15 December, 2017

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MFA Gives Ideological Justification For NGO Restrictions

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in its own volition perhaps has come forward to give justification for the NGO restrictions announced by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations (NS-NGO). Anyone can guess who is behind this despicable effort.

After the issue of the restrictive circular, even the Defense Ministry spokesman was shy in defending the circular. But there was no shame on the part of the MFA to do so. What I can surmise from this and other evidence available is that it is not the military per se that wants to step into politics. But it is the bankrupt politicians who want to drag the military into politics, perhaps for their survival. The wrath of the people are growing against the corrupt, sinister and opportunist politicians.

The statement issued on 10 July 2014 titled “Government Action in Conformity with Universal Legal Framework” (Daily News, 11 July 2014) is a lie from the beginning. What universal legal framework that the Ministry or the Minister is talking about? The only valid legal framework is in the Universal Declaration (UDHR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). That framework assures the independent existence and functioning of the NGOs under ‘freedom of assembly and association.’

gota_Rohan G and GL colombotelegraph

After the issue of the restrictive circular, even the Defense Ministry spokesman was shy in defending the circular. But there was no shame on the part of the MFA to do so.

There is only one regional convention on NGOs directly and that is in Europe called “European Convention on the Recognition of the Legal Personality of International Non-Governmental Organizations” (1986). That is completely in agreement with the UDHR and the ICCPR and the title itself shows the purpose is to ‘recognize the legal personality’ of NGOs and not to restrict them. It is obvious that activities of any association should not contravene national security or public safety. Those limitations are there even in the UDHR and the ICCPR.

The MFA has quoted four documents which purported to cover the ‘powers’ or the ‘mandate’ of the Director/Registrar of the NS-NGO to issue such a circular but it is very clear that only the initial Act (1980) and the Amendment (1989) that covers the ‘mandate’ or the ‘powers’ of the said official. The regulations issued or a circular letter by another authority cannot enhance the mandate or the authority of the Director/Registrar. Leaving those for further contemplation of the legal luminaries, let me turn to what is politically dangerous in the MFA statement.

It may be true that the NGOs are supposed to submit Action Plans to the Secretariat under the Regulations issued in 1989 but enhancement of such activities or the Action Plan is a matte for the membership of that organization and not to the Director or the Registrar. In any Action Plan there is always room for flexibility. It is absurd for the Director/Registrar to check whether all activities are according to the action plans. It is not the business of a government official regarding the activities of non-governmental organizations. The distinction and the distance should be kept clearly for the sake of democracy and independence of the latter while the rules of law should govern both.

It is in such a predicament of government encroachment on people’s rights that Bertolt Brecht sarcastically asked in a poetic manner

Would it not be easier then

For the government

To dissolve people

And elect an-other?  

It should be noted that this is the first time, to the best of my knowledge, such a circular was issued by the Registrar. Why at this juncture? The MFA statement says that the circular was issued “Unfortunately, having found some NGOs had exceeded their mandates.” If only some NGOs have exceeded the mandate, why then the circular was issued to all NGOs?

Why the government is so obsessed with NGOs conducting ‘press conferences, workshops, training for journalists and dissemination of press releases’?

The MFA also grumbles about the non-registration of some NGOs required by law emphasising that Sri Lanka is a ‘sovereign and an independent State.’ This appears as an overreaction to some of the valid concerns expressed by the international community, particularly the USA. The MFA is obviously preparing the background for another onslaught on the NGOs.

The essence of the MFA statement is to claim that the NGOs should be accountable to the State, meaning the present Government. When the MFA states, that the government action is in conformity with the ‘universal legal framework’ it has some ironical resonance with some of the trends going in some countries, particularly Russia, in the Middle East (Egypt in particular), in North Africa and even in our region, like Pakistan.

It was not long time ago (2012) that Putin brought what is called the “Foreign Agent Law” to control NGOs in Russia. The Egypt’s new law on NGOs is considered to be worse than the Hosni Mubarak period. Egypt recently arrested 27 NGO representatives. Pakistan’s draft ‘Foreign Contributions Act’ is also on the same lines. According to some experts, however, China on the contrarily, liberalizing NGO activities. Therefore, the trends are not one sided.

