20 June, 2019

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Is The Chief Minister Of The NPC Ethically & Morally Fit To Govern?

By Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

The Chief Minister of the Northern Province Mr. Canagasabapathy Viswalingam Wigneswaran made a “private visit” to India in November 2014. It was reported that he was invited to deliver a memorial lecture in Chennai to commemorate a civil liberties activist Mr. K.G. Kannapiran, who is a person from the legal fraternity. Later Mr. Wigneswaran also attended a World Congress of Buddhism and Hinduism in New Delhi which was graced by Dalai Lama, among others.

At the World Congress of Buddhism and Hinduism Mr. Wigneswaran had complained to the Dalai Lama about attacks on and destruction of Hindu temples in Sri Lanka. It is true that, during the time of the previous Rajapaksa regime, places of worship of minority religions came under frequent attack by religious bigots who had the tacit patronage of the ruling coterie. As a matter of fact many more Churches and Mosques were attacked than Hindu temples; in this circumstance, the Chief Minster complaining about the attacks on Hindu temples only smacks of parochial partisanship.

It was unbecoming of the Chief Minister of a multi-religious province to highlight the attacks on Hindu temples only to the Dalai Lama. The Chief Minister should be aware that the population of Christian faith comprises twenty percent and the population of Islamic faith three percent of the total population of the Northern Province according to the Census 2012.

It was also reported that Mr. Wigneswaran had also paid two other visits in India which are ethically and morally reprehensible.

WigneswaranOne was to an ashram of late Swami (sic) Premananda in Trichy in Tamilnadu. Premananda was born in Matale (Sri Lanka) but moved to Trichy (India) after the 1983 riots and set-up an ashram there. He was arrested by the police on charges of rape and murder of few female disciples within the ashram, convicted, and sentenced to life imprisonment in the 1990s. He died in prison on 21 February 2011.

It was disgraceful for the Chief Minister of the Northern Province, Mr. Wigneswaran, to pay respects to a rapist and murderer while violence against women (including rape) in his province is rampant, which Mr. Wigneswaran often blames on the security forces personnel. His visit to the ashram of a deceased criminal is an affront to women who outnumber men in his province and who had undergone immense suffering during the course of the long civil war. Even worse is the fact that, in April 2015 Mr. Wigneswaran had written to the Prime Minister of India pleading on behalf of the family members of the disciples of Premananda who are co-convicts in the rape and murder cases and serving life sentences in the prisons in Tamilnadu.

It is also important to note that the disciples of Premananda, including the Chief Minister Wigneswaran and the Minister for Resettlement and Hindu Religious Affairs Mr.D.M. Swaminathan, had a commemorative meeting for the late Premananda in Barnes Place, Colombo, in March 2015. It was disgraceful for the Chief Minister “Hon. Justice (sic) CV Wigneswaran” (as noted by the Northern Provincial Council website www.np.gov.lk) and the Minister of Hindu Religious Affairs to be worshiping a rapist and murderer. The politicians are expected to be role models for the citizens they represent; not to patronise rapists or murderers.

Mr. Wigneswaran is also infamous for frequent sexist gaffes (against women) in public. One such was against the former Chief Secretary of the Northern Province (top most civil servant at the provincial level), Mrs. Ramesh Wijeyaluckshmi (the first ever female Chief Secretary in the country and a widow). Whatever the political differences between the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, the insinuation of a sexual nature against the former Chief Secretary sometime in 2014 is an affront to women in general and the widows in particular. There are unusually high numbers of widows in the Northern Province (estimated to be between thirty and forty thousand) as a result of the long drawn out civil war whose plight has been neglected by the Tamil National Alliance provincial administration in the NP. The Chief Minister Wigneswaran (aka Justice Wigneswaran) should have professional decorum in public pronouncements.

This author also learns that the Chief Minister Wigneswaran had met the head of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS – National Volunteer or Patriotic Organisation) in New Delhi in November 2014. The RSS is a Hindu supremacist organisation notoriously famous for the murder of Mahathma Gandhi and frequent attacks and pogroms against minority Christian and Muslim communities in India and their places of worship since independence to date. The Chief Minster should explain the purpose of meeting the RSS chief to the people of Northern Province. Mr. Wigneswaran also should explain the difference/s (if any) between the RSS and the Buddhist supremacist organisation, Bodu Bala Sena (BBS – or the Buddhist Power Force), in Sri Lanka, which he often chastises for championing hatred against the people of minority religions.

Furthermore, the Chief Minister (CM) of Northern Province (NP) appears to dodge meeting useful persons from overseas and within. It was reported that the Malaysian Special Envoy on Infrastructure to India and Southern Asia (with ministerial rank), Mr. Samy Vellu (former longest serving President of the Malaysian Indian Congress and the second longest serving minister in the country), visiting Sri Lanka in March 2015 wanted to meet the Chief Minister to explore investment opportunities in the NP, but the CM had not responded to the request for a meeting. The Chief Minister should be aware that Malaysians are one of the largest investors in Sri Lanka and the NP should proactively seek private or public Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Malaysia. Some members of the Northern Provincial Council also complained publicly last year that they are unable to meet the Chief Minister to talk about provincial matters.

This author also learns that the CM of NP had attempted to hire a former Tamil Tiger mole in the UN who held a high position in the UNDP office in Colombo (deputy head of the Umbrella Project) during the time of the ceasefire (who had subsequently worked for the TRO office in Colombo since the Tsunami) and an Australian national currently living in Sydney to be an advisor to him in early 2014. Apparently the mother of the former Tamil Tiger mole is said to be a family friend of the Chief Minister. It is learnt that the previous Rajapaksa government had turned down the request by Mr. Wigneswaran to provide dual nationality to this former Tamil Tiger mole in order for him to be hired as an advisor to the CM.

Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan (aforesaid former Tamil Tiger mole at the UN office in Colombo) has recently accompanied the Chief Minister in his “private visit” to the UK and USA as the “Diary Secretary, Executive Assistant and Advisor to the Chief Minister”, according to The Sunday Times of July 12, 2015.

Nimalan Karthikeyan had told this author in the early 2000s that he is a Chartered Marketer by profession and worked as a sales executive at the Oberoi Hotel (now called Cinnamon Grand) in Colombo for long time. He claimed that subsequently he had obtained a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the Sri Jayawardanepura University in Colombo. Though he had no qualification or work experience in the development field he was appointed as the Deputy Project Manager of the Umbrella Project of the UNDP during the time of ceasefire in 2002 due to political influence. Nimalan Karthikeyan, a pukka (perfect) panthangkaraya (bootlicker), has had double dealings with the LTTE and the UN in Sri Lanka functioning as interpreter during the UN missions to Kilinochchi during the ceasefire time 2002 – 2004.

All the foregoing indicates serious lack of judgement on the part of the Chief Minister of the Northern Province who is a retired judge of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. The war-torn people of the Northern Province deserve a much better person than an inept, religious bigot, and sexist Chief Minister Mr. Wigneswaran.

*Muttukrishna Sarvananthan (Ph.D. Wales, M.Sc. Bristol, M.Sc. Salford, and B.A. (Hons) Delhi) is a Development Economist by profession and the Founder and Principal Researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development (http://pointpedro.org), Point Pedro, Northern Province, Sri Lanka. He was an Endeavour Research Fellow at the Monash University, Melbourne (2011-2012) and a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University, Washington D.C. (2008-2009). sarvi@pointpedro.org

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Latest comments

  • 4
    12

    CM Vigeneswaran is no holy Swami, according to this Dr who seems to have first hand knowledge about the CM’s activities.

    Mr Vigneswaran who is a Vellala thoroughbred from Cinnamon Gardens, went to pay homage to Mr Prabakaran in his first outing after getting the ” Crown “as the golden boy of the Vellala TNA.

    Vellala Viggy even announced proudly that Mr Prabakaran is a Hero.

    Now he is even trying to hire ex LTTE Cadres as his Advisers.

