26 September, 2022


Battling The Ghosts Of Aluthgama

By Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

Dharisha Bastians

In the lead up to crucial UN Human Rights Council Sessions in March next year, the Government is in overdrive to win over the new top Envoy on Human Rights Prince Zeid, and retain the support of the Islamic bloc in Geneva, despite the long shadows cast by the Aluthgama riots

When the Sri Lankan Government pins its hopes  too dearly on a particular thing, it is almost a certainty that disappointment, disillusionment and bitter resentment are soon to follow.  Major expectations were placed on Prince Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, mere mortal and new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights , successor to Navi Pillay who has pursued and plagued the Rajapaksa Government – or so it believes – with a vendetta since 2009.  The regime has made no secret of the fact that Pillay’s ethnic Tamil heritage has inspired part of this deep mistrust.

Jordanian Zeid will be unbiased and professional in his engagement with Sri Lanka, the Government believes. As the UPFA counted down the days to Pillay’s retirement, there was perhaps some hope that the ascension of Zeid would turn a new chapter for Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, where pesky resolutions and investigations are cramping its style.

Instead, when he addressed the 47 member UN Human Rights Council for the first time on 8 September, Zeid professed a deep admiration for Navi Pillay, who he said had been the voice and lungs of victims of abuse and atrocities all over the world. He vowed to carry on her work, and with regard to Sri Lanka, Zeid echoed Pillay’s call for cooperation with the probe led by what is now his Office, and raised strong concerns about threats to human rights defenders and religious minorities in Sri Lanka.

In short, the bubble seemed to burst early. The players might have changed, but the UN’s top envoy on human rights issues is still singing the same tune. Which is as it should be, even if the Government persists in believing that individuals rather than processes and policies are driving the international agenda on Sri Lanka.

When it cannot win over processes and institutions, the Government prides itself on winning over individuals. It manages this in the British House of Commons where Lord Naseby and a handful of others raise dissenting voices against the UK’s Sri Lanka policy. With a significant measure of success, the Government managed to win over Commonwealth Secretary General Kamalesh Sharma, the former Indian diplomat whose faith in Sri Lanka’s judicial system and democratic credentials never wavered, even at the height of an illegal and unconstitutional sacking of the country’s Chief Justice. Zeid hails from a nation, which is in turn member of a bloc of countries deeply sympathetic to the Sri Lankan Government. How much is the Government’s euphoria about the Jordanian lawyer’s appointment as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, tied to the belief that pressure from the right quarters could sway his opinions on Colombo and its human rights record?

In this somewhat skewed calculation and in ensuring ongoing support from Islamic nations at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has a crucial role to play. The OIC has been overwhelmingly friendly towards Sri Lanka, to such a degree that Colombo was applying for observer status in the 57 member block of Islamic nations. In an unprecedented move, the OIC issued a strong public statement on Sri Lanka following the Aluthgama riots in June this year. In private, its communications with Colombo were even more scathingly critical. The OIC also issued a strongly worded statement to the Government, expressing its deep displeasure over the violence unleashed against the Muslim community in the island’s south.

The OIC reaction to the incidents in Aluthgama on 15 June, unsettled the regime far worse than all the diplomatic statements combined on the violence, in Geneva,  Colombo and elsewhere. In mid July, President Mahinda Rajapaksa dispatched his presidential advisor on Muslim Affairs, Abdul Cader Mansoor Moulana to the organisation’s headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia for meetings with OIC Secretary General, Iyad Ameen Madani. Moulana sought the meeting to explain to the OIC Chief that the incident in Aluthgama and Beruwela had been blown out of proportion. The assertion came too little too late, since the OIC had already been supplied with extensive documentation and photographs regarding the violence, loss of life and damage to property during the riots. Muslim civil society activists and volunteers mobilised frantically both during and after the Aluthgama riots, compiling situation reports, damage assessments and press cuttings to create awareness both locally and internationally. Armed with that information, Madini was able to counter the Government envoy’s narrative. President Rajapaksa was incensed when his Justice Minister and Sri Lanka Muslim Congress Chief Rauff Hakeem held talks with the OIC Secretary General during an Umrah pilgrimage to Mecca in late July. Hakeem is believed to have briefed an OIC delegation extensively on the Aluthgama violence and the ongoing hate campaigns against the Muslim community and its places of worship and enterprises by hardline groups perceived to be linked to the Government.

