Tuesday, January 25, 2011

50% of the LTTE carders released in matter of 01 year while JVP insurgents languished in prisons more than 05 yrs- Minister of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reform

 Sri Lanka government's deplorable track record in failing to publicize the enormous sacrifices made and measures taken by her over the years in taking care of welfare of Tamils in particular and the minorities in general has given enough room to Eelamists and their supporters to set in motion a venomous disinformation campaign against her . In one of my previous posts titled 'Publish or Perish' I highlighted this common ailment afflicted with Sri Lanka for a long period of time. This interview with Minister of Rehabilitation and Prisons Reform D E W Gunersekera on Hot Seat in Daily Mirror online paper, uploaded some time back, gives some interesting facts about the ex- LTTE carders being rehabilitated by the government. Some of the facts given by the minister silence many a vultures here and abroad who are hell bent to criticize the government's effort in taking care of these ex-combatants. Here again it has been a story of abysmal failure on the part of the government to highlight the excellent work it does in assuring the welfare of ex-LTTEs
The categories of ex- LTTE carders surrendered and measures taken for their wellbeing
A total number of 11,000 LTTE carders surrendered to the armed forces at the end of the war.   During the period from August 2009 to August 2010 August a total number of 4,485 LTTE carders have been rehabilitated and released. There are 03 categories of the surrenders.  There is a large category of ex -carders who were either forcefully recruited to the LTTE or associated with the terrorist organization or attended the lectures. They are marginal cases and are the easy to rehabilitate.
Other category is the hard core carders which comprise of 800-900 individuals who are under investigation. They are the 'Real fighters' who were in the fighting fronts and are under investigations for murders and other crimes.  
The next category, the largest bulk is those who were employed in various capacities such as tractor drivers, lorry drivers, Three-wheeler drivers, cooks, masons, carpenters, etc during the war time. They have been working with the LTTE for 20-25 years. They are being given refresher courses and are in the open air camps and attending schools as other student and also they can move about and play about as same as in schools. They do also engage in cultural performances. They are also being given psychological treatment and also engaged in sports activities.
They have also been provided with vocational trainings too. They are given Rs.2000 monthly amount during the training period.  The training period is now coming to end. Among some 2000 women young girls have been brought to Colombo and given training on garment industry.  About 700 trained such girls are employed in private garment factories set up in Jaffna and Kilinochchi.  
Apart from that these ex-carders are given psychological treatment with the service of the qualified psychiatrists attached to government mental hospitals.  The detainees are also given opportunity to engage in aesthetic activities like dramas and singings. For instance the veteran film actress Anoja Weerasinhe is conducting sessions on dramas and music which is also a part of psychological treatment.
The level of Education among the carders  
According to the minister a ten percent of them have never gone to school, 70% have attended 1st to 7th standard. In other words 80% of them are uneducated. This highlights the fact that the provision of primary education should be the foremost emphasis. Even the education of those who claim to have attained certain grades are questionable as the minister highlights when one detainee who claimed to have studied up to the 08th standard could not even read a newspaper.
50% of the LTTE carders released in matter of 01 year while JVP insurgents languished in prisons more than 05 yrs:  
Fifty percent of the ex-LTTE carders have been released in matter of one year while JVPs who were 100% Sinhalese were languishing in prisons and camps for 05 years. The minster himself has met the 800-900 hard core carders and had explained them that they should bear patient and the law should take its own course. He had also explained to them how in 1971 JVP insurgents were languishing in prisons and camps for 05 years. They never had a chance to enjoy the level of comfort now available to them. The minister had pointed out to them If they were cleared they would send home if they had charges the Attorney General would file cases and send them back to the prisons.
 Calling by opposition parties and right groups to reveal the names of the detainees:
Responding this question the Minister charged that it was the NGOs and other interested parties who wanted the ex-carders details for various other purposes.  The government has established the contacts with their parents and the parents are visiting them. The minister has met 9000 of their mothers personally in Vavniya, Jaffna and Kilinochchi and each of them have met their children. They had expressed their happiness to the minister.   
Persons alleged to have been missing are those Missing in Action (MIA) in 30 yrs of war
To the quarry regarding 'a petition said to have been signed by the number of family members'   the minister responded that they were those who were missing or killed in action.  Missing in Action is common to the both sides engaged in the conflict in the 30 years of war in which so many people have been killed. He went on to say that even Tamil Chelvam's mother in law approached him.
The claim by International Commission of Jurists that there is a legal vacuum and no fair trial for hard core carders:     
The hard core ex-carders are in pending investigation and some of them are on trial and the cases are being taken up. When the investigations are over when they are cleared they will be sent to other rehabilitation centers or back to the prisons to face trail.     
Irritated by asking the same question again the minister responded. "That's what they say. They have gone to the United Nations and various other places. We are a responsible government .They are our own people and our own brothers. They are not belonging to European countries. We know how to handle our people. We act according to our law". 
The minister's interview throws some light to few glaring facts
·         The excellent work that the government is doing to rehabilitate the ex-LTTE combatants,  the speed with which it has been releasing the ex-LTTEs and the commendable manner in which they are being treated is unprecedented as far as similar cases in other parts of the world is concerned. Example:  Guantánamo Bay  

