Tuesday, May 15, 2007

new icc cricket committee packed full of sri lankans

sri lankan cricketers' professionalism and the respect they generate can be gaged from the make up of international cricket council's newly constituted cricket committee, which will meet for the first time on 30th and 31st may in dubai.

there are 3 sri lankan captains (mahela jayawardene, duleep mendis, ranjan madugalle) in the 13 member panel, as well as recently resigned sri lankan coach tom moody. committee also includes four australians (including moody) and two west indians. others are from different countries. of course sri lankans are not there to represent sri lanka as such; they represent various interest groups in cricket (see below as to who is representing who). before this reconstitution, committee was made up of the nominated representatives from "each of the full members (boards and players) and leading associate members".

according to icc "the remit of the icc cricket committee is to discuss and consult on any cricket-playing matters and to formulate recommendations" "relating to cricket-playing matters to the icc chief executives' committee (cec)".

the committee:

chairman - sunil gavaskar (former india captain and opening batsman and icc cricket world cup winner in 1983)

past players (2) - ian bishop (former west indies fast bowler) and mark taylor (ex-australia captain)

representatives of current players (2) - mahela jayawardene (sri lanka captain; kumar sangakkara, the sri lanka wicketkeeper-batsman, was the original nominee for this position but he is unavailable due to commitments playing county cricket in the uk) and tim may (ex-australia off-spinner, icc cricket world cup winner in 1987 and now chief executive officer of the federation of international cricketers' associations)

full member team coach representative (1) - tom moody (former sri lanka coach)

member board representative (1) - duleep mendis (former sri lanka captain and now slc chief executive)

umpires' representative (1) - simon taufel (member of the emirates elite panel and named umpire of the year three times in a row at the icc awards)

referees' representative (1) - ranjan madugalle (icc chief match referee and former sri lanka captain)

marylebone cricket club representative (1) - keith bradshaw (took over as the mcc's secretary and chief executive in october 2006 in succession to roger knight; former first-class cricketer for tasmania in australia. mcc is the custodian of the laws of cricket)

statistician (1) - david kendix (a statistician/scorer and the man responsible for the creation and development of the lg icc test and odi championships and nominated by the icc to sit on the committee)

media (1) - michael holding (former west indies fast bowler and now part of the commentary team for sky sports in the uk)

associate representative (1) - craig wright (former scotland captain)

Monday, May 14, 2007

use of violence against ltte terrorists - approve or disapprove?

(if you are reading this post in full in kottu archive that is due to an error in kottu. see note below for the correct blog location )
that is the question peaceniks avoid answering. why? let us examine the question.

ltte pussies oppress sri lankans, especially tamils in north and east provinces, and commit various crimes. they violate human rights. they and their leader have been convicted of these crimes numerous times. as long as they are allowed to act with impunity sri lanka will not be able to enjoy sustainable peace. they should be brought to justice. it is sri lankan government's duty to bring them to justice. given armed ltte's well demonstrated nature, that inevitably requires use of violence.

violence and war are ugly and costly. this is not a hollywood movie where only the villains suffer, die, and always lose. in war people suffer and die, not only the terrorists but also security forces personnel and innocent civilians. horrific accidents are inevitable. few non ltte criminals or sickos may make use of it for their own ends. terrorists too will score some successes.

(i am not saying that we should accept innocent or security forces deaths, accidents, non ltte criminals, or terrorist victories, with indifference. such things should be prevented and reduced as far as possible and responsible people held accountable. but those things do inevitably accompany violence of all kinds. they have done so in the past and will do so in the future, here is sri lanka and elsewhere in the world.)

only justifiable decision
we sri lankans in general know all that. faced with the above question we have decided. we do approve the use of violence against terrorists if needs be. imo this is the only morally and pragmatically justifiable answer to that question.

we know that as long as ltte is there, fellow sri lankans will be deprived of freedom, justice, democracy, and human rights. nor will sri lanka reach its full potential when a large section of it is ruled by a fascist megalomaniac like big pussy prabhakaran. we also know that not using violence, letting ltte terrorists act with impunity, and appeasing them so that we may have some 'peace' in colombo, will not work. appeasement of terrorists and fascists have never worked anywhere at any point in history.

