිස්තියානි මාක්ස්වාදියා කියන්නේ අන්තවාදය, අන්තජාතිවාදය (දැන් ඔහු රාජපක්‍ෂ මාදිලියේ බහුජාතික ජාතිකවාදියෙකි) යන වැරදි වලට වඩා ලේසියෙන් ප්‍රචන්ඩත්වය කරා මිනිසුන් උසිගැන්වීම (කුලප්පුකරවීම) යන නීතිමය හා සදාචාර වරද යටතේ ඥානසාර හිමියන්ව හිරේ දැමිය යුතුය කියාය. තිස්ස විතාරණ මැජෝරිටි වාර්‍තාවට විරුද්ධව වෙනම වාර්‍තාවක් සැපයූ සිංහලයින් හතර දෙනාගෙන් කෙනෙකුවූ පේරාදෙණියේ භූගෝල විද්‍යා මාහාචාර්‍යවරයෙකුවූ ජී එච් පීරිස් මහතා දයාන්ට මේ ගැන ටොක්කක් ඇන්නේය (ද අයිලන්ඩ්, ජූලි 8).

දයානුත්, අළුත් නෙළුම් පොහොට්ටු පක්‍ෂයත්, කලින් සිටි චන්ද්‍රිකා-රාජපක්‍ෂ ආණ්ඩුත්, රනිල්-සිරිසේන ආණ්ඩුවත් රටට පැහැදිලිකල යුතුවන්නේ 2002 බුද්ධ ශාසන කොමිෂමේ වාර්‍තාව හමස් පෙට්ටියට දැම්මේ කුමක් නිසාද යන කාරණාවය. එසේ නැත්නම් ඒ වාර්‍තාව හා ඊට පෙර පත්කල එවැනි කොමිෂන් සභාවල වාර්‍තාත් ඥානසාර හිමියන් 2012 සිටම හඬගා කියූ කතාවත් අතර ඇති වෙනස කුමක්ද යන්නය. ජේ සී වැලිමුණ නම් ක්‍රිස්තියානි එන්ජිිෝ ඒජන්ට් කියන්නේ අස්ගිරියේ මීලඟ ඉල්ලීම වෙන්නේ පසුගිය ආණ්ඩුවේ හොරුන්ට විරුද්ධව ක්‍රියා නොකරන ලෙස බවය.  ජූනි 20 දා අස්ගිරි ප්‍රකාශනයත් 2002 කොමිෂන් වාර්‍තාවත් අතර වෙනසක් නැතිබව වැලිමුණට නොපෙනේද? මේ ගොඩට මුක්කු ගහන තවත් මාක්ස්වාදියෙක් නම් ඕස්ට්‍රේලියාවේ සිට ලියන මොරටුවේ උපන් පූර්‍ණ හෝ අර්‍ධ ක්‍රිස්තියානී ලක්සිරි ප්‍රනාන්දුය. ඔහු මහානායකහිමිවරුන්ට ඔහුගේ දේශපාලන විද්‍යාවෙන් පාඩම් ඉගැන්වීමට ඉදිරිපත්වේ (ද අයිලන්ඩ් ජූලි 10). ඥානසාර/අස්ගිරි මතවාදය යනු දෘෂ්ටි කෝණයක් නොව අයිඩියලොජි (නාසිවාදය/මාක්ස්වාදය වැනි) එකක් යයි කියන ඔහු අස්ගිරිය රාජ්‍යයක් තුල තවත් රාජ්‍යයක් හදන්නට යනවා යයි කියයි. තමාගේ සීයා කෙනෙක් බෞද්ධයයි කියන ඔහු චතුරාර්‍ය සත්‍යයට හා ආර්‍ය අෂ්ටාංගික මාර්‍ගයට අයිඩියලොජි නැති බව නොදනී.

ආණ්ඩුවල වැරදි හාමුදුරුවරු කලින් තියාම පෙන්වා නොදුන්නේ ඇයිදැයි ඔහු චෝදනා කරන්නේ මැරී උපන් මිනිසෙකු වගේය. මේ දේශපාලකයින් මහනාහිමි උපදෙස් ශතපහකටවත් මායිම් නොකල බව මේ ඒ ජේ විල්සන්ගේ ගෝලයාට අමතකය. මොහුත් දයාන් ජයතිලක වැනි අයත් 1980 මුලදී සර්වෝදයේ ආරියරත්න මහතා ලියූ බල පිරමිඩය හා ධර්‍ම චක්‍රය නම් පොතත්, සරච්චන්ද්‍ර මහතාගේ ධර්මිෂ්ඨ සමාජය යන පොතත් කියවිය යුතුය. 1960-70 ගණන්වල සිට දේශපාලකයින් රටට කල විනාශයට සිංහල බෞද්ධයින්ට දොස් පැවරීම අළුත් අධිරාජ්‍යවාදී ඉත්තන්ගේ ශූක්‍ෂම උපායය. 1983 ජුලි ඉලව්ව කලේ සිංහල බෞද්ධයාද? යාපනේ පුස්තකාලයට ගිනිතිබ්බේ සිංහල බෞද්ධයාද? අළුත්ගම කලබලය කලේ ශාරියා ඒජන්ට්ලා නොවේද?

නීතිය හා ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය

පුදුමයට කාරණයක් වන්නේ අස්ගිරි-ඥානසාර මතවාදය ගැන වියරුවී ලියන්නේ හා කියන්නේ එක්කෝ මාක්ස්වාදියෙක් නැත්නම් ක්‍රිස්තියානි මාක්ස්වාදියෙක් වීමය. මොවුන් බදාගෙන ඉන්නා නීතිය හා ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය නමැති විහිළුව කුමක්ද? 1960 ගණන්වල සිටම නිල් කොල රතු දේශපාලකයින් ලංකාවේ මහජනයාට ව්‍යුහාත්මක (ස්වාධීන අධිකරණය, සිවිල් සේවය වැනි) හා නියෝජිත (බලු පොරයෙන් හා පක්‍ෂ ලැයිස්තුවෙන් තොර මන්ත්‍රීන්) ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය අහිමිකර නැද්ද? අද වනවිට පාර්ලිමේන්තු ක්‍රමය හා චන්ද ක්‍රමය  රටේ ඇති ලොකුම ප්‍රෝඩාව නොවේද? පැරදුන අය ඇමතිලා කරන ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රය කුමක්ද? හය හතවත් පාස් නැති රස්තියාදුකාරයින් රටපුරාම නොයෙක් ආකාරයේ මන්ත්‍රීලා වී නැද්ද? මේ අය ආණ්ඩුක්‍රම ව්‍යවස්ථා හදන්න සුදුස්සන් වන්නේත් දඹර අමිල හිමි කියන ආකාරයට මහානායක හාමුදුරුවරු ඒ ගැන කතාකිරීමට නුසුදුස්සන් වන්නේත්, මේ රටේ හාමුදුරුවරු මේ මන්ත්‍රීලාටත් වඩා පහල මෝඩ කොටසක් නිසාද? තවත් උදාහරණයක් ගත්ත්තොත් 19 සංශොධනය අනුව ගෙනා ව්‍යවස්ථාදායක සභාව කියන්නේ බලයේ ඉන්නා පක්‍ෂයේ සභාවක් මිස අපක්‍ෂපාත ආයතනයක්ද?

නීතිය කියන්නේ කුමක්ද? යම් සමාජයක බලය අල්ලාගත් සුළු පිරිසක් විසින් සෙසු මහජනයා පාලනය කරන  විධිය නොවේද? සුද්දන් නීති හැදුවේ ඔවුන්ට රට සූරා කෑමට උපකාර වන ආකාරයටය. මේ නිති රට අවුල්කල අන්දම ගැන එක උදාහරණයක් ලෙස විහාර නීති විත්තිය නමින් 1956 දී ප්‍රින්ස් ගුණසේකර මහතා විසින් ලියූ කුඩා පොත සඳහන් කල හැකිය. විහාර දේවාලගම් නීතිය යටතේ විහාරාධිපති, ගුරු-ශිෂ්‍ය සම්බන්ධය යනාදී සංකල්ප ඉංග්‍රීසි නඩුකාරයින් විසින් වල්මත් කර ඇත.  පාහියන්ගල ආනන්දසාගර හිමියන් (ශ්‍රී ටී වී හෙළිදරව්ව 2016 ජනවාරි 28) විසින් මේ විනාශය ගැන ථේරවාදී කතිකාවතක් ගෙන ඒමට ආණ්ඩුව තැත්කල  අවස්ථාවේදී පෙන්වා දුන්නේය.

යම් නීතියක් පැනවීම, ඒ නිසා ඇතිවන බලාපොරොත්තුවූ හා නොවූ ප්‍රතිඵල, නීතිය ක්‍රියාවේ යෙදවීම, එය භාර උසාවි, පොලිසිය හා සිවිල් නිලධාරීන්ගේ හැසිරීම, ඔවුන්ට අපක්‍ෂපාතව ක්‍රියාකිරීමට අවශ්‍ය වාතාවරණයක් තිබේද යන්න, නීතිය ක්‍රියාවට නැගීමේදී ඒ සඳහා ආණ්ඩුවකට සල්ලි අවශ්‍යවීම, එකිනෙකා මරා ගන්නා නඩු ක්‍රමය අනුව දුප්පතා නිතරම පරාදයවීම යන කාරණා අමතක කර ඥානසාර හාමුදුරුවන් උසාවියට අපහාස කලා යයි ඇපදීම නොදීම තීරණය කල නොහැකිය. ජාති වාදය හා ජාතිකවාදය අතර වෙනස නොදැන ශාරියා හෝ ඊළම් හෝ ක්‍රිස්තියානි මූලධර්‍මවාදයෙන් හෝ ලෝකය සූරාකෑමට එන නූතන ධනවාදයෙන් සිංහල බෞද්ධයාට එන තර්‍ජනය ගැන කතා කිරීම, එහිදී පක්‍ෂග්‍රාහීව නිහඬව ඉන්නා දේශපාලකයින්ට දොස්කීම ජනයා උසිගැන්වීමක්ද යන්න දයාන් ජයතිලක සිතනවා වගේ සුදු-කළු ප්‍රශ්නයක් නොවේ. එය කළු සුද්දන්ගේ ප්‍රශ්නයකි. ලංකාව මෙම බොරු බටහිර නියෝජිත ප්‍රජාතන්ත්‍රවාදය වෙනුවට අතීතයේ සිට පැවති සම්මුතිවාදී පාලන ක්‍රමයටත් (ලිච්චවි), දඬුවම් දීම වෙනුවට මිනිසා පුනරුත්ථාපනය කරණ (අංගුලිමාල) නීති ක්‍රමයකටත් රට යොමුවිය යුතුය. 1930ස් 40 ස් ගණන් වලදී කළුකොඳයාවේ පඤ්ඤාශෙඛර නාහිමියන් සිය අපරාධමර්‍දන හා ග්‍රාම සංවර්‍ධන ජාතික ව්‍යාපාරය මඟින් මේ ක්‍රම දෙක  සාර්‍ථක ලෙස ක්‍රියාවට නැගුවත් සුද්දන් හා කළු සුද්දන් එය කඩාකප්පල් කලේය. මෑතකාලයේ ගැමිදිරිය ව්‍යාපාරය කඩාකප්පල් කර දිවි නැඟුමක් ආවා වගේය.

