21 July, 2019

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How Can You Justify Holding Persons Under The PTA Any Longer

By R. Sampanthan

R. Sampanthan

R. Sampanthan

This is what the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs said. I quote; “Review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in line with contemporary international best practices.”

“Review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act”. That was what you said to the UN Human Rights Council, on the 14th of September, 2015 in your opening speech, Hon. Minister. Today we are five months down the road. How can you hold persons in custody continuously under that Act which you have agreed to repeal? The only evidence against most of these people are their extracted confessions; most of them are being charged on the basis of extracted confessions. I am told some of the senior police officers, ASPs, who recorded those confessions do not go to courts. That is the reason why the cases are postponed. When you have committed yourself to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, can these persons be any longer held or charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act? It is a contradiction of your own commitment. The reasons for their release are compelling. I would urge the Government to release these persons, without any further delay at the earliest.

Speech made by R Sampanthan, the Leader of the opposition in Parliament on the 8th of March 2016:

I thank you, Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, and the House for the leave granted to me to raise the following matter of urgent public importance, on the Adjournment of Parliament today.

Sir, I move the following Motion with regard to a matter of urgent public importance that I wish to raise.

“The current position of the State/Government in regard to persons who have been victims of enforced disappearances and other disappearances and persons who continue to be held in custody under the Prevention of Terrorism Act in judicial proceedings where

i. The trial has been concluded and persons sentenced.
ii. Where persons have been charged and the trial is ongoing, and
iii. Where persons have not been charged but continue to be in custody.

Though initiatives have been taken by the State/Government to inquire into this issue and though a long period of time, very many years, have lapsed, there has been no tangible effective final result, so as to mete out justice and alleviate the extreme trauma experienced by the families and next of kin of all these persons.

This continuing uncertainty is a serious impediment to the commencement of the process of reconciliation, and it is therefore imperative that the State/Government should bring this state of uncertainty to an end, through a definite plan of action that will immediately mete out justice and set in motion the process of reconciliation and end the extreme trauma of these families and next of kin. It is incumbent that the Government defines its immediate action plan in this regard.”

Sir, before I discuss further this question of enforced disappearances, I think it would be useful if I was to give this House the definition of “enforced disappearances” as accepted by the United Nations. In accordance with the definition contained in the Preamble of the Declaration, “enforced disappearances” are only considered as such when the act in question is perpetrated by State actors or by private individuals or organized groups – for example, paramilitary groups – acting on behalf of or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of the Government.

That, Sir, would be the definition of the term “perpetrators responsible for enforced disappearances”. The definition of “enforced disappearances” is as follows: “As defined in the preamble of the Declaration, enforced disappearances occur when persons are arrested, detained or abducted against their will or otherwise deprived of their liberty by officials of different branches or levels of Government or by organized groups or private individuals acting on behalf of, or with the support, direct or indirect, consent or acquiescence of, the Government, followed by a refusal to disclose the fate or whereabouts of the persons concerned or a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of their liberty, which places such persons outside the protection of the law”. Sir, the Declaration referred to in these definitions is the Declaration on Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance adopted by the General Assembly of the UN in its Resolution 47/133 of 18th December, 1992.

Sir, it would appear from these definitions that the persons who are perpetrators of enforced disappearances are either persons who act on behalf of the State or persons who act with the explicit or implied consent of the State. We are concerned with disappearances that occurred at the hands of the State. The responsibility for such disappearances is primarily that of the State. We are also concerned with disappearances that had occurred at the hands of the LTTE, because we know that there were persons taken into custody by the LTTE, who have also disappeared. They may not strictly come under the term “enforced disappearances”, but all persons taken into custody by other paramilitary groups collaborating with the State would come within the definition of “enforced disappearances”. Since, however, it is accepted by everybody that all these disappearances occurred in the course of the armed conflict, we are concerned with all disappearances, both of civilians and even military personnel. In regard to disappearances that had occurred at the hands of officials of the State or persons acting with the implied or explicit consent of the State, while the State is answerable, the State is also, in a sense, bound to perform its duties in regard to the search for persons who may have been taken into custody even by the LTTE, if that be possible.

Sir, it would be relevant for me, before I proceed dealing with this matter, to also read to the House some of the observations made by the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in a Report that they have submitted. It states, I quote:

“In a general comment adopted this year, the Working Group concluded that enforced disappearance represents a paradigmatic violation of the right to be recognized as a person before the law.

It stated that enforced disappearances entail the denial of the disappeared person’s legal existence and, as a consequence, prevent him or her from enjoying all other human rights and freedoms.”

Going on, Sir, in the next Paragraph it states, I quote:

“….enforced disappearance is a continuous crime as long as the fate or whereabouts of the victim remains unclarified. States should take specific measures under their criminal law to define enforced disappearances as an autonomous criminal offence and to bring their existing legislation in line with the Declaration.”

This Report of the Working Group, Sir, also contains a reference to women, which I think is important and I might place that before the House. It states, I quote:

“Women are particularly affected by enforced disappearances as the consequences at economic, social and psychological levels, are most often borne by them. If they are the victims of disappearance, they are particularly vulnerable to sexual and other forms of violence. In addition, as they are at the forefront of the struggle to resolve the disappearances of members of their families, they are subject to intimidation, persecution and reprisals.”

So, you would see, Sir, from these observations that have been made by the Working Group, the Declaration adopted by the UN and the definitions of “enforced disappearances” and “perpetrators” under that Declaration, the question of enforced disappearance is a matter of extreme gravity and we need to do everything possible to prevent, avoid disappearances and to address the issue of disappearances as a grave and urgent humanitarian issue, wherever it has occurred, because it not merely relates to the life of the immediate victim, but it also has a grievously serious impact on the lives of many others, whose lives are inextricably intertwined with the life of the victim. It also has an adverse impact on society; it destabilizes the society; it prevents the return to normalcy and impedes reconciliation. This situation emphasizes the need for the process of transitional justice to work expeditiously and efficiently for truth, justice, reparation and non-recurrence to become operative and functional. It is as much in the interest of the country as it is in the interest of the victims and their families for this issue to be addressed without delay.

I might also mention, Sir, that while we talk of enforced disappearances, as much as we are concerned about women, we are also concerned about children because even children, sometimes, are victims of enforced disappearances and this has an impact not merely on the children, but also on the families of those children. It is in this background, Sir, that I propose to address the facts relating to this issue and what needs to be done to address the issue of enforced or involuntary disappearances and what needs to be done to bring this to an acceptable and just closure. The Government has taken certain steps in this regard. These steps have been in the nature of inquires, but no finality has been reached. It is more than six years since the armed conflict came to an end, and I submit that it would be harmful for both the victims and the country for this state of uncertainty to continue.

