17 October, 2021

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Weliweriya: A Massacre Of The Innocents

Ajit Rupasinghe

Massacre or legal killing sanctioned by the Constitution?

Do the killings in Weliweriya amount to a massacre? A massacre would be a deliberate act of mass murder committed against an unarmed population to terrorize and silence a people. A massacre would constitute a war crime. A crime against humanity. It would be an act of war against the people, in a  symbolic and concentrated form. Are the Weliweriya killings legal, as sanctioned and mandated by the Constitution? We were taught that the Constitution is meant to defend and protect the people from such threats to their lives and freedoms? Is it that constitutions are merely toilet paper used by tyrants to cover up their tyranny? If the killings are deemed legal and constitutional, that is if they are considered to be prescribed in Law, then that would be the law of tyranny, not the Rule of Democracy. I mean, you cannot go around killing unarmed civilians, just because you cannot tolerate dissent. The Law would then simply be the writ of the Dictator. Then, the people would have no other recourse but to overturn the verdict- and overthrow the Regime and the State that prescribes the Law that allows them to be shot and killed while raising their grievances in peaceful protest and agitation.  What if the killings are deemed unlawful, extra-legal, constituting a crime against the people and humanity? Then the killers, right up the chain of command,  would have to be identified and prosecuted accordingly. The prosecution should be carried out rigorously with complete transparency by an independent judicial commission-certainly not by the armed forces themselves, nor any agency loyal to the Regime. If that does not happen, the Constitution and the Rule of Law would  be proven to be nothing but weapons of deceit and repression. Then the people would have no right nor obligation to obey such a Constitution nor Rule of Law, nor a Regime nor State that legitimates such crimes against the people and against humanity. What happened to the inquiry over the massacre of some 27 inmates at the Welikada prison by the armed forces of the State?

Who are the real victims and the real criminals?

Are the villagers of Weliweriya innocent? Are they victims of state terrorism? Or are they to be criminalized and the killers – and the killing- legalized and justified?  The villagers of Rathupaswela had every sacred right to protest against the contamination of their drinking wells and they had every right to demand that DIPPS ( subsidiary of the Hayley’s global conglomerate) be held accountable and be removed from their area. That is their fundamental right to express their fatal grievances and demand redress from the State. Particularly since they have been engaged in negotiations with the political authorities over months, without any respite or solution- with their scalding skins lashed with rashes. They had every right to fight back when they were threatened and intimidated by the armed forces. Just as the people’s unarmed resistance of the fishermen in Chilaw and then the workers in Katunayake, which took two lives. Outright acts of murder. They had every right to defy and resist any force used against them that they deem to be arbitrary, illegal and unjustified. They have every right on Earth to protect their life and their freedom, when uniformed killers of the State try to silence and subdue them with armed force. The claim that outside political forces instigated the attack is just a sick joke. More indignation is fired by the fact that this massacre of innocents took place even while the villagers were engaged in discussing the issue with Hon. Basil Rajapakse, senior minister of the State, to seek a peaceful, negotiated solution. Could this have been the result of  a breakdown in communication between the H.E. President in executive command, his aspiring brother, the second in command, Hon. Minister of Economic Development, and his next aspiring brother, also (sic)second in command, the Defense Secretary? Or, is it the result of an impending and imploding conflict of interest working at cross purposes?

The Rape of the Constitution:

The Constitution was raped and suspended all through the decades of war. All fundamental rights and freedoms enshrined in the Constitution, including the right to conscience, the right to life, freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of information, media freedom were shredded mercilessly. Society was ruled by terror, through enforced disappearances, abductions, extra-legal killings, mass massacres, selected assassinations, and riot squads that rampaged with complete impunity. It is this war, and its attendant political culture of terror, brutality and barbarism, that the entire Western bloc and India, Japan, China, Russia and Pakistan all aided, defended and supported.  It is that very same regime and culture of rape, torture and terror that has produced the Weliweriya massacre. All for the purpose of entrenching and enforcing undivided and undisputed hegemonic dictatorship over society by the ruling Regime. Those who defended and supported this state terrorist war in diplomatic forums and on the streets, who partook in the ‘kiribath culture’ of conquering vengeance, should now reflect deeply, and take their share of responsibility, in legitimating and perpetuating a Regime that survives by routinely massacring the people.

A Cold-blooded Massacre:

The Weliweriya massacre has reportedly left at least six people killed, 19 in intensive care, to total some  80 wounded and hospitalized, along with several disappeared. This is according to unofficial sources.  There is a real issue of getting at the facts given that the independent media is under siege, and reporters are barred from even entering the village. Indeed, the media was hounded and deliberately targeted by the armed forces during and after the assault. The village, and the country at large, is under an undeclared  state of military siege. In effect, no one would dare to challenge nor reveal the chain of command, and the politics, behind the massacre. Society has been numbed by the sheer brutality of a State, claimed to be elected and mandated by the people, that could so routinely and ruthlessly mow them down, in mafia fashion. Silent terror is more dreadful than open terror. Everyone feels the guns turned on them, lest they begin to speak or rise in utter revulsion and anger, in the name of all humanity, to resist and rebel. Lest they develop the accumulated political will and consciousness to stand for truth, justice, democracy and sheer decency and take steps to end this endless era of horror and terror, of deceit and deception, of domination and subjugation, and decide to bury this system of death and destruction, once and for all,-in the name of humanity.

