Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mangala and UNP politics

It is with profound sadness that I read about the death of Gen. Janaka Perera. He was a valiant soldier and war hero who stood tall and strong against the LTTE.

Gen Janaka Perera was not in my view provincial council material. He was much more than that. I am quite certain that if were fielded as a presidential candidate at the next election, he would get far more votes than the current leader of the party.

Almost all members of the UNP are blaming the government for the assassination of the General with the sole aim of gaining cheap political mileage. If they were concerned with the inadequacy of security arrangements for Gen. Janaka Perera, they should have made a concerted effort through a sustained campaign to obtain it. They should also have warned the General of going about without inadequate security. If the main Opposition partywas so concerned with the issue, the partyshould have made certain of obtaining adequate security for party functions and at meeting venues.

It is also sad to hear the critism voiced by former UPFA heavy weight Mangala Samaraweera. He publicly accuses the Rajapaksa regime for the assasination of the General, but it should be recalled that he too was in a government then headed by the former President, who did not confer on the General the post of Commander of the Armed Forces.

It is well known that Mangala Samaraweera was one of the most influential minsters at the time and a close friend and confidant of President Chandrika Kumaratunga. Mangala Samaraweera kept mum on the tricky issue.

Uncle Mangala, as I would like to call him, has been a family friends of ours for a long time and still continues to be so, particularlywith my mother. I hope that he will take my criticism of him like a man. He once advised me when I visited his home at Matara thus: "Always talk true to your feelings and do not be afraid to express what you think".

I hope that he will begin to realise that he too is a politician above the average and doe not need to follow the petty political tactics used by the UNP hierarchy.

Rehan Dhanushka Wijeratne Jayawickreme

Friday, October 24, 2008

Karuna’s entry to parliament a brilliant move by President - Rukman Senanayake

UNP Chairman Rukman Senanayake says that the assassination of Opposition leader of the North Central Province (NCP) retired Major General Janaka Perera was an LTTE job. Ruling out doubts over the LTTE’s responsibility in the suicide attack which killed Perera along with 30 others, the veteran politician severely criticised the government’s failure to protect a war hero whose assassination he likened to the suicide attack, which claimed the life of retired Major General Lucky Algama in December 1999.

Senanayake, in an interview carried in today’s issue of The Island, says entry of a person who had taken up arms against the State to parliamentary politics is a plus point. While calling the rehabilitation of the former LTTE top gun a brilliant move on the part of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, he reiterates the UNP’s commitment to an outright military victory over LTTE terrorism.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Greener Pastures for Bruce Fein: The Kurdish Conflict in Turkey

by Stephen Long, Los Angeles

If any of you have been wondering whatever happened to our old buddy Bruce Fein, the former Assistant Deputy Attorney General and Washington D.C. lobbyist and mercenary for the LTTE, look no further. He’s found himself a greener pasture now that he realizes that the LTTE is doomed for extinction. Got to keep that cash flow going, you know.

Apparently he’s taken on a new client, the government of Turkey. In an article he wrote that was published today in the Turkish Daily News, he’s supporting the Republic of Turkey in its initiative to ban the Democratic Society Party (DPT), “a virtual appendage of the Maoist terrorist organization, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been responsible for the deaths of a grim 15,000 Turkish civilians and security force members. Most of the PKK's civilian victims are other Kurds who repudiate their assassinations. The DTP openly endorses the PKK's secessionist aims and violent methods.”

Do those mellifluous words of Bruce Fein sound familiar? How about these: “Banning political parties that aim to sabotage the constitutional order is not anti-democratic. Democracies ranging from Germany to Israel have proscribed parties for celebrating racism or violence. As the U.S. Supreme Court explained in West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette (1943), the whole purpose of a Constitution is to place certain fundamental values beyond the reach of popularity contests. But Turkey should not hamstring itself with a Hobson's choice between banning the DTP and doing nothing.”

Here’s my favorite quote while he was talking about the about-to-be-proscribed political party’s illicit activities: “The U.S. also prohibits money laundering. The crime is generally characterized by the conversion of the proceeds of criminal activity into money or property that carries the appearance of legality by concealing the true nature and origins of the money. If the DTP's receipt of money from the PKK derived from drug trafficking or human smuggling either for its own use or to purchase property for the PKK could be established, it would be criminally punished as money laundering under U.S. laws.” Smells like the LTTE to me.

Well, well, well. Wasn’t Bruce Fein just recently condemning the Government of Sri Lanka for trying to put an end to the LTTE? But this time he’s defending a sovereign government for protecting itself – rather than slandering it using falsehoods. Now you see what I mean when I earlier referred to Mr. Fein as a “Beltway prostitute.” He will accept money from anyone who can pay the price – regardless of where that money came from, or who his legal and public relations services might unjustly hurt. What an embarrassment to the US legal profession.

Speaking of embarrassments, imagine how the good Tamil people of the US and Canada feel after getting their noble cause dumped in the trash so suddenly, and seeing their champion turn his back on them and strike out for greener pastures in the middle east. In my opinion, they deserve better, but how were they to know their kind donations would be used to line the pockets of someone with the morals of an alley cat?

Perhaps now is a good time for the GOSL to hire Mr. Fein to represent them in their propaganda war against the LTTE. He has a lot of experience with the issue, he knows the both sides’ backgrounds, he can call anything he wants the truth, and he can be bought for a few bucks. He could denounce his former statements in favor of the terrorists as momentary lapses in sanity. He could even use the same line Britney Spears used so ingenuously last week in regards to her erratic behavior, head shaving, and partying without panties: “What could I have been thinking?”

Either baby needs new shoes, or Mrs. Fein needs a new thoroughbred horse. I’m sure the esteemed Bruce Fein, Esq. could justify anything given the right price – even taking terrorist (LTTE) blood money, which he did for several months just earlier this year.

Monday, October 20, 2008

An Open Letter to the Indian Prime Minister

October 18, 2008

Hon. Dr. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister

Central Government of India
New Delhi, India

Dear Hon. Dr. Singh,

I am writing on behalf of the Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada to share some important thoughts with you:

First of all, we are pleased that you are supporting your federal position on the illegitimacy of the LTTE, and are not following the advice of your Tamil Nadu provincial politicians, headed by Mr. Karunanidhi. It is obvious to us that even though this individual and his political party is part of your coalition, he and his fellow party members are not being completely transparent with you or the Delhi government in regards to their real agenda.

In Sri Lanka, 95% of the Tamil population does not support the LTTE. This includes both Indian, or Estate Tamils (now all Sri Lankans, but brought to Sri Lanka by the British), and the Sri Lankan, or Jaffna Tamils (have lived in Sri Lanka for nearly one thousand years). I use these terms because I know that you are aware of them, and because you recognize the differences between the two factions. These two groups have lived peacefully with the Sinhalese majority for many generations, and all of them are Sri Lankans regardless of their origin.

For the past thirty years the LTTE has effectively ruined the reputation of Tamil people around the world. Previously, Tamils had enjoyed the benefits of high esteem due to their intelligence, education, creativity, and status as successful professionals in various countries throughout both East and West. Now, however, the Tamil name has been dragged through the mud in the international media where it has been reported that the money they have been pouring into Tamil charities has been used instead for the cause of an elusive Tamil “motherland,” spearheaded by a megalomaniac terrorist fighting for an illegitimate independent state in Sri Lanka. Many of the good Tamil people overseas were duped into supporting this cause, which had no benefit for them, or for the majority of the Sri Lankan Tamils, whatsoever.

The LTTE has prevented children from attending school for thirty years in the areas it has had under its control. For an entire generation they have been unable to study Sanscrit, the Bhagavad Gita, their Hindu culture, meditation, or even arithmetic. They could not fall into the footsteps of their Sri Lankan Tamil forbears who had become doctors, engineers, lawyers, clergymen, and other professionals who functioned totally within the mainstream of our country. Boys and girls have been taken from their families from as young as five years old and been given training in weaponry and warfare against the Sri Lankan state. Many have been brainwashed to become death-squad cadres and suicide bombers, and their lives made short by the misguided ideology of their leader. To support this organization is to support death and destruction. The world is now aware of the true LTTE agenda, and that of its infamous leader, V. Prabhakaran.

It is clear to us that the Tamil Nadu provincial government has an agenda of its own, and election time is near, bringing with it all that that has meant in the past. The truth is, they have been openly supporting the LTTE for many years, and unfortunately, for nearly three decades this internationally banned terrorist organization has been allowed to function within the province of Tamil Nadu with impunity. It has been proven that weapons and funds have been funneled into the LTTE through Tamil Nadu. Currently, the Tamil Nadu provincial leadership is urging your government to intervene in the Sri Lankan conflict, and we see that its sole reason for this is to allow the LTTE a time-out to re-group and re-finance as they have so often done in the past.

Our question is this: has the Indian government ever investigated a possible link between the LTTE and Tamil Nadu leaders such as Mr. Karunanidhi in connection with the assassination of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi? We observe that these Tamil Nadu leaders are far more identified with being Tamil than they are with being Indian, and we think it might be wise if you had your federal police investigate further, and discover the truth about why the Tamil Nadu leadership supports the terrorist war in Sri Lanka.

The Tamil refugees that have been living in Tamil Nadu for nearly three decades are Sri Lankans, and should been repatriated after the conflict has been finished. These poor people went to Tamil Nadu to escape the brutality of the LTTE terrorists, and it was not their wish to become a burden on the Indian government. Your government and the Sri Lankan government need to discuss a plan for these innocent victims of war, and the best solution for their welfare needs to be implemented.

As committed pacifists, we urge you to stay your course on the federal path and not to succumb to the political pressures from Tamil Nadu in regards to the war against terrorism in Sri Lanka. Please support our government’s efforts to eradicate terrorism in Sri Lanka, and to create a safe homeland for all Sri Lankans where peace and harmony can once again prevail.


Ven. Walpola Piyananda
President, Sri Lankan Sangha Council of America and Canada