Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So much for Chinese graft of Sri Lankan bureaucrats

It is interesting that Wikileaks as I understand has exposed the reason for so much Chinese supposed Investments in Sri Lanka as the bribes they have paid our Politicians in order that they approve extremely dubious (by that I mean unproductive, too costly, with long term implications in that high interest loans have to paid, and environmentally contentious projects of dubious technology levels being implemented) overpriced projects dotting the whole country.

To be fair India is also trying to exert a level of influence in this regard too and we have also approved similarly dubious projects emanating from them, but not anywhere near the level we have obtained from China.

With a government full of traitors who have accepted bribes for which the future generations of Sri Lankan especially today's youth who will have to face the consequences of the aging population where they will have to support more people per working person, is very regrettable. In my opinion this blame must be laid squarely at the top, namely the President who appears to revel in receiving more and more honors from the Chinese in return for turning this country over to their complete subjugation.

We are now looking forward to billions of dollars more of loans to take the Southern Highway to Hambantota, whilst putting the more urgent one to Kandy in abeyance. Such logic which will show eventually that we would have spent zillions in an area of Sri Lanka that actually does not need this kind of development by any stretch of the imagination, when that same amount of money could easily have been spent on more productive projects that would have more instant returns to the economy is in itself a further example of traitorous actions on the part of the Regime, which no one seems to have pointed out, due to self preservation.

It appears to me that it is easiest to bribe Sri Lankans over any other race, and the resulting National disaster will have to be paid by all future generations with no time limit. This can be stopped in its tracks now if sufficient people either write about this to the papers or other media to let their thoughts be known, followed up later by protests and turn the country into a "Sri Lankan tropical downpour" much in the nature of the Arab spring but a completely home grown version of it to throw out the traitors once and for all.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The opportunistic Minister of Power - Champika

When there was plenty of rain and all the Hydro Power stations were at full capacity, the CEB did not have to use much imported fossil fuels and so made an operating profit. The Opportunistic Minister of Power took full credit for something he had absolutely no say in nor was he a party to it.

It was disgusting to read some of his statements that he was the first person to turn the CEB into a profit from heavy losses. This kind of brigand and rogue has the audacity to now say that the Monsoon has failed and blame the monsoon for the huge losses CEB is currently incurring due to the need to import large amounts of imported fossil fuels to keep all the Thermal and Coal Power plants in operation.

Why does he not get real and ask questions as to why the coal is shipped from the Trincomalee harbor instead of being brought straight to the Norochcholai harbor and be conveyord from the dock direct to the facility saving huge time and expense in the former procedure. The Minister is 100% to blame for that as the power station was built to carry out that process, which it has failed to do.

It is very sad to have someone from the Hela Urumaya who professes to be a Buddhist behave in such an un Buddhist fashion looking for fame and glory for himself, by saying he is not a person to take bribes or be touched by scandal.

Space does not permit me to go into the details of all his appointments and hugely wasteful and counterproductive deals and half baked ideas that he has come up with like SL manufacturing CFL bulbs, when we can buy them at a quarter of the cost of manufacture.

I am aware that even the President has finally been alerted to the lies and doublespeak of this person and is in the process of doing something, and time will tell if Champika is Chaffing, Champing, or Cheating. I hope he finally consigned to the Gulag before he can do any more damage to Mother Lanka.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The annual dividend from our Human Capital Investment overseas is expected to top US$5Billion

The money that Sri Lanka earns directly from her overseas workers is expected to top Rs550 Billion. With that kind of money coming in it is worth more than the total tangible product exports of Sri Lanka when you consider the value addition. To explain the latter statement as many will not understand what I say I will use an example.

If we sell a Bra overseas for US$100 foreign exchange. If the material cost was US$30 for the various items from cloth, buttons, elastic, zips etc. The depreciation cost of the high value imported machinery used of US$5, the imported energy component of the electricity and other fuels was US$5, the cost of imported items of the overheads of the enterprise, such as sales people's overseas travel, wear and tear of the company motor vehicle fleet, and use of imported energy and depreciation of imported office equipment from photocopiers to laptops etc. was US$20 and then the repatriation of profits to foreign owners of the organization is US$30, then the economic benefit to Sri Lanka of that bra is after netting all this which comes to a mere US$10 mainly for the value addition of the labor component which is the only local input here. The net export value therefore is just US$10 and not US$100.

This clearly shows the value of the remittances. I am told that in 2011 the Middle East uprisings will actually result in a higher remittance through formal channels because the workers who had banked some of their prior earnings in the those countries feel it is safer to remit it to Sri Lanka and therefore there is a further one off boost to remittances arising from that source.

