By Lakmali Hemachandra and Ravi Tissera –
“Nothing mattered much. Nothing much mattered. And the less it mattered the less it mattered. It was never important enough. Because Worse Things had happened. In the country that she came from poised forever between the terror of war and the horror of peace Worse Things kept happening” ― Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things
Flying Fish, a movie about the monstrosity of war was banned because it was claimed to demoralize the government forces and depicted them in a negative light. Weliweriya proves that we do not need films and literature to understand how cruel, inhuman and destructive wars are, but most of all it proves against whom wars are fought, from Nandikadal to Baghdad. It is interesting that the Army and the government is playing the same tune it did in 2009, the war was grander and the damage was larger, but the response of the government after slaughtering Tamils and the response after killing Sinhalese is eerily and tragically similar. There is a lesson we must learn today, a lesson that we should have learnt long ago and a lesson that some pretend to not know.
The fight in Weliweriya was for clean water, the people of five villages led by a Buddhist monk took to the streets for six days to urge the government to protect their right to clean water claiming that the wells in area was contaminated by the waste disposed by a factory producing rubber gloves. It is a classic battle between people and the corporate, between nature and development, between democracy and neo liberalism. The government’s brutal attack on the innocent civilians in Weliweriya illustrates which side the government is on and it is not yours or mine regardless of whether we are Sinahala or Tamil, it is not of the seventeen year old Akila and nineteen year old Ravishan who died caught up in the military attack on the villagers, it is not of more than 60 people who are injured and it is not of the undisclosed number of innocent people who got death instead of clean water. The massacre at Weliweriya exposes the enemy like it has never been seen before, it makes it painfully clear where this country is heading and it gives hope to people like us who believe that we should continue to dream of justice and equality in spite of the brutal oppression that forbids us to dream.
The number of civilians who died during the last stages of war is alleged to be more than 40000, but the government claims they adopted a zero casualty policy and no civilians were murdered. With the Tamil community, including the Tamil Diaspora vehemently denying this claim, somewhere deep in our souls, we the Sinhalese too must have questioned the truth of the government’s side of the story. The humanitarian war that was waged to provide water for the people in the North was more sinister than it was portrayed to be, people were murdered, and houses burnt lives were destroyed in the name of peace and humanity. People in the south ate kiri bath at every junction, erected humongous cut outs of the Rajapaksa brothers and General Sarath Fonseka and we celebrated when the mothers in Jaffna were looking for their children, when women in Jaffna were crying for their husbands, when children in Jaffna were waiting for their parents. The country was lost in the jubilant spirit of the war, the President became a King, the Defense Secretary became invincible, the soldiers became heroes and we the people became our own enemies doomed to cheer the death of our brothers and sisters and doomed to believe every word of the Rajapaksa regime that would in the coming years plunder the nation and call it development, murder students and call it accidents, violate democracy and call it patriotism and murder the people who dared to voice their dissent.
Four years later when the people of Weliweriya asked for water, the same water that started the humanitarian battle in Mawilaru the same Army that supposedly saved the Tamils, attacked the Civilians on the roads of Weliweriya . The accounts by the villagers claims that they were made to kneel down while the Army beat them up, that even the Church that gave refugee to the escaping people were attacked, the total number of the dead is not revealed and the Army refuses any indiscriminate attack on the people. It would be a bad joke if it was not tragic because we heard this story before, in which the Army controlled rebels and saved the people, the churches and hospitals were not touched by our disciplined forces, and no civilian was murdered indiscriminately.
The stories of the people who were attacked echo this bitter truth because they are stunned and flabbergasted as to why the army they prayed for and cheered for is now killing them when all they want is clean water, when all they want is one factory closed so they can live in health, their children can grow up in an healthy environment. They simply cannot understand the crime they committed, because they are not terrorists, they are the supposed rightful citizens of this country who speak the first language.
Unfortunately for the Sinhalese majority of the country, The neo liberal agenda of the government that protects the economic interests of the rich and mighty against the human rights of the majority of the people, be they Tamil or Sinhala was crystal clear when the government without taking measure to close down a factory that is abusing the environment and the health of the people, sent the military to make sure the factory was protected from the masses that surrounded it demanding its closure. The brutal attack on the people of Weliweriya was an ideological attack by a neo liberalist state on the democratic right of the people to protest. The attack is rooted in the Rajapaksa regime’s thinking that the task of the state is to protect the private corporations, not the welfare of the people and the environment, thus when people protest against this abuse of democracy where their interests are compromised for the interests of a few who will make profits on the promise of trickling it down, the state shows its true colours and attack the innocent people who are obstructing the interests of the private corporations.
