அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

========================================================================================================

அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
===========================================================================================================================

Thursday, 30 October 2014

மலையக மண்சரிவு :ஆறுமுகம் தொண்டமான்

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

மலையகத்தில் மண்சரிவு, மாபெரும் பேரழிவு!

மலையகத்தில் மண்சரிவு, மாபெரும் பேரழிவு!(1)




Tuesday, 28 October 2014

இலங்கை கடற்படை தளபதிக்கு விருது: வைகோ கண்டனம்




இலங்கை கடற்படை தளபதிக்கு விருது: வைகோ கண்டனம்

சனிக்கிழமை, 25 ஒக்டோபர் 2014 14:12

இலங்கை கடற்படை தளபதி ஜயந்த பெரேராவுக்கு இந்திய கடற்படையின் வீர விருது கொடுக்கப்பட இருப்பதற்கு மறுமலர்ச்சி திராவிட முன்னேற்ற கழகத்தின் பொதுச்செயலர் வைகோ கடும் கண்டனம் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

இதுகுறித்து அவர் வெளியிட்டுள்ள அறிக்கையில்,

'உலகின் பூர்வகுடி மக்களான தமிழர்களின் நெடிய வரலாற்றில் தமிழ் இனத்துக்கு தற்போது ஏற்பட்டுள்ள துன்பமும் கேடும் போல இதுவரையில் நேர்ந்ததில்லை.

இலங்கைத் தீவில் எங்கள் தொப்புள் கொடி உறவுகளான தமிழர்கள் சிங்கள இனவாத அரசால் இலட்சக்கணக்கில் படுகொலை செய்யப்பட்டனர்.

எங்கள் தாய்மார்கள், சகோதரிகளின் கற்பு சூரையாடப்பட்டு, இராணுவத்தினரால் வதைத்துக் கொல்லப்பட்டனர். வயது முதிர்ந்தோர், குழந்தைகள், ஆயுதம் ஏந்தாத அப்பாவிகள் என எவரையும் விட்டுவைக்கவில்லை.

உலகம் தடை செய்த குண்டுகளை பயன்படுத்தி அழித்தனர். சனல்-4 தொலைக்காட்சி வெளியிட்ட ஆவணக் காணொளிகளில் நிரூபிக்கப்பட்ட படுகொலைக் காட்சிகள் மனிதாபிமானமுள்ளோர் இதயங்களை நடுங்கச் செய்தன.

இந்தத் தமிழ் இனப் படுகொலைக்கு, இந்திய ஐக்கிய முற்போக்குக் கூட்டணி அரசு உடந்தையாக செயற்பட்டு, கணக்கற்ற ஆயுதங்களை தந்து, இந்தியாவின் முப்படைத் தளபதிகளையும் அவ்வப்போது அனுப்பி வைத்து தமிழ் இனக்கொலை யுத்தத்தை இயக்கியது.

இந்தியாவின் முழு உதவியால்தான் நாங்கள் வெற்றிபெற்றோம் என்று இலங்கை ஜனாதிபதி மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷ, இலங்கை நாடாளுமன்றத்திலேயே கூறினார்.

ஐ.நா. மனித உரிமைக் பேரவையில், இந்திய அரசு தமிழர்களுக்கு துரோகம் செய்தது. புதிய அரசு பொறுப்பேற்று ராஜபக்ஷவை இந்தியாவுக்கு வரவழைத்தபோதே அதை தடுப்பதற்காக  நரேந்திர மோடியிடம் நான் எவ்வளவோ மன்றாடிப் பார்த்தேன்.

ஒக்டோபர் 9ஆம் திகதியன்று இந்தியாவின் இராணுவ அமைச்சுத்துறை செயலாளர் ஆர்.கே.மாத்தூர், மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவை சந்தித்து இலங்கையிடம் இருந்துதான் நாங்கள் நிறையக் கற்றுக்கொள்ள வேண்டியிருக்கிறது என்று கூறியுள்ளார்.

பச்சைக் குழந்தைகளையும் கர்ப்பிணிப் பெண்களையும் கொல்வதும், இளம் பெண்களைக் கற்பழித்துக் கொலை செய்வதும் இந்துக் கோவில்களைத் தாக்குவதும் மருத்துவமனைகள் மீது குண்டு வீசி நோயாளிகளைக் கொல்வதும் உலகம் தடை செய்த குண்டுகளை வீசி பொதுமக்களை பலியிடுவதும் இவையெல்லாம் இந்திய இராணுவம் இலங்கை இராணுவத்திடமிருந்து கற்றுக்கொள்ள வேண்டிய பாடங்களா?
இது மட்டுமல்ல, இலங்கை இராணுவ அதிகாரிகள் இந்தியாவுக்கு வந்து இங்குள்ள இராணுவத்தினருக்கு  வகுப்பு நடத்தப் போகிறார்களாம்.

பயிற்சி கொடுக்கப் போகிறார்களாம். அதற்கும் ஏற்பாடாகியிருக்கிறது. இன்னொரு கொடுமை நடக்கப் போகிறது. இலங்கையினுடைய கடற்படையின் தளபதி ஜயந்த பெரேரா, புதுடெல்லிக்கு வரப்போகிறார்.

அவருக்கு 27ஆம் திகதி இந்தியக் கடற்படை வீர விருது மரியாதை செலுத்தப் போகிறதாம். எதற்காக? 578 தமிழக மீனவர்களைச் சுட்டுக் கொன்றதற்கா என்றும் அவர் வினவியுள்ளார்.

பாரத ரத்னா விருதா?

முன்னைய ஐக்கிய முற்போக்குக் கூட்டணி அரசு, தமிழர்களுக்கு எதிராக சிங்களவர்களுக்கு உதவியபோதும் ஒளிவு மறைவாக செய்தது. கடைசிக் கட்டத்தில் பயந்து பின்வாங்கியது.

ஆனால், பாரதிய ஜனதா அரசு, இலங்கை அரசாங்கத்துக்கு  வெளிப்படையாகவே உதவுகிறது. அதனால்தான் பாரதிய ஜனதா கட்சியைச் சேர்ந்த சுப்பிரமணிய சுவாமி, தமிழ் இனத்தை அழித்தவருக்கு  பாரத ரத்னா விருது கொடுக்க வேண்டும் என்று பகிரங்கமாகச் சொல்ல முடிகிறது.

ஜனதா கட்சியைச் சேர்ந்த சுப்பிரமணிய சுவாமியால், மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவுக்கு பாரத ரத்னா விருது கொடுக்க வேண்டும் என்று பகிரங்கமாகச் சொல்ல முடிகிறது. எங்கள் நெஞ்சம் கொதிக்கிறது. ஜாலியன் வாலாபாக்கிலே படுகொலை நடத்தினானே ஜென்ரல் டயர் அவனுக்கு பாரத ரத்னா விருது கொடுக்கச் சொன்னால் எப்படியோ!

அதுபோன்றதுதான் ராஜபக்ஷவுக்கு விருது கொடுக்கச் சொல்வது. இப்படிச் சொன்னதற்கு பாரதிய ஜனதா கட்சியின் தலைமையோ, பிரதமரோ இதுவரை கண்டித்தார்களா? இல்லை. அவரது தனிப்பட்ட கருத்து என்று சொல்லி பொறுப்பைத் தட்டிக் கழிக்க முடியாது.

வெந்த புண்ணில் வேல் வீசுகிறது இந்திய அரசு. மான உணர்ச்சி தமிழ்நாட்டில் அழிந்துவிடவில்லை. அது அழியாது. அது ஆயிரங்காலத்துப் பயிர். அதனால்தான் முத்துக்குமார்கள் தீக்குளித்து மடிந்தார்கள். பொதுபாலசேனா உள்ளிட்ட சிங்கள தீவிரவாத அமைப்புகள் 'இஸ்லாமியர்களை எதிர்ப்போம்' என்ற முழக்கத்தை முன்வைத்து வன்முறையில் ஈடுபடுகிறார்கள்.

இஸ்லாமிய பள்ளிவாசல்களையும், கிறித்தவ தேவாலயங்களையும் இந்துக் கோவில்களையும் தாக்குகிறார்கள். ஆயிரக்கணக்கான இந்துக் கோவில்கள், சிவன் கோவில், முருகன் கோவில், காளி கோவில் என ஈழத்தில் நொறுக்கப்பட்டனவே என்றும் அவர் சுட்டிக்காட்டினார்.

31 Egyptian Soldiers Are Killed as Militants Attack in Sinai

31 Egyptian Soldiers Are Killed as Militants Attack in Sinai

By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK OCT. 24, 2014

EL ALAMEIN, Egypt — Two attacks on Egyptian military positions in the Sinai Peninsula on Friday killed at least 31 soldiers, according to security officials and the state news media.

The first attack killed at least 28 soldiers, making it the deadliest assault on the Egyptian military in many years and the biggest defeat in its 15-month battle against Sinai-based Islamist militants that began with the military’s ouster of President Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July 2013. At least 28 others were wounded, the state news media said.

The scale of the attack underscored the difficult challenge the Egyptian government continues to face in re-establishing firm control of northern Sinai, near the border with Israel and the Gaza Strip. Egyptian officials have said repeatedly that they have largely contained the insurgency there, but the complexity of Friday’s attack, said to involve multiple vehicles and heavy weapons, suggested that the militants were growing more sophisticated.