This staggering amount of money is how this country is getting its growth no matter how incompetent the Government is. Sadly the Govt. takes credit for the hard work all our people do overseas, and not give credit where credit is due. The Country will be a basket case if not for this money and we will probably be starving also. Remember we have a further 2million fewer mouths to feed in Sri Lanka as they are overseas, not burdening the state with health or food costs and in the case of the families, the education of their children, all of which are direct benefits for the state.

It is truly tragic that hardly any reference is made to this contribution, and little is done to assist those people who are the lifeline of this country who even do not have a vote in the land, as we do not allow our foreign workers to vote in our local elections from our embassies overseas. This is permitted for US, Australian and citizens of many other countries and is sadly not offered to Sri Lankans.

An important point to bear in mind in this remittance issue is that migrants to places like USA, UK, Canada, Australia, NZ etc do not remit as higher a proportion of their earnings as those who go for shorter periods on work contracts, and only remit funds for aging parents or if they eventually decide to retire in Sri Lanka, and send funds to buy a luxury apartment or such like.

The only reason I firmly believe this important Revenue source is not acknowledged is because the Government of Sri Lanka will be shown to be jokers who are just spunging off these people, and claiming all the growth is due to the policies of the Government when in fact it is just due to this income from overseas.


Friday, August 26, 2011

The sorry state of the TOURIST INDUSTRY IN SRI LANKA

I was reading a review recently of Maalu Maalu by a Sri Lankan family, who primarily live in the UK and have extensive travel experience in high class establishments worldwide. I therefore accept the fact that they are qualified to comment on the "Boutique" moniker given to a hotel on 2 acres on the Parsekudah Beach. There consensus opinion was that it was just a three star place that was charging 5 star prices.

This was a recently if rather hurriedly built place, that had been given full marks and rave reviews by the Sri Lankan travel trade. That immediately raised my antennae about the qualification of our travel trade to rate this place. I sadly came to the conclusion that most of those who visited this site were not seasoned travel professionals internationally, so were unable to judge the quality of the place with any relative comparison to overseas establishments and that their terms of reference was merely to hotels in Sri Lanka or a limited amount of hotels they may have stayed in overseas.

The service standards along with the price of star class boutique hotels are probably out of the reach of some of these travel professionals, while within reach of some of Sri Lanka's wealthy people. The Wealthy Sri Lankan in my view is better able to judge such a place than the travel professional and I believe they should be roped in to comment on the quality of these hotels some of which are owned or run by friends of these self same wealthy individuals.

What are we trying to do to tourism? In my opinion the Tourist Promotion Bureau of Sri Lanka, have not got a vision of what exactly they are trying to do. When one talks to some of the bosses of the tourist trade they have differing opinions on what needs to be done, who should be attracted to visit Sri Lanka, and what kind of tourist product Sri Lanka should offer. These issues are reflected in the complete breakdown of the direction that tourism is going. It was rather unexpected that at this time of year there are so many hotel rooms (overpriced) that are vacant, despite the paucity of rooms. That is an indictment in itself of what is happening, as no one would have thought that with the safety and security that is guaranteed in Sri Lanka tourism would have dropped to this level of occupancy.

The answer may lie in the fact that the value of money destination has disappeared overnight, due to the hiking up of rates with no commensurate improvement in service standards that seem to be dropping instead of rising. This does not bode well at all for the future, and the usual pontifications of the Ministers, completely oblivious to the current state of play does not help the cause as they are full of hot air, with no evidence to back their claims.

I believe we can arrest this rot, if we are able first to identify that we have actually fallen into a pit of our own making and then do something about getting out of the pit with a renewed energy and vigor going about it in an enlightened way.

I believe we should start this with identifying who our tourists should be? Once we know who we should attract, then we can design the product to suit that market. I am opposed to the buckshot approach. We have decided to reduce the carbon footprint. So we should start with that premise. The first being tourist with lowest carbon footprint, NAMELY INDIAN TOURISTS.

If my memory serves me right there are about 12million Indian overseas tourists a year and we do not even attract 1% of that. Our goal should be to attract 10% of the Indian tourist market offering direct flights to the destinations within a maximum of 3flying hours to the destination, whilst at the same time opening up a number of airports just to the Indian clientele, giving them significant privileges of visa free travel. Then the high end Indian can fly in their personal jets with their families to China Bay in Trincomalee and be ferried to the hotels on Nilaveli Beach for the weekend and they can theoretically have a better holiday with fewer crowds than they can experience anywhere on earth. This quick holiday that is exclusive can command a high price tag as long as the service is to match, so that they are picked up in Land Cruisers as soon as the plane lands and be whisked off to the hotels.