    This is in sharp contrast to the Vellala Chief Sambandan of the TNA who has repeatedly said that, he had nothing to do with Mr Prabakaran , although the former acted like a stooge.

    Mr Sambandan said it was through sheer fear.

    And what ever he did for Mr Prabakaran was to protect his dear life.

    Batalanda Ranil is all geared up to give Vellala TNA self rule in his Yahapalana Mk 11.

    Even his assistant Kirra has confirmed it according to the media reports today.

    Ranil will give total control of the North and even the East as Sambandan has explicitly demanded both in his Manifesto..

    CM Viggy will be in control of Sambandan’s TNA policend all Government land, when Ranil declares the North as the new version of his old ISGA which he offered Mr Prabakaran in 2000.

    Can the great majority of the inhabitant population who have deep connections to the North , through their religious history, expect proper protection for them and their holy places from a CM, whom even his own fellow eminent Tamils openly say is lacking moral and ethical standards?..

  • 18
    1

    Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan:

    Mr. Know little.
    I want you to do a little in the name of Humanity.

    I want to ask you a question.

    If I give you the details of the Churches to which the Anglican Bishops were attached will you write to the Congregation and ask them to Boycott these Curches. Otherwise their visit to the Churches of deceased and living criminals is an affront to the young men who are now adults and their families who had undergone immense suffering.

  • 17
    2

    It is positive that Sri Lankans are finally setting higher standards for vetting their leaders. What is unclear is why the author is starting with CV Wigneswaran – there are leaders in Sri Lanka with far more severe issues, including those accused of war crimes or complicit in them. Shouldn’t he be starting there? Bit of a bizarre place to start looking at this issue.

  • 16
    2

    Chief Moderator:

    Dear Moderator:

    You have provided Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan to attack the Intergiry , Character and the Honour of a well respected retired Supreme Court Judge.

    When people posted comments in response Dr. Narendrans Garbage you edited them out. His own brother [Edited out]
    You by providing this space to Dr Saravanathan to mount an attack on a man based some only on specuation and some without any legal justification have provided the opportunity to many to attack with Vile statements.

    I will certainly be writing to Mr. Sumanthiran giving my opinion of how to counter these Vile responses as a result of your poor Judgement.

  • 5
    15

    I backed CVW’s bid for the position of CM enthusiastically, because I thought he will be different from others vying for that position in the TNA and hoped that he will get things done with the cooperation of those who mattered at the center. He appeared well equipped to do that.

    His nomination was opposed by sections of the Tamil Diaspora who thought he would be conciliatory towards the MR government. However, his words and activities since then were directed towards the opposite and to win over the Tamil Diaspora elements, who opposed him. They are his most enthusiastic supporters today!

    The ordinary people that I speak are asking what he has done during his tenure. He had many excuses early on, but these excuses are not tenable anymore. His attitude,approach and words have been such, the present PM called him a liar! Should he not have tried to work with the Maithri-Ranil team, with the interest of the Tamils here at heart?

    Further, I have spent most of my time in the North after the war and after the A9 highway opened for public use. I was not going around collecting statistics. I spent time talking to the ordinary people affected by the war and others who mattered. I was observing and forming impressions. These are what I convey in my writing. I am not thousands of miles away and forming impressions on hearsay.

    When I said prostitution was becoming rampant in the North and was even a blight on our young girls, I was accused of insulting the virtuous women of Jaffna! Did the armed forces teach a 14 year old boy to rape and murder a three year old girl in Kilinochchi, recently? Did not the Jaffna men become pimps for the IPKF? Did the Jaffna man not supply Kassipu to the IPKF? Did the Jaffna man not supply women to Kittu, when he ruled the roost in Jaffna?

    The war and prolonged turmoil has destroyed our souls and conscience. We are a people who will do anything to make a buck. We have become a people who will say anything that suits them and their objectives, without thinking twice. Do not blame others.

    The people are victims of the perversion that has taken hold in our society. What has the CM done to address these problems? Has he condemned them outright, vociferously and regularly? He uttered utter nonsense accusing the armed forces of introducing narcotics and drugs to Jaffna deliberately to corrupt soft bottomed babies, hesitantly at a meeting in Colombo, where the concerned minister was present. He was lost for words and appeared not to be convinced by what he was saying himself.

    He is dancing to a distant drummer across our seas! This is why he has failed the people in the North. He is not a practical man who has interacted with ordinary folk. His long career in the judiciary has cocooned him and isolated from ordinary citizens. He probably knows more about criminals and their victims, than the mundane problems of ordinary folk’ This is the chink in his armour.

    Do not blame either Sarvananthan, me or others for saying things that you do not want us to say. Blame yourselves for taking about things you have not seen and experienced directly. The PhDs we hold do not render us immune to pains and travails of those around us.

    I blame sections of the Tamil Diaspora for creating the current scenario, with scant regard to the war battered people who have to live here. The war wounds and memories, however painful will recede with time. We are designed to heal in body and mind. It is already happening,

    However, hunger, thirst, want, and other aspects of life, will be with us day in and day out, unless provided for or attended to. I see how a new generation is being crippled by poor and valueless parenting. What is our answer and responsibility?

    I am pained by what I see and am furious at our leaders who choose not to see. I am furious at those who make frivolous, cheap and insulting comments here, misusing the freedom of expression CT permits in pursuit of their own goals. I am also furious at those have chosen to be part of the problems and not the solutions.

    I am sure this comment will draw many adverse and insulting comments. They will be lost on me, unless related to the realities I see, here.

    Dr.RN

    • 9
      2

      Dr RN,

      “The ordinary people that I speak are asking what he has done during his tenure. ….. “

      How many ordinary people?

      “His nomination was opposed by sections of the Tamil ” May be a small fraction.

      DR RN what you are saying is nothing BUT GASS. (in your language)

      • 0
        4

        [Edited out] Please write instead of posting external web links – CT

      • 1
        7

        Anpu,
        My remarks on CVW’s political ambitions and shift towards the Tamil Diaspora for support, are confirmed by Rasika Jayakody on the contradictions within the TNA. He writes,

        “It is important to understand the backdrop against which the TNA’s election manifesto was launched. Clearly, there are three power-blocs in the party and its internal divisions are no longer invisible. One bloc in party is led by R. Sampanthan and M. Sumanthiran who are known among the party rank and file as “moderates”. Then there is another bloc led by relatively hardcore ex-MPs such as Suresh Premachandran and mavai Senathirajah. Of late, there was a third power-bloc developed around Northern Province Chief Minister C. V. Vigneswaran who was, at the initial stages, an ally of Sampanthan and Sumanthiran. Over the past few months, there was a cold war between the Vigneswaran bloc and Sampanthan-Sumanthiran bloc.

        As Chief Minister Vigneswaran’s popularity grew in the North over the past few years, a sizable proportion of party activists are now backing him, considering he would be a better candidate for the party leadership. In the recent past, Vigneswaran took strong positions on problems concerning the Tamils and even locked horns with leaders such as Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe. The TNA, as a political party, is already facing serious problems due to internecine power struggles in the party.”

        I wonder whether the TNA as apolitical collective, is about to be torn asunder!

        Further, I speak to people from various segments of society. When I feel their thoughts are not isolated flash in the pan sentiments, I pass the message to a wider audience.

        Time will

        • 5
          1

          Dr RN,

          Thanks
          “are confirmed by Rasika Jayakody “

          I am not interested in Rasika Jayakody’s view. In fact I have not read any of his articles recently.

          “One bloc in party is led by R. Sampanthan and M. Sumanthiran who are known among the ****party**** rank and file as “moderates”. Then there is another bloc led by relatively hardcore ex-MPs such as Suresh Premachandran “

          Mr Sampanthan and Sumanthiran belong to FP.

          Suresh is from a different party.

          But I know they all are in TNA.

          How does RJ rates MR? hard core or mass murderer
          What does RJ think about the armed forces in N&E?
          ….
          What we want is justice for all.
          At the moment I cant see light at the end of the tunnel.