In these columns, writers as well as commentators were asking what the NGOs or the people in Sri Lanka could do against the NS-NGO or MoD circular. One action would be for the NGOs to have “Press Conferences, Workshops, Training for Journalists and Dissemination of Press Releases” against the Circular.

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  • 4
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    In the world for any job there is a maximum age limit. This limit is not without any valid reason.

    We have a history of having wheel chair prim ministers.

    Now the Parliament is almost like elders care center and have lots of retarded personnel who are waiting for call of nature.

    Small storm from Gothabe is enough for them to hold a hook.

    • 5
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      Dr. Laksiri Fernando

      “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) in its own volition perhaps has come forward to give justification for the NGO restrictions announced by the Director/Registrar of the National Secretariat for Non-Governmental Organizations (NS-NGO). Anyone can guess who is behind this despicable effort.”

      Yes we know it is the Para- Sinhala, Sinhala speaking Demala, Gotambaya Rajapaksa and his shills.

      Anyone can guess who is behind the despicable attack on Innocent Muslims at Aluthgama?

      Yes we know it is the Para- Sinhala, Sinhala speaking Demala, Gotambaya Rajapaksa and his shills and Para-Sinhala Buddhists and Racists.

      ‘Govt. Complicit In Aluthgama Anti-Muslim Attacks’ Says Women’s Collective

      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/govt-complicit-in-aluthgama-anti-muslim-attacks-says-womens-collective/

      A Women’s Collective team that investigated and documented the anti-Muslim clashes in Southern Sri Lanka has announced in their report that survivors of the violence hold the Government complicit in the attacks against Muslims on June 15.

  • 2
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    Dear pfof. Laksiri ,

    “Leader of SL’s extremist Buddhist organization, BBS, controversial monk Galagodaaththe Gnanasara Thero will reportedly travel to Australia at the end of next month. He is to participate in meetings and religious functions in several cities of Australia.”

    i quoted above news item from Asian Tribune , if the story is true , who has invited this Gnasara guy to kangaroo land ? are you aware of any Temple/civil societie’s (SPUR) involvement on his proposed tour to Australia ? Tony Abbot’s government has lost all the creditability what ever they had , don’t you agree on Malcom Frazer’s accusations on Abbot’s blunders ? haven’t Racist John Howard and Philip Ruddok been replaced by evil Abbot & Scot duo ?

    • 4
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      Dear Srilal,

      I am not at present aware of who has invited Gnanasara to Australia. I can guess who has written the article to the Asian Tribune which clearly denounces Gnanasara’s behavior and racism. That also means you can expect some developments against the visit.

      • 6
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        Dear Prof. Laksiri ,

        My point being , why on earth Australasian high commission issued the entry visa to this known criminal ? on the other hand there must be some respectable organization/Buddhist Temple to sponsor this terrorist monk’s stay in Australia , who could it be ? honestly i’m appalled at the behavior of some western nation’s ( the US, Norway and now Ausi) double standards , Scott Morris needs to be taken in to task for accepting bribes (Porcelain Dinner set) !!

        • 3
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          Readers would like to note here that when Vimal Weerawanse recently spoke in a Sinhalese gathering in Italy crticizing the BBS and Gnanasara, he was man-handled if not assaulted.

          This shows that Sinhalese diaspora has good backing for the BBS and Gnanasara.

          • 2
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            No man, i really dont think anyone with a bird brain would respect Ghanasara for any reasons. All these are just BBS efforts to create a new image.
            Australia is one of the countrries where a large srilanken sinahala community live. I know myself, having traveled to some areas there, few years ago, looking at the manner they live there, I thought It was Ambilitpitya. Years back German tech qualified sinhalaya skilled workers had migrated to Austrailia and they continued the life there as had been in Srilanka. Latter is no means comparable to those who moved to Europe. I as one who settled in Europe was surprised looking at the good life the srilankens (sinhala community) have in that continent. There were Daham pasala also there… reminding me my earlier days in srialnka.

