Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Trincomalee disappearances protest on 50th day

Home23 Apr  2017

Families of the disappeared have been protesting in Trincomalee for 50 days now.

The protestors who are based outside the Governor of the Eastern Province’s secretariat held a march in Trinco town to mark the fiftieth day of their struggle.

Related Articles: 

Sunday Island Carries Fake News: Gota

Colombo Telegraph
April 24, 2017
The Sunday Island news story: ‘Key suspect in Lasantha killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya’ is fake news, misleading the public, says the former secretary to the ministry of defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
He has tweeted “Fake news misleading public ” with a link to a criticism written by one Sanjaya Amarathunga which was posted on Viyath Maga Facebook page.
We publish below the Gotabaya’s recommended post in full:
WHY DO NEWS PAPERS CARRY FAKE NEWS MISLEADING THE PUBLIC?
It was disappointing to read the headline news today on Sunday Island which says ‘Key suspect in Lasantha killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya’.
According to this article, one major Bandara Bulathwatte was given a diplomatic posting to Thailand by then defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in January 2010. Bulathsinhala is now a suspect in the investigation of the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge in January 2009.
The news item is factually incorrect to start with. Given the sensitivities involved, the journalist should have taken better care in understanding the background before publishing this news item.
Firstly, Bandara Bulathwatte was nominated to go to Germany and not to Thailand. Secondly it was not a diplomatic posting. He was nominated for active service in a foreign country as an undercover intelligence officer.
It had been a standard practice in the army to place intelligence officers at Sri Lankan embassies in countries where there were active LTTE operatives. Most European counties fell under this category and army intelligence officers were routinely posted to the relevant embassies.
Posting of intelligence officers to Europe to monitor LTTE activities commenced in 2005. ASP Latheef from NIB was the first officer to receive such a posting. Since then, more than 25 intelligence officers from police and army have been sent to various countries on similar missions. This is practiced even today. These are intelligence offers who operate under cover holding junior posts at the embassies. They are not sent as Defence Attaches.
Major Bandara Bulathwatte was in active service of the army intelligence in January 2010. If he was nominated to be sent to Germany, that would have been a decision of the army.

Sunday Island Carries Fake News: Gota

Colombo Telegraph
April 24, 2017
The Sunday Island news story: ‘Key suspect in Lasantha killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya’ is fake news, misleading the public, says the former secretary to the ministry of defence Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
He has tweeted “Fake news misleading public ” with a link to a criticism written by one Sanjaya Amarathunga which was posted on Viyath Maga Facebook page.
We publish below the Gotabaya’s recommended post in full:
WHY DO NEWS PAPERS CARRY FAKE NEWS MISLEADING THE PUBLIC?
It was disappointing to read the headline news today on Sunday Island which says ‘Key suspect in Lasantha killing given diplomatic post by Gotabhaya’.
According to this article, one major Bandara Bulathwatte was given a diplomatic posting to Thailand by then defense secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa in January 2010. Bulathsinhala is now a suspect in the investigation of the murder of Lasantha Wickrematunge in January 2009.
The news item is factually incorrect to start with. Given the sensitivities involved, the journalist should have taken better care in understanding the background before publishing this news item.
Firstly, Bandara Bulathwatte was nominated to go to Germany and not to Thailand. Secondly it was not a diplomatic posting. He was nominated for active service in a foreign country as an undercover intelligence officer.
It had been a standard practice in the army to place intelligence officers at Sri Lankan embassies in countries where there were active LTTE operatives. Most European counties fell under this category and army intelligence officers were routinely posted to the relevant embassies.
Posting of intelligence officers to Europe to monitor LTTE activities commenced in 2005. ASP Latheef from NIB was the first officer to receive such a posting. Since then, more than 25 intelligence officers from police and army have been sent to various countries on similar missions. This is practiced even today. These are intelligence offers who operate under cover holding junior posts at the embassies. They are not sent as Defence Attaches.
Major Bandara Bulathwatte was in active service of the army intelligence in January 2010. If he was nominated to be sent to Germany, that would have been a decision of the army.

GRANTING GSP + TO SRI LANKA WOULD BE A TROPHY FOR NEGLECTING ITS HR PROMISES – GERMAN HUMAN RIGHTS ORGS

Image: Protesting people of Kepapulavu, Mullaithevu against military occupation of their land. credit- Garikaalan.

Sri Lanka Brief25/04/2017
Writing letter to European Union and its relevant officials,  a network of German human rights organizations has called for a deferral of granting GSP + to Sri Lanka if the GoSL not prepared to substantially ‘deliver’ in time and in concrete terms. The letter suggests that Sri Lanka be given  an additional time of six months in order to start fulfilling at least the immediate tasks mentioned in the previous paragraph. The scenario of a possible deferral of GSP (+) should be directed by keeping the reform process alive, including the Constitutional Reform.

Ranil visits India after concluding tour of Japan for tripartite agreements !

