20 September, 2018

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The Agony Of Peace

By Tisaranee Gunasekara

“To change masters is not to be free” – Jose Marti (eddosrios.org )

The photograph[i] is iconic; Alavi Moulana, 83 years old and an SLFP veteran of 52 years, bending down and kissing the hand of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

That picture is revelatory of the current Lankan reality at multiple levels. It shows what citizens have to do if they are to prosper under Rajapaksa Rule. It shows what SLFPers have to do if they want are to get ahead in a Rajapaksa-party. It shows what minorities have to do if they are to survive in a Rajapaksa country.

The Rajapaksas believe that by defeating the LTTE they won the right to do to and with Sri Lanka what they please.

The nature of the war cannot but have a bearing on the nature of the peace that follows, especially if the peace-builders are the same ones who won the war.

Lankan peace is a peace of absences. For Northern/Eastern Tamils it is a peace sans normalcy; they eke out a humiliated and right-less existence, under a de facto military occupation. For the Muslims it is a peace sans security; they live with fear not knowing when – and why – the next attack on their community would come. For the Sinhalese it is a peace sans a peace-dividend; their economic woes are exacerbating. All are being deprived of their political rights and democratic freedoms; all are being compelled to live in a land where the law of the rulers has supplanted the rule of law. The main difference is that many Sinhalese still retain a sliver of hope of a better future; most Tamils probably never had any while most Muslims seem to be losing theirs.

The Rajapaksas have redefined politics as the continuation of war by other means. Disbelieving in the existence of an ethnic problem, they are not interested in implementing a political solution. For them the ‘Northern problem’ was just a ‘terrorist problem’; the terrorists are annihilated, ergo, there is no problem. Their approach to peace building is non-consensual and non-democratic. Minorities, as guests in a Sinhala-Buddhist country, are expected to accept their secondary status with good grace. Those who protest, peacefully and democratically, are treated as racists/traitors.

The Sinhala-Buddhists are expected to be content with their illusory sense of superiority over the minorities and accept the relentless economic-lashings as the price of Pax Sinhala. To take their mind off the absent peace-dividend and other discontents, they are being fed on a daily fare of threats and enemies. According to this racist/xenophobic narrative, though the Eelam War is won, the Tiger is undead, our enemies are legion and the barbarians are at the gate. We must be vigilant about such ‘snares’ as ‘human rights’ and ‘media freedom’.

When the President, himself, in his Victory-commemoration speech, castigates ‘human rights’, ‘media freedom’ and the ‘independence of the judiciary’ as ‘strategies tried out by these (external) forces to rule our Motherland’[ii], when he equates the protection of democracy and human rights with separatism and does so with a face contorted by anger, the future that is in the making becomes as unambiguous as cyanide.

Hate – and fear – has an indispensable place in this Sri Lanka.

Since peace it is not dependent on the freely given consent of the minorities, an omnipresent military is needed to underpin it; force is also necessary to keep the majority in check. The galloping militarization is thus another indispensable feature of this unequal, unjust and intolerant peace. Lankan militarization is a guided-militarization, a militarization in which the military is subordinate to the Ruling Siblings and functions as an instrument of familial rule. In return, the military is allowed to build its own economic/business empire. The latest step in this process is the creation of ‘army farmers’: “For the first time in military history, persons who were recruited to the Sri Lanka Army as farmers started their duty on the 12th of May” [iii]. These ‘militarised civilians’ are currently employed at the Kandakadu farm which the army took over from the LTTE. Will Navy-fishermen be next?

This militarization is as disastrous for the majority community as it is for the minorities, and not just for economic reasons. Even as 6,400 acres of Tamil-owned land in Valikamam North is being taken-over to build military cantonments, 1220 acres of Sinhala-owned land in Panama(Ampara district) is being acquired to build camps and hotels. In the confluence of these two acts of injustices, the right-less future which awaits the absolute majority of Lankans can be foreseen.

Enthroning Hate and Dishonour

Last week, the military commander of the Vanni district reminded the Tamil people of one of the most essential components of this peace – the criminalisation of mourning: “Any citizen has the right to commemorate their loved ones but no one can commemorate terrorists who were disloyal to the government. If persons are planning to remember LTTE members it is treason. We will arrest whoever is involved in this[iv].

It is one thing to prevent the commemoration of Vellupillai Pirapaharan and other Tiger-chieftains. It is quite another thing to ban hundreds of thousands of ordinary Tamil families from commemorating their loved ones. How would the Sinhala-South have reacted had the government/army imposed a similar ban after winning the Second Insurgency and arrested Sinhala families who mourned their JVP-dead?  Would that have led to reconciliation or to greater hate?

