Thursday, April 27, 2006

an update: cpa report on trincomalee

as you may know if you have been reading this blog. i have advanced evidence to show the bias of statement issued by centre for policy alternatives(cpa) on 21st. I have also advanced evidence to show that it was in fact a partial plagiarism from one of dbs jeyaraj's blog posts. so far i am yet to see any evidence to the contrary here or at moju where this is discussed.

it has since emerged that cpa has published (on 26th or later, a fact not mentioned in website, though it is dated 21st)a report purporting to be the report on which earlier statement was based. this new report while answering my questions regarding the availability of the actual report of the so called 'fact finding' and clarity regarding whether the all signatories of earlier statement actually took part in the 'fact finding'(they did not), fail completely to answer other questions raised.

all the other questions i raised regarding representativeness, the transparency , and methods, used in that 'fact finding mission' still remain valid for this report as well. they are yet be answered for earlier statment.

evidence i put forward showing bias of earlier statement with regard to content and recommendations is still valid for that statement and this newly published report.

to be fair, this new report does use the word 'unconfirmed' more often before putting forward allegations and it states that 'Most of the people we spoke to in the town , who were mostly tamil or non Sri Lankan'.

however that only raises the question as to why was that uncertainty almost completely dropped when cpa issued the earlier statement if that was based on this as it was implied? is this more evidence for bias and selective fact finding when releasing that earlier statement?

in this connection it is of importance to note that earlier statement was used by tamilnet and others as propaganda almost immediately after its publication.

in the same way plagiarism charge is still valid for earlier statement. in fact earlier statement has more in common with the jeyaraj's post than this report except for the recommendation part.

for instance in case of hatton national bank this new report details an attempt to attack the teller machine but earlier statement was shown to have plagiarized the paragraph containing the reference to hatton national bank from from jeyaraj word to word.

given that no significant effort has been made so far to disprove the charges of bias and plagiarism,
and given that almost all questions raised regarding the earlier statement are valid with regard to new report as well,
we are left with no other option but to doubt the bona fide of cpa and its motivation.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

sri lankan army, our pride.

we have one of the best disciplined armies on earth. this was shown in the months since last december by its superhuman restraint in the face of unprovoked attacks from the ltte. it was the military that kept us from war. in the end it almost sacrificed its commander. its greatness will be shown again in the coming weeks. we should be proud of it and not be afraid to express that pride. leave the whining to people like morquendi who recently wrote a post about how he is sorry for the army.
ms. morquendi, army does not need your sympathy, its you who need its protection. realize that before you argue again in the internet.


now lets see what the government should do next

government ordered limited air and naval strikes against ltte positions in ltte controlled areas and it is likely that it will continue with this policy of limited strikes in return for any major strike by ltte. its rather unlikely that there was any military value in the targets (though i am not absolutely sure about that). no, the intentions of those strikes were different .

they served two important purposes .

one of them is as a warning to ltte.
ltte was warned that by attacking the army commander they have overstepped the mark and similar attacks will be met with similar strikes. we might even see an attempt at an assassination of some prominent tiger leader by sri lankan special forces. as everybody know bunkerholed pussy lived in terror of our special forces before 2001. imo a bit of terror for him is certainly in order.

second purpose of these strikes is to assure the sri lankans that their government is not totally powerless and that its restraint in face of attacks should not be mistaken for weakness. such an assurance will lessen the tension prevailing in the country, so that when ltte commits its next atrocity, such as a terror attack against the civilians, chance of mob violence breaking out will also go down. that such a riot even if quickly controlled can be manipulated and inflated through propaganda into something like 1983 riot is a real possibility. especially when you consider that a small scale riot lasting 2-3 hours was almost made in to '83 by ltte propagadists and their biased ngo helpers (such as those in centre for policy alternatives-cpa) using false arguments, unsubstantiated claims, and reports plagiarized from pro ltte blogs.

however there are some obvious problem with this. the government must be very careful in its implementation.

in the first place it is highly unlikely that tigers will heed the warning and they will in all probability continue with their attacks. in fact these strikes are, at least partially, what they expected. it was their intention all along to provoke a response from the military or when that did not happen from sinhala mob. they hoped to use such a response as a justification for war. that they decided on a war somewhere in last year was clear from their election boycott on.

