LTTE terrorists exploded a bomb in side a public transportation bus targeting civilians in Dambulla this morning (February 2), defence sources said. According to available information, the blast was occurred in a privately owned bus traveling from Kandy to Anuradhapura around 7 a.m.
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Posted by media at 7:11 PM
President Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday appointed senior Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle as the acting Foreign Minister in the absence of Minister Rohita Bogollagama and his deputy Hussain Bhaila, who are out of the country, sparking fresh speculation that heads might roll.
Foreign Ministry sources said there had been no practice of appointing an acting minister on earlier occasions when the foreign minister was abroad.
Meanwhile a statement issued by the Media Unit of the Highways and Road Development Ministry said Mr. Fernandopulle had taken oaths as the Acting Foreign Minister to fill the ‘vacancy’ since minister Bogollagama had gone abroad.
Speculation was rife in government circles that Mr. Bogollagama was to be replaced and the portfolio would most likely to go to Export Development and External Trade Minister G.L.Peiris.
Foreign Ministry sources also said minister Bogollagama was to return to the country last night cutting short his trip to Pakistan,.
A reliable government source said there was pressure on President Rajapaksa within the government to replace minister Bogollagama. The source also said President Rajapaksa was not happy about the performance of the Foreign Minister.
“The thinking of many in the government is that he is a liability to the government. Once in Geneva attending the peace talks he checked into a super luxury suite with his family members while all other ministers and officials were in lesser charged hotel rooms, a government source said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Fernandopulle told the Daily Mirror he was not interested in the foreign ministry portfolio and was happy with the Road Development and Highways ministry.
Minister Fernandopulle approved a number of new diplomatic appointments. Among them were prominent criminal lawyer Mr. Daya Perera who would be the new High Commissioner to Canada, and H.M.G.S.Palihakkara Sri Lanka’s permanent representative to the United Nations.
Foreign Minister Bogollagama, who is on an official visit to Pakistan met President Parveez Musharaff on Thursday, a foreign ministry source said.
By Sandun A Jayasekera, DM
Posted by media at 6:31 AM
Friday, February 1, 2008
by C. Wijeyawickrema, LL.B., Ph.D.
A 1972 Harvard law graduate, Bruce Fein (BF), in an article published in the Washington Times (WT) on January 29, 2008, prods the United States and its president “to recognize the right of the “long oppressed” Tamil people to independent statehood from the racial supremacist Sinhalese.” BF is no ordinary citizen. He co-founded the NGO called American Freedom Agenda (AFA) in March 2007 to fight against the government intrusions on American civil liberties. He is now the chairman of this NGO. He wanted to impeach Dick Chaney. Unfortunately, he is also a lawyer for the NGO called Tamils for Justice.
Still one does not know for sure in what capacity he wrote his article. If he genuinely believes he uncovered “self-evident truths” on Tamil problems in Sri Lanka, just like the forefathers of the American Declaration of Independence that he quotes, then he and his client are in big trouble. Almost all the statements (facts?) in his article are untruths, half-truths, distortion of facts or cheap shots by an arrogant lawyer. He has done a disservice to the readers of WT by misleading them with falsehood. American people suffered en-mass so many times because of such falsehood emanated from inside the Beltway--Washington. D.C. Ironically, “to fight against this kind of falsehood” was the reason for his co-founding of his NGO, the AFA in 2007. As a person who has dual interest in promoting Sri Lankan-American friendship based on truth and ethics I consider it my public duty to demand accountability from BF. It does not matter if he is the most famous lawyer on earth.
Boston Tea Party and Ceylon tea
One could guess from BF’s piece that the Los Angeles-living Sri Lankan Tamil Jayantha Donald Gnanakone (JG) is one of his clients. JG once told an American audience in the Los Angeles area that the Tamil fight in Sri Lanka had a historical (and sentimental) connection with the famous Boston Tea Party in the 1770s. He said that the tea grown by the Tamils in Ceylon ended up in the boxes thrown out to the sea in Boston. This was a falsehood with a one hundred-year gap! After the coffee blight, British investors began growing tea only around 1870s. Who are the fools (or victims) of this kind of client-lawyer games? Is it justice or freedom to allow them to escape with such false propaganda?
Tamil separatists once fooled the Massachusetts Legislature in 1977 to pass a resolution against the government of Sri Lanka for allegedly oppressing the Tamils (Massachusetts House Journal for 1979, page 977 reads: “Resolution memorializing the President and the Congress to protest and utilize the powers of their offices to rectify the gross injustices which have been inhumanely inflicted on the Tamils of Sri Lanka”).
Along with two other Tamil professors (one was at Harvard) who lived in the vicinity of Boston, JG must have had a hand in this fooling affair because at that time the PanAm jets carried on board a map of Eelam and JG was a DC-8 airline pilot.
One reason for such irresponsible behavior and the abuse of freedom to write and speak was the hopeless situation at the Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad, especially in USA, Canada, UK and the UN agencies. Diplomats were more interested in collecting dollars by baby-sitting or planning strategy on how not to go back to Sri Lanka. Only in 2008 we find UN-Geneva office of Sri Lankan mission and the Colombo peace secretariat fighting back against an organized false propaganda machine at the international level. I hope they will act against the tiger Tamil terrorist lobby in USA.
The first white American Buddhist and Ceylon - 1880
There was a time that every year the Sri Lankan mission in Washington, D.C. celebrated the death anniversary of an American for the services he rendered to the Sinhalese Buddhists in Ceylon during 1880 to 1909. American Christian missionaries started schools in Ceylon as soon as Ceylon became a crown colony of England in 1802 and the last Tamil king of Ceylon was captured in 1815, but the discrimination and oppression of the majority Sinhala Buddhists who have had a unique heritage running back to 2500 years had no such foreign support until Col. Henry Steele Olcott landed there in 1880. Olcott, who was President Lincoln’s war commissioner, is perhaps the only American treated with the highest honor possible to bestow upon another human being by the Sinhala Buddhist society. He was called a Bodhi Satva, a person on his life path to become a Buddha. Olcott helped in the struggle for the basic rights of Buddhists. When the Sinhala-Christian representative in 1885 opposed the resolution to make Vesak a public holiday (at that Christmas was celebrated with one week of holidays), it was the white American Olcott who spoke on behalf of Buddhists.
I mentioned about Olcott to show BF that there are always at least two sides to a story. We cannot allow BF to mislead the American public, intentionally or innocently, with distortions and by suppression of truth. Any unfair attempt, however vain it was going to be, to harm the good relationship that exists between the American people, American Congress and American administration officials on the one hand and the Sinhala people on the other, should be resisted.
The list of Bruce Fein’s distortions and half-truths
1. Racial supremacist Sinhalese
As a lawyer BF should have known that at least 50% of Tamils in Sri Lanka live with the Sinhalese. BF should also know that the late Lakshman Kadiragamar (assassinated by Tamil terrorists, despite a life-guarantee given by JG’s older brother Charles, who was a financial supporter of Tamil terrorists), Ananadasangaree, Douglas Devananda and Col. Karuna, just to name four Tamils, stated publicly that the Sinhalese did not discriminate against the Tamils. What if they come as witnesses to BF’s court case? Historically, it was the Sinhala King who allowed Tamil Catholics and Muslims to relocate within his kingdom when the Portuguese and Dutch in the coastal areas started killing them.
As Christians BF (and his client JG) should try to understand why there were no religious wars or no systematic attempts to convert others to Buddhism. Buddhism is not a historical or a revealed religion. It is not based on faith and belief. In Buddhism, one is asked to come and examine (Ehi Passiko), not come and believe, as in Christianity or Islam. In the 1960s when a Tamil mathematics professor, Sundaralingam, was preventing the entry of “low caste” Tamils in to Hindu kovils, Buddhist priests did not try to convert those low caste Jaffna people in to Buddhism. About 10-30% of the sacred space of a Buddhist temple is devoted to Hindu gods and goddesses. In India, millions of Dalits led by the late Dr. Ambedkar embraced Buddhism on their own reckoning and not due to any evangelical effort by Buddhist monks from Sri Lanka. In fact, this passive attitude of Buddhists was the main reason for wiping out Buddhism from India or almost from South Korea in more modern times.