President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who led the military takeover last year, convened an emergency meeting of Egypt’s top generals in response to the attack. He declared a state of emergency in parts of Sinai, including a curfew from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.

In Washington, Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, said in a statement that “the United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack.” She added, “The United States continues to support the Egyptian government’s efforts to counter the threat of terrorism in Egypt as part of our commitment to the strategic partnership between our two countries.”

The first, larger attack took place about 2 p.m. Friday near the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, a hub of Islamist militancy where insurgents sometimes set up their own temporary checkpoints on the highways. The target of the attack was a heavily guarded army checkpoint at a desert-road intersection known as Karm al Qawadis, where the military typically keeps six armored vehicles, two tanks and a tent camp, residents said.

Unlike most previous attacks, this one was carried out in two stages. A car bomb initially killed as many as 18 soldiers, according to residents and security officials. Then, when soldiers rushed to the scene, armed men on foot and in a vehicle opened fired, killing at least 10 more.

A Sinai official told The Associated Press that the militants used rocket-propelled grenades, among other weapons. A mortar round set off a second explosion by striking a tank containing explosives and ammunition.

The second attack occurred about three hours later, in the nearby town of El Arish, the provincial capital, according to the Egyptian state media. Militants opened fired on a military checkpoint there and killed three more soldiers.

Western diplomats briefed on intelligence reports have said privately for weeks that the level of anti government violence in northern Sinai was rising again, despite the contrary claims of Egyptian officials. Attacks by militants in Sinai have killed hundreds of soldiers and police officers since last year’s takeover, and including Friday’s attacks the militants have killed more than 40 this week alone, according to the Egyptian state media.

Militants have also continued to set off bombs periodically in Cairo. An explosion this week near Cairo University wounded at least 11 people — six of them security officers. A bomb outside the Foreign Ministry late last month killed two police officers.
=============

Sri Lanka hires up in Washington amid war crimes probe

Sri Lanka hires up in Washington amid war crimes probe
U.S. Congress newspaper "The Hill" 

(It is written for and about the U.S. Congress, with a special focus on business and lobbying, political campaigns and other events on Capitol Hill.) 

By Megan R. Wilson - 10/23/14 05:42 PM EDT

The government of Sri Lanka has hired its eighth Washington firm this year as it awaits the results of a United Nations human rights investigation into alleged war crimes.

Levick is subcontracting through Liberty International Group, a government affairs firm owned by former Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), to represent the semi-autonomous central bank of Sri Lanka.

“Levick’s mission is to utilize communications supported advocacy to tell Sri Lanka’s amazing story of recovery after a decades long civil war against a brutal terrorist organization, as well as to assist the Central Bank in communicating opportunities for trade and investment between our two nations,” Mark Irion, president of Levick, said in a statement to The Hill. 

The work by Levick will include “outreach to US media, opinion leaders and possibly US officials concerning issues of importance to the client, including assisting in establishing additional relations between the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and the United States Government,” according to disclosure documents posted on Thursday.

Mack, who now also works at Levick, originally signed up the central bank as a client in August.

Contract documents say the representation is needed because “the current international media focus on Sri Lanka is unbalanced,” according to disclosures by Liberty International Group to the Justice Department under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). 


The contract with Liberty International Group — set to last from August 2014 to the end of next July — is worth $760,000. Levick is charging a monthly retainer of $60,000, according to the subcontract.


The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka has hired six Washington firms since May, including R&R Partners, Madison Group and Beltway Government Strategies. 

The United Nations Human Rights Council voted in March to investigate the Sri Lankan government and the opposing rebel group, the Tamil Tigers, for allegations of committing war crimes during a civil war that ended in 2009.

Leaders in Sri Lanka had strongly opposed the U.N. resolution, saying that it was “politically motivated.” 

The United States had been a leading proponent of the resolutions, calling for accountability in the wake of the civil war that waged for nearly three decades, in which at least 100,000 people died and both sides are alleged to have committed atrocities. During the final months of the conflict, the government allegedly killed thousands of civilians — a charge it disputes.

“It is necessary to have a re-calibration of US policy, based on a wider and fairer information base, leading to a multi-dimensional and more balanced engagement with Sri Lanka,” according to FARA documents filed by Liberty International Group in August.

Sri Lanka’s central bank considers the media’s coverage of Sri Lanka “unfair, unwarranted, and overshadows the impressive post-war socio-economic achievements of Sri Lanka and also could undermine the long term US political geo-strategic and economic interests,” the disclosure says.

In addition to the main firms Sri Lanka has on retainer, Beltway Government Strategies has sub-contracts with three other firms: Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Vigilant Worldwide Communications and Burson-Marsteller.

In disclosure forms, those firms said they would be reaching out “to members of Congress and State Department officials with the purpose of raising situational awareness of Sri Lanka and its strategic importance to the United States” and “[laying] the groundwork to promote Sri Lanka as a business and travel destination.”

The Embassy of Sri Lanka also signed with the Majority Group, which was formed by Rob Ellsworth and former Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), last year. 

The government of Sri Lanka had been previously represented by Patton Boggs, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, Qorvis Communications and others. Thompson Advisory Group had previously represented Sri Lanka’s central bank. 


புலித் தடை நீக்கம்! மேன்முறையீடு செய், ரணில் முழக்கம்!!




விடுதலைப் புலிகள் மீதான தடை நீக்கம்! மேன்முறையீடு செய்யுமாறு ரணில் கோரிக்கை

[ ஞாயிற்றுக்கிழமை, 26 ஒக்ரோபர் 2014, 02:05.58 PM GMT ]

ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றிய நீதிமன்றத்தில் தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகள் மீதான தடை நீக்கத்துக்கு எதிராக இலங்கை அரசாங்கத்தினால் மேன்முறையீட்டை மேற்கொள்ள முடியும். எனினும் அரசாங்கம் எவ்வித மேன்முறையீட்டையும் மேற்கொள்ள முனையவில்லை என்று எதிர்க்கட்சித் தலைவர் ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க குற்றம் சுமத்தியுள்ளார்.

கொழும்பில் இன்று இடம்பெற்ற நிகழ்வு ஒன்றில் உரையாற்றிய ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க,

ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றிய நீதிமன்றத்தில் விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் தடை நீக்கத்துக்கு எதிராக மேன்முறையீடு செய்ய அரசாங்கம் துணியாத போது ஐரோப்பாவில் உள்ள விடுதலைப் புலிகளின் பெருமளவு சொத்துக்கள் மீண்டும் கே.பி குழுவுக்கு சென்றடைந்து விடும்.

எனவே அரசாங்கம், ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றிய நீதிமன்றத்தில் விடுதலைப்புலி தடை நீக்கத்துக்கு எதிரான மேன்முறையீட்டை மேற்கொள்ள வேண்டும் என்று ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க கோரிக்கை விடுத்தார்.

எனினும் ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றியத்தில் உறுப்புரிமை இல்லாமையால் குறித்த மேன்முறையீட்டை அரசாங்கத்தினால் நேரடியாக மேற்கொள்ள முடியாது என்று இலங்கை அரசாங்கம் கூறிவருவதையும் ரணில் சுட்டிக்காட்டியுள்ளார்.

இதேவேளை இலங்கையின் சார்பில் குறித்த மேன்முறையீட்டை செய்யுமாறு ஐரோப்பிய ஒன்றிய பிரதிநிதியிடம் கோரிக்கை விடுத்துள்ளதாகவும் ரணில் விக்கிரமசிங்க கூறினார்.

Monday, 27 October 2014

2015 Sri Lankan Budget bag-full of election goodies



2015 Sri Lankan Budget bag-full of election goodies
The Sunday times Sri Lanka
By Bandula Sirimanna


With the Presidential election around the corner, Treasury officials headed by Dr. P.B.Jayasundera are fine-tuning the 2015 Budget on the directions of the President enabling him to unveil it in Parliament in two weeks.

Officials of the Department of National Budget and Department of Treasury Operations are under pressure in compiling final amendments to the draft Budget estimates, annexure and tables as well as making direct and indirect tax revisions to find money for election goodies.
The Treasury has to incur a sum of over Rs. 120 billion to increase the salary of public sector employees and the officials of National Budget Department were burning the midnight oil to meet the expenses for the salary hike and other concessions to be granted to the people in the 2015 budget.

The possibility of revising the salary of government servants numbering 1.3 million is also under consideration on recommendations made by the National Pay Commission appointed by the President in November 2013, informed sources said. According to Treasury estimates the total revenue receipts and grants amounts to Rs. 1,713 billion. The Appropriation Bill presented in Parliament last week estimates the total government expenditure for 2015 at Rs.1.812 trillion.

The President is expected to deliver his budget speech onTuesday, October 21st. But this date will be confirmed after his traditional consultation with astrologers and its finalisation at the party leaders meeting in parliament scheduled for Tuesday, October 7, high ranking government sources revealed.

The Government is focusing on the Medium Term Budgetary Framework 2015 – 2017 mainly to ensure development by creating more livelihood and employment opportunities, food security, energy security and environmental safety with particular emphasis on low income and poor families, these sources said.

The 2015 budget accords high priority to defence and urban development, education, drinking water in districts which are below the national average in social development, health, employment opportunities, basic infrastructure facilities and economic indices.

It has been planned to reduce the budget deficit to 4.4 per cent and increase the economic growth rate to 8.2 per cent during next year. In 2015, government investment is expected to be increased to 6.5 per cent of the GDP and maintain inflation at 5.5 per cent. As a percentage of the GDP the current government debt which is around 75 per cent is expected to be reduced to 71 percent.

