an appeal to the civil society to intervene in the murder of the 17-year-old, Sadun Mallinga

| Following statement issued by the Asian human Rights Commission, a human rights body based in Hong Kong.

( May 21, 2014, Hong Kong- Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) A 17-year-old boy named, P.H. Sadun Mallinga, from Atturukudua, Megahakiula, was arrested with his brother and brutally assaulted by a group of policemen from the Kandaketiya police without any reason. He died at the remand prison due to the severe injuries he suffered by the assault. He died in his brother's arms. Now the brother who is still in remand prison is suffering from mental stress and is in need of immediate treatment. However, he is unable to get such treatment as the police, after severely beating them, made false allegations and filed a case before the Magistrate's Court of Badulla where they were remanded.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is urging civil society organisations and individuals to intervene urgently to stop this travesty of justice. The police who have committed a murder are enjoying their freedom while the brother of the victim is being held in prison on false charges made by the murderers.

A short summary of the case is as follows:

On May 7, 2014, Sadun Mallinga with his brother, P.H. Kashun Nirage Maduwa and a cousin went to see a three-wheeler which was to be sold. On the way they were caught by a group of ten policemen which included Sub Inspector (SI) R.M.P. Somaratne. They were assaulted upon arrest and thereafter taken to the police station where the assault continued. While Sadun Mallinga was complaining about the severe pain he was suffering and requesting medical treatment the police kept them in a cell. The next day at around 2:30 pm when the parents arrived at the police station they found Sadun Mallinga crying out loudly in pain. The boy told the parents that SI Somaratne and several other officers had assaulted him and that he had severe chest pains. His mother immediately made a request to the police officers to take her son to a hospital. However, the police officers told her that no senior officer was present at that time and that they should come back the next day.

The parents returned the following day and found their son lying on the floor and complaining about chest pains. The parents again pleaded with the police to send their child to a hospital. However, the police refused using foul language and told the parents that their sons would be produced in the Magistrate's Court of Badulla. The parents went to the court but the boys were not produced. On telephoning the police station they found that the boys had been taken to the court at Passara.

The parents then went to the Passara Police Station and sought the help of two lawyers and requested them also to inform the court that Sadun Mallinga had been severely assaulted by the police. The boy and the other accused were produced in court only at around 3 pm and as the official work of the court was finished the case was taken up at the Magistrate's Chambers. The police wanted the Magistrate to remand the accused until May 21. The lawyers who appeared for the suspects informed the Magistrate that Sadun Mallinga had been severely assaulted and needed medical treatment. Besides this, Sadun Mallinga himself told the Magistrate that he had been assaulted by the police. However, the lady magistrate did not make any order regarding medical treatment and ordered the suspects remanded until May 21.

Accordingly the suspects were then taken into remand and the parents informed some of the prison officers that their son had been assaulted and needed medical treatment. However, the prison authorities did not take any steps to refer him even to the prison hospital.

On morning of May 9, Sadun Mallinga died as his brother was holding him in his arms. The following day the boy's body was subjected to a post mortem where the Judicial Medical Officer concluded that the reason for his death was internal bleeding caused by the assault.

The AHRC draws the attention of the civil society in Sri Lanka that the police officers, the lady magistrate and the prison officers are all responsible for the death of Sadun Mallinga. We wish especially to emphasise the responsibility of the lady magistrate who failed to take action even after lawyers and the suspect himself made requests for medical treatment. She should be held responsible together with the police and the prison officers for his death.

The scandalous situation is that while all these culprits to a murder remain scot free the family of the deceased child is further tormented due to the orders of the Magistrate to keep the other family members in remand. The family is aware that Sadun Mallinga's brother in whose arms he died is in severe mental distress and the family is afraid that he may suffer a complete breakdown but they are unable to do anything as he is being kept in remand on court orders.

The AHRC wishes to draw the attention of the civil society of Sri Lanka that this is a case that deserves their immediate attention in order to avoid the continuing consequences of a grave travesty of justice.



