Colombo, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War, War Crimes

HAS MAHINDA RAJAPAKSA BEEN A TRAITOR TO SRI LANKA?

What is the definition of a traitor? A traitor is usually defined as someone who betrays his or her country. But this definition leaves out the question of what, exactly, constitutes betrayal. Recently, the term has been used of journalists and human rights defenders who talk or write about  human rights violations and war crimes in Sri Lanka, especially if they are accused of making these allegations to the international community. It was also used of Sarath Fonseka, because he offered to give evidence to an international war crimes tribunal about the last stages of the war against the LTTE.

The argument is that in attempting to defeat a dreaded terrorist organisation, a government needs to have full freedom of action. Therefore, criticising the government for any actions taken in pursuit of that goal amount to treachery, since they assist the dreaded terrorists to get away with their assault on the nation. This argument was used not only during the war against the LTTE, but even after it ended. It is not clear exactly what threat faces the nation today, but any criticism of the Rajapaksa regime or challenge to its power is seen as a threat to the nation which warrants strong action against the ‘traitors’ who are responsible for it.

If we go back approximately twenty years, we see a very similar scenario. The state was fighting the JVP, which was at that time a dreaded terrorist organisation. The government wanted full freedom of action in doing so, and the result was arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, enforced disappearances, and extra-judicial killings. Anyone who criticised the UNP government and president then in power suffered the same fate as thousands of innocent civilians picked up and killed without any judicial process. Media freedom, human rights and democracy were under lethal attack.

At that time too there were alleged ‘traitors’ who collected evidence of these war crimes, took them to the international community, and campaigned against the government that perpetrated them. One of them was Mahinda Rajapaksa, at that time an opposition politician, who submitted such evidence to the UN Human Rights Commission. He told parliament he was prepared to go to any lengths to defend human rights. He even called on donors to link aid to human rights! Was this a terrible attack on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty? A slimy act of ratting on the rulers who were fighting terrorism?

Mahinda Rajapaksa defended himself most eloquently from such charges. He claimed that he did what he was doing out of love for his country, and many of us sympathised with this claim. We agreed with him that establishing the truth and fighting for justice for innocent victims of state terror was a moral imperative for all of us who loved our country.

Back to the present. Those who support Mahinda Rajapaksa now need to get their story straight. If journalists who expose the truth and human rights defenders who try to get justice for innocent victims of state terror are ‘traitors’, if Sarath Fonseka is a ‘traitor’ for offering to ‘rat’ on his former commander-in-chief on the matter of war crimes, then Mahinda Rajapaksa too is a veteran ‘traitor’, and they should not be supporting him. Conversely, if Mahinda Rajapaksa’s battle for human rights and against war crimes twenty-odd years ago, both within Sri Lanka and in the international community, was an expression of his love for his country, then they must concede that the same love drives journalists and human rights defenders who risk their lives fighting for truth, justice and good governance in our country.

Sarath Fonseka is a special case, since there is good reason to believe that he too has committed war crimes. But that is not the charge on which he has been arrested and for which he is being tried, for the obvious reason that such a trial would unearth evidence of war crimes by his erstwhile bosses too. The baseless accusations hurled against him at the time of his arrest, which had to be dropped because there was no evidence for them, say more about the accusers than about him. Given that he (unlike the president) risked his life to lead his soldiers on the battlefield in the war against the LTTE, and (again unlike the president) sustained serious and permanent injuries inflicted by the LTTE, the charge that he is a ‘traitor’ seems particularly bizarre. Especially if his act of ‘betrayal’ is his offer to do what Mahinda Rajapksa has actually done in the past!

So who are the traitors? Those who fight for truth and justice? Or those who wield unaccountable power and the sycophants who lick their boots? Who are the people who love our country? Those who trample human rights and democracy underfoot? Or those who struggle for the democratic rights and freedoms guaranteed by our constitution? Whatever your definition, at least make sure it is consistent!

[Editors note: This article appears in Sinhala on Vikalpa here.]

  • Mr Minority

    Rajapakshe’s will have different defination for their trechery, and there is no way any justice would come out until civil society gets on to the streets and march towards centres of power.

  • lisa

    Folks, look at the bare facts and arrive at simple logic:

    1. Mahinda Rajapakse’s definition of a traitor is NOT the dictionary definition.
    According to him, anyone who criticises him or some others in the government is a traitor. Therefore he has been very consistent in his ‘dealings’. They have nothing to do with human rights.

    2. In the 80s when he spoke of human rights, he spoke of the human rights of the Sinhalese. Did he speak of the human rights of those affected by aerial bombings on churches, temples, schools and houses in the North? NO.
    Don’t ever annoy me by saying he was the champion of human rights. He was the champion of Sinhalese and he remains the champion of Sinhalese. He is the most ardent champion of Sinhalese post-independence.

    I beg pardon from those Sinhalese who say that he doesn’t have to champion them because he doesn’t conform to their definitions which are the same as those in the dictionary.

    There are only two groups of people in Sri Lanka: those who are loved by President Rajapakse and those who are not.