Treasury officials made clear that government borrowings both locally and internationally including the raising of bonds overseas through state owned banks will be utilised for infrastructure development projects and improvement of the rural economy as well as to bridge the budget deficit and service foreign debt.

With the aim of winning the confidence of rural voters, the 2015 budget will make some populist announcements including a new crackdown on tax evasion with punitive fines, revision of corporate tax, streamlining the revenue collection process and provide concessions for farmers, fishermen, self-employed and small businesses.

With a drought affecting many farmers, the government will direct banks to suspend interest payments and delay loan recoveries under a special loan rescheduling scheme.

Under the initiative of protecting local producers and promoting import substitution, the commodity levy and cess on essential items, including maize, onions, potatoes and dairy products will be increased. Concessions will also be provided to improve the poultry industry encouraging exports.

Sri Lanka Chamber welcomes budget 2015

Sri Lanka Chamber welcomes budget 2015
27 Oct, 2014 16:00:48
Oct 27, 2014 (LBO) –Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Chamber of Commerce welcomes the ‘National Budget of 2015’ which is presented to the parliament last week, the chamber said in a media release.

The Media Release by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce

The Ceylon Chamber of Commerce welcomes the commitment to continued fiscal consolidation in the Budget 2015, particularly the projected lowering of the deficit to 4.6%, which is supportive of macroeconomic stability.

Whilst there is a proposed 15% increase in government expenditure, given the slack in demand in the market recently, a degree of fiscal stimulus can be accommodated without substantial over-heating of the economy.

However, the Chamber encourages the authorities to act quickly and decisively if there are signs of significant deviation from the government’s commendable targets for inflation and the current account of the balance of payments.

Given the proposed changes in VAT, NBT and PAYE taxes and the fact that nearly two-thirds of the proposed new revenue for 2015 has been estimated to come from the refinance facility for collection of tax arrears, meeting the proposed revenue targets may remain a challenge.

It is encouraging to note the gradual shift in the nature of tax incentives away from blanket, long-term tax holidays towards alternatives that are more targeted, such as accelerated depreciation, tax holidays with defined time horizons, and tax concessions that are directly linked to the amount and type of new investments undertaken.

The Chamber welcomes the new initiatives to better link revenue and other state agencies and stronger integration of ICT in revenue collection.

It also supports the proposal to have a one-stop-shop service center at Sri Lanka Customs, which will contribute to improved trade facilitation. These measures will improve the ease of doing business in Sri Lanka, which is often more important than granting tax concessions.

The Chamber acknowledges the positive measures which have already been undertaken to promote exports, including entering into Free Trade Agreements (FTAs).

However, realizing the full potential of these would not be possible without a concerted effort at improving Sri Lanka’s export competitiveness. In this connection, we cannot overstate the importance of encouraging export-oriented foreign direct investment (FDI) into Sri Lanka.

The reduction of electricity tariffs is welcome given that high energy prices are a key factor affecting competitiveness of Sri Lankan enterprises. Moving forward, the Chamber recommends the implementation of a transparent and market-reflective energy pricing mechanism, rather than ad-hoc adjustments.

We also recommend that attention is placed on addressing the quality of electricity supply, particularly issues of power brown-outs and fluctuations, and efficiently meeting the emerging needs of industries.

The Chamber is encouraged by the increased attention to education contained in the Budget 2015, and its emphasis on strengthening Sri Lanka’s potential as a knowledge economy.

The Chamber particularly welcomes the proposals to invest a further Rs. 15 billion in school laboratories; to introduce a scheme of school-based teacher recruitment; to expand skill development and vocational training; and to establish new faculties and degree programmes in science, technology, management and multi-disciplinary studies across several universities in the country.
The Chamber observes that while many of the spending proposals on education are focussed on enhancing access and affordability, a stronger focus on improving the quality and relevance of education at all levels is a critical pre-requisite to increase productivity and competitiveness in order to achieve the ‘Vision 2020’. In this regard, we emphasize the importance of taking a pragmatic approach of public, mixed and private provision of education, training and skills development.

Measures for further public investment in irrigation and reservoir development contained in the budget are welcome, particularly in light of difficulties faced by communities across Sri Lanka during the recent drought.

Additionally, the proposal to improve the availability of water in areas affected by the kidney disease ‘CKDu’ will contribute to the longer-term health and well-being of these communities, which in turn strengthens their economic potential.

Given the changing demography of Sri Lanka’s population and the associated challenges in expanding social safety nets, the Chamber recognises the need for introducing pension schemes as envisaged in recent budgets including Budget 2015.

However, the Chamber cautions against pension systems that are non-contributory and that are occupation-specific, as they could lead to fragmented schemes that experience difficulty in making steady payments, and are expensive and unwieldy to administer. A pension scheme that is professionally managed and sufficiently robust to meet the financial obligations of an ageing population is desired. While recognizing the hardships faced by senior citizens in a low interest environment, we urge the authorities to exercise caution in implementing the proposal for offering a 12% interest on deposits in state banks, to avoid creating distortions that could have a negative impact on the financial sector. Moving forward, the financial needs of senior citizens should be addressed through the development of pension products.

While substantial new financial allocations have been made for various government institutions and development programmes, the Chamber emphasizes the need to accompany them with reform of the operating structures of the institutions utilizing these funds so that the envisaged outcomes can be better realized.

Overall, while acknowledging that any budget must be seen in a policy continuum, and is one in a series of ongoing measures to reach national economic goals, the Chamber observes that the proposals contained in the Budget 2015 must be complemented with measures that help achieve the economic transformation envisaged by the government in its ‘Vision 2020’ and ‘Five Hubs’ strategies.

To achieve this transformation it is also important to avoid the current over-emphasis on subsidies and welfare transfers that have the unintended consequence of keeping people in low productivity and low income-generating economic activities.

Finally, the Chamber encourages the initiation of work towards an accrual-based accounting system for government finances, with a view to full implementation by the year 2020, in line with best practices adopted by other middle-income countries.

Foreign direct investment in to Sri Lanka doubles to US442mn in 1Q

Foreign direct investment in to Sri Lanka doubles to US442mn   in 1Q
29 May, 2014 12:31:17

May 29, 2014 (LBO) - Foreign direct investments into Sri Lanka doubled from a year earlier to 442 million US dollars in the first quarter of 2014, investment promotion minister Lakshman Abeywardena said.

He said 36 percent of the investments came into tourism, 26 percent into utilities, 15 percent into infrastructure, 7 percent into industry and 4 percent into apparel.

In the first quarter 40 new projects were approved, and 38 agreements signed.

During the first quarter 27 have begun construction and 26 firms have started operations, Abeywardena said.

In 2013 Sri Lanka had attracted 1,398 million US dollars worth investments.

This year Sri Lanka is expecting 1.5 billion US dollars Minister Abeywardena said.

Sri Lanka outlines 12% defence budget increase

Sri Lanka outlines 12% defence budget increase

Jon Grevatt, Bangkok - IHS Jane's Defence Industry 
28 September 2014
 
The Sri Lankan government proposed on 26 September a 2015 defence budget of LKR 285 billion (USD2.18 billion), a 12% increase over military spending in 2014.

The allocation - contained in the government's 2015 appropriation bill - amounts to about 16% of the total expenditure for the year and about 2% of national GDP.

The government provided no comment or supporting information about the defence budget, although unidentified official sources cited in local media said the increase was the first step of a drive to boost the defence budget to LKR370 billion by 2017.

ANALYSIS
While this pledged increase is significant, Sri Lanka's military will not be the sole beneficiary of investment.

*******************************************************************************


2015 தமிழீழ ஆக்கிரமிப்பு இராணுவ வரவு செலவுத் திட்டம்



Sunday, 26 October 2014

Thursday, 23 October 2014

தர்மபுரி: நத்தம் காலனி 144 தடை

தர்மபுரி: நத்தம் காலனி 144 தடை 



2013 ஆம் ஆண்டில் தர்மபுரியில்  நத்தம் காலனி இளவரசன் - செல்லன் கொட்டாய் திவ்யா ஆகியோர் காதலித்து கலப்புத் திருமணம் செய்துகொண்டனர். 

இதைப் பொறுக்காத ராமதாஸ் தலைமையிலான சாதி வெறிக் கும்பல் நத்தம் காலனியில் சாதி வெறித்தாண்டவம் ஆடியது.

இதன் உச்சமாக இளவரசனை படுகொலை செய்து  2013, ஜூலை 4 ஆம் தேதி அன்று ரெயில்வே தண்டவாளம் அருகில் தூக்கிவீசி எறிந்து விட்டு ``தற்கொலை`` என்று கூறி தன் கொலைக் குற்றத்தை மூடி மறைத்தது.

நத்தம் காலனி ``சாதிக் கலவரத்துக்கும்``, இளவரசன் படுகொலைக்கும் பொறுப்பான, ஜனநாயக, தேச விரோத, சாதி வெறிப் பயங்கரவாத, சமூக விரோத ராமதாசுக்கு எதிராக சட்டம் எந்த நடவடிக்கையும் எடுக்கவில்லை.

இந்தப் பின்னணியில் நத்தம் காலனி மாரியம்மன் திருவிழாவை ஒட்டி மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் விவேகானந்தன், தர்மபுரியில் 144 தடை உத்தரவைப் பிறப்பித்துள்ளார்.

