Wednesday, May 31, 2006

another false peacenik ngo argument

last month i showed the fallacy of two common arguments advanced by peacenik ngos and the inherent ltte bias contained therein. statements coming from them after eu listed ltte as a terrorist organization contain another argument whose fallacy is obvious to anyone who is not blind.

soon after the eu ban paikiasothy saravanamuttu,of centre for policy alternatives (yes, the one with plagiarized and biased reports) said to reuters "i can't see any way out of ... moving towards large-scale hostilities." today jehan perera of national peace council said to mtv(that is maharaja tv in sl) that this ban would politically isolate ltte and it might decide as a result to embark on military 'adventures'. he told bloomberg that “unless the government is able to take some very positive initiatives with respect to the peace process, a strong ltte military reaction may be anticipated". others of same ilk have been making similar noises

one has to ask, where have these gentlemen been for the last six months? wasn't ltte already doing its best to provoke government into a war by almost daily attacks on the military and civilians? what would have been the consequences if navy escorts were unable to prevent the suicide attack on ferry carrying 700+ military on 11th may? in fact it is government's restraint that prevented a full scale war up to now.

in other words, ltte was 'moving towards large-scale hostilities' before the ban, it was taking 'military action' before the ban, and if there is going to be a 'reaction' on the part of ltte to the eu ban, it will not be noticeable from what went before.

all the while ltte had another way open to them, they just have to say the word to restart peace talks. government is already sitting on the other side, with international community putting pressure on ltte (and this ban is just that, nothing more practically speaking) to sit too. so what is preventing them from sitting down for talks? their own decision to go to war apparent since presidential election? on that these peaceniks are silent. are they buying the ltte line there too ?

if they say similar nonsense again, please ask them ,
  • whether they did not notice all those ltte attacks before the ban?
  • or are they merely towing the ltte's line as usual to excuse any further ltte atrocities ?
because either they are blind idiots, or they are blatantly biased towards ltte. it has to be one or the other.
same goes to everyone else who advance this false argument.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

european union bans ltte

council of ministers of the eu decided to list ltte as a banned terrorist organization about an hour ago.
about time.
not that it will change much.
for all those who had eyes it was clear ltte wanted to provoke a war this year from end of last year. ltte's claim just before the ban that it will have no option but to go to war if they were banned was merely a pathetic blackmail attempt .

as usual paikiasothy saravanamuttu,of centre for policy alternatives seem to have bought ltte line. he is quoted by reuters 'i can't see any way out of ... moving towards large-scale hostilities.' he is wrong. ltte, now as before, have two clear options; restart peace talks or go for full scale war with complete responsibility for it.

eu list of terrorist organizations, as at 21 march 2006 (pdf 43kb)

Friday, May 19, 2006

bible blogging

over at slate david plotz is reading the bible and blogging about it along the way. so far four entries dealing with book of genesis have been posted.

plotz who describes himself as 'a proud jew, but never a terribly observant one' explains in the introductory article how reading one of the many unknown and rather unsettling stories in the bible made him realize that 'like other lazy but faithful people' how little he knew about the book on which his religion is based.

most christians i know, brought up on selective sanitized extracts from the bible and rationalized theology, and like plotz having never actually read the thing before, will find some things in the bible quite shocking.

it is not just that some stories in it make marquis de sade's stories in 'the 120 days of sodom' appear rather tame. what would really shock them is the depiction of god (the father, not jesus of course) as a peevish, vindictive, and rather contradictory, person, not the all knowing, all powerful, rather nebulous but benevolent force that most people imagine him to be. he is still the almighty and certainly does not fall to the level of olympian gods in homer, but as he himself say in the bible he is a personal god with a name(several in fact). btw this is also the theologically correct position.

such a depiction also allows for a lot of freedom to us humans than most people are willing accept but which i personally find appealing.

i was lucky to have read a full version of bible at an early age and ever since it has been one of my favorites even though i do not believe in god. may be you should read it too, not just commentary/blogs about it. you probably won’t regret it.

