27 June, 2019

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Afghan Refugees Face Jaffna’s Hostility: These Sri Lankans Are Crazy

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Abbas Ahmadi, an IT specialist, was rather high in the Afghan provincial civil service. He is of Hazara ethnicity and persecuted by the majority Pashtuns who ironically dominate the ruling faction as well as the rebelling Taliban. The Hazaras are in part the descendants of Genghis Khan and therefore are regarded as Asiatic. Says Abbas that they, the Hazaras, have suffered a lot more than the Tamils of Sri Lanka, having lost 80% of their fertile lands.

Abbas was asked three times by the Taliban to resign his position. When an assassination looked imminent, he flew to New Delhi some five years ago with his wife and 4 children and from there applied for an online visa to Colombo where he applied for asylum upon landing. Sri Lanka does not give refugee status. He and his family were given a residence visa because the UNHCR had determined them to be eligible for asylum but this visa was an interim relief while the UNHCR found a third country willing to accept them as refugees. The Sri Lankan visa did not give them the right to work.

Hakkima (30), Fathima (12) and Abbas Ahmadi (33) with Author and Daughter Elilini in their new home in Nallur with floor pockmarked by Sri Lankan shells. Their sons Murtaza (13) Ali Riza (11) and Amir (10) were already in bed after their long journey to Jaffna.

Says Abbas that at long last he was told that the US would accept them as refugees, and they should get the required medical tests done. He did that. But then, in a sudden reversal, he was told that the US would not accept them. This was immediately after Donald Trump’s election. He then appealed and that appeal is ongoing, and the family waited for a response from the US.

Then the Easter Bombings happened on 21 April, 2019. Several refugees like him were attacked by Sinhalese mobs. The frenzied mood of Sri Lankan mobs is best captured by Tarzie Vittachi in his book Emergency ’58. The relevant passage explains to us why the army is unable to stop the mobs today but was able to in 1958:

“The Bren gun was mounted near the gate. At 3.20 p.m. the first wave of goondas advanced towards the police station, with sarongs lifted, shouting obscenities and coarse defiance. They were still confident that Apey Aanduwa would not shoot them down.

“As they came nearer, the Bren fired a burst over their heads to warn them. This had just the opposite effect. They took it as confirmation that the army was only bluffing. The roar of the crowd became louder and the obscenities more defiant. The entire 3,000 now began to swarm towards the barricade. At this point the army unit commander said that he needed authority to open fire. Aluwihare signed the order. The officer put the paper in his pocket and walked out. On came the mob. They were only a few yards away now. One man in front raised his sarong, displaying his genitals in foul defiance of the army. The Bren opened fire and the passionate exhibitionist fell dead. Two of his comrades shared his fate.”

Fortunately, renting in Moratuwa, Abbas did not face such “Saronged Johnnies” who raised their sarongs. But like-minded others threatened his landlord into ejecting him. Several refugees like him were endangered by mobs led by Buddhist priests betraying Buddhism as Harvard’s S.J. Tambiah put it in his book Buddhism Betrayed? Religion, Politics, and Violence in Sri Lanka (University of Chicago Press 1992), a book that was promptly banned in Sri Lanka because it seemed so incontrovertible in the normative traditions of academe.

Today’s refugees were mainly forced into camps and police stations. The irony was that the police who should have opened fire on the mods and rioting monks took the refugees into their police stations where some 700 refugees in one instance are said to have shared two toilets and were being thanked for the help the police had rendered them. Such is the upside down world in which we Sri Lankans admire ourselves for our greatness that we see in our failures.

Abbas says he was rattled by President Maithripala Sirisena saying he cannot defend the refugees and pleading with outside counties to take them away quickly. The UNHCR which had been helpful till then did nothing. Even Christian institutions did not come forward to help after the hostility to the refugees which the President seemed to harbor and National Christian Council’s efforts to settle them in one of their buildings faced mobs led by a monk after the first night and the refugees had to be returned to their camp.

