11 December, 2017

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Commonwealth, In Nineteen Eighty-Four

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two makes four”. – Orwell (Nineteen Eighty-Four)

The Commonwealth Summit will cause no traffic jams; the public will not be inconvenienced; there will be no disruption of normal life.

So the government has decreed.

Sri Lanka's President Rajapaksa attends the Executive Session III at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in PerthThe public are being advised to avoid many of the most-used roads. Schools are closed, at a time when teachers and students are busy preparing for GCE OL exams. Universities are closed – so that the students can study the Commonwealth, “in freedom and with a clear mind, from their homes” according to the Chairperson of the University Grants Commission, Prof. Kshanika Hirimburegama[i] (whose husband was made the VC of the University of Colombo in violation of proper procedure and despite the opposition of university academics[ii]).

Traffic jams in Colombo are an everyday occurrence. When some of the roads are closed, some of the time, this normal congestion cannot but exacerbate. But such logical, rational assumptions are abhorrent to the regime. The public is being told to disbelieve the evidence of their eyes and ears and accept the regime’s version, unquestioningly: “A road will be closed for about 20 minutes when a head of state travels by. Even during the closure public will have alternative roads for their transportation. No shops or state institutions will be closed. Therefore the public will face no disruptions to their day-to-day life. Everything will continue as usual”[iii].

Anyone disagreeing with this version of reality will be committing a punishable offence. According to DIG Anura Senanayake, “Police, including their intelligence unit, have already begun investigations to nab such people”[iv].

Such repackaging of reality would be a trivial matter for a government which conjured up ‘the Humanitarian Offensive with zero-civilian casualties’ and ‘Welfare Villages’.

Persuading the populace to abjure critical thinking and mindlessly accept the ‘official truth of the moment’ is a key pillar of Rajapaksa governance. That is why the Siblings scuttled the Freedom of Information Act and attack media freedom. An informed citizenry, capable of analysing facts and deriving their own conclusions, has no place in the Rajapaksa scheme of things. What the Siblings need are an obedient people who will believe whatever impossibilities they are told to believe.

Most Sinhalese went along with this charade. They accepted the Rajapaksa lies about the war – and even about the out-of-favour Sarath Fonseka – because they believed the biggest Rajapaksa myth of all – that the Siblings are the saviours and protectors of the Sinhala race and Buddhism. Beguiled by patriotic rhetoric, the Sinhalese thought that the Siblings genuinely represent majoritarian interests; and that abuse will remain a Tamil fate.

The regime has already dismissed as a fabrication the latest channel 4 video which seems to depict the Tiger cadre/broadcaster Isaipriya alias Shoba being captured unharmed by Lankan soldiers[v]. If accurate, it would prove that Ms. Isaipriya did not die in battle – as the regime claimed – but was murdered (and abused) while in captivity – a gross violation of the Geneva Convention.

On Saturday, the BBC aired a new documentary claiming that the Lankan froces “have been involved in the torture and rape of Tamil civilians as recently as this year”[vi]. The regime is bound to dismiss this too as a fabrication.

There is a disturbing similarity between the above incidents of abuse and an event which took place in the village of Kolambewa, Ayagama in the Ratnapura District, where two policemen allegedly abused a four year old boy. According to media reports, “On the 5th two policemen in civilian attire had come to the house and inquired from the child about the father. When the child started crying they inserted a ladappa stick inside the child’s pants and left….”[vii] The child’s 9 year old brother had witnessed the entire incident. The child is suffering from urinating difficulties and is being treated at the Nagoda hospital.

Is this too a Diaspora/NGO fabrication? Or is it a warning that abuse and impunity recognise no boundaries and can victimise not just Tamils (and Muslims) but also Sinhalese (including 4 year old children)?

