30 September, 2020

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My Father Pointed Out The Difference Between The LTTE And The Tamil People

By Asanga Abeyagoonasekera –

Asanga Abeygoonasekera

As Camus writes in his book The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt, “Rebellion cannot exist without a strange form of love.” My father had a strange form of love for his fellow countrymen, which was deemed rebellious due to the political situation that existed during that time. Many of the political decisions he made at that time made him unpopular, but in such a volatile time I believe the decisions he made were the right thing to do.

Today marks the 63rd birth anniversary of my father, the late Ossie Abeyagoonasekera, and to commemorate his life I have initiated a foundation called “Diri Saviya.” The foundations slogan is “to empower your community” and our vision is to “create a harmonious society with dignity.” My late father’s dear friend Carlo Fonseka will launch the foundation and it will be my platform to carry out my work as a Young Global Leader (www.asanga.org.lk)

For those of you who have forgot or never heard of, let me remind you of some of my father’s political courage and rebellious character during his short life. At the time of the first provincial council elections in 1989, at a time of insurrection where the supporters of the 13th amendment were called traitors and gunned down, my father, Ossie led his party the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party, after the death of his dear friend Vijaya Kumaranatunga. There were 117 members who were assassinated from the Sri Lanka Mahajana Party and my father was targeted many times, one example was the Kosgashandiya Kadawatha political rally’s where he was seated with Vasudewa Nanayakkara and Vikramabahu, narrowly escaping from the assassins bullets. During a time when people were afraid to talk about devolution, my father Ossie, spoke of the importance of it. My father, Ossie, at a time where the political climate was tense was not afraid to stand up for what he believed in, he was a fearless leader who sacrificed his life for what he believed in.

Ossie

I remember when he became the first opposition leader of the Western Province winning the majority vote, he placed a sticker at the back of his vehicle stating “this vehicle was given by Provincial Council and will be used only for public work, not private”. Mt father, Ossie believed in never misusing public money, and when he was assassinated in 1994 by the LTTE, he didn’t have any monetary possessions in his name as every rupee was used for public good.

Back in 1982 he was instrumental in printing the rice ration book, a rice subsidiary book to overthrow President Jayawardena due to his decision to postpone elections and hold a referendum. He and his colleagues ended up in prison for this. He was brave enough, even behind bars to write to another leader who was not so popular at that time, Nelson Mandela who shared a similar struggle. Mandela in reply sent his words of encouragement saying, the “struggle continues and victory is certain”. My father was never afraid to voice his opinion, he used to say it is hard to find the truth in an environment of dictatorship, because the lamp with which you search for the truth will be stolen by the dictator (Lantharum Speech). When it was an impossibile to talk to LTTE leadership in Jaffna in 1986, Ossie was not afraid to walk with his friend Vijaya to negotiate with LTTE even when some southern radicals called them traitors. Many of these decisions made him unpopular, but he decided to stick to his principals and values. It’s a lesson for some present politicians to treasure their values and not to run behind financial gains.

These few days are important in our history as they commemorate the slaying of great tamilain leaders, one of who was a close friend of my fathers, Neelan Thiruchelvam who was assassinated on the 29th July. The 12th August is also important as in commemorates the assassination of the late Lakshman Kadirgamar the founder of the Institute I work. We lost many tamilan leaders who where rebellious voices willing to make a huge change in this country and in the internationally arena. My father, Ossie was loved by many tamilians and he pointed out the difference between the LTTE and the Tamil people during his lecture “Does Prabakaran need a political solution?” Unfortunately a huge vacuum of leadership was created when the LTTE strategically targeted the politicians who were unafraid to make their voices heard and stand up for what is right.

People all over the island knew Ossie for his eloquent oratorical skill and his loving kindness. Today we have a great opportunity to develop our Nation together with all ethnic groups and encourage social. President John F Kennedy said, it is usual to find high walls during your journey, the trick is to throw your cap to the other side so you have no other option but to climb the wall.  My father was unafraid to climb that wall.  People have forgotten the heroes of the past who laid down their own lives to protect and develop our great nation. Today I would like to commemorate one of those leaders, my father Ossie Abeyagoonasekera, a courageous leader who was not afraid to stand up for what was right.

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Latest comments

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    Dear Asanga,

    It seems like you have forgotten these heroes of the past and what they stood up for more than anyone else! for you work for a pro-government, state sponsored, highly biased think tank where no such rational or critical thinking which was proposed by your father, Vijaya, Vasu or other members of the then United Socialist Alliance propagated. You are doing the dirty work of the government by trying to ‘intellectualize’ their draconian stance.

    You seem like a decent chap, so may be this is something you have either overlooked or undertook in desperation of being recognized. You might want to rethink your stance and perhaps quit such positions and recommence your intended ‘journey’ with independence as opposed to being just another puppet on the puppeteers string.

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      Quite right! AA has big title but can’t write English..
      The Kadirigamar Institute should be headed by someone with qualifications – a Doctorate from a recognized university – up to standard of Late Kadir. Today its a sorry outfit -put on talk shows for the govt. and dead leftists like Vasu.. such as National Integration Action Plan funded by German Govt – waste of funds!
      For national integration country needs a Bill on the Prevention of HATE SPEECH the Incitement to religious and racial hatred – but doddering Vasu has no energy to table that in Parliament having first proposed it! and instead JHU has tabled bill to repeal power sharing that exists -13th Amendment to the Constitution.. What a circus of fools and incompetence!

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        Do you think that write using serious English jargons that nobody can understand is the way to convey a massage to the audience. Best way is to write in rhetoric simple language. If you are still not aure about using a language, go and browse top ranked jaournals how they use the language.

