Friday, March 29, 2013

A Sinhala word that has fooled the public into believing the Southern Expressway is a roaring success!

The Sinhala papers have constantly harped on about the fact that the Southern Expressway has earned Rs 1B (koti 100 ka adayamak palamuweni wasara Dakshina Adivegi Margayan labuna) People falsely believe it is the profit!!!

The reality is that the tolls fees received was Rs1B approx in the first 12 months of operation. However as the article with the link shows, it is a dead loss, amounting to over Rs5.5B loss per annum, due to the huge cost overruns and interest on borrowings.

It is interesting that a topic I have advocated for years, namely of improving the public transport system comprehensively is the ONLY answer to the expected horrendous traffic problems of Sri Lanka.

I have earlier in a blog entry, advocated a light rail system running in parallel with the Expressway, which will enable a lot more people to use the system and connect them better through the rest of the rail network.

After the Katunayaka Expressway again at inordinately high cost, there is a proposal for the high speed, monorail system to the airport. This could have been done long ago WITHOUT the need for an expressway. After all just look at the 20min commute from Hong Kong Island to the airport on the rail network. Who would be foolish enough to drive to the airport there when it so much easier to take the train?

This crazy passion for overlooking public transport and especially the rail network has been at a huge economic cost to the Country.   The obsession of law makers on road systems is because there is a lot of money to made from the difference in the tender and the cost they incur using poor quality inputs, and all contractors are in league.

The tragedy of Sri Lanka is that all the decision makers put their personal interests before that of the nation, in making decisions on behalf of the nation. This is at the expense of fleecing the country of its scarce resources. It is time we took stock and changed direction into a comprehensive plan for RAIL.      

A new source of contamination in Rajarata

My previous blog article was on CKDU, but I just came across another article, see link below that frightened the daylights out of me as another complementary reason as to why the Rajarata has been afflicted by these deadly diseases with no directly identifiable causes.               

I will not re-write it hear except to say that ‘Accumulation of Algal toxins in water is dangerous. These toxins have been reported to contribute to liver and kidney ailments and some types of cancers. As these toxins are thermo stable they are not destroyed by boiling the water. They are cumulative poisons that could pass from lactating mothers to their infants.’

When one reads further, the likely cause is the over- use of triple super phosphate that farmers use in their agriculture. I have always maintained that providing fertilizer worth Rs4000 for Rs350 is a recipe for disaster as part of the Agricultural Fertilizer subsidy. Farmer do not value the product and over use it in their work, both denying the plant of the needed nutrients by drowning it in this, but also contributing to the above making drinking water lethal.

It was apt that the article is titled, “Ruhuna (with likes of white elephents like Hambantota Harbor and Mattala Airport) shouldn’t frolic whilst Rajarata is devastated”

I am so keen to find some immediate action to prevent further loss of life and health effects and resulting costs to the people and country, that I have a whole file collected over the past year on all newspaper related articles on this subject if anyone wishes to use it and has time to come up with the sum total of what they are trying to say.

So whilst not trying to sound too alarmist let us pressure this government to act fast without delay on one of the most pressing unsolved mysteries that is devastating the belt of people who have been colonized with lands in the NCP.

Farmers are people who expend a good deal of energy outdoors, requiring copious amounts of water. It is therefore essential that they realize that the water they drink must NOT be harmful to their health. Why should we tell them not to smoke when the water they drink in this instance is even more poisonous. Arguably the alcohol they consume may help in killing the toxins they ingest with the water they drink! I am only making a guess.

The state owes it to them, as they fooled them with the Fertilizer subsidy to vote for this Government, which is using the Fertilizer itself to indirectly kill those very people who voted for them! How ironic! They should be told this, surely.            

CKDU – Is there a resolution finally! We have no time to waste

As thousands lie dying of CKDU (Chronic Kidney Disease of Unknown Etiology) in the NCP(North Central Province), and half the dialysis machines in the hospitals there are not functioning due to maintenance issues the Govt is partying. A WHO report has finally come up with the conclusion that an unholy mix of Arsenic, Cadmium, Fluoride in the water and a few other Chemicals are the most likely cause of the disease.

In my non Scientific mind I could have come up with the same conclusion, and perhaps I already have in an earlier blog entry, that I need to search. So what do we do about it before more get the disease, and how can we reduce the impact on those already likely affected? 

There are NO answers to this, whilst the state is engaged in wasting taxpayers’ money on projects that at best will only show a return once half the people in the NCP are dead!

