14th March, 2004 Volume 10, Issue 35
- a dictator in the mould of Idi Amin?
image as a caring President and a philanthropist, highlighting donations
made, not out of her purse but government monies chanelled into the
President's Fund, to cast aspersions, character assassinate and make false
charges against her political opponents, Chandrika Kumaratunga is acting at
present as a dictator very much in the mould of Idi Amin of Uganda.
see today blue posters all over the city requesting her to take over
parliamentary powers as well.
present bedfellows are the JVP, recalling her mother's coalition with the
Left many years ago. The record of the JVP in 1971-72 and from 1987-1992 is
one of destruction, mayhem and blood-letting, killing thousands of civilians
including 28 Buddhist monks and two Christian priests. They now pose as
Sinhala Buddhists. The damage to government property alone ran into
fled to the UK with her two children when her husband was killed by the JVP
which has at no time asked forgiveness from the nation for their brutality
and the atrocities they committed. It is with such a party that Chandrika
decided to form an alliance to defeat the UNP.
as finance minister left in December 2001 a bankrupt treasury and a zero
minus economy. She waged war against the LTTE and lost in battle the entire
Wanni and a major part of the Jaffna peninsula. It is she who by her defeat
in battle that gave Eelam to the LTTE.
than 10,000 soldiers lost their lives, many in unmarked graves because the
security forces refused to accept their bodies. Commissions made on weapons,
air and naval craft were the hot topics of the day.
senior journalist who was the self-appointed military expert has lost his
tongue now. So also the vociferous Sihala Urumaya, Nimal Siripalas and the
Mangala Samaraweeras. May I ask whether after Chandrika took over the
Defence Ministry (1) was the controversial camp Manirasakulam handed back to
the security forces? (2) is child recruitment not taking place since? (3)
are kappans not imposed? (4) Has the LTTE left that territory in proximity
to the Trincomalee harbour with their cannons? and (5) finally have not the
LTTE received shipments of weapons?
there was no need for all this criticism. No. What all these people wanted
was an excuse and since what they wanted has been achieved, everybody is
quiet. Even the safe house episode was blown out of proportion and the
beneficiary was Chandrika, to use it for political gain.
is a pity that in this country today there is no man or woman, an
intellectual, a professional, a free media activist or a member of the
clergy, Buddhist clergy in particular, who goes on pagaman, satygraha and
upawasa unto death with guts and a backbone to stand up and say that
Chandrika today is nothing but a dictator solely driven by lust for power,
more power and more power.
though I am, I have the courage to point my finger at Chandrika and say that
"you are acting like Idi Amin." To those who vote for the alliance
I say that I pity them for before long they will feel the sharp jabs from
the alliance jackboots.
begets nothing but sorrow.
her detractors may say, the President has to be given pride of place as the
wiliest of schemers. Machiavelli could have picked up a tip or two from the
now can see that she had a plan from the very outset of the UNF government
to oust it. A plan which was so well disguised that even close associates
and relatives were kept in the dark until the election trap was sprung.
his vacillation and 'we'll see later' attitude, the Prime Minister
facilitated her task. He prevented the stronger members of the government,
who wanted to get rid of her by impeachment, from doing so. This, along with
the Chief Justice's proposed impeachment, were vital election promises which
like so many others, went into limbo.
the President holds the whip hand. She and her newest partner, the JVP,
accounted to be the murderers of her husband and thousands of innocent women
and children, seem to be impervious to the damage some of their actions and
statements will do.
cite a couple. The President relieved John Amaratunga of his cabinet
portfolio. He remained as Christian Affairs Minister which would be
non-cabinet. By dismissing all non-cabinet and deputy ministers she did away
with the Christian Affairs Minister. What the Christians think of her move
will be revealed on April 2.
JVP has categorically stated that they do not recognise the truce and
ceasefire. This is, in effect, a declaration of war if the alliance comes
into power. No one in his right senses, apart from those who profit
financially, will welcome a return to war. This too, should be reflected in
the results of the April 2 election.
is perplexing is that the alliance MoU, the JVP statement and the
President's announcement that she will conduct peace talks with the LTTE are
all at variance with each other. Can the alliance last in these
circumstance? Or has the President another 'goondu' or two up her sleeve?
seems to harbour a strong belief that the voters can always be hoodwinked.