-Neanderthal Leftists and supporters of discarded Rajapakses stage meaningless strike

LEN logo(Lanka-e-New- 25.April.2017, 11.00PM) Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe will be visiting  India on an official tour on the 25 th. 
While in India he will have bilateral discussions with Indian P.M. Sri Narendra Modi . He will also be meeting with senior ministers, and Congress party leader Ms. Sonia Gandhi .
The P.M. during a meeting with the public at Suduwella recently , he said , he will be leaving for India for discussions to launch  several development projects , and to sign tripartite agreements among Sri Lanka , India and Japan.
The P.M.concluded his tour of Japan recently and returned to the Island.
Wickremesinghe explained as follows at Suduwella …
“I shall be leaving for India with a message from president Maithripala Sirisena . Dicussions are to be held with Indian P.M. Narendra Modi. The aim is to initiate development programs in the East , Central and Western provinces based on tripartite agreements . The Trincomalee port is to be made an extremely   fast developing Port.
Japan is extending support to some projects while India is providing the balance assistance. India and Japan are ready to provide assistance towards several Trincomalee Port projects . Singapore will be assisting in the Trincomalee Port development .India and Japan are expecting to  provide assistance to build two natural liquid gas stations in Kerawalapitiya . In addition ,  a floating natural gas pool is to be built in the sea jointly by Japan and India ,” the P.M. elaborated. 
Professor Maithri Wickremesinghe , minister for disaster management Anura Priyadharhsana Yapa, Development strategy and international trade minister Malik Samaraweera , Secretary to P.M. , Saman Ekanayake , additional secretary Saman Athaudahetti  and special assistant Sandra Perera are  participating in the Indian tour . 
Meanwhile, Minister of State enterprises Kabeer Hashim addressing a media briefing on the 24 th revealed the government’s policies in regard to oil tanks. An agreement has been reached , according to which , the primary ownership of Trincomalee oil tanks will be with the government . Out of that 14 tanks will belong to  LIOC , 10 tanks will belong to the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC)  , and the balance 74 will be run as a joint venture between the two countries, he said.  
There are no plans at all to sell any harbor  in SL, and if such an opinion exists  , that is a misconception. Even previously , Trincomalee   oil tanks were entrusted to India , and hitherto no Institution or the government used  all these oil tanks , the minister pinpointed. Besides , the CPC had no ownership of any of these oil tanks hitherto. On the advice of the P.M., a group including minister Chandima Weerakody toured India recently . It is following discussions there , the aforementioned agreement was reached , and everything is being done according to that agreement,  the minister pointed out.
Meanwhile , the Neanderthal Leftists and supporters of the defeated discarded Rajapakses have staged a strike falsely alleging the Trincomalee oil tanks are being sold  to India. What is crucial to note is  , the 99 oil tanks of Trincomalee which were built by the British during the  colonial era had been  in existence for the last 70 years. . Yet  the leftist parties to which these unions belong , during their period when they were  with the ruling governments did nothing or  took any action to make use of the oil tanks . It is now these unions are staging strikes when development programs are under way . This is most intriguing.

The trade unions of SL are  only taking advantage of  the democratic freedom now prevailing under the good governance , and are misusing that freedom.  They are not staging  strikes with genuine motives to achieve true demands or for the benefit of the people . They are politically motivated and serve foul anti national agendas. Those demands are extreme and retrogressive. Among their many anti national agendas  are : opposing the development of Hambantota Port which is now  a white elephant ; and the development of the Trincomalee oil tanks .
These demands are not because of any true   concern for  country’s economy or its development , rather simply based on pseudo patriotism  carrying the hackneyed slogan ‘country is being sold’  which everyone knows are bogus dramas.As these unions  are aware if their foul  political agendas are made directly known , they would stand naked , so  under the guise of trade union demands , their hidden agendas are being pursued.

In the modern era , countries like Malaysia and Singapore did not achieve their development goals based on the antiquated  advice and outmoded concepts of these discarded Neanderthal Leftists .
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by     (2017-04-25 18:53:55)

Gold – On The Verge Of A LONG “Bull” Market??

Colombo TelegraphBy Abdul Samad –April 25, 2017 
Abdul Samad
“Gold”, in leman terms is a substitute for money. It also bears a lot of significance, especially in the South Asian region, both as a saving and forms of wearables. Ownership of gold has a great influence on prestige and social class of individuals, especially in Asia.
The other as aspect of gold is its significance as a commodity, in the global investment and trading community. Historically, there have been arguments for and against investing in Gold.  Warren Buffett, the oracle of Omaha has this view,
“I have no views as to where Gold price will be, but the one thing I can tell you is it won’t do anything between now and then except look at you. Whereas, you know, Coca-Cola will be making money, and I think Wells Fargo will be making a lot of money and there will be a lot – and it’s a lot – it’s a lot better to have a goose that keeps laying eggs than a goose that just sits there and eats insurance and storage and a few things like that.”
The premise of the above quote is very simple and straightforward. Gold has its limitations to generate value and growth as opposed to equity investments. For example, if someone buy’s 1000 shares of John keeles today, there is reasonable certainty of dividends for the shares. Further, the investor also has the opportunity for wealth creation in the form of bonus shares and right issues that the company may decide to reward to its investors. And of course there will be capital gains in the value of shares over time. Hence, it provides multiple sources of wealth creation.
On the other hand if someone buy’s 100kg’s of gold today, it will remain to be the same in ten, twenty or hundred years. The only form of wealth creation comes from capital gains in price, depending on the cyclical pricing of the commodity. Gold has traditionally been viewed as a “safe haven” investment or as a hedge against inflation.
Generally, three factors drive the price of gold overtime,
  1. The global geo-political climate
  2. Monetary policies of major central banks
  3. The technical posture of price in the trading cycle
The objective of this article is to articulate the above three factors in the present global economic eco-system.
Gold price overview-   
Gold prices rose in 2009, the year after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, gaining about 24% by year’s end. But much of the stage was set in 2008 for gold’s rise in 2009 – and for the next few years – when the global financial crisis was entering its darkest days.
To recap what happened in the last quarter of 2008, the U.S. Treasury seized control of mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in September 2008 and said it offered$200 billion cash injection for firms dealing with mortgage default losses.
The U.S. government began working on bailout plans in October 2008, which was the depth of the global financial crisis. At its December 2008 monetary-policy meeting, the Federal Reserve took several actions to stabilize markets and the economy. First, it voted to reduce the Federal Funds target to a range of 0% to 0.25
Second, it formally launched its first round of quantitative easing in December, saying it would buy up to $600 billion in agency mortgage-backed securities and agency debt. At the March 2009 Federal Open Market Committee meeting, the Fed further expanded its balance sheet by purchasing an additional $750 billion of agency mortgage-backed securities, bringing its total purchases of these securities to $1.25 trillion at the time. Richard Baker, editor, Eureka Miner, said the QE program helped to put a floor under gold, and really all asset prices.

