Tuesday, 28 July 2009

YouTube - After the war in Sri Lanka , what next ?

YouTube - After the war in Sri Lanka , what next ?

In Defence of Dayan Jayatilleke.

Of course Dayan Jayatileke needs no one to defend him.

Least of all me, as I do not know Dayan Jayatilleke, I have seen him only in media images and heard him on video clips. But I have read some of his articles on various subjects appearing in the websites.

I like his style of writing. I like his intelligent approach to the subjects he treats, and his great scholarship. That is the only closeness I have to Dayan Jayatilleke.

I was keenly following the terrorism in Sri Lanka, for about 14 years until its end in May,2009. I observed how various governments of Sri Lanka approached the vexed problem and the methods they adopted in their attempts to see an end to it.

I also watched the pragmatic plan adopted by the President Mahinda Rajapakse to end terrorism in Sri Lanka. First by attempting a direct approach with the terrorist leadership for a possible political settlement, and failing that planning out and putting into action with great determination a military offensive against terrorists, demanding the Armed Forces from the beginning to avoid causing death or injury to the civil population.

I was profoundly imbued with pride and happiness when the government continued its determined military operations without interruption despite the attempts of a hostile , an ambiguous, and an evidently hypocrite International Community to derail the effective offensive of the Government Armed Forces to terminate terrorism in Sri Lanka.

The West played a dubious role in Sri Lanka making statements of their commitment to fight terrorism where ever it exists, and at the same time conniving with the terrorists in Sri Lanka helping them behind scene to form a separate State. Their honesty, their opinionated transparency of international relations were compromised in their most blameworthy attitude adopted in the last phase of the military operations of the Armed Forces to eliminate terrorism in Sri Lanka, demanding a pause in the military offensive to allow them entry into the conflict zone.

The demand to enter the conflict zone was obviously with the intention of rescuing the terrorists leadership before they were to be eliminated by the Government Forces. This fact is being confirmed in the continuing furore after the successful military offensive against terrorism, and the attempt that was made interposing, their willing “recruit” Navy Pillay, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, to pass a resolution accusing the Armed Forces of Sri Lanka for war crimes.

This latter attempt was completely and definitely thwarted, thanks to the undaunted courage and rhetoric of the able diplomat that was Dayan Jayatilleke . That part he played in the defeat of the resolution in the UNHRC opened the eyes of the World to the hypocrisy of the West and their fallacy of the publicised generosity to assist the development of the third world countries.

The world of today exist in groups. There is the European Group, the American and Latin American Groups, Asian Groups, Oceanic Group , the African Group and so on. Therefore, it is in the ability to influence the groups that would give strength to a country in International Forums. In seeking support for a countries projects and activities a representative should be able to convince the members not only with facts and figures but also in presenting the case with an appropriate language, turn of phrase, and force and conviction.

In that respect Dayan Jayatilleke turned out to be a great asset to Sri Lanka. The role played by Dayan Jayatilleke to ward off the vengeful manoeuvres of a determined hypocrite West to make the victory over terrorism a National shame, rather than a triumph over evil, was enormous and significant, and should not be underestimated.

The “heroic” stance taken by a dedicated son of the soil should not be over shadowed by his past. The yeoman service he rendered to his motherland in the “Davidian” battle against the “Goliathian” might of the West should not be belittled as he did not allow his past political convictions interfere in the defence of the cause of his country?

What has to be taken into account before passing hasty judgement over him is his contribution to outmanoeuvre the Western Superpowers and their acolytes who were determined to discredit the Government of Sri Lanka, and pay severely for its victory over terrorism- in which “exercise” the Western Super powers are inextricably enmeshed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

What matters as far as we are concerned is what Dayan Jayatilleke is to-day and the part he plays in defence of his country against the powerful West, and not what he was in the past and what he will be in the future.

We all have our personal views , ideas , and ideologies acquired through reading, listening and hero worship of politicians, teachers, thinkers and intellectuals, which have shaped our lives one way or another, will always remain a distant echoes. But if in spite of that in whatever call we are to serve , we remain loyal to the cause and defend it without allowing ourselves to be distracted by distant ideologies, it is indeed remarkable. And that is how we should evaluate Dayan Jayatilleke to-day in the immediate aftermath of a military triumph over evil.

Now what I disagree with Dayan Jayatilleke, is his intellectual fundamentalism . The fanatic attachment to theories, phrases, quotes, references to writers, authors and philosophers, without projecting his ideas of his own using his commonsense, without a pragmatic approach to political situations.

But yet he has a right to his views, and being a diplomat does not mean that he should be a prisoner of his Official call. His pronouncements in diplomatic circles may not necessarily be his personal views. That is why he rightly mentions when he writes on matters which have no direct relation to his diplomatic mission, that those are his personal views.

He is an intellectual, a scholar, a thinker and a writer. He cannot sacrifice that aspect of his person to be servile and a yes man even to his equals or inferiors. Dayan Jayatilleke has a sound intellectual background, and uses it as he pleases , and at the same time to enhance his position to embellish the position in which he serves his country.

He has been able to win friends in different countries of the world and won their respect. He had been selected by them to lead them in international Forums. He has won laurels for our country therefore we should first give him credit for what he is, without condemning him for what he was, and what he may be in the future.

There are those who support the 13 Amendment, and there are those who do not. There is Douglas Devananda a Ministers of the President Mahinda Rajapakse, who openly demand the implementation of the 13 Amendment, knowing very well that there is a growing opposition to it. Why has he not been asked to resign from his Ministerial post, when Dayan Jayatilleke who has contributed for the credit of our country in the international Forums is recalled from his post for expressing his personal views, like any other citizen and like Douglan Devananda, on the 13 Amendment.

I therefore see no rhyme or reason for criticising Dayan Jayatilleke or recalling him from his Diplomatic Mission for expressing his personal views on the 13 Amendment.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Sri Lanka Guardian’s shameful “exclusive report”, is to hit Karuna below the belt.

There are certain accepted norms that should not be over stepped in civilized societies, in speech, word, or action. It is to maintain a decorum in respect of a person’s intimate and personal relationships. That should be more so in written or electronic media. These accepted norms are not followed by some for gain, some seeking a cheap popularity to attract readers, or internet surfers. In the west there are tabloid news papers specializing in scandals of celebrities , sex and pornography.

It is the arousing of base instincts of people to be curious to know what is going on next door, who sleeps with whom, what under wear such and such a person wears, all with photos from a paparazzi. Some such news mongers even rummage into other peoples garbage to see what they have been eating, what compromising material they have thrown away.

There are people who would like to look through key holes. Hence some media do not hesitate to come down to their level to become social garbage collectors to make a business of catering to satisfy these curious people.

It becomes dirty and abusive when they interview a wife of a public figure just to know whether their intimate relationship is waning, or just sublime and report what she says with gusto to “news” starving public. Or interview people to get news worthy information as to what the wife of the man next door thinks of her husband, or how the man next door treats his wife. No decent news paper or website would go that low to print such material for public gaze. Of course there are those specializing in providing such sexual details and erotic material.

The Sri Lanka Guardian posing as a leading website publishing articles from respected writers and journalists has also gone down “ that drain” interviewing probably posing leading questions to make the wife make statements about her husband and her very personal thoughts about what he says, and proudly display it as an “exclusive report”.

There is no difference the interview is about a wife’s angry reaction to a husbands political ambitions or about his sexual escapades.