The experience is not new to Sri Lanka; Sri Lankan state for the past thirty years has been operating under the false belief that when you pamper the private sector the people will reap the profits. It should be especially remembered that the interests of the private sector under the current regime cannot be separated from the interests of the Rajapaksa family because much of the Rajapaksa wealth is invested in various private businesses from hospitals to hotels. Then again, that is the nature of neo- liberalism, wealth is concentrated into the hands of a few powerful members of the society, and concentration of wealth where political power is concentrated is only natural. In spite of the popular claim that free market is efficient and democratic, many examples from countries all over the world proves that imposition of the free market model is almost all the time neither democratic nor efficient. For example Russia, after the collapse of the Soviet Union underwent what is known as the shock therapy, the markets were freed and most natural resources which were under the state control were sold to private individuals for a fraction of their real worth. It also created a class of rich business men, an exclusive club of few individuals known as the oligarchs and the economic power of Russia to this day lies with them. In spite of the extreme poverty that has bred prostitution and drug trafficking, Russian oligarchs continue to thrive and get richer every year. Similar stories can be found in India and China as well, in fact land acquisition by the Indian state for industry purposes results in landlessness among the poorest of its citizens, who not only lose their houses but also their agricultural land to mighty corporations. The story must ring a bell to those living in Applewatte and Laundrywatte who are being dispossessed of their houses and land so that a big Indian Corporation can use it to build apartments for the rich.
The government spokesmen from Dallas Alahapperuma to Galabodaththe Gnanasara claim there was a hidden political hand behind the protests, as if that justifies killing people on the streets. Indeed the protest in Weliweriya was a political act, it was the people of this country telling the state that they want water not casinos, the people of the country reminding the government that human beings matter not free markets, more than anything it was the people of the country, exercising their right to freedom of expression to protest, to dissent, to command the government to use the power given to them by the people for the welfare of the people.
Thomas Hobbes was the first political economist who used the word social contract, to indicate some kind of agreement between the state and the citizens. The content of the social contract has changed since then, Hobbes argued it was for security, Locke argued it was to protect property and Rawls argued it included distributive justice. However what must be remembered by everyone who frowns upon political protests against the government is that there is a contract between the state and the citizen, there is a contract between Mahinda Rajapaksa and the people in Weliweriya. The President and his government is supposed to serve the people, to provide them with water and food, education and health care, and the army that so brutally murdered innocent youth was supposed to protect them from any risk to their security.
President Rajapaksa would undoubtedly fear political activity of his subjects, because in spite of his illustrious political career and the obvious political ambitions of his son, Namal Rajapaksa, people on the streets participating in political protests, demanding the government not begging from it reminds him that the power he imagines to be eternal, has a source, the people of this country, be they Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim. It is indeed a cruel wake up call to the make believe royal family of the country that the two third majoritarian power they hold in the parliament and the faithful loyalty of the highest court in the country will never be strong enough to conquer the peoples’ power.
There are things that we must learn from Weliweriya. The people of this country must understand that when the army kills it is never for them, it has never been for them and the more we cheer the closer we get to our own destruction. Tamils in North and Sinhalese in South did not die because they were armed to hurt you and me, the normal people of the country. Forty thousand people who were killed in the last days of war were not terrorists, they were the people of this country who were tired of being ignored and oppressed, they were a people with problems of their own, different to ours but valid nevertheless.
Victims in Weliweriya ask the question, “But why us? We are not terrorists!”, but the truth is none of them were. None of the people who died in North were terrorists, they were our people who we cheered and sent to death and destruction. Those who survived are still suffering in North and the same army that killed your sons in Weliweriya is holding the gun against our Tamil brothers in Jaffna and nobody can save them, except for us. Therefore we must protest, we must protest and stop the government from killing people , we must protest against women being raped and children being abused, we must protest in support of the people who want water and food, we must protest in support of those who are being dispossessed of their lands and when we do that the people in this country will realize that our problems are the same, we share a common experience and none of us became the victors when the Sri Lankan Army conquered Nandikadal.
Weliweriya gives us hope that our people will not be deceived forever, that someday we will stand up against the cruelties that we see and hear of everyday and when that happens the constitutional dictator and his all-powerful brother will realize that the people who created them can break them, that with all the powers that were transferred in that imaginary social contract we the people reserved the right to rebel, and we were only waiting for the time to rebel.
JULAMPITIYE AMARAYA / August 5, 2013
Why Now we can’t cerebrate cooking milk rice and lighting firecrackers,
Because OUR HEROIC RANAVIRUWO,
KILLED SOME UNPATRIOTS,
WHO CAME AGAINST THE PATRIOT RAJAPASSA GOVERNANCE.
And this is a Diaspora Conspiracy,
with the help of OBAMA AND CAMORON clique.
