25 September, 2020

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The Pursuit And Prosecution Of Those Guilty Of Crimes Against The Nation

By Emil van der Poorten –

Emil van der Poorten

Emil van der Poorten

Among the web comments on a piece I did for Colombo Telegraph titled, “Joining the stampede“ was one from “Don Quixote” calling for listing, pursuit and prosecution of those guilty of crimes against the nation, with the lists being compiled from now.

I was intrigued by the suggestion for the primary reason that it brought to mind the work that Simon Wiesenthal did after the end of World War II and until his death in 2005 at the ripe old age of 97.  That crusade had, as probably its most publicized success, the spiriting out of South America, trial and execution of Adolf Eichmann who was guilty of crimes against humanity that were without precedent.

The closest and probably most unfortunate exercise in Sri Lanka similar to what is being suggested was the law and the tribunal created specifically to punish those accused in the abortive coup of the nineteen-sixties by Felix Dias Bandaranaike. The fact that, ultimately, all the accused were released had less to do with justice being served than the rejection of Felix’s attempt to wreak vengeance on the conspirators whom he saw as the enemies of the Sirimavo Dias Bandaranaike government in which he was one of the leading lights.  It was one of those rare instances where the malice that drives legislation proposed by an eminence grise, such as Felix was, came unstuck.

What is appealing about Don Quixote’s suggestion on the Colombo Telegraph is the fact that it is commonsensical, to say the least, and will certainly serve the justice that needs to return to Sri Lanka.

Why?  Because we have, particularly during the Rajapaksa Regime, an unbelievable level of  theft from the public purse and, not only the removal of the civic and human rights of Sri Lankans but their very right to life.

What is proposed is not a matter of (justifiable) vengeance being wreaked on people who have behaved in what can, without exaggeration, be described as a bestial manner, exercising their “right” to deprive the ordinary citizenry of Sri Lanka of the rights and freedoms that no government of any description has the right to remove.  It is a national cleansing that is a sine qua non for our return to a place in the ranks of the civilized nations of this world, reclaiming the Buddhist philosophical base of this country which has been abused and deliberately observed in the breach in recent times.

Will it happen when the present Family Rule ends?  Possibly, if the broad mass of the people of Sri Lanka decide that enough is enough and dump the current regime in the garbage bin of history where it belongs and have the energy to take the essential step to return to civility and civilized conduct.

However, some of the current signs in the day-to-day politics of Sri Lanka provide grounds for some pessimism in that regard.

One of the principal road-blocks to the prosecution and punishment of those who have been predators on the body politic is the manner in which the largest single party in opposition to the Rajapaksa hegemony – the United National Party – has been extending invitations to those previously in its ranks to return to its bosom.  These characters have, simply to enhance their local and foreign exchange accumulations, joined the Rajapaksa horde where they have done very nicely for themselves, thank you very much.  These commission-kaakkas, to apply a very gentle description to what they do, contributed to the erosion of the national treasury and have been active participants in the destruction of the very foundation of democracy in this country.  I would not, as used to be the case in some or all of the old Iron Curtain countries, suggest that such behavior be treated as a capital crime.  I do believe however, that it is essential that deterrent punishment – short of the death penalty – be meted out to those responsible for such crimes.

Apart from investigating and prosecuting financial malfeasance, the matter of punishment for the violence visited upon anyone standing in the way of their conducting this robbery must be paid particular attention.  Their behavior has gone beyond simply removing any impediments to their theft.  It has extended into a wholesale denial of civic and human rights up to and including murder.  In fact, it would be redundant to say that legal action can and must be taken against those guilty of such conduct.  Every single charge for serious crimes of violence that has been dropped for reasons such as “a lack of evidence” needs to be thoroughly reviewed and reinstated if the facts require that such be done. While these crimes of violence often overlap those of embezzlement from the public purse, it would make practical sense to establish two separate streams of investigation without compartmentalizing one to the exclusion of the other.

