17 November, 2019

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An Early Warning: The Beginning Of Sri Lanka’s Year Zero

By Bijo Francis  and  Basil Fernando

Bijo Francis

An early warning

January 8, 2013: The Beginning of Sri Lanka’s Year Zero

On the 8th of January, the President of Sri Lanka will address a proposal to parliament to remove the incumbent Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, based on a report by a Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC). The entire PSC process has been declared unconstitutional and null and void by the Supreme Court of the country. For two days, the illegal proposal will be debated in the parliament and on the 11th it will be put to a vote. The government has the required majority to get it through the parliament. Immediately after passing the resolution, the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka will be removed by force and will be prevented from entering into the Supreme Court premises. A new Chief Justice will be appointed.

In all likelihood, in the course of these events, she will be arrested on some pretext. As there a strong resistance to this, many persons, including members of the legal community, including some judges, are very likely to be arrested. Many persons from political and civil society organizations will also be arrested or otherwise dealt with.

As Sri Lanka has a fearsome tradition of using forced disappearances, torture and ill treatment, arbitrary arrests and illegal detention to deal with any opposition to the government, the government will, in all likelihood, resort to such practices.

The new Chief Justice will not be easily accepted by the legal fraternity, and the protests will be suppressed ruthlessly. This has become a quite a common practice in Sri Lanka.

Thus, by passing the resolution to remove the Chief Justice of Sri Lanka, the government will usher in a period of serious repression, which they will have no capacity to control. As it has happened in such times before, for example in 1971 after JVP uprising; 1980 after the general stike;1983 racial riots; 1988 -1991, generally referred to as period of terror; and the suppression which took place in the North and East from 1983 to  May 2009, there can be serious acts of repression.

The state media will be used to attack the removed Chief Justice, the legal fraternity and all those who oppose these moves by the government. All free media will continue to be suppressed.

The most marked difference from the earlier periods of repression will be the open undermining of the judicial role in Sri Lanka. There will be serious monitoring of the judiciary and those judges who act to uphold the rule of law will particularly be exposed to reprisals. Creating serious divisions in the judiciary – so as to prevent future actions against the government on the basis of rules – will be a major feature of this period of repression, which makes it worse than the earlier periods of state repression.

As the judicial role is displaced, the most dominant institution of Sri Lanka will be the Ministry of Defense. The paramilitary forces, such as the Special Task Force (STF) and the intelligence services – which, in the recent times, have acquired enormous experience in repression and enjoy immunity – will play the major role in social control. As the rule of law is relegated into an unimportant position, the activities of the Ministry of Defense will not be deterred by legal rules.

The Asian Human Rights Commission wishes to draw everyone’s attention to the events that are to unfold in the coming few days as the government moves to remove the Chief Justice through a legal process that the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka has declared to be illegal. The government will also proceed to appoint a new Chief Justice, the appointment of whom will be invalid from the start, as the removal of the incumbent Chief Justice is illegal. Under these circumstances, the government will unleash repression to force these decisions on the people.

The AHRC issues this statement as an urgent alert and a warning to all, to caution everyone about the situation that will unavoidably arise under these circumstances. We wish to draw attention to the events that began in Cambodia in 1975, a period which is known as the year zero; the events that unfolded in Indonesia in 1965, which lasted for decades, causing enormous destruction to the life and liberties of people; the period that began in Myanmar with Ne Win’s military coup in 1962, the consequences of which have lasted for many decades; several military coups in Pakistan, which displaced the rule of law system; the period under Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines; and many other catastrophic political situations that several nations in Asia have faced.

Sri Lanka now enters into a similar period.

Sri Lanka’s tragedy has not received attention in the international media, in the same way that most of these tragedies did not receive attention at the time they were beginning. Such a lack of notice by the rest of the world was one of the reasons that enabled such political catastrophes to cause such havoc on the people of those countries. We urge the international media to take notice of what is taking place in Sri Lanka and thus avoid complicity in such a situation.

Above all, we urge the people of Sri Lanka to take note of what is taking place and to do all that they can to avoid this catastrophe falling on themselves, even at this last moment.

We urge the international human rights movement to do their utmost to assist Sri Lanka in this moment. To not do so would be to be guilty of complicity with what is to come.

We urge everyone also to give maximum publicity to this statement.