We must think outside of the box in catering to this High Net worth individual. If they want the Casino effect they just need to fly to Colombo and the needful can be done there. Sri Lanka offers something for every one so all tastes can be catered to as long as the service standards are matched to the pricing and then there will be self generating traffic from those who have already experienced a fabulous holiday in Sri Lanka.

In order to keep this note brief I will not elaborate as to other ideas, on how to increase the value addition of Tourism which is the key we should concentrate on and not the numbers game. This is just one example of what can be done and it is not too difficult to think of others that are similar that will yield huge advantages to the Tourism Industry.

Lets currently fire all the Industry professional and start from scratch as these old dogs cannot be taught new tricks, and as long as they are around interfering in policy issues nothing concrete will come of it.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


In the current context of Sri Lanka in September 2011 in the cusp of the removal of the PTA or the Prevention of Terrorism Act where the Emergency Regulations in force are expected to be lifted shortly, we seem to have a scenario where no one in Sri Lanka feels safe.

You ask any person Sinhala or Tamil or for that matter any Sri Lankan and they will say suddenly we feel very unsafe and that despite heavy Military and Police presence everywhere, with the total Strength of the Security Forces exceeding 500,000. That means we have the largest per capita Security Force on the face of the Earth and that does not count the Private Armies masquerading as a government security service to protect buildings, that is a private concern that has been given the task of doing all the security for public and government buildings that security guards used to do.

How can this situation arise? There is simply only one way and that is when this immense security service becomes the threat as it has today in Sri Lanka. They are no longer seen as the protector of peace, but the single most important reason for the threat of violence, especially of the innocent.

Sri Lanka is the only country where not one disappearance or murder of a journalist has been solved, and not one white van abduction has been solved. In a country with so much security where this sort of event takes place in broad daylight there is no earthly reason to believe any other theory, but the one that says the Government is directly complicit in this. I cannot understand how the President of the Country can continually set up teams of enquiry that do not come out with any answers to the questions posed by him and he says nothing in public about it. This smacks of either his total embarrassment of his incompetence of presiding in a government where they are unable to find the culprits to any of the acts of violence or intimidation, or that he is part of the problem!!!

It is therefore very important that the people take the law into their own hands and forcefully demonstrate against this government inaction so the authorities are forced to admit incompetence or culpability.

It is only a matter of time before this happens and I hope for the sake of all Sri Lankans it is sooner rather than later, so that we carry on our normal activities of building this country with morals, values, hardwork, rid of corruption.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Damn shame that the rulers of Sri Lanka did not show any decency in inviting Ghaddaffi

Now Ghadaffi is history, and if the country carries on its destructive corruption, the Rajapakses are also likely to be consigned to the same fate. It is sad therefore that some one who had his arms over Mahinda Rajapakse in Tripoli, would not be invited to spend his last days as a guest of the President when he is about to be hauled up in the ICC and have to answer to crimes against humanity.

Is it that this incumbent also fears one day that he would also have to answer to his sins, and expects the same fate, or worse? That is a tricky question to answer as we do not have twenty twenty hindsight. It is incredible that there are so many parallels to Ghadaffi, except of course the one obvious one, namely that Ghadaffi lasted 42 years. I somehow do not think this incumbent would last a quarter of that, so lets be hopeful.

History is a great teacher of what happens to people who are too pompous and arrogant. Nothing like this happens to the pious and those without ambition, as they leave quietly in a similar way to their arrival.

Leadership is a quality that requires an immense amount of humility, as those who are possessed with arrogance and ambition beyond their ability to handle, are never looked on by history by anything other than despots, a moniker more than likely to be attached to the current ruling regime in Sri Lanka just as much as it will now be attached to Ghadaffi.

When Ghadaffi overthrew a rotten system of a king and corruption, it was with great hope that Libya embraced Ghadaffi as a modern day savior. It is sad that within a short while the leadership of a country seemed to sound like a birthright, and then a family right, which he started to cultivate, where the will of the people would be completely subjugated to that of the family. One notices the amazing similarities in Sri Lanka of just this situation, the human being do not realize what they turn themselves into. They become unrecognizable and try every game in town to muster support and prevent any dissent and try to make believe that the world is a better place because of them, rather than the converse.

Let us hope that we in Sri Lanka are able to muster sufficient public support of right thinking people who are not led by fear, to take action against the complete breakdown of law and order and also the depths with which human life is being valued by this regime, into something that is profound and instantaneous.

