On Relative Rights

A short fall in human
rights suggests a failure
in the harvest, perhaps

a missing plank
in the slide, and
some will go flying,

others hungry,
while you add
ridiculous

to describe
the call
for a boycott

of your literary
party by so-called
rights activists,

which I presume
to mean men
and women

who agitate on
behalf of humans;
their call certainly

draws unwanted
attention to murder
of journalists

so let me propose
that we make fun
of it by such

ridiculous
excesses
as burning

an effigy of a doll
named censorship
without addressing

the argument
of the boycott
which did not say

don’t go, just
be aware of where
you speak in deed.

  • ward

    Our sense of relative rights has been extremely reluctant to change over the decades that have been seeing immense changes in the world:

    CEYLON : A DIVIDED NATION, B H Farmer(1963):
    Since those saddening days of 1958 Ceylon has had its share of trouble…..The truth, though unpalatable may be to some, is simply that nobody unacceptable to the present Sinhalese Buddhist nationalism has any chance of constitutional power in contemporary Ceylon.
    But need it have been as violent as in fact it was?

  • Gowri

    I presume you are living, speaking, and writing from a hole in the grand canyon?

    If not, where YOU speak from will tell a vastly different tale if only you bother to lift up the bottom of your shoe.

  • SD

    RE: “the argument
    of the boycott
    which did not say

    don’t go, just…

    Umm… A boycott, by definition, means don’t go?

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    Three Tamil hotels are occupied by army camps in Jaffna peninsula.

    New luxury hotel built by army in Jaffna peninsula HSZ where Tamils are banned:
    http://www.army.lk/detailed.php?NewsId=2681

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/03/video_tamils_on_probation.html
    Tamil fishermen are displaced to let Sinhalese fishermen take their place with the protection of an army camp.

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    http://www.tsunami-evaluation.org/NR/rdonlyres/06B7033C-446F-407F-BF58-7D4A71425BFF/0/ApproachestoEquity.pdf
    Approaches to equity in post-Tsunami assistance. Sri Lanka: A case study, Mandeep Kaur Grewal(DfID), November 2006: ”Within several days of the tsunami, Trincomalee’s District Secretary echoed the practice of his counterparts in other tsunami affected districts by engaging with a range of local stakeholders to form a coordination task force. By February 2005, presidential instructions arrived, requiring the District Secretary to seek ministerial approval for each task force meeting, effectively replacing this body with a special Council for the Reconstruction of Trincomalee, which involved approximately 70 members and was headed by ministers based in Colombo. The Council’s creation compromised district coordination efforts while providing no effective alternative, with the new Council meeting fewer than three times over 2005. The example of the District Secretary, who was undermined in developing a standard coordination process that other districts were able to implement, contrasts sharply with Hambantota’s housing experience, where conventional bureaucratic norms and systems of accountability were set aside, allowing the district to respond comparatively faster in planning reconstruction. ….”

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    http://www.brad.ac.uk/acad/confres/papers/pdfs/CCR16.pdf
    Disaster Response, Peace and Conflict in Post-Tsunami Sri Lanka, Part 1: The Congestion of Humanitarian Space, Simon Harris, February 2006(University of Bradford, UK):
    ”… Members of the Sinhalese community expressed concern that the distribution of fishing boats by INGO’s to individuals meant that Tamils could now own their means of production rather than renting it from the local Sinhalese ‘fisher barons’….”

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    There is a lot of legal work against addictive drugs(cigareets, alcohol and narcotics), pornography and prostitution in the South.

    In the Northeast the occupation army
    i.freely promotes addictive drugs and pornography CDs:
    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/10/young_religious_visit_their_ow.html#more
    http://www.groundviews.org/2010/09/23/submissions-before-lessons-learnt-reconciliation-committee-llrc-by-chandra-jayaratne/

    ii. wikileaks – Sri Lanka’s Leaders Complicit in Forced Prostitution and Child Sex Trafficking
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/us-embassy-cables-documents/108763

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    Provincial Governor(appointed by the President) overrides Provincial Council(elected by the people) in Eastern Province:
    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/11/joint_holistic_and_longsighted.html
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123333480794533919.html

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11328159
    Young Tamils in Sri Lanka ‘being held without charge’, 16 September 2010:
    ”A retired senior diplomat in Sri Lanka says several thousand young people of the Tamil ethnic minority are being held in custody without any charges being brought against them. Nanda Godage said some had been incarcerated in this way for years.”