The first Commission to be set up recently was the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, set up in May, 2010. It came up with its Report in November, 2011. They recorded extensive evidence in regard to disappearances, enforced and involuntary, and also other disappearances. I must also mention that that was the Commission appointed recently, but there were other Commissions appointed earlier, during the incumbency of President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga where the issue of disappearances all throughout the country was addressed. Sir, I would read some of the Recommendations made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission subsequent to their investigations. I would read paragraph 9.47 of the Report of the Commission which states, I quote:

“The Commission wishes to emphasize that it is the responsibility of the State to ensure the security and safety of any person who is taken into custody by governmental authorities through surrender or an arrest.”

Paragraph 9.48 states, I quote:

“A comprehensive approach to address the issue of missing persons should be found as a matter of urgency as it would otherwise present a serious obstacle to any inclusive and long-term process of reconciliation.”

Paragraph 9.49 states, I quote:

“The Commission also emphasizes that the relatives of missing persons shall have the right to know the whereabouts of their loved ones. They also have the right to know the truth about what happened to such persons, and to bring the matter to a closure.”

Sir, those are certain paragraphs from the Report of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission which places the responsibility entirely in the hands of the State. Four years have lapsed since these Recommendations were made by the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission. What has the Government done in the last four years to implement these Recommendations of the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission? There was yet another Commission appointed – the Paranagama Commission on 15th August, 2013. This Commission is yet sitting; the Commission was also given a second mandate on 15th July, 2014. This related to facts and circumstances surrounding the loss of civilian life and violations of international law. A team of international experts were also appointed to assist the Commission. It is somewhat strange that the Commission was given a second mandate beyond the scope of the first mandate before it submitted its Report on the first mandate. The Commission has submitted its Report on the second mandate, but has submitted only an Interim Report on its first mandate.

The Commission has, as at 15th August, 2015, received 17,329 complaints from families of missing persons, of course this figure varies, and there are other Reports which seem to suggest a slightly higher figure.

There are also reports that about 5000 military personnel went missing. That is also a matter which needs to be investigated in regard to their whereabouts if they are alive. It would seem Sir, that in regard to these enforced disappearances, the persons responsible for such enforced disappearances, particularly in recent years, acted with a complete sense of impunity. They seemed to have come to the conclusion that the arm of the law would never reach them and that they could do whatever they wanted. They seemed to have had the guarantee that high persons in governance, in authority, would protect them and that they would never have to face any consequences as a result of being responsible for such disappearances. We know that most of what happened, if not all of what happened, happened during the term of the previous Government.

The former Government’s commitment to the ascertainment of the truth, it may be said, was highly questionable. The new Government needs to address this issue more purposefully so as to bring this extremely serious humanitarian issue to a satisfactory closure. Everyone is aware of the agitations that have been conducted by the affected families in regard to the missing persons. That they have a genuine complaint which needs to be addressed is unquestionable. They also quite justifiably complain that their grievance, apart from their going before a Commission and testifying, has not been addressed in a meaningful way. It is true that for most of the period of time it was the former Government that was in power which had no interest in addressing this issue seriously . The new Government has been in power for about one year and the victims would want to know how the Government is handling this issue. What are the Government’s plans?

Does the Government have a definite plan to handle this issue? Of course, these persons have gone and testified before these Commissions. The Commissions record the evidence, but have they pursued the testimony of the victims or taken steps to investigate evidence of these witnesses who are victims? When a victim says that my son or my husband was taken to custody by a particular police officer or the police in a particular police station or the army in a particular camp, has the investigation been pursued further to try and find out whether that statement is correct and if so who that officer was? That is not being done. The new Government must accept responsibility for this situation and this issue needs to be addressed urgently.

This matter is referred to in the Report submitted by the Paranagama Commission. I might refer briefly in regard to some of the matters that Report deals with. It states,

“The primary responsibility for preventing disappearances and ascertaining what has happened to people reported missing lies with the State. Disappearances are a tragedy not just for the individual but also for the families. The problems they faced are psychological, legal, administrative, social and economic.” It further states, “A great many families of missing people face economic difficulties linked directly with the disappearance, and are unable to meet their needs in terms of food, health, housing, or education of children.”

Most of those who disappear are adult men, so many families have lost their main breadwinner; often women then become heads of household and face limited options of earning a living. All this is very interesting. This is contained on paper; it is contained in reports. But, what has the Government done; what is the Government doing? The purpose of this Debate, Sir, is to find out from the Government what its Action Plan is, at least in the immediate future.

This matter is referred to, Sir, in the Resolution adopted on the 01st of October, 2015 at the 30th Session of the UN Human Rights Council. I wish to refer to some paragraphs of that Resolution dealing with this question. Paragraph 4 of the Resolution states, I quote:

“Welcomes the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to undertake a comprehensive approach to dealing with the past, incorporating the full range of judicial and non-judicial measures; also welcomes in this regard the proposal by the Government to establish a commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence, an office of missing persons and an office for reparations; further welcomes the willingness of the Government to give each mechanism the freedom to obtain financial, material and technical assistance from international partners, including the Office of the High Commissioner; and affirms that these commitments, if implemented fully and credibly, will help to advance accountability for serious crimes by all sides and to achieve reconciliation;”

You have made a commitment to the UN; you are a co-sponsor of the Resolution by agreeing to set up a commission for truth, justice, reconciliation and non-recurrence; to establish an office of missing persons which should have handled this issue and to establish an office for reparations. What has happened thus far? We would like to know. We would like to know what plans you have.

Sir, I also would like to refer to Paragraph 13 of the Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council to which Sri Lanka was a partner. I again quote:

“Also welcomes the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to sign and ratify the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance without delay, to criminalize enforced disappearances and to begin to issue certificates of absence to the families of missing persons as a temporary measure of relief;”

Sir, I am aware that at the end of last year, I believe in December, 2015, you have signed the Convention on Enforced Disappearances, but it has not been ratified yet and I do not know what action you have taken in regard to the issue of certificate of absence which has been referred to in the Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council. A certificate of absence is very different from a certificate of death. A certificate of absence does not accept that the man is not living any longer. But it enables the victims in such circumstances to use that certificate to be able to receive relief, maybe from the REPPIA, maybe from Samurdhi or maybe to stake their claims to right to succession, inheritance, various entitlements that the family would be entitled to. Consequent to being victims, these certificate of absence would certainly be a very strong document that would help them to rebuild their lives. Now what had been done in regard to this matter?

How far have you gone? These are the questions that we would like to raise.