ලංකාවේ බුද්ධාගමේ ඉතිහාසයේ වැදගත් සිදුවීම්

අද රට සිටින්නේ ඉවසීමේ රතු කට්ට පැන ඓතිහාසිකව තුෂ්නිම්භූතව සිටි තුන් නිකායේ මහානායක හිමිවරු දයාන් ජයතිලක මහතාගේ  වචන වලින් කියනවා නම් ඥානසාර හිමියන් විසින් උසිගන්වා ඇති අවධියකය. ලංකා ඉතිහාසය යනු එක්තරා අන්දමකින් බලනවිට මෙසේ හාමුදුරුවරු අවධිවූ අවස්ථාවල ඉතිහාසයය.  නෝත් ආණ්ඩුකාරයාගේ කාලයේ සිට බැලුවොත් මෙවැනි අවස්ථා හා ඊට සම්බන්ධවූ හාමුදුරුවරුනමකගේ නමද හඳුනාගත හැකිය. ඒවා බොහෝවිට අඛන්ඩ හා එකිනෙකමත වැටෙන කාල පරිච්චේදය. උදාහරණ වශයෙන්:
1 – බුද්ධාගම කියන්නේ බොරුවක් යයි පැවසුණු අවධිය, 1798-1873 (වාරියපොළ සුමංගල/මිගෙට්ටුවත්තේ ගුණානන්ද)
2 – බුද්ධාගම පණ අදිමින් සිටි අවධිය, 1840–> (වලානේ සිරි සිද්ධාර්‍ථ)
3 -ඕල්කොට්-අනාගාරික ධර්‍මපාල අවධිය, 1880-1915–> (හික්කඩුවේ ශ්‍රී සුමංගල)
4 -ඩොනමෝර් අවධිය 1931-48, විද්‍යෝදය සමාජ සේවය (කළුකොඳයාවේ පඤ්ඤාශෙඛර)
5 – විද්‍යාලංකාර සේවය -භික්‍ෂුවගේ උරුමය (යක්කඩුවේ ප්‍රඥාරාම/ වල්පොල රාහුල)
6 – පංච මහා බලවේගය 1956-59 (හේන්පිටගෙදර ඥානසීහ/බද්දේගම විමලවංශ)

7 – අඳුරු යුගය- 1960-1978 පෙඩරල්කාරයින් බලවත්වීම හා නිල් කොල රතු කල්ලි මාරුවෙන් මාරුවට රට විනාශ කිරීම
8 – අධර්මිෂ්ට සමාජය 1978–2005 (මාදුළුවාවේ සෝභිත)
9 – සෝම හාමුදුරුවන්ගේ භූමිකාව 2000-2003
10 – පිරිත් නූල් කඹ යුගය නොහොත් ජාතික හෙල උරුමය අසාර්‍ථකවීම
11 – බොදු බල සේනාව 2012 මැයි
12 – අස්ගිරි ප්‍රකාශනය 2017 ජූනි 20

DRONES SUPPORT TERRORISTS

July 13th, 2017

ALI SUKHANVER

At international level, the other name of friendship and love is ‘necessity’ and the basic ingredients which make the relationship between two countries everlasting are forgiveness, forbearance and tolerance.  There is nothing like true-love in relationship between two countries because this relationship revolves only around interests and benefits and nothing else. The friends of today might be foes of tomorrow and enemies of yesterday might be friends of today. Do you remember the two darkest rather cruelest days in the modern history of mankind; August 6 and August 9, 1945 when at the order of American President Harry S. Truman the United States dropped nuclear weapons on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which killed at least 129,000 people and left countless injured.

Various reports on the incidents say, Within the first two to four months following the bombings, the acute effects of the atomic bombings had killed 90,000 to 146,000 people in Hiroshima and 39,000 to 80,000 in Nagasaki; roughly half of the deaths in each city occurred on the first day. During the following months, large numbers died from the effect of burns, radiation sickness, and other injuries, compounded by illness and malnutrition.” But astonishingly today the United States is Japan’s closest ally and Japan relies on the U.S. for its national security to a high degree.

The two countries have very strong and close economic ties and stand side by side at every crucial juncture. Today the United States and Japan have firm and very active political, economic and military relationships.

The United States considers Japan to be one of its closest allies and partners. It is said that Japan is one of the most pro-American nations in the world.  This all shows that Japan has turned a blind eye to the nuclear bombing incident in its own larger interest. In other words we may say that Japan is acting upon that famous saying, ‘love me love my dog’. Same is the case with Russia and the Soviet states which once used to constitute the USSR. Internationally there is no bond of ‘true love’ among the countries and the nations. All depends upon needs and requirements.

Sometimes, we, the people of Pakistan are also misguided by the false notion of ‘inter-nations true love’ but sooner or later, facts and circumstances bring us back to the world of bitter realities. Be it the Arab Kingdom, Iran, Turkey, UK or USA and even China, all our relationship with them revolves around a system of mutual needs and requirements.

Practically there is no rule of ‘do good, have good’ when we analyze relationship between two countries. If it were the practical rule, Afghanistan would have been the closest friend of Pakistan and certainly the most obliged one. Let us cast a look at Pak-US relationship in the same context. Even a blind man can understand the reality that   Pakistan and USA are so much needed and required by each other that they could never be at logger’s head even if they desire. In other words this Pak-US marvelous ‘friendship’ could never be broken unless until US’ dream of sustaining its position as World’s only Super Power is alive. For some people in Pakistan this news could give birth to some apprehensions that Trump administration is planning to harden its approach towards Pakistan.

The Reuters has recently published a detailed report on the issue. According to the report the Trump administration intends to expand U.S. drone strikes, redirect or withhold some aid to Pakistan and perhaps eventually downgrade Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally. The aim and objective of this shift is to crack down on so-called Pakistan-based militants who are allegedly launching attacks in neighboring Afghanistan.

Commenting upon the report, Abid Saeed, Pakistan’s press minister in US said, Singling out Pakistan and pinning the entire blame on Pakistan for the situation in Afghanistan is neither fair nor accurate, nor is it borne out by the ground realities.” Abid Saeed is very true in his analysis; stamping Afghanistan as an innocent country and branding Pakistan as a rogue country is neither fair nor accurate and certainly not true to the ground realities. Such actions of the Trump administration would do nothing but widen the distances between US and Pakistan temporarily.

It seems that Mr. Trump in his heat and haste has forgotten that Pakistan continues to occupy a strategic position in the United States’ interests in Central and South Asia and is extensively engaged in vital social, economic, scientific and military relations with Pakistan. Moreover the US is one of Pakistan’s largest donors of foreign assistance and after China, the second-largest supplier of military equipment to Pakistan.

In case the US withholds some aid to Pakistan and tries to downgrade Pakistan’s status as a major non-NATO ally, it would cause a severe damage to US’ own interests in the region. As far as the matter of drone attacks is concerned, there is no difference between drone-attacks and suicide-bombing; both kill a lot of innocent ones along with a few targeted ones.

The faces behind suicide-bombing and drone attacks are widely hated particularly by the relatives of the innocent ones. Surely, the Trump administration would not favour any action which could be dangerous to the efforts against terrorism and supportive to the terrorists.

The POWs of the Eelam War

July 13th, 2017

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge   

Abstract: This article discusses the psychosocial problems experienced by the POWs of the Eelam War. The Eelam War in Sri Lanka continued for nearly three decades. The rebel group that is known as the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam fought against the Sri Lankan armed forces. The LTTE captured a significant number of servicemen during the armed conflict and most of them were executed disregarding the Geneva Convention. The remaining POWs were handed over to the Sri Lankan Government by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Although the survived POWs are free men today a large numbers are experiencing numerous psychological and physical ailments as a result of the war captivity. The descriptions of clinical cases are provided. These POWs need culturally congruent psychological /psychiatric treatment including holistic psychosocial rehabilitation.

Key Words :  Eelam War , POWs , PTSD , DESNOS ,

The Eelam War in Sri Lanka has caused numerous physical and mental health ailments among the survivors. The POWs suffered extreme conditions. During the armed conflict the LTTE (the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) captured a considerable number of servicemen from the Sri Lanka Army, Sri Lanka Navy and the Sri Lanka Police Service. Most of the captees were executed by the LTTE. Nonetheless a very small number of POWs managed to escape from captivity. The remaining prisoners of war (POWs) were freed after the interventions by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and returned them to the Sri Lankan Government. Although the POWs found their freedom most of them live with psychological scars. They have rigorous impairments in emotional social and physical functioning.

To become a POW in a war is a horrendous experience.  Prisoner of war (POW) captivity can involve the most extreme trauma perpetrated by humans ( Neria  et al., 1998; Hourani &  Hilton, 2002).Throughout human history, those captured in war have presented their captors with the basic choice between immediate execution, immediate release, or continuing custody – holding them in custody pending their release or other disposition (Hickman, 2008). Starvation and the diseases and stresses of imprisonment could impact the POWs immensely. Debilitating events could leave either more frail or more robust survivors, depending on the extent of scarring and mortality selection. The majority of empirical analyses find more frail survivors (Costa, 2012).

The article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention protects captured military personnel from cruel treatment. One of the main provisions of the convention makes it illegal to torture prisoners and states that a prisoner can only be required to give their name date of birth, rank and service number (Third Geneva Convention of 1949). However the POWs of the Eelam War experienced mental and physical torture under their captivity. The harsh treatment of former prisoners of the Eelam War resulted in severe mental and physical health problems.

Though medical consequences of war attract attention, the health consequences of the prisoner-of-war (POW) experience are poorly researched and appreciated (Robson et al., 2009). In this context psychosocial health of the former prisoners of the Eelam War widely misunderstood and under researched.  The long-term psychological and psychiatric sequelae of the POWs of the Eelam War are unknown. Having suffered catastrophic war trauma these victims experience a wide range of psychosocial problems. Psychopathology and psychiatric diagnoses have found among them. Although they need long term care, symptoms of suspiciousness, isolation and detachment prevent them seeking mental health support services.

According to Ursano and colleagues (1981) POWs experience a profound degree of stress during their captivity. The POWs are at risk for developing PTSD (Friedman et al., 1994). After repatriation POWs can develop physical and psychological disorders due to sickness, nutritional deficit, past physical and mental trauma and readjustment problems. The severity of captivity and the presence or absence of social supports during and after the POW experience play major roles in the recovery or illness that may occur after repatriation (Ursano & Rundell, 1990).

The POWs Under the LTTE Custody

The LTTE had a number of prison camps in Devipuram,  Thunnukai Mullaivaikkal , Vallipunam Udyarkattu (Victor Base 1) in Northern Sri Lanka. These prisons were heavily-fortified prison complexes. According to the University Teachers for Human Rights Jaffna (UTHR) in early 1990s between 3000 to 4000 Tamil prisoners were held in Thunnukai detention camp by the LTTE (UTHR Chapter 3 :The Tortured community).

The LTTE did not provide accurate information about the captured servicemen and often they were killed after brief interrogations and these victims later fell into the MIA (missing in action) category. In 1990 the LTTE killed nearly 600 police officers in the Vinayagapuram and Trincomalee jungles after their surrender to the rebels.

The LTTE held a number of POWs for many years in secret locations without giving any information to the International Committee of the Red Cross or to the Sri Lankan authorities. During the 2002 Ceasefire Agreement the LTTE Northern leader Theepan (Velayuthapillai Bhagheerathakumar ) informed the Sri Lankan authorities that they had no more prisoners of war. However some of the ex-POWs affirmed that the LTTE held prisoners of war in secret locations in 2002 and after.

According to Silva (2000) in the latter stages of the Eelam War as many as 1,400 men were detained in the LTTE-controlled Vanni area of northern Sri Lanka. In 2009 The Sri Lanka Army 59 Division troops were able to rescue 7 servicemen held captive by the LTTE at Vellamullaivaikkal detention center. By the end of the War in 2009 the LTTE killed a large number of Tamil prisoners including the POWs who were held at the Devipuram prison.

In 2010 the Sri Lanka Police recovered bodies of 26 Sri Lankan soldiers executed by the LTTE in Kilinochchi District. They were taken as prisoners of war by the vanquished rebel group and kept for years before they were executed.  These soldiers had been imprisoned at the Victor Base Prison at Vallipuram in Mullaitivu for more than three years (Ministry of Defence Sri Lanka). The LTTE kept some POWs to bargain with the Sri Lankan Government and their information had been sent to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Nonetheless the POWs were not treated according to the third Geneva Convention and they were kept in deplorable conditions.

The POWs of the Eelam War experienced severe form of stresses under the captivity and they suffered physical torture, humiliation, confinement, boredom and mock executions. Most of the surviving POWs show positive symptomatology of depression and anxiety related disorders. Their psychosocial wellbeing is relentlessly compromised by the effects of past traumas and guilt. In addition these victims are affected by the DDD Syndrome (that consists of debility, dependency and dread) that had been described by Faber, Harlow and West in 1957.

Commander Ajith Kumara Boyagoda

The senior-most officer in LTTE custody was Commander Ajith Kumara Boyagoda. Commander Boyagoda joined the Navy on September 1974. He was commissioned as a Captain on March 8, 1997. He was the commanding officer of the SLNS “Sagarawardena”-330-tonne large gun boat of the Sri Lanka Navy. The ship had a crew of 42 officers and men. On the 20th September 1994 the ship was attacked by a large group of LTTE boats with suicide crafts in the high seas of Thalpadu in Mannar. Following the attack the ship began to sink. Only 18 people survived including its captain Commander Boyagoda. He became a POW on the 20th September 1994 and was detained for eight years. According to Commander Boyagoda he was well treated by the LTTE except at the beginning when he was kept in solitary confinement. In 2000 he launched a hunger strike demanding family members to visit him. Commander Boyagoda was released in 2002. He is now serving as a Managing Director in a private company.

