Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why do Buddhists believe that an Anti-Conversion Bill is necessary ?

For Buddhists, being born into a Buddhist family is not a coincidence, it is the fruition of accumulated wholesome Kamma. Therefore, any one who tempts a Buddhist with money and gifts to reject Buddhism into which he was born, to accept another’s religion is in a way a “criminal offence”. In Sri Lanka there are the Buddhists , the Hindus and Muslims and none of them practice conversion. It is only the Christian Church and the Evangelists that practice this “criminal” offence of stealing faithfuls of another religion to their own.

National Christians Fellowship of Sri Lanka had organised a protest campaign against the Anti Conversion Bill at the Vihara Mahadevi Park in Colombo. It is they who thrive on conversion, and there is no reason why they should be given the freedom to continue their “criminal “ activity. The proposed Anti conversion Bill will put a stop to their continued damage to our Nation, its own religions and culture.

If these Christians and Evangelists are generous humanitarians who want to help the people to rise above their poverty and suffering they my certainly do so, without asking the poor people to change their religion in exchange for their generosity. If not that would be a commercialisation of religion.

The necessity for an Anti-Conversion Bill, arises from the fact that for number of years there had been an effort by certain Churches and Evangelists to infiltrate into rural areas in Sri Lanka, some in the guise of good Samaritans constructing roads and bridges, seeking at the same time poor people in villages to be converted to their Christian faith by allurement, or offer of incentives such as financial aid and gifts.

It is known in some of the villages in Sri Lanka, that these pseudo “Samaritans”, after converting a family to their Christian faith on promise of offers of gifts and aid, make them stand on the floors on which the images of the Buddha and Buddhist books had been laid and covered with mats, to conduct prayers to their new God. It marks their renouncement of their old religion, accepting the new divine faith.

The conversion of Buddhist, and also Hindus in Sri Lanka began with the advent of the conquerors and the establishment of colonial rule. The converts at the beginning were mainly from the urban maritime areas. The Catholic Missionaries carried out large scale conversion of the poor fisher folk from the maritime villages.

But the rural villages within the country remained Buddhist “uncontaminated” by the Missionary efforts of conversion. It is these villages that are being targeted now by the present day Christian Missionaries, and Evangelists. They convert poor villagers in developing countries, perhaps to outnumber the Christians from Western Countries giving up Christianity to accept Buddhism.

Buddhism had never employed conversion as a means to propagate its teachings. The Buddha himself was against conversion, and told his disciples to be an example. It was that example that attracted many persons of other faiths to Buddhism. Many Brahmin ascetics who came to defy the teachings of Buddha in dialogue, at the end of their questionings asked the Buddha to accept them as his disciples. The Buddha asked them on many occasions to go back and reflect on the decision, and accept it only if they are convinced of the truth of his teachings.

Therefore, the Buddhists believe that no body has the right to take away from any one, the religious faith into which one had been born and in which one remains. To do otherwise would therefore amount to a “stealing” of another’s birth right.

An individual may of course on his own change his religious faith, and that is his right which no one will contest. What the Anti-Conversion bill opposes is the inducement to change one’s own religious faith in to which one is born, to another religious faith. It could also apply to Christians as well. No body has the right to force or induce an Anglican to become a Catholic which would also amount to an unethical conversion. Or to convert a Christian to Buddhism by force or inducement would also become an unethical conversion.

Apart from the fact that no one has the right through force or inducement to change the religious faith into which one was born, and accept another faith, the Buddhists believe that it is a rare opportunity to be born a human being. It is only a being who has accumulated wholesome kamma that is born as a human being. And to be born a human being into a Buddhist family one should have accumulated still more wholesome kamma. Therefore, converting a Buddhist by all types of inducements to another faith, is to make him forfeit his karmic “gift” to find an end to a seemingly endless cycle of births and deaths in Samasara.

The Buddhists also believe that it is the:

( a) ignorance of the four noble truths: the truth of suffering (dukkha), the truth of the cause of suffering (samudaya ) which is the clinging attachment, the truth of the cessation of suffering (nirodha), and the truth of the path to cessation of suffering (magga), and

(b) not living according to the eight fold path: the right view( samma ditthi), the right thought ( samma sankappa), the right speech( samma vaca), the right bodily action (samma kammanta) , the right livelihood( samma ajiva), the right effort (samma vayama), the right mindfulness( samma sati), and the right concentration (samma Samadhi) are the causes of a being’s continued suffering in the endless cycle of deaths and births in Samsara.

