23 October, 2020

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“Fathers And Sons” Is A Story That Thushara Jayarathna Can Write

By Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

Malinda Seneviratne

On the 14th of May, 2016 in the dying moments of a rugby encounter when Ovin Askey sent the oval shaped ball floating over the crossbar to secure a tie for his school in an all important inter-school match. Ovin’s father was right next to me. He turned and hugged me, sharing his job and screaming: ‘Machang, that’s Ovin, my son machang!’ We were all thrilled for Ovin, his father Roshan and of course our old school, but even as I cheered, my thoughts were with another father-son story and in particular about the son who was at that very moment contemplating suicide.

I’ll get to that story later. Earlier that afternoon when I ran into my friend and our Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Harsha De Silva at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel, I asked him a few questions regarding what was happening at the high seats of power. He paused and he didn’t have to say anything, his expression said it all. I told him ‘All you need to say Harsha is that you cannot answer for anyone else but yourself!’ Later that evening, when I met him again, Harsha said ‘What can I do Malinda, I am Haris De Silva’s son!’

Another father-son statement. I’ve known Uncle Haris almost all my life. The former Director of the National Archives will always be remembered for being an exemplary public servant, a dedicated scholar and a man of impeccable integrity. I quarrel with certain of Harsha’s political choices and have questions about his views on the economy but I think he’s clean and I hope he will remain clean (yes, I do not give blank cheques to politicians). Two things are relevant here: a) integrity and b) the father-son story I referred to earlier.

During the above mentioned rugger match I got a message from a friend urging me to check out a youtube video. I said I was at a match but he was insistent. It was a video made by a young man claiming that he has decided that there’s no way he can win the battles he had decided to fight and that therefore he was going to end his life. “මම අද සිය දිවි නසා ගන්නවා කියන්න වෙලා තියෙන්නේ සටන් කරන විදිහ නෙවෙයි , දාලා දුවන විදිහයි” was the title (“I have to say I am going to commit suicide not to show how to fight but to show how to flee”).

I knew the young man, who by the way is now domiciled in Switzerland, having left Sri Lanka fearing assault or worse for statements he had made and positions he had taken vis-à-vis the previous regime. The mutual friend who alerted me to the crisis wanted me to talk to him. I sent him a message but there was no reply. I tried to call, he didn’t pick up. I left messages. Finally (and thankfully!) he called, but the noise got in the way. I told him to give me two hours that I will call him back.

It was a simple ‘postpone the moment’ strategy and it worked. We talked at length later that evening. And he retold a story he had told me 4 years before. It was another ‘crisis’ situation. He was a Facebook friend who I had ‘added’ because he posted interesting and controversial comments. We had exchanged pleasantries off and on, but weren’t buddies as such. But that day was different. He sent a cryptic message: ‘Sir, mama thaaththava maruva da sir? (Did I really kill my father?)’

I asked him for his phone number and called him. He told me then that his father had passed away and said that he had been told not to attend the funeral. He was sobbing. Not knowing what to do I asked him to come to my office. He did. I told him I will accompany him to the funeral the following day and assured him that he will not be harmed. Even now I don’t know how I could give such guarantees. He left, promising to come back the next day. He didn’t. Now I know that he had indeed attended the funeral. Shiral Lakthilaka had accompanied him.

I did see posts since then that indicated he was abroad, but there didn’t seem to be any particular reason to communicate until he called me out of the blue saying he was in Switzerland and that he was going to die. He was sobbing once again and sounded desperate. It appeared that he had consumed some poison. I told him to get out of his room and get some help, but he said he didn’t speak the language and no one understood him. To this day I don’t know what really happened or how he survived. I did the best I could, asking a friend in Switzerland who lived about 4.5 hours away to check on him.

Thereafter, there was nothing dramatic. Just the posts. The occasional ‘hi’. Until this.

From the above you might conclude that Thushara Jayarathna was mentally ill or at least considerably disturbed. That may be so. Nevertheless he is extremely intelligent, politically very sharp and highly articulate. There’s something about Thushara that makes me want to believe him. Absolutely. But let’s leave that as an open question.

