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

Monday, June 30, 2014

War crimes: New UN probe puts pressure on Sri Lanka
As many as 40,000 civilians may have died amid govt shelling in the final 5 months of the conflict in 2009.

War crimes: New UN probe puts pressure on Sri Lanka

AP | Jun 30, 2014,

WASHINGTON: A new UN investigation into allegations of war crimes in Sri Lanka will intensify international pressure on its government and could probe the purported responsibility of senior Sri Lankan officials with US ties.

As many as 40,000 civilians may have died amid government shelling in the final five months of the conflict in 2009, according to a previous UN report. Government forces have also been accused of executing ethnic Tamil rebel leaders who tried to surrender.

யாழ். பல்கலையில் தடைசெய்யப்பட்ட எங்கள் கதை காணொளி -

Global Tamil News

GTMN யாழ்.பல்கலைக்கழக கலைப்பீட மாணவர்களின் உருவாக்கத்தில் 'எங்கள் கதை' எனும் தலைப்பில் அமைந்த நாடக ஆற்றுகை யாழ்.பல்கலை நிர்வாகத்தினால் தடை விதிதக்கப்பட்ட நிலையிலும் ஏனைய பீட மாணவர்களது ஒத்துழைப்புடன் அரங்கேற்றப்பட்டது.

குறித்த நாடக ஆற்றுகை ஏற்பாட்டுக் குழுவினால் யாழ்.பல்கலை நிர்வாகத்திடம் முன்னர் அனுமதி பெறப்பட்டு 26.06.2014 அன்று பல்கலை வளாக திறந்த வெளி அரங்கில் காண்பிக்க ஏற்பாடு செய்யப்பட்டது. எனினும் குறித்த நாடகத்தில்  அரசியல், தனிப்பட்டவர்களை குத்திக் காட்டுவதாக அமைவதால்  இதனைத் தடை செய்வதாக பல்கலைக்கழக நிர்வாகம் அறிவித்துள்ளது.

அன்றைய தினமே குறித்த நாடகத்தை ஆற்றுகை செய்ய வேண்டும் எனவும் இந்த நாடகத்தில் குறிப்பிடப்படவுள்ள விடயங்கள் மாணவர் நலன் சார் விடயங்கள் எனவும் கண்டிப்பாக இவ்வாறான நாடக ஆற்றுகை மூலமே எமது பிரச்சினைகள் வெளிக்காட்ட முடியும் என அங்கு  குழுமியிருந்த ஏனைண மாணவர்கள் தமது ஆதரவை தெரிவித்தனர்.

இவற்றுடன் கலைப்பீடம் மற்றும் முகாமைத்துவ பீட மாணவ ஒன்றியங்களும் மற்றும் ஏனைய மாணவர்களின் ஒத்துழைப்புடன் அன்றைய தினமே மதியம் 12.30 மணியளவில் அரங்கேற்றப்பட்டது.

இந்த ஆற்றுகையன் போது நாடக குழுவினருடம் பார்ப்பதற்காக குழுமி நின்ற மாணவர்களும் ஒன்றாக இணைந்து ஆடிப் பாடி தமது உள்ளக் கிடக்கைகளை வெளிக் காட்டினர்.

இதேவேளை, முன்னர் காண்பிக்கப்படாத நாடக ஆற்றுகையினை பார்வையிடாது அதில் வரும் விடயங்கள் பற்றி விமர்சிப்பதுடன் அதனை தடை செய்வது எந்த வகையில் நியாயம் என நாடகத்தை பார்க்க வந்த மாணவர்கள் உட்பட ஏனையவர்கள் விசனம் தெரிவித்தனர்.

