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Poorest President of the World

I am not first talking about Mahinda Rajapaksa of Sri Lanka, but Jose Mujica of Uruguay. I am not talking about poverty in terms of vision, but modesty in terms of wealth or possessions. I am also not saying that Mahinda or other Rajapaksas don’t have a ‘vision’ at all, but it has become completely crooked especially after defeating the LTTE. What an opportunity they have missed to be magnanimous, reasonable or simply ‘Just’ on the question of the Tamils and other minorities in the country.

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Sarath Fonseka’s Second War

The presidential pardon to General Sarath Fonseka (officially it is ‘ex-General’ as he has been stripped of his hard earned rank) after he completed only two years of a three-year jail sentence should come as no surprise.

As things happen in the Island nation, the idea touched off speculations on when and how he will be released. Of course, there was a lot of build up before it really happened with the perennial political go-between Tiran Alles MP took up the General’s case for pardon with his one time pal - the President. And the former Army Chief comes up once again in national focus with the speculation on what is he going to do?

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Post-mortem on Geneva

We have to face up to the fact that the Sri Lankan Government suffered a serious set-back at Geneva. We can of course argue that adding the abstentions to the votes against the US Resolution shows that we lost only by one vote. That kind of statistical casuistry will take us nowhere. In fact the refusal to face up to ugly facts that motivates such casuistry could prove to be dangerous. It could even lead to the international isolation in which Sri Lanka found itself under the Jayewardene Government in 1987, as acknowledged by JRJ himself. It is true that two powerful countries, namely China and Russia, voted on our side. During a spell of service in Moscow from 1995 to 1998 I found that the strong Indo-Soviet bonds forged during the Cold War remained just as strong as ever, and my guess is that in the last resort, sometime in the future, Russia will side with India against us. We must acknowledge Sri Lanka’s vulnerability.

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Story untold on CFA

An extraordinary story was unearthed, placing the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA) in a frame hitherto unknown, when Sunday Island’s investigative journalist Shamindra Ferdinando interviewed a former Head of the Peace Secretariat, diplomat John Gooneratne. It’s a point of departure from which social scientists can research for conclusions on the CFA.

According to popular belief, the Norwegians, on the instigation of the LTTE, rammed the CFA down the throat of Ranil Wickremesinghe. It was presumed that the then administration was given few options by Norway as at that time the militarily was depicted as weak compared to the LTTE and the ground conditions were deemed insecure and unstable.

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A Texan Tamil’s Jambu-stained words hurled at the Sri Lankan President

It is with deep pain and a sense of futility that I read the seemingly well-articulated "ataappali" of my fellow Tamil George Willy in Texas, directed at President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his visit to the US.

However, as an old man who grew up during the Donoughmore era, I am probably several decades older than Willy, and heard fine speeches from the silver tongues of the Ramanathans and Ponnambalams of an earlier era. I cringe with pain because we Tamils continue to play the same tune and propagate the same myths which we collectively believe. Even some Sinhalese, the anglicized minority who read no Tamil, have begun to believe in our own grandiose speeches, where we nurse this beggar’s wound of Majority discrimination against the Tamil minority.  Here we have George Willy, with his non-Tamil name, telling us how important Thamil  is to the Tamils, even though there is not a single Tamil quotation in his speech. We are told of red stains from the "Jambu" fruit ("perunaval" in Tamil), where as the perunaval only leaves a brown stain!

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