26 September, 2020

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Is The President Acting “Against The Country”

By R. Sampanthan

R Sampanthan MP

R Sampanthan MP

I wish to make a statement to place on record the position of the Tamil National Alliance regarding the Motion that has been put forward for debate and related matters of public importance. It is indeed ironic that the government now at this late stage seeks the imprimatur of Parliament for its own dire failings. This government, which has so brazenly turned Parliament into an object of ridicule – by enticing unscrupulous members of the opposition to cross over for personal gain and by providing executive posts to almost half the members of the house – now turns to Parliament on a question of fundamental importance to the country. It is plainly clear to the entire country that this turn to Parliament is nothing but a cheap political sleight of hand, and it is a great misfortune to the people of this country that their government is more interested in playing immature political tricks than in dealing with important matters of national reconciliation and foreign policy with sobriety and wisdom.

Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva has already announced the country’s “non-cooperation with the envisaged investigation. What then is the point of this exercise in Parliament? Is the government so insecure with its isolationist policy that it wishes to share the blame with Parliament and use Parliament to rubber stamp the obnoxious pronouncement by the government’s representative abroad?

The Motion before us is illustrative of the frivolity that has characterised the government’s attitude to reconciliation and accountability. The Motion refers to a resolution by the “Human Rights Commission”, although the United Nations (UN) Commission on Human Rights was replaced by the Human Rights Council more than eight years ago. Further, the Motion refers to the Council resolution as one that is “against Sri Lanka”. The resolution affirmed the Council’s “commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of Sri Lanka”. How then can the government claim that this resolution is “against” the country?

On that point, I wish to raise the question as to whether, by the government’s own logic, His Excellency the President was acting “against the country” when he issued a Joint Statement with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on 26 May 2009 where it is stated that:

“The Secretary-General underlined the importance of an accountability process for addressing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law”

and where the President made an undertaking that:
“the Government will take measures to address those grievances.”

Mr. Speaker, the internationalisation of the question of accountability and justice in respect of violations committed by both sides during the war was entirely on account of a considered decision made by the government and the President in May 2009. That decision was a correct one, and the governance of the country would have been significantly smoother if the government had only made good on its own assurances to the Secretary General. But that was not to be. The government reneged on its promise to the Secretary General, which led to him appointing a Panel of Experts to advice him on implementing his agreement with the Sri Lankan government.

Instead of keeping his promise to the Secretary General, President Mahinda Rajapaksa appointed the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) on 15 May 2010. The LLRC released its final report on 16 December 2011. The TNA welcomed a number of the LLRC’s recommendations dealing with human rights issues including displacement, land dispute resolution, detention, media freedom and investigations into extra-judicial killings and enforced disappearances. To date merely a handful of these constructive recommendations have been implemented. The government’s own claims about progress have been contradictory. In February 2014, Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris asserted in Parliament that 85% of the recommendations had been fully implemented. Meanwhile, the President himself informed the UN Secretary General in May 2014 that only 30% of the LLRC recommendations had been fully implemented. We recall that the Minister of Plantations Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press conference in March 2013 claimed that 99% of recommendations had been fully implemented. We therefore note that the government has been completely disingenuous in reporting progress with respect to implementing these recommendations. Moreover, many recommendations the government deems ‘fully implemented’ have in fact not been implemented at all. For instance, in January 2014, the government claimed to have fully implemented the recommendation on investigating past attacks on media personnel. In proof of such a claim, the government cited the online complaints mechanism available to journalists to complain to the Sri Lanka Press Council, which is a highly ineffective mechanism that contributes more towards restricting media freedom rather than promoting it. Meanwhile, investigations into the assassination of the Editor of The Sunday Leader, Lasantha Wickrematunge, the disappearance of journalist Prageeth Eknaligoda and the numerous attacks on the staff and offices of the Jaffna-based Uthayan newspaper, are either incomplete or nonexistent. Moreover, in January 2014, the government claimed it fully implemented the LLRC recommendation on the investigation and prosecution of illegal armed groups. Yet many identified perpetrators of gross human rights violations, who belonged to these groups and enjoyed the patronage of the government, continue to enjoy impunity.

