journalists: where is justice?
By Frederica Jansz
Nearly three weeks since Dharmeratnam
Sivaram was killed
police still don't have any clues that would help lead
them to the murderers. Director, Colombo.......
Tamils caught up in an endless cycle of violence
behind the buffer zone
permanent housing hurdle
of domestic violence
Nilame: The battle intensifies
be a tool of imperialism"
lists its witnesses in contempt case
journalists: where is justice?
By Frederica Jansz
Nearly three weeks since Dharmeratnam
Sivaram was killed
police still don't have any clues that would help lead
them to the murderers. Director, Colombo Crime Division (CCD),
SSP Sarath Lugoda spearheading the investigation said,
"So far, we have nothing." Asked if his
investigations thus far have in anyway led to possible
evidence implicating high powered individuals who may have
been involved in the murder he replied, "I cannot comment
on that yet."
de Zoysa and Dharmeratnam Sivaram
Asked why the police have failed thus
far to trace Siva's killers when in the case of the murder of
Justice Sarath Ambepitiya his killers were caught within a week,
Lugoda maintains that the lack of a full registration number of the
vehicle that Sivaram was abducted in has made it that much more
difficult to trace the vehicle.
Also that all attempts to trace the
location of his mobile phone which continues to ring when dialed
have failed. Lugoda said "we are trying other ways to trace the
phone," but claimed he could not reveal the methods yet as it
would hamper the investigation.
Colombo's duplicity, if it indeed
exists, in relation to the slaying of Siva will soon rear its head
publicly if his killers are not caught. Freelance journalist Kusal
Perera who was a witness to the abduction of Sivaram has given
police the registration number of a silver-grey super luxury vehicle
he says Siva was pushed into that fateful Thursday, April 28 - WPG
The last two missing digits
nevertheless means the police would have to trace only 100 vehicles
of the kind described by Kusal and investigate their
owners. Lugoda maintains his investigating team has already
done just that. "We have short-listed some," he said,
refusing to divulge how many and on what basis he had identified a
few out of one hundred.
The question is this. How many silver
grey intercoolers bearing the registration number WPG-11 exist? An
amateur sleuth would doubtless be able to narrow down possible
suspects within a matter of days. That Lugoda and his team are still
struggling nearly three weeks later certainly does not say much for
the CCD and its investigative capabilities. The entire team and its
lame efforts can be described very aptly in just one word - pitiful.
After all, the CCD surely does not need
a lesson in detective work to learn that once a few suspect vehicles
are tracked down a DNA testing would surely find at the very least a
hair that belonged to the head or arm of Sivaram?
Lugoda when he spoke with us took pains
to stress repeatedly that while accusations were being made against
certain political parties, para military groups and individuals, he
had absolutely no lead of who could be responsible for the murder of
Nearly three weeks later and a
mysterious group claiming it killed Siva, Lugoda still claims he has
no lead. Typically, the cops are obviously looking in directions
other than that leading to the killers, which is usual and to be
expected going by past experiences involving the murders of other
journalists. All of which, to date remain unresolved.
IGP Chandra Fernando has already said
he is probing the letter sent by a group claiming responsibility for
the killing of Sivaram. The letter is just another step in this
dastardly game - a red herring intended solely for the police - to
deviate attention away from the killers. A clever ploy, that has
Unfortunately, the ineptitude and bias,
that still gags Sri Lanka's police force and its crime busters in
relation to murders such as these, only helps fuel speculation and
finger-pointing in addition to charges of political interference.
For even as Lugoda spoke, the Tamil Guardian based in London wrote
"there can be no doubt Sri Lankan military intelligence is
responsible for the murder, even if hairs are split as to whether
the trigger was pulled by a Sinhala trooper or a Tamil
It is clear to see that not only the
LTTE but large sections of the Tamil community too see the Karuna
group, not as an independent group, but as being part and parcel of
the Sri Lankan establishment.
A Tamil paramilitary group working as
'agents' for the security forces in its alleged 'machinations'
against the LTTE.
The LTTE for its part keeps accusing
the Sri Lankan army of doing the deed even as the government and the
armed forces keep denying it.
But the crux of the matter lies in past
experiences, which leads us to suspect that the authorities will not
do everything necessary to identify the killers and the instigators
of Sivaram's murder. In fact, the absence of any rigorous
investigations and trials in previous murders and attacks on
journalists has considerably discredited the state's work in support
of press freedom.
Whether Sivaram's killers were Tamil or
Sinhalese the police will not yet say. We can only surmise that one
of them called Siva on his mobile phone before drawing alongside him
on the pavement and forcing him into taking a final drive.
It would bode well for SSP Lugoda and
his men to recall the grisly murders of Richard de Zoysa,
thereafter, Rohana Kumara in 1999, then, Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan in
the north in 2001,
and in June, last year, Aiyathurai Nadesan in the east. All
four journalists were murdered, with strong evidence to suggest they
were killed by government sponsored death squads.
The question is not simply whether
anyone at the top of the state authorised these killings including
the murder of Sivaram. But where in the machinery is the assurance
Sivaram's extra-judicial killing will be the last and, unlike that
of every single murdered journalist in Sri Lanka - will be
This is still today the reality of
relations between the independent press and the government. This
very distinctive barrier includes the state sponsored media too.
For ITN following the murder of Sivaram
hosted on its show Thulawa two government Ministers, Sripathy
Sooriyarachchi and Vijitha Herath who both charged freelance
journalist Kusal Perera with a conspiracy to murder Sivaram.
And while the government bastardised
Kusal Perera, ITN could not be bothered to even contact Perera and
ask him for a response. Clearly displaying the deep lack of trust or
for that matter unification between state and private media. Even
when the matter at hand, is as serious, as that of the murder of a
More serious is that the Free Media
Movement (FMM) of Sri Lanka, has previously accused the government
of President Chandrika Kumaratunga of the murder, assault and
intimidation of journalists, and even offered what it calls proof in
a statement by the president in which she has told how a former
minister had proposed to murder newspaper editors.
State sponsored killings
There is a single factor that emerges
when examining the killings of journalists in Sri Lanka. Before
Sivaram, Aiyathurai Nadesan was gunned down in Batticaloa in June
last year. Nadesan, in similar vein to journalist, playwright and
actor, Richard de Zoysa murdered in the early 1990s by government
death squads, then Rohana Kumara in 1999 and Nimalarajan murdered in
2001, were all believed to have been stilled by a bullet due to
having publicly criticised the government and government forces.
Sivaram had, in the recent past, been
writing on the "ill-effects" of the peace process on the
30 year-old struggle for an independent Tamil Eelam. In an article
in the popular Tamil daily Virakesari recently, he had warned that
the Tamils were being lulled into inactivity by hopes of peace and
that this would sooner or later adversely affect the fighting spirit
of the LTTE itself.He pointed out that this had happened in recent
history to other liberation movements. He wanted the Tamil media to
keep digging into the minds of its readers that the Sinhala majority
would never render justice to the Tamil minority and that there was
no alternative to the armed struggle.
It was believed that Sivaram reflected
the thinking of Velupillai Pirapaharan who remains a chronic skeptic
where the Sri Lankan government, Sinhala polity and outside forces
The killings are now hardly cause for
serious shock to a nation that is battle hardened and accustomed to
random murder. When Richard de Zoysa in the early 1990's was
brutally murdered in the prime of his life (he was only 33), after
being abducted from his home at night by forces sponsored by the
then government of the late President R. Premadasa, his death caused
shock waves in the island, while his mother publicly identified as
one of her son's abductors, a police officer who was well known as a
confidant and security coordinator for the late President.
Richard's murder was a ghastly
precedent to other journalists also being placed on a hit list and
killed. Rohana Kumara, the editor of a Sinhala tabloid newspaper,
Satana was the next to follow.
Apart from the killings are the state
sponsored death threats, harassment, and assault on journalists who
dare buck the government.
A case in point is that of Lasantha
Wickrematunge Editor-in-Chief of The Sunday Leader newspaper who has
been attacked not once but twice. Both attacks were under the
governments of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. In the first he was
physically beaten up by thugs enlisted to do so by members of the
Presidential Security Division. And the second time around
Wickrematunge's Nugegoda home was shot at. Fortunately, this time
there were no casualties other than damage to his house.
In a separate incident the defence
correspondent of The Sunday Times, Iqbal Athas also came under
attack. Evidence suggests that two officers belonging to the Sri
Lanka Air Force led the attempted assault on Athas at his home at
Nugegoda. The journalist was threatened inside his bedroom by the
gun toting assailants.
The FMM bases its case that Kumaratunga
herself no less is culpable for these incidents when the President
was reported at a public rally stating that her former government
minister and political party general secretary, S. B. Dissanayake
had made an offer to her, "to kill an editor or two."
According to a story run in the state
owned Daily News, the President had said Dissanayake had pleaded
with her to become an absolute dictator. Dissanayake, Kumaratunga
claimed had told her to gag the independent news media, which was
critical of the government, and then made this statement:
"Madam, the government is very weak and it could collapse at
any time. If necessary I will even kill an editor or two who is
critical of the government," she has been quoted as saying.
But the FMM said, Dissanayake claims it
was the President who sent an underworld killer to him with the
suggestion to kill newspaper editors, and that four eyewitnesses
heard this conversation take place.
Killing an ed or two
The two editors who were according to
Dissanayake to be the targets for an assassin's bullet were
Editor-in-Chief, The Sunday Leader and a pet-hate of the president,
Lasantha Wickrematunge and Editor-in-Chief,
Ravaya newspaper, Victor Ivan, which in similar vein to The
Sunday Leader remains unbowed and unafraid to reveal the truth
irrespective of the personalities involved.
