Monday, November 30, 2009

When Indian Coast Guard apprehends SL fishermen, they are treated with dignity & looked after well; boats are guarded!But that is not the case to US!

Indian Coast Guard seizes 13 Lankan boats;
68 fishermen arrested 29 November 2009, CHENNAI: Indian Coast Guard authorities on Thursday and Friday seized 13 Sri Lankan boats and arrested 68 fishermen for fishing in India’s exclusive
economic zone (EEZ). The fishermen with their boats were brought to the Kasimedu fishing harbour on Saturday and handed over to the harbour police for further investigation. They will be remanded in custody.

Chief public relations officer of the coast guard, commander Rajendra Nath, told reporters at the Kasimedu harbour that as part of coordinated sea and air patrol, coast guard aircraft from Chennai deployed for coastal reconnaissance had sighted a flotilla of Lankan fishing boats in Indian waters, off the coast of north Tamil Nadu and south Andhra Pradesh. The aircraft informed the Indian Coast Guard ship ICGS Vikram, which reached the area and apprehended the fishermen. The boats were fitted with the global positioning system (GPS) as well as long-range high frequency sets.

"The boats were fishing in Indian territorial waters 150 nautical miles from Tamil Nadu; 6,600 kilograms of fish were seized from the fishermen,’’ Nath said. He pointed out that the coast guard had in the past six months seized 69 Sri Lankan fishing boats and apprehended 359 Lankan fishermen, and 106 boats and 553 Lankan fishermen from January. The coast guard and other security agencies had repatriated 547 fishermen and sent 130 boats to Sri Lanka. Forty Lankan boats remain at the Kasimedu harbour.

"Preliminary interrogation reveals that they had no links with terrorist activity and were only fishing in our waters," said Nath.

The fishermen who spoke to reporters said that they had strayed into Indian waters and appealed that they be sent back to Sri Lanka soon.

Said C Simon, a fishermen in Kasimedu: "When the Indian Coast Guard apprehends Sri Lankan fishermen, they are treated with dignity and looked after well; even their boats are guarded by our policemen. But that is not the case when we are caught in Sri Lankan waters. We are beaten up badly and there is no history of any of our boats being sent back.’’

(Times of India)


Tamil political parties need to provide a healthy leadership with new political thinking...!!!

North needs new political thinking -Prof. Balasundarampillai


Q: How do you see the current atmosphere in Jaffna since the victory over the LTTE outfit?

A: The situation in Jaffna has improved significantly. Unlike in the past hardly any noise of an explosion or gunfire is heard in the peninsula. People are moving around freely without any restriction. The essential goods are flowing into Jaffna. Civilians can now travel to Colombo and other parts of the country paying a reasonable fare for their travelling. Earlier they had to pay exorbitant rates to fly by aircraft or sail by ships.

President of the People’s Council for Peace and Goodwill of Jaffna and the former Jaffna University Vice Chancellor Professor P. Balasundarampillai says there is a significant improvement in the socio-economic aspects in the North since the end of war early this year. He also says that the Tamil political parties need to provide a healthy leadership with new political thinking. The follwing are excerpts of an interview had with him:
Students are freely moving around.There is no fear of abductions or other atrocities.

As far as the Internally Displaced civilians within the peninsula are concerned, they still have problems with regard to their livelihood.The IDPs within the peninsula are from Valikamam north and the islets as well. So the IDPs within the peninsula should also be resettled properly in their original places.

However, as far as the political trend is concerned I feel there is a vacuum prevailing in the region. There were elections for Jaffna Municipal Council. But the people of Jaffna expect that there political aspirations are yet to be met.

Q: What is your assessment on the post-war economic activities in the peninsula?

A: Even during the peak of the war, the agricultural and the small time business activities were taking place in the peninsula. Farmers and fisherfolk were affected very badly for almost three decades. Several big time enterprises such as Kankesanthurai cement factory and a large number of small industries had to be closed down as a result of the ravaging war. But now with the opening of the A-9 highway a plenty of interactions are taking place with regard to banking and trading activities. Investors are interested in focusing on Jaffna. Fishing has improved significantly. But several potential fishing regions still remain within the high security zone areas. Therefore, the fishermen still do not have access to fishing in the high seas in certain areas in the peninsula.

Q: With the end of the armed struggle what are your observations on the political trend in the peninsula?

A: Jaffna people lived in a state of fear-psychosis. They knew the armed struggle was not the right approach to realise their political aspirations. However, they were in a helpless situation to express whatever they felt. They did not have the right political leadership for the past three decades. But now with the end of war they expect that their political issues should be addressed in a dignified manner. Therefore, the government must take the appropriate measures in settling the Tamil political issues in the North and the East.

Q: What is your view on the resettlement process of the Internally Displaced Persons in the Wanni?

A: I would say it is encouraging. The situation now is different compared to what it was a couple of months ago. Now a large number of refugees have been resettled in their original places and the IDPs in Vavuniya have also been permitted to move around freely.

But in Killinochchi and Mullaithivu areas the resettlement process should be expedited. It was during the British period settlements were carried out in Killinochchi and Mullaithivu areas for the first time. Reservoirs were built and lands were also provided for agricultural purposes. The war that has spread to Killinochchi from the peninsula has destroyed the cultivation in the region. So the innocent farmers and fisherfolk in Killinochchi and Mullaithivu should be resettled as early as possible with compensation for whatever the losses they suffered when the war was in progress.

Q: The reconstruction process of big and small industries is currently under way in the North. What is your comment on it?

A: There were several big and small industries operating prior to the darker period in the North. But it is unfortunate that those vibrant industries which generated a good income and paved way for job opportunities in the North are now no more. The Government has planned several projects under the `Northern Spring’ Program.

The Jaffna peninsula suffered immensely and was in a state of hopelessness. Now there are many avenues open to prosper. We have to tap all those resources which remained dormant due to war conditions.

The thinking of the Jaffna man with regard to economic and industrial activities is now more global with extensive interaction with the Jaffna expatriates. Therefore I see enormous opportunities lay ahead for enhanced industrial investment in the North.

Q: How do you expect the Tamil diaspora to respond in rebuilding the North?

A: They could contribute in a big way in rebuilding Jaffna.The Tamil expatriates are living in wealthy western countries and they have even been contributing significantly in their chosen professions in such countries. In the past when the peace processes were carried out they returned to Jaffna with great hopes to make investments and launch new ventures. But they could not succeed in their plans. However, today with the dawn of peace we could expect more contributions from the Tamil expatriates towards rebuilding the war-torn North.

Already the Tamil expatriates are contributing significantly to their old schools, charity organisations and other humanitarian activities.But they could play a bigger role in enhancing the educational activities in the North. Despite the turbulent conditions, the Jaffna students have done very well in their studies.

The Tamil expatriates are doing extremely well with regard to information technology abroad. So they must take the initiative to develop information technology in the North. Being the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Jaffna I am certain that information technology will largely improve the prospects in the North.

However, the Government must see that the expatriates are comfortable with their dealings in the county. A conducive atmosphere should be created for them to spearhead their plans and projects without any hindrance.

Q: What have you got to say on the recent meeting of Lankan Tamil and Muslim political parties in Switzerland?

A: A new political thinking is essential as far as the future political aspects of the minority parties are concerned. The Swiss move to make the minority parties to work in unison to reach their goals is significant. From the very beginning of the political history in Sri Lanka the Tamil parties have failed in providing a good leadership for their people.

Not only the Tamil leaders who believed in the democratic process, even the militant leaders who took up arms to realise the political aspirations of the Tamils have failed miserably. Therefore, the minority parties cannot hang on to the old political values any more. They should prepare themselves to provide a new leadership to lead their people in the right direction.

Q: What is your comment on the announcement of the Presidential polls early next year?

A: My personal opinion is that President Mahinda Rajapaksa should complete the full period of his first term in office. Some remarkable developments have taken place during his four-year period in office. President Mahinda Rajapaksa has created a peaceful atmosphere by bringing an end to the war in the North and the East. There are signs of economic recovery in the country. I think he is more acceptable to the people.

Q: How do you read the pulse of the people in the North with regard to the current political trend in the country?

A: It is too early to comment on how the people of Jaffna will respond to the forthcoming polls. It is for the first time in several years the people in the North and the East will get the opportunity to exercise their franchise in a peaceful atmosphere.

The North is now gradually recovering from the wounds of war. The political parties based in the North are yet to activate their political functions with regard to forthcoming polls. So we have to be patient until the election gathers momentum, to make the predictions.

As at November 25, 2009 the number of Internally Displaced Persons remain at Welfare Centres 128,616....!!!

A beacon of light for IDPs
* As at November 25, 2009 the number of Internally Displaced Persons remain at Welfare Centres 128,616.