          With best wishes

          • 1
            7

            Anpu,

            Rasika Jayakody also said in the same article the following:

            “At the same time, the party had to cater to the sentiments of Tamil Diaspora who is becoming impatient over inquiries into alleged war crimes during the final phase of war and delays in formulating a solid political solution. Therefore, the TNA was compelled to touch upon certain “sensitive areas” (especially to the Sinhala community) when formulating its election manifesto.

            Interestingly, Northern Province Chief Minister was the notable absentee at the launch of the TNA manifesto. The Chief Minister’s absence came in a context where he is rapidly becoming the apple of the Tamil Diaspora’s eye.”

            This is also quite apparent.

            Dr.RN

            • 3
              0

              The Northern Province CM was a noticeable absentee because he was out of the country on a visit that had been planned months ahead.

              • 1
                2

                Paddy,

                From what I understand the CM was back in Sri Lanka, when the TNA manifesto was presented. He has said in a recent statement that he was away when parliament was dissolved.

                Further, a la Maithripala Sirisena, he has declared he will remain neutral and not campaign for the TNA.

                He also sys that he will work with anyone elected to parliament, to take forward the aspirations of the Tamils.

                Dr.RN

                • 0
                  0

                  ….. so then, what is your problem ?

    • 14
      2

      You sing a different tune now. The original article to which many objected stated that Wigs was morally unfit (i) because he had a criminal as his “swami” (ii) he is sexist because he had used improper language to a particular lady (iii) that he was advised by a person who was incompetent and was a tiger supporter.

      These are personal attacks on Wigs which you seem to support. No evidence was provided for some of them. They are potentially defamatory.

      Now, you say that Wigs is inefficient and that he has done little. I do not think that people would be upset if you were to say that. That is a matter of opinion. Then the argument will be on what Wigs has and has not done.

      It is okay to have PhDs. They are a dime a dozen among the young in the Tamil diaspora and from fancy universities at that. But, these young people would have the humility not to write scurrilous stuff against a person a lot of people respect. The virulence of the attack at this time and your support for it is not ethical.

        • 9
          2

          Chief Moderator:

          Youn should be ashamed to post a response like the above from Ben.
          Disgusting and amounts to Gutter posting and you demean yourself.

      • 1
        11

        Ponkoh Sivanathan

        I said what Dr. Sarvananthan had written was a serious indictment, which implies accusations. What comes thereafter. are my impressions of the CM.

        Dr.RN

        • 7
          0

          What MS tried to do was criticize a public official while defaming a private individual through character assassination. This will end up in courts and I have no doubt about that. And you trying to do the same by extending the insinuations against private individuals. You condemned the tigers, rightfully so, for claiming anyone who stood up to them as “thuroki” and then doing away with them or shutting them up. Now your friend MS is doing the same by making unsubstantiated and dubious claims (ie a Mole etc) from the other side. Such is the hypocrisy.

          What MS wrote about a private individual and questioning his credentials etc. without a shred of evidence is pure case of defamation. It warrants a full apology and withdrawal and nothing less. His claims against the CM are based on selective quoting of speeches while ignoring the bulk of it. You claim your PhD does wonders to you but it appears you lack the skills to critically analyze the writing from this author.

          • 3
            5

            Paramanathan,

            That is a good idea. I welcome such a move. CMW should go to court and challenge Dr.Sarvananthan. This would be another example of democracy beginning to work. This would be also opportunity for Dr.Sarvananthan to prove his credentials.

            Dr.RN

            • 7
              0

              RN,

              I have clearly highlighted in my comment as to who was defamed. A private individual. A public official can be subjected to deeper scrutiny in the public interest with facts. That does not apply to the case of a private individual against whom MS has made unsubstantiated claims. For example he was trying to imply that the individual may not have an MBA by saying “claiming”. If he is doubtful of that it is up to him to verify with the respective degree granting institution or send his query to the UNDP. He brands an individual as a tiger mole possibly impacting on the safety of that individual and his next of kin.

              MS chose to use the cover of journalism to make obscene claims. Another Tamil individual in Australia did the same against a school principal, this time via email, and ended up paying more than he bargained for. He was forced to pay a hefty compensation to the victim and it became a landmark case. Similarly RG VS CTC resulted in CTC being awarded damages. Making unsubstantiated claims again private individuals, causing grief in the age of internet and social media and then claiming that it as a welcome exercise of democracy demonstrates a poor understanding the right to privacy, the right to fairness and justice some of the cornerstones of democracy. If we do not like the jungle rules of an armed group we cannot then replace it with another set of jungle rules and call it democracy.

              • 0
                1

                Paramanathan

                I think you should again go over what MS has said about the LTTE UN mole in his article.

                MS says “Karthikeyan had claimed to him” that he had an MBA from Sri Jayawardena University in Colombo.

                But the example you have mentioned to support your position is that MS was “claiming” is not entirely correct.

                On the contrary it is a matter of conversation between the two of them,a case of one’s word against the other’s.
                So why should MS go to the trouble of obtaining a verification just yet from the said university unless of course it comes to court as a matter of litigation?

                • 6
                  1

                  Uthungan,

                  Did Sarvananthan provide any proof for calling someone an LTTE mole?

                  Throwing such incendiary words without any evidence is his habit. He made a similar accusation about a Washington, DC area event back in 2009, which I knew to be a blatant lie. So taking him to court for throwing around such allegations is legitimate.

                  • 0
                    2

                    Agnos
                    Why are you sidetracking the issue and acting as advocate for Paramanathan.?
                    Let Paramanathan reply, the question was directed to him.
                    However , When is the LTTE mole going to take Sarvananthan to court?
                    Was Sarvananthan in Washington DC in 2009 when he made the comment?

                    • 1
                      0

                      Uthungan,

                      That you continue to use the term “LTTE mole” based on the mere say-so of Sarvananthan shows the problem–a lack of rationality–with Tamil society. And yes, Sarvananthan was in in 2008/2009, and many people in the DC area remember his antics well and have no respect for him. I will leave it at that.

                • 1
                  0

                  Hi Uthungan,

                  Valid point if you consider the statement in isolation and not in conjunction with the paragraphs that precede the one we are discussing. Re-read the para before that and the next para starting from the so and so told the author in the early 2000s etc to the end.

                  The author’s objective here is to proof his hypothesis that CM is inept. To do that he has picked up the case of CM trying to recruit talent to his office. And he is trying to show that the person whom CM was trying to pick was no talent and to substantiate that he wrote those statements. In that process the Author is trying to proof that the said candidate was not suitable for UNDP role because such and such and if not for the political influence he would not have secured that job. And remember the Job in question is a Project Manager role and not a development expert (even if it is UNDP) and an MBA is perfect for that role. I know because I was a project manager in various contexts including medical settings even though I have no medical industry or life sciences background. And the role of Project Manager has many transferable skills across sectors.

                  Coming back to the issue, the statements made by the Author to proof his hypothesis were couched in a language which amounts to insinuations. The insinuations are strong because in the previous para the authors has twice called that individual “a tiger mole”. Given the Author projects himself as a scholar, a person reading those sentences might be led to believe that may be that candidate does not posses the qualifications and in fact as MS accused got the job due to political influence. MS, to discount the possibility that this may not have been the case, should have just did basic research by contacting the candidate whom he appears to know or the CM’s office with specific inquiries and subsequently the institution using what he gleaned from the prior inquiries. When there were doubts about former President Chandraika claims about studying at Sorbonne etc or Sajit Premadasa’s claim of having studied at the London School of Economics the writers first fact checked their suspicions.

                  Then the statements that follows after his poor attempt at proofing his hypothesis he yet again makes more statements of derogatory nature indicating to us that this author has a particular disliking to this individual reinforcing the choice of language used in the entire para is not for any other purpose than to cast aspersions and wondering what the true motivations of this author really are. The derogatory statements are then followed by his claims of “double dealings” to support his statement of this person of being a “Tamil Tiger mole”. Again all of these statements are his own judgements built on a shaky foundations.

