22 October, 2020

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Impact Of Globalization & Sri Lanka’s Reconciliation

By Ayathuray Rajasingam

Ayathuray Rajasingam

Ayathuray Rajasingam

The open economy introduced in Sri Lanka by the JR Jayewardene(JR)-led government marked a fresh page in the history of Sri Lanka with the emergence of globalization. JR had a formidable team of Ministers like Lalith Athulathmudali, Ronnie de Mel, and Gamini Dissanayake who played a vital role in the best interests of Sri Lanka. Srimavo Bandaranaike and her Ministers failed to address their minds on open economic policies and market liberalization, as a result people underwent untold hardships. Globalization can be described as the process of interaction and integration of economics, social and cultural relations among the people of various countries.

However, the clumsy handling of the 1983 communal riots by JR Jayewardene gave birth to the Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. Indra Gandhi waited for an opportunity to take on JR and exploited the Tamil issue, when JR remarked her as a cow and her son, a calf, for which he paid heavily. All efforts by JR to control the Tamil rebels were smashed with the air-drop of parcels by the Indian Air Force and by the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. Had JR and the subsequent leaders continued to implement the 13th Amendment genuinely, globalization would have played a contributory role in neutralizing secessionism. The lack of broader vision on the 13th Amendment was instrumental for the creation of tension and conflict in the country. Even the Peace move initiated by Ranil Wickremesinghe (RW) through the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding with the LTTE, was again spoilt by Chandrika Kumaranatunga (CBK). In fact, the people failed to realize that the LTTE was hoodwinked by RW. The parties to the MOU, who were the violators of human rights viz, the LTTE leader, the UNP and the Army Commander, had not signed in the presence of one another. After signing the MOU at different places, RW just waved his hand across Vavuniya to please the Tamils. RW initiated this Peace move with the support of the US President Bush and British PM Blair. RW had two plans – First plan was to change the mindset of the LTTE and the Second plan was to take adequate action should the LTTE return to war again. But CBK realizing RW may capture power and took this opportunity to mislead the people, and dissolved the Parliament. The creation of the Provincial Councils was viewed by the Sinhalese political leaders with bitterness but failed to view the other side of the 13th Amendment in conjunction with the process of globalization.

MaithriFederal countries throughout the world have strengthened the Provincial governments with constitutional provisions, making it a co-partner in a Federal system, paving way for inter-governmental co-operation. It is a pity that politicians failed to realize that economic integration would gain priority within the Provinces on account of the impact of globalization instead of the call for secession. Had the 13th Amendment been implemented in the proper manner by way of granting land powers and allocating adequate funds to its needs, Sri Lanka would have witnessed some functional autonomy for efficiency gains with the passage of time and the impression that Federalism would lead to separation would have gradually disappeared. But the narrow-minded ruling politicians were reluctant to relax restrictions to attract international capital for the Provincial governments, the result of which saw the deterioration of Sri Lanka’s economy.

Though majority of the Sinhalese politicians were of the view that the 13th Amendment would lead to separation, JR could have solved this issue had he implemented the 13th Amendment with the introduction of open economy and demonstrate that it signals the expansion of democracy. Even the deliberations made by H.W. Jayewardene on self-determination during the Thimpu Talks signalled that he failed to address his mind on the impact of globalization which promotes co-existence with others, after the introduction of the open economy in Sri Lanka. This was a tragic error by the Sinhalese and Tamil political leaders, the result of which saw the loss of thousands precious lives. The reluctance to find a firm solution on the 13th Amendment only led to the suppression of any economic developments in the North-East Province, which is not the way to establish a confident building measure within the communities. What is astonishing is that some Sinhalese prominent citizens had shown themselves as ardent devotees of Sai Baba and Lord Thiruppathy, but failed to observe the path of Dharma and lacked broader vision on the issue of confident building measures.

After Mahinda Rajapaksa (MR) took over the regime, the LTTE was crushed with the assistance of India, Pakistan & China. MR misled the people by creating an image that he was the liberator of this country and champion of Buddhism, when, in fact, both the USA and India provided Sri Lanka with Satellite images of strategic targets to crush the LTTE which included the destruction of several armament ships, because terrorism was considered a global threat. MR concentrated to utilize the tussle between India and China over the supremacy in the Indian Ocean, which was the turn of event, for his benefit and avoided the confident building measures between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. He continued to harass the Tamils through some politicians like Rishard Badurdeen, Athaulla, Hisbullah, etc. Even in the SAARC, Sri Lanka began to antagonize India by joining hands with other member States to support China.