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    off his website asanga.org.lk

    “Asanga Abeyagoonasekera is presently the Advisor to the Minister of External Affairs of Sri Lanka and the Executive Director of the Premiere National Think Tank namely Lakshman Kadirgamar Institute for International Relations and Strategic Studies(LKIIRSS).

    Prior to this he was the Chairman of Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Agency the only Government Foreign Recruitment Agent from 2010-2011. “

    Stooge++

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      If this is not an absurd and moronic self promotion in the name of dead person with sycophantic Carlo as a side kick similar to their master and king Rawana, then what is it?!

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        If you dont know what is it, please read it a few more times over and over again until you get it. Not everyone can understand first time Ok. Hope you succeed.Good luck

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          I understand it too well even between the lines that I to put it softly but dim witted backboneless low forms of life with an admittedly false name supporting crooks, laggards is incapable of getting anywhere near the truth. You could be even Carlo?

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    Asanga, you are born to a Great Sri Lankan.
    Your father Ossie Abeyagoonasekera was Great and You’ve paid a fitting tribute to him. Yet I don’t know How to Make Our Fellow Sri Lankans to Think for themselves and to make up their own Mind than to Join the Gallery and get Carried away.
    How to Educate the Future Generation to Stand Out and be Counted.
    Like Ossie, Our Country had Leaders but still the Majority Get Carried away with Bankrupt Political Slogans.
    Wishing you the very Best Asanga. Good luck in you endeavours.

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    Asanka, I wish you all the best in your endeavour to create an empowered society. You also occupy a position where you can influence the thinking of those in power. By all means continue to work with Lakshman Kadiragama Foundation and do your good work.

    It is better to be a part of Governement or Authority and speak on behalf of the dispossesed and helpless than to be one of the voices in the wilderness, lost in the babel of discontent. Take care not to sacrifice principles for power and money. We need young leaders of principle and wisdom, not corrupt illiterate stooges.

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    Dear Asanga

    It is nice of you to write an article like this.
    But as the above comments indicate i highly doubt of what you speak of.
    You seems to be confused in your personal life, career and political life which are at paradoxes.

    I know your father’s death is a matter of concern to you and your family bringing great sorrow, but i have never seen anyone marketing a death of a family member in public fora like you do.

    Been there for few of the programs, especially the reconciliation series of the so called “premier think tank of slk”, i see nothing but hypocrisy put into words. Except for the last conference being held which at least had a fora for people to come up with their ideas along with the religious leaders present.

    I heavily doubt of what is expected of a think tank and correct me if i am wrong when inquired from your staff for my own personal interest in research your institute has only produced a very limited numbers of papers which is not expected from a think tank.And contextually your research review which i purchased recently has nothing but dull research or rather research at a level of a primary student.

    Can you publicly make available the research done by the “premier think tank of Sri Lanka” in your website for all of us to witness the quality of them ? i wonder !!!

  • 0
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    Asanga:

    You don’t want to be yourself instead you want to go behind your father?

    What is wrong here ?

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    During the LTTE Eera all the killing blamed on LTTE but your father was a braved man and his voice made too many enemies,
    Don’t forget JR and Premadasa mastermind the killing in 80’s
    Why we have to go too far and past look now Rajapaksa regime!!
    how much your father was pushed by the dictator style government that much Tamil youth got push by the sinhala racist politicians and took arms

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      Your English is terrible. Why don’t you attend night classes in Canada and learn English before posting here.

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    This fraud, parading as some kind of community leader should be shunned. The facts that Piyadasa Godahewa documents should be enough for every one to SHUN this little git who is trying to paint a nice face on a totalitarian regime.

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    Dear Mr. Asanka.

    I need to contact you. Could you please pass me your contact number. Mine is 077 308 2020. Hope you can remember me.

    Best, Anver (formally I worked for USAID / OTI program).

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      Anver nana

      [Edited out]

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    [Edited out]
    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.
    For more detail see our Comment policy
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    Sorry about your father Asanga you have done great things and your father would be proud of you, kadirgamar institute was a dead place before you stepped in, your heart is in the right place.good luck.

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    Great article Asanga . Proud of all your achievements inspite of loosing your father at such a young age. Wish you all the best.

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    Hi Asanga this article does your father justice.
    We hope you will be the person to be the change and make the changes that this country so desperately needs!

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    Asanga as a son you have done well in remembering your father. He would be very proud of you!
    The future of the county is in the hands of the youth! And it is young men like you that can help build a better Sri Lanka!

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    Reading some of these comments made me realize that Sri Lankans are good at not only wanton assasinations but also character assasinations!No one is spared even after death1

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    WARNING: Sri Lanka is heading for disaster and tragedy. Since Gota has ordered to shoot the people he has placed the country in a dangerous situation. India and the Westerners will use the Waliveriya tragedy against the country. I believe India will boycott the CHOGM, soon after India other big countries will follow India’s decision. Once this has taken place the country will go backwards economically. The Chinese won’t go against India and the Western Countries, they will drop everything and run as they did it Libya. The West is more important to China than Sri Lanka. Soon as the LTTE assassinated Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, I shook my head and told myself, LTTE’s game is over. Soon as I heard Waliveriya tragedy I shook my head and told myself its over, Rajapaksa brothers game is over. President Bush once said “You can fool some of the people all of the time”. But the Rajapaksa brothers think they can fool all of the people all of the time. Just wait and see how smart they are.

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    Asanga, on the picture is your father wearing the prison clothes wow this is an amazing pic.Ossie was a great rebel. We have big mouths in politics but no action. If you ever enter politics in any party I am with u.

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