Friday, June 20, 2008
The Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, should be congratulated for his quite appropriate stand taken against those who raise funds for terrorist activities abroad. In allowing continued collections of funds for such activities the Canadian government itself indirectly contributed to terrorism in Sri Lanka, and other countries. Having understood this fact, the Minister Mr. Stockwell Days had taken a pertinent decision which is praiseworthy. This should be followed by other European countries as well, and specially Australia.
It is normal that those immigrants to foreign countries keep in contact with their home lands, and help their families, or the people of their country of origin by making voluntary contributions for their welfare.
The immigrants if accepted in to a country and given the citizenship of that country, are for all intents and purposes citizens of that country, whether it is Canada, France, and so on. Such citizens should abide by the laws of that country, and should not engage in any activity that would bring discredit to the adopted country. In Canada, a Canadian may be of Sri Lankan, Indian or Pakistan origin, but as a Canadian, he is integrated without distinction of his origin, colour, race, or religion. They can if they are interested in political activities join the political parties of the adopted country as any other citizen.
That is the wonderful liberty in foreign countries such as Canada, USA , France etc. In these countries there are no political parties. designated to Tamils, Indians , Filipinos etc., every one is a Canadian, or an American, and has the liberty to join the main political parties .
This, unfortunately, has not happened in Sri Lanka. The Tamils, and Muslims and Sinhala have their own political parties. Therefore, the main Communities in Sri Lanka, the Tamils, Sinhala and Muslims are politically, racially and socially, divided.
The terrorism in Sri Lanka is a result of this division. We should take an example from countries like Canada, and follow their political systems, and the Tamils, Sinhala and Muslims, should join the existing Political Parties which have no distinctive nomenclatures, such as Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim. That would give political equality to all communities, and will end communal antagonism. This is a way to bring about peace and Unity to Sri Lanka.
Therefore, the Canadian Tamils should refuse payments to extortionists, or willingly contribute to terrorist front organisations to kill, maim or cause suffering to men, women and children in Sri Lanka. They should instead advise all Tamils, both in Canada and Sri Lanka to Unite, and integrate into the political system of Sri Lanka as Sri Lankans without identifying themselves as Tamils.
The East liberated from the terrorists, has all the reason to organise itself to live in peace, and harmony. But unfortunately the Muslim Community in the East seems to have decided otherwise.
Like the TNA Parliamentarians who work in consultation with their terrorist superiors, the Muslim Parliamentarians too seem to be controlled by an “unseen” force. The Sinhala Parliamentarians take decisions in consultation with their political leaders, and seek the blessings of the religious prelates, who have no hand in the decisions taken by the Parliamentarians. And so are the Tamil Parliamentarians who take decisions in consultation with their leaders and colleagues, and then go to the Hindu Temple for the blessing for the decision they have taken.
But this does not seem to be so with the Muslim Parliamentarians. They do not seem to take decisions on their own but has to consult an “unseen” force behind them to help them take a decision. This came to light in the process of the appointment of the Chief Minister for the EPC.
When Pillaiyan was to be named the Chief Minister, Hizbullah rebelled and threatened to break away from the Government party and sit separately with his two companions, as an independent group. The President called him and explained the situation and requested to accept Pillaiyan as the Chief Minister, Then Hizbullah said that he will have to consult the Ulema before taking a decision. Is it then the Ulema, which is the “unseen force” that directs the Muslim Parliamentarians in the East.
This was further confirmed in a recent news item in the website Muslim Guardian, where proposals had been made against the TMVP by a Muslim Front Organisation. This is an extract from the news report, which does not auger well for unity and peace in the East.
”…… (MIC - sri Lanka) The Kattankudi Jamiyyathul Ulama had requested all the newly elected Muslim members of the Eastern Provincial Council to boycott its inaugural session to highlight the demand of strengthening security of the Muslim community in the east. Ethnic violence has flared in the east between the Tamil and Muslim communities since the EPC polls were conducted and tense situation prevails in the east putting into question the government claim of having liberated the east from the clutches of the LTTE. Political analysts indicate several possible reasons for the above situation.”
The Muslims in the East are organising themselves to oppose the administration of the East under its Chief Minister Pillaiyan.
This may be the beginning of an ethnic conflict in the East, and it should be stopped before it takes a greater dimension. East is home for the Muslims, Tamils and the Sinhala, therefore the Muslims should accept this reality, and learn to live with the other Communities. If instead, the Muslims were to adopt a confrontational attitude, the situation in East will soon deteriorate and perhaps the terrorists will take the opportunity to infiltrate into the region once again. Therefore, Muslims should change their attitudes for the greater good of the whole country.
