25 October, 2020

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Gota’s Interview Re-Produced For Comments

The Colombo Telegraph has received a considerable amount of emails requesting us to re-produce the yesterday’s Daily Mirror interview with the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa. They point out that Daily Mirror readers are not allowed to comment under the said article and this is the first time that such a ban is in place. We publish below the Daily Mirror interview in full allowing readers to give their comments.

I deplore any form of extremism; Gota

The country’s powerful Secretary of Defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa spoke to the Daily Mirror in one of his most wide ranging interviews in recent times, on a gamut of issues.  Rajapaksa explained why he believes that devolution of power is not the solution to the national question.
He also expressed his candid views about his percieved relationship with hard-line Sinhala groups,the issues surrounding the arrest of a senior Police officer on charges of murder and about the controversial Matale mass grave among other topics on this interview.

Full interview

Q: You come from a political family. What are your views on the presidencies of J.R. Jayewardene, R.Premadasa and Chandrika BandaranaikeYour impressions of their times in power?

Gota

I was in the Army under President Jayewardene and President Premadasa, and I see it purely in a defence perspective, in the sense of national security. In my view, both President Jayewardene  and President Premadasa were not able to properly understand and comprehend the situation which was leading to the conflict that dragged on for so many years.

President Jayewardene , of course, during his tenure hadn’t experienced this sort of an issue. In fact, nobody had experienced this, including the military and the politicians. It was a whole new challenge for all of them. But leadership is all about the capability to deal with such situations with a vision. I don’t think he did that properly. I’m not talking about the economy, but in terms of national security, President Jayewardene  did not make the right decisions.

I had seen from the late 1970’s how these extreme Tamil movements developed, especially during the time I served in the North. If you correctly analyse the growth of the LTTE, and how it developed into such a massive organization, you will realize that the strain in the relationship Sri Lanka had with India was the main reason for it.

This is clear because at the very beginning India trained the LTTE, including its leaders.  They permitted training camps in Tamil Nadu, and the RAW was responsible for training its leaders. At the time the leader in India was Mrs. Ghandhi, and the relationship between President Jayewardene  and Indira Ghandhi was a strained one. That was the main reason for them to help the LTTE at the time. There was no other reason.  Before that, we had had a cordial as well as a meaningful relationship with India. It was clearly a mistake President Jayewardene  made at that time. Unfortunately, his advisors were not able to comprehend the possible consequences of that situation either. They could not foresee the threat of a military organisation emerging against the government. They never anticipated such an eventuality, and it was a big mistake on their part. There were so many incidents to prove this point. A very good example for this was the arrest of Kuttumani and Prabhakaran in the 1980’s in Tamil Nadu.

At that time, the Indian government informed the government of Sri Lanka that these two had been arrested. But the government of Sri Lanka did not take it seriously enough, and sent Major Lionel Balagalle and ASP Punya De Silva to India. They were low level officers at that time.

And India’s reaction to that was, they just gave the pictures of Kuttumani and Prabhakaran and sent these two officers back to Sri Lanka, they were not even allowed to interrogate these people, and the two were later released. If the government at that time, had the prudence to at least send a minister to India and shown enough concern on the issue, and had higher level discussion, then history would have been different.  We lost peace and stability in this country due to such blunders. So you have to judge the performance of these leaders on that.

It’s true that during the 1980’s President Jayewardene  appointed General Tissa Weerathunga as overall commander in the North and gave orders to eradicate terrorism, and that was a good move.

During that time apart from the military aspect of, there were a lot of other factors taking shape. These were the foundations of the full blown terrorist outfit. Initially, there were Tamil people being resettled within the Eelam border. There were areas which were complete jungles in which people were resettled. Some of these Tamil villages that we see today were not there before. Various NGOs were also helping this process. Then, of course, there was financing, with money coming in from various accounts. Everything except  military training was taking place there.

However, the LTTE had a big problem in recruiting people, because the LTTE was a small organisation. Even the other armed groups were very small outfits. General Weerathunga understood all these factors, and did very good work to curb the situation, but most of his recommendations were not implemented by the government mainly due to pressure from the TULF.

The ‘83 communal riots were a turning  point in this context. President Jayewardene  was responsible for it, because for three days he did not take any action to arrest the situation. This was in fact the turning point in this entire saga. He did not take proper action, and instead gathered all the Tamil people and sent them all to Jaffna, on a ship. This gave the LTTE the best opportunity to recruit people. Before that, I know very well that the LTTE did not have popular support, I know for a fact that the LTTE had difficulty in recruiting people, but this gave them the opening to recruit cadres.

Since that time a huge growth of all the terrorist groups in the North was witnessed. There were also other incidents such as the burning of the Jaffna library, the rigging of the DDC elections etc. The President was responsible for all these. These were the incidents which helped the LTTE to grow into what it later became.

There was also no mechanism to stop trained cadres and weapons from being brought into the island.
Then there was the instance when the IPKF was brought into the country. Because of all these weaknesses, we couldn’t stand against Indian pressure leading up to the intervention of the IPKF. All of this was because President Jayewardene couldn’t handle the situation, thus compelling him to give in to Indian pressure. President Premadasa also followed these footsteps.

Q: What about the IPKF’s intervention?
Bringing in the IPKF was a failure on the part of the Lankan government. However, once they came in, they initially intervened as “the friends of the LTTE” – but very soon the entire intervention turned the other way because Prabhakaran’s idea was not about settling this issue, he had a different agenda. He didn’t want to hand over weapons and agree to the 13th Amendment.  His agenda was very different. He wanted to divide this country into two by military means, therefore, he didn’t want to accept the Provincial Council System. What Prabhakaran instead did was to turn his guns against the IPKF.