A few weeks ago, he told me ‘Mage thaththa gana monava hari liyanna’ (write something about my father), pointing out that his fourth death anniversary would fall on the 10th of June. I remembered that day in 2012. I remembered telling him by way of trying to calm him down that his father, if he (the father) was like him (Thushara), would have in silence celebrated Thushara’s efforts to seek justice not just for himself but every single citizen of the country.

Dasanayaka Mudiyanselage Thilakaratne Banda was 63 years old when he died. He had been a lathe worker who worked at CPC (Ceylon Petroleum Corporation) and was a pensioner. He had suffered a severe stroke a year before and had been bedridden since. By that time, unfortunately, Thushara’s determination to fight a regime and a system single-handedly had made it impossible for him to visit his father, forget getting him the medical help he needed. How all this happened is another ‘father-son’ story. The father: Mahinda Rajapaksa. The son: Namal Rajapaksa.

It all began in October 2010. Thushara was sitting for the final exam at the Law College, along with Namal Rajapaksa. Namal, according to Thushara (as well as others) was allowed sit for the relevant papers in a separate and air-conditioned room where he was provided or else allowed to use internet facilities in contravention of standard examinations procedure. Pertinent also is the fact that the then Principal of Law College was later made a Presidential Advisor by Namal’s father, then President, Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Thushara lodged a protest in December 2010. An inquiry was held in January 2011. The following is the gist (translated from Sinhala to English) of his appeal to the Chief Justice:

“I complained to the Principal of the Law College, the then Chief Justice, the Secretary to the Ministry of Justice, the Human Rights Commission, the Commission to Inquire into Allegations of Bribery and Corruption, and the Keselwatte Police. Mr Gajanayake who was the Office Manager of the Law College called me from a Law College telephone, threatened me and asked me to withdraw my complaint. He threatened to kill me. As a result of these threats I was unable to sit for the final paper of that year’s examination.

“Your Honour, during an inquiry into this matter held on January 11, 2011, I submitted evidence to support three allegations. First, by providing special facilities for Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa to sit for the exam, including an A/C room with internet connections, basic examinations procedures were violated. Secondly, that the question papers had been leaked to Lakshman Namal Rajapaksa before the exam date. Thirdly, that I was threatened by a Law College official using a Law College telephone, where he demanded that I withdraw the above petition. To date I have not been intimated of the outcome of that inquiry.”

It did not end there. In fact the more sinister harassment, according to Thushara began only thereafter:

“I was once abducted from Kohuwala and questioned. This was on the 3rd of March, 2011. I managed to brush them off in the first instance and hopped on to a bus. But one of them also got into the same bus. I got off near the Pillewa temple and there they caught me. They questioned me for about 10 hours. They wanted to know who was advising me.

“On another occasion, later the same month, some people came to my house and threatened me. They returned a few days later and forced to sign some papers. This was just before the results of the Law College exam were released.

“I went to Sunila Abeysekera and she put me in touch with an organization called INFORM. They helped me. The Law and Society Trust also helped me. A fundamental rights application was filed on my behalf by Lakshan Dias who was at that time working at the Law and Society Trust. Today Dias is the head of Transparency International Sri Lanka. I was not granted leave to proceed because the application had been filed two days after the 30-day deadline had passed.

“I was given refuge in a church in Kandana. From there I was taken to a church in Hatton from where I was abducted by unidentified men who took me to a tea plantation where I was questioned and threatened”

Thushara says that when he was picked up in Hatton, someone had told his father that he had in fact been shot. Apparently that was the day his father suffered a stroke. .

“Then I was moved to a seminary in Kandy. Around this time INFORM advised me to drop the whole case. After that I was essentially on my own. A few months later, I was traced to a hotel in Wattala where I was assaulted, along with employees of the hotel.

“I have lodged police complaints regarding each of these incidents. My complaints to the Police, the then Chief Justice and the Human Rights Commission did not prompt any response whatsoever. The Fundamental Rights application was rejected. Meanwhile Namal Rajapaksa took his oaths before the then Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, who even posed for a photograph with him in her official quarters in an unprecedented move. He took his oaths at an auspicious time and the then Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Mudunkotuwa had to make a public apology for calling out his name before this auspicious time.

“Due to threats to my life, I left Sri Lanka and am now resident in Switzerland where I take treatment for ‘Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder’. The Asian Human Rights Commission has complained to the UNHRC regarding my situation. I appeal to you to initiate an investigation into the above and take steps to remove Namal Rajapaksa from the Bar.”

