24 May, 2017

A Bridge To India Or Keep The Hindian At Arms Length?

By Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana

Ex-diplomat K. Godage has recently written to the Island pointing out the strategic dangers of building a land bridge connecting India and Sri Lanka. KG has emphasized the threat to the sovereignty of Sri Lanka from such a bridge. The wars in Afghanistan feeding Pakistan with Jihadists, Muslim-Hindu and Sikh antagonisms etc., have made India a free market for arms, narcotics, and Jihadists. These too can travel freely over a bridge and add to Lanka’s existing problems. However, such links are a favorite of free-market advocates whose main policy is “promoting trade”. As KG points out, the idea was first tabled in 2002 by Ranil Wickremesinghe, the local “Davos Man”, a name coined by the Harvard political writer Samuel Huntington. KG’s thesis merits further discussion regarding its economic fallout and other issues.

The Economic argument.

Open borders benefit the larger Industrial power. It could benefit a poorer neighbour if the latter has mineral and other resources, or cheap labour to offer. This is the case between USA and Mexico. However, even though there is a North American Free Trade agreement covering Mexico, USA and Canada, the Bush administration  built large fortified walls (not bridges!) against the flow of Mexicans into the USA. Large numbers of illegal Hispanics are an exploited under class in southern USA. The Hispanic population in the USA (legal and illegal) may exceed 20%, with a majority in some southern states speaking Spanish and little English.  Republican Presidential candidates like Donald Trump routinely use racial put-downs on Hispanics. Spanish is NOT an official language of the USA, and no “Hispanic rights activist” has dared to ask for the US anthem in Spanish.  Contrast this  with the insensitive TNA-clamour for singing the Sri Lankan anthem in Tamil, just after a bitter clash of three decades.

India Sri LankaGiven a bridge to India, Sri Lanka will be receiving impoverished, uneducated, unemployable south Indians speaking Dravidian languages. The existing racial tensions will become even more exacerbated. One has to hark back to the pre-1970s, when “Kalla Thonis” came to the island, even without a bridge. They promptly acquired forged rice ration books in Jaffna and exploited the goodies of Sri Lanka’s welfare state. The rise of terrorism brought in another type of illegal immigration and arms transport across the Palk strait until May 2009.

In contrast to the idea of connecting Sri Lanka to India, what has actually happened since the defeat of terrorism is the linking of the Colombo Port to global markets, thanks to the regional free-trade agreements, and the new container facility in Colombo built with Chinese help. Colombo has now surpassed all the Indian and other south-Asian ports in the container volume it handles. Similarly, the BIA air-cargo handling has become a preferred global distribution hub. Textiles, footwear, Machine parts, electronics etc., from neighbouring countries like India, Vietnam and Bangladesh are brought to the center, sorted out by destination and then re-loaded on to cargo planes and ships. The Middle East, Europe, U.S. And Japan are the main destinations for the cargo. Japan’s SGI Holdings, Germany’s Deutsche Post DHL, APL Logistics, and other international companies have selected Sri Lanka over India, Thailand etc. This is because of Sri Lanka’s  strategic position, efficient customs and clearance services as well as its significantly cheaper shipping costs (see July 17, Nikki Asian Review).

Thus the thrust is not for a bridge to India, but in augmenting and developing alternative cargo facilities, e.g., as envisaged in the Colombo Port city, and in the Hambantota and Mattala projects.

Ecological impact.

The ecological impact of  a bridge in the fragile Palk strait environment is very serious. Of course, it is less serious than the “Rama Sethu” plan to dig a deep channel in the Palk strait to allow container ships to by-pass the Southern route and follow the Indian maritime waters. The Rama Sethu project is disadvantageous to Sri Lanka.

Unfortunately, successive Sri Lankan governments have failed to lodge their protests. Even “concerned-neighbor” status was not accorded to Sri Lanka during or prior to the construction of the Nuclear Reactor in Koondamkulam (see my article in the Island, March 21st 2011), although it impacts directly on the safety of the Sri Lankan North.

The exploration for oil and gas in the region of the Palk straits and the adjoining Indian ocean should be abandoned. No small nation has successfully maintained its oil wealth and its sovereignty; the smaller nation has to pay suitable “Kappan” (dues) to powerful oil consortia. Even Canada, dictated by the US, “sells” its oil and gas to USA discounted by some 40%. It is better to leave the fossil fuels deep down in the earth and develop our solar energy resources, until Sri Lanka becomes a strong nation.

Health and Epidemiology

Sri Lanka enjoys a high level of public health compared to South India. While the WHO claims to have globally eradicated small pox, questions linger about India. Sri Lanka is free of many diseases that are recurrent and endemic in South India. The vast majority of the poor use public places as open toilets. Large numbers of people are slum dwellers who look for recyclables and food in garbage dumps in South Indian cities for their livelihood. The gulf between the rich and poor in India is extreme, and exacerbated by the draconian caste system in Tamil Nadu.

Road transport between the two countries will bring non-endemic species of microbes, parasites and sicknesses to Sri Lanka from the North. Even between between USA and Canada, boarder controls in regard to food stuffs, meat (esp. after the incidence of mad-cow disease) etc. are very stringent. The very lax law and order situation in South Asia is such that adequate border controls cannot currently be imposed.

In conclusion, at the moment, Sri Lanka will not gain from a land bridge to India, while it has much to loose.