Don Stanley / August 6, 2013
Excellent article! Please translate and publish in Sinhala in all newspapers and pray to god that the Sinhalay modayas who voted for Rajapassa the second time, will not make the same mistake again..
The citizens of Lanka must act before it is too late to save democracy.
Gotabaya the paranoid Goon is building a DEEP STATE or a state within a state to secure the Rajapassa family’s CORRUPT MILITARY DICTATORSHIP WITH A FACADE OF DEMOCRACY. THE DEEP STATE as in EGYPT or TURKEY consists of a military intelligence clique, key judicial figures, key individuals in the administration and in the business sectors that control the state and its governance structures.. Hence Gota the goons love affair with the dysfunctional Pakistan military Generals..
Upul / August 5, 2013
Mahasohon / August 5, 2013
Well, it is one family of thugs versus the nation. Now we know what the game is all about. The ruling family lives in fear of being toppled, and so they launch deadly attacks against anyone, any event or any incident that to these fearful thugs seem to be a threat to their existence.
Thiru / August 5, 2013
Dear Lakmali Hemachandra and Ravi Tissera,
This is a fabulous article, well thought out and lucidly written carrying an important message to all citizens of Sri Lanka. It’s a pleasure reading it, despite the fact that it expresses sadness over the state of affairs in Sri Lanka. It’s inspiring and raises the hope for the country’s future.
I hope people will take heed, and also hope that this article is widely read in Sri Lanka and abroad. I request the authors to translate it into Sinhala and Tamil languages to give it maximum readership in Sri Lanka. People need to be educated, not misled by demagogues as has been happening all along.
I also fear the establishment will try to label people of such stature as neo-JVP, or something undesirable to crush, especially as they touched on globalized capitalism.
Once the establishment creates a bogey-man there are many vested interests at home and abroad ready to suppress any rebelling that the authors advocate.
My best wishes to your efforts. Keep up your good work.
Citizen / August 5, 2013
Jim softy / August 5, 2013
Why did not you two discuss the other aspects of this incidence such as; why did the protest organizers transport students in lorries ?. Once the crowd was leaving after agreeing with the army, why did some in the protest crowd attack army with stones and sticks ?
Is there a connection of the recently fired workers from this factory ?
gamini / August 5, 2013
Jim Softy how more naive and foolish can you be? The student and the others who have died are from the area itself, so what transport are you talking? When the Army started thrashing the crowd with sticks and poles, it was natural for them to hoot and throw stones in retaliation. No amount you try to cleanse the Army, the Public has lost confidence in the Forces as they now know they are not there to protect the masses, the public, but the MR regime. That is why after the funeral they all hooted the Forces and the Forces had to keep quiet.They are no longer Rana Viruwas, but Alu Gosuwas, Killers.
JimSofty / August 5, 2013
Watch the videos and talk.
Police were warning the protesters since the morning. Protesters were adamant that they were not leaving the major road.
Blame the govt. Army has to carry out orders.
some protesters have been stupid or were expecting this with their prior preparation.
DeecSooppan / August 5, 2013
Jim Softly you are another Government Thug who will give excuses to protect this rogue regime. There is no law and order. Crimnal impunity is given to the rajavassa family and the rajavassa close associates. 2/3 majority is bribed. all government departments are robbed by rajavassa clowns and close associates.
Uvindu Perera / August 6, 2013
If my options are to either go home and die slowly while watching my family suffer or to demand my basic right for clean water from the government that I elected and pay taxes for, I’d select the latter too. Stop making excuses. The government should fighting for the civilians, not factories.
Plus I know for a fact that glove manufacturers use radioactive isotopes of Cobalt which can cause major health problems. So if people are getting ill around such a factory, their concerns are spot on. It’s the duty of the government to assure their safety.
Wickramasiri / August 6, 2013
Jim Softly, Are you saying that when protesters are warned to leave and they do not, it is okay to shoot them dead? Your army has done a terrible wrong. Admit it and say sorry at least!
Shanthi Sachithanandam / August 5, 2013
Touched on the most important point…It was such a pleasure to read this article..Thankyou Lakmali
Punitham / August 6, 2013
Peace Lover / August 5, 2013
a great post and hats off to the writers
Poor Leela ( K A Sumanasekera) will now rise up from his sleep and utter a few words much to the amusement of everyone…….something like seeing a circus clown perform on a hot Lankan day !
s.induruwage / August 5, 2013
Very thoughtful and penetrating article which should be read by all civic minded people. Congratulations. Keep up the good work.
