23 February, 2020

Blog

Problem Solving In The North Requires More Attention 

By Jehan Perera

Jehan Perera

Contrary to expectations the government is treading a cautious path with regard to past commitments on controversial matters made by the previous government. This may be disappointing to its more nationalist supporters. They might have expected an immediate change of approach and rescinding of agreements they see as unfair or not in the national interest. In the run up to the presidential election campaign, the present government’s front line campaigners claimed that the MCC grant of USD 450 million by the US government that had just received cabinet approval would endanger the country’s national security. Members of the government and their nationalist supporters were emphatic in saying that the former government had betrayed the country. This effectively sank any prospect of election victory that the former government’s presidential candidate may have had.

However, after the election these negative voices have subsided. Indeed, it now appears that the government is seriously considering going ahead with the MCC grant. As significant as government backtracking on its earlier criticism of the MCC grant is the government’s decision to follow its predecessor government in its approach to the thorny problem of dealing with the excesses of the war through a process of transitional justice, which includes truth seeking, accountability and reparations. Right from the outset, when the former government agreed to be a co-signatory to UNHRC resolution 30/1 of 2015, the agreement was denounced by the leaders of the present government who were then in opposition. They described it as a betrayal of the country’s security forces. The most controversial part of the UN resolution was its acceptance of foreign judges, prosecutors and investigators into a Sri Lankan judicial mechanism to ensure accountability.

It now appears that the government will be following a strategy of continuity with change in the case of the UNHRC resolution. The government spokesperson has said that they will follow the policy laid down by former Foreign Minister Tilak Marapana who stated that the government will uphold its commitments but only within the framework of the country’s constitution. Speaking in Geneva last year he reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment to Geneva process but pointed out the inability to implement certain provisions, such as bringing in foreign judges, as they were contrary to the constitution. Such an approach would not put the government into headlong confrontation with the UNHRC as would have been the case if the government had decided to withdraw its assent to the resolution as had been anticipated by its nationalist supporters.

Fr Patrick hopes to set up a drug rehabilitation centre for the north

Ground Situation 

The government’s restrained approach in relation to dealing with the international community is also reflected in its approach to issues on the ground in relation to inter-ethnic relations. During the past week, together with other civil society activists, I visited Vavuniya, Mannar and Jaffna to meet with civil society groups there. On the whole the impression I got was that the situation of normalcy that existed in the previous years continues. However, the military checkpoints that have come up since the change of government appear to be an unnecessary irritation and there for symbolic purposes rather than for any real security searches. We were only stopped at one of them although we counted eight from Mannar to Jaffna. Some of those we spoke to in the north felt that the purpose of the checkpoints was to assert symbolic dominance in the north which they saw as a symptom of a deeper problem of a government that does not stand for the principles of governance appropriate for a plural and multi-ethnic society.

Among the major issues that came up our meetings the most concerning to us was the issue of increased surveillance of civil society. So far this has only taken the form of asking questions, but there is anxiety that controls may grow more stringent in the future. The use of intimidation has been strongest with those organisations that are focused on human rights violations, and particularly those dealing with missing persons. As in the south, there is a concern that the present may be only an interlude and the real approach of the government will be manifested after the forthcoming general elections in April. Despite these concerns, open discussion was possible to a certain extent as the religious clergy felt that they could speak more openly without getting into trouble. An issue that was brought up was the controversy caused by the President’s statement that the missing persons are no longer alive. The government has been responsive, at least in words, to this issue which will also be one of the central themes for discussion at the forthcoming UNHRC sessions in Geneva.

Following protests by affected families and the international community, the Presidential Secretariat has said that the media reports quoting the president as claiming that the 20,000 who were listed as missing were dead was taken out of context as he had stated that necessary investigations would be conducted before issuing a death certificate. It further said that the president had informed the UN that necessary investigations would be conducted to find out the fate of those who had disappeared during the civil conflict as most of the families had attested that those disappeared had been recruited or forcibly conscripted by the LTTE. However, this was not acceptable to those from the north, who pointed out that the disappearances had continued even after the end of the war when the LTTE was no more.

Multiple Issues 

The other issue that is causing heartburn among Tamil-speaking citizens in general, and not only in the north, is the step motherly treatment meted out to the Tamil language. This feeling of grievance has been accentuated by the recent action of a government minister who went to the predominantly Tamil-speaking north, got himself impassioned and ordered the name board of an institution under his ministry to be redone so that the Sinhala wording comes on top and the Tamil wording below it. There is a need for the government to take the language issue seriously as it affects the sense of dignity, equality and belonging of those who are Tamil-speakers. This issue needs also to be viewed in the context of the possibility that the national anthem will not be sung in Tamil at the forthcoming National Independence Day celebrations on February 4.

Some of the other key issues that the civil society groups in the north brought up are not necessarily ones that are being prioritized by the government for resolution. These include the continuing problem of India fishing trawlers coming in thrice a week in one thousand strong fleets to take away all the fish by bottom trawling methods. This was an issue that was highlighted by the media in the past but is now barely given attention. Another issue that is depriving them of livelihood opportunities is the naval prohibitions on fishing in some parts of the north and fishermen from other parts of the country having privileged access. The contest for ownership of land in which there is a religious or ethnic aspect which further increases the possibility for conflict was also highlighted. These are important issues to the people in the north and they are frustrated that no one seems to be interested in solving them.

