An Open Letter To The President: Be The Adjust!

By Chandra Jayaratne -

adbb3 sri lanka Chandra Jayaratne 150x150 An Open Letter To The President: Be The Adjust!

Chandra Jayaratne

Dear Mr. President,

“You should be the change you want to see in the world”

The Sri Lankan Lion roared at the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly reminding the worldwide neighborhood that “…, in order to achieve the self-assurance and goodwill of the international community as a whole, but a single of the important requirements was consistency of standards across the board with no any perceptions of selectivity or discrimination. It is in this context that the present functioning of the program demands fresh examination in order to boost its credibility. To be productive, this procedure must involve de-politicisation of the UN Technique and mechanisms and they have to cease getting hostage to various types of funding…”

At the exact same time a lion cub on behalf of the Sri Lankan Lion roared in Geneva, stating “…The government of Sri Lanka does not want to support legitamise a flawed procedure and have a detrimental precedent established….What Sri Lanka wants at this juncture is to be encouraged and not impeded….the principled opposition to the OHCHR investigation stems from numerous properly founded issues its politically motivated agenda it challenges the sovereignty and the independence…it violates a basic principle of international law…… by appointment of high level international figures, who are by no indicates ’technical experts relevant to the investigation’ …lack of transparency of the investigation is in clear contravention of the principles of all-natural justice…arbitrary and selective action……deviation from established mandates and processes….addressing accountability problems has to be primarily based on accessible evidence properly sourced and verified…updates replete with accusations and unsubstantiated statistics…”

a0cc9 sri lanka Mahinda @UN 2014 An Open Letter To The President: Be The Adjust!Are these quite same criticisms not be equally applicable to Sri Lanka and all its people, as well as its businesses and civil society, especially in relation to the internal governance and Executive action within Sri Lanka? If so, will not the prescription of a fresh examination of the current functioning of the system and a de-politicisation of the method and mechanisms of governance not be an essential priority alter in Sri Lanka as nicely?

Who can disregard the priority want for de-politisation of the method assurance that independent persons of integrity, capability and verified track record are at the helm of Public Life, (like in the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary) Public Institutions and Regulatory bodies act with independence and with commitment to principles of natural justice the application of the Rule of law and Justice Systems are transparent, unbiased, fair and just selections to high posts are persons with requisite technical and expert experience sans nepotism and cronyism equality is a right of all citizens and they are not discriminated by race, religion, status, political leaning nor by their voice of advocacy : national resource allocations are fair and equitable and based on priority demands of all citizens state spends are economic, efficient and powerful for goal and not tainted by waste and corruption policy and regulatory systems comply with very best practices and are not impacted by state capture nor corruption deviations from established mandates and processes are transparent and uphold principles of natural justice accountability is demanded from all primarily based on proof statistics are precise and transparent transparent Environmental, Ecological and Social Influence assessments precede all new initiatives legal and regulatory reforms are prioritized and are in accord with principles of organic justice Media Freedoms are not directly or indirectly controlled and Voices of Advocacy are not treated as voices of ‘traitors’ Democratic and Human Rights are protected and International Commitments are upheld:

By way of a “Reflection” it is time to trace back and validate regardless of whether the current history of governance and administration, specifically over the last two years have upheld in Sri Lanka the very very same principles referred to above. An independent view seen by way of a transparent eye of integrity will bring out the numerous deviations and discriminatory practices in governance.

Mr. President, if you had been to concentrate on a series of discriminatory acts of governance targeting a single neighborhood, based on unfair perceptions and unjust accusations, wit related attempts to handle and restrict the freedom of association, activities and expressions of a community, please evaluation the recent actions of the government targeting the NGO Neighborhood. Do these actions and proposed legislative reforms, believed to be championed by the Defense establishment, pass the quite very same principles you and the government articulated before the UN General Assembly and the UNHRC?

Mr. President, in order to gain the confidence and goodwill of the Sri Lankan neighborhood as a entire, accepting that the Sri Lankan Civil Society needs at this juncture to be encouraged and not impeded, please evaluate, in terms of the wonderful philosophy and the words of wisdom of Gauthama the Buddha, which you articulated just before the UN Common Assembly, whether or not the NGO community as a entire, (like Good Governance and Anti Corruption Activists, Human Rights Defenders, Environmentalists as properly as Social Welfare Entities), have been treated relatively, upholding principles of natural justice and with consistency of standards across the board and without having political motives  and perceptions of selectivity or discrimination?