so it is of utmost importance that these strikes and possible assassinations be executed with minimal civilian casualties and aimed at ltte installations only. military should give best possible access to the media (especially foreign media) to cover these attacks from its side. that way any attempt on the part of tigers to get some sort of sympathy from exhibiting real or manufactured civilian casualties can be precluded.

meanwhile we should never let international community forget that it is the ltte that is making the provocations not the government. government should display accurately that it only responds as a last resort in a limited way. if we do that international community will continue to condemn the ltte for making the attacks and they will continue apply pressure on the ltte to come back to table as they have been doing for the past few months.

in such a situation ltte will still have to start a full scale war on its own responsibility or come back to talks a spent force. imo they will chose the former before they come back to latter but at least nobody will doubt that they are terrorists and needs to be treated as such.

sittingnut the retarded king of trinco explains to morquendi real slowly

retard and king of trinco are morquendi 's names for me. i have thanked him for them :-)

morquendi having failed utterly to come up with valid arguments to counter the questions and arguments regarding the biased and plagiarized cpa report on trinco riot in either of those threads or at moju was reduced to creating several posts in nittewa with some juvenile argument about my going to trinco which i have already answered. since i am tired of making the same argument in several places i will post my last comment to his last post here and i will refer to it in the future when he creates the next post.

if yo prefer you may skip it without loss.

here is the comment
how pathetic can you be! is this the only one ngo wallahs can put forward ?

you claim to be a journalist and still fail to understand the basics of journalism.
since you are obsessed with my going to trinco and devotes a whole post to that argument (which btw show how you are unable to answer the valid questions or arguments about the biased and plagiarized report from centre for policy alternatives.) i will spell it out to you and what is more i will post it as a post so i dont have to makes it again and again as you continue to repeat it.

i did go to trinco on 16th and yes my employees and friends were eyewitnesses but that does not make me or my accounts of their experience any more believable to others. to do that i have to produce those witnesses to other people's scrutiny. i am not in a position to do that . as such i have no right to ask people to believe in a report based on those unsubstantiated accounts. since when i write i hope to be believed i do not write such a report. i am certainly not going to pass judgment on others using such unsubstantiated accounts either

what is true about me is also true about others. if they cannot produce witnesses and evidence to other's scrutiny they should refrain from producing reports and passing judgment. if they do and do not produce the evidence when challenged, they open themselves to charges of unprofessional conduct. that is what your friends did with that report, they passed judgement on the military based on nothing.

what is more their account differs from all substantiated accounts of the trinco riot published in local and foreign media with evidence. and as i have shown from its internal evidence it was biased in the extreme. this is not surprising since there were also questions about representativeness of those taking part and the methods used to collect the 'facts'.

in addition to all that it has been shown with examples from the text itself that the said report was nothing but a plagiarism of a post by pro ltte blogger jeyaraj.

as i said you failed to come up with counter argments for any of those arguments raised by me even in moju so yo come up with this. :-)

anyway i am glad that you got your juvenile fun. you are right you did not say i was a 'retard' you just posted it and as you know very well i thanked you for it

so thank you again. do call me whatever name you want. you are even free to believe whatever you think of me, i don't mind.

btw i did not know ppl look for popularity in blogs. do you ? that may explain lot of things :-D

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

fallacy of some recent peacenik ngo arguments

most ngo activists attached to peacenik ngos like centre for policy alternatives(cpa) apart from publishing obviously biased and plagiarized statements purporting to be results of a 'fact-finding team of civil society representatives' when they are nothing of the kind, are also in the habit of advancing certain arguments on behalf of their cause.
these arguments aim to impute to the government the full blame for the failure to restart the peace talks and to imply that military is actively engaged in ethnic cleansing or even genocide reminiscent of 1983. many others (in the media especially) are in the sloppy habit of repeating them without realizing their fallacy.

statements and reports of cpa can be and were exposed as biased and plagiarized using evidence. fallacy of their arguments should also be proved. this an attempt to do that for two of of the most common.

