Where is the Mahinda Chinthana/women’s
The devastating (press report of 12/5) account
of the repeated gang rape of a young Sinhala woman, in the presence of her
seven-year-old son, shattered the morning. The victim was, thereafter, assaulted
and prevented from going to hospital by the rapists. It seems, no neighbour
dared to come to her assistance. The perpetrators are reported to be at large,
boasting of their criminal activities. And, nobody has the courage to nail them,
for at least this horrendous crime. As for the police? True to form, they are
reported to have approached the victim, to ask her not to press charges! In the
meantime, the family lives under threat of the rapists, bereft of any succour -
a helpless husband, a ravaged wife, devastated children, no money or food in the
When such crimes are committed, without protest, we ask our women
parliamentarians, the members of all those women’s organisations, what exactly
are they doing on behalf of women? Most of all, we ask the upholders of the
Mahinda Chinthana, if they allow gang rape to go unpunished, with absolutely no
recompense to the victim, is their Chinthana worth the paper it was written on?
Supreme Court rules, 168 to 7
After much deliberation, the highest court in
Sri Lanka, has ruled that the former President’s retirement entitlement far
exceeds what is due. Hence, she is now entitled to only seven police officers,
including an ASP.
With all due respect to the ruling made by the Supreme Court, I wish to make a
simple suggestion, based on the grounds that Chandrika B. Kumaratunga was, after
all, a President for two terms, and that, while being on the hit list of the
LTTE, she should, in all fairness, be given adequate security, while in Sri
Lanka – provided, of course, that she gives adequate notice to the government to
arrange additional security for her.
However, I would argue that any entitlements to security, etc. for Kumaratunga,
should be on the grounds that she is residing in Sri Lanka, in lieu of the
services rendered by her to the nation (arguable of course).
If her choice is to leave Sri Lanka, for whatever reasons, and lead a life of
self-exile, her security becomes her own responsibility.
While in Sri Lanka, any government in power, should ensure that adequate
security is given to all ex-presidents.
Petty politics should not take prominence here.
A very balanced, fearless and independent newspaper
I have been a very avid, and regular reader, of
The Nation, ever since it commenced publication.
I have been very impressed, and have viewed the quality of its news and its
contents as being very balanced, fearless, and independent. A newspaper that
gives credit where it is due, and vehemently criticises the wrongdoers, and
exposes corruption, and exploitation.
I must say that the newspaper covers a wide variety of subjects, and here again,
be it political or economic, it is very independent and fearless.
It is my earnest hope and prayer, hat the newspaper, in its long years of
fruitful service to our motherland, continues with its balanced, fearless, and
independent reporting and journalism, and is blessed with meritorious awards, by
the government of the day.
House of Commons debate on Sri Lanka
with dismay, we hear of the recent outcry of a few disgruntled British
parliamentarians, who have forgotten that the sun set on the British Empire over
six decades ago.
The entire United Kingdom should be ashamed of these British parliamentarians
shredding crocodile tears over an alien issue, which drama they are performing,
primarily, to gain a few Asian votes! This is a disgraceful act! Especially, to
be conducted by responsible citizens from so called First World! How about the
genocide committed by the LTTE, on the rest of the people in Sri Lanka and
The definition of First world itself is a discrimination.
The British, including Tony Blair, must understand that we are no longer a
‘British colony.’ In this high handed attitude of the British MPs, they must
also make note that we have the same right to comment on atrocities committed by
the British Army and the paramilitary, supported by the British government, on
the IRA, and the suppression of Catholic rights, then, in Northern Island,
holding forcibly to the ‘Falklands Islands,’ the recent unlawful entry into an
independent country, Iran (infringing the rights of a sovereign nation).
What right do the British have over the rest of mankind?
Meanwhile, we, as a sovereign nation, should be brave enough to terminate
diplomatic relations with these colonial looters, and send home the British High
Commissioner, whose forefathers deprived us of our wealth, land and heritage.
I suppose, they thought it was their prerogative and solemn right, to invade and
loot other countries, in the bygone era, when there was no bogus organisations
such as, the United Nations, even to make a complaint, which we all know is
there for the benefit of a few!
I think, we should teach these so called colonial masters of yesteryear, a good
lesson. We hope and pray Asia’s ‘CHAVEZ’ will be from Sri Lanka.
Our President should abolish the word ‘Royal’ from institutions that maintain
links with the British throne, such as Royal Colombo Golf Club, Royal College,
Hill Club and also remove the pictures of the Queen from every wall, including
from our museums.
L. N. Perera
UNP’s call to punish Gotabhaya Rajapaksa
The UNP campaigned for the removal of Defence
Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa from his post over the LTTE’s airstrike on the
Katunayaka Air Force Base recently. Earlier, an LTTE suicide bomber attempted to
assassinate him, which failed.
How come the UNP did not call for the removal of the Defence Secretary over the
ground attack on the Air Force Base on July 19, 2001, resulting in death and
destruction on a much larger scale?
The LTTE attack on the Sri Maha Bodhiya in Anuradhapura, a place sacred to the
Buddhists, resulted in the death of a number of devotees and damage to the Sri
Maha Bodhiya. The UNP did not think it fit to have the then Defence Secretary
punished over the attack.
The holiest of Buddhist places, the Dalada Maligawa - the Temple of the Sacred
Tooth Relic - in Kandy, was attacked by the LTTE, killing several and causing
extensive damage to the premises. The UNP did not call for the removal of the
Defence Secretary, then.
The LTTE launched an attack on the Central Bank Building in Colombo, killing
several persons, whilst inflicting heavy damage to the Central Bank building and
the surrounding buildings. The UNP did not want the Defence Secretary to be
dealt with, over the attack on the Central Bank building. Several police
officers and armed services personnel, were either kidnapped or killed, even
inside their own offices, by the LTTE. The UNP stayed mum. The Defence Secretary
and the Secretary to the Internal Security Ministry were spared.
