19 September, 2018

Blog

From Panama Papers To Child Marriage: Food For Thought, Battles To Wage

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“To walk our way and keep our eyes fixed on it

Is mankind’s first and foremost obligation.”

Iphigenia in Tauris (Goethe)

It is a lie, beloved by the powerful, the rich, the privileged, that transparency is inimical to national security and public wellbeing. National security and public wellbeing suffer greater harm, where there is no transparency and no right to protest.

David-CameronIn Sri Lanka, whistleblowers and media played a critical role in revealing some of the worst Rajapaksa outrages, even during the time of Rajapaksa rule. Since waste, corruption, nepotism and other abuses of power did not end with the Rajapaksas, whistleblowers and media continue to have work to do. The latest round of revelations includes the possibility of another bond scam in the Central Bank and spending Rs. 31 million on hosting a farmers’ conference[i].

Without a media willing to tell truth to power and reveal truth about power, democracy will become nothing but a name. To protest, we must care. We can care only when we know.

The birth and the turbulent aftermath of the Panama Papers reveal the crucial importance of a free press and an involved citizenry in ensuring even a modicum of accountability and justice.

The 11.5 million files which make up the Panama Papers were leaked in 2015 to German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung[ii]. The leaking was done in batches by a whistleblower who called himself as ‘John Doe’. The documents were thoroughly investigated before they were made public, initially by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, subsequently with the participation of around 100 journalists and editors from around the world. Despite the involvement of such large numbers, secrecy was maintained. Neither governments nor intelligence agencies knew what was happening until it was too late to defuse the stink bomb.

The Panama Papers is a reminder that no country, no political class is immune to corruption. (Amongst those mentioned are three Lankan companies, though their names are yet to come to light.) The 148 politicians implicated so far by the files from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca span every divide, starting with race, religion and ideological persuasion. They also include economic heavyweights, sports and cultural icons and the head of the Chilean branch of Transparency International, the global anti-corruption watchdog. (He has since resigned).

Those implicated in the scandal have one common denominator – the possession of some kind of power; and a willingness to use that power to their own financial advantage.

Panama Papers demonstrate that in a functioning democracy there is a slight chance of achieving a degree of accountability, however minute or ephemeral; in a non-democracy no such possibility exists. The Icelandic Prime Minister was forced to ‘step down’ (he insisted he didn’t resign, seeking solace in semantics). No such fate is likely to befall Russian President Vladimir Putin, implicated in the scandal through close associates. Britain’s David Cameron is in hot water over his involvement in his father’s off shore fund. Families of several top Chinese politicians, including the brother-in-law of President Xi Jinping, are implicated but Beijing’s reaction was to dismiss the leaks as ‘groundless’ and tighten internet controls.[iii] Pakistani President has promised an independent investigation about the offshore accounts of his children while the Saudis and the Emirates haven’t turned a hair even though Emirati President and Saudi King are both implicated (Religious fundamentalism of the most puritanical variety is obviously no bar to corruption).

Active Citizenship

Media revelations alone cannot ensure accountability and justice. They must be backed by societal interest and public protests.

Unlike in a non-democracy, citizens in a democracy have the space both to gain information about wrongdoings and to protest against those wrongdoings. And in a democracy, when whistleblowers, the media and the public act in consort, it’s hard for politicians to turn a blind eye and a deaf ear, however much they may want to.

That is one of the main differences between the Rajapaksa regime and the Sirisena-Wickremesinghe government. Then, information was hard to come by and the public was too vary to protest. Now, the flow of information is much freer and the public does raise its voice. Like the generality of democratic governments, the current administration is relatively receptive to public opinion. The best cases in point are the scrapping of an inane plan to increase subsidies to the already heavily subsidised parliamentarians and the shelving of VAT hikes.

Citizen involvement can vary. But irrespective of the issue, every sign of interest, every act of protest indicates a new willingness on the part of Lankan citizens to emerge from their personal spheres and play a role in the public square, in between elections. That is a trend which needs to be encouraged. Power not just corrupts; it also addles minds, kills basic commonsense and encourages deeds of self-destructive destruction. The involvement of the public would be essential to ensure that the Sirisena Wickremesinghe administration doesn’t go too far down the Rajapaksa path.

Take for instance, the new government’s akin-to-Rajapaksa inability to think beyond building more coal power plants as a solution to the country’s energy crisis. The embracing of coal power might have made some economic sense had we possessed coal mines. We don’t. And instead of turning to a source which we have in abundance, solar power, we are opting for a power generation method which is not just detrimental environmentally but also makes no sense economically. We will have to import coal, and given the status of the rupee, even if global coal prices plummet to record lows, cheap energy will remain a dream for Lankan consumers.

We currently have one frequently malfunctioning coal power plant, a gift of the Chinese. Another coal power plant is to be built, this one a gift of the Indians.

China heads the list of coal producing countries, globally; India occupies the third positions. Interestingly China and India are also top solar power producers. Why are the two countries building coal power plants in Sri Lanka while they embrace solar power? Are they using Sri Lanka as a dumping ground for their unwanted coal?

Environment is not some esoteric issue which concerns Colombo’s well-fed and well-heeled minority. It is something which affects the entire country, especially those at the lower end of the income ladder. It is they who will be forced to pay a disproportionately greater price for environmental degradation.

According to the UN, 2015 was the hottest year on record. Already February 2016 has broken all previous global temperature records, according to NASA. Global warming is a fact, a burning reality, and of particular relevance for countries like ours. The challenge cannot be met by invoking divine intervention; gods of whatever religion, even if they exist, are unlikely to involve themselves in the matter, since the problem of global warming is mostly a manmade one.

The Deadweight of Tradition

In 2014 the Rajapaksas tried to mark another milepost in their ceaseless effort to march Sri Lanka back to the past by enacting a Rape Marriage Law. The law would have enabled a rapist to escape prosecution by marrying his victim. That was the Rajapaksa solution to the growing menace of child rape. Its advocates included the Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.PAKISTAN-UNREST-WOMEN-MARRIAGES-CHILDREN

Speaker Rajapaksa opined that women and not men were responsible for rape. “My opinion is that nobody can make men responsible for the violence against women. Women are responsible for it…”[iv] President Rajapaksa went a step further and said that statutory rape is not really rape if the child victim consents. “If under aged girls are statutorily raped and the sexual act was however with consent, it may be good to have legislation that allows the perpetrator to marry the ‘victim’ with her consent.”[v]

A Lankan cannot vote, drive, smoke or imbibe alcohol until the age of 18. Such limits are imposed globally because until a certain age is reached, human beings lack the capacity to make mature and informed choices about important matters. Statutory rape provisions too belong in same category. Their main purpose is to prevent adults from exploiting the ignorance, the trust, the inexperience and the terror of children.

Fortunately, Sri Lanka’s forced march to the past ended when the electorate rejected Rajapaksa rule, twice. But the very idea demonstrates that fidelity to archaic practices which violate basic rights and harm children is often found among conservatives of all societies and all religions. It can come from anyone rejects Enlightenment values and who in their minds live in some far off century when most men, all women and all children had no rights.

Child marriage (which is nothing more than the legalisation of child abuse and rape), like torture or arbitrary arrest, is a relic of our common past. It was a practice most of humanity regarded as normal for millennia, in times when life expectancy at birth rarely exceeded 40 and marrying young – as young as possible – made demographic sense. Societal attitudes also played a role. Children were considered chattel and in most cultures from Occident to Orient, parents had the right to sell or kill a child.

Child marriage has no objective reason to exist in the 21st Century. Yet it does, justified by religion and tradition, bolstered by poverty and ignorance, war and insecurity. Contrary to public perceptions, it is a global problem, and not a problem limited to Islamic nations. High levels of child marriage persist in those African countries where tribal practices remain deeply ingrained. According to UN sources, it is also prevalent in South America and the Caribbean, with highest incidences reported in countries with no/negligible Islamic populations, such as Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Ecuador. That is why the issue of child marriage needs to be decoupled from religion and addressed as a matter of basic rights.

Child marriage is a problem in Sri Lanka too. It is on the decline amongst the plantation Tamil community but remains a significant problem among Lankan Muslims.

Muslims have been exempted from the 1995 law which lays down minimum age of marriage in Sri Lanka (16 for girls). This exception is incomprehensible, since a number of Islamic countries have minimum marriage ages for girls compatible with UN guidelines. For instance, according to UN sources, in Algeria, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Malaysia and Morocco, the legal marriageable age for a female is 18; in Tunisia it is 20[vi]. In Sri Lanka, it seems as if a girl child from a Muslim family can be married at 12, or even below with consent from the Quazi courts.

