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“Keenie Meenie” author has swallowed Tamil Eelam propaganda hook, line and sinker

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by Albert J. Fernando, Canada

Phil Miller, author of “Keenie Meenie,” a book about the activities of British ex-SAS private security firm KMS (KM refers to “Keenie Meenie”) seems to have completely got carried away by the propaganda of Tamil Eelam terrorists that he feels utterly disappointed that LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) could not win the war to establish their own country taking out the Northern and Eastern provinces of Sri Lanka. The subtitle of the book is “The British Mercenaries Who Got Away with War Crimes.”

One popular explanation of “Keenie Meenie” is that it refers to ‘snakes moving under grass’ in Swahili. In other words, covert operations.

The book narrates the activities of this British mercenary company in several countries such as Oman, Yemen, Lebanon, Nicaragua (remember Col. Oliver North?) and of course, Sri Lanka in the eighties.

Miller’s extreme bias can be explained in several ways:

1.       Why so much about Sri Lanka? He writes extensively about Sri Lanka reproducing eyewitness accounts of torture and killing of Tamils by Sri Lanka Army with the help of KMS pilots in the North. As far as the Eastern Province is concerned, especially in Batticaloa, such killings of Tamils were carried out by the Special Task Force, trained by KMS. However, Phil Miller does not give any detailed accounts but merely narrates what KMS did in the other countries. So why provide so many details about the war situation in Sri Lanka? Tamil propaganda is well-known for exaggerating what goes on Sri Lanka, but Miller reproduces that as if all such horror stories are genuine. The readers will be shocked by such horror accounts about the plight of Tamils. This is not to say that some of these incidents did not happen. In any war, there are casualties on both sides including civilians.

2.       Attacks on Sinhalese villages and Buddhist places of worship ignored. As a reputed investigative reporter, Miller has failed miserably to point out the attacks carried out by Tamil Eelam terrorists on innocent Sinhalese civilians in villages and places of Buddhist worship. For example, why is he so silent about the cold-blooded massacre of Sinhalese in Dollar Farm (total deaths: 33) and Kent Farm (deaths: 29) on November 30, 1984? Both farms were located in the Northern Province. Has he forgotten the LTTE attack on the Sinhalese fishing villages Nayaru and Kokilai in the Northeast (11 killed) on December 1, 1984?  Also, no one told him (of course, LTTE propaganda outfits will never tell him) or he simply did not bother to find out (which is worse) the two LTTE attacks on Buddhist places of worship: The attack on the sacred city of Anuradhapura including the sacred Bo-tree on May 14, 1985 (146 killed) and the attack on the Buddhist Temple of the Tooth in central province city of Kandy with a truck bomb on January 24, 1998 (eight killed and dozens injured, part of the temple destroyed).

3.       LTTE killing of Tamils ignored. Third, the reputed investigative reporter did not bother to find out that Tamil Eelamists killed hundreds of Tamils in Sri Lanka, mainly in Northern and Eastern provinces for not supporting their cause. Just a rumor is good enough for them to arrest them, tie them to a lamp post and shoot them dead. Probably Miller had never heard of them. Tamil Tigers also murdered a Tamil academic and human rights activist Dr. Rajani Rajasingham Thiranagama, in Jaffna on September 21, 1989. At the time of her death, she was Head, Department of Anatomy, University of Jaffna. They also assassinated another academic, Harvard- and Yale-educated human rights activist Neelan Tiruchelvam on July 29, 1999. Among the Tamil politicians assassinated by Tamil Tigers are A. Amirthalingam M.P. and Leader of the Opposition and V. Yogeswaran M.P. killed together on July 13, 1989, and Lakshman Kadirgamar, M.P. and Minister of Foreign Affairs, shot dead on August 12, 2005.

4.      Extortion of money from Tamil diaspora. Phil Miller has conveniently forgotten that LTTE amassed a lot of wealth by harassing and extortion of Tamil refugees in Britain, USA, Canada and European countries. In this connection details can be found in the 2006 Human Rights Watch Report. To quote one of the recommendations: “To the LTTE and organizations linked to LTTE: Immediately stop all use of violence, threats, intimidation and harassment to solicit funds from the Tamil community, including among the diaspora and from members of diaspora communities making return visits to Sri Lanka.” HRW also quotes an inspector with the London Metropolitan Police: “We know that extortion is going on, but this is not a priority for the British government. When we look at what we need to concentrate our resources on, in terms of terrorist groups, we are focusing on Islamic groups.” Tamil Tigers also raised funds through various illegal activities. TIME magazine says in issue dated January 04, 2009, “Through their history, the Tigers have financed their operations with bank robberies and drug smuggling, among other illegal acts. They are also believed to get much of their support from ethnic Tamils living in Western Europe and Canada. Some estimates say the LTTE raises more than $200 million a year.”