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Latest comments

  • 11
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    I don’t think think map may come as a surprise to anyone. https://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/05/15/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worlds-most-and-least-racially-tolerant-countries/ Why on earth would you want to build a bridge to this squalor? The bridge is a bad idea. Arms length is preferable until they come out of the dark ages.
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      When Mahinda Rajapakse comes to power after the August 17th election, he is going to bulid a bridge between Hambantota and South Pole.
    • 11
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      Dear Vibushana, It did indeed come as a surprise to see a map that shows Indians to be the most racist people in the world, and less than Pakistanis, Britishers, Americans or Australians. I suspect that you did not read the hundreds of comments that clearly expose the problems with the Scandinavian economics research that produced this news report (and the accompanying map). There are numerous methodological problems with the study, followed by flaws in the analysis of the data. The headline was generated on the basis that their small sample of “Indians” answered that they wouldn’t like people of another “race” as neighbours, while their samples of Australians (and Pakistanis) were much less likely to admit to such feeling. Several of the Indian commentators have discussed the matter candidly, and admitted to the problems of caste prejudice and regionalism or parochialism. This is not the same as racism or racial intolerance (though of course some Indians are racist). It is a fact that in Western countries it is not socially acceptable to admit to racism, even in a questionnaire. The study may just indicate that Indians are more honest about who they’d like to have as neighbours. Romesh
      • 4
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        I too cast my vote for this comment. It is better not to ask from prople from UK, USA, and other Anglo invaders, but observe them while traveling at public transport, how many of these non-racist anglos sit next to migrant from Asia or Africa…. Hope you guys got my point!
  • 11
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    How come this man – once supported to go against Glyphosat banning to write the current article. I thought th eman has no time to do so? Can anyone please add anythoughts about that please ?
    • 7
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      I am at a loss to understand what Glyphosate has to do with this topic. However, India has NOT banned Glyphosate. Note that only Sri Lanka and Nicaragua are the only countries that have banned Glyphosate. Nicaragua is subject to voodoo native-indian pseudo-science. Sri lanka is subject to non-science by politically powerful followers of God Natha.
      • 1
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        Man, I am well aware of Glyphosat and its updates. We in Germany, they would take many more months to get that banned. It was a great thing that SL got that banned. I knew that the author of the current aritcle was busy with the Glypo stuff back and forth. But may be stood on the side of Monsantho rather than the side of the victimiced. That is the reason me to be surprised the man writing an article about something else:
    • 3
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      Samuel Jayaweera, His support for glyphosate weedicides was due to his inclusion as one of the beneficiaries of companies like Monsanto. Now he is putting in his usual two cents worth in similar manner.
      • 1
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        That is what I was about to share you guys. There are two groups of science writers. One works for Monsanto while the other against Monsanto. Germany s Prof. Rüdiger aus Leipzig is anti Monsanto. She has publishe a set of valuble articles on Monsanto and GM products of Monsanto. Lanken young scientists like Jayasumana had no chance to prove the direct relationship between Glyphosat and enhanced heavy mental levels in lanken waters of the areas of Rajarata. However, back and forth these men wer unabel to prove expected results. That caused use of glypho further as round up.
        • 2
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          This author has written many articles to Colombo Telegraph, on solar energy, ecology, Dengu fever, as well as other socio-scietific topics. He doesn’t work for Monsanto as far as I can see from the Wikidepia article on him. Your objection to Glyphosate seems to be because it was discovered by Monsanto and anything Monsanto does is bad is what the eco-lunatic fringe believes in. Glyphosate is now made by many companies since the patent expired decades ago. In Germany (where I also live) the German chemical society [The Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh)] as well as German agricultural Soc., as well as German Toxicologists have all rejected the claim that Glyphosate is harmful in normal use ( not harmful unless used in very large amounts, e.g., drink some everyday). Its toxicity number LP50 is less than lifebuoy soap sold by Levers-UK, or Dial soap made by Henkel in Germany. So, if all the mainstream scientists in Germany, and in Sri Lanka (e.g., the SL National academy of sciences) support Gklyphosate, are you saying that the majority of scientists are crooks and the God Natha people and the eco-lunatics are correct? The bridge to India will bring some of the Indian Rope trick con types like Siva Vandana to Sri lanka as well and create more trouble.
  • 1
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    Rs 23000crore will be gift to SL military to mailtain its’ army in the north and east.
  • 27
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    US-Mexico border has nothing in comparison to Indo-Lanka Friendship Bridge-ILFB (sounds good?) and the US’s main concerns are Drugs and illegal migration. There won’t be such problems if a bridge over Palk connecting Sri Lanka with the larger neighbour. Infect, Sri Lanka will benefit more than the Indian in terms of tourism, economy and transport Indian goodies and of course, some earlier Singhelse ”Kalla Thonis” pay a courtesy visit to the original motherland. A bridge doesn’t mean no immigration or customs at the border!!! I wholeheartily support for a bridge
    • 5
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      ” Infect, Sri Lanka will benefit more ” Sri Lanka will certainly be ‘infected’ far worse than in the British period.
  • 26
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    I only see jealousy of India’s continued improvement over the past 20 years.
    • 6
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      “India’s continued improvement over the past 20 years.” is cnullified by its vast increase in the gulf between the rich and the poor, and the continuing impoversihment of the majority of Indians, living with lowe-level terrorism rampant in all parts of the country. India improved a bit after it threw out the Marxist inspired economics of the Indira years. But Sri Lanka did much better in just 5 years after the end of the war. It can do better, now that the war with the LTTE is over. However, If a bridge is built, it would be a good excuse for Sri Lankan nationalists to demand the stationing of an ARMY in the NORTH for ever, siting security concerns. Just as this writer has said, road transport is much more expensive compared to sea cargo, and much too slow compared to air cargo, while being equally expensive. Customs and boarder controls have failed at the US-Mexican border, even with the USA deploying its big surveillance capacities. It will fail miserably across the Palk Straits. Drugs are as much a concern across the Palk straits as it is across the mexican border. The Lankan drug smuggler Welsuda operated from India and Pakistan. he was impounded and brought to Sri lanka by action initiated by the previous regime, but the case against him has floundered as it is alleged that he has claimed links with top politicians like Ravi Karunanayake. So, “files have gone missing”. So how can customs at the border work.?
      • 2