இந்த உத்தரவானது, நாயக்கன் பாளையம், நத்தம் காலனியைச் சுற்றி 5 கிலோ மீட்டர் வரையிலான சுற்றளவில் 20 நாட்களுக்கு அமலில் இருக்கும் என்றும் மாவட்ட ஆட்சியர் விவேகானந்தன் உத்தரவிட்டுள்ளார். 

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

ISIS: We've Got the Weapons U.S. Meant to Kill Us With

எங்களைக் கொல்ல அமெரிக்கா கொட்டிய ஆயுதப் பொதிகள் சில  எம்வசம்!


A new ISIS video purports to show weapons airdropped by U.S. forces intended for Kurdish fighters in the hands of the very militants the munitions were meant to destroy.

ISIS: We've Got the Weapons U.S. Meant to Kill Us With

The U.S. on Sunday said it had dropped weapons, ammunition and medical supplies for the first time to Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian town of Kobani from ISIS. A day later, U.S. officials said one of the six airstrikes it carried out near Kobani intentionally struck a bundle of supplies to keep it from falling into the wrong hands.

ISIS propaganda material in the past has shown fighters flaunting what appear to be U.S.-made weapons, tanks and Humvees seized from retreating Iraqi forces.

Still, the seizure of emergency arms dropped by the U.S. for Kurdish forces would be a troubling development mixed with a dose of embarrassment for the American-led anti-ISIS coalition. One of the main sticking points against arming moderate rebels battling to unseat Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad was the idea weapons could fall into the wrong hands.




A new video released Tuesday by Aamaq News — an ISIS affiliated media unit — shows hand grenades and RPGs which a fighter in the video says were dropped from U.S. aircraft.

Rifling through a crate, a fighter fiddles with rusty-looking munitions and explains “this is some of the military equipment that was dropped by American forces.” A box with metal cannisters is opened and the man cracks open the case: “These are the bombs that the American forces dropped for the Kurdish parties,” he says. “They are spoils of war for the Mujahideen.”

While the video could not be independently verified by NBC News, analysts and experts said it appeared likely the arms on display came from the U.S. airdrop. Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby told reporters Tuesday analysts were still analyzing the video, but the arms shown are the kind being dropped to Kurdish forces.

"So it's not out of the realm of the possible in that regard. But, again, we're taking a look at this, and we just don't know," Kirby said. "We are very confident that the vast majority of the bundles did end up in the right hands."

Reed Foster, head of the military capabilities desk at IHS Jane's, told NBC News that the video featured what appeared to be disassembled munitions from RPG-7 — probably sourced from an eastern European country — and an older type of DM41 fragmentary grenades of German origin.

“Unsurprisingly perhaps, many of these munitions are likely European in origin,” he explained. “Probably surplus stocks from NATO countries, which would potentially be much easier to procure … and fly them into theater than sourcing all the way from the U.S.”

A senior administration official told reporters earlier this week that the weapons dropped by the U.S. had been provided by Kurdish authorities, which would help explain the origins and why some of the weapons in appearing in the video appear aged and/or Soviet.
==============
EUROPE
Turkish President Says Airdrop By U.S. Aided Islamic Militants
By CEYLAN YEGINSU OCT. 22, 2014 NYT

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey criticized on Wednesday an American airdrop of supplies and weapons near the Syrian town of Kobani, saying the United States had mistakenly aided the militants besieging the town instead of the Kurdish fighters defending it.

“What was done here was wrong,” Mr. Erdogan said at a news conference in Ankara, the capital. “Why? Because some of the weapons they dropped from the C-130s were seized by the Islamic State.”

American military aircraft dropped ammunition, small arms and medical supplies into Kobani on Sunday. Before the airdrop, Mr. Erdogan said he opposed any United States assistance to the Kurdish fighters affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, a separatist group in Turkey that Ankara and Washington regard as a terrorist organization.


An explosion in Kobani, Syria. Turkey said it would let Iraqi Kurds cross into Syria to fight the Islamic State there.Turkey to Let Iraqi Kurds Cross to Syria to Fight ISIS OCT. 20, 2014
“It would be wrong for the United States, with whom we are friends and allies in NATO, to talk openly and to expect us to say yes to such a support to a terrorist organization,” Mr. Erdogan said on Sunday, according to the semiofficial Anadolu news agency.

Video images circulated on Monday that appeared to show Islamic militants with some of the airdropped supplies. The Pentagon said the vast majority of the airdrops had reached the Kurdish fighters defending Kobani, but on Wednesday a Pentagon spokesman said some supplies might have fallen into the hands of the militants.

Turkey announced on Monday that it would start to allow Iraqi Kurdish forces, known as pesh merga, to cross into Kobani from Turkish territory to help defend the town. Mr. Erdogan said on Wednesday that he had proposed the idea in a recent conversation with President Obama.

“I have difficulty understanding why Kobani is so strategic for them, because there are no civilians there, just around 2,000 fighters,” Mr. Erdogan said.

The Turkish foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said on Tuesday that the logistical arrangements for the pesh merga to pass through Turkey into Syria were still being worked out.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

மன்னாரில் மரக்கறி வியாபாரத்தில் மிலிற்றறி!

மன்னார்: மரக்கறி வியாபாரத்தில் மிலிற்ரறி

மன்னார் நுழைவாயிலில் படையினர் கடந்த டிசம்பர் மாதம் மரக்கறி விற்பனை நிலையம் ஒன்றை திறந்து குறைந்த விலையில் மரக்கறிவகைகளை விற்பனை செய்து வருகின்றனர்.

இதனால் மன்னார் மரக்கறி விற்பனையாளர்கள் தொடர்ச்சியாக பல்வேறு பாதிப்புக்கு உள்ளாகியுள்ளதாக கவலை வெளியிட்டுள்ளனர்.

மன்னாரிலுள்ள வர்த்தகர்கள் தம்புள்ள உள்ளிட்ட இடங்களில் மரக்கறிகளை கொள்வனவு செய்தே மன்னாரில் விற்பனை செய்து வருகின்றனர்,

குறிப்பாக இடவாடகை,வரி,செலவுகள் என்பவற்றை கருத்தில் கொண்டே விலைகளை தீர்மானித்து விற்பனை செய்து வருகின்றனர்.

ஆனால் படையினர் திறந்துள்ள மரக்கறி நிலையத்தில் மிகவும் மலிவான விலையில் மரக்கறிகள் விற்பனை செய்யப்படுவதால் தமது வியாபார நடவடிக்கைகள் பாதிக்கப்படுவதுடன் தமது வாழ்வாதாரமும் பாதிக்கப்படுவதாக வியாபாரிகள் குற்றஞ்சாட்டியுள்ளனர்.

தற்போது இராணுவத்தினர் உற்பத்தி செய்கின்ற மரக்கறி வகைகளை கொண்டு வந்து குறைந்த விலைக்கு விற்பனை செய்வதாகவும்,இராணுவம் விற்பனை செய்யப்படும் மரக்கறி வகைகளுக்கு ஒருவகை மருந்து தெளிக்கப்படுவதாகவும் தெரிய வருகின்றது.

India to provide two naval ships to SL


File Photo: Offshore Patrol Vessel
India to provide two naval ships to SL
2014-10-21 15:52:54

India has decided to supply two naval offshore patrol vessels and other military equipment to the Sri Lanka, the Times of India reported.

India has earlier provided 24 L-70 guns, 24 battle-field surveillance radars, 11 USFM radars, four Indra-II radars and 10 mine-protected vehicles, among other things, to the Sri Lankan forces. Moreover, around 800 to 900 Sri Lankan military personnel are trained in Indian military establishments every year.

India will further step-up defence cooperation with Sri Lanka, including assistance in "capacity-building" of their armed forces through both training and supply of equipment, in tune with the overall policy to steadily boost military ties with countries in Indian Ocean to counter China's strategic inroads in the region.

Indian Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Monday held a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakshe, to discuss ways to expand the bilateral military relationship.

‘Kashmir million march’ to go on despite Indian efforts: Barrister Sultan


File Photo JKLF

‘Kashmir million march’ to go on despite Indian efforts: Barrister Sultan
By APP | Dawn.com

LONDON: Former Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) prime minister and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leader, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry said on Monday that “Million March” will be held on October 26 in London as scheduled for seeking a just and peaceful resolution of longstanding Kashmir issue.

Addressing a rally in London’s Walthamstow, he said the Indian government was afraid of the march and was making efforts for its cancellation but Indian demand has been rejected by the British government to uphold freedom of expression in the United Kingdom (UK).

Barrister Sultan said instead, the British government has urged India and Pakistan to settle Kashmir issue through meaningful dialogue as it has become a flash point between the two neighbouring countries.

The PPP leader emphasised that it was mandatory on Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates in Britain to participate in the “Million March” with enthusiasm for making it a successful event.

The public rally was chaired by Chaudhary Dilpazir while former Mayor Liaquat Ali, Qamar Raza Shah, Former Member Kashmir Council, Chaudhary Hameed Pothi, Labour Party's Chaudhry Shaukat, Chaudhary Mehboob, Raja Yasin, Fehmida Warsi, Najma Shaheen, Saeed Bhatti, Chaudhary Tabrez and others spoke on the occasion.

The public gathering expects to see thousands of people rally through central London in protest against India's human rights violations in Kashmir.