Spinning and Weaving:

So, lets do the spinning and the spin doctors are working overtime. DIPPS is not at fault. It has all the legal documents and certificates to prove that there just could not be, in any remote way, where It is culpable and  responsible for contaminating drinking wells. This is, even though it admits that toxic industrial acid is disposed of in the vicinity.  It just cannot not happen that this toxic waste may have contaminated the drinking wells and caused disease and a fatal threat to life, even though this factory has been in existence for some fifteen years.  Hello Bhopal and British Petroleum, Monsanto and Dole! The long litany of criminal corporate innocence. DIPPS has abided by all the rules, regulations and standards required of a giant global, multinational corporation such as the Hayley’s Group, operating in one of the most notoriously corrupt neo-colonial, comprador-capitalist states in the world. A State rigged up by a ruling class  that can only survive by feeding into the blood veins of profit and plunder of these very same multinational corporations. A State that breeds corruption, where certificates are up for the bidding and decided politically. This is a blood relationship. Global corporate empires of profit and plunder provide the bloodlines for their colonies, and their rulers, to survive. And so must the neo-colonial State, and the Rajapakse Regime, open up the country to even more intensifying exploitation and plunder, and subject the people to even more intense violent suppression, as part of its deal- as its logic of survival.  So, it must cover up and take sides with DIPPS, and with the global imperialist system built on corporate empires of blood, profit and plunder, to ensure their share of the spoils. It must prove its worth as the neo-colonial guardian of corporate property over the lives of its citizens to keep the profits of exploitation and plunder flowing. Truly, the exemplary neo-liberal paradigm of a  “ Wonder of Asia”.

Defending Peoples Rights:

Any political system and State that mows down its people as a matter of course, people involved in a peaceful protest to demand their right to Water, their right to Life, and then moves to justify and legitimize it, has no moral right to exist. Not only to justify it, but to tighten the tentacles of terror and submission throughout the Land. As if to say, this is the way it’s going to be. This is the way we are going to command and rule. So, get used to it. Fall in line, or be mowed down. The armed forces and the Police were armed to their teeth with heavy assault weapons, tear gas and riot gear. This was a demonstration of the ‘naked terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie’(Lenin). They were mobilized to terrorize the  people into mute submission, including to attack and kill, so there would be business as usual for DIPPS, and the corporate moguls, including Dhammika Perera, claimed to be the richest man in Lanka with assets amounting to 300 million US $, a major shareholder of DIPPS and a power wielder inside the Rajapakse Regime. It appears that the country is being ruled under the hegemonic command of a gang of comprador, crony-narco-mafia thugs, in absolute control of State power.  A ‘State within a State’. The Weliweriya massacre may be  the beginning of the end of a corrupt, parasitic and moribund regime in its death throes,  spinning out of control.

Dissipation of the Myth of the Legendary Conqueror:

Take good account of the developing situation in all its emerging structural contradictions and phenomenal dimensions. The system is simmering with volatile and violent contradictions,  rising and heating up for decisive resolution. The Regime is being besieged by demons and dragons it itself has unleashed. The legend of the warrior king, of the ‘Aryan’ liberator of the land and the people from the ‘Dravidian’ invaders, the reincarnation of the bloodline of the Buddha- all that manufactured ideological rot- has begun to incinerate, and the stench is becoming unbearable. With the exception of the self-seeking agents and supporters of the Regime and sections of the masses duped and numbed by patriotic ideology. Neo-Fascist storm troopers such as the Bodu Bala Sena are imprudently fuelling the foul stench and causing extreme embarrassment and explosive issues for the Regime, even though they are of the Regime. Things are getting out of hand. Villagers in Rathupaswela had finally dared to rise up in peaceful defiance to demand Water, Justice and Life. They have been ruthlessly mowed down, massacred, in the eyes of the whole world. It would be interesting to see the course of action that the ‘defenders of democracy and freedom of the world’ – the leaders of the so-called ‘free world’- would take on this issue. How about the role and responsibility of the UN, or better still, the UNHRC? How about the legitimacy of the CHOGM, which would gyrate somehow to override this massacre, and all such accumulated crimes against Nature and Humanity, and still cling on to the status quo? The Secretary General of the Commonwealth gave personal assurances that the Regime is moving towards democratization and normalization!

