the de-merger of the North- East
The Northern Province is populated by Tamils. There was time when
Sinhalese and Muslims lived in amity with the Tamils in that province.
Then came Prabhakaran. Trained in India on the orders of Indira Ghandi
in guerilla warfare. He gave the Sinhala and Muslim people 24 hours
notice to quit the province leaving behind their land, houses, furniture
and all other belongings and emigrate anywhere else on pain of death for
those who stayed behind. Most went East and others South, and were
welcome by a humanitarian populace living in those provinces.
Pressurised by India in 1987, Rajiv Ghandi, the then Indian prime
minister and the then president, J. R. Jayewardene of Sri Lanka,
amalgamated the two provinces of the North and East by a simple but
illegal device of a gazette notification, which was renewed annually.
The JHU and JVP took the matter of the amalgamation to the Supreme Court
and a learned Bench declared it ultra vires, and now the two provinces
The authoritarian rule of Prabhakaran over the North and East no longer
prevails. The Tamils who mistakenly believe that they could lord over
the Muslims and Sinhalese of the East clamour to have the two provinces
united. If the Government does that it is likely that supremo
Prabhakaran will bide his time and at the opportune moment give his
customary 24 hours notice to the Sinhalese and Muslims to leave the East
and emigrate to the hills and the rest of the South, while the
Government will have a preponderance of refugees on its hands. Wise
Muslims agitate for a de-merger of the North from the East for they
visualise a sorry plight in the event of a merger. The TNA, a band of
terrorists in sheep’s dressing, who vociferously shout in Parliament and
outside for amalgamation for Prabahakaran, wars for and wants land. If
that happens, which is unlikely, it will be disastrous for the country,
the Sinhala and Muslim people. The terrorists will crow!
Making a mockery of democracy
I am a very senior citizen in this country and am deeply hurt over
what is happening in society. The killings, abductions, the political
turmoil, crossovers from one side to the other after getting elected,
I would like to raise the issue as to how democratic it is for a person
to contest an election on a party ticket, get elected on the party vote
and then cross over. People vote for the party symbol.
And then for personal gain or for any other reason without the consent
of the voters, the elected representatives cross over to another cause.
This abrogates the very basic principle of being elected on a party
ticket. It is a mockery of democracy.
I believe, and I think you will agree with me, that to safeguard
democracy, the constitution should be so amended to make a person
automatically lose his/her seat the moment he or she crosses over.
Mr. Editor you may have different views on this. However, I hope you
will carry this letter in your Sunday issue, so that your readership who
read this may
think about it and express their views on it though The Nation, which
could sometimes result in the politicians too to think about this
Catholic schools concerned over threats
A news item recently published in a daily newspaper prompted me to
write this view point. In the article it is stated, “Threatening letters
by an anonymous group demanding all Catholic and Christian schools and
even private montessoris in and around Colombo to cancel all Christmas
programmes have sent shock waves among school authorities.”
Further down in the same article it is stated, “Some schools have
reportedly received anonymous calls warning that stern action would be
taken against those schools if they went ahead with the Christmas
programmes. A private montessori school has cancelled all Christmas
programmes”. The last paragraph of the article states, “Rev. Fr. Cyril
Gamini Fernando who spoke on behalf of the Catholic Church said forcing
people to stop programmes in connection with Christmas was a violation
of democratic rights…..”
This news is indeed worrying to many people, more so school authorities
who are supposedly the targets. If as the article states, the police
have been informed, without any delay the police must get to the bottom
of this mischief and punish the perpetrators and also expose in the
media the names or name of group that is behind this activity. It will
be interesting to find out who possesses the list of Christian schools
and montessoris for them to be so thorough in their postings of these
In this small country of ours, we have celebrated Christmas during
Christmas week from time immemorial and especially for the kids, it is a
special time for fun and games with gifts from Santa Claus who is
supposed to reward good children and punish naughty children. Whether
the children are good or bad, they all wait for Christmas Day to see
what Santa has sent them.
It is, however, rather surprising that this still being the month of
October with Christmas being two months away, why a group would begin a
programme to instill fear in Christians? We Sri Lankans have been facing
lots of religious dissension during the last couple of years due to over
zealous groups that are selling their religion even to non-believers.
The ‘fundamental rights’ of non-believers have been violated on too many
occasions but those believers, do not care about fundamental rights!
The international Christian media has been full of news items of stories
about even churches being attacked by what they call ‘extremist groups’
but on investigation into these issues, it was detected that the over
zealous Christian groups that are eager to gather more flock were behind
these very attacks where they had paid people to do the needful to place
the blame on the non-believers! None other than the then Minister of
Christian Affairs Mr. John Amaratunga’s statement which appeared in a
daily newspaper of January 17, 2004, stated that Evangelists were behind
such attacks! This is no doubt sad indeed and this recent news item in
the newspaper of October 27, 2006, may be yet another attempt by these
groups to build up an environment of religious fear for the eyes and
ears of the foreign powers. Let us hope these same groups are not at
their game again with their hidden agendas to create dissension in
society. Christmas, Easter, Ramazan, Deepavali, Sinhala and Tamil New
Year (Vesak is not a celebration but contemplation of the Buddha Dhamma)
are all religious and cultural events during which time, the entire
country goes into ‘celebration mode’ enjoying shopping and decorations.
This must continue because as Rev. Fr. Cyril Gamini Fernando has stated
in the above article in the newspaper, this is a ‘fundamental right’ -
unfortunately, this ‘right’ seems to be misused by the over zealous,
more than others. Everything needs to be taken in their correct
perspective and responsible citizens of this country have a duty to
ensure that all activities are celebrated within accepted norms of ‘live
and let live’ and within the context of the countries concerned. Let us
all keep our eyes open to detect who exactly these mischief makers are.
