Mahinda’s Blitzkreig And Ranil’s Snailkreig

By P.Bertie Ranaweerage

0075b sri lanka Bertie Ranaweerage 150x150 Mahinda’s Blitzkreig And Ranil’s Snailkreig

Bertie Ranaweerage

All good hearted men and women had been longing to see an emergence of a powerful widespread candidate acceptable to all the ethnic groups who can defeat the incumbent President at the next Presidential election. It is tragic that all their hopes are fading away since of Mr. Ranil Wicramasinghe’s desire to sit in President’s chair. The UNP has unofficially confirmed that Ranil would contest the next Presidential election.

The UNP was boasting several a time that it was prepared to face any election at any time. But as we are aware it miserably failed at every election held in the course of the final handful of years. The only occasion they were in a position to win was the Badulla district largely thanks to the sky rocketing cost of living. My conclusion is the unbearable cost of rice produced people to vote for the UNP. It is true that Harin Fernando’s charisma produced a distinction but the price tag of rice was the decisive aspect.

Although Mr. Harin Fernando was able to translate voters’ anger into UNP votes due to his hard operate and charismatic leadersahip now the million dollar question is will Ranil be able to do at the Presidential election what Harin managed to do in Badulla.

If we meticulously look at what Mahinda did and Ranil did or what the SLFP did and theUNP did during the last week or so it is not challenging to guess who is going to win in the propaganda campaign in the coming weeks if not in the coming couple of months.

35a65 sri lanka Mahinda Ranil  Mahinda’s Blitzkreig And Ranil’s SnailkreigMahinda started his campaign in earnest by going to Jaffna and giving land deeds and gold to the Tamils. As he did in the course of the last Presidential elections he has begun to summon state workers to the Temple Trees. He talked to the workers of the Well being sector in the morning and in the afternoon he held a meeting for the personnel of the Agriculture sector last week. As he knows the path to the thoughts lies by way of the stomach he in no way hesitates to treat these who are invited to the temple Trees with meals with each other with propaganda material. Now don’t ask me whether he spends his personal cash or your tax money to fill the invitees’ stomachs in order to pocket their votes.

Even though government owned electronic media and print media are carrying on an incessant anti Ranil vicious campaign Mahinda supporters have launched an island wide mud slinging poster campaign against Ranil possibly throughout the nation. In the meantime we can see complete web page advertisements heaping praise on Mahinda in the newspapers everyday.

Twenty four stages of which some are as wide as fifty metres and stands for big Tv screens had been being constructed at a facility of Sri Lanka Ports Authority by its personnel when some UNP MPs created an unannounced pay a visit to to that facility according to one of the MPs who joined the’ raid’.

Yesterday the JVP stated that all the printing shops in Colombo have been given orders to print election related material of Mahinda and as a outcome they have refused to accept orders from other folks.

In the meantime what has the UNP or Ranil been doing? At a small gathering  this week, someplace in Colombo Ranil announced some election promises that he would do when he came to energy. Following that we heard that all of a sudden he flew to Singapore. There was one more news from the UNP that its Committee of Twenty gathered for the third time. And of course there were a handful of press conferences summoned by the UNP also.

Is this the way the UNP is going to fight mighty Mahinda?

If we go back to the pre-election period in 1994 we can recall that dozens of anti-government tabloids and news letters were  published weekly and they were very common amongst the people. They played a major part to tilt the balance in Chandrika’s  favour.

One more instance the UNP utilized posters in its favour was the pre-presidential period in 1988. Notwithstanding the threat of the JVP, Mr. R. Premadasa sent men and women from Colombo to every single nook and corner of the country to paste his poster ‘ME KAUDA ? MOKADA KARANNE’ ( Who is this ? What is he undertaking? ) Premadas possibly hoped to go on a second round of poster campaign with his name, intention and picture but he had to limit it to newspaper ads due to attainable threats from armed JVPers to Premadasa’s males.

In the course of the 1977 pre-election period tens of thousands of posters with cartoons on Bandaranaike family bandyism were pasted across the country which produced a massive effect in shifting the public opinion against the SLFP.

Today’s UNP is a far cry from the JR’s UNP and Premadasa’s UNP. One particular of the reasons is able UNPers are now in Mahinda’s cabinet.

Ranil’s  UNP has failed to paste even a single poster on an island –wide scale so for announcing its candidate or condemning Rajapaksa household bandyism.

Has it been able to publish even a single anti-government tabloid so far? It appears it has failed even to publish their official organ ‘Siyarata’ as far as I know. Even though it has a media unit, it has done little to spread its message to the public

Whilst Mahinda has launched a propaganda blitzkrieg in preparation of the election  Ranil’s propaganda campaign, if there is one, is absolutely nothing but a snailkreig.

