Friday, July 15, 2005

Murder of Lt. Col. Muthaliph by SARATH Malalasekera

First suspect aided, abetted to kill Muthaliph: CID


THE Criminal Investigation Department (CID) probing former Chief of Army Intelligence Lt. Col. T.N. Muthaliph's murder told Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday that investigations into the murder had revealed that Indurugolla Vidanaarachchige Sanjeewa, described as a journalist, the first suspect in the killing, had aided and abetted to kill the Army Intelligence chief.

The CID filing a comprehensive report in connection with their investigations said that according to the two suspects arrested by Bandaragama Police earlier, had revealed that Sanjeewa had the knowledge about Muthaliph's killing.

Sanjeewa was produced in court yesterday by Prison authorities under tight security.

The CID said investigations were not completed and moved court to remand the suspects pending the completion of investigations.

The Magistrate remanded the suspects till July 28 and directed Kalutara Prisons authorities to produce the other suspects, now in Kalutara remand prison, before the Colombo Chief Magistrate's Court on the next date. Remanding Sanjeewa till July 28, the Magistrate directed the Prisons authorities to provide maximum security to him while being taken to the remand Prison and Court. Earlier, Bandaragama Police produced six suspects including three women, allegedly involved in the murder before the Horana Magistrate and Additional District Judge B.A.R. Somasinghe and remanded them. The suspects are Armugam Sendil Kumar alias Rajan of Kopay, Rajaratna Seetha Umma of Ratmalana, A.R. Karunaratne alias Anura Desappriya of Ratmalana, Mohamed Anzar alias Mohamed Rizvi of Maligawatte, Fathideva Saroja and Karunaratne Mudiyaselage Shamalee of Welikanda. CID told court they would file plaint against Sendil Kumar alias Rajan, Rajaratnam Saraswathie alias Umma and Athulgeralalage Karunaratne alias Anura. The CID also told court that vital information about the killing had been elicited from the suspects now in remand custody. Lt. Col. Muthaliph was killed on May 31 near the Kirulapone colour lights while he was on his way to attend to an official work. According to the investigations, the suspects in custody are also alleged to have planned to attack the Air Force armoury. The suspects were arrested by Bandaragama Police and handed them over to the CID to conduct further investigations.

(http://www.dailynews.lk/2005/07/15/sec10.htm)

Rise in recruitment in the East by Sumanasiri Liyanage

A Grandmother in Amparai district whose grandson was a returnee in April 2004 after the Karuna-Vanni conflict says:-

This child who was under severe pressure to rejoin the LTTE last year, is under threat again:

“When my grandson came home, we had to keep him in a room as we were so scared that he would be taken back by the LTTE. He was allowed to go out to the wash room only after dark. Our fear increased as some of the returnees were quickly re-recruited forcefully by the LTTE.

“My daughter never left the house in fear that he would be snatched away if she left him even for a moment. As the two factions increased their presence in the lane in which we live, we started moving from house to house every week. For a short time when recruitment reduced, he started going for daily labour with his father.

However, since mid-May the LTTE has started looking for him once again. Now he is again confined to his room and his mother stays with him all the time. My grandson tells his mother: ‘I will be killed by them soon I know they will not let me live much longer.’”

He is only 16 -years old. These are the kind of stories one hears when travelling from Valachchenai to Pothuvil. Since mid-May recruitment has started in earnest, causing intense fear among the people living in the east, who are already under enormous pressure due to the daily inter-group killings there.

The recruitment of children has increased to alarming numbers despite the repeated promises of the LTTE to stop this practice. This is ongoing in the Eastern province in spite of the increased presence of the international and local civil society organizations and the visits there by foreign dignitaries in the post-Tsunami period.

In the aftermath of the Human Rights Watch Report, there had been increased criticism of the LTTE’s continuous practice of forceful recruitment of children. Subsequently, Olara Otunnu, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, in his report in February 2005 suggested that the Security Council should take strong action against militant organizations that practice child recruitment.

His list included Sri Lanka. His recommendations include “the imposition of travel restrictions on leaders and their exclusion from any governance structures and amnesty provisions, the imposition of arms embargos, a ban on military assistance, and restriction on the flow of financial resources to the parties concerned” (Executive Summary Draft 5th Report). Some countries have expressed support for such a UN resolution. Possibly as a result of HRW criticism of UNICEF, Sri Lanka’s inaction and setting up of transit centers, UNICEF came up with a strong statement against the LTTE for taking 40 children immediately after the Tsunami.

