7/21/2014

Is deporting Pakistan national refugees from Sri Lanka a diplomatically ethical move?



Sri Lanka Controller of Immigration and Emigration Chulananda Perera said that all overstaying foreign nationals including the Pakistan and Afghan nationals who had applied for refugee status would be deported.
Deporting overstaying foreigners is normal but how ethical is deporting who have sought refugee status from a third party while overstaying in Sri Lanka as a temporary measure. 

Last week, the government took steps to deport five Afghan nationals who had been overstaying in Sri Lanka, said the Controller of Immigration and Emigration. 

He further stated that there were 1450 Pakistan nationals and 40 Afghan nationals overstaying. They have applied for refugee status from the UNHCR office of Colombo and their applications are being processed.
They expect to migrate into another country after their application for political asylum is accepted. 

Sri Lanka police has already arrested some of these Pakistan and Afghan nationals. They are held in Boossa and Mirihana detention centers and interrogated to find any links with terrorism. 

Many of these Pakistan nationals belong to Ahmadiyya Muslim sect and they claim that they are under constant threat of the mainstream Sunni Muslims. Pakistan is a Sunni Muslim state that has prohibited practicing Ahmadiyya Islam. Ahmadiyya Muslims are constantly under threat of attack. 

Sri Lanka has not signed the international conventions regarding accepting refugees from other countries but it contributes to mass exodus of refugees from the home country bound developed nations. 

The refugees from Pakistan arrive here, obtain on arrival visa, apply for refugee status from UNHCR office of Colombo and overstay here for years sometime until the understaffed UNHRC office processes their applications and grant them visa to migrate to another country.  The practice of deporting them is very unethical. They can be economic migrants per se the claim of the Pakistan government. What if they are actually threatened people?

Sri Lanka government compelled to do so, I think, due to pressure from the Indian government. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said as he met the Sri Lankan President after his swearing in ceremony that the Muslim extremists who are in Sri Lanka are a threat to Indian security. 

Sri Lanka government says that Muslim extremists also arrive in Sri Lanka under the guise of threatened communities. 

7/20/2014

Logical base for Sinhalese's fear of Muslim domination

I found this blog post when searching for the Sinhala and Muslim demographic statistics.

I think this article logically presents the fears the Sinhala Buddhists have and the extremists use to spread communal hatred.

I think that the leftists and other progressive elements that struggle for ethnic harmony and peace must consider these facts in their search for a more pragmatic approach in progressive politics.

Is there a Muslim Issue in Sri Lanka? An Objective Analysis

(adapted from —discourssions blog)

There is a verbal and action packed tug of war in Sri Lanka these days between its people ideologically divided into two opposite groups on this particular question. It has already created a pandemonium, even among political parties, and it was reported Muslim Congress is considering resigning from the government coalition, for government’s inefficiency to address the issue.
However, one of the salient features of this debate is that no party or a person to the question was able to put forward facts to support their positions rather than placing their ideological positions on just opinions and claims. It has become a battle of words, not facts.
In this backdrop, I think it is prudent to submit an objective analysis, so that everybody can make use as a common base to understand the question (if there one) and to formulate solutions.  I think proper identification of the question is the first  essential stepping stone for a proper solution.
One of the allegations against the Muslim community of Sri Lanka is that they have a higher population growth rate that would be a threat to the other communities of the country. However, though this is a thing that is verifiable with ease,  no one has opted for that alternative rather than engaged in a blind quarrel.
So with the available demographic statistics of Sri Lanka, we will undertake the task.
Please go through the following link.
There the table-1 is Population of Sri Lanka by ethnic group 1871 to 2012 and the table-2 is Population of Sri Lanka by religion 1881 to 2012.
The last census of the country was held in 2012 and the previous one to it  was held in 1981. Statistics given in the tables for 1989 and 2001 are estimates and therefore do  not represent exact figures.
Following data is from the table-1

