6 December, 2020

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Our Government’s Role In Promoting Wanton Violence

By S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

Prof. S. Ratnajeevan H. Hoole

No Names

The names of many of those believed to be behind the bombings appear freely in the Tamil press. The English press, however, has a deferential silence because the names are of important politicians, even ministers and governors. This silence has to end. In a democracy, the people have the right to know so as to vote properly. In that spirit I am writing down names. These are based on public allegations made by respectable people – whether they are true or not, is for the law enforcement authorities to establish.  Hopefully the accusation in print will force their hand. 

President Bluffs?

President Maithripala Sirisena (26 April), carefully avoiding whether he himself was made aware of the tipoffs on imminent attacks, noted (quoting NewsFirst here) that highly descriptive information was given by a friendly nation to a Head of Intelligence on 4 April, adding that this information included targets and methods of the attack, and that the IGP had forwarded the information to 5 DIGs but only one of them, DIG Dasanayake, had acted on the intel.

Why indeed would the police act against powerful suspects when it is widely believed, even by the much respected Minister Kabir Hashim, that those under government patronage get arrested and released from police stations without being taken to court?

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Career Choice for Young Sri Lankans

The President claimed to lack the laws to ban the National Thowheed Jamath. However, the 1997 “International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings” gives broad authority to act (including to pass legislation) given the involvement of foreigners. Moreover, the Emergency Regulations passed this week without a vote shows how easy it is for the government to pass almost any law it wants on security. Indeed, the government has used the existing framework to ban the LTTE. 

Be that as it may, I am against any measure that takes away civil liberties. 

Sleeping Over Sainthamaruthu

On the 26th, when the Special Task force raided Sainthamaruthu, there ensued a gun battle at the end of which three bombs were exploded in the bombers’ own homes killing 15 including 6 children, according to the BBC. However, the warnings have for long been there from the end of the year 2017 and the wound allowed to fester by inaction.

For, preceding the local government elections of Feb. 2018, Nizam Kariappar, President’s Council, of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress came to the Election Commission with the complaint that Minister Rishard Bathiuddin’s allies had taken over Sainthamarruthu. Signed notices that appeared were produced to us prohibiting others from contesting. A video showed motorcyclists riding through town beating up people. The elders responsible were asked by the Election Commission to let others contest freely. They agreed before us and shook hands. As a result, the SLMC fared slightly better than the extremists. But the cancer apparently continued to grow as seen last night. In hindsight, we should have disqualified the extremists and asked the police to clear their barricades and charge them. We failed the nation.

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Charles Nirmalanathan, MP

Other Ignored Early Warnings

On 24 April, 2019, Charles Nirmalanathan, TNA Member of Parliament (MP), made a speech in Parliament detailing all the ignored tipoffs on ISIS training camps he had given the police. He added that the 9 persons arrested in Kilinochchi with arms this time were released from the police station itself with no charges filed in court. He said the Prime Minister (PM) knows the MPs protecting them but will take no action against them because without their support he fears the government will fall. The President knows but will not act because he fears losing the Muslim vote in upcoming presidential elections, he added. Nirmalanathan has specifically named Rishard Bathiuddin and Eastern Province Governor M.L.A.M. Hisbullah as having aided the bombers. In addition, he has accused Western Province Governor Azath Salley of using his influence with the President to release a person apprehended with 100 kg of the powerful explosive C4 in Wilpattu about January this year.

To boot, Nirmalanathan repeated these very same statements outside Parliament without the impunity that Parliament offers, daring those impugned to charge him if he is being libelous or is spreading false information that threatens national security. The Island reports that UPFA MP S. B. Dissanayake and TNA MP M. A. Sumanthiran alleged in Parliament that Minister Rishard Bathiuddin and Governor Hisbullah had links to the perpetrators of Easter Sunday’s terror attacks.

I have myself reported (Daily FT, 28 Jan. 2019) how the President appointed Hisbullah as Eastern Province Governor despite his admitting on video to using (or rather, misusing) his official powers to forcibly displace Tamil businesses to assign their market to Muslims. The police forced open shops closed in peaceful protest against the governor’s appointment. Moreover, in the Parliamentary Elections of Aug. 2015, the police were complicit in hiding or disappearing evidence of then-MP Hisbullah’s election abuses (as recorded by Election Commission staff). 