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        Dear Manoharan, “If a bridge is built, it would be a good excuse for Sri Lankan nationalists to demand the stationing of an ARMY in the NORTH for ever, siting security concerns.” Your comment illustrates the “strategic dangers” that Professor Dharmawardana mentions, but doesn’t expand on (other than to write of the dangers of Jihadis). It seems like he is avoiding writing about the elephant in the room – Tamil nationalism, and the fact that the bridge will be a highway between Tamil Nadu and Tamil Eelam as depicted in the emblem of the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) whose land claim includes the ports of Mannar in the west, as well as Trincomalee and Batticaloa in the East (in addition to the Jaffna peninsula and the Vanni – including Wilpattu National Park). Though they were appealing for votes and donations from around the world, in fifteen languages, the large majority of the million signatures the TGTE has collected are from India – presumably from Tamil Nadu. You have referred to the concerns of Sri Lankan nationalists. I am concerned about the agenda of the Tamil nationalists and Eelamists who are building the myth of Prabakaran, Chelvanayagam and the LTTE as great Sri Lankan Tamil heroes on the basis of their separatist ideology (and not because of their contribution to Tamil language, culture or scholarship). As long as Vaiko, Seeman and other Tamil supremacists are active in Tamil Nadu, and the “Tamil Struggle” in Sri Lanka is connected with the politics of Tamil Nadu it would be remiss of Sri Lankan political leaders to ignore the long-term objectives of the separatists. If a bridge is built it would be a highway for a land invasion to Sri Lanka if in the future India (or an independent Tamil Nadu) chose to invade Sri Lanka. The situation in Sri Lanka, while quite unlike that of the USA and Mexico, is also not like that of Europe. The closest example would be the building of the Channel Tunnel, connecting Britain and France – who knows what would have happened during WWII if there was a land bridge between Britain and mainland Europe then? I suspect the Germans would have invaded Britain after conquering France. If a bridge is built it would be absolutely mandatory that there be “stationing of the army in the north” to protect the entrance into India. This fact that you think this is a problem is an indication of how little you understand the legitimate security concerns of Sri Lanka as a sovereign state.
        • 2
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          I have been voted down for my comment, as I expected. Let me continue with the uncomfortable truth, to those who are insisting that the LTTE were defeated in 2009, all the bad guys were killed or taken captive (as Gordon Weiss claimed in his “The Cage” and in television interviews), and that it’s paranoid to mention the security concerns of Sri Lanka. They have been saying that the LTTE are gone and finished, and deny the obvious continuation of the legal and political wing of the LTTE as the TGTE (Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam) that routinely uses the LTTE flag as well as its own logo. I have mentioned the danger of a resurgent LTTE; here’s the proof. To those who argue that the LTTE is “finished”, please explain this website, its clips and images, and its network of subscribers: https://www.youtube.com/user/eelamsong This YouTube channel is called “National Television of Tamil Eelam”, and it is part of a network of related sites that are all proudly brandishing the LTTE flag and images of a youthful Prabakaran, as well as a militarist ideology, complete with jingoistic songs, battle antics and slogans for Tamil Eelam and the Tigers. This network has grown considerably in the past 5 years (since the end of the war) and is integrated with Facebook social network that likewise glorify the LTTE, and the personality (and image) of its “fallen leader”, as well as presenting a history of Prabakaran and the LTTE painting them as great heroes that were defeated in their valiant struggle for the “freedom of the Tamil people”, only because Sri Lanka got help from “all the rest of the world”. If apparently educated young men can be attracted via the Net to engage in the patent insanity of ISIS, it is obvious the relatively credible narrative presented by the resurgent LTTE propaganda machine could resonate with the Tamil youth in the Diaspora who don’t know what really happened. It would be absolutely insane to recommend a bridge to Tamil Nadu without any research into and awareness of the CURRENT activities of the Tamil Tigers. Given the acknowledged influence of internet networks and websites in attracting young men dazzled with the prospect of wielding a machine gun to “fight for the cause” of Jihad and the “historic” Islamic Caliphate (based on the legends of Mohammed’s medieval conquest of the Middle East), should we not take the militaristic cult of Prabakaran and the Tigers more seriously? The recent declarations by the Tamil National Alliance’s Wigneswaran in London in support of Prabakaran, and the applause he received for them, are worrying. Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam
        • 1
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          Romesh, do u remember u r next clinical appointment…make sure dont miss it…
    • 4
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      While the Indian funded marauders were destroying Sri Lanka.
  • 3
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    I dont want to comment on his views. But I am certainly not in favour for this proposal on socio economic and political realities due to unilateral decision of India. I dontthink even present administration has done anything on this or given any consent regarding this issue. I remember this poposal was on the table long time ago. What I dont understand is how come Transport Ministeris repeately talk about this about planing and funding to implement without our consent? Who gave him the authority? I think we cannot do anything against or threatn our national security. If so we have ask people and need to study and analyse with expert support.
  • 7
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    PLEASE no bridge to INDIA. Don’t even think about it. Keep in dian sri lanka seperate/.
  • 7
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    We don’t need this bridge. We should cut all other “Bridges” that are “cultural” to that squalid state. We have enough problems with the lot we have here and why import more undesirables.
    • 20
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      Where did our ancestors come from? Did they have visas? I suppose you are suggesting Buddhism also should be “cut off” Grow up, bro.
      • 3
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        Hey old codger, ancestors were from different era. Nobody wants current indian “kalla thoinis”.The “old kallathonis” who mixed up with locals to became sinhala and sri lankan Tamils are enough
        • 12
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          History is not the doctored stuff you got in your school texts. That was for the purpose of brainwashing you into your present condition. Use Google. You will find that: 1 our last “sinhala” kings were all from India 2 Parakrama Bahu’s mother was a Kalinga from India 3 The Salagama clan traces their ancestry to India 4 “Kandyan” dancing is not really Kandyan 5 Most kings got down their brides from India 6 Hoppers, stringhoppers, Kavun, Kokis, can all be found in Kerala in better quality It is a case of old kallathonis not wanting new ones!! LOL And BTW, It is Sri Lanka, not India that exports female slaves to west Asia. India may on average be dirtier than SL , and their highways may be less grand, BUT they survive on their own money, not Chinese loans . This is something we can learn from them.
          • 4
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            Go to India. You don’t need a bridge for that. You can fly or swim for all I care, and enjoy tamil nadu squalor.
            • 3
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              The last resort of the “patriot”- avoid the argument by hurling invective. You have not disproved any of the points I put down. I write from personal experience, not inborn prejudices. Squalor, you say, in South India? Spend a week in Trivandrum or Cochin and tell me if you see a single beggar. Certainly there are no beggars in buses, unlike here in SL. What are you people afraid of, other than your own incompetence? You could do with some tutoring by a real Indian teacher. After all our greatest Teacher was an Indian, was he not?
        • 1
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          lipwe “Hey old codger, ancestors were from different era.” Hence their descendants should be the first lot to leave this island. We want our land back. We can arrange free kallthonies back to whence their ancestors came. I may or may not agree with Old Codgers for they are a bunch of old perverts. “Nobody wants current indian “kalla thoinis”.” You don’t determine the flow of people in and out of a country. Its determined by economics you stupid. “The “old kallathonis” who mixed up with locals to became sinhala and sri lankan Tamils are enough” With those inbreds we have had enough. Therefore we need outsiders to improve Sinhala/Tamil gene pool or to make it a simple process expel all those descendants who continue to destroy this island. When are you leaving?
          • 1
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            Hey Native Vedda I may or may not agree with you. I do enjoy a little perversion now and then, not in excess. You are my soulmate, nevertheless!
  • 20
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    India wants a canal open for shipping in the palk strait. For any FDI and loans we nee4d cheaper power. The bridge will also help to transfer power giving us income when we hav excess and getting power when needed. We can reap the fruits o0f nuclear power without being involved. Peak power support will make our powere more efficient. Our labour is not cheap. There will be technology transfer with movement of labour. FDI are available for the Indian market.Like vo9lkswagon. Proper Tarifs must protect us and help exports to India. Touirism from India will increase. India market is a demand that is on the rise.
    • 7
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      If you want to export or import power you putin an undersea cable and NOT a land bridge. If you want poor INDIANS to come to Sri Lanka you build a land bridge. If you only want rich Indians to come, keep a first-class airline link, BUT NO BRIDGE
