28 October, 2020

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What Crime Salley Has Committed? Tell Us Mr President!

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

If there is a single act that the Rajapaksa regime has committed in the post-2009 era to abundantly reveal its authoritarian and undemocratic character then that is the arrest and detention of Azath Salley for 90 days under the Prevention of Terrorisms Act (PTA). It also exposes its chauvinistic bias against all minorities strengthening the activities and hate speech of the Sinhala extremists. The act polarizes the society and brings considerable discredit to the country and its people amongst the already disgruntled international community.

If the CID wanted to question him for any speech that he has made then it doesn’t need a period of 90 days. Even if that speech was inflammatory as alleged, he could have been questioned under the normal law without resorting to the draconian PTA. If he was involved in any credible ‘terrorist’ activities as the government propagandists try to portray then he cannot be a lone crusader. No other arrests have been made so far.

Of course there can be lone terrorists in this world but not of the type of Azath Salley. President Rajapaksa should know better than anyone else of his type. Salley was a supporter of the President in the second race to his present position in 2010 and even thereafter. He is of course an outspoken person and it is in this capacity that he was vociferously exposing the hate speech unleashed by the BBS and other organizations. Is that a crime? He must have also become very critical of President Rajapaksa and his family in recent times but that is not a crime at all. And that is the right thing to do. If he has asked the Muslims to defend themselves (not arm) there is nothing wrong in that either given the situation where law enforcement agencies are not protecting them. It is the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which says:

“Whereas it is essential, if man is not to be compelled to have recourse, as a last resort, to rebellion against tyranny and oppression, that human rights should be protected by the rule of law…”

Everyone has a constitutional right to know under what charges that he or she is arrested but Azath Salley or his family was not given any explanation. The advisors to the President must be thinking that in the background of the recent Boston bombing in the USA that the international sympathy could be gained for its acolytes’ campaign against Muslims in this country on various pretexts and excuses. That is a very dangerous game to play. If there is any danger to communal peace in the country at present, then that comes from the BBS and other similar organizations. The moderate Ministers in the government, if there is anyone left, should realise that the extremists led by the BBS even wanted to replace this government with a more right-wing and extremist outfit. There are sections in the defence establishment who are working hand and glove with that effort.

Salley should not be kept in secrecy. People in this country have a right to know what is happening behind the scenes. His health and wellbeing are concerns to the family, friends and the public. Salley’s political credentials are well known. He is the leader of the Muslim Tamil National Alliance and a former Deputy Mayor of the Colombo Municipal Council. Whatever he has said and done are in the interests of that party and the people represented by that party. If he has done anything beyond the legitimate limits, he should be charged before the courts without delay but not kept in custody secretively. But it should not be done only against him. Before that, the so-called Ven. Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara should be charged for inciting people against the Muslim community. His speeches and acts are very clear for the whole world to see.

The goon squad supported by the security mafia have been intimidating and harassing innocent Muslim civilians in their day to day lives including young women and children. The reports of these incidents are credible. There were many instances where they were physically attacked. But the law enforcement agencies have been keeping a blind eye on all these incidents. Under the circumstances, it is natural for an outspoken person like Salley to come up with his strongest condemnation not only against the BBS or the government but also the President. The President deserves that condemnation for his silence and perhaps indirect endorsement. The arrest of Salley is part and parcel of that scheme.

Anyone should understand that the danger is not persons like Salley. If the government creates a situation where the Muslim community is unnecessarily intimidated and persecuted, it creates a situation for the global extremists to infiltrate the country. If the Defence Secretary thinks that his security arrangements are watertight and impenetrable, he is badly mistaken. It would be the innocent ordinary civilians of all communities of the Sinhalese, the Tamils and the Muslims who would have to pay the price for the short sighted policies of a self-serving regime. Sri Lanka has just come out of one scourge of terrorism and it is self-destructively inviting a much worse kind to its midst.

