Tuesday 23 April 2019

Gajalakshmi Paramasivam

23 April  2019

The Resurrection of  Lasantha’s Journalism

As our world expands we often need knowledge based approach to function in the extended family, workplace and community.  Those who have paid their respects to leaders at that level  automatically inherit the structures that those leaders are part of. Those who are genuinely grateful inherit the roots of those reliable structures.
Social media has been blocked due to fear of misinformation. The email headed ‘Understanding the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka - and the risks ahead’ from Sri Lanka Campaign states as follows:
[This situation is fluid, and we are taking time to process and corroborate information about the attacks as it emerges. As we have stated previously, there is a huge amount of misinformation and rumour circulating (including from official sources), some of which could increase the risk of further violence.]
The question then arises as to what is good information and what is bad. To my mind, belief based information and actions add positive value and hearsay information through those without contribution to lawful structures is dangerous.

Let us go to  the following in the article that the Sri Lanka campaign directs us to at https://www.srilankacampaign.org/understanding-the-easter-sunday-attacks-and-the-risks-ahead/:
[Based on the limited information available so far, it is a question that defies a simple or obvious explanation. Sri Lanka has seen appalling levels of ethnically and religiously-motivated violence throughout its recent history, ranging from brutal terror attacks perpetrated by the secessionist ‘Tamil Tigers’, the killing of tens of thousands of Tamil civilians as a result of state-sponsored pogroms and counter-insurgency campaigns, and, more recently, intimidation by Sinhala Buddhist hardliners against the island’s minority Christians and Muslims. But the pattern of yesterday’s violence appears largely incongruous with that which we have seen in the past.]

If the author is a Tamil through common experience with Tamils s/he would not have referred to the Tamil Tigers at this juncture. If the author took the intellectual pathway he would have found the parallel as follows:

[The Church of St. Peter and Paul in Navaly (also spelled Navali) on the Jaffna peninsula was bombed by a Sri Lankan military aircraft on the afternoon of July 9, 1995. Several hundred Tamil civilians were taking refuge at the church and surrounding environs at the time…. It is estimated that at least 125 civilians, who had taken refuge from the fighting inside the church, died as a result of this incident. The victims included men, women and children.]
The Government operated at the same wavelength as the militants to defeat them. The then president acknowledged that they did this.  If therefore the Tamil Tigers are Terrorists – and the Easter Sunday bombers are also Terrorists,  then so is the Government of Sri Lanka that bombed the Navaly Church and many other places where civilians took refuge. If Tamil Tigers  had taken refuge instead of fighting or protecting civilians – they would not enjoy the respect that they do within the Tamil community. Since they do enjoy that respect we as a community do not refer to them as Terrorists.
But some of us have contributed strongly to development of common Human Values systems and have shown ourselves as leaders that the needy could comfortably access – as in the case of priests and nuns. Hence as a community we should not be hearing the Terrorism word being attributed to members of the Tamil community. Those who isolate the militants but not the soldiers who bombed indiscriminately are sharing  misinformation.
A young Australian asked me in reference to my yesterday’s article headed ‘Hostilities – Not Terrorism in post-war period’ at http://austms.blogspot.com.au/  - whether or not I  considered the Easter Sunday attacks – acts of Terrorism?  I said I certainly did. I said I did not classify the war acts as Terrorism because they were between Equals. The acts against civilians are the only acts that qualify as terrorism. As per Wikipedia report - the Navaly Church bombing was in fact assessed by Professor Daya Somasundaram of University of Adelaide as a war crime committed by the Sri Lankan Air Force.

Destruction of a person by another  becomes a crime when the two have senior-junior relationship. It qualifies as Terrorism when the two sides are not bound by common belief. The positions we hold confirm that as per the custodians of power – we are capable of  working within the given common structure. But in war one relies often on one’s individual skills/resources. When we work unsupervised – our truth comes out more easily than when we work under supervision. Those who pay their respects to seniors and therefore the structure – would act in the consciousness of the laws governing their positions.