This is what Dasanayaka Mudiyanselage Thushara Jayarathna, son of the late Dasanayaka Mudiyanselage Thilakaratne Banda has to say. And some of the above has been reiterated in a couple of interviews with Boston Lanka, one in June 2013 and another in January 2015.

And

Today, he reveals that there wasn’t a single NGO activist working on human rights who was ready to accompany him (Thushara) to see his father, who was bedridden following a stroke. He expressed utter disappointment (generous word) regarding the behavior of human rights activists both in Sri Lanka and Switzerland.

So what do we make of all this? The ranting of a mentally ill individual? Downright lies? Unsubstantiated claims?

We do know that Namal was favored in many ways. We do know that the then Law College Principal was the then President’s friend. We do know that this same individual’s behavior with respect to his own son, another Law College student, was at best dodgy.

We know something of fathers and sons. We saw the tears in Mahinda Rajapaksa’s eyes when his other son Yoshitha was arrested. I am sure Roshan Askey embraced his son Ovin tight and with much pride just after that rugby match. I know that Thushara Jayarathna could not pay his last respects to his father after he passed away on the 10th of June, 2012.

At the end of it all, Thushara Jayarathna, a friend and a brother now, remains a traumatized individual needing all the help he can get but being shunned at every turn. He wanted me to write about his father, but he didn’t tell me much. All I know is that he had known Bharatha Lakshman Premachandra’s father because the two of them had been in the same trade union at the CPC.

All I know is that the old man had come home after appealing to Bharatha on behalf of Thushara to intervene and make sure that the law takes its course. All I know is that he had reported to his family that Bharatha had dismissed him saying ‘ova karanna baha bandayye’ (such things cannot be done) and that Hirunika (now an MP) had laughed when he said this.

On the 11th of July, 2012, a month after his father passed away, Thushara left Sri Lanka. There’s a lot that must have happened in the four years that have passed since then. Let’s not go there for now. All I know is that Thushara Jayarathna, on the 14th of May, 2016, had come to a decision. There was no point in attempting any penalty kicks. The goalposts were made to move and make futile even the most accurate kick. There’s no father to hug him and say ‘It’s ok son.’ This we know.

How his story will unfold no one can really tell. But one thing is clear. He was dead right when he made the following observation: “I took on the Rajapaksas when no one dared to do so and yet, today, with the Rajapaksas out of power there’s no one of those who have benefited from the political changes who cares about me”.

Today, June 14, 2016, I got Thushara to give me access to the youtube video that he had removed one month ago. The video is harsh on a lot of human rights champions. It is also a sad indictment (maybe based on personal experience alone, but then again in a certain sense that’s all that counts, one feels). He says:

“Don’t place your trust on struggles. The majority of those who talk of struggles will flee when two fire crackers are lit. I am going to die as a victor because I have not reneged on my objectives – it’s just that there’s no way forward from here on. My biggest objective was to enshrine the Rule of Law. This will not happen because today those who talk of the Rule of Law are the very same people who betrayed me – in this Government and in this program, only Mahinda Rajapaksa and Namal Rajapaksa are missing; all other rogues are with them. Everyone has to go one day, but the lumpen politicians and NGO operators will never come to our aid.”

All of a sudden I am remembering the lines of a James Taylor song “I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song….just can’t remember who to send it to” (Fire and Rain). That’s how helpless I feel about Thushara Jayarathna and his fate.

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Latest comments

  • 9
    4

    This kid clearly needs help. It’s a,disjointed sad rant. There are facts intertwined with ramblings and some misogynistic comments. Clearly showing the bottle suggests he is inebriated. Sad. The accusation that this government is covering up the investigation is worrisome.

    • 8
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      Mano, we agree that Mr. Jayaratne needed help because we worked closely with him. He is a very intelligent and hard working man. He suffered after becoming a victim of mental and physical torture by being traumatized by numerous people. We were unable to help him because every single individual that came forward were either threatened, intimidated, framed, harassed, our families threatened with abduction. We feared the mobile torture chambers and white vans hovering like hawks around our lives. Mano, shut the F up if you do not know what hell we went through. Our offices that stored evidence and documents were broken into and stolen or arsonist set fire to them. If you were in Sri lanka and experienced this Mahinda beeshanaya era, you would not make rash comments. Journalist who were to report Thushara’s case underwent repression and threats. Their family members were also threatened. This weasel Namal had no qualifications to even enter law college. His bogus law titled must be revoked and Namal babie stripped naked and paraded in public. He remains black listed as a prime target. His MP title is what keeps him alive today.

