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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Wednesday, 6 May 2015

ஐரோப்பாவில் பாசிசம்: இணைய சுதந்திரம் மீது பிரான்ஸ் அரசு பாய்ச்சல்!



நியூயோர்க் ரைம்ஸ் பத்திரிகையின் ஆளும் வர்க்க தாராளவாத ஜனநாயகப் பார்வையில்:

EUROPE | NEWS ANALYSIS
Familiar Swing to Security Over Privacy After Attacks in France
By ALISSA J. RUBIN and DAVID E. SANGER MAY 6, 2015

PARIS — For two years after the revelations by Edward J. Snowden, Europe was awash in talk about American excesses in mass surveillance, objecting to how the National Security Agency swept up emails and phone conversations — even of political leaders like Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany — in an American electronic net that seemed to envelop the Continent.

But the past few months have helped clarify what much of Europe really objected to: the American involvement in that surveillance, not the net itself. Worried ABOUT ISLAMIC extremists in its midst, Britain passed even more sweeping surveillance laws last summer. And in the wake of terrorist attacks in Paris in January, the French have begun what has become almost a rite of passage for Western nations since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States, voting through the lower house of Parliament on Tuesday vastly expanded government powers to protect, and spy on, its own citizens.

In Europe the impulse for government protection, even at the expense of civil liberties, is hardly new. Britain’s surveillance cameras on every major city block are well known. FRANCE has conducted similarly intensive surveillance for years, but without explicit legal authorization. “The French government is saying, in essence, ‘We do it anyway, so we might as well be able to use it for evidence in court,’ ” said Frédérick Douzet, a cybersecurity expert and professor at the University of Paris 8.

However, some of the measures authorized in the pending legislation would be new — at least as far as anyone knows — including the use of new technology to conduct analysis of bulk metadata, experts said.

The reality, however, is that it is unlikely that any of the proposed new measures would have prevented the January attacks at Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper, said some experts in
Paris. And while counterterrorism was the justification as the National Assembly greatly enhanced the spying powers of the nation’s intelligence services, Ms. Douzet and others point out that the law allows broad surveillance in other areas as well.

But there was a near absence of public attention and debate around the measures — or around whether France needs the kinds of checks and balances on surveillance that the United States has imposed. INDEED, the news barely made the front pages of newspapers here on Wednesday, even though in the run-up to the vote, some news media had extensively highlighted the potential abuses of the far-reaching legislation.

“This is the tradition of a country that used to see itself as a great power — so we do whatever it takes,” said Dominique Moïsi, the co-founder of the French Institute for International

At the same time, Congress is inching in the other direction. By the END OF JUNE, the government may get out of the business of bulk collection of telephone metadata — though under legislation and a proposal by President Obama, that collection would simply move to telecommunications companies.

In fact, after more than a decade of massive government surveillance — the extent of which was not fully known until the leaks from Mr. Snowden — the N.S.A. now finds itself having to justify its programs, to the White House and the American people.

But the outrage in Europe about the Snowden disclosures was largely centered on the intrusion of the American surveillance system on European soil — sometimes with the help, witting or unwitting, of American companies. “The common vocabulary among the Europeans is that Europe is privacy friendly, and the United States tolerates a Stasi-like N.S.A. and vicious data collectors, like Google and Facebook,” said Benjamin Wittes, the co-author of “The FUTURE of Violence.” “It’s nonsense. They object to the American part.”

The exception may be Germany, where the current uproar is about what the B.N.D., Germany’s intelligence service, may have done in partnership with the United States. But when it comes to social media, European sensibilities are beginning to change. Even those countries that PRIZE discretion are facing the reality that there is a new era of global communication that compromises privacy, and that little on the Internet can be kept secret. That, perhaps, is making it easier for citizens to accept government snooping.

In FRANCE, opposition to the bill gained little traction even though critics argued that the proposed legislation would allow French intelligence services to collect and monitor bulk communications, read texts and email and tap cellphones with little judicial oversight. The opponents included many Internet companies, civil liberties supporters and some left-leaning members of the French Parliament, as well as some judges and lawyers.

But they won little political support: Western Europe lacks the strand of antigovernment sentiment seen in Libertarians or the Tea Party in the United States. And while there is some legislative branch oversight, it rarely delves deeply into government proposals and programs.

So just as the Sept. 11 attacks led President Bush and Congress to grant far-reaching powers to American intelligence agencies, deadly attacks in FRANCE and elsewhere in Europe and fear about the thousands of extremists in Syria and Iraq with European passports are allowing intelligence and security services to obtain powers that previously eluded them.

France, with the largest Muslim population in Europe, has seen more of its citizens go to fight in the Middle East than any other European country. Similarly, the hundreds of British citizens who went to Syria in recent years prompted the government last summer to approve surveillance measures forcing telecommunication companies to retain data for a year. (In the United States, the norm is even longer.)

Now human rights and civil liberties advocates say their worry is not only how France might use the new law, but how other countries will seize on the precedent.

“My fear is that France is setting an example here, and it encourages a race for the bottom on a global level,” said Cynthia Wong, a lawyer and senior Internet researcher for Human Rights Watch. “If France does it, why wouldn’t every other government do the same thing?”

Even so, some analysts and opponents of the new measures said they would not necessarily have prevented Chérif and Saïd Kouachi from massacring 12 people at Charlie Hebdo. Nor would the added measures probably have headed off Amedy Coulibaly from taking hostages days later at a kosher grocery store, killing four of them as well as a police officer, they said.

“The Kouachi brothers and Coulibaly were already targeted by the intelligence services,” said Pierre-Olivier Sur, the head of the Paris bar association, who opposes the new measures.

The authorities, others note, already have more information and suspects than they can possibly track with the current levels of resources and FUNDING, neither of which are augmented by the proposed legislation.

“The law would not have added anything,” Mr. Sur said.

Alissa J. Rubin reported from Paris, and David E. Sanger from Washington.