Is a mother expected to stop loving her child simply because he/she was a Tiger? Does a parent, a spouse, a child, a sibling, a grandparent become a traitor because he/she weeps for a loved one who fought in the LTTE ranks? How can a human know peace, if he/she is not allowed to mourn a dead child or a parent or a sibling, or a spouse or a loved one? How can there be closure without mourning? How can there be forgetting without remembering?

What kind of peace is this? Perhaps the only kind of peace which can be created by a leadership which opposed the provision of a high nutrition biscuit to Tamil children in the war-zone (by the UNICEF) on the ground that it will be used by the LTTE.

In Sophocles’ Ajax, the eponymous Greek General turns traitor, plans to kill other Greek leaders and, in the end, takes his own life. The enraged Greek commanders order that the ‘traitor’ be denied an honourable burial. Odysseus opposes this order; asked by Agamemnon why he refuses to trample his hated enemy in death, he cautions against trampling ‘justice underfoot’ out of limitless hate and warns: “Delight not, son of Atreus, in gains which sully honour”.

That is Rajapaksa peace, a state poisoned by hate and sullied by dishonour. So ordinary Tamils are banned from mourning their dead; so Gen. Sarath Fonseka has no place in the victory-commemoration.

Imagine the peace Vellupillai Pirapaharan would have imposed on Tamils had he won the war.

The Rajapaksas are increasingly looking like the enemy they defeated. And the peace they are building is disturbingly like the peace the Tiger would have created, a peace sans justice or mercy, a dishonourable, pitiless, intolerant peace; a violent peace.

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Latest comments

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    In the 80s, there used to be a sports programme on SL tv called ABC wide world of sports and it had a catchy line which went, “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
    In SL what we have today is the ‘thrill of victory’ for some and the ‘agony of peace’ for others. In 2009 May, we went from Prapahakaran’s frying pan into Rajapaksas’ frying pan…from getting hit on the head by Prabahakaran we now get hit in the stomach. The people made a pact with the devil in the south to get rid of the devil in the north.
    The only silver lining in the dark cloud of the Rajapaksa family dictatorship is that this country is still better than countries like Somalia or North Korea…but for how long is the 64 million yuan question. :O

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      Me come back soon.I teech lesson this time.You Sinhalalums kill my best Army.This time I kill you all with atom.You think me dead Fools.

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    Thisaranee, your articles inspire most people most of the time.I have seen the translations of your articles in Sinhala news papers too. Next is to get them translate into Tamil to enlighten them on just peace.These articles should go to University students for discussions /debates.You are doing your duty to the Sri Lankans to open up their eyes.

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      Tisaranee, I would like to endorse what Sunila Mendis writes above. I would also like to invite you to run for the next Presidential Election. There will be thousands who will vote for you and your Policies.

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      Otherwise they were blindfolded, and dance to the teporabana of the Regime.

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      Both Tisaranee, CT and the general public should do some research on this photo.

      For me it clearly show that this is another Rajapakse pre planned staged drama.Please look at the direction where President is looking.

      LOOK WHERE PRESIDENT IS LOOKING AT.HE IS LOOKING AT THE CAMERAMEN AND NOT AT ALAVI MOULANA. ALSO PRESIDENT LOOKS VERY HAPPY, PROUD, SATISFIED AND WAS EXPECTING THIS ACTING SEEN.

      What else you could expect other than paid stage drama, acting, deceiving, lying, stealing, double games, puppet showoff charly chaplins.

      Advertising and self promotion is the 21st Century FOX political actors now selling the war and dead soldiers.

      Here’s another Rajapakse staged drama actor.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAHa4gdz15A

      Please preserve this photo for future reference.

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    Same old, same old!!

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      MNZ:
      It has to be “same old, same old” as long as this pestilence supported by the likes of you persists!

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        Aney Appochchi!

        By no means do I support this despotic, corrupt and immoral regime.

        I have asked Tisaranee, time and again while exposing the regimes misdeeds (which is in fact common knowledge!)to suggest a way forward to rid us of the vermin.

        Hence my comment.

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    I love the picture…. I have seen this kind of gestures only the Mafia movies. There is a saying in Tamil, “This is not your hand, but your feet”. That is to say I am at your feet! Well done, Janab Maoulana!!

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      Unluckily, luckily he didn’t kiss the smelly side.

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    I have just one question. Who is Jose Marti?have we missed someone really important?

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      Confused – Ever heard of ‘Google’?

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    The Agony of Peace or The choice of Restoration of Human Rights for Peace.