Then a new situation arose with the IPKF beginning to fight the LTTE. At the inception, they suffered a lot of casualties, but since the Indian Army was a professional Army they were able to gradually turn the situation around. They started attacking and exerting pressure on the LTTE.

Then what happened was President Premadasa had discussions with the LTTE, and gave weapons and funded them. He made a huge blunder when he told the IPKF that was fighting the LTTE to leave the country. That was a grave misjudgment on his part. He did not visualise and analyse the situation properly, a facet that all good leaders must possess.

Since the IPKF was in the country, and they were fighting the LTTE we most certainly could have tackled this entire problem in a different way. He and his government could’ve sent the IPKF back, but they shouldn’t have created a situation in which the LTTE could raise its head up again, and fight against the Sri Lankan military. What happened however, is that in less than six months after the IPKF’s departure the LTTE launched the Eelam War- 2 against our troops.

Therefore, on a national security point of view these are the mistakes these two leaders made. They didn’t give proper leadership when the time demanded it. This led to a war which dragged on for thirty years causing massive destruction to life and property. This was a problem which could have been tackled at a very early stage.
You can see how we gradually lost peace in this country, leading to a point where we ultimately gave in and divided this country.

When I took over as Secretary of Defence, this country was almost two countries, with a majority of the areas in the North and the East being virtually governed by Prabhakaran. Neither the Police nor the military could go into these areas, despite our government agents, officers and other state workers being stationed in these areas. The LTTE had the military power. We were paying and maintaining these government officers, but Prabhakaran was directing them as to their duties. They had their own Police, Court System and printed their own stamps, doing almost everything as they wished.

This country was almost divided at the time. You could see how it gradually developed into this situation, and obviously it was a failure in leadership on the part of successive Sri Lankan Presidents.

President Jayewardene inherited a peaceful country with all people living together, but he led it to a country that was in turmoil.  Day by day the situation deteriorated in this country. We lost the peace and stability of this country. gradually based on all of the above.

It is on these factors, that one should judge and assess the performance of these leaders. This is a brief detailing and of course, there are other aspects and a more in-depth analysis could be done about this, but in brief this is what really happened.

Q: Don’t you think all these leaders, including your brother always felt that the LTTE was a result of a political problem, caused by an issue the Tamil people faced in the North? Do you not think that this problem should be addressed?

It is not a political problem, in many countries including so-called advanced societies which have minorities there are issues relating to the minorities. One has to then understand these issues and address them, whether in the US, the UK or any other country, these  issues exist when there are minorities.

Then of course you have to bring certain rules, regulations and methods to address these issues. That is what one has to do. You can’t call these political issues. Of course, the government has to address these issues, but it has to be in similar vein that any other issue prevalent within a country would be addressed.

Even if there are issues of the majority community the government will have to similarly address these issues. Now after we gained independence, there were certain issues for the majority community and the government had to address these issues. You have to take the country as one citizenry, and identify these problems, understand them and of course address them.

Also it must not be forgotten that in many developing countries, most of these issues are not confined to the minorities. It is not that they go through these issues alone and it is not that they face these issues because they are minorities. Upon close analysis, at times, it would be clear that the majority community faces these issues more acutely than the minority communities.

But Politicians try to show that these are only confined to the minorities. It can happen both ways- where politicians representing the minority can go to their community and point out issues and say that these issues arise only because you are either Tamil or a Muslim and blame a Sinhalese government.
But that’s not the truth- these very same problems are faced by the Sinhalese farmer, fisherman and worker. Similarly the majority community politicians can use this to trump up the same communal feeling.

In that way most of these issues are because of politicians- they use these issues for political advantage. So we have to look at them as common issues and address them on a broader basis.

But if there are issues that are confined to the minorities- if the Muslims or the Tamils feel that they have issues only because they are of that ethnic group, then it has to be resolved through dialogue and discussion.

However, the method in which this is being addressed today, by demarcating certain areas for Tamils and certain areas for Muslims and giving certain powers to them, will not solve any problem. There has been no country in the world where such problems have been solved by dividing the people and dividing a country. Wherever they have united these people the problems have been solved, a good example is Singapore.

There are no Tamil areas, Muslims areas or 100% Sinhalese areas. Look at the Tamil community, they live all around the country and there are no restrictions. For example look at the change in the demographics in Colombo during the last decade. Today Sinhalese have become the minority in Colombo with people migrating from the North and the East. But nobody is saying that you can’t buy land or that they can’t live in Colombo.

It’s wrong to say that only the Tamils can buy land in Jaffna. Any Sri Lankan must be able to live in any part of Sri Lanka, they should be able to live, buy land, do business or work in any part of the country. Only then would people be able to live together. Unless that happens this problem will persist.

It is very detrimental and not for the benefit of the Muslims or the Tamils to ask for separate areas. This is good for the politicians for their survival and it is only for their survival that they keep asking for these things and it isn’t for the benefit of the common man.

Sri Lankans must live together to ensure that the whole country develops. This is the best opportunity for that to happen. We have lost so many valuable opportunities during the last 30 years of war. The rest of the world moved ahead with the technological boom leaving us behind. We lost this opportunity because of the war that prevailed in this country. We were fighting while the rest of the world was progressing.