This international and local pressure had compelled the LTTE to reduce large-scale recruitment; nevertheless the LTTE adopted a transitional strategy of taking one child per village to reduce international attention on them. However, children who had lost their parents and relatives were also snatched. Some of these incidents are:

1. Three girls were taken from Mandana camp in Vinaya Puram in Amparai district on January 7, 2005 on the pretext of educating and providing for them. One of them had lost her parents and two sisters in the tsunami;

2. Subsequently another three girls were taken from the same camp aged 8, 10 and 12 years.

This lull came to an end by mid-May. Recruitment has drastically increased with the LTTE once again holding meetings at its offices demanding one child per family be given and attempting to re-recruit the remaining returnees from April 2004. Some of the incidents are:

1. Forcible recruitment of two children (ages of 15) from Kudinilam in Amparai district. They were taken between June 22- 25 near a Hindu kovil;

2. Recruitment of a 16 year old boy on June 23 from Vinayapuram;

3. 16 -year returnees near Navakadu in Batticaloa district have been demanded by the LTTE.

4. A 17-year-old boy who escaped from the LTTE in the same area is now being hunted down.

Similar incidents are occurring all over the Eastern Province in the LTTE-controlled areas. As a panic response, parents are once again resorting to marrying of their children, sending them out of the area and country incurring enormous debt and financial burdens.

Temple festival time is a time of accelerated recruitment for the LTTE. Every year, the LTTE uses the gathering of large crowds into kovils to subtly carry out its recruitment practices. Last year at the request of local communities UNICEF did monitor the festivals and thus manage to reduce the recruitment of children at festival sites.

However, this year their success rate has been low. For one the enormous crowds have made monitoring extremely difficult. The chaos, noise, numbers present at some of the festivals and the large number of temples in the east make monitoring extremely difficult. Hence we have heard reports of many children being taken at these sites. (see coalition to stop the recruitment of children statement for more information on this).

Furthermore, the fact that Unicef refuses to reach out to the large population to protect them has meant very little protection has been offered to these children and their families. UNICEF at present has offices only in main towns. This has proved extremely ineffective as most recruitment occur in small villages outside its purview. Although the LTTE has renewed its pledge not to continue child recruitment, it continues to break its promises. This poses the question how child recruitment can be stopped. We suggest:

1. The UN security council should impose its suggested restrictions immediately.

2. Countries should refuse visas to the LTTE leaders until they stop this practice.

3. Civil Society Organizations in other parts of the country should play a proactive role against child recruitment by the LTTE, breaking their usual silence.

4. LTTE’s participation in governance structures should be made conditional to stopping child recruitment.

5. UNICEF should take proactive role in opening up offices in villages to monitor the situation.

6. That organizations, especially international ones working in the North and East be constantly vigilant and active regarding this issue.

7. That human rights activists, peace lobbyist in the south actively speak out against this practice, breaking their usual silence regarding these violations

The writer is a Senior Lecturer, Department of Economics, University of Peradeniya

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/opinion/1.asp)

P-TOMS funding – another let down by Neville Ladduwahetty

According to a report in The Island (July 8, 2005) the United States “…will not contribute money towards the donor fund for Post-Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS) because the LTTE – a banned terrorist organization in the US – will chair the group that administers the funds…”. The report adds that “U.S. funds will not be provided to the Treasury”. Instead, the US intends to fund projects administered by NGOs and INGOs.

However, when the US channels funds direct to non-state entities such as NGOs and INGOs there is in fact no assurance that funds would not reach the LTTE, because these non-state actors are known for their lack of transparency and accountability. NGOs and INGOS have the freedom to disburse funds to suit their agendas in total secrecy. These agencies thus could become handy vehicles for the US to extend its agenda. Under these circumstances, there is every possibility that a portion of the funds channeled by the US would fall into the hands of the LTTE.

According to media reports, the UK is also having second thoughts about channeling

funds to the donor trust fund. If the UK follows the US lead, two of the four donors (the other two being Japan and the EU) would not be contributing to the donor trust fund. Whatever the current attitudes of the US and UK may be, the fact that both these Governments pressured the Government of Sri Lanka (GOSL) to sign the P-TOMS cannot be denied. The reason for that pressure, according to the US Ambassador, was that P-TOMS is an “internal” arrangement for dealing with tsunami aid that should not be missed by the GOSL and the LTTE to work together as it could eventually lead to resuming peace negotiations.