Monday, 4 May 2015

Kerry in Nairobi on Issues Affecting Kenya, Region

TEXTS & TRANSCRIPTS
Translated:
English
Kerry in Nairobi on Issues Affecting Kenya, Region

04 May 2015
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
May 4, 2015

REMARKS
Secretary of State John Kerry
Press Availability

Nairobi, Kenya

SECRETARY KERRY: Good afternoon, everybody. I’m delighted to be here in Nairobi, and I appreciate enormously the very generous welcome beginning with yesterday and my visit to
the Nairobi National Park, which was wonderful. And I want to thank President Kenyatta and the cabinet and Cabinet Secretary Mohamed for not just their generous welcome, but also for their partnership on some of the toughest challenges that we face today internationally. There’s an African proverb to the effect that rain does not fall on one roof alone, and it’s with the reality of our SHARED interests in mind that I come to Nairobi today to consult with the president and with the foreign minister about the many concerns that we share about our two countries in advance of President Obama’s visit in July.

There can be no question that our meetings here today were timely. Events in Kenya and the broader region present us with a broad array of tests. The threat posed by violent extremism is regrettably foremost among them. Last month’s brazen murder of at least 147 students and teachers in Garissa was a heartbreaking reminder of terrorism’s cost. On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I join in expressing our deepest condolences to all of the families and to the friends of the victims in Garissa and to all those affected in previous attacks – in Mandera, Wajir, Kenya’s coast, including Mombasa, out – Nairobi’s Westgate Mall, and elsewhere. And I will say to you that these tragedies may cause momentary turmoil, even chaos, and they bring, obviously, enormous grief to families. But in the end, instead of dividing us they bring us closer together, and they will never SHAKE our commitment to human decency, to dignity, and to peace.

As I discussed with Kenya’s leaders today, we know that defeating terrorism requires a long-term effort. It requires a comprehensive strategy. Border security, law enforcement actions are a big part of the equation. But the even larger imperative is to persuade and prevent people, particularly young people, from joining such groups as al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and Daesh.

Otherwise, no matter how many terrorists we bring to justice, these groups will simply replenish their ranks and we will not be safer.

That effort must have the support of religious authorities, educators, and citizens who will discredit hateful doctrines and help people to build stronger and more resilient communities. The success of this strategy depends on building trust between the authorities and local communities, and that includes members of Kenya’s Muslim community who were among the first to march against the terrorists in Garissa. And it also includes Somali refugees in Kenya, who are here after all because they fled from and despise al-Shabaab.

America has learned in our own fight against terrorism that we have to be true to democratic values, not just because it’s right, but also because it’s the only sure path to security over the long term. So I am glad that today President Kenyatta reinforced his agreement with us that human rights and the rule of law have to be respected in the counterterrorism efforts, and that security officials should partner with civil society organizations, especially with those with deep roots in the communities that are scarred by terrorism. The more united and proud of its institutions that a country is, the stronger it is going to be in fighting back against the threats of terror. And that is why my government will continue to provide assistance to Kenya’s civil society and promote the democratic principles embodied in the country’s 2010 constitution.

Kenya also needs international assistance and international solidarity on another matter – that is the challenge of hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees who have fled to this country for protection from persecution, fear, and war. I know that represents a burden to the people here. I know people here are feeling that burden, particularly after an event like Garissa. It’s unavoidable. It’s completely understandable. But on the other hand, Kenya can be extraordinarily proud of the fact that it stands out as a country that has welcomed people from their terror in other countries, and that Kenya stands as a partner in the effort to bring to justice those who perpetrate that kind of terror.

Earlier today, I had a chance to meet with a few of the refugees, and I also spoke to students at Dadaab, the largest of Kenya’s refugee camps. I spoke to them through an internet connection to their classroom. I have to tell you, it was really very moving, quite extraordinary to talk to a young man who had spent 19 years in a camp, who would love to go home, who would love to be somewhere else, who would love to have a JOB, love to complete his university education. I talked to one young woman who told me she had been in the camp for years. I asked how long; she said, “I was born here.” And now she’s finishing high school.

What an extraordinary thing that these kids are actually able to get at least that far in their education, and every single one of them would love to be able to have a job, and every single one of them would prefer that that job could be at home, in peace. And that is why it is so imperative that all of us work together in order to bring peace to South Sudan, to Somalia. And Kenya should be proud of the effort that it is making together with the international community to help make such a difference, particularly in Somalia. I was very inspired by these kids’ drive, passion to learn. One young woman told me she’s studying chemistry and biology. And I asked her what she wants to be; she said she wants to BE A DOCTOR. I’ll bet she’s never been in a hospital, but she still wants to be a doctor.

So we have an enormous challenge, all of us. This is not just a challenge for Kenya, believe me. This is a challenge for the global community. And all of us need to work together in order to guarantee that people don’t live in a refugee camp from the date of birth until the end of high school, but rather that they can go home. That’s our obligation. Refugee camps are supposed to be temporary, not supposed to become permanent cities in another nation. And we all have an obligation to do better in order to provide a better alternative to these young people.

I’m pleased to announce that the United States has just provided an additional 45 million to the UN high commissioner for refugees for the operations here in Kenya. And we are proud of the fact that we’re perhaps the largest donor in the world in terms of the refugee effort at this moment, with 3.8 billion alone going to the refugees from Syria and that conflict. And this year, a significant – about $100 million coming in additional aid for the fight against terrorism here in Kenya alone. This FUNDING is part of our effort to maintain our longstanding commitment and Kenya’s longstanding commitment to be able to provide haven to refugees. What this money will mean is better schools, it means access to health clinics, it means safer housing and clean water to drink, and it will benefit not only refugees but also particularly the Kenyan communities who graciously act as hosts.

Another of Kenya’s neighbors, South Sudan, was also the topic of our discussions today. We all know of that country’s great promise. I had the privilege of working on the Comprehensive Peace Agreement’s application, of TRAVELING there, meeting with President Kiir, of being there during the election and being there for the referendum and celebrating the independence that came afterwards. And we all know of that country’s extraordinary promise during that period of time. We saw firsthand the dedication and the courage and the resilience of its people. But let me be clear – that promise is now at grave risk of being squandered because of civil violence, because of more than 2 million people who have been displaced from their homes. With each day, the ranks of the hungry and the malnourished grow. And none of this had to happen, but it did happen because the country’s leaders failed to act on behalf of the best interests of their people and their nation.

