Saturday, December 12, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
with all due respect to all buddhist (among whose numbers i count myself), the above statement is developed from the statements of the jathika hela urumaya. (video link here).
if there was ever a doubt that these charlatans are nothing more than fork tongued snakes in saffron robes, appealing to the very basic tenets of our culture to gather votes. the only way these fools will attain nirvana is if Nirvana runs them over when they are crossing galle road.
shame on them, for the decpetion. shame on them for the disrepute they cause to the buddha, dhamma and sangha.
i wonder if their actions fall into the "aananthara paapa karma"?
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
For years, our beautiful homeland has been wracked with conflict, instability and an imperfect system. For years, you, along with the rest of the country have bemoaned the state of affairs and the inability to make things right. The fact that no one with the ability and the will has stepped up to right the wrongs. Not forgetting that the people who did, were lost to us to the fires of enmity or the horrors of terrorism.
Of wrongs, there are many. Injustice, impunity and a culture of “thugs rule”. Where for decades, thugs and drug dealers have been protected and to some extent promoted. Protected from the law, protected from the wrath of the people. Promoted to sell their drugs and poison to our children. Knowing all of this, we are yet powerless to stem the tide. We read about these people. We see these people. Llike us, so do the authorities. Yet, nothing is done to any of them. Due process has become a joke. When being part of a police force means that honest policemen have to look away from the actions of these jackals, they too become jaded. Why try, when the only reward is demotion, transfer or dishonorable discharge?
To improve this situation, one must lead from example. Exemplary conduct and discipline inspires the same of subordinates. A clean and efficient civil service can only exist with dedicated individuals with a commitment to excellence. Where in the world can one find inspiration for such lofty goals in this current climate?
A government exists and functions FOR the people. The people do not exist to support the government. Therefore, the people get the government that they choose. Choose a dictator, and so you shall have it (pray that he or she would hold elections again to provide another choice later). Choose a progressive leader and you shall have far-sighted policies and economic prosperity.
Populism, promises and subsidies have become the bread that the public thrives on. Where does the money for subsidies come from? They are the fruit of the labors of the people. What is the point of a government subsidy of 10% on food and fuel when everyone pays 20% VAT?
Too rare, in the history of nations, are people given the opportunity to effect the change they want to see. Even fewer have been the occasions in which such change has been ushered in by people making the correct choice.
My fellow Sri Lankans, such an opportunity will be at hand on the 26th of January. For on that day, we are all free to choose a candidate to be our president. We have seen where the current economic policies and ambivalence to violence has led us. Do we need six more years of favoritism, cronyism, economic disasters, dead journalists and bloggers behind bars?
This is our time. This is our opportunity to rise up and make change happen. The power is with us, as the people to vote in for what we need. Ghandi said, “Be the change you want to see”. I say vote for the change that you want to see. Make the change you want, happen. The power to do so is literally in your hands
The age of conflict for Sri Lanka has passed. Make the choice to usher in the peace and prosperity our nation and our people deserve. The time for voting based on parental or historical leanings is past. Now is the time. This is our time. Make it work.
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
the non-monetary offered to SB Dissanayake is the post of Prime Minister at the conclusion of the General Election.
like all promises/offers made by the current administration, this is expected to be full of the same ingredient required of hot air balloons
the asking price is now Rs. 400 million plus. (Christmas Sale price - VAT exempt)
the price increase is due to the the payment of Rs. 400 million being paid to him to effect a melodramatic crossover
Friday, September 18, 2009
that being said, let's examine the reasons for the media is loved, hated and spit upon... all at the same time; no small feat.
lets take the Indian media in their recently increased aggressive rhetoric against China. talking about the chinese media is worthless as it is decidedly not independent (interesting to note; it was a measured response by the chinese polity in response to the indians). the indians it seems are harping on about how much better india is etc etc and trying to whip up public fervor against the chinese. to what end all analysts are at a loss to explain. they are trade partners, the leaders have expressed nothing of the sort, in fact the leaders have responded to their own media basically telling them to shut up and sit down.
take the american recession. i gurantee you that if the media had been more reserved or circumspect in how they reported the news, the recession would not have been as bad. it might have even recovered sooner. not to mention financial reporter/jackasses like jim cramer who promoted bear stearns until the day before they went bust.
even now, in the US, the media (liberal and conservative) shamelessly sensationalize small items that arenot even worthy of respect and giving movements like the birthers and czarists legs.
while i do am not advocating censorship, i am exhorting responsibility in reporting news. use your mmind to report and if you are unsure, hold back to make sure. THAT's the job Channel 4.