Recently I had an e-mail from a friend in America, in which he had mentioned of areas in the East which are open only to the Muslims, where even the Sri Lanka Police is not allowed to enter. My friend had been told that there is a fishing harbour in Beruwela reserved exclusively for Muslim fishermen. He also mentions a Muslim Parliament with modern communication facilities. If the trend in the East is allowed to continue we may soon have other problems to deal with, after Prabhakaran’s war against the people.
We are beginning to see an end of the disastrous period of terrorism in Sri Lanka. This should therefore be made the occasion to build bridges between the Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim communities, forgetting all our differences. The East liberated from the terrorists should be made the beginning of the communal unity. The media which complains of government interference, should wake up to their real responsibility which is to help the people to cast away their mantle of communal isolation, to develop the country together, end enmity and build a lasting solidarity, to wake up tomorrow as a happy nation of Sri Lankans.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
The Muslim Politicians, and the UNP are responsible for the recent communal violence in the East of Sri Lanka.
A report in IRIN Humanitarian news and analysis read “………. Clashes were triggered by the 22 May killing of two members of the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pullikal (TMVP), the prominent Tamil political party in the district, in Kathankudi, a Muslim majority town south of Batticaloa City.
"There is a history of tension between the two communities and the killings of the TMVP members added to it," according to Mujeeb Rahaman, information officer of the Colombo-based Muslim Information Centre (MIC) rights group.”
The blame for this unfortunate incidents should be taken by those responsible for the divisive election campaign conducted by the SLMC-UNP combination during the provincial elections of the East, and for accentuating this Communal division by the Hisbollah group attempting to vindicate their right to the office of the Chief Minister of the East.
The President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse in his greater wisdom knew that the Muslim Politicians would, blinded by their desire to capture political power at any cost, would stir communal violence in the East. He therefore advised them to see the reality of the situation and allow the office of the CM go to Pillaiyan of TMVP, which after all was the more appropriate and urgent solution.
The Muslims of the East to support Hisbollah’s repeated claim for the Office of CM, and the threat to quit the UPFA to sit as an independent group, called a strike shutting down their shops. This did not help to create an atmosphere of peace and unity between the two Communities in the East . The result was the assassination of two Tamils in Kathankudi, followed by killing in reprisal two Muslims.
These unfortunate deaths resulted from the most unthoughtful attitude of the Muslim Politicians.
These Muslim Politicians and their supporters remained in the fringe away from bombs and bullets, watching the Tamils and the Sinhala kill each other, either as terrorists or as soldiers, and when the smoke had settled in the battle front, came out, without a passing thought for those who had died before they could claim victory, or those who risked their lives to see the victory, to share the spoils of the war. And the worst of it, they claimed the prized pieces, leaving the rest for those who risked their lives, or lost their comrades in the battle.
This attitude of the Muslims of Sri Lanka should change. Unlike their Muslim counterparts in Arabia, the Muslims of Sri Lanka are living together in a multi-ethnic, multi-religious society. Therefore they have to adopt to the situation in which they find themselves. They cannot remain as a separate entity safeguarding only their own interests.
In Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi or Kuwait, where Islamism is the only religion, with a Muslim population, they may follow the religion of the Koran, which is primarily a religion founded for them, to the letter. But in countries which have different cultural back grounds, and different belief systems, the Islamic religious tenants should be “broadened” to suit the country, enabling the followers of Islamism to cohabit in peace and harmony with the followers of other faiths.
Sri Lankan Muslims should not look after the welfare of only the Muslim Community, imitating the Arab Nations whose generous aid is extended to Arab Countries or special projects for the Muslim Community in other countries,
In the West communal disharmony has been reduced by integrating people of different races and different faiths to live in the same space. But yet, even in the West, communal dissension has arisen from attempting to mix religious customs, in a strictly secular or lay society, and trying to live in segregation, away from those of other faiths.
In Sri Lanka there should be a social, cultural and religious evolution, after the terrible terrorism we had been compelled to live with for the last three decades. The Muslims, should develop a fraternal existence with the Sinhala and Tamil Communities. The Muslim Community should take part along with the other Communities, in the development of the country, and share both in its fortunes and misfortunes. They should refuse to be mere spectators, but active participants in Nation building. For that they should not make their religion a barrier, a wall built to separate them from the others.
In a foreign land if one were to meet another Sri Lankan, one would recognise him as a Sri Lankan, but will have difficulty in guessing whether he is a Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim. The reason is that each one of us belonging to one or the other Community, living and being brought up together, has assimilated the basic characteristic of a Sri Lankan. There is arecognisable similarity. A Muslim, whether he is from Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, or an Arab State will have a cultural difference that distinguishes one from the other.
