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Credit Card Crackdown : 7 Tamils in the Gang

Credit Card Crackdown

Police nabs Ring leader and six others

Gayan Kumara Weerasinghe

The arrest of six suspects last week has exposed a major international credit card racket in which suspects have drawn millions of dollars using forged credit cards, police sources reveal.
The Special Police Investigation Team of the Criminal Investigation Department last week arrested six suspects on a tip off by a police informant.
Six suspects (all Tamils) including their alleged ring leader Ajith were arrested, when they were a floor tile sales shop at Nawala Road in Colombo, where they used forged credit cards to swindle money from bank accounts of foreign multi millionaires.
The Officer in Charge of the Special Police Investigation Unit, on receipt of this information consulted his superiors, DIG D.W. Prathapasinghe and the unit’s Director DIG Sisira Mendis who instructed the OIC to conduct a full investigation as frauds relating to Credit Cards of foreigners, specially those belonging to British citizens have become a menace to the extent of the Foreign Affairs Ministry officially informing the CID to take necessary action.

How it operates

As narrated by the police informant, this racket operates in the following manner: The gang of racketeers work in collaboration with the shop owner. They agree to use forged credit cards in the machine. The local cards which are forged, contains data stolen from the original owner. These data are obtained stealthily by using a reader which copies the number when the original card is used by its owner.
There are employees in shops and filling stations frequented by foreign multimillionaires who pass crucial information of the original card holders to members of the culprit teams.
At the tile sales shop at Nawala Road, a credit sale does not actually take place. Only a credit sale is being recorded. When a specific amount is being withdrawn from the ATM (using a Credit Card), the amount is shared by the culprits, including the shop owner. This racket of swindling money from the bank accounts of foreign multimillionaires had been going-on for the past three years.

Higher vigilance

This international large scale Credit Card racket was magnified when recently the wife of a Conservative Member of the British House of Representatives became a victim by losing a large sum of sterling pounds. Conservative MP Andrew Fellows raised a voice in the British Parliament to alert foreign countries of this racket and as a result the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Sri Lanka alerted the Sri Lankan Police Department to be vigilant on this issue.
With the arrest of the six gangsters including its leader at the Nawala Road tile sales shop the police recovered 20 forged credit cards in their possession.
The suspects were questioned at length by the CID. Following interrogation the gang leader Ajith’s palatial residence at Alutmawatha Road, Kotahena and three other similar houses belonging to Ajith in the same neighbourhood were searched and a further 200 forged credit cards were recovered by the police team. In addition the police took into custody a jeep worth Rs.20 million parked in the garden of one of his houses.
Ajith was one of the poorest in the area a few years ago until he suddenly became fabulously rich within a matter of three years. He began to live a luxurious life and frequented casino clubs with innumerable young women around him, but kept an illegal mistress in her mid forties in spite his being a young bachelor of 29 years of age.
Out of the other 5 suspects taken into custody along with Ajith, two are Tamil residents of Trincomalee; two are Tamil youths of Kotahena area while the other was a Tamil resident of Hatton. Investigating officers suspect that the two Tamils residents of Trincomalee are having links with the LTTE because they were in possession of photographs showing themselves in jungle military kits and carrying LMG T56 machine guns.
Investigations in this connection are continuing under the same Special Police Investigating team.

 

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March 23, 2008 Posted by | Hot News from Lanka | , , | 2 Comments

Human rights situation in the country::Report part III

Ranawaka took over SU after ousting
Gunasekera by thuggery worthy of the LTTE

East became playground for rival extremists

Too weak to capture power, JHU needed
a deal with a potential winner

Acrimonious exchanges between JHU  and PNM

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella speaking during the emergency debate in parliament on March 5 spoke of the human rights situation in the country and tabled the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Special Report No.29.

The report dated February 21 is titled The Second Fascist Front In Sri Lanka – Towards Crushing The Minorities And Disenfranchising The Sinhalese.

The authors of the report are the current recipients of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights.

The Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake contacted by The Sunday Leader and asked whether a report that is tabled in parliament and not expunged is covered by privilege responded in the affirmative stating, “If it has been tabled it becomes a public document.”

  SSR  today publishes the third part of the report without comment given that it is a document tabled in parliament. The second part was published last Sunday.

Fascism is commonly understood as ‘a system of government characterized by strong, often dictatorial control of political and economic affairs, and often by warlike nationalism and brutal suppression of political dissidents and ethnic minorities’

(Wordsmyth English Dictionary). The extremist forces behind the Government may be termed a second fascist front, giving pride of place to the LTTE, which as a functioning organisation showed these characteristics from the early 1980s.

All extremist forces in the Sinhalese South, the JVP, JHU, MEP and sections of the SUP, share much in common in ideas (the inexorable Sinhalese Buddhist character of Sri Lanka and opposition to a federated North-East) and objectives (e.g. Sinhalisation of the East). Particularly the JVP and JHU owe a good deal to the Jathika Chintanaya (National Ideology) movement of the mid-1980s. Formulated by Gunadasa Amarasekera and Nalin de Silva, it gave shape and form to scattered ideas that had motivated Sinhalese exclusivism for many decades. It critiques political institutions and systems (Marxism in particular) imported from the West, sees Sri Lanka as in essence Sinhalese whose genius is to be realised by a unitary state establishing its lost Buddhist ethos.