In a world, where people have different ways of life, based on their religious beliefs, the impact of globalization saw people throughout the world to adopt a new way of life on account of the curiosity to learn new techniques of other countries together with the cultural ideals. When such a new way of life was to be adopted, MR went to the extent of ignoring India as well as antagonizing USA and other Western democratic countries by having close links with Iran, Libya and other Islamic countries, the Islamic political leaders took advantage of strengthening their areas in the Eastern Province, the result of which saw destruction of statutes of Swami Vibulananda and Hindu gods which indirectly signalled a threat to India and to the spirit of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord. Apparently there were damages also in Mosques which also is not a healthy sign for reconciliation. It is also unfortunate that when the destruction of historical sites (including the Bamiyan Buddha statute) took place in Islamic countries, Sri Lankan Islamic politicians remained silent, but did not had the courage to question the depiction of Lord Ganapathy in the currency notes of Indonesia which is difficult to replace the image of Lord Ganesh, as it is a wide spread symbol of wisdom in Indonesia. Symbol of wisdom also denotes forgiveness and not killing. Perhaps MR and the Islamic community may have intended to neutralize the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord without realizing that it had already tied their hands. In such a complex situation, the task before the MS-led government is whether the Islamic politicians with this double standard would cause any obstacles, though globalization has the force of reconciliation.

If the mindset is lacked with the respect and equal treatment for the oppressed, globalization would appear to be a culture killer. Since globalization transforms the human conditions in matters affecting economic, social and political aspects, such an adoption of the new way of life is viewed with suspicion by backward thinking community especially the Islamic community, for it shatters their false belief that Islam is destined to rule and dominate the world. Since globalization tends to offer hope for people yearning for freedom, the Islamists should abandon the idea of converting the followers of other faiths, so long as they are not free to convert themselves to other faiths, despite the assurance given by the UN Declaration of Human Rights that everyone has a right embrace a faith of their own choice. If the Sri Lankan Islamists are absorbed in such an undemocratic character of Islam, then their alliance with Maithiripala Sirisena would appear to be an unholy one. The international community expected the moderate Islamists, who have been woven into the fabric of global culture, to look forward and abandon the backward ideologies. All religions teach that forgiveness is really a divine gift. Forgiveness does not mean to justify the criminal acts of others, but giving the accused an opportunity to refine himself or herself. God had never given instructions to kill a person even if he has committed a crime. Even the moderate Islamists maintained silence and failed to condemn such executions when dead bodies of housemaids were flown to Sri Lanka every year as well as on matters relating to mode of punishments. This was evident when recent executions took place in Indonesia in spite of wide condemnations throughout the world. What is surprising is that the word ‘Indonesia’ is a Sanskrit word and not an Arabic word, but keen to implement the Sharia Laws. As such, one ponders whether the Islamic political leaders will revive call for a Muslim Administrative Unit which will be an obstacle for reconciliation.

The absence of unity among the Tamil Movements and the cunningness of the Southern politicians for unlawful political gains leave room for strengthening the double standard for the Islamic political leaders which shatters all hopes of a confident building measure. The politicians always expect the media to boast about themselves for their survival, having placed all the restrictions and threats on it. The question is, have the politicians ever realized that the purpose of merging the North-East Provinces was not only to simplify the administration, but also to demonstrate that devolution symbolizes reconciliation for which globalization lends a helping hand and prevent children from all communities being lost in a senseless war. Switzerland stands as a fine example that people of each country should realize that they are in charge of their respective countries while respecting the rights of others in a changing world.

Having known the behaviour of the Islamists, Japan keeps Islam at bay by way of placing restrictions on all Islamists, who are never given citizenship and even there is a ban on the propagation of Islam. What is surprising is that if a Japanese woman marries a person from Islamic community, she is considered as an outcast forever. Perhaps the Japanese knew about the attitude of the Islamic community which will be instrumental for shattering the confident building measures within the communities by way of exploding bombs in public places like markets, schools, bus stands, places of worship, etc. It is quite an eye opener for other democratic countries including Sri Lanka to watch whether the Islamic community proves itself to be a tolerant society.