In Buddhism life is cyclical (re-birth) and one could achieve Nirvana (Heaven?) in this birth. In Christianity, life is linear and there is no death or birth, only a temporary transfer to a holding tank until the Resurrection. A person is saved if he has faith in God and is baptized. A person could erase his sins by a confession made on the Sabbath day. In Buddhism, Middle Path (compromise, reasonableness) is a foundation rock of daily living. Because of these principles and concepts a Buddhist cannot treat another human being as inferior or second class. Buddhism preaches Universal Brotherhood. Every thing is impermanent, from a beautiful young actress to a blade of grass and the universe.
BF should know this was a reason for the election of a woman as the first prime minister in modern world by Sri Lankans in July 1960. In Buddhism, women are considered equal or higher than in men in their intellectual capacity, and women were allowed to become monks 2500 years ago. When Geraldine Ferraro was the vice presidential candidate in 1984 it was an exciting event in USA!
2. Tamil people sought statehood in 1976
A lawyer with false facts is a dead lawyer. BF did not know that the first attempt at separation began in 1918 not in 1976. In 1917, anti-Hindi and anti-Brahmin Tamils in South India demanded a separate country called Dravidasthan, from London. They thought the colonial ruler will help creating a Pakistan in south India since dividing India was in the DNA of British rulers in India. The complaints of discrimination against Tamils in Ceylon were rejected by two Royal Commissions in 1929 and 1944. Yet, in 1949 a group of Christian Tamils living in Colombo started a separatist party called Tamil State Party and openly joined with the separatist movement in Tamil Nad. In fact after India banned separatist politics in 1963, after the Chinese capture of Indian land, Tamil Nad separatists moved their separatist apparatus to Sri Lanka as DMK party.
3. There has never been a Tamil president
If a lawyer mixes apples with oranges he will lose his case. Not knowing the history or geography of Sri Lanka, BF appears as an arrogant American or an ugly American. Sri Lanka will have a Tamil president when America has an African American or Hispanic or a Mormon president. A person from 10% of the population can become a president only if that person says that he is not going to create a separate country after he becomes the president! This was what had happened in 1977. A Tamil became the Leader of the Opposition in Sri Lanka. He started a campaign to discredit the country and finally to separate the country. He used Tamil boys as a liberation army. Finally, the Tamil boys killed him.
A Tamil did not become the prime minister but Tamils became Chief Justices, Attorney Generals and Police chiefs. Tamils became cabinet ministers, ministry secretaries and key diplomats. Tamils were commanders or deputy commanders of army navy and police. But in 1962 Tamil and Christian police and Navy chiefs floated a coup d’etat to capture power by military means which failed at the last hour, and after this narrow escape of the death of democracy in Sri Lanka, which is the oldest democracy in modern Asia, yes there was a systematic effort to add more and more Sinhala officers, replacing Tamil and burgher officers. Still there were several Tamil police chiefs.
4. Denied citizenship to one million Tamils
Colonialism was another name for exploitation of resources of other countries for the benefit of the master country. When colonial planters needed cheap labor for their tea plantations, there was a plan to import Iris labor from England. But because of the high shipping costs from Liverpool to Colombo, a ferry service and a rail road was constructed to bring in South Indian coolies. These poor souls had no permanent interest with their host country, and at the time of independence citizenship laws required certain conditions for them to become citizens. Since BF cites examples from USA, this situation could be compared to the Mexican labor problem in USA or Asian labor force in the Arab world.
The citizenship laws were passed with Tamil and Muslim MPs voting for them. BF needs to know that there were/are four Tamil groups in Sri Lanka: (1) Jaffna Tamils (2) Batticaloa Tamils (3) Colombo Tamils and (4) Indian Tamils. Other Tamils did not care about the Indian Tamil until late into the 1980s. A capitalist exploitation system treated these Indian coolies as semi-slaves. It was funny that the London papers felt sorry for these people for the first time after the British tea estates in Sri Lanka were nationalized in the 1970s!
British tea planters robbed the Kandyan peasant land with government backing and the sufferings of those villagers, the soil erosion due to leveling of forested mountains for tea growing created untold miseries for the natives. The “developments” in these areas were developments of roads for the British-owned tea estates!
5. Jayantha’s mother, brother and wife
BF is shedding crocodile tears for poor Jayantha’s plight. This Jayantha is from a rich business family and his situation cannot be compared to an average Tamil’s. They are like the Rockefellers in Sri Lanka. In Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, Tamils and Muslims cover 65% of population. They are richer than the Sinhalese. Gnanakone’s are the richest families. I am a poor Sinhala Buddhist and I left the country sick of politicians. I did not have the opportunities the Gnanakone’s had in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka’s problem is not a Tamil versus Sinhala problem. It has been a problem between the rich class and the poor people.
Jayantha’s wife is a Sinhala woman and they are under the police watch not because they are Tamils but because they are rich Tamils involved in partisan politics. Jayantha and his brother Charles acted as political marriage brokers, had secret talks with some politicians and suspected of bribing politicians. Most importantly, their behavior and their boasting that they have connections with the Tamil terrorist groups cannot guarantee them undisturbed living quarters in Colombo. If one’s house has to be checked for drugs or documents or suspected as a hiding place for terrorists, there is no way an old mother was not going to face some questioning and inspection. The sons created that unpleasant situation, not the police. BF may not know that Charles was questioned by the Australian authorities for shady deals. Money corrupt, a lot of money corrupts one’s mothers and wives.
6. 1958 Sinhalese only act
There was no Sinhalese act in 1958. There was the Sinhala Official Language Act of 1956 with a Reasonable Use of Tamil Language Act of 1958. A country needs a unifying language. In USA, sometime in the past the issue was German versus English. Now, at least in the southern states and in New York City, it is whether English or Hispanic. In India, Hindi was made the official language by a majority of one vote. Hindi was spoken by only about 40% of the people but Gandhi was so adamant that it becomes the unifying language.
SOL has become a fool’s agenda for people like BF. At the time of independence in 1948 there were two Ceylons: the English-speaking Ceylon in and around Colombo and the Non-English-speaking Ceylon outside Colombo. About 10% of the Colombo Ceylon controlled the other Ceylon. This had to be changed, and Sinhala and Tamil, called Swabhasha, had to be promoted.
During colonial times there were attempts to interpret that Sinhala is a variety of Tamil language and with a Tamil heartland (now with 65 millions) only 20 miles of shallow sea away, Sinhala language was under attack from all sides. Due to this, those who came to power in 1956 acted unwisely in not following a systematic approach to removing English from its colonial power status. The opposition politicians sabotaged the implementation of the reasonable use of Tamil law. Sri Lanka’s misery was and has been the control of the country by a Colombo class created by the colonial master to continue colonialism after they physically left the colony. These black-whites (coconuts in Mexico, white inside, brown outside) are still in control from behind the scene after 60 years of independence.
What BF needs to understand is if 10% of the people, most of them living in a dry limestone covered area finds jobs in the southern Sinhala areas could they expect the people in the south to learn Tamil or should the Tamil doctor, engineer, teacher or government clerk learn Sinhala? Learning another language helps the person not that language. English-speaking separatist Tamil politicians in Colombo gave private tuition in Sinhala to their children, but prevented the poor Tamils in Jaffna learning Sinhala. With such dirty politics learning a language became a political issue not an individual cost and benefit issue. Why is it that American mothers want their children to learn Chinese, Arabic, Russian, Hindi and Japanese, not German, Latin, Greek or French?