Therefore, to the Buddhists , the believers of other religions have false views, and wrong understanding. The early Christian Missionaries by converting the Sinhala Buddhists to Christianity had taken away from them the essential kammic gift of acquiring right view and right understanding making them aimless wanderers suffering in Samsara.

The Buddhists do not interfere into the freedom of those who believe in other religions or other Gods, but they would like those of other religious faiths not to interfere into their and their children’s freedom to follow the teachings of the Buddha.

During the Colonial rule the children of Buddhist families had only Christian Missionary Schools for their education. In these schools the catechism classes were compulsory for all students which became a means of converting Buddhist Children to the Christian faith. The Sinhala Buddhists were an under privileged group under the Colonial Rule. Towards the end of the 19th century many thought the Buddhism will disappear from Sri Lanka.

It was when Buddhism in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) was at its lowest ebb that the Great American benefactor Sir Henry Steel Olcott came to Sri Lanka on the 16 May,1880 along with Mme Helena Blavatski. They were the pioneers of the Theosophic Society and later declared themselves Buddhists. SirHenry Steel Olcott was disliked by the Colonial Rulers of the time, because of the welcome he had received from the Sinhala Buddhists.

When Sir Olcott and Blavatski were invited to give a lecture in Kalutara ,the Government Agent of the district had ordered that no government building or the veranda of a school or even its steps should be given to hold any lectures by Sir Olcott. Such was the colonial attitude towards the Sinhala Buddhists at the tim.

It was Sir Olcott who gave new life to Buddhism and Buddhist culture in the then Ceylon. It was thanks to him that separate Buddhist Schools were founded for the Sinhala Buddhists. We have come a long way since then . Sri Lanka is now an Independent Sovereign State and has to reorganise itself without leaving any one to plunder from our people their birthright. Therefore it has become necessary to the Sinhala Buddhists and the Hindu Tamils to safeguard their religions, and culture from being mutilated by intruders, by legal enactments.

There are unscrupulous, Christians who attempt to convert unbelievers by allurements, they are not of God’s choice and should be weeded out, as Mr. Charles Schokman says. For that purpose a Legal Instrument to dissuade such attempts of conversion is essential. There are no possible dialogue to stop conversions, there fore the availability of a legal prohibition would be a deterrent for those who attempt to convert persons from one faith to another.

Love and compassion are not the monopoly of one religion. Buddhism a religion or a philosophy discovered by a “man” and not a creator God, is a philosophy of love to
all beings. It teaches its followers to pervade universal love to all living beings. Buddhism is pragmatic with a philosophy based on what is perceptible and could be experienced to arrive at what is imperceptible.

Where as religions with a God head is based on unseen, imperceptible concept of a God’s love, to arrive at another unseen and imperceptible concept of a Paradise, Buddhism is based on suffering, to arrive at a state of non-suffering.

These are facts that should be left for people to realise on their own, by reading, listening and discussion, but not converting them to other faiths by allurements, incentives or use of force.

That is why an Ant-Conversion Bill is essential, for Sri Lanka that had gone through natural and human perils to reorganise itself into a nation un-interfered by any foreign NGOs, good Samaritans, or religious quirks.

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Anti-Conversion Bill is a much needed legislation,