Is it a mere coincidence that the brutal attack on unarmed protestors in Weliweriya was carried out by the 58th Division under the command of Brigadier Deshapriya Gunawardane – heroes of the final offensive of the Final Eelam War? The people of Weliweriya did not think so, and called their attackers, ‘savage war-heroes’. A poster in Weliweriya read, “You fought for a drop of water and became a victim of the weapons of the savage war heroes…. We will indubitably hate those monsters in all lives”[viii].

Are the people of Weliweriya being punished continuously because they refuse to reject their own memories and accept the regime’s version of truth?

Last week, Asian Human Rights Commission revealed details about an ongoing case of torture of a suspect in custody, in Bandaragama[ix]. Nothing happened.

Less than 24 hours after the Organized Crime and Corruption Prevention Division of the Police Headquarters raided a gaming centre at the Salaka building, all 23 members of the Division were given lightening transfers out of the Western province[x].

The lesson is obvious – law-breaking policemen can get away with impunity if their victims are the poor and the powerless, of whatever race/religion; law-abiding policemen will be punished, if they interfere with the illegal activities of the power-wielders and their kith and kin.

In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, Winston Smith is tortured in the labyrinthine bowels of the Ministry of Love, until he agrees that two and two can be “four, five, six…in all honesty I don’t know”. The Rajapaksas do not want Lankan people to put two and two together and come up with four – from the connection between abuse in the North and abuse in the South to the correlation between the Commonwealth bash (plus other Rajapaksa extravaganzas) and the growing economic hardships in the South.

When Insanity Is Sanity

Thyroid cancers are fully curable; but the absence of necessary medication in the Cancer Hospital is needlessly endangering the lives of patients, according to Dr. Parakrama Warnakulasuriya of the GMOA. A patient generally has to wait for about three years to get the imported medication which can save his/her life![xi]

The same Sri Lanka is spending Rs.24 million on imported fireworks, for the Commonwealth Summit[xii].

The Rajapaksas are understandably cagey about the enormous sums spent on their Commonwealth-bling. Possibly in consequence, the Central Bank has not published income/expenditure figures for the first half of 2013 (due in August). According to published figures, in the first quarter of 2013, total revenue and grants decreased by 4.2% compared to 2012, while recurrent expenditure increased by 2.3% and capital expenditure and net lending by 21.7%6%. Public debt went up by 6.3% (Rs.6.3 trillion by April 2013[xiii]).

The regime wants us to believe that the Commonwealth-blinge will not worsen this already insalubrious economic health of the nation. The regime wants us to be sanguine that this path will not spell ruin for the country and for us.

The regime wants us to accept that two and two is anything but four. The Rajapaksas can survive and prosper only in such a ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four’ landscape.


[iv] Ibid

[vii] Lankadeepa – 8.11.2013

[xi] Lankadeepa – 8.11.2013

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Latest comments

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    Thank you Tisaranee.

    “The regime has already dismissed as a fabrication the latest channel 4 video which seems to depict the Tiger cadre/broadcaster Isaipriya alias Shoba being captured unharmed by Lankan soldiers[v]. If accurate, it would prove that Ms. Isaipriya did not die in battle – as the regime claimed – but was murdered (and abused) while in captivity – a gross violation of the Geneva Convention.”

    Srilanka:
    As part of an ‘Engage Sri Lanka’ campaign, the Sri Lankan government will hand out a 222 page book to brief journalists attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Colombo.
    ‘Corrupted Journalism’- Sri Lanka on heightening evidence of crimes against humanity http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=9138

    CH4:

    “His (Rajapaksa’s) government’s appalling human rights record, the lack of accountability for past and present crimes and the trampling of the freedom of speech make these words from him a mockery.” http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=9139