But in either case it does not seem to matter much to the Lanka Guardian what the after math of displaying such scurrilous family matters would be to an otherwise normal couple with their usual ups and downs in life- same as all wives and husbands.

With this interview with Karuna’s wife the Guardian Website is trying to kill two birds with one stone. One is to satisfy persons of dubious taste who have a penchant to devour with pleasure such family scandals, and . secondly it seeks to scandalize and bring to shame a man who broke away from the terrorist group to follow a democratic political path.

The Guardian’s terrorist connection is not unknown. It had shown a certain sympathy towards the terrorists during their days of glory.

In that respect it is pertinent that the Sri Lanka Guardian website seeks to interview the wife of Vinayagamurthi Muralitharan. Otherwise why not interview the wife of another Minister, say the wife of Douglas Devananda or the First lady –the wife of the President ? What else is the obsession to go after Karuna ? The Guardian seems over concerned about family problems of Karuna Amman, and none other.

But why is Sri Lanka Guardian taking on Karuna? There is a reason for that, which of course does not take long to search. It is because Karuna represent the wisdom of the Tamil People in the lineage of those great Tamil leaders like the late Laxman Kadirgamar, Thiruchelvam, Ketheeswaran Loganathan, and many others assassinated by the terrorists. Karuna is to-day’s symbol of unity, the symbol of integration of the two principal communities the Sinhala and the Tamil. It is not the Kanaka Pulle the heir apparent to Prabhakaran’s disaster against the Tamils, who represent the Tamil Intelligence.

Kanaka Pulle is Prabhakaran’s cyanide capsule that perpetuates his dream of home land concept. He is the symbol of separation , the symbol of Tamil National destruction, the time bomb against development and progress of the Nation of Sri Lankans. Therefore, those who profited from the largesses of terrorism continue to target Tamil heroes who stand to unite the Sinhala and Tamil communities

It is a fact far too deep to penetrate into by the Lanka Guardian. Perhaps the Lanka Guardian is trying to make a speciality of breaking up families of Tamils who worked against the terrorists. It will not be surprising if the next interview were to be the wife of Anandasangaree.

There was a News paper in Sri Lanka which carried a series of articles interviewing wives of Ministers. They were of course very decent interviews of a spouse of a Minister, who had special interests such as painting, music, or social work. The news paper reporter asked her questions about her special interest and how her husband participates in her activities. But not about personal relationships and family quarrels they have at home about their different activities.

In France, and even in America some News papers and TVs, interviewed the wives of Ministers or even the wives of the Presidents, and again on a very respectable note, without being critical or asking impertinent questions as to where they differ with their husbands political pronouncements.

It would be interesting to hear what the wives of the TNA Parliamentarians say about their husbands. The Lanka Guardian may as well make it a speciality and make it a means to break marriages or make new marriages.

The Lanka Guardian had interviewed the wife of Karuna with leading questions to ask where she differs with her husband and what she thinks about his political affiliations and pronouncements. There was clear evidence to show that it was to discredit the Minister.

The Lanka Guardian also questions else where Karuna’s proposal to visit the Western capitals to meet the Tamil expatriates. It carried a news item again to say that Karuna Amman visits only Switzerland. It would be more healthy for the Lanka Guardian to leave its preoccupation of Karuna and concern itself with other matters which are burning questions of the day.

Even the Federation for the Freedom of the Press may not defend the Editor or the Reporter of the Lanka Guardian if an irate husband would threaten them with death for publishing personal matters concerning a wife and a husband for public scrutiny.

It is of course the business of the Sri Lanka Guardian if it wants to make exclusive reports of the martial conflicts between Ministers and their wives. At that rate the Lanka Guardian may soon make exclusive reports on family affairs of politicians with a “ for adults only” labels.

The Lanka Guardian reports to day that it receives death threats from Karuna. Does it surprise any one ? Even the most religious and a pious husband would feel like killing a reporter if he interviews his wife to find out how pious he had been with her and publish what she says in the press.

There is a story among the Sinhala which says of a man who catches a snake and puts it under his clothes and shouts” help….., help……, there is a snake biting me”.


Wednesday, 22 July 2009

To complete and explain Lydia Polgreen’s article “ Justifying a Costly War in Sri Lanka “

Lydia Polgreen writing to the New York Times of the 18 July, 2009, leads her article with the caption “ Justifying a Costly War in Sri Lanka.”, which by itself seems an innuendo with an intention to condemn an “ unnecessary war” according to her, for which an unconcerned government has spent money which could have been spent better otherwise.

The West and its media promoting political solutions to terrorism in developing countries while they resort to the military solution, are shocked that Sri Lanka ventured on a successful military solution and eliminated terrorism from its soil, while the West is bogged down with their terrorist wars. Therefore they seem to be all out to discredit the President of Sri Lanka and his government to cover up their lamentable failure to get any where with their wars against terrorism.

A Government does not adventure into a “costly war” unless it is necessary for the defence of its territory and the protection of its people. Sri Lanka had been suffering under a ruthless terrorism for nearly thirty long years. Parts of its territory had been occupied by the terrorists who carried out terrorist activities through out the country, detonating Claymore bombs, using human suicide bombs, lobbing grenades, using snipers and pistol gangs.

The terrorists were financially supported by a rich Tamil expatriate community living in different capitals of the West. They were provided with material, and technical know how for construction of air strips, setting up factories for production of bombs, personal mines, and suicide boats by some of the NGOs who infiltrated into Sri Lanka as aid workers after a catastrophic tsunami.

The terrorist were demanding a part of the territory of Sri Lanka to set up a separate Tamil Homeland. Though they were a ruthless group of terrorists in the real sense of the term they cultivated a close friendly relationship with the Western Countries through the intermediary of Norway who had a secret agenda of their own.

The rich Tamil expatriate Community formed terrorist front organisations to collect funds for the terrorists. They carried out extensive propaganda and won over influential people of the media , governments, even American Senators, and Jurists through offer of gifts, financial inducements, and vacations in areas under their control..

The relationship between the Sri Lankan terrorists and the West resulted in a sympathetic connivance of the West with the terrorism in Sri Lanka accepting them as rebels, rather than terrorists. Hence, Sri Lanka was left on its own to fight against a vicious, ruthless terrorism while the representatives of Western Governments, human rights activists sponsored by the Tamil expatriates, some members of the European Union and even of the UN System came forward to oppose military operations against the terrorist advising the government to resort to a political solution instead..

The Sri Lanka government to satisfy the International Community with Norway as an intermediary invited the terrorists to negotiate with the government for a political settlement. There were several rounds of negotiations, but the terrorists broke away from negotiations refusing to compromise their demand for the setting up of a separate Tamil Eelam State. They confirmed their opposition to negotiations by closing sluice gates of tanks providing water to thousands of farmers.

The government was left with no alternative, but to resort to military operations to stop terrorism. It was of course a costly war both in human terms and that of material. However, that was how a costly war became a necessity to save people and territory in Sri Lanka.

The history Lydia Polgreen recounts about the war between King Dutugamunu and Elara is a flippant reference to the military victory of the Sri Lanka Government forces over the terrorists. King Elara who was defeated by King Dutugamunu was an Indian invader who had set up a Kingdom in Anuradhapura. He was not a terrorist and the reference is therefore inappropriate.