Govt. trying to enact Foreign Exchange Bill on the sly – lawyer

Only two days to file action

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by Shamindra Ferdinando- 

Attorney-at-law and public litigation activist Nagananda Kodituwakku has told a three-member bench of the Supreme Court on Monday (April 24) that the government made a deliberate attempt to deprive interested parties of an opportunity to challenge Foreign Exchange Bill within stipulated seven days by placing it on Order Paper of Parliament on Friday April 7, 2017.

Kodituwakku pointed out that as April 8,9,10, 13,14,15 and 16 were public holidays, they had to move court only on April 11 or 12.

The bench comprised Justice Eva Wanasundera, Justice Buwaneka Aluwihare and Justice Prasanna Jayawardene. Attorney General Jayantha Jayasuriya and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake have been made respondents

In addition to Kodituwakku, attorney-at-law Dharshana Weraduwage made submission in respect of the Foreign Exchange Bill. Counsel Kanishka Witharana made submissions on behalf of UPFA Colombo District MP Bandula Gunawardena.

They sought the Supreme Court opinion whether the Foreign Exchange Bill or section of it is contrary to the Article 83 of the Constitution hence the requirement for approval at a referendum.

Kodituwakku alleged in court that the Foreign Exchange Bill had been presented in a clandestine way on the Order Paper taking into consideration court vacation during second and third weeks of April, 2017.

The attorney-at-law said that the controversial Foreign Exchange Bill was contrived to be adopted by parliament without being challenged in the Supreme Court. He also briefed the court regarding the danger in abolishing existing regulatory mechanism at the expense of the national economy. Kodituwakku emphasized that regulatory mechanisms couldn’t be done away with in the absence of rule of law.

Kodituwakku warned that Sri Lanka could be a haven for those who had been engaged in money laundering operations. The attorney-at-law cited controversial USD 3mn foreign exchange control case heard before the Colombo High Court involving US citizen Raj Rajaratnam of Sri Lankan origin to justify decision to challenge the Foreign Exchange Bill. Kodituwakku pointed out that the billionaire US hedge fund manager Rajaratnam had been sentenced in Oct 2011 to 11 years in prison, the longest term for insider trading in recent times. Kodituwakku pointed out that the Colombo High Court in May 2015 discharged the then UNP MP and present Finance Minister Karunanayake due to a defect in the indictment therefore it was the responsibility of the Attorney General to file a fresh indictment.

Kodituwakku said that against the backdrop of some members of parliament declaring that they were above the law, the people expected the judiciary to become a symbol of hope.

The SC on Monday directed that written submissions in respect of petitions filed against the Foreign Exchange Bill submitted on the following day. Kodituwakku has stated that the proposed Act would surely make clandestine operations meant to deprive the country of due taxes much easier and hard to thwart.

The decision of the Supreme Court is to be handed over to President Maithripala Sirisena and Speaker Karu Jayasuriya shortly.
01Wednesday, 26 April 2017

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These days everybody wants to be a social entrepreneur. That’s awesome, but as long as you don’t pretend to be one. Every business is not a social enterprise… because if it was then we don’t need to have a separate name called ‘Social Enterprise’ in the first place now would we?

At a recent conference on social entrepreneurship, a popular Lankan businessman said, “I don’t know what social entrepreneurship is, and I don’t care about the definitions, but I believe I’m a social entrepreneur.”

Well, if you don’t know about something, the first thing you should do is study about it. (Read more about the Theory of Social Enterprise by Eranda Ginige).Sometimes it helps to understand the opposite of something in order to get a better understanding of the subject. So here are three entrepreneurs who are not social:

1.I give employment to people, so I’m a social entrepreneur 

Just because you give employment to a few people or a lot of people that doesn’t make you a social entrepreneur. If so,then weapons manufacturers, oil companies, tobacco companies, Bangladeshi sweatshops, Foxconn, the Lankan Parliament are all social enterprises. Most companies employ people not because they want to create employment, but because they need labour. It’s hilarious how CEOs say things like “we put our people first, we value our people, our people are our biggest asset” when in fact HR is accounted as a liability on the balance sheets.