Please also reflect, no matter whether the present and planned actions, circulars and legal and regulatory reforms dealing with NGO’s, pass the tests of just and fairness and are in compliance with international best practices, standards and conventions, and especially whether before enacting laws to need NGO’s:

  • to give further information that the Government need to initial enact a law that tends to make Appropriate to Data a binding Governance Commitment on all
  • · to have their
    1. publicity, advocacy, training and publications, and
    2. fund raising and grant receipts, and
    3. action plans

to be prior approved by a Government Secretariat, to evaluate whether or not these needs are based on ill conceived advise, misconceptions and are discriminatory and not in line with independence, all-natural justice principles , democratic freedoms and human rights as committed to by the constitution and binding international conventions

  • · to demonstrate their independence , integrity of goal and credibility of operations that Efficient, Independent and Credible Public Institutions ( Judicial Services, Public Solutions, Elections, Human Rights, Police Services, Bribery &amp Corruption, Ombudsman, Lawyer Common and Auditor Common) are in location
  • · to disclose their strategic plans, budgets, resource allocations and post invest Management Information that the budgeting and budgetary control approach of the government are compliant with the ideal practice benchmark processes advocated by Civil Society Leaders, Organizations and Authorities
  • · to demonstrate the cost effectiveness and worth addition of outcomes  of NGO spends the State to agrees that all public spends in excess of agreed amounts will be subject to worth for funds and economy/effectiveness and efficiency post audits, with reports tabled in Parliament ahead of COPA/COPE
  • · to disclose assets and remuneration and perks of essential NGO officials, that all Legislators, Executive and Administrative and State and Corporation Officials above a certain agreed grade, to annually declare assets and all remunerations, benefits and perks as well as official expenses and other payments to such officials with disclosures regards their associated party transactions and declarations of conflicts of interests to be publicly disclosed
  • · to ensure transparency and accuracy of all reports, data information, accounts and public statements/presentations that all State bodies and regulatory bodies also commit to comparable independence, integrity and transparency, specifically in relation to Socio-economic  and environmental impacts and expense advantages
  • · to be subjected to investigative overview and examination of books of account and information of NGO’s to have an independent ombudsman / facilitator who  has accountability to advance the interests of the NGO’s by efficiently progressing any issues difficult the NGO’s or putting  in location safeguards on behalf NGO’s with any Ministry, Department or State/Para state Institutions and willing also to spot any grievances of NGO’s and Untangle any knotty troubles and ease challenges faced by NGO’s and progress complaints or claims ahead of independent public institutions and state parties
  • · to have a legislatively imposed binding codes of ethics, conduct, standards in public life  and governance for all Legislators, Executive and Administrative and State and Corporation Officials above a particular agreed grade to be bound by equivalent frameworks, such as binding standards in Public Life eg. Nolan Committee Standards in British Public Life

In the interim the NGO’s as a Grand Collective, must offer you to adopt on a voluntary basis

  1. A Code of Conduct for Persons in Public Life
  2. Ten Golden Guidelines for Civil Society Organisations
  3. Audited Accounts and Annual Reports to be compliant with the Accounting Standards for Not for Profit Organisations
  4. Where acceptable and cost effective International Reporting Initiative Standards on Financial and Social Effect and Sustainability Reporting  Standards

Mr. President, please tread the path that Mahatma Gandhi traveled and recollect his popular words of wisdom with time tested universal adaptability, quoted below

“Change oneself.

“You need to be the adjust you want to see in the world.”

“As human beings, our greatness lies not so significantly in becoming in a position to remake the globe – that is the myth of the atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”

If you adjust oneself you will change your globe. If you adjust how you feel then you will change how you really feel and what actions you take. And so the globe around you will change. Not only since you are now viewing your atmosphere via new lenses of thoughts and emotions but also since the modify inside can enable you to take action in ways you wouldn’t have – or possibly even have thought about – even though stuck in your old believed patterns.

And the problem with changing your outer globe with out changing yourself is that you will nonetheless be you when you reach that modify you have strived for. You will nonetheless have your flaws, anger, negativity, self-sabotaging tendencies and so on. intact.

And so in this new predicament you will nevertheless not uncover what you hoped for considering that your mind is still seeping with that negative stuff. And if you get far more without having getting some insight into and distance from your ego it might grow far more effective. Considering that your ego loves to divide issues, to discover enemies and to produce separation it might commence to attempt to produce even a lot more difficulties and conflicts in your life and globe.

Mahindavādaya, Mahinda-Vadaya And Wirathu-Āgamanaya

By Tisaranee Gunasekara -

“The government has turned us into orphans in our personal motherland.”