Signed,

Bijo Francis                                                                 Basil Fernando
The Executive Director               Director of Policy and Programmes

Asian Human Rights Commission

 

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Latest comments

  • 0
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    This is the best opputunity for the masses to kick out the dictator Rajapakshe family and also his supporter Ranil Wickramasinghe. All the opposition parties UNP/Sajith, JVP, TNA, Sarath Fonseka, Bahu, etc should join hands at this moment (this is the best opputunity ever) and create a spring to kick out both Rajapakshe and Ranil.

    • 0
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      Janaka, You are the first moron who attempt to light cigars from the impending calamity and therefore you are the first buffalo that must be lynched at the outset and on first sight! You uneducated fucker day dream of UNP/Sajith, JVP, Sarath Fonseka concoct! What a perverted [Edited out]’s nincompoop idea to begin action plan for a disaster!!!!

      • 0
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        Silva

        You sound like an imbecile who licks the ruling dictator Rajapakshe’s bottom for your living. This is the best opportunity for the masses to kick out the dictator Rajapakshe family once and for all along with their dhobis like you who clean their dirty linen by licking their bottoms.

        If the impending calamity is for the good of the Sri Lankan nation, then there is nothing wrong. We should also get rid of undesirable buffoons like you along with the dictator before you ruin our country even further. Continue licking their bottoms because there is only a short time left for them.

      • 0
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        looks like some one got really offended calling RW a dictator , for me RW is a clown as well !

      • 0
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        Only a disaster can now save Sri Lanka from decades of dictatorship by the Rajapaksa dynasty.

        Disaster to topple Rajapaksa? So be it!

      • 0
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        This Silva looks like Mervin Silva’s relative. Janaka seems to have hit his nerve very badly. Yes, this is the best opportunity available for the opposition parties who were sleeping all these days. Sajith Premadasa should ignore Ranil, get all the UNP members loyal to him and organize a mass protest. Similarly, all the other opposition parties should get together at this time on a common agenda to kick out this dictator before things get worst for the country. We have watched several Arab springs, let us also begin to get rid of this dictator family for ever.

    • 0
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      Thanks for this analysis and keep it comming.
      1. The day the CJ is removed the Commonwealth Heads meeting in Lanka should be cancelled and moved to another country or the COmmonwealth which is totally irrelevant except in for third world dictators who wanna project their power and glory will hit the nadir of its existence and DIE as in illegitimate organization on which the sun set long ago as it did on the British Empire.
      2 Please Basil write an open letter to all UNP party members and Ranil stooges to revolt against Ranil Wickramasinghe for speaking with a falked tongue and supporting Rajapassa on the CJ impeachment and ask them to join Sajith Premadasa as the party leader.

      • 0
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        James bond,

        Sajith P as the party Leader? May i ask you to do a small research study and analyze sajith’s past behaviors and actions before you come to a hasty conclusion? Sajith has repeatedly announced, that he will bring back the Ransinghe Premadasa’s governance style again ?? Do you really want that dark era again under his protégée!
        I know we srilnkans are desperate for a genuine , visionary leader , remember MR was a human right defender and a very down to earth person before he clinched the mantle .

    • 0
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      Both Mahinda Rajapakshe and Ranil Wickremesinghe are dictators. One is ruining the country while the other is ruining the party. At this moment we can see clearly that Ranil is supporting Rajapakshe. They both should be kicked out.

      This is the best time for Sajith to take the country forward. Organize a mass protest along with the JVP and other opposition parties and continue the struggle until you sack this govt. This is the best chance ever, do not let it slip

      • 0
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        Janaka Fernando, srilal, Sunil Bandara, James Bond, Nimal de Silva,

        Were having a competition to select who the best donkey in the country is and the above mutts are performing quite well beating each other and creating new records! Mervya’s relative or not regardless; these buffaloes are born assholes hallucinating to rule this country one day! Except for one mutt for all the other mutts the nidan hora Sajith is their chosen leader who could not pass 300 vote-count as against Ranil’s 5000 votes! And yet they don’t give up and hope to rule the country with 300 votes! What a bunch of losers! One buffoon rejoices daydreaming of nerve-hitting, another orangutan yearns for arse licking, another one planning a coup against Ranil, yet another loser hanging on to a former treasure hunter for a makeshift leader while yet another launches an in-house and on the spot quarrel fearing a “Premadasa dark era”!!! They create a nauseatingly repulsive political concoct while the gravity of the situation demands a concerted mobilization and a synchronous attack on the Rajapaksha dystopia!! This is a wonderfully rare opportunity of witnessing how clowns behave when faced with disaster-they never give up their ulterior motives, insatiable greed for fulfilling their pet and shoddy little dreams and imaginations including clubbing at the mango tree out of their hate and barren and empty mental state!!! For the information of your mentally retarded and barren minds it is Ranil Wickramasinghe who is the next presidential candidate and it is the UNP that forms the next government. You may join the procession if you like or you may choose to revolt on the culvert!!!!

