அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு

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அரசியல் பிரச்சாரத்தின் ஆதாரக் கோட்பாடு.

'' நீதி, மதம், அரசியல், சமுதாயம் சம்பந்தமான எல்லாவித சொல்லடுக்குகளுக்கும் பிரகடனங்களுக்கும் வாக்குறுதிகளுக்கும் பின்னே ஏதாவதொரு வர்க்கத்தின் நலன்கள் ஒழிந்து நிற்பதைக் கண்டுகொள்ள மக்கள் தெரிந்துகொள்ளாத வரையில் அரசியலில் அவர்கள் முட்டாள்தனமான ஏமாளிகளாகவும் தம்மைத் தாமே ஏமாற்றிக்கொள்வோராகவும் இருந்தனர், எப்போதும் இருப்பார்கள். பழைய ஏற்பாடு ஒவ்வொன்றும் எவ்வளவுதான் காட்டு மிராண்டித் தனமாகவும் அழுகிப் போனதாகவும் தோன்றிய போதிலும் ஏதாவது ஒரு ஆளும்வர்க்கத்தின் சக்தியைக் கொண்டு அது நிலைநிறுத்தப்பட்டு வருகிறது. சீர்திருத்தங்கள், அபிவிருத்திகள் ஆகியவற்றின் ஆதரவாளர்கள் இதை உணராத வரையில் பழைய அமைப்பு முறையின் பாதுகாவலர்கள் அவர்களை என்றென்றும் முட்டாளாக்கிக் கொண்டே இருப்பார்கள். இந்த வர்க்கங்களின் எதிர்ப்பைத் தகர்த்து ஒழிப்பதற்கு ஒரே ஒரு வழிதான் உண்டு. அது என்ன?

பழைமையைத் துடைத்தெறியவும் புதுமையைச் சிருக்ஷ்டிக்கவும் திறன் பெற்றவையும், சமுதாயத்தில் தாங்கள் வகிக்கும் ஸ்தானத்தின் காரணமாக அப்படிச் சிருக்ஷ்டித்துக் தீரவேண்டிய நிர்ப்பந்தத்திலிருக்கிறவையுமான சக்திகளை, நம்மைச் சூழ்ந்துள்ள இதே சமுதாயத்துக்குள்ளேயே நாம் கண்டுபிடித்து, அந்தச் சக்திகளுக்கு ஞானமூட்டிப் போராட்டத்துக்கு ஸ்தாபன ரீதியாகத் திரட்ட வேண்டும். இது ஒன்றேதான் வழி. ''

மாமேதை தோழர் லெனின்
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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Iraqi Kurdish leader says 'yes' vote won independence referendum



“The referendum does not mean independence will happen tomorrow, nor are we redrawing borders,” he said in Erbil on Monday. “If the ‘yes’ vote wins, we will resolve our issues with Baghdad peacefully.”

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani

World News
September 26, 2017
Iraqi Kurdish leader says 'yes' vote won independence referendum



Iraqi Kurdish president Masoud Barzani speaks during a news conference
in Erbil, Iraq September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Azad Lashkari

 
BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi Kurdish leader Masoud Barzani said on Tuesday that Kurds had voted “yes” to independence in a referendum held in defiance of the government in Baghdad and which had angered their neighbors and their U.S. allies.

The Kurds, who have ruled over an autonomous region within Iraq since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein, consider Monday’s referendum to be an historic step in a generations-old quest for a state of their own.

Iraq considers the vote unconstitutional, especially as it was held not only within the Kurdish region itself but also on disputed territory held by Kurds elsewhere in northern Iraq.
The United States, major European countries and neighbors Turkey and Iran strongly opposed the decision to hold the referendum, which they described as destabilizing at a time when all sides are still fighting against Islamic State militants.
In a televised address, Barzani said the “yes” vote had won and he called on Iraq’s central government in Baghdad to engage in “serious dialogue” instead of threatening the Kurdish Regional Government with sanctions.

The Iraqi government earlier ruled out talks on Kurdish independence and Turkey threatened to impose a blockade.

“We may face hardship but we will overcome,” Barzani said, calling on world powers “to respect the will of millions of people” who voted in the referendum.

Earlier, the Kurdish Rudaw TV channel said an overwhelming majority, possibly over 90 percent, had voted “yes”. Final results are expected by Wednesday.


Celebrations continued until the early hours of Tuesday in Erbil, capital of the Kurdish region, which was lit by fireworks and adorned with Kurdish red-white-green flags. People danced in the squares as convoys of cars drove around honking their horns.

In ethnically mixed Kirkuk, where Arabs and Turkmen opposed the vote, authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed to maintain control. Kirkuk, located atop huge oil resources, is outside the Kurdish region but controlled by Kurdish forces that occupied it in 2014 after driving out Islamic State fighters.

In neighboring Iran, which also has a large Kurdish minority, thousands of Kurds marched in support of the referendum, defying a show of strength by Tehran which flew fighter jets over their areas.
The referendum has fueled fears of a new regional conflict. Turkey, which has fought a Kurdish insurgency within its borders for decades, reiterated threats of economic and military retaliation.
Barzani, who is president of the Kurdish Regional Government, has said the vote is not binding, but meant to provide a mandate for negotiations with Baghdad and neighboring countries over the peaceful secession of the region from Iraq.

IRAQI OPPOSITION

Baghdad said there would be no such talks.

“We are not ready to discuss or have a dialogue about the results of the referendum because it is unconstitutional,” Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said on Monday night.

Abadi ordered the Kurds to hand over control of their airports to the central government within three days or face an international embargo on flights.

Abadi, a moderate from Iraq’s Shi‘ite Arab majority, is coming under pressure at home to take punitive measures against the Kurds. Hardline Iranian-backed Shi‘ite groups have threatened to march on Kirkuk.

“We as Popular Mobilisation would be fully prepared to carry out orders from Abadi if he asks to liberate Kirkuk and the oilfields from the separatist militias,” said Hashim al-Mouasawi, a spokesman for the al-Nujabaa paramilitary group.

The Kurds, who speak their own language related to Persian, were left without a state of their own when the Ottoman empire crumbled a century ago. Around 30 million are scattered in northern Iraq, southastern Turkey and parts of Syria and Iran.

The autonomous region they control in Iraq is the closest the Kurds have come in modern times to a state. It has flourished, largely remaining at peace while the rest of Iraq has been in a continuous state of civil war for 14 years.

Since the fall of Saddam, they have had to carefully balance their ambitions for full independence with the threat of a backlash from their neighbors and the reluctance of Washington to redraw borders.

In the past four years they achieved a measure of economic independence by opening a route to sell oil through pipelines to a port in Turkey. But that still leaves them at the mercy of Ankara, which draws a firm line at formal independence.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan warned that Iraqi Kurds would go hungry if Turkey imposed sanctions, and said military and economic measures could be used against them.

“This referendum decision, which has been taken without any consultation, is treachery,” he said, repeating threats to cut off the pipeline.

The Kurds say the referendum acknowledges their contribution in confronting Islamic State after it overwhelmed the Iraqi army in 2014 and seized control of a third of Iraq.

Voters were asked to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to the question: “Do you want the Kurdistan Region and Kurdistani areas outside the (Kurdistan) Region to become an independent country?”

Iraqi soldiers joined Turkish troops for military exercises in southeast Turkey on Tuesday near the border with the Kurdistan region. Turkey also took the Rudaw TV channel off its satellite service TurkSat.

STATE DEPARTMENT

Iraq’s Kurds have been close allies of the United States since Washington offered them protection from Saddam in 1991. But the United States has long encouraged the Kurds to avoid unilateral steps so as not to jeopardize the stability of Iraq or antagonize Turkey.

The U.S. State Department said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision to conduct the referendum but Washington’s relationship with region’s people would not change.

Asked about the referendum, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Monday: “We hope for a unified Iraq to annihilate ISIS (Islamic State) and certainly a unified Iraq to push back on Iran.”
The European Union regretted that the Kurds had failed to heed its call not to hold the referendum and said Iraqi unity remained essential in facing the threat from Islamic State.

The Kremlin said Moscow backed the territorial integrity of countries in the region. Unlike other powers, Russia had not directly called on the Kurds to cancel the referendum. Moscow has quietly pledged billions of dollars in investment in the past year, becoming the biggest funders of the Kurds.
Iran banned flights to and from Kurdistan on Sunday, while Baghdad asked foreign countries to stop oil trading with the Kurdish region and demanded that the KRG hand over control of its international airports and border posts with Iran, Turkey and Syria.

