Ranil against recognising Afghanistan under Taliban rule
By LATHEEF FAROOK
This is in response to UNP leader and former Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe cautioning the government against recognising the new Taliban government in Afghanistan.
This was disappointing, especially in the context of the absence of such statements from Mr. Wickrmesinghe who, as prime minister, refused to condemn the US invasion of Iraq, a friendly country to Sri Lanka, with regard to US-European and Israeli global terrorism, and war crimes on Muslim countries which make Taliban look like an angel.
The Taliban are sons of the soil. They are fiercely proud of their heritage and cherish their freedom in a system blending tribal traditions and Islam. They led a peaceful life until Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev dispatched troops in December 1979, and installed a puppet government, destroying the delicate and unique Afghan political system, its infrastructure, economy and causing untold misery to its poverty-stricken people.
Millions ended up in refugee camps in neighbouring Pakistan and Iran
Taliban never invaded a country, destroyed their infrastructure, massacred innocent people and drove others to refugee camps to live in appalling condition, some, for more than two decades; in the way America and its European, Israeli, Saudi and UAE partners had done in nine Muslim countries.
According to United Nations reports, the US led invasions have caused around 40 million refugees who suffer in refugee camps. Besides, America looted these countries’ wealth. For example, America robbed more than 60 billion US dollars worth of gold from Libya. What about the looting in Iraq, Syria and other countries?
They also toppled President Mohamed Morsy’s democratically elected government in Egypt, and rolled a red carpet to receive the tyrant, Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, who destroyed democracy, which the US and Europe claim to champion.
Taliban never ousted people from their lands and homes and subjected them to frequent attacks and senseless killings in the same way US -European supported Zionist Jews did to create Israel in Palestine, by means of lies, deception, threats, blackmail and massacres.
It is common knowledge that the United Nations resolution partitioning Palestine was passed with bribery and blackmail.
Jewish terrorist Menachem Begin massacred 254 Palestinians in Dear Yasmin on 9 April 1948 to grab their lands. This very same Begin, was accepted as the Prime Minister of Israel and even awarded the coveted Nobel Prize. Since then, Israeli killings of Palestinians have become a daily occurrence, and the latest was last Monday’s bombing of Gaza.
No condemnation of such terrorism. Instead, dismissing the sentiments of the Muslim community in the island, Sri Lanka has allowed Israel to enter the country with its agenda. Even the recent Israeli bombing, killings and destruction in Gaza took place with the complete connivance of America and its European partners. Did the Taliban commit such crimes?
Mr Wickremesinghe accused Al Qaeda of bombing the World Trade Centre in New York. However, up to date American governments have failed to prove this. So far the US government also refused to disclose the findings of the commission which probed into WTO bombings, as they do not want the world to know the truth. Speculations were that it was an inside job involving FBI and Israel’s secret service Mossad, to invade Afghanistan
However, former President George Bush falsely accused Al Qaeda of committing this crime, the Taliban government of protecting Al Qaeda and its leader Osama Bi Laden, blackmailed the world and invaded Afghanistan. George Bush let loose his destructive military juggernaut on the poorest of the poor Afghans, killing thousands of civilians with carpet-bombing, missile attacks and cluster bombs.
He also launched a global campaign, replacing communism with Islam, and associating Islam with violence, to justify their subsequent wars on Muslims countries.
Did Mr Wickremasinghe condemn these crimes?
The Taliban would have been the darling of Washington had they agreed to be a party to the proposals of the US oil cartels to exploit the resources of Central Asia.
Unfortunately, Sri Lanka is also a victim of this destructive campaign, as global Islamophobia entered the island, where politicians used this slogan for political gains not realising the damage caused to communal harmony.
The US rushed to sign agreements with Central Asian countries for oil exploration to keep both China and Japan out of the scene, and brought back to power warlords, gangsters, hooligans and murderers who terrorised, looted and killed innocent people.