,

Justice Is Dead In Amerika

| by Paul Craig Roberts

( May 21, 2014, Washington DC, Sri Lanka Guardian) Cecily McMillan is an Occupy protester who was seized from behind by a goon thug cop–a goon thug with a long record of abuse of authority–by her boobs. One was badly bruised. Cecily McMillan’s elbow reflexively and instinctively came up, and Cecily was arrested for assaulting a goon thug. The goon thug was not arrested for sexually assaulting a young woman.

False arrests of this sort are common in the US. Indeed, they are more common than justified arrests. The police and the courts are completely corrupted institutions that reek of injustice and evil.

Cecily was locked up in Rikers Island without bail by the judge who sees his role as protecting the abuse of police and prosecutorial power. The judge would not allow evidence in behalf of Cecily to be presented to the jury.

Nevertheless, the jurors, or 75% of them, understood that something was wrong and although they were coerced into convicting the young woman they sent a letter to the judge requesting that no prison time be imposed on Cecily. Nevertheless, the judge for whom all must stand in respect in the courtroom, gave the goon thug’s victim 90 days in prison and 5 years probation. This was Amerika’s sendoff of an idealistic young woman who was about to receive a master’s degree from an important educational education.

I have been concerned as a main focus of my work since the 1990s with American injustice. America’s injustice is a unique kind. American injustice has actually managed to completely destroy the achievements dating from Magna Carta that made law a shield of the people instead of a weapon in the hands of the state. Today America is pre-Magna Carta England.

My concern with the destruction of Justice in America was shared by my colleague, Lawrence Stratton. Together in 2000 we produced a book documenting the destruction of the achievement of liberty and the accountability of government to law under the publisher’s title of “The Tyranny of Good Intentions” (our title was, “How The Law Was Lost”). In 2008 a new edition was published.

The book was cited a few times by federal district court judges but had no influence on law schools’ worship of unaccountable executive power or on the appointment of Justice (sic) Department flunkies such as John Yoo and David Barron to prominent University law schools and federal courts. Yoo and Barron are the tyrants who justified in US Justice Department memos torture, despite US and international laws against it, and the murder of US citizens on suspicion alone without due process of law, an obvious violation of the US Constitution.

Judging from the legal arena’s response to our work, justice is no longer the purpose of US law and it is no longer thought necessary for the US government to be accountable to law. To insouciant Americans these might seem like extreme statements, but the conclusion is unavoidable.

In the United States there is no longer law. There is only retribution. Cecily McMillan by her non-violent protest against the looting of America and the world by Wall Street became “an enemy of the people.” The “people,” of course, are the one percent. The 99 percent do not count.

The jury in Cecily’s trial did not count. At least 75% of the jurors understood that they were being coerced into a conviction, which they sought to lighten by requesting the judge not to impose a prison sentence. But the judge represents the repressive state, not justice. The jurors were out to lunch. They had no idea of the corrupt nature of the criminal political system or else they lacked the courage to stand up to it.

This insouciance is true of the bulk of the American population. They are sheeple, unaware that they have been stripped of constitutional protections and that they are propagandized into supporting the evil actions of an unaccountable government. For example, as Gerald Celente demonstrates in the current issue of the Trends Journal, the onslaught of Washington’s propaganda against the Sochi Olympic Games, alleging terror attacks, a filthy city and hotel rooms, unsafe water, and so forth, resulted in a drop in TV ratings for the Olympics and in majorities of Americans acquiring negative attitudes toward Russia and Putin. Thus, when Washington set off the Ukraine crisis, “American minds had already been pre-programmed by propaganda. Facts would not get in the way. The stage for war and hate had been masterfully set.”

As John Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute says,

“If you have been paying attention to the news lately, you may have noticed that the building blocks for a police state are now in place: the surveillance networks, fusion centers and government contractors monitoring what is being said by whom; government databases tracking who poses a potential threat to the government’s power; militarized police, working in conjunction with federal agencies, coordinating with the federal government to round up troublemakers; and the courts which sanction the government’s methods, no matter how unlawful.
 