What ought to be done NOW, with NO further delay?

1             Take immediate steps to give each well in the NCP a ID number and test its water. Once tested as within safely acceptable range prepare a hardy board showing that fact and the date of expiry of this validity (not more than 2 years)

2             Distribute water filter units, either free or at subsidized rates to areas of high concentrations of unacceptable quality. This step is to try and ensure that people can immediately consume safe water, which will hopefully reduce the intensity of the disease, and hopefully even prevent the onset.

3                   At the same time, list all pesticides for banning, get the suppliers to provide an alternative solution to those removed from the market. Gazette a ban on the import of these Chemicals along with a hefty fine for those found breaking the law.

      Hold a series of meetings to explain the facts to farmers, so that they are engaged in the debate, not just to tell them by way of orders. They can then express their fears, especially those who have been brought up on Pesticides and are unable to work without them.

5                   Immediately repair all malfunctioning  equipment at these hospitals, and ensure that the patient support is beefed up, as many patients have to travel a long distance in tiring conditions to receive treatment, and one must bear in mind the strain on the body of these processes.

6                Look at and implement long term plans to return the soil to its previous state of the absence of chemicals.

7           Conduct ongoing research on the success of 1 to 6 above to determine what else is needed.

8       Purchase the necessary testing equipment to test the water contamination as an ongoing permanent feature.

       The human and healthcare cost of this disease is phenomenal and it is important that resources are productively spent, getting the best bang for our scarce buck.

         Let us NOT delay in this work, as compared to so much extravagant spending the Country engages in today there will be an immediate return on investment that is measurable, so please don't delay any longer. Politicians - there is not money to be made in SL on this issue, but productive lives for its citizens is reason enough to get down to business without further delay.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

When is a bill not a bill? When provided by an SL State Hospital!!

A well intentioned proposal to give patients (in this case, in house patients in Government Hospitals) an indication of the cost of their treatment has come under fire by the GMOA before it even debuts!

I do believe patients who receive free treatment MUST be aware of the Cost the Government expends on their treatment, so that our citizens are aware of how much is being spent on the healthcare system in the country, and hopefully will not abuse the system in place. The latter wish is unlikely to be granted, as we waste subsidized resources in an irresponsible way. An appreciation at least is enough!

Then, when a patient leaves the hospital, he or she will walk away with a rough idea of the cost of their care and more often than not be surprised as to how much hospital stay actually is! We in Sri Lanka tend to abuse the hospital stays, requiring doctors to keep us for longer. However doctors DO keep us in hospital as a precaution, fearing that our home conditions may be too hazardous with regards to contracting secondary infections. It is ironic that one of the main reasons other than cost, where patients are discharged as soon as practical in Overseas hospitals is due to the concern of catching lifethreatening penicillin resistant bacterial infections IN Hospitals! 

The concerns raised by the GMOA, were that the cost will be higher than in the Private Sector, thereby encouraging the private sector (PS) to raise their fees, by saying that the Govt sector charges are higher. It is important therefore to avoid these conflicts, by just charging market rates, as adjusted, for the lower level of services and amenities in the Public Sector. It is not necessary to impute a real cost as I can say with confidence that it is fraught with too many assumptions. 

One must look at costs that are higher than the private sector. Then we will know if it is due to internal inefficiencies, and steps will be implemented to reduce the costs. In this manner the real reason for adopting this novel approach (as explained above) will bring positive results to the health-sector, and perhaps some of the horrendous wastages in the Health Sector will be eliminated with a possibility of reducing the costs, and therefore be more productive with the Nations Wealth.

It’s in everyone’s interest to stop the abuse of state subsidies for the greater good.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Religious Cults Challenging Original Teachings! Who is right?

Apparently a new set of legislation that will prevent cults from spreading their beliefs is in the offing! Now what is the official line of any religion? Then what is a cult? Can a cult be defined broadly or narrowly?

This proposed legislation is fraught with danger, and with everything Sri Lankan, it will never see the light of day, because people will never be able to agree on what is and what is NOT a cult. Who is going to play GOD over 4 main religions?

Is BBS a cult? After all it spreads hate against any other belief, and whilst NOT completely disowning any bias against a religion, wishes SL to be only a Buddhist Country, where other religions and beliefs can only be practiced by a sort of permission. I must be free to engage in Devil Worship without getting permission from the Minstry of Religious Affairs, as long as it does not frighten others, or interferes directly with the way others carry out their lives. Will all the “hooniyang practices” in Sri Lanka, be banned?