நாடக ஆற்றுகை குறித்து நிகழ்வு ஏற்பாட்டாளர்கள் கருத்து தெரிவிக்கையில்,

குறித்த நாடகம் எங்களுடைய கதைகளை சொல்வனவாகவே உள்ளது. இது எந்த அரசியல் சம்பந்தமாகவோ அல்லது யாரையும் குத்திக் காட்டுவதாக அமையவில்லை. பள்ளி தொடக்கம் பல்கலை வரை எம்மைப் போன்ற மாணவர்கள் எதிர்நோக்கும் சவால்கள் மற்றும் சமூக பிரச்சனைகளை வெளிக்கொண்டு வருவதாகவே அமைந்துள்ளதாக அவர்கள் தெரிவித்தனர்.

யாழ். பல்கலையால் தடைசெய்யப்பட்ட ‘‘எங்கள் கதை" காணொளி


Created on 30 June 2014
It cannot be coincidental that hardly two weeks after the UN Human Rights Commissioner named the team that would investigate past human rights violations in Sri Lanka, the South African reconciliation initiative is also moving forward again. There was a pause for a while, but once again there is an appearance of movement. A high powered South African delegation headed by its Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to be in the country in the next few days. This was a visit that was expected to take place in June. But the visit was kept in the background, perhaps due to the protests raised against any South African or foreign mediation by nationalist coalition allies of the government. However, the appointment of the three experts to advice and guide the investigating team appears to have jolted the government to once again present the South African initiative as an alternative.

The main difference between the South African and UN initiatives is that they look at past with a different emphasis. The South African initiative is explicitly meant to promote reconciliation as its first priority. It combines an ascertaining of the truth about the past with the pursuit of political reform that is based on the lessons learnt from the past. On the other hand, the UN investigation has its main objective as being to ascertain the past so that those who have committed wrongs and serious crimes could be held accountable and brought to justice. The government’s concern is to protect those of its political and military leaderships who can face punishment by international tribunals. It is unacceptable to the government that those who led the war against the LTTE, which resulted in unexpected success, should be punished after having defeated the LTTE in battle.

The appointment of three experts to assist the team of UN investigators has been a major step in the UN-led accountability process. The government’s decision at this time has been to reject this accountability process as violative of the country’s sovereignty and also its national pride. A more basic cause would also be the concern that the international investigating mechanism would consist of persons who were biased against the Sri Lankan government position. The governmental refusal to cooperate with the UN investigation is indicative of a likely denial of permission to the investigative team to enter the country. However, this will not stop the investigation from taking place. If it cannot take place within the country, it will take place from outside it. The three experts selected by the Office of the Commissioner of Human Rights are mainly expected to play a supportive and advisory role and provide advice and guidance as well as independent verification throughout the investigation.

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay has stated, “I am proud that three such distinguished experts have agreed to assist this important and challenging investigation. Each of them brings not only great experience and expertise, but the highest standards of integrity, independence, impartiality and objectivity to this task.” The experts are Martti Ahtisaari of Finland, Silvia Cartwright of New Zealand and Asma Jahangir of Pakistan. Mr Ahtisaari was a president of Finland, one of the most peaceful countries in the world, which during the long period of the Cold War learnt to coexist as a neighbor to the Soviet Union even though its heart lay with the Western democracies. Mr Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on account of his mediation in the Aceh conflict in Indonesia. The separatist war waged by rebels in Aceh came to an end through a negotiated political settlement, and therefore spared Indonesia the bitter aftermath of a military solution. Those who are peace makers are not oriented towards looking at the past for the purpose of punishment but rather to reconcile.

Ms Jahangir, who has been the head of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission has had a long association with Sri Lanka due to the long friendship and collaboration she enjoyed with Dr Neelan Tiruchelvam. Highly educated and cosmopolitan, Dr Tiruchelvam was a bridge between Sri Lanka and the international community. He also sought to be a bridge between the government and opposition, and was one of the co-architects with Prof G L Peiris of the political package that was presented by the then government as the solution to the ethnic conflict. This earned Dr Tiruchelvam the enmity of the LTTE who wished for a separate state, and not for a solution within a united Sri Lanka, and he was assassinated by the LTTE. There is little reason to believe that Ms Jahangir would be influenced by those who supported such LTTE terrorism.