Like most writings of this ilk, ex-Trotskyite Prof Nalin de Silva’s, though arcane, have a mesmeric quality for the young and impressionable, viz.: “The western Judaic Christian culture knows only of one consistency, defined with respect to two valued formal logic

and only Newtonian bodies and mathematical structures respect this logic. Even quantum particles and bodies have no respect for two valued formal logic.” (The Island 1 Oct.03)

His obscurantism and intolerance of minorities and their sense of identity is also expressed in the same article: “It is unfortunate that since the Dutch period the demography in the Jaffna peninsula has been changed with the importation of labour for the tobacco cultivation from South India, and since then the western Christian colonialists have been successful in driving a wedge between the Sinhala Buddhists and the imported Tamil Hindus and creating and using a Tamil racism against Sinhalathva in this country.” It is history plucked out of thin air and violent in its realisation.

When advocates of ideologies, whether Marxist or Nationalist, are heedless of the core values of humanity, they closet themselves in very narrow interpretations, against the demands of responsible humanity. In canvassing their ideas they ultimately appeal to what is low and base in people. Humanism has no barriers, nor is it a preserve of the West. It is indeed very sad if those who are counted intellectuals among us do no better than breed hatred, intolerance and blindness to ‘others’, and their feelings, in the name of countering Western ideology.

Kanishka Goonewardena wrote (‘National Ideology’ in a Buddhist State’ Himal, Oct.07): “In spite of obvious historical and cultural differences, there exist some remarkable parallels between the ideological forms and epistemological claims of Jathika Chinthanaya, Hindutva and National Socialism: their emphases on harmony, community and nature; and their critiques of materialism, modernity and socialism… These groups desperately needed a community with which to identify, as well as an enemy to identify against, both of which were powerfully forged in these cases – as the ,fate of Sri Lankan Tamils, Indian Muslims and German Jews demonstrate.”

With so much in common, why are the Sinhalese extremist forces heavily at odds with each other and in the late 1980s even killed one another? Nalin de Silva sees both the SLFP and JVP as children of Bandaranaike’s Sinhala Only revolution of 1956 and as two groups that critically need one another. He was among those greatly pained when the JVP after agreeing to the DPA manifesto on the basis of which to support SLFP leader Mrs. Bandaranaike’s presidential candidature in late 1988, went on a violent binge and ensured her defeat and in February 1989 made an attempt on her life. The SLFP had illusions even after the JVP assassinated Mrs. Bandaranaike’s son-in-law Vijaya Kumaratunge in early 1988.

Political genealogy is awkward business for those who never repented their legacy of terror and conveniently undergo reincarnation as champions of anti-terror. Champika Ranawaka who is described as Jathika Hela Urumaya’s (JHU’s) chief ideologue and a right hand man of the President told the Daily Mirror (2 Feb.07) that he left the JVP in 1986 – “When they were taking [a] violent approach I left”. By this claim he whitewashed his association in the JVP’s terror including the abduction and murder of socialist student leader Daya Pathirana. We quote from ‘Politics of the South 2000 – 2005’  by Asanga Welikala and David Rampton:

“Some of the current figures in the current JHU (namely the Venerable Athureliya Rathana Thera, Champika Ranawaka and Udaya Gamampila) were once JVP organizers and were active during the 1980s agitation against the Indo Lanka Accord. At that time Ranawaka and Rathana were both ideologically aligned to Jathika Chintanaya and (as Inter University Students Federation leaders) to the JVP … However Champika Ranawaka was to play an integral role in the split with the JVP on two issues. First Ranawaka had a dispute with Wijeweera over the JVP’s ideological path, declaring Marxism dead and urging the JVP to wholeheartedly embrace nationalism as its central ideological engine – a line Wijeweera refused to countenance. Second, the JVP’s refusal to support Mrs. Bandaranaike’s candidacy for the 1988 presidential election triggered the final split between the JVP, Jathika Chintanaya and SLFP-aligned unions.”

In the 1990s, Ranawaka became active in the National Movement Against Terrorism (NMAT), a parent of Sihala Urumaya (SU). S.L. Gunasekera backed by professionals, university dons and retired army officers held the leadership of SU. At the October 2000 parliamentary elections the SU secured a single national list seat, which the faction led by Ranawaka took over after ousting Gunasekera by intimidation and thuggery worthy of the LTTE. However SU was no winner when it came to elections.

The change came in December 2003, when President Kumaratunge had paralysed the UNF (UNP) government of Ranil Wickremesinghe and was obliged to hold elections. Ven. Gangodawila Soma died naturally of a heart attack in St. Petersburg where he went to receive a degree. Sihala Urumaya and Ven. Ellawela Medhananda of its associated monks’ organisation JSS started a campaign insinuating that Ven. Soma was killed by a Christian fundamentalist conspiracy. A number of churches were attacked. Seizing the opportunity, the JHU was formed fielding all JSS monks for the April 2004 elections, SU ‘donating’ itself a vessel in service of the JSS monks. It won nine seats in its short run.

The JHU was a wild card from the start, ensuring the victory of the UNP candidate for speaker against the JVP-backed, SLFP-led government’s. It took Ranawaka’s long experience as a party infighter to bully, kidnap (once an MP monk who voted for the Government’s candidate for speaker who was forced to resign), fight Ven. Dhammaloka’s attempts to keep power a monopoly of monks, getting thrown out from his secretary’s post by Dhammaloka (who then left the party and campaigned for Ranil Wickremesinghe at the 2005 presidential election), before asserting himself in the party.

