The editorial of the 25th instant was on the subject of the global
Tiger empire. Very important issues have been raised including the
consolidated terrorist threat to the Indian sub continent. Janeâ€™s
Intelligence on Tigersâ€™ multi-million dollar business empire documents
states most what we suspected all these years. Action by Reuters to
quote this press release subsequently was a further indication as to the
severity of the threat.
This raises the question as to why and how some of the British MPs
were speaking for and on behalf of the Tigers, a few months ago at a
House of Commons debate and formulation of a Parliamentary committee to
look into their grievances.
The answer is that the Tiger propaganda machinery in the West has
been very efficient in twisting the facts and cultivating sympathetic
opinions towards them among the Western countries. Coining headlines
such as â€˜Ethnic cleansing in Sri Lankaâ€™ is an example of their
abilities, while the facts were different.
Things have happened to the detriment of Sri Lanka in the past, but
the country now needs to rise up to the challenge and let the world know
exactly what really goes on in Sri Lanka.
The Sri Lankan High Commissioner in London needs to take the lead
here, in order to nullify the efforts of Tigers in the West. They need
to set-up a strategy to make regular presentations to the media here in
London and provide them with facts and figures. For an example, when the
â€˜ethnic cleansingâ€™ headlines were mooted, the High Commission should
have gone ballistic.
It should have issued a press release explaining what went on in
Colombo, and following it up with further information as to the
composition of population in Colombo and how the Tamils are living so
comfortably with other communities in places such as in Dehiwala,
Wellawatte, Kotahena etc. If they do not have the ability to handle such
press related matters, they need to engage professionals.
The idea is to hire an established British public relations firm to
do the work for them, coupled with retaining on advisory capacity a
personality such as an ex Editor of a UK newspaper or such other person
known in the media circles with PR experience.
They need to appear in TV news bulletins and also take part in radio
news programmes as and when a major event takes place in Sri Lanka. If
they do not react promptly to such scenarios, the Tigers would take the
advantage to twist and turn things in their favour.
Another important aspect is lobbying of MPs and Government
Secretaries (ie Ministers). This is how the Tigers were able to get a
House of Commons debate, and the High Commission needs to clear these
misunderstandings among some of the British MPs. They also need to
ensure that the information flow to the new British Foreign Secretary on
the subject of terrorism in Sri Lanka is free of any such defilement.
As individuals, there is a limit to what we can do in these
instances. I have written to newspapers here in the UK when the House of
Commons debate took place, but to no avail. It is now an enormous task
to change this Western media attitude, hence my suggestion that the High
Commission in the UK be the sphere-head and take up the challenge to
change this situation.
I also suggest that the Foreign Ministry (in Colombo) to develop a
dossier containing atrocities carried out by the Tigers since 1983
including the 1985 Pettah car bomb, assassination of politicians using
suicide bombers including former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi,
attempted destruction of airport etc and make this material available to
all Sri Lankan missions abroad. Perhaps, this could be in the form of a
website if no such site is presently available.
The Armed Forces are not fighting the Tamils, but they are
confronting a ruthless group of terrorists backed by a multi-million
dollar global business empire engaged in drug trafficking, gun running,
money laundering. This is the message that the Sri Lankan High
Commission in London needs to pass on to Western media circles.
Dr. Mareena Thaha Reffai should not have been as harsh on believers
in astrology as she writes to your columns on July 27. After all,
astrology is a form of belief no less rational than belief in God/Gods,
fairies and demons. It sometimes gives hope or consolation and may be a
substitute to prayer.
If God knows the future, as Dr. Thaha Reffai asserts, I would like to
know whether God knew that on December 26, 2004 there would be a Tsunami
bringing death, devastation and despair to a million plus both here and
If He did, why could He not do something to prevent it in His all
If He couldnâ€™t, how could we believe in an All Mighty?
All the good work so far done by the Armed Forces to establish
democratic rule in the Eastern Province will be brought to nought, if an
armed conflict erupts between Karuna of the TMVP and the existing
democratic political parties, to gain political power in the East.
Sri Lankan people will no doubt welcome Karuna as another political
leader in the N/E and not as a replacement for Prabhakaran. We wish to
welcome him as another Anandasangaree or Douglas Devananda from the
We have to urge all political leaders who love this country to
interfere in this conflict in the offing, to prevail upon Karuna to
strictly toe the democratic line in joining the political mainstream.
There was an attempt by the Portuguese invaders to get Dona Catherina,
a convert Christian connected to the Kotte Royal family, married to a
Portuguese Army office aristocrat, waiting for her in Kandy.
Konoppu Bandara who had military training in Goa, realised the danger
threatening the country if the marriage took place. Determined to stop
the marriage, he led a band of men, met the Portuguese soldiers taking
Dona Catherina in a palanquin, in battle at Danture, defeated them and
captured Dona Catherina.
That battle in Danture in 1593 not only negated the marriage but also
prevented the Portuguese from legitimising their claim to rule Sri
Konoppu Bandara later married his prized catch Dona Catherina and was
crowned as King Vijaya Dharma Suriya 1.
There is no doubt that Konoppu Bandaraâ€™s victory in the battle of
Danture, a village off Kadugannawa, is an important event in our history
and Konoppu Bandaraâ€™s bravery has to be remembered.
Towards that end, a statue of Konoppu Bandara should be erected in
I hope that this will receive the attention of the Minister of
Cultural Affairs, the officials of the Cultural Department and the
Kadugannawa Town Council.