18 April, 2021

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What Next? 

By Upatissa Pethiyagoda

Dr. Upatissa Pethiyagoda

The PCoI appointed to probe the Easter Sunday bombings of April of 2019 has at long last submitted its report – said to be some 10,000 (?) pages long, has drawn nearly universal criticism. It is seriously accused of irrelevance, concealment and incompetence. In general, it is evident that its Report has very serious flaws. Has the mountain labored and only brought forth a mouse? It is suspected that the report presented to the privileged is incomplete and that some chapters (or volumes) have gone missing. At what point could this have happened and who stood to benefit by this loss?   

Parliamentarians were privileged to be among those receiving the Report earliest. There is little doubt that every one of the 225 will read, understand and intelligently focus on the contents of this ponderous and keenly awaited document. Tons of paper, kilos of printing ink and loads of time would have been expended on this roundly rejected Report. What next?

Public money has been spent. Our cricket crazy citizens would know that the Captain of the offending team is punished by a denial of his match fee, although he cannot be entirely blamed for such offenses as a slow over rate. This is the price of leadership. In the political sector the reverse seems to apply – the “I factor”. I won the War, I restored 1,000 tanks, I built 10 hospitals, I laid 1,500 kilometres of Highways etc, while everyone mutters to himself, “You damn well did nothing of the sort”. Like “The Curate’s egg”, The PCOI Report has to be good in parts and thus can vindicate itself to some degree.

What can be done as a follow-up to an activity that is adjudged to have been of little value but has been paid for by the public? The public has a right to demand a recovery of costs.

The Report we infer cannot be deemed to be altogether useless. Therefore, this must be acknowledged and given some credit. Quality is not easy to quantify. One method may be to assess the number of pages that provide useful material that could lead to successful prosecution – for gross dereliction of duty, irresponsibility, or other unseemly actions, failing to act on received warnings etc. This could be a permissible discount on the costs incurred. This done, it would be unfair to load all the blame and costs solely on the Appointer. The appointees and all who figured should be penalized in a suitable pro-rated way. This may be a salutary way of reducing unnecessary Commissions of inquiry and discouraging “waffly” products.

The public has keenly awaited action to punish those who carried out this ghastly and barbaric act, their hidden promoters, financiers who conspired, those by whose lethargy and inaction by those who could have prevented this senseless crime. Otherwise, the citizenry will had nothing to do, except to grieve and agonize over this monstrous tragedy. It would be acutely unacceptable to merely sweep a defective Report under the carpet and allow time and a poor collective memory, to forget. This has happened before.     

Appointing yet another Committee to look into the previous one, is emphatically pointless. If there is a stain or a patch on a wall, you cannot properly manage it by covering it with many coats of paint or varnish.  Especially so, when no less a person than His Eminence the Cardinal, has queried the logic of appointing a “Parliamentary Committee” to look into the Report of a body of eminent (Judges?) to further probe the Report, some of whom are seriously intellectually challenged, with not even a GCE (Ordinary Level) pass to show.

Every one of our Governments since Independence in 1948, has been guilty in varying degrees, of nepotism, extravagance, misdemeanor and fraud. One of my most painful embarrassments was when a senior foreign investor in a prospective development project, said that some amount had been set aside for the routine and now customary, greasing of palms. His problem was in identifying the level at which the “gift” was to be paid. 

We recall that President Kumaratunge once alleged that somebody offered her a sizeable bribe. Ex-President Sirisena declared that he, as Minister of Health was offered 50 million to not enforce some provisions of the Senaka Bibile Report, but he too was not prepared to either refer the matter to the relevant authority, or to name the bribe-giver. Unfortunately for our nation, credibility and truthfulness are not inviolable attributes of politics – even at the highest level. One of our Presidents was repeatedly and publicly referred to as a “congenital Liar”.

We remembe that a brief case containing some (25 Million) in cash, as initial payment of commission for a deal, was detected in the Car Park of a High-end Hotel, but no follow up was reported. It was said that an Australian Engineering firm was under investigation for failing to account for an entry in their books. Money has left the country, but the destination and purpose was not accounted for. The amount concerned was near the equivalent of 50 million in our Rupees.