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      Bravo Thisaranee!
      But don’t you think that Rajafukse has saddled himself with the biggest white elephant ever, with the CHOGM circus to celebrate British Colonialism – Since the Commonwealth of Clowns is an organization totally lacking in purpose and relevance today – especaialy now that its most important country, India is also boycotting? How will Rajafukse explain his extravagant CHOGM circus to his ardent Sinhala Buddhist anti-west chorus?
      Rajapassa loves white elephants – viz. Hambantota port, airport, conference center etc. but CHOGM is the biggest WHITE ELEPHANT of all – i recon.
      And this in itself is very good for the following reasons
      1. for the last few weeks the Sinhala Buddhist Racist Lambs – Pathala Champika, Wimal Baluwansa and the BBS Balu Sena have observed silence in order to not offend the CHOGM party goers..
      2. After the CHOGM circus on which billions have been wasted it will be hard for Rajapassa to explain to even his favourite Sinhalaya Modays, why he spent so much money on a British Colonialism celebration for Prince Charles 65th Birthday party when he claims that Britain and the US are in a conspiracy to destabilize Lanka!We can have some fun with this one..!

    • 0
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      She tied her arms behind and shot herself. This is corrupt lawless Banana Republic owned and run by a crazy family of lunatics.

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    Bravery of this lady to speak truth in extremely dangerous envirienment where the freedom of speech has been cremated live by the MR’s suppressive regime is unbelievable and deserve admiration by all regardless of their political belief or affiliations.

  • 0
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    Stray dogs and beggars will be got rid of.Bensen

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    The BS from MR and GRs regime must keep going forward.. A bit like the runaway train, and so called “smart-ass” people like that GL Pariah are jumping on board and guiding the train, laying new tracks regardless of the outcomes to eat more and more of Lankan resources.. But like all great rides it is going to finish..

    As people get of their great ride.. “Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad”..

    Hope I’m there with an ice cream to watch the ending of this movie.. That day Sri Lanka will have the greatest party the world has ever seen.. For that day will be when we truly defeat terrorism and the evil within all of us..

  • 0
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    Brilliant Madam! Hats off!
    Please translate and publish in the Sinhala media to educate the Sinhalaya Modayas about their CORRUPT and CRIMINAL leaders..

  • 0
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    It may surprise you, but it could be real. Who Knows?

    My dear fellow citizens, leaders of the Common wealth and the people of the world, I am Mahinda Rajapakse, the President of the island of Sri Lanka. I welcome you all!

    First of all my truly and heartfelt apologies for the Nation and people of Sri Lanka, particularly the people of North East for the sufferings and losses made under my Presidency. I understand that I have breached and become a traitor to my conscience, to the principles human values and human norms, to the the preachings of Lord Buddha and the constitution of this Nation.

    I along with my family have brought this Nation and People to such a low level ever we faced in the history for the sake of my power and my family benefits. I am ashamed of my behavior. I am looking back and see the human blood shed on the no fire zone, the temples, mosques and churches I ordered to destroy, the children I ordered to massacre, the hospitals I ordered to bomb, my friends I ordered to assassinate; enough is enough, I behaved like a monster ignoring the true purpose of human being. I know that there is no pardon for me and my family.

    In this historic Movement, I have made a decision to use the power you gave me to do something good to the Nation and people before I leave this power. I may be shocking but it is real. Tamils of this Nation have suffered long enough under our rule. They need justice. At this juncture, I call upon all my fellow Sinhala citizens to recognise that Tamils need justice and they have the right to decide their own affairs, and give me the authority to share the power in every aspect that is equal to Sinhalese. I also understand the extreme powers make you crazy and greedy and to ignore the common purpose of rule of law and respect for law. At this juncture, I have decided to hand over the power in the hands of people and not to an individual. I have decided to remove the all the powers of presidency and the people to take over it from me.
    Finally and importantly a Nation need rule of law and a balanced and true Justice system which I completely ignored during my Presidency. So, I earnestly request the people of this nation to bring back the rule of law and justice system which should be equal to all citizens.

    Dear fellow citizens, I am sorry for the past and wish you a better future and I urge the law and justice system to do the right thing for those suffered under my Presidency. They need justice and the law should applied equally to me. I should face the same fate as my fellow citizen. I am not above the law. i surrender my powers to you.

    Humanity should live! Law of Buddha should return back to the Nation!
    Love and Peace need to come back! God Bless!