Sri Lanka is a country that is deeply embedded in the international community, and has signed virtually every one of the UN and other international treaties and covenants. In addition, it is dependent on the international community for its imports and exports which account for the larger part of its national income. Therefore it would be ill advised for any government to believe that it can fight against the UN or any one of its elected assemblies, which is what the Human Rights Council is. It needs to find a way to cooperate with the UN investigation. Perhaps a model can be found in the way it has been collaborating in recent months with the UN within Sri Lanka on the issue of humanitarian work.

For the past year the government has been working cooperatively with the UN and international humanitarian agencies working within the country to conduct a joint needs assessment on humanitarian needs of war-affected people. The Joint Needs Assessment that has been conducted since last year by the government in collaboration with the UN Humanitarian Office in Sri Lanka together with other international organizations working within the country is in the process of coming to fruition. It has been an example of a carefully designed structured collaboration that is intended to ascertain the situation on the ground with regard to war victims and the post-war difficulties they experience and what can be done. It shows that the government and international community can work together for the common interest when decisions are taken together.

In the current context it is commendable that the JNA was carried out because there was some uncertainty towards the end of last year and the beginning of this year regarding its viability. In conducting the Joint Needs Assessment, the government and UN were able to negotiate that there should be a shared responsibility for the outcome. The field assessment process comprised several activities which included preparatory work that had to be done prior to the commencement of field activities. The major task was the development and appraisal of the questionnaires by both parties. The entire exercise was under the control of the two co-chairs of the steering committee representing the government and UN. The principle of shared responsibility was accepted. It suggests the way forward to the government in dealing with the issue of post-war accountability which is the one that is most troubling to the government.

The principle of international law is that it gives priority to national legal processes as the first resort, before matters can come before international tribunals. But for this principle to operate there must be a credible national mechanism. This is what the South African initiative can provide. The government can establish a credible national investigation in partnership with the international community. The positive experience of the Joint Needs Assessment may increase the confidence of the government that it can work in partnership with UN fact finding bodies. On the other hand, a total rejection of the UN investigation will make the government vulnerable to a one-sided and ex-parte judgment that will be very likely be unfavourable to it and pave the way for punitive actions, including economic, political and personal sanctions, which will not at all be in Sri Lanka’s larger interests.

Transcript of Deputy Assistant Secretary Atul Keshap's interview with Dharisha Bastians

U.S. Embassy ColomboJune 20, 2014
Journalist:  Let’s go over why you are here and what issues you are raising.
DAS Keshap:  Sure. As part of my job I’m responsible for U.S. foreign relations with South Asia, including Sri Lanka, so I was here in January with Assistant Secretary Nisha Biswal.  And, it’s been a few months, so we felt it would be a useful moment to come back and talk to government officials, civil society activists, people who are in the know about where things are going right now.  We talked to some religious leaders as well.  And just get a sense of the situation in Sri Lanka and what impact that has on U.S. foreign policy and on decisions we make going forward.
I had a very good set of meetings; I met with Foreign Minister G.L. Peiris.  I met with Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa.  I met TNA leader Sampanthan.  I met with Basil Rajapaksa, Lalith Weeratunga, Sajin Vaas and I’m trying to think who else.  Who am I forgetting?

Say No To Enforced Or Involuntary Disappearance In Sri Lanka

| Following statement issued by the Law & Society Trust, rights body based in Colombo
Disappearance is far worse than death, because when a person dies, when I know that, so and so is dead, the story ends and somehow or other we close the chapter. But when a person has disappeared, it is an eternal suffering.
- Remark (5.18) made before the LLRC Commission in Jaffna on 12th November, 2010.
( June 30, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is unarguable that definitive action against alleged cases of enforced disappearances as well as preventive measures would have a significant impact on the reconciliation process. It is a fundamental need to ensure that lessons from past experiences be learnt so as to prevent any recurrence.
The Commission on Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation to support the drive towards national unity and reconciliation appointed by the President had made recommendations in its final report to adopt a comprehensive approach to address the issue of enforced disappearances (5.36, Chapter 5, Human Rights, Repot of the LLRC Commission).

