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How relevant is SAARC?

We note once more a high-profile Conference of SAARC Foreign Ministers was held at· Delhi last week. Naturally, out Foreign Minister Rohitha Bogollagama was very much there - with sonna boy, as we learn from the Ptess releases. One of the relief’s Sri Lankans have been clamoring for long has been Visa-free travel facility to India, which we have been allowing Indians visiting Sri Lanka for some years now. The Press here has supported readers’ concerns in this regard. But India continues to remain unmoved and adamant Consequently Sri Lankans continue to suffer opposite the Indian High Commissioner’s office at Kollupitiya from dawn to dusk. One wonders, therefore, what the purpose of SAARC’s for the millions of people within this grouping if India - the largest and most resourceful member - flouts SAARC resolutions to dismantle travel restriction within the region. As to the influence of the GoSL and our Foreign Minister to persuade the Indians to be reasonable and. comply, it is clear they have no clout at all with the Indians. So what is the point of remaining in SAARC - described by many as a useless white elephant? One does not have to speculate too much that Bogollagama Jr. did not have to go through the hassle of waiting in the totally disorienting queue to get his Visa to India. This suffering clearly is only for the hoi polloi amongst us and not meant to the well-heeled.
S. Rajaratnam
Colombo 6


Confused Foreign Diplomats

A letter in a daily newspaper of October 13, 2007 carried the pictures of four foreigners, viz:- ­Dominic Chilcott, Alan Rock, Weerth, and Robert Blake. On perusing their antecedents, it was found that they represented Christian countries. Immediately one’s mind goes back to ancient history and the hymn currently sung in churches, and even on musical discs which goes, ‘Onward Christian soldiers marching as to war.’ .Christians are burdened with the responsibility of acting as soldiers for the church to save and retrieve people from heathen religious philosophies. History tells us that many countries were converted to Christianity by being threatened with the use of the sword if their people did not convert to Christianity.

Dominic Chilcott behaves like a child in a cot. If he is acquainted with the history of the country he is serving in, he should know that during the governance of the late President J. R. Jayewardene, the British Envoy of that time, was given 24hrs notice to pack his bags and leave for home, for the simple error of walking into a polling booth, during a general election and talking to the officers manning the booth. A Foreign Envoy should know he is on Lankan soil to safeguard chiefly the interests of his country and its citizens. Being interested in the ongoing insurgency; is well within his scope, but certainly not commenting on how the government should handle the untoward phenomenon. Speaking to the insurgents or, suppressing them militarily, is for the sovereign Head of Sri Lanka. If newspaper reports are correct, why did the British Lower House invite Thamil Chelvam of the LTTE to address it? The LTTE is labeled a terrorist organization, but the House of Commons was eager to listen to the Propaganda Secretary of the banned organization. It would have served the House well if it had also invited Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, who called John Holmes a ‘Terrorist.’ Minister Tissa Vitharana nephew of the late Dr. N. M. Perera is still stuck to old Marxist LSSP dogma and speaks of Federalism; without pausing to think that such a set up will be the quick and short road to the Separate State of Eelam. The UNP will readily harbour him. It was only after Prabhakaran, who was trained in South India in guerilla war showed his face, that fighting erupted. His first show of displeasure with the Sinhalese and Muslims was with the killing of the Mayor of Jaffna, Alfred Duraippah who liased with the SLFP of S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike. His mentor was terrorist, the late Anton Balasingham, who was afforded a safe haven in London, where the British Monarch reigned. The surreptitious deal involving the CFA of 2003 which gifted the North - East provinces to the Tigers, was hastily labeled Eelam, the Homeland of the Tamils. Eelam was ruled by dictator Prabhakaran. All Tamils who did not fall in line with the fascism of the Leader were killed. Sinhalese and Muslims were given 24 hours to quit Jaffna, taking with them nothing of importance to the new regime. Land, homes with furniture and all valuables were deemed to be the property of the State of Eelam. Those owning vehicles and bicycles hurriedly left to save their lives; the unfortunates who hoofed it straggled along, many falling dead on their weary way.