When a country had to remedy past mistakes or past policies aimed at exploiting man by man, due to lack of unlimited resources to make wholesale changes, it takes certain steps for incremental changes in the name of justice and fairness. In India, certain tribes and castes are given quotas under the constitution. In USA American Indians are given certain rights because the white man came and took their land. In Australia aborigines are provided with some special benefits. Perhaps, the only country on earth free of such “reverse-discrimination (?)” is Japan which is 99.9% Japanese with a rigid immigration policy. The civil rights laws in USA or Brazil are aimed at such reverse discrimination.
In Sri Lanka education from K-university is given free but it was helping the city-rich more than the village- poor. Until all areas of the country are provided with reasonable levels of educational facilities and opportunities, standardization was used as a patch work solution. Under this method certain districts with more facilities had to give up numbers for the benefit of the districts with lesser facilities. It so happens that Tamil districts have had the best facilities in the country (due to past discrimination?). So it appeared that Tamils were treated unfairly when their total numbers are getting decreased.
Under the colonial policy of divide and rule 10% of Tamils had 30-60% of engineering, medical, technical, university teaching jobs. With independence and regional development these numbers began to fall, not to 10% level but to 20-30% range. What is the solution to this in a country where the government provides free education?
But to brand it as discrimination is not going to work.
8. Slavery and post-slavery
It is sad that BF with his salesman hat was trying to use American examples to describe Sri Lankan situations. If there was slavery in Sri Lanka it was during the colonial rule when South Indian coolies were imported for semi-slavery bondage. Using man as an animal is a western idea and not an Asian and certainly not a Buddhist concept. It is better if BF becomes a fair and reasonable lobbyist and not another Jack Abramoff. The Indian tribes who used Abramoff as a lobbyist later sued him for his “greed, corruption and deceit,” because he was lobbying for and against the same client. Yes, such things are happening in the land of opportunity called America.
Posted by media at 4:19 AM
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Bruce Fein EXPOSED again: Lobbying to defend the listing of LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization
Even though Bruce Fein now lobbies for "the Deproscription of the LTTE, and Statehood for Tamils in the island of Sri Lanka" on behalf of "Tamils for Justice" organization, he approached some Sri Lankan-Americans to file amicus curie briefs to defend the listing of LTTE as a foreign terrorist organization for a fee of $40,000 just last year (February 2007). Also, read below what Bruce Fein suggested about educating the US officials about the vileness of the LTTE.
- EXPOSED: What Bruce Fein proposed to lobby AGAINST Tamil Tigers in 2006 - For money
- Bruce Fein: Staunch opponent of Tigers in 2004, zealous defender in 2008
From Bruce Fein's Law Office:
Bruce Fein & Associates is hereby retained to file amicus curie briefs in Humanitarian Law Project v. U.S. Dept of Treasury pendin
February 22, 2007
Sent: Friday, February 23, 2007
Subject: Amicus Brief-Sustainment Program
The amicus briefs that Bruce Fein & Associates has proposed to prepare are insufficient in isolation as an education effort about the vileness of the LTTE and the urgency of the United States to craft its bilateral relations with Sri Lanka accordingly. I would also highly recommend a readable handbook on LTTE for Members of Congress and the media, prepare a companion press kit, arrange think tank seminars on LTTE and terrorism at AEI, the Heritage Foundation, CSIS, and the Brookings Institution, and, prepare regular columns and letters to the editor when appropriate. I would also be eager to speak to the Sri Lankan Diaspora about how best to organize and communicate with Congress and the media for maximum effectiveness, and what arguments are most persuasive to a United States audience.
Posted by media at 7:21 AM
A Joint-Statement titled “Abrogation of Ceasefire Agreement Will Escalate Spiral of Violence” has been published in the English & Sinhala newspapers on 28th & 29th January 2008. (quote): “The government’s decision to abrogate the Norwegian-facilitated Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) signed with the LTTE in 2002 is a matter of grave concern to the undersigned civil society organizations.”(end quote)
Who may these “civil society organizations” be? They are: Association of War Affected Women; Centre for Society and Religion; Centre for Human Rights and Development, Colombo; Centre for Women and Development-Jaffna; Christian Alliance for Social Action; Consortium for Humanitarian Agencies; Equal Grounds, Sri Lanka; INFORM; Home for Human Rights, Colombo; Human Development Organization, Kandy; International Centre for Ethnic Studies; International Movement Against Discrimination and Racism; Law & Society Trust; Mothers & Daughters of Lanka; Mannar Women for Human Rights and Democracy; Muslim Information Centre Sri Lanka; Muslim Women’s Research and Action Forum; National Peace Council;
Rights Now Collective for Democracy; SETIK, Kandy; Women and Media Collective.
These “civil society organizations” have conveniently left out some others who also belong to this “civil society organization” status like Foundation for Peaceful Co-existence, Anti-War Front,
Prayathnaya, Sarvodaya etc who have other agendas of their own and at this point wish to be separated from the rest of the bandwagon! Take a look at the names of these “civil society organizations” and you can easily say that 90% of these are all who were created in this country
due to the 30 years of LTTE atrocities and have thrived and profited at the expense of the sufferings of an entire nation. If they are genuine in their fears of bloodshed, then they should be the first to hail the government, in the effort to wipe out terrorism from this country- isn’t that so?
Their statement states many inaccuracies in order to shed “crocodile tears” and pretend that they truly are speaking on behalf of the suffering majority of Sri Lanka. Referring to the CFA and the benefits they state “……………..Instead of such negotiations, for the past two years the government and LTTE vocally supported a ceasefire but actually engaged in a high level of hostilities tantamount to war, including mounting human rights violations, the overrunning of forward defence lines, capture of territory, artillery, sea and air bombing, and the large scale displacement of people.” We wonder why they have such short memories? The UNP government of Ranil Wickramasinghe gave the LTTE a “Carte Blanche” permit to do as they wished without even having the decency to get a referendum from the people of Sri Lanka who voted him into power. The Norwegians and LTTE drafted the agreement and Ranil Wickramasinghe merely signed it in agreement in 2002 without even consulting the Executive President of our country (not that she is to be respected but still she held supreme executive powers at the time). Cosmetically, LTTE and UNP government of the time held talks giving
maximum exposure for the benefit of LTTE terrorists to get international contact by holding the talks in any given location of their choice! By May 2003, this wonderful CFA under Ranil Wickramasinghe had already collapsed after the Tokyo conference and LTTE did exactly as they wished with impunity and with the express support of the SLMM. All the while, almost all international organizations working inside Sri Lanka and the Norwegian brokered SLMM turned a blind eye to the atrocities of the LTTE terrorists. So did all these so called “civil society organizations.”
They are trying to make it out, that President Rajapakse’s government was instrumental in the breakdown of peace talks when they state “……………..Instead of such negotiations, for the past two years the government and LTTE vocally supported a ceasefire but actually engaged in a high level of hostilities tantamount to war, including mounting human rights violations, the overrunning of forward defence lines, capture of territory, artillery, sea and air bombing, and the large scale displacement of people.” This is a total fabrication and intentional lie on the part of these INGOs/NGOs. Since May of 2003 there were no peace talks because LTTE terrorists do not want any other life other than a life through which they wreak terror, bloodshed and misery
for their own survival.