The United National Party or any party claiming the right to govern this country has to give the citizens of this country a solemn pledge that they will pursue those who up to now, had a free ride in the matter of criminal behavior and subject them to the full weight of the law.  Nothing less will suffice.

This business of the UNP establishing an open-door policy of some kind to attract the Prodigal Sons of Sri Lankan politics back into its ranks will not wash.  If it wishes to pursue its “forgive and forget” policy, its leadership deserves a sharp boot up its collective rear end.  And it is up to those within that party (and all the opposition parties) to make a clear and unequivocal commitment to removing corruption, root and branch, from Sri Lankan politics.  Nothing less will do.  I believe there are still a few people of conscience in all of the political entities in this country, though finding one in the ruling coalition might well be akin to looking for the proverbial needle in a rather decayed and foetid haystack!

About the only politician who, in his loose-cannon fashion, referred to the need for retribution for the thieves and murderers passing as our rulers was Sarath Fonseka when he ran against his erstwhile boss for the Presidency.  The fact that he paid a terrible price for that piece of lese majeste is a matter of historical record now.  However, it should not, in any way, detract from the absolute necessity of identifying, locating and punishing to the fullest extent possible, those who have destroyed all that is decent and honourable in our nation.

Goodness knows we’ve had Commissions without number whose reports disappear into a Presidential Maw never to be seen again and what is being suggested might sound like more of the same.  However, if a group of committed citizens is prepared to embark on the development of law and the selection of a tribunal or tribunals from now, I see no reason why such an exercise cannot become a reality.

The obvious place to look to start such an initiative would be one of the “Forums,” which, even if they seem to lack motivation and backbone, are composed of those who have the financial wherewithal and basic protection from blatant intimidation to embark on such a task.  Why don’t one of these “tut-tut brigades” who have made it part of their endless pursuit of self-righteousness in pronouncing on all kinds of moral and ethical issues and matters related to good governance do something useful and genuinely valuable for a change?  Why don’t they gird up their (very respectable) middle-class loins, perhaps forego some of the financial benefits of being good little (superannuated) boys and girls and set about this valuable task?  After all, they don’t even have to name their targets at this point.  Just develop law and the means of imposing it on those guilty of criminal conduct, when the time arrives.  Am I dreaming in technicolour in hoping that some of these ivory-tower occupants could be enticed out of the rarefied elevations at which they dwell to begin this task?  Or is it the hoi polloi of Sri Lanka, already straining every sinew to survive, which is going to have to embark on this journey, risking their very lives to do so?

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Latest comments

  • 3
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    Then we have to hang Poorten too..for his ancestors killing our “Vedda infants” by throwing them in the air and allowing to fall on to the tip of the swords brought in by Vasco da Gama…..

    • 8
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      K.A. Tsunamiskera:
      Do you REALLY have to take up space every week proving, if proof be needed, that being a sycophant only helps you be a bigger idiot (if that is possible!)
      I have just had this brainwave though: We could collect some of the rotten rubbish you write and compile it as a Primer on Idiocy. Particularly if we give it away free (your handlers can provide the publication costs)it should be a best-seller, particularly if it was free.

      • 0
        6

        Pooty

        [Edited out]

        Cheers

        Abhaya

        • 5
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          Abhaya

          “Pooty [Edited out] Cheers”

          You have gone potty.

      • 2
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        “Adolf Eichmann who was guilty of crimes against humanity that were without precedent.”

        Haven’t you heard of the thing called “colonialism” that happened between the 14the and 20th centuries? Why are the “countless” number of murders, rape and plunder that were committed during that time not “precedent”?

        The history you know seem to have started in Germany in the 1930s with the rise of Hitler. Is your selective memory ignoring the billions of Latin American, African and Asians murdered since Columbus because their skin is not pale?

        You are a disgusting hypocrite who live on stolen land.