probably the most common argument advanced by such people is the following
'the government is responsible for peace talks not taking place because it failed to give in to some ltte precondition for peace talk participation'

the precondition varies from time to time according to ltte mood, from failure to disarm the paramilitaries to not transporting tigers by military helicopter to not allowing tigers to carry arms in government controlled areas. let us forget for now the impossibility and impracticality, not to mention danger in complying with some of these demands. (for what i think of paramilitary demand see here) let us assume that government is capable of complying with them and deliberately chose not to comply due to its own reasons.

even then is it valid to impute to government the full responsibility for failure to restart the peace talks as this argument does?
ngo ppl seem to believe so, if we go by the frequency they advance this argument at the smallest opportunity.

however in order to do so,
they have to forget the ltte's daily attacks against the military.
they have to forget the ltte's daily attacks against the civilians.
they have to forget the superhuman restraint shown by the military in the face of those daily attacks.
they have to forget that military cannot be accused of gratuitously killing tigers.
they have to forget that it is in fact tigers who are killing military and the civilians in order to provoke communal clashes.
they have to forget that in few instances where such clashes did occur as in trinco on april 12th, the military controlled it within 2-3 hours(quick by any standard. in some countries, in britain and france recently for instance, have taken longer to quell smaller riots)
they have to forget that government is ready to start talks,
they have to forget that it is the ltte that is refusing to attend peace talks due to ever changing preconditions.

it is hard believe but these ngo people do forget all that and advance the above argument.

imo only people with an ingrained bias against the military and limited reasoning facilities will be capable of advancing it seriously and it seems most ago activists fall into that category. no wonder that they pass other peoples' writings as their own.

it would be telling to know how they will answer following questions.

do you deny that ltte is attacking the military?
do you deny that ltte trying to provoke the military ?
do you deny that ltte is provoking communal clashes ?

do you deny that its ltte is bent on restarting the war ?

next time they shamelessly advance that argument please ask those questions from them.

following is another argument used by them, especially after the recent riots in trinco
'since xx number of tamils were killed, xx number of tamil shops attacked, xx number of tamils displaced, and there was some other reports of anti tamil mob violence, and especially because there were reports of military inaction during the riot there must be an organized attempt by military to ethnically cleanse trinco of tamils by reenacting events of july '83.'

it has already been shown that the reports on which they base this argument are biased and plagiarized accounts taken from ltte propagandists. substantiated accounts of the riot from slmm, foreign and local media show that it was a spontaneous affair and there were gangs of both communities operating during the riot. this is further confirmed by the fact that victims both killed, displaced, and damaged, included all communities. in spite of repeated requests ngo people have been unable to substantiate claims of military indifference or involvement in the riot. in fact military seem to have controlled it very quickly with in 2-3 hours.
imo there can be no comparison between this riot and '83.

in addition to challenging above argument through its factual inaccuracies let us examine its logic too.

if there was an organized mob operating why was it not used again and again. why was there only two (second incident involving in reality few sinhala villagers from mahindapura who burned houses in near by tamil villages on 15th after some of their fellow villagers were killed on 14th) instances of mob violence so far?
after all ltte's attempts at provoking did not stop with the market bomb in trico on 12th and killing of mahindapura villagers on 14th. it continued throughout this period. it is still continuing.
in the last 48 hours alone, 10 sinhala civilians around trinco including children were killed. so where is the organized and military supported mob that these ngo people are always going on about?
there are daily deadly attacks on the military. if military is so intent on ethnic cleansing as these ngo fellows allege why is there no reappraisals?

is it because there was no such organized mob violence in first place? is it because military has no plans to ethnically cleanse trinco?

international community and everybody else with even a modicum of sense have commended the military and expressed sympathy to the civilians of trinco. urging them to continue to be patient.

question is whether peacenik ngo people will at least leave off making the above argument in the future, if they cannot commend the military for its restraint because of their ingrained hatred towards it.

note: 'blogger' is acting weird so will add formating later.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

did cpa plagiarize dbs jeyaraj in the their trinco report?

in my last post i examined and exposed the bias evident in recent centre for policy alternatives(cpa) report. since then it has emerged that the said report is in fact a partial plagiarism of writings of ltte sympathizer and blogger dbs jeyaraj or his sources.