Iranian Major General Yahya Rahim Safavi, a top adviser to the Supreme Leader, called on “the four neighboring countries to block land borders” with the Iraqi Kurdish region, according to state news agency IRNA. Tehran supports Shi‘ite Muslim groups that are powerful in Baghdad.

Syria, embroiled in a civil war and whose Kurds are pressing ahead with their own self-determination, also rejected the referendum.

KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani said he hoped to maintain good relations with Turkey.
“The referendum does not mean independence will happen tomorrow, nor are we redrawing borders,” he said in Erbil on Monday. “If the ‘yes’ vote wins, we will resolve our issues with Baghdad peacefully.”

Additional reporting by Ece Toksabay in ANKARA and Umit Bektas in HABUR, Turkey; Editing by Philippa Fletcher, Peter Graff and Giles Elgood
Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

DPRK NORTH KOREA TO SPEAK AT UN UNITED NATIONS:2017

DPRK UN 2017

Full Text Of President Maithripala Sirisena’s Speech UN 2017

MPSSUN
 

Full Speech

 Address by H.E. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka at the 72nd Session of UNGA on September 19th, 2017.

I wish you all a good evening,

His Excellency President Miroslav Lajcak, President of the 72nd General Assembly of the United Nations, Secretary-General of United Nations,
His Excellency Antonio Guetters,
Excellencies, Honorable Delegates and distinguished guests,

It is my greatest pleasure to address this annual assembly for the third time as the President of Sri Lanka. The theme of this 72nd Assembly is ‘Focusing on People: Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet’. Given the challenges of that the world is facing today, I consider theme highly relevant.

There are a few promises that I made to the people of Sri Lanka when I contested the Presidential election in January 2015. One of the key promises among them was that, because Sri Lanka’s Executive President had been vested with more powers than any other leader in the world, I would curtail those excessive powers of the Executive Presidency and would transfer those powers to the Parliament. I have set an example to my country as well as the entire world by duly curtailing those powers and transferring them to the Parliament.

In countries that protect and nurture democracy, it is important that leaders who come to power in them, use their power in a good manner and protect democracy, while building a fair society. Yet, when we look at the last two decades and the world history, we see that, because of their unwillingness leave it to successors, some leaders let their countries lose peace, sometimes even leading to international divisions and disharmony. We have a good understanding of such phenomena at national and international levels. Against a backdrop such as this, I must state to this esteemed audience, that we have been able to complete two and half successful years in protecting and promoting democracy, since ending the rule of a group of people who has kept power to themselves by restricting freedom of the citizens.

In the development vision of our country, we declared year 2017 as the year for freeing the nation from poverty. At present, the whole world is engaged in an attempt to free itself from poverty. In line with declaration of the Year 2017 as the year of poverty alleviation, many development projects have been launched to strengthen the domestic economy.

As you all know, the armed conflict that dragged on for nearly 30 years in my country, weakened our economy. We were able to defeat the armed separatist movement that attempted to divide our country by resorting to terrorism. We could restore peace and democracy and march forward as a free and peaceful country. With the lessons learnt from the bad experiences of the conflict, we could turn a new page in our path to sustainable economic development by focusing on domestic agriculture and local industrialization. Specially, my government emphasized the protection of our environment in our drive to achieve sustainability of our development.

I must mention that, today, the whole world is facing challenges posed by severe changes in climate. I would like to propose that the community of nations must focus on implementing the Paris Accord that the world reached in 2015, by further improving the unity that we reached by signing that accord. We must remember that the Paris Accord is critically important to future of the entire biosphere and humanity.

In order to incrementally free our nation from poverty, my government has launched the  ‘Gramashakthi’ national programme. We have also declared a clear economic plan until 2025. I believe that the proposed economic plan for 2025 will revitalize our economy and help reduce poverty by further strengthening local agriculture and industries.

Mr President, children all over the world, including in my country, are facing many challenges. We launched a National Programme for protecting the nation’s children. They need to be saved from intoxicants, and from abuse. I would like to highlight the need to implement targeted programmes at national and international levels to ensure the safety of our children.

The world has recognized the need to ensure the rights of women. However, there are still countries and societies, where women are not treated equally. In my country, more that 52% of the population are women. New changes in our Constitution protect the rights of women. New measures include the legislation that makes it mandatory that a minimum of 25% candidates at elections should be women.
While it is important to work for the progress of women and children, it is also necessary to fight the menace of drugs and other intoxicants. Sri Lanka has launched a nation-wide campaign to fight drugs and other intoxicants. However, while noting that they pose a threat to the humanity, I underscore the need to implement a broader international response to the threat posed by drugs, and other intoxicants. As I see it, drug prevention and mitigation oriented programmes with a broad acceptance and consensus are the need of the day.

When I came into power having gone through nearly three decades of war, we were facing two main challenges. The first of them was the huge debt burden on the economy. We had to pay insupportable amounts for servicing our debt, emptying our coffers. The other was facing the allegations of war time human rights violations by United Nations and the UN Human Rights Council. However, in our new programme to revitalize the domestic economy, we have been able to identify a plan to reduce and incrementally free ourselves from our foreign debt while encouraging foreign investments.
At the same time, as a government, we are paying serious attention to the aforementioned allegations and to find solutions to them as a matter of priority. Mainly, my government has performed well in terms of strengthening democracy and protecting human rights. I must mention here that the government will continue to ensure their progress in the future.

My government is committed to work tirelessly to achieving reconciliation by fostering understanding among all ethnic and linguistic groups, while eliminating mutual suspicion and hatred in order to create a society where all can live freely and harmoniously. Further, we are dedicated to ensure that the country will accomplish economic prosperity while promoting a moral and disciplined society. Specially, my government is committed to the creating a fair and just society by strengthening rule of law.

Mr President, I must mention here that, at a moment when Sri Lanka is committed to a course of good governance by strengthening democracy, human rights, and fundamental rights while winning the goodwill of the international community, I look forward to the kind support of the United Nations. We have  been a member of United Nations for 62 years. Sir Lanka has always been a country that has respected its treaties and conventions, agreements and rules and regulations while acting to improve such relations further. As such, in our country’s journey where we protect our independence and sovereignty, we respectfully request the support of the international community for us to go on a moderate but steady path achieve our targets in order to find sustainable solutions to the allegations leveled against us.
   
Some extremist groups are expecting a high speed. Some extremist groups want radical solutions. However, as a country that has faced a three decade long war, where deep divisions have been existed, I request the support of all of you to promote peace and fraternity, so that my beloved country and its people can rise from the current situation. That is why I emphasize that it is for a slow and a successful journey that we need the support.    

We all have heard that speedy journey is a dangerous journey. Therefore, I believe that you will understand the complex nature of issues that hinder the instant and radical solutions that some impatient groups are asking for.  As such, I reiterate with respect the need of support from the United Nations and its member states for my country to ensure the non-recurrence of war by fostering peace and harmony among all communities in Sri Lanka. I wish to conclude my speech wishing good luck to the President and the membership and by requesting the blessings for Sri Lanka to emerge as an economically prosperous illustrious country in the world where democracy is strong and the gruesome past never repeats.

 

Full Text Of Swaraj's Speech At UN General Assembly-English


Sushma Swaraj's Speech At UN General Assembly 2017
SS UN 2017
Full Text Of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's Speech At UN General Assembly
Sushma Swaraj, touched upon subjects like climate change and in her speech as well. The main focus of her speech remained state-sponsored terrorism by Pakistan.

All India | NDTV News Desk | Updated: September 24, 2017 00:47 IST

Full Text Of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's Speech At UN General Assembly
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Sushma Swaraj called Pakistan "world's greatest exporter of havoc" in her speech at United Nations.
New york:  External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gave her second speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday. In her speech delivered in Hindi, Ms Swaraj sharply criticised Pakistan for sponsoring terrorists. She also called on world leaders to jointly fight against terrorism.

Following is the full text of Sushma Swaraj's speech at UN

Mr President

Let me begin by offering my heartiest congratulations on your election as President of the 72nd United Nations General Assembly. For those of us fortunate to represent our nations as Foreign Minister this is a particularly happy event: one of us has this honour.