According to the Joint Statement it is stated “The signing of the CFA brought numerous benefits to the citizens of Sri Lanka. It ushered in a period of relative peace, allowing civilians directly affected by the conflict the opportunity to rebuild their lives, homes and livelihood.” What we know of this agreement and the benefits, is that it certainly did benefit the LTTE terrorists because the A9 Road was re-opened which gave the terrorists a daily revenue of Rs.4-5million per day as “entry collection money” at the Wanni entry point for them to amass even more
weaponry, to continue their atrocities. It also gave them the opportunity to “collect Kappang Money” from all business operations that commenced during the time but, instilled fear in the minds of those who went to work on those projects because their lives were never secure unless, these Contractors did according to the instructions of the LTTE leaders. We are also not sure of the so called “relative peace” or “rebuild their lives, homes and livelihood” that these civil society
organizations are talking about. What we do know, is that Tamil parents living in the North and East were mortally afraid of even sending their children to school for fear that their children would be kidnapped by the terrorists and taken to join the “Child Brigade of the LTTE.” Many
are the photos we have seen of parents wailing in front of their dead family members. We also saw how civilians were killed in bomb blasts for no reason?
The Joint Statement also states “As civil society organizations deeply concerned about peace and human rights we all supported the CFA.” If they were so concerned, how much have they been able to prevail upon the blood-thirsty terrorists who have violated all accepted norms of human
rights for them to stop their atrocities and get back to civilian life of peace and harmony?
In this Joint Statement it is stated “….While there is a clear need to make political negotiations to find a settlement to the ethnic conflict more inclusive by including non-LTTE Tamil parties in political talks, it cannot be done at the cost of eliminating the LTTE from the dialogue.
The danger inherent in the government’s position, especially in the event of a total rejection of the past process with the LTTE, is that it is paving the way for a fight to the finish where the costs can be very high, success is not guaranteed, and no fall back position will be available. We regret that the role played by the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission (SLMM) established under the CFA has also come to an end with the abrogation of the Ceasefire Agreement. Although the international monitors of the SLMM were unable to prevent all acts of war and human rights violations from taking place, we recognize that the SLMM was a crucial third party that was able to be physically present in the conflict zones, record incidents, and report them to the conflicting
parties and the international community. …. The SLMM’s removal now puts the populations in both the North and the South more at risk. The government rejection of a UN Human Rights field presence, the inability of the Commission of Inquiry(COI) and the International Independent Group of Eminent Persons(IGEP)to make meaningful progress in discharging
their mandates, and the inability of the National Human Rights Commission to fulfill its mandate and duties, combine to place respect for human rights in Sri Lanka in further jeopardy……..” They seem to be dismayed by the gruesome murders of T. Mahesweran not necessarily of D.M.Dissanayake (who was a government Minister) and the escalation of war and urge “..all members of the international community who have been engaged in the advancement of peace through a negotiated settlement in Sri Lanka to stand by us at this difficult moment in our history and to use whatever modes of intervention they feel are appropriate to impress upon the government, the LTTE and all political actors in Sri Lanka the need to abandon the path of war and to return to a peace process immediately.”
These NGOs/INGOs truly sound desperate in their SOS bid to mobilize international mediatories to stop the total annihilation of terrorism from this country! They do not for one moment recall how the so called pampering of LTTE terrorists through a long period of 30 years have not brought any perceivable “ peace” to Sri Lanka nor do they admit, that with all the organizations listed above who are party to this desperate appeal having been in operation for nearly 3 decades, they have failed miserably to get the LTTE terrorists to see that “peace talks are necessary” and that laying down arms is mandatory if there is to be real and true peace in this country. Terrorism was born and bred through the instigation and training of arms manufacturing countries of the west who have fanned sentiments of dissention, for them to profit from war. They have wreaked havoc in almost all South East Asian/African developing countries in their bid to breakdown social and cultural norms of those countries. Having done that, having brought misery into these originally peaceful and prosperous countries- then they also talk about human rights, civil order, peace etc in another bid for them to come up with other “projects and organizations” through which they can benefit through our misery!
Of the 24 so called “civil society organizations” who have signed this Joint Statement nearly 13 have some form of human rights, peace or humanitatian meaning in their NGO/INGO names and without a doubt, they have been in existence during the last 3 decades. Of these organizations, we also see 2-3 Christian organizations who have also their own agendas to fulfill in this whole LTTE terrorist operation of fanning chords of dissention to destabilize this country for their own religious agendas using the LTTE.
It is ironic and at the same time rather humorous, that these 24 organizations ( there are many more of them having hidden agendas who have not included their names in this list) which formed themselves with the express objective of “ bringing human rights and peace to Sri Lanka” or atleast say so for their own survival, have not been able to achieve their targets for 30 years of bringing in peace and respect for human rights even with their existence in this country. Together with them, there have been so many more international bodies that have also been earning profits through our misery in the name of “humanitarian and peace” projects. First and foremost, they must be honest and ask the question “what have we achieved in this country after 3 decades of earning money for this cause?” Having failed to show positive results, they have to acknowledge the fact that terrorists only need war to eliminate them from this country if true progress, prosperity and peace are to be achieved in Sri Lanka without being utterly hypocritical.
It is because the current government saw how the LTTE terrorists were manipulating the international bodies, governments and “peace maniacs” with their false propaganda, that they decided to go ahead with eliminating terrorism from this country without permitting more INGOs and NGOs to suck the last drop of our blood for their profits. This government also takes into consideration the fact, that LTTE terrorists are not the SOLE REPRESENTATIVES of the Tamil Community in Sri Lanka and they can never be so given their track record of untold atrocities against their own community. No sane minded Tamil who lives among the Sinhalese in the south with no harm to him, will ever consider the LTTE terrorist organization as their sole representative.
During this long period of terrorist war we have all seen how all international bodies, foreign western governments and INGOs as well as NGOs have been working with “pro-LTTE agendas” to undermine the sovereign and democratically elected governments of Sri Lanka. What earthly good can further foreign intervention in this conflict, do for Sri Lanka? Nothing unfortunately and this is the blaring and blatant truth! We have been foolish enough to swallow all the “peace” and “humanitarian” pills that have been administered to us and it is now time to stop this medication and “go in for a course of medication” that terrorists understand- and that is all out campaign to eliminate terrorism as well as “blood suckers in the form of INGOs and NGOs” who are bleeding our country dry with their manipulations. Let us decide on what is best for us and let us not permit organizations run with foreign money dictate to us what we should and must do- we have listened to this jargon for too long- “enough is enough” – If the LTTE terrorists are
eliminated, who loses most- it is the organizations that have been earning profits from our misery- this is why they agitate now!
For Sri Lanka to get back to a peaceful path, all patriotic forces (outside INGOs and NGOs) must unite together with the majority Tamil peace loving community, Muslims, Malays, Sinhalese and Burghers and work towards bringing a workable solution. First, terrorism must be eliminated- then a nation building programme for the entire country.
Posted by media at 7:15 AM
Media Release: Society for Peace, Unity and Human Rights in Sri Lanka (SPUR), NSW, Australia
Terrorist LTTE have been targeting civilians using landmines and claymore bombs, whether there was a ceasefire agreement or not. They have blasted almost anything carrying civilians that moves on the roads of Sri Lanka during the past 25 years.
The carnage caused by the LTTE on 29 Jan by exploding a passenger bus close to Madu Church has taken away many young and innocent lives, and caused the maiming of many others. Since the official end of the ceasefire agreement the LTTE has been doing their utmost to get the attention of the 'international community' and world human rights bodies by the targetted killing of civilians. In early January 08, armed LTTE assassins terrorised the south eastern jungles and villages of Sri Lanka for several weeks, exploding and killing almost everyone they would come across. They left a trail of blood in a period of two weeks across several villages, and causing the deaths of 42 civilians and injuring hundreds more. SPUR, NSW unequivocally condemns all attacks on innocent civilians and expresses its deep sympathy for the dead, injured and their families in distress.