Two items relating to the Easter Bombings, are imprinted deeply in my mind (i) the picture of young Samaneras, wielding Ekel Brooms, sweeping up the debris at the Katuwapitiya Church, following the Bombing. (i) An attempted derogatory remark that the Cardinal has become a Buddhist by his statements. Both the young Bhikkhus and His Eminence eloquently show us how engineered hostilities by bigots have tried to cloud the essential humanity of true religions.

If I may seem to digress a little, I seek the indulgence of the reader. The two incidents that I mention are symbolic of the essential common humanity of all religions. They all have the goals of mercy, empathy, decency and sympathy. The ways may differ but the unity and the goal remain – despite the actions of bigots. There is much that is common to all major religions. The goal is the same, although the Paths may differ. The intended derogatory reference to The Cardinal has failed. His Eminence has shown remarkable consistency, courage and Leadership. Qualities which to me, has enhanced my respect. He has displayedan admirable blend of patience and firm resolve.

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  • 10
    2

    UP answer is simple there was government media report total 65 volumes of report was handed in which people had access only few. By the way Lanka never found answers for many crimes before and how on earth anyone expect to solve this without international help. Regarding politician Ranjith he was decent for a change after Easter but was in forefront denying any HR abuse by current government in past. Nothing mattered to your eminence until his own survival was tested after Easter. He sure is not a Pope or Dalai lama. He is just another politician. A rogue who denied any HR violation is now demanding international justice.

    • 7
      1

      By the way UP if you havent heard the term HYPOCRISY look for the meaning .

  • 7
    1

    If you keep flip flopping the way you do your credibility too will be questioned. I never read anything of yours related to hundreds of unanswered killings which took place in our miracle blessed land. I guess you didn’t see it .

  • 6
    1

    Dr U P
    I agree with most of what you have written except the last paragraph about the Cardinal. He had been too close to Mahinda R and did not guide him to bring in Peace and Prosperity to the Country after the end of the war in 2009. Did the Cardinal try to bring an end to the war by encouraging to get a settlement with the minorities by dialogue/peaceful means?
    The Easter bombings was well timed to affect the Tamils and the Christians in the Eastern and western provinces of SL. Great planning had been done to prevent single death of Sinhala Buddhists. Timely departure of the Country by the President who had been warned by foreign intelligence calls for thorough investigation.
    In SL, since 2009, no violent acts could have been planned and executed without getting caught to military Intelligence. Any such act needs to come from a Very Powerful Person/Persons with huge finances and Authority.

  • 6
    0

    I am not being critical on the views of Dr P but just touching upon the praise bestowed upon Cardinal Ranjith.

    If I am not mistaken, I believe a couple of catholic priests were also among those who went missing after surrendering to the army. Irrespective if they were terrorist sympathisers or not, isn’t the cardinal concerned about the members of his own church? I don’t recollect the Catholic church lobbying the govt for its missing priests. Shouldn’t a jury decide if they were aiding & abetting terrorism or best if swept under the carpet as an embarrassment for the church?

    • 7
      1

      R-UK
      You can afford be a little blunt I guess.
      The report is aimed to whitewash of some crimes. The Cardinal tries to whitewash the government while pretending anger. The writer whitewashes the Cardinal, the government and a lot more.
      Nice try Dr UP.

  • 8
    1

    Dr. Upatissa Petiyagoda,

    We respect your thoughts. Unfortunately, people are blindfolded with Lord Buddha by our politicians and by the so called Professors and professionals knowing fully the rulers always elect or select them again and again. They shout loudly that there is a threat to country and Buddhism but they are the real threat to country and Buddhism. The truth is if they are not there the country will be rich and Buddhism will be loved by every one including Hindus, Christians and Muslims. I don’t know when Sri Lanka is going to find a true Sri Lankan leader.

  • 3
    1

    “The Report we infer cannot be deemed to be altogether useless.”
    *
    Is not there a saying in Sinhala that goes something like “Even chicken droppings can be good as medication”?