      • 0
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        Edward, I would like to know who you are. I am also in Germany. If you are intersted in please let us meet and discuss about all the glyphosat and the related issues. I work for pharma and am dealing with research based on Cardiogloy these days. I would love to know lanken goodies if I may allow. Thanks
        • 0
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          Hi Samuel, After reading Professor Chandrawardena’s earlier article, in which he discusses the Glyophosphate controversy, which I missed when it was actually published, I wrote the following comment, which I would would be interested in your opinion of, if you are working in the German pharmaceutical industry and presumably understand science. I have to say I was surprised at some of Professor Chandrawardena’s scientific arguments, given that he is a professor of physics. These were quite contrary to basic principles of biology and medical research, and I was surprised to to read them in an article that was attacking pseudoscience and quackery (which I am likewise a critic of). This is the whole comment, including what I thought of his arguments about Monsanto and Glyophosphate. I am not familiar with the evidence about glyophosphate toxicity/safety, but it was quite evident that the REASONS Professor Chandrawardena gave regarding this were unscientific, to say the least: “Dear Professor Dharmawardana, As a physicist, you don’t seem to know much about biology, and make some rather dubious statements, here (though I share your dim view of pseudoscience). I don’t see how Einstein’s theories disprove the hypothesis that mobile phones or other electromagnetic radiation can cause cancer. This cannot be done on the basis of studying cells or molecules and Einstein’s theories and the tragic death of Marie Curie from radiation poisoning proved that EMR can indeed cause cancer. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies in on animals, as well as humans who were exposed to nuclear radiation. Whether or not mobile phones increase the risk of cancer is indicated by epidemiology and statistics – looking at the correspondence between mobile phone use and increased cancer, particularly brain tumours, leukaemia and lymphoma (all of which are known to be caused by other higher frequencies of EMR, thought to be due to increase in DNA mutations). The fact is that there HAS been an increase in brain tumour rates in some countries (including Australia). There is also this 2011 report from the UK: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/health/8606104/Mobile-phones-cause-five-fold-increase-in-brain-cancer-risk.html Your statement that the proof of the non-toxicity of Glyophosphate (Roundup) should be based on studies of micro-organisms, arguing that if toxicity exists, it is most visible at that level, because micro-organisms don’t have an immune system or kidneys is nonsense. There are millions of species of micro-organism, most with far greater resistance to toxicity than delicate humans do. The report confirming that Glyophosphate is a probable carcinogen, was not seized upon by “Science Nay-Sayers” comparable with Flat-Earthists and purveyors of village superstitions. There is also sensible opposition to a trend to over-immunization, driven by the pharmaceutical industry and the industrial dominance of massive corporations like Monsanto for a many good reasons (including the deliberate creation of sterile breeds to ensure greater profits and dependence on the seed producers). Your statement that “sugar should be banned” because it is the cause of Type II diabetes and obesity, and is available in our other foods, is likewise very poorly informed for a professor of science. Excess carbohydrates and fats, and lack of physical activity, are the main causes of obesity, which is one of many factors in the development of Type II diabetes (stress may also be a contributing factor). It is a well-known biological fact that all sugars are broken down into glucose, which is the basic energy source for all anaerobic cells (through the Kreb’s cycle, which you would have learned in first year university if you studied biology and not physics). Not only should sugar not be banned, the development of the sugar industry in Sri Lanka should be encouraged, along with other agriculture. Demonizing sugar is, in my view, worse than demonizing Monsanto. Neither should be done by an objective scientist.” I’m not sure if Professor Dharmawardana responds to comments on CT, but I’d be interested in his response as well as your own. Best wishes Romesh
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            Romesh, EMR is a very broad term which includes electromagnetic waves with wavelengths ranging from kilometers (household ac) to meters (TV signals) centimeters(microwaves/ satellites) , then on into infra-red, visible light, UV, X-rays and then what is called ionizing radiation (such as gamma rays, which killed Ms Curie.) You should not confuse these with radio waves from the opposite side of the spectrum. It is an accepted fact that everything from UV upwards is harmful in various degrees, but the jury is out on the rest.
  • 6
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    Building a Bridge is not a good idea at all.
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      The Bridge will be built. In fact when the Indian Prime Minister was here he stated this to be case by quoting poem from an Indian nationalist poet that ‘we will build a bridge to Sri Lanka’ Soon (say within 25 to 50 years) Sri Lanka will be part of Greater India and will be benefiting out of the huge progress that India will be reaping as a global power house. Sinhala Sri Lanka will be free to develop its culture, language etc while enjoying the benefit and dignity of be in ‘Indians’ in mid 21st century. EMBRACE THE CHANGE
  • 7
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    This Is stupid idea to construct a bridge between Sri Lanka and India. For what pur pose. This bridge Will certainly bring all sorts of terroristes from the sub continent and Afganistan and Pakistan and Sri Lanka will face unwanted immigrants once again
  • 5
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    Brainless idea (from RW as usual), it will play into MR’s hands. The Dravidians are coming!
    • 21
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      What are you ? Aryans? LOOOOOOL All evidence (scientific not mythical) point to the fact that both the Tamils and Singalese are Dravidans !
      • 1
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        Hey [Edited out] Can you show us your evidence. There are no called dravidian or Aryan enthininities in the Sub continent. All most all are mixture of caucasia and Austronesian. Sinhalese are predominantly bengali and Sri lankan tamil havelittle more Tamil contribution from south india.
      • 2
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        Hey Robert , Dravidians , aryan are language groups (classification) NOT racial. So in that sense both Tamil and sinhala belong to two different groups
      • 10
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        Robert, it is not what we ARE that causes problems, it is what we THINK we are, and what THEY think they are. All the racial problems in SL are due to this kind of thinking. So, ‘The Dravidians are coming’ is what people will think won’t they?
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          On the dot, Paul. Brainwashing at school is what causes problems. There are mature adults I have met, who believe that Vijaya’s grandfather was a lion. Kids are told that Vijaya was an Indian.But just 100 years later, his “sinhala” descendants are fighting “invaders”. Only really bright kids will question this sort of garbage.
  • 26
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    “Donald Trump routinely use racial put-downs on Hispanics. Spanish is NOT an official language of the USA, and no “Hispanic rights activist” has dared to ask for the US anthem in Spanish. Contrast this with the insensitive TNA-clamour for singing the Sri Lankan anthem in Tamil, just after a bitter clash of three decades.” It might interest the Professor and all those super- patriots out there that the Indian national anthem is not in Hindi but Bengali, a minority language. This is how a REAL democracy operates. “that are recurrent and endemic in South India. The vast majority of the poor use public places as open toilets. Large numbers of people are slum dwellers who look for recyclables and food in garbage dumps in South Indian cities for their livelihood. The gulf between the rich and poor in India is extreme, and exacerbated by the draconian caste system in Tamil Nadu.” The above is a typical middle class Sri Lankan attitude to India. We assume our country is oh-so-superior to dirty and poor caste-ridden India. Nobody has heard of the huge Volkswagen , Hyundai, Nissan,etc factorie (not puny assembly shops) in Tamilnadu? Or the IT parks , several times the size of our EPZ’s in Kerala? I think the refugee traffic will be the other way when our ignorant chauvinists find out what is really happening in India. ALSO , if we want to talk about caste-free Buddhist Sri Lanka, does nobody read the Sunday marriage proposals. Does nobody wonder why the Mahanayake of the Ramannya nikaya is not in charge of the Dalada Maligawa? Or why there is a Ramannya Nikaya in the first place? Just a footnote: At border crossings in Cambodia, there is a list of countries whose citizens receive special scrutiny: Afghanistan Pakistan Iraq Libya Sri Lanka Note that India is not in the list. So what are we being superior about?