If the UNP hopes to beat Mahinda it has to launch an earth shattering propaganda campaign to start with. It is true that a  powerful campaign alone can not beat the opponent but a propaganda campaign that reverberates in each and every house in the country, a campaign that stuns the opponents goes a long way.

It is better for Ranil, for the UNP and for the nation if Ranil abstains from contesting and support a candidate with a greater personality who has a mass appeal as the frequent candidate at the forthcoming Presidential election for it is not straightforward to defeat Mahinda as he nevertheless enjoys the support of the majority of the Sinhalese. And do not forget that Thondaman has promised his help to Mahinda which means a great number of upcountry Tamils will vote for the incumbent President. In case Ranil contests and loses it will be the end of Ranil’s political life.

Buddhism, The Lack Of It And Abuses By Its Flag Bearers

By Muhammed Fazl -

899ba sri lanka Muhammed Fazl  150x150 Buddhism, The Lack Of It And Abuses By Its Flag Bearers

Muhammed Fazl

“It is a man’s personal mind, not his enemy or foe that lures him to evil ways” – Gautama Buddha

Historians of Buddhism in Sri Lanka may possibly or may not have interpreted historical scriptures based on details or opinions… but none of it matter any longer since Buddhism has lost its worth and its value thanks largely to its ineffectiveness in matters regarding governance, rule of law and social justice. Bitter it may possibly be to some to swallow, but Sri Lanka was never a Buddhist nation. The require to look for option and effective sources of guidance in major the masses towards spiritual enlightenment is now a matter of fantastic exigency.

60% of the population claiming to be Buddhists or the belief in the legend exactly where Lord Buddha supposedly had arrived in Sri Lanka centuries ago does not make this a Buddhist country. For it to be rightly referred to as such, it require to be governed by teachings of Buddhism as in the case of Islamic nations exactly where Islamic Sharia is the source of governance. Buddhism as a state religion in this nation has been a failure considering that none of the governments in power paid any significant consideration in getting guided by its teachings. Sri Lanka with a single of the highest instances of rape, suicide, murder, theft, racial intolerance, alcohol consumption and the addiction for gambling has also contributed in negating the influence of Buddhism.

4da8b sri lanka buddhist monks protest Buddhism, The Lack Of It And Abuses By Its Flag BearersThe Thripitakaya, written 500 plus years right after the death of Gautama Buddha with 80,000 plus sermons to comply with, how it came to be written or concerns of its authenticity is no much more critical as long as its teachings are helpful, if followed that is. What ever religion one particular might stick to, the beauty of the Buddhist philosophy or its sensibility can not be simply disputed or denied.

The state religion and a religion of tolerance, interpreted, distorted and disregarded by many and being utilized mostly for income and politics in present chimes, seeing its teachings becoming relegated to mere rituals is certainly unfortunate. In order to attract the disinterested lot, copying ritualistic practices from the Hindu faith and construing it as divine ones makes it an even far more pathetic sight.

What could have befallen in the ‘land of Buddha’ exactly where erosion of values and practices have resulted in a sense of spiritual bankruptcy, particularly amongst the flag bearers of its faith?

Lord Buddha anticipated his followers to learn the truth themselves and not just think in what the scriptures say. But this ‘truth’ can be subjective and interpreted in several ways specifically when living in a multi-religious nation such as ours. Guidance it may possibly be, but how numerous of our own monks have memorized or know the which means of the whole scripture, let alone the ones in Pali or Sanskrit languages? As for the ordinary faithful, by and massive, belief in Buddhism or the pagan ritualistic practices are somewhat a fashion statement to portray and justify one’s non-existent sense of piety.

Wearing a easy saffron-colored robe does not qualify one to deserve respect when attributes of old-age, wisdom, achievements in the service of humanity or piety does not exist. Rapists, pedophiles, thieves, murderers searching for sanctuary in temple premises donning monk’s robes is a frequent sight and far more frequently than not, it is as a cover from their ‘colorful’ pasts and as a refuge from prosecution by the long arm of the law.

While the method of ordaining of monks as effectively as disrobing them are seriously flawed and non-existent in most circumstances, I constantly questioned the judgment of my countrymen in bowing down to nefarious characters wearing monk’s robes. Queries arising from centuries old practices such as worshipping or praying to lifeless sculptures/statues, Bo trees, chanting Pirith, tying threads around wrists, anointing oil on the head, and ‘religious’ processions (Peraharas) and so forth., seriously needs to be addressed when one’s suitable conduct is absent or contrary to the teachings of Lord Buddha.