This is not happening, except for the absence of the leadership necessary to bring it to a close. For more than a year, regional leaders, the United States and others have been urging South Sudan’s leaders to live up to their commitments to silence the guns and establish a transitional government that can set their country on a path towards peace and prosperity. Unfortunately,

South Sudan’s leaders, both those officially in office and those CONTESTING those who are in office, have not yet chosen to make the compromises needed for peace. And it is that absence of compromise and absence of leadership that is leading to this extraordinary challenge to the region.

It is increasingly clear that justice and accountability, as well as reconciliation, are essential to peace. And to complement our existing funding for local reconciliation efforts, the United States is committing an additional $5 million to support South Sudanese and international efforts to create a credible, impartial, and effective justice mechanism, such as a hybrid court, in order to hold perpetrators of violence to account. The FUNDS will also support efforts to build the capacity of civil society to document human rights violations. And I call on other international donors to join us in committing funds to these critical justice and reconciliation efforts.

The choices that South Sudan’s leaders will make ultimately will determine whether the country continues on the path of conflict or restores the hope which its citizens so richly deserve.

For the sake of all the people of South Sudan, we hope the choice will be made for peace.

In closing, I want to once again thank the government of and the people of Kenya for their wonderful hospitality during my brief stay here. I know President Obama is very much looking forward to coming in a short time. I want to OFFER, if I may, my personal congratulations to Kenya’s Caroline Rotich for her extraordinary victory in last month’s Boston Marathon. As all of you know, the Boston Marathon has taken on a very special meaning over these last two years, and it has always been – before an act of violence shattered its peacefulness, it had always been one of the great marathons of the world, as it is today. I know how proud Kenya is to have such a world-class long distance runner, and we are delighted to honor her.

With that, let me say thank you to all of you, and I’m delighted to take a few questions. Marie.

MS HARF: The first question is from Brad Klapper of the Associated Press.

QUESTION: Thank you very much.

SECRETARY KERRY: I saw you being handed questions, so I still trust this is one question.

MS HARF: I saw that too, Brad.

QUESTION: Since you said “a few questions,” if you’ll indulge me.

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, a few – one from you and one from somebody else, and that’s a few.

QUESTION: A question in three parts. On Kenya specifically, did you discuss the Dadaab complex? Did you demand that it stay open? And do you have any reactions to comments by the deputy prime minister on homosexuals in his country that he made recently?

Since you’re in Africa, can you comment briefly on the continued protests and violence in nearby Burundi? And on a – on what is unfortunately a similar topic, the protests that we saw yesterday of Ethiopian Jews in Israel. Thank you.

SECRETARY KERRY: So I did discuss the Dadaab camp with President Kenyatta, but I didn’t have to demand anything, because the president couldn’t have been more forthcoming that this is an enormous challenge for the country, as I mentioned; that the people of Kenya are concerned about the numbers of refugees that they are currently hosting. And I think anybody has to understand that’s a burden on the country and I think he was reflecting and has reflected the challenge that it presents to the country.

But he also made it clear that Kenya has a great tradition of hosting refugees, and that the key is to accelerate efforts to have a plan in place for the ability of the people in not just Dadaab but in all of the refugee camps to be able to return home in an orderly and voluntary manner with dignity and with safety. That’s his goal; that’s our goal. And I am confident that the camp at Dadaab will remain open while we work through how people will be able to go home by doing a better job of finishing our task in Somalia, in South Sudan. And that is the mission.

So I think what the pressures of the refugee situation are doing is reminding everybody of the need to accelerate efforts to solve the underlying fundamental problems so people can go back to their homes in peace. I leave here with a much greater awareness of the challenge, with a much more immediate sense of the urgency of resolving it, and with a much greater commitment to try to work with our international partners in order to get the job done and be able to put those kids in places where they can actually get JOBS and go to work rebuilding their own country and relieve the burden from the people of Kenya.

With respect to the comments, I just heard about this before I came in here. I haven’t read the comments. I don’t know what was or wasn’t actually said, so I’m not going to comment with specificity, except to say that the United States believes that all people are created equal, that all people have rights. That includes people of every faith, every gender, every choice of partner. No matter who you love or who you are in your life, you have all the rights of every other human being. And that is our position in the United States, and we will never, ever waver from that position.

With respect to Burundi, we are deeply concerned about President Nkurunziza’s decision, which flies directly in the face of the constitution of his country. And the violence that is expressing, the concern of his own citizens about that choice should be listened to and avoided as we go forward in these days. It’s my understanding an African Union delegation will go there soon to meet with him to try to underscore the importance of adhering to the constitution of the country, and it’s our hope in the United States that ultimately that is what will happen and that the people of Burundi will be given the choice that their constitution promises them.

With respect to what has happened in Israel – again, I have only been able to catch a glimpse on television, and I know that there are – the events grew out of an incident between a police officer and an Ethiopian Jewish member of the military there. I don’t know all the facts. I assume and believe that it will be thoroughly under investigation. I know the prime minister was planning today to have meetings at the highest level with police, with military, with the individual officer and others. I am confident that Israeli leadership will want to work this through in a way that honors the goals and aspirations and traditions and values of the people of Israel, and I think we need to give them the space to be able to do that.

MS HARF: Great. Our final question is from Geoffrey Mosoku of the Standard Group. Wait for the microphone, please.

QUESTION: Secretary, my question goes to the terrorism attacks in Kenya. Obviously, most Kenyans feel --

SECRETARY KERRY: Hold it a little closer, if you will.

QUESTION: I’m saying most Kenyans feel that Kenya’s been isolated in the war against terror. The president of Kenya has spoken to that effect, saying that whenever there are attacks in

Kenya, we see travel advisories, we see most Western countries fleeing, which is in contrast to what we saw in France when there was an attack on the (inaudible). So I just want to know

what is the level of the U.S. assistance towards Kenya in the global war against terror, especially on the al-Shabaab, Kenya’s operation in Somalia. What is the kind of intervention that the

U.S. Government is putting in place?