5.       LTTE recruitment of child soldiers.  Another important matter that Phil Miller has ignored is the LTTE’s recruitment of children to fight the Sri Lanka Army. Some were as young as 11-years. These children did not join LTTE willingly but were taken by force from their parents. At least one child from each family was the LTTE’s directive. UNICEF has criticized this inhuman activity on several occasions; but thanked the LTTE whenever child soldiers were released.

6.      Author’s Tamil Eelam bias. Author Miller exposes his bias when at least in three occasions he shows his anger and frustration because he feels that if the KMS mercenaries did not help the Government of Sri Lanka, LTTE would have won the war. On page 222 he writes referring to the battles fought in May, June and July 1986, “Without air cover and fast casualty evacuations, it seems likely that the army would have been routed that summer.” On page 229 he writes, “Again, without the KMS pilots, it is highly likely the Sri Lankan army have had to abandon the north, effectively giving the Tamils a de facto state of their own.”  Miller is still not satisfied, because he repeats the same claim on page 262. He is so angry with KMS that yet again on page 276, he still maintains, “From my research, it seems likely that had KMS not supported the Sri Lanka government from 1984 to 1988, then the Tamil liberation movement may have achieved its military objectives as early as 1986…” It is, therefore, abundantly clear that Miller has been fully supportive of LTTE victory. Further, he has even gone to the extent of helping a Tamil youth who had been tortured by STF and had fled to UK in 2014 to get asylum there.  Says Miller, “although it took another four years and considerable evidence from me and my colleagues about STF activities, before an immigration judge finally overruled the Home Office and said he could stay in the UK.” (page 279).

7.       Author’s tie-up with Tamil Information and their help.  Here is the coup de grace: Miller has dedicated the book, “In memory of Vairamuttu Varadakumar. 1949-2019.” Perhaps one may ask why Miller dedicated the book to him? Answer is simple: It is Varadakumar who helped the author to write the book! In an appreciation published in the socialist publication called The Morning Star about Varadakumar, the founder of the Tamil Information Centre in London, Miller states, ” We began collaborating in March 2015, after I published a report outlining the British complicity in Sri Lanka’s assaults on the Tamil struggle…Although most Tamil groups were focused on lobbying the UN, he approached me quietly after the launch and said the British state had to be held to account for its actions in Sri Lanka….He offered his help to expand my research and over the last four years he stayed true to his word, guiding me to sources and contacts.” In short, Tamil Eelamists fed him with truck loads of misinformation and half truths justifying their campaign to set up a separate Tamil state. No wonder he hates the Keenie Meenie company of British mercenaries.

 

 



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Features

An air of discontent prevails

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We have had a series of “Avurudhu parties” here in Aotearoa. No shortage of Kavum, Kokis, Athiraha, and even Wali Thalapa. Buffalo curd available locally and of course imported treacle in abundance. Yours truly has assumed the role of a fly on the wall during these festivities and gleaned much information, worth talking about.

First to get on to the Pearl, the talk of the botched-up vaccination plan and running out of the second dose of vaccine. Bizarre permutations as to what would happen if the second dose was not available on time and to who would be press-ganged into getting the “dodgier” types of vaccine from China and Russia, etc. The possible repercussions of getting a second dose of another type of vaccine to the original, the speculations of which left me rather glad that the general populace of Aotearoa has not been vaccinated to date. The talk moved on to the Easter bombings and the recent comments by leaders of the Roman Catholic church as to the possible perpetrators of the attack. Some increasingly obvious conclusions as to those responsible for the planning and funding of same are being reached by those other than some of us who dared to voice our opinions over a year ago! This combined with the increasing and very rapid unpopularity of the person they elected to high office hoping he was genie of the magic lamp type, and the possible reverse of Hong Kong that could take shape on the reclaimed land near the Colombo port, does not bode well for an already dubious future. By reverse of Hong Kong, I mean Hong Kong is trying to hold out as a bastion for democracy, whilst the proposed port city seems to be modeled on the opposite!