The relevance if any is in the fact that King Dutugemunu defeated the Indian Chola King Elara and brought the whole of Sri Lanka under his rule, and the Armed Forces of the Government of the President Rajapakse, captured the territories that were occupied by the terrorists and defeated terrorism bringing peace for the first time after 30 years to all of the people in Sri Lanka.

The President Mahinda Rajapakse has indeed achieved a great victory in eliminating a ruthless group of terrorists who had caused immense suffering to the people and damage to the country. Every one in Sri Lanka, grateful to the President for his accomplishment, acclaims him as a hero. There is no one except perhaps the likes of Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu and Rajavarothiam Sampanthan , Lydia Polgreen had interviewed , who considers that victory unseemly. There is no surprise that the journalist presumed the victory unseemly on seeing the posters of a smiling president on bill boards.

The journalist, whose aim seems to be to discredit the President of Sri Lanka, rather than present a factual objective report has no “understanding” of what was going on in Sri Lanka for the last 30 years, and why the people acclaim the President as a hero. Just quoting two names, from a historic event does not show the journalist’s grasp of the real meaning the situation represents to the people after terrorism was brought to an end.

Quoting history to support the voracity of the journalists report has no relevance if the journalist has misunderstood the historical background of the event. Lydya Polgreen should have left out her misunderstood history to make an objective report of the situation without casting aspersions at a President respected and loved by the people of a country which is not hers.

To say that the Tamil minority has suffered discrimination and violence at the hands of various Sinhalese-dominated governments through the decades, is again a wrong emphasis on a situation that had other reasons. As a community the Sinhala for generations had always shown a willingness to share, and make sacrifices, even if the politicians had now and then built barriers that seemed unacceptable. That is the way with at least some politicians all over the world. It may be inappropriate to cite the opposition of the American Senate and Congress to President Obama’s timely and just effort to get approval for his people friendly health plan.

The long British Colonial rule was one which was detrimental to the indigenous people, who among themselves had no problem at the time the British occupied the country. The British Colonial rulers to facilitate their administration of the colony and avoid rebellions by the majority community began by dividing the people as the majority and the minority. To further weaken the majority Sinhala the British rulers picked people from the Tamil minority to occupy the places of importance in their administrative set up.

Further, the British Colonial rulers, crippled the influence of the Buddhist clergy over the people by introducing Missionaries, and converting the Sinhala and Tamils to Christianity.

Finally, when Sri Lanka won its independence the country was no more what it was before the British occupation. The Majority Sinhala community had suffered the most. Hence the political leaders of the subsequent “native” Governments , began to give back to the majority community , who represented 75 percent of the population, what they were deprived of by the British Colonial rulers during the 133 years of their colonial rule.

Thus Mr. SWRD Bandaranaike one of the political leaders who was elected the Prime Muinister of Sri Lanka in 1956 was determined to make the independence from the colonial rule more meaningful. In his move to make an Independent Nation of Sri Lankans, he made Sinhala the official languae going on the universal principal of “ one Nation one language “.

The upper class Jaffna Tamil politicians to further their influence over the poor Tamil people, made this an opportunity to claim the declaration of Sinhala as the official language, a discrimination against the Tamils, and demanded equal rights for the Tamil minority.

The sense of Tamils being a minority is a divisive political strategy which had been set in place by the British colonial rulers, and used by the upper class Jaffna Tamil politicians to step into being leaders one day of a break away Tamil Eelam State. But it was the minority Tamils who had preferential treatment through out the British colonial rule, and it was the Sinhala majority who had been deprived of all their rights, and relegated to a position of second class citizens in their own country.

The successive socialist governments of Sri Lanka after Independence, beginning from that of SWRD Bandaranaike, tried to give back to the Sinhala people their rightful place in the society, restore to their religion the respect it deserves, and revitalise their mutilated culture, all of which had been wilfully neglected during the British colonial rule of 133 years.

But at no time did these Socialist Governments of Sri Lanka wanted to make the Tamil people suffer for the damage done to the Sinhala people by the British Colonial Rulers. In the desire to put right the wrongs committed against the Sinhala by the British, these governments may have unwittingly given to the Tamil people the feeling, that they are being discriminated against in favour of the Sinhala, which had been capitalised by their mentors the upper class Jaffna Tamils. That was the beginning of the “ethnic” problem.

Lydia Polgreen has as a foreign journalist reported from what she had seen or gathered from interviews with others, frilled with her own impressions, thoughts and feelings. But the political implications, thoughts and ways of a people of another culture and how they react to events and people who are the centre of those events, cannot be understood and written about without making the report subjective, cynical, ironic and even contemptuous to a people and a culture.

When Lydia Polgreen says that while publicly pledging to seek a political solution Mr. Rajapaksa has been putting off for the moment how to share power with the Tamil minority, she has not been able to gather the real reason, which requires “reading into the mind” of a Head of State different from a Western Head of State that she could understand better. To understand the implication the journalist should know the way of thinking of a person of a different culture- a Head of State of a multi ethnic society.

The President Mahinda Rajapakse is a Head of State who would not precipitate into action . He takes time to meditate over a matter looking at all pros and cons before taking a decision. He is not a person easily ruffled by opinions, criticism or even insults showered on him . He does not react adversely to persons who seek to judge him. That is how he won a war against a ruthless group of terrorists, which no one else was able to do before him.

Lydia Polgreen speaks of the minority community as seeking devolution of power. In reality it means only the politicians of the minority community. But besides the politicians there are the real people who are not seeking political power. The greater need of these real people, the ordinary men and women is to be heard and understood by those who “decide” for him in the language he speaks. He also wants his children to be educated in any school of his choice, and let them enter government or private employment without being discriminated for his what ever communal origin.

He wants to live in peace without being interfered into his belief system, or his political appurtenance, apart from having a satisfactory standard of living provided with the primary needs of life such as shelter, food, clothing and medical facilities.

Those are in fact what all the people want without any distinction of the community to which they belong. After 30 years of suffering under a cruel terrorism, there should be a different type of awakening without being labelled the minority Tamils or majority Sinhala. There lies the reason for the hesitation on the part of the President, to act quickly for devolution of power to satisfy the politicians, which if granted would only be a superficial solution.

Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu or Rajavarothiam Sampanathan are looking for superficial solutions to perpetrate the Sinhala Tamil difference. But what the President Rajapakse seeks is a permanent solution without allowing the continuation of the majority and minority difference that had been introduced by a Colonial ruler to keep the people divided, and permanently apart.

That solution, bereft of a communal separation, does not come by devolving political power to the upper strata of the Tamil Community. The devolution of power should not be restricted to politics, language, religion, food , and shelter, because it has to be the elimination of the more deep seated exclusivity as communities, and instil into the minds of the people a feeling of inclusivity as one people of one Nation.

That is what Mahinnda Rajapakse is after, and that cannot be understood by a journalists who seeks to make a report for the readers of the New York Times, making them see how the poor people of a developing country are being manipulated by a hawkish President ( or a hardliner as another foreign journalist calls him), belonging to the majority Sinhala community to make the poor people of the Tamil minority community suffer in favour of his Sinhala community.

I hope what is said above will add to what had not been said in Lydia Polgreen’s article, and the readers of the New York Times would understand a little better the real situation of Sri Lanka, and why a remarkable President who is not biased towards the Tamils or Sinhala in trying to make Sri Lanka a happy, peaceful place for all people to live together as children of just one motherland “ Sri Lanka” , is taking a little more time to take a decision, as to what exactly to do after a costly war.

