By Laksiri Fernando –
There are three crises of different magnitudes and implications going on in the international scene these days, of course offshore, but relevant to Sri Lanka. All imply the need to have comprehensive and international perspectives without digging into our own national closets. This need is relevant not only for the Sri Lankans but all those who are concerned and effected by these events and incidents. Our conscience should prick. Let me take these events one by one.
Tamil Refugees at Sea
On 11 June, a boat load of Sri Lankan origin Tamil refugees left Pondicherry, India, seeking greener pastures in Australia, most of them after languishing there since 1983 with their offspring. Some even thought they were heading for New Zealand. There is no doubt that people smugglers were involved. However, this does not diminish the humanitarian aspect of the problem. The refugee camps that they were living in undoubtedly were despicable (evidence: video footage) irrespective of the efforts by people like Samuel Chelvanayakm Chandrahasan or the Indian government. There are limits to what people can do in ad hoc manner on these issues. Permanent solutions are necessary.
This boat was intercepted by the Australian border petrol on high seas off Christmas Island on 29 June following the current Australian government’s military type ‘stop the boats’ policy and now the asylum seekers are kept in a customs vessel allegedly in locked rooms in three groups. The families are reportedly separated. Now the head count says there are 157 asylum seekers, 37 children and 41 women, all children are sick. They have been at sea now for six weeks and three weeks in Australian custody without a solution.
It was just few weeks ago that Australia handed over another boat back to Sri Lankan navy with 41 asylum seekers, 37 Sinhalese. Most of them could be economic refugees or similar but the question begs why they flee in this manner with high risks if the economic conditions are miraculous. Sri Lanka has so far refused to accept the present boat load claiming that it originated in India, not Sri Lanka. UNHCR and the refugee advocates have criticized both Australia and Sri Lanka very strongly for the crisis, one creating it and the other refusing to be humane or follow the international norms. Australia is now asking India to take the boat back. All the present indications are that India might agree to abide if anyone is an Indian citizen, not otherwise. India however points out that their refugee intake is double the amount of Australia.
The refugee advocates have taken recourse to legal measures against the Australian government and the Australian High Court will take up the case again on 5 August with a full bench. So far their ruling has been to safeguard the humanitarian interests of the asylum seekers. The government stance, on the other hand, stands more than adamant and contrasts with what they appear to advocate on the issue of the lives lost as a result of shooting down of a passenger aircraft in Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels.
Shooting Down of MH 17
On 17 July, the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH 17 was shot down (perhaps by accident) by a surface to air missile over the pro-Russian rebel controlled areas of eastern Ukraine. It was on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 298 passengers and crew. This has created international outrage and the UN Security Council has adopted a unanimous resolution requiring a full, impartial and international inquiry.
Much of the blame, however, has gone to Russia and President Putin given the recent conflicts between Russia and Ukraine and Russia’s alleged belligerent stance on the conflict. Among the passengers, 193 were Dutch, 27 or 37 Australians and 43 Malaysians. This was the second in a row of air disasters for the Malaysian Airlines, the last being on 3 March which disappeared on its way from KL to Beijing without a trace. Australia has apparently taken an unprecedented leadership on the issue of MH 17 because of 37 Australian victims and perhaps for other political reasons. There is high level of grief both in Australia and in the Netherlands. The Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs has vouched that she ‘would not rest until justice is done’ for the dead passengers, and the perpetrators are punished. Some observers have commented that this ‘humanitarian concern’ was not shown on the issue of the Tamil refugees at sea. There is undoubtedly an imbalance in standards or treatment of people all over the world.
MH 17 disaster is undoubtedly linked to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In the Ukrainian conflict which erupted last year, Europe is clearly involved like Russia, directly and indirectly. However loud people talk about democracy, some regimes tend to transgress others’ when it comes to self-interest or geopolitics. This is not a reason to reject democracy but to be more vigilant and deepen democracy at international level or relations. An elected pro-Russian president, Victor Yanukovych, was ousted through an (‘democracy’) uprising allegedly supported by European players in February. The Russian response was more crude, intervening militarily, and annexing Crimea, which predominantly an ethnic Russian province. Crimea was also part of Russia before 1953. It was also thereafter that pro-Russian insurgency erupted in eastern Ukraine supported by Russia.
The conflict has all hallmarks of a new evolving Cold War between Russia and Europe with future ramifications going all over the world. The US is not a bystander. Unless both sides learn to sort out their differences and issues through negotiations and compromise, the implications to the global economy and for the international political stability might be drastic. The UN has limitations at present to resolve the issues as it is more of a part of the problem than a solution. It is in this context that the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is more outrageous.
Crisis in Palestine
On 12 June, three Israeli youth were abducted and then killed allegedly by Hamas or other extremists. That was the trigger for the current escalation of violence and war in Palestine. Immediately thereafter, hundreds of Palestinians were arrested and allegedly tortured as revenge, more than in a process of interrogation. Palestinians as usual retaliated violently. Then there were air attacks from Israel and artillery exchange from both sides. Now the death toll has risen to over 750.
The newest incident as I write this is the shelling of a UN run school in Gaza by the Israeli forces. 15 are already dead and over 200 wounded. It is alleged that the school was used by Hamas insurgents to attack Israel. The UNHRC (still) Chief, Navi Pillay, has accused both Israel and Hamas, more of Israel, for committing war crimes. The UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, has called for a ceasefire whatever it is worth.
The present impasse in Palestine is the result of the halfway peace arrangement set up by the Oslo Accords in 1993 without much progress since then to find a final or a better solution. One reason for the lack of progress is the struggle between Fatah and Hamas, Israel taking the full advantage of the situation. Palestine state is still a name or hope than a reality, although there is a ‘government’ or an authority. It is so obvious that two unequal states or authorities cannot exist in this limited space. One state obviously is not a solution. Two states, unless cooperate and share, would not be viable either. A confederation might be a solution, but that requires considerable good will and compromise from both sides.
Israel claims that they have handed over the land but those are converted into fortresses and launching pads against its very existence. The fact of the matter is that land was occupied by Israel illegally since 1967. There is something fundamentally wrong in the way Israel was created in the first place in 1948 by the UN and Super Powers including the Soviet Union. It is not so much of a mistake in the creation of Israel for the Jewish people who were persecuted during the war and before.
The mistake was in the manner of its creation. The UN should have ensured that Israel would not become a monster against the Palestinians. A Monster; that is exactly what has happened and the Western prejudices against the Palestinians or the Jewish lobby in the major capitals particularly in the US has ensured this colossal injustice. It should have been a demilitarized state like Japan, for example. I have travelled to West Bank and Gaza several times in the 1980s and early 1990s and the difference between Israel or the Jewish settlements and the ghetto existence of the Palestinians is unimaginable and unjustified. It is not simply a difference of economic or social resolve between two peoples.
It is unfortunate that people who were persecuted under Fascism have turned into a similar oppressor. No one appears sane in this conflict or any other.
Even a cursory glance at the three crises that we have reviewed would reveal an enormous imbalance of attention, treatment or standards adopted, if I may say, by the international community. The UN is a reflection of this situation. This is not a s reason to jump on the bandwagon to denounce the West or the UN, who are the key players in the ‘international community.’ What about the East? What about our so-called friends of Russia or China?
