Peace for the World

Peace for the World
First democratic leader of Justice the Godfather of the Sri Lankan Tamil Struggle: Honourable Samuel James Veluppillai Chelvanayakam

Friday, April 20, 2018

Gamarala’s racism leaps out venomously during discussion with Muslim Diaspora; tries to walk out thrice !


LEN logo(Lanka-e-News - 20.April.2018, 6.55AM)   The presently most embattled Pallewatte Gamarala who has by now earned the most inglorious distinction as the uneducated most failed president and  state leader of Sri Lanka ever , and whose popularity in his own motherland stands at a meager 4 % , and his  representation in  parliament too dwindling to just 16 , held a meeting with the Muslim Diaspora on the 17 th.
However it is with deep regret we bring this sad report to you which reveals , the president at that  meeting bungled the issues and made a fool of himself when answering questions posed by the Muslim Diaspora.  On three  occasions taking a racist stance he tried to flee from the venue when he was unable to answer questions thereby earning the displeasure and disappointment of the Muslim community , based on reports reaching Lanka e news.
President Pallewatte Gamarala is these days attending the Commonwealth summit of State leaders in Britain. On  this junket he has taken along with him his family and a large group at state expense. On the 17 th  afternoon at  2.00  a meeting was arranged with the Muslim community residing in Britain. 
There are two main Muslim organizations in Britain. They are : COSMOS UK  and SLMDI UK (Sri Lanka Muslim Diaspora in UK) . Instead of holding a meeting with the participation of both  organizations at the same time , Gamarala driven by his overriding evil  traits , had given  two different times for his meetings with the two organizations in order to set one organization  against the other.
The president has asked , ‘why,  is there no unity between the two organizations . Is it that others are not in favor  of discussing  along  with your organization together  ? ‘ The president has asked this  same question  from both organizations for obvious reasons. . Though the president was hoping there is such a disunity  , in fact  there was no such disagreement  between the two organizations. It was later when the two organizations were having discussions together it had come to light , the Gamarala has told lies to the two groups in order to set one against the  other. 
Pallewatte Gamarala alias   Sillysena who is a Polonnaruwa  frog in the well did not know ,though people were of diverse groups in England they drank and ate together. His venomous aims and crafty  agendas hence finally boomeranged on him. 

Gamarala flies into a rage when asked about hooligan monk Gnanassara…

The discussion with the Muslim Diaspora turned bitter when Gamarala at the very outset itself started  trampling  the tail . Instead of answering the questions ,Gamarala had resorted to intimidatory tactics, and tried to flee from the scene. 
As the discussion began , a leading lady attorney at law fired the first salvo at Gamarala . She asked , How come you toured Japan with Galagoda Athe Gnanassara the monk on whom a warrant has been issued by court  , and  who is most noted for his hate speeches against the Muslims each time he opens the mouth ?

Even before she could finish her question , Gamarala started behaving like a serpent soaked in  kerosene , and screamed ’ don’t ask such questions from me. Immediately withdraw the question or else I am leaving’  and rose from the chair. The crowd then said’ No you cannot be allowed to go like that’ , and requested the lawyer to withdraw the question.
The same question was rephrased  and asked , ‘ how could an individual on whom a warrant has been issued by court travel overseas? 
 ‘Don’t ask that question from me. Ask that from the minister of justice and the foreign minister ‘ Gamarala replied. 
Thereafter , he behaved most shamefully and degradingly when answering the other questions. He either tried to dodge the questions  or fastened the blame on others with a view to wash his hands of the matter.

Gamarala’s favorite pastime – blaming Prime Minister …

When he was questioned how he as commander in chief of the forces idly watched and waited for three days when the Muslim establishments were set on fire ? Gamarala got provoked again . His reply was , that question should be posed to the minister of law and order , and  at that time the minister in charge was the prime minister. 
When it was pointed out , like in Singapore  in Sri Lanka too irrespective of Sinhalese , Tamil or Muslim,  justice should be meted out , the Gamarala’s answer savored of his characteristic imbecility;  he said , ‘ in my country I cannot work like in Singapore’ 
When Gamarala was told , there is  video footage evidence of STF soldiers dragging a Muslim Moulavi and assaulting him ; hooligans along with the Police setting fire to Muslim shops , and an M.P. too arriving in a vehicle at that moment , and asked why laws are not being enforced against them , and those criminals  in the video are not being arrested ? Gamarala’s initial answer was , those were false social media campaigns , and that was why he banned the social media. Subsequently  he said ,if everyone is to be arrested , he would lose his vote base.
The Muslim representatives then asked him  whether he can put the  Muslim community in jeopardy without any grounds just because he will lose votes , and be silent?   Gamarala who turned angry again tried to go out  citing  the excuse he was hungry. The  audience had to again somehow halt him. Gamarala  then  said , if arrests are to made that way , the country must have a military rule, and asked from the audience whether they would prefer  a military rule ? 