Sir, such disappearances have occurred in Sri Lanka even in the past – in 1971 such disappearances occurred; in 1988-89 tens of thousands of youth from the South of this country went missing. This was during the JVP insurgency. Some awful and dreadful things happened at that point of time. We all know that, that was when the former President Mahinda Rajapaksa despite much resistance from the Government of the day went to Geneva, in my view quite rightly, to espouse the cause of our youth from the South.

Nobody is seeking revenge or vengeance. But, these practices of enforced involuntary disappearances must in the interest of the whole country and all its people be brought to an end – they must not be allowed to continue indefinitely. Mr. Mahinda Rajapaksa went to Geneva because he wanted the UN to intervene. He did what needed to be done. That is what the UN is now doing – what he wanted done when the youth went missing in the South.

Sir, I must mention that there is a tendency in this country to sometimes look upon Resolutions adopted at the UN Human Rights Council as being Resolutions that to some extent infringe upon the sovereignty of Sri Lanka – nothing can be further from the truth.

I want to quote from item 2 of this Resolution, Sir:

“Promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka.”

Paragraph 4 of the Resolution begins by saying that the Human Rights Council reaffirms its commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka. That is how the Resolution starts. So, these fears that are expressed by some people – that these are infringing on the sovereignty of our country – I would submit are utterly unfounded. We are parties to various commitments; we are parties to various conventions; we are parties to various treaties that we have accepted. We are bound by them; we have to observe them.

I would like to read, Sir, a statement that has issued recently by an organization called, “Friday Forum” comprising of very leading members of civil society, academics and intellectuals. This is what the “Friday Forum” has said in the statement issued by them on the 17th of October, 2015, a few days after the adoption of the Resolution at the UN Human Rights Council. It states I quote:

“Some elements consider support for the HRC Resolution as undermining the status of Sri Lanka as a sovereign and independent State. We need to remind ourselves that Sri Lanka has, from the time of independence, voluntarily become a party to international human rights treaties and global policy documents. Successive Sri Lankan parliaments have passed laws that have incorporated these international standards.

Local policies have been influenced by internationally accepted standards in many areas.

Some of the laws and policy initiatives have strengthened our response to common problems. Even as our government was responding to the armed conflict in the North and East, important laws like the Convention on Torture Act were passed by Parliament at the instance of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, then Minister of Foreign Affairs.

It is those engaged in adversarial politics for what they perceive as short term political advantage who wrongly use the argument of State sovereignty to reject Sri Lanka’s voluntarily undertaken responsibilities as a member of the community of nations.”

This statement by the Friday Forum has been signed amongst others by Prof. Savitri Goonesekere, Ms. Suriya Wickremasinghe, Mr. Chandra Jayaratne, Prof. Camena Guneratne and Dr. Deepika Udagama. Are these persons traitors to the country? There are persons here who shout that the UN Human Rights Council Resolution – the Sri Lanka co-sponsored Resolution – is an attack on the sovereignty of this country. The Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar was responsible for creating a part of the domestic law of this country, the Convention on Torture. Was he doing something that was treacherous to this country? In fact, I think, that if the Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar had continued to be the Foreign Minister, this country would probably never have got into all these difficulties with the United Nations. It is after the Hon. Lakshman Kadirgamar ceased to be the Foreign Minister and others took over the Foreign Affairs Ministry that this country got into very serious difficulties.

Sir, the unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka is sacrosanct. All of us only want a more united and unified Sri Lanka, a better Sri Lanka where the universal principles of equality and justice prevail and are preserved, a more prosperous Sri Lanka where all Sri Lankans will lead a better life and an inclusive Sri Lanka where all of Sri Lanka’s citizens are included, not one where some are included and others excluded on parochial grounds.

Sir, I have placed before the House some of the thoughts of the Government as set out in the Resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council, co-sponsored by the Sri Lankan Government.

The agony of several thousands of families of these victims of disappearances cannot continue indefinitely. A decision needs to be arrived at as to whether the disappeared person is alive or not. If he or she is alive, his whereabouts should be made public; if not, other suitable and appropriate steps should be taken to reconcile the families with such reality and bring calm and normalcy to their lives. Truth, justice, reparation and all necessary steps to ensure non-recurrence must become effective urgently. This is the responsibility of the Government and I would urge that the Government defines a plan that would provide definite relief to these much traumatized families.

I want to refer briefly, Sir, to a recent Report submitted by Mr. Pablo de Greiff, Special Rapporteur on Truth, Justice, Reparation and Guarantees of Non-Recurrence who visited Sri Lanka.

He has stated, I quote:

“What is expected is, on the one hand, for the Government to pay immediate attention to certain issues on which it can certainly act without delay (for example, on the issue of the missing, on the prompt adoption of victim assistance programmes including psycho-social support, the lingering issue of land occupied by the armed forces, to name a few), ….”

He identified the issue of missing persons as one that can be dealt with without delay, urgently, amongst others. Why is the Government not acting?

Now, Sir, having dealt with the question of missing persons, I do hope that what I have said will be taken into consideration by the Government and that the Government will act without delay and act with a certain definite objective to be able to bring this question to a closure in some appropriate way so that the families will be satisfied and accept, maybe painful decisions, if that is the only decision that can be arrived at. Whatever arises, other steps will be taken to bring those persons out and make relief available to the respective families so that the families will be adequately compensated. There will be adequate reparation, adequate measures taken to give them peace, to give them tranquility, to enable them to start normal lives and forget the past.

Sir, I would now like to deal with the question of persons in custody. I do not want to go into figures. There are some persons who have come out on bail; there are some persons who have been convicted and who have been sentenced who are yet in jail; there are some persons against whom cases are pending; there are some persons who have not been charged. These are the different categories of persons. Nineteen persons who have not been charged are still in custody. Three convicted persons have been released: one by His Excellency the President and some others have completed their sentence. I believe, there are about 100 cases that are pending in the High Court. All these persons are still in custody except those persons who were recently released on bail.

This is not the first time that prisoners are sought to be released in special circumstances. They are not charged with crimes against society. They are being charged for acts which have a political dimension. Inequality in treatment between citizens, based on considerations that should have no relevance, is not compatible with transitional justice. In 1971, you have treated prisoners in a certain way. In 1988 and 1989 you have treated prisoners similarly. Why are you not treating prisoners now in the same way? If you are not seen to be even-handed in your treatment with our prisoners at different times, that is not compatible with transitional justice. Those families, those individuals are entitled to say, “We are being treated differently for certain parochial reasons.

That is discrimination against us.” Evenhandedness must be seen as the main determining factor. If evenhandedness is absent, there can be no trust. If there is no trust, there can be no progress. You will not take off towards progress.