After the bombing yesterday MP Sumanthiran met Governor Hisbullah, each accompanied by 2 to 3 friends. Hisbullah told Sumanthiran that he knew some of the bombers but did not know they would go this far. One particular bomber was very close to Hisbullah says Minister Kabir Hashim –see below. 

Regarding Mr. Rishard Bathiuddin, a rehabilitated LTTE cadre testified to me that in the last days of the war they transferred money from LTTE storehouse loot in Mullaitivu to Bathiuddin in exchange for food. It was a very lucrative business for Bathiuddin according to my informant. Several complaints have gone to various officials and the police from Nirmalanathan and other TNA officials that Bathiuddin has been clearing the Wilpattu Reservations to settle his people for electoral gain, and that they contain ISIS training camps in the southern end of Musali DS Division (Mannar). It is 4-5 km long says Lohathayalan. No one knows, he adds, how the logs from such a large stretch were cleared unless he had the backing of the police and forestry officials. All this information is what MP Nirmalanathan referred to as having been given to the police, who did nothing.  

Bathiuddin has a building by the sea in the Mannar DS division says Lohathayalan. Ships take off directly from the building — containing what, no one knows. Bathiuddin’s brother has been taken in by the police for questioning say news reports and – surprise, surprise – released quickly. 

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Nigerians Apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy 

On three occasions, as reported to the police, different foreign people have crossed illegally by boat to India through Mannar. In the first week of November, it was 3 Turks. This was reported in Jaffna’s Uthayan by Lohathayalan. The Indian Consulate contacted him because they had arrested only one person in India and were trying to get information on the other two. On the third occasion about, 6 weeks ago, 5 Nigerians tried to cross over to India from Mannar. They – see photo – were apprehended by the SL Navy and are in remand. Former Northern Provincial Council member (and minister of fisheries for a while), B. Deniswaran, is their lawyer. 

Minister Kabir Hashim’s Man Shot for Helping Police

About 2 to 3 months ago police intelligence searched for 31 Muslims with their photos on an A4 sheet. Minister Kabir Hashim assisted the police by telling them he knew where one was hiding and sent one of his employees to the suspect’s place of hiding with the police. Hashim, as reported in Tamil newspapers, alleges that Governor Hisbullah bailed out the suspect. Subsequently, Hashim’s assistant who led the police to the suspect was shot and is still in hospital. Hashim has publicly asked how people can come forward to help the police in these circumstances

North – A Narrow Escape

Many wonder why Roman Catholics in the North escaped this wrath. It was by a miracle. 

I spoke to Rev. Fr. J.A. Jesuthas of St. Theresa’s Church on the A9 in Kilinochchi. On Easter Eve, he had celebrated the midnight mass and closed the church at 2:30 am. A 7:30 am Mass was to be conducted by another priest but, providentially, Fr. Jesuthas awoke at 5:40 am and opened the church doors. A young lady dressed like a Tamil (long ankle-length skirt and blouse with head uncovered) was there and walked to the middle of the church.  She claimed to have come to worship and waited. Later, another man came and wanted water. Father pointed to a pipe, but the man wanted to go to the side of the church where the woman was. When told that there was no pipe on that side, he took some water from the pipe pointed to and left as there was a long wait for the Eucharist. – apparently they had got the service time wrong and there was hardly anyone present to set off the bomb. 

The matter ended there until the newspaper Valampuri of 26 April carried photos of persons wanted in connexion with the bombings. The lady was the fifth on the list, named Pulasthini Rajendran (a.k.a. Sarah), probably a convert. Fr. Jesudas then reported it to the police.

Upholding Civil Liberties Even in Crisis Times

The strength of a democracy is measured by how it can uphold civil liberties in times of crisis. It appears that everyone, from the President downwards, has used those dispensing violence when it suited their political gain. Naturally, many national gains are being reversed. Politics is upside down.

Last month, quoting Jaffna newspapers, a provincial minister elected on the rights platform, whose husband was disappeared at the end of the war, was asked by Gotabaya Rajapakse for support at the presidential elections. She replied that while she could not do that directly, she would help him by asking Tamils not to vote for any Southern Party. This would effectively take away votes from the UNP. She had earlier, in M. Sivajilingam’s presence, promised CV Wigneswaran her support. It is no longer clear who stands for what.

