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

Sunday, April 30, 2017

No mobile service signals for north, east

No mobile service signals for north, east
Apr 30, 2017

The north and the east of Sri Lanka still look a separate country. Don’t be alarmed. This is not a separatist or racist claim.

But, if you go, either to Jaffna or Vavuniya, you will feel like you are in a separate country. The reason being that in the context of communication, you will be 90 per cent isolated. Especially, if you have a Dialog mobile or data connection, it is certain that you will be cut off from the rest of the world. For someone who is used to the internet, spending a week in the northeast will be suicidal.
What is the reason? An investigation revealed that certain mobile service providers are reluctant to build their communication towers in the two provinces. It is very clear that they do not want to build their towers in state land or in land seized by the military, and lose their investments.
Most of the country’s land area is state-owned. In the north and the east, most of the land of Tamil civilians taken over by the military still remain so. No one knows the exact figures. We cannot expect authorities to give correct figures.
Although it is claimed that civilian land has been returned, military camps are located every half a kilometre in the north. Soldiers patrol the area. Civilians still remain terrified. No responsible party has an honest intention to end that culture of terror. In such a scenario, whose fault is it that mobile service providers are adopting a backward approach with regard to their services in the north and the east.
By a special correspondent

No Equality Without Secularism


Colombo Telegraph
By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole –April 30, 2017
Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole
On 22 May I was privileged to chair a Jaffna Managers’ Forum meeting where Lal Wijenayake, Chairman of the Public Representations Committee on Constitutional Reforms, came to consult the public. It was an immense success. Assisted by Yuresha Fernando and Winston Pathirajah, he won applause. Charged words should be avoided he said. For example, there is plenty of support for “power sharing” but instead if federalism or unitary is used, the changes will not pass.
The only opposition was to retaining §9 of the present constitution: “The Republic of Sri Lanka shall give to Buddhism the foremost place and accordingly it shall be the duty of the State to protect and foster the Buddha Sasana, while assuring to all religions the rights granted by Articles 10 and 14(1)(e).”
Wijenayake then read §10: “Every person is entitled to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, including the freedom to have or to adopt a religion or belief of his choice;” and  then §14(1) (e): “Every citizen is entitled to the freedom, either by himself or in association with others, and either in public or in private, to manifest his religion or belief in worship, observance, practice and teaching.”
His interpretation that §10 and §14(1)(e) safeguard everyone from §9 was roundly rejected since having “freedom of thought, conscience and religion” does not mean equality when the government takes funds from the common pool to foster Buddhism.
Wijenayake then tried another explanation: it is like UNESCO spending common funds to foster cultures under threat. But then, Buddhism is not a culture under threat and indeed is threatening other religions in destroying Hindu temples and churches.
He tried again: Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith had said there is no harm. But even Tamil Roman Catholics did not accept his leadership, especially after he showed himself willing to go along with the Rajapakses on their questionable projects such as the removal of the Chief Justice.
M.K. Sivajilingam had the last word saying this new constitution might be old toddy in a new pila (a serving dish made of the palmyra leaf).
President Over-stepping Boundaries
On Good Friday, a day of fasting for Christians, I received an sms from President Sirisena:
“May this Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawn upon all Sri Lankans an era of sustainability and prosperity.” 
Sustain what? The corruption we voted to break free of is sustained even by the President’s and PM’s admission. We certainly do not want their sustenance of corruption to be sustained.
And “Tamil New Year”?  It is a Hindu astrological event. Our religious festivals are for us to define – not for the majority to tell us. A similar imposition is claiming Thai Pongal – a Hindu Vellala Harvest Festival for the Sun God – as uniquely Tamil. I felt euphoria over the 2015 elections. However, my hopes have dimmed since the President announced that
“The government will not go ahead with any task opposed by [the] Mahasangha which provided correct guidance and advice for better governance throughout our proud history of thousands of years.” (PMD News, 21.01.2016).
We voted directly for Sirisena as President, not as the Vicar of the Mahasangha. If the Mahasangha wants to rule us then they should stand for elections. Recall that it was the Sangha that consoled Duttagemenu when he was depressed after killing many Tamils. Advised the Sangha, Tamils are “not to be more esteemed than beasts”! (Mahavamsa, Chapter. 25: 98, 103, 107-112). Was it on this ancient Sangha advice that the President promised 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 courts”? (Economy Next, 12.10.2016).
I doubt Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims want to be ruled by the Mahasangha, considering that since Duttagemunu’s time, they have been at the forefront of communalism.  The President ended a speech, wishing us the “Blessings of the Triple Gem” meaning the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha. Most minorities in Sri Lanka do not take refuge in the teachings of the Sangha and would dissociate themselves from Dharma, which means caste-duty.
Equally unsettling is the President’s speech on
“the importance of making Sri Lanka a centre to spread the message of Theravada Buddhism to the world” (PMD News, 08.08.2016).