while the recent updated blog post of dbs jeyaraj was published after the cpa report there are enough evidence to show that authors of cpa report had access to the jeyaraj's writing before its publication and that cpa was plagiarizing jeyaraj and not the other way around.

here is the evidence:

in cpa report following sentence occurs,
It appeared that several large shops were specifically targeted – among them were Hari Electricals, the Dollar Agency, the Dialog Company and the Sunlight (Lever Brothers) Agency. The mob also attacked the Hatton National Bank.

in jeyaraj
The violence was initially confined to areas near the Clock tower , Central road, Main street, North Coast road etc. It appeared that several large shops were specifically targeted - among them were Hari Electricals, the Dollar Agency, the Dialog Company and the Sunlight (Lever Brothers) Agency. The mob also attacked the Hatton National Bank.

(i have already raised questions regarding the validity of content of the sentence in my previous post. so i will confine myself to examining the plagiarism here)

it is obvious that one of them is a cut and paste job from the other. now why do i say that the original was from jeyaraj?
well look at the sentence preceding it in his post and then notice how he goes on to detail how police did not respond to emergency alarms set off by hatton national bank, how vehicles of bank employees were attacked and how the bank employees are supposedly on strike demanding security guarantees. (as i said let us forget the validity of these claims for now)

in other words jeyaraj provides context to that statement as well as additional details while cpa report does not.

since the sentences are identical we have to conclude that cpa was plagiarizing jeyaraj or his source.

another instance
from jeyaraj
The Government imposed curfews in three divisions including Trinco town and gradually relaxed them. People however have been displaced due to the violence. 319 from 98 families are housed in Bharathy Vidyalayam in Varothaya nagar; 243 from 67 families are in Kalaimagal vidyalayam in Bharathypuram. 275 from 75 families are in the Bharathipuram school. Some are stayng with relatives while some others have fled to Tiger controlled areas.
As of the 20th April, the District Secretariat, Trincomalee, had the displaced figure at 2673 persons (723 families). This does not take into account the large numbers who are residing with family and friends, and those who are simply leaving their homes at night-time for more secure locations. The response to the displacement, even from NGOs, has been slow, hampered by the prevailing tensions and lack of personnel. In some areas government assistance was received only on the 18th April, despite the fact that people were displaced on the 14th April.

from cpa
The violence, as well as the fear and insecurity experienced by the civilians, has led to a fairly substantial displacement. As of the 20th April, the District Secretariat, Trincomalee, had this figure at 2673 persons (723 families). This does not take into account the large numbers who are residing with family and friends, and those who are simply leaving their homes at night-time for more secure locations. The response to the displacement, even from NGOs, has been slow, hampered by the prevailing tensions and lack of personnel. In some areas government assistance was received only on the 18th April, despite the fact that people were displaced on the 14th April.

as you can see jeyaraj provides more context and details while cpa seems to be busy copying and pasting selectively.

these are just two instances, there are lot more, but i will for now confine my self to them.

what is curious about this blatant plagiarism is that jeyarj who does not conceal his bias still gives details and figures for sinhala victims while cpa so very obviously ignores or lessens them.
here is a example

from jeyaraj
The body of a Sinhala youth named Nissanka from Mahindapura was found in Thoorankaadu on April 14th morning. Missing from the 13th he had been hacked to death.

from cpa
The body of a young Sinhala man, identified as Nissanka, was found in Mahindapura on the 14th April. He had been missing since the 13th.

notice the missing words (hacked to death) not to mention location of the dead body.

those who signed the cpa statment
in light of the above i and anybody else who examines this have to ask again, did all those who signed the cpa statment really participate in a bona fide 'fact finding mission'? or did they just sign on a piece of paper put before them.

while i can believe they are biased against the government and the military, i am still not convinced that all of them knowingly took part in so obvious a plagiarism but then i may be wrong.

anyway it's upto them to clear themselves of taint of plagiarism and bad faith and explain how their signatures got on that piece of plagiarism.

as for centre for policy alternatives itself, what more an can be said of its complete lack of professionalism and all too obvious bias.

an examination of bias in recent ngo report on trinco riot

after the recent riot in trinco some ngo activists (mainly from center for policy alternatives-cpa) have released a report titled 'call for immediate action on trincomalee situation'. this document nominally a press release according to cpa claims to be expression of 'grave concerns' raised by 'findings' of a 'fact-finding team of civil society representatives'(btw its not made clear that this team included all those who signed the statement) and even has recommendations for various parties. accordingly it will be examined as their report on the situation until more details are made available.