With the triumph of the Armed Forces over terrorism in the North, the presentation of the Anti-conversion Bill in the Parliament for its second reading is a triumph over the continued erosion of Sri Lankan Cultural values.
The erosion of our cultural values started with the conquering Nations from the west laying their feet on our shores to colonise the country. They brought along with them the Missionaries to convert the heathens- as our forefathers were called by them, and educate them to bring them into the fold of their Christian civilization.
Many generations after, our people who had been converted to the religion of the conquerors, have forgotten that their forefathers were denied the freedom of conscience and the freedom of expression in the choice of the new faith, but accepted to be converted to a foreign religion of which they knew nothing, merely for the privileges that were offered to them for accepting their Gods.
For the Buddhists as much as it was for the Hindus, the foreign Gods of the Colonial rulers were false Gods forced on their people in the process of a planned conversion to the faith of the Colonialists, to prepare the natives to accept the colonial rule as a divine system of governance prepared for them by their Gods.
The religion was an important arm of the conquerors to bring the natives into the their faith, to make it easy for them to rule the conquered countries, without opposition and rebellions. The British colonialists sent specialists in to their new colonies, to study the religious faith of the people, to prove to them the falsity of their faith, and the value of their own . They continued their conversion by very subtle ways introducing the religions to the poor and uninstructed persons., and to ambitious elements who sought wealth and privileges.
However, there was a British scholar a son of a Welsh Congregational Minister Mr.T.W.Rhys Davids who after passing the Civil Service exam was posted to then Ceylon. He was the Assistant Government Agent in Anuradhapura. Unlike the British Soldiers, Administrators and the Missionaries Rhys Davis was an intellectual and a scholar. He had studied Sanskrit . In Sri Lanka he came across Pali-the language in which the Buddhists texts had been written.
Mr.Rhys Davids, studied Pali and read the Canonical writing of Buddhism. He was greatly interested in the teachings of the Buddha, finding in it an incomparable depth of meaning. And unlike our fore fathers, who not being well learned in Buddhism, readily embraced a foreign religion of lesser value, for employment and privileges offered by their colonial masters, Mr.T.W.Rhys Davids promoted Theravada Buddhism, and Pali Language in England.
Speaking about Buddhism Mr. Rhys Davids had said, “Buddhist or not Buddhist, I have examined every one of the great religious systems of the world, and in none of them have I found anything to surpass, in beauty and comprehensiveness, the Noble Eightfold Path and the Four Noble Truths of the Buddha. I am content to shape my life according to that path."
Mr.RMB Senanayake writing an article against the Anti-Conversion Bill say, that Jesus had said that the Word of God must be proclaimed throughout the world. Jesus warned that it was not going to be easy for it would entail persecution but it is not an exhortation but a command which every Christian is expected to follow. We Christians are required to follow Gods commandments rather than man’s where they clash. So it is our duty to oppose the so-called Anti-Conversion Law.
But we the Buddhists are not bound like Mr.RMB Senanayake to follow commandments of any God, and therefore, we have a right to defend Buddhism, and stop the continued attempts to rob our people of their faith in Buddhism, because of their poverty, or ignorance of the greater value of Buddhism, against those who attempt to convert them as the Colonial Missionaries converted our forefathers to believe in their false Gods.
There are no genuine conversions , or imitation conversions, all conversions or attempts to convert are wrong and should be opposed. For that purpose the present Anti-conversion Bill is a much needed implement long awaited by right thinking persons. No legislation is 100 percent perfect. It is in being implemented that imperfections could be put to right. Therefore we should in the first place have a Bill passed and available to be implemented to stop further acts of conversion.
It is in the name of conducting humanitarian work that the “crime” of conversion had been going on unobserved. Therefore, such work should be taken over by non-religious institutions. Sri Lanka is predominantly a Buddhist Country, and Hinduism is the second important religion, and both these religions are affected by Christian conversions, and therefore the Anti Conversion Bill is an important legislation, to stop furher activities of conversion.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thank you Mr. President, Commanders of Armed Forces, Defence Secretary, and the Brave Soldiers of the Infantry, Navy, and the Air Force.

Thank you our Brave Armed Forces, you have done what lot of people both local and International thought would be an impossible task, which they pontificated should be settled not by an impossible military solution, but by both parties entering into a negotiated settlement.

They little knew the heroism of the Sinhala Soldiers. They won the war against terrorism for all of us Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and all other Communities who have made this land their home.

Why is it necessary to celebrate the capture of Mulativu ?

Because it is the last bastion of the Terrorists, and this victory marks the end of nearly thirty years of terrorism.

Because it is the end of the suffering of thousands of poor Tamil Civilians, who had been kept as a human shield by the terrorists, to protect themselves from the bombardments and artillery fire of the Sri Lanka Government Forces.

Because it is also the end of the comedy that had been enacted by Karunanidhi and his jokers Vaiko, Nedumaran and all the rest, trying to force the hand of the Central Government of India to call for a cease fire , to save the terrorists, and give them a new lease of life.

Because it is the end of thirty years of terrorism , helped by Norway, UK, Germany , the International Community, UNHRC, Human Right Watch, Amnesty International, Bruce Fein, Blakes, and Chilcotts.