What the FMM maintains is that "it
is not interested in investigating who first came up with the idea
for this despicable act," contending that "what is clear
is that plans for political murders were discussed without any
inhibition at the highest level of government."
The FMM also claimed that the exchange
about killing journalists between the President and Dissanayake
"explains why no proper investigations have been carried out
into the murders of three journalists (now it is five), the
attempted murder of a number of editors and the numerous assaults on
journalists during the reign of Chandrika Kumaratunga.
The FMM has also accused government
forces of the murder of Rohana Kumara who was killed on September 9,
There is in fact photographic evidence
to prove that the former head of the Presidential Security Division,
Nihal Karunaratne led an assault on journalists, also in 1999,
covering an opposition march protesting Kumaratunga's reign. On this
occasion, members of the Presidential Security Division including
Karunaratne not only assaulted journalists but also smashed their
cameras and equipment.
The Eelam People's Democratic Party (EPDP),
an alliance party of Kumaratunga's government, also stands accused
of killing Jaffna-based journalist Mayilvaganam Nimalarajan.
Following the President's statement accusing one of her former
minister's of offering "to kill an editor or two" became
more relevant after Nimalarajan's death as the northern based Tamil
journalist was killed during the time when the leader of the EPDP,
Douglas Devananda was a minister in Kumaratunga's government.
Devananda is once more a minister in
the present government of President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
No arrests have been made in the
murders of Richard de Zoysa, Rohana Kumara, Nimalarajan, Iyathurai
Nadesan and now Sivaram.
As the FMM has pointed out "if the
President is to clear her name of involvement in these incidents, an
immediate impartial investigation must be carried out and those
"Not free" media
Sri Lanka is on the "watch
list" of the Vienna-based International Press Institute,
limited to "countries that appear to be moving towards
restricting press freedom." The most recent Freedom House
survey of press freedom reports that broadcast and print media in
Sri Lanka are "not free."
In 2003, Reporters Without Borders
called on the government of then Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
to "disown" Fisheries Minister Mahinda Wijesekera for
allegedly threatening to kill Lasantha Wickrematunge, after he
published articles in The Sunday Leader accusing the minister of
"We deeply deplore the Minister's
behaviour and ask you to take action against him," the
statement said, adding the group had sent a letter to Prime Minister
It said the newspaper reported that the
Minister had made the threat in front of another cabinet member, who
later confirmed the incident with the media watchdog.
The report also said the Minister had
boasted that he helped plan the killings of three journalists during
the previous People's Alliance government of Chandrika Kumaratunga.
"Let them conduct an inquiry.
There I will say what I want to say," Wijesekera is quoted
telling The Associated Press.
Wijesekera, who now belongs to the
United National Front party, was part of Kumaratunga's government,
which lost power in December 2001 before being re-elected in April
The shocking reality of it all is that
five journalists have been killed during Kumaratunga's tenure as
President of Sri Lanka, but no one has yet been convicted for the
We can only but hope that SSP Lugoda
and his men when conducting this investigation are asking themselves
the question - Why was Taraki killed?
For many, the answer seems obvious: he
was a Tamil Tiger supporter. Yes, he was a Tamil patriot. He carried
a rifle for the freedom struggle before he picked up a pen. But he
was not always a backer of the Tigers. Indeed he once stood opposed
to the LTTE, before he subsequently came to see it as the most
viable vehicle for his beloved cause (not least given his military
But was it something he wrote or
something he did that made him a marked man? Had he broken any of
Sri Lanka's repressive laws, the state wouldn't have hesitated to
put him in the dock. He earned its ire differently.
Tamils caught up in an endless cycle of violence
the latest casualty, Velupillai Pirapaharan and Karuna
By D. B. S. Jeyaraj
The killing of 'Taraki' Sivaram in
Colombo was not an isolated event. It is part of an endless cycle of
violence that has been plaguing Batticaloa Tamils. Though he was
killed in Colombo, Sivaram's death is linked to the on going eastern
violence caused by the Karuna revolt.
Manifestations of violence take
different forms at different times in the east. The latest is the
internecine warfare between the Karuna faction and the mainstream
LTTE. Again the hapless victims are the Tamils of Batticaloa-Amparai.
The Tamil people of the Eastern
Province particularly those of Batticaloa and Amparai Districts are
fast becoming the wretched of the Sri Lankan earth. A continuous and
consistent pattern of inter-ethnic and intra-ethnic political
violence directed against them over the years has seriously
debilitated them. This systemic violence was compounded and
institutionalised in military campaigns conducted by the state and
its agents. Adding to their woes has been mother nature herself.
Massive floods, cyclones and now 'tsunami' killer waves. This agony
is now being aggravated by the fratricidal bloodshed caused by the
vertical and horizontal split in Tiger ranks.
The Tamil easterners'strong sense of
Tamilness, committed devotion to the Tamil language and expression
of vibrant Tamil nationalist militancy are all attributes that any
nationality or sub-nationality can be proud of. The Tamil
consciousness and political courage displayed by the "Kilakkuthamilar"
(Eastern Tamils) in the post-independent period is a heroic saga
indeed. There was moreover a cultural renaissance that paralleled or
even outdid Jaffna.
The scholar-poet, Swamy Vipulanantha
was the epitome of this Eastern Tamil culture and refinement. In
later years Tamil scholars and poets like Pulavarmani Periyath-
ambypillai., V. C. Kandiah, F. X. C. Nadarajah, Eelathuppooraadanaar,
Neelavanan, Kasi Anandhan, Thimilaithumilan, Vaaharai Vaanan etc.
contributed to and helped form a powerful Tamilconsciousness. The
journalistic writings of S. T. Sivanayagam during his "Suthant-
hiran" era was a very powerful influence in this respect.
The fiery oratory of "Sollin
Selvar" Selliah Rajadurai spearheaded this Tamil nationalist
renaissance in the east. Further help in stirring this nationalist
cauldron was provided by political activists like former MP's
Rasamanickam, Manickav- asagar, Senator Manickam, 'Arappor'
Ariyanayagam, 'Notharis' Kandiah, Velmurugu Master, Sivagnanach-
elvam Kurukkal, Mala Ramacha- ndran, Sam Thambimuthu, Kala
Thambimuthu and the inimitableKasi Aanandan. Eastern Tamils
participated far in excess of their population ratio in all
non-violent protests of the past ranging from Satyagrahas to long
marches. A large number of Batticaloa Tamils were under house arrest
When youth rebellion began in the Tamil
polity, Batticaloa youths were not lagging behind though
standardisation was not an issue that hit them badly. Kasi Anandan,
'Mandoor' Mahendran, Nadesana- ntham, Alphonse Mary, Pa Sinnathurai
etc., were in the original batch of Tamil youths detained without
trial under Mrs. Bandaranaike in the '70s. In later years an
innumerable number of eastern Tamils were arrested, tortured,
incarcerated and even killed.
Batticaloa Tamils were in the forefront
of Tamil resistance. The first instance of Independent Ceylon's
armed forces being routed anywhere was in Thuraineelaavanai in the
'50s when two vehicles of the army were ambushed and burnt.
Batticaloa Tamils also thwarted police backed Sinhala mobs in Eravur
and even derailedtrains bringing in reinforcements. The eastern
Tamils fought back hard in self-defence when armed settlers were let
loose on helpless cultivators in the Amparai District colonisation
When armed militancy began rising
eastern youths too were a part of it. An indigenous militant group
"Naagappadai" or Cobra force emerged. Later
Batticaloa-Amparai youths began joining almost all the Tamil
militant groups. An impressive sign of early eastern militancy was
the Batticaloa jailbreak of 1983. It was the assistance and help
provided to the escapees by Tamils and Muslims that was of crucial
importance. The Eastern Muslims backed the Tamil struggle overtly
and covertly in the past. Recent events have transformed that
This eastern Tamil militancy has not
been without sorrow and sacrifice. Sinhala dominated governments
deliberately deprived the already impoverished and underdeveloped
areas of the eastern Tamils. While Sinhala colonisation was
encouraged and Sinhala residents given preferential treatment,
Muslim areas too were relatively looked after well by Colombo
regimes at the expense of Tamils.
Muslim parliamentarians being aligned
to governments in power in contrast to Tamil MP's being in
opposition helped this situation further. Politicians like K. W.
Devanayagam, Rajan Selvanayagam. S.U. Thambirasa, S.
Rajadurai, M. Canagaratnam, Rang- anayaki Pathmanathan etc also
joined govt. ranks and attempted to reverse this but the escalation
of the ethnic conflict negated these efforts.
The eastern Tamil problems were further
exacerbated by two other factors. A dynamic Muslim minority excelled
in trade, small industry and large scale agriculture and fisheries.
The Muslims of the east virtually eclipsed their Tamil counterparts
in these spheres. This helped fuel resentment.
Jaffna Tamil domination
The second factor was Jaffna Tamil
domination and exploitation. The top government and semi-government
jobs as well as clerical and teaching jobs were monopolised by the
"Jaffnese" for a long, long time. So too were vast
segments of transport, trade , manufacture and large-scale farming.
Many professionals too were from Jaffna. It was only after the '70s
that Batticaloa Tamils began asserting themselves forcefully in
these fields. Unfortunately the ethnic conflict fall-out prevented
positive gains. Today, like that of Jaffna, the eastern Tamil elite
is scattered in southern Sri Lanka or is abroad as part of the wider
It was the ruthless manner in which the
Sinhala dominated state responded to legitimate Tamil agitation in
pursuance of their rights that affected the eastern Tamils most. The
question of a north-eastern linkage in the envisaged Thamil Eelam or
a greater unit of devolution was anathema to successive Colombo
regimes. Dissent had to be suppressed in the east. So attempts were
made to bring eastern Tamils under the state jackboot.