The world is full of different belief systems, within each overall doctrine. Even with the Catholic Church there are organizations such as Opus Dei, which some even within the Church may wish to disown themselves from, on the grounds of it being too persuasive and forceful in spreading the Catholic Faith amongst non-believers. The Catholic Church has agreed to many anti-conversion proposals because they see a fall of their following in Sri Lanka! If they were spreading their word more forcefully, and gaining converts, they would sing to a different tune and are thus engaging in hypocrisy.

It seems to me that the established religious leaders wish to use this means to prevent any other off-shoot from encroaching on their turf.

Whilst I am aware that the BBS is gaining ground rapidly, by focusing on the insecurity of ignorant people easily fooled into believing a problem exists when one does not, it should not be stopped by legislation, but by the Senior Clerics of Buddhism, meeting them and agreeing to either tone down their rhetoric, or to work within certain parameters of acceptability. If it is to extricate itself from this cult status, they must do what is necessary to enhance Buddhism from within, and not prevent others from practicing theirs, exposing the failures of Buddhism as currently practiced in Sri Lanka instead.
The BBS by picking on other practices is getting attention, publicity, attendance and untoward acceptance, as they have taken advantage of the Buddhist pacifist approach to wrongdoing. Anyone seen attacking BBS will then be seen to be attacking Buddhism itself, just like the Govt. has played the same card of “if you are not with us, you are with the enemy!”

It is important that we take a commonsense approach to radicalism and fundamentalism. We must not let it overwhelm us but take steps to prevent the relevant believers from straying, by staying true to one’s religious beliefs, not giving ample reasons for people to adopt cultish fads just because they are brainwashed into believing that it is the order of the day.

It must be remembered that some belief systems are actually detrimental to society, and if we permit freedom of religion, we have to handle it delicately without raising the ire of the believer, but gently try by other means to reduce its popularity by appealing to people’s fears in reverse, or confidence in the established order in being able to confront any challenge they are faced with.

Religion is fraught with danger, as believers supposedly have faith in what they believe in and act with that fate despite the obstacles placed before them. Therefore many are NOT open to reasoning and compromise.

Will banning religious cults however defined, lead it to go underground, and then suddenly emerge as a threat to the Country? There is a likelihood of that happening if bans are strictly enforced and are harsh on those believers. It is important not to overlook this possibility.

Finally in conclusion, I do believe that if one is sufficiently confident in the power of one’s religion, and the strength of the following there is NOTHING to fear from cults or other religions. Only those who fear their status as being possibly suspect have any fears due to their beliefs being usurped by an upstart offshoot.

It is important that religious freedoms are preserved, but the practitioners are informed quite clearly what their boundaries are, before they could be subject to ban. Many cults appeal to some of the weakest people in a community, and use their personal problem or low self esteem to rapidly gain their confidences. It is only through experience over how people behave in such circumstances, can one tackle the problem head on and find an acceptable compromise solution. It is time someone asserted one’s leadership, and gives confidence to established religions to face any threat to them from within or without sans the need to protect themselves.

It is time we all grew up and learn to tolerate other beliefs which are compatible with ours, and which do not directly threaten us. All religions are indirect threats, but the art is being able to permit all sorts without fear. The external financial power on these beliefs is very real, but can be nipped in the bud before it gets out of hand.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Women and Alcohol in Sri Lanka – unsurprising surge in abuse!

Recent reports have reinforced in stark reality, the alcohol consumption patterns of Sri Lankans, and it puts it on the top of world rankings despite SL being merely a middle income nation, and technically a poor one. Male addiction is most pervasive. There is an impression that President’s objective of the “mathata tithe” fullstop to alcohol promise has proved he is nothing more than a bogus Charlatan and made this more of a gimmick to gain plaudits. Hipocracy is the result.

Hot on the heals of this debate came the write up about the modern woman and her move to also imbibe in the strong stuff see link below:

Of course this does not mention the other very real problem of Estate women turning to alcohol to numb their senses due to the hard life they have to bear with harsh working conditions, abusive husbands, and cheek by jowl living with neighbors sharing toilet facilities and not having sufficient privacy.

Just on the subject of Alcohol, it is a hugely revenue earning business not only for the Government but also for the producers. Whilst there is little progress in weaning people off of it, much has to be done to prevent a new generation and in this case young girls getting into it as a sign of coming out and independence.