Private U.S.R.Jayakumara

U.S.R.Jayakumara was a soldier attached to the 3rd Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army. He became a POW when the LTTE attacked the Sri Lankan Army and naval base at Pooneryn in 1993. He was held in several locations in the jungle along with other prisoners of war. They were all chained together using a welding machine. It was a painful procedure and all prisoners sustained burn injuries. The wounds were not treated and it became infected. The anguish was unbearable. The captors shifted the POWs around from place to place in the North. They were kept in areas such as Nallur, Kodikamam, Mirisuvil, Periyamadu   Manthikai and Puthukudiyiruppu with no facilities. The POWs were transported in a cruel manner. They were packed tightly kept chained and handcuffed during the journey. Sometimes they were forced to march in the jungle. According to Jayakumara it was a tormenting period and they suffered from mental anguish and bad quality of food. Most of the time they were given pittu and brinjal curry to eat and finally they went on a hunger strike demanding favourable prison conditions. Private Jayakumara had to spend nearly nine years in the LTTE prisons and it became a prolonged interpersonal trauma for him. Finally he was released in 2002 after the interventions by the ICRC.

Private S.H. Gunawardena  

Soldier Gunawardena served in the third Battalion, Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army. He was captured in 1993 in the Pooneryn attack. He was first pronounced MIA (missing in action) and then reported KIA (killed in action). His family was informed about his death and they held a funeral ceremony. Eventually the family came to know that Gunawardena was alive and detained by the LTTE. The family made frantic efforts to see him. Each time the requests were declined by the LTTE leaders. Private Gunawardene spent more than eight agonizing years as a POW in conditions of extreme privation.

Private D. K. Hemapala

Private D. K. Hemapala of the third Battalion Gajaba Regiment of the Sri Lanka Army became a POW in 1993 during the Pooneryn attack. His physical health deteriorated rapidly due to maltreatment and callous prison conditions. He died during the captivity in 1998. Private Hemapala was 45 years old.

Lance Corporal P

Lance Corporal P was captured by the LTTE in 1993 and endured the next five and half years in prisoner of war camps. He was deeply traumatized and his psychological wounds were a direct result of his being in the LTTE prison camp. He is a casualty of war, strained by the emotions that had haunted since 1993. When he came home guilt and anger and helplessness built up. He struggled with depression and malignant anxiety.

Lance Corporal P joined the Sri Lanka Army in 1991 as a signalman. After his basic training he was sent to the operational area. In 1993 he was posted to Welioya Senapura Camp. In the same year the LTTE attacked the camp and overran it killing a large number of soldiers. Lance Corporal P was captured alive by the enemy. During the attack he witnessed the killing of his   superior officer. The officer was killed with a mammoty.  After killing the officer his eyes were taken out. Lance Corporal P witnessed this shocking incident with fear and horror. He was then taken to one of the LTTE camps and stripped naked. A group of LTTE child soldiers severely assaulted him with cables and batons.  The beating went for nearly a half hour. He was in pain and bleeding from the ear. One of the leaders came and stopped the beating and gave him water. He was handcuffed and put in a cell. He slept on the damp floor.

The following day Lance Corporal P was taken for questioning. It went for several days. During the interrogations he was savagely beaten, electrocuted and constantly questioned to get classified radio signal codes used by the Sri Lanka Army Signal Corps (SLASC). The interrogators mistakenly identified Corporal P as an officer of the SLASC. When the interrogators could not obtain any vital information from Corporal P, he was subjected to solitary confinement.

For nearly seven months he was kept in solitary confinement with sensory deprivation. After spending a few weeks in the dark small prison cell Corporal P lost his sense of time and orientation. His biological clock became disrupted. After seven months he had disorientation, hallucinations and affective disturbances. After the solitary confinement he was subjected to systematic physical and mental torture.  Several times he was taken to slaughter grounds for mock executions. On one occasion a Tamil prisoner who belonged to a different rebel group (EPRLF) was shot in front of his eyes.

According to Lance Corporal P the guards were extremely brutal in their handling of prisoners of war. Interrogators as well as the prison guards administered beatings and torture frequently. He was handcuffed for interminable periods and kept in painful positions. He was not able to resist torture without cooperating with his captors. He was subjected to psychological manipulation and blackmail. Following the long term repressive conditions, the torture and degradation under which Corporal P suffered resulted PTSD.  Lance Corporal P had to spend nearly five agonizing years as a POW under the LTTE custody.

He was released in 1998 with the intervention of the International Red Cross. When he came home he could not feel happiness. His emotions were numbed and he had immense fear that the LTTE would capture him again. He had deep suspicion, intrusions, flashbacks, nightmares and suicidal ideation.

In 2000 he was diagnosed as having full blown symptoms of PTSD. Over the years his anxiety disorder has been developed in to a malignant level.  He has numerous DESNOS (Disorders of Extreme Stress Not Otherwise Specified) related symptoms including affect dysregulation, suicidal preoccupation, amnesia, severe guilt and shame, inability to trust people, somatization, hopelessness and despair. In 2005 Lance Corporal P was medically discharged from the Sri Lanka Army following his psychological disability.

Private SXJ

Private SXJ served in the Sri Lanka Sinha Regiment and unexpectedly became a POW during the Operation Riviresa (Operation Sun-rays) in 1995. His captors kept him in a temporary camp along with other prisoners.  This transitory camp was controlled by a LTTE regional leader and it was used as a supply camp. From this camp food, ammunition and medical supplies were sent to the front line.  

According to Private SXJ there were nearly twenty POWs and they were used as conscript labourers to build bunkers. In this prison camp Private SXJ noticed that some POWs were subjected to forced blood draw by the LTTE. The blood was then transfused to the wounded LTTE cadres. After the blood was forcefully drawn the POWs were not given any nourishing supplements. The victims looked extremely weak and exhausted. They had no energy even to stand up. The victims were lying on the floor helplessly.

The POWs were constantly guarded by armed members of the LTTE. There were a number of female cadres and sometimes they did the guard duty. The day time the POWs laboured to build bunkers using heavy Palmyra logs. The prisoners were under fed and constantly beaten. They were tired and exhausted. At night the POWs were kept in a large bunker that was converted in to a prison cell.

The LTTE temporary camp persistently came under fire by the Sri Lankan forces. During an air attack the guards ran for cover. Hence Private SXJ had a chance to escape. He ran deep in to the thick jungle. Some guards fired at him but he escaped without any injury.

Several days he crawled in the jungle. He ate tree leaves and grass to survive. On the third day of his escape Private SXJ met several wood cutters in the jungle and they helped him to come to a remote village. The home guards who defended the village from the LTTE attacks took him to the nearest Army camp.  There he was given food and water then he was hospitalised. Although Private SXJ spent a few weeks under the LTTE captivity he was intensely terrified and suffered an acute stress reaction.

Constable HXC

Constable HXC was one of the captees of the Sri Lanka Police who had spent excruciating period as a POW. He was kept in an awful prison condition along with other POWs. They were subjected to physical and mental torture. Their food rations were irregular and sometimes they were intentionally given rotten food. Many prison inmates suffered from dysentery and skin infections.

According to Constable HXC one of the LTTE prison guards who spoke Sinhala fluently tortured them relentlessly. Sometimes he used to sing Sinhala songs and tortured the POWs. The POWs became extremely frighten when they heard his singing voice. He was released in 2002 during the ceasefire agreement between the Sri Lankan Government and the LTTE. Although Constable HXC is a free man today he has numerous psychological and physical symptoms. He left the Police department and now working as a security guard in a private firm.

Lance Corporal U

Lance Corporal U became a POW in July 1991 during the operation Balawegaya (Operation Power force) one of the largest amphibious operations conducted by the Sri Lankan armed forces. He was wounded during the battle and captured by the enemy. Until his release in March 1995 he was subjected to inhuman treatment. He struggled with depression and anger. He had always been angry at his captors. He was beaten a number of times and threatened to be killed

Lance Corporal U was deprived of sanitation, light and proper medical treatment. He was kept in a small cell with 40 other prisoners. They had no enough space and practically every prisoner suffered skin infections. The sick and wounded were left in their own excrement for many days. Some days they were given rotten food and while they were having meals the guards used to disturb them with loud noises etc. They were not allowed to take showers for months. Finally they decided to go on a hunger strike. After continuous interventions by the ICRC the LTTE agreed to release him with a group of other prisoners.

After coming home Lance Corporal U reported back to his unit. Gradually his sleeping pattern and the appetite started to change. He felt more alienated. He had loss of interest and pleasure in daily activities, multiple somatic complaints, loss of libido and had repeated thoughts to commit suicide. He was diagnosed with Depressive Disorder. Although he was treated with medication (anti depressants) his condition was aggravating. He was troubled by intrusive memories, emotional numbing, nightmares, startling reactions and avoidance of reminders. In 2003 he was diagnosed with PTSD. Lance Corporal U was treated with EMDR and his symptoms had been reduced to a significant level. Today he is almost symptoms free and leading a productive life.

Mr. N

Mr. N – a civilian worked as a cook in the Poonareen Camp. When the LTTE attacked the Poonareen camp in 1993, 241 soldiers, including 8 officers, were killed in the fighting. Nearly 200 combatants were captured alive. (The plight of these captives is still unknown. The Military Authorities believe that these POWs had been murdered by the LTTE)

When the LTTE cadres advanced towards his sector Mr N hid inside the building complex and later found by them. He was beaten vigorously and threatened to be killed on the spot. They put a gun to his head and threatened to pull the trigger.Mr. N was in extreme fear. He was mistakenly identified as an officer of the Sri Lanka Army and he was transported to one of the LTTE base camps. For a long period the LTTE believed that Mr. N was an officer in disguise.  Therefore he was subjected to numerous physical and mental torture to extract crucial information. Finally the Red Cross intervened and established his correct identity.

For nearly nine and half years, he lived his life a prisoner under the LTTE. He was homesick and practically every day prayed for his freedom.  For a long time he lived with uncertainty without knowing what his future would be.  When the Sri Lanka Air Force attacked the LTTE camps, their guards used to ill-treat them severely. Mr N’s condition significantly improved when he met another POW – Capt Boyagoda from the Sri Lanka Navy. Capt Boyagoda gave him courage and strength to face the callous conditions. Along with the other POWs, he spent the time discussing their release and writing letters to home via the ICRC.

He was released on the 30th of September 2002. After his release, he gradually developed stress related physical symptoms such as headaches, backaches which did not subside to painkillers. He was unable to sleep. At nights, he was awake and thinking of the past. He often had melancholic feelings, and troubled by emotional anaesthesia.  He could not feel the happiness of becoming a free man. His emotions were dead. Mr. N was losing the will to live. Several times, he planned to commit suicide.  Finally he was able to receive counselling, medication and psycho social support that improved his condition.

Sailor P.K.I. Pitiyakumbura

Sailor P.K.I. Pitiyakumbura of the Sri Lanka Navy became a POW in November 2006 when his Navy Dvora attacked by the Sea Tigers in the Point Pedro seas. He was kept in different LTTE Sea Tiger bases under brutal conditions. He spent almost two and a half years as a prisoner of war. He was rescued by the Sri Lanka Army 59 Division troops in Vellamullaivaikkal area in 2009.

The LTTE Interrogators and the Prison Guards

Most of the ex POWs concur that the LTTE Interrogators and prison guards were unsympathetic towards them and treated inhumanly. They often acted on impulses- hate and prejudice. Most of them derived sadistic satisfaction torturing prisoners. According to the statements given by the ex POWs when a prisoner screamed in pain the torturers intensified the torturous method that they inflicted on him.

Interrogators used numerous physical and psychological torture methods to extract information. They questioned the prisoner for long hours depriving him of sleep. During the interrogations if they found any discrepancies in the POW’s statement he was severely beaten, electrocuted or subjected to extreme mental torture.

The POWs were often beaten with rods. Beatings sometimes continued for several hours. When a prisoner is tied with a rope by hands and feet behind the back helplessly lying on the ground, he was beaten by a group of guards. They used to beat him with wooden poles or PVC pipes. They continued beating until the prisoner loses consciousness Some POWs succumbed to death.

Cutting the body with sharp razors was another punishment that had been used by the tormentors. Multiple superficial cuts were made on the prisoner’s body and then he is thrown in to a cell. The victim bleeds for a long time and suffers dehydration. He is not given water for several days.  Mostly the victims lose consciousness inside the prison cell. After a few days the body becomes swollen due to infection. Only a very few survived after this mode of torture.