  • Vino Gamage

    http://blog.srilankacampaign.org/2010/03/weak-un-human-rights-council-can-be.html
    “Towards the 2011 Reform: Can the UN Human Rights Council Be Fixed?”
    (Geneva, 9 March 2010)

    ”…. It is, of course, rather sad that, when the Council has not yet been in existence for four years, we are asking whether it can be “fixed”. …. A particularly flagrant example was last year’s special session on Sri Lanka, in which not only did the majority of Council members refuse to condemn the massive and indiscriminate killing of civilians that characterized the last phase of the war ….
    One can only ask why, if such an inquiry was justified in the case of Israel’s actions in Gaza a few months earlier – as I believe it was – the same principle was not applied to Sri Lanka. ….
    So the task of all of us who care about human rights is to frame the debate differently, and above all to take the case to public opinion within the many democracies of the developing world. …. When we see positive change in governments’ behaviour at the UN, it generally reflects change within the societies that they represent. …. It is through what people like us in this room say and do, not only at meetings in Geneva, but through constant and consistent advocacy within our own societies and in our interaction with each other’s societies. We must take the debate to the people.”

  • Mallika

    Mahinda Rajaapkse is the [sorry – but this could be construed as libellous]. This man thrives on bringing disharmony among ethnic groups. He is a champion to those who bow down to him sings hosannas to him. If anyone opposes him he says they are traitors and this has become the national anthem of the Rajaapke’s . He has to released Sarath Fonseka or his days as even the [edited out] President are numbered.

  • Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka

    Now may we have, by the same token, an examination of the question ‘Has Ranil Wickremesinghe Been A Traitor To Sri Lanka?’

  • Burning_Issue

    Dear Dr Dyan Jayatilleka,

    Please do not divert the issue; RW is not in power, but MR is! Why don’t you give your opinion on the point that author of the article has centred?

  • Bakaero

    I totally agree with Rohini. This is a good article. However majority of people in Sri Lanka are ignorant of these things so providing Rajapakse and his bootlickers another 5-6 years to exploit the nation.

  • Groundtruth

    Not much to choose really between Premadasa and Rajapakse in terms of human rights violations, possible war crimes etc. War crimes there were even then in the 70’s under the Geneva Conventions but have come into their own now seemingly after Serbian war against Bosnians, Rwanda and a few other countries.

    Come, come Rohini, LTTE were the dreaded terrorists to their targetted groups and their collateral victims. But what about the state over 61 + years? Its ruinous effects are yet seen through enforced ethic cleansing, white van abducions, abrbed wire camps etc etc.?

    There is really not much to choose between Premadasa and Rajapakse in terms of gross human rights violations and possible war crimes, is there? The Geneva Conventions have been there all along but have come into their own after Serbian war against Bosnians for which they have apologised last week. UK government have done the same for supplying arms to SL during the Peace Process, 2002-2005, and which they believe have been used in the last stages of the war against LTTE/Tamils in Wanni. And underwritten by the so-called Internatioanal Community!!!

    What about RW? Still waters run deep don’t they? He was the PM when arms were supplied to SL by the IC on aid/ loans from 2002 to 2005! He must be having the last laugh!

  • Anon

    I like how you have a very black and white view of this. If people support MR, theyre boot lickers, good job.

  • Anon

    Eh half my thing got cut off. was meant to say:
    “If people support MR, theyre boot lickers, if they oppose him, we think theyre traitors…”

  • Heshan

    [Sorry – please try to avoid direct accusations]. But people will only understand this after another 10-15 yrs goes by, and there has been little to no development. It was the same way with Americans and Bush. Americans did not understand the implications until the recent recession began. They were extremely eager to get revenge for 911 which is exactly what Bush did. But they did not understand the implications for domestic policy. The other point is that whoever comes after MR will have to clean up his mess.

  • In Your Face

    Consistent? Even God isn’t consistent!

    If you want “consistent” ask yourself whether YOU are consistent in YOUR support of democracy and human rights in Sri-Lanka!

    Why are the very same people who once despised Fonseka now backing him? If you look into the heart of this question you will soon discover that it is always easier to demand continuity, truth and justice from the next guy.

  • Hello writer,
    I read this article and I am astonished with the logic. You are a great critical thinker, and I see no biases in your reasoning. Cheers to freedom of writing

  • justitia

    Rohini has said what had to be said for a long time.
    I dread to think what will happen if Mahinda R gets a 2/3 majority. I think that he will alter the constitution to give himself a third term. He will not surrender the immunity from prosecution, at least for any act he committed until the pending election.
    He will not rescind the PTA & emergency, as he cannot ‘rule’ the country otherwise. He will transform governance to the Myanmar model, of which he is an admirer.

  • Sinhala_Voice

    From my point of view if you betray the interest of the country
    for whatever reason then you are a TRAITOR.

    So :
    > if you do it for political reasons you are traitor
    > if you do it for personal ambition you are a traitor
    > if you do it for your own personal views you are a traitor.

    I would say there are not many people in the Sri Lankan political scene current ly that can say boldly that they are not a traitor. Because, to be a traitor is EASY and many ways. BUT to be NOT a traitor is ONLY ONE way.

  • Waruna

    Great Article Rohini!

    Mahinda seems to be a leader who cannot stomach opposing views and ideas and he does not allow the functioning of an independent judicial system. And we all know how corrupt the Brothers’ Company is.