Sinhalese (no)
1981 Census
10,979,400
1,886,900
1,046,900
2012 Census
15,173,820
2,270,924
1,869,820
Above population changes were taken place during the 31 years between 2012 and 1981.
Now we will calculate the (average) population growth rates of the ethnic groups.
Sinhalese — [(15,173,820-10,979,400)/ 10,979,400/31] x100     = 1.2323%
SL Tamils — [(2,270,924-1,886,900)/1,886,900/31] x100             = 0.6565%
SL Moors — [(1,869,820-1,046,900)/1,046,900/31] x100             = 2.5357%
According to the above, population growth rate of Moor community is over two (2) times of Sinhalese and almost four (4) times of Tamils.
Therefore it is apparent that if these ethnic population growths continue, the Moor community of Sri Lanka passes the populations of SL Tamils one day and Sinhalese some time after that.
Population growths follow Exponential Progressions.
With the use of Mathematics, it can be shown that Moor population in Sri Lanka will surpass the Tamil community in ten and a half years (10.5 years) and Sinhalese community in 163.65 years. *****
Now look at the Table-2 of the above link.

1981 Census
10,288,300
2,297,800
1,121,700 (7.56%)
1,130,600 (7.62%)
2012 Census
14,222,844
2,554,606
1,967,227 (9.71%)
1,509,606 (7.45%)
At the glance of the table you will be able to see that Muslims have already surpassed Christians during the period under  consideration.
Now as we did for the communities in the above we will calculate the growth rates of religions.
Buddhist—[(14,222,844-10,288,300)/ 10,288,300/31] x100 = 1.2336%
Hindu— [(2,554,606-2,297,800)/ 2,297,800/31] x100           = 0.3605%
Muslim—[(1,967,227 -1,121,700)/ 1,121,700/31] x100         = 2.4153%
Now applying the Mathematical formula as before, we can conclude that Muslim religion will pass Hindus in 12. 89 years and Buddhists will be passed in 170.45 years.
Another salient feature that should be noted is that though the most of the Malay community in Sri Lanka are Muslims, their population is declining. Their population has declined from 47,000 to 40,189 during the period under consideration.
Now the concerned parties can use these objective data in their action for  planning a violence free peaceful country.
*******************************************************************************************************************************
Mathematics
For instance say, this year’s population of a particular community is “A” and the growth rate is d,
If present population is denoted by T0, population after one (1) year is denoted by T1, 2nd year by T2….. and so on, Then,
T0=A
T1=A+Ad=———————–          =A(1+d)
T2=A(1+d)+ A(1+d)x=A(1+d)(1+d)———–=A(1+d)to the power 2
T3=A(1+d)(1+d)+ A(1+d)(1+d)d————-=A(1+d)to the power 3
…………..
…………..
Similarly,
Tn=————————————–=A(1+d)to the power n
That is if one community overtakes the other community in “n” years, Tn for both communities must be equal.
Now suppose, present Moor, Tamil and Sinhalese populations as a, b and c respectively and their growth rates as x, y and z respectively.
Now when Moors overtake Tamil population,
a(1+x) to the power n = b(1+y) to the power n
Therefore, b/a = (1+x) to the power n/ (1+y) to the power n
That is b/a = {(1+x)/ (1+y)} to the power n
Therefore, log (b/a) = log [{(1+x)/ (1+y)} to the power n]
Therefore, log (b/a) = n log {(1+x)/ (1+y)}
Therefore, n = log (b/a)/ log {(1+x)/ (1+y)} —————-(X)
 

7/16/2014

Has the story of Manorani Saravanamuttu gone to the hands of killers and sellers?

Production of a film based on the character of the mother of assassinated famous Sri Lankan journalist Richard de Zoysa has been started recently under the patronage of President of Sri Lanka Mahinda Rajapaksa.

The film is based on the story of the untiring struggle of Richard's mother to seek justice against the perpetrators of the killing.

Richard de Soyza, a TV presenter, actor, dramatist, journalist and writer of English language,  was abducted and killed by police in 1989 during the time of President R. Premadasa. He was a sympathizer of the youth revolt in 1989 but he was not a racist.

Nilendra Deshapriya  who rose to fame with the introduction of reality programmes like Super Star in Sirasa TV directs the film while Minister Bandula Gunawardhana is the producer.

Internationally acclaimed actress Swarna Mallawaarachchi has been selected to act the role of Manorani Sarawanamuttu, the mother of Richard de Zoysa.