gamini / August 6, 2013
There were many to share the spoils of the Fake War Victory, stage manged by the Americans and the Indians for MR to be the Hero and not even SF included after all connived, to take the Sri Lankan masses for a right Royal Ride. However the Rajapaksas massacred over forty thousand Tamils, from which act SF tried to absolve himself, only to take the credit for a staged War by deceiving the masses. In the end SF lost both and is unable to tell the truth without earning the wrath of the Americans and the Indians now, leave alone the Rajapaksas. SF may escape the Rajapaksas, but certainly not the Americans and the Indians if they are let down by revealing the truth about the LTTE War. SF after boasting that this country belongs to the Sinhalese and the Tamils could only live at the mercy of the Sinhalese, today goes to the North and is seeking the mandate of the Tamils shamelessly. SF does not have the guts to admit that there was no real war with the tigers for the period Jan 2007 to May 2009 where the LTTE buried their heavy artillery and retreated for the Forces to occupy the North and in the end even moved out of their stronghold Kilinochchi without a fight, to the sea front. Otherwise imagine if the LTTE used their heavy artillery and fought the Forces from their strong hold Kilinochchi, there certainly would have been a high casualty figure on the Forces side and the War would have taken a much longer time to finish, not just thirty months. If what I say is false or it is my imagination, I challenge SF or any other to publish the list of the Forces dead for the period Jan 2007 to May 2009 for the General Public to understand the Truth by counter checking the list with the bereaved Forces families. SF nearly paid with his life for a suicide bomber that VP sent to him in 2006 before the thirty month War commenced by the LTTE closing the Mawilaru Anicut. SF and Gota nearly paid with their lives for their own folly of trying to trap VP outside the game plan provided by the Americans. SF did not lie, when he told that it was Gota who gave the order to Shavendra Silva to kill all the Tamil surrenderees. SF had to retract as he would not only have stirred the Rajapaksa hornet but the American and the Indian as well. SF would have been killed for treason as Gota threatened, without much adore from the Americans and the Indians, had the need arose. So SF had to retract quickly and put the blame on Frederica Janz. If anyone believes the War was really fought, just ask your self, why the LTTE buried all their heavy weaponry and moved out of their stronghold Kilinochchi to get massacred on a beach front? They might as well have stayed in their bunkers and fought which was never the case.
The War ended after the Forces massacred over forty thousand unarmed Tamils and the Sinhalese in the South were jubilant as they did not know the pain of the Tamils who were the victims then. The Forces were hyped as our ‘Rana Viruwas’ a fitting tribute they believed, when the Rajapaksas hyped before the so called War, introducing the Forces as ‘Api wenuwen Api’. The Forces were recognized by all as a special breed of individuals with better perks and privileges over the rest of society, be they housing, school admission, travel or high salaries and none complained. Our Diplomatic Community were patting each others back praising MR as the savior of the Sinhala Nation and our Forces invincible and ready to teach other Nations how to fight Terrorism. Our Forces were even recruited for the UN peace keeping exercise and the incident at Haiti was down played after some had been caught for their favourite past time of Raping. Further on a low key some who retired were placed as Diplomats in some countries, with the plum job offered to the main suspect of War Crimes, Shavendra Silva at the UN Head Office. Such was the level of accommodation provided to our Forces at the behest of Americans and no host country or any other country protested for fear of reprisals.
In 2009 our Diplomats in the UN headed by none other than Dayan Jayatilake who claims today that his diplomatic skills enabled him to ward-off any probe by the UN on the War against Sri Lanka is sadly mistaken. The truth is the Americans used Dayan Jayatilake as a cat’s paw, to ward off any Probe or Inquiry with the promise that Sri Lanka would commence Reconciliation and needed time. Devolution was much in the air then and MR assured the world body that he would grant Devolution as promised. This is the difficulty that Dayan Jayatilake has today, with his conscience that the final solution should be Devolution which he thought MR would fulfill. Now that MR has dropped Devolution the need for Dayan Jayatilake is no more for MR.