It is in a way understandable that the West pursue their own interests except where their conscience pricks. Their focused attention to MH 17 disaster might be to finally oust the pro-Russian rebels from eastern Ukraine and consolidate Ukraine as secure buffer zone against Russia. Apart from that, they are genuinely concerned about the disaster as well. Does China or Russia give two hoots to such a disaster? Perhaps not. Putin’s response was lukewarm to the disaster.
Even on the question of refugees, although the present Australian government position is unjustifiable, there are many sections who are sympathetic to refugee predicament. At least legal recourse is available for the refugee advocates.
On the Palestinian question however, the international standards appear fundamentally flawed and perennially mistaken. Equal blame should go to the extremist Palestinian actors. The way the things could be corrected is much more complicated while there is much sympathy and support within the international civil society for the Palestinian cause or for the resolution of the question amicably. The final lesson from all these might be not to take rigid sides on international events or developments, some are closer and others being distant, but to evolve critical views and work always through democratic parameters, decency and sophistication.
Soundra / July 25, 2014
If you know the ancient Biblical history, you would not have written this article. You are branding Israel as a Monster. Their very existence is threatened by surrounding Arab nations. They developed a dessert land into an arable and liveable land Arabs want the developed land for themselves. Arabs have many countries and the population is hundreds of times more than Israel. Then why do they want that land which is not even 1/3 of Sri Lanka.
Don’t write thing if you do not know the facts.
Nimal / July 25, 2014
The basic problem is that European Jewsish immigrants have stolen the land of the Palestinians. There will never be peace until it is returned. The US, having a larger Jewish population than Israel, decided to support the oppressor rather than the oppressed. If the US had supported the oppressed they would be loved rather than hated all over the Arab and Muslim world.
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
“The basic problem is that European Jewsish immigrants have stolen the land of the Palestinians”
Similar to Tamil/Sinhala kallathoi immigrants stealing my ancestral land.
Thiru / July 26, 2014
Buddha said that we don’t own anything in this world, while the Buddhists of Sri Lanka say they are the exclusive owners of the island, because they have the largest number and most importantly the power.
When the island was a colony the hate mongering monks were locked up for the good of the people, and everybody kept the tail between the legs.
Now the power bestowed upon the majority is used to abuse the ‘others’.
We are all hypocrites, including the natives of Sri Lanka whoever they were, nobody knows for sure.
Dr. Laksiri Fernando / July 25, 2014
It is questionable whether you know the facts or I know them!
The present Jewish state is purely an accident of history that is completely unrelated to Bible prophecy whether one believes them or not. I myself don’t believe them. For the believers, let me quote Joseph Blenkinsopp, Professor Emeritus, University of Notre Dame. This is from his “A History of Prophecy in Israel” p. 41.
“The Hebrew Bible itself attests that prophecy was not confined to Israel. In the early years of the reign of Zedekiah, last king of independent Judah, Jeremiah is reported to have urged the rulers from neighboring lands of Edom, Moab, Ammon, and the Phoenician cities, meeting in Jerusalem, not to heed their prophets, diviners, and other intermediaries…”
Well, my brief discussion on the present crisis of Palestine was not based on the Bible but of political facts what I have studied or observed. One problem that we face in many conflicts including Sri Lanka is the mesmerized belief of testaments like Bible or Mahavamsa. If you point out an objection for me using the word ‘monster’ I might budge, but not on others.
Javi / July 25, 2014
at first there was Judaism then Catholicism on the same stone.
Then in the 4th centenary Lucifer the Islamist came upto that stone as a camel to belch and fart throughout this earth.
Israel has developed from an agrarian state run along collectivist lines into a hi-tech economy in the past 60 years.
Say No to the left
Say no to the center of left.
Ben Hurling / July 25, 2014
“Israel has developed from an agrarian state run along collectivist lines into a hi-tech economy”.
Therefore Israel has a license to slaughter people like fish?
Therefore Israel has a right to steal land of defencelss people? Then give them away to imported European Jews from Russia and Poalnd?
You are an ace religious nutter!
PS: No wonder our “defence secretary” Gota cannot hide his admiration for Israel.
Javi / July 25, 2014
Slaughter is your problem- they are in the Arab abattoirs- gentile mutilated (no sensation (no G spot) just produce and look for sympathy)
Defense is their problem.
manisekaran / July 25, 2014
“Therefore Israel has a right to steal land of defencelss people?”
Much followed by sinhlese military robbing tamils land, no wonder hypocrisy of sinhalese of your sorts have no limits.
Javi / July 25, 2014
Colony boy! How about the British Empire (Raj) How many continents?
How did each and every state lure them to capture their neighbour and finally receive a missionary education (charity/ bridging language)
What is land if you are uneasy of the peace to live in a multicultural world where we enjoy the splendors of life??
You have no hardware but your software is now out dated. Only you can help yourself.- You are the side kick at BRICS Bank to China 50 of 100 to say its 5 votes but it’s their vote their money.
Ben Hurling / July 25, 2014
I repeat, there is no land segregated to certain ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.
Be they Sinhalese, Tamil or Muslims. There is only Sri Lankan land. Any Sri Lankan is allowed to buy land anywhere in SL.
It is you who keeps talking about Tamil only land. And then call us racist.
Can you get hold of a cheap Chinese produced mirror in Tamil Nadu buddy? Have a good look at yourself first. You will see a die-hard, ethno-nationalist, Tamil racist. Whining about human rights, only when it suits violent Tamil nationalism.
manisekaran / July 25, 2014
Oh bs ben, dont you know the difference between buying and stealing modaya? Please dont teach me your cheap habits of selling to chinkies.my home has rich look mirrors produced in TN itself.between your nullicholai is working or sleeping?
srilal / July 26, 2014
” I repeat, there is no land segregated to certain ethnic groups in Sri Lanka.”
if so ask any muslim person to go to Kiribatgoda area and try to buy a piece of commercial land , don’t you know that area is exclusively reserved for “Sinhala Buddhists” only !
Ben Hurling / July 25, 2014
Dr. Laksiri Fernando,
“If you point out an objection for me using the word ‘monster’ I might budge”.
There is nothing wrong with the word monster.
May I request you not to budge to religious fundamentalists. Be they Christian, Islamic or Buddhist.
If anything, the word “Monster” does not adequately describe the brutal onslaught on Gaza. Against impoverished people who are locked up in a hostile strecth of land. Then robbed, violently treated and humiliated on a daily basis. For well over 60 years.
If I were to replace “monster” I would consider “war mongering criminal”. A more fitting phrase to describe successive Israeli regimes.
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
“May I request you not to budge to religious fundamentalists. Be they Christian, Islamic or Buddhist.”
And Modi’s Hindutva fanatics.
Javi / July 26, 2014
“If anything, the word “Monster” does not adequately describe the brutal onslaught on Gaza. Against impoverished people who are locked up in a hostile strecth of land. Then robbed, violently treated and humiliated on a daily basis. For well over 60 years.”
