22 August, 2019

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This Is Our Country Too And It Is Worth Fighting For

By Tisaranee Gunasekara 

“Never to submit and never to oppress…”. Camus (Reflections on the Guillotine)

Last week Fr. Tissa Balasuriya died. Fr. Balasuriya, in and through his life, personified what is best and most humane about Christianity. ‘Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest’: that was Father Balasuriya in thought and deed. In a previous repressive era, when many chose indifference or equivocation, he stood up for democracy, provided a platform for dissent and kept his doors ever open for those in need. He was reviled as a CIA Agent/a Catholic conspirator by Sinhala fanatics and persecuted by the Vaticanas a heretic.

This article is not about Fr. Tissa Balasuriya; it is for him, in memory of his passion for justice, his rational progressivism, his commitment to sanity, honesty, honour and decency in public life and, above all, his large-hearted generosity which was incapable of discrimination. For all that and more, this article is a very inadequate public ‘thank you’ to a priest, a fighter and a man this country needs more than ever today.

***

In a dishonourable hour, Rizana Nafik’s mother has reminded us what honour is. In an unprincipled hour, Rizana Nafik’s mother has demonstrated that principles can be found where they are most unlooked for.

None would have thought that a poor woman, with a sick husband, two dependent children, no steady source of income and a tumbledown shack for a home, would refuse the money offered bySaudi Arabia. Who could have blamed her for accepting that money? But she did not. And in her refusal to take the blood money offered by her daughter’s murderers, she acted with a dignity which is almost non-existent amongst our political, economic and religious elite, the powerful, the influential and the rich of Sri Lanka who have made a creed out of the most myopic and unenlightened self-interest.

If we had parliamentarians like her, the impeachment would not have happened and we would not be afflicted with the most supine and unprincipled ‘chief justice’ in the history ofSri Lanka.

Mohan Peiris epitomises the new Rajapaksa Man; he is the Model Subject for an enslaved Sri Lanka. His willingness to worship the powerful and place self-advancement/protection above all else symbolises the ‘ethos’ the Rajapaksas want to inject into all Lankans.

Rizana Nafik’s mother epitomises the values of a dyingSri Lanka, as did Father Tissa Balasuriya. Mohan Peiris epitomises the values of the newSri Lankawhich is being created by the Rajapaksas and for the Rajapaksas.

That Rajapaksa Sri Lanka despises the poor and weak. It is unequal and discriminatory and lacks all sense of common or garden decency. It is blustering and cowardly; it is a haven to religion without morality; it criminalises independence and freedom. It is unmoved by the plight of its malnourished, abused children. It loves vulgar exhibitionism and opulent bad taste, gloats over the fallen foe and seeks to keep its people shacked in ignorance and fear.

Do we wantSri Lanka, our common home, to become that country?

Resisting Rajapaksa Reality

Tyranny is deceptive. It must be because it needs to hide its true nature from the eyes of those on whose support/indifference its continued survival rests. Successful tyrannies excel at hiding reality, turning the truth on its head and criminalising its victims.

The Rajapaksas too want us to believe in an alternate reality.

In that make-believe world, Sri Lanka is a rapidly developing land – its debt burden is not spiralling out of control; its poor are not been deprived of their homes and livelihoods; its environment is not been degraded; its health and education systems are in mint condition; its prices are falling; and its Central Bank always tells the truth.

In this make-believe world, the impeachment was an exercise in justice – the Rajapaksas knew nothing about anything until 117 UPFA parliamentarians, renowned for their independence, their zeal for good-governance and their crusading efforts against corruption, prepared and signed the impeachment (on their initiative) and presented it to President Rajapaksa and the Speaker Rajapaksa as a fait accompli.

In this make-believe world, a laissez faire judiciary is necessary to protect democracy, promote human rights and ensure good governance.

The Rajapaksas want us to accept this imagined reality as the real one. After all, we did accept the twin myths of ‘humanitarian operation with zero-civilian casualties’ and ‘welfare villages’. So why not Rajapaksa democracy, Rajapaksa justice and Rajapaksa development?

The Rajapaksas want us to become our own ‘Thought Police’, to suppress the truth we know and to believe the lies they tell us.