The king has no place to hide. The emperor stands naked. He is exposed in all his greed and corruption, his vile deception, his lust for wealth and power, and his utter contempt for the toiling, suffering, bleeding masses.  The very same armies of the State that demanded complete and unconditional compliance and blood sacrifice for the ‘war of liberation’ have now turned their guns against the very same Sinhala-Buddhist masses- poor destitute villagers. There is no other powerful lesson than what is taught by life itself. No guns in the world could suppress the truth and the rise of clear class consciousness of the masses for ever. The day of reckoning will come as surely as the sun shall rise. That is the dialectic of History. The emperor’s nakedness, his increasing vulnerability,  has infected the Royal Court  from within, with accumulated frustration, whispered dissent and cunning intrigue. He has no other resort but to take up the bloody sword to defend himself, and bring the whole realm, the country and the court, directly under its command. These are pathological symptoms of a Regime thrown into an irrevocable spiral of intensifying and all-round crisis, seeking survival in bouts of demented, violent frenzy.

The Tightening Noose:

The 13th Amendment has become a noose around the emperor’s neck. To concede devolution would mean to provoke an internal revolt, a possible coup. To repeal would be to polarize and mobilize an intensifying opposition, internationally and internally. The noose is tightening as foreign predator powers seek to sink their fangs deeper to seize strategic advantage. The US, the “Western” bloc, and India would really like to dump this rotting, tottering Regime and replace it with a far more pliant,  lackey regime that would tow the line, and, at least appear more rational, decent and democratic- ala Chandrika, Fonseka and/or Ranil?. The rot of a mere guardian at the gates of a prized colony, has begun to stench the whole global system of empire. Mahinda Rajapakse has moved too far into the orbit of Chinese expansion for comfort. This has begun to upset the global balance of power and strategic leverage and superiority in the whole Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean Region enjoyed by the US and its strategic allies and partners. He has either to kneel and comply, or be thrown into the wasteland, as have all such would be tin-pot tyrants whose usefulness have now become obsolete and damaging to the system. He has gone too far in duping the Tamil and Moslem nationalities, and the world,  into believing that he is their liberator, when he has turned out to be their most vengeful conqueror. Any step in any direction is to intensify already simmering conflicts and provoke volatile contradictions and bring mass resistance, uprisings, rebellion and possibly revolution to the fore.

The Revolt of the Slaves:

So, it seems that the time is running out for the emperor, for his regime and retinue, for his domain and realm, in the consciousness of his subjects and slaves. The revolt of the slaves is near at hand.  The ground is rumbling under the beat of bitter, accumulated anger to have been so abused and manipulated to serve his Lord and Master who turns out to be their most deceitful and hated enforcer. All the powers that be, and all the classes and groups, all the nationalities and communities- the whole country and the people- are being thrown into a vortex of violent contradiction. As Lenin described, these are rare moments of history when the masses are dragged into political  life, even against their will, since life itself has become intolerable and not worth living under the system, and when the ruling class itself is thrown into desperate crisis. The ruling Regime has no option but to channel all the rising anger, resistance and opposition towards yet another undeclared “patriotic war to defend the Motherland”. That is, to raise the banner of Sinhala-Buddhist supremacy that much loud and clear in order to further entrench,  enforce and consolidate the chauvinist-militarist-terrorist, comprador-capitalist class dictatorship under the undisputed and undivided hegemony of the Rajapakse trinity and dynasty. The dogs of war, the fascist storm troopers may have to be let loose to create communal violence, to create a scenario of anarchy, turmoil, chaos and mayhem, to make way for an open military dictatorship and the undeclared rule  of martial law. A veritable political storm.  State power itself may come up for grabs and it could end up in a civil war. Revolution could appear on the agenda. That would be upto the revolutionaries. That is the political projection of things to come as symbolized and concentrated  by the Weliweriya massacre. Ultimately, the forces of reaction, of death and destruction- the camp of neo-fascism – shall confront the forces of freedom, democracy and humanity in a mortal contest for power. That is the looming scenario rising on the horizon that the Weliweriya massacre portends.  It is up to us to decide where we stand. Let us conclude with a refrain from the Internationale: “ The world shall rise on new foundations… We have been nought, we shall be All…. We must ourselves decide our duty. We must decide and do it well…Tis the final conflict. Let each stand in his place.    The international working class shall be the human race”.

*Surendra: Secretary: Ceylon Communist Party-Maoist

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    Dear Surendran
    What heavy weapons,did the army use mortars,tanks,and rocket launchers.Have you confused this with Tienanmen square Massacre.If the issue is about water and peaceful demonstration please answer the following.
    1)why did the protesters stop 3 containers filled with gloves leaving the factory by force
    2)If it was a peaceful protect how did 10 army and police officers get injured.
    3)video clips show army firing in to the air even when one of them is beaten with a stick.
    4)If the problem was not solved by Thursday evening 0630 as when the firing started,Why did the venerable sir call off the hunger strike.
    5)If it is proved that dipps factory does not discharge water above PH 6.5 will accept that they are not responsible for the ground water been acidic.(rain water is 6.0)
    6)IS the drinking water problem,in weliweriya more serious than those in the dry zone or in jaffna.