The UNP stand, as such, lacks political maturity and sensibility.
Upali S. Jayasekera
Unity is strength
The situation of the Tamils in the north and
east is very pathetic. In the north, the A-9 Road is closed since last August.
It is almost a year. All these days, the Tigers have not shown any interest to
open the A-9 Road. Instead, they are attacking the forces in Muhamalai and
Omanthai and making the situation worse for their people. The Jaffna Bishop
recently said that the people in the north are living in a prison. That is true.
I think he is trying to blame the government for the closure of the A-9 Road.
The Bishop should understand that the A-9 Road could be opened only by mutual
agreement of both parties. Both parties are to be blamed. You can’t find fault
with the government only. The government is ready to open the A-9 Road,
conditionally. Why can’t the LTTE agree to these conditions? After all, who is
affected? It is not the Sinhalese or Muslims. It is the Tamils. So definitely,
the LTTE must do something with the government, to open this road. If the LTTE
is stubborn in opening the A-9 Road, the government must act, to open this road.
The Tamil people can’t suffer because of one man. This is what happened at Mawil
Aru in the east. First, the LTTE challenged the government and started beating
its war dreams in the east. It has also destroyed the lives of Tamils leading a
peaceful life in the East. These Tamils are still displaced. If the LTTE had
kept quiet, nothing would have happened to their people and the LTTE would have
still been in the east.
By beating its war drums in the east, what has the LTTE achieved in the east?
Its weakness has been exposed to the world. What a shame! All these happened
because of one mad man, Prabhakaran. He has no foresight to tackle the problems
of the Tamils in the east. Because of him, the Tamils in the east have been
suffering untold hardships at the hands of Prabhakaran’s men. They have lost
everything - education, economy, family life and their young ones. What a pity!
Prabhakaran has done what an enemy would have done to them. The damage can never
be repaired. It will take another 100 years.
Because of the war, the Muslims have overtaken the Tamils in the east, in every
sphere. Their population has also increased. The Muslims are also fighting for
their rights, like the Tamils, because, they are also a minority but, they have
not taken up arms against anyone. If they start a war, they know they have to
die. As a minority, they don’t want to die and decrease their population. The
elders also don’t like this. The Muslim leaders also know this. They don’t want
to face the same fate as the Tamils. The Eastern Muslims and their leaders are
very close. Our leaders in the east are fools. They don’t know the mindset of
the Muslims. Karuna is the one who understood the dangers the Tamils in the east
have to face. The Tamils in the east should be proud of him. Karuna’s future
depends on the unity between the Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese in the east. If
they are divided, the LTTE will take advantage. Unity is strength. This the
Tamils, Muslims and Sinhalese must understand.
Woolmer’s death: Indian media manufacturing
By and large, the Indian media goes about its
profession in an objective manner. There is no doubt about that. However,
strangely, when it comes to Pakistan, certain sections - if not the entire media
- goes into a lopsided mode.
Take for example, Pakistan Coach Bob Woolmer’s sudden demise in the West Indies.
It provided the anti Pakistani sections of the Indian media, the opportunity of
a lifetime. They went into a hype, slanting news of poor Woolmer’s murder - if
murder it is - to look as if some Pakistani cricket player or players were
responsible for the crime.
NDTV went into a frenzy, claiming various things at different times. At one
point, they said that the Jamaican police had asked the Pakistani team not to
leave their hotels, suggesting a sort of ‘hotel arrest.’ Then, they said that
the Pakistani team was prevented from leaving the West Indies as scheduled. This
turned out to be false. The next time the subject came up, they said that the
police were questioning two Pakistani players in connection with the murder.
What they didn’t say was that this was normal police routine. Neither did they
mention anything about the police questioning hotel staff and others who were in
contact with the Pakistani team. They made sure that the focus remained on the
More recently, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported that the West Indies
Police had received a call from Pakistan, giving them a major clue into the
murder. This might sound strange, but no other media in the world seemed to have
got wind of this ‘scoop.’ Usually, the Western media would lap up any negative
story oft Muslims anywhere. However, this time, even they seemed unaware of this
major discovery that PTI had made. I wonder how PTI got to know the call was
from Pakistan. Was PTI keeping a track of all foreign calls made from Pakistan?
Was the call made from a place close to the Indian border? Tell me bhaiya, I am
And, as if all this was not enough of a mockery, PTI went to the ludicrous
extent to tell its gullible readers that the caller was identified as a
Pakistani male because of his accent! Enlighten me on that too, bhaiya, how do
you tell the difference between a Pakistani accent and an Indian one?
To add mystique to the ‘mystery,’ a Zeecric report in a weekend paper says that
Bob Woolmer was poisoned with aconite, the Harry Potter drug. Okay, so, here,
Zeecric - another Indian media outlet - was quoting ‘one British.’ However, the
gaffe that took the cake was when Zeecric made an interpolation in that report,
saying ‘Aconite has been used in several high profile assassinations in
Pakistan.’ Aha! The Indian media drags Pakistan once again into the murder
mystery, by giving a clever and cunning twist to the ‘news.’ Move over aunt
Agatha Chirstie – You’ve got competition! Pray, Zeecric, tell us how many high
profile Pakistanis have been assassinated with aconite - the Harry Potter
poison? Give us just two cases. Okay we’ll settle for one.
I have this suspicion that sections of the Indian media are using poor Bob
Woolmer’s death, to manufacture a stigma they can include in their propaganda
arsenal to slam the Pakistani cricket side with, whenever they want to lambaste
their country for something or the other.
Hameed Abdul Karim