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      Great comment ! Thank you for highlighting some home truths to our ignorant middle class.
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      Old codger may not know that Vande matharam had been adopted at the 1896 meeting of the Indian National Congress. At that time “Bangladesh was part of India, and Bengali was not a minority language. Even today Hindi is a majority language because they include as “Hindi” a whole lot of “Hindi like” languages. However, ask if singing a Tamil version or a Panjabi version of Vande Matharam is allowed in India or not. IT IS NOT
      • 8
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        dear young codger, I have to correct you. The national anthem of India is Jana Mana Gana, not Vande Mataram, which is a patriotic song. Bangladesh did not exist in 1896, there was the Bengal province of British India. Calcutta was the Indian capiral at the time. However, there were and still are more Hindi speakers than Bengali speakers. I cannot say anything about Tamil versions, but there is an English version which was performed before Nehru. As a footnote, the Singapore national anthem is in Malay or English,but not Chinese, which is the majority language. Switzerland has 3 versions in French, German and Italian.
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      oc Before reading your comment, I had read the putrid vomit of the so called Prof.CD. What a disgrace to his group and the country! An ignoramus par excellence.
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      Hey Old lol “REAL democracy operates” my a+) Nop That how republics operates. Democracies always favour majority republics give protection to minority.
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    Why Sri Lankans are not successful in economic development?infact comments given by people clearly reveal the reason. Give up islander mentality to grow up . Whether they have built a bridge or not we are naturally embodied in negative security circumstances from India through out our history and certainly in future .Our people should work together to explore our opportunity rather than segregating segregating ourselves from reality. Everything under the sky possess opportunity and threats within. We are here to make that useful to humanity only.
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    Dear Prof, and KG, I whole-heartedly support this bridge. I can already see the Sinhala nationalists fearing such bridge, because then there will be a new bully in the block. When Indians not just the poor ‘kalla-thonis’ from the south, but well-to-do high-tech newly rich folks will flow freely to Colombo say for a cricket match and back, it will remove their status as ‘visitors’ more or less become permanent guests, sort of expanding non-sinhala (Dravidian) presence in SL, hence the fear monger-ring by KG and others. Imagine having some 100,000+ well to do Tamil speaking South Indians (b’c mostly it will be them not Hindians from Delhi will be using this bridge), frequenting weekly over the land bridge, as visitors, tourists, sort of regular guests, this will expand the local Tamil consciousness from oppressed ‘minorities’ to something freeing larger, it can rebuild a sense of belonging and that’s exactly what the Sinhala nationalists fear, because they like and want to be the only dominant force which can only be as long as Tamils remain a shrinking fearful oppressed minority. Put it another way, if Tamil Nadu was an imaginary Sinhala Nadu, KG and others will be rushing to build this bridge before anything else. Europe is full of shared land boarders and bridges expanding cultures, economics, friendships, and reducing old fears, but oddly enough KG has only discussed USA/mexico issues, comparing this bridge usa/mexico is an insult even to a high-school educated person let alone a prof. Face your fears, the bridge will be break the racist supremacist mindset of the sinhala nationalists, that’s all. Increased transport, travel, goods and services, cultural educational language religious exchanges, in that narrowing the fears and building real bridges between people are the real benefits of this physical bridge, which KG and others for some strange reason dismiss it.
  • 21
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    Mr.Dharmawardhena: Tell me something:Does India want this bridge? I am sure they will have strong objections too:they may not want Sinhala Buddhist racists — the disciples of Godage, Dharmawardena,the various racist Silvas, Mahindapalas and Jayatillikes and Malindas et al et al infiltrating their peaceful country and spreading their special form of the Dharma!!
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    A bridge is the beginning of the Hindian domination over Sri Lanka. Who will opt for such a slave state in Sri Lanka ?
  • 21
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    Who would imagine such extreme hate, malice and venom could reside behind an innocent looking smiling face as that of the writer’s in the photograph. The writer is obviously a Sinhala Fascist, someone who thinks that Sri Lanka is the exclusive property of the Sinhala Buddhist. Hatred for Tamil, disguised as hatred for Dravidian, is written all over in the Article. Tamils, in the writers mind, are identified as “microbes, parasites”. His hatred of Tamil has blinded the writer to the myriad advantages Sri Lanka will gain by erecting a land bridge between Sri Lanka and India. He is blind to the fact that enormous revenue will flow into the land and air transport hubs, particularly at his hero’s Mattala Airport and Hambantota seaport, unless the two white elephants get euthanized before then. His hate has also blinded him to the need to at least pretend friendship with India. The hate has made him unmindful that should the Country as a whole adopt his poisonous tone, he would have been instrumental in fomenting a challenge between 17 million Buddhists and 1 billion 200 million Indians. If Indians decide to just annex Sri Lanka, does this foolish man calling himself a professor, think that the United Nations is coming to save Sri Lanka from such a fate? Or does he think that China and India will get into a nuclear spat over Dame Lanka? What I cannot fathom is how a person who is supposed to be educated, cultured and gentle, most of all professing to be a Buddhist, soaking in Maithri and Karuna, be oozing venom and vitriol from every pore of his being. Is there any difference between the writer and Gnanasara? May the Almighty have mercy on his soul.
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      Indian can day dream of invading countries. Some Tamil racists day dreaming with their sky daddy(if really exist).
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        India do not need to invade. They can just surround the island with gunboats and Sri Lanka’s economy is finished. Gotabaya will have to go shag himself. With the likes of Lipwe as fodder for Sinhala Buddhist hate of everything else, an essential ingredient to nourish the megalomania of the Medamulana Gang, Sri Lanka’s indentity as an independent country will soon be a thing of the past.
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          Navin “India do not need to invade. They can just surround the island with gunboats and Sri Lanka’s economy is finished. Gotabaya will have to go shag himself.” Imagine if Hindia decides to destroy this puny island, they do not need to send out their navy, they just have to ask the South Indians to do a simultaneous wee wee. It would be the mother of all tsunami hitting the entire island.
    • 0
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      This professor is one of that group which prefers to live abroad but would advise us ignorant Sri Lankans about what is good for us.
  • 15
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    Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana….[Edited out]
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      He is a professor,you say? Oh dear — such analytical skills a grasp of hard data!!
  • 2
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    tmagine having some 100,000+ well to do Tamil speaking South Indians …, frequenting weekly over the land bridge, as visitors, tourists, sort of regular guests, this will expand the local Tamil consciousness from oppressed ‘minorities’ to something freeing larger, it can rebuild a sense of belonging and that’s exactly what the Sinhala nationalists fear” The above is utopian dreaming. Vaiko and other pro-LTTE south Indian Tamils, Jayalalitha et al also don’t want any Siri Lankans to come up North. They (even if they be Tamils) have been assaulted. Thirukumuran Nadesan was attacked by MDMK activists while coming out of a temple in Rameshwaram. 184 Sri Lankan pilgrims to churches in Velankanni and Poondi Matha were attacked by pro-Eelam groups and had to be evacuated by a special flight of Mihin Lanka. Bank of Ceylon Branch in Chennai was attacked by a mob of 15 people in 2013 But then, neither does Mr. Wigneswaran or the upper-caste Colombo-7 or Manipayi Tamils. They like to get the upper-class tamils, and not the riff-raff. That is why the Bridge will not be built. If a bridge were built, the pro-LTE Tamil Nadu miltants will take steps to blow it up. It is clear that this Professor too is ready to welcome the rich Tamils, but does not want the poor riff-raff from South India. The whole issue is, how do you filter the rich Tamils or rich Indians from the poor Tamils or poor Indians?