Opium production began to flourish and drug cartels again became active. Around 75 percent of the world’s opium comes from Afghanistan, with opium poppy being cultivated in 28 out of 32 provinces and, according to UN sources, Afghan opium farmers and traffickers brought home about US$2.3 billion as of early this year.
Taliban never exported terrorism in the same way America and its European partners and Israel promoted. Many may not be aware that six months before Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, then American President Jimmy Carter approved US dollar 500 million to create extremist Islamic groups, to demonise them to justify American invasion of Muslim countries.
Earlier even Taliban’s harshest detractors conceded that the Taliban did “succeed in certain things” such as reducing corruption as they kept “a semblance” of law and order, although it was a harsh and twisted Islamic version of law and order. After the Taliban began enforcing a ban on the cultivation of opium poppy in September 2000, the total production of opium in Afghanistan dropped by 94 percent, thereby reducing the global annual supply by nearly 75 per cent.
Meanwhile, in an article titled “US humiliation in Afghanistan could be a turning point in world history” columnist Peter Oborne had this to state: Afghanistan has endured more than 40 years of conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979. Most people yearn for a quiet life, and Afghans have more reason to be tired of war than most. Taliban that seized power in Kabul in the mid-1990s, and committed terrible atrocities. By contrast, many Taliban leaders today are more sophisticated, some with university degrees, and far less sectarian.
This helps explain why their consistent message since winning power a week ago has been to reach out to all sides. On the other hand, reports now emerge that Taliban’s swift takeover of the country was in close coordination with America which still maintains close contact with the Taliban.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said the UK will work with the Taliban to “find a solution for Afghanistan”. “What I want to assure people is that our political and diplomatic efforts to find a solution for Afghanistan, working with the Taliban, of course if necessary, will go on,” Johnson told reporters on Friday.
“If there is a knock on our door, we will open it for dialogue,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul. He criticised the Western world and Islamic states for their lack of interest and care for Afghanistan over the past two decades.
Russia and China maintain close relations with the Taliban who have promised to include women in their administration, and provided amnesty to all Afghans who served American sponsored governments. Last Saturday all government employees, including women, started resuming their work.
Under such circumstances it is difficult to understand the wisdom behind the call to ostracise Taliban by Mr Wickremesinghe, whose pro American, pro-European and pro-Israel policy is common knowledge.
Third DNA test on Sarah: SJB questions veracity of police claim, asks Prez to dig deep
Easter Sunday carnage
By Shamindra Ferdinando
The main Opposition Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) yesterday (30) questioned the veracity of a police headquarters declaration that one of the Easter Sunday bombers Achchi Muhammadu Mohamed Hasthun’s wife Pulasthini Mahendran alias Sarah Jasmin had been killed on the night of April 26, 2019 at Sainthamaruthu.
The media was told at the Opposition Leader’s Office at No 30 Sir Marcus Fernando Mawatha that the SJB was quite disturbed and surprised by the police headquarters statement issued on the basis of the Government Analyst’s findings.
Top SJB Spokesperson Mujibur Rahuman said that the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government owed an explanation as to how a third DNA test proved Sarah Jasmin’s death when the two previous DNA tests failed. The former MP said that the two previous tests had been conducted during the tenures of President Maithripala Sirisena and President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
Sarah Jasmin’s husband Hasthun is believed to be one of the bomb makers of the now proscribed National Thowheed Jamaath (NTJ) blamed for the series of near simultaneous blasts. Explosions caused by suicide bombers claimed the lives of about 270 persons including dozens of foreigners.
Rahuman told The Island that he would like to remind President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who is also the Defence Minister that Easter Sunday carnage was meant to undermine the yahapalana government in which Wickremesinghe served as the Prime Minister. “We expect the President to look into this matter. The possibility of a conspiracy cannot be ruled out,” the former lawmaker said.