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      Ahith, Please translate and publish in the Sinhala language since it is the Sinhala voter that needs to be EDUCATED on the meaning of democracy, good governance and citizen’s rights – having
      It is they who voted in God king Rajapass whose family are the MOST CORRUPT FAMILY ON THE PLANET!

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      1. if the containers were indeed leaving the factory, that indicates that the factory was open at the time of the protest- something your precious govt. denies and says that it was closed before the protest started. Secondly, why should the people allow the factory poisoning their water make more of a profit by letting them leave with their products?

      2. who says? govt. says. In any case even if there are polica and army personnel injured, i imagine when someone starts shooting at you, you dont stand there and wait to get shot. you retaliate. moreover, the army shouldn’t even have been there- the riot police should’ve been. i notice how you’ve nicely ignored that little fact in your crusade to go shopping for the regime.

      3. yes, because if there is no video proof, it never happened. if there is video or photographic proof, it’s “fake” and “manipulated” by “international conspiracists” (im referring to the ample evidence of the army’s atrocities in the north)

      4.Yes, we are also very curious as to how a monk meeting the most powerful and violent men in the country, Gotabhaya, would suddenly call off his hunger strike. Much like how we’re still curious as to why the “sangha sabhawa” back in 2010 after the presidential election, in which the monks were about to denounce Mahinda, also suddenly decided to not go through with it. Very strange.

      5. Ah an amateur chemist also! Hahahaha “above 6.5”? If the pH is over 6.5 your becoming more alkaline. If it’s acidity you want, pH should be towards 0, not 12.

      6. What do you care for the people in Jaffna? when the same army was killing and raping in the north, you people blamed the tamils. What is this sudden new found love? And whether or not the issue is more serious is not the issue- if the state hordes power like ours has done, they also have to shoulder an immense amount of responsibility. Thus, regardless of who has the more serious issue, every issue must be attended to. You try telling people in Weliweriya “sorry, you’ll just have to die, we need to look after other things” and see the reaction you get. You wont be so kade-going if this happened where you live, eh?.

      Besides, what exactly IS the govt. doing for the dry areas? Nothing. A big fat heap of nothing. What has the government done about the kidney disease sweeping thru the NCP? Nothing. Report after report have been commissioned, nothing done. So dont come here and pretend like the govt. actually does anything to solve these problems- all they do is delay and delay to get the maximum profit in their bank accounts.

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        Dear KP

        1)When your not so blinded by hate check the facts.The containers were ready to leave the factory before the factory was closed by the HON Mervin Silva illegally on the 30th.the Gampha magistrate refused to close the factory due to insufficient evidence and postponed the case t0 22 aug.

        2) are you saying that the OIC weliweriya was not injured? check SIRASA.AS for ARMY being there check code of criminal procedure section 95 96.lawnet.lk

        3) the army can exercise the right of private defense even if they run the risk of hitting Innocent people.(regrettably).Check section 99 of the penal code.

        3)ON the 1/8 at 1600hrs there was a meeting chaired by gota.it was decided that the factory to remain closed and to supply water by browsers temporarily.The monk called off the hunger strike the tents were dismantled.Even so protectors refused to get off the road after repeated warnings.The army then pushed them back using minimum force. check 139 .even after they were beaten they continued to fire in to the air.

        4) I studied a/l chemistry .7 is neutral below is acidic above is basic.the company if it is discharges water between 6.5 and 8 then obviously not responsible for the acidity in the ground water
        there is no ph 0 you idiot.Rainwater is 6.

        5)YOU people? have i declared my ethnicity?I do care about the people in jaffna like i care about all other people in the country.I suppose you have not heard about the Jaffna water supply scheme.No one has died drinking acidic water.water upto 5 to 8 it is safe.if it below 5 then all that neccessary is to add dolomite in (rock form)as is been done by millions of people around the world

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          1. hahahahaha so you ADMIT the factory WASNT closed? Dear god, you people need to learn how to stick to one story, men. Because otherwise you just look like schoolboys!

          2. i never said there were no injuries on the police. i reiterate: why not call the riot squad in? unless you count the OIC was the entire sri lankan riot squad. STOP running away from the point! either answer it with the truth, or just stay quiet.

          3. again, WHY WAS THE ARMY EVEN THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE? why do you keep running away from this question? if you can quote the penal code, you also know that the military can only be called in in situations that threaten the state itself, and only then if the riot squads cannot control the problem.

          4. no answer to the monk point i see.

          5. i agree with you on everything except “there is no pH 0”. You studied chemistry at AL? good for you. I did biochem in uni. Sit down and stop trying to educate me.