Efforts by the Southern Province and Northern Province Governors to settle refugees in their provinces met with opposition partly because the governors’ authority had been, albeit meaning well, usurped from the expired Provincial Councils to which elections were unlawfully delayed through parliamentary intrigue and inefficiency

Sadly many Tamils saw it as an effort to bring Muslims to Jaffna because the Sinhalese did not want “such dangerous people” in their midst. Tamils could not see the parallels to 2007 when Gotabaya Rajapaksa as defense secretary declared Tamils as dangerous terrorists who had to be shipped out of Colombo to save Colombo from bombs. At the time the courts declared such racial profiling to be discriminatory and violative of rights. The government was forced to return to Colombo the Tamils involuntarily taken to the North.

Today there are some meagre signs of hope against similar racial profiling of Muslims. The Human Rights Commission has come out against the banning of the Abaya. After the Sri Lanka Institute for Development Administration banned administrators coming to their courses in the Abaya, the Election Commission declared its protest and said we would permit our officers who so choose to go for SLIDA courses wearing the Abaya, and take it up legally if they were obstructed.

At that point Ruki Fernando (a Colombo-based rights activist) and the Ven Fr. Sam Ponniah (the Anglican Archdeacon of Jaffna) joined forces to bring willing refugees to Jaffna. Theirs were individual efforts with no institutional support. Father Ponniah privately asked some Jaffna Anglicans if they would host some refugee families in their homes. A few agreed and the number of families moving to Jaffna became 4 and then 5 and then 6 and so on says Father Ponniah.

Newspapers like the Uthayan had positive comments but not the Valampuri. It is a newspaper whose editor in a University of Jaffna speech declared that all Christians must become Hindu. That communalist newspaper is now threatening those helping the refugees find safety in Jaffna by writing that if any harm befell the refugees in Jaffna, then those bringing them to Jaffna must take the responsibility. Other churches that failed to offer even verbal support for the refugees cautioned Father Ponniah. Neighbours warned those who had volunteered to host the refugees, “The Muslims will come, produce fast and take over Jaffna. That is what the Sinhalese want. Do not give in to that.”

Today 19 May, Ruki Fernando arrived with other volunteers and the Abbas Ahmadis at 3:00 pm. As chief householder I had to go with them to the Police who seemed worried by Muslims coming to Jaffna but finally took my request to register the Ahmadis in my home, promising to send my application to Colombo for approval. The HQI’s worry was that this was the first refugee family settling in Jaffna. Apparently all the other volunteer hosts had backed out for some reason.

There are many ironies in the experience of the Ahmadis. They fled their home in Bamien which I visited and enjoyed during the last elections there. The Buddha statues of Bamien, a world heritage, were destroyed by the Taliban which chased off the Ahmadis. Buddhist monks in Sri Lanka are turning on the Ahmadis and others like him, telling them they cannot live in the Sinhalese areas of Sri Lanka.

The second perhaps greater irony is that on July 23, 2016 two Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up during a peaceful protest in Kabul killing 160 and wounded over 200 people as reported by Reuters. The attackers were reportedly from the local affiliate of the so-called Islamic State, known as the “Khurasan Province” (IS-Khurasan). The target was the Ahmadis’ Hazara folk who had been demonstrating against the route of a planned multi-million-dollar power line. And we Sri Lankans think the Abbases are ISIS!

And worse, Tamils think that racial profiling is wrong only if it is applied to Tamils but not when they apply it to Muslims.

To paraphrase Asterix’s inseparable buddy Obelix, “These Sri Lankans are crazy!”

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Latest comments

  • 6
    6

    We have to get back the Tamils who wish to come back
    This has to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

    • 4
      4

      get out of my home. You have yours, Sori Sinhala Lanka.

      • 3
        4

        Sinhala Lanka showed monkeys like you how to behave 10 years ago. Remember your thalivar monkey with half the skull?

        A;ways useful to look at those happy pictures of Prabakaran in lion clothe with half the skull gone. Hope my post helped. LMAO

    • 4
      4

      What about getting back the Muslims who were kicked out by the LTTE? Then they and these Ahamadiya refugees can live together.

    • 0
      0

      Looks like world Muslims consider Sri Lanka to be a very peaceful country.

  • 23
    12

    UNHCR are playing games everywhere. They even owe money to Countries who have entertained refugees.
    West play games on people’s lives, and does SL have to provide protection?
    What are these refugees doing in SL if they are refugees? UNHCR should have settled them elsewhere by now.
    So called Democratic Lord does not want refugeed.