If you are operating in a tough place like Zimbabwe or Iraq, guess what. the usual rules don't apply. they will catch you and toss you in what they call jail and you might call hellhole. that too is the job. my respect goes out to the likes of people like Daniel Perl and Lasantha Wickremetunge who died doing their job. no one can fault Lasantha of the monumental mistakes made by the likes of J. S. Tissainayagam or the so called Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka. that why he was killed; the truth was his weapon and there is never a defense against the truth. thats why J. S Tissainayagam is in jail - he was not reporting the truth. if he did, he would be dead.
i think i lost my train of thought somewhere along there. but the fact of the matter is, the media is shaping public policy and therefore foreign, defense and domestic policy of the government. they report what they do in such a way that an opinion is already presented to the reader with no attempt at impartiality. they play with lives and countries and they always hide behind the badge of 'Journalist'.
a british special forces soldier died in a mission to rescue a kidnapped new york times reporter and his interpreter in Afghanistan. the interpreter was killed during the mission as well. Journalists all over the world has called for an investigation into the conduct of the unit. i don't hear a call by the journalists for a discussion on the topic with the taleban. (dogs only bark and growl at those who pay attention)
the soldiers were doing their job and saved one journalists. now the journalists want blood for the one that could not be saved. you be the judge of that particular motion by 'journalists'.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
- receiving and remitting money to and from terrorists (the account in question was the account number for the magazine (North Eastern Monthly published by Rennaissance Publications Ltd.) that was printed with the magazine for readers/subscribers to remit money in advance)
- mintaining communications with terrorists(identified as one K. Gnanakuma in Killinochchi)
- writing and publishing articles critical of the government and security forces designed to incite communal violence. to this end, the following passages were highlighted;
“Providing security to Tamils now will define northeastern politics of the future”
“It is fairly obvious that the government is not going to offer them any protection. In fact it is the state security forces that are the main perpetrators of the killings”
“with no military options the government buys him by offering watered down devolution”
“Such offensives against the civilians are accompanied by attempts to starve the population by refusing them food as well as medicines and fuel with the hope of driving out the people of Vaharai and de-populating it. As this story is been written Vaharai is been subject to intense shelling and aerial bombardment,”
while any writing when taken out of context can be twisted to sound sinister, the exact wording of these phrases with the references to specific locations and actions remove the generalities that allows nuanced inference.
as a voracious follower of the war effort, devouring any and all news items and tid-bits in addition to first hand information from the front lines, i never came across any 'press releases' that indicated "intense shelling and bombardment" during the Vaharai phase (but i do expect it may have happened). i do remember the LTTE launching a barrage of pre-sighted artillery on the lines our boys captured and seeing the pictures displayed on tamilnet.
that being said, all sides in a conflict engage in propoganda. i do not buy the canned releases from the government nor do i pay any attention to tamilnet. however, the law was made clear that any war reporting outside of the parameters set by the Medica Center for National Security will be dealt with. Iqbal Athas of the Sunday Times and Amantha Perera of the Sunday Leader stopped their defence correspondence (one assumes due to the futility of repeating the MCNS line).
i am not well versed in law, that's why we have judges and lawyers. they came to a conclusion that Mr. Tissainayagam is guilty. it is not for me to decide whether he merits a presidential pardon or not as quite honestly, the president can do as he damn well pleases.
i would like to ask that once found guilty, why should a journalist (or any other member of society) be treated differently based on ones profession? (that it happens due to political connections etc. is not the topic here).
draconian they may be, but the prevention of terrorism act was put together, voted on and continued by the people that everyone voted in. to change the laws, change the idiots you send to parliament. only you can do that.
in another context, what Mr. Tissainayagam did would be considered treason for which the standard sentence (recognized by the Geneva conventions) is summary execution. he is receiving treatment that has been denied for every journalist that has died. the latest and greatest of which is Lasantha Wickrematunge. i have no love for his politics, but i do admire his passion and courage and mourn his passing. who made noise for him? who makes noise for him?