Another problem that was highlighted was the problem of drug addiction and the smuggling in of narcotics from India. A Christian priest, Fr Patrick, appealed for resources to start a drug rehabilitation centre in Jaffna to cater to the affected population. The drug problem is not unique to the north and exists in other parts of the country as well, so much so that former president Maithripala Sirisena was driven to make it his number one priority towards the end of his presidency.

Fr Patrick’s insight was that combatting the drug menace has to be locally driven with prevention being in the hands of families and local authorities who need to be better funded and empowered. On the other hand, the problem of Indian fishing in Sri Lankan seas shows the need for a centralized approach with negotiations between governments being the way forward. Some problems require a centralized approach while others require a decentralized approach if they are to be solved. A responsive and problem solving government approach cannot only be top down.

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    the north and the east are and have been economic and moral zones for the upliftment of this sad sorry nation.
    =
    only a few days ago I read in the totally biased racist media that the yalpannam farmer has contributed his mighty 2 cents worth to bring to reduce the cost of living by their smart methodology and smart work which has considerably reduced the economic burden on the average joe blog.
    =
    the Tamil fisherfolk are openly discriminated by the import of the ganankara Yakko Sinhalese goondas who with the encouragement of the totally one-sided biassed armed forces and the police are depriving the rightful claimants of the sew waters to earn their living and like their compatriots the farmers to bring relief to the rest of the much suffering masses of the country.
    =
    the security checkpoints are another form of attempting to bring the economic saviors to its knees.?
    =
    the various racist petty-minded totally Yakko dominated governments have only exposed their privates by boasting snd hailing about the plus factors of developing the north.
    why is that to date are all farts and no shit or droppings.?
    =
    the hundreds of thousands of the governments own military instead of being locked up in their own internment camps have been openly smuggling in the various varieties of drugs, educated the youngsters to become drug addicts and even to this saddened day it is causing many a mayhem in the average cigar
    [ surruttu ] smoking Tamil families.

  • 2
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    Jehan Perera: The same American govt which harassed Sri Lanka with their so many UNHCR resolutions want to give $480 million of free money. They say the COMPACT which says it is a commercial pact is not negotiable. Let us say they built a new road network and they take over the Railway ane service too in order to earn back the $459 million they spent. The social engineering needed after setting up the Land registry is very scary. Sri Lankan people had a certain style of living when it worked for centuries, British destroyed it one time and now Americans want to destroy it for the second time. They say Sri Lanka has Pristine real estate in Indo-Asia or Asia-pacific region. Important in what way. Are they going to relocate Diego Garcia to Sri Lanka. Why sri Lankan Lands are unique. In their plans, Colomba port and Trincomalee are included. They already have, via India I suppose, one Colombo Jetty too. Some say Colombo East Jetty may become the Hub for weapons to ISIS in Asia and probably narcotics too.

  • 3
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    Like some of the writers one mass of words are poured in but they hardly bear any relation with the heading of the article. Problems within the country are a galore. People in the North may feel that they are left out on grounds of ethnicity. Yet again people in a rural environment may feel that they are left out just because they are rural. The author has not argued as to why the problems faced by the citizenry of the Northern area must be solved on a priority basis than those of the others. My position is that some of the problems are common to the whole island. For starters solve them first.

    • 1
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      Very true.

      Soma

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    PART ONE

    .
    I got a lot ready as comments on the Hoole artices – but too late, comments had closed byt the time I tried to submit. All of this relates to the Northern Province as seen from the South:

    St John’s is the premier Anglican School in the Northern Province. Perhaps, Trinity in the Central Hills. And S. Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia, in the Western Province.
    .
    I have just a few hours to make comments on this particular article. Many of you may not know that the same 15 member S. Thomas’ Board of Governors administers Mt Lavinia and three Branch schools – one in Colombo 3, and two in the Uva Province. I live near the Bandarawela school, and on Friday, the 17th, I visited the school dressed up (lounge suit, College tie) for the Founder’s Day service. This school was founded by my Godfather, William Thomas Keble on the 20th of January 1942. He had previously founded S. Thomas’ Preparatory School, Kollupitiya.
    .
    The School that is really struggling is Gurutalawa. When the Brits wanted the Mt Lavinia buildings for their soldiers a little later in 1942, the Mt Lavinia students were re-located in three places: Some had afternoon to evening classes at St Paul’s Milagiriya which was a very old Anglican Girls’ School (now run as a government school). A second group were accommodated at St John’s Getambe, Kandy. The group went into the farm donated by Mr and Mrs Leslie de Saram in the Muslim village of Gurutalawa, five and a half miles from Welimada. It was a Grade six to O. Level school. Keble’s school in Bandarawela fed it with students.
    .