      • 8
        0

        “”This weasel Namal had no qualifications to even enter law college. “
        Qaddafi son at LSE, Premadasa Jr LSE, Anura Oxford??
        He tried to be Hercules. Its not Atlas shrugged country but a bath parcel and addiya that creates the Lokka.

        Passion has always rules the world and rationality of conduct is probably the last thing to see in the lives of great men. Rahul Gandhi sat for his masters in a cubicle of the American embassy (see wiki) his parents never received a degree at Cambridge. Premadasa Jr? We can write several names but to police is not our job and his job was to complete his free education. Now that he is in the land of Jung he can take medication for life which covers 50% of cure and the other by going into art or landscape. Alternatively, like the Swiss he should enroll at a stay in School run by Tibetan Rin Poche and meditate, do yoga and leave in peace with a job.

  • 11
    1

    Poor thing, you Harsha de Silva!

    “Show me your friends, I will tell you who you are”, is a saying.

    /I ran into my friend and our Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Harsha De Silva at the Mahaweli Reach Hotel,/

  • 12
    1

    “…. (yes, I do not give blank cheques to politicians). Two things are relevant here: a) integrity and b) the father-son story I referred to earlier.”

    That “blank cheque” you obviously gave MR and family looks like it is still going strong!

    And don’t preach to us about “integrity”, when your record is so blemished because of your support to those who have none, and your lack of it.

    By the way, did you make a stand when Namal’s infamous ‘law exam’ was conducted in such a (words fail me) manner? Or was it another case of your ‘apologist’ defense of MR and family?

    • 12
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      Bandara,

      Malinda did take a stand during the infamous law exam. Although he did not write about it, he did meditate on it deeply.

      It’s the thought that counts.

  • 19
    1

    My! My! What a turnaround Malinda. An expose on MR and Namal. How Namal passed his law exams was public knowledge but coming from you, you must have had a change of heart. I really appreciate your article entirely but I don’t buy the sentence “(yes, I do not give blank cheques to politicians)”. You gave the MR regime so many of your blank cheques that they became “filthy” rich with them. You wouldn’t have dared written an article like this before the 8th of Jan 2015.

    #welcometounbiasedjounalism

  • 9
    1

    Malinda Seneviratne

    RE: “Fathers And Sons” Is A Story That Thushara Jayarathna Can Write

    1. “We were all thrilled for Ovin, his father Roshan and of course our old school, but even as I cheered, my thoughts were with another father-son story and in particular about the son who was at that very moment contemplating suicide.”

    2. “I knew the young man, who by the way is now domiciled in Switzerland, having left Sri Lanka fearing assault or worse for statements he had made and positions he had taken vis-à-vis the previous regime.”

    What happened to Aristotle and Plato will happen to you?

    So, it is about Namal Rajapaksa and his cheating at the Law Exam with the concurrence of the Law School, police and commissions and human rights commissions. There is no law and order.

    Thushara Jayarathna is lucky to be alive.

    Unfortunately, Thagudeen, the ruggerite is dead, courtesy of Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Mahinda Rajapaksa and Gotabaya Rajapaksa.

    There is no law and order and no democracy. This is the dictatorship of the Rajapaksa Family.

    • 7
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      Couldn’t agree with you more, he is lucky to be alive. And, I feel sorry for him.

      Behavior of MR’s Sons reminds me that of Sadam’s Sons, Uday and other. They didn’t milk a law degree from one of the law colleges in Baghdad, but our prince did. I was wondering how he did enroll in the law college in the first place. Will there be internet access in the courts in case if he opts appear for a case. The Bar association has anything to say about this?.

      Despite this, Namal able to muster highest votes in Matara?. What it says about the voters in general, how low Namal has to go to get no vote for him.

      • 2
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        Ala

        “Despite this, Namal able to muster highest votes in Matara?. What it says about the voters in general, how low Namal has to go to get no vote for him.”