On the rival track to the JHU and NMAT, the National Patriotic Movement was preceded by the Organisation to Protect the Motherland (OPM) launched at a meeting in Maradana (Colombo) by Ven. Elle (Alle) Gunawanse on 15th January 2003. This was when Ranil Wickremasinghe was prime minister and had in talks with the LTTE agreed in Oslo to a federal settlement. Gunawanse had earlier been patronised by Gamini Dissanaike and President Premadasa.

Opposition bigwigs attended the meeting to endorse Gunawanse’s simple argument that the North-East which Jayewardene merged under Emergency Regulations in 1987, should now (15 years later) be de-merged as the Emergency had lapsed under the ongoing peace process. Leading persons at the meeting were Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapakse, Ratnasiri Wickremanayake, Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera and Nalin de Silva from Jathika Chintanaya and Tilak Karunaratne from the Sihala Urumaya.

The next stage was on 1st October 2003, when Elle Gunawanse as convener of the meeting following a march from Kandy, inaugurated the National Patriotic Movement (PNM). Gunawanse accused Prime Minister Wickremasinghe of trying to divide the country. Among the participants were SLFP parliamentarians including Anura Bandaranaike, Dr. Gunadasa Amerasekara and JVP propaganda secretary and parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawanse. Sihala Urumaya declined to participate.

The hostility within the extremist camp as represented by the PNM and JHU could be seen in their acrimonious exchanges. Jathika Chintanaya’s Nalin de Silva opposed the JHU monks contesting the April 2004 elections independently of the SLFP (PA)-JVP alliance as a divisive move. After the JHU upset the Speaker’s election, de Silva (Lankaweb 24 Apr.04) accused the JHU of being a plant of the Uijathika (alien) forces: de Silva said the JHU `were financed by Thilanga Samathipala and his brother,

Edirisinghes of Swarnamahal, and were given prominence in media that belongs to Thilanga, [UNP leader] Ranil Wickremesinghe’s brother (TNL), Swarnavahini of Edirisinghe and Maharaja’s MTV… the monks were put forward by non-national forces only to hoodwink the Buddhists.’

Going back to 7th August 2000, monks who later were closer to the PNM, including Bengamuwe Nalaka, Muruththettuwe Ananda and Maduluwawe Sobitha, were having a protest meeting against Kumaratunge’s proposed constitution at Abhayarama Temple in Narahenpita, when a bomb went off injuring some. Reports at that time suggested that supporters of Sihala Urumaya that had not been invited exploded the bomb.

Too weak to capture power, the JHU needed a deal with a potential winner, both naive and pliable. This, the JHU, even as Champika Ranawaka staged his coup within, found in Mahinda Rajapakse and moved quickly in August 2005 to cut short Kumaratunge’s presidential term by an appeal to Supreme Court. A solid base of legal authority held the term ended in late 2006 (P. Rajanayagam with citations in Sunday Observer 8 Feb.04).

The Chief Justice who needed new allies obliged the JHU. A pact was quickly made with SUP presidential candidate Rajapakse who ditched the SLFP’s twelve-year stand on a federal settlement to the ethnic problem. Ranawaka became Minister of Environment in January 2007. The East tragically became the playground of rival extremists.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Human Rights :: Sri Lanka :A Real Story of an innocent Couple

By Qadri Ismail

Human rights is the last resort of the hopeless.

Its liberal advocates do not  see it that way. They find it heroic, the foundation of a new international order that will, when established universally,  guarantee secure lives for everyone, everywhere – from Tibet to Timbuktu. But would the subaltern, the oppressed – the target of human rights – necessarily agree?

Take the following story. (Its details have been fudged to protect the innocent from the brutality of the Rajapakse regime and its paramilitary partners.)

A Tamil man was abducted by the military, at a checkpoint, somewhere in northeastern Sri Lanka recently, witnessed by many civilians. His wife inquired at every nearby military camp, but they denied having or ever detaining him. Someone advised her to contact a paramilitary group. They work closely with the government, she was told, and so could help. Desperate, she did. (This would be the EPDP or TMVP.) They noted her details and promised to investigate.

A few days later, members of this group abducted the woman and raped her.

Her husband is still missing, presumed killed by the military.

Seeing no other option, she told her story to a human rights organization.

The point should be obvious. The western powers and their human rights groups would have nothing to complain about if the Rajapakse regime did not treat its citizens – mostly the Tamils, but also Muslims and, increasingly, Sinhalese who resist – with systematic brutality. For the case of this woman and her husband is not isolated. It is not something  ‘collateral’ that occurs, inevitably, regrettably, in the course of fighting a war on terror.

Her rape, if not her husband’s murder, was planned, deliberate. As was the mass expulsion of Tamils from Colombo last year, a move the odious defense secretary advocated and defended publicly. As were the killings of Franklin Raviraj and T. Maheswaran – both MPs who spoke eloquently, often in Sinhala, in the Sinhala media, against the horrors of this government.

As is the ongoing expropriation of Muslim land in Amparai district by the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources the legalized violence against Muslims is not the unintended consequence of the war against the LTTE. Neither is the recent spate of attacks against Rupavahini employees.

The counter-argument that the LTTE does similar things, while true, is an incredible response. Is the government’s best defense that it is like a terrorist group?

The Rajapakse regime understands its mandate as promoting the greed and bloodlust of its thugs – whether in the cabinet or defence establishment – not the welfare of its citizens. Indeed, it has demonstrated that Mahinda Chinthanaya could be reduced to just one idea: if the people are not  quiet while we pillage the south, bombard the north and pacify the east, our thugs will terrorize them.

