WikiLeaks: Loved ones-Run Airline Manager Vass Hyperlinks To Economic Impropriety

“The Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is arranging to launch a state-run airline aimed at providing low-expense travel for Sri Lankan migrant workers and tourists to the Middle East and India. The budget carrier, apparently conceived and sophisticated by close advisors to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is to be called Mihin Lanka, after the President (brief for Mihindu, which is the Pali name for Mahinda). The non-transparent way in which the President’s coterie has sophisticated the airline has elicited extensive controversy.” the US Embassy Colombo informed Washington.

92f6c sri lanka Mahinda and sajin  WikiLeaks: Loved ones Run Airline Manager Vass Hyperlinks To Economic Impropriety

Mahinda and Vass

The Colombo Telegraph found the related leaked cable from the WikiLeaks database. The cable dated March 09, 2007 was written by the US Ambassador to Colombo,Robert O. Blake.

The US ambassador wrote “Critics argue that the carrier’s lack of transparency stems from its leadership – a handful of politicians and advisors close to the President. According to a Civil Aviation Authority gazette, the Board of Directors of Mihin Lanka will be composed of Defense Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa (the President’s brother), Finance SIPDIS Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, Air Marshall Roshan Goonetilake, and Presidential Coordinating Secretary Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. Gunawardena, who has been appointed ‘Accountable Manager in charge’ of the airline, has been linked to a quantity of previous allegations of monetary impropriety involving government procurement.

“The airline is to be a totally government-owned company utilizing state funds. The initial capital contribution is estimated at about 500 million Sri Lankan Rupees (around USD four.6 million), with an estimated total expense set at Rs. 1.5 billion (approx USD 13.eight million). The government initially intended to tap the state-run Foreign Employment Bureau and the Workers’ Trust Fund for start up capital in the venture. Soon after a robust public backlash supported by damaging media reporting against employing public funds, the government could be in search of economic backing elsewhere, but has not publicly identified attainable alternate sources.

“President Rajapaksa sacked Minister of Ports and Aviation Mangala Samaraweera, who had opposed the Mihin Lanka arrangement (ref A). Rajapaksa did not appoint a replacement for Samaraweera, alternatively keeping the Ports and Aviation portfolio for himself. On February 17, Samaraweera, who had also served as Rajapaksa’s Minister of Foreign Affairs till he was removed in the January 28 cabinet reshuffle, sent a letter to the President listing a series of grievances (ref B). In this, Samaraweera stated his sturdy disapproval of the Mihin Lanka project due to the planned use of public funds and the rushed approval procedure that circumvented standard administrative and financial regulations.”

Putting a comment the ambassador wrote “Civil Aviation Authority officials and representatives of Airport and Aviation Solutions Ltd. appear significantly less than enthusiastic about the Mihin Lanka venture. In fielding Post’s queries, they seemed cautious and uncomfortable, repeatedly stating that they had been not aware of numerous important operational particulars. Post also notes that neighborhood media coverage of the Mihin venture no longer mentions any of the earlier controversy around the airline. In reality, coverage disappeared completely for about two months, and only resumed this week with brief and uncritical coverage of the test flight described in para three. Numerous Sri Lankans view the Mihin Lanka venture as a sign that the populist and socialist President Rajapaksa could be tempted to practice crony capitalism if he can steer clear of press, opposition, and regulatory scrutiny.”