When MR commenced the so called War against VP, MR also commenced another hidden War against Ranil Wickremasinghe to oust him from the leadership of the UNP, knowing very well that once he becomes the War Victor if Ranil remained, it would be that much difficult for MR to grant Devolution to the North. So all in all, although MR defeated VP, Ranil remained the stumbling block for MR to proceed with the Devolution package as promised to the North as MR would have lost credence in the Public eye, because Ranil would have claimed that the end result of his exercise of the CFA would have resulted in the same, without all the advertised mayhem. In the meanwhile KP had returned and is still waiting to take over the North after he doubled cross VP. Had MR been successful in removing Ranil, he would have long proceeded to grant Devolution to the North, as there would not have been any to object from the UNP because MR would have destroyed the UNP completely by now, buying over all. MR’s plight was understood by his Benefactors, the Americans and the Indians who in turn allowed MR to bide time. Unfortunately for MR the video footage of the mass killings of the unarmed Tamils surfaced through Chanel 4 and the Americans and the Indians had to draw new strategy to show that they were to bring a Resolution against Sri Lanka if MR failed to implement the LLRC proposals, merely to cover American/Indian involvement. The whole world including the Tamil Diaspora waited with baited breadth, thinking that the Americans would fulfill fait accompli at the UN Sessions. The anti-climax that resulted with a watered down Resolution left many wondering as it gave MR breathing space once more. It appears, the scheduled NCP Elections for September 2013, The Americans and the Indians do not mind MR dropping the 13th Amendment, if not for the upcoming CHOGM and the Indian elections next year 2014. Therefore it is very likely the NCP elections will be postponed at the last minute, allowing all preparations to proceed now, citing a legal snag by the servile CJ in MR’s favour. Then MR would triumphantly hold the NCP elections next year, minus the 13th, just before a Presidential Election to woo the Sinhala Patriot Vote, to romp home.
Well as said there is so much more between the cup and the lip and anything could happen from now till then. For instance the thunder that Weliweriya produced have left the Rajapaksas speechless so far. A Nation that adored the Forces as our own, have started to distance them after seeing their true self of the Jack Boot. This was evident from the hooting of the villagers at the Forces that was there in full strength after the funeral of the slain student and some of those who were interviewed by the media. The Sinhala society have opened their eyes now after being subject to the Horrors of Military Rule. Now they seem to sympathize with the Tamils in the North as to what they would have undergone over the years after tasting a bit of the medicine themselves. Therefore it is the bounden duty of all of us to prevent this country coming under a Military Rule. All Sri Lankans wake up before it is too late. Leave aside petty differences and stop blaming individuals as Ranil Wickremasinghe falsely. Besides Ranil in the evening of his life, is not going to be there forever. The immediate need is to get the country out of the hands of the Rajapaksas, because if not his siblings will take over, which is not the case with Ranil Wickremasinghe. With Ranil Wickremasinghe the country will be spared to bring in changes to prevent the riff raff from entering Politics to earn a living and rip the country. Everyone will be assured fair play and there will be Law and Order. Let us unite in the interest of us all. Thus I propose the TNA Sumanthiran, Sampanthan, Senadhiraja should all join hands with the UNP and form a Govt. to run the country scrapping the present Provincial Councils with the Tamils given Ministerial posts to run the North under a common govt. Then there will not arise Homelands and Devolution. This country could be brought back again to the former glory, for all it’s citizens to live amicably as one family as a UNITARY State.
I am sorry I got carried away and the comment has become more of an article. If posted as a comment it will miss the eye of some, who will skip, not wanting to read such a long comment. I would like this to be read by many. Therefore I have no objection if it is taken off and posted as a separate article by Gamini (only.)
Common Sense / August 6, 2013
Thank you Gamini for opening our eyes with your expert thoughts. What a fabulous way of explaining the hidden part of the whole scenario. I can’t think of a nation with so many educated, uneducated, professionals and the ordinary have done so much of damage by not foreseeing this outcome – I mean the gang of political thieves planning and taking over the ultimate political power…???? It’s just amazing.
It has passed thru all the check points in socio-political order and managed to reach it’s ultimate target to reach the power thru its nerves and reach the head. I think the Sinhala’s been fooled for 100 years about the Majoritarian domination fed by Anagarika and whom was injected by the Freemasonic HENRY STEEL OLCOTT & BLAVATSKY – the individuals who are responsible for the Massacre of millions of people withn their ideas of a MAster Race (the writings of Blavatsky that inspired Hitler to mad in killing millions of humanity). As the fate has it, it was ANANDA COLLEGE that produced and preserved the Master racism from its inception to the modern day by out putting its pupils with crooked minds. I mean, most of the leaders and soldeirs are from ANANDA which was the baby of devil worshipping OLCOTT (An occultist)
Together Blavatsky & Olcott was successful in creating the future wars and war mongers on their brainwashing of the local leaders who are exactly doing what they’re intended to do – Killing for the Master Race.
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Common Sense / August 6, 2013
This one is very interesting, Pls check:
Global Governance: Why? How? When? – Part 1
The Rise of Global Governance
The desire to rule the world has been a part of the human experience throughout recorded history. Alexander the Great led Greece to dominance of the known world, only to become the victim of Rome’s quest for world dominance. The Roman Empire, built on bloody battlefields across the land, was swallowed up by the Holy Roman Empire, built on the fear and hopes of helpless people. History is a record of the competition for global dominance. In every age, there has always been a force somewhere, conniving to conquer the world with ideas clothed in promises imposed by military might. The 20th century is no different from any other: Marx, Lenin, and Hitler reflect some of the ideas which competed for world dominance in the 1900s. The competition is still underway. The key players change from time to time, as do the words that describe the various battlefields, but the competing ideas remain the same.