Palestinian, are the product of satanic verses, that delve on conversion, genitle mutilation and are the robots meant for soylent green to feed the carnivorous half maggots Behn Hurting- fascist’s.
The general public of Hindia who come into contact with Palestinian students pushed into Hindian university despise these half maggots because Palestanians see every young girl on the street as a prospective slut to be raped. They bring with them the Sharia Law of the Turkish invaders of 1502. Like pitbulls let loose in a kindergarten because of the foreign exchange mechanisms of graft India in the distribution of goods to the public.
Sri Lankan / July 25, 2014
You are as delusional as Gonsara and his goons. For your information, all the Palestinians want is their own land not Israel. That is why its referred to as the “Occupied territory” and UN has a resolution passed asking Israel to return it which they have not only blatantly ignored but done exactly the opposite by encroaching and setting up illegal settlements and now killing innocent women and children by dropping bombs on specifically targeting Schools and Hospitals which even only Hitler would have done.
A classic case or the Hunted (jews) becoming the Hunter (nazis) by turning Gaza into the worlds largest concentration camp. Educate yourself once in awhile on matters before open your mouth as you have humiliated yourself by making a stupid comment.
Tamodaya / July 25, 2014
Arabs have money because of oil.
Israel has no oil.
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
Here is something you have the right to ignore if you want to remain a celebrated ignorant:
If we can have just war, why not just terrorism?
I was criticised for suggesting there could be a moral right of resistance to oppression but Christianity has thought a great deal about the idea of just resistance
The Guardian, Friday 25 July 2014 14.53 BST
For decades now the United Nations has been unable to agree a definition of terrorism. Even our own supreme court recently concluded that there is no internationally agreed definition. The stumbling block has been that western governments want states and state agents to be exempt from any definition. And a number of Islamic counties want some national liberation movements exempt.
Or, to put it in terms of today’s news: the Israelis won’t have any definition that would make them terrorists for bombing old people’s homes in Gaza, and West Bank Palestinians won’t have any definition that will make them terrorists for fighting back against occupation with petrol bombs. Writing in his annual report this week, David Anderson QC, the government’s independent reviewer of terrorism legislation, sounds exasperated: “The intractability of some of these questions has induced a degree of defeatism among those seeking to define terrorism.”
I am eating aubergines and flatbread with Dr Samah Jabr in a cool Palestinian cafe in Stoke Newington. A psychiatrist and psychotherapist who works out of East Jerusalem, Dr Jabr is quietly spoken, modest, and perhaps just a little bit shocked by my lapses into overly colourful language. She is an educated, middle-class Palestinian (in no way a rabble-rouser) but she insists that the word terrorist has become a powerful – though often un-thought-through – political pejorative employed to discredit legitimate resistance to the violence of occupation.
What some would call terrorism, she would call a moral duty. She gives me her paper on the subject. “Why is the word ‘terrorist’ so readily applied to individuals or groups who use homemade bombs, but not to states using nuclear and other internationally proscribed weapons to ensure submission to the oppressor?” she asks. She insists that violent resistance must be used in defence and as a last resort. And that it is important to distinguish between civilian and military targets. “The American media call our search for freedom ‘terrorism’,” she complains, “despite the fact that the right to self-determination by armed struggle is permissible under the UN charter’s article 51, concerning self-defence.”
I took part in the Moral Maze recently on Radio 4 and was howled at for suggesting that there could be a moral right of resistance to oppression. And the suggestion was made that, as a priest, I ought to take no such line. The weird thing about this is that Christianity has thought a great deal about the idea of just resistance. The Reformation, for instance, saw a flurry of moral justifications for resistance to the state, when that state is seeking to impose on its subjects its own particular understanding of religious faith. In 1574, for example, Theodore Beza published his The Right of Magistrates in which he affirmed the right of resistance – and violent resistance in the final instance – to state tyranny. This sort of thing was hardly a one-off.
Indeed, so much of our modern political theory about the role and limits of the state was established by the political theology of the 16th and 17th centuries – and by those who would be branded terrorists under this country’s current terrorist legislation. Oliver Cromwell, for instance, would almost certainly be a terrorist. Come to think of it, so too would Moses and his famous (and very violent) run-in with the Egyptian state. And both of these were “religiously inspired”. If we can have just war, why not just terrorism?
It is nonsense to think that being a state grants some sort of blanket immunity from the charge of terrorism – and certainly not from the moral opprobrium we attach to that term. We talk of asymmetric warfare. This is asymmetric morality: one that, in terms of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, loads the dice in favour of the occupation. This is just not right.
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
“If you know the ancient Biblical history, you would not have written this article.”
Similar to Mahawamsa Bible too is a collection of myth.
If you chose the modern scientific analysis the Jews and Palestinians share 70% of Jews and 82% of Palestinians share the same Y Chromosomes.
Javi / July 26, 2014
“If you chose the modern scientific analysis the Jews and Palestinians share 70% of Jews and 82% of Palestinians share the same Y Chromosomes. “
If this is the case why do they take almost 10 years to pass out as tech. graduates even from Indian universities?/ If they do before its the baksheesh usually.
In any case the Jewish folk have over 200 medical inventions what have the Arabs got? Facebook is a Jewish creation now married to a Chinese.
These aggressive don’t seem to have any human sensation because of female gentile mutilation (both have tip cut).
Ben is now like Scottish Galloway the 4 times married muslims talking of respect.
Native Vedda / July 26, 2014
“In any case the Jewish folk have over 200 medical inventions what have the Arabs got? Facebook is a Jewish creation now married to a Chinese.”
Here is list of Arab/Islamic inventions. The list is not exhaustive. Please surf the net you will find many more.
1 The story goes that an Arab named Khalid was tending his goats in the Kaffa region of southern Ethiopia, when he noticed his animals became livelier after eating a certain berry. He boiled the berries to make the first coffee. Certainly the first record of the drink is of beans exported from Ethiopia to Yemen where Sufis drank it to stay awake all night to pray on special occasions. By the late 15th century it had arrived in Mecca and Turkey from where it made its way to Venice in 1645. It was brought to England in 1650 by a Turk named Pasqua Rosee who opened the first coffee house in Lombard Street in the City of London. The Arabic qahwa became the Turkish kahve then the Italian caffé and then English coffee.
2 The ancient Greeks thought our eyes emitted rays, like a laser, which enabled us to see. The first person to realise that light enters the eye, rather than leaving it, was the 10th-century Muslim mathematician, astronomer and physicist Ibn al-Haitham. He invented the first pin-hole camera after noticing the way light came through a hole in window shutters. The smaller the hole, the better the picture, he worked out, and set up the first Camera Obscura (from the Arab word qamara for a dark or private room). He is also credited with being the first man to shift physics from a philosophical activity to an experimental one.
3 A form of chess was played in ancient India but the game was developed into the form we know it today in Persia. From there it spread westward to Europe – where it was introduced by the Moors in Spain in the 10th century – and eastward as far as Japan. The word rook comes from the Persian rukh, which means chariot.