Instead of Sri Lanka becoming the much boasted ‘five hubs,’ it will become a ‘hub of real international terrorism’ if the self-destructive policies of the present regime continues. The parochial thinking of the BBS and other Sinhala extremists naturally leads to this end as well. It is the thinking of nothing but the village thugs.

Azath Salley should have his full freedom of expression as far as he does not intimidate others, like the BBS do. He should have the equality before the law and justice. The Muslim community should be able to live without fear and intimidation. Sinhala extremists should not think that they have ‘higher’ or ‘special’ rights or Deva Himikam given by a Deva Raja. It is unfortunate that the National Human Rights Commission is silent on the developments in the recent past and keeps its cosy existence while the country is engulfed with immense human rights issues. The Commission and its members have a moral duty to intervene.

If Azath Salley is kept in CID custody (and this is not even legitimate remand) there is only one meaning to it. That is to torture him at least mentally if not physically to extract a forced confession for crimes that he has not committed. The CID now under the Defence Secretary is acting in that fashion. It is almost a week that Salley has been arrested. That is enough time to investigate what he has said and to determine whether they contravene any law in the country or not. He should be freed Mr President.

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    He is accused of asking the Muslims to take up arms, in an interview given to the Junior Viketan, a Tamil Nadu publication. If it is in black and white and he does not deny it, why was he not charged immediately? It would have been up to the courts then to remand him or set bail. Why the need for the 90 day detention?

    Did he use the word Jihad or something equal to armed warfare/ terrorism? The word Jihad can mean many things.
    I have not yet read the Junior Vikatan interview, although I have tried all day to locate it through Google.

    Dr.RN

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      A civil Society statement published elsewhere on CT staes:

      “On 24 April 2013,in an interview to the Tamil Nadu bi
      -weekly magazine “Junior Vikatan”, Mr. Salley is alleged to have said that“the Muslims too should launch an armed struggle against the state in the same manner in which Tamils conducted a campaign earlier…(and) that such a struggle would commence once necessary arms are procured.”

      Mr. Salley has later written to the magazine stating that
      he was misquoted. The magazine published a correction on 4 May 2013.”

      While the words in Tamil should be read to understand whether the above translation is accurate, Azaad Salley should have been charged in the courts immediately. The onus should have been on the courts decide on his guilt and punishment, without pretrial punishment for what should be an open and shut case.

      Dr.RN

      • 0
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        link to vikatan article:
        http://www.vikatan.com/new/article.php?module=magazine&aid=31738
        full interview:
        http://www.tamilwin.com/show-RUmryERUNajq4.html

        please let us know your opinion on the veracity and validity of the article after a few minutes of youtube search on azad salley’s tamil proficiency and public stance on tamil cessationist cause expressed in all languages.

        P.S. you may also notice the pro-LTTEness of the magazine and the azad salley’s sympathy for the VP and his cause as expressed(/translated from salley’s tamil to vikatan tamil) by vikatan.

        • 0
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          @Dr. RN,

          continuing, there was no publication of Junior vikatan or ananda vikatan on May 4, 2013.

          [Edited out]

          further i couldn’t find azath salley’s response published in any of their editions later than that date on either of those magazines.

          • 0
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            @RN,

            CT has edited out part of my comments. those were links to show you the publication links of vikatan magazines. Next time CT edits out a comment it is very important that they state the reason. otherwise Dr. RN might think that i was abusing him in that part.

            Those are just web links not direct to a particular story. Read our comment policy – CT

            • 0
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              If you could kindly translate that inverview Mr. Salley had given to Junior vikatan would be good for us to read. Besides I was told that Azad Salley doeant sppeak good Tamil. a commenter Ms. Rifka R, here in CT elsewhere has said that Junior vikatan is a pro LTTE media. Who knows if they have doctored what Mr. Salley said. I dont think Azad Salley had said something that the regime is claiming. He knows what he was talking.

