Sri Lanka Hosting CHOGM Is A Joke: Is The (British) Commonwealth Relevant Any More?

Filed under: Colombo Telegraph,Opinion,Popular Columns |
 

By Brian Senewiratne -

Brian Senewiratne
Dr. Brian Senewiratne

I argued that the Commonwealth was a farce, and the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) a joke. That is not correct. I have re-written it to draw attention to an entirely different ‘event’ associated with CHOGM, the Commonwealth Business Forum (CBF).

CHOGM is not a farce. Hosting this event is an opportunity for the host country to make a lot of money. That is why Sri Lanka lobbied so hard in 2009 at CHOGM in Trinidad and Tobago to host the 2013 meeting. What goes on in the main meeting(s) might well be a farce, but the forums that accompany CHOGM, CBF in particular, is anything but a farce.

CBF is a gathering of businessmen from developed and emerging markets that aim to promote trade and investment. It is a business meeting, which has nothing to do with “Commonwealth core values”. It presents a tremendous opportunity for the ‘host nation’ to look at new partnerships and business opportunities – to hell with human rights, democracy or the rule of law.

Typically at every CBF the host country benefits most. At the last CBF (during  CHOGM in Perth, Australia, 2011), some $10 billion in deals were sealed for Australia. For Sri Lanka, a $2 billion ‘business opportunity’ is projected for the November 2013 meeting.

Since 1997, CHOGM has an ‘official theme’ set by the host country on which the primary discussions are focussed. Sri Lanka’s choice was predictable. With the ‘need’ to maintain a massive Army of some 230,000 soldiers (up from 180,000 during the ‘war’ to 230,00 in ‘peace time’, and a call to increase this to 300,000), mega-corruption, fraud, extensive bribery, financial mismanagement and stealing all the way to the top, the country is desperately in need of money.

The budget deficit of US $ 4.2 Bn (revenue US$10.2 Bn, expenditure $ 14.5 Bn) is financed from domestic and foreign borrowings especially from the IMF, putting the country deeper and deeper into debt.  Of the total expenditure of SL Rs 1.6 Tn (US$ 14.5 Bn), Rs 230 Bn is for ‘defence’, of which 88% goes to the military – to ‘defend’ the country from a non-existent enemy. The IMF, with its usual conditions of restricting social welfare and essential services which must be met, is creating massive problems for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, even higher up, which are resulting in intolerable living conditions, especially the upward spiralling of the cost of living. This is resulting in increasing unrest. A revolt in the Sinhalese South is likely.

As such, the most urgent need for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is money, not advise on human rights. The predictable choice of the ‘official theme’ of the up-coming CHOGM is: “Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development”.

Simply put, CHOGM is the much-needed opportunity to keep the ruling Rajapaksa junta in power and prevent an almost certain uprising of the majority Sinhalese at the escalating cost of living and grinding poverty. This is already happening, and is being crushed by the Army – hence the ‘need’ for a 230,000 strong Army, by far the largest Army per capita of the population of any country in the world.

Those who think that CHOGM will afford an opportunity to hold the Sri Lankan government accountable for the well-documented serious violation of human rights and crimes against humanity that have occurred after Rajapaksa came into power (November 2005) and is continuing today, more than 4 years after the genocidal massacre of the Tamil people in the North and East, have no idea of realpolitick.

Those who attend CHOGM do not know, or want to know, what is going on behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka, or the agenda of the Totalitarian State under the Rajapaksas (all of them). In practical terms “Partnering for Wealth creation” is ‘wealth creation’ for the Rajapaksa family (all of them) and their stooges.

People who think that some country, any country, will ask the hard questions on the violation of human rights, the dismantling of democracy and the separation of powers, strangling the media, interfering with judicial independence and rule of Law, and demand a response from the Sri Lankan government, do not know how these tea-clubs function.

For example, will some country ask Sri Lanka why it is necessary to have such a large Army (as President Rajapaksa was asked in the recent disastrous AlJazeera TV interview at which he was visibly shaking), and why Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and International Crisis Group (ICG) are barred from entering the country, let alone the Tamil North and East? It will not happen. If it does, the answer from Sri Lanka will be a downright lie.

The answer will be that that the Tamil people have been ‘successfully rehabilitated’ and there are now only happy smiling (Tamil) faces in the former conflict area in the North and East. Will the follow-up question, “Can AI, HRW and ICG check that out?” be asked? No, it will not be asked because that will rock the boat which is ‘not good for business’.  That is how realpolitik operates.

Fiji is the only country in the 52 nation Commonwealth to remain suspended. No action has been taken against Sri Lanka, the country with the worst human rights record in the Commonwealth, and far worse than what Fiji did which was relatively minor in comparison to the extensive violation of the Commonwealth ‘core values’ by Sri Lanka. The double standards, one for Fiji, and an entirely different one for Sri Lanka, is downright hypocrisy.

The start

The Declaration of the Commonwealth Prime Ministers creating the modern Commonwealth (28 April 1949) stated:

“……the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India, Pakistan, Ceylon, hereby pledge that they remain united as free and equal members of the Commonwealth of Nations, freely co-operating in the pursuit of peace, liberty and progress”.

60 years later, Queen Elizabeth II, Head of the Commonwealth, in December 2009, said:

“The Commonwealth is not an organisation with a mission. It is rather an opportunity for its people to work together to achieve practical solutions to problems”.

To put this in the current context, “the practical solutions” is to get Commonwealth countries to provide the money for Rajapaksa to solve his “problems”. That is what is needed, not advise on human rights or democracy.

In the course of its history, the Commonwealth membership has grown from 8 to 52 countries. Some have been suspended, two of them, twice. The suspension has been revoked in some, remains suspended in one (Fiji).

The aim

The (supposed) aim of the Commonwealth has been to address issues such as:

  • Opposing racism in all its forms
  • Assisting Commonwealth countries to transit to multi-party democracies
  • Promoting human rights
  • Setting an agenda for advocating and advancing the rights of small states and the vulnerable
  • Ending international and interracial conflicts.

In addition, there was the intention to provide ‘intellectual leadership’ in a variety of areas, including, through the work of Expert Groups, advancing social, political and economic rights, and the rights of women.

I will put this to the ‘host country’, Sri Lanka, (in italics) in a relevant way so that it, and the rest of the world, can hear it loud and clear:

  • Opposing racism. Opposing ethnic discrimination in all its forms, anti-Tamil ethnoreligious chauvinism, in particular.
  • to transit to multi-party democracies. Not a Fascist Dictatorship, a Totalitarian State, which has destroyed all traces of democracy and made Parliament irrelevant.
  • Promoting human rights. Not violating every Article in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – the key declaration in human rights.
  • Setting an agenda for advocating and advancing the rights of small states and the vulnerable. Not an agenda that denies all rights to the vulnerable Tamil people in the North and East. Not establishing Sinhala-Buddhist ethno-religious chauvinism as the key goal of the (Sinhalese) Government.
  • Ending interracial conflicts. Not by committing mass murder, crimes against humanity and Genocide. 

CMAG

In 1995, the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) was created because of the absolute need to deal with serious violations of the ‘core values’ by member nations, and to take action where it is appropriate (suspension or expulsion).

Core values

The earlier commitments to Commonwealth ‘values’ in the 1971 Singapore Declaration, and the 1991 Harare Declaration (which, in particular, dealt with serious and persistent violations of these commitments), were updated in 2009 CHOGM in Trinidad and Tobago - “Affirmation of Commonwealth Values and Principles”.

Kamalesh Sharma, the then newly (2008) appointed Secretary General of the Commonwealth, reaffirmed these ‘core values’ in the 2009 meeting as:

International peace and security, democracy, the protection of human rights, tolerance, separation of powers, the rule of law, freedom of expression, development, gender equality,  access to health and education,  good governance, safeguarding civil society, respect and understanding.

He went on to reaffirm his commitment to the core principles of:

  • consensus and common action,
  • mutual respect,
  • inclusiveness and transparency,
  • accountability,
  • legitimacy and
  • responsiveness

It is obvious that to ensure its relevance and secure its future, the Commonwealth needs to put in place effective machinery to deal with those who breach its values, particularly the protection of human rights, democracy, the separation of powers, the rule of law, and freedom of expression. Those who do so should be suspended or sacked from the Commonwealth until they comply.     

The changing record

In the past the Commonwealth has had a commendable record of responding to serious violations of Human Rights within its member countries, including apartheid South Africa and Southern Rhodesia, the excesses of Idi Amin in Uganda, and military coups in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Pakistan and Fiji. In each case the Commonwealth has intervened in one way or another – ranging from condemnations to sanctions, including suspension.

