அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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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
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Monday, 31 August 2015

Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair (Text)



Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair (Text)

Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:19

 Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair
It is a great pleasure and honour to be giving this Lakshman Kadirgamar lecture at the Institute which bears his name. Before I say anything else I should say one thing at the conclusion of two weeks’ vacation here: I love Sri Lanka. This is truly an amazing country and we have had the best time. I have to say the last two weeks have been bliss because they have been free from speeches but when I was asked to do this, I wanted to, not only as a mark of respect to the country but also as a mark of respect to Lakshman for all that he achieved and accomplished. He was a brilliant lawyer, and I know a thing about brilliant lawyers as I am married to one. He was a distinguished statesman and he was also renowned internationally. When he died so tragically 10 years ago the outpouring of respect did not only come  from Sri Lanka but from his many friends and admirers from around the world, paying tribute  for what he achieved for this country but also for the cause of peace. He was a huge believer in equality between people of different faiths. This fascinates me and takes up a large part of what I do today.

He believed in a Sri Lanka where all people were equal under one law, so Mrs. Kadirgamar thank you very much for inviting me to give this speech in honour of your husband. It is genuinely an honour to be here with you and with so many distinguished members of society in Sri Lanka and to offer you my thoughts at this very important moment, almost a junction between the past and future where Sri Lanka finds itself.

I’m just back from the Middle East, which was the one break in my holiday. I went back to try and contribute to its peace process there. This was actually my 150th visit to Jerusalem since leaving office, although as Cherie once pointed out to me, it’s not the number of visits you make it’s the progress that counts; which I did not think was very supportive by the way, but unfortunately it is true. Not all peace processes end in success. It can take some a very long time to succeed, but in the experience of Northern Ireland we did.  However it is worth pointing out we succeeded after, according to some calculations, decades of conflict, and others, centuries of conflict on the island of Ireland. And that is an important lesson in itself to realise, that however tough things seem and however intractable problems are, it is always worth striving for peace because you never know the moment at which peace becomes possible. Here in Sri Lanka for many years you had conflict of a terrifying nature where so many innocent people lost their lives. Today that conflict has ended and the pursuit of reconciliation has begun.

Now each conflict always has its own characteristics, therefore when you compare the experience of Northern Ireland with that of Sri Lanka you have to do so with caution because the circumstances are so different. Having had experience now in different parts of the world since leaving office including, but not limited to, the Middle East it is true that conflict comes in an array of different circumstances and characteristics. It is also true that peace-making and reconciliation have characteristics which are common to whatever the circumstances or whatever the origins of conflict were. With peace comes enormous opportunity, and we can feel this as visitors to Sri Lanka, it is in the air, and it is important that someone from outside tells you of the excitement the world feels about where Sri Lanka can go. So in your pursuit of reconciliation you have many long standing friends who want you to succeed but you also have new interest in the country and what it can do. Even in the two weeks we have
been here it is evident that this country has beauty, a remarkable variety of beauty. It has an extraordinary history. When we went to see Anuradhapura, this ancient civilisation now in the process of being excavated and as each stage proceeds we saw the quality of the civilisation, and when I went back to the Middle East I was telling them about the Sigirya. So when you see the way the whole civilisation was built around it with two million people living in the main city, the history of this country is a history that is profound and is the subject of fascination for people coming here. You have natural wealth and resources and to the British most importantly tea!  I travel the world today, I travel the world to get a decent cup of tea because the British care about tea. But most places you travel throughout the world, they may think they are great countries but they don’t know anything about tea. I won’t mention any names of super powers, roughly 50 states in it, and then you get your tea and it looks like dish water and when you taste it, it actually tastes like dish water! So to come here and get a decent cup of tea it is such a blessing.  You have also the fantastic potential for tourism, and your trade agreements offer amazing opportunities for business to come and locate here. Most importantly, your biggest resource is your people who are kind and generous and want the best for their country. So there is so much to be proud of and hope for. Yet, despite all this, for decades, the country defined by conflict and conflict is always hard, bloody and unforgiving. So right now as peace has come we have to look upon this as the supreme moment of possibility and opportunity. But we have to realise one other thing which the minister did so well in his introduction which is that peace is a beginning which gives you a chance to create something new. It does not in itself create it. When we made that Good Friday agreement in 1998, it took nine years after that before Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness sat down in government together. Through that period of time there were ups and down and periods of difficulties and crisis in which we thought peace would not be possible. You have the opportunity, but the opportunity has to be seized, for reconciliation won’t come unless there is much more work done.

I think I can identify, based on my experience not only in Northern Ireland but elsewhere, seven principles of successful reconciliation.

First is the continued absence of conflict.

This sounds obvious but it is very important. Security matters. Lakshman understood this very well, which is why he spent so much time and energy in waking the world up to the LTTE. We have to say constantly as we pursue reconciliation that whatever your grievance and disagreement, nothing justifies terrorism. To achieve lasting peace the cycle of violence has to be put in permanent suspense because the evil of terrorism is not just the act itself, but it also creates a division, a reaction. I have never come across an instance in the world where there is terrorism and there is not a response from the forces of authority and then there is a reaction to the reaction and so it goes and that is why you cannot reconcile while there is violence. What we had to understand in the Northern Ireland situation and the first thing we did, was to create the circumstances in which the violence stopped. This was not easy, but it was absolutely essential, if not we would not be in the position we are today. Right now we see terror around the world and I could take any terror hot spot and I can promise you one thing a majority of people don’t want it! Even in the most war torn areas in the Middle East or in northern Nigeria. What terrorism does is to create sectarian divisions within a community that even if people don’t want it and don’t like it they get caught up in it. For reconciliation to succeed, you should never lose sight of the fact that the very basis of it is the absence of conflict and that has to be maintained.
 Secondly, the reconciliation framework needs to be fair.

In a conflict there will be dispute, divisions and disagreements. But for sustainable solutions to come to pass one needs a conceptual framework that allows people to understand the nature of the accord being afforded to them. Essentially what is the framework which is going to govern our view of the future?  In Northern Ireland the conceptual framework was simple. You have a republican movement which believes in a united Ireland, and the unionists who believe that Northern Ireland should be a
part of the UK. The framework adopted said that whilst the majority wants Northern Ireland to stay in the UK, the principle of consent applies and for the time being Northern Ireland stays a part of the UK. But, in return for that, under the law people are going to be treated equally because for a long time the Catholics, the Nationalist and Republican communities felt that they were not. Thus the conceptual framework permitted the principle of consent to be balanced by equal treatment.  In the Middle East, it’s land for peace. Two states for two peoples. The problem in getting there is vast but the conceptual framework is very simple. One of the most frustrating things about the Middle East is that even though there is in principle an agreement on the conceptual framework, the facts on the ground contradict the hopes for peace.

Sri Lanka will have to work out its own framework. Obviously there are issues around devolution, guarantee of rights, development and dignity and fair treatment which will have to be resolved. The second principle is understanding that you can end the conflict of the past but you cannot get reconciliation for the future without a framework for the future which is fair - and seen to be fair - that allows for disagreements to happen within a normal political process without a cycle of violence.
 Third is Unity and Diversity.

Where conflict involves different parts of a country, faiths and ethnicities, then for reconciliation to work two things must be in balance: unity and diversity. Around the world, globalisation is pushing us closer together into a global community. It’s a cliche but it is true. Migration, travel and telecommunication devices are pushing us together so people across boundaries of nations, faith, ethnicities and culture are mixing and mingling in a way that is on an epic scale compared with previous times. This trend will only increase. For instance, take the city of London. When I first came to London from where I was brought up in the north east of England, in Durham, communities were very homogeneous and there was not a lot of mixing and mingling.  But if you go to London today it is an explosion of different cultures. Of course it has done a lot for us particularly on the culinary front!  But, London today is a vibrant and successful city precisely because of it diversity. However, the thing about difference and diversity is that while they have to be celebrated, it is also important that all the different groups recognise a common space which is governed by shared norms and values. One of the main problems faced in Europe and Britain today is that parts of our Muslim communities often don’t feel that they are a part of the rest of society and therefore that common space is not there. So if reconciliation is to work you have to recognise that you are bringing together people who are disparate and different but doing so within a unified nation where values such as democracy, freedom and equal rights for women cannot be disregarded by anyone who may disagree with those values. So in my view, if you are to be a part of the UK, these are the values which are
viewed as common; people may worship in different ways and be further differentiated by cultural views and practices but in a UK setting, to be a part of that setting, it is critical that everyone signs up to these values, for that is what keeps the nation together. Lakshman, in his speeches, had a very clear position on these issues, for where as a Tamil, he argued for religious freedom he also advocated for it within a nation of shared values. This I think is very important, because religious freedom today
is one of the main   bulwarks against religious extremism. I mentioned radicalised Islam but look at any religion and you find its share of extremists, of people who take the faith and i warp its values, ‘such as do unto others as you have them to do you’, into an instrument of violence. This balance is fundamental to the pursuit of reconciliation for as more and more people come to cross those boundaries that separate different cultures, the value of unity alongside diversity will only increase.