We lost valuable lives,  be it Sinhalese, Tamil, Muslims, the Military and the LTTE;  fact is that we lost valuable life. We lost so much of property and resources within the period. Look at the destruction it caused, how can a country afford to lose 22 aircrafts in a single day? Or a bomb explosion at the country’s pivotal commercial hub? The oil refineries, harbours and everything else was destroyed.

Our tourist industries and fisheries industries were completely destroyed and no sensible investor would have come to Sri Lanka under those circumstances.
Now we have peace and stability in this country, this is the time for us to progress.

We haven’t restricted the Tamils or the Muslims from doing business. Who are the top businessmen in this country? Among them you would find many Tamils and Muslims.

Is there a restriction in terms of education for the minorities in this country? Is there any sort of restriction for a Muslim or a Tamil to enter a university? Everything happens purely on merit. If you are good you are hired.

Look at the nubers of Doctors, Lawyers, Engineers, Accountants or any other profession- there are a large amount of those from the minority communities. Then where is this discrimination that people talk about? There is no such barrier. If one is talented there is no barrier whatsoever to become anyone in this country irrespective of ethnicity.

Is there any problem for any minority to buy property in Colombo or any other part of this country? No. This is what we have to look at. If the Tamil or Muslim community still feels insecure, then we need to identify the problem but these factors must most certainly be considered.

If there is no problem to do business, if there is no problem in entering university, if there is no problem in buying land and if there is no barrier to become a professional then where is the discrimination? Where does this sense of insecurity stem from? It must be identified and solutions must be brought through necessary dialogue.

There are Tamils living in every part of country, then how do you solve the problem by giving only certain powers to the North and the East? How does it solve the problems of the Tamils living elsewhere? There is no logic in this.

Q: Isn’t the argument however that the majority of those living in the North are from the Tamil community and therefore they aspire for self- governance?

That is the problem. That shouldn’t be the case. This happened because the LTTE prevented any other community from entering these areas. They ethnically cleansed the North. For thirty years there was no growth of Sinhalese in that area. The reverse never happened in any other area. Tamils were allowed to come to any other province and settle down at any time as they wished, during this period. But the Sinhalese weren’t even permitted to enter the Northern Province.

If the situation was normal there would have been more and more Sinhalese in the Northern Province. I would know this because I served in Jaffna as a 2nd lieutenant. There were Sinhalese in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullathiwu, Vavuniya, Mannar and other areas. What happened to these Sinhalese?

Not only were the Sinhalese chased out, they weren’t even permitted to enter the areas, so obviously it was confined to Tamils.

This is not even an argument. Take Trincomalee as an example. Before the 1980s the majority in Trincomalee were Sinhalese. Today the Sinhalese have become a minority in Trincomalee and that is because the LTTE chased them out. Not only did the numbers decrease, there was also no growth of the Sinhalese.

If normalcy prevailed this entire situation would have changed. It is nothing but true and correct that in the North and East there must be the same percentage of the majority community. When 78% of this country comprises Sinhalese how does such a vast landmass in the North become 98% Tamil. Isn’t this unnatural? This was forced. Natural growth was prevented.

Q: But still don’t you believe in devolution or decentralisation of power?

No I don’t believe in devolution because of the above points I mentioned. If devolution is for administrative purposes that is of course legitimate. But if one thinks that devolution would provide an answer to the national problem that is something that I don’t agree with.

Take Police powers for example, when one says Police powers would solve the ethnic problem that is faced, tell me how does that same model work in the Eastern Province?

In the Eastern Province you would never get a Tamil Chief Minister. Mr. Pillayan was appointed CM only because the President wanted him to be the CM, despite a lot of pressure from the Muslim Ministers. How can you say that under a Muslim Chief Minister there won’t be the same issues the Tamil are facing?

If this is the argument and if this is the theory- that devolution would solve the problem, I want to know how it solves the issues of the Tamils living in the Central Province who live without any concerns under a Sinhalese Chief Minister. How about the Tamils living in Uva? In Sabaragamuwa? Do you know that in the Ratnapura District, there are more Tamils than in Kilinochchi?.

What about their concerns then? There is simply no logic in this argument.

Q: You earlier said that the strained relationship with India caused the LTTE. Accordingly if one is to take that the 13th amendment was India’s creation don’t you think that it would cause a problem now with India by backtracking it?

This is why I said we should not listen to India. This is our problem. Diplomatic relationships are different from this and we should not mix the two up. We should have good diplomatic relationships with India, Pakistan, China and everybody.

But India and Sri Lanka are two countries. This problem is inherently a Sri Lankan problem and should be solved by Sri Lankans.

If the relationship of these two countries is strained on this one issue then it is wrong, even on India’s part. I have spoken to the new High Commissioner, and the Indian Officials and they have never said that relationships would be strained because of this issue.

This is our country and it is our future that we are talking about here. We can’t sacrifice this country’s future due to pressure from any other country, be it India, US or Europe. We will live for a very short period but for generations and generations to come Sri Lanka must remain a sovereign independent  and a peaceful state.

We made a mistake earlier by giving into external pressure with regard to the method of governance in this country.

Q: Are you therefore calling for the complete repealing of the 13th amendment?

I think that’s the way forward. But that doesn’t mean that I’m against decentralisation, it is good but it has to be practical. It has to be beneficial and it has to be sustainable. Also decentralisation must ensure peace and stability in this country.

You should not segregate places- to demarcate certain areas based on ethnicities. That is not reconciliation. Reconciliation is bringing people together; it is about ensuring that people think as one nation.