They do not want us to see nepotism in the elevation of Yoshita Rajapaksa as the new captain of the national rugby team. They do not want us to discern signs of megalomania in (or even be embarrassed by) ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa International Challenge Football Championship’, ‘President Mahinda Rajapaksa T-20 Under 19 Triangular Cricket Tournament’, ‘Chamal Rajapaksa Challenge Trophy’, ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Theatre’, ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Tele Cinema Park’ and ‘Mahinda Rajapaksa Vidyalaya’ (to mention a few).

If the Rajapaksa-hatred of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake has not been appeased by her illegal ousting, if they decide to make her suffer more iniquity and indignity, they want us not to be angered or appalled by it, but accept it as justice.

Gotabhaya Rajapaksa is to commence another programme ‘to totally eradicate the underworld’, using ‘various tactics’, according to media reports. When ‘Suspects’ in their thousands are murdered, while ‘resisting arrest’ or ‘trying to escape’, the Rajapaksas want us not be outraged, but to accept the bloodletting as good and proper. (The Rajapaksa CJ will make it all legal).

The Rajapaksas are particularly interested in moulding the younger generation into becoming ‘Perfect Subjects’. They want a younger generation which esteems power and strength and despises physical and politico-economic weakness; a younger generation incapable of being outraged by a society in which the powerful and the rich will always have their way while the poor and the powerless are denied even their ineffectual say; a younger generation habituated into regarding intolerance as the moral-ethnical norm and violence as the optimum solution to all problems/differences; a younger generation focused on ‘getting ahead’ and incapable of resisting.

Had Vellupillai Pirapaharan won the Eelam War, he would have created an enslaved state in which the Tamils would have had only one freedom and one right – the freedom to worship the ‘Sun God’ and the right to hate his enemies. The Rajapaksas are no different. They focused on winning the Eelam War, so that they can rule overSri Lankain perpetuity. In Rajapaksa Sri Lanka, we too have the freedom to support the Siblings and the rights to oppose their enemies. Everything else is crime or treachery. If the Rajapaksas have their way, this country will become poisoned by violent mores and brutal deeds.

Sri Lankais not a Rajapaksa property. Not yet. It is our country too. We must resist the Rajapaksa-plague, by thought, word and deed, because Sri Lankais worth fighting for.

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Latest comments

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    Beware! Idi mahin might make a forged application under the name of Rizana Nafeek’s mother and obtain the Saudi money!

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    The day after Mohan Peiris was appointed CJ Sandya Eknaligoda, the fire brand accused him of lying to courts.Rajapakses are spolt brats who want things to happen their way come what may irrespective of facing repurcussions. Rajapakse is only frightened of women, Shirani Bandaranayake, Chandrika Bandaranaike, Anoma Fonseka, Sandya Eknaligoda.He may hate what thisaranee is writing. So in any change of regime women at every level, every community and every religion will have a role to play.

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      No, he is frightened of all that criticize him and his way of decisions. No wonder everyone will join to the group soon to hate the man in the coming months. Surname Rajapakshe is a most disgraceful one as I heard it from my circles.

      He speaks something totally (95% ) far from his acting – unpreditable by every means. As any professional would see it that the process against CJ SB was not fair and unconsitituational but thinking people around the world are more blind and deaf, MR reiterates about his governance is consititutional.

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    I think Both UN, CW, USA and the world community should come down hard on President Rajapakse for him to think serious what the International community means Business and not to take them for granted.

    All this time President Rajapakse not only hoodwinked the International community , but also humiliated and made them looking fools.

    From hoodwinking UN, CW on LLRC and human right issue upto fooling India on false implementing 13 + Rajapakse think he can keep on humiliating them and making them a laughing stock and get away from the promises he gave.

    Please see the following web. what Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN Dr. Palitha Kohona has questioned the value of the Commonwealth when he was asked to comment on the criticism of the impeachment of Chief Justice Shirani Bandaranayake by the Commonwealth.

    MARA is questioning on the validity of UN, CW, USA and other countries who helped him to win the terrorist war.

    Therefore it is time for International community to come down hard on Rajapakse Regime until it RE-instate CJ Dr.Shirani Bandaranayake.
    ————————————————————————-
    Some of the Measures could be.
    ———————————–

    1)Total travel Ban on President ,Govt.Ministers and their Families….as most of their official Meetings are mere Pleasure trips wasting people’s money.

    2) Freeze all aid given to Govt. and direct them through INGO’s.

    3)All IMF, WB Lonas be given only on condition that GOVT. should use them only on people and should stop importing duty free vehicles for Ministers and Govt.Goons.