* Total number of people released from welfare centres and resettled 139,131.

by Dhaneshi YATAWARA

Are you happy at home? - President Mahinda Rajapaksa inquires from an elderly villager at Mulankavil

Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa M.P. and Resettlement and Disaster Relief Services Minister Rishad Bathiudeen during a visit to Vavuniya IDP Welfare Centre

Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa, Minister Rishad Bathiudeen, NP Governer Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri and Vanni Security Froces Commander Maj.Gen. Kamal Gunaratne during a development progress review meeting at Vavuniya.

It was May 14, 2009. It was the height of the battle against LTTE terrorists and the Sri Lanka Army was manoeuvring their operations with utmost care. It was not just a war against LTTE, the core issue was to rescue the unarmed civilians trapped in the last `No Fire Zone' in Puthumathalan. Thousands of people waded through the Nandikadal Lagoon carrying the weak-children, elders, sick and pregnant mothers with them. The LTTE fired using the deadly paddle gun, targeting the civilian landing point on the other side of the lagoon where the soldiers took them to safety.

The fight was not against Tamil civilians. It was purely to 'purge' LTTE terrorism forever. Encountering enormous difficulties the civilians escaped the impenetrable LTTE obstacles.

Soldiers saved the lives of over 283,000 civilians (91,000 families) during the time spanning from mid November, 2008 to mid May 2009. Soldiers never took these civilians as a burden. They even gave their own food to these escapees and cared for the sick and the weak alike.

The biggest challenge
The large influx of people within a short span was the first greatest challenge the Government faced during this time. It was a formidable task for the Government. "Though the exodus of civilians was not easily manageable yet such sort of a situation was nothing new to the Government," said Chandra Fernando, Presidential Advisor on North and East and Senior member of the Presidential Task Force on Northern Development explaining that the experience gained from the Eastern Revival was significant at this juncture.

"Every detail was pre-planned to ensure the safety of the IDPs adhering to the Geneva Convention to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. We were ready to receive the Internally Displaced Persons and what we did not know was only the actual number of the target group," he explained.

Parallel to these events de-mining was initiated. The utmost importance in the Northern Development is security, protection and human rights.

At the initial stage the Government relied on the Sri Lanka Army to expedite the de-mining process so as to create areas suitable for human habitation. Several other Non-Governmental organizations are engaged in the de-mining process now expecting to complete areas set apart for them. The 'Sappers' - the Engineering Corps of the Sri Lanka Army has already completed its mission. Their dedication to the job was a good back up for the Government's mega resettlement programme.

According to Presidential Advisor Chandra Fernando seven International agencies were entrusted with the task of de-mining locations earmarked by the Government. The entire development drive, which is now on full swing, is entirely conducted under the guidance of Senior Presidential Advisor Basil Rajapaksa.

Fernando further said that as the de-mining agencies had to train local staff according to the requirements, the process was rather slow. With the intervention of the Sri Lanka Army 'Sappers', the situation was improved. Next step was to purchase de-mining machines to speed up the process in order to start resettlement. At present, a total of 25 de-mining machines are in operation in the North.

"The Task Force works on the four D's," Fernando explained. "Demilitarization, Development, Democratization and Devolution! This is the basic principle we follow in the Wadakkin Wasantham program," he added.

Streamlining facilities

A temporary school in Cheddikulam Welfare Centre

At Pudukudiyiruppu soldiers taking an old, woman to a safety location during the final stages of the war

IDPs waiting to return to their homes

Children’s playground at a welfare centre

Receiving medical treatment
Due to the prolonged exposure to terrorism the Northern Administration was severely handicapped. In order to streamline the facilities provided to the IDPs the Government appointed Major General G.A. Chandrasiri as the Competent Authority for IDPs with effect from April 23, 2009.

When Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri was appointed the Governor Northern Province, Maj. Gen. Kamal Gunarathne, the Wanni Security Forces Commander, was appointed as the Competent Authority for IDPs.

The Government took all necessary measures to streamline the support network for the IDPs. Six welfare villages were set up in Menik Farm, situated along the Mannar-Vavuniya Road by the Government and later the International Non-Governmental Organisations provided assistance.

"The local authorities of the Northern Province were facing threats from the LTTE and they feared working openly and freely before the end of the war," Maj. Gen. Chandrasiri said.

"Eliminating terrorism was significant in the restoration of civil administration in the Province," he reiterated.

The resettlement of new IDPs was initiated on March, 2009. Elderly people over 60 were given permission to leave the centres to join their next of kin. So far, 9,633 elderly men and women have been released. Orphaned children were taken care of, by the Government in directing them to children's homes and to the families of their next of kin.

A total of 1,064 children were living among the IDPs without their lawful guardians. As there were University students living among the IDPs the authorities took the decision to release all of them.

349 youth were sent back to the Universities with special arrangements made for them.

Today around 139,131 people have been resettled in almost all the districts of the Northern Province. As at November 25, the total number of IDPs sheltered in Welfare centres is 128,616.

All these people are provided with the proper Identity Cards on President Mahinda Rajapaksa's directive restriction placed on the movement of these people, out of their Welfare Centres, has is been lifted with effect from December 1. The Government is in the process of resettling all IDPs before end of January, 2010.

The initial resettlement started in Musali Divisional Secretariat Division in Mannar.

The resettlement was based on three stages as per the plans of the Presidential Task Force on Northern Development - i.e. Road clearing, De-mining and Repairing and rebuilding damaged public buildings. Police stations are being set up in each town leaving the security forces only in strategic locations.

One major effect of the war is the creation of vulnerable groups who lost their sustenance. Economically deprived people who find it difficult to satisfy their minimum basic requirements are in a vulnerable position. They include the landless poor farmers, casual workers and daily wage earners.

With the elimination of terrorism the degree of vulnerability declined thus making a favourable environment for resettling people to allow them to re-engage in their normal economic activities in the agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and other informal sectors.

This definitely ensures the dignity of these settlers. Facilitating restoration of sustainable livelihood through opening income avenues and providing other ancillary services, is in the main focus.

The Sri Lankan Government initiated the task of rebuilding the entire war torn North while the Sri Lanka Army continued their humanitarian mission entering the last stages of the war in the Pudukuduyirippu, Puthumathalan and Vellamullivaikkal general areas in the Northeastern corner of the Mullaitivu district. Today the entire area is clear from all traces of terrorism.

The area is getting back to proper shape shedding the ugly hostages of war. It is the soldier who makes the land suitable for the habitation of its original settlers.

It's a new era speeding towards a prosperous nation. At this juncture Sri Lanka needs to launch its post war reconstruction priorities at an accelerated pace. Having faced the huge task of developing the entire Northern Province following the return of the East to the national mainstream, the Government has given the top priority to the development drive in the rest of the country.

They asked me to fight but I was shivering when I hear thundering explosions and dead bodies. I could not handle the big weapons..!!!

Ex-child soldiers step into fashionable world
by Shanika SRIYANANDA in Poonthottam

The latest fashion of the town has reached them. Instead of deadly cyanide vials and 'dog tags', ragged blood stained Tiger uniforms and rubber slippers boys wear silver chains, bracelets, denims, figure hugging T-shirts and sandles decorate them.

Girls with short hair, have started growing hair which was forcibly cut by the LTTE. They wear colourful short skirts with matching blouses and glittering jewellery.

They have nail polish and different kinds of perfumes too. Just four kilometres away from the Vavuniya town, the children who shivering in fear and were trained to fight, kill and die by the LTTE, are learning to live.

They, who guarded and fought in the forward defence lines from dawn to dust few months back, swear together everyday that they would not take up arms or join a terrorist group in future.

There were a dozen of visitors - elderly men and women - undergoing checking before entering the premises of the 'Child Protection and Rehabilitation Centre' at Poonthottam. They are the kith and kin of the LTTE's former child soldiers.

The gates opened. It was time of their assembly where each child is given a chance to express their views about life. Basically to express motivation and courageous thoughts

Major General Daya Ratnayake, the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation said that these children were under a well- designed rehabilitation process with education and vocational training.

In the former Co-operative Training College, where over 296 under-aged former child soldiers are housed, all spend the day according to a time table. From 5.30 in the morning to 10. 15 pm until the lights are turned off, they study, play, doing gardening and following vocational training on various subjects like house wiring, beauty culture, screen printing, carpentry, masonry.

John Kumanson (16) wants to pursue a career as a carpenter. His words got shivering as he recalled his life under the LTTE. John is a happy kid today but fight to erased off how the LTTE had killed his father before his own eyes.

The eyes of an innocent looking timid boy became sharp. Tears were to jumped out.

Though he is swear to convert to a harmless, the anger is brewing to find out his father's killers. "I know one LTTE police man is in the other rehabilitation camps. When I go home I will find him", his voice became strong.

Major Nimal Weerasekara, the Centre OIC said that at the beginning he and his staff had a tough time to convert the children to normal. "Most of these children were in trans-like stage.

They started shouting at nights and tried to run away. Some were unconscious", he said.

The horrific incidents that unfolded before their eyes had shook their lives leaving permanent scars with them.