    • 1
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      Remember that your VISAS TO THE UK are processed in Chennai by a local company. I wonder whether the UK Embassy is using it as a cheap way of denying the same to Sri Lankans, even though an application fee of £100 (non-refundable) is charged, far higher than that charged by FRIENDLY nations.
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    Very true. SL is much more a socially developed country than India. Our social habits and hygiene is at a much higher level than India. The next step will be the Tamil nardoo will want to include the top half of SL as a part of their country and the Tamils will support the idea whole heartedly to teach the SL government a lesson. So do not get caught to this rubbish. Have a ferry system from one of the ports of India to Colombo to carry goods and services will be the best and do not touch the sea up north but secure the vigilance.
    • 10
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      If SL is so much more socially developed than India, as many Sri Lankans seem to think, why is it that we get most of our income by exporting female slaves to the Middle East? India does not.
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        Yes instead Indians shit on railway tracks and lead glamorous lives in abject poverty :D I get why you’re howling here though. Most recent Sri Lankan migrants to say, the west, will always support Sri Lanka over their adopted country (despite the latter giving them a better life). We Thamizh migrants in Sri Lanka are pretty much the same :D
        • 1
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          Wee Thamihz Senior Journalist Siva Sankaran Sarma Menon Households not using a toilet in this island Census of Population and Housing 2001 177,959 4.4 % Census of Population and Housing ‐ 2012 88,282 Not using a toilet
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    The indians will do anything to annexe Sri Lanka. Our leaders have no backbone to fight for the sovereignty of the country and the people. God saveSL.
  • 9
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    This is most ridiculous argument I have heard. If India wants to invade us, they can use plans and ships. It is only 20 miles between us. Having a road won’t make a difference. If don’t like Indians coming to Sri Lanka it won’t make difference too. They can get on a fishing boat and sneak in. Having a road we can check the visa etc.
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    The bridge will be called Rama Bridge not Ravana Bridge. It is not economically viable. It is not economically sensible. It is a Political gimmick. to gimmick North Hindians Voters. First of all let them have sensible ferry service. Then a ferry which can carry cars then which can carry rail compartments. Then Talk about the bridge. Fishing is main sustenance for Sri lankans. If you build a bridge it will affect the water currents .hence the fish migration and the fish breeding. A shipping line also will pollute the bay of Mannar waters and Park straights and affect fish migration and breeding. ships will destroy all the fishing gears of the fishermen and a risk for their life and to their boats also. Best way for the politician is to position a giant giant giant Rama picture in the sky so it is visible whole of hindia. It will definitely bring votes for them.
  • 12
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    What the Professor and the “patriots” are afraid of is really this: With easy access to the booming Indian economy from Mannar, the Muslims and Tamils in the area will have an economic renaissance . This will make Mannar into a boom town. If the CEPA is also enacted, REAL teachers and professors from India could come across daily and teach in schools and universities in Mannar. Not to mention Genuine doctors instead of medical pickpopockets. This would put our fakes out of a job. Do our Sinhala Buddhists think that Visakha would be what it is today without its Indian Principal Mrs Pulimood ? She was a Christian to boot. This is the kind of dedication we need. If the super- nationalists who have commented above were alive in colonial times, we would not have any railways, roads or plantations. These were all built by “dirty and unhygienic” Indian labour because the locals couldn’t be bothered.
  • 3
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    I also have environmental concerns about the bridge, and agree with Professor Dharmawardana that Sri Lanka should focus on developing its solar energy potential (and hydroelectric power). The environmental concerns are not just about the unique and sensitive Palk Strait marine environment, but about the creation of a potential wildlife corridor between the Indian mainland and Sri Lanka. I’m not so much worried about tigers (meaning the striped cats) but small creatures like butterflies and birds. Though such things are never mentioned in CT, Sri Lanka has a unique ecology after thousands of years of separation as an island (with the last land bridge to India several thousand years ago). This is why there are tigers in south India and none in Sri Lanka. There are also many species of fauna and flora that are found only in Sri Lanka and not in south India. For example, the Milky Cerulean (Jamides lactiata) is a beautiful little blue butterfly that is only found in Sri Lanka, where it is rare (except in Udawattakele in Kandy, where it used to be common in the 1970s). The butterflies in the Jaffna peninsula are different to those in the south, and many species found in India (such as crimson tips and orange tips) are found only in the peninsula or near it. Other Sri Lankan butterfly species are found only in the more arid regions in the north; these are affected by irrigation schemes and clearing of forest for agriculture, but it is quite possible to have both development and protection of native fauna and flora. There are many long-term considerations, other than economic ones, when considering building a bridge between Sri Lanka and India.
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    Oh stupid professor.. Unemployed south Indian.. Please update your knowledge. This is year 2015.. Not 1985..
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      Here are some stats for you to chew on Mani (and no, they’re not from 1985) :D GDP per capita: $10,372 Literacy: 98.1% Access to improved sanitation: 92% HDI: 0.750 GDP per capita: $5,855 Literacy: 74.4% Access to improved sanitation: 36% HDI: 0.586 You can assign the country labels yourself. The author’s fear of poor, uneducated, dirty Indians seems kind of justified, no? :D
      • 1
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        According to today’s Daily Mirror, 4 Chinese have been charged for begging at Fort railway station. What is China’s GDP and access to sanitation?
  • 6
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    I am opposed to a bridge or tunnel being built across the Palk a Strait The reason is not connected to national security or the concept of a trans-national Tamil Eelam. I have seen the damage modern cultural norms, cinema and teledramas have done and are doing to the Tamils in Sri Lanka. The uniqueness that defined the Sri Lankan Tamils , despite a shared language , aspects of culture and religion , has been almost destroyed. Even the manner in which we speak Tamil has changed for the worse. We are already teetering on the brink and the bridge will push us over. We will live on, but we will no longer be what we are, even now. The decision of the LTTE to ban Tamil films, was one I absolutely welcomed. The Ganja and narcotics smuggling will become worse. Further, the goats and weeds that came with the IPKF have left their legacy of disease and a new and hardy weed was introduced. This problem will become worse. Our bio-uniqueness and natural quarantine will disappear in no time. I would rather keep India at an arms length, while being friends and knowledge & trade partners. Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
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      Dear Dr RN, I think that the problem of loss of bio-uniqueness (which you say will disappear in no time) is a very serious problem for the island. My opinion is that the problem of “ganga and narcotic smuggling” would be best approached by reform of drug laws in Sri Lanka, along the lines of Uruguay and the more progressive states in the USA (Colorado and Washington) that have reversed the prohibition of ganga, and legalised cannabis agriculture. The prohibition was introduced, around the world, on the instigation of the USA (for commercial, rather than medical reasons). Prohibition has been spectacularly unsuccessful around the world; as the prohibition of alcohol in the USA showed, it just feeds crime and criminal networks (consider the well-known rise of the Mafia though bootlegging during the prohibition of the 1920s). It also takes up the time of police and results in people languishing in jail for victimless crimes. Cannabis sativa and indica have been cultivated and used for multiple purposes since ancient times. It grows well in Sri Lanka, and could be a valuable source of legitimate and legal income for the country, as the ganga prohibition laws are lifted around the world, as they inevitably will. This article lists 10 of the countries leading ganga legalization: http://www.cheatsheet.com/politics/10-countries-that-have-or-will-see-marijuana-legalization.html/?a=viewall I think Sri Lanka should follow the example of these more progressive nations, when it comes to drug laws. Cannabis could also be a valuable cash crop in many presently impoverished nations (as it was for hundreds of years, before the 20th century prohibition). Regards Romesh