When Colombo reached out to the OIC to arrange a high level visit with Secretary General Madini to discuss these issues, the offer was reportedly spurned.

Nearly three months after religious riots rocked the southern towns of Aluthgama and Beruwela, a clinical military mop-up and repair mission is almost complete in the region. Fire-damaged mosques, houses and shops in several Muslim settlements have been restored by military personnel whose construction skills have been honed immensely in the post-war phase. The area is prone to receiving VIP visits in the months that followed the 15 June riots. President Mahinda Rajapaksa himself attended the reopening of the Seenawatte mosque in Dharga Town, Aluthgama, which had been badly damaged in the night of violence unleashed largely against the area’s Muslim population. Three weeks after the riots, President Rajapaksa sauntered into the Islamic place of worship barefoot, armed with blithe remarks about religious harmony and foreign conspiracies to sow discord among communities of people in Sri Lanka. Army Chief Lt. Gen. Daya Ratnayake also toured the region to inspect the repair work by his men. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stepped up the propaganda drive to deny his links to Buddhist hardline groups operating in the country. The Bodu Bala Sena and its affiliate hardline organisations appear to have tempered their anti-Muslim rhetoric for the time being, with the group’s controversial General Secretary Galagodaththe Gnanasara now giving media interviews about his romantic past.

But in the most unexpected twist yet, a team of OIC fact-finders will visit the island on the invitation of the Government of Sri Lanka for meetings and discussions with Government officials and Muslim groups, Daily FT learns. Highly placed sources said the OIC delegation will be dubbed a ‘goodwill mission’ and comprise officials drawn from the Secretary General’s Office. The Secretary General’s office in the OIC has suo moto power to take action on such matters, and may commission such a mission periodically, authoritative sources told Daily FT.

For over a year now, the OIC’s global Islamophobia watch unit has been following the trajectory of anti-Muslim violence and hate speech in Sri Lanka, Ministerial sources told Daily FT. These units have been submitting periodic reports about the trends in Sri Lanka to the OIC Council of Ministers. The fact-finding mission will also submit its report to Secretary General Madini at the end of its visit. The delegation has expressed interest in visiting the riot-rocked Aluthgama and Beruwela towns, in addition to holding meetings with high level Government officials, Muslim ministers, religious leaders and civil society groups. The delegation has been cautioned to anticipate a stage-managed tour of Aluthgama, where the military-style post-riot clean up has been very effective. Visa approvals for the OIC delegation have already been granted, Daily FT learns, but dates for the visit are yet to be finalised.

The OIC mission will be non-intrusive and aimed at encouraging effective action to curb anti-Muslim sentiment in the island, a top ministerial source told Daily FT. The Government decision to permit the OIC team entry into the country for wide-ranging discussions with multiple stakeholders spoke to its willingness to ensure transparency and open engagement, which is an important facet in its international dealings, the source added. While some opposition was likely from the Sinhala hardline movements largely credited with having instigated the Aluthgama violence, it was hoped that the Government would not capitulate under this pressure, the ministerial source said.

Strangely enough, Muslim community leaders are convinced that the Bodu Bala Sena and other hardline groups will not act out during the visit of the OIC delegation. Ordinarily, such engagement by an Islamic grouping would be seen as intrusive and cause great umbrage within the hardline camp, but observers believe the groups will be on a tight leash during the visit.

In light of the Government’s hopes for High Commissioner Zeid, constructive engagement with the Organisation for Islamic Cooperation will be seen as crucial to achieving its international goals. It will perceive the OIC as being an important player in the campaign to win Zeid’s support, even though there is no proof yet that the new High Commissioner will be willing to yield to regional or native influences in his new role. Hope springs eternal however, and the regime will hope that while the OIC continues its support of Sri Lanka at the UN Human Rights Council, its powerful leaders and intellectuals will have some sway over Navi Pillay’s successor.