    • 3
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      Dear CT,
.
Thank you very much for publishing all that I put on last night.
      .
      I’m now about to set out for S. Thomas’ College, Gurutalawa, which is eighteen miles away. Not a very advisable thing to do, perhaps, for the following reasons:
      .
      1. I’m too old to be riding motor-cycles.
      .
      2. The reconditioned 125 cc bike that I bought in 1990 is now not in the best order. twenty-nine years of use by me, and it failed the emission test (albeit narrowly) two days ago. The mechanic came home last evening and suggested that because I intend returning via Diyatalawa, it was best for him not to make the carburettor adjustment until after this particular (for me, long) trip. In case you don’t understand the reasoning, failing that test is the result of the mixture getting fired in the cylinders is too rich in petrol and has too little oxygen – so it emits more pollution than is advisable. That worries me, since such things have, ultimately, led to my sister in Sydney, Australia, having a good deal of smokey atmosphere. We can never be sure how much harm we do to planet Earth! Such worries will never be even understood by the likes of Donald Trump.
      .
      3. I made many attempts to get permission from the Headmaster, Ven. S. Philip Nesakumar to obtain permission to visit the school today. No response from his mobile phone – I tried only twice. I had relatively long chats on landphones in the school. What I thought was the Headmaster’s bungalow phone, has now been transferred to the guard room. I tried the Office phone on numerous occasions on Monday and Tuesday. I had also e-mailed (on Sunday) the Headmaster with this request to meet teachers after their work was over, and they were signing off in the office.

    • 3
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      Another post Script:
      .
      Ven Nesakumar called me
      with this Etisalat phone at 8.47 am. The conversation lasted only 51 seconds. He told me that I could meet him at 10.00 am on Wednesday, the 5th. He said that he wasn’t interested in my other commitments.
      .
      I had tried to tell him that Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo had asked me to contact him after the 1st of February, and so I might have to be in Colpetty, Colombo, by then. So, what to do?
      .
      I think that what I will do is try to get to the Gurutalawa College gate by 1.30 pm., and distribute my “message” to those who would take it, and then return to Bandarawela. I have to meet a nephrologist at 6.00 pm. He’s a pretty good doctor who comes up from Badulla once a month. It is already 11.45, so a lot to do
      .
      These doctors, of course, want to keep us alive, and to be fair they want us (for own good) to keep the records of treatment safe. I don’t know where I’ve put them. I’ve been assured by the channelling place that Dr Udara Ratnapala doesn’t inflict corporal punishment on unsatisfactory patients, but I would be scolded. Justified, don’t you think? He has every right to expect a man of my age and garrulousness to have acquired some wisdom by this age. The last time that I met him, his opening remark was: “Oh, you! Now am I going to do the talking, or are you going to do the talking.”

    • 2
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      A third Post-Script:
      .
      Mission successful!
      This comment is meant for some regular readers like the very honest “Desperate Sinhalaya” who were concerned that I was taking too many risks.
      .
      Dear DS and others, let me give you all the details later. Soma, below, is right. My comments here are out of place. Let me tell you briefly that I distributed 134 copies of my “manifesto” last week in the Bandarawela school. Only about 30 were distributed today at Gurutalawa. However, I do have that scheduled meeting with Headmaster Nesakumar on Wednesday, the 5th, to look forward to.
      .
      This has to be taken step by step. I’m almost sure that I will be able to force the Pharisees to conduct a proper election. The result? I’m just not bothered about it, but looked at objectively, I must now be the odds-on favourite to win. No, I’m not a gambling man.
      .
      I’m hopeful that the moderators will allow these comments to come in here – so long as they realise that our intentions are good.

  • 3
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    PART TWO
    .
    Keble specialised in Primary teaching in both Colpetty and Bandarawela. Those schools then did not come under the Board of Governors. They were Keble’s private property which he sold to S. Thomas’ when he left for Canada in 1956.
    .

    .
    A toper named Obeysekera was acting Headmaster for about a month, but he fell seriously ill. My father, David Nicholas de Alwis Edirisinhe, then ran the school pretty well for about eight months. He was an exceptionally good teacher, but he had no University degree. So, Vedanayagam David Paul Raj was btought in from Kingswood, Kandy. He was followed by S.L.A. Ratnayake, who had a touch of megalomania. He jumped at every opportunity to add classes upwards.
    .
    The Branch schools have always received step-motherly treatment when it comes to positions on the decision making bodies. I will vote on the evening of Friday, the 14th of February 2020, for two Board Members representing the Old Boys of S. Thomas’ College, Mt Lavinia. The staff of that school only elect one Board of Governors’ Member
    .
    There was always cheating to elect a member to represent the Branch Schools, but it never got as bad as it did in 2016. He was cheated on without even the OBA’s blessing – or even knowledge. About eight months ago when I bluntly asked him whether he was going to get on the Board again, he said that he was too old. He is now 76 years and three months old. However, about September 2019, he told me that he was thinking of remaining on the BoG .
    .
    That is where we now stand. For some details of what happened about a fortnight ago, please see many later comments on this article.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/royal-institute-defence-secretary-rules-above-supreme-court/

  • 3
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    PART THREE

    Tamil Madya Maha Vidyalaya
    On Saturday, the 25th, I sent these letters off by Registered Post for the main Post Office in Bandarawela:
    .
    No. 6659, to Rt. Rev. Dhiloraj Canagasabey
    .
    No. 6650, to Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo .
    No. 6661 to Rev. Christopher Balraj
    .
    No.6662 to Rev. Philip Nesakumar of Gurutalawa.
    .
    On the same day, I didn’t then know, Dhiloraj Canagasabey had spent many hours in the Bandarawela School – a workshop for Christian Staff.
    .
    On Sunday, I tried to phone Rev. Nesakamar. Somebody advised me to try on Monday So, I did, and continued on Tuesday, I did not succeed at all in speaking to him. However, he had told the telephone operator that I cannot meet the teachers. So there we stand.
    .
    Rev. Nesakumar and Bishop Dhiloraj had both been in the Bandarawela school on Saturday. Does this indicate that they have arrived at an agreement to shut me out. How valid can such an election be considered to be?
    .
    These are serious legal questions. However, much more serious have been the happenings in Jaffna. Rev. Gnanaponrajah has not even been defrocked. He should probably be jailed.