Dominic Chilcott, if he cares to go back into the days of the Independence struggle, will know that the Sinhala Only Act was enacted to drive out the White Man from Lankan soil. It was very effective for within a year or two, English planters and businessmen left Ceylon’s shores. Even The English Armed Forces left Ceylon on the orders of Prime Minister S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike. For his trouble, he was murdered by a bald headed man in the robes of a monk, to give the country the impression that the Buddhist clergy wanted the White Man back.
His wife, who succeeded him, however, kept the White Sahibs in check by nationalising the estates. The White Man had no reason to stay back in Ceylon.

Now, Alan Rock rocks Louise Arbour in her labours to bring forth Prabhakaran as the president of the land demarcated as the Tamil Homeland, forgetting that the greater number of Tamils live amicably in the Sinhala South with Muslims and Burghers. Sri Lankan leaders are aware that English is the pathway to knowledge and close contact with foreign countries and welcomes the belated suggestion of Chilcott, for the far seeing government has already altered the school curriculum to include English as a compulsory second language, though earlier it was optional.

The German Ambassador, enjoying the proverbial Sri Lankan hospitality, demands that the Lankan Government stop the war. The government’s position is that it is not at war with its citizens but is only curbing an insurgency against the sovereign government of Sri Lanka. If the European envoys know their onions or rather bunions that hurt them, they should surely know that it is the LTTE that assaults and cries on the shoulders of the envoys, to have them wipe away the tears of the LTTE, reputed to be the richest terrorist organisation. It believes it could suppress the government forces and spread its Eelam fantasy over the whole island. Now that it is failing in its perfidy, Christian religious dignitaries suggest stopping the bloodshed and speaking to the chief architect of terror, ‘Prabhakaran.’ Western diplomats, like the American envoy, also join the Christian clergy and repeat in harmony with them, ‘Talk to Prabahkaran.’ Do they not know that Prabhakaran is a fugitive from Justice? He is a common criminal and not a freedom fighter like Bin Laden. Christian Norway is a friend of the LTTE leader. Did not that country smuggle him to Norway, to acquaint him with handling of new fangled weaponry and gifting him with money to finance his insurgency?

The big inexplicable dilemma is why they target little Sri Lanka. Could it be that, Lanka is the comer stone of world wide Buddhism, which resists proselytism? The subtle conspiracy is to see the insurgents topple Lanka to subdue Buddhism that is abhorrent to the Christian Church that characterizes Buddhism as irreligious and heathen. Louise Arbour of the UNO is exerting all her labour to give the LTTE a foot hold. Would it not be more rewarding if she and the four foreign envoys go westwards to the USA and advise its president to give up killing humans for the Black Gold that flows in abundance in the Middle East? Sri Lanka is satisfied that abductions and killings are the work of the LTTE, to spur the gullible UN Ambassador for Human Rights, Arbour with a suggestion of a Separate State for the warring country and possibly set up an office for the UNO on sovereign Sri Lankan soil. The LTTE will have its Eelam on a platter with no terrorist blood flowing and Robert Blake will be a happy man seeing a stop to the taking of human life which he abhors! Iraqian life is dispensable to Americans!

Claude Senadhira


Prabhakaran’s war games have destroyed the Tamil people

Letter from a Tamil in Canada
The comments by various people show how foolishly we tamils, continue to glorify violence, suicide and terror. All this began with G.G. Ponnambalam attacking the sinhalese in a virulent speech in1939, resulting in the first Sinhala-Tamil riot.
After the war SJV and others used every chance to gore the government instead of building bridges. They spurned the left leaders who stood for parity and preferred to hob-nob with their Colombo-7 capitalist leaders.
Our Colombo Tamil leaders, arrogantly started the ball rolling, and even claimed that they are “ready for state terror.” The local militants realised that they were being bamboozled by the Colombo set, and they killed those leaders, our best men and women, and made cannon fodder out of our children.

