26 September, 2018

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Listen To Vijayakala Before Shooting Her

By Shyamon Jayasinghe

Shyamon Jayasinghe

“There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.” Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

Exploiters

Our politicians have, essentially, been exploiters; trying at every turn to fish in troubled waters. The sole objective is to find some electoral dynamic to push themselves to power or to maintain themselves in power. This is why they have failed to navigate our nation toward progressive goals of economic advancement, fiscal managment, social healing and reconciliation of the broken arms of the diverse civilian population. The latest is the Vijayakala episode.

Out of Context

The Joint Opposition characteristically picked up a part of the State Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran’s speech at Veerasingham Hall on July 2nd. This has been, apparently, taken off context. Oh my! And did they not create a mad row! As they have done so many times in the past? Not one single protesting Southern MP bothered to raise the question: What are the facts? The solitary cue from the Deputy Minister’s reference to the LTTE in seemingly benign terms was enough catch for them. 

For one thing, the moment was fine as the New York Times story of an alleged Mahinda Rajapaksa’s mega scandal had just been out and was becoming the talk of the town. A diversion of public attention was necessary. Hence, we saw the Opposition MPs dancing in Diyawanna Oya. Member of Parliament, Prasanna Ranatunge, who is himself exposed to serious criminal charges relating to extortion, reportedly flew his massive body around and tried to snatch the “senkolaya,” which is the very symbol of Parliamentary dignity. Parliamentary dignity isn’t important for the Opposition; the power game is the driver of opposition muscular power.

Grasp the Facts

Therefore, at least in the writing forums let us have a decent breathing space and try and intelligently grasp the facts before us.

I have with me an English translation of the speech given by Vijayakala. Thanks to LankaEnews that carries that. I presume that is a correct transcription and I proceed herefrom on that assumption.

First, Deputy Minister Vijayakala tries to explain the serious existential hardships that the Tamil people go through in the North after the war and the downing of Prabhakaran. Tamil girls are being raped. “A six year-old girl was raped and killed….Our girls who are receiving no support from anyone have only one choice – commit suicide….There are 30,000 widows in the north and 12000 LTTE cadres in the rehabilitation camps. What is the government doing for them ?”

“Our people are selling goods at Polas and doing cement mixing .That is why they are forced to stage fasts. The previous government too did the same thing. Jobs shall be provided to our children. The war was confined to the North and east only. Hence a separate special development program shall be evolved for these two provinces. What has happened now is, special development programs are being implemented for other provinces, but not for the north and east.”

“Our patience is reaching the limit,” cried the Deputy Minister. 

Vijyakala was obviously speaking in anguish over the social injustice that the people in the Northern war-torn regions face. The absence of the protection of law-enforcing agencies in respect of  girls and women going on the road and the breakdwon of law and order was immediate in her mind. The neglect of devleopment in the North took ancilliary place in her speech. It is in the context of the protection and safety of the civilian population  that she figuratively sighed for the return of the LTTE. “If our children and women are to come home safely, an LTTE administration is again necessary,” are her precise words.

What would you make of that? We state in ordinary conversation that even the devil is necessary sometimes. One thing that observers all through the LTTE regime had commented on was the tight discipline that Prabhakaran had over the civil order. The average civlian in the North was under an umbrella of LTTE protection and LTTE-managed justice system that was perceived as being fair. That justice system was indeed superior to the one we had during the ten -year- long Rajapakse regime where decisions were taken by the King in Temple trees; Chief Justices removed illegally and unceremoniously; and policemen operated from MP’s offices. 

Vijayakala also mentioned about the developing drug scourge: “Today the drug scourge is on the rise in Jaffna. After  the war was over the political leaders are transporting drugs to Jaffna. That is why drug addiction has shot up in Jaffna.”

From this specific perspective of law and order and the basic protection of civilians alone was there anything wrong about the plea of this lady? The spoken human language has many shades and levels of meaning. I would rather think that Deputy Minister Vjiyakala had spoken rhetorically and that what she said cannot be interpreted literally. At least, she has the judicial right of  the benefit of the doubt.

