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Tamil Politics: Progeny of political assassins and war crime vendors

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UNHRC, HRW, AI, Eminent Persons, Core Groups and other western agencies are working overtime to tarnish the image of the present government. Sri Lanka has become the whipping boy for these people. As usual, they have produced one-sided reports condemning the government of SL. The report titled, ‘Promotion, reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka’ has nothing in terms of promoting any of the above. Instead, these interested parties are not promoting reconciliation, but trying to destabilize SL by criticizing only one side, ferociously and unfairly.

We have to bear in mind that leaders like Wigneswaran, Sumanthiran, Gajendrakumar and Chanakiyan who talk of genocide, have been living among the Sinhalese for decades. The reality is that compared to prior 1983, there are more Tamils living in Colombo, and surrounding areas, now. All these Tamil political leaders, who shout anti-Sinhala slogans, do not have shame in having Sinhalese armed forces for their personal security. Leaders like Chanakiyan MP, who are now in the forefront of the P2P, have the dubious distinction of supporting and contesting for MR on behalf of the UPFA, after the end of the war in 2009. If there was genocide after the war, why did he support MR? After all, why did the Tamils support Sarath Fonseka en bloc in the presidential election soon after the war ended?

These fake Tamil nationalists used to say that structural genocide against the Tamils has taken place since 1948. Their servility to the West would not allow them to utter a single word against foreign domination of SL for 450 years. For them, history starts only in 1948. So much for their commitment to the cause of the Tamil nation!

Was Tamil an official language during the colonial period? How were the upcountry Tamils treated during the British Raj? During the European rule, weren’t there conversions of people to Christianity? Wasn’t there archeological destruction? Weren’t temples demolished? Shame on them!

It has to be noted that the Federal Party and All Ceylon Tamil Congress leaders were inside the government at some point of time over these years. M.Thiruchelvam, Neelan’s father and GG Ponnampalam senior, the grand-father of Gajendrakumar, were Ministers in the ‘genocidal’ governments. Someone has to remind another strident campaigner, EPRLF leader Suresh Premachandran that he enjoyed a higher position, for a long time, in the Rajapaksa ministry in the 90s. Leaders, like Sumanthiran PC, relished in saying they were responsible for bringing the Yahapalana government. He did not have any compunction in receiving an honorary PC from a genocidal government. If there was any structural genocide against the Tamils, these Tamil leaders are also guilty of that. Are they saying that they are also responsible for the ‘genocide’ by being part of the governments?

Human Rights ‘champions’ have conveniently chosen only the crimes during the final days? Who has given these champions the right to determine the period for investigation? They have abrogated themselves that right. Why only ‘final days’? By choosing the ‘final days’, are they trying to target the Rajapaksas and protect their western friends involved in the crimes?

It has been reported that Tiger women suicide bombers were trained by Adele Balasingham, who lives in Britain. Undoubtedly, Tigers have carried out the largest number of assassinations, including that of Rajiv Gandhi and Premadasa. If you are serious about war crimes, why not start with Adele?

The Tamil leaders repeatedly say that only with the help of 27 countries, including India and the US, was SL able to defeat the Tigers. If there were war crimes by the SL government, are those countries involved, not complicit in the crimes? Why don’t they talk about these countries? The western countries have to self-introspect before pontificating to SL. To show that they are fair, they simply mention that both sides committed crimes. Having said that, they forget about the Tiger atrocities and start to attack Sri Lanka. Human Rights, Rule of Law and Democracy are some of the arsenals in their hands to attack the government.

When they have a west-friendly government, they go soft. When the previous government denied the people the sacred right of voting by postponing the Provincial Council elections, the HR champions kept mum and didn’t open their mouth, even for tooth extractions.

We have to look at the activities of NGOs and Civil Societies carefully. When a friendly government comes to power, they all get accommodated in the so-called ‘independent’ commissions. Perhaps, they didn’t have time to look at these denial of fundamental rights.

We should be cautious about the intention of these vested interests, and should not allow them to fish in troubled waters. We should not forget that they played havoc with the lives of millions of people living in many countries, like Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, etc. They went there under the pretext of Human Rights and committed crimes many times more. The sad thing is that those countries have been suffering forever, and are unable to come out of the consequences of these interferences. We don’t want that to happen to poor SL. We have already suffered enough.

Let all of us unite for resolving our issues in the best interests of Sri Lanka! Now, there is talk of alien political parties coming and directly taking over the country. At least now, we have to realize our mistakes and correct them before it is too late.

ANTON M PILLAI



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Opinion

Alan Henricus- A Stalwart Sportsman Of Yesteryear Passes Away

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Alan Henricus (10-Feb 1933 – 26 Nov 2022)

by Hugh Karunanayake

Alan Henricus the youngest of five outstanding sporting brothers who represented their school Royal College, and their country then known as Ceylon, passed away a few days ago. He would have been 90 years of age if he survived up to his birthday in February next year.

The Henricus brothers grew up in Kohuwela where their father a former Feather Weight Boxing Champion of Ceylon lived. He served as an administrator of the sport first as Hony Secretary of the Amateur Boxing Association of Ceylon and later as its President. He helped build the Baptist Church in Nugegoda and was its Treasurer for 25 years. The road leading to their property was named Henricus Mawatha in honour of this outstanding family.

