Saturday, June 28, 2014

Waste Waste Waste! – now synonymous with Sri Lanka. Will it end?

The latest version of the mega waste is when the President just hijacked a Sri Lankan Airlines plane to go to the Maldives. It just sits on the tarmac whilst the fully paid crew idle on in some atoll, paid by the State, while the tour ends. Have Sri Lankans got so used to it that they don't even raise a wimper?

He then takes the same plane and flies off to Seychelles and repeats the same wasteful extravagance again, along with a cohort of sycophants.

Is it right for the President of Sri Lanka to engage in this ridiculous waste that amounts at this event to about Rs 100M, when all the costs and opportunity costs of the plane and staff are taken into consideration.

Remember Sri Lankan Airlines flies to the Maldives almost daily and Mihin Air flies to the Seychelles, so he could have taken a regular flight on a SRI LANKA airline and not even a foreign operator.

Does it not dawn on our reasonable people at least to comment on this excess, or has our silence on this matter been bought? It really is damning that such excesses are even permitted without a question by anyone, so that the people are unable to gauge to what degree they are being cheated. After all it is a whole months taxes on the tinned fish that the President is using on this junket, when he could have spent a few hundred thousand if he flew regular flights.

Remember Sri Lankans the extra Rs100 each of you spends on your tinned fish is going on this extravagance.

This is NOT isolated expense. It runs into billions a year. NO leader of Sri Lanka in its history, and I doubt any patriotic leader in its future would waste this kind of colossal sum on themselves and their shows.

It is time to kill the canard that he is patriotic. In fact he is a traitor to his country and it is time the people of Sri Lanka say enough is enough. All these international enquiries and charges all amount to a hill of beans when he is guilty of wasting taxpayer funds on a daily basis.

Time to wake up to this onslaught against the public purse and take action to prevent further abuse of the Country’s wealth.   

Friday, June 27, 2014

Words of Cock and Bull – by those who should know better!

If anyone read what Dinesh Gunewardene has said at this occasion, they would realize that it is just (hiss wachana) words without meaning, just to be polite to the Clergy, without meaning a word he is saying.

SO when it reported by a racist website, purporting to be anything but, it takes on added significance, as this website is using the hollow words out of context to attach an element of truth to it!! Again it is to fool the reader, rather than provide clear evidence to justify their claims.   

Even more galling of the newspaper Divaina to report misleading statements, as it says that people are reporting incorrect news about Buddhism in the world. That is wrong. Buddhism is a very respected Religion or set of beliefs that has been hijacked by a few in Sri Lanka for their own ends. The behavior of the BBS and Sihala Ravaya has NOTHING to do with Buddhism, and Gunewardene is wrong to attach the Buddhism label here. It is an insult to Buddhism for him to assert otherwise.

For Buddhist leaning websites to rely on such tripe must be dismissed by the Senior Clergy in Sri Lanka, so that lies DO NOT get spread around. Those people who write there are NOT Buddhist as they are doing a great disservice.

Sinhala Buddhism as defined by these anti Buddhists must be tackled head on by the real Buddhists before Buddhism is lost to this land. This behavior in the name of Buddhism does grave injustice to Buddhists.

If the Maha Sangha disrobe these charlatans, then there is hope for Buddhism. Otherwise it will disappear if no one challenges, this behavior in the name of Buddhism and most currently Buddhist people will not want to be associated with it.

I know most people in Sri Lanka are not on the ball, to what is obvious, and as the law is not COLOR BLIND there will be no justice where it is needed most urgently. Once the realization sets in it will be too late, and there is NO point in closing the barn door once the horse has bolted away! Be warned and be prepared.   

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Who are the Clowns trying to fool?

In the latest twist in the misinformation saga is the evidence that the Minister of Jusice, a Senior Cabinet member of the Mahinda Rajapakse Government says that the Judicial Medical Officer whose job it is to write a proper medical report on the cause of death, has issued a report at variance with the facts in the deaths of two Muslim men in the Welipenna area.

In this instance it the Govt. which says that the evidence presented by them is fabricated! What a joke? Permitting such clowns to make light of deaths under suspicious circumstances, especially when the armed security forces are the most likely perpetrators of the killings, is a serious matter and goes to the heart of the credibility of the Govt.

The fact that NO one in Govt. cares if their credibility is compromised goes further to inform the Public at large that they are just not able to challenge the Govt. which acts and behaves as it is all powerful, with the general public the guinea pigs made to suffer under their dictats be they right or wrong.

It was ironic that I reported yesterday that I do not see the need for an army in Sri Lanka as they have nothing to defend. I was proved correct in this report, as it is the Army that is the cause of the problems in the first place. Trigger happy soldiers would be a thing of the past when you disband the army! Here they are given orders from armchair high-ups who don’t care or give a rat’s ass as to what someone may have to say about their behavior. This acting with impunity is one of the consequences of the public apathy, permitting those with the hand on the trigger to behave irresponsibly.

We must inform our people, that those whom we have entrusted our security have in fact abused that responsibility to an extreme that they have become the perpetrators of the crimes in our society today. It therefore begs the question, if we would be better off without anyone in such positions, as that will be a more acceptable compromise, to ensure the safety and security of our countrymen. Furthermore it is they who spread the false information that the public believe.  

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Does Sri Lanka really need an army when we only have one neighbor we can never defeat?

Seriously fellow countrymen, just imagine our Country without an Army, how peaceful this Country would be! Why do we need an Army? An army is only required when a country has to defend itself from Hostile enemies. Sri Lanka has ONLY one neighbor, and that is clearly across the Palk Strait with clearly defined boundaries. Furthermore due to the size of the neighbor and its Military Capabilities, it just does not make sense for Sri Lanka to even have to think of having to defend itself from them.