Friday, September 4, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I for one, am not too unhappy about the recipients of the street justice (or underworld rules) that the Police are doling out these days. Due to the culture of impunity, the delays in the courts and the corruption in the prison’s one can easily tell themselves that these are ‘justifiable encounters’, ordered or not.
I do however take issue with the fact that it is a slippery slope the powers that be are on (or forever has been). A few months ago, it was LTTE Cadres. Now it is the Underworld figures. Tomorrow might be druggies. Day after tomorrow, it could quite well be political dissidents.
The power and effectiveness of these ‘encounters’ will be an irresistible seduction to the powers that be. But at what cost does this take place? Policemen and Citizens who expect to deal swift (irreversible) justice on top of which, 25 years of indifference to all manner of mindless violence, will never raise a voice against it.
The Sri Lankan armed forces was once classified as the most obedient armed forces in South Asia. In India, the forces have a lot of political clout given the situation with Pakistan. Pakistan itself has a history where the country’s leadership and military leadership has been one and the same. Given all this, it is a small wonder that no single member of our armed forces has executed a coup d’etat or successfully navigated the murky waters of democratic political leadership (except Ranjan Wijeratne, may he rest in peace).
In the current climate of fear, uncertainty, corruption and familial loyalties building monarchical dynasties, thumbing of the nose to good practices and law, the complete and utter lack of respect to fellow human beings and their fundamental rights. The time has come for a new kind of leader. A visionary. A man with a mission.
A leader with a vision, accomplishments to their name, the love and admiration of the people regardless of present treatment and position. Someone who has demonstrated the ability to do a job no one else has been able to do. Who commands respect and does the necessary thing in the face of rabid opposition. A person who is capable of bringing the best out of people and exhorting them to higher endeavors through sheer courage and bravery.
Do you know anyone who fits that bill? I think I do.
Monday, August 3, 2009
Porn has been around since man learned how to draw. To quote a British show, “Coupling”; “when man invented fire, he didn’t say ‘oooh look, we can cook food’. He Said ‘Ooooh look, we can now look at naked bottoms in the dark’”.
One thing I have learned over these many years with access to the internet (about 15 years) is that for the ardent surfer, porn is available if they know where to look. Now, lest I be judged on giving a discourse on Porn (pleasant though it may be), the bottom line is, it has always been there and will continue to be there for as long as horny people inhabit the earth.
The effort to censor this particular vice/media can be categorized into a few categories.
1.) Infringement on freedom of speech/expression.
A person (in a democracy) is/should be free to say what they want and share their thoughts without fear of persecution from the state. EVEN in the case where the subject matter is porn (in all its forms – including “classy” art). If it is defence news yesterday, porn today what will it be tomorrow? Resonance to the movie “1984” anyone?
2.) A good idea badly implemented
All children are precious. All children grow up. That is a fact of life. Having no children of my own, I still feel that when I do, I would rather he/she steps into the world fully informed of its wonder’s and perils. Sheltering children is one thing, but telling them the world outside of home and mom and dad is utopia is outright cruel. I have seen the results of such actions and they are not pretty.
However, I think strengthening parenting is key and a blanket ban on smut will only boost the black market trade in the material and cause children to be even more curious about this ‘blue films’.
3.) Pandering… to whom exactly?
Is the government trying to pander to someone? I cannot imagine who it would be. If there is one thing that links all communities, it’s sex. Gay, straight, Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Sinhala, Tamil, burgher we all have sex. Its what keeps the world going around for crying out loud. If they are trying to pander to the clergy (most of whom are (supposed to be) unaware of the pleasures of the flesh, reflect on this;
I was reading how the Police are trying to identify the characters in certain ‘movies’ or ‘clips’. A colleague of mine sent me a link which he thought was very funny. It directed me to a website which had a cellphone video clip and the caption was “Sri Lankan monk with a girl”. I thought it might be a mistake (as in it’s a bald Indian dude wearing an orange lungi) and played it. Oh the shame. It was a Sinhala monk alright and he knew what he wanted, if you know what I mean.
So, beware what you wish for ye clergy, for the skeletons in thou closets will be found.
On a final note, a rather amusing observation MUST be made. When I found out, it was startling to say the least. All South Asians in New York (the Northeast in fact) are quite aware of the fact that almost all the adult video stores (the kind with private booths), adult toy stores and a few porn production companies are owned and operated by Sri Lankan’s. Who knew?