Though the LLRC did not have a direct mandate to address accountability issues, it did, however, possess a mandate with respect to ensuring “national unity and the non- recurrence of ethnic tensions in the future”. It is in this context that the LLRC sought to also deal with the question of accountability. The TNA in its response to the LLRC published in January 2013 expressed disappointment with respect to the Commission’s findings on accountability. The LLRC’s analysis was flawed for a number of reasons including weaknesses in methodology and in the application of international law to the facts surrounding the last stages of the war. We note, however, that the LLRC called for investigations into specific incidents involving the death of civilians. These include the alleged attack on civilians in Chundikulam by the Navy on 10 May 2009, an incident at Mathalan on 20 April 2009 where the Army allegedly prevented civilians from crossing over to government controlled area, and the government shelling of civilians in Pokkanai. Yet no genuine steps have been taken to investigate these incidents. The Army Board on the Recommendations of the LLRC, in its report released on 24 January 2013, observed that “the questions whether civilian casualties in fact occurred or whether such incidents were collateral or incidental damages that are inherent with the vagaries of war have not been answered affirmatively by the LLRC” [sic]. The Board recommended the appointment of another Army Board of Inquiry to investigate allegations contained in the LLRC Report and the Channel Four footage. The Army then appointed a Court of Inquiry to investigate these allegations, which concluded in February 2013 that “instances of shelling referred to in the LLRC Report were not caused by the Sri Lanka Army.” Moreover, a Navy Board of Inquiry concluded that “the allegations made against the Sri Lanka Navy that it fired at civilian targets are baseless as there is no evidence to indicate that the Navy personnel were responsible for any attacks on civilians or civilian property either deliberately or by negligence.” The reports of the Army Court of Inquiry and the Navy Board of Inquiry have not been published to date. This policy of secrecy and non- transparency is entirely consistent with the government’s failure to publish the Report of the Udalagama Commission, which made certain crucial findings on certain gross human rights violations, including the killing of five students in Trincomalee and the killing of 17 aid workers in Muttur in 2006.

It is precisely because of the failure of the government to conduct a credible domestic inquiry that the Secretary General was compelled to take steps himself to give effect to his agreement with the President. The Terms of Reference provided to the UN Panel of Experts on accountability in Sri Lanka was fundamentally based on the Joint Statement made by the President and the Secretary General. In fact the very purpose of the Panel was stated in the Terms of Reference as “advis[ing] the Secretary General on the modalities, applicable international standards and comparative experience relevant to the fulfilment of the joint commitment to an accountability process having regard to the nature and scope of violations.”

When the Panel presented its report on 31 March 2011, it was clear that they had conducted a meticulous study of the steps that needed to be taken, both by the Sri Lankan government and the United Nations, “having regard to the nature and scope of the violations”. The Panel’s examination of the nature and scope of the violations – a necessary part of their mandate – revealed credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by both parties. The allegations laid down in detail in the Report were a shocking revelation of the barbarity and unlawfulness that characterised the conduct of both parties during the last stages of the war. In respect of the government, the Report found credible allegations of a number of war crimes and crimes against humanity of murder, extermination, imprisonment, persecution and disappearances. Critically, the Panel found that the majority of civilian casualties during the last stages of the war were on account of indiscriminate shelling by government forces. On the part of the LTTE, the Panel found credible allegations of war crimes and the crimes against humanity of murder. The Panel found that the credible allegations suggested criminal culpability on the part of senior military and government leaders as well as senior LTTE leaders.

Mr Speaker, the government has, as is typical of their engagement with the United Nations, sought to vilify the eminent members of the Panel, which included Mr. Marzuki Darusman – a respected diplomat and former Attorney General of Indonesia, Ms. Yasmin Sooka – a former commissioner of the South African and Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, and Professor Steven Ratner – a credentialed academic from the United States. Despite the indecent vitriol of the government on the home front where it equated these respected international experts with terrorists, it cannot ignore the fact that it participated of its own volition in the deliberations of the UN Panel of Experts. While posturing to its domestic audience as defiant champions of non-interference, the government dispatched a high level delegation to New York which made comprehensive submissions to the Panel on 22 February 2011. The members of the delegation are named at page 127 of the Panel’s Report. They included the then Attorney General and incumbent Chief Justice Mohan Pieris, Foreign Secretary Romesh Jayasinghe, the Sri Lankan Permanent and Deputy Representatives to the UN in New York and an Adviser to the Foreign Ministry.