In our History after Independence our Army has only fought our own people, they can killed only Sri Lankan citizens, hardly a reason to have an army to keep internal peace. It was only due to LTTE wanting to kill the forces that created a war, so if we did nto have an army we could have solved our ethnic differences more amicably without the threat of an armed force facing the Tamil community, and thus the need to defend themselves.

When you have an army arrayed against a bunch of troublemakers, they obviously become guerillas and terrorists in order to fight a traditionally more powerful enemy, this itself forces the creation of a sufficiently large terrorist force to be able to give the army a fight. Battle begets battle and then it is all out war, as we have seen both with the LTTE terrorism and the JVP uprisings.

Without an army our politicians would have used compromise, conciliation and arbitration to solve our many internal conflicts, and we would have been a safer, calmer and peaceful nation in keeping with the Buddhist principles.

I contend therefore that the expected fundamentalist and jihadists into Sri Lanka due to the MR Govt’s short sighted and racist agenda, will be emboldened by this need to fight this enemy. Any further acts of provocation by the MR Govt. would only exacerbate this already tense situation, and we must only damn this administration for putting the security of this country at risk, by their actions.

A state without an army could have provided speedy development and an educated labor force that competes with all comers, and through this peace and prosperity would have resulted. We have only this Govt. to blame for the current impasse. 

It is time for our Forces to seriously consider dismantling themselves in the greater interests of the motherland, without continuously believing in their necessity. A sea change in attitude is required, but I somehow doubt that coming from this brutal and blood stained Govt. that never wants to put the past to bed, due to the blood-lust for a future of conflict, as only through fear and war imagery can they survive and enrich themselves.                                          

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Nothing done so far has shown that the GOSL is serious about prevention of further violence against minority communities.

Understand first and foremost that a minority community of any sort will NOT try to take on the majority community especially when they are NOT in a predominantly omnipresent area, and therefore any insinuation to the contrary is mischievous amongst the many writers on this subject lately. Any incident that takes place is therefore isolated and not part of a campaign of the minority to show their strength. It is in this context that the majority community MUST show restraint and isolate their objection to the incident in question and apply the full force of the law to that if there has been a breach of the law of the land.

In Sri Lanka there is open season with either active or passive participation of the Govt. in permitting vicious groups claiming to defend the rights of the Sinhala Buddhist people in attacking all those who are not in the same mold, either by race or religion. In their incitement to hate, they have NOT been arrested or charged, and no matter what pretence the Govt. makes to the contrary there have been NO ARRESTS and prosecutions and sentences on people so accused in this regard.

It is clear from this stance, that the GOSL condones violence and law breaking from one set of people, whilst taking a very tough approach when minority communities react against this treatment by retaliation. This unequal application of the law is regrettable, but as the GOSL is now obviously party to this action, has decided to take a position that is racist and non nationalist.

They have broken all norms of protection of all under the constitution and is ACTIVELY engaged in encouraging sectarianism, whilst pretending otherwise.

This duplicitous approach is apparent to all fair minded Sri Lankans, and not to those who are of one side and unable to appreciate what it is to be a minority who is singled out for attacks as they do NOT belong to the beliefs and practices of the majority community.

Why does the Govt. therefore pretend to be impartial to all communities when they are obviously only taking one side? This is wrong unconstitutional and illegal, as they are acting against the Constitution of Sri Lanka. The problem is that those who have failed to obtain redress due to the partiality of the Courts do not see a way out of the impasse and the illegal action of the GOSL as they hold all the power in Sri Lanka today, though their legitimacy is somehow called into question.

It is time the principle opposition call a spade a spade and explain exactly what is happening, and make the people take whatever position they wish on it. We can then determine clearly which side the GOSL is on and which side the principle opposition sits on.

So people you make your call in how you want Sri Lanka governed. Once you decide you must accept whatever that results from it, as it could be good or bad!                         

Monday, June 23, 2014

What is a religious rally? If the JHU or the SLMC have a rally then is it Religious?

The GOSL has just proscribed religious rallies without defining such. If a political party has a rally then it cannot be a religious rally, though a political party that is overwhelmingly for a religious cause, is inevitably one that represents a religious belief and would have to be a religious rally as it does not normally encourage people who are NOT of that religion.

Would it not make sense therefore to BAN ALL RELIGION RELATED PARTIES? In that way we can rid this country of this religious cancer that his spreading complete with Vitriol and Hate towards all who do not belong!

I have always maintained that the TNA along with the above mentioned also need to be banned, so we have political ideologies that cut across racial and religious lines where those race based and religion based organizations are permitted only as societies that represent those communities for their own good.

This compromise is the way forward for a multiracial and multicultural country. Until we have all people subscribing to that overall objective there is NO SAFE future for any community in Sri Lanka. That is a fact. You cannot use the power of the state over another minority community however large or small that may be.

It is the time we now ask the saffron robes to improve the moral fabric of those who claim to follow their beliefs and leave the political work to people who are elected for that purpose. When there is a clear distinction between the rights and responsibilities of these two parties, then there is a correct path to peace and prosperity as it would eventually happen.

Religion being the opiate of the masses, is thus confined to the precincts of the Temples or Churches and ALL extremists and fundamentalists can be dealt with the full force of the law.

This sounds very simple, but it is. It is the ONLY way we can resolve our differences and go forward as ONE nation, putting our nationhood before all, and keeping our religious beliefs closeted within our own behavior and gathering. We must therefore prevent outward proselytizing, as it somehow irks the leaders of uneducated peoples as their flock is prone to be easily manipulated. I am prepared to live under these restrictions for the greater good of the community we live in.                      