According to some of the POW s the interrogators used Chili powder that is made from the plant   Capsicum annuum to torture prisoners. Chili powder was applied on prisoner’s sensitive bodily areas such as eyes, anal cavity and in foreskin.  It gave the victim an unbearable burning sensation. The pain lasted for several days. Sometimes the prisoners were forced to inhale Chili smoke.

Torturing the POWs with electric shocks had been reported. Electrodes were placed in the oral cavity or other sensitive parts of the body and then non lethal electrical shock had been released by using a portable generator.  The victims often suffered convulsions and lost consciousness.  In addition heated iron wires were used to burn the prisoners. These torturous methods caused severe disfigurements.

POWs with severe bodily scars and disfigurements were never released and later killed by the prison guards. Their bodies were burnt with sugar in order to incinerate the skeletal parts.

In spite of all these negative reports some of the POWs agree that there were kind LTTE cadres who treated the POWs in a humane way. When Lance Corporal P was severely beaten and left in handcuffs in his prison cell out of compassion one guard brought him water.  Lance Corporal U revealed that when he was given rotten food by hardcore members some guards secretly gave food to him from their rations. When there were no senior cadres some taught him Tamil and spoke with him ordinary things in life.  Mr N states that some of the LTTE cadres spoke with him nicely sometimes revealing their love affairs etc.

Psycho Social Problems Experienced by the POWs   

Psychosocial problems, such as behavioural, emotional, and occupational problems, are highly prevalent among the POWs. For many ex POWs being a prisoner of war often means that one’s life has changed sometimes beyond repair. Some of them suffered permanent psychological damages as a result of torture and degradation. Many are still hounded by their past memories of the LTTE torture chambers. They are at special risk for reduced physical and emotional well-being.

POWs are torture victims. Torture profoundly disrupts the senses and personality (Reyes, 2007). It can cause severe form of psycho-trauma. The symptomatology associated with torture trauma will vary with respect to learned patterns of coping and the particular ethnic, political, and spiritual perspectives through which an individual views the experience. It must be interpreted accordingly, in terms of both the culture of origin and the relocation setting, when formulating therapeutic interventions (Gorman, 2001).

The tortured POWs are impacted by traumatic reminiscences. They relive their past traumas. The repeated recollection of traumatic memories is a central component of the phenomenological response to traumatic events (McFarlane, 2010).   When traumatic events occur, by definition they are frequently beyond the victim’s control. In addition, certain inadequate coping responses are frequently present as victims attempt to take charge of their lives in the aftermath (Flannery, 1999). Antonovsky (1979) indicate that sustaining an important commitment in life is enhanced by a sense of coherence of the world.

The POWs with their past traumatic experiences perceive that the world is unsafe and unpredictable. They lose the sense of coherence of the world. They have profound sense of alienation and loneliness.  It   erodes the ability to make and maintain healthy attachments.     It has been noticed that a significant number of POWs have disconnected from the social support networks. Their social environment is rigorously fragmented. The internalized disorders that they suffer have caused lack of strong bonds to societal institutions and weaken the community and social ties. It impairs their ability to function as member of the society.   The POWs diagnosed with PTSD found with trauma-related anger and hostility. Anger directed against the self or others is always a central problem in the lives of people who have been violated and this is itself a repetitive re-enactment of real events from the past. (van der Kolk, 1989).

They have intense perception of their perpetrators. Some have preoccupation with hurting perpetrator and planed revenge. Often they displace their anger and frustration on family members. Many have the feeling of being permanently damaged and wasted.   Averse life experiences and maladjusted cognitive and behavioural processes have caused wide-ranging psycho social problems among the ex POWs.  Although human spirit is resilient many POWs of the Eelam war found it difficult to re adjust to the post war Sri Lankan society.   Returned prisoners of war were not treated as war heroes. Majority of them left the military or the police service. Their long term torture and degradation have never been examined appropriately and majority of them did not receive proper rehabilitation and health benefits.

Shame and Guilt

War captivity situation become deleterious even for the core self of the person ( Urlić et al., 2009).  It can cause severe Psychological distress making the POW more dysfunctional.

The POWs have higher level of shame and guilt. Shame is the most personal and private of all feelings (Rustomjee , 2009) and  according to Gilbert (2003) Shame experiences can cause significant threat to the (social) self. Often the POWs maintain persistent traumatic silences.  It has become a disconnecting experience for them. Shameful feelings are at the very basis of the psycho traumatised -persons’ withdrawal, depression, suicidal attempts, and even psychotic answer (Urlić et al., 2009).

A POW evidently becomes an instrument of his tormentors. For the perpetrators torture becomes an expression of hate and prejudice. The violence inflicted on prisoners of war by its personnel as the product of indoctrination in brutality which is decomposed as blind obedience to authority, abuse of subordinates by superiors, and  extreme differences in social status (Brown,1998). As reported by the former POWs of the Eelam War the members of the Tiger Organization Security Intelligence Service (TOSIS) used vicious physical and psychological methods to extract information from them.

The LTTE used proficient psychological methods to break the morale of the combatants. Sometimes psychological manipulation was used as a key method.  Following isolation and psychological anguish often the captees established traumatic bonding with their captors. Some of the POWs had to collaborate with the enemy due to high pressure but many resisted.

The POWs were held in contempt by their captors. They underwent humiliation. Some guards frequently used derogatory remarks. Sometimes the guards used to urinate on the detainees. When the LTTE lost their cadres in a battle the guards became exceptionally brutal.

The POWs were disconnected from the outside world and they felt that they were abandoned by the military. They lived in an extreme world of darkness. Frequently they were displayed as proof of victory and subjected to ideological indoctrination. The POWs were allowed to take showers once or twice a month. Hence sanitation became a huge problem. Many of them suffered from skin rashes like scabies. There was no privacy in their prison cells. They had no toilets except poorly covered toilet buckets infested with flies. POWs had to use the toilets in front of all the others. Sometimes they were stripped naked and searched by the guards.

Water supply was limited and they were only given a small amount of water per day. The food was unpalatable and also given in very small quantities.  There was no scope for their biological needs. Most of the POWs were in their young age and the desire for sexual contact was suppressed under these traumatic circumstances. However some of the ex-POWs later revealed that sometimes at nights they used to engage in masturbation. According to the ex-POWs the erotic feelings gave some self soothing effect and it temporarily helped them to forget their suffering.

The POWs had little choices when they lived under their captors. They were monitored round the clock and had no time to rest, relax or recuperate. Anxiety, boredom, confusion impacted them daily basis. Shame and guilt repeatedly became excruciating. Sometimes the interrogators deliberately used very young child soldiers (as young as 12 – 15 years old) to beat the POWs. They were beaten with clubs. For senior non-commissioned officers it became a shameful episode.

Many trauma survivors believe that their choices during the traumatic event were unjustified, even though their actions during the event might have been the best choice at the time. Also some trauma survivors may believe that their actions violated their own standards of right and wrong, due to negative outcomes, even if their actions at the time were consistent with their moral standards (Bratton, 2010).

Shame and guilt affected the POWs in greater degrees. When an individual experiences both distress and a feeling of responsibility for causing the traumatic event he is significantly troubled by guilt (Kubany & Manke ,1995).Guilt may intensify or complicate trauma (Nader et al., 1990).

According to Alexander McFarlane Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Adelaide (Personal communication, 2014) traumatic stress fundamentally disrupts psychobiology that has long lasting effects, particularly for individuals such as POWS. This impact is also very much about the idea of being captured, defeated and compromised. These impacts are not about biology but about shame. This then has a biological consequence through the constant reminders it brings.

After coming home some of the former prisoners of the Eelam War still fight back shame and guilt. They have negative self-appraisals following the failure to fulfill their military obligation and ended up as a POW. Some have guilt that they had to collaborate with the enemy under the extreme conditions. Most of the traumatic memories are associated with the experience of trauma-related guilt. Some are confronted with ethical and moral challenges.

The Compulsion to Repeat the Trauma 

Clinical research indicates a tendency to compulsive repetitions of traumatic experiences (Horowitz, 1975). Many individuals re-create and repetitively relive the trauma in their present lives (Horowitz, 1976; Levy, 1998).  As indicated by Levy (1998) trauma survivors may also be drawn to establish relationships that are similar to past significant relationships because there is comfort in familiarity. Trauma can be repeated on behavioural, emotional, physiologic, and neuroendocrinologic levels. Repetition on these different levels causes a large variety of individual and social suffering.    (van der Kolk, 1989). Compulsive repetition of trauma affects the survivor’s psycho social well being.

As indicated by Cowls & Galloway (2009) people who have had traumatic life experiences may connect with work in an unhealthy way.  It corrodes their functionality further. According to Miller (1994) the process of trauma reenactment is cyclical and includes thoughts, feelings, and behaviour that can be interpreted at any point in the cycle.

At one point the cycle could be interpreted as feelings of rage, shame, or fear causing an individual to inflict self-harm. At another juncture, it could be interpreted that self-harming causes disgust that results in further punishment, or finally, it could be interpreted that when an interpersonal relationship becomes too intimate the individual feels compelled to detach through self-harming behaviours. The self-abuse cycle serves to protect the trauma survivor as it keeps others at a distance (Trippany et al , 2006).

In behavioural re-enactment of the trauma, the self may play the role of either victim or victimizer.  (van der Kolk, 1989). The occurrence of reenactments of past trauma has been found among a number of former POWs of the Eelam War. Often they play the role of victim and face daily activities with a learned helplessness. Many survivors have compulsion to repeat elements of the traumatic events. Some of the former POWs of the Eelam War have joined the security firms or work as personal bodyguards handling weapons and exposing themselves to a vulnerable atmosphere.

Suicidal Ideation 

According to numerous studies suicidal behaviour has been found to relate to trauma exposure. War captivity is one of the most severe human-inflicted traumatic experiences with wide and substantial long-term negative effects with suicidal tendencies (Zerach, Levi-Belz & Solomon, 2013). Researchers believe that suicidal ideation among the ex-POWs connected with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that they suffer. According to Calabrese and colleagues (2011) soldiers with PTSD were at increased risk for suicidality. Past traumatic memories could impact the victim’s present condition negatively. Memories of abuse and trauma also may be encoded at the explicit, autobiographical level.

Autobiographical memories and negative cognitions can be triggered by similar stimuli in the environment which in turn, then activate negative emotional responses associated with the memory (Myers, 2002).

In addition to memories of abuse and trauma many former prisoners of war hugely impacted by self-blame and guilt. Combat guilt could be one of the significant predictors of both suicide attempts and preoccupation with suicide suggesting that guilt may be an important mediator (Hendin & Haas, 1991; Maguen & Litz, 2012). Miller, Martin, & Spiro (1989) indicate of a   study among former WW I1 prisoners of war and it was found that 57% of POWs imprisoned by the Japanese harboured suicidal thoughts and that 7% of POWs under the Germans had attempted suicide.

PTSD is frequently comorbid with major depressive disorder, and when the two disorders co-occur, the risk for suicidal behavior is enhanced (Oquendo et al., 2013).  Combat veterans diagnosed with major depressive disorder and comorbid posttraumatic stress disorder have a risk for suicidality. Researching the risk for suicidal behaviors associated with PTSD, depression, and their comorbidity in the U.S. Army,  Ramsawh and colleagues (2014) found that suicidality has independent associations with both PTSD and depression. Suicidal behaviour can be considered within the spectrum of risk-taking behaviours (Ortin et al., 2012).

A number of risk-taking behaviours have been found among the ex POWs of the Eelam War. Some of them used to take unnecessary risks while crossing the busy streets.  Some were found with working in life threatening jobs. Addictive disorders are important risk factors for suicide. Indirect self-destructive behaviours such as severe alcohol or drug abuse with long term suicidal intentions were detected among some of the POWs.

Traumatic over-arousal has been identified as one of the triggering factors. Traumatic over-arousal may arise from inner affective deluge with minimal external stimulation and it could trigger suicidal ideation. Suicidal crises are often marked by repetitions (flashbacks) of these affects as they were originally endured in  past traumatic experiences. Further, recurrent overwhelming suicidal states may retraumatize the victims (Maltsberger et al., 2011).

POWs and Physical Health

There is longstanding interest in the effects of stress on health, due to the strain that it places on the adaptive capacity of individuals, which thereby leads to an increased risk of disease. (McFarlane, 2010). POWs were found with significant health problems.  Different physical illnesses are prevalent among the Sri Lankan ex-POWs. These physical ailments were resulted by physical beatings and detrimental prison conditions. They often complain of headaches, joint pains, muscle pains, fatigability, dyspepsia and lack of energy.