        [Edited out]. Namal may know that there are too many Modayas. Does he know that the average IQ of Sri Lanka is 79?
        [Edited out]

  • 10
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    Malinda who does not give an open cheque to a politician has picked an essential aspect of Sri lankan corruption-father/son.

    This is not limited to politics.

    Take the Sarvodaya movement which one time had a good reputation. But what happened ? Ariyaratne made it into a family concern from which his children find sustenance-much more, a very good life, cars, monthly salary etc etc with Donor money.

    Take Sanasa Bank.Kiriwandeniya was one of the original directors and an initiator.It was based on the co-operative model to which hundreds contributed. Later Sanasa Bank became a public cooperation with investor money with many stakeholders. But Kiriwandeniya made his own daughter the chairman of this Bank !

    So now this also has no integrity a father/daughter situation !

    It is easy to see political corruption but what about moral bankruptcy everywhere else ?

    We should not give an open cheque to any body, I agree.

    • 1
      10

      There’s a difference between appointment and election. She secured the confidence of an overwhelming number of share-holders before and after the Bank was listed. :)

      • 5
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        “”There’s a difference between appointment and election.””
        YES & NO. So DSS nominated DS `to be` elected?

        King Solomon, the very image of wisdom, who couldn’t do a thing about his son…. Shakespeare, who bequeathed his `second-best bed ` to his wife….Milton, who couldn’t get along with his seventeen-year-old wife and therefore wrote a treatise on divorce and, being attacked, then burst forth into a defense of the liberty of speech in Areopagitica…. Ibsen and Emilie Bardach (he kept rational—good for him)…

        Is it not plain that passion rather than reason rules the world? And that what made these great men lovable, what made them human, was not their rationality, but their lack of rationality?

        Asians make all their ancestors inclusive of Gautama appear abnormally and wholly virtuous beings. There is really no limit to the stupidity of bureaucrats. Every touch of irrational behaviour in a biography is a stroke in convincing reality.

        An excellent illustration of a perfect sound mind is provided by the English. The English have got bad logic, but very good tentacles in their brains for sensing danger and preserving life.

      • 5
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        Namal Rajapakse,Basil Rajapakse all elected !

        • 6
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          equality of opportunity is utopia for even Europeans.
          If not there would be many Lankan Mr Bonds and
          everybody’s `bonds`)))

  • 1
    0

    My thanks for sharing this experience.

  • 4
    0

    What a tragic outcome that fatal day in the law exam has had. One can only hope that some organization takes up Thushara’s case and that he not only receives justice but also recovers his health and goes on to make a career in the law that he set out to do.

  • 8
    0

    Interesting exposure of the law school scandal. When I read the above piece,I couldn’t believe my eyes when a person of the calibre of Malinda. Did he think about his safety if MaRa or GoRa to come back to power ? If MaRa GoRa returns to power can Malinda survive white van culture that will be restarted ?

    Looking at it objectively my view is Malinda is pretty sure that MaRa- GoRa era will never come back. My another view is Rajapakses are nobody in politics once they leave the SLFP.That is why people like Rajeeva are saying GoRa must be given a 2nd position leadership in the SLFP. Then GoRa can get the full support of the loyal armed forces.

    Can the rank and file of the SLFP forsee the danger to ST if MaRa – GoRa regime come back to power? Before Jan 15th 2015, the father-son bonding controlled everything.

  • 0
    1

    Milinda Senevirathne [Edited out]

  • 6
    0

    Malinda must have had a drink and whatever is left of his conscience must have been hurting him. Instead of writing second rate poetry to deal with it (his normal method), for a change he decided to try to be a journalist.

  • 5
    0

    this Milinda is trying to tarnish the good name of Thushara.

  • 6
    1

    “All of a sudden I am remembering the lines of a James Taylor song “I walked out this morning and I wrote down this song….just can’t remember who to send it to” (Fire and Rain). That’s how helpless I feel about Thushara Jayarathna and his fate.”

    Why don’t you “… send it to” Mahinda and Namal?

    Better late than never!

  • 4
    0

    This is what uncontrolled power of Dictators and their family can do.
    Very frightening indeed ,a good and honest student in hiding and even after the change of regime unable to get his
    Rights.