    4)Restriction on Tourists visiting Sri Lanka

    5) Cancel CHOGM and ban Sri Lanka participating from CW,UN and international conferances, functions and meetings.

    6) Trade restrictions and freeze concessions given to GOSL.

    7)Direct help given to Minority communities and people in need, such as building houses, community centers and Childrens and adult homeless shelters etc.

    8)Direct nutrition programmes, health care and education on needy people.

    9)Freeze all Foreign Personal bank accounts, fund accounts, assets, real estate and shares invested by all Govt. Ministers and their family members.

    10) Give a dead line for change…and if GOSL not agreed use Internal and External pressure for Regime Change.

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      (11)Introduce effective trade sanctions in line with GSP plus

      (12 Introduce travel ban not only to MR family and other siblings, but should include government parliamentarians and their siblings plus Rajapakse CJ Mohan Pieris and Family.

      (13)Introduce travel adversaries against Sri Lanka

      (14)Introduce Ban on international sports activities in line with what Applied to South Africa under former Apartheid regime

      (15) Without delay UN should go head by appointing an Independent Investigation Commission to investigate and punish those involved in war crimes at the last stage of the war in 2009

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        Trade sanctions with GSP plus is only hurting the people every month a factory cloes down and leave for bangladesh or india, Vietnam .

        This does not hurt the regime at all.

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          Of couse it hurt the Regime,

          Loss of jobs leads to loss of Tax revenue and foreign currency to the government. Loss of jobs lead to loss of buying power of consumer which leads to a chain reaction effecting the whole economy….upto difficulty of Govt to obtain International Loans.

          Also loss of Jobs leads to uprising and Regime change….what we could clearly see happening much faster than we thought.

          Signs of Rajapakse Dynasty Crumbling has already started.

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    Without issuing hollow statements international community must take constructive steps to stop this tyrant on its path to total dictator ship which is camouflage in democratic cloths.

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    We have since the Tsunami handed a country on a platter to a myth called Rajapakse, courtesy of many intellectuals, who in the Judiciary, Academia, Media and Clergy have misled the poor, the frightened, the docile and the impressionable populace into a frighteningly stark sink hole from which there is apparently NO return.

    Much water has flowed into the sink hole since that fateful day, beginning with the now factual helping myself instead of Hambantota folly, legally helped or at least given the seal of approval by the then Chief Justice Sarath Silva.

    The initial one man’s victory parade has now become a family concern with an unparalleled coterie with the same last name, both accounting for most of the spoils and having the dubious distinction of sharing them too.

    There is no point in rehashing what has taken place since, namely that the bit players who helped in the process, from the Mangala Samaraweeras, Sreepathi Sooriyarachchis, Sarath Fonsekas, Shirani Bandaranayakes, a coterie of Supreme Court judges who rubber stamped the 18th and then some, and a parliament of 100+ Ministers and a few MP’s (except for a few notable underworld thugs) have now been spat out like bitter pills that are hard to swallow. Some have yet to realize their fate.

    If you ask anyone of them now, they will agree they never realized what a Frankenstein’s monster they have created, and if they realized it then, they would have made different choices. Too late chum, you were the people entrusted by the lesser mortals with the fate of the Country, and you blew it. You got sucked in hook line and sinker in this craftily calculated deception, of selling the country off to China for a few billion in hard currency. The very people who daily pontificate about international NGO conspiracies and foreign interference in our internal affairs, by the likes of CHOGMs, Banki Moons, Navin Pillays and the UN mob have sold our souls to the ultimate foreign interferer who could counter India the only power the rulers are really fearful of. By the way if India decides to interfere not even the Chinese will come to our aid, but the Billions are all socked away in foreign parts, safe from prying eyes.

    The Chinese being craftier than the inward looking cabal, have done a deal with the Indians to share the spoils without a fight, as neither is keen on a prosperous Sri Lanka, something which in hindsight we could already have been but for the Ruling Rajapakse family who have eaten that chance. I repeat, it is the very people who should know better who have sold their birthright to traitors and foreigners.

    I will therefore not blame this country’s plight on its masses, who have sustained a qausi-democratic veneer, due to the very foolish, shortsighted, egotistical behavior of the above mentioned, intellectuals, intelligentsia, and people of stature, to whom the electorate look for guidance, and who have failed them with disastrous consequences.

    I know we will overcome this setback, once we able to with difficulty explain to the people that they have been conned and why, before the so called patriot’s treachery is laid bare, and the true patriots, the hard working long suffering people of the Country take it back. It is not a cake walk, but it is inevitable! So don’t despair Mother Lanka.