Defrin and colleagues (2013) highlight that torture survivors suffer from high rates of chronic pain and hypersensitivity in the previously injured regions. In addition they indicate that torture appears to induce generalized dysfunctional pain modulation that may underlie the intense chronic pain experienced by torture survivors’ decades after torture.

Among former WWII POWs, risk of cardiovascular disease is related to having PTSD (Kang, 2006). A number of studies have suggested that PTSD has a direct relationship with the risk of developing hypertension (McFarlane, 2010). Systemic diseases such as Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus were found in ex POWs in Sri Lanka. Persistent health problems have affected their day today activities.

Hunt et al., (2008) of the view that conditions of captivity and health concerns or emotional distress during captivity may contribute to long-term adverse health outcomes as measured by later life disabilities in individuals incarcerated as POWs. Creasey and colleagues (1999) found that Prisoner of War during World War II was associated with a higher prevalence of chronic disease and diminished functional performance in later life. They hypothesized that POW experience played a part in premature, abnormal, or unsuccessful aging in some individuals.

Researches indicate that ex – POWs have high mortality rates. Dent and colleagues (1989) found that mortality rates of the former Australian POWs due to disease or accidents are higher than in general population.

The long-term health consequences of the POWs have been researched in numerous armed conflicts around the world. Hunt and colleagues (2008) found that significant associations between later life disability and POW experiences. Conditions of captivity and health concerns or emotional distress during captivity may contribute to long-term adverse health outcomes.

Meziab et al (2014) indicate that POW status and PTSD increase risk of dementia in an independent, additive manner in older veterans.

Although physical health of the POWs of the Eelam war remains under-researched area physical health decline among the POWs of the Eelam War has been observed in a number of cases.   Longitudinal studies would be needed to investigate the health effects of the ex POWs in Sri Lanka.

Impact on Mental Health 

Physical and psychological torture inflicted to the POWs has an atrocious impact on their mental health. Most empirical research indicates that the psychological impact of trauma suffered by war captives is severe and persistent (Hourani, 2002).  Many psychiatric signs, symptoms, and defense mechanisms have been reported by POWs retrospectively during debriefings (Ursano & Rundell, 1990).

Captives suffer from some mental or behavioural disorders even after freedom that can limit conformity of them to society and their social roles ( Najafi et al., 2007). The ex POWs often have the feelings of being trapped and un-empowered. van der Kolk et  al,  (1996) indicate that traumatized persons with posttraumatic conditions have become “stuck” on the trauma and its sequelae. Following psychological entrapment they show signs of confused thought processes with disorientation. The ex-POWs continue to feel entrapped by their PTSD symptoms that tie them to their captivity memories while still experiencing foreshorten future, even years after the war ( Zerach,  et al, 2013).

As reported by Eberly and Engdahl (1991) American former prisoners of war had moderately elevated lifetime prevalence rates of depressive disorders and greatly elevated rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The degree of stress caused by these experiences depends on the physical conditions, the psychological experience, degree of maltreatment, interpersonal issues, and the individual and cultural appraisal of events (Biderman, 1967;  Ursano & Rundell,  1990).

Solomon and collagues (1994) assessed the long-term impact of war captivity and combat stress reaction on rates of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Israeli veterans of the 1973 Yom Kippur war and found that small but significant proportions of the POWs and veterans with combat stress reaction were still suffering from PTSD almost two decades after the war. Kluznik , Speed,  VanValkenburg &  McGraw (1986) found a lifetime PTSD rate of 67%   In a group of American POWs. These disorders have the same prevalence in captives of all countries (Boehnlein et al., 2007).  The POW s of the Eelam War underwent torture in extreme proportions.

The LTTE regularly used solitary confinement to psychologically break down the captured servicemen. Hence they could extract vital information about the internal configuration of the military camps, artillery gun positions, troop movements etc from the captives. Although the solitary confinement was a popular method of the perpetrators it caused huge mental health consequences among the POWs. As indicated by Grassian (2006) solitary confinement that is the confinement of a prisoner alone in a cell for all, or nearly all, of the day with minimal environmental stimulation and minimal opportunity for social interaction can cause severe psychiatric harm.  As a result of the physical and psychological torture the POWs of the Eelam War suffer from symptoms, disability, and maladjustments. War captivity is a recognized pathogenic agent for both posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified (DESNOS) symptoms, also known as Complex PTSD (Zerach et al., 2013).

Complex traumas are implicated in attachment orientations and PTSD symptoms even many years after captivity (Solomon, 2008). Some of the Sri Lankan POWs show positive symptomatology of DESNOS or Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) that was described by Dr. Judith Herman in 1992.  According to Herman (1992) Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma in the context of either captivity or entrapment that result in the lack or loss of control, helplessness, and deformations of identity and sense of self. The Eelam war ended in 2009 and most of the ex POWs are now reaching their middle age.  Research data indicate that aging veterans experience mental health concerns. Rintamaki and colleagues (2009)   found Traumatic memories and clinical levels of PTSD persist for WWII POWs as long as 65 years after their captivity in World War II prisoners of war. Aging ex-POWs who develop psychiatric symptomatology should be considered a high-risk group entering a high-risk period in the life cycle. It is important to monitor ex-POWs and provide them with appropriate medical and psychological treatment as they age (Solomon et al., 2013).

Alcohol and Substance Abuse among the POWs Making the transition from prison cell to home had been a severely overwhelming experience for most of the POWs. The POWs returning home have high rates of alcohol and substance abuse.  The ex-POWs consume alcohol and other substances to suppress traumatic war-related memories, escape flashbacks and to achieve a combat nightmare-free sleep. However Alcohol and Substance Abuse have become a risk factor for morbidity and mortality. In their 30-year follow-up of American prisoners of war (POWs) of World War II and the Korean conflict Page et al (2000) found evidence of increased cirrhosis mortality.   Alcohol and drug addiction denotes individual risk factors in war trauma.  About 84% of those suffering from PTSD may have comorbid conditions including alcohol or drug abuse (Javidi & Yadollahie , 2012).

A study done with a group of Vietnam veterans McFall and colleagues (1992) found that reexperiencing and avoidance/numbing components of PTSD were more strongly associated with drug abuse and    physiological arousal symptoms of PTSD were more highly correlated with alcohol abuse. Alcohol and Substance Abuse have been reported among some of the Sri Lankan ex POWs. Binge and hazardous drinking and cannabis abuse have become a significant health related problem. Alcohol and Substance abuse frequently co-morbid with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that is experienced by the POWs. Nevertheless associations between alcohol and other substance abuse problems and post-traumatic stress disorder among the Sri Lankan POWs remain understudied.

Marital Problems

War has deleterious effects on both ex-POWs and their wives (Solomon et al., 2009). POWs experience higher levels of marital problems. Previous exposure to combat trauma could impactfamily dynamics negatively.  The effect of imprisonment and release on family members and the family system itself can be profound and enduring or minor and transient (Ursano & Rundell, 1990).

According to Dekel (2007) the wives of POWs reported significantly higher levels of distress and growth than did the wives of the controls. Dekel & Solomon (2006) state that PTSD is related to decrease marital satisfaction, increased verbal aggression, and heightened sexual dissatisfaction among former POWs. They emphasize that marital problems of former POWs are more related to PTSD than to their captivity.

Zerach and colleagues (2010) investigated the marital problems of ex-POWs of the Yom Kippur War and found an association between the traumatized ex-POW’s capacity for intimacy and both their sexual satisfaction and dyadic adjustment. O’Donnell and colleagues (2006) examined the relationship among posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, and intimate partner relationship aggression in a community sample of World War II male military former prisoners of war. According to the researchers sixty percent of these POWs reported verbal aggression in their marriages, and 12% endorsed physical aggression.

War captivity on parenting has been discussed among numerous ex – POW groups. Zerach and colleagues (2012) found lower levels of positive parenting in ex-POWs.      A significant numbers of the ex POWs of the Eelam War experience intra-familial conflicts. They experience numbing of emotions, loss of libido, erectile dysfunctions and difficulty in modulating sexual behaviour. The social and emotional deficits associated with their past trauma often contribute to marital problems. Relationship difficulties, domestic violence, problems with emotional intimacy, distressed relationships in the community have been observed. When family violence intensifies children often become victims. Often they witness inter-parental violence which has a strong detrimental impact on them. Catani et al (2008) found a relationship between war violence and violent behaviour inflicted on children in their families in Sri Lanka.

Treatment Measures

The Sri Lankan armed conflict lasted for thirty years. On average Sri Lankan POWs spent five to nine years under captivity. According to Andersen (1975) typical Vietnam POW being in captivity about six or seven years and their period of confinement was considerably longer than that of the prisoners of World War II and the Korean War. This highlights the magnitude of psycho trauma experienced by the Sri Lankan ex POWs.

The ex POWs remain as a highly vulnerable group. They suffer from a large array of physical and psychological symptoms that has links with the POW experience. According to Ursano & Rundell,(1990) the prisoner of war experience is greatly influenced by the environmental and socio-cultural factors of the particular captivity setting. Therefore their trauma has to be understood by psychological, social, cultural, and spiritual levels.

War captivity has pronounced independent effects on current depression and PTSD among the ex POWs of the Eelam War. Psychiatric and psychosomatic morbidity play an important part in their treatment schedule.

Turnbull (1992) states that debriefing after initial release from captivity is considered as a standard treatment. After the preliminary stage complete assessment has to be done and appropriate treatment should be provided.

Medication treatments can be effective in PTSD acting to reduce its core symptoms, and should be considered as major part of the treatment (Stein et al., 2000). The treatment of PTSD focuses on cognitive behavioural therapy and the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (McFarlane, 2010). According to Baldwin (2006) the serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRI), venlafaxine, milnacipran and duloxetine are efficacious in relieving anxiety symptoms within depression, and some have proven efficacy in certain anxiety disorders. Emilien and colleagues (2000) state that Tricyclic antidepressants are generally thought to be effective in alleviating symptoms, including nightmares, depression, sleep disorders and startle reactions.

Psychotherapy is an essential part in the treatment plan.  According to Mendes et al (2008) CBT, exposure therapy and cognitive therapy are effective in the treatment of PTSD. Foa and colleagues (2009) highlight the efficacy of EMDR in treating PTSD. EMDR has been successfully used to treat a number of Sri Lankan ex POWs diagnosed with PTSD and Depression. (Jayatunge, 2008).

Treating the ex POWs with complex PTSD or DESNOS (disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified) could be challenging. Exposure to recurring and extreme stressors and extensive toll of war captivity has made these victims a psychologically fragile group. Their symptoms such as emotional dysregulation, altered self-perception, modulation of anger pathological dissociation, inability to trust, deep suspicion, avoidance and sense of betrayal could deter the therapeutic outcome.

As indicated by Luxenberg , Spinazzola and van der Kolk  (2001) DESNOS has persistent biological, emotional, interpersonal, and social components that all must be assessed and addressed in treatment.Recognizing DESNOS in traumatized groups is important for conducting therapeutic interventions (Nemcic-Moro et al., 2011).  Ford and colleagues (2005) describe a three-phase sequential integrative model for the psychotherapy of complex posttraumatic self-dysregulation: Phase 1 (alliance formation and stabilization), Phase 2 (trauma processing), and Phase 3 (functional reintegration). As they indicate technical precautions designed to maximize safety, trauma processing, and reintegration.

Maxfield (2014) denotes that EMDR can be used to treat complex PTSD. According to Korn & Leeds (2002) Forgash & Copeley (2008) and   Korn (2009) EMDR can be clinically applied in cases of complex PTSD.

Rehabilitation and providing social support help in long term recovery of the POWs. Several studies suggest that the older, more educated, married, less-combat-experienced New Zealand Vietnam War POWs who received post-release social support faired better than their counterparts (Vincent et al., 1994; Page et al., 1991; Hourani et al., 2002). Dent et al (1987) and Venn and colleagues (1991) point out that factors such as employment and higher socioeconomic status may be protective against depression among former POWs.

The Psychosocial rehabilitation of the war affected Sri Lankan combat veterans is significantly crucial (Jayatunge, 2014). The ex-POWs need appropriate psychosocial rehabilitation and support.Psychosocial Rehabilitation practices help them re-establish normal roles in the community, independence and their reintegration into community life.