  • 7
    4

    Hi all, I think this must be said, and must be said now and all I ask from you is to desist from insulting and look at what he writes, is said- objectively. With regard to the above and the entire scandal ( of which there were many at the Law College) Malinda was the only journalist, willing to go the distance and fight against a corrupt and foul system that prevailed, against all odds. Following the one written about ( which occurred much before), the scandals kept repeating itself until the then Chief Justice Mohan Peiris decided enough was enough, due to examination irregularities. Even after that was decided not a single member of the Council of Legal Education was willing to come on record specifying the allegations which led to the eventual removal of the then Principal W.D Rodrigo and instead providing us the information without agreeing to be quoted. Even Mohan Peiris being the CJ wasn’t willing to be quoted, and instead hid behind a veil, although he took it upon himself to inquire and initiate the removal of the Principal. The impunity was such, that following his removal ( because there was no way he could’ve been kept) he was appointed the Director Legal at the Presidential Secretariat. Such was the impunity. Following the decision to remove him, we decided to report the facts of the removal and the pressure that the newspapers were put under were telling. Even the removal came with no “official” inquiry and many good men, sat in silence telling us they were helpless. In the end it became a battle that was to be fought by journalists, spearheaded by the Daily Mirror and The Nation of which Malinda Seneviratne was the Editor- in- Chief, a battle we lost at the Press Council, for obvious reasons. But ‘The Nation’ newspaper remained unbowed. The decision by the Council was dissected point by point, and thrown into the court of public opinion, showing what a crooked at corrupt system we all were a part of, despite the threat of being sued and other harm including ones which were professional.

    Also, time and again Malinda has been accused of being a racist, and a white washer of the MR regime. If anyone is to objectively look at what he has written over the years, he can be accused of only one bias- that is bias towards the Sinhala Buddhist ideology. That is hardly a fault, because we have inherent biases toward each others identity. When the Aluthgama riots took place exactly three years ago ( or two?-) Malindas Nation was the only newspaper which decided on a front page editorial, and in it, detailed exactly what took place leading to the Riot and calling for the immediate resignation of the then Police chief. No other newspaper was willing to carry the true facts of the incident and the blind eye turned by the Police. I urge all of yourl to refer to the newspaper. The 18th amendment is another that comes to mind, among many others. I dont agree with many things that Malinda says or his views and often times engage with him on them, yet- I would grant you that he could be accused of everything, of which lack of integrity cannot and should not be one.

    • 4
      3

      Absolutely spot on.
      Malinda was the only journalist who raised a hue and cry when that innocent housemaid Rizana Nafeeek was condemned to death by the brutish Saudis a few years ago.He was the only one who pleaded with the authorities in S Lanka to save her life. Even our so-called muslim leaders did the jaunt to Saudi on the pretext of securing her release but ended up doing their personal Omrah pilgrimages instead. I for one have always had great respect for Malinda whatever his political shade may be, as a humanist. I do not always see eye to eye with him on the stand he has taken on certain matters but never have I considered him as a racist He certainly is not.

    • 6
      2

      Halfheel: “If anyone is to objectively look at what he has written over the years, he can be accused of only one bias- that is bias towards the Sinhala Buddhist ideology. “

      Is that right??!!

      Didn’t you notice a distinct “bias” towards the Rajapakse regime during all those years the Nation pandered to them?

      Amazing!!

      Just goes to show how perceptive you really are!

  • 4
    9

    It touches my heart (deeply)….the fact that those who say nasty things about me actually take the trouble to read what I write. It pains me, as deeply, that I do not have the time to read what you people write about me.

    p.s. this also goes for those who have been late in spewing invective and who might chip in later.

    Malinda

    • 9
      0

      Linda very much like Ophelia (Hamlet)
      beyond the constitutional and political norms of the nation itself.
      Moderates will gnaw you for writings as much as they would the Northern Tamils.

    • 5
      0

      Oh how my heart bleeds for poor Malinda who has all these naughty people saying nasty things about him. He is in “deep” pain because he hasn’t the time to “read it all” – presumably because he gets off on those “deep pains”.

      So what should we do to not drive him away by spewing invective at his wonderfully unbiased views (especially when his idols were running the show)?