The rally on October 26 will begin at London's Trafalgar Square and end at Prime Minister David Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street where a petition would be submitted asking Britain to push India into resolving the Kashmir gridlock.

With eye on China, India to step up military ties with Sri Lanka and Maldives


Defence minister Arun Jaitley with Sri Lankan defence minister Gotabaya Rajapaksa during a meeting in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)
With eye on China, India to step up military ties with Sri Lanka and Maldives
Rajat Pandit,TNN | Oct 20, 2014, 11.01 PM IST

NEW DELHI : India will further step-up defence cooperation with Sri Lanka and Maldives, including assistance in "capacity-building" of their armed forces through both training and supply of equipment, in tune with the overall policy to steadily boost military ties with countries in Indian Ocean to counter China's strategic inroads in the region.

Defence minister Arun Jaitley on Monday held a meeting with visiting Sri Lankan defence secretary Gotabhaya Rajapakshe, the brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, to discuss ways to expand the bilateral military relationship. On Tuesday, Jaitley will hold similar discussions with Maldivian defence and national security minister Mohamed Nazim, who is on a three-day trip to India.

Incidentally, IAF chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha is also scheduled to leave for Japan on Tuesday, where he will also call on PM Shinzo Abe and defence minister Akinori Eto, soon after PM Narendra Modi visited the country in his first bilateral visit outside the sub-continent. Both India and Japan are wary of China's increasingly assertive behaviour in the Asia-Pacific region.

As for Sri Lanka, India is going to supply two naval offshore patrol vessels and other military equipment to the island nation. India has earlier provided 24 L-70 guns, 24 battle-field surveillance radars, 11 USFM radars, four Indra-II radars and 10 mine-protected vehicles, among other things, to the Sri Lankan forces. Moreover, around 800 to 900 Sri Lankan military personnel are trained in Indian military establishments every year.

Similarly, India is supplying Dhruv advanced light helicopters (ALH) and other hardware to Maldives, apart from regularly sending its warships and Dornier reconnaissance aircraft to the archipelago to undertake maritime patrols and surveillance operations.

China in recent years has forged extensive links with both Sri Lanka and Maldives, which have expressed enthusiasm for its Maritime Silk Route construct, as well as other IOR countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh, Mauritius and Seychelles.

As reported by TOI earlier, a Chinese Type 039 "Song-class" submarine had openly docked at the Colombo International Container Terminal, which has been funded by China, from September 7 to 14 just ahead of Chinese President Xi Jingping's visit to Sri Lanka. The Chinese navy is rapidly growing into a potent "blue-water" force capable of long-range deployments, which is a marked change from being a force that mainly operated close to its own shores.

Stay updated on the go with The Times of India’s mobile apps. Click here to download it for your device.
===================
Gotabaya, Jaitley discuss defence ties
By admin on October 20, 2014 - 21:00

Gotabaya, who is the Secretary of Lankan Ministry of Defence and Urban Development met Jaitley in the afternoon at his North Block Office.

Defence Secretary R K Mathur was also present. Jaitley later handed over a memento to the visiting dignitary.

Though officials remained tight lipped about what transpired during the meeting, the visit takes place less than 10 days after Mathur visited the island nation.

Mathur had met his Sri Lankan counterpart Gotabaya, who is also President Rajapaksa’s younger brother, and discussed ways to strengthen bilateral military ties and reviewed new avenues for cooperation.

இந்தியப்படையின் யாழ் வைத்தியசாலை படுகொலைப் போர்க்குற்ற நினைவு

மக்கள் தமக்காக மாண்டவர்களை மறப்பதில்லை!

வைத்தியசாலை வளாகத்துக்குள் 68 பேர் படுகொலை!

இந்தியப்படையின் யாழ் வைத்தியசாலை படுகொலைப் போர்க்குற்ற நினைவு

செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை, 21 ஒக்டோபர் 2014 11:44



இந்திய ஆக்கிரமிப்புப் படையால் 1987ஆம் ஆண்டு ஒக்ரோபர் 21 மற்றும் 22ஆம் திகதிகளில் கடமையிலிருக்கும் போது சுட்டுக்கொலை செய்யப்பட்ட வைத்தியசாலை பணியாளர்களின் 27ஆவது ஆண்டு நினைவு தினம் இன்று செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை (21) அனுஷ்டிக்கப்பட்டது. 

யாழ்.போதனா வைத்தியசாலை வளாகத்திற்குள் அத்து மீறி  நுழைந்த இந்திய ஆக்கிரமிப்புப் படையினர் வைத்தியர்கள், தாதியர்கள், உத்தியோகஸ்தர்கள் மற்றும் நோயாளிகள் அடங்கலாக 68பேரை சுட்டுப் படுகொலை செய்து போர்க்குற்றம் புரிந்தனர்.

இன்றைய அனுஷ்டிப்பு நிகழ்வில் வைத்தியசாலை வைத்தியர்கள், தாதியர்கள், ஓய்வுபெற்ற வைத்தியசாலை பணியாளர்கள், உயிரிழந்தவர்களின் உறவினர்கள் உள்ளிட்ட பலரும் கலந்துகொண்டனர். 

மஹிந்தவுக்கு பாரத ரத்னா விருது வழங்கவும்: சு.சுவாமி

மஹிந்தவுக்கு பாரத ரத்னா விருது வழங்கவும்: சு.சுவாமி

செவ்வாய்க்கிழமை, 21 ஒக்டோபர் 2014 06:38  தமிழ்மிரர்

தமிழீழ விடுதலைப் புலிகளை அழித்த இலங்கை ஜனாதிபதி மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷவுக்கு பாரத ரத்னா விருது வழங்க வேண்டும் என பா.ஜ.க. மூத்த தலைவர் சுப்பிரமணியன் சுவாமி, பிரதர் நரேந்திர மோடிக்கு கோரிக்கை விடுத்துள்ளார்.

இதுதொடர்பாக மோடிக்கு அவர் கடிதம் எழுதியுள்ளார். அதில்,


'விடுதலைப்புலிகள் அமைப்பை அழித்ததன் மூலம் இந்தியாவின் பாதுகாப்புக்கு மஹிந்த ராஜபக்ஷ பங்காற்றியுள்ளார். எனவே, அவருக்கு பாரத் ரத்னா விருது வழங்கி இந்தியா கௌரவிக்க வேண்டும்' 

எனக் கூறியுள்ளார்.

மேலும், 'தான் எழுதிய கடிதம் பிரதமர் மோடிக்கு கிடைத்து விட்டதாக அவரது தரப்பில் உறுதி செய்யப்பட்டுள்ளது' என்றும் அவர் கூறியுள்ளார்.

EU insists ruling on LTTE not political

EU insists ruling on LTTE not political
By admin on October 21, 2014 - 12:37

eu-flag
The European Union (EU) today insisted that the court ruling on LTTE sanctions in the EU is not a political decision taken by the EU governments but a legal ruling of a court.

On 16 October 2014 the General Court of the European Union annulled measures taken by the Council of the European Union against the LTTE, namely the designation of the LTTE as a terrorist organisation and the freezing of LTTE funds. Nonetheless the Court allows the annulled decision on the freezing of LTTE funds to be maintained for another three months.

The EU Press and Information office in Colombo said that in understanding the implications of this Ruling it is important to remember that it is a legal ruling of a court; it is not a political decision taken by the EU governments. The separation of the judicial system from the legislature is a key distinction in a healthy democracy.

Furthermore, this legal ruling is clearly based on procedural grounds and it does not imply any assessment by the Court of the substantive issues of designating the LTTE or of freezing LTTE funds.

The Court also ruled that the EU law on the prevention of terrorism can apply in situations of armed conflict under international humanitarian law – thereby rejecting a claim made by the LTTE.

The EU institutions are studying carefully the Ruling in detail; they will reflect on the options open to them and will, in due course, decide on appropriate remedial action to take. (Colombo Gazette)

NATO History, Goals and Ambitions Explained - Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Monday, 20 October 2014

U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist

U.S. is Responsible for the Ebola Outbreak in West Africa: Liberian Scientist

By Timothy Alexander Guzman
Global Research, October 17, 2014

Dr. Cyril Broderick, A Liberian scientist and a former professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia’s College of Agriculture and Forestry says the West, particularly the U.S. is responsible for the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Dr. Broderick claims the following in an exclusive article published in the Daily Observer based in Monrovia, Liberia. He wrote the following:

The US Department of Defense (DoD) is funding Ebola trials on humans, trials which started just weeks before the Ebola outbreak in Guinea and Sierra Leone. The reports continue and state that the DoD gave a contract worth $140 million dollars to Tekmira, a Canadian pharmaceutical company, to conduct Ebola research. This research work involved injecting and infusing healthy humans with the deadly Ebola virus. Hence, the DoD is listed as a collaborator in a “First in Human” Ebola clinical trial (NCT02041715, which started in January 2014 shortly before an Ebola epidemic was declared in West Africa in March.

Is it possible that the United States Department of Defense (DOD) and other Western countries are directly responsible for infecting Africans with the Ebola virus? Dr. Broderick claims that the U.S. government has a research laboratory located in a town called Kenema in Sierra Leone that studies what he calls “viral fever bioterrorism”, It is also the town where he acknowledges that is the “epicentre of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.” Is it a fact? Is Dr. Broderick a conspiracy theorist? He says that “there is urgent need for affirmative action in protecting the less affluent of poorer countries, especially African citizens, whose countries are not as scientifically and industrially endowed as the United States and most Western countries, sources of most viral or bacterial GMOs that are strategically designed as biological weapons.” He also asks an important question when he says “It is most disturbing that the U. S. Government has been operating a viral hemorrhagic fever bioterrorism research laboratory in Sierra Leone. Are there others?”

