An appeal by the All Ceylon Hindu Congress
We are duty bound to issue this public appeal
in view of the untold hardship experienced by the Tamil People of this country,
most of whom are Hindus and in particular those living in the Northern Eastern
The All Ceylon Hindu Congress is a Federation of Hindu Institutions in this
country. What was foremost in our minds when we assembled in Colombo from
various parts of the Country for the Annual General Meeting of the All Ceylon
Hindu Congress was the suffering of our brothers and sisters who are victims of
the war and the violence and are as a result thereof affected by hunger and
other unfortunate consequences. Bombings, shelling, various other acts of war,
abdications and other acts violating human rights have placed our people in a
frightful era. In fact some of the delegates from the Congress’ Member
Associations were prevented from attending this Annual General Meeting because
of the lack of the necessary transport facilities.
We urge that the sufferings of our brothers and sisters should be bought to an
end forthwith by immediate cessation of all military action and acts of violence
and also that peace talks should commence without any delay to find an
everlasting reasonable political solution to satisfy the aspirations of the
Tamil speaking people. We wish to emphasis that the suffering of the people
should be approached on a humanitarian basis.
The Ceasefire Agreement must be fully implemented and the A9 and A 15 routes
should be opened immediately. Without continuing to ignore the people of the
Northern Eastern Province, the Government is bound to and should immediately
provide all their urgent requirements including food items and medical
requirements and to arrange educational and other essential facilities to those
While we welcome the interests shown by India, Norway and others of the
International Community in the problems of these people, we expect them to act
swiftly taking more and active interests and to ensure that these people are
relieved from the present sufferings forever.
We again appeal to all the Hindu institutions spread globally to take keen
interest in the problems of our brothers and sisters and help them.
President, All Ceylon Hindu Congress
President should review his policies
The announcement that salaries and allowances
of the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of Parliament are going
to be increased two fold, outraged, incensed and infuriated the masses burdened
with over - bearing difficulties to make ends meet in their struggle for
survival. While the state - media hype projects the ‘Mahinda Chinthanaya’ as
beneficial, the reality is that the high cost of gas, electricity, water, and
all consumer essentials have rendered the philosophy null and void. The country
is hurtling down towards abject poverty. There is no political will whatsoever,
to enforce price control at all. The rupee continues to fall against other
foreign currencies. The resort to issue high value notes by printing new
currency notes is the first indication of the possibility of galloping runaway
More rumours have it that members from the UNP will cross over to join the ranks
of the government in the capacity of ministers. If another five members of the
UNP join the government the total will increase to 100 ministers! A world
record. It will cost around Rs. five billion annually to maintain this jumbo
size cabinet. When other leaders like Evo Morales of Bolivia have halved his and
his ministers’ salaries, when President Ahmadinejad uses his own old car and
eats his own home - cooked lunch with no fancy or subsidized lunch, when Hugo
Chavez of Venezuela has channeled 20 percent of the oil revenue to be paid to
the poor in cash; all these steps are to show the poor masses that the
leadership is concerned about them and that they are willing to make sacrifices
for their benefit. In contrast, our president appoints a jumbo sized cabinet,
increases salaries and allowances and other perks of his ministers, not to speak
of duty free bullet - proof luxury cars.
Under the Rajapaksa government, corruption and abuse of power in high office is
widespread. The name of a cabinet minister is mentioned about in a large scale
visa racket. Wastage of public funds is rife. The media have also exposed top
military brass involved in ill - gotten wealth; an ex - president involved in
shady transactions when in office, and more recently, of crooked fertilizer
tenders, not to mention the gigantic VAT scandal. Apart from all this is the
stinking garbage strewn island-wide and the government ignores it. This garbage
has now become a frightening health hazard.
Like the previous governments of Chandrika Kumaratunge and Ranil Wickremesinghe,
the government of Mahinda Rajapaksa does not have effective control of its
territory; and, hence, its sovereignty is in question. Crime is on the rise at a
phenomenal pace as the rule of law is observed more in the breach. The underpaid
public service which only gets paltry increases in their salary compared to the
salary increases of the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and Members of
Parliament is wanting in their performance. Unemployment is growing by the day.
Our foreign policy which was based on the principles of Non - Alignment brought
our tiny island immense respect, prestige, honour and dignity among all nations
including the superpowers - the US and the then Soviet Union. Today, - Alignment
has been discarded and the government is openly aligned to the US, hoping that
the US will help it to defeat the Tamil Tigers. Despite Sri Lanka’s votes
against Palestine, Iran, Venezuela and Cuba to support the US, in the United
Nations, there is no sign of the US helping Sri Lanka to defeat the LTTE.
The US together with its allies are in the forefront on the war on terror in
Iraq and Afghanistan but in Sri Lanka the US discourages war and wants Mahinda
Rajapaksa to talk peace to the Tamil terrorists, despite banning the LTTE as a
terrorist organisation in the US itself. Apparently our President Mahinda
Rajapaksa , is ignorantly naive and his naivety is going to cost Sri Lanka
immense damage in the near future. The government should withdraw the increase
of salaries to the President, Prime Minister, Ministers and members of
Parliament, bring the cost of living down, control inflation, enforce price
control, reduce the Cabinet to 15, halt wastage, stop corruption and seriously
and sincerely find a solution to the ongoing ethnic conflict. In addition the
President himself should intervene and solve the stinking garbage problem before
a plague sets in and destroys Sri Lankans on both sides of the ethnic divide.
The foreign policy should also be changed to adhere to Non - Alignment, not by
words only but by deeds.