I believe it goes back to the type of upbringing our youth have in Sri Lanka, with parenting becoming almost absent, contrary to popular belief that we have tighter and more caring family structures than in Western Nations. It also has to do with the huge social upheavals taking place, and the move of young women to boarding houses to find work, and where they get caught into a trap of vice in prostitution, and then the Country not having the services to get them to reverse the process.

Young girls not engaging their parents in their lives, and being unable to confront them in a civil way to solve the problem, knowing that if they admit to these excesses they face eviction from home, means our society does not understand reality, cannot cope and confront the issues before which a suitable solution can be individually tailor made. A woman gone bad in our society is an irreparable sin, with her destined to a life of an outcast. It must be shown to be reversible!

I know I have strayed from the original point, but one can see how it is the root of much that is wrong in society today, and requires immediate steps at prevention.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

World Tuberculosis Day 24th March, Earth Hour 23rd March, World Water Day 22nd March and it goes on….

These are just the commemorations in the past three consecutive days.
I will concentrate on the importance and appreciation of Water.

Being in the Tropics, we in Sri Lanka, with many thunderstorms, even one a few minutes ago where I am, and the monsoon rains means we have some form of rain at least once every week here in the Colombo District, and I have a source of water that does not dry up in the Dry zone in Polonnaruwa District.

Despite all this we must be more careful of conserving water. I do not believe that Sri Lanka as a country still appreciates the value of water. Recently when there was a possibility of charging for water usage, even having one’s own well, the source of water for most people in Sri Lanka, people went berserk, and it was a politically charged hot potato.

It is very important that we do in fact appreciate the value of water and how we can try and keep in the ground and in the water table, rather than the practice at present for it to flow within a day or two of a rain shower straight back into the sea!!

With increasing construction, cutting down of forests, and in our neighborhood, the rubber estates being turned into residential building blocks mean that there is NO ability for the ground to absorb excess water from rains. That was how it was sucked into the soil, into the water table. Now it just flows into the lowest point, and then by way of canals and waterways finds itself to the nearest river, and then into the sea with a huge top soil run off to beat, as there is very little foliage covering left to absorb the water into the ground.

I am convinced that very little is done in the study of the conservation of water, and also looking into replenishing ground water reservoirs as well as raising the water table. If more effort is put here we will delay our day of reckoning.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Contribution to the Education Debate – Sri Lanka

I just happened to come across a blog article entitled the confessions of a disgruntled student, and I wish to bring my readers to a point within it which needs further elaboration, namely the way forward.

The education SYSTEM, from Montessori to Post Graduate does not exist today. It is NOT that there is a system, or that it is not functioning, it is simply that there is NO structure that one can follow within the state system to obtain a modicum of satisfaction that it contributes to personal or national fulfillment.

One can ONLY fulfill one’s educational potential in a private education system in Sri Lanka and NOT in a Free Education State Structure. There is no holistic and comprehensive educational infrastructure, and only a lucky few are able to benefit from the state, to achieve their objectives. If one does not have the wherewithal to finance one’s ambitions and goals, there is no hope for the rest.

If you want results, then you have to set up a clearly defined structure that adheres to basic concepts. A future structure MUST give the confidence to the student that it CAN provide him or her the tools to achieve life’s goals.

It is an appropriate time to rethink education and set up the parameters. Let us go back to basics and ask some key questions and agree on basic concepts to achieve a clearly defined education policy.

1                   What is the critical starting point?
2                   What is it that we are to achieve in the end?
3                   What are the current resources we can work with?
4                   What additional resources must we allocate?
5                   Who should take responsibility for its implementation?
6                   How do we measure the success?
7                   How much detail of policy should we publicize in advance?
8                   How can we test public understanding and acceptance of our approach?
9                   How can it be de politicized, so that the policy operates no matter who is in government or in power?
10              Can one obtain all party and all community acceptance of it, and accordingly free it from future political interference?
11              Draft the final policy document.
Let us only try and answer the first question here. Where do we start? What came first the Chicken or the Egg type question. This is critical to our approach. We know we have a problem. We must fix it and we must do it with the current system in place and with the current players, namely bureaucrats, teachers, principals, parents and students. They are all stakeholders in this exercise and one has to have complete compliance and acceptance or at least no resistance from them.

It is with this given starting point that we must make the needed sea change! I suggest a two pronged approach in its commencement. Firstly  by introducing a pre school teacher training program with a set of standards that are ESSENTIAL for all pre-school teachers, one will be able to begin the enquiring mind of the child from the very beginning. Explore, create, discover and relate. A different structure from now of rote learning, forcing memorization, and stifling enquiry at the start. This will set the foundation for future learning.