Perhaps this horrendous anomaly can be ended in the new constitution and Lankan Muslim children assured of the same rights as their non-Muslim brethren. After all, if Islamic majority Indonesia has set 16 years as the minimum marriageable age for Muslim girls, why not Sri Lanka?

Often laws are not enough to combat age old beliefs. Afghanistan has a high prevalence of child marriages side by side with a minimum marriage age of 18. Laws work when they are backed by awareness and incentives. The Indian state of Haryana and Ethiopia both have made some roadway against child marriage by providing families with financial incentives to keep their daughters in school.

Child rights, like all basic human rights, are universal; so are the forces opposing those rights, in the name of tradition, family or god. The right to care and the responsibility to protect Lankan children belong to all Lankans, irrespective of ethnicity or religion.


 

[i]http://asianmirror.lk/news/item/15851-government-spends-rs-31-million-on-farmers-conference-see-detailed-estimated-expenditure

[ii] http://www.newsweek.com/panama-papers-icij-journalism-investigation-finance-445987

[iii]http://www.theguardian.com/news/2016/apr/06/panama-papers-reveal-offshore-secrets-china-red-nobility-big-business

[iv]http://www.therepublicsquare.com/politics/2014/03/12/speaker-chamal-rajapaksa-says-violence-against-women-is-their-own-fault/

[v] http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=local/no-one-can-take-law-their-hands-no-casinos-president

[vi] http://www.unfpa.org/sites/default/files/pub-pdf/MarryingTooYoung.pdf

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Latest comments

  • 27
    0

    Amongst her other ‘truths’ this one question begs to be answered:

    “China heads the list of coal producing countries, globally; India occupies the third positions. Interestingly China and India are also top solar power producers. Why are the two countries building coal power plants in Sri Lanka while they embrace solar power? Are they using Sri Lanka as a dumping ground for their unwanted coal?”

    And the two paragraphs that follow only ‘seals the deal’ of Tisaranee’s premise.

    When will our governing morons wake up to the fact that they are leaving insurmountable problems for our coming generations?

    • 6
      1

      Our President and PM seem to be impotent.

      • 2
        0

        One proven beyond doubt. The other more conclusive evidence required.

    • 1
      0

      JJ – This is a very good question and the Govt. should answer you at the earliest. China & India, among the other countries like USA, Europe
      and Japan are vehemently opposed to Global warming and they are in the
      process of blowing up their factories operated by coal power but China
      & India have chosen Sri Lanka to dump their excess coal,due to reduced sales, internationally, not minding the environmental hazards it can cause to the people.The govt. cunningly agreed to push the projects to the poor Eastern Province so that the environmentalists will not trek to this part of the country and the people are poor and illiterate and will not make a fuss as they do not understand that the disaster that can strike them in a few years time.

      President Obama, who crows from roof tops, criticising countries who
      does not make any efforts to cut down on global warming, praises SL
      govt. through his foreign secretary, for maintaining democracy but
      he has not realised that SL has recently become a party to global warming, by accepting two plants, one from India & the other from China, which could give the people of East, a slow death. We are
      still to hear Mr.Obama warning these two countries to break down
      the two factories in the East of Sri Lanka.

    • 1
      0

      Tisaranee Gunasekara RE: Commentby TheHorsesFoot April 10, 2016 at 11:45 am

      RE: From Panama Papers To Child Marriage: Food For Thought, Battles To Wage

      Child Marriage: Was it Approved in the Quran? Appears Not.

      Child Marriage: This appears to be a Tribal Custom, Prophet Mohamed’s Practice. This is a Ulama, Quazi “Judge” Practice.

      Child Rape: Was it Approved in the Bible? Yes.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ger8Lk20Ec4

      Child Rape: So this was a Jewish and Christian practice, approved “scripture”.

      How to shut Christian who claims that Muhamed is a Pedophile.

      Uploaded on Jan 7, 2008
      Let’s give them their own medicine! Reason Vs. Revelation Debate.

      From a Christian or a Jew perspective: ask him to go and read the Bible his or her Holy Book by opening Numbers 31

      http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXmp6g

      Let me ask our beloved Christians and Jews friends (only those who call Muhammed (pbuh) a Pedophile)

      How in the world do you have the nerve to blame Muhammed WHOOOOOOO MARRRRRRRIEDDD

      A 6 YEAR OLD GIRL AND WAITED TILL SHE REACHED PUBERTY AT THE AGE OF 9 WHEN IN THE BIBLE ITSELF IT SAYS THAT GOD ORDERED COMMANDED MOSES TO RAPE ALL THE LITTLE GIRLS AND TAKE THEM AS THEIR SEX SLAVES?

      I hope you can answer because you know what??
      It just confirmed what I always saw in Christianity they are hypocrites they don’t read the Bible to their audience except the “Love and Peace” crap and they have the nerve to blame others for what their own scriptures say SHAME ON THEM YES SHAME ON YOU

  • 8
    2

    Dear madam,

    Thank you for the article. As always it is an excellent piece.

    Islam forbids child marriage as evidenced by the following verses in the Quran.

    Evidence 1: Quran 4:6 (part):
    “Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them;…”

    Thus implying that the age of marriage should at least equate to an age where an individual is sufficiently mature in order that property can be released to him/her.

    This is further emphasized in Quran 6:152 (part):
    “And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength;…”

    Evidence 2:
    Regarding the marriage contract the Quran describes it as a solemn covenant between husband and wife. Quran 4:21 (part):

    “And how could ye take it when ye have gone in unto each other, and they have Taken from you a solemn covenant?”

    The Arabic wording used to describe “solemn covenant” is used for the most deepest and intense contracts such as what God took with his prophets:

    “And remember We took from the prophets their solemn covenant: As (We did) from thee: from Noah, Abraham, Moses, and Jesus the son of Mary: We took from them a solemn covenant:”

    It is doubtful that a child can make such a solemn pledge.

    The basis for child marriage is the alleged marriage of the prophet Muhammad to the child Ayesha at age 9 or 11. This is based on very shaky historical accounts narrated by individuals who lived 100 to 300 years after the prophet had died. It is not based on the Quran. It is unlikely that the prophet would have done such a barbaric act or condoned such a practice.

    On this basis I suggest that this is not Islam as based on the sacred text, the Quran, but rather a fabrication of religion based on later cultural practices.

    • 3
      0

      TheHorsesFoot

      “On this basis I suggest that this is not Islam as based on the sacred text, the Quran, but rather a fabrication of religion based on later cultural practices. “

      Evidence 1: Quran 4:6 (part): and Evidence 2:

      Thank you. You brilliantly exposed this Tribal Practice to attain hegemony by the men over girls and women by the men. So these Tribal practices, made girls and women to be:

      1. Chattels ( Slaves, movable properties) owned by the owner, the “Wali”, the Father, not mother, brother, not sister, or other male relative, not female relative. ( Remember, Slavery is Legal in Islam, Christianity and Judaism). It was humanism and secularism that banned slavery.)

      2. They turned the marriage contract between the women and man, to a property transfer contract between owner and the man, the groom. Only the Wali and the man, groom, signed the “Marriage” contract.

      So, they went against the instructions in the Quran? Why? You can guess.

      See, in Sri Lanka, the Muslim Marriage Certificate does NOT have the SIGNATURE OF THE BRIDE. Why? Because it is a Chattel Contract, the transfer of a Slave. Was the consent of the girl taken? If so is there written evidence with witnesses? Why is the Sri Lankan state allowing a section of its population, Muslim girls and women, to be subjected to inhuman abuse, and denial of their citizens rights, because the Ulama said so, which is not even sanctioned in the Holy Quran?

      So, this is what the Muslim Marriage Law or Act as done. Perpetuate slavery along with Child Marriages where the man tears apart little vagina and uterus and make them die or become infertile, as may have happened to Aisha, courtesy of tribal “Traditions”.

      Same Story of stoning women to death for adultery. It is not in the Holy Quran.

      • 3
        0

        On the use of a male proxy (wali) to represent the bride in a marriage contract:

        You are correct. This form of union is unsupported by the Quran. Any contract (including that of marriage) must involve the parties contracting. Therefore in the specific case of marriage both the bride and groom must take oaths in front of the minimum 2 witnesses. The use of a ‘wali’ would render the marriage void.

        On slavery:

        Whilst it is true that slavery is acknowledged in the Quran as a circumstance of the times the Quran also discourages the practice strongly:

        Quran 090:008-13
        “Have We not made for him two eyes? and a tongue and two lips? and shown him the two ways / paths? BUT HE HAS NOT ATTEMPTED THE STEEP PATH – THE ASCENT. And what can make you know what the steep path / ascent is? (It is) FREEING A SLAVE”

        002:177
        It is not righteousness that you turn your faces towards the East or the West but righteousness (is he) who believes in God and the Last Day, and the Angels and the Book and the Prophets and gives wealth despite of his love for it to those of near relatives and the orphans and the needy and of the wayfarer and those who ask and in FREEING THE SLAVES and who establish the prayer and give zakah and those who fulfill their covenant when they make it and those who are patient in suffering and hardship and time of stress. Those are the ones who are true and those are the righteous.”