4 A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim poet, astronomer, musician and engineer named Abbas ibn Firnas made several attempts to construct a flying machine. In 852 he jumped from the minaret of the Grand Mosque in Cordoba using a loose cloak stiffened with wooden struts. He hoped to glide like a bird. He didn’t. But the cloak slowed his fall, creating what is thought to be the first parachute, and leaving him with only minor injuries. In 875, aged 70, having perfected a machine of silk and eagles’ feathers he tried again, jumping from a mountain. He flew to a significant height and stayed aloft for ten minutes but crashed on landing – concluding, correctly, that it was because he had not given his device a tail so it would stall on landing. Baghdad international airport and a crater on the Moon are named after him.
5 Washing and bathing are religious requirements for Muslims, which is perhaps why they perfected the recipe for soap which we still use today. The ancient Egyptians had soap of a kind, as did the Romans who used it more as a pomade. But it was the Arabs who combined vegetable oils with sodium hydroxide and aromatics such as thyme oil. One of the Crusaders’ most striking characteristics, to Arab nostrils, was that they did not wash. Shampoo was introduced to England by a Muslim who opened Mahomed’s Indian Vapour Baths on Brighton seafront in 1759 and was appointed Shampooing Surgeon to Kings George IV and William IV.
6 Distillation, the means of separating liquids through differences in their boiling points, was invented around the year 800 by Islam’s foremost scientist, Jabir ibn Hayyan, who transformed alchemy into chemistry, inventing many of the basic processes and apparatus still in use today – liquefaction, crystallisation, distillation, purification, oxidisation, evaporation and filtration. As well as discovering sulphuric and nitric acid, he invented the alembic still, giving the world intense rosewater and other perfumes and alcoholic spirits (although drinking them is haram, or forbidden, in Islam). Ibn Hayyan emphasised systematic experimentation and was the founder of modern chemistry.
7 The crank-shaft is a device which translates rotary into linear motion and is central to much of the machinery in the modern world, not least the internal combustion engine. One of the most important mechanical inventions in the history of humankind, it was created by an ingenious Muslim engineer called al-Jazari to raise water for irrigation. His 1206 Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices shows he also invented or refined the use of valves and pistons, devised some of the first mechanical clocks driven by water and weights, and was the father of robotics. Among his 50 other inventions was the combination lock.
8 Quilting is a method of sewing or tying two layers of cloth with a layer of insulating material in between. It is not clear whether it was invented in the Muslim world or whether it was imported there from India or China. But it certainly came to the West via the Crusaders. They saw it used by Saracen warriors, who wore straw-filled quilted canvas shirts instead of armour. As well as a form of protection, it proved an effective guard against the chafing of the Crusaders’ metal armour and was an effective form of insulation – so much so that it became a cottage industry back home in colder climates such as Britain and Holland.
9 The pointed arch so characteristic of Europe’s Gothic cathedrals was an invention borrowed from Islamic architecture. It was much stronger than the rounded arch used by the Romans and Normans, thus allowing the building of bigger, higher, more complex and grander buildings. Other borrowings from Muslim genius included ribbed vaulting, rose windows and dome-building techniques. Europe’s castles were also adapted to copy the Islamic world’s – with arrow slits, battlements, a barbican and parapets. Square towers and keeps gave way to more easily defended round ones. Henry V’s castle architect was a Muslim.
10 Many modern surgical instruments are of exactly the same design as those devised in the 10th century by a Muslim surgeon called al-Zahrawi. His scalpels, bone saws, forceps, fine scissors for eye surgery and many of the 200 instruments he devised are recognisable to a modern surgeon. It was he who discovered that catgut used for internal stitches dissolves away naturally (a discovery he made when his monkey ate his lute strings) and that it can be also used to make medicine capsules. In the 13th century, another Muslim medic named Ibn Nafis described the circulation of the blood, 300 years before William Harvey discovered it. Muslims doctors also invented anaesthetics of opium and alcohol mixes and developed hollow needles to suck cataracts from eyes in a technique still used today.
11 The windmill was invented in 634 for a Persian caliph and was used to grind corn and draw up water for irrigation. In the vast deserts of Arabia, when the seasonal streams ran dry, the only source of power was the wind which blew steadily from one direction for months. Mills had six or 12 sails covered in fabric or palm leaves. It was 500 years before the first windmill was seen in Europe.
12 The technique of inoculation was not invented by Jenner and Pasteur but was devised in the Muslim world and brought to Europe from Turkey by the wife of the English ambassador to Istanbul in 1724. Children in Turkey were vaccinated with cowpox to fight the deadly smallpox at least 50 years before the West discovered it.
13 The fountain pen was invented for the Sultan of Egypt in 953 after he demanded a pen which would not stain his hands or clothes. It held ink in a reservoir and, as with modern pens, fed ink to the nib by a combination of gravity and capillary action.
14 The system of numbering in use all round the world is probably Indian in origin but the style of the numerals is Arabic and first appears in print in the work of the Muslim mathematicians al-Khwarizmi and al-Kindi around 825. Algebra was named after al-Khwarizmi’s book, Al-Jabr wa-al-Muqabilah, much of whose contents are still in use. The work of Muslim maths scholars was imported into Europe 300 years later by the Italian mathematician Fibonacci. Algorithms and much of the theory of trigonometry came from the Muslim world. And Al-Kindi’s discovery of frequency analysis rendered all the codes of the ancient world soluble and created the basis of modern cryptology.
15 Ali ibn Nafi, known by his nickname of Ziryab (Blackbird) came from Iraq to Cordoba in the 9th century and brought with him the concept of the three-course meal – soup, followed by fish or meat, then fruit and nuts. He also introduced crystal glasses (which had been invented after experiments with rock crystal by Abbas ibn Firnas – see No 4).
16 Carpets were regarded as part of Paradise by medieval Muslims, thanks to their advanced weaving techniques, new tinctures from Islamic chemistry and highly developed sense of pattern and arabesque which were the basis of Islam’s non-representational art. In contrast, Europe’s floors were distinctly earthly, not to say earthy, until Arabian and Persian carpets were introduced. In England, as Erasmus recorded, floors were “covered in rushes, occasionally renewed, but so imperfectly that the bottom layer is left undisturbed, sometimes for 20 years, harbouring expectoration, vomiting, the leakage of dogs and men, ale droppings, scraps of fish, and other abominations not fit to be mentioned”. Carpets, unsurprisingly, caught on quickly.
17 The modern cheque comes from the Arabic saqq, a written vow to pay for goods when they were delivered, to avoid money having to be transported across dangerous terrain. In the 9th century, a Muslim businessman could cash a cheque in China drawn on his bank in Baghdad.
18 By the 9th century, many Muslim scholars took it for granted that the Earth was a sphere. The proof, said astronomer Ibn Hazm, “is that the Sun is always vertical to a particular spot on Earth”. It was 500 years before that realisation dawned on Galileo. The calculations of Muslim astronomers were so accurate that in the 9th century they reckoned the Earth’s circumference to be 40,253.4km – less than 200km out. The scholar al-Idrisi took a globe depicting the world to the court of King Roger of Sicily in 1139.