    • 3
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      Sinhala man
      What is your intended audience, may I ask?

      Soma

      • 5
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        A valid question, Soma.
        .
        I’d seriously say, “the whole of Sri Lanka”.
        Some decades ago the Thomian schools were the most prestigious in the country. I think that the Mt Lavinia school (where I had my last couple of years of schooling – after the best years of the school were over) is still good. I have no reason for feeling that the Colpetty school is bad, but I did not think that the previous Headmaster was suitable for the job. I must confess that it was a reciprocated feeling.
        .
        I know that there are huge problems with the two schools in Uva. No, Soma, you will not be able to set a realistic trap for me! It is a relevant question to ask why these schools, and many others, have become unsatisfactory in certain respects.
        .
        I feel that the point that you are making is that these comments of mine are off-topic. I agree. However, why not leave that to the moderators?
        .
        Please re-read the words that begin the very first comment posted here. They were written in a hurry, after a frustrating rejection – so the diction in those comments is not up to the mark. The comments were meant for some other place, although even there, they were intrusive. Please see this article of mine:
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-thomian-pharisees-are-adamant-on-the-need-to-cheat/
        .
        I have done what I could to highlight a mess. Do I consider these schools more important than the less well-known ones? No certainly not!
        .
        The slogan: “The closest school is the best school”, captures the ideal that we should set ourselves. Unfortunately, people like you, Soma, deal with slogans bereft of any serious intent to do more than just talk.
        .
        I’m tired. I will say more if you make it seem worth my while discussing anything with you. I’m sick of your dishonest posturing as “the only Sinhalese advocating the granting of Eelam”.
        .
        The ball is now in your court.

      • 4
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        What’s become of you, may I ask, trap-laying, specious-argument-wielding, racist Soma?
        .
        It is now two full days since you posed your officious question, isn’t it?
        .
        More interesting thoughts coming up here.
        .
        https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/indian-consul-india-day-jaffnas-culture-random-thoughts/
        .
        As for what’s happening in the vicinity: The sports meet in Bandarawela began at 2.00 p.m., and I must go down soon – since it is 3.30 p.m. No, there’s no mistake. You know what these dreary events are like. I want to avoid the opening and closing ceremonies – and the meaningless speeches, of course, during which it would be disrespectful to talk.
        .
        So one goes through the motions of this charade. I just want to respond to any queries that the staff have, and Ven. Nesakumar will also be there. I’d better avoid “talking” to them. Just greet them, as expected by the protocol.
        .
        But will break protocol in one respect. It’s bloody warm in the sun (nice and cool indoors) but the protocol is that guys like me should be in (black!) lounge suit, whereas most parents will be comfortably (casually) dressed. So, I’ll go down in a College Tee Shirt and cap.

        .
        I think that what I must now do is avoid any huge blunders by trying too hard.

        .

      • 2
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        Soma you are absolutely right on your comment. Sinhala man has a lot to say things in retrospect mostly about himself. I wish he avoids it for the sake of the literary character of the article.

    • 3
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      The LATEST DEVELOPMENTS
      .
      in Anglican-Thomian problems owing to lack of transparency.

      .
      Today I had to make a complaint to the Bandarawela Police because when I visited S. Thomas’, Bandarawela this evening for their Sports Meet (for which a few thousand – literally – had turned up), I was not allowed to enter the school.
      .
      I’m too tired to enter all the details at this time on my tiny dongle-powered notebook computer. With tomorrow being a new month, I will enter all the details and the explanation – by evening possibly – from my ADSL connected Desk-top Computer.
      .
      My complaint has been lodged in a Police book named CIB (4) 314/348 (I believe those figures represent page and paragraph numbers). Date, obviously 2020/01/31, recorded by Lalith PS 4334.
      .
      It strikes me that not many CT readers would ever have made a police complaint. We live in a society where it is deadly to be that innocent. Please bear with me – CT as well!
      .
      I’d like to thank the moderators for realising that this is probably going to build up to a major story. As soon as I think another “Opinion” article is justified, I shall work at it.
      .
      It is obviously too much to hope for that the boring racist, Soma, has disappeared totally from CT. Hopefully, however, it may be that she will stop trying to make love to me through comments.
      .
      Does that sound harsh? Perhaps, because she once made a sincerely generous remark about my comments. I’m writing her off not because she’s been overtly nasty to me, but because the sort of comments that she makes damage our efforts to bring about peace and reconcilliation in our land.
      .
      Panini Edirisinhe aka “Sinhala_Man”.

      • 3
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        Many thanks, dear Colombo Telegraph,
        .
        There are many new developments taking place at breathtaking pace.

        .
        You’ve been very kind CT, but I think that I must now move my new comments to the bottom of this page.
        .
        So, dear Desperate Sinhalaya, and my other friends, [and also enemies – after all in a War of this sort also there must definitely be enemies] look for the latest developments at the bottom of this pile of comments.

  • 4
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    I thought the great majority of the inhabitant population in the North are Siva worshipers at Nalloor..

    While Dr jehan is traveling to Jaffan often. the Political Parties and the Politicians who are the guardians and protectors of the Siva worshipers are hanging out in Colombo.