Pensioners in helpless situation
Pensioners are unable to know the details concerning the amounts they
are getting monthly as divisional secretaries do not supply these
details unlike earlier. Most of the pensioners are members of PSMPA. Now
we are getting pensions without knowing about any deductions. If there
is any mistake, we are in a helpless situation. In fact, most pensioners
are unable to approach divisional secretaries monthly.
The Government wants to recover postage charges from the pensioner. I do
not think they will object.
It will be better and helpful to provide pension details like it was
done earlier. I hope this will catch the eyes of the authorities
M. G. Asoka Karunaratne
Will there be reform in the U.N?
The United Nations will reach its 61st anniversary with no less a
person than Mr. Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary General elect of the UN,
expected to take office on January I, 2007. It has been declared that
there is a crisis of confidence in the UN and this has in great measure
reduced the effectiveness of the world body.
For a long time the majority of the members of the UN have been unhappy
over how the body functions. The voice for reform has grown especially
since it has now become an organisation that has more than 70,000
peacemakers deployed and also has development and humanitarian
programmes all over the world. The system of allocation of veto powers
to the US, Britain, France, Russia and China has also come in for severe
criticism from the developing countries. Reform is the buzz word now.
Mr. Ban Ki Moon may have all good intentions of implementing effective
reform for the world body, but if these reforms affect the patronizing
powers of the US and the UK in the UN, one wonders how far Ban Ki Moon
will go. Hugo Chavez in his address to the UN on September 20, advocated
the subject of reform in his words ‘A renewed United Nations’. He
remarked “We want ideas to save our planet from the imperialist threat.
And hopefully in this very century, in not too long a time, we will see
a new era, and for our children and grandchildren, a world of peace
based on the fundamental principles of the United Nations, but a renewed
Speaking further Chavez demanded drastic reform of the UN to reduce the
US’s influence, and is reported to have said,” I don’t think anyone in
this room could defend the system ... let’s be honest, the UN system
born after the Second World War has collapsed, it’s worthless.”
At this same Annual General Assembly in September, President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad too pointed out a serious flaw in the functioning of the UN
in a scathing attack on the US and its allies. He accused the US and
Britain of being “prosecutor, judge and jury” whe ever they have
differences of opinion with other countries, using their privileged
position whenever anyone tried to restrict them. “Which organs of the UN
can hold them to account?” he asked rhetorically.
Everyone knows that the real power in the UN rests with the five
permanent members of the Security Council, and that the General Assembly
has little real power, as reflected by the utter ineffectiveness of its
routine resolutions condemning Israel for its policies against the
Apparently the desired reform is to halt US and her allies manipulating
the world body to their advantage. Presently American imperialism is now
naked, barely disguised and widely recognised. The US has immense
influence in the UN because of its military and economic power. John
Bolton, the US ambassador in the UN, is noted for his ill mannered
behavior, increasing the dislike for his country among the other
members. He should have not been chosen to represent the US. The heroes
of today are those who are outspoken against the present UN system and
who are demanding for reform.
The new Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, will face both a challenging
and daunting task trying to introduce reform in the UN system. It is
interesting to note that even the US and its allies want reform. With
most of the developing and third world countries also demanding reform,
this subject will be very complex as these countries are aware that the
US and its allies have and is always, manipulating the UN for direct and
indirect economic and military warfare designed to undermine and subvert
them and ultimately to force them back into a subservient position
within the international order. Details of reform required by the US and
its allies have not been made public. All members will be keenly
watching Mr. Ban Ki Moon’s efforts to institute reform in the world body
in the coming year. If reform of the UN is not implemented the current
world disorder will continue bringing more misery to mankind.
Open letter to the President
Dear Mr. President,
Despite the brutal elimination of many high-ranking individuals and
innocent civilians by the LTTE, the peace treaties of the past such as
those initiated by President J.R. Jayewardene, Prime Minister Rajiv
Gandhi of India, President Premadsa and President Chandrika Bandaranaike
have not prevailed. How many more lives must be lost before we take a
I sincerely request you to avoid placing yourself, and the island of Sri
Lanka in the trap placed by the fanatical terrorist group called the
We are all well aware of Mr. Prabhakaran’s modus operandi where he
adorns a uniform to commit acts of brutality. This man is responsible
for all the atrocities against the Sri Lankan people and he will not
hesitate to eliminate his own people who follow the path of democracy.
One outstanding example is the brutal shooting of Mr. Amrithalingam,
Minister of the Parliament in the mid-eighties.
How can anyone in this world accept the LTTE as a group of freedom
fighters? The principles of the LTTE are consistent with the principles
of evil-doing which shocked civilised society with the introduction of
suicide bombers targeting innocent people on the island. The LTTE’s
identity is synonymous with disrespecting basic human rights, that
include unfair taxation of their own people, robbing entire villages and
killing, kidnapping and extortion. They forcibly recruit young boys and
girls from the age of 10 and train them in the art of guerilla warfare.
Then they are given weapons of destruction and subsequently sent to the
killing fields in Sri Lanka. I feel for these young children who have
yet to begin living their lives, while Mr. Prabhakaran protects himself
in underground hideaways.
Furthermore, the LTTE raises money through illegal activities such as
drug trafficking, human smuggling, and extortion of Tamil expatriates.
How long is this man going to be allowed to continue his destructive
agenda? This is the time where the entire world is engaged in a war
At this critical juncture, you have the opportunity to request
assistance from the rest of the world to hunt down this man who is
responsible for the atrocities Sri Lankans face and let justice prevail.
I sincerely hope that with your exceptional knowledge and experience you
will be able to save our island from yet another disaster and protect
all the citizens of Sri Lanka.