The other crucial area is to obtain the best teacher trainers around, and upgrade all teachers, by training ALL teachers, on courses relating to learning in a manner that elicits the best in students. There is NO point in talking about improving education, if teachers have not been given the best training on effective and productive teaching. We can use modern techniques in teaching as it will only be a matter of time, where distance learning modules are in standard use. The resources used to train a teacher are an investment of immeasurable value. They will produce productive results for years to come, unlike many of the white elephants that Sri Lanka has invested in to date. 

The teacher trainers and training programs must be prioritized with the subjects that are least represented, most needed for the current skills requirement being considered first, and retraining courses commenced.

The above suggestions should be implemented forthwith, with least disruption on existing protocols of syllabi. It will be seamless if managed effectively by schools.

This starting point is NOT going to be countered by demonstrations and lack of will. It would normally be universally hailed as a breakthrough in thinking! It will begin to show results almost immediately. Nothing that is advocated is controversial. It is the knowledge of those making decisions, and the type of educator we use, seeing eye to eye, could be an issue and we must anticipate and know how to diffuse any tension. We have to begin this transition somewhere, and if Bill Gates, is to be believed, students must provide feedback on the teachers as an integral part of the system to improve the quality of education.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

World Sparrow Day previously World House Sparrow Day falls today


When I was small living in Bambalapitiya in the 60’s, I distinctly remember the families of sparrows who lived in the house. They usually made their nests at the top of the cup above the ceiling fan that covered the hook that the fan was set on.

There were so many that we even considered them as pests. “Ge Kurulla” as we called them were plentiful flying in and out of the house through the various air and light filters in the home. My father still lives in the house, and there are NO sparrows to be seen. I went overseas in the 70’s and did not notice when they actually disappeared but they don’t even live on the farmhouse I currently live in!

I know that they used to feed on worms, insects and a whole host of small creatures, including what farmers would consider pests, and thereby control some of the pesticides that we use poisonous pesticides to control today. They were also considered “good luck” to have them around, and if we don’t have them now, QQ

It is right to remember this day as a day where we must understand our behavior and how it may affect our lives, if we have been able to eliminate sparrows. The link to the article in a newspaper today explains it as possibly due to mosquito coils used in homes, where the reproductivity would have been affected by the strong chemicals emitted and in that regard I strongly question how healthy it is for us to use mosquito coils. Sri Lanka consumes the equivalent of 5, 40ft container loads of Coils a day, and it is a huge business for the companies marketing this product.

I believe it is time that a serious study is done on their use, and if it is considered necessary like the case of Malathion, it may be banned as now the possible health effects outweigh the benefits. We may then be forced to use mosquito nets to sleep under and find an alternative method to distract mosquitoes from biting us during the evenings!

There has NOT been sufficient research into the ill effects of mosquito coils and who knows the reproductive level of our citizenry could be affected by this. A great topic for the BBS to cry foul, saying there is a conspiracy to make all the Sinhala males infertile. “Just Kidding” but knowing how irrational and suspicious they are it will only be a matter of days before that allegation also surfaces!! So much for our tolerance, but more importantly, I want House Sparrows at home###  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Implications of a Jesuit Pope – The Church in a major transition to simplicity!

The Catholics have chosen and the debate is on. Its back to basics, the show is over for all the pomp and pageantry and display of wealth. In time some of the family silver will be sold, and I hope put to good use, not just to give to the poor, but to find means of raising the poor from poverty, so they are no longer poor and in need of help. Realistically though there will always be poor people.

Poverty is an age old problem, which the capitalists attribute to bad luck or laziness, and foolish choices, and the liberals as inevitable, and there must be social programs to assist the poor, but only to the extent that society can afford it and benefit from those programs, which will in turn return the purchasing power back to society.

Here as far as the Church is concerned, it is to recognize sometimes of the inevitability of poverty, mostly due to factors beyond one’s control in contrast to the capitalist ideology, and therefore something must be done to alleviate the suffering of those poor souls!

It is hoped by this direct approach to reassert the place of the Catholic Church in humility and service of the poor, from its lofty high church grandiose incense filled cloisters.