Look at this partial list:
1. The JR government in 1977 granted all the demands on language etc. that the previous Tamil organisations had asked for. But we could not profit from it, because by then we were under the gun of Prabakaran.

2. India came in and merged north and east two provinces, and provided an honourable framework. But had we re-engaged the whole thing and started another war, Prabakaran would have been annihilated by the IPKF, if not for Premadasa.

3. Further accommodation was possible under Premadasa. But we re-engaged him and killed the 600 police who surrendered.

4. Under Chandrika we had the far reaching constitutional proposals by Neelan Thiruchelvan, but we replied by assassinating him.
5. Incredible concessions were made by the Ranil Wickremesinghe government with the Cease Fire Agreement. But we used it to stock up arms, get ready for another war and made sure of such a war by preventing Ranil’s victory.

This list of 5 does not include the innumerable other chances that had been offered. Why would any politician think that a political solution is possible with Prabakaran?

So, why are talking of a political solution?
The LTTE has always worked for a military solution. This Anuradhapura attack is the same old Killinochchi wine that Bishop Chikera is now peddling, and desecrating even the Eucharist. The LTTE does NOT want a political solution. It wants a military solution from the barrel of a gun. In the process it will destroy the Ceylon Tamils by destroying the future generation. How many Tamils are now left in the Vanni? What is the percentage of Tamils in Sri Lanka today? The CIA world fact book says that there is now only about 5% Tamils in SL!

Instead of executing this attack on the Anuradhapura military camp, if Prabakaran had declared that he is for a federal solution and that he will peacefully contest elections every where in Sri Lanka, do you think any Sinhala politician of any worth could oppose it? Even the most extreme “unitary man” would have to take up this chance. Even many Sinhalese might vote for Prabakaran if he had the capacity to do the right thing. But a “Venkai” does not change its spots.

Instead, for 30 years, he has led the Tamils on the path of destruction and suicide. Foolish Tamils, drunk with the venom of hate sing his praise. I lay the whole blame on Prabakaran for destroying the Ceylon Tamils. He is the biggest friend of Sinhala chauvinists.

Prabakaran has done what no Dutugemunu could ever do - reduce the Tamil areas to a prison for the Tamils, reduce the reputation of Tamils all over the world, kill our next generation and convert the remainder into war-mongering youngsters unfit for civilian life. The adults have been reduced to displaced persons.
School principles and temple dignitaries have been assassinated. Only the Tamils living in cozy comfort in the foreign lands can continue to rattle their swords, mesmerized by Prabakaran’s war games which have destroyed the tamil people, and impoverished the Sinhala as well.
Nothing is possible for the Ceylon Tamils until Prabakaran is a factor in the balance of power. Tamils need educated leaders with a vision fit for today’s global village.

Dr. C.Rasalingam


Presidential Secretariat felicitates Top Ten!

Most of the English dailies gave a lot of publicity to the Awards Ceremony of ‘Business Today’ when the 10 top Corporates, selected by this magazine were felicitated at the Presidential Secretariat.

It is understood that the President himself made a brief appearance just to give away the Awards to the ten ‘Top’ Corporates.
It appears that ‘Business Today’ is only looking at The Financial Performance of the companies and does not take into consideration important elements such as Corporate Governance, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.
If these important factors were taken into consideration, Distilleries Corporation of Sri-Lanka (DCSL) and Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) could not have got into the top ten.

Anyway, even leaving aside Corporate Social Responsibility, it is shocking how distilleries which are under investigation by Customs for a massive duty fraud were selected as No.1 of the Top ten Companies of Sri Lanka.
Speaks well for the Corporate Governance in Sri Lanka! I am appalled that the other respectable corporates who were featured, accepted their awards without having the strength of character to reject these awards.

It is reported that an official from Business Today, who spoke on behalf of the company, made a plea to the audience to support their three magazines, stating that only Sri Lanka Insurance which is a group company of Distilleries, advertises in their new political magazine TARGET. Is that a clue as to how the selections were done?

