The euphoria over Thoppigala : What next?
For many, Thoppigala may be just a name. The Defense Ministry statement that
the East was free of LTTE rule, is admirable and merits applause to those who
masterminded the operations and the soldiers who sacrificed their lives to
achieve this task. It deserves greater plaudits for the sacrifice was not in
vain, unlike on previous occasions, when soldiers were ordered to walk into
death traps for political gain, with reduced political interference. The Eastern
Province comprises the Districts of Trincomalee, Batticoloa and Ampara.
There is a paradoxical reason why Sri Lanka has the longest serving Opposition
Leader in its parliamentary history – over the years, he has been artful at
putting his foot in his mouth, and does it when, ideally, he should remain mum.
We are well aware that politicians rumble away to appease their supporters – so,
does this mean that green supporters find the exit of the LTTE from the East and
the bravery of the Security Forces, a laughable matter?
Thoppigala may be a vast stretch of dense jungle but, our learned Opposition
Leader displayed his geographical know-how by comparing Thoppigala to the
Colombo District. Most of us have not even been to Thoppigala but, are well
aware of the Colombo District and its size. So, if the LTTE itself accepted
defeat in Thoppigala, it certainly needs to be highlighted and the Armed Forces
appreciated for it.
The victory assumes greater significance following the historic verdict by the
Supreme Court on the North-East merger, for which, we must thank both the JHU
and the JVP. The exit of the Tigers from the Eastern Province, gives total
administrative control to the Government. While the country may rejoice at the
liberation of the East from the Tigers, the real victory is when the people of
the East, Sinhalese, Muslims and Tamils, are able to live in peace and harmony.
Then the country has every right to celebrate. But against a terrorist
organisation such as the LTTE, no Government could feel jubilant, even though,
as a unit, the LTTE may have been evicted from the Eastern Province, there will
remain people sympathetic to the LTTE’s cause. LTTE defeats prompts them to
produce greater destruction and mayhem. Which is why, contrary to spending money
on celebrations, the Government should urge the citizens, especially, in
populated areas like Colombo, to be extra vigilant.
While the Government had every reason to oppose LTTE rule in the East, since
Muslims and Sinhalese occupied these areas in equal numbers, the North was
inhabited by Tamils only. Therefore, if the people of the North so wish, it
would be prudent to allow democratic governance to the LTTE leader after all.
Chandrika Kumaratunga offered it. So did Ranil Wickremesinghe. While those
empathetic to the LTTE cause, may be jubilant at this suggestion, there will be
others shivering at the thought of LTTE rule.
Given the scenario of wars and conflicts worldwide, we could deduce that they
are not about liberating people – they are about making money by wrongful means,
and grabbing power. Since the commencement of the conflict, the LTTE has
assassinated Tamil leaders considered anti LTTE. What sort of liberation
movement would kill their own?
Then, we also have Sinhalese in uniform, who, ‘for a few pieces of silver’,
betrayed the nation. This is not an ethnic conflict. It is a conflict to make
money. It is happening not only in Sri Lanka but, in other countries as well.
The international community and the facilitators are in it to serve their own
purposes. It is in a milieu of evil that the conflict thrives, so that even the
temporary glory in taking over a rock such as “Tora Bora”, is worth mentioning.
Today, Sri Lanka has many wars to face. The economic war is one affecting
society as a whole. While the public are sincerely glad for the the Armed
Forces’ victory, there is no reason to celebrate. The war is far from over.
Is saving animals, too, becoming a racket? Somebody gets the compassionate
urge to save an animal from slaughter. Without “going the whole hog”, which
entails a visit to the abattoir, choosing an animal and sending it to a place
prearranged for its care, he now takes a “short-cut” - driving up in his
limousine to one of the “save from slaughter” spots, gives a handsome fee for
the service, to return another day to take delivery of the animal; even the
choice of which he lazily leaves to them. In some spots, on the appointed day,
the ‘saviour’ gets a number, to show which animal is his. Looking around, he
sees his number but, on closer inspection, he is surprised to see three
identical numbers on the same animal. As he was apparently, charged the actual
cost of an animal of that size, why were two other payments involved? Does this
not smack of our usual official Tender procedures, with all the witnesses
Anyway, after that brief encounter, your animal is whisked away with the murmur,
“it is going to a dairy/farm/temple for safekeeping”! You will never know, as
you never bother to follow up on its ensuing fate. Another “saving” gimmick is,
to go to the horrendous slaughterhouse, pick one and then release it onto the
road, dubbing it a “ping gona”, which becomes the immediate target of all the
cattle thieves in the vicinity, with slaughter in the offing.
The urge to save, normally, arises when one’s own family is stricken in some way
or, somebody is gasping their last. Especially, when the astrologer recommends a
life for a life. In this case, of course, unlike in every other system, a life
for a life means killing of one life in sacrifice, while here the enchanting
practice is to save what was going to be killed, expecting a double bonus of two
lives in return. Like in everything else, Buddhist practice deviates sharply in
this exercise, too. Really, those preachers who now puff and pant to show some
sort of similarity between Buddhism and anything else, should simply give up
without wasting their breath!