Gamarala continues to give irrelevant answers and goes off  at a tangent …

Gamarala who was so panicky and guilty gave answers out of point and before the question could be finished. 
Suspicions are being fueled   without any evidence by a frontline minister in the cabinet, and provocative books too are written that   Al Qaeda movement is in operation within Sri Lanka . Why then  no complaints are being made to the police or the intelligence divisions giving details of the names and addresses if there is such a thing ?  When this question was asked , Gamarala asked back ‘who is that minister?’  
When the Muslim representatives revealed it is ‘Champika Ranawake’ , Gamarala dismissed the subject saying  ‘he is not one of ours’ . Because Gamarala was giving such outlandish answers and was unable to speak to the point , Gamarala made a request to the Muslim Diaspora to suggest solutions without questions alone. The Muslim Diaspora then told Gamarala to mandatorily recruit a certain percentage from the minority communities too to the security forces. 
Gamarala’s answer to that was , when an opportunity is offered Muslims do not accept that , and Muslims do not wish to be recruited. An individual in the crowd at that moment stood up and said , though he is a Muslim he has a distinction pass in Buddhism. He is an officer of the State intelligence division  and was fighting against the LTTE for over  20 years . When engaged in the battle he suffered injuries , and even now shrapnel   of bombs are embedded in  his body. He therefore refuted the statement of Gamarala that Muslims do not come forward to be recruited to the forces. Gamarala who was dumbfounded  by that revelation  did not even say he would consider that proposal and find a solution.

As solutions , it was suggested large posters and notices  regarding  punishment of ten years or more in jail under the Penal code to those who stoke  hatred and animosities among races shall be displayed  in all government offices with ‘ten years’  given prominence.  Gamarala’s attention did not appear to be drawn to that however.

Saboor , saboor…..

In the overall picture , president Pallewatte Gamarala clearly demonstrated he is an inveterate  racist .He never spoke anything that could appease the minority representatives , even based on reasons of hypocrisy for which he is most infamously famous. Instead of giving a hearing , he tried to leave the meeting on three occasions in a huff.   Nimal Siripala De Silva  a participant too was sleeping all the time. The other minister present was Moulana of Muslim Congress. He only said ‘saboor’ , ‘saboor’ (patience in Arabic) and remained silent ,but never retaliated against Gamarala’s intolerable buffoonery and tomfoolery .
The SL Muslim community that was  thoroughly disillusioned after realizing that it is a barbaric brute who is now  SL’s president concluded their discussions most dissatisfied and disappointed . Confirming further what a brute he is , Gamarala walked out like an uncouth  uncultured unmannerly individual even before the discussions could be concluded . 
Another most abominable action of Gamarala was , during the discussions , he did not permit anybody  to record the proceedings via mobile phones  or recorders . The participants had to leave their mobile phones  and recorders outside, and whatever that were  recorded by those who took the phone inside were deleted by the security personnel of the president.
It is only foolish despotic rulers  whose conscience are not clear and are crooked  have to hide from the people and inflict  this type of  harassment . Sane and sensible rulers who are open about their aims and agendas , and acting in the best interests of the country do not conduct themselves this barbarically  and foolishly.
Incapable  imbecile cruel cursed rulers sometimes spring up in a country when the country is under a spell of some ill luck. It is therefore the incumbent duty of every Democracy loving citizen to see to it they accelerate the death of the political career of such rascally cursed rulers. It should be now or never for that will be a blessing to the country .

By Chandra Pradeep from London

Translated by Jeff 
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by     (2018-04-20 01:37:12)

Mysticism of Ananda Coomaraswamy: Untouched side of a rare polymath

It would be an interesting study to trace some connectivity between Ananda Coomaraswamy and the works of theosophists in early 2oth century