·         Those who are claimed to have been missing are of course those reported as Missing in Action(MIA) or killed during the war. As usual the Eelmaists and NGO vultures hell bent to do harm to Sri Lanka have found yet another fake issue to tarnish the image of the country.   

·         The education of the LTTE carders is at such a deplorable level that they are almost illiterate while the country's overall  literacy level is amongst the highest in Asia. These carders have merely been cannon fodders or sacrificial lambs whose future was brutally snatched by the 'Sun God' and his cohorts for their own glorification.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beware Sri Lanka government! Indian Tamils can be sneaked into the country along with Sri Lankan refugee Tamils to bloat the Tamil population in the North and East.

Though the Elelmists were military defeated their campaign is fully intact. It is being waged in many fronts and in many forms. Covert and overt operations are well underway to achieve this goal.   The massive disinformation campaign which is underway tarnishing the image of Sri Lanka with the help of paid politicians, INGOs and media of the Western countries is one way of doing it.  Also part of it is the rigorous well oiled camping of showing to the world the mythical 'Tamil homeland' with fantasized false history.
A part of this exercise is to present an exclusive and bloated Tamil population in the North East region which has been carried out successfully covertly and overtly.  Though unknown to many covert campaigns to present bloated Tamil presence in the region has been going on for several decades even well before the start of the war. One of those successful attempts was the settling of illegal Indian immigrants in Giranike (Kilinochchi) and Mooladoova (Mullaittivu) districts, who were on their way to India under the Srima- Shastri Accord. This whole operation was carried out by Norway through Redd Barna, a Norwegian NGO in 1960s.
Same can be repeated in a different way.  The Tamil civilians who are expected to return to the island from Tamil Nadu refugee camps can well be used for achieving this goal. Indian Tamils can be sneaked into the country along with Sri Lankan Tamils to present a bloated Tamil presence in the region. This attempt can well be supported by the Eelam supportive politicians and the government servants as there have been many instances where they have done so previously. For instance an excessive number of houses built by the Tamils Rehabilitation Organization (TRO) for LTTE's mahaveer families in Trincomalee remains unoccupied with the intervention of a top Tamil government servant, apparently to give shelter to an increased number of Tamils. It is reported that homeless families in the area are not allowed to occupy these houses.           
Attempt to make NE as an exclusive Tamil entity has been fairly successful through mass scale ethnic cleansing campaigns carried out against Sinhalese and Muslims. These massacres of Sinhalese and Muslims and razing their villages to the ground forcing them to flee to other parts of the country contributed to reduce drastically the non-Tamil communities' presence in the region.
So the government should be mindful of the fact that what we see as massive campaigns in the West against Sri Lanka is just a tip of ice berg. There are many invisible sinister campaigns and attempts being waged to achieve the Eelam by hook or by crook   

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Is it an idea of extremist to say that there is no need of ‘political solution’ to the North East?

Having read one of my previous posts titled 'Is there a need for political solution to the North East problem?' one of my friends opined that I had not been impartial and tended to be an extremist. She is of the view that the majority community tends to discriminate the minority communities wherever it is the case and has been a universal phenomenon as it is an outcome of power relationship. So the Sri Lankan case has been no exception.  As far as Sri Lanka's case is concerned we need to see the historical developments too to get a better understanding about the matter at issue.