Read the cable under for further specifics

VZCZCXRO0826 RR RUEHLMC DE RUEHLM #0394/01 0681026 ZNR UUUUU ZZH R 091026Z MAR 07 FM AMEMBASSY COLOMBO TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 5614 Information RUCPDOC/USDOC WASHDC RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 0727 RUEHKA/AMEMBASSY DHAKA 9947 RUEHIL/AMEMBASSY ISLAMABAD 6916 RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 4991 RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 5670 RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 3155 RUEHKP/AMCONSUL KARACHI 2157 RUEHCG/AMCONSUL CHENNAI 7489 RUEHGV/USMISSION GENEVA 1872 RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORPORATION
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 COLOMBO 000394 SIPDIS SENSITIVE SIPDIS STATE FOR SCA/INS AND EEB/TRA/OTP STATE PASS USTR, DOL/ILAB FOR TINA MCCARTER SINGAPORE FOR FAA E.O 12958: N/A TAGS: ECON EIND ETRD EAIR EINV KCOR CE Topic: SRI LANKA: ALLEGATIONS OF IMPROPRIETY IN CONNECTION WITH NEW STATE-OWNED Budget AIRLINE REF: A) COLOMBO 263 B) COLOMBO 324 ¶1. (SBU) SUMMARY AND COMMENT: The Government of Sri Lanka plans to launch in March 2007 a state-run airline aimed at providing low-price travel for migrant workers and tourists to the Middle East and India. The spending budget carrier, called Mihin Lanka, has elicited criticism from politicians, the press, and the airline business. The lately sacked Minister of Ports and Aviation has charged the President with circumventing procedural and economic regulations in the procedure of producing the airline. Public criticism may possibly have triggered the President to back away from allegedly organizing to deal free shares in the venture to himself and close loved ones members and political allies. Even so, the venture hardly appears to be in the public interest: 1st, the strategy to use civil service pension funds to start off the new venture is risky, as the South Asia region's price range airline marketplace is competitive and the GSL has a poor track record in operating airlines. Second, if the venture succeeds in constructing market place share, it will come at the expense of Sri Lankan Airlines, which is still 51 % government-owned. End summary and comment. CONTROVERSIAL Budget AIRLINE TO BE STATE-OWNED, NAMED FOR PRESIDENT, RUN BY Family members AND Buddies ¶2. (U) The Government of Sri Lanka (GSL) is organizing to launch a state-run airline aimed at offering low-expense travel for Sri Lankan migrant workers and tourists to the Middle East and India. The price range carrier, apparently conceived and sophisticated by close advisors to Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, is to be known as Mihin Lanka, right after the President (brief for Mihindu, which is the Pali name for Mahinda). The non-transparent way in which the President's coterie has advanced the airline has elicited in depth controversy. ¶3. (U) GSL officials say Mihin Lanka will commence operations this month. (Mihin Lanka offices at the airport and Colombo are now open, but a targeted launch of February four, Sri Lanka's Independence Day, came and went with no official explanation of the postponement.) On March 5, the airline secured a provisional license to fly soon after overcoming technical problems that temporarily delayed its maiden test flight. Its initial flight from Colombo Bandaranaike International Airport to India was a requirement for the airline to get an "air operating certificate" from Sri Lanka's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). The certificate offers Mihin Lanka clearance to operate and handle all elements of a commercial flight utilizing a leased Fokker-27 aircraft. At this time, the airline does not own any aircraft. ¶4. (U) The GSL is billing Mihin Lanka as the country's only national airline. (Note: This is odd, due to the fact the government nevertheless has a 51 percent majority Sri Lankan Airlines Emirates Airlines owns 43 percent, and the remaining six percent is owned by Sri Lankan Airlines staff). This no-frills carrier is created to cater to nearby migrant workers traveling to the Middle East, and to vacationers to and from the Indian sub-continent. The government says Mihin Lanka will also function as a cargo airline, transporting goods produced by tiny and medium scale producers. The venture plans to directly or indirectly create 500 jobs, such as positions for Sri Lankan Air Force personnel who want to move into civil aviation. ¶5. (U) The airline is to be a completely government-owned business utilizing state funds. The initial