20 September, 2020

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Sri Lanka’s Tsunamis Of All Sorts: Lessons Not Learnt!

By Mohamed Harees –

Lukman Harees

Fifteen years ago, on Boxing Day in December 2004, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the Indonesian island of Sumatra and a total of around 230,000 people lost their lives in countries located along the Indian Ocean, including more than 30,000 people in Sri Lanka. All these countries, were not equipped to face the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Tsunami 2004 was thus a wake-up call to many countries in the Indian Ocean to be better prepared to face natural disasters. The need for an early warning system and to be better prepared to manage disasters to save lives and livelihoods was the biggest lesson to be learnt in the aftermath of the tsunami a decade and a half ago. To what extent, Sri Lanka has learnt lessons in such regard is a question, as lessons learnt appear to have been put in the backburner, judging by the ad hoc ways in which other disasters (minor in comparison such as floods) are being managed by the Authorities even later?

Most of the displaced were put up in temples, schools and mosques. Volunteers participated in the search and burial of the dead. There were no major outbreaks of disease, thanks to the efforts of aid organizations and the government, and no shortages of food and clothing, thanks to local groups and usually charitable ordinary Sri Lankans who organized help on their own, as many were worried if they gave money to the government it would be wasted or skimmed off. The effort however lacked coordination. Places off the beaten track often got nothing while places near main roads got more supplies than they could handle. Local government officials often found that they were on their own helping their communities. Many were given no directions by their superiors and had to improvise. Buddhist, Hindu, Christian and Muslim groups provided some grief counselling. Many people who lost family members found it most comforting to talk to other people who had lost loved ones. Many had difficulty getting over snap decisions that resulted in the deaths of family members.

The tsunami, which was the most devastating natural disaster in Sri Lanka’s history, resulted in losses of over $1 billion in assets and $330 million in potential output, according to government estimates. The World Bank simultaneously restructured ten ongoing operations and made $75 million available for immediate emergency recovery needs. Around $2 billion from donations made its way to the Sri Lankan government Relief efforts included setting up water purification centres, temporary housing and trauma-counselling centres. Catherine Philp wrote in the Times of London: “When emergency aid began pouring into Sri Lanka in the days and weeks after the tsunami, it came in a flood through open doors flung wide by a grateful nation. But as the weeks and months have gone by the reconstruction effort has slowed to a crawl, hampered by bureaucracy, incompetence and corruption, much of it on the part of the Sri Lankan Government. Six months after the tsunami struck, thousands of survivors still live in sweltering tents, while others inhabit temporary shelters that will have to be rebuilt in the coming weeks as monsoon rains grow heavier. “It’s a mess,” one United Nations official said. “We should have all these people properly sheltered by now. But this country is awash with aid money that people can’t spend because they are so busy jumping through the hoops that the Government is putting up for them.” ..While frustration grows in the aid community, anger is building among the survivors. [Source: Catherine Philp, Times of London, June 18, 2005].

Corruption in relief and reconstruction efforts undermines the very spirit of humanitarian action; its prevention is key to ensuring effective and equitable assistance to those in greatest need. Corruption is often a particular problem in disaster-prone and conflict-affected countries. The physical effects of the tsunami are likely to have increased opportunities for corruption and exploitation. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, many of the systems normally used to encourage accountability and reduce corruption break down. In a report assessing the situation at the end April 2005, independent Indian research group the Institute for Human Development said only 39 per cent of the $8.6 billion dollars pledged by governments, agencies and private donors had reached those whose lives were shattered by the December 26 tsunamis.  According to Transparency International Sri Lanka (TISL) , its investigations had revealed a gap between the amounts disbursed by foreign aid agencies and what has been spent on relief and recovery projects since the 2004 tsunami. The difference between the disbursed and the expended (amounts) has been a controversial issue that does not have a credible explanation,. Over US$500 million in tsunami aid given to Sri Lanka has gone “missing”. It had reason to believe that some of the funds “have been utilised by the government for other purposes”. TISL did not elaborate on to what these “other purposes” might have been. There had been no government audit of tsunami aid since an interim report issued in 2005. “Thus, the overall picture on finances is ambiguous and left for speculation”. Among the other issues raised by TISL were political interference in the allotting of housing and allegations of corruption against village level officials which have yet to be investigated.

This note on corruption during Tsunami would not be complete, without a mention of ‘Helping Hambantota’, the scandal that, if not for the timely intervention of the Supreme Court headed by the ‘shady CJ’ Sarath N Silva, would have torpedoed the presidency of MR before it even began. The process of siphoning off tsunami aid began very early indeed, and among the most bizarre and egregious examples of abuse was the scandal that came to be known as Helping Hambantota. This revolved around donations of upwards of Rs 100 million handed over to then Prime Minister MR by generous donors in the first weeks after the tragedy.. Sarath Silva later ‘apologized’ to the nation that he made a mistake in exonerating MR.The Sunday Leader got wind of and exposed the Helping Hambantota diversion in early July, 2005. Resultantly, what happened to Lasantha Wickrematunge is history. Even during Yahapalana regime, this was not opened up, although the alleged embezzlement of tsunami aid occurred before MR became president, during a period in which he enjoyed no immunity.

