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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Governor responds to Jaffna uni petition in Sinhalese

26 Oct  2016

The governor of the Northern Province, Reginal Cooray, responded to a petition by the students of Jaffna University calling for justice over the killing of two students last Thursday by Sri Lankan police, by issuing a reply entirely in Sinhalese. 


In response to the governor's letter, the president of Jaffna University's Arts Students Union delivered the note back to the governor's office, adding on to the bottom that they "could not understand" what the text of the letter said and reminding him that Tamil is also an official language on the island.

The killing of the students has prompted widespread protest across the North-East, with large scale demonstrations, hartals and public outcry as locals condemn state violence against the Tamil population. 
The students were 23 year old Nadarasa Kajan, whose funeral took place in Kilinochchi yesterday and 24 year old Pavunraj Sulaxan.

Land acquisition: Rambukkana residents demand compensation


Residents of 12 Grama Niladhari Divisions in Rambukkana surrounded the office building of the Divisional Secretariat on Monday demanding that they be paid compensation for the acquisition of their lands for the construction of the Central Expressway. The protest staged in the Rambukkana town blocked the main road for several hours.
Video by Saliya Gamasinghearachchi

TNA asks how fleeing undergrads were shot from the front

by Saman Indrajith- 

The TNA yesterday demanded that an investigation be conducted into the killing of two Jaffna university students to find out how the rider of the motorcycle, and not the one on the pillion, had suffered gun shot injuries if they had been fleeing.

Making a special statement, TNA leader R Sampanthan said: "On Oct 20, 2016 two Third-year students of the University of Jaffna were shot at by the Police at Kulappidi Junction, Kokkuvil. They were both riding a motorcycle at that time.

"Initially the Police reported these two young men had died as a result of a road accident.  But the next morning it became clear that they had been shot by the police on the road. The rider of the motor cycle had died with gun shot injuries while the pillion rider died due to head injuries sustained as a result of the crash. The Police have since then changed their position and stated these two students did not stop at the police check point that therefore they opened fire.  

"While unreservedly condemning this unwarranted and unlawful attack by the police which has resulted in the deaths of two university students we demand that an impartial inquiry be conducted into these deaths immediately and the truth found out and culprits punished. This inquiry must ascertain as to how gun shots were sustained by the rider of the motor cycle and not the pillion rider if in fact they were fleeing from the Police.   

"I was with the President on Oct 21 when this news came and the President immediately ordered a special unit from Colombo to go and take over investigations. The suspects have been arrested and now remanded. Whilst thanking the government for these initial first steps, I wish to ask the Prime Minister as to what further steps have been taken to ensure that the culprits are actually brought to book including through independent judicial processes since serious doubts have been raised in the recent past as to the judicial processes through which high profile crimes seem to have been ended with no conviction at all.

"I also ask the Prime Minister what steps have been taken by the government to immediately ensure that such unlawful acts by law enforcement authorities are not repeated.

"It is imperative that the whole country know the full truth with regard to this incident."

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesighe assured that all the investigations into the deaths of two students would be conducted in a transparent manner and legal action would be taken against those responsible for the offence. He said the incident had come as a shock to the government and investigation were being conducted.

'எங்கிருந்து? எப்படி சுட்டோம்?' கொலை நடந்த இடத்தில் கைது செய்யப்பட்ட பொலிஸார்!

25 October 2016

யாழ்.குளப்பிட்டி பகுதியில் பல்கலைக்கழக மாணவர்கள் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்ட இடத்திற்கு சந்தேகத்தின் அடிப்படையில் கைது செய்யப்பட்ட 5 பொலிஸாரும் அழைத்துவரப்பட்டுள்ளனர்.

யாழ்.பொலிஸ் நிலைய தடயவியல் பொலிஸார் குறித்த இடத்தை இன்று காலை ஆய்வு செய்துள்ளனர்.

கை விலங்கிடப்பட்டு விசேட அதிரடிப் படையினரின் பாதுகாப்புடன், சிறைச்சாலை பாதுகாப்பு அதிகாரிகளினால் குறித்த பொலிஸார் அழைத்து வரப்பட்டுள்ளனர்.

கைது செய்யப்பட்ட பொலிஸார் குறித்த இளைஞர்களை தாம் எங்கிருந்து? எப்படி?
துப்பாக்கி பிரயோகம் செய்தோம் என்பதை காட்டியுள்ளனர்.

இதற்கமைய மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்ட விசாரணைகள் மற்றும் ஆய்வுகளில் துப்பாக்கிரவை கூடு மீட்கப்பட்டுள்ளது.

இதேவேளை மேற்படி சம்பவத்தில் AK-47 அல்லது அதனை ஒத்த இயந்திர துப்பாக்கி மூலம் 9 துப்பாக்கிச் சூடு நடத்தப்பட்டுள்ளதுடன், துப்பாக்கிச் சூடு பட்டு உயிரிழந்த மாணவனுக்கு துப்பாக்கி ரவை இடது பக்கமாக அல்ல வலது பக்கமாக பட்டு மார்பு பக்கத்தினால் வெளியே வந்துள்ள தாகவும் கூறப்படுகிறது.