by Punsara Amarasinghe-
( April 20, 2018, Moscow, Sri Lanka Guardian) Sri Lankan born 20th century polymath Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy has been often described as an art historian, aesthetic critique and a professional geologist, but his impeccable contribution to unveiling oriental philosophies from Vedas to Upanishads and Buddhism along with Christian mysticism is left aloof in Sri Lankan academia. Internationally Coomaraswamy’s fame is much accredited with his writings on metaphysics and perennial philosophy, which are used to be Coomaraswamy’s major passion in his last few decades. Having born to an English mother and a Ceylonese Tamil father Coomaraswamy was exposed to a greater cultural diversity that other Victorians in 19th century lacked. His  eminent father Sir Muttu  Coomarasawamy died when he was age 7 and Coomaraswamy spent his childhood in England with his mother and the school he attended was totally different from the traditional Victorian public schools in England where students were given a given a classical typed education , but the  school that Coomaraswamy studied in England called Wycliffe school was known for its bohemian education and more over the vegetarianism was considered a policy of the school, which may had influenced upon Ananda Coomaraswamy to live as a vegetarian  throughout his life.
One certain factor that we should understand in examining Coomaraswamy’s flare for mysticism and perennial philosophy is attributed to the intellectual transformation he underwent in his mid-50’s, because the writings he completed in his youth were mainly focused on art history, Indian music and iconography which brought him fame as a renowned art historian who was striving to create a bridge between the Oriental and Occidental cultures. Having carved a niche himself as an art historian Coomaraswamy went on to study metaphysics and Eastern religions comparing with Christianity. His excellent knowledge in Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Pali and many other languages made his learning quest easy.  His article published by American Scholar journal in 1939 named “The Vedanta and Western Tradition “is an illustration of Coomaraswamy’s ability of comprehending Indian metaphysics and Western mysticism acutely. Regarding the universal nature of metaphysics he states “   The metaphysical “philosophy” is called “perennial” because of its eternity, universality and immutability ; it is Augustine’s “Wisdom uncreated, the same now as it ever was and ever will be”; the religion which, as he also says, only came to be called “Christianity” after the coming of Christ”. His views on the eternity or “Sanathana Dharma” were nurtured by his affinity with the original texts of ancient mystics and religious philosophers like Augustine, Orpheus, and Sankara in depth.  The Vedanta notion of “Oneness “or highest spiritual reality was taken by Coomraswamy as a parallel notion to Christian mysticism and Western philosophy.  As an example he argued Platonic conception of unification of inner and outer man and Christian doctrine of membership in the mystical body of Christ as a resemblance of Vedanta philosophy.
The books written during his last twenty years of life seemed to be short in size comparing with his early works on art criticism and oriental paintings, but nevertheless they became highly insightful works displaying his erudition on oriental religions and philosophies. For instance “Time and Eternity” happened to be a short book containing only one hundred and forty pages, but it vividly reveals Coomaraswamy’s analysis on “time” as a concept from world major religions. In this work he went on to discuss the substance of time and eternity under Vedic, Buddhist, Greek and Christian contexts. He has shown how each religious tradition had grasped time and eternity as metaphysical realities. Some of the interesting questions arising on time and eternity as a continuation parallel have been taken by Coomaraswamy under keen observation from major religious scriptures. As a matter of fact only a scholar who is well versed in ancient languages and competent in understanding such complex ideas and Coomaraswamy was a man of such a calibre. Coomaraswamy’s acquaintance with infamous English occultist Aleister Crowley would be another interesting incident to expose his colourful life. Indeed both Coomaraswamy and Crowley were two different characters in every way wherein Crowley was loathed by many as a charlatan and a seducer of women, but Coomaraswamy was known for his academic contributions widely. Nevertheless their knack on wearing dresses in a flamboyant manner always attracted both of them to be in the centre of the social circles. When Coomaraswamy met Crowley in 1917 Coomaraswamy was then married to the second of his four wives, a musician and singer from Yorkshire with the stage name Ratan Devi. The letters exchanged between Crowley and Ratan Devi indicates signs of romance among them and even at one point Crowley insisted Ratan Devi to divorce Coomaraswamy.

Undoubtedly Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy can be regarded as the most influential figure in 20th century aesthetic philosophy and the key figure who introduced the oriental mysticism to the West albeit his real contribution has been forsaken and forgotten by the country he was born.

It would be an interesting study to trace some connectivity between Ananda Coomaraswamy and the works of theosophists in early 2oth century, because the vision Theosophists developed towards the ultimate truth or “Parama Vinshartha” was more akin to how Coomaraswamy perceived the notion of ultimate reality through comparing it with Judeo-Christian concept of God the father and Eastern religious teachings. More importantly Coomaraswamy always referred to the authentic sources in order to make his analysis more accurate, his article on Tantric practices in the Far East published in 1939 named “The Tantric Doctrine of Divine Beauty” is a palpable illustration displaying how sharply he understood the idea of Supreme Being. He states “Ail tradition speaks in the last analysis of God as an inconnumerable and perfectly simple Infinity, but also of this Supreme Identity as an identity of two contrasted principles, distinguishable in all composite things, but coincident without composition in the One who is nothing. The Identity is of Essence and Non-being, God and Godhead, – as it were masculine and feminine”.
Coomaraswamy’s endeavor to expose how Christianity and Oriental philosophies understood art would be worthy to mention here as he spent many years in analyzing the similarities and differences on both approaches to art. In most of his writings and articles published in scholarly journals , Coomaraswamy went beyond the discussing the mere elementary forms of art, instead of he was keen in touching the metaphysical reality which he viewed from the art. In “Note on the philosophy of Persian Art”, Coomaraswamy narrates how Sufism or Islamic mysticism is reveled in Persian iconography. Coomaraswamy spent his last few years as the curator of Boston art museum and this short period was the climax of his intellectual transformation from art criticism to perennial philosophy, which eventually left an undying legacy on him in Western academia. Ironically Sri Lankan being his birth land has given a less attention on what this great icon devoted a half of his life. “Medieval Sinhalese Art” has been regarded by many Sri Lankan scholars as his biggest contribution, but in fact it was a work completed by Coomaraswamy in his youth before reaching the fully blossomed state of his scholarly maturity.  Undoubtedly Ananda Kentish Coomaraswamy can be regarded as the most influential figure in 20th century aesthetic philosophy and the key figure who introduced the oriental mysticism to the West albeit his real contribution has been forsaken and forgotten by the country he was born.
( Punsara Amarasinghe is a Doctoral candidate in international law at Higher School of Economics in Moscow ) 