(report was highlighted in moju and this post is derived from my first comment there (with minor edits, highlighted in brown, in the interest of clarity)).

this is an examination and exposing of lack of transparency , representativeness, proper procedure, and most importantly impartiality, of this group of individuals who call themselves a 'fact-finding team of civil society representatives'.
it is also a examination of the content and recommendations of the report itself and its all too obvious bias against the government and the military .

it is not intended as a personal attack against any one of those ppl.

let us hope they are able to allay shortcomings exposed by producing at least some the details asked for.

I will not republish the report itself in the main post you may read it at cpa or moju or as a comment here.

lets start.
first lets examine the participants', inquiry's, and report's credibility, then we will go into content and recommendations.

even a glance show that this fact finding group consists of few ngo ppl whose impartiality has been questioned before. true?
how and who chose the participants?
was there open invitations to ppl who are not that transparently biased?
was there for instance, invitations to professional bodies like bar association, chartered accountants, etc.?
was there an invitation to the chambers of commerce?
was there an invitation to religious leaders?
if not in what way could this be termed 'civil society'? ( if one take the literal meaning if the term and not as just a synonym for peacenik ngos )

what were the methods of inquiry?
did all members of inquiry travel to trinco?
are transcripts of interviews available for scrutiny? and where? and why not?
were the 'fact finding' open to public?
were all relevant ppl interviewed? what were the procedures implemented to ensure this?
were medical evidence collected as to causes of death etc.?are these attached? if not why?
were the military interviewed? did they refuse? if so why was this not noted?
were the ltte cadres interviewed? did they refuse? if so why was this not noted?
what procedures were implemented to ensure the veracity of witnesses?
when and where was the inquiry held?( full details pl)

is this merely a summary ?
where is the complete report with all the details missing here?
was this published anywhere else? at least at cpa website? and why not?(at moju cpa link was not provided in the main post it was posted as a comment later so far this is the only question answered )
were all the signatories completely in agreement?
where can one find the original with the signatures?

unless one can hear credible answers to those questions one has to doubt the impartiality, representativeness, and methods of this 'civil society' ' fact finding'.

now for the content. (this would be fun to deconstruct, if not for the tragedy of the actual event forming the basis of it)

bias reeks through the sentences:
Within 15 minutes of the explosion, a gang of armed Sinhala persons began a rampage through the business area of the town,
even jeyraj (a person who does not hide his bias to his credit) did not go that far, he at least gave 30 min for the military to organize the goons.
or may be this was spontaneous anger spilling over ? was this ever considered?

no, it seems, bc they have an explanation for the 15 min efficiency of the military ( there is lot that can be said in praise of the army but efficiency is not one of them)
The speed with which the violence erupted after the explosion seems to indicate an element of pre-planning that is extremely disturbing.

so this fact finding group have a bomb (no doubt pre planned by military) that kills soldiers( no doubt expendable ones, these army guys are ruthless no?) and a mob(don't forget it was sinhala only too!) in 15 min ( who were armed with petrol etc. and in civilian cloths loaded into trucks waiting with impatience to hear the sound of their colleagues dying in the market place)

man, that's very believable no?(esp. if you are a peacenik ngo given to hate to army but to others not so given?)

Two observers referred to the situation as being reminiscent of the anti-Tamil riots of July 1983
now that's testimony i would really like to hear. in what way was it reminiscent ? scale ? or is it just that all fires look alike.

The burning of bodies has resulted in delays in identification, and has destroyed traces of mutilation and sexual assault prior to the death.
so are they not sure who these victims were? tamil? sinhala? muslim?
were postmortems conducted? if not why?
how exactly do these ngo ppl become so sure that there was 'mutilation and sexual assault' prior to burning? pl explain bc the statement sound so sure. or was it just bias sneaking out?