Needless to say, this may be a poor assessment, and one entirely lacking in understanding of the politics of the High Commissioner’s appointment.

A UN High Commissioner for Human Rights may be appointed for two four year terms. Navi Pillay, who assumed office in 2008, only served six. It is an open secret in the United Nations that Pillay was denied the opportunity to serve out her full eight years because she fell foul of Washington, due to her staunch criticism of Israel. The US conceded to her term being extended by only two years, according to foreign media reports from the UN in Geneva and New York, when she was granted an extension of tenure in 2012.

Still, the regime is  desperate to believe Zeid is its friend, just as it was convinced Pillay was its enemy;  Zeid is connected to Jordan’s monarchy, and the Government may well believe that the Islamic bloc, so passionate in its defence of Sri Lanka at the UNHRC, will have a degree of influence over the new UN Rights Chief. This may prove a naive miscalculation: not only is Zeid a passionate advocate of international law principles, but he is widely believed to be Washington’s preferred choice for the sensitive position.

In the long game, the Sri Lankan Government can hope to count much less on Zeid’s support at the Council, and much more on the support of the Islamic bloc. Haunted by the ghosts and the legacies of the Aluthgama violence, damage control with this grouping in the lead up to the March sessions in Geneva, will be key.

Courtesy Daily FT

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Latest comments

  • 10

    Prince Zeid was educated at Reed’s School, Surrey before gaining a B.A. in 1987 from Johns Hopkins University, where he was an important member of the University’s rugby club. He received a Ph.D. from Christ’s College, Cambridge University in 1993. He is a fully western educated liberal and a forward looking person who is very well paid and not susceptible to bribes (think of the Commonwealth office) or to pandering or ego massaging, or for that matter to being fooled by people who think and behave like village thugs, aka “Chandiyas”.

    The UNHRC process, once started, is inexorable. No individual can stop it. Nor can the report be doctored to favour the regime like the police reports in Sri Lanka, nor can it be suppressed like all the inquiry reports in Sri Lanka. The report, due in March 2015, will most likely contain internationally acceptable and judicially actionable evidence against the regime and its chain of command.

    What the famous poet Arab poet Omar Khayyam wrote centuries ago is an apt verse today for the Sri Lankan regime’s desperate efforts to suppress the upcoming UNHRC findings on Sri Lanka:

    The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

  • 10

    The attacks on Muslims and Christians is not some madcap rush by the government to commit hara-kiri, but a well planned strategy. There are two prongs to this master plan.

    1) Dictatorial rulers always need the populace to be in a ‘state of war’ so that people’s minds are taken off their daily struggle to survive. Sri Lankans are in a pathetic situation with the incredible cost of living which is fuelled by incredible corruption and incredible white elephants like Mihin Air, Mattala, and that artificial harbour in Hambantota, all of which are hallmarks of egoistic rulers wanting to build grandiose projects with people’s money (even money borrowed in the people’s name at exorbitant interest rates from Shylocks like China) so that the rulers can have projects named after themselves. These rulers think they will rule forever but new rulers will rename all those projects and shut donw Mihin. Now that the LTTE war is over there needs to be other wars, and what better targets than the hapless, and until now peaceful, Muslims of Sri Lanka, and the even more hapless Christians? The BBS terrorists are currently being held in reserve until after the Pope’s visit and the crucial UNHRC report in March 2015. After that report, which will have internationally acceptable and judicially actionable evidence against the regime, there will the threat and likelihood of US led sanctions with Britain, EU and Canada joining in. That’s when the Muslim ‘terrorist’ card will be useful.