capital contribution is estimated at about 500 million Sri Lankan Rupees (around USD 4.six million), with an estimated total price set at Rs. 1.5 billion (approx USD 13.8 million). The government initially intended to tap the state-run Foreign Employment Bureau and the Employees' Trust Fund for start off up capital in the venture. Soon after a strong public backlash supported by unfavorable media reporting against utilizing public funds, the government may be looking for economic backing elsewhere, but has not publicly identified achievable alternate sources. ¶6. (SBU) Critics argue that the carrier's lack of transparency stems from its leadership - a handful of politicians and advisors close to the President. According to a Civil Aviation Authority gazette, the Board of Directors of Mihin Lanka will be composed of Defense Secretary Gothabaya Rajapaksa (the President's brother), Finance Secretary P.B. Jayasundera, Air Marshall Roshan Goonetilake, and Presidential Coordinating Secretary Sajin de Vass Gunawardena. Gunawardena, who has been appointed "Accountable Manager in charge" of the airline, has been linked to a quantity of previous allegations of monetary impropriety involving government procurement. AVIATION MINISTER'S OPPOSITION Expenses HIM HIS JOB ¶7. (U) On February 9, President Rajapaksa sacked Minister of Ports and Aviation Mangala Samaraweera, who had opposed the Mihin Lanka arrangement (ref A). Rajapaksa did not appoint a replacement for Samaraweera, instead maintaining the Ports and Aviation portfolio for himself. On February 17, Samaraweera, who had also served as Rajapaksa's Minister of Foreign Affairs till he was removed in the January 28 cabinet reshuffle, sent a letter to the President listing a series of grievances (ref B). In this, Samaraweera stated his powerful disapproval of the Mihin Lanka project due to the planned use of public funds and the rushed approval procedure that circumvented normal administrative and economic regulations. LAUNDRY LIST OF IRREGULARITIES SUGGESTS IMPROPRIETY ¶8. (SBU) Because its conception, Mihin Lanka has appeared to evade a number of Sri Lanka's standard business start-up regulations, many of which former minister Samaraweera outlined in his public letter: -The President's October 2006 budget proposal for FY 2007 did not mention Mihin Lanka in spite of plans to use public money to capitalize it. -Presidential advisors submitted a memorandum to the Cabinet for endorsement of the airline only hours prior to the cabinet meeting at which they sought approval of the venture. -No capital appraisal report was performed on the venture. -The Board of Investment (BOI) allegedly authorized the airline proposal in less than 24 hours. -The Civil Aviation Authority had already brief-listed 3 price range airline operations prior to Mihin Lanka, but place further processing of their license applications on hold until soon after Mihin Lanka launches. DUBIOUS Enterprise MODEL: STEAL THE OTHER GSL AIRLINE'S Consumers ¶9. (SBU) Aviation market insiders told Econoff that if Mihin Lanka succeeds, it would only be by cannibalizing passengers from Sri Lankan Airlines' most profitable routes - those to India and the Middle East. They add that the government's program to launch the airline by wet-leasing a single plane makes tiny financial sense, as the higher price of a crew- and upkeep-included wet lease is unlikely to be covered by ticket sales in the low-expense travel sector. Ultimately, the regional aviation market place is skeptical of Mihin Lanka's prospects merely since the GSL had such a poor track record for several years operating Sri Lankan Airlines, ahead of bringing in Emirates Airlines as an operating partner. ¶10. (SBU) Comment: Civil Aviation Authority officials and representatives of Airport and Aviation Services Ltd. seem much less than enthusiastic about the Mihin Lanka venture. In fielding Post's queries, they seemed cautious and uncomfortable, repeatedly stating that they have been not conscious of a lot of essential operational specifics. Post also notes that local media coverage of the Mihin venture no longer mentions any of the earlier controversy about the airline. In truth, coverage disappeared entirely for about two months, and only resumed this week with short and uncritical coverage of the test flight described in para three. Numerous Sri Lankans view the Mihin Lanka venture as a sign that the populist and socialist President Rajapaksa might be tempted to practice crony capitalism if he can avoid press, opposition, and regulatory scrutiny. BLAKE