Because it is the end of the International Community , their Agents, Agencies, and our neighbour India calling the Sovereign State of Sri Lanka, to sit with the terrorist for a negotiated peace settlement.

Because it is, also to tell the world –the International Community that we the Sri Lankans are a Nation to be reckoned with, a nation that has the potential to be great, an ability to go through” hell” to find the “heaven” we seek. It is symbolical of the determination of the people of this country to reach a pre-set target under what ever dangers, and road blocks there may be.

Because, we are a Nation that has the courage, and the force to advance, and not to retreat.

In this victory we have lost many a brave heroes who dedicated their lives to give the people -the children of mother Lanka, a “tomorrow” which is free from fear, and uncertainty. A “tomorrow” for us to build a lasting fraternity to unite as Sri Lankans without separating our selves as Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim or else. A “tomorrow” when we would stand together as a Nation with the same hope and the same dream, and to tell our selves that we will never again allow our hopes, and dignity of a Nation be destroyed by a terrorism of any sort.

We owe this victory to a one man, and his determination to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka for ever. “Defeat” was written in large letters every where he turned,. Nevertheless, he placed his unwavering trust in his Commander of the Army Sarath Foneseka, and the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse, and the Brave Armed Forces of the Infantry, Navy and the Air Force, and entrusted them with the task of carrying out military operations with a view to eliminate the well armed ruthless force of terrorists, no one thought the Government Forces would ever be able to defeat. This man with the undaunted determination to eliminate terrorism from his beloved Mother Lanka is the President Mahinda Rajapakse.

We also celebrate the Victory of the capture of Mulativu, to show our gratitude to the President Mahinda Rajapakse, the Brave Armed Forces, and to remember those heroes that gave their lives in the battle against the terrorists.

However, it is difficult for us not to give a thought to those Tamil youth who gave their lives to a cause which was not theirs, but that of a murderous psychopath, mislead or forced to fight “his war”. We recognise the bravery of those who risked their lives, and those who gave theirs, for a cause which they were made to believe was theirs.

In this celebration of the Victory we should also hope that our youths should never be mislead by an individual or a group, to make them a party to break away our motherland, to make a homeland to any group or a community, as we should stand united now as never before to always defend our motherland to keep it a unitary state.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Police Investigations are slow and inefficient. The President should get a new team of Criminal investigators.

The President Mahinda Rajapakse has already accomplished an unparalleled service to his country in getting together an efficient group of people as a team, and reinforcing the Sri Lanka Armed Forces to take up the challenge to eliminate terrorism from Sri Lanka. That alone is worth the peoples gratitude to the remarkable qualities of leadership he brought with him to the high office he occupies.

Nevertheless, the qualities he provided to the Defence and Armed Forces of the country, is lacking in the Police Force of the country. The Sri Lanka Police Force continues to show a lack of methodology and efficiency in its investigations and bringing criminals to books. There are far too many criminal cases assassinations remaining unsolved.

The Police Department seems to have no clue, as to who were the perpetrators of assassinations and murders beginning from late Mr.Lakshman Kadirgama to recent case of the criminals who attacked the editor of Rivira Upali Tennakoon. These assassinations and criminal attacks could have been carried out by the terrorists , the underworld mafia, a group of absconding military personnel, or carried out by unscrupulous individuals employing criminals on contract.

Every time an assassination, arson or looting takes place the Presidents issues orders calling for a thorough investigation, but thereafter nothing comes out of it. The Police Department should be held responsible, and not the President or the Government, for the continuous assassinations that had been taking place at least during the last two years if not beyond. The criminal investigations are the responsibility of the Police Force.

The Police arrests suspects and nothing seems to be going beyond these arrests. In the case of the attack of the MTV studios the suspects brought to court had been released by the Magistrate, as the investigations had not been carried out by the proper branch of the Police Department. That shows that there is no coordination between the Police and the CID. The inefficiency of the Police Department gives rise to accusations being levelled at the President, the Government and the Armed Forces as directly or indirectly involved in the assassinations, arson, and burglaries.