                  Given the objective of the Author was to proof the CM is inept and this potential attempted hiring of a person is an example the author should have verified whether his insinuations are facts. It is my strong view that this author has let his emotions over rule his critical faculties and that is not how this matter should have been dealt with by a scholar, journalist or public intellectual of any kind.

                  Let me end with this quote from an article published by by legal philosopher Zechariah Chafee in the Harvard Law Review in 1919.

                  “Each side takes the position of the man who was arrested for swinging his arms and hitting another in the nose, and asked the judge if he did not have a right to swing his arms in a free country. “Your right to swing your arms ends just where the other man’s nose begins.”

                  • 0
                    0

                    Hi Paramanathan
                    1) My comment was made after reading the entire piece by MS, and not in isolation of only the said statement.

                    2) Yurr position that the it is author’s article is mere hypothesis, and not facts is a matter of opinion, and
                    is something that can be ascertained by only questioning him directly considering the other points
                    points he has mentioned.

                    3) The view that he has based his article on insinuations, malice and conjecture and is on shaky
                    foundation can only be put to test in a court having the proper jurisdiction.

                    • 0
                      0

                      Hi Uthungan,

                      On point 3 most certainly a legal process (in the form of a defamation case) or a rebuttal/response from the affected parties would assist in establishing the credibility of the claims. Given the nature of internet and the jurisdictional issues involved in that a legal process may be a costly affair. Instead this entire thing may be fought out in the public as happened with the case of a book written by an ex-LTTE cadre, the charity which received donations and the debate which surrounded it.

                      On point 2 once again a rebuttal or response from the affected parties should go some way in exposing the gap between facts and mere opinions.

                      On point 1. Thank you for clarifying.

                      As a person who has worked in the social networking industry I have come across similar cases where the matters mostly get sorted out via correspondences between the affected party and the offending party. However the legal framework of a country/region (eg. EU etc) will shape the kind of approach the parties would choose. Until then things usually get dissected in the public domain till no end. Thank you for engaging in the discussion.

    • 11
      2

      Within the very, very limited powers devolved to a provincial council, the CM and his team have done whatever that could possibly be done.

      You claim to be a man with the ordinary people. Why didn’t you think of contesting the elections at least to know where you stood?

      Sengodan. M

    • 0
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      Dr. R. N,
      [Edited out]

  • 4
    2

    The writer Dr.Saravananthan nor the commentator Dr.RN both do not understand the current political situation in the North or the past. Justice Wigneswaran is only a chairman of the village council with no powers at all. What can he do, Nothing except attending some opening ceremonies. He is not a politician but a man from the Judiciary. Even the current politicians in the North representing the Tamils too are not really politicians. They are tongue twisting rogues and cheats. They do not know what is politics. They are on a different pedestal than Wigneswaran. Had Mavai Senathirajah who wanted to become the Chief Minister too couldn’t have done anything better. The TNA and the provincial council are irrelevant to the Tamil people now. I have in several postings mentioned about Tamils boycotting Elections and urging for a referendum for the Tamils of the North and East. I wish I change my mind. Nothing is going to happen to the demands made by the Tamils as everyone understands that since 1947 the Tamils were fighting for devolution of power and didn’t get it. The politicians then made several mistakes. The soft power and even the hard power did not achieve anything to the Tamils. What if the Tamils join the Sinhala political parties of the South as some Tamils have done and forget about North and East as a separate entity.

    • 2
      7

      Sell am

      We were quite aware of the weaknesses in the 13th amendment and the PC system. Why did CVW contest to become CM. knowing these facts. Wasn’t he elected to get something done with what he had. Gamini Jayawi items Perera,when
      CM , transformed Wayamba. Did he have more powers of the opportunity to work the system to get things done?

      Dr.RN

      • 2
        0

        Dr.RN

        13th amendment is an empty legislature for the Tamils with the Governor in full control. Even the Secretary supersedes the Chief Minister. The TULF knew about it and yet Amirthalingam approved the 13th amendment drafted by JR in conjunction with the Indian Prime Minister. That was the time full implementation of the devolution could be achieved. Even now the TNA knows about it. As there was no proper candidate for the Chief Minister, Mr.Sambanthan wanted justice Wigneswaran to come into the fold. There are no educated leaders among Tamils now. The educated academics do not want to enter into political activities. Justice Wigneshwaran was brought into politics not by will but by persuasion. Immediately after the winning the elections, Justice Wigneswaran tried to go into Vali North, High security zone and was not allowed by the Army.This was the situation.
        Now there is already a friction between the TNA and justice Wigneshearan, which I am not sure where it is going to end. Our so called Tamil leaders cannot do anything to the Tamils and there is no proper leader to lead the Tamils. What is the solution?

      • 1
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        When you use we are you using the royal we or are you in cahoots with the writer of this article?

  • 5
    11

    Dr Sarvananthan has quite clearly stated why he believes Wiggie is NOT a fit person to hold the position of Chief Minister, Northern Province. Instead of providing arguments against, which is what those who disagree with him needed to do, he has been subjected to a barrage of insults and opprobrium by lesser individuals.

    Let us hope that he is not dissuaded from making more useful contributions in future.

  • 12
    3

    Here we go again with this [Edited out] Muthukrishna talking through [Edited out]. Few years back he criticised a memoir written by an ex-LTTE female cadre about her life in the LTTE, I have read the entire book and there was nothing cooked up the way this joker has claimed. I read his entire blog and the whole damn thing was based on absolute speculation. In that blog he used a lot of words like; could have been, maybe, could be, I think……..if this is how he comes up with his arguments, I wonder (speculative word, Muthukrishna style) where he got his Ph.d from. Hey Muthu, at least the CM has done something for the people, what have you done? The CM may not do everything right, but show us one thing you have done to benefit the people. You sit there and write absolute rubbish and create things from your wet dreams and turn them into facts in your little imaginary world. State the facts and stick to the point. Otherwise just shut up.

  • 3
    0

    This fellow Muthukrishna [Edited out]

  • 3
    3

    We have been witnessing as to how the Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists behave when they are faced with fellow Sinhala critiquing them or about their interests. They sling mud and smear with false accusations with fabricated incoherent nonsense. This is exactly what some of the Tamils are doing to this author!

    I am not at all claiming that the author is 100% right, but am standing by the principle that anyone has a right to critically analyse a public official. The author has a democratic right to critique the CM. If anyone who has an issue with his charge, he or she should counter it with facts and expose his platform respectfully.

    I have seen comments in the form of the Author could be a Christian or Muslim! This is preposterous and self-defeating. The Tamils stood united and religions played no part in their quest for freedom. So I suggest people should respect this and should not behave like Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinists!

    • 5
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      Did you note that the author has named a private individual and has made insinuations without substantiating any of them?

      • 3
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        @Para, that is how this fellow cuts people down. His arguments are completely baseless and never to the point. I still remember what he wrote about that poor girl who wrote the memoir. How this [Edited out] and another [edited out] called Michael Roberts who attacked her mercilessly without evidence. He acted like an investigative journalist and slandered a registered charity which has done so much work with the displaced children by calling them a proxy for the LTTE and so on and so forth. [Edited out]

        • 2
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          Thank you for your comment TFN. I indeed read his views on Ground Views on that specific subject including the rebuttals etc. However I must say I still had a degree of respect for him and his work to some degree. I may have been biased in that because one of his relatives is a friend of mine and worked in an international organisation. So possibly I had a softer side for him. I cannot say the same now however given the language,style and spirit with which this article was written. It is a case of unbecoming of a scholar.

    • 0
      0

      BI,

      “I am not at all claiming that the author is 100% right, but am standing by the principle that anyone has a right to critically analyse a public official. The author has a democratic right to critique the CM. If anyone who has an issue with his charge, he or she should counter it with facts and expose his platform respectfully.”

      Couldn’t agree more with you.

  • 10
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    We don’t need Sinhalese to destroy Tamils. Tamils themselves are doing that effectively.