  Restoring Posttraumatic Growth 

Although traumatic events jeopardize physical and psychological equilibrium giving rise to a wide range of physical and mental health complications an alternative perspective proposes that trauma has a salutogenic effect (Tedeschi & Calhoun, 2004; Dekel et al, 2012). Sometimes aftermath of trauma opens a new line of thinking about trauma’s effects (Keidar , 2013).  It could    pose significant challenges to individuals’ way of understanding the world and their place in it (Tedeshi et al., 2004). This insight could be used as a potential Posttraumatic growth. Restoring Posttraumatic growth in ex POWs is tremendously important and it is therapeutic for them.  Individuals can develop a positive outlook and further experience positive psychological changes in the wake of traumatic events (Tedeschi et al., 2004; Dekel et al, 2012).

Dekel and colleagues (2012) of the view that individuals experiencing PTSD, particularly when it is enduring, have the potential for positive psychological change. Tedeschi and Calhoun (1995) hypothesized that positive psychological changes can occur following a potentially traumatic event as post traumatic growth and it can be allied with increased character strengths. They further state that post traumatic growth could be directed towards improved relationships with others, openness to new possibilities, and greater appreciation of life, enhanced personal strength, and spiritual development.Posttraumatic growth is not simply a return to baseline from a period of suffering; instead it is an experience of improvement that for some persons is deeply meaningful (Tedeshi & Calhoun, 2004).

 Conclusion 

The POWs of the Eelam War have become an under-studied population. Although they experience severe psychological and psychiatric problems a very few studies to date have examined psychological sequelae of the ex POWs.  The POWs of the Eelam War were exposed to prolonged and repetitive traumas. It has caused serious psychological consequences among them. Torture and imprisonment have left these victims permanently scarred. They remain as a chronically traumatized population. They experience a wide variety of physical and psychological symptoms which impact their functionality and psychosocial wellbeing. In addition these survivors encounter   adjustment difficulties to civilian life. Many of the ex POWs have a lower health-related quality of life.

A large number of ex POWs continue to show the positive symptomatology of   PTSD and Depression. Some POWs have symptoms characteristic of DESNOS (disorder of extreme stress not otherwise specified). They need trauma-focused psychological treatment. Some of the Sri Lankan POWs treated with medication (anti depressants), CBT and EMDR showed significant symptom release. Regrettably mistrust sense of betrayal, trauma reminders and triggers, alienation and a sense of foreshortened future have distanced many victims from the support services. Their mental health needs are often not being met. Therefore an effective treatment programs should be provided to these victims. They need culturally congruent psychological /psychiatric treatment including holistic psychosocial rehabilitation. Special health care is recommended to address the problems of ex POWs. The health care system should actively seek the survivors and provide support. In addition it is important to assess current and long-term psychological and psychiatric sequelae of war trauma of the POWs of the Eelam War.

Personal Communications

1)      Professor Sharon Dekel Tel-Aviv University. Instructor in Psychology Harvard Medical School · Department of Psychiatry

2)      Dr. Louise Maxfield, Psychologist, EMDRIA Approved Consultant, London Health Sciences Centre London, ON, Canada

3)      Professor Alexander McFarlane -Director of the Centre for Traumatic Stress Studies, Professor of Psychiatry The University of Adelaide

Acknowledgements

1)      Dr. Neil J Fernando – Former Consultant Psychiatrist of the Sri Lanka Army

2)      Dr. Andrew P . Levin- Adult and Forensic Psychiatry 141 North Central Avenue Hartsdale, NY

3)      Dr. Michael Odenwald -The University of Konstanz Germany

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Upul Jayasuriya resigns as BOI Chairman

July 13th, 2017

By Yusuf Ariff Courtesy  Adaderana

Attorney-at-law Upul Jayasuriya has resigned from his position as Chairman of the Board of Investment (BoI) of Sri Lanka.

Jayasuriya, who is the former President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL), has reportedly resigned due to personal reasons and has already tendered his resignation to the Presidential Secretary.

Speaking to Ada Derana, Jayasuriya said that he handed over his official vehicle along with the letter of resignation.

He revealed that pressure had been exerted during certain decision-making and actions taken as well as hindrances to carrying out duties and that the difficulty acting according to ones heart had an effect on his decision.

However, he pointed out that he was able to act independently when taking certain decisions and actions and expressed his gratitude to the support from the subject minister, Prime Minister and the President during his time in office.

He was elected as President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka in 2014 and continued in Office for 2 years.

He was appointed as BOI Chairman in February 2015 by President Maithripala Sirisena.

Jayasuriya has previously served as Chairman of Sri Lanka State Trading Tractor Corporation and Chairman of the Ceylon Oils and Fats Corporation.

‘Govt. has robbed more in 2 years than MR’s 10 years’

July 13th, 2017

By Ayshwarya Yapa Courtesy Adaderana

President of the ‘Pevidi Handa’ Organization, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero said that the present government had committed more corrupt acts in just two years than Mahinda Rajapaksa did across a period of ten years.

Even though former President Mahinda Rajapaksa committed acts of corruption, he still rendered a service to the country, Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero pointed out.

The Thero stated this upon attending a media briefing of the ‘Pevidi Handa’ Organization in the morning today (13).

Ven. Muruththettuwe Ananda Thero also declared that the country had now fallen down a precipice.

The Thero stated that no other government in Sri Lanka had faced as many contretemps as the present government had since 1948, and added that what the country needed now was not a constitution, but a way to survive.

Ven. Muruththetuwe Ananda Thero said that since ancient times, the Maha Sangha had stepped in when the country was in trouble, and that once again they could not stand by and watch patiently while the present government followed a course of action that was not in the best interests of the public.

The Mahanayake Theros will be consulted as soon as possible, and a large-scale congregation of the Maha Sangha will be arranged soon, the Thero said.

WHY AND HOW MR LOST IN 2015! ANOTHER REGIME CHANGE…?

July 13th, 2017

 By Gomin Dayasri Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The UNP, written off as a party of the past, till the Badulla Provincial Council election showed it’s result; Mahinda Rajapakse (MR) rejoiced ruling the majority Sinhala voters, as he pleased. They standing firmly behind him. Results showed, in predominantly Sinhala electorates with a diminutive minority vote, where extreme Sinhala activists like Cyril Matthew and K.M.P. Rajaratne held sway: UNP was ahead and gaining ground. A singular crusade – unknown – was in motion – underground in the Sinhala electorates. Both major parties failed to crack the code.

MR called for early Presidential elections, with troubled economic times looming ahead; sought nodding astrologers to find auspicious dates to suit his timetable. His brother Gotabhaya wanted him to complete the term to display more work attended. His plea was rejected on the grounds Gota did not understand politics”. Lesson Rajapakse had not learnt – expectation of winning a third term without an ongoing war? Can he win the fourth round with two fresh generations walking to the polling booths since 2005?

Flaw came with the UNP permitting CBK to enter the scene. She ousted Ranil for Sirisena and a coalition for a pure bred UNP government

Teaching Government, J.R.P. Suriyapperuma splendidly predicted the existence of two power blocks in then Ceylon. Floating voters or the soft cadres of minor parties gravitate towards one or other major power blocks nearing election date – Example: immensely popular Sarath Muttetuwegama contesting in communist colours led opinion polls till a week before elections in backward Kolonne; made him a poor third on election night. So is it today – where soft JVP/JHU/Left voters switch votes on election eve to beat a common enemy irrespective of their leadership froth – forthcoming election will be a contest between the UNP and the Joint Opposition – Sirisena’s SLFP is treated a mere appendage of the UNP.

MR thought Badulla needs a touch up (he had done worse in 2005 in these same electorates but became the President at the same election. Note: Most Northerners did not vote in 2005 and 2010) His campaigners failed to detect his Sinhala base was evaporating-tired of an overdose of Rajapaksa styled governance, failing to maintain law and order. Ranil Wickremesinghe savoured victory and did nothing more – lacking the will to take off on a victory drive? A people driven covert movement was rising since the UNP in its lackadaisical ways were not capitalizing on the success of Badulla. Danger signs beckoned MR, from the unknown. He knew to out- gun a known enemy.

A people driven covert movement was rising since the UNP in its lackadaisical ways were not capitalizing on the success of Badulla. Danger signs beckoned MR, from the unknown. He knew to out- gun a known enemy

Church activists noticed the first reading of a switch in voting patterns at their seminars in the north – western province and the catholic belt – that voted heavily for MR in 2010 and at the subsequent local government elections. Roaming public servants receiving reports – began deserting MR in hordes. He had faith in Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and felt he was safe (another deception?). News through church sources, reached an active bunch of genuine good governance kids. Refrain best to bellow was selected by the NGO backed church – media activists as Good Governance. On soundings came back coined ‘Yahapalanaya’. A theme that was never to be!

The Buddhist clergy and its sages like Gunadasa Amarasekera, Anil Amarasekera and Anula Wijesundera missed the bus, lazily watched the political releases of the pro Rajapaksa media outlets – public and private. Grand Old Man of Sinhala opinion, evergreen Gunadasa Amarasekera became a loyal disciple of Wimal Weerawansa and lost his bearings. Good men go to rut with age.

This was an election, where the church and mosque beat the temple and the South lost to the North and East. Yet the Buddhist clergy demand the 1978 constitution retained: which staged the regime change (2015) by its weighted voting stimulations. Learned or otherwise, monks should keep to subjects familiar or seek advice without shooting their mouth on matters little known. To cap operations, the movement required a politicized saffron robe with a name to give leadership and turned to Ven. Sobitha Thera, crusader against the political package of Pieris-Thiruchelvam- Chandrika (CBK): later an anti-MR moderate. Good governance kids and NGO types, worked zealously to amalgamate anti-MR forces under a symbolic quasi-Buddhist leadership where all denominations used the popular monk as the convenient icon with foreign backing. They were nobodies during the war and were anxious to become somebodies during the campaign of 2015; did it in style.

Flaw came with the UNP permitting CBK to enter the scene. She ousted Ranil for Sirisena and a coalition for a pure bred UNP government. She took over the show till Sirisena realized the folly and became his own man. UNP in a coalition cannot work to their biddings and a lopsided government is operating in an uncoordinated manner. Ranil and the UNP do not know of their respective strengths and together act woolly headed.

Question has a simpler answer; whom is MR selecting as his next presidential candidate? This is the make or break point

In the East, Governor of the Province (2015) misread the Muslim vote and fed Colombo with inaccurate information while the wily Muslim politicians of the East took an able man for a ride. Governor appeared lost in his province. 2015 was the election where the minority vote played a pivotal role. 1978 constitution gave a weighted vote to the northern and eastern voters as against a divided South in the selection of a President, which is a frontrunner to a General Election. If the 50% mark was not recorded, second preferential vote is counted. A candidate to win needs a substantial minority vote if the Sinhala vote is decisively divided. Minorities render a block vote to their preferred candidate. That helps them to beat the majority Sinhala aspirations if it breaks close to even. Shades of it were noticeable in 2015.

MR campaigners erred inputting a small turn out from the North (as previously). This was the moment the Northerners were waiting for to display their venom for being caged in security zones, far too long. Rajapaksa folks anticipated, gains of the UNP, be off set by a mighty southern vote, avalanche that failed to materialize. Jaffna district voted 66% in 2015 as against 25% in 2010 and 8525 votes in 2005 with the LTTE prohibition.

Northerners stayed indoors till past noon and poured into the polling booths after 3.00 pm when most of the SLFP operators in Jaffna were closing shop satisfied that voting was low and slow. It was a feint that worked. Phone calls to Temple Trees were of no avail as there was no stopper to hold the overflow of votes for Sirisena. That vote drowned MR. An election to be measured properly with the constitutional provisions in play is 2015 and more will vote in Jaffna at the next election with a divided TNA both leaning towards the UNP. That could lead to southern floods if a lopped constitution comes into operation.

UNP is a bizarre political Party, allowing interlopers to call the shots and run its campaign. The real winners were the good governance kids – a genuine bunch that realized it erred, made an honourable exit without associating a muddled government, went into hiding with pride and disgust – to a rarely heard whine. A fate that awaits entering local political scene with noble intentions. The non – genuine ‘wild bunch of NGO operators’ hold office, makes money and messes the government – NGO social riders and the leftists, left behind by the rightful left to their worldly right.