    • 3
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      This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

    • 0
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      Idiot KS Sumanasekeram has spoken again. The writer is talking about bringing the perpetrators to justice. He is not talking about waiting another 100 years to charge his grandson who has had nothing to do with it. KA Sumanasekeram is a wild idiot who comes up with very strange ideas.

  • 5
    1

    Most of those who feature high on the list have already prepared bolt holes in all those old, familiar places faraway from the scenes of their crooked endeavours. Still, there will many left, the hangers-on, the baggage boys, the apologists et al who will, as usual, be left to face the music. The list will be long and colourful, and those hauled up before the beak will bleat like little lambs. We must not flinch. It would also be cathartic to identify and purge those now waiting in the wings to take their place. Sri Lanka deserves a better quality of governance and we the people should learn our lesson well and demand the best from those who will aspire to the highest positions in our land.

    No list of the infamous should be completed without the name of our porcine bag-man Sajin whose latest exploit has been to give pretty-boy Nonis a thundering slap, a kick up his arse, and a heel in his testicles. Some may classify this as OK under the ‘dog eat dog’ clause but nevertheless must be punished lest it gives precedence to such actions.

    Rise Sri Lanka, WE CAN DO IT!

    • 3
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      Emil van der Poorten –

      “It is a national cleansing that is a sine qua non for our return to a place in the ranks of the civilized nations of this world, reclaiming the Buddhist philosophical base of this country which has been abused and deliberately observed in the breach in recent times.”

      Good Move.

      Publish sand distribute.

      Every household should have the list and URL for the list to be accessed Globally.

      Start With Gotabsaya Rajapsaksa

      Then add on the others..like Vass etc..

      By the way can you be the Anonymous Author of Common sense, 2014, Sri Lanka version?

      Emil van der Poortenema thanks for a good analysis. Can you be the Anonymous Author the and Produce Sri Lankan version of Common Sense in Sinhala, Tamil and English? You will do as much service to Lanka, the Land of Native Veddah Aethho, just like Thomas Paine did for America and France.You can expand this write up, and get there.

      Say, Because I have Common Sense, I will not vote for Mr. Rajapaksa.

      Rajapaksa had the opportunity. The power corrupted them. The People are sick of them. They even used Buddhism towards their ends. Even Sinhala Buddhists are fed up them, and they are showing their true colors.

      An Anonymous Author like Thomas Paine is needed with a Common Sense Pamphlet to expose the King, King George, the Rajapaksa Clan. Read, the Common Sense Pamphlet , by Thomas Paine, that inspired the American Revolution along with the other events. Common Sense (pamphlet)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Sense_(pamphlet)

      Produce a Commons sense Pamphlet for Sri Lanka and say why it is in the best interest of the people of Sri Lanka to remove the King, aka Rajapaksa Dynasty from power and let the Republic be a Republic and Not a dynasty. This Pamphlet, in Sinhala, Tamil and English, need to be sent to each and every Sri Lankan Citizen, just like Thomas Paine’s Common Sense pamphlet.

      Common Sense[1] is a pamphlet written by Thomas Paine in 1775–76 that inspired people in the Thirteen Colonies to declare and fight for independence from Great Britain in the summer of 1776. In clear, simple language it explained the advantages of and the need for immediate independence. It was published anonymously on January 10, 1776, at the beginning of the American Revolution and became an immediate sensation. It was sold and distributed widely and read aloud at taverns and meeting places. Washington had it read to all his troops, which at the time had surrounded the British army in Boston. In proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), it had the largest sale and circulation of any book published in American history.[2]

      Common Sense presented the American colonists with an argument for freedom from British rule at a time when the question of whether or not to seek independence was the central issue of the day. Paine wrote and reasoned in a style that common people understood. Forgoing the philosophical and Latin references used by Enlightenment era writers, he structured Common Sense as if it were a sermon, and relied on Biblical references to make his case to the people.[3] He connected independence with common dissenting Protestant beliefs as a means to present a distinctly American political identity.[4] Historian Gordon S. Wood described Common Sense as “the most incendiary and popular pamphlet of the entire revolutionary era”.[5]

  • 2
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    To K A Sumanasekera: Van der Poorten can not be a portugese descendant.