    Ruki F’do will lend her voice for a fistful of $$. Does she too live like a refugee?
    These refugees should have gone to the UNHCR Office & not to the Negombo Police. Sure the UNHCR OFFICE WOULD HAVE HAD MORE THAN 02 BATHROOMS TO SHARE.

    Just because SL is a signatory to the 1951 UN Convention and protocols of 1967, UNHCR are taking undue advantage. UN Officers draw big salaries and live in lap of luxury does not care for SL.
    They will say we are still investigating.
    SL must immediately withdraw form the UN Convention. Enough is enough.. UNHCR is taking advantage.
    Send the Refugees to the first world countries who shout Human Rights.

  • 14
    9

    Thondamani and a few others think that Sri Lanka should not host refugees and either send them back to their home countries or settle them in other countries. If this policy is adopted by many Western and some Asian countries millions of Sri Lankans of all nationalities and religions will have to return to Sri Lanka, some who were genuine and some bogus refugees. Sri Lanka should be a welcoming nation and give permanent resident status to these refugees as millions of her people are now living in other countries. It is sad to see the extremist, racist attitude of some Buddhist clergy supported by similarly extremist band lay thugs.

    • 11
      7

      Sudhama Ananda ,
      You mean millions of Tamils will be sent back!! Sorry but you seem to be under some delusion that Sinhalese had the same rights to asylum in Western countries as the Tamils!
      And yes, other countries do deport these criminals back to where they came from if found guilty of a crime. They have EVERY RIGHT to protect their countries, just like Sri Lanka has every right to protect herself from these elements.

      Pleasee back up your ridiculous claim with statistics!
      What is sad to see is people like you degrading a great nation instead of protecting it from these leaches.

      • 8
        3

        yes we have Shinalese Refugees coming every day to toronto from srilanka via USA Border

        • 0
          0

          Roy SAMATHANM > Then they should be reported back to Sri Lanka ASAP

    • 2
      3

      It’s very unfortunate that people like Thondamani cannot understand who the refugees are. Why they left their country leaving everything behind, In this case for the safety of their lives. We should be proud to embrace them. We will never recover from the mentality we have towards other human beings,

    • 4
      3

      all sri lankans abroad as refugees are bogus refugees eating up resources that shld have been for genuine ref.s.

    • 0
      0

      We have enough problems. No need to add more.. We have a right as a country to protect our culture & our race.. When organized Muslim doctors purposefully try to prevent births of Sinhalese, yes..we have every right to refuse… Not many who are living in Sri Lanka has yet said “send us refugees”.. Seems like you live abroad…

  • 11
    6

    Being Muslims, will they fit in with those who live in Kattankudy, or other Muslim areas?
    Why try to make them live with strangers with whom, they will have nothing in common?
    The north has problems with army occupying & refusing to vacate many areas.
    A good number of families are headed by women too.

    • 12
      7

      These Muslims are sent to the North so that Rishad Badiudeen can turn them into his voters and house them in Wilpattu where he has cleared the jungle in order to accomodate thousands of such Muslims. Before long they will be converted from Christianity to Islam. Why not house them in Akurana or Beruwela or Darga Town? NGO activists who get plenty of filthy lucre have got to together without any care for the sensitivities of the people.

    • 8
      4

      J
      Asian and African refugees have lived among among people with whom they have nothing in common.
      Kaththankudi is a troubled area and home to the worst Wahabis. The refugees are escapees fro extremist terror?
      The question is whether or not we are civilized enough to accommodate people in need of help.

  • 13
    3

    I have to ask only one question, all u make justify letting asylum seeker settling here because of tamils also given asylum in foreign countries, plz can anyone tell one muslim nation which give asylum to any tamils from sri lanka or not alone, any muslim nation who give asylum to any non muslims, see muslim here like to give asylum to them just because refugees are muslims, thats also racism, what i cant understand why so called rich muslim nation cant give asylum to their fellow muslim regugees??

  • 12
    4

    The people in the North are in the process of rebuilding their lives. They do not need another problem that will set them back again. They have every right to question this move.