Close observation on the subject reveals that most of the 'grievances' that Tamils talk about are of course direct result of reactionary policies adopted by the post independent Sri Lankan governments against the discriminatory policies adopted by the colonists against the majority community. So the Tamil's grievances are result of lost privileges enjoyed by them at the expense of the majority community.  The clamor for rights by the Tamils can be seen to have been most vociferous about ten years after the independence, precisely speaking after Prime Minister S.W.R.D Bandranayke came into power. (While continuing this discussion we should be mindful of the fact that the violence unleashed against the Tamils in 1983 was purely politically motivated with vast number of looters involved)

As it is well known the strategy adopted by the colonists especially by the British had been to appease the minorities giving them extra privileges as a means of making the administration easy in their colonies.  Most of the jobs in the government sector including the three armed forces and the police were occupying the minorities mainly Tamils and Burgers. Even among those the middle level and top level positions were occupied by the minorities. A notable case in point is the Public Works Department (PWD) where the poorer segments of the society had the opportunity to get minor jobs especially in road construction.  Almost all the positions from the top to the bottom were almost exclusively occupied by the Tamils. There had been no generosity on the part of then administrators to offer at least laborer positions to the majority community. Of course the command in the English language was also one of the main criteria to get a government job. But that was also strategically maneuvered by the colonists by establishing more English medium schools in Jaffna and other parts of the country exclusively for Christians. So the approach followed by the colonists and their cohorts had been clearly selective at the expense of the majority community. This vastly disproportionate occupation in the sectors of employment and education by minorities created a significant discriminatory factor in a country where 73% is the majority who can boldly and undisputedly claim that their presence in the country in more than two millennia made significant impact in its culture and society. The efforts made by the successive post independence governments to correct this monumental discriminatory policy by giving the majority community their rightful position in the society were seen and continue to be seen by the Tamils as a move made against their well being. Obviously, the privileges they enjoyed were bound to curtail significantly as against the proportionate representation by the Sinhalese. The hardest hit segment of the Tamil society was the English educated Vellala Jaffna Elite who had been enjoying the superficial privileges unimaginable to any minority anywhere in the world. These frustrated sentiments of Elite Tamils were very smartly hijacked by their patrons, Vellala Jaffna Elite politicians who were instrumental in creating and writing a mythical Tamil history and 'Tamil homeland fantasy', mainly conceived in Colombo Cocktail parties.  The demand for irrational and stupid 50-50 Tamil representation in the parliament by G.G. Ponnambalam shows how heavily Tamil politicians had been intoxicated with the privileges bestowed upon to them by their colonial masters.

The effect of loss of superficial privileges enjoyed by Tamils had such an effect in them that they went to the extent of leveling some stupid and wild allegations against Sri Lankan governments as a couple of them described below 
'Colonization of the majority community in the Tamil Homeland to change the demographic balance' has been one of the major allegations leveled against the post independence governments.  As was discussed in my many previous posts the 'Tamil homeland' is just a mythical and fantasized theory created by the power hungry politicians with no ground at all. Demanding a state for an exclusively single community based on a fantasy and denying other communities to settle in an imaginary homeland is therefore the stupidest thing one can imagine. This demand is perpetuated in the backdrop of more than 50% of the Tamils live out of the so called homeland while enjoying all the privileges. In this backdrop settling the majority community in the so called homeland can easily be justified if the homeland theory is applied as it is the Sinhalese who were the original inhabitants in the areas with the flourishing Sinhalese Buddhist civilization as evidenced by the widely spread monuments, archeological remains and irrigation systems found in the districts corroborated by chronicles as well as Tamilinized original Sinhalese place names

'The special 'patronage' given by the government to the Buddhism'. This is seen as a discriminatory policy.  As I mentioned earlier the culture of the majority community has made indelible mark in the island's history for more than two millennia. The Buddhism is the pivot around which the majority's culture revolves around.  Unlike many other countries where the major religion be it Christianity, Islam or Hinduism there have been no persecutions or killings of the followers of other religions in Sri Lanka nor have there been instances of demolition of the religious places or discriminations or restrictions imposed.  Then how on earth it becomes special patronage to Buddhism if other religions in the country too are equally treated and respected?  

At present there are no discriminations against minorities or instances of loss of privileges enjoyed by the minorities. Difficulties especially faced by the Tamils during the war time due to security implications are almost non existence now.  I quote below what I discussed about this subject in one of my previous posts with slight modifications. 
(1)    Education Opportunities- Tamils enjoy free Education provided by the government at all levels with no discrimination at all. There are universities namely Jaffna, the Eastern and the South Eastern and their affiliated collages in the provinces. Tamil students continue to study any other university in the country with no restriction at all while the Sinhalese students are denied to the NE universities with number of student being killed and severely assaulted. Tamil students face no restrictions at all in entering the universities irrespective of where they are located in the country.  

(2)    Employment opportunities: There are no restrictions whatsoever in terms of employment opportunities in whatever sector except armed forces. Close on the heels of the defeat of world's most ruthless terrorist organization it is yet to take a little more time to ease restrictions Tamils to enter the armed forces. However, restrictions to enter the police service have been eased giving opportunity to Tamil youth to join the service from the provinces. It is a common knowledge that the lack of employment opportunities is common to every community in the country.

(3)    Language:  The Tamil language is the main language of communication in the North and East of Sri Lanka including every government officers and departments.( However, there are still some shortcomings in the police stations in certain areas. It is also being fast redressed with the recruitment of Tamil speaking officers.) It is the minority Sinhalese in the provinces that face difficulties in the government departments and other institutions as there are no Sinhala speaking officials there.

(4)    Opportunities to engage in politics, democratic process and Administration: People in the NE have fullest freedom to elect their representatives to the parliament as has been done by them after three decades. All other administrative matters of the people in the provinces are addressed by the government officers and elected members to the Pradeshiya Sabhas and Provincial councils from the same provinces with no restrictions. Institutions such as provincial councils and other government institutions are functioning as same as other parts of the country with no restrictions imposed. The North Provincial Council will be set up soon after its election due in this year. Other government institutions are also functioning addressing the day today needs of the people with no restrictions at all. These institutions are vested with all the powers as other institution in the Southern part of the country are.  The language of communication of all these institutions is Tamil

(5)    Development: The development activities were taking place at a minimum level in the two provinces due to the three decades old war. Now the development activities have been taking place at a pace that the southern part of Sri Lanka would feel envious.  Eastern province was the first beneficiary of these projects. They were started while the war was raging in the north. Anyone who visits those provinces can witness this. Unequal development and wealth distributions to the provinces have been a common problem faced by Sri Lanka from the independence. It seems the Rajapaksha regime has been doing its best to redress this.  

(6)    Freedom of movement: The restrictions faced by the Tamils during the war time have vastly been reduced now. There are virtually no check points in the provinces. There is no restriction to a Tamil person to travel any part of the country including the deep south of the country. The problem of High Security Zones(HSZ) will be solved in due course with the improvement of security situation.    

(7)    Freedom of living in any part of the country: Tamils face no problem at all to live anywhere in Sri Lanka as they have been doing so for ages. Tamils can buy a land and live any part of the country with no restrictions at all.   However, Sinhalese had not been allowed to do so though they were the original inhabitants of those lands before Tamils were brought to the country by colonial powers.

So don't Tamils enjoy the equal rights as Sinhalese do? What problems do they face to ask for a 'solution'?  It is, however, bizarre to note that it is the majority community in many instances which is at the receiving end at the expense of being so generous by the successive governments to the minorities. Rebel will discuss about this in a future post.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The First International Tamil Writers conference (ITWC) and an International Islamic Conference held in Sri Lanka

The former event is held from today to Sunday in Colombo while the latter will be held shortly organized by Minister Rauf Hakeem.  
How can this happen in a country alleged to have been not treating the minorities 'equally'? Holding International events aimed at upliftment of Tamil and Muslim culture and literature in a country branded as 'mal-treating the minorities'?
Leave alone the latter event. The former? Holding it in a country this particular community is alleged to have been discriminated? And holding it in Colombo?, the capital of the country the 'Sinhala majority policies' alleged to have been holding sway? And top of all, at a time 'Sinhala hawkish regime' is in power?  These are the natural question arise in a mind of any person who is familiar with misinformation campaigns leveled against Sri Lanka over many years. (The interesting fact is that the organizers of the former event, most of them University dons were ardent supporters of the LTTE.)  
Sri Lanka is one of the few countries in the world which has given fullest freedom to her minority communities to live peacefully.  There are at present no restrictions whatsoever whether it is in culturally, economically, socially or any other forms as far as minorities are concerned. As my previous posts pointed out there have been no denial of rights to minorities in Sri Lanka while the majorities of the both communities live peacefully among the Sinhalese enjoying every rights. They do enjoy the rights as same as Sinhalese community do while in certain instances Sinhalese are denied with: the most conspicuous being denial  of Sinhalese to live in North and East of Sri Lanka though they being the original inhabitants of that part of the country while Tamils and Muslims being recent immigrants   
Non recruitment of Tamils to Armed Forces in proportion to the composition of the Tamil community has been the only area where one can point out as restrictions still being imposed. Close on the heels of crushing the world's most ruthless terrorist organization, no security conscious government would dare to initiate that type of move soon. (The Police Department has already recruited youth from the North.)  
My two previous posts would throw more light on the subject