Her latest pronouncement that she will do away with the executive
presidency, if the alliance is voted into power, cannot, be taken seriously.
Have the JVP and the voters forgotten her signed pledge to the JVP to do
away with the executive presidency? Many years have gone by since then but
she continues to wreak havoc as executive president. The JVP are not such
fools as to be taken in by this pledge again, nor are the voters.
this makes one wonder if she is expecting a 'fix' on April 2. It was
probably with this in view that the three ministries were taken over in
Prime Minister must accept a share of the blame for what has befallen the
land. He slumbers on, seemingly unaware of what is happening. Sadly, it
seems too late for regrets, now. If he had displayed any of the firmness now
being amply demonstrated by the President, we would not be at the mercy of
liars, thugs and murderers with only grim prospects ahead.
save Sri Lanka!
are the LTTE camps and naval zone?
November 2003, we heard a lot about the LTTE arms/ camps build-up such as:
LTTE camp at Manirasakulam
November 2003 we have not heard about them. Is it that the security forces
under the direct command of the President smashed the LTTE camps and the
naval zone? Or, is it that they were either non-existent or a case of making
a mountain out of a molehill for political purposes? Or is it that
Pirapaharan got the jitters after the Presidential take-over of the Ministry
of Defence and therefore quickly removed the camps?
like to hear the comments of PA spokesman Sarath Amunugama and the JVP
spokesman Wimal Weerawansa in this regard. Perhaps they could describe in
detail how the security forces under the leadership of the President
destroyed the LTTE camps and the naval zone. Or they could describe how
Pirapaharan got the camps removed and got his cadres to run for fear of
request the President not to hand back the Ministry of Defence to the UNF
government, because if she does so, the PA and the JVP (and now the
Sandanaya) will 're-create' the camps and the naval zone for the LTTE!
TV on language rights
Wednesday, February 11, YA TV's programme
on TNL emphasised the difficulties of the Tamil people in Sri Lanka,
especially in the north/east, because of Sinhalese being used as the state
are curious to know whether YA TV, if it operates in Malaysia, France,
Italy, Germany, etc. will dare to bemoan the difficulties of the Tamils
living in those countries, on account of Malay, French, Italian, German etc.
being used as state languages? Is it not a fact that the Tamils who inhabit
the entire globe, meekly and obediently learn the language of the majority
race, wherever they live - even in India, where they have to learn Hindi to
it is so abhorrent to the Tamils living in Sri Lanka to learn Sinhalese, the
language of the majority, why do they remain here?
JVP is at it again
is with total disgust that we read once again in the newspapers how fuel
stations, banks etc, etc, are once again being robbed at gunpoint. This is
typical of how the JVP operated in the years gone by. The collection of
funds has started at an alarming rate.
wish Mahinda Rajapakse will take his mind back to the incident where a close
relative of his was killed by the JVP in the days of yore. This shows that
politicians exist for personal gain and no one thinks of the nation.
was hilarious to see the people who were responsible for instigating several
strikes, feeding the strikers with thambili water to revive them! Now it is
time to vote again, and we can see if truth and honesty will survive or
falsehood and treachery. I will vote for truth and honesty any day.
at NYSC complains
refer to the letter titled "Misappropriation of Funds at NYSC"
which appeared in The Sunday Leader recently. What the writer has stated in
the letter seems absolutely true and I fully agree with him.
am one of the unfortunate teachers who have not been paid the dues assured
by the NYSC, after they successfully conducted their language programmes. I
was the lecturer selected by the NYSC, Mannar to conduct the language
programme in Mannar in 2002 and 2003. Although I completed the programme
after six months, I was given payment only for a period of four months in
I was selected to conduct the language programme in 2003 from January and I
successfully completed it in July this year. Even this time, I was paid only
for one and a half months' period at the end of six months.
appeals from me to pay the balance due have fallen on the deaf ears of the
district youth service officer, the regional youth service officer, Vavuniya
and some officers of the accounts branch at the NYSC, Maharagama. As such, I
was forced to give up the final revision class to prepare the learners to
face their final examination and to the disappointment of the latter, the
final exam has not yet been held.