Today you met the opposition leaders as well. Probably if you can appraise us on the specific issues that you discussed with them.

And then on – still on Somalia, of course there’s a debate whether Kenya should withdraw its troops from Somalia – the KDF. What’s the position of America?

SECRETARY KERRY: On what? On --

QUESTION: On Somalia – about Kenya’s troops in Somalia, the KDF. Those who are saying --

SECRETARY KERRY: Yeah.

QUESTION: -- it’s time our troops come back home. What is the position of America?

And final, will you tell us what makes you love Kenya? (Laughter.)

SECRETARY KERRY: President Obama makes me love Kenya. No, I’m joking. (Laughter.) I love Kenya because I have known Kenya for years and years and years. When I was in the

Senate – I’m going to answer your last question first, obviously. I’m jumping at it. I asked Iain Douglas Hamilton to come to the Senate and testify, which he did, to talk about the plight of the elephants and the challenge of conservation. And years ago, I knew and met Richard Leakey and knew of his work here and many other people’s work, and of course through the years we have admired greatly what Kenya has done to set an example for all of Africa with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, which is quite extraordinary in its quality and capacity, but it goes way beyond that.

Kenya is a country of extraordinary promise. It’s really one of the leaders of all of Africa. It is now in this second republic, struggling for democracy again and full-throated participation of all of its citizens. There’s an enormous amount happening here. There are more than 100 U.S. companies that are engaged in business and hopeful of building jobs for the FUTURE.

There’s great education opportunity, great passion for the role that Kenya plays as a leader in so many different ways. I actually have a cousin who has lived here for 22 years who works at the United Nations environment program who has married a Kenyan and has family here. And so this is a place that I’ve heard a lot about through the years and members of my family have traveled to, and I’ve finally been able to do that and I’m very happy for that fact.

With respect to the – I’m going to go backwards. With respect to the opposition, we had a very broad conversation. They came very prepared. They had a presentation that they made to me about the concerns. One of them was about troops and where they are and what’s happening with terrorism. They talked about other social needs, structural needs in the country, and the constitution – the need for it to be fully implemented and so forth. And it was a very constructive conversation and I appreciated the opportunity to be able to hear from many different voices in Kenya. Tomorrow morning I’ll meet with members of civil society; have an opportunity to be able to learn even more. So it’s a healthy exchange and I don’t think any leader of another country should come and only talk to the government in place. I think you need to talk to many different voices and listen carefully, and that’s what I’ve been doing.

With respect to – I think your next – was the troops? Let me just say that Kenya – I know this is always hard. We have troops in Afghanistan. We now have some troops back in Iraq who are helping to train and advise with respect to the challenge of Daesh. And Americans have lived for a long time with the cost of exercising global leadership and being involved in helping to bring peace to places, and to bring democracy and opportunity for people. It’s a privilege, even as it is also a burden.

Kenya is playing that role, this dramatic and important role of leadership in Somalia and in South Sudan. And we believe it is absolutely critical for Africa to be front and center in the solutions to challenges in Africa. The last thing Africans would want are Americans or British or other countries who have had long histories in other countries being the leaders of this. It’s not appropriate. So we’re part of the team, and Kenya is a leader in that team. And the role that Kenya is playing internally in Somalia is critical to the FUTURE of Somalia. Somalia is making progress. Al-Shabaab is being beaten back and pushed back. The political system is coming alive again.

And I would respectfully submit to Kenyans that Kenya will be safer if Somalia is more stable. Kenya will be safer if South Sudan can resolve its problems. Kenya will be safer if there aren’t more refugees pouring across a border because those communities can’t pull themselves together. So I think Kenyans should be proud, and obviously, they want an end to it. We all want an end to it. And one of the things I think we need that I’ve learned out of this trip is that AMISOM needs a little boost, needs a little more input, and we need to find the ways to make certain that we have all the assets necessary to be able to accomplish the mission. And I’m very, very hopeful. But I do hope that Kenyans will be patient.

What I think was articulated to me today is we need the exit strategy, and the exit strategy needs to be a success. And we need a clearer sense of how that success is going to come, not just have an endless, open-ended engagement or conflict where people have a right to ask when is this going to end. So we have a JOB as leaders to try to set out that roadmap, and that’s something we’re going to work on harder in the next few days.

QUESTION: The issue of FUNDING to Kenya?

SECRETARY KERRY: What did I leave out?

QUESTION: The issue about FUNDING in Kenya dealing (inaudible)?

MS HARF: Terrorism (inaudible).

SECRETARY KERRY: Oh, I’m sorry. Sure. Look, Kenya is a key partner, as I just said, in the fight against terrorism, and cooperation between our governments is very, very strong. I think – I don't know what the period of years is, but I think we’ve put in some $645 million in an effort to assist over these last years with Kenya directly, and this year alone, I believe it’s more than $100 million, and I just announced additional FUNDING – 45 million plus the 5 million – so we are deeply engaged in trying to help Kenya to be able to push back and deal with terrorism. We’re working on border, border security. We’re working on intelligence sharing. We’re working together in terms of law enforcement and capacity building.

So we have an enormous set – a wide range, really – of security cooperative efforts. We provide equipment, we provide essential training to certain key Kenyan military and law enforcement units. We also assist with counterterrorism investigations, with countering violent extremism. There will be a countering violent extremism summit here in the next weeks that will bring people from all over to talk about how we not just push back against the ACTIVE terrorists, but how do we deplete the pool of future terrorists? How do we make certain we’re not taking some people off the field while replacements keep coming along?

That’s part of the challenge – dealing with foreign fighters, dealing with FINANCE, dealing with delegitimizing those who claim religious support for something that has no basis in religion
whatsoever. So those are the things that we are cooperating on, even as we also emphasize the importance of not losing your commitment to human rights and your commitment to standards even as you pursue your efforts against terrorists. And we are working on rule of law, we’re working in support of your justice system. I met today with your chief justice who is doing an extraordinary job of helping to move the judiciary forward. We admire enormously what he’s up to.