              Thank you again Dr. Laksiri, yet another good write up. Entertain us more.

        • 0
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          I just read the Tamil version of the interview, there was nothing sort of a claim that “We will take arms”. He said if we were forced to a point to defend, we will have to take arm forcibly” and also he did not praise anything about VP, what he stated is VP missed some good opportunities.

          • 0
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            well, manisekaran, i meant that he is quoted to have sympathized for VP. Frankly in my personal opinion VP doesn’t deserve sympathy – the people now behind the barbered wires and those who were systematically cleansed do! i strongly believe this is a vikatan conspiracy that fed the SL govt and helped gnanasara get a peaceful nights sleep!

      • 0
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        If Salley had been charged in courts, the matter could not have been solved in the way it has been solved, with him giving an affidavit that he was misreported. A court case would have been most appropriate. There is a nice article in the Island (Sunday) and that is worth reading.

        In a way, this is a blessing in disguise and it has set a preceding. If any one talks of armed struggles, they now realize that they can get arrested, if such action had been routine (as is the case in India), the `boys’ of the post Vadukkoddai TULF and people like Kasi Anandan who wrote blood curdling Tamil poetry would not have morphed into killer terrorists.

        I was given to understand that Laksiri Fernando was at one time touted as becoming a presidential advisor. Things changed over the years. So with salley’s politics.

  • 0
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    Lanka style of Justice is ‘Guilty until proven innocence’. Democracy is rigged and we the people deserve the governance we elect.

  • 0
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    He would never be able to respond to this. So was with SF.

    But masses seem to be nodding their heads to them ? or that has been changing now ?

    This is how accountability and transparency in action under Rajapaskshes.

  • 0
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    As reported he is being kept in a 10 x 10 cell with about 15 other detainees. In order to investigate a few so called allegations is it neccesary to subject a politician of the standing of Mr Sally to such an ordeal? There is no doubt that the intent is to mentally and physically torture and degrade him. The record of the govt is similiar in the cases of General Fonseka and CJ Shirani Bandarnaike. Whereas terrorist like KP and Karuna who have bowed before them are given 5 star treatment, those who criticise or oppose are treated in this despicable manner.

  • 0
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    Hon. KARUNA, KP, PILLAYAN, DAYA MASTER …. are not terrorist? General Fonseka, Shirani Bandaranayake, Azad Sally…. are terrorists?

    • 0
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      Very good comments.

    • 0
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      DODU;

      HON KP, KARUNA, PILLEYAN, DAYAMASTER,???????????.

      What about ME, THE HON JULAMPITIYE AMARYA, AND HON KUDU DUMINDA, HON MARU WERMIN.

      IN THAT CASE, ARE WE NOT HONOURABLE THAN THOSE TERORISTS?,

      BECAUSE ,WE KNOW AND PRACTICE GOOD METHODS THAN THEY ARE.

      IF YOU ARE CALLING THOESE HONOURABLE. PLS, PLS, CALL US ALSO HONOURABLE.

  • 0
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    The quote that comes to my mind I believe was first used by Bush last US President when he said ” you are either with us or a traitor” this was then uttered by our very own National leader…… what more need be said. You may not be a moderate….. even Christian Sinhalese had better watch out ………. I was thrilled by the ending of the war with terrorists….. but appalled with what we have permitted thereafter. Building roads bridges airports, stadiums, harbors is material progress, but as for moral and spiritual progress, ‘utter failure’. We have been let down fascism has taken root.

  • 0
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    FYI Laksiri, to ask what constitutes a crime in SL is not your function. You are only a Citizen. That means you do as your told. In fact to question, is a traitors trait. Perhaps you were misinformed about your role as a a citizen. All these tedious articles about what ought to be in SL. For a complete guide to patriotism, refer to messers Rambukwella and Hulugalle. Stop looking to periodicals like our constitution for guidance. Just toe the line, please and thank you!

  • 0
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    Q1.What Crime Salley Has Committed? Tell Us Mr President!

