26 May, 2022

Blog

The Azad Salley Affair

By Dayan Jayatilleka

Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

If Azad Salley is a terrorist in the making, a terrorist who has to be pre-empted by recourse to detention under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, or a promoter of fanatical, fundamentalist ethno-religious hatred, he comes with the strangest of profiles.

Far from being born into and raised in anything like a backward, fundamentalist, religiously fanatical background, his father was a Communist (as comrade DEW Gunasekara could confirm) who later became a Maoist (or ‘Marxist-Leninist’). ‘Communist Salley’ as he was known, didn’t seem to have an ethno-religious bone in his body.

Azad’s father wasn’t only a communist, he was a journalist; and he wasn’t a journalist for a Saudi fundamentalist Wahhabi newssheet. He was a long time employee of Reuters. I was introduced to the slim, be-spectacled ‘Communist Salley’ by Mervyn de Silva, my father, at the tele-printer at the Reuters office.

My father had also introduced me to George Rajapaksa, his classmate and Cabinet Minister of the Sirimavo Bandaranaike administration, at the latter’s house down Flower Road. George Rajapaksa was of course the uncle of President Mahinda Rajapaksa and his brothers.

It is a tale so redolent of Sri Lanka’s ironic, often absurdist trajectory and travails, that the son of one of those (leftwing) personalities introduced to me by my father, has been detained under the administration of the nephew of another albeit better known (progressive) personality, doubtless by yet another nephew of that personality.

When Azad and I ran into each other, it was at former Mayor Sirisena Cooray’s house. Azad was a vibrant, jocular, spirited young UNP politician who attended every Premadasa commemoration that I was at (the last being 1999). We lost track of each other since, but I was not surprised that he had joined Mahinda Rajapaksa. I was even less surprised to hear that he had debated the BBS spokesperson on television in Sinhala, and from what I gathered, got the better of the polemical exchange.

Of course Azad is something of a firebrand, just as Mahinda Rajapaksa, Vasudeva Nanayakkara, Dinesh Gunawardena and Mavai Senadirajah were at the same age (and stage of their politics). His rhetoric was certainly no more militant than that of Cabinet Ministers Wimal Weerawansa and Champika Ranawaka.

Azad did punch back rhetorically when Islamophobia was recently unleashed in our public domain. He was a spirited young man and may have felt compelled to speak out by the conspicuous silence and pusillanimity of more established Muslim politicians. Never has the absence of Ashraff been felt more acutely. Salley may also have spotted a political opening. Since when is that a crime?

If Azad had to be arrested for incitement, what of the far more explicitly hostile, antagonistic and hateful speech at public rallies and street agitations by allegedly Buddhist organisations, all of which have gone global on YouTube? Who is investigating the leaflets bearing violent , threatening graphics of swords and leaping swordsmen, and which advertise events explicitly as ‘rebellions’ or ‘uprisings’?

Surely, even-handedness requires a crackdown on fundamentalist incitement of a majoritarian variety, just as on those emanating from minority sources? In the absence of such balance, even-handedness and natural justice, what does the arrest of Azad Salley and the conditions of his detention make this government and more importantly the Sri Lankan state look like in the eyes of the world?

Was Azad arrested because he dared to talk back, to debate? Is it that he was an uppity nigger who needed to be taught a lesson; an articulate and upfront young Muslim who had to be locked up as an example to the minorities and as a sacrifice at the altar of Sinhala supremacism; a sop to a Sinhala Cerberus?

If I were a human rights activist or diplomat campaigning in Geneva on Sri Lanka, the arrest of Azad Salley would make my day. Conversely, if I were still the Sri Lankan Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, I would face an acute diplomatic and moral-ethical difficulty.

Of the 13 member states that voted for us in Geneva this year, 7 were from the OIC. It was the Muslim (maybe I should say ‘halal’) Bala Sena that saved Sri Lanka, the Sinhalese and the Sinhalese Buddhists from a humiliating defeat in Geneva this time. We would have been down to 6 votes without that support; fewer than the votes obtained by Syria at the UNHRC, and even Libya before the intervention. While it voted in our favour, the OIC has also made a demarche in Jeddah about anti-Muslim coercion and threats in Sri Lanka, while the OIC Ambassadors based in Colombo have met the President. How will the OIC vote go in March 2014?

So, here, in the meanwhile, is Salley, a mainstream politician, a former Deputy Mayor of Colombo, a man whose photograph with President Rajapaksa shows great mutual cordiality and warmth, who has been detained under the Prevention of Terrorism Act, without a single weapon or bullet found anywhere near him or a solitary act of violence being associated with him.

The Prevention of Terrorism Act is meant precisely for what it says: the prevention precisely of terrorism. Was Azad Salley a founder, leader, member, supporter or sympathizer of an armed terrorist group? There are no unarmed terrorist groups, it must be said. If they are unarmed, they are not or not yet, terrorist. Was he verifiably planning to organize one? If so which, when and where?

Has any act of violence resulted from anything that Azad Salley has said or done? If so which, what, when and where?

If any offense has been committed by Salley, why has it not been placed in the public domain? Why is it shrouded in secrecy? Why has Salley not been charged under the normal laws of the land? Why has he not been granted unfettered access to counsel, family and visitors?

If this is the treatment meted out in peacetime to an unarmed electoral politician, what might have happened in Welikada? What must have happened in wartime to countless others? What might be happening now, outside of Colombo, in the former conflict zones, to Tamils?