Boralesgamuwa farmers affected by the Weras-Ganga Project (Lankadeepa – 24.9.2014)

Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s most recent beautification project, the Weras-Ganga Improvement, with walkways and a food court, was declared open with considerably fanfare this month. Jackson Anthony, dramatist turn sycophant, used the occasion to proclaim that the time has come to upgrade Mahinda Chinthanaya (Mahinda Believed) to Mahindavādaya (Mahindaism – Mahinda Ideology)[i].

03c87 sri lanka Gnanasara Wirathu Mahindavādaya, Mahinda Vadaya And Wirathu ĀgamanayaFor a lot of farmers of Boralesgamuwa (as for most Tamils and Muslims and growing numbers of Sinhalese), Mahindavādaya has turn into a Mahinda-Vadaya (Mahinda-Affliction). Their fields could not be cultivated for two seasons because they did not have access to the usual supply of water thanks to the beautification project. Now they are becoming told by the military how they need to cultivate their fields. Lacking the money and the manpower to follow military instructions, the farmers have given up cultivation. They say that if they are unable discover “labouring jobs to feed their households, they will just have to die, even though watching the moneyed ladies, gentlemen and their households promenading and enjoying themselves”[ii].

***

In February 2010, chief prelates of all 4 chapters decided to hold a specific Sangha Convention on Democracy and Governance. Gen. Sarath Fonseka had been arrested and the monks planned to officially request the government to cease persecuting the war-winning army commander.

The Rajapaksas went into panic-mode. This was not some minor gathering, but a convention bringing collectively representatives of the complete Sangha Sasana. State media heaped vitriol on the Convention even though frenzied efforts were produced behind the scenes to cancel it.

At the eleventh hour the Convention was cancelled. Afterwards, Ven. Athangane Ratanapala Thero told the media that the head of the Malwatte Chapter had been beneath ‘severe stress’: “Many members representing the government as properly as some members of the clergy who are working for the government used tremendous pressure on us to cease the meeting”[iii].

The Chief Incumbent of the Mihintale Raja Maha Vihare was much more explicit. He said that a group of 45 Buddhist monks visited the Malwatte Mahanayake Thero and informed him that he would “have to take the responsibility if two or 3 bombs went off within the premises of the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic”. He also named names: “Chancellor of Kelaniya University, Ven. Dr. Welimitiyawe Kusaladhamma Thero, former parliamentarian Ven. Uduwe Dhammaloka Thero, Ven. Diviyagaha Yasassi Thero and Ven Rekhawa Jinarathana Thero were among the 45 monks who wanted the Mahanayake to cancel the Sangha Convention”. They initially threatened to leave the sect when blackmail failed they named the President “who personally spoke to the Mahanayake urging him to cancel the convention.” The Chief Prelate refused. That was when the ‘bomb threat’ was produced. When asked about the incident, the Chief Prelate replied “that the Mahanayakes were compelled to postpone the occasion to make sure the safety of the Maha Sangha and the Temple of the Tooth.”[iv]

That is how the Rajapaksas act towards any gathering of monks they think about undesirable.

Just this week Terrorism Investigation Division prevented Professional Web Journalists Association from holding a workshop on net safety. The management of the hotel exactly where the workshop was to be held was informed by the TID that an organisation (consisting of retried army officers and disabled soldiers) is organizing to surround the premises. The safety of the workshop-participants cannot be guaranteed, the TID stated. The management, like the Chief Prelates, got the message the workshop was cancelled.[v]

No such threats or warnings will mar the Sangha Convention of the Bodu Bala Sena. It will be held at the Sugathadasa Stadium, which in itself is a sign of governmental blessing. The visit to Sri Lanka by the hatemongering Burmese monk, U Wirathu, is also probably to go off without a snag. As the BBS boasted on its Facebook page, the saffron-robed rabble-rouser who gained infamy for remarks such as “Muslims are fundamentally negative Mohammed makes it possible for them to kill any creature Islam is a religion of thieves, they do not want peace,”[vi] came by means of the VIP lounge and was whisked off to a secure spot[vii].

Whether or not the Rajapaksas are actively assisting the BBS gathering, with money, facilities and monks (to fill the hall) is not known. But the really reality that the convention is getting held on such a giant scale proves that it has the Rajapaksa seal-of-approval. The Rajapaksas did not hesitate to use the most execrable measures to avoid the Sangha Convention in 2010, such as an implicit threat to bomb the Temple of the Tooth. The truth that they are permitting the BBS Convention to happen is the clearest attainable proof that this gathering has their blessing.