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        Dear Romesh, Thanks. I am not against Ganja and other hallucinogens being used medicinally or being grown under strict supervision for legitimate export. However, as a son of an officer who served in the Excise a Striking Force in the 1950- 60s ( now defunct) and my knowledge of what is happening now in the North, I understand what it does to those with an addiction. I am against liberalisation of that curse. Dr.RN
        • 1
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          Thanks, Dr RN, I wasn’t talking about the North (which I don’t think would be a suitable place to grown Indian hemp), but in the hills, as an alternative to the British-introduced tea industry, which is not nearly as profitable, or good for the environment (including countering elevated carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere). Your concerns about addiction are not reasonable if you think that alcohol (and arrack) should be legal – which of course they should be, and are part of traditional Sri Lankan (as well as Indian) culture. Cannabis is not a “hallucinogen” or a “narcotic”. The US-UK prohibition, which led to the opinions of your father’s generation, still prevalent in the older generation today, classed the Cannabis sativa plant, an ancient herb used in Africa and Asia for thousands of years, as a “narcotic” (like highly addictive opiates like heroin, morphine and pethidine all of which are pharmaceutically manufactured) or “hallucinogen” (like LSD or ‘acid’, which is also synthetic, like the main problem in modern drug addiction – amphetamines – especially ‘ice’ or metamphetamine). It is, in fact, neither (they don’t call alcohol a ‘narcotic’ because it makes you sleepy or a ‘hallucinogen’ because you can get drunk). It is possible to become addicted to ganga, as it is to alcohol (but no sensible person would suggest reintroducing the alcohol prohibition to stop alcoholism). If you consider the success of the Australian, British and German alcohol industries and how much they have contributed to the wealth of these nations, it’s obvious why the British kept the secrets of making Scotch Whiskey and English Gin, while making Ceylon a “dependency” that relied on tea exports, the demand for which was determined by the bland tastes of Englishmen. The British also neglected the spice trade that had been Sri Lanka’s traditional export (even at the time of the Dutch) – because they didn’t use spices in their cooking. The initial cannabis prohibition (and fortunately unsuccessful extermination campaign) was based on the interests of the drug companies, tobacco industry, alcohol industry, plastics industry (Russian hemp was a big threat to the American plastics industry) and the fact that it was the favoured drug of the Black population in the USA, having been introduced by African slaves, as part of their culture. The fact that you are the son of an officer who served in the Excise and Striking Force in the 1950- 60s (it does sound a bit scary, not knowing what they excised and struck) may have led you to think that ganga is more dangerous than it actually is. This was the height of the “Reefer Madness” propaganda campaign of the US government (from the 1940s to 60s). I think Sri Lanka really needs to progress from the economic and agricultural paradigms that was established by the British, especially a tea-oriented economy. I think Cannabis (of all the various breeds) is one of many crops that the Sri Lankan government should research and develop, keeping up with the changes in global demand and planning according to the changes we can expect in the future (including the ending of the Cannabis prohibition). It should also look at increasing it exports of the tropical fruit that grow well in Sri Lanka -especially mangoes and rambutans. In Australia, our Woolworths and Coles supermarkets sell mangoes at $2.00 to $3.00 each (Rs 200 – 300 at the present exchange rate). Rambutans (on the rare occasions you can get them) cost about AU$20.00 (about Rs 2000) a kilogram. They stock asparagus imported from Mexico and oranges imported from the USA, but the only products from Sri Lanka stocked by Coles and Woolworths is Dilmah tea. Do you know whether Sri Lanka exports mangoes and other tropical fruits across the Indian Ocean to Australia, and whether this is a possible area for development? Regards Romesh
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            Dear Dr.Romesh, Thanks for your comment. I prefer to live with the serotonins and endorphins the body produces naturally. Incidentally, chillie powder and chocolates trigger the release of serotonin and that in turn triggers the endorphin release, which makes us feel good after eating a hot-tasting meal or chocolate! Sri Lanka is a minor player in the fruit export market at present, although an export oriented fruit cultivation effort is under way. Papaya , pineaplle and dragon fruit are the new introductions in our export portfolio. Indian and Pakistani mangoes are preferred in the international market. India is the largest exporter of mango pulp. The Totapuri variety for bulk and the Alphonso for flavour in mango juice, are the preferred varieties in the export market. The Alphonso and Tom-50 ( a locally developed variety) are being increasingly planted in Sri Lanka. The latter tastes like The Jaffna Karutha Kolumban ( preferred variety in Sri Lanka), but has more flesh and a very small seed. We are yet not in a position to compete with India in the Nango pulp business. Jack fruit pulp should be considered a product for export. Jack fruit juice has a potential to find a niin the fruit drink market in Europe, Nirth America and the Middle East. I would prefer reforestation of marginal tea estates, to reduce soil erosion and increase the rain catchment areas, This will benefit the whole country. If well planned and managed, this could the base for an organised timber industry. Of course at the lower elevations, mango, and jak tree cultivation may be possible. Dr.RN
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        Dear Romesh, With improvements in technology, within the next 50 years there will be a tunnel under the sea to link Australia and New Zealand. However much you protest, it will be ignored, as it will bring economic benefit mainly to New Zealand and lesser to Australia. By the way when Mahinda Rajapakse builds a tunnel to South pole from Hambantota, when he comes to power after the election, you can request him to construct a branch from that route to Perth.
        • 1
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          Really, Gnana? And where did you get this peculiar idea that anyone in Australia wants to build a tunnel to New Zealand? Or will New Zealand force it on Australia because it will bring it economic benefits?? I’ve lived in Australia for almost 40 years, and no one has ever mentioned the idea. The fact is, that Australian political leaders have always valued Australia’s natural sea borders as a key element of its strategic planning and defence. We could easily built a tunnel to New Guinea and Indonesia (which you would realise are closer to Australia than New Zealand is) if you actually looked at a map). The Timor Sea, which is patrolled by Australian submarines, is the natural main natural defence for Australia, from invasion from densely populated Indonesia – the obsession of Australian defence planners over the years. The Australian government and Australian people are, in fact, quite obsessed with stopping people coming here by boat. The fact that we have not built a tunnel to New Guinea is because no one wants to do so, not because it is not feasible. Australians are not so racist as to want to built a bridge to New Zealand just because it was also settled by white people, as you seem, in your ignorance, to imagine. I am starting to think you are an idiot, Gnana. Do you come to these theories, like the idea that you are a “medico-legal expert” on the basis of whim, or are you having another go at humour? Romesh
          • 0
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            Dear Romesh, Do not be sure about anything, after all Buddha said that everything in this world is impermanent. According to this principle, people may change their aspirations later and demand for a tunnel under the sea to link Australia and New Zealand. This may happen when a megalomaniac like Mahinda Rajapakse gets elected as the Prime minister of Australia. You say that you have lived in Australia for 30 years, but according to your own admission of those 40 years, 30 have been locked up in a mental Hospital. Naturally you are unable to come to terms with the present and calling others as idiots when actually you are behaving like an idiot. Please seek medical treatment soon as you seem to be still ill.