Moving on to Aotearoa, the rest of the world seems to be praying for a leader such as our own Jacinda Ardern, but the fat cats of Aotearoa are getting rather sick of her. Those who own multiple houses and have been setting off their interest payments against their taxes due to a loophole in the law that has now been plugged are grumbling. The fact that most young people can’t afford to buy their first houses due to rich people and property developers snapping up all available property, happily funded by banks who are only interested in the bottom line, is of no consequence to them. The fact that this could lead to so much discontent that it could even lead to armed insurrection doesn’t bother them. They seem to have forgotten that we have had almost no deaths and hardly any Covid 19 cases in our community when they say that the lockdowns, we underwent were too excessive and how the economy and business sector has suffered. These very people throng the stadia during the rugby and cricket games and enjoy music concerts with gay abandon. Megacorporations are not happy about the restrictions that are coming on with regard to the use of Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) due to environmental concerns. To top it all off I had a lecture from my 13-year-old daughter about how I am being “led by the nose” by Jacinda Ardern and her propaganda! Where she got that from could only be from her elder brothers whose get rich quick schemes have seen a setback due to certain leftist policies coming in from the Labour government that is in power with an absolute majority.

I laugh to myself and think about other examples I have seen of self-proclaimed pundits never being content with their lot. My education was in a very large Government school. As a perfect and a member of some sports teams we handled the administration and some of the governance of this school. Later in life when my children were attending a private school I got involved in the Executive committee of the PTA of that school. The “problems” faced by the private school and the vast dramas that were involved in trying to solve those problems were laughable when compared to those faced by even us, senior students (a much lower level in the administration) of the Government school.

It led me to believe that people always grumble. They are never content with their lot and there is always someone plugging their case and trying to sow the seeds of discontent among the populace. If those living in Aotearoa, in the present situation and well aware of the chaos and mayhem that is prevailing in the rest of the world are dissatisfied, when will anyone be satisfied? Everything is relative and one should try to step outside the confines of one’s own situation and look at the broad picture. In the words of learned barristers, I rest my case!

This week’s missive will not be complete without a tribute to the memory of Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh. He lived through some of the best and worst times of human existence on this planet and conducted himself impeccably. He showed his humanity and his failings, with a few bloopers down the line but most of those had an undercurrent of humor and couldn’t really be construed as offensive, despite the best efforts of the media and others to make them so. He served as consort to her Majesty the Queen with loyalty and aplomb and he leaves behind an enviable legacy in the world of conservation and youth affairs. It is hoped that his heirs will be up to the task for they face a task which in cricketing terms could be classed as coming into bat after the great Sir Vivian Richards had just scored a century, in his prime. Something very difficult to surpass in skill and entertainment value. Unfortunately, the Duke made just 99. May he rest in peace!

 

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We have much to learn; and emulation is no disgrace

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“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” said Oscar Wilde who, through sharply ironic wit, often proclaimed the absolute truth.

Cassandra quotes him today as she wants to point out how much we in Sri Lanka can benefit by reaping some ideas from the recent royal funeral in Windsor. And she does not excuse herself for placing stress on our mediocrity as juxtaposed with greatness. Nationalists may shout themselves hoarse and bring down a few more majestic trees by decrying the comparison. They can justifiably claim we have a cultural heritage of two and a half millennia but have we remained cultured, following faithfully and correctly the four great religions of the world? A loud NO from Cass, echoed by millions of others. Though Britain’s development of the English language, culture, arts and science was later than our civilization, they outstripped all countries at one time and are again elevated, while we are poised on bankruptcy, with the begging bowl in hand and thugs and thieves as legislators. We in Sri Lanka are mediocre if not degraded against the greatness shown by the Brits in many spheres. This is no Anglophile speaking but a dame who was born when the Brits were leaving us to govern ourselves and grew up with our statesmen doing a jolly good job of it; Sinhalese, Tamil, Burgher, and a few Muslims taking the lead graciously and effectively with complete honesty, to serve the people. They maintained and improved our country so it was admired by others and even some desiring to imitate Ceylon as Singapore’s Lee Kwan Yew admitted. And where are we now? Except the Rajapaksa family from Medamulana, wearing rose tinted glasses or with eyes shut by arrogance, and their followers and throngs of sycophants, others see our country and our people for what it, and the people, really are. No need to elaborate.