Besides, Vijayakala has called for a pure UNP government next time. What does this mean? Nothing less than the fact that she has identified herself with the mainstraem political forces of the island. She isn’t segregational as an LTTE sympathizer should be.

Deflection

The Joint Opposition has obviously taken up this issue in order to deflect public attention from the serious charges raised by the New York Times. The JO are bound to try and take this further and try to put the government in a soup. On the other hand, it is our responsibiliy as ordinary civilains to let our heads govern us and not our misdirected emotions. Sri Lankans have had enough of being led by irrational emotional factors.

We have heard of the common wisdom: “Don’t shoot the messenger. Listen to the message.” There is a serious problem of governance in the North and there isn’t an iota of doubt about that. The people in the North are our brothers  sisters;they are an essential part of the body politic. The government must do something urgently to sort things out. The charge of discrimination in development programs is also serious.

Conclusion

We are obviously all happy and content that the LTTE is no more and Prabhakaran dead. The hidden fact that is hitting our eyes is that the causes of that uprising have not been given needed focus and attention. Southerners live in a self-deluded world that there would never be a repeat of that horrendous and brutal era that set back the clock for both the South and the North. Our military is safely ensconced in the North in large numbers. The gun will not silence a population that groans under a perceived and felt deep-seated social injustice. We must look at Vijayakala’s cry with the seriousness that deserves. “There’s no flesh or blood within this cloak to kill. There’s only an idea. Ideas are bulletproof.” ― Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

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Latest comments

  • 20
    2

    After the war ended the Tamil people expected the government to rebuild the Northern and Eastern provinces affected by war. This was not done under Mahinda Rajapaksa’s rule. The problem of land release, reparations for war damage, the release of political prisoners, humanitarian assistance to war widows, employment for the youth, a brand new constitution acceptable to all the three communities etc. were not addressed with any urgency. It was at best half-hearted. The LTTE ran an administration that was clean, corrupt free and efficient. Though dictatorial, the Tamils accepted LTTE administration. In contrast, the Tamil people now feel that they are ruled by a foreign army occupying their lands and houses. Put it another way, the causes that led to the civil war still persists and Tamil people are losing patience. In particular, President Sirisena has betrayed the trust reposed on him. He is opposed to an international probe into war crimes committed by both parties, he is opposed to reparations to LTTE families, he is opposed to meaningful sharing of power between the centre and periphery, Recently, the President constituted a Development Committee to the North sans the TNA MPs who put him in power. It was a classic case of biting the hands that fed him. Vijayakala being Minister should have exercised restraint in her language. She could have compared the situation under LTTE and at present but stopped short of calling for the return of the LTTE which remains banned by her own government.

  • 19
    3

    Which is the bigger crime? Saying that if Tigers were there the said crime would not have been committed or fooling all the people, stealing Rs 11 billion from the CB, which every man, woman and child including the Tamil men, women and children must pay for years to come? I leave it for you to judge fairly and without prejudice. Let is not judge VK as a Tamil woman but as a mother – not a Tamil mother but just as a mother.
    .
    .

    Would you punish an anguished mother while Ali Baba is still at large?

    • 7
      7

      Hey Edwin, from when did you become enlightened ditching all your previous lunatic behaviour. Did a coconut fall on your head to make your brain think correctly.

      • 5
        3

        Sit under the same tree and hope for a cure of your lunatic, racist behaviour.

        • 4
          0

          You are the lunatic racist who is denying Tamils equality in Sri Lanka. Look at the way Sinhala racists like you, are being treated abroad.

        • 1
          0

          lal loo its you again.

          Did it work for you?

      • 4
        2

        The thing is that here in ME we do not have coconut trees. So a falling coconut cannot explain it. I am more surprised than you by what I wrote, which is exactly how I feel. . But I do not know why I feel that way.