If our people, then, with nowhere else to turn, take these matters up with – to put it bluntly – white people, are we to blame them?

Space for the intervention of western human rights groups in Sri Lanka only becomes open in a political vacuum. This space should have been occupied by political resistance, the left. But, quite apart from the ineptitude of the current UNP, our left parties have, over the last forty years, largely surrendered to Sinhala nationalism.

For, despite the valiant efforts of the LSSP to remind us recently, through the republication of old speeches, that comrade Colvin warned, in 1956, that one language (‘Sinhala only’) would lead to two nations, the same Colvin also said, opposing the DC Pact in 1965: “Dudleyge badey masala vadey.” The same Colvin, in 1972, authored a constitution making Buddhism effectively the state religion. Our left never recovered from such surrender. Indeed, in asserting that one could sell out the minorities and still call oneself left, it only made itself an example for the JVP to emulate.

I do not hold the left responsible for the horrors of the Rajapakse presidency. But what is it doing abetting them? Whose good is served by D. E. W. Gunasekera and Tissa Vitharana sitting with the government?

The complicity of the left, the lethargy of the UNP, helps justify the western human rights argument that, in the absence of the space for resistance in Sri Lanka, they must intervene. Since we cannot save ourselves, the west will save us.

This is a version, a revision, as my teacher Gayatri Spivak argues in her new book, Other Asias, of the old colonial notion, “the white man’s burden.” Read any classic work of liberalism – John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, for instance – and you will see that civil society, as a concept, is inseparable from civilization. To Locke, the savage – that’s us – was incapable of instituting civil society because she lacked the capacity to civilize herself. That is how civilization, the establishment of civil society for the savage, became the justification for colonialism, an alibi for political domination and economic exploitation. In that precise sense, Sri Lankan ‘civil society’ groups are the consequence, continuation, of colonialism.

Things are not quite the same today. The white man, and woman, is still on a mission to save us. This time, however, a lot of us – whether in Sri Lanka or the west – are actively helping them. Some do so sincerely, enthusiastically, convinced that the west is right, that human rights is an unqualified good thing. (Before we rush to criticize this position, we should remember that Marxism also came from the west. The famous opening line of The Communist Manifesto exclusively addresses Europe.) Some do so for the perks, the money. (But then we should not  forget, as Rajan Phillips reminded Sumanasiri Liyanage on this very question: people who take money to wage peace are infinitely preferable to those who make money from war.)

Some of us do so critically, sometimes stifling ironic smiles. For the self-righteousness, tone-deafness, of human rights folks – whites usually, but not exclusively – in the west can be quite amusing. Not to mention the hypocrisy of western diplomats. Do we need mention, once again, that the Sri Lankan Prevention of Terrorism Act was modeled on the British – who were oppressing the Northern Irish at the time? And what gives any U.S. ambassador, anywhere, the balls to lecture anybody on human rights or democracy – when its own president was first elected by the Supreme Court and it continues to hold prisoners, in Guantanamo, without due process? When George W. Bush, in speech after speech, justifies torture (“enhanced interrogation techniques”). And still supports perverse Pervez Musharraf.

The west needs to be educated. That the history of human rights is intertwined with colonialism. That their credibility will decline further every time they continue to use a double standard. For, surely, no U.S. backer of human rights could be taken seriously if they are also – like just about every senator and congressperson – unreconstructed supporters of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. That they need to acknowledge, and legislate, social and economic rights as equally important as political rights.

At the same time, the non-west needs to change, too. China is the first example that comes to mind. But the Indian treatment of Kashmiris is not very different from the Sri Lankan treatment of Tamils. Muslims in Gujarat and elsewhere live in as much fear as Tamils in Colombo.

But it does not follow, while we wait for these things to happen, that we shut up and let the Rajapakse regime wage a war against the Tamils and, more generally, democracy. I mean: what plausible argument can the president fabricate to justify his continued violation of the 17th amendment? In his insistence that he, as president, is above the law, Mahinda Percy Rajapakse sounds exactly like George Walker Bush.

In its undisguised racism, its brazen brutality, its pathetically insecure inability to take even the mildest criticism, the sheer volume of its corruption, its utter ineptitude, its intimidation of the population at large, the Rajapakse regime is approaching the J. R. Jayewardene as the worst in our history. It is a sad feature of our moment that, like the SLFP then, the southern political opposition now is virtually non-existent. It is, if anything, even sadder that the Tamil opposition, today, has taken the monolithic, viciously murderous, exclusivist form of the LTTE. No one has let the Tamil people down more than they. 

In this context, the only ethically effective space of resistance to the Rajapakses has, for better and worse, become that of human rights activists; and I do not  just mean folks in Colombo. In Mannar, Jaffna, Vavuniya, Mutur and Batticaloa, ordinary people resist the Rajapakse ruffians and its paramilitary predators daily – in the name of human rights. We know their efforts count because the government screams hysterically in response. Or arrests those who publicize their work, like J. S. Tissainayagam, guilty only of the crime of expressing his opinion.

I am not an uncritical supporter of human rights. But if given a choice between just two alternatives – the Rajapakse regime and human rights activists – I will back the latter any day. They are in the business of tending lives. The Rajapakses, of destroying them. They are the human wrongs of Sri Lanka.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | Latest killings of innocent | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Political Killing is a Passion , LTTE are the poineers

Fifty-one-year-old Kiddinan Sivanesan was the latest in the long line of Tamil Parliamentarians and ex-Parliamentarians to suffer death through assassination.