E-mail received 23 July,2009

Dear Editor of Lankaweb:

Thank you for publishing this "To explain what is not explained in Lydia
Polgreen's article 'Justifying a Costly War in Sri Lanka'" By
Charles.S.Perera on July 22nd, 2009. It is well written and eye-opening.

I am going the send it to the US President, lawmakers, Secretary of State
and US-based media.

Kindly please forward my comments to Mr. Charles. Perera for a job well done
and this attachment ((mis)interpretations about the brutal terrorist war by
tamil tigers in sri lanka).

Thank you.


Wick. Gankanda

Monday, 20 July 2009

Dayan Jayatilleke too won a “war ” for the President, in the diplomatic front.

It is a contradiction of the President Mahinda Rajapakse, who had on the one hand most rightly promoted the leadership of the Government Armed forces in recognition of their heroic contribution to save Sri Lanka from the perils of terrorism, and on the other hand to have “sacked” the most distinguished , brilliant, forthright, and an outspoken diplomatic worrier who won another “war” for him in the diplomatic front in Geneva.

It was a great fortune that we had Dayan Jayatilleke in Geneva at a time when the International Community was out to take revenge from the Government of Sri Lanka for nothing else but for defeating the attempt of the terrorists to set up a Tamil Home Land in the North of Sri Lanka.

Dayan Jayatilleke a diplomat of exceptional quality, defeated the aims of another sort of terrorists who made all efforts to give a life line to Prabhakaran and his terrorist cohorts, and having failed in that effort to accuse the Sri Lanka Government Forces for war crimes.

It was indeed the most remarkable event in the annuls of the history of Sri Lanka for the Government Forces to have eliminated terrorism that had caused so much of material and human damage to the country, and was on the verge of breaking away a part of its territory to create a Tamil Eelam State.

The Sri Lanka terrorists , who were not terrorists for the International Community,used, guns, live suicide bombs, claymore bombs , snipers, and grenade lobbers , whereas the terrorists Dayan Jayatilleke had to fight used other weapons such as , verbal guns, artillery of false information, cannons of official positions, backed by political time bombs, personal mines of IMF Loans, GSP+ , heavy weapons from UK , France, and USA in the form of Foreign Ministers, to stop the military operations against the terrorists and then to discredit the government, bring it on to its knees, and finally accuse it for war crimes.

Navy Pillay like Prabhakaran the terrorist would not accept defeat, and when the resolution against Sri Lanka was lost in the UNHuman Rights Council, she wanted to make a come back to the battle ground with more false figures gathered from the terrorist website to accuse once again the Government Forces for war crimes. But our bold worrier Dayan Jayatilleke was ready to take any one head on in the diplomatic foray.

Dayan Jayatilleke’s diplomatic clashes to avoid bringing discredit to our government, and shame to our armed forces which had sacrificed large numbers of men, and risked their lives to end the cancer of terrorism that had eaten into the flesh of our motherland was also fraught with danger. The gratitude the President showed to Dayan Jaytilleke who valiantly faced the onslaught of determined International Community to bring the government before a tribunal accused for war crimes, was simply to have sacked him.

If giving credit to this hero who had fought the invisible forces unleashed by the Western powers and the UN, is to throw him out like a used dirty chiffon, it would remain in the history of our nation as a shameful aftermath for a glorious battle fought with brilliance, intelligence , and vibrant verbal force for the glory of the motherland. All the laurels won by the President Mahinda Rajapakse for his great contribution for saving the country from terrorism, is blown away in the dry wind of shameless ingratitude by this one act.

What could be the great wrong committed by Dayan Jaytilleke for him to deserve this inglorious end of a remarkable diplomatic carrier in the service of his country ?

When I wrote to a friend on the subject asking him whether it was a decision made by the President, and if so whether it is not an unpardonable error. He wrote to me giving details of the “erratic” political path traversed by Dayan Jayatilleke , and explained that he as a Diplomat representing Sri Lanka should have been more careful making statements which may have contradicted the President’s not yet decided views on the 13 Amendment, and that his statement on Israel was an embarrassment to the President.

I disagree on both counts. On the 13 Amendment Dayan Jayatilleke had made his personal views as any other citizen even if his official capacity demanded him to be more cautious. He has a right to express his view on a matter that affects the future of Sri Lanka which he officially represents in a foreign land.

With regard to his statement on Israel, what he said is not altogether wrong, but it may be taken as a statement made without reflection as Dayan Jayatilleke is not a hypocrite and calls a spade a spade. But that was not an irreparable damage.

As to his erratic political path , that was the past. We always learn from our past to relate ourselves to the future. Many are those who had followed erratic paths, but it should not stand on the way to judge them for what they are now. One of the worst, mentioned in the Buddhist Canon is Angulimala !!

The President should not have precipitated to take a very unfair and unjust decision to sack Dayan Jayatilleke for those statements made in his private capacity. Even many soldiers may have been allowed to die in vein by sheer miscalculation of military strategies by the Army Commanders. The bus load of Navy personnel massacred by the terrorists at Habarana was due to the negligence of the Security staff. And so was the terrorist suicide attack of the Anuradhapura Air Force Camp where the security guards were said to have been watching a television show.

If those incidents had been overlooked in view of the over-roll performance of the Army, why was Dayan Jayatilleke not given such consideration for the greater services he had contributed for Sri Lanka at a very critical time.

And Sri Lanka is still not out of the tunnel as far as the vicious intentions of the International Community and Navy Pillay are concerned. Therefore, we still want Dayan Jayatilleke to be in his Diplomatic post in Geneva. He was a diplomat respected by his counterparts in Geneva and his removal in this manner may antagonise the diplomats of those friendly countries that voted to defeat the resolution of the UNHRC.


a comment:

Dayan Jayatilleke too won a “war ” for the President

Postby claude » Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:08 am

Mr. Charles.S.Perera is one of my favourite writers and had at all times enjoyed reading his articles for the simple reasons - well written, informative and logical. However, his article on “Dayan Jayatilleke too won a “war ” for the President, in the diplomatic front” was gravely flawed.
Granted DJ was a magnificent and brilliant diplomat but he took advantage of his status and became ill disciplined and the 2 reasons given by CSP are very severe acts of responsibilities and unpredictable behaviour of a career diplomat:
1 Despite the fact that the President had instructed all his officials not to speculate views on the 13 Amendment, DJ defied the president’s orders perhaps thinking he is now indispensable!
2 I’m not familiar with his statement on Israel but it must have either upset the Israel or the Arabs – both supported SL against the war on the terrorist.
Of course DJ is allowed to express his personal views but surely must be guarded and cautious and contradicting the President openly is it not a act of defiance?
Are not all diplomats hypocrites? What so special about DJ?
Is it fair for CSP to equate the mistakes by the army, navy and air force to justify DJ’s action? DJ was a loose cannon, which I hope CSP will not provide any more “balls” for his lost cause! I’m sure his home rest will deflate his ego and perhaps one, learning from his mistakes be a proud SL warrior!
How is the President ever going to revamp the SL political system if he is going to exempt special “Diplomat”? In yesterday’s news it was reported that the foreign Minister who also played a key role in the recent elimination of the LTTE spent 4.5million rupiahs to celebrate his daughter’s birthday bash in the US had asked shamelessly the SL government to handle the bill after the US refused to settle it. If this report is true, this is another official that should be sacked not matter what! These gentlemen are not role models for the young diplomats.
I’m from Singapore and am amazed that although some of the country’s diplomats are from the opposition but when they are posted overseas as diplomats to UN, US, UK, Europe etc none had voiced they views in openly on policies which they differ with the government. SL need to study and implement Singapore code of conduct for politicians and diplomats if SL truly needs to reach a higher level.