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      Cracker..

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      Ajith, I concur. It would be appropriate if the opening paragraph began as follows:

      My dear fellow citizens, leaders of the Commonwealth Circus of Clowns, I am Mahinda Rajapassa (a.k.a. Hitlerpassa) the unlawful President of Sri Lanka. I welcome you all!! ….

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      Ajith,

      “I understand that I have breached and become a traitor to my conscience”
      Above, the realization of own consciousness, will never happen to the people in the caliber of Rajapakse’s, at least until they loose the power.

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      Ajith, Very good. this is one way of getting his supporters to comprehend what the rest of us feel is wrong with this government. But then it’s a dream isn’t it?

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    Is this Ms T sure that the two people were in fact not budding Paediatric Surgeons, trying to insert catheters in little doodles?.

    Why on earth real cops interrogate a four year old when his nine year old brother is watching and sort of mentally recoding the whole scene, including the catheter procedure.

    May be the desperate Cosmopolitan Intelligentsia buy this,and keep paying her handsomely.

    By the way why does Ms or Mr T keep pretending that she/ he is an inhabitant.

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      K.A Sumanasekera:
      It is only a low-life like you from the gutter of God knows where, who would think that inserting foreign objects into a child’s private parts is cause for hilarity.
      CT needs to take a VERY SERIOUS look at what b…..s like you keep putting on its website. While stupidity is not a crime as the Sri Lankan voter will proudly proclaim, the filth that you keep spewing should not be tolerated.

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      (゜゜)~BTW Why does Ms T keep pretending that she/he is an inhabitant(゜゜)~

      ಠ_ಠ Bad Attitude, Of the low breed slugs the sumana’s of society,

      Dystopian “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU”,

      WE were born here it all belongs to us not the mob of the low breed mobs.

      (゜゜)~May be the desperate Cosmopolitan Intelligentsia buy this,and keep paying her handsomely (゜゜)~ Sumana the half maggot in the apple that finds its place in finger nails you need something more than a totem pole up your posterior??

      Seoomb I’ve a Big Un

      O:-) 0:3

    • 0
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      KASUmanwathie Aka LEELAWATE;

      “Why on earth real cops interrogate a four year old when his nine year old brother is watching and sort of mentally recoding the whole scene, including the catheter procedure”.
      SUMANAWATHIE;
      Because those Goon cops of Hothambaya’s M O D are Mentally retarded SEX MANIACS, Like you and your Shit eating PIGS.
      Desperate moronic Dahja Jarapassas clans of Shit eating Pigs will pay for their Sex maniac goons like you and
      keep them happy to Stay in power and
      eat from Poor people’s Blood and sweat.

  • 0
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    Ajith: Here^s some kiribath (dont mind it was prepared in a hurry by
    the road-side). You are entitled to a pleasant dream once in a way as
    long as CT exists!

    Mrs.T. is getting to a stage where white-vanning can be an exported-
    activity, so please take precautions. There are GLPs & Sajins to do
    the honour in this field as directed locally by the Masters.

  • 0
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    chee mahinda,use a toothpick.

  • 0
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    Regarding the Weliweriya incident, some one wrote that they transported students in lorries or trucks and were preparing for a ARAB SPRING type uprisings. In other words, they had prepared for civil dis-obedience. IT was all pre-meditated. Govt moles may have known that and gave them what they deserved.

    SO, it is good lesson for organizers of that weliweiriya incident.

    • 0
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      “some one wrote”

      maybe you with another name.

      • 0
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        THAT COULD BE VERY LIKELY.

    • 0
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      Jim Softly, Explain why the three young people who were killed deserved it. From where do you get your reasoning?

      • 0
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        Wickremasiri,

        This bugger Jim Softy says that youth were transported to the area from outside, to create an Arab Spring. Then how come the youth who died were all from the area and none of them were outsiders? This bugger Jim Softy has his brains in his testicles, that he cannot tell a proper lie even.