  • 2
    0

    The public has keenly awaited action to punish those who carried out this ghastly and barbaric act, their hidden promoters, financiers who conspired, those by whose lethargy and inaction by those who could have prevented this senseless crime. Otherwise, the citizenry will had nothing to do, except to grieve and agonize over this monstrous tragedy. It would be acutely unacceptable to merely sweep a defective Report under the carpet and allow time and a poor collective memory, to forget. This has happened before.

    Appointing yet another Committee to look into the previous one, is emphatically pointless. “

    Dr. Petiyagoda,

    You wrote the commonsense lines appearing above. What happened to you that latter you took the “U” turn and started to praise a low class government acolytes? Let me ask you a question. Is that your mind seeing lot of differences between Cardinal being a Sinhala Buddhist and a Royal Catholic? A crow is black and a parrot is green irrelevant of which tree or which branch it sits. Cardinal is Royal politicians, no labeling will change him from that status. Sorry for your disappointment!

    • 0
      2

      I am disappointed/not satisfied with this being the whitewash and a fall flag operation? as many are saying now.

      Is the government learning this tactics from the TNA how to stire up trouble to have their politics going??

      Terrible sacrifice of life to save guard the Killers.

      • 1
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        “Is the government learning this tactics from the TNA

        I heard they were Thiyagarajah learned to inventorize liquors from Siri Ma O, you learned tell “inform your family” “Rowdy Rapist Army”, then you told me that lot people told you that you are living on stolen money, now you are asking me if the Aanduwa is learning from TNA? Who learned from whom, what, when and how? Please enlighten me Jow what all these confusions you are creating? .

      • 1
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        fall flag operation

        Please use it as false flag operation

  • 3
    1

    The majority of the Muslims live in denial of the fact that there are Islamic Psychopaths among its fraternity.

    As much as certain segments of some religious groups too have similar individuals, the Islamic Community to has its lot, it does not mean it’s Islam’s fault and so with other Religous groups it is not the fault of their religions, we know this from history of 2nd world war and no one among those religions ever deny that those who were involved were not members of their fraternity.

    What the other Religous groups members are , is totally irrellevent to the Muslim community and the most disastrous approaches are , whenever there is a terror attack to immediately use a default disclaimer, qoute the Quran examples that was revealed about the jews, then start pointing fingers at other nations as if these terrorists are like robots controlled by other countries , it’s always a conspiracy theory.
    Continued . On 2

  • 2
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    Cont 2 .
    It is time first and foremost for the Muslims to accept, these terrorists are Psycopaths inspired by their fake Scholars ;who have twisted the interpretation to suit the minds of their willing sheep ; I agree while there are Islamic Psycopaths , there are a large segment of Muslims who are ignorant and are told they must not question or think on their own by certain hardcore Religous groups.

    What most People who do not belong to the Islamic faith and including large members of the Islamic faith too do not understand is ,
    Muslims have different branches in Islam and then again, among these branches, there are different schools of thoughts in Islam , all of them are only unified by faith in core belief of Thoweed ,
    which is monotheism in worship of one God, the sacred pledge There is only one God and Muhammad is the messenger, The Servant of God and the Seal of all Prophets and ofcause the rituals , .five times prayer , attending Friday congregational prayer; fasting ,charity and pilgrimage,
    what is important to understand is there are different branches of Islam; with distinctive creeds ,
    the Schools of thoughts are then based on the Creed, Religous constitution is drawn to form the Creed to form its ideology and then proceed the indoctrination of its members.
    Cont 3

  • 2
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    Cont 3.
    The main branches of Islam today are , The Ahel Sunnah Branch (people of the Traditions of the Prophet) also with splinter groups) which is the largest and the majority ,

    Then the Ahel Bayt branch ( the people of the household of The Prophet )
    Shite Ali – The party of Ali the Son in law and cousin of The Prophet , they are the largest group of The Ahel Bayt.