Today we are reminded of the same situation that prevailed during the latter period of Srimavo’s regime which has re-emerged during Maithiripala Sirisena’s regime but with the different turn of events. RW is seen in an unholy alliance consisting of break-away MR group and Islamic politicians (some of whom have been notorious) on the one hand, while majority of the Buddhists appear to favour MR who is likely to raise communal cries. The maintenance of silence by the Islamic political leaders is viewed with suspicion amidst such a complex situation. However, there is a moderate group from all the communities of which C. V. Wingneswaran who is a prominent figure. It will be a questionable issue whether CBK and MR or even Rauff Hakim after all their misdeeds, would gracefully stepped down accepting responsibility, which will give Maithiripala Sirisena a free hand for good governance. Even David Cameron, after winning the election, has not increased the number of Ministers which sends the signal that power hungry Sri Lankan politicians are a curse to democracy.

The expectation of peace loving citizens is that RW should shed all differences and stretch a friendly arm towards CVW and work together for the betterment of Sri Lanka, because CVW is a firm believer in democracy and a religious minded person, both of which will raise the image of Sri Lanka. He also has better recognition and is steady in his stand for a united Sri Lanka than some Tamil and Islamic politicians. The time is ripe for RW to have a good team consisting of prominent Sinhalese and Tamils. As both the UNP and the TULF, who are aware that the 13th Amendment provided an opportunity for such reconciliation, should act together with broader vision of life. The stretching of friendly arm towards CVW is certain to create an atmosphere friendship and brotherhood among the Sinhala and Tamil speaking communities and pave way for a glorious chapter in the history of Sri Lanka.

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Latest comments

  • 1
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    This supreme Muslim hater still gets space in CT. How sad.

    If you read carefully even in this article he finds various ways to exhibit his hatred of Muslims and Islam. Some say that his hatred stems from rejection of his advances by the first girl he was ever besotted with – you guessed it, she was a Muslim.

    Hay Ayyah, sow the seeds of reconciliation and not hatred.

  • 1
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    13th Amendment has been well analyzed from the impact of globalization. I think it is time for Maithiripala Sirisena to implement the 13th Amendment. As the writer says Ranil should change his mind and join hands with C.V.Wigneswaran. D.M.Swaminathan is there to assist Ranil. Colombo Telegraph, thank you very much.

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    The writer as usual takes on the Muslims and has exposed their double standard. But I couldn’t believe a Muslim country depicting the image of Lord Ganesha in its currency, while on the other side Japan ignores Muslims. Sinhalese might be wondering.

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    Mr.Rajasingam

    Interesting article but I don’t understand as to why you are picking on the Muslims. The Muslim politicians were smarter than the Tamil politicians by joining every government that came to power in Sri Lanka and this benefited their people. Any solution to the ethnic problems in Sri Lanka should be to bring all communities to live happily together.

    The new government should not use the words ’13th Amendment’ and ‘federalism’ but meet all the requirements of this amendment and give it under a different name!

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      Thamilan, apropos “”” The Muslim politicians were smarter than the Tamil politicians by joining every government that came to power in Sri Lanka and this benefited their people “””

      Let us remember and recall, that when the day of reckoning came ie Dambulla, Kurugala, Aluthgama, etc, the government of their affiliation chose the option that would least offend the Sinhala-Buddhist majority.

      Some benefit!

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      Thamilan,
      The writer knows the evil motive of the Muslims. In fact, they attempted on his life also. After Kaththankudy was razed by the IPKF and after Chandrika assumed power, they began to arm themselves and is a well known fact that arms & ammunitions were transported from Colombo Harbour to the Eastern Province during Ashroff’s period when he was Minister of Harbour. Somehow or other they were taking measures to strengthen Wahabbism. Moreover, there were Ministers named Hisbullah and Athaulla who too were terrorizing the area by snatching the lands of innocent Tamils, because they were in power. Not all the Tamils are LTTE. Majority of them are innocent. Should the IPKF been sent again, you can see their true colours.

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    Ayyathurai the racist [Edited out] spays the venom of hatred and ‘personal fury’ towords a community that’s also part and parcel of multi religious, multi cultural Si Lanka. This man tries to poison that unity exactly the way Gnanasara and Gota tried and failed.