My foundation works on inter-faith relationships in about 20 countries around the world and where there has been a conflict with ethnic dimensions to it, these values become essential and the balance between unity and diversity  needs to be got right.

The fourth principle is the importance to reconciliation of Economic Development.

Conflict creates dislocation, poverty, and despair and reconciliation is hard in a crippled economy, economic development is critical. In Northern Ireland it definitely helped, because this investment, along with the improved security, meant that people came, located and invested. As a result, local communities got a stake in the future, thus mitigating the effects of despair, which was used as an excuse for violence. Where there is economic development there is a real prospect for peace, because as one dimension of reconciliation is economic opportunity for young people. In the Middle East as things have evolved over time and the wealth disparity has grown to enormous degrees between the Israelis and Palestinians by about 10 to 15 times. This is not propitious for bringing about reconciliation and peace. Further, when the economy stagnates the youth don’t feel they have stake in the future and this does not make reconciliation any easier.

Fifth is Education.

I am a person who believes education is a cure for virtually everything. I do believe the more our youth are educated and educated about the world they will grow up in, the easier it will be to pursue reconciliation. Today the whole point about education is not to stick children in front of a teacher in a classroom, but to educate them about the world that they are going to grow up in. In many of the countries I work with I tell those presidents and prime ministers that the key is to get your people connected. It is so that they open their eyes to the opportunities out there and make them realise that around the world young people are all striving for the same kind of opportunity. Education should not be about the number of students in the class but it should be about making them alive to the opportunities and enabling an ‘open mind’. To put it simply, you succeed economically if you are willing to be open minded towards people who are different. So if globalisation is inevitably pushing people together and there are people who have not got the educational opportunities to learn about these new developments and in doing so interact with these other groups, reconciliation cannot be fully achieved. For these young people will not learn to be respectful, tolerant and understanding of the diverse world they are living in. In Northern Ireland we put a lot of effort into education. It is important to remember that extremism is usually taught, it is not natural. It is best if we teach from the beginning, from a curriculum that puts at its centre, education aimed at opening the mind.

The sixth principle is dialogue. 

The dialogue has to be deep, it has to be inclusive and it has to be constant. All the time we have to recognise the importance, even after there is peace, even when you have the framework that I described, of a constant process of dialogue, of interaction, of understanding, of people working out their differences together. One of things that happens in a conflict, and I’ve seen this again and again around the world is that people don’t see each other’s pain. They know about their pain but they don’t see the other person’s.   In Northern Ireland, as we got the framework in place, those mechanisms brought people together, so that they understood that their pain was mirrored in the person on the other side. It was a really important in getting people to understand that reconciliation isn’t just about laws, constitutions and processes. It’s got to touch the heart. If it doesn’t touch the heart, it doesn’t really work. That dialogue is really important. Today in the Middle East Peace Process – perhaps the only good news – is that there are institutions of dialogue even among business people and young people where they are able to see that the person on the other side is not so very different, not a completely different person with a completely different psychology, but rather a mirror image, just on the opposite side.

The seventh final principle

And that brings us to the final principle, which is in many ways the most difficult and the most sensitive. The past cannot be erased and is never forgotten, but it can be confined in some way so that it does not disrupt the possibilities for the future. And where the past is examined it should be examined for the truth and not for any retribution. Conflict creates victims. And that pain never leaves them. It may never leave the people in this room. Not least, Mrs. Kadirgamar herself, knows about the pain, the grief, the suffering. And for the people who were left behind, the memory never dies. for them the past is in one sense the present and the future. So when we try to pursue reconciliation always one of the most difficult things is what you do about the past. The conversations that I’ve had that were more difficult than any others were those with the victims of the violence of both sides, who felt that their truth had never been told, and that closure had never been achieved. And they would be very critical of what they thought was a political process that seemed to have diminished or relegated their grief. I used to say, very often, I’m trying to do this because I want future generations to be released of the suffering. The very worst single act of terrorism occurred after the Good Friday Agreement. It might have disrupted the whole of the Northern Ireland Peace Process. And I remember visiting the families of the victims, and some of them were too torn apart by grief to speak to me. But one man who lost his child said to me, look, people will tell you that now you should stop, but I’m telling you now that you should carry on. This process of reconciliation, it will inevitably involve examination of the past. And countries have done it in many ways around the world. In Rwanda through a remarkable series of courts, specific courts related to the genocide where people – victims and perpetrators - would exchange their feelings with one another. In South Africa they had the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

In Northern Ireland we issued an Inquiry into one of the worst events of the conflict called Bloody Sunday.  It was an event that caused deep anger within the Catholic community. We were trying to get people to understand what they went through and find a way to overcome this. So you in Sri Lanka will have to find your own way to do this, whatever way is consistent with your own sovereignty; but it has to be credible, thorough and it has to succeed in allowing people who have been hurt to understand that any such process should be to salve their anger and not stir it. So the way it is set up is very important.

So these are some of the things I have learnt in the course of Northern Ireland Peace process and other attempts at peace-making in different parts of the world.Some final thoughts:  I believe there is a methodology in reconciliation. You have to get good people in charge of it. Make sure it is organised properly. In Northern Ireland we had a whole series of reforms and changes we needed to get done and make sure it was organised and implemented fairly. You have to realise that some people are going to try to stop the reconciliation.  There will always be people out there for whom the quickest way to whip up the audience is to tap into their fear, insecurity and grievance and play those into a situation of tension. The system has to be strong enough, the people have to be strong enough to overcome that. I see your recent elections as important in this respect and you have to persevere. In reconciliation and peace-making you don’t give up. I remember when I first came to power on the 1st of May 1997, I decided to make the Northern Ireland Peace Process a major part of the government’s programme and older and wiser people said to me are you crazy?

So, when you get to peace you have got all those other nitty-gritties that have to get done.

Persevere is my final piece of advice.  If you can persevere and secure a very clear understanding, which I’m sure is possible for Sri Lanka, that in different cultures people grow up in different ways but somethings are held in common. People prefer to live in a society where they can bring up their children with some peace and security; they  prefer to live in a  country where if they work hard, by their merits they can succeed; they  prefer that the rule of law decides any disagreements they have and that rule of law is impartially administered; they would prefer to have their government underneath them and not on top of them; and they prefer to live in an environment where they can get on with their neighbour whoever their neighbour may be. Now I think these are universal values but many people don’t get the chance to live in such societies.

So you can pursue this reconciliation in Sri Lanka, doing two things: remembering that this is a wonderful country with a rich history and with tremendous possibilities and you can pursue this knowing that the aspirations and the desires of thoverwhelming majority of people, whether they are a Tamil, Muslim, Christian or a Sinhalese, there is the deep rooted wish in the heart of your people that peace is maintained and that with reconciliation, the people will feel part of one country. Then there is nothing this country cannot achieve for itself and no aspiration it cannot fulfil. So this is a great moment of opportunity, I have had a wonderful time here, people have been so generous and so kind but most of all as I leave Sri Lanka I feel a great sense of excitement and hope about its future and perhaps more than anything else I can’t wait to come back.


Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair (2 PART VIDEO)

Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair P1




Lakshman Kadirgamar Memorial Lecture By Former British PM Tony Blair P2

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Rajapaksa's Electoral Debacle Helps Sirisena Take Over Party

Rajapaksa's Electoral Debacle Helps Sirisena Take Over Party

By P.K.Balachandran Published: 25th August 2015 06:28 PM

COLOMBO: The failure of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa to make the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) win the August 17 Lankan parliamentary elections  is enabling incumbent President Maithripala Sirisena to take over the UPFA and its main constituent, the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

Prior to the August 17 polls, both the SLFP and the UPFA were with Rajapaksa, though Sirisena was the de jure Chairman of both outfits. But with the UPFA getting only 95 seats as against 106 secured by the United National Front for Good Governance (UNFGG) led by the United National Party (UNP), the SLFP has begun rallying round Sirisena, who, unlike Rajapaksa, is in power, occupying the post of Lankan President.

Senior leaders of the SLFP, who were earlier rooting for Rajapaksa and had fought the election to make him Prime Minister, are now with Sirisena, saying that Rajapaksa had split the party by his intransigence and not making up with Sirisena.

They also blame the smaller parties in the UPFA like the National Freedom Front (NFF), the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna (MEP) and the Democratic Left Front (DLF) for misleading Rajapaksa into believing that he could swing the elections without Sirisena’s help.