    A picture speaks a thousand words. Practicing Muslims are prohibited to bow down to any of the creations of Allah. The circumstances that drive people to un-Islamic teachings are only known to them and the one who Created them.

    No soul can ever die except by Allah’s leave and at a term appointed. Whoso desireth the reward of the world, We bestow on him thereof; and whoso desireth the reward of the Hereafter, We bestow on him thereof. We shall reward the thankful. (The Noble Quran 3:145)

    Conflict begins when rights of each other are violated, The root cause that created the tigers are once again on the prowl to create another set of animals to ruin life and property.

    All peace loving people should abhor terrorism in all forms of shape or size. However we should support all peace loving people to fight for their rights as equal citizens through diplomatic and peaceful means.

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    This picture shows Alavi Moulana has deviated from his beliefs. It’s pretty clear he is bending enough to to show submission. Disgraceful ! Man of his age should have self respect. people stoop to such low levels to extract worldly favors.
    As long as we have such people who go to any length to please the master we will not have political freedom, prosperity as a nation as all these people are begging for a piece of the pie for self indulgence not for the betterment of the masses who voted for them.

    Really a disgusting image. Alavi Moulana should press his reset button and examine where he stands. We should register these acts and make sure we don’t vote for these bootlicker in future.

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    Does not Mowlana know that in Islam you cannot worship human beings,animals
    statues,trees,insects,vermins,and satans?
    May be by kissing the hand of MR ,Mowlana is trying to get another car , motorbike for his grandchildren, tuk tuk ,spaceship to go to the mars.
    Poor man ,Mowlana will be soon dumped by MR.

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    Brilliant, Tissaranee. You are the articulate voice of millions!
    Rajapkse is more important than Allah to rotten rats like Maulana and Hakeem

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    Alavi Mowlana is not only bending but licking MR’s fingers like the kentucky chicken commercial – finger licking good!

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    Alavi mowlana kisses Rajapak mowlana…. For Alavi Mowlana it is not issue at all, he used to kiss hands and his hand were kissed…

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    Politicians such as Rauff Hakim, Alavi Mowlana, Thondaman are the reason for Sri Lankan masses of Muslim and Tamil communities suffer. Politicians like them are leaches who suck the blood of the communities they represent by being traitors to the same community. Its time for Sri Lankans of all communities to open their eyes as there are Sinhala politicians who are also in the same category.

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    What a moron. Thisaranee.no Thirisanee — an ingrate, a hilariously loud stupid one at that

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      “an ingrate, a hilariously loud stupid one at that”

      will you be providing any meaningful analysis why you disagree with the article or are you content just to hurl insults at others like a naughty schoolchild and accuse them of stupidity? I suppose this is the intellectual peak of the rajapaksa faithful

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    Yes, pictures do tell stories quite vividly and with the help of some descriptive captions, can create quite a few thoughts to ponder…

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    The Rajapaksas have redefined politics as the continuation of war by other means. Disbelieving in the existence of an ethnic problem, they are not interested in implementing a political solution.

    I too once believed in this business of “political solutions” but now I must question their effectiveness, and indeed, any underlying motivations. If the Tamils had their own federal state, for example, what is to say the Muslims would not demand their own in the East? Plus, given the rise of Islamic extremism and it’s possible manifestation in SL at any time, a strong Central government suits the times best.

    Is a mother expected to stop loving her child simply because he/she was a Tiger?

    Really, given her fixation with all things Rajapakse, I would ask the same question of Madame Tisaranee the Elder, assuming she is not herself in hiding, launching weekly diatribes at the Rajapakses from all corners of the web.

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      Lester:
      Why do you insist on visiting your venomous stupidities on those who read CT?
      Your time, if spent licking the boots of those you suck up to in any case, would be more productive don’t you think, given the fact that they have a track record of rewarding all the murderers and thugs who do like you.

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        As if your broken keyboard (!!!!!!!!!!!!) is “productive” even once in a blue moon. Take a laxative for your mental diarrhea and understand that Tisaranee is a dot on the map.

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          “that Tisaranee is a dot on the map”

          The Mahinda faithful have yet to present any cogent arguments why they disagree with the article, preferring instead to hurl insults and make generalised remarks. They are wise not to for that only confirms their stupidity in supporting a criminal enterprise masquerading as a civilised govt

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            I have already presented my argument, unlike the Aney! clown. Perhaps an eye doctor can assist you in locating it.

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    His Sufi idea led him to do this. Of course kissing hand of your teacher or spiritual leader is not harm according to Sufi school of thought . What about hands of politicians who have done much harm to humanity

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      To kiss the hand of your teacher, leader or respected elder is a common cultural practice among the Muslims. The sad question is, is MR the teacher, leader or a respected elder of this senior politician?

