17 October, 2019

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Desist From Violence & Justification Of Violence

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Today is the International Day of Non-violence (2 October). What could be our thoughts for the day and the cause of non-violence? In the case of Sri Lanka, there are winds again blowing in the direction of encouraging violence and justification of violence. Encouragement of violence and justification of violence are more abhorrent than people under certain circumstances indulging in (spontaneous) violence for social, political or psychological reasons.

Encouragement and justification of violence mostly come from the elite for political or psychological reasons, the perpetrators most often not indulging themselves in violence directly, but promoting the others to do so. The poor and the youth are the most vulnerable for this violent propaganda or instigations. This promotion or indulgence cannot be justified on the basis that others also perpetrate, or perpetrate more. The State most often comes under this category of ‘others,’ in that limited sense for some justifiable reasons.

gunCould all these be due to ignorance or false perceptions? It could be, and that is why education and awareness are necessary to prevent people encouraging, justifying or indulging in violence. However, when people take a violent path it is usually difficult to divert them to legitimate or non-violent paths, unless they come into a crashing point or forced for peace agreements under national or international compulsion. These crashing points can be defeats in the case of a violent movements or arrest in the case of an individual violator. Then there is a possibility of rehabilitating some by the society or the state, if the programmes are scientifically designed. Then there are others who indulge in violence for ideological reasons, coming back again and again to violence.

State and Violence

Why do we depend largely on the state to curtail violence in society? The state itself is violent or largely violent, one can argue. The reason is that the state is the main legitimate overall organization in society, presumably based on a ‘social contract.’ If the ‘social contract’ is weak or state itself is indulging in violence, then it is up to the people to reform such a state until social harmony is achieved. That is why we have Democracy, although there can be a contradiction between the ‘democratic institutions’ and the ‘state apparatus’ in a given context. Rejection of the state is embracing Anarchy that would lead to more and more violence.

Violence is abhorrent because it hurts people physically and/or psychologically; killing or now popular predicament of ‘involuntary disappearance’ being an ultimate consequence. Who has a right to terminate another person’s life? There is no point in opposing one form of violence while defending the other. Violence also could be verbal, and the worst forms could be the indiscriminate violence and terrorism. We can quote and quote people like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela (in his late years) or the Religious Leaders to drive the point. This 2nd October is the 147th Anniversary of Gandhi’s birth in addition to the International Day of Non-violence. But in terms of quotes, the following from Robert Kennedy might be the best, apart from the one quoted from Gandhi before, for our Sri Lankan conditions.

“What has violence ever accomplished? What has it ever created? No martyr’s cause has ever been stilled by an assassin’s bullet. No wrongs have ever been righted by riots and civil disorders. A sniper is only a coward, not a hero; and an uncontrolled or uncontrollable mob is only the voice of madness, not the voice of the people.”

Robert Kennedy stated the above aftermath of his brother’s assassination. That is why he talked about martyrs. However, all of the reflections are true in the case of Sri Lanka. What has violence ever achieved in Sri Lanka in the North or the South? Only death and destruction. What has it ever created? Nothing but hatred, further suspicion and distancing of communities and generations. This voice of madness should stop. Violence is not the voice of the people.

Disturbing Trends

The immediate reason to raise the issue of non-violence in this article is not merely the ‘International Day of Non-violence,’ but mostly the disturbing trends going on in encouraging violence and defending violence of the past (of all sides) which have the potential of igniting open violence in the country again. The glorification and justification of Prabhakaran’s violent path (not to speak of terrorism) and the justification and the defense of all what the army did in defeating the LTTE are some examples. It is also not true that the state completely terminated violence by defeating the LTTE in 2009. ‘Terrorism’ yes, but not overall violence. Violence against the Muslim community in Aluthgama, among other places, in 2013 with the state sanction is one example.

People however managed unitedly to ensure a governmental change in 2015 with the hope of achieving further peace and ethnic reconciliation, among other democratic objectives. This is the potential of democracy that we previously talked about in curtailing state violence through reforming the state. There is much the civil society also could do and should do with responsibility. People should be united, irrespective of ethnicity or religion, to achieve this objective and the leaders should not sabotage this effort. Of course the performances are slow, not completely satisfactory and beset with contradictions. These are some of the realities that we have to change with determination and unitedly.