The Special Task Force was almost
exclusively located in the east. These STF personnel described as
the cream of the armed forces were nasty, brutal and cruel. A
well-designed and cunningly camouflaged scorched earth policy was
practised in stagesat various times in various places. Villages were
destroyed, paddy fields ravaged, fishing boats demolished, people
massacred. The bread winners of many rural families were killed or
indefinitely incarcerated. Youths were arrested and tortured. Women
violated sexually. People were driven out of strategic areas.
Today the largest number of orphans,
children with single parents, young widows etc. are proportionately
higher among eastern Tamils than in northern Tamil areas.
Malnutrition, illiteracy, lack of gainful employment, infant
mortality, lack of proper sanitary and medical facilities etc. are
also relatively higher in the east than elsewhere. A foreign tourist
without any preconceived opinion traveling through the east will
definitely bestruck by the visible uneven development between Tamil
and other areas.
Another device adopted by the state has
been playing the Muslim card. The existing differences between
Tamils and Muslims were widened. Cracks became chasms. Inter-ethnic
strife between Tamils and Muslims was promoted. A case in point was
the notorious Richard Dias of military intelligence who masqueraded
as the Muslim Capt. Munaz and coordinated Tamil civilian massacres.
No action has been taken against this war criminal despite his name
being implicated in the Soza Commission report as well as the
killing of Tamil youth in Colombo.
The Tamil-Muslim violence where the
state instigated, aided and abetted mob violence inflicted much harm
on the Tamils in the '80s. But Tamil militants themselves were not
blameless. Many Muslims were killed, abducted and held for ransom.
Their property was seized. Later on massacres like those at
Kattankudi, Eravur, Sammanthurai etc were conducted against the
Muslims by the LTTE. The Tigers fortified by strength of arms have
oppressed the Muslim people.
There has been anti-Tamil violence by
some sections of Muslims too. Though not very desirable at this
point of time an impartial survey of Tamil-Muslim violence in the
east will certainly reveal that both communities have suffered.
Quantitatively the Muslims may have suffered more. This does not
obliterate the fact that Tamils have also suffered.
Apart from inter-ethnic violence and
state-sponsored, state-aided violence the eastern Tamils have
undergone and continue to undergo massive intra-Tamil violence too.
The internecine warfare among various groups resulted in a lot of
bloodshed. The Tigers are the chief culprits in this. The onslaughts
against TELO and EPRLF saw many eastern Tamils killed. Eastern
cadres were murdered not only in Batticaloa or Amparai but in Jaffna
too where many were deployed. While northern cadres managed to evade
capture, the eastern cadres were virtually stranded in the north and
proved easy prey to the LTTE.
With the advent of the Indian Army the
situation reversed to some extent. Tamil groups allied to the Indian
army took revenge against the LTTE. The Tigers retaliated wherever
they could. This resulted in phased out carnage. Then came the
infamous conscription campaign encouraged by the Indian forces.
Thousands of youngsters were drafted into the Civilian Volunteer
Force known as the Tamil National Army. When the Indians were
leaving the LTTE aided by the Sri Lankan forces attacked and
decimated these poor eastern conscripts. Witnesses saw truckloads
and tractor loads of bodies being taken away for disposal.
With war erupting another series of
massacres took place. The LTTE had formed its political party the
People's Front of Liberation Tigers and held its first convention in
Vaaharai in the east.Many Tamil civilians openly identified
themselves as being pro-LTTE. The Sri Lankan armed forces with the
aid of some Sinhala and Muslim home guards and anti-social elements
conducted a series of massacres where most victims were civilian
Tiger supporters or those suspected of being so. People were taken
out of refugee camps as in the cases of Vantharumoolai and
Sathurukondaan and made to disappear.
The violence continued. Though the
Tigers were stronger than before the suffering of the eastern Tamil
people did not cease. A war of attrition took place. Tamil civilians
were regularly rounded up and detained. People went missing.
Restrictions were placed on agriculture and fishing. The worst was
the slow and systematic killing of civilians in singles and twos
instead of wholesale massacres as in the past. This regular killing
of people in seemingly negligible numbers did not cause an outcry.
Yet the cumulative
number of those killed was massive.
The east also became the theatre of war
for anti-Tiger groups to combat the LTTE. The Razeek unit of the
EPRLF, the Mohan group of the PLOTE, the Varathan group of the TELO
were all active here. The killings unleashed by these outfits
against those suspected of being Tiger supporters was great. LTTE
retaliation was equally horrendous. The ultimate victims as is the
case always were the Batticaloa-Amparai Tamils.
The ceasefire brought some relief to
the Tamil people but not to the eastern Tamils. Several things
happened. The LTTE conducted a campaign of murder and abduction
against members and those it suspected of belonging to other Tamil
groups. Even past members were targeted. Several Tamils suspected of
being collaborators were assassinated in Batticaloa and even in
The Tigers also stepped up a widespread
conscription campaign where thousands of youngsters were abducted or
forcibly recruited in the east. It is also a fact that several
children and youths affected and in many instances impoverished by
the war also joined the LTTE. The greater number however was
conscripted through force and intimidation. Many people left their
children as domestics outside Batticaloa to save them from Tiger
Furthermore the LTTE used the ceasefire
to infiltrate government controlled areas to conscript youths and
also raise funds. People were often abducted for ransom. Few people
were spared with businessmen, doctors, lawyers, school principals
and ex-mayors being detained till the demanded sum was paid. The
most notorious example being the abduction of an 82-year-old retired
notary public. This diminished the eastern Tamil economy further.
The seizure of paddy lands, livestock, coconut plantations ,
vehicles, tractors and fishing boats earlier had affected the east
The cycle of violence worsened in the
east after the Karuna revolt. The LTTE's Eastern Regional Commander,
Vinayagamoorthy Muralit- haran alias "Col" Karuna revolted
against Velupillai Pirapaharan and struck out alone. The Tigers sent
forces from the north to quell this rebellion. Around 175 cadres
supporting Karuna who were either captured or had surrendered were
massacred in cold blood. Karuna came to an agreement with the
leadership to avert further bloodshed and left Batticaloa.
Most of his cadres were disbanded and
went home. But the problem did not cease. Hundreds of pro-Karuna
cadres including seniors like Robert, Jim Kelly, Visu, Thurai,
Thirumal etc. were taken to the Wanni. Many are presumed dead.
Several others were taken to a Tiger camp and tortured. Many were
killed. LTTE assassins started tracking down pro-Karuna cadres in
all parts of the east and the south including Colombo and killed
them. Even people in jails and courthouses were bumped off. The
vicious campaign goes on with some youth or youths suspected of
being pro-Karuna being killed. Furthermore the Tigers are also
targeting cadres and ex-cadres of the EPDP, EPRLF, PLOTE and TELO in
This killing spree is not a one-way
street now. The Karuna faction now aligned with the ENDLF led by
Paranthan Rajan is targeting the mainstream LTTE. Several Tiger
leaders of the political wing like Kausalyan, Senathy, Bawa etc.
have been killed. An unknown number of Tiger military wing cadres
have been killed too. This cycle of violence where both sides are
gunning each other down goes on and on in the east. Many innocent
civilians having nothing to do with either faction have been caught
up fatally in the violence.
One consequence of the Karuna revolt
has been the killing of people like Prof. Thambiah, Journalist
Nadesan, Politician Rajan Sathiamoorthy, Ex-ParliamentariansKingsley
Rajanayagam, Ariyanayagam Chandranehru etc. Others like Professor
Thiruchelvam, Government Agent Mounagurusamy etc. were injured
seriously. If one were to examine this violent history one finds
that the eastern Tamils are being victimised for decades. Eminent
people like former MP, Nimalan Soundranayagam, ex-DDC Chairman
Sambandamoorthy, ex-DDC member Velmurugu, Former MP Sam Thambimuthu
and wife Kala, Rev. Fr. Chandra Fernando, Tamil teachers, union
stalwart Wanasingha Master (a Sinhalese), Government Agent
Anthonymuttu... the list is endless.
The cumulative effect of all this
violence is the progressive weakening of eastern Tamil society. The
killings and extortions have demoralised and undermined the elite
and people capable of providing leadership. The killing of every
individual regardless of his age, occupation, position or political
belief deserves condemnation. Every man's death diminishes mankind.
The killing of politically conscious people and action oriented
intelligentsia causes much damage. Society at large is leaderless
and rudderless. This can only weaken the Eastern Tamil people
further and reduce them to subservience in the future.
The fratricidal intra-Tiger violence is
debilitating the eastern Tamils greatly. When Karuna revolted
Pirapaharan promised that he would resolve it without bloodshed.
When Karuna withdrew from the east he too stated he was doing so to
avoid an armed confrontation where the casualties were going to be
eastern Tamils on either side. How true! But what is happening now?
Climate of fear
Eastern Tamils are being killed almost
daily. There is a climate of fear. Both sides are hell bent on
killing each other. In the final analysis it does not matter whether
the LTTE hierarchy prevails or the Karuna faction wins. The
casualties are all eastern Tamils. Either side can only score a
pyrrhic victory. As Mahatma Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye can
only make the whole world go blind." No one can predict the
ultimate victor in this fratricidalfighting. The losers however will
be the eastern Tamils in particular and the Tamil people in general.
The eastern Tamils have been affected
adversely in the past through several natural calamities like
floods, cyclones and now the tsunami. Furthermore the endless cycle
of war related violence has diminished them further. The present man
made crisis of intra-Tiger fratricide is weakening them further.