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sri Lanka should exploit her wealth of knowledge gained in the war against terrorism for the economic benefits.

The unique experiences and knowledge gained by Sri Lanka fighting against terrorism should effectively be used not only to prevent a threat of terrorism from raising its head again but also to gain economic benefits for her people. As this news item reports Sri Lankan armed forces will start a month long a special Army combat training course to a contingent of Army officers from SAARC countries.  Sri Lanka is perhaps the best country to impart this knowledge as it defeated the most ruthless terrorist outfit in the world. The most of the military strategies used were ingenious and unique to our forces developed by themselves over the years.
Though the move is praiseworthy it should not be done free of charge as unlike conventional military strategies imparted by other countries the knowledge we gained are unique counter terrorism military strategies.  Therefore, we should charge higher course fees as it will be an income to our country. A case in point is Israel which charges higher charges for the military trainings offered to foreign militaries.     
Not confining only to trainings Sri Lanka should embark on manufacturing the weaponry too, which will be a very successful venture as far as Sri Lanka is concerned. A case in point is the manufacturing of Ultra Fast Attack Crafts(FACs) by the Colombo Dockyard Ltd(CDL) with some of its products being exported. These FACs are known as Colombo Class Fast Attack Crafts.
The following introduction about the crafts in naval-technology.com is indeed encouraging   
'Colombo Dockyard Limited (CDL), a Sri Lankan shipbuilder with Japanese collaboration, produces a range of ultra fast, fully customised, aluminium hull patrol / attack craft, which have been battle tested and proven in one of the deadliest terrorist encounters in recent times. CDL has manufactured over 34 such craft for the local / regional navies and coast guards at extremely competitive prices and with unthinkable delivery terms, surpassing other international suppliers.'
At the moment CDL manufactures 07 types of crafts with some of them being exported:
UFAC I: a 24m, mono hull craft powered by twin MTU main engines, each developing 1,630kW, driving KAMEWA water jets.
UFAC II:  A successor to the previous design. The accommodation area was increased to accommodate 12 persons.
UFAC III: the most recent addition, incorporates the latest combat requirements and experience in the battlefield and achieves speeds in excess of 53 knots with a complement of 12 persons.
COASTAL SURVEILLANCE VESSEL (CSV): 24m CSVs were built for Maldivian Coast Guard to carry out patrol missions in the coastal waters of the Republic of Maldives.
FIRE FIGHTING / PATROL VESSEL: A 16m fire fighting vessel is capable of attending to fire incidents with both water and foam, onboard ocean going vessels and in islands within the Republic of Maldives.
FAST LANDING CRAFT: This is a unique design, with the landing craft being able to achieve speeds in excess of 20 knots.
This successful venture too is an outcome of war against the terrorism. Sri Lanka army also started manufacturing Armed Personnel Carries-buffells in 90s. But it is not known whether the production is continued to date.      
Thanks to the terrorism that challenged the countries sovrighnity for years Sri Lankan armed forces became the most ruthlessly efficient counter terrorists forces in the world. Sri Lankan armed forces were basically comprised of mere ceremonial forces at the beginning of the LTTE terrorism with army's strength standing at mere 7000 odd men. The strength of the navy was mere 600 odd men in 1960s with a few aging ships used in WW 11 in the UK and Canada. Fully fledged and battle hardened Sri Lankan armed forces well armed in counter terrorism strategies is envious to most of the powerful armies in the world which are trapped with never ending counter terrorism wars with higher loses both in terms of men and masteries. On the top of all this sorry situation they are faced with have badly been injured their prestige as most sophiscated and powerful militaries in the world. Having observed the most inefficient manner in which Indian security forces fought terrorists involved in the Mumbai attack, one would be compelled to think the manner in which SL forced would have handled the situation had they been given a chance to deal with terrorists.