These are the questions that would logically occur to anyone and could be legitimately raised in Geneva and elsewhere.

Let us assume that Azad Salley made some imprudent, even intemperate remarks to a publication and even an audience of activists, in Chennai. The periodical in question, Junior Vikatan, it must be noted, is edited by Cho Ramaswamy, a courageous lonely crusader against the Tigers since the 1980s. Neither he nor the journal can be remotely characterised as subversive or secessionist. Something can be lost in translation though.

No matter. Whatever Azad may have said, it could have been countered by accurate revelation in the mass media, and subsequent critique and open debate. An idea, however erroneous or indefensible, must and can only be countered by another idea, not by arrest and detention for 90 days. That is if you are committed to normal democratic values and practices though.

If however, a government or a state chooses to use the strongest legislation in its armoury to punish the expression or exchange of ideas, however erroneous, that government or state runs the risk of revealing itself or having itself depicted by critics, as undemocratic and authoritarian. Thus it is the repressive action of the regime rather than anything that Azad Salley may have said that brings discredit to Sri Lanka and provides ammunition to those who seek international investigation.

Does the detention of Azad Salley help prevent terrorism or does it contribute to the opposite outcome of radicalisation?

The answer to that question lies in our experience as a society. In 1972, a few dozen young Tamils were detained because they had hoisted black flags in protest against the promulgation of the Republication Constitution, ignoring the written entreaties of the Tamil parliamentary political leadership headed by SJV Chelvanayakam. These young men had not engaged in any violent activities. They were held in detention for five years.

At the time of their arrest there was no armed movement in Jaffna. By the time of their release in 1977, the Tigers had commenced armed operations, while the EROS/GUES had been formed in London and obtained weapons training in Lebanon. Those in doubt may check with Karuna, KP, Suresh, Siddarthan and Douglas.

It was obviously not those in detention who initiated this armed movement, because they couldn’t while behind bars. However, their very presence behind bars for non-violent activism mightily strengthened the argument of those shadowy figures like the teenaged Velupillai Prabhakaran, that there was no space for and no point in anything but armed actions.

Thus, the detention by the state of unarmed political activists in no way acted as a deterrent to armed violence and terrorism, but actually radicalized the tactics and later the strategy itself of the politics of the Tamil minority.

What is the signal that Azad’s treatment sends out to the disaffected youth and the shadowy groups that may exist in the Eastern province? As with Tamils, so also perhaps with Muslims, but is that the insidious intent?

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    This Dayan without power and position is a one I respected, learnt from and admired a very long time ago. I hope there is new life in the resurrection.

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      Yes, I fully agree. Looks like the old Dayan is coming back to life. I may not agree with all his views but at least he is indeed a different Dayan to the blind apologist of Geneva and Paris.

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      Thank you Suren, but you oversimplify to the point of caricature and thereby miss the continuities. You have obviously not read my article condemning the killing of Lasantha which was featured in the Island, and was posted on Jan 16th 2009 by DBS Jeyaraj on transcurrents, entitled “Those who killed Lasantha were cowardly Barbarians”. The date clearly demonstrates that I was still very much the Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva.

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        Azad Saley is seems is no hero, but hats off to him for making Tamil-Muslim and Rainbow coalition an option in Lanka’s divided and fragmented political landscape where politicians play their ethnic cards to win votes by inciting anti-other feeling and barely concealed hate speach.

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          In a country where no minister of justice or legally appointed Chief Justice are the case, what can NOT go wrong ?

          There are all kinds of injustice in the country today, but there is no like any form of Justice – so those who have the guts to do the due should wake up at this critical juncture of the country if they really want to save the nation.

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        Dr. Dayan, You are man who can do something and you have the charm to attract people at once. You talk sense now although you were busy in the past with various (a mixur of)agendas. This regime doesnt know how to use your talants (and tamara’s) for the country’s benifit. They have time and again proved that they dont need educated/professionals or diplomats.
        It’s high time for Intellectuals in the calibre of you to keep all their differences, poitics aside and make a team to save this country from wrong hands. This regime is taking us nowhere.

        Superb article Dr. Dayan. KEEP WRITING PLEASE.
        RW/Daya Gamage/Tissa A/Ruwan W so on all talking about bringing UNP back to power in 2014, I dont know how they are going to do it but I wish them Good Luck. Would you please write something about that as well Sir. Certainly it would help the floating votes who are terribly strandard right now because of RW/SP tamashas, to decide whom to vote.

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    Mr.Gayan,whats happening in SriLanka,is very difficult to grasp by any educated person or a lay man from the our decent society.
    You have expressed and added everything in your article, hence, haven’t left anything for me or any one to post a comment further.”well done,captain”But what worry us is the future of our children in this country.Thanks

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    Great Article. Hope many will read. Although I personally believe that AS deserves arrest, it is not fair only him been arrested with the BBS rogues in robes who were also inciting racial tension.