Mr President

I had spoken before this Assembly last year as well. It is a year that has seen much change both in this Assembly and in the world it represents. We have a new Secretary General at the United Nations. He is determined to prepare and strengthen the United Nations to meet the challenges of the 21st century. We welcome his efforts, and see in him a leader who can give practical shape to a vision.

Our contemporary world is trapped in a deluge of troubles of which, surely, the most dangerous is the relentless rise of violence. Terrorism, and the ideas that engineer this evil, are spreading at the pace of a conflagration. Climate change stares us in the face, and threatens us with its dimension. There is a growing question mark over maritime security. For a mix of reasons, provocative and inflammatory, people are leaving the psychological, cultural and economic comfort of their traditional home space to seek refuge on distant shores causing global anxiety. A large part of the globe's population is still tortured by hunger and poverty. The young are beginning to lose hope as they confront unemployment. Women, victims of historic discrimination, are demanding what they must get: gender empowerment. Nuclear proliferation is back in the zone of dangerous headlines. Cyber security has become a source of deep insecurity.

In 2015, we set ourselves a target of 2030 to find solutions to many challenges on this Agenda. Two of these years have already passed. Surely it is already time to ask how much has happened. If complacency defines the next 13 years then we are in danger of losing control. We need a sense of urgency as well as unshakeable fortitude to take decisions that can avert catastrophe.

I am pleased that India has displayed the courage and leadership to take tough decisions which have launched the interlinked process of sustainable development. The complete eradication of poverty is the most important priority of the present government. Mr President, There are two ways of addressing the curse of poverty. The traditional method is through incremental levels of aid and hand-holding. But our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has chosen the more radical route, through economic empowerment. The poor are not helpless; we have merely denied them opportunity. We are eliminating poverty by investing in the poor. We are turning them from job-seekers into job-providers.

All our economic programmes have a principal purpose, the empowerment of the poor: Jan Dhan, Mudra, Ujjwala, Skill India, Digital India, Clean India, Start-Up India, Stand-Up India. To describe them all would take up more time than I have at my disposal, and I shall therefore dwell on only three core programmes.

The Jan Dhan plan must surely count as the world's largest financial inclusion scheme. Those who did not have any money their bank accounts were opened with zero balance and this would not have happened anywhere in world that if you do not have any money you have a bank account. They have a bank passbook. But this impossible has been made possible in India. At least 300 million Indians, it's not a small amount. This is the total population of USA. At least 300 million Indians who had never crossed the doors of a bank today have bank accounts: this is equivalent to the population of the United States of America. This was, understandably, not easy to complete in three years, but our banks, achieved this visionary goal set by our Prime Minister. While some remain to be included, the target has been set - every Indian family will have a bank account.

Mudra yojana has enabled government to fund the unfunded. Those who had never dreamt that bank credit was within their options, today, through Mudra, are getting soft loans without collateral to begin micro businesses. I am particularly delighted to inform you that over 70 per cent of these loans have gone to women. Unemployment spreads despair. Through Skill India, Start-Up India and Stand-Up India poor and middle class youth are being trained to match their honed talent with bank credit and become self-employed or small-scale entrepreneurs.

Ujjwala is a signature scheme of our government for poor women. They had to work hard for their kitchens, and sometimes they lose their eye sight because of smoke. Free gas cylinders are being provided to the poor so that women do not have to suffer the dangerous consequences of wood-fired kitchens. Uniquely, gender emancipation is at the creative core of this programme.

Demonetisation was a courageous decision to challenge one of the by-products of corruption, the "black money" that disappeared from circulation. Today, India has passed the Goods and Services Tax legislation, through which there is one-tax across the country, without the untidy and punishing system of multiple taxes under differing categories in different parts of the country. Our "Save the girl, Educate the girl" campaign is reducing gender inequality. Our Clean India programme is generating what can only be described as a revolutionary change in social attitudes and habits.

I would like to note, at this point, that nations with rising capabilities will be able to generate such change, but the developed world must become an active partner in helping those vulnerable countries which are still mired in stagnant poverty reach SDG horizon within 2030. That is why the principle of Global Partnership was included in SDGs. I am happy to report that India has started, this year, the India-UN Development Partnership Fund.

Mr President

We are completely engaged in fighting poverty; alas, our neighbour Pakistan seems only engaged in fighting us. On Thursday, from this dais, Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahid Khakan Abbasi wasted rather too much of his speech in making accusations against us. He accused India of State-sponsored terrorism, and of violating human rights. Those listening had only one observation: "Look who's talking!" A country that has been the world's greatest exporter of havoc, death and inhumanity became a champion of hypocrisy by preaching about humanity and Human Rights from this podium.
Pakistan's Prime Minister claimed that his nation's founder Mohammad Ali Jinnah had bequeathed a foreign policy based on peace and friendship. I would like to remind him that while it remains open to question whether Jinnah Sahab actually advocated such principles, what is beyond doubt is that India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi has, from the moment he took his oath of office, offered the hand of peace and friendship. Pakistan's Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer.

Prime Minister Abbasi has recalled old resolutions that have been long overtaken by events. But his memory has conveniently failed him where it matters. He has forgotten that under the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration India and Pakistan resolved that they would settle all outstanding issues bilaterally. The reality is that Pakistan's politicians remember everything, manipulate memory into a convenience. They are masters at "forgetting" facts that destroy their version.

Pakistan's current Prime Minister spoke of a "Comprehensive Dialogue" between our two countries. I would like to remind him that on 9 December 2015, when I was in Islamabad for the Heart of Asia conference, a decision was made by his leader Mian Nawaz Sharif, then still Prime Minister, that dialogue between us should be renewed and named it a "Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue". The word "bilateral" was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting of that peace process.

Mr President, would like today to tell Pakistan's politicians just this much, ask them that have they ever thought that India and Pakistan became free within hours of each other. Why is it that today India is a recognised IT superpower in the world, and Pakistan is recognised only as the pre-eminent export factory for terror? What is the reason for this have they ever thought? There is only one reason. India has risen despite the principle destination of Pakistan's nefarious export of terrorism. There have been many governments under many parties during 70 years of India's freedom for we have been a sustained democracy. Every government has done its bit for India's development. We have marched ahead consistently without pause creating IIMs, IITs, AIIMS and in the fields of education, health, space and across the range of human welfare.We established scientific and technical institutions which are the pride of the world.

But what has Pakistan offered to the world and indeed to its own people apart from terrorism? We produced scholars, doctors, engineers. They have produced terrorists and terrorist camps. Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Hijbul Mujahideen, Haqqani Network. We produce scholars, doctors, engineers, scientists. What did you make Pakistan? You created terrorists and Jihadis. And you know, Doctors save people from death; terrorists send them to death. Your terrorist organisations are not only attacking India but are also affecting our two neighbours, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Mr President

In the history of UNGA it may be a first that a country asked for a right of reply and it had to answer to 3 countries. Does this fact does not depict the reality of their actions? If Pakistan had spent on its development what it has spent on developing terror, both Pakistan and the world would be safer and better-off today.

Mr. President

Terrorism is at the very top of problems for which the United Nations is searching for solutions. We have been the oldest victims of this terrible and even traumatic terrorism. When we began articulating about this menace, many of the world's big powers dismissed this as a law and order issue. Now they know better. The question is: what do we do about it?

We must all introspect and ask ourselves whether our talk is anywhere close to the action we take. We all in bilateral and multilateral discussions condemn this evil, and piously resolve to fight it in all our declaratory statements. The truth is that these have become rituals. The fact is that when we are required to fight and destroy this enemy, the self-interest of some leads them towards duplicity.
This has been going on for years. Although India proposed a Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as early as in 1996, yet two decades later the United Nations has not been able to agree upon a definition of terrorism. If we cannot agree to define our enemy, how can we fight together? If we continue to differentiate between good terrorists and bad terrorists, how can we fight together? If even the United Nations Security Council cannot agree on the listing of terrorists, how can we fight together?

Mr President

Through you, with utmost sincerity, I would like to request this august assembly to stop seeing this evil with self-defeating and indeed meaningless nuance. Evil is evil. Let us accept that terrorism is an existentialist danger to humankind. There is absolutely no justification for this barbaric violence. Let us display our new commitment by reaching agreement on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism this year itself.