The LTTE terrorists claim that they are the saviours of the Tamil speaking people, however they have a scant respect for ethnicity in their thirst for blood. The cold blooded killings of thousands of Tamil public servants, statesmen, politicians and intellectuals gave birth to this campaign of annihilation in mid 1970s. Thereafter it was the internecine struggle between the Tamil terrorists groups the wiping out of the TELO, EROS, EPRLF, ENDLF, PLOTE, EPDP and many more. Since April 2004, saw the internecine destruction of the LTTE renegade Karuna group in the eastern province. The shooting of 103 of Muslims at two mosques in prayer in Kattankudi in the Eastern Province did little to help the LTTE's thirst for blood of the Tamil speaking people, themselves.
Elements of the international community are now on the ready to impose the UN concept of 'right to protect' R2P through its NGO agencies on Sri Lanka. The LTTE is on the way to and fulfil and establish this particular need, by killing civilians in Sri Lanka whether they by Sinhalese, Tamils or Muslims. To the LTTE it would not matter which ethnic groups is targetted as long at it is translated to numbers in human lives. Such brutality triggers the desired effect of shock and horror in the 'international community, and the consequent condemnation and the belittling of the Sri Lanka Government of its failure in its 'responsibility to protect', R2P of its own people.
The bus bomb near Madu Church, and the bus bomb close to Kilinochichi earlier in January 08 both targeting school children. Such actions points to the urgency and desperation with which the civilian killing spree of the LTTE has commenced. Crowded school buses provide the numbers. They also provide the aggravated shock, sympathy and condemnation of the 'international community', the terrorists are eager to arouse.
What foreign nations and international agencies would wisely do is to provide the support and assistance to Sri Lanka to overcome the menace of brutal terrorism, especially by preventing the funding of terrorism from overseas, and by providing intelligence and tactical support. Sri Lanka at this crucial juncture needs the assistance of friendly nations to find a negotiated and democratic solution to the conflict in Sri Lanka.
President SPUR, NSW
Seventeen civilians, including 11 school children, were killed on Tuesday in an accidental explosion of LTTE Tamil Tiger Terrorist's claymore bomb on a school bus in Mannar district. This territory is held by the LTTE - Click HERE for more info.
Posted by media at 2:20 AM
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Failing to get Government of Sri Lanka or any other anti-LTTE groups to fund him, Bruce Fein now lobbies on behalf of Tamil Tigers, a group which he himself called "terrorists", after being hired by "Tamils for Justice" - yet another front organization of Tamil Tigers.
Please read "Bruce Fein: Staunch opponent of Tigers in 2004, zealous defender in 2008"
910 Seventeenth Street, N.W. Suite 800
Washington, D.C. 20006
Telephone: 202-775-1776 • Facsimile: 202-478-1664
The Friends of Sri Lanka hereby a
TLG will be paid $25,000 per month plus out-of-pocket expenses be
As elaborated below, TLG will educate and lobby the Executive Branch, Con
The major public advocacy themes will include:
- During the British colonial era, Tamils were preferred to the Sinhalese under a nefarious "divide and conquer strategy".
- Sri Lankan Tamils under the Constitution receive fair and non-discriminatory treatment consistent with international human ri
- The Government has undertaken commendable initiatives to redress post-independence wrongs to Tamils.
- The Government of Sri Lanka is ea
ger to embrace federalism arran gements that honor minority aspirations consistent with international standards.
- The Government of Sri Lanka is democratic and embraces the rule of law and international human ri
- The Tamil Ti
gers are guilty of harrowin ghuman ri ghts violations, includin gterrorist assassinations, routine tar getin gof civilians and civilian institutions, and the kidnappin gs and employment of child soldiers. They are an inspiration and model for other terrorists organizations.
- The Tamil Ti
gers are a terrorist or ganization under law. They assassinate Tamils who opt for a peaceful political solution. United States
- The Tamil Ti
gers will never accept anythin gless than independence. To capitulate to their ultimatum would reward terrorism and encoura ge emulation by other ethnic groups demandin gindependence in other nations, such as ETA in Spainor Abu Sayeef in the . Philippines
United States' national security interests would be advanced by the crushing of the Tamil Tigers and the emergence in of a thriving federalism which fairly accommodates the aspirations of different ethnic or religious groups. Sri Lanka is strategically important to international shipping channels and naval power in the vicinity. Sri Lanka
The Lichfield Group will prepare briefin
Counterterrorism resonates with the vast majority in Con
The Lichfield Group will tar
Public advocacy efforts will include a focused media blitz. The Lichfield Group will orchestrate favorable news covera
The Lichfield Group will arran
- A two page briefing paper.
- Briefing handbook.
- Press kit both for the
and tailored to individual countries abroad. United States
- Website that promotes message themes.
- Education meetings on Capitol Hill with key leadership.
- Op-eds and letters to the editor for both national and local newspapers.
- Dear Colleague letters for Congressman.
- Congressional Research Service report. The Lichfield Group will orchestrate a request by a Member of Congress and will contribute to its tone and completion.
- Witness testimony for congressional hearings.
- Think tank seminars.
- University symposiums.
The Lichfield Group
TODAY: Bruce Fein says exactly the opposite in Washington Times: Tamil statehood?
FEW YEARS AGO: Do not forget what Bruce Fein wrote in the same Washington Times paper on February 3, 2004 defending unequivocally the then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for designating 30 organizations, including the Tamil Tigers, as “foreign terrorist organizations” under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
Posted by media at 4:58 AM
Bruce Fein, a lobbyist with credentials from Harvard University, is openly soliciting money to get the Tiger terrorists deproscribed. In an advertisement written for the Bruce Fein Project he markets himself in his website as one who “is uniquely gifted and experienced to give expression to the Tamils’ grievances in the corridors of power in Washington and electronic and print media” and also that he is “well versed in the oppression that afflicts the Tamils under the current Government and their legitimate aspirations for a separate state after grim decades of pervasive and odious discrimination.”
In his statement (January 22, 2008) criticizing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s story titled “TAMING THE TAMIL TIGERS”, he “challenge(s) the legal correctness of the State Department’s listing of the Tamil Tigers as a foreign terrorist organization; and, advocating independent statehood for Sri Lanka’s Tamils through legal channels based on the United States Declaration of Independence, natural and international law, and historical practice” .
Among other things, including the usual litany of complaints made by the separatist lobby, he denies that (1) the Tigers are terrorists (2) the Tiger should be banned as terrorist because they had not harmed any American under federal law, section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act; (3) the Tiger terrorists killed India’s Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and President Ranasinghe Premadasa of Sri Lanka; (4) that a single Tamil had headed the Armed Forces; and (5) the Tigers executed the 15 French workers in Trincomalee even though the forensic evidence of the Australian investigator established that the bullets embedded in the aid workers were the ones used by the Tigers.
However, his role as a lobbyist for the Tamil Tigers in 2008 contradicts his position taken in 2004. In a column he wrote to the The Washington Times, dated February 3, 2004, he defended unequivocally the then Secretary of State Madeleine Albright for designating 30 organizations, including the Tamil Tigers, as “foreign terrorist organizations” under the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996.
Arguing for the banning of terrorists he said: “The designations pivoted on the indiscriminate use of violence by the government PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey) and the LTTE to intimidate civilian populations and to cow the democratically elected government in Turkey and Sri Lanka to capitulate to their secessionist demands.”
He also wrote: “The Tamil Tigers seek a secessionist state in the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka through terrorism. Characteristic of like organizations, the LTTE undertakes auxiliary activities that strengthen its terrorists torso and sweeten its public face: political organizing and advocacy; diplomacy; social services and humanitarian aid; etc.
He even opposed the alleged medical assistance programme of the Tamil Tiger terrorists.
He wrote: “Medically assisting the LTTE, however, facilitates terrorist abominations. Its injured members more quickly return to terrorist duties. And the LTTE more readily attracts grass-root sympathizers, financial contributions and terrorist recruits. The nefarious LTTE terrorist goal of partitioning Sri Lanka into separate Tamil and Sinhalese nations would be closer.”