    2) “Al Qaeda”. That’s the ticket to cosy up to the US. By attacking the Muslims, the regime hopes to cause even a handful of Muslim youth to take up arms in self-defence. Maybe the Machiavellian government itself will provide the arms to a few hot headed Muslim youth using government controlled army ‘deserters’. There will then be a huge blast of propaganda claiming that Al Qaeda is active in Sri Lanka and that Sri Lanka and the US have a new common enemy and therefore nothing must be done to destabilise the regime. Obama is probably too smart to bite that bait but the village thug mentality of the Sri Lankan rulers think that Obama and America will buy into that bogey.

    All this will be disastrous to Sri Lanka and all Sri Lankans whether they be Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Malay, or whoever. But for the regime that lives on a planet of their own, far removed from the average citizens and protected by thousands of body guards, this war footing situation is of paramount importance. What the regime (and its unthinkingly rabid Sinhala-Buddhist followers) have probably not factored in is the calamity that will befall us if the Arab countries retaliate for the anti-Muslim actions of the Sri Lankan regime by sending back the million plus Sri Lankans working in the gulf states, and replacing them with workers from Bangladesh, Indonesia and other Muslim countries. If that were to happen, all the unemployed gulf returnees will riot and cause havoc in Sri Lanka. But for a regime that thought nothing of shooting and killing Sinhala-Buddhists in Rathupaswela and the Free Trade Zone, shooting and killing even hundreds of southerners to cow down the population and ensure regime rule and regime succession will not be too horrible an action to contemplate. After all, it was not so long ago that the dictators in Burma shot hundreds of protesting Buddhist priests on the streets of the Burmese capital. And that regime is one of our regime’s closest friends.

  • 5

    dont worry we have K A Sumanasekera to battle on behalf of the Aluthgama thuggas!

  • 3

    UN cant do anything . it is a useless joke . but at the same time the govt should not go to sleep on the propaganda war . Bastian [Edited out] .



  • 6

    Human Behaviour.ツ

    Successful man in front of his wife

    To succeed in life, you need two things:
    ignorance and confidence. – Mark Twain


  • 5

    Aluthgama and the other anti Muslim campaigns by the regime is turning out to be a big mistake for the regime. With the Muslim countries support gone only the pariah states of the world will be left to support the regime. The slide has started and the end is nigh for the Rajapaksa gang.

  • 4

    The GOSL will not be able to buy Prince Ziad like they did with Kamalesh Sharma and Swamy. Financilly Ziad is well heeled.

    Well, Aluthgama is almost forgotten now, with all the whitewashing done since that time, least of all the physical repair done to buildings by the Army.

    Aluthgama will continue to deliver votes for the government, the objective GOTA had in mind when he unleashed the BBS at the time. Minority bias continues unabated in Sri Lanka.

    Now that the ghost of Aluthgama has settled down, the IOC group who’s ruling model the MARA brother’s closely follow, are tying to find ways to readmit Sri Lanka back into its folds. The so called fact finding mission will find the excuse needed for this readmission.

  • 4

    An insignificant event in Aluthgama is being hoisted up to conceal the wider events in the Middle East where every single day a large human toll is exacted to satisfy the demands of Muslim violence, not only on the Muslims themselves, but also on Christians and other minorities whose existence in these areas pre-date the advent of Islam. In Syria alone the cost has been in excess of 200,000 lives over the last three years.
    Zeid is also built up as “a passionate advocate of international law principles” and “is widely believed to be Washington’s preferred choice for the sensitive position.”, an incompatibility when the US is known to believe that “international law is what we say it is”. Zeid is also a Jordanian, royalty in fact, which country has been responsible for the most part for the violence referred to above, as it is in Jordan that the terrorists were trained. Abdulla II, the Jordanian leader may soon have reason to regret his collusion with the West. The OIC based in Jeddah would be well aware of the main source of funds for the savagery in Iraq and Syria.

    • 5

      Ram, we know you are Gnanasara the psychopath’s hemorrhoid kisser, and you are talking through your rectum.