        • 3
          0

          TheHorsesFoot

          “On the use of a male proxy (wali) to represent the bride in a marriage contract:

          You are correct. This form of union is unsupported by the Quran. Any contract (including that of marriage) must involve the parties contracting. Therefore in the specific case of marriage both the bride and groom must take oaths in front of the minimum 2 witnesses. The use of a ‘wali’ would render the marriage void.”

          Thanks for initially pointing out the deception by the Muslim Ulama.

          Yes. So, how come the Muslims are going along with this non-Quaric practice of the marriage contract all these centuries, and is currently practiced in Sri Lanka with the blessings of the Sri Lankan State when it is against the Constitutional Rights of the Sri Lankan Muslim girls and women? Ulama Hegemony and Muslim stupidity?

          Ibn Sina, Averroes, is the famous is a 13th Century Islamic Philosopher and Polymath, who enticed Thomas Aquinas and many others. He was an Aristotelian Islamic Philosopher. He also showed that Al-Ghazali was incorrect, on the philosophy and was attacking the wrong target. Some of his quotes:

          “Two truths cannot contradict one another.” Is it the Secular Truth or the Religious Truth?

          “The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit. “

          So, the Muslim Ulama in Sri Lanka and elsewhere have “Religion” and no wit and no-intelligence.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ui6_WKpuh9Y

          Just look at the average GMAT scores of Saudi Arabian Wahhabi Graduates, at 311 is at the bottom of the world.

          Quick Post: L&V’s National IQs predict GMAT scores across 173 nations

          http://humanvarieties.org/2014/02/02/quick-post-lvs-national-iqs-predicts-gmat-scores-across-173-nations/

          Yes, the GMAT test is administered in English and is designed for programs that teach in English. But the required English skill level is much less than what students will need in the classroom. The exam requires just enough English to allow us to adequately and comprehensively assess Verbal reasoning, Quantitative reasoning and Integrated Reasoning skills….

          So the world is divided into men who have wit, who are not in Saudi Arabia, and no religion and men who have religion and no wit, who lives in Saudi Arabia. It appears that some of them are in Sri Lanka as well.

          • 0
            0

            TheHorsesFoot

            “So the world is divided into men who have wit, who are not in Saudi Arabia, and no religion and men who have religion and no wit, who lives in Saudi Arabia. It appears that some of them are in Sri Lanka as well.”

            Came across a very interesting U Tube Historical post. Everybody tries to exert their own hegemony.

            Response from Persian King To: Omar, “Khalifat of Islam Army”

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daDZyBSlicQ

            Uploaded on Aug 12, 2007
            Iranian Please read this book in Persian in PDF format:

            letter from Yazdgird 3(632 AD – 651 AD)

            The date in which this letter has been written is after the Battle of Ghadesiyeh. As you know, a natural disaster, a massive sand storm blown on Persian troops & practically blinded them & took their battle vision. the sand storm directly blown on their front & caused the loss of this battle. Later on Muslim Khalif mentioned that Allah sent the massive Sand Storm in Persian Faces, so they lost the battle, Allah was the protector of Muslim against Ajams (what Arabs call Persians).
            Battle of Ghadesiyeh did not just cost us a great loss due to a natural disaster, yet it also cost us the life of our greatest Persian Hero, Commander in Chief of Persian Army, General Arteshbod “Rostam-e Farokhzad.” Tazis killed Rostam in this battle. Rostam & his squad fought until the last drop of their blood & at the end even after he lost his sword, he fought Arabs with bare hand & his shield, Rostam & his selected squad killed as many Tazi as they could, yet finally it was destiny for our hero to die for Iran. Tazi savages rushed & attacked him in all directions & killed that great Persian soul, Ahura Bless his soul, Rostam was the symbol of Persian Empire & Iranian Glory.
            Battle of al-Qādisiyyah :

            The first day of Battle ended with Persian advances and the Arab force appeared as though it would succumb to the much larger Sassanid army. In particular, the latter’s war elephants terrified the Arab cavalry, and succeeded in creating confusion among the Arab fighters. By the third day of battle, Arab veterans of the Syrian campaign (being conducted nearly simultaneously) arrived on the scene and reinforced the Arab army. In addition, a clever trick — whereby the Arab horses were decorated in costume — succeeded in frightening the Persian elephants. When an Arab warrior succeeded in slaying the lead elephant, the rest fled into the rear, trampling numerous Persian fighters. The Arab Muslims continued to advance their attacks during the night (called the “Night of Clangour”).

            At dawn of the fourth day, a sandstorm broke out — blowing sand in the Persians’ faces. Quickly, the tide turned and the Sassanid centre gave way, particularly with the help of Arab archers. Rostam, who had been commanding his force from that location, killed and beheaded. Arabs announced the deed, displaying Rostam’s head before the fighters, Seeing their respected leader’s head dangling before them, the Persian fighters lost nerve and begin to flee. Most of the Sassanid fighters lost their lives in this melée, with a small number announcing their conversion to Islam.

            The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity.

            Many historians have long offered the idea that Persia, on the verge of the Arab invasion, was a society in decline and decay and thus it embraced the invading Arab armies with open arms. This view is not accepted however. Some authors have for example used mostly Arab sources to illustrate that “contrary to the claims , Iranians in fact fought long and hard against the invading Arabs. This view further more holds that once politically conquered, the Persians began engaging in a culture war of resistance and succeeded in forcing their own ways on the victorious Arabs.[

        • 3
          0

          TheHorsesFoot

          “On the use of a male proxy (wali) to represent the bride in a marriage contract:

          You are correct. This form of union is unsupported by the Quran. Any contract (including that of marriage) must involve the parties contracting. Therefore in the specific case of marriage both the bride and groom must take oaths in front of the minimum 2 witnesses. The use of a ‘wali’ would render the marriage void.”

          In the meantime what did the Wahhabies, Salafis and their clones do? They go on labeling other Muslims grave worshipers and killing them.

          “The world is divided into men who have wit and no religion and men who have religion and no wit.”- Ibn Sina, Avorroes.

    • 0
      0

      TheHorsesFoot

      “So the world is divided into men who have wit, who are not in Saudi Arabia, and no religion and men who have religion and no wit, who lives in Saudi Arabia. It appears that some of them are in Sri Lanka as well.”

      Came across a very interesting U Tube Historical post. Everybody tries to exert their own hegemony.

      Response from Persian King To: Omar, “Khalifat of Islam Army”

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=daDZyBSlicQ

      Uploaded on Aug 12, 2007
      Iranian Please read this book in Persian in PDF format:

      letter from Yazdgird 3(632 AD – 651 AD)

      The date in which this letter has been written is after the Battle of Ghadesiyeh. As you know, a natural disaster, a massive sand storm blown on Persian troops & practically blinded them & took their battle vision. the sand storm directly blown on their front & caused the loss of this battle. Later on Muslim Khalif mentioned that Allah sent the massive Sand Storm in Persian Faces, so they lost the battle, Allah was the protector of Muslim against Ajams (what Arabs call Persians).
      Battle of Ghadesiyeh did not just cost us a great loss due to a natural disaster, yet it also cost us the life of our greatest Persian Hero, Commander in Chief of Persian Army, General Arteshbod “Rostam-e Farokhzad.” Tazis killed Rostam in this battle. Rostam & his squad fought until the last drop of their blood & at the end even after he lost his sword, he fought Arabs with bare hand & his shield, Rostam & his selected squad killed as many Tazi as they could, yet finally it was destiny for our hero to die for Iran. Tazi savages rushed & attacked him in all directions & killed that great Persian soul, Ahura Bless his soul, Rostam was the symbol of Persian Empire & Iranian Glory.
      Battle of al-Qādisiyyah :

      The first day of Battle ended with Persian advances and the Arab force appeared as though it would succumb to the much larger Sassanid army. In particular, the latter’s war elephants terrified the Arab cavalry, and succeeded in creating confusion among the Arab fighters. By the third day of battle, Arab veterans of the Syrian campaign (being conducted nearly simultaneously) arrived on the scene and reinforced the Arab army. In addition, a clever trick — whereby the Arab horses were decorated in costume — succeeded in frightening the Persian elephants. When an Arab warrior succeeded in slaying the lead elephant, the rest fled into the rear, trampling numerous Persian fighters. The Arab Muslims continued to advance their attacks during the night (called the “Night of Clangour”).