    Very good example that this man say, ” Having known the behaviour of the Islamists, Japan keeps Islam at bay by way of placing restrictions on all Islamists, who are never given citizenship and even there is a ban on the propagation of Islam. What is surprising is that if a Japanese woman marries a person from Islamic community, she is considered as an outcast forever.”

    Having been in Japan more than 30 years and having a very close ties with Japanese, I’m appalled the lies this man invented in the name Islam. Even I forwarded his bluffs to my Japanese friends to face off Ayyathurai. Until recently Japanese were close society and therefore, they had a strict immigration policy and the foreigners (Gaikokogin)are now enjoying greater level of relaxed immigration laws. You can find Halal food everywhere and every city possess a mosque including the airports. It may be a surprise to Ayyathurai many thousands of women married to Muslim men and they are still Japanese.

    This Man, Ayathurai, simply lying to fit his waste bucket article and very annoying is that CT let this man to continue!!!!

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      MirakRajBanda,
      Can you please define ‘racism’ to find it fits the writer or the Muslim politicians.

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    MirakRajBanda,
    I know you are prejudiced. The writer has given the correct information. Recently after the execution of two Japanese by the ISIS, they have completely developed hatred towards the Muslims.
    The writer is only concerned of reconciliation and how globalization can help. That is all. What is wrong if Rauff Hakin can gracefully stepped down along with Mahinda and Chandrika. How is it that 22 Muslim students gained admission to the Law College from the same place of Rauff Hakim. One can understand if it is from the entire country. How is it Rauff Hakim began critizing the judgement in relation to the impeachment of Dr.(Mrs)Shirani Bandaranayake in the Parliament. Has he ever protested over the Basmian Buddha statute, if he is concerned of reconciliation with the Sinhalese? One more issue how is he going to account for the death of Kumari in his compound and what action was taken to justify. The list is long. Writer has criticized the LTTE and even leading UNPers. He is neutral.

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    ‘Since globalization tends to offer hope for people yearning for freedom, the Islamists should abandon the idea of converting the followers of other faiths, so long as they are not free to convert themselves to other faiths, despite the assurance given by the UN Declaration of Human Rights that everyone has a right embrace a faith of their own choice’.
    A lovely point by the writer. Colombo Telegraph, I have seen a number of students collecting this in their notes. I think the younger generation is now vigilant about the evils of the uncompromising character of Islam, which is not a healthy sign for democracy. My view is that Colombo telegraph is educating the people. This is not hate propaganda. Everyone should have the freedom to embrace the faith of their choice.

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    Excellent presentation. Will Ranil change his mind to join hand with C.V.Wigneswaran. This is what everyone expects.

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    CT Editor/Owners must really hate the Muslim Community to publish an Article which contains unsupported unsubstantiated libellous hateful and cruel statements about them. Does this reflect a personal vendetta?

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      Navin,
      Do you mean to say the destruction of Buddha statutes, bombing of public places, 9/11 bombing, schools, even mosques, beheading, stoning to death, etc are justified and are unsupported unsubstantiated hateful and cruel statements about Muslims. First let them abandon their idea of being a self-alienating community. In this 21st century everyone is vigilant about their rights & freedom. There are liberal Muslims who are integrating with other people, but they are also targeted. Just watch recently what happened for the passengers at Karachi and at Iraq where it is reported 500 were massacred while about 8,000 have fled. Such an evil message should not spread to other countries.

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        The LTTE sympathizer and author of this Article is referring to the Muslims of Sri Lanka and accusing them of traitorous activities, contrary to well established facts. I will withdraw the statement he is a LTTE sympathizer if you can produce any Article of his where he condemns the LTTE. He is not talking about the fanatics in other countries, for example Taliban and ISIS, who are calling themselves Muslims.

        Ayathurai is a sore in Sri Lankan political discourse. The sooner this guy disappears it is better for the Sri Lankan Tamils and everyone else.

        And Jeya, before implying that the practices of groups like Taliban and ISIS may spread to Sri Lanka, you need to take the effort, to understand Islam as is practiced in Sri Lanka. The Quran declares that taking one human life is akin to destroying the whole of humanity. Sri Lanka Muslims practice the original Islam laid down in the Quran and the explanations of the the Prophet Mohammed. For your information, the Quran is the only religious book, that has been left uncorrupted from the time it was revealed to the Prophet 1400 years ago. They condemn violence, and exhorts its followers to live in peace and harmony with the rest of the Community. If you look at the history of Muslims in Sri Lanka, you will see this is what they have done.