Had Rajapaksa not contested, the UPFA would have been united, and would have won, said Thilanga Sumathipala, a former Minister and media honcho. Rajapaksa loyalists had campaigned against those identified with Sirisena and brought about their defeat, Sumathipala said. The continued attacks of the pro-Rajapaksa small parties on those who had earlier worked for the unity of Sirisena and Rajapaksa, has forced UPFA General Secretary Susil Premajayantha to resign from the post, he pointed out.

According to Sumathipala, most of the senior leaders of the SLFP will rally round Sirisena and join or support the National Government proposed by Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

Dilan Perera, a lawyer and former Minister, was a vocal supporter of Rajapaksa’s candidature for Premiership. But he was always for a Sirisena-Rajapaksa rapprochement for the sake of the party. Perera is now with Sirisena and blames the smaller parties for opposing cooperation with Sirisena in the formation of a “Combined Government.’

Explaining his resignation from a minister’s post ahead of the parliamentary elections, Perera said that he was not comfortable being part of a government  headed by a party which did not have an electoral mandate.

“The UNP, which was running the government, had only 48 MPs in a House of 225. The January 8 Presidential election had given Sirisena the mandate to rule. But the  UNP had pick pocketed Sirisena’s mandate!” he quipped.

Perera says that power in the National Government should be equally shared by the UPFA/SLFP and the UNFGG.

“Although the UNFGG got more seats, the UPFA/SLFP was not far behind. It was a split mandate and this should be reflected in the Council of Ministers and the distribution of portfolios,” he said.

The formation of the Council of Ministers is proving to be difficult. To date, only the Prime Minister and three other cabinet ministers have been sworn-in, all from the UNP. Senior leaders from both sides are eyeing high profile or lucrative portfolios. Though there are committees to sort out issues, the final agreement is expected to be thrashed out by a troika comprising President Sirisena, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe and former President Chandrika Kumaratunga.

Bid to verify identities of those in C4 footage causes controversy


Bid to verify identities of those in C4 footage causes controversy
Probe commenced in 2013– SLA
August 29, 2015, 8:40 am

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Army headquarters yesterday said that the Military Police were in the process of closely checking Channel 4 News video footage in a bid to establish whether those in uniform were actually Sri Lankan troops.

Military spokesman Brigadier Jayanath Jayaweera emphasised that the investigation had been launched in 2013 on a directive issued by the previous government. Brigadier Jayaweera said that it was an on-going process.

Former UPFA Southern Provincial Councillor Major (retd.) Ajith Prasanna yesterday however said that the government should never recognise the British media outfit bent on humiliating Sri Lanka at the behest of the LTTE rump. Ajith Prasanna, who had served the sixth battalion of the Sinha Regiment (6SR) said that there couldn’t be anything as demeaning as interrogating officers who commanded troops on the front. The Sinha regiment veteran blamed the new government for dragging officers and men before Military Police investigations.

Attorney-at-law Ajith Prasanna alleged that the government had placed commanding officers at different levels of those fighting formations in an extremely embarrassing situation. The retired officer accused the new government of bending backwards to appease Western powers. The government shouldn’t under any circumstances act in a manner inimical to national security interests, the attorney-at-law said. The former soldier insisted that none of the claims made by the Channel 4 News had been proved.

Responding to a query, the attorney-at-law said that the government stand on Channel 4 News had been an integral part of a major international conspiracy directed at the Sri Lankan state.

Brigadier Jayaweera stressed that the SLA was acting on a government directive issued in accordance with Sri Lanka’s overall response to international accusations pertaining to atrocities committed during the last phase of the conflict. The official said that any attempt to discredit the on-going probe as politically motivated or driven by international pressure couldn’t be accepted. The official pointed out that a Presidential missing persons commission had been in operation for several years, in addition to the previous government securing the assistance of international experts to inquire into war time accusations.

The HINDU Exclusive interview with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister RaW

The HINDU Exclusive interview with the Sri Lankan Prime Minister RaW

Sri Lankan people want good governance, transparency: Ranil

T. RAMAKRISHNAN


After a month-long exhaustive election campaign, United National Party leader and Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe did not look tired when The Hindu met him at his official residence, Temple Trees, on Saturday morning. He was quite cheerful and relaxed. Answering questions on a range of topics, Mr Wickremesinghe is hopeful of his party getting a majority this time even though only on two occasions (1989 and 2010), a party or a pre-poll alliance of parties could get a majority. In conversation with T. Ramakrishnan.

Q: You have been contesting parliamentary elections since 1977. How significant is the present election and do you see any trend emerging now?

Ranil Wickremesinghe: This is one of the crucial elections like 1977. There is a definite trend against [former President Mahinda] Rajapaksa and the type of autocratic government they had. People are for open, good governance, transparency. They also like to see rapid economic progress.

Q: Only twice in the last 26 years did Sri Lanka see decisive verdict. Is it because of the proportional representation (PR) system ?

Wickremesinghe: We had brought in the PR system to ensure that there was no unwarranted swing of two-thirds majority. I would say that even, most elections, except in 2000 and 2004, have given a sufficient majority for the government to function.

Q: How do you view the President, in his letter to Mahinda, has referred to the possibility of the UPFA getting a majority ?

Wickremesinghe: It is only a statement that if the UPFA gets a majority, who he will consider for appointment [for the post of Prime Minister]. It is an internal document. The governing word for us is “if’ because we know it is not “when.” And the UPFA will not be able to get a majority. The UNP will get a majority.

Q: Is this election less costly for politicians?

Wickremesinghe: Yes. There were no cutouts, posters. On the other hand, the print and electronic media jacked up their targets.

Q: Less liquor this time?

Wickremesinghe: I think people have consumed liquor. But, there was no large gathering where you had to give liquor to people. That has come down to the normal level of consumption.

Q: Would you support any move to make election laws and rules more stringent.

Wickremesinghe: Yes. We are looking into it.

Q: Would you say that the entry of [Mr] Mahinda [Rajapaksa] has made the contest more exciting ?

Wickremesinghe: Well, a part of the media in the highest echelons has been backing him. They try to make out [that] Mahinda is the winner. But, except for the media hypes, we cannot say. They had thought that people were going to make up their mind in the last few weeks. But, nothing is working.

Has the Central Bank’s bond controversy created an adverse impact on the party and his government?

Wickremesinghe: No. They [the Opposition] have been attacking the UNP. I can see that. We have done everything possible. [We have done] three inquiries. [An] internal inquiry. They went to Supreme Court. I cannot be more transparent. We’ll continue with the inquiry in Parliament.

You have been talking of the need for a new Constitution. Why do you think that the present Constitution is no good?

Wickremesinghe: The existing Constitution is based on the executive Presidency. That was interpreted in a way different from the original intentions. [This means that] the Presidency must remain stronger at the expense of parliament. As we agreed to limit the powers of the President, we find that head is of one type and the body is of another. So, you once make all the amendments needed for that, you might as well streamline and bring it out as a new Constitution. It is difficult for people to read. As a lawyer, you must have a very clear document. We will reproduce many things from the present Constitution and make it in a way that people can understand and we will ensure those provisions which show that power is not focused on a single person.

You have referred to social market economy. Will it be similar to the German model?

Wickremesinghe: We have always been following that in certain areas. If you see in the last decade or so, how the market economy went [through]… The social market economy always had the emphasis on looking after the poor, the working class, middle class and you could see it in the [directive] principles of state policy. But, it is a restatement because in the last 10 years of [Mahinda] Rajapaksa’s rule and his policies, you had a system of crony capitalism. We want to distinguish ourselves from this crony capitalism.

Is it because you want to live down the UNP’s “pro rich” image?

Wickremesinghe: No. It [The country] has always been pro market economy, If you read the [directive] principles of state policy put in by us, you could see it.

Finally, what has emerged here is crony capitalism and family nepotism, which has to go. [This was] At the expense of reducing free education and free health, which all parties, whether they have socialist policies or [they are] for open market economy, always have safeguarded and developed further…. We are focusing on education and health care.

There is a perception that Sri Lanka does not have a solid manufacturing base.

Wickremesinghe: You must remember that we have a very competitive value added economy. We have no raw material. We have to get them and do value addition. We are far more competitive. But, we are catering to niche domestic market. Instead, we should be looking at niche international market.Would you be inviting foreign investors [for various proposed economic development zones]?

Wickremesinghe: Yes. We are saying that openly. We have to join global value chain

Your party once supported federalism?

Wickremesinghe: No, we did not support federalism. We had brought in 13th Amendment. We supported devolution.