Wigneswaran appeals for calm as North Sri Lanka observes total hartal over killing of students by police

Srilanka total shut down
Total shut down in Sri Lanka Northern Province in protest aganist killing of 2 students by police

By P.K.Balachandran - 25th October 2016

COLOMBO: The Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Tamil-speaking Northern Province, C.V.Wigneswaran, has appealed to the people of the province, especially the youth, to be calm as they mourn the killing of two university students by the police.

In a statement released from London, the Chief Minister said that while conveying his condolences to the bereaved families, he would appeal to the people not to express their anger and grief in ways which would have unpleasant consequences.

Wigneswaran said that he would not comment on the incident before the court had given its verdict. All that he would say now is that the apparently, doctrine of using minimum force had not been observed by the police.

 University students Nadaraya Kajan and Pavunraj Sulakshan, who were on a motorcycle, were killed late at night on October 20, when the police opened fire on them at a checkpoint because they did not stop when asked to. One boy was shot in the chest and the other died when the motorcycle crashed. Both were in their early twenties.

The police tried to cover up the killing by claiming that the boys died in an accident. But the government medical officer had certified that one of the boys had died of bullet wounds.  

The hartal  called by all Tamil political parties and organizations, was peaceful and total. Government offices, banks and commercial establishments were shut as no one turned up for work. Schools and the university were shut. All public transport vehicles were off the roads from 6 am to 6 pm. Sources in Jaffna said that there were no untoward incidents. Students of ten universities in the non-Tamil speaking South Sri Lanka held demonstrations in support of the protest in the Tamil North.

President Maithripala Sirisena had ordered the arrest of the five policemen manning the checkpoint and a Jaffna court had remanded them till November 4. For their safety the policemen were sent to Anuradhapura prison in a Sinhalese-dominated area.

Bus stoned, group of youth assaulted in Jaffna

It was reported that stones were hurled at a bus while several motorcycles were damaged at Anaikkottai in Karainagar last night, Police said.
The Manipay Police received information that a gang of unidentified men arrived on several motorcycles had attacked a group of youth with clubs and damaged their motorcycles in Anaikkottai and fled.
Three youth had sustained minor injuries due to the attack, the Police said.
Investigations have been launched in search of the gang, according to Police.
Meanwhile, a group of men had ambushed and hurled stones at a bus in Gurunagar, but there were no passengers at the time of the attack, the Police said. (Romesh Madushanka)

SRI LANKA: Absence of Remorse as an Obstacle to Reconciliation


October 26, 2016

People who live through long periods of repression often develop psychological and cultural habits that lead them to pretend not to see or hear what is going on around them in their society. These psychological habits may help people survive through difficult times. However, even after the difficult times have passed, cultural habits remain entrenched and people pretend not to really notice things that are going wrong in their societies. Creating the impression that everything is all right may be a way of maintaining some sanity and keeping up the pretense of being happy.

Sri Lanka is a society that has gone through a long period under extreme forms of repression. Since the 8th century AD, there has been a long history of repression, sometimes by foreign powers and sometimes due to the social institutions that have developed within the Sri Lankan society itself. That repression has created a habit among Sri Lankans of pretending not to see grave acts of injustice against people, even people who are very close to them, and thereby maintaining a silence even about matters that deeply trouble them inside. This is not peculiar to a particular race; it is spread across Sri Lanka, irrespective of race, gender, and other distinctions.

When we trace this back in history, we find that an enormous transformation took place within Sri Lanka during the centuries immediately following the 8th century, due to the cultural invasions that accompanied the Indian invasions that took place during these times.

Early Sri Lankan society, from 3rd century BC until about 5th century AD, was deeply influenced by the Asokan ideas introduced to Sri Lanka with the arrival of Ven. Mahinda Thero, who came as the messenger of the most powerful ruler of the time, Asoka. There has been enormous research in India about the transformation of Asoka into a just king, and on the philosophical and political outlook of Asoka, who realized that for the management of a vast empire at a time when there were powerful movements clamoring for greater equality, as against the draconian caste system which had been established in India in the past, he had to introduce a different model of ruling wherein the respect for ethical standards had to receive the highest priority. Great movements that were powerful in his time were the movements of Jainism and Buddhism.

Buddhism, in particular, was widespread, because people, particularly those who had been suppressed under the Brahmanical caste system, had gathered around the philosophy taught by the Buddha, which was one of recognition of everybody as human beings, and which required everybody to live ethical lives and accept that social responsibility would be key in dealing with all matters.