 

The funeral of Prince Philip juxtaposed against customs here

The low-key funeral observing all Covid-19 restrictions was noteworthy for being utterly devoid of bombast and vainglory. It was dignified and moving. Cass wonders how many of her readers watched the funeral on Saturday 17, late evening here. Prince Philip had detailed all arrangements from the Navy being prominent and other Forces joining in plus the substitution of the gun carriage with a jeep he had helped design. The horse carriage he was adept at racing was stationed close by the entrance to the chapel. He has bequeathed it to the daughter of his youngest son and Sophie; the Wessexes having been very close to him and the Queen.

The entire proceedings proved first and foremost that the royal family observed strict pandemic restrictions like mask wearing and physical distancing. There was no one rule for them and another rule for us, thus proving beyond doubt that England (usually), and more so the Royal Family (definitely) are a country and an institution despising double standards. The monarch decreed and abided by the same regulations that have restricted everyone else in the UK, sharing their fate. An anecdote is relevant here. The Queen learned that lesson long ago. She was 14 when her mother said, after Buckingham Palace was bombed in September 1940, that she “could look the East End in the face now.”

Do all our people follow rules common to everyone? Oh! My heavens NO! There are differentiations according to layers in society. Shangri La would host a party for a hundred when only 30 are allowed to gather. During the height of the first wave when restrictions were strict, SLPP electioneering saw hordes thrust together and baby carrying, patting heads and hand clasping mostly by Mahinda Rajapaksha sans a mask. He has a charismatic bond with the masses but that needed to be curbed. Sajith Premadasa’s meetings were strict on physical distancing and mask wearing.

Only 30 were invited to the extremely solemn and yes, beautiful funeral service at Windsor Chapel. This meant eliminating even close relatives of the Family; but it was done. The Queen sat distanced from her daughter and sons and their spouses. Her now diminutive figure seated alone emphasized the loneliness she must be feeling after a close and successful marriage of 73 years.

This brings to mind our First Ladies. Cass steps out bravely to say that Elina Jayewardene was a gracious lady of restraint and dignity, the only perfect consort so far. Cass remembers Hema Premadasa beating her breast (true) and crying over the coffin of her late husband’s remains – in the true sense of the word – at the Prez’s funeral at Independence Square. There is dignity in restraint of even tears over a death in public. Among the women Heads of the country, the mother completely beat the daughter in dignity and ability.

We Sri Lankan women are now much more restrained in our mourning at funerals. Time was when widows even hoarsely wailed their sorrow, coiled and roiled with grief, and begged the dear departed “To look once more; say one word.” Cass in all the expressed grief of such funerals suppressed her laughter with difficulty. How would it be if the corpse obliged?

The choir at the funeral of Prince Philip was just four – one woman and three men. But their singing resounded in the high vaulted, completely majestic, centuries old church. The lone kilted piper within the Chapel evoked much. The service itself was short, just a Reading, prayers and listing of the multitude of honours bestowed on the Duke of Edinburgh, whose medals and decorations were on display beside the alter. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and the Dean of Windsor, David Conner conducted the service.

To conclude, the Duke of Edinburgh had advised and laid stipulations on a simple funeral with the necessary pomp and pageantry but low key and very unostentatious. The actual funeral was even more low-key with mourners requested not to be on the streets or place flowers. The latter they did in all the residencies of the Royal Family in appreciation of a man who faithfully stood by the Queen and in his own way gave service to the nation.

Coming back to Free Sri Lanka, we seem to stress on that first word Cass inserted to the country name, even in these dire times of no crowds. And the worst is milling crowds are apparently encouraged to boost popularity of certain VVIPs by sycophants and by the preference/orders of the VVIP himself.

Consider the funeral of Minister Thondaman: crowds in Colombo and all VIPs wishing to register their presence before the body, and then the commotion at the actual cremation Up Country. Consider this year’s Sinhala New Year celebrations which were very dignified at the President’s residence but were inclusive of all traditions and a large gathering in the PM’s home, even raban playing by the Second Lady, and milling crowds outside.

 

Roller coaster ride of the country continues

Cass is relieved she had a topic to write on; namely that we should emulate the manner in which the much admired Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral was conducted, abiding by his stricture of it being low key and the country’s Covid restrictions. Our leaders especially must accept the saying I quoted at the beginning.

The country continues its roller coaster bumpy ride with some crying out the country is being sold to the Chinese, we will be a colony of theirs after they occupy the Port City; and others in remote areas sitting down for days on end, some near 100 days, drawing attention to the human elephant conflict. Much is touted about the Bill relating to the rules to govern the Port City.