  • 3
    8

    In Colombo Telegraph, when people have no argument against an article they do not like, they attack the author. It is called shooting the messenger who brings bad messages. When they attack the messenger instead of critiquing the message, the message is usually right.

    Please keep writing Dr. M. Sarvananthan. Thank you.

    • 0
      0

      @John, this sarvananthan fellow is a trouble maker who goes around attacking people who he thinks in his own imaginary world is saying something he does not agree with. He has done this many times, he attacked a wonderful charity who I have helped and that charity has done so much good for the poor children of Vanni. He called them a proxy for the LTTE and slandered them. When the charity decided to sue this scoundrel, he slithered away like a snake and they never heard from him. Now he has popped his ugly head again with some toxic remarks about a man who may not be perfect but at least trying to help at his old age. Also the charity is dead against the LTTE doctrine as they felt the damn LTTE was one of the main reasons these children were so poor. This fellow who sat there wrote about coconuts and fisheries now starts again. We cannot let idiots on a forum to write garbage and slander people. Show me one thing this weasel has done which has benefited the people of SL? Then you and I can have another conversation. Writing blank papers don’t do anything for you. Put it in action. In the present society we are all keyboard warriors. Get down there and do something. Otherwise support the people who are trying to make a (positive) difference.

    • 0
      0

      John,

      “In Colombo Telegraph, when people have no argument against an article they do not like, they attack the author. It is called shooting the messenger who brings bad messages. When they attack the messenger instead of critiquing the message, the message is usually right. Please keep writing Dr. M. Sarvananthan. Thank you.”

      I agree.

      • 2
        1

        Heretic

        It is not a matter of shooting the messenger if the message does not have any argument.

        When critically analysing an article one should see through the message, read between the lines. Authors could inadvertently make a wrong judgment which is not a crime in itself. However one should always question author’s intention.

  • 6
    0

    Perhaps this would clarify matters. Casts serious doubt over muttukrishna motives. Colombo telegraph should post the whole article.

    http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2015/08/02/fea07.asp

    • 4
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      Wow. Very interesting. Let me reproduce it here for the benefit of the readers. http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2015/08/02/fea07.asp

      Article titled ‘Wigneswaran Unravelled’ Published on July 26 2015

      We write with reference to the above article written by Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan of the Point Pedro Institute of Development. We are surprised to note that no steps were taken by your esteemed newspaper to verify the malicious and defamatory allegations levelled against the Chief Minister of the Northern Province prior to publishing the said article. We hold the Sunday Observer to high journalistic standards and are most disappointed by this lapse.

      With regard to the several calumnies contained in the article, we wish to place on record the Chief Minister’s position so that the public may make up their own minds:

      (a) The Chief Minister did indeed have the privilege of concluding a very productive meeting with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at the World Hindu Congress held in India. The Congress, being one related to Hinduism, naturally and obviously focused on challenges faced by Hindus.

      The Chief Minister’s address was titled ‘Whither Hindus?’ and highlighted among other things the following as matters affecting Hindus in Sri Lanka:

      i. According to the figures released by the Sri Lankan Government’s own Ministry Hindu Religious and Cultural Affairs, out of the 1607 registered Hindu temples 1479 were damaged as of 1993.

      ii. In 2010, which had seen the brutal end to the war in the previous year, the Memorandum forwarded to the Director General of the UNESCO by the Hindu Religious Priests’ Organization of the North East Province said “More than 1560 Hindu temples have been damaged and rendered useless while 240 Hindu temples have been totally destroyed due to the ongoing war in the North and East”.

      iii. The Centre for Policy Alternatives, a leading think tank in its March 2013 report stated “Access to temples in High Security Zones and areas restricted by the Military; Military intrusion into religious practices and rituals; Buddhist and other religious symbols being set up in the vicinity of Hindu religious sites; allegations of destruction of kovils and shrines; disputes over archaeological sites; threats to religious places from development activity; concerns of conversions from Hinduism to other religions” and listed them as the major impediments facing the Hindus of the North and East.

      iv. When he attempted to visit an area as the Chief Minister, upon hearing that Army personnel were destroying a Hindu place of worship, he was politely denied access by the Army.

      (b) The malicious nature of the article is quite evident in that it faults the Chief Minister for failing to mention the travails faced by minorities other than Hindus in Sri Lanka. Though the article refers to the Chief Minister’s Kannabiran Memorial address, which was referred to as ‘an appeal to India’s conscience’ by reputed Indian journalist K. Venkataramanan (see The Hindu, November 14, 2014), it suppresses the fact that the Chief Minister had specifically mentioned the challenges faced by Muslims and Christians in Sri Lanka at that time, in such address.

      (c) Given the nature of the event, it was entirely natural that several Hindu organizations were represented at the event and that the Chief Minister had occasion to meet representatives of those organizations and discuss matters relating to Hinduism, challenges faced by Hindus and shared experiences in overcoming those challenges within a democratic framework.

      (d) We also wish to point out that the Chief Minister was a founder member of the Congress of Religions (See Section 4, Congress of Religions Act No 13 of 1970) and was instrumental in inviting the Mahanayaka Thera to visit Jaffna in 1965. He has represented Hindu viewpoints at several inter-religious meetings held in Sri Lanka and has an excellent working relationship and understanding with other religious leaders.

      (e) While a proper investigation into certain matters adverted to will shed light on numerous injustices caused, the Chief Minister declines to comment on matters connected with his personal religious beliefs. He believes that such discussion in public forums is in poor taste.

      (f) The article refers to the Chief Minister not meeting “useful persons from overseas and within” and refers to one meeting with the Malaysian Special Envoy on Infrastructure to India and Southern Asia and a complaint by some Provincial Councillors. The circumstances under which the meeting with the Malaysian Envoy could not take place were explained in detail by the Hon. Chief Minister to the Provincial Council on 17.03.2015. In brief, the details pertaining to the meeting were not communicated clearly by the then government liaisons organizing the meeting.

      (g) The Chief Minister has been accessible to his Provincial Councillors in person at his office and at his residence. Certain communication issues through electronic and telecommunication means were faced and have been addressed. Those issues arose due to the lack of resources the NPC faces.

      (h) A simple perusal of the newspapers over the last one and half years will demonstrate the number of personnel, both overseas and local, that the Chief Minister has had productive meetings with. In fact, the Chief Minister has had communications even with the author himself.

      (i) The Chief Minister condemns the defamatory and baseless allegations made against Karthikeyan, and unequivocally denies that Karthikeyan was ever a Tamil Tiger member in any capacity whatsoever. Karthikeyan is a respected former officer of the UNDP in Sri Lanka, who is committed to the welfare of the Tamil Speaking Peoples. His interaction with the Tamil Tigers was in the discharge of his professional obligations as the Deputy Project Manager, UNDP Transition Project during the ceasefire period from 2002 to 2004. Several civil society members, government officials and UN officials were involved in the UNDP Transition Project and Karthikeyan’s role was officially authorized and transparent. Thereafter he had offered his services for post tsunami relief work with INGOs and NGOs (during the period of Cease Fire Agreement). His appointment as a UNDP Official was subject due processes established by UN. Karthikeyan, an old boy of Royal College, Colombo, has obtained a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA), from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and is currently reading for his Doctorate in Social Sciences on Challenges in transition from militancy to democracy – case study of Sri Lanka at the University of Sydney, Australia. Obtaining his services to assist in the enhancing of the capacity of the NPC would indeed be useful.

      The Chief Minister’s interactions with him were in furtherance of Karthikeyan’s academic pursuits, in the context of Karthikeyan’s abiding interest in the democratic well being of the Tamil Speaking Peoples of Sri Lanka.

      The Chief Minister appreciates and welcomes fair criticism of his official functions, and only expects that a view from his office is sought prior to publication of articles that are manifestly intended to malign him. We trust that in the highest journalistic tradition you would publish this response with equal coverage on your print media.