There is every reason to believe that Karuna is now a pawn in the
hands of Colombo. In a not so subtle game of divide and destroy: the
Eastern Tamils will be victimised further.
Unless there is a public outcry on the
part of the people there will be no end to this seemingly endless
agony. Is not time to cry out "Stop in the name of your
homeland! stop in the name of your people!!" Batticaloa is
known as "Meen Paadum Then Naadu" (The land of honey where
fish sing) Let the land be sweetened with flowing honey again! Let
the singing fish ring out the sound of concord again and again!
behind the buffer zone
zones create the impression of differential treatment?
By Frederica Jansz
In what appears to be the latest
announcement by the government concerning the proposed buffer zone,
the Ministry of Finance and Planning, the Ministry of Urban
Development and Water Supply and the Task Force for Rebuilding the
Nation's (TAFREN) notice in the Daily News on March 2 titled 'Let us
rebuild our houses affected by the tsunami' stipulated that the
buffer zone is 100 meters in Kilinochchi, Mannar Puttalam, Gampaha,
Colombo, Kalutara, Galle, Matara and Hambantota and 200 meters in
Jaffna, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Amparai. It also
confirms that no new construction will be permitted within these
A discussion paper by Scott Leckie at
the UNHCR in Colombo in April this year has clearly identified the
rights issues the government is only but bound to face when it
begins to enforce this decision.
No new legislation
Having said that, the new guidelines
have not yet, as of April 1, 2005 been passed by parliament or been
gazetted. As no new legislation has been passed, it appears that the
authorities are relying on the Coastal Conservation Act, No 57 of
1981 to implement the guidelines. The Coast Conservation Act
regulates development activities within the coastal zone, which is
300 meters landward from the mean high water line, with only those
permits issued by the Director of Coast Conservation deemed valid.
Section 31(1) of the Act provides that, "No person shall, with
effect from the appointed date, erect or construct any unauthorised
structure, house, hut, shed or other building on any part of the
coastal zone," while Section 31(2) empowers the director to
issue demolition orders on any structure built in contravention of
The Urban Development Authority (UDA)
has already started to demarcate both the 100 and 200 meter zones
along roughly 1000 kilometers of Sri Lanka's coastline. The area
between these markers and the shoreline, therefore, will constitute
the exclusionary zone where people displaced by the tsunami will not
be allowed to rebuild their damaged or destroyed homes, or to return
to reside upon the land on which they lived at the time of the
disaster, notwithstanding whatever legal rights they may have to do
so. Tens of thousands of people (if not more) will be forced to
relocate if the new policy is enforced.
Existing undamaged structures within
the 100/200 meter zone will be allowed to remain and be inhabited,
although the entire affected zone will be a no-build zone. In
addition, hotels and other businesses will remain within the buffer
zone, although some building restrictions will apply for new
Clearly, this decision to create a
buffer zone will have a marked impact upon the possibilities of
return by those displaced by the tsunami. Indeed, the World Bank
recognised as much within its extensive Post-Tsunami Needs
Assessment report where it asserted in reference to the 100/200
meter rule that: "Left pending, this issue poses the single,
most critical threat to the entire recovery and reconstruction
process," in Sri Lanka.
As a consequence of the fact that the
Coastal Conservation Act has not been strictly enforced since its
adoption more than 23 years ago, large numbers of people lived
within the 100/200 meter zone when the tsunami struck.
Many of these households own their land
within the zone, while others have been granted legal prescription
rights following lengthy occupation. Survivours interviewed by UNHCR
in the preparation of Leckie's report, particularly fishermen and
their communities, have indicated a very strong wish to return to
their former homes or land plots and to begin their lives again from
the very same location. Some of those interviewed, indicated their
intention to resist any attempt by the government to evict them
should it feel compelled to enforce the 100/200 meter rule in the
Others indicated that the government of
Sri Lanka had given clear instructions not to return and that land
within the 100/200 meter zone (the only asset of many of the
displaced) is now effectively 'worthless' because of the new
regulations. Many view the government's promises of new housing as a
deceptive promise to encourage people to move or not return to their
lands within the zone.
Arguments on both sides of the debate
have merit. On the supportive side, it is clear, for instance, that
the government needs to protect those living near the coast from the
possible ravages of a future tsunami. It is equally clear that
environmental measures need to be taken to protect the coastline,
and that tourism along the coast is of vital importance to Sri
Lanka's fragile economy.
However, these and other arguments in
favour of the 100/200 meter buffer zone also raise a series of
concerns that may warrant the close attention, given that elements
of the 100/200 meter policy may conflict with a range of
internationally recognised human rights held by all IDPs.
Of all the questions concerning the
100/200 meter zone, it is the issue of 'voluntary return or
relocation' that has perhaps the most relevance.
Competent authorities have the primary
duty and responsibility to establish conditions, as well as provide
the means, which allow internally displaced persons to return
voluntarily, in safety and with dignity, to their homes or places of
habitual residence or to resettle voluntarily in another part of the
The imposition of the 100/200 meter
rule removes the principle of voluntary return from the
reconstruction equation; effectively preventing large numbers of
people - including those with recognised legal rights of ownership
to housing, land and property and those with related prescription
rights - from returning to their homes or places of habitual
residence. Those affected by the rule have not been sufficiently
consulted in the development of the proposed policy.
Large numbers of those forced from
their homes by the tsunami will be displaced again if the new rule
is subject to strict enforcement.
It will be important for the
international community to bring to the attention of the government,
the experiences of other countries which have undergone
post-disaster reconstruction processes and which have much to offer.
The World Bank's Needs Assessment, for
instance, provides clear evidence that, "previous experiences
with post-disaster reconstruction indicate that as far as possible
in-situ reconstruction managed by affected households (facilitated
by NGOs) and assisted by combinations of cash grants and access to
loans is the most feasible and sustainable option." In essence,
thus, human rights principles and best practice both indicate that
in-situ solutions are the most feasible option, and only in select
instances, should relocation be considered. Under the current policy
framework in Sri Lanka, this simple equation has been reversed.
If the 100/200 meter rule is
implemented as planned, this will also raise concerns about possible
relocations/forced evictions, which are clearly and strictly
regulated under international human rights law and the domestic
legal order of Sri Lanka.
In terms of the Sri Lankan
Constitution, for instance, the 100/200 meter rule may be
inconsistent with the terms of Article 14(1)(h) which recognises
both freedom of movement and the right to choose one's residence,
both of which will be functionally impossible for the displaced to
exercise if they wish to voluntarily return to their former homes
and/or lands and are prevented from doing so without legally sound
Under international law, preventing a
person or family from returning to their original home may in some
circumstances also violate the right to freedom of movement and the
freedom to choose one's residence within the territory of a state.
Therefore, before the government imposes measures that prevent
residents from returning to the 100/200 meter zone, there must be
justification that such a system is reasonable under the
Additional international human rights
laws binding on Sri Lanka, most notably the International Covenant
on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), stipulate that
evictions can only be carried out in exceptional circumstances and
with all necessary judicial and other legal safeguards fully met. In
circumstances where the government prevents the return of residents
to the affected areas, it is arguable that what is called a
constructive eviction has taken place. In order for such an eviction
not to be 'forced' under international law, the government would
need to provide adequate resettlement and comply with all relevant
standards addressing this issue.
The right to adequate housing under the
ICESCR must also be taken into account when examining the possible
human rights implications of the 100/200 meter rule. Article 11 of
the Covenant recognises housing rights and has been interpreted by
the monitoring committee to ground an immediate and corresponding
right to security of tenure and concomitant protections against
forced eviction. Security of tenure has been interpreted by the
committee to include all forms of tenure, including informal
settlements and tenancies.
Evictions should not result in
rendering individuals homeless or vulnerable to the violation of
other human rights. Where those affected are unable to provide for
themselves, the state party must take all appropriate measures, to
the maximum of its available resources, to ensure that adequate
alternative housing, resettlement or access to productive land, as
the case may be, is available.
If the displaced are, in effect,
forcibly evicted from their original homes and lands through the
process of implementing the 100/200 meter rule, the aforementioned
principles and others will not be in place. The strict
implementation of the 100/200 meter rule will effectively require
the relevant authorities to carry out forced evictions of those who
continue to reside within the buffer zone and those who have already
returned and chosen to re-build their damaged or destroyed homes.
Another concern about the proposed
buffer zone relates to what appears to be the arbitrary nature of
the proposals concerned, and the inconsistent and potentially
differential treatment that may occur during implementation. While
some environmental and related justifications have been given as to
why in some areas the zone extends 100 meters from the sea, while in
others it covers a 200 meter area, the difference between these two
zones creates the impression of differential treatment.
If reasons backed by scientific
evidence were shown to be of consistent application, without
exception, along the entire coastline where the buffer zones will be
created, then there may be reasonable and non-arbitrary grounds for
developing such a policy.
If, on the other hand, local
environmental and physical factors and differences (such as the
existence of mangroves or coral reefs) were a key determinant as to
the scale of damage created by the tsunami, then a very different
picture arises, and one that calls for a much more practical
approach, implemented on a case by case basis, and taking into
account all local factors. The assertion that a 100 or 200 meter
buffer zone is an adequate response in terms of disaster
prevention/reduction, may thus be creating more problems than it
purports to solve.
There are two additional points to be
made on the question of whether the current plan is arbitrary.
Firstly, if the motivation behind the 100/200 meter rule is based on
disaster mitigation, then this issue must be examined in the light
of plans for establishing an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System,
which are well underway.