So I think the breadth of our engagement is really quite extraordinary, and all of it has come about through consultations directly with the government. There’s nothing we’re doing that isn’t invited and nothing we’re doing that isn’t cooperative. And we hope that it can make a difference as we go forward.

Thank you all very, very much. Good to be with you. Thank you.

Read more: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2015/05/20150504315124.html#ixzz3ZDIcWStN

Lankan military could be used to police the world’s sea lanes and participate in peacekeeping operations abroad- Kerry

Lankan military could be used to police the world’s sea lanes and participate in peacekeeping operations abroad- Kerry

Kerry Advices Tamil and Sinhalese Leaders Not to Widen Ethnic Divide

By P.K.Balachandran Published: 03rd May 2015 05:18 PM Last Updated: 03rd May 2015 05:18 PM

COLOMBO: US Secretary of State John Kerry, who left Sri Lanka on Sunday after a day’s visit, had urged Tamil and Sinhalese leaders not to exacerbate the ethnic problem in the island nation by taking extreme and inflexible positions but to work towards a mutually acceptable settlement.

Kerry told a delegation of the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) prior to his departure, that the US will continue to pursue the question of war crimes and accountability at the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), but Washington also expects the Tamil and Sinhalese leaders of Sri Lanka to take a constructive approach to the issue and not act in ways that prevent a mutually acceptable settlement from emerging.

According to TNA MP, M.A.Sumanthiran, Kerry said that he was not asking the Tamils to give up their stand on issues of concern to them, but to work towards a mutually acceptable settlement with the Sinhalese majority.

The high powered TNA delegation which met Kerry, comprised Northern Province Chief Minister C.V.Wigneswaran, and TNA MPs, R.Sampanthan, Mavai Senathirajah, M.A.Sumanthiran, Suresh Premachandran and Selvam Adaikalanathan.

In his public lecture on Saturday, Kerry said that the Lankan military should not be used for policing civilians at home. It could be used to police the world’s sea lanes and participate in peacekeeping operations abroad, he said.  

Kerry stressed the need to go to great lengths to get information about missing people as the US itself did, under his leadership, after the Vietnam War. “It’s an essential part of the healing  process,”  he said.

Kerry said that it will be wrong to give accountability the short shrift and ask the victims of war to forget the past and get on with their lives. If this approach is taken, it is more likely that the victims will cling to the past more tenaciously than before, he warned. And to establish accountability, a good justice system is essential, he added. Finally, Kerry appealed to Lanka to cooperate with the on-going UN war crimes investigation process and offered us help to do so.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States

MIDDLE EAST

Sale of U.S. Arms Fuels the Wars of Arab States
By MARK MAZZETTI and HELENE COOPER APRIL 18, 2015

Qatar is seeking to purchase to replace its aging French Mirage jets, above. Credit Louisa Gouliamaki/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

WASHINGTON — To wage war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia is using F-15 fighter jets bought from Boeing. Pilots from the United Arab Emirates are flying Lockheed Martin’s F-16 to bombboth Yemen and Syria. Soon, the Emirates are expected to complete a deal with General Atomics for a fleet of Predator drones to run spying missions in their neighborhood.

As the Middle East descends into proxy wars, sectarian conflicts and battles against terrorist networks, countries in the region that have stockpiled American military hardware are now actually using it and wanting more. The result is a boom for American defense contractors looking for foreign business in an era of shrinking Pentagon budgets — but also the prospect of a dangerous new arms race in a region where the map of alliances has been sharply redrawn.

Last week, defense industry officials told Congress that they were expecting within days a request from Arab allies fighting the Islamic State — Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain,

Jordan and Egypt — to buy thousands of American-made missiles, bombs and other weapons, replenishing an arsenal that has been depleted over the past year.

The United States has long put restrictions on the types of weapons that American defense firms can sell to Arab nations, meant to ensure that Israel keeps a military advantage against its traditional adversaries in the region. But because Israel and the Arab states are now in a de facto alliance against Iran, the Obama administration has been far more willing to allow the sale of advanced weapons in the Persian Gulf, with few public objections from Israel.

“When you look at it, Israel’s strategic calculation is a simple one,” said Anthony H. Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The gulf countries “do not represent a meaningful threat” to Israel, he said. “They do represent a meaningful counterbalance to Iran.”

Industry analysts and Middle East experts say that the region’s turmoil, and the determination of the wealthy Sunni nations to battle Shiite Iran for regional supremacy, will lead to a surge in new orders for the defense industry’s latest, most high-tech hardware.

The militaries of gulf nations have been “a combination of something between symbols of deterrence and national flying clubs,” said Richard L. Aboulafia, a defense analyst at the Teal Group. “Now they’re suddenly being used.”

Saudi Arabia spent more than $80 billion on weaponry last year — the most ever, and more than either France or Britain — and has become the world’s fourth-largest defense market,according to figures released last week by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, which tracks global military spending. The Emirates spent nearly $23 billion last year, more than three times what they spent in 2006.

Qatar, another gulf country with bulging coffers and a desire to assert its influence around the Middle East, is on a shopping spree. Last year, Qatar signed an $11 billion deal with the Pentagon to purchase Apache attack helicopters and Patriot and Javelin air-defense systems. Now the tiny nation is hoping to make a large purchase of Boeing F-15 fighters to replace its aging fleet of French Mirage jets. Qatari officials are expected to present the Obama administration with a wish list of advanced weapons before they come to Washington next month for meetings with other gulf nations.

American defense firms are following the money. Boeing opened an office in Doha, Qatar, in 2011, and Lockheed Martin set up an office there this year. Lockheed created a division in 2013 devoted solely to foreign military sales, and the company’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, has said that Lockheed needs to increase foreign business — with a goal of global arms sales’ becoming 25 percent to 30 percent of its revenue — in part to offset the shrinking of the Pentagon budget after the post-Sept. 11 boom.

American intelligence agencies believe that the proxy wars in the Middle East could last for years, which will make countries in the region even more eager for the F-35 fighter jet, considered to be the jewel of America’s future arsenal of weapons. The plane, the world’s most expensive weapons project, has stealth capabilities and has been marketed heavily to European and Asian allies. It has not yet been peddled to Arab allies because of concerns about preserving Israel’s military edge.