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Implementation of the 13 Amendment - Is it really necessary ?.

Signing of the India Sri Lanka Pact

Sri Lanka Media is being stormed with articles on the implementation of the 13 Amendment to the Sri Lanka Constitution. There are one or two in favour and many against . I am sure the President is following the controversies to reflect on them before he takes a final decision.

We understand his predicament, as a Head of State, having to follow a difficult middle path satisfying the powerful neighbour and the International Community on the one hand, and the local political interests on the other. If India’s demand for the full implementation of the 13 Amendment is to be given consideration, it is pertinent to ask whether it is right to sacrifice the aspirations of our own people for the political convenience of India ?

Speaking about aspirations of the people , one wonders whether on the issue of the devolution of power, the parties concerned are aware of the real aspirations of the people-the Sinhala, the Tamil and the Muslim. The APRC had been deliberating on the question of devolution of power for some time, with political leaders representing different political parties. But these deliberations are centred around the views of these politicians who “aspire” for the people, without knowing fully well the “aspirations” of the ordinary people.

The controversy in the media is lead by some on a highly intellectual level bandying the names of Harold Lasky, Nietzsche, Marx, Yossi Beilin, Maslow, Robert Thurman and a host of others, and even coming down to the level of questioning who fathered and mothered the parties to the controversy. All that is very “ enlightening” , but they seem far from the understanding of the very concerned simple men and women in the Tamil or the Sinhala villages.

The poor Tamil people whose voices are not heard may not even know the 13 Amendment and what is involved in it. But that is how democracy seems to function. However, it is important that we should discuss the advantage or the disadvantage of the implementation of the 13 Amendment in simple terms, to relate it to the common people.

There is no doubt that 22 years after its formulation and hurried insertion in the Constitution the 13 Amendment has no relevance to-day. After the elimination of terrorism -the reason for which the 13 Amendment had been proposed and hurriedly adopted, there should be a re-thinking on the ways and means of bringing the principle parties to the conflict together in to a binding union, so that the cause itself for the conflict will be removed.

The cause, as far as the Tamil community is concerned, is the feeling that the Sinhala as the majority community had discriminated against the Tamils being the minority community. In that situation will the implementation of the 13 Amendment firstly help to remove the “cause” of the conflict ?. And secondly, will its implementation fulfil the needs of the ordinary people of the country, apart from the politicians ?

The greater need of the ordinary man is to be heard and understood by those who “decide” for him in the language he speaks. He also wants his children to be educated in any school of his choice, and let them enter government or private employment without being discriminated for his what ever communal origin.

He wants to live in peace without being interfered into his belief system, or his political appurtenance, apart from having a satisfactory standard of living provided with the primary needs of life such as shelter, food, clothing and medical facilities.

Those are in fact what we all want to whatever community we belong. After 30 years of suffering under a cruel terrorism, it is time that we rise from our divided apathy, to reach out to those around us as friends and partners to trace a path together for a new way of life. In that effort there should be neither majority rights, nor minority rights. We should thus unite into one Nation as we have no unsurmountable differences. Will the implementation of the 13 Amendment fulfil these common aspirations or perpetuate the differences ?

As a community the Sinhala for generations had always shown a willingness to share, and make sacrifices, even if the politicians had now and then built barriers that seemed unacceptable. The politicians like SWRD Bandaranaike cannot be blamed for the language problem. He was one of the most remarkable political leaders of the post Independent Sri Lanka.

He was determined to make the independence from the colonial rule more meaningful . In his move to make an Independent Nation of Sri Lankans, he made Sinhala the official language going on the universal principal of “ one Nation one language “. It was the high caste Tamil politicians who made it an opportunity to divide the Nation by making the language an issue of discrimination against the Tamils.

Would it then be right to say that it was the high caste Tamil politicians of the time who brought about terrorism, and the July,1983 was of their making ?

The sense of Tamils being a minority is a problem of their own making. Because the successive socialist governments of Sri Lanka after independence, beginning from that of SWRD Bandaranaike, had tried to give back to the Sinhala people their rightful place in society, restore to their religion the respect it deserves, and revitalise their mutilated culture, all of which had been vandalised by the British colonial rule of 133 years.

But these Socialist Governments did not at any time wanted to make the Tamil people suffer for the damage done to the Sinhala people by the British Colonial Rulers. In the desire to put right the wrongs committed against the Sinhala by the British, these governments may have unwittingly given to the Tamil people the feeling, or the impression that they are being discriminated against in favour of the Sinhala. That could have been the sprouting of the seeds of “ethnic” problem.

But now we have again another remarkable political leader who has given back to the country and its people a new pride to exist as a nation, driven away fear of being swayed by ruthless terrorism, and given the assurance for all communities to Unite as a Nation, by announcing that Sri Lanka has no “minorities”.

But yet some sections of the Tamil people continue to propagate the idea that the Tamil minority community is being discriminated against by the Sinhala majority Government. This sense of difference as a minority, in a majority Sinhala country has been accentuated to such an extent that the Tamil people do not seem, still ready to make any concessions to accept the Sinhala Community as a mutual partner in the making of a Sri Lankan Nation.

Even Anandasangaree the man who won a UNESCO award for tolerance and non-violence has not made a move to bring the Tamil and Sinhala communities together. He likes to project himself as the defender of the Tamils without any “tolerance” towards the Sinhala Government. If he wanted to make a significant contribution to Tamil- Sinhala Unity in Sri Lanka, he had the opportunity to have joined a National political party for the forthcoming Provincial Council Elections, without seeking elections separately on a Communal platform.

In that sense Karuna Amman or Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, is far more worthy for an award by the UNESCO for his unique example of courage and contribution to Sinhala Tamil Unity. He had been a terrorist and took greater risks than any of the Tamil expatriates or Anandasangaree himself, in braking away from terrorism, thereby “weakening “ the terrorists. He then followed the democratic path, and joined hands with his former enemies the Sri Lanka Government. We will have to wait and see whether UNESCO will rise to the occasion and recognise a man who risked his life to show that democracy is preferable to terrorism !

Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, has not stopped at breaking away from terrorism to follow a democratic path by joining the government. But he also gave up his Political Party to become a member of a National Political Party, putting aside a Sinhala Tamil difference. His move brings together for the first time in a more significant way, the Tamils, Sinhala, and Muslims as members of a national political party.

If all the Tamil political leaders were to follow his example, not necessarily joining the SLFP, but even other National Parties such as the UNP, NFF, or JVP we will never face the situation of suffering under another ruthless terrorism in the future. That will also auger well for the future prosperity and the progressive development of our country and its people.

The APRC had not approached the subject of devolution of power in the perspective of building a single Nation by bringing together the divided communities. APRC should have made itself a Forum to discuss this necessary surrender of Communal difference in the greater interest of a Nation of Sri Lankans. If this sense of a nationhood is deeply and sincerely accepted to call one Sinhala or Tamil would be considered a racial reference.