given all that anyone who admits the possibility of moral judgment will admit the validity of the moral justifications for the use of violence against ltte. only completely unrealistic idiots or completely corrupt ltte sympathizers will oppose the possible use of violence against ltte.

imo once that decision is taken to use violence against ltte, all sri lankan governments will eventually be forced due to limited resources of the country, to adapt a pragmatic strategy like the one adapted by the present administration. as such victory in this war will take a long time. that is the reality.

peacenik avoidance
as i said peaceniks always avoid expressing a clear opinion with regard to the use of violence against terrorists when directly confronted with above question. however, their general mindset, writings, and actions, imply that they prefer non violence against ltte above all else.

(to clarify i include among the peaceniks the likes of paikiasothy saravanamuttu, jehan perera, jayadeva uyangoda, kumar rupasinghe, sunila abeysekera, sunanda deshapriya, and their underlings working in such peacenik ngos as centre of policy alternatives(cpa) and free media movement (fmm) like sanjana hattotuwa. while few young unimportant peaceniks may be naive pacifists with cocooned lives unable to think for themselves, others cannot use stupidity as an excuse)

they have always advocated appeasement of terrorists through giving ltte (as opposed to democratic ne tamil representatives who can come in when ltte is gone) more power over north east. they accepted without protest ltte's anti democratic claims to be sole representative of tamils. they remained silent in the face of ltte violence and provocations, only opening their mouths if and when government retaliated to condemn it (eg. throughout cfa, esp during december 2005 to april 2006 when sl militray endured almost daily attacks by ltte without responding and during mavil aru closure). in fact they are extremely reluctant to unambiguously criticize ltte for anything and if they are forced to criticize ltte due to some horrible atrocity, they always take care to couple gosl in the condemnation. at any given point of time what they say is identical to what ltte propaganda is saying. they are also quick to attack anyone who advocates violence against terrorists and to label him or her a sinhala chauvinist.

their preference for non violence against terrorists is also apparent in their frequent allegation about human rights violations by government or military. most such allegations stem from absurd white van conspiracy theories dreamed up by ltte spin office, others are merely the inevitable consequences of use of violence against terrorists including accidents or actions of few criminals or crazies. they have so far been unable come up with any evidence for any deliberate action or policy by the government or the military to violate human rights of sri lankans. this lack of evidence does not prevent them from continuing to parrot ltte when freely slandering the military as a whole. such freedom itself is a contradiction of their allegations.

peace at any cost
in other words "peace at any cost" seems to be their governing idea. however when confronted with the fact that 'peace' with ltte can only came at the cost of human rights, justice, democracy, and freedom, and the sheer immorality of appeasing terrorist oppression, they run to take refuge behind platitudes about conflict resolution, peace building theory, etc. to hide their moral bankruptcy.

sri lankan general public (and those who govern the country on their behalf) do not have the luxury of taking refuge behind platitudes or theories. they have to deal with ltte and its terrorist crimes here and now. they are in fact dealing with it in the only morally justifiable way possible.

how to stay relevant if others decide and one doesn't
at no point have peaceniks ever admitted the possible moral necessity of defeating ltte militarily in spite of all too clear ground situation and history. however some of them have said that if government is going to use violence against ltte terrorists ( presented as primarily motivated through personal political ambitions of president and other politicians) and if people are being mislead by media controlled by the state to support the use the violence against ltte ( they underestimate the public and overestimate the media in general and state control of them in particular, in spite of all evidence to the contrary.) they should try to influence how the government is going to use violence. note the ifs.

in other words this kind of peacenik will also avoid clearly answering the question (though making it clear that their sympathies lie with non violence against terrorists). however aware that they will be left in behind by the sri lankan public and lose all relevance because of this, they want to gain some relevance by pretending to have some sort of right to dictate how the government should be using the violence. basically they try to dictate the limits of a course of action about whose moral justifications and causes they have no real idea and do not even admit the existence. needless to say few peaceniks who have attempted this have ended up spouting hypocritical inconsistent nonsense.