            So I really dont know think those srilankens would ever respect anyone similar to Ghanasara the babarians whose thoughts are far distant from all buddhist teachings.

        • 4
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          Dear Srilal,
          I agree with you fully. Anyone with healthy conscience have to agree with you. Ghanasara is the man who drastically changed the lanken buddhist image. He belongs to prison, no doubt about that, but hidden agendas of Rahajapkshe regimes seem not to jail him.

          • 2
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            Dear Sirimal ,

            How come i don’t see your comments very often nowadays ! Sirimal i am thoroughly disgusted about Ausi behavior , what a bunch hypocrites , two gun ships have been awarded to Junta regime to protect their borders , guess what ,sooner they will find out their own gun boats are being used to smuggle out potential asylum seekers from the Srilankan shores by the corrupt officials ( bribe takers ),why would any western country (any country for that matter)issue a visa for this criminal ? all over sudden Abbot has found srilanka to be a trust worthy friend and in return government’s propaganda machine has started praising the Ausis ,it is indeed surprising to see how the same propaganda had completely forgotten how MR was humiliated during the last CHOGM at Perth ( Australian federal police commenced an investigation against MR on alleged war crimes), during that time SL propagandists were working over time to bash Ausis , irony is Ausis try to use srilankans junta to gain their own short sighted gains but the reality is they have been out maneuvered by our crafty politicians . Australia will learn the lesson sooner or later.

            • 2
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              srilal,

              The bottom line is MR is using Sri Lankan deprived people to intimidate and harass Western countries and Australia by sending boat people.

              In 1983 after Genocidal riots thousands of Tamil refugees seek asylum in Western countries including Australia and they became a burden to their economies. This is what Australia is trying to avoid happening again.

              Also the riots against Muslims in Aluthgama and Beruwala was a similar 1983 game plan MR tried to play, but it backfired. Muslims who lost homes and businesses did not leave Sri Lanka.
              Also there’s rumor that Namal R. is behind this racket.

              The two gun ships were given with a warning to MR not to unleash anymore boat people to Australia.

              If MR breaks the promise, very soon you will see both Australian and Indian Navies guarding our shores and it will be too nasty then.

              Let’s see how MR play his games this time.

              • 0
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                Lasantha ,

                Australia has been acting as the deputy sheriff in the pacific region and going about delivering lectures on importance of Human rights at her neighbors(Indonesia, Fiji , Papua new Gini etc ) and the same time blatantly violating it’s own obligation to UN human right charter .both Labour and Liberal seem to try their luck by extending co-operation with the aggressor (Junta Regime ), Julia Gallard had tried the same tactics which Abbot is doing now , sooner or later they will realize , that regime change is the only way to stop boat people coming to their shores .

              • 0
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                Lasantha@,
                you are very right.
                Allowing a refugee to continue in Australia or other destinations, costs them a lot on longer term. Those people have to go on paying for those refugees for their entire lives – and that the collection of those funds will be much higher than the all values of just two boats. Particularly, australian state is radically against allowing unskilled people getting into their country. European states too introduced new laws to their basic laws so that they cant allow every refugee could be welcome today. I have seen how many lanken tamils have abused these laws in Switzerland, Germany, France and several other countries in Europe. Acutually, laws of the mentioned countries had to do so according to their humanitarian agreements. But today, Germany, Switzerland and several other states would not allow refugee to getin to the country easily. Almost over 90% of the registered asylum seekers are proved to have no proper documents to claim asylum. They are all economic refugees. Latter is becoming clear to the west today. That is ofcourse dillamal problem for these states to provide them with langauage courses and all what they need until those refugees can become independet. Most of the them take (unskilled category of people)decades to adapt to the system.
                Following world war II, Germans allowed turkish people to get in as guest workers in order build up the german economy. There all kind of people migrated to Germany. The labour of them though was indispenspable to the german wirtshaft hugely, but even today, those turks live continue to live in germany as getto life style. They are cornered in GERMAN society, not many out of the second generations have become professionals compared to the levles one get to see in the UK. It was the langauge and culture that kept turks become isolated. Latter is common with srilanken tamils living in Germany, France and Switzerland, though some percentage of second generation tamils are seen today in hospitals, universities etc.