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    Dr Dayan J has done an admirable job placing his neck on the pillory (again) for the sake of something or somebody he truly or erroneously believes in. This time, defending the political acrobat Asath Sallie whom personal circumstances have brought him into contact with over the last few years. And this time again, Dr Dayan J lets his emotions rise above his erudite head, blinding him to the connivances of bogus leaders who ride on the backs of the communities they are supposed to represent. In his own words Asath Salley who is “a man whose photograph with President Rajapaksa shows great mutual cordiality and warmth”, bears ample testimony to the fact that this great academic is still blind to the shenanigans of politicians who play cheap street-level games with their constituents. The so-called “cordiality and warmth” referred to by Dr Dayan J was alas only cosmetic and strictly for public consumption. It served an immediate need for the parties acting it out and yet, tomorrow is another day, Putha. Thats how the game is played. Muslims never had leaders. They only had wheeler-dealers whose only aim is to masquerade as protectors of the community for their own bread and butter. And if ever they appear to speak out, you can bet it will be with the malicious intention of seeking popularity as the new messiah. Most Muslims are wise to these antics and rarely take their so-called leaders seriously. This explains why the country is not ablaze with communal fury and emotional upheavel over Asath Salleys so-called fast. To a majority of the Muslims, this fast outside the Holy Month of Ramazan and for a cause no greater than to seek release from the comfort of a temporary prison sourjourn is akin to Chairman Mao’s famous Yangste swim, or closer to home, the recent fast (farce) of our inimitable joker Weerawansa who tied himself to the gates of the US Embassy(?) Dr Dayan J’s recent experience as a first class DPL has perhaps tarnished his perception of wheeler-dealer politicians and I dont blame him either because he is a thorough gentleman himself and tends to judge others by his own standards. Like Peter Pan, he still has to grow up.

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      Salmans Sweet Butt (I sure hope I’m talking to a woman here) says: “And this time again, Dr Dayan J lets his emotions…”

      In the large Gypsy (Roma) population in Romania stealing is considered a virtue. A woman who is able to swindle more money is considered more desirable for marriage than one with traits that we consider “good”.

      So, it all depends on your standards. From where Dr. DJ stands he sees Azad Salley in a different light than you do.

      And I bet you do see Dr. DJ as Peter Pan from where you stand too. Ha ha ha… I like it; Peter Pan! Being from a tropical country his costume must be only around his waist with upper body exposed, like a Tarzan. I think there’s a movie in this somewhere.

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      Muslims never had leaders? I beg to differ. MHM Ashraff was clearly a leader by any standards.

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        well Dayan,

        Asraff in his last days realized the ethnically charged politics is not doing any good in overall, so he changed his mind a lot to make it a united cause, which is very apparent in his writings, interviews, debates and public speeches and most importantly the policies that he put forward. yet, i agree he was a leader for the muslim community – good or bad or inbetween, effective or not or in between!

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    Azad blindly left from grand old party & support to MR. Now paying the compensation.But dayan most of the time when leader is wrong place he with him.Now the time to represent the house. I hope he will select the most democratic leader this time.

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    A lie cannot be covered by another thousand lies.

    However, this is what these Ra Mafisos are doing.

    Lie.

    Just like the lies of Monk Mahanama and the multiple myths.

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    “The Azad Salley Affair”
    It’s called religious cleansing in prepration for the Torah
    No more emotions just follow Rajaporkistan licking sudu pukka.
    Beware you may be the next and you have Sinhala and Tamil blood on your hands Ha Ha.

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    [The periodical in question, Junior Vikatan, it must be noted, is edited by Cho Ramaswamy, a courageous lonely crusader against the Tigers since the 1980s. Neither he nor the journal can be remotely characterised as subversive or secessionist. Something can be lost in translation though.]

    Clear example of Dayan shooting from hips without knowing that Vikatan is not edited by Cho Ramasamy who edits another weekly Thuqlaq.

    One wonders how long he will keep on blabbering lies with his half baked knowledge abt everything under the sun.

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      Sorry, you are right about that. I was in error.

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    Mr Sally is the Leader of the M-TNA.

    TNA whizz kid Sumnathiran appeared for the ex CJ pro bono in her FR protection.

    Shouldn’t the TNA Leader who went to town bashing the BBS in parliament do something to help the M TNA leader?.

    Based on your account defending the PTA will be bloody difficuilt to even the best Wigs.

    Especially if you can front up as the main witness.

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      Sumane so you are cock sure because you are part and parcel of the “Monkey Court” from down south.

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    azad salley was arrested because he was *the first guy* to tell in public that gnanasara was a hit and run on a new year day and he and another one of BBS top have criminal records which are avaiable for public to obtain from teh courts. one of those criminal records was published in CT. subsequently gnanasara also mentioned azad salley’s name in rant in one of ralleys ( i guess in kandy. please consult youtube on this), just like he does with Fashion bug and Nolimit and those who choose their own religion. I wonder what the guy is doing these days. No public appearance after the american trip/ CT publication of the hit and run case. laying low for the big mission to commemorate 30 years anniversary of a holy event?

    recently i told one of my relatives that this regime (GR especially) has become so predictable and they have lost the MR’s skill for deceptive smiling faces and thinking beyond one move. my bet was that Dayan gets arrested under PTA or for conspiring or treason or whatever one of these days and he gets released, operationally through presidential pardon, but really because of his established contacts worldwide.

    i wonder if there is already a polarization going on within the family enterprise itself. like a brother gone beyond the control as suggested by someone else in CT? maybe MR was a good guy after all? because reading in between the lines of Lasantha’s last publication and MR’s public behavior (could be deceptive), and sidelining of old thugs like Mervin Silva in favor of others in politics and BBS thugs, and recent little Rajapakses’ public conflict, it’s confusing too.

    “If I were a human rights activist or diplomat campaigning in Geneva on Sri Lanka, the arrest of Azad Salley would make my day. Conversely, if I were still the Sri Lankan Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, I would face an acute diplomatic and moral-ethical difficulty.”