Mr President

I had identified climate change as one of the significant dangers to our existence. India has already said that it is deeply committed to the Paris Accord. This is not because we are afraid of any power, influenced by friend or foe, or tempted by some imagined greed. This is an outcome of a philosophy that is at least 5000 years old. Our Prime Minister has, on his personal initiative, launched the International Solar Alliance as witness to our abiding commitment to a cause.

When we talk of world peace, we mean peace not only among human beings but also peace with nature. We understand that human nature is sometimes inimical to nature, but we would like to amend human nature when it tends in the wrong directions. When we inflict our greed upon nature, nature sometimes explodes. We must learn to live with the imperatives, cycles and creative urges of nature; in that lies, our own salvation.

We have just witnessed hurricanes, earthquakes, rains that inundate, storms which terrify. This is not a mere coincidence. Nature sent its warning to the world even before the world's leadership gathered in New York at the United Nations through Harvey. Once our gathering began an earthquake struck Mexico and a hurricane landed in Dominica. We must understand this requires more serious action than talk. The developed world must listen more carefully than others, because it has more capacities than others. It must help the less fortunate through technology transfer and Green Climate Financing - that is the only way to save future generations.

Mr President

We are discussing turbulence and change across the world, but the one organisation created to address world affairs is beset by its own problems. It seems to believe that it can afford not to change from the precepts and perceptions that determined its birth. On 18 September, there was a meeting here on UN reform. I participated. I witnessed an evident desire for change, to do something. But I do want to remind you that at the 2005 World Summit there was a consensus that the early reform of the Security Council is an essential element of our overall effort to reform the United Nations.

Efforts at text-based negotiations on the reform and expansion of the Security Council were initiated in the last session and more than 160 nations had expressed support for this effort. If we are serious, then the least we can do is produce one text that can be the basis for negotiation. I hope that under your enlightened leadership, Mr President, this will become a priority. If that happens it will be a significant achievement.

"We (India) truly believe that the world is one family," said Sushma Swaraj in her speech at UN.
We also have high expectations from the new Secretary General of the United Nations. If he wants to reform the peace and security architecture, he will also need to address reforms related to peacekeeping that have been urged for long. Without improvements in UN Peacekeeping this goal can't be achieved.

Mr President

There is no shortage of issues; there is even less shortage of problems which should be recognised from this podium. But time is not always on the side of those who would like to raise issues and problems in the interests of a better, more peaceful and progressive future. The issues you have chosen are relevant to the UN Charter as well as to the ancient traditions of my land.

Mr President

My country's culture and thought has been shaped by a history and philosophy that believes in peace as humankind's only rational and practical objective. We truly believe that the world is one family and we hope that every member of this family deserves that elixir of life, happiness. Let me end by reciting a verse that is a synthesis of thought:

May all be happy;
May all be healthy;
May all see what is good;
May all be free from suffering.
Thank you, Mr. President.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

20th Amendment: Parliament will have more powers over the provincial councils சுரேஸ்பி


We will not support the 20th Amendment – Suresh Premachandran
By
2017-09-19

BY Mirudhula Thambiah

Eelam People's Revolutionary Liberation Front (EPRLF) Leader Suresh Premachandran said although his party is a constituent of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA), it will not support
the 20th Amendment as it will create a mess in the provincial council system.

"According to the amendment, if a particular provincial council is dissolved before the specific date of dissolution, its powers shall be exercised by Parliament until the specified date.

However, we do not want the direct interference of Parliament in such a case," he said.

Following are excerpts of the interview:

? You are a constituent party of the TNA. When the TNA had supported the 20th Amendment, why do you oppose the Amendment?

A: According to the 20th Amendment, Parliament will have more powers over the councils and the governor will interfere in the administrative matters of the council. We, the EPRLF will not accept this as the Tamil people fought for regional autonomy and as a result certain similar rights were ensured through the 13th Amendment which introduced the provincial council system. If the provincial councils are administered by Parliament, even for a certain period according to the 20th Amendment, how can we accept that? According to the amendment, in case a particular provincial council is dissolved before the specific date of dissolution, its powers shall be exercised by Parliament until the specified date. However, we do not want the direct interference of Parliament in such a case.

During this period, the government will impose their plans on the province since the provincial council administration will be under them. They will take up the administrative system
and bring in new settlements similar to what is already happening in some regions. Nobody can stop it.They claim that the 20th Amendment has been introduced for the purpose of uniformity to hold elections of all councils at once to avoid extensive financial expenses. In such a case,
if Parliament dissolves a specific provincial council before its expiry, they can propose a bi-election. Can they hold by-elections without proper financial allocations? Why can't they understand that such amendments will bring in further problems to the people? Why have not they considered the representation of smaller parties? Can they cope financially if Parliament declares by-elections? Smaller parties definitely cannot afford to face these challenges. Thus bigger parties like SLFP and UNP will be at an advantage at these provincial council elections. This amendment will affect the political representation of small parties.Provincial councils were established as a result of the struggle of the Tamil people. A provincial council is run in a methodical manner by the Chief Secretaries and other staff in the administration. However, when Parliament or the government interferes in the matter, it will mess up the entire system. If the provincial councils function under the government, it is government policies that will be implemented. This could be economic or colonization policies which are not acceptable to the Tamil people.Now the Supreme Court has stated that this is against the voting rights of the people. This amendment should be taken up for polling to find out if people accept it. We believe this will be an important Court order to consider. The Court's decision itself makes it clear that this will definitely affect minorities.We will not accept the 20th Amendment as well as the re-amendment to it as it will definitely affect minority representation.

? Does that mean you don't want to support TNA's decision?

A: TNA leadership does not discuss these matters within the coalition. The decisions are taken by its leader Sampanthan and Sumanthiran. They never discuss these matters with the leaders of the other parties - the EPRLF, TELO and PLOTE. However, the decision was taken by only two people and they claim it is the decision of the TNA. It is not the decision of the TNA but Sampanthan and Sumanthiran. I'm unaware if this is acceptable to ITAK.

? The members of the Eastern Provincial Council initially stated they will not support this amendment but later changed their stance, unlike the Northern Provincial Council. How do
you view this situation?

A: I don't understand why the Eastern Provincial councillors take decisions in a hurry. Officially, the new amendment had not been sent to the provincial council. Until today, the Northern Provincial Council has not received the amendment.As you know the Northern Provincial Council said they will oppose the 20th Amendment and they will examine their stand if there are new amendments to it.
However, the Eastern Provincial Council postponed the debate about the 20th Amendment and later they received the proposed new amendments to the 20th Amendment, may be through the representatives of the SLMC or TNA. Thus the council adopted the amendment. The TNA-SLMC Coalition Provincial Council accepted the 20th Amendment.At the same time, it is understood that the Eastern Provincial Council did not hold a proper debate regarding the 20th Amendment. Some members of the council abstained from voting.

? Most minority political parties including TNA initially opposed the 20th Amendment. However, they later changed their stance. Do you see any selfish political agenda behind this
move?

A: Definitely! The present government, be it the UNP or the SLFP, are not prepared to face any elections. This is the main reason why they wanted to postpone the elections for one year. They should dissolve the Eastern, North-Western and Sabaragamuwa Provincial Councils on 26 or 28 September. They are not prepared to face the provincial council elections.

Therefore, they found a solution by holding elections for all provinces at once and introducing the 60:40 electoral system to the provincial councils elections as well. Therefore the 20th Amendment is a decision taken to safeguard the government.Thus I will not say TNA on whole, but Sampanthan, Sumantiran and the SLMC adopted the 20th Amendment to support the government.

? Recently, the President gazetted the establishment of the Office of Missing Persons (OMP) soon after he met the relatives of missing persons. Why do representatives continue to state that attempts to solve this issue are merely an eyewash?

A: It is now a long period since the OMP Act was adopted. It could have been implemented from the very next day, but that did not happen. Now, since the UNHRC sessions have begun, they would have imposed the gazette. Also, the Commissioner of the Human Rights Council indirectly warned Sri Lanka to act on their promises as they were quite slow in the implementation process. Nobody knows when they would open regional offices in Kilinochchi and Mullaitivu.

Once again, these offices may register the names of missing persons. Maybe a 'missing person' certificate will also be issued. By obtaining this certificate, people may obtain a pension
if those who went missing were government employees. There will not be any inquiry in this regard. The OMP does not have any authority to carry out investigations regarding the cases. So, once the names are registered, they may issue a certificate and people will only have to keep it safe. There will not be any other advantage and if the government agrees to compensate the families, they may provide it to those who have certificates.