Therefore, whether we are Sinhala, Tamil or Muslim, we apparently have a distinctly common cultural background which is a mixture of Sinhala Buddhist, Hindu Tamil and Islamic Muslim. Therefore, we can set aside our religious differences, and develop a deep relationship of being Sri Lankans.
If the Muslims had built such a relationship with the rest of the Communities, the problem concerning the appointment of a Chief Minister to the Provincial Council of the East would not have arisen. Because the Muslim politicians would have then understood, the importance of giving the office of Chief Minister of Eastern Province to a Tamil, who had given up terrorism to follow a democratic path, to enable him to understand the value of democracy. Besides, making Pillaiyan the Chief Minister of the East, the continued terrorism for a Tamil Eelam has become futile.
Though Ranil Wickramasinghe and the UNP are also a party to the violence raising its head in the East, the people of Sri Lanka knows by now, that Ranil will engage even with the devil himself, if he could make things difficult for the President Mahinda Rajapakse, and his own dream of becoming the President of Sri Lanka could be realised.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Who really are the Violators of Human Rights ? Is it the Government of Sri Lanka or the International Community with its various partners ?
The pen is mightier than the sward they say. Then why not those who use the pen write the truth, and defend the President Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse, the man who stands for peace and unity in Sri Lanka.
Human Rights issue on which the President and his government is held accused is phoney.
Those who accuse the Sri Lanka government of violation of human rights ,are themselves violators of human rights.
When the International Community demands, that the government should stop military action against the terrorists and come to a political settlement, the IC is moving towards violation of human rights of the people of Sri Lanka. Because the people of Sri Lanka has accepted that terrorism is causing terror, hampers development, has plunged the country into a fear psychosis, elected a President and a Government who have pledged to end terrorism in their election manifesto. The government has to keep its promise to the people and has to end terrorism. When the International Community, hinders by various means the government of Sri Lanka to carry out its right to defend its people from terrorist, is it not a violation of the right of democratically elected government to carry out its duty of defending its people ?
The terrorists, who have refused to negotiate peace with the government, continue their terrorist activities, ruthlessly killing civilians, and putting the people of the whole country in to untold misery. In this situation the IC, that asks the government, despite the continued terrorism by the terrorists, to negotiate a peace settlement with them, is violating the right of the government to defend its people against a murderous group of savage terrorists. Therefore the IC defends the terrorists, and hampers the efforts of the government to carry out its promise given in its election manifesto, thus violating the human rights of the people who are looking forward for the government to end terrorism and give them peace and freedom.
Again the International Community, which refuses to understand the “war” situation of Sri Lanka, in which safety of unfortunate people in the terrorist held areas, caught in the cross fires between the Security Forces and the terrorists, cannot be 100 per cent assured, as in, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, or elsewhere, there is war against terrorists, imposes sanctions on the government. This is also a violation of the human rights of the people, who depends on the government to develop the government and provide food, employment, and shelter, from the aid receivable from the rich nations of the IC.
Or, the proposal of the European Union to cut off resources, and the threat to withdraw trade benefits under GSP + means the dissemination of poverty, deprivation and adversity. Through the withdrawal of trade benefits the persons working in the garment industry may lose their means of lively hood, which is a violation of the human rights of the people who depend on the EU trade benefits for continued employment.
The United States and the European Union have withheld various aid programs and are supposed to be debating whether to withdraw special trade benefits from Sri Lanka. This is also a violation of the rights of the people who depend on these aid programmes.
Karuna, who broke away from the LTTE terrorists, helped the Sri Lank Security Forces to take back the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka from terrorist control. He left Sri Lanka when his life was under threat. He was arrested by the UK Police for being in possession of a false Sri Lankan Passport. He is to be deported to Sri Lanka.
Now the President of the Amnesty International, who does not seem to understand the invaluable importance of a person, who turns his back to terrorism to adhere to democracy and freedom , to persuade other terrorists to follow his example demands, that Karuna should be arrested by the Government of Sri Lanka on his return, and punished for his past activities as a terrorist. In making this proposition the Amnesty International is violating the human rights of a man who regrets his past terrorist activities, and turned to democracy and demands freedom.
Under these circumstances one begins to wonder, who really are the violators of human rights ?
Is it the President of Sri Lanka Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse and his Government grappling with terrorism, or the International Community with its various partners standing in the way of the effort of the Government of Sri Lanka, which is fighting alone, to end terrorism from Sri Lanka ?