19 Though the Chinese invented saltpetre gunpowder, and used it in their fireworks, it was the Arabs who worked out that it could be purified using potassium nitrate for military use. Muslim incendiary devices terrified the Crusaders. By the 15th century they had invented both a rocket, which they called a “self-moving and combusting egg”, and a torpedo – a self-propelled pear-shaped bomb with a spear at the front which impaled itself in enemy ships and then blew up.
20 Medieval Europe had kitchen and herb gardens, but it was the Arabs who developed the idea of the garden as a place of beauty and meditation. The first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and the tulip.
“1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World” is a new exhibition which began a nationwide tour this week. It is currently at the Science Museum in Manchester. For more information, go to http://www.1001inventions.com.
Javi / July 26, 2014
What a barrow load of camel manuare!!! ;)
I dont know about coffee. But I do know the myth of tea and iraq. Tea was found by Chinese emperor.
You are talking of things just after the invasion/borrowed old testament of gossip- of Islam in 4th centenary. Its like saying Hillary climbed mount Everest not Sherpa who goes on a morning walk.
The inventions of Jews in medicine is most recent.( i had the whole list in my last pc which i binned.) So they took arafart to france to find out about poison and fought about his wealth before he could die- like SA Mandela.
” The first royal pleasure gardens in Europe were opened in 11th-century Muslim Spain. Flowers which originated in Muslim gardens include the carnation and the tulip.”
Therefore Carlos 1 got the best of landscape artist from Italy to design and other structures. Romans are still the best copy cats. The islamist just borrowed it by conquering then chopping the head of the inventor or hand like Taj mahal.
Its very difficult to believe the Bedouin culture.
The europeans will show because they come from the same stone but they now rule. Its all in the money and power. Their money was pepper corn neither gold or silver that led vas goda gaama the slave master there in the first place.
They are very good at maths so we still have ramuanujam Sakuntala and another Jewish as great.
“4 A thousand years before the Wright brothers a Muslim… “
Oi you are being cynical now. The present day jetman is a swiss man.
are you seeing the pakistani manmohan in your sleep( his wife and daughter ran to see Sri Sri the new state of columbia high court judge at his inaugration- he is tipped to be Supreme in 2016)
“16 Carpets were regarded as part of Paradise by medieval Muslims, thanks to their advanced weaving techniques,”
So kanchipuram and Dupont silk 500BC was by islamist too??? #silk route laid by billa the islamist.
“19 Though the Chinese inv…” you forgot it was marco polo and on his way he made spagettie poo with the wheat noodles.
Then you have not seen the terracotta army of 7k nor the chinese exhibition of 3000 years of art and culture at Bilbao Guggenheim.
BTW the genetically modified bumble bees of rotterdam (koppart) is destroying the organic farms of the west.
; many a respected historian or art/architecture/ archology/ have disputed the arab claims because most of their structures were built of same stone by others (like jamma masjid Delhi)
This is what make these folk the robot people of the satanic verses.
Mahinda is the reincarnation of Dutugamnu your present king- enjoy your loving stay with joker man comics.
You are good at copy & upload thanks to Bill Gates and WWW inventor from Yorkshire.
Oi go hunt some bunnies and beware of the honey.
300million diabetics patients in Hindia Modi will get honey from congress- FDI one way to create american jobs.(11 billion Indian FDI has created 100k jobs for Obama adm)
manel fonseka / July 26, 2014
You are just so wrong about the land the Israelis occupy now, and I am including that part of it that was highhandedly given to them by the guilt-ridden West. I well remember the Jaffa oranges we relished when I was a small child. These were planted and nurtured by Palestinian farmers for centuries before the Zionists claimed their land. It was cultivated long before Europeans grabbed it and turned it into the last (?) colonial settler state.
Staking a claim to the land based on the fables in the sacred book of a religion can never be the justification for expropriating the land from those who have lived on it and worked it for centuries. Israel was born in blood and until the Palestinians win justice and are allowed to return to the lands they were evicted from, this violence will never end. Tragically, the Palestinians are still suffering the most but they know their cause is a just one and one day the tables will be turned. Not in our lifetime, maybe, but it has to come.
Nimal / July 25, 2014
Israel developing a successful nation (with enormous US funding) does not justify its robbing the Palestinians in the first place. Romans lived in the UK two thousand years ago. Can they now demand that land for their own?
Javi / July 26, 2014
No mal gass gembo in the well.
Israelite’s aren’t robbing ribbons but destroying the mindset of the robots of the 4th centenary for the world to live at peace with one another. The arabs treat the palestanians as untouchable filth and don’t want to give them asylum but the EU has to do so to maintain the peace.
85% of Obama administration is Jewish and it’s not anyone else that is giving them funding. They are where it matters through hard work and intelligence.
We all saw the general Italians and their mood just after they beat England at football.The obese walls of Wales is what the thieves of Greece left.
Stick to your borrowed ambude sihala buddhist maggots.
Ben Hurling / July 25, 2014
So you justify Israel’s current brutality with “ancient Biblical history”, heh?
Exactly what history is that? Are Zionist Jews allowed to return to places where their ancestors lived 3000 years ago? Then kick out inhabitants who were living there in 1948? Is that your Biblical history?
“Arabs have many countries”..haha! Somebody should kick your behind out of your dwelling mate, plunder your belongings, humiliate your female family members on a daily basis for 60 years.
All while you are under a strictly controlled brutal house arrest. Will see what your reaction will be in accordance with your “Bible”.
Why don’t you go shelter with one of your many relatives mate? Rather than live in your own home under hosue arrest and humiliations?
Israel was created by athiestic zionsits mate. Current die-hard zionists such Netanyahu know how to expolit stupidity of Christian fundamentalists such as you. To justify unspeakable war crimes in Palestine.
Your “religion” has nothing to do with what the Carpenter from Palestine preached.
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
I am beginning to see a human in you, keep up the good fight as most of the sane minded rational readers are right behind you.
Javi / July 26, 2014
Ben Hurting, is following in the footsteps of Blacker and all he needs is a Malabar name now ;)
He has never lived alongside Palestinians and the moron wants others to experience life in an aggressive pigsty. Spanish in the south still have many issues with the aggressive Moros.
Modi is in for the shock of his life when he visits US!
Malai Chai walla, will realise Hindia/Hindutava was baptised by US/UK with the muslim paw on their head.
The offer will be more FDI from Indians to create more jobs for the Americans who will then export the hardware to India (Hindia does not believe in copy right law and patent rights). Then the hate in US would shift from China to India.
Next he would be advised to fight Russia and loose the rouble (RUB) payment that Indira established.
All in all in 2 years he would experience the deadly farmers march to New Delhi from UP/Bihar.
China has the Germans in a big way (FDI both ways)and have pumped in 45 billion into manufacture of semiconductor and materials which are used for microchip manufacture. It is going independent at a fast pace and they have their own market.
Dr. Laksiri Fernando / July 25, 2014
For the Readers on the Tamil Refugee Issue.
The Australian government just announced that they will bring the customs vessel, Ocean Protector, with 157 Tamil refugees on shore, perhaps to Cocos Islands, to properly process their applications for asylum. It is a victory for democracy, justice and due process.
(7.15pm Sydney time)
justice / July 25, 2014
There is a worse crisis in Iraq & Syria – the new “caliphate”.