people who think there was a conspiracy or a cover up about what went in to the christian bible (à la 'the da vinci code') should read it. they will soon realize that bible is in fact so contradictory that no rational human being assembling a coherent theology would have created it in the present form. however its ability to accommodate so many, almost infinite, interpretations is also its genius. so much so that one can argue quite seriously that only god could have written it.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

moju hypocrisy

new post at moju calls me an extremist and and the author calls himself a democractic-pluralistic-centrist. i just call them hypocrites and unlike them i have facts to back me up. i as always let readers judge for themselves.

moju blog allowed a large number (40+ in last 5 days) of scurrilous spoof comments under the name sittingnut to be posted. they only removed them after i made repeated protest comments and sent repeated emails to admins there. however each time some spoof comments were pointed out and removed, new ones appeared within minutes.

as i said before given that no other commenter's name was spoofed so far and that whose project moju is has connections to centre for policy alternatives(cpa) and employs people like sanjana hattotuwa who is connected with cpa, i reasonably suspect that spoofing was intentionally done in order to discredit me and make me out to be an extremist after i questioned the cpa report on trinco.

their new post which has my name on its title (and makes what i take to be a probable and rather lame scurrilous reference to me in the text, since spoof comments were posted with both capital and simple 's') does not mention any of that. so much for their fair mindedness but it does label me an extremist among other things. hypocracy plain and simple don't you think?

i would also ask anyone to point out where i have taken any one of the extremist positions indicated in the post. namely,

  • Bombing, killing and maiming each other is the way to a solution.
  • Negotiations are useless and a terrible sign of weakness
  • All Civil society organizations are a bunch of terrorist ass lickers
  • Tamils are evil aliens
  • All tamils are terrorists
  • All sinhalese are terrorists
  • Burghers? What is that?
  • The government/army can do no wrong
  • LTTE can do no wrong
  • And all the other countless weird old-world psychotic delusions
in addition to not believing any of that, i also don't the take other similar extremist positions not mentioned there . namely,

  • peace is preferable at any cost
  • ngos can do no wrong and are always unbiased.
  • anyone criticizing ngos with or without evidence is an extremist
as i said please point out where i have taken any one of those positions or any other extremist position.

in addition to my comments in moju and other blogs you may want to check my posts in this blog.

btw imo the author of the present post dmonk has a style of writing that is very similar to the spoofer's though he has left all the abusive homophobic language out.

present post was published today, 13 may around 15 hours (though it seem to have been written yesterday and nominally carries the timestamp12. may 2006 at 23:01 ) after i asked logs of moju be made public, a request i have made at least two times before. they have made no reply whether they will make them available or not, so far. may be they are afraid that such transparency would make it clear who is posting the scurrilous spoof comments under my name. putting forward excuses (technical difficulties about dynamic ips etc. as some commenters there have done) shows their own limited understanding.

so i again request that moju logs (at least from 8 may 2006) to be made available. if they are made available i will prove who was making those scurrilous comments. but i expect they wont be because they are hypocrites who post under other people names and then write posts like the present one labeling anyone who disagrees with them extremists and themselves democractic-pluralistic-centrists.

democracy requires equality and transparency not partial disclosure of facts and hidden logs, pluralism requires tolerance and honest debate not discrediting of opposing views with spoof comments, and labeling everyone opposed to one as extremists does not make one a centrist.

(update - the post which was originally at rather tellingly named ""
was changed to the present location
"" after this was posted here)

Friday, May 12, 2006

monitors and ltte's foiled vesak celebration

it seems ltte has decided to celebrate vesak with blood. yesterday their attacks on a ferry carrying over 700 troops and one monitor (with the monitors' flag flying) was foiled by the navy at considerable cost to both sides. more attacks are expected even though ltte propagandists like dbs jeyaraj, tamilnet etc. are presently trying to downplay the ltte's self inflicted damages both militarily and image wise.

only ignorant idiots and several biased peacenik ngos like cpa were blind to ltte 's long predicted drive for a war this year. even the sri lankan monitoring mission(slmm) was aware of it before. in this regard it is useful to read the slmm press release in full.