The Government should not be afraid to do the right thing. That is why the Government was changed. Justice must not be denied on the basis of slogans. There would always be persons who will raise slogans and exaggerated fears. Let us do what the great religions- Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity- that we follow teach us. Does Buddhism not teach us to forgive and forget?

How can you justify holding persons under the Prevention of Terrorism Act any longer, a law which you yourself have unequivocally condemned as being draconian in many ways, particularly when these persons have already been in custody for long periods of time, sometimes as much as 10 to 15 years and when it is almost six years since the war came to an end. If those persons have been convicted and sentenced by now some of them should have come out; lots of them should have come out.

The Mahinda Rajapaksa Government released some 12,000 persons who were LTTE cadres, who fought against the State, after rehabilitation. They may have had their own reasons for doing that. But they did that. Why are you afraid to act? Did those cadres also not rebel against the State and did Mahinda Rajapaksa not release12,000 of them? This is the question that is now being posed by the persons in custody. We have no answer to this question. There were some top LTTE cadres; one of them became the Chief Minister of the Eastern Province and some of them were in the Central Government as Ministers. One person who had been an arms procurer engaged in all manner of crimes and who was wanted by Interpol received right royal treatment. He was brought here and given right royal treatment. None of these persons raised slogans against them; none of these persons raised slogans against those acts. Why are you concerned about the slogans now being raised?

I found that one of the persons in the Opposition has said yesterday that by releasing the LTTE cadres, you are going to create Eelam. Can anything be more stupid? Can anything be more absurd? After the conclusion of the war, has there been one single act indicative of a revival of violence? Surely these persons are entitled to ask that they be released. Some of these persons were protected by the MR Government. No slogans were raised at that time. Why are you hesitant to act? Tamils in custody in prisons have had bad experiences. I do not want to refer to such incidents. These persons are the breadwinners of their families. The time has surely come for them to be integrated with their families and for them to start life afresh.

We have discussed this matter with both His Excellency the President and the Hon. Prime Minister. I must say that both the President and the Prime Minister were quite positive. In fact, one day at a conference in Parliament presided over by the Hon. Prime Minister, where the Attorney-General’s staff were present, police officials were present and many of us were present. We discussed the matter and there was a decision taken to appoint a committee which would look at this issue not purely legally but politically because these have a political dimension and take steps to release these people. Unfortunately for certain parochial reasons that committee did not become functional. I think, the time has come for the Government to take some such decision and arrive at a conclusion in regard to this matter.

There has to be a political decision. This is not purely a legal issue. They are not charged with having committed crimes against society. They are charged with crimes which have a political dimension; with acts which had a political motive. Political decisions were made in the past, in 1971, in 1988 and in 1989 when you released a large number of people who were held in custody. Why can you not take the same decision now? Are the prisoners not justified in concluding that you are discriminating against them and would that not be, before long, the view of the international community too?

So, I think the time has come for the Government to act. Sir, You must not be scared by scaremongering. What is your position in regard to the Prevention of Terrorism Act? What is the position that the UN Human Rights Council has adopted in its Resolution which you have co-sponsored and accepted with regard to the Prevention of Terrorism Act? I wish to read that part of the Resolution. I read paragraph 12 of the Resolution. It states, I quote:

“ Welcomes the commitment of the Government of Sri Lanka to review the Public Security Ordinance Act and to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, and to replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in accordance with contemporary international best practices;”

“And to review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act”. That was your position. When you have undertaken to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, on the basis that that is a law which should never have been applicable in the country, how can you hold in custody the persons you have taken into custody under that law? How can you convict persons under that law? How can you even detain persons who have been sentenced under that law? How can you hold persons without being charged under that law? I think you cannot do so. The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs made a categorical statement in the course of his opening statement at the UN Human Rights Council, on the 4th of September, 2015. This is what the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs said –
ගරු නියෝජ්‍ය කාරක සභාපතිතුමා
(மாண்புமிகு குழுக்களின் பிரதித் தவிசாளர் அவர்கள்)
(The Hon. Deputy Chairman of Committees)
Hon. Member, you have only two more minutes.
ගරු රාජවරෝදියම් සම්පන්දන් මහතා
(மாண்புமிகு இராஜவரோதியம் சம்பந்தன்)
(The Hon. Rajavarothiam Sampanthan)
Mr. Deputy Chairman of Committees, I will wind up my speech in two minutes.

So, this is what the Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs said. I quote;

“Review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act and replace it with anti-terrorism legislation in line with contemporary international best practices.”

“Review and repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act”. That was what you said to the UN Human Rights Council, on the 14th of September, 2015 in your opening speech, Hon. Minister. Today we are five months down the road. How can you hold persons in custody continuously under that Act which you have agreed to repeal? The only evidence against most of these people are their extracted confessions; most of them are being charged on the basis of extracted confessions. I am told some of the senior police officers, ASPs, who recorded those confessions do not go to courts. That is the reason why the cases are postponed. When you have committed yourself to repeal the Prevention of Terrorism Act, can these persons be any longer held or charged under the Prevention of Terrorism Act? It is a contradiction of your own commitment. The reasons for their release are compelling. I would urge the Government to release these persons, without any further delay at the earliest.

Thank you.

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Latest comments

  • 13
    1

    A very impassioned, factual, informative speech by Sampanthan on the floor of the house.
    He has quoted what the government itself said at the UNHRC.
    It appears that police officers who extracted confessions by methods well known, do not wish to go to courts to prosecute cases solely on these confessions, knowing full well that any judge will reject such evidence.
    Should citizens suffer due to this reluctance by police officers?

    The president and prime minister must act quickly to prevent this state of injustice from being perpetuated.

    • 0
      12

      Mr Smabanthan,

      Review, repeal and replacement of a piece of legislation does not mean you release everyone arrested under it. What if the Justice Minister announces to the UN that the penal code will be reviewed, repealed and replaced with a new Act? do we release all criminals imprisoned under it?

      really?

      • 5
        0

        I don’t think you’d say it if you read the article carefully again.

      • 0
        0

        “do we release all criminals imprisoned under it?”

        Kill them as you killed those who surrendered with white flags.

    • 4
      0

      There is another reason why police officers don’t go to the courts : to keep the cases going as long as possible to waste the lives of the detained Tamils.

    • 4
      0

      Opposition Leader couldn’t have put it better.
      His speeches are always full of well-informed quotes.

  • 3
    16

    As sson as they were captured, they should have asked to take the cyanide Capsule.

    Now, former Suicide bombers and black tigers refuse to get habilitated.

    their Political partner, TNA is crying out loud.

    TNA was known as the political wing of LTTe.