Electoral Compulsions

It is now virtually certain that Presidential elections will be held in January 2015, prior to the Papal go to. Obviously the Rajapaksas have been jolted into feverish haste by Uva. In such a fraught context, a massive gathering of monks will be permitted only if it is noticed as beneficial to the Siblings.

The Rajapaksas know that most Tamils and Muslims did not and will not vote for them. Their primary concern is to make certain that their help base amongst the majority community does not erode any additional. The electoral playing field has been skewed constitutionally the Siblings will not hesitate to use violence and malpractices. But as Uva demonstrates, such measures can outcome only in an incredibly marginal – and politically de-legitimising – victory. To win the huge victory they need to have, the Rajapaksas require to maintain their Sinhala-Buddhist base intact.

Economic concessions – more will be made in the coming months – might not be adequate even in the rural-fastness of Uva, a massive number of Sinhalese seemed to have noticed by means of that obvious gimmick. Other techniques are needed.

Sinhala-Buddhists have to be made to really feel insecure in order to reignite their desire for a strong protector. “Making the neighborhood far more fanatical and exploiting the resulting fanatics” [viii] seems to be the Rajapaksa aim. And a BBS-Wirathu combine will be excellent to concentrate the consideration of the Sinhala public not on their economic woes but on ‘threats’ to ‘Rata, Jathiya and Agama’ (nation, race and religion).

The BBS convention will constitute a leap forward in the Rajapaksa efforts to impose a racist politico-psychological climate on the upcoming election season. It will help enormously to maintain the electoral discourse mired in Tiger revivals, Jihadi threats and Christian/Catholic conspiracies.

In August 2007, JHU head, Ven. Ellawalla Medananda Thero proclaimed that (Christian) fundamentalists were arranging to infect Buddhist monks with AIDS. “I got details that fundamentalists at a meeting in Kurunegala had decided to eliminate Buddhism from this country. Portion of their strategy is to infect the monks with HIV virus… Monks could be infected with the virus when they go for a blood test or blood transfusion.”[ix]

That is the sort of discourse the Rajapaksas would want in the course of election season. What better way to drive genuine life economic, political and social problems than to addle and poison Sinhala-Buddhist minds with suspicion, worry, anger and hate against Tamil/Muslim/Christian fellow Lankans? Who far better to give that project a violent leap than ‘Buddhist Bin Laden’ of Burma?=


[i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzxDiKivz6A

[ii] We have grow to be orphans in our own lands – Famers of the Boralasgamuwa fields say – Lankadeepa – 24.9.2014

[iii] http://www.lankabusinessonline.com/news/sri-lanka-monks-complain-of-government-pressure/216508128

[iv] http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/02/21/%E2%80%9Cmahanayakes-threatened-with-temple-bomb-attack%E2%80%9D-%E2%80%94-prelate/ – emphasis mine

[v] https://www.mirror.lk/news/17128-tid-hampers-net-media-workshop

[vi] http://www.ruom.net/portfolio-item/inside-969-movement/#sthash.aCkW5bcN.dpbs

[vii]https://www.facebook.com/bodubalasenablogofficial/pictures/a.1478310909093649.1073741828.1474709476120459/1490042541253819/?sort=1&amptheater

[viii] The Language of the Third Reich – Victor Klemperer

[ix] http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news/2007/8/18397.html

Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, The Terrorist The Traitor

By Muhammed Fazl -

28fa7 sri lanka Muhammed Fazl  150x150 Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, The Terrorist The Traitor

Muhammed Fazl

Although the Oxford dictionary defines the word ‘terrorism’ as “the unofficial or unauthorized use of violence &amp intimidation in the pursuit of political aims” and the word ‘terrorist’ as “a individual who utilizes terrorism in the pursuit of political aims”, the Merriam-Webster dictionary provides a full definition to the word ‘traitor’ as the “one who betrays another’s trust or is false to an obligation or duty”.

The ignorant reader may possibly wonder the relevance of my English lesson to Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, but as a outcome of definitions above and the traits of our Secretary to the Ministry of Defence getting so deeply intertwined, needless to say, life in contemporary day Sri Lanka has turn into a lot more or significantly less akin to that of Gestapo/Stasi Germany half a century ago. To be fair to the present regime, it ought to be mentioned that the state-sponsored fear psychosis has been in existence even throughout the tenure of Mr. Ranasinghe Premadasa’s presidency. 

