19 April, 2019

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Dangerous Pronouncements Of Mohan Pieris On ‘Reconciliation’

By Laksiri Fernando –

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

When the Asian Tribune, probably the Editor KT Rajasingham himself, raised the important issue of ‘confidence’ as a possible barrier for the TNA and the UNP to so far nominate their representatives to the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC), Mohan Pieris, in an interview on 12 June 2012, characterized it as “being selfish,” and lambasted saying “What is confidence? They are enjoying all the perks of their offices they hold. They enjoy all the material benefits every other government members enjoy. What is this confidence they talk of?”

Mohan Pieris is not only a former Attorney General of the country who recently lost his credibility by saying one thing to the UN Committee on Torture (CAT) on the disappearance of Prageeth Ekneligoda and then refuting it cheekily before the Maharagama Magistrate, but also the Chairman of the Inter Agency Commission to Implement the Interim Recommendations of the Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). In addition he is also a Special Advisor to the Cabinet of Ministers.

To such an important person on reconciliation, ‘confidence’ or ‘confidence building’ in the reconciliation process equals to ‘perks’ and ‘material benefits,’ perhaps revealing his own mindset on matters that are well prominent nowadays in Sri Lanka. Thus he cannot understand why the TNA or the UNP cannot have confidence in the government, when they enjoy the official benefits of MPs, as if these benefits are given to them by the benevolence or as ‘bribes’ of the government. What is implied is the ownership of power and wealth within a small group of people, masquerading as Government, and the need for others to serve them with ‘confidence.’

When the interviewer commented on the TNA position that “they are not going to come as far as I am aware,” the answer was “well..well..well…then the Government will have to do the next best thing.” Mohan Pieris also spelled out this ‘next best thing’ saying that “there are other right thinking people in the Tamil community who will join with us and will come with a formula which we think is the next best.” It is perhaps in this context that he mentioned about the ‘perks’ and ‘material benefits’ that can generate confidence among some ‘dummies’ instead of the TNA.

Pieris also talked about ‘clapping’ and ‘Tango.’ “It takes two to Tango. You need two hands to clap,” he boldly said. But instead of a real Partner to Tango, as he revealed, the government is going to have a dummy as the second best. Why? The answer came when the Asian Tribune asked “why can’t the government try to persuade the TNA?”

First it was sheer arrogance saying, “You can take a horse to water, but you can’t get it to drink.” Then it was utter impatience when the need of ‘government again talking to the TNA’ was suggested. The answer was “What is there to talk…We are just talking, talking and talking.” This was the attitude of such an important person from the government side on ‘talks’ as part of a reconciliation process or political negotiations.

Pieris was somewhat taken aback when the “UNP also not joining the PSC” was suggested. “So that is because none has the country at heart” was the answer. He was not talking about a ‘second best’ in this instance. Instead, he was waving the ‘patriotic’ card.

When the Rajapaksa associates first brought the issue of ‘patriotism,’ many people who wanted to be critical of the government, including myself, were somewhat puzzled thinking whether they (we) were doing something wrong, because we all love the country. But now it has become an utter joke simply because of the scale of abuse, vendetta, plunder and deceit going on in the name of patriotism.

In the interview, Pieris very clearly refuted the possibility of reconciling with the TNA. That should be noted by everyone at home and abroad. “I can only reconcile with someone who wants to reconcile,” he categorically said. Perhaps he was ignorant of the political implications of the simile that he brought into the discussion. He said, “it is no different to – may be a family break up.” He should know better than anyone else the marriage law regarding separation or divorce when there is a family breakup. I am sure however he is ignorant of the theoretical literature on the subject of self-determination that equates political separation to family breakups.

There is no wonder why Mr R. Sampanthan was talking about the impossibility of having a ‘solution even within a united Sri Lanka’ at the ITAK convention in Batticaloa, if he has encountered utterances like Mohan Pieris’ during the “quantum of dialogue” with the government that Pieris referred to during the interview. Still I would persuade Mr Sampanthan to otherwise.

It was utter nonsense that Pieris talked about referring to amity among communities in the Galle Face Green! Almost like a senile ‘post-modernist,’ he said “in the evening you see the community living in peace. They are talking, laughing and enjoying themselves. There is no Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims or Burghers over there.” Then he said “Nothing,” like what he said about “Ekneligoda’s whereabouts” before the Maharagama Magistrate: “only God who knows.”

Perhaps this type of self-deception must be going on in the inner circles of the Rajapaksa associates. It is entirely true that the ordinary Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims have ever lived in peace and still wants to live in peace and amity. Then who is igniting communal ill feeling and violence like what we recently saw in Dilithura, Dambulla or Dehiwala?

At least we know for sure that Rev. Inamaluwe Sumangala who led the attacks on the Dambulla Mosque was a President’s delegate toMyanmarin June 2009 just after the end of the war and perhaps he learned those tactics from there (listen to ITN News on YouTube, 18 June 2009). It is equally known that many recent attacks on Muslim religious places, including the Dehiwala Musjid attack on 25 May 2012, were led by the JHU monks, a constituent partner of the Rajapaksa administration.

Most dangerous or vicious were Pieris’ comments on the TNA leadership and Mr Sampanthan. When the interviewer asked why doesn’t the government “talk to the TNA leader Sampanthan on all these issues,” the sarcastic answer was “in that case we will add another round of talks…The whole problem with the Tamil community is that they have too many lawyers there. They just talk law. They are enjoying themselves talking constitutional jurisprudence.” Mind you, these answers came not from an ordinary politician, but from a former Attorney General.