Worthy links giving background information of Jesuits and Francis of Assisi:

In reality as far as the Church on the ground is concerned, the Pope means very little, and only his edicts and dictats will have some reverberations amongst the flock. It is therefore important to keep these appointments in perspective as it is the PR war with other religions, and denominations that are at stake here. In the Global Media war the Catholics have laid their new deck of cards for the world to see, reeling from sexual abuse by the Church elders all over the world, and questions on the practicality of Celibacy in this day and age, where human beings have needs that have to be fulfilled, and the mental toll that celibacy demands may lead to the wrong people entering the priesthood for the wrong reasons, making it that much harder to spread the word of God into the non believers and future believers.

Cooking with firewood, what’s the big deal I use it too!

Interestingly I came across an article in Al Jazeera, about the health effects of using firewood to cook. Most people here in Sri Lanka including me, use firewood. I live on a farm, and I have a separate kitchen outside the main house where I use firewood to cook. As I live on farm, I have plenty of raw material including from the coconut trees, to fire the stove and most of the food is cooked on it, except boiling the milk, where sometimes, embers could fall in, and discolor the milk, so I use a gas stove for that. With a canister of basic 12.5Kg LP gas costing Rs2,400 it is not the lowest cost alternative in the kitchen.

At the moment I do not have an oven, a microwave or even a electric liquidizer, so I have to make do with just the electrics of the rice cooker, toaster and kettle, and tow burner gas one for emergency cooking in a rush.

The article in the link attributes lung ailments and heart disease to the use of firewood. However I believe that today, 80% of the population still use this form of cooking. Many people come to my property in Polonnaruwa to collect firewood.

I understand that people from all over the world, none of whom I bet use or are forced to use firewood to cook are attending a conference in Cambodia on the use of firewood for cooking, and will no doubt issue a warning or a recommendation.

I am told and I wish the Government will get involved in publicizing the cooker that maximizes the efficiency of the use of firewood. I do know that there is an environmental factor involved, and wish to know the intricacies of what and what not to do, and how to maximize on fuel efficiency and minimize both the damage to the environment and also to our health in our cooking process.

Despite the supposed move of Sri Lanka into the middle income state, as far as cooking is concerned, though many people do have a gas cooker, they are reluctant to use it other than as a fall back at times, when other alternatives are not available, rather than the cooking choice, due to the cost both of the unit, and also the availability of the cylinders, which have to be purchased from distances, and a three wheeler at a cost, has to be hired to bring it over. It is impossible to cart it in a motor cycle, now the poor man’s mode of transport which is an added disincentive for its use.

So let’s hope there is some practical guidance on the use of firewood, not suggest impractical suggestions of using other modes until it is practical and affordable.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Intelligence failures that have had a profound effect on ‘World History’

It is now agreed that Saddam Hussein had NO WMD and therefore both Bush and Blair were wrong to go to war in Iraq, and the consequences both for Iraq, USA and other parts of the world are clear for us to see. One likelihood as commented upon in the attached link is the fact that they received bad intelligence, and the sources legitimacy was in doubt. There was enough intelligence to counter their claim, but was not used correctly.

This does not detract from the fact that Saddam was a brutal dictator, who subjugated his countrymen, where he was in a minority Sunni clan that lauded over the majority Shia, for which the Sunni have yet to come to terms with their loss. Most of the killings and bombings in the post Saddam era, was not against the American occupation, but by Sunni against the Shia which my some accounts estimate the deaths at over 100,000 in the years since the end of the war.

It is also a fact that NO ONE is crying over the demise of Saddam who with his cronies wreaked havoc on his country, though one good thing was that he tried to keep religion out of politics and was able to educate male and female and not worry about fundamental Islam as a means to force compliance with religious practices as is done in other Arab states, most notably in Iran and Saudi Arabia.

When leaders make mistakes of this magnitude and commit their country’s resources and soldiers, sacrificing thousands of lives both of the invaders and also of the locals, both soldier and civilian, causing massive destruction and Human Rights Violations all in the interests of the overall objective, a cynic would say and as we here in Sri Lanka do even today, that there is one law for the HR violators in those countries, and an entirely different one for us.

Well that is simply called power. The more powerful, sway over the weak, and no matter how pompous and arrogant our leaders are, India can invade Sri Lanka if it so wishes in a matter of a week and subjugate us with NO ONE not even China coming to save our buts. Just look at the case in which the Chinese just walked in and took over Tibet, so that they can annex the vast under-populated region for their expansionist agenda.

It is wise for Sri Lanka to understand that we play the hand that we have been dealt with. Not try to play another hand pretending we are something we are not!