    Q2. What Crime Giordana Bruno Has Committed? Tell Us Mr Pope!

    Q3. What Crime Galileo Committed Has Committed? Tell Us Mr Pope!

    Q4. What Crime Premachandra Committed Has Committed? Tell Us Mr President

    Q5. What Crime Muslims Committed Has Committed? Tell Us Mr President!

    If it is power, going against the family, say so Mr. President.

    Do you think the people are all fools, Mr. President?

    • 0
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      Amerasiri ;

      There is saying that ” When you slept with Dogs, You get up with Ticks”.

      But in SALLY’s Case he got up with not only ticks, but with Dog’s SCABIES also.

      that is what i felt.

      J AMERAYA..

  • 0
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    King dose not need to give rhyme or reason for his actions. Long live the King.

  • 0
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    Thank you for expressing our thoughts. Protesting to this government is truly a waste of time. When you arrest a person under the PTA just because you are annoyed by his action, you are assuming powers to yourself beyond your brief. This President is paranoid and needs counseling. But then all the parliamentarians need to be examined too. Surely they must understand that when you falsely accuse some one as a terrorist you are taking the first steps to instigate terrorism in others affiliated to him. Injustice is the main cause of terrorism. It only needs one disaffected individual to cause another violent movement. Sri Lankans do not need it. Mister President stop this misbehaviour NOW and stop gaining satisfaction by punishing those whom you do not like. You are like the class bully. It is chidish and unbecoming of you.

  • 0
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    Mr Laksiri,

    Do you have politicians in your neck of the woods who are giving interviews to Foreigners, making unsubstantiated bribery allegations against your Head of the state let alone inciting people to racial hatred and violance.

    PTA has protected the inhabitants for four full years from suicide bombs and killings.

    And the great majority of the inhabitant population are going about their business in a peaceful environment. the same way as you do and has been doing even when the inhabitants were going through hell.

    Obviously your hatred towards the regime and the Rajapaksas seem to cloud your vision.

    Which does not allow you the depth to realise that the car bombs that are exploding in Iraq now in increasing frequency could have been in Colombo too if we didnt have the PTA to protect the inhabitants.

    This Sally is a UNP stooge who

    • 0
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      Yes, Mr Sumanasekera. In my ‘neck of the woods’ there are politicians giving interviews to ‘foreigners’ criticizing the Head of the Government (PM) and Ministers. The Head of the State here is not a politician like in my mother country Sri Lanka. However, criticisms hardly touch on corruption since Australia is the least corrupt country among G-20 countries and 8th among 180 countries. Corruption allegations are promptly and properly investigated. Aboriginal affairs are strongly criticized with foreign media without any reprisals.

      There are no major issues of hate speech or ‘speech against hate speech’ as Salley got involved. I all the time here see Muslim women wear various types of hijab including abaya. There is halal even for Easter eggs! There are some people disagreeing but they tolerate or accept.

      As you would know I was a strong supporter of the military defeat of the LTTE but not war crimes. As I have always expressed, there were however forced reasons for the Tamil militants to take up arms. The unnecessary use of the PTA in fact was an instrument in pushing the Tamil youth to take up arms.

      While I appreciate the present government defeating the LTTE, I don’t want to see the same government creating a situation where another cycle of violence unleashed in the country. You may call it my ‘hate’ towards the regime and in a way it is my criticism and strong contempt.

      • 0
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        very good reply SIR.

        The Governance is being like a bull in a chinashop.

        and looters, haters, phsycopaths are ruling with wested power.

      • 0
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        Mr Laksiri,

        Mates in your nack of the woods are on 50 G, on average a year, with PCI around 62,000 Aussie.

        And even the hard LTTEers want to live their as peaceful citizens.

        Your ex mates in the ex Motherland are nudging at 3000 now and pushing to reach USD 4000 in 2014.