He concluded by stating: “As Mr. Bumble in “Oliver Twist” would have said, “if the law sustains a constitutional right to assist foreign terrorist-secessionist organisations against countries with which we are at peace, then the law is an ass, an idiot.”
Now, going into reverse gear, he states that (1) the Sri Lankan Government is a terrorist state; (2) one million Tamils were permanently disenfranchised and denied citizenship by the Sri Lankan Government; (3) “the assassinations of India’s Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa, moreover, occurred long years ago, and suggest little or nothing about the contemporary danger of the Tamil Tigers to the United States ; and (4) in 1983, the Government sponsored race riots that eventuated in the slaughter of 4,000 Tamils and the displacements of hundreds of thousands.
The Asian Tribune has sent the following questionnaire to him seeking clarification on his contradictory positions:
(1) With all you impressive credentials from Harvard University and elsewhere, as advertised in your website, you could not have made a mistake in condemning the Tamil Tiger terrorists in your forthright article published in The Washington Times in February 3, 2004.
But in you latest statement challenging the FBI you go all out to defend the Tamil Tiger terrorists?
Have the Tiger terrorists turned into saints overnight after you were given the job of lobbying for them ? Can you please explain how you came to back the Tiger terrorists in 2008 after condemning them in absolutely unequivocal terms in 2004?
(2) In your statement attacking the FBI you state that “Sri Lanka has been allied with enemies of the United States , including Iran , Cuba , Saddam Hussein, and Yasar Arafat’s PLO.”
In your Washington Times article you wrote: “But a constitutional right to assist a foreign terrorist organization to win secession from a nation with which the United Sates is at peace — whether through negotiations or otherwise — is preposterous. Think of the ignominious Munich “peace conference” of 1938.
Could an American citizen steeped in international affairs have claimed a free speech right to advise Adolf Hitler on how to outfox the British and French to capture sovereignty over the Sudentenland from Czechoslovakia?”
“This is a good question but isn’t this exactly what you are doing in the case of the Tamil Tigers who is headed by “the latest Pol Pot of Asia”? ( New York Times , James Burns, May 28, 1995).
If anyone steeped in international affairs has no right to defend Hitler what right have you to defend Velupillai Prabhakaran, “the latest Pol Pot of Asia “, in the Congressional corridors of power?
Besides, US continue to have relations, either officially or unofficially, with Iran, Cuba. So why is it bad for Sri Lanka to have official or unofficial relations with these countries?
Does this reflect your vaunted understanding of international relations? Since Britain and India, for example, maintain friendly relations with these counties will you recommend to the Congress that US should blacklist them too?
Furthermore, if Yasser Arafat is an enemy of US why was he invited to Camp David and why did President Clinton shake hands with him? If Castro is an enemy of US why is ex-President Jimmy Carter advocating the lifting of the ban on Cuba?
(3) You state: “The assassinations of India’s Rajiv Gandhi and Sri Lanka’s President Ranasinghe Premadasa, moreover, occurred long years ago, and suggest little or nothing about the contemporary danger of the Tamil Tigers to the United States .”
Are the law professors of Harvard that idiotic/ignorant not to have taught you that there are no statutory limitations for war crimes and crimes against humanity?
In addition, you state: a recent memoir by a military official in India ‘s armed forces asserts that Gandhi ordered the army to kidnap and to assassinate the leader of the Tigers during peace negotiations.” Obviously, you read and quote only what suits you. Are you aware that this was denied by Indian officials? If you disagree what proof have you to establish your case?
(4) “There has never been a Tamil president or prime minister of Sri Lanka,” you say. Can you kindly name a single Hispanic or an Afro-American (Barak Obama, notwithstanding) as being either a president or a vice president of America? Can you kindly name one non-Anglican who is allowed to sit on the English throne?
You also say: “No Tamil has ever headed the Armed Forces.” Can you kindly make some inquiries from your Tamil informers and kindly tell us who the first Sri Lankan Army Commander (Maj-Gen. Anton Muttucoomaru) was?
Can you kindly tell us who the second Navy Commander (Rear-Admiral Rajan Kadiragamar) was ? Can you kindly tell us whether Rudra Rajasingham, the Inspector General of Police, was from a tribe in Timbuctoo?
(5) Then you state: “One million Tamils were permanently disfranchised and denied citizenship at Sri Lanka’s independence.” Can you kindly tell us which law course at Harvard taught you that a nation, particulary a new nation, has no right to define who its citizens are? Besides, do you know that the Citizenship Act was passed with the consenting vote of G. G. Ponnambalam, the most formidable leader of the Jaffna Tamils at the time.
The leader of the Muslims, T. B. Jayah, and the representatives of other minorities (except the Indian Tamils) voted for it. If all the elected community leaders (except the Indian Tamils) voted for it on what principle are you contesting the right of an elected parliament to define who its citizens are going to be?
Do you also know India subsequently accepted those who did not qualify for citizenship as their citizens under the Sirima-Shastri Agreement? Do you know that since then practically all the Indians have been accepted as citizens?
(6) “In 1961, a Gandhi-like non-violent Tamil movement for regional autonomy was brutally crushed by the Sinhalese,” you say.
What is the evidence you have for the “brutal crushing”? If they were brutally crushed how did they contest elections and carry on their separatist campaign in Jaffna and other parts of the country? Besides, what kind of “non-violent movement” was this when it distributed wooden pistols by the movement’s leaders?
(7) “The principles celebrated in the United States Declaration of Independence and enshrined in natural and international law establish an unequivocal right to separate statehood by Sri Lanka’s Tamils,” according to you.
You also state: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations pursuing invariably the same objective evinces a design to reduce [a people] under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”
On this argument can you name the non-black Congressmen who will campaign with the Afro-Americans for a separate state in the US? How many legislators are likely to be re-elected if they campaign for the right of the Hispanic to use their language in the US states which have already passed laws declaring that English ONLY shall be the official language?
Will they also consider Eboli, a dialect of the Afro-Americans, as an official language of America?
(8) Consider also this quote: “The (FBI) story neglects to note that the Tamil Tigers are not an illegal organization in Sri Lanka itself; and, that the United States Department of State has urged the GoSL to negotiate with the Tamil Tigers.”
Do you not know that the Tigers were once a banned organisation in Sri Lanka and in order to facilitate peace talks it lifted the ban? Not only did it lift the ban it even went for talks with “the deadliest terrorist organisation in the world” (FBI) without insisting on the primary condition of laying down arms before opening negotiations.
Do you also know that none of the Western democracies would ever open negotiations with a terrorist group until and unless they lay down their arms?
(9) “The (FBI) story omits facts indicating that the current GOSL is a state sponsor of terrorism against its Tamil citizens;” you say. If this is the case how do you explain the fact that the majority of the Tamils live in harmony with the majority of the Sinhalese in the South, voting with their feet against to live outside the terrorist outfit in the Vanni? Besides, if the state sponsors terrorism why don’t the Tamils run away to seek safety in the haven of Tamil Tigers in the Vanni?
(10) On the homepage of Tamils for Justice, the objective of the Bruce Fein project includes “The Deproscription of the LTTE.” In the Bruce Fein statement of January 22, 2008, you state that Tamils for Justice “is not a front for the Tamil Tigers. Nor does it represent, associate with, or take direction from the Tamil Tigers or any other organization within or outside the United States.”
The press release Tamils for Justice issued on January 23, 2008, states likewise. How do you reconcile these two contradictory statements? If Tamils for Justice is not an LTTE front, then why is the deproscription of the LTTE its stated objective?
(11) Do you agree that the LTTE is a terrorist organization?
(12) Do you believe that the end justifies the means? That is, do you accept using terrorism for gaining political objectives?
(13) Do you disagree with the UN Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts, under which, activities of LTTE front organizations are being investigated by several foreign governments?
(14) Do you now believe in the LTTE cause ? If so why ?