    And now they are even talking about contesting seats in the South, after their followers boosted the UNP Vote Base by over One Million .
    And made Keselwatta Kid looks like a winner scoring over 5 million , although another Mil of that belong to the followers of the Islamist Politicians ..

    Anyway the Politicians who were once affiliated with the Vellala Tamil Alliance in Colombo are now fighting each other.

    The ex CM and the Velalla Party TNA Heavy Wigneswaran has now formed a new party with LTTE supporting Ponnambalams .

    Doughie from Pohottuwa has been helping the non Vellala inhabitants there for a long time.

    With the new rehabilitated LTTE Party run by the released ex LTTE cadres fielding their own Team , there is a formidable array of political powers to to do horse trading in Kotte after the Election..
    In fact the ITAK Party’s anointed Leader Abraham has been boasting that they will have 40 Seats after the next Election.

    With that of sort clout under the belt. Dr Ranil still the UNP Ruler and the PM contender will be odds on fav to form the next Government, although Nandasena is the President.
    -S
    So Dr Jehan does not have to worry too much about the road checks , Southern fishers catching Tuna in Mannar. and the Navy Boys restricting Tamil fishing Boats.
    They will all come to a swift end soon, with ample compensation too from Dr Ranil..

    BTW, wonder which Party the Jesuit followers of Dr Jehan are going to back at the next Election?.
    Or has Dr Jehan formed a separate Party for them?.

  • 4
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    Jehan

    North’s first female Governor moves swiftly to address people’s land, economic issues

    *** The solution to the Tamil problem is not going to come from within but from outside It is up to India to make a reality and the UN to punish those responsble for the Genocide.
    The female Governers promise is an empty one just as the previous Governers ( half Sinhalese) Promise when he said he could feel the Heartbeat of the mothers and fathers who were looking for their missing ones when he was busy granting licences for 250 new Buddhist Templs to be built in the North. Did he know that RW was lying when he set up the missing persons list which Gotha has now clarified as he was the man in Charge and has admitted that his men killed them all who surredered . It is matter for the ICC.

    Sri Lanka is now paying a Heavy Price from isolation.

    • 3
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      Kali
      “Sri Lanka is now paying a Heavy Price from isolation.”
      How much you reckon is your share?

      Soma

      • 2
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        Soma (Rama Thero,) I shot the Sherrif ( SWRD)

        We dont pay it individually like Gotha who cant even go to China with a “Pichai Pathiram” . We pay it collectively as a people. Now that you have raised the issue of Price. let me tell you you are like an Ostrich all we can see is your bloody ass.
        No investement and all the projects have been stopped even the ones started. Only India will give you the money and no one else. Sri Lanka is barred by India from borrwing anymore from China . What are you going to do for the next 5 years. I take it you are going chew Gothas K.dd.ai

      • 3
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        Soma

        You really are a Som -ass,. First of all you dont seem to understand the meaning of Heavy Price as we are not part of anything in Sinhala Lanka other than victims so we cant pay any price . We have been paying a Heavy Price for the last 71 long years at the hands of the animals( half half). May be I was kind to Sinkalms by using the word Heavy where as I should have said Terrible Price. Let me give it to you in black and white what price you have paid and are paying by electing a World renound CRIMINAL .

        1) The CRIMINAL an American Citizen went to the US to handover papers to relinquish American Citizenship. He was ambushed in a car park and the DIASPORA hurridly Fled and arrived back home.
        2) With the help of the Judges stood for Presidency and won wth 41% racist vote.
        3) What happened after that is history
        a) No World Leader congratulated him which is an Insult
        b) Modi Summoned him and gave Pulichal Laddu
        c) Attempted to go to China but Modi put a stop to it.
        d) Gothas Foreign Minister was summoned to Delhi and on his return Chinese counterpart arrives in Sinhala Lanka to be briefed.
        Gothas World closed in on him.
        e) Indian Naval ships arrives under the heading ” Permanent Military Presence” sugar coated as ” Closer Military Ties.

        Gotha your darling has not been engaged by any other Country or its Leader. If this is not isolation can you tell me you stupid what is Isolation. Even Maithiri the CROOK met more World Leaders . Gotha faces 5 year ” VANAVASAM”
        Got it you ignorant. If not let me know. Gotha is DOOMED.

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          Dear kali,
          .
          It’ll be interesting to see if Officious Soma returns to this page.
          .
          If she does, she’s got to answer me before she gets to you!

    • 2
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      Kali,
      “UN to punish those responsble for the Genocide.”

      Good idea. Punish all the Demala LTTE cadres who slaughtered tens and thousands of innocent Sinhala people over a period of three decades and Demala politicians and Christian clergy who openly supported those Demala barbarians.

      • 4
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        Eagle Eye,

        It is a hard pill to take as you lot are grovelling. You have lost everything , Sovereignty, Freedom to invite whoever you want, Dignity ( Which you nevaer had) lock stock and barrel India has already established a Military Presence. Your struggle for Freedom has only just started Sinkala War ( as opposed to Eelam War) see how the Table has turned. Poga Poga Therium

    • 3
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      Dear kali,
      .
      I think that I understand your feelings. I would certainly not oppose any move to punish those who were responsible for something coming close to genocide.
      .
      However, it is true that many Tamils did (thankfully!) survive. So, the attempt at genocide didn’t succeed. I appeal to you to think more of the future, and less of the past. Putting it another way, let the Sinhalese Sri Lankans make genuine efforts to bring about reconcilliation. I suggest that you should think a little less of punishment. There are genuine dilemmas that face us all.
      .
      For example, Karuna not only turned against the LTTE; he actively worked for their defeat. I was consistently against the War, but was happy to see the end of the LTTE. I know you won’t want to punish me! However, what do you suggest we do to Karuna?
      .
      I don’t know all the details of the War – it was hardly something that I specialised in!