Thus, including Tsunami experience, corruption at the highest levels of power continues unabated on both sides of the political divide. In fact, Central bank scam was an example during Yahapalana regime. Political corruption is rife at all levels and judging by the patterns of voting  by the Sri Lankan electorate,  corruption has become normalised and socially acceptable too, voting in, even  well- known corrupt figures to Parliament while political parties have no accountability for campaign funds. Thus, as Asanga Abeyagoonasekera, Director General in the nation’s Institute of National Security Studies (April 2019) at a press interview about his using technology to crowdsource and track corruption in government, said ‘corruption is widespread in Sri Lanka, arising from “policy blunders, loss-making and inefficient government institutions”, and posing “huge” socioeconomic problems. The country has a corruption score of 38 out of 100 on Transparency International, and is ranked 89th out of 180 countries’. Corruption is thus a deep-rooted problem that Sri Lanka needs to overcome if it needs to leave the past behind, and take its due place in the community of nations, shedding its shady image of corruption.

Tsunamis are giant waves caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions under the sea. However, earthquake and tsunami are often used metaphorically. Tsunami also functions very much like wave, both literally and figuratively – it’s just much bigger and more impressive. The adjective seismic and also tsunamis regularly appear in many expressions on sudden changes or great and devastating changes in the social and political landscapes. In this regard, Sri Lanka has also faced many a tsunamis and seismic upheavals as well in our Post-Independence history. Political tsunami is also used as one of the metaphors, which are the heart of emotion in political language. Besides, like the damage that a tsunami causes, and the ravage that is left behind after a tsunami, is perceived as enormous; so is are damage left behind after political tsunamis too.

The after effects of these political tsunamis are much worse than the 2004 Tsunami. One of the worst political tsunamis which took a heavy toll in Sri Lanka was  the ‘Tsunami of Hate and Otherisation’. Many such tsunamis occurred within the Paradise Isle which raised tell tales signs for Sri Lanka to become a divided nation with no proper democratic space for the minorities. Significant among these political tsunamis were the majoritarian Sinhala waves which hit Sri Lanka in Post 1956, in Post-1983, in Post- 2009, Post Easter 2019 and NOW even the post-elections of December 2019 will also pose a much danger to the concept of an inclusive nation as well, if not managed  properly.

In 1956, SWRD Bandaranaike decided that the only way that he could break into the then prevailing dynastic succession was to resort to the ethnic politics of language and religion that would guarantee him a ready-made electoral majority. Thus, he came to power on the twin platforms of making Sinhala the official language and Buddhism the state religion. SWRD was caught between his social democratic principles and his nationalist practice, although he  proposed to make Tamil a regional language, his ministers and the Opposition opposed and the Buddhist monks, whom Bandaranaike himself was instrumental in bringing out of the monasteries and on to the hustings where their influence was decisive, demanded that he return to his original remit. This laid the foundation for a divisive Sri Lanka; one language and two nations.

In 1983 , the tsunami which arose after the infamous Anti-Tamil pogrom, made Sri Lanka a pariah state in the eyes of the global community. As President Jayewadene and his government would later admit in a statement, “a pattern of organization and planning has been noticed in the rioting and looting that took place”. President JRJ made an address to the nation and blamed the Tamils indirectly. He stated that the riots were “not a product of urban mobs but a mass movement of the generality of the Sinhalese people.. the time had come to “appease the natural desires and requests of the Sinhalese people to prevent the country from being divided”. About JRJ, Basil Fernando, in an article to Colombo Telegraph said ‘Jayewardene’s legacy of causing Black July and for what came after needs much closer scrutiny and exposure. The institution of the Executive Presidency, which was coming under severe resistance from democratic forces, was thus saved. Those who are today benefiting from the survival of the executive presidency owe it to what JR Jayawardene did in July 1983. This aspect of the political history of Sri Lanka has not been adequately highlighted because there are still those who are benefiting from this executive presidential system. Understanding the catastrophe that came about on all Sri Lankan public institutions and political life requires much reflection on the initiative that JR Jayewardene took to unleash Black July’.

In 2009, MR gave political leadership to win over Tigers after long 30 years of ethnic strife. Although he was initially careful to use conciliatory language and speak about the importance of winning the peace, not just the war, there have been no concrete steps toward a lasting political solution to Sri Lanka’s thorny ethnic problem. Tamils were marginalised further. He then attempted instead to project himself as a modern-day incarnation of King Dutugemunu. In the process, he opened another can of worms by allowing hate groups to emerge and lay their hands on the next biggest minority – the Muslims and demonise and harass them. This process of marginalization of Sri Lanka’s Muslims continued even after Yahapalana government came to power as well. This anti-Muslim hate wave started another socio-political tsunami which caused havoc in various forms and continues to-date. Impunity crisis is also affecting Sri Lanka’s international credibility.