Further, few know that in a major victory for rights, there are some 500 Pakistanis who received political asylum some years ago and were living in Negombo – until the bombings. Chased off by locals, the government is contemplating their move to Chettikulam believing the Northern Province might be the safest place for them now. In a reversal of commitment to rights today (27 April), Charles Nirmalanathan protested and State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene pleaded it would be temporary. With this end to civil liberties, the Pakistanis’ future is uncertain. and our rare achievement in human rights trashed.

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Further, District Secretary and Government Agent Colombo Sunil Kannangara put up notices saying that those with face coverings like the burqa cannot enter the Kachcheri (Daily Mirror, 25 April). This affected the Election Commission too as one of our Colombo buildings is in the Secretariat. Saner counsel seems to be still lacking (see notice issued today). Our government is made of thick-headed control freaks.

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Latest comments

  • 7
    0

    Government corruption is nothing new, but this is a dangerous variation, with ministers directly assisting would-be terrorists. In 30 years, no Sinhalese member of the government assisted the LTTE, other than to provide weapons during the IPKF stint. The fool Sirisena is taking jaunts around the world, while very likely, Muslim ministers such as Bathiuddin are letting the ISIS use Sri Lanka as a training ground in return for large sums of money. Time to sack Sirisena and put Bathiuddin in jail, assuming the allegations are true. There can be no compromise on national security.

    • 0
      7

      It is not yet time to sack Sirisena as it will cause even a worse a disaster when Ranil becomes the interim president!

  • 2
    2

    That TNA MP must be a brave man…

    I am glad to hear from the horse’s mouth that Baththudeen is the Bag Man for the LTTE loot in Mullative.
    Because my dear friend NV here always say my mates Rajapaksas took it.

    I agree . Politics got Fucked up big time since Sarong Sira and Pants Ranil took over.
    You are Right on the Money , Mate.. ,

    Sarong Sira know your people will never back him again.,

    So Sira has no option other than to mollycoddle Bathtudeen , Assath Sally, Hizbulla & Co..
    While trying to stitch up deal a with Rajapaksas to get the Sinhala Buddhists vote at the next round.

    Pants Ranil has no such problem with your people or the Muslims,
    Hakeems, Hashims and Muzamils always ensure the Muslims vote UNP.
    In fact they are now the UNP.

    UNP Pin Up Boy, young Sujeeva was in many Photos with Copper King Ibrahim Senior, and the Elder Ibrahim Junior receiving accolades, trophies, and certificates for best Business people in Lankawe.
    That was in 2017
    Now I am told that Business made the Suicide Bombs .

    Sarong Sira personnaly declared that Baththudeen didn’t cut down even one tree in Wilpattu.
    Where did you get that info about him settling Muslims there.

    Yahapalana Government’s Director of Health Services can’t even count to four hundred without making a mistake.
    And it is not a simple mistake either.

    No wonder Sarong Sira and Pants Ranil could,t get that “Intel” out in time to save our poor Catholic Brothers, Sisters , ,Moms , Dads, Grand Parents and Kids. in Kochikade, Negambo and Batticolao…

    BTW, Can you please tell us those names of the Politikkas whom you found in those Thamil Websites..
    I want to tell our friends in Colombo ,to vote for them again, if Sarong Sira or Pants Ranil call an Election ..

  • 14
    3

    Prof,

    You seem to have a lot of time to write on topics that are completely irrelevant to your mandate as a member of the election commission of Sri Lank. The country has lost its democratic rights under this government, that has denied its population an election by doctoring the constitution. Your mandate as a member of the election commission is to deliver the people’s franchise right to vote. I haven’t seen you write nor speak up in regard to the governments shocking behavior. Which tells me, that you are part and parcel of the rot. Next time when you file a case against the holding of an actual election, at least have the curtesy of resigning as a member of the election commission of Sri Lanka, that is mandated with holding an election! You have been served!

    “You can fool some of the people all of the time and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” – Abraham Lincoln

    • 2
      8

      NC – the Mandate of the President and the Prime Minister of the country is to safe guard the security of the people.