If we can bury our communal difference to that extent there is no necessity for the implementation of the 13 th Amendment. The APRC should have discussed with different political leaders the ways and means to re define the political party system to come to an understanding to set up political parties devoid of communal reference. So that there would be two political parties the SLFP and the UNP into which all other parties would be merged. After all there are two political systems, one socialist and the other capitalist, all the rest fall into one or the other political system..

It may sound idealist. But with an effort we could overcome what ever barrier to achieve that objective. We should denounce being referred to by our ethnicity instead of being referred to by our Nationality. The Provincial Council system should be reorganised to make it more manageable .

Of all the contributors on the implementation of the 13 Amendment, it was Neville Ladduwahetty writing to the Island who had made pertinent and pragmatic proposals on the 13 Amendment. It would be instructive even to the President Mahinda Rajapakse to consider his views on the subject. He proposes going back to District system of administration, which is better as it is a far smaller unit of administration which is much more manageable than a Province as an administrative unit. Further more it guarantees security against a possible danger of break away Provinces claiming independence.

A Province includes a larger territorial space, than a District. Two provinces merged together would easily be at least one third of Sri Lanka, where as two Districts merged together would not be more than the territorial space of a Province. Hence the District Administrative Unit would be a safety net against any adventurous elements proposing to claim a “homeland”.

The International Community with the all time meddlers like the Human Rights Watch, the Amnesty International and NGOs etc., are out to break Sri Lanka between Communities if they can, or enter their “white agents” into Tamil areas to make themselves privileged visitors who are a sort of “angels” capable of bringing succour to the suffering humanity.
Refugee Camps in Chad

This is what is happening in Chad with the seemingly eternally suffering people in refugee camps. The NGOs , Foreign Armies, missionaries minister to the needy providing them with food, and medical assistance. Now and then a “ white angel” descends oozing with sympathy and kindness to touch the suffering black children with a word of sympathy.
Refugee Camps in Chad
The scenes are video taped and shown in a prime time television show calling the spectators to contribute to the welfare of the poorest of the poor.

The UK Times and other Western media publishing blatant lies about IDP camps in Sri Lanka project white Western displeasure, that the same situation as in Chad is not being enacted in Sri Lanka with the 300,000 IDPs in camps. What an audience capturing situation has been left out of reach for the Western “ do gooders “, “the meddlers”, “paid good time vacation seekers”.
Refugees in Chad
Hence the UK Times is doing its best writing whole lot of “humbug” to get the International Community interested so that it would demand the posting of Western NGOs in the IDP camps to make them not concentration camps but refugee camps where the “white angels” administer to the needs of the suffering human mass, discriminated against by a racist Sinhala government committing genocide against a "poorestof the poor " ethnic group in the country.

Children in IDPs Camps in Sri Lanka

Children in IDPs Camps in Sri Lanka

This is why it is necessary to find some other means of attending to the needs of our people of all communities , rather than waste our time wandering how to put into effect the 13 Amendment.

We should train our own people to take care of the needy, without having to depend on NGO’s. The International Community if generous should contribute for the welfare of the developing nations. They should give the necessary funds .
IDPs Camps in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is not a “Chad” . Sri Lanka can look after itself, without aid-workers from abroad. If the West is unable to do that then we should turn to other nations and manage with what we get from them, without being interfered into our affairs by the Western media and human rights activists.

The 13 Amendment should not be made another means for the International Community including India to meddle into our affairs giving us instructions as to what we should do and should not do. It had been included into the Constitutions for reasons that existed then. But those reasons do not exist now. Therefore, the 13 Amendment to the Constitution has no relevance to-day. Hence, it is time to question whether the implementation of the 13 Amendment is really necessary ?

Monday, 13 July 2009

Times on Line website breaks all accepted decent norms of Journalism.

There is a Zen Story of two young priests returning to the Monastery. It was after rain and there were puddles of water on the road side. As they were walking they saw a beautiful young woman who was hesitating to cross the road because of a large puddle of water. The elder of the two Zen Priests saw the predicament of the young woman and immediately crossed the road, lifted the young woman and placed her on the other side of the puddle of water. Then he joined the younger priest and continued to walk towards the Monastery. Having entered the Monastery they entered into their room to change the robes.

The younger priest who was silent all the time called his elder. “ Bhante” he called. “Yes friend “ said the elder. “ Bahante, isn’t it said that a monk should not touch a woman ? “. “Yes, it is so” said the elder. “ If so Bhante, why did you carry that woman on the road side ?” asked the younger Priest.
“Well Friend, I carried the woman and left her on the other side of the puddle. But you are still carrying her.” Said the elder.

It is so with the terrorism in Sri Lanka . The Government Forces of Sri Lanka have completely eliminated terrorism, but Times On Line , IMF, UNHCR, Amnesty International and EU have still not stopped preoccupying themselves with the terrorism in Sri Lanka.

They seem to have nothing else to do other than meddling into affairs of a country, which is trying to turn a page, after that long episode of suffering to attend to other matters that had long been postponed to give priority to the elimination of terrorism. Times on line seems to be replacing the terrorists, with verbal terrorism on Sri Lankan Government with the intention of distorting as much as possible the image of Sri Lanka.

Every occasion had been made use of by these meddlers to discredit the government of Sri Lanka and its Armed Forces. Their final attempt to save the terrorists was to find an access into the no-fire Zone. With that purpose in mind they began to create an issue of violation of human rights by the Armed Forces in the no-fire zone , by the use of heavy weapons and indiscriminate shooting causing the death of civilians, damaging hospitals. In order to substantiate their accusations they made use of five Doctors working in the Hospitals of the Free Zone, who gave exaggerated figures of deaths of civilians caused by the artillery fire of the Armed Forces.

The Doctors had obviously been held as hostages by the terrorists, and forced by them to give false information. Perhaps there may have been “persons” representing the “West” in the area ( there was a Canadian in the IDP Camps), who may have given the assurance to the Doctors that the International Community would intervene at the last minute to save the terrorists leadership, in which event the Doctors would have gone scott free, and perhaps migrated to one of the terrorist friendly Western Countries suchnas Canada, Norway or UK.

Prabhakaran himself seem to have stayed on in the no-fire Zone with that hope. If not he would have arranged for a way out or gone to the jungles to continue his terrorism from the hide outs in the jungles. But he was handicapped with his family whose safety was not assured in the Jungles of Mullativu.

Right through out the terrorism in Sri Lanka the International community had played a hypocritical role calling the government to return to the political option rather than the military option to end terrorism. The NGOs were their agents working with the terrorists. ICRC’s role too was compromised as they were the go betweens with the terrorists and the Government. They too abetted or connived through their silence in spreading the false rumours of the numbers of civilian deaths in the no-fire zone and artillery attack on the Hospitals by the armed forces

There are several reasons why the Doctors had lied in favour of the terrorists. There is what is called the Stockholm Syndrome , according to which the captured become sympathetic towards their captors. And secondly there is also the sentimental attachment to one’s origin, and an inert feeling of agreement with the Tamil Homeland concept of the terrorists.

The latter reason of sentimental attachment to Tamilness, may also be the reason that drives Navi Pillay the High Commissioner of the UNHCHR accuse the Sri Lanka Government Armed Forces for war crimes, as revenge for eliminating the terrorist leadership. Navi Pillay cannot be blamed for being what she is, but unfortunately in that capacity she is not fit to hold the post of the High Commissioner of the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

The TimesOnline, says that it was despicable that the Doctors who lied to save their skins, were paraded before the journalists and made to retract their statements made to the foreign press under duress. But it is the likes of Times On Line instigated by the Tamil expatriates, that was responsible for being so low as to have given exaggerated figures of civilian deaths caused by the artillery fire of the government forces, merely to give a lease life to a ruthless band of terrorists.