Sivanesan, a former Cooperative Society Store Manager and trade unionist, was returning home to Mallavi after attending Parliament when a claymore mine exploded. Both the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) MP and his driver were killed.

It is widely believed that Sivanesan was killed by an assassination squad of the armed forces known as the Long Range Reconnaissance Patrol (LRRP). Defenders of the state have stoutly denied the charge.

The funeral, held in the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)-controlled region of the northern mainland known as Wanni, was attended by 15 TNA Parliamentarians. A grand funeral ceremony was held.

Paying homage
LTTE Chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, who sustained minor injuries in a bombing incident in the Kilinochchi suburb of Jeyanthinagar on November 28, 2007, made a rare appearance and paid his respects.
The Tigers also held a number of meetings at different places to pay homage to Sivanesan.

The LTTE and supporters/propagandists have utilised the killing to engage in anti-government propaganda as well as whip up emotions among the Tamil diaspora. Many memorial meetings were held in diverse international locations.

Tiger media organs are continuing to give much prominence to the killing of Sivanesan. The Tigers are trying very hard to create mass frenzy among Tamil expatriates over the killing.

Pro – LTTE groups are also lobbying intensively by citing the killing as one more brownie point in support of the argument that separation is necessary.

The LTTE honours its dead cadres as ‘Maaveerar’ or ‘Great Heroes.’ Non-combatant supporters are awarded two types of posthumous honours.

The lesser honour is ‘Naatrupatraalar’ or patriot. The greater honour is ‘Maamanithar’ or great person. Sivanesan was given ‘Maamanithar’ status by the Tiger Supremo.

Prabhakaran’s statement
Here are some excerpts from Prabhakaran’s statement about Sivanesan:
“He is a sincere politician who possessed high ideals. He laboured tirelessly for the advancement and welfare of the workers.
“He yearned for a free and honourable life for the Tamil people in their land without the torments that have afflicted them.

“He took up the responsibility of representing the people of Jaffna and roamed the world seeking justice for the Tamils.
“He raised awareness among our people and gathered their support.

“He exposed the atrocities of the Sinhala state and its occupying military to the world.
“He was courageous even in the midst of repeated harassments and threats of the Sinhala military.

“His service for the liberation of Tamil Eelam through his hard work and exemplary skills are immeasurable.”
All the above lines refer to Sivanesan but strange as it may seem, they are more applicable to another Tamil political leader who was brutally assassinated more than 18 years ago.

He was none other than Appapillai Amirthalingam, the former secretary general of the Tamil United Liberation Front (TULF) and ex-leader of the opposition.

Indeed, Amirthalingam was a man who “yearned for a free and honorable life for the Tamil people in their land without the torments that have afflicted them,” and in his time “roamed the world seeking justice for the Tamils,” and in his own way “exposed the atrocities of the Sinhala state and its occupying military to the world.”

Tiger acolyte
More importantly, when Amirthalingam made a statement or levelled a charge, it carried weight and credibility. It was taken seriously at international levels. His complaints could not be dismissed lightly as Tiger propaganda.

This was not the case with Sivanesan, a Tiger acolyte, whose ‘propaganda’ was limited mainly to pro-Tiger Tamil media.
Against this backdrop, the ‘Sinhala-dominated’ Sri Lankan state had more to fear from a man like Amirthalingam than a man like Sivanesan. But who killed Amirthalingam?

It was not the ‘Sinhala’ state but the self-styled saviours of the Sri Lankan Tamil people. It was the Tigers who murdered Amirthalingam in cold blood!

When news of Amirthalingam’s death was conveyed to then Opposition Leader Sirima Bandaranaike, her immediate reaction was, “Who did it?” On being told it was the LTTE, she spontaneously exclaimed, “Thank God, no Sinhalese did it!”
The point behind invoking the Amirthalingam assassination in this context is to illustrate three related points.

Hypocrisy

Firstly, the so-called ‘Sinhala’ state or government is not the only agency killing Tamil MPs or ex-MPs. This has been going on for a long time and Sivanesan was not the first Tamil Parliamentarian victim.

Secondly, more Tamil Parliamentarians have been killed by Tamil and not Sinhala assassins. Even in the case of Sivanesan, there is reason to believe that the actual LRRP perpetrators were Tamil operatives.

Of course, the state bears a moral responsibility in killings done by paramilitary ‘dogs of war.’ Yet, the fact remains that Tamil hands have shed more Tamil ‘Parliamentarian’ blood than Sinhala hands.

Thirdly, many Tamil groups and organisations were involved at various stages and levels in this bloodshed. Yet the LTTE is responsible for killing more Tamil MPs, ex-MPs and other major Tamil political leaders than any other Tamil organisation.

In fact, this pattern of assassinating Tamil political leaders was pioneered and developed by the very same LTTE that is hypocritically mourning and condemning Sivanesan’s killing now.

January 1 this year saw UNP Colombo District MP Thiagarajah Maheswaran being killed on the premises of Shree Ponnambalavaneswarar Sivan Temple in Kotahena. Maheswaran was about to return home after worshipping when he was shot dead.

The first assassination
However, when the ongoing saga of Tamil political assassinations first began on July 25, 1975, it was a man on his way to worship at the Varadarajapperumaal Vishu Temple at Ponnalai who was shot outside the Kovil.
This was Jaffna Mayor Alfred Durayappa, who though a Christian by birth, became a sort of theosophist in later life and used to worship at Hindu temples also.