    • 1
      2

      The people in the North are rebuilding their lives. So are these people. So get together and build the lives together.

  • 8
    2

    These Muslims are sent to the North so that Rishad Badiudeen can turn them into his voters and house them in Wilpattu where he has cleared the jungle in order to accomodate thousands of such Muslims. Before long they will be converted from Christianity to Islam. Why not house them in Akurana or Beruwela or Darga Town? NGO activists who get plenty of filthy lucre have got to together without any care for the sensitivities of the people.

  • 1
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 3
    5

    Sivajilingam’s explanation of Pakistani spies infiltrating North within these refugees and that would not be acceptable to India doesn’t make sense. There is no harm in listening to Indian Concern. But the explanation is entirely a perceived one, not actual. I had not come to know that India is against Lankawe temporarily holding Pakistani refugees in Lankawe. Yet Lankawe is a country openly allowed Pakistan’s Military planes to land in Katunayake. The Ambassador of Pakistan, during the 2009 freedom war, was a famous spy. Pakistani pilots flew Lankawe military planes, while India was supporting Lankawe militarily on the war. Now there are many thousands Chinese and Pakistanis are working in Lankawe, with even permanent resident status. Tamils can do nothing for these. India worked against every effort Tamils put in UNHRC to win their case. It is not Tamils declared these people as refugees, but it was by UNHRC. India which opposed Tamils getting justice in UNHRC can well oppose at UNHRC these people being declared as refugees. We should not answer to India on that, we should let it to UNHRC to answer to India on that. We should not assume UNHCR’s role on this. For Tamils, a person declared as refugees under ordinary circumstances by UNHRC is a genuine refugee and they should find ways to accommodate them with in them. It is not these Muslims refugees going to convert North as Wahhabi Jihad land, but it is Appe Aanduwa and its Muslim ministers. Kattankudy turned into Thani Alaku Caliphate by the priests exported by Egypt and Saudi by paying bribe to Muslim-Sinhala Appe Aanduwa. Tamil politicians should not be confusing between a Jihadi imported by Appe Aanduwa for commission money and a refugee sent by UNHRC.
    I thank Ratnajeevan for giving a place to stay for these people treated as outcast by everyone.

  • 12
    1

    It is a sad state of affairs. The situation and needs of these refugees seem to be genuine. Muslims would be more comfortable in a Muslim country. Many a rich Muslim country in the middle east, for example, I have never seen accepting/accommodating Muslim refugees. what is the reason? Many of those Muslims displaced in the aftermath of the war between West vs Iraq/Syria, etc were accommodated by European Christian countries. The result, they suffered the worst terrorist attacks in their history. Muslims wanted to continue the holy war. The question that arises then is that can the Muslims be trusted?
    Much of the funds designated by the UN for repatriation of refugees end up in pockets of the beaurocrats in that agency.

    • 5
      1

      Very detailed account of the situation. I am saddened the security forces cannot do their job in protecting the innocent people. These mobs do not represent a religion or races. The need to be eliminated together with those giving incentives. These people who harm others must be delt with anti terrorism laws. No one has the right to terrorize others.

  • 15
    1

    Points to Ponder 1.There are 57 muslim countries in the world and most of them are filthy rich.However Muslim refugees would always want to settle in a Non muslim country.In this guy’s case ,he did not fly to Malaysia from New Delhi instead he chose sri lanka (due to our lax immigration laws) and now he is making demands.
    Prof.Hoole is a man with an agenda.I saw the article written by the fellow talking against the banning of Burka in Public places.The example he had given was an incident that took place in britain where a young office worker was asked by the office manager to stop wearing a cross.she refused and so given an ultimatum ‘ stop wearing the cross or get fired’ .She went to british court and lost but won in the EU court.Prof.Hoole forgot to mention one very important fact.The people who complained to the office manager were 3 muslim ,abaya wearing women (one of them was a recently arrived refugee in UK) .They were openly wearing their religious symbol (the burqa) while demanding the British born Christian Lady should stop displaying her religious symbol.Muslim refugess have brought nothing but trouble for their host countries simply because they can’t assimilate.They are there to conquor not to co -exist.People like hoole is busy shopping around for them for god knows why