        • 4
          0

          Then a bunch of unripe dates must have fallen on your head.

        • 0
          0

          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 5
      0

      The point was not regarding the Stealing…. It was maintaining of Law and Order…… which has gone to the Dogs…… Judgements delivered are in favour of rougues and criminals of the Elite….. The poor man is cast into prision for robbing Four Mangoes or a Coconut to satisfy the hunger of his Children….. is this Justice…..

      While not condoning the actions of the Ruthless LTTE ….. it should be noted that the LAW PREVAILED AND JUSTICE PREVAILED !!!!! SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT

      • 1
        0

        Nonsense o’Cracy. How can you say that law and justice prevailed when children were being kidnapped to bolster the LTTE’s fighters?

    • 0
      0

      Dear ED

      Respect for the understanding of a Government Ministers concern for her subjects. I think all the elected representatives should take ownership of all their electorates and speak out for them thorough out the country we will change our Mother Land for good in few days.

  • 11
    0

    “Our politicians have, essentially, been exploiters”.
    UNP led by RW is a good example!
    Projects already accomplished:
    1. hiring Maitreepala Sirisena for the Prez election of 2015. (which has now backfired)
    2. Central Bank daylight robbery. (not only backfired it ruined the entire Yahapalanaya).
    3. Mega cabinet with million $$$ perks. (a joke in international politics.)
    4.Hambantota and Mattala deals. (that shows our inability to manage even a swimming pool and paddy storage facility).
    5. Highway deals.(easy way to make $$$ as commission).
    6. The most recent: NYT’s article and Mangala’s contradictory statements (e.g. see also Today’s lead story on CT).

  • 11
    1

    N&E are on the high end of scales (more than twice national average) when it comes to unemployment, under-employment, burglary with violence, alcohol consumption, drugs, police and army harassment violence against women and children and so on. Even bribes to police! The general perception is that under LTTE these ills were simply not there.
    Vijeyakala seems to have allowed her heart to take over her mind.
    She paid the price.
    .
    Compare this with dozens arrested by police over the killing of a leopard with sticks by villagers. Shooting down of tuskers with high powered rifles is rampant but no arrest/s ever never.
    .
    The Venerable Vendaruwe Upali Thero, the Anunayaka of the Asgiriya Chapter noting that Gotabhaya is referred to as a Hitler, suggested, “……..if that is the case he should be one…..”.
    We will be ripped to bits by international community wet and dry cleaners.
    Was any action taken?
    PS: Compare this with Vijeyakala’s transgression.

  • 10
    15

    Why Wellala politicians are trying hard to get rid of Army from the North? Because Army is doing a fantastic job in helping the low caste Demalu and empowering them. Wellala politicians who want to keep low caste Demalu under their control are worried that they might lose grip if the Army help to change the lives of low caste Demalu. TNA politicians blame Army for running business enterprises. Yes, they do run business enterprises and provide jobs for rehabilitated LTTE cadres who belong to low castes. Isn’t that a good thing?
    What happened when people at Vishwamadu which was one time a tiger den bid farewell to Col. Rathnapriya Bandu would have sent shock waves in the brains of Wellala politicians. Col. Bandu has done what Prabakaran, Wigneswaran, Sivajilingam, Sumbanthiran, Sambanthan or even Tamil Nadu politicians could not do and do not want to do. He had played the role of their mentor, their father, their brother, their advisor and virtually their leader. This is real reconciliation which is much better than Chandrika’s cosmetic reconciliation programs. Government should keep this kind of dedicated people and allow them to continue with good work instead of transferring them. Did the Government bow down to the pressure from TNA?

  • 7
    2

    “Our military is safely ensconced in the North in large numbers.”

    Are you day dreaming?

    Our military all out of North now. Rajapaksas started it Sirisena continued. There are very very few camps left in North and East.