Isn’t it fascinating how some companies win HR awards when the first thing they do is laying-off their staff as the first response to a financial loss or a business restructuring; or are constantly looking for ways to automate their business processes to reduce labour costs; or are holding their workers’ educational certificates in custody to prevent them from leaving for better prospects!Don’t kid yourself by saying you want what’s best for your people.

And then you have social enterprises that are essentially created to give employment to certain groups of people. Single-mothers, elderly people, disabled people, ex-prisoners, marginalised communities, former combatants, refugees, people of extreme poverty etc. It’s beyond a simple employer-employee contract. The purpose of the business is to create a sustainable, equitable, income source for a specific group of people in need.

A social business often has built-in systems to educate its people, skill and up-skill them, improve their living standards andbuild confidenceto gain financial independence. They are often paid higher salaries than the market rates or a living-wage because the purpose is not profit-maximisation for its shareholders, but to create better lives for the target group.

I know what you’re thinking “but what will happen to the employees if a company cease to employ them?” That’s an insinuating argument I usually get as the last cry. My response is “Wouldn’t you replace your staff if there was a cheaper alternative?” It usually drives the message straight to the cerebrum.

Firstly, a successful company will not do such a thing because it’s suicide. They need the labour to function and they need more labour for business growth.You need to stop thinking that you are doing a special favour to your people by employing them; unless the whole purpose of your business’ existence is to create prosperity for your people. There’s a big difference between the two.

2.I give microfinance to the poor, so I’m a social entrepreneur

Professor MuhammedYunus the pioneer of microcredit started the “Grameen Bank” (Bank of the Villagers) with the single purpose of lifting the poorest-of-the-poor Bangladeshis out of poverty. Grameen Bank is one of the world’s largest Social Enterprises both in terms of impact and income.Its business model was designed based on real needs of the people at the bottom-most level of the society, especially women.

Initially scorned as an unviable idea, Grameen Bank’s unprecedented success led to an entirely new global industry. And then came the loan sharks. Seeing the high interest rates, high repayment rates and the large market base, all the profit-hungry finance companies and private banks started their own microcredit products and subsidiaries. But they lacked the one essential thing which made Grameen Bank a social enterprise, the socialpurpose!

Microfinance is has become asocial menace in Sri Lanka. While Grameen Bank wants to take people out of poverty, most Lankan microfinance companies want to mint money out of the poor. It’s reasonable to doubt whether the top management of most of these companies understand the social-economic principles of microfinance. Their sales staff are given impractical targets to lend. Having no proper training, experience or empathy on working with poor rural women, they somehow force credit on the poor, and then force them to pay the unbearable interest every month. They don’t build the values, they don’t build trust, they don’t build the support system, and worst of all they don’t serve the real needs of the Lankan poor.

As a result of this menacemany people have stopped their microenterprises altogether and are doing hard labour work for a daily wage just to pay back the interest. Some women commit suicide after falling deep into this debt trap. There is nothing social about most Lankan microfinancecompanies.

(Yes, I know about the allegations against Prof.Yunus, but he has been proven innocent on all accounts thus far. It is obvious that the Bangladeshi Government’s actions against ProfYunus are politically motivated.)

3.I have won social enterprise awards, so I’m a social entrepreneur 

02True social entrepreneurs become so after having a profound understanding (Insight) about social and environmental problems around them. They are not some naïve do-gooders nor are they the traditional opportunity-grabbing entrepreneurs. Instead they are well aware of the social-environmental problem they want to address. They are driven by a relentless desire to prove a sustainable business solution (Impact) to those problems. They design a business model which not only assures their business sustainability but also their own personal wellbeing (Income). (Read more about Insight-Impact-Income: Personal Triple Bottom Line by ErandaGinige.)

Social entrepreneurs are well aware of the modern concepts of sustainability and they are open to quickly learn from others from around the world. Having a serious understanding about social and environmental problems often make them change their lifestyle and purchase habits to be ethical, responsible and environmental-friendly. And they strive to make each and every aspect of their enterprise “good”. Just because they do good, they don’t waste water, energy and other resources, mistreat employees, con their customers, make vulgar advertisements, sell products in plastic, bribe government officials, or dodge taxes.

I see many people who do something good and then use it for personal benefit. Worst of all, I now see some narcissists abusing social entrepreneurship and promoting themselves as social entrepreneurs. They do it for awards, fellowships, foreign trips, TV interviews and especially for the money. It’s repulsive to see some commercial businesses and pretending to be social enterprises just to tap into impact investment.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying people should not seek and be given due credit. But I’ve seen those award winners simply retract from continuing and scaling their social impact after getting the award.Social Entrepreneurship is fundamentally about solving social-environmental problems through sustainable business approach. You do it because you want to make a serious impact.

Social enterprises are most certainly the future of business. It’s the only practical solution we have on the table to make a better world through business. We don’t have time for games. If you want to be a social entrepreneur please do so for the right reasons.