Once this warning system is functional
and coastal communities are trained in how to respond in the event
of a future tsunami, large numbers of lives will then be saved. In
human rights terms, this will make a significant contribution to the
government's obligations to protect the right to life of potential
victims. As pointed out in Leckie's report, once the system is in
place, this also removes a large portion of the rationale behind the
Secondly, the disaster mitigation
question essentially becomes a technological issue, heavily
influenced by appropriate building codes and standards, and
involving personal choices and levels of residential risk determined
on a person-by-person basis. The application of specific building
codes in the 100/200 meter zone would strengthen arguments against
the need for resettling those wishing to continue to reside there.
The 100/200 meter proposal may also
generate circumstances and practices, which are discriminatory in
application, and possibly, even intent. In determining whether a
law, policy or practice constitutes discrimination, it is required
that such measures are applied equitably, consistently and with no
procedural or substantive inequality. The Constitution of Sri Lanka
explicitly prohibits discrimination, as do numerous international
treaties ratified by the government of Sri Lanka.
permanent housing hurdle
Head, ADB, Alessandro Pio
By Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema
and Easwaran Rutnam
As the Sri Lanka Development Forum
opens in Kandy tomorrow a lot of focus will be on the policies of
the government with regard to the reconstruction process of tsunami
devastated infrastructure, in particular permanent housing.
Despite earlier expectations to have
permanent houses erected and occupational within a minimum of six
months after the devastation, the government and international donor
agencies have found it 'practically' impossible to meet that target.
The government now believes it will
take at least three to five years to complete the reconstruction
process and provide permanent housing to all the affected families.
Even the Siribopura housing project in
Hambantota, which was earlier expected to be completed next month
has only 25 permanent houses completed out of the expected 500.
World Bank Country Head, Peter Harrold
believes permanent housing is the largest and most complex issue in
the reconstruction efforts handled jointly by the government and
"The process of securing land to
build permanent houses and so on are among the core issues that need
to be addressed and implemented," he said.
The World Bank report for the Sri Lanka
Development Forum states that around 100,000 people are still living
in relief camps while the rest of the displaced have moved with
friends and relatives. The report further states that the number of
damaged houses is estimated at more than 110,000, of which more than
70,000 have been completely destroyed.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has
approved a grant of US$ 150 million for permanent housing and will
disburse the funds once the housing projects are implemented.
Country Head, ADB, Alessandro Pio says
that they are keen to see the government policies on reconstruction
and how effective they will be.
Pio noted that among the hurdles the
government is bound to face when implementing its policies is the
buffer zone issue.
"The government will have to be
very delicate in dealing with its reconstruction efforts of houses
within and outside the buffer zone," Pio said.
He observed that it would at least take
three years to complete the housing needs of the tsunami affected.
According to the report issued by the
World Bank for the Sri Lanka Development Forum, the second phase of
the government's needs assessment, which will focus on
implementation issues, will address potential stumbling blocks to
speedy reconstruction, including the 100 and 200 meter buffer zone,
decentralisation arrangements and coordination of official and
The government has adopted a "no
development" 100 meter buffer zone policy for the districts of
Kilinochchi, Mannar, Puttalam, Gampaha, Colombo, Kalutara, Galle,
Matara and Hambantota.
The policy prohibits any new
construction of buildings (permanent or temporary), reconstruction
of completely or partially damaged buildings, and additions and
alterations to existing undamaged buildings within the buffer zone.
An exception has been made for
partially damaged buildings belonging to the hospitality industry
and if the damage is below 40% of the replacement cost of the
The proposed policy would result in
over 60 % of the damaged housing units in the coastal belt requiring
relocation outside the buffer zone.
Since the coastal area is densely
populated, particularly in the south, identifying suitable land for
relocation in close proximity to the sea has caused delays in
starting housing reconstruction.
In Jaffna and Ampara, the narrow width
of these districts may require reallocation at a considerable
distance from the coast, which may have adverse social consequences.
Some lands identified will be very
expensive to develop since no infrastructure and services are
Furthermore, the social and environment
impacts of massive relocation programmes have yet to be addressed by
The government task force (TAFREN)
setup to handle the reconstruction efforts has already signed
Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with several local and
international agencies and private companies to build permanent
houses, construction of which has already begun in selected
TAFREN believes the permanent housing
reconstruction phase will in most part be fully operational during
the latter part of this year.
TAFREN estimates that 35,100 houses
were fully damaged while 47,500 houses were partially damaged
following the tsunami.
At the moment there are 95,937 people
in temporary shelters in 263 camps. So far around 200 donors have
pledged to construct at least 90,000 permanent houses. However the
government has signed MoUs for only 27,000 permanent houses thus
In total the government estimates it
will require US$ 2 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation of
which 1.5 billion has been committed.
Apart from permanent houses, donors
have also pledged assistance to construct schools and other academic
institutions in tsunami devastated areas.
The tourism sector will also be a key
area in the reconstruction process. The Sri Lanka Tourist Board (SLTB)
has already embarked on its Tourism Marketing recovery plan in order
to restore the 'Sri Lanka Tourism Brand' through a comprehensive
The board believes the tourism sector
will see a boom in October this year but notes that there will be a
shortage of rooms to accommodate the visitors.
SLTB will be introducing "tourism
zones" so that the industry can bounce back in a planned manner
to avoid adhoc tourism development.
At least 15 tourism towns which were
affected by the December 26 tsunami have been identified for
rehabilitation and reconstruction.
Housing and infrastructure development
will also take place in the 15 tourist town in order to resettle the
The country's rail network is also to
be replaced to facilitate a maximum operating speed of upto 100KMPH
while the damaged rolling stocks, signal and radio communication
equipment will be renovated.
Reconstructing roads and bridges
Roads and bridges damaged by the
tsunami which have been temporarily repaired by the Road Development
Authority (RDA) are to be reconstructed with donor assistance.
Donor agencies comprising the World
Bank, ADB, JICA, JABIC, USAID, EU and EIB have pledged US$ 353.6
million to rehabilitate all damaged roads and bridges in the island
on a permanent basis.
Tenders for the construction are
expected to be awarded between August to October this year while the
construction will commence in early January next year.
Other areas to receive donor assistance
are the health sector, livelihood and micro financing,
telecommunication, water supply and sanitation, fisheries, power,
roads and bridges.
Most of the infrastructure will be
re-built to international standards.
of domestic violence
Justice Minister John Seneviratne
during the second reading of the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Bill expressed his hope that the bill could be passed without a vote
being taken - despite there being diverse views on the topic. It was
a reasonable assumption, given the fact that this was a bill drawn
up to safeguard a considerable section of society from bodily harm -
especially since the existing laws have not been able to prevent or
redress instances of domestic violence.
Yet, the subsequent parliamentary
debate on the matter has brought out many observations including
those from certain political parties and politicians who seem intent
on opposing the prevention of violence.
In fact, it is worthwhile,
contemplating at this stage, why is it that when it comes to
violating women and children within the family, the standard laws
and humanitarian norms applicable to violence in other situations
are not deigned appropriate? For instance, if the victims faced
violence of this nature in a public place, from a complete stranger,
even once, they would not be condemned for seeking legal redress.
Why then is domestic violence
trivialised? Why is it not seen as very real violence involving
bodily hurt and harm to people? Why is it not considered a burning
issue? Why is it denigrated as a 'Western concept?' Why is the
family unit sacred in Sri Lanka, even when the relentless abuse of
women and children (in particular) takes place within this unit? Why
is being beaten-up for the rest of your life - if you choose to
remain within a particular home not considered a good enough reason
to seek relief? Why are the victims expected to bear being
incessantly battered by their so-called loved ones in the security
of their homes? Does this mean that the so-called Sri Lankan values
condone violence in the family? Should we not face the hard facts
that so-called Sri Lankan values emanating from our cultures and
virtually all religions have failed to protect women and children
within the family?
Not a valid issue
Let us take another look at the
arguments against the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill. Firstly,
some of the legislators are of the opinion that domestic violence in
this country is not a valid issue, despite many research studies
showing that there is a high incidence of wife battery and child
abuse in Sri Lanka (I would urge you to look at studies done by
CENWOR, Women and Media, UNHCR among others, and the statistics of
Women In Need).
It must be kept in mind that it is a
feature of domestic violence that it is perpetrated by someone who
is not a stranger, but who is in fact, an intimate relative. It is
an act of violation that is a betrayal of love and trust, carried
out in the privacy, comfort and security of the home - rendering the
home into a place of fear, anxiety and danger.
A medical study done in Anuradhapura
indicates that 60% of pregnant women suffered violence during
pregnancy, and 11% of them were victims of grave physical injury. A
research study conducted by Women In Need (a crisis intervention
centre) published in the 1990s highlights the causes/reasons for the
violent behaviour of the spouse and the nature of such behaviour. In
a study of 200 women from mixed ethnic, low income, urban
communities, 60% were victims of domestic violence. 38% of these
abused women had left home temporarily as a result of abuse only to
return as they did not consider leaving the matrimonial home
permanently an option. Ninety eight percent of the victims were
mothers and 42% were beaten while they were pregnant. In the cases
of 29% of battered women, their spouses beat the children as well.
There had been no indication of violence prior to marriage in 95% of
the cases while 75% indicated that their spouses were not violent
This study showed that domestic
violence was carefully directed at women within the privacy of their
homes, by men who were not usually violent in other circumstances
and towards other people. In 2004, a study by UNHCR on reports of
sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) made to hospitals, police
and welfare centres in the conflict and conflict-bordering areas,
convey that violence in the domestic sphere is a common and
unchecked form of SGBV violence; and that with a few exceptions,
most perpetrators are men, while the majority of victims constitute
women between the ages of 20-44 (though there were victims as young
as one-day old and as old as 85 years). Focus group discussions
related to the study reveal that 80% of sexual and gender-based
violence go unreported to any authority.