In 2019, Easter Sunday tragedy opened up another Tsunami tearing the social fabric of Sri Lanka apart. The government was mainly culpable in not heeding many intelligence leads about the impending disaster. Despite many inquiries into the terror wave on that fateful Sunday, still those responsible are not identified, while Muslims are being collectively demonised. This wave of demonization lead to nationalism and racism, which played a decisive role in bringing in Gotabaya as the President in typical Modi style. Many hate and Sinhala Buddhist groups have got renewed inspiration, asking for blood and majoritarian measures to be enacted which will deny democratic voice for the minorities. Even Sinhala Christians are affected too. This wave of majoritarian and Sinhala supremacism is also a political tsunami of substantial impact, and if the aftermath is not managed properly, the aspiration for Sri Lanka to be an inclusive nation will just evaporate as a dream. It is upto the President to work towards making Sri Lanka a corrupt-free, racism- free, equitable country for all communities, learning lessons not just from Tsunami in 2004, but from many political tsunamis too which wreaked havoc in making this country a hell–hole particularly for the minorities in the past. It is imperative for Sri Lankan authorities to make efforts to dismantle the networks of hate, speak out against hateful narratives and also institute urgent reforms to the education system “to foster inclusive identities”. Warning bells have been sounded and it is up to the leaders to take heed and take effective measures without playing to the gallery.

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Latest comments

  • 28
    4

    i was then in my lab, when I first heard that the boxing waves took the lives of coastal area living people of the island nation.
    Even if I was out of the country, I happeend to send funds through my friends in America (white americans, and europeans ) so that the victimized people could have been helped adequately.-

    But what b ecame to me clear was, those funds, had not gone tothe people but to the pockets of Rajaakshes ballige puthas – this is very hurtful, as i have no words to express my anger.

    Over 5000 millions of US dollars had been gone to or draged by them, during that times. This was legally revealed by that IDIOTIC CJ, Sarath N Silva publicly. Nevertheless, grass eaters dominated our nation, betrayed the nation and let the buggers be our leaders again. How SHAMEFUL we the sinhalaya should be ????

    As Tsunami embezzeler, how can he face the nation this way ? Even today, MAHINDA polburuwa to abuse helicopters for his own travels.. unnecessarily, seem to be like cutting pork keeping on the living swine….. but people dont care. I think not tsunami, others natural dissasters will punish our nation.

    See how the country is hit today, not just by pay hikes of the daily needs, but nature…. heavy rains seem to be taking the lives of the innocient…. rajakashes should be made accoutable for all the destruction in this nation. The day, rajakashes are buried under the earth only we will have a real free mind to create real progress to all in this country.

    • 17
      1

      Desperate Sinhalaya – I have also been a contributing factor while I was working abroad and little did I realise that the Tsunami funds had gone into the pockets of Tsunami Hora W.P. Mahinda Rajafucksha a.k.a. ballige putha. Some day karma will catch up with the Rajafucksha’s.

      • 8
        1

        isnt that money he robbed the poor masses was used to bribe the LTTE to boycott tamil voters and he got elected?

        Rajapaksanomics are the best man.

      • 8
        1

        Meer,
        thank you for your posts. I am doing well, but our people are caught by Rajaakshe mafia yet today.
        Media mafia should be made accoutable for all the mess. Today, the very same media seems to be stayig mum. Can you imagine ?
        Tsunami hora became hora, not through his anti forces but through that former CJ Sarath N Silva. He changes his words from time to time. I just beelieve, the country is flooded by heavy rains today – just because, the nature thought, that this country deserve good leaders but people were misled for the come back of the high criminals.
        I truly believe, that there are some supernatural forces that would stand against the injustice. That will punish our people …. unfortunatley those stood against Rajaapkshes too will have to suffer.
        In upcoming UNHRC sessions, there will surely be new kind of UN resolutions against our nation. Gotler will have to face them all if we have to march forward.
        Human right violations will have to explained to the world and even trade embargo against our country can be the consequence.
        Their hoodwinking and self glorifications tactics would not help international community but grass eaters in the country.
        Those media institutions that mislead the nation should be bomed down, then only those naive masses will open their minds and see it beyond their LINMAEDI mentalities.
        Rajaakshe terror should be destroyed from our country if we at all want to see a better srilanka.

      • 3
        0

        Sob will be sob, donkeys never learn.

    • 3
      8

      “As Tsunami embezzeler, how can he face the nation this way ?”

