A REPLY TO THISARANEE GUNASEKERA - by Sandman
Now that Dayan Jayatilleke has been fired, his old sweetheart comes out of the shadows, spewing venom as we expected. It’s hard to know who actually wrote this article, whether it is Dayan himself.
Nevertheless, here’s yet another example of someone attempting to mislead the public about the facts of the case, and ostensibly for a very likely personal agenda.
The refugee camps are still there, because they are an expensive alternative to a more expensive and absolutely self-destructive one. Letting all who are in those camps out at once could result in a number of destructive outcomes;
1. Most areas are still not completely de-mined. Civillian casualties as a result of being let into dangerous areas cannot be accepted by a responsible govt. The author conveniently avoids analyzing that fact.
2. Most areas are bereft of drinking water, wells were polluted and water tanks destroyed by the retreating Tigers. Restoring these facilities take time, most cannot be even started until areas are completely de-mined.
3. The military are still recovering massive arms caches, which could easily support massive scale guerilla operations within a very short period of time. Both the trained men (now in hiding) and arms have to be located and neutralized before a fully fledged guerilla war imperils the civillians yet again. The near exhausted Army may be at a distinctive disadvantage to deal with such.
4. Majority of the camps now have functioning school facilities. Even young LTTE recruits are currently following the standard school curriculum in many of these. If the camps were dismantled before the schools are reconstructed and restored to operations readiness, it would disrupt their education and make these youngsters yet again vulnerable to the violent rhetoric of the anti-social psychopaths and trained terrorists still at large. Sri Lanka would be back to square one, facing another burst of terrorism, this time led by random destructive instincts. If that happens and the Sri Lankan Army is called out again, people like Thisaranee would have cause to howl at the moon using cookie-cutter phrases like “..sinhala chauvanist, sinhala-buddhist extremist…’ etc a whole lot more. Construction work, including that of schools have to commence once demining is completed. All these take time.
5.Though not reported in most cases, intermittant and scattered attacks are already happening in the Wanni and other areas again. The military is effectively dealing with most, leading to arrests and unearthing of new and more astonishing evidence of preparedness for very long term underground guerrilla operations in most areas. The amount of arms hidden in the Killinochchi area alone may take years to locate and destroy.
De-mining and disarming a conflict area of unexploded ordnance is a dangerous activity which requires specilized skills and equipment. Sri Lanka does possess some of these skills and tools, but not in quantities that would facilitate swift progress, considering the large swathes of land that was mined by the retreating LTTE. To compound the problems, the Tigers are believed to have destroyed all maps describing the mined areas. Thus search itself consumes considerable amounts of time and patience. Six decades after the end of its last war, Germany is still finding unexploded bombs in her suburbs.
The problem the world faces from people like this author is exactly this; they twist and misinterpret facts to suit their own agenda. When there aren’t any, they even go to the extent of manufacturing some. Case in point; the author in one para claims sinhala racism is dead, and then later claims we are back to where we were; in an era when sinhala racism was the staple diet of the majority.
Now that Dayan J has got the boot from the govt, these venomous outbursts targetting the Rajapaksa govt, the Sinhalese and also the Buddhists can only be expected to get worse. Don’t be surprised.
There is a distinctive difference between a journalist and a mud-slinger.
A journalist reports facts, with clarity and accuracy, and definitely without prejudice. A true journalist will never do anything to lose their credibility.
A mud-slinger on the other hand will deliberately mispresent facts, take facts out of context and manufacture evidence where there is none, or even simply make accusations believing that ‘told enough times with conviction, any lie can become the truth’. The author definitely fits into this mould. Thisaranee Gunasekera is a mud-slinger.
To understand this analysis, take this example; Walter Cronkite was a true journalist. He was trusted and never did anything to violate the trust the nation placed on him. When he broke the news about losing in Vietnam it was perhaps one of the worst news to report home, but he did it nevertheless, reporting facts and not his personal interpretations.
Cronkite’s recent death diminishes the world of quality journalism. Worse, it leaves us with the likes of Thisaranee Gunasekera.