Mrs. Lilani Lokuhettige


Hats off to the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA)

It is a mixture of admiration and sadness that one feels when one reads the story of the little girl allegedly raped and killed by a monk. (Sunday Island December 2)

Admiration for this institute for persisting in its duty in spite of obvious opposition and, succeeding in obtaining justice for a mourning mother, who can at least rest now knowing her daughter’s murder is avenged.   Not an easy rest though, when one imagines what sadness she would be feeling when she thinks that the very  people who should have protected her child – the owner of the child care center and the guardian of the religion she belongs to – had been the cause of her little girl’s death. Worse, is the fact that, the police officers who should have acted on the available evidence, which is said to be compelling, had dragged their feet.

This mother needs to be applauded for taking up the cause, when  many others would have simply given up, thinking what purpose does it  serve now that the child is dead. But what this mother did by taking to protest through street demonstration, which seems to be the only weapon available to the poor nowadays to obtain justice, she prevented many more little girls being raped and killed and, also issued a warning to all other culprits. Hope that brings solace to her ailing soul. We salute you Mother!
Not only should the culprits be punished, but also the law officers who failed to act, should be asked to account for their inaction.  If not, this sort of high handedness would keep recurring as happens in our country so frequently.  It is only then we can rest assured that this little girl’s death has not been in vain.

Dr. Mareena Thaha Refai,


Modus operandi exposes hands behind crimes

It is a shameful fact that many dastardly crimes committed in recent times such as murders, assassinations, abductions, arson and large scale destruction of property continue to remain unsolved mysteries. At the same time it is a universally accepted truth that in all criminal activities by individuals, gangs, cartels or groups, the manner in which the crimes are committed provides reasonable clues to the perpetrator or perpetrators.

The study of the modus operandi is an aspect of primary importance in criminal investigation. Today all Police forces in the world keep records of modus operandi as much as they keep fingerprint, DNA, handwriting, photographic records etc.
Modus operandi records have often provided valuable clues in successfully solving crimes. It is interesting to note that some criminals have unique personal traits. A study on some of the Police records will reveal this. Some prominent traits of perpetrators are:

a) Entering only through the roof
b) Stealing only cash and jewellery
c) Stealing only electrical or electronic goods
d) Stealing only female clothing
e) Consuming food from the refrigerator
f) Consuming whatever liquor that’s in the house
With regard to operations by criminal groups, including terrorist organisations, clear ‘patterns of crime’ have been recognised. Some make telephone threats, some give warnings, some operate only in specified areas, some specialise in kidnapping and taking ransom, some rob only banks.

Terrorist crimes can often be identified by the ‘modus operandi’. The types of weapons used, the makes of explosives, methods of destruction etc. often provide useful clues. In Sri Lanka there is no difficulty in identifying a suicide explosion, a mass massacre of innocent villagers or a claymore mine as the work of the LTTE.

Even law-enforcement officers and investigators have peculiar traits. A policeman firing a weapon to commit an unlawful act will collect the empty shells. There have been and are investigators who derive perverse satisfaction out of ‘third degree’ methods or even torture.

Likewise when unlawful acts are committed by state agencies or individuals with state or political backing, telltale marks are left behind. Such crimes are committed without the fear that the Police will intervene. As such they are committed brazenly the vehicles used may have similarities. They often happen in places or areas where other criminals fear to tread. These areas are the ones close to the Police station or Army barracks or a heavily guarded place.

A hallmark of crimes with state or political backing is that they are mainly of an intimidating nature, and with comprehensive destruction of property. They are usually devoid of robbery or rape. Another striking peculiarity is that the Police out of lack of professionalism or the fear of retribution in the form of transfers or denials of promotion invariably turn a blind eye to these crimes even if valuable lives are lost. Investigations are of a lukewarm nature and seldom or never does one see arrests and successful prosecutions.

Those experienced in criminal investigations and related studies together with the telltale evidence provide reasonable and credible indicators not only to trained minds but to ordinary intelligent citizens to make out the perpetrators who committed the criminal act.

Edward Gunawardena









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