The change of philosophy, away from caste-based social norms and towards equality-based social norms, that came about during that time unleashed enormous creativity in India and Asoka took trouble to spread his ideas about the manner in which countries and people should govern themselves into all neighbouring regions. It was as his messenger that Ven. Mahinda Thero arrived in Sri Lanka, and he laid the foundation of cultural norms into a society and a civilization that was in its early stages of development. Thus, Sri Lanka was one of the countries fortunate enough to be influenced by a great philosophical and ethical tradition; the early foundations of Sri Lankan culture was based on this powerful foundation.

It was this cultural foundation which was attacked, for the most part successfully, through the Indian invasions, which brought along new philosophical trends that had lead to the virtual wiping out of Buddhism in India. The thought processes were led by another significant Indian philosopher, Adi Sankara, who developed a philosophy known as the philosophy of ‘Maya’, the philosophy of illusion.

He considered that only God existed and that nothing else existed, including himself and everyone and everything else, and this created deep cultural habits of doubting ideas that advocated ethical living. 
Ethics, along with everything else, was illusion. This philosophy was couched in Vedic philosophical language and Brahmins, who had lost power due to the spread of Buddhism, soon gathered around this new philosophy of Adi Sankara. There have been studies about how this philosophy was spread in India from village to village, both by intellectual means, such as arguments, as well as by physical force, by destroying people who refused to change their views and become followers of this new philosophy of Maya.

The same process took place in all pats of Sri Lanka and Adi Sankara’s philosophy was absorbed into everything, including the manner in which the kings ruled Sri Lanka thereafter. Like in India, there were also campaigns that went from village to village by Brahmins who were brought from India; they played a role in reorganizing the whole of Sri Lanka society on the basis of caste.

By the Polonnaruwa period, the social organization in Sri Lanka was done according to caste. In modern times, we speak about organizing societies on constitutional principles; during this time, social organization was done on the principle of the caste system.

In short, it was these principles that created the kind of repression that has shaped the mindset and psychological and cultural habits of all Sri Lankans thereafter. What are the principles of the caste system?

A few basic and fundamental principles:

The first principle was that a man’s status was determined by birth, which means that those who were born to a caste considered the higher caste (which amongst the Sinhalese meant the ‘Govigama’ caste and among the Tamils meant the ‘Vellalas’) were the upper caste; everyone who did other work, particularly physical work, belonged to what was called ‘Kula Heena’, the lower castes. Each male had to do the job his parents did and therefore their status remained permanent, one that could not be changed. Therefore, the idea of social migration, the idea of having a different status through ones efforts or acquisition of wealth, was forbidden in this society.

The second most important principle was the principle of disproportionate punishment. Disproportionate punishment meant that those who were considered to have a lower status were punished with the gravest forms of punishment for even slightest digression by them from the kind of behavior that was expected of them. For example, a lower caste girl who had had a sexual relationship with an upper class man had to be killed by the people of the caste to which she belonged. There is research material now available about complaints received in the early part of British rule about women being killed by their own elders in their own caste, due to transgressions of these absolute principles of marriage within one’s caste.

On the other hand, disproportionate punishment also meant that what might today be considered a grave crime, like murder, if committed by an upper caste person, either led to no punishment or only led to some minor penalty, such as the payment of some compensation.

This was the law. This law was enforced by its own inner mechanism. This became engraved in the minds of all Sri Lankans. The fear of punishment for the transgression of caste laws is imbedded in the psyche of all Sri Lankan people; this habit was engraved through practices that were carried out for a period lasting at least one thousand two hundred years.

We know from the studies on the formation of habits that something that is repeated over and over for a long period of time enters into our very inner psyche; it’s almost like it is entered into the genes. Though it is different to gene transformation, it does involve deep change among individuals who, for a long period of time, have been influenced by deeply-held cultural ideas that are enforced by strong punishments.

Once people have been taught to accept that their repressed status is their normal or proper status, they develop a capacity or habit of ignoring what others what would normally call a violation of their dignity, because they do not understand the idea of dignity as involving being equal to others. They understand dignity as being relative to a particular status and the kind of humiliation that is imposed on them is regarded by them as being part of their natural heritage. This caste heritage became the cultural heritage of the Sri Lankan people in all communities.

From that developed this habit of not seeing or hearing things that trouble them. If they see something as being wrong, and if they react to it as a wrong, then they get into greater trouble and do not achieve any positive result. Thus, protest in this society is not appreciated, because protest leads to greater trouble and there is no possibility that the protest may lead to a better dialogue among people, better understanding of a problem or the curing of wrongs.

The essence of caste is that social intercourse is done under draconian limitations, and that those draconian limitations are accepted as natural and normal.

It is this heritage that ran through that whole period, including colonial times. Despite certain influences from the newly-introduced administrative and legal models, which created some limited modification in the overall psyche, they were unable to erase this in its entirety. They could not, because there was no internal attempt to erase it entirely. At the inner level, the old habits, old attitudes and old prejudices remained as they were.