In the 2002 Oslo communiqué… [referring to an agreement between the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE for exploring “a solution founded on the principle of internal self-determination in areas of historical habitation of the Tamil-speaking peoples, based on a federal structure within a united Sri Lanka".]

Wickremesinghe: The Oslo communiqué was to explore…We had to explore the proposals given [by the other side]. [In talks], we cannot say ‘no.’ We did not say we agreed [to federalism] But, we had said we would explore it during the talks.

Is the idea being opposed because of the fear of losing votes?

Wickremesinghe: We have always been for a unitary State. Ours is a small country. Devolution is the best way to take away barriers that have been constructed by the [previous] Rajapaksa regime for provincial councils to operate. We will give powers down to the level of villages.

You are referring to the system of cluster of villages…

Wickremesinghe: Unlike in your panchayat model where people are elected on party lines, this would be heads of grassroot organisations at the village and heads of religious institutions in a cluster. The politicians will come at the next stage – at the level of local authority.

Will it not lead to more tension between villages and provincial council administration?

Wickremesinghe: No. We, the government and provincial councils, are trying to get a coordinated plan which will have cluster level programmes that will be looked into and committed by “Gram Rajya” committees. We had operated this system – “Gramodaya Mandalas” - for a few years when [R.] Premadasa was Minister for Local Government. That was scrapped when provincial councils came.

On the issue of accountability, there were statements from the government earlier that by June, domestic mechanism of enquiry [on alleged war crimes] would be in place. Why the delay?

Wickremesinghe: Discussions are going on.

The delay is not deliberate?

Wickremesinghe: What we agreed finally is that let the report [of the UNHRC] be tabled and brought out to the public in September. Within the adequate time agreed by both sides, we will give our response.

What is your party’s stand on issues and grievances of upcountry Tamils have various grievances such as nomenclature change from Indian Tamils to Upcountry Tamils, a proper and comprehensive census and bringing in their areas of habitation under ‘Pradesiya Sabhas.’

Wickremesinghe: We are creating basic amenities for them. They are already under local authorities. The main issue is education. We are tackling it.

How do you propose to resolve the issue of problem of fishermen? What is your stand?

Wickremesinghe: Our stand is that it is our waters. But, if the Indian government agrees, we can give a bit of time if bottom trawling stops.

Given your emphasis on development, would you like India to play a big role in various development projects?

Wickremesinghe: Certainly. Their investors are free to come.

What about China?

Wickremesinghe: Chinese are also free to come and invest here.

Are Chinese loans being re-negotiated?

Wickremesinghe: We are renegotiating some of the loans.

Would you go for more loans from China?

Wickremesinghe: We [want to] get loans from anyone on a competitive basis and on concessional basis.

How do you plan to improve your relationship with the West which had hit a low during the presidency of Rajapaksa?

Wickremesinghe: I had been having good relations [with the West]. We are restoring [the ties with the West].

Given your deep interest in matters concerning archaeology, heritage history and heritage, are you contemplating collaborative projects?

Wickremesinghe: We will work something out. We are doing a lot of prehistory [projects involving] Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka. I want to give more [attention] on the relationship between Kerala and Sri Lanka, especially on the southwest coast.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

No international investigation! No devolution above 13th amendment! SL PM Ranil NDTV Interview

Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe's Interview to NDTV: 

Full Transcript 

In an exclusive interview to NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe has said Mahinda Rajapaksa had tried to play India and China against each other.

COLOMBO:  In an exclusive interview to NDTV's Sreenivasan Jain, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramasinghe speaks about his country's relations with India, the debt-ridden relationship with China and the way forward on the devolution of power  to the island's minority Tamils.

Here is a full transcript of the interview:

Many believe that Maithripala Sirisena's dramatic victory in the Sri Lanka elections would not have been possible were it not for the support of Ranil Wickramasinghe, one of the most seasoned politicians in Sri Lanka and who's now back as Prime Minister for the third time- sworn in almost immediately after President Sirisena took charge. Thank you very much indeed,

NDTV :Mr Wickramasinghe for joining me and is that a fair assessment, that without you Sirisena would not have won? You are the true kingmaker of this election?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: The kingmakers are the people who wanted a change. They didnt want a king, they wanted a president and the abolishment of the executive presidency. So we decided to have a common candidate. The UNP was the largest party in the opposition and certainly ran the organisations on the ground outside the northern province.
 
NDTV: But you know the change many believe came peacefully, except news came that actually there was an attempted coup by former president Rajapaksa. Now you actually came to visit him here at Temple Trees, the official residence, early  that morning, where he finally conceded. Did he concede immediately or was there some sort of planned coup?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: President Rajapaksa sent me a message, wanting me to give him a telephone call . that he had lost the elections. I replied that I will come there and discuss the
transition with him rather than do it over the phone. So when i came here, President Rajapaksa conceded defeat and we discussed the details of the transition.

NDTV: He didn't put up a fuss or anything?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: No there was no fuss when he met me, no.

NDTV: But you know the fact is that many believe that you are going to be the real power behind this throne; this is actually going to be a Ranil Wickramasinghe government, not a Sirisena government. Is that true?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: Well we have made Mr Maithripala Sirisena the President and the parties constituting the government will run that jointly.We want to bring an Amendment to the Constitution this month to abolish executive presidency. Then in June, most probably May or June, we'll hold parliamentary elections and the people can decide who should be the Prime Minister and head the government.

NDTV: Okay. You're saying that you're a transitionary government but many believe that it's a Wickramasinghe government because all the cabinet ministers are from your party.

Ranil Wickramasinghe: No the major party as I said was the UNP so therefore the major number of ministers are from the UNP. But, we did set apart a number of ministries to be offered to the members who supported President Rajapaksa in the SLFP.

NDTV: Now let's look at three big issues which India is concerned about. Number one is whether you will grant full autonomy to the Tamils or will that just remain a promise on paper?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: Well the agreement is that the 13th Amendment be implemented,  and that's the discussion we are having with the TNA. In principle all have agreed that the 13th Amendment should be implemented.

NDTV: You're okay with that?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: We are with that. We're only having discussions about the police powers and how it should function, that's all.


NDTV: But that's the key thing.

Ranil Wickramasinghe: No, police powers is a provincial subject but there are certain concerns Once we bring the independent commission in, how do we do that? To ensure that..there is big fear in the country, not only the North, that the nine ministers.. chief ministers may turn the police into their own private army. We're all concerned, even the TNA is aware of it, so we've got to have safeguards against it

NDTV: But you're not in principle against it? You're not in principle averse to granting full powers?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: The 13th Amendment will be implemented in full and then there's a question not only of an independent police commission; there's going to be independent public service commissions. So how that relates to the provinces also has to be discussed.

NDTV: The second is of course to do with the exaggerated pro China tilt by the Rajapaksa government. Will you rectify that? Because that's a matter of great concern for India.

Ranil Wickramasinghe: As far as we are concerned we will continue the tradition of a policy of friendship with India while we maintain our friendship with China, Japan and the other countries.

NDTV: But do you agree that the tilt towards China had gone a little too far during the Rajapaksa time? A lot of contracts were signed.

Ranil Wickramasinghe: I have always said that President Rajapaksa's regime tried to play China against India and India against China and they came a cropper.

NDTV: But what about the contracts? Many of these projects that Rajapaksa had signed during his time. The president was funded by the Chinese. You yourself have asked for investigations into some of them.

Ranil Wickramasinghe: We are looking into all foreign contracts and local ones and where there is corruption, we will certainly ensure we take action whether it be Chinese or any other country. We are also reviewing the port city project because we have not yet seen the feasibility study and the environment impact assessment. I asked..when i was with the opposition, I asked the government to table it in parliament. They didn't do so. Therefore we will have to look into the environmental and feasibility aspects.

NDTV: You will be looking into that? Do you believe there was corruption there?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: We're looking mostly into the two reports. Then we will know whether there has been corruption or not.
 =================================
NDTV: What about the question of prosecution of war crimes? 

Ranil Wickramasinghe: Our position has always been that whatever we do has to be within our domestic jurisdiction.

NDTV: So you're saying no international probe is going to be allowed?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: No, we're saying the jurisdiction to try any person who's committed a crime lies with Sri Lanka.

NDTV: So your stand remains the same as the previous government? A UN probe is not welcome; you will do your own internal probe?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: No, UN can give its probe. We'll engage the UN on these issues. That's the difference. We're going to engage the UN Human Rights Council on these issues. All we're saying is any criminal jurisdiction must be exercised in Sri 
Lanka. Any civil jurisdiction has to be exercised in Sri Lanka. Only the Sri Lankan courts can determine this issue. The same as India or USA. We are no different from anyone else but we will restore the independence of the judiciary.