of all, the certificates for those who successfully completed the course in
2002 have not yet been given to them. In short, both the teacher and the
learners have been left stranded by the mismanagement of the NYSC. And this
gives room for suspicion that there can be misappropriation of funds
allocated to these language programmes.
racing horror on Green Path
read with alarm an article in a Sunday newspaper that drag racing has become
a regular Saturday night feature amongst the rich, young and reckless. As it
is, we are nauseated by reading and listening to the horrendous daily
accidents taking place, especially involving speeding buses.
we Sri Lankans are ever eager to follow foreign ways of life, regardless of
the consequences. Is Green Path, a public road, a suitable venue for drag
racing? How can the participants be sure that there will be no other traffic
on this quiet road at night? We all know the reckless behaviour of today's
youth, especially with plenty of money, cars, liquor and in some cases VIP
have read enough about the rowdy behaviour of the sons of politicians, and
nothing happens to them. The helpless victims of their crude and vulgar
behaviour have to accept in silence and frustration that nothing in fact
happens to the miscreants.
the police permit drag racing to continue, we are waiting for some serious
accident to happen. Very often these reckless youths have been to some night
spot and consumed hard liquor and just gearing to show off to their peers
and girl friends who are so easily impressed. Green Path is not secure for
drag racing. There are no safety barriers, no protection for viewers. If the
driver of a vehicle, driven at very high speed, loses control and veers into
the crowd, can you imagine the carnage?
young people want to indulge in this sport, they must go to a race track. I
appeal to the police and to all sensible people in this country to protest
at this new menace. After all, it is well to remember it may be your own
family member who could be killed or maimed.
Anura be able to make it?
last two weekends here have been hectic as the old boys of Royal, S.
Thomas,' St. Joseph's and St. Peter's have had their day out and limited
things "back home" were discussed, the political situation was the
main theme. The political alliances and similar high sounding titles given
to the groups were also humourously featured on placards of the spectator
best opinion of the dissolution expressed by a retired Sri Lankan banker
gave real food for thought. He said this was Chandrika's last chance to
appoint her brother Anura as prime minister and hopefully make him their
next presidential candidate.
million rupee question is will Anura be able to make it before any new
constitution is promulgated?
Re-load on Saturdays on Sirasa
on Sirasa TV on Saturday's is most interestingly presented by Joe and Sara
around 11 am. Valuable prizes are offered to those who send the most
Saturday, February 21 there was a song for Sri Lanka to win the five one-dayers
by a Sri Lankan expatriate who had come on holiday for two weeks.
previous Saturday, February 14 being Valentine's Day was even more
interesting with love sonnets to those near and dear. Here, too, the
original verses recorded won prizes.
on Saturday where these is just nothing to watch other than a few teledramas
on Swarna-vahini, Re-load is most entertaining.
week Sirasa TV thinks of something new to entertain viewers. And SMS request
show on Sundays from 9.3 am to 10.30 is the newest such programme.
I got to know Patrick very well when I functioned as GA and district secretary, Jaffna, two decades ago. Born on March 5, 1925 to a family of modest means, he lost his mother at the age of 10 and grew up with two brothers and three sisters under the care of his father.
He had his schooling at St. Patrick’s, Jaffna, and went on to enter the DRO’s service and, later, the SLAS. Though soft spoken, mild mannered and self-effacing to a fault, everyone who interacted with him quickly discovered that, true to his name and that of his alma mater, there was an unfailing nobility of character reflected in his absolute integrity and unflinching dedication to his duties and obligations, official and personal.
Partick served willingly and with much acceptance in postings such as Delft and Akkaraipattu that others from Jaffna may have considered to be ‘remote’ or ‘difficult.’ In due course he was appointed as PRO in the Jaffna secretariat, and rose to be additional GA in Vavuniya, Mullaitivu, and Jaffna. After retirement he continued to serve through civil society institutions such as the Sri Lanka Red Cross.
Patrick was much loved by his wife Rita (nee Sebastian), his children Ratnakumar, Rev. Fr. Michael Thayananthan, Dr. Dharshini, Patricia, Gabriela, Preman and Selvi, their families, and many others. I was fortunate to have known him and to have worked with him through a difficult period in the life of the people of Jaffna.
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