The President should re-organise the Police Department, and infuse into it the same qualities and efficiency that he gave to the Armed Forces, and make it more active and carry out investigations with more vigour and efficiency. If the Police department had carried out their investigation properly and rapidly after the assassination of the editor of the Sunday Leader, the second attack on the editor of Rivira Upali Tennakoon, may have been averted. The attack on Rivira Editor seems to have been carried out by the same group that assassinated the editor of the Sunday Leader. If not by other criminals employed by the same “contractor”.

How many more assassinations have to be carried out before the criminals are arrested or at least some clues are found. As it is the police investigations are pathetically slow and inefficient and no body can expect any positive out come from the investigations.
The assassination of the Sunday Leader, had been carried out in broad daylight in the presence of eye witnesses. An efficient criminal investigators could have easily sifted enough evidence to lead them to the perpetrators. These ,investigations will give positive results only if carried out promptly without lapse of time. One or two days after an incidents, if the investigators have not found clues to follow up , they have then failed.

As it is the investigators have already failed in the three recent criminal incidents one of breaking up into the MTV Studios, the Assassination of the editor of Sunday Leader , and the attack of the editor of Rivira.

The President should shake up the Police Department , changing the Present IGP, and getting more efficient people into its service. If not the assassinations will continue and the President and the Government may continue to be held responsible by the local and foreign opponents of the Government and the President

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Replying Keith Jones of the World Socialist Website- In Sri Lanka there is no anti-Tamil war, but there are military operations against Terrorists

Keith Jones’ long articles on the header “Washington’s criminal role in the Sri Lanka states anti Tamil war”, in the World Socialist Website on the 12 January,2009 is on a wrong premise. First because there is no war in Sri Lanka, and Second because the military operations carried out by the Sri Lanka Government is not against the Tamil people of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka does not have an anti-Tamil governmet; The Sri Lanka Government is at present carrying out military operations against a group of terrorists. The fact that the terrorists happen to be Tamils; does not mean the military operations are against Tamils.
Mr. Jones, should not accept terrorism as a revolution of the proletariat. If he does so the whole concept of socialism would be in danger. He should have perhaps examined a little more about the history of the terrorism in Sri Lanka before he precipitated to write an article against a government trying its best to end the scourge of terrorism that had lasted more than two decades, hindering all progress, barring the country’s attempts to develop its potentials to become a developed nation.
If Mr. Keith Jones’s article is meant to help socialism, then it is barking up the wrong tree. The Government of Sri Lanka is carrying out military operations to end thirty years of terrorism under which the people of the country including the Tamils suffer and the ordinary people have shown a willingness to be patient, despite the economic difficulties they face in every day life, with the government in its effort to end terrorism at all cost.
Therefore, all parties whether socialists or capitalists should be with the government to end terrorism. The Socialists should support the governments’ effort to militarily end terrorism, without interfering by exposing theoretical views of socialism, when the necessity demands the government to act in the interest of the country and the people.
Mr. Keith Jones is perhaps not aware that the terrorists in Sri Lanka have the support of a rich Tamil diaspora which is contributing 200 to 300 million dollars per year to enable the terrorists to set up a separate State for the Tamils, which is not what the ordinary Tamil people living in the country want.
The terrorist with this budget of unlimited resources pay handsomely for favourable propaganda to make it seem to be freedom fighters. There are some journalists and anti terrorist lobbyists earning millions of dollars trying to create a different image of the terrorists. There are websites which try to white wash the terrorists calling them freedom fighters or rebels. One should not be carried away by the false propaganda to disrupt a people to rise out of its suffering. That would be contrary to Socialism.
Mr.Keith Jones is not aware of the atrocities committed by these terrorists. The American Government believed that the Government of Sri Lanka will be able to solve the terrorist problem by a negotiated settlement, and had been pushing the government for that end. But the attempts of different governments, with the Norwegian Government as a mediator, to come to a negotiated settlement failed. The terrorists insisted on the setting up of a separate State for the Tamils. Neither the Tamil political parties nor the ordinary Tamil people living in the country want a separate state for the Tamils.
The terrorists finally showed their opposition for a negotiated settlement by Claymore bomb blasts targeting civilians, and assassinating politicians, intellectuals, and Members of security forces, using suicide bomb attacks.
They used a suicide bomb attack to assassinate the Prime Minister of India Late Rajiv Gandhi. They used suicide bombers to assassinate President Premadasa of Sri Lanka, the Presidential Candidate Gamini Dissanayake, and Ranjan Wijeratne, the Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar was assassinated by a sniper, attempted to assassinate with suicide bomb attack the former President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Commander of the Army Sarath Fonseka, and the Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakse.
Finally, they closed the sluice gates of a tank depriving water to thousands of farmers. It was only then that the present government had to use the army to have the sluice gates opened. America new that it was not possible ,to negotiate peace with these terrorists. The Sri Lanka government finally resorted to the only available alternative the military operations to end terrorism.
The present Government of Mr. M. Rajapakse is the only government that gave the correct leadership to the country, and the responsibility to the Army to wage military operations to end terrorism. The Military operations have proved successful to drive the terrorists to the furthest corner of the jungles they dominated. If the government does not successfully end terrorism now Sri Lanka will fall back to what it had been for the last thirty years with a ruthless group of terrorists hindering development and progress, and terrorising the people.
Is that what the World Socialists want ? I do not want to write at length on this, the facts I have given above and some search in the internet by Mr.Jones may assure him that the Sri Lanka government is fighting against a band of ruthless terrorist and any country whether Capitalist or Socialist, would be happy to rid of the likes of them.
In Sri Lanka there are two main Political Parties. One is the Capitalist UNP and the other the Socialist SLFP which has formed the present Government. The UNP signed a CFA with the terrorists which allowed them to buy the most modern arms and armaments and other military equipment to kill and massacre people. They owned twelve ships to transports arms and armaments, they had three Air Planes., and a battalion of trained Suicide bombers. The Government Armed Forces were not well equipped to fight the terrorists, and the terrorists were a law unto themselves.
It was only the present government that took a determined effort to end terrorism by modernising the Army. If this government is ousted it would be the Capitalist UNP government that will come into power, and all gains in the fight against terrorism will end and the rein of terror will continue.
Is that what the World Socialists want ?