As recommended by the LLRC Commission the President has appointed a Commission to investigate into complaints regarding missing persons (PCICMP) and thereafter to provide material to the AG to institute legal actions against perpetrators (9.51, Chapter 5, Principal observations and recommendations, Repot of the LLRC Commission) in order to ensure public security, well-being and non-occurrence of such acts in the future. It is expected that the Commission will submit its findings and recommendations on 15th August 2014.

The Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances has made several recommendations to the GoSL to eliminate enforced or involuntary disappearances (E/CN.4/2000/64/Add.1, 21 December 1999). Making the act of enforced disappearance an independent offence under the criminal law of Sri Lanka punishable by appropriate penalties as stipulated in article 4 of the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, incorporating the prohibition of enforced disappearance as a fundamental right in the Constitution of Sri Lanka to which the remedy of a direct human rights complaint to the Supreme Court under article 13 of the Constitution is applied irrespective of the fact whether the disappeared person is presumed to be alive or dead and abolishing or amending the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act in line with internationally accepted standards of personal liberty, due process of law and humane treatment of prisoners.

Law and Society Trust, as a human rights organisation that contributes to the promotion, protection and advancement of human rights strongly urges that GoSL to implement the recommendations made by the Working Group and to ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (ICCPED) which communications from or on behalf of individuals subject to its jurisdiction claiming to be victims of a violation by this State Party of provisions of this Convention (Article 31.1).

As a human rights organisation that shares common goals of justice, equality, and human dignity with the GoSL and continues to support the GoSL’s effort to protect and promote human rights further urges that the GoSL should publish the finding and recommendations of the Commission and to implement the aforesaid recommendations as well as the recommendations by the Presidential Commission.

Furthermore, LST urges the GoSL not to restrain the search for the truth and provide reasonable compensation for the affected family once the sittings are concluded. In the mean time, LST emphasizes on the importance of issuing certificates of absence instead of death certificates for the missing or disappeared (LST already issued a media release on issuance of death certificates on March 31, 2014 ).

LST further highlights the right of the family members of the victims to know the whereabouts of their loved ones and steps taken by the government to find the fate and whereabouts. As stated in the United Nations Declaration on the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, acts constituting enforced disappearance shall be considered a continuing offence as long as the fate and whereabouts of persons who have disappeared concealed by the perpetrators” (Article 17. 1 of the declaration).

It is axiomatic that if the GoSL is committed to its international obligations regarding the rights of family members of the disappeared as frequently stated in international forums, it is duty bound to ensure the above to the fullest extent possible.

Government Group in crucial meeting over 


cabinet slThe Government Parliamentary Group, chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will meet at a five star hotel in Bentota this afternoon to deliberate on a series of national issues confronting the country.

The principal issue to be discussed will be the government's proposed action plan in the wake of the investigations to be launched by the United Nations Human Rights Council on alleged human rights abuses in Sri Lanka, top political sources told Ceylon Today.
The meeting which commences tomorrow afternoon, also involves overnight stay and will take in development issues and the state of the economy, in addition to the current state of play in the political landscape of the country, the sources said.