Based on its finding of credible allegations of international crimes committed by both sides, the Panel recommended that the government “immediately commence genuine investigations into alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law committed by both sides involved in the armed conflict.” It also recommended that the UN Secretary General establish an independent international mechanism to: (1) monitor and assess the extent to which the government is carrying out an effective domestic accountability process; (2) conduct investigations independently into the alleged violations; and (3) collect and safeguard for appropriate future use information provided to it that is relevant to accountability for the final stages of the war. It also recommended that the UN Secretary General conduct an internal review of the actions by the United Nations system during the war, and that the UN Human Rights Council be invited to reconsider its 2009 resolution in light of the Panel Report.

Mr. Speaker, it is notable that pursuant to the release of the Panel Report, the Secretary General transmitted the Report to the President of the Human Rights Council and to the Government of Sri Lanka. He refrained from constituting an international investigation himself, even though that course of action was recommended by the Panel of Experts and the Secretary General’s legal advisers at the Office of Legal Affairs advised him repeatedly that he had the legal power to do so. The Secretary General’s immense caution in this regard exposes the government’s untruths about an international conspiracy against it. The reality is that the Secretary General was exceedingly generous towards the government by providing it the time and space to do what it had promised, even at the cost of failing to heed the recommendations of his own Panel.

Mr. Speaker, in light of the Panel Report and the government’s prevarications, the UN Human Rights Council was compelled to act when it passed Resolution 19/2 in March 2012 titled “Promoting Reconciliation and Accountability in Sri Lanka.” The resolution was mild; it merely called on the government of Sri Lanka to implement the constructive recommendations of the LLRC and to take all necessary additional steps to fulfil its relevant legal obligations and commitment to initiate credible and independent actions to ensure justice, equity, accountability and reconciliation for all Sri Lankans. In short, Mr. Speaker, the Human Rights Council did precisely what the Secretary General himself had done previously: give the government further time and space while encouraging it to make progress on its guarantees. And yet, the government’s injudicious outbursts against the co-sponsors of the resolution was totally at odds with the courtesy it had been provided. We must recall that this resolution was passed nearly two and a half years ago. I ask, why was the government so hostile to this friendly exhortation by the very countries that supported its war? Would this country not have benefited from a more mature response by its government? Instead of making progress as requested, the government became even more intransigent. Notwithstanding this attitude, the Human Rights Council adopted a very similar follow-up resolution in March 2013. Again, the government failed miserably to accept the offers of engagement from a restrained Human Rights Council. Instead, it continued to attack those concerned over its post-war trajectory.

Mr. Speaker, it was inevitable that in 2014, the patience of Sri Lanka’s friends had worn thin. The recent resolution finally established a comprehensive investigation to undertake the inquiries which the government had failed to undertake for five long years. Today, that investigation has been constituted and by finally establishing the truth of what happened during and after the final years of the war, it will provide some respite to victims who continue to endure the stifling oppression of a triumphalist military presence. We continue to hope that even at this late stage, the government accepts the invitation of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to participate constructively in the investigation, including by providing investigators access to victims, witnesses and forensic evidence. It must be known, Mr. Speaker, that the failure of the government to accept the offer to cooperate with the investigation will only send Sri Lanka further down the path of isolation. This is indeed a strange path for Sri Lanka to take. Sri Lanka has a proud history of active participation in the field of international criminal law, far surpassing the contributions of other similarly circumstanced countries. In fact, Sri Lankan judges and lawyers from the Attorney General’s Department have worked at all levels of international tribunals as judges and prosecutors. Sri Lankan lawyers – including incumbent Justices of the Supreme Court – have helped prosecute heads of state, senior government functionaries, military commanders and rebel leaders from the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda and East Timor. Meanwhile Sri Lankan judges – including former Chief Justice Asoka de Silva, former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Justice Nihal Jayasinghe and the late Justice Raja Fernando – have served on tribunals for Rwanda, Cambodia and Sierra Leone. Moreover, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, Palitha Kohona was the Chairman of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and other Arabs of the Occupied Territories. The government did not treat such participation as a violation of the sovereignty of any nation. In fact Mr. Kohana’s report to the UN General Assembly was sharply critical of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian civilians.

Today, the government’s isolationism provides a stark contrast with its enthusiastic participation in international justice processes for other countries.