Naga / July 25, 2014
In relation to the Sri Lankan Tamil refugees, who had come from India on that boat and held up in the sea by the Australian border authorities, you are saying a permanent solution is necessary. As confirmed by Chandrahasan, most of these refugees are those who left Sri Lanka some 30 years ago during the period shortly after the 1983 riots. It is true that their living conditions are appaling. In that case, their problem will have to be sorted out by the Sri Lankan and Indian governments, not by Australia.
India is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and it would not give citizenship to these Sri Lankan refugees. Nevertheless basic amenities have been provided by the Indian government. The appaling conditions in the Tamil Nadu refugee camps could be addressed by the Jayalalitha government. If she is truly interested in the Sri Lankan Tamils she could have addressed their problems and provided better living conditions long time ago. But egged on by the pro-LTTE elements in the West and perhaps backed by their money power, she is only passing absurd resolutions in support of their stupid Eelam demand. She has now become the “Thalaivi” of these diaspora Tamils and even to Sampanthan.
You mentioned that there are children among these refugees coming from India. Obviously they were born in India and according to the Indian citizenship laws they are Indian citizens. I know of a Sri Lankan refugee family presently living in India and all their children were born in India. Those children have now become Indian citizens because they were born in India. Those parents in the boat who brought them on to the boat are criminally responsible for exposing their children to dangers in the sea.
If the living conditions of these Sri Lankan Tamils refugees are appaling in India, they can easily return to Sri Lanka as the situation there has improved a lot. Many families have done that and the United Nations is helping them. I personally know that many who want to return are being prevented by false propaganda. TNA fellows are saying that the Tamil owned lands are being taken over by the Sinhalese. Why can’t they encourage these people to return to their lands and occupy them? Surely if TNA and its cronies are safe it will be safe for the return oif these refugees living in India to relocate back to their ancestral lands. Over ten thousand LTTE cadres have returned to normal civilian lives and they are allowed to lead normal lives. Why then it should be a problem for these refugees who left Sri Lanka some 30 years ago and did not have anything to do with LTTE’s armed struggle?
As an Australian citizen you should be knowing the financial burden faced by the goverment in keeping out these refguees and maintaining those who already managed to sneak in. If you read the budgetary financial statistics you will know that billions of dollars are being spent on maintaining these refugees and on protecting the Australian borders. One of several reasons why Australians voted for Tony Abbott in the last election is the problem caused by the influx of these boat people. He is only keeping his election promise to the people of Australia.
You are comparing the different stances in Tony Abbott’s dealings with the boat people and in relation to the Malaysian plane crash victims. For the plane crash victims, he has a responsibility to help the families of the victims because they are Australians. Why and how do you see the stance of the Australian government in relation to these Australian air crash victims as problematic? How can you compare his stance here with what you call an adamanant determination to keep out the boat people who, through human smugglers,are shopping for a better safe haven in Australia? The tragedy of the boat people is their own making.
Those refugees coming from India are purely economic refugees looking for a better life. You should realize that Australia has an obligation only to refugees facing persecution in their own countries. Under the Refugee Convention, a person should seek protection in the first country he or she manages to reach. In case of those Sri Lankan Tamils on the boat coming from India they have already been provided a safe haven by India. They can’t shop around to find another safe haven. Refugee Convention does not allow them to leave one safe haven to a better safe haven for economic reasons. Refugee Convention does not mandate provision of permanent settlement of refugees in the countries where they seek protection. Autralia, in terms of the Refugee Convention, can refuse to provide safe haven for these Sri Lankan Tamils who have already been given protection in India. They should be returned to India.
I believe you live in Western Sydney where bulk of the refugees released by the Australian government into the Australian community have come to stay. A large majority of them are youths without any proper education. They have come to Australia not because they are being persecuted but for economic reasons. They have come four years after the end of the war. You may say that their claims have been accepted but the fact is that their stories are well rehearsed with the migration agents. Most of these fellows are from Batticaloa and places like Negombo. Even Tamils from Tamil Nadu and Muslims from Eastern Sri Lanka and other parts of the country appear to have succeeded in convincing the immigration authorities with their cooked-up stories of persecution. If you are familiar with the Tamil dialects you will notice the difference. You may notice some of them chatting in Muslim Tamil dialect and some in Indian Tamil dialect.
As for the Sinhalese, you ask the question why should they flee in this manner with high risks if the economic conditions in Sri Lanka are miraculous. Are you saying that it is okay for the Sinhalese to flee to Australia because the economic conditions in Sri Lanka are not miraculous? If you are going to apply that yardstick not just the Sinhalese from Sri Lanka but the whole of the Pacific islanders,Indonesians,and even Filipino will be fleeing to Australia and Australian will be swamped with these refugees.
As an Australian you should know that her economy is going down with falling demand for metal ores and coal. At a time when the Australian government is increasing taxes and cutting down on health and social services expenses, protecing the Australian shores and keeping away these economic refugees is a real burden on the budget. You should also realize that Australia has an orderly program for accepting genuine refugees. There are genuine refugees waiting in the queue for many years but these people masquerading as refugees have become queue breakers stealing their quotas.
You mentioned that in Australia these people can go to the courts. In my opinion the refugee advocates through their lawyers are using the loopholes in the Australian judicial system to prevent the Australian government’s attempts to block these mostly bogus refugees from entering Australia. You should also be knowing who funds these high profile refugee lawyers who will be charging millions as fees.It is a well known fact that the pro-LTTE lobby in Australia is actively supporting the campaign against the present Australian government because Tony Abbott’s government is very friendly with the Rajapakse government.
Dr. Laksiri Fernando / July 25, 2014
I have no intention of responding to racially prejudiced views of a Naga (a snake!).
Native Vedda / July 25, 2014
Dr. Laksiri Fernando
“I have no intention of responding to racially prejudiced views of a Naga (a snake!)”
Naga must be a close relative of Irathinavalli the expert on Naga or the Aryan Myth Kool.
manisekaran / July 25, 2014
“You mentioned that there are children among these refugees coming from India. Obviously they were born in India and according to the Indian citizenship laws they are Indian citizens.”
This is what cooking up the facts, as per Indian citizen charter, citizen by birth is not applicable if the parents were not citizen of India before 1955. Menaing Unless parents were of Indian origin, any children who are bron in India on or after 1955 is not citizen of India.
Aluthkama Sinhala / July 25, 2014
Muslims are getting the karmic returns for their violence in Aluthgama.
AVIS / July 25, 2014
Re Israel & “ancient Biblical history” ::Whilst reading all the above comments about Israel in relation to where it is now located in the ME, the thought occurred to me what the consequences would be had the Bible
identified NY,California,Sydney,Paris or Berlin as the ancient land of the Jewish people?????????? Just a thought!!!
Davidson Panabokke / July 25, 2014
On many occasions of visits to the North I don’t fail to hear how Namal (think of the large number of pictures of Namal on many occasions in the North) and armed forces force particularly poor Tamils in coastal areas to sell their properties and sail away to the western world. We must take a census of the Sinhalese encroached on land close to junctions, bridges and main roads in the North.
Injustice of the last five yrs alone is enough to drive the Tamils out of the country.