    Then the Fatimad dawat branch ,
    Those who claim alliegence to Fathima, the daughter of the prophet , The main group being Aga khan Ismaili branch , along with other splinter group , one prominent among them are the Dawoodi Borhas.

    Then The Lahore Ahmedyas , Please not Qadiyanis are not part of the fraternity of the prophet, but a independent break away of The Ahmedyas, who have broken the prophet’s seal , while Lahore Ahmedyas maintain the Seal of Prophethood.

    Then the come back Of the first branch of Islam after the demise of The Prophet

    The Ahel Ra’y ( People of Logic )
    With their reformed School of Thought
    Neo Mutazilite * ( defenders of reason and rationalism in Islam )

    Once you have the basic knowledge of the creed of each of these branches , alone would do to understand why the variant in ideologies.
    To .be continued
    On 4 ..
    Pls stay with me brb asap
    Lanka Nitizen

  • 2
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    Cont 7
    The Islamic Terorist ,
    Who are They ?
    Are they Muslims?
    Of cause They are Muslims * ( meaning They believe there is only one God , Muhammad is The Messenger of God , he is The Seal of Prophethood and Quran as The devine revelation)
    But They are a break away branch from Sunni Islam , they the modern day Kawarijs , the earlier Khawarijs were breakaway of The Shite Ali( from the party of Ali) who rebelled against him and went to the extend of Murdering him,for declaring peace treaty with his opponent the Muslim governor of Bagdad.
    The early Shia breakaway Kawarijs rebelled against Ali on the basis that he had no right to even use The Quran to decide on the peace treaty and only God has the Authority ,
    so until such time , They need to fight until God decides.
    They misunderstood the Quranic message and.misinterpretated it and became fasiqs ( Sinners) and misquided .
    However the descendents of those Kawarijs repented and gaveup the ideology and are today found in OMAN they refer to themselves as India, they are largest majority among Muslims, in Oman, they maintain a very low profile, extremely peaceful Islamic branch today.

    • 1
      0

      Pardon the typo; it should read as
      IBADI MUSLIMS OF OMAN and
      Not INDIA

  • 2
    0

    Cont .8.
    The (Islamic ) Modern day Kawarijs Imaams never enter the battlefields, and if anyone believes those so-called leaders of terror group who were killed in the battlefield and publicly declaring themselves as leaders are leaders , you are sadly mistaken.
    Yes The Modern day Kawarij Immams are invisible and anonymous.
    It is believed they are all proxies of Arms dealers; most of the arms dealers are Muslims, The modern day kawarijs job is to find the lambs to sacrifice.
    Until there is progressive reforms in Schools of thoughts and eliminating any form of extreme thoughts, the hope to prevent Religous ignorant, but highly educated and none questioning young Muslims from being mislead is inevitable.
    At the sametime in a land where there is open racism and bigotry, will make it easier for the terorr outfits to convince the persecuted young to join and even convince them it is their right to avenge and it’s sacred and will make them matyrs.
    So it is a two way commitment ;
    While The entire Muslim community must work together with their Imaams to shun extreme ideologies , uplift the Community , the government must embrace the young Muslims and end racism and bigotry at any cost.
    May peace prevail .

  • 2
    0

    Today the entire Arms and drugs Cartels are connected to terrorists and internal conflicts in countries , So far
    We have been blessed to have the Islamist terrorism wiped out at the beginning of it itself, which I sincerely
    Hope we honestly have.
    But there is another very dangerous, ruthless and violent Religous outfit that has established, who are a foreign Religous right wing poitical organization, it’s proxies are totally funded and trainwd by a foreign country and are working with Fake NGOS, ultimately want to start a conflict with Local Muslims using various lies against the communitity and agitation.
    The athourities are yet to investigate , arrest the leaders and dismantle group
    This is why governments should do all they can to actively monitor all Religous groups , not just Islam and especially Religous NGOS
    Promoting hate , misinformation about other religions, especially about Islam.
    There are more who are not Islamist ,
    who are players in the worldwide arms manufacturing and selling and drug paddling
    Look around the world, look at Myanmar , Karen state its Chatholics fighting The government for independence, Kachin are mostly Prostant Christians , arms and drugs keeps flowing in and out.
    If you let Religous NGOs.with EXTREMIST ideologies and notorious violent religous fanatic groups and political ideology to establish in your countries , the country will be torn into pieces.