TRC Hopes Packer Would Look Beyond The Profit Motive Right after Viewing ‘No Fire Zone’

The Tamil Refugee Council (TRC) although commending the pledge produced by Crown Resorts Proprietor James Packer to view the documentary on Sri Lanka’s killing fields – the ‘No Fire Zone‘, called upon him to look beyond the profit motive and empathize for the Tamils.

5d02b sri lanka art 353 packer2 300x0 Copy TRC Hopes Packer Would Look Beyond The Profit Motive Right after Viewing ‘No Fire Zone’

James Packer

TRC Spokesman Trevor Grant issuing a statement had stated, “During the meeting exactly where Packer had promised to watch the documentary, he had said his heart bleeds for the people caught in the conflict. . . When he sees it, he can’t fail but enable his heart to bleed for the 70,000 Tamils murdered by the Rajapaksa regime.”

Grant has pointed out the British Prime Minister David Cameron who viewed the Emmy-nominated documentary had described it as one of the ‘most chilling documentaries’ he has watched and states that it brings property the brutal end to the civil war and the immense suffering of the thousands of innocent Tamils.

“We urge him to reconsider hopefully he can see beyond the profit motive and enable his heart to bleed for the Tamils,” Grant has stated additionally.

Packer had agreed to watch the documentary No Fire Zone – a documentary that focuses on the mass slaughter of thousands of innocent Tamil civilians throughout the final months of the war in Sri Lanka – in the course of the annual general meeting of Crown Resorts in Perth this week following he was questioned about the planned 450 million USD casino joint venture in Colombo. A regional refugee activist Victoria Martin-Iverson had presented him with a copy of the documentary.

In the course of the meeting he had expressed his sympathy for innocent civilians in such circumstances as were the Tamils in Sri Lanka for the duration of the final phases of the conflict in 2009.

Full Text Of The Selection: LTTE Partially Wins EU Battle Over Proscription

The LTTE achieved a partial victory yesterday when the General Court of the European Union (CVRIA) annulled the proscription on the organisation based on procedural grounds.

de7e4 sri lanka prabhakaran Full Text Of The Selection: LTTE Partially Wins EU Battle Over ProscriptionThough the LTTE was placed on the EU list relating to frozen funds of terrorist organizations in 2006 based on references to decisions made by Indian authorities, the LTTE contested their upkeep on the list. They stated prior to the CVRIA that their confrontation with the Government of Sri Lanka was an ‘armed conflict’ that falls inside the which means of the International Law, subject only to International Humanitarian Law and not to Anti-Terrorist legislation. They had gone on to state that getting included in the list relating to frozen funds is primarily based on ‘unreliable grounds’ that do not derive from decisions of competent authorities.

In consideration of the submissions made by the LTTE, the CVRIA noted that the Court finds that an authority of a state outdoors the EU maybe a ‘competent authority’ provided that the Council verifies at the outset that the legislation of the third state ensures protection of the rights of defense and of the correct of powerful judicial protection equivalent to that assured at the EU level. The Court noted that since such an examination was not carried out by the Council with reference to the stance it took in such as the LTTE in the list, but had been based on ‘factual imputations derived from the press and the internet’.

As such the CVRIA annulled the Council measures preserving the LTTE on EU list of terrorist organizations.

It nevertheless declared that the EU law on the prevention of terrorism also applies in armed conflict, inside the meaning of international law and as a result the LTTW can not claim the existence of an armed conflict precludes a feasible application of the EU law with regard to them.

Basic Court of the European Union

PRESS RELEASE No 138/14

Luxembourg, 16 October 2014

Judgment in Joined Circumstances T-208/11 and T-508/11 Press and Info Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) v Council

The Court annuls, on procedural grounds, the Council measures keeping the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam on the European list of terrorist organisations

However, the effects of the annulled measures are maintained temporarily in order to ensure the effectiveness of any attainable future freezing of funds.

The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) are a movement which opposed the Government of Sri-Lanka in a violent confrontation which resulted in the LTTE’s defeat in 2009.

In 2006, the Council placed the LTTE on the EU list relating to frozen funds of terrorist organisations and has maintained them on that list ever since, referring to, inter alia, decisions of Indian authorities.

The LTTE contest their upkeep on the list. They submit that their confrontation with the Government of Sri-Lanka was an ‘armed conflict’ inside the meaning of international law, subject only to international humanitarian law and not to anti-terrorist legislation. In addition, the maintenance on the list relating to frozen funds is based on unreliable grounds which do not derive from decisions of ‘competent authorities’ within the which means of Typical Position 2001/931/CFSP.(1)

In today’s judgment, the Court finds that EU law on the prevention of terrorism also applies in ‘armed conflicts’ within the which means of international law. Therefore, the LTTE cannot claim that the existence of an armed conflict precludes a feasible application of EU law with regard to them.