When we were young we were told that the white foreigners are punctual, honest , fair, just and reasonable. We believed it and even today the white foreigners are accepted by our people with their arms open believing that they are worthy of our respect for they are honest, just and reasonable. But now we know, thanks to the media like the Times , Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International , NGOs etc; the way how they have betrayed the trust our people placed on them and were all out to help a dangerous group of terrorists to divide our country.

Times on Line, Amnesty International, Human Rights watch and various other foreign goons are accusing our government for violation of human rights . IMF refuses to pay even a loan for development projects, and the EU turns down the GSP plus for import of textile apparels. They continue to punish our government merely for “ fighting a victorious battle against terrorism”. They continue to resort to most mean ways to give a wrong picture of our government, our country, our people and our culture, perhaps for few dollars they receive from the propaganda campaign of the pro-terrorist Tamil expatriates.

Times on line and UN both gave falsified figures of civilian deaths in the no fire zone and expected intelligent readers to believe them. Now the cat is out of the bag and Times on line is trying to cover up its error by creating another story of the Doctors having been forced by the Government of Sri Lanka to retract their former statements. It will be only the readers who sympathised with the terrorists that will believe the new story being recounted by the Times On Line editor.

Times On Line shamelessly writes devastating statements about the conditions of the camps for the IDPs, without even having visited the Camps. ICRC was not fair by the government in not contradicting the false figures taken by the UNHCHR from the terrorists website TamilNet. TamilNet gave exaggerated figures of the deaths of Civilians supposed to have been caused by the artillery fire of the Armed Forces.

These figures were corroborated by forcing the Doctors to give wrong figures.
The Times on Line should at least now revert to a decent standard of reporting not taking its readers to be unintelligent people. “You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time “.

The Times Online should at least now revert from its now low and ignoble reporting on the IDP Camps and what is taking place in Sri Lanka after the elimination of terrorism, to make fair and objective reporting, keeping it self within decent ethics of good journalism.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Sri Lanka should give the tourists, a purely Sri Lankan vacation, without making it a Western Style vacation in a Sri Lankan Setting.

Sri Lanka is proposing to launch into tourism in a big way. The government perhaps considers that tourism is the ultimate in earning the much needed foreign currency. It may perhaps be so. But tourism has its advantages and disadvantages . The developing countries exploiting tourism as a money earner should do so with the greater interest of the country and its people. Greed whether it is that of an individual or a country could lead to disastrous results. Therefore, the greed to make tourism a money earner may not be in the best interest of a developing country.

If one is an observant tourist to Egypt it would be apparent that tourism has failed to affect the lives of the ordinary people in Egypt, despite it being the fourth biggest money earner of the country. Egypt of course has its potential to attract tourists. The remains of its glorious past is a sure tourist attraction, even without any thing else to promote. There is no one that could resist a voyage on the Nile River in an attractive boat with all modern facilities visiting the ancient Pharaonic temples of Karnack, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae and Luxor after visiting the great Pyramids.

Besides the remains of the glories of the past civilizations, Egypt has no modern developments on the show case for visitors to see. Luxor besides its remains of the past is a drab township, dirty, without any sort of planned development, the people are poorly , badly dressed, streets and path ways are dirt dumps, dismal roadside boutiques are an eye sore.

In Egypt every thing seems to be hackneyed and old fashioned. No where can one buy anything without haggling for prices. It is very tiring to do any shopping in Egypt. Why have they no fixed prices for articles displayed for sale like every where else ? That is how it is it in Egypt which is promoting tourism in a big way.

Taking a bus from Luxor to the Tourist resort at Hurghada is past villages with derelict large “ huts” providing the domestic “comforts” of the poor people. There are no extensive cultivated land, though Egypt’s economy is said to be largely on agriculture. People own small plots of land in which they seem to cultivate what pleases them such as vegetables, corn or what not without any pattern or an order. However, it is said that agriculture had been improved by the introduction of new technology, but it is not apparent on the road sides from Luxor to Hurghada.

Egypt seems between remains of its past glory, and mid way to modernity. Leaving the squalid town of Luxor going past the poor villages and through the barren desert of sand and rocks you enter into another city “ a paradise”. It is the Egypt’s tourist resort Hurghada. Every comfort and luxury one seeks is at hand. The roads are clean and well kept. There are gardens, clean paths, parking lots, shops, clinics, Dispensaries, and Medical services and restaurants. Every thing the ordinary people seemed to lack in Luxor is available in plenty in Hurghada.

The “ tourist resort” is spread over miles of terrain, with different hotel complexes owned by foreign investors and rich Egyptians. The hotels in the tourist resort are clean, and air conditioned. There are swimming pools, tennis courts, and recreation halls. Well dressed retinue of workers keep the gardens, the beaches, maintain the hotels, room services and restaurants. There is plenty of food, used and wasted while the Egyptian villagers lack enough food, clothes and proper living conditions.

This is only an example. Tourism brings in considerable foreign exchange to Egypt. But this wealth does not seem to have trickled down to the ordinary people whose living conditions are much to be desired. The large number of workers in the holiday resort in Hurghada do not speak either English or any other language well enough to communicate. But they have started working in these holiday resorts leaving behind their studies as conditions are more attractive.

I would not like to see that happening in Sri Lanka. But it would be no different if Sri Lanka too gets foreign companies and locals to invest in the development of holiday resorts.

But that seems to be what the Sri Lanka Tourist Ministry seems to be doing. It would be a shame to develop tourist resorts to make the tourists happy, without developing the country side of Sri Lanka, its rivers, canals, towns and villages, making whole of Sri Lanka a big tourist attraction. That is how money from tourism should be utilised for the development of the country.

If tourism is allowed to be taken over by the private sector without any central planning by the government, it would be like what it is in Egypt or many other developing countries, such as Kenya, Thailand, Indonesia etc.

There was a report that Sri Lanka Tourist Board wants to develop the small Islands around Mannar for tourism. But it is not small Islands around Sri Lanka that should be developed , but the whole of Sri Lanka, all big towns in Sri Lanka should be developed to receive tourists with clean sanitary facilities, drainage system, roads , pavements, and parks.

Sanitary conditions are diplorable even in the two main towns Colombo, and Kandy. The restaurants are not clean and none of the restaurants used by the locals have proper toilet facilities. It is a shame to go into a toilet in a restaurant in Kandy or Colombo.

Even the Kandy Hospital is badly in need of clean well maintained toilets both for the patients and visitors. It lacks cleanliness. There are no clean halls to receive patients and visitors.

These are what should be looked in to first, before requesting the private sector to develop the Islands around Sri Lanka as “ holiday resorts “.

The Country as a whole should be developed not only to attract tourists but also for the sake of the local people. What is the use of providing luxury holidays to foreigners when our own people lack a proper standard of living. If the local people do not know how to use modern facilities they should be introduced to them, so that they will get into the habit of using them properly.

Even some of the schools I had the occasion to visit in Kandy and Colombo had no proper toilet facilities. Therefore, before efforts are made to build “ luxury cities as holiday resorts” for the well being of the tourists, the country as a whole should be refurbished so that any tourist will not feel disgusted going into a toilet or a wash room in any local restaurant, any where in Sri Lanka. That should also be a part of the preparation of Sri Lanka for a tourist boom.