New deal on future of unity govt. to be signed after April 24

  


2018-04-20

The SLFP ministerial committee appointed by President Maihtripala Sirisena to look into the future of the unity government has made strong recommendations to drastically bring down the Cost of Living and provide facilities to achieve accelerated development in agriculture, industrial and education sectors and create employment opportunities, committee chairman and Minister Sarath Amunugama said yesterday.

He said a fresh agreement based on the recommendations of the five member cabinet committee will be signed between the UNP and the SLFP after President Maithripala Sirisena returned on April 24.
Minister Amunugama told the Daily Mirror that President Sirisena would discuss the recommendation of the SLFP committee with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe before signing the agreement by the General Secretaries of the UNP and SLFP.

“I expect to hand over the committee report to President Sirisena soon after he returns from London on April 24," he added.

The new agreement is not an extension of the agreement signed between the two main parties after the August 2015 General election to form the ‘Yahapalana Government’, Minister Amunugama said.

“This is basically a strategic arrangement on how the unity government should run in the tenure running for about 18 months up to 2020. We have focused our attention to fulfill the pledges given to the people at the Presidential and general elections in 2015 and made amends to the weaknesses and failures of the ‘Yahapalana Government’ in the last three years,” the Minister stressed. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

US State Department report highlights militarisation and impunity in Sri Lanka

Home20Apr 2018

The United State’s State Department highlighted militarisation and impunity as significant human rights issues in Sri Lanka in its annual human rights report.

“The most significant human rights issues [in Sri Lanka in 2017] included unlawful killings; torture; sexual abuse; arbitrary arrest; lengthy detention; lack of property restitution by the military; and surveillance and harassment of civil society activists and journalists,” the report’s executive summary said.

“Government discrimination toward and security forces harassment of Tamils and nondenominational Christian groups persisted.”

“The military and police harassed civilians with impunity, and impunity for crimes committed during and since the armed conflict continued.”

Pointing out that steps had been taken to prosecute or punish some officials implicated in human rights abuses and that the Office of Missing Persons had been legally established, the State Department said the Sri Lankan government made “limited progress toward establishing additional transitional justice mechanisms”

On accountability, the report states:

“Impunity for conflict-era abuses also persisted, including military, paramilitary, police, and other security-sector officials implicated in cases involving the alleged targeted killing of parliamentarians, abductions, and suspected killings of journalists and private citizens. Civil society organizations asserted the government and the courts are largely reluctant to take action against security forces…”
The report also highlighted the harassment faced by a Tamil civil society organiser during Mullivaikkal remembrance last year:

“According to civil society, military intelligence operatives conducted domestic surveillance operations and harassed or intimidated members of civil society in conjunction with, or independent of, police. In May police reportedly harassed a Catholic priest in Mullaitivu following his efforts to memorialize local family members who died during the armed conflict.”

Describing issues around property restitution, the report describes military occupation of Tamil land and Sinhalisation and says,

“With the amount of remaining land in dispute, many of those affected by the HSZs complained that the pace at which the government demilitarized land was too slow and that the military held lands it viewed as economically valuable. Some religious minority groups reported they had difficulty officially claiming land they had long inhabited after Buddhist monks placed a statue of Buddha or a boddhi tree on their property.”

IMF Reaches Staff-Level Agreement on the Fourth Review of Sri Lanka’s Extended Fund Facility


April 20, 2018
The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board. Based on the findings so far, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF's Executive Board for discussion and decision.
  • Further revenue mobilization can make space for social spending while reducing public debt. Reforms of state-owned enterprises are critical to minimize fiscal risks.
  • Greater exchange rate flexibility and reserve buffers would strengthen resilience against external shocks.
  • Strengthening institutions and accelerating structural reforms is key to lay the foundation for more sustainable and inclusive growth in Sri Lanka.