Richard de Zoysa is an icon of activism in progressive politics and Manorani Saravanamuttu is an icon of struggle for human rights.

Mahinda Rajapaksa is ........... ?

What about the others like Nilendra (He has been the first assistant director of some good films), Jackson Anthony and etc.

Artists or ................

7/12/2014

Post war Sri Lankan society is increasingly precipitating into a crypto military and authoritarian state - Bar Association of Sri Lanka

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka said issuing a communique that it is appalled by the recent circular issued by the National Secretariat for NGOs in relation to the activities of the NGOs.

The BASL further stated that it considered that the repercussions of the said circular might have far reaching impact on a free and democratic society.

BASL charged that the post war Sri Lankan society was increasingly precipitating into a crypto military and authoritarian state. according to its observations.

BASL wished to state that the said circular violated the fundamental principles that governed a free and democratic society guaranteed by the constitution and said that it was completely militating against the rule of law principles of the country.

“The contents as well as the implications of the said circular is against the directive principles of state policy enshrined in the Chapter VI of the constitution as well as violation of freedom of Expression and Speech, freedom of Assembly and Association, Freedom of occupation as guaranteed by the Article 14 of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

We observe that this attempt is nothing but yet another effort to silence the alternative public opinion of the society through inculcating fear psychosis among the section of the society enhancing the autocratic writ to a fearful height,” BASL said in its communiqué.

Communiqué has been issued On July 7 2014 by the National Secretariat for NGOs, under the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development, to all NGOs preventing them from "conducting press conferences, workshops, journalism training and dissemination of press releases". The authority claimed such activities were beyond the mandate of NGOs.


The full communique is as follows:



Press release by
Bar Association of Sri Lanka



Communiqué has been issued On July 7 2014, the National Secretariat for NGOs, under the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development, to all NGOs preventing them from "conducting press conferences, workshops, journalism training and dissemination of press releases". The authority claimed such activities are beyond the mandate of NGOs. The Bar Association of Sri Lanka is appalled by this communiqué and considers that the repercussions of the said circular may have far reaching impact on a free and democratic society.

We observe that the post war Sri Lankan society is increasingly precipitating into a crypto military and authoritarian state.

Sri Lanka emerges as the most militarized country in the region ranked at 36 followed by Pakistan at 47, Afghanistan, 58 and India at 74. Nepal and Bangladesh occupy the 86 and 123 positions respectively while China comes at 84. These are the findings of the Global Militarization Index (GMI) 2013 published by Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) that is based on the data for 2012.

This situation is further strengthened by the fact that since the lapse of emergency a regulation has been issued under section 12 of the Public Security Ordinance vesting Police powers on the Army, Navy and Air force covering the entire Country. We also of the opinion that the said regulation illegal, unjustified and ultravires. This gazette has been opposed by the BASL from its inception having foreseen the danger faced by the people.

According to the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI), a good governance template with regard to voice and accountability, Sri Lanka's position in 2012 is at negative 0.60, a fast deterioration from 2002 where Sri Lanka was at negative 0.15. Similarly in percentile ranking, Sri Lanka has fallen from 42 in 2002 to 30 in 2012. This indicates our level of, lost right to dissent, freedom of expression, freedom of association and media freedom.

"Men fear thought as they fear nothing else on earth more than ruin, more even than death".Bertrand Russell

We as the Principal Body representing the legal fraternity in Sri Lanka and committed to uphold rule of law in the country, come forward to issue this statement with dismay and frustration over the deteriorating trend that has been continuing within our society without any check and balance.

We consider it fitting to be reminded that;

#. in a series of deaths approximately 33 in number that have taken place whilst in Police custody, No steps have been taken against those Police Officers responsible and the taking of steps to pass them off as justifiable homicides,

#. In another spate of killings by Police officers and forces with the full glare of public scrutiny, the officers responsible have not even been arrested and produced before a court of law,

#.  In Aluthgama, Beruwala and Dharga town in the presence of large contingencies of the Special Task Force nearly 75-80 houses, shops, factories and places of worship have been burnt and steps were initiated to destroy even the evidence available with the help of the same forces,

#. Independent commissions set up to curb Bribery and corruption are being interfered and tampered with, including transfers and appointments having been made in and out of the commission, arbitrarily and capriciously,

#.  Independence of the Judiciary has been compromised with unsuitable appointees over looking time tested criteria of seniority and eminence,

#.  Multi Million dollar contracts which are far in excess of the international norms are awarded to foreign Contractors on the basis of unsolicited bids arbitrarily.