Then we come to the modern period, particularly the last fifty years, during which, due to various insurgencies and antiterrorism laws, a heavy level of repression was unleashed on Sri Lankan society in all parts of the country, in the South as well as in the North and East. These old habits of ignoring what is happening just before their eyes were once again revived. Just to take one example: an enormous number of enforced disappearances took place in the country, and in the global statistics, Sri Lanka has acquired second place in terms of the practice of enforced disappearances. However, the numbers of people who are willing to talk about this problem, who are willing to say what they saw, what they heard, and what they know, about the manner in which these things took place, are only a handful. The amount of writings, amount of reflections, either creative or otherwise, is at the lowest possible level.

There is no discourse on the violence that has taken place around people. This is due to deeply-held cultural habits that have come down through many centuries, and it is this that remains the basic obstacle to the development of a discourse on reconciliation, despite so much of talk about reconciliation.

Reconciliation becomes possible only when people are capable of remorse. When the people, having seen wrong, are able to reflect on it and are able to speak out on it, when people begin to acknowledge wrongs that have happened in their society and their own actions. Until this happens there cannot be a genuine discussion on reconciliation. Remorse is not possible when people have learned to accept wrongs as a normal part of life. If people have gotten into the habit of accepting the torture and ill-treatment practiced by the police and other law enforcement agencies as something normal, then they simply do not protest against it; they do not consider it as a wrong that needs to be eradicated, and they do not regret that such a situation is existing in their country.

These days there are a lot of movements throughout the world of people looking into wrongs in different manner. For example, in China, there are people who lived through the cultural revolution, which was a terrible period in Chinese history; they are now speaking about how they, as young activists and idealists, went into the cultural revolution thinking that it was a progressive movement, but who were used in order to kill opponents and destroy property, and today they deeply express their own remorse about what they saw, what they heard, and, sometimes, what they did. There are individuals who claim that until, in their own minds, they could feel that they had done something to atone for the wrongs they have done, they could not find inner peace.

It is that level of remorse that makes people capable of transforming themselves into practitioners of better ethical habits than what they have been exposed to. It is that which helps people reject violence and adopt a method of social discourse that is less coercive. That is the foundation of anything that can be called a democracy.

Sri Lanka is finding itself unable to start on the path of democracy because of long-held psychological and cultural habits, which are a result of the practices of the caste system. It has created people who, for most part, pretend that they do not hear or see the wrongs taking place in their society.
We are pleased to announce tomorrow’s opening of ‘Afterlife’ at the Saskia Fernando Gallery in Colombo – a photography exhibition exploring trauma, memory and culture in the context of the final stages of Sri Lanka’s civil war and its aftermath. Following a preview evening on 27th October, the exhibition will run until 20th November 2016.

A note from the artist, Cassie Machado, about the exhibition:

Afterlife (2011-2016) is a body of work, which reflects on the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war, and is a meditation on its trauma and its memory. As well as implying an engagement with the afterlife of events and of images, the title Afterlife is inspired by the traditional beliefs towards death in Hinduism and Tamil culture – which require a series of funeral rites or acknowledgements symbolising closure to be performed as a means of safeguarding the peaceful onward journey of the self or soul into the afterlife for reincarnation.

Cassie Machado Afterlife ExhibitionIn the final stages of the Sri Lankan civil war, which was fought on the island’s northern shorelines on an otherwise idyllic spit of land known as Mullivaikkal, it is estimated that between 40-70,000 civilians died in the last months of fighting alone. In this period, the vast majority of families were physically unable to perform all, if any, of the traditional obsequies for their lost departed. According to the traditions of Hindu and Tamil cultural beliefs, as their deaths were left unmarked, the souls of the deceased were perpetually left to wander restlessly as spectres in an obscured twilight realm. Occupying a space between reality and fiction, politics and poetics, Afterlife seeks an end to this twilight for the dead and also some illumination for the living.”

For further information about the event, please click here. For those unable to attend, the majority of the work is also available to view online here.

The Unfounded Cry For Equality; Perspectives On Article 16 (1) And Muslim Marriage & Divorce Act

