Tag Archives: LTTE

Guru and Indi debating Sri Lankan issues on Al Jazeera

My good friend Guru and Indi Samarajiva debated issues on Sri Lankan politics and the way forward just a couple of hours ago on Al Jazeera’s The Stream.

I met Guru for dinner last night and we discussed some of these issues on a very casual level, I knew the outcome of this debate long before it started.

My personal opinion on this video, followed by the twitter conversation Indi, Guru and I had afterwards is that Guru clearly comes out on top. His argument was clear and concise, Indi’s on the other hand stemmed from a more cosmetic and idealistic perception of the sufferings of those in the North and East which seemed out of touch with ground realities of those at the grassroots.

It doesn’t help Indi that his connection timed out (or so I like to think) a little after Guru threw a barrage of arguments, and he goes on to say ‘I am not a very good Sinhalese’. Which begs the question, who was he representing ? By his choice of argument one would understand that he certainly didn’t represent a holistic ‘Sri Lankan’ identity, surely not – and he proceeds to reinforce this ambiguity furthermore by saying what I have quoted above. Guru on the other hand had a stronger sense of what he stood for.

This is purely my opinion, to be fair to both Guru and Indi watch the video above and make up your own minds.



Filed under Sri Lanka

The Reality and the Cost of War..

‘The reality is that any organization that domesticates its rebels has won its peace but has lost its future.’ Gerald Arbuckle

sounds familiar ? It does indeed. The term rebel is very subjective and has a lot to do withe context that it is placed in.

However varied the term “rebel” is defined in the srilankan politicosphere the above quote aptly describes the current situation that we are placed in. The Sri Lankan state and its people are in cross roads, a historic moment and this moment is something which should bring with it a very prominent – whats it that intellectuals so often use- paradigm shift ?

That said Have you ever wondered what the International community (or any country which resorts to war to solve a conflict) could achieve if funding for war was diverted to urgent humanitarian needs? This Calculator shows what could have been bought and used for humanitarian purposes if the chosen weapon was not used.

For instance, The Cost of a Single B-2 Stealth Bomber Is $1,000,000,000. This could provide ‘Any One’ of the following resources:

* 2,564,102,564 Meals For Starving People.
* 1,150,510 Clean Water Wells.
* 31,446,541 Adult Cataract Operations. Restoring sight to the blind.
* 285,714,286 Blankets for refugees. In emergencies, families often leave home with only the clothes they are wearing. Blankets give essential protection from the chilling cold.
* 106,951,872 Mosquito Nets. Two million people die every year from malaria, most are children under five.
* 31,466,331 Child Immunisations. Protect a child from the six childhood killer diseases – diphtheria, whooping cough, measles, polio, tetanus and tuberculosis. A gift of life every child must have.
* 713,318 Houses for family’s currently living in cramped, unsanitary and dangerous conditions.
* 270,196 Schools Furnished with desks, chairs, tables, blackboards – vital things children need to build a foundation for learning.
* 53,504,548 Children supplied with school books for a whole year.
* 1,000,000 Landmines removed from the ground.
* 3,876,720 Adult Literary Classes.
* 3,030,303 World Response Medicine Boxes. Each containing essential medicines to treat the most common diseases for a community of one thousand people for approximately three months.
* 106,951,872 Fruit trees planted. Providing a giant boost to the diet and health of a poor family.
* 89,126,560 Fishing Nets. Give a man, woman or child a fishing net and they – and their families – will have a source of food.
* 41,152,263 Nanny Goats. Milk, cheese and kids. Families in places like Bangladesh can earn a living by starting a small goat-herding business.
* 35,663,338 Chickens. Eggs mean protein – vital for every diet. Three chickens can produce enough eggs to feed a whole family. They’ll produce baby chicks too.
* 89,126,560 Training courses for a health worker. Providing a local health worker basic skills on how to treat, prevent and stop the spread of the most common life-threatening diseases.
* 25,477,707 Childrens School Desk and School Supplies. For children who have no place to sit, study and read this gives one child a desk with pencils, pens and books.
* 3,876,720 Wheelchairs. For a disabled child, a wheelchair can be the ticket to freedom and education.
* 1,430,451 Vocational Scholarships. One year programme helps young people learn a trade and gives them the vocational and technical training they need to improve their future.
* 89,126,560 Water Filters. Poor families in places like Cambodia, have no choice but to drink water full of bacteria and parasites. Water filters saves lives by screening out small but deadly bugs.
* 15,285,845 Bicycles for a child to get to school every day.
* 100,000,000,000 Chlorine Tablets to make water safe to drink.

Food for thought indeed.

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Filed under Sri Lanka, war