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Letters


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 Province.

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 people.

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.
V.Kailasapillai
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 inflation.

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.
Saybhan Samat
Rajagiriya

****

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 this bravery?”

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 political protest.
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.
Sagarica Rajakarunanayake
Sathva Mithra

****

‘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.
Johannes Thirimanne
Kegalle

****

Endure minor inconvenience for greater protection

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.
S. Hewa

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 
   
 
 

 

 
     

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