There will not be any kind of solution even if the relatives or parents state where their loved ones went missing or by whom they were taken by. This is why the relatives of missing persons, who have been protesting for more than 100 days, state that they don't believe this government and urged for an international inquiry.

? But the government will not support or permit an international inquiry. Therefore, how far is it possible for these people to obtain justice?

A: Not only the government, but other representatives, even in the 'Mahinda' faction claim that the security forces cannot be investigated or produced before the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Leave aside the international inquiry; they are not ready to even try them through a local inquiry in Sri Lanka. In these circumstances, we cannot expect justice for the affected people.

Once, the President said that it is not the right time to establish an inquiry. If they delay taking legal action against a culprit, what type of a law could it be?

Already the Paranagama Commission registered the names of the missing persons and they spent time in recording statements. Now this OMP will follow the same process. People have given statements regarding their loved ones who went missing, like the date, place and who took them. Thus, all the information was recorded by the Commission and the government is aware of it. Why have they failed to consider this?

? There is an allegation that the Eastern Chief Minister is discriminating the other communities. How do you view this?

A: I have heard a lot about his discriminations. There are many complaints. People have complained to me on this regard when I visited the Eastern Province. I was told that Tamil areas are discriminated against obtaining job appointments and allocations. Most opportunities are provided to the Muslim youth but not for the others. There are many complaints and I don't think any of these complaints have been rectified so far.

Email:che.myhero@gmail.com
==========

Friday, 22 September 2017

Making the case for constitutional reform


Making the case for constitutional reform
September 20, 2017, 10:16 pm

By Harim Peiris

Even as this article is being penned, the interim report of the Executive Committee of the Constitutional Council is scheduled for the 21st of September 2017, about one and a half
years, since Parliament turned itself into a Constitutional Council in January 2016. This crucial process of nation building through state reform, is typically generating more political
heat than shedding light on facts or creating a process of informed public discourse.

Comparative international experience, history and political science would teach us that any nation building exercise, of societies transitioning from civil war to post war or internal
conflict to post conflict, does require reforms that roll back the restrictions on civil liberties necessitated by the war effort, rehabilitation and reconstruction which deals with the
effects of the conflict and political reforms aimed at dealing with the root causes of the conflict. Sri Lanka is no exception to the rule.

The government of President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Wickremesinghe elected in 2015, claim a mandate for three sets of reforms, or the pillars of their policy
framework, democratic reforms, such as through the 19th amendment and the RTI Act, economic reforms through various policy instruments and reconciliation reforms. Regarding
constitutional reforms, the Sirisena / Wickremesinghe Administration sought to reform or replace the executive presidency, electoral voting system and devolution of power.

There does seem to exist a degree of consensus among the major parties regarding electoral reform, reforms which would see us moving to a more mixed or hybrid system of direct and
proportional representation elections. The smaller parties have concerns regarding their representation, especially parties which gets seats through the PR system though not winning
a constituency. Ultimately their interest would also need to be accommodated and technical formulas are not impossible to come by.

The devolution of power is a political debate which has been ongoing in post-independence Sri Lanka, with the famous Bandaranayke – Chelvanayagam Pact and the Dudley –
Chelvanayagam Pact some of the earlier expressions of that dialogue and resultant leadership consensus. In more recent times, the political reform debate and proposed new
constitution of August 2000 of the then President Kumaratunga’s SLFP led Peoples Alliance Administration or the more recent proposals and recommendations under President
Rajapakse of the All Party Representative Committee (APRC) and the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC), which proposed a slew of far reaching state reform have in
reality brought about a degree of common ground on less centralized and more power sharing political structures. The political contention that the LTTE fought for devolution of power
and hence power sharing is granting the LTTE agenda through constitutional reforms, is quite a stretch of the facts, since the LTTE actually opposed provincial councils, devolution
with power sharing and instead fought for a separate state and absolute unchecked power. Further devolution could rather strengthen the state, by making a diverse society more
cohesive through reducing if not eliminating the alienation from the Sri Lankan state of ethnic minorities, resolving what LTTE suicide bomb victim late Dr. Neelan Tiruchelvam so
aptly termed, "the anomaly of imposing a mono ethnic state on a multi ethnic polity".

However, it is with regard to the executive presidency, where the recent political discourse has ignored the ground realities and Sri Lanka’s near four-decade long experience with the
office of the executive president. Firstly, Sri Lanka will always have a President, since we are no longer a monarchy, the issue is whether the president will have near unchecked
powers, as before the 19th amendment, have more limited executive powers through further reforms or be a nominal or ceremonial head of state, with executive power vesting
collectively in the Cabinet of Ministers, as was Sri Lanka’s experience prior to 1978.

Now the promoters of the executive presidency argue two points, the first that an executive president requiring to be elected by the whole country as a single electorate, cannot ignore
a single voter segment including the ethnic and religious minority communities, predominantly present in the Northern and Eastern Provinces of the country. This argument has some
merit but is not entirely correct. Prior to the presidential election on January 2015, it was 20 years previously, way back in 1994, that the North and East voted for the winner of the
presidential election. Even the 1999 re-election of President Kumaratunga was achieved with a split minority vote, with the majority of the North and Eastern vote going to the
unsuccessful challenger. There are other political institutions which can better accommodate minorities and unrepresented groups, the most obvious being a second chamber or
conversely a small numerical increase in the nominated members for the lower house, which also solves the problems of electoral reform for the smaller parties.

The weakest argument put forward by proponents of a strong executive presidency is that such a strong centralizing power and authority, helps to keep a nation together, implicitly
arguing that it promotes social cohesion. However, Sri Lanka’s history of the past two decades proves just the reverse. That strong centralized power often leads to excess and a lack
of restraint in the exercise of such power, leading to what Lord Acton famously stated as "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely". It is a truism that power without
accountability and checks and balances breeds resentment and rebellion. Sri Lanka’s experience with armed challenges to the Sri Lankan state from both the JVP and the LTTE was
also caused or at the very least went together with a reduction in democratic space through the centralized power and the consequent reduction of checks and balances brought about
by the 1972 and the 1978 Republican constitutions. It is increased democracy and power sharing which promotes social cohesiveness and thereby strengthens national unity and
national security and not merely the cohesive power of absolute authority.

20A: You only vote twice



20A: You only vote twice

The Bill on the 20th Amendment to the Constitution has been so controversial that the Joint Opposition is said to have planned a “mass cross over” from the Government to the
Opposition, when it is taken for debate in Parliament this week as scheduled. However, it is reported that the Government has deferred its debate.

Whatever the veracity of the reports on the crossovers was, the essence of this piece of legislation is very important in terms of democracy, as it is mainly meant for the conducting of elections for all nine Provincial Councils on the same day.

However, other legal effects of the Bill are in fact highly contentious in the eyes of the Provincial Councils.

The Government also mulls to do away with the current Proportional Representation (PR) system and replace it with a mixed electoral system in respect of Parliament and Provincial Council elections through some other Acts. Monday’s Daily Mirror had carried two statements from President Maithripala Sirisena and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to this effect. Already laws have been amended for the Local Government elections to be held under the mixed electoral system.

We have the experience of holding countrywide elections in one day as well as on a staggered basis. Parliament elections are being held on a particular day specified by the Elections Commission or the previous Elections Department, while the Provincial Council elections and the Local Government elections are being held normally on a staggered basis. Before 1960 the Parliamentary elections too had been held in various stages.

The disadvantages of holding elections in stages or on a staggered basis are long debated. During the ongoing debate over the 20th Amendment, not a single person had argued against holding elections for any of the three levels of people’s representation - Parliament, Provincial Councils or Local Government bodies– on a single day.

It is an oft -stated fact that holding of elections for Provincial Councils or Local Government bodies hikes up the burden not only on the public coffers but also on the political parties contesting at those elections.

Apart from that, it carries with it a huge impact on the objective of democracy as the results of one phase of an election would definitely influence the voters, who would vote in the subsequent phases of the same election.

In India the election for the Lok Sabha (Parliament) is held on staggered basis but the results of all stages of polling are announced only at the end of the election. However, even then, there is a possibility of voter behaviour during the initial stages of the election being an indication of the results of those stages and thereby having a bearing on the voter, casting his/her vote at the subsequent stages.