In a majority of instances, violence
does not stop with one incident, but becomes a regular habit. Many
victims do not seek legal remedies under the Penal Code as it would
most certainly involve the breakup of families and the
criminalisation of their partners ('the father of the children' - if
he is the perpetrator). Furthermore, the economically vulnerable
situation of women in general, prevents the victims from reporting
these violent activities, which in any other instance would
constitute a criminal act. In any event, support structures for
battered women are hardly adequate to encourage victims to leave
their homes. For instance, in many cases, when women do go to the
police, they are often advised to go back home, and "settle the
Consequently, while police records do
not accurately reflect the incidence of domestic violence in the
country, medical records are more prone to do so - as the victims
suffer black eyes, bleeding, shattered teeth and jaw bones, broken
noses, split lips, burst eardrums, busted ribs and other bones,
burns, cuts and bruises, etc. as well as a myriad of other
psychological effects - from a loss of confidence to self-blame, to
other disorders such as stress, trauma, depression, anxiety,
anorexia, etc. Consequently, many doctors and surgeons are able to
give evidence of non-accidental injuries and illnesses. In the
worst-case scenario, the victims end up dead.
Another line of thought on the matter
is based on a sense of priorities. One parliamentary member's
argument prioritises the ethnic conflict over such issues as
domestic violence. Why should only one form of violence be seen as
legitimate and deserving an expeditious resolution? To be charitable
to its champions, it is possible that this argument is based on the
fact that domestic violence is a hidden crime and therefore does not
necessarily evoke public or media interest, unless the victims die.
Perhaps, it needs to be reminded that
the Prevention of Domestic Violence Bill will impact on all persons
irrespective of sex, class, race, caste, etc., and consequently,
will bring relief to all citizens, who have access to the Sri Lankan
courts. Furthermore, domestic violence has far preceded the ethnic
conflict, and has the potential to affect larger sections of Sri
Lanka's population, and is therefore of urgent redress - even this
late in the day.
Parliamentary members have also
projected a view that domestic violence is a Western concept. (Is it
only among families in Western countries that domestic violence can
injure people?) Does this mean that our entire judicial system that
is based on Roman-Dutch law is to be thrown out as emanating from
the West? Then, are our standards on human rights, as well as
women's rights founded on international norms such as that of the
United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination
Against Women (UNCEDAW), and the commitment made by the government
of Sri Lanka to the UNCEDAW Committee on domestic violence to be
This seems to be the case, going by the
speech made by another parliamentary representative on the issue,
who takes refuge in such Sinhala maxims, "kanthawath, vahaluth,
berayath gahanna sudusui" (it is suitable to beat women, slaves
and drums) or that "gedhara randuwa batha idenakal vithrarai"
(the fight in the house lasts only until the rice is cooked). If
references to these sayings are not justification of violence in the
household that is articulated by the good Comrade Sister, I don't
know what is. And does this then mean that this member's party also
stands for the perpetuation and violation of a slave class and
violence in the family?
The 'West-based argument' is usually
one that is made as a last resort, when there is no possibility of a
reasonable justification, and has been wearing thin since its many
advocates in the JHU and JVP entered parliament. Its refuge lies in
culture or 'Sri Lankan culture' to be precise. Its very selectivity
in terms of what is considered 'bad' from the West is utterly
irrational and arbitrary - as has been argued on many occasions, by
many writers. In contrast, the local is valorised - even if it means
victimisation and sadism.
In this instance, domestic violence has
undeniably become a legal concept because there is such a phenomenon
taking place in the country, if not worldwide. Furthermore, none of
the religions prevalent in Sri Lanka condone violence in society or
in the family - so the cultural argument is simply not valid. The
Buddhist tradition and culture are firmly based on the tenets of
love, compassion and kindness (maithree, karuna, mudhitha) - not
only in the temple, but in all relationships. Ahimsa is not a
Western concept! Nor does Hinduism promote violence. Equally, both
Christianity and Islam teach that man and woman have been created in
the image of God, and that no one has a right to harm another
Another so-called reason against
supporting the bill is that it would lead to the breaking up of
families which is considered to be sacrosanct according to these
so-called Sri Lankan values. However, the tangible experiences of
domestic violence convince us that this 'sacred' unit has not been
able to protect its members in instances of domestic violence. Are
we to consider a family that is constantly at war - where its
members are being regularly thrashed and psychologically ravaged, a
place of fear and insecurity, danger and despair, to be sacred?
Is this family, not already broken up?
Especially, when children in that family are dysfunctional, who may
be malnourished and who may neglect their studies, and show
antisocial behavioural patterns. Psychological studies have shown us
that such children grow up with a sense of violence as being
justified, and sometimes they themselves go on to become
perpetrators of violence to the family and community - caught up in
a vicious circle.
A sorry situation
It is indeed a sorry situation, where
existing social structures, whether it be the law, religious values,
moral standards or personal ethics have not always ensured that
family members are protected in the home. It is always easy to refer
to cultural platitudes and take refuge in religious dictums when
pontificating in parliament. I would urge these members of
parliament, who have quite obviously lost touch with the concerns of
their constituents, deal with the reality of the issue; and this
involves looking afresh and engaging with the real blood and gore
concerns of violence in the family.
In the first instance, the Prevention
of Domestic Violence Bill will have the capacity to create
consciousness that domestic violence will not be tolerated in the
family and in society at large. It will help to eradicate a culture
of impunity that allows violence in the home without punishment. It
will serve to make the home - first and foremost - a safe place;
aside from promoting habits of non-violent conflict resolution, and
respect in interpersonal relations, as well as peace among all
communities in the country.
This is why it is worthwhile, at this
juncture, to reflect on the number of domestic violence cases that
you, the reader, know of - amongst your family, friends and
acquaintances. I have no doubt, that you would soon realise that
domestic violence is a phenomenon that cuts across all social
classes, races, castes and other socio-cultural groupings. And
perhaps it is time that you decide to make a difference by writing
to your local MP in favour of the Prevention of Domestic Violence
Nilame: The battle intensifies
Diyawadana Nilame, Neranjan Wijeratne
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti
The forthcoming poll to elect the chief
lay custodian of the sacred temple of the tooth is bound to make
history, though it may be negative history. Never has an election
for this post been fought with such might and put all other
elections to shame. Such is the intensity and politics involved as
six contestants vie for the highest lay position in the Buddhist
world, the post of Diyawadana Nilame.
Besides being an intense battle, what
is sad about the upcoming election is that it is bringing shame to
an institution steeped in tradition as petty politics have begun to
mar its significance.
Consequently, the sacred Mahamaluwa
area of the Dalada Maligawa has come to resemble the Lipton Circus,
the venue of protest campaigns and much slogan shouting to the
collective embarrassment and dismay of Buddhists.
The dispute commenced when the second
term of the incumbent Diyawadana Nilame, Neranjan Wijeratne ended on
May 4, 2005 following which the Commissar of Buddhist Affairs, H. W.
D. Sunil, appointed an acting Diyawadana Nilame breaching its
century old history.
But the temporary appointment is only
the tip of the iceberg. The real issue is that the powers that be
want Wijeratne out and on several occasions, this message has been
conveyed to him. Wijeratne, the eldest son of a former Justice
Minister of the UNP, Nissanka Wijeratne has a brother, Manodha who
is a UNP sitting Member of Parliament.
The fact that Wijeratne hailed from a
UNP family was always held against him, though Wijeratne was known
for not getting involved in politics of any kind. The other factor
that goes against him is a decade old.
Sources from the temple of the tooth
told The Sunday Leader that late Prime Minister Sirimavo
Bandaranaike has often thought it was unthinkable that a man who did
not represent the Kandyan aristocracy was twice elected Diyawadana
Nilame. Her opposition to his election 10 years ago is a recorded
It is in this backdrop that Neranjan
Wijeratne is seeking a third term of office as the chief custodian
of the highest place of Buddhist worship in the entire world. And
the UPFA politics has come to the fore in favour of one of the
contestants, Mohan Panabokke, the incumbent Basnayaka Nilame of the
Vishnu Devale, Kandy and a relative of the Ratwattes.
Symbolising the merging of Buddhism and
Hinduism, the Dalada Maligawa has four main devales within the
surrounding area. They play a significant role in the Maligawa
rituals and form part of the sacred area.
Sri Natha, the deity who is believed to
be the next Buddha, Sath Pattini, Vishnu and Kataragama are the four
main devales. The Dedimunda devale in Aluthnuwara in the Mawanella
electorate is considered a fifth place of worship connected to the
Steeped in tradition
The office of the Diyawadana Nilame is
one steeped in tradition and one that commands political power in
its own way, despite the evolution of the office. The Diyawadana
Nilame symbolises and traditionally represents the Sinhala king and
there is much prestige attached to the post. Naturally, it is a
sought after post.
The contestants are the former
Diyawadana Nilame, Neranjan Wijeratne himself, Basnayaka Nilame of
the Vishnu devale, Mohan Panabokke, Basnayake Nilame of the Sri
Saman and Kataragama devales, Nilanga Dela Bandara, Basnayaka Nilame
of the Embekke devale, Sudantha Senanayake, an engineer, T.
Keerawella and a former regional manager of the Bank of Ceylon, P.
What triggered off a controversy was
the obvious attempt to oust Wijeratne and campaigns undertaken by
sections of the Maha Sangha to discredit him. The first salvo was
denying Wijeratne the acting appointment which is customarily his
due. But misappropriation charges were trumpeted and while
Wijeratne's reputation was being tarnished, on May 6, two days after
Wijeratne's term ended, Basnayake Nilame of the Sath Pattini devale,
Rohan Saliya Paranagama was appointed as the acting Diyawadana
The breaching of tradition occurred at
a time when the government is doing its best to secure the victory
of Mohan Panabokke who hails from a Kandyan aristocratic family with
also the correct political connections.