    • 2
      2

      Dont try to cover a pumpkin in a bowl of rice brother. In Mullaitheevu army :civilian ratio is 1: 3. They are building houses to settle several thousand army families at Iranaimadu while locals are wandering in streets.

    • 0
      0

      mahamudliyar you say “Our military all out of North now” …
      then you say .”There are very very few camps left in North and East.”

      you are contradicting yourslelf

  • 8
    2

    Dear Author and all participants,
    Who cares for the Country? Look at the Administration of the Country from the time of independence. What has been going on? Is it not a genocide that has been and is still taking place. Politicians of Sri Lanka will not care for the Country as has been happening from the time of independence. The Tamil politicians keep cheating the victims and the Sinhalese politicians keep using them until the North and South are completely annihilated of Tamils. The Sinhalese politicians are even prepared to sell the whole Country if they can get rid of Tamils. This is the clear scenario in the Country today. Federal Party or not the Tamil politician thrive for perks. SLFP or UNP the Sinhalese politician thrive for genocide of Tamils.

  • 6
    0

    a class article

    shayamon you deserve to be in the legislature to educate the fools

  • 1
    3

    This writer with no hesitation in 2010 supported Sarath Fonseka campain writing false properganda against MR now going shopping for Ranil and UNP that is the whole reason for this article to condem condem joint opersition

  • 5
    1

    Even after a thirty year civil war, the Sri Lankan leadership has failed to address the root cause of the uprising. Even after many lives lost on both sides, there seems to be no efforts on the part of the government on reconciliation. Agree, the minister’s speech has been taken out of context and blown out of proportion. A former Secretary General of the UN once said, the absence of a conflict does not mean there is peace.

  • 3
    1

    Well judged article. That’s the truth..!

  • 0
    4

    Listen to Vijakala …no Sir! We do not want to listen to her..The bigger picture is she is a YP’nite and we being the opposition will hit YP with anything that comes across..What goes around comes around noh?

    • 3
      0

      What Vijayakala Maheswaran sid was right.

  • 6
    1

    Thanks to Vijayakala every tom-dick -harry in the parliament had a chance to show their fake nationalism…

  • 0
    2

    SJ has gone beyond his normal overworked chivalry and written an illogical and biased piece defending the UNP Deputy Minister Vijayakala (VK). The only explanation is that he is trying to defend the UNP party.
    Let us look at the statements made by and VK and the blind interpretations of SJ regarding them.
    VK laments ““A six year-old girl was raped and killed….Our girls who are receiving no support from anyone have only one choice – commit suicide….There are 30,000 widows in the north and 12000 LTTE cadres in the rehabilitation camps. What is the government doing for them ?”
    VK did not share the same sentiments on the rape and brutal murder of Vidya where at the trial bar “Judge Illancheliyan, while agreeing with the trial-at-bar verdict, delivered a separate verdict. He criticised Deputy Women and Child affairs Minister Vijayakala Maheswaran for helping suspect Swisskumar to evade arrest, instead of handing him over to police.”
    Regarding widows the South has a similar number of war widows. VK’s statement on LTTE cadres in rehabilitation camps is a downright lie which SJ has swallowed very readily.
    As for the numbers in rehabilitation camps the Australian Government DFAT COUNTRY INFORMATION REPORT SRI LANKA 23 May 2018 revealed that “According to the Bureau of the Commissioner General of Rehabilitation, by November 2017, 12,882 people,primarily former LTTE, had completed rehabilitation. Only one centre with eight inmates remained open in Vavuniya in December 2017.”
    On the conditions in rehabilitation camps even the former US Ambassador Patricia Butenis in a message to mark America’s Independence day, Patricia Butenis, said, “the government has also made great progress with the rehabilitation of ex-combatants.”Several ltte cadres today are championing peace initiatives. Some have returned to the rehabilitation centers following reintegration to reside and follow courses. leAdS, a National Ngo facilitated “pre-school training” for a group of reintegrated beneficiaries who opted to return to the Vavuniya PARC.