A person can have his own religion, culture and identity, but that is different from this segregation. Mixed cultures can enrich the culture of a nation. The Sinhalese and Tamils have their own culture and that is a good thing but it should enrich a nation rather than alienate them within the country itself.

Q: Moving on to another direction, despite this country being one of the few countries that has not seen terror since the end of its war in 2009, there has been a sudden rise in communal tensions?

This again I see as a reaction to some of the claims and things done by the minorities. We shouldn’t let these things come out. Remember the majority community is 78% but if some 8% or 10% of the community tries to bring various issues all the time it creates a suspicion among the majority community. It creates insecurity within the majority community and obviously there will be sections reacting to that. This is what happened. And this is why I say that we should not alienate issues to be regarded as Tamil or Muslim issues.

This will only give opportunity to the majority community to bring out these issues.This is where communal problems arise. Instead we have to discuss these issues on a common basis. Definitely if the minority communities feel certain problems, I don’t think anyone will oppose them bringing it up.I recently read a news item in one of the papers that in Kalmunai that the Tamil community has approached the Bodu Bala Sena to solve some issues, they have with the Muslim community. Now see where is the end? Where is the end? This will never bring us anywhere.

Q: But do you deplore this form or any other form of extremism?

Of course I do. That’s the main teaching of the Buddha “the Middle Path”. Any form of extremism is bad and that is the teaching of the Buddha and I deplore any form of extremist adherences.

Q: But then there are reports that these groups work under your patronage?

Again this is how politicians take gains from such issues. When people want to sling mud this is what they do. It is true that I got involved when these things happened and because of my involvement, I managed to solve a lot of problems. Not only the Bodu Bala Sena, I discussed things with the Muslim groups and I still do. I invited the Jamiyathul Ulama just like I did with the Bodu Bala Sena. I brought these two groups together and discussed their issues.

These discussion mediated by me helped to solve a lot of problems and bringcalm the raging tensions. My involvement helped to bring this situation down and to bring some sense of calmness- if not I don’t know where these things would have led up to.

I got involved because I saw this as a threat to the national security and stability of this country. We went through this for 30 years and we brought peace into this country and I don’t want to see an opening for any conflict of this sort. That was my main concern and that was why I got involved and spoke to all these groups and mediated in order to bring about a solution.

But the Politicians who want to bring discredit to me label me with Bodu Bala Sena and various groups. I did not create the Bodu Bala Sena, it was a creation as a reaction to what was happening. Of course I knew these priests. Ven. Kirama Wimalajothi is a well- known priest and not only to me, the President also knows him very well, Minister Dinesh Gunwardena, and even the opposition leader Ranil Wickremasinghe knows him too together with other parliamentarians.

One of the other young priests in the organisation was also living in a temple close to Los Angeles where I lived when I was in the United States. Obviously the priest was involved in many Buddhist functions which I organized. Knowing people does not mean that one should be associated with their ideologies. I can’t be involved with any such organisation because I am a government official. I can’t be a member of any group. However, associating with people does not mean that I belong to that group.

I associate with many individuals, I very often meet the Cardinal of this country, I know many Bishops and in fact I addressed the Bishops’ conference at one point to solve certain issues.

That doesn’t mean that I’m involved with them. I meet many renowned priests and others to solve certain issues as the Secretary of Defence. These are not terrorist organisations and it is very wrong to label me due to this. I am a Sinhalese Buddhist and I have the right to associate any priest and visit any temple.

Q: But the main allegation is that the law did not work when there were incidents of violence allegedly propagated by these groups?

No that is wrong. Because of me a lot of things were prevented. I’m not defending the Bodu Bala Sena but most of these things were not done by them; it was rather because of local tensions within these areas.

In all these cases we reacted, in Dambulla it was solved because of Police intervention. Similarly in Dehiwala, Ampara and Balangoda I intervened. In Pepiliyana I spent the whole night trying to solve this issue and nobody else did this. Of course it’s my duty but I went out of my way and beyond the call of my duty to solve these issues.

Also you should not generalise these things. In a society there are different people with different ideas. There are people who think in a different way but this should never be generalised to reflect the view of an entire community.

When something happens on the part of the majority community people tend to generalise it as to reflect the entire view of the community within that incident, but the reverse does not happen. This is wrong. One should look at the full picture, the entire situation before coming to such judgments.

Q: Would you give that guarantee that there would never be a start in violence against any group?

Yes I would. Security and stability are our main priorities; we all need to preserve that. The President is open to discuss and speak to everybody and that is done to maintain this stability.

Of course in a democratic country people think differently. We can’t expect everybody to think in the same way. But nobody should generalise and make it to be a commonality. It is not so.

Anything could be discussed now and solved. It can be a member of the TNA, UNP, SLFP or SLMC -they could all discuss and solve any issues that prevail because there is no terrorism in this country. We can sit and solve any problem that exists. It is useless for Muslim leaders to go and discuss this with some other country, they live in this country and they are all Sri Lankans so we have to discuss these issues and find solutions among us.

Q: After the arrest of a top DIG there have been allegations levelled against you which said that these things happened under your watch? And what measures have you taken to prevent them from occurring again?

These things are not unique to Sri Lanka. They happen all over the world and in Sri Lanka it wasn’t confined to this period and happened all along. What is important is the action that is taken against it. People are people and human beings are human beings, they do wrong things. But look at the extent of the action I have taken against things that I inherited from previous administrations. I inherited them because these were existent and sometimes facilitated in the past.

Look at the Colombo lands issue and the underworld. We didn’t create them. Many groups used to take over lands and create mayhem in the past. I have stopped that now. These people who make such allegations don’t talk about that today do they? I believe these issues still prevail but I’m fighting them and have been able to stop this to a great extent.