      Come on readers, spare a thought for this poor soul and stop it with the “invective”. We don’t want him to suffer those “deep pains that touch his heart deeply” now, do we?

    • 3
      0

      Malinda:
      As a one-time victim of the blatant viciousness of you and your friend Rajpal Abeynayake at Bookiepala’s newspaper, let me say that I have NEVER encountered anyone who displays the level of immorality and lack of principle that persists even through your efforts to secure some kind of “respectability” under the new regime.
      As that old phrase has it, you are one of those truly beyond redemption.

  • 2
    2

    This is the editorial, lest we not forget and instead be quick to insult and slander people according to our own warped and preconceived notions.

    The IGP must resign!

    These are days of frayed tempers, perceived grievances, real threats and real fears are all elements that can cloud and blow away reason. This is the hour or the rumor-monger. This is the hour of the extremist. This is the hour of the passionate.

    The word on the street is ‘Aluthgama’. Indeed it is the word on every street where matters of yesterday, today and tomorrow, matters of the nation and its destiny, matters of unrest and fear and other related matters are discussed. Aluthgama moved from the Kalutara district to Colombo and Badulla. ‘This is 83-July all over again,’ some said. Not true, but we could get there.
    There were arguments over who threw the first stone, as though it justified throw-return and more. After all it is hard to pin it down to first stone cast when there were only a handful of STF men to ‘protect the (BBS) procession’ in Dharga Town. STF personnel were clearly confused because their orders were specific. One source said, ‘That’s why the Muslims keep saying that the STF sided with the mob. We didn’t. We were acting on our orders which were specific and were about protecting the procession.’

    It was not, let us repeat, not a peaceful procession. There were anti-Muslim slogans, there was whipping of hysteria, there was undisguised inciting of violence against Muslims in a Muslim majority area and people had petrol cans and other weapons. Literally minutes after that ‘first stone’ Muslims and Muslim-owned premises were attacked and torched in Adhikarigoda, Aluthgama and the interior of Dharga Town.

    Most of all, it is hard to pin it down on first stone when Buddhist monks torched a shopping complex in Aluthgama more than a month ago over an alleged molestation of a Buddhist child by a Muslim, the relative of the shop owner, when in fact CCTV evidence disproved the allegation. The shop was torched only several days later.

    Blaming first-stone-thrower is therefore a joke.

    There are questions which are not funny, though. If Azath Salley was arrested for ‘hate speech’, why is Rev Galabodaaththe Gnanasaara still free? Why did the Police not prevent the BBS rally despite many pleas to do so from many quarters (a planned ‘BBS’ rally in Mawanella was cancelled so this too could have been stopped)? Why was the STF not ordered to maintain peace but instructed only to ‘protect the procession’? Why didn’t the police stop armed mobs scurrying around with violent intent (not just in Aluthgama on Sunday but elsewhere too thereafter)?

    Most importantly, why did the Inspector General of Police N.K. Ilangakoon state that a Buddhist monk had been assaulted when he had no evidence to support the claim? The Judicial Medical Officer’s report which would have either proven or refuted the said monk’s claim (as of Friday) has not been issued. Highly placed sources at the Attorney Generals Office could not confirm that the monk had indeed been assaulted.

    If there was a justification to Sundays violence, a big part was the following (irresponsible) statement by the IGP.

    ‘Three Muslims in a trishaw assaulted the driver and the Buddhist monk. The Buddhist monk was in hospital receiving treatment for two days and then discharged. He was to be taken to the temple in a procession when the incident occurred.’

    The IGP did not state facts. He offered speculation as fact. That’s incompetent and irresponsible. Yesterday the Muslim-owned ‘No Limit’ outlet in Panadura was torched. While it is not clear how it all happened, it is clear that the sequence of events prompt people to connect dots and reach conclusion, wrong though they may be. Tinkering with the truth and lying outright causes friction, throw out sparks and cause infernos that are hard to put out.

    It is wrong to blame it all on one person, but it is equally wrong not to point out those who provided fuel and matchstick, tossed in extra firewood and refused to douse it even though they had all the water necessary to do the job. We have to take issue with the IGP. He must resign forthwith.