            • 0
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              Hi Srilal,
              you the few makes CT forum a valuable one. I can understand your angers in terms of Ausi govt#s ignorance for their own agendas. But I believe they the sinhala community living in Australia are intelligent not to give GAG a good welcome on his visit to that country. May be as it is the case everywhere, some smaller groups help him. But every right thinking one would not. All the issues that GAG and co. have made are according to hidden guidelines of the govt. This govt is the worst ever since independece. Top to the bottom they have only devious agendas- sometimes though they backfire acknolweding the world that they have no vision at all.
              Btw, there are rumours that CBK could join active politics soon. I am very excited to read from you about those issues soon. Thank you Srilal – never forget we the CT readers respect yours and the few of others that add their unbiased views about the critial situation tha the nation face in our home country. If we really want to peace in this country, Rajapakshes should be removed from the power by any means:

              • 0
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                Dear Sirimal ,

                Thanks , as far i see , both Ranil and Sajith are not interested working towards a coalition , in the event of a formation of CBK led coalition government , both Ranil and Sajith would not get the desired positions as they anticipate , sensing this potential threat for their own authority they already started to rock the boat ( Ranil declares he would be the candidate and Sajith’s reluctance to accept CBK as the Common candidate) hence they would prefer to enjoy the current status quo , as far as JVP goes , they too are in a big dilemma , if they support Ranil led coalition , they will have to work under RW in the future , that would be a recipe for disaster.( JVP won’t support CBK any more)JVP new leader AKD does not seem to be in a mighty hurry to capture the power yet , so he is prepared to put up with another MR term !

      • 2
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        Dr. Laksiri Fernando

        “I am not at present aware of who has invited Gnanasara to Australia.
        That also means you can expect some developments against the visit.”

        Wonder if the native Aborigines of Australia would like to invite the Para-Sinhala -Para-“Buddhist” “Monk” Ganasara, to Austraia? Perhaps he is invited bu some other Para-Sinhala who have become Para-Sinhala in Australia.

        The Para-Sinhala will be paras, wherever they go, EXCEPT to South India, where they Originated from before they landed on Lanka, the land of Native Veddah, by Illegal boats, Hora Oru or Kallanthonis.

        That is why the Para-Sinhala are also called Sinhala-Speaking Para-Demalas.

        The Vedda Tribe

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

        Tamil-speaking Veddas of Vaharai await war recovery support

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeFCuZwexRw

    • 4
      1

      If BBS Gnane comes to Australia, I will travel or fly if necessary with coupe of permanent markers and lot of butcher’s papers and insult Australians who invited this Sinhalese barbarian and if present, the O/L struggled military Ambassador in Australia.

  • 4
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    Rajapakse chink in the armor is in resolving the Tamil problem.

    The moment Tamil problem is resolved he will begin to lose his power. Still there will be a lot more to do. Although it will create an opening that does not exist now.

    UNP must join the PSC first. Then they should work on bringing the minor sprats into a common fold.

    The abolition of executive presidency, restoring Parliamentary democracy and restoration of law and order lies with this simple thing everyone must do. There is no other way around the problem unfortunately.

    • 4
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      Vibhushana

      “Rajapakse chink in the armor is in resolving the Tamil problem.”

      Is it a Tamil problem? You are hearing voices again in your head.

      There is only one problem which is a Sinhala/Buddhist problem imposed on rest of the people.

    • 2
      1

      ”UNP must join the PSC first. Then they should work on bringing the minor sprats into a common fold”

      What credibility is there for PSC or any body appointed by this govt?

      1.What happened to APRC of 3 yrs and 207 sittings?