      According to Sonali Samarasinghe, 103 million SLR was embezzled into a personal fund set up in his father’s name, by Mahinda. She says he returned most of the money: ” I then wrote a series of investigative articles, which ultimately resulted in Mr Mahinda Rajapakse returning most of the money.” In fact, if you convert 103 million SLR to USD, it amounts to around $538000 USD. This is a small amount. LTTE supporter Raj Rajaratnam, who was convicted of securities fraud in the USA, made billions through insider trading.

      • 8
        1

        Lester

        “In fact, if you convert 103 million SLR to USD, it amounts to around $538000 USD. “

        This money belonged to the downtrodden victims and not yours. Whether $1 or half million dollar it should benefit the victims and not these crooks.

        “This is a small amount. LTTE supporter Raj Rajaratnam, who was convicted of securities fraud in the USA, made billions through insider trading.”

        You have no chance of recovering from your insanity?
        Did Raj Rajaratnam embezzle the from the pot of charitable donations from all over the world destined for tsunami affected poor people of this island?

        What is the connection between charitable donations and Raj Rajaratnam’s insider dealing. Aren’t you becoming an ASS day by day?
        This is what your Sinhala/Buddhism has taught you over the past 100 years.

        • 1
          3

          Dear Native,

          Funny you mentioned Galleon Funds Management..

          Tell me what happened to that USD 3 Million which the ex UNP Yahapalana Power and Finance Minister Mr Ravi Karunanayak was holding in a NRC Account on behalf of Mr Rajaratnam after the Tsunami..?.

          Happy & Prosperous New Year to you Native , before I forget….

          • 1
            0

            KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

            Are you friends with saffron clad Ampitiya Sumanarathana of Batticaloa? Is he in charge of the Batticaloa Traffic Police? Did you notice he is rapidly going mad like Gota?

          • 1
            0

            KASmaalam K.A. Sumanasekera

            “Funny you mentioned Galleon Funds Management..”

            It was not me but Jester who mentioned Galleon.
            I know you haven’t recovered from last year’s hangover leave alone this years.

            “Tell me what happened to that USD 3 Million which the ex UNP Yahapalana Power and Finance Minister Mr Ravi Karunanayak was holding in a NRC Account on behalf of Mr Rajaratnam after the Tsunami..?.”

            You should ask this question from your new whiter than white finance minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

            Aren’t you being offered a new lucrative job opportunity say High Commissioner to Australia or UK?

      • 1
        3

        Lester,

        Those anti Rakapakasas and Anti Sinhala Buddhist forces seem to have problems counting their Cash Donations, as well as the number of their fiends who disappeared fighting as Terror Groups.

        Someone said they contributed USD 50000 Million as donations.
        And alleged that a Ballige Putha pocketed it..

        Now you say it was only 583000 in US Dollars.
        But it is not even One Million Mate..

        That Galleon Fund of course had USD 6 Billion under management when its Boss Dude did Insider Trading,
        That of course is in the same Ball Park like that USD 50000 Million.

        Wonder what happened to the Galleon Fund. –

        BTW, Some of my School friends who live comfortable lives overseas built a a nice House in the South to house Tsunami victims .
        Whether the occupants are the real poor Tsunami Victims , I am not sure,

        But I know some NGO Boys and Girls who had brought Cash Donations in US Dollars and Euros and even Sterling Pounds spent them opening new businesses for their Girl Friends and Boy Friends in the South..

        Happy and Peaceful New Year to you and all our poor Inhabitants in Lankawe , specially to those Easter Sunday Victims and their Families who o attended the X Mas Eve Mass at Katuwapitiya Church conducted by our dear Cardinal in Colombo..

        • 1
          0

          KASmaalam


          “Those anti Rakapakasas and Anti Sinhala Buddhist forces seem to have problems counting their Cash Donations, as well as the number of their fiends who disappeared fighting as Terror Groups.”

          Both being anti Rakapakasas and Anti Sinhala/Buddhists are considered fair game.

          “Whether the occupants are the real poor Tsunami Victims , I am not sure,”

          AS usual the Rabnavirus and party members get priority over the victims.

      • 0
        0

        Lester

        Raj Rajaratnam’s crime was insider trading in the US for which he was convicted for 11 years in prison if I am not mistaken. MR siphoned millions destined for those who were effected by the tsunami in SL for which he was never held accountable. A crime, whether its a white collar or a plain fraud, is a crime but taking money from the poor is despicable, which indicates MR has no conscience & he wants more, instead of retiring in his old age to enjoy his ill gotten gain in comfort.

        There have been & always be fraud & corruption in the govt. but I am at a loss to understand there are people like you who, for some unknown reason or misguided sense of loyalty, still worship this corrupt politician who was treacherous enough to even have a pact with terrorists (before screwing them) & sold the country to the Chinese. Stop living in denial & get a life mate.