      At dawn of the fourth day, a sandstorm broke out — blowing sand in the Persians’ faces. Quickly, the tide turned and the Sassanid centre gave way, particularly with the help of Arab archers. Rostam, who had been commanding his force from that location, killed and beheaded. Arabs announced the deed, displaying Rostam’s head before the fighters, Seeing their respected leader’s head dangling before them, the Persian fighters lost nerve and begin to flee. Most of the Sassanid fighters lost their lives in this melée, with a small number announcing their conversion to Islam.

      The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) led to the end of the Sassanid Empire and the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity.

      Many historians have long offered the idea that Persia, on the verge of the Arab invasion, was a society in decline and decay and thus it embraced the invading Arab armies with open arms. This view is not accepted however. Some authors have for example used mostly Arab sources to illustrate that “contrary to the claims , Iranians in fact fought long and hard against the invading Arabs. This view further more holds that once politically conquered, the Persians began engaging in a culture war of resistance and succeeded in forcing their own ways on the victorious Arabs.

    • 0
      0

      TheHorsesFoot

      So, Child Marriage without the girl signing and approving, must be against the Quran, and therefore must be a Sin in Islam. So why are the Ulama and the Muslims allowing it? Tribal Traditions? Tribal Traditions are above what is given in the Quran? If so, it must be a Sin.

      Why is that Child marriage not a major sin in Islam? Tribalism? Child Marriage is rape and murder.

      The 70 Major Sins In Islam (The Worst Sins)

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C5ACV4EpcZU

  • 11
    0

    Development is based on commission rates to ministers and their hangers on. Until the politicians are made o account the future generations and even the country will be sold. Many of the politicians are only interested in the commissions if not why have 93 ministers. They are all corrupt from top to bottom. Unless sri lankans wake up and get the politicians to account this will go on. Coal is only a minor part of the problem .

  • 12
    3

    The most important thing would be to bring back the money to the country. Am I being an optimistic fool here?

    • 2
      0

      There are set conditions for that by IC to all offshore and swiss type of banks- Lanka has to follow and only Barry can approve it.

  • 9
    2

    Muslim acquaintances confirm that any attempts to disallow the ruling of quazi courts will be met with widespread disobedience. Our Muslim community will simply refuse to abandon their right to ensure a never-ending supply virgins.

    • 4
      2

      Spring Koha

      “Our Muslim community will simply refuse to abandon their right to ensure a never-ending supply virgins.”

      For the above purpose do you think Muslims would launch a war of “Jihadi Love” as the Hindian saffron clad thugs accuse them of?

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        Native Vedda

        When the urge is strong anything is possible.

        ‘Jihadi Love’ will be a most welcome change.

        As that old saying goes, ‘make love not war’.

        • 1
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          “”As that old saying goes, ‘make love not war’. “
          old is gold yet all that glitters is not gold.

          Angela Merkel tried it recently and ended up Claustrophobic

  • 8
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    Why the reluctance to publish the names of our politicians and officials who have been involved in the papers? The Panama papers will be proof of their fraud. If the British PM can be under severe pressure and Iceland PM has already resigned, why cannot our racketeers be named? Is our press and media yet not free /are they third rate/ gutless? Are atleast a few of our journalists not part of the Consirtium of Investigative Journalists and/ or our newspapers not privy to the leaked documents?

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • 4
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      Dr Narendren
      Is it possible that there is no connection to Rajapaksaa / they were not named in the Panama papers?

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        another Sinhala/Buddhist

        ” Is it possible that there is no connection to Rajapaksaa / they were not named in the Panama papers?”

        Anything and everything is possible for crooks.

        Haven’t you heard of Benami?

        Benami –

        What is a ‘benami’ transaction?

        A transaction is considered benami (literally ‘nameless’ or ‘without a name’) when the consideration for a property that is transferred to a person or is held by him/her is paid by another person.

        In such transactions, the person who pays for the property is the ultimate beneficiary of the property, directly or indirectly, in the future. Such a property is considered benami.

        • 0
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          Hey the ‘native but anything else’ man,
          Whether it is a Benami or an ‘Arjuna’ transaction if there were any Rajapaksas behind, the Western governments, their shady institutions like the ICIJ (behind the Panama papers) would have exposed by now.
          By the way you righteous yaha palana guys ever wondered or wrote about the corruption of your pay masters – Hilary Clinton, Tony Blair and co. ?

          • 0
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            “”anotherbuddhist “”

            there is a pecking order. today at parliament Cameron is defending!
            Many questions are arising as to how he profited from the 5pence tax reductions and shut it one he was done etc etc.
            he has finally accepted his pops account but now it has come to lite his mum gifted 200k …more to come from others.
            Its too big and if printed can fill your central bank.

            By the way – 11.5m files from the database of the world’s fourth biggest offshore law firm, Mossack Fonseca – 2.6 terabytes of data, the largest of all time.
            Who is the biggest law firm?? Gota went to Vatican and met the Mafia that is where biggest lies.
            Tell your prayers m/s Gota, M/s mahinda.

  • 7
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    Thank you for the article Tissaranee. I always read your article as you write without bias.

    Child Marriages I need to make some clarifications. I want to make it clear that I am against child marriage but I am discussing here the problems associated with LEGAL MINIMUM age of marriage

    Child is defined as those under 18 and according to the general law it is not permissible to get married below the age of marriage. Children over 16 can have sex and it is not illegal to have sex but they CANNOT get married. If children below 16 engage in sex, a partner can be charged for rape which is a criminal office

    Children 16-18
    We all know that children below 18 have sex and some of them become pregnant. Because of this law some children are living together without getting married with /without the consent of their parents. Some studies have brought out this. These children cannot get married even if they want to. Very often they have children. In this event the girl child looses the protection they gets if she is married. I know of many cases where the girl is 16+ and the boy is of the same age or a senior person who can afford to have a marital home but cannot legally get married. Difference between living together and getting married is a the registration of the marriage

    Some argue that they can live together without getting married till 18 and then get married, then why get married at all?? Why have a legal age of marriage.

    Also particularly in the poor rural areas and among the urban slums children do not study up to OL and the failure rate is very high and it is not as if they leave school only for the purpose of getting married. They leave for other reasons. Very few leave school only to get married. Failure rate at the OL is around 45% this year. In most cases they are not forced into marriage.

    We have signed UN Conventions on the LEGAL age of marriage but how practical are these in our country. In the West, living together is recognised and not disapproved by the state and society and teenagers living together is so common. I think imposing a legal age of marriage is a mockery and we are trying to follow a system which is not appropriate. There are very good provisions in those Conventions, but we cannot take every article of that as god given.

    Tissaranee- these are ground realities. What we need to do is to create awareness about importance of education and health issues due to teen age pregnancies.

    • 0
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      With all the problems mentioned by Priyangika why do you want to impose minimum age for Muslims.

  • 2
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    Tisaranee Gunasekara

    RE: From Panama Papers To Child Marriage: Food For Thought, Battles To Wage

    Tisaranee Gunasekara, thank you.

    1. “Without a media willing to tell truth to power and reveal truth about power, democracy will become nothing but a name. To protest, we must care. We can care only when we know.”

    2. “Since waste, corruption, nepotism and other abuses of power did not end with the Rajapaksas, whistleblowers and media continue to have work to do. “

    3. “Without a media willing to tell truth to power and reveal truth about power, democracy will become nothing but a name. To protest, we must care. We can care only when we know.”

    Yes. Expose, expose and expose.

    Thanks for the write on the corrupt practices, stealing from the people and condoning legally and allowing Muslim girls to be classified as chattel, and legally raped, tearing their vagina and uterus, and making them possibly infertile.

    There should be No Taxation without representation, and the Truth revealed by Transparency and Freedom for Information.

    The slogan of the American Revolution was No Taxation without Representation. In Sri Lanka, the people elect representative, but they all are crooks, steal and rob.

    Expose, expose and expose.

    4. “The birth and the turbulent aftermath of the Panama Papers reveal the crucial importance of a free press and an involved citizenry in ensuring even a modicum of accountability and justice.”

    Expose, expose and expose.

    5. “Those implicated in the scandal have one common denominator – the possession of some kind of power; and a willingness to use that power to their own financial advantage.”

    MaRa and his cronies knew that.The corruption continues. Looks like MaRa has trained well.

    6. “while the Saudis and the Emirates haven’t turned a hair even though Emirati President and Saudi King are both implicated (Religious fundamentalism of the most puritanical variety is obviously no bar to corruption).”

    They follow Satan, Iblis called Wahhabism, and the Satan does not care. So why should they care.

    Active Citizenship:

    Yes needed. Not Modayas, Mootals and Idiots.

    7. “The challenge cannot be met by invoking divine intervention; gods of whatever religion, even if they exist, are unlikely to involve themselves in the matter, since the problem of global warming is mostly a manmade one.”