        It is offensive to observe Ayathurai, spouting his venom against the peaceful Sri Lankan Muslims every time he writes an Article. Muslims believe their God, Allah, has guaranteed his protection to them. They believe they do not need to take any action against Ayathurai. To a God who drowned the mighty Pharaoh and his marauding army, (read accounts in the Bible and the Quran) Muslims believe it is easy for Him to deal with this insect Ayathuray at the appropriate time. Rajapaksa and Gnanasara tried their monkey tricks against Sri Lanka Muslims in June 2014. What happened to them is history.

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          Ahmed Reza,
          I am sorry for your ignorance. Had nod you read his articles you would have observed that he is a strong of the activities of the ISIS and even the LTTE. Didn’t you read this sentence – “Switzerland stands as a fine example that people of each country should realize that they are in charge of their respective countries while respecting the rights of others in a changing world”.
          He is only furnishing information that one should not have a double standard. As far as he is concerned all religions are like different flowers in a garden called earth. Everyone has a taste for each flower and sometimes they like another flower which is their right. Likewise everyone should have the right to embrace a faith of their own choice. Do you have the freedom to embrace another faith. So be positive and not a fanatic. You say God, but can you define God or describe it. That will solve your problem.

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            Ahmed Reza,
            There is some typographical error. It should be read as ‘Have not you read his previous articles. You would have observed that he is a strong critic of the activities of the ISIS and even the LTTE.’

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            Rama, you have not produced reference to any Article critical of the LTTE written by Ayathurai. Until such time you do that I consider Ayathurai is a LTTE Terrorist sympathizer.

            About Freedom to choose one’s religion that you talk about: Ayathurai considers I am his enemy because I am a Muslim. He writes that everyone particularly the Government should be wary of my activities. He exhorts that my movements, what I do, what I say should be monitored, simply because I am a Muslim. Yes, he has written that. You must be most blind in intellect to believe that Ayathurai is conceding the Freedom to practice Islam, whose adherents are nothing but terrorists. This is why I call Ayathurai a Muslim hater.

            Ayathurai hates the Sri Lanka Muslims with such venom because, despite being Tamil speakers, they never joined hands with the LTTE. The hate springs from there.

            Rama, please understand that the world we live in is a little different from that portrayed in fairy tales such as Ramayana and Mahavamsa.

            I suppose you want to know who is my God: He is Allah, the Creator of the Universe. He created everything that abides therein. Nothing can exist without His permission. Logically, beside Allah, all other gods known to mankind are just a mirage. It is because we Muslims firmly believe that every creature on this Earth, including Ayathurai, exists with God’s permission, that we will not harm any one who does not adhere to our faith: indeed we are prohibited from doing so. Alqaeda, and ISIS are not Muslims – they are false flag operators on behalf of the CIA engaged in political aggrandizement. Rama get yourself an education.

            If you want to see proof that Islam is the only true religion (Ayathurai already knows this) there is plenty of stuff you can read : Open your Explorer and check for 69 Miracles of the Quran on Youtube – it’s an illuminating video compiled by the world’s recognized scientists and philosophers, both Muslims and non-Muslims.

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          Ahmed Reza,
          One more point. In Indonesian currency the image of Lord Ganesha is depicted. Lord Ganapathy is considered as a wide spread symbol of wisdom in Indonesia. Symbol of wisdom also denotes forgiveness and not killing. Just think what happened in 1917 and how do you justify for Kumari’s death in Rauff Hakim’s compound and a Muslim girl beaten to death by her father in Eastern Province. Don’t deny. You should be proud as a Muslim that they are giving more prominence to Lord Ganesha.

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            Rama

            Sri Lankan Muslims have no issue with someone who wants to worship a myth, cow or tree. They are exhorted by the Holy Quran to live peacefully with the non-Muslim population: Chapter 109; Verse 6.