But with the balance of power in the Middle East in flux, several defense analysts said that could change. Russia is a major arms supplier to Iran, and a decision by President Vladimir V. Putin to sell an advanced air defense system to Iran could increase demand for the F-35, which is likely to have the ability to penetrate Russian-made defenses.

“This could be the precipitating event: the emerging Sunni-Shia civil war coupled with the sale of advanced Russian air defense systems to Iran,” Mr. Aboulafia said. “If anything is going to result in F-35 clearance to the gulf states, this is the combination of events.”

At the same time, giving the gulf states the ability to strike Iran at a time of their choosing might be the last thing the United States wants. There are already questions about how judicious Washington’s allies are in using American weaponry.

“A good number of the American arms that have been used in Yemen by the Saudis have been used against civilian populations,” said Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, an assertion that Saudi Arabia denies.

Mr. Kimball said he viewed the increase in arms sales to the region “with a great deal of trepidation, as it is leading to an escalation in the type and number and sophistication in the weaponry in these countries.”

Congress enacted a law in 2008 requiring that arms sales allow Israel to maintain a “qualitative military edge” in the region. All sales to the Middle East are evaluated based on how they will
affect Israeli military superiority. But the Obama administration has also viewed improving the militaries of select Arab nations — those that see Iran as a threat in the region — as critical to
Israeli security.

“It is also important to note that our close relationships with countries in the region are critical to regional stability and Israel’s security,” Andrew J. Shapiro said in a speech in 2011, when he was an assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs. “Our relationships with Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and many Gulf countries allow the United States to strongly advocate for peace and stability in the region.”

There is an unquestionably sectarian character to the current conflicts in the Middle East, nowhere more so than in the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen. The Saudis have assembled a group of Sunni nations to attack Houthi militia fighters who have taken over Yemen’s capital, Sana, and ousted a government backed by Saudi Arabia and the United States. Saudi officials have said that the Houthis, a Shiite group, are being covertly backed by Iran. Other nations that have joined the coalition against the Houthis, like Morocco, have characterized their participation in blunt sectarian terms.

“It’s a question of protecting the Sunnis,” Mbarka Bouaida, Morocco’s deputy foreign minister, said in an interview.

But Sunni nations have also shown a new determination to use military force against radical Sunni groups like the Islamic State. A number of Arab countries are using an air base in Jordan to launch attacks against Islamic State fighters in Syria. Separately, the Emirates and Egypt have carried out airstrikes in Libya against Sunni militias there.

Meanwhile, the deal to sell Predator drones to the Emirates is nearing final approval. The drones will be unarmed, but they will be equipped with lasers to allow them to better identify targets on the ground.

If the sale goes through, it will be the first time that the drones will go to an American ally outside of NATO.


Source: New York Times

புதிய ஈழப்புரட்சியாளர்களின் மே நாள் முழக்கங்கள்

மே1-மே18
புரட்சித்திருநாள் சூளுரைகள்:

* அமெரிக்க இந்திய ஆட்சிக்கவிழ்ப்பில் அதிகாரத்தைக் கைப்பற்றிய 
மைத்திரி-ரணில்-பொன்சேகா கும்பலின் அரசாங்கம் தேசத்துரோக அரசாங்கமே!

* ஏகாதிபத்திய உலக மறுபங்கீட்டில் ரசிய-சீன முகாமுக்கு எதிராக அமெரிக்க இந்திய முகாமுடன் அணி சேரும் வெளிவிவகாரக் கொள்கை, `அணி சேராக் கொள்கை`யைக் கைவிடும் விதேசியப் பாதையே!

* உலக மறுபங்கீட்டுப் போரில் இந்த முகாம்களில் எந்த ஒன்றைச் சார்பவர்களும் ஏகாதிபத்திய தாசர்களே!

* பக்ச பாசிஸ்டுக்களுக்கு மாற்று மைத்திரி ரணில் பாசிஸ்டுக்கள் அல்ல!

* சரிந்து வரும் அமெரிக்காவின் உலக மேலாதிக்க சாகச வெறியாட்டங்களை எதிர்ப்போம்!

* முண்டு கொடுக்கும் இந்திய அரசின் ஆசிய விரிவாதிக்க கனவை தகர்ப்போம்!

* அண்டிப் பிழைக்கும் மைத்திரி - ரணில் கும்பலின் தேசத்துரோக அரசாங்கத்தை தூக்கியெறிவோம்!

* அதிகாரப்பரவலாக்கல் பாதையை நிராகரித்து, ஈழச்சமரசவாதிகளை, நாடுகடந்த-புலம் பெயர்ந்த தமிழீழ ஏகாதிபத்திய தாசர்களை, தமிழக- இந்திய விரிவாதிக்க நீசர்களை தனிமைப்படுத்துவோம்!

* சிங்கள, தமிழ் - இரு தேச உழைக்கும் மக்களையும் ஒன்றிணைக்க ஈழப்பிரிவினையை உயர்த்திப்பிடிப்போம்!

* மலையக முஸ்லிம் ஈழத்தமிழ் மக்களின் ஐக்கியத்தைக் கட்டியமைக்க போராடுவோம்!

* ஏகாதிபத்திய உலகமய, உலக மறுபங்கீட்டு கொடுங்கோன்மையை எதிர்த்து அலைகடலென ஆர்ப்பரிக்கும் உலகத் தொழிலாளர்களுடனும் ஒடுக்கப்பட்ட தேசங்களுடனும் ஒன்றுசேருவோம்!

* இனப்படுகொலையாளரை கூண்டிலேற்ற ஐ.நா.பாதையை நிராகரிப்போம்!

*பாராளமன்ற தேர்தல் பாதையைப் புறக்கணிப்போம், புரட்சிப்பாதையில் அணிதிரள்வோம்!

மே நாள் தியாகம் - முள்ளிவாய்க்கால் தியாகம் நீடூழி வாழ்க! 
மார்க்சிய லெனினிய மா ஓ சிந்தனை வெல்க!
புதிய ஈழம் மலர்க!
இறுதி வெற்றி ஈழ மக்களுக்கே!

