‘White is Right?’
Sushila Gunaratne, writing to The Nation, has
said “Mr. Dominic Chillcott is by far the best High Commissioner Britain has
sent us in recent years.”
It seems obvious that she is personally acquainted with Mr. Chillcott, but was
she equally well acquainted with all the other British High Commissioners we’ve
had in recent years? If not, how would she know? She goes on to assure us that
“he and his wife are both highly intelligent, humane people who reach out to
others.” This puts it beyond doubt that Gunaratne is a close friend of the
Chillcotts and therefore her effusiveness about the couple is to be viewed with
Chillcott is a diplomat. We know that a diplomat’s duty is to lie abroad for his
country. We must presume that Chillcott is doing what he is paid to do. Augustin
Marquis de Ximenez (1726-1817) coined the phrase la perfide Albion, perfidious
Albion. The fact that this phrase has survived to this day indicates that it has
validity. The history of Britain is a history of perfidy.
Gunaratne claims that Britain has the highest standards of justice. She is
displaying extreme naïveté. In the early 1950s, a British judge was paid 20,000
sterling pounds (a pound was worth considerably more then than it is today) to
convict Jomo Kenyatta and send him to jail. After World War II, British judges
hanged William Joyce (Lord Haw-Haw) for high treason although he was not, and
never had been, a British citizen and so owed no allegiance to the Crown.
The one crime a non-citizen cannot be convicted of is treason. But the judges
knew what they wanted and went for it, law or no law. Quite recently, a British
judge, Lord Hutton, saved Tony Blair by finding him not responsible for the
suicide of a senior official, Dr. David Kelly, who was being harassed by spin
doctors of Downing Street, without so much as hearing Blair in his defence.
“We are still benefitting from tea planted by the British and the roads they
built,” writes Gunaratne. She must try to understand that the tea was planted by
the British on land plundered from our peasantry who were left destitute and the
roads were built primarily to carry their produce to the port at Colombo. The
people of Ceylon were taxed to pay for these roads. The plantations were taken
over from their British owners by Mrs. B’s government on payment of
compensation, though there are those who argue that the compensation should have
been paid by the British!
No doubt, Gunaratne has not heard of what the British government did to the
British citizens of Chagos Islands. The Americans coveted the principal island
in this archipelago, Diego Garcia to be used as a base for bombers. Ever-willing
to please America, the British were faced with a major snag. The islands were
fully populated, and by British citizens at that.
However, these citizens who carried British passports were not white; in fact
they were descendants of slaves. To please their American masters, the British
decided to sacrifice their own citizens. The Chagossians had to be evacuated
from the islands. They did this on the sly and illegally. Using violence, and
intimidation, they succeeded in ridding the islands of its owners and handed
them to the Americans. Having a British passport is of no avail to a British
citizen if the British government wants to do America a favour.
The distinguished research scholar, Mark Curtis, in his book Unpeople (i.e.
those whose lives are deemed worthless, expendable in the pursuit of power and
commercial gain), has calculated that Britain bears significant responsibility
for around 10 million deaths of ‘unpeople’ since 1945. Curtis writes that many
people were shocked at the extent to which Tony Blair lied over Iraq. He claims
that “British ministers lying to the public is systematic and normal, and the
culture of lying is deeply imbedded in British policy-making. Humanitarian
concerns do not figure at all in the rationale behind British foreign policy.”
Curtis tells us of an unelected cabal of foreign policy advisers at No.10, which
has been heading an unprecedented propaganda campaign to deceive the public and
has appropriated power of the state to an unprecedented degree, even to the
point of capturing its legal functions.
Criminality: Where do we go from here?
The gallows have been declared the ultimate
solution for the horrendous problems that beset our small country. In my
lifetime Sri Lanka’s human population has increased three-fold, and that of
vehicles, perhaps hundred-fold! Large areas of forest have been cut down, but
our total land-area continues to remain the same and the sea surrounds us. Where
do we go from here?