    • 1
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      Diogenes

      “To K A Sumanasekera: Van der Poorten can not be a portugese descendant”

      Portuguese, Dutch, English, Malay, South Indian,Tamil, Sinhala, Arab, Persian, Bihari, Kalinga, Bengali etc, Still Paras.

      Only the Native Veddah Aettho are not Paras. They walked originally to the Land of Native Veddah Aethho. The DNA Analysis is Proof.

      The Vedda Tribe

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

      • 4
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        Veddhas are descended from African immigrants. Native Veddas are Ayurvedic physicians!

        • 0
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          Paul

          “Veddhas are descended from African immigrants.”

          They were the first humans to get to Lanka, the land of native Veddah Aethho, 30,000 years before the other Paras came.

          The Land belongs to them, the Veddah Tribe.

          The Vedda Tribe https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89NuukY32U

    • 5
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      Going by the surname he probably has Dutch lineage, but that is neither here nor there. Today he is a Sri Lankan for all intent and purpose. WE certainly don’t have to agree with his views or like his opinions, but they have the same validity as ANYBODY else’s on the board. Why some on the forum has to refer to PARA-this and PARA-that is beyond me. We swim or sink TOGETHER.

      Jeyalalitha, is mentioned below (though not in the article), and for her financial malfeasance she was jailed and fined, but that it took all of 18 years must not be overlooked.

  • 2
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    This comment was removed by a moderator because it didn’t abide by our Comment policy.For more detail see our Comment policy https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/comments-policy-2/

  • 2
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    One brave newspaper left (published from Sri Lanka) says it like it is: http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/53058-editorial-lessons-for-lanka-from-jayalaithaa-conviction.html

  • 6
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    We need a judiciary like in India. See how justice for theft caught up with Jayalalitha? Sri Lanka has far bigger thefts as well as murder, assassination, and kidnappings in white vans. Jayalalitha had none of that. She deserves jail. Ours need the firing squad like happened to Causescu in Rumania

  • 4
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    Sumanasekera got another one wrong! Do we celebrate, or regret?

    I have wondered the consequences of a concerted campaign to reveal the theft of public funds in the last couple of years and if it should be a cornerstone of the opposition election strategy.

  • 3
    1

    Sumanasekera got another one wrong! Do we celebrate, or regret?

    I have wondered the consequences of a concerted campaign to reveal the theft of public funds in the last couple of years and, if it should be a cornerstone of the opposition election strategy.

    It is a double-edged sword because it puts on notice everyone who have partaken in the theft of funds, resources, lands etc that their days could be numbered. Would it not put every Sri Lankan involved in the higher echelons of Business, Governance and Politics under threat? All members of Parliament and Pradeshaya Sabhas will have skeletons in their cupboards. The Administrative Services will have bucket loads of officers who have played sychophant to their ministers and have got illegal transactions approved. The Business community at all levels will have plenty of deals they will not want revealed.

    There is the ‘asker’, taker, giver and most importantly – the facilitator to every deal.

    Does the opposition stand to lose because of the resistance all these persons will create to a change of government, because it goes against their own interests? We can safely assume none of the above mentioned can manage a decision based on good conscience and therefore they will do their utmost to preserve the status-quo.

    In other countries, election campaigns have been won because Crime and Corruption were major topics. In Sri Lanka, bar the talking, can it be made to stick?

    I am very curious to hear the views of some experts on this, because we have NOT SEEN comprehensive information about major rackets despite having many fact-less anecdotal stories that are never followed up on.