The developed countries of the West have no difficulty in brining in tourists as they have already clean and modernised living standards and cleanliness has been inculcated into their society. We in Sri Lanka have not started doing that and it is time some sort of standardisation of sanitary conditions in all towns in Sri Lanka is taken up.

There should be special Inspectors trained by the health department to survey the sanitary conditions of hotels, restaurants, and all eating places. Railway Stations and Bus Stands should have clean toilet facilities. This is what should be developed by the Tourist Board as a means to attract tourists.

A tourist coming to Sri Lanka should be able to enjoy a Sri Lankan vacation, not a pseudo European vacation in a Sri Lankan setting. The foreigners have no shortage of alcohol in their own countries, therefore, they could be made to spend a vacation in Sri Lanka without sipping foreign liquor. Is it necessary to buy large stocks of wines for hotels meant for tourists, if they are provided with Lankan meals ?

There are far too many night clubs and bars in Sri Lanka. They should not be made a tourist attractions as they often bring vice in to society. Discos and Dancing clubs should be replaced by introducing the tourist to Sri Lankan Cultural shows.
All tourists who come to our shores are not the cream of the foreign society. It is known that tourism brings in pedophiles, prostitution, drug traffickers, and criminals of all sorts. Therefore, tourism should not be treated as a panacea for economic ills.

Our Museums are far below the International standard of good Museums. A national Museum should have more open halls, places to rest, a cafeteria, rooms for videos and lectures and set in a pleasant environment. Therefore all our National Museums should be remodelled to attract foreign tourists.

India has attracted large numbers of tourists through the introduction of Ayurvedic treatment in special hospitals. Sri Lanka could also introduce such health resorts for short term treatments.

It is not the International Community which will help us to develop our country the way we want. We see it from the IMF which is hesitating even to grant a loan for the intended development projects of Sr Lanka.

IMF too would like the developing countries to be the play grounds of the rich white tourists. That is what Cuba was under Baptista. It was that Cuba that Fidel Castro delivered back to the people. It is the peoples’ Cuba of to-day that is subjected to economic suffering by America and the International Community by with holding aid to its development.

Therefore, the developing Nations should rise to the occasion and develop their countries in a simple way, by first giving its own people a better standard of living without seeking for tourist booms to bring in foreign money.

Instead of turning the Islands around Sri Lanka as tourist resorts, Sri Lanka should build more hotels to accommodate the tourists. That would be more appropriate than have tourists resort entirely for the benefit of tourists.

I hope the new Minister will plan out tourism in a way more appropriate to our culture, without getting the private sector to build cities as holiday resorts for tourists.

The tourists coming to Sri Lanka should be provided with an appropriate Sri Lankan holiday, instead of a Western Style holiday in a Sri Lankan Setting.

Friday, 3 July 2009

Whatever our opinion on the 13 Amendment, let us place our confidence on the President to do what is best for Sri Lanka and its People.

No Constitution is sacrosanct and any clause that does not fit in the development process of the country could be amended either by a two third majority or a referendum. Therefore the 13 Amendment could be removed if the implementation of it could lead to political problems.

There are those who see nothing objectionable in the implementation of the 13 Amendment and there are those who oppose it. In the context of the thirty years of suffering under a ruthless terrorism, it is time that all of us whether we are Sinhala, Tamil , Muslim or other take a new look at what our future should be. In that perspective of change, it is normal for us to ask ourselves whether the implementation of the 13 Amendment would be an impediment for our progress as a Nation. Yes ! as a Nation , because it is in that light we should proceed to organise our future.

Many writers had come out with very pertinent arguments in favour or against the implementation of the 13 Amendment. The question of the implementation of this now controversial Amendment, before being analysed from an intellectual point of view, should be looked at from the common man’s angle, with more common sense. An ordinary man may see the implementation of the 13 Amendment as a legal imposition of his separateness. A man belonging to an area and to an ethnic group. The 13 Amendment would not make him seem to belonging to the entirety of the land which he calls his mother land.

This despite the significant pronouncement the President Mahinda Rajapakse made in his important speech to the Parliament. He said that Sri Lanka has no more minorities. Those words said a lot though the die hard Tamil separatists did not have the capacity make much of it. It means that the ethnic difference is over, and that if it would continue it would be in the minds of those who disdain unity. It also means that Sri Lanka would not speak in terms of the origin of its citizens but in terms of the individuals comprising the Nation of Sri Lankans.

In such a situation the implementation of the 13 Amendment may be to continue the ethnic difference. And justify the fear instilled in the mind of an ordinary man of legalising his separateness.

However, the President Mahainda Rajapakse has said, prompted by a statement made by the Minister Champika Ranawaka, that he should not be hindered to implement the 13 Amendment.

Therefore, we have to respect the intention of the President, which is to implement the 13 Amendment even though our own personal views may be different. We have to respect the wish of the President because we now know from what we have seen that the President Mahinda Rajapakse could be trusted to safeguard the interest of the country and its people.

It was his determination, wisdom and foresight that made him prepare the ground before he took the terrorists by their “horns”. He subjugated and eliminated terrorism ,and he alone was responsible for that great achievement. It was he who selected the Army Commander Sarath Fonseka to launch the military operations, others to lead different security Forces, and appointed Gotabhaya Rajpakse as the Defence Secretary to coordinate the Armed Forces. Thereafter the President left the military operations against terrorism entirely in their hands without any interference. He was able to place his entire confidence in the people he selected to conduct the military operations to eliminate terrorism.

Mahinda Rajapakse through out the military operations did not seek to antagonise any one. He either ignored impertinent and insolent statements of his opponents, or made his intentions clear at his meetings with the people.

When his one time friend, and a Minister of his cabinet Mangala Smaraweera made wild accusations, of bribing the terrorists, and insulted him claiming that Mahinda Rajapakse had misappropriated tsunami funds by crediting them to his own bank account , the President did not make any statements. He did not directly or indirectly made reference to Mangala Samaraweera’s ill founded criticism.

When Ranil Wickramasinghe accused the President for enriching the family, the President did not bother to reply him. Yet when ever he met Ranil Wickramasinghe he welcomed him as a friend.

When Blakes, Chilcots and the rest of the representatives from the International Community kept on repeating that there is no military solution to the terrorist problem but a political solution, the President kept a “loud” silence. It was not his “business” any more, the military operations against the terrorists were the responsibility of the army.

The President knew exactly what he was doing and how to reply to his interlocutors. Many were the delegations from the Indian Central government that came to discuss the military situation and request a respite in the military operations. All such delegations were well received by the President, and none of them showed signs of displeasure after meeting with him.

He even received David Miliband and Bernard Kouchener, who thought they would “shake up” the Sinhala President and make him cede to their demands, but Mahinda Rajapakse proved that he had more diplomatic tactics in him than them with their “pseudo” International Standing.

That is the calibre of the President fortune has given to Sri Lanka to lead the Nation in this most critical period of its history. His honesty and integrity is unquestionable. Therefore we know that his intentions are bona fides, he has nothing to gain and he is not self seeking. His devotion to his country and the people is greater, and he has put himself completely at the service of them.

The President will do what is best for the Country and its people , and let us therefore leave the 13 Amendment in his hand .