    • 5
      0

      Dear Mohamed Lukman Harees,
      .
      Yours is a breathtakingly honest and courageous article, given who now hold power in this country.
      .
      “Desperate Sinhalaya”, you have made the sort of honest comment from Germany which I have come to expect from you. How then is it that you have not seen fit to say something about what you see in my own article? Not only you, “desperateasanother”, “D. P.”, “babalawathie mudunkotuwa”, “Fahmy Kinght”, “Native Vedda” and Amarasiri.

      .
      https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/some-thomian-pharisees-are-adamant-on-the-need-to-cheat/
      .
      When Ratnasiri Wickramanayake’s daughter wrote a series of articles about how her children were harassed at Gateway International School, Negombo, hiding her relationships, there were hundreds of comments, but there are only 23 after two days when I write about something far more serious and general, and four of them I have just noticed, have the same gravatar, but three different names: Edward /Edwin as first name, Peiris/Dias as surname. It so happens that all those comments are good, but how does one get anything done?
      .
      I have been absolutely objective in presenting the Rules of the Board of Governors and the Ordinance, yet so many are arguing about “religion”. I have not taken it on myself to pontificate. Being liberal in outlook, I would rather not stipulate “Religion”, but I can see the need to maintain that vague but real essence known as “ethos”, besides coping with the numbers who want to crowd into a place where high standards have been established by others.
      .
      tbc

      • 6
        0

        My Dear SM,
        Please find my belated greetings to you for the christmas and new year.
        You know very well, that I really love you and the like in our home country lot more than I express it on here or other platforms.
        Let me come to answer your articles later. I am on on leave, but have to work today and next monday, then I may have few days off. There I can answer you accordingly. Please Panini, take good care of you – we are all behind avatars but yours is known to those wadakayas- I DONT wish to hear that you have been abducted by mlechcha MR forces next days. If anything in that line would harm you, that will be too late.
        I know your hearted efforts you made regarding ” preferential votes”. Not any others known to me that to have done that much concerning that. Thanks once again, but never forget, today the environment down there is NO DIFFERENT to what you experienced prior to 2015. What unexpected could come on you Dear. Please dont be naive…. and do take care of you. Your own ones (grand children, dearly wife, your children) would not want you to risk your life any more. God bless for you !

    • 3
      0

      Continuation
      .

      CT Rules don’t allow us to send out e-mail addresses and telephone numbers. I chose not to smuggle them in unnoticed when giving the seventh and last link in the article. Are we fools to be so law-abiding? One of my favourite commenters, Spring Koha, hardly ever harsh to anyone, has been nasty to me at the end of his comment. I just didn’t expect that. Will all of you also throw me to the wolves? What is vitally important is that we heed early warnings, be it Tsunamis, Easter Bombings or Election Cheating.
      .
      In my own comments, I have gone out of my way to recognise the existence of “International Schools” as well as ten thousand State Schools, and identified Estate Schools as the most marginalised. Yet, I’m not trying to turn into a “Trade Unionist”.
      .
      All decry nepotism and politics. It has been noticed by some that I have shown the opposite tendency. It looks as though that also is being criticised.
      .
      We don’t like religious fanatics. The two Uva Schools referred to here have fewer than 5% Christian students. The Old Boys may amount to 10%. Yet people will accept dishonest conduct from Christian Priests. If it was sexual misconduct that I had alleged, I may have attracted more readers.
      .
      So, this is an appeal form Panini Edirisinhe, whose comments so many have liked for their balance, integrity and impartiality, to now not ignore what is happening in some schools regarded as elite. The Uva schools certainly cannot be so described.
      .
      Please feel free to criticise there, but not to ignore imagining that you are not familiar with the places.

    • 5
      0

      Let me correct it .

      Price hikes of daily needs have gone up as no times in the past. But PEOPLE as if they eat Punnaku for 3 times, not a single word against ballige puthas that came to power promising sky and moon.
      How can Bandhula Gunawardhana (bed pan style mouth of the nation) would face it the very same stupid masses today ? B Onion prices have gone up upto 800 bucks or so, as I read somewhere, that is not the case even in rich europe. I bought 2.0 kg of B Onions just for 1 euro few days ago (it is like 200 rupees in local currency).
      So, how would the very same VOTERs though highly gullible face the life. Why not MEDIA institutions send news alert rabblerousing the very same nation today ? The reason has been that those stood against were rajapakshe forces. Nobody else. We have to get rid of rajaakshess from lanken politics is my new year message. So long Rajaakshe terror would tremour this country, there will be no progress at all.
      They are talented at killings and rabblerousing, but people should learn to see it right let alone today. Then only we the nation can seeachieve our goals.

    • 7
      1

      Desperate Sinhalaya

      Did you know Gota has suddenly changed Traffic Police uniforms, now it’s saffron and not Khaki uniform?
      Watch:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuyB6A5VA3g&feature=emb_logo

  • 20
    2

    “This wave of demonization lead to nationalism and racism, which played a decisive role in bringing in Gotabaya as the President in typical Modi style.”