Major Weerasekara had to hold a religious sessions with assistance of the Hindu priest of the Pillar Kovil to get rid of their nightmare and fears. They were also directed to two consultant psychiatrists of the Vavuniya hospital and were given lecturer on motivation.

"But sometimes it is so difficult to brain wash their bitter memories", he said.

John is one such boy who still wants to get the revenge of his father's killers.

During last April, the LTTE which were badly affected with poor manpower started snatching children whom can just hold a gun.

The terrorists rounded up Puthumathalan, full of tents where displaced people were living.

His parents got the news and they hid him in the tent house. There were 40 terrorists and they tried to take John while his family was crying and pleading to drop him.

"No. You cannot take my son", John said that his father's last few words in his last battle with the Tigers still echoed in his head.

The entire neighbourhood was shocked and the Tigers opened fire. They first shot John's father who fought with the Tigers. They dragged the boy and threw him into the van and ran over his father's body, which was still alive.

"They took me while my 'Appa' was breathing his last", John could not hold his tears. True... how a small kid forget that fateful moment? How he can be a normal kid unless a miracle happens?

But according to Maj. Weerasekara, they are trying their maximum to rehabilitate these children. Physical training in the morning and evening is a method that adopted to help them to forget these bitter memories.

The children are undergoing vocational training for six months and will be given a recognised certificate to facilitate them to get employment. Some private sector institutions have come forward to offer them jobs.

The centre spans for five acres have a common garden where the children grow plants together. Each one has to engage in gardening as this will help them to nature love.

John, Priya and their friends - the child soldiers - who were just survived with 'soru' (rice and dhal boiled together) now eat meals that gives to soldiers of the Sri Lanka Army.

"These boys and girls were displaced several times and did not have proper shelter. The LTTE had chased them all the time. They lived under trees. Now they have freedom. Most of them like to study or follow vocational training courses", Maj. Weerasekara said.

He said that wife of the President of the All Ceylon Tamil Congress V. Kilasapathi was amazed to see the freedom and facilities given to these children. She has said that they never expected the Army to treat Tamil children, especially the former child soldiers, in this manner.

These former child solders were thoroughly brained washed and taught to kill the Sinhalese and their Army. But today they learn humanity, love and kindness under the wings of same people that the LTTE showed them as devils.

The soldiers have become their parents and best of friends who teach them good and bad.


Priya still loves dolls...
The vibrant colour flower buds bloomed a little with the bright morning sun rays. The small lean girl, wearing a floral print shaggy frock was sitting on the wooden bench and tenderly nurturing the plants.

She looked around... sighed... and gently stroked her belly. At first glance, she was just a normal child but the most striking 'disaster' about her was ... 'she was pregnant'.

Priya still loves dolls. She wants to study and play just as a normal child. But her belly that swells day by day prohibits her to become normal. The girls and boys around her played but nature has made her more 'discipline' to be prepared for the motherhood.

The 16-year-old girl did not know the meaning of marriage. She was ordered by her grandmother to 'go and live' with a youth as the old woman was in fear that the LTTE would take Priya. Priya's aunt's daughter was too forcibly recruited by the LTTE.

No registrars, no red pottus and no glittering sarees and jewellery, Priya was pushed to the other tent in one mid-night, in which the small girl became the 'wife of the 25-year-old Thalayan, who was too lived in hiding.

The LTTE herded thousands of displaced civilians coming even from Mannar to Puthukudiriyappu, where the LTTE had fixed all their guns to stop the military push.

Priya and Thalayan could not escape the evil eyes of the LTTE. Both were snatched by the LTTE barely two months after their marriage. As the LTTE domination was shrinking in each passing day, the males and females were put to the same training base in Sudandarpuram. The small girl was given weapon training including AK-47 and T-56. The terrorists had brained washed all the trainees and taught that the Sinhalese soldiers were devils.

Given only rice and dhal cooked with water and salt, the recruits were left to fight in hunger for days.

"They asked me to fight but I was shivering when I hear thundering explosions and dead bodies. I could not handle the big weapons", she recalled.

Priya escaped the LTTE but was caught again and deployed to look after LTTE casualties. When the soldiers rescued thousands of civilians on middle of May, thousands of LTTE cadres including child soldiers, surrendered to the Army.

"I did not know I was pregnant when I was fighting", Priya, the six-month-old pregnant mother, shyly giggles. No morning sickness, she first complained about the unusual physical changes of her body to the Major Weerasekara, who directed her to a doctor in Vavuniya Hospital.With the confirmation, Priya got 'VIP treatment' at the centre. The teenaged mother was loved by all. Today she was released from the centre as she is to deliver her baby in early January, next year. She now lives with her sister and mother in Vavuniya.


SL: Expatriate SL-population of more than one million.!! They shd vote at the Embassies,if GOSL truely respect Democratic Rights..!!!

14 million voters for Presidential Polls


The number of voters at the forthcoming Presidential Election has increased by 761,340 from the previous Presidential Election. According to the revised electoral registers of 2008, the total voters at the forthcoming Presidential Election would be around 14,088,500 as against 13,327,160 during the Presidential Election of 2005.The nine provinces in the island have 22 electoral districts. The Northern and Eastern Provinces have five electoral districts - Jaffna, Wanni, Batticaloa, Digamadulla and Trincomalee.

Twenty four electoral seats come under the Northern and Eastern provinces and the number of voters in the five districts is 2,003,746. A large number of people in these provinces had left their homes due to the three-decade-old conflict.

After the humanitarian operation came to an end in May 2009, the number of Internally Displaced Persons reached 302,249. Most have since been resettled by the Government in their original places of residence.

There is an expatriate population of more than one million, and at present they do not have the opportunity to cast their votes in an election unless they return to Sri Lanka during this period, a spokesman for the Elections Department said.

Group of eminent global leaders, have said that they are “Deeply Worried” about the Humanitarian Situation faced by largely Tamil civilian population!

World Elders asks President to protect IDPs

A group of world leaders have directly appealed to the president of Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the civilians displaced by the recently ended civil war.
The Elders, a group of eminent global leaders, have said that they are “deeply worried” about the humanitarian situation faced by the largely Tamil civilian population who fled their homes during the decades of civil war.

Archbishop reverend Desmond Tutu, who has signed the letter on behalf of the elders, in an exclusive interview with the BBC Tamil Service said that displaced Tamil persons should be allowed to return as quickly as possible to their homes. The letter also says that the Sri Lankan government “must ensure” that the rights of refugees are respected. Aid organizations should be allowed to participate in the return of the refugees, said Rev Tutu.

The Reverend said that The Elders group is particularly concerned about what is going to happen with regard to reconciliation in Sri Lanka. The Archbishop said The Elders are deeply worried about the plight of IDPs' in the country. A group of world leaders had directly appealed to the president of Sri Lanka to protect the rights of the civilians displaced by the recently ended civil war.

Nelson Mandela is the founder of the group. “The government has obviously won a military victory, but that is just a beginning” observed Rev Tutu and said that he hoped that the president and his government will take bold actions and be magnanimous in victory. He also says that they had written to the president expressing their concerns during the conflict, urging restraint and calling on the government to ensure that the atrocities that they had heard about should not be allowed to continue.

Rev Tutu says that the Sri Lankan government generally ignored and violated human rights issues during the war.

Editor's Assasination/Attack on Media: People were well aware of whom well known drug dealers, thugs & other notorious characters are affiliated to!!!

“We did not fight to make kings out of one family” – General

2009-11-30 | 12.15 PM

General Sarath Fonseka told the media on Sunday (29) at the Hilton Residencies that the soldiers did not sacrifice their lives to rid the country of terrorism to make kings out of one family and he would therefore contest the forthcoming Presidential election as the common candidate in order to save the country and people from the crises they are currently faced with.

Addressing a media briefing attended by over 200 journalists, the General clarified his stance and expressed his firm commitment to abolish the Executive Presidency six months after assuming office. He said that diplomatic ties with

India would be further strengthened by him and that the ethnic issue could be resolved through a solution that goes beyond the 13th Amendment.

The General condemned the mud slinging campaign launched by the government saying no one could point a finger at him for being involved in any kind of rackets in military procurements during his 40 year military service. He said the story carried by certain media of the involvement of his son-in-law in some military procurement was baseless and that all military equipment and ammunition was purchased by Lanka Logistics, which is headed by Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.

Speaking of the assassination of The Sunday Leader Editor in Chief Lasantha Wickrematunge and the attacks on media personnel, the General said that although the government tried to implicate him in these incidents, the people were well aware of whom well known drug dealers, thugs and other notorious characters are affiliated to.

General Fonseka said he plans to conduct independent investigations into the assassination of Lasantha Wickrematunge and attacks on the media and take action against the wrong doers as soon as he is elected to office.

Lanka News

GR: SF’s ridiculing the entire army...!!! This is the selfishness..!!!