Let us therefore hope we can learn from the mistakes of Libya and learn from their example that we do not try to emulate this bad example for the sake of our countrymen but try to prevent such an event by seeing sense from this event and prevent a copycat of this in Sri Lanka by permitting the leadership to carry on their treasonable activities a day longer than necessary.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

There is nothing in the newspapers in Sri Lanka worthy of news

When one reads the newspapers in Sinhala and English, (sadly I do not know Tamil, so I cannot comment on their content) and listens to the Radio and watches TV, I realize that had I been away meditating in the forests for 6months, I would not have missed anything of value, and it would be a regurgitation of the same old stories with a few new twists, but no real changes or improvements to society. Time has not brought one improvement to the quality of life of the Sri Lankan citizen!

So should I continue to meditate knowing that nothing has changed, or get out of this trance and come out and do something that will make a change! I would like to feel the latter, and then I wonder how with my meager resources and lack of clout how I could do what I want. I believe individually if we take that attitude then this country WILL NOT change for the better and continue in its higgledy piggledy way.

It is incumbent on us those who have a mind or body to agitate against injustice. We cannot all do everything as the job is too great, but if we agitate enough with some time allocated from our free time for it, we may with many who feel that way make a difference to our society. Drawing rooms in the Capital and outskirts continue to debate injustice, but with a feeling of individual helplessness at what we can do to change the status quo. How does one give rise to empowering these genuine people to change the system? We must give rise to discussion fora instigated by opposition parties at village level, where these very points can be discussed and debated. Many people do not realize the level of their ignorance, namely in believing what they see or read in Media, so that is the first myth to be erased, and then be taught to think critically about every aspect of debate. In company we tend to report on something we read or saw on TV and to the audience uncritically spread that as being an accurate and true statement without qualifying it first, saying where we heard it and how reliable this source of information it to give us credibility on its statement.

If we therefore act with a bit of skepticism, we will be able to decide to concentrate our attention on the more important aspects of life that affect ourselves and our children over the unimportant and insignificant, as otherwise we attach the same weight to everything uncritically.

We can then put to bed the Grease Devils, UNP Satyagrahas, Government coverups, and the General deterioration of Media reporting in context and concentrate on our Country, its people, and how we can all live and co exist in peace without being hounded out of home and country for saying what we believe or having independent thought on what is right and wrong and which contradicts the dictum of the powers that be who can affect our individual Freedom and Liberty to act and speak of our free will exercising a certain amount of restraint where we do not have first hand evidence of transgressions, whilst making that qualification in our comments.

More debate and discussion is needed in our homes to formulate our attitudes so that we can speak with a better understanding of the problem. We can contribute to this at all levels of society if we allow people to say their piece and be allowed to critically evaluate others comments and then give our opinion explaining why we differ in our outlook of the same if that is so.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The glee of some " they are worse than us" apologists for a 4 day rampage of a bunch of miscreants in the UK

The UK riots seem to elicit an enormous amount of smugness in Sri Lanka, amongst a lot of people who really have not encountered the basest instincts of some our own citizens.

I read a piece in a blog by some journalist who took pleasure at calling the UK prime minister one who never had a moral compass to begin with. As if any of our current leaders are better!

I assume much of his ire is understandable as he appears to take umbrage at those who try  to tell others how to behave when their own issues begs some form of correction. However much of the fact he uses for his attacks on the UK in particular or the West in general is taken directly from introspection of their own writers and journalists who have not been persecuted and called anti  -patriotic for drawing attention to their skeletons, that their leaders would prefer to have swept under the carpet.

Most of the ammunition our writers discover to find fault with our erstwhile detractors is written by investigative journalists in those very same countries. They have a honorable tradition of investigation into wrongdoings so that misbehavior can be highlighted and the culprit be shamed. There is no accusation of them being called anything but patriotic, to clean up the practices of some of their lawmakers or captains of industry.

Any similar investigative journalist in Sri Lanka will be lynched or at least hounded out of the country as being anti-patriotic and more likely a traitor to the country for bringing to light the transgressions of our traitors. The sad fact as most of those who engage in wholesale corruption, lawlessness and murder in Sri Lanka are traitors of the country, and seem to get away with it by frightening right thinking people who wish to criticize their activity into a frenzied public outcry of being against the country. The herd instinct of the masses in Sri Lanka is far more vicious than anything that can be found on the streets of deprived UK inner cities. 

We therefore are left with the voice of the yes men journalists who for some reason cannot even find fault with the transgressors of their own country and when confronted with some sad facts of transgression point the fingers to those outside our country almost by way of reaction.

Sri Lanka is a great country with many great individuals, however the political landscape has been completely obliterated by the worst scum of society, who then used as examples for others to emulate, creating a rotten society of criminals, most of whom are either led by or practice their criminality by the grace of the alliance in power, and so our moral compass is so far out of line, that whatever moral compass David Cameron is tagged with is simply benign by comparison.

There is a hard core of us with no funding from anyone, risking our lives every day to clean up the sick society where innocent people are accused even in the Grease Devil scene out of mob mentality, that the culprits all get away with blue murder on a daily basis where law and order has completely broken down and there is no one who seems to have the courage to get up and do something about it as any moral stand taken is literally shot down by a mob backed by the pied pipers in power.

In the end truth will prevail as we must have faith that we can by our silent campaign, slowly but surely ensure that good triumphs over evil, and right wins the day from the wrong doers and we can build a genuinely just, compassionate society in keeping with teachings of the Lord Buddha and the devil worshipers in the guise of the current regime will never be able to raise its ugly head again on this blessed land.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The only sure way for Sajith to wrest Leadership of the UNP is by EARNING IT!!!

I am in no doubt that the Majority of the UNP want Ramil to resign from the Leadership of the UNP, but I have yet to read or be told of anyone who can take his place, with conviction. No one denies Ranil's integrity and courage of his convictions, but his grip on the top spot with an iron fist is one where critics of his party and others in the country maintain is non-democratic, whilst he stands for the purest form of democracy. It is true that the UNP constitution was changed so that at each working committee meeting in December a majority vote can determine who the party's nominee for the Leadership is and so that canard has been put to rest. However what has surfaced now is that the Working Committee is weighed heavily in favor of his people thereby overwhelmingly giving him the Leadership even in a majority vote.

That seems to be the reason why Sajith finally declines a contest to put his hat in the ring for the Party leadership knowing he did not have support in the Working Committee. In my opinion however I do believe he should have contested, as even if he lost he would have had the courage of his convictions to battle it out and make his leaderhip bid with his own cards on the table and convince the doubters of his ability to rise to the challenge and contest. In fact I know that he lost a lot of following due to his backing down and accepting a spurious post of Deputy Leader or co- deputy!

Using the results of the most recent local Government elections and the disastrous showing of the UNP, there was added push by the Sajith loyalists with hardly an experienced hand in that collection, to resurrect his bid but cloaked in one that requested Karu Jayasuriya instead to stand as the leader with this motley collection standing behind him supposedly directing KJ in the way they want. This new ambit seems to have gathered new momentum in a need to oust Ranil mode rather than a need to really settle the party leadership issue. Again in my view this kind of stop gap is neither here or there and despite KJ being acceptable to most of the anti Ranil group it is still not a pr KJ or pro Sajith group, which does not bode well for the party.

Under this scenario, I firmly believe Sajith should make a sure bid for the leadership by throwing down the gauntlet or otherwise sneak back to Hambantota to lick his wounds like a little boy who has been denied a captaincy in a big boys team. What then should he do? It is simple. At the next working committee meeting get up in front of everyone and challenge all  present in the following way. "Allow me the party nomination for the Colombo Municipal Council, Mayor's post, and if I am able to show a commanding lead over the UPFA in this contest, guarantee my Leadership of the Party from the next Leadership contest in December 2011. I honestly believe there will not be one person who will oppose that move, not even Ranil. This kind of consensus candidate can and will obtain the support of the whole UNP including those who do not believe he has what it takes. The bankrupt party will get the funds it so badly needs to fight this election, and whoever the UPFA put into their candidate he will be able to win, as the party will bank their future on this beginning to take it forward, as a party that has fallen so much needs a catalyst of this nature to get any life back into itself.

I for one who today do not believe Sajith has what it takes to be the leader, will change my mind if he is able to win, and I will actually bat for him if he is able to propose a proper framework of action as a manifesto on how to sort out the current bolshevik cleanup that is taking place in Colombo in a cavalier and indiscriminate way. I am sure the UNP will also be rewarded for the courage of their convictions of putting such a high profile candidate for the position and the party's reversal of fortunes can begin.

To those who say it will be his Waterloo, and that he cannot afford to give up the Hambantota electorate, as well as the greater problem of the vote being rigged by the UPFA government, I say just give one chance. There is always a risk, as the current elections commissioner who looks clean is still in the pay of Thilanga Sumithipala (he owes his rise to him alone) as he was his lackey in the cricket board many moons ago and will rig anything for his former master.

I believe it is worth taking this risk, as there is time to get a tide that is so great that rigging will be impossible, as some compromise should be agreed upon with the UDA and the dreaded Ghotabaya who is taking on Colombo singlehandedly in the Bolshevik coup, so that GR can rest easy that the new MC will work with him for the best interest of Colombo, its citizens and all who live work and visit this city, so that it can truly be developed into a beautiful and livable place with proper rules and regulations fairly and justly carried out and enforced.

I am convinced that in this scenario, no one will begrudge Sajith the leadership, and if Ranil had any doubts about Sajith's ability that would be removed paving the way for Ranil to support Sajith for the betterment of the party (UNP) and hopefully of the Country (Sri Lanka) so that Rajapakistan can once and for all be eliminated from this country and justice and democracy regained.


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

the fracas over the intrusion of US jets from its USS Ronald Reagan carrier fleet


Why is it that we are always fed with confusing and trashy information? The latest dose of misinformation came when the Air Force maintained that the carrier based aircraft of the US Seventh Fleet strayed into Sri Lankan air space, with the US Embassy in Colombo making repeated denials about it. To add to this the Minister of Civil Aviation made a statement in Parliament today saying that there was no such intrusion without giving reason for the initial about face.

Questions arise as to whether the Air Force were even aware of the true air space of Sri Lanka! It is possible that their interpretation differed to that of the Ministry of Aviation and that the US Embassy appears to have shown them what the International Law was on this particular aspect. As is typical no one explains the discrepancy as one or other would look bad and fingers pointed to a persons incompetence!

Those who are incompetent should be identified and shamed so people will not make mistakes like this in the future or shout their mouth's off without knowing the facts. Why we are made to look like damn fools in the international arena time and time again is beyond me. We just cannot keep fooling people outside our shoes despite the great job of misinformation where we are fooling the local citizenry due to their ignorance of facts and the inability on their part to think through what they hear or see.

I am sure we have yet to hear the end of the story and the real truth which through the gossip route will make for dinner conversation in hotels and drawing rooms!!

Journalistic Double Standards

After having typed in my previous blog entry on Journalistic Ethics or lack thereof, I had a heated debate with a journalist about some of the fact I referred to in that and Journalistic Double Standards in general. We agreed to disagree on some aspects and at least he was able to appreciate my point of view, though his point is one used throughout journalists in Sri Lanka today.

While I may hold a contrarian  view and therefore never make it up to any level of Journalism in the Paradise Isle, I nevertheless believe in our Journalists using the same level of double standards they accuse the "West" of having. The moment there is a crisis involving the West they are quick to pounce, saying we told you so, they are worse than what they accuse us of, why pick on poor SL when they do far worse things and are not held accountable.

Recently they were citing drone attacks in Pakistan, Taliban victor spoils by  UK soldiers, Fires in London, collapse of the US as examples, to which I said of course we are at least aware internationally of what is going on, though I dare say there is a lot we may not know either, that has not been reported!

For what it is worth, SL are signatories to various conventions, though mercifully for our own sake we are not signatories to the ICC just like the US and therefore cannot be prosecuted by them. Either way I do not believe we keep to our responsibilities to the HRC. While faced with numerous accusations from overseas about violations carried out during the course of the bitter and bloody war, we should never have got to that stage, if we had done the relevant investigations internally of what really happened as it is no secret as to who is responsible and gave the orders, but alas the guilty find solace in refuting and passing the buck the on to the elusive Diaspora, who have nothing to do with our internal affairs.

More to the point, since time immemorial and particularly during the British times, every Police station engaged in whipping the accused until confessions were obtained as the OIC would say unless they got a taste of my medicine they will not confess. Sadly despite the rule book given to today's OIC who knows full well what is and is not permitted, thrashing until a confession is obtained is common accepted and encouraged!!!

No one appears to see anything wrong in it and so by the good graces of the powers these Human Rights Violations as specified in the agreements we have signed are carried out daily with impunity and not a word is even talked about. Why?

Until I can see a condemnation of this by the authorities and an acknowledgment at least of its existence, there is no use going further and making sanctimonious statements about the behavior of others. I think we should start in this one aspect that can change in a spin of the dice and does not require years of training.

There is something called Fundamental Rights, but try exercising them, and only then do you see the difficulty in gathering convincing evidence, due to a conspiracy to protect by clamming up when faced with the music.

In all honesty we should not get into the game of looking outside our shores for other people's transgressions as excuses for ours. We should instead clean our house and let others face their own Waterloo without us pointing any ineffectual fingers at an issue we know nothing about and to which we should not fool ourselves by digging their dirt for them!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Journalism what independence do they have in Sri Lanka?

It is sad that in Sri Lanka there is no journalistic freedom or shall we say the only journalists who have the freedom are those who do not realize there is no freedom! So what they say is applauded with scarcely a murmur.

In my view the very sad tragedy of "the you are with us or you are a traitor" moniker has shut expression of those who want to be included are so apart from subtle innuendos of dissent, the largely vociferous opposition in the face of a complete breakdown in law and order in Sri Lanka is absent.

One must not forget that not only what is reported is self censorship, what is not said is also too. In a society where the level of crime has ballooned out of all proportion, no one dare bring out the statistics of abductions, this time purely and simply for ransom in the South of the country where as there are political based abductions and killings in the North and the East either with the knowledge or connivance of the forces as otherwise how would one explain serious crime in the midst of high security corridors.

What happens with this sort of censorship is that other journalists who are unaware of this then get into a false sense of the good and the bad, and then this is through their biased writings transform into people's thinking, and before you know it you have a brainwashed society completely oblivious to what is going on, and only when one becomes a victim of crime be it by a person or the state, does one look for help and find none.

With this insidious state of affairs, it is unlikely that criticism will be accepted, condoned or even believed with victims being in the minority who are directly affected, and so a majoritarian society raises its ugly head with all minorities who are suffering and by that I do not mean just a racial group, but all those who fall out of the mainstream being disadvantaged with no one willing or able to befriend or defend them.

This stand cannot last forever as in all cases good triumphs over evil, and though it is a matter of time for this to happen, the life cycle must necessarily take its course. I do hope however that these wrongs can be righted sooner rather than later, as justice must prevail over injustice. I am called an idealist often, but if I do not have some principles that I stick by and willing to defend them, what use am I in society, especially as one that goes with the flow is largely apathetic.

No war can be won until justice prevails, and it is merely a hollow victory where a battle of the guns is replaced with the battle of the lies and deception, and woe be the journalist who defends both as he has no conscience and does not realize it. He has become an unsuspecting apologist for the murderers, thieves, swindlers and bandits. Sadly most of our columnists fall into that category!!

Those whose blood curdles and fire burns in hate when they read this will know who they are


Lifting of emergency regulations in Sri Lanka long overdue

The state of Emergency that was established in 2005 after the assassination of Lakshman Kadirgamar who was the Foreign Minister in Mrs Kumaranatunge's cabinet is long due for lifting. In fact with over two years since the annihilation of the LTTE the Govt. is still acting as if these are needed to contain any terrorist threat.

While agree it is 20/20 hindsight about everything, it is obvious that the Emergency regulations have been used by the Govt. to suppress all civil liberties and there have been no security threat during the whole period, which goes to suggest it has been purely their scare mongering to suit their own agenda of suppression.

It was reported that Parliament may withdraw the Emergency when it comes for debate next. It is rather unseemly how much parliamentary time has been spent in extending the emergency along with the spurious reasons thereof. While it is true we will find LTTE hidden arms for a few more years due to their extensive efforts at burying them all over the North that is no excuse for keep all freedoms suppressed, giving rise to the dictatorship that currently exists.

The extent of violations carried out in the name of the Emergency by the Govt. has already far exceeded the probable compromises that could have occurred during this same period of time. We are a country where even Namal Rajapakse's own phone is tapped by Ghotabaya, Rajapakse making one wonder who the real enemy is and to be able to do this with impunity is one that cannot be tolerated. I would also go so far as question the sanity of the latter in doing so as it borders on paranoia! Something that has been confirmed by those knowledgeable on the subject having seen him speak and act.

With villains like this roaming around in heavily armed convoys it is much like a pariah state that this beautiful country has been reduced with few of the citizenry being aware of it either. This is the credit one gives the powers who are able to suppress any dissent due to the false sense of security it superimposes on its citizenry by way of showmanship and false propaganda.

History will judge this act, and we nor the perpetrators will not be around to comment on this but why should we wait that long as the damage being done to the country both internally and outside is something that will take decades of hard work to reverse.

Let us hope that having said all I have said above, the state of emergency can be lifted for the sake of the people of Sri Lanka. That is all of them and not just a few who pretend to lead it out of altruism.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

We are inextricably linked with the whole world - We cannot be isolationist!

All actions of the state are those of telling anyone outside these shores who says or does something we do not agree with to go to hell!!

This sort of behavior is very dangerous, as the world is too intricately interwoven with our own economy. If one looks at the dealings purely in GNP terms it is that 50% of the GNP involves either the movement of goods or services across our borders and so we cannot make enemies out of anyone we have financial transactions with unless of course we do not care if we lose that trade.

Our remittances from the Middle East is expected to top US$5Billion this year, which is a staggering amount. That is free money coming to the economy, where the workers who are remitting it are actually overseas, and therefore are not even consuming food grown in this country. So this money does not have to have any value addition unlike in the case of Garments and therefore is worth more than garments to the Economy. It is with this money that we won the war, not with any other help. These war heroes have yet to be recognized, let alone given some benefits. The problem is that it is with these people's remittance money, that our rulers are surrounding themselves with  the luxuries of un needed bullet proof vehicles and a mind numbing array of imported goods.

We are now determined to export more of our human potential and in that regard too require to have freindly relationships with all our trading neighbors. It is silly to think we need to be servile or second class to another country even to the old colonial masters. We are their equal but we act as if we are being persecuted. That is the tragedy. This reflex reaction and mudslinging does not endear Sri Lanka to its friends, and we need to take stock on what our foreign policy should be in the first place, without just committing to anti Diaspora activity alone, that wastes too much resource, unless directed professionally where it is effective.

At present the Anti Diaspora rhetoric is backfiring as we are not doing a professional job at countering their propaganda, It is insufficient to hire at great cost foreign PR consultants who have not produced the goods and who will not produce the goods either, as they clearly do not know how to represent Sri Lanka. A well trained Foreign Service will be better able to counteract this, and the use of retired foreign service professionals as consultants to train our current FS officers in the art of the PR effort will work wonders.

With this Global interdependence our inward looking leaders must change course, and take all threats seriously and try to match them intelligently. The foreign threat againt Sri Lanka is huge. It however has to be countered properly. We cannot try to save the skin of a few and hold the country to ransom as is being done by the selfish culprits who are implicated.

Be a devil, just think how much we could achieve in this country if we hand the culprits over for investigation! We are suffering because they are free to propagate lies and hate at the expense of the vast majority of the innocent citizenry of Sri Lanka.

A collective effort at cleaning up the mess, will do wonders to regain the lost moral high ground from where Sri Lanka can rebuild its status as a senior member of the United Nations, and not as a pariah !!

The never ending saga of justification - "Humanitarian Operation a Factual Analysis"


I cannot for a moment understand why  Mahinda (President and Commander in Chief in addition to the Minister of Defense) and Gotabhaya ( Secretary to the Ministry of Defense) are holding this beautiful country to ransom due to their own agendas of trying to exonerate themselves from guilt.

The whole report published and presented at an elaborate ceremony at the Hilton, which I witnessed, did not fool anyone. It was preaching to those who already had an opinion. After all the only sin that has been committed is that the Defense Secretary told the field commanders to take no prisoners. It means simply to kill only the senior LTTE commanders who had they lived would have caused GOSL untold problems. Indirectly as Commander in Chief Mahinda was also implicated. So what is the big deal? We all know it why try and say that was not the case. If I was in their position I may have said the same the thing so that we could kill this cancer once and for all and prevent any resurgence.

I do not wish to go into the other multitude of atrocities that were committed in that week, and few are crying over that though technically they all come under the strict definition of war crimes including the way Praba and his family were killed. It is in a moral sense no different to the US executing Osama, and I don't think any sane person on earth regrets their passing. (aka Hitler) The Collateral damage is regrettable but inevitable.

If there was any man left in the two of them, they should have admitted it then and have done with it without having the country and the defense forces dragged in the mud. They should then have faced the consequences at that time and we will not have had to go through this and years more of time wasting and delayed development due to such selfish moves of two extremely unpatriotic and in my view treasonable individuals.

Treasonable because they seem to be selling the country for personal gain, and the sentence is the firing squad. They will have to face it in this life if not the next so it their Waterloo, but taking the country down with them is something I will definitely not permit.

Fooling the people of Sri Lanka is one thing, that is for history to judge as so many people have fooled their constituents in their lifetimes. Fooling themselves into believing they are anything more than rascals is another thing. 

We know the rights and wrongs and also the details of what happened. We know the atrocities that were committed in the heat of the battles and also as part of the victors spoils, with no reference to the Geneva conventions. We know the thousands of mobile videos in the hands of the small fry in the forces showing their bravado of how they killed and belittled the hated enemy, and the few that got to the Channel 4 just is a small part. The Diaspora in their desperation to make a point screwed up royally by trying to concoct an already slam dunk case and that latter misdeeds are what the SL officials are trying to pin their hopes on in fooling the general public.

I know from my friends in the Indian government that they are having a good laugh at all this as they have all the original tapes and many taken from our soldiers by RAW for money. They know the facts, they just do not want to use it against the GOSL for obvious reasons, but are smirking at the slimy way the two culprits are trying to get away from the blame game!

Sri Lankan public we are far greater than a few scoundrels holding this country to ransom, rise up and tell them to get off the ship with their ill gotten loot and leave us to solve our problems, to return to the great state we once were. We can do it and will put the past two years of denial behind us and start anew as one country and one people, all Sri Lankans