    • 10
      1

      What a barbaric consciousness this man has? Rest of the humans come to an era in which they are seriously discussing about animal rights and this man is openly talking about murdering his own kind, humans!!

    • 7
      0

      @Jim Shitty, suicide bombers (many ex-LTTE in Rajapukka’s government), child soldiers (Karuna and Pillayan), mass murderers (Karuna and Pillayan), murderers (Douglas) were in the former government as ministers. Go and figure that one out nitwit.

      • 0
        3

        Those in guantanamo Camp, did they go to war ?

        they were only planning.

        What happened to Al Qaeda, leader he was shot and thrown to the sea.

        How many LTTE financiers including TNA are living well.

        These people would not have lived if they did the same thing in another country.

        • 4
          0

          Dimwit

          “Those in guantanamo Camp, did they go to war ?”

          Please find out from secretary of State John Kerry and his contact details are as follows:

          US Department of State

          Response Team

          Contact the Response Team for all general Inquiries.

          Telephone: (202) 663-1282
          Fax: (202) 261-8199

          E-mail: DDTCResponseTeam@state.gov

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          Dimwit

          Please let us know what he had to say.

          R. Sampanthan MP is the opposition leader of Sri Lankan parliament and he does not run US State Department. Therefore you are ask the wrong person the wrong question.

          “How many LTTE financiers including TNA are living well.”

          Would you like to join them?
          You are bit jealous aren’t you?

        • 0
          0

          Jim Shitty you are indeed a fool. Nothing in the head and nothing in your heart. You are an empty shell and a wild animal.

        • 0
          0

          Jim Shitty, Karuna, Pillayan and Inniyabarathy collectively murdered 600 unarmed policemen in their custody. All three were given government posts by the Rajapukka hoodlum.

    • 2
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      Jim sothy

      Based on the little vote count, you seems to be the most hated contributor.

      But I will put a plus for you in sympathy this time.

      Don’t expect me vote this way all the time.

      [edited out]

  • 1
    11

    The Hon leader of Opposition, of separatist political agenda of divide and separated people of Sri Lankan by on racial basis of on the vital interest Tamil TNA petty bourgeoisie class not that interest of Tamils in an Island.

    TNA has to realized there is NO Tamil Capitalism or other racial basis capitalism in any part of World. Your leadership of TNA and previous leaders of TULF and FP policies are attempted deny the fact impossible to divided Sri Lankan on the basis of Racial discrimination. TNA and Tamil petty bourgeoisies political outfits did assert this and that showing such illusion of “Tamil separatism” they helped US and Indian -RAW, big powers and hindered growth of democratic bourgeoisie revolution in our Island.

    TNA is currently political agitation and propaganda been weakened by facts Sri Lankan forward looking revolution been undermined by TNA counter revolution act political steps has been taken by its leadership.

    That deprived millions of people of Sri Lankan aspiration on going Capitalist reforms and revolution not by UNP leadership Ranil.W… and CBK, but by other progressive and democratic forces led by MR and alliance.

    MR leadership has silent of thousands of Gun rule politics by LTTE 30 odd years; since 2009 May after eliminated LTTE Tamil terrorism, that people of whole an island liberated from clutches of Terrorism.
    Which is historical face and vital interest of whole nation.

    As it proved by voting referred choice of elected their own members of Parliament what ever politics class and parties of UNP’s of democracy system political corrupted since 1948.

    That was most progressive step taken by MR led democratic forces in democratic of bourgeois revolution in that real term of principle politics of masses point of view.

    TNA leader and their political class of racial basis politics need to give up in the interest of whole nation. And your offering worst terms and you replied by blustering and swaggering of politics, which led to worse terms of undermined democracy framework by TNA leadership.

    That is fact of day. And TNA -leaders ,you cannot absolve yourselves of accountability and responsibility for it.

  • 8
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    No one should be held for more than a month without being produced before a magistrate. No one should be held without filing a case for more than 3 months.

    The comment by Jim Softy betrays a real mind set; plain racism.

  • 3
    1

    Jim Softy
    The question is a PTA like legislation relevant to Sri Lanka because similar legislation has been repealed in other countries as well.

    Do we want reconciliation and peace or do we want to perpetuate injustice.

    The most important thing is what happened during the conflict and give closure to the war period.No truth and justice no permanent peace.

  • 2
    5

    these tamil [Edited out]

    • 3
      1

      ballah

      “these tamil [Edited out]”

      You have gone two words too far.

      Keep it brief please.

  • 3
    13

    The Opposition leader delivers yet another speech in the “Link Language” – English!

    90% of the population probably has no clue what he said here. It seems he gets paid by the Sri Lankan tax payer but works for the English people!

    The only reason Sri Lanka puts up with this nonsense is to prevent savage Tamil violence – not logic!

    I think these Tamils get the idea from Singapore. Singapore is a city state. Its a mini industrial office of sorts. Of course they all speak English there.

    Ceylon is country with at least 2500 year literary history. Its a proper country with a deep rooted literary traditions.

    When the Englishman was in a “Bronze Age” in their jungle nappies Ceylon were producing works such as the Visuddhimagga. Visuddhimagga was written 2000 years ago. http://www.accesstoinsight.org/lib/authors/nanamoli/PathofPurification2011.pdf

    This amply illustrate how stupid these Tamils are!

    • 10
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      Vibushana the big liar and twister.

    • 8
      1

      “This amply illustrate how stupid these Tamils are!”

      Vibushana It shows how STUPID you are.

      THE UNTOLD STORY OF ANCIENT TAMILS IN SRI LANKA by Prof Chelvadurai Manogaran http://noolaham.net/project/36/3524/3524.pdf

      Tamil Immigration and the Transfer of Agricultural Technology from South India. South Indians who immigrated to the island, since the Proto-historic from the generation of Tamils, who had perfected the art of cultivating rice in river basin of the Cavery, Palar, and Vaigai, and in other areas of the coastal plain. They impounded rain water in natural depressions by erecting low earth embankments; the dry lands were devoted to the cultivation of dry grains. This practice of impounding rainwater in tanks to irrigate crops. This practice rice, was prevalent in South India in early historic times, as indicated in the Tholkappiam.Using the information contained in the Tholkappiam,Srinivasa Aiyangar states

      The easy slope of the land in the margins of rivers thought the vellalar, the rulers of the flood, and the method of conveying water to their fields. Beyond the trough of the river an lived in Karaler, the rulers of the cloud, those who stored water in the tanks in the tanks and conveyed it to the fields through irrigation channel or lift water from wells and springs by water lifts and irrigated the fields they cultivated. Thus were the arts of agriculture develop to such perfection in the early days that modern science can add but little to the wisdom of the South Indian farmer.——————

      This ancient tradition of cultivating rice and other crops with the aid of irrigation was inevitably transferred to the island by Tamil immigrants.