“There’s an international conspiracy to oust the President”- GOTABHAYA


Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa speaks to Hard Talk about the threat of an international conspiracy at work against the country in the form of seeking a regime change, as former Army Commander Sarath Fonseka enters the Presidential fray. He attributes this to the ‘disappointment’ that certain countries and their political elements may have experienced with the country’s victory over the LTTE and the decision by the President to not give in to international pressures he alleges were moved by elements who sought to safeguard the LTTE during the last stages of the war.

There are certain elements of the international community who see the President taking a hard stand on the international community when the war was on, taking it personally. Maybe these elements want governments like this changed. We certainly see an international conspiracy to oust the President. I don’t point my finger at any government, but there were pressures that came through to safeguard the LTTE. These elements want to see the President out. Maybe they see that they can come out in a different way to give the LTTE Eelam. We have to be aware of this situation. The people have to be mindful of this danger’, he maintains.

Q: Who in your opinion was most instrumental in defeating the LTTE? Claims of a varying degree from government side and the newly announced Presidential candidate Sarath Fonseka has left the people confused.

Without the political commitment no one can win a war. It is the President who makes the decision to start military operations and gave the clear aim to defeat the LTTE. If you go through interviews given by Gen. Sarath Fonseka initially he has mentioned that without the political will and direction nobody can win a war. The Army is only a department of the government. It acts according to the wishes of the government and implements the policy of that government. No Army Commander can do otherwise. This explains why this victory could not be achieved before under previous leaderships.

It is the President of a country who decides whether to talk to the terrorists or start military operations. And it is the President alone who can decide how much money to spend on a war, or if to increase the numbers in an army. And one of the key factors for the victory was the increase in the numbers. And this is very clear by the fact that various previous governments decided to increase or decrease the numbers. Then there were the decisions regarding equipping the men, getting the right arms, the salaries etc.

It is very clear to anyone it was the President’s political commitment and decision to start military operations that all this was possible. Don’t forget that Gen. Fonseka wasn’t born just 4 years ago. He was in the Army for 35 years. But what has he done? Has he achieved one tenth of what we had achieved during those years? Take for examples Generals like Kobbekaduwa, Janaka Perera, Wimalaratne etc. Everyone talks about them. They didn’t become Army Commanders or SF commanders but their contribution was very effective. Kobbekaduwa as a Brigadier conducted Wadamarachchi operation and Wimalaratne was a Colonel at that time, but everyone knew about them because they performed well. But we have not heard of Gen. Fonseka in the same manner. And if he says that he alone did this whole thing why did he not perform one tenth of this during the past years. There are a lot of failures under him. In fact he’s the one who ordered to withdraw troops from Jaffna in 2000.

I’m not saying that he’s not a good military officer, but that without the political direction and assistance a military officer can’t do certain things. This is why under different governments, different officers performed in a different way. Gen. Fonseka himself performed in a different way during the Wickremesinghe regime as he did differently under the Rajapaksa regime. The best example is how the same officers who had to coordinate with the LTTE during the Wickremesinghe regime ended up killing the same seniors of the LTTE during the end of the war.

And don’t forget the contribution of everyone from privates whose numbers were the most sacrificed in the field, to SF commanders or the battalion commanders or Brig. Shavindra Silva whose division captured Pooneryn and going all the way to Pudukudiiruppu. If the Army Commander claims that his was the only contribution then what of all these persons? Then everyone can individually start claiming credit. This was purely the work of team effort. And what about the Navy thanks to whom the Sea Tigers couldn’t get out to the sea, or the Air Force? This is the selfishness. It is wrong to give this impression.

Q: He blamed weak military leadership, not political leadership, for allowing the LTTE to survive so long. He said that in 1999, he had told President Chandrika Kumaratunga in reply to a question that the war could be finished off in four years when 4 other military seniors had not supported that view. He also claimed that the army was modernized during Kumaratunga’s regime. Is this an indication that the contribution of the Rajapaksa Presidency has really been minimal in providing political commitment to war?

How can you say that when it is the President who decides whether to go on or give in when international pressures come in? It is the President who has to face that and decide whether he goes ahead or stops. How do you explain the decision to stop the Wadamarachchi operation despite it being a successful operation during a previous regime? How can you blame that on a weak military leadership when Wadamarachchi was won? There were much better leaders in the Army than Gen. Fonseka. Who was he before 2005? Now he’s trying to become a cheap politician. He shouldn’t try to disgrace the military this way. Officers like Chagi Gallage, Shavindra Silva, Jagath Dias or Kamal Gallage were products of Wijeya Wimalaratne. So where is the weak military leadership when he was an excellent officer?

We had enough brilliant officers. Who created the Special Forces or the Commanders? They were not done during the last 4 years? If the military leadership was weak how can these happen? They were the ones who made these sacrifices, who trained these officers, who were simply not given the proper political direction because the political will was not there. How can he blame the men of this great Army going back 35 years like this to portray himself as the only good one? He’s ridiculing the entire army.

Q: He levels some very serious charges against you on grounds that you are threatening his security by lowering the numbers allocated to him. Gen. Fonseka claims that Military Police personnel had entered his house midnight on the 25th to remove the vehicles provided the General on an order issued by you. He alleges that you are threatening his security by such measures. His notion is that if the President still needs 2000 people for security and if you need 500 people for your security, how is he expected to manage with 25 men and 3 vehicles? What is the basis for these charges?

First he must remember that he is a retired army officer when you lose some privileges. But when he went to meet the President and requested certain security to which the President agreed and then when he mentioned a certain number the President said to give that in writing. In that letter he wrote a certain number of security and we gave everything requested except for the 6 women’s cadres. That was also because there were certain administrative problems related- remember he was going out to civilian life where you needed a certain structure to be maintained. Still we approved even these 6 although the lack of it is not a serious weakness in a security structure! It is sheer hypocrisy to go for a FR case asking for a tenfold number in security, when we have given everything he has requested. This is lying to get the sympathy of the people by showing a completely different picture. It’s very clearly a political game he is playing; one unbecoming of an officer.

Q: But according to intelligence reports available to you what is the level of threat to his life at present? He claims that the Security Council is trying to reduce his security to get him assassinated. He alleges that if anything happens to him the Presidnt has to take direct responsibility.

We understand that if possible, LTTE will target the President, myself or any one of the Commanders. But don’t forget that the situation is very different today. The LTTE has been destroyed. But when he removed Gen. Parakrama Pannipitiya from the Eastern Command for whatever the reason, when the war in the North was still on and suicide cadres were in Colombo, Sarath Fonseka removed his security. This was the man who was responsible for clearing the East. And when Gen. Panipitiya filed a FR case Fonseka gave an affidavit agreeing to give only 6 people when there was a definite threat to his life.

Q: He cites Intelligence Services Head J B Galanayaka on information that an explosive laden van had come to Colombo to target a VIP. He alleges that the government is using these tactics ‘intentionally’ to ensure that he gets blasted on the road.

I’m trying to bring legislation to provide security to the three commanders. But it takes time. I initiated that and he knows that. I always say that we should give security. I have no issue with that. But when we have given security and then ask for unreasonable amounts just to ridicule us or gain sympathy is not right. I’m the one who initiated the action to provide life time security to all Commanders which is now in Legal Draftsman’s Dept. I don’t say that he shouldn’t get it.

But the situation has changed in the country today which is why we had decided to open up the roads and not even close them for VIPs. We have defeated the LTTE now we have to bring normalcy to the country. That threat has passed. And if we have given what he requested what is the issue?

Q: He also points a finger at you on defence purchases claiming that if there is any corruption it is you, the President, and the Tender Board that must take responsibility.

How can he say that? Again he’s trying to cover the truth behind this. He himself alluded to this. He told an interview that although normally the Chief of Staff sits on the Tender Board, ‘but I changed that and I sat on the Tender Board’ he said! Then what is he talking about. What Tender Board was he referring to? I don’t want to get in to the blame game but all I want to say is that as there are various allegations that have come in various papers etc. that the Army has purchased various things from his son-in-law’s company. All I can say is that this is unethical and illegal, because he himself accepted that he himself sat on the Army Tender Board. Again he’s trying to cover certain things and project a different picture which is not right.

Q: But he says that the political leadership has failed to give priority for democracy, national security, including the people in the North and East, those displaced. Would you say that you have failed to win the peace as alleged?

I don’t know how he can talk on democracy and media freedom or the minorities. This is just politics. It’s unfair for a person who held such a position in the army to talk like that now that he has retired. I know his ideas and how he spoke in the Security Council. It’s ungrateful of him to talk like that just because he’s in politics, especially because he knows how we brought in a process of democracy to the East by holding elections and disarming the paramilitary groups. What about the development work that was done there and bringing normalcy to that part of the country. Now because he’s standing with the people who opposed the war for his personal ambitions, and said we can’t win the war or that he himself was not fit enough to lead the Salvation Army, he’s coming out with these things. This shows his character. He’s teaming up with a politically bankrupt crowd, an unpatriotic lot to win his political ambitions.