  • 1
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    Thank you for this information. While I appreciate the response from the office of the CM part of it worries me.

    “The Chief Minister appreciates and welcomes fair criticism of his official functions, and only expects that a view from his office is sought prior to publication of articles that are manifestly intended to malign him.”

    I have until now thought that “Right of Reply” applies after something has been published. The request above is something else. Is an approval of the CM now needed to write about him?

    Who decides what is ” manifestly intended to malign him”?

    What will the CMs office do with the articles that are “manifestly intended to malign” the CM? Try to stop them?

    Should comments on CT regarding the CM also be sent to his office for an approval?

    • 4
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      No. I do not think that is what it implies. It talks about fact checking. I write and review pieces on science policy matters and whenever I get articles that are politically inclined I check with the relevant ministry/official whether a particular fact given or quote mentioned is in fact true. I might also ask for sources in the form of reports/news items from both the submitter and the target to ensure the investigative piece meets certain standards.

      Otherwise what happens is the publication becomes much like a Hollywood Gossip website and over time the target audience becomes less inclined to believe what is written. Added to that we as reviewers also loose credibility in the eye of the public. Finally there is also a possibility of us aiding professional/personal biases to be played out via a public medium for without putting the interest of the reading public at heart. You only have to see the debates around science related publications on human induced global warming. While you may say science sets a higher threshold the lack of trust in all sections of a democratic society (leaders to politically biased/owned media etc) emphasize the need to set and meet higher standards. And you only have to look at the sorry state of SL of the recent past!!!.

      • 1
        3

        RK,

        Let me start by saying that I voted for the CM and regret it now.

        “I check with the relevant ministry/official whether a particular fact given or quote mentioned is in fact true.”

        Why do you think that a ministry or an official would provide you true facts?

        “I might also ask for sources in the form of reports/news items from both the submitter and the target to ensure the investigative piece meets certain standards.”

        I agree that sources are very important. If the “target” is a ministry or an official you might never receive any reply or might be threatened. What to do then?

        “Otherwise what happens is the publication becomes much like a Hollywood Gossip website and over time the target audience becomes less inclined to believe what is written.”

        I agree with you.

        Look at CT with all the gossip, claims without sources, personal attacks etc.

    • 3
      1

      Heretic,

      Aren’t you Sarvananthan himself? Enough of your charade.

    • 2
      1

      Dr. Muthukrishna Sarvanandan should respond immediately, is a separate article on the subject.

      I hope he does.

      Dr.RN

      • 2
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        And say what RN?

      • 2
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        What are your motives Mr RN?

        • 0
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          Booo,

          Comment 1: Defend his indictment in terms of the response on behalf of the CM.

          Comment 2: What are your’s?

          Dr.RN

          • 1
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            My motives are simple. Stop perpetuating claims/counter claims and aid the CM, his team, the people of North, TNA/other democrats and welfare organisations to govern and render care to the people under their control by providing them with our skills, abilities, talent, resources (soft and hard)and most important of all moral/emotional support.

            Let me state a few points regarding the article before I elaborate on what I have stated above. Just addressing one issue as an example: If you read the speeches MS refers to in full you would recognize that the author has made glaring omissions in picking points to support his claims. And the Author who chastises CM for meeting RSS then fails to recognise that RSS is not a banned organisation, Modi is a product of RSS and RSS aligned ministers are presently in power. By his argument shouldn’t we stop dealing with India all together while Modi/BJP in power?.

            He compares RSS with BBS. Before BBS it was JHU. No one could forget the thuggish monks of JHU disrupting peacful protests, inciting hatred against muslims and christians and attacking mulsims. Read the news items from 2012 on this very issue. Yet the same party got into bed with the ruling party and now one of their men is a presidential advisor. And when TNA leader Sampnathan was asked in a press meet whether TNA would deal with Mr. Sampika, he said ofcourse we will do just that. Does that mean Mr. Sam condones everything JHU did and possibly doing now. NO. The reality is such that we have to deal with forces with which do not share the same values/outlook. That is the reality in politics/diplomacy and even in our own lives.

            Then the author brand the CM as some kind of a hindu nut!. Yet in his 2013 on GroundViews he recognised CM as a devout hindu and made a constructive suggestion that his closeness to religion be used to unlock the potential of this institutions to serve our post-war economic needs. I say great and the speech given at the World Hindu Conference the author refers to does just that. There the CM tell his audience to move beyond mere rituals and embrace service to fellow men. And he suggests ideas towards building institutions to that.

            More fundamentally did any of those engagements with Hindus distort CM’s service to other religions. NO. Just google and you will find that when CM met the newly elected president soon after the elections he took up the issue of attacks against muslims. Then when the Pope came he was there in Mannar pushing the case of his people. All I can see is the man using every opportunity to bring something good to his suffering people. But here we are pulling him into shreds for what?. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

          • 1
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            Contd. Now back to me original comment. As a person who suffered multiple internal displacements (from Valikamam North since 1991, both the destroyed house and land under HSZ still being enjoyed by the Sri Lankan military), loss of 2 uncles , 1 aunty (committed suicide while living in a displacement camp), 1 cousin (my father is the last remaining survivor from his side of the family and of his generation) and some my class mates to this war I have dedicated my self to stop being an arm chair critic/commentator and work with people giving them constructive criticisms, encouragement and my own time/funds and skills so that my future generations will never have to endure such misfortunes as I have and live in a peaceful society where the conditions are such that the best human potential are put to constructive (not destructive) use.

            I am not spending my time looking for the that perfect leader/team with a perfect plan to implement at that perfect time. I am fully aware of the socio-political culture/ethos, the challenges they face in extricating themselves both from the physical (loss of property to injuries/disabilities suffered and loss of relatives/family) and not-so-physical effects (mindset, trauma, mythologies, superstitions, beliefs, traditions, ingrained loyalties etc)of the war/conditions of war, the constraints imposed by the overall governance/political architecture, the interpersonal dynamics between political leaders and internal party dynamics. I am fully aware of the massive brain drain and the lack of human (with the right know-how for this time/context) and financial resources which is impacting all sections of our society (both public and private)- Schools to Hospitals to local Businesses to Local/provincial governments. I am fully aware of yawning gap between the massive wants and needs of the people vs the resources available for mobilization. My father spent 10 months of his time there. I am interacting constantly with people on the ground assisting them with resources to the best of my ability. And I still want to do more. This is what we face. It will be with us for a while.

            In this environment we must learn to asses situations with a great sense of fairness and empathy. We must take a constructive approach in encouraging our leaders. We must encourage people to move from talkers to doers. We must encourage the great many with varying talents to contribute instead of maligning them with statements like bootlicker, moles, patroniser of rapists etc. We must be an example to others so that, both the young and old, put themselves at service to our people rather than getting scared off by publicity/our behaviour. Anyone and everyone have something that they could contribute no matter how insignificant it might look to us. Heaping scorn on them, throwing mud at what they do by interpreting through our colored lenses will never serve the interests of our long suffering people. I spent my life at both ends of the war. I hate what I see in the attitude of most of the commentaries here. Time to change for the better if you really care.

            On a side note. My mother a Baba devotee. When US and UK advised their citizens to be cautious about Baba given the media coverage on allegations of sexual abuse and magic I confronted my mother. As anyone she was disgusted. However she still chose to follow his teachings as it gave her great spiritual comfort. Not the man but his message. And I know my mother is a not a supporter of Rapists or condone sexual abuse. And political leaders of all kinds courted Baba and to this day (even after his passing) they remain that way despite allegations that it is that political clout which led him to escape justice. There are others who claim the whole thing was a total fabrication. Such is their believes/passions. This is the socio-cultural context of our region one I hope will change as the region develops and societal attitudes change. But it will happen in its own time. Now lets get back to work.

      • 4
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        Dr. RN,

        The CM’s office has debunked pretty much everything this guy wrote and he has nothing to stand on.