On the face of it while the stated intentions seem sound, the bottom line is that the GOSL has been left high and dry because the GOSL in its naivety expected contributions from the four key donors to fill the coffers of the donor trust fund. Now that two of the four key players have backed out, the GOSL has to face the prospect of finding other funds to finance its reconstruction programme. In the meantime, to add salt to the wounds these Governments are arranging to finance aid projects through NGOs and INGOs knowing full well that there is no way to prevent a portion of the funds falling into the hands of the LTTE. The fact that this would contradict their own policies as far as their own constituencies are concerned does not seem to matter. Nor does it seem to matter that this violates provisions of Security Council Resolution 1373; a resolution adopted to contain global terrorism by calling on all member states of the UN to restrict funds reaching terrorist entities. Clearly, if NGO/INGO funds are used to restore the LTTE’s damaged military installations, the donors would be guilty of nurturing and fostering a terrorist entity in complete violation of laws to curb global terrorism. By not funding the P-TOMS and instead funding NGO and INGO administered projects the US is in a position to control funds released to the LTTE; a position that gives the US the leverage to use the LTTE, if it so chooses, in the pursuit of the US agenda while at the same time giving the LTTE opportunities for it to meet its own needs. These possibilities are in step with the latest suggestion by an ex-US Ambassador (the earlier one being a confederal model for Sri Lanka), that the US makes direct contact with the LTTE (The Island, July 11, 2005). This set up is a win-win for the US and the LTTE, but a total let down as far as the GOSL is concerned. Despite all warnings, GOSL negotiators have been too simple minded to see what was coming down the pike, and this has led to Sri Lanka’s sovereignty being compromised.

The strategy of nurturing terrorist outfits by global powers is a well-honed practice despite these very powers ending up as victims with time. India first nurtured the LTTE and has seen its own Prime Minister assassinated by the LTTE. The US nurtured the Mujahideen in Afghanistan and Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and ultimately had to deal with them. Now it appears the International Community, ably helped by Norway, is pushing for arrangements that favour the LTTE. Only time will tell how and when they would be betrayed.

This certainly is not the first time nor would it be the last that members of the International Community have given Governments false hopes only to back out at the opportune time. This game plan has worked best when Governments are weak and vulnerable after decades of war, or worse still when capped by a natural disaster such as a tsunami. It is at such weak moments that Governments are most pliable and when sovereignty can be compromised to advantage. This is the state Sri Lanka is currently in.

Reputed global socioeconomics analyst/author Naomi Klein in an article to The Nation (May 2, 2005) addresses this state of affairs and says that shattered countries are attractive to INGOs such as the World Bank because countries “take orders well” particularly after cataclysmic events. Klein states: “…governments will usually do whatever it takes to get aid dollars – even if it means racking up huge debts and agreeing to sweeping policy reforms”. Continuing she adds “…many war-ravaged countries are in states of ‘limited sovereignty’. They are considered too unstable and unskilled to manage the aid money pouring in, so it is often put in a trust fund managed by the World Bank”.

The justification for the World Bank to be the custodian of P-TOMS was even better packaged in the case of Sri Lanka. A case was built up by first advancing the argument that Sri Lankan Governments are corrupt, although relatively speaking, other countries and agencies such as the UN are worse. This was backed up by the LTTE stating that it would not agree to an arrangement that would require them to recognize institutions of the GOSL, even though they depend on the GOSL Army for their security, and other government departments for supply of food, medicines, etc.. Since the UN is already under a cloud for allegations of corruption in Iraq, the World Bank became the next natural contender to manage the funds.

Whenever the World Bank gets involved in the exercise of doling out money, they extract a price, as has occurred in East Timor, Afghanistan, Haiti and some Latin American countries. According to Klein, the price usually comes in the form of policies that require Governments to privatize state run institutions, as has happened with the healthcare in Afghanistan, and a call for “..an increased role for the private sector in the water system, telecommunications, …and for direct(ing) the government to ‘withdraw’ from the electricity sector and leave it for foreign private investors.” Attempts of WB pressure to privatize these same sectors in Sri Lanka are being reported regularly in the Sri Lankan press.

Klein’s contention is that the West has realized that Disaster Management is lucrative business, and furthermore, that the vulnerability experienced following a Disaster provides opportunity to change “…the very social fabric of the nation”. She adds that the US State Department has set up an Office whose “…mandate is not to rebuild any old states…but to create ‘democratic and market oriented’ ones”. What is taking shape in Sri Lanka is not only restoration of damage in an improved form, but a rebuilding in their own image. The involvement of the donors and INGOs such as the World Bank must be seen in this light.