Links: Personal Triple Bottom Line:http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/leadership/eranda_ginige/personal_triple_bottom_line_insight_impact_income

Theory of Social Enterprise: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/theory-social-enterprise-eranda-ginige
(The author is the Founder of Social Enterprise Lanka. You can reach him atEranda.Ginige@socialenterprise.lk.)

Rajitha calls for strong action against sabotaging public services

Rajitha calls for strong action against sabotaging public services

Apr 25, 2017

Strong action needs to be taken against sabotaging services to the public, says health minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, adding that he has proposed to the president that fuel supply should continue with the deployment of the three armed forces.

Trade union action should not inconvenience the 21 million Sri Lankans, he told journalists at his ministry yesterday (24).
 
He said, “Ex-president Mahinda Rajapaksa was the first to agree to handover the Trincomalee oil tanks to India. Then, trade unions kept silent. Trincomalee oil tanks should be used. If they love the CPC, they should generate income from the oil tanks. Certain trade unions use this to criticize and topple the government. It is important if the Indian government develops the oil tanks and generates income. So is if China’s government develops and generates income from Hambantota port. They are investments.”
 
“Good governance should be there for the oppressed people. Trade unions dancing to the tune of parties that cannot win elections should not be allowed to run the country,” he added.

Murder At Jayewardenepura University 


Colombo TelegraphBy Arjuna Seneviratne –April 25, 2017

Arjuna Seneviratne
If a dog lives its life in a specific area, had been doing so for years, is properly cared for, neutered when necessary, fed, watered and sheltered, is at least content if not downright happy, provides contentment and happiness to its primary caregivers, that dog is not footloose or set astray. It is a factor, a component, a definite entity of a larger social order, habitat if you may, where it has its place, has its role.  If that habitat is a small apartment, annexure or home, then the alpha-dog of that space, in most cases a human will be responsible for the dog and will look after it and take responsibility for it. If it is a much larger space such as the premises of J’Pura University, occupied by a large number of human beings hailing from various places for various reasons, then  alpha-dog is not a person sitting in some high chair but rather, a collection of those that look out for that dog. If decisions have to be made about that dog, then it is those caregivers who should make those decisions not someone far removed from any idea of such matters as habitats, definition of strays or ideas of social-anthropology, animal domestication or institutional culture. Those decisions cannot be made by an unqualified, 
intellectually vacant, socially bereft apology for a human being. Such decisions cannot be made by people like the Vice Chancellor of J’Pura university. He has no clue, therefore, he has no say. He cannot understand and will never understand that the dog population of all of our universities form an integral part of the portal, has been so for decades and are pets to a large number of students and teachers and by no means strays.
Yet, this man has taken it upon himself to give strange definitions for what constitutes strays, vermin and pests.  He has decided, contrary to every definition of canines, that they are pests akin to cockroaches and termites. Things that need to be crushed underfoot or gassed out. Therefore, he decides in his maladjusted mind, to hire a terminator, a pest controller to exterminate the dog population of the J’Pura campus. Just as much as he doesn’t know how many termites are eating away at his books, he has no clue how many dogs there are. He only knows that they need to be sprayed with sarin or worse. There were 83 dogs a month ago. 30 of them have been murdered by a pest controller. If he wanted the dog population of the university wiped out he didn’t succeed. Instead he only succeeded in performing illegal, extra-judicial action that brought out a storm of grief and protest from all parts of the country. The outpouring of shock and horror was akin to sentiments expressed across the world at the extermination of human beings in Syria recently. This madman doesn’t understand that what he caused to be done to the dogs at J’Pura was no different to what was caused to be done to human beings in Syria. According to eyewitness reports, the dogs started vomiting, foaming at the mouth, losing consciousness in the same way, with the same suffering, over the same period of time as the human beings in Syria.
The students fought back, hard, on behalf of their beloved pets and they did it right. Even as they sobbed their hearts out that a pregnant bitch they had been caring for had been poisoned to death, they asked the careless, vicious, heartless, soulless, lawless VC for a meeting. He ignored them. They went to the police. They wrote to the papers. They campaigned on social media. They invoked every relevant law, directive and circular to protect the canines that were still left. Their voice could not be stilled and it was taken up by the larger populace of this country full of the followers of the Buddha and Lord Shiva to whom such action constitutes nothing less than murder.

SWRD myth and reality…

2017-04-26
  •     In the Bandaranaike assassination, what is most astonishing was the lack of planning and plotting to shelter the conspirators
  •     The gratitude owed by Bandaranaike to Buddharakkhitha for the former’s electoral landslide was too great to be disregarded
  •     J R in 1977 changed the course of the country’s economy for good.
“Mark this well, you proud men of action! You are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” 
 ~Georg Wilhelm 
Friedrich Hegel   
S W R D Bandaranaike, the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon, was assassinated by a Buddhist monk. A cruel conspiracy was hatched and executed to almost perfect precision. But that was only as far as the assassination was done and completed. But behind every murder there is a conspiracy. History tells us that in most assassinations, rarely had a lone gunman executed the job without any accomplices supporting him or her. In the Bandaranaike assassination, what is most astonishing was the lack of planning and plotting to shelter the conspirators so that they could remain at large after the assassination. Therein lay the fatal flaw of those who killed S W R D Bandaranaike, the man who ushered in an era of the common man in Ceylon.  

