Posts Tagged ‘Sri Lanka’

Miracles never cease in the Miracle of Asia

October 18, 2012

Sri Lanka is truly living up to its reputation as the ‘Miracle of Asia’ these days. Firstly it was the former CJ admitting to the fact that he released someone accused of embezzlement in the hope that he would eventually become a champion of human rights, and now we hear of how an internationally wanted terrorist being declared innocent of any crimes!

Late last evening there was a news update on the Daily Mirror website (http://www.dailymirror.lk/top-story/22778-no-evidence-against-kp-govt.html) that claimed the Media Center for National Security had said they have no evidence nor any complaints against Kumaran Pathmanathan (KP), the former chief fund raiser and arms procurer for the LTTE.

Now please bear with me as I try really hard to get to grips with this latest development. To my knowledge (and I may be quite wrong here) KP is an individual who was openly known to be the main gun runner, fund raiser for the LTTE and afterwards the de facto leader following the death of the LTTE leader in 2009. He is still wanted in connection with the assassination of former Indian PM Rajive Gandhi and probably holds a huge responsibility for the thousands of deaths which occurred during the 3 decade long war in Sri Lanka.

Now how an individual with such a notorious reputation can be considered to be free of any complaints or that there is no evidence against him seems incredulous. If there is no evidence or complaints against him then why did the Government of this Miracle of Asia issue an international arrest warrant on him? Why was he virtually kidnapped from another Asian country and brought to Colombo under armed escort? Maybe it was because the powers that be in their infinite wisdom felt he deserved to have a guided tour of the country he planned and helped to virtually destroy.

I wonder what is going through the minds of the thousands of parents, wives, husbands and children of those who lost their lives in the 30 long years of warfare as they hear of the latest miracle to happen in this land of miracles? It must be really satisfying for them to know they will never have the comfort of knowing one of the chief people behind the death of their loved ones was brought to justice, rather it seems he too has been rewarded with afresh new start in life as a champion of human rights, heading his very own NGO.

And what about the thousands of armed forces personnel who lost a comrade and friend? The hundreds of maimed, blinded and crippled ex-forces personnel? Maybe they will agree that all is forgiven and flash him a smart salute as they see him strolling the streets of Jaffna as a free and ‘innocent’ man.

I for one can’t wait to see what the future holds for this Miracle Isle of Asia, maybe we’ll see water turned to wine and people walking on water next. Exciting times these are!

8, 9, 10 and My Worthless Vote!

September 8, 2010

8,9,10 or 08th September, 2010 is a day that will go into the history books of Sri Lanka. For some it will be the day that democracy was stabbed in the back quite viciously, while for others, it will be a day when their hero cemented his rightful place at the top of the feeding chain of politics.

For the past few days the news media has been chock full of various articles, opinions and letters regarding what is known as the proposed 18th amendment to the constitution of Sri Lanka. The merits and the demerits of the proposed amendment have been discussed, praised and vilified ad nauseum in every forum from the parliament to the street corners.

while all this is well and good and also part and parcel of a proper democratic system that should tolerate the discussion of various differing opinions, there’s a remarked lack of discussion of another event that will play a very important role in placing 8,9,10 in the history books.

The reason the amendment will even have a hope of being passed into the law books today is because a section of the opposition members have pledged their support to the Government and their proposal. Without such an expression of support, which has led to the garnering of a 2/3 majority in Parliament, this amendment would probably have ended up as just another fanciful dream of a ruling regime.

Now this is where I would like to step in and make my feelings known, even if it is just on an obscure blog such as this.

At the past general elections, I personally voted for the opposition in the hopes of having a controlling influence in parliament and also with the hope that at least some of sort of checks and balances would be in place to control the government from passing laws which are detrimental to my point of view.

While some people may think me quite naive for actually expecting a politician to stick to his promises and have some sort of ethical backbone, I actually exercised my voting privilege with the expectation of the person I was voting for would prevent the 2/3 majority being given to the government. But now it seems that the ground situation has taken a drastic shift.

Opposition MP’s who were voted in on the platform of opposing the government and striving to bring about a change in the way things were being done, have suddenly done an about face and are expressing their exuberant support to the very person and government they campaigned against!

What bloody right does an MP have to suddenly shift his allegiance after being voted in on the hopes of the common man who wanted a change? I mean, if I wanted this government to have a 2/3 majority and do whatever they please, I would have voted for one of their candidates instead right?

Having being given the impression that my voice would be heard in the highest of legislature, I suddenly find myself carried over to the ruling party, thanks to the spineless vacillations of the opposition MP’s! My vote, which I actually do value quite a bit, has basically been taken from an opposing position and perverted to one that supports the person I voted against! How is this democracy??