  • 0
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    Ms Gunasekera,

    All the inconveniences of the HOGM meet will be worthwhile because during the meeting the Rajapaksa regime will be under the glare of the whole world. Now the whole world knows about the terrible dictatorship, the war crimes, the corruption, attacks on the judiciary, the attacks on innocent protestors agitating for safe water, the disappearances, police torture etc., etc….. This is a golden opportunity to make the regime answerable to its terrible deeds.

  • 0
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    Didn’t these people wanted us to believe that the economy will collapse if we opt for military operations against LTTE so we should appease the secessionist? Now they say the economy will be hit bad bc of an conference?

  • 0
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    Economy, or the great tragedy.. Sorry if i don’t understand about the intricacies of how an “economy” works. Well i actually do more than most, but some might know more..

    Like i said before and will say again, it’s all a big game. Forget Education, forget what your dad taught you, everyone was fooled.

    Get back to the basics guys, we all die, that’s all we truly know, everything else is big bloody guess, whether told by a christian priest, a monk, a Hindu, Jewish or Islam priest.

    I think this is a great little piece on life from a great philosopher, please view whole video and comment if you like. I would like your opinion.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-GP_DXOeHU

  • 0
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    Too bad Tamilians could not stop CHOGM in SL. :)

    It hurts doesn’t it?

    Transsexual Government of Tamil Elam (TGTE) is not invited. That hurts even more.

  • 0
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    (゜゜)~ It hurts doesn’t it?(゜゜)~

    Whey Hey! Mossad is getting “mewsical.”

    BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU

    Hijab Baaaa?? :)

    0:3

    • 0
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      Who are you, really :)

      Thank you !!!

  • 0
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    Tissaranie is great! What a contrast with Seneviratne and Dayan!

    • 0
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      Yup to DJ and Shena,

      Don’t talk about what you have done or what you are going to do! ;)

  • 0
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    ‘savage war-heroes’ still war heros as you can see. It is natural and will always be this way. Slaves worship their masters and dream to emulate them in every way.

  • 0
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    I am sure that Tissaranie is grateful to Mahinda.[Edited out]

  • 0
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    Chee mahinda,you jungle man from the south,don’t surreptitiously take your fingers closer and closer to your nose to pick it,pretending to do some heavy thinking.This is not your Thurstan college era,it is the age of high technology and the cameras are on you,magnified on your face.

  • 0
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    mahinda please do not spit betel chew on the guy in front.We don’t want another war just because you want to win the next election.

  • 0
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    ‘THE GREAT BRIDGE’ OF TAMILS/SINHALESE SPLIT IN ’56.
    IT WAS FULLY DESTROYED. BY MR.
    WHO WILL (OR CAN) MAKE A NEW ‘BRIDGE’?

    • 0
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      Tadpole (゜゜)~ WHO WILL (OR CAN) MAKE A NEW ‘BRIDGE’?(゜゜)~ Tadpole

      Shuuu! Cambridge Club is mending it and it’s beyond SL scope!
      “Today’s Thorn is Tomorrows Flower” when its Indus valley civilisation handling events- not the common alu poratas and bathgullas.

      The Ox’s have floundered and drowned in the troubled waters of
      HumbugTota `Meehark`.

      Back to the days when the country was run before 48 as East India Company
      the dawn of capitalism) is a clear benchmark–{Rugby and Cricket had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that! Getting into the team was based on MERIT, not because of connections… We got rulers landing on our hands or where ever the teacher could reach, and they didn’t get reported to the School Board! The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law & we were punished a second time when we got home! We had Freedom, Failure, Success and Responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL! And we survived and became contributing members of society despite it all.} ;) -– firstly it keeps the poppycock mahawamse tatte motte to sink in their skunk so that sanity may prevail.

      Hungry man is an angry man and beggars cannot be choosers.

      Gota “Gooo”ta “Booo”ts

      Mugabe loves you Lankets

      O:-) :* :*

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