At the top of this conspiracy-pyramid stood another Buddhist monk, a young megalomaniac by the name of Mapitigama Buddharakkhitha, who was primarily responsible for garnering the support of the Sinhalese-Buddhist vote for Bandaranaike in the election victory in 1956. However, there was nothing venerable, as all Buddhist monks are held in, in Mapitigama Buddharakkhitha, the chief conspirator of the assassination plot. At the time he was the Chief Monk at the  Kelaniya Temple. He was no more venerable than a village-bandit-killer, consumed by his own self-importance. Bandaranaike was very much aware of the dishonorable lifestyle of the infamous head of the Kelaniya Temple.
Buddharakkhitha’s depraved association with a member of the fairer sex in his own Cabinet was public knowledge and Bandaranaike, instead of taking any action against the Cabinet Minister, chose to ignore it, probably at his own peril.There was no room for a sense of accountability in the exalted mind of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. The gratitude owed by Bandaranaike to Buddharakkhitha for the former’s electoral landslide was too great to be disregarded. Ironically, both the killer and the chief conspirator were men of the saffron robe.   

An exquisite product of the decadent Ceylonese low country-aristocracy (Govigama, Radala) at the time, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, SWRD’s father, was the Gate Mudaliyar of the Governor. As per James Manor’s, Expedient Utopian, Bandaranaike’s biography, SWRD was not sent to school for his elementary education. He was tutored at home by an Oxonian. When he reached the age for secondary education, he was sent to St. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia and was boarded, not at the hostel where all non-day-scholars stayed during the school sessions, but at the Warden’s residence. Rev. William Arthur Stone was the Warden at the time. Such was the aura of power that enveloped the Ceylonese aristocracy at the time. Adolescent SWRD was sheltered from the ordinary realities of the commoners for whom he later ushered in a new era as Prime Minister of Ceylon.
Later, after a distinguished phase at Oxford, England, SWRD arrived back in Ceylon and found his expected place among the elite of her political life. The formation of the Sinhala Maha Sabha (Greater Sinhalese Forum), being among the public speakers much sought after, joining Ceylon National Congress, entering the State Council and later becoming a powerful Minister in the first Cabinet in Ceylon, holding the prestigious post of Leader of the House, leaving D S Senanayake’s government in 1951 and forming the SLFP are among major occurrences in Bandaranaike’s life, well chronicled by history.   

Bandaranaike showed his craftiness in politics by identifying, much earlier than almost all politicians at the time, the crying need of the time- a ‘place in the sun’ for the common man. To launch his campaign for power in 1956 he invented the five-pillar platform- Sanga (Buddhist clergy), Veda (indigenous physician), Guru (school teacher), Govi (farmer/peasant) and Kamkaru (labourer). His powerful and emotive appeal was aimed at the heart of the Sinhalese Buddhist. In a most ironical twist of fate, it was the first of the five-pillar-platform that chose to kill the master they deified; for a flimsy excuse like non-granting of approval for a shipping contract to a company sponsored by Buddharakkhitha, the chief conspirator.  

In so far as leadership is concerned, there are two kinds of them: consequential leaders and non-consequential leaders. Consequential leaders are those whose leadership has caused certain events which produced consequences 1. That couldn’t be reversed and 2. Without that particular leader in place at that time, the same event could not have occurred. In terms of being consequential, post-Independence Ceylon has produced only two leaders. One is S W R D Bandaranaike and the other is J R Jayewardene.   
J R in 1977 changed the course of the country’s economy for good. Opening and unshackling of the economy is one single event that J R alone was responsible for conceptualizing and execution. What flowed subsequent to the opening of the economy cannot be reversed and with it the country’s economic and cultural dynamic took another journey. Secondly, had there been another leader at the time in 1977, given the same context and circumstances, that journey would not have even been attempted.
What SWRD did in 1956 was even more momentous. He was responsible for two significant and epoch-making changes in Ceylon’s society. On the one hand, unleashing of the vernacular-educated forces in the country and pledging a place in the sun for them, transformed this country which was being ruled by English-educated, big city elite, into a one that is ruled and dominated by the Sinhala-speaking commoners. The transformation from the elite to the commoner is irreversible and its effects are historic. On the other hand, SWRD was also singularly responsible for the Sinhala-only policy that engendered a chain of events whose good and ill-effects are being felt even today. Both these measures could and would not have been executed if not for Bandaranaike’s leadership. Nor could the resultant cascade of history have been reversed.  

SWRD’s leadership was unique in the sense, despite him being personally a hands-off leader, unlike J R Jayewardene the quintessential hands-on forerunner, the subsequent propaganda carried out by the Bandaranaike family and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) made him out to be a god-like figure whose influence on the basic needs of the country was pre-ordained. Bandaranaike’s politics was essentially based on his own rhetoric. He was a speaker par-excellence and was not matched in his day, especially in the House of Parliament and in English language. When one assesses his real contribution to the country’s socio-political-economic character and movement, one inarguably finds a combination of good and some exceedingly bad. After sixty one years, scholars as well as ordinary men and women argue that the Sinhala - only policy generated more malevolent results than good ones. Sri Lankan society began its forbidding journey of polarization along ethnic lineage. While Sinhalese Buddhists were engaged in their infamous argument of reverse discrimination and historical injustice done unto them by the colonial powers, Tamils clung on to their demands for a separate homeland-state within the borders of Sri Lanka.  