moral rights and responsibilities
whether people like peaceniks who intentionally avoid confronting the reality have a moral right to criticize those who have taken the responsibility to confront it head on, is a question we all have to ask.

of course this being a free country everybody is free to say whatever they want. that includes immoral hypocritical rubbish peaceniks spout. it is the genrel public who will decide the validity (moral or otherwise) of their statements. let us confine ourselves to exposing their actions, their avoidance of reality, and their disgusting immorality with regard to terrorist crimes. sri lankan public in general have realized the truth about peaceniks. some naive foreigners who still give them the benefit of the doubt (mainly because they being foreigners do not have to face sri lankan reality) will eventually realize the truth about them.

in any case peaceniks should be confronted with the reality whenever they try to spout their hypocritical nonsense and asked express their opinion about the use of violence against terrorists unambiguously, so that everyone can judge what kind of people they really are.

an example of avoidance of such questions was recently displayed in groundviews blog of peacenik sanjana hattotuwa. it occurred ironically in a post entitled "getting rid of the ltte: a few questions". i will not directly link to that blog due to various reasons including continuing censorship at groundviews. you have to go through a google search. this would also make these links valid even when sanjana hattotuwa eventually deletes growndviews blog as he did his old moju blog to cover up his despicable actions there; readers can then go to google cache of the deleted blog.

in the comments section of that post sanjana hattotuwa eventually resorted to his usual trick of censoring my comments. as a result my answers to suntzu, sh, and adharmishta, who addressed me directly were not published. so was my comment challenging sanjana hattotuwa's statements esp. his 'plucked from thin air' invention and attribution to me of several statements i have never made. (isn't it ironical that this low life holds forth in his ict4appeasement blog about blog codes of conduct while denying something as simple as right of reply). then again such despicable misbehavior is his nature; i am not at all surprised.

he also censored at the same time a comment by me in the post entitled "darfur vs. sri lanka" pointing out in some detail the errors made by the poster regarding the data and conclusions. i will probably deal with that later in another post. such falsehoods and errors can only exist in a place where freedom of expression is curtailed. while sanjana hattotuwa may want to live in a fantasy removed from reality by censoring anything that questions his false beliefs, sri lanka at large is a free country where we can point out and expose his and peacenik's lies.
due to an error in kottu blog aggregator a full copy of this post became available at this kottu archive location. the original blog post is in lanka libertarian blog at

Sunday, May 06, 2007

imperial delusions, aid, and reality

it seems politicians everywhere are prone delusions about their own power. one such example was on display in uk's house of commons on 2nd of may, when they debated about the situation in sri lanka.

in actual fact british empire has long gone and the ability of uk to interfere in sri lanka is very limited. we are not as poor or dependent on aid as some people here and there believe. while we sri lankans may give in on small things due to such allegedly attempted arm twistings (see below for actual situation) we will not give in on bigger things come what may. failure to recognize this difference means that any such attempt may backfire on them and their sri lankan supporters badly.

nor is it in uk's interest to see sri lankan government's position vis-à-vis ltte terrorists deteriorate, from both moral as well as real politick point of view. do they really want to see the power of ltte, the teacher of many terrorist groups grow unhindered? imo no. their actual actions in the form of continuing the ban on ltte and in recent crackdowns on their money collection activities and scams (as in other countries) clearly collaborate that opinion.

while some sri lankan peaceniks, following their masters the pussies, clearly want foreign intervention, nobody with any real sense anywhere is going to mistake ltte tigers for ragtag darfur rebels. nobody wishing to go anywhere in any field is going be caught dead publicly supporting ltte and its suicide bombers whatever they may think of sri lankan government

however with some labour mps depending on the support of tamil constituents they want to be seen as working to bring about a solution to sri lankan conflict. hence the meaningless sops offered on may 2nd

the debate

there has been all sorts of reports on this. you may read the (rather long) debate here straight from the hansard. the amount of ignorance displayed by british mps was astonishing, but perhaps typical of politicians everywhere. when they quoted bbc to back up their arguments you know they were not going to get to truth. most of the speakers were mps with tamil constituents and. with ltte terrorist lobby working full time their position and motivation was all too clear. primarily they wanted to lift the ban on ltte in uk and to create a moral equality between ltte and sri lankan government. other mps (mainly from the conservative party) pointed out the adverse implications of giving into ltte demands and the fact that ltte continues to engage in terrorist acts.