Needless to say, elections for some or all Provincial Councils would have to either be postponed or advanced, if elections for all Provincial Councils are to be held on the same day.

Hence, it is hilarious in this case to argue, as some groups had done, that franchise of the people would be violated by postponing elections or rights of the members of the Provincial Councils elected by the people for a full term are violated by advancing the election dates of those councils.

Leaders of the Opposition in the Parliament and the Provincial Councils must be more responsible not to be hell-bent on defeating the Bill in toto without attempting to remove the other contentious sections, in order to embarrass the Government.

On the other hand it is also pertinent for the Government to be amenable to remove the sections that are likely to go against the spirit of devolution such as those on transferring some of the powers of Provincial Councils and the Provincial Governors to Parliament.

It is good to have an open dialogue on this matter between the two sides of the political divide, outside Parliament first.

Rocket man and a Barking dog!


North Korea: Kim Jong-un's statement about 'deranged dotard' Donald Trump in full
 Donald Trump's threat is 'sound of a dog barking' say North Korea
"Kim Jong Un warns Donald Trump he will 'pay dearly'"
North Korean state media released a rare personal statement from leader Kim Jong-un on Friday, in which he hit back at Donald Trump's threat to "totally destroy" his country.

Here is the statement, released by KCNA in English to reach an international audience, in full:
"Pyongyang, September 22 (KCNA) - Respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK, released a statement on Thursday.

"The full text of the statement reads:

 "The speech made by the US president in his maiden address on the UN arena in the prevailing serious circumstances, in which the situation on the Korean peninsula has been rendered tense as never before and is inching closer to a touch-and-go state, is arousing worldwide concern.

"Shaping the general idea of what he would say, I expected he would make stereo-typed, prepared remarks a little different from what he used to utter in his office on the spur of the moment as he had to speak on the world's biggest official diplomatic stage.

"But, far from making remarks of any persuasive power that can be viewed to be helpful to defusing tension, he made unprecedented rude nonsense one has never heard from any of his predecessors.

"A frightened dog barks louder.

"I'd like to advise Trump to exercise prudence in selecting words and to be considerate of whom he speaks to when making a speech in front of the world.
 
"The mentally deranged behavior of the US president openly expressing on the UN arena the unethical will to "totally destroy" a sovereign state, beyond the boundary of threats of regime change or overturn of social system, makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure.

"His remarks remind me of such words as "political layman" and "political heretic" which were in vogue in reference to Trump during his presidential election campaign.

"After taking office Trump has rendered the world restless through threats and blackmail against all countries in the world. He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician.

"His remarks which described the US option through straightforward expression of his will have convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.

"Now that Trump has denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world and made the most ferocious declaration of a war in history that he would destroy the DPRK, we will consider with seriousness exercising of a corresponding, highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.

"Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say.

"As a man representing the DPRK and on behalf of the dignity and honor of my state and people and on my own, I will make the man holding the prerogative of the supreme command in the U.S. pay dearly for his speech calling for totally destroying the DPRK.

"This is not a rhetorical expression loved by Trump.

"I am now thinking hard about what response he could have expected when he allowed such eccentric words to trip off his tongue.

"Whatever Trump might have expected, he will face results beyond his expectation.

"I will surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire."

© Provided by Independent Print Limited

Thursday, 21 September 2017

இலங்கை: ''புதிய'' அரசியல் யாப்பு இடைக்கால அறிக்கை - மும் மொழி இணைப்பு

Sri Lanka: The New Constitution- A Neo- Colonial Project!

 
 
Sri Lanka: The New Constitution – A Neo-colonial Project!
 
Tamara Kunanayakam
Global Research, September 18, 2017, Defend Democracy Press 17 September 2017
 
As we meet here this evening, a radical overhaul is underway – of our political, economic, financial, social and cultural system. A new Constitution is being discussed, at the same time a plethora of radical reforms are being rushed through. The fact that many of these reforms are being challenged as unconstitutional indicates that the new Constitution is aimed at making what is un-Constitutional today, Constitutional tomorrow, making legal what is illegal by a simple trick of changing the Law!
The issue is not whether a new Constitution is needed or not. It is the fundamental and inalienable right of the people to determine the economic, social, political and cultural system in which they choose to live. But that choice will be their choice only if it is freely made, not with a gun pointed at their heads. Today, Sri Lanka finds itself practically under a form of tutelage to the US, a global power whose strategic objective is to maintain its global hegemony.
 
It is indeed symbolic that the US Ambassador chose to announce Washington’s decision to “assist” Sri Lanka draft its Constitution and implement the Human Rights Council resolution from the amphibious warship USS New Orleans, which is used to land and support ground forces on enemy territory and patrols provocatively close to China. It is also ironic that it is from Temple Trees that the Acting US Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells declared, last week, that“the United States is – and will continue to be – an Indo-Pacific power.”
 
She was the first to announce America’s “first ever naval exercise” in Sri Lanka in October, in Trincomalee.
 
You will agree that rewriting the Constitution under such conditions can only advance Washington’s cause, not ours!
 
There are also other guns pointed at us: the 2015 Human Rights Council resolution and the notorious IMF/World Bank conditionalities, including in particular the political conditionality misleadingly known as ‘Good Governance,” a neoliberal project inimical to the national interest.
 
Yes, ‘Good Governance” – or “Yahapalana” as we know it here – was not invented by Ranil, Chandrika, Sirisena or Mangala! The IMF, World Bank and the US Treasury coined the term in the late 1980s as a political conditionality for the enslavement of indebted Third World countries such as ours to make us permanently indebted and dependent, facilitating external interference and domination!
 
“Good Governance” takes politics out of government and manages a shift from government to governance. By doing so, it has undermined nation-building wherever it has been implemented, and fuelled identity conflicts especially in multi-ethnic societies. You will find the same buzzwords in the Human Rights Council resolution and in the ‘good governance’ conditionality: “rule of law,” “democracy,” “devolution,” “participation,” etc.  These are the same buzz words parroted by the Yahapalana regime.  In January 2016 last year, the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe told Parliament that the purpose of the new Constitution was, among other things, to establish “a political culture that respects the rule of law and strengthens democracy.”
 
The aim of ‘Good Governance’ is to convert whatever remains of the State into effective and strong state agencies that guarantee the interests of foreign capital in particular. This not only means that the State will no longer serve the public interest; it will actually be turned into a repressive State against the very people it must serve. Even the World Bank admits that good governance is anti-democratic, that it demands measures directed against the expectations of the majority of the people. In a 2002 report, the World Bank was explicit:

“Good governance requires the power to carry out policies and to develop institutions that may be unpopular among some − or even a majority − of the population.”
 
Behind both these threats  –  the Human Rights Council resolution and the IMF/World Bank conditionality – is the same face: Washington’s!
 
Let’s be clear. The demands contained in the Human Rights Council resolution are not Burundi’s or Cuba’s or Russia’s or China’s. They are Washington’s. It was Yahapalana’s abject servility that made it possible for Washington to turn it into a weapon against the Sri Lankan people and their nation. As for the international financial institutions, they are dominated by Washington, which controls nearly 50% of the IMF vote share compared to Sri Lanka’s 0.19%!
 
The reforms demanded of us are so fundamental that they cannot be implemented without changing the Republican Constitution. A hybrid court is one. Another is the so-called devolution of power, which is a project to dismantle the State. Yet another is the conversion of our armed forces into an auxiliary of the US armed forces against our national sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity. That will require wide-ranging security sector reforms; demilitarisation of the North and East (which means two-thirds of our coastline); external control over recruitment and vetting of employees and officials; ending military involvement in civilian activities; etc. etc.
 
Underpinning the resolution is the demand for accountability, accountability is the pillar on which the so-called “Responsibility to Protect” (or RtoP) stands, and the goal of RtoP is to legitimise US intervention and domination!
 
In the late 19th century, the US and Great Britain justified their “savage wars of peace” as the “White Man’s Burden” to bring “civilization and progress” to barbaric non-Western, non-Christian, non-white peoples. Today, the justification is “Responsibility to Protect,” which is claimed by the US and its junior partners in the West as the right to intervene in other countries under the pretext of protecting citizens of those countries. The moral rhetoric is human rights and humanitarianism. The victims are the same – non-Western, non-Christian, non-white.
 