  • 6
    1

    In May 2017, Lankan Navy found a boat with about 30 Rohingya refugees, 16 of them children, in the high seas. They had lived in India ‘and were on their way to Australia’. Instead of handing them over to India, they were brought to Colombo. UNHRC arranged temporary accommodation.
    In September 2017 mobs led by Buddhist monks arrived and abused the refugees. Some started throwing rocks and stones. Police arrived after UNHRC intervened.
    Compare the above with the story, ‘Jaffna & Genghis Khan descendent’, related by Prof SRH Hoole.
    What the hell is the reference to Tarzie Vitachi’s ‘Emergency 58’ for? And S J Thambiah?
    .
    SRH H quickly goes to have a dig at the Provincial Council, the Tamil dailies etc. etc.
    He implies, much to the embarrassment of Anglicans, “The Anglicans are great because they gave accommodation to the refugee”.
    SRH H rubs in that those who had volunteered to host the refugees were warned by neighbours,
    {“The Muslims will come, produce fast and take over Jaffna. That is what the Sinhalese want. Do not give in to that”}
    Is this to tell Sinhalese how stupid Jaffna people are?
    How fast must the reproduction be to make Jaffna into a Genghis Khan enclave?
    PS: Please SRH H, you might mean well but do not take ego trips.
    .
    To paraphrase Asterix’s inseparable buddy Obelix, “These Hooles are crazy!”

    • 0
      0

      These UNHRC run by globalists Jewish group who smuggled these group into Sri lanka. Sri lanka has been main target of Jewish globalist groups. Sri lanka small country easy to create terrorists warfare by increasing Muslim population of “variety.” Their espionage succeeded in all Arab counties. Their major target is Sinhalese Buddhist majority who are major barrier to Israelis-US military expansion into Sri lanka. Therefore, There are looking into possible Muslim-Christian population increased. In 2015, They created PM Ranil by uniting Tamil, Muslim and Christian. Also, already Jews in the CIA directed Ranil to give voting rights to Maldivian Muslim residence to get him into power. Getting Maldivian Muslim residence status in Sri lanka are also, part of global plot.
      Now, India may be know this or may be they don’t know this, but India will not join Jews to smuggle Muslim or Christian into Sri lanaka. This case is global problem. Global problem is Jewish problem in the West. Jews not telling the world what they do. What they want is 100% Jewish global government in The West. As part of it, In the West. they direct Western companies go bankrupt and then they go buy them or they create new company to replace them. FBI or Their counter part in Canada no match, they are overwhelmed by Jewish underground work. I checked some stuff in US. There have been thousands of attacks on US writers who exposed Jewish underground work.
      In the last few years, who set US against Canada? Who set US against Europe? Who set Europe against US? Who set Canada against China?
      Who set US against China? Who broke relationship between Canada and Qatar? Who set Canada and Dubai against one another?
      All done by same group, and as a consequences, companies go bankrupt. The company that go bankrupt can be in US, in UK, in Canada, in Germany.

  • 3
    2

    These poor people according to part I Professor wrote yesterday belong to some minority tribe. They were chased out by Taliban. How will a Muslim country give refuge to them?

    When Jesus returns the lion shall lie down with the lamb in his kingdom. The good Christian’s must
    Love our neighbour in the name of God and not be discouraged by slanders.

    Thank you for the inspiration. Please keep fighting for refugees.

  • 4
    3

    S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole probably never heard of the Camel who only wanted to put in his head for a little bit of shelter during a rain storm.

    Jayantha

    • 0
      0

      What about the South Asian camels that went to Europe, Canada and Australia?

  • 4
    4

    Bring the refugees to Colombo. A thousand odd people wont make much difference. Give them citizenship and show them how to integrate. They will become the most patriotic Sri Lankans. Its not Sri Lankans who are crazy, its those caste ridden, narrow minded Jaffna Tamils.

  • 2
    3

    Give them citizenship and let them live. Tamils don’t own any part of Srilanka . Everyone is entitled to live where ever they want.