NDTV: Okay, but you concede that these war crimes did take place?

Ranil Wickramasinghe:  Whatever the violations of human rights, we are looking into it. Anyway, the UN is going to send its own reports so there after we will decide what we're going to do. But we will have engagement and the UN report is not about going to the international criminal court. It's about whether violations took place or not

NDTV: Is Sri Lanka essentially a unitary state? A Sinhala state? Or is it a state that includes all its people? This is a concern that was there with the previous regime. There are concerns whether there's going to be any change in that position. 

Ranil Wickramasinghe: The 13th Amendment is on the basis of the present Constitution which India has accepted.  It's unitary and it's Sri Lankan. It's a country for Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims, everyone. And that is accepted by everyone here. 

NDTV: Will former president Rajapaksa face justice for the charges that have been leveled by you during the campaign or has there been some kind of a deal that has been done?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: Yeah, we are looking into everything and if we need to take action, we will take action.

NDTV: You will? And right now what would you say is your single biggest challenge as Prime Minister?

Ranil Wickramasinghe: Our challenge now is first to get the Constitutional Amendments through.

NDTV: Right

Ranil Wickramasinghe: And to give the relief to the people and restore democracy.

NDTV: Right. Prime Minister, I wish you all the very best. It's a challenging time for Sri Lanka, but a remarkable one. Thank you.

உள்ளக விசாரணையை அரசு நிறைவேற்றும்:ஜாதிக ஹெல உறுமய!

உள்ளக விசாரணையை அரசு நிறைவேற்றும்

Submitted by P.Usha on Sat, 08/29/2015 - 10:28

இலங்­கையில் இடம்பெற்றதாகக் கூறப்படும் போர்க்­குற்றங்கள் குறித்த உண்­மை­களை கண்­ட­றிய உள்­ளக விசா­ர­ணை­களை மேற்­கொள்­வ­தாக புதிய அர­சாங்கம் வாக்­கு­று­தி­ய­ளித்­துள்­ளது. இந்த அர­சாங்கம் அதை முழு­மை­யாக நிறை­வேற்றும் என்று ஜாதிக ஹெல உறுமயவின் தலைவரும் பாரா­ளு­மன்ற உறுப்­பினருமான சம்­பிக்க ரண­வக்க தெரிவித்தார்.

தமிழ் அர­சியல் தலை­மை­களின் நம்­பிக்­கையும் அவர்கள் எதிர்­பார்க்கும் சர்­வ­தேச விசா­ர­ணை­யுமே இன்னும் நிறைவே­றாது உள்­ளது. அது நிறை­வேறக் கூடி­யதும் அல்ல எனவும் அவர் குறிப்­பிட்டார்.

போர்க்குற்றச்சாட்டுக்கள் தொடர்பில் தற்போது ஏற்பட் டுள்ள புதிய நிலைமை தொடர்பில் வின­வி­ய­போதே அவர் மேற்­கண்­ட­வாறு குறிப்­பிட்டார்.

அவர் இது தொடர்பில் மேலும் கூறு­கையில்,

நாட்டில் நல்­லி­ணக்கம் ஏற்­ப­ட­வேண்டும் என்ற போராட்டமே கடந்த காலங்­களில் முன்­னெ­டுக்­கப்­பட்­டது. அந்தப் போராட்­டத்தில் நாம் வெற்றி பெற்­றுள்ளோம். ஜனா­தி­பதி மைத்­தி­ரி­பால சிறி­சே­னவை வைத்து நாட்டில் பாரிய மாற்றம் ஒன்றை ஏற்­ப­டுத்­தி­யுள்ளோம். சிங்­கள,தமிழ்,முஸ்லிம் மக்கள் தமது ஜன­நா­யக உரி­மை­களை தடைகள் இன்றி அனு­ப­விப்­ப­தற்­கான சூழல் உரு­வா­கி­யுள்­ளது. வடக்கில் இன்று இரா­ணுவ அச்­சு­றுத்தல் என்ற குற்­றச்­சாட்டை யாரும் முன்­வை­ப­தில்லை. தமது காணி­களை விடு­விக்­கக்­கோரி யாரும் போரா­ட­வில்லை.

கடந்த ஆட்­சியில் மஹிந்த ராஜபக் ஷ மற்றும் அவ­ரது நம்­பத்­த­குந்த நபர்­களை வைத்து மேற்­கொண்ட சர்­வா­தி­கார நட­வ­டிக்­கைகள் அனைத்தும் சிறு­பான்மை மக்கள் மத்­தியில் மிகப்­பெ­ரிய தாக்­கத்தை செலுத்­தி­யது.

அந்த செயற்­பா­டுகள் சர்­வ­தேசம் வரையில் கொண்­டு­செல்­லப்­பட்டு நாட்­டுக்கு எதி­ரான மிகப்­பெ­ரிய அச்­சு­றுத்­தல்­களை தோற்­று­வித்­தன. இலங்­கையில் இடம்­பெற்ற யுத்­தத்தில் போர்க்­குற்­றங்கள் இடம்பெற்றுள்ளது என்ற குற்­றச்­சாட்டு பல ஆண்­டு­க­ளாக சர்­வ­தேச தரப்­பி­னரால் முன்­வைக்­கப்­பட்டு வரு­கின்­றது. ஆனால் அதற்­கான விசா­ர­ணைகள் உள்­ளக பொறி­மு­றை­களின் மூல­மாக
நடை­பெற வேண்டும் என்­ப­தையே நாம் தொடர்ச்­சி­யாக வலி­யு­றுத்தி வந்தோம். அந்த நிலைப்­பாட்டில் இப்­போதும் எந்த மாற்­றமும் இல்லை.

எனினும் கடந்த காலங்­களில் சர்­வ­தேசம் எமக்குக் கொடுத்த கால அவ­கா­சத்தில் நாம் உள்­ளக விசா­ரணை பொறி­மு­றை­களை சரி­யாக நடை­முறைப் படுத்­தி­னோமா என்­பதில் சிக்கல் உள்­ளது. ஆயினும் ஆட்சி மாற்­றத்தின் பின்னர் ஜனா­தி­பதி மைத்­தி­ரி­பால சிறி­சேன மற்றும் பிர­தமர் ரணில் விக்­கி­ர­ம­சிங்க ஆகி­யோரின் தலை­மையின் கீழ் நாட்டில் நல்­ல­தொரு மாற்றம் ஏற்­பட்­டுள்­ளது. இந்த மாற்­றத்தின் மூலம் தமிழ் மக்­களின் எதிர்­பார்ப்­புகள் நிறை­வேற்­றப்­பட்­டுள்­ளன. எனினும் தமிழ் அர­சியல் தலை­மை­களின் நம்­பிக்­கையும் அவர்கள் எதிர்­பார்க்கும் சர்­வ­தேச விசா­ர­ணை­யுமே இன்னும் நிறை­வே­றாது உள்­ளது. அது நிறை­வேறக் கூடி­யதும் அல்ல.

இப்­போது வெளி­வ­ர­வி­ருக்கும் சர்­வ­தேச விசா­ரணை அறிக்­கை எவ்­வா­றானதாக அமையும் என்­ப­தைப்­பற்றி எம்மால் கணிப்­பிட முடி­யாது. ஆனால் மஹிந்த ராஜபக்க்ஷ அர­சாங்­கத்தில் இருந்த கடு­மை­யான போக்­கினை இந்த அர­சாங்­கத்தின் ஆட்­சியில் சர்­வ­தேசம் கையா­ள­வில்லை.

மேலும் இலங்­கையில் நடை­பெற்ற போர்க்­குற்ற உண்­மை­களை கண்­ட­றிய உள்­ளக விசா­ர­ணை­களை மேற்­கொள்­வ­தாக இலங்­கையின் புதிய அர­சாங்கம் வாக்­கு­று­தி­ய­ளித்­துள்­ளது. இந்த அர­சாங்கம் அதை முழுமையாக நிறைவேற்றும். அதேபோல் இப்போதிருக்கும் நிலைமையில் சர்வதேசமும் எம்மீதான நம்பிக்கையை பலப்படுதியுள்ளதால் உள்ளக விசாரணைகளை சுயாதீனமாக நடத்தப்படும் என்ற நம்பிக்கை சர்வதேசத்துக்கு ஏற்பட்டுள்ளது. ஆகவே இலங்கை மீதான சர்வதேச விசாரணைக்கு இனி ஒரு அவசியம் இல்லை. அதை நாம் அனுமதிக்கப் போவதுமில்லை என்றார்.