In recent years, however, there has been growing criticism that the Commonwealth does not take a stand on violations of its values by member states, other than in the non-constitutional removal of a Government.

Serious, and entirely justifiable, concerns have arisen when one or more of the core values, which the Commonwealth has set for itself and by which it will be judged, are breached, and no action taken. Worse still, in the case of Sri Lanka that has breached most, if not all, of these ‘core values’, the country has been ‘rewarded’ by being allowed to host CHOGM.

As for the non-constitutional removal of a government, what if the government remains in power having ‘won’ a completely rigged election or an election where the political opponents are threatened or killed, and the governing party uses the media and every State facility for its propaganda, and the Police and Armed Forces to intimidate opponents, effectively making it a sham election? Is that acceptable? What is the difference between this and the ‘un-constitutional removal of a government’?

These are questions that will have to be put to Sri Lanka, where international Election monitors have expressed serious concerns of election malpractice at the recent General Election and Provincial Council Elections.

When these ‘core values’ are abused and imperilled, the Commonwealth countries must speak out. They cannot remain silent. If they do, and worse still, take no action, the Commonwealth will become irrelevant or even demise. However, the CBF will make sure that the Commonwealth limps along, because it is essential for business.

The Commonwealth ‘core values’ stated, and re-stated, are inseparable, which is why democracy and the rule of law, religious, social and cultural rights, and the safeguard of human rights must be the focus, if the Commonwealth is to be a credible.

This is not happening. There is no better example of this than what has happened, and is continuing to happen, in Sri Lanka, not only in the extensive and progressive violation of human rights, but in several other area, such as the muzzling of the media, silencing of free speech, rigged elections, the dismantling of democracy, and interference with the Judiciary and the rule of law – to mention just a few.

Human Rights

‘Human Rights’ are about the rights of people. Proclaimed in 1948 of the UN General Assembly – Universal Declaration of Human Rights, they have been elaborated in two important International Covenants (in addition to several others) :

1. The International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

2. The International Covenant on Economic, Civil and Cultural Rights (ICECCR)

More than a hundred international Treaties, Conventions and Declarations have been promulgated, invariably taking diplomats to the world’s most pleasant, and expensive cities: Geneva (incessantly), The Hague, Vienna, Rome and New York. The result has been to define and extend human rights on paper – endless reams of paper – but never seriously to discomfit a single torturer, until Chile’s General Augusto Pinochet, torturer-in-chief, was arrested in London in 1998 when he went there for a back peration. Even he escaped unscathed, thanks to the then British Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher (his close friend), the Pope (!) and a bunch of dumb doctors who declared that Pinochet was old, weak and demented and unfit to face trial.

He fled to Chile. When he arrived in Chile, the dementia suddenly ‘cleared’ and he rose to address the crowds, looking hale and hearty. Never since Biblical times, when people rose from the dead, has there been such a miracle.

It is possible that when those in Sri Lanka who are guilty of Crimes against Humanity, and Genocide, are finally brought to face the international Bar of Justice, they too might say that it was too long to remember and plead ‘dementia’. It will no doubt be possible to find another bunch of dumb doctors to certify that they are ‘demented’ and medically unfit to stand trial. They will return to Sri Lanka, perhaps to the Mattala Rajapaksa International airport, where their ‘dementia’ will instantly disappear. History has a habit of repeating itself.

These important, but seemingly useless and toothless, International Conventions have been seriously violated by Sri Lanka and no action taken – by the Commonwealth countries or any other, it is an appalling failure to act.

Sri Lanka hosting the November 2013 CHOGM

There have been repeated international demands for an independent international investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity, which Sri Lanka has flatly rejected. The UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts to look into Accountability, were unable to get into the country. The International Bar Association was so concerned about what is going on that it planned to send three senior lawyers to Sri Lanka. They were refused entry visas.

The UN Human Rights Council has taken up the human rights problems in the March 2013 meeting and passed a Resolution expressing concern at what is going on in Sri Lanka. It will be taken up again at the March 2014 – hopefully with a stronger Resolution.

Every major human rights organisation in the world, AI, HRW and ICG, has published a series of damning reports on Sri Lanka. Many of these have been after the end of the armed conflict – in so-called ‘peace time’ in Sri Lanka.

If, as the Sri Lankan government claims, all the concerns expressed have been addressed and that there is now ‘no problem’, then the obvious question is why these internationally credible human rights organisations are barred from entering the country. It is clear that there is something to hide behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka.

There is, in fact, a lot to hide, not only the continuing gross violations of human rights, but the dismantling of democracy, serious governmental interference with the judiciary, including the removal of the Chief Justice despite a ruling against this by the Sri Lankan Appeal Court, to mention just a few.

There are serious problems with governance, with ‘involuntary disappearances’, media freedom, murder of members of the media and those who voice a view critical of the government. There is a gross abuse of power by the ruling junta.

Providing the opportunity for Sri Lanka to host the CHOGM in November 2013 will only serve as a declaration of the Commonwealth’s indifference to human rights concerns. It will also allow a government, facing international concerns and a demand for an international investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity, to preside over the organisation from 2013 to 2015 without the necessity of having to conduct any serious or credible investigations into the allegations it faces.

As I (and others) have said, to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka is an outrage. To make this worse, as is customary, Sri Lanka, as the host nation, will take up the leadership of the Commonwealth for two years following November 2013 i.e. until the next CHOGM in Mauritius in 2015. That the President of a country, who has a case to answer for committing crimes against humanity, will be the “Chairperson-in-Office’ seems to be of no concern – not to the Commonwealth, and certainly not to the CBF. When trade is pitted against human rights, trade always wins. There are no exceptions.

This is a disaster that will have a serious impact on the relevance of the Commonwealth.

The British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee in its recent report – “Role and Future of the Commonwealth” - has sharply criticised the decision to hold CHOGM in Sri Lanka, and has called on Prime Minister David Cameron to boycott the meeting. Cameron will go, so will Prince Charles. This will confirm that trade and geopolitics are more important than human rights.

Human Rights Watch has expressed its concerns that holding CHOGM in Sri Lanka casts serious doubts on the Commonwealth’s commitment to support human rights, democratic reform, and fundamental principles enshrined in the Commonwealth’s Harare Declaration of 1991.

Amnesty International has expressed similar concerns.

Just one Commonwealth country had the integrity and decency to protest – Canada.

Canada – a principled stance

The Canadian Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said that he will not attend CHOGM unless Colombo investigates suspected war crimes committed by Government troops during the civil war.

The Canadian Foreign Minister, John Baird, put it strongly:

“We’re appalled that Sri Lanka seems poised to host CHOGM and to be chair-in-residence of the Commonwealth for two years….Canada didn’t get involved in the Commonwealth to accommodate evil; we came to combat it. We are deeply disappointed that Sri Lanka appears poised to take on this leadership role…..

Far from seeing “meaningful progress” since the last CHOGM in Perth in 2011, the Sri Lankan government had only grown more authoritarian and less accountable and open to reconciliation…..

It’s not just Canada: the Commonwealth Journalists’ Association; the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative; the Commonwealth Lawyers’ Association; the Commonwealth Legal Education Association; the Commonwealth Magistrates’ and Judges’ Association; Human Rights Watch, the United Nations Human Rights Council – all of these people have come out and unanimously have said that not only has Sri Lanka not made progress, but in many instances, is getting worse”.

He referred to the impeachment and sacking of the country’s Chief Justice and her replacement with a successor who is close to President Mahinda Rajapaksa:

“Both of those actions are appalling and they show that not only have we not seen an improvement, we’ve seen a deterioration in recent months and that is causing Canada great concern”.  

What has the rest of the Commonwealth done? Nothing.

The impeachment of the Sri Lankan Chief Justice, despite a ruling from the highest Court in the country, has been found to be unconstitutional, a direct violation of the rule of law and a contravention of Commonwealth Values and Principles.

The Catholic clergy in the Tamil areas

The Commission for Peace and Justice of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna has just (18.10.2013) sent a letter to the Most Rev. Dr Joseph Spieri, the Apostolic Nuncio, in Colombo titled, “External development cannot substitute the settling of the basic unresolved issues of the people in the North and East”. It is a comprehensive document which sets out in detail the plight of the Tamil people, the need for accountability for human rights violations, and the safety of Tamil women and girls in the North and East now run by the Sinhalese Armed Forces. It is essential reading.

The Most Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph, the Roman Catholic Bishop of Mannar (in the North West) and his fellow clergy, have written volumes on the plight of the Tamil people and that if more time is given for the Sri Lankan government to do what it has  for the past 4 years, “the Tamils will cease to exist as a people”.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Navanethem Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, who has just spent a week in Sri Lanka, she issued a scathing report of what she found in the area of human rights, the interference with the judiciary and the law, and the dismantling of democracy. She said that Sri Lanka “is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction”. She was actually wrong. Sri Lanka is not ‘heading in an authoritarian direction’, it is already there.