It appeared that several large shops were specifically targeted – among them were Hari Electricals, the Dollar Agency, the Dialog Company and the Sunlight (Lever Brothers) Agency. The mob also attacked the Hatton National Bank.
why? i was really surprised that this group did not find a reason for mob attack on this kind of company? it can't be ethnicity .
but they say they were 'specifically targeted'?
as far as i know neither dialog or hnb has confirmed this. in fact if this 'specifically targeted' part is correct or if the damages were great these companies will be guilty of not complying with disclosure requirements of colombo stock exchange (they have not, i know). they disclosed their damages in previous tragedies like tsunami promptly and are known to be exemplary corporate citizens, so this statement is highly questionable to say the least.

During this entire period the armed forces and the Police did almost nothing to prevent the violence from taking place. There are several very credible eye witness accounts to the manner in which the security forces stood by and allowed the burning and killing to take place.
please give the details of 'several very credible eye witnesses' ? who were they? where exactly were they? how did they escape? how was the credibility established? just plain statements by several biased ppl who were in colombo at the time just don't cut it.

as i have been asking again and again in the previous discussion,(at moju there was an earlier discussion about unsubstantiated allegations about military involvement in the trinco riot) for god's sake please produce the evidence for others to examine if you have them.
why keep them hidden? is it (god forbid!)bc they are not credible? or were just hearsay witnesses instead of eye witnesses? we will know once they come in to open. if not this statement is just another restatement of rumor. and these ppl are devaluing their already tarnished reputations further by doing what a low grade would be rumormonger did in other discussion.

then there are the recommendations:
The government should devise some means of accepting accountability for the inability of the security forces to prevent the violence; a collective apology from the state and from southern political parties to the people of Trincomalee would go a long way towards re-building bridges of communication and trust;
An independent investigation into the violence following the bomb explosion on 12th April should be undertaken by a team comprising representatives of government and non-government bodies; the investigation should aim at recording the various testimonies regarding the incidents and at making recommendations to the government regarding justice and redress for the victims
these are stated in that order
first the verdict
then the inquiry
in the same report, at the same time.

shouldn't the verdict come after an impartial inquiry is held? i thought that was the normal procedure in law. am i wrong?
do these fact finders still claim to be impartial after that?

that is part of recommendations for government and others in the south, most of the other recommendations are the usual platitudes long on words short on concrete steps.

but when it comes to ltte , there are two, one is a platitude as the ones referred in the previous statement. lets get to the relevant one.
Halt these acts of violence and commit to the pursuit of its objectives through non-violent and democratic means;

is that all?
no condemnation? no request to accept responsibility as with government? no apology?
may be the fact finders suddenly remembered that they should not pass the verdict before a proper inquiry?
but there is no appeal to ltte to help the government in conducting the inquiry, say by handing over the ppl who threw bombs to the slmm? and other cadres too so that they can be examined by the inquiry.

no they hold only the government responsible ltte is free to go and conduct attacks and provocations.

as is clear to anyone after examining this report in detail. these biased 'fact finders' seems to have prejudged the case and held only the government responsible using unsubstantiated evidence .
if anyone disagree pl reply to the concerns raised in this post in detail.
here are some additional questions to the 'fact finders' that illustrates the bias and resulting selective nature of this so called 'fact finding'
what is the evidence that makes these 'fact finders' so sure that only a sinhala mob operated during the riot?
did they or did they not find evidence for groups of tamil youth goading the sinhala mob with several hand grenade explosions and other provocations throughout the riot ? why not ?
did they at least examine the evidence left behind by these grenade explosions ? why is there no reference to them in their report?

even jeyaraj seems to admit to these grenades which were reported on sl media at the time.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

will tigers back down again?

will we see a repeat of what happened in january?

it's becoming almost predictable, this tiger dance, except for the last part.