    • 5

      Ram, you WILL NOT call the Aluthgama/Beruwela/Dharga Town incident as insignificant if you were at the receiving end of that violence unleashed on 15th and 16th June 2014. You would have been a different person if you had lost a brother, or a father or a son to the shooting that took place on that day. We all know now what really happened through first-hand accounts. Shooting carried out by well-trained army person, who happened to be the only force authorized to carry weapons on that day, carried out under the cover of darkness, and still with no inquiry to this day as to who authorized it let alone who did it, also the complete impartiality of the police favoring the invading mobs, who looted and set fire to homes and business establishments. In my book, you fit perfectly in the same mold as the slick MaRa and his obnoxious regime. As usual when you have no-where else to turn, you take delight in showcasing foreign disturbances like in ISIS and its atrocities to trivialize in comparison what took place in SL, which will not work anymore. Since it has now been declared that ISIS is not Islamic, and this was stated by no less a person than the President of USA, Barack Obama (Sep./11/2014) – watch it today on CNN if you missed it. By the way, did you know Obama is also Muslim? Watch.

      A Muslim in the White House- Hussein Barack Obama

  • 5

    Dharisha Bastians –

    “In the lead up to crucial UN Human Rights Council Sessions in March next year, the Government is in overdrive to win over the new top Envoy on Human Rights Prince Zeid, and retain the support of the Islamic bloc in Geneva, despite the long shadows cast by the Aluthgama riots”

    “In short, the bubble seemed to burst early. The players might have changed, but the UN’s top envoy on human rights issues is still singing the same tune. Which is as it should be, even if the Government persists in believing that individuals rather than processes and policies are driving the international agenda on Sri Lanka.”

    Well Sri Lanka’s Rajapaksa and their Sinhala “Buddhist” cronies, who DO NOT FOLLOW Buddhas, are getting their clothes removed, and and are becoming naked.

    The emperor has no clothes. The UN has been telling the Raja-pakas.

    Sinhala “Buddhist” Racism and Chauvinism is being exposed internationally… like Wahhabism and their clones.

    Wahhabis Follow the Devil, Satan

    Sinhala “Buddhists” follow Mara and MaRa.

  • 6

    Aluthgama carnage could have been avoided if the police acted professionally. But police and army were onlookers and that encouraged the bob in yellow robes and plain cloths to go for the kill. Rajapakse brothers have always indulged in bribing individuals in high places with business class air tickets, hotel accommodations, cosy immoral courtships and VIP treatments to improperly influence institutions and establishments in their favour rather than addressing the real issues of concern to the victims at home and international community at large. As the author of the article pointed out above the government has been astonishingly successive in its improper approach. Muslims and Christians are shaken and shocked by the behaviour of the extremists in government including the secretary to defence.

    Many simple things can be done at home rather than wasting millions in bribing individuals and in propaganda.To start with LLRC recommendations and the law of the land in general and 13A and law enforcement in particular can be fully implemented. IDPs can be allowed to return to their homes and military harassment of ethnic minorities in north and east can also be stopped at once.

    • 4

      Only countries that act against their own interests are Sri Lanka, Israel, South Sudan and Somalia. The leaders of these poor countries cannot afford to destroy their countries by setting one community against the other.

      Sri Lanka enacted ‘Sinhala Only’ 6 decades ago and encouraged Buddhist extremists two years back to destroy Mosques, churches and temples to alienate respective ethnic and religious minorities and attracted the attention of the international community and UN HRC. Defence Secretary attended the inaugural ceremony of the BBS and showed his approval of their hate speech and destructive behaviour. If the children and wife of a home are abused by the head of the family the police will get involved, the argument that worse abuses take place in other homes cannot justify one’s criminal acts.

    • 3

      Saro, on which planet are you living? Don’t you know that the Jarapassa gang do not want to do the things that you have suggested?

      Don’t you know that the Jarapassa gang want to humiliate the minorities and demonstrate to the Buddhist modayas that they are their protectors, to get their votes?

  • 7

    By now I think any one with a brain can see through the hypocrisy about human rights in all camps -SL, US, India, Russia, Europe, South Africa and yes, also China). None of these countries’ policies towards/against other countries are based on protection of human rights, but rather as Hillary Clinton continually reminds us, they are based on the “national interest”. This national interest is overwhelmingly an economic one – not humanitarian.