Bandaranaike did not create these battle-lines, yet his policy of Sinhala-only gave rise to a series of consequential episodes that caused these battle-lines. His defenses fell when Tamil-Sinhalese riots scarred the streets in Colombo, Jaffna, Ampara and other urban centres in 1958. Sir Oliver Goonatilleke, Governor General of the time had to intervene, while Bandaranaike, the hero of the common man was playing billiards at the elite Orient Club, some historians say. Bandaranaike’s actions did not match his rhetoric. While the rhetoric created the myth, his actions condemned him to the brutal reality of sedentary, hands-off-Prime Minister.

He governed the country only for three short years. No more trade union sabotage was heaped upon the country than when Bandaranaike’s government was in place. In fact, it is recorded history that Sirimavo, Bandaranaike’s widow openly uttered on political platforms that it was N. M. Perera who ‘killed Bandaranaike without killing him in deed’. The expedient utopian, which S W R D Bandaranaike was in every sense of the word, as described by his biographer, James Manor, would ultimately be judged by history. In another two years, 2019, it will be sixty years since his tragic demise. A man, whose liberal principles in the early part of the twentieth century embraced the idea of Federalism for the resolution of the Tamil Question, turned one hundred and eighty degrees and caved into a path of narrow nationalism propagated by the very forces he unleashed. Instead of leading his men and women from the front, Bandaranaike chose to be led by his followers, the very opposite of J. R. Jayewardene.  

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and J. R. Jayewardene were two quintessential politicians who hailed from the elite that dominated the last years of the British Rule. Their decorum and courtesies extended beyond the confining walls of power; their education and scholarship was not limited to formal education and degrees they obtained from educational institutions; their commitment to the country they were born in was no second to any other leader’s. Both were men of deep thought. Yet, I am afraid; history will judge their respective political careers very harshly.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com  
SWRD myth and reality…

2017-04-26
  •     In the Bandaranaike assassination, what is most astonishing was the lack of planning and plotting to shelter the conspirators
  •     The gratitude owed by Bandaranaike to Buddharakkhitha for the former’s electoral landslide was too great to be disregarded
  •     J R in 1977 changed the course of the country’s economy for good.
“Mark this well, you proud men of action! You are, after all, nothing but unconscious instruments of the men of thought.” 
 ~Georg Wilhelm 
Friedrich Hegel   
S W R D Bandaranaike, the fourth Prime Minister of Ceylon, was assassinated by a Buddhist monk. A cruel conspiracy was hatched and executed to almost perfect precision. But that was only as far as the assassination was done and completed. But behind every murder there is a conspiracy. History tells us that in most assassinations, rarely had a lone gunman executed the job without any accomplices supporting him or her. In the Bandaranaike assassination, what is most astonishing was the lack of planning and plotting to shelter the conspirators so that they could remain at large after the assassination. Therein lay the fatal flaw of those who killed S W R D Bandaranaike, the man who ushered in an era of the common man in Ceylon.  

At the top of this conspiracy-pyramid stood another Buddhist monk, a young megalomaniac by the name of Mapitigama Buddharakkhitha, who was primarily responsible for garnering the support of the Sinhalese-Buddhist vote for Bandaranaike in the election victory in 1956. However, there was nothing venerable, as all Buddhist monks are held in, in Mapitigama Buddharakkhitha, the chief conspirator of the assassination plot. At the time he was the Chief Monk at the  Kelaniya Temple. He was no more venerable than a village-bandit-killer, consumed by his own self-importance. Bandaranaike was very much aware of the dishonorable lifestyle of the infamous head of the Kelaniya Temple.
Buddharakkhitha’s depraved association with a member of the fairer sex in his own Cabinet was public knowledge and Bandaranaike, instead of taking any action against the Cabinet Minister, chose to ignore it, probably at his own peril.There was no room for a sense of accountability in the exalted mind of Solomon West Ridgeway Dias Bandaranaike. The gratitude owed by Bandaranaike to Buddharakkhitha for the former’s electoral landslide was too great to be disregarded. Ironically, both the killer and the chief conspirator were men of the saffron robe.   

An exquisite product of the decadent Ceylonese low country-aristocracy (Govigama, Radala) at the time, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, SWRD’s father, was the Gate Mudaliyar of the Governor. As per James Manor’s, Expedient Utopian, Bandaranaike’s biography, SWRD was not sent to school for his elementary education. He was tutored at home by an Oxonian. When he reached the age for secondary education, he was sent to St. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia and was boarded, not at the hostel where all non-day-scholars stayed during the school sessions, but at the Warden’s residence. Rev. William Arthur Stone was the Warden at the time. Such was the aura of power that enveloped the Ceylonese aristocracy at the time. Adolescent SWRD was sheltered from the ordinary realities of the commoners for whom he later ushered in a new era as Prime Minister of Ceylon.
Later, after a distinguished phase at Oxford, England, SWRD arrived back in Ceylon and found his expected place among the elite of her political life. The formation of the Sinhala Maha Sabha (Greater Sinhalese Forum), being among the public speakers much sought after, joining Ceylon National Congress, entering the State Council and later becoming a powerful Minister in the first Cabinet in Ceylon, holding the prestigious post of Leader of the House, leaving D S Senanayake’s government in 1951 and forming the SLFP are among major occurrences in Bandaranaike’s life, well chronicled by history.   