 After constructive discussions with the authorities in Colombo and during the Spring Meetings in Washington DC, Manuela Goretti, the IMF mission chief for Sri Lanka, issued the following statement:
“The IMF team reached a staff-level agreement with the Sri Lankan authorities on the fourth review under an economic reform program supported by a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement . All the end-December quantitative performance criteria under the program were met, as the authorities have successfully advanced fiscal consolidation and strengthened international reserves. Due to a weather-related spike in food prices, inflation exceeded the upper limit for the inner band for December, but has since fallen back within the inner band. The authorities are taking actions to implement all the pending structural benchmarks for this review, despite some delays.”
“Following subdued growth in 2017 due to the lingering effects of weather-related shocks, a recovery is underway as agriculture has started to rebound and food prices decelerated. Real GDP growth is expected to reach 4 percent and inflation to remain below 5 percent in 2018. Exports are also recovering and the recent sovereign bond issuance was successfully oversubscribed. However, the economy remains vulnerable to adverse shocks given the still sizable public debt, large refinancing needs, and low external buffers.”
“Subject to cabinet approval of an automatic fuel pricing mechanism—consistent with the EFF-supported program, the Board is expected to consider Sri Lanka’s request for completion of the fourth review in June 2018. The measure would represent a major step towards completing energy pricing reforms in 2018. Further efforts remain needed to strengthen governance and mitigate fiscal risks from state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Progress in implementing the Inland Revenue Act (IRA) and other revenue measures in the 2018 budget remains essential for meeting social goals and improving debt dynamics. The central bank should continue to remain vigilant in guarding against inflationary pressures, while continuing to build reserves and supporting greater exchange rate flexibility."
“Under the EFF-supported program, sustaining the reform momentum is critical to strengthen the resilience of the economy to shocks and promoting inclusive and strong growth. The authorities should push ahead with their Vision 2025 objectives, by further advancing fiscal consolidation through stronger fiscal rules and SOE governance; modernizing monetary and exchange rate frameworks; accelerating their inclusive growth reform agenda, through trade liberalization, climate, and gender budgeting; as well as better-targeted social protection programs.”

Assault on Dutch tourists Violent ' Beach ' Culture chokes tourism in Mirissa

The night began with fun until more local guys began to inappropriately touch the girls in the group
Only around 5% of establishments in the area possess licenses
Six suspects were taken into custody
 2018-04-20
Mirissa has always been a destination frequented by both locals and tourists for its pristine beaches and other tourist attractions. Over the years, various other towns along the Southern coastal belt have emerged as tourist hotspots giving rise to a unique culture. While the tourism industry is reaching its peak, various opportunities are being presented to tourists as means of placing Sri Lanka on the world map. Amid such a pleasant landscape, there are certain incidents which would reflect negatively on the country. One such incident occurred two weeks ago in Mirissa. When news of locals assaulting a group of tourists at Water Creatures Beach Guest Restaurant and Surf Bar in Mirissa made its rounds it was considered as another minor incident initially. But with various accusations against the workers at this particular restaurant the matter seems to have gotten out of hand.
In an attempt to shed light on the recent turn of events the Dailymirror  visited this particular restaurant in Mirissa.

Govt. in peril again ! What no confidence motion failed to achieve can be accomplished by throne speech ? Latest development..

(Lanka-e-News - 20.April.2018, 6.55AM)  After having failed in the recent no confidence motion brought against Prime Minister (P.M.) Ranil Wickremesinghe , another conspiracy is being hatched to change the UNF government on the 8 th of May via the throne speech when the new  parliament resumes sessions after the prorogation , based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division.
LEN logoWhen the new Parliamentary session is being convened , the head of the State has the opportunity to make a policy statement incorporating the government’s balance programs , which is called  the throne speech. 
The opposition can if necessary based on the throne speech ask for a voting in parliament, in which case the speaker will have to grant that request.  Under those circumstances if the throne speech is defeated , the government will terminate , and a new government will have to be appointed.
Under the old laws , if the throne speech is defeated , a Parliamentary election will have to be held . But following the 19 th amendment , a period of 4 1/ 2 years have to elapse , and in case the throne speech is defeated , the victors can under a new prime minister form a new cabinet ,  and appoint a new government .
In other words , a situation similar to what prevailed on the 4 th April during the no confidence motion against the P.M. can come into being again on the 8 th of May.
According to  Parliamentary  practice ,  the throne speech has to be made by president Pallewatte Gamarala as the head of the state .
Based on reports reaching Lanka e news inside information division ,  president Pallewatte Gamarala when proroguing parliament and fixing the next parliament session as 8 th of May ,  has not discussed that with the cabinet led by the P.M. They have come to  know about it only after  the gazette notification was issued by the president.
Gamarala prior to that threatened the UNF including the P.M. that if he is going he would not just go , and will  only go after setting fire .

