03 May 2014

The use and abuse of NGOs
British Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Hugo Swire is reported to have held 'useful' discussions with representatives of several NGOs to discuss the follow-up to the UNHRC resolution on Sri Lanka passed in Geneva last month. We don't know if they were Sri Lankan NGOs or not. What is clear is that for the war-mongering, terrorism-supporting nation called the United Kingdom, NGOs are useful adjuncts in the business of interfering in other nations and wrecking political stability.  So what's new?  Isn't that what prominent Sri Lankan NGOs who talk accountability and transparency but are opaque and unaccountable do here in Sri Lanka?  Swire knows he can't get the support of the Sri Lankan people. So he bats with NGOs that claim they represent civil society, even though they can't get 100 people to a demonstration.  What's this, 'minoritarianism' of the worst kind?  

Masurang Katha
Just the other day, Indian customs enforcers seized 360 gm of gold from a Sri Lankan national who arrived at Thiruvananthapuram International Airport in a flight from Colombo.  The man is said to have hidden the gold in his mouth! Now that gives a new twist to the term masurang katha doesn't it?

TNA's Dependency
The Northern Provincial Council has passed some resolutions. One of them calls the Government to remove the ban on 16 'Tamil' organizations located outside Sri Lanka. Why, though?  How does it impact on the TNA or the people in the Norther Province? As of now, all that is clear is that these groups were linked to the LTTE, the one outfit that showered the most misery on the people in that province over the past 30 years.  These outfits have not helped the people by way of providing even a plate of rice.  They have proved beyond all reasonable doubt that they don't want any kind of resolution.  They are in the hate-spewing business, doesn't Wigneswaran and others know?  So why are they upset?  Are we to conclude that the TNA takes orders from these groups?  Are we to conclude that the TNA gets money from them?

How about taking a leaf from the South Korean book?
South Korea's Prime Minister Chung Hong-won has announced his resignation, taking responsibility for the slow initial response to a ferry's sinking that has left nearly 200 dead with scores more still missing.

Now why can't Sri Lankan leaders, ministers included, resign over being similarly 'irresponsible'?  Perhaps its just because adherence to such a principle would leave us with a cabinet without ministers!  

And now a 'Buddha-Police'?
President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken steps to set up a special police unit to move in if there's any threat to religious harmony.  But what about Buddha-tatttoos?  Is there going to be a Buddha-Tattoo Police too?  How about all those Buddha statues that some Buddhists set up on the dashboards of their cars?  Buddha images that they hang on the read-view mirror?  Buddha statues on pendants?  Where does it stop?

How about those who have crosses tattooed? 
Since Sri Lanka is said to be 'secular', there are probably things that would hurt Christians similar to the things that are supposed to upset Buddhists.  Now, what if a tourist comes to Sri Lanka with a tattoo of a cross or Christ on the Cross tattooed on arm, cheek, chest or wherever?  Would the person be turned back?  

Oh those terrorist-sounding names!
A young French woman of Yugoslavian origin has been told by Swiss Airlines officers that neither she nor her family would be put on board a flight to New York because 'her name sounded suspiciously like "Al Qaeda".'  Her names is Aida Alic and the way it's written, with the names reversed, is Alic Aida, which when said together of course sounds like Al Qaeda.  
What's this if not paranoia of the worst kind? But we can take the logic further. If anyone has a name that sounds like Bush, Blair, Cameron or Barack, they should be denied visas, airline tickets and such.  Women in various parts of Latin America who have the name 'America' would have to stay home.  Why? Because 'America' is the Western equivalent of Al Qaeda, and Bush, Obama, Blair et al are the relevant equivalents of Osama bin Laden!