Bandaranaike showed his craftiness in politics by identifying, much earlier than almost all politicians at the time, the crying need of the time- a ‘place in the sun’ for the common man. To launch his campaign for power in 1956 he invented the five-pillar platform- Sanga (Buddhist clergy), Veda (indigenous physician), Guru (school teacher), Govi (farmer/peasant) and Kamkaru (labourer). His powerful and emotive appeal was aimed at the heart of the Sinhalese Buddhist. In a most ironical twist of fate, it was the first of the five-pillar-platform that chose to kill the master they deified; for a flimsy excuse like non-granting of approval for a shipping contract to a company sponsored by Buddharakkhitha, the chief conspirator.  

In so far as leadership is concerned, there are two kinds of them: consequential leaders and non-consequential leaders. Consequential leaders are those whose leadership has caused certain events which produced consequences 1. That couldn’t be reversed and 2. Without that particular leader in place at that time, the same event could not have occurred. In terms of being consequential, post-Independence Ceylon has produced only two leaders. One is S W R D Bandaranaike and the other is J R Jayewardene.   
J R in 1977 changed the course of the country’s economy for good. Opening and unshackling of the economy is one single event that J R alone was responsible for conceptualizing and execution. What flowed subsequent to the opening of the economy cannot be reversed and with it the country’s economic and cultural dynamic took another journey. Secondly, had there been another leader at the time in 1977, given the same context and circumstances, that journey would not have even been attempted.
What SWRD did in 1956 was even more momentous. He was responsible for two significant and epoch-making changes in Ceylon’s society. On the one hand, unleashing of the vernacular-educated forces in the country and pledging a place in the sun for them, transformed this country which was being ruled by English-educated, big city elite, into a one that is ruled and dominated by the Sinhala-speaking commoners. The transformation from the elite to the commoner is irreversible and its effects are historic. On the other hand, SWRD was also singularly responsible for the Sinhala-only policy that engendered a chain of events whose good and ill-effects are being felt even today. Both these measures could and would not have been executed if not for Bandaranaike’s leadership. Nor could the resultant cascade of history have been reversed.  

SWRD’s leadership was unique in the sense, despite him being personally a hands-off leader, unlike J R Jayewardene the quintessential hands-on forerunner, the subsequent propaganda carried out by the Bandaranaike family and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) made him out to be a god-like figure whose influence on the basic needs of the country was pre-ordained. Bandaranaike’s politics was essentially based on his own rhetoric. He was a speaker par-excellence and was not matched in his day, especially in the House of Parliament and in English language. When one assesses his real contribution to the country’s socio-political-economic character and movement, one inarguably finds a combination of good and some exceedingly bad. After sixty one years, scholars as well as ordinary men and women argue that the Sinhala - only policy generated more malevolent results than good ones. Sri Lankan society began its forbidding journey of polarization along ethnic lineage. While Sinhalese Buddhists were engaged in their infamous argument of reverse discrimination and historical injustice done unto them by the colonial powers, Tamils clung on to their demands for a separate homeland-state within the borders of Sri Lanka.  

Bandaranaike did not create these battle-lines, yet his policy of Sinhala-only gave rise to a series of consequential episodes that caused these battle-lines. His defenses fell when Tamil-Sinhalese riots scarred the streets in Colombo, Jaffna, Ampara and other urban centres in 1958. Sir Oliver Goonatilleke, Governor General of the time had to intervene, while Bandaranaike, the hero of the common man was playing billiards at the elite Orient Club, some historians say. Bandaranaike’s actions did not match his rhetoric. While the rhetoric created the myth, his actions condemned him to the brutal reality of sedentary, hands-off-Prime Minister.

He governed the country only for three short years. No more trade union sabotage was heaped upon the country than when Bandaranaike’s government was in place. In fact, it is recorded history that Sirimavo, Bandaranaike’s widow openly uttered on political platforms that it was N. M. Perera who ‘killed Bandaranaike without killing him in deed’. The expedient utopian, which S W R D Bandaranaike was in every sense of the word, as described by his biographer, James Manor, would ultimately be judged by history. In another two years, 2019, it will be sixty years since his tragic demise. A man, whose liberal principles in the early part of the twentieth century embraced the idea of Federalism for the resolution of the Tamil Question, turned one hundred and eighty degrees and caved into a path of narrow nationalism propagated by the very forces he unleashed. Instead of leading his men and women from the front, Bandaranaike chose to be led by his followers, the very opposite of J. R. Jayewardene.  

S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike and J. R. Jayewardene were two quintessential politicians who hailed from the elite that dominated the last years of the British Rule. Their decorum and courtesies extended beyond the confining walls of power; their education and scholarship was not limited to formal education and degrees they obtained from educational institutions; their commitment to the country they were born in was no second to any other leader’s. Both were men of deep thought. Yet, I am afraid; history will judge their respective political careers very harshly.

The writer can be contacted at vishwamithra1984@gmail.com