          6. so if no one dies, it’s ok that they drink acidic water. It’s ok that the govt., instead of listening to the people (who they represent), side with a private venture led by one of their confidants? adding dolomite or not is not the question- neither should it be the public doing it: it’s the state’s job to do it.

          And you’re ignoring the fact that people in weliweriya have been taken ill as a result of (allegedly) the acidity of the water- especially children. Your response to this is to say “well, hey look at the bright side, no one has died! yay!”?? A responsible government would’ve at least slapped a ban on the factory to investigate instead of ignoring the problem until they have a massive protest in their hands.

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            You stupid if you did bio chem in university and still say that there is a PH 0 then you must have been sleeping in class or something seriously wrong with our education system.The PH scale is from 1 to 14.

            AS for the legality of calling in the militarily read sect 95/96 of the code of criminal procedure.Were you at law faculty as well.If you were in agriculture faculty think why the area is called rathuwaswella.

            Why has the military called again in the matter of the mosque grand pass.

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      Anura Mendis:
      Is it necessary that you reproduce on CT the official “bulletins” of the government you serve? Don’t they have the entire media of Sri Lanka at their disposal to do precisely that and do they not, in fact do so, over and over again, led by the Rajapachaya at the Daily Noise, followed by Malinda at the Rajapaksa’s family newspaper?
      The writer says that “If that does not happen, the Constitution and the Rule of Law would be proven to be nothing but weapons of deceit and repression.” That is our reality and nothing less than removal of the Rajapassa crowd will ensure that.
      Go home and check whether your salary cheque has arrived from the GOSL/aka Mahinda’s government bank account!

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      Anura Mendis, The issue here is not only the alleged contamination of the water, or the obstruction to consignments leaving the factory. The issue is why did the army murder innocent people? Are you saying that when people protest (even without a justifiable cause), killing them is justified?

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        Dear wickremasuriya
        Your reply is a breath of fresh air after the hateful personnel relies i got.Let me explain further.
        The issue here is the RULE OF LAW as against MOB RULE.
        1) THE innocent people does not have the right to block a main arterial road A1 check sect 139 of the penal code.THE cause whether justified or not is not the issue as you so rightly said.

        2) THe army has every right to be there,when called upon by a senior officer of the police,magistrate of District secretary.The army was called after several days of UNLAWFUL ASSEMBLY.check 95 and 96.of the code of criminal code.

        3)The ARMY has every right to clear the road using minimum force.
        Which they did and only fired in to the air even after some of they were beaten by sticks and stones.

        4) the have every right to the the right of private defense the check 89 to 99 of the penal code. especially section 99.When firing at miscreants they run the risk of hitting innocent people.The right of private defense extends to running that risk.INNOCENT PEOPLE DO NOT THROW PETROL BOMBS AND BURN MARKET STALLS.
        I feel very sorry for those killed but that responsibility lies with the mob.The 29 year old was clearly not shot but killed by a blunt instrument very likely by a stone.The army fired on miscreants and hit two innocent kids.The most likely scenario is the 29 year old was killed by a stone thrown by a mob.

        I hope that makes it clear,I took so much trouble only because i believe in the RULE OF LAW as against MOB RULE or the rule of politician.I am not a member of any political party.

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          Mob rule or otherwise

          is taking a life, an innocent life ever going to be OK

          Can you live with killing an innocent person ??

          How does one say it is OK to kill this innocent person because of penal code xyz???

          I am not a murderer and neither will I condone murder

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    The emperor is really naked as the author outlined in detail the state of the Sri Lankan state.

    Security forces have warned Hindu households in Batticoloa, who wanted to protest against the desecration, vandalizing and destruction of Hindu Temples in the East not to demonstrate in public: If you do you will get the same treatment as what people of weliweriya received.

    So, it is clear the security forces have become law unto themselves!

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    A very interesting read Mr Ajit, but at the end of the day all these things will be swept under the carpet and the people in the country will also forget these crimes.

    Why do we expect others in the international community to help? The international community understands that the people of Sri Lanka are gullible and weak minded ( Easy to trick ) as such they have no interest in fighting our battles.

    “It is only when the people become ignorant and corrupt,
    when they degenerate into a populace,
    that they are incapable of exercising their sovereignty.
    Usurpation is then an easy attainment, and an usurper soon found.
    The people themselves become the willing instruments
    of their own debasement and ruin.”

    As the above quote suggest we the people of Sri Lanka have exactly the government that we deserve.

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      Sanjay, I agree that given our culture of ‘shaping’ anything unfortunate that happens, this may well end up being filed under the ‘what to do?’ section in the steel-grey, top-secret cabinet at the ministry of defence (along with Katunayake, Chilaw, Welikade, Deraniyagala, etc).

      Save for the meddling few who think they can get some mileage from our woes, the international community has no interest whatsover in our affairs. The main interest for the foreigner is in getting a good, preferably cheap, holiday in our beautiful island.