Well, Mr. Broderick’s claims seem to be true. After all, the U.S. government has been experimenting with deadly diseases on human beings for a long time, history tells us so. One example is Guatemala. Between 1946 and 1948, the United States government under President Harry S. Truman in collaboration with Guatemalan President Juan José Arévalo and his health officials deliberately infected more than 1500 soldiers, prostitutes, prisoners and even mental patients with syphilis and other sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea and chancroid (a bacterial sexual infection) out of more than 5500 Guatemalan people who participated in the experiments. The worst part of it is that none of the test subjects infected with the diseases ever gave informed consent. The Boston Globe published the discovery made by Medical historian and professor at Wellesley College, Susan M. Reverby in 2010 called ‘Wellesley professor unearths a horror: Syphilis experiments in Guatemala.’ It stated how she came across her discovery:

Picking through musty files in a Pennsylvania archive, a Wellesley College professor made a heart-stopping discovery: US government scientists in the 1940s deliberately infected hundreds of Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea in experiments conducted without the subjects’ permission. Medical historian Susan M. Reverby happened upon the documents four or five years ago while researching the infamous Tuskegee syphilis study and later shared her findings with US government officials.

The unethical research was not publicly disclosed until yesterday, when President Obama and two Cabinet secretaries apologized to Guatemala’s government and people and pledged to never repeat the mistakes of the past — an era when it was not uncommon for doctors to experiment on patients without their consent.

After Reverby’s discovery, the Obama administration apparently gave an apology to then-President Alvaro Colom according to the Boston Globe:

Yesterday, Obama called President Álvaro Colom Caballeros of Guatemala to apologize, and Obama’s spokesman told reporters the experiment was “tragic, and the United States by all means apologizes to all those who were impacted by this.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had called Colom Thursday night to break the news to him. In her conversation with the Guatemalan president, Clinton expressed “her personal outrage and deep regret that such reprehensible research could occur,’’ said Arturo Valenzuela, assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs.

The study in Guatemala was led by John Cutler, a US health service physician who also took part in the controversial Tuskegee Syphilis experiments which began in the 1930’s. Researchers wanted to study the effects of a group of antibiotics called penicillin on affected individuals. The prevention and treatment of syphilis and other venereal diseases were also included in the experimentation. Although they were treated with antibiotics, more than 83 people had died according to BBC news in 2011 following a statement issued by Dr Amy Gutmann, head of the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues:

The Commission said some 5,500 Guatemalans were involved in all the research that took place between 1946 and 1948. Of these, some 1,300 were deliberately infected with syphilis, gonorrhoea or another sexually transmitted disease, chancroid. And of that group only about 700 received some sort of treatment. According to documents the commission had studied, at least 83 of the 5,500 subjects had died by the end of 1953.

Washington’s reaction to the report is a farce. The apology made to Guatemala’s government was for the sake of public relations. Washington knows about its human experimentations in the past with deadly diseases conducted by government-funded laboratories that are known to be harmful to the public. The U.S. government is guilty in conducting numerous medical experiments on people not only in Guatemala but in other countries and on its own territory. As the Boston Globe report mentioned, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study occurred between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service to study the “natural progression” of untreated syphilis in the African American population. The U.S. Public Health Service and the Tuskegee Institute collaborated in 1932 and enrolled 600 poor sharecroppers from Macon County, Alabama to study the syphilis infection. However, it was documented that at least 400 of those had the disease (they were never informed that they actually had syphilis) while the remaining 200 did not. They received free medical care, food and even free burial insurance for participating in the study. Documents revealed that they were told that they had “bad blood” which meant that they had various medical conditions besides syphilis. The Tuskegee scientists continued to study the participants without treating their illnesses and they also withheld much-needed information from the participants about penicillin, which proved to be effective in treating Syphilis and other venereal diseases. The test subjects were under the impression that they were receiving free health care from the U.S. government while they were deliberately being lied to by the same administrators who were conducting the tests. Washington is fully aware of its human experimentations with deadly diseases. The government of Guatemala also knew about the Syphilis experiments according to the Boston Globe:

A representative of the Guatemalan government said his nation will investigate, too — looking in part at the culpability of officials in that country. The records of the experiment suggest that Guatemalan government officials were fully aware of the tests, sanctioned them, and may have done so in exchange for stockpiles of penicillin.

However, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published the study ‘Fact Sheet on the 1946-1948 U.S. Public Health Service Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) Inoculation Study’ and was forced to admit what happened in Guatemala during the syphilis experiments:

While conducting historical research on the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis, Professor Susan Reverby of Wellesley College recently discovered the archived papers of the late Dr. John Cutler, a U.S. Public Health Service medical officer and a Tuskegee investigator. The papers described another unethical study supported by the U.S. government in which highly vulnerable populations in Guatemala were intentionally infected with sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The study, conducted between 1946 and 1948, was done with the knowledge of Dr. Cutler’s superiors and was funded by a grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to the Pan American Sanitary Bureau (which became the Pan American Health Organization) to several Guatemalan government ministries. The study had never been published.

The U.S. government admitted to its wrongdoing, 62 years too late. What Dr. Broderick wrote is not conspiratorial in any sense. The U.S. government has been involved in bioterrorism; Guatemala is a case in point. Dr. Broderick summarized what average people can do to prevent governments, especially those from the West from creating and exposing populations from diseases they experiment with in laboratories:

The challenge is global, and we request assistance from everywhere, including China, Japan, Australia, India, Germany, Italy, and even kind-hearted people in the U.S., France, the U.K., Russia, Korea, Saudi Arabia, and anywhere else whose desire is to help. The situation is bleaker than we on the outside can imagine, and we must provide assistance however we can. To ensure a future that has less of this kind of drama, it is important that we now demand that our leaders and governments be honest, transparent, fair, and productively engaged. They must answer to the people. Please stand up to stop Ebola testing and the spread of this dastardly disease.

After Guatemala’s ordeal with the U.S. government who deliberately infected people with syphilis, West African nations should be extremely skeptical about the U.S. government’s actions combating Ebola. Professor Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois, College of Law questions the Obama administration’s actions in West Africa. RIA Novosti recently interviewed Boyle and he said the following:

US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US,” Prof. Francis Boyle said.

Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?”

That’s a good question for Washington, but would the public get any answers? Not anytime soon, since it took more than 62 years for the  Guatemala syphilis experiments to be exposed to the public, not by the US government, by a medical historian.

Civil society activist launches political party in JK

Civil society activist launches political party in JK
Lastupdate at : Mon, 20 Oct 2014 16:28:17 IST


Srinagar, Oct 20: A new political party announced today while promising to be a "popular alternative" to the mainstream parties has denounced separatists' call for boycott of elections as "illegitimate".

The party, named Jammu and Kashmir Tahreek-i-Haq, is headed by doctor and prominent civil society member Mohammad Ashraf Bhat.

"Boycott of elections is an unnatural exercise. It is illegitimate. Even if there is maximum boycott and only a little percentage of people vote, the government gets formed. So, the people have to see if it benefits them," Bhat, who is the president of the party, said. 

Bhat, chairman of the Forum Against Social Evils, a civil society initiative formed in 2006, said his party wants democracy to flourish in the state.

"We want the democracy to flourish here in true essence. Politicians and bureaucrats are servants of the people and not a power. Why call them honourable and VVIPs?" he said.

Bhat said politics provides a platform to the people to fight injustice and strive for their rights.

"We want to fight obscenity and moral waywardness in the society, corruption and injustice. But under the present circumstances, it is not possible. So, we decided to enter the political fray and provide a popular alternative to the people of Kashmir," he said.

He said his party was against holding of elections right now due to the floods.

"The situation is not good for elections, but some parties are power hungry and care only about the chair and not about the people. Some parties like PDP and BJP want the elections to be on time," he said.

"We want rehabilitation of the people affected by the floods. We are demanding our rights and not alms from the government," he said. PTI

Modi India objects, London ‘Million March’ for Kashmir

London to see ‘Million March’ for Kashmir independence
India raises concern with Britain
PTI/AGENCIES

New Delhi, Oct 20: London is set to witness a ‘Million March’ in support of independence for Kashmir, on October 26.

According to reports, thousands of people are expected to participate in the rally that shall begin in London’s Trafalgar Square and culminate at Prime Minister David Cameron's office at 10 Downing Street.

A petition is also expected to be submitted at the Office asking Britain to “push India to resolve the Kashmir impasse with Pakistan, the reports added.

The rally is being organized by former prime minister of Pakistan Administered Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry to “exert pressure on the Indian government to resolve Kashmir issue and stop severe human right violations in Kashmir.”

“The people of Kashmir have been struggling for many years to have the right to their own destiny. Imagine Scotland being partitioned into two parts with one being given independence and the other half occupied by British troops at a ratio of one soldier for every two civilians, with restrictions on all their movements. The people of Kashmir have always rejected the idea of having a border separating its people,” a news report quoted Chaudhry as saying.

The ‘Million March’ comes after a British MP David Ward recently managed to have the House of Commons debate Kashmir.

INDIA OBJECTS

India has raised with Britain its concerns about a group planning to host an anti-India rally in London to highlight the Kashmir issue.