Some have raised concerns as to whether these attacks are linked to the Christchurch massacre. When I was asked I said – may be because of the Islam-Christian relationship and the Bali Bombing. I said to my mind, the minister responsible was common to both – i.e. Christian Religious Affairs and Tourism Promotion about whom Wikipedia reports as follows:

[In 2018 John Amaratunga was accused of aiding the fraudulent acquisition of a property worth Rs. 7 Billion from an elderly couple as well as holding them hostage. Eighty-six year-old Wimalsen Fernando and his wife Shiranie Fernando learnt that their property in Gregory’s Road, Colombo was fraudulently acquired by a person named Prasad Deshapriya Vitharana of Kalubowila. When the property was visited by the couple they were held hostage by Amaratunga's guards and privately hired goons. When the couple's lawyers attempted to enter the property they met Amaratunga in the property who used abusive language to threaten them and attempted to evict them from the property but the lawyers forced their way to the couple. The couple was threatened and Vitharana had extorted money from them with death threats. While the couple complained to the Cinnamon Gardens police they did not have an inquiry for more than five months and no statement was taken taken from Amaratunga. When the media questioned the police they claimed to be "unaware" of the incident. John Amaratunga accepted that the accused was a friend but denied the allegations that he abused his powers to stop the investigations or that to threatening the lawyers instead he claimed he only asked them to leave calling them trespassers]

My attention to Mr John Amaratunga was drawn when I read the Island article headed Christian Affairs Minister denies problems for devotees at key churches during feasts’ in which funding of Catholic Churches was presented on 21 March 2017 at http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=162310

There was also the joint press release by the Australian Diplomatic Service in Sri Lanka and the Minister concerned :

[On 1 March 2017, Australian High Commissioner Bryce Hutchesson, together with Minister for Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs the Hon John Amaratunga, launched the Market Development Facility (MDF) to support inclusive growth of tourism and related sectors in Sri Lanka.] Joint Press Release by the Australian High Commission and the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs

As an Australian of Sri Lankan origin – I was upset that the above partnership was happening when victims of war were still living in poor conditions and were refused permission to go back to their home areas – which were under the control of armed forces and sometimes occupied by government forces. As a person common to Australia and the Tamil community - it felt as if one part of me was hurting another. Hence I responded under the heading ‘Christianity Development or  Post-War Development?’ at http://austms.blogspot.com/2017/03/gajalakshmiparamasivam-24-march-2017.html

Do these show a common connection with our Australian offender at Christchurch? St Anthony’s church was mentioned as follows :

[Tourism and Christian Affairs Minister John Amaratunga told Parliament yesterday that if the government could provide lands necessary his ministry was ready to construct and set up infrastructure facilities in support of devotees visiting the main places of worship of Catholics in the country St Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade, Church of Our Lady in Matara, Madhu Church and Basilica in Ragama.]

If the Australian diplomat had not followed a structured approach in a country seriously wounded by the war – then he is likely to have been the medium through which an Australian operating at revenge level would pick up the bug of serious disorder. As per the above Island report :

[The government provided a total sum of Rs 1,696,555 for the infrastructure development for devotees during the annual feast of Basilica Church, Ragama from 2010 to 2016. Neither the St Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade nor Basilica Church, Ragama had asked for funds from the government during this period nor made any such requests.]

This then means that the government was using the church to promote itself. Given that the Minister concerned is responsible for Tourism also the karma becomes common.

So as per the system of belief the  Christchurch massacre was influenced by Bali bombing and the Sri Lankan attacks were influenced by the Christchurch massacre invoked in Sri Lanka by the believers affected unjustly due to discrimination even after the war.

I was/am  planning on going to the St Anthony’s church at the Jaffna suburb  Pashaiyoor on 13 June this year. St Anthony’s Church, Kochchikade is more of a home church to me than the one in Jaffna. But St Anthony will come to the believer in the area where the believer is serving. I emphasized this value of ‘home’ as follows in my response to the Ms Shiromal Cooray – the chairperson of Jetwing group of hotels:

[Thank you Ms Cooray for sharing with us. I was relieved to hear from Zerney today that their group was ok. I wrote as follows:
(Thank you Zerney. I especially remember the beautiful sharing that we as Air Lanka group had at Kingsbury – thanks to you. My sharing in this regard is at http://austms.blogspot.com/

              I make the connections as per my belief – and help others also make those connections – so we unite instead of dividing by hastily judging largely through hearsay.  It’s very painful and I am relieved to learn that you are safe.  You are a common Sri Lankan and I believe that that will protect you.)

Your records would show that I am a regular guest at the two Jetwing group hotels in Jaffna. We live in Australia and our son who enjoyed very much his stay with your hotels promoted your hotels to us. To me the Jaffna hotels  are like my ‘home’.  Hence your staff and guests also feel like family. I have been sharing my enjoyment of your services with others in our circles and this happens. But all that is secondary to the personal losses you have shared with us through this communication. I am so sorry. Rest assured that we would turn our pain into constructive development once again. ]
I decided also to stay at Kingsbury Hotel when in Colombo next, instead of with my relatives including through Airbnb. Like Jaffna was wounded  most in 2009 – Kingsbury is wounded now. The common believer would go with the most needy. The Australian diplomatic mission as well as Minister Ameratunga have confirmed that they lack this commonness needed by their respective positions.