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    To Thusara Jayaratne,

    Thusara, I am sorry that I cannot do anything to help you out. It is just too much to bear that what you are going through is as a result of a compliant about Namal Rajapakshe. No human being must go through such an agony for complaining against somebody. Some may want to jump to conclusions that your alcoholism and mental instability led you to where you are now. But I think it could be the other way round, things happen to you since 2010 December may have led you to alcoholism and mental instability.

    You have not done a crime. It is ironical that your life was completely ruined by the wickedness and malice of a few ardent Buddhists (who never leave “mal watti” from their hands and in pristine white costumes). Where is the compassion we all hear for 24 hours from all the temples in Sri Lanka, where these “mal watti” bearers frequent? How a family or group of politically charged people could conspire to ruin a life of another fellow human being in this manner.

    But, I am really distressed by your bottom line in the video that “DO NOT ENGAGE IN RESISTENCE TO INJUSTICE”. Moreover, you further asserted that “LEARN HOW TO RUN AWAY FROM STRUGGLES”. I am sorry Thusara; I did not do anything to support your struggle and your stand on grave injustice to all of your brethren at Law College. We need a society that could take care and protect people who “engage in resistance to injustice”. You did not receive that care and protection except from a few worthy fellow humans (you mentioned their names, I know them and so many others would know).

    Some section of the society (NGOs) that should come forward to provide the care and protection to you seem to have behaved in a most scandalous manner. It is really sad that all the NGOs you mentioned “marketed” you for their benefit.

    Your message has a deeper meaning. By not protecting people who engage in resistance to injustice, our society allows injustice to thrive. The saga of Thusara Jayaratne is that the human spirit (in Thusara) which fought against the injustice were made helpless, alone, drunken, train-wreck by our society while the perpetrators of that injustice (and the injustice itself) continue in business as usual.

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    Hats off to Malinda for writing this,though I didnt agree at all with his previous articles I certainly do applaud him for this !

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    One of my junior Pastors brought Thusara to meet me in the early stages of his ‘war against injustice’.As an advocate of religious Liberty issues,I had learned my lessons of reality.He related how Hon Wijedasa Rajapakse had requested him- the victim, to apologise to NR-the aggressor.My discernment was that here was a young intelligent idealistic lad,trying to fight a system so corrupt and violent. It is sad that trauma and pressures in life,has taken the better of him, and his videos from Switzerland, while exposing corruption, injustice, birthed new enemies who would have wished to see him silenced forever.It took time for him to realise his tireless efforts in the name of justice was falling on deaf ears and the majority whom he reached, had their own agendas and the revolution he had idealised was only a mirage. He was no Christ, and became a victim of the very system he was trying to reform,raising questions about his integrity,ethics etc.Mr M S has to be commended for bringing this to light, immaterial of our prejudices and philosophical augments.The urgent need of the hour is Thusara is in desperate need-a war hero who has been injured by bullets of corruption,injustice,nepotism you can name multiple bullets.He was a lonely voice-a voice in the wilderness, even before January 8th. In fact one of the few forerunners to YP. YP brought in a change of persons. Thusara tried to change the system.It is the duty of every right thinking Sri Lankan,committed to YP,to rally round Thusara ,and rescue him from the abyss he has been pushed into by society,to bring healing to his mind ,body and soul,to bring reconciliation,where possible as many were fired upon by Thusara due to lack of wisdom.Then take up the cause of bringing justice ,
    fair play and anti-corruption etc which Thusara was committed as it is the duty of every true Sri Lankan. Pastor Rohan De S Ekanayake

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    Rev Dr Rohan De S Ekanayake:
    All those who respect decency and morality owe you for what you have had to say.
    One of the ironies that emerge from your account is the conduct of Wijedasa Rajapaksa who continues his dishonest and duplicitous ways under the current regime without let or hindrance.

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    Without any doubt or uncertainty Namal has got more than the necessary support from the law college to pass the examination. (How can we trust our law profession when the education system is corrupt, the behavior of present minister of justice is a testomony). His grievances were justifiable. As there were no mechanism then to fight against corrupt practices you are bashing your head on a brick wall. However, most of his Youtube appearances always accuse somebody but nothing reported in favour or good. I think this whole saga has caused him mentally disturbed and ill. He needs treatments. Also not sure from where is gets this information of he could be a mouthpiece of someone.

    In any case it is a pathetic situation and was very unfortunate to be in this state.

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