Right now as I sit at my desk and read the various SMS’s that keep flowing in to inform me how more and more opposition MP’s are kissing the feet of the ‘King’, I feel nothing but a sense of betrayal and anger that nothing is being done to prevent my voting rights being perverted and misused by a bunch of back-boneless tarts!

I guess in essence, what I have been shown by the members of the so-called highest legislature in this country, is that my vote is worth about as much as a piece of paper that someone would wipe their butt with!

So for me, 8,9,10 will definitely go down in my personal history books, as the day my vote became worthless…

High time for Human Rights inquiry against the US?

May 27, 2009

There’s a famous line written somewhere that talks about removing the beam from your own eye, before pointing out the speck in someone else’s eye. We’ve all heard about this line in various different ways right?

Wrong….!!!

Obviously the USA and the UK have never heard of this valuable piece of advice! Of course in their defense, it may be the fact that a bloody great beam that’s stuck very firmly in their eyes has grown so big, it’s blocking their hearing as well.

What exactly am I talking about here? Well, to be specific, it’s about the ongoing special session of the UNHRC to inquire into alleged violations that have happened during the assault on the LTTE’s final stronghold. Now correct me if I’m wrong here, but I believe the armed forces actually held back to a certain extent and in fact declared numerous ceasefires in order to facilitate the safe passage of the civilians who were being held hostage by the LTTE.

Yes, there have been civilian casualties, inflicted by both sides of the fence, and that’s a sad fact we all have to accept. But what really gets my goat is the fact that the very countries that are pushing the hardest for this inquiry, the US and UK, are right now involved in an ongoing assault which includes repeated air strikes against a Taliban enclave in Afghanistan. An enclave where there are thousands of innocent civilians trapped between the two armed factions!

There have been numerous reports of hundreds of civilian casualties that are occurring as a result of these air strikes. But the US and UK seem to think these deaths are just a ‘regrettable consequence’ of the war on terror and should not be seen as a reason to call off the attacks. On the contrary, the ‘allied’ forces seem to be putting more and more effort into totally destroying this enclave with a devil may care attitude towards the loss of innocent lives.

Now is it just me being dense here, or is there actually some sort of logic that’s being used here? Maybe it’s the logic that says as long as you’re a western country, it’s perfectly OK to kill and displace civilians in your battle to eradicate terrorism. After all, God did die and leave you guys in charge of what’s right and wrong in the world right?

But God (The one who died and left them in charge) have mercy on any third world country that actually succeeds in ending a 3 decade long terrorist organization and in the process liberates thousands of civilians who were being held hostage!

IMHO, it’s high time Sri Lanka spoke to a few of our friends on the UNHRC and requested them to table a motion calling for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan, and also for a prompt third party inquiry into the human rights violations perpetrated by the US and UK in their on going war on terror. This should also take into account the reports of torture and abuse of prisoners in the hands of the US and UK armed forces. Abuses that have been well documented and even admitted to by the administrations of these countries.

In fact, this inquiry should extend to all the western countries who were involved in George Bush’s almighty offensive on the ‘Axis of Terror’. I’m sure this list will read like a ‘who’s who’ of the countries pushing for the inquiry against Sri Lanka right now!

So what say you guys, can we all start a petition that calls for the immediate inquiry into US and UK human rights violations? If that doesn’t work, maybe we can start organizing some mass protests in Times square and also block a couple of highways in Canada and the US. But do remember to bring your kids with you so the police can’t do anything to stop you!

None so blind as those who will not see

April 29, 2009

With the present war situation seemingly drawing to a close, more and more people are focusing on the plight of the IDP’s and how we can help them. This is definitely a cause that warrants all of our involvement. We need to be doing our utmost at this time for these people.

But what really gets to me, is seeing the continued protests by certain elements of the Tamil Diaspora around the world. They continue to wave the LTTE flag, block roads and even use their kids to hold posters with gruesome images. All in the vain attempt to call on the international community to save the LTTE and their sociopath leader!

It simply boggles my mind as to how these people cannot see what’s happening to the innocent Tamils of the North and East because of the continued armed militancy of the LTTE. They have ample evidence at their fingertips of how bad the situation is for the people still being held hostage by the LTTE and yet they continue to scream and shout about how the LTTE is the sole voice of representation for the Tamil people!

I wonder when, if ever, these elements will finally accept that a mistake was made by them in supporting a megalomaniac who wanted to be elevated to the status of a god. Maybe it’s just that they don’t want to admit to themselves how badly they were fooled by the ‘Sun God’ who was willing to sacrifice thousands of innocents just to achieve his personal dreams.