    I think this is similar to how Hitler got away with all his nasty work…no one bothered to oppose.

    I am absolutely ashamed to have Mahinda as our President…a very cheap one at that.

  • wijayapala

    Dayan, I’m no fan of Ranil, but he never accused anyone of being a “traitor” the same way that this govt. has.

    On that topic, aren’t you a traitor as you didn’t please Mr. Boggles, Mahinda’s favorite?

  • Kadi

    Treason is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of betrayal of one’s sovereign or nation. A person who commits treason is known in law as a traitor. The expression ‘treason” has been defined as: “a citizen’s actions to help a foreign government overthrow, make war against, or seriously injure the parent nation.” In many nations, it is also often considered treason to attempt or conspire to overthrow the government, even if no foreign country is aided or involved by such an endeavour. The word “traitor” is derived from the Latin traditorem which means “one who delivers” based on Judas’ actions as depicted in the Bible.

    You only need to use a pinch of brain and a dash of common sense to understand that the allegations made in this article against Mahinda Rajapakse do not fall anywhere near this definition/usage and therefore this article is nothing but frivolous, aimed at mischievously arousing hateful sentiment against the head of State. Now THAT could be considered “treason”, in some countries. If my comment is not published, then it is also manifestly clear that the author of the article and the managers of this website are working in collusion (a.k.a “conspiracy”) – also a punishable act – which would corroborate the foregone conclusion: that the true traitor is where he should be.

  • Kadi

    ……oh, I forgot to add…..and those who voluntarily follow in the footsteps of a traitor (eg. as co-conspirators)……should naturally share the same fate!

  • Mangala2010

    Dear Dr Jayatilake,

    Please at least now stop theorising a mistake!

    Mangala2010

  • Bakaero

    Hey kadi
    Rohini did not say that MR is a traitor. Her argument is that if all the people who talk about human rights are traitors then MR too becomes a traitor because MR did what so called traitors are doing right now. This government is using traitor label to get political millage.

  • Heshan

    @Groundviews:

    Is it just an accusation or is it the truth? If he – Mahinda Rajapakse – wants to come clean, it is not difficult to do. He would have to simply reveal his assets, like every taxpayer does.

    We need not respect any individual just because they hold a high position of power. In particular, if we are the ones who elected them, then they are accountable to us , not vice-versa. Without such electoral representation, a democracy is not sustainable.

  • Heshan

    Not only war crimes, but has Mahinda not *deceived* the taxpayers themselves? Remember, as taxpayers, you pay for social services… if you don’t see an improvement in the quality of social services and in the general standard of living, then the next question you must ask is, where is the money going? You should ask, how 500K USD can be deposited in a safety locker, in a country where 1 USD = 120 SLR… you should ask why the Defense Ministry is asking the public for “Api Wenuwan Api” money when we can safely infer that all of the top-level politicians are millionaires, not just by SL standards, but US standards.

    Yes, Mahinda has definitely deceived the nation… it a deception that goes well beyond treason. It is a deception for which many, many generations of Sri Lankans to come will have to pay.

  • Sinsin

    This article touches on something quite fundamental – the definition of what may be considered good or acceptable.

    In the last few years, this has morphed into something that most liberals consider a grotesque caricature.

    This has happened before, in the most extensive way, in Germany.

  • Sinsin

    Kadi, Sinhala Voice

    the writer is simply using the definitions of what the government now considers treason to the past acts of Mahinda.

  • ModVoice

    Great article.

    “At that time too there were alleged ‘traitors’ who collected evidence of these war crimes, took them to the international community, and campaigned against the government that perpetrated them. One of them was Mahinda Rajapaksa, at that time an opposition politician, who submitted such evidence to the UN Human Rights Commission. He told parliament he was prepared to go to any lengths to defend human rights. He even called on donors to link aid to human rights! Was this a terrible attack on Sri Lanka’s sovereignty? A slimy act of ratting on the rulers who were fighting terrorism?”
    Spot on! Ironic that Mahinda Rajapakse was a human rights defender.

  • niranjan

    Heshan,

    Most probably it is the UNP that will come to power in another seven years time with or withour Ranil W. Who else will? The popularity of this regime is on the wane even though they are expected to win the Parliamentary election. The UNP will have to clean the mess both economically and politically. In 2001 the UNF had to clean the economic mess that Chandrika had left behind(the zero percent growth).

  • History will judge Rajapakse when Tamil Eelam becomes independent.

    The politicos. their cohorts and the media, should be shameful for the disgraceful political history they created since colonial Ceylon became a British dominion in 1948, to be administered by a Governor General, appointed by the queen of England.

    Bandaranayake-Chelvanayakam Pact, an agreement made between the two leaders of the two nations in the island, during the time of Dominion of Ceylon – not yet an “independent republic”- proved not only the existence of two nations but also confirmed the presence of dual sovereignty.

    The unilateral and rebellious declaration of the entire island as a republic by the politicos of the Sinhala nation in 1972 as Sri Lanka(SL), leaving out the representatives of the Tamil nation, necessitated the declaration of its independence also.

    The Vaddukoddai Resolution of 1976, seeking the independence of Tamil nation as Tamil Eelam(TE), and the peoples’ democratic mandate of 1977, established TE as a country politically.