  • first, ltte pussies attack the security forces in expectation of a retaliation against civilians but security forces show superhuman restraint that coalition forces in iraq have yet to learn.
  • then, ltte tries to make a mountain out of a few incidents where some ignorant idiots failed to show the same kind of restraint (in trico this time) however except for few ngo fellows nobody else fails to recognize the mole hill.
  • third, pussies try to create some non existent incident (remember those tro workers?) or even go so far as to kill one of their own fellow travelers (or let the so called paramilitaries kill them, nobody can be sure, remember joseph pararajasingham?) and then try to blame it on government, but as i said nobody can be sure who killed/disappeared whom, so this also fails.

foreign governments on the other hand have no trouble recognizing that ltte planted claymore mines kill sri lankan military personnel all over the place. on cue they condemn ltte in the strongest possible language. (remember u.s. ambassador's speech last time.) this time around australia issued a statement yesterday. expect a u.s. statement soon.

btw some peacenik ngo people in sri lanka seem blind to those claymore mines even if they explode in front of them, but they have no problem in giving credence to allegations that military stood around doing nothing while tamils were burned in trinco just because ltte says so. (nobody else has substantiated these allegations).

anyway the question is what happens next.

last time ltte backed down, will it this time? do they really care that much about international community? or do they care more about restarting the war?
that they want a war this year was clear for some time (as explained here). while december and january were not the correct time for war because of the rain, that constrain is no longer valid. only thing holding them back now is opinion of the international community. they are probably even now weighing the two options available to them.

will they risk being lumped together with al-qaeda in this era of world wide war on terror?( as will happen if they go ahead and restart war on their own full responsibility) or will they allow their already weakened fascist organization get weaker by the stagnation inherent in the current status quo? they unlike the southern herd that voted in mahinda buffalo have realized that peace is bad for them.

if they want a war this year they probably have to start one before september or so. so they still have some time left. will they wait and hope for bloodier fruit from provocations, so to speak? or will they go for it taking the full blame themselves? one cannot predict.

only prediction that can be made is that we will either have a war or a ltte weakened beyond recognition by the end of year.

anyway government should do what it is doing; show restraint and wait. if talks start, they should be more wary of being pressured into signing silly impracticable conditions like disarming the paramilitaries. ltte's attempt to make that an issue went nowhere because everybody (except silly ngo types that is) could see that it was impracticable. next time we may not be so lucky. the government should even take the initiative and propose a federal solution. that will take the wind out of any future tiger provocations.

whatever the ltte's decision, we should not lose sight of their real nature as demonstrated by their actions visible to all. we should always challenge and condemn any attempt that seems to justify their actions based on unsubstantiated facts because such justifications support tiger's drive to war.

Friday, April 07, 2006

paramilitary disarmament, latest pussy ploy

government of sri lanka agreed to disarm the paramilitaries in the joint statement issued at the end of last round of peace talks. however it is quite clear to everyone with any commonsense that this simply cannot be carried out.

most of the paramilitary groups operate independently of government and it cannot just order them to disarm. for the most part some of them are based in areas in eastern province designated as tiger controlled in ceasefire agreement. while government should cut off any indirect military help they have been receiving and should try to influence them to lay low for now, it is quite impossible for it to force them to disarm.

in addition given the uncertain situation it would be strategically unwise to use force to disarm groups and leave them at ltte's mercy when these groups could be very useful if the war restarts.

these facts were obvious to everyone (including the ltte) even before the joint statement was issued.

so why did the government agree to it? why did ltte want it in the statement? why are they now vehemently insisting on its full implementation?

at the last round government's aim was to show to the international community that mahinda buffalo was not a warmonger. in addition given the ltte's active provocations at the time with almost daily attacks on army they had no choice but to come to some kind of agreement in order to stop ltte from restarting the war. in other words government wanted to stop ltte restarting war and was forced into an unwise statement.

what it shows clearly however is that buffalo and his advisers wanted to avoid war.

on the other hand it is clear that ltte's motivation was quite the opposite. first we have to remember that ltte, by electing the buffalo with his war mongering allies and rhetoric through the election boycott and then by provocative attacks on the army throughout december and january were aiming to put the blame for restarting the war on the government. unfortunately for them their provocations failed miserably because of the disciplined restraint shown by the army and buffalo (surprisingly in his case). instead it became clear that they will be held responsible if the war restarts. so they had to backtrack and start over again.

as such they made use of their opportunity to insert the condition for paramilitary disarmament into the joint statement. they have then gradually made it into the pivotal issue on which balance between war and peace depends. given that government cannot completely assure that paramilitaries are fully disarmed ltte can at any moment claim they are under attack by paramilitaries. this is all the easier given their talent for creating fake incidents (e.g. disappearance of 7 tro workers).