      Unfortunately for most Sri Lankans, as a general rule, but with far too few exceptions, we do not respect or trust each other. Because of this we continually search for a foreign referee to help us. What a palaver!

      For the last 60 years or so, the people of our wonderful country have fatalistically elected governments that are top heavy with self-servers, thugs and shysters who are looking for the main chance and taking care of number one. When will this cycle of madness stop? When will the smart, erudite, competent and capable core of our country (who have not emigrated by now) finally take charge of our island paradise?

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    Well

    1) I don’t know about that incident
    2) What do you expect them keel and beg for there lives while being shot like that tamils were suppose to. And even when some did surrender or go in churches for safety Why were they hunted down and beaten and shot. If the Army was suppose to disperse the crowd then why di they chase them in to the church.
    3)I didn’t know that the army was so well trained that they can shoot in to the air and get beaten up at the same time. Unfortunately you are too blind to see the the hand of a soldier blocking a camara when i shoed it to you. and if the army had noting to hid why did thay take all the jounalist away before shooting people like they did in the war
    4) like the honorable Wimal weeraance the bikku may just have got hungey not like anyone diefrom hnger strikes in this country. And who said the vernarable sir who u don’t name the leader of this group to announce the end of the strike action
    5) Yes just like Fonttera says there is nothing wrong with the milk products even after our scientist say that the milk was contaninated. Yes ask any murderer in prison whether they did the crime that would say no.
    6) Yes the water situation is just as important in jaffna but they have been shot enough by the army to realise it is just easier to die from the contaminated water.The sinhala buddist in the south would have thaught they would be treated better since they were dum enough to vote for this government to be treated so better

    I have a Few questions to for Mr. Anura

    How come the police never calls in the army when buddist thugs attack places like mosques etc. and just watch and wait

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      Unfortunately, there seems to be nothing like international standards for some reasons have been totally violated in the country today. As everyone would raise the question who issued the permission to locate the mentioned chemicaly company? There should be restricted zones this kind of companies that have lot to do with the decay of chemical wastes. Those wastes in general are subjected to special attention before them being freed out of the company. THERE ARE A SET OF REGULATIONS HOW THOSE CHEMICAL WASTES SHOULD BE RECYCLED. Professionals in Geo and Eco areas should be paid the uttermost concerns in this regard ( as I heard, the pH values of the water is in lower to 5 – meaning anyone that consumes those water could face health problems on long run)should have paid their uttermost concern in this regard. The current rulers boast about their achievements, but it seems smal tests on WATER which is the cheapest beverage of the poor have completely failed by the them today.
      Srilanka is said to be a country with over 20 Universities and other academic institutions. State with those insituations should be well awake to prevent becoming drinking water contaminated. Health related problems not only Rajarata but CAN BE infected to be like an epidemy soon, if the authorities would not pay due attention without delay. India s bopal and russia´s radiactive disasters caused many of those populations to count with unexpected cancer threats.

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    Ajit, Weliveriya was a debacle and tragedy that may have been averted but for a serious breakdown in communications. Investigations must and will be made and those responsible will be identified. Whether justice will follow is another matter, but, I say, don’t anyone hold their breath.

    Ajit, you raise some very valid and interesting points but they are obfuscated by your diatribe as you seek to use the opportunity to throw everything into the mix; kitchen sink and all. I am sorry that you use the term massacre so loosely; clearly, there were earlier instances in the recent history of our armed forces where this term might have been used, but I do not think that, notwithstanding the deaths and injuries that were sadly sustained by innocent people,it appropriately applies to Weliveriya.

    The beleagured people of Weliveriya deserve peace, much comfort and support and justice to help them recover from this tragedy inflicted on them. The last thing the suffering people of Weliveriya and Rathupaswela need is a circus that will engulf their neighbourhoods wreaking indignity on their already blighted existence.

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      Spring Chicken,

      Don’t muddy the water and it looks as if you haven’t understood Rupas article.

      Do the killings in Weliweriya amount to a massacre? A massacre would be a deliberate act of mass murder committed against an unarmed population to terrorize and silence a people. A massacre would constitute a war crime. A crime against humanity.

      Although it is written under the heading Massacre or Legal Killings he is arguing it is not a Massacre by giving the definition of “Massacre”. In future read it first before you pass judgement.

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      Spring Chicken,

      It is obvious from the following comments and choice of words that you don’t like the message and we know where your sympathies lie and that is firmly with the Thugs.

      An example of obfuscate is when a politician purposely gives vague answers to a question so no one knows his real position.

      Just to clarify:

      Rupasinghe has not purposely given any vague answers and I don’t think that was his intention but you couldn’t take the pill.

      Diatribe:
      is a bitter and abusive speech or piece of writing
      Again for your information his writing was not abusive and on the contrary it was constructive.
      So get it right next time.
      By the way from your choice of words it seems to me that you work in the Software industry.