One of the competitors is the idea that people are born free, “totally free and sovereign,” and choose to surrender specified freedoms to a limited government to achieve mutual benefits. The other competitor is the idea that government must be sovereign in order to distribute benefits equitably and to manage the activities of people to protect them from one another. The first idea, the idea of free people, is the idea that compelled the pilgrims to migrate to America. The U.S. Constitution represents humanity’s best effort to organize and codify the idea of free people sovereign over limited government. It is a relatively new idea in the historic competition for world dominance.
William Benton, Assistant U.S. Secretary of State, told a UNESCO meeting in 1946:
“As long as the child breathes the poisoned air of nationalism, education in world-mindedness can produce only precarious results. As we have pointed out, it is frequently the family that infects the child with extreme nationalism. The school should therefore use the means described earlier to combat family attitudes that favor jingoism . . . . We shall presently recognize in nationalism the major obstacle to development of world-mindedness. We are at the beginning of a long process of breaking down the walls of national sovereignty. UNESCO must be the pioneer.”
ravivararo / August 6, 2013
well said gamini.
gamini / August 6, 2013
Lakmali Hemachandra and Ravi Tissera – Excellent Article. We need to band together to educate the masses before the country falls in to the hands of the Military, under the guise of Reviving Sinhala Buddhism. At the last Wesak Day celebrations it was the Forces that led a Campaign of Wesak Decorations all over the country. Now the Public should be made aware the real intentions of the Forces using Buddhism as a band wagon.
Punitham / August 6, 2013
Thank you, Gamini
Piranha / August 6, 2013
An excellent piece. Thank you Lakmali.
The Rajapaksa regime has shown that it will not hesitate to use military force to suppress the people’s right to protest. This is what he did in the name of liberating the Tamil people from the LTTE, indiscriminately killing tens of thousands of Tamil civilians.
Now the people in the South will realise what Rajapaksa’s military did to the Tamils in the name of defeating the terrorists. It is time people of all races got together to evict this corrupt and criminal thugs from power. The fact that Rajapaksa has not even bothered to comment on the atrocity against the people of Weliweriya, let alone apologise for the deaths and damage caused to the people, shows how much he cares about the people of Sri Lanka. The sooner the dictator is deposed the better.
K.A Sumana sekera / August 6, 2013
Ms Hemachandra has got inspiration from Weliveriys and wants more of the same all over.
“Right to Rebel , Time to Rebel”
What a fitting heading, perhaps even a good fighting sloagan.
Since the end of the Mother of all Rebels in the Nanthikadal lagoon.there have been many small ones,
-Fonseka Rebel at the Hilton,
-Hultsdorf & CJ Rebel,
-Candle Light Vigilante Rebel.
These were all aimed at one and only one thing .
That is to roll the Govt and install the Opposition to please the LTTE supporters and their backers local and overseas.
None of these ended up in a tragedy, for the elders wouldn’t allow their youngsters time off from school or sports or social activities to join them.
The elders themselves didn’t want to be seen on prime time Plasma Screen , weilding sticks and throwing stones.
This was despite the UNP leader’s constant urging and promising to bring the masses on to the streets.
Then the schemers and organizers tried the Halal angle.
Thankfully the Elders and the Priests of our Muslim brethren didn’t take the bait.
Now they have reaped some sucess on the back of the poor Weliverians.
Inhabitants along the West coast who mkae up the great majority of the Catholic population are poor rural people .
Their youngsters have free time, Above all religion is a well proven tool to whip up people in to a frenzy.
Is this the reason why these anti Govt agents showing asigns of De ja vu?.
Didn’t these anti Govt journalists listen to the good Reverend who was pleading that the outsiders butt out and leave his Parish members alone?.
Aney Apochchi! / August 7, 2013
Tsunamisekera aka Leela aka Lee Potter Pissa:
You certainly have a compulsion to constantly reinforce the fact that you are the closest thing to the quintessential village idiot! However, do you think you could stop occupying space on CT, sparing us your stupidities? Ah, but then, that is what the Rajapassas pay you for to compensate for the fact that the public is no longer interested in supporting your real estate scams!
Peace Lover / August 8, 2013
well put LEELA alias K A SUMANASEKERA just writes what he is told and paid to do so by his handlers!
Sengodan. M / August 6, 2013
Excellent!-to say it in just one word! I wish that this article is rendered in the national languages, Sinhala and Tamil for a wider reach among the people,who matter most. Well done, Lakmali!