The meeting will be held on similar lines as the series of meetings held in Bentota last year and will also be a part of the series of meetings which were kicked off at Diyatalawa some years ago. The Group members will be staying overnight at the hotel and will disperse after breakfast on Tuesday morning.
Asked whether the group would also deliberate on a possible presidential poll in January, the sources replied in the negative, claiming that the presidential poll was not on the agenda of the meeting.
When it was pointed out that there was speculation that the proposed January presidential poll was likely to be postponed with the proposed visit of Pope Francis in the same month, the sources said no decision has been taken at the highest level of the government on the presidential election. Earlier, there was some speculation that some of the Catholic Ministers of the government had made representations to President Mahinda Rajapaksa to postpone the presidential polls on account of the Pope's visit.
Laws to suppress social media planned BASL alleges 

BY Ruwan Laknath Jayakody- June 30, 2014 

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) yesterday accused the government of planning to bring in special legislation to suppress social media networks.
The BASL noted that the legislation, which could be brought as an emergency regulation and with provisions in the Penal Code, was an attempt to interfere with social media networks through which people come to know the truth as in the case of recent incidents in Aluthgama and Beruwala. Chairman of the Standing Committee on Rule of Law of the BASL and Convenor for Lawyers for Democracy, Lal Wijenayake, referring to the directive by Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, to law enforcement authorities to enact the law against those allegedly attempting to incite racial and religious disharmony through verbal and written expressions, said the directive could become a thinly veiled effort to stop people from receiving information through social media.
He said, without defining what hate-speech, moves by the Minister of National Languages and Social Integration, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, to bring anti-hate speech laws was equally pointless. He also added that the government should only intervene in matters concerning hate-speech and not to suppress dissent.
"Social media exposes things like General Secretary of the Bodu Bala Sena Ven. Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thera's speech in Aluthgama on 15 June, which YouTube carried in its entirety. None of the print media carried it in full. People can decide what to accept and what not to accept but there must be choices, so all information must be made available without deprivation," he added. Secretary of the Ministry of Mass Media and Information,
Dr. Charitha Herath, was not available for comment.
Earlier Secretary of, Defence and Urban Development, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, warned stern action would be taken against websites that post statements provoking racial and religious animosity.
The State Intelligence Division had notified the Defence Secretary regarding the statements made by websites, inciting the public during the recent communal tension that prevailed in Aluthgama and Beruwala . Speaking to our sister paper Mawbima, the Defence Secretary said, he had instructed the relevant technology Institutions to expeditiously introduce a system to identify the websites. He also stressed that deterrent action will be taken against individuals who engage in acts of sowing seeds of dissent among the races and contribute to the break -down of national harmony.
In this connection, the Defence Secretary said the security forces and the police have been instructed to take action.

Importer of illicit ethanol gives bribe of Rs. 2.5 million terming it ‘donation’ to Gota- photo proves
(Lanka-e-News-30.June.2014, 7.30PM) Information pertaining to the sordid links of Gotabaya with an unscrupulous individual who makes illicit sales of ethanol imported in containers to manufacturers of toxic liquor has been received by Lanka e news inside information division. This individual who has registered himself as a company with the Board of investments to export flavoring ingredients and preservatives of food has under this guise imported ethanol duty free in containers , and sold to liquor manufacturers on the sly to produce toxic liquor. 

The name of this crooked importer is K,T.D. Jayaratne and the spurious company he had established for this illicit purpose is ‘Majesty natural food and chemicals export limited.’ This is located at 337 C, Dambukanda , Dompe.

Believe it or not , last year alone , this Company had imported about 20 containers of duty free ethanol , but this merchandise never arrived at this manufacturing Co. All these container loads of ethanol had been sold to the liquor manufacturers . It is only an insignificant quantity of food flavorings and preservatives have been exported, and not the 20 containers of the product.

A team of Customs officers have conducted an inquiry into this company’s clandestine import and export activities ,but that was suppressed via large payments of bribes. It is Parakrama Jinadasa , Upali Perera and Jagath Gunatileke of the Customs Industry and service division Authority who launched the investigations and also suppressed it , according to reports.

It was revealed in Parliament that ethanol traders make a net profit of about Rs. 150 million just from one container load of ethanol. 

It is a common adage , where there is muck there is money. In Sri Lanka however where there is a crime there is always the SL criminal defense secretary behind it ,and where there is easy money there too he is present. This is the same defense secretary , Gotabaya the notorious grumpy who grins only at the sight of filthy lucre. Herein is a photograph which depicts shamelessly grinning Gotabaya the American citizen receiving Rs. 2.5 million cash ostensibly as a donation from ethanol crook Jayaratne , but which in fact is a bribe .