However, this is not a reason to create despair, make maximalist demands or place unachievable goals or indirectly instigate people to ‘Rise Up’ or resort to civil disobedience. Of course, civil disobedience is recognized as part of non-violent struggles. However, the rationality depends on the context. There are opportunities to negotiate with the present government at present. Some of the TNA leaders are doing so whether completely satisfactory or not. Instigating people and launching protests without coming to the negotiating table is simply irresponsible.

I am here directly talking about the NPC Chief Minister, C. V. Wigneswaran. Since his elections, he is misusing the provincial council to launch his political agenda, without doing his job properly. It is most hilarious that he has become a ‘radical’ or a ‘revolutionary’ at his late age, not to speak of his former judicial position! This has given ample opportunities for people like Wimal Weerawansa or Udaya Gammanpila of the Joint Opposition to arouse ethnic and racist passions among the Sinhalese in the South. Are we repeating the history is the obvious question?

Parallel to all these are the trends among the Tamil intellectuals or writers to justify Prabhakaran and the violent path that he took, directly and indirectly, not to speak of terrorism. The newest in this trend is the article by Pitasanna Shanmugathas titled “It was wrong to Label the LTTE as a Terrorist Organization” (Colombo Telegraph, 30 September 2016).

White Washing Violence

Shanmugathas’ main accusation is of course against the US, for banning the LTTE as a terrorist organization. Misusing even Noam Chomsky, he says “the United States is the world’s leading terrorist state.” Anti-state rhetoric is the whole mark of his argument. It is true that the US has blundered and created violent havoc in many parts of the word, but it is a democratic state for the people in the country. It is unfortunate that the UN or the other states have not been in a position to check the adventurous foreign policy of the US. But still the possibility is available for the people in the country to change the foreign policy by changing the government although arduous. Branding the US as a ‘terrorist state’ does justify anti-state terrorism, even at present, unleashed by many groups and individuals in the country. News of this nature are not rare almost every day.

Shanmugathas laments that “India is never regarded as a terrorist state even though the superpower commits terrorist actions both domestically and abroad.” His sympathy with various terrorist organizations in India and Kashmir are conspicuous. His knowledge about international relations or political theory is also questionable as he considers India as a ‘superpower’ without any explanation. Is this rhetoric or what? Although his criticism of Lakshman Kadirgamar appears mild to say “This was completely a wrong policy” referring to his service to the country in promoting the banning of the LTTE internationally, his sympathy with the LTTE is clear. He says “It should be acknowledged, first and foremost, that the LTTE did have legitimate grievances” in this regard against Kadirgamar.

It is possible that this person is a misguided and a confused individual who now believes that the LTTE and more correctly Prabhakaran should have been ‘educated’ and ‘reformed’ and turned into a ‘Dharmakaran’ to resolve the conflict or the war in Sri Lanka. But the experience or the reality was not that, to say the least. It is no wonder, according to him, it was Erik Solheim who has given him this dead-rope. So, eliminating Kadirgamar was justified or not a major crime! Shanmugathas further says “During the Indo-Lanka talks, Prabhakaran voiced frustrations against Rajiv Gandhi for undermining his authority and not directly negotiating with him.” So, eliminating Rajiv Gandhi also was justified or something that has just happened! ‘Undermining his [Prabhakaran’s] authority was the major crime of Rajiv Gandhi because according to him or Solheim “Prabhakaran was the sole decision maker within the LTTE.” Here we are not talking about democracy, but dictatorship or a dictatorial person.

The most alarming from Shanmugathas is the following. He is giving a plausible reason for Neelan Thiruchelvam’s killing.

“A plausible reason why Prabhakaran blatantly rejected constitutional reforms such as the Indo-Lanka accord and the GL-Neelan package, and proceeded to kill those who proposed constitutional reforms was because Prabhakaran did not understand the necessity of federalism and ignorantly viewed separatism as the only answer.” (My emphasis).

Perhaps the above is something Solheim must have told him although it is not clearly stated.

Failure of Peace

But the following is something they have clearly stated.

“Bob Rae and Erik Solheim, two individuals who played key roles during the peace process, stated that a good portion of the peace process was spent teaching the senior LTTE officials about the basics of federalism. LTTE senior leaders such as Thamilselvan and Col.Karuna were flown abroad to nations like France to learn about federalism. However, as acknowledged by both Bob Rae and Erik Solheim, this was completely useless because it was only Prabhakaran who was the sole decision maker within the LTTE.”