11 May 2006 SUBJECT: LTTE is seriously violating the CFA with sea movements and attacks on Sri Lankan Navy
The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have committed gross violations of the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in recent days by moving at sea with the aim of provoking the Sri Lankan navy and now finally embarking on an offensive operation against the navy sinking one vessel and putting SLMM monitors in grave danger.

The sea surrounding Sri Lanka is a Government Controlled Area. This has been ruled so by the Head of the Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission in line with international law. Non-state actors cannot rule open sea waters or airspace. The LTTE has therefore no rights at sea.

The LTTE has made, what the SLMM feels are threats to our monitors warning them not to participate in patrols in Navy vessels. The SLMM takes these threats very seriously and would like to remind the LTTE of its responsibility as an equal partner to the Ceasefire Agreement to do everything in its power not to jeopardise the monitors’ safety.

We therefore demand that the LTTE immediately ceases all activities and operations at sea as they are a serious violation of the CFA. This sort of reckless behaviour can only lead to a dangerous escalation resulting in growing hostilities and jeopardising any possibility for future peace talks.

We would also like to urge the Government of Sri Lanka not to be pushed by these provocative acts and to show as much restraint as possible.
it seems slmm has been receiving these threats for some time. here is the last written one sent yesterday

letter sent on 11 May 2006
Subject: SLMM Monitors on board Sri Lankan Naval Vessels

We have on several occasions verbally informed you to refrain from boarding Sri Lankan Naval vessels. We have also given this request in writing to you twice so far. This is the third request from us to you to refrain from boarding Sri Lankan Naval vessels.

Sri Lankan Navy is entering the sea adjoining the land in our control and disrupting the fishing activities of the people. It is also disturbing the LTTE exercises in doing so. If Sri Lankan Navy disrupts our activities we will definitely retaliate.

SLMM monitors are used by the Sri Lankan Navy as human shields in order to continue with these disruptions.

We urge you for the last time not to be on board Sri Lankan Naval vessels until further notice from us. If you chose to ignore our warning and request, we are not responsible for the consequences.

Please take this as the last warning to you to not board Sri Lankan Naval vessels.
it is clear that 700+ deaths of military personnel was a too tempting a target for the ltte, monitor or no monitor. that ltte now say monitors are used as human shields only proves that they want to attack the military and are not interested in peace.

no doubt international community will condemn the attacks on military, attack and threats on the truce monitors, and increase the pressure on ltte to refrain from provoking war. given their track record there is even less doubt that ngos like cpa will try their best to relieve that pressure by making up excuses for the ltte.

such ltte backlickers would be helped if any disturbances breakout in the event of attacks like the yesterdays are successful and lot of military deaths result, or if there are attacks against civilians in colombo. even if such a riot was quickly controlled and damage is minimal ltte and its helpers would try to make it look like another '83. this was shown by their attempts with trinco incident.

so let us be vigilant and act with the same discipline as shown by our military, especially in the next few days. let us allow the ltte to take the full blame for war they so much desire.

more reports
afp, bbc, reuters.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

cinema, censorship, and child abuse

asoka handagama's new film ak~;ry (aksharaya) or "a letter of fire" is predictably generating lot of controversy even before it is released. even colombo chief magistrate's court got involved yesterday. (film's website has a stupid flash index with no skip option so if you hate flash or have a slow connection go here)

i personally consider his previous film "thani thatuwen piyambanne" one of worst i have seen with amateurism all around but that is just me. see chandare's take on asoka handagama's work here.