Mr. Speaker, the government’s current course is also at odds with the conduct of its own leaders in the past. President Mahinda Rajapaksa was some time ago a leading champion of the rights of victims. On 11 September 1990, he attended the 31st session of the UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances in Geneva. He was prevented from carrying documentary evidence to the Working Group, when the police confiscated 533 documents containing information about missing persons and 19 pages of photographs of missing persons and extra-judicial killings. Upon his return, he filed a fundamental rights application before the Supreme Court, whereby he claimed that his fundamental rights to freedom of expression and freedom from arbitrary arrest had been violated. He subsequently made several remarkable statements in this very House. On 25 October 1990 he justified his decision to engage the international community on the matter of Sri Lanka’s human rights record at the time. He stated: “I took the wailings of this country’s mothers. Do I not have the freedom to speak about them? It was the wailing of those mothers which were heard by those 12 countries” (page 366 of the Hansard, 25 October 1990). He even admitted to asking donor countries to impose human rights conditions to giving aid (page 365 of the Hansard, 25 October 1990). The most striking of Mahinda Rajapaksa’s statements in Parliament at the time was perhaps his avowal that “If the government is going to deny human rights, we should go not only to Geneva, but to any place in the world, or to hell if necessary, and act against the government” (page 424 of the Hansard, 25 January 1991).

Mr. Speaker, recent history bears out that countries which have cooperated constructively with UN human rights mechanisms have emerged from those processes for the better – as respected members of the international community and with stronger domestic institutions to protect human rights. The approaches of Sierra Leone, Colombia, Mexico, Nepal, Mali, Togo, the Ivory Coast and many others are available as examples to the government. Instead, the regime has chosen the path of the despots of North Korea and Syria which incidentally are now being debated in the Security Council. The lesson, Mr. Speaker, is clear – isolationism breeds further isolation and international censure. Instead, if Sri Lanka is to rehabilitate its image, it must deliver on its promises to the international community – both to devolve power in a meaningful way and ensure accountability for serious crimes.

Mr. Speaker, it now appears that the government has set its mind on defiance and seclusion. That is their prerogative. But one day, this country must and will reverse the choices of this regime. We hope that day will come soon, and when it comes, that reversal will benefit all peoples of this country. The scourge of impunity has affected the Tamil people in particular, but it is no stranger to peace-loving citizens of the South. We all remember the insurrections by youth in the South being brutally crushed, with credible estimates of tens of thousands of disappearances. This behaviour was later repeated in the

North, and now, racist forces are only beginning a pogrom of violence against the Muslim community. The black past of thousands of disappearances, killings, rapes, burnings and state brutality are not just a distant memory. Today, non-violent protestors in the South are shot at. Journalists are killed or sent into exile. Dissenters are not welcomed. In the North, the situation is even worse. People are not even allowed the troubled comfort of remembering their dead. Journalists from the critical press are routinely attacked, including in broad daylight. The recent report “Stop Torture” provides medical and forensic evidence suggesting that sexual violence and torture against Tamil women and men continues, with reports emerging from as late as January 2014. Further, the evidence suggests that this sexual violence is targeted systematically to suppress the political rights of the Tamil people.

Mr. Speaker, the government invokes national sovereignty to reject expressions of friendly concern and offers of international cooperation and assistance in the area of human rights. But the government’s notion of sovereignty is deeply flawed. Sovereignty does not mean seclusion; it does not entail the right to remain isolated. A proper understanding of the idea of sovereignty holds that it belongs to the people of a country and that it empowers them to engage confidently with the world as respected and equal members of the global community. Today, the most significant obstacle standing in the way of people exercising their sovereignty is this regime. This regime has stripped the people of this country their sovereignty by denying their rights, isolating their country and distancing its friends; this undermining of our sovereignty can never be countenanced for the purpose of protecting the narrow interests of a few. So today, when the government is called into question when it undermines the sovereignty of the people, the government has no right to complain of a breach of sovereignty. In fact, international expressions of concern and actions to express that concern strengthen the sovereignty of the people by making its exercise more real for the citizens of the country in whom sovereignty is reposed.