Durayappa was the independent MP for Jaffna in 1960 March and July. He contested as an SLFP-backed independent in 1970 and lost by a tiny margin of 56 to C.X. Martyn of the Federal Party.
Durayappa was the uncrowned king of Jaffna Municipal politics and had been mayor many times or installed his supporters as mayor.

He disavowed communal politics and steered clear of both the FP and Tamil Congress. These parties called Durayappa a “thurogi,” or traitor.
The killing of Durayappa was the first time a Tamil ex-MP or mayor was assassinated. Seven Tamil youths were charged in court and later acquitted.

the more sad full think is that LTTE also being paid back for the mistakes they made. The culture they started. Kidnapping and getting ransom from business men, when LTTE was in power in Jaffna was the culture. Some times putting them in bunker is their regular practice for threatening. People harassed by them for being rich and hard workers.

 

All the arm culture and killing styles introduced and practiced by LTTE are turned back against them now.

 

No second opinion   that ,LTTE is the only one acceptable voice for Tamils now ,but there for cannot justify all of their activities.

 

But this is not the lesson to LTTE , it is the lesson by the nature for every one who engaed in such acitivities without justice.

 

Within a single instruction , LTTE vacated all Muslims from Jaffna without any claims fro their property or money., In Revirasa operation 1995 ,all the Jaffna Tamil people vacated Jaffna within a night ,and so many killed in the mass crowded movement . We can see that god’s judgment always there.(even though I am one of the person moved over the night in this operation period )

 Soruce : Nation,SriLanka
Comments by Fire bird.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Killers of Sri Lanka | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Kidnapping is a “normal phenomenon:: Rohitha Bogollagama

Foreign Affairs Minister, Rohitha Bogollagama has said that kidnappings are normal in society and no one should make an undue fuss about such incidents.

He made this statement in reply to a question posed by a journalist at a news conference on Wednesday, when the journalist asked for the Foreign Minister’s comments on the kidnapping of two women, one Sinhala and one Tamil, in Batticaloa on March 10.

Stating that investigations are underway, the Minister said it was unlikely that there would be a link between the kidnapping and the Batticaloa local council elections.

“Kidnapping is something very common and therefore there is no need to fuss about it,” he asserted.
He also said that it was not the first time that a kidnapping had taken place in the country and therefore, there was no reason to be excited about it.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Top news | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Second Facists … The University Teachers Reopot Part II

UNP MP Lakshman Kiriella speaking during the emergency debate in parliament on March 5 spoke of the human rights situation in the country and tabled the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna) Special Report No.29.

The report dated February 21 is titled The Second Fascist Front In Sri Lanka – Towards Crushing The Minorities And Disenfranchising The Sinhalese.

The authors of the report are the current recipients of the prestigious Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights.

The Deputy Secretary General of Parliament, Dhammika Dassanayake contacted by The Sunday Leader and asked whether a report that is tabled in parliament and not expunged is covered by privilege responded in the affirmative stating, “If it has been tabled it becomes a public document.”

The Sunday Leader today publishes the second part of the report without comment given that it is a document tabled in parliament. The first part was published last Sunday.

The Kool Party Pact foreshadowed a repressive order in the north-east unacceptable to Muslims or the Tamils. It was bound to run into opposition from all Tamil and Muslim politicians commanding public esteem and behind the move were the Sinhalese extremist forces with their own agenda. Further, sooner or later Karuna and Devananda would have to face elections of some kind.

Is it a mere coincidence that following the killing of Joseph Pararajasingham MP in December 2005, two popular politicians from Jaffna, former MP Sivamaharajah and MP N. Raviraj were gunned down in September and November 2006 respectively?

Raviraj was killed in Colombo on 10th November 2006 (Supplement to Special Report No.23 and Special Report No. 26). Although the police story underwent changes, it seemed from what they said that two gunmen who came in an auto-rickshaw had been waiting on Elvitigala Road when Raviraj with his police security man Sgt. Lakshman Lokuwela drove out of Matha Road to cross the road and turn right. Two gunmen from the waiting auto rickshaw followed on foot and opened fire from behind the car, fatally injuring both occupants. Later information from a frightened witness suggested that a 4WD vehicle had blocked Raviraj’s car. Two men on a motorcycle, who had been there prior to the incident, saw it through and went away.

Two killers

Early on trusted sources told us that the two killers in the auto-rickshaw were Karuna’s men, and the two men waiting nearby on the motorcycle were from the EPDP. From the number, the police traced the motorcycle to the EPDP. This point is slightly misleading, as seen below.

The most astounding piece of information we received was that the two killers who were from the Karuna Group were brought to Colombo from the east by an extremist Buddhist monk who had direct access to the Defence Secretary and was also close to Devananda. For many months we failed to make any headway on the identity of the monk and his temple. Devananda had ties with several monks – including one at Narahenpita Junction.

After many months, sources with inside knowledge of the EPDP told us that Devananda was close to and often visited a temple in Colombo North. The priest too visits Devananda and has been seen at his Layards Road office. These sources also told us that this temple had a room to put up Karuna cadres who were brought from the east for operations in Colombo and sent back.

Our sources said that the Karuna cadres used in the killing of Raviraj had been brought to the Buddhist temple in Colombo North and were taken back there after the killing. The temple with close links to Military Intelligence we learn has several pay-phone boxes so that people could go in without arousing suspicion, but of late those entering the temple have to go through a checkpoint. The priest, Ven. M, according to our sources has direct access to the President, besides his brother, the Defence Secretary. Ven. M, these sources say met the President within a few days after New Year 2008.