As opposed to in the past and since the mid nineties, when only empty rhetorical speeches have been created by opposition parties in their resistance against the violent subjugation of masses and the plunder of economies, it would be insensate on the portion of Mr. Gotabhaya and his gang of brothers ought to they trivialize the threat of a resurgent opposition alliance, led by the ‘never-say-die’ Mr. Ranil Wickremesinghe. In this context and contemplating the ‘blood ties’ issue, the require to examine the nexus in between the Mahinda Rajapaksa government and the law enforcement machinery headed by Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa becomes exigent.

54b43 sri lanka Gotabaya Rajapaksa Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, The Terrorist The Traitor3 months after the Aluthgama racial violence, justice is however to be served to the victims and/or their kith and kin. Even though the failure to stop violence lies solely with the police force and the army, actions at that time (or inactions) by the Ministry of Defence can be translated really accurately as complicity in the instigation of communal disharmony between two communities.

Recalling the words of General Moshe Dayan – “Israel need to invent dangers, and to do this it must adapt the technique of provocation and revenge”, and when memories of the war victory fades progressively in the minds of the ignorant majority, Mr. Gotabaya too seems to be ‘moving mountains’ in provoking the Muslims into taking up arms against the Sinhalese-dominated armed forces and the government. While in the West nothing sells like sex, in Sri Lanka, hatred for the minorities seems to be what tends to make the majority community tick. Up to the process and wasting no time or leaving no stone unturned in consolidating his family’s hold on power, little did Mr. Gotabaya understand the futility in the ill-conceived notion of generating communal strife between Muslims and the Sinhalese. Although the peace-loving majority neighborhood in this country need not waste time in worrying about an ‘Islamic militancy’ or bother subscribing to politically motivated speeches propagating a sense of Islamophobia, they need to also understand that Sri Lankan Muslims will never be coerced or fooled into playing the ‘war games’ that is presently being spearheaded by the government proxy, the BBS.

The Secretary to the Minister of Defence could want to portray himself as a modern day Dutugemunu responsible for defeating foreign and ‘terrorist’ threats, and to showcase a sturdy and a competent persona to the unsuspecting and the backbone-much less majority community. While Mr. Gotabhaya’s dreams ought to be respected, it is a typical consensus among the masses now that he ‘wakes up and smells the roses’ before his ‘natural term’ expires prematurely.

A section of the population may not want Mr. Gotabaya tried for war crimes, but popular beliefs do not absolve one’s complicity in such crimes. In a nation exactly where highest ranking war heroes are incarcerated over political differences and minor irregularities, I am all clueless as to why the major opposition celebration did not implicate Mr. Gotabaya in any court of law, nearby or international for crimes against humanity or at least for the alleged fraudulent purchase of arms. Although I understand the nature of Sri Lankan politics and sentiments of the majority neighborhood, failure to hold Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa accountable or responsible for actions of ministries/departments coming below his direct purview has certainly resulted in a state of lawlessness.

Cries for recompense in the North-East might have fallen on deaf ears, or the trail in search of accountability and justice might have gone cold too… But unlike the situations of mass killings in Indonesia in the sixties, the killings in Chile in the seventies and the ‘killing fields’ in Cambodia among other people, and exactly where the perpetrators were brought to justice decades following their reign ended, the proper-pondering masses in this nation need to have to insist on immediate justice and a single that would be a deterrent for the future generation, that is if and when Mr. Gotabaya is put on trial of course.

Justice delayed is justice denied. Opposition to the existing despotic government comes out alive only when individual positions and perks are at stake. Failure to even query Mr. Gotabaya Rajapaksa, let alone file a case against him for all his wrong-doings by no opposition celebration is beyond my comprehension. Could it be the ‘unleashing-of-violence’ capabilities of the Secretary to the Ministry of Defence that has silenced the opposition all this while? And if that is the case, would it not make Mr. Gotabaya a terrorist, at least as per the definition in the English dictionary? If public income operating into millions of USDs is getting looted by Mr. Goatabaya, if lives of future generations are pawned and if they are made to repay loans taken on industrial rates of interest for white-elephant projects initiated by the identical Mr. Rajapaksa…, would it not also make him a traitor to the nation?

For what it is worth, let this be a contact for the brave to unmask the pseudo patriot, who is soon after all a public servant. Sharing a lesson in chess in conclusion, even though the King of the opponent is the target, far more usually than not, victory is created less difficult only when the queen is eliminated.

*The writer is an independent social/political activist and can be contacted on [email protected] and by way of FB – Fazl Muhammed Nizar.