I will treat these criminals harshly because they are a menace and a cancer to society. I was not the person who brought drugs into this country; these problems are things that existed. I’m fighting against them, various underworld groups have been quelled to a great extent, but I will fight till these are completely done away with.

This is what I’m doing; I’m the person fighting them.  It is of course very unfortunate that a person at the level of a DIG had been doing this. I wasn’t the one who got him into the police force, and he worked his way to that level. How can you know a person’s background until something is committed?

The important thing is that I have always told the Inspector General of Police (IGP) that discipline is a must and have given him total freedom to conduct his duties. I don’t encourage any wrong doing in any way and would never do so. Nobody has tried to pressurise me in any way politically or otherwise. I have told the IGP that we need an effective and disciplined Police force that fights crimes. During my weekly meetings with the intelligence services and the Police I give them all the support to stop drugs, other vices and to fight crime.

Q: The Opposition especially uses this example to say that you are behind extra judicial killings that occur in the country. What do you have to say to this?

Politicians always sling mud like this and it is nothing new. These very politicians who blame me now for this have blamed me for other things in the past as well. At one point it was about me taking over land in Colombo, which is an utter lie and during the elections they blamed me alleging that I own property and land.

I don’t own a single house in this country, the only property I had, I sold and I don’t posses any estates or anything of the sort. Now the people know the truth.

Then at one time they blamed me for white vans, for everything I am the one who is blamed. Even during the height of the war they brought these very stories like disappearances and white van stories to obstruct our mission which was to eradicate terrorism. Now that is over. Now they have taken this, but I’m the person who is fighting all these crimes. My aim is to fight these crimes like we fought terrorism. I want to eradicate the underworld, the drug dealers. Yes, I may have to use strong methods but I will do so for the betterment of this country and the people.

You have to fight these criminals. My duty is towards the law abiding citizens of this country and not towards any criminal. These things are not created by me or the President. We were here only for seven years and therefore we inherited them. I’m surprised to see Ranil Wickermasighe making statements, what about his past? What about Batalanda?  People know these things.

Q: There is also this other allegation surrounding the Matale mass graveyard against you, what do you have to say about this?

This should be investigated impartially, independently and transparently. I don’t want to comment on it since an investigation going on.
I have my comments but I don’t want to make them right now, let there be an independent, thorough transparent investigation.

If these skeletons are from that era, although I think it was from before that, then a lot of people were blamed for the atrocities in that era. But there is one thing that should be made very clear- the yard was not found in a jungle or in someplace that could not be located. It was found within the premises of a Hospital. Therefore, there is a person responsible of the hospital and I think the investigation should start there.

My argument is that these were not found in the jungles or in someplace that was hidden, it was found in a public place and the investigation could begin there.

There were a lot of people blaming both the JVP and the government at the time and these are the groups that would know what happened if the skeletons are in fact from that era.

Q: What about the recent news about your phone being tapped?

Only the people who have the capability could tap them, I have informed my service provider about this. I felt there was something wrong because each time I used the phone there was either a drop in signal or there was a drop in the quality of the call, there was also an unusual loss of signal at times.

I know that this capability exists, and I know that some foreign embassies or high commissions posses these capabilities. I strongly suspected that this was happening and I complained about it.

Q: And finally there are also allegations that the state intelligence agencies tap the phones of journalists and opposition politicians?

No I can categorically say that it does not happen in Sri Lanka. We don’t indulge in activities that impede on the civil liberties of our citizens.

(By Hafeel Farisz)

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Latest comments

  • 0
    1

    The comments are more to the point than DMs propaganda bit re Gota – US
    citizen as SLs prime Public Servant, whose time is also numbered, as he
    is primarily on a pace-maker!

  • 0
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    Meanwhile,the latest extra-judicial killing by the police has been reported.
    Mohammed Azmin who has been described as a multifaceted criminal, has been – like in neumerous instances earlier – shot dead by the police while being taken in a police jeep because “he had tried to strangle one of the policemen” !!!
    Why was he not in handcuffs, as befits a dangerous criminal?
    This is the umpteenth time when such an incident has happened.
    Is the defenc secretary concerned?
    It is also reported that five accused in the ‘Trinco 5’ murder case have been remanded – after six years of investigation!
    Hooray – something is happening at last!

    • 0
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      How far is it true that competing criminal-lords in the multi-million drug import-trafficking trade, with close connections to Govt VVIPs, generously use their clout to eliminate the competition using the armed forces and the Police. The recent Welikade Prison incident, where many drug criminals were killed, and many other recent “killings” of the Colombo underworld are widely believed to be related to this speculation.

      As to the “late in the day” effort to judiciously look into the Trinco 5 massacre, strangely before the coming of CHOGM and its media hordes, reminds one of Lincoln’s dictum of trying to fool all the people all the time.

      Senguttuvan

    • 0
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      Why are you worried about this mohamed chap.He was a scumbag and a menace to society.Getting rid of him and others of his type is good for society as long as good and decent people are not got rid of like this.

    • 0
      0

      A Sinhala daily recently asked for the same treatment for ‘[Edited out]’ in its editorial!

  • 0
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    President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the law is equal to all and no one has a right to take the law into their own hands.

    The President said this while speaking after declaring open the renovated Jumma Masjid Mosque in Beruwala today.

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      weera

      “The President said this while speaking after declaring open the renovated Jumma Masjid Mosque in Beruwala today.”

      Is he converting to Islam? Traitor.