If you save an animal from slaughter, you should leave no room at all for any
inconvenience to befall it, as you are responsible for its welfare thereafter.
The loveliest decree on earth is that of the Buddha; where he asks his disciples
to give to all living beings “abhaya dana” - the gift of fearlessness!
Vasu vs Harry
I endorse the tribute Hector Ambanpola paid Vasudeva Nanayakkara, the fighter
for the downtrodden and also a cheetah in word and deed, to hunt corruption.
It is a well known fact that Harry is a creation of the Bandaranaike’s and a
favourite poodle of the family. He was the only Sri Lankan at the wedding of
CBK’s daughter, in London. The creators are not prone to corruption but Harry,
out of benevolence from his large chest, overflowing with ill gotten wealth,
meet their needs, irrespective of cost, as his financial empire was built on the
blood and tears of millions of poor people and what should have come to the
country. He acted without fear, as he had the blessings of the powers that be.
He was a protected animal, in every sense of the word.
A fraud involving Rs 800 million, relating to a business chain, where even a
customs officer was killed, is still in limbo, with the latest information being
that the file is missing, as reported in the Daily Mirror recently. It was known
then, that the file was called for by a powerful person and that it never came
back. With Sujith Perera’s exit, his colleagues knew that their were telephone
calls to the killers, from interested parties and the numbers were available
with the service providers. However, Police big wigs then, thought that the info
was insufficient to probe further. That is how justice was meted out to a honest
customs man for doing his job.
As for the Insurance deal which gave him another cash cow, it is a statutory
requirement that the life insurance fund should not be touched. It is widely
said that he has extended his empire to include the hotel and health sectors,
using monies from this fund, with none to question. It’s only the judicial
system that is expected to regularise and rectify these acts, if they are
illegal. The country should be thankful and also be proud of a fearless leader
“The goodness of Walking” Walk, Walk, Walk for good
Walk and be free from Stress,
Walk and be free from Depression,
Walk and be free from Hypertension,
Walk and be free from Diabetes,
Walk and be free from Cholesterol,
Walk and increase your Metabolism,
Walk and clear your Mind,
Walk and feel Refreshed,
Walk and make new Friends,
Walk and see carefree Animals,
Walk and hear birds Sing,
Walk and see Natural Beauty,
Walk and see debris, garbage and Advise,
Walk and see the love of fellow beings,
Walk to shed extra Fat
Walk to increase Stamina,
Walk and keep Weight Steady,
Walk to strengthen Muscles,
Walk to work up an Appetite,
Walk and keep the Doctor away,
Walk and be Fit and Healthy,
Walk to prolong Healthy Life,
Walk is the best therapy of all Therapies!!!
Walk the Diyawanna Environs,
The litter, pollution free Zone
Diyawanna Walkers Club
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its brutal legal system
Once more, international attention is focused on yet another effort to murder
a human being. This time, a teenage girl, who went to KSA as a maid, to help her
family. The international community should join hands to condemn this sort of
brutal justice system in the KSA.
Another aspect of this problem is that I read that the Deputy Foreign Minister
is making a special visit to KSA, to plead for her life. Now, I wonder why we
have a fully fledged Embassy in KSA, if they are unable to handle these sort of
matters? We all know the result of this visit, even before he enters KSA. I will
say clearly from Canada that this result will be negative. Just another foreign
trip for the politicians once more.
The other aspect of this appeal is that three young Sri Lankans were beheaded
around two months ago. I did not notice any concerted efforts by the government,
diplomats or, the Sri Lankan community, to plead on their behalf. Were their
lives less significant than the maid’s, whose case has attracted quite an effort
to seek a remedy?
I hope someone responsible would care to comment.
Ranjit G de Silva
There was a time, in those ‘good ole days’ when, in terms of Departmental
Order No. A-16, police officers of all ranks carried their police Notebooks with
dignity, respect and quite securely too, in their right coat or shirt pocket,
which also served as a chest guard, for I am aware of officers stabbed in the
chest by criminals, whilst trying to apprehend them, escaping fatal injury,
because of this protection. Indeed, these Police Notebooks are issued to Police
Officers for the purpose of investigating accidents or other incidents occurring
outside their police stations, according to instructions laid down in the
Departmental Order. Pocket Notebook should be in the police officers’ custody.
If it is lost, he exposes himself to danger, as it is a confidential document.
Despite these implicitly clear Departmental Orders, we often come across
sergeants and constables flagrantly flouting these instructions, with some
carrying their Notebooks with scant regard, tucked in their khaki slack’s pocket
or hip pocket, exposing this important official document to the possibility of
it being pick-pocketed by the dexterous nimble fingered gentry, either through
mischief or, just to outsmart a police officer, may be even for some interested
party to have access to its contents, in connection with some case they may be
involved in, subjecting the police officer concerned to avoidable disciplinary
action, though he may be a hapless victim of circumstances. In the interest of
the safety of the official document and the police officer concerned, it was
about time the higher ranks took action to ensure that these orders laid down
with a specific purpose, were strictly adhered to by all ranks.
Al-Haj M.S.A. Rahim,
Chief Inspector of Police (Retd)
Mulleriyawa New Town