27 May, 2022


Taking The Sacred Road To Justice And Humanity

By Shanie –

They walked this road in seasons past
When all the skies were overcast,
They breathed defiance as they went
Along those troubled roads of Gwent
They talked of justice as they strode
Along this crooked mountain road
And dared the little lords of Hell,
So that the future should be well
Because they did not count the cost
But battled on when all seemed lost
This empty ragged road shall be
Always a sacred road to me.

Idris Davies (1905-1953)

A couple of weeks ago, many were taken by surprise when in a suburb of Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, hundreds of young people rampaged through the streets in some of the worst rioting the city has seen. For nearly a week, stone-throwing mobs clashed with the Police and, indiscriminately as in all mob violence, attacked public and private institutions, including shops and schools. The clashes were sparked off by the Police shooting dead of a Portuguese immigrant who was apparently wielding a machete in the suburb. The anger was over alleged heavy-handedness by the Police in dealing with crime in immigrant neighbourhoods.

Rajapaksa and the de facto CJ

But what took the world by surprise was that Sweden has long enjoyed a reputation as a model welfare democracy. The people enjoy one of the highest standards of living in the world. But in recent years, that image has taken a beating. The current centre-right government made sharp cuts in welfare benefits and largely privatized the school system. All this has resulted a widening gap in income levels between different classes of its citizens. Homelessness and unemployment, particularly among the rising immigrant population, is also on the increase. Long described as a model social democracy, the Financial Times says the country seems to be edging away from welfarism. ‘Having once swung too far in one direction, Sweden is is now over-compensating in the other’ But despite these problems, Sweden remains a country with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world with the distribution of wealth more equal that in most developed countries. Why then the recent unrest in that country? The answer lies in that most people are not satisfied with just material benefits. And that is true both of developed countries as well as the not so developed ones, including Sri Lanka.

Here in our country, President Rajapakse and those around him never fail to mention at every possible opportunity, the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Is it that they have not much else to boast about? Undoubtedly, the crushing of the northern insurgency has been a blessing to the ordinary citizen of this country, whether in the North or South, East or West. The insurgents terrorised the ordinary people. People not only within Sri Lanka but our people domiciled abroad also lived in fear. Let us however not forget that those who who were part of the leadership of this terror outfit now hold exalted positions in the government. It is meaningless to pretend that those individuals have now reformed themselves. Every individual who has committed crimes against humanity must be held accountable. This was the recommendation of the Lessons Learnt Reconciliation Commission. Yet nothing hasd been done and nothing seems likely to happen to follow-up on the recommendation of the LLRC.

Democracy and Elections

Another of the recommendations of the LLRC was that an election should be held to elect members to the Northern Provincial Council and that the Council should be set up and allowed to function in terms of the law of the land. President Rajapakse also gave an undertaking to the United Nations and to others that this would be done. But various attempts were tried to have a group of political sycophants stand for election and “win” the election. But the principal party representing the Tamils appear to have shown that they are made of sterner stuff. The Colonels and the Masters who were earlier part of the LTTE outfit now seem to have thrown in the towel. One of them who was promoting his sister to be the Chief Minister of the Eastern Provincial Council failed badly and could not get his favoured candidate elected even as an ordinary member of the Council. Another has been more shrewd.. He appears to have surveyed the ground situation and seems to have given up hope, notwithstanding powerful political patronage. He has sounded other parties intending to contest the election, no doubt with the blessings of his present political masters, but has so far found no takers.

President Rajapakse finds himself in a quandary. Intelligence reports point to an overwhelming anti-government vote but that is not going to sustain the myth that the Tamil people are grateful to him for having eliminated the LTTE menace and are with him. He will also find it difficult to retract from the pledge he has given to hold an election to the Northern Provincial Council. So his brother. the JHU, and other soul-mates around the Sinhala Buddhist banner are now making noises that the election should not be held as scheduled. But these nationalists seem more powerful, as has been shown in recent times, than the President himself. Wimal Weerawansa has announced that a constitutional amendment will shortly be introduced to remove police and land powers from the Provincial Councils. The all powerful Defence Secretary and Presidential sibling Gotabaya Rajapakse has also gone public saying that the NPC Election should not be held under the prevailing Constitution. The situation becomes curioser and curioser when only the previous day, the cabinet spokesperson announced that the election to the NPC will be held as scheduled in terms of the prevailing 13th Amendment. It does not require much political intelligence to know whose political will prevail in the end.