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        Native,
        He’s preaching Islam to Muslims.BBS has advised
        Muslims to learn “true” Islam from their “Boss”
        Imam.

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      Weera.

      “President Mahinda Rajapaksa says the law is equal to all and no one has a right to take the law into their own hand”

      However, the situation on the ground, is different. The Situation on the ground the last few months, and since independence especially after 1956 was:

      Says “the law is Un-equal to all and no one, except Sinhala Buddhists, has a right to take the law into their own hands.”

      1958, 197, 1983 etc.

      That is the core problem. Unequal Law and Order.

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        Amarasiri,
        What he possibly could have meant by this,is that
        the law is “under his feet” and nobody dares to
        touch it.ShiraniB and MohanP the best examples.

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      He just plays with his sorta words to fools the majority stupid folks that are the vote base to keep him live.

      Anyway, .. please check what the British says today after 18 month of that British murder case:
      ————–
      Problems with DNA evidence have delayed the prosecution of suspects over the murder of a Red Cross worker in Sri Lanka in 2011, British officials said.

      Khuram Shaikh, 32, from Milnrow, Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was shot and stabbed on Christmas Day 2011.

      Eight people, including a Sri Lankan politician, were arrested and bailed in November. They all denied the charges.

      The British High Commission in Colombo said the 18-month delay was “not a good message to tourists”.

      The Sri Lanka High Commission said the “Government Analyst’s report relating to DNA evidence is awaited and all arrangements have been made to commence proceedings upon receipt of the same”.

      ‘Brutal attack’
      Robbie Bulloch, Deputy High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, said: “What we have been told is that they have been waiting for DNA evidence and that has been holding it up.

      “Why that should take 18 months to process I don’t know, but what we have done from the very beginning is urge the government to take this very seriously.

      Khuram Shaikh’s brother Nasir said a trial date must be set
      “It’s a brutal attack, it’s not a good message for a country which attracts very many British tourists each year.”

      Mr Shaikh, who graduated from Salford University, had been working in Gaza for the Red Cross, fitting prosthetics limbs.

      He was shot and stabbed when he and his Russian girlfriend, Victoria Aleksandrovna Tkacheva, were attacked on holiday in the resort of Tangalle.

      In a statement, the Sri Lanka High Commission said the government of Sri Lanka “is committed to prosecute the persons responsible”, with a “special prosecutor nominated by the Attorney-General to conduct the prosecution”.

      It confirmed the case had been transferred from Tangalle to Columbo Magistrates Court “to prevent the alleged intimidation of witnesses”.

      “These incidents, though extremely sad and unfortunate, have happened in many other tourist destinations in the past and can happen anywhere in the world,” it said.

      “This will by no means overshadow the warmth that is offered to tourists by our hospitable nation and its people”.

      ‘DNA evidence outstanding’
      Mr Shaikh had been trying to break up a fight in the hotel bar.

      His brother, Nasir, said: “There’s still witness accounts outstanding, DNA evidence outstanding, 18 months on this should have been completed. We need a trial date set”.

      The Sri Lankan government has said it strongly condemned the killing, but Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk said he was “extremely disappointed” with their response.

      He said: “They need to follow the rule of law and rise to the standards expected of Commonwealth countries. We need to pressurise the Sri Lankan government to ensure justice is done.”

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      Mahinda spoke of Haram and Halal which was a joke to him.

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    22 Aircrafts destroyed in one day,

    People who financed this operation are now writing freedom and human rights charters.

    Their proxies want separate Homelands with full freehold titles and own Police Force.

    And some of our patriotic politicians are ready and willing to go along.

    Keep up the good work Gota.

    The great majority of the inhabitant population who are making a living now without fear of explosions and killings want you to keep going as long as possible.

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      om and human rights charters

      “Their proxies want separate Homelands with full freehold titles and own Police Force.”

      Whats wrong with demanding a separate homeland?

      Remember the island doesn’t belong to Sinhala/Buddhists.

      It once belonged to my ancestors until it was gradually colonised by the Kallthonies from North and South of India. My people never transferred freehold titles to either your people or similarly stupid your brethren Tamils.

      “Keep up the good work Gota.”

      I hope he will. Soon the country and the coffer will be emptied. We can have our island back.

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    During the time of the native vedda reign, India and jaffna were connected. There was no need for kallathonis. People swim out even now.

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      Kathirkamini

      “During the time of the native vedda reign, India and jaffna were connected. There was no need for kallathonis.”

      This island separated 7,000 to 8,000 years ago from mainland India. Those who arrived since must have used kallathonies.

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        Native Veddah,

        Here are some of the Kallathlis you were referring to.

        According to Monk Mahanama, the Grandfather of the King or Price of Kallathonis was a Lion

        http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/06-coming-vijaya/

        http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/07-consecrating-vijaya/

        And no sooner had the god received the charge from Sakka than he came speedily to Lanka and sat down at the foot of a tree in the guise of a wandering ascetic. And all the followers of VIJAYA came to him and asked him: `What island is this, sir?’ `The island of Lanka, he answered. `There are no men here, and here no dangers will arise.’ And when he had spoken so and sprinkled water on them from his water-vessel, and had wound a thread about their hands[3] he vanished through the air. And there appeared, in the form of a bitch, a yakkhini who was an attendant (of Kuvanna).[4]
        One of (VIJAYA’s men) went after her, although he was forbidden by the prince (for he thought), ‘Only where there is a village are dogs to be found.’ Her mistress, a yakkhini named Kuvanna (Kuvani), sat there[5] at the foot of a tree spinning, as a woman-hermit might.