    “It was the Muslim (maybe I should say ‘halal’) Bala Sena that saved Sri Lanka…”

    “The answer to that question lies in our experience as a society. In 1972, a few dozen young Tamils were detained because they had hoisted black flags in protest against the promulgation of the Republication Constitution, ignoring the written entreaties of the Tamil parliamentary political leadership headed by SJV Chelvanayakam. These young men had not engaged in any violent activities. They were held in detention for five years.”

    You just earned some respect Dayan, frankly!

    The muslim bala sena only created bad karma for themselves for making a pact with the devil. it was morally wrong to take the side of a govt that has its hands soaked in cold blood.

    The only thing remaining is to apologize in public for your past comments to groundviews where suggest to treat the rights and plights of those behind the barbed wires as political/ deplomatic/ militarian commodities/ cards according to some suggestions you had from your diplomat friends from abroad. seperating youth and detaining them for longer than it could otherwise be is more torture than letting them be with their families, even behind the barbed wires. in that interview, you seemed to have worried only about the reputation of your country.

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      As for apologizing in public or private for anything I have said on Groundviews or in Geneva, the question does not arise because I still hold most of those views, and if and where they have changed,I hold that those views were valid at that time. If you read my new book ‘Long War, Cold Peace: Conflict and Crisis in Sri Lanka’ (Vijitha Yapa 2013)or at least the independent and critical reviews by Kalana Senaratne and Lasanda Kurukulasuriya, you will see the continuities and changes in my position.

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        For once and for all Dayan then could you clarify to us in one piece, if you got some time, about how human what you say in your interviews to derena (2013 i guess) and groundviews (2009) about how treating the now-behind-the-barbed-wires people by profiling them by age and letting them suffer (i don’t know if that word exists in a diplomats dictionary) in that hell forever will take the attention of IC away from them? my point is, maybe you see defending the govt in Geneva as a truely patriotic cause, but in no way one can justify the trick you advice the govt with about treating the war victims so that their plights go unseen/ unheard/ un-attended to. is being born a tamil in a later to become LTTE territory during a certain period of time a sin by birth of everyone that falls into that catagory?

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          for you it was all about your diplomatic mission, winning the cold war with the west and with TGTE and the like, wasn’t it?

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    What the Rajapaksas’ want is a country in turmoil where the majority will turn to them and welcome them once more as their saviours. According to the SLBC and government tv channels day in day out we are told how lucky we are to have MR and his brothers as our leaders…how their hard work is keeping this country going…and what would happen if they were no more. The propaganda is similar to what comes out of North Korea. Thankfully, apart from the villagers most people in the towns can’t be fooled the way the whole North Korean population has been fooled by the Kim family since 1948.

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    Hats off to you Dr. Dayan. Your true conscience as a humanist that is speaking the truth now. These words of yours should open the eyes and minds to those who are ruling the country with a tight fist. To say about Azath’s father, Salley, as a active member of the Communist Party in his youthful days showed the way for many young Muslims, whose families were traditionally supporters of the UNP,to look towards leftist parties. Azath too has his father’s qualities. Dr. you now setting the example to others to speak out the truth.

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    azad salley was arrested because he was *the first guy* to tell in public that gnanasara was a hit and run on a new year day and he and another one of BBS top have criminal records which are avaiable for public to obtain from teh courts. one of those criminal records was published in CT. subsequently gnanasara also mentioned azad salley’s name in rant in one of ralleys ( i guess in kandy. please consult youtube on this), just like he does with Fashion bug and Nolimit and those who choose their own religion. I wonder what the guy is doing these days. No public appearance after the american trip/ CT publication of the hit and run case. laying low for the big mission to commemorate 30 years anniversary of a holy event?

    azad salley was also the first politician to make the muslim community aware of monks and sinhala buddhists who openly opposed BBS.

    recently i told one of my relatives that this regime (GR especially) has become so predictable and they have lost the MR’s skill for deceptive smiling faces and thinking beyond one move. my bet was that Dayan gets arrested under PTA or for conspiring or treason or whatever one of these days and he gets released, operationally through presidential pardon, but really because of his established contacts worldwide.

    i wonder if there is already a polarization going on within the family enterprise itself. like a brother gone beyond the control as suggested by someone else in CT? maybe MR was a good guy after all? because reading in between the lines of Lasantha’s last publication and MR’s public behavior (could be deceptive), and sidelining of old thugs like Mervin Silva in favor of others in politics and BBS thugs, and recent little Rajapakses’ public conflict, it’s confusing too.

    “If I were a human rights activist or diplomat campaigning in Geneva on Sri Lanka, the arrest of Azad Salley would make my day. Conversely, if I were still the Sri Lankan Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, I would face an acute diplomatic and moral-ethical difficulty.”

    “It was the Muslim (maybe I should say ‘halal’) Bala Sena that saved Sri Lanka…”

    “The answer to that question lies in our experience as a society. In 1972, a few dozen young Tamils were detained because they had hoisted black flags in protest against the promulgation of the Republication Constitution, ignoring the written entreaties of the Tamil parliamentary political leadership headed by SJV Chelvanayakam. These young men had not engaged in any violent activities. They were held in detention for five years.”

    You just earned some respect Dayan, frankly!

    The muslim bala sena only created bad karma for themselves for making a pact with the devil. it was morally wrong to take the side of a govt that has its hands soaked in cold blood. by cold blood i mean shelling on the civilians and proven immoral conduct of the military and the govt – the white flag case is an issue of professional ethics for Fonseka, not my problem because anyone daring to justifying a bombing a public bus deserves a surprise – karma?

