Monday, May 18, 2015

Remembrance Day or Victory Day

When a war ends and there is a victorious and a defeated party, there is a natural tendency of the Victorious to celebrate this victory, as many died for this result, and it is more of a tribute to them, that the carnage is finally over. The vanquished are in shock!

That said, when one reflects on it once the initial exuberance dies down and one realizes that it was a Civil War where it was one’s own Countrymen ON BOTH sides that perished, it is more apt to remember those who died on both sides, one side one may say were led to their deaths by an ideology that led their followers to believe in their goal of independence that turned out more to be the fantasy of their leader, much like the Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin mold of demagogues, Prabarkaran being hardly any different!

The problem is that there are those in thee TNA who still insist on calling this a Mahaveer or some such week, that glorifies this flawed man, for some kind of need to find succor in his suicidal endeavor that reduced the Tamil population in the areas that he claimed, to less than half of what they were when the movement started. In essence nullifying the whole process. Many left his terror, not that of the Sinhala army!! And it is time this is laid bare.

In reality the war has ended, and not even the Tamil refugees in a far tougher land of India wish to return to Sri Lanka, which says a lot for the perception of Tamil people, of Sri Lanka as refuge for them from hereinafter.

There are more Tamil people in Canada than there are in the Northern Province, negating their homeland issue for a mere 500,000 people! In a land of 20M where more Tamil people live amongst Sinhala, and would not leave those areas for all the tea in China. Time for the Diaspora to come to their senses that there is nothing for them to fight for or complain anymore except feel good that one day they may escape the misery of their adopted lands.

True there is much we can do to ensure that the people living in the North live in dignity, with NO fear, and are provided with basics of life available to all, and that does not mean roads. People still require the basics of life, and security to families led by women, who still have not got over the PTSD they have suffered due to the hostilities.

It is therefore VERY APT that as a mark of reconciliation with the vanquished, and oneness of the Sri Lankan people we all remember this war as one we should never wish to repeat and one we must always work to avoid. In that context it is important that the political parties representing the Tamils also join in this, as otherwise they are shown not to have accepted the Olive Branch offered as reconciliation. They must in that same vein STOP this Genocide Week stories also, and grow up and realize that it takes two to tango into the reconciliatory mode.

Similarly the jokers in the Rajapakse camp that are harping on the need for a Victory Parade should be publicly branded traitors, as being the reason for the lack of reconciliation and division in our society and treated like the lepers they are, for such divisive ideas that only SEPARATE us and NOT UNITE, as being traitors in the progress to a more tolerant and inclusive state where all those who do otherwise are shown up as the cause of separatism!!     

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Now that the elected LG members are out of a job can the Government Servants perform the temporary stand in role without corruption?

A truly mindboggling event has just occurred. I don’t think the sleepy Media has woken up to its significance yet!

In most of the Local Government Bodies, a local Divisional Secretary has been tasked with the job that these elected members did. So who puts up the bulbs in the street corners once they have burnt out! They will manage these local bodies for at least 6 months till elections under the new ward system are held AFTER the General Election.

We know how corrupt many of the Pradeshiya Sabha Chairman were. Bribes were the order of the day to sign any document! A local needed a doc signed for a simple process, like fencing a property, or getting permission to build on his own land, and for that signature there was a price. I trust that with “yahapalanaya” the appointed Govt. Servant who is now a commissioner will perform their duty, without fear or favor or DELAY to ensure that the wheels of commerce work according to the spirit or letter of the law.

As all these local authorities were exclusively dominated by the UPFA, and due to the previous MR regime permitting them to make money, they were loyal to MR almost to a fault. What happens to these Mahinda Loyalists that John Ameratunga, the Police Minister called Podi Horu as the MR Govt. Ministers were referred to as the Loku Horu or “Big Thieves”.

They are extremely dissatisfied with the President for not extending their life to steal, calling the President names along with CBK who have dropped further in their reckoning. It is time we separate the rogues and low life, from the reliable and trustworthy elected officials, and it is time that CBK and MS who now lead the UPFA and SLFP determine who they can trust and let the others go with the MR camp to back whatever party he wishes to form to contest in the next election.

In the end you cannot go wrong if you have people who are good! It is how you judge who they are that is important. In the end good will prevail over evil, and a more reasonable remuneration package has to be set up in future LG elections for elected officials.

Don’t forget that NO elected official has paid ANYTHING for the Motorbikes that were distributed to them, giving them a free Rs200K bribe from MR before the election, as these were supposed to be low interest loans, that have now gone into default. They are therefore ALL deadbeats who should all actually be prosecuted or their Bikes repossessed. Will the Commissioners appointed follow through on this?

This clear example of fraud MUST be exposed so the voters know the caliber of these people especially if they seek election again. This MUST be a black mark that their opponents in the election campaign can use against them, exposing the lack of integrity of these people, so that in order to clear their names they return these bikes or pay for them, whichever is the most practical for each individual. They are all matters for the voters to consider at future elections so we end up with people with MORE integrity than the past.        

Monday, May 11, 2015

Why is there such a fuss over the Wilpattu encroachment?

Minister Badiudeen insists that any constructions that we see outside the perimeter are LEGAL and that he has obtained state license for that building, corroborated by officials.

The basic question is where is the National Park Boundary? Where does other  state land end, what is the buffer zone, what is state land on which licenses can be given, and who has the right to distribute, sell or otherwise determine who is entitled to what and how much land and for what purposes and rationale for their distribution.

Without such basic analysis the mutter press, MUTS I mean seem to relish in making this into a racist event, where Muslims are seen to be settling their people, and the beneficiary is the Minister who is getting the political backhander for this.

There is a law, and I believe at some point, this law has been broken, and I don’t know if state officers have broken the law, taking bribes, and maintaining that the boundaries are different.

In short the Wilpattu Sanctuary is the largest contiguous wildlife zone in the Country, which must be preserved for the future, with no development taking place within, or outside in the buffer zone. There are pressures from all sides to encroach, and I believe an independent authority be established of conservationists who are tasked with policing this, and reporting any violations.

I am convinced that Government officials have given licenses, which they were NOT entitled to give, resulting in the claim that the Minister makes that all constructions are legal and within the law.

We must therefore investigate why and how land was granted, and there will have to be some backdated investigations into who was responsible for giving licenses and on what grounds. It will turn up a huge money trail of bribery implicating senior officials all the way to the top. When this unravels, then a lesson can be made to all that such illegal acts can be reversed and the law must prevail to the letter and spirit of the law.

Why is that basic work NOT being done, and the whole problem is one where the BBS is also gleefully entering it to take maximum political advantage over the misery of people who have been led a dance by unscrupulous politicians and government officials with money at the heart of the problem, and NOT race as it is made out to be today.

I have seen the thousands of acres that have been encroached upon, and the Tri Forces are just as much to blame for cutting down trees and building illegal roads within the sanctuary.

It is timely that the President issued an edict, but that is not sufficient, and we must get to the bottom of why this happened. Is an investigation into firstly demarcation of the zones, secondly the law as it relates to activity outside the National Park, namely buffer and other zones, and then to see if the law has been applied correctly, and if anyone has been settled on what basis that has taken place. As usual outcry will die down, with NO RESOLUTION