It is intriguing to note why Thamilselvam and Karuna were flown to France to teach federalism? France is a unitary state and not a federal one. Be as it may, according to this interpretation of Rae and Solheim, the whole peace effort of Norway was not successful because they couldn’t teach Prabhakaran about federalism since (1) he couldn’t be taken to France and (2) he was the sole decision maker within the LTTE.

My interpretation of the failure is different, of course several factors contributing. Primary among them is the failure of the peace mediators, (Norway being primarily responsible) to convince the LTTE or Prabhakaran or even educate and advise him/them that they should move away from violence and the violent path. I wouldn’t mind if they were taken to any country for that matter. If the Norway was successful in that, then many lives could have been saved including Prabhakaran’s. This is not a lesson of the past but also a lesson for the future on this International Day of Non-violence. To achieve peace and reconciliation, encouraging and justifying violence must stop, on all sides.

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  • 0
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    [Edited out]article by Laksiri Fernando should have distributed among poor families in syria, Libia, Iraq and even among australian abogines who are suffering the racist violence from the invaders [Edited out]

    Mahathma Gandhi is a western product. British were losing to Indian fighters. Because of that, before they leave they wanted to hand over the country to a moderate. So, they planted the Indian named Gandhi who was practising law in South Africa.

    Probably, Laksiri [Edited out]
    Laksiri talk about a social contact btween the society and the state. what is that social contract in Austrlia between the govt and the British migrensts naruralized in austrlia, social contract between the govt and Aborginies living in that country and the social contract between asian migrents in australia and the austrlian govt ?

    In Sri lanka, it was UK – educated kalusuddhas who wrte the social contracts and their power hunger gave 10% of Tamils the equal status and made Tamil a National language. that was the first weak policy.

    Laksiri should explain why australian law enfircement kill aborginies and what their laws are for teenagers to hold in jail indefinitely. Is that violence ? Austrlia send troups to middle east and what is that violence ?.

    On ther hand, Sri lanka govt should have treated LTTE like pets ?

    I say, Sri lankan govt should let LTTE operate side by side with Wiggie and let the Jaffna – people handle it. Only if they start blowing up and break the rules, then stop violnece with violence.

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    Dr. Laksiri Fernando

    RE: Desist From Violence & Justification Of Violence

    “Today is the International Day of Non-violence (2 October). What could be our thoughts for the day and the cause of non-violence? In the case of Sri Lanka, there are winds again blowing in the direction of encouraging violence and justification of violence. Encouragement of violence and justification of violence are more abhorrent than people under certain circumstances indulging in (spontaneous) violence for social, political or psychological reasons.”

    What we have is Yahapalanaya, Good Governance! Since the average IQ of Sri Lankans is 79, there are still many idiots who believe that. Let’s see.

    State Violence

    Right now, the police arrests, makes their own decisions, tortures the suspects, gets confessions under duress, or kills the suspects, and produces the body.

    What the Gamarala President of Yahapalanaya, in the 2,500 year- old Para-Sinhala, Para-Buddhist “civilization” wants to do is deny basic human rights. What did he say at the UN Speech?

    SRI LANKA: Proposed amendment to the criminal procedure code is a blatant encouragement to torture and degrade suspects.

    http://www.humanrights.asia/countries/sri-lanka

    The hasty passing of laws and emergency regulations particularly with the intention of encouraging law enforcement officers to commit acts which amounts to serious crimes is not an unfamiliar practice in Sri Lanka.

  • 6
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    Laksiri Fernado’s articles are always relevant , timely and opportune. This one is more so not only because of ‘International Day of Non-violence’ but also to warn mischief makers such as the old guards MR, WW and their accomplices not to indulge in or propagate violence in order to achieve their goal of toppling this government.

    Fernando writes “Encouragement and justification of violence mostly come from the elite for political or psychological reasons, the perpetrators most often not indulging themselves in violence directly, but promoting the others to do so. The poor and the youth are the most vulnerable for this violent propaganda or instigations. This promotion or indulgence cannot be justified on the basis that others also perpetrate, or perpetrate more. The State most often comes under this category of ‘others,’ in that limited sense for some justifiable reasons”.