    The “Easter Sunday Bombing” and its impact on Srilanka was nothing to do with Islamic International terrorism. It was created to fulfil the purpose of those who lost the power in 2015. If it is an Islamic terrorism, the investigations should have found at least some residual terrorists with sufficient evidence. The police or military or judiciary or the governments were not interested in finding the true culprits behind the terror. Do you think only those who died in the suicide bomb blasts are terrorists? No, definitely there should be planners, executors, investors, arm suppliers etc. Even under this government nothing is going on to find out the truth but they are focusing on former ministers who blamed Gotabaya during election campaign. The truths is purpose is completed, now focus is burying all the truths in the name of law. What a wonderful Christmas messages from two brothers?

  • 2
    1

    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.

    For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2

  • 8
    0

    Dear Mr G

    When power is given to a government it is a momentus responsibility.

    Usually when one aspect is acceptable another aspect declines to manage all aspects of government to a high standard is the wish of the people.

    Mr Gotabhaya & Mahinda Rajapaksha and Pohottuwa will have to take this on board and honour the wishes of the people.

    Please don’t bluff this time _ this is the last chance for Sri Lanka.
    DO NOT STEAL from the poor, promote interaction among communites and develop the nation in a sustainable manner.

  • 4
    1

    [Edited out] Please stop using others’ names – CT

  • 11
    1

    Sri Lankan’s will never learn. This was proven several time.

  • 11
    27

    Lukman Harees has focused his attention to natural and man-made Tsunamis (disasters) that occurred after British left this country. If we consider disasters of this nature as Tsunamis, Native Sinhalayo have faced many more during the past thousands of years. Major disasters (Tsunamis) Native Sinhalayo faced are:
    • Invasions by ‘Para’ Dravidians that started in 3rd Century BC. There were 52 invasions that destroyed Sinhala Kingdoms Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa in the North-East of the country.
    • Portuguese invasion in 1505.
    • Dutch invasion in 1658
    • British invasion in 1796
    • Importing Dravidian slaves from Malabar by Portuguese and Dutch to work in tobacco and indigo plantations in Yapanaya
    • Importing Dravidian slaves by British to work in tea plantations
    • Clearing virgin forests in the Central Highlands by British to grow tea. This is one of the deadliest man made Tsunami in this country.
    • Anti-Sinhala riots started by the descendants of slaves brought to this country.
    • Terrorist campaign started by Prabhakaran with the blessings of Dravidian politicians that lasted nearly three decades
    • Terrorist attack carried out by Wahabi Muslims
    • Inability to fix racist Dravidian politicians
    • Inability to fix opportunistic extremist Muslim politicians

    • 6
      18

      Well said Eagle Eye.

      In addition why is it that CT’s main contributors are a couple of tamils and four Muslims.

      Is CT a paper promoting laments by Tamils and Muslims that are hell bent on continously insulting His Excellency The President and the Prime Minister.

      This rag must be banned!!!!!

  • 4
    0

    [Edited out]

  • 13
    0

    Sri Lanka has become so corrupt since 1977. Since the new constitution introduced by JR. Nothing is going to change until the SL introduce a new constitution.

    • 0
      5

      Charles
      What is the post election UNP policy on abolition of EP which they rolled back during the election?

      Soma

      • 1
        0

        soma

        Isn’t it too early to talk about UNP policy on abolition of EP, …..?
        Don’t you want to wait still the next tsunami strike this island deep inside?

    • 6
      0

      I would say, that It was SWRD’ s ‘Sinhala Only’ in 1956, that made it possible for JRJ to evade holding elections in 1982 after becoming PM in 1977.
      The Presidential form of governance that he introduced in the form of a Constitution which was ‘only limited to the point where it couldn’t only change a woman into a man’ as he himself boasted, has resulted in the subsequent series of crises, corruptions and havocs that the country is now experiencing under the Rajapakse Mafia brotherhood.

  • 4
    0

    “December 26, 2007
    Rebuilding has been 100 per cent in the south, especially Humbantota district, which is the home of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
    In fact, in Humbantota, nearly 3,200 excess houses were built, and these are now occupied by those not affected by the tsunami.
    “The northern province still requires completion of more than 9,000 houses and the eastern province more than 12,000 houses,” Jeevan Thiagarajah of the Confederation of Humanitarian Agencies told IANS.
    “Not even 12 per cent of fully damaged houses in the north have been rebuilt, and only 26 percent in the east,” says NGO Action Aid in its report titled ‘Voice from the Field’. This is so even though 60 per cent of the damage wrought by the tsunami was in the east, especially Amparai district in the southeast. “
    https://www.sangam.org/2007/12/Tsunami_Rehab.php?uid=2692&print=true

  • 3
    10

    Mr. Harees: Your sympathy towards, Tsunami victims looks full of compassion. But, if you know the Sri Lankan literature, it is like saying “Lebbe ge mas pihiye Liyawee etha Satk Karnua ha Maithri”. A good article about Tsunami victims is full of Hatred, Jealousy, Animosity and Bad blood. I am wondering whether any muslims succumbed to Tsunami.