As regards the choices of Indian authorities relied upon by the Council, the Court finds that an authority of a State outdoors the EU may possibly be a ‘competent authority’ within the which means of Frequent Position 2001/931. Even so, the Council must very carefully confirm at the outset that the legislation of the third State guarantees protection of the rights of defence and of the proper to powerful judicial protection equivalent to that assured at EU level. The Court finds that the Council did not carry out such a thorough examination in the present case.

The Court finds that the contested measures are primarily based not on acts examined and confirmed in decisions of competent authorities, as needed by Common Position 2001/931 and case-law,(2) but on factual imputations derived from the press and the internet.

Therefore the Court annuls the contested measures whilst temporarily sustaining the effects of the final of those measures in order to make certain the effectiveness of any possible future freezing of funds.

The Court stresses that these annulments, on fundamental procedural grounds, do not imply any substantive assessment of the question of the classification of the LTTE as a terrorist group inside the meaning of Common Position 2001/931.

1 Council Typical Position of 27 December 2001 on the application of certain measures to combat terrorism (OJ 2001 L 344, p. 93)
2 See Article 1(4) of the Frequent Position and Case:C-539/ten P and C‐550/ten P Al-Aqsa v Council and Netherlands v Al-Aqsa

NOTE: An appeal, limited to points of law only, may possibly be brought before the Court of Justice against the decision of the Basic Court within two months of notification of the selection.

NOTE: An action for annulment seeks the annulment of acts of the institutions of the European Union that are contrary to European Union law. The Member States, the European institutions and men and women might, beneath specific conditions, bring an action for annulment just before the Court of Justice or the General Court. If the action is well founded, the act is annulled. The institution concerned need to fill any legal vacuum developed by the annulment of the act.

Study the verdict here

Five Details You Ought to Know About The Rajapaksa Budget

By Niranjan Rambukwella -

In 2015 our government will only invest Rs.12,150 to educate the average major or secondary school student for the complete year.[1] This is due to the fact Sri Lanka’s education spending budget for 2015, which pays for all teachers’ salaries, college infrastructure, and any other cash spent by the Ministry of Education, will only be 364 million dollars. For some context, Sri Lankan Airlines lost 157 million US dollars in 2012[two] and constructing the Mattala airport cost 209 million US dollars.[3]  

08420 sri lanka mahinda rajapaksa colombo telegraph Five Details You Ought to Know About The Rajapaksa BudgetSri Lanka plans on spending over two billion US dollars on defence.[4] 1.74 billion of this sum, 12 % of the country’s total expenditure, will be spent on the Army, Navy and Air Force alone. A lot of the remainder will be spent on the coast guard, civil security, registration of persons and so on. Contrary to popular perceptions only 200 million US dollars, or 9 percent of the defence budget, has been allocated for improvement activities.

We will only devote 74 million US dollars on our foreign ministry in 2015. Sri Lanka has 51 diplomatic missions abroad[5], so that’s much less than 1.five million US dollars per mission per year – not to mention the expense of the foreign ministry’s essential Colombo operations. Despite Sri Lanka’s precarious international relations – with increasingly strained relations with the West, the OIC, other states in the Global South and possibly even India – the foreign ministry’s budget improved by only .5 %. By contrast, the government price range as a complete improved by 18 percent.

40% of the 14 billion US dollar budget is controlled by the President, who is the Minister of Law &amp Order Highways, Ports and Shipping Defence &amp Urban Improvement and last but not least Finance &amp Organizing. Just for very good measure, Basil Rajapaksa controls another six%. Therefore, the average expenditure controlled by the remaining 65 members of Cabinet is a mere 115 million US dollars per year.

As opposed to all other ministries no breakdown of the Highways, Ports &amp Shipping ministry expenditure was offered in the Appropriation Bill.[six] This ministry accounts for 11% of all government expenditure. On the other hand a fundamental breakdown was offered for the tiny Ministry of National Languages &amp Social Integration which accounts for only .04% of the spending budget.


[1] The final education census, performed in 2008, counted 3,929,234 students in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s education spending budget was USD 364,332,304. This means expenditure per student was USD 92 per annum.