Friday, 28 August 2015

US expected to accept SLA’s invitation

US expected to accept SLA’s invitation
August 26, 2015, 12:00 pm

By Shamindra Ferdinando

Lt. Gen. Chrishanthe De Silva addressing the media. Army Chief of Staff. Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias (center) and Military Secretary Maj. Gen. Mahesh Senanayake. Pic by Nishan S Priyantha With the warming of relations with the US consequent to the change of government in January, the Sri Lankan Army expects the US to participate at its post-war flagship project the annual two-day Defence Seminar early next month.

Army Chief Lt. Gen. Crishanthe de Silva yesterday expressed confidence that the US would accept Sri Lanka’s invitation to participate in ‘Defence Seminar 2015.’

This year’s event scheduled to take place at the Colombo Galadari Hotel on Sept 1 and 2 will deal with ‘National Security in the Context of Emerging Global Threats.’

China, India and Pakistan are among several dozen participating countries.

De Silva said that the SLA had extended an invitation to newly appointed US Ambassador in Colombo Atul Keshap recently and was confident of a positive response.

The Army Commander was responding to a query raised at a media conference held at the regimental headquarters, Sri Lanka Electrical and Mechanical Engineers.


The US placed a series of restrictions on the Sri Lankan military during the previous government though it provided crucial support during the war.

The inaugural Defence Seminar was held in June 2011, more than two years after the conclusion of the war.

Asked by The Island whether the SLA had examined the then US Defence Advisor Lt. Colonel Lawrence Smith publicly disputing at the inaugural Defence Seminar widespread war crimes accusations directed at the SL military in a bid to disapprove unsubstantiated allegations, Lt. Gen. De Silva said that they were engaged in a process meant to establish the truth. The US official was speaking on behalf of the first General Officer Commanding (GoC) of the celebrated 58 Division Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva.

The US State Department declared that as the Defence Advisor had been there in a personal capacity, his statement shouldn’t be viewed as official US position. The State Department was reacting to an exclusive The Island report that dealt with the issue.

The US moved a resolution in the Geneva-based United Nations Human Rights in March 2014. The passage of the resolution paved the way for an external investigation into alleged atrocities committed by the previous government during the final phase of the offensive on the Vanni east front.

Army Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Jagath Dias recalled the exemplary conduct of the military since the conclusion of the war. The GoC of the 57 Division which spearheaded the offensive on the Vanni central front said that the testimony of people of the Northern and Eastern Provinces could help improve SLA’s image to a large extent.

Responding to another query, Lt. Gen. De Silva said that he couldn’t comment on the alleged involvement of SLA personnel in the disappearance of media personality Prageeth Ekneligoda. The Army Chief emphasised that the SLA extended its fullest cooperation to the police investigating the alleged disappearance several years ago.

Former Afghan President Hamid Karzai will deliver the key note address at the ‘Defence Seminar 2015’.

The Army Chief said that the situation was continuing to improve with Sri Lanka expecting the biggest overseas participation at this year’s event.

US-Lanka to collaborate on September resolution at UNHRC

===================================
US-Lanka to collaborate on September resolution at UNHRC
US fundamentally believes domestic process will provide a more durable outcome: Biswal Visiting US assistant secretaries hail new opportunities to work with GoSL on accountability and reconciliation
By Dharisha Bastians

Sri Lanka looked set to escape a minefield of international action on war crimes allegations with a US Government announcement yesterday that it would sponsor a resolution at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva next month supporting the Government’s plans for a domestic investigation and reconciliation.

The announcement marks a departure from the previous US position that allegations about atrocities committed in Sri Lanka at the end of the war had to be probed internationally in the absence or failure of domestic processes.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal told reporters at the American Centre yesterday that the US government had decided to offer a resolution at the September session of the UNHRC.

“We have also expressed our hope that it will be a resolution of collaboration working with the Government of Sri Lanka and other key stake holders,» Assistant Secretary Biswal said, hinting at a consensus resolution that could be adopted without a vote at the Council. Washington has sponsored increasingly strident resolutions at the UNHRC for three years calling on the Sri Lankan Government to investigate allegations of major rights abuses committed during the last stages of the war. In March 2014 Washington was the main sponsor of a resolution that established a special UN investigation into the allegations.

But yesterday, in an apparently reversal of this position, the US Assistant Secretary also expressed her Government’s fundamental belief that a domestic investigation into the allegations of abuse would render a more “durable outcome.”

“We fundamentally support efforts to create a credible domestic process for accountability and reconciliation,” Biswal noted.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera said he had briefed the visiting US officials about the framework of the domestic mechanism to address accountability issues outstanding since the end of the war.

The UN report is due out during the UNHRC September session, but Biswal said the US had yet to see the document. The Sri Lanka resolution in September would also reflect the findings and recommendations of that report by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), she said.

Biswal said her Government recognized the different landscape and opportunity to advance reconciliation and accountability in the island.

Biswal and her delegation, including Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski, were the first foreign dignitaries to arrive in Sri Lanka for high level talks since the 17 August parliamentary election. Both US diplomats heaped praise on the new Government’s efforts to foster reconciliation in a marked departure from strong diplomatic language used to criticise Sri Lanka’s lack of progress on accountability post-war in previous visits by US officials.

Relations between Colombo and Washington grew increasingly strained during the tenure of President Rajapaksa, who consistently resisted international pressure to probe war crimes allegations and seek reconciliation with the Tamil community.

Both top US diplomats expressed confidence in the new Government’s approach to engage with the international community on issues of human rights and reconciliation.

“There is an opportunity now that did not exist in the past, to work on this collaboratively,” Assistant Secretary Malinowski said, hinting at improved diplomatic engagement with Sri Lanka’s new administration.

Malinowski said the new Government’s approach to difficult human rights concern has been to defend the country’s interests without being defensive.

“The Government has reached out, it has listened, it has engaged in dialogue with everybody. It has acknowledged the need of truth-telling and accountability. In doing that it has won a tremendous amount of trust and confidence,” Malinowski told reporters.

Malinowski said trust in the new Government was encouraging the international community to give Sri Lanka the time and space it requires to deal with “difficult issues” of its painful past.

The Assistant Secretary for Human Rights cautioned however that the Sri Lankan Government would be judged based on actions and not promises.

Both officials who also met with representatives of the Tamil National Alliance last morning acknowledged that the Government would have to build trust and confidence in the domestic process to investigate the alleged violations in war time, since domestic mechanisms had consistently failed or failed to take off.

“The failures of the past are very much on our minds,” Malinowski said, “which is why there is an emphasis on trust-building.”

He said the US and the International Community would not walk away from the Sri Lankan issue in September, whatever the thrust of the new resolution.

“International attention will continue,” Malinowski said.

Assistant Secretaries Biswal and Malinowski held talks with President Maithripala Sirisena, newly-elected Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and leaders of the Tamil National Alliance, the main Tamil party during the visit.

Source: IL LK

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

ஐ.நா அமர்வில் இலங்கைக்கு சார்பாக அமெரிக்கா!

ஐ.நா அமர்வில் இலங்கைக்கு சார்பாக அமெரிக்கா!

August 26, 2015செய்திகள்036
ஐ.நா அமர்வில் இலங்கைக்கு சார்பாக அமெரிக்கா!

அடுத்த மாதம் ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணைக்குழு அமர்வில் இலங்கை சார்பான பிரேரணை ஒன்றை ஆதரிக்கவுள்ளதாக அமெரிக்கா தெரிவித்துள்ளது.

போர்க் குற்றங்கள் குறித்து இலங்கையின் உள்ளக விசாரணைப் பொறிமுறைகளுக்கு ஆதரவளிக்கும் வகையிலேயே இந்த நடவடிக்கையை மேற்கொள்ளவுள்ளதாக வௌிநாட்டு ஊடகம் ஒன்று செய்தி வௌியிட்டுள்ளது.

மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணைக்குழு அமர்வில் இலங்கை குறித்து பிரேரணைகளை கொண்டு வந்த நாடுகளில் அமெரிக்கா முன்னிலை வகித்ததோடு, இறுதியாக சமர்ப்பிக்கப்பட்ட பிரேரணையில் சர்வதேச விசாரணை அவசியம் என வலியுறுத்தப்பட்டிருந்தது.

எனினும் ஜனாதிபதி மைத்திரிபால சிறிசேன தேசிய விசாரணை குறித்து வழங்கிய வாக்குறுதிக்கு அமைய அமெரிக்கா இதற்கு ஒத்துழைப்பு வழங்க தீர்மானித்துள்ளதாக, தற்போது இலங்கைக்கு விஜயம் செய்துள்ள அமெரிக்காவின் தெற்கு மற்றும் மத்திய ஆசிய விவகாரங்களுக்கான உதவி இராஜாங்க செயலாளர் நிஸா பிஸ்வால் குறிப்பிட்டுள்ளார்.