Living under the boots of armed forces is not a joke.
Know All / July 26, 2014
What a weak cop-out, running away from replying sensibly to what Naga has said, by pleading, ‘I have no intention of responding to racially prejudiced views of a Naga (a snake!). It would have been far better for you to have ignored Naga’s comments than to offer this pathetic response. To suggest that Naga is racially prejudiced does you little credit and to attempt to make a play on his name, in the manner you have done, is no better. Frankly, your response, coming from a usually sensible writer, is disappointing.
Naga has made some very valid comments. As he has correctly pointed out, the so called refugees who boarded that boat in India are not fleeing a theatre of persecution. They are as one can see, like Naga has said, looking for a better life. That is understandable. But that does not make them eligible for protection as refugees in the context envisaged by the UN refugee conventions.
You have seen fit to comment that the stance of the Australian government in relation to the so called refugees now held at sea “contrasts with what they appear to advocate on the issue of the lives lost as a result of shooting down of a passenger aircraft in Ukraine by pro-Russian rebels.” Oh, come on. Let’s be sensible. The passengers of that ill fated aircraft lost their lives, yes, lost their lives. Not one of those on that boat has faced anything like that.
The very definition of a ‘refugee’ is so loose that it is not difficult to exploit it. It is a truism that if there are laws there will also be loopholes. And it is also a truism that if there are loopholes there will be any amount of clever lawyers willing, for a fee, to exploit them.
You cannot also be unaware of the number of people who have found their way to Australia claiming to be refugees fleeing persecution at home, who lose no time after they have found sanctuary, to return to those same countries on holiday. Are we not justified in calling their bona fides in question?
What has often been happening is that those who first managed to come across have then helped/advised/financed/arranged for their kith and kin who are still abroad to follow them, to advise them on exactly what to do, what responses to provide the officials who interrogate them, in other words to let them know ‘the ropes’. It is a well planned, systematic arrangement to exploit the weaknesses of the UN Refugee conventions and the largely relaxed attitudes of the Australian.
You may well regard “the present Australian government position is unjustifiable” in relation to refugees, but the scandal of those abusing the system has not been entirely lost on the Australian electorate and that is why it has given the Abbot government a strong mandate to stop the boats.
Dr. Laksiri Fernando / July 27, 2014
Why are you so obsessed with opposing refugees? Isn’t it a prejudice (ethnic or social) on the part of you or Naga? I have every reason to call him that name and that was his correct choice. He was brilliant in that! On the particular group of refugees my point was illegally and inhumanly keeping them at sea. Now the government has backtracked the decision. Both of you and Naga have been rambling on views based on ethnicity and/or social superiority. That is what I call prejudice. Legal matters will be decided by the Australian judiciary. Don’t worry about that. Why don’t you give me your real name and then we can have a chat person to person in Sydney?
Know All / July 27, 2014
I am sorry to see that you refuse to appreciate the points I have made (just as you did with Naga) and are resorting to merely saying my views are based on ethnic or social prejudice. How you could logically come to that conclusion beats me. That’s only your take. Could we also then not ask, if we are to employ your line of reasoning, on what prejudice are your views based? I am afraid you draw some very incorrect inferences. Even your request for my real name so that “we can have a chat person to person in Sydney” is based on an incorrect assumption – that I live there!
Naga / July 27, 2014
How dare you say that my views are racially prejudiced? Are you assuming that I am a Sinhalese,the same community you belong to? I am a Sri Lankan Tamil. You must be stupid to think that I am a Sinhalese. I regularly write comments in this journal and any one who had read my comments would have known that I am a Tamil and not a rabid anti-Sinhalese.
Had you said I am prejudiced against the murderous LTTE, I could have understood it, but don’t say I am racially prejudiced against my own community. You say my views are based on ethnicity and/or social superiority. I do not claim to be socially superior but lead a humble life like other ordinary Australian citizens.
I only presented the facts that “politically correct” people like you refuse to admit.The problem with people like you is that you do not want to see the reality. The reality is that these bogus refugees are becoming a burden on the whole of Australia.
I was a Migration lawyer myself and I know what some of these migration agents say in the applications they prepare for their clients. I had been to Batticaloa several times and checked the history of some of those fellows who reached Australia and who were able to convince the Australian officials to let them in.From what I heard, none of them were persecuted and some of them even had state and local government jobs before taking the boats to Australia. When they come here they send money home to Sri Lanka. Seeing this, neighbours send their own sons and husbands on the journey to Australia. It is a cycle. One success story leads to another. The other day I heard a conversation in Tamil in a Sydney train between two guys during which one guy who appeared to be about 18 years old said that he did not want to come (to Australia) but his mother forced him to take the boat.
I understand you are a member of the Australian Labour Party and that explains why you are against Tony Abbott. Your political affiliation makes you to criticise even the good things Tony Abbott’s government is doing like stopping the boats. Your Labour Government failed to stop the boats. In fact, it was the dismantling of former Prime Minister John Howard’s policies on immigration and border control by your Labour Party goverment that caused this problem. That was one of the main reasons why Australians voted out your Labour Government and brought in Tony Abbott and Liberal.
The other day in my office, a woman colleague told me how some old women living in Toongabbie are frightened of these young Sri Lankan guys who had been let into the community and live as singles in their midst in crowded Toongabbie apartments. Do you know that most of these fellows pierce their ears and put studs to give an appearance that they are tough Aussie guys? Another colleague who is an Indian migrant said these guys with their ear studs and hairstyles make him feel unsafe and uncomfortable. And do you know that a couple of these guys had been charged by the Australian Police for sexual assault on Aussie girls. These events are already angering the Aussies. What will that lead to?
If there are reprisals against the South Asian community that blame should go to Labour people like you and the Greens who champion the cause of these bogus refugees.
Dr. Laksiri Fernando / July 28, 2014
Given your persistent and as you have revealed your identity partly I am responding to you at least partly. It is very clear that your views are prejudicial which I mistook it for ‘racial prejudice,’ yes from a Sinhalese. But you are not completely free from that when you say many speak ‘Muslim Tamil’ and when you refer to Batticaloa in particular. I noticed them from the beginning. You have come up with various personal stories which are not at all verifiable. They also have stories and that is how they have got their status. You call them ‘fellows’ without any empathy. You also highlight certain incidents like one or two persons indulging in transgressions and castigate all. You have a stereotype for them. In your first comment you also tried to put me into a social category based on where I live now, Western Sydney. Perhaps you do things unknowingly. There are so much of social prejudices going on in Australia against refugees (not only Sri Lankans) and it is unfortunate that a migrant like you also share those views or reinforce them. My article was not at all about refugees in general but about 157 Tamils who were held in high seas which I considered inhuman. Now the government has brought them onshore which I welcome. Refugee problem is not an Australian problem per se. As you know, there are over 50 million refugees in the world. There are mixed reasons for the exodus and all these have to be taken into account. Of course I cannot refute your personal impressions or findings about a segment of the Sri Lankan refugees in Australia but those don’t appear to me objective or verified impressions. In your second response you have very clearly tried to picture my opinion from political party prism. That is completely unfounded and wrong. My interests are public policy whether in Australia, Sri Lanka or internationally. Now for those purposes I can respond to you properly if you write a critique or a rejoinder and preferably coming up with your own name. Otherwise the responsibility for what you say is diminished. Of course I respond to short comments of people in their psydonyms but for an extensive engagement I need to know the person whom I am dealing with and both parties should take responsibility for what we say. This is for public interest. Therefore I ask you to come out from your closet.