Ahead of the cabinet meeting scheduled for this week, it is reported that Mohan Pieris, who functions as the de facto Chief Justice had advised President Mahinda Rajapakse that ahead of the NPC Election the 13th Amendment could be amended to remove the provisions relating to (a) the merger of any two Provinces, and (b) the requirement that any amendment to the scheduled list of powers of Provincial Councils requires the concurrence of all Provincial Councils. If this report is true, it is amazing how Mohan Peiris can advise the government on this. Such advice should be sought from the Attorney General and not from a sitting Judge of the Supreme Court. If these proposed changes are brought before Parliament, they can then challenged before the Supreme Court and only the sitting Judges of the Supreme Court can hear submissions and rule on the constitutionality or otherwise of the proposed amendments.

But curioser things have happened in our system of justice. When the Parliament decided to go ahead with the flawed impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake, Parliament was acting as the complainant, prosecutor and judge. It is no doubt for that reason that President’s Counsel S L Gunasekera was then to remark that in those circumstances, no self-respecting person would accept the office of Chief Justice. That is now history.

To avoid Sri Lanka becoming a failed state in terms of the rule of law, we hope the news report in the Colombo Telegraph with the headline’Exposed: de facto CJ advises President to amend 13A’ is not true. But time and again, the government has shown that it is insensitive to public opinion and to good governance or even to a show of following the rule of law. Perhaps the most we can expect is a denial that the President’s 45 minute discussion with Mohan Peiris was not on this issue but on some other private matter.

Michael Foot on Amartya Sen

Michael Foot was one of those intellectual giants who consciously strayed into politics, He became the leader of the Labour Party in 1980 succeeding Prime Minister James Callaghan but resigned from the leadership of the Party when Labour Party lost the General Election of 1983. In 1999, Foot reviewed Amartya Sen’s new book ‘Development as Freedom’ for Tribune of which he was then editor. In his review, he wrote : “After hellish long years of suffering at the hands of imperial masters, India set off on its own path of democratic hope. Never before had the voters, men and women, been able to use their power to such purpose. They have been doing it ever since, not only for their own benefit but for the world at large. To prove how democracy works can truly be said to be the paramount question for civilised people everywhere.

Michael Foot | photo courtesy John Redman / Associated Press

The country our author knows best, the democracy he knows best, is his India: come to his analysis and indeed his grand solutions in a minute. Immediately it is the terrible problems are never allowed to escape his attention. Poverty, a deeply entrenched poverty, seems incurable.. sometimes the modern disease of combined crime and corruption is interpreted by interested parties as if it were the solely the responsibility of the governments in the individual countries. Some of the real criminals have a special interest in fostering the idea that the worldwide disease is ineradicable. Amartya Sen’s book is the best civilising response to this particular kind of reactionary nonsense. And this amazing streak of topicality is only one reason that his voice must be heard. A worldwide disease which if it were not properly detected and the remedy sort could indeed overwhelm us or, even before that, destroy any claim that we have built a real and lasting civilised society. It is the old horror described by Karl Marx but quite often also by other socialist philosophers both before and after him – the deepening poverty which seems to afflict societies which take adequate measures to combat it. Here in our own country we had made some advances in closing the gap between rich and poor but in recent times the progress has shamefully been put in reverse.. sometimes political philosophers usually offer deeply reactionary nature have sought to use this supposedly incontrovertible evidence to prophesy disaster if their reactionary policies are not meticulously followed. Malthus who prophesised around the year 1800 that food supplies would infallibly be outstripped by the growth in populations. He is Amartya Sen’s chief bete noire. Sen indeed offers a quite different prospect for the human species. Wherever men and more especially women have been able to choose for themselves, a great new prospect of freedom as open before them. The liberation of women and the practical evidence of the fruits of it, say in his own Indian state, is one of his principal themes.. his title only is too modest. Development as freedom is accurate enough, but here also are described in these pages the practical means whereby mankind and womankind set out on a new course. Among the authorities Sen calls in aid is ‘my illustrious countryman Goutama Buddha’. Indeed a new lustre runs through every page in this book. Not a trace of the old religions maybe detected in it. It is indeed a new voice for humankind as a whole. He writes with a new authority not only about the wealth of nations but the even greater wealth or our single humanity.. the fact that independent India has succeeded in preventing the kind of famines which caused devastation before, as recently as 1943. Since then there has been no famine, thanks to India’s democracy. Sen himself witnessed that as a boy and he records here that Winston Churchill, who was still in charge of policies for India, had this to say in London: ‘it will make you as ashamed as we should be of the whole imperialist story’.