RtoP is a project of re-colonisation, associated with tutelage. In a report on Responsibility to Protect, the UN Secretary General called for revising the UN Trusteeship System, i.e., the system of tutelage for “non-self-governing” colonial territories (2013). The original proposal came from former US Ambassador Edward Marks who was Deputy Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka, in 1987. Marks talked about an international regime of tutelage for multi-ethnic societies, which he said were “failed States.” His argument is that “the transition from colonial rule to political and economic independence in the nation-state model is proving to be too much for some very fragile multi-ethnic societies.”
 
The implications of the resolution are far reaching in terms of the ability of foreign powers to intervene in the sovereign affairs of a country, despite domestic opposition. An OHCHR Report on Rule of law tools for post-conflict States (2006), is unambiguous. According to it, in case of domestic opposition to international involvement, an international mandate “provides international actors with the authority and means to intervene directly in domestic affairs and overrule domestic procedures if necessary.”
 
US interference in Sri Lanka began long before the resolution was adopted. It was, however, the Yahapalana regime that gave it wings and also international legitimacy.

United Nations Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Sri Lanka to fix the road map even before a legitimate Government was in place. The two visits to Sri Lanka of Jeffrey Feltman, the UN Under Secretary-General for Political Affairs, are also significant. On his first visit shortly after the 2015 Presidential elections, Feltman declared he was here “to assist in the process of accountability and reconciliation.” On his second visit last month he revealed that accountability and reconciliation had meant changing the Constitution. He came to monitor progress.
 
Feltman is a former US Assistant Secretary of State, a neoconservative hawk linked to Robert Kagan – their theoretician, Victoria Nuland and Samantha Power. Feltman has been involved – at the highest level – in regime change, destabilization, the break-up of sovereign States into ethnic enclaves, fomenting violence. I would require more time to give an account of his role in covert operations in the Ukraine, Russia, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Moldova, Georgia, Venezuela, Colombia, El Salvador, etc.
Other significant visits include that of Samantha Power, also known as the “Liberal War Hawk,” and George Soros, US multi-billionaire who believes we don’t have enough “constitutional democracy.”
Once the Council resolution was adopted, things moved into high gear. Three months later, the Prime Minister announced the establishment of the Constitutional Assembly, two months later, along with USAID, he said assistance would be obtained from Washington, the European Union, and the UK through the Foreign Office funded Westminister Foundation for Democracy, which was set up in 1992  to organize political parties in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the socialist bloc. In July 2016, the US Assistant Secretary of State Nisha Biswal visited Sri Lanka and admitted there was a direct link between the Council resolution and a new Constitution. She said the Constitution was part of the work “foreshadowed” in the Council resolution and that as ‘co-sponsor,’ the US felt it was “a shared responsibility to help this process through.” That was just before the US Ambassador’s announcement from USS New Orleans that Washington would assist with the drafting.
 
What began as an agenda to abolish the Executive Presidency was transformed overnight into a full-blown reform of the Constitution.
 
With the new Constitution, as with the resolution, the Yahapalana regime is trying to convert us Sri Lankans into Washington’s little soldiers who will defend a hegemonic vision based on “invisible threats.” With the arrival of the Yahapalana regime, there has been a strengthening of military ties between the two countries, as confirmed before the US Congress by Acting US Assistant Secretary of State Alice Wells. The recent launch of the US-trained Sri Lanka’s first Navy Marine Force trained for rescue and evacuation of US troops in case of attacks at sea, and the Indian Ocean Conference at Temple Trees, are part of a process that will permanently affect Sri Lanka’s independence and sovereignty.
 
It is significant that the Minister holding the Foreign Affairs portfolio at the recent Indian Ocean Conference in Temple Trees (August-September) had been involved in drafting a military agreement with high-level US military officials in secret meetings in 2002. He was then Minister of Defence. The Prime Minister on both occasions was the same and was believed to have met with the then US President George Bush in Washington to discuss the Agreement that was to be signed in December.
Coming back to the “invisible threats” to Washington that Sri Lanka will be called upon to fight, what are they? Where is the evidence? These are legitimate questions.
 
The response to these questions by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld shows that Sri Lanka will be dragged into wars and conflicts over which it has no knowledge or control. Rumsfeld was referring to Iraq and so-called Weapons of Mass Destruction, which turned to be a fiction of Washington’s fertile, but sick, imagination, but for which a modern day “savage war for peace” was fought, people massacred and a country destroyed.
 
Here’s what he said: The “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence….There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don’t know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don’t know we don’t know. … Each year, we discover a few more of those unknown unknowns.”
 
In this regard, I will leave you with a question for further reflection. It was posed by the famous American writer and filmmaker, Errol Morris:

“Imagine someone tells you that there is an elephant in the room. You search the room, opening drawers, checking closets, looking under the bed. No elephant. Absence of evidence or evidence of absence?”
 
Friends, fellow Patriots, if the Constitution is to be ours, written by a free people, we must first resist this diabolical project!
 
Note: This is the text of a speech delivered at the launch of the movement Elya (Light) during a mass and very successful meeting in Colombo on September 6th.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Full text of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech 19-09-2017



Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses world leaders at the 72nd UN General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York on September 19, 2017. (AFP Photo/Timothy A. Clary)
Netanyahu UN 2017

Full text of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s UN speech
September 19, 2017, 11:11 pm 

Full text of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to the UN General Assembly, September 19, 2017:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,

We’re in the midst of a great revolution, a revolution in Israel’s standing among the nations. This is happening because so many countries around the world have finally woken up to what Israel can do for them. Those countries now recognize what brilliant investors like Warren Buffet and great companies like Google and Intel, what they’ve recognized and known for years: that Israel is the innovation nation — the place for cutting-edge technology in agriculture, in water, in cyber security, in medicine, in autonomous vehicles — you name it, we’ve got it.

Those countries now also recognize Israel’s exceptional capabilities in fighting terrorism. In recent years, Israel has provided intelligence that has prevented dozens of major terrorist attacks around the world. We have saved countless lives. You may not know this, but your governments do, and they are working closely together with Israel to keep your countries safe and your citizens safe.

I stood here last year on this podium and I spoke about this profound change in Israel’s standing in the world and just look at what has happened since, in one year: hundreds of presidents, prime ministers, foreign ministers and other leaders have visited Israel, many for the first time.

Of these many visits, two were truly historic. In May, President Trump became the first American president to include Israel in his first visit abroad. President Trump stood at the Western Wall, at the foot of the Temple Mount, where the Jewish people’s Temples stood for nearly a thousand years. When the president touched those ancient stones, he touched our hearts forever.

In July, Prime Minister Modi became the first Indian prime minister to visit Israel. You may have seen the pictures. We were on a beach in Hadera. We rode together in a jeep outfitted with a portable desalination device that some thriving Israeli entrepreneur invented. We took off our shoes, waded into the Mediterranean and drank seawater that had been purified only a few minutes earlier. We imagined the endless possibilities for Israel, India, for all humanity.

In the past year, Israel hosted so many world leaders, and I had the honor of representing my country on six different continents. One year. Six continents.

I went to Africa, where I saw Israeli innovators increasing crop yields, turning air into water, fighting AIDS.

I went to Asia, where we deepened our relations with China and with Singapore, and expanded our cooperation with our Muslim friends in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

I went to Europe, where in London and Paris, Thessaloniki and Budapest, we enhanced our security and economic ties.

I went to Australia, becoming the first Israeli prime minister to visit our great allies Down Under.

And just last week, I went to South America, visiting Argentina and Colombia, and then I went on to Mexico, becoming, if you can believe it, the first Israeli prime minister ever to visit Latin America.

After 70 years, the world is embracing Israel, and Israel is embracing the world. One year. Six continents. Now, it’s true. I haven’t yet visited Antarctica, but one day I want to go there too because I’ve heard that penguins are also enthusiastic supporters of Israel. You laugh, but penguins have no difficulty recognizing that some things are black and white, are right and wrong.

Unfortunately, when it comes to UN decisions about Israel, that simple recognition is too often absent. It was absent last December when the Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution that set back the cause of peace.

It was absent last May, when the World Health Organization adopted — you have to listen to this: the World Health Organization adopted a Syrian-sponsored resolution that criticized Israel for health conditions on the Golan Heights.

As the great John McEnroe would say, “You can-not be serious!” I mean, this is preposterous.

Syria has barrel-bombed, starved, gassed and murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and wounded millions more, while Israel has provided lifesaving medical care to thousands of Syrian victims of that very same carnage. Yet who does the World Health Organization criticize? Israel.
So is there no limit to the UN’s absurdities when it comes to Israel?