    • 8
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      JD, bugger you always have to talk in ethnic lines. Nothing in your head that can be used by intelligent people? It is always Tamil, Muslim, etc., don’t you have anything else in that dull head of yours?

    • 1
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      Keep wondering, your ignorance shows that is all you are capable of doing.

  • 7
    1

    A BBC investigation revealed that 50% of Tsunami Aid was unaccounted for.
    *
    The official response from the GOSL was that the BBC figures were “incorrect”.
    *
    The current Prime Minister had Tsunami funds in his personal bank account. There was a court case running against him just prior to his election as President. After he was elected the court case “went away”.
    *
    79 IQ Sri Lankans have the Government they deserve! Enjoy!

  • 3
    0

    Manu Tsunamis hit the island ring last 4000 years. The island is very susceptible to Tsunami as there is no landmass between southern Sri Lanka and South pole During Kelani Tissa’s time the tsunami encroached 11 miles into the Kelaniya area. Money more Tsunamis will hit. The lastest tsunami that hit the island on 16th November. will silently kill the Tamils. More karmas are committed more Tsunamis will hit the southern part of the island

  • 4
    1

    If only the team of all the gods allow another calamity similar to the happenings of 2004, better known to one and all as a TSUNAMI is allowed to happen during the next 5 years who do think will benefit?

    @ RJ 1.

    My monies are on the bronze always shining sexually penetrated always gleaming with sweat arses of the world-renowned RAJAPUKA family of cheap notorious very well known in all the world’s capitals as the best slick fast-moving cheapest pickpockets and with their oversexed pervert of an ex-chief justice who is an expert in the fine art of bedding girls fit enough to be his granddaughter.

    @ RJ 2.

    He whilst holding the obnoxious special led created post obviously had corrupted underhand loyalty to the ArJAPUKA’s being honorably on biased grounds regally acquitted on the world acknowledged criminal misappropriation of the funds given by many a kind soul to the sleazy AMBANTOTA rescue fund where millions and millions of American dollars were generally donated mostly by overseas benefactors, who in their unwitting to help a so-called tragedy which without giving a prior warning just swept into many a part of the globe.

    @ RJ 3.

    The criminal shameful court case was thrown out of the biased unruly legal court system modified for the sole pleasure of the mighty criminal-minded doing willful acts performing family with unbridled relish who with stinky bet al swallowing which is performed with glee at any given moment.

    .

  • 10
    0

    People’s Pyramid
    ( The undefeatable Mafia)
    =======================The
    Why do Activists voices get suppressed? Why do some get bullied? , harrased ? No community cooperation? Hated ? Some murdered?

    Do any one , including knight have a clue about the waste of energy and time on activism? Is it worth the suffering ? The continued hate and harassment and even worse putting ones life into danger to a bunch of unethical people of your country?
    Continued ..

  • 10
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    People’s Pyramid cont2
    _____________________
    We are been fooled to demonize industrialists and, politicians .
    While the real monsters are a large number of members among the people itself.
    THE PEOPLE’S MARFIA
    PYRAMID
    1-The Politicians , Army junta regimes , Royal families and dictators .
    2.a certain sect of Regligous groups.
    3.Garbage importers and Exporters
    4.Miners ( From sand to everything else)
    5.Timber loggers
    6.hunters of endangered species of land and sea ( including importers of pets)
    7.micro investors ,
    The people -starting investment low as USD.$100.00 per person.
    Investments affordable by large segment of people , quick returns , reasonable profit higher than FDs with almost zero risk and no liabilities or tax payments.
    So how do you fight a gigantic mafia operations run with blessing of the people ?
    No it can never ever be suppressed.
    My sincere advice is for Activist , especially in Sri Lanka ,to just let it go, especially people who are sincerely trying to fight it alone , no one can become Greta in Sri Lanka.
    Be careful watch yourself and family.
    Not worth it.
    Let Nature do it’s part
    Do not know, what to wish people back home for 2020.
    Hope no big scale disastors.
    God bless Sri Lanka!

    • 5
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      It’s actually called Shan Chua Chinese Pyramid not people’s Pyramid in control of almost whole of Asia and Africa.