We heard from two different sources that Ven. M is affiliated to the JHU. That does not rule out his having links to other groups such as the JVP or PNM. At lower levels party divisions among extremists are not so important. Interestingly, there are a number of JHU establishments in Narahenpita near the scene of the Raviraj killing.

More important than any party affiliation to Ven. M’s role is his affiliation to the Defence Ministry and the President. The information from our first source of Ven. M’s closeness to the Defence Secretary would be further clarified below. Our sources also said that Ven. M carries a letter from the President, which helps him at police stations to get things done. On one occasion in 2006, Rudra of the Karuna Group was caught near the Pettah CTB bus stand in Colombo in the act of receiving extortion money. It was Ven. M we learn who got him released by the police.

The elements of the apparatus (which had been evolving for some months) following the May 2006 Kool Party Pact, we learn are as follows. Both the EPDP and Karuna Group contribute persons for dirty operations. The coordinators were Kiruban for the EPDP (who left a little before the Raviraj killing) and Rudra (Thooyavan) for the Karuna (now Pillayan) Group. Mr. DS who was used as a translator is from the deep south and has been with the EPDP from about 1990 and speaks perfect Tamil. Mr. DS and Rudra coordinate with two officers assigned by the Defence Ministry from the intelligence services.

One feature of this apparatus is to render responsibility for killings so confusing and dispersed that it is easy for the police to cover up. For example the motorcycle present at the scene of the Raviraj killing was traced to the EPDP and two persons who were not involved in the killing were remanded. Scotland Yard was called in and nothing more has been heard of it. The case would drag on at the magistrate’s court until it is forgotten. We will give some details to show how this happens.

Unchecked abductions

Another fallout from the Kool Party was the rampant unchecked abductions and extortion of Tamil and Muslim businessmen that surged in August 2006. People observed in disbelief as these criminals went past numerous checkpoints in Colombo and outside taking their victims to places such as Maha Oya and Welikanda. Not in one instance did the police charge anyone. According to a political source, Karuna cadres used in these operations have also temples around Maha Oya and Ampara town (not the prominent one) where they could lodge. Sources close to the state apparatus said that there are also other lodging places for Karuna cadres brought to Colombo for dirty operations, and in this game they use whoever is usable. Some army camps are also used.

Also of note is former Air Force Squadron Leader Nishantha Gajanayake who with some members of the Karuna Group worked closely with the Defence Ministry in dirty operations as well as in abduction for ransom and killings (see Special Report No.26). His services according to press reports were offered to the ruling party independently of the JHU or JVP. The Senapathi column in the Nation of 24th June 2007 stated, “The CID maintains that there is evidence to show that Gajanayake was involved with the underworld and various police teams are currently probing different aspects. ‘Gajanayake is in deep trouble,’ and he has implicated at least one senior defence official in several abduction cases.” This was a further indication of the Karuna Group being used by various parties.

Cowering in terror

Gajanayake was given bail on 18th January 2008, owing to the Sri Lankan epidemic of witnesses cowering in terror where any trace of the Defence Ministry is visible. We also cited inside information that Gajanayake was involved in the Raviraj killing. The case has been purposefully bungled. An eyewitness at the scene who saw a black 4WD vehicle obstructing Raviraj’s car was threatened by a security man on the spot that he had not seen what he saw. We have no public record of which way the killers escaped.

One instance among several where the police had good evidence says it all. Thomas Jesudasan (37), father of two girls, was seen abducted from near his home in Kotahena on 7th January 2007. The police obtained a video security record at an automated teller machine belonging to Commercial Bank showing the person pulling out the money using the victim’s card and his motorcycle number. We learnt authoritatively that the investigation was suppressed on the order of IGP Chandra Fernando. A poignant feature of the case is that the victim’s father had been an Inspector of Police – a colleague of the IGP. The Karuna name also served as a useful cover for security officers involved in crimes of abduction and murder.

Mannar account

As a matter of curiosity, one of those employed as a translator in this apparatus is a middle-aged lady from Mannar connected to the EPDP. She very likely took the job without knowing its nature. In Special Report No.28 the police investigating an extortion racket in Pt Pedro involving the intelligence apparatus said that the victims were instructed to bank the money into the Mannar account of a lady named Savariammah!

For Karuna and Devananda who were desperate, and the LTTE gunning for them, what the state offered them was double edged. In their desperation they made a crucial error. In keeping their side of the bargain they blackened their name irredeemably. Pacts with a more powerful party where the weaker loses any ability to make the other keep its word are useless. Karuna and Devananda became a useful dump for the government’s crimes. Allan Rock for example was not impressed by the government’s evasions.

By mid-2007, government spokesmen were making virtuous noises about Karuna having to be disarmed. The interim councils Karuna and Devananda were promised became a pipe dream. Their dissatisfaction and fear of being cheated were evident in late 2007.

Too intimate with the top for comfort

The killer apparatus, it was widely spoken and as the circumstances below strongly indicate, functioned under Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse. While the principal details below are from one trusted source, important ties have been confirmed by information from other independent sources, such as Pillayan’s relationship to the intelligence operative Wasantha and their PNM connections.

Two important intelligence operatives who deal closely with Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapakse (GR) are Kamaldeen from the navy based in Trincomalee and Commanding Officer Tennekoon, of the army from the Gemunu Watch, based in Welikanda. The latter has rank probably of major or above. Dealing with and directing killer operatives from the Karuna (Pillayan) Group and EPDP are Sampath, ex-naval intelligence, who is under Kamaldeen and Wasantha who is under Tennekoon. Sources in Batticaloa have linked Pillayan with Wasantha and the PNM has also been mentioned to us in this connection.