The British Prime Minister

Despite strong opposition by the British House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee against the British Prime Minister David Cameron going to CHOGM, he is going. He intends to visit the Tamil areas. He might well be allowed to do so, but only if accompanied by a member of the Armed Forces with a note book to see who he speaks to and what was said. What will follow for these brave people is obvious.

It is likely that he will be driven to Jaffna and shown the fine new roads and infrastructure, but not allowed to have free and unaccompanied meetings with the people. That will be out of bounds.

Where will CHOGM be held in Sri Lanka?

  1. At “The Nelum Pokuna (Lotus Pond) Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre, formerly the National Performing Theatre. This cost some Sri Lankan Rs 3,080 million, with the Chinese government providing Rs 2,430 million.
  2. The “Bandaranaike Memorial International Convention Hall (BMICH)

This was a ‘gift from the People’s Republic of China’!

Will the Chinese be there at CHOGM?

China is, of course, not in the Commonwealth and should not be there. But they will  be there for sure, just hanging around, ‘to make sure that their ‘gifts’ – where the events will take place – function without a hitch’. The Chinese are unlikely not to be ‘available’ especially if there are financial deals to be struck, which there will be at the Commonwealth Business Forum which will be running parallel sessions with CHOGM.

The invisible presence of the Chinese will surely be there – especially hanging around CBF sessions – just in case they can ‘be helpful’. The visible evidence of this invisible presence will be seen shortly.

The comment by Geoffrey Robertson QC

Geoffrey Robertson QC, Britain’s most famous barrister in human rights and a world authority on Crimes against Humanity (the title of his famous book), had this to say when he addressed a Conference on ‘Genocide in Sri Lanka’ in London (28 September 2013):

He commented on the outrageous decision to allow Sri Lanka to host CHOGM in November 2013. He referred to Navi Pillay, the UN Human Rights Commissioner, who had just visited Sri Lanka and issued a Report of her findings:

She (Navi Pillay) said that the Government (of Sri Lanka) had failed to independently or credibly investigate allegations of war crimes…….

So it is clear that soft power, arguments, and diplomatic solutions have failed to bring home, to punish the perpetrators, to bring pressure on the Sri Lankan Government and, as it proudly luxuriates the publicity opportunity, prepares to host the Commonwealth Conference in six weeks, we have got to ask what remedies might be in international law to bring the perpetrators to account.”

He went on to detail what can be done to take Sri Lanka to the Human Rights Committee, a UN body.

He ended with a direct reference to November 2013 CHOGM:

“The two – the Crime against Humanity committed by the Government against the Tamil community in 2009, and the removal of the Chief Justice which was a breach of the most fundamental rule binding the Commonwealth of Nations, should have ensured that Sri Lanka did not host the Commonwealth Conference.

Canada certainly took that view and commendably is staying away.

It is outrageous that this country (UK) is going to a forum that will allow the perpetrators of crimes against humanity to shine in the reflected glory of the British Crown. It is simply not good enough that the Queen is not going. Charles is going, perhaps as a pathetic effort to have him selected as successor. I don’t think the Commonwealth is minded to have the Windsor family as successor. They are looking for a more inspiring Head, and they will need an inspiring Head if they continue like this in giving favourable publicity to mass murderers and that is what they will be doing in November at the Commonwealth Conference.

It is a matter of great regret that countries like Australia and the United Kingdom will be seeming to give support to the Sri Lankan Government which should be in the dock. If no country is prepared to put it  in the dock, then I recommend that the Tamil community, through its international organizations, should begin to bring charges against the Government in the Human Rights Committee for a start, and should try to obtain the support of other States in order to take the matter to the World Court.

Professor Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law, University of Illinois College of Law, USA, is an international legal expert, who has won major Court cases at the International Court of Justice (the ‘World Court’).  Addressing the same meeting in London on Genocide in Sri Lanka, he said that what was going on in Sri Lanka was Genocide of the Tamil people, and went on to justify the use of this term. He said, “I say Rajapaksas to the Hague”.

Well, there you have it. The Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of a major Commonwealth country, Canada, will not be going. The Foreign Affairs Select Committee of the British House of Commons thinks that the British Prime Minister should not go. A world authority on human rights and crimes against humanity, Geoffrey Robertson QC, who lives and works in the United Kingdom,  thinks that it is an ‘outrage’ for Britain to go. A legal expert from the USA has said that what is going on in Sri Lanka is Genocide of the Tamil people. The Asian Human Rights Commission has just released a very disturbing report on “Increasing authoritarianism in Sri Lanka”. The Commission for Peace and Justice of the Catholic Diocese of Jaffna has just published a detailed report of the humanitarian tragedy in the Tamil areas.

They are views and publications that cannot be ignored – but they will be. That is why CHOGM November 2013 will go on and everyone, other than Canada, will attend a meeting which will probably be another talk-shop. The Commonwealth Business Forum will work overtime to provide the money to keep themselves enriched, and to provide the necessary funds to keep a Totalitarian regime in power.

All are Tamil Tigers

The predictable response of the Sri Lankan government is that all of us who are critical of what the Government is doing are ‘Tamil Tigers’ – irrespective of our ethnicity. “Tamil Tigers” has become a generic term to the Sri Lankan regime and its supporters. So, Navanethem Pillay, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, is a “Tamil Tigress in the UN”. So is Rt Rev Dr Rayappu Joseph, the Catholic Bishop of Mannar, (“a Tamil Tiger in a cassock”), and the Roman Catholic Peace and Justice Commission in Jaffna (more Tamil Tigers in cassocks).

Others who will be added to this increasing list of ‘Tamil Tigers’ will be Professor Francis Boyle, Geoffrey Robertson Q.C, the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Canada, Archbishop Desmond Tutu (who has voiced his concerns several times), and the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts that released a devastating Report on Sri Lanka. The list grows, as increasing numbers of people critical of President Rajapaksa and the murderous regime he leads, demand an international investigation into war crimes, and are critical of CHOGM being held in Sri Lanka. They are all “Tamil Tigers”.

So, of course, is the writer of this article, who has campaigned for six decades for the rights of the Tamil people to live with equality, dignity, safety, and now, to live at all in the country of their birth. According to supporters and apologists of the Rajapaksa regime, he (the author of this article) is just a  Sinhala-skinned ‘Tamil Tiger’, despite the fact that his cousin was the previous President of Sri Lanka.

To the Sri Lankan government and its apologists, we are all ‘Tamil Tigers’ – by definition – if we are critical of the Sri Lankan regime.

President Rajapaksa is on record as saying that there are no minorities in Sri Lanka. There are only those who love the country and those who don’t. So also in the international community. There are ‘fine people’ (those who support him and his murderous Armed Forces and junta), and ‘Tamil Tiger terrorists’ who are critical of what he and his regime do.

There has been a decimation of the ‘core values’ of the Commonwealth by tyrannical and despotic regimes continuing to be members, and even rewarded by making them venues for CHOGM. The Commonwealth has changed from one which generates hope to one where hope is abandoned.

It is now too late to relocate CHOGM. The very least that can be done is to see that the mantle of leadership (till 2015) goes to some other country. Will that happen? No, it will not, because it will ‘upset’ the host nation, and that is ‘not good for business’, which is what matters.

Given the international concerns about the gross violations of human rights in Sri Lanka, and the failure of the Commonwealth to act, there are serious doubts about the relevance of the Commonwealth. However, CHOGM has nothing to do with human rights, the rule of law, accountability, freedom of expression, democracy and good governance – some of the supposed ‘core values’. It is a talk-shop, a tea-club, and an opportunity (for CBF) to do some financial deals.

There are serious problems in Sri Lanka which I can only mention, but not deal with here. Here are some. Sri Lanka’s disastrous human rights record, the replacement of a democracy by a Totalitarian State, dismantling the ‘separation of powers’ which are the pillars of Democracy, making Parliament a tool of the Executive President, Government interference with Judicial independence, the removal of the Chief Justice and her replacement by a Government stooge, turning the Media into a tool of the Government and becoming one of the most dangerous places in the world for  independent journalists and free speech, involuntary ‘disappearances’ (the second highest in the world after Iraq), rampant corruption, a massive Army out of control running the Tamil North and East and treating the area as conquered territory and the people as ‘the spoils of war’, the need for such a huge Army of 230,000 – the highest per capita of the population in any country in the world, Sri Lanka being dragged before the UN Human Rights Council, with more to follow, a disastrous Report  by the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts into Accountability, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights who, after a recent visit, said that the country is “showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction”, an international demand for an independent inquiry into war crimes, a deluge of reports by internationally credible Human Rights organisations expressing serious concern, and the refusal by the Government to allow Amnesty International, a Nobel Prize winner, Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group, not to mention the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts, to enter the country and see what is going on behind the closed and censored doors of Sri Lanka. These are some of the problems that will have to be addressed.