Foot’s sharp political comments and Sen’s economic prescriptions have relevance to us in Sri Lanka. If we arer to avoid political and economic disaster, we need the fullest democratic freedoms to be felt and exercised by the people.

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Latest comments

  • 0

    Shanie has migrated over seas, and is writing for whom ?

    • 0

      Sharni Darling Thanks for the good work and keep it coming.

      In order to cleans Lanka from the putrid corruption of the Rajapassa dictatorship there is a proposal to have CBK be the COMEBACK KID as the joint opposition candidate for president of Lanka next time around and save the SLFP, with Rosy Senanayake from the UNP as her running mate.
      This will save the 2 political parties from the current dictatorships and hopefully cleanse the rotten political culture that is the standard of the sewer..
      An all women ticket.. what do you think?!

      • 0

        It is the true democracy for every body irrespective of Race and Religion that India follow that today India has produced world class hundreds of Multi Billioneers and thousands of Millioneers within India and outside.

        From world leading Bankers and Financial Institutions to Steel producers, car makers, Busses and truck manufacturers upto Best hospitals, IT companies, research and development and many other Businesses while feeding over 1.2 Billion Population everyday.

        While India appreciates and encourage Private sector investments and developments giving them all incentives, our Maharaja is Ruining our private sector by forcibly Bankruptcing them on Personal Jealoursy…..golden Key or forcibly acquiring them on party politics…..Daya Gamage and Harry Jayawardena’s Sevanagala and Pelawatte sugar plantations ….http://www.sundaytimes.lk/111113/BusinessTimes/bt19.html

        and imposing taxes upon taxes on them until they go broke. This happened to my Brother in law 30 years after doing business and after surviving even LTTE 30 year progrom.

        But due to imposing taxes upon taxes on Private enterprises and constantly increasing electricity Bills and other OH charges he had to shut down his business where he could not bare anymore.

        While these are taking place, every Government corporation under Government Crooks Parliament Ministers are running at Billions upon billions of Losses and nobody take responsibility for those losses.They have taken such amount of loans from banks which effrect all our future Generations.

        This is what happens when absolute criminals take over Governing of our country.

        Also the Opposition Leader is anothe dictator just day dreaming to hold onto power and to become the next President while going behind Kovils pujas.

        While no effect or help been given to help people who are Struggling with endless miseries and without addressing their grievences, he only concentrate in safeguarding his seat as opposition leader while waiting until becomming President to serve people.

        All our Generations are staunch UNPers long before Ranil started doing politics, but will not support anymore until this invalid fake big talker leaves his seat and give it to a capable person.

        Yes Madam Chandrika has obligation to the rescue the country and her father’s SLFP party from absolute Thieves, murderers, liars, cheaters and commission Kakkas. It is her obligation to the country and to the party to rescue it from this current uneducated and uncultured Alibabas.

        Therefore it is time for her to form a party with the help from true patriots from all parties represenbting all communities to find a lasting solution for our countries pressing needs.

        Yes we need a Sri Lankan Spring urgently.