what all this make clear for those who are observant is that ltte is preparing to restart the war if they can confidently blame the government for it.

question is whether anyone other than ltte sympathizers will fall for this ploy when pussies decide to use it in earnest.

all indications are that international community seems to be fully aware of the facts and government's limitations when it comes to disarming paramilitaries.

on the other hand peacenik ngos types seem to be falling headlong in to the trap. they are presently exhorting the government to comply with the joint statement. given their usual see no evil head in clouds attitude this is not surprising. usually government can ignore them. however given that this is a question about moral high ground it may be helpful to have them on one's side.

so how can the government neutralize this issue when it cannot comply with it?

imo as i have said before buffalo should express his support for a federal solution and even put forward a draft proposal in the next round of peace talks. while it will be a complete u turn on his part his current popularity and present weakened state of the jvp/jhu after the local elections has created the ideal window.

it will make the paramilitary issue redundant and pussies will have to bide their time till they can create another excuse for war, or restart the war on their own responsibility revealing their true nature as cowardly terrorists.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

blogosphere, sri lankan?

sri lankan blogosphere was in a bit of a flutter last week because of some nutter, who after distorting and embellishing few scraps of information found some relief from his own frustrations by publishing the same as rather entertaining blog posts about fair number of sri lankan bloggers, myself included. lots of people (again including myself) commentated, bloged, threatened, and speculated. this week everybody including the nutter seem to have got bored.

it may be pertinent to ask why sri lankan blogosphere got so excited about what in the end was nothing more than silly gossip about fellow bloggers. are we really so limited? maybe we had a clue in the fact that almost all the male bloggers and half the females ones resident in sri lanka were at the royal thomian few weeks back and most had posts about it, in some cases old recycled ones. how removed from sri lankan reality can the average blogger be?

a similarly narrow range is evident in those who blog about films, plays, or books. they deal almost exclusively about western films, sri lankan productions of western plays, and novels written in english by sri lankans. we had several posts about american idol and hardly any about the sri lankan version. i have yet to see a post about any sinhala teledrama. most likely nobody in blogosphere watches them, i definitely do not, but these teledramas are the most popular cultural product here.

now let us consider all those who write about current issues. take moju, an excellent blog for 'members of sri lankan civil society', but does anybody who post or comment there have any understanding about how sri lankans actually live? have they ever dealt with corruption on a day to day basis? have they ever gone canvasing from house to house on behalf of a real politician? how many of them have gone to a police station and tried to enter a complaint through the constable on duty? isn't their knowledge of sri lankan experience filtered through other sources such as newspapers and ngo reports? i don't know. i myself have no claim to be an average sri lankan in tune with ordinary people and most sri lankan politicians will laugh at me if i were to expound libertarianism to them. grassroots politicians will laugh louder no doubt. its rather ironic that i hardly ever blog about things about which i can actually claim some first hand experience such as how i make my living. then again nobody currently in blogosphere will understand if i blogged about those things.

then there are the tech bloggers. as far as i can tell most of those who blog on such subjects ranging from .net to linux are recycling material taken from other industry sites several hours or even months late. i know that some people in sri lanka are engaged in really innovative software projects but most of those who blog seem to get even their jargon confused. i am just a hobbyist and don't make a living from such work myself so i may be wrong but i doubt it.

of course most of the posts concern purely personal matters and at least in the context of an audience similarly limited in scope they seem to resonate with others when honestly expressed. which is why it is rather sad that authors lives are not broader.

another blogger wrote 'if you are a blogger, you owe absolutely no one, no one, an explanation or justification of your blog or its existence.' quite true. this post is in no way a criticism of blogs that make up the sri lankan blogesphere. they are for the most part highly original and enjoyable to read, imo. bloggers themselves (again for the most part) seem to be decent, intelligent, talented, and articulate. very fact that the nutter was accommodated in kottu shows how tolerant and gracious it is. in fact if rest of sri lanka acts and thinks like the blogosphere it may even be a much 'better' place. however it isn't and it won't be, ever.

sri lankan reality is very different. should that matter? should we even ponder that last question?

(this post was not intended to offend anyone. anyway my apologies if anyone was offended by it.)