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    And If the Protesters were out for violence why did they wait till the Army came why didn’t they hammer the police earlier before the army came

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      THEY TRIED TO BURN THE FACTORY ON THE NIGHT OF THE 29TH

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    The rajapaksa’s have followed the Mugabe model, given the international community the run around, and now as the writer says, spins and weaves, justifying the crimes against the country and the Sri Lankan people.
    Unlike Mugabe however, they put up ports and airports that remain empty, have night races (a favorite past time for the sons with their flashy cars) bollywood events, make roads and bridges, and hope we peasants are blinded and awed enough, so that they can continue their crimes.

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    Defence sec MAD DOG GOTHAYABBA is not granted impunity by the constitution. Only the president. GOTHAYABAA should be arrested nad put in jail. NO MISSILES WERE ATTACKED. IT IS A UTTER LIE BY CRAZY MAD DOG GOTHAYABBA.

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    This is an interesting analysis that requires further expansion. Many of the commentators in this column mistake ‘the wood for the tree’ and extrapolate this unfortunate incident to the vanquishing of the LTTE and the last days of the civil war.

    I sometimes wonder whether these commentators are utilising this disastrous, awful and sorrowful incident in wreaking revenge on the government for the defeat of the LTTE and their inability to forge a mono-ethnic Eleam. If this remotely true then they are ‘barking up the wrong tree’ as the issues surfacing here are much more important than the revenge motive by these dissidents that I allude to.

    As the author has indicated it is a conflict between big business and the rural folk. In the West governments have sided with big business and powerful interests to the detriment of the local communities. This is seen quite recently by the conflict between locals in England with regard to HS2 (high speed 2) acquisition of land for ‘High Speed Rail’ in England and the unmitigated protest against ‘fracking’ (exploitation of oil bearing rock deep in the earth’s crust) in rural residential areas.

    While conflicts such as these have an independent procedure in the West for resolution many do not trust the government or big business to abide by them. Indeed big business and the powerful landed interests utilise every avenue possible to thwart such procedures. Hence the growth of a plethora of organisations like ‘Friends of the Earth’ and ‘Greenpeace’ to protect local and worldwide interests against big business corporations and governments alike.

    Unfortunately Sri Lanka has not even instituted such ‘conflict resolution’ procedures where locals have an opportunity to ‘let off steam’ and hold big business and landed powerful interests to account. Invariably such frustrations for the locals quite rightly ‘set of a tinderbox’ of resentment and protests that justifiably brings in agencies like the police and army to maintain law and order. In this scenario it is incumbent of the authorities to utilise proportionate force to control any breaches of the law and to shepherd peaceful protests sympathetically.

    It seems that in Weliweriya incidents soon got out of hand and the police and army devoid of adequate crowd control training or practice utilised ‘a sledgehammer to crack a nut’ with disastrous consequences. This requires an ‘independent judicial inquiry’ as proposed by the author to ascertain the truth and bring wrongdoers to book as confidence in the agencies of law and order are seminal in a modern and developing country like Sri Lanka .

    Sri Lanka is undergoing unparalleled and rapid economic growth and conflicts between big business and locals will be ‘de rigueur’ for some time to come. In this uncontrolled dash for growth it is the rural folk, the poor and the uneducated that will bear the brunt at the behest of economic progress. Hence it is imperative that credible ‘conflict resolution’ procedures are instituted to give voice to the locals and dispossessed to prevent any such future incidents.

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      merlin,I think you have summarised everything in a nutshell beautifully.

      However bringing in the LTTE and eelam etc are out of the point.Now i think the sinhalese who have short memories have forgotten all those.

      Ltte was defeated in 2009.Now it is 2013.It takes the sinhalese usually about a year to forget the good and bad that happened to them.Now it is 4 years and if you keep on talking about it they will start to yawn.

      They are practical people who want to make the most of their short lives and think of the present and don’t want to dwell too much on the past.

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    Although many have appreciated the issues and concerns raised in my article, Spring Koha finds the use of the word massacre too strong. I can agree, if we can find another word to describe what happened in Weliweriya- Rathupaswela. However, I feel that this incident should be condemned in no uncertain terms. Besides, the real question is how this pattern of militarized governance is to be stopped? Not only is it a heinous criminal violation to shoot and kill unarmed protesters who have genuine grievances and urgent concerns affecting their right to life, it strikes terror throughout society and kills all possibility of democratic dissent. The role of terror is to instill fear and submission through unacceptable, intolerable and indiscriminate use of destructive force.If it has this effect in the South, if that is the intended effect, then how much worse would it be in the North, which is under military occupation?.What could we expect in the future? Who would defend and protect the people from their legal guardians- the State and its armed forces? It is not the technical details nor the terms that matter, but the essence and implications of what the incident reveals and projects for the future of democracy and freedom in the Land of Lanka.