Q: There is sufficient indication to confirm a regrouping of the LTTE internationally. What is the government doing to face this threat?

We are doing a lot to curb this threat. The government didn’t believe its work ended after defeating the LTTE here, we went ahead and captured KP; who went on international TV and said he was the new leader. Again Gen Fonseka can’t take responsibility for it, it was the team effort of everyone involved that helped capture him. And such work is continuing. One success of the operation was the secrecy maintained. No one knew about it till the capture. Very soon you will see more arrests, acquisition of LTTE assets and frozen accounts. We are working with international intelligence to continue this work.

Even locally our policing are working out very well, in interrogations and making more important arrests. All this continues while we are pursuing the development programs, and bringing investors in etc. During the last 4 years we have signed many international agreements that help us share information between the countries.

Of course there are pressures coming through from some of these countries but we have to work with them and win them over to neutralize the LTTE coming through. I know even countries like Canada wants to help break the LTTE network there. It’s a problem for them. There is a threat of LTTE’s shipping network being used by any other terrorist organization thereby threatening any country in the world. All these countries have to work together if they are working to rid the world of terror.

Q: How do you see the pressures that threaten to come through in the form of you and several other key members of the defence team being charged with war crimes violations?

Of course although a lot of countries appreciate our victory, there are some who are disappointed due to various reasons. Maybe it’s because of the Diaspora activities, because LTTE’s presence outside has become a political power which affects the governments in those countries. They can influence these countries. This maybe also due to certain strategic interests they have in our country. There are certain elements of the international community who see the President taking a hard stand on the international community when the war was on, taking it personally. Maybe these elements want governments like this changed. We certainly see an international conspiracy to oust the President. I don’t point my finger at any government, but there were pressures that came through to safeguard the LTTE. These elements want to see the President out. Maybe they see that they can come out in a different way to give the LTTE Eelam. We have to be aware of this situation. The people have to be mindful of this danger.

These charges of war crimes are very unfair. It’s not the time to punish political leaders or officers or military leaders for fighting against terror. We defeated a terror organization that caused so much destruction to property and stalled democracy and destabilized the country. The LTTE caused more harm to the Tamil culture; they killed more Tamil people than any one people. The international community must understand this. They should help us build this country and bring the communities together. All these war crimes charges don’t do that.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

300 Trillion Dollar Global Economy...!!! Moderator

300 Trillion Dollar Global Economy

Participate or Precipitate

The choice is up to each and every one us and to each and every nation to make the right and wise choice. Our appeal is directed, especially towards the nations that are less prosperous politically and hence economically. The leaders of some nations must think beyond feudalistic political systems and become fully democratic countries like USA and Canada. As long as you are conscientious and hard working person these two
nations offer the best opportunity for development in many aspects. Freedom from political slavery is a must if people have to become fully integrated partners in a nation.
If we have to emancipate the less developed and under developed nations from economic slavery we have to free them from political slavery. Two “bad” examples are Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.

Africa, Middle East, South Asia, Central Asia and some of the isolated Islands must grant their citizens political freedom so that they can chart their own destiny within a fearless and protective political system like in the USA and Canada.

And for the developing and developed countries the challenge is to chart, invent and discover new frontiers in science, technology and human rights. Free energy will free and lift all people from economic doldrums. Signs of free energy are already in the works such as solar panels and windmills. The new frontier in science and technology is to free the people from physical slavery of work. Human time and energy is wasted for we do not have sufficient and economical energy source. One we are freed of the energy slavery we can devote ourselves to spiritual enlightenment and hence total freedom. Who said the Martian concept of Utopia is not feasible on planet earth during our life time?

I wish we and all join our hands, hearts and minds to push forward as one united team for political, economic and spiritual freedom.

I am a world-class Tamil. I came to Canada from a Repressive, Feudalistic, Racist, Fanaticistic, Barbaric backward country called Sorry Lanka (Sri Lanka). I have seen two dichotomies, one human suppression and other human freedom. I my heart go to the people of Sri Lanka for their sufferings and my inability to do something, anything.
We have to unite all people and all nations under a United Nations with “Jaw and Teeth”.

Ministers and Public Officials - Masters and Servants?

Ministers and Public Officials - Masters and Servants? R. M. B. Senanayake
Some retired administrators recently had a seminar on the topic "Relations between Ministers and Public Officers". Mr. Bradman Weerakoon, one of the speakers, pointed out that the relationship between the ministers and the top officials has now become a ‘master-servant’ relationship.

Prior to 1972 the relationship was different where the ministers respected the top officials and accepted the fact that they were acting in the public interest. They respected their opinions since they had more learning and more experience in the operations of the department.

Those who have watched the TV series "Yes Minister" would have noted that the secretary, I think he was Mr Humphreys, referred to the minister as Mr Minister and not as "Sir". The common understanding was that while the minister was the political head of his ministry the administrative head was the secretary, who is a permanent official unlike the minister who will leave when his party’s term expires. The secretary will remain.

The secretary has long service and extensive experience in the affairs of the government and of the ministry. The concept of the secretary as the head of the departments under the ministry was not adopted in our country although the former Treasury Secretary Shirley Amerasinghe issued a circular stating that the heads of departments in the ministry were assistant secretaries and that the ministry and the departments are integrated.

In our administrative set up the integration of the department and the ministry office did not take root. The location of the ministry office away from the department also did not help to integrate them.

The question of what sort of relationship should prevail between the top officials and the ministers, depends on what role the higher administrative layer has to play and whether the minister should have any role in the internal administration of the department.

Public Administration theory has been of the view that the internal administration of the departments is not a matter for the minister since he has neither the time nor the experience and expertise in running an organization. Early theorists drew a distinction between policy and administration and said the minister should confine himself to policy making and let the permanent officials in the hierarchy to run the operations. It is similar to the model which prevails in the business enterprise.

In any organization while the chief executive has the reserve power to intervene in operational decisions he would not do so unless it is absolutely necessary. At most times the power is delegated to operational heads in the hierarchy.

But it is difficult to keep policy and administration in water-tight compartments. So it is vital that the relationships between the political head and the administrative heads are harmonious. Of course harmonious relations in any organization are not easy to establish. It depends on the skill of the minister and the top officials.The policy making function of the minister however requires the input of the top officials. The minister would generally know little or nothing of the factors that determine the policy outcomes. So if the relationship between the minister and the top officials is one of master –servant, then the latter would not express their genuine opinions but prefer to curry favour or at least not antagonize the minister by telling him anything that he would not like to hear. In short the top officials would either become sycophants or mere passengers who will not express their opinions.

This will result in bad policy making for good policies are the outcome of knowledge and experience, both of which the ministers lack. The people will pay the price for bad or pernicious policy outcomes. If we continue with the ‘master-servant’ type of relationship then there is no hope for efficient governance. If the ministers are dishonest and corrupt there is also no hope of good governance either. Kautilya pointed out that there is very little probability of getting a ruler who is both morally upright and also administratively competent. Modern government requires much knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields.

Consider what knowledge and experience a minister of health requires. He must have medical experience. One can imagine what would happen if lacking such knowledge and experience he would select drugs for the hospitals. If his officials have to follow his orders in a master-servant relationship, the public officials will not oppose a ministerial decision even if it is wrong and detrimental to the public. The public will pay a heavy price if the minister makes a mistake.

Lacking knowledge and experience how can the minister decide correctly without the intellectual and experiential input of his officials? On the other hand, as Machiavelli pointed out, it is useless giving a prince advice if the prince is either stupid or perverse. We perhaps have a surfeit of them today.

Check on autocracy

The historical evolution in the West was that autocratic and despotic rulers were resisted by the barons or the nobles from the days of Magna Carta in 1215 to the English Revolutions, the French and the American Revolutions. They all introduced checks on the autocratic powers of the ruler. The American Revolution went further and introduced the separation of powers between the three branches of the State and put in place checks & balances. Thus the problem of the tyranny of the ruler was solved.

With development after the Industrial Revolution the need for expertise in the governance emerged. Democracy ushered in government by elected representatives of the people. The case for them is not that they know better than the bureaucracy what hurts the people. They are responsible to the people in a direct way.

Just as the proof of the pudding is in the eating it is the people who know the good and bad effects of any policy. However good a policy is, it must be not harmful to the people and it was argued that if they are harmful, the people will not re-elect their representatives. So the responsibility must be with the elected representatives. But then how can the elected representatives who lack knowledge and experience make policy?

So the problem of expertise in the running of the functions of the state remained. This problem requires a competent knowledgeable bureaucracy. But how can there be such a bureaucracy when with every change of government the officials are changed? So the West introduced Civil Service Commissions to be in charge of appointments, promotions and discipline of the top officials, taking them away from the control of the president and the ministers. We had the same institution.