    This great, timely and irreversible act of wisdom of the fathers of TE is somewhat similar to the wisdom of the founding fathers of America.

    Instead of respecting the democratic mandate of the people of a nation and recognising it as a state, TE was treated as a colony occupied by SL; the Sinhala nation.

    A non violent political struggle for the freedom of TE ensued and it was replied by the colonists in Colombo with military repression, arbitrary arrests, disappearances and ethnic racism, worse than apartheid.

    Armed resistance against these evil acts and terror by the Sinhala nation birthed the LTTE.

    Determined to have independence, a postal system was inaugurated and first stamps were issued on the 5th of September 1986.

    Indo-Lanka Pact of 1987 gave partial independence to TE and when the Sinhala nation abrogated the pact as another abrogation, the Chief Minister rightly and timeously declared TE as fully independent.

    And to this day, that political act remains unreversed and will remain so for ever.

    From 1987-2009, the de facto state of TE existed and even a ceasefire was signed between the de facto state and SL.

    Trying to dismantle the de facto state, the Sinhala nation resorted to war crimes and Tamil genocide, necessitating international justice and punishment.

    It is time for the Sinhala nation to revive itself and learn from history instead of fooloishly repeating it. It should make way for TE and SL in the island, as TE is technically independnt but occupied by SL.

  • Rohini Hensman

    Dear Kadi,

    I am not calling Mahinda Rajapaksa a traitor. You are the one who is calling him a traitor for betraying his sovereign (Premadasa) in 1989!

  • Sarath

    I think Niranjan is being rather optimistic on political developments. The family has absolutely no intention of leaving office and will probably hand over to the son. The only interesting point could be the tussle between brothers and sons.

  • Dominic Ignatius

    Rohini,

    Great article. But isn’t this common in every leader we had? When JRJ signed up the 1987 indo-lanka agreement, he was called a traitor but for many UNPers he outsmarted the Nehru Grand son.

    When RP sign the peace accord with LTTE and crushed JVP, he was called a traitor but UNPers applaud saying that was the right thing to do.

    When CBK came with her infamous package and ceasfire the UNPers called her a traitor but blue party said she is the queen of peace.

    So now we have MR and story remains. It’s the color of the glass you wear decides who is the traitor and who is not. Intersting to see 08th April election results to see how many people think MR a traitor. As LIsa said in an above comment, there are two factions in this country, one is who loves MR and other is who hates MR. Fortunately or unfortunately 58% loved him. (I am not qulified to discuss on the “computer jilmart” episode). Whether as a country we are fortunate or unfortunate, only time will decide.

  • Heshan

    I agree with Sarath. Not only should the President leave office, but also the unqualified friends and relatives, and the unqualified friends and relatives of the unqualified friends and relatives who are in the civil service, and so on… now you see why the Executive Presidency is so bad. Sure it makes one person (the President) all-powerful, but a host of other rogue characters also become quite powerful in their own right. It easy enough to vote out one person (bad apple) during an election, but 50,75, 100?

    As I was saying, we will see more Rajapakse’s in the civil service for a long time to come. SWRD was in politics since what, at least 1930. CBK did not leave till 2005. 75 years of Bandaranaikes… at least they were civilized to some extent. Imagine what 75 years of uneducated Rajapakse’s will do to the country.

  • jack

    The writer clearly lack the ” global vision ” of the situation.

    The fact is :

    1.
    Not long ago people in SL were not sure if they will survive the next day thanks to the courtesy of LTTE !
    Liberation fighters ( Fat boys criminal gang) backed by some
    ” Friendly nations ” with Geo politial interests in SL .

    2.
    On the other hand thanks to Clear traitore such as : Mangala, Ranil etc ;” the biggest traitor ” of SL.

    3.
    Then we have some of these : Journalists , who apperantly loves the truth !!!!!!!

    Fact is ” News” is business .

    And where money involved; there is corruption!!!

    Most of the ” journalists ” are dancing to the tune of
    their masters.
    depending on who s pay list they are ?

    The wars are not only faught with weapons but also by Bias journalists such as this : writer ?

    Who is paying your salary ?

    Or do you write just out of pure faith in the truth !!!

    Politics is a dirty business. we all know that.

    you can argue about how perfect or imperfect MR is.

    Just ask SF what happend.

    He is indeed a ” Political joke” despite his military abilities; no doubts !

    Fact is MR gave Freedom & dignity back to SL .

    Which has : NO PRICE TAG

    Remember in life:
    What counts is not intentions but facts.

    The writer; whats your contribution to SL or to the sociaty as such.
    writing ” rubbish” like
    this !

    Did the writer ever thought,if its not due to the leadership of MR under most difficult circumstances SL ever faced in modern times;
    what would be the situation in SL today ?

    The 1st ” Terror state” ever in the world a reality ???
    4.
    Fact is he won the presdential election with a clear margin.
    and victory will repeat again.
    5
    Just to clear my personal vision:

    I m not a blind fan of any politian also not of MR.

    The fact is i have the highest respect & gratitude towards him & BIG THANKS to the BEST DEFENCE SEC: SL ever produced.

    May they long live & protect over beloved country !!!!!!!!!!