இதுஎவ்வாறு இருப்பினும் குறித்த பிரேரணையில் உள்ளடக்கப்பட்டுள்ள விடயங்கள் குறித்து குறிப்பிடாத அவர், இந்தப் பிரேரணை அடுத்த மாதம் மனித உரிமைகள் ஆணைக்குழுவில் சமர்ப்பிக்க திட்டமிடப்பட்டுள்ள பிரேரணையை பின்பற்றியதாக இருக்கும் எனவும் கூறினார்.

US hails Sri Lanka



Biswal calls on President, PM
US hails Sri Lanka
* Mangala briefs US delegation on domestic accountability mechanism
* US proud of Sri Lanka’s commitment to democracy: Biswal
* Commends ‘tremendous progress’ towards good governance and reconciliation
* US diplomat for democracy and human rights says Lankans voted for change, twice this year
* Sri Lanka voted against impunity, against politics of division: Malinowski​
 By Dharisha Bastians


A top US diplomat hailed Sri Lanka’s “tremendous progress” towards good governance, reconciliation and democracy during a two-day visit to Colombo, weeks ahead of the release of a UN report on allegations of war crimes committed during the final stages of the war.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Central and South Asian Affairs, Nisha Biswal, told reporters, at the conclusion of discussions with Foreign Minister Mangala Samaraweera at his ministry yesterday, that her delegation was in Sri Lanka to reaffirm her Government’s strong support for the Sri Lankan people for their commitment towards the institutions of good governance, peace and prosperity.

“We are incredibly proud of the journey that is being undertaken here. The story that is unfolding in this great country is one that stands as a testament to the rest of the world,” Biswal emphasised during her remarks to the media at the Foreign Ministry.

Samaraweera told reporters that he had briefed the US delegation on measures taken to address concerns about alleged human rights violations, including independent domestic mechanisms to probe allegations about the final stage of the war.

The US has led moves at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to push Sri Lanka to probe allegations of extrajudicial killings and civilian casualties during the final battle against the LTTE and reconciliation, including a political solution to the ethnic question.

Biswal said that since her last visit to Colombo in May with US Secretary of State John Kerry, the US Government had seen not only commitment towards democracy but also “just a tremendous momentum of progress towards institutions of good governance, combating corruption and promoting reconciliation.”

The US Assistant Secretary of State also said they had informed President Maithripala Sirisena about US plans to support resettlement and education in Sampur, with a commitment of $ 1 million in resources. “We look forward to working with President Sirisena, the Prime Minister and with the new Government to ensure that the country is able to realise its enormous potential,” she said.

Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Tom Malinowski, who is also part of Assistant Secretary Biswal’s delegation, hailed Sri Lankan voters in all parts of the country for voting for change twice this year.

“What was most important to us was the message that the people of Sri Lanka have sent, twice now this year. The people in the north, south, east and west have told us they support change. Twice now they have voted north south east and west, for the rule of law, against impunity, for reconciliation, for building this country, development of this country and against the politics of ethnic and religious division, against extremism on both sides,” Malinowski said in his remarks to the media following discussions with Minister Samaraweera.

Malinowski said the US recognised that some of the decisions the Government would have to make to fulfill its promises would be difficult ones. “We know that this process is going to be slow and difficult. Nobody expects miracles,” the US diplomat said.

“But the US will stand by its side, so long as the Government of Sri Lanka continues to make courageous decisions,” he added.

The new US Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Atul Keshap, was also present during the discussions with Minister Samaraweera yesterday.

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Biswal, accompanied by the Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski met with President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day the two high ranking US officials met with Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Foreign Affairs Minister Mangala Samaraweera to discuss issues relating to the national reconciliation, combating corruption and good governance.

During her meeting with the President, Biswal appreciated his initiatives towards democracy, peace and reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

 “The Government’s initiatives towards democracy, peace and reconciliation are highly satisfactory to the international community,” she said. President Sirisena has stated to the Assistant Secretary that his Government desired to maintain a cordial and fruitful relationship with the US, while strengthening the longstanding friendship between the two countries. Biswal extended best wishes on behalf of the US Government and the Secretary of State, John Kerry, to President Sirisena for conducting the recently concluded Parliamentary Elections in a free and fair manner.

- See more at: http://www.ft.lk/article/462565/US-hails-Sri-Lanka#sthash.Jwedbb7L.dpuf

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Inside Story: Sri Lanka's new political path

பின்கதவும் பூட்டு! பிரேமச்சந்திரன் கொதிப்பு!!

தமிழரசுக் கட்சியின் செயல் வெட்கம் கெட்டதனமானது: சுரேஷ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன்
24 ஆகஸ்ட் 2015

தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் பேச்சாளர் சுரேஷ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன்


தமிழ்த்தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பினால் தேசிய பட்டியல் உறுப்பினர்களாக அறிவிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளவர்கள் தொடர்பான முடிவு என்பது தமிழ்த்தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பின் முடிவல்ல என்றும், அது தன்னிச்சையாகவும் ஒருதலைப்பட்சமாகவும் தமிழரசுக் கட்சியினால் எடுக்கப்பட்ட முடிவு என்றும் முன்னாள் நாடாளுமன்ற உறுப்பினரும் தமிழ்த்தேசிய கூட்டமைப்பின் பேச்சாளரும் ஈபிஆர்எல்எஃப் கட்சியின் தலைவருமான சுரேஸ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன் பிபிசி தமிழோசையிடம் தெரிவித்தார்.

யாழ் மாவட்டத்தில் தேர்தலில் போட்டியிட்ட சுரேஸ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன் தோல்வியடைந்ததையடுத்து, தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பில் இருக்கும் ஒரு கட்சியின் தலைவரான அவருக்கு தேசிய பட்டியலில் இடமளிக்க வேண்டும் என கூட்டமைப்பின் தலைவர் ஆர்.சம்பந்தன் மற்றும் கூட்டமைப்பின் அங்கம் வகிக்கும் மற்ற கட்சித்தலைவர்களிடம் கோரிக்கை விடுக்கப்பட்டிருந்தது.
ஆயினும் அந்தக் கோரிக்கை தொடர்பில் சரியான முடிவு எடுக்காமல் தமிழரசுக்கட்சி தனது விருப்பத்திற்கு இரண்டு பேரை தேசியப்பட்டியல் உறுப்பிளர்களாக நியமித்திருப்பதாக சுரேஸ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன் குற்றம் சாட்டினார்.


தமிழ்த் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்பின் பேச்சாளர் சுரேஷ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன்
இந்த கோரிக்கை தொடர்பில் திருகோணமலையில் இரண்டு முக்கிய பேச்சுவார்ததைகள் நடைபெற்றிருந்தபோதிலும், பேச்சுவார்த்தைகளுக்கு அமைவாக முடிவு எடுக்கப்படவில்லை என்றும் சுரேஸ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன் தெரிவித்தார்.

"தமிழ் தேசியக் கூட்டமைப்புக்கான தேசியப் பட்டியலுக்கு தமிழரசு கட்சியில் இருக்கும் சில நபர்கள் தமது கட்சியின் இரண்டு உறுப்பினர்களை நியமித்திருப்பது, கூட்டமைப்பில் இருக்கும் தமிழரசு கட்சி தவிர்த்த மற்ற கட்சிகளுக்கு ஏற்புடைய செயலல்ல``. மேலும் அவர் கூறுகையில்,

எல்லோரும் சேர்ந்து விதை விதைப்பதும், அறுவடை செய்யும்போது தமிழரசு கட்சி மட்டும் கொண்டு போவது என்பதும் ஆரோக்கியமான அரசியலுக்கும் நல்லதல்ல; ஒரு கூட்டமைப்பு தத்துவங்களுக்கும் நல்லதல்ல; ஆனால் இதனை மிகவும் வெட்கம் கெட்டத்தனமாக தமிழரசு கட்சி தொடர்ந்து செய்கிறது என்பதுதான் ஒரு விடயம்" என்றார் சுரேஷ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன்.

அதேசமயம், இந்த பிரச்சனை குறித்து தமது கட்சி இரண்டொரு தினங்களில் விரிவானதொரு அறிக்கையை வெளியிடவுள்ளதாக தெரிவித்த சுரேஷ் பிரேமச்சந்திரன், இதுகுறித்த விரிவானதொரு நேர்காணலை வழங்குவதற்குத் தற்போது தான் தயாரில்லை என்றும், சுருக்கமானதொரு கருத்தை மட்டுமே இப்போது தன்னால் தெரிவிக்க முடியும் என்றும் அவர் கூறினார்.