    Thanks everyone for the comments and for maintaining an unusually high level of debate and discussion

    Surendra

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      Ajit,

      Indeed, many of the points are valid. But as Spring Koha said and you admitted, the word Massacre is way too strong. It is like the Eelamists using the word Genocide. This was more like a tragedy or a disaster. Now, 1971 & 1989 were absolute massacres. The August 2012 shooting of the striking miners in South Africa was a massacre. Nevertheless, the loss of life is unacceptable, that most fair minded people would agree to. For that, Minister Basil Rajapaksa, most importantly, has apologized and compensation should be given to the families affected.

      As for “unarmed protesters who have genuine grievances and urgent concerns affecting their right to life”, I have to agree with you on their rights, but “unarmed protesters”? Some of these protesters were throwing petrol bombs and carrying/using sticks and stones. Some of them looked like professional “protesters” brought in from other parts of the country. Also, as someone already mentioned, these protesters already tried to burn the factory down once and forcibly held on to a supply truck at the premises. So, this cannot be termed a peaceful protest.

      There was a temporary solution agreed to by both parties. Then, why did the protesters go back on the street to agitate? With sticks, stones and petrol bombs? At this stage, you and I both know that this was no longer a genuine protest. True, a through investigation is in order. But, then again, we all know how these investigations go. If it will make you feel any better, our government is not the only one who “investigates” and sweeps it under the carpet. The English and the Americans are experts at it and we have learnt from the best the art of stonewalling(over 10 years later, the British are still “investigating” the illegal Iraq war & the South Africans are still investigating the 2012 shooting).

      When something like this happens, some analysts & opposition politicians are quick to ask for an International(aka Western)investigation. How does the Western world handle situations like this? They require all protests to have a permit. Depending on the sensitivity of the protest, they opt not to issue a permit citing law and order issues. If the people decide to go ahead anyway(most don’t) they will be arrested. If they resist arrest, they will be beaten. Then it is cited as a public safety issue. An investigation is promised and one started. Then, everyone forgets about it. Look up how the Occupy Wall Street protest has gone. In out country, all politicians grow a conscious,……. drum roll please…… when they are in the opposition(ably supported by the NGO/INGO’s who have to sing for their supper). They want foreign intervention at the drop of a hat. Why? Because they are politically inept and incompetent and cant do the job themselves. They have nothing to offer the general public except slogans and agitations. These are things of the past. If we look at history, its not hard to see that all politicians are inept, incompetent and corrupt.

      It is time we all got together and worked for the betterment of this country and her people and stop being adversarial on national issues.

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    We ger what we deserve as we dont understand democracy

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    Dear Mr.Rupasinghe,

    It is a great article which you have written.My question is to the authority, why live ammunition is used to quell this demonstration? These innocent un armed people were subdued by live ammunition and three innocent future adults were shot dead.This is not a simple issue.UNHCR should start an investigation immediately and get to the bottom of this unfortunate issue.Who gave orders to deploy the army?Those who are responsible to this henius crime should be brought before the justice system

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    Mr.Rupasingha,

    Your article poses a number of questions but the answer is very simple:
    The killings in Weliweriya is an extension of this Governments callous disregard for human lives, values and civilised standards. Riding high on a wave of the so called success against terrorism the Thuggish rulers rule with impunity and sadly this time your lot are the victims.
    Despite the killings is there a will to change the rulers but the answer is a resounding no because the vast majority of your countrymen are inherently racists and for them MRs message of the threat from the LTTE remnants appeals more than the need to allow peaceful protest.

    The 13th Amendment has become a noose around the emperor’s neck. To concede devolution would mean to provoke an internal revolt, a possible coup. To repeal would be to polarize and mobilize an intensifying opposition, internationally and internally. The noose is tightening as foreign predator powers seek to sink their fangs deeper to seize strategic advantage. The US, the “Western” bloc, and India would really like to dump this rotting, tottering Regime and replace it with a far more pliant, lackey regime that would tow the line, and, at least appear more rational, decent and democratic- ala Chandrika, Fonseka and/or Ranil.

    I agree with your above analysis except the bit about India willing to dump the Regime as on the contrary there are dangers for the Indian rulers and they are in a fix. For the simple reason that if and when MR and his cronies are taken to the Hague which I am sure will happen when there is change at the top in India, Indias role in the Genocide will be revealed and that is the reason why India has shielded Sri Lanka up to now.

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    Anura Mendis

    You still Haven’t answered my question as to why the police never shoot sinhala buddist mobs when they hurl stones at mosques and destroy them why are they so concerned about a factory.

    And if the army is to require to to use minimum force why did they follow people in to the church and beat people who were there to look for shelter and had nothing to do with the protest.I know you will say some BS like they were trying to arrest some of the protestors
    but then y don’t the armed forces go beat up and arrest the Sinhala buddist protestors who destroy mosques like in Grandpass

    Why didn’t the police shoot any protester at the Grand pass incident

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    The government of Sri Lanka are a bunch of gangsters and war-criminals.

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