uk government ministers were clearly not in favor of lifting the ban on ltte or as the minister for the middle east, dr. kim howells characterized it 'suicide bombers, murderers, torturers and rapists'. though with predictable lack of principle, they still want gosl to talk to the ltte and to fully implement the already discredited cfa. however uk government is well aware that if gosl refuse to do that options available to uk government are very limited ( unless uk wants to be termed a terrorist supporting state which they clearly do not want).

old news recycled

this impotence was clearly demonstrated when uk government went so far as to say that it is withholding part of a debt relief package ( worth 41 million pounds over 10 years or about £4 million a year) to sri lanka until discussions between sri lankan and uk governments about certain conditions( relating to 'human rights, hostilities, defense spending and accountability') attached to the package is finished. however this decision was not something new, this was made known in february of this year. after some sri lankan papers reported on this, british high commission in sri lanka clarified this in a press release dated 18 february, basically saying the same thing that uk government said on 2nd may.

truth about foreign aid

to put this in perspective, sri lanka receives over $500 million in foreign aid (in actual fact loans) annually. british aid is comparatively very small. the package referred is the main component of british bilateral aid to sri lanka, even it was due mainly because of tsunami. normally uk gives next to nothing.

in recent years sri lanka has successfully resisted the attachment of conditions to aid. political conditions (as opposed to economic ones) as quite unheard of. this particular package signed in 2005 is mainly the result of aftermath of tsunami when the sl government probably took its guard down.

in any case the main problem with foreign aid to sri lanka has always been their non utilization due to sri lankan red tape and sheer inability to get going on projects. only around 15-25% of the aid pledged annually is actually used, though recent sri lankan governments have allegedly tried hard to increase that percentage.

in light of all these factors the debate and the announcement about aid on may 2nd can not have much of a real impact on sri lanka. they are essentially sops for the benefit of labour mps with tamil constituents who may be influenced by ltte.

in so far as that goes let them have their delusional debates in order to mislead their tamil constituents if they want to.

real interference

while debate and the non news about aid may not have any real impact, the 'all-party tamil group' (sic) formed by some british mps chaired by keith vaz (labour mp for leicester, east) may try to interfere in sri lanka for real. according to him they want to visit north and east and to invite terrorists' chief negotiator tamil chelvam (aka toothy pussy) to address them. while their actions are unlikely to change the uk policy towards sri lanka, they can be used by the ltte as a propaganda tool

government of sri lanka must make it clear that british mps do not have power here. only people who should have power here are sri lankan public and their democratically elected representatives. and as i said before they will not give up certain bigger things even if they give up small things in the face of alleged attempts at control

some sri lankans (sort of parasitic individuals who did not find anything objectionable in amnesty internationals' disgusting campaign against sri lankan cricket) to whom all things foreign (esp if white skinned foreign) are literally god given, will no doubt object to that. however sri lanka is not an oligarchy run by english speaking pseudo elite whiners. this is a functioning democracy. as such it would reflect public's view on such interference

pro-actively turning the propaganda on its head

all that does not mean gosl should reject the british mps out of hand. instead sri lankan government should if possible try to turn this attempted ltte propaganda effort on its head.

sri lankan government should demand that if mps are allowed to visit, they should agree to be covered fully and transparently by all media even in ltte controlled areas, and that mps and media have free access to ordinary people there. gosl should demand that representatives of non ltte parties (tamils as well as non tamils) be given equal opportunity to make their case if ltte representatives are given a hearing here or in britain.