    Because the old guards lose popularity due to the corruptions, money laundering, violence and killings they encouraged and practised during their tenure of office and that news slowly reaches the masses in politically remote areas.

    They try hard to misinterpret what NPC Chief Minister said to justify their call for racist uprising to reverse the slow journey towards democracy, peace and reconciliation. The CM has always stood for Federalism and against separation. He worships Lord Buddha and Hindu Gods and respect all communities equally. However, he is against erecting Buddhist shrines in places where there are no buddhists to worship, the military camps when there is peace and no war for last 8 years and monk initiated settlements of people from the south. He has openly said he is not against anyone buying land or property in any part of the country but some priests and groups are hell bent on disturbing the communal harmony.

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      [Edited out]

  • 7
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    We had violence in this country !! Even before Prabaharan !! Or LTTE !! Because of state sponsored violence against Tamils brought us in this situation !! Any one who ask for their wrights is branded as terrorist !! Racist !! Why don’t you tell the government to full fill the promises they made to Tamils and the t This nothing new !! In our time !! In 1960’S we were called Kallathoni !! In later part of 1970’S Kottiya !! Now Racist !! community before defeating LTTE

  • 3
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    Dear Dr. Laksiri Fernando,
    All people with sanity will appreciate you and agree with you. What about all the racism fed and racism trenched people of Sri Lanka? Is it possible for Sri Lanka to show Leadership by getting along with Tamils also? Will they understand what the war victims do is because of their own reality and their own dream. Will they understand how and why humanitarianism disappears and how and why violence takes place.
    Is it possible for the NPC CM to bring any reform and erase racism let lose by the Government in the North and East? Just like in the past, the pacts cosigned by the Governments and Tamil parties got abrogated, what will be the benefit or loss in abrogating the commitment the new Regime made with UN. Is it good or bad for the NPC CM to hold the Raleigh which gave some relief and hope to the victims at the same time as a reminder to the commitment of the Government to international community. Is it good for any human to turn around the realities of victims as a foundation for violence?
    A critical point of view is different from assuming a reverse direction as to how and who creates violence. Are there knowledgeable people in the world today who will not know what is the problem and the cause of the problem in Sri Lanka today?
    Is there anybody who doesn’t know, it is the responsibility of the Government of Sri Lanka to curb racism in the Country, make the Judiciary independent, bring the well known criminals to book, and bring back confidence and respect for the international community to gain confidence again. Is the Country ready to go down the abyss again even after offers of help from the international community? Blaming Tamils and blaming Sinhalese has to be stopped and it is high time if not late for the Government to do its best. Communicate with the North and East as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstanding, sadness, and drama. Don’t make assumptions. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering. Integrity comes only if you use your power in the direction of truth and love.

  • 1
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    Professor Fernando.
    Thank you for the sermon. You recall the role played by Norway to usher in federalism in the country as a compromise to the Elam of LTTE and Diaspora.
    But one wonders why Norway was and still is so keen on settling our internal problem, while ignoring or even abetting the carnage, death and destruction that occur everyday for half a century in the doorstep of Norway and Western Europe. This doorstep is what we call the Middle East including the country previously known for centuries as Palestine, name of which has been changed to Israel with the connivance of the west including Norway .The crimes committed by Israelis in Palestine and genocide of native palestinians are no concern of the Norway. Norway, a country with a very small population, is in reality the decoy of the CIA and Neo-colonialists.
    It is interesting that Professor Fernando reminds us today, the 2nd of October, the the true altruistic credentials of Norway and the West.
    Let us appreciate immense contribution and yeoman service done by USA, West and former European Colonialists to make this world a peaceful place, especially in the Middle East, South America, Vietnam, Cambodia,central and west Africa, Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, South Africa and last but least Sri Lanka.
    Once again, we should be thankful to the erudite professor for writing with clarity and accuracy on the thorny issue of peace and harmony between Tamils and Sinhalese and the genuine role played by Norway in Sri Lanka.
    Sri lankans are evre grateful to the 342 NGOs operating in our country at present and funded by the impeccable West and Norway.

  • 4
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    Do not the Tamils have even the right to cry if such cry would stir people in the South? The CM of North has never resorted to rabble rousing! His speech was never anti- Sinhala or anti-Buddhist.
    Sengodan. M

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      Sengodan. M

      “Do not the Tamils have even the right to cry if such cry would stir people in the South?”