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    PART ONE of Five.
    .
    Some sins there be that can be forgiven, and others there be that are so heinous that they cannot ever be condoned.
    .
    Never would I have believed that I could be typing such apocalyptic words as I must today. These sins and crimes may never make world headlines but what got revealed today seems to me terrible. They related to people who had projected such a clean image of themselves. But instead of being vague, I must allow the facts and revelations to speak for themselves. That I am putting all this on without the inevitable short delay owing to my being a human may prove important later.
    .
    The time now is 10.50 p.m. And this is when I have discovered that Bishop Dhiloraj Canagasabey had been “gracious enough to send me this message at 10.12 am today, the 1st of February – “Sorry, I can’t talk right now..” That must have been because I had called his mobile at I’d called him at 10.03 a.m., and again at 10.11 a.m. with my Dialog number. Actually my phone had on its own called him first using my Mobitel number at 10.13 am – all this I have just noticed. The default setting had become Mobitel – so many things are getting done automatically owing to artificial intelligence. Anyway, the fact is that during certain spells of activity, I’ve been calling Bishop Dhilo’s number at times I considered reasonable. This has been spread over perhaps six years. During the first two, I think he had accepted my calls and made responses that I cannot now remember. During the last four, when the cheating over the fraudulent BoG elections became more acute, he seemed determined to ignore my very existence.

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    PART TWO of Five.
    .
    He got told during the conversation that I had succeeded in distributing 134 sheets, and that I had given out another thirty outside the gate of the Gurutalawa school on Wednesday, the 29th February 2020. He said that he had to go off somewhere, so we said goodbye, and the conversation ended, sans all the “God bless you”s that these religious caterpillars so often employ. Adding that would have been intolerable, don’t readers think?
    .
    What did not get referred to was also important, I feel. That was how I was manhandled by Rev. Balraj in August 2020 after the AGM of the OBA, and its aftermath culminating in one of Dhilo’s personal assistants, a young girl name Kaushika (by now on maternity leave) calling me on the middle day of the three-day visit of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. All that Dhilo probably imagines can now be safely forgotten about. I wonder whether he managed to delude himself that I had been suitably impressed of his importance and authority. “Lord, what fools we mortals be”.
    .
    So much for the Dhilo-Panini conversation. The time has become 11.46 pm.
    .
    During these sordid happenings stretching back at least eight years, I’ve been trying not to uniquely identify too many people. After all, none of us perfect, none of us (I still feel) are absolutely evil. However, some meaningful names have now to be used, even if only part of the name.
    .
    So, my phone tells me that it was after my initial unanswered calls to Dhilo that I called the current Representative of the Teachers on the BoG, Mithra.
    .
    tbc
    .

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    3/4
    .
    After all if he has any inalienable duties it must surely be to safeguard the rights of teachers to select their own representative after I had drawn clear attention to this breach in a fundamental right. I had rung his landline at 10.04 am. Picked up immediately by a servant, whom I addressed as Champa (I’ve changed that innocent’s name – what right have I to make whole families miserable? I’ve never had any serious problems with this Champa). No, the servant said, that “Madam” (sic) Champa was there. I asked about Mahaththaya, but the servant had already disappeared and Champa came on line. She immediately recognised me by my “voice and accent”! Hell! Anyway, I said that music teachers like her had sharp and sensitive ears. She said that she was in the middle of a [piano] music lesson, and that Mithra was strolling in the garden (which happens to be a large one).
    .
    I told her that the cheating done by Mithra was surely enough for one lifetime and that I had wanted Mithra to stop this, else I wouldn’t be able to prevent exposing him through and through. Poor Champa. She did seem surprised by my bluntness, and probably she’s been unaware of its seriousness. She said she would call Mithra, and I thought that I had to hold, but she had dropped the phone after 2 minutes 24 seconds. So, I made another call, then getting impatient called Mithra’s mobile at 10.08 am. Rang, nobody picked up. Rang the landline again – disturbing the music pupil and her teacher, Champa. This call lasted just 28 seconds. She said that Mithra would definitely call. I’m still waiting for that call about 13 hours later (the time is now 12.40 am, the next day.)

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    PART FOUR of Four
    .
    I thought I submitted this Part 4 on Saturday night. I obviously hadn’t. So, I will submit this now, but there have been more happenings on Sunday.
    .
    My phone also fixes the times
    at which the really nice Police Sergeant, Gunapala, called and came. A missed call from his Dialog to my Dialog at 12.37 p.m. – Saturday. I was talking to my wife. He called my Mobitel at 12.47 for 1 minute 14 seconds. He said he was coming to investigate my complaint to the Police the previous day. I called him again at 1.05 am, and made sure he knew the directions to get to my home. He said that he had a motor-cycle. 41 seconds. Then an 8-second call, to see he was at my gate at 1.30 pm. He was really nice, was interested in the background, but he had to focus on just the simple incident of my being refused entry by Gunewardena, Chief of Security.
    .
    A hot day, he refused all refreshment, except water, of which he finally had 3 large glasses. He must have left within half an hour of efficient data gathering, and asked me to meet the HQI at 10.00 am on Monday, the 3rd February 2020. I rang him again at 6.54 pm, and he confirmed Balraj and me to meet the HQI, Monday, 10 am. So, those are the events of some public importance that occurred yesterday.
    .
    They may prove to be significant. I’m confident that the moderators will think of future value.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe (NIC 48 3111 444V – aka Sinhala_Man)