While Panabokke himself has fought shy
and kept away from the ugly manoeuvering game, what is worse than
the politics involved is the cause of the division - a section of
the Maha Sangha who can't wait to see Wijeratne's back. And the
raging battle has not only brought the institution and the office to
disrepute but also divided the Asgiriya and Malwatte chapters in
According to the Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri
Sumangala Thero, the acting appointment being given to a
non-contesting Nilame was the best option. Selecting a contestant
would have given that person an undue advantage at the poll, claims
Following the appointment, chief
incumbent in charge of the thewawa service, Chief Priest of the
Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero refused to
confer any administrative powers on the acting Diyawadana Nilame and
held on to the keys of the inner chamber.
Consequently, for the first time in the
Dalada history, Buddhist rituals are being performed at the sacred
place of worship without the presence of a Diaywadana Nilame which
is vital. Several devotees who are disinterested in the political
warfare told The Sunday Leader "it was most funny to have the
temple without a Diyawadana Nilame proper." One even compared
the situation to a wedding without a bride. And that's the impact
the happenings in Kandy have on the regular Buddhist who wants to
see the temple functioning properly and is not a subject of
Speaking to The Sunday Leader,
Secretary, Supreme Sangha Council of the Asgiriya Chapter, Ven. Dr.
Warakawe Dhammaloka Thero said that a breach of tradition has taken
place due to bad decision making.
"The authorities have made the
wrong decision causing an unnecessary and unsavoury situation to
crop up. The outgoing Diyawadana Nilame, as is the tradition should
have been given the acting appointment. The decision is so
wrong," the Thero added.
Ven. Dhammaloka Thero, regarded as the
most reliable authority on the history and traditions of the Dalada
Maligawa further said that never has the acting appointment been
given to a complete outsider and this was precedent that should have
"There was no need to appoint
someone else. The incumbent could have continued until a new
Diyawadana Nilame is elected," he added.
Meanwhile, there were moves by the
Supreme Council of the Sangha of the Asgiriya Chapter to urge
authorities to revoke the acting appointment and to replace him with
another Basnayake Nilame of another main devale in Kandy. The
favoured candidate for the interim period was Basnayake Nilame of
the Sri Natha devale, R. M. Navaratne. But with mounting opposition
against such moves, the decision was differed.
The Asgiriya Chapter finally did not
push the matter. And the temple of the tooth functions sans its
chief lay custodian. What is worse is that the Commissioner of
Buddhist Affairs not only denied the acting post to Wijeratne but
also demanded the resignation of the Kariya Karawana Korale who
oversees administrative activities of the Sacred Temple. He is
appointed by the Diyawadana Nilame.
While the matter simmers and is yet to
reach boiling point, monks of the Malwatte Chapter, believed to have
been spurred on by the chief priest himself held placards condemning
Wijeratne and held a noisy protest on the sacred Mahamaluwa area on
Wednesday (11) morning. And that broke the camel's back.
The protesting monks had many
allegations to level against the former officer.
But residents of Kandy who pay homage
to the Temple of the Tooth considered it a disgrace to have
politically motivated monks converting the sacred area to another
Lipton Circus. Adding insult to injury, they observed pansil and
announced that they would launch a fast unto death - in violation of
the basic tenets of Buddhism - unless and until the keys are handed
over to the acting Diyawadana Nilame.
They held placards which alleged that
Wijeratne was corrupt and committed misappropriation of Maligawa
funds. "What happened to Rs.13 million" most placards
read. Other allegations included that some chunks of gold donated by
Thai pilgrims had allegedly gone missing and that Thai female
devotees were entertained inside the inner chambers when rituals
were not being performed simply to get more donations. Some placards
simply read, "49 is fatal," an obvious reference to
Among the key demands of the protesting
monks were the immediate handing over of the official residence to
the acting Diyawadana Nilame and forceful removal of Wijeratne from
As the dispute hotted up, the
Diyawadana Nilame bowed to pressure brought upon him and handed over
the keys on Thursday (12) to Buddhist Affairs Commissioner, H. W. D.
Sunil in the presence of Chief Prelates, Ven. Thibbotuwawe Sri
Sumangala Thero and Ven. Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero.
Pertinently, Wijeratne has pointed out
that now that his term was officially over and the keys have been
handed in, the preservation of traditions associated with the temple
lay in the hands of the Commissioner.
The keys of the Maha Karanduwa or the
main casket, the main office and the Maligawa museum were handed
over at which point Wijeratne pinpointed that his responsibility
towards the lands and valuables belonging to the temple had now
Sources from the temple told The Sunday
Leader that Wijeratne has urged the Commissioner to speedily issue a
certificate of acceptance and clearance as customary inventories
were not taken before the keys were handed over on Thursday (12)
However, just before the handing over
of keys, the outspoken Asgiriya chief priest who believes that
Wijeratne was wronged by the acting appointment held crisis talks
with Acting Diyawadana Nilame Paranagama to resolve the matter to no
A vanishing breed
The monk had resolutely refused to
accept the acting appointment as it was one that breached convention
and even refused to part with the keys on the basis that Paranagama
was an "outsider."
With the monks from the Malwatte
Chapter staging an ugly protest in the Mahamaluwa area in support of
Paranagama's appointment, it is learned that Wijeratne decided to
step in and resolve the crisis before things turned ugly.
Meanwhile, Buddha Sasana Minister,
Ratnasiri Wickremanayake and Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs, D.
Sunil spent Friday (13) morning locked in discussions as to the
conduct of an election which is going to be far more intense than
actual polls. Though there may not be actual bloodshed, as the
battle intensifies for the big post, there will be little doubt left
as to why the Sinhala Buddhists are considered a vanishing breed.
One only has to unravel the politics of the Diyawadana Nilame poll
to understand why.
a Diyawadana Nilame
Some 396 persons are eligible to vote
at the Diyawadana Nilame poll. The voters include the chief
prelates of both chapters, chief incumbents of certain temples
and their custodians, Basnayake Nilames of the devales and
divisional secretaries of those selected areas. Election is
possible by a simple majority.
The election is held according to the
Buddhist Temporalities Act of 1931. A Diyawadana Nilame is
appointed for a period of 10 years where as a Basnayake Nilame
of a devale holds office for five years.
The election is conducted by the
Commissioner of Buddhist Affairs. It should be announced
within a month of the vacancy being created and be concluded
within three months.
According to Ven. Dr. Warakawe
Dhammaloka Thero, a contestant should be primarily a Sinhala
Buddhist and should not be an insolvent. In addition, he
should be able to execute some form of a surety bond.
The contestant should be less than 70
years of age. An elected candidate can seek re-election until
he reaches 70 years.
The tentative date set for the election
is June 23 which is pending confirmation.
role of the Diyawadana Nilame
The Diyawadana Nilame is the chief
custodian of the sacred Temple of the Tooth and performs
rituals along with the two chapters, Malwatte and Asgiriya who
alternatively perform the thewawa ritual.
During his tenure, he is the sole
custodian of all movable and immovable properties belonging to
the temple and is responsible for their safety as well as
He is also charged with the duty of
appointing officers necessary for the administration of the
institution and the performance of rituals.
As for traditional festivals and other
rituals, one of the biggest responsibilities of a Diyawadana
Nilame is to organise the Esala perahera.
In addition, he shall organise the
Avurudhu, Esala, Aluth Sahal and Diya Kepeema festivals.
He will also organise the thewawa
rituals which are alternatively performed by monks of Malwatte
and Asgiriya chapters.
According to Ven. Dr. Warakawe
Dhammaloka Thero, the most significant event in the calendar
is the Esala pageant.
According to the Thero, the Diyawadana
Nilame was originally charged with the royal duty of providing
water to the Sinhala King from which task he derived the
The selection criteria in the ancient
times have also been interesting. It has always been a person
who represented the Kandyan aristocracy. Buddhists hold the
office in high esteem the world over.
When the sacred tooth was handed over
to the Sri Lankan people following political independence, it
was decreed that the responsibility of paying homage to the
sacred tooth and the performance of rituals would once again
be shared by the two chief priests of both chapters and the
Though guided by the two mahanayakes at
all times, the Diyawadana Nilame remains the sole
administrator of the temple and the lay custodian of the tooth
Chief Priest on key handing over
With the two chapters clashing over the
acting appointment, Chief Prelate, Asgiriya Chapter, Ven.
Udugama Sri Buddharakkitha Thero told The Sunday Leader that
making an acting appointment is a decision by the Commissioner
of Buddhist Affairs and no other.
The Thero said that he had faith that
the President would not interfere in a battle that was outside
the ambit of her authority.
As for the original handing over of
keys by Neranjan Wijeratne to him, the Chief Prelate said that
it was done as convention was not followed and there was no
other procedure to follow.
"I accepted it as the chief
incumbent of the chapter and monk in charge of the thewawa
service at present," the Thero explained.
open letter to Somawansa
be a tool of imperialism"
Mr. Somawansa Amarasinghe, The JVP: Imperialism's new stooge
in Sri Lanka?
It was difficult for me to believe my
eyes when I saw your letter to the United States Under-Secretary of
State, Ms Christina Rocca, published in The Sunday Leader of 24
April 2005. What first struck me was the grovelling and obsequious
tone in which you have approached today's leading imperialist state
and the glowing tributes that you shower on President George W.
Bush, the butcher of Iraq.