Kamaldeen is also close to Devananda, and an ex-militant R, who had left the country in 1986, introduced the two. The three of them had a long meeting about mid-2007. Ex-Air Force Squadron Leader Gajanayake and his operatives being picked to work for the Defence Ministry also indicates that there are several groups operating in this manner. Kiruban who left the EPDP about September 2006 leads another outfit operating also under Kamaldeen. Under Kiruban are four Tamils, including John alias Raju, a former bodyguard of Devananda, later assigned to Kiruban. Though based in Trincomalee, this group is sent for killer operations elsewhere, including Jaffna, when required.

Motivated

Kamaldeen like many others is motivated by the LTTE having committed crimes against persons very close to them. R who was involved in Joseph Pararajasingham’s killing lost his mother, mother’s sister and several members of his family to wanton murder by the LTTE. Two or three brothers of Kamaldeen were reportedly killed in Trincomalee by the LTTE during the 1980s. For persons in their state of mind anyone having even a political association with the LTTE had played with fire and deserves what he gets. The LTTE created a climate where the state could use lots of people blinded by a desire for revenge, for sinister purposes going far beyond purportedly defeating the LTTE.

Ven. M comes into this in more roles apart from sheltering Karuna cadres brought to Colombo for certain operations. Karuna was sent to India for a time and Kamaldeen was instrumental in making some of the arrangements. Ven. M was then a go-between for Karuna and his leaders in Sri Lanka. He carried letters, messages and CDs between them and also discussed party matters. Kamaldeen played an important role in the decision to replace Karuna with Pillayan as TMVP leader. The latter was thought to be more pliable. It was Kamaldeen who brought Pillayan to Trincomalee when the internecine conflict in the TMVP came into the open in May 2007.

We may describe the terror apparatus as having three levels. At the lowest are cadres from the Karuna Group, operatives from the EPDP, Muslim paramilitary elements and deserters from the LTTE. The second comprises cadres from the JHU, PNM and the intelligence services, all dealing with persons from the third layer. The topmost layer comprises the state, represented by the Defence Ministry and especially the Defence Secretary, dealing with the second, and occasionally with the third, usually through the second. They try to negotiate boundaries, relations and tensions between the second.

Coming to something more easily verifiable, Chaminda and Jayasuriya who worked for the EPDP obtained the motorcycle present at the Raviraj killing. The two who were apparently earlier connected to the security forces were asked to obtain a motorcycle by Sampath and Wasantha. From around Tangalle, near their home, they obtained the motorcycle from an ex-army NCO Nalanda who suffered a grievous injury, which we understand was then registered under the name of one Ravindra. The latter is from a family that was in the late 1980s at the receiving end of JVP terror and made contact with the EPRLF (EPDP) in Trincomalee. They passed on or probably resold the motorcycle to Sampath and Wasantha in Ampara or Ratnapura.

At the time of the Raviraj killing Chaminda was in EPDP’s Layards Road office and Jayasuriya was in Ampara. These circumstances suggest that the two men who waited on the motorcycle and left after seeing the killing through were not EPDPers, but Sampath and Wasantha.

The police arrested Chaminda, Jayasuriya and Nalanda. Chaminda was released sometime in 2007, reportedly because of Devananda’s influence. Jayasuriya and Nalanda we understand are still in prison. We reliably learn that Chaminda and Jayasuriya in their statement to the magistrate fully disclosed the details of the motorcycle transaction.

They, with Nalanda, were very angry that the police kept them under detention to give the impression that they were in earnest about finding the killers, while Sampath and Wasantha have not been touched to this day.

The circumstances above point to Gotabaya Rajapakse as ultimately the man who initiated the killing of Raviraj. The immediate purpose appears to have been the silencing of the Civil Monitoring Committee, whose reports on abductions, killings and extortion by Gotabaya’s covert outfits, created a huge stink. It is hard to accept that the President who delegated the running of the Defence Ministry to his younger brother and was personally a patron of Ven. M was not party to what was going on. He has a good deal of explaining to do.

Closely linked

Even worse, no one could accuse Gotabaya of being secretive. The country as a whole had a good sense of what was going on. People were being targeted and killed and were disappearing after abduction, the total now running into thousands, by killers closely linked to the Defence Ministry. Also killed have been a number of media workers. When the President persists in maintaining as Defence Secretary the very man who threatened the woman editor of a leading newspaper with the Karuna Group and one of her staff with elimination, he has no real defence against the worst sort of allegations.

Almost the whole world has condemned the LTTE and rightly continues to interdict its operations. A state, which deals with the minorities and the opposition by the LTTE’s methods, deserves the strongest censure and appropriate sanctions.

President Kumaratunga and her advisors should never have allowed room for this state of affairs. Not having the courage to do her duty in giving Karuna and his men the protection of the law, she could not resist opportunistically using them in dirty work while showing a different face to Norway and the LTTE. She left them in the lurch to be picked up by extremist groups and the intelligence services. The resulting compact between intelligence services and extremist parties in their use of Tamils abandoned by the peace process, created an opening for fascist forces, which were waiting for a pliable presidential candidate. The result was the worst of all possible worlds for the people and in turn driving her successor to become the worst of all possible presidents.

(To be continued) in next sunday update.

March 16, 2008 Posted by | Political Hot News | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment