Indian credit line for duty free vehicles
optimism: reality check required
a long way to Tipperary, It's a long way to go;
a long way to Tipperary, It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
my heart's right there !"
- Jack and Harry Williams
D. B. S. Jeyaraj
third round of talks between the Sri Lankan government and the
Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) held in the Norwegian capital
Oslo from December 2 to 5
ended on a buoyant note with both parties reaching agreement on
exploring the feasibility of a federal structure to resolve the Tamil
Royal Norwegian govt communique of December 5,
on the Oslo talks says : "Responding to a proposal by the
leadership of the LTTE, the parties agreed to explore a solution founded
on the principle of self - determination in areas of historical
habitation of the Tamil speaking people based on a federal structure
within a united Sri Lanka. The parties acknowledged that the solution
has to be acceptable to all communities. Guided by this objective, the
parties agreed to initiate discussions on substantive political issues
such as but not limited to power sharing between the centre and the
region as well as within the centre."
the official Norwegian communique is explicit
about the parties agreeing only to "explore" a
solution, an overall impression is being projected by different elements
for diverse purposes that division of the country has given way to power
sharing and secessionism has been supplanted
unrealistic pattern emerges in all this. After the first round of talks
at the Sattahip naval base an illusion was created to the effect that
the LTTE had eschewed separatism altogether.
the second round of talks at the Rose Garden Resort concluded, it was
projected that the Tigers were prepared to enter the realm of electoral
politics and even contest polls soon. Now the third round in Oslo has
ended. Again an unreal impression is being conveyed that both sides have
accepted a federal solution as the viable alternative to both the
unitary state as well as a separate Tamil state.
as one would like to believe in all this feel good news, the reality
seems to be quite different. Even though the euphoria surrounding the
peace process inhibits critical evaluation some effort at least is
necessary to examine what may possibly be another false dawn.
optimism generated in Oslo requires a reality check. In the first place
the Oslo talks have not resulted in a clear and unambiguous decision to
accept a federal solution as the viable alternative to both the unitary
and separate state concepts. The best proof of this lies in the official
Norwegian communique itself.
key word applicable to the much flaunted agreement at Oslo is
"explore." The communique explicitly states that both sides
have agreed only to "explore a solution founded on the principle of
internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the
Tamil speaking people based on a federal structure within a united Sri
to basics first. The Oxford Reference Dictionary provides three meanings
to the word explore;
To travel extensively through (a country etc.) in order to learn or
discover about it; 2. to inquire into; 3. to examine by touch;
is clear therefore that explore does not mean acceptance or agreement of
any sort. In this case the parties concerned are definitely going to
pursue the exploratory path towards a federal solution. Yet there is no
clear cut guarantee that the final destination will
from the appointment of a sub-committee to oversee political matters,
the imminent objective seems to be examining and studying various
constitutional models of the federal kind all over the world first.
Professor Peiris's assertion that a new constitution is on the cards
there seems no immediate prospect of a draft being publicised. What
seems likely is for the parties concerned particularly the LTTE to
travel extensively to different countries and "learn, discover,
examine or inquire into" power sharing arrangements and federal
models. This then is the crux of the Oslo agreement if the operative
word is 'explore.'
is also important to note that both sides are only paying lip service to
the federal concept at the moment. There is no visible effort to market
it to their respective constituencies. This is understandable because
there is no finished product on the table yet. Only an agreement to
explore the possibilities of evolving such a product. Nevertheless it is
possible to detect conflicting positions here.
United National Party (UNP) has been a staunch proponent of the unitary
constitution so far. It would be a sea change for a government dominated
by that party to propagate the federal concept in a big way right now.
On the other hand the LTTE has been claiming moral high ground among the
Tamils on account of its steadfast commitment to Eelam. The Tigers have
died and killed for it. Fellow militant outfits have been exterminated
and respected moderate political leaders assassinated on the charge of
betraying the Tamil eelam cause. So the LTTE too is compelled to adopt a
low key approach on this at this point of time.
spirit of exuberant optimism seems to have pervaded the Sri Lankan
atmosphere. Some notables are in rapturous ecstasy about the 'f-word' in
Sri Lankan politics - federalism - becoming the centrepiece of a
negotiated settlement. This capacity for wishful thinking and propensity
for self-delusion is indeed remarkable. The notorious track record of
previous attempts at ethnic reconciliation starting from the
controversial "Sinhala-Tamil Pact" of 1925 at "Mahendra
Giri" the Velanai residence of Sir Waithilingam Doraiswamy to that
of the "GL-Neelan" devolution package presented by Chandrika
Kumaratunga are stark reminders of this sorry past.
hope springs eternally in the human breast it is astounding that people
could be blind to this trail of failed attempts and wax eloquent on a
federal solution. Much of this jubiliation contrived or otherwise could
evaporate in the future as the decision to 'explore' does not
automatically guarantee ultimate success. Given the track
record of past negotiating efforts, there is every possibility of
a conclusive agreement being an elusive commodity.
Foreign Secretary Kanwal Sibal touched on this point succinctly during
his recent Sri Lankan visit when he compared the ongoing negotiations to
a 100 metre sprint. Sibal told journalists in Colombo "you have to
run the 100 metres. Right at the start, or after one metre, you cannot
say the race is over. Let us see. At the end of the race, we will
pronounce." In short Sibal's perspective was that it was premature
to predict the outcome of the so called peace process.
optimism emanating from Oslo cannot eliminate the possibility of subsequent 'exploration' hitting a number of
snags in the future. Besides the decision to pursue
federalism is by no means coherent or definitive. It is somewhat
vague in detail and lends itself to an appearance of ambiguity.
has evolved in Norway is only an overall statement of intent to explore
a federal solution without any specific note of unit or substance. When
discussions on the knitty-gritty issues commence the whole exercise may
reach a deadlock.
far as the unit of federalism is concerned it is not known whether the
entire northern and eastern provinces would form a single entity. If so
the position of Muslim and Sinhala communities in that unit is unclear.
Since the proviso states any structure reached must be acceptable to all
communities no solution could be imposed on unwilling sections.
the other hand it seems highly unlikely that the LTTE would accept a
de-merged north-east or a 'moth eaten unit' if the Muslims and Sinhalese
are provided with alternative arrangements.
is also the substance aspect. Former Indian envoy to Colombo and ex
foreign secretary Jyotindra Nath Dixit when interviewed by the BBC
pointed out three areas of possible disagreement. They were in finance,
lands and law and order. These could cause much friction in seeking a
mutually acceptable structure. He also said that the Muslim factor
had to be resolved.
from these there are other problems too. One is whether the recognition
of self-determination, internal or otherwise in a federal structure
would be acceptable to the southern Sinhala polity. There is doubt also
whether a Sinhala consensus could evolve on federalism. There is a
strong majoritarian viewpoint that the unitary status should remain.
word 'federalism' itself is a dirty
word in Sinhala perception with negative connotations. Rightly or
wrongly it has been perceived as an euphemism for secession. It may be
recalled that the devolution proposals of President Chandrika
Kumaratunga as drafted by Professor G. L. Peiris envisaged the island's
unitary constitution being changed to a "union of regions."
This was because the concept of federalism was regarded as being
obnoxious to the south. So the word federalism was deliberately avoided.
A monumental effort preferably bi-partisan is needed to sell the
'f-word' to the south.
to square one scenario
if a formal federal scheme incorporating the right of internal
self-determination could not be formulated there is every chance that
the LTTE could call it quits. Then everything could be back to square
one. The LTTE position on this was enunciated by its Leader Velupillai
Prabhakaran on November 27 at the "Maaveerar Naal" (Great
Heroes' Day) public rally in Puthukudiyiruppu. Prabhakaran indicated a
willingness to seek a federal solution in his annual address. He said
the LTTE was prepared to accept a federal solution that enshrined the
principle of internal self-determination, if the Sinhala polity was not
prepared to grant that the LTTE would have no choice other than to
exercise the right of external self-determination and pursue the goal of
secession he warned.
LTTE leader sought to rationalise his current political approach in the
following manner. "As a distinct people the Tamils are entitled to
the right to self-determination. The right to self-determination has two
aspects; internal and external. The internal self-determination,
entitles a people to self-rule. The Tamil people want to live in freedom
and dignity in their own lands, in their historically constituted
traditional lands without the domination of external forces. They want
to protect their national identity pursuing the development of their
language, culture and economy. They want to live in their homeland under
a system of self-rule. This is the political aspiration of our people.
This constitutes the essential meaning of internal self-determination.
We are prepared to consider favourably a political framework that offers
substantial regional autonomy and self-government in our homeland on the
basis of our right to internal self-determination. But if our people's
right to self-determination is denied and our demand for regional
self-rule is rejected we have no alternative other than to secede and
form an independent state."
further Prabhakaran appealed directly to the Sinhala people. "The
Sinhalese people should not oppose the Tamils' aspirations to manage
their own affairs under a system of self-rule in their own homeland. It
is the politics of the Sinhala nation that will eventually determine
whether the Sinhalese could peacefully co-exist with the Tamils or to
compel the Tamils to secede. If the Sinhala chauvinistic forces, for
their own petty political reasons scuttle this peace effort, the Tamil
people will be compelled to pursue the path of secession and political
independence," he stated.
that context the formal declaration by the LTTE in Oslo to explore a
federal solution was only a logical follow up to Prabhakaran's earlier
declaration in the Wanni. Nevertheless it seems unambiguously
transparent that the LTTE was not going to accept anything less than
this as a viable alternative to Tamil eelam. Also while exploring a
federal solution the LTTE may very well push for a confederal set up
which in turn could pose problems for the government. So if the south is
not able to deliver a substantive federal or confederal scheme the
entire exploratory project could go kaput.
aspect not to be lost sight of is the deep emotional attachment towards
Tamil eelam by LTTE Supremo Prabhakaran and most Tiger cadres. In spite
of professed intentions to seek a federal solution the thirst for Tamil
eelam may prove
unquenchable. If so, the Tigers could manipulate the course of the
negotiating process to a point of impasse. There are some observers who
suspect that the LTTE's quest for federalism is only a tactical ploy.
the future confirms this suspicion then there is no doubt that the peace
process would reach an impasse. Against this backdrop it does seem
extremely premature for those desiring a federal solution to envelope
themselves in optimistic euphoria. While a federal or confederal
settlement is the best solution available there is no reason to exult at
a time when only an exploratory phase has commenced.
is a long, long way to federalism and despite our hearts being there the
reality is that we just ain't there yet.
case for psycho analysis
Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is to question the editor of
the Lakmina newspaper over an article it published last Sunday alleging
there is a conspiracy within the SLFP to assassinate President Chandrika
newspaper article alleged that a top SLFPer together with Prime Minister
Ranil Wickremesinghe and another top UNPer have planned to kill the
President. On Wednesday, December
18, Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse lodged a complaint with the CID
requesting a full police investigation into the conspiracy theory. An
SLFP central committee meeting was also called the same day and the
matter discussed. Meanwhile two senior psychologists who requested
anonymity pointed out that President Chandrika Kumaratunga's paranoia
over a probable assassination attempt on her life, could be linked to a
paranoid personality disorder. They said the symptoms by which such a
disorder could be identified is a pervasive distrust and suspiciousness
of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent,
beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts.
aspects common to an individual afflicted with paranoid personality
disorder is suspicion, without sufficient basis, that others are
exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her. The individual could also
be preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or
trustworthiness of friends or associates. The doctors said that such
persons also read hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign
remarks or events and persistently bears grudges, is unforgiving of
insults , injuries or slights, perceives attacks on his or her character
or reputation that are not apparent to others, and is quick to react
angrily or to counter-attack.
or she could also have recurrent suspicions without justification,
regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner. The disorder, they
explained does not occur exclusively during the course of schizophrenia,
a mood disorder with psychotic features, or another psychotic disorder
and is not due to the direct physiological effects or a general medical
Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition
(American Psychiatric Association) has stated that excessive talking,
leading to inappropriate self-disclosure and social friction; inability
to spend time alone; attention seeking and overly dramatic expression of
emotions; reckless excitement seeking; inappropriate attempts to
dominate and control others are other dimensions common to this
disorder. The manual refers to specific affects which are
hypersensitivity, hypervigilance, fearfulness, suspiciousness,
persecutory anxiety, quiet hostility, emotional aloofness and restraint,
coldness, tenseness, seriousness.
behavioural attitude of such an individual borders on idiosyncratic
fantasies, difficulty in handling stress, conflict with superiors,
unwillingness to compromise, argumentative, stubbornness, defensiveness,
deviousness, deceptions, disloyalty and maliciousness.
Cognitive Therapy Of Personality Disorders, psychoanalysts Aaron T.
Beck, Arthur Freeman and
associates list typical beliefs associated with each specific
personality disorder. Here are some of the typical beliefs that they
have listed for paranoid personality disorder: "I cannot trust
other people. Other people have hidden motives.
have to be on guard at all times. It isn't safe to confide in other
people. People will take advantage of me if I give them the chance.
Other people will deliberately try to demean me. I will be in serious
trouble if I let other people think they can get away with mistreating
me. If other people find out things about me, they will use them against
persons with paranoid personality disorder are hyperalert, they notice
any slight and may take offense where none is intended. As a result,
they tend to be defensive and antagonistic. When they are at fault, they
cannot accept blame, not even mild criticism. Yet they are highly
critical of others. Other people may say that these individuals make
'mountains out of molehills.'
with paranoid personality disorder are hypersensitive. They are keenly
aware of power and rank. They expect trickery and disloyalty from other
people. And then they try to avoid all surprises by anticipating them.
In an interview people will be intense and guarded and overly serious.
They have difficulty expressing warm emotions and tolerating feeling
anything that is being dependent on another person. Including feelings
of being dependent on the clinician. They will often seize upon
irrelevant details to confirm suspicions. And what happens is that
paranoid people generally do not see the forest for the trees.
Individuals with this disorder are typically suspicious, envious,
hypersensitive and argumentative. In terms of the Sri Lankan
constitution, an unstable mental condition is grounds for impeachment.
flexibility on federalism
decision announced in Oslo on December 5 to pursue a federal solution
has generated much euphoria both within and outside Sri Lanka. An
important if not the sole reason for this optimism is the willingness
shown by the LTTE to explore a federal structure instead of its original
Tigers have waged an intensive armed struggle for over 25 years and have
lost more than 17,500 of their cadres. The LTTE has also systematically
executed Tamil leaders opting for a political settlement along federal
lines within a united Sri Lanka in the past.
it was widely believed that LTTE Supremo, Velupillai Prabhakaran was
deeply committed to the goal of a separate state - Tamil eelam. Against
that backdrop the LTTE seeming to opt for federalism now was indeed
amazing. This flexibility appeared all the more bewildering because the
LTTE's Chief Political Strategist, Anton Balasingham and other Tiger
personalities have been stating that the movement is at a relatively
strong politico-military situation at present. Balasingham even compared
the LTTE to the USA and claimed that both have attained pre-eminence in
their respective spheres due to military prowess and superiority.
to the LTTE, they have entered negotiations from a position of strength
vis a vis Colombo. Strangely enough, the LTTE's performance at the
negotiating table so far has been uncharacteristically soft. It has
driven no hard bargains. In fact, it has been extremely flexible on most
important if not the only reason for the Norway facilitated peace
process to reach this stage is the positive accommodativeness of the
Tigers. In sharp contrast to the rhetoric spouted by the Tigers earlier,
the LTTE has been eminently reasonable during talks.
LTTE has not pressed issues like recognition of the core principles
originally enunciated at Thimpu, the north-eastern interim
administrative council and even the proposed Joint Task Force (JTF) for
rehabilitation, resettlement and reconstruction. Instead, the LTTE has
so far accepted lesser arrangements like the subcommittees and now
agreed to explore a federal solution.
analysts of the Sri Lankan political scene are somewhat perplexed by
this LTTE approach. Why have the Tigers seemingly turned into pussy
cats? One answer supported by many would be the international factor. In
2000, the LTTE reached its military zenith as well as political nadir.
LTTE regained the Wanni, toppled Elephant Pass and knocked on the gates
of Jaffna. Yet, they were unable to proceed further because the
international community rallied around Colombo. The Tigers were told
implicitly 'this far and no more.'
dawned on the Tigers then that battlefield valour alone was not enough
and that they were isolated internationally. A further dimension was
added by the increasing tendency of Western nations to label the LTTE as
terrorists. It was to remedy this situation that the LTTE launched a
peace offensive. This offensive's objective was not the logical
conclusion of a peaceful settlement. Instead, the Tigers hoped to expose
the Sri Lankan state as being unable and unwilling to redress and
accommodate Tamil grievances and aspirations within a united but not
necessarily a unitary Sri Lanka.
order to succeed in this bold venture, it was mandatory for the Tigers
to participate fully in the peace process. The LTTE commitment, however,
was towards the process but not perhaps to a final constitutional
settlement. The Tigers despite some problems and tensions have been
consistently plugging this line so far. The remarkable flexibility and
understanding shown in Thailand and Norway can be attributed to the
overall strategy behind the LTTE's peace offensive.
the optimistic glow emanating from Oslo about the quest for federalism
an emerging view among some observers is that the LTTE, while going
through the motions of seeking federalism, will actually want the entire
exercise to fail. The proponents of this viewpoint cannot be dismissed
easily as enemies of peace and brushed aside. It warrants greater
crucial, underlying factor in this assessment is the emotional and
wholehearted dedication to Tamil Eelam by the Tiger hierarchy. There are
serious misgivings about the bona fides of the LTTE and its leader about
the intention of being prepared to renounce Tamil eelam in favour of
the first ever Maaveerar Naal (great heroes day) observance on November
27, 1989, he stated publicly that his cadres could gun him down if he
ever committed "thurogam" (treachery) to the "ilatchiyam"
(ideal) of Tamil eelam. Twelve years later on April 10, Prabhakaran held
a press conference in Kilinochchi. An Indian journalist referred to this
statement and pointedly asked what his stance was on the issue. A
smiling Prabhakaran answered clearly and unhesitatingly that the
position was still the same.
the same LTTE leader is now amenable to jettisoning Tamil eelam or so it
seemed. Perplexing as it seems other indicators suggested that the LTTE
had not revised its fundamental objectives but only engaged in a
tactical shift as a political ploy. An illuminating example in this
respect was Prabhakaran ending his speech this year too with the
customary slogan in Tamil "Puligalin thagam Thamil eelath thayagam"
(the thirst of the Tigers is the Tamil eelam motherland).
a significant move, the English text of the speech released to the media
omitted this reference. The inference from this was that while
Prabakharan was pursuing a federal solution, his emotional commitment to
separatism remained. If so, then the LTTE game plan seems clear.
proclaimed intention of seeking a federal solution is only for
international consumption. What the Tigers tacitly desire is for the
negotiating process to fail at some stage without any blame attached to
them. The peace process should not arrive at a negotiated settlement.
Instead it should collapse without a satisfactory federal solution being
and when that happens, the LTTE could opt out and exercise its 'right of
external self-determination' and pursue a 'secessionist war' again.
Pinpointing the failure of Colombo to arrive at a federal solution, the
Tigers would assert that the Sinhala people were incapable of redressing
and accommodating Tamil grievances and aspirations within a united Sri
order to ensure the failure of the Sri Lankan polity in formulating an
acceptable federal structure the LTTE is apparently engaging in a
two-pronged strategy. On the one hand the LTTE is indulging in
controversial actions like expanding its parallel structures of police
stations, courts, etc., in the Tamil areas. This causes much tension in
the south and embarrasses Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe immensely.
weakened Wickre-mesinghe would find it difficult to devolve full
federalism. This in turn could be cited as an excuse to exit from the
talks. On the other hand, some LTTE critics have opined that the Tigers
are deliberately exploiting the deep differences between the United
National Front government and the opposition People's Alliance led by
President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
federal scheme to succeed needs a bi-partisan southern consensus. By
encouraging a confrontational course, the Tigers are allegedly
preventing southern unity. The Tigers want to abort any possible Sinhala
agreement on federalism, it is argued. Further evidence of this approach
became available in Oslo itself on December 7, barely two days after the
December 5 accord.
a 'great hero commemoration' meeting in Oslo, LTTE Chief Negotiator
Anton Balasingham made it clear that the Tigers were not expecting the
south to deliver on federalism. Highlighting the political divisions in
the south, he gloated that it was an impossible task for the Sinhala
people to agree on this and boasted that the Tigers had placed the ball
in the Sinhala court and that it was now left to the south to respond.
LTTE, however, was not worried about the Sinhala state defaulting on the
promise of federalism, said Balasingham. The time when Tamils under the
Gandhian S.J.V. Chelvanayagam demanded federalism was gone. Now it was
Prabhakaran 's "kalam " (period).
LTTE was not relying on non-violence but on heavy weapons. If Colombo
deceived the Tamils again, the consequences would be terrible. As such,
the Tigers were not only unconcerned about being deceived by the
Sinhalese, but in fact welcomed such deception, Balasingham opined.
came through was that the LTTE, instead of being concerned about a
scenario where Colombo was unable to deliver federalism, was actually
wanting it to fail. The emerging political scenario shows, therefore,
that the LTTE's willingness to opt for federalism is essentially a
tactical shift without the underpinnings of any serious commitment to a
genuine commitment is for Tamil eelam. By demonstrating a remarkable
degree of flexibility the LTTE seeks to prove its sincerity in seeking a
solution short of separation. The calculation in the long term is that
the powers that be in Colombo should not be able to evolve a
satisfactory federal solution. At the opportune time, the LTTE would
cite this as sufficient cause for reverting back to its original
the short term, the LTTE hopes to gain certain advantages through this
tactical shift. In the political battle between President Kumaratunga
and Premier Wickremesinghe, the Tigers prefer the latter. With
Kumaratunga now having the power to dissolve parliament, it is in the
interests of the LTTE to help prop up Wickremesinghe as far as possible.
In that context, preserving the peace process is a necessity.
readiness to drop separatism and opt for federalism would help maintain
and consolidate the negotiating process. Also, if fresh elections are
called, this cooperative attitude of the LTTE is expected to boost
Wickremesinghe as opposed to Kumaratunga. Secondly, both the UNF
government and the LTTE have a common interest in procuring a
substantial quantum of international financial assistance for
rehabilitation, reconstruction and development. The Tigers hope to be in
charge of such functions in the Tamil areas.
international donor community, however, desires greater progress of the
peace process before allocating vast sums of money. Greater confidence
in the peace negotiations are necessary. The path breaking declaration
of seeking federalism bestows more credibility to the peace process.
Thus, the chances of increased aid being available in the future are
the LTTE is also on the road to international legitimacy. It wants the
'terrorist' label affixed to it by countries like the USA, Britain,
Canada and Australia, etc. removed. As a first step it wants some kind
of tacit acceptance. The presence of US Deputy Secretary of State,
Richard Armitage and British Overseas Development Minister, Claire Short
at the Oslo development summit addressed by Anton Balasingham is
projected in LTTE media as a great "victory."
the LTTE wants to visit countries that have banned it to study the
federal models of government available there. Balasingham stated this
explicitly to his Tamil audience in Oslo. There was much applause when
he said in Tamil "kathavaith thiranthu vidayya" (open the
doors for us). By visiting officially to study "federalism,"
the LTTE hopes to strengthen its case for de-proscription in these
these circumstances, the LTTE's decision to explore a federal structure
at this juncture does not seem to be motivated by a genuine
reorientation of its political goals and approaches. On the contrary,
the LTTE seems to be displaying strategic flexibility for different
reasons. The Tigers are engaging in a tactical shift with both short and
long term objectives while retaining its basic ideological moorings.
course for a permanent peace accord?
have seen hectic activity on the peace front for nearly three months
this year, first in Thailand on two occasions and about a fortnight ago
in Norway, whereby a determined search is being made by the two warring
factions to find an everlasting solution to our near 20 year ethnic
conflict with the help of the international community led by Norway, a
country that was favoured by both previous governments and this one, and
the LTTE, too.
the combined efforts of all with the backing of mighty powers such as
the USA, UK and Japan, including the backing and goodwill of over
another 40 countries, will it succeed this time round to produce the
much desired result to our strife ridden nation until the end of last
has been a silver lining since then and could this be sustained in the
coming year or the next for a lasting peace that the country desperately
seeks to get on with the business of life and living for its people away
from a pernicious war?
us not forget that over 60,000 lives have been lost in nearly two
decades including over 20,000 servicemen, even a greater number of the
latter, injured and disabled, with rehabilitation and reconstruction
costs estimated at over $ 700 million in the north and east alone, and
an economy in tatters where we registered less than zero growth last
year for the first time in our history since independence, something of
a record perhaps here too, in comparison to the Asian region!
have got to make it work this time for, if we opt for war, the
consequences can be far more serious than we could ever imagine. Let me
be specific on this issue. In the last 19 years, upto end December this
year we spent nearly Rs. 500 billion in 11 years from 1983 to 1994 and a
further approximately Rs. 600 billion in seven years from 1995 to 2002,
making a grand total of over Rs. 1000 billion expenditure on the war.
did we achieve despite the death and destruction; a somewhat stable
government in the east but without the writ of authority of the
government in the north during the earlier period (1983 to 1994), and a
somewhat stable government in the northern peninsula but without the
writ of authority of the state in the east except in the town areas of
Trincomalee, Batticoloa and Amparai, during the latter period (1995 to
will agree with me that, for the human effort in lives and the financial
outlay over the years, there is little or nothing to write home or shout
the position is no different, although with a MoU on a ceasefire in
place for very nearly an year, we have allocated approx. Rs. 60 billion
for this year preparing for a war and if this state of alert is to be
maintained, having to put aside Rs. 50 billion every year as is the case
we have to face the very grim reality that, if peace talks collapse this
time, which I believe steadfastly will be our last attempt with the LTTE,
for reasons given below, then we will on our hands the most expensive
war having to set aside Rs. 100 billion per year for a protracted fight
to a finish where both sides have had plenty of time (one year) to take
stock of each other to polish off the rough edges as they are now doing
during the cessation of hostilities. That is one aspect; then there is
the problem of fighting men and women for both sides.
army has failed in the numbers game if one were to go by recruitment
figures in the past few months when they could manage to enlist less
than 500 out of 5000 wanted, mind you, without a war on, and the LTTE
scouting around for 15 to 17 year olds to supplement their strengths
much to the chagrin and consternation of their parents. Whilst both
sides are scraping the bottom of the barrel, one in an orthodox fashion
and the other decidedly not, the state will be compelled to seriously
look at conscription or voluntary service whether it is politically
unwise or damaging to do so.
if war were to erupt, we can say good-bye to tourism, foreign investment
and aid, reconstruction, etc; and the imposition overnight virtually of
road blocks, checkpoints and more High Security Zones (HSZ) throughout
the country. This is not fantasy or fiction on the part of the writer
but cold, hard facts.
microscopic few in the Sinhala south may be inclined to believe that if
the war can be won, it might be worth the effort despite the costs,
inconvenience and human tragedies but are we sure of a lasting and
durable peace at the expense of a subdued minority community in one
third of our land area, who would stir once more if denied the privilege
of living a style of their own to suit their culture, traditions, way of
life, customs, religion, etc.
brings me to the alternative before us, and the only one available viz,
negotiating for peace rather than fighting it which was tried by the
previous regime without any success except for holding a piece of real
state in the Jaffna peninsula of less than 1000 square kms, which
requires over 30,000 men of the army, approximately one forth of their
total battle strength, to safeguard it!
colossal waste of say, half of the Rs. 1000 billion spent in 20 years of
ethnic strife, if measured in terms of our gigantic Mahaveli scheme of
the late 1970s of approximately Rs. 50 billion, would have resulted in
10 such development projects being undertaken for the future generations
of our countrymen and women by 2003.
is in this backdrop that this writer is vigorously advocating we grasp
this last chance for peace, which will probably not surface again for
another 10 years or so, until the two parties to the dispute are so
badly battered and bruised without a penny in the kitty, that they may
have to be dragged to an international conference table if the two
parties resign themselves once more to seek outside help.
way things are going on the peace front these latter thoughts of doom
and gloom can recede to the background because of the "paradigm
shift" of the LTTE as enunciated by our senior minister after the
most recent dialogue this month in Oslo. From their top line of eelam to
the bottom line of federalism, which latter position my southern
colleagues should have the patience to, accept until the 'I's have been
dotted and the 'T's have been crossed but could be rejected by them if
too much has been conceded at the referendum which the Prime Minister
has promised us.
said that, and if we were to reject the final product before or after it
is announced, then it behoves us to comprehend how the international
community would look at it and their likely reactions as a result.
whole world is probably behind us as never before in our efforts to
usher in a permanent peace, as was witnessed late last month when over
40 countries assembled in Oslo to pledge support for our endeavours, the
biggest ever international contingent representing nearly a quarter of
the planet to assist one small country of less than 20 million people,
something that we Sri Lankans can crow about for years and years to
they must be dismayed by the fact that simultaneously, a team of
ex-ministers from the previous regime led by the brother of our head of
state was in New Delhi to discuss with the powers that be, including the
big-wigs of chief opposition party whose late leader was assassinated by
the LTTE, trying to stir up debate/dissent in that country (a visit is
due in Tamil Nadu to meet the chief minister there) to thwart the
efforts of the international community, more particularly Norway's lead
role to bring about a lasting solution.
cap it all, there was that private sealed missive from our big chief to
their big chief, the contents of which nothing has been heard about. A
reply would certainly be forthcoming, if not already received, but me -
thinks it will be in the familiar refrain from Delhi over the years that
'any solution must be within the framework of a sovereign and united Sri
Lanka...' or words to that effect.
with federalism now being bandied about an added dimension might be
'...as long as the structure or the format does not exceed the powers
extended to a federal state in India, we have no qualms about it in the
north and east.' Probably, this message has already been conveyed by
India's Foreign Secretary during his whirlwind visit to Sri Lanka last
week, in response to the visit and letter of the opposition team, and it
also probably explains why one of them has already left on a long
sojourn to the USA for about three weeks or so.
there is nothing more to be done, except here in Sri Lanka, after that
diplomatic snub by India. The world is not only aghast at the antics of
the two main opposition parties here acting the way they are doing to
undermine the peace process whilst claiming that they are not against
it, without a mandate from even a quarter of our people, but also the
attempts being made by them to form a parallel government by issuing
directives from the topmost secretariat from time to time to belittle
and hamper the efforts of the head of government.
at the picture in Sri Lanka and unfolding events here, the international
community must also be quite perturbed by the harangue against the
approach by the two parties to the dispute to a federal solution to our
problem which has their total acceptance except for a microscopic few in
our country who are opposed to power sharing at the periphery.
LTTE having come down a few pegs from the original concept of a separate
state down to a federal structure, the outlines yet to be defined in the
next few rounds of talks next year and beyond perhaps, we will have no
more space to move or manoeuvre, and if it were to be rejected by Sri
Lanka outright when all is said and done. This writer believes that we
will have to carry the tag of an international outcast. What would be
far worse is that international sympathy will move away from us to the
LTTE, where the latter would be gleefully telling them, 'we told you
Sinhala government cannot be "trusted" as it was seen in the
1950s and '60s, to "substantially devolve power to the north and
the east" in the words of, none other than the US Ambassador in Sri
Lanka, less than three months ago. If it is isolation we require, with
no one to lend a helping hand and an empty treasure chest, the
cacophonous opposition is dishing out the recipe in good measure.
Air Vice Marshal
spirit invades the city of Colombo
is the festive season and it is just not shopping and Christmas that
will take the spotlight. Lights will illuminate the city and brilliance,
happiness and peace will be the theme in this season of goodwill.
hoteliers, however, have chosen a shorter route to the heart via the
stomach and that is why, in addition to the lights, there will be a food
fiesta that will add flavour to this season.
cascade of colour
Path will turn into a cascade of colour this week as 'Hawker's Street'
serves up an array of food from top hotels in Colombo.
the city gets more and more active, we decided to serve the people with
good cuisine," said General Manager, Galadari Hotel, Chandra
Mohotti, who is one of the pioneers of the Hawker's Street project.
is the brainchild of the mayor," explained Mohotti, who went on to
say that during a conversation with Sri Lankan bornEuropean Union
Parliamen-tarian Niranjan Deva Aditya, they realised that the city was
not lit up as it should be.
the city is safe, there is peace. I sincerely believe that this peace is
the best thing that happened to us and I also believe the Prime
Minister's thoughts are to make Sri Lanka as dazzling and as beautiful
as Thailand and Singapore. I think this festive season is the best time
to start," pointed out Mohotti.
five star hotels will be supplying the food to Hawker's Street and this
food fiesta will give value for money and good clean food to fun-seekers
and those who are shopping. But we hope that other restaurant owners and
smaller hotels will take over from us," he said.
Galadari Hotel will have an abundant array of Arabic food while the
Lanka Oberoi will concentrate on Sri Lankan food.
also observed that his hotel is crowded with many visitors from
have increased and so have Sri Lankans who have come home on
holiday," he observed. "This is the best Christmas I have ever
had," said Mohotti whose hotel has seen a few bad periods during
the city of Colombo will be lit up, Greenpath will be sending out the
aroma that will complete the festive spirit. The change comes after the
recent peace, which the nation was starving for.
Manager, Taj Samudra, Praveen Nair who has been a hotelier in several
parts of the world said that he is amazed at the activity around.
Taj is fully involved in this Hawker's Street and will be supplying
several food items. This is more in line with the Hawker's Street in
Singapore and it is amazing to see all this success," he observed.
it goes on like this I don't see any problem in Sri Lanka getting back
on its feet. Sri Lanka is really doing well and we are so happy to see
not only so many tourists, but businessmen too. We have big plans this
year and we are turning the rooftop to a ballroom," he confided.
Manager, Continental Hotel, Anil Jayamanne speaking of the excitement
around said that their hotel was the worst affected during the war, in
that the access road was closed.
is strange, but our theme for 2002 has been peace and now I see peace
all around," pointed out Jayamanne. "We are having more guests
and more functions. I see more tourists. Ours is mainly a business hotel
and it has been full for many days," he said.
Muller of the Lanka Oberoi speaking on behalf of the hotel said that the
Oberoi is in a real "upbeat mood. The hotel is more crowded and
many Sri Lankans seem to be patronising the restaurants," she
observed. "Our Sri Lankan cuisine at Hawker's Street will be truly
value for money. This is a new thing and it shows that peace has really
caught on. The hotel is busy and people seem to be totally in a
mood," she said.
Mayor Prasanna Gunewardena speaking to The Sunday Leader said that
Hawker's Street is for all and that during this week, the business
community will also be touring the city of Colombo together with many
Sri Lankans who have come back to Sri Lanka from overseas.
will be able to see that peace and the festive spirit have truly
returned," he said. "It is Christmas time and the festive
atmosphere is truly around."
is very different from the barriers and the uncertainty that we have
experienced," he said. He was speaking of the times when people
were reluctant to go out, not so long ago.
it is not only Hawker's Street that will see business booming. "It
is festive time and more and more people will be making offers to
consumers," pointed out the Mayor, who seemed to have big plans to
make the city of Colombo see the peace it truly deserves after a very
Street will serve kotthu roti, hoppers, Chinese, Mongolian, Malaysian,
Korean and Sri Lankan food too. All five star hotels are expected to
make their specialities available at Hawker's Street.
December 20, from 7 p.m. onwards, Hawker's Street will not only have
food but also entertainment including Christmas carols performed by
dimensions of peace processes (Part
Today, Ms. carries the second instalment of the report of
the UN Secretary General on women, peace and security. This article
reflects our continuing interest in and support for peace in this
also victims of detention or ‘disappearance.’ The
‘disappearance’ of male relatives affects women, in particular in
societies where their status is directly linked to their relationships
with men. Women are traumatised and cannot find comfort as long as they
still hope for the return of their relatives. They also face additional
responsibilities for the well-being of their families.
Women and girls are not only victims in armed conflict: they
are also active agents. Driven by commitment to the political, religious
or economic goals of the conflict, some women become armed combatants or
collude in acts of violence. Women and girls may also be forced into
armed forces, providing domestic services and/or being used as sexual
slaves. Women play an active role in informal peace processes, serving
as peace activists, including by organising and lobbying for disarmament
and striving to bring about reconciliation and security before, during
and after conflicts.
The differential impact of conflict on women and girls calls
for specific responses from the international community. While the
knowledge about these gender-based differences and inequalities is
increasing rapidly, it is still far from being comprehensive. Of much
greater concern, however, is the failure to incorporate existing
knowledge on the subject into policies, planning and implementation
processes in all peace operations, humanitarian activities and
The following is submitted for the attention of the Security
Action 1. - Recognise the extent of the violations of the
human rights of women and girls during armed conflict and ensure that
awareness of these violations is a factor in planning and implementation
of all peace support operations.