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    This photo showing Alavi Maulana kissing President’s hand is purely another Rajapakse’s staged drama.

    Look at where President is looking.He is looking at the camera and not Alavi Maulana. That’s why he has his over 50 Camera crew entourage follow him where ever he goes.These are all Rajapakse’s Paid stage actors.

    Over 100 Billion Rupees spent on Rajapakse Advertising and promotion with all the cut outs, posters, naming every project with Rajapakse name throught the country are few of them..

    Using press, media, Parliament Goons, Lawyers, Judges, Professionals, street vendors shouting for half bottle Arrack are all part of this cheap Rajapakse promotion strategy.

    All of these are been carried out while buying, killing,vandelising and destroying private and opposing media,murdering reporters and journalists and destroying their rights, liberty freedom and democrazy.

    Please watch the following video clip.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsgObhGAIbg

    Therefore this Alavi Moulana staged photo-op is another Rajapakse Maharajano’s another Lord Buddha ancestral Advertising promotion link.

    Remember both crooks and Parrots love music, advertising and to imitate…….Lord Buddha.

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      Here’s another Paid stage actor performing his duty well.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAHa4gdz15A

      No difference. Both same. Advertising and sales Promoting the Big Mac.

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        Yes. According to the stage Performer Jackson Anthony, Lord Buddha is King Dutugemunu’s Great Great uncle, and King Dutugemunu is President Rajapakse’s “Mee Muttha”….great great Grand father.

        Watch what he says in the following video.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LAHa4gdz15A

        Someone has to do a DNA or Carbon fiber test on Rajapakses with the available lord Buddha’s Tooth at Kandy Dalada Maligawa before re-writing our history connecting Rajapakse……the biggest Dana giver to Lord Buddha.

        We could clearly see the connection between them with Pig eating shit,Law exam, Tsunami Jackpot,Election Gil mart, white van abductions and hammering the Rugby Referee in front of whole world in the open pit.

        Where is our opposition Parties…….

        May be CT should carry out the test and publish the results.

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    Thousands of working mums and dads climb into both CTB and Private buses, including the new AC orange buses in Wellawatta without looking at each other to see who got the “Back Pack”.

    Hundreds of girls and bouys ride their Bicycles to School in Killinocchi. Chavakacheri and Jaffna and even in Muhamalai,and the parents go about their daily routines knowing that the kiddies will be back home after school, without going to wear a Cyanide Capsule.

    Ms T perhaps only talk to the Despair Merchants in Colombo who makes a decent living out of it.

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      K.A. Sumanaskera (Alias Leela and who knows what else):
      Does the real estate and housing business in Australia jail those who cheat their customers and is that why you have all this time to write rubbish in your thuppahi English?

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      “knowing that the kiddies will be back home after school, without going to wear a Cyanide Capsule”

      & if the kiddies dont come back home these same parents will rest assured that they are being well-looked after by Gotabhaya uncle in the military prison

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    MR is the Good Cop and Moulana kisses his hand. GR is the bad cop who kicks him on the backside. Good Cop doesnt speak about BBS or Kurugala. Bad Cop does the needful. Good Cop goes to bed with the Palestinian Authority. Bad Cop sleeps with the Israelis.

    Moulana is now too old for the job. Please pray for yourself before others pray for you. Give up your party cap for a prayer cap. God Allmighty will look after his religon, no need to worship MR. Please look after your self and you iman. ‘Every Soul will taste the flavour of death’.

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    Oh My God!!! Syed Alavi Mowlana who has all this time claimed
    closeness to the ancestry of Holy Prophet Muhammed (Peace be
    upon him)is now bending and kissing. Tell me, my brothers and
    sisters, who know the Shariah and Theologians your learnings on
    whether Islam allows such things. Will Governor Mowlana’s nose
    be cut if he does it in Saudi Arabia? In Sri Lanka of course, that
    would be a start to bend and do other things. In this old age, even
    bending could be dangerous to Mowlana. He has to be careful about
    traffic from behind!!!

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    A known American slang is “kiss my ass.”
    Is Mowlana still at the Montessori stage
    when it comes to this.

    Did he have blood on his nose???????????

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    Even though I did not agree with old leftist like Alavi Moulana, I respected them for having some principles. It is disgraceful to see what happen to people like them , same for Vasu. High headed mahinda deliberately looks other way. Poolish Sri Lankans will vote for this despot again.

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    Good slave, President need such people around him

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