    • 1
      0

      Lanka Netizen, You say country will be torn into pieces. It is already in pieces. Reconciliation is to get it back into unity. Islam like all religions have numerous splinter groups in worshipping Allah. Buddhist philosophy recognizes nikaya separation according to caste. Christians whether catholic, protestant, free churches, charismatic churches or other, all believe in Jesus who resurrected on easter sunday of the bomb blast. This belief is reconciliation with God the father of Jesus, his name being Jehovah. That reconciliation should lead all practicing christians to share father’s love and then also be reconciled to each other and are commanded to live in peace with all men, which is not possible with uncontrolled fanatics. So the root issue is small group violence, being manipulated by those with vested interests and things getting out of control. We try to fix blame. On whom?

  • 1
    0

    A brief on the other three important branches of Islam,
The Ahel Bayt, Shiate Ali
    The Ahel Bayt- Fathemed Dawath
    The Ahel Ar-ra’y
    All three of the Above Schools
Belong to the Aqeeda –
Creed of
KALAM AND NOT QADAR .
Freewill and not Predestination
Though there may be some variations among them.
=============================
    I am leaving out Lahore Ahmedyas, because they are a part of The Sunni Branch, but a splinter school of The Hanafi School , Gulam Mirza whom they consider a reformer and not a prophet unlike the Qadayanis ,Mirza himself was from the Hanafi School.
======
    The Ahel Bayt ( The people off The Prophet’s Family or household) Shite Ali * ( Party of Ali ) has only 2 schools of thoughts ; it’s a fact and nothing to argue about.
    One is Zaiyidis , they are the closest to the classical Mutazilites ( School of reasoning and rationalism in Islam and Mutazilite are the Scholars of Islamic Golden age of Science ) , though Zaydis are Shiate Ali by all means, they Take their Imamth from from Zayd, The grandson of Ali, great grandson of the Prophet and Son of Hussain and generally known as The Fivers.
    The 2nd largest school of AHEL
AL BAYT SHITE ALI IS
THE JAFARI MADAHAB .

  • 2
    1

    Hopefully the Above information will help to.understand the various ideologies of Islamic branches and their schools of thought, thus it would be unreasonable and complete injustice to sum up the entire muslim. Community and blame them all for actions of a particular branch and it’s school of thought .
    Same with Islamic Terrorists, aka Modern day Kawarijs , by blaming and attacking, punishing and persecuting or discriminating the entire Muslim community will only help the terrorist to have more membership to their cult;
    It is illogical however to assume a Muslim women’s attire or a Man’s long.

  • 2
    0

    Hopefully the Above information will help to.understand the various ideologies of Islamic branches and their schools of thought, thus it would be unreasonable and complete injustice to sum up the entire muslim Community and blame them all for actions of a particular branch and it’s school of thought .

    Same with Islamic Terrorists, aka Modern day Kawarijs , by blaming and attacking, punishing and persecuting or discriminating the entire Muslim community will only help the terrorist to have more membership to their cult;

    It is illogical however to assume a Muslim women’s attire or a Man’s long beard or his attire will lead them to terrorism.

    It is the public attitude that will force them towards it.

    We seen it happen with the LTTE ; after 83 riots .
    It’s a fact we can’t deny .
    Hopefully we all can reconcile as one people and build our Country.

    • 0
      0

      Lanka Netizen, You end up very well saying hopefully we all can reconcile. I trust that applies only to those who make that choice. But those who are in terrorist cults have to be rehabilitated first. The process of reconciliation is not possible for those who are not reconciled upwards first to receive enough power for the task. Struggling sideways only to be reconciled with other humans needs a greater energy than is possible for those with soul enlightenment only and without inner spiritual strength added. True purpose only wins this battle to overcome lying selfish greed hindering true humility of reconciliation with others.

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