    The only thing remaining is to apologize in public for your past comments to groundviews where suggest to treat the rights and plights of those behind the barbed wires as political/ deplomatic/ militarian commodities/ cards according to some suggestions you had from your diplomat friends from abroad. seperating youth and detaining them for longer than it could otherwise be is more torture than letting them be with their families, even behind the barbed wires. in that interview, you seemed to have worried only about the reputation of your country.

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      Percy Mahendra,

      I agree with you on most of the comments except one which is your inability to Judge how Rajapakse Brothers and Company doing business.

      It is quite amusing, secrecy and deceptive, and unless your are very smart, it’s going to be hard to track their behaviour.

      Please visit google or youtube and type infowars or anonymous to find how Rajapakses do their daily busiuness. Not much difference.

      Good luck.

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    I am proud of you Dayan, for speaking the truth and speaking fearlessly.

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      He is a liar talking like Choppe about Cho Ram.

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    Dr.DJ’s article makes sense. It’s obvious that Azad Shally won’t be released after three months. They conveniently imposed PTA on him to prevent him actively campaign in the upcoming NP election for Tamils. However PA government cannot grab votes from Muslims in the north whilst keeping Azad inside. In a way PA government has made a big political mistake and got to face the eventuality.

    I also condemn the portion of the article as it indirectly induces, though it may not the Dr.DJ’s intention, the young Muslims to think in the way the Tamil youngsters thought in 1977 and after.

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      You like it or not it may become inevitable if the regime continue to suppress the minority. Sadly, nobody want a muslim terrorism because it would hurt more than tamil terrorism. Muslim terrorism will be a holy war, therefore they will never run short of men and support locally and internationally- Jihad is in their blood through doctrines and for any muslim ‘God and Religion’ comes before anything. The state must act now and stop all sorts of discremination. I am only warning what can forthcome if this trend is not brought under control. I am in no way trying to justify a arm struggle. Please act now -if you love this country and cherish the coexistence.

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      It was ‘state terrorism’ of the then Govts. made the Sinhala youths to think in that way way in 1971 even before the Tamil youths thought in 1977 and after, and if the Muslim youths think in the same way, it will be for the same reason. Neither Azath Salley nor Dayan Jaya will be resonsible.

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    This is DJ´s attempt to settle old scores, he talks about his origin and his influence, uses terminology like terrorist etc.,

    Also DJ had a reason to hide himself for 3 months for not being arrested by police

    In SL we have only thugs, terrorists ( to use his own words), chandiyas and war mongers in govt.

    Salley is the same calibre, not to excuse or not to justify.

    DJ, we can fight for a constitutional state, first of all you should stop supporting these criminals

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      ‘Three months’? I was underground for three years.

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    “Based on your account defending the PTA will be bloody difficuilt to even the best Wigs.”

    Have you taken a look at the PTA? Anything that the Govt. or MR wants to consider a crime is a crime.

    Based on Part 1 offenses:
    The major culprits are the state, BBS at the moment. Who is going to hold them answerable?

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      A super power ? Don’t you believe in Karma, retribution, natural justice. Hope I would live to see it.

      Whole generations will suffer.

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    The regime is entering the Guiness book in suppressing dissent and crushing the opposition. In this case it is also laying the foundation for discontent and turmoil amidst another minority in this country. As it did with the tamils, it is the regime which spreads hatred and ethnic disharmony. It is the regime which breeds terrorists and creates the environment for foreign intervention.

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    Oh, what would Dayan Jayatilleka of 2009 call Dayan Jayatilleka of today? A traitor? An international conspirator? INGO beggar? Nightclub Buddhist? What?

    Did you ever count the number of questions in the article? Most poignant are the questions “What must have happened in wartime to countless others? What might be happening now, outside of Colombo, in the former conflict zones, to Tamils?” I wonder if these questions ever crossed his mind in 2009.

    I see that people are coming around to realize that the Rajapaksas are “squandering a costly victory”. Probably it is not long before people also realize that the fight for victory was not the choice of the Rajapaksas but they just were unable to get in the way after criticizing the UNP for doing the same. Rajapaksas would have loved for the war to have gone on indefinitely.

    I hope people will remember that Dayan Jayatilleka played a major role in squandering this costly victory when he squandered his opportunity, as the point man in Geneva, with the finger on the pulse of the International Community, to persuade the government to carry out a credible investigation into the allegations from the war zone. Sadly, he didn’t even try. Must have thought it was his “duty” to whitewash the regime.

    Yes the questions raised are important. But what is the point in asking them from “us”? Today? He should have asked these questions from himself in 2009, no?

    But other than that, I generally agree with Dayan Jayatilleka of 2013 has to say about Azad Salley Afair.

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    The reason for the Azath Sally in big shit at the moment is given below by DBS.Jeyeraj in his column

    When Salley was interviewed on TNL the outspoken Muslim political leader had apparently made some critical remarks about the first lady Shiranthi Rajapaksa. One such remark was referring to her as “Azhaghu Rani” (Beauty Queen).

    According to informed sources President Rajapaksa was told of the comments made to TNL by Azath Salley. Sri Lankan society has many tale carriers and there are some Muslim politicians who are notorious for “sneaking” to the President about other Muslim politicians. A failing of President Rajapaksa is being susceptible to glib tale carriers, acting rashly and then regretting it.