        • 0
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          I remember Some time ago There was a lunatic commenting on CT ,he used Max silva as his pseudonym/name , if any one disagrees or opposes his views he used to call him Fu..er or a… Hole , his writing style ,vocabulary and way of thinking is pretty much similar to yours , I just wonder , are you the same nut case or close relative of that mad max.

        • 0
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          What you said about sajith is true, I can confirm it.

        • 0
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          Silva,

          Are you sure you have not escaped from mental asylum or addicted to some kind of hallucinatory drugs???
          Are you living anywhere close to Angoda?

          I think you need an institutionalized mental/psychiatric treatment very urgently. Just see where is the nearest mental hospital and rush there as soon as you can before it gets worse.

          By the way, if you say all what you have written above to your pals, the inmates at Angoda, I am sure they will give you a standing ovation.

    • 0
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      Go ahead dear leader and sack the CJ as well as the anti government Lackys in the judiciary including those in the a Supreme Court and the Appeals Court. Also whip the black coats with a polpittha.
      You are the fearless leader who won the unwinnable war and saved the Motherland. The country is great full to you forever and you will not fear the jackals who bark at you. These are the traitors who have now joined hands with the Tiger remnants to undermine you. There will be Singhala Traitors always and fear them not. Get rid of the Dodgy CJ and clean the Judiciary. Where were these Singhalese Traitors when the JVP and the LTTE were killing thousands of innocent civilians ? Who are these traitors to talk about justice and procedures relating to an impeachment of a dodgy CJ? The dogs bark but the caravan moves on!

  • 0
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    Above scenario is an absolute possibility. The dictator will move to suppress all opposition and dissent. The opposition and civil society must respond in a decisive manner to mitigate and neutralise any such attempt. To be forewarned, forearmed; to be prepared is half the victory. We are against a sinister and diabolical regime which is intent on robbing and looting the wealth of this country. They will stop at nothing to achieve their objective.

  • 0
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    I can smell BLOOD. Sri Lanka is heading for uncontrolable disaster. The armed forces will be stationed at the Supreme Courts and Hultsdorf will be under all the armed forces. All the processions and rallies will be banned and strict censorship of News. There will be chaos in many cities and a number of live bullets will be used by the police to control the crowds. All this is because of “DIVI NEGUMA” and the uneducated LOOTERS.

    • 0
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      Dear Ronny,
      What is happening in the north is about to happen in the south too.
      All these days,the southerners did not care a hoot about the oppression and repression of people in the north and east.
      They will get a taste of it soon.
      The Rajapase juggernaut will not tolerate dissent,which will be brutally suppressed.
      This is why the much pampered army and police, with all their atrocities – eg.the Welikada Prison massacre – are given top salaries and perks.
      Sri Lanka is about to become like the Nazi Germany of the Third Reich.

    • 0
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      Ronny,
      I agree.Dissent will be brutally suppressed by the armed forces and police.We are entering an era of Neo Nazism like what happened in germany.
      The Rajapakse Juggernaut will enslave the people.
      The dictatership will be firmly entrenched.

  • 0
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    I HAVE SAID IT OVER AND OVER AGAIN. LET US SEND ALL THESE DEVIL DANCERS FROM RUHUNU BACK TO THEIR MUD HUTS TO DANCE TO THE TUNE OF THEIR “THOIL BERE”.

    AROHARA GOVINDHA, GOVINDHAGE GE BINDHA, MOKDHA LEDE, BADE LEDE, KAVUDHA VEDHA, GOTHA VEDHA, THOTA BARINAM, MATA THEEPANG, EKA DHEKA KERA, MAMA THENNAM.

  • 0
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    Assuming this is a real possibility and not a worst case scenario, one very important way to nip such schemes in the bud is to publicise them widely in the Sinhala and international media. Readers who have connections should do so. It will be a big service to the country.

  • 0
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    This Basil must have intimate contacts with the high calibre intelligence operatives who are in our Western friends HCs and Embassies.

    The details of all the bad things that will happen as early as next week is fascinating or rather frightening.