Action 2. - Identify and utilise local sources of information
on the impact of armed conflict, the impact of interventions of peace
operations on women and girls and the roles and contributions of women
and girls in conflict situations, including through the establishment of
regular contact with women’s groups and networks.
International legal framework
International law provides a framework of protection for
individuals affected by armed conflict. International humanitarian law,
in particular the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the protection of
victims of war and their two additional Protocols of 1977, is the area
of law of primary relevance to the protection of women and girls during
armed conflict. International human rights law is also applicable in
times of armed conflict. International refugee law offers protection to
women and girls prior to, during and in the aftermath of armed conflict.
International criminal law has come to assume increasing significance in
relation to crimes against women and girls during armed conflict, in
particular crimes of sexual violence.
The protections of international humanitarian law and human
rights law apply on the basis of non-discrimination. In addition, some
of the provisions of international humanitarian law are of particular
relevance to women, such as those seeking to reduce women’s
vulnerability to sexual violence. Other provisions are only applicable
to women, for example, those requiring treatment of women with all
consideration due to their sex. Additional protection is provided to
pregnant women and mothers of young children.
The protections available under international human rights
law apply to women and girls on the basis of non-discrimination. Key
human rights instruments include the Convention on the Elimination of
All Forms of Discrimination against Women, which specifically addresses
trafficking, and the exploitation of prostitution of women, a frequent
occurrence in situations of conflict and their aftermath. Trafficking is
comprehensively covered by the United Nations Convention against
Transnational Organised Crime and its supplementary protocols, which
have not yet entered into force. Girls benefit from the specific
protections for children set out in instruments such as the Convention
on the Rights of the Child and its optional protocols on the sale of
children, child prostitution and child pornography and on the
involvement of children in armed conflict.
Expanded legal framework
During the last decade, the international legal framework has
expanded to address some of the particular crimes experienced by women
in armed conflict. The statutes of the two international tribunals
created by the Security Council to address crimes committed in the
former Yugoslavia and in Rwanda, the Rome Statute of the International
Criminal Court and the statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone all
include gender-based violence, such as rape, enforced prostitution and
trafficking during armed conflict, as well as torture or other cruel,
inhuman and degrading treatment, and enslavement, within the definition
of war crimes, crimes against humanity and as components of the crime of
genocide. Other extra-legal mechanisms, such as truth and reconciliation
processes, also provide avenues for redress.
The International Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for
Rwanda have issued several indictments relating to sexual violence.
Sexual violence has been charged as a grave breach of the Geneva
Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War
before the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. The
International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda has convicted a defendant of
crimes against humanity and genocide, inter alia, through acts of sexual
The constituent documents of the two international tribunals,
the International Criminal Court and the Special Court for Sierra Leone
include provisions to ensure the delivery of gender sensitive justice,
including victim and witness protection measures. The Rome Statute has
provisions for achieving fair representation of male and female judges
and for ensuring the availability of legal expertise on specific issues
such as violence against women and children.
Supplementary policy directives
Protection for refugee and displaced women offered by the
international legal framework is supplemented by policy directives and
guidelines, which, for the most part, have been formulated by the Office
of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) over the past
15 years. The gender sensitive interpretation of the definition of
refugee contained in the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees
of 1951 allows for women and girls to seek refugee status on the basis
of gender based persecution, including sexual violence. The 1998 Guiding
Principals on Internal Displacement also pay particular attention to the
rights and needs of women and children.
This comprehensive international legal framework has been
increasingly responsive to the experiences of women and girls,
particularly where sexual violence is concerned. It is critical that
these achievements are built upon by any ad hoc tribunals that the
Security Council might create. The determination of individual command
responsibility for many of the offences involving sexual violence
against women and girls in armed conflict has been a major advance and
has undermined the culture of impunity that previously pervaded
discussion in this context.
(To be continued)
Source: Report of the Secretary General on Women, Peace and
Security (2002), United Nations
• Ministers living it
up at public expense
me stink, different flies
Busy fine-tuning a peace process, Prime Minister Ranil
Wickremesinghe appears to be ignorant of the fact that certain ministers
in the United National Front (UNF) government are feathering their nests
with state finances, abusing the perks and privileges awarded to them in
their capacity as Minister. People have been called upon to tighten
their belts until such time the economic wasteland inherited from
President Chandrika Kumaratunga is revived, but that seems applicable
only to the suffering masses with ministers continuing to make merry at
public expense. This time, The Sunday Leader has found that
Irrigation and Water Management Minister, Gamini Jayawickrema has taken
for his personal use and that of his cronies, 16 official vehicles
handed over to the Mahaweli Authority for project work.
That is not all. Jayawickrema has now sent another shopping
list to the Director General, Mahaweli Authority demanding an additional
nine new vehicles among which are three super luxury Land Rover
Defenders and six Toyota Landcruisers. This lot of vehicles are to be
delivered to him on the 31st of this month.
From among the 16 official vehicles, Jayawickrema has fitted
out for his personal use a brand new Toyota double cab with trimmings
costing the Irrigation and Water Management Ministry nearly Rs. 150,000.
He has had fitted a state-of-the-art hi-fi system with an
amplifier and four JBL speakers which the Ministry has been billed to
pay Rs. 41,500.
The system was purchased on November 5, this year from Petco
Lanka, who are specialists in car audio systems, service and
In addition, Jayawickrema has called upon the Ministry to
fork out Rs. 194,350 to Outdoorsman, a company providing accessories and
recreational equipment for four wheel drive vehicles.
On December 2, Jayawickrema contracted Outdoorsman to fit on
this double cab, four Mickey Thompson Tyres at a cost of Rs. 61,000,
four alloy wheels at a cost of Rs. 36,400, one flat top 166 for Rs.
22,500, one front buffer at a cost of Rs. 18,000, one CiBi lights set
from Germany for Rs. 19,250, wiring for Rs. 2,700, four gas shock
absorbers for Rs. 22,000 and flares for Rs. 12,500. The total cost as a
result of these fancy trimmings amount to Rs. 194,350.