      NC – are you saying only the ISIS is mandated to talk about them?

      it’s unbelivable that the country is gradually being taken over by ISIS and NC suggest the we all shut up because we are not mandated to talk about it …

  • 3
    0

    it is clear that inaction was a ploy to get muslim votes at the presidential election

  • 5
    0

    Let the President show his good faith by gazetting a regulation that whenever law enforcement is ordered by a politician to release a person in custody or is told how to handle a suspect, they should send a written report to the Police Commission.

    Who ordered the release of Baithdeen’s brother? We like to know

  • 5
    0

    These information are important for public to know. Facts speak truth. If these are true, what we have in the legislature is bunch of terrorists themselves. The impunity of parliamentary members should be withdrawn and let CID be deployed to investigate each accusation. Criminals are being protected by President. How the hell can he expect to contest again? He should be sent to jail along with his family members for allowing terrorism grow in the country. Now he is planning to appoint JJ as CJ, who knows that he has erred by misleading the legislature. By a future govt. if JJ becomes CJ, he should be punish along with his civic rights too being taken away for abusing the rights and obligations of AG position. Same yardstick should be used for all the present politicians who abused their positions. People should be made aware of their dues and rights. Thanks RH.

  • 2
    0

    ISIS has only one goal that is to kill every one who disagree with their twisted thinking. But our MS and Rajapaksas have numerous sinister goals. MR recently admitted to press many times that minorities are the hurdle for them to come back to power. He also acknowledged Tamils and Muslims will never vote for their family. Now by enabling this massacre they have started the racial/hatred fire which they hope to continue because of the coming holy month for the Muslims. They will see to that, more and more of Muslims presence during their holy month , to create more retaliation from others.They will keep this inferno alive until their goals are achieved (which is POWER at any cost). Now the minorities have been pulled apart, put one against another,confused , and suspicious at each other .This includes the Muslims, Christians,Hindus,Tamils as whole and The Buddhist who up to now did not trust them. This with their regular regular fanatic base should get them back to power. They have got MS as president to mastermind who in turn has nominated governors with ally Bathudeen , to coordinate and execute their sinister plan. At the end ISIS has claimed responsibility thinking in their concrete twisted minds, they had achieved their goal.. But MS and Rajapaksas have just started.They tried last year to rape the constitution but failed, so now they have returned back to the game plan which they know best.

  • 0
    0

    Sri lanka has all the information and intelligence before the instance happen same like the history of karuna.

  • 5
    0

    Hizbulla, the mad dog should be given a life sentence along with the one who appointed it

  • 6
    0

    “Regarding Mr. Rishard Bathiuddin, a rehabilitated LTTE cadre testified to me that in the last days of the war they transferred money from LTTE storehouse loot in Mullaitivu to Bathiuddin in exchange for food. It was a very lucrative business for Bathiuddin according to my informant. “
    *
    This is serious stuff. If true, why was this not said much earlier?

    • 6
      0

      SJ,

      A very pertinent question! Has Jeevan ever disclosed this information — that he obviously considers credible — in any of the torrents of writings he has made to date in this forum or elsewhere? Or to any other officials, political or otherwise, that he rubs shoulders with ever so frequently. Why not? Is this just a convenient time for Jeevan, or did his resentment for LTTE was so overpowering that he chose to ignore Bathiuddin’s treachery up until now?
      .
      That aside, Jeevan feigns rage and seems so rattled now to (newly?) learn of all these wheeling-and-dealing, the clandestine “quid pro quo”s in the Political circles. Here is a basic question Jeevan refuses to address that pertains to his own conduct. What were the circumstances that lead Mahinda to promise to intervene to get Jeevan the VC appointment at the University of Jaffna? If that was not a similar “quid pro quo”, can Jeevan explain what other defensible motivation would have persuaded MR to make such a promise? If it was indeed a “quid pro-quo” — as is the most logical conclusion sans any explanation from Jeeva — what in fact did MR expect from Jeevan in return?
      .
      While Jeevan attempts repeatedly to champion and profusely pontificate the merits of truly democratic means, his efforts to bury this humongous undemocratic, if not treasonous, pumpkin in his own plate will be laughable, if only its consequences were not so tragic!

      .

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