This will be dealt with in another article, Sri Lanka and the Commonwealth, which will set out what can and must be done, if the Commonwealth is to maintain its credibility or what is left of it. This will need a detailed account of what has happened in Sri Lanka and the responsibility of the Commonwealth in general, Britain in particular, especially Colonial Britain which set the stage for the disaster that has followed.

*Brian Senewiratne - MA, MBBChir (Cantab), MD (Lond), FRCP (Lond) FRACP - Brisbane, Australia

 

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74 Responses to Sri Lanka Hosting CHOGM Is A Joke: Is The (British) Commonwealth Relevant Any More?

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    Brilliant excellent analysis that clearly establishes the fact that the Commonwealth of Nations – the party to celebrate British Imperialism and today’s Third world dictators who loot, murder and commit war crimes against their own people, must be SHUT DOWN. The international campaign to abolish the British Commonwealth of Nations aka. Clowns party in Colombo this November is on and gathering steam. CHOGM is a party for third world dictators to network and first world arms traders to sell their weapons all in the name of “protecting human rights”. The hypocracy of the Commonwealth Circus goes well with Mahinda Rajapassa’s DEEP STATE military dictatorship with its facade of democracy. Time for civil society and the like of Dayan Jayathilake and Tamara K (who were spouting third worldism not so long ago), to lead the critique and question the Rajapassa CHOGM party to celebrate British Colonialism and racism while wasting massive funds? CHOGM in two weeks will celebrate 2 things in Colombo: 1) British Colonialism, racism and exploitation of Asia and Africa; 2) The arrival and installation of the Rajapakse military Dictatorship in the post-colony called Sri Lanka. Obviously Human Rights in the post-colony is different from human rights in the West.. the post-colonial difference – a la Derrida! Sri Lankan Civil society and South Asian post-colonial scholars must start and lead the INTERNATIONAL CAMPAIGN to CLOSE DOWN THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF CLOWNS! The UNP under Ranil Wickramasinghe has also collaborated to enable the CHOGM party to celebrate British Colonialism and the Rajapassa military dictatorship in Colombo in two weeks time. Rajapassa loves WHITE ELEPHANTS – witness the Hambantotoa port and airport without ships and planes. He has embraced the WHITE ELEPHANT colonial relic called the Commonwealth of Nations – which celebrates British Colonialism and influence peddling among CORRUPT THIRD WORLD MILITARY DICTATORS like Mahinda Rajapassa..The British Commonwealth of Nations has exceeded its self life and must be SHUT DOWN by post-colonial South Asians!

    Dinuk
    November 4, 2013 at 3:54 pm
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    Bravo Brian somebody has to cry foul louder & louder keep it up.

    Jim Hardy
    November 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm
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    CHOGM = Conspiracy to Hide Organized Genocide by Mahindha

    Gowrie
    November 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm
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      And the mass killer podian Preba funded by people like you to sacrifice poor sons of poor tamil farmers.

      hadagamba
      November 4, 2013 at 7:53 pm
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        Yes Pandian Preba the so called Sun God paid the ultimate price at Nanthikandal along with his family without any trace or history. Now we have a Moon God Doing the same thing what Sun God did. Waiting to follow the same destiny……….anybody’s guess.

        Sunil Perera
        November 4, 2013 at 11:09 pm
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          SUnney Paney Is it Pandian[Edited out]? You better correct your writing above.

          hadagamba
          November 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm
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    Like MR wanted to do a speech at Oxford, this is another show off MR wanted to do infront of suddha buggers. [Edited out]

    Sumith
    November 4, 2013 at 4:21 pm
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    Thanks Brian. Commonwelath is not relevant. UN is not relevant. Srilankan leaders way of practising Buddhism is not relevant. No Fire Zone – Full Movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8-wPGPsHiU IT is TAMIL GENOCIDE

    Anpu
    November 4, 2013 at 4:29 pm
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    Brian this is a master piece. Bravo !!!! Colombo telegraph please send this to the British High Commission in Sri Lanka for onward transmission to the prime minister’s office and the office of HRH Prince of Wales. The fact that Colombo Telegraph is barred bears testimony to the dictatorship that already prevails. If the commonwealth advocates precepts of justice even at this late stage they can at the least call off the visit by HRH Prince of Wales to declare open the conference. Let the British Prime Minister attend and make their sentiments known to the regime that the patron .HM the Queen doesn’t want to be associated in this conference due to the alleged atrocities of a regime against the ordinary citizens. The British Government was livid against the opposition and sections of government voting against UK joining USA to attack Syria. When it comes to Sri Lanka why is it blind by what this regime is up to ? The British Prime Minister is either blissfully unaware or is pretending to be so that the alleged murderer of his countryman is still at large despite a false statement being made that he will be charged. If the British High commission officials read local newspapers they would have seen this criminal who enjoys the first family’s patronage getting into his four wheel drive vehicle having obtained bail. Where is the law ? It’s over two years since he even visited court despite clear evidence including DNA to prove he brutally murdered the British boy and raped his girl friend in the village which is the fortress of the first family. Is this the regime that the commonwealth wants to prop to glory ?

    Michael
    November 4, 2013 at 5:29 pm
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    i think Gowrie’s summary of CHOGM is far better than my rambling article. i know from experience that if you write an article longer than two pages, no one will read it. unfortunately, i am not a writer. Perhaps a professional writer can summarise my article down to two pages. i am sure it can be done by some competent person Actually, the original article that traced the history of Sri Lanka and set out the damage that the colonial British did, was twice this length. I just cut it in two this morning and decided to publish just half, and leave the rest for another time. So far, the Rajapaksa supporters have not called my home phone with “You mother f…g Tamil Tiger” but there is time for that. It never fails to arrive. I am sure this will not be an exception. It will be a worry if it is I rather enjoy this abuse – which is unleashed on me day and night for at least 4 days after ANY article i write. It means that you have hit the nail on the head Brian Senewiratne

    Brian Senewiratne
    November 4, 2013 at 5:52 pm
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      Hey Brain Those supporting buggers have left you alone. You know why – For them you are an old dog with no teeth but make big bray like a silly donkey. Do you think anybody take your writing series? – Perhaps another silly bugger like you. Please remember the caravan will still rall on with no harm. Keep crying for LTTE blood money to make your meal.

      hadagamba
      November 4, 2013 at 7:40 pm
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        Hay hadagamba……aka Gemba, May be Dr.Brian is an old dog with no teeth, but he will never lick asses and drink Pina Rajapakse Cock Tails and Perks like you As… Hole…s. How do you know the supporters have left Dr.Brian……Are you another Rakapakse Fortune Teller cum Economic Adviser. Only the honest, respectable and scholars support Dr.Brian and not your type Kelaweddas. You Coward crooks are fear of Truth to come out and that’s why you use White Vans. Listen to what Scholars tell about your Sun God. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7U6CcjOSlTo You should help to remove the Cancer at the bud before it gulps the whole body.

        Sunil Perera
        November 4, 2013 at 11:40 pm
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          Well said Sunil.

          Anpu
          November 5, 2013 at 12:56 am
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            Another unedicated Shila trying to be a pandit here.

            hadagamba
            November 5, 2013 at 2:47 pm
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          This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

          JimSofty
          November 5, 2013 at 8:35 am
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          Sunny Paney You missed the point well here. Go and get few lessons from night class of English. Read my comments well before behaving like a monkey with a razer blade. Stick your scholars comments in your [Edited out]

          hadagamba
          November 5, 2013 at 2:45 pm
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            (゜゜)~ You missed the point well here. Go and get few lessons from night class of English.(゜゜)~ - E’specialist of the pigeon English?? Seated on a box of razor blades is not good enough for you “Biscuit Boofer” for you are playing too much Crocqet! Well then hop into the kitchen for your Croaka Cola! ~゜k・_・k゜~  0:3 ☆彡^5

            Javi
            November 5, 2013 at 3:18 pm
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          Sunny Paney Aha!!!!!!!!!!! You sounds like one more Thamil Die-Ass-Poo-ra sponsers of Brain Sen (aka Self claimed Bandaranayake). To Ole Brain – How is everything with BCC Brain? Are you still practising the genocide of native trees in your own backyard mate? You better worry about those genocide than SL issues.

          hadagamba
          November 5, 2013 at 3:08 pm
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            (゜゜)~ You better worry about -those genocide than- SL issues.(゜゜)~ -ಠ_ಠ Bad Attitude, like you give me voodoo. Oh oh’s. ;^) - How’s your darling darling fascist Japon, don’t they bend then kiss and give you the dosh after having murdered millions of Asians like the babies of Nanjin. Northern Ceylonese joined the British Army at Rangoon and fought for freedom from fascist Japon. ☆彡^5 0:3

            Javi
            November 5, 2013 at 3:41 pm
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        Hey halagembo ?.. You wanted to teach others, but you make more spelling mistakes man.. Learn and then try to look down upon great sinahalayas like Dr. Seneviratne.