Of the 44 media personnel who died 41 are Tamils ! Why no proper probe ? - C.M. asks at commemoration ceremony of first Web editor Sivaram


LEN logo(Lanka-e-News - 30.April.2017, 9.25PM)  The investigations into the murders of Tamil journalists during the period of the war are progressing at snail’s pace , lamented northern  chief minister C.V. Wigneswaran .
The chief minister made this revelation when delivering the speech at the 12 th commemoration ceremony of senior journalist  late Dharmaratnam Sivaram alias ‘Tharaki’ , a Tamil national  who wrote in English . The ceremony was held at Kilinochchi on 29 th April. 
Like how the investigations  into the deaths of other journalists are being conducted , these murders shall also be probed swiftly and duly,  the chief minister pointed out. 
A  number of representatives of the media associations of the South too attended the ceremony. 
Of the 44 journalists and personnel in the services of the  media who died  , 41 are Tamil nationals , yet it is a matter for deep regret so far proper  investigations into those have not been   conducted , Wigneswaran asserted. 


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by     (2017-04-30 15:59:41)

10 years of displacement, 38 days of protest: Mullikulam villagers return home

Home
30 Apr  2017
After ten years of displacement and over a month of protest, the people of Mullikulam in Mannar set foot again in their lands for the first time on Sunday.
Having been forcibly removed from their village on the 8th September 2007 as a result of the re-escalating ethnic conflict, the people of Mullikulam began a protest on the 23rd March 2017 outside the navy camp which was built on their occupied land. On the 38th day of continuous protest, the Sri Lankan navy agreed to return their residential lands.
The decision came after a high-level meeting took place with Tamil representatives and the Sri Lankan Navy commander at the camp on Saturday.
“The people’s continuous protest has delivered success,” parliamentarian for Vanni, Selvam Adaikalanathan said following the meeting.
Speaking to journalists, Mullikulam parish priest Father Anton Thavarasa said that in the days to come a committee will be formed by the navy to deal with issues such as paths to the coast. Father Anton also said that the villagers would shelter at the church until they have rebuilt their homes to a habitable state.
With regards to rebuilding houses, Mr Adaikalanathan also stated in his remarks that the resettlement minister, D M Swaminathan had promised to provide assistance to the people in creating provisional housing. A timeframe of 8 months was set to allow navy personnel living in 22 Tamil-owned houses to vacate the premises.
The villagers held a thanksgiving mass at the Heavenly Mother church in Mullikulam, still on navy-occupied land, and cooked and ate together in celebration of their impending returns home.

Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Reform: New Wine In Old Wineskin?