  • 0
    0

    Hi Shyamon Jayasinghe

    I quote two places form the article

    <>
    <>

    Do they also apply for that thero’s Hitler talk at a private event

  • 2
    1

    Sentiments expressed by State Minister Vijayakala have provided ideal fodder for the cud chewing opposition ranks in parliament and their acolytes elsewhere. The State Minister has highlighted the the pathetic and deplorable state of affairs in her community when there is still no silver lining in sight for them, but see only degrading and inhuman treatment all round and she has given vent to her inner most feelings when comparing the security they had experienced under Prabhakan. Now let us examine the statement made by Ven. Anunayaka Thero. he Suggests or rather requests Mr. Gotabhya Rajapakse to take over the leadership and govern the coutry like Hitler. We are sure the Venerable Anunayaka Thero is well aware of Hitler’s rule more than any present day politician. Very many of us ,I am sure have read about Hitler’s life and political history. He was Satan incarnate. We cannot imagine how one could suggest emulating such a criminal for our so called Buddhist country, not even Prabhakaran if he lived today could hold a candle to Hitler, so much for the wisdom of our religious leaders. I wonder if State Minister Vijayakala has taken a cue from the Venerable Anunayaka Thero. We have seen Govt. Members’ critical comments on this issue, and the vociferous attack on the State minister by the opposition and not a hum against the Venerable Anunayaka Thero and the Govt. too seem to circumvent the issue as it involves a Buddhist High clergy. Can anyone deny this fact , people have heard some vague explanations about Ven,Anunayaka Thero’s request to GR. but people will not expect anyone to play with words that will safeguard the interests of one party only as it is obvious in this scenario. This is a test case for the Government to demonstrate it’s justice and fair play to our nation in particular and to the world in general. “Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander”

  • 0
    0

    I know….
    Yahapalana Supporters should have listened to UNP State Minister Vijayakalani talking to the UNP real Minister ” Pacha Ranjan”‘ on his live TV Comedy Show….
    And poor Mr Jayamanne could have saved his time.
    And enjoyed a nice Red while hugging the Heater in Cold Melbourne, instead of burning Mid Night Oil…

  • 1
    0

    @ Henry and Shaymon

    How one can be ‘Sure” that somebody knows about something. Then go to describe Hitler for the readers. When we are forgetting what Praba did such as milk sucking infants were grabbed from mother and crushed the head, how can we remember what Hitler did rather than he was a leader of the defeated side. Do we know what American did in Arab? Just see what Sajit Premadasa told about theros speaking a PRIVATE event

  • 1
    0

    Why Shyamon has defended Vijayakala I am dumbfolded to understand

  • 0
    0

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 0
    0

    Latest News on ITN reports , 103 kg of Drugs worth of well over
    Rs 1000 million were seized and three men were taken into
    police custody . The largest quantity ever seized . What is most
    interesting part for us is , how enthusiastic the contribution
    towards NATIONAL RECONCILIATION efforts BY THREE MEN
    INVOLVED IN THE BUSINESS . Main man , a Tamil , sentenced to
    death , operating from behind bars ! The second , a Muslim and
    the third a Sinhalese ! Communal Harmony as never before , so
    what is this problem of Vijeyakala , Gotler and the infamous Monk
    who wanted Hitler back ? Take it easy , at grass root level everything
    goes so smooth and look t the level of cooperation even from death
    cell ? Miracle of Asia ! Back to Vijayakala , she reflected how Tamils
    still feel for VP , nothing short of that ! But the issue is , morally can
    she call for VP’s service while being a member of Ranil ? And she
    later braved to say that Maheshwaran was not killed by LTTE ! Why
    all this juggling now ? Shyamon , you are not qualified to judge
    between parties if you are proud of being a strong hand-raiser for
    UNP ! Come clean of party hues ! By the way , Wimal managed to
    break Anura’s cool in a brutal exchange of words in Diyawannawa !
    I don’t have the full copy to watch .

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