If Gota is true to his conscience and he received this money not to aid and abet illicit ethanol sales of Jayaratne , what he ought to do to prove he is above board is , resurrect the suppressed Customs investigation immediately ,and arrest Jayaratne.

“Gnanasara’s Bravery Comes From Gota”, Ivan Reveals “Gota’s Fascist Story”

Colombo Telegraph
June 30, 2014
Strong links between Sri Lanka’s Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa and the Bodu Bala Sena (BBS) that recently instigated anti-Muslim violence in Southern Sri Lanka have been exposed byRavaya – a mainstream Sinhala weekly newspaper in Sri Lanka.
The article written by the paper’s former Editor and its Chairman  - Victor Ivan titled ‘Gotabaya’s shadow’ has revealed the extent to which Gotabaya has been influencing activities of the BBS.
The piece discloses that following the deadly attacks in Aluthgama and Beruwala, the BBS had been instructed by Gotabaya to hold a press conference and clear his name off the mounting accusations that held him responsible for the attacks on Muslims. He had asked the BBS General Secretary Galagoda Atte Gnanasara – the monk infamous for his racist remarks, to disassociate Gotabaya with the organization’s activities.
Ivan thereafter has revealed a secret, which he states that only a handful of journalists were aware of until he put it in writing.
“A top intelligence official had phoned a news editor of a well- known media institution and asked for a journalist to be assigned to cover the BBS press conference. The official had not received a positive response from the news editor. Thereafter in a matter of seconds, Gota had contacted him and demanded a journalist be sent to the BBS presser,” Ivan has written.
During this media briefing, Gnanasara had repetitively highlighted that they are in no way maintaining connections with the Defense Secretary. “This was the precise moment where the proverbial cat was let out of the bag,” Ivan has written.
He has gone on to state that Gotabaya, from being the people’s hero following the end of the war againstPrabhakaran and the LTTE, has now turned into a trouble-maker that has managed to create numerous crises in the country that have heavily impacted Sri Lanka’s progress.
“He (Gotabaya) has not only nurtured extremist forces but has also continued to protect them – BBS is the perfect example of this plight. Gnanasara’s bravery is more a case of his close association with Gotabaya than it being a sheer trait,” Ivan writes.
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has also been blamed for the present predicament as he has pointed out it is Mahinda’s attitude of allowing Gotabaya to continue as he pleases, that has led to Gotabaya being able to exert a superior power that does not fall under the scrutiny of any authority.
The writer has highlighted the fact that although Gotabaya might be having aspirations of surpassing his brother (Mahinda) in politics soon enough, his continuous tendency to analyze political developments though a military angle has pushed him to inadvertently dig the graves of not simply his brothers but also the government’s political future as a whole.
Furthermore, he has also heavily criticized Gotabaya’s promotion of extra-judicial killings, describing them as a ‘fascist act’ as well as the rapid militarization of every single aspect of the country including education, which Ivan has described as Gota’s ‘ single biggest political blunder’.
Related posts;
Gota’s Billions represent only a ‘minute fraction’ of his illicit amassment - exposed in Parliament

(Lanka-e-News-29.June.2014, 11.30PM) The uncouth uneducated Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapakse who fled to America in fear of the war at a time he should have stuck back and fought for his country, and after over a decade returned to the motherland , has now after taking over the Urban development authority (UDA) had drowned that Institution in a deep sea of irredeemable debt amounting to Rs. 22.68 billion..! as revealed in Parliament . This shocking revelation was made by Minister Dinesh Gunawardena in parliament in response to a question raised by UNP M.P. Ravi Karunanayake. 