Colombo Telegraph
By Annahl Anbini Hoole –April 30, 2017 
Annahl Anbini Hoole, MD
The Managers’ Forum in Nallur, Jaffna had Lal WijenayakeWinston Pathiraja, and Yuresha Fernando speaking on Sri Lanka’s Constitutional Reform Process on 23.04.2017.  Considering the deficient and unfair system in place underscored by human-rights violations for decades, constitutional reform is necessary to safeguard the rights of all citizens. The current 1978 Constitution even after the 19th amendment, has a powerful president, making degeneration into tyranny all the easier as seen by the last ruler. The 1947 and 1972 constitutions favored a parliamentary form of government, however the power was with the majority Singhalese who abused their power to discriminate and disenfranchise Tamils.  The challenge lies in creating a constitution that addresses the needs of all Sri Lankan people. Most (according to the PRC) feel this is best done through power sharing. Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, felt “this process presents an opportunity to rectify structural deficiencies that contributed to past human rights violations, and reinforce guarantees of non-recurrence such as strengthening civilian oversight over the military.” All three speakers emphasized that human rights be given the foremost place when writing this constitution.
Reform Process:
Yuresha Fernando, Additional Secretary to the Constitutional Assembly, gave an overview of the reform process. In January 2016, the Cabinet of Ministers created the Public Representations Committee for Constitutional Reforms (PRC) to consult with the people regarding what they want to see in the new Constitution. PRC travelled to all 25 districts seeking submissions through public consultation. These findings are then reported to the Constitutional Assembly, Steering Committee, and the Sub-Committee.
Yuresha Fernando, Lal Wijenayake and Winston Pathiraja
On 09.03.2016 Parliament passed a Framework Resolution to establish an outline for the Constitutional Assembly when drafting the Constitution and set up the Steering Committee to prepare a Draft Constitutional Proposal. The Constitutional Assembly is chaired by the Speaker Karu Jayasuriya, aided by seven Deputy Chairmen. A panel of seven experts was established to advice the Constitutional Assembly, who may call upon other experts or consultants as well. The Steering Committee is chaired by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and has 20 others.
Last November, the PRC reported its findings to the six sub-committees established by the Constitutional Assembly. These sub-committees then deliberate and recommend improvement on fundamental rights, judiciary, law and order, public finance, public services, and center-periphery relations. The Constitutional Assembly can also consult its panel of experts.
The Steering Committee compiles all this and presents an Interim Report with proposed principles for constitutional reform to the Constitutional Assembly, who may then return it to the Steering Committee with amendments. Once amendments have been made, the final report is resubmitted to the Constitutional Assembly with a proposed draft constitutional proposal and bill. If this draft is approved by two-thirds of the Constitutional Assembly, it is submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers and then Parliament and the Constitutional Assembly will be dissolved. If the draft is approved by a simple majority, it will be reconsidered in Parliament within one month. The Cabinet of Ministers presents it before Parliament as a Bill to replace the constitution. This bill then has to be passed by two-thirds majority in Parliament, and then approved by a Referendum.

Amnesty: Unsubstantiated Allegations and Fabrications presented as Credible Truths


article_image
By Neville Ladduwahetty- 


The Secretary General of Amnesty International, Mr. Salil Shetty has stated during his recent visit to Sri Lanka that "a credible investigation was required to ascertain the number of civilians as well as enforced disappearances during the conflict in Sri Lanka" (The Island, April 6, 2017). The report added: "Salil didn’t mince his words when he declared that people were sceptical about the local judiciary and the AI. too, shared their opinion"
May Day: Protests, Laws and the Attacks on Workers


2017-05-01

The eight-hour working day has its legacy in a long history of May Day protests. Over 150 years ago, in 1866, the first general congress of the International Workingmen’s Association, commonly known as the First International, resolved that the eight-hour working day would be one of the primary demands of the workers of the world.
Two decades later, militant demonstrations for an eight-hour working day in Chicago on May 1st, 1886 were brutally repressed by the police, leading to May First as a day of protest. Subsequently, the Second International,convened in 1889 on the centenary of the French Revolution called for May Day as an international day of workers’protests and solidarity.  
In many parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, May Day is the largest annual day of protest. But its relationship to the eight-hour working day is hardly remembered after the onslaught of decades of neoliberal capitalism. Even worse, in this country today, May Day has little to do with workers’ rights. Instead, political parties, including those that are explicitly opposed to workers’ rights, use it as a show of strength. These demonstrations of political patronage continue even as all the hard-fought rights of workers are under attack.   

Work in our Times

The industrial working class, which historically struggled for the eight-hour working day in Europe and the United States, makes up only a small fraction of labour in Sri Lanka. Furthermore, the formal sector, consisting of just 40% of the labour force in Sri Lanka,is steadily becoming informalised as it is being replaced by temporary workers, including those supplied by manpower agencies. Several recent strike actions demanding permanency, including the long strike of Telecom workers, which ended just a few weeks ago, and last year’s strike by the Jaffna Municipal Council garbage workers, reflects the growing informalisation of the labour force. Worryingly, this abominable employment practice is becoming common place in sectors where permanent employment was the norm for many decades.  
Workers in the formal sector, including those who have permanent jobs, must do over-time work to earn a decent income to sustain their families. Engaging in over-time work out of necessity is a reversal of the long fought demand for an eight-hour working day, which has its basis in the idea that the worker’s day should entail no more than eight hours of work with eight hours for leisure and eight hours for rest. Work today is neither regular nor limited, but depend on the whims of the capitalist system and its drive to maximise profits. When people work from morning till night, or take up multiple jobs, or live in fear of losing their temporary jobs, they can no longer be citizens participating in a democracy. Even time to struggle for decent working conditions are denied, as their time is fully consumed in working to survive.   
The large majority of our people continue to work in agriculture and fisheries, or plantations where work is dwindling, or eke out a precarious livelihood in urban and rural informal production and services. With falling incomes, more and more of them are compelled to find low-paying urban work, migrate to the Middle East or desperately seek multiple jobs. Work for our people then is increasingly becoming precarious with falling wages, lack of job security and no limits on exploitation.   