      This transfer of agricultural technology, from the southeastern portion of the Coromandel coast of South India to the Dry Zone of Srilanka, was made feasible because the two regions experienced summer drought and contained similar Topographic conditions to impound water to tanks to irrigate crops. In Srilanka , the immigrants impounded water in shallow depressions, and erected earthen bunds across numerous river valleys in the Dry Zone to produce large Quantities of rice over the centuries ,until the collapse of the Rajarata Kingdom by the 10th century A.D. Tamils were the first people to establish an ancient Tamil-Hindu civilization on the Island during the proto-historic period, but the majority of the Tamil-Hindu s were compelled to retreat to the northern and eastern parts of the Island, as the ancient society was replaced by a Sinhalese –Buddhist society by the 4th century A.D.

      Epigraphic records and ancient inscriptions suggest that Tamil-speaking people lived peacefully throughout the Island, long after Buddhism became the dominant-religion on the Island, although the accounts in the Mahavamsa depicts that an antagonistic relationship exist between Tamils(Damilas) and Sinhalese –Buddhist society since in 3rd century B.C.The term Sinhalese cannot take shape after 4th century A.D.,when the revival of Hinduism in South India threatened the survival of Buddhism on the Island. The term Simhala is even not mentioned in ancient inscriptions of the Period, 3rd century B.C. to Th century A.D. These ancient records suggest that the Tamil-speaking people and the members of the Sinhalese Buddhist society, including the rulers and the Buddhist clergy, had mutual respect for each other, because they continued to communicate with each other Tamil language or in Prakrit. Rulers did not hesitate to incorporate Tamil words, phrases, poems in cave and rock inscriptions in the early Brahmi inscriptions.

      Inscriptions Reveal Tamil Presence in the Island in Ancient Times. Ancient inscription, which were engraved in early Brahmi, a script that originated from Vattelutu, but got modified over tie by the influence Pali AN OTHER Proto-historic Dravidian languages, coexisted with the Tamil script in numerous inscription in Ancient Srilanka. This suggests that Tamils, especially the Hindus, continue to use Tamil an its script, while many others, especially those Tamils who converted to Buddhism ,as well as Buddhist clergy, preferred to use newly evolving Prakrit Language and the early Brahmi script, both of which, have been influenced by the Pali language ,the language of the Buddhist texts. At this early stage in the development of early Brahmi and the Prakrit language, it would not have been difficult for both groups to communicate with each other. Some Tamil-speaking-Buddhists were invited by the Buddhist rulers and the clergy from the South India to become an integral part of the evolving Sinhalese-Buddhist society.

      Most of the information on early inscriptions, which for convenience will be referred as early Brahmi inscriptions, are derived from Thava Rajan’s treatise on the topic of “Tamil through the Ages in Srilanka,” contained in his book, Tamil —as official Language, Colombo: International for Ethnic Stuies, 19995.These inscription confirm that a close relationship existed between Tamil-speakers a Prakrit-speakers.

      Ancient inscriptions, whether engraved in Prakrit or Tamil, are confined almost exclusively to the present-day Sinhalese-dominated districts, specifically in the agriculturally productive Rajarata Kingdom of ancient Srilanka, where the geology and the topographic conditions favored this region over the others in the country, especially the relatively flat limestone region of the Northern Srilanka.

      The presence of ancient Tamil inscription throughout the Island suggests that the Tamil language, which was introduced to the Island in the Proto-Historical period, continued to be used by the people, the Buddhist clergy, and the Island’s rulers in the 3rd century B.C. Many of the inscriptions contain Tami names ….

    • 4
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      Vibushana,

      There are ongoing simultaneous translations of all speeches made in parliament, and published in Hansard.
      If he had spoken in Tamil most MPs would not have understood.
      Hence the purpose of the link language.

      Sampanthan merely requested justice for citizens imprisoned without trial for years – Justice is universal.
      Would this have been tolerated if it happened to other those other than Tamils?

    • 3
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      “When the Englishman was in a “Bronze Age” in their jungle nappies Ceylon were producing works such as the Visuddhimagga.”

      The same englishman conquered us and now pretty much rules the world. While we still talk about our past glory. It’s because of people like you that we are still in this predicament.

      • 0
        3

        Bystander,

        Political correctness or reality?

        The former will only give unrealistic expectation to the stupid Tamils. They will cling, lose and get disappointed in the end.

        For example they think 15 million Sinhala people will learn Tamil or English so that they can communicate with Tamils.

        That is not going to happen is it? They have to adapt and learn Sinhala. Be compassionate and be truthful with them.

    • 4
      0

      1. Hansard gives translation into Tamil and Sinhala to abide by Official language Policy though many Ministries don’t abide by the (constitutional) Policy. How nice it would be if enough Sinhalese know how some multilingual countries function.
      2. Speeches by the Foreign Minister on national and international platforms must be translated into Sinhala to meet the President’s statement to the visiting IFRA Chief last week: ”change the mindset of the people of the South for reconciliation as the people of the North and the East are the victims”
      The speech by the Foreign Minister to the Chamber of Commerce made day before yesterday must be translated into Sinhala.
      3. First of all please make sure what the Foreign Minister speaks in English on various platforms:
      a. removing causes of terrorism are admitted when Sri Lanka has to wriggle out of sanctions/investigations
      i.Colombo, 8 March 2016: https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/restructuring-our-economy-our-foreign-policy/comment-page-1/#comment-1943713
      ii. Washington, 25 Feb 2016:
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/advancing-reconciliation-development-in-sri-lanka/ (this shows how he fumbles, particularly in Q&A: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCYB3hT034A )
      iii. Geneva, 14 Sept 2015:
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/sri-lankas-response-to-unhrc-the-full-text-of-foreign-affairs-ministers-speech-today/
      b. game changes and no mention of pre-LTTE era in the narrative of post-independence when the sole purpose is getting financial aid:
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/a-glance-at-the-recent-developments-in-sri-lanka/

      • 1
        2

        Hello Pannabokke,

        How nice it would be if enough Sinhalese know how some multilingual countries function.

        What is the country you are thinking of? Can you list with an example please?

    • 6
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      It’s a pity that the 2,500-yrhistory started going backwards 68yrs ago:
      ”Sri Lanka gained independence on the 4th of February 1948 amidst much hope and expectation. A British newspaper editorial written on that day not only predicted a bright future for our country but also went so far as to say that, given its strategic position on one of the world’s busiest sea and with an abundance of natural and human resources, Ceylon would no doubt soon become the Switzerland of the East. The comparison to Switzerland reflected the general anticipation that this newly independent island nation would be a rich and developed democracy united in its diversity.