It is the consensus, this is a financial debacle that is unsurprising and to be expected when a demented medically condemned individual like Gotabaya is put at the helm of a most important public Institution. In America he could not get more than a mediocre job when he went there after medically condemning himself while in the Sri Lankan army. But later when his brother became the President he made a bee line to the motherland to bask in the brother’s glory after staying put in America more than a decade without even making a single visit to the motherland let alone spare a thought for Sri Lanka.

Lands of commercial value in the cities including holy sites in all areas of the Island including Colombo, were acquired by the UDA under Gotabaya without paying even five cents to the owners. Now , this monumental financial fiasco involving several billions of rupees of indebtedness is because the UDA under uneducated uncouth Gota dabbled in various projects over which it had no knowledge or skill , it is learnt.

It is the soldiers of the three forces who were deployed by Gota for these projects. These soldiers who worked as carpenters , laborers, planners and masons were not paid any extra allowance. Consequently ,labor expenses were to a great extent saved. In these circumstances , it is a perplexing question ,how could the UDA plunge itself into this colossal debt of many billions ? The answer to this had not been furnished in Parliament by those responsible. 

When we inquired into this , one government M.P. remarked , “what has got exposed is just an infinitesimal fraction of Gota’s ‘gehilla’ ( illicit under the counter amassment) “

India And Tamil Nationalist Project: An Existential Conflict

Colombo Telegraph
By Krishna Kalaichelvan –June 30, 2014
Krishna Kalaichelvan
Krishna Kalaichelvan
“Only the actual participants can correctly recognize, understand, and judge the concrete situation and settle the extreme case of conflict” – Carl Schmitt,The Concept of the Political
As the incoming Modi led BJP government is settling in New Delhi, the media is awash with speculations on its foreign policy trajectory, both in the immediate strategic neighbourhood i.e. South Asia, and in the wider world. But none of them has delved into a major foreign policy challenge that is waiting for the new administration in Delhi – impending UN inquiry into the alleged breach of international law by the Sri Lankan army and the LTTE, during the Eelam War IV. In this essay I intend to gauge the BJP government’s approach to this major foreign policy challenge, by looking at the intellectual and philosophical orientation of the Indian elite, especially how the Indian elite view India’s place in international society.
The question of why this UN investigation is a major foreign policy challenge for the Indian strategic community can be addressed and explored in three broader thematic headings. Firstly, the highly intrusive UN inquiry itself is unprecedented in South Asian context, secondly, the Indian political establishment’s – both the right and the left – ‘postmodern’ worldview, and thirdly, BJP’s project for a “strong, self-reliant and self-confident India; regaining its rightful place in the comity of nations”, will be directly at odds with the UN investigation in Sri Lanka.
The unprecedented nature of the UN inquiry in South Asia
The adoption of the resolution, ‘Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ (A/HRC/25/L.4), by the 25th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, is a watershed moment in post-independent Sri Lankan history, despite many extremist Tamil groups denouncing the resolution as not “robust” enough to investigate the alleged violations.
The following excerpts from the preamble will highlight the wider focus of the resolution and the Mahinda regime cannot brush aside the issues highlighted in the resolution.Read More