புதிய ஈழப்புரட்சியாளார்கள்



Sunday, 26 April 2015

மு.நித்தியானந்தனின் `கூலித்தமிழ்`மலையக இலக்கிய ஆய்வு நூல் வெளியீடு

  
                                                                            



''கூலித் தமிழ்`` வெளியீட்டை ஒட்டி BBC செய்தியகத்தில் திரு.மு.நித்தியானந்தன் அவர்கள்


175 ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னால் இந்தியாவில் இருந்து இலங்கைக்கு காலனித்துவ கூலி அடிமைகளாக கடத்திக் கொன்று வரப்பட்ட மக்கள் சந்தித்த குரூர வாழ்வை; அக்காலத்தின் தோட்டத்துறை அதிகார வர்க்கத்தின் அடக்குமுறை மொழியாக `கூலித்தமிழ்` பயிற்றுவிக்கப்பட்ட வரலாற்றை,
 இலக்கிய சாட்சியங்கள் ஊடாக,
கோப்பிக்காலம் முதல் தற்காலம் வரை ஆய்வு செய்துள்ளார் இந்நூலாசிரியர்.
கூலித்தமிழ் ஆய்வு நூல் வெளியீடு குறித்து BBC தமிழோசை மணிவண்ணனுடன் நூலாசிரியர் பகிர்ந்து கொண்ட கருத்துக்களை கீழ்க்காணும் இணைப்பில் காணக்கூடும்.
25-04-2015
http://www.bbc.co.uk/tamil/sri_lanka/2015/04/150425_koolithamail



நூல் அறிமுகம்
Rathina Iyer Pathmanaba Iyer 
added 3 new photos. 29 November 2014 · Edited · Face Book

நண்பர் மு.நித்தியானந்தன் அவர்களது முதலாவது நூல் சில தினங்கள் முன்னர் வெளியாகியுள்ளதை மகிழ்ச்சியுடன் பகிர்ந்துகொள்கிறேன். 'கூலித் தமிழ்' 
எனும் தலைப்பிலான இந்நூலினைத் தமிழகத்தில் 'க்ரியா' பதிப்பகம் அழகாகப் பதிப்பித்துள்ளது! 'வீரகேசரி', 'தினகரன்' பத்திரிகைகளில் நண்பர் நித்தியானந்தனது கட்டுரைகள் பல வெளியாகியுள்ளன என்பதோடு மூன்று, நான்கு நூல்களுக்குரிய விஷயங்களைப் பல ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன்னரே எழுதிவைத்திருந்தபோதும், ஒருவித அசிரத்தை காரணமாக, நண்பர் நித்தியானந்தனது நூல் எதுவும் இன்றுவரை வெளிவராமை துரதிர்ஷ்டமே! 

இந்நிலையில், இப்போது அவரது முதலாவது நூல் வெளிவந்திருக்கின்றமை, புத்தாண்டில் மேலும் ஒருசில நூல்கள் வெளிவரும் என்கிற ஒரு நம்பிக்கையைத் தருகின்றது.
'கூலித் தமிழ்' நூலின் உள்ளடக்கம் பற்றிச் சுருங்கக்கூறின் பின்வருமாறு கூறலாம்!

* 19ஆம் நூற்றாண்டில் தமிழகத்திலிருந்து இலங்கையின் மத்திய மலைநாட்டுப் பகுதிகளுக்குக் 'கூலி'களாகக் கொண்டுசெல்லப்பட்ட இந்திய வம்சாவளித் தமிழர்களின் மத்தியில் எழுந்த முதல் எழுத்து முயற்சிகளை இந்நூல் பதிவுசெய்கிறது.
 * நூற்றைம்பது ஆண்டுகளுக்கு முன் மலையகத் தமிழர்கள்மீது இடம்பெற்ற கொடூர துரைத்தன அடக்குமுறையையும், ஆங்கிலத் துரைமார் தமிழ் பேச உபயோகித்த 'கூலித் தமிழ்' போதினிகளில் இந்த அடக்குமுறை எவ்வாறு வெளிப்படுகிறது என்பதையும் ஆராயும் கட்டுரைகள் இந்நூலில் இடம்பெற்றுள்ளன.
 * இந்திய வம்சாவளித் தமிழர்கள் மோசமாக நடத்தப்படுவதற்கு எதிராகக் கருமுத்து தியாகராசர் எழுப்பிய கண்டனங்கள் முதல்முறையாக இந்நூலில் பதிவுபெறுகின்றன.
 * மலையகத்தில் எழுந்த முதல் இரண்டு நாவல்கள் பற்றிய ஆய்வுகள் மலையக இலக்கியத்திற்கு வளம் சேர்ப்பவை.
 * அஞ்சுகம் என்ற கணிகையர்குலப் பெண் ஆளுமையை மலையகத்தின் முதல் பெண் புலமையாளராக இந்நூல் அடையாளப்படுத்துகிறது.
 * ஐரோப்பிய நூலகங்களில் மேற்கொள்ளப்பட்ட விரிவான தேடல்கள் இந்நூல் ஆய்விற்குப் பலம் சேர்த்துள்ளன.


விரைவில் லண்டனிலும், தொடர்ந்து இலங்கை, ஐரோப்பா, கனடா போன்ற இடங்களிலும் நூல் வெளியீட்டு நிகழ்வுகள் இடம்பெறுமென அறிகிறேன்.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Peoples’ Alliance May Be Revived To Prop Up Rajapaksa

Peoples’ Alliance May Be Revived To Prop Up Rajapaksa

By P.K.Balachandran Published: 18th April 2015

COLOMBO: The Peoples’ Alliance (PA) which won all major elections in Sri Lanka from 1994 to 2001, is likely to be revived to prop up defeated Lankan President  Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to media reports.

The move to revive the PA stems from the conviction that the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP), which is Rajapaksa’s party, will not put him up as its Prime Ministerial candidate in the
coming parliamentary elections. This is because there is no love lost between Maithripala Sirisena, the current chairman of the SLFP, and Rajapaksa, who Sirisena had defeated in the January 8 Presidential election.