Well, apparently not, because in July, UNESCO declared the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron a Palestinian World Heritage site. That’s worse than fake news. That’s fake history. Mind you, it’s true that Abraham, the father of both Ishmael and Isaac, is buried there, but so too are Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Rebecca – Sarah is a Jewish name, by the way – and Leah, who just happen to be patriarchs and matriarchs of the Jewish people. You won’t read about that in the latest UNESCO report.

But if you want to, you can read about that in a somewhat weightier publication — it’s called the Bible. I highly recommend it. I hear it even got 4 ½ out of 5 stars on Amazon. And it’s a great read. I read it every week.

Ladies and gentlemen, a moment to be serious: Despite the absurdities, despite the repetition of these farcical events, there is change. Slowly but surely, there are signs of positive change, even at the United Nations.

Mr. Secretary General, I very much appreciate your statement that denying Israel’s right to exist is anti-Semitism, pure and simple. Now, that’s important, because for too long the epicenter of global anti-Semitism has been right here at the UN. And while it may take many years, I am absolutely confident that the revolution in Israel’s ties with individual nations will ultimately be reflected in this hall of nations. I say that because there is also a marked change in the position of some of our key friends.

Thanks to President Trump’s unequivocal support for Israel in this body, that positive change is gathering force. So, thank you, President Trump. Thank you for supporting Israel at the UN. And thank you for your support, Ambassador Nikki Haley. Thank you for speaking the truth about Israel.

But, ladies and gentlemen, here at the UN, we must also speak the truth about Iran, as President Trump did so powerfully this morning. Now, you know I’ve been ambassador to the UN and I’m a long-serving Israeli prime minister, so I’ve listened to countless speeches in this hall, but I can say this: none were bolder, none more courageous and forthright than the one delivered by President Trump today.

President Trump rightly called the nuclear deal with Iran, he called it an embarrassment. Well, I couldn’t agree with him more. And here’s why: Iran vows to destroy my country every day, including by its chief of staff the other day. Iran is conducting a campaign of conquest across the Middle East and Iran is developing ballistic missiles to threaten the entire world.

Two years ago, I stood here and explained why the Iranian nuclear deal not only doesn’t block Iran’s path to the bomb, Iran’s nuclear program has what’s called a sunset clause. Let me explain what that term means: It means that in a few years, those restrictions will be automatically removed — not by a change in Iran’s behavior, not by a lessening of its terror or its aggression. They’ll just be removed by a mere change in the calendar. And I warned that when that sunset comes, a dark shadow will be cast over the entire Middle East and the world, because Iran will then be free to enrich uranium on an industrial scale, placing it on the threshold of a massive arsenal of nuclear weapons.

That’s why I said two years ago that the greater danger is not that Iran will rush to a single bomb by breaking the deal, but that Iran will be able to build many bombs by keeping the deal.

Now, in the last few months, we’ve all seen how dangerous even a few nuclear weapons can be in the hands of a small rogue regime.

Now imagine the danger of hundreds of nuclear weapons in the hands of a vast Iranian Islamist empire, with the missiles to deliver them anywhere on earth.

I know there are those who still defend the dangerous deal with Iran, arguing that it will block Iran’s path to the bomb.

Ladies and gentlemen, That’s exactly what they said about the nuclear deal with North Korea, and we all know how that turned out. Unfortunately, if nothing changes, this deal will turn out exactly the same way.

That’s why Israel’s policy regarding the nuclear deal with Iran is very simple: Change it or cancel it, fix it or nix it. Nixing the deal means restoring massive pressure on Iran, including crippling sanctions, until Iran fully dismantles its nuclear weapons capability. Fixing the deal requires many things, among them inspecting military and any other site that is suspect, and penalizing Iran for every violation. But above all, fixing the deal means getting rid of the sunset clause.

And beyond fixing this bad deal, we must also stop Iran’s development of ballistic missiles and roll back its growing aggression in the region. I remember we had these debates. As you know, I took a fairly active role in them. And many supporters of the nuclear deal naively believed that it would moderate Iran. It would make it a responsible member, so they said, of the international community.

Well as you know, I strongly disagreed. I warned that when the sanctions on Iran would be removed, Iran would behave like a hungry tiger unleashed, not joining the community of nations, but devouring nations, one after the other. And that’s precisely what Iran is doing today.

From the Caspian Sea to the Mediterranean, from Tehran to Tartus, an Iranian curtain is descending across the Middle East. Iran spreads this curtain of tyranny and terror over Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere, and it pledges to extinguish the light of Israel.

Today, I have a simple message for Ayatollah Khamenei, the dictator of Iran: The light of Israel will never be extinguished.

Those who threaten us with annihilation put themselves in mortal peril. Israel will defend itself with the full force of our arms and the full power of our convictions. We will act to prevent Iran from establishing permanent military bases in Syria for its air, sea and ground forces. We will act to prevent Iran from producing deadly weapons in Syria or in Lebanon for use against us.

And we will act to prevent Iran from opening new terror fronts against Israel along our northern border.

As long as Iran’s regime seeks the destruction of Israel, Iran will face no fiercer enemy than Israel.

But I also have a message today for the people of Iran: You are not our enemy; you are our friends. Shomaah doosteh mah hasteed [You are our friends]. One day, my Iranian friends, you will be free from the evil regime that terrorizes you, hangs gays, jails journalists, tortures political prisoners, and shoots innocent women like Neda Sultan, leaving her choking on her own blood on the streets of Tehran. I have not forgotten Neda. I am sure you haven’t too.

And when that day of liberation finally comes, the friendship between our two ancient peoples will surely flourish once again.

Ladies and gentlemen, Israel knows that in confronting the Iranian regime, we are not alone. We stand shoulder to shoulder with those in the Arab world who share our hopes for a brighter future.

We’ve made peace with Jordan and Egypt, whose courageous President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi I met here last night. I appreciate President el-Sissi’s support for peace, and I hope to work closely with him and other leaders in the region to advance peace.

Israel is committed to achieving peace with all our Arab neighbors, including the Palestinians. Yesterday, President Trump and I discussed this, all of this, at great length. I appreciate President Trump’s leadership, his commitment to stand by Israel’s side, his commitment to advance a peaceful future for all. Together, we can seize the opportunities for peace and together we can confront the great dangers of Iran.

The remarkable alliance between the United States and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper. Israel is deeply grateful for the support of the Trump administration, the American Congress and the American people.

Ladies and gentlemen, in this year of historic visits and historic anniversaries, Israel has so much to be grateful for. A hundred and twenty years ago, Theodor Herzl convened the First Zionist Congress to transform our tragic past into a brilliant future by establishing the Jewish state. One hundred years ago, the Balfour Declaration advanced Herzl’s vision by recognizing the right of the Jewish people to a national home in our ancestral homeland. Seventy years ago, the United Nations further advanced that vision by adopting a resolution supporting the establishment of a Jewish state. And 50 years ago, we reunited our eternal capital Jerusalem, achieving a miraculous victory against those who sought to destroy our state. Theodor Herzl was our modern Moses — and his dream has come true. We’ve returned to the Promised Land, revived our language, in-gathered our exiles and built a modern, thriving democracy.

Tomorrow evening, Jews around the world will celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of our new year. It’s a time of reflection, and we look back with wonder at the miraculous rebirth of our nation, and we look ahead with pride to the remarkable contributions Israel will continue to make to all nations.

You look around you and you will see those contributions every day — in the food you eat, the water you drink, the medicines you take, the cars you drive, the cell phones you use, and in so many other ways that are transforming our world.

You see it in the smile of an African mother in a remote village, who, thanks to an Israeli innovation, no longer must walk eight hours a day to bring water to her children.

You see it in the eyes of an Arab child, who was flown to Israel to undergo a life-saving heart operation.

And you see it in the faces of the people in earthquake-stricken Haiti and Nepal who were rescued from the rubble and given new life by Israeli doctors.

As the prophet Isaiah said, “I have made you a light unto the nations, bringing salvation to the ends of the earth.”

Today, 2,700 years after Isaiah spoke those prophetic words, Israel is becoming a rising power among the nations. And at long last, its light is shining across the continents, bringing hope and salvation to the ends of the earth.

Happy New Year, Shanah Tovah from Israel. Thank you