 Hence at the global level – there has been no closure at government levels – in Australia and/or Sri Lanka.

As for the ‘foreign’ component identified by the Lankan government – SBS reports as follows:
[Before being named prime suspects in Sri Lanka's Easter bomb suicide attacks, National Thowheeth Jama'ath's (NTJ) main claim to fame was being linked to vandalising of Buddhist statues. After long wrangling with radical Buddhist leaders, suicide bomb attacks against churches and hotels would be a spectacular departure for the little-known Islamic extremist group.
Cabinet minister and government spokesman Rajitha Senaratne on Monday said authorities believed the NTJ was behind Sunday's attacks on churches and luxury hotels in which 290 people died.
Authorities said 24 people have been arrested and that they were hunting for links between the group and foreign backers.
"We don't see that only a small organisation in this country can do all that," Mr Senaratne said.
The Sri Lankan presidency said in a statement that "intelligence sections have reported that there are international terror groups which are behind local terrorists."]

Wikipedia presents this group as follows:
The NTJ is believed to have separated from the Sri Lanka Thowheed Jamath (SLTJ), also a hardline Islamist organization, in or around 2016. The NTJ's leadership had been condemned by several Sri Lankan Muslim organizations in 2016 for advocating extreme fundamentalist indoctrination of children, and for clashes with Buddhist monks. One of the leaders, Abdul Razik, was arrested for inciting racism.
In 2018, NTJ was linked to vandalism of Buddhist statues following anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka. The group's propaganda highlighted violence against Muslims in MyanmarSri LankaIndia and other countries.]

The Buddhist parallel of the above is BBS - Bodu Bala Sena. This group is presented as follows by Wikipedia:
[…On 14 October 2012 BBS stormed a house in Batakettara, HomagamaPiliyandala where it alleges a Christian pastor called Dinesh and others from an evangelical group called The Name of Lord Jesus were trying to convert Sinhalese Buddhists. The pastor was later released, but seven people were arrested on charges of abduction after complaints were made by the pastor's family. The following day BBS held a protest outside Piliyandala Police Station demanding that the seven arrested be released……..
The BBS met Lieutenant General Jagath Jayasuriya, Major General Shavendra Silva and others from the Sri Lanka Army in late February 2013 to discuss extremist Muslim groups that the BBS alleged were operating in the country. BBS also met with IGP N. K. Illangakoon from the police on 1 March 2013 to discuss the same issues.
Meth Sevana, the BBS's cultural and training centre in Pilana, Wanchawala, Galle District, was officially opened on 9 March 2013 by chief guest Defence Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa, brother of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
……In April 2013 a group of BBS members led by general secretary Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara visited the US to raise awareness of the organisation and counter its negative image.]

In terms of Sri Lanka, at local level – Buddhist extremists have demonstrated much stronger opposition to non-Buddhist groups including Christians. Not so local Muslims. But taken at global level – BBS network is much weaker than the parallel Muslim groups.

If it is an international agency – then Sri Lanka has little influence to prevent it without killing Tourism. But it could not have happened without Sri Lankan participation. If it is largely local then we need to follow the local trail – for example why the Prime Minister did not get special advise from the Mr Priyalal Dissanayake, Deputy Inspector General of Police who is reported to have sent the said ‘intelligence memo’ to the following:

Director/ Ministerial Security Division
Director/ Judicial security division
Director/ Retired presidents security Division
Acting Director/ Diplomatic security Division
Acting Director/ Retired presidents security Division

Why was the retired president’s security unit advised but not the current Prime Minister’s security unit? We need to follow that Administrative lead – especially given that Mr Mahinda Rajapaksa is in the retired president. If Mr Priyalal Dissanayake did not think it was serious – why did he raise the memo in the first instance?
 Insiders would get their answers through their belief. We do not need proof. It was reported that Journalist  Lasanatha Wicrematunga wrote in his last editorial: When finally I am killed, it will be the government that kills me.
The authorities concerned have not named ‘who did it?’ But the fact that the Rajapaksa regime was defeated by itself on 08 January – the anniversary of Lasantha’s death – confirms the connection. Truth Triumphs and the work of those who identify with the Truth – is protected and treasured by that very Truth.
To the non-believer these may be coincidences. But to the believer – they are connected through the universal connector - truth.  On Easter Sunday Lasatha’s true contribution to Journalism resurrected itself because the custodians of power failed, ignored  and forgot. Every genuine seeker will find the Truth for her/his own ‘liberty’ when s/he follows the trail that s/he has contributed to of her/his  own free will. The root in Sri Lanka has to be cured and will be cured by truth. The discovery of the Government must not contradict this truth in any  believer’s mind.

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