Spring Koha / August 6, 2013
Lakmali, Ravi: Thank You for this excellent, thought-provoking article, and I am with the others in wishing that it be translated and made available to a wider audience. At the time of writing, nobody in the cabinet has resigned in protest at the abject treatment of our fellow citizens in Weliveriya. But this is par for the course in our political tradition. Unfortunately, until the political stables are cleaned out of the goons and shysters who now wreak havoc, we will endure more Weliveriya’s. Till then, you ain’t seen nothing yet!
Brian Vittachi / August 6, 2013
Is there not one honourable man among those who sit in High Office? I have met so many Sri Lankans, be they Sinhalese, Tamil, Burgher or Muslim who are highly intelligent, decent and sensible people. They are well travelled and very cosmopolitan in their outlook. Many of them want to migrate for the sake of their children’s futures. I say don’t.
Come together, all you good humans, and form a political party that crosses all ethnic and religious lines. There are enough moderate minded folk in Sri Lanka who will support you. I am sure you will have many allies and enjoy popular support. Stand for governance by Rule of Law, equality and meritocracy. Don’t run away and leave that beautiful island to the mercy of a bunch of robber barons and their political puppets.
Spring Koha / August 7, 2013
Well said Brian!
Alas, I hope this is mirrored in the Sinhala and Tamil press. It cannot be possible that the erudite, capable and talented people amongst us can continue to take their talents elsewhere and leave our island paradise to a collection of shysters, thugs and their sycophants. Alas, I see only despair and fear in those to who you appeal. But we must have hope.
Senguttuvan / August 6, 2013
Lakmali and Ravi,
“…None of the people who died in North were terrorists, they were our people who we cheered and sent to death and destruction. Those who survived are still suffering in North and the same army that killed your sons…”
As I had occasion to comment earlier, at last the Sinhala South is beginning to see matters in perspective. There will be greater understanding and sympathy between the two peoples as the months pass.
But the problem is, I am sorry to say, the politicised Buddhist clergy
and the industrial-merchant class that is using them. The immediate target is to eliminate all traces of substantial Tamil and Muslim presence in the commercial sector in Colombo and elsewhere in the country. This is as destructive as physically attacking the minorities.
True there is fastly growing nation wide disenchantment against the regime but what is lacking is/are organisation/s to convert this as a resource to secure for the people a benevolent and results-oriented government. The UNP is paralysed and is more at war within itself with a self-centered dictator at the helm. One day he sacks Sajith and Karu and the next calls them to work with him. We have seen this so many times.
Sri Lanka is fated to suffer through further bouts of deep social disorder in the foreseeable future.
Punitham / August 6, 2013
”organisation/s to convert this as a resource to secure for the people a benevolent and results-oriented government”
We urgently need more Lakmalis and Ravis to catch the urgency and momentum – we cannot afford to wait for we cannot afford to lose any more of our natural resources:
Punitham / August 6, 2013
Only Sri Lanka Spring can save Sri Lanka in its eleventh hour.
patriot / August 6, 2013
Lakmali Hemachandra undoubtedly has written the best ever article to Colombo Telegraph(CT). We the passionate readers of CT are indebted to her for giving the opportunity to read such a detailed well balanced story which will open the eyes of everyone. However, will the Rajapaksas understand if they ever read this article? NO! They are such a selfish uneducated lot.
Patiya / August 6, 2013
A few points for the writer to ponder:
1. This Government is NOT neo-liberal. It is running a feudal system of patronage which is best described as a Kleptocracy.
2. The Government did not intervene to protect the company. They intervened because they pereceived a threat to themselves. I believe the operations of the factory were shut down a couple of days prior. They were certainly disrupted a few days before by Mervyn Silva.
MSG / August 6, 2013
I hope we remember that the power of the people is greater than the people in power.
Punitham / August 6, 2013
Lakmali and Ravi may form a group that tackles various areas:
crazyoldmansl / August 6, 2013
It is so nice to see the sinhalese who worshipped these war heroes for killing Tamils, now getting killed by their own heroes. This is what war heroes are there for. They are there to kill. Now when you are ready to build a country that has no army let me know. Till then enjoy getting killed by your war heroes.
Matupala Silva / August 6, 2013
“Right to rebel,Time to rebel”,is political slogan,has been created in situation of tyrannical regime of rule by ‘rule of gun’.
But present rule is elected by and large mandate of people and ballot.On going regime is NOT tyrannical ,the root cause that regime in power since 2004 had been defeated ruthless terrorism of Tamil LTTE outfit by war support of separatism over more than 30 years.
Such separatism and its out-fit politics had undermine and destory whole democracy operation since 1948. LTTE,had been ‘rebel’ in appearance, but mode of opreandi ,its war of PROXY in the vested interest of foreign powers.