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          Amarasiri

          Thanks for your introduction to Mahawansa myth.

          My eleders are aware of this myth making Mahanama. They dismiss his work as fiction at least the early chapters.

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    is GOTTA Paased SLAS EXAM ? If not how can he be a Secreatary

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    Mr. GR: I am not convinced as regards the answer you have given to the question relating to the DIG. To refer to the question I quote “After the arrest of DIG……”.

    Your answer : “These things happen all over the world…….” I don’t think that is a satisfactory answer at all from your stand point. Just because something happens elsewhere, it does not necessarily mean it is a “common occurance” and we should accept it. These types of explanations do come usually from the “Higher Ups” in Sri Lanka. In other countries when such things happen, the full force of the “Law Enforcement Machinery” is set in motion and the people are assured by demonstation that those things are taken care of. The day to day media, both print and electronic, handle it for the benefit of the people at large. I do not wish to give examples, because it would be too voluminous.

    However, in the context of this partaicular DIG, you knew very well how he handled a “boy’s boy’s” show of might, (that involved his own son). What did the “Authorities” including you did on that occasion? Now this had come up in Courts in the form of a litigation instituted by the victim. You say “I have instructed the IGP to maintain the highest discipline in the Police Force”. As regards this case either the IGP or You have failed. In my opinion both of you have failed and must take the responsibility of not bringing this DIG,s involvement cleared in the name of “Justice”.

    Please view the above incident in the light of your answer” How can you know a person’s background until something is committed”. Again in my opinion, you should never have said this, especially being a responsible person in the “Security and Law Enforcement” limb of the Government. You know it very well that there are “ways and means” of getting to know how the people “act and react” and accordingly judge their “motivations” (unless of course the so called “Authorities” motivate them otherwise, which happens always in Sri Lanka) and take suitable and appropriate timely preventive action.

    Even in the present case where this DIG is under arrest there are so many un-answered questions in the mind of the people,that the whole process is being executed in a very “lackadaisical” manner. The people want to know “why” his son who is cited by witnesses as a “direct participant” in the crime has not been taken into custody. His wife has been warned by the courts for harassing the witnesses.

    Do you think this very incident involving a person next in line to be an IGP is handled in the most efficient manner to dispell the doubts of the public?

    Mr. Defence Secretay: These are the types of “Dramas” enacted or taking place, immeadiately after winning the war, that put the whole of the country under the “microscopic” reviews and assessments. So don’t you think you have a “responsibility” and “duty bound” to arrest this situation. I know that you know it. So please clear the “big mess” in you own back-yard.

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    1. It is dissapointing to hear from him of his position that there was no ethnic/nation/political problem in country. (even after we faced 3 major civil wars.)

    2. Even now he doesn’t see the recent increase racialism/communalism against muslim and christian communities.

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    Is this the same GoRa who fled the country when Eelam war 2 started?
    :-)

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    We were the most feared freedom fighters in the world. We had an Army, a Navy, an Air Force and a Police Force.

    We kicked out the Indian Army from Eelam.

    We had Embassies in London, New York and Paris.

    We had a $200 million / year budget.

    Our organisation was blessed by Fr . Emmanuel.

    World leaders, ambassadors and Francis Harrison used to come on all fours to have an audience with our Leader.

    All our leaders and fighters wore a potassium cyanide necklace. If the Sri Lankan Army captured them, they would bite into the tablet at the end of the necklace.

    SO HOW DID WE END UP MUD WRESTLING in Nandikuda lagoon with an Army directed by a 7-Eleven SHOP ASSISTANT?

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      Johnny Eelam

      You are being pedantic.

      Tamils/Sinhalese already knew/acknowledged these achievements(?).

      However what the Tamil/Sinhalese men didn’t know is that their wives continued to fake orgasm. Yet the men feel great about themselves.

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        Johnny Eelam

        Come to think of it,

        You know no fear. You know no danger. You know nothing.

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          Hey Native Vedda,

          Haven’t you done remarkably well under Sri Lankan rule?

          I mean, it’s no small achievement to get fast broadband to Dambane jungle, so that you can share your wisdom with the Colombo Telegraph audience all over the world. I know you are not in a London, pretending to be a true native. No, you wouldn’t abandon your ancient land and live in the West.

          BTW, I knew your grandfather Tissahamy: an interesting chap, liked his ganja and wild boar meat, but unfortunately hated Muslims. He killed a Moorish trader in cold blood. Also, like all vaddahs of his generation, he had no problems marrying an under age girl.

          Anyway, we cannot blame him; he didn’t have access to media, mobile phones, Internet and education like you

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            Johnny Eelam

            “Haven’t you done remarkably well under Sri Lankan rule?”

            Haven’t you done remarkably well in our plundered land?

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              I have done fairly ok, but you NV, you have done remarkably well. So why complain?

              BTW. Hope I didn’t shock you with your clan history.

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              Johnny Eelam

              “BTW. Hope I didn’t shock you with your clan history.”

              We are used to Sinhala/Tamil smear campaign which does not bother us. Sinhala/Buddhist Mahanama started it and the stupid Sinhala/Buddhists shamelessly using without a shred of evidence.

              It is one of those things the land grabbing horas frequently use to cover up their heinous crimes.

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    It is well established fact that Gota is very weak when it comes to facts and evidences.