        By the way, Sarvananthan in his earlier writings elsewhere used to take pride in his being a “heretic” among Tamils. What is more, the person who goes as Heretic on CT was the one who brought into CT’s comments pages the link to the article by Sarvananthan condemning the CM; the editors picked it up or were asked to publish it later. And rather than actively participate in this thread from the beginning, Heretic goes into hiding from CT, and surfaces after things have quieted down, to selectively concur with the people who supported Sarvananthan.

        Moreover, for someone who lives in Jaffna, Heretic’s comments in these pages show signs of having lived overseas and familiarity with the West.

        Put all of these together, and you will have a good idea of who Heretic is. And rather than confronting the implosion of his original article, true to form, he goes off on a tangent, moves the goalpost and moronically questions the CM’s suggestion to do some basic journalistic fact-checking by calling his office before such scurrilous articles are published. How revealing.

        • 1
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          Agnos,

          “Put all of these together, and you will have a good idea of who Heretic is. And rather than confronting the implosion of his original article, true to form, he goes off on a tangent, moves the goalpost and moronically questions the CM’s suggestion to do some basic journalistic fact-checking by calling his office before such scurrilous articles are published. How revealing.”

          Thank you for your feed back. I am happy because you are reading my comments.

          I am not Dr MS. Sorry to have confused you and maybe even others. There are many in Jaffna who dislike what the CM has become. I am one of them.

  • 1
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    “The Chief Minister appreciates and welcomes fair criticism of his official functions, and only expects that a view from his office is sought prior to publication of articles that are manifestly intended to malign him.”

    Is this not an attempt of censorship?

    Has any other politician openly made a request like this?

    • 1
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      It is strange that Dr. R.N. ‘s only response is that Dr. M.S. should respond. Why doesn’t he wax eloquent on the CM’S response? He was willing to weigh in on a one sided article by Dr. M.S. and take the CM to task. Why doesn’t he comment about how Dr.M.S. had wildly misrepresented facts and express his disappointment in him?

      As for heretic’s ridiculous claim about censorship, RK gives a very clear response. The CM had asked newspapers to do what every responsible journalist is supposed to do – check with the source whether they have any comment on the story they want to carry before they do so. That is basic fact checking.

      I’m more concerned about colombo telegraph not carrying the response.

      • 0
        1

        Chatura m,

        Thank you for your comment.

        My understanding is that the response and “censorship” request were only sent to the Sunday Observer.

        I agree that journalists should try to check the facts but wish to state again that this might be impossible. Checking facts is even more difficult for citizen journalists, freelancers etc who cannot claim to be employed by well known media. This applies to Dr MS.

        Would the CMs office have replied to a fact checking request especially from Dr MS? According to their response Dr MS has been in contact with them but we do not have more details of these contacts.

        Last but not least: I still consider this as an attempt of censorship. To my best knowledge other politicians have not made requests like this.

        I fail to understand who should contact the office of the CM: the publisher or the writer of an article. Who decides what is “malign”?

        I am not going to contact the office of the CM for any further information nor will I ask their opinion in case I decide to try to publish something on the CM and/or NPC.

        • 0
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          I was actually wondering whether this merits a response. Checking facts may be difficult! !!!! So let’s forget about doing it! !! Bro,journalism, whether by professionals or ‘citizens’ requires fact checking. It’s mandatory. If they can’t they shouldn’t be writing. Note how Tisaranee always gives a footnote regarding the source of the facts and then gives her opinion.

          Facts MUST be checked. No writer should embark on a writing assignment without checking. Editors and publishers should also verify that the writer has done so.

          Opinions on verified facts are, of course, entirely up to the individual. You can criticise anybody on their stated economic policy or for instance the CM ‘s decision to remain neutral at the election.

          The CM’S request for fact verification is therefore asking a newspaper to carry out its basic obligations. If you don’t get this you should possibly stick to reading Lanka e news and c news and the like. ..

  • 1
    0

    “The Chief Minister appreciates and welcomes fair criticism of his official functions, and only expects that a view from his office is sought prior to publication of articles that are manifestly intended to malign him.”

    After reading the end of the response again I still consider this an attempt of censorship.

    The real question that nobody has answered is:

    Is “fair criticism” meaning a benign article or opinion always welcome without contacting the office of the CM while “malign” articles need prior approval from the said office?

    This is not fact checking.

    Btw I have friends who do not receive information from, for instance, the NPC so that they cannot check facts. How to check facts when nobody replies to information requests?

    After this PR fiasco that very few have noticed I do not want our CM to have any kind of provincial police powers. That is my “malign” opinion and applies to all the other provinces also.

  • 3
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    A Reply to the Private Secretary to the Chief Minister of Northern Province

    Muttukrishna Sarvananthan

    04 August 2015

    I read the response titled “Chief Minister’s position” by the “Private Secretary to the Chief Minister\Northern Province” in the Sunday Observer of 02 August 2015 to my opinion piece titled “Wigneswaran unravelled” in the Sunday Observer of 26 July 2015. The Private Secretary to the CM claims that my allegations are “malicious and defamatory”. I challenge the Chief Minister to take legal action against me if my claims are indeed “malicious and defamatory”.

    It may be true that more Hindu temples were destroyed or damaged than places of worship of any other religious faith in Sri Lanka during the entire course of the quarter century of civil war between 1983 and 2009. However, my claim that “As a matter of fact many more Churches and Mosques were attacked than Hindu temples….” refers to the post-civil war period only (May 2009 to date). Moreover, I referred to the complaint by the CM to Dalai Lama (as reported by Tamil newspapers in Sri Lanka) and not to his Kannapiran memorial address. Although I do not entirely trust the numbers of Hindu places of worship destroyed or damaged disclosed by the Private Secretary to the CM (citing various sources) in his response, I may agree that, since 1983 to date, more Hindu places of worship were destroyed or damaged than places of worship of any other religion in Sri Lanka.

    The Chief Minster should clarify whether his meeting with the RSS Chief was at the World Hindu Congress conclave or separate one-to-one meeting. If it was the former he could be forgiven, but not if it was the latter.

    The fact that the Private Secretary to the CM has not disputed the CM’s visit to the Premananda ashram in Trichy, the commemorative meeting for Premananda in Colombo in March 2015, and the CM’s letter to the Prime Minister of India pleading on behalf of the co-convicts along Premananda confirm the claims made in my opinion piece.

    The Private Secretary’s claim that the CM has had a number of “………productive meetings with” personnel from overseas and local including this author is untenable. I would greatly appreciate if the private Secretary to the CM reveals the tangible benefits to the people of the Northern Province emanating from such “productive meetings”.

    I do agree that I have been in touch with the CM virtually via electronic mail on matters of importance to the province, but nothing productive happened except in just one case; whereby I facilitated the donation of used (but high quality) school books to the Provincial Ministry of Education by a leading international school in Colombo in March 2014. Pursuant to requests made by couple of professional colleagues I had contacted the CM to see whether my research institution could be of any use to the newly formed Northern Provincial Council (NPC). However, to date the CM has not reciprocated positively. When I sought an appointment for a foreign delegation to meet the CM in February 2015, the CM asked me to contact a Minister of the NPC, who has been dodging my emails and telephone calls in spite of initially expressing interest in the meeting; finally, I gave up.

    In his response to my opinion piece, the most untenable defence of the Private Secretary to the Chief Minister is on my claims about Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan. I reiterate my claims made against Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan in the opinion piece in the Sunday Observer of 26 July 2015 and subsequently in the Colombo Telegraph. If my claims about Nimalan Karthikeyan are in fact “defamatory” as claimed by the Private Secretary to the CM, I challenge the former to take legal action against me. The facts are as follows.

    Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan joined the UNDP in 2002 after the ceasefire agreement between the GoSL and the LTTE as the Deputy Project Manager of the Umbrella Project of the UNDP, which was superseded by the Transition Programme in 2003. Nimalan later joined the TRO in Colombo (the humanitarian front organisation of the LTTE banned by various western countries including the UK and USA, but continues to operate in Australia even today) and appeared as its spokesperson on television in Colombo after the Tsunami of 26 December 2004. According to the Sunday Times newspaper (12th July 2015), Nimalan Karthikeyan was also a member of the LTTE delegation during the last round of peace talks held in Geneva in February 2006 during the Rajapaksa regime. http://www.sundaytimes.lk/150712/news/us-tells-wigneswaran-to-work-with-govt-scale-down-genocide-talk-156712.html

    In light of the foregoing, CM’s condemnation of my “defamatory and baseless allegations made against Karthikeyan” and unequivocal denial that “…Karthikeyan was ever a Tamil Tiger member in any capacity whatsoever…” is untenable. Moreover, this author never claimed that Karthikeyan was a member of the LTTE; my claim was that Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan was “a former Tamil Tiger mole in the UN….”

    If indeed “Karthikeyan is a respected former officer of the UNDP in Sri Lanka” as claimed by the Private Secretary to the CM, why did he join an LTTE front organisation, TRO, in late 2004. If Nimalan had not joined the LTTE delegation for peace talks with the government in February 2006, why has he not denied the claim by the Sunday Times of 12th July 2015? Would the Chief Minister explain to the public whether Nimalan Karthikeyan was sacked by the UNDP or whether he left the UNDP voluntarily and joined the TRO in late-2004?

    This author was a member of the inter-agency United Nations Mission to the Eastern and Northern Provinces of Sri Lanka in November 2002 (along with Nimalan) and met with a number of government officials (both provincial and national in Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Vavuniya, Trincomalee, and Batticaloa), UN field staff (including in Kilinochchi), representatives of the local, national, and international non-governmental organisations, civil society members, and two high ranking LTTE officials in Kilinochchi; namely Pulithevan (prior to his appointment as the Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat of the LTTE) and Thuyavan (Head of Tamil Eelam Economic Development Organisation – TEEDO). This was the first time I met Nimalan. Most of the members of this inter-agency UN Mission were foreign nationals working for the UNDP and UNHCR in Geneva. The Head of the Mission was from the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) of the UNDP in Geneva. There were three locals representing two different UN agencies, but only Nimalan and I could understand and speak Tamil.

    I do not want to delve into the details of the meeting with the high ranking LTTE officials in Kilinochchi in this reply. But I still have the transcripts of that meeting which made me to suspect that Nimalan was a LTTE mole. Nimalan’s close association with the TRO in 2004 and beyond confirmed my earlier suspicion. These are highly sensitive issues, especially in light of the upcoming parliamentary elections. If the Chief Minister requires further evidence I am willing to provide such evidence either in private or in public after the 17th August 2015.

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      Dr MS,

      Thank you for your response.

      I am afraid that very few will read your response unless it is published as a separate article on CT.

      Unfortunately I have no time to comment now.

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      Dr MS,

      “If the Chief Minister requires further evidence I am willing to provide such evidence either in private or in public after the 17th August 2015.”

      The public has the right to know. Why wait until elections are over? The CM is not a candidate.

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      Aha the cat is out of the bag. The reason for this guy’s vengeance is clear. The CM has spurned his offer to tie up his ngo with the provincial council and the CM has not met the guy he wanted him to meet. Oh dear. Thanks for putting things in perspective Bro.

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        ChaturaM,

        Does MS have an NGO?. Can you elaborate please. New to me. Thanks

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        “Pursuant to requests made by couple of professional colleagues I had contacted the CM to see whether my research institution could be of any use to the newly formed Northern Provincial Council (NPC). However, to date the CM has not reciprocated POSITIVELY.”

        Are you trying to lobby the CM to favor your research institution?. Did you ask the NPC to define a project and open a tender process so that other capable institutions could submit their proposals?. If not why not?

        Why should the CM respond to you “POSITIVELY” if he perceives you as trying to exert influence that is inappropriate?.

        There is a proverb in Tamil – Soliyan Kudumbi Summa Aadathu. MS I am thoroughly disappointed that there are more to the story than you initially choose to write. The reason now you are hoping mad is very clear. I am sorry to say this brings into question your own motives.

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      Muttukrishna Sarvananthan “my claim was that Rasiah Nimalan Karthikeyan was “a former Tamil Tiger mole in the UN….” “

      (a)Dont you understand that every Tamil is a Tiger! in the eyes of Sinhalease!
      (b)are you a mole too if so for whom?

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      Dr MS,

      “I had contacted the CM to see whether my research institution could be of any use to the newly formed Northern Provincial Council (NPC). However, to date the CM has not reciprocated positively. When I sought an appointment for a foreign delegation to meet the CM in February 2015, the CM asked me to contact a Minister of the NPC, who has been dodging my emails and telephone calls in spite of initially expressing interest in the meeting; finally, I gave up.”

      I have unfortunately heard similar stories from friends. I believe that the NPC leadership quite simply wants to work only with people who not create waves and rock the boat. You are not the typical “yes man” they want and thus they do not want you. In addition they are afraid of a man with your educational background. You are overqualified and not politically suitable because of your past activities.

      This kind of behavior has changed the investment and cooperation plans of people I know. Some people (often Diaspora) have offered their knowledge or been willing to start small businesses but there has been no interest at all. They have not contacted the CM but some ministers and leading government servants.

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    muthukrishna’s article is obviously prejudiced it is his personal wish to visit premananda or any other swami no one has the right to comment on that as a hindu it is his duty to safeguard his religion similarly muslims have a duty to safeguard islam and Buddhists to safeguard Buddhism from fanatics
    we have seen how people printed images of the Buddha in underwear distributed statutes of the Buddha made out of chocolate to poor children
    if premananda being a rapist is the issue what about catholic priests being homosexual and people worshipping them, like I said before the mere fact that one is a politician cannot prevent a person from practicing or following ones religious beliefs convictions

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      The issue is not about the personal wish of CVW’s right to visit (premananda) as you have said who is now dead.
      But the fact here is that the so called swami was convicted and sent to prison on evidence by a legally constituted court of law in India following legal proceedings in which he was found guilty.
      The question is,if is it proper for a person who held office as SC judge before he got elected as CM of the NPC by visiting the ashram has in any way devalued his self esteem and brought disrepute to the office he holds?

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    Dr MS,

    “One such was against the former Chief Secretary of the Northern Province (top most civil servant at the provincial level), Mrs. Ramesh Wijeyaluckshmi (the first ever female Chief Secretary in the country and a widow). Whatever the political differences between the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary, the insinuation of a sexual nature against the former Chief Secretary sometime in 2014 is an affront to women in general and the widows in particular.”

    Is there an independent source to verify this claim or is it just word against word?

    The CMs office has not commented on this in their response have they?

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    I wish to remind readers of the infamous “circular” violating the fundamental rights of government servants in the North. The circular was withdrawn unconditionally when Mrs. Ramesh Wijeyaluckshmi took the matter to the Supreme Court.

    Please post a copy of this attempted circular here as a comment if possible.

    In my humble opinion the “circular” is another fact that shows what kind of a person the CM is.

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      Yes it is. In my humble opinion you are on a witch hunt. You made claims and you have got a rebuttal. But you ignored providing a response supporting why your claims against the CM as religious bigot and sexist still stand. Instead now you are going on another tangent.

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    we have seen how effective the indian judiciary has been in the recent past JAyalalithas case , salman khan case all show that karunanidhi who has swindled billions has not even been charged before a court of law
    there are siituations in which miscarraige of justice have occurred the case of the guildford four, maguire seven show us that even in a clean country like teh UK the judgment is not always correct
    there were and are christian fanatics behind and they are prepared to spend any amount to insult another religion, he has been a judge for a very long period of time time and his job was to make judgments , obviously he would looked into all these
    even if premananda may be guilty the CM did not try to convert people or force people to worship premanananda as human being he has the liberty to practice/follow his belief
    He did not abuse his position as CM e.g he doe not say believe in premananda i will give u a job, loan etc nor is he marketing or promoting premananda in his public speeches etc

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