Despite professed concerns of a humanitarian nature, the sad tendency is to exploit even a tragedy to advantage. What is being done in Sri Lanka is in the same vein. Had the GOSL not been so na├»ve it would have realized that advantages would be sought at this moment of vulnerability and it would have been prepared. For instance, it could have accepted contributions from concerned citizens throughout the world who genuinely grieved at the loss experienced by their fellow men and women and refused the offers, however generous, from “concerned” Governments. By accepting the offers of these Governments Sri Lanka has compromised its sovereignty because of the commitments being extracted in return. The price of reconstruction is being paid for by the dignity of the nation. This cannot be translated into dollars.

Now that two of the four donors are not contributing to the P-TOMS, Sri Lanka should seize the opportunity to change course. That course should be to rely on its own strengths and resources to rebuild what has been lost, and to do so in the image of itsown determinations. The fact that one of the donors has backed out and another is likely to follow should be sufficient grounds to dispense with P-TOMS, and instead, for the GOSL to set up an inclusive body to apportion funds to the different districts on a reasoned and equitable basis and to use the existing structures at the district level to implement the programmes decided by that body.

If the LTTE refuses to participate it would be by their own seeking, but the fact that the GOSL is ready to address the needs of all the affected communities would be known to the world.

P-TOMS is the fifth of a series of agreements hatched in secrecy and rejected by the people, the first being the B-C Pact, followed by D-C Pact, the Indo-Lanka Accord, and the Cease Fire Agreement. These five efforts demonstrate both the failure of non-transparency in the making of pacts, as well as the disconnect between the people and elected governments.

What this nation hopes for is a Government with the courage to fashion an agenda based on self-reliance, calling on the strengths and resources of the entire nation in the rebuilding effort, with fairness to all as was demonstrated by the people in the immediate aftermath of the tsunami.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/opinion/2.asp)

Navy men fire back at Tigers

More incidents in the East: tight security to maintain law and order

At least one LTTE cadre was shot dead and another two captured, when Navy personnel retaliated after coming under gunfire from a group of LTTE cadres at Kamburuppidy in Trincomalee last night, police said.

Trincomalee ASP G. Stanislaus said around 7.30 p.m. yesterday the Navy post came under fire from a group of LTTE men and Navy personnel at the post had to retaliate in self-defence. At the time of the incident there were three Navy personnel at the post, he said.

Later the security forces were able to capture two LTTE cadres, one with injuries along with a weapon and a communication set. The injured cadre had been admitted to the Trincomale hospital and the captured cadre handed over to the police.

In another incident around 8.30 p.m. yesterday a group of LTTE cadres attacked the Weeramuna police post at Samanthurai in Ampara with small arms, but no casualties were reported.

At least two civilians were injured when suspected LTTE cadres threw two hand grenades at an Army truck last evening at Anuradhapura junction in Trincomalee.

Eastern DIG Rohan Abeywardane said only one hand grenade exploded.

Military spokesman Brig. Daya Ratnayake said the security forces were under constant threat from the LTTE which wanted to provoke the forces.

Meanwhile, following intelligence reports that the LTTE leadership had instructed LTTE political cadres to withdraw from Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts, security has been tightened in these districts with more troops being deployed.

Since early this week, the LTTE carried out a series of attacks on security forces injuring more than 35 Police and Army personnel.

LTTE’s media spokesman Daya Master told the Daily Mirror the Wanni LTTE leadership had informed its political leaders in the Trincomalee and Batticaloa districts on Wednesday to immediately withdraw from political activities in government-held areas in these districts and return to the Wanni base citing security concerns.

DIG Abeywardane said generally a calm situation prevailed in the Trincomalee district throughout yesterday, but more security forces would be deployed in the district to meet any emergency situation.

“Police and military are on high alert around the clock to maintain law and order in the area”, he said.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/front/1.asp)

Is CFA only for the Army, asks JHU by Damitha Hemachandra

The Jatika Hela Urumaya (JHU) yesterday questioned the validly of the ceasefire agreement between the government and the LTTE, which was being abided only by the Sri Lankan military.

While urging the government to allow the military to retaliate against any LTTE attacks without restricting them to the camps, JHU General Secretary Ven. Omalpe Sobhitha Thera said the Army was no longer responsible to the CFA, which the LTTE had already violated nearly 3,000 times.

“The LTTE continues to kill innocent civilians, Army intelligence and political opponents despite the CFA,” he said adding that the LTTE had continued this violent behavior despite being admitted to the Post Tsunami Operational Management Structure (P-TOMS).