The forthcoming investigation by the United Nations is not “against” Sri Lanka. It is against perpetrators of gross violations of humanitarian and human rights law. It is against the culture of impunity that has victimised the whole country. It is against the disappearances of youth in the North as much as it is against past disappearances of youth in the South; it is against the crimes of Weliveriya, Mullivaikkal, and most recently Dharga Town. It is against the crimes of the LTTE and it is against the crimes of the regime. For these reasons, the TNA unequivocally welcomes this investigation into both sides. Just as we look forward to the investigation as an opportunity for the Tamil people to introspect on the crimes committed in our own name, we call on the government to use the investigation as an opportunity to dramatically break with the past and usher in a new era of justice, reconciliation and harmony amongst all Sri Lanka’s peoples.

*Statement in Parliament 17th June 2014 – R. Sampanthan MP Leader, Tamil National Alliance

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Latest comments

  • 18
    3

    Self preservations and self interest precedes country and faith. The minorities will have to chalk out a strategy to protect their blood, honour and property through private means as tax levied is used against the minorities.

    • 16
      2

      Hats off to TNA and Sampathan for standing tall and telling it as it is.

      THe UNP under the shameless dictator, Ranil Wickramsinghe is sitting on the fence as usual and Ranil is playing with himself. Ranil thinks that the Sri Lankan Parliament of corrupt morons is very important and considers himself a VIP there. Pathetic clown!

      Rather than stating clearly that BBS is a front of Gotabaya Rajapaksa the war criminal who should be tried in ope court, and calling for the BBS to be banned, Ranil is beating about the bush uttering platitudes as usual. The so called opposition leader, Ranil W, is a DISGRACE – indeed as bad as the Rajapaksa brothers and the corrupt Muslim politicians like Hakeem et al. who support the regime.

      • 2
        6

        Dodo – the dead bird

        Where was this intellectual when LTTE was running a muck for 30 odd years? Did he has a courage to open lips against the blood suckers? It is well obvious to everybody that this Sampanthan Goon was kneeling down with his tail between the legs in front of the ruthless Terra Leader Prebakaran and also praising and acknowleging Prebas uncivilised activities.

        I am not TNA puppet leader Samaba is reborn again to us to believe these preachings.

  • 14
    1

    good speech by Hon.Mp R.Sambandan. He is a well experienced and well educated gentlemen in all fields. If we had his wisdom as a countries main political stream , we could have gone far. I admire his views for reconcilliation and good governance. Even if there are pros and cons they are very constructive for successful administration.

    I also have word for my friend Maghribi.Even if Gnasara says that there are minorities, we dont believe as sri Lankans. We as Sri Lankans must work towards united and peaceful country. We have to educate our young generation about how to live in a multi cultural environment with dignity. We shouldnt not live in fear and isolation as a particular community. But we can live openly with others as Sri Lankans.

  • 6
    18

    Well if he is acting against the country, he is doing what the TNA did for many years isn’t he?

    • 10
      2

      Taraki,

      You have got to acknowledge that, despite any past mistakes in not standing up to the LTTE and condemning them, Sampanthan is a different breed of politician from the current crop, and this speech is one of the finest seen in SL parliament, and is statesmanlike.

  • 6
    2

    Of course the President is not acting like a true patriot. He has insulted his own religion by not supporting religious tolerance, he is going against the constitution of this country, and ignoring the fact that ALL citizens of any ethnicity or religion MUST be treated the same, and protected from violence. He and his evil brothers do NOTHING to stop the lawlessness and hate crimes against minorities. They are not true Sri Lankans.
    A true Sri Lankan, will prevent this country from going downhill, and prevent this country from starting yet another ethnic war.

  • 8
    1

    Mr.Sampanthan, howmany in the parliament will understand the flow of your language? you should get this translated and also issue as a handout if not already dne.

    • 3
      2

      translate in Sinhala i mean

  • 5
    2

    It is an open secret that both Gota and Namal are vying for the President’s post. At the same time MR too is hopeful that he will get a chance to continue his third term. If by chance MR manipulates a third term, Gota’s chances of becoming the President recedes as after a third term Namal will be more seasoned and will be more forceful than at the moment. Gota has been entertaining the idea of entering Politics, hence his efforts of beautifying the city of Colombo expecting to be returned by the voters at an election. Even if Gota gets elected he has no capacity to conduct himself in an August Assembly as the Parliament. That is why Mangala said that he is awaiting for Gota to come to Parliament. Gota has no debating skills but is very arrogant as a result. His arrogance stems from the backing he has from the Army. The backing from the Army too is from a small section of the Army because he has tread on many a corn of the Forces where quite a number have been retired after the war and there are yet a number within, who do not favour Gota’s style of administration expecting servility. Gota also has cultivated the BBS to muster the Sinhala Buddhist vote while Namal has cultivated the Nil Balakaya. There is friction between these two forces at the moment and will culminate at the opportune time. This sudden clash at Aluthgama in the absence of MR is an indication that Gota is opting to secure power through a Coup rather than being returned through the ballot. Now not only the North and the East that is Militerised but many more parts in the country after the Muslim riots, because Muslims are spread through out the country and serves ideally for Gota’s plans. Although MR’s thinking was displayed from his Tweets, there is little MR can do to avert Gota’s inroads. All said and done, the coming year is a decisive one for the Rajapaksa Family and the country.