In a letter on December 4, to Director General, Mahaweli
Authority, P. T. Senaratne, Jayawickrema’s son, Asanka Perera has
demanded that these invoices be settled with Ministry funds. Perera has
also attached another invoice amounting to Rs. 72,533 which monies have
to be paid to Matara Motors, Kurunegala. Nine official vehicles used by
cohorts of Jayawickrema have been serviced and repaired at this garage
in November for a sum amounting to Rs. 72,533. Asanka Perera functions
as private secretary to his father, Gamini Jayawickrema.
For some unfathomable reason, Jayawickrema has chosen to
‘donate’ two luxury vehicles to a Working Director at Mahaweli
Venture Capital (Pvt) Ltd., Shanthini Kongahage, who was abruptly
nominated to the board by Jayawickrema. Kongahage picks up a monthly
remuneration package of Rs. 25,000 as well as has personal use of two
That Sri Lanka is dogged with corrupt politicians is
unfortunately a feature common to every ruling political party. In the
last seven years, this nation has watched in disgust the antics of the
likes of Anuruddha Ratwatte, whom the President herself has described as
having been the “most corrupt minister” in her cabinet, but did
nothing to match her words with action. This time around Sri Lankans are
left to shudder at the juggling of public funds by Ministers like Dr.
Jayalath Jayawardena and now Gamini Jayawickrema.
Minister Mahinda Wijesekera is another bad egg in
Wickremesinghe’s government. Unable to control his son, Wijesekera has
allowed his offspring to issue death threats and physically abuse
another youth two weeks ago.
In addition, security personnel attached to Wijesekera killed
28 year old pastor Charles de Rosairo last month when they ran him down
at Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Colombo 7. At the time the accident occurred,
the security personnel had been providing back-up security to Minister
Mahinda Wijesekera who did not stop when the accident happened or come
back despite being a mere 50 meters from his official residence when
Pastor Charles de Rosairo was knocked down.
MSD Head — No nonsense
Rosairo in fact had to be rushed to the Colombo General
Hospital in a three-wheeler where he succumbed to his injuries an hour
after being admitted.
Last week, Head of the Ministerial Security Division (MSD),
SSP Jayantha Jayasinghe, withdrew 10 security officers allocated to
Mahinda Wijesekera following an argument when they had refused to
accompany the Minister’s son to a Colombo nightclub. Wijesekera is
reported to have verbally abused the security personnel who later
complained to Jayasinghe.
The senior cop acted immediately and withdrew the
Minister’s security asserting the Minister has no right to demand that
MSD personnel provide security for his offspring to patronise city
Gamini Jayawickrema is overseas and could not be contacted for
comment. Instead, we spoke with his son and Private Secretary,
According to Perera, the Ministry
has been billed for these amounts “for three or four
vehicles.” Asked why state funds are being used to
“dress-up” a vehicle, Perera could not reply other than to
say, “I will have to check on this and get you further
Perera it must be noted signed the
letter to Director General, Mahaweli Authority, P. T. Senaratne
demanding that the said monies be released and the invoices to
Petco Lanka, Outdoorsman and Matara Motors be paid.
Senaratne is also overseas and was
unavailable for any comment on this issue.
tale of woe
the decision to liquidate of Pramuka Savings and Development Bank on
Thursday, December 19, Central Bank Governor, A. S. Jayawardena said the
first priority of the Central Bank is to pay back the monies of
depositors whose savings are below Rs. 50,000.
There is provision he explained, under the Banking Amendment
Act of 1995, for the liquidator to take over the assets and dispose of
them as deemed fit. Jayawardena reiterated that since almost 80 per cent
of Pramuka Bank depositors fall into the savings category of less than
Rs. 50,000, the Central Bank will take steps to ensure they are paid,
Whatever monies remaining will be used to pay off the others,
Jayawardena stated. He asserted that the initial priority of the Central
Bank would also be to check on the mortgages of property and ascertain
if indeed such lands have been valued over and above market prices.
The Central Bank will seek to sell such properties and
recover some of the monies required to pay back depositors. Pramuka Bank
held some Rs. 3 billion in deposits.
One of Pramuka Bank’s biggest borrowers, Chairman, Manisha
Group of Companies, P. J. A. Fernando, Jayawardena said would be forced
to pay back the millions of rupees Pramuka President and CEO Rohan
Perera authorised to be released to him with little collateral.
One such instance is a mortgage on ‘Dickman’s Court’
which houses 28 apartments at No. 14, Dickman’s Road, Colombo 4. The
apartments have all been sold and leased. The property deed however,
remains in the name of Pramuka Holdings with an outstanding of Rs. 6
million due to Pramuka Bank. Fernando and Manisha Group were the
A. S. Jayawardena asserted that Fernando would be summoned to
pay these monies back. He said this is one among many other such
transactions enacted by Pramuka Bank, which the Central Bank will have
to address as it carries out its liquidation notice on the bank.
The Governor in the meantime added that with regard to the
situation of some 165 employees of Pramuka Bank, “some have already
resigned and others will have to find employment elsewhere.”
He maintained that the Central Bank was attempting to resolve
the issue at a meeting with Pramuka Bank employees on Friday, December
Jayawardena said Rohan Perera together with the board of
directors will have to take responsibility for certain fraudulent
activities committed during their tenure at Pramuka Bank.
The Central Bank, he maintained has already referred the
matter to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) for investigation
after which the courts will decide on a conclusion.
Unable to face responsibility for this situation, Rohan
Perera remains overseas. Perera left the country despite a notice by the
Maligakanda Magistrate’s Court to appear and face charges on
corruption and fraud in relation to Pramuka Bank.
The court has not sought to impound the passports of either
Rohan Perera or any of the other directors of Pramuka Bank.
Meanwhile, last week, the Deputy General
Manager, Administration, Pramuka Bank, Raj Fernando, was caught
red-handed as he tried to surreptitiously remove certain documents
relating to the payment of gratification through a “Gold
Certificate” scheme at Pramuka Bank. Certain public trustee
institutions and the Cooperative sector have been the recipients of such
gratification amounting to around Rs. 40 million over the last five
Fernando was caught in the basement of Pramuka Bank, trying
to smuggle out the documents. Such payments had allegedly been
authorised by both Fernando and Rohan Perera. The matter has now been
referred to the CID for further investigation.
his defence, Fernando has argued that he was attempting to remove the
documents to use against charges of fraud and corruption he is being
accused of, both at the CID and the Commission to Investigate
Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.