Colombo Telegraph
By Mass L. Usuf –October 25, 2016
Mass Usuf
Mass Usuf
O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female, and have made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Indeed, the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted” ~ [Quran 49:13]
This is a universal statement that clearly wipes out discrimination of all forms. A man or a woman is honoured not because of gender, nationality, colour, race, creed, caste, language or ethnicity but for his/her Righteousness. In Islam, there can never be discrimination between the sexes in relation to their rights and duties. Ipso facto the claim from some quarters about gender inequality is not sustainable.
Prima facie the Western feminist ideology from which even our folks derive inspiration may look attractive and promising. A deeper scientific analysis involving physiology, psychology, morality, socio-economy and other disciplines would reveal some of these ideals as superficial embellishments lacking in real substance. One of the fundamental weaknesses in this development is the lack of proper understanding and appreciation of the differences in the natural dispositions of each. In fact, the struggle in the West is for identicalness or uniformity between man and woman. It is this thought that has been given credence world over under the wrong label ‘Equality’.
Equal or Identical?
One has to distinguish between the terms equality and identicality. To illustrate: The value of two five hundred rupee notes equals a thousand rupees. But, the two five hundreds are not identical to a single thousand rupee note.Wedding in Islam1
Man and woman are equal as human beings but they are not identical. Their individual nature and dispositions are all not the same. These facts have to be recognised and acknowledged when speaking about the rights and duties of women. If not, it will only do harm to the woman and the society at large. This is one area where the Islamic viewpoint on gender equality or women’s rights differ from the Western idea. It is through the appreciation of this distinction inter alia, that Islamic law has based its notion of the rights and duties of woman and man. From this perspective it is fair to say that Islam has not ignored the concerns about the status of women.
Nobel Laureate and world-famous French physiologist, surgeon and biologist Alexis Carrel in his well-known book he acknowledges the fact that men and women, according to the law of creation, have been made differently, and adds that these differences and dissimilarities make their duties and rights dissimilar.
“ …[B]etween the two sexes are irrevocable differences. And it is imperative to take them into account in constructing the civilized world.” (L’Homme, cet inconnu – Man, The Unknown, 1935).
Under the title “Men and Women”, Will Durant writes “The function of the woman is to serve the species, and the function of the man is to serve the woman and the child. They may have other functions also, but wisely subordinate to these; it is in these fundamental and half unconscious purposes that nature has placed our significance and our happiness…. The woman’s nature is to seek shelter rather than war; and in some species the female seems quite without the instinct of pugnacity. When she fights directly it is for her children.” (ibid. p.119)

Penalty for wilful violation of social contracts?


Leaders must be aware that continuous wilful violation of the Social Contract is bound to generate unexpected spontaneous negative public reactions which will not only be damaging to the public image of the Yahapalanaya leaders but may even lead to violent unexpected uprisings and acts of rebellion challenging the regime
The Social Contract

logoWednesday, 26 October 2016 

“Social contract theory is based on the idea of a contractual agreement between the individual and the state, under which the power of the sovereign is justified by a hypothetical social contract in which the people agree to obey in all matters in return for a guarantee of peace and security, which they lack in the warlike "state of nature" posited to exist before the contract is made.

Various philosophers have interpreted social contract theory. For example, John Locke believed that rulers also were obliged to protect private property and the right to freedom of thought, speech, and worship. Jean-Jacques Rousseau didn't believe that in the state of nature people are warlike, but are undeveloped in reasoning and morality. Therefore, by surrendering their individual freedom, they acquire political liberty and civil rights within a system of laws based on the "general will" of the governed.”

Constitutional commitments
By Article 3 of the Constitution, Sovereignty is in the People and is inalienable. Sovereignty includes the powers of government, fundamental rights and the franchise. By article 4, the Sovereignty of the People shall be exercised and enjoyed in the following manner:

(a) the legislative power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament, consisting of elected representatives of the People and by the People at a Referendum;

(b) the executive power of the People, including the defence of Sri Lanka, shall be exercised by the President of the Republic elected by the People;

(c) the judicial power of the People shall be exercised by Parliament through courts, tribunals and institutions created and established, or recognised, by the Constitution, or created and established by law, except in regard to matters relating to the privileges, immunities and powers of Parliament and of its Members, wherein the judicial power of the People may be exercised directly by Parliament according to law;

(d) the fundamental rights which are by the Constitution declared and recognised shall be respected, secured and advanced by all the organs of government and shall not be abridged, restricted or denied, save in the manner and to the extent hereinafter provided; and

(e) the franchise shall be exercisable at the election of the President of the Republic and of the Members of Parliament and at every Referendum by every citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years and who, being qualified to be an elector as hereinafter provided, has his name entered in the register of electors.

Sovereignty of the People

The sovereign power including the powers of Government lie primarily with the people; and the President, the Prime Minister and Cabinet of Ministers, and the Legislators derive their power on being duly elected by the people exercising their franchise; and they must govern for the benefit of the nation and its people, in terms of the social contract created by the exercise of the franchise; thus the President and Members of Parliament must govern duly honouring the promises made in manifestoes and other commitments made prior to elections.

Breaches of the Social Contract

untitled-3“Although the situation of there never having been a social contract is a fairly simple one, the situation of either deceiving another into thinking there is a social contract between them, or of entering into a social contract and then violating its terms, can be much more complicated, and much of law and government is concerned with dealing with such situations. In his treatment of the subject, Locke tended to emphasise those violations of the social contract that are so serious that the social contract is entirely broken and the parties enter a state of war in which anything is permitted, including killing the violator. Today we would tend to place violations on a scale of seriousness, only the most extreme of which would permit killing. Some would even go so far as to exclude killing for any transgression, no matter how serious, but that extreme view is both unacceptable to most normal persons and subversive of the social contract itself, which ultimately depends not on mutual understanding and good will, but on a balanced distribution of physical power and the willingness to use it. Sustaining the social contract therefore depends in large part on so ordering the constitution and laws as to avoid unbalanced or excessive concentrations of power, whether in the public or the private sector”.