        Dingsbums
        November 6, 2013 at 3:59 am
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          DINGSBUMS WITH BROWN PASTE BS is a great Singhalaya. What a fu**ing joke? BS is a still-born child with poisonous LTTE blood.

          hadagamba
          November 7, 2013 at 6:45 pm
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      Dr. Senewiratne, This is a brilliant piece of writing and I read every word of it. Sharmini Serasinghe

      Sharmini Serasinghe
      November 5, 2013 at 8:03 am
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        Shamini Serasinghe: Now I can Understand who STUPID our politicians are to appoint you as a member of that something to communicate with LTTE. [Edited out]

        JimSofty
        November 5, 2013 at 8:37 am
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          Jim Softy be careful! Mrs. Serasinghe worked at SCOPP when it came under the direct purview of your boss MR and he still has the highest regard for the lady despite her critical articles to CT about him. She resigned in disgust after Palitha Kohona turned SCOPP into a circus.

          Mahadana Muththa (Jnr)
          November 5, 2013 at 5:39 pm
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            Well, May be an instance that women showed that they are really stupid. Na.. Na.. Ms. Serasinghe trying to be a Muslims. she is [Edited out] Will tell you late more.

            JimSofty
            November 6, 2013 at 8:10 am
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          So what do you think about Mervin and Duminda ? Are they not most wicked lankens but President has lost the control over them ?

          Dingsbums
          November 6, 2013 at 4:03 am
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        Sharmini, This is what BS wrote: Addressing the same meeting in London on Genocide in Sri Lanka, he said that what was going on in Sri Lanka was Genocide of the Tamil people, and went on to justify the use of this term. He said, “I say Rajapaksas to the Hague”. — Now this is what ICRC says in a different article in CT: So, de Maio said, while one could safely say that there were ‘serious, widespread violations of IHL,’ by the Sri Lankan forces, it did not amount to genocide. He could site examples of where the army had stopped shelling when ICRC informed them it was killing civilians. In fact, the army actually could have won the military battle faster with higher civilian casualties, yet chosen a slower approach which led to a greater number of Sri Lankan military deaths Tell me which do you agree with? Obviously since you think what Brian wrote is brilliant you agree with his version of events. Now Shamini, I will agree with you on dragging Mahinda to Hague for the crime of giving us freedom to live in this country *provided* you are willing to go back in time and live for a couple of years in the days when LTTE ran riot in Colombo. I can provide you a time machine. You just have to agree to go back to those hellish days. If you survive/live through it, I mean without getting caught up in an LTTE suicide blast etc., I can also bring you back after 2 years and hand Mahinda to you to take him to court. Also, you must agree to use public transport, you know those packed office trains and buses where LTTE used to plant bombs in rush hour.

        Navin
        November 5, 2013 at 11:12 am
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          Navin, Will you stiil be singing the same tune had your family been caught up and slaughtered during the final stages of the war?

          kattakarawala
          November 5, 2013 at 5:32 pm
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            You mean like in Kebithigollewa?

            Navin
            November 5, 2013 at 8:28 pm
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              Navin, You are obviously a stupid man! Read Dr. Brian Senewiratne’s piece from beginning to end or is it beyond your little brain to comprehend? According to you, Rajapaksa can plunder our country and get away with blue murder because he granted carte blanche to the armed forces to finish off the LTTE. You stupid idiot, don’t you understand that the Rajapaksas are now holding the entire country to ransom because of this? You stupid fool, don’t you realise that all of Rajapaksa’s predecessors could have done exactly what he did- Win the War against the LTTE, if they couldn’t care two hoots about the civilian casualties? Wake up you bloody idiot. The armed forces won the war NOT the Rajapaksas.

              kattakarawala
              November 6, 2013 at 8:42 am
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      I apologise Brian. I only got to about halfway and then got called away to save my Ceylon Kennel Club certified mastiff who was copulating with a neighbours bitch. This is everyday life in southern Sri Lanka. Apropos your fine essay, I would like to reiterate: - SL should have left the Commonwealth a long time ago, - Banda was right, Sinhala should be the one language for Sri Lanka – it is not beyond the capabilities of all us to master the language, - It is nonsensical after 65 years to still conduct our internal business in the language of the old colonial master, - this pestilential CHOGM should never happen; another parade for our brown sahibs and their sari clad bints, - the only massacre now needed is of the odious BBS and its putrid supporters, - our present regime will end (remember our Buddhist teaching tells us all things are impermanent) Dear Brian, another thing, please be kind to your cousin SWRD. It was not his fault that Papa Solomon named him WEST RIDGEWAY after Governor Joseph West Ridgeway (saviour of pederasts) – it was the height of fashionable sycophancy as befits a family that enabled all our colonial masters to get their feet under the table in our tropical island. He was one helluva of a coconut brown sahib. Doctor, may your ink never run dry.

      Spring Koha
      November 5, 2013 at 10:12 am
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      Well Done Brian Seniviratne the great, Your honesty, integrity and ability are great and good for the properly educated, fair-minded. Its appreciated by such people and hope that you live to a hundred and more whilst the more than villainous primarily self-serving present day ruling elite and their cronies and dependents disappear as early when nature would randomly and haphazardly wreak its toll. No man has ever lived without his share of detractors and enemies. As we are all more the creatures of nurture than nature unlike the infinitude of other living forms on this planet that are more of the pre-programmed (even in the less than the pin head seized brains of spider like creatures) by-products of nature and less of nurture unlike us humans who owe much to the vagaries’ of the nurture of other such flawed and defective endless experimental proto type humans of nature.

      m.c.spencer
      November 5, 2013 at 12:08 pm
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    To repeat Brian’s words; It’s a British Blunder ! If Britain is the Cause of the Problem, better be the part of the Solution: Cameron should realise that his predecessors in the Westminster were responsible for the discrimination of the minorities by the majority Sinhalese; which led to the 26 year war. In India, the lands and the provincial governance of the respective regions were returned to the indigenous people of India; like Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, even the creation of Pakistan. This was not done in Ceylon. Britain was in a hurry, tired of the War and didn’t listen to the fears expressed by the Ceylonese minority communities. Britain, unified the whole island into one country and gave the governance of the whole island to the majority 74%, without any protection to the 26% of indigenous minority who owned 1/3 rd of lands of the island, for thousands of years. In fact, Britain took over the Tamil States and served it on a plate to the Majority against the will of the minorities in 1948. This brought about the discrimination as the successive Governments enacted constitutional Protection to the majority Sinhalese and to Buddhism; instead of constitutional Protection to the minorities; contrary to the civilised norm in the Common Wealth. Soon after the independence, the Sinhalese re-wrote the History of Ceylon in Text Books; as been a unitary, Sinhalese, Buddhist state for 2500 years and the minorities are the remnants of Indian invaders and Muslim traders from India whom the Sinhalese tolerated over the last few generations. Sinhalese burry their heads and refuse to accept that the minority communities have lived as independent states even long before the East Indian and south Indian settlers turned The Sinhalese of Illanka (ancient Tamil name for the island; now called Lanka in Sinhalese). Followed by the “Sinhalese Only” Law in 1956, legitimising the Sinhalese as the Only Citizens of the island and that the minorities may survive at the mercy of the Sinhalese mind set. These sentiments are often been openly expressed by the Government, civilian and military heads of Sri Lanka, even to date. Whenever the Minorities appeal for Parity, terror, arson and rape unleashed upon the defenceless civilians living amongst the Sinhalese which culminated in the formation of the ‘Terrorist’ Camps mushrooming around the Sri Lankan Refugee Camps in South India in’83. There are over 130,000 Sri Lankan Refugees in South India for the last 30 years, strong enough to wage another war if they are not repatriated to their Mother Land. Hence Britain is totally responsible for the plight of the minorities which culminated in the Killing Fields. Hence Britain should own up and rectify the situation for the minorities.