      A definitive No, the minorities have no right (by Sri Lankan standards) to cry or laugh, simply because they are not the majority and they have lost the war. The minorities are not part of the origin myth hence not part of the heritage and history.

      Minorities are disqualified to have equality of justice and opportunities.

      Please stop asking more like the stupid boy Oliver Twist (Charles Dickens) and Taraki does not think you have the right to cry.

      So the minorities should get on with their life with whatever is given to them.

      Don’t cry, don’t laugh, don’t complain, don’t mourn, don’t have sex, … don’t eat, ….. as these activities will be seen as excessive in the eyes of many who believe that the minorities already have more and demanding more.

      Please refrain from sex until the armed forces are satisfied that the minorities have prior permission from them to indulge in family life .

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      Sengodan, M

      If the police or military strike a blow or kill Northeren ‘Kanthasamy’ and Southern ‘Appuhamy’ they are expected to react in different ways, Kanthasamy has to put up and shut up with it and Appuhamy can resort to retaliation or take action to see justice prevail by either punishing the law breakers or seek compensation. Appuhamy has the support of ‘JO’ and Sinhala-Buddhist monks. That’s enough. Kanthasamy has no right to seek any justice because of his name.

      The rights of an individual in Sri Lanka depend on his/her name. The name which is based on the language and to some extent the religion determines if the establishment supports or rejects the rights of the name holder. It’s simple and everyone understands and if not one can shout and ready to face the consequences of name calling ‘racist’, ‘kotia’ or ‘kallathorny’ and calls of ‘return to ‘Tamil Nadu’.

      If your forefathers came from Bengale or Orissa you are blessed and if from South India you are cursed. The logic is very simple. If you find it difficult look at US, Australia, where a native is cursed and an immigrant is blessed. You get it? It depends on which side is the government?

  • 2
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    It is a sugarcoated venomous cake in a sense it began with alluring theoretical exposition of non violence just to spread fallacious and gratuitous hatred and malice against certain persons merely because they work for or support the cause of the Tamils.

  • 5
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    Dear Dr. Laksiri,
    The concept of non-violence should be encouraged and all (people, state, religions, leaders, civil societies) should play an equal part in making peace and harmony and creating a non-violent, equal society. There is no question about this. However, you are still trying to create an image that “Terrorism” means only LTTE and others are “Violence”. In my view it is a discriminatory classification and it hurts most of the Tamils. Further, you try to create an image that “Wigneswaran” is encouraging “violence” or promoting “racism”. You justifie that this encouraged people like Wimal Weerawansa or Udaya Gammanpila of the Joint Opposition to arouse ethnic and racist passions among the Sinhalese in the South. Do you think that the racist passions of the Joint Opposition lead by Mahinda Rajapakse only started after his speech. You are trying to connect two events in a linear way (Wigneswaran speech to Wimal weerawanse rascism) but you are ignoring the connection between the building of a Buddhist Temple in a private land of a Hindu Temple) by a Monk (where not a single Sinhalese live)with the Military protection and Wigneswaran speech. Why cannot you all explain to the people in the South it is wrong to built a Buddhist Temple by force. Instead what you all are justifying the wrong or actions of Weerawanse indirectly. This is the excuse that is going for past six decades. In another aricle today, there is something about rape incidents of Tamil women recently and police charging them as the accused. Why you all are taking this issue seriously and what is the reason for the silence of those who encourage no-violence? Sinhalese people in the South should know the truth and the voice for affected Tamils should come from the South.