    If human suffering was the guiding principle of the rich countries in this world, the Ebola outbreak would not be in the world headlines. It wouldn’t even be a communicable disease because a cure would have been found for the sake of the suffering west Africans. That is not the case because it was not economically profitable for the US and the West, or the rich Asian nations, not to mention South Africa.

    In this global game of power and money, humanitarian needs are used and abused only when politically opportune for the world’s powerful.

  • 10

    The Indians like Shiva Sanker Menon ,Narayanan ,Mukerjee and Sharma can be bought with money and loose women. This is not going to work with a Prince connected to the Jordanian Monarch.
    Navi Pillai being a Tamil of South African origin was called a Tigress. What would they call a Muslim Prince?
    Let’s wait and see.

  • 5

    The UN Human Rights Council Sessions in March are invariably “crucial” to this cabal of overseas and NGO inspired writers to the CT.

    Their hope now is for a tough stance by the so-called Prince Zeid and decline of support of the OIC to Sri Lanka – expectations based on desperation and stupid analysis.

    But what more can Sri Lanka expect from a “bastion” of colonial hangover in Sri Lanka. They will continue to swin in their own vomit!

  • 5

    It is learned that from the direct orders from GoRa (Defence) the BBS and other racist Buddhist organisations are keep quiet until the fact finding mission by the OIC is over.
    Soon after the departure, the mayhem will continue…..
    More suffering to Muslims, Christians, Hindus and Buddhists who are not suitable to MaRa/GoRa under patronage of GoRa (Defence) as long as this dictatorial regime has the iron grip on Sri Lanka.

  • 3

    “Aluthgama” will live on until those who shot four muslims dead are prosecuted and sentenced for the crime.
    Murder is never forgotten – by the victms’ families,and community.
    Demolished houses being rebuilt is correct,BUT adequate compensation
    for loss of life and property are a must to end the memories.

    Prince Ziad will be just and fair.

    • 0


      You are right, murder is seldom forgotten and it is also true that a closure is necessary to move on. However, what the SL regime is not a murder per se, it committed grave war crimes and it didn’t take long for me to see it as a genocide. The ferocity and hatred are the hallmarks of a regime against a race that the animosity and vengeance with which Tamils were collectively bombed, including hospitals, and annihilated was aptly summarised by SG Ban that he had never seen such devastation in his life.

      The SL regime wants us to believe that this is all about Navi Pillay. It may even rain its guns against the new UNHRC chief eventually if and when the tide turns against it but whatever tricks the regime tries, the Tamils are not going to allow the culprits to roam free until they are hauled up to answer for their dastardly crimes. MR can go on talking about his phony PSC, but let him and his cabinet fool themselves, the Tamils are not buying any of his cheap stunts.

  • 0

    Prince Zeid was not brought for Lanka. He was brought in for Middle East. That, every Tom Dick and Harry understand. But, what Western diplomats cannot understand is Aluthgama was for Prince Zeid. There was no single western country was not fooled by Chandrika’s tricks. That is how, today, Lanka has been turned into an anti-west, anti-democratic, anti-UN country.

    Chandrika’s party is anti-west party. UNP is anti-India party. There might have been somebody in Germany or France or in another country might have understood Kathirkamar, Dhayan, Palitha’s….GLP’s political maneuverings. But Blake overruled all of them and went to Wimal’s house to negotiate with JVP. But as a single unit, West does not understand Sinhala politics. This is the case even with Colebrook, Soulbury everybody else. This is why Muslims suffered at Aluthgama.