    Only curfews are missing on the list.

    Now as peace loving inhabitants it is worthwhile to assess the odds of these events happening,

    How many Hultsdorphians participated in the procession of the CJ at the inaugural session. and how many were there as she ran away, when it was getting too hot in the kitchen?.

    How may followers this Asian HRW, and the couple of Forums that have been vocal can muster to carry placards?.

    Will the Colombo Tamils obey ,the Defence Counsul Mr Sumanathiran and his TNA boss Mr Sambandan to take a day off and shout slogans to SAVE the CJ, especially when she was seen often in the last few weeks clasping her hands in front of Buuddhist Monks?.

    The JVP on the otherhand can bus in a few hard core unionists and militant students,

    Even then the funds will be a problem with the usual financiers sitting on the fence.

    If these unruly elements who have a penchant for violence get smacked if they cause trouble,the onlookers will be happy.

    The rest, the great majority of inhabitants, in fact 75 % for that matter will be busy trying to get ahead a little in this peaceful environment that has been in place for three solid years and entering another successful year.

  • 0
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    My only concern is come 11th January and with UPFA majority in the parliament, President MR has a possibility of winning the CJ impeachment with a simple majority.

    If that happens….what kind of actions both MR and the CJ will take…….

    I am pretty sure while MR is waiting impatiently to kick CJ out….where it will be a big blow to all of us who are looking for our justice through CJ…… Madam CJ will try her best to hold onto her position as she has promissed before, WHERE SHE WILL NEVER BOW DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT, AND THIS COULD DEFINITELY LEAD TO VIOLANT MEANS.

    INFACT NOBODY INCLUDING OPPOSITION PARTIES, JSC, BAR ASSOCIATION, TRADE UNIONS, CLERGY, PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS AND ALSO WE CITIZENS DO NOT ALLOW MARA DICTATOR TO OCCUPY JUDICIARY AND THE SUPREME COURT WITHOUT A FIGHT.

    1)IF MR use strong arm methods and use violant methods, like Mervin Silva, Wimal Weerawansa, Basil Rajapakse and the media have already mentioned and try to chase CJ and occupy SC building……….what steps the opposition parties, trade unions, clergy, professional body, FUTA and we the citizen could do to save CJ and the Supreme Court……….

    2)Can we ask for UN, CW, US, EU and other Asian countries to come to our help……….

    3)Can the opposition parties ask UN,EU and Asian countries for trade sanctions, cease loans and incentives to Govt, impose a travel ban to all Govt. ministers, forces and MARA goons.

    4) Can we ask for a repeat of 1987 Indian AIR Parippu drop this time on Araliya Gaha Mandiriya by either from India or UN, US, EU or from another Asian country………

    5) Can we ask SL armed forces to ignore Dictator MR’s instructions and request not to shoot at demonstrators who are fighting for our justice…….and to help us.

    6) Is the recent very high payroll increase given to Police is a part of the GOSL plan to suppress any peoples protests and even use arms to kill people during any demonstrations supporting CJ……..

    7)Have the opposition parties discussed this situation with the International Community, human rights groups and the local Diplomatic community…….

    8)Could opposition parties request to IMF regarding any GOSL 1 Billion US Dollar loan request, to tie up with the abolition of CJ impeachment and to publish Parliament MP’s income and expense reports……

    9)Is the opposition parties could give additional protection to CJ…her family…JSC…SC and the supreme court building, files and documents etc….if GOSL plans violent suppression to grab Judiciary power…..

    10)Are there any protection for public planned by opposition parties to safeguard public in case GOSL use forces to suppress Citizens who stand by CJ and to commence islandwide protests,work stoppage and sathiya grahas etc……………….

    11) Finally I was shocked to see in the TV that CJ was leaving the SC building ALONE WITH THE DRIVER ONLY IN HER CAR WITHOUT ANY ADDITIONAL PROTECTION GIVEN BY ARMED POLICE OR ANYBODY. I DID NOT SEE ANYBODY. IF SO WE TELL CJ TO TAKE EXTRA CARE FOR HER LIFE WITH EXTRA PROTECTION WITH POLICE OR PRIVATE SECURITY COMPANY. THIS IS A MUST.

    I smell foul air in the horizon and do not wish for another 1971, 1983 or 1989 type of violent situation again and be vigilant and prepare for any eventuality is the best remedy.

    I would like if anybody including opposition parties could answer these questions.