On the other hand, I was having a little chat with a colleague in office, and was once again amazed at the blindness displayed by him. Of course, this time around the blindness was directed towards the corruption and abuse of power that’s rampant in the ruling powers that be!

He was absolutely adamant in his opinion that the present leaders and their allies in power can do no wrong. Even when confronted with the numerous stunts pulled by the now infamous Doctor politico and his son, the recent shooting incidents that happened during the PC elections, his reaction was just to smirk annoyingly and brush them off as simply nothing compared to what others used to do when in power. Once again even with ample evidence of corruption and abuse available at his fingertips, this person simply refused to accept any truth in such allegations.

I find myself asking the question, was the line ‘none so blind as he who will not see’ written many ages ago with us Sri Lankans in mind?

Isn’t it high time we Sri Lankans, both resident and diaspora, stopped behaving like the fabled frog in the well and opened our eyes to what’s actually going on? Maybe the day we can achieve that as a country is when we’ll actually have a future to pass on to our kids.

Until then, I think the line stands as a one line description of most Sri Lankans, whatever race they may be…

The need for a Warlord…

March 6, 2009

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the term ‘Warlord’…?

For some strange reason, my mind has always conjured up images of various African rebel leaders who have started off their lives as freedom fighters and then gone on to become tyrants who rule the land with the might of the gun (or machete at times).

I think a prime example would be Robert Mugabe, who led the militant wing of the  Zimbabwe African National Union in a bitter and bloody fight for independence from the minority white rulers of Rhodesia. He was hailed by the people of his country and the African continent as a hero who’s leadership at a time of war made him a great asset to Zimbabwe, but unfortunately he went on to reduce the newly formed nation to a country that’s a byword for total and utter economical ruin.

In my opinion, this does not take away in the least bit that his role as a warlord was probably one of the most important factors in the defeat of the former government. He simply did the job he was most suited to do, which was be a brilliant warlord.

However what happened after the war was won set the foundation for the present day situation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe was hailed as a mighty leader and then elected to lead his country into the future. Whether he was qualified to do so or not didn’t seem to matter to the majority of the voters. After all, in their opinion, he was the one who had led them to a military victory and therefore deserved to be the one who held the top most post in the government. The rest as they say is history, and in the case of Zimbabwe, a sad history.

Now, is it just me, or are there some similarities that could be drawn to this same scenario happening in our very own country?

At the present moment, Sri Lanka is locked in a decisive war that could mean an eventual freedom from the threat of terrorism that has been ruining our country for almost 3 decades. Right now we have a leader and a government who have decided to take the fight straight to the enemy and are behaving in a manner that epitomizes the term of a warlord in every sense.

Now before any accusations are shouted out that I’m trying to make a very lame attempt to justify a ceasefire or peace talks or terrorist appeasement, let me make it very clear that in no way am I finding fault with the warlords and their behavior in regard to the war. In fact, I’m willing to even go as far as to say this war right now needs to be fought to the very finish and our country and all its people finally freed from this terrorist entity. This is definitely the need of the day.

What I would like to think about is the point in our collective future, when this war is done and dusted. We should be prepared to forge ahead as a united country that can wage a war not in a military sense, but a economical sense. A war of development, both economically and socially. We as a nation have been held back from achieving our true potential in the international arena.

Now, it would be very easy for us all to jump on the victorious bandwagon, and claim that the leadership that has led us to freedom should be in turn rewarded by being voted into power for an unforeseeable time to come. After all, the present leadership are the ones who finally bit the bullet and went the distance right?

Yes, it has taken a lot of guts on the part of the present administration to not back down from pressures brought on them both internally and internationally. Yes, they certainly deserve to be recognised and hailed for what they have achieved on the battle fields of this country!

But…

Are they the most qualified to take this country to the next step in our future? I for one think the people of Sri Lanka should take a step back and take a long,hard look at all the options that are open to us when it comes to deciding the future leadership of our country. I believe we have leaders with the potential and vision to take us forward to a future where we will be on par with countries like Singapore and Malaysia, if they were just given the chance to perform this task without the threat of war hanging over all their plans.

The one thing we should definitely not do, is follow the example of post war Zimbabwe, where a patriotically blinded majority voted for a warlord to lead them into a future that turned out to not so bright after all.

So, while giving the present warlords of our nation all the due respect,  for stepping up and serving their nation in a time of need, I think its also high time we as a people started to think of a future that’s not dominated by the presence of war or warlords.