Powerful Social Barrier

J. R. Jayewardene set the terms for successive governments’ engagement with workers and their trade unions by brutally crushing the general strike of July 1980. The trade union movement is yet to recover from that blow. Today, just 10% of the labour force are trade union members. While the labour laws themselves were not drastically changed with the adoption of open economic policies in 1977, the laws are rarely implemented by the state in the context of a weak labour movement. Set up to address workers issues,the Labour Department functions as an ‘Employers Department,’ as business circumvents labour laws with ease.    To make matters worse, the Government now wants to change the labour laws, making it even easier for businesses to hire and fire, and legally extend the working day. Indeed, the idea of a social contract, between the state, business and labour, which also underpins the principles of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), no longer holds. There is strong collusion between the state and business, and the ILO itself seems to have surrendered to the interests of big business, the World Bank and the IMF. All of them together today are on the offensive to remove any laws that mayprotect the working people in Sri Lanka.  
One hundred and fifty years ago, Karl Marx, who was instrumental in initiating the First International and its eight-hour working day campaign,said this about labour laws:    “For ‘protection’ against the serpent of their agonies, the workers have to put their heads together and, as a class, compel the passing of a law, an all-powerful social barrier by which they can be prevented from selling themselves and their families into slavery and death by voluntary contract with capital. In the place of the pompous catalogue of the ‘inalienable rights of man’ there steps the modest Magna Carta of the legally limited working day, which at last makes clear ‘when the time which the worker sells is ended, and when his own begins’.” (Capital, Volume 1, p.416)  
Here Marx is critical of mere lists of rights, as with human rights in our day, that are rarely implemented. Rather, he is calling on workers to extract a law to limit the working day as part of building a powerful social barrier against the ravages of capital. The current attack on the labour regime in Sri Lanka, can only be understood as an attempt to destroy the remnants of such a social barrier, and reduce workers to slaves at the mercy of capital.   

Season of Protests

Laws mean nothing without the power and backing of people. The working people themselves must compel the Government to ensure that labour laws are not watered down and are implemented to the word. Yet the formal workers on their own, for whom the labour laws were made, cannot guard the labour regime,much less build a powerful social barrier.  
The great challenge for the working people is to build a broad alliance, of farmers, fisher-folk, estate workers, urban and rural wage workers, factory and service sector workers, and students and teachers. The people have everything to lose, from free education and healthcare, to their resources and entitlements, to all the necessities of life for which they have worked and struggled. To avoid that the citizenry must wage major democratic battles tocreate a powerful social barrier to withstand the attack by the nexus of the state, business and their imperial patrons in the form of global capital and donor agencies.  
There is little today to celebrate in the May Day rallies by political parties that have sold the working people for the profit of capital. If there is one lesson for state officials, Colombo’s elite and middle class liberals to learn from the Meethotamulla garbage slide disaster that killed scores of people few a weeks ago, it is the importance of listening to protests before tragedy unfolds. The current season of protests – the farmers and fisher-folk protesting for land and access to the seas in the North, the students protesting against SAITM and the privatisation of education and healthcare, and numerous other trade union agitations and strikes – are signs of the people reclaiming democracy.Such protests are also elements of a powerful social barrier for a just and equal society   