With no power of recall by the people of the already granted mandate, until the next elections, it is solely up to the people to demand due accountability and honouring of the social contract by those elected; and where the elected fail in such tasks, the people have a right to express their voice of protests, naming and shaming, right to publicly advocate, agitate, and even take other legitimate actions for due enforcement of the social contract.

The promise and the consequential Social Contract

The promises made during the 2015 presidential elections and the Parliamentary elections that followed were based on a core vision of establishing compassionate governance and a stable country, leading to showering prosperity on all citizens through sustainable development, peace and harmony and identification of equitable national priorities.

These promises were founded on key pillars of eliminating bribery, corruption, fraud, money laundering, waste, and nepotism; and the enactment of a new constitution addressing rights of all communities, electoral reforms, instituting independent commissions; effective good governance, rule of law, equity and environmental protection. Thus a social contract came to be executed between the people and the new regime based on the aforesaid promises, which promises were duly witnessed by the leaders of the civil society who attested the contract.

The delivery of promises embedded in the Social Contract

Twenty-one months on from the creation of the social contract, the civil society leaders who witnessed the contract are aghast by the apparent wilful violation of the contract by the incumbent President, Prime Minister, Cabinet and Parliamentarians.

The proof of the pudding

The key amongst the events and issues leading to the disillusionment of the civil society leaders that the social contract is being wilfully violated are the following;
  • Leadership public pronouncements 
  • justifying unequal treatment of Ministers and Legislators (for supporting the two-third majority in Parliament) and military personnel who liberated the nation, in the application of the rule of law and justice processes;
  • placing restrictions, limitation and prior notification pre-conditions on law enforcement authorities, in dealing with the aforesaid select groups; 
  • in some instances violating the independence and secrecy provisions the constitution and the applicable laws;
  • undermining the law enforcement institutions, independent public institutions and regulatory bodies;
  • de-motivating and demoralising honest, professional and committed law enforcement officials
  • Leadership wilfully frustrating the effectiveness and professionalism of on-going investigations and law enforcement actions in the case of publicly reported mega scams and allowing these scams and other unacceptable practices to be continued unabated resulting in the state suffering preventable long term losses along with millions of connected stakeholders
  • Ineffectiveness of Parliamentary Oversight Committees and politicised and party leadership driven probes by COPE and COPA within a process not strengthened and made effective to suit modern day needs
  • Arrogant and unacceptable behaviours of leaders, their cronies and support networks all of whom blatantly by-pass procedures and practices and undermine the chief accounting officers
  • The leadership appointing to key positions of governance, persons alleged to have involvement with alleged scams and persons being investigated by law enforcement and regulatory authorities
  • Continuing concerns over key State appointments blatantly tainted by nepotism and unfitness of the appointees 
  • Justifying and promoting mega projects of the previous regime, which were classified as unviable and corrupt when in the opposition
  • Continuing misallocation of scare resources for pet projects, ego enhancing projects and personal and crony benefiting projects and ignoring the essential basic needs of the voiceless persons, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid
  • The failure to act against the armed forces personnel and directors of key State enterprises who effectively block and fail to support law enforcement led investigations; 
  • The failure to initiate investigations on purported mega tender violations of the present regime and withholding transparent disclosure of investigations completed under the oversight of the current regime
  • The failure to return, land acquired on grounds of the prevailing security concerns, to persons dispossessed of personal property during the period of conflict 
  • The failure to implement approved resettlement housing programmes for conflict affected persons, purportedly to promote preferred overseas contractor
  • Continuing leakages of revenue (Taxes, Customs Duty and Excise) especially those originated using the executive power and discretion of current set of leaders
  • Blatant violation of environmental and ecology protection accountability
  • The continuation of the practice of awarding major State contracts on bilateral negotiations and against unsolicited proposals, negatively impacting on competitiveness, quality standards and local value addition; and allowing the effectiveness of Swiss Challenge contract evaluation processes to be frustrated and massaged to suit predetermined contractors
  • Waste of national resources on tamashas, events and unjustified spends with no effective national socio economic value
  • Leaders being surrounded by persons previously classified as unpatriotic and self-seeking middlemen of the previous regime
Caution: Unexpected spontaneous public reactions

Leaders must be aware that continuous wilful violation of the Social Contract is bound to generate unexpected spontaneous negative public reactions which will not only be damaging to the public image of the Yahapalanaya leaders but may even lead to violent unexpected uprisings and acts of rebellion challenging the regime.

Ava Group was created by Maj. Gen. Mahinda Haturusinghe!

