Thursday, April 4, 2013

'Mahinda Chinthanaya' has given way to fraud, corruption and vile acts – Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera

'Mahinda Chinthanaya' is now supporting corruption and vile acts states the co-coordinator of Anti-imperialist People's Movement (AiPM) Ven. Dhambara Amila Thera. Speaking at a press briefing held in Colombo yesterday (1st) Ven. Amila Thera said, "Government's economic policy has become an incompatible affair. At present government's economic policy is tourism. The government has come to a position that it would provide infrastructure facilities to liquor, gambling and casino that are connected with tourism. Now the government is having discussions with a casino king in an attempt to get him here.
As the Anti-imperialist People's Movement we, oppose this act for two reasons. First is many governments have been toppled and new governments have been formed based on casino centers. Conspiracies for such vile acts take place at these places. Racketeers were behind the fall of Eastern Asian countries in the 90s.
If a government is patriotic, if it opposes and doesn't fulfill the interests of casino racketeers they would carry out various conspiracies to topple such a government. The AiPM vehemently condemns the moves of the government to deny the legitimate sons and daughters of this country the right to elect their government and hand it over to casino racketeers. The attempt to build a casino empire in the country is a real danger to the masses of this country.
The second is the harm to the culture and social values of our country. Through casino the rulers create a fertile land for liquor, drugs, prostitution and crime which is against the teachings of all religions that exist in our country. These casino centers will become fighting arenas of politicians' sons. The President used patriotism and religion to come to this position. Mahinda Chinthanaya and 'mathata thitha' were advocated. However, Mahinda Chinthanaya is now supporting fraud, corruption and vile acts. This would bring destruction to the country.
Now religious, communalist fundamentalist gangs are creating clashes at various places in the island. The rulers provide facilities for these gangs and allow them to roam about. No legal action is taken against these gangs and the government is bringing the Motherland towards another debacle. The repetition of the 83 holocaust is looming ahead. We have warned the government not to create such a situation that would give excuses to imperialism to interfere in our country. However, no attention was paid to such warnings. All of a sudden the President now says acts should not be carried out that harm the Sinhalese, Tamil and Muslim unity.
We would like to ask the President to go in front of a mirror. We have warned regarding the behavior of tribal gangs. We made these warning at a time when nobody talked about it. However, these warnings were ignored and marauding gangs were unleashed.
The 'Balasenas' were allowed to roam to hoard Sinhalese Buddhist votes for future elections. These gangs have become terrorists who are manipulated by illiterate, lunatic anti-social elements. These terrorist, fundamentalist gangs are attacking Muslim business establishments. Media showed persons in Buddhist priests' robes attacking CCTV cameras. Journalists' heads too were smashed. Various persons use these gangs and groups for their ulterior motives. Now the limit has been overstepped. A situation has arisen that those who created the gangs are unable to control them. An extremist, communalist issues cannot be solved by extremism. How could they say they would become the unofficial police if they do not have political backing and support?
Hence, we ask our Muslim brethren to face these religious extremists with a lot of patience. Extremists cannot go too far. They do not have justice, ideology or fair play. Their minds are filled with hatred and animosity. Even their temples contain only hatred. Extremism cannot expect anything auspicious.
Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa participated at their ceremonies. He declared open their centers and white washed them. They were legitimized. The defense Secretary should be responsible for the lunatic behavior of the gang of extremist hooligans. We have the right to question the Defense Secretary and the President who are being paid from the taxes levied from the masses of this country. They have to answer our questions; they are duty bound to do so.
We call upon the government to come for an open debate regarding their policies without paving the way for another barbaric war that would destroy the country and the Nation. We ask the government to step down instead of stooping down to low levels to conceal its impotency and vulgarity.
Whatever 'balasena' says, 74.9% of the population is Sinhalese Buddhists. If these' balasenas' genuinely represent the 74.9% of the population we ask them, instead of attacking devotees of other religions, to raise its voice for the struggle to get 6% allocations for the education of the children of this country. Do these 'balasenas' propose that a scheme should be adopted to have a process to buy vegetables instead of destroying 40,000 to 50,000 kilos of vegetables at Dambulla? A situation has been created that the paddy farmer has to commit suicide. Sri Lanka has come to the 4th position in the world in consuming alcohol. 48% of pregnant mothers suffer from anemia and malnutrition. 600 temples have been closed down. India is given 90% of our oil resources. This 'balasenas' do not come forward to address any of these issues. 74% of Sinhalese Buddhist masses together with other masses are confronted with these issues and mediating them would be a relief to all including Sinhalese Buddhists. It is the Muslim countries that supported us during the war with the LTTE and in Geneva.
These extremist gangs have become a cat's paw of the government that fulfills its political interests. Hence, we call upon the Mahanayakas to mediate to remove this cancer from the society.
Sri Lanka has been isolated in Geneva. The rulers of this country think the world is within Sri Lanka. A country cannot be isolated like Robinson Crusoe. There should be excellent diplomatic relations with other countries. The government cannot act like Joolampitiye Amare when dealing with other countries. As a result of the conduct of the government the country has been placed under probation. The government should now develop good relations with other countries. Tamil Nadu was brought to this situation by the conduct of our government. After four years of the end of the war the communalist and religious fundamentalists were given the opportunity to do what they want. The seeds sown have brought in a harvest. Rulers should not lie to the people. They should come out from darkness. Instead of taking the society towards ignorance, infidelity and tribal ways the government has to be rehabilitated. If it doesn't change we ask the patriotic masses in the country to send this government home.
We also ask the media not to give publicity to any matter that would create communal or religious clashes."
The Member of the Executive Committee of AiPM Senior Lecturer of Sri Jayawardenepura University Devaka Punchihewa and former JVP Parliamentarian Lakshman Nipunarachchi were also present.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Our Moment of Destiny : From The Blacklight Arrow

As ever, David Blacker is eloquent. But not only that, often he is to the point as well. And THIS timely article by him is both that.