The matter was taken up by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj during her talks with Deputy Prime Minister of Britain Nick Clegg in London last week.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the British side maintained that matters between India and Pakistan should be best addressed and resolved by the two countries.

"We had a discussion with our colleagues and interlocutors in London who assured us that their approach to this matter is that matters between India and Pakistan are best addressed and resolved by India and Pakistan and we have confidence that as two pluralist and open societies India and UK will not do anything that is inimical to their interest," the spokesperson said.

He was replying to a question on whether India has taken up the issue with Britain.

"... There has been a discussion on this matter and that discussion was during the visit of the External Affairs Minister to London recently where she did take up the matter in the context of issues that arise in the open societies when she was discussing these matters with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg," Akbaruddin said.

UK, according to another news report, has told India that Kashmir is a bilateral issue between New Delhi and Pakistan for the two countries to solve together.

PFLP calls for struggle to resist occupation attacks on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem

PFLP calls for struggle to resist occupation attacks on Al-Aqsa and Jerusalem
Oct 14 2014


The Popular Front for the Liberation called upon the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in the 1948 occupied areas, the occupied West Bank, and in all locations, to take immediate and urgent action to confront the attacks of hundreds of colonial settlers and occupation soldiers since early Monday, October 13. They are attempting to impose “facts on the ground” as a step toward controlling Al-Aqsa, dividing it, and allegedly “rebuilding the Temple” in its place.

This is all part of a Zionist plan to obtain full control of Jerusalem and attempt to undermine the status of the city as the eternal capital of the Palestinian people. The PFLP said that these ongoing events are a dangerous development and escalation in the ongoing and long-time policy of the occupation forces, who stormed al-Aqsa in the hundreds, closing the area, preventing Palestinians from entering or leaving, in order to ensure a clear course for settlers to enter under the banner of the “revival of the temple.”

This comes at the same time as hundreds of occupation settlers accompanied by over 35 occupation military vehicles entered Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, meeting protests and resistance. In addition, this is the time of the olive harvest which has been characterized by ongoing settler and soldier violence against Palestinian farmers, including cutting and damaging of olive trees.

The PFLP demanded the Palestinian Authority and all Palestinian forces take up a serious rejection of negotiations and all the consequent meetings and coordination and instead act to rally the Arab, Islamic and international forces to defend Jerusalem and the Palestinian people facing attack, ethnic cleansing and exclusion, and support the steadfastness of its people, financially, politically and morally.

ஜெயா பிணை: சிறீதரனின் மகிழ்ச்சிப் புகழாரம்.

File Photo MP Sritharan
உலகத் தமிழர்களின் பெரு மகிழ்ச்சி உங்கள் விடுதலை: ஜெயலலிதா அம்மையாருக்கு பா.உறுப்பினர் சி.சிறீதரன் புகழாரம்

[ திங்கட்கிழமை, 20 ஒக்ரோபர் 2014, 09:48.51 AM GMT ]

இந்தியா பெங்களூர் சிறையில் இருந்து விடுதலையாகி மீண்டும் தமிழகத்தை வழி நடத்தும் அ.இ.அ.தி.மு.கவின் பெருந்தலைவியும் தமிழ் மக்களின் நம்பிக்கையுமான அம்மையார் ஜெயலலிதாவிற்கு பா.உறுப்பினர் சி.சிறீதரன் பகிரங்க மடலொன்றில் வாழ்த்தையும் வரவேற்பையும் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.
அவர் தன் மடலில்,

தமிழர்களின் நம்பிக்கையும் தாய்த் தமிழகத்தின் பெருந்தலைவியும் முன்னாள் முதல்வருமான மாண்புமிகு ஜெயலலிலதா அம்மையார் அவர்களே!

பெங்களூர் சிறையில் இருந்து நீங்கள் விடுதலையாகி மீண்டும் தமிழ்நாட்டு மண்ணில் கால்பதித்த போது உலகத்தமிழர்களின் இதயங்கள் குளிர்ந்து போனது.

ஒரு இரும்புப் பெண்மணியாக துணிவுடன் இலங்கையில் வாழும் தமிழர்களாகிய எமது மக்களின் வாழ்வின் விடிவுக்காக நீங்கள் உங்கள் ஆட்சியில் தமிழக சட்ட சபையில் நிறைவேற்றியிருக்கின்ற தீர்மானங்களும் எமது மக்களுக்காக நீங்களும் உங்கள் ஆட்சிபீடமும் தமிழ்நாடும் செய்து வருகின்ற அளப்பரிய கடமைகளும் உங்களை தமிழர்களின் மனதில் நீங்கா இடத்தில் ஏற்றிவைத்துள்ளன.

இலங்கை அராஜக ஆட்சிபீடத்தோடு நெருங்கிய உறவைபேணும் ஒருவரின் சதியால் நீங்கள் நீதிமன்றுக்கு அழைக்கப்பட்டு தீர்ப்பளிக்கப்பட்டு சிறையில் அடைக்கப்பட்ட போது தமிழர்களின் இதயங்கள் அதிர்ந்துபோனது.

அந்தத் தீர்ப்பு தமிழர்களுக்கு எதிரான தீர்ப்பாகவே மனதில் எண்ணத்தோன்றியது. இலங்கையில் வாழும் தமிழர்களும் புலம்பெயர்ந்து உலகநாடுகளில் அகதிகளாய் வாழும் தமிழர்களும் உயிர்களை இலட்சங்களாய் இழந்து சொத்துக்களை இழந்து ஆக்கிரமிப்பாளர்களின் போரின்போது காணாமல்போன தம் உறவுகளை தேடி அலைந்து இன்னமும் திறந்த வெளிச்சிறைகளுக்குள் கண்ணீருடன் இலங்கை அரசாங்கத்தால் உரிமைகள் மறுக்கப்பட்டு வாழும் நிலையில் ஒரு நம்பிக்கை ஒளியாக கலங்கரையாக நீங்கள் தோன்றினீர்கள்.

அதனால் உங்களுக்கு நேர்கிற இடர்கள் சதிகள் உலகில் வாழும் தமிழர்களுக்கு நிகழ்வதற்கு ஒப்பானது.

தமிழகம் எப்போதும் ஈழத் தமிழர்களின் வாழ்வில் இரண்டறக் கலந்து நாம் துயர்படுகின்றபோது இதயம் விம்மியது மட்டுமல்லாமல் எமது விடுதலைப்பயிர் வளர நீரூற்றி வந்திருக்கின்றது.

தமிழகத்தின் பல கோடிக்கணக்கான உறவுகள் நாம் வீழ்ந்துவிடாமல் இருப்பதற்கு தம் உயிர் கொடுக்கவும் சித்தமாயிருந்து வந்துள்ளார்கள். தமிழக கானகங்களில் தான் எம்வீரம் முறுக்கேறி வளர்ந்தது.

அதற்கு காரணம் என்றும் தமிழர்களின் இதயக்கனியாக இருக்கக்கூடிய மாண்புமிகு முன்னாள் முதல்வர் அண்ணா திராவிட முன்னேற்றக்கழகத்தின் அத்திவாரம் உயிர்நாடி அமரர் எம்.ஜி.இராமச்சந்திரன் அவர்களே.

இன்றைக்கு அந்த பொன்மனச் செம்மலின் வடிவமாகவும் உள்ளமாகவும் தமிழர்கள் உங்களை காண்கின்றனர். நீங்கள் தமிழர்களின் இதயத்துடிப்பை உணர்ந்துள்ளீர்கள். உங்களை சிறையில் அடைத்தது அதர்மம். ஆனால் அதர்மத்தால் உங்கள் தர்மத்தின் முன் ஈடுகொடுக்க முடியவில்லை.

அதனால் குறுகிய நாட்களிலேயே தோற்றுப்போயிற்று. இனியும் உங்களுக்கு முன்னால் வரும் தடைகள் யாவும் உடையும் நிச்சயம் நீங்கள் உடைப்பீர்கள் என உலகமெலாம் வாழும் தமிழரகள் நம்புகின்றனர்.

அதற்கு நீங்கள் சிறைசென்ற போது உயிர்கொடுத்தவர்களே சாட்சி. அந்த உறவுகளுக்கு ஈழத்தமிழர்கள் சார்பில் எமது அஞ்சலிகள்.

மாண்புமிகு தமிழகத்தின் நம்பிக்கை ஒளி அ.இ.அ.தி.மு.கவின் பெருந்தலைவி அவர்களே!

இனிவருங்காலம் தமிழர்களுக்கு மிகமுக்கியமான காலமென்றே சொல்லலாம். தமிழர்களின் தலைவிதியை தீர்மானிக்கப்போகின்ற காலமெனவும் சொல்லலாம். இந்தத் தருணத்தில் நீங்கள் எங்களோடு இருப்பது நம்பிக்கை தருகின்றது.

இலங்கை தமிழர்களின் நெடுங்கால உரிமைப்பிரச்சனையை தீர்த்துவைப்பதில் இந்தியாவின் பங்கு பிரதானமானது. அதில் தமிழகத்தின் பங்கு மிகமிக முக்கியமானது என்பதை உலகம் உணர்ந்திருக்கின்றது.