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    SOON, THE MAJORITY WOULD BE MUSLIMS, WHO WILL START AN ARAB STYLE SPRING AND REMOVE (IMPEACH), WITHOUT DUE PROCESS, THE ASSHOLES FROM THE PARLIAMENT.

    SHARIA LAW WILL TAKE EFFECT.

    MANY OF THEM WOULD LOSE THEIR ARMS, LEGS, TOES, FINGERS, TONGUES, NOSES, EARS, EYES, PISS-HOLES, SHIT HOLES.

    MOST OF THEM WOULD BE HEADLESS. THE EXECUTIONER WOULD USE HIS DISCRETION AS TO SEVER THE HEAD WITH A VERTICAL CUT (KNEELING, HEAD DOWN) OR HORIZONTAL CUT (STANDING, HEAD UP).

    RIZANA’S MOTHER, THOUGH NOT EDUCATED, LIVING IN HARDSHIP, HAS A WHOLE LOT OF PRINCIPLES, WHICH SHE FOLLOWS TO THE RULE, BY REFUSING POINT BLANKLY, THE BLOOD MONEY WHICH WAS OFFERED TO HER.

    THIS HONORABLE LADY SHOULD BE THE CHIEF JUSTICE. AS SHE WOULD SURELY BRING EVERLASTING PEACE, HARMONY, LAW AND ORDER, TO THIS PARADISE ISLAND.

    UNDER THIS LADY, THIS PARADISE ISLAND, WOULD BE A “LAND LIKE NO OTHER”, A BETTER PLACE WITH ALL NATURAL RESOURCES, AND PUT SAUDI ARABIA AS A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY WHICH WOULD END UP A DEAD LAND WHEN THE OIL, DATE PALMS, AND THE CAMELS RUNS OUT.

    IF THIS TAKES PLACE, ALL TEN MEASURES, OF MAHELA ABOVE, COULD BE IMPLEMENTED WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM.

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    Now Yoshita Rajapakse is captain of the National Ella Team. Another is going to be the first Sri Lankan in space. Just see how talented the father must be. What about the uncles and rest of the family? Defence, Economics, Politics? Super genes and dna. Maybe we also need to live closer to the buffaloes in hambantota.

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      Safa

      The fact that they are living closer to Tamilnadu is sufficient to make them buffaloes. In other words Sri Lankan Tamils, Tamilnadu Tamils and Sinhalese share the same DNA. M20 Marker is shared by all three.

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    The end is not very far. The beginning of the end has commenced. History has taught us that Nature has its own safeguards to prevent those despots searching for unbridled power from achieving their sinister objectives. A dramatic fall from power is imminent.

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      This is what I also feel though being away from the ISLAND but being very alert to the nation through CT and several other media. Constitutional injustices that the nation experienced last week was comparable to a rape to the judiciary.

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    Dear Tissaranee,

    Recalling the times when we interacted with Comrade Shan, the late leader of our party, I wish to appreciate your contributions towards defending freedom and democracy in our Land. Your writings are always lucid, spirited, informed and inspiring. In this, perhaps the darkest hour, you remain an unrelenting voice of reason and freedom. We will be at the front-lines of the battle, without let or compromise. Dawn breaks through the darkest hour of night.

    All strength,

    Surendra Ajit Rupasinghe
    Secretary,
    Ceylon Communist Party (Maoist)

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    Although ever commentator wishes a change, Sri lankans must also
    consider the possibility of cancellations of future elections of any
    sort, as the IC, WB,IMF, UN CW EU etc. interrupted Rajapaksian-Development of this cherished land! Then we had it – the last nail on
    the coffin.
    Sarath Silva will look after MRs needs in Parliament in future and
    Mohan Peiris the Judiciary. Everything will fall in its place, for
    the first family.

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    Tissaranee plays eminently well the role of giving voice to the people’s outrage – a function of the democratic Opposition; that is either in disarray or where its leader has chosen the path of least resistance – by design, harvesting the many benefits in its wake. That is the unfortunate fate of 21 million people who looked forward to the Rajapakses to bring them unity, prosperity and happiness. All three features have been achieved – not to benefit the people but to The Family and its army of sycophants and boot-lickers.