[Article under reference can be found here; http://asiantribune.com/07/26/black-july-and-post-war-sri-lanka/comment-page-1/#comment-777 - Ed. ]
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Saturday, July 25, 2009
END of the war saw the Sri Lankan economy teetering on the edge, battered from all sides. A no-holds-barred war faught for the first time in its history of combatting terrorism amidst a global recession which seriously affected her exports led Sri Lanka deep into the red. Even though the main arms suppliers China and Pakistan were happy to provide weapons and ammunition on credit, other needs of the country suffered serious economic lapses causing untold hardship to most of the population concentrated in the cities.
The Sri Lankan government's commitment to completly eradicate terrorism from our shores must be applauded, even though it caused horrendous casualties even among the armed services. By conservative estimates the number of soldiers killed in the last two years of fighting is around 6,500 while opposition party sources quote much higher.
Having lost the war on the ground, the pro-Eelam lobby was faced with a number of obvious realities. Another war on the ground on Sri Lankan soil could not be even attempted for a very long time for the sheer lack of man power and the extreme combat readiness of the government forces, while there was opportunity to take up the issue in the diplomatic forums in an environment where the current Sri Lankan government has plundered almost all goodwill and cornered herself internationally. Also the lack of a coherent opposition by the pro-Sri Lankan diaspora abroad provides the pro-Eelam lobby a distinct advantage. Having access to world leaders such as Hillary Clinton and others in Canada, EU and Australia, most of whom view the Sri Lankan government with obvious distaste provides unprecedented leverage to the pro-Eelam lobby currently. The hurried preparations being made to build a comprehensive case against Sri Lanka, including war crimes allegations, arise from this percieved advantage. Any new combat operations on Sri Lankan soil also would need to be of a guerilla nature, using hidden arms caches and well trained cadres currently holed up in refugee camps under assumed names.
However, this scenario is not without its own flaws. Since taking office, Hillary Clinton has continued to perform less than expected and has continued to shrink in stature and, so far, in utility. Widely distrusted by most Americans and having bungled even her first high profile meeting with the leaders of Russia, Clinton is facing an uphill task staying on the job. Irrespective of how she is percieved by the American general public or how she performs in office, Sri Lanka could face serious problems with her unless new found evidence allegedly linking Clinton having contacts with the Tamil Tigers isn't taken up officially. In this connection the testimony of an escaped LTTE high ranker who in an interview with Indian media claimed that the Tamil Tiger leadership was certain of Clinton rescuing them from the advancing Sri Lankan Defence Forces needs to be further investigated. There has been intermittant evidence of a link between the Clinton's Presidential campaign and the LTTE lobby for a while, providing credence to such allegations.
The desperate efforts now being made through various non-governmental organizations and media to facilitate the premature release or escape of trained cadres currently in refugee camps assumably to commence guerilla operations has been stymied by the Sri Lankan government's efforts to unearth the hidden arms caches and identify the terrorists among the civillian population. The government is correct in refusing to give into pressure by pro-eelam parties to allow civillians into heavily mined areas before they are cleared, and thereby potentially facing charges of public irresponsibility. It's heavy handed actions, often leading to raised eye brows in Colombo and elsewhere do in fact have valid reasons behind them, even though the continuing qualitative decline in our diplomatic corps hinders the ability to rationally explain these measures to the outside world. The departure of diplomats of the calibre of Dayan Jayatilleke will further impede Sri Lanka's communications effectiveness in the diplomatic war that is imminent.
Friday, July 24, 2009
The end of the war may not mean the end of all problems in SL. Though there will be recurrent issues, Sri Lanka currently is one of the most viable emerging markets because of how far the stocks have fallen and also the SLRs has depreciated against the dollar and other currencies.
This is a great time to pick up some investments that can make you laugh all the way to the bank in another 10-15yrs. By committing as little as $100 a month, you could build a well diversified broad based portfolio of investments in as little as 12 months at present day market prices. There are also plenty of reliable stock brokers in SL. Do check the Colombo Stock Exchange web site for more information. http://www.cse.lk/welcome.htm
If majority of Sri Lankans abroad were to invest in stocks of our very dynamic private sector, the nation's working assets wil continue to remain liquid and the returns will be ours as well.