Sinhala people – do you really think that the GOSL is protecting you?

Where is the statesmanship? That is because we have NO statesman in Sri Lanka today. 

The BBS rally should have been stopped, there was enough notice and reasoned appeals that were NOT heeded. The GOSL has NOT accepted responsibility for the consequences, when the blame is SOLELY theirs. This is NOT something anyone with a pea brain or more is arguing about.

The BBS now being gleeful, and NOT being stopped, and now even more gleeful, at not being BANNED is on a roll, further arousing racist feelings amongst the Sinhala Community which will come to haunt them and the Sinhala people, who have had to suffer 30 years of war due to similar miscalculations amongst our leaders. This is Mahinda Rajapakse’s call and his alone, as he is a dictator, and he MUST take responsibility for the outcome.

We cannot allow our country to be destroyed due to the arrogance of a person who is blind, and out of touch with what is happening right under his nose. Surely he is NOT a hostage of his own brother Gota and his army?

It is time that we divorced ourselves from Religion, as the Buddhist Clergy is NOT going to defend the nation, as their self interest has made them myopic and unable to realistically understand their destructive power. You have just let your Buddhist following down. You have effectively compromised their future, and their very existence. You have basically cut the heart of those who are your core constituency in the mistake belief of helping them. Have you NOT learned anything from the LTTE wars. In the end, the Tamil community is far more powerful than their numbers both here and overseas and you are just about to hand that power to the Muslim community also in your preaching of hate and fear mongering.

It’s time Buddhists retake Buddhism from charlatans pretending to be Buddhist, and consign them to starvation, and practice Buddhism according to the teachings of the Lord Buddha. Only then will they understand one by one how much they have fooled their following into pretending Sri Lanka is a Theravada state when it is just a feeble excuse of a Sodom and Gomorrah state combined, today.

Let us hope that a true leader, who primarily has the interests of ALL the people of Sri Lanka, especially the Buddhists, emerges before it is too late and before this country disintegrates into a hell hole of Rajapaksa creation, and delusion.           

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Champikas fornicate whilst ‘here and there’ is burning – Stop it!

The behavior of the two Champikas acting in concert is just beyond the pale at a moment like this when they should at least be seen to be above the fray. Champika Liyanarachchi who is the Editor of the Daily Mirror and Champika Ranawaka who is the cabinet minister for information technology are misusing their respective bully pull pits to carry on their personal relationship, when that should be left out of the affairs of state.

Egged on and as a result of complains by Champika Ranawaka, she pontificated in her editorial about the irresponsible reporting on social media, as it related to the recent incidents. The implication was that the BBS were being unfairly signaled out and finger pointed as being the culprits behind the recent attacks by extreme elements (fundamentalists) in the Muslim community. Well her editorial was completely out of order and reflected a lack of independence on her part and was a regurgitation of pillow talk, to enhance the power of a powerless and impotent minister of Govt. who thanks to Champika gets an unusual and unwarranted amount of exposure.

If that was not enough, and coming out of the self imposed black out of news of the Aluthgama and Beruwela incidents, yesterday’s Daily Mirror decided on publishing photos of Sinhala Shops that had been attacked and damaged, so as to give credence to her complaint about the social media being one sided and grossly incendiary. Get a life, showing just Sinhala shops damaged is incendiary and grossly biased, as the majority of damage was suffered by the Muslim community, and so at least damage in equal proportion should have been shown so that some fairness in suffering would be reported.

I cannot understand how such a good Editor would have a death wish to get into bed with a dangerous charlatan in the guise of Champika Ranawaka as his personal history is not a secret, one just has to access police records about his personal conduct. However there are somethings reason cannot explain, and I hope after this exposure she would sever her connections with this clearly disturbed individual, and resume her work of upright journalism. If however she cannot see through this scam she is a victim of, it would be better for her to quietly relinquish the position of integrity she is duty bound to uphold in her current position.      

PS there is no indication to denote that their relationship is anything but platonic! So let the reader not misunderstand what is being implied here. Only editorial independence being compromised here.  

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The time has come for a strong National Movement to oust Rajapaksa terrorism

Despite the hallucinations that most of the sycophants in the Regime may display, by pretending to be patriotic and nationalistic, they have been very craftily cultivated by the Rajapaksa brand of careful obfuscation, to befuddle clarity in thought. The latest being the cunning ricochet of “the UNHRC team to SL issue” to Parliament, so the parties voting against the GOSL are seen as being anti national if the UNHRC presence is welcome! A clearly erroneous presumption.

For a Govt. which effectively forced the UNHRC vote by pure intransigence, because it realized that it would be MORE politically acceptable, to continue to play that game, and repeat the formula in putting to Parliament, whether the investigating team should be allowed in or not is plain mischievous and deceptive.

I have always maintained that the perfidy of the GOSL has been a hallmark of this administration, and the fact that the Intelligentsia have embraced it hook line and sinker is what is most alarming, as it goes to the core of the lack of concern of these supposed thinkers for the welfare and rights of the majority of peace loving citizens of Sri Lanka. (Its OK if the masses have been fooled as that is not that much of a hard task, until we are able to improve the level of education)  

I don’t understand why I have to repeat myself ad nauseam to the reader that, once the hostilities were over, a magnanimous peace would have set in, with a level of rights for all the people in Sri Lanka, irrespective of race, that unified this Country in one swoop, that could have removed the 13th Amendment(disbanded Provincial Councils), while at the same time retaining the 17th that would have ensured the checks and balances in Rule, and we would not have had the need for periodic elections, and instead used all the resources, private and public to develop our Country, without foreign interference, and with NO Diaspora threat or pressure.