It has by now come to light the prorogation of parliament and convening new sessions is based on a legal ‘trump card ’ wielded by the president , and information about those  individuals who helped him in that direction has also now surfaced. 
The president who has to make the throne speech on the 8 th of May  has not exchanged views  so far with the cabinet including the P.M. There is no law anywhere whereby the president can alone make the policy statement about the remainder programs without  the cabinet and P.M.  (That is,  the president can make an obnoxious throne speech which even the UNF cannot  approve of. Yet , if the government is to be safeguarded , the UNF is bound to vote for it. In any  event the minority parties which voted  to rescue the government  might not vote on this occasion. In that case there is a likelihood of the government collapsing). However , if necessary the parliament can convene its new session  without a throne speech  for which the president should agree.
The chiefs of the UNF government have given serious consideration to the latest development and the perilous  unstable situation  it is learnt , at the time of writing this article.  

By a special staff reporter

Translated by Jeff 
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by     (2018-04-20 01:45:27)

SRILANKAA Woman lawyer exposes somedisgusting abuses of the justice system

AHRC Logo




The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to share with you thefollowing video produced by Lawyer Sugandhika Fernando and published in YouTube.

WATCH THE VIDEO HERE


April 20, 2018

A woman lawyer has exposed the utterly confused, silly, and sad situation that prevails in some of the courts, which she had been practicing for over seven years. It is a revealing speech, which shows the lowest depths thathe justicesystem in Sri Lanka is faced with. She exposes some of the judges and also lawyers including some members of the BaAssociation of Sri Lanka.

For example, she speaks of going to a court where she found that three people applying lime on the heaand the foot of judge because the judge has come to court too drunk, and that to revive him before the court sessions. Then she gives details of long series of events, which are highly scandalous and shameful.

There certainly is something radically wrong in the judicial system and also themanner in which legal profession is practiced in many parts of the country. She gives examples of corruption, sexual exploitation of clients and even junior lawyers by some seniors, and also how lawyers collaborate with police men in corrupt practices.

What is important is that she and few others are speaking about these things loudly. However, in the private sphere, many lawyerand clients, and people who know about the facts in the courts have same type of tale to tell from all around Sri Lanka.

What is even more saddening is in a manner in which some of the present leaders of the BaAssociation are behaving, ignoring all these criticisms and even attacking the critics for reasons, which are far from honorable.

It is to be hoped that more people will begin to articulate like this lady-lawyer has done and also some othelawyers. In addition, a protest movement develops to explore the rotten aspects of justice sector, which is so vital for proper functioning of society.

All this corruption and demeaning behavior implies that people at large are denied of opportunities for justiceand that people will therefore have little trust in this kind of system.
……………..
The views shared in this videofile do not necessarily reflect thaof the AHRC.

Era of warped logic 


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Syria

By Dr Upul Wijayawardhana-April 20, 2018

Warped logic seems to be the order of the day; be it local, to justify errant politicians; or international, to teach lessons to ‘non-compliant’ states, where the dictum seems to be ‘Punish first and then investigate’. Lynn Ockersz, in his well-reasoned ‘World Scan’ calls it ‘World Disorder’ (The Island, 19 April) and analyses the international scene but there is hardly any doubt that events in Sri Lanka, too, were manoeuvred internationally. Going through the interesting correspondence following the unsuccessful no-confidence motion on our dearly-loved Prime Minister, it is pretty obvious that those who still support him and Yahapalanaya, strive hard to establish a new logic: in spite of the undeniable attempted cover-up of the bond-scam, as I pointed out in my piece ‘Ranil’s Watergate?’ (The Island, 2 April), he is better than the one who may replace him. Why? Because that person is alleged, not proved, to be more corrupt. Is this simply a compromise? No, to my mind it is warped logic.

Bond Scams

Having had the opportunity to discuss with some ‘legal-eagles’, I can add a few more points to highlight that the Prime Minister’s responsibility goes far beyond a ‘cover-up’. When the bond-scams took place, the Central Bank was under his purview and, therefore, he should take responsibility; which is the democratic norm. His supporters will claim that the Presidential Commission did not find him guilty which raises an issue of greater concern. Till his appearance, the manner in which the assigned State Counsel conducted proceedings was exemplary. When the PM appeared, the Attorney General springs up on the excuse that it is only the AG that can question the PM and proceeds to question him, not cross-examine, based on a list of questions provided in advance! When I put this question, my ‘legal-eagle’ laughed aloud and asked me ‘Has a PM being questioned ever, before a commission or courts either as a suspect or a witness?’ Looks as if the AG’s was a lame excuse, nay, more of warped logic! Whither Justicia!

No-confidence motion

The TNA, which leads the opposition officially, can proudly claim that it saved the PM from his own party and government. As far as I can gather, the TNA had decided to abstain but changed its mind, at the last moment, to please our international benefactors who are of the firm view that Ranil is our best leader. After all, weaklings like our country should have leaders that please them, not ones who look after its’ citizenry. Well, these are the little details of ‘World Disorder’! When TNA changed mind, President Sirisena changed his mind too but his followers understood his directions in different ways! Those in the UNP, burning with the desire of ousting Ranil withdrew to their shells, waiting for another day!