    Chrish Simmons
    November 4, 2013 at 6:03 pm
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      Pandith Chrish You makes laughter to death. Nobody wants to rewrite Sri Lankan history. Go and see with your own eyes in places like Anuradhapura, Pollonnaruwa. Hope those places were not built by your grand dad or you mother. You know what I mean? Now show us a single evidence of your great Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka? Perhaps bend yourself and look underneath then you will see the relics of your great civilisation. Please do not waste our time in this forum writing your garbage.

      hadagamba
      November 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm
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        Dear Hadagamba, thanks for enlightening me on the Tamil Civilization in Illanka. Hadagamba, you may recall, in the 70′s the Jaffna Library was targeted and destroyed to ashes by the Wicked arm of Senior Cabinet Ministers and the Army. Please do your research and find out the cause for that. Kadhirgamam Kanthan Temple is another evidence of Sinhalese cannibalism. Ravana’s temple in trincomalee is another example. Nallur Temple. History clearly states that Emperor Asoka did NOT have a son by the name of Mahindha NOR a daughter by the name of Sangamitha and no record of bringing a supple from Lumbini Bo Tree NOR coming through Narga Theevu. Our Government can verify the age of the bo tree but Dare NOT. These fallacies were written 600 years later in Parli. The Sinhalese script was borrowed from Tamil only about 200 – 250 years ago. Ellara -55 BC)(ruled 44 years and his army are NOT Indigenous Nagar Tamils but from South India. Also the last 3 Kandyan kings and the entire royal house hold, dress, garments, sari, dance and the drums are south Indian. More than 70% of the Sinhalese History and the unbroken royal dissension were written in the 60′s & 70′s in the back offices of JR’s and Prof. ParanaWithArne’s after a heavy dose of Opium as they made up stories as they went along; with precise accuracy; without any Historic evidence. Hence it is an Invention and NOT a history. It’s total and absolute rubbish. Get an independent historian to substantiate the claims and carbon date the relics. If you have a look under you archie’s reddha, you may have glances of the 2500 year old artifacts Shining through.

        Chrish Simmons
        November 5, 2013 at 12:57 am
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          making up history is not a new art for semi literate tamil [Edited out]

          Abhaya
          November 5, 2013 at 7:18 am
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          Chris Thanks for lightening me up with your own version of SL history. According to your own writing you entered SL as Kallathonis from Toilet Nadu. That is where you all should go back then. Perhaps you sun goat Podian Preba must have used all stone relics to build bunkers for his survival. That is why we cannot find any artefacts around northern part of SL. Get a life [Edited out] pundit.

          hadagamba
          November 5, 2013 at 2:57 pm
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          Chris Cross Unfortunately my archchi is not wearing a radda like you kallathoonies. She was from same class like Brain, a Kalu Sudda wearing lungees. I may try your own Archchi if you pardon me.

          hadagamba
          November 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm
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            “She was from same class like Brain, a Kalu Sudda wearing lungees.” Bihari Bandito: Because she had her nose in a hamburger and you have taken - it out to see how the dead run? ~゜k・_・k゜~  0:3

            Javi
            November 6, 2013 at 2:40 am
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          “History clearly states that Emperor Asoka did NOT have a son by the name of Mahindha NOR a daughter by the name of Sangamitha” This unfortunate travesty can hurt the feelings of followers of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. My understanding is Maurya King Ashoka had several wives and children. His first wife and favourite consort was Vidhisha Mahadevi Shakyamuni Asandimithra whose twin children were Mahindra and Sanghamitra. Whether the twins came here bringing the Bo Sapling etc are different matters that can be verified by scholarly scrutiny. Senguttuvan

          Senguttuvan
          November 9, 2013 at 4:30 am
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        “Now show us a single evidence of your great Tamil civilisation in Sri Lanka?” Dear Hadagamba, thanks for enlightening me on the Tamil Civilization in Illanka. Hadagamba, you may recall, in the 70′s the Jaffna Library was targeted and destroyed to ashes by the Wicked arm of Senior Cabinet Ministers and the Army. Please do your research and find out the cause for that. Kadhirgamam Kanthan Temple is another evidence (of Sinhalese cannibalism). Ravenna’s temple in Trincomalee is another example. Also the Nallur Temple. History clearly states that Emperor Asoka did NOT have a son by the name of Mahindha NOR a daughter by the name of Sangamitha and no record of bringing a supple from Lumbini Bo Tree NOR coming through Naga Theevu. Our Government can verify the age of the bo tree but Dare NOT. These fallacies were written 600 years later in Parli. How come, the Sinhalese didn’t have a Script until 150 – 200 years? The Sinhalese script was borrowed from Tamil Script only about 200 – 250 years ago. Ellara -55 BC)(ruled 44 years and his army are NOT Indigenous Nagar Tamils but from South India and their descendants are still amongst us masquerading as Thung Sinhalayas in Anuradhapura. Also the last 3 Kandyan kings and the entire royal house hold, brides & Grooms, the dress, garments, sari, dance and the drums are south Indian (the Naryake Kingdom). More than 70% of the Sinhalese History and the “unbroken royal dissension” were written in the 60′s & 70′s in the back offices of JR’s and Prof. ParanaWithArne’s after a heavy dose of Opium as they made up stories all along as they went along; with precise accuracy; without any Historic evidence. Hence, the present version of the Sinhalese “History” is an Invention and NOT a history with proper evidences. It’s an absolute rubbish. Get an independent historian to substantiate the claims and carbon date the relics. Now Hadagamba, Perhaps, if you have a look under you Archie’s reddha, you may have glances of the 2500 year old artefacts shining through. Dear Hadagamba, this is not my style of writing but you forced me to stoop so low. At least, I do sincerely hope you can see the Truth now. Thank you for the opportunity.

        Chrish Simmons
        November 5, 2013 at 2:08 am
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        Hadagamba, I thought you would be interested in this - “Alike rural country people all around in SriLanka, north easten Tamilians are pioneers of Agriculture and Irrigations” http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/02/sinhala_and_tamil_ancestors_we.html

        Anpu
        November 7, 2013 at 12:31 am
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          Anpu [Edited out] Who is this author. Is he a relative of “Valmiki” who wrote “Ramayanaya”? What is his credibility? Surely he is another LTTE Die-Ass-Poo-ra hiding behind a Sinhalese name. There are plenty of them around

          hadagamba
          November 7, 2013 at 6:33 pm
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            Hadagamba, It looks like you have said something rude. If you do not agree with me, please say so without using any rude words. transcurrents belongs to DBSJ ( David Buell Sabapathy Jeyaraj Email: dbsjeyaraj@yahoo.com) What about you emailing him and asking him politely who is this Mr (could be Mrs/Miss ) R. Wijewardene is? If you use any rude word he might not reply.

            Anpu
            November 7, 2013 at 7:39 pm
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              Anup)ka) Who is BDSJ? For us he is another LTTE supporter from the same flock. He write rubbish with no principles. Is he the new Tamil history writer that you are making a big bray? Well I am wasting me time here then?

              hadagamba
              November 8, 2013 at 12:56 pm
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    So good ole Brian is back!Guess that my prayers have been answered.Thank god ole Brian is living and kicking.Now that [Edited out] Brian is back,lets get on with the party.But already Brian has started eating the Srilanka cake.Grandpa watch out,lots of icing(or is it rotten eggs)is on your face.Never mind, keep on eating the Srilanka cake!Don’t worry about a bad tummy.The defeated Tamil terrorists are experts in washing the back. For ages ole Brian has been asking for Rajapakse’s flesh and blood,but without success.Will the CHOGM do the trick?Don’t give up [Edited out] Brian!Keep on making speeches to empty chairs.In fact there are many such guys like Brian at the Angoda nut house.Hence [Edited out] Brian is not alone.Pl keep up your good work. This Rajapakse fellow is a very bad hard nut to crack.Imagine not allowing the holy trio,HRW,AI,ICG in to the country!Grandpa instead can’t we get these trio to make a visit to that holiday resort,Guanthanabay? Anyway i am happy that [Edited out] is living and fleecing the gullible defeated Tamil terrorists.Can’t blame him.After all the $$$$ that are pouring in comes from credit card fraud,drug trafficking,human smuggling and prostitution.[Edited out] Brian,have no worries,[Edited out].In return you only have to come up with an article or two bashing Rajapakse and your motherland. Come to think of AI,HRW and ICG,i have a grievance of my own.That is regarding the Aussies refusing my entry to down under.I have told them hundreds of times that i want to enter Australia to investigate a case of child abuse by a former Srilankan.But they wouldn’t budge.Brian,i am sure [Edited out].Hence why don’t you ask these Aussie immigration chaps to let me in so that i can conduct my own investigations regarding Dr Brian’s [Edited out].You don’t have to worry at all.Just ask those gullible defeated Tamil terrorists to spare me a few $$$,and i will give you a clean bill of health. Last but not least,i am very happy that [Edited out] Brian is back.Hope he will keep us entertained with his Srilanka bashing crap.Best of luck ole boy!