    The fundamentalist Modayas, Mootals and Idiots of all the faiths will not agree here. Some say that is because they are grave worshipers, worshiping dead people or Idols of various kinds Statutes, Stones, dirt etc.and is being punished for that. Stop that and Global Warming will stop.

    The Deadweight of Tradition

    8. “In 2014 the Rajapaksas tried to mark another milepost in their ceaseless effort to march Sri Lanka back to the past by enacting a Rape Marriage Law. The law would have enabled a rapist to escape prosecution by marrying his victim. That was the Rajapaksa solution to the growing menace of child rape. Its advocates included the Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda, Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa and President Mahinda Rajapaksa.”

    They should have made it castration. This would have almost put an end to rape.

    9. “Speaker Rajapaksa opined that women and not men were responsible for rape. “My opinion is that nobody can make men responsible for the violence against women. Women are responsible for it…”[iv] President Rajapaksa went a step further and said that statutory rape is not really rape if the child victim consents. “If under aged girls are statutorily raped and the sexual act was however with consent, it may be good to have legislation that allows the perpetrator to marry the ‘victim’ with her consent.”[v]”

    How so how do you know there was consent? So keep statutory rape in the books.

    10. “A Lankan cannot vote, drive, smoke or imbibe alcohol until the age of 18. Such limits are imposed globally because until a certain age is reached, human beings lack the capacity to make mature and informed choices about important matters. Statutory rape provisions too belong in same category. Their main purpose is to prevent adults from exploiting the ignorance, the trust, the inexperience and the terror of children.”

    11. “It can come from anyone rejects Enlightenment values and who in their minds live in some far off century when most men, all women and all children had no rights.”

    Yes. Age of enlightenment and reason has not fully arrived in Sri Lanka, since independence yet.

    12. “Child marriage (which is nothing more than the legalisation of child abuse and rape), like torture or arbitrary arrest, is a relic of our common past.”

    13. “Child marriage has no objective reason to exist in the 21st Century. Yet it does, justified by religion and tradition, bolstered by poverty and ignorance, war and insecurity. Contrary to public perceptions, it is a global problem, and not a problem limited to Islamic nations. High levels of child marriage persist in those African countries where tribal practices remain deeply ingrained. According to UN sources, it is also prevalent in South America and the Caribbean, with highest incidences reported in countries with no/negligible Islamic populations, such as Dominican Republic, Honduras, Brazil, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Ecuador. That is why the issue of child marriage needs to be decoupled from religion and addressed as a matter of basic rights.”

    Expose, Expose, Expose and let people be aware of the dangers it poses the Child and the community.

    14. “Muslims have been exempted from the 1995 law which lays down minimum age of marriage in Sri Lanka (16 for girls). This exception is incomprehensible, since a number of Islamic countries have minimum marriage ages for girls compatible with UN guidelines. For instance, according to UN sources, in Algeria, Bangladesh, Jordan, Iraq, Malaysia and Morocco, the legal marriageable age for a female is 18; in Tunisia it is 20[vi]. In Sri Lanka, it seems as if a girl child from a Muslim family can be married at 12, or even below with consent from the Quazi courts.”

    This practice in Sri Lanka is not Islamic. It is rapist practice done by the ignorant Ulama in cohort with the “Muslim” Political leaders, called Idiots and Mootals. So, if the Quazi courts are bribed, they can marry a girl as young as 6 , by saying that it was the Practice of the Prophet, to marry 6-year old girl, like Aisha.

    This is Sri Lanka. Make the marriageable age for a girl to be 18, Muslim or not, Idiot Quazi’s or not.

    15. “Perhaps this horrendous anomaly can be ended in the new constitution and Lankan Muslim children assured of the same rights as their non-Muslim brethren. After all, if Islamic majority Indonesia has set 16 years as the minimum marriageable age for Muslim girls, why not Sri Lanka.”

    Absolutely. All communities should press for this law. To Hell with the Ulemas and the other Muslim Idiots and Mootals.

    Furthermore, the New Constitution must make is a Law that the Bride, the Girl sings the Marriage certificate with two Female Witnesses, sand the Male Signs with Two Male Witnesses, in the presence of a Govt. certified Registrar of Marriages.

    None of this Chattel, Slavery Wali business treating the girl as a slave or chattel,in this Marriage Transaction, as is being done currently.

    Tisaranee Gunasekara, thank you, again.

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      Tisaranee Gunasekara RE: From Panama Papers To Child Marriage: Food For Thought, Battles To Wage

      Tisaranee Gunasekara, thank you. Expose, Expose and Expose.

      It is about saving Children.

      Islam and children

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_children

      The topic of Islam and children includes the rights of children in Islam, children’s duties towards their parents, and parent’s rights over their children, both biological and foster children. Also discussed are some of the differences regarding rights with respect to different schools of thought.

      Child bride, 13, dies of internal injuries four days after arranged marriage in Yemen
      By MAIL FOREIGN SERVICE
      UPDATED: 10:40 EST, 6 March 2016

      http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1264729/Child-bride-13-dies-internal-injuries-days-arranged-marriage-Yemen.html

      A 13-year-old Yemeni girl died of internal injuries four days after a family-arranged marriage to a man almost twice her age, a human rights group said.
      Ilham Mahdi al Assi died last Friday in a hospital in Yemen’s Hajja province, the Shaqaeq Arab Forum for Human Rights said, quoting a medical report.
      She was married the previous Monday in a traditional arrangement known as a ‘swap marriage’, in which the brother of the bride also married the sister of the groom, it said.

      Sigrid Kaag, regional director for UNICEF, said in a statement that the United Nations child agency was ‘dismayed by the death of yet another child bride in Yemen’.

      ‘Elham is a martyr of abuse of children’s lives in Yemen and a clear example of what is justified by the lack of limits on the age of marriage,’ SAF said in a statement.

      A medical report from al-Thawra hospital said she suffered a tear to her genitals and severe bleeding.
      The Yemeni rights group said the girl was married off in an agreement between two men to marry each other’s sisters to avoid having to pay expensive bride-prices.

      The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and drew the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages.

      Legislation that would make it illegal for those under the age of 17 to marry is in serious peril after strong opposition from some of Yemen’s most influential Islamic leaders.
      The group said that was a common arrangement in the deeply impoverished country.

      Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars for their daughters.
      More than a quarter of Yemen’s females marry before age 15, according to a report last year by the Social Affairs Ministry.
      Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation.

      Last month, a group of the country’s highest Islamic authorities declared those supporting a ban on child marriages to be apostates.
      A February 2009 law set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but it was repealed and sent back to parliament’s constitutional committee for review after some politicians called it un-Islamic. The committee is expected to make a final decision on the legislation this month.

      Some of the clerics who signed the decree against a ban sit on the committee.
      Further imperilling the effort is the weak government’s reluctance to confront the clerics and other conservative tribal officials, whose support is essential to their fragile hold on power.

      The issue of Yemen’s child brides got widespread attention three years ago when an eight-year-old girl boldly went by herself to a courtroom and demanded a judge dissolve her marriage to a man in his 30s.
      She eventually won a divorce, and legislators began looking at ways to curb the practice.

      In September, a 12-year-old Yemeni child-bride died after struggling for three days in labour to give birth, a local human rights organisation said.
      Yemen once set 15 as the minimum age for marriage, but parliament annulled that law in the 1990s, saying parents should decide when a daughter marries.

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    Ms Tissaranee Gunasekara, whom I respect unreservedly for her down-to-earth, forward and honest views, seems to have not got her facts correct in respect of marriage age of Muslim girls. Of course child marriage was prevalent among Muslims till the end of 1960’s. The trend started to change gradually but drastically from the 1970’s. The average marriage age of Muslim girls now stands at between 18 – 25. I urge Muslim scholars to do an honest study/ survey about the latest trend.

    To be honest my wife was 18+ when she was given to marriage to me in 1974 and so were my number of his female in-laws and other relatives thereafter. They even went a step further and 99.99 percent of them were given in marriage only after 20. My only daughter was given in marriage when she was 23. I incidentally come from Kattankudy perhaps the most conservative of Muslim towns in Sri Lanka. I am unable to fathom why Muslims were exempted from the 1995 law which lays down minimum age of marriage in Sri Lanka (16 for girls).

    I therefore urge that marriageable age for girls should be reset in the prospective new constitution at 18 from the current age of 16 for all the communities in Sri Lanka.

    • 3
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      Ameer

      “To be honest my wife was 18+ when she was given to marriage to me in 1974”

      Imagine, she was 12 or below, as “approved” by the “Quazi Judge’. and you would have been labelled a rapist? You would have done the standard damage under such circumstances to the “bride”.

      So, this Age of 18+ is for the protection of both the girl and the man.