    Provided MR is absent what will be the situation in SL.

    SF or Ranil as president; NO TKX

  • benedictus

    Very well observed and spellt! Brilliant and precise! Telling the truth in SL can be lethal, these days. Please be carful – and keep up your view!
    TC
    Benedictus

  • TMama

    I am surprised that there are apologists for the caste ridden intolerant old world of LTTE still. When did the strong love to resuscitate that pur in the heart of SF – not in the hour of Army victory over the Terrorist outfit. THat came probably after the cancellation of his order for more arms from China – a decision taken by Gotabhaya. Of course London Thambys look for the pre 1945 world order when Jaffna used to run the country, and DSS used to read the speeches .drafted by Ivor J,

    Is MR a Traitor, to Tamil cause to prove that one must have solid evidence that he professed sympathy with the Tamil Homeland theory, the great Jaffna Vellala dynasty that used to run the North and the East of SrilLanka in addition to parts of Madurai from the time immemorial.

    Come off it folks. Mankind evolved from Africa in all all likelihood.

  • Lasan de Silva

    THERE IS ONLY ONE TRAITOR OF OUR NATION FOR THE PAST 55 YEARS(my age)
    THAT IS RANIL WICKRAMASINGHA.

    I CAN GIVE YOU 10 REASONS TO PROVE THAT.

    IF ANYONE OF YOU FELLOW SRI LANKANS HAVE ONE REASON TO PROVE HE IS A TRAITOR…. I WILACCEPT IT. How about that .. ungrateful , selfish traitors at large.???

  • Mahinda Rajapakse is the greatest of all Patriots. The real traitors are those who accuse him of disloyalty. Long live Mahinda the King! Mahinda is the greatest Post Independance Leader in SriLanka’s history.

  • Duradakna

    To the writer: Before you go publicizing your own views to the masses, please study and learn the truth:

    The UK and US (and their henchman India) are critically worried about the Chinese constructing the Hambantota harbour. This is a key strategic point not only in warfare, but in the shipping business as well. The Rajapakses had no option but to turn to China (due to the continuous harassment of Sri Lanka by Tiger terrorist-funded UK (and Canadian) politicians.

    The UK and US did their utmost to stop Rajapakse winning the presidential election: They went as far as politically funding General Fonseka through a Christian NGO (Imagine- if this had happened elsewhere, or China or Russia did this kind of thing, the newspapers like the UK Guaridan would have a field day)… but, no, the western newspapers were (as usual) silent about their own wrong doings.

    Well, Rajapakse won… and now (especially) the UK (and Milliband) is humiliated, and are tryiing everything possible to destablilze the country by politically dividing the masses. Blaming the govt. on the arrest of General Fonseka is just another tactic: The US Army commander of South Atlantic, General William Garrett said about Fonseka: “If an army officer in the US conspired to overthrow the government theough an army coup, he would be whisked away to Guatanamo Bay without any questions”

    So, writer, please refrain speculating about what you only see from far away. Misleading people (even through ignorance) is a very bad karma.

  • Belle

    Duradakna
    Unlike you, Rohini Hensman doesn’t take government propaganda for truth. Which parts of her evidence are based on falsehood? Isn’t it true that the President and his henchmen have been going around calling human rights defenders and journalists “traitors”? Isn’t it true that MR once submitted evidence of war crimes against a reigning government to the UN? Isn’t it true that he once called on the IC to link financial aid to the country’s human rights record?

    What do the US, UK, Hambantota, China, Milliband, etc have to to do with Rohini’s argument that, based on his own definitions of treachery against the nation, MR himself could be considered a “traitor”? Deal directly with her argument: don’t try to distract people and obfuscate the issue by talking about unrelated matters.

    You said, “The US Army commander of South Atlantic, General William Garrett said about Fonseka: “If an army officer in the US conspired to overthrow the government theough an army coup, he would be whisked away to Guatanamo Bay without any questions”

    Pay attention to the conditional modifier “if” that leads Garrett’s statement. So, yes, such conspirators would be taken off to Guananamo Bay “if” they so conspired. You need a court to establish that. However, since neither the military authorities nor the government have even charged Fonseka with conspiracy to overthrow the government through an army coup, let alone convicted him of it, we should assume that he was not involved in such a coup, right? So how is Garrett’s quote here relevant to the situation? More smoke to cloud the issue?

    You’re right: “Misleading people (even through ignorance) is a very bad karma.”

  • Ishan Mannan

    The PPL of the country deserves its leader, I sincerly hope that there would not be a more worst thug ruling our country. Imagine how its going to be if someone
    worse than Mahinda giving leadership to our country. I don’t think his name is Mahinda its something else only actors do change their name for popularity.
    This guy would have done well in Holiwood or Boliwood

  • Palitha

    Dear Rohini,

    Thank you so much for your article. I assume that this article enlightened the most important point of post war campaign. Most of the Mahinda supporters tried to label General Sarath Fonseka as a traitor. However, your article convinced that the real traitor, Mahinda submitted evidence of conflict to UN human rights commission. The whole nation is with you and we want the truth to prevail.

  • Vaniasingham

    If you suggest MR is a traitor…

    JRJ is a traitor plus plus

    CBK is a traitor plus plus plus

    RW is a traitor plus plus plus and 3 stars

    SF is a traitor with Five Stars.