      68 years later, or if I may say so, two youth insurrections and a 26 year-old civil war later, Sri Lanka has yet to achieve that promise of hope. Many opportunities have been squandered away for reasons of political expediency. The refusal by many of our post-independence politicians to acknowledge the ethnic, linguistic and cultural diversity of our country and the lack of political courage by those who understood this reality made Sri Lanka prey to politics of extremism.” – https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/restructuring-our-economy-our-foreign-policy/

    • 3
      0

      It is extremely difficult to present complex technical issues such as the above in the vernacular languages. That is the reason why some of the higher courts work in English. Just try to translate Mr. Sampanthan’s speech into Sinhala or Tamil and you will understand.

    • 4
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      Vibhushana

      Sampanthan speak in link language;
      Vibushana link fake urls

      you have shown your frustration and at the same time your envy of Sampanthan’s command of language,oratory capturing the mood an thinking of the issues he raised.

      All the urls you like are fake and not authentic

    • 3
      0

      All ethnicities have clear origins and linear historical paths that they traversed to be known for what they are now. Take for example, the Tamils, they belong to the Dravidian origin of India. Their habituations have been clearly in the south of India. That is also one reason that countries that have been historically parts of South Indian Plate such as Maldives consist of Dravidians who now call themselves Maldivians who during the course of evolution have changed their religion and thus their names, but however agree and never forget that they belong to the Dravidian platelet. The same goes with Jaffna Tamils, who are almost 90% of Dravidian culture with the 20% evolution culture that has made them speak Tamil in their own different accent, manner and traits. Now take the Sinhalese, who believe they are Aryans (Persian & European platelet) however cannot logically state why their physical structure, color and resemblance is Dravidian. It is almost like a Chinese (mongloid) claiming he is of African (Negroid) origin. Then what the hell is the origin of the Sinhalese? Why haven’t the Sinhalese never ever wanted to trace their actual origins using international transparent archaeologists and historians to trace their actual origin? Is it because they are scared of the truth? The name bastard is used in many forms, very often to slander and hurt a person, but not for the purpose for what it actually means. However, if one was state that the Sinhalese race is ethnically a result of bastardisation, it is indeed a sad truth. How did a Sinhalese obtain names such as Wijeratne (Dravidian Wijeratnam), Mahindapala (Dravidian Mahindapalan), Weerasinghe (Weerasingham), Fernando (Portuguese), De Silva (Spain), Padmakumara (Dravidian Padmakumaran), Jayasundera (Dravidian Jayasunderam), Pattali (Dravidian Pattali), Gamanpilla (Dravidian Gammanpillayan)? Why the fuck do they celebrate a day called Sinhalese New Year which is historically the Hindu Dravidian New Year observed by Tamils? Why is the national dress of a Sinhalese woman the sari whose origin is Dravidian if they were so clever to device their own traditional costume? Isn’t that regalia worn by Sinhalese men for their weddings the dress worn by the last king Sri Wickrema Rajasinghe who is also a Dravidian? When they eat Rice & Curry, Kottu, String Hoppers, Pittu, Halape, Manioc boiled, Batala and what not, does it not convey to their stupid brains that all these are not Aryan food (bread, cheese, pizza, sausages, cream, poached eggs) and are pure Dravidian origin food? When they carry flowers and go to the temple to carry out a pooja, isn’t that a purely Dravidian ritual? Has one analyzed the words and letters in Sinhalese are a mix of Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam and this Sinhalese language is a result of the bastardisation of these languages. Oh that historical reddai hettai claimed to be pure Sinhalese, where have we seen the origin of this before, Kerala? After all this, does one believe that Sinhalese had the ability to create historical water tanks and irrigation systems or was all these done by Dravidian and other mercenaries who traversed this land and screwed the local women to create bastards with their names with a N or M missing? What if Sangamitta Thera never arrived and bought the message of Lord Buddha? What would these bastards call as their religion? Surely Mahinda Rajapakse’s prick? Now take Mahindapalan, he has a name of Dravidian origin, face of a fucking Portuguese and writes like an arse hole and in all aspects is a product of the massive bastardisation that took place in this island. Thus the reason that Sinhalese are a majority (of bastards) with a minority complex (due to the inability to focally identify and trace their origins).

  • 4
    1

    People like Vibushana that are only damaging their credibility by making racist statements.

  • 1
    2

    Mangalan said even as late as last week that he is going to ditch the PTA.

    Bodhi Sira is sitting on the fence .

    But Mangalan’s strapper is not in a hurry . Not that he doesn’t love vellala Sambnadan and ex Tiger Surendran.

    Batalanada needs the PTA to destroy Rajapaksa progeny , non Malwattu Sanga and silence the the great inhabitant majority,to make it easy for him to divide the country and re write Mahawansa ‘s history.

    Now you can understand why Bodhi Sira is sitting on the fence.

  • 3
    0

    Everything that Mr. Sambhandan says involves basic Human Rights issues. The problem is that only Human Beings are concerned about Human Rights. The majority of persons in the government, which includes politicians and senior government officials are not Human Beings; they are Sub-Human Beings and so do not give two hoots for Human Rights!

    To compound the problem, most of those who are actually in a position to do something about these matters are congenital, compulsive liars who forget everything they said the previous day when they wake up the following morning!

  • 3
    0

    Mr. Sampanthan, opposition leader has explained it all and dragonian PTA introduced to punish only one race ,should be repelled or amended without further delay. Tamil Terrorism is history now but the govt. should bring in more civilised form of legislation, instead charging some one on suspicion or race, to prevent other form terrorism we could expect from other sources like ISIS based on Religion.

    There are thousands of committees and subcommittees sitting on various
    subjects but problems never gets solved and drag on and on and un-
    doubtedly Govt. runs into financial difficulties and PM Ranil laments
    and puts the blame on the former Govt.

  • 7
    0

    Unless there has been any progress that I haven’t
    followed closely, the TNA needs to start a public
    agitation on the prisoners issue by end of March.