[two] http://www.dailymirror.lk/organization/other/28068-srilankan-mihin-losses-widen-.html

[3] http://www.dailymirror.lk/opinion/172-opinion/26974-is-mattala-airport-a-commercially-viable-project-editorial.html

[4] Appropriation Bill 2015, P.g. 11

[five] http://www.mea.gov.lk/index.php/en/missions

[6] Appropriation Bill 2015, P.g. 16

CPA’s Potent ED Dr. Sara Is Travelling, CPA Says It Needs Two Weeks To Respond

Responding to the Colombo Telegraph story “Exposé: Centre For Policy Alternatives Defrauded And Hoodwinked Donors” the Centre for Policy Options says that it will post a response to the allegations in the next two weeks.

daabe sri lanka Sara A CPA’s Potent ED Dr. Sara Is Travelling, CPA Says It Needs Two Weeks To Respond

Dr. Sara

The CPA’s potent Executive Director, Dr Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu who is currently in London attending a conference titled ‘The media in post war Sri Lanka: supporting democratisation in the era of the ‘War on Terrorism’” organized by “The International Association of Tamil Journalists”.

The CPA web site says “The Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) is conscious of an report in the Colombo Telegraph website titled ‘Exposé: Centre For Policy Options Defrauded And Hoodwinked Donors’ published on ten October 2014. The article contains a number of allegations against the organisation and particular members of the employees. As the Executive Director is travelling on perform, CPA will post a response to these allegations on his return to Sri Lanka in the next two weeks.”

Alarming Colombo Telegraph on the CPA’s clarification, a Sri Lankan very good governance activist stated “if the CPA is not an authoritarian organisation, why does it require two weeks to respond? It looks like ‘Saravanamuttu is the CPA’, that is how the NGO technique operates”. “No difference to the Rajapaksas, we each day, hear: Mahinda, Mahinda, Mahinda Chinthana and so forth” she further stated.

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The Politics Of (University) Violence

By Suren Rāghavan -

7327f sri lanka Suren 150x150 The Politics Of (University) Violence

Dr. Suren Rāghavan

The Greeks had no single term to express what we imply by the word ‘life.’ They used two terms that, despite the fact that traceable to a widespread etymological root, are semantically and morphologically distinct: zoē, which expressed the straightforward reality of living typical to all living beings (animals, guys, or gods), and bios, which indicated the type or way of living proper to an person or a group” - (Gerogoi Agamban 1998)

The news that a section of the faculty of University of Colombo had decided to stop their academic engagements to bring an end to the on-going rather inhuman ragging inside their university (and other greater education institutions) is disturbing and welcoming.

Disturbing since ragging of such cruel nature should nonetheless exist, welcoming as the faculty members have decided to address this seriously.

Universities are not only about earning a degree or helping towards that. They are centers of societal citations and (re)type procedure within the context of information gaining and transferring. Passing exams and achieving a degree is deemed a core element of that method aimed at the discipline of systemic thought evaluation. But the complete objective of university education is severely undermined if the advancement of vital nonacademic person building sphere is non-current or deliberately dismantled.  In such definitions, Sri Lanka universities have a checked history of person and collective violence. I am not certain if a thorough going research has been ever undertaken to examine the culture of (physical, sexual and social) violence inside the universities of Sri Lanka. If not, it seems an urgent necessity.

The nexus of violence

When we discover the concern of university violence, it robotically gravitates about the query as if the epicenter of such phenomena is correlated to the waves of political power struggles outside of these universities. As all universities in Lanka are nevertheless state funded and operate below the political sub structure, such cross fertilization of state power politics and normativity of violence can not be separated. Lanka’s postcolonial history is fractured with junctures of direct body politics of violence. 1971 JVP armed struggle showed that by then Lankan universities had turn into the ideological cradle of legitimization of collective violence. Such process and their historical weight crushes the thin layer of social fabric inside universities.   In a Foucauldian sense, Lankan university politics quintessentially submerges with the biopolitcal dynamics outdoors. For Foucault (1997) “biopolitics is a new technologies of power for violence [that] exists at a diverse level, on a diverse scale, and has various bearing places, and tends to make use of extremely diverse instruments inside the state governing structure”. In Lanka, certainly such biopolitics and sovereign exceptionalism  usually constructs the primary filed of politics. Beneath biopolitics, life, society and energy grow to be indistinct. Violence against the new comers by the seniors -who ironically were ragged by their seniors when entering university, then becomes the recurrent dynamic connected to the nature of politics at big.