UNP has no confidence in Ranil’s ability to win but repeatedly elects him to head the party and prefers to run an outsider shamelessly as a presidential candidate; the UNP support groups have no faith that Ranil is destined to win and silently applauds the party for jettisoning its leader

Ranil, the reluctant candidate has passed the baton thrice to insignificant candidates: Sirima Dissanayake, Gen. Sarath Fonseka and Maithripala Sirisena and won twice on his own to become Prime Minister at a count. UNP has no confidence in Ranil’s ability to win but repeatedly elects him to head the party and prefers to run an outsider shamelessly as a presidential candidate; the UNP support groups have no faith that Ranil is destined to win and silently applauds the party for jettisoning its leader. Floating voters floats away on hearing the five – letter name. Sad but true – UNP lives mostly in the opposition after its second tier leadership was eliminated by the JVP and LTTE with the UNP failing to give them sufficient security. Those were men: these are mice. Can Ranil commissioned a non-combatant in 2010 and 2015 expect to win after being PM for five long years?
Both wings of the SLFP are outfits with leaders past their prime and their progeny in prime waiting to take over. Weep for Sri Lanka again.

Left in office is a coalition where the UNP elements pick the vote and the SLFP elements lose the vote it possessed, for hibernating in the enemy camp. Much of the muck that MR carried has been absorbed by Sirisena, half cleansing the Joint Opposition, but MR is likely to open dumps and place them back on his slate knowing only his generation and their progeny. Are we to watch the mockery or should intervene to effect a change? It’s your turn, lads and lasses and old fogies need give way after defeating terrorism.

Question has a simpler answer; whom is MR selecting as his next presidential candidate? This is the make or break point. It would decide which election – presidential or general, shall be held earlier? That result would tell the end story.

Govt. lying about convention on enforced disappearances: Joint Opposition

July 13th, 2017

 Lahiru Pothmulla Courtesy The Daily Mirror

The government is lying when it says that the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearances would not have a retrospective effect, the joint opposition said today.

Former MP G.L. Peiris told the weekly news conference that the convention would not only permit action to be taken against personnel accused of future incidents of enforced disappearances but also on past incidents.

The convention can and will be used to take action against armed personnel who fought terrorists during the final phase of the war in 2009. This piece of legislation will allow the arrest of Sri Lankans when they visit a foreign country. Sri Lanka is also bound to extradite a person against whom a foreign country makes allegations,” he said.

Mr. Peiris claimed that Sri Lankans would be arrested and extradited based on a mere accusation made by foreign countries and not on gathered evidence. The arrested Sri Lankans could be tried at international courts such as the International Criminal Court based on the allegations,” Mr. Peiris said.

He said western countries including the US, Britain and Canada had not signed the convention whereas Scandinavian countries including Finland, Norway, Sweden and India had not ratified it though they had signed the convention.

Meanwhile, JO leader and MP, Dinesh Gunawardane said the convention would create a harmful environment for former president Mahinda Rajapaksa, former defence secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the security forces personnel who defeated terrorism.

Robert O. Blake rejects plans on rescuing Prabhakaran

July 13th, 2017

Courtesy The Daily Mirror   

Former US Ambassador to Sri Lanka Robert O. Blake has said that it was a myth that he orchestrated a rescue of Tamil refugees from a northern beach to help LTTE Leader Velupillai Prabhakaran escape Sri Lankan armed forces, India Abroad news reported on Tuesday.

Blake said it was also fiction that the US helped sink LTTE boats but acknowledged that US intelligence did provide information to the Sri Lankan navy about the boats’ location.

Blake’s remarks came last month during a talk to the Serendipity Group, a nonpolitical group of Washington-based friends of Sri Lanka, which comprises several former US ambassadors and other diplomats who served in Sri Lanka.

Blake said even eight years after Prabhakaran was declared dead, myths continued to circulate and his role in the more than 20-year ethnic conflict, in which more than 70,000 Sri Lankans were killed, continues to be questioned.

He told the group he wanted to clear up some misinformation that continues to circulate about some of the things we worked on when I was ambassador from 2006 to 2009.”

Blake said the biggest myth was centered on the beach rescue. To this day, a story circulates about an effort I organized to try to rescue tens of thousands of IDPs from the beach at Puthukkudiyiruppu. The Story says it was an effort to evacuate Prabakharan.”

He said there was no intention to help the LTTE. To the contrary, the plan was to rescue as many IDPs whom the LTTE had refused to allow to move south through the lines of fighting and were in effect human shields,” he said.

Every person would have been transferred by US Navy boat to Sri Lankan custody. There was a detailed plan coordinated with the Sri Lankan and India governments. Unfortunately, the Sri Lankan government killed the idea for fear that Norwegian peace broker Eric Solheim and I would be taken hostage by the LTTE,” he said adding it was something they did not believe would happen.

He also denied involvement in sinking LTTE ships. He said the US helped the Sri Lankan navy locate the boats, which were carrying arms for the LTTE. SL navy actually sank the boats,” he said.

He said the US decision to support a 2012 UN Human Rights Council resolution has also been a source of continued criticism. He said he initially had argued in favor of letting the Sri Lankan government work on reconciliation and accountability so they could craft their own solution internally.

Domestic ownership is always preferable. Indeed the Sri Lankan government came up with the Lessons Learned and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which had many positive aspects. But it failed to address serious allegations of violations of international law, particularly at the end of the war,” he said.

So we decided to support a landmark resolution that welcomed the LLRC report; called for its implementation; called on the Sri Lankan government to take credible actions to ensure justice and accountability for all Sri Lankans,” he said.

Blake praised the country’s January 2015 presidential elections which he called a sea-change in Sri Lankan politics.”

Suddenly we had a government in power that promised many of the political, economic and social reforms that Sri Lankan civil society and the international community had been seeking and chose a lot of reformers as ministers to carry out those reforms,” he said.

But while saying several of these reforms had been implemented, Blake bemoaned lack of progress in other areas, such as the Office of Missing Persons, which he said has yet to be set up despite its approval in August 2016.

This is really important on many levels due to the large number of ‘enforced disappearances,’ white van abductions and many people who went missing after the war. Progress on a new constitution to strengthen devolution also is slow,” he said.

He said much ink has been spilled on the divisions in the unity government that often lead to focus more on political maneuvering than forging coalitions on specific issues to get things done.

He said he was optimistic that the government has reaffirmed its ambitious plans in the most recent UNHRC resolution in March.

However, Blake said Rajapaksa continues to be a spoiler opposing efforts on reconciliation and transitional justice, casting them as capitulation to western interests. But from what I can tell, President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe still have the will to move forward,” he said.

He said continued friendship with Sri Lanka brings many advantages, among them its strategic location astride the main Indo-Pacific sea lanes through which pass two-thirds of global oil supplies and half of the world’s container cargo,” with the port of Colombo being South Asia’s busiest trans-shipment port.

New Constitution will compromise our soldiers

July 13th, 2017

By Prageeth Sampath Courtesy  Ceylon Today

Joint Opposition and SLFP Member of Parliament Prasanna Ranatunga says that they have clearly set forth their stand that the Unitary State and the prominence accorded to Buddhism in the Constitution cannot be compromised in the new Constitution.

Excerpts:

Q: Why are you getting ready for a snap election?

A: We are ready for elections at any moment but the government is afraid of them.

Q: Why did you launch your campaign in Trincomalee?

A: It is only one of our planned rallies. Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim people were urging us to hold a rally there.

Q: While you are struggling to topple the government, they call off the elections. What is the reason for that?

A: Government is afraid of the Joint Opposition and of elections. We cannot expect an election from such a Government.

Q: Why does the government act like this?

A: This is dictatorship that does not bow to democracy. They try to achieve political mileage by way of calling off the elections.

Therefore, we always demand any type of election. But the government is afraid of them.

Q: Do we need a new Constitution?

A: We need some amendments, but they must not be brought in because of international influence aimed at dividing the country without listening to the voice of the people.

Q: The government is trying to bring in a new Constitution whilst the Maha Sangha of the three Nikayas rejects it. Comments ?

A: This government does not want to take the country forward. They wanted to defeat Mahinda. They conspired for it and they are doing the same now too, to put Mahinda in jail. The LTTE diaspora extended its fullest support to elect Maithripala the President to get him to deliver the promises made by him to them. It is now being handled via the TNA.

Q: What is your rationale ?

A: The leaders of the TNA openly said that they had supported Maithri to achieve their demands. One of them was power sharing. Another is taking the war heroes who contributed to the war victory to international Courts.

Q: But the Government promises that that will not happen.

A: But that is happening.. The Act which was to be tabled in Parliament a few days back also targeted that. As the first step, offices will be established to look into disappeared persons. The second stage is other Acts to be presented in Parliament. Then the Tamil Diaspora that is angry because of Prabhakaran being killed will manipulate those new laws to pressure the government through the international community. Next is the Constitution. People only demanded that the Executive Presidency be abolished and the first-past-the-post system restored. They did not want a full reform of the Constitution which is what the government is now looking at .That exposed the TNA when MP Sumanthiran said that they would get power sharing even without the phrase ‘power sharing’ being used anywhere.

Q: MP Sumanthiran is also a representative of the people. He has right to express his opinion. The Government may either grant or ignore his demands.

A: But Sumanthiran is a member of the Constitution Drafting Committee. He clearly says that only this government will deliver it. That shows the intensity of the demands set forth by the TNA for Maithri’s victory. The government is delivering them one by one and not the demands of the majority. That was why the Mahanayaka Theros said the country did not need a new Constitution.

Q: You have submitted proposals for a new constitution.
A: Yes. We have clearly noted that the Unitary State and the place of prominence to Buddhism could not be compromised. There are four proposals on Buddhism. None of them were revealed. The Mahanayaka Theros have closely studied statements made in the recent past by the leaders of the TNA and expressed their concerns.

Q: The Government reiterates that no discrimination will be permitted against the war heroes through any probe. Why is a different opinion being spread in society despite this assurance?

A: Even though they say so, new laws lined up to be presented in Parliament will directly affect the war heroes. Why didn’t the US, Canada and European countries become signatories to this convention? The British Prime Minister said recently that terrorism would be wiped out in the UK even if she had to change the laws related to human rights if necessary. Mahinda did not waste time talking, but just ended the war. Isn’t that the reason for the UN Human Rights Council to go against us? We need to persuade the global community about this fact. Western nations have not accepted this. Under new laws and the UN Resolution on Sri Lanka, if one of our war heroes has gone abroad for a something like medical treatment or other reason, he can be arrested without investigation, should a self-exiled LTTE member complain that he has committed war crimes. It is so dangerous. While the government misleads the people, the buffaloes who go after the government approve all of them.

Q: The SLFPers in the Cabinet expressed diverse views last week. What is actually happening?

A: Ministers T.B. Ekanayaka and MP Indika made such statements. They are the ones who deal with the villagers. People question them. That’s why they say they will quit if no change occurs. We have not been involved in their decision. It’s because of the pressure from the people.

Q: The President has plans to take under his wing the Police Department, the unit for investigating serious financial crimes and other similar bodies for three months. What is actually happening within the government?

A: They alleged that Mahinda is a thief. The ministers were accused, but they could not prove any charges. The allegations were mere lies on the political platforms. The President has to answer the questions of the people now. Therefore, he tries to take over these bodies and correct them. They must investigate the Central Bank fraud before pointing fingers at others. That is why the SLFP MPs in the Government say that they cannot move like this and they want change.

Q: Are you also ready for such change?

A: It is not clear to us what that change is to be. Our leader is Mahinda. He will decide our actions.

Q: You have given two headaches the government two headaches: SAITM and Uma Oya ! The government has messed attempts to resolve these issues. Why did you create such situations then?

A: SAITM was started during our time. We had conditions applied on them. If they do not act accordingly the Government can regulate or take it over. Without doing it, they cover up the SAITM issue and undermine the other problems. We do not approve of students being attacked.

Can a government that cannot handle the SAITM issue deal with an issue like war? SAITM is a minor body. How can a government take decisions on matters of State when it cannot take decisions on a simple issue such as SAITM?

Who were the Ministers who were responsible for the Uma Oya project? If the work has not been carried out according to set standards, that must be investigated. A similar thing happened in the Southern Expressway project. If such a problem did not exist we could have seen how these people would have sought to gain mileage from Uma Oya project alone. The work delivered is theirs but the debt is Mahinda’s.

This government came to power to correct these things. They must do it. But they cannot.

Q: What is this till box issue related to temples?

A: Since the time of ancient kings, successive governments have helped temples by providing them with lands and finances. I think it is better that the temples manage their finances instead of the government doing it because the government has started swindling the Central Bank. They are now trying to take control of the till boxes. The government is now trying to grab public donations to temples in addition to the taxes which have been imposed on them. The people had specific intentions when they made their contributions to temples. Those donations or offerings were not meant to be given to the government. This government puts Buddhist monks in jail Now they are going to break the till boxes.

Q: What is the deal between the Prime Minister and the Joint Opposition?