      The report(along with nearly a score of others of the last 7/8 yrs) must be seen by the people:
      List of Commissions of Inquiry and Committees Appointed by the Government of Sri Lanka (2006 – November 2013), Centre for Policy Alternatives, January 2014, http://f.cl.ly/items/2c0m2i0Y3V2A2D2X052C/A%20list%20of%20Commissions%20and%20Committees%20appointed%20by%20GoSL%20since%202005%20_December%202013.pdf

      SriLankan sprats don’t publish reports but only appoint ”comissions/committees”??

      2. There are certain principles that bind some people:

      ‘’the narrative as well as the contents amply demonstrate the scant and lackadaisical manner that the most important negotiations with the TNA were conducted after the conclusion of the war in May 2009’’ – Some Reflections On Rajiva Wijesinha’s Revelations On “How Negotiations With The TNA Failed”, Laksiri Fernando, 4 June 2014, https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-reflections-on-rajiva-wijesinhas-revelations-on-how-negotiations-with-the-tna-failed/ (* PSC)

      ”When the President put me on the delegation to negotiate with the TNA, in April 2011, I found that no response had been made to suggestions they had made a couple of months previously. I thought this was absurd, and urged a response. These are the notes I made. ……’’ – How Negotiations With The TNA Failed – Documentation From The Past, Rajiva Wijesinha, 2 June 2014,https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/how-negotiations-with-the-tna-failed-documentation-from-the-past/comment-page-1/#comment-1318957

      • 1
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        Hello there,

        I am not talking about TNA. The 2 major parties of Sri Lanka who historically have kept passing the buck need to come together. The solution is with these 2 parties to resolve.

        Its advantageous of UNP to do so as it will determine whether it remain a viable party after end of the year.

    • 0
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      I am afraid it is NOT a problem that can be solved. Filling in a bottomless pit would be far easier.

  • 1
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    ”it is the bankrupt politicians who want to drag the military into politics, perhaps for their survival” by militarising as much as possible of the society – ”elected” President is slowly becoming a facade:

    Army Recruits 426 Tradesmen from East, 11July 2014,
    http://www.army.lk/detailed.php?NewsId=8151

  • 0
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    ”it is the bankrupt politicians who want to drag the military into politics, perhaps for their survival” by militarising as much as possible of the society – ”elected” President is slowly becoming a facade:

    Army Recruits 426 Tradesmen from East, 11July 2014,
    http://www.army.lk/detailed.php?NewsId=8151

    New Army Tradesmen in Mullaittivu Begin Training, 11July 2014,
    http://www.army.lk/detailed.php?NewsId=8152

  • 1
    1

    The issue at hand is a government that is acting against the constitution. What does one do when a government acts against the very constitution from which it draws its legitimacy? What is the nature of this action that is against the constitution? It is an order which if accepted amounts to an acceptance of the suspension of the constitution and the permission of the source of this order to issue more and more orders. Governance by orders will be the result. What is the source of this order? The Ministry of Defense. What is the ministry of defense doing with the internal affairs of the country? It is gradually taking over the powers of government and it is now laying claim to the power of being able to decide what citizens of the state can and cannot do.

    Has anyone rejected the order? No. What has been the response to the order? Acceptance and criticism and threats of disobedience to the order. Why no rejection? Because the order is exactly what everyone would like to do and it is therefore in keeping with the deepest aspirations of every citizen in the country. Every citizen of the country would love to have the power to silence everyone else and force them to do its will and adopt its own agenda indeed every Sri Lankan citizen would like to impose its will upon not just all their fellow citizens but upon the whole world and every human individual found upon it.

    Will some one whom this order has been addressed to please reject it?

    Will someone send it back physically along with a rejection note and make that course of action public?

    Will someone stand up to this aspiring dictator?

  • 4
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    Prof Laksiri, you have hit the nail on the head. The other demented perverted professor who has sold his soul and body for the perverse delights that his master offers is again trying o hide the truth and mislead and misrepresent facts. This guy should be hauled up for fraud. He is a disgrace to humanity and I do hope he will ultimately get drowned in the cesspit that he loves to be in.