    President Rajapaksa was infuriated when he was told of Azath Salley’s comments. The tale carriers may very well have exaggerated or distorted what was actually stated. It is however well known that President Rajapaksa regards his immediate family as being “out of bounds” for adverse political criticism.

    LASANTHA WICKREMATUNGA

    [It may be recalled that many years ago the slain editor of “The Sunday Leader” Lasantha Wickrematunga wrote in his newspaper that Mahinda Rajapaksa had telephoned him and berated him for dragging in his(Presidents) family. There too the President had been misinformed that “The Sunday Leader”was going to carry a disparaging article about the first lady.According to Lasantha , during the heated argument Mahinda had emphasised that his family should be left alone.

    Viewed against this backdrop the reason for speedy action against Azath Salley seems crystal clear!Once Azath Salley incurred the wrath of President Rajapaksa punitive action against him seemed inevitable.

    Opposition politicians and Human Rights activists protesting the unjust arrest of Azath Salley have described it as political victimisation and suppression of dissent. Their descriptions are indeed correct! There has been simmering anger at the political activities of Azath Salley within Govt ranks but the flashpoint of tension that triggered off action against him at this juncture was the TV interview.]

    I remember that when Fonseka was the army commander there was a story that he had blocked Shiranthi and others with her not to go on the A9 and kept her waiting for hours before finally allowing her through.That was the end of him as the Army Commander and into Welikada he went.Mahinda is very sensitive to anything done against her which is quite understandable in human relationships between man and his wife.Fonseka used to treat his wife rudely and probably would have thought he could do the same to someone else’s wife too.In muslim culture women are not considered as equals to men and Azath Sally also would have thought he could shoot his mouth off at Shiranthi and mahinda would not mind that.

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      Shankar,

      Has the PTA got at least a sub clause stating that calling the first lady a beauty queen is an act of terrorism?.

      Where is your TNA whizz kid who appeared Pro bono for the CJ, to even challange the legitimacy of our legislators?.

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        Sumane,that beauty queen matter is separate.They charged him with inciting violence under the PTA because apparently he had said that muslims would have no choice but to take up arms.However it would have been just an opportunity for mahinda to throttle him for referring to his dearly beloved as a former beauty queen.he would have liked to physically get his hands onto sally’s neck but since he can’t do that he used the PTA because sally presented him that opportunity with his mouth.

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    Does anyone know, what Azad Salley said in the Junior Viketan interview? Even DBSJ does not reveal this in his write up in his website, which I read this morning. He of course refers to a TV program where he had referred to the First Lady as a Beauty Queen. She apparently was one and this is well known. DBSJ also reveals that Salley was questioned on the Junior Viketan interview. All discussions on the issue of Assad Salley’s arrest, however reprehensible it is, would be speculative unless we know the details of his Junior Viketan interview.

    Dr.RN

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      The Daily News reports today that he had incited Muslims to take up arms in this interview and provided a link (viketan..com).

      Dr.RN

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        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

        yes, reading vikadan interview, doubts arise as to whether Azad Salley was really trying to capitalize on the situation sympathizing to the dead VP and empathizing with the pro-cessationists based in tamilnadu. probably he already figured out the outcome where usha-sri-skanda-raja and co getting what they want is the most probable one in the game?

        or is it a conspiracy that the vikadan team played by exaggerating something that went on during the interview? it should be noted that azad salley’s proficiency in the tamil language, even spoken in his dialect, is laughable (what should be appreciated for his attempt to be a trilingual person). something lost in translation? because azad salley, on the recent crisis in lanka, has had a consistancy and integrity in all his publications/ public messages. indian media does lack in standard, although they are very independent of state – one can quote numerous cases of accusations and exaggerations and intrusion of private lives for the purpose of defamation. because this is the only time we hear azad salley to ever have sympathized for VP or pro-cessationists; his record says he has been public critic of the pro-cessationist elements even in tamil language – consult youtube. i doubt the credibility of vikadan too!

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          it could have very well been the exact same idea that Dayan expressed here in the last para that Azad Salley told vikadan in his tamil. that much is definitely enough for a tamil nadu based magazine of poor standards to put a title “muslims will also take up arms”. compare this to the ndtv debates, you will undertand. i don’t think a politician like azad salley, if he was targetting to cut a big deal with the pro-cessationists, would simply disregard his public condemnation of them by terms like ‘foreign conspirators’, ‘LTTE conspirators’ in his speeches you find in youtube today to have gone unnoticed by them! Even in tamil he didn’t accept the cause of the cessationist elements – search on youtube! I don’t think TGTE, GTF etc don’t have sinhala translators with them to do a background check on Azad Salley’s loyality to their cause if he was ever sympathize and gain something from tamilnadu based eelam-interest circles as it is portrayed in the vikadan article. He however publicly stated even in sinhala that ‘the tamil man in lanka does have a problem’. Dr. RN, it’s not a cover up of any of the Azad Salley backers, DJ or DBSJ, but it’s a simple discrediting of a media like ananda/junior vikadan. i think a native tamil like you, who even seems to a bit of brahmi scripts, should really be able to read vikadan and present your opinion on their credibility! Of course, Azad Salley did a grass root politics and didn’t use scholarly language like that of an academician like you, but he had what it takes to face the devil face to face.

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            typo:
            if he was ever *to sympathize and gain…
            who even seems to *have a bit of *knowledge of brahmi scripts…

            now please do that justice by giving us your judgement on junior vikadan. thanks.