    Here are some statistics to show the population distribution of Trincomalee District from 1827 to 2012

    Year Sinhala Muslim Tamil Other Total

    1827 1.3% 16.9% 81.8% 0% 100%
    1881 4.2% 25.9% 64.4% 5.5% 100%
    1901 4.2% 29% 60% 6.8% 100%
    1921 4.2% 37.7% 54.5% 3.5% 100%
    1946 15.3% 30.6% 44.5% 9.6% 100%
    1971 29.0% 32% 38% 1.0% 100%
    1981 33% 29% 36% 1.0% 100%
    2007Est 25% 45% 29% 0.5% 100%
    2012 27% 40% 32% 0.5% 100%

    Before British there were only few Sinhalese (negligible) lived in Trincomalee
    After Sinhala take control of Sri Lanka from British there size increased substantially to 33% through forced state sponsored settlement of Sinhalese.
    There was a slight drop after IPKF arrival but it is picking up again.
    The Tamil population has fallen nearly by half through continued ethnic cleansing program of Sinhala states.

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    Gota plays jekyll and Hyde. He canvasses for Duminda and Mervyn openly. Speaks like a demented person. Does not respect another point of view. Remember the BBC interviews? Thinks the nation is run by the military and he should be the supreme commander. His public persona does not match his other actions. Why did he order the STF to raid the Lanza’s in Negombo after Duminda’s affair and there was a shortage of drugs in Colombo? Why did he not object and give interviews when MR took Mervyn and flew to Negombo to placate the Lanzas? Why can’t he name which officers carried out the murder of Lasantha? he knows!!!!…the murder of Prageeth Ekneligoda? he knows!!! All other crimes he will solve and take credit. Such a person will develop Colombo (Jekyll) and demolish dissent (Hyde). Every time he went overseas (during the war) someone was taken out. Then he would say “ekatath mung allai” and keep quiet. Why cannot people in Sri Lanka sift through and take what is good and do away with rubbish. Can any other Ministerial Secretary speak on policy? he/she will not only be sacked but hounded together with the family. Why cannot people see through all this? As long as no one within our families get done in we will not focus on the mass fear campaign put in place by this man. Oh tempora. Oh mores

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    Since the end of the civil war it has been 4 years now. “Sri Lanka is 9th most dangerous country in the world”, a world report said. GR the presidential sibling is the so called Defense Secretary of that country. And he pokes his finger from Buddhism to tribalism, from sky-scraper to public toilet, from IGP to PC, from UN resolution to Provincial Council agenda, from foreign policy to local election…all because he is presidential sibling! From the day this regime came to power to end of the war and up to the present time the Rajapaksha regime has hoarded a stupendous amount of unanswered, unaccounted for backlog of issues, crimes, corruptions, murders, disappearances, misappropriations, arsons, assaults, usurpations, white vannings, bribes, extortions, rapes and all such illegal and criminal perpetrations. And a media rag called Daily Mirror (Daily Diarrhea) comes forward and performs a routine laundry operation to whitewash tarnished and criminal face of the regime. But this leads nowhere though. The allegations against and the blanket of strong suspicion over and culpability of the regime is virtually unassailable. Nothing can prevent them from paying for the damned things they committed, when the day of reckoning finally arrives. The descendants of the Rajapakshas, Modawansas et al are doomed for effacement from Sri Lankan chronicles.

    The DS boasts of his cleverness and statesmanship and criticizes JR and RP for their poor handling of international and local politics. Who is this DS who has messed up everything and tightened up the noose around him to belittle a shrewd and seasoned luminary and politician like JR? It is no fault of JR that India turned against Sri Lanka. Historically India has tried to suppress and influence SL over political and economic matters. JR had a vision to develop this country along the lines and status of Singapore and other developed countries and he understood the hindrance factor from India and tried to circumvent the obstacle by aligning itself with the US strategically, economically and politically. This is exactly what the Rajapakshas are doing right now with China, but pawning the country to them. During the convalescent period of JR from the poverty and hunger stricken era of Rajapakshas’ SLFP-Sirima era, JR did not have the luxury of sophisticated intelligence reports about the US’s geopolitical interests, vision and alignments with India and hence his trials could not achieve his goal. However he quickly learned and turned India’s own tiger against them by signing Indo Lanka Accord and brining in IPKF which ultimately led to the death of Rajiv by their own pets. And as a by-product of ILA Rajapakshas have been denied their despotic march towards full-blown autocracy despite their all the unprecedented illegal and criminal usurpations of power in the South! Rajapakshas cannot come even close to this kind of risk free and internationally accepted political tactics. Rajapakshas boast of war victory but they have also embraced war crimes and HR violation titles and accusations! Is this their skill that GR is boasting of and they say JR lacked? Despite their brave gangho over abolition of 13A they would never do it because they are hell afraid of India! Because then why are they going to hold elections in the North if they are going to abolish 13A? Why have they appointed a PSC joke to deliberate over it? Is this how the Rajapakshas are going to beat JR? JR has the presence of mind and shrewdness to turn the Indian antagonism towards Sinhalese towards the Tamil LTTE by devising IPKF deal with the added bonus of straining relations between India and Tigers, but under the Rajapakshas the next Indian invasion would be directly against the Rajapakshas and the Sinhalese. And that invasion would be under the complete direction and sanction of UN and majority of the countries in the world! This is the unfortunate legacy Rajapakshas are going to leave us with. Economically they have already strangled this country.

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    The Budhdhimath Janathawa will naturally ask, does the DM have to open a laundry to survive? Are they not selling enough papers?

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    mr.gota..you are the real politician..well done sir..

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      Gota a politician. The my uneducated servant is a Statesman.!!!!

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