Before I deal with the substance of
your letter I must comment on your sycophantic style. Bush is
reviled by half the people of his own country and progressive
opinion world wide for his extreme right-wing fundamentalism, his
imperialist war making in Iraq and Afghanistan and pre-emptive
threats against Iran and elsewhere, and his neo-liberal economics
that makes the rich richer while grinding down the poor. Is this the
icon to which the JVP wishes to hitch its star as though he were a
new Abraham Lincoln? Is the JVP unaware of how the US massacred
democracy in many countries after the war that you pray that
"the United States will follow in the same spirit that after WW
II it helped replace fascist dictatorship by vibrant
democracies"? You seem to live in cloud-cuckoo land, but I also
think there is a sinister motive behind your grovelling. I will come
to that before I end this letter.
The substance of your letter is that
the LTTE should be marginalised in the post tsunami reconstruction
process and denied legitimacy in the current political process. In
practical terms this amounts to denying post-war and post-tsunami
relief and reconstruction to the people of the north and east and
prolonging the discord on the ethnic issue. We have no illusions
about the human and democratic rights violations of the LTTE.
However, the fact remains that there can be no progress on either
reconstruction or ethnic settlement without dealing directly with
the LTTE. Hence your stance is a callous disregard for the appalling
conditions of the Tamil, Muslim and even Sinhalese people in these
areas. Your revulsion of the LTTE is driving you to the brink of
anti-Tamil chauvinism. All this is well known about JVP politics,
but what is alarming is that you have now decided to play games with
world imperialism and invite its involvement in the local political
The second crucial issue is your
"wish to be the first revolutionary party to make the
transition to a parliamentary party and to a mixed economy" and
your efforts at canvassing the blessings of Bush and his
administration for this metamorphosis. Let me first remind you that
'revolutionary' refers to social transformation and seeking a better
form of society, it is not something contradictory to democracy. The
problem is that you mistake the anarchism, terrorism and purposeless
violence of your party in 1971 and 1989-90, with revolutionary
social change and therefore, illogically, you counter-pose democracy
to progressive politics. In this respect the JVP has been a mirror
image in the south of the LTTE in the north.
The JVP's effort to change its
political colours is its own business, but seeking to embroil the
leading world aggressor in local conflicts is dangerous; it is also
sinister. The cycle of violence and counter violence in Sri Lanka is
daily getting worse and the prevailing peace is tenuous. The
stand-off between the JVP and President Kumaratunga and her party is
deteriorating. There is talk that under the cloak of parliamentary
democracy extra-constitutional power grabs are being considered and
infiltration of the forces is taking place. Was it not the JVP and
the President who recently used the word 'conspiracy' in barely
concealed references to each other?
So are you sideling up to imperialism
in the hope of securing support if the political game gets dirty and
dangerous? The United States has been more involved in the overthrow
of democratic governments, military coups and setting up pernicious
dictatorships, than any other power on earth. Why are you seeking
such friends? This is the most troubling question of all.
I sincerely hope that the large number
of genuine trade unionists, rural poor and young people who are
associated with the JVP will come out in open protest and stop the
backsliding of your party in to the pocket of imperialism. I also
hope that they will not allow you to sabotage progress in
reconciliation, reconstruction and peace building. These are the
people to whom I am really addressing this letter.
Democratic Left Front
6 May 2005
lists its witnesses in contempt case
Samaraweera, Mahinda Rajapakse, Prof. G.L. Peiris and Ranil
The contempt of court case filed by the
Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption
against the Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunga and
Journalist, Amantha Perera will be taken up in the Supreme Court on
June 29. Following are the lists of witnesses as forwarded to courts
by the respondents and plaintiff respectively.
Witnesses listed by The Sunday
1. W. Somaratne, Retd Asst.
Superintendent of Police, 35/3, Pilliyandala Road, Maharagama.
2. K. M. Sarath Nandasena, Chief
Inspector and Investigator of Commission to Investigate Bribery and
Corruption, 101, Egodawatte Road, Boralesgamuwa to give evidence and
to produce his diary for November 2001, statement made to Criminal
Investigations Department on 25/2/2003, evidence given in MC Colombo
Fort case No.55895 on 13/3/2003 and evidence given before the
Parliamentary Select Committee on affairs of the Commission to
Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
3. Peter Gunatillake, Director
(Investigation) of Commission to Investigate Allegations Bribery and
Corruption, Senior Superintendent of Police to give evidence and to
produce statement made to Criminal Investigations Department on
26/2/2003, evidence given on March 18, 2003 in M.C. Colombo Fort
case No. 55895.
4. Rienzie Arsecularatne PC, former
Additional Solicitor General, for Director General of the Commission
to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption to give
evidence and to produce all minutes, reports and memorandum and
script of press interview given by him as the Director General.
5. Ransiri Fernando, Attorney at Law.
6. K. C. Kamalasabayson, P.C. Attorney
7. Nimal Maturata, Former Secretary,
the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
8. Chief Security Officer or his
representative, President's House, Janadhipathi Mawatha, Colombo 1
to give evidence and to produce or cause to be produced admission of
Kingsly Wickremasuriya, Commissioner of Commission to Investigate
Allegations of Bribery and Corruption and Chief Inspector, K. M. S.
Nanadsena to the President's House on November 7, 2001 at about
10.30, Entries made by them at the Security Check Point and
admissions of Piyasena Ranasinghe, the Director General of the
Commission to Investigate Allegations Bribery and Corruption, to the
9. Mahinda Rajapakse, Prime Minister.
10. Lakshman Kadiragamer, P.C., M.P.
11. Mrs. Sunila Mendis, Additional
Secretary to the President.
12. John Amaratunge, M.P. and Chairman
of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Affairs of the Commission
to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption and to produce
Motion of Appointment of the Select Committee Order Paper of
20/2/2003 and all proceedings of the said Select Committee.
13. Priyani Wijesekara, Secretary
General of Parliament or her representative to give evidence and to
produce or cause to be produced motion to appoint a Parliamentary
Select Committee on the affairs of Commission to Investigate
Allegations of Bribery and Corruption Order Paper of 20/2/2003 and
all proceedings of the said Select Committee.
14. Victor Ivan, Editor, Ravaya.
15. Ranjith Ananda Jayasinghe,
16. Siri Ranasinghe, Editor, Lankadeepa.
17. Ranil Wickremesinghe MP, former
18. S. B. Dissanayake, M.P.
20. Prof. G.L.Peiris, M.P.
21. Ms. Chandra Jayasekara, Asst.
Director (Legal), the Commission to Investigate Allegations of
Bribery and Corruption.
22. W. Siripala Mendis Abeysekara,
former Officer In Charge, Police Mounted Division.
23. Dr. V. Y. Kuruwita, Head of
Department of Veterinary Clinical Studies.
24. Dr. I. de Silva, University of
25. H. M. G. B. Kotakadeniya, former
Senior Deputy Inspector General.
26. Kingsly Wickremasuriya,
Commissioner, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and
27. Ananda Coomaraswamy, Commissioner,
Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
28. Piyasena Ranasinghe, Director
General, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and
Corruption to give evidence and to produce documents referred to in
items 6, 7, 13 and 15 of the List of Documents.
29.Managala Samaraweera, M.P.
30 Thilan Wijesinghe, former Chairman,
Board of Investment of Sri Lanka.
31. K. Priyantha Fernando, Sri Lanka
32. L. Weerasinghe, Chief Inspector of
33. W. J. M. Lokubandara M.P.
(a) M. H. Mohamed M.P.
(b) Hemakumara Nanayakkara M.P.
(c) Dinesh Gunawardena M.P.
(d) Nimal S. De Silva M.P
(e) Ravindra Randeniya M.P
(f) Sunil Handunetti M.P.
All members of the Parliamentary Select
Committee on the affairs of the Commission to Investigate
Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
35. Uditha Egalahewa, Senior State
Counsel, Counsel to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the
affairs of the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and
36. Rajiva Gunathilake, State Counsel,
Counsel to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the affairs of the
Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
37. Ven Keeniyawe Palitha Thero,
Viharadhipathi, Nalandaramaya Temple, Nugegoda.
38. Ravi Karunanayake M.P.
39. Bandula Atapattu, Registrar,
Supreme Court to give evidence and to produce case records in S. C.
Rule 1A/2002, 2./2002, 3/2002 and 3A/2002, all Letters Certificates
sent by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and
Corruption in respect of the said Rule matters,
40. Ranjith Abeysuriya P.C.
41. Registrar, Magistrate Court of
Colombo Fort to produce or cause to be produced the case records in
cases No. 55894, 55895 and B 282/02.
42. Director, Criminal Investigations
Department of Sri Lanka Police to produce or cause to be produced
the statements recorded from S. B. Dissanayake, Peter Gunatilake,
Lasantha Wickremat- unge, Kingsly Wickremasuriya and K. M. S.
Nandasena by the Criminal Investigations Department in respect of
Complaint against Kingsly Wickremasuriya, Commissioner of the
Commission to Investigation Allegations of Bribery and Corruption.
Witnesses listed by the Attorney
General for the commission
Registrar of the Supreme Court (to produce or cause to be
produced a certified copy of the certificate setting out the
determination dated 4th December, 2002, received from the Commission
to Investigate Allegations of Bribery and Corruption along with the
documents annexed thereto).
Director, Department of national Archives (to produce or
cause to be produced a certified copy of the The Sunday Leader
newspaper publication of 23rd December, 2001).
Secretary, Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery
or Corruption (to produce or cause to be produced a certified copy
of the certificate setting out the determination dated 4th December,
2002 transmitted by the Commission to Investigate Allegations of
Bribery or Corruption to the Supreme Court of the Democratic
Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka along with the documents annexed