Economy & Its Woes In The Debt Trapped Sri Lanka


Colombo Telegraph
By Siri Gamage –April 30, 2017
Dr. Siri Gamage
Economy and its Woes in the Debt Trapped Sri Lanka: Is there an Alternative Economic Development Model?
During the Yahapalanaya government of President Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe, it appears that a concerted effort is being made to invite foreign investors of various sorts, primarily from the Asian region, supported by multilateral agencies and bilateral agreements. Such efforts seem to follow in the footsteps of export-led growth strategy adopted by former President J.R. Jayewardene presently under a national government of the two main political parties and minority parties. Though the efforts of the government to enter into contracts and MOUs with foreign entities and partners seem to attract political comment, very little economic comment, particularly critical, is forthcoming. Long term social and cultural consequences of promoting foreign investor-oriented and export led growth is also not being critically reflected upon.
In this article, I examine the two main layers of the economy, who benefits from the foreign investor-oriented economic development and the potential for creating a large subservient and dependent class (or classes) with a view to generate further critical/constructive discussion. It is suggested that the political and civic leaders whose loyalties are for the long-term national interest take the scenario discussed here seriously and develop ‘a political and economic strategy’ that can serve the national interest rather than the investor interest. It is hoped that the conceptual distinction made between two layers of the economy –one highly integrated to the global economy and the other not so – can serve as a vehicle for understanding the context and risks of following a foreign investor driven economic development strategy for the unreconciled nation.
Super Economy (Supiri Arthikaya) vs. National Economy (Jathika Arthikaya)
When we talk about the national economy, economists usually talk in terms of various sectors, e.g. agriculture and mining, manufacturing, tourism, services. In this era of globalisation and multinational corporation activities, we have to make a distinction between the Super economy and the national economy. The former refers to the multinational corporate sector with their manufacturing plants, marketing and service outlets, export facilities, offices, and commercial plantations. Multinational companies generally come under the BOI purview, as they are large-scale investors. Such entities can be private sector companies or state owned depending on the country of origin. If the company is from a country like China, the entity can be state-owned. These entities operate under the laws applicable to the BOI sponsored projects, services (such as education and health) and various industries and commercial activities.
The capacity of the government to control such entities is very limited. These entities are responsible to their superiors and shareholders in the origin countries. Decisions pertaining to their operations are taken in the world capitals where their headquarters are located. To protect their interests, they obtain professional services of accounting, legal, and other services from abroad and if necessary locally. This supra layer of economic activity (and service provision) is at the top of the economic pyramid of a developing country like Sri Lanka but in the day to day political discourses inside and outside the parliament this layer seems to be out of bound for critical scrutiny. It is almost taken as a given and a blessing for the country’s economy and future prosperity. Take for example the tourism sector. The more foreign investments coming to the country is considered as a blessing. What harm such ventures are inflicting on the country’s public space, core values and customs, etc. are not even discussed. That is how far we have been brain washed about the merits of foreign investments over decades of governance based on neoliberal, free market economy doctrine couched in the globalisation discourse with a positive slant.
If there is any foreign control of the country’s resources, workforce, and any threat to national sovereignty there is no any other agency that have detrimental effects than this layer. Its impact on the so-called ‘national economy’ that means the rest of economic activities not connected to this layer or global economy is not even mentioned? Yet, the impact of this supra layer and its activities on the national economy can be substantial not only in terms of foregone business, trade and manufacturing opportunities for the local agriculturalists, manufacturers, entrepreneurs but also the extensive competition brought about by this layer plus the import trade to the consumer market. In the political discourse, finger is pointed at a given country if not a given minority ethnic community as the cause for the country’s economic woes.
This supra layer of economic activity is organised around the profit motive. Various entities are operating as part of a regional or global network of similar entities managed by highly efficient managerial staff and a mainly local workforce being employed at subsistence level wages (wages that are just enough to live, no surplus). The entities and their owners appropriate surplus produced by such workforce. Government is receiving a tax benefit but in many instances these entities have been offered tax holidays extending to a period of decade or more. Thus the benefit can mainly be in terms of the employment for the local population and its ability to participate in the consumer market.

Will TUs make Maithri meet the same fate as SWRD?