A conglomerate of the  SLFP and left parties, the PA was put together in 1994 to take on the then entrenched United National Party (UNP). Though its place was taken by the United Peoples’ Freedom Alliance (UPFA) in 2004-2005, the PA continued to officially exist with the “chair” as its election symbol. Its  General Secretary (former Prime Minister D.M.Jayaratne) and some of its constituents are now with the Rajapaksa faction.

It is clear that the SLFP is going to split on the Rajapaksa issue. Stung by the belligerence of the Rajapaksa faction, Sirisena told party MPs that those who do not want him to carry out his Presidential election pledges will not be given tickets in the coming parliamentary elections.

Top leaders of the SLFP want Sirisena to disengage himself from the UNP.  They have also said that they will not support the 19 th. Constitutional Amendment Bill (meant to depoliticize Lanka’s administration), unless Sirisena simultaneously brings a bill for electoral reforms. Voting on the 19 th  Amendment is fixed for April 21.

But Sirisena has made it clear that he cannot ditch the UNP, as he had won the Presidential election with UNP’s support. He also feels that electoral reforms cannot be carried out in a hurry. He has threatened to dissolve parliament if the 19 th. Amendment is not passed on April 21.

Sirisena is hopeful of getting a parliament that will back his agenda, despite the fact that his government’s lackluster performance thus far, is boosting Rajapaksa’s prospects.

NATO: Guardian of peace or bellicose bully?

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares for political comeback!


Mahinda Rajapaksa prepares for political comeback in Sri Lanka
Former president who suffered surprise election defeat in January plans to stand in parliamentary polls, aides say
Mahinda Rajapaksa, the former president of Sri Lanka, is planning to stand in parliamentary polls to launch an attempt to return to power, aides have said.

The veteran politician, who suffered a surprise defeat in snap presidential polls he called in January this year, has been taking a break from politics and has yet to formally declare any campaign.

However, he has been meeting hundreds of supporters who visit his residence in the town of Hambantota, and travelling widely around Sri Lanka to see elected members of local and municipal authorities.

“You wait and see,” Rajapaksa said, when asked last week if he was a spent force. “I am yet to take a decision on CONTESTING, but if people request me, I can’t refuse.”

The victory of Maithripala Sirisena by six percentage points in a runoff vote on 8 January was welcomed by India and western nations including the US. Analysts had described the election as the most significant in the country for decades and a last chance for democracy.

Rajapaksa came to power in 2005, led the military to a bloody victory over violent separatists from the Tamil minority four years later and surfed a wave of popularity among the Sinhala majority TO WIN again in 2010. He then had the constitution changed to allow the third term he hoped to win in January’s poll.

However, allegations of corruption, violent intimidation of political opponents, attacks on journalists, growing resentment among Tamils and mounting sectarian violence led to concern at home and abroad.

Rajapaksa’s aides say that soon after the surprise defeat he was downcast. But they say he “picked up fast when he saw people coming to see him”.

“When he saw that he still had that following, he was back to his old self,” said one friend, whose relationship with Rajapaksa goes back more than 18 years.

Observers point out that Rajapaksa remains popular among his core Sinhala, rural, conservative Buddhist support base. He is also acknowledged to be an effective campaigner, working a crowd with avuncular ease.

“He wants the government to feel that he is its main threat, and he has succeeded in doing that. There is no opposition without Rajapaksa right now,” an aide said.

Three rallies have been organised in different parts of Sri Lanka to call for the ousted president to CONTEST the parliamentary polls.

Rajapaksa has blamed his defeat on a conspiracy involving Indian and western intelligence agencies.

The first step to a return to power would involve getting a nomination from his own Sri Lanka Freedom party (SLFP) to stand in parliamentary polls expected in June. The former president told the Guardian he was confident he would be wanted as a candidate.

“I am SLFPer, I have been a SLFPer all my life. Why should the party refuse me nominations? I plan to CONTEST from the SLFP. The fact that I am a SLFPer can not be ignored,” he said.

An alternative might be to join another party that appeals to his support base. “Rajapaksa will come from a platform that will CONTEST on a Sinhala nationalist agenda. That is where his power base is, these are the voters that never deserted him,” the aide said.

This will raise fears of increased tensions in what is an already polarised nation. Votes from the Tamil-dominated former warzone in the country’s north and from areas with large Muslim communities played a key role in Rajapaksa’s defeat. According to one report, Sirisena got nearly three-quarters of the vote in the Tamil stronghold of Kilinochchi.

In a speech this week, the new president called for unity. “Throughout history our strength as a nation has come from the mutual understanding and co-existence that made us rise together to defend our motherland,” Sirisena said.

However, Sirisena and the prime minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, a veteran of Sri Lanka’s convoluted and bitter politics, face significant challenges. One problem is the instability of the ruling coalition. Essentially united only by a desire to oust Rajapaksa, the government needs to consolidate its hold in the national assembly at the coming elections.

Sirisena is trying to rebalance executive power by reinforcing Sri Lanka’s judiciary and parliament, while stripping the president’s office of the extensive powers accumulated under Rajapaksa. However, this will need new legislation and possibly a referendum.

There are also deep economic problems and the bruises of the 26-year war are still livid. In the closing phases of the conflict, thousands of Tamil civilians were killed in army bombardments and confused fighting with separatist extremists from the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

According to Wickremasinghe, there are still more than 200 detainees loosely categorised as political prisoners in Sri Lankan jails.

Paikiasothy Saravanamuttu, executive director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, a Colombo-based think tank, said any decline in the new government’s popularity would open an opportunity for a comeback by the ousted president.

“As long as the government’s popularity keeps eroding, Rajapaksa becomes a factor, he becomes an obvious choice for disgruntled voters, especially from the majority Sinhala community,” he said.

Rajapaksa’s aide said the former president was in no hurry to mount his comeback bid. “He knows how to wait, he waited 35 years before he showed anyone he had presidential ambitions. Now he will wait till this government makes its moves,” he said.