            • 0
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              Yes and pigs might fly too according to the same “buddhist principle”. I retract my earlier comment – you should definitely stick to your highbrow jokes about greased penises, that way you’ll embarrass yourself less :D
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      Dear Dr. Narendran, The channel tunnel betwen UK and france has brought immense economic benefits to both countries. The smuggling of contraband and drugs is very minimal. Most of the drugs smuggled into UK are brought in by ships. There is strict Immigration and customs checking on both sides. Small amount of illegal immigrants are coming into UK from France and not the other way about, by hiding inside heavy trucks carrying goods, because it is easier to get asylum / citizenship and social benefits in UK than in France. The necessity to take the goods to a port, load it into a ship and then unload it in the destination does not arise. People have the comfort of driving their cars into the other country without getting them shipped. Similar benefits will be for srilanka and India if preferably a tunnel or if too expensive a bridge is constructed between both countries. The question of illicit immigration does not arise because there are no social benefits or citizenship problem. Travel between the two countries will be easier, with people taking their cars with them. The opposition to the bridge is manily on unsubstantiated fears based of racial propaganda and not on sound reasoning. Environmental issue will not arise if it is a tunnel rather than a bridge. Mahaveli scheme had a huge environmental impact, but it was executed because it benefitted the Sinhala people in the main.
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        Dr.Sanjarakingam, Thanks for your thoughts. However, as I have explained in another comment, i think a bridge or tunnel will bring disaster to Sri Lanka. A ferry service would be a better alternative, if deemed necessary. There are many advantages to being an island in close proximity, but unconnected to India and it should remain so. What is good for the UK, France and Europe, will not be good for Sri Lanka. Dr.RN
        • 0
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          Dear Dr. Narendran, Democratically the decision to have a bridge or tunnel to link both land masses have to be taken by the people living in proximity to the shores and not by others who have vested interest to scuttle it. If Tamil Nadu and Tamil Eelam weree independant countries this link would have been established long ago. Tamils on both sides are helpless being controlled by others and things done according to their wishes. Does thia action to deny Tamils of their aspiration a strong case to demand independence. I have studied and lived with Sinhalese for 44 years. I will cateorically state that Sinhalese will never allow anything to be done which will benefit Tamils.
          • 0
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            Dr. Sangaralingam, The LTTE fought the IPKF and instituted measures to curtail Indian influence. Their actions dictated that the intent of the 13th amendment was subverted in its infancy. We are demanding now the 13 th amendment be improved . Did all these coincide with the aspirations of the Tamils ? Did the aspirations of the Tamils dictate that the IPKF become the ‘ Innocent People Killing Force? The LTTE engineered this transformation. How did you measure or quantify the present aspirations of the Tamils living in the North and East of Sri Lanka? Is it based on the noise of a few? I hear the words ‘ Vaithu Valiyai numbinaalum, Vadakathaiyanai nambaathaey’ ( even if you trust a stomach ache, do not trust someone from the north), yet in Jaffna. The word ‘north’ in this instance refers to India, which lies north of Jaffna and Sri Lanka. This attitude is embedded in the Jaffna psyche and has not changed! A week back a person from a so-called lower caste told me that another family was not acceptable to him because they had Indian connections! The same attitude prevails in the Vanni where at least 30 % of the people are of Plantation Tamil origin now. In 1978 when I was canvassing with some friends from the Peradeniya University to settle the displaced Plantation Tamils in the Vanni, there was fierce opposition. I do not think this attitude has changed today. How did you or anyone, quantify the strong desire of Tamils for independence. The TNA has an overwhelming mandate to secure their rights in a united and unitary Sri Lanka through greater devolution of power and equality as citizens. In these circumstances how can you argue in favour of a bridge or tunnel to India, citing the aspiration of the Tamils. You are projecting views that are your’s and those who are like you, both in the Diaspora and Sri Labka, as those of the vast majority of Tamils in Sri Lanka. This is not fair by a people who have gone through hell and lost much, for reasons they are not responsibleand now see more than a glimmer of hope in the land of their birth. Please let us chart our own course. Help us improve our lot in terms of development, if possible,but do not try to decide for us on political issues. You are welcome to visit us and be our guest. You may then understand, where we stand in all matters, at the present and understand what is and what is not important to us, Dr.RN
  • 6
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    Rajasingham Narendran: You say: Further, the goats and weeds that came with the IPKF have left their legacy of disease and a new and hardy weed was introduced. Please expand;explain.
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      karl.singham: Dont be too hard on the Dr. He has a antural hatred for what IPKF did to his family and I sympathise with him. The weed that he was talking about was the decsion by Praba to bump Rajiv off for what IPKF did to the people they came to Protect. IPKF dug Rajivs Grave
      • 5
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        When Kali agrees with something I said I get nervous and agitated and conclude that I must be wrong! I was not condemning Narendran Rajasingham’s ideas — just asking for clarification
        • 3
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          karl.singham: I have only just picked this one as I was busy feeding my cattle in the Farm. I am sorry to hear what you have to say. Fear no one Kali only attacks Evil, substandard Articles and Comments whether it be from Deans , Doctors or Two faced Ballerinas and not Vulnerable people like you. . As for Dr. RN: Let me give you this assurance according to the March 2012 Report by the WHO Rinderpest has completely been eradicated except for Laboratory work under strict Guidelines. It doesnt affect Humans. The last known case was in Kenya in Januuary 2001. As for the Weeed in Kopai dont eat it but eat plenty of Arukam Pullu.
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            Amazing (in Usha’s words) Kali, I am talking of 1987 and the years thereafter! Dr,RN
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              Dr. RN, I am sure you know that we are in 2015. Let the poor chap sleep in peace and eat a lot of Arukam Pullu. I am talking of 1987 and the years thereafter! Dr 1987 to when please.
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                Do you know when the IPKF landed on our shores, with their goats- man and beast. Dr.RN
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                  Dr RN, You are now dodging the issue. I asked you a simple question in response to your statement. 1987 and the years after. It is a finite period. When was the North & East declared free of Rinderpest. Either you know or you don’t. If you don’t know as a Professional you have a duty not to Mislead.
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              Dr RN Just one other thing. Apart from the barbaric killing of innocent civilians by IPKF can you give me the number of fatalities as a result of ” Rinderpest” and when was the last recorded death. As a Veterinary Surgeon you should have access to such records.
    • 1
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      karl singham, Thanks for the inquiry. Rinderpest a deadly viral disease affecting cattle, sheep and goats, which was eradicated in Sri Lanka in the late 1940s was re-introduced by the IPKF, which imported goats (& sheep) without a quarantine, for their consumption. The eradication program had to be relaunched. The goats also introduced the Parthenium weed ( through the droppings of goats) into the North and East. This weed which is harmful to humans, has spread widely. There is a on-going campaign to eradicate it now. Further, another weed, a variety of ‘Touch me not’ ( Mimosa species), alien to Sri Lanka was also introduced by the IPKF. The latter has spread along the zmahaveli canal system Please read more details through Google. Dr.RN
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    Prof. Chandre Dharmawardana: I cant disgaree with you. Mahintha is going to make it a reality. Modi when he addressed the Parliament when he visited Sri Lanka reminded everyone of Bharathiyars Song. ” Sinkala Thivinukor Palam Amaipom”. Finally the dream has come true. I cant wait to get on my Bike.

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