Ava Group was created by Maj. Gen. Mahinda Haturusinghe!

Oct 26, 2016

It has now been revealed that the Ava Group, the gang of criminals in motorcycles in Jaffna, was secretly created during the Rajapaksa regime by the then north’s security forces commander Maj. Gen. Mahinda Haturusinghe, sources say.

In the course of investigations into the death of two university students in a police shooting, it has been found that this gang was created after the war in a well-organized manner. However, the police have been instructed from the top not to reveal anything about this to the media.
Sources say that several other gangs too, are operating in the north since the end of the war. In the style of South Indian films, these sword and kris-knife wielding gangsters in motorcycles are carrying out attacks. In October 2013, two such gangsters attacked a policeman with a kris-knife at the Kokavil police post. Even before the war such gangs operated in Jaffna, but not during the period the LTTE existed.
Minister of law and order and southern development Sagala Ratnayake told parliament yesterday (25) that a criminal gang named Ava Group in motorcycles and carrying swords and clubs were committing crimes in Jaffna. Police had mistaken the two undergraduates for the motorcycle gangsters and shot at them.
Commenting on the sword attack on two policemen in Jaffna, he said they had been attacked without knowing they were intelligence men. The Ava group had been robbing a shop when police intervened, and they came under this attack.
The province’s chief minister C.V. Vigneswaran says it is surprising that such gangs could exist in the north which is having more than 150,000 armed forces men and thousands of police and intelligence officers.
The CID has found in investigations that the two undergraduates in a motorcycle had been killed by policemen without proper firearms training having exceeded their powers and shot them. The policeman who had shot them had fired a burst. The pillion rider had died when he fell down and hit his head on the ground, the postmortem examination has revealed. Now, the so called patriotic carnivores in both the south and the north are giving their own interpretations to the incident and eating up this incident.

Is ‘Yahapalanaya’ An Aborted Child Or Is It Still Birth Pangs?

Colombo Telegraph
By Vishwamithra1984 –October 26, 2016
Progressive rhetoric has the effect of concealing social crisis and moral breakdown by presenting them as the birth pangs of a new order.” ~Christopher Lasch
Each passing day announces a deviation from the norm; each passing week signals a break from the bureaucracy’s usually pervasive disciplined message of transparency and accountability. Both transparency and accountability have come to be known as hackneyed phrases drastically exploited by politicians prior to elections and never followed up when they assume power. No democracy in the world, present or past has upheld the lofty ideals in total they tried to sell during an election campaign. Viewed purely as a marketing operation, election campaigning is essentially an operation that is launched in order to persuade voters to vote your way. As much as a travelling salesman knocks on a stranger’s door and commences his sales pitch to sell a lemon in a sugar-coated veneer as an orange, politicians and their surrogates and henchmen try to persuade the consumer, the voter, to buy what they don’t need. But the salesman tries his best to convince the voter of a dire want, instead of a realistic need, to buy and possess the product that he is trying to sell.

This unending process of buying and selling of a product whose substantive value is very much in question, despite the very short-lived shelf life of the plusses of the product, continues to trouble a conscientious voter and those who make their minds for the argument try to live with their choice with uncertainty and anxiety. Transparency and accountability are two sophisticated concepts that have been talked about, discussed and written books and essays about, especially during the last five or six decades. In a dictatorship or a monarchy, these two concepts did not have a chance of a snowball in hell to live longer than 24 hours. Governments and states that were not consistent with the fundamental principles of democratic elections and people’s participation never had to answer to an electorate whose values and measures are diametrically opposed to those who governed. A monarch assumed power of governance over his or her subjects by lineage while dictators merely came to occupy the seats of power through coercion, coup d’état or violent revolutions. Though they claim that the service of the people is their ultimate purpose, their modus operandi remains the subject of derision and denunciation of the subject people.

I spoke according to my conscience - President


The recent controversial speech made by President Maithripala Sirisena at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute (SLFI) has become a subject of much debate among the people. The following is a discussion held  with the President and what he shared with our sister paper ‘Sunday Lankadeepa’.   

  • Commissioners of the relevant Commissions are not subjected to any criticism; they are very honest, dedicated and unbiased

  • Minister Fowzie is a State Minister of this government. Until he was summoned to court, I was not aware of any investigation against him

  • Avant Garde was taken into custody over a year ago. Where is the investigation? And where is the analytical report? Now the government has to look after the interests of this vessel, this is a big burden on us and incurs a colossal expenditure

  • The Director General of the Bribery Commission has also done the same thing that the civil society did

  • What I said was them being former Navy Commanders, when they are tobe questioned, it  is imperative thatI should be made aware

Your controversial speech made recently has become a subject of much talk among the people of the country. Two groups have emerged opposing and supporting your views. What was the real objective of your speech?