Alan represented Royal in Boxing, Athletics and Rugby, and won school colours in all three sports. He was also a school prefect, highly respected and regarded by both his schoolmates and staff. The family consisting of five brothers and two sisters were all nurtured in the best sporting traditions of colonial Ceylon. Eldest brother Barney represented Ceylon in boxing at the Empire Games and won a gold medal winning the feather weight title. The next, Basil, held the national record for 100 yards sprint and I believe his record still stands. He also represented the Havelocks Sports Club and All Ceylon at Rugby. The next brother George, for many years the Master Attendant in the Colombo Port was also a champion boxer, as was Derrick the fourth in line.

Remarkable sportsmen such as Alan reached their great heights from a base of raw innate talent fostered by regular training and a disciplined approach to life. When I was a 10-year old schoolboy I used to watch with awe and admiration Alan doing his training run at 6 a.m in the morning, jogging all the way from his home in Kohuwela to the Havelock Park and back on most weekends. Alan was senior to me in school by about three years and in those days that was an age gap filled with respect and admiration for a senior student. To us younger kids the high achieving Alan was a hero.

I recall in one Public Schools Athletics meet for the Tarbat Cup, either in 1950 or 1951,Royal College was able to obtain a total of 15 points only, and were never serious contenders for the trophy. However the 15 points that Royal earned was almost single handedly collected through Alan’s efforts. He won the pole vault event, was first in the 120 metres hurdles, and was a member of the 4 X 400 metre relay team which won the event. Although the Tarbat Cup was won by another school, the assembled gathering of Royalists carried Alan shoulder high around the grounds!

From school he was selected for training as a Naval officer cadet in Dartmouth in Devonshire in England. Fellow Royalists the late Norman Gunawardena, and Humphrey Wijesinghe were among the cadets who were selected for Dartmouth together with Alan. On returning to Ceylon after his naval training at Dartmouth, he served the Royal Ceylon Navy and its successor Sri Lanka Navy for several years until retirement. On retirement from the Navy he served for a short period as an Executive in a Mercantile firm in Colombo, before migrating with his family to Australia.

The stint at Dartmouth would carry many precious memories for him, as that was where he met Maureen the love of his life. On migrating to Australia in the 1970s Alan joined the Royal Australian Navy which he served with distinction as Lieut Commander. On my migrating to Australia in 1984 I met Alan and Maureen at a Sunday luncheon hosted by the late Brendon Goonratne. It was the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and Alan and Maureen remained very close friends of ours.

Over the years we used to meet every three months at lunch at the Rosehill Bowling Club organized for old Royalist Seniors through the initiative of Chandra Senaratne. Other social engagements over the years have strengthened our friendship, and it is with deep distress that I heard of his terminal illness about two months ago. I rang him immediately and he was stoic as ever, the brave naval officer that he was. He said in no uncertain terms that he was not seeking to extend his life on this earth, and that he would wait in his home until the final call.

Alan’s departure marks another severance with the old Ceylon we knew, and its traditions and honorable ways. The Last Post will be played at his funeral at the Baptist Church, Epping on Friday December 2 at 3pm. He is survived by his dear wife Maureen, sons Andrew and Richard,, daughter in law Caroline, and grandson Ryan.

“The song is ended but the melody lingers on “

Farewell dear Alan.

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Opinion

Controversy Over Female Teachers’ Dress To School

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Our country and its people always get involved with unnecessary things which is of no interest to the majority of people. The latest debate in this never -a -dull -moment country (as always for the wrong reason) is the dress the female teachers are expected to wear to school. This is something that should be decided by the Ministry of Education in respect of the teachers of government schools.

I recollect when we were students the majority of female teachers wore saree to school. Then there were several teachers who wore frocks. These were the Burgher ladies. And there was no problem at all. I am not indicating this to show support that the teachers should be left to decide on their dress.

Now the strange thing about this controversy is that Buddhist monks have got involved in the debate and they are trying to determine the dress that teachers should wear. They do not seem to realize that the teachers must pay for the sarees. And they need to possess several sarees as they cannot wear the same saree over and over again. Given the monks get their robes free from the dayakayas, they should never get involved in matters of this nature, even though the female nurses may be happy to have one as the president of their union!

This controversy, if settled in favour of the teachers being given the option to decide on the dress and if they wear various types of dresses, the students too might get a bright idea to wear anything they want rather than the uniform that they have to wear at present.

It might be a good thing if the Ministry of Education could decide on a uniform for female teachers in Government schools. Some private hospitals, private firms and Sri Lankan Airlines have uniforms of their own and one could identify them easily. If there is such a uniform in saree and blouse for teachers in government schools, everybody outside too would be able to identify them as teachers and give the respect due to them.

However, this is not the time to worry about dress for teachers when there are children who do not get a proper education and suffer from malnutrition. It seems our rulers always get their priorities wrong, and this always affects the country and the people adversely. First, the teachers must do their job properly so that the schoolchildren do not have to attend tuition classes. We hear that sometimes only one teacher is available, and as a result the children keep away from attending school.

HM NISSANKA WARAKAULLE

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Dr Shafi’s daughter

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Just read on WhatsApp about the daughter of  famous Dr. Shihabdeen Mohamed Shafi. I do not like to even mention why he became famous or infamous. His daughter after several years of rejection and trauma has passed GCE (OL) examination with Eight As.

The persons who generated disaster to an innocent family used it to gain positions as President, Ministers and MPs. Teachers and student friends of Dr Shafi’s children too insulted and rejected them as dirt. Has anyone of  these people apologized to this family for their suffering?

B Perera

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