( World Socialist Website:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Exchanging View with a contributer to Ireport of CNN

Nuwan, ( )

Perhaps in your dislike, which is your right, for the President Mahinda Rajapakse, you do not want to know my reasons to compare him to Obama. I am not comparing the persons but the impact each one of them had on the political scene of their respective countries. Obama has brought change to America after 200 years of its history. Rajapakse also brought change to Sri Lanka after 60 years of Independence.

I do not question you the “dirty work” Mr.Mahinda Rajapakse has done , because it is your opinion, and you have your right for your opinion. But Rajapakse is an ordinary man. He is a simple man of the country, without any pretension to be different. It is in the way one looks at him that one sees a “mask” on him. But in reality he wears no “mask”.

It is best to get your information from different Sri Lanka journals and then evaluate the news without trying to fit him into a frame of your choice. The Island News paper is a good source of information. Of course if you are prejudiced against a person no one can change your prejudices, unless you yourself decide to change them, to look at the same person differently.

I do not see any “dirty acts” in which he was engaged. He was elected as the President with a good majority. He is popular among the people Sinhala,Tamils and Muslims. It is not possible for him to get be involved in any sort of Mafia activities, when he is on the “spot light” of political observers. He has not encouraged or taken part in corrupt activities. All allegation were made by his opponents like Mangala Samaraweera and Wickramasinghe but they could not prove the allegations. He is a true patriot –because he loves his country, his people and is very religious.

Nuwan, you have the right to know the truth, and you are quite entitled to your opinion. If there is any thing worth criticising we should criticise with facts and figures to support our criticism, that is also being positive.

About respecting court orders, there was a delay, I think it is because the budget had been drawn up fixing prices for commodities on a given date. Any changes have to be done taking into account the balancing of the budget at new rates fixed by the Court. Fixing of prices is not the business of a Chief Justice. I think he was carrying his judicial powers too far.

The war was forced upon Mahinda Rajapakse . If you had followed his political past , you should be aware that when Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse became the President he invited Prabhakaran to meet him for peace negotiations. He refused and instead he got a suicide bomber to assassinate the Army Commander. He then got ,a claymore bomb exploded targeting a bus in which 87 civilian people were killed. Then Prabhakaran closed the Sluice gates at Mavil aru, depriving the farmers of water, which was the beginning of the military operations.