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              I am unable to log into link you provided to the full interview. It seems to be blocked. However reading the summary in the Viketan link, the words in Tamil, ” Muslimkalum Aautham eduppaarhal” , if translated correctly will mean ‘ Muslims will also take up arms’ . He says this apparently after listing attacks against the Muslims in the past- 1915 and in recent times.

              From this brief summary, it is apparent that Azad Sally was only postulating the possibility that the Muslims will take up if the present incidents against the Muslims continue. He has not said that the Muslims should take up arms. I hope the detailed interview does nor belie what I understand from the summary.

              Dr.RN

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              Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

              here is a link to a mirror of the same interview i obtained from that tamilwin link:
              http://pastebin.com/CkvBeBa6

              @CT, that link is something Dr.RN asked me for. Please let him see that.

              @RN, would you able to help pandukabhaya on the other thread in Dr. Laksiri’s article with a transparent translation?

              As you can see the magazine simply portrays Mr. Salley as just another pro-cessationist and VP sympathizer while his track record on youtube stands all against it! I know how an Azad Salley would state something like “Prabhakaran missed a certain opportunities” and mean by that! Or one just needs his past interviews (even in tamil to minnal and various others).

              this is simply the same ‘pavadeema’ branding and negative propaganda strategy that worked very well against SF, Azad Salley’s once opponent!

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              for client
              it seems like from the link that you have given Azath Sally is saying that if the muslims are kept on being pushed then they may not have any other alternative but to take up arms.

              It clearly shows that he is not asking the muslims to take up arms which is what inciting violence is about.Merely saying that if someone is kept on getting pushed they may have no other alternative but to take up arms is stating a possible scenario that could occur in the future.It is all in the interpretation.It is ill conceived words to use but I think he should be just warned and let off because there is no proof that he is inciting violence by such words.

              The sinhalese did this to the tamils and kept on bullying them since independence and the worm turned.Now they are starting on the muslims.If you keep on bullying and harassing and using violence on someone they will also react in a like manner and Azath sally pointing this out should not be held against him because it is the truth.

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        Asad doesn’t speak good Tamil and is not at all good at communicating things clearly in Tamil. JV is a well known magazine for it’s blind support to LTTE and Tamil Eelam and their journalism has basically gone to dogs of late. So chances are VERY high for JV to have misquoted Sally or to have twisted the stuff Sally said in his poor Tamil, to their own advantage. They will be least bothered about Sally’s arrest or the repercussions. All they want is some spicy stuff to advocate and endorse their pro-LTTE pro-Eelam and anti-Sri Lankan propaganda. People should use their brains before agreeing to give interviews to such third grade magazines whose sole motive is to fuel anti-Sri Lankan sentiments. Even now JV has not apologised for misquoting Sally (if at all he was misquoted) but they have just published Sally’s clarification. I do not think it will help much. Having said that, BBS thugs have spoken and indulged themselves in much serious stuff than this. Arresting Sally based on an interview to a third grade magazine like JV published in Tamil Nadu, doesn’t make much sense to me. It’s only used as an excuse for political motives. Anyway, I do not have much regards for any politicians in SL. Sally is yet another politician and this arrest has made him a hero among some Muslims, which is sad. This shows how such events can be used to mislead the emotionally driven crowd. Most people are vulnerable and they would easily succumb to such things. I saw some people calling him ‘our King’ in one of the websites. Sally will score quite a lot from such people and I dont think he will be losing anything. And he will be taken care of well inside the prison. MR will ensure that. Once he comes out, we will see him happily smiling and shaking hands with the Rajapakses. And I am reminded of a dialogue in a Tamil movie titled Thevar Magan “Pongadaa… poai vivasaayam paarunga.. pulla kuttiya padikka vainga.. ” ;)

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          Whatever Azath Salley said to JV or whether he was misquoted or not. If it is taken for granted that he actually made the alleged statement it would be the only statement that he has ever made in relation to anyone taking arms. Then look at his past. He is the son of a strong member of the Communist Party. Azad as a member of the UNP and was Deputy Mayor of Colombo. Then he supported Mr. Mahinda Rajapakse in the Presidential election. In the EP elections he campaigned for the unity of all communities. Next he formed the Tamil-Muslim National Alliance to create understanding between the two communities. He went further by forming the National Unity Alliance. With all these positive initiatives in the political history of Sri Lanka he is the only Muslim politician, in this young age, possessed the ability to work with all the communities. So how can he be accused of promoting an armed struggle. The reason, undoubtedly, for his arrest and detention is his strong stand against the anti-Muslim campaign of the BBS and Sinhala Ravaya, etc. He confronted them very effectively which naturally caused anger on him. The courage that Azath gave to the Muslim community who were being bullied by the terror tactics of the BBS, etc. helped the Muslims to recover from the initial fear caused to them and defeated the ‘war of terror’ launched on the Muslims by the BBS, etc. while the Govt. watched in silence. Also it cannot be forgotten how instantly the provisions of the PTA is given effect in the case of others, when the the Sinhala lady who embraced Islam, Sara Malani Perera, who wrote the book on Comparative Religions, was without any valid reason arrested within hours and detained in Police custody for over eleven months and released thereafter without any charges. But nothing done in the case of BBS, et. who caused mayhem in the country preventing even Muslim women and children from moving about freely. They want to harass people of the minority communities even if they slip by mistake and use the situation to make them to live in fear. That is what is happening in the case of Azath Salley too.