    Example: If the Hambantota harbor was build on Chinese funding, what were the terms of the loan? What were the features of the operations agreement? Does the Chinese military have any installations that are closed off to Sri Lankan administration? Or is it a pseudo Chinese company that fronts for the Chinese Military? Now that the harbor is built, why do we see so many Chinese faces in the area ? What is the purpose of their presence? They are definitely NOT tourists.

    It is similar to the 70’s when walking down Longdon Place to the CR&FC for a Rugby game, all the surrounding houses were full of Chinese workmen, building the BMICH.

    This is just one example. The Opposition is NOT ready for any elections. They are hoping to win by default, without having to do the hard work of educating and convincing the people.

    If they were ready, this is the type of information you should be able to read on their web sites. The UNP is pathetic. They could not figure out a way to upload video of their own Uva campaign to their web sites. Forget about a web-cast of the convention itself.

    This is how clueless the opposition is! To expect better is stupid of us.

  • 2
    3

    It is a national cleansing that is a sine qua non for our return to a place in the ranks of the civilized nations of this world, reclaiming the Buddhist philosophical base of this country which has been abused and deliberately observed in the breach in recent times.

    Two middle eastern religions are slowly carving into the buddhist territory just the emil vender pootens great great grand fathers raped our country.

    He is talking about reclaiming the buddhist civilization from polluted, indisciplines and dusil -natives.

  • 3
    0

    We need to rediscover our lost Democratic Sri Lanka and chase away the crazy lunatics who turned it into a corrupt lawless Banana Republic with Jungle Law that serve and protect only criminals. This is no easy task compared to eradicating the LTTE as the crazy Jokers cannot survive without power and has no where to run.

    • 3
      1

      Like the ancient ‘lost cities’ of Sri Lanka were rediscovered by the colonial British administrators of Ceylon, the lost Democratic Sri Lanka will have to be rediscovered for us by white guys from the democratic west – UK, EU, USA, and Canada via the UNHRC.

  • 2
    1

    The end is nigh. But let’s hope, as Buddhists, that it will not be like one of these ten:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XgKrFsS8AwM

  • 2
    1

    I see Jayalalitha mentioned in two of the comments as if by accident.

    When talking of thiefs, She is Master of Thiefs. After promising to take a salary of one Indian rupee a month during the period she was the chief minister of this beggar toiletless state she amassed a monstrous sum of 64 crore Indian Rupees between 1991 and 1996.

    I am amazed that the so called “Free and Fair” Colombo Telegraph is so biased. n fact not a day goes by without CT blasting Mahinda Rajapaksa, Gotabaya, BBS. But not even a FART from CT about this smiling ugly, fat, monstrous-thief and ex-lover girl of MG Ramachandran. How about it DT? are you so biased or are you so scared of the LTTE Tamil Diaspora that you are suddenly gone deaf when it comes to Jayalalitha. Or are they your pay-masters.

    JP/USA

    • 2
      0

      Jeyalalitha stands out as to why people with little or no education get into politics to ‘serve the people’. It is the easy way into untold wealth. It turns out that the only people who are ‘served’ are their kith and kin, sometimes quite openly. It is such behaviour that we see the world over, though in the West, such amassing of ill-gained wealth does not occur in the open.
      The judiciary comes out of this with flying colours, with all attempts to subvert it falling by the wayside.

  • 1
    0

    Everybody has missed the point that it is the FRIDAY FORUM and people of their ilk who should, if they are serious about putting this country right, take the lead on this….

    Maybe too many people have already benefited ? Too many skeletons in their cupboards ?!!

    Even if it takes 80 years or one whole generation, it should be done. At least our great grandchildren will benefit.

  • 0
    2

    “listing, pursuit and prosecution of those guilty of crimes against the nation”

    Crimes against the SRI LANKAN STATE, given that there are many who hold that there are two nations on the island.

    Now what makes god almighty – to whom if we had only listened long ago we would not be in this mess – think that the natives do not know and have not been compiling lists of those who commit such crimes?

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