The President is not a saint because he is fighting a war. If you are not sympathising with the terrorists you will understand that terrorism is the most devastating issue a government has to face. It stops every other development and progressive projects. You may have read how happily the Tamil people in Sri Lanka reacted when the terrorists were chased away from Elephant Pass. Please see: to read the reaction of Tamil people. Truth is one and it has to be searched objectively, looking at events and people without hatred, dislike, or anger, because those emotions blind us to reality.

I suggest you google “ Noel Nadesan” and “Thomas Jhonpulle” both Tamils who writes knowledgeably about the Sinhala, Tamil relationship. Please also go to the Lankaweb and read some of the articles appearing there. I will write an article enlarging what I have written to you in Lankaweb soon.

I enjoyed this exchange of views with you. I wish you everything best for the New Year 2009.

not q...

NuwanSam // 17 hours ago
Report violation

Dear UCSP, You comparison of Mahinda Rajapaske to Obama is a true insult to a great leader. I supported Obama and his campaign and Mahinda Rajapakse does not come close to him. He is trying to put a mask and portray him as a great leader and cover up all the dirty work he does under that mask.

I do not belong to any political party in SL either but I know what is happening inside. I get information about these dealings and all these killings are done with the fullest support of Mahinda Rajapakse's regime.

If Mahinda Rajapakse is a true patriot as you claim, he would have not enagage in these dirty acts and encourage corruptions and hide them.

I am a positive person but we all have a right to know the truth. Presiden Bush also asked Americans to be positive when he waged a war agaisnt Iraq unncessarily. Being positive does not mean that we have to shut our mounth and allow these people to eat the country alive. Sri Lanka is a democratic society and not these people are destroying institution and individuals that goes against them. They do not respect the decision of the highest court in the country; the supreme court. That is not democracy of the people, for the people, by the people.

Sri Lanka is going throug a difficult period. I agree with that. But this family regime does not do any thing to make it any better. The only thing that gives it oxigen is the war. War is not the only thing matters to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka economy is in ruin. People are suffering more than ever. Living has become a struggle to more and more. For those who live outside Sri Lanka, war is the only thing that matters. But for me people does matter too. I do a lot of work in Sri Lanka in villages and I know what is going on. I do not just rely on the papers to get my information.

You can believe that Mahinda Rajapakse is a saint because he is fighting a war to get rid of terrorist. Wait and see. And you will some day see the reality. I had a lot of hope in that man too. In fact I helped him in his campaign believing he will do something good. I know the gravity of the mistake I did for my home country. So now my goal is to educate those who are willing to listen about this grave danger Sri Lanka is facing.

We have a choice to become blinded by this regime propaganda and cover ups. Or we can make an effort to find out the truth and do something about it. I choose to do latter because I still love the place where I was born and I have done a great deal of work for it and continue to do so.

ucsp // 20 hours ago

The events taking place in Sri Lanka are certainly disturbing but for that matter our Island Home the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is not a tyranny.

It is a long series of events that have culminated to what we witness today. We have still not reached the end of it. Therefore, we have to be patient a little more to see the end result of what the country is going through today. Some speak of the present government as a state of tyranny, ...

Friday, January 09, 2009

Is Sri Lanka a Tyranny ? asks Nuwan Sam in Ireport of CNN

The events taking place in Sri Lanka are certainly disturbing but for that matter our Island Home the Pearl of the Indian Ocean is not a tyranny.

It is a long series of events that have culminated to what we witness today. We have still not reached the end of it. Therefore, we have to be patient a little more to see the end result of what the country is going through today. Some speak of the present government as a state of tyranny, some as a state of corruption, some as anarchy, some as a dictatorship, some as a state in a civil war.

But it is not all that, it is only a country asserting itself to be an independent democracy. It is like being born as a child with birth pangs, which develop into other forms of problems, like teething, reaching adolescence, then adult hood, matrimonial problems, and finally family problems. In the same way a country too has its problems, from being independent from colonialism, and asserting to be an Independent democratic Sovereign State.

We have more problems now than we had before, because we are the masters of our situation. Nuwan, please look at any country that is said to be “developed”. They have gone through the same throes of pains , conflicts and reconciliations.

It is wrong to say that the current government is the most corrupt that Sri Lanka ever had since its independence in 1948. This government seems corrupt because it had inherited lot of problems that had not been settled by the previous governments. In putting into order the disorder it inherited, different people get hurt. The greatest problem this government inherited is the terrorism that had been eating into the country for the last 30 years. In trying to settle that it meets with the opposition not only from the terrorists, but also from other politicians and their agent, who would like to benefit from the situation of crisis to oust this government and take its place.