The thought of positions – ascribed or accomplished – as an instrument of oppressive energy- is an intrinsic feature of Lankan politics. More than 4 centuries of colonial oppression and the historical feudal and monastic control more than the peasant citizenry that is romantically memorialized as ‘ideal’ type of governance in the well-liked discourse have moralized a energy game of violence. The struggle for control is deeply dichotomized and sharply projected as elitist versus non-elites or the peripheral rural versus the urban center. On the foundation of such mindset, a violence political culture is normalized by structural political operation. Such illiberal undemocratic behave had turn out to be the norm of elected politicians in the current history. When the state concretizes such patterns as privilege of rule, while a wider civic society became prepared spectators, violence for energy and particular display of energy over the layer quickly under is inevitable. It is a truth the J R Jawawardane , Chandrika Kumaratunga and Ranil Wickramasinghe are representative of such elitist energy circles in Lanka.  For the very same reason in a comparative sense, the level personal corruption of the above three are marginal as witnessed in Premadasa and Rajapakse eras. Each Premadasa and Rajapaksa are nevertheless deemed as representatives of the oppressed class, who in my analyses in turn became super oppressors. What operates inside the universities also travels on a parallel trajectory. It is secure to suspect that the culture of violence on campus attracts students from rural background.  It is for this purpose from Daya Pathirana to Sanjeewa Bandara are either victims and/or part of that violent political approach. It appears that all university of Lanka from Jaffna to Ruhuna has an equal level of potentiality to make such violence. Demographical, socioeconomic and pre university expertise of violence of the leaders of this ragging culture may shed some valuable sociological keys to unlock this paradigmatic process of internal /external violence.

A challenged academia

As I have argued elsewhere it will be an crucial moral example when the academia can initial lead the campaign against such ill democracies within them.  This will then earn the correct to be heard when they moralize their demands just before the wider society and then lastly with the state. Lankan academics are a unique group of individuals working below completely difficult situations. Lack of reward or recognition, lack of physical and monitory resources for desired researches, constant party politicization, and the looming fear of really unionized students who carry an immediate capacity for violence are some continual reality they are called to deal with. Nevertheless academic integrity does not cease at ethics of paper marking and moral partnership with students.  That is the minimum currency. In truth the by-laws. Constant instance of individual development for intellectual assentation and to play the part of an agent provocateur for positive modifications within the campus  are a portion of the ‘internal social contract’ that faculty members of universities can aspire to. While most surely such practices might prevail, they are mainly based on individual worldviews. What is needed now is to make such a portion of the overarching academic faculty culture.

Three decade of LTTE terror politics and equally or deeper state terror have only legitimized the acceptance of direct biopolitics on campuses as typical. Ragging that humiliates and seeks to manage the newcomers is homophobic and stems from a subterranean heteronormativity mindset. Ragging also displays deep crisis of understanding of individual and collective energy and the politics behind them. The majority of the present regime – have turn out to be the monopoly of such oppressive power mobilization. Such has become the well-known culture. The thought of militarizing the universities has only future deepen the crisis.

We all want Lanka achieves its complete academic potentiality which is no doubt world class. We can demand the state to make greater education an independent but interdependent zone of democracy and intellectual free of charge considering. For this end, continual vigilant to secure guard the free of charge education program and its democratic influence on the wider society is basic and not negotiable. Nevertheless, what is a pure summation of such freedom and democracy if the 1st population of the university- the students do not not appreciate and conduct themselves as representatives of such aspirations. Humiliating ragging and physical violence against the newcomers diminishes all such ethos. Ragging of all forms should be stopped. Quickly and with out apology.  The collective action of the faculty members is a good first step in that direction

Reference
Agamben, Giorgio (1998) Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, Stanford University Press pp 1
Foucault, Michel (1997). Society Need to Be Defended: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1975-1976. New York, NY: St. Martin’s Press. p. 242

*Dr. Suren Rāghavan is a Sri Lankan academic- at present visiting professor at University of St Paul – Ottawa and a Senior Study Fellow at the Centre for Buddhist Studies – University of Oxford. [email protected]