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      Dear Ajith,

      In this article I have dealt with mainly violence and not terrorism except when I was criticising Shanmugathas’ arguments. My premise here was, even if we have a major controversy on terrorism, still we cannot condone violence. I didn’t consider LTTE as a terrorist organization at the beginning although they used terrorist tactics. I am not referring to my present article but my position in general. I think I explained this once before when I was replying to you previously. Same way I didn’t consider the JVP as a terrorist organization in 1971, but they also used terrorist tactics. But by 1987-89, the JVP also in fact became a terrorist organization. When you say to me “you are still trying to create an image that ‘terrorism’ means only LTTE and others are ‘violence” probably you mean the others as the state or the armed forces. You are partly correct because I don’t consider a democratically formed state as terrorist or its armed forces. Whether this is the US, India or Sri Lanka it is the same. This is a theoretical premise with valid empirical evidence or reasons and this is not the place to explain it fully. But even in my article, I have tried to drive this point. Unless we have this distinction, however bitter it is, in my view it is a stumbling block for resolving a conflict in a democratic framework. Terrorist label go for non-state actors. Wasn’t the LTTE named the most dangerous terrorist organization in the world? Did I ever consider the Sri Lankan state as terrorist? No, I never. However I do understand how and why many Tamils feel otherwise because of their bitter experience with the Sinhala dominated state. They are in a way reasonable in suspecting its democracy. This is also not an ethnic difference. This is also a theoretical or political difference. I have some Sinhala friends who take the same position, as you do, but don’t feel heart, if I make the distinction. The reason why I make the distinction is that, in my opinion, it is within the existing democratic state that we need to resolve our problems also by democratizing it. If we reject the state also as terrorist, I don’t think we can make a progress. One option available for conflict resolution is that to allow these differences to settle down or die down as much as possible. I was in fact doing it until I realized that the debate is remerging again and again and some people were coming quite strongly in justifying the LTTE.

      This is a good premise to reply to your concerns about my criticisms about Wigneswaran. I have done so before. I critically reviewed his constitutional reform proposals and even there I was little mild. I don’t know whether you have noticed that I made my misgivings when he entered politics. Because he was a Supreme Court Judge. I have criticised Sarath N. Silva babbling in politics. I have expressed opposition to when some people proposed Shirani Bandaranayke to enter politics. I would doubt such people. In addition, when one does not have much political experience, particularly given a complex conflict situation, one can get driven by emotions or different political currents. Peter Principle applies here. I know you ask what I say about his speech or something before. No, I have not analysed it carefully yet. But I was criticising his protest and the title of it. The protest was untimely to say the least. I don’t know whether he supported the governmental change in 2015. But the TNA did and the Tamil people did. Of course the progress since then is slow. But one should give time and engage in the process. Cooperation is necessary. This is a common predicament. This is not a trade union struggle to just demand and protest. Perhaps as a way for explaining Wigneswaran’s actions or protests, you have mentioned about a building of a Buddhist temple in a private land. I completely agree that these provocative actions should stop. The government should take action. He should also complain to the government. But why didn’t Wigneswaran being a legal person take action in courts? Why did he resort to ‘rise up’ protests with the potential of escalating into more and more conflicts. Of course he is wittingly or unwittingly encouraging ethnic passions in the South while those are not new. Those are not new in the North either. That is very clear and obvious although one can rightly say that the JO is exaggerating the situation. Why do you see one side only? The end result would be a coming back of the Rajapaksa clan. Wigneswaran appears an adventurist to say the least. He is obstructing in finding a middle ground. Yes, if he continues his actions, extremist demands and rhetoric, he would probably encourage violence to take place in the North. He would probably become an early victim. Please note that this is my final answer and I don’t think it is too healthy for us to debate and debate. But you can perhaps write articles explaining your positions and it would be helpful. Thank you.

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        When the TPC was formed, I warned that while the TNA did not need to fear it immediately, if Sampanthan and Sumanthiran working with MS-RW failed to secure significant movement in the release of prisoners, return of lands and justice for the disappeared in a time-bound way, the TPC would gain more popularity. It seems that is what is happening. So no use blaming Wigneswaran now.

        I suggested March 2016 as the time for action beyond which there would be protests and agitation. March came and went without any results. The new regime cannot keep giving the runaround on those issues in order to allay the fears of bigoted people among the Sinhalese, who can live the high life in Colombo while people suffer in the North, and then expect to have no agitation in the North.

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          “”people among the Sinhalese, who can live the high life in Colombo while people suffer in the North, and then expect to have no agitation in the North. “
          you shake up the system colombo’s my thuna would get more puttucurry $$$(exact opposite and drowning in the quick sand) because they are showing one party with all parties- like communist parties but democracy.
          95.4% of all government revenue is currently going towards debt repayment.This year alone $4.5 billion is due to foreign lenders and next year $4 billion is owed — bills which the country has not yet figured out a way to pay.