  • rodger

    Relative rights:

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/01/30/hypocrisy-at-the-university-of-colombo/
    University Council can cancel HR meeting without giving reason.

  • ward

    Relative rights:

    http://www.peace-srilanka.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=240:the-importance-of-countervailing-power&catid=1:latest&Itemid=121
    ”This asymmetry reflects the ethnic conflict and points to one of its roots, which is the inability of the people living in the North and East to non-violently bring their difficulties to the problem-solving attention of the successive governments.”

  • ward

    Relative rights:

    UDA tries to evict the poor in Colombo to get the land for investors.

  • luxmy

    Relative rights:

    1.No government policy has been stated on returning Muslims to the North for nearly 15/20yrs after the LTTE were driven out of Jaffna which has been getting higly militarised(LTTE evicted the Muslims from the North. Some Muslims may not like to get throttled in the militarised Jaffna peninsula and would prefer to stay in Puttalam and other areas.
    2.Hundreds of Sinhalese taking up residence in Jaffna railway station and other lands near army camps have been helped by the army to take a foothold in Jaffna.

    • TT

      Luxmy,

      There were 25,000+ Sinhalese living in Jaffna in 1971. Check the census.

      They were first chased away by the Vadukodai resolution (1976) which was a carbon copy of the 1935 Nuremberg Resolution. Sinhala population in Jaffna fell to 4,800 by 1981. Then the LTTE chased away them too.

      Talking of relative rights!

      Colombo district has more than 400,000 Tamils but Jaffna zero Sinhalese. Relative rights!

      Every soldier family to get Rs 100,000 for the third child. There is nothing relative here. There are thousands of Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim soldiers in the Sri Lanka army. Sadly, LTTE was Tamil only.

      History is created (and written) by winners. – An old proverb

      Why most Muslims from jaffna opt not to go?

      Because their movable and immovable property have been robbed. This is worse than 1983 riots. Rioters only robbed movable property and damaged immovable property but still left the land to the owners. Not the case in Jaffna where the land too was robbed. The same happened to the 25,000+ Sinhalese in Jaffna.

  • luxmy

    Reative rights:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jan/28/sri-lanka-army-military
    100,000-rupee (£570) bonus for every soldier having a third child

    (Very curious not to find this info in other than this article).

  • Davidson

    Relative rights:

    http://cimogg-srilanka.org/other-relevant-contributions/
    Elmore Perera to LLRC, 10 November 2010:

    ”… The 1983 racial riots were a disaster. I need say no more. Overnight, Tamils were treated as being sub-human. Many of those who could leave the country by lawful or even unlawful means did so. Those who remained were subjected to arbitrary, humiliating treatment. Rounding up of 30 to 40 Tamil youth on Friday evenings, producing them before Magistrates to be remanded, and later releasing them on bail, after they had paid lawyers Rs1,000/- each for this purpose, was a regular occurrence in many parts of the city. Tamils, who could readily be identified as such from their National Identity Cards, were at the mercy of the law-enforcement agencies which arbitrarily enforced even laws of their own making….”

  • Davidson

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2011/01/post_609.html
    ”…. Almost 20 th months after the end of the war, it is disturbing that restrictions on expression, association and movement that are not in force in other parts of the country and communities are being imposed on recently resettled Tamil people. On several occasions, the military had cancelled religious services to remember and pray for civilians killed or missing and even some of our priests have been threatened and intimidated for their attempts to commemorate those who were killed during the war. …. Church organizations and NGOs have been instructed in writing and verbally by the Government Agent of Vavuniya and the Army in Mannar that no events should be organized without inviting the military. … Restrictions on travel still remain and even last month, some overseas visitors were prevented from visiting people in Manthai West division. …. ”