Thursday, 20 August 2015

Rajapaksa not taking opposition leader role


Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa settles into backseat role

20 August 2015 16:38 (Last updated 20 August 2015 16:52)

Sri Lanka's controversial former president focusing security affairs, not taking opposition leader role

 
By Dilrukshi Handunnetti
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka’s former President Mahinda Rajapaksa said Thursday that he is ready to settle into a humbling new role as an ordinary parliamentarian, following a failed attempt to return to power as prime minister.
His Sri Lanka Freedom Party narrowly lost out to the ruling United National Party in Tuesday's parliamentary election, denying him a chance to return to power only eight months after being voted out. 
An aide of the former president told Anadolu Agency that he will accept the new role.
"The former president entered mainstream politics and contested on August 17 due to public demand. In the same way, he has no problem in taking his place as an ordinary parliamentarian," said MP Manusha Nanayakkara.
He added there was no possibility of the former president accepting the post of opposition leader.
The inclusion of a former president in parliament as an ordinary legislator is unprecedented and Rajapaksa’s entry has generated debate about the privileges and perks of a former president now presenting himself as a regulator legislator.  
Rajapaksa is expected to take a prominent seat on the opposition’s front bench, mandating himself to work on "issues concerning national security". 
The former present is credited with bringing a protracted 27-year-long civil war to an end in May 2009 by militarily crushing the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, though he has faced accusations that he ordered war crimes in the process.
Gayantha Karunathilake, a former spokesman for the ruling United National Party, said however that the dynamics of parliament are set to be changed after the election. 
"As promised, a national government will be formed," he said, alluding to President Maithripala Sirisena's calls for a government that cut across parties. 
Meanwhile Sirisena, who is head of Rajapaksa's Sri Lanka Freedom Party despite the two now being politically opposed, has begun maneuvering for more control of the party. 
In recent weeks he has suspended senior members allied to Rajapaksa and brought in his own allies in order to ease the formation of a national government, something Rajapaksa opposed.

>.......... நரியை விழுங்கிச்சாம் கோழி!


சமஸ்டிக் கட்சிக்குள் `அதிகாரப் பகிர்வு` ச் சண்டை!

சுரேஸா,விலகிப்போவேன்சிறீதரன்!

தமிழ் தேசியக்கூட்டமைப்பின் போனஸ் ஆசனங்களினில் ஒன்றினை சுரேஸ்பிறேமச்சந்திரனிற்கு வழங்குவதற்கு கூடிய விருப்பு வாக்கு பெற்றிருந்த சிவஞானம் சிறீதரன் எதிர்ப்பு தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

அவ்வாறு மீறி வழங்கப்பட்டால் தனது உறுப்புரிமையிலிருந்து ராஜினாமா செய்யப்போவதாகவும் கட்சி ஆதரவாளர்களிடையே உரையாற்றுகையினில் தெரிவித்துள்ளார். இதே கருத்தினை சுமந்திரனும் கொண்டுள்ளதாகவும் சிறீதரன் தெரிவித்துள்ளார்.

இதனிடையே  போனஸ் ஆசனங்களில் ஒன்றினை சுரேஸிற்கு வழங்க கோரும் வகையினில் பங்காளி கட்சி தலைவர்கள் இன்று சம்பந்தனை திருமலையினில் சந்தித்துள்ளனர்.எனினும் இவ்விடயத்தினில் சம்பந்தன் திருப்திகரமான பதிலை தரவில்லையெனவும் மாவையுடன் உரையாடுவதாகவும் தெரிவித்து திருப்பி அனுப்பியுள்ளார்.

ரெலோ சார்பினில் செல்வம் அடைக்கலநாதன்,கோடீஸ்வரன்,பிரசன்னா ஆகியோரும் ஈபிஆர்எல்எவ் சார்பினில் சிவசக்தி ஆனந்தன்,இந்திரராசா புளொட் சார்பினில் சித்தார்த்தன்,``மாமனிதர்`` சிவராம் கொலையாளி ஆர்.ஆர் எனப்படும் இராகவன் ஆகியோர் கலந்து கொண்டிருந்தனர்.

பங்காளி கட்சிக்கென ஒரு போனஸ் ஆசனத்தை தரக்கோரிய அவர்கள் அதனை சுரேஸ் மற்றும் விநோகரதலிங்கம் அல்லது சிறீகாந்தாவென பங்கிடப்போவதாக தெரிவித்திருந்தனர்.எனினும் இவ்விடயத்தினில் சம்பந்தன் கூடிய ஆர்வம் காட்டவில்லையென கூறப்படுகின்றது.

தேர்தலுக்குப் பின்னால் புதிய ஈழப் புரட்சியாளர்கள் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்?

அதற்கான மார்க்சிய வழி நடத்துதல் என்ன?

திட்டத்திற்கும் செயல்தந்திரத்திற்கும் இடையே உள்ள உறவு வி.ஐ.லெனின்

திட்டத்திற்கும் செயல்தந்திரத்திற்கும் இடையே உள்ள உறவுவி.ஐ.லெனின்

ரஷ்ய சமூக சனநாயக தொழிலாளர் கட்சியின் திட்டமானது, புரட்சிகர மார்க்சியம் நிறைவு செய்திருப்பதின் மொத்த தொகுப்பாகும்.


இந்த தொகுப்பினை, மூன்று முக்கிய இனங்கள் பூர்த்தி செய்கின்றன.

1.   கட்சியின் திட்டம்.
2.   அதனுடைய செயல்தந்திரம்
3.   எங்கும் அதிகமாகப் பரவி வியாபித்திருக்கின்ற, ஆதிக்கம் செலுத்துகின்ற தத்துவ மற்றும் அரசியல் போக்குகளைப் பற்றி அல்லது சனநாயகத்திற்கும் சோசலிசத்துக்கும் அதிக அளவில் ஊறுவிளைவிக்கின்ற போக்குகளைப் பற்றிக் கட்சியின் மதிப்பீடு.

ஒரு திட்டமின்றி, ஒரு கட்சியானது எவ்விதமாக நிகழ்ச்சிகள் ஏற்பட்ட போதிலும் தன்னுடைய பாதையை அனுசரித்துச் செல்லுகின்ற, ஓர் ஒருங்கிணைந்த உயிரோட்டமுள்ள, அரசியல் பொருளாக இருக்க முடியாது.

தற்போதைய அரசியல் சூழ்நிலையைப் பற்றி ஓர் மதிப்பீடு, நமது காலத்திய வெறுப்பூட்டக் கூடிய  பிரச்சனைகளைப் பற்றிய தெளிவான பதிலுரைகள் அளித்தல், இவை இரண்டின் அடிப்படையில்  உருவாக்கப்பட்ட ஓர் செயல்தந்திர வழி இன்றி நாம் தத்துவவாதிகளைக் கொண்டவர்களாக
இருப்போமேயன்றி, ஓர் இயங்குகின்ற அரசியல் முழுமையாக நமது கட்சி இருக்க முடியாது.

“செயலூக்கமுள்ள” நடப்பிலுள்ள அல்லது வழக்கத்திற்கு வரவுள்ள தத்துவ, அரசியல் போக்குகளைப் பற்றிய ”செயலூக்கமுள்ள” ஓர் மதிப்பீடு இன்றித் திட்டமும், செயல்தந்திரமும் _ (சாராம்சத்தைப் பற்றிய அவசியமான புரிதல் எது எது என்ன வென்பதைப் பற்றிய புரிதல், இவற்றுடன் தான் திட்டமும் செயல்தந்திரமும் நடைமுறைச் செயலின் ஆயிரக்கணக்கான விரிந்த
குறிப்பான மற்றும் உயர்ந்த கறாரான  கேள்வியின் மீது பிரயோகிக்கப்பட முடியும் அல்லது அதனைப் பற்றிய மதிப்புக் கூற முடியும் )_ இறந்த சரத்துக்களாக சீரழிந்து போகலாம்.

”செயலூக்கமுள்ள” நடப்பிலுள்ள அல்லது வரவிருக்கிற சித்தாந்த, அரசியல் போக்குகளை மதிப்பீடு செய்யாமல், செயல் தந்திரமும், ஆயிரக்கணக்கான, விரிவானதும், தனித்துவம் மிகமிகக் குறிப்பானதுமான நடைமுறைச் செயல்களின்  கேள்விகளைத் தேவையான  இன்றியமையாத
புரிதலுடன், எது எது என்ன என்ன என்ற புரிதலோடு அமுல்படுத்தவோ அவற்றின் மேல் பிரயோகிக்கவோ முடியாது என்பதை எந்த வகையிலும் கற்பனை செய்து பார்க்க முடியாத வகையில் உயிரற்ற சரத்துக்களாகச் சீரழிந்து விடலாம்.

(லெ.தே.நூல் தொகுப்பு 17 பக்கம் 278&286)