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    Minorities are disqualified to have equality of justice and opportunities.
    So the minorities should get on with their life with whatever is given to them.
    Don’t cry, don’t laugh, don’t complain, don’t mourn, don’t have sex, … don’t eat, ….. as these activities will be seen as excessive in the eyes of many who believe that the minorities already have more and demanding more.
    “Why do you see one side only? The end result would be a coming back of the Rajapaksa clan. Wigneswaran appears an adventurist to say the least. He is obstructing in finding a middle ground. Yes, if he continues his actions, extremist demands and rhetoric, he would probably encourage violence to take place in the North. He would probably become an early victim. Please note that this is my final answer and I don’t think it is too healthy for us to debate and debate. But you can perhaps write articles explaining your positions and it would be helpful. Thank you”
    Here Dr. Laksiri Fernando’s threat to the CM of NPC seems final. Though he portrays himself as a neutral person for the conflict, all of us can see him taking his assumption seriously mainly because the CM is a Tamil guy. Instead of using his influence to make the Government do the needful for the victims, he is endorsing the oppression imposed by the Government on the victims. He doesn’t care what powers the powerless CM can use to console the victims. Strange enough that he is accepting the JO as extremists, but he is only warning the CM of NPC. But he has never used his influence to bring the real extremists, criminals, war criminals, well known criminals to books. He considers the doing of the Governments to Tamils and the Government using the extremists to threaten the Tamils is democratic and he won’t try changing anything good for the Country!!

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      fedo, has a chip on his shoulder. When he sees lanka he feels he is Howard exactly like the Egoist SWRD when he returned because he was called a wog at Oxford.
      “We are not a racist country and I wish people would stop reaching for that adjective whenever they want to … isolate somebody who they do not agree with.”
      Conservative voices, once again, are plotting to save us from the yoke that is oppressing our freedoms. “18C” is the magic password for entry into a dark campaign in search of a cause without a meaning.

      One does not justify the irrational, one just takes it on faith. What most moralists—and few of their victims—realize is that
      “reason and altruism are incompatible.” fedo the altruist lizard.

      Commonwealth Consolidated Acts Australia
      RACIAL DISCRIMINATION ACT 1975 – SECT 18C

      Offensive behaviour because of race, colour or national or ethnic origin
      (1) It is unlawful for a person to do an act, otherwise than in private, if:

      (a) the act is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people; and

      (b) the act is done because of the race, colour or national or ethnic origin of the other person or of some or all of the people in the group.

      Note: Subsection (1) makes certain acts unlawful. Section 46P of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986 allows people to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Commission about unlawful acts. However, an unlawful act is not necessarily a criminal offence. Section 26 says that this Act does not make it an offence to do an act that is unlawful because of this Part, unless Part IV expressly says that the act is an offence.

      (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), an act is taken not to be done in private if it:

      (a) causes words, sounds, images or writing to be communicated to the public; or

      (b) is done in a public place; or

      (c) is done in the sight or hearing of people who are in a public place.

      (3) In this section:

      “public place ” includes any place to which the public have access as of right or by invitation, whether express or implied and whether or not a charge is made for admission to the place.
      *****************
      Individual rights are not subject to a public vote; a majority has no right to vote away the rights of a minority; the political function of rights is precisely to protect minorities from oppression by majorities (and the smallest minority on earth is the individual). Ayn Rand

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    One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. I am 79 years old and lived in Jaffna during the LTTE de-facto government was ruling the Tamil Eelam.
    At that time there was no crimes, no drugs, no rapes, no violence against women all law abiding citizen lived with full freedom and respect.
    Now Jaffna unde an army of occupation and Sinhale Police drugs are freely available and people live in fear of rape and robbery. No one can win the hearts and minds of the people by force. Time has come for the Tamils to part away and fight for freedom.
    It is going to be judgement day very soon.

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      This prof has a PhD in Human Rights.

      • 3
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        Anpu

        “This prof has a PhD in Human Rights.”

        Lieutenant Colonel Nandasena Gotabaya Rajapaksa, RWP, RSP, psc, GR is a Doctor of Letters (Honoris Causa), UoC thanks to Dr. Laksiri Fernando.