எனவே உங்கள் காலத்தில் ஈழத்தமிழர்களுக்கு ஒரு நிரந்தரமான உரிமைகள் கிடைத்த அமைதியான சுதந்திரமான வாழ்வு பெறுவதற்கு ஈழத்தமிழினம் உங்களை தெய்வத்திற்கு நிகராக போற்றியும் வேண்டியும் நிற்கின்றது.

உங்கள் விடுதலையில் தமிழினம் அகமகிழ்ந்திருப்பது தமக்கு ஒரு விடுதலை உங்களால் கிடைக்கும் என்பதாலேயே. உங்கள் விடுதலை இயற்கை வெற்றிடத்தை விட்டுவைக்காமல் உங்கள் உண்மையினாலேயே நிரப்பியிருப்பதை உணர்த்தியிருக்கின்றது.

உங்கள் சத்தியமும் இலட்சியமும் தீர்மானங்களும் நிச்சயம் வெல்லவேண்டும்.  அதில் ஈழத்தமிழர்களுக்கு மகிழ்வான எதிர்காலம் உங்கள் பெயரால் உருவாகவேண்டும். உங்கள் நல்லாட்சி தொடர எமது வாழ்த்துக்கள் என குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார்.

Is Sri Lanka ready for the Ebola virus?

Ebola: Don’t panic but be ready
By Kumudini Hettiarachchi

Is Sri Lanka ready for the Ebola virus? This is what is on the minds of a large number of doctors, as public concern grows with this virus spreading in several continents.
In Sri Lanka, people do not know the gravity of Ebola and its deadly trail, pointed out many doctors while there were mixed reactions whether the virus (Ebola Virus Disease) would come to this country.

While some felt that it would only be a matter of time before Sri Lanka has to deal with this ‘disaster of a viral nature’, others said the chances were remote, quick to point out that this in itself was creating complacency.

“We say everything is in place and are complacent, but this is the very thing which will lead to our downfall,” one senior doctor stressed, calling for an emergency meeting so that all stakeholders could give their input and come up with a comprehensive plan to fight Ebola.

A veteran health administrator said that while preventing it from coming through to the country would be ideal, the plan to deal with it should it come here should be kept alive for any contingency even if the Ebola threat dies down.



While allaying fears that the risk for Sri Lanka is not at all high as there is not much travel between West Africa and Sri Lanka, well-known Sri Lankan SARS buster, Prof. Malik Peiris who is based in Hong Kong stressed that there is no reason to panic. “There is very little risk of Ebola spreading as an epidemic in Sri Lanka. However, it is wise to be prepared,” he said in an e-mail interview, adding that unnecessary travel to the three affected West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia should be avoided.

The advice of Prof. Peiris — who is Chair of Virology and also Scientific Director of the HKU Pasteur Research Centre — with regard to possible patients who may present themselves in Sri Lanka are:

Maintain alertness of health care professionals to ask for travel history when dealing with severe infections. The travel history that is relevant is travel to the three affected West African countries of Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia during the past 21 days. (Nigeria and Senegal have not had evidence of recent ongoing transmission of Ebola for the past couple of weeks.)

Availability of rapid Ebola diagnostic tests (PCR tests) to test and confirm diagnosis of potential patients.

Good hospital infection control measures when dealing with suspected or confirmed Ebola cases. It is noteworthy that Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) is treating large numbers of Ebola cases in West Africa where facilities are very basic. It is using careful (not super-sophisticated) infection control procedures and with little risk to health care workers within their units where staff are well trained.

Essentially Ebola is transmitted only from patients once they are ill and only from patients body fluids, blood, vomitus and other secretions. MSF has shown that these infection control measures effectively protect health care workers.

Being prepared to undertake contact tracing of a confirmed Ebola patient (if such a case does occur in Sri Lanka) so that any close contacts are placed under isolation with monitoring for fever (and other symptoms). The incubation period is around 11 days but can extend up to 21 days. Again, note that such contacts are NOT infectious until they become symptomatic.

Meanwhile, with former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan severely critical of the response of wealthy countries to the Ebola epidemic, some doctors here too echoed his concerns.

While Mr. Annan stated that the international community “woke up” only after the crisis hit America and Europe but not when it started in Africa, a doctor said that the international community would ‘isolate’ Sri Lanka if the virus came here.

“Unlike Nigeria which has oil to offer the world, Sri Lanka would be isolated and blacklisted as a destination of travel, leading to a collapse of tourism and major effects on the economy,” this source said, adding that while prevention of the virus entering would be the best, a contingency plan is critical if it does come through.

Officials at the Department of Immigration and Emigration told the Sunday Times that there are no direct flights from the main Ebola-affected countries of Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Congo or Nigeria. No visas have been issued to anyone in those countries in the last two weeks.Pointing out that the issuance of on-line or on-arrival visas has been suspended, an official explained that nationals or foreigners who wish to travel to Sri Lanka from these countries should seek visas from the Sri Lankan embassies in those countries after submitting medical certificates. Those medical certificates would be forwarded to the Foreign Ministry which would then get their authenticity cleared by the Health Ministry, after which the Foreign Ministry would inform the embassy to go ahead and issue the visa.

Any Sri Lankan who may travel from these countries will be channelled to the Health Desk at the airport, the official said.

The Disaster Management Centre, meanwhile, is awaiting guidelines and directions from the health authorities to mobilise its personnel at the grassroots, the Sunday Times learns.

“We are not experts on health issues such as Ebola and are awaiting guidance from the health authorities,” said the centre’s Director-General, retired Major General Leonard Mark when contacted by the Sunday Times.

The centre has Assistant Directors in every district and they can be mobilised to coordinate preventive measures and disaster risk-reduction activities, he said. The centre is also awaiting an opportunity to hold discussions with international non-governmental organisations and UN agencies.

Since the current Ebola outbreak, the Sunday Times understands that there had been two suspected cases in Sri Lanka. When the blood specimens were checked at India’s Pune National Virus Institute they had turned out to be negative.

A woman who had gone to India and had fallen ill on her return in the second week of August had died at the Nuwara Eliya Hospital. Although she did not fit the typical Ebola case history, the Judicial Medical Officer had queried whether it could be and her blood had been sent for testing.
The other “real suspect” according to the Ebola case definition had been a Sri Lankan who returned to the country from Liberia in the third week of August and developed fever. He had been transferred from the National Hospital to the IDH and kept in isolation. His blood specimens also sent to Pune had been negative for Ebola. He had recovered from his illness and been discharged.

The WHO, the Sunday Times learns, has facilitated the training of 25 medical laboratory technicians, nurses and microbiologists mainly from the Medical Research Institute by bringing down an expert from India, on the collection of samples, packaging them and shipping them for testing.

It has also provided a list of 10 WHO Reference Laboratories, close to Sri Lanka where samples could be sent, it is understood, the results of which would be available in 24 hours.

Precautions to take against any viral disease
Many doctors reiterated the importance of making people aware of taking basic precautions with regard to any viral disease which may be doing the rounds.

“The emphasis should be on staying home if one is ill, be it a child or adult, refraining from sneezing or coughing into other people’s faces, spitting all over the place and making it a practice of washing hands, not just with water but with soap and water regularly,” said Consultant Physician Dr. Ananda Wijewickreme.

The public needs to be reminded over and over again about the coughing and sneezing etiquette, said Dr. Wijewickreme who is attached to the Infectious Diseases Hospital (IDH).

In case an Ebola emergency arises, he said it would be of importance to identify the patient early and isolate the person immediately, while also tracing all those who have come into contact with the patient.

He reassured that unlike H1N1, the Ebola virus’s infectivity is less. “The infectivity does not seem as high as H1N1 and so far there have been about 8,000 cases, mainly in West African countries which have poor-health settings. But Ebola has a higher death rate.”

Explaining the “drastic steps” taken by Nigeria to curb the spread of Ebola, he cited how a person who had come from Liberia collapsed at the airport. Nigeria confirmed it was Ebola and isolated all those who had come into contact with the person for some time, well past the likely incubation period. Nigeria also closed certain places of the city, under very effective ‘containment’ measures and this country is being cited as a good example to follow during such a contingency.

Referring to the ground situation in Sri Lanka, Dr. Wijewickreme said that airport staff and personnel of several hospitals have been trained in handling Ebola cases if such a need arises. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is being distributed to the IDH and to major hospitals by the Health Ministry. The IDH is also making its own kits.

Lamenting about the slow response to the Ebola situation from the global perspective, Nirmalan Dhas of the Foundation for Civilizational Transformation and Conscious Evolution said that there is a need for a strong global response. This would be applicable to Sri Lanka at a micro-level.

He strongly urges the establishment of a hotline, for anyone who fears or suspects that he/she or someone close to them has Ebola to inform the authorities immediately. An Ebola-hotline is a necessity. Then there should be a rapid response system.

A public awareness campaign to make people realise the danger of Ebola is needed, said Mr. Dhas whose interests are psychology, sustainable development and disaster management.

“People need to know that Ebola is a virus and not a bacterium and that the world’s knowledge of viruses is not complete. They are an ‘unknown quantity’. There is also not much knowledge on transmission patterns. Why is it that health care workers who handle patients are falling ill and dying but not those who bury the infected-dead?”

If news of a patient reaches the hotline, the solution is to advise that person to remain at home, as much as possible in isolation. People in the house should be advised to avoid contact with outsiders. There should then be a rapid response and the infected person and everyone else with whom he has had contact evacuated to be isolated in a health facility in separate quarantine units.

“Such evacuations need to be ‘humanitarian interventions’ carried out to the patient with respect,” he added.