“Indeed, the government has been maintaining a growing list of ‘dangerous’ opinions and activities that might classify someone as an enemy of the state — a.k.a. an extremist — a.k.a. terrorist or sympathetic to terrorist activities — and thus qualify you for detention.

“Included in that list of ‘dangerous’ viewpoints are advocating for states’ rights, believing the government to be unnecessary or undesirable, ‘conspiracy theorizing’ (this applies to those who believe 9/11 might have been an inside job), concern about the government’s efforts to build domestic internment camps, opposition to war, organizing for ‘economic justice,’ frustration with ‘mainstream ideologies,’ opposition to abortion, opposition to globalization, and ammunition stockpiling.
 
“As you can see, anyone seen as opposing the government—whether they’re Left, Right or somewhere in between—is a target.”

When a sexually assaulted American citizen can be falsely arrested for assaulting a police officer, brought to trial by a corrupt prosecutor whose false case is endorsed by a corrupt judge and convicted by an insouciant jury, you know that justice is dead in America.
The death of Justice is a huge problem. The US not only has the largest percentage of its population in prison of every country in the world, the US also has the largest absolute number of prison inmates, larger even than “authoritarian” China which has a population four times larger than the US. In China, despite Washington’s endless lies about “human rights abuses,” a citizen has a far lower chance of imprisonment than does a “freedom and democracy” American.

Chris Hedges and Cecily McMillan bring the story home. If you read their account below and do not weep, you are a brainwashed sheeple headed for the slaughter.

Chris Hedges

May 19, 2014: “Truth Dig” – RIKERS ISLAND, N.Y.—Cecily McMillan, the Occupy activist who on Monday morning will appear before a criminal court in New York City to be sentenced to up to seven years on a charge of assaulting a police officer, sat in a plastic chair wearing a baggy, oversized gray jumpsuit, cheap brown plastic sandals and horn-rim glasses. Other women, also dressed in prison-issued gray jumpsuits, sat nearby in the narrow, concrete-walled visitation room clutching their children, tears streaming down their faces. The children, bewildered, had their arms wrapped tightly around their mothers’ necks. It looked like the disaster scene it was.

“It’s all out in the open here,” said the 25-year-old student, who was to have graduated May 22 with a master’s degree from The New School of Social Research in New York City. “The cruelty of power can’t hide like it does on the outside. You get America, everything America has become, especially for poor people of color in prison. My lawyers think I will get two years. But two years is nothing compared to what these women, who never went to trial, never had the possibility of a trial with adequate legal representation, face. There are women in my dorm who, because they have such a poor command of English, do not even understand their charges. I spent a lot of time trying to explain the charges to them.”

McMillan says Grantley Bovell, who was in plainclothes and did not identify himself as a police officer, grabbed her from behind during a March 17, 2012, gathering of several hundred Occupy activists in Manhattan’s Zuccotti Park. In a video of the incident she appears to have instinctively elbowed him in the face, but she says she has no memory of what happened. Video and photographs—mostly not permitted by the trial judge to be shown in the courtroom—buttressed her version of events. There is no dispute that she was severely beaten by police and taken from the park to a hospital where she was handcuffed to a bed. On May 5 she was found guilty after a three-week trial of a felony assault in the second degree. She can receive anything from probation to seven years in prison.

“I am prepared mentally for a long sentence,” she told me this past weekend when I interviewed her at the Rikers Island prison in the Bronx. “I watched the trial. I watched the judge. This was never about justice. Just as it is not about justice for these other women. One mother was put in here for shoplifting after she lost her job and her house and needed to feed her children. There is another prisoner, a preschool teacher with a 1-year-old son she was breastfeeding, who let her cousin stay with her after her cousin was evicted. It turns out the cousin sold drugs. The cops found money, not drugs, that the cousin kept in the house and took the mother. They told her to leave her child with the neighbors. There is story after story in here like this. It wakes you up.”