This result would have shown how bankrupt the GOSL was, and they, due to the lack of developmental policies that would trickle down to the poor, would have now been history, and be replaced by the rule of law and real security. We would not have crime escalation, bribery, drug abuse, unauthorized firearm proliferation, environmental and related wasteland it has now created, and the militarization of the Country. I could add areas like the destruction of the education system and health for good measure, but I would like the reader to really consider the “What might have been scenario”, which I would rather we were now living in.

We have actually lost 5 years but we can claw back some if we first remove GOSL         

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mr Sambanthan's statement in Parliament on Tuesday June 2014 says it all!

I am NO supporter of the Sambanthan or the TNA. However he gave the speech the Leader of the Opposition should have given, but which he did not due to Political considerations. It sadly therefore left to the political leader of the Tamils to enunciate what is most obvious to intelligent and law abiding citizens of Sri Lanka, that their Govt. has LET THEM DOWN BADLY and is STILL TRYING to direct blame away from themselves.

I repeat the UNHRC and external problems are NOT against Sri Lanka. It is against a few guilty traitors who rule this country, and WILL one day have to answer to their maker for their crimes, if they fail to be punished in this life.

So I paste it here for those to read in case they are unable to get a copy from Hansard, which is NOT forthcoming with permitting access to the people who pay to upkeep all those in Parliament.