  • 2
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    Who is MFA. MFA is another Rajapakse Gimmick Puppet Ministry. Yes we had a great, well respected, well qualified and a well organized MFA. But they are all gone to dogs now.

    The statement by MFA shows how Rajapakses have politicised every Ministry and every government institution.

    Dr.Harsha brought up the Swiss Bank, Sri Lanka Black money laundering scandal wired throug Seyshells where a Sri Lanka Embassy and a Bank of Ceylon branch was opened recently in an Island where only 90,000 people live. Looks like he has more in depth information on this and needs to be revealed to public.
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/49584-funds-placed-in-swiss-banks-via-seychelles-unp.html

    There are news of Rajapakses illicit business deals with a Govt. deputy minister.
    http://www.lankatruth.com/home/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7269:a-wild-goose-chase-&catid=42:smartphones&Itemid=74

    Also there are news that Ex.President Madam Chandrika planning to re- enter into politics.
    http://www.asianmirror.lk/news/item/1980-cbk-to-re-enter-politics-with-a-ten-point-policy-framework

    Therefore it is going to be quite interesting in Sri Lanka’s politics in coming weeks.

  • 1
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    the learned prof. of ex.aff. ministry thought that the university system was not enough for his intellect and capacity. he had a grand design to become a holder of the top post (PM) of the country to use his intellect. but he was given various other responsibilities and alas he was a failure. he has nothing to offer in any of the areas -foreign affairs, national question even higher education. because he is mostly influenced by narrow political considerations and acting according to the wishes of his masters. his intellect, philosophy and ideas became a waste and criticized by even three wheeler drivers and karathakarayas. insult to intellectual community.no one cares for him.
    -sundaram

  • 1
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    BBS Gnanasara should be arrested if he visits Australia for instigating communal riots, violance, murder, injury and loss of property of Muslim community in Aluthgama, Beruwala and Darga Town.

    He not on harassed Muslim community, but also his own Buddhist Monk Watareka Wigitha thero and Christian community.

    He has an ongoing criminal case on assault on Watareka Wijitha Thero.He also has been fined and charged on drunk driving and nine other charges by police and courts.

    More over BBS is been designated as a terrorist organization by TRAC.

    Therefore BBS Gnanasara should be made a persona Non Grata and someone in Australia should file a Lawsuit in Australian courts against BBS Gnanasara when he visit Australia on above charges.

    • 0
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      I have the feeling that will be the case for him in Australia. If the rulers would not do the due against a high criminal with much higher aggressions in the own territories, our real buddhists that live in Australia should protect the buddhism in that way. I have been australians town ships and people just continue their lives as had been in Srilanka, latter is not the case for ones moved to the Europe. So, these great people would make every efforts to convince the bugger – backed by Gotabaaya and powerful hands of the facist regime should fulfil their duty being against to this BBS terrorists. If Ltters were called terrorists, why cant we call BBS and the fanatists as such ?
      I am a born buddhist, I really dont believe that GAG is a traditional monks born to protect lanken buddhism. He is an another safron robed man – even much harmful to the mankind since his toilet mouth will allow all hate wording to animate muslims and other respectful ones that hold the respect and dignity of the life shouuld be safeguarded in order to build up a civilized society.

    • 0
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      You are right. GAG is almost like DEADLY virus transmitted to srilanken nation. His wording are similar to RNA or DNA of the those virus. Silence of the rulers that the people of this country sense towards the mentioned virus is calculated act plot by Gotabaya the brother of president. It is believed the regime is now run by him not by MR. Behind the curtain, they may be issues that are not yet clear to the world about the injuriousness of the Rajapakshe siblings.
      At least now, people of this country should see the truth through their healthy eyes, else, it will be too late to save the nation from sinhala buddhist extremists that make every efforts to rise up their heads calling somethning irrational but palatable to the masses that are in hallozinated mode of the Rajapakshe Regime.

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