The political corruption is not unique to Sri Lanka, just google “political corruption”, and you will have hundreds of websites that enumerate political corruption in almost all nations- the rich or poor, developed or undeveloped countries of the world. This government of Mahinda Rajapakse came into power two years ago, and it was determined to end terrorism before looking into solving problems of corruption. As it intended this government launched a military operation to end terrorism. It has begun to show results. That is already some thing we should be happy about.

Recent events of killing journalists, and vandalising TV stations have caused great concern. Those who are opposed to the government, accuse it as the perpetrator of these acts, without showing any proof that the government is involved in these activities. The Government is popular, it is carrying out a successful military operation against terrorists, therefore, the opposition political parties who are waiting to make this government unpopular and seeking to oust it from power is making these allegations, to make the government unpopular among the people.

The Defence Secretary is a war veteran, who has twenty years of experience fighting against the terrorists as a Commander of a battalion of the Sri Lanka Army. He was asked to come from America where he was living after retirement, to organise the Sri Lanka Army. He is not a cruel man who would act like a mafia leader to kill any one that opposes him. He is there to help the army and the proof of the know how he had brought to the army is the success of military operation to defeat terrorism.

The country is going through difficult times, but we should have the patience, and trust in the present government. From what this government has done so far, we can expect it to introduce efficient controls to remove corruption and put into effect develop programmes for the country. America took a long time to accept all its citizens as equals. No body thought that a coloured man will ever become the President of USA.

There is no reason for us to believe that our country will not rise from what it is to day, to be a great country. Sixty years after Independence, Sri Lanka too has its Obama. He is called Mahinda Rajapakse. Be positive Nuwan Sam. I am not from any political party, nor am I a friend or relative of the President or any one of his Ministers.

I am an ordinary citizen who had seen many changes, many governments and many Presidents, and take my word Nuwan, this President Mahinda Rajapakse is different , if he fails to raise Sri Lanka from where it has fallen, for the world to see the dazzling Pearl of the Indian Ocean, no one will ever be able to.

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Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Assassination was an act of cowardice

Though I am not a reader of any Leader Publications, I was really saddened by the assassination of the young editor Lasantha Wickramatunga. The brutality of his murder shows to what extent we have lost respect for human life. What satisfaction has the killers got from the cowardly brutality used on the person of the Editor ?

It was still more sad to read the reports of his death in Transcurrent, which accuses the President without actually naming him. So does the Times online. It is the absurdity of twisted reporting that makes people angry. The “great” anger has no limit, it could make a beast of a man.

Therefore, in writing one has to be careful not to blame any one with out having clear evidence. The fact that the late Mr.Wickramatunga was writing against the government does not necessarily mean that the government was responsible for his killing.

The danger of such accusation is that the investigators may be led astray making the real killers get away undetected. It has become a habit to accuse the government every time some one is killed, some place has been vandalised as in the case of Sirasa, or some one abducted in a White Van.

This has to stop. At least when we are announcing the brutal killing of a young man, we should have the politeness not to mix the feeling of hatred touch the man who had died. That does not speak well of the writer, nor is it being respectful to the dead. Transcurrent should be ashamed of making the brutal assassination of a young journalist an occasion to show its hatred to the President and the Government.

This should be a lesson to other editors too, criticism of government is some times taken far too excessively. Everyone knows that the President is doing an excellent job, even if one does not accept his politics, and there is no reason for him or the Commander of the Army or the Defence secretary to send killer squads to every one that writes against them.

The Leader news papers were going too far with their criticism of the Government. And the Leader news papers were not respectful and did not follow respectable journalistic ethics. It is alright if the Leader news papers were supporting Ranil Wickramasinghe, but it some times turns to those it criticised before, in order to attack the President or his government. He had made many enemies.

A news paper editor should be more objective in writing. Even if the journalists do not agree with the policies of the government, or do not like the President, they have a duty to praise the Army and the Soldiers for their military successes and thank the President and the government for having made it possible.

May the killers be found and punished. The killers even if not caught will never be happy, they will continue to live in the hell of their own making.

Our deep sympathies to the Family of the late Mr. Lasantha Wickramatunga.

May he attain Nibbana