Unless these are implemented, when elections are next held, Mahinda Rajapaksa
and his Mahinda Chinthanaya, will be relegated to the dustbin of Sri Lankan
political history. The masses have only their votes as a means to express the
pain and anguish of their suffering. They are watching and waiting patiently for
the next parliamentary and presidential elections.
The JVP had a violent past record that was detested by the masses. Since its
entry into the democratic process they have displayed an impressive and
principled conduct in their political activity. Their policies have been
consistent and they are people friendly. One would have wished that they would
have refused to accept the salary increases that were granted to their members
of parliament. However, since the UNP and the SLFP have failed miserably, many
people are now thinking that the JVP is the only valid alternative. There is now
every possibility of them being voted into power at the next general election
and perhaps their candidate may be elected as the next president.
Why smear a bull for Bush?
We join the thousands who have condemned
the barbaric execution of Saddam Hussein, however much a tyrant he may have
been, after the farce of a trial by a US-led occupation court. We welcome the
protests organised in Colombo condemning George W. Bush for this act of
savagery. However, one demonstration in Colombo protesting the Saddam Hussein
killing has earned the displeasure of people whose sense of dignity and justice
extends not only to humans but to other living beings, too.
Many were shocked to see a newspaper photograph of one demonstration showing an
innocent animal being used to insult Bush. A white bull was led in the
procession, its beautiful white body smeared and abused with the words ‘George
Bush’ and ‘Dog’ painted on it and the face of a cardboard cut-out of George Bush
fixed on to the animal’s horns. What was the need to make a mockery of an
innocent animal when the purpose was to shame Bush? The trouble is that crude
minds revel in degrading and taunting the helpless, be they humans or animals.
This is indeed what the executioners and onlookers did to Saddam Hussein who was
helpless when brought to be hanged. His reply to them was classic: “Do you call
Using helpless animals for cheap political advantage is not part of our culture.
One of the rare instances of this was when frightened stray dogs were dragged in
a demonstration protesting the imprisonment of S. B. Dissanayake for Contempt of
Court. One must guard against such contemptible practices becoming a practice of
All political and religious leaders should educate and uplift their followers to
ensure that they inspire others with meaningful slogans and conduct at public
rallies and demonstrations, instead of resorting to abuse of the innocent to get
their message across.
‘God saved me!’
A screaming headline of a national daily of
December 2, prompted me to write this letter which may not be to the liking of a
majority of folks and may even provoke them to come up with rejoinders. It said
that our Defence Secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa who escaped death miraculously
when an LTTE suicide cadre attempted to assassinate him in Colombo by ramming
into his car a three-wheeler loaded with explosives, proclaimed “God saved me!”,
when he addressed the press. I believe that Mr. Rajapaksa is a true Buddhist who
does not believe in the concept of an Almighty God. Perhaps it is in ‘Karma’
that he believes in. Is his exclamation therefore, not a manifestation and an
admission of the existence of a Supreme God?
How is it that the instantaneous exclamation that emanated from his lips was not
something like ‘The Buddha saved me’ or ‘The Triple Gem Saved me’ or ‘Tisthun
Kotiyak Devi Devethavo saved me’. Whether one believes or not, it is only in
crucial moments like this that people, whatever religion they may profess or
belong to, instinctively, automatically and spontaneously speak of God. It is an
inexplicable and involuntary reaction where one is subjected to a dreadful
situation. I too share in his belief that it is this Omnipotent, Omniscient and
Omnipresent Supreme God who in His wisdom and mercy saved him in this instance
and many others like him at different times, in different circumstances.
One might perhaps be tempted to ask why this same God did not save people such
as Messrs. Ranasinghe Premadasa, Rajiv Gandhi, Ranjan Wijeratne, Lalith
Athulathmudali, Denzil Kobbekaduwa etc. The list is long. I would not hazard an
answer but merely venture to say that God Almighty knows that Gotabhaya
Rajapaksa more than anyone else, with guidance and assistance from his brother
H.E. the President, could save this blessed isle from that demon of death and
destruction known as ‘Velupillai Prabhakaran’.
May God bless and protect Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to enable him to carry on his
battle with this blood thirsty Tiger and his murderous gang to a logical and
successful completion that every patriotic and peace loving citizen in this
county prays and yearns for.
Endure minor inconvenience for greater
Is it a surprise that the LTTE often succeed in
these ruthless terror attacks on civilians, when our people never learn to cope
with a minor inconvenience for a greater protection? As often discussed, even in
your news, whenever the police establish surprise search operations, bogus media
reporters and human rights groups, paid by LTTE agents, complain how difficult
these operations are for civilians. Here in the West, people cooperate with
authorities, and human rights groups encourage people to give helping hand to
security establishments to do their work. Look at Indian media reports about the
conduct of their armed forces to deal with Assam insurgents- the media
totally supports the Indian government and their armed-forces. Have you seen
such a whole-hearted support in Sri Lankan media for their troops? I haven’t.
I know this man Wickremabahu Karunarathna, from my university days in Peradeniya.
This man is suffering from what psychologists called ‘premature birth syndrome,’
which refers to the constant craving for attention as the individual feels that
he/she did not get enough from the mother due to the early birth. This man
caused many problems to promising Sinhala students, particularly in the Arts
Faculty, at the Peradeniya campus, who fell victims to his left-wing
ideological nonsense in the 1970s. They were either expelled from the campus due
to their unruly behaviour, or dropped-out to get involved in hopeless politics
of their idiotic leader. He is still doing the same thing across the country,
with fellow losers like Kumar Rupesinghe, another academic menace during my
campus days in the 1970s. These people never left the country that they find so
oppressive and abusive of the rights. If they leave for their socialist dream
lands, if they exist anywhere, Sri Lanka would be a better place.