The answer to these issues that have caused grave concern to the society is not to curb the media freedom in a shameless  manner but to put the system right and take action against those responsible.

According to Reporters sans Frontiers, in the world ranking, Sri Lanka stands 165th out of 175 countries in terms of press freedom, behind Uzbekistan, Rwanda and Libya. As far as Asia goes Si Lanka is the 35th out of the 40 Asian countries listed. This is on the basis of known data and reported facts.

This was the situation prior to the issuance of this circular.

The impugned circular that has been issued under the auspices of the Ministry of Defense stifling the freedom of expression further with chilling effect is of no avail to our country to reach the standing of "the Miracle of Asia"  !

One of the former Presidents of the USA, Thomas Jefferson himself suffered greatly by the press during his presidency. He was a great believer in the ultimate triumph of truth in the free marketplace of ideas, and looked to that for his final vindication.

"The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter." -Thomas Jefferson so he said in 1787.

We observe that the post war Sri Lankan polity has been in an acute and deepening crisis. The decline of democratic institutions and practices have become a reality of the day.

Edmund Burke an Irish Philosopher in the 17th Century said, " The Triumph of the Evil is for good men to do nothing."

The effort of the National Secretariat for NGOs, under the Ministry of Defense and Urban Development, according to our opinion is a living testimony for this impending crypto military and authoritarian tendency of the country.

The Bar Association of Sri Lanka wish to state that the said circular violates fundamental principles that govern our free and democratic society, which is guaranteed by our constitution and it is completely militating against the rule of law principles of the country.

The contents as well as the implications of the said circular is against the directive principles of state policy enshrined in the Chapter VI of the constitution as well as violation of freedom of Expression and Speech, freedom of Assembly and Association, Freedom of occupation as guaranteed by the Article 14 of the Sri Lankan Constitution.

We observe that this attempt is nothing but yet another effort to silence the alternative public opinion of the society through inculcating fear psychosis among the section of the society enhancing the autocratic writ to a fearful height.

Therefore we condemn this so called circular issued by an officer within the Ministry of Defense in gross violation of the fundamental rights of the polity and urge the authorities to revoke this autocratic circular that has the effect of bringing further damage to the country Nationally and Internationally.
 



She sells Ceylon in the Seychelles

United National Party MP Dr. Harsha de Silva has raised a very important issue, Sri Lankans depositing their money in Swiss bank's secret accounts in the guise of Seychelles citizens. They use addresses in Seychelles.

They may have property in Seychelles. A number of Sri Lankan politicians and their wives regularly visit Seychelles.

Seychelles is an African country with a liberalized economy which relies on tourism and foreign direct investment. Visit this site for information on Seychelles.

MP Dr. Harsha de Silva charged that Sri Lankans deposit money in secret Swiss banks accounts appearing as citizens of Seychelles.

Addressing a press conference held in Colombo today, the MP pointed out that the value of Sri Lankan's money in Swiss bank accounts has dropped to 83 million (US$ 93 million) in 2013 from Swiss Franc 87 million (US$ 97 million in 2012).

However, the value of Swiss bank accounts of Seychelles citizens has increased to Swiss Francs 3.078 billion (US$ 3.45 billion) from Swiss Francs 2.682 billion (US$ 3 billion) in the same period.

The opposition legislator pointed out that the population of Seychelles is mere 90,024.

7/11/2014

Sri Lanka government's circular may not prevent information flowing into international community, NGOs say

The representatives of the Non Governmental Organizations of Sri Lanka say that the government's move to restrict the NGOs may result the people of the country lacing access to information.

Lawyer J.C. Weliamuna said that the government's order to the NGOs not to hold press conferences, not to issue press releases and not to train journalists may not prevent the information flowing to the international community. It will only prevent information transfer to the local people.