    • 4
      3

      Gamini you seem very well informed. I hope you are wrong but I fear that you are right.

    • 1
      1

      I’ll bet on this coup analysis… Gota has good reputation as a man who can get things done, not only killing side but also in constructions and getting things in order. This is big plus for him. He must have lot of closed supporters who reiterate this over and over on his ears, telling that he is the only savior of Lanka.. and his group would plan unrest throughout the country and get the power through military coup. Wait for couple of big bombs going off very soon…

      • 1
        3

        AVB you are sadly mistaken, Gota has no real ability to speak off. All the construction work, beautification of the City including the plans for Traffic diversions in Colombo is the brain child of the very forces that helped the Rajapaksas to eliminate VP, after striking a deal with KP crowd. They are the ones who were responsible for hiring Bell Pottinger & Co first and the present Publicity Company as well.

      • 1
        0

        AVB,

        Gota, like many of our politicians, is good at doing things with the Govt (peoples) money. Let him prove his mettle by coming out with funds through his own effort by FDI or other. The private sector is now afraid of the Govt. Harry J is hardly heard of after his Hospital was taken away from him. The venerable Hayleys is now in the control of a Casino king. The respected John Keels are forced to join hands with international gamblers. Sri Lanka has lost his soul. Educated, decent people live in fear of the present and the future.

        Backlash

    • 0
      2

      A one BIG LOL

      • 3
        1

        sach

        “A one BIG LOL”

        What is there to be LOL about?

  • 6
    3

    “In February 2014, Minister of External Affairs, G.L. Peiris asserted in Parliament that 85% of the recommendations had been fully implemented. Meanwhile, the President himself informed the UN Secretary General in May 2014 that only 30% of the LLRC recommendations had been fully implemented. We recall that the Minister of Plantations Mahinda Samarasinghe at a press conference in March 2013 claimed that 99% of recommendations had been fully implemented”

    Mr. Sampanthan MP, has placed the above excellently well. It is such MATH that has been and is being publicized about Mullivaikaal deaths and Vanni displaced.

    It was to such ridiculous math that ‘NUMBERS GAME’ wanted to give the aura of a MARGA touch.

    Not stopping at that the mystique of the infallible satellite imagery too was added.

    A Tamil saying: Even if the crow bathes in the Ganges it can never become a swan. So with people for whom untruth is the very essence of their lives.

  • 4
    1

    Honourable D.S Senanayake’s selfless service to our country and thus, his motto was to put country before oneself. President is following our modern day politicians who put their self interest and power before anything!

  • 6
    1

    An excellent speech
    It is a summary of recent political history of Sri Lanka.
    Readers are kindly advised to save the speech for future reference.

  • 5
    3

    Excellent speech to make any parliamentarian proud. Penetrating, biting, candid and condemnatory of the government.

    • 1
      3

      S,Sivathasan:

      Sampanthan is not in a position to condemn anyone. If he has any credibility he would purge TNA of likes of Ananthi Sasitharan.

      You can read about what Ananthi Sasitharan’s husband Elilan did to
      Tamil youth and pregnant mothers during the war in DBSJ column. However, it is not that you haven’t done that already no eh?

      Is Sampanthan waiting for the UNHRC report to remove Ananthi Sasitharan from TNA?

      Besides, what happened to LTTE being the sole representative of Tamils? If not for the government, Sampanthan would not even be in a position to represent Tamils today!

      Clearly the “unconquerable genetic traits” of Tamils (your own words I quote), at least that of Sampanthan’s could not stand up to LTTE. It is the flawed genetics of Sinhalese that ultimately purged that cancer from this country.