But in 1972 the Marxists persuaded that the way forward is to subjugate the bureaucracy to the politicians as in Communist countries where there was a one party dictatorship. It was perhaps a step taken in the direction of a one party government.

The choice before us today is to revive a bureaucracy or continue with a spoils system; between a servile officialdom as under feudalism or to go for a modern bureaucracy with expertise who are given protection and security of tenure and allowed to express their frank opinions on matters of governance which require decision-making.


The powers & functions of the President are set out in the Constitution,& the sole power to make amendments to the Constitution lies with Parliament!!

Powers and Limitations of the Executive Presidency Ruana Rajepakse

The powers of the office of Executive President of Sri Lanka far exceed its limitations. Nevertheless, the office is not without some limitations which appear to be getting overlooked in the current debate.

It has been reported that the United National Party/Front has sought a pledge from the prospective "common candidate of the Opposition" to abolish the Executive Presidency within a stipulated period of being elected to that office. Twice before, when Presidents Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga and Mahinda Rajapaksa were facing their respective first elections to the office of President, some political parties extracted similar pledges from them which were duly given but not carried out.

The simple fact is that the executive President has no power to abolish or even to legally modify that office. The powers and functions of the President are set out in the Constitution, and the sole power to make amendments to the Constitution lies with Parliament, subject only to the additional requirement of a referendum in respect of certain clauses. Thus those who seek to curtail the powers of the executive presidency should concentrate their energies on building up a consensus to that effect among their fellow Parliamentarians rather then extracting empty promises from the presidential candidates.

If a law is passed by a sufficient majority of parliamentarians (two-thirds of the House if it is a constitutional amendment) and certified by the Speaker of Parliament as having been duly passed, there is nothing the President can do about it. Unlike his US counterpart, the Sri Lankan President has no power to veto legislation. (In America the Congress can, however, overrule the Presidential veto by a two-thirds majority.)

Yet in actual fact, it is practically unheard of, for MPs of the President’s party to vote against his or her wishes. This de facto power of the President over his or her party members arises from two factors: Firstly, a range of governmental powers and functions allocated to the Sri Lankan Presidency that confer on the Executive arm of Government a preponderance over the Legislature; and secondly the proportional voting system that has severed the lifeline connecting the MP with his electorate, and made an MP or prospective candidate for election totally dependent on the goodwill of the party leader and party hierarchy.

The factors that ensure the predominance of the President under the present constitutional scheme may be summarized as follows: While the majority of Ministers are appointed from Parliament, the President who is not a Member of Parliament, is nevertheless the Head of the Cabinet and may assign to himself any portfolio or portfolios as he chooses. Thus, in an extreme case, the President could effectively take the government outside the supervision of Parliament.

While the President is required to appoint as Prime Minister the person who, in his opinion, is most likely to command the confidence of Parliament, the Sri Lankan Prime Minister, unlike his French counterpart, enjoys no particular primacy. He is not the head of the Cabinet, and the only concession to his office appears to be the provision that the President ‘may’ consult him in the appointment of Ministers, and ‘may’ appoint him to exercise, perform and discharge the powers, duties and functions of the President if the latter is ill, abroad or otherwise unable to do so. However, more than one President has gone on overseas visits without making such appointment.

It will be seen that this system has created many anomalies that are hard to justify in terms of principle. Although Article 42 notionally proclaims the responsibility of the President to Parliament ‘for the due exercise, performance and discharge of his powers, duties and functions’, it is hard to see how this could be enforced in practice, short of the extreme step of impeaching him. In matters of day to day governance the President is not in fact answerable to Parliament even for the conduct of his ministerial functions, and the public has often witnessed the anomalous situation of key subjects such as defense and finance being answered for in Parliament only by a Deputy Minister.

Meanwhile the constitutional power given to the President to appoint Cabinet Ministers, Ministers of non-Cabinet rank and Deputy Ministers (without any limit on their numbers) has given ample scope for patronage, enabling a President to cast his net far and wide to secure support in the legislature. Incidentally this is a situation that was prophetically foreseen by constitutional analyst Dr. A. J. Wilson who analyzed the Constitution in 1980 when there were 27 Cabinet Ministers, 24 District Ministers and 27 Deputy Ministers.

It is all these features that have made Sri Lanka’s Presidency more powerful and more political than under the French or American Constitutions. The power of patronage that the President enjoys over members of Parliament weighs heavily against a spirit of independence on the part of the legislature.

Nearly two and a half years have passed since the Select Committee of Parliament on Electoral Reforms, chaired by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, presented a report to Parliament recommending changes in the voting system to allow for the majority of MPs to be directly elected by the voters. Their proposal was to have 140 constituency MPs, i.e Members elected from demarcated territorial constituencies (electorates) throughout the Island on a first past the post system. This system was to be supplemented by 70 other MPs elected on a district proportional representation, after removing the votes polled by the 140 constituency MPs.

Thus the system was to be a mixed system with two-thirds of the MPs being directly elected and the remainder of the Parliamentary seats being given to what could roughly be termed the best losers. This latter measure was introduced expressly to ensure that significant ethnic minorities within a polling district would not go unrepresented. Thus it was intended to serve the same purpose as the multi-member constituencies of old.

Under these proposed amendments, there would be no "manape" or preference vote, and candidates of the same party would not compete against each other.

According to the published Report of this Select Committee, 21 out of the 32 members of the Select Committee had signed the Report at the time of its publication in June 2007. They comprised the Chairman Dinesh Gunawardena, P. Dayaratna, Nimal Siripala De Silva, W. D. J. Senewiratne, Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Douglas Devananda, Susil Premajayantha, Karu Jayasuriya, Mahinda Samarasinghe, Milinda Moragoda, Janaka Bandara Tennekoon, Prof. Tissa Vitarana, D. E. W. Gunasekera, Prof. Wiswa Warnapala, Dullas Alahaperuma, Mano Wijeratne, Ameer Ali, Cegu Isadeen, Mahinda Amaraweera, Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe and Ven. Athureliye Rathana Thero.

The Select Committee members who had not signed by the time the report was published comprised Rauff Hakeem, P. Chandrasekeran, Muthu Sivalingam, Joseph Michael Perera, John Amaratunga, Vijitha Herath, Anura Dissanayake, Bimal Ratnayake, Rajavarothiam Sampanthan and Mavai S. Senathirajah.

A system where the elected representative is ultimately answerable to his voters automatically reduces the power of the party leader. This is because the failure by the party to give nomination to a popular candidate could result in the sacked candidate coming forward as an independent and winning a seat.

Another feature that has strengthened the hand of the party leader is the introduction of the "National List" and its subsequent flagrant abuse. Introduced by the Fourteenth Amendment that also brought in the "manape", this provision allows for 29 seats in Parliament to be reserved to be filled by each recognized political party or independent group in proportion to the number of votes obtained by each such party or group nationwide.

Prior to a general election each such party or group is required to submit a list of 29 persons qualified to be elected as Members of Parliament. However when actually making the nominations after the poll, the party or group secretary is entitled to nominate persons whose names appear either in this list or in any nomination paper submitted in respect of any electoral district. It is by this provision that defeated candidates are brought into Parliament instead of the more illustrious names that are published in the ‘national list’ prior to the poll. Today even persons whose names did not appear on any list have been brought into Parliament ostensibly under this provision.

As the filling of all the seats in Parliament is in any event done on a proportional basis, it is difficult to see the need for this provision. In any event it now serves as a "carte blanche" for political parties to bring into Parliament practically anyone of their choice. This provision too has served to strengthen the hands of party leaders as against the electorate, and this includes the President as leader of the ruling party.


Sinhala Govt Prevented from Occupying 500 Houses Built for Tsunami Affected Muslims by Saudi Govt & grabbing of Muslim Land in the Eastern Province!

At least five candidates in the fray, Tamils weigh options..By Franklin R. Satyapalan

At least five candidates including NSSP leader Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne and United Socialist Party leader Siritunga Jayasuriya plan to run at the January 26 Presidential Election, political sources said yesterday.

Mr. Mano Ganesan, leader of the Democratic Peoples Front (DPF), said that the Tamil political parties were considering two options – either run a Tamil candidate to create awareness among the international community that the Tamils were opposed to President Rajapaksa or back the common opposition candidate. They were due to meet other Tamil political parties on December 3.

Analysts expect both major contenders, President Rajapaksa and General Fonseka to also field `dummy’ candidates to use their entitlements – polling and counting agents, television time etc.

With nominations due on December 17, a Buddhist monk, Ven. Battaramulle Seelaratana Thero and Mr. Wije Dias are also mentioned as possible contenders along with the two main runners.

Fonseka will address a news conference in Colombo this morning when he is expected to declare his candidature and field questions. Analysts pointed out that although various opposition personalities are on record saying Fonseka is their candidate, he had himself not publicly spoken for himself.

The TNA said yesterday that it was maintaining an open mind on its attitude to the election with Mr. N. Sri Kanthan, MP, saying that the party will soon take a decision on three options that are open to them.