(15) As you, presumably, believe in transparency and accountability will you declare the details of the funds collected for the deproscription of the Tamil Tiger terrorists, including the names of the donors, particularly because of the suspicion of Tamil for Justice being associated with a banned terrorist organisation?
(16) Who are the office bearers of Tamils for Justice?
(17) Do you see a difference between the LTTE and al Qaeda? If you do, then what is it?
(18) Would you also agree to represent al Qaeda’s deproscription provided an organization similar to Tamils for Justice hires you ?
(19) You say in your statement of January 22, 2008, that there is no evidence to justify the accusation that the LTTE was responsible for assassination of two world leaders. If that is the case, how can you justify your accusation that the GOSL is responsible for the executions of 15 French aid workers in the Trincomalee area, as stated in your statement of January 22?
(20) Who provides information for the Bruce Fein Project?
(21) You say that in 1975, Tamils were politically united behind a declaration of independence to establish a Tamil statehood. Demand for a separate state was made by the Tamil United Liberation Front in 1976 and not 1975, and it was not a declaration but a resolution called “ Vadukkodai Resolution”.
Are you aware that this resolution is based on a myth of a Tamil homeland which has been debunked by Prof. K. M. de Silva, Sri Lanka’s foremost historian, in his monograph which has not been contested by any Tamil or any other historian ? Do you know that the LTTE demand for a separate state is a demand for something that never existed?
(22) Are you aware that A. Amirthalingam, leader of TULF and the cream of Tamil leadership have been liquidated by the Tamil Tiger terrorists ? Do you know that S. Chandrahasan, the son of the father of Tamil separatism, S. J. V. Chelvanayakam, has declared that the Tamil Tigers have killed more Tamils than all others parties put together ?
How do you propose to represent the Tamils for Justice with such scant knowledge of Sri Lanka’s history?
(23) You state that four Tamil members of parliament were assassinated while under Government protection. How many Tamil, Sinhala and Muslim parliamentarians were assassinated by the Tigers? Were they also not afforded security ? Wasn’t the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, a Tamil Foreign Minister, and President R. Premadasa, not given the highest protection by the Government when the Tigers assassinated both ?
(24) You state: “ Neither Tamils for Justice nor Bruce Fein will be crucified on a cross of fear or cowardice.” No one will bother to crucify Bruce Fein, for sure.But we hope Bruce Fein will show courage in answering these questions.
(25) You state: “.....the LTTE undertakes auxiliary activities that strengthen its terrorists torso and sweeten its public face (through) political organizing and advocacy;” etc.
Have you taken up the job of lobbying for the Tamil Tigers “to sweeten its public face” through “political organizing and advocacy”?
by H. L. D. Mahindapala
Posted by media at 4:25 AM
A high-tech radar intended to monitor small boats operated by drug dealers and terrorists on B.C.'s coast and developed with Canadian tax dollars is being installed in Sri Lanka after the federal government decided it couldn't use the system.
The high-frequency surface wave radar, developed at a cost of $39 million by Ottawa defence scientists and Raytheon Canada Limited, had been hailed several years ago by federal officials as the only one of its kind in the world and a major boost for domestic security.
The federal government set aside $43 million to build and operate eight radar sites on the East and West coasts as part of its push to improve security in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
But the government has shut down the existing experimental radar sites in Newfoundland, and the program has been cancelled. The project was derailed after one complaint was received that the radar interfered with civilian communications. The experimental radars had been operating for 10 years without a complaint.
But Raytheon Canada, which builds the high-frequency surface wave radar, is pushing ahead with marketing the system to other nations. It has sold the radar to Sri Lanka with the help of the Canadian Commercial Corp., a Crown agency that helps companies market their products overseas. Other international customers are being lined up, said Raytheon Canada vice-president Denny Roberts.
"The technology works," Roberts said. "Other countries don't seem to have a problem with it."
The radar is unique in that it can track ships at much greater distances than regular surveillance systems. It can detect objects as far away as 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres) from Canada's coasts.
The information gathered by the network was to have been fed into the navy's surveillance centres in Esquimalt and Halifax and shared with various federal agencies.
Canada has been leading development in the area of surface wave radar technology. The British government built a similar system during the Second World War, but it had limited range.
With recent advances in computer processing, scientists from Defence Research and Development Canada's Ottawa laboratories decided to revisit the idea.
The system transmits high-frequency waves that follow the curvature of the Earth to detect and track objects hundreds of kilometres over the horizon. Regular radars are restricted to objects in their line of sight on the horizon.
The Canadian navy had hoped the radars would cut down on surveillance costs, in particular the flying time of Aurora maritime patrol planes.
David Pugliese, Canwest News Service
Posted by media at 12:20 AM
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
COLOMBO, Jan. 29 - Sri Lankan military claimed Tuesday that a village under Tamil Tiger control was captured in the morning hours while killing 22 rebels.
Defense officials said that some 16 bunkers belonging to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were destroyed in the attack in the Mannar district.
The military is said to be moving forward in the Mannar sector with heavy rebel resistance.
The military says the rebels will be evicted from the areas of their control in the north before the end of 2008. Clashes have intensified with ground battles in the north since the government announced its unilateral abrogation of the February 2002 ceasefire on Jan. 16.
More than 70,000 have been killed in the island's long drawn out separatist armed conflict since the mid 1980s.
The LTTE rebels fight the government troops to set up a separate homeland for the minority Tamil community in the island's embattled north and east provinces.
by Du Guodong, Xinhua
Posted by media at 11:51 PM
Organized by: Consul General of Sri Lanka in Los Angeles, USA
Date-Time: Sunday 3rd February 2008 at 5.00PM
Location: California State University, Long Beach, Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 Atherton St, Long Beach, CA 90815
Posted by media at 6:30 AM
Sri Lanka's main opposition United National Party (UNP) said here Monday that they would not take part in the official celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of independence on Feb. 4.
"We will not be taking part in the celebrations", Tissa Attanayake, the UNP general secretary, told reporters.
"It was UNP which gained independence to the country in 1948. What we have seen since then is that all governments other than the UNP governments have undone our achievement of gaining independence. There is no freedom to celebrate," Attanayake said.
He said the country is presently undergoing hardships in all aspects of life, including education, health, economy and the separatist armed conflict in the island's north and east provinces.
The official celebrations are expected to be presided over by the Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse who is also the Commander-in-chief of the troops.
The independence anniversary falls at a time the government is engaged in a military thrust to weaken the Tamil Tiger rebels' hold in their strongholds in the northern province.
by Du Guodong, Xinhua
Posted by media at 2:25 AM
Blows whistle on Rama, Radhika & R2P
The New York Times
620 Eighth Avenue
New York, NY 10018
My attention has been drawn to a recent article by Warren Hoge which, in talking about the R2P concept, asserts that:
“Next month, a research and advocacy center dedicated to moving the principle of responsibility to protect into practice is being inaugurated at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Similar offices are being set up in Australia, Sri Lanka and Thailand.”
As Secretary General of the Peace Secretariat, I was accordingly asked by a concerned citizen ‘what action you contemplate in this regard, if the UN actually intends to establish such an office in our country.’
I pointed out that this was not a UN initiative. However, the article is also in error in claiming that an office dedicated to moving the principle into practice is being set up in Sri Lanka.
There was an attempt to make the International Centre for Ethnic Studies in Colombo an Associated Centre of the New York Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect. This was an initiative (perhaps not entirely unilateral, but certainly not official) of Dr. Rama Mani, the former Executive Director of ICES-C. Earlier this month she was dismissed, mainly for a lack of transparency and accountability with regard to a financial crisis that has affected the office, and for a contentious relationship with many senior researches at ICES-C.