      • 2
        0

        Navin

        “Sampanthan is not in a position to condemn anyone. If he has any credibility he would purge TNA of likes of Ananthi Sasitharan.”

        You may be right on this issue.

        You cannot demand Sampanthan to purge Ananthi Sasitharan while podian (boy) Weerawansa is still in the cabinet. You will do well to remember that this podian (boy) was part of the JVP’s pistol gang who never has apologized to the people for all those inhuman killings of innocent civilians.

        First tell MR to sack him and then demand Sampanthan to purge his party.

        Would you now demand MR to sack himself from his party and presidency for bribing VP in millions of rupees to rig elections.

        Would you now investigate the armed forces for their role in supplying arms, ammunition, medicine, etc to LTTE while it was fighting a stupid war against IPKF on behalf of the Sinhala/Buddhist state?

        Double standard.

  • 5
    2

    What a brilliant speech, made without emotion or rancour, stating the facts with clarity as the occasion merited. Mr Sambanthan has brought out clearly the need to hold war crimes trials to make those responsible for the deaths of civilians accountable. This alone can rescue Sri Lanka from the abyss into which it has been thrust.

    The duplicity of Rajapakse and others around him are made very evident. Here is a man shedding tears at the opportune time for the Sinhalese youth who had been massacred but not sparing a thought for the Tamil mothers whose children have been plucked away and brutally murdered. His acolytes like Kogona are no better. He is of the white flag fame, crying for Palestine but not blinking an eye when it came to killing those willing to surrender.

    It will be for the good of all Sri Lankans that a cathartic event like a war crimes trial is held. It will help to wash off all the much that has been collecting, a corrupt judiciary, a police that does not prevent crimes against Tamils and Muslims and an army that has becoming a killing machine, killing at the bidding of politicians. If we are to put an end to this, having a war crimes trial which brings independent judgment and punishment is a good thing. It will remove political thugs from the scene. It will provide a deterrence to future activity such as the massacres of the Sinhalese young and the thousands of Tamil civilians.

    In the meantime, Thank You Mr Sambanthan for the courageous speech.

  • 3
    2

    The armed forces are running the country through the puppet called the president,who dares not allow any investigation which may inevitably find military men guilty – along with the LTTE.
    The military have been eulogised as ‘heros’ and they believe it and are happy with it.
    Military men have been rewarded with high posts in the government and abroad as diplomats.
    If a UNHRC probe finds them guilty,this will be the ultimate ignominy.
    The president has to please the military to exist in his post,and win the forthcoming elections – presidential & parliamentary.

    This is why the ongoing excesses by the military are ignored, and the largest slice of the budget goes for defence.

    • 1
      0

      There is little doubt the armed forces are now running the country.
      Like it happens everywhere the army is allowed space in democratic
      countries it is only time before they develop their own ambitions.
      It cannot be different here and now. An unnecessary and excessive growth of the army, as encouraged by scheming men here, will further ruin an already declining country. An army controlled Sri Lanka will be easier for the Western powers to manipulate in their growing competition with China and Russia.

      Soon historians will gather to debate if it was SWRDs Sinhala Only Govt or the Mahinda Rajapakse Chinthana that destroyed a country that, in fairness to JRJ, he gave some economic strength from the depths of despair under Sirimavo’s misrule.

      The displacement of poor Muslims in Slave Island and Dematagoda; the attacks on Muslims in the rest of the country are all indications of the regime taking revenge on the Muslims for voting against the Govt – SLMC and other temporary coalitions notwithstanding.

      Kettikaran

  • 5
    1

    This is one of the finest speeches made by Mr Sampanthan.

  • 2
    11

    Is the President Acting Against the Country?

    Does this reflect the Power of Pillai?.

    Or Does Mr Sambandan imply that the President doesn’t care too hoots about Srilanka..

    • 1
      1

      K.A.Sumanasekera, You gave the answer. The President does not care two hoots for Sri Lanka. He never did. Nor does Gotabhaya or Basil, or Namal.

  • 2
    10

    Which country?

    He is certainly not acting against Srilanka.

    If he is against Tamil Elam which is good.

  • 6
    3

    The question is “is the president the presidnet of Sri Lanka or the President of Sinhala Sri Lanka”

  • 3
    1

    A candid, articulate, eloquent speech.

    A speech that will talked about in the years to come not only in SL the world over.