film reportedly deal with incest. i have not seen the movie so i will give three impressions by people who have seen the film (or should have before making such statements).
warning: possible spoilers so to speak below.
author of free media movement statement says
the film is an unflinching look at the darker issues of humanity, exploring relationships between mother and son, husband and wife, gender and society, morality and sexuality, of those in positions of power and authority and those excluded from it.
cultural affairs minister mahinda yapa abeywardana says
i think a severe injustice had been done against the child actor who appears in the film, this child who is less than 12 years old was exposed to full nudity of a young woman. then he commits two murders in the film. the film begins with the scene with nudity.
veteran director lester james peries says
film is a serious work, powerful, disturbing (to the faint­hearted), a searing attack on all our 'sacred cows'. critics might find it diffi­cult to read all the sub-texts which are sardonic assaults on marital, sociologi­cal, cultural institutions in the narrative.
reportedly the public performance board (ppb) (censor board) headed by somarathne balasuriya originally approved the film for screening with an "adults only" rating. however a sort of private screening was held on 19th april 2006 at film corporation to an audience that included culture minister and film corporation chairman asoka serasinghe (a paid up member of buffalo herd). after they raised concerns about child abuse it was referred to children's and women's bureau. officers of the bureau obtained court's permission get the copy of the film on 21st april. yesterday (10th may) court ordered child's mother to allow officers of the bureau to record a statement from the child.

more reports and opinions on the case from daily news, lakbima(site subject to rotten links, so this probably wont work tomorrow), sunday times, sunday leader, ravaya, business standard (some of them from film website's news section as original is not publicly available) . btw a post in moju dealing with this gets several facts of the case wrong in typical fashion by giving credence to unsubstantiated accounts.

is it censorship or a crime?
on 28 the april free media movement(fmm) issued this press release.
i fully agree that,
it is vital that avenues for cultural production is strengthened and expanded in order promote democracy and freedom of expression in sri lanka. the fmm strongly believes that artistic interpretation is an inviolable right of all artistes and media personnel. the space for social critique through film and art forms the basis for the freedom of expression, necessary for a vibrant democracy.
though i would not limit myself to "artistes and media personnel".

but the question is whether this is

an attempt at "curtailment of the freedom of expression, under the guise of upholding public morality, is an attempt to strip away basic human rights from the media in sri lanka."


a real concern about child abuse which is heinous crime.

minister certainly overstepped when he supposedly said he would not allow the film to be screened. as far as i know he has no power to ban it. if he exceeds his powers and take the matter into his own hands he may have to suffer the fate of a former minister who tried to ban prasanna withanage’s purahanda kaluwara and ended up paying fines. on the other hand if he doesn't have that power, he is free to express his opinion and to refer the film to the children's and women's bureau.

imo censorship should be limited at most to giving a rating and no film should ever be banned however much we hate it.

also imo child abuse aspect of the case should be decided by the court with no interference by the minister, ngos, or anybody else.

that similar scenes in other films like samanala thatu and suriya arana were not investigated is not a valid argument if court decides it is a child abuse case and allows the investigation to proceed.

main question that the court has to decide in this regard is where to draw the line between photography and films made for the benefit of pedophiles (which most people would consider a crime) and those made for the benefit of others especially if both types appear similar.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

my name and spoofing

this post concerns a wrong identification of me with another person and a probable organized attempt to discredit the concerns i raised regarding the cpa statement on trinco by posting spoof comments in moju using the name sittingnut.

my name.
my name is not suranga rajapake.

several people have inquired whether i am he and recently in moju a person calling himself km tried to link him to me with probable malicious intent toward him. i have done all i could to protect him there. i also asked the admins there to edit out his name since he is not in any way connected to the topic under discussion and is probably not even aware of it while all too common personal attacks made against me there may also implicate him in the future. i was unsuccessful since admin there does not feel any responsibility towards (hypothetical! - according to him) innocent third parties. since then several nutters (and that paragon of good blog etiquette sanjana hattotuwa who is connected with both cpa and info share-the people who run moju) have been having some trollish sort of fun at his and my expense there. i have no problem with trolls (and wannabe rappers) having fun at my expense but they better leave innocent people out of it.

under the circumstances i thought a public denial was warranted

as for my real name, i will continue to keep it private though lot of people in blogosphere know it. i will only say that suranga rajapakes and i share the first name. i have a much more common surname. (which btw is one more reason to keep it private since there are several others with same first and surname combination as i have, and they are also relatively speaking better known than i am, so revealing it would lead to more confusion not clarity).

if you have any questions about my identity you are invited to read this blog or email me.