BY GAGANI WEERAKOON-2017-04-30
President Maithripala Sirisena appeared to have stirred the hornets' nest by suggesting a top military post to Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka who is also a Cabinet minister in Maithri-Ranil Unity Government of Yahalapanaya. While factual clarity of this 'suggestion' remain unconfirmed with various members of the same Cabinet issuing contradictory remarks, it is clear that Minister Rajitha Senaratne's official statement made in his capacity as the Cabinet Spokesman led to all hell break loose. Even though, many opinions have been already expressed on the matter, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is more experienced in governance than President Sirisena by serving in the same office on two previous occasions, remains silent or rather has not issued any statement on the issue. This also leads to question the clarity of the suggestion vis-a-vis the said appointment.
A worker reads history


2017-05-01
The worker reads history on the very first day of May every year. It is called MAY DAY. Its genesis is related to the sweat of the proletariat. Yet, its spirit seems to have been robbed by the capitalists in the course of time. The drastic consequence is that the sacred meaning of the word has almost become a misnomer. It’s another glaring daylight robbery in the very presence of the rightful heirs of the day.   
The gravity of the of this scenario was first brought to the focus of the international labour-loving community by Bertolt Brecht of Germany. He was an ardent follower of  Karl Marx, Friedrich Engels and  Vladimir Lenin. Lenin was veritably able to translate the Marx’s theory into practice. No one can deny the surgical value of his theory because he did the academic pursuits with regard to the topic at the universities for more than 18 years. It is said that he had been the first in the queue to the library and the last to leave it every day during his research period. Engels, Trotsky, Stalin, Che, Mao, Castro and the literary figures such as Maxim Gorky and other Russian writers and Bertolt Brecht and Fedrico Gancia Lorca stand tall in this long saga of the proletariat revolution for the uplift of the concept of dignity of labour. The bitter irony is that not a single name of this noble list is mentioned by the so-called demi-gods of the working class today.   
Not a single political party has a legitimate right to use and display the photograph of the above mentioned iconic figures in their rallies or demonstrations in Sri Lanka because they have loudly and publicly declared that they no more advocated the mode of armed struggle to grab power from the capitalist class. That is a gross violation of Marxist principles. Hence they have no right to display the Red hammer and sickle at their rallies. Almost all the left political parties in Sri Lanka are the dupes of the capitalist class.
The history of Sri Lanka’s left movement could be roughly traced back to the early decades of the 1900s. Yet, they have failed to establish socialism in Sri Lanka. They have exploited the sweat of the proletariat to gain political mileage. The worst betrayal of the traditional left parties could be attributed to the political pact they had with the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) just to gain a few portfolios for their survival. Now, it is high time to hold a postmortem examination with surgical accuracy by rational-minded intellectuals in this regard. The worst consequence of the sudden impulse of the socialist stalwarts is that their parties now have virtually become three-wheeler parties. Today no worker would listen to their request to attend their May Day rallies. Let’s wait and see. The remaining few members of the politburo will be Waiting for Godot. The radical new left spearheaded by the People’s Liberation Front also at the last convention reiterated that they also had done away with the original Marxist Leninist theory of the proletariat revolution. Thus Sri Lankan workers are in the lurch with regard to their political aspiration. Some ill-organized sporadic workers’ strike wouldn’t pave the way for a workers’ regime. It is very palpable that they also have become the prisoners of the parliamentary system . Lenin crystal clearly pointed out that the parliamentary system was only a means to reach the destination, yet it was discernible that they enjoyed questioning and getting answers while the rank and file were left disgruntled. At the grassroots level not a single activist is found. Once in a blue moon a person comes with an old copy of a newspaper showcasing the May Day speeches of the leaders of the working class in the days gone by.Their oratorical skills were excellent, their speeches logical and meaningful. There is little or no hope for the workers today. The writer is keeping a vigilant eye to see how many genuine workers would participate in the May Day rallies. The status quo seems to be that May day has become the day set apart for fraudsters, murderers, tender benders, bankrupt and frustrated politicians, political sons and daughters,
some literary fossils, pseudo intellectuals, saffron-robed youth, henchmen and goons. Worker representation should be the focal point. Their menu is included with hot drinks and so the fragrance of the sweat is forgotten. The main boast of the pseudo working class leaders are about the number of participants and about wining the next election. Major political parties seem to have forgotten the workers’ rights and have given a new impetus to regaining power or remaining in power to enjoy the parliamentary perks and riding on the shoulders of the proletariat. The vociferous speakers of almost all the political parties who swear to die for the sake of the underdog have their own factories and tea estates. It is an open secret how they treat their own workers in their estates. During the May Day week I would like to remind them to peruse through the vast literature written by the iconic figures of the workers’ movement to renew their spirit. poncia’s character in ‘The House of Berarda Alba’ will enlighten such interested parties to a great extent. 
In the tapestry of English literature there is many a gem very pertinent to this discussion. One such poem is ‘A WORKER READS HISTORY’ by BERTOLT BRECHT. In this fine piece of poetry, he very sarcastically questions the historians why they had not mentioned even a single name of the workers who sacrificed their sweat to erect great monuments. The writer would like to list an array of the great works stated in his poetic work: Seven gates of Thebes; Babylon; Lima’s houses; Chinese wall; Imperial Rome and Palaces   
These monuments have been built with the blood, sweat and guts of the workers while so many of them had died. It is said that some tyrannical rulers had cut off their hands and fingers even legs not to build such creations thereafter. They have carried craggy stones. Gallons and gallons of honest sweat they have poured into their labour. It is very pathetic and poignant. Have the rulers given due recognition to their sweat. Let’s see what our Sri Lankan fakirs would do to our workers on May Day .   
Caesar’s wars were fought not by him, but by his brave soldiers. In the Atlantis legend it was the slaves that saved the lives of the kings and nobles. The kings and nobles have never given any handshake to the slaves, by have mounted their shoulders to save their lives. Have the historians mentioned even a single name of such brave slaves in history? Did young Alexander conquer India alone? Not even a name of a cook in the army has been mentioned in history. It is said that when Philip of Spain lost his fleet of ships in the sea he had not shed a single tear for the crew members. The seven-year war was won by Fredrick the Great, but not a single name of a brave soldier has been mentioned by the historians.   
The above description drives home one single truth to the rational-minded intellectuals. Human history has to be rewritten by giving the devil his due. No one has paid the piper. The kings, the rulers, the saviours and the demi-gods of the proletariat have only offered pipe dreams to our comrades. We have to relaunch a genuine struggle by the workers for their rights. False prophets have to be driven away. History has left only so many particulars and so many questions to the brethren of the working class.   
“Sadukin pelenawun dan ithin nagitiyaw
Anthima satanata sarasiyaw 
 Anthima satanata, anthima satanata 
Anthima satanata sarasiyaw’ 
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.   