    • 0

      If i suggest that writing for Diapora, Jayalalitha, Vaiko, Ranil wickramasinghe, Dr. Bahu, Pro-Halal folks & Obama, would you sleep peacefully?
      Leela or Jim Soththy, its high time for you to seek assistance of a mental asylum. You are retarded.

  • 0

    Taking The Sacred Road To Justice And Humanity




    “Here in our country, President Rajapakse and those around him never fail to mention at every possible opportunity, the defeat of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam. Is it that they have not much else to boast about? Undoubtedly, the crushing of the northern insurgency has been a blessing to the ordinary citizen of this country, whether in the North or South, East or West. The insurgents terrorised the ordinary people. People not only within Sri Lanka but our people domiciled abroad also lived in fear.”


    Uploaded on Mar 15, 2010
    On this program Sanjana Hattotuwa talks to Dr. Farzana Haniffa, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo.

    The series that gives you insights on Peace and Politics; Business and Development; Society and the Environment; Culture and the Arts.

    Featuring diverse views and perspectives; informing people; contributing to the debate on important national issues The Interview is produced by Young Asia Television.


    Uploaded on Mar 15, 2010
    On this program Sanjana Hattotuwa talks to Dr. Farzana Haniffa, Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo.

    The series that gives you insights on Peace and Politics; Business and Development; Society and the Environment; Culture and the Arts.

    Featuring diverse views and perspectives; informing people; contributing to the debate on important national issues The Interview is produced by Young Asia Television.

  • 0

    Poverty is caused by the unequal distribution of wealth. The current economic systems concentrate wealth in the hands of a few. The solution is for the rich to spend on the poor. Thus many religons specify charity as a noble deed.

    In Islam the giving of a proportion of ones capital to the poor yearly is compulsory. 2.5% is specified for money, gold and silver. Other rates are specified for agriculture, animals and mining etc. This is similiar to a Capital Tax. However taxes usually end up being used by the Govt whilst the poor do not benefit. Capitalist Institutions like IMF and World Bank are continuously applying pressure on the Govts to do away with subsidies and welfare measures.

    So it is essential that the Govt imposes capital tax on Corporates and High Value Individuals and directly utilise these monies on welfare measures and subsidies for the poorest of the poor. It goes without saying that poor people should be helped irrespective of ethnicity, religon etc.

  • 0

    I like what your picture says. This is an upside down World in Sri Lanka.

  • 0

    Michael Foot and I used to travel by the same bus to work every morning, both getting on at the terminus. He sat at the very front (on top) and I at the back. Just imagine any Sri Lankan politician today, not only saving public money by using public transport, but also daring to turn his back on his constituents while he reads his paper, without any bodyguards around to secure him.

  • 0

    SL was a failed state before 2009. Now SL is way out of that list!

    The danger of forgetting the history of war victory is it may repeat.

  • 0

    Racism’ or extinction?

    “Once again we hear voices crying out that Israel is a “racist” state. Should we be surprised? Not really. Why is it that every other group of people can have at least one national homeland where they are the clear majority? Yet, if the same privilege is accorded to Jews it’s called “racist,” or the other famous term – “apartheid state.”

    Israel is located in the center of the Middle East. This region is comprised of 22 Arab countries, which cover over five million square miles, with a combined population of more than 350 million people, over 90% of whom are Muslim. The 6+ million Jews who live in Israel make up roughly 1.7% of the region’s population, so the Arabs enjoy an overwhelming majority of the regional ethnicity.

    The Jews and Israel have been under constant threat of annihilation since the day independence was declared in May 1948. Have the 350 million Arabs lived under such a threat from Israel for the past 65 years?

    Within Israel itself, slightly over 20% of the population is Arab. They enjoy all the benefits of citizenship. They vote, own homes, businesses, property, serve in the Knesset and Supreme Court. Plus, they are excused from serving in the army. Is there a single Arab country where Jews enjoy these same rights? Not one.

    The majority of Arab-Israeli citizens will tell you they have it pretty good, and would prefer living in Israel than in an Arab country. Moreover, a couple of years ago, when the PA threatened to annex eastern Jerusalem, the Israeli Office of Immigration was flooded with Arabs wanting to apply for Israeli citizenship. What does that tell you?