    Aluthgama was not BBS’s provocation. It was not a communal trouble. It was a controlled, intervention by the Royal Government to fool the West in the feature. That was in retaliation to the appointment of Prince Zeid. Navipilley took an anti-Israel stand. This earned enemies to her at UNHRC. This was well used by Lanka, with additional forces of branding her as African Tamil Tiger. This worked very well during and before the Mullivaikkal. Lanka now needs a weapon against Prince Zeid. It did not forget that the prince had hit it even before he was proposed to UNHRC. In that situation, without any readiness, letting him to come and sit on the UNHRC chair is equal to putting the King on an electric chair by an inside Lanka inquiry. That is why the Alluthgama was carried out in control manner. Aluthgama was reinforced by the Al Qaeda in Lanka slogan and the new support of Israel in the Middle East. To further confuse the west, Lanka has said to the Media that it believes that Prince Zeid will be with Lanka. How many of the Westerners would know that the Prince is one of the very few in the Middle East Muslims community who have criticized Lanka on its anti-Tamil notoriety?

    With this background behind, Prince Zeid has to preside the OHCHR inquiry. Lanka knows what is going to be the outcome. So, at the proper time, Lanka will declare, even though it had welcomed the Prince’s appoint with good heart and great expectation, Prince Zeid has retaliated to Lanka, for its pro-Israel policy, crack down on local Al Qaeda and the accidental Alluthgama communal riots. That is how, it is hoping that this too will work for Lanka, like the way western countries ignored Navipilley during the Mullivaikkal.

  • 1

    The new UN High Commissioner is likely to be swayed by the same propaganda that influenced Navi Pillay. He is also likely to continue in the same direction as his predecessor. It’s to do with the power of propaganda and lobbyists and the way the UN operates. The Sri Lankan government has been wasting the taxpayers money employing Western PR companies to play the same game of ‘lobbying’ but they are up against NGOs like Amnesty International that have long been demonizing Sri Lanka from London. AI are experts in influencing public opinion against their chosen targets.

    I would like to see a UN human rights investigation into psychiatric abuses around the world. Amnesty International might find that there are serious human rights abuses right under their noses in London. The psychiatric system has long been used to control dissent, and repressive regimes have long used accusations of madness against dissidents. This abuse is so powerful that the dissenters are rendered, through drugs that are forced into them, inactive and disabled. This is the way that the West controls its young and old – by “diagnosing” and “treating”.

    The Western psychiatric system was exported throughout the world by the World Health Organization and the Rockefellers, and the same diagnostic criteria and drugs are used all over the world. The class of drugs that needs to be investigated are known as “antipsychotics”. They used to be called “major tranquillizers” the first of which was Largactil/Thorazine the trade name for Chlorpromazine developed by the French and tested in the USA and UK in the 1950s. These drugs block the vital neurotransmitter dopamine which is involved in emotions and movement. Prior to this the most promoted treatment for “psychosis” was lobotomy. Largactil was hailed (by its supporters) as a “liquid lobotomy” as though that were a good thing.

    It soon became apparent that Largactil and other dopamine-blocking drugs caused permanent brain damage as well as acute side effects, some life-threatening (such as toxic overheating) and others disabling (such as Parkinsonism and movement disorders). The permanent brain damage caused by these drugs was even given a name “Tardive Dyskinesia” (TD). TD is incurable and leads to involuntary grimaces and writhing movements of the limbs and face. It is terribly disfiguring and stigmatizing since the affected person looks “mad”. Elderly people suffering from TD can be found in nursing homes all over the world.

    The abuse of these drugs against political dissenters is widespread but concealed through terminology and “psychobabble”. People who believe the state is malevolent are diagnosed as “paranoid”. Those who aim to reform the state are diagnosed as “grandiose” and “deluded”. The diagnoses made to justify the treatment include “schizophrenia”.

    The Melbourne psychiatry professor Sydney Bloch, in 2001, drew attention to the Soviet abuse of the mental illness label of schizophrenia against dissidents, who were incarcerated for political activities against the Soviet government. They were imprisoned as said to have “sluggish schizophrenia” – a serious, incurable madness that was only evident to experts. The person with “sluggish schizophrenia” appeared normal to everyone but experts trained in Soviet psychiatry. What Professor Bloch was warning about was the use of the schizophrenia and other labels like it, for political reasons.

    I would be interested to know what the state is of psychiatry and mental hospitals in Sri Lanka, and whether dopamine blockers are being abused there as well. I know it is in the USA, Canada, France, the UK and Australia.

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