|Tuesday, 2 March 2004|
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I want to say Bravo Ex-Minister Mr. Kadirgamar for telling the presumptuous British Minister to butt out of commenting on the Sri Lankan elections.
Personally I think Mr. Kadirgamar was too polite.
If I were him I would remind them of British bloody LIES they spread around to launch a false war on Iraq. I would also ask them who gave them the moral authority to violate international law by launching a pre-emptive war that killed over 10,000 innocent civilians? It is also killing brave sons and daughters of working class US and British families everyday as well because of a war based on lies and fabricated evidence.
And they I would ask him why the British government violate all norms of decency and law by spying on the Secretary General of the United Nations, and other sovereign nation members of the UN by tapping the phones at the behest of the US.
Everyone in Sri Lanka knows it is important to have free and fair elections. If not, there will be untold violence and instability. I urge both the Government and the opposition to remind people that this is important.
No one in Sri Lanka wants war except terrorists and weapons dealers.
It is a characteristic of the former Colonial White Massah Bwana to interfere and comment on politics in their former colonies as if they are appointed by God to oversee us.
MANO RATWATTE - USA.
Recent newspaper articles report "Britain warns Sri Lanka - Do not undermine Peace Process".
I for one (tongue firmly in cheek) thank Mr. Mike O'Brien of the British Foreign Office for the warning. After all, if not for this kind of warning, we would really do some serious damage to the peace process. If not for the British, we don't know the importance of peace. We just "cannot connect the dots" if not for the wise advice of the British.
I also read Mr. Mike O'Brien of the British Foreign Office telling us to "keep down the political rhetoric". Here again, how thankful we should be to Grandma for "holding our hand"; we just would not know how to manage our rhetoric if not for this warning. And certainly, now that we have been told, we will bow our collective heads to the British masters.
Further statements "end of ethnic conflict essential for stability" are in similar gems of wisdom that should be treasured.
Soon Mr. O'Brien will fix all of Sri Lanka's problems. Please an assignment for Mr. O'Brian when he goes back to the UK; can you enlighten us how ethical it was the UK in spying on UN's Kofi Annan? Don't forget to meet former UK Cabinet Minister Clare Short, who says British spies listened in to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's office in the run up to the Iraq war.
For the March 14th elections, does Russia want any observers? Or can the 17 year veteran of the KGB, Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Putin manage the election by himself? (Especially now that he got rid of the main contender Boris Berezovsky!).
Alphabetically list a few nations: What about Austria? How about a few blue-eyed, blond Aryan observers to join Kurt Waldheim? Secretary-general of the United Nations and President of Austria, also the convicted Nazi criminal, banned from setting foot on American soil?
Australia? Keep those dark skinned people out of the polling booths, join Pauline Hanson! She won Queensland. And her maiden speech to Parliament. "I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians," Ms. Hanson pronounced.
"They have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate." She went on to urge the government to halt Asian immigration and to abolish the policy of multiculturalism.
In case we have any French political observers, interesting how the far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen was exiled from the regional council seat in southern France. Nevertheless, can we send some observers for the Council in the elections March 21 and 28?
Can we safely assume India will not sending any observers? Their own entertainment of the BJP Gandhi vs. Congress Gandhi should suffice?
Political observers from Great Britain? (How insecure is a country that needs the self proclaimed prefix "Great"?) At least party with gin-swilling Dennis Thatcher, now that it is confirmed Margret in Alzheimer's Twilight Zone.
Please can we send some observers to the UK elections; most likely scenario is that the next UK Parliamentary Elections will be held in 2005. Sure, we will have the Sri Lankan passports checked for underworld characters or substituted photos.
PROFESSOR (EMERITUS) GAMINI WEERASEKERA - USA.
I happened to listen to the "Minnal" programme of Shakthi TV of 2004.02.16. During the course of the deliberations in that programme, N. Raviraj of the TULF expressed his deepest concern and was lamenting with adverse comments that President had stooped down to the level of rock bottom in forming an alliance with a 'Terrorist' movement - JVP - which allegedly assassinated her husband Mr. Kumaratunga.
At this juncture the following questions are surfacing in my mind about the sanctimoniousness of Mr. Raviraj and his party.
1. How is that they have openly declared that the LTTE is the sole representative of the Tamils, disgracefully and degeneratingly hiding the stark truth that the LTTE had assassinated not one but several of their top ranking leaders like Mr. Amirthalingam, Yogeswaran, Sivasithamparam (narrowly shaved with injuries), Thangathurai, Neelan Thiruchelvam and so on?
2. How do they condone the conscription of children, depriving them of their education, against the bitterest objection of helpless parents, while the children of the leaders of the LTTE are sent abroad for sound education?
3. How do they justify the illegal and arbitary taxation and seriously overburdening the poor masses?
4. How do they justify the glaring extortion of money?
5. How is it considered justifiable to stop all postal parcels addressed to Jaffna, at Vavuniya, demanding opening same for the checking by LTTE, while facilities are available all over other parts of the country to send parcels smoothly and expeditiously not only locally but even to foreign countries.
Similar numerous contractory activities could be cited and since the foregoing points would suffice to unmask the sanctimoniousness of Mr. Raviraj and his party, I leave it without enumerating any further points.