    Mr.Sampanthan rose to the occasion.

    This is the kind of politician SL need.

  • 2
    0

    This is the quality of contribution our Parliamentarians, from both sides of the house, were able to deliver and enrich our system of governance in the decades gone by. Hon. Sampanthan MP is one of those.
    The depth, content and power of his argument will impress anyone interested to learn of the Sri Lankan crisis. I recall the tough Stephen Succur of “Hardtalk” of the BBC interviewing him in Colombo
    on that occasion when GR was caught with his pants down. After 2 or 3 questions to “Mr Sampanthan” Succur changed his salutation to “Sir”

    Govts cannot be run on lies and in the belief if you escape enquiry one day you have done well. Rajapakse made promises to the UN, the SG-UN, India and many others and blatantly reneged on all of them.
    The truth is he is mortally afraid to give into anything that can be considered a concession to the Tamils in the fear this will be held against him, his descendants in the future – even if they were deserving, ethical, moral or legal. That is the tragedy. The question for the country to come to terms is should the interest of the present and future of 20 million people of the different races and religions in the land be subject to compromise and sacrifice to that of a single
    extended family who has done no less than ruin the lives of all of us?

    R. Varathan

  • 1
    4

    This old man knows how to use the platform to make statement and travel around the world on the expense of Tamil people cause but never part of the Tamil people.

  • 1
    0

    Excellent speech but what is the use? There are a large number of persons in parliament who don’t understand English. The Tamil newspapers will translate the speech into Tamil but the Sinhala papers may not do likewise, so the message may not reach the majority of the people.

  • 1
    1

    Hello, Hello, Hello.

    Why would a murderer allow an investigation to implicate himself, his brother and his army.

    The GoSL unilaterally tore up an internationally agreed “peace agreement”, without consultations with the co-sponsors, removed the UN and the local and international medias, closed all doors, a war without witness, directed all the civilians into a lagoon and bombed the daylight of them all.

    The MR regime is refusing to explain how and why more than 70,000 civilians were killed, including women, children, elderly, many bled to death, without water and medication. It needs to explain why it bombed the NFZ, Schools, places of worship, why those fleeing the war and those who surrender were massacred, why there is still 50 000 IDPs refused entry into their own homes and lands, and where are the 146 000 people still unaccounted for. What is the 17 battalions “protecting” the Tamils for?

    It all comes down to MR and Gota and leading to the Hague .

    We know the problems, what is the solution? – An Independent Separate State of Tamil Eelam for all Tamils – in the N&E, the Tamil Muslims and Upcountry Tamils. The sooner the better for Sri Lanka before it becomes a failed state.

    Enough time and space, Live and let live or be destroyed.

    Manicka Vasagar

  • 1
    2

    This imbecile need to thank MR for getting him the chance to speak his mind. If it was Parayabakaran he will be 6 feet under by now.

    • 0
      0

      Hey Eusense you are a bloody nuisance.

  • 1
    0

    CT readers will be interested
    [Edited out]

    We are sad to reveal nevertheless, so far none of the perpetrators of these crimes have been arrested. As of now Gnanasara and his drunken goons are roaming free inciting hatred and unleasing violence. Although the law compels their arrest, ironically it is seven Muslim victims who are now in police custody.

    Out of the nine Muslims killed, two were shot to death by BBS goons in Dharga Town on the 15th. There is no investigation how these murderers obtained fire arms. There has been no magisterial enquiry.

    It is well known that Medamulana MaRa started the terrorist organizations BBS and Sihala Ravaya. He nurtured and fattened them with the Government’s Secret Security Fund. The Buddhist terrorists (oxymoron? Ha, ha!!) are now wreaking havoc.

    Prior to his departure for Bolivia, the Mara instructed his criminal to use Gnanasara to create pandemonium among the Muslim community. And while his brother was faithfully carrying out “orders” he babahukumly tweeted from Bolivia “everyone please, exercise restraint”.

    Upon returning to the country, the first thing that this “concerned” President did was tour the devasted Aluthgama and Beruwala to inspect and admire the handiwork of his loyal brother. They hugged and embraced each other just like in that salivating photo readers have seen so many times on these pages and puked. Gota says to Mara “Aiye, hereafter no Sinhala Buddhist will ever vote for anyone but for you”. Mara says “Sadhu, sadhu, father will be very proud”.

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