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      If we understand the behavior of the current regime from the murder of Lasantha to the arrest of Azad Sally, you should be able to make inference about what is the motive behind this arrest. It is definitely not about prevention of terrorism. Unfortunately though he claims that he condemned the Lasantha murder he was part of the regime and defended this regime throughout his Diplomatic career. He knows who was responsible for Lasantha’s murder and he didn’t have the gut to point the fingers direct to the party that was responsible.

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    This is once again Dayan proving what a great used-car salesman he is.

    Dayan, you now say “If this is the treatment meted out in peacetime to an unarmed electoral politician, what might have happened in Welikada? What must have happened in wartime to countless others? What might be happening now, outside of Colombo, in the former conflict zones, to Tamils?” — Wasn’t it you who championed the patrotic move to squash any call for accountability inquiries?!Why is this different now?

    This is not a Dayan-reborn, but rather the wolf-in-sheep’s clothing that he has always been – so, beware! I bet the current “publicly visible” version of Dayan will vanish into thin air should MR offer another plum of a post – er, even half of a plum would do in these hard-times.

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    Anyone who believes in the sincerity of this man who ACTIVELY SUPPORTED THE RAJAPAKSA REGIME WHILE IT BUILT THIS MONSTROUS EDIFICE needs to have his head examined.
    This is simply a rat leaving a ship that’s sinking because of the colossal mismanagement of the country’s affairs, not because of any effort of its so-called opponents – Ranil Wickremesinghe & Co. – and those who have had a sudden awakening of conscience – Dayan Jayatilleke etc.
    DJ’s proclamations are yet another display of his opportunism. And I am afraid, he will succeed in salvaging, yet again, something out of a catastrophe for this country and its people that he played a significant part in putting in place.

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    I have no problems with DJ’s analysis. However, what we would have liked to hear from DJ is his take on the motivation behind the arrest of AS.

    AS is no more a protector of Muslims in SL as the other Muslim political scavengers. It is obvious that he was merely trying to resurrect his own lost political fortunes courtesy of BBS. Nothing more, nothing less.

    By all accounts AS is no saint by any standards, and there are so many laws in the Criminal Code under which he could be charged. Yet the govt chose to use the draconian Anti Terrorism Act to bludgeon the rascal.

    There is no doubt there is more to it than meets the eye.

    As regards the other Muslim politicians who have yet to comment publicly on this issue, they are also probably cowering in fear lest the same fate befalls them!

    All semblance of democracy, fair-play and transparency were abandoned by the regime with the incarceration of Sarath Fonseka.

    AS is small fry who was trying to become a shark…. and paid the price.

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      I sort of agree to this, especially about AS .. ! AS was never a protector of Muslims and it is sad to see how some Muslims are getting emotionally driven with this arrest drama.

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    If this is the treatment meted out in peacetime to an unarmed electoral politician, what might have happened in Welikada? What must have happened in wartime to countless others? What might be happening now, outside of Colombo, in the former conflict zones, to Tamils?

    These are the questions that would logically occur to anyone and could be legitimately raised in Geneva and elsewhere.

    Respect!

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    We have a situation in the country which is extremely serious and only a few seem to recognize. Why are the Rajapaksas so fearful of dissent? Is it a lack of confidence in their ability? Is it a feeling of inferiority? With 40 years of political experience behind him Mahinda Rajapaksa must be able to understand dissenting views without resorting to arrest and detention as would a dictator in a corrupt banana republic. Has he not grown out of thuggery and assault which was the way several decades ago? He is in an all powerful position as head of the country. He does not need to browbeat everyone in to submission to govern. He only needs to act and do the right thing every time. When a dissenting opinion is heard he does not have to beat that person. In Azad Salley’s case he did not have to do any thing. Probably have a quiet word with him. He must realize that he is a mere mortal living a life just like the rest of us. By the way he acts and reacts to situations we the people of this country are losing confidence in him. Have we elected a monster? What is our future with this man? Is he going to ruin our lives? Rajapaksa still commands voter support. So what is the problem with him?

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      “Rajapaksa still commands voter support. So what is the problem with him?”

      there is no problem with him at all , it’s the majority of dim wits like you continue to support the Junta is the only problem!

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        No problem with him? Then why did you vote for him?

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          Wickramasiri , i like your sense of humor, man.

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    Explicit double standards.hatred results hatred!
    Great insight into the issue DJ as always.

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    WELL SAID MR DAYA,WISH WE HAD MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU AS POLITICIANS

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    What ! A person of the calibre of Dr Dayan Jayatilleka fraternizes with the likes of Azath Sally? Hmmmmmmm………………Politics really makes strange bedfellows.

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      Shakeel Ali,

      why does your name point to http://sujeeva@hotmail.com when i place my mouse over your comment? should i read all commentors the same way i guess i should read yours now on? next time, be smart when trying to impersonate a person of a different ethnicity on purpose! or try some dead celebrity name so that people think you use it as a pseudonym.

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    I read the article from the beginning to the end in a few minutes as it has been written in simple language.I request the writer to continue this practice as it is the best way to get the common man to read his future articles.This government will not take actions against the BBS as it is a product of the government .also it receives government blessings as it diverts the attention of people from hunger , corruption and totalitarian trends .There is no doubt this government is suppressing dissent as it intends to remain in power as long as possible. Azad Salley is only another victim.In future more and more people will be detained under PTA

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