He further reminded that the SLMM failed to respond when the LTTE was assassinating pro-Karuna members and that it overlooked the incidents as being internal disputes of the LTTE.

Ven. Sobitha Thera said the Army had no need to provide protection to LTTE caders from the Karuna faction and questioned the present stance of the SLMM and the Norwegian peace facilitators.

The JHU questioned whether the government was to continue with the CFA at the expense of soldiers’ lives as nearly 50 of them were injured by LTTE attacks.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/front/5.asp)

Muthaliph killing suspect was only labour supplier: Maliban

Following reports that a prominent biscuit manufacturer was arrested in connection with the murder of Army Intelligence Unit head Major T. Nizam Muthaliph, Maliban Biscuit Manufactories Ltd., in a statement, clarified that the suspect was only a labour supplier whose services had already been terminated, and not in any other way connected to the company.

The statement said that Golden Bake (Private) Ltd. was a privately-owned company that had, since September 2004, manufactured wafer biscuits on contract basis for Maliban Biscuit Manufactories Ltd. and Little Lion Associates. An independent sub-contractor supplying labour to the Golden Bake factory in Ratmalana had been arrested in connection with the recent murder of Maj. Muthaliph. Subsequently, the services of this contractor were terminated by the management of Golden Bake.

The management of Maliban never utilized the services of this sub-contractor in its own factory, it said.

But the company stated that a section of disgruntled employees had instigated labour unrest, and work disruption at its factory, using these news reports to gain their own sinister motives by embarking on a smear campaign based on the false allegation that the CEO and HR Manager of Maliban were responsible for this labour sub-contractor’s illegal activities.

“The management of Maliban has conclusive evidence to prove that this section of employees is attempting to sabotage the growth of the company through this campaign, for their own narrow interests, which is to obtain the maximum benefits from the company without contributing to improving productivity and work practices.

The company has identified the need to improve productivity and reduce overheads as a priority in order to survive the impending competition from local and international biscuit manufacturers.

In this scenario, the management finds it ironic that anti-progressive forces are at work to subvert its forward march through a campaign of false propaganda, as this will be to the eventual detriment of the workforce that it claims to be protecting and thus make the company vulnerable to competition,” the statement further stated.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/front/8.asp)

JHU urges Britain to fight LTTE by Damitha Hemachandra

The JHU yesterday urged Britain to take immediate action to eradicate global terrorist groups including the LTTE through political and financial alienation.

The party’s General Secretary Ven. Omalpe Sobitha Thera in a letter to British High Commissioner Stephen Evans said organizations like the LTTE and Al-Qaeda were threatening the democratic principles and human values of a civilized world.

Quoting a report by Rohan Guneratne on the links between the Al’Qaeda terrorist network and the LTTE, the monk said the LTTE was closely linked with international terror organizations and were sharing terror strategies threatening world peace.

Ven. Sobitha Thera alleged the LTTE was assisting the Al’qaeda in transporting weapons and trainees to destinations using state of the art shipping networks.

“According to Rohan Guneratne and other defence analysts, the LTTE has been the authors of the suicide bombing concept and later shared its knowledge with Al’qaeda,” the monk said.

Highlighting former cases of violence and aggression by the LTTE in Britain, Ven. Sobitha Thera asked the High Commissioner not to assist LTTE attempts to collect funds through the P-TOMS.

The Thera said while the US and Japanese governments had pledged not to direct aid to the regional fund of P-TOMS, there were fresh attempts by the Sri Lankan government and the LTTE to undermine the stance taken by US and Japan. “They are now trying to divert the funds to the National Committee or the so called APEX body of P-TOMS to mislead the international community,” he said.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/news/12.asp)

Suspect made visits to LTTE areas: CID

Lieutenant Colonel Nizam Muthalif murder case

The CID yesterday informed Colombo Magistrate that the suspect I.V. Sanjeewa had allegedly conspired in the killing of Army intelligence officer Tuan Nizam Muthalif and had even made visits to LTTE controlled areas during his visits to Jaffna.When the magisterial inquiry resumed before Colombo Additional Magistrate Gihan Pilapitiya yesterday, the suspect Indurugolla Vidanarachchilage Sanjeewa who had allegedly given protection to the killers of Army Intelligent unit, Lieutenant Colonel Nizam Muthalif was produced before court.