In an attempt to draw alarming similarities between the 30 year old bloody war we just ended and the potential one we have at our hands because of the blatant racists out there today, this is what he narrows it down to:
I feel ashamed right now; ashamed of my government; ashamed of my friends; ashamed of my country. More than anything, I am ashamed of myself. I have never felt this way about my country, and I never thought I would, but I feel it now. And I hate feeling this way. In the worst of the war, I told myself that it wasn’t my fault; that I hadn’t chosen this war to fight. But this is now. This is me. This is us. This is our country and our moment of destiny is here. Why are we doing nothing?
Couldn't have put it any better myself.

Please go over there and read the whole thing. It's worth it.


Racial discrimination in the name of religion

By Indika

Four years ago, Sri Lanka ended a cold-blooded war that had haunted the island for more than 25 years. The reconciliation process was going to be the next step, at least that’s what many people thought. Unfortunately, it seems like a dream when one considers the events that have unfolded over the past year or so.

We have gone backwards even before we could take a step forward, thanks mainly to an organization called ‘Bodu Bala Sena’ that practices racial discrimination in the name of Buddhism. Sadly, not many are raising concerns regarding their activities, and that only empowers them to continue and grow strong. Obviously preventive measures should be taken right now before the issue gets worse and becomes another major civil conflict that we sure as hell can’t afford.

Are they in line with Buddhism?  Does Buddhism encourage violence and racism? Does it give you the right to rule? The head monks have a responsibility to question the BBS’ motives and actions. There is no point in waiting till you receive complaints when the problem is quite evident. They are entitled to take action in order to protect the reputation of Buddhism, thereby make a positive contribution to enhance unity in Sri Lanka. They can also make an attempt to correct ingrained prejudices among people. It baffles me when some of the educated ones believe in the slogan ‘This is a Sinhala Buddhist country’.

The government can’t turn a blind eye to these matters. When the war ended, there was talk about how everyone would be treated as a Sri Lankan regardless of their race and religion. It’s high time they walked the talk. The very existence of the BBS contradicts the government’s statements.

Sri Lanka and its people have suffered long enough. Why do we have to repeat the same mistakes over and over again? For once, why not just live?

Monday, April 1, 2013

In Times of Need...

By Sachintha

Who We Are
'A bunch of Sri Lankans' would be the most appropriate and truthful statement. We have Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims among us, we have followers of Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity as well as a few atheists in our ranks, we have people from all sorts of backgrounds and places, living in and outside of Sri Lanka. What we do have in common is that we are Sri Lankans and we have it's good intentions at heart.

Who we are not, however, are racists. We hate racism, bigotry and general douchebaggery.

What We Want
We believe in equality. And we want to see people treated equally in our motherland irrespective of their race, faith or any other such superficial divider. What race you are born into is out of your control, what religion you choose to follow (or not follow one at all for that matter) is (or it should be) a private matter of yours. Neither should come in the way of how you are treated as a citizen of this country.

However, things have not been that ideal in Sri Lanka of late. Racial and religious tension is everywhere, some well organised and well funded 'cults' with serious political backing has sprung into existence recently and they have nonchalantly taken the law into their hands on more than one occasion. People have started to live in fear. We only just ended a bloody war that brought indescribable pain and suffering to many thousands but it looks like not many have learnt their lesson from that. By the looks of it right now we are heading into another war at full speed.

We don't want that.

What We Will Do
We are a bunch of people with good intentions at heart and a zero budget. And we would like to keep it that way. We won't be trying to raise funds, we won't be organising events of any sort and we most certainly won't be taking up cricket bats and chasing those hooligans mentioned above.

What we will do is trying to create a healthy debate among the sensible yet silent people out there. We've noticed that while the organised racism is fully fledged and out in the open very few people are opposing it. Which is a huge cause for concern; your silence is as bad as their hatred. Therefore, we want to create a platform where any sensible person who wants to be heard can be heard. If you want to voice your opinion, we give you the opportunity to do so.

At first we, the members here, will be posting our thoughts on this blog from time to time. We will also try to give opportunities to other people if they have something to say. We will try to bring in people of all races and faiths into the discussion and create a healthy debate. We will try to do something constructive about the problems at hand instead of just being cynical about it and looking away. But of course we can't do all that all alone by ourselves. We want YOU - our readers - to give us constant feedback and constructive criticism. Please feel free to comment anytime and we will post them as long as you keep them civil. We won't tolerate hate speech, cursing, insults and racism.

Like Martin Niemöller once said,
First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.
Then they came for the socialists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for me,
and there was no one left to speak for me.

It's time we speak up, people!