I wish to make a statement to place on record the position of the Tamil National Alliance regarding the Motion that has been put forward for debate and related matters of public importance. It is indeed ironic that the government now at this late stage seeks the imprimatur of Parliament for its own dire failings. This government, which has so brazenly turned Parliament into an object of ridicule – by enticing unscrupulous members of the opposition to cross over for personal gain and by providing executive posts to almost half the members of the house – now turns to Parliament on a question of fundamental importance to the country. It is plainly clear to the entire country that this turn to Parliament is nothing but a cheap political sleight of hand, and it is a great misfortune to the people of this country that their government is more interested in playing immature political tricks than in dealing with important matters of national reconciliation and foreign policy with sobriety and wisdom.
Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva has already announced the country’s “non-cooperation with the envisaged investigation. What then is the point of this exercise in Parliament? Is the government so insecure with its isolationist policy that it wishes to share the blame with Parliament and use Parliament to rubber stamp the obnoxious pronouncement by the government’s representative abroad?
The Motion before us is illustrative of the frivolity that has characterised the government’s attitude to reconciliation and accountability. The Motion refers to a resolution by the “Human Rights Commission”, although the United Nations (UN) Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council more than eight years ago. Further, the Motion refers to the Council resolution as one that is “against Sri Lanka”. The resolution affirmed the Council’s “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka”. How then can the government claim that this resolution is “against” the country?
On that point, I wish to raise the question as to whether, by the government’s own logic, His Excellency the President was acting “against the country” when he issued a Joint Statement with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 26 May 2009 where it is stated that:
“The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”
and where the President made an undertaking that:
“the Government will take measures to address those grievances.”
Mr. Speaker, the internationalisation of the question of accountability and justice in respect of violations committed by both sides during the war was entirely on account of a considered decision made by the government and the President in May 2009. That decision was a correct one, and the governance of the country would have been significantly smoother if the government had only made good on its own assurances to the Secretary General. But that was not to be. The government reneged on its promise to the Secretary General, which led to him appointing a Panel of Experts to advice him on implementing his agreement with the Sri Lankan government.
Instead of keeping his promise to the Secretary General, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on 15 May 2010. The LLRC released its final report on 16 December 2011. The TNA welcomed a number of the LLRC’s recommendations dealing with human rights issues including displacement, land dispute resolution, detention, media freedom and investigations into extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. To date merely a handful of these constructive recommendations have been implemented. The government’s own claims about progress have been contradictory. In February 2014, Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris asserted in Parliament that 85% of the recommendations had been fully implemented. Meanwhile, the President himself informed the UN Secretary General in May 2014 that only 30% of the LLRC recommendations had been fully implemented. We recall that the Minister of Plantations Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press conference in March 2013 claimed that 99% of recommendations had been fully implemented. We therefore note that the government has been completely disingenuous in reporting progress with respect to implementing these recommendations. Moreover, many recommendations the government deems ‘fully implemented’ have in fact not been implemented at all. For instance, in January 2014, the government claimed to have fully implemented the recommendation on investigating past attacks on media personnel. In proof of such a claim, the government cited the online complaints mechanism available to journalists to complain to the Sri Lanka Press Council, which is a highly ineffective mechanism that contributes more towards restricting media freedom rather than promoting it. Meanwhile, investigations into the assassination of the Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and the numerous attacks on the staff and offices of the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, are either incomplete or nonexistent. Moreover, in January 2014, the government claimed it fully implemented the LLRC recommendation on the investigation and prosecution of illegal armed groups. Yet many identified perpetrators of gross human rights violations, who belonged to these groups and enjoyed the patronage of the government, continue to enjoy impunity.
Though the LLRC did not have a direct mandate to address accountability issues, it did, however, possess a mandate with respect to ensuring “national unity and the non- recurrence of ethnic tensions in the future”. It is in this context that the LLRC sought to also deal with the question of accountability. The TNA in its response to the LLRC published in January 2013 expressed disappointment with respect to the Commission’s findings on accountability. The LLRC’s analysis was flawed for a number of reasons including weaknesses in methodology and in the application of international law to the facts surrounding the last stages of the war. We note, however, that the LLRC called for investigations into specific incidents involving the death of civilians. These include the alleged attack on civilians in Chundikulam by the Navy on 10 May 2009, an incident at Mathalan on 20 April 2009 where the Army allegedly prevented civilians from crossing over to government controlled area, and the government shelling of civilians in Pokkanai. Yet no genuine steps have been taken to investigate these incidents. The Army Board on the Recommendations of the LLRC, in its report released on 24 January 2013, observed that “the questions whether civilian casualties in fact occurred or whether such incidents were collateral or incidental damages that are inherent with the vagaries of war have not been answered affirmatively by the LLRC” [sic]. The Board recommended the appointment of another Army Board of Inquiry to investigate allegations contained in the LLRC Report and the Channel Four footage. The Army then appointed a Court of Inquiry to investigate these allegations, which concluded in February 2013 that “instances of shelling referred to in the LLRC Report were not caused by the Sri Lanka Army.” Moreover, a Navy Board of Inquiry concluded that “the allegations made against the Sri Lanka Navy that it fired at civilian targets are baseless as there is no evidence to indicate that the Navy personnel were responsible for any attacks on civilians or civilian property either deliberately or by negligence.” The reports of the Army Court of Inquiry and the Navy Board of Inquiry have not been published to date. This policy of secrecy and non- transparency is entirely consistent with the government’s failure to publish the Report of the Udalagama Commission, which made certain crucial findings on certain gross human rights violations, including the killing of five students in Trincomalee and the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur in 2006.
It is precisely because of the failure of the government to conduct a credible domestic inquiry that the Secretary General was compelled to take steps himself to give effect to his agreement with the President. The Terms of Reference provided to the UN Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka was fundamentally based on the Joint Statement made by the President and the Secretary General. In fact the very purpose of the Panel was stated in the Terms of Reference as “advis[ing] the Secretary General on the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience relevant to the fulfilment of the joint commitment to an accountability process having regard to the nature and scope of violations.”
When the Panel presented its report on 31 March 2011, it was clear that they had conducted a meticulous study of the steps that needed to be taken, both by the Sri Lankan government and the United Nations, “having regard to the nature and scope of the violations”. The Panel’s examination of the nature and scope of the violations – a necessary part of their mandate – revealed credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both parties. The allegations laid down in detail in the Report were a shocking revelation of the barbarity and unlawfulness that characterised the conduct of both parties during the last stages of the war. In respect of the government, the Report found credible allegations of a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity of murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution and disappearances. Critically, the Panel found that the majority of civilian casualties during the last stages of the war were on account of indiscriminate shelling by government forces. On the part of the LTTE, the Panel found credible allegations of war crimes and the crimes against humanity of murder. The Panel found that the credible allegations suggested criminal culpability on the part of senior military and government leaders as well as senior LTTE leaders.
Mr Speaker, the government has, as is typical of their engagement with the United Nations, sought to vilify the eminent members of the Panel, which included Mr. Marzuki Darusman – a respected diplomat and former Attorney General of Indonesia, Ms. Yasmin Sooka – a former commissioner of the South African and Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and Professor Steven Ratner – a credentialed academic from the United States. Despite the indecent vitriol of the government on the home front where it equated these respected international experts with terrorists, it cannot ignore the fact that it participated of its own volition in the deliberations of the UN Panel of Experts. While posturing to its domestic audience as defiant champions of non-interference, the government dispatched a high level delegation to New York which made comprehensive submissions to the Panel on 22 February 2011. The members of the delegation are named at page 127 of the Panel’s Report. They included the then Attorney General and incumbent Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, the Sri Lankan Permanent and Deputy Representatives to the UN in New York and an Adviser to the Foreign Ministry.
Based on its finding of credible allegations of international crimes committed by both sides, the Panel recommended that the government “immediately commence genuine investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both sides involved in the armed conflict.” It also recommended that the UN Secretary General establish an independent international mechanism to: (1) monitor and assess the extent to which the government is carrying out an effective domestic accountability process; (2) conduct investigations independently into the alleged violations; and (3) collect and safeguard for appropriate future use information provided to it that is relevant to accountability for the final stages of the war. It also recommended that the UN Secretary General conduct an internal review of the actions by the United Nations system during the war, and that the UN Human Rights Council be invited to reconsider its 2009 resolution in light of the Panel Report.
Mr. Speaker, it is notable that pursuant to the release of the Panel Report, the Secretary General transmitted the Report to the President of the Human Rights Council and to the Government of Sri Lanka. He refrained from constituting an international investigation himself, even though that course of action was recommended by the Panel of Experts and the Secretary General’s legal advisers at the Office of Legal Affairs advised him repeatedly that he had the legal power to do so. The Secretary General’s immense caution in this regard exposes the government’s untruths about an international conspiracy against it. The reality is that the Secretary General was exceedingly generous towards the government by providing it the time and space to do what it had promised, even at the cost of failing to heed the recommendations of his own Panel.
Mr. Speaker, in light of the Panel Report and the government’s prevarications, the UN Human Rights Council was compelled to act when it passed Resolution 19/2 in March 2012 titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka.” The resolution was mild; it merely called on the government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans. In short, Mr. Speaker, the Human Rights Council did precisely what the Secretary General himself had done previously: give the government further time and space while encouraging it to make progress on its guarantees. And yet, the government’s injudicious outbursts against the co-sponsors of the resolution was totally at odds with the courtesy it had been provided. We must recall that this resolution was passed nearly two and a half years ago. I ask, why was the government so hostile to this friendly exhortation by the very countries that supported its war? Would this country not have benefited from a more mature response by its government? Instead of making progress as requested, the government became even more intransigent. Notwithstanding this attitude, the Human Rights Council adopted a very similar follow-up resolution in March 2013. Again, the government failed miserably to accept the offers of engagement from a restrained Human Rights Council. Instead, it continued to attack those concerned over its post-war trajectory.
Mr. Speaker, it was inevitable that in 2014, the patience of Sri Lanka’s friends had worn thin. The recent resolution finally established a comprehensive investigation to undertake the inquiries which the government had failed to undertake for five long years. Today, that investigation has been constituted and by finally establishing the truth of what happened during and after the final years of the war, it will provide some respite to victims who continue to endure the stifling oppression of a triumphalist military presence. We continue to hope that even at this late stage, the government accepts the invitation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to participate constructively in the investigation, including by providing investigators access to victims, witnesses and forensic evidence. It must be known, Mr. Speaker, that the failure of the government to accept the offer to cooperate with the investigation will only send Sri Lanka further down the path of isolation. This is indeed a strange path for Sri Lanka to take. Sri Lanka has a proud history of active participation in the field of international criminal law, far surpassing the contributions of other similarly circumstanced countries. In fact, Sri Lankan judges and lawyers from the Attorney General’s Department have worked at all levels of international tribunals as judges and prosecutors. Sri Lankan lawyers – including incumbent Justices of the Supreme Court – have helped prosecute heads of state, senior government functionaries, military commanders and rebel leaders from the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and East Timor. Meanwhile Sri Lankan judges – including former Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Justice Nihal Jayasinghe and the late Justice Raja Fernando – have served on tribunals for Rwanda, Cambodia and Sierra Leone. Moreover, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Palitha Kohona was the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. The government did not treat such participation as a violation of the sovereignty of any nation. In fact Mr. Kohana’s report to the UN General Assembly was sharply critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian civilians.
Today, the government’s isolationism provides a stark contrast with its enthusiastic participation in international justice processes for other countries.
Mr. Speaker, the government’s current course is also at odds with the conduct of its own leaders in the past. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was some time ago a leading champion of the rights of victims. On 11 September 1990, he attended the 31st session of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in Geneva. He was prevented from carrying documentary evidence to the Working Group, when the police confiscated 533 documents containing information about missing persons and 19 pages of photographs of missing persons and extra-judicial killings. Upon his return, he filed a fundamental rights application before the Supreme Court, whereby he claimed that his fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom from arbitrary arrest had been violated. He subsequently made several remarkable statements in this very House. On 25 October 1990 he justified his decision to engage the international community on the matter of Sri Lanka’s human rights record at the time. He stated: “I took the wailings of this country’s mothers. Do I not have the freedom to speak about them? It was the wailing of those mothers which were heard by those 12 countries” (page 366 of the Hansard, 25 October 1990). He even admitted to asking donor countries to impose human rights conditions to giving aid (page 365 of the Hansard, 25 October 1990). The most striking of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statements in Parliament at the time was perhaps his avowal that “If the government is going to deny human rights, we should go not only to Geneva, but to any place in the world, or to hell if necessary, and act against the government” (page 424 of the Hansard, 25 January 1991).
Mr. Speaker, recent history bears out that countries which have cooperated constructively with UN human rights mechanisms have emerged from those processes for the better – as respected members of the international community and with stronger domestic institutions to protect human rights. The approaches of Sierra Leone, Colombia, Mexico, Nepal, Mali, Togo, the Ivory Coast and many others are available as examples to the government. Instead, the regime has chosen the path of the despots of North Korea and Syria which incidentally are now being debated in the Security Council. The lesson, Mr. Speaker, is clear – isolationism breeds further isolation and international censure. Instead, if Sri Lanka is to rehabilitate its image, it must deliver on its promises to the international community – both to devolve power in a meaningful way and ensure accountability for serious crimes.
Mr. Speaker, it now appears that the government has set its mind on defiance and seclusion. That is their prerogative. But one day, this country must and will reverse the choices of this regime. We hope that day will come soon, and when it comes, that reversal will benefit all peoples of this country. The scourge of impunity has affected the Tamil people in particular, but it is no stranger to peace-loving citizens of the South. We all remember the insurrections by youth in the South being brutally crushed, with credible estimates of tens of thousands of disappearances. This behaviour was later repeated in the
North, and now, racist forces are only beginning a pogrom of violence against the Muslim community. The black past of thousands of disappearances, killings, rapes, burnings and state brutality are not just a distant memory. Today, non-violent protestors in the South are shot at. Journalists are killed or sent into exile. Dissenters are not welcomed. In the North, the situation is even worse. People are not even allowed the troubled comfort of remembering their dead. Journalists from the critical press are routinely attacked, including in broad daylight. The recent report “Stop Torture” provides medical and forensic evidence suggesting that sexual violence and torture against Tamil women and men continues, with reports emerging from as late as January 2014. Further, the evidence suggests that this sexual violence is targeted systematically to suppress the political rights of the Tamil people.
Mr. Speaker, the government invokes national sovereignty to reject expressions of friendly concern and offers of international cooperation and assistance in the area of human rights. But the government’s notion of sovereignty is deeply flawed. Sovereignty does not mean seclusion; it does not entail the right to remain isolated. A proper understanding of the idea of sovereignty holds that it belongs to the people of a country and that it empowers them to engage confidently with the world as respected and equal members of the global community. Today, the most significant obstacle standing in the way of people exercising their sovereignty is this regime. This regime has stripped the people of this country their sovereignty by denying their rights, isolating their country and distancing its friends; this undermining of our sovereignty can never be countenanced for the purpose of protecting the narrow interests of a few. So today, when the government is called into question when it undermines the sovereignty of the people, the government has no right to complain of a breach of sovereignty. In fact, international expressions of concern and actions to express that concern strengthen the sovereignty of the people by making its exercise more real for the citizens of the country in whom sovereignty is reposed.
The forthcoming investigation by the United Nations is not “against” Sri Lanka. It is against perpetrators of gross violations of humanitarian and human rights law. It is against the culture of impunity that has victimised the whole country. It is against the disappearances of youth in the North as much as it is against past disappearances of youth in the South; it is against the crimes of Weliveriya, Mullivaikkal, and most recently Dharga Town. It is against the crimes of the LTTE and it is against the crimes of the regime. For these reasons, the TNA unequivocally welcomes this investigation into both sides. Just as we look forward to the investigation as an opportunity for the Tamil people to introspect on the crimes committed in our own name, we call on the government to use the investigation as an opportunity to dramatically break with the past and usher in a new era of justice, reconciliation and harmony amongst all Sri Lanka’s peoples.
*Statement in Parliament 17th June 2014 - R. Sampanthan MP Leader, Tamil National Alliance

“Human beings considered impartial take sides when their religion is under attack no matter how pacifist they are”

We all become fundamentalists at a moment’s notice

If the above statements are NOT true, then how does one explain the recent incidents, and in order to understand our attitudes and behavior as well as reaction, we must understand that the above two statements are true no matter what we think of ourselves. We are NOT born bigots, but we evolve into bigotry, and must understand that ourselves if we are to remove ourselves from that, in being able to make decisions in the overall interest of the greater community that we live in.

For a very insignificant traffic accident to escalate into a religion based conflict, it is our base instincts that have taken the better of us. When we have organizations that manipulate human weakness for their own ends, the pawns in this, the uneducated rabble, the twigs or fuel that stoke the fire are the result and they will do anything that takes their fancy at that moment. There is NO time for rational thought in these situations, and often death and mayhem are the result.

In order to prevent further escalation of these undercurrents we must remove the stokers of the flames. No the rabble who are there all the time, until society educates them to a level, where they don’t get sucked into believing lies or be easily influenced by these treacherous stokers.

When Sri Lanka’s stoker in chief is sitting in Bolivia receiving Peace Awards, the irony is not lost on the rest of us. It is only by stoking flames that certain people with no legitimacy in morality or patriotism, survive in society to carry out their personal agendas. It is tragic that many leaders of Sri Lanka have used this simple formula to get into power, prevail for years, and then when their survival is in doubt resort to the tried and tested formula for survival.

It is for us to understand that simple fact, and take steps to protect our country from such extremist forces, and call a traitor a traitor to their face. It will take calling them 1000 times before they understand that it is them that are tagged such, as these people are thick skinned, incapable of human feeling and sense of responsibility to their fellow man. The outward show is just for public consumption and to fool their target audience.

All religions MUST be personal and not STATE, so no one can IMPOSE their beliefs on others. Let us all get together to identify the stokers and run them out of town, and then teach our people restraint and common sense in the greater interests of mother Lanka.                   

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The US in a quandary! The overall responsibility for the state of affairs in SL and the directed violence against Muslims are directed by a US Citizen.

The US Govt. is currently contemplating stripping the Sri Lankan Defense Secretary of the US citizenship he has obtained, and for which he has taken an oath to safeguard the US Constitution et al… and who is therefore doing their bidding. Once this article is read, the reason for stripping him of his citizenship becomes moot, as he is actually helping in the greater US control of the situation. So the information is possibly to mislead the readers and pundits into a false sense of security.

The US is in a fix as it is very likely that international pressure will be brought on the US by anti US elements in blaming the US for the anti Muslim riots in SL. I even read that the Israeli intelligence has also assisted the SL authorities in going against the Muslims. “So it is the Jews who are directing this violence remotely.”

Whatever started it, as I mentioned earlier, it is completely in the power of the Security forces to escalate or reduce the potential for conflagration. It is very clear that the security forces were derelict in their duty of NOT protecting Muslim people and their property, and permitted Sinhala mobs to attack. Is this all part of a master plan and pincer movement, with tacit approval of the Indian Govt. and the US Govt. to remove the Islam fundamentalists in Sri Lanka? It is considered by the new Indian Govt. that their intelligence operatives have been given clear orders to isolate ALL Muslim fundamentalism in Sri Lanka, and deal with the threat here.

It is clear that even if that was true, the way they have gone about it so far in the Aluthgama area, has NOT been to target extremism, but merely destroy the Muslim economic interests first. Extremists and their madrasssas may be next, as this incident will bring out the Muslim Fundamentalists who are currently underground, onto the surface when they see their brother Muslims being targeted.

Once flushed out, they will be shown NO mercy and eliminated and it is this game of cat and mouse that is most dangerous, as we don’t know what will be left in its wake. The problem is that only a very small minority within the Muslim community support them, but they have exerted a lot of pressure on moderates, to undertake lifestyle changes in keeping with the Wahabbism of Saudi Arabia, which is covertly financing this movement much to the chagrin of their friends the USA.

In this game of geopolitics, Sri Lanka is being used as a pawn, and deliberate platform given the BBS is all part of the greater game plan. I suspect the orchestra is being conducted outside of Sri Lanka, and the poor easily led Sri Lankans are lead to believe that it is the GOSL who are actually protecting them, when in fact they don’t mind violence to achieve their greater objectives. So it is time that we understood the real stakes, and allow the moderate majority to take leadership of the situation before it gets too late, and stop this from escalating any further.                  

Monday, June 16, 2014

In a highly militarized Police State everything is orchestrated by the GOSL – the latest communal incidents! Instigated and ‘inflamed’ by them no less!

We Sri Lankans need our heads examined if we cannot see what is in front of our noses! Put simply nothing happens without the knowledge of the GOSL and they are part and parcel of everything that happens on this island. When you have NO application of the traditional Rule of Law and Order (there is NO law and order today) GOSL MUST take the blame for all that happens on their watch GOOD AND BAD.