On conclusion, it is felt appropriate to incorporate the fact the President formed the alliance with the JVP after protracted deliberations in which it was the JVP went to her place and she never budged an inch from her seat to go and meet JVP.
Whenever Thamilchelvan bangs his office bell from Vanni, the selfrespectless gang rush to Vanni from Colombo and assemble before him for his orders in bended knees and folded arms to abide by his dictates without a hum of objection.
While requesting Mr. Raviraj to enlighten the people by answering the foregoing questions, I urge him to refrain from selling the Tamils to LTTE in wholesale basis just to enjoy the perks and privileges of Parliament with the blessings of the LTTE by rendering services as pimps.
Vanni Vasi - Jaffna.
Already thugs attacked SLFP supporters connected with the 16th death anniversary of Vijaya Kumaratunga (DN Feb. 16). If he were alive to witness this incident I am sure he would have told these elements "....... thamunnanaselage satanata jayawewa....."
Violence to some degree is a part of the social fabric and it can be controlled if only the Police will carry out their duties impartially.
Even with the UNF in power, we had thug-type MPs walking into Police Stations and wringing cops by their ears, slapping them, threatening them and also assaulting them in public and no action taken by the authorities. Is it only the public who should be punished for whatever crime they commit? These are state officers doing their duty.
To appease the humiliated cops they should have at least been given in recognition of their right of duty. When such acts go unpunished when we know the law respects no one, is it any wonder that the thugs at large behave thus.
We hope the IGP's instructions to the Police will be carried out "impartially" at all times bearing in mind that he has the fullest co-operation and support of the Elections Commissioner.
I give below a few suggestions that would help prevent some measure of political violence:- a. Curfew to be declared on 01.04.2004 from 7.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. on 02.04.2004 and from 6.00 p.m. on 02.04.2004 to 6.00 a.m. on 03.04.2004.
b. Only public transport and Private Bus Operators to be allowed to run their services.
c. All vehicles (cars, vans, lorries, motorcycles, 3-wheelers) banned on all roads from 7.00 p.m. on 01.04.2004 to 6.00 a.m. on 04.04.2004.
d. Essential services are exempt but must have their essential service identity.
e. Police should issue permits where necessary but restricting personnel to two only per vehicle mentioning purpose of travel.
f. Contestants should be allowed to walk into the area polling booth accompanied by two party supporters who should be Committee Members in the region or area.
g. All types of vehicle convoys to be banned except 2 or 3 cars for the contestants during the said period between 01.04.2004 and 04.04.2004.
h. No hand phones to be carried by the general public within the Polling Station or area.
i. Sale of liquor to be banned for one week from 01.04.2004.
N. B. MELVILLE PERERA - Kohuwala.
After so many years labour Telecommunication Regulator Commission and the telecommunication service providers have delivered the Calling Party Pays system.
Subscribers of all Service Providers must be wondering who is going to be benefited by this.
Hope Ministry in-charge, as mentioned by its Secretary, would reconsider the introduction of this system.
DESHAPRIYA RAJAPAKSHA - Colombo 6.
The programme Doramadalawa on ITN recently telecast a programme where causes for unhappiness were discussed by a well respected panel. This was a noteworthy programme that highlighted the Buddha's philosophy and doctrine preached centuries ago.
Such discussions impress the people in darkness giving transparency and vigilance and helping discover mindfulness with interesting insights into social and cultural life.
This programme incidentally has intellectuals rich in experience giving advice on guiding our lives on the righteous path advocated by the Buddha.
In one programme I watched, the erudite panel analysed why unhappiness is caused and how it can be turned into happiness, the Buddhist way. It was a lesson that no school or university could impart.
The programme, emphasised that one has to live and learn from life. It takes a long time to discover the correct path.
This is a praiseworthy effort and a massive contribution towards the progress of society. These intellectuals should be rewarded in this regard.
The flashback memories and collective and accurate facts articulated by these eminent personalities should be highly appreciated.
SWARNA ABEYSINGHE - Colombo.
The French National Assembly (Lower House of the Parliament) has already passed the veil (Pardah) ban Law. Now it will go to the Senate (Upper House of Parliament) and then it will be submitted to President Chirac for signing it into law.
This law totally negates religious rights, human rights and fundamental rights. This is not an ordinary law. It seeks to destroy the identity of Muslims.
This is not democracy because democracy does no mean negation of human rights or religious rights, rather democracy means affirmation of human rights. A country cannot do everything in the name of democracy.
This is also not secularism by any definition of political science.
A. ABDUL AZIZ - Negombo.
Reference article "When Singapore fell in 1942" by derrick Shockman. '....Having won the battle for Malaya, the Japanese invaded Singapore, Britain's last defence in S.E. Asia, on Feb 8, 1942.
There were around 10,000 military personnel from Australia, Britain and India chiefly to defend the island. But they were unable to withstand the massive artillery and air onslaught directed by the Japanese'.
Yes, the emigrated Ceylonese of Singapore withstood the test of time admirably but above all unbelievably!
Whilst half of the family of nine were then made up of a pre-war teen to a baby, the rest grew up on Ceylonese folk tales, western fairy tales, but what won't go away are stories such as these.
The short and bitter sweet article by Mr. Shockman, will be preserved. A lesson to all that one can rise up from the ashes.
Irene de Silva.
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