spoofing at moju

at least eight spoof comments claiming to be by sittingnut were posted in less than 24 hours in the moju thread dealing with cpa statement and report whose biased and plagiarized nature i have pointed out with evidence. while some were removed by admin after i pointed them out, new ones were posted immediately after. since i can not read moju all day and in fact only visit it occasionally, it is probable that new comments posted as sittingnut there are not by me. this was certainly true for the better part of yesterday.

since as far as i can read spoofing is done using only my name (so far) and mainly in the thread dealing with cpa report i have a strong suspicion that it is an organized attempt to discredit the concerns i raised regarding the report. that is not a surprise given the reaction of some people connected with ngos.

i also consider it an attempt to prevent me from freely expressing my views there since any comment i leave will be distorted by several other spoofed comments. as long as this continues it is my opinion that moju has failed to ensure freedom of expression to everyone equally. of course since moju blog is private property, they are not required to ensure that, but while this continues nor can they claim to allow free expression.

given the limited options available to me i have decided to leave protest comments at moju and will do so till spoofing of my name stops.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

thanks for the wishes, keshi and friends

i am quite lost for words.

i am having the my best birthday ever in the internet and i am glad it's a day late. i feel like i am having two birthdays in a row :-)

keshi, thank you very much for the post and the music, i am quite touched. huugggzzz!
i will cherish it always.

a big thank you to everyone who wished especially to all the keshi's blog friends. i will always remember them.

i love you all.

spraying hate and intolerance

indi says i am spraying anti ngo hate. i of course do not agree, but i always let readers decide for themselves(see links below). for a different opinion from indi's about specific items in my ngo posts see these blogs (chandare, sumna, ivap) and some comments in moju thread on the issue.
he also says that if i (though he puts me in a group) do not agree, i 'get nasty' with the persons disagreeing. that was a bit rich for more reasons than most people know. anyway let the readers judge after reading the posts and threads. my blog is open to everybody to read and comment as always. i always put my trust in individuals who i believe can decide for themselves.

i always try to give specific reasons and evidence for my statements and judgments. as anybody who has read my comments on blogs know i alway quote the relevant statements when i disagree. same with other evidence. read the posts and judge for yourself . i also hope others have the courtesy to advance evidence when they make sweeping judgments but that is a matter of taste.

keep in mind when you read, that intolerance of those who unsettle ones's received opinions is a common trait especially for those who are not exposed to the hard reality or to variety of opinions or society. to them availability or not of evidence does not matter as long as they can get inside their cocoon, that filter out the undesirables both people and ideas.

anyway here is my case against those allegations, you be the judge.

on ngo issue :
check out posts and decide for yourself whether i was merely spraying hate or pointing out in detail the bias and plagiarism that was evident in the statement and report issued by the centre for policy alternatives(cpa).

here is the post containing my questions concerning the statement and the examination of its content.
here is the evidence for plagiarism in that statement
here is what i think of the actual report (belatedly published) and its content.
you can read more on that subject at moju thread concerning it.
you may read several posts by morquendi against me on the subject at nittewa

i also wrote a post pointing out fallacy of some common ngo arguments. it is for you to decide whether they are valid or not.

you are free to leave comments and point out any error. i would especially like to see some evidence that will prove my conclusions about the cpa statement and report wrong.

on being nasty :
when replying to those who disagree i point out their errors and make counter arguments. i do enjoy ferreting out and exposing the errors in their logic. i don't know whether that qualifies as being nasty.

i also treat each commenter on their merits based on their comments and their history here. so before you judge compare the different way i treated yaaro and morquendi here even though they both made similar arguments. compare also how 'nasty' i am to ashanthi who disagrees with me here with how nasty some people are to her at indi 's blog throughout .

i address any a semblance of argument even though it be buried in a lot of baseless personal attacks, and i will reply in ways i think appropriate and as always i give my reasons. its for you to judge the nastiness. i see some of those commenting on indi's post have done the same when they were similarly attacked, though i do believe that my use of language was more controlled.

anyway, reader, you are free to judge. feel free to point out where i spray hate.