Filing a further report on the investigation, the CID said that three others, Athulalallage Karunarante alias Anura of New Airport Road, Ratmalana, Arumugam Sandeerkumara alias Rajan from Kopay and Rajaratnam Saraswathi alias Uma of no. 26, New Airport Road, Kandawalawatta, Ratmalana were arrested in connection with the offence and they were listed as suspects. The suspects had allegedly spied and conspired to commit the murder of the Army officer.

During the CID investigation, Sanjeewa had admitted that the murder was committed by Anura and Rajan. It also had transpired that he had rented a house at Ranpokunagama Housing Scheme, Nittambuwa and Rajan with some others had visited this house regularly. Rajan also had brought weapons to this house. In the first few weeks of April, Rajan with the LTTE cadre Udayan had stayed there.

The CID also stated that there was evidence that Sanjeewa and Anura had gone to Kilinocchi and during their visits had gone to LTTE controlled areas.

The CID had recorded statements from the driver who was hired for these visits.

According to the driver P. Samantha Perera, Sanjeewa and Anura had gone to Jaffna with some chemical equipment and the suspects had met Udayan at A9 restaurant in Kilinochchi.

The driver had stated that in another visit Sanjeewa and Anura had gone to LTTE controlled areas with Udayan escorting them. During this visit the suspects had stayed at Udayan’s house in Kopay.

The Additional Magistrate ordered the three suspects who were earlier produced before Horana Magistrate and detained at Kalutara prison be produced before Colombo Magistrate. Court ordered to remand suspect Sanjeewa till July 28. -SRF

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/news/11.asp)

Appeasement begets more violence

Bleeding heart liberals and Tiger supporters will continue to see the LTTE in a sympathetic light despite all the killings they have perpetrated under the cover of the Ceasefire Agreement. But now it has come to a point where the Army Commander has been forced by sheer might of evidence against such violations, to tell that gloves are off and his men will hit back at Tigers if targeted, for in Trincomalee alone there have been a number of attacks on police and military targets within a matter of 24 hours.

It is unfortunate that the Norwegians, who are tasked with being the facilitators of peace, failed from the very start of the CFA to impress upon the LTTE that no targeted assassinations will be tolerated, especially if their designation as a terrorist organization is to remain lifted permanently. But instead the facilitators and everyone else merely turned a blind eye and carried on with the task of engaging the LTTE in civilized ways, hoping the Tigers will eventually stop. Now it has been proved beyond any doubt that we have all been taken for a ride.

The TNA also should stop blindly defending the LTTE. It is time it asked itself what results have been brought by appeasing the LTTE in this manner. Their’s and the Tigers stock excuse for killing more than 400 civilian opponents and over 50 intelligence operatives is that it is the failure of the Sri Lanka police to maintain law and order in government controlled areas. But when a few Tiger operatives are targeted they all come out like crybabes making all types of accusations against the security establishments.

At least now it may not be too late for the Norwegians to stop mollycoddling the LTTE and tell them where to get off. So enough of Norwegians and others playing up the LTTE threat to go back to war if they don’t get something. For we have done quite a bit in lifting its terrorist tag unilaterally, signing the CFA and ignoring its repeated violations and now the granting of the P-TOMS. So it is time that the LTTE showed some of its bona fides, especially by stopping targeted assassinations.

Graduates, ask now what you can do

Sri Lankan Arts graduates generally being unsuitable for employment is no doubt a fault of the system. Yet they must be thankful to the authorities for somehow employing them in the state sector.

Nowhere in the world, except perhaps in the few remaining Communist states, that any one is guaranteed employment? So we would like to ask these graduates whether it is fair for them to make all types of fresh demands from the state. Surely now you are on your own feet, unlike many others who are less fortunate than yourselves, and have got no such job bonanza from any one. On Wednesday, such graduates recruited in 1999, protested in front of the Education Ministry demanding among other things an opportunity to enter the teaching service, a chance to get transferred to other public service sectors, where there are promotions and to add their training period to their service. Surely many of you were employed by the state, in the first place, because no one else wanted to employ you. We feel, like many people in this country, it is time that you improved your knowledge and skills and on your own looked for better jobs instead of waiting for the state to spoon feed you any further.

Sometimes it is true that many of you are not employed in any capacity in the private sector due to pure snobbery by those who are holding reins in that sector. They have such a colonial hang up that they want to be more British than the British, so if someone does not speak good English, that person is needlessly shut out of the system or simply, literally laughed off, even though capability-wise the rejected person might be as good or better than many of their existing employees. So as long as such bigotry remains in this country, we certainly will not keep pace with other countries even in our own region.

(http://www.dailymirror.lk/2005/07/15/edit.asp)