The problems of criminality at the hands of a trained-to-kill armed force of
deserters would leave no place for the simple, law-abiding people of this
country with a 2,500-year heritage of Buddhism. We have to find a different and
I suggest that we enter into pact with Russia and appeal for a small, isolated
area within the icy wastes of Siberia where we could drop off our convicts: and
according to their karma, they would live or die. I’m sure Russia would oblige
this small island with such a space. We could even pay Russia rent.
I visited the prison in Freemantle, where the British transported their
convicts. It fell to their lot to build their own prison, which today is an
Australian Heritage Site! Maybe our convicts would build their own igloos. My
suggestion is serious – freezing to death is a fearful prospect. Spending a
lifetime in a prison in Sri Lanka is not frightening at all.
A 76 year old mother
Talk without a power of good
Only humility mixes well with power and
greatness, not hubris.
It is pity that the above thought had not crossed the mind of India’s National
Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan before he asserted that India was a big power in
the region… that Sri Lanka should not go to Pakistan or China… that Sri Lanka
should ask India for its arms supplies… that India would provide Sri Lanka with
only defensive weapons… etc., etc.
U. M. G. Goonetilleke
CBK’s security from ‘the enemy within’
Ranil Wickremesinghe has made an impassioned
appeal to restore Chandrika Kumaratunga’s security knocked down by the court. Is
it not obvious that all that talk of “After April, I am Regini!” and “After
April, I am President!” of Chandrika and Ranil, and the ‘xposure’ of the
government by Sripathi and Mangala, was very well planned and timed with the
LTTE? As mentioned by their friends and the media, it was no prediction of
fortune tellers. They all hoped that when the LTTE bombs dropped in April/May,
there would be pandemonium. The government would fall, Chandrika crowned queen,
Ranil installed as president and Sripathi and Mangala powerful ministers in the
new government. Unfortunately, it turned out to be another “pus vedilla” of the
LTTE and its treacherous accomplices. Mahinda remained firmly in charge.
Newspapers informed us that Chandrika put Prabhakaran’s daughter into a western
school and helped the family however she could, with correspondence and cards
exchanged between the two families of Chandrika and Prabhakaran. She offered the
north and east to her pal for 10-years too, like a ‘mukunuwenna’ patch in her
back garden. Why does she need security, unless to save herself from the enraged
citizens of this country? No security for such at taxpayers’ expense!
JHU proposals to the APRC and Tamils’ land-lust
The JHU proposals, especially the introduction,
has smashed into smithereens all the false, hypocritical meanderings of those
obsessed with the idea that the Sinhalese have no right to their motherland, but
must chop it into pieces to satisfy the land-lust of the Tamils allowed to
A glance at the world’s history and the methods used to spread the word,
enslaving the mind of man into mindlessness, typifies the present state of our
nation – hemmed in by weak-kneed leaders, a parliamentary opposition of mostly
Sinhala ‘kotiyas’ led by an ineffectual member whose greatest asset is his
membership in most of the Christian societies, national and international NGOs
and INGOs. Tamils here and abroad, an international community against terrorism
but not against the Jesuit/Sun God super-terrorist Prabhakaran, all with their
tongues hanging out, wait for the greatest Tamil coup of all – the creation of a
Tamil nation inside our Sinhala nation! The Sinhalese should lose no time to
show our Tamils that they already have a nation – that of Tamil Nadu, and here
in Sri Lanka, they are just a miniscule minority of 9% only!
We urge the JHU to print their proposals and distribute them island-wide and
worldwide to nail the federal lie of the ‘kotiya’ once for all, especially the
Sinhala ‘kotiyas’ paid in dollars to keep the treacherous idea going.
S. T. Wuewardena
Use media freedom in a responsible manner
If anyone says that there is no press freedom
or freedom of expression in Sri Lanka, it is an absolute untruth. When you go
through the large number of newspapers, tabloids, magazines, etc., published in
our country, you realise how much freedom we have – especially given what they
write about and whom they criticise!
The problem is otherwise. Today there is an undeclared war in our country. In
that situation, if any news is considered dangerous or adversely affects the
establishment, such news should be taboo. If published, those responsible should
pay the penalty and should be called upon to reveal the source from which the
news emanated. Other countries operate in a similar manner.