He rejected the theory that the TNA would call for a boycott of the election saying "we want the Tamil people to participate and there is no question of ignoring or boycotting the election".

Sri Kanthan identified the options before them – fielding a Tamil candidate with the backing of other Tamil parties, back somebody like Dr. Wickremabahu Karunaratne who had consistently stood up for the cause of the Tamil people or support one of the main candidates.

Mr. Dharmalingam Siddharthan, leader of PLOTE, speaking for his party and the EPRLF (Naba Wing) indicated support for President Rajapaksa.

"There is a lot of infrastructure development taking place in the North and East and we place our faith in the President who has given us a firm assurance that he would implement what the Tamil people look forward to in his second term," Siddharthan said expressing the view that the majority of the Tamils would support the Rajapaksa ticket.

SLMC leader Rauf Hakeem was in Nintavur yesterday celebrating the Eid Ul Mubarak along with his party’s General Secretary M.T. Hassen Ali, MP, and Basheer Cegu Dawood, opposition leader of the Eastern Provincial Council.

Hassen Ali said that there would be no problem about a symbol for Fonseka whom they would meet when they return to Colombo and confirmed that they would sign a MOU with the General.

He said their main task was to defeat President Rajapakse and the SLMC was willing to take a risk about Fonseka not stepping down within 180 days should he be elected.

Hassan Ali complained that the UPFA government had prevented the people from occupying 500 houses built for tsunami affected Muslims by the Saudi government and also what he called the grabbing of Muslim land in the Eastern Province.

"The President is silent on the APRC proposals and believes that speaking a few words in Tamil would gain him the support of the Tamil people," he said.

Their party hierarchy was in the Eastern Province to obtain the views of the people with regard to the common candidate and this process will continue for three days before they return to Colombo and meet Fonseka to explain the ground situation in the Eastern Province to him, he added.

"We are not worried abut a two-third majority to abolish the executive presidency or that Fonseka will not step down. What we want to do is to defeat Rajapaksa," he said.

The NSSP leader said that he was entering the race because democracy is not taken seriously by either of the two major parties. The right to self determination, equality and autonomy for all communities were the only base on which the executive presidency can be abolished.

"What I am setting out to do is to attack both camps and ensure that they will not get the required 50% plus one in the first round. This is only my target," Karunaratne said.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Moderator
Date: Sat, Nov 28, 2009 at 8:17 PM
To: Massey Subra


The news item said that some unknown persons have vandalised the Buddhist temple in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. About an year ago the same news was broadcasted. The Canadian government must investigate this vandalism fully to see if the Sri Lankan government was inciting trouble in Canada.

There is some semblance to this events and the modus operandi of the Sin Lankan government. Every time the incidence is reported as new item the findings by the police have never been published or reported. During the war against innocent Tamils, innocent Singhalese were killed and blamed on the Tamils. They used innocent people’s lives as propaganda material. Canada is too naïve!

My request to the Canadian Law makers is to investigate to see if the Sri Lankan government’s agents in Canada, there of plenty of them, cause this vandalism and then the media pick it up and broadcast it, obviously the Tamils in Canada are suspected. The idea is to create a rift among people. We are not the problem to Canada and Canadians; it is the Sri Lankan government’s agents, who are the cause of the nuisance.

As pioneers from Sri Lanka I have to stand up for my people, we are not that kind of people, who go around vandalise and terrorise. We are hard working people; we educate our children to be good citizens and participate in the society and discharge our civic responsibilities. Can you name one incident where we were a nuisance to other people and countries?

It is time for the Canadian politicians, Law makers and Law executors to look beyond and be fair in their attitude towards Tamils. If we are hooligans and terrorists, how comes there 5000 businesses in Toronto alone? How about the flood of Tamils students in the universities and the managers and leaders in Corporation? Time to get real!

What we did in our holy land of Jaffna, Sri Lanka is what we do here in Canada. We rise before sunrise, study to learn, work to live, participate in the society to build a just society and be home by sunset. Excellent way of life and to live, isn’t it? Harper and his government, Ignatief and his liberals and Layton and his NDP must think, think again and redirect their thoughts to foster and proliferate our great contribution to the great land called Canada.

Just come and live with us and see for yourself, how we tend our children, grow our business, forge unity among us and contribute to building a “Just Society” out great father Elliot Trudeau envisaged.

It is time for Canada to change its mindset!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

JVP Condemned What it termed as Harassment Unleashed Against the Tamil Media based in Jaffna..!!! THANK YOU HON.MP Vijitha Herath! FOR FREEDOM VOICE!!

JVP condemns harassment of Tamil media

The JVP yesterday condemned what it termed as harassment unleashed against the Tamil media based in the Jaffna town.
Issuing a media statement, JVP propaganda secretary MP Vijitha Herath said that the editors of Jaffna editions of three papers namely Sudaroli, Valampuriya and Thinakkural had received threatening letters. Mr. Herath said that the offices of these three papers had been visited by some goons with their heads covered with black clothes.

They have been threatened not to publish anything that is provocative or against the government.

The JVP said that the democratic mechanism had been strengthened at this hour in the post conflict period while ensuring the media freedom. The party said that the government had instead unleashed violence against the dissenting voices while attacking media institutions.

Mr. Herath said that the threatening of the media institutions in Jaffna on November 25, was part of this sinister plan to scuttle the media freedom, and requested the government to arrest this dangerous trend and bring the perpetrators to book.


SL/JM/MM: Instead of a well-Balanced & Functioning Democracy,We have an Angry Society Where Hatred,Jealousy, Greed & Selfishness are All Too Common!!!