        It appears you are not interested in their material comforts , their kids future and their peace and harmony as long as they practice democracy and display the social etiquettes of your new mates and their politicians.

        Good on Ya….

        • 0
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          hey Sumanasekera (who is Leela with a different name) stop talking like a broken record man

  • 0
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    Not a rule of law whilst rule of savage. grrrrrrrrrrr

  • 0
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    not a rule of law but rule of a jungle.

  • 0
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    Thousands of hearts keen to hear the voice like yours.Justice should rule this beautiful country.All good heart patriots of our country must gather to protect this island.

  • 0
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    I would change the TITLE of this – what crime you have committed Mr. president and tell us please.

    Most criminal president that SRILANKA ever produced is no doubt MR.

  • 0
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    Please visit the following CT web on Azath Sally’s interview.

    https://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/translation-of-azath-salleys-controversial-interview-muslims-will-also-take-up-arms

    Can anybody see any terrorist activity there.

    What wrong Azath Salley did except to expose how Rajapakse crook family dictators run our country.

    What happened to VP’s and nothern peoples over half ton Gold and lorry loads of Foreign and local currency looted by Maharaja……What happened……What Happened…..What Happened…..Come on we need answers.

    Please read the following web.

    lankaenews.com/English/news.php?id=13673

    A full investigation on Rajapakse Family Corruption is necessary while public and media exposing these Rajapakse corruptions to thye public.

    Also new ideas on information gathering and information and media technology should be used to obtain Rajapakse corruptions and publish them to public is a necessary.

    Also until the authorities look into these corruptions it is necessary for a unified action plan to bring out these corruptions to the public and to bring down the regime by peaceful means.

    Constant protests all over Sri Lanka,marches, strikes, agitations, conferences, educating public,media exposure, sathya grahas, fast unto death, road blockades, work stoppages, vigilante groups, mass protests, advertising and media coverage,parliament protests, urban and village counsil protests, Black fridays, shut down the parliament are few of them.

    Remember collectively and by using various innovative stratgies we could bring down the corrupt regime. Go to internet and study.

  • 0
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    Mr. Fernando Azath Salley has committed not one but several crimes. They are:
    1. He stood-up for the Muslims when the peace-loving Boda Bala Sena unleashed its anti-Muslim campaign with the blessings of a section of the Government. This annoyed the Govt. which is keen in maintaining law and order in the country and which applies the law fair and equitably to one and all without bias or prejudice. This act of Azath also angered the many Muslim politicians as they found that Azath is trying to outdo them in standing for the cause of the Muslims when these politicians are honestly doing a lot for the Muslims.
    2. Azath formed the Tamil-Muslim Alliance to create understanding between Muslims and the Tamils so that issues between Muslims and Tamils in the North and the East could be solved amicably. The Govt. is naturally annoyed by this because any unity between the two communities will be against the thinking of the Govt. to keep the communities at logger-heads so that the divide and rule policy can continue.
    3. Azath also formed the National Unity Alliance and brought leaders of all the communities on one stage, which the late Mr. Ashraff tried to do but did not live (or not allowed to live). This again is contrary to the usual divide and rule politics of Sri Lanka but is practised at its height these days.
    4. Azath comes out with all what he knows and he thinks which is not the norm in Sri Lanka politics as politicians are expected to be different. Therefore he should told where he should stand.

  • 0
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    Only we can protect this country by our prayers and waste of time of arguing since nothing going to change in the ugly man made decesions.
    Be mindful to GOD who is the ruler of the universe and all others are just creations.Those who fear of GOD rule the countries where masses praise and bless the kings or presidents.
    So my advice is be justice, honest , faithful, kind, be patient
    towards people and help each others during our short span of life since we big or small will not take anything to our grave yards except our good deeds.
    We need to build a nation with good principles whcih I can see we are legging is a dangerous sign for the future progress of our mother country.
    So it is a total revamp on nation building with a heart.

  • 0
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    Good comments lankamuslim

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