622c5 sri lanka Child Monks 2 Buddhism, The Lack Of It And Abuses By Its Flag BearersEven though Nirvana (Nibbana) can be achieved only when the fire of greed and hatred is extinguished, in practical terms, the state of Dukkha (full peace) can be accomplished only if no money is transacted, when detached from luxuries in life and worldly pleasures, when not in a state of intoxication or when non-violent or not dishonest among other positive attributes. Expecting majority of present day monks to abide by Vinaya (guidelines of discipline) would be unrealistic and herein arises the query of identifying the pious from the devious.

One’s piety is for himself/herself and for them alone the rewards for their good deeds. Their actions, sincere or otherwise, need to have not have a bearing on one more or for it to be a cause for worship. The Muslims that I am, I think only the God above knows the level of piety among his creatures. Therefore, I seriously query the actions of my countrymen in bowing down to yet another mortal who in reality could be a kid molester, rapist or a murderer and so forth.

Most of the Buddhist temples in this nation are cash cows and havens for pedophiles and the deprived homosexuals. Small boys as young as six are left at the mercy of grown up males who supposedly have ‘denounced’ sexual relationships and who claim to live a ‘life of celibacy’. Guys and females were created to enjoy each and every other, so it is in line with nature for a single to be attracted to the opposite sex. Deprivation often leads to the unnatural kind, mainly involving minors who are vulnerable and effortlessly offered in these conditions. When small Samaneras (tiny boys) get employed to living with the forced pleasurable discomfort, they too discover to impose themselves on the vulnerable when they grow up. The cycle continues with a strict code of silence largely due to abandonment by their parents when young and when left with no other options for sustenance outside the temple premises. Investigation has taught us that sexual violence are perpetrated largely by guys who have been themselves victimized when young.

Investigating activities of every single Buddhist temple in this nation would reveal the prevalence of misappropriation of charity funds, homosexuality, escapades of sex amongst monks and prostitutes and Tele-drama actresses, alcohol/drug abuse and kid abuse among other folks. Inactions of the four Mahanayake chapters in eradicating the abuses and corruption would also make them complicit ought to they continue with their silence. Unfortunately, the partnership in between each and every government in energy and the Buddhist clergy is so robust, that an impartial investigation in to the activities of monks and their ‘places of worship’ would in no way see light of day.

Crusaders of justice that we all ought to be, this is my personal attempt in rescuing my Sinhala Buddhist brethren from the evil that has engulfed them all along. In the meantime and in conclusion, I sincerely hope concerned authorities would address the following issues and issues,

1. Why Buddhist temples are permitted to collect funds when it is the responsibility of the State to safeguard and foster Buddhism? Is it also not a code of conduct in the Buddhist Vinaya for the monks not to deal with money? And if they do, will it not lead to misappropriation and abuse of public funds? With so numerous accusations levelled at Islamic locations of worship for raising money which could fund ‘Islamic extremism’ as allegedly, is it not evident with outfits like BBS linked temples instigating terror and violence against minorities only after raising vast amounts of funds?

2. What is the criteria in ordaining a monk and if exist a program to disrobe them when they act on the contrary to its teachings, has it ever been exercised? And if so, why wasn’t BBS general secretary Gnanasara not punished or disrobed for his despicable behavior?

three. Is it legal for children to be trained in monkhood when they are young as six and when their main education should be created compulsory? Would it be right to force religious teachings and religious teachings only when they are little youngsters and avert them from obtaining a regular childhood and dreams of a life of their choice?

4. Does the Child Protection Authority visit any of the temples if not all of them to investigate situations of pedophilia and child abuse? And would it be secure to leave them in the organization of unrelated males with no females to look soon after them? Would it also not be advisable for the Authority to make regular visits to inspect the wellbeing of children in the care of monks?

five. What is the role of the Ministry of Buddha Sasana vis-a-viz temples? Shouldn’t they implement a code of conduct and also look into contemporary day Buddhist beliefs and practices?

6. If monks are permitted to dabble in politics, would it be unfair to other political parties because temples attract tax cost-free funds and also enjoy a lot of subsidized facilities given that they are registered as charity organizations.

7. If monks are allowed to enter the political arena, would it not be a case of using religion (which is most dear to a sizable section of the ignorant voter base) to achieve power and wealth?

eight. Why the age old practice of veneration of an additional mortal and the require to give prominence and priority in public areas, buses, trains and so on., when one’s faith is a private matter?

*The writer is an independent social/political activist and can be contacted on [email protected] and via FB Fazl Muhammed Nizar

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