A: The SLFP faction in the government fabricates it. We do not need any deals. We are promoting an anti-government stand. Everybody knows about the ones who have deals to share Cabinet portfolios and other appointments. We sat in the Opposition because we disliked joining the UNP. The Joint Opposition performs the duties of the official Opposition in Parliament .Therefore we have no deals with anyone. We directly state what we want.

A Whitewash for Failed Politics

July 13th, 2017

By Ananda Ariyarathne Courtesy  Ceylon Today

‘Organized Chaos’ is the most appropriate definition of the Sri Lankan Political Scene. Chaos is a condition that develops with the absence of objective oriented processes, be it cultural, economic, or political. Culturally, we see a future generation growing into a self centred and therefore selfish one, causing the destruction of the principle of mutual respect and that in turn creates a social creature craving only to grab things totally disregarding the age old ethics that discipline us.

The wrong values instilled in the members of the generation make them feel overconfident about competence and freedom. This is the mentality that works even for the politicians who have become a shameless breed of scatterbrains who come up with policies that ruin the economy and create an unsustainable system with cancerous tendencies. Rational thinking no longer exists.

Where did our Politicians fail?

Are politicians genuinely worried about the problems of the people? This is the reason why politicians need to be accountable to the general public. The only respectable exit for the Tamil extremist politicians is to show that they have not given up. It is alright if it is the most genuine answer. This will be the worst constitutional experiment, if implemented.
The first challenge all of them had was to be futuristic. As they did not have a clear vision, there could not have been any futuristic vision. They bragged being far ahead when Singapore started trying to get the grip. We were contented. What was there to correct? The answer was nothing, because our fellows never made mistakes. The Korean Boom brought in more foreign exchange, but their happiness was short lived, and labour unrest created a crisis. For them, development meant rice cultivation and bragging about the ancient kings. The country was saved with a timely solution like the Rice–Rubber Pact. The feeling that the Sinhalese majority had been abandoned resulted in the plan to mobilize the majority against the United National Party (UNP) Government.

A ‘stalwart’ like S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike identified the formula – The Mobilization of the following forces – Buddhist Monks, Native Medicine Men (Ayurvedic Physicians), Teachers, Farmers who were more or less tenant farmers. The workers and the UNP were reduced to 8 seats in the Parliament. That was the beginning of the end for Sri Lanka as it started the rift between the Sinhala majority and the minorities. Although the Tamil politicians tried to start movements towards separatism, they could not get a foothold. What S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike did started a series of developments that should not have occurred in the first place. The nationalization brought in exemplary results in the economic sphere, but as they were not linked and anchored properly, their strength also became short-lived. Finally, all the nationalized services became the employment providers, and they in turn ended up as dumping grounds for party supporters. The Language Policy resulted in widespread inefficiency in Public Administration resulting in inferior managerial skills resulting in blunders like what they did in the education and higher education sectors. The degradation in Public Services resulted in smart thinking officials who at least had the capacity to maintain things. The aimless development plans did not address the issues and therefore did not produce the expected outcome. The large numbers of Arts Graduates passing out of the four main campuses meant that there were a huge number of graduates, but no suitable jobs. The Prime Minister and other ministers who led them could not plan according to the needs of the country. The situation became grave with the inevitable radicalism in a situation like that and the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna (JVP) came into being from among the youth of the Sinhalese majority. Although the insurrection was suppressed,the key issues were not sorted out.

During the same period, politically, very patriotic sounding actions were taken. It was during that period that the Second Constitution was created. The patriotic fervour that pushed the political leadership forward did well and clarified the country’s sovereignty, but there could not have been any special changes to minorities’ aspirations. In the meantime, the suffering of the people became worse, although some positive steps were taken. Around this time, the Nationalistic Economic Policy used a strategy to earn foreign exchange and conserve foreign exchange reserves through stringent ‘Import Substitution’ and ‘Export Promotion.’ Dr. N.M. Perera laid the foundation for the enhancement of local productivity on one hand and Foreign Exchange Conservation on the other hand through a simple but unique system. That could be considered as the only ‘silver lining’ in the cloud, but this did not last for long thanks to insiders like Anura Bandaranaike and Felix Dias Bandaranaike who hated people like Dr. N.M. Perera and they somehow managed to get rid of the leftist ministers who were engaging in meaningful projects.

Changing the Trend

The headstrong politics earned enough frustration among the voters everywhere, and that tendency of ‘Rejection Syndrome’ that is inseparable, set in. The government was punished as a result. The landslide victory of the United National Party (UNP) was one of the turning points in Sri Lankan political history. Although it was never mentioned by those who came to power, they took over a country which was very strong in terms of its foreign exchange position. Restriction free imports were permitted with the new Open Economic Policy and mega investments were prioritised, which provided employment to many. Export oriented ready-made garment factories were a good example, but the unprofessional approaches by politicians like Ranasinghe Premadasa meant that glorified racketeers lead the scenes. Those projects looked legitimate but the truth was they were only motivated by ‘quota sales.’ Export promoters made money by selling ‘export permits’ and the economy became more and more open, but no effort was made to monitor efficiency.

The Ignored Aspects

While such developments were taking place, what did our politicians do? Starting from the very inception of Sri Lankan administration of our own future, the cost of living continued to rise and even a student in the fifth grade would be able to add things up and understand what was going on. The population grew, but there was a lack of houses. Even at this moment in time, we do not have a plan. For how long can you claim that land is available, but houses cannot be built? It is hilarious to see our ministers declaring open housing schemes with small houses, which are not capable of accommodating the entire family.

Population growth creates other issues like education and health related issues. The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) crisis is a good example and it clearly shows that the government has no strategic plan to deal with such issues. On one hand it is an investment problem while on the other hand it is a matter linked to standards. Some ‘smart’ politicians claim that it should be shuttered, while others claim that SAITM should be allowed to carry on with its operations unhindered. What is really wrong is the ‘reality.’ The reason why public health has fallen into this plight is because there is an absence of a vision. Money is not the solution to every problem out there, but anything without a vision has no direction. In short, we do not have a strategic plan for our nation. Those are the main problems this nation is plagued with plus the politicians who are incompetent. This is the beginning of the end.

Impact of an Unwanted Constitution

We are already a confused nation. We do not know what our priorities are. It becomes worse when individuals cannot identify the issues that are plaguing society. Very recently, there was a report of a Former Secretary of Defence meeting a key Buddhist religious personality. One point he had mentioned is very logical. The Former President should not be going around the country and pointing out everybody’s shortcomings. He had the chance to serve the nation and it is due to his own mistakes that the country is facing such a disastrous situation now. Instead of criticising, he should make him aware of the looming dangers and assure him that he is willing to support him at any given time. Can and will the President reject such help? It is clear that the former President is trying to come back to power.
The issues have been forgotten

The most important priority at the moment is supporting the current President and helping him to save this country, because this is our country after all. It has become a battle of wits. When opposed, anyone’s reaction is to defend and that is why the President is compelled to ignore.

It is clear that the common opposition does not have a strategy to save the country. Instead, they are busy yelling. In the middle of this commotion, the determined and dedicated effort in promoting the illogical constitution continues. How many of our politicians are aware of this reality? Aren’t we in a nationally chaotic situation? History is the best educator a society can have and the most important things can be decided as the main objective has to be not to repeat mistakes. Unlike in the good old days, everything is clear now. That is why the mistakes become the best teachers. Now start taking each malady we have in our society, we will see very clearly that everything had happened due to the absence of ‘futuristic’ thinking. The worst is that we not only ignore the past mistakes, but also boldly and brazenly plan to make the mistakes we have already committed. Isn’t this planning for ‘chaos’?

Ignoring Buddhist Teachings and Principles

Sinhalese being around 75-78% cannot be ignored in finding solutions. By forcing Sinhalese to accept the conditions dictated by outside forces, a solution cannot be found. It is a very sensitive issue to drag Buddhism and the Scared Tooth Relic into politics, but unfortunately this is the reality. The best approach is to avoid the topic in the first place. There is a lot the government can learn from Buddhism and there is a lot that people from other faiths can learn from Buddhism as well. Buddhism promotes coexistence, but what do our politicians do? Instead of reducing the tension, they make very dangerous remarks calling for retaliatory action. Although the criterion for identifying the ruler changed over the years, it continued to remain as the symbol of sovereignty and even the British did not discard that as an absurdity. Even after Sri Lanka was granted independence, the importance did not fade away. It was as if the Tooth Relic became the symbol of authority. Is there anything wrong with that? Could a society just forget the presence of such a force? It was more straightforward before independence as Sinhalese Buddhists did not have time to create divisions in society. This explains the importance that Buddhism plays in Sri Lankan politics. It has become such a symbiotic relationship between Buddhism and the Scared Tooth Relic and then the Sinhalese and Buddhism. The Sinhalese culture is so much intertwined with Buddhism and the Tooth Relic; it becomes a very sensitive area psychologically. The British maintained what they took over and it was a country with a very large Sinhalese community. It was no different when the British granted independence. Although the government under the first independent constitution did not have any special reason to be selective, the place Buddhism had in practice was there and it never bothered the minorities, as there was no need for the communities to feel suspicious about each other. The United National Party (UNP) which formed the first government just continued feeling confident that they were doing the right thing, and there was no need for them to become futuristic, as the going was good, but the feeling of wellbeing was short lived.

Yahapalanaya unmasked

July 13th, 2017

Island Editorial Courtesy The Island

Many organisations that rallied behind the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe coalition, enabling it to dislodge the Rajapaksa government more than two years ago, expected the new dispensation to bring about a radical change. But, what they have got by way of yahapalanaya or good governance is like the curate’s egg. They are in the same predicament as Mr. Jones in the famous Punch cartoon. They are reluctant to tell the truth; instead they claim that part of yahapalanaya is excellent!

The Cabinet has decided against extending the term of the Anti-corruption Committee Secretariat (ACCS) under the Prime Minister’s Office. Some yahapalana big guns have sought to justify the abolition of this outfit by claiming that it did not serve the intended purpose. If so, the FCID (Financial Crimes Investigation Division) must also be done away with immediately. For, it has not taken any action against those responsible for the biggest ever financial fraud in this country—the Central Bank bond scam, which will enter the Guinness book as the most probed racket in the world. The only purpose the FCID has served, in our book, is to help the government target its political rivals who are struggling to make a comeback.

True, the Rajapaksa government was full of crooks who amassed a great deal of ill-gotten wealth. They must be thoroughly investigated as a national priority and brought to justice without further delay. Let the newly built Angunakolapalessa prison be their home for the rest of their lives if they are found guilty, of course, after fair trials. But, it doesn’t make any sense to maintain a financial crimes investigative outfit with public funds if it does not probe huge frauds and instances of corruption under the present government.

The JVP has told the media that the anti-corruption outfit under the PM’s Office has been done away with because it started probing several ministers allegedly involved in corrupt deals amounting to over ten billion rupees. The JVP has made no revelation. It has only repeated what the media has been saying all these months. That the present administration is full of corrupt ministers and their political masters are shielding them while condemning the prominent members of the previous regime for corruption is only too well known. JVP Propaganda Secretary Vijitha Herath, MP has listed several instances of corruption under the present adminstration. Besides, State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena has confirmed that the Agriculture Ministry has paid as much as Rs. 22.5 million a month as rent for a building without occupying it.

Co-Cabinet Spokesman and Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne has gone on record as saying the government has spent Rs. 65 million on the ACCS without gaining anything in return. Will he explain how funds were spent? If that outfit has really failed, then the person/s responsible for reviewing its progress must be held answerable. Above all, this being the fate of an outfit supervised by the PM’s Office, how can anyone expect other institutions under the purview of lesser ones in the yahapalana government to be efficient?

The JVP was one of the architects of the yahapalana government. Having joined forces with the SLFP dissidents and the UNP to topple the Rajapaksa government, the JVP became part of the National Executive Council of the yahapalana administration after the Jan. 2015 regime change. Now that it is convinced that the yahapalana government is corrupt to the core what does it propose to do? What is needed is action. Words are of little use in combating corruption. Unless the JVP translates its rhetoric into action it will be seen to be running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.

The Joint Opposition (JO) is maniacally focused on attacking President Maithripala Sirisena while behaving like the three proverbial monkeys as regards allegations against the UNP. The TNA is preoccupied with devolution and the UNHRC call for a war crimes probe. It is blind to all other issues. The JVP ‘floats like a bee and stings like a butterfly’ as regards allegations against the UNP-led government; the same goes for the self-important civil society worthies. Their bark is worse than their bite. The country, the JO says, is without a government. It is also without an Opposition.


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