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    Dear Desperate Sinhalaya.
    .
    I’m tired, but happy that whatever I set out to during the last month is turning out well. I can’t help but be somewhat self-centred! .Almost everyone’s first concern is self.
    .
    Doing all that had left me little time to find out what events of greater importance is happening in the wider world. However that may be, I’m going to sleep early today – 10.00 pm – which may sound late to some people.
    .
    I’ll give you the details within the next couple of days.
    .
    STC, Bandarawela had advertised for a Deputy Head. Great. We’re forcing “them” to do the right things.
    .
    I’ll get to Colombo (Maharagama really) in about six days.

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      Dear Mr SM,

      Thanks for your posts. But please always take care of you. Let s hope the best. Entire country is down with corruption. The levels are similar to that of Pakistan or beyond. So, how can we keep hopes further ?
      I keep busy with my travels and these days and get back to you in few days. Take good care of you. WHereever I am going to visit, whenever I can I will keep praying on your health.
      Have a great day wishin you today from Berlin !

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    Desperate Sinhalaya, my friend,
    .
    The last day for comments on this article will be Thursday, the 6th.
    Before that let me tell you, from this place, where I will attempt to give you updates from then on. CT has been very kind.
    .
    On Monday the 3rd, the HQI, Bandarawela looked into my complaint that I wasn’t allowed to be a spectator at the Sports Meet on Friday, the 31st of January. The school representative who turned up was the Chief of Security, Gunewardena, a man with whom I interacted gently. What could that poor man do, or say, after all?
    .
    The HQI was the same Inspector Jayatilleke who I had met around June (I’ll be able to come up with the dates later) when I met him to complain that an Old Boy had been sending Islamophobic WhatsApp messages to a group of Old Boys including Headmaster Christopher Balraj. I almost feel that the Old Boy, SB, wouldn’t mind my posting his name here once more, but why should I run the risk of irritating anybody who has now repented his thoughtless actions. I showed the HQI the document that I had distributed and also some of the comments on CT in relation to St John’s. He was appalled. All in my favour.
    .

    Gunewardena played safe by not divulging in my presence from whom he got that silly order, but he must have revealed that when he was required in making his statement. I have to get back to the Police Station on Thursday at 10.00 am. I think that I’ll be meeting Balraj there.
    .
    Tomorrow, Wednesday, I’ve got to meet the Gurutalawa Headmaster. Hopefully, all will be cordial. I’ll let you know! Good Night!
    .
    Thanks for your interest.

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    Dear “desperateasnoother” and Leelagemalli,
    .
    I’ve been to Gurutalawa. Crunch time is coming for ensuring that there will be a proper election for the Teachers’ Representative on the S. Thomas’ Board of Governors.
    I was happy enough with the trip, but the interpretation given by the Headmaster to Section 1.5.2 it may become necessary for me to write a second article on the Election, and write it soon.
    .
    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/05_Rules_of_STC_Board_of_Governors.pdf
    .
    No date has been set for the election, and what I was told is that it will concern only the Staff (in a sense) , but as decided by the three Headmasters and the existing members of the Board of Governors. If I don’t keep the public alert, the Bishop will suddenly announce that the elections have been held – in the same of corrupt way.
    .
    What Ven. Nesakumar, the Headmaster of the Gurutalawa school, told me is that the Staff will be allowed to select two Members from among them, who will join up with four others from Bandarawela and Kollupitiya, and those six will then elect a BoG Member. How they will know who the possible candidates are is a mystery. It is stipulated in the rules that it must be a Christian. Given the fact that there are some who’d pay millions for the prestige of being a Governor because those six could well end up becoming rich on bribes accepted to vote for their “patron”.
    .
    I’m not saying that this will necessarily happen, but why have a system which holds out a possibility for such cheating? Rev. Balraj, the Bandarawela Headmaster, goes so far as to state that the “secret ballot” part of the proceedings will be in Kollupitiya with the six members of the “Electoral College” voting secretly there!
    .

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    PART TWO
    .
    I’m sure these Pharisees realise the absurdity of their argument, but who will call their bluff? Their Pilimatalawa training in casuistry and chicanery has been thorough. I’m hopeful that Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo will be different.
    Obviously it is every single teacher who has to enjoy a secret vote. I will try, but I will need the support of your comments.
    .
    Colombo Telegraph has been very kind to me in allowing me to pass recent developments on to you, so that you are familiar with the background when the article gets written. If CT does indeed publish it, then your comments will become vitally important.
    .
    Today may well be the last day on which comments on this article are allowed. Surveying what is available right now, I will submit subsequent comments as responses to this article, which deals with “education”.
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/wus-vienna-conference-on-universal-human-right-to-quality-education-for-all/
    .
    I feel that the moderators realise that I’m undertaking an important task seriously. Having submitted these two comments, I must sleep, to wake sufficiently refreshed to meet the Headmaster of the Bandarawela School, Rev. Christopher Balraj in the presence of the Police HQI. I am the complainant, and the offence of the Headmaster lies in debarring me from being a spectator of the Annual Sports Meet of the school, where there were a minimum of three thousand visitors. My estimate of the number of vehicles parked outside the school is at least 300.
    .
    The administration has already indicated that they will pretend my distribution of a sheet of A4 paper was a serious offence. The full text of my message appears here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/royal-institute-defence-secretary-rules-above-supreme-court/
    .
    A comment in Four Parts, towards the middle of the pile.
    .
    Panini Edirisinhe aka “Sinhala_Man”. NIC number: 48 3111 444V
    .