The reason given for celebrating Ranil’s victory is that had he lost, Mahinda will stage a comeback. If that is what the voters want, is that not democracy? Or, is democracy having elections till you get the result the ‘international community’ wants, like what happened in Egypt? Mahinda paid for his political misdeeds by his humiliating defeat. The alleged corruption against him remains unproved. If the Yahapalanaya could not prove it for three years, who is at fault?

Salisbury poisoning incident and Russia

As indicated in my article ‘Russia may have done it but…’ (The Island, 27 March), Russia was punished for an incident where an ex-double agent and his daughter were poisoned with a nerve agent on 4th March. Facts were beyond doubt, the acting HC for UK in Sri Lanka took the unusual step of writing a piece to warn us that it could happen anywhere (The Island, 24 March). The turn of events since, has been very perplexing. British Foreign Secretary claimed during an interview on German television that the head of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down has assured him that the identified the nerve agent, Novichok, definitely came from Russia. But, Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of DSTL denied this and said that the source was not identified.

Experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) arrived in the UK on 19 March to confirm the results but their report is contested by the Russians, who claim that Skripals were poisoned by BZ substance, which Russia has never produced but USA and UK have done. OPCW claims that it was a contaminant and the substance that was found on Skripal’s door-handle was pure Novichok. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov has countered, that it would be impossible to identify pure Novichok on a door-handle as it degrades fast. They should know! None of these was reported by BBC though international media like Reuters did, which raises the issue of not giving two sides of a story.

One morning, it was announced that Skripals were desperately ill and, even if they did recover, they will have permanent neurological damage but the same evening the daughter woke up, to be discharged two days later! Interestingly, this story went into oblivion, when Trump decided to bomb Damascus though some commentators contend that this contributed to the Damascus bombing, at least Theresa May’s decision to support.

Douma chemical gas incident

President Obama, in his wisdom, introduced his ‘red-line’ for the Syrian war, when in August 2012, he gave the understanding that he would intervene if there occurred chemical attacks. A few months later, it did happen and, as expected, Assad regime was blamed. However, Obama opted not to intervene, the excuse being that he would not be able to get congressional support. May be there is an alternate explanation, that it was a staged attack by the armed opposition to get USA involved.

Earlier this month, as Douma was being taken over by the government forces, another chemical attack occurred. What purpose this serves the Assad government, is anybody’s guess. Even before OPCW could visit Douma to establish facts, Trump decided to bomb some sites in Baghdad, with the support of President Macron of France and Prime Minister Theresa May of UK. Warning Russians when and where the attack would occur; an attack that did not result in any casualties, seems more like a gesture, which Trump excels in.

The most interesting article on this was by Robert Fisk, an award-winning journalist who specialises in Middle Eastern affairs and is based in Beirut. His article, in the British newspaper ‘Independent’, titled "The search for truth in the rubble of Douma – and one doctor’s doubts over the chemical attack" (https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/syria-chemical-attack-gas-douma-robert-fisk-ghouta-damascus-a8307726.html) is fascinating reading. He starts the piece by stating:

"This is the story of a town called Douma, a ravaged, stinking place of smashed apartment blocks – and of an underground clinic whose images of suffering allowed three of the Western world’s most powerful nations to bomb Syria last week. There’s even a friendly doctor in a green coat who, when I track him down in the very same clinic, cheerfully tells me that the "gas" videotape which horrified the world – despite all the doubters – is perfectly genuine." But, then he adds:

"War stories, however, have a habit of growing darker. For the same 58-year old senior Syrian doctor then adds something profoundly uncomfortable: the patients, he says, were overcome not by gas but by oxygen starvation in the rubbish-filled tunnels and basements in which they lived, on a night of wind and heavy shelling that stirred up a dust storm. "

He continues by saying that this doctor may be an Assad supporter but, interestingly, he could not find any witnesses for a gas attack nor anyone who was concerned about it, unlike the international community. He poses the question: "How could it be that Douma refugees who had reached camps in Turkey were already describing a gas attack which no-one in Douma today seemed to recall?"

What I found most interesting was his reference to White Helmets, medical first responders whose efforts are always witnessed by TV crews, so much so that they were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize:

"The White Helmets – the medical first responders already legendary in the West but with some interesting corners to their own story – played a familiar role during the battles. They are partly funded by the Foreign Office and most of the local offices were staffed by Douma men. I found their wrecked offices not far from Dr Rahaibani’s clinic. A gas mask had been left outside a food container with one eye-piece pierced and a pile of dirty military camouflage uniforms lay inside one room. Planted, I asked myself? I doubt it. The place was heaped with capsules, broken medical equipment and files, bedding and mattresses." "Of course, we must hear their side of the story, but it will not happen here: a woman told us that every member of the White Helmets in Douma abandoned their main headquarters and chose to take the government-organised and Russian-protected buses to the rebel province of Idlib with the armed groups when the final truce was agreed."