The aftermath: Aluthgama two weeks on

GroundviewsTwo weeks have passed since violence broke out in Aluthgama and Beruwala on the 15th June- a day that will go down in the history books of Sri Lanka as nothing short of a dark, dark day.  These are a few photos I managed to take while carefully stepping through the rubble of the affected houses, and a personal account of conversations with affected residents and families of those who lost their lives.
The general sentiments were in absolute spite of Bodu Bala Sena (BBS). Written in the soot that canvassed the remaining walls of the houses burnt, these sentiments are now drawing crowds from one house to the next.
‘Don’t look at Sinhala, Muslim. Enforce the law’, one roughly translated.
‘The terrorist BBS’, ‘Say no to BBS’, others read.
There was plenty written about Galagodaaththe Gnanasara. Let’s just say they weren’t very nice.
‘Is this the compassion in Buddhism?’ others questioned.
‘State weapons have been used’, ‘Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is responsible’, ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa is responsible’, a few pointed out.
Meygollo thamai apita mehema kaley” (they are the ones that did this to us), one man said glaring down at my pirith nool. Pirith nool is a sacred thread that is tied on the wrists of Buddhists, said to be blessed with powers to ward off evil spirits and of healing. I had contemplated whether to remove it before heading down, but decided to keep it on- people of Aluthgama should know that the BBS doesn’t represent moderate Buddhists. “Api okkoma ehema na” (we are not all like that), a friend said quickly coming to my defence. He didn’t seem too convinced.
Meka mangkollayak, miss. Jaathivadi mokakvath nemei” (This is robbery, miss. Nothing racial in this), one man said.  Still visibly shaking, another nodded in agreement and added that 7 lakhs worth of goods had been stolen from his house.
See all of the 98 photos in the album in full screen here.
The wives of two men who lost their lives during the early hours of the 16thwere in mourning.  Mohammed Zahiran and Mohammed Shiraz were protecting the village mosque that was temporarily housing their wives and children, since their homes were no longer safe, said their in-laws. I recognized the oldest daughter of Mohammed Zahiran from a clip I had seen, and noticed that her eyes were still as puffy as they were on the video that was uploaded close to two weeks back.  A friend was trying to distract the oldest daughter of Mohammed Shiraz with a smart phone to keep her from re-living the horror, while Shiraz’s brother- in-law gave us his account of the night. But late Shiraz’s youngest daughter kept running back to her mother’s room for comfort while her mother tried hard to hold back tears and wiped the dirt off the little girl’s feet.
Miss, mehema thamai Yaapaneth thiyenna aththe” (Miss, this must’ve been what Jaffna looked like). I was at a loss for words.
Another said maybe it’s a blessing in disguise. “Mewa dakala danwath meka nawaththuwoth monawa nathath, eka mokakhari” (if they see these and put an end to this, if nothing else, that’s something).
I hoped he was right.

Attempts to damage Pak-Sri Lanka relations

Pakistan ObserverMonday, June 30, 2014, Ramazan 01, 1435 AH
Monday, June 30, 2014 - SRI Lanka’s police have arrested key suspects involved in fuelling religious riots and looting, as minority Muslims expressed fears of more unrest during Ramazan. Police said eight people directly linked to the June 15 anti-Muslim riots were arrested last week and recovered gems and jewellery looted from two shops targeted during the violence. The violence, which erupted in the coastal resort of Alutgama, spilled over into the neighbouring international tourist resorts of Beruwala and Bentota.

Sri Lanka’s media and rights groups have accused the police of failing to prevent extremist Buddhist mobs attacking Muslims, who form 10 per cent of the country’s 20 million population. The announcement of the latest arrests came as the Muslim Council of Sri Lanka, an umbrella group of 48 Muslim organisations, petitioned police chief N. K. Illangakoon expressing fears of more violence against their community . 

Tension has recently been high between the two sides, with Muslims calling on the government to protect them from hate attacks by Buddhists, and Buddhists accusing minorities of enjoying too much influence. We have no doubt that these demonstrations are being engineered by the enemies of traditional and historic relations between Sri Lanka and Pakistan and other Muslim countries. This relationship is flourishing and gaining depth, which is detrimental to the interests of enemies of Sri Lanka. Traditionally Buddhists are peace-loving people but their sentiments were earlier aroused in Myannmar as well where they killed Rohingya Muslims and burnt their houses. Certainly this is the work of enemies of Sri Lanka and the President Mahinda Rajapaksa has announced an investigation and said the government will not allow any one to take the law into their own hands. At the same time he urged all parties to act in restraint. We would urge the people of Sri Lanka, who are otherwise peace loving and hospitable, including Muslims and Buddhists to understand the complexities of the situation, sinister designs of the perpetrators and demonstrate maturity and foil all the conspiracies to create divisions among them.