  • Deegajantu

    Dear all,
    As an ordinary man who never been belong to your intellectual circle,I must say something about visible and plain facts,
    1. MR has gone somewhere non of our presidents have gone so far of liberating Sri Lanka.Even non of us ever think is feasible. No other country has ever achieved what he has in terms of war on terror. He is the only president with a backbone in recent political history of Sri Lanka.
    2. politically and socially Sri Lanka was a chaotic place..and still is..no one can rule sri lanka according to your so called book of rules..there could be some unorthodox methods. Not only in Sri lanka ,if you look closely at all the people in current global political scene have done that.
    3. What’s more important is, he let the politicos who were hiding under beds and wet their pants by LTTE phobia, to come out and bark..all of us are enjoying that priviledge ..Isn’t it?
    4. Ok !! lets think is he not suitable for the big chair. Is there anyone in current political stage to replace him? or even come close to him ? NO !!!!
    So stop throwing mud. In comparison..JR and Premadasa were cold blooded killing mechines. Chandrika knew how to bark only.No actions !!
    MR may not be 100% a true champion. BUT HE IS THE BEST AT CURRENT POLITICAL SCENARIO !!!

  • niranjan

    Sarath,

    The Rajapakses will have to call a general election in another 6 years time under the Constitution. By that time the people will be disgusted by their rule and will look to an alternative Government . It will take time for the rural masses to come around but they will eventually.
    The UNP is still the single biggest party in the country. It needs reorganisation and perhaps a new leader. Both those things will happen. It has happened in the past during the 1970’s after the death of Dudley JR reorganised the party. Mrs. B won the election in 1970 but lost it 7 years later due to bad governance. We have bad governance now. So do not be disheartened. Every cloud has a silver lining.

  • Asela

    Your whole argument is summarized by you as following :
    “If journalists who expose the truth and human rights defenders who try to get justice for innocent victims of state terror are ‘traitors’, if Sarath Fonseka is a ‘traitor’ for offering to ‘rat’ on his former commander-in-chief on the matter of war crimes, then Mahinda Rajapaksa too is a veteran ‘traitor’, and they should not be supporting him. Conversely, if Mahinda Rajapaksa’s battle for human rights and against war crimes twenty-odd years ago, both within Sri Lanka and in the international community, was an expression of his love for his country, then they must concede that the same love drives journalists and human rights defenders who risk their lives fighting for truth, justice and good governance in our country.”

    However, in this argument you 1) equal mindless slaughter of youth during the JVP insurrection to the military defeat of a ruthless terrorist organization as ‘war crimes’ and 2) equal the ones who stood against state terror then to the ones who are now pawns of international powers working for their own gain through disharmony backed by the still existent LTTE fund raising/ propaganda machinery and sympathizers in a diaspora lost to the ground reality as ‘human rights defenders’.

    I’m afraid that unless these can be proven to be the same your argument doesn’t hold well.

  • Dakunata Gimhanaya

    What we saw during the past few decates in Sri Lanka was aftewr insurrection and terrorism all the leaders took the law to their hands Sirima, Premadasa, and MR. It is here fore it is time to change. At the sme time I do not like a Military person becomes the president of Sri Lanka. I always remember Sf as the WAR HERO. We could have immagine if Wijeweera or Prabakaran won the war what would have happen to this country, If Praba won The most of the tamils who are crying now would be 12 feet under the ground. I hope you all remember Mahathsaya, Dulip yogi, SrI Sagarathnam, Sampathan and so many .They were killed. Even the diospora would perform activities in UK and other countries as they have to come back to Sri Lanka. That burgur king guy who went on hunger srike would do the same. again.

    I think it is the time to change. Out of thugs who contest for election I think Ranil is the best. Sorry I am a floating voter.

  • Dakunata Gimhanaya

    Sri Lanka won ICC world cup match in 1996 after trying from 1975. It was purely due to the leadership shown by The president Chandrika Bandaranyaka and the guidance given by the then sport Minister. Now Arjuna is considered as a traitor as he wants to expose all the malpractises in the sport Ministry.

  • Rabok

    When we are talking about human rights ,I think first we must define the word “human” One of the basic difference between a human and an animal is the rational behaviour of human. Animal generally do not act rationally – they act more immotionally.

    Now we take MR’s actions during eighties – during JVP insurrection many innocent people who were political opponents or just suspects were killed – and all these people were humans – because they were not following the unrational behaviour of JVP fools – so Mahinda was talking about the violation of rights of these humans – So what is wrong. – his actions can be justfied

    Now we take LTTE – there are two categories of LTTers

    – Hard core caders
    – Hard core supporters

    Can we consider any of these people as humans – they brutally killed many thousand innocent Sinhalese simply because they were born as Sinhalese — they haphazardly killed many prominent tamils just because they had different view – they use forcebly recruited tamil young as well as civilian as cannon fodder in their war- for me – we even cannot categorize LTTEers and their supportes as animals – it is an insult for animals.