    The Plague it is that has contaminated the entire land. Who helps us,
    is there anything at all, in the short term, we can do to save us from this curse – is the question in the lips of millions. The frightening reality is Robert Mugabe is still there after destroying a once prosperous nation and impoverishing it to the level of mendicants.

    Senguttuvan

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    Sumane,

    Is that really you. Have you crossed the Lellama? Welcome home
    to sanity and to battle on the side of the wronged. Do you realise the liars have raised your innocent hope of $3,000 to $10,000. Surely,
    you are no sucker like those grinning thieves from Hanguranketa.

    Senguttuvan

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    Oh Portugal | Oh Netherland | Oh British |….. When our Forefathers fought for our Independence…..they would have never dremt that our country is going to be Occupied by Our Own Power Hungry, Power Crazy, Greedy, selfish,Pervert, Thug, Murderers, Drug dealers, Thieves, Uneducated , Uncultured, Uncivilised OUR OWN SINHALA PAK…….YA PRESIDENTS, PRIME MINISTERS AND THE PARLIAMENT WHO SCREWED THEIR OWN SINHALA RACE AND THE MINORITY RACES, USING THEIR POWER AND PRIVILEGES TO SATISFY THEIR OWN SELFISH, SADISTIC DESIRES AT THE EXPENSE OF IT’S OWN CITIZENS AND THE COUNTRY.

    Our Children will curse us if we allow these sadistic crooks to stay in power any more.

    it is our obligation to chase these Blood sucking Leeches crooks who live on POOR RIZANAS BLOOD MONEY ever sucking people’s blood and country for their own pleasure.

    It is time to Bur…n the parliament for good and give the Country to Supreme court and to qualified, honest and professionals to Govern.

    TO HELL WITH PARLIAMENT BOTH GOVERNMENT AND OPPOSITION CROOKS WHO EVER LIVE ON PEOPLES PIN PADI WASTING RESOURCES AND INCURRING MEGA LOSSES TO ALL THE CORPORATIONS THEY RUN….AND BORROWING HEAVILY FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.

    IT’S TIME FOR CHANGE.

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    Ms Thisaranee has expressed solidarity and sympathy for the Underworld.

    It is a shame that the Elite Angels in our Capital who used the underworld to get political edge never had the courage to do it.

    This underworld from Kolonnawa to Kelaniya worked relentlessly to keep the Elite party, the UNP in power for a long time.

    When the UNP got rolled, they allowed the Underworld to side with the Govt and made good political mileage out of it.

    Now the party seems to be well and truly over.

    Not only Gotabaya, but Mahinda also gave notice last week that the Underworld and their Drug Peddlers will be cleaned out with the same determination that was used against Terrorism.

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      K.A Sumanasekera

      “Ms Thisaranee has expressed solidarity and sympathy for the Underworld.”

      Underworld:

      The world of criminals or of organized crime.
      The mythical abode of the dead, imagined as being under the earth.

      Underdog:

      A competitor thought to have little chance of winning a fight or contest.
      A person who has little status in society.

      Which one of the above did you mean to convey?

      I would have thought that Tisaranee Gunasekara was the champion of underdogs until you mentioned her connection to MR’s extended clan.

      Thanks for your timely clarification.

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      K.A.Sumanasekera:
      You are, as usual, right because they say one should set a thief to catch a thief. In this case, it is setting drug dealers – Merv the Perv, Kudu Dumina and their masters – to catch all the small fry and kill them.
      Then, after using all the government resources to kill the competition, they will have a Kudu Monopoly and the likes of you can live happily ever after!

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    The name “Tisaranee” sounds like a very meaningful term in Sinhala, for thrice blessed, or having the blessings of the Buddha, dhamma and sangha.

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    All the anti government forces in SriLanka along with the Tamil Diaspora and Navar Pillai from the UN have joined together to undermine and subvert the great leader Mahinda and his government. The Government should now now take steps to dismantle these evil forces. The traitorous Black Coats need to be sidelined and not given any government support. The ExCJ’s affairs and all 15 charges should be again investigated and should be dealt in a Court of Law. The anti Government stooge judges in the Supreme Court should be removed. No government can function with antigovernment traitors in high positions obstructing government development plans.

  • 0
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    the price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men…. plato. if hatred begets hatred so does greed begets greed. i remember a stage play of a south indian actor/playwright/journalist cho ramaswamy who came out with a stageplay and movie called ” mohamed bin tuglak ” which depicts this regime’s characteristics from the day one of coming to power. god save the citizens.

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