Sounds familiar?

In an era of social media where everyone is trying to be a journalist, often peddling falsehoods than the truth, it is reassuring that there still are journalists of the calibre of Fisk, going in search of truth, risking life and limb. Will ‘warped logic’ win, still?

Our care for others is the measure of our greatness - EDITORIAL

 2018-04-21
eligious leaders have told us that anyone who wishes to be a leader must be ready to be the servant of all and that our care for others is the measure of our greatness. Our political leaders especially need to reflect on this in their hearts and minds as Sri Lanka goes into a crucial period in our history.   President Maithripala Sirisena, when he was elected to office in the historic presidential election of January 8, 2015 pledged he would be a servant leader. That means to serve the people selflessly, sincerely, sacrificially and with commitment to work towards a peaceful, just and all inclusive society through unity in diversity.   
Often in the world, we see leaders whose main aim is to seek personal gain or glory, prestige, popularity and wealth. But such leaders have ended up in the pigstys of history.   
When parliament resumes sittings next month after the prorogation, the President and other government leaders need to sincerely recommit themselves to the principles of servant leadership. That means we would see a spirit of honesty and integrity among them. We would see a gradual liberation from self-centeredness so that they could sincerely and selflessly serve the people for the common good of all. This may not happen overnight but if the President, the Prime Minister and other leaders set the example the others will follow.   

As part of this servant leadership, we need to see a simple and humble lifestyle or the hallowed concept of ‘Alpechchathawaya’. We have not seen much of this during the past seventy years since independence but we need to see it now if Sri Lanka is to move steadily towards a sustainable, eco-friendly and all-inclusive development.   
The leaders and other politicians need to avoid wasteful expenditure, luxuries and extravagance. They need to tell or order their supporters or stooges also not to indulge in such vices at a time when millions of people are struggling on or below the poverty line.   
Besides honesty, sincerity, integrity and simple lifestyles, the leaders need to ensure that politicians or officials do not indulge in bribery or corruption, fraud or other political crimes. Stern action needs to be taken against those who indulge in such vices whereby they plunder the wealth and resources of the people. 
This was one of the main failures of the present government. During the campaign for the January 8 election, Mr. Sirisena, UNP Leader Ranil Wickremesinghe and other ‘rainbow coalition’ leaders pledged they would act effectively to bring to justice the former regime’s VIP politicians and officials who allegedly plundered billions of dollars from public funds and deposited them in secret accounts. But almost three and half years after assuming office, little progress has been made in this direction and instead we saw the Central Bank bond scam, which joint opposition leaders justifiably described as the biggest bank fraud in history.   
Last month, the Justice Minister introduced a Judicature Bill to set up at least three special High Courts with three-judge benches to hear political corruption cases. The Bill made provision for the special high courts to meet daily, morning and evening, so that the cases could be completed within three months instead of several years but with the prorogation of parliament, this bill lapsed and will have to be presented again while the Supreme Court has ruled that certain clauses need a two-third majority. The government may not be able to get a two-third majority now, so the bill will have to be amended.   
We recall again the much quoted speech of the late Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar when he took oaths as Foreign Minister in 1994. He said this country, a paradise island had given him much – free health services, free education and other blessings. Now he would focus his heart and mind on what he could give back to Sri Lanka. Political leaders, other politicians, religious, social or business leaders and indeed all responsible citizens need to experience a transformation in their attitude or approach to life and ask what they could give to the country instead of what they could grab. Any and all who act in that way are servant leaders while their care or concern for others and the country will eventually be the measure of their greatness.     

Interpol issues red notice for Arjuna Mahendran over bond sale

  • CID to coordinate with Foreign Ministry and other institutes to extradite the former Central Bank Governor


logoBy Skandha Gunasekara-Saturday, 21 April 2018 

Interpol has issued a red notice for former Central Bank Governor Arjun Mahendran who is wanted in connection with the investigation into the Treasury bond case.

Police Spokesman SP Ruwan Gunasekera told the Daily FT that the process of extraditing the former Central Bank Governor has now begun.

“The Criminal Investigations Division will be coordinating with other institutions, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in extraditing Arjun Mahendran,” SP Gunasekera said.

The former Central Bank Governor, who holds a Singaporean citizenship, fled Sri Lanka for Singapore as soon after the irregularities in the Central Bank Treasury bond transactions came to light.

Following an investigation by a Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to probe the Treasury bond transactions, it was found that the former Governor of the Central Bank had given an undue advantage to Perpetual Treasuries Ltd., a company owned by his son-in-law Arjun Aloysius, through insider trading.

It was estimated that a loss of Rs. 11.5 billion had incurred due to the insider trading.

Currently, both Arjun Aloysius and Perpetual Treasuries CEO Kasun Palisena are remanded in custody.