Our is system of democracy of since 1948 had been an operate under Parliamentry democracy in our nation;indeed under most cruel period country rule by UNP regime of JRJ, R.Premedasa & Ranil W. in 1977 to 1994, had time was to ripe for Rebel.Why that regime was tyrannical?Rebels were brute supresses by UNP regime.
So That rebelling was brutlly supresses by UNP regime bypath of ‘time of rebel’ in 1988 and 1989.’Timely’ massacre more than 900,00 to 100,000 youth of Our island by ‘time of rebel’ had never been address by any ‘Human-Rights’ by foreing inititative.
Punitham / August 7, 2013
Matupala’s muddle or folly of education system:
Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘’The lessons we have to learn go back to the past – certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948. Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality.Our inability to manage our affairs has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens. We need to rectify this bad governance and the first and foremost task before us is to undertake constitutional reform in order to ensure that we have adequate devolution of power. We need to have State reform; we need to have rule of law established; we need to ensure non discrimination amongst our citizens; we need to have devolution of power and a tolerance of dissent and a strengthening of democratic institutions” (Dhanapala is a Sinhalese Buddhist and a former UN Under-Secretary General. Many more conscientious Sinhalese retired diplomats made similar statements to LLRC. The website of LLRC is now hacked. The govt set up the website, in the first place, under great pressure from civil societies. Reporting of submissions by Sinhala media was blatantly distorted.. Many submissions by Tamils were not posted at all on the website. Fortunately Groundviews, a citizen journal, saved most of it – http://www.scribd.com/doc/104705097/Conscientious-Sinhalese-Tell-LLRC ‘
Davidson Panabokke / August 7, 2013
Lakmalis and Ravis
Pl note the contents and take action if possible:
Antany Peter / August 8, 2013
Most of the Sri Lankans are well aware of my writings, if you are not aware then you must visit http://www.lakbimanews.lk and read my comments under the head line “Cannot risk a parallel army in North: Basil.” As a Sri Lankan intellectual I have an obligation to tell what is right for the country and its people. You have a choice to listen to the intellectuals people like us and take the country to the next level, or you can shut us down as LTTE/Western puppets; and let the chaos carry-on. What has happened in Weliweriya is simply wrong, and it has to be stopped at any cost. The government thinks it can shoot or beat up anyone, because it has expanded the Colombo harbor, and eliminated the LTTE by dropping thousands of bombs indiscriminately on Tamils. If the government was really concerned about the innocent Tamils who got caught during the war and taken steps to secure their lives; it would have declared a mourning day after the end of war, instead of encouraging the public to celebrate. You don’t need a PhD in love and care, if you want to feel others’ love and care towards you and your community. Since Weliweriya incidence I don’t believe the government. I really don’t believe the government feels any accountability or responsibility to others. In fact, they are shooting the people without a second thought, because they got away from killing thousands of innocent Tamils. Their present behaviour is saying something about their past. I am reluctant to take their word anymore. Don’t let them to justify their killings and wrongdoings by waving the LTTE flag; if you allow them it will carry on forever. Law and order is extremely vital for the country’s prosperity and growth. Therefore, I am urging all the political leaders, intellectuals, business entrepreneurs, religious leaders and law abiding citizens to rise up, and put a pressure on the government to put an end to its uncontrollable madness. If you keep silence then you are approving the arrogant and ignorant governments’ actions; by doing so you are betraying yourselves and your future generations.
Antany Peter / August 8, 2013
Excellent article, I hope it will wake-up the people and put the country in a correct path.
aaa / August 8, 2013
Your statement on street celebration in May 2009 is totally wrong.
Celebration on Prabakaran’s death was not just a celebration of a ‘dead body’ or victory against Tamils. It was the End of the War. No more suicide bombs, no more terrorist attacks to villages. Innocent villagers in North , North Central and Eastern got a chance to spend nights in their own homes without hiding in jungles.
Charles Rodrigo / August 9, 2013
We kept silent when the Tamils were being killed. Similarly, the Rajapaksa fans, who come mainly from the South, are quiet when other Sinhalese are being attacked. They will realize their folly when their time for being attacked comes. But by that time it will be too late for all of us.
frodolk / August 21, 2013
First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me.
“Then we started talking, until our voices were again silenced in public. Can we say, we aren’t guilty/responsible? The persecution of the Jews, the way we treated the occupied countries, or the things in Greece, in Poland, in Czechoslovakia or in Holland, that were written in the newspapers
I believe, we Confessing-Church-Christians have every reason to say: mea culpa, mea culpa! We can talk ourselves out of it with the excuse that it would have cost me my head if I had spoken out.”