        • 0
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          N.V. thank you for letting us know that fedo gave away an (Honoris Causa) for his personal glory.
          He even denied that Sepala the AlItalia hijacker from Hambantota.
          The time we were alive and kicking at the Ceylinco and god knows which school he was teaching.

          damnant quodnon intelligunt.
          They condemn what they do not understand

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      1

      Mr Kumarathasan Rasingam,

      I haven’t seen many who can write a “complex” piece without losing sight of the simple truths. One recent exception was Shaymon Jayasinghe who wrote one about Buddhism that did not lose sight of the basic truths.

      You have a very simple view on things. I too try to peel away the complexities and TRY to make it very simple. But simplicity should be based on truth and not on subjective Tamil/Sinhala truth.

      ” no violence against women all law abiding citizen “

      Oh yeah! There was violence against women alright. Who bumped off Rajani Thiranagama? She was law-abiding alright. Perhaps she was not abiding “LTTE laws.”

      ” all law abiding citizen lived with full freedom and respect. “

      That’s the nature of the beast! Forget Jaffna, look at world history. There is/was always an “appearance” of “law & order” under Iron-fisted despots/regimes, not just in Jaffna and SL but anywhere in the world. People are scared out of their wits to break the “laws.” No one breaks the “laws” except the rulers themselves.

      “Now Jaffna unde an army of occupation and Sinhale Police drugs are freely available and people live in fear of rape and robbery.”

      Unfortunately that’s the price one has to pay for democracy/freedom. It won’t be any different under a self-governed Tamil democracy! Just look across to Tamil Nadu. Do you believe all Jaffna Tamils are angels with pristine morals/ethics? Humans in any shape or form will always be human.

      The choice is very simple; do you want a despot again to maintain “law & order?”

      ” No one can win the hearts and minds of the people by force.”

      True, except perhaps Prabakaran.

      Having said that, I admit Prabakaran was a man of principle. As crazy as it may sound it was one of the reasons for his defeat!

      Even now, I meet many Tamils who are men of “old-fashioned” principle. I can’t say the same about my fellow Sinhalese – including myself. I am not sure if it’s a handicap or not, in the modern age.

      ” I am 79 years old” ” Time has come for the Tamils to part away and fight for freedom. It is going to be judgement day very soon.”

      Don’t you think this is a wee little bit unfair? After living a long life and observing the utter brutality/destruction/mayhem and total decimation of Tamil society, you are edging others on to war?

      Don’t get me wrong. I too, am all for war if others fight my battles!

      At 79 years, if you are thinking of the younger generation, this is no time for anger, foolish-pride, and emotions but to think rationally.

      Like, the Tamils are trying to get away from the Sinhalese, I too – like many other Sinhalese – have got away from my fellow Sinhalese. But I think the present government with all its faults is heading in the right direction.

      In the human-condition nothing will ever be perfect. But in SL for freedom/democracy this is as good as it’ll ever get – in the foreseeable future.

      You are old enough to have the wisdom to realize that.

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        Mr Kumarathasan Rasingam,

        Do not be afraid to go out on a limb … That’s where the fruit is.!!

        The times they are changing
        The west can’t please all of the people all of the time.

        Sinhalese and Tamils beware – you are naked kings and have had no king (chieftains linked to south Indian kings) of the past to solve your dilemma.

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    Hundreds of years ago the Moriori, of the Chatham Islands, took a solemn vow of peace known as Nunuku’s Law. The decision to uphold this sacred law in the face of aggression in 1835 had tragic consequences. They were slaughtered, enslaved, and dispossessed of their lands. Nevertheless, the Moriori people survived.

    Full story by Denise Davis and Māui Solomon

    Main image: Carved planks from a Moriori house

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    The Malaysians nipped away Singapore for their convenient. Why can’t the Lankan do the same with the Island of Jaffna, The Island of Manipallavam,. Lankan can live peacefully.

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    Laksiri Fernando

    In the article, I condemned the actions of the LTTE as egregious, counterproductive and stated that the Tamils are now worse off than before the civil war even started. You have completely misunderstood, distorted my views and made completely baseless accusations against me. I do not justify violence and I believe in a federal solution to solve the ethnic issue.

    I suggest you read my follow up article expanding and clarifying my views I wrote in my initial article to those, like yourself, who clearly misunderstood.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/terrorism-all-sides-must-be-held-accountable/

  • 0
    1

    Pitasanna Shanmugathas
    This was you and your namesake gangs ::
    Banner::Recognise the LTTE as the only representatives of the Tamil people and de-proscribe the organisation.

    [Edited out]

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