Post-conflict Sri Lanka: Moving Away From an Angry
to a Compassionate Society
His Lordship the Chief Justice Honourable Asoka De Silva, eminent guests, ladies
and gentlemen, at the outset I would like to commend Mr. Yasantha Kodagoda,
Director, and Ms. Ayesha Jinasena, Assistant Director, of the Institute of Advanced
Legal Studies of the Incorporated Council of Legal Education, for the leadership they
have given to the cause of legal studies in Sri Lanka. I would also like to congratulate
all those of you who will be receiving their degrees and diplomas today. As we enter
a critical and decisive stage in our post-independence history, the knowledge you
have gained through participating in the various programmes of the Institute will
equip you to face the many challenges this period presents.
When it comes down to it, law and politics have one thing in common - people.
Through good laws politicians as legislators create the framework for a just society in
which people can live, work and prosper, while lawyers apply and interpret the laws
so that fairness and justice prevail. Under these circumstances, citizens will have
confidence in the law and justice system. It is important that people should respect
the law and not fear it.
In a well functioning democracy this process works well and a creative balance is
achieved. The legal system works impartially - independent of parochial politics.
Politicians as legislators create good laws through vigorous debate, converging at
times when the country needs consensus, sometimes diverging due to different
priorities, or political philosophies regarding solutions to the problems faced by the
people. This is the basis of adversarial politics as seen in many democratic societies
across the world today.
Most democracies such as India, Japan, the United States, the UK, and Australia,
have either two main opposing parties or coalitions, often representing two
ideologies or philosophies. In modern times, the differences between both sides
have become more nuanced and can even be seen as bearing a distinction without
real substantive differences. They develop their policies and they promote their
ideas. They clash in debate and their ideas and policies are tested through the
rigour of that adversarial challenge. But in all cases, it is expected that respect for
the ideas and for the individual delivering them be shown. This adversarial but
respectful approach to debate stimulates more ideas, teasing out the workable from
the unworkable, creating laws that are both relevant and beneficial to society.
The purpose of this adversarial process is to build a dynamic, adaptable, and living
framework for a society in which people can live in peace and prosper. It is an
ongoing process because society changes; and the body of laws that are created
build one upon the other to refine that framework.
When an election takes place adversarial politics intensifies. With the full attention of
the media focused on the political battle, politicians present their policies for the
people to judge. This should not be done as a ‘periodic auction of non-existent
resources’ as Lee Kuan Yew once described Sri Lankan democracy, but as a debate
to shape the future of a nation.
Of course, election campaigns require a fine balance between rhetoric and
substance. It is easy to slip into bad habits. When your policies are bankrupt of
ideas then it is easier to attack the other side, to ridicule what they have to offer and
to personalise the election. It happens from time to time, in every democracy. When
this happens, the role of the media, would include exposing the rhetoric, and bringing
the substance back to the forefront of the debate, holding political excess in check.
This is how the creative balance which sustains a democracy should ideally function.
When it does, democracy thrives. When it goes wrong, an imbalance occurs and
democracy withers. Politicians, lawyers, and the media, together with civil society
must all play their part in achieving this balance, which provides stability within a
democratic framework. Today, in Sri Lanka, after thirty years of conflict and
violence, we must take stock of our democracy and the role played by each of these
I would argue that the corrosive impact of this conflict has destroyed many of these
institutions, affected our values and ideals and torn apart our society. Instead of a
well-balanced and functioning democracy, we have an angry society where hatred,
jealousy, greed and selfishness are all too common. Our society has undergone this
transformation incrementally, almost imperceptibly. In this post-conflict period, which
offers unlimited opportunities and every reason for people and parties to come
together to work towards a better future, we appear to be having to contend with the
residual impact of the trauma we have collectively endured.
We must all share the blame. Through the years, we failed to stop our society from
succumbing to hatred and division along race, religion, caste class and political lines.
We allowed the hatred to grow through our own ignorance. When it came to politics
and governance, we chose expediency over principle, manipulation over fair play,
demagoguery over substance, and cynicism over idealism.
If we do not take a hard look at ourselves even at this late stage, and correct our
course, there is a great danger that the sacrifices our soldiers and our people have
made to defeat terrorism and bring about this new dawn would have been in vain.
As an example, take an average election manifesto. Is it a document containing high
ideals, well developed policies and a vision for a better future nation? Or is it a
collection of giveaways designed to buy a vote here and scoop up a group of voters
What about our election campaigns? Are they a rigorous debate about the best way
forward? Or are they a series of meetings where speakers vociferously criticise,
deride and slander their political opponents? How many of you would feel
comfortable having your children attend an election rally, or for that matter, our
What of the media? Are their pages and current affairs programmes filled with
dispassionate analysis of political and policy issues? Do they seek to present all
sides of an issue? Do they merely look for controversy or do they seek to be
constructive? Do they focus on personal abuse and character assassination as
opposed to substantive political debate?
What of civil society? How often are these voices drowned out by political charades
rather than reasoned discussion about the problems facing the poorest in our
society, and the hard economic choices we have to make collectively to ensure that
the quality of our education, healthcare system and infrastructure can be improved?
As politicians, do we espouse policies that will bring the poor out of poverty or simply
buy their votes with promises of short-term palliatives?
And what of the legal system? Do all of you here believe that we have the most fair
and equitable legal system that delivers timely justice for all our citizens? I regret to
say that after thirty years of war, our angry society has distorted all that should be
good and upset the creative balance of a thriving democracy. It has contributed to
short-term thinking and an undercurrent within society, which will be hard to change
without a determined and resolute effort by politicians, lawyers, media and civil
Ninety years ago, our country faced different but equally challenging issues. At a
time when our country was under colonial rule, some of our greatest thinkers and
leaders from all communities united together to work towards social and political
reforms and independence. They had high ideals, and espoused strong values.
Those values were centred on religious values, peaceful discourse, reasoned
argument, respect for others and the belief in self determination. Those past leaders
had differing political views, they were not all of the same mind and their solutions to
problems varied. Nevertheless, they came together for a common cause, the
freedom of their motherland.
Today, I believe our country is at a similar crossroads. We need to understand that
discourse and debate is better than violence and slander. We need people to have
respect for others even when they do not share the same views; and we need
politicians who are able to agree to disagree on some issues, but have the maturity
and statesmanship to unite when the needs of the nation are more important than
party political advantage.
In this post-conflict phase, our democracy should achieve an equilibrium, in which
our political system, legal system, civil society and the media, perform their
respective roles in a constructive manner, to move our society forward, while
ensuring that no one force dominates the other. This is the creative balance we need
in our democracy.
Today, we must seek to build a society which is free of envy, where people can
pursue their ideas and speak freely even when others disagree, a secure and
confident nation, which fully engages with the world and seeks trading and
investment partners while maintaining our identity and protecting our nation’s
interests. In short, we must transform our angry society into a compassionate
society, at peace with itself and tolerant of others. Where all communities have
respect for each other, where violence and hatred are a thing of the past.
To quote from the Dhammapada, “Do not speak harshly to anybody; those who are
spoken to will answer thee in the same way. Angry speech is painful, blows for blows
will touch thee”.
If we follow the teachings of the Buddha, or those of any of our other great religions -
Hinduism, Islam and Christianity – we can collectively help create a more
compassionate, peaceful and prosperous nation.
Together, we must all advocate and advance the ethical and social values that I
believe would enable our great nation to reach its full potential as:
A nation where political parties refuse to tolerate aggressive rivalry that finds
expression in slander, violence and revenge, and have chosen to follow instead a
path of compassion, respect and goodwill toward all; a path that leads inevitably to
harmony and progress.
A nation of peoples of different cultural traditions, each free to practice and develop
those traditions, thereby enriching and strengthening the nation as a whole, and
where women, no less than men, are enabled to make their full contribution and
reach their full potential.
A market-oriented economy through which our resourceful peoples may once more
ensure steady economic growth, while making provision for assisting those who, for
one reason or another, are not able to succeed in their endeavors.
A confident nation open to the world, encouraging investment, and seeking to
broaden the range of its trading partners.
A nation that derives strength from its age-old traditions as well as its inherent
capacity to adapt and to innovate while taking what is of value from the world at
To achieve this, every one of us has to play our part.
Today we live in an era of empowerment. Communications have opened us up to
the world whether we like it or not. The Sri Lankan diaspora is spread out in many
countries, the US, Canada, the UK, Scandinavia, Germany, Italy, Australia, and of
course the Middle East. We cannot avoid interaction with the world.
Equally, telecommunications and the internet have linked us much more closely to
each other, to trade, to debate, to information. Young and old are adept at using
Skype and other internet technologies, while some of our youth spend their time on
the internet, reading or writing blogs, or checking their pages on social networks
such as Facebook.
These changes have had a dramatic impact on our media as well. The internet now
threatens written media and even television, and is up-ending the established order
of media and journalism. The instantaneity of on-line news sites has caused a large
number of newspapers to close shop. News is now 24/7 and interactive. Citizen
journalism and blogs now compete with televised news and on-line newspapers. The
recent political crisis in Iran demonstrated how a technology such as Twitter was
able to get the story out faster than traditional media and could even bypass political
authorities. In Sri Lanka, too, internet technologies are catching on, not only in
English but in Sinhala and Tamil as well. We should harness these technologies to
use them in constructive ways to achieve the objectives I have outlined earlier in my
But even with such tools, we need an informed society. The soul of any nation
resides in its history and this collective memory forms the basis of a national identity,
and hence a secure society. For example, every Indian is knowledgeable about their
struggle for Independence from colonial rule, the freedom fighters and the framers of
their constitution such as Gandhi, Nehru and B.R. Ambedkar. In the US, any child of
school age is familiar with the philosophical tenets of the American constitution and
the debates that surrounded the founding of their political system. In the UK, school
children are taught about the Magna Carta, King John, Cromwell and parliamentary
Here in Sri Lanka we seem to have forgotten the importance of understanding our
history and the fundamental experiences that have led us to where we are today.
For three decades we have allowed our anger to blind us from the things that should
matter to a society at peace with itself.
With technology and communications, you, as opinion leaders working within our
legal community, are well-positioned to facilitate this change. Hence, I urge you to
seize this opportunity to make a difference. You can be the catalyst for change.
We need you to question every old concept and every new idea. Do not be rigid.
Take time to consider ideas of others as there is more than one side to an issue.
Have respect for others, however humble he or she may be, because in a
democracy, each has a right to their opinion. But continue to challenge and
constructively question everything until the correct path is found.
Be true to the people, because ultimately they are whom you and I both serve.
Remember that each person deserves one hundred percent of your effort.
And lead, because it is through you that we can expect to transform our society. You
as lawyers enjoy a privileged and influential position in our society and people look
up to you. Hence, you as a one group hold a big responsibility and can make a great
contribution towards change.

We as a country have reached a fork in the road. It is up to us to think carefully
which way we want to go next. I leave you with some stanzas from a poem by the
Scottish poet, Robert Frost as you reflect on this thought.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveller, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and II
took the one less travelled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Thank you.



A high powered committee has been established with immediate effect by the Minister of Justice and Law Reform Milinda Moragoda to consider reforms to the Administration of the Justice system in the Northern Province.
The ministry in a statement said that the Committee will consider and recommend issues relating to the lacunas in the Administration of Justice system in the North where the system has been lagging behind due to the 30 year conflict.

The Committee to consider the Administration of Justice in the Northern Province will consider providing infrastructure, staff, training for the staff where it is necessary, equipment and streamlining the other areas such as prisons, legal education, issues relating to indictments etc, the ministry said.

The Committee will be chaired by the Judge of the Supreme Court Justice Sripawan. The other members of the Committee are, Justice Ministry Secretary Suhada Gamalath, Secretary Ministry of Constitutional Affairs Mrs. Malkanthi Wickramasinghe, Additional Secretary (Legal), Ministry of Justice and Law Reform Mrs. Kamalini de Silva, Additional Secretary (Admn.) Vice Chancellor, University of Jaffna Prof. N. Shanmugalingam, Deputy Solicitor General, Attorney-General’s Department A. Gnanathasan, Prisons Chief V.R. de Silva, Jaffna District Secretary K. Ganesh, District Secretary and several others.