            Lord Ganapathy’s image printed on a currency note is neither here nor there. Currency notes have printed on them many different objects on them – reflecting the culture of whole sections of the population. In India they may even print the phallus, because in India there are millions of phallus worshippers. So what? Rajapakse appears on the latest Sri Lanka currency note. Does it make him holy or immortal? Nothing to be proud of; nothing to be ashamed of. On second thought perhaps, right minded citizens in Sri Lanka should feel insulted to receive payment for honest work with a currency note carrying that donkey face!!!!!!

            Forgiveness and Punishment: This depends on the crime. Murder…. you forgive? What is the Penal Code there for? And where on earth is an unrepentant criminal ever forgiven? Why do you expect only Muslims to forgive?

            Kumari beaten to death in Rauf Hakeem’s compound and Muslim girl beaten to death by the father!! Don’t you think that these individual cases should be dealt with by Law Enforcement according to the law of the land? By raising irrelevant unconnected topics, you are demonstrating you are unfit to have an intelligent conversation?

            I am sorry if I sound like bullying you. My intention was to give you some badly needed education. Is it too much to expect a ‘thank you’ note?

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          ‘The Quran declares that taking one human life is akin to destroying the whole of humanity’.
          Are they really practising this version. This is what the writer is concerned. How many housemaids have been executed, Why not think of forgiving? Indonesia executed two Australians despite several pleas. ISIS executed two innocent Japanese. Even then why should they behead and stone to death. Don’t you think these are uncivilized methods.

          See your next statement ‘Muslims believe their God’. There is only one God, only thing every one calls with different names.

          ‘Muslims believe it is easy for Him to deal with this insect Ayathuray at the appropriate time’. Again it appears to be a cowardly act, like the terrorists. Someone can also allege God will terrorize the terrorists with natural disasters like activating volcano, Tsunami and earthquakes. The best remedy is to forgive & forget.

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            Jeya

            Imagine a relative of yours gets raped or murdered or both. Will you forgive?

            If it becomes the norm in any given society to forgive criminals what will be the social and economic standing of that nation? Should the Rajapakses be forgiven for whitevanning those who did not comply with their wishes, and shooting in cold blood that girl tv announcer, Isaipriya? If truly Prabaharan had surrendered, would you forgive the Army person who gave the order to shoot him? Please write in your answer.

            May be depending on the sincerity of the criminal’s repentance you may intercede with the law to reduce his punishment. But forgive?

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    We have lived with muslims all these years without any problems but now their attitudes have changed. Why would any race want to emphasize the fact that they are different from the others in a country? I think we should accept that all are human beings before any race or religion which differentiates them. People need to be educated on this. All these new ideas are adopted with the idea of controlling that particular race or religion. We as educated human beings should be vary of this.

  • 0
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    After going through the article, I am of the view that the writer focussed on the impact of globalization in pursuance of the 13th Amendment. Globalization has the force of making other Provinces a co-partner on account of the economic integration, instead of the call for separation. Whereas the call for Muslim Administrative Unit itself would lay a foundation for separation with the passage of time, taking into account that the Muslims remains as a self-alienating community. If the Provinces are allocated with adequate funds together with the Land & Police Powers in pursuance of the Indo-Sri Lanka Peace Accord, it would lead to co-existence with others. The allegation of the Muslims that it amount to racial discrimination has no foundation at all.

    • 0
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      Please tell CT readers, whether Ayathurai ever mentioned in any of his Articles that Tamil Eelam as a demand was bad and should never be granted? No vague answers please; should be with references.

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    What is puzzling me is that the depiction of Lord Ganapathy in the currency notes of Indonesia and which is difficult to replace the image of Lord Ganesh, gives an impression that Indonesia was once a Hindu country. Even the writer says that the word Indonesia is a Sanskrit word. Will someone explain how Indonesia became a Muslim country. I am not against Muslims but eager to know about it. Sometimes we get some valuable points in this article.

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      Jeya and Rama

      All what you will find in Ayathurai’s articles is garbage. [Edited out]. And if you feel obliged to defend this lunatic’s rants, only for the reason of communal affinity,[Edited out]

    • 0
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      The reason is simple. The People were convinced Islam is the most credible religion. No politics; no violence. Read the history.

  • 0
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    Ahmed Reza,
    There are some valuable points to consider. We have got to admit. Otherwise there is no difference between a fanatic and you. As another Jeya said a number of readers are taking points.

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