In democratic countries where democracy is practiced, a writer or anyone could
express one’s views or write to the press for publication. But all that one
writes does not get published. What one writes gets rejected by the publishers
or those who work for them, although democracy requires, or in your own opinion,
such articles or letters should be published. That is press freedom.
Take for instance Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s decision to close down a TV
station critical of the establishment – the government. Such criticism according
to the Venezuelan President is not democratic. He is obviously of the conviction
that there could be no uncommitted or independent media. His democracy is
relative. A certain newspaper which is supposed to have won international awards
failed to correct a wrong news item though requested to do so several times. And
that too is press freedom.
The late President J.R. Jayewardene once said that there is no independent press
or independent journalism. Journalists take sides. That is a fact none could
deny. But during war or on controversial matters affecting national security,
taking sides could be dangerous and should be avoided.
American writer William Saroyan, in relation to the Spanish Civil War remarked,
“I am for the people defending themselves against Franco.” But how could you be
on one side or the other, when people are on both sides?
The media needs to use its freedom responsibly.
Upali S. Jayasekera
Minister eats the cake and has it
Abuse of power is fairly common among
politicians in failed States, especially, in those where the head of State and
his/her henchmen fleece the country with impunity, and hope to escape the wrath
of the people by using the military and the police to restrain them. This does
not always work, with some having to pay the ultimate price. However, they leave
behind several generations of their countrymen victims of their greed, whose
futures have been destroyed. Our people, the citizens of Sri Lanka, have long
suffered this phenomenon with no effort at all to cleanse their leadership of
the taint of corruption and theft, which they still bear without shame. Nobody
questions how some of our politicians, who, before entering politics, were
people of modest means, now live in houses of the utmost luxury, send their
children to schools and universities abroad (average cost over Rs. 5 million a
year) and travel abroad regularly, when they are not joyriding on pleasure trips
at State expense. A case by case examination of the assets and expenses of our
Members of Parliament, would provide sufficient evidence to imprison them for
bribery and corruption, stealing State property, tax fraud, and countless
breaches of the law, for which the ordinary man is normally punished.
I have followed for some time, the antics of one minister, whose short political
career has seen him performing several “jumps”, which have up to now, brought
him much personal success. At the same time, his personal life has received
public attention but, would not be so, had it not been involved with his
official duties as a minister. The name-calling, the slaps and punches and other
exchanges with his wife, a government employee, all occurred in a government
office, within earshot of ministry employees, who were shocked and disgusted of
it all. To cap it, the minister started an affair with a subordinate, who
occupied a seat in his room, during most of the day. When the minister was
transferred, everyone breathed a sigh of relief but, there were new losers.
Within days of taking up his new appointment, the minister had this lady
transferred to his new ministry, to an elevated post, for which, she has neither
the qualifications nor, the capability to occupy.
Wolfowitz of the World Bank, transferred his mistress to a post outside his
institution, to allay criticism, though he incriminated himself by giving her a
hefty pay rise. He has now lost his job.
This minister gets his girl closer to him, gives her a rise in pay and status
and is answerable to no one. Where is the Public Service Commission, the
Parliamentary High Posts Committee and most of all, where is our President. Is
this minister not answerable to the President, not only in this matter but also,
in the manner in which he uses public funds, as when he spent thousands of
dollars on his wife and son while in Geneva, in a very posh hotel, while the
rest of the delegation occupied rooms in the Chateau provided by the Swiss
Government, and a recent trip to Moratuwa in a rented helicopter, which cost the
country Rs. 350,000, to mention two instances only. In addition to the manner in
which he uses the power vested in him as a member of the government, his
expenses on his trips abroad, should also be closely monitored, as it would be
unjust to have the long suffering public pay for anything other than what is
connected with his official duties. We would urge the President to show the
public that he has some authority over the government’s representatives in
Parliament, all of whom are ministers and already enjoy considerable privileges
at public expense.
L.E. de Silva
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