      Amarasiri assumes, still your wife was treated like a Chattel( slave, movable property) “owned”, by the “Wali” “Guardian”, and the marriage certificate for contract was singed between you, as the groom, man and the “Wali”, “Guardian”. “Owner” of the Chattel (the bride), and there is no signature anywhere on the marriage certificate saying that the bride, the chattel, signed, agreed, with two witnesses.

      Do you have notarized and witnessed documentation from your bride saying that she agreed to marry you, without being forced or under duress?

      Amarasiri guesses, not. So, we still do not know.

      Amarasiri suggests that you take your wife to a notary public or judge and in the presence of two witnesses, make a statement saying that she gave verbal consent to marrying you, and this written attestation is confirmation of that verbal consent, when married. Make her sign an updated marriage certificate, and in the space for the Wali make the bride sign, and make the 3 documents your marriage contrast.

      Right now what you have is a chattel contract, to buy a slave from the owner.

      You do not have a marriage contract.

      Turn this deficient chattel contact into an acceptable marriage certificate and contract.

      Chattel, Definition.Simple Definition of chattel

      something (such as a slave, piece of furniture, tool, etc.) that a person owns other than land or buildings

      http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chattel

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      Ameer

      “I therefore urge that marriageable age for girls should be reset in the prospective new constitution at 18 from the current age of 16 for all the communities in Sri Lanka.”

      Yes. That is the way it should be. Thank you for practicing what you preach. Still you lack written evidence with witnesses. The Muslim Ulama and the Politicians should be confronted on this, and to remove the hegemony of the Ulama, who are not promoting Islam, but the Tribal Traditions. They cannot think, have low IQs, unlike the Islamic Polymaths of the Islamic Golden Age like Ibn Sina, Averroes. Just look at the GMAT scores of Wahhabi Saudi Graduate. They are at the bottom of the world.

      The best answer, was given by,

      TheHorsesFoot
      April 10, 2016 at 11:45 am

      Evidence 1: Quran 4:6 (part): “Make trial of orphans until they reach the age of marriage; if then ye find sound judgment in them, release their property to them;…”

      and

      Evidence 2: Regarding the marriage contract the Quran describes it as a solemn covenant between husband and wife. Quran 4:21 (part):

  • 7
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    TG. On Food for thought of another crime!!!

    Why the names and the numbers of the Poor Indians are only mentioned repeatedly in here on CT and on the other SL News media ?? WHy the names of the POOR Greedy unethical DOCTORS AND THE SL HOSPITALS WHERE THEY WERE REMOVED THE KIDNEYS ?? WERE NOT MENTIONED??
    Cover up??

    What did they do with the removed kidneys ?? They too were sold it to the highest bidders in the world , as everyone knows there are patients with chronic kidney disease and on Dialysis awaiting Kidney transplants are in millions in numbers.

    The Patients and relatives will pay thousands of. GBP or US Dollars or Dinars to save their kith and kins from ultimate death.
    These SO-CALLED GREEDY SL. DOCTORS PROFITED ENORMOUSLY FROM THESE POOR INDIAN PATIENTS.

    THIS kind of racket happened secretly during and after the war in SL. Young healthy kidneys were removed in the ditches and sold by SL doctors . It was allegedly claimed high ranking Ministers were involved too.

    The unfortunate victims and relatives were unaware of this , So no case to answer or no payment to the DONOR OR MURDERED FOR KDNEYS , but one day these greedy SL doctors and the henchmen will have to answer to God and their conscience..

  • 3
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    Congratulations Tisaranee! You have managed to go from Panama papers to environment/ power supply to child rape/ marriage, blame all that’s wrong on the Rajapaksas!
    We are yet to see the connection to Rajapaksas in Panama papers! Power supply- from coal to solar, if only an active public can bring about that! The Yahapalana lot has shown that they have not got the brains to do anything!
    Child marriage and child abuse are two different issues. Unfortunately some communities practice child marriage and should not be encouraged. Sex with a child even in a marriage is abusive and a crime. Child abuse and rape are serious crimes.
    In the Indian subcontinent it has been seen as some form of justice to make the rapist marry the victim- largely due to the sigma of rape. It is debatable if this is justice or further abuse when the victim is a minor!

  • 2
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    Panama Papers are a CIA project funded by George Zorro. Zorro most of the time funds CIA projects.

    their objective is to make Putin Bad.

    Unfortunately, they haven’t done that.

    In Sri Lanka, Ranil wickramsinghe matured under a thief and a killer, JRJ.

    Even though Ranil does not he pays a blind eye to killers, thieves, criminals etc., He has a history. Ranil wickramsinghe even gave a minister post to the UNP instigator of the previous bond scandle. HE also gove minister both husband and wife who paid for the UNP election.

    So, Maithripala sandwiched by two known corrupt people CBK and Ranil.

  • 0
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    Child marriage is a truly global problem that cuts across countries, cultures, religions and ethnicities. Child brides can be found in every region in the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe. There are many Non-Muslim countries in the world today, which laws stipulate minimum age for girls as low as 15, 16 and 17, while most others on average, set minimum age as 18 years for girls. However there are still some others who have set minimum age for marriage of young girls to be as 20 years. We in SL have set that minimum age at 16. In ancient times it used to be granted that the right time for a girl to get married was not based on any established laws of minimum age, but the start of her menstrual cycle, which meant she was ready to conceive. There are over 700 million women today who were married off as children. So it is not a Muslim problem or a problem stemming from Islam, but a global problem, which can only grow unless the entire world sit up and take note if they really do care about child welfare.

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    Angry Lady, Why did you not mention Champaka Switchhitter fence jumping opportunists CLOSEST friend and money collector former CEB Chairman who is on the list ?Harsha DeSilva spoke out when he was in the opposition. Attention seeking Actor joker Ramanayake claimed as if it were fact, that RAjapakses are on the list. WHO IS ON THE LIST? Former President JRJ’s son’s ex-wife Charmaine and Ricky Mendis’s son of Delmege. Champaka’s best friend’s name. How did this best friend make millions to ship offshore and hide it? Sure Rajapakses may have used proxies but the list printed on CT DOES NOT HAVE A SINGLE RAJAPAKSE relative.

    LOTS OF BORAH Muslim NAMES of big industrial houses on the list too.

    And you are a racist to condemn Muslim child marriage. It happens in India too. Muslims like virgins when they go to heaven too. That is why all the Jihadi ISIS types are blowing themselves up. They cannot find girlfriends or get laid on earth so they are full of hate and think they will get 70 virgins in Heaven.

    So UNP Harsha should speak out in Parliament again.

    Angry Lady, are you still angry at your most honorable LSSP late father for not making you rich?

  • 1
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    We are trying our best with Yahapalakas in Sri Lanka and a lot of journalists (Tisaranee included) to create a connection of the Rajapaksas to Panama papers. Apparently, he has hidden his assets and his family wealth in Paanama in Batticaloa district since he had had no idea about Panama during his time. And my suggestion is to get the help of the ISIS to check it since that area is full of their friends.
    If we don’t do something quickly, this fellow: Mahinda Rajapaksas would emerge victorious again and again as he has done so far. This is a real nuisance and a guaranteed threat to Yahapalakas and their advocates in the West. You all know that no Mantra has worked for the last 15 months to discredit him and send him home. I don’t understand why the hell people like him so much! Anyways, please keep this as an open secret!

  • 1
    1

    Yahapalakas in Sri Lanka and a lot of journalists (Tisaranee included) are trying to create a connection of the Rajapaksas to Panama papers. Apparently, he has hidden his assets and his family wealth in Paanama or in eastern Europe since he had had no idea about Panama during his time.

    My question is that USA boasts that they are the only super power in the world.

    Yet, that gay boy foreigner minister and USA could not find where Mahinda Rajapkse HID his fortunes.

    Super power is no bigger than the stupid Sri lankan govt.

    All bark, but, where are the results ?

    • 1
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      What about married in name gay VVIPs?,why did you only target the FN who at least is not a hypocrite and has always been gay openly, what’s wrong with that? Why do you leave out gay men married to lesbian women out of social necessity?

  • 1
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    Hey, Boss ShanazQudoos!
    Don’t you know selective journalism where you practice it as a self-disciplinary (destructive?) subject? Don’t please make this great journo Tisaranee an Asaranee in front of CT readers!! She knows what to write and what to ride just like those great newspaper companies in Lankadeepa (Isle of Lanka). They are like daily mirrors on which Siri Lankans can see themselves as obedient servants sent by Uncle Sam to Sunday Times Square!

  • 3
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    Ms. Gunasekere, I always try to glean something new from your strong opinion columns. But you make some blanket statements on Energy sources in India, China etc and ask why SL is using Coal? So I might share some factual data on the comparative use of renewable and non-renewable energy sources for you and our readership.