Maithri at last by eliminating a stinking garbage fungus clears half of the garbage heap !

-Corrupt environmental authority Director ousted..!

LEN logo(Lanka-e-News - 30.April.2017, 9.20PM)  Following the tragedy resulting from  Meethotamulla garbage dump collapse , president Maithripala Sirisena has extirpated  a stinking  ‘garbage fungus’ which  was thriving on garbage ,and was  a cause of monumental  problems to the entire country for many years . This stinking ‘garbage fungus ’ is none other than the corrupt State officer  K.M. Muthukuda Arachchi, the  Director General of the Environmental Authority , based on reports reaching Lanka e news 
This Muthukuda Arachi whose corruption stinks of corruption worse than the garbage dump was caught red handed when he furnished a bogus report to the president who is also the minister of environment .He was therefore chased out from his post lock, stock and barrel at lightning speed. 
When the people opposed the garbage dumping  at Dompe , the president called for an immediate  report from the Central Environmental  Authority that authorized the site. The president who scrutinized the report forwarded by the Environmental Authority had realized the report was full of errors. When Professor Lal Mervyn Dharmasiri, the chairman of the Central Environmental Authority was questioned on this , he had said , he knew  nothing about the report , and it was prepared by  Muthukuda Arachchi . The president has then instructed the chairman to inquire about the errors in the report from Muthukuda.
When inquiries were made by Prof. Dharmasiri from Muthukuda , the latter had scolded the former in the most foul and filthiest language. The president based on the errors in the report as well as the conduct  of  Muthukuda who used filth to bitterly berate the chairman of the Environmental Authority had ordered  Muthukuda  a most stinking garbage fungus and therefore  deserving to be buried  only within the garbage dump and not outside,  to be packed and  sent home with immediate effect .
It is well to recall it is this stinking Muthukuda the most corrupt Environmental Director General who earlier on along with Saman Senanayake the Kurunegala environmental  chief who suppressed the most dangerous environmental pollution involving the Norwegian Jiffy factory which was releasing the toxic calcium nitrate to the Deduru Oya , when Lanka  e news and some other media were exposing this with copious evidence for a long period. This same corruption stinking Mutukuda even went so  far as to rescue the other corrupt scoundrel Saman Senanyake when president was inquiring into it . Mutukuda on that occasion even deceived the president by concocting all bogus stories in defense.