McMillan’s case is emblematic of the nationwide judicial persecution of activists, a persecution familiar to poor people of color. Her case stands in contrast with the blanket impunity given to the criminals of Wall Street. Some 8,000 nonviolent Occupy protesters have been arrested. Not one banker or investor has gone to jail for causing the 2008 financial meltdown. The disparity of justice mirrors the disparity in incomes and the disparity in power.
Occupy activists across the country have been pressured to “plea out” on felony charges in exchange for sentences of years of probation, which not only carry numerous restrictions, including being unable to attend law school or serve on a jury, but make it difficult for them to engage in further activism for fear of arrest and violating their probation. McMillan was offered the same plea deal but refused it. She was one of the few who went to trial.

“I am deeply committed to nonviolence, especially in the face of all the violence around me inside and outside this prison,” she said in the interview. “I could not accept this deal. I had to fight back. That is why I am an activist. Being branded as someone who was violent was intolerable.”

McMillan’s case is as much about our right to nonviolent protest as it is about McMillan. It is about our right to carry out such protest without being subjected to police violence intended to crush peaceful and lawful dissent. It is about our right to engage in political organization without our groups being monitored and infiltrated by the security and surveillance state. It is about our right of free speech and free assembly, guaranteed under the Constitution but effectively stripped from us in a series of judicial rulings and through municipal ordinances that make it impossible to protest in many U.S. cities.

Judge Ronald A. Zweibel was caustic and hostile to McMillan and her defense team during the trial. He barred video evidence that would have helped her case. He issued a gag order that forbade the defense lawyers, Martin Stolar and Rebecca Heinegg, to communicate with the press. And, astonishingly, he denied McMillan bail.

The judge also assiduously protected Bovell against challenges to his credibility. He refused to allow the jurors to hear about or see the excessive police violence that was used to clear the park the night McMillan was arrested—violence many activists say was the most indiscriminate and abusive ever inflicted during the Occupy movement. He hid Bovell’s history of misconduct as a police officer from the jury. Bovell has been investigated at least twice by the internal affairs section of the New York City Police Department, the Guardian newspaper reported. Bovell and his police partner, in one of the cases, were sued for allegedly using an unmarked police car to strike a 17-year-old fleeing on a dirt bike. The teenager said his nose was broken, two teeth were knocked out and his forehead was lacerated. The case was settled out of court for a significant amount of money. There is also a video that appears to show Bovell relentlessly kicking a suspect on the floor of a Bronx grocery. In addition, Bovell was involved in a ticket-fixing scandal in his Bronx precinct. And Austin Guest, 33, a Harvard University graduate who was arrested at Zuccotti Park on the night McMillan was assaulted, is suing Bovell and the NYPD because the officer allegedly intentionally banged his head on the internal stairs and seats of a bus that took him and other activists in for processing. The judge barred the running down of the teenager on the dirt bike and Bovell’s alleged abuse of Guest from being discussed in front of the jury.

The case has galvanized many activists, who see in McMillan’s persecution the persecution of movements across the globe struggling for nonviolent democratic change. McMillan was visited in Rikers by Russia human rights campaigners of the group Pussy Riot. Hundreds of people, including nine of the 12 jurors and some New York City Council members, have urged Judge Zweibel to be lenient. Some 160,000 people have signed an online petition calling on Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to intervene on her behalf. But so far pleas like these have failed to mollify the corporate state’s determination to use the McMillan case as a tool to prevent any new mass movements.

“I am very conscious of how privileged I am, especially in here,” McMillan said. “When you are in prison white privilege works against you. You tend to react when you come out of white privilege by saying ‘you can’t do that’ when prison authorities force you to do something arbitrary and meaningless. But the poor understand the system. They know it is absurd, capricious and senseless, that it is all about being forced to pay deference to power. If you react out of white privilege it sets you apart. I have learned to respond as a collective, to speak to authority in a unified voice. And this has been good for me. I needed this.”

“We can talk about movement theory all we want,” she went on. “We can read Michel Foucault or Pierre Bourdieu, but at a certain point it becomes a game. You have to get out and live it. You have to actually build a movement. And if we don’t get to work to build a movement now there will be no one studying movement theory in a decade because there will be no movements. I can do this in prison. I can do this out of prison. It is all one struggle.”