    A CHINA: In 2015, China submitted its climate action plan, It reaffirmed its commitment the terms of the bilateral agreement with the USA (2014 Dec). China knows it is one of the most polluted nations on earth. Its rapid growth has damaged the environment and they know it is unsustainable.

    China has 20% of the world’s population is either ranked #1 or #2 depending on the data you evaluate in terms of the size of the economy. Its economy is chronically dependent on exports and cheap labour to produce mass consumerables to the west specially the US: the nation you all love to hate. In the past 3 decades, its GDP grew by forty times.

    China is the world’s second-largest consumer of oil and moved from second-largest net importer of oil to the largest in 2014. China is the world’s most populous country with a fast-growing economy that has led it to be the largest energy consumer and producer in the world.

    You try to imply Solar Energy is a big source there. NOT SO. It is trying to adapt Solar technology but its current energy sources are as follows.

    No 1. Energy source is COAL 69%
    No 2.. Energy source is OIL 18%
    No 3. Hydroelectric plans 8%
    No 4. Natural Gas at 5%
    ….continuing
    and renewable and other sources barely make a dent. HAVING SAID THAT, I will say they have short and long term plans to wean the economy away from Coal by 2050 where 50% of their energy sources will likely be from Hydropower, (and accompanying environmental problems, natural disasters, deforestation etc), Wind and Solar Power.

    Thus your argument while well intentioned, can be a bit misleading. The Chinese government set a target to raise non-fossil fuel energy consumption to 15% of the energy mix by 2020 and to 20% by 2030 in an effort to ease the country’s dependence on coal. In addition, China is currently increasing its use of natural gas to replace some coal and oil as a cleaner burning fossil fuel and plans to use natural gas for 10% of its energy consumption by 2020

    B. INDIA:
    They are trying desperately to adapt technology stolen from the US to have more clean coal plants via emissions controls just like China. Also a nation with chronic poverty, massive rural populations, overgrazing, too many cows, over-farming.Despite its booming economy, and largest middle class and enormously wealthy upper class(they will put even the richest most vulgar consumptive corrupt Lankan to shame; Look at the Ambanis and Mittals, the Tatas etc in addition to the mega rich Bollywood stars.) . So India itself is a paradox of coolies and princes so to speak. The rural people depend a lot on cows; cow dung still makes for cement floors in their homes across rural India. It is growing and its middle class is the world’s most powerful in terms of purchasing power parity.

    a. COAL 61% (they have proven or estimated reserves of 301BILLION TONS OF COAL). It is not going anywhere.
    b. Hydropower 15%
    c. Natural gas 8% (the lucky bastards struck oil and gas !)
    d. Nuclear 2%

    Now here is the situation in the No1 Big Kahuna nation the USA
    C. USA
    1 source Petroleum/Oil 35.4%
    2. Natural gas 28.7%
    3. Coal 18.3%
    4. Nuclear 8%
    Others include Hydropower is less.

    D. FRANCE : Dod you know Ms. Gunasekera that NUCLEAR is about 74.5% still? AND HYDRO comes a distant second with16.3%?

    E. GERMANY: Did you know Germany irrationally decided to shut down all its Nuclear Energy plants after the Fukushima disaster but otherwise Germany the leading economy in Europe had 8% of its energy from Nuclear plants?
    1. Oil 35.0%
    2. Bituminous coal 12.6%
    3. Lignite 12.0%
    4. Natural gas 20.4%
    5. Nuclear power 8.1%
    6. Hydropower, windpower, solar 2.1%
    Other renewable 9.0%

    SO reality is that Coal STILL remains a major if not THE major source of energy for many booming economies and along with it has come concomitant pollution because nations like India and China do not and did not value air quality, cleaner air etc when it raced towards industrialization. They were late in adapting in cleaner coal technologies and scrubbers etc. Now SL is a small nation. Hydro comes with its drawbacks of chronic dependency on Monsoons. Coal has place but it cannot be with inferior Soviet era Chinese technology or Indian technologies that are 3 decades behind that of US or France or Germany.

    Having said that, that is the only point on the Panama papers and corruption article I had issues with. I think Solar is a looooooong way off from being a viable alternative. Solar, Wind, and Thermal all are possibilities for smaller natoins like SL or Norway and should be investigated. Also small, and micro hydropower projects might work. But those diesel and thermal plants in Kelanitissa made a lot of people rich including sadly some people I might know. But that is Sri Lanka isn’t it? CEB became an incredible source of supplemental income. I wish I had asked to be its chairman from CBK. I could have made money for my yet to be born grand daughter’s dowry.

    India’s is a heavy polluter.
    Sources for India
    http://mospi.nic.in/Mospi_New/upload/Energy_stats_2015_26mar15.pdf

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      ” I could have made money for my yet to be born grand daughter’s dowry.”
      Mano; By the time she is of Marriageable Age, Dowries would have been off the Equation!

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      “”I wish I had asked to be its chairman from CBK.””

      and do what my friend ?? because you know Punjabi Tappas and increase the family fortunes.
      India: Where did the word `loot` come to the Cambridge dictionary?? Why did Queen Victoria take over English East India Company?? heard of Nabobs word from Nawabs.
      Now you know Ambani lifestyle.
      The men who changed water pumped into a car and make it run went missing- this is fact not fiction. Why did US ban Marijuana cultivation and ban it??

      Why is India unable to buy a plane or sub from Us/UK etc except the faulty Dassault Rafale and subs.
      Why did Belgium refuse to hand over the terror men to France but carried out investigations?
      You just know one side of the coin or 2 but there are many to it.

      your CBK aunty was crude/cruel when she informed N. Delhi journalist it was Viper software that assisted her. it was Goat who slipped with US and India at the same time that it happened. Why is she now not in the forefront of reconciliation?

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        You are off the point. I was being sarcastic. I am just a retired teacher happily living on my pension. Enjoyed the insults though and no she is not my aunt. I was being facetious.

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          Mano Ratwatte ,

          OK. I gave you an honest insight to inform you that energy is not just Active systems. There are passive systems in practice- so its a one off payment- if you living in the hills stay warm in winter and cool in summer. There are some of these in California, Israel, and south India at pondi- the man chamanlal gupta got the president’s award for solar energy (within 5 mins rice was boiled then in 1973). This is winter time close to midnight EU and my cheap Chinese but beautiful garden lights with Buddha fountain are working on little solar chip and shall till daylight.
          The Government is not going to change type of energy. i dislike Banda and the family for good reasons so anyone who praises them gets me on my nerves.(my late mum refused her x’mas cake and walked away- because her own people were sent to jail trying to have 2 seruvas filled in pumpkin- its the staple diet of the south of the equator. For a moment I thought you were her relative because in one of your previous comments on another article you praised CBK very lovingly-
          Those were the days when we were kids jumping over hedges and all were aunt and uncle but bandas took it all away. Perhaps he went to oxford not Cambridge like LKY and Choo his wife.(Cambridge club beat Lanka GLP oxford club at the UNHCR)
          I do know India well and its romance but not indian either
          I have told you the truth in my earlier post eg finally the king of Belgium had to very diplomatically inform what the French have being doing not just Belgium but the world ( the Flemish are hardworking speak good English and tight lipped) – all terrorism reactions originates from French/Arab colonies and the French have happily blamed the US/UK- it’s in the money they never got from desert storm 1 but no one got any.
          Please be happy- but I am not a fan of tissarani and many after the high jacking of common candidate. It’s better to suffer a bit now than suffer long later. They are all thieves- politicians, intellects and the common woman with the sweat of her brows and more brings the food home.- how shameful is that??
          See that woman Rosy what she do – me me me and I go to church for my babies to go up the ladder.
          Now it’s a bit too late because the country is full of arms and ammunition and Ranil has started another revolution and invited the Chinese too-
          Independence was an accident waiting to happen.
          I like Donald Trump because he is saying what others dare not.

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      @Mano Ratwatte

      How dare you attack Tissaranee’s article with unassailable facts ?

      Cant you see the number of gushing comments for her post ? “Dear Tissaranee, how well you write”.. “Wonderful Ms. Gunasekera, how unbiased and truthful you are”

      Why do you buck the trend ?

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    I am asking the follow up to my long winded previous response.
    WHAT DO YOU and OTHERS PROPOSE?
    Solar is good for upper middle class homes in Colombo already to run ACs in Hot April and is a good thing, but the COST of installation is very high. This Yahapaalana clowns have already raised taxes on Hybrid Prius cars and Ravi K for some dumb reason gave tax cuts for dirty Indian cars.. Why? In the US a Prius or an Electric Nissan Leaf gets you federal tax rebates for a few years. Why were the Hybrids targeted by Yahapaalanas? Politically targeted attack?