When large  scale factories were launching  operations with the approval of the Sri Lanka Investment Board , it was this rascally Muthukuda who played a key role to grant approvals after abjectly surrendering not only to the benefits and perks but even for a quarter bottle of arrack (sometimes kasippu) offered by these factories . No wonder the country ‘s environment was fast heading for a total devastation !
Though the president took this long to realize the environmental disaster this stinking scoundrel was wreaking on the country , even the worms within the garbage were long before aware of the crimes Muthukuda  the stinking ‘garbage Director General’ was committing to the detriment of the country. The day this rascal dies , even  the worms under the earth would fight shy of getting close to his corpse . 
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by     (2017-04-30 16:06:00)

I could have captured the whole country in one night - SF

I could have captured the whole country in one night - SF
logoBy Binoy Suriyaarachchi-April 30, 2017

I could have captured the whole country in one night after surrounding Colombo with the powers I had earlier, former Army Commander and Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka said.

“But it’s not my behavior to do something such interdisciplinary,” he said while speaking to reporters on Sunday.

Responding to remark of Minister S.B. Dissanayake on the suggested senior defence post, Fonseka said “Dissanayake is a Minister who made his life a joke.”

Fonseka while elaborating the need for the suggested position also went on to say “They will also have to face consequences if this nature of post is not filled timely.”

Commenting on request for Fonseka to take up senior military post for two years, Minister S. B. Dissanayake had earlier said that the President was not speaking seriously and was only joking about it.
However, Minister Rajitha Senaratne had said that the Cabinet of Ministers has discussed the possibility of appointing Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka to a top defence-related position to work alongside the country’s security forces.

‘Lies And Deception’ In The Cabinet Approved Counter-Terror Draft


Colombo Telegraph
April 30, 2017
The Sri Lankan Government has managed to ‘trick’ sympathetic members of the European Parliament into signifying approval for a draft Counter-Terror Act last week which is far worse than the existing Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA). The CTA was proposed to replace the PTA as a better alternative as promised by the Government.
Today’s Sunday Times carries a link to the ‘leaked’ Cabinet approved draft now to be drafted as a Bill and a lead story by senior journalist Namini Wijedasa on the conflict between the draft CTA’s prohibition on the ‘gathering of confidential information’ if it adversely affects public security and the Right to Information Act of 2016. The RTI Act leaves out ‘public security’ as a ground on which to deny information.
The Government’s attempt to ‘trick’ its critics comes from unclear offences in the initial draft being secretively brought back through different language. The old draft was leaked by the Sunday Times last year but after a storm of shocked protests, its contents were revised to take out the worse parts. But those revisions are now no longer there. For example, the old offence of ‘espionage’ has been taken out but the actual content of the offence relating to ‘confidential information’ has been brought back under a different heading, linked to ‘terrorist’ or terrorist related offences.   
Prominent legal commentator Kishali Pinto-Jayawardena points out that this exercise amounts to ‘lies and deception.’ Writing her regular column to the Sunday Times, she says that protections offered through the draft CTA for legitimate criticism in regard to the issue of ‘confidential information’ are totally inadequate.
Protection is given for anything published in ‘good faith’ with ‘due diligence’ and ‘for the benefit of the public in the national interest in registered print and electronic media or in any academic publication. Also, the protection will not apply if the publication is not ‘registered’ or is carried online.
Under the Cabinet approved CTA, it will be a terrorist offence to write or talk in a way that causes harm to the ‘unity, territorial integrity or sovereignty of Sri Lanka,’ It was under a similar provision in the Prevention of Terrorism Act that journalists had been jailed through politicized prosecutions in the past. Now a publication may qualify as an offence if the writer is found to lack good faith or did not observe due diligence or the publication was not in the national interest by a judge. These are ‘safeguards that provide scant protection in a dysfunctional judicial and prosecutorial process’, Pinto-Jayawardena has said. ‘Provisions that are perfectly reasonable in functional Rule of Law systems assume sinister meaning connotations here because of that reality’ she adds.