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    It was about five minutes after the stipulated 10 o’ clock when I got to the Bandarawela Police Station.
    .
    Balraj had sent his Security Chief, Gunewardena, again. The HQI, Mr Jayatilleke, called me in and requested me to come again on Tuesday, the 11th, at 10.00 a.m. Yes, I will do so, but the HQI agreed with me that we should not be putting up with this nonsense from this Prima Donna priest.
    .
    I said that Balraj ought to be arrested if he doesn’t turn up on Tuesday. The HQI said that, yes, something drastic should be done about this ecclesiastical mafia.
    .
    The important thing is to have a proper and fair election held. Obviously, there have to be declared candidates, and the delegates who gather in Kollupitiya cannot be free agents who act on their own judgement. If that were to happen, then the six would be in peril if they don’t do as the corrupt Bishop and the Headmasters ask them to. They clearly have to be able to report the wishes of each of the three Staffs.

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    PART TWO
    *
    I think that we’ve got to rally public support so that Justice is done. This isn’t a matter of X, or Y, or Z being elected. It is up to all readers to insist that these Pharisees are not allowed to treat the teachers and administrative staff of the three schools with the contempt that they are now showing for Fundamental Rights. That the schools are three S. Thomas’ Branch Schools matters not a jot.
    .
    I call upon Old Boy Elections Commissioner, Mr Nalin Abeysekera, to get active about this. Prof. S.R.H. Hoole has made his position very clear, despite his father and maternal grandfather being Anglican priests. It is incredible that these Pharisees should act like this.
    .
    I know that today is a bit of an anti-climax, and I relaxed by having a swim (my first) in the super clean (and deserted) Malindi Hotel pool. And now it’s got too late to telephone Rev. Dushantha Rodrigo. Let me do that tomorrow. If Rev. Rodrigo is following these events in the hills, I’d like to just say that I’ve set my phone alarm for 7.00 pm tomorrow. I hope that he uses the extra time to think out this conundrum. How to get a result that reflects the real will of the three staffs?

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    Just to confirm:
    .
    Look for tomorrow’s comment here:
    .
    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/wus-vienna-conference-on-universal-human-right-to-quality-education-for-all/
    .
    I wonder what the Education Ministry will do about all this. These are not “non-recognised” International Schools. That was affirmed by this Supreme Court order:
    .
    https://www.lawnet.gov.lk/2000/12/31/eksith-fernando-v-manawadu-and-others-st-thomas-college-cases/
    .
    Even Parliament has a direct say in this. Parliament alone can change this Ordinance:
    .
    http://www.commonlii.org/lk/legis/consol_act/stc489223.pdf
    .
    These Anglican clergy appear to be even more corrupt than the Members of Parliament. And come to think of it, the man named Mithra (surname withheld for now), whom they cheated on to the Board on an Ides of March 2016 decsion, has even less qualifications than the least qualified Member of Parliament. He’s an “ata pass netha fellow”. Never even sat his G.C.E. (O. Level) Exam.
    .
    However, what we must study is:
    .
    http://www.stcg62group.org/PDF/College/05_Rules_of_STC_Board_of_Governors.pdf
    .
    In particular, 1.5.2 and 1.5.3. Secret Ballot.
    .

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    Dear Panini you are revealing too much about yourself (NIC number etc). All the public institutions of the nation are riddled with the cancer of nepotism, corruption and crime. Is it not certain that the disease will also appear in private companies, schools and colleges?
    Let it all be and enjoy your retirement in peace.

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    Dear Adrian,
    .
    Many thanks
    for the concerns you voice, which I know to be totally sincere and generous. I’m a strange sort of fellow. I’ve never been able to do things secretively. Add to that the fact that I have now lived my life, in terms of chronological age, and that I now swallow a few tablets every day. My natural life span is over. To enjoy retirement I feel that I must now take a few risks more than I was taking. Vegetable existence is not for me!
    .
    However, I’m not going to do anything rash that will turn the cause that we have espoused. I agree that revealing my NIC number may sound eccentric. I think that all readers know, by now, that Panini Edirisinhe is a real person.
    .

    Having slept on it, I realise that the scenario I have outlined four comments prior to this is what they will try out. They will “properly elect” six persons from the three schools to meet in Colombo, and then ask them, point blank, to vote for Mithra, who has not so far indicated that he is stepping back. His wife has by now begged him to desist from cheating. I have no objection to his being elected. I know the guy through and through. We bought that modest Maharagama house in 2014 because my daughters felt that they had to work in Colombo. He has not once visited that house. He has explained to people that he doesn’t know “where the house is” as excuse for not having done so. His wife has visited it at least twice.
    .
    The support that you are showing is more than sufficient. Each individual must work out how much h/she can stick the proverbial neck out.

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