    • 0
      0

      Do you this is a junk box? Better place would be Saudi Arabia . Where they can live under sharia low

  • 2
    0

    W are in tension that People of Sri lanka are in chaos of Island -wide that Global ISIS-Terrorism an advocated by UNP leader Wicramasinge clan . The local Muslim Terror group promoted by UNP govt. leaders. This ongoing ISIS-terrorist was/ is products of by 9/11 USA. It was political big -power game play in globally by USA role policemen of hegemony.
    Therefor Muslim Cabinet Minsters and UNP parliament members as well as high-level Muslim politician seems to be suspicion 21/4 that Church massacre by Thuffice Jamade led local born Terrorist ..outfits..bless by high level UNP’s.
    There is sufficient and sustainable evidence against these Muslim politician on 21/4 Terror attack killed 400 men,women and children.While over 800 serious casualties of patience still under the treatment in ICU section of hospitals.
    The Current ongoing that govt. failure to address this probe Muslim Terror attack block of President, Prime-Minister and leading govt, enforcement authorities; all enforcement key agencies are direct under the handle by Prime-Minister Ranil Wickramsinghe. …President!

    The Wickramsinghe clan is now interest of proposed defence agreement between USA of SOFA and UNP govt. By and large that UNP wanted SOFA put into fast track to be bring that USA military troops take into
    Sri lanka soil.
    The probe and investigation delay of 21/4 ongoing Massacre of citizens by Muslim terrorist. In the line priority of investigation has been discarded by UNP leadership of UNP’s that RW, MS and CBK.
    I view that sorry of asylum seeks faith in Sri lanka uncertainties around now?
    Present situation is concern of that result Muslim Terrorist we cannot accommodate asylum seekers request in quite impossible .

  • 2
    0

    Prof. Hoole, Fr. Ponnian and Mr.Fernando must be commended for their humane assistance and I wish more people with conscience will step forward in defending human rights. We should never hesitate to give a helping hand for those who are in distress.

  • 4
    1

    A few hundred years back it was the Tamils (mainly The Eastern) who welcomed the Muslims to come and settle among them. No discrimination on THEIR part. As evidenced by the many Muslim towns and villages still having, for now, their old Tamil names.
    So what changed that attitude? Extremely difficult to find?
    As for the north, it is like asking a refugee to provide refuge to another kind of refugee. Expecting a begger to give money to another begger. If done on their own will, it is fine. But can not impose it on them. Unlike the other parts of the country they have a historical memory of their lands being stolen by the state in many ways. So it should be expected the way they are reacting. A society with open wounds all over WILL BE somewhat apprehensive.

    • 0
      1

      Rajeeva, please don’t make excuses for the narrow minded cruelty of the Jaffna Tamil. You know how they treat their own so called ‘low castes’ don’t you?

  • 1
    0

    May God bless you! Dr.Hoole. Refugees deserve protection, regardless of race or religion. You are brave.( I am fully aware they are either Shia or Ahmadia Muslims) . More than that a desperate father and mother trying to secure their children.

  • 0
    0

    :UNHCR says
    There are almost 2.5 million registered refugees from Afghanistan. They comprise the largest protracted refugee population in Asia, and the second largest refugee population in the world. In light of the increasingly deteriorating security situation in many parts of the country, the violence continues to drive people from their homes in 2018.

    UNHCR’s work in the country includes coordinating with the authorities to ensure returns to Afghanistan takes place in voluntary, safe, gradual and dignified manner, and that displaced people are protected. We also lead on two inter-agency groups, one on protection and response to internally displaced people, and the other on emergency shelter and non-food items, providing core relief items and emergency shelter assistance to vulnerable displaced people.

    UNHCR is NOT ” providing emergency shelter and non-food items, providing core relief items and emergency shelter assistance to these vulnerable displaced people. Just boating.

  • 2
    0

    Make the Northern Province a place for the Sri Lankan Forces and for International Refugees ONLY and throw the natives in to the seas.

    • 0
      0

      BBS Gnanasara Thera is out indeed!

      Empowering the soul_less like Mano Sara.

      Nirvana is no more a Buddhist monk s business in Sri Lanka.

      It is showing.

  • 1
    0

    Tamils must allow Afghan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Iranian, Middle East and other refugees in Eelam and let the world know our hospitality and kindness towards the victims as well as expose Sinhala barbarians criminal menace to the world until International Community investigate genocide, accountability process and deliver Justice;

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