It was only after her dismissal, and the surreptitious removal of material from the office, that the ICES Chairman realized that ICES-C appeared on the website of the Global Centre, with the objective indicated in your article. Dr Mani had only officially referred to the matter previously in a paragraph in her report on ICES activities in which she mentioned that ‘we have been requested to serve as a Southern affiliated centre’.
It was decided last week that ICES should be immediately disassociated from involvement with the Global Centre. This was intimated to all members of the Board on January 24th and, as if by magic, the following morning the Global Centre had removed reference to ICES from its website.
I am concerned about this because I have been asked by the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs and National Integration, with which ICES has a Memorandum of Understanding, to assist in monitoring of a Project for which ICES has secured funding from the World Bank. The Ministry had no idea that ICES was contemplating an association with the Global Centre, nor that it had led to action which misled Mr. Hoge amongst others.
Meanwhile it transpires that Dr Mani, and her predecessor Radhika Coomaraswamy, currently an Under Secretary General at the United Nations, are both on the Advisory Board of the Global Centre, which is headed by Gareth Evans. Last year Dr. Mani invited Dr. Evans to deliver a lecture in Colombo to create what she termed much needed waves. She succeeded, because the lecture was full of inaccuracies, which Dr. Evans was unable to defend in discussion with me at this office, following which he alleged that Sri Lanka was heading for a situation in which R2P should be invoked. Though he suggested I send him further details as to what he had got wrong, he has not as yet responded.
It is not the business of a research organization to create dissension in a country, and the whole business suggests that Dr. Mani was involved in an agenda that she did not share with her employers. More worryingly, it would seem that Ms. Coomaraswamy, whilst an employee of the United Nations, has also been furthering this agenda. Though she was required to resign from Board positions in Sri Lanka when she took up the UN appointment, she has continued to attempt to influence matters at ICES, in particular with threatening and cajoling e-mails as to the reinstatement of Dr. Mani. It seems that she also attended the Board meeting at which Dr. Mani was appointed.
Though she had resigned by then, this was as a substitute for Bradman Weerakoon, Secretary to the former Prime Minister, with whom Ms. Coomaraswamy has sadly allowed herself to be associated. Ms. Coomaraswamy was responsible for advancing Mr. Weerakoon into a position of authority at ICES and, though she claims that this was purely for administrative purposes, Mr. Weerakoon has countermanded the order of his Chairman and sent a letter formally reinstating Dr Mani.
Since there is little doubt that there has been much financial mismanagement – Ms. Coomaraswamy has confessed that she signed anything put in front of her by the Financial Controller who she now says was not competent – the excesses engaged in by her and Mr. Weerakoon to have Dr. Mani reinstated suggest improprieties that need thorough investigation. Dr. Mani complained to the Indian High Commission, and following a press conference it was alleged in a website connected to the opposition that a police raid had been prevented by the Indian High Commission contacting the Inspector General of Police, and the Ministries of Defence and Foreign Affairs. This is not true, and the Indian High Commission has assured me that Dr. Mani is not an Indian citizen.
The episode seems designed to obfuscate where Dr. Mani’s allegiances lie. She is currently a French national, but it seems unlikely that she serves French interests. Certainly she has not acted on behalf of ICES, and the list of those with whom she shared her correspondence with Gareth Evans suggests a very different perspective.
Similarly, there is no doubt that Ms. Coomaraswamy is not acting on behalf of the United Nations, and the Secretary General may need to investigate as to whether there has been a conflict of interests. While she is certainly not acting in the interests of Sri Lanka, her continuing association with the opposition may lead the UN to decide that she is not fit to exercise her current responsibilities. She has suggested that Dr. Mani needed protection from a leading opposition lawyer and propagandist when questioned by the police, an action she has described as performed by the ‘strong arm of the state – the police, SCOPP’ (ie, this Secretariat).
Meanwhile there is evidence that, while claiming she encouraged Sri Lankan staff at ICES to apply for the position of Executive Director, she had in fact decided that they were not fit, and assiduously promoted the cause of Dr. Mani.
What I had initially thought was simply a Valentine’s Day gift to the leader of the Sri Lankan opposition, the unveiling of ICES as a partner of the Global Centre when it was launched on February 14th now seems part of a deeper design. The undiplomatic intervention of the Canadian High Commissioner, highlighted in a newspaper yesterday (www.nation.lk - under news features), drawing in as it did other Heads of Mission in Colombo, indicates that further investigation is required. Meanwhile I would be grateful if you published this letter to explain the strange circumstances under which your columnist and his readers were misled.
Prof Rajiva Wijesinha
Secretariat for Coordinating the Peace Process
New York Times: Intervention, Hailed as a Concept, Is Shunned in Practice
The Nation: Int’l diplomatic coup to erode SL’s sovereignty?
Posted by media at 12:18 AM
KOCHI: A team of Cochin International Airport Limited will hold preliminary discussions with Sri Lankan President Mahindra Rajapaksa on the possibility of setting up a new greenfield airport in Southern part of the island nation on the model of Nedumbassery airport near here.
The delegation, headed by CIAL Managing Director S Bharath, will hold talks with Mahindra Rajapaksa, Lankan Minister for Ports and Aviation and other senior government officials, a press release from CIAL said.
The team, which will leave for Lanka today, would also visit the proposed airport site at Southern Srilanka and hold further talks with the authorities concerned, ministers and senior Sri lankan government officials on the steps required to undertake the project.
The release said Rajapaksa was impressed with the facilities he saw at the Nedumbassery Airport, owned by CIAL, during his visit to Kerala in December 2005. On his return, he was keen to receive a delegation from CIAL to have detailed talks on the possibility of setting up a cost effective greenfield airport on the same lines of CIAL, it said.
The matter was pursued by Bharath through the offices of the Principal Secretary to Prime Minister T K A Nair, who followed it with Sri Lanka High Commissioner to India C R Jayasinghe and Secretary to Sri Lankan President Lalith Weeratunga.
In September last year, when Weeratunga visited India a presentation about the project was given to Weeratunga and Nair in the presence Jayasinghe.
CIAL developed the first airport in the country under the public-private partenrship mode.
Posted by media at 12:14 AM
Monday, January 28, 2008
A consignment of ready-to-use high protein biscuits belonging to the World Food Programme bound for Vavunia was apprehended by the Police in Medawachchiya on Saturday (26), the Media Center for National Security reports. The stock of 39,800 Kilograms contained "BP-100 Compact Therapeutical" which has a shelf life of 4 years, concealed in 3 layer packs. The driver of the truck transporting the batch when questioned by police said that these were being transported to the WFP's Vavuniya office with the approval of the Ministry of Health.
However, a senior official of the Ministry of Health told www.news.lk that the Ministry is not involved with the WFP or with any other organization in the transportation of biscuits or any other similar items.
Police sources from Medawachchiya said that initial investigations have revealed that High Protein Biscuits of this kind are used by combatants as rations, pointing out that even the security forces use similar biscuits, although with a different brand name.
Speaking to the Government official news web, an officer of the WFP- Sri Lanka branch said that Country Director has called for an immediate discussion with the WFP staff with regard to the incident, treating the matter very seriously.
The ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) is presently available in two forms: a cookie (BP100) and as a paste that comes in a sachet. The nutritional qualities of the RUTFs are similar to those of the therapeutic milk and the high concentration of nutrients in a small volume. RUTFs are typically distributed among children suffering from or prone to malnutrition and studies have revealed that typically children prefer the paste to the biscuit. In this instance it is the biscuit and not the sachet that was being transported.
The WFP maintains sub-offices or branches in all parts of Sri Lanka including several in conflict-ridden areas such as Vavuniya, Kilinochchi, Trincomalee, Jaffna, Mulaitivu, Batticaloa and Ampara
The truck carrying the items is belonging to the "Trico" Terminal Private Limited company.
Medawachchiya Police are conducting investigations.Courtesy: Government Information Department
Posted by media at 11:53 PM