Naga / July 28, 2014
What a pity that you hold on to my reference to Muslim Tamil dialect to portray me as racially prejudiced! Muslim Tamil dialect is a fact and it exists. Similarly there is Batticaloa Tamil dialect, Jaffna Tamil dialect and Indian Tamil dialect. If you do not know these things, you better make no allegations of racial prejudice.
I am not using any pseudonyms here. Naga is my real name, though a shortened version, which I have used both here in Australia and in Sri Lanka. In particular, I tend to use this shortened version more often here in Australia as most Australians find it difficult to say my full name. That will be the case with your name too.
In any case, you do not need to know my full name. What matters is my opinion. Meet my arguments without worrying who I am or what I am. I am not interested in having an extensive engagement with you or to meet you in person, as I hate your type, namely, the “politically correct people”. I have people with better credentials to engage in meaningful dialogues or conversations.
I do not know much about you. I do not know who or what you are. I do not even know whether you are a medical doctor or a PhD holder. And, I do not care.
My reference to your political affiliation is not my own making. I believe that in one of your past articles to Colombo Telegraph you yourself made reference to your ALP connections. If I remember correct that article was written at the time of the last Australian Federal Election and I vaguely remember you heaping praise on the Toongabbie Federal MP Michelle Rowland and describing how you went about campaigning for her. Correct me if I am wrong. I will withdraw my statement about your ALP affiliations if this is wrong.
Frankly, I hate the Greens and the ALP. I hate the Greens most and in my opinion they are simply an irresponsible lot. In the absence of a correct alternative and mainly to ensure the defeat of the Greens and ALP, I support the Liberal Coalition. Tony Abbott is not the ideal Prime Minister but there isn’t any other choice.
Ram / July 26, 2014
Your take on the Ukraine issue is somewhat erroneous. NATO has, from the time the Berlin Wall came down, been aggressively pursuing the encirclement of Russia, when Gorbachev had been conned into believing that it had no such intention. The EU was more circumspect in this regard but the US was not. It was Nuland (s State Dept apparatchik) who boasted that the she had spend US$ 5 billion undermining the Ukrainian government and was recorded saying ‘F**k the EU’. The NGOs were doing her work, and even formed a neoNazi and a Zionist coaltion, however unlikely it may seem. The result was the coup bringing in a Zionist President and Prime Minister when the total Judaic population was a mere 200,000 (Yes, the government has now collapsed). Had we allowed Sisson and her USAid to continue as they wanted to, Sri Lanka would more than likely have faced a similar fate.
Naga / July 28, 2014
You have a lot of empathy for these boat people because you think they are all genuine refugees. But the truth is that they are people looking for a better life being smuggled into Australia by professional people smugglers who set them on their journey equipped even with satellite phone.
I reproduce below a report from a Times of India journalist who researched on this boat story for your benefit and for the benefit of Colombo Telegraph readers.
Lankan refugee trafficking exposes chinks in security
Karthigaichelvan.s,TNN | Jul 28, 2014, 01.59 AM IST
CHENNAI: The recent arrest of two boat owners from Puducherry for trafficking Sri Lankan refugees to Australia through the sea route has exposed big gaps in coastal security, according to intelligence agencies.
The Puducherry police arrested the two men based on a tip-off by the Australian government after interviewing the refugees. That none of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies had specific information on the boat owners and the journey has left intelligence officials worried, especially in a situation where ISI-trained terrorists in Sri Lanka have been reportedly trying to infiltrate through the Tamil Nadu coast. The agencies’ ignorance continued through early July – after the boat was apprehended by the Australian coast guard on June 30.
Among the 157 asylum seekers, some 40 were inmates of refugee camps in the state. Indian investigative agencies now know the identities of 40 others many of whom came from Sri Lanka recently, but they are clueless about the rest. “According to the information from the Australian authorities there are a few Sinhalese families as well. Some 50 of them are Sri Lankan Tamils who arrived recently in India on visa and stayed in and around the refugee camps before taking the boat,” an official said.
An inmate of Keezhputhupattu refugee camp said the boat left from Anichakuppam, about 5km from the camp. “The people were asked to board the boat in small groups. The agents then loaded rice and other groceries. The boat left from the fishing hamlet at around 7.30pm on June 13,” he said.
According to officials, six of those on the boat were from two families in Keezhputhupattu. A family of six, including a two year-old-girl, staying outside the camp were part of the group too. Another 14 refugees from Gummudipoondi camp in Tiruvallur and eight from Aliyar camp near Coimbatore also took the journey on June 13.
The agents charged between 1.25 lakh and 1.5 lakh per head for the trip but gave discounts to women and children. “The traffickers wanted to take more women and children as this would influence Australian authorities to consider their case sympathetically. But the trauma that the children must have experienced can’t be imagined. The boat reached the Australian border in 16 days,” an official in Puducherry said.
The traffickers procured a satellite phone for the boatman. “When the boat was in trouble, the people on board called a news agency and the father of the two-year-old who was in France using a satellite phone,” the official said.
In recent years, there have been several instances of refugees attempting risky journeys to Australia, exposing the porous nature of India’s coastline. “Trafficking exposes the failure of Q branch, Special branch CID, state rehabilitation officials, coast guard, coastal security and marine security,” a senior official in the home department said.
Security analysts point out that in the 26/11 Mumbai attack, Pakistan terrorists took the sea route to reach Mumbai. Analysts said coastal security and police network should be tightened. R Hariharan, a retired military intelligence specialist on South Asia, told TOI, “Coastal security is very important especially when ISI trained terrorists are targeting south India. The security agencies and other intelligence agencies should involve people especially fishermen while gathering intelligence.”
The group of 157 has been detained at sea since the boat was intercepted 27km from Christmas Island. They are now being transferred to Cocos Islands, and would then be flown to Curtin detention centre in remote Western Australia, media reports said.
Ram / August 31, 2014
The following might help you make up your mind as to what happened to MH17.
“Since subtlety doesn’t work with Russians, the president and his European counterparts should also make absolutely clear that we have no interest whatever in how these people (the Russian oligarchs) solve their Putin problem. If they can talk good old Vladimir into leaving the Kremlin with full military honors and a 21-gun salute — that would be fine with us. If Putin is too too stubborn to acknowledge that his career is over, and the only way to get him out of the Kremlin is feet-first, with a bullet hole in the back of his head — that would also be okay with us.
Nor would we object to a bit of poetic justice…. For instance, if the next time Putin’s flying back to Moscow from yet another visit with his good friends in Cuba, or Venezuela, or Iran, his airplane gets blasted out of the sky by some murky para-military group that somehow, inexplicably, got its hands on a surface-to-air missile “
Quote from an article (How to solve the Putin Problem) written recently by Herbert E. Meyer, former Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council