Government on firm ground, but needs quick course correction


logoFriday, 21 October 2016 

Minister Rajitha Senaratne and President Maithripala during the 8 January campaign 

There was heavy speculation in some quarters that the President’s statement on Wednesday last week that rocked the political and diplomatic circles and also led to the resignation of the Director General of the Bribery Commission signalled that his honeymoon with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s administration was running low and he would not hesitate to take full control of the administration, including taking the Law and Order Ministry under his wing.

In his most hard-hitting remarks since coming to power on 8 January, the President was visibly upset that the three main anti-graft organisations, including the independent Bribery Commission, was engaged in politically-motivated prosecutions. He also warned the secretaries of the independent commissions that it was he who had appointed them and they should know their terms of reference and must keep him informed about the high profile cases.

However, none of this justifies the President’s comments in public against independent institutions or his decision to turn his back on the mandate he received; to take action against those who plundered wealth of the country.
Many people were quick to jump into the debate and say the marriage between the SLFP and the UNP had hit the rocks. This speculation was further strengthened because the President had said he had been silent for too long, but had now decided to speak out and take corrective action.

He singled out last month’s prosecution of three ex-Navy Admirals and former Defence Secretary as being uncalled for. “I condemn the actions of the CID (Criminal Investigations Division), FCID (Financial Crimes Investigations Division) and the Bribery Commission,” he said at a ceremony at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute in Colombo. He said the agencies should not work according to a political agenda. “If they do, I will have to take stern action against them. I deplore their recent actions.”

Health Minister Dr.  Rajitha Senaratne, one of the top three architects of the 8 January election victory, was quick to defend his friend. He said at the weekly press briefing that despite Sirisena’s statements, the relationship with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe as well as the union between the two parties remains strong.

He had further said the President has the same views as the majority of Sri Lankans. “He shares the disappointment of the people. He is fed up of waiting for investigations into the big deals to be concluded. Why has the Bribery Commission failed to investigate the Dubai bank accounts held by the Rajapaksas even after we clearly gave them all the information? What has happened to the MiG investigation? Why are these investigations still dragging along one-and-a-half years later?”


There is a growing body of opinion that military commanders who led a successful campaign to crush separatist Tamil Tiger rebels in May 2009 should not be humiliated by bringing them to court, given their huge contribution to secure and save the future of our country.

The problem the Government has is that the three former Naval Chiefs and Gotabaya Rajapaksa were accused of causing a loss of around Rs. 11 billion to the State through a private arms deal involving Avant-Garde security company. They face other charges too.

The Government promised the public in January last year that all the corrupt deals would be investigated fully and those guilty would be brought to book. Therefore, unless the investigations are politically motivated, the public officials involved must be given the freedom to do their job without fear. The public also at the same time want the Government to run investigations against those officials in the current setup who are also facing corruption allegations.

A COPE report on the Central Bank Bond controversy is expected to be made public. They also want all the problematic transactions on the stock exchange and financial markets that took place during the Rajapaksa period to be investigated fully and made public. Also, the public want a proper justification to be given on the payment of $ 115 million to cancel Airbus planes ordered by the previous regime.

Need for urgent correction

There is no doubt that both the President and Prime Minister want the Unity Government to run its full term till 2020. The President also has no power to dissolve Parliament. Therefore those waiting on the sidelines waiting for the Government to fall would do justice to the taxpayer if they either fade away or buckle up fast and focus on what they have to deliver to the public.

On the other hand, President Sirisena’s outburst should not be taken very lightly. Because, the President is a very patient and a simple man. A person who still has the humility to pour a cup of tea for a visitor at his home. Therefore it is a clear signal that he is keen to build his own base and that he wants to play a bigger role to deliver on the promises he made without allowing a few people to take decisions according to a different timetable and to keep him in the dark.

It also appears the President was venting his frustration at the slow progress of crucial investigations and acknowledged the Head of State was wary of repercussions from the powerful military establishment.

But he needs to remember that the Common Opposition, championed by activists like the late Ven. Sobitha and Rathana Thero, intellectuals, lawyers and civil society inspired the public with a promised new deal. They told the public that the Government they had in mind would be governed based on the principles of ‘Yahapalanaya’ and that Sirisena with Ranil would fix the rotten political system and bring back dignity to the once-respected key democratic institutions.

There was certainly so much of hope among the new voters that there was finally a way out of the mess and that men and women of integrity with no baggage or charges would be brought into the administration to deliver the promised Yahapalanaya. Sadly however to the die-hard supporters of Yahapalanaya these are days of fading hope and overwhelming despair and the disenchanted have given up and many of them are openly venting their frustration on social media.

Therefore, the time is right for President Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe to re-examine their mandate and do what it takes to deliver the promised political reform; if they don’t do that, they will only have themselves to blame, if the forces of 8 January struggle align against them.

We have been through such experiences before, sufficient for a century? Do we not learn the lessons? History repeats itself for those who do not bother to learn from the lessons of the past.