    So why all the talk of racism? Some may say Israel needs to be more “democratic.” Well, in fact, everyone in Israel gets to vote. So why the complaints?

    It seems the problem is pretty easy to identify. The basis for the complaints can be based on only one thing: Jews are the majority and want to remain the majority.

    Danes are the majority in Denmark, Swiss are the majority in Switzerland, Muslims are the majority in 22 countries, but no one is accusing any of these countries of racism. Yet if six million Jews are the majority in a country which is the size of New Jersey this is deemed “racist,” one cannot help but wonder what truly motivates those who make such accusations.

    Israel is a democracy which among other things allows freedom of speech. Thus, those who voice such complaints are allowed to and are protected under the law. Would Jews be allowed similar privilege as citizens of Arab countries? Hardly.

    I think the Arab citizens of Israel who complain don’t know or appreciate how good they have it. They should be thankful for the right to speak out without the police banging down their door and dragging them off to a dark jail cell to be held without trial.

    If Israel is seen as “racist” because it’s the only country in the world where Jews are the majority, let the accusations come, and consider the source of the accusers.

    If Israel acquiesces, the Jewish nation becomes extinct, which is precisely what the accusers prefer.


    • 0

      Where in this whole column has anyone cited the fact that Israel is a racist state? — thus prompting your coming to its defence?

      Apart from other forms of discrimination, the Zionist state also practices gender discrimination. Ever since it seized the Wailing Wall in the June 1967 War, hanging on to the area illegally along with many other Palestinian lands, Israeli women have been banned from praying at the wall, and have campaigned for about 25 years to share this right with male worshippers.

      A short report about their struggle – ‘Victory for Israel’s women of the wall” — can be seen at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/victory-israel-women-western-wall-pray

      Extract: ‘Long-awaited triumph for feminist group campaigning for right to pray on equal terms to men at Western Wall since 1988…’ Since Israel reclaimed the Western Wall in 1967, one of the most sacred sites in Judaism has been run in strict accordance to ultra-Orthodox protocol. Women and men have been segregated. Only men have been allowed to sing from the Torah, don white prayer shawls and apply the black leather t’filin straps.’

      What a backward society still survives in this armed-to-the-teeth ‘modern’ nuclear power. Little wonder many devout Jewish women around the world prefer to stay where they are!

    • 0


      Your…..”Racism’ or “apartheid state” needs much more research, explanation and home study to be done.

      Israel is Govern today not by real Jewish people, but by the Zionists whose ancestors are the Crusaders,Vikings, Mafiosas, illuminitis, skull bones, who are affiliated to Rockerfellers, Bilderberg, Rothchilds, Big Bankers, Federal Reserve etc, who funded all the wars in the world from 1st world war upto now.

      1967 War was a result of Israel illegally occupying Palestine land and annexing more of Palestine land. The war was supported by USA Zionists that made Israel won it and still occupying mor land illegally.

      All Palestine ask is to get back their land which Israel forcibly acquired in 1967, and to give them their Independent State, which is a legetimate demand under UN charter which Israel do not want to give, but keep on acquiring more Palestine lands under Israel on daily basis.

      Please watch the following webs and do your own research. Both USA and ZIsrael is run by the Zionists owned Big Bankers who fund all the wars.


      Now all religions in the world are been hijacked by these powerful Mafiosas, Zionists, Salafies, Wahabies, BBS, Hindu sects, Azam and myanmar Cults etc, which are been funded by these huge corporations to steal other countries wealth and to disrupt their economies and Governments and peoples lives. But Very soon things will get overturned.

      You have to do more research on Zionism,Judaism,illuminati,Mafiosas, Rockerfeller, Rothchilds, 9/11,Federal Reserve,Iraq,Libya, Iran, Afganistan,Syria,New world order,Free Mason,Big banks,Gulf Petrol,US $$$$, Alqueda, Salafi,Wahabi,Sunni, shia etc,etc, to know what is going inside Israel and around the world.

      You have to do more research before commenting.

      Good luck.

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