    Max Silva
    November 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm
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    PS, [Edited out] Brian, you say that you argued that the CGOGM is a farce.With whom dd you argue?Hope it was not in front of the mirror!

    Max Silva
    November 4, 2013 at 6:52 pm
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    If anyone could remember Brian who spoke against the GOSL, sometime ago with a crowd that opposed the GOSL in Geneva, will know his true face.

    keerthi
    November 4, 2013 at 7:36 pm
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    All right thinkng Sri Lankans (unfortunatley there arent too many)are damm proud of your stand uncle Brian

    Peacelover
    November 4, 2013 at 8:15 pm
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    Brian has hit the diaspora jack pot

    Thondamanaru
    November 4, 2013 at 9:05 pm
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    I thought this old donkey died in the lagoon . I guess not because he is a coward who likes to bray like a donkey and run and hide in Australia . Terrorists like you need to get the drone treatment . but Sri Lankans are too humane for you . lol

    Abhaya Premawardena
    November 4, 2013 at 9:30 pm
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      Abhaya OLE BS does not want kick the bucket yet as he is well fed by LTTE Die-Ass-Poo-ras with all black money earned from all illegal businesses and underground activities.

      hadagamba
      November 7, 2013 at 6:37 pm
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    Dr. Brian Senewiratne, Well said, thank you very much. Thank you for your excellent analysis of the interplay of the various factors, of wealth creation for the family, maintaining the family power and real politic. Well summarized below. “As such, the most urgent need for President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s government is money, not advise on human rights. The predictable choice of the ‘official theme’ of the up-coming CHOGM is: “Partnering for Wealth Creation and Social Development”. Simply put, CHOGM is the much-needed opportunity to keep the ruling Rajapaksa junta in power and prevent an almost certain uprising of the majority Sinhalese at the escalating cost of living and grinding poverty. This is already happening, and is being crushed by the Army – hence the ‘need’ for a 230,000 strong Army, by far the largest Army per capita of the population of any country in the world.”

    Amarasiri
    November 4, 2013 at 11:14 pm
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    As usual BS spills bull shit. Man with a chip on his shoulder, we can understand why even his cousin gave him the boot. Belly aching, loser!

    mahasohon
    November 5, 2013 at 12:16 am
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    Thanks Brian. A brilliant analysis.

    Leon
    November 5, 2013 at 4:59 am
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    Could SL hosting the CHOMG be the catalyst that brings an end to the common wealth? Equal opportunity in the third world have brought the worst in society to top political office and the commonwealth has lost its class. The queen should put it to rest. RIP

    Burt
    November 5, 2013 at 6:36 am
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    If the LTTE had to be destroyed because it was a fascist organization then I know several other organizations that have to be destroyed because they are also fascist organizations. The problem is that there is no one to destroy them. So do we deal with fascism by destroying fascists? or is there another way to get about it?

    crazyoldmansl
    November 5, 2013 at 8:31 am
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    Brian Senevirathne is one who could not excel, even though he is related to Bandaranaike family, in Sri Lanka as he wanted. He had to go to Britain in order to have his Medical Degree. He could not get a Lecutrer position in the Sri Lankan Medical Faculty. He lost it to a Sri Lankan – educated Tamil (The same Tamils that he is crying out loud for RIGHTS). Then his MBBS, FRCP.. degrees are from Britain. He practised in Asutralia. Now he ridicules BRITISH COMMONWEALTH. I see some Parallel… the way he degrades Sri Lanka.

    JimSofty
    November 5, 2013 at 8:53 am
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      You are right JimSofy. I thought this bugger already died because he did not write or speak anything lately. It is obvious that he got another fat contribution from Die-ass-pora guys to wake up for the CHOGM.

      noel-jones
      November 5, 2013 at 10:09 am
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    The British Commonwealth has its roots in massacres, genocide, massive human rights violations, slavery etc. etc. as the colonialist British Army and Government invaded poor defenseless countries such as Sri Lanka. Then they proceeded to exploit the natural resources of the land, condemning rural peasants to utter poverty by grabbing land and destroying irrigation schemes. To perpetuate its rule, the English/British drove wedges between native communities that had cohabited for centuries, ultimately leaving behind divided peoples. So, wonder who set the example?

    Banana
    November 5, 2013 at 12:32 pm
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      Why stop at the Brits, Banana? Ever since Gondwanaland fractured we have had ‘visitors’ to this magical island of ours. Dravidians, Kalingas, Paravars, Mukkuwas, et al they all came and stayed because they were usually running away from some despicable event in their community. An exception was the visit from the man from Kapilavastu; he came, gave his message and quickly went back to India. Arab traders came left their mark in more ways than one. By the time the Portuguese came we couldn’t care less. Then following events in Europe, the Dutch and British turned up. Truth to tell, none of them would have established themselves without the connivance of some of the important families of Sri Lanka including the Bandaranaikes (who even named their most famous son after Governor West Ridgeway. Long before the european colonisers arrived the tribes had their share of internecine wars and skirmishes e g the Elara-Dutugemunu spat wasn’t a love-in. So Banana is economical with the truth when he writes that ‘native communities that had cohabited for centuries’. So much for pre-colonisation tranquility. The reality is that no sooner we expelled the last of the pestilential colonisers, we started at each others throats. We Sinhalese are a jealous, vindictive and vengeful tribe as befits our mongrel beginnings. We used our majority to make life difficult for all those who share this land with us; we started off by getting ridding of the Burghers, then we did the Tamils, and today the BBS carry on this ‘tradition’ in their campaign against the Muslims and the Christians. What Banana does not say is that we have had 65 years of independence and we are still blaming the ‘Brits’ instead of rueing missed opportunities whilst we went for each others throats. Not just the Sinhalese and Tamils but the Sinhalese and Sinhalese; those of us who in 1971 saw the bodies by the roadside and floating in the rivers will know. So, as for blaming others (our Sri Lankan speciality) – give it a rest Banana. We should have left the Commonwealth, strengthened the Sinhala language, invested in our education system so that our people do not have to ‘know English’ to undertake a fruitful university course, created job opportunities so that our people do not have to emigrate to white lands to earn a living, and created law and order so that our people can live contentedly. For the failure to do this we should blame the successive governments that WE elected.

      Spring Koha
      November 5, 2013 at 7:11 pm
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    Brian [Edited out] If “I” and “A” were in proper place for him, he should also have a brain not brian.

    Fathima Fukushima
    November 5, 2013 at 3:07 pm
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    Dear Dr. Seneviratne, Good to hear from you again – long, but punishing and very readable. You put it so succinctly. The whole exercise is with filthy lucre in mind. Why would Kamlesh Sharma risk all those barbs – if the dough was not around in plenty. Trust Romesh is well. He should participate in these discussions as actively as he did sometime back. Sorry for some of the below-the-belt comments. But you know the yakkos. Senguttuvan

    Senguttuvan
    November 6, 2013 at 6:57 am
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      Have you read what Romesh is saying elsewhere in CT about his father?

      Navin
      November 8, 2013 at 12:49 am
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        Have you heard about a SL king Kashiyappa cementing his father alive into a wall?

        m.c.spencer
        November 8, 2013 at 5:52 am
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          “Have you heard about a SL king Kashiyappa cementing his father alive into a wall?..” Was Cement invented in those ancient times? Devamampiyadasa

          Devanampiyadasa
          November 9, 2013 at 6:15 pm
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            Some of you mentally handicapped and retarded SrIlankans have also had a queen who had 30 odd lovers or sex partners butchered and murdered after using them which seems to be more seeped and soaked in your ilk than anyone others in that part of the geography of this planet. The Roman Empire had concrete and its quality is still being improved to-date with even self healing buildings and structures. Yet the majority of backward and mentally retarded dull vain and foolish people of SL at that time and as even now like you would have used mud or clay or even your piss, faeces and puss that seems to be plentiful in your cowardly false name and dull head to miss the forest for the tree or the branch for the twig or the twig for a leaf. Its people of your ilk who are aiding and abetting in the degradation and ruination through the vain-glorious ruling elite of SL who have recently been confirmed are ruling as den of thieves by none other than one of your own with similar Genes & Memes. There is hope as long as there are more Brainy Brian Seniviratnes, Thisaranee Gunesekeras and many other thinkers, feelers and writers to these columns. Like many others, I too did not go along with his uncritical support of VP and LTTE yet it has to observed and rationalized from the perspective them being more the byproduct creatures and off-shoots the Singhalaese-Budhistic Govt’s pogroms’ and sporadic mob violence’s almost since so-called independence from the British which has not even benefited some Singhalese in the south who first took up arms against the SL state even as some similarly repressed Tamils followed-up from the North.

            m.c.spencer
            November 10, 2013 at 11:59 am
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      Hi Senguttuvan, I only participate in the discussions when they are interesting and I have something I think worth saying. I am not interested in the CHOGM or silly efforts to demonize Sri Lanka and its political leadership. You may be interested, though, in a series of documentaries I have made and posted on my You Tube site titled “Understanding the Tamil Tigers”. I avoid posting comments on my father’s rantings since he uses the police, judicial system and psychiatric system to punish me and get me incarcerated and assaulted if I do. Mind you, he does it anyway.

      Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam
      November 8, 2013 at 3:06 pm
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        This is very interesting. “Boycotting the Commonwealth Summit in Colombo next week could help to pressure the Sri Lankan Government to address alleged war crimes against Tamil civilians, peace campaigner and Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu said.” https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/chogm-boycott-could-pressure-lankan-govt-to-address-abuses-against-tamils-desmond-tutu/

        Anpu
        November 8, 2013 at 5:13 pm
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        The differences between Dr. Brian Seneviratne and his son Romesh has been mentioned by those interested in the Sri Lankan National discourse. The son confirms this here. While the senior has been unwavering in his support for justice to Tamils, it was mentioned earlier Romesh was working with Lankan Intelligence against activists of the Tamil cause – including working in collusion with Lankan diplomats in Australia keeping a tab on Lankans in Australia. Naturally, Romesh will deny this. But matters such as this cannot be kept under covers for far too long. Pandaranayagam

        Pandaranayagam
        November 9, 2013 at 2:49 am
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          Padaranayagam, I make no secret of the fact that I have been opposed to the Tamil Tigers for decades and informed the Australian (not Sri Lankan) authorities about what I knew about the LTTE global terrorist network in 2009 after previously reporting (to the Australian authorities) my father’s terrorist activities. It is because of my medical knowledge that I understand the true nature of my father’s “medical research” in Sri Lanka before we came to Australia in 1976. If you really want to understand my position regarding justice for Tamils you have to understand that the Tamil Tigers oppressed and exploited Tamil people in Sri Lanka and around the world. I was severely punished for opposing the LTTE. I have recently posted on my You Tube site a series of documentaries I have made called “Understanding the Tamil Tigers”. They show what the Tamil Tigers were really like and the role my parents played in supporting this monstrous organization. This is the first part: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bM_AFBFOsNA By the way, I have, for many years, argued that the best solution to the (much diminished) ethnic strife in Sri Lanka is to promote Singhalese, Tamil and English languages in the nation’s educational system. This remains my position, and I am open and transparent about it. I have also never received ANY money from the Sri Lankan government or its intelligence services. I am an Australian citizen and regard myself as an Australian Black more than a label of Sri Lankan, Singhalese or Tamil. My political and human rights work have reflected my experiences as an Australian Black more than anything else. The human rights abuses in Australia dwarf those in Sri Lanka. So does the corruption.

          Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam
          November 10, 2013 at 6:49 am
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    “The human rights abuses in Australia dwarf those in Sri Lanka. So does the corruption”. Your father and I (Details in my LinkedIn CV under Mahlchandran C Spencer) along with many others too have experienced inequities and injustices in Australia partly due to mostly whites manning and/or womaning important positions including the police service but mostly due to the predominantly Adversarial System of law that was initially crafted for “Robber barons” that was inherited from UK as well as due to its predominantly convict origins. This has been and is more beneficial to the offenders and less for the victims of crime. Further if the offender is an institution partly or directly allied with the establishment we don’t have a chance unless we have some white Caucasian high cabinet level influence as I have detailed in LinkedIn and written to all major media outlets but none would take notice as the media too is thriving sometimes with a special segment presented by Deryn Hinch on TV chan 7 and almost on daily basis exposing these inequities and injustices mostly to the whites. Imagine what will happen to the bread and butter and the pseudo and false social status of politicians, judges, lawyers, police officers and senior bureaucrats if we changed to a better legal system and crime diminished? I have question for you as well as to why you want live in such a bad Australia when consider SL to be far better than Australia? Could it be that you receive a good centre Link Benefit? To me in my almost 27 years experience living here and experiencing many traffic and employment related skirmishes with the police it has been and is leaps and bounds far, far better than the fear with which we lived since 1956 Sathyagraham against the Sinhala only act; when my parents and my mother in particular were shielded from injury by a fellow sathyagrahi from one of the many baton wielders that and who have since been sponsored aided and abetted by the GOVt’s of SL to-date that gave rise to the VP & LTTE ugly and horrible phenomenon. Notwithstanding all the above the following may help you and some readers from better understanding the real crux of the problems that most of us face as part and parcel of the British heritage of law & order unlike those who came more under the influence of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Continental Europe System of Justice as detailed below. “Serial Liars Preview: http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/2OV2Urw7GVQuDUSDCOCNQm9kpAMrIsxqUAFs_uKxBQmWBsR-pMkCqXfVCIAZ4Yhx1xOdNtIXBCB2DK2wJFmgcQ/Serial%20Liars%20preview.doc Serial Liars Free Download eBook: http://f1.grp.yahoofs.com/v1/2OV2UmHnrsguDUSDCvygWMVWLgw5Pn6x7G9LTRAhwDbRP_-BnraDdUycXaIDXcleFE9B9SNka53sQ85I8hd7Tg/Serial-Liars_Ebook.pdf If you would like to invite your colleagues to join A Better Legal System e-group, please ask them to go to http://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/ABetterLegalSystem/info where they should note: Group Settings This is a public group. Attachments are not permitted. Members cannot hide email address. Listed in Yahoo! Groups directory. Membership does not require approval. Messages are not moderated. Anyone can post messages. You may also be interested to go to the following website: http://www.abetterlegalsystem.info/ where you can post a comment / add a link to any new web-publications of interest / and also download Serial Liars free e-book. Elizabeth O’Brien Moderator, A Better Legal System e-group.

    m.c.spencer
    November 11, 2013 at 6:34 am
    Reply

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    CT, Please substitute the following for the above as the URLS given above are not secure as pointed out by facebook and I have asked the sender liz@lead.org.au to clarify. My Response to Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam, a son of Dr Brian Seniviratne in response to his essay on Sri Lanka Hosting CHOGM Is A Joke: Is The (British) Commonwealth Relevant Any More? In the Colombo Telegraph November 10, 2013. “The human rights abuses in Australia dwarf those in Sri Lanka. So does the corruption”. Your father and I (Details in my LinkedIn CV under Mahlchandran C Spencer) along with many others too have experienced inequities and injustices in Australia partly due to mostly whites manning and/or womaning important positions including the police service but mostly due to the predominantly Adversarial System of law that was initially crafted for “Robber barons” that was inherited from UK as well as due to its predominantly convict origins. This has been and is more beneficial to the offenders and less for the victims of crime. Further if the offender is an institution partly or directly allied with the establishment we don’t have a chance unless we have some white Caucasian high cabinet level influence as I have detailed in LinkedIn and written to all major media outlets but none would take notice as the media too is thriving sometimes with a special segment presented by Deryn Hinch on TV chan 7 and almost on daily basis exposing these inequities and injustices mostly to the whites. Imagine what will happen to the bread and butter and the pseudo and false social status of politicians, judges, lawyers, police officers and senior bureaucrats if we changed to a better legal system and crime diminished? I have question for you as well as to why you want live in such a bad Australia when consider SL to be far better than Australia? Could it be that you receive a good centre Link Benefit? To me in my almost 27 years experience living here and experiencing many traffic and employment related skirmishes with the police it has been and is leaps and bounds far, far better than the fear with which we lived since 1956 Sathyagraham against the Sinhala only act; when my parents and my mother in particular were shielded from injury by a fellow sathyagrahi from one of the many baton wielders that and who have since been sponsored aided and abetted by the GOVt’s of SL to-date that gave rise to the VP & LTTE ugly and horrible phenomenon. Notwithstanding all the above the following may help you and some readers from better understanding the real crux of the problems that most of us face as part and parcel of the British heritage of law & order unlike those who came more under the colonial influence of France and Continental Europe’s System of Jurisprudence and Justice as per the website on URL http://netk.net.au/WhittonHome.asp which clarifies more and explains the reasons behind our judicial, Legal, inequities and unfair state of affairs that favours the lawyers and the rich at the expense of truth and justice. The website on URL http://netk.net.au/WhittonHome.asp clarifies much of the reasons behind our judicial inequitable and unfair state of affairs

    m.c.spencer
    November 11, 2013 at 7:35 am
    Reply

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