Authoritative sources said that the likes of ex-MP Rahuman was seeking political advantage from the Easter Sunday fallout. The Colombo District politician repeatedly questioned the investigation for reasons best known to him, sources said, alleging interested parties were working overtime to substantiate conspiracy theories.
Rahuman challenged the government to reveal the status of the investigation into the arrest of a police officer under the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) for helping Sarah Jasmin to flee Sri Lanka. The former UNPer said that the police officer’s role in Sarah Jasmin’s escape transpired in the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (P CoI) into the Easter Sunday carnage.
The Batticaloa High Court granted bail to Chief Inspector Nagoor Thambi Aboobucker who had been arrested on July 13, 2020, a few weeks before the last general election, after he filed a fundamental rights application. The law enforcement officer had been held in custody for a period of 32 months.
Rahuman noted that Abdul Cader Fathima Saadiah, the wife of 2019 Easter Sunday attacks mastermind Zahran Hashim, too, had been granted bail. She had been held under the PTA for almost four years.The SJB official emphasized that regardless of repeated assurances given by successive governments, the Easter Sunday massacre remained a mystery. Rahuman said that SJB MPs Harin Fernando and Manusha Nanayakkara, who had been severely critical of the Easter Sunday investigations and repeatedly alleging a conspiracy, switched allegiance to the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government in last May. However, the SJB wouldn’t allow the incumbent government to suppress the truth, he said.
The former lawmaker asked whether the new partners had reached a consensus on the matter, therefore interested parties were busy covering up tracks.Rahuman said that those at the helm should be ashamed that the P CoI recommendations were never implemented. Demanding punishment to those who neglected their responsibilities, Rahuman said the current dispensation should know the conspirators, too, should be dealt with.
CBK: Proposed anti-corruption bill inadequate to end widespread problem
“75 percent in parliament are crooks.”
There is nothing in the proposed anti-corruption bill to prevent people from engaging in corrupt activities, former President Chandrika Bandaranaike said yesterday in Colombo.She said that she had accessed the draft of the bill, formulated at the behest of the IMF.
“The bill focuses on what to do when someone is identified as a crook. But there is nothing to prevent people from engaging in such acts.”
Corruption had become a key feature in Sri Lanka since 1977 despite some efforts by political leaders. However, there were strong anti-corruption sentiments in the country and they had to be harnessed, she said.
“75 percent in parliament are crooks,” she said.
The former President was also critical of the proposed new anti-terror laws. She said they were very dangerous laws and anyone could be detained for having dissenting views.
“These are scary laws. Everyone must unite to fight such laws,” she said.
SJB MP throws party union under the bus
By Akitha Perera
Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP S.M. Marikkar on Thursday said that he supported the government’s decision to liberalise the petroleum sector and that the state should not be involved in business. Marikkar added that most Ceylon Petroleum Corporation (CPC) workers were idling and that they got paid for not doing any work.
“If you ask me, I say that we must liberalise the CPC. We must open the market. We can’t have this island mentality and it is our parochial thinking that got us into this mess. We can’t live in isolation. The world is open and an increase in competition leads to better outcomes for the consumer.
We believe that the state should not be involved in business. The Lanka IOC is in Sri Lanka. When three other companies come in, there will be greater competition. Most CPC employees are idling. They draw fat salaries at the end of the month for doing nothing,” he said.Marikkar said that while the average CPC employee wasted public funds, those who headed it were involved in corruption. Both waste and corruption had to be stopped, he said.
“I am not sucking up to the President. We have principles and we stand by them,” he said.
However, the SJB’s trade union arm led by Ananda Palitha is playing leading role in CPC trade union struggle against the Cabinet decision to award licenses to more foreign companies that intend to enter the fuel retail market in the country.
In a Twitter message, Minister of Power and Energy Kanchana Wijesekera said China’s Sinopec, United Petroleum of Australia and RM Parks of USA in a collaboration with Shell Plc would enter the fuel retail market in Sri Lanka.
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