He said that the foreign countries have many other channels to obtain information. NGOs are a critical part of the government, he pointed out.

Dr. Nirmal Ranjith Dewasiri of the Federation of University Teachers' Associations (FUTA) said that the move was a blow to democracy. He said that the government had no right to restrict the public organizing lawfully.

Dr. Nimalka Fernando of the International Movement Against Racism and Discrimination pointed out that the NGOs as well as the government are bound to obey the UN international conventions for which the nation have ratified. The order has been issued without proper knowledge about this, she said.

A number of other representatives of civil society organizations addressed the press conference held in Colombo on July 09 to protest the government circular to restrict the NGOs.

Medical Supplies Management Technical System (MSMTS) of the Ministry of Health has become a white elephant

Sri Lanka Health Services Trade Union Alliance (HSTUA)says that the Medical Supplies Management Technical System (MSMTS) of the Ministry of Health has become a white elephant.

The allocations of Rs. 400 million for this project has wasted, the Chairman of the HSTUA Saman Rathnapriya points out.

The Ministry of Health introduced this system as a solution for corruption and waste in medical supplies.

The online system was developed in 2009 by e-Wis Company at an initial cost of Rs. 320 million. The company has used a proto system of Australia instead of customizing it to the country needs, the HSTUA accuses.

Additional Rs. 80 million  was later granted to further develop the system but it still remained beta, the trade union alliance points out.

HSTUA Chairman Saman Rathnapriya said that only one store of the 26 stores of the Medical Supplies Department has been fully connected to the system.

Further, the State Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Corporation has also failed to enter its basic data to the system.

7/05/2014

What a country do we live: HIV father rapes daughter infecting her with HIV

Sri Lanka police children's and women's bureau has arrested an AIDS patient for seducing his underage daughter and spreading the deadly decease to the girl.

The man, a mason by profession, is a 40 year old father of three children. He has raped his own daughter who is 16 years old two times in 2013 when her mother was not at home.

The mother is also HIV positive. The couple was taking medicine from the Colombo National Hospital without informing the children.

The girl had rash on her body and the suspicious girl visited hospital. She was tested HIV positive.

The suspect has been arrested at his house in Negambo and he is to be produced in court for rape of a minor.

7/01/2014

Graphic warning on cigarette packets delayed further in Sri Lanka

The graphic warnings on cigarette packets sold in Sri Lanka further delayed as the Ceylon Tobacco Company (CTC) announced that the old cartons would be further used until the Supreme Court verdict on the appeal of graphic warning case is delivered.

The Ministry of Health has also informed the Supreme Court the graphic warning law would be imposed after the verdict on the CTC appeal on graphic warning is delivered.

The Court of Appeal ordered to cover 60% of the surface of cigarette packets with graphic warnings.

The law was to be implemented since today, July 01, but the CTC appealed in the Supreme Court against the appellate court verdict.

The petition of the CTC is to be heard on July 11 and the verdict is also expected on that day.

Alcohol and Drug Information Center (ADIC) of Sri Lanka pointed out that the cigarette sales in the island had dropped to 4200 million units in 2012 to 4800 million in 1994.

The center further said that the sale of cigarette had dropped by 14% in the first quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2014.

6/27/2014

New York Times editorial reflects sentiments of international community about communal violence in Sri Lanka

New York Times has published an Editorial on Sri Lanka's latest and bloodiest communal violence in the recent past that took place in Beruwala and Matugama electorates against Muslims. Read the New York Times editorial here.

The editorial identifies the ultranationalist Bodu Bala Sena as a force linked to the governing Rajapaksa family and the security forces.

The editorial perhaps said this with tongue in the cheek. "Among other things, the violence threatens Sri Lanka’s recovering tourism industry and business development directly tied to members of his family."

"Mr. Rajapaksa’s statements on Monday directing the police to act against any individual or group fomenting ethnic or religious hatred are welcome. But the president did not repudiate the Bodu Bala Sena by name. He should move immediately to allow the independent investigation called for by the United Nations; accept the technical assistance offered by the council to address human rights concerns; and put in place the recommendations of Sri Lanka’s own Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission for dealing with the aftermath of the civil war," the editorial further said.