This is not what I exactly thought vicious, but his comments about the future of the TNA leadership. He said, “Sooner or later the present TNA and the whole existing political outfits will be no more due to natural causes (my emphasis).” Pieris didn’t explain what these natural causes might be but repeated even at the very end of the interview that “the present TNA and others will be no more due to natural causes (again my emphasis).”

I have met Mr Sampanthan several times and he is an extremely a gentlemanly and a pleasant person whatever the political differences that we may have. I call him ‘Mr’ because of his seniority and with respect. We all know that he is old with several health problems.

The world needs an explanation from Mohan Pieris what he meant by “natural causes.” What we know about him is his entanglement with disappearances inSri Lanka, especially of Prageeth Ekneligoda. If he is involved with ‘natural causes’ as well, then he should explain them without dragging this time God into the whole affair.

 

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    Many thanks to Dr. Fernando for a very courageous write-up. We, Sri Lankans have difficulties in finding truth-revealing articles like this nowadays as almost all the articles written by the the agents of the ruling family are just an academic cover-up.

    Mr. Pieris has sunk the country and its institutions into muddy waters with his unashamed character of lying just for the perks he is receiving from the ruling family- and he is said to be aiming the highest office in the judiciary for the services he is rendering to the MR family. Can a right thinking person just imagine the future of the country if a man like Mohan Pieris is appointed as the CJ of SL?

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    I was aghast to read Mohan Pieris’ statement reference Prageeth Eknaligoda. Whatever said and done it is a life of an individual and not a terrorist. Just to casually mock, that only God knows whether he is alive or not and ward off blame and responsibility as a person holding high office, is damn disgusting to say the least. To come from a person who should know the torment of losing near and dear ones, having lost his only child, it is unacceptable as a God fearing Catholic for him to state so lightly the plight of Prageeth Eknaligoda. It is no wonder that it is said, God has funny ways of dealing with people but have these individuals learned anything from their own experiences of life?

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    Judging from the post 1948 history of Sri Lanka, the opposition, who ever it may be, had no confidence of the Government of the day. So many reasons could be attributed for this but this division is detrimental to the country as a whole.

    What matters in the end is the willingness of every one to value integrity, service and excellence for an inclusive society.

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    @gamini, Mohan Peiris was never a god fearing catholic. Even as a senior level officer in the AG’s Dept, he had to hurriedly leave along with some other acolytes due to messing around with money after accepting fees as private counsel while serving as a senior state law officer.

    His lack of integrity is an open secret in the legal circles. Mahinda appointed him back as AG no less because he wanted someone to do his ditry tricks which Peiris did ti the best possible extent.His absurd comments in the Homagama MC (it was Homagama by the way, not Maharagama) shocked all people who were there. I saw in the newspapers thereafter, an excellent satirical expose of this, in the Island by Andare and a more measured response in the Times by Kishali Pinto Jayawardena.

    This is a very good reflection by Dr Laksiri. I hope that it will be carried in the print newspapers for those who do not access the Internet.

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    Good stuff keep it coming!
    The Tamils are up in arms due to militarization and military land grabbing in northeast. The regime must engage in CONFIDENCE BUILDING MEASURES to get the UNP and TNA on board for a solution or see the Commonwealth Heads meet decimated of moved to another country come 2013. UNP & TNA need to present a common road-map for confidence building by govt. to be implemented in a time bound manner as precondition for talks on a political solution-
    1. Rights to Info bill passed in Parliament & 17 th Amendemnt implemented
    2. Demilitarization of northeast
    3. Northern PC elections in a month.
    Demilitarization is a first principle for CONFIDENCE building with both the UNP and TNA along with hold northern Provincial Council elections in the north.
    Laksisr, as a Uni-Don please also write on the over-funding of the military at the expense of education and higher ed. in particular.
    The current minister of Higher Ed cannot speak to sentences of English which is the international language of research, technology and teaching, and knows nothing about the research process.
    We am bewildered as to why the Dons have not called for his resignation for incompetance and telling numerous fibs!

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    . “They are enjoying all the perks of their offices they hold. They enjoy all the material benefits every other government members enjoy.”. The sad truth about this statement is that it clearly describes the reason why most third-world politicians enter politics. They do so in order to feather their own nests. They enjoy the trappings of office, including being treated like royalty by the semi-literate and unsophisticated, rural peasantry. They put their cronies into power and blatantly demand kickbacks and bribes into their Swiss bank accounts.
    It is easy to condemn the people who vote for these crooks and say that they deserve the rulers that they get. However, to do so would also ignore the victims of such corrupt selfishness. Pieris’s ignorance will destroy any hope of reconciliation and unity.

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    What is dangerous about Mohan Pieris when world superpower leaders could lie through their teeth and invade countries.

    These leaders were too and are God fearing catholics & Christians and decorated war veterans in colin Powell.

    These are the people who tore up the Geveva Convention.

    Let those pay for what they did to Ekneligoda but it was certainly not Mohan……… Leave him alone.

    INTEGRITY IS A NON EXISTENT WORD IN THE WORLD VOCABULARIES & IN DICTIONARIES.
    WHY DO WE HARP ON IT ??
    WE ALL CAN CRITICISE, BUT WHO IS THAT ONE PERSON WITH INTEGRITY ?
    THE WRITER ??

    DO NOT GET MIXED UP WITH COURGAE & INTEGRITY.

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    Mohan Pieris should change his name to Mohan Andare Pieris, since he is doing the same thing that Andare did in ancient kings court…..entertaining the King…nothing less nothing more!

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