    • 3
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      So now we know Rino
      No more sand permits needed

  • 6
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    Mr. Harres, I was there soon after for months on a voluntary no pay leave and had the opportunity to talk to several victims who were directly affected, displaced and put up in temporary shelters. During the time I witnessed the generosity of the foreigners not just financially aiding but serving the victims what ever way they could in making a difference. I well remember before leaving to Lanka many children/adolescents came to me and donated money by doing odd jobs (car wash, lawn mowing ) for this cause. Also the staff and even few patients donated money and pharmaceutical companies donated loads of necessary medicines. I worked in North/East and few of those affected areas outside of N & E. While there, I very well knew a portion of the aide was being siphoned by the middle men, politicians and bureaucrats. It is just sad and pity to know that only 50 % of the aide had actually reached the victims and in certain areas none what so ever. Out of all places I worked I felt Killi/Mullai (which was then under the control of militants) were managed, much more orderly and organized manner there by cutting down pilferage as well bureaucratic hurdles . They were willing cooperate with aide agencies in coordinating the rehab services by directly visiting, assessing the affected areas and then supplying material, money and services as per priority. Few people with whom I am still in touch with are a Scandinavian plastic surgeon and a British Dentist,who helped hundred of victims and their families, by providing urgent medical care. Experience I gained by working with those victims has helped me , in understanding life, its purpose and priorities , in totally different way, which I would not have had otherwise.

    • 7
      0

      Chiv,
      thanks for your honest comment. I did what I could, through my friends and all known to me. All financial aids flew into the country to the very same speed tsunami hit the land. But not much of those sums have gone to the hands of those who are really in need. Today tthose house owners complain that the qualitty of the houses that were built for them are very poor etc.
      I know hundreds of families that abused the situation claiming that they were caught by the tragody but in the reality they had no such damages. That is typicla srilanka where even former president, too to have abusd those funds for his own priviledged life. Even today, people from outside world – that really helped the nation question what happened to those sums if the victims were not helped out adequately ?
      I think so long RAJAKASHE corruptions chain works would not be crushed in that part of the country, nothing would work for the betterment of the majority. THEY HOODwink the easy targets for their own survival. I only know those families that became big mudalalies through the funds GOTTEN for the sake of tsunami::: MOST of these mudalalies have no familiy losses or nor have they property losses.

  • 5
    2

    Poor Muslims who have nothing to do with 4/20 are in prison. One boy was killed by torture. The body was dropped off at his parents residence.
    The boy was never charged, 2600 Muslims are in jail, the bail amount has been made extremely exorbitant ,they are not charged, why are they in jail?.Toture is common, and false evidence to implicate themselves,
    This will be the next tsunami, if the leaders don’t release the innocent.
    If Terrorist then should be charged, just for the government to show they are doing, to put innocent Muslims in jail, will backfire.

  • 4
    0

    Thank you Lukman Harees for the no-holds-barred article.
    {“…Tsunami 2004 was thus a wake-up call to….be better prepared to face natural disasters. The need for an early warning system…”}
    Government of India announced that an early warning ‘system’ has been installed in Tsunami prone areas including the Palk Strait These disappeared in weeks!
    GoSL did not go for such precautions.

  • 5
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    In the second paragraph Lukman Harees describes the help given by local voluntary organisations.
    Within one hour of the Tsunami, Tamil Rehabilitation Organisation (TRO) were in some of the worst affected areas to render help to those in need. The then President Chandrika B recognised and mentioned the non-partisan approach of TRO.
    Successor MR took over the assets of TRO and banned it.

    • 2
      1

      “Successor MR took over the assets of the TRO and banned it”
      Similarly the TRO took over the assets of the Tamil Refugee Rehabilitation Organisation which had existed before that and banned the TRRO.
      Karma works in strange ways indeed.

  • 5
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    A glaring instance of NON USE of Tsunami aid is the Non-distribution of 500 houses built in Noraiholai in the Ampara district for Tsunami victims through Saudi Aid of SR 420 Millions which would work out to About SL Rs. 20 Billions at current rates..

    The keys to the houses were handed over by the Saudi Authorities in 2011 to President MR but no action was taken either by him or the Yahapalana govt. to distribute the houses to the Tsunami victim families 325 of which were Muslim families while the balance 125 houses were to be given to others living in the neighbouring areas.

    It appears President Sirisena gave instructions for the houses to be distributed last year but No action has been taken so far to distribute the houses.

    While the houses are decaying through non-use with the complex turning into a mini jungle, the Tsunami victims are still suffering without Shelter FIFTEEN YEARS After the Tsunami.

    • 0
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      The balance houses should be 175 Not 125. Apologies for the error.

    • 1
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      I am.angry as young champion Enviormental Advocate Greta, because I believe I lost some of the people whom I loved dearly due to Cancer and Lung illness caused by Enviormental polutions.

  • 1
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    But I assure you one thing where I am born and raised “South Asia” , the people are extremely stubborn, uncompromising, selfish and just do not give a damn about the resources they are blessed with and even the worst Tsunami did not teach them anything . So why blame governments & illegal miners , transporters and dealer’s? They are merely meeting people’s selfish demand

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