    Now the entire West world and Tamil diaspora and politicians in the opposition wants to punish him for crimes against humanity – what an absurd situation – He is the only politician who had the backbone to conduct war against the most brutal terror group in the world and eliminate them from our soil – and of course civilians had to bear some sacrifice because they got themselve between LTTE and government forces and LTTE purposely and forcibly put them in front to create a scenario of human catestrope and to allow their supportrs in the West to create a situation that might have lead to the cessiation of Gov. offensive. But fortunately MR had guts to resist all these negative tendencies. Now who are the human right violators MR or the supporters of LTTE (hear and abroad)

  • Rabok

    I think there are few categories of Journalist among us

    1) Journalist who genuinly desire to expose both the sides of the story impartially and allow the reader to make the decision – and they do this without considering the prevailing enviorenment of the country

    2) Journalists who hold a view similar to above – but are more sensible in exposing them and consider seriously about the consequence that his story may have on the current situation of the country

    3) Journalists with burning desire to write some thing hot so that they become popular overnight – these guys go head on and blind to any situatons

    4) Journalist who twist the truth for the benfit of thear financial backers or political bosses – money is their motive

    How do you consider them in the scale of traitors??

    Cat (2) are the real journalist
    Cat (1) are good journalist but unmatured
    Cat (3) are born emotional fools
    Cat (4) are traitors

  • Rabok

    Regarding SF

    He is a [kindly refrain from ad hominem attacks – thank you] – If he is really a patriotic person he will put countries interest before the his ambitions – If he is a sensible person he would have remain with MR and slowly establish his political ambitions over the years, But his blind hunger for power blind his logic – and he is no different from Army leaders who throw democraticlly elected Gov. and grab power. Basically he is a national threat because he can be very dangerous and is using his popularity to to give life to another social cancer in the country (JVP) and should remain behind bars untill he comes to his proper senses.

  • jack

    As to the defination of the Word “TRAITOR” on above article.

    The writer uses the key word ” TRAITOR ” to accuse MR indirectly of : Corruption.

    Do you have any prove of it ?

    If so come up with the facts not just: “Empty; possible accusations”.

    And even if MR is ” Business minded” what s wrong with that.

    Then in SL politics we have all but corrupt & unefficent Presidents & politicians with rare exceptions.

    In 60 yrs + post independence from ” Criminal UK “, did they ever: Delivered promissed goods” .

    NO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    MR : deliverd his goods, so now time to sit back & cash ( enjoy ); nothing wrong with that.

    Or do you work for free !!!!!

    Beside do you know any politician / leader any where in the world who was forced to operate under such intense pressure as MR & his bros & still “delivered the GOODS”, with high NOTES !!!!.

    Us / SL relations :
    tkx to the ex US IMbassilor; Robert, he spoiled the good mutual relations to US.
    Purly he couldnt handle the ” Little Gota ” saying; noop !!!

    So he sent pile of lies to US, the reason for sudden U change in US – SL relations.

    UK – The country which commited the ” highest amount of CRIMES against Humanity” ; incl. SL think they still are
    the Great Bi-tain.

    fact is its time that SL leaves that: joking bunch of ” common wealth gang & request :

    DAMAGE & COMPENSATION for the CRIMES they commited in SL, lets say 100.000.- GBP per SL citizen to the year when they finally chucked off.

    Its still a cheap price they pay as the. ” inventors of 1st ever concentration camps” & mostous criminals in the world.

    Its time,SL has a Govt. as this;with ” Back bone” , to say “NO”
    when its due unlike the traitors such as:

    TNA, CBK ; Ranil , JVP, SF ( this guy shall be put behind bars for the rest of the life time for his ” Irresponsible behaviour ”
    causing serious HARDSHIPS to SL.

    IF the writer is on for a” traitor” as the best defination of the
    word is : SF.
    He is your ” Man of the match” , even surpassing my favorite: Ranil the “super traitor” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Truth

    http://www.divaina.com/2010/03/21/defence.html
    “non-patriots, terrorists, who betray Sri Lanka”, should be kept away from the United Nations.

    But the UN Human Rights Council and the Commonwealth are run by members who are very patriotc.

  • justitia

    From all above arguments,it appears that ‘traitors’ become ‘patriots’ and vice versa in sri lanka, as and when the political situation is favourable/unfavourable to them.
    One man’s traitor is another man’s patriot. Both categories win and lose elections.

  • Sarath

    Niranjan, what you say is possible, provided a free and fair election is held, of which I have the gravest doubt.

  • devotee

    I appreciate Rabok’s comments, But govt should have treated him softer than what they have done to him. he obviously led the army almost sacrificing his dear life. there are more dangerous traitors exists in the very govt than him. I agree he should not have uttered “the words” but that alone would not brand him to the totality of traitors. and I agree with you that he is on the wrong side JVP who caused destruction than any constructions. I would even call them fools simply because they had 40 MPs they failed to make use of the opportunity.

  • Percy uncle drove General Fonseka to this scenario through the Janz article.
    By trying to destroyed the opposition candidate’s (General’s) political career he gambled with the international community and thus betrayed us all !

    A gutsy man with 40 year experience against the ‘most ruthless terrorists’ was no easy push over.
    It is due to the international attention that this man is yet alive; remember Janaka Perera !!

    Now the war is over, Tamils are also from this land, they are our brothers.
    They trust and respect this man who annihilated the Tigers more than Mr Mahendra.
    We have an ideal situation !