So it is with this basic premise that yesterday’s and the weekend’s religious skirmishes in Dharga Town, all boil down to instigation, fuelling and lighting by the GOSL and NO ONE ELSE.

Remember folks that the ALL POWERFUL SECRETARY OF DEFENCE can make or break any security situation, as he has ALL the powers he needs, as it is effectively believed that they come from the President himself, even if it does not.

That  means we have the guilty happily smiling away at all problems pretending to the world outside that it is someone else’s when all the time it is he who merely controls the level of violence, and who is affected, how it is stage managed, and when it stops. We are idiots if we don’t realize that.

When you have a police force whose main task is to fine innocent citizens where ever they can find them crossing a single line on a road, to fill the Govt. coffers, ask any OIC if I am wrong, as they have targets on how much money to collect, NOT on how peaceful their area is, you accept a situation, where the police just watch a situation get out of control, so the powers, that dictate to them, can take and get maximum political mileage.

The only reason people vote for this Govt. is because of their constant diatribes on how they save this country from being broken up. So stoking religious tension is another attempt at the same plan, so people mistakenly believe it is only this Govt. that can continue to hold it together in the midst of religious tension, which unremarkably is only created by them. Only when the voting public realize the con, will the game end. This behavior is just to keep this con alive.

It is time we who love this country throw the rascals out, and try them for treason, as it is them and NO ONE else who is the cause. IGP just tell your masters you are not going to take orders, and will only do your duty that you have taken an oath on, to safeguard your Country, not your boss. Only then will matters change.            

Monday, June 9, 2014

In an era where name recognition is most important for politicians – we find that Hemal Gunesekera (a hitherto unknown deputy minister) uses crime to get ahead!

Or become known as Hemal ta Nathimal!

Politics have reached a new low a nadir of sorts when an unknown politician who was so affected by the fact that no one has heard of him, resorts to a technique that ensures notoriety. This reminds us of how Royce Fernando gained notoriety in the last Western Provincial campaign by being arrested for a crime and remanded in jail, where he still is, before his case is heard or bail given prior to it.

SO when this Hemal was stopped at the Kottawa Exit and his driver given a speeding fine, scolding the cop in filth, threatening him and then carrying out the threats by setting fire to his vehicle a few days later and destroying it, the name of deputy has now come out to the open and a debate rages in the press about it.

Who cares if the reports are unflattering, as it improves his chances of election, being known as someone who can draw on thugs to protect him, and therefore also other law breaker friends if he is elected. In a culture that Sri Lanka has turned to in this Rajapakse era, where might is right and notoriety is majority, there are no checks to stop such bullies in their tracks.

There has NOT BEEN ONE report of any UPFA castigating him for this behavior? Why? Are all UPFAs just as guilty as NONE dare raise it? Then it is time, the opposition just inform the public of the state of affairs and ask them to just think before perpetuating this culture, as it is the public finally who will have to pay the price of this behavior and attitude.

As if to emphasize the absurdity of the action, the Deputy Minister Hemal, suggested that the police officer invented this, so that he could claim asylum in a Foreign Land. Why would he want to do that, if he was of unblemished character all this time? Those who attempt to leave are the devious ones, such as drug dealers, when the law is getting too close to them, or have fallen out of favor of the main sponsors of his trade, the ruling party politicians.

I see in today’s daily papers that the President has asked the IGP on the status of the investigation. Has the Police officer been threatened by the top brass to save the bacon of the Deputy Minister? Where is the Secretary of the Law and Order minister in all this, after all it is through him that the President should investigate the status.     

It is time that the people realize that the Police force has been compromised badly, and the lower ranks have NO faith in their leaders, and have NO option but to cow down to lawless ness of their political henchman if they want to keep their jobs, and the public suffer the consequences of this lawless ness!

Do I have more legitimacy than the INGO wallahs who outspend anyone else at posh restaurants?

Controversy has recently arisen about the real convictions of civil society, as it relates to their advocacy of causes, especially in defense of the citizens from attack for their beliefs and practices from their own Government, which more specifically is the GOSL!

When one is on a huge salary, perks, cars, expense accounts and a fully covered office with overheads and research staff to do the leg work for your projects, I get highly jealous.

As you can see from my posts sometimes irregular, I am a one man civil society guy trying to advocate for change and improvement in Government to help people survive in this jungle of a country gradually falling into decay in front of me, with very few people actually realizing it.

Unfortunately I don’t get paid to write. I have a day job that is extremely taxing and sometimes quite stressful, and I have to sneak time, sometimes at crack of dawn or late at night to write on a topic close to my heart or something that I feel strongly about. I wish the day was 48 hrs long so I can complete all the tasks in front of me, but such as it is there is so much happening in Sri Lanka that is plain wrong, and we have apologists who readily defend the status quo either due to ignorance or are in some way compensated for defending the indefensible.

Oh how I would love to have the time to pursue what is wrong in our society and try and change it for the better, so that our country can be steered in a more just direction, as we can never have utopia, but is our duty to at least pursue that goal.

So when I hear of professional civil society people who get paid to write, say, and organize seminars, one can sincerely question their loyalty to the cause, as it is merely incidental to their lives, would they risk their lives for it? and have they got assurances that if they get into hot water they would be spirited to some foreign land to carry on their lives as if nothing happened. I have seen how some journalists who fall out of favor also make that transition overseas!!

If there are like positioned people who risk everything, what little I have, really to express an opinion, not egged on or bribed by someone, please shout as we need to at least get some comfort that there are some genuine arses out there that are really and truly concerned about their country and want to do something about it.