sri lankan government's aim should be to bring out the reasons why terrorist ltte should not be part of any power sharing solution as long as it remains armed and uses its current methods. it should point out why ltte cannot be considered a representative of tamils in sri lanka. ltte claim to be such rests solely on oppression of tamils and physical elimination of any alternative democratic tamil leadership. after all if anyone is really concerned about human rights in sri lanka they would not have any option but to support the defeat of ltte. gosl should also point to the clear double standards exhibited by the british mps if they engage is any sort of moralizing on behalf of ltte.

above all sri lanka should confront them with ltte atrocities and methods in all their documented and grisly details. if they are here on good faith they would realize the truth if they are not they will be exposed for what they are.

it is only by aggressive pro-active engagement that hypocrites like keith vaz and his ilk can be exposed and discredited. going on the defensive won't work here, anymore than in the battlefield.

here (1, 2) are details from uk parliament's committee on standards and privileges about corrupt dealings of keith vaz mp referred above. clearly he is uk's answer to mervyn silva. curious how peaceniks and terrorists appeasers always prefer such people. remember how mervyn silva and all the leading sri lankan peaceniks organized a pro appeasement protest march and rally that ended in fisticuffs? on the other hand it is not all that surprising. corrupt people probably like to hang around each other.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

devolution proposals and tamil aspirations

sri lanka freedom party unveiled its proposals to aprc yesterday(30th). no doubt in the coming days various people will assess them (and other proposals from others) in detail. some will say they do not go far, others that they go too far, in offering a solution to political aspirations of tamils in north and east.

however one has to ask a fundamental question; what qualifies anyone to judge this or that proposal on behalf of north and east tamils in general? one can make all sorts of statements and judgments as individuals or as representatives of other groups and parties, but is anyone qualified to legitimately represent ne tamils?

ltte terrorists claiming to be their sole representative are certainly not qualified. their claim is based on terror, oppression, and physical elimination, of tamil leaders. peaceniks who will undoubtedly jump to asses and pass judgment, do not represent anyone at all, though given their regular parroting of ltte terrorists, they can be taken as representatives (or more correctly tools) of murderous pussies.

mps from tamil national alliance or itak are puppets of ltte and were elected by ltte, nobody else. as long as they are happy with such an election and consider ltte to be tamil's sole representative their legitimacy in a democratic state like sri lanka is equivalent to zero.

few remaining survivors of tiger terrorist purges of democratic tamil leaders may have some claim. but given that their political freedom is curtailed by terrorists, one can question the extent of their representation now.

former militant groups and karuna faction do not have legitimate democratic credentials to represent ne tamils or any subsection of them at present.

political freedom of non ethnic sri lankan parties like unp, slfp, and various leftist outfits are also curtailed by the terrorists in north east, so they too cannot claim to represent tamils there

in other words at present there isn't anyone who can legitimately claim to represent tamils of north and east democratically. reason why there aren't any such representatives is the terrorism of ltte.

one of its main goals of sri lankan state should be to ensure that all its citizens have political freedom and are represented democratically in its polity. only then can any legitimate and sustainable proposals of devolution be debated and implemented.

only democratically elected representatives of north and east tamils will have the right to demand from, discuss, and compromise with, representatives of other participants of sri lankan democracy, in order to arrive at a political solution acceptable to all.

legitimate representatives of other minority groups (like upcountry tamils or muslims), unhindered by terrorism, were (and are) able to successful engage with sri lankan democracy in order fulfill their aspirations. grappling with democracy through non violent methods is not an easy task, nor should it be if it is a real democracy. it is hard, messy, and sometimes corrupt, but that is how it is in every democracy and it is certainly worth it when compared to other alternatives. ne tamils are prevented from engaging and participating in democracy by tiger terrorists.

that is why sri lanka should try to defeat ltte. anyone who wants justice to be done to tamil aspirations should support that effort. not to do so and to claim one stands for the rights of tamils is to be hypocritical.

until ltte is defeated or at least contained so that it cannot seriously affect the political freedom of tamils or their new democratic representatives, all the words poured out in assessing various proposals of devolution will be so much hot air and propaganda from various sides. (i am not saying they are not useful. hot air and propaganda can be useful, but they won't make much difference)