  • 4
    0

    Mr.Sambanthan

    You are old enough and experienced enough to understand that nothing would be achieved from the racial Sinhala leadership of the basic demands of the Tamils in the Island. You still hang on supporting the government. It is the experience of the Tamil people, not now, but from the time Sri Lanka obtained independence with the support of the minorities, but subjugated from that time onwards. You should understand that was why the Tamils wanted a separate state of Eelam under the leadership of SJV. The Tamil youths, understanding that peaceful methods to obtain freedom will fail, took up to arms. When that too failed, the Sinhalese have decdided to take vengeance on the Tamil people.
    You demanded, begged and supported the government by upholding the National flag, attended the independence day celebrations which was never attended by any Tamil leadership in the past,yet you could not achieve anything, the basic demands of the Tamil people. You promised to fast along with the Tamil political prisoners until they were released. Still they are languishing in the prisons. Because the government released some lands in Sampoor, you were not concerned about the people of vali north, still living in 32 camps. Your speeches will not achieve anthing and you are taking the people for a ride.
    It is high time for the TNA MPs to resign from the parliamentary seats and not to represent the northern and eastern provinces in parliament as a protest. You have all along shown the International community by supporting the government that that government is doing something for the Tamils in terms of reconciliation which is not right.
    Your position as opposition leader and the national anthem sung in Tamil is nothing for the Tamil people.

    • 1
      1

      Sellam – You have expressed the general thinking of the Tamil people about Mr. Sampanthan and TNA.at this point of time. Mr. Sampanthan
      is no fool, had been in politics for a very long time as a leader and
      he is fully aware how successive govts.cheated the Tamils, abrogating pacts entered with them from time to time over the past 60 years on flimsy excuses and TNA does not trust this Govt.for the same reason,
      but he has taken a culculated risk by trusting the International community, who asked TNA to lie low and that they will get all the existing problems, solved one by one without upsetting the majority community. TNA also seems to have compromised on matters pertaining
      to war crimes, lands and federalism, which is kept a secret.

      The success achieved so far is minimal and the time taken is far too
      long and TNA now doubts the sincerity of the current Govt. The IC is
      not doing the job they promised and keep saying that reconciliation
      process is going on well, without making an effort to find out as to what is really going on and routinely praising the govt.as a growing democracy in Asia. They little realised that this Govt.had a minority PM with 40 seats and now studded with more than 100 ministers, some of
      them lost their seats in the General election, which are not the hallmarks of good democracy,the IC is praising.
      The main players of the IC are India ,USA,Europe and the UN and it is now evident that the IC & UN have taken the Tamils for a ride as their main aim is to see that China does not get a hold on SL. and they approached the Govt, using the Tamil grievances and Tamil problem is now secondary to them. India, too cannot antagonize SL in any way due to China’s ambition to have SL airports & seaports under their control and India’s Trade relations with SL.
      There is another school of thought among the Tamils is that the days
      of performing Satyagraha, armed struggle and speeches like the above in the Parliament and non cooperation is like pouring water on ducks back and Mr. Sampanthan’s idea of lying low, better suits the Tamils.

      Mr. Sampanthan has taken a ‘do or die’ risk and its left to be seen
      whether TNA will survive or another force under CM.NPC, Justice
      Vigneswaran will take roots in the future.

  • 0
    2

    Here is what the Bedouin Prince told his council yesterday.

    Sl has sung the National anthem in Thamil..That is good but not good enough to get a tick for reconciliation.

    They have a few more months to do the rest. We are watching with great interest.

    * Release all the Land in the North,

    * Release all the PTA detainees ASAP,

    * Start the Hybrid Courts.

    * Get cracking on the new Federal Constitution.

    Batalanada PM’s recent actions clearly points to fulfilling these Directives.

    Vellala Sambandan is now holding the blow torch to Bodhi Sira’s belly.

    Did the Bedouin Prince send a the report to Sambandan for wetting?.

    Or Did Surendran send a copy in advance?…

    BTW ,

    Uduwe Dhammaloka is remanded till the 17th for keeping Baby Elephant as a pet.

    Pet Keeping must be a more serious crime than Terrorism , Abductions in broad day light under CCTV coverage and possessing AK 47 s and even firing them in Public.

  • 1
    1

    Many are held without evidence and tortured at Guantanamo. We’re just following US example.

  • 0
    0

    PTA is a very useful tool. Not only to deal with Terra’s.

    Look at Homeland Security Act., the Terrorism Act and POTA

    Can be used against anyone at anytime. Sometimes even removes habeas corpus, civil and human rights from the equation. Very useful tool for any government!!

    It wont be given up that easily, no matter how much lip service is paid

  • 1
    0

    Dear Mr Sampanthan,

    I feel sorry for those political prisoners. Because nobody is there to guide them. Therefore, releasing those political prisoners may backfire on the government; if they are released without a decent rehabilitation programme. The Tamil leaders must be blamed for those political prisoners’ suffering, not the government or the defense forces. Not only the Sri Lankan government, but the entire Asia must watch the Tamil leaders very carefully.

    Tamils want more freedom and power so the foreign powers can take advantage of it. Those days LTTE’s camps were the darkest place; now days TNA member organization’s offices including Ilangkai Thamizh Arasuk Kadchi’s office, Uthayan newspaper office and Jaffna University are the darkest places, and the foreign powers’ propaganda machines to impose foreign interests. The West and India have got a firm grip on Tamil leaders. Tamils can’t think for themselves; therefore, I would not advocate for more power for Tamils, until they have a decent think tank and start to think for themselves.

    Certainly Tamils don’t have leaders. Creating leaders is important as much as amending the constitution, dealing with political prisoners, missing persons and PTA. I have completed six months living in Jaffna. Based on my findings still Indians and the Westerners are thinking for Tamils. It has been very disappointing reality to me. Tamils can have more freedom when they start to think for themselves. If we give them more than what they deserve, it will be used against innocent people. We can’t afford to let it happen again, especially after three decades of brutal civil war.

    I also would like to stress the ​importance of allowing diaspora to contest an election. It will unite the people otherwise it will continue to create division. The West is so powerful and knowledgeable, it can implement its strategy very skilfully. It doesn’t have to depend on diaspora. The war is over and diaspora is a toothless tiger. Now the West can’t achieve that much through diaspora. Therefore, the West is intruding as the leaders of human rights and partners of development projects in order to impose its interests. So many NGOs are here than ever before. The West is throwing money through the NGOs to expand its soft power, especially to isolate China in order to dominate the Indian Ocean.
    [Edited out]

  • 0
    0

    Mr Sampanthan,

    What would like to say for my statement?

    I have exposed and humiliated the White man more than any other Asian. Due this I have faced lots of hardships. The White man even stopped me from attending my mother’s funeral. But I don’t regret it whatsoever. My mother was very proud of me, because I didn’t kill my fellow countryman neither supported the killers nor fooled by foreign powers in the name of Eelam. I have achieved few things in my life. I have a business degree from Australia, I have read more than 300 books to develop my knowledge, I lived in four continents and traveled to more than 25 countries. However, my biggest achievement is I’ve chosen to be single than marrying a Tamil. The worst thing I could ever do for Sri Lanka, Asia and the world is reproducing a Tamil.

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