  • Heshan

    A lot of people here are saying LTTE was the most ruthless terrorist group, and only Mahinda had the “guts” and “backbone” to take them on. Neither of these assumptions is true. The most ruthless terrorist group is Al Q’aida. Many of you were upset about the diaspora financing the LTTE… that is nothing compared to the level of financial support enjoyed by Al Q’aida. There are members of the Saudi royal family who financially support Al Q’aida . Osama Bin-Laden is himself a Saudi billionaire. Al Q’aida has attacked targets in North America, Europe, Africa, and Indonesia. Al Q’aida is fighting a war against the Americans and several other nations (NATO) on two continents. How much money do you think that costs?

    Now the other point: only Mahinda had the guts to take on the LTTE? That is rubbish. I have said from day 1, if Sri Lanka had had a military draft 30 odd yrs ago, the war would have been over within 2-3 years. If Sri Lanka had tried to industrialize, the war would have been over much sooner. If a POLITICAL SOLUTION had been implemented, the LTTE would have been marginalized and the war would have been over much sooner.

    There was never any structured plan to take on the LTTE. The economy of the country was not structured along military lines… there was a deliberate attempt to have “life go on as normal” in the South, while confining the war to the North and East.

    What did Mahinda do differently? How did he “win”? Well, he did not “win” because of any backbone. He won because he ignored all the norms of conventional warfare. If the Americans wanted, they could level every major city in Afghanistan and Iraq with atomic bombs… it would end the insurgency in those places because the level of radioactive waste would make it impossible for people to live there. There is a saying: war has no real winners, in the end, all are losers. If the 30,000 dead Tamil civilians buried in unmarked graves could speak, I am sure they would agree entirely.

  • Belle

    Jack,
    ‘The writer uses the key word ” TRAITOR ” to accuse MR indirectly of : Corruption.

    Do you have any prove of it ?

    If so come up with the facts not just: “Empty; possible accusations”.’

    For most reasonable-minded people, a ‘democratic’ government run by a band of brothers is proof of corruption.

  • Belle

    Rabok,
    Most high-quality newspapers would disagree with your definition of the good or ideal journalist, and you can see this in the way they award prizes for stories. The story that gets the top award is one that was gotten in difficult circumstances, i.e the journalist had to do without information from key actors and from government, and use other sources to break the story, against great resistance.

    YOUR ideal journalist who you define as “Journalists who hold a view similar to above – but are more sensible in exposing them and consider seriously about the consequence that his story may have on the current situation of the country” are the ones most likely to be sacked or laid off in a newspaper (except of course, in government propaganda newspapers). They would be sacked because they are mere government lackeys or because they’re too frightened to be bona-fide journalists and rarely bring good stories to the table.

    What do you mean by journalists having to consider seriously the consequences that the story would have on the current situation of the country? Who can tell what the consequences of a story would be until it is published? For eg, should a journalist not publish a story on a president’s corruption because it will bring political instability to the country? And you think this is ‘mature’? Not to do so would be treacherous behaviour from a journalist, to sit on the truth because it is not politically convenient to the ruling class.

  • hang on a sec, 2 important differences. LTTE wanted a separate state and JVP did not. MR as a lawyer provided professional services that he’s been trained to do. Just as a doctor treats a sick patient. Any self respecting lawyer believes in a fair trial for all. Even for your enemies. By no definition MR’s actions can be attributed as treason. Exposing human rights violations are not an act of treason. If the evidence is there then that’s it. But today’s certain crusaders only have unverified, unattributable evidence that proves nothing.

    Anyway let’s look at what SF said/did. His main accusation was that:
    * Ghotabhaya (defence sec) instructed his junior, Brig DeSilva to execute LTTE surrenders. But as a competent general who was in charge of his army, he did not let this happen. So his accusations are really an intent of harm but not actual harm. He him self admits nothing of that sort happened under his watch. Basically SF says no war crimes happened. Then he retracted the intent part as well. All during an vicious election campaign where his target was his declared public enemy no.1 and verbally declared to destroy within hours of post election win, in crass hate speech in political rallies. As a result of this unimaginable pressure was put on SL sovereign rights. Treachery not?

    The argument is absolutely flawed.

  • Laksumana

    Doesn’t have to with all the 17 or more corruption files of defectors around and safe in hand.

  • truthseeker

    To hell with the pseudo-patriotic ultranationalist extreme right-wing forces(SLFP,JHU,NFF,MEP,etc)!!!!!!!

  • wijayapala

    Dear Truthseeker,

    How about TNA?

  • Sajitha

    President Mahinda Rjapaksa has a simple theory.Do what most of people in his country ask to do.Then time by time he can make decisions that majority doesn’t agree with.But I didn’t see him used it wrong way.If Sarath Fonseka made it to the president chair we can’t expect Mahinda Rajapaksa live anymore.

  • Sajitha

    Guys you can ask anything but people of urban areas in Sri Lanka created this president.They loves him and they will keep him at any cost.You discuss matters in Colombo because he is not one of high class member of Colombo 7.But most people loves him and they proud about him because common people feel him as one of them.Whether you like it or not he is becoming the national emblem of Sri Lanka.