  • 0
    0

    This is a real possibility and the ground is being prepared. As mentioned in this writing, as in the cases of previous such tragedies in this country and also in other parts of the world, the international community takes time, for various reasons, to even properly express their opinion, citing them as “internal/domestic” matters.

    Unfortunately, the situation really looks grim. Perhaps, the general public (and including the likes of SL Gunasekara) in the country is paying the price for not using their own judgment that inhuman treatment of our own countrymen/women shouldn’t be allowed even at the threat to our own lives (by terrorism).

    It’s us ( including the judiciary) who created this monster (regime concentrating enormous power and its appendages and avatars) and it is us who have to tame it or kill it, and no one else will do that for us, and that will cost a lot of lives and suffering.

  • 0
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    Better luck next time,This time regime will achieve whatever they wanted.Even any election held today majority of people will re elect MR back to the office for the same reason they elected and re-elected MR in the past.
    MR is only a symptom not the disease.No point of treating the symptom leaving the disease intact.There is no quick-fix for this chronic disease in the society.Many decades of dictatorial oppressive rule can be an effective treatment for this disease.As people suffer the most they will realise their mistake of choosing their leaders based only on racism rather than other merits.

  • 0
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    The Lanka spring is in the air, I can smell it. It all depends on the opposition parties, their unity in organizing mass protest is very important at this moment.

  • 0
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    Please give your immediate attention to this matter. Please come forward to protect Rule of Law in Sri Lanka.

  • 0
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    A couple of Somaramas and Budhharikkitas must spring into action to
    save SL this time – and the Regime is prepared to meet this too.

    I challenge anyone, that the I/C will not even whimper as they will
    await a natural end to the Govts. debacle.

    Astrologically, everything is set to start on 8th????

  • 0
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    I would suggest that one uses caution in interpreting Bijo and Basil literally. I somehow feel that alarmist propaganda is ill-advised, and saner minds should prevail.

    Sri Lanka has seen dark periods in its contemporary history during uprisings variously termed insurgency and revolution, rebellion and terrorism (a term first used in 1971 by the Sirimavo regime).

    What fate lies in store for the “independence” of the judiciary notwithstanding, no general calamity can be foreseen, contrary to the somewhat sensationalist assertions of the writers. At least, it is rather premature to use such sweeping predictions at this juncture…

    • 0
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      I too agree with you on this. I barely remember-I may be wrong-this Bijo had once advised that CJ must resign. Could this be a plan by the regime to discourage any dissent and uprising against the regime?

      • 0
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        I read Bijo’s letter to Ban and I now feel he is genuine.

  • 0
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    Oh !! The basil F’do required a …..

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

  • 0
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    Now the Judiciary and the legal profession need citizens to come forward and protect their rights? Will the Judiciary protect the rights of citizens at least in the Future?

  • 0
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    The need of the hour is a Front for the protection of democracy and independence of judiciary.Now translate words into actions.Comments alone cannot reverse the the destructive path the government is following.

  • 0
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    The Tamil Diaspora has joined with the UNP and JVP along with the NGO s to undermine the great government of Mahinda. Go ahead dear leader and sack the CJ as well as the anti government Lackys in the judiciary including those in the a Supreme Court and the Appeals Court. Also whip the black coats with a polpittha.
    You are the fearless leader who won the unwinnable war and saved the Motherland. The country is great full to you forever and you will not fear the jackals who bark at you. These are the traitors who have now joined hands with the Tiger remnants to undermine you. There will be Singhala Traitors always and fear them not. Get rid of the Dodgy CJ and clean the Judiciary. Where were these Singhalese Traitors when the JVP and the LTTE were killing thousands of innocent civilians ? Who are these traitors to talk about justice and procedures relating to an impeachment of a dodgy CJ? The dogs bark but the caravan moves on!

  • 0
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    WHY WASTE WORDS,SIT BACK AND ENJOY THE FIREWORKS,COMETH THE HOUR, COMETH THE MAN.

  • 0
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    We have read and seen a lot about revolutions from French, Russian and Chinese to Arab Spring. For the contemporary happenings in SL nothing is more instructive or illuminating than the revolution in Romania on Dec. 21 1989 before the very eyes of Ceaucescu even as he was speaking. May be accessed from You Tube: 1) 4.28 minute video-Romanian Revolution 1989. 2) 8.42 video – The Romanian Revolution of 1989.

    From the visuals and the commentary parallels may be seen.

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