    SO WHAT REALISTIC solutions to growing energy needs do you propose? Sri Lanka has ludicrously high per KW surcharges and rates and it will price itself out of the market for investments compared to Bangladesh, Vietnam etc at this rate.

    So what DOABLE and VIABLE REALISTIC ENERGY policies do you have?

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      Mano,
      Take a dip into Passive Energy systems! How do snakes and pigeons live??
      People are living using these systems for ages in cities too.
      Your sur- namesake Sirimavo got rid of the gas pipe lines that came to colombo homes because she was in love with Chew and Lie.
      Tissranee wants to be adopted by Mara!!

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    Whether the Rajapaksas have done a Benami (as suggested by the ‘Native by any other name’) or an ‘Arjuna’ transaction, there is no evidence so far of this! So why are we going on with this regurgitating the same mantra- ‘Rajapaksa corruption’.
    If you self righteous people are crusading for anti- corruption, join the world movement in anti- corruption. Look at Hillary & Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Nicolas Sarkozy for a change! There are a few ‘Benamis’, ‘Arjunas’ and other more obvious corrupt transactions there the whole world is speaking about. Even Pope Frances is repelled by their type of corruption.

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    TG’s pretensions of intellectual discourse sounds like..Blah, blah, blah, it is Rajapaksha’s fault, blah, blah, blah…ad nauseum, it is funny no?

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    [Edited out]

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    I came across this article presenting the other side. (verbatim). However, aren’t there limits to how much land can be used for Wind Farms and the problems of valuable species of endemic birds being subjected to strikes in areas where there is land for Wind Farms? Just thinking aloud. Ms. Gunasekera, I have not been as engrossed in an article as this. Of course you can see insults as soon as I post my name which have nothing to do with the topic.

    But here goes. I have provided the link below the extract

    1. Denmark sets world record for wind

    Denmark set a new world record for wind production in 2014, getting 39.1 percent of its overall electricity from the clean energy source.

    The latest figures put the country well on track to meet its 2020 goal of getting 50 percent of its power from renewables.

    Denmark has long been a pioneer in wind power, having installed its first turbines in the mid-1970s, and has even more ambitious aims in sight, including a 100 percent renewable country by 2050.

    Last year, onshore wind was also declared the cheapest form of energy in the country.

    2. UK wind power smashes annual records

    In the UK, wind power also smashed records in 2014, as generation rose 15 percent from 24.5 terawatt-hours (TWh) hours to 28.1 TWh.

    That’s more than any other year, and the country now generates enough wind energy to supply the needs of more than 6.7 million UK households.

    A combination of grid-connected wind farms and standalone turbines produced 9.3 percent of the UK’s electricity demand in 2014, up from 7.8 percent in 2013 and the latest data follows a string of wind power records announced in the second half of last year.

    3. Renewables provide biggest contribution to Germany’s electricity

    Renewable energy was the biggest contributor to Germany’s electricity supply in 2014, with nearly 26 percent of the country’s power generation coming from clean sources.

    That’s according to Berlin-based think-tank Agora Energiewende.

    Electricity output from renewables has grown eightfold in Germany since 1990, and the latest data further highlights the dramatic shift towards clean energy taking place in Europe’s largest economy.

    4. Scotland sees “massive year” for renewables

    With another record month experienced in December, 2014 was a “massive year” for renewables in Scotland.

    Last month, wind turbines alone provided around 1,279 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity to the national gird, enough to supply the electrical needs of 164 percent of Scottish households, or 3.96 million homes.

    The latest figures further highlight the record year seen for renewables in Scotland, with wind turbines providing an average 746, 510 MWh each month—enough to supply 98 percent of Scottish households electricity needs.

    Over six months of the year, wind generated enough power to supply more than 100 percent of Scottish households, while in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness there was enough sunshine to provide 100 percent or more of the electricity needs for an average home in June and July.

    With figures like these it is no wonder new research out this week said the country’s power grid could be 100 percent renewable by 2030.

    5. Ireland hits new record for wind energy

    Windy conditions in Ireland meant the country saw not one but two wind energy records set already this year.

    According to figures record by EirGrid on Wednesday (Jan. 7), wind energy had created 1,942 MW of energy, enough to power more than 1.26 million homes.

    And while we are still only a week into 2015, this announcement marked the second time this year the country has seen this record broken. On the Jan. 1, wind energy output was at a previous high of 1,872 MW.

    SOURCE : http://ecowatch.com/2015/01/09/countries-leading-way-renewable-energy/

    A lost thought.
    Sri Lanka is densely populated and has a small land area compared to some of those nations. Infrastructure costs are really high. In the USA, Indianapolis airport has the world’s largest Solar Panel farm (75 acres) and yet it does not provide all the power to the airport. It is run by a Taiwanese company and the Electric company buys power at a higher rate because of the cost of technology. But it sells at a lower rate. So I am not sure how many more subsidies the GOSL can sustain.

    Just thinking aloud. Not an expert; but as the commercial says “I am not an expert, but I did sleep at a Holiday Inn Express Last night”.

    Sincerely,
    Mano R, Yankeestan

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      mano ratwatte ,
      “”I was being sarcastic. I am just a retired teacher happily living on my pension. “”””Of course you can see insults as soon as I post my name which have nothing to do with the topic.””
      please don’t let your emotions trail a lost humour.

      Its the Banda/CBK that drew the flak nothing else- rice from the moon and mass murder of citizens.

      During troubled times when TG crossed over to CT she was clear that she does not read an article once sent for publishing. (Horace : The word once uttered cannot be recalled) distressing but true.
      China provides 90% of the raw material for manufacture of solar panels- rare -earths. Iran has the rest. No one likes to refine it because it’s dangerous and the poorest of poor do it at China.
      Trade wars and China refused to sell it to Japan and threatened US too but WTO ruled against China because it is an essential component. Same with a material for cell phone batteries available in the Congo that Germany needs- poorest of poor mine it.
      Read this (world in one) and do something for self and home and forget the global energy fights etc. small Lanka cannot win. You can read the book see the diagrams and work out what is good for you – cooking lighting tv etc etc.

      Solar Energy in Developing Countries: An Overview and Buyers’ Guide for Solar Scientists and Engineers–https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=u73dAgAAQBAJ&dq=Dr.+Chamanlal+Gupta+(Auroville&source=gbs_navlinks_s a book worth reading- click on the pictures and read the book part by part- all nations have participated because its the call of the mother at the Ashram.

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    The “panama papers”have revealed the siphoning out of wealth from Sri Lanka. This would not have been possible without the purchase of hardware for a war, that was not necessary, while the peace talks were going on between the GSL and LTTE.

    The only sensible conclusion is that the war was “created” by MR, for him, his family and cronies to plunder the wealth of SL and stash in Offshore banks to hide from others.

    Let us not wait for more information but ask the Central Bank and FCID to audit the fo inllowing;

    1. All the SPA signed by the Ministry of Defence to buy weapons should be checked to ensure genuinity.

    2. The purchases, if they were really received in SL or sold to others.

    3. Were the invoiced prices real or inflated.

    4. Who were the commision recipients? If from SL, was it paid inside the counjtry or outside?

    5. Did any person receive “kick backs” if so where was it banked?

    6. Who were the arms suppliers? how were they paid? the payemts should be traced from local banks.

    The citizens of SL have a right to know the absolute truth. The culprits should be arrested, tried for treason and severely punished.

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    Children are our future and heritage.

    Any child in SL must be provided the right conditions around it, by us the sdults, to enable it to be a child, at least till the child is 18 years old.

    All children enjoy childhood with the same age group. But child abusers and rapists for very selfish reasons, force them into sex, slavery or marriage, and deprive the laughter and joy that belongs to the child.

    Rapists can even mar the future of a child by transmitting HIV or STD.

    Till a child completes its childhood and education, it has a right to be free from sex and marriage.

    The UN recognised the importance of children to mankind and passed a resolution defining “the rights of a child”.

    The new constitution of SL should protect and preserve, the dignity,the life and the rights of a child. The parents should love their children and care for them

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    Tisaranee please go deeper into your statistics before coming to the conclusion of the marriageable should be raised to 18 and using the so called a few Muslim majority countries amongst the 54 following such. Look around to the rest of the
    the world which is as follows:

    In the USA in 43 states marriages could be executed with parent consent for those of 16 years of age.
    Worldwide is as follows

    However, in 146 countries, state or customary law allows girls younger than 18 to marry with the consent of parents or other authorities; in 52 countries, girls under age 15 can marry with parental consent. In contrast, 18 is the legal age for marriage without consent among males in 180 countries.(wikepedia)

    So please dont jump the gun

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    Read girls as young as 13 getting legally married and pregnant. By the way, these are not Islamic countries.

    http://edition.cnn.com/2016/04/13/asia/china-teen-brides/index.html

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