Cassandra listens to all, and is somewhat warned and frightened, but cannot comment. However, one matter she speaks about loud and clear. The people must be told the status quo of the pandemic – daily numbers catching the infection and numbers dying. This is not for interest sake or ghoulish appetites; but to know how things are so we relax a wee bit or shut in more stringently. The Covid-19 Task Force, or the Health High Ups (not Pavithra please) should tell the country of the true situ of the pandemic as it holds the country in its grip. We want to know whether the grip is tightening or weakening. Please give us daily statistics. This newspaper announces total numbers. No help. Are we expected to jot down figures, subtract, and give ourselves daily infection and death statistics? No! It goes to prove that other matters – political slanted, ego boosting and economics – are more important than warning, containing the pandemic, and saving lives.

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Do you pump Octane 95 Petrol to your car to get better performance?

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If your answer is YES, this article is for you

Dr. Saliya Jayasekara.

Senior Lecturer Department of Mechanical Engineering
University of Moratuwa

Many passenger vehicles, including three-wheelers and motorcycles are fueled by octane 95 gasoline when octane 92 gasoline (petrol) is available at a lower price. 

Otto engine (petrol engine) is an internal combustion spark ignition engine invented by a German engineer Nicolaus Otto in 1876 and used in most of the light weight vehicles including cars, three wheelers and motor bicycles. Otto engines can burn most of the hydrocarbon fuels (including hydrogen and ethanol) that can mix with air by evaporation (low boiling point). But the combustion characteristics of different hydrocarbons are not the same when burned inside an engine. If an Otto engine is designed for a particular fuel, it would not perform similarly with a fuel that has a different chemical composition.

In a well-tuned Otto engine run on gasoline for which the engine is designed, the combustion of the gasoline (petrol) / air mixture will continue smoothly from the spark plug to the piston head by igniting successive layers of the mixture as shown in Figure 1 (a).

If low grade gasolines are used, the combustion of some of the air/ fuel mixture in the cylinder does not result from propagation of the flame front initiated by the spark plug, but one or more pockets of air/fuel mixture explode (Detonate) outside the envelope of the normal combustion front as shown in Figure 1 (b). This detonation can cause severe damage to the piston and the head of the engine while deteriorating thermal performance of the engine (low efficiency)

Gasoline is a petroleum-derived product comprising a mixture of different hydrocarbons ranging from 4 to 12 carbon atoms in a carbon chain with the boiling point ranging of 30–225°C. It is predominantly a mixture of paraffins, naphthenes, aromatics and olefins. Additives and blending agents are added to improve the performance and stability of gasoline. The engine designers learned that straight-chain paraffin have a much higher tendency to detonate than do branched-chain paraffin.

The tendency of a particular gasoline to detonate is expressed by its octane number (ON). Arbitrarily, tri-methyl-pentane, C8H18 (iso-octane) is assigned an ON of 100, while the straight-chain paraffin n-heptane, C7H16 is given an ON of zero. Hence, a fuel sample with the same anti-detonation quality as that of a mixture containing 90% iso-octane and 10% n-heptane is said to have an ON of 90. Gasoline is made up of a mixture of mostly branched-chain paraffin with suitable additives to give an ON in the range 90 –100. It was also learned through experiments that the ON of a gasoline blends (e.g. gasoline and ethanol) can be calculated by using weighted average ON of each compound. Most importantly, the octane number has nothing to do with the heating value (Calorific value) or the purity of the fuel.

Engine thermodynamics show that engines with a high compression ratio offer higher thermal performance than engines with a low compression ratio. These engines having high compression ratio require high octane gasoline (for example octane 95) to avoid detonation. However, using gasoline having higher octane ratings for the engines designed for a low octane rating (for example, 92 octane) would not provide an additional benefit or loss, other than increased fuel cost.

Therefore, it is important to know the designed octane number of the engine before fueling (refer owner’s manual of the vehicle). For example: the minimum ON requirement for two and three wheelers in south Asia is 87 (The World Bank). Most of the Toyota, Honda and Nissan models including hybrid engines recommend 92 octane gasoline.

Dr. Saliya Jayasekara received the B. Sc. degree in mechanical engineering from university of Moratuwa in 2001, and the M.Sc. and PhD degrees in decentralized power generation systems from Royal institute of technology Sweden and the Melbourne University Australia in 2004 and 2013 respectively. He has well over 13 years of national and international experience in design and installation of centralised/decentralised power plants, boilers (utility/package) and heat exchangers. Currently he is serving as a senior lecture at University of Moratuwa, a visiting lecturer and fellow at Deakin University Australia.

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