McMillan has been held in Rikers’ Rose M. Singer Center, Dorm 2 East B, with about 40 other women. They sleep in rows of cots. Nearly all the women are poor mothers of color, most of them black, Hispanic or Chinese. McMillan is giving lessons in English in exchange for lessons in Spanish.

McMillan has bonded with an African-American woman known as “Fat Baby” who ogled her and told her she had nice legs. Fat Baby threw out a couple of lame pickup lines that, McMillan said, “sounded as if she was a construction worker. I told her I would teach her some pickup lines that were a little more subtle.”

McMillan, who is required to have a prison activity, participates in the drug rehabilitation program although she did not use drugs. She is critical of the instructor’s feeding of “positive” and Christian thinking to the inmates, some of whom are Muslims. “It is all about the power of positive thinking, about how they made mistakes and bad choices in life and now they can correct those mistakes by taking another road, a Christian road, to a new life,” she said. “This focus on happy thoughts pervades the prison. There is little analysis of the structural causes for poverty and oppression. It is as if it was all about decisions we made, not that were made for us. And this is how those in power want it. This kind of thinking induces passivity.”

McMillan was receiving 30 to 40 letters daily at Rikers but during the week before the interview was told every day that she had none. She suspects the prison has cut off the flow of mail to her.

Because my pens and paper were confiscated during the two-hour process it took to enter the prison, after the visit I had to reconstruct the notes from our conversation, which lasted an hour and a half. The entry process is normal for visitors, who on weekends stand in long lines in metal chutes outside the prison. My body was searched and my clothing was minutely inspected for contraband, and I had to go through two metal detectors.

During the interview a guard asked McMillan to roll down her sleeves and admonished her once for crossing her legs. “You scratch a hole in the crotch,” McMillan said, running a fingernail up and down the crotch seam of her jumpsuit. “You make a small hole. And when the visitor slips you a cigarette you push up your vagina. I am learning a lot in prison. I have gotten very good at hiding books on my way to medical and stealing food to bring back to the dorm.”

“It is hard to read, it is hard to write,” she went on. “There is constant movement and constant noise.”

She was working Sunday on the statement she would read in court Monday. She said it draws heavily from Leo Tolstoy’s “The Kingdom of God Is Within You.”

McMillan had just finished writing a message to supporters who planned to rally in her support Sunday afternoon in New York City. She told them:
I came to New York the summer of 2011 to go to school—Rikers Island was definitely not on my list of intended experiences. Though I did call myself “a radical” that title stretched only as far to include plans to start a socialist student chapter and study welfare policy with aims of improving it. Within 1 week, these plans were railroaded by the Occupy Wall Street Movement—and for the following 3 months, I did little else.

Like many, the eviction of Zuccotti left me lost, searching for that infectious energy that bound so many together in efforts to transform the world. Like many, I’ve spent the time since trying to understand what we had & striving to get back to it.

Like many I point to a lack of militancy in our movement—a commitment of one’s entire being—personally, politically, emotionally & physically—to the greater good. But I examined what action those beautiful words entailed, I exchanged “militancy” for the concept of “love ethic”—a distinction born of the belief that fights between “usses and thems” run counter to the collective “we”. “We” being human society with each person as an integral part—that must be seen, heard, felt & loved—in order to transform the whole.

Like many, I found my beliefs easy to come by but difficult to act on. I always strived, but often struggled, to see, hear, feel, to love—even as I expected as much in return. I began to question, “If it is such a struggle to solidify amongst a few, how can we hope to strengthen love ethic across the many?”

Unlike most, when my trial began: friends formed a support structure, comrades came to court, journalists reported injustices. When the verdict was read, cries of outrage were heard, the news spread, & sympathy was shared from around the world.

Unlike most, during my weakest hour, I had never felt more supported. Though I had never ever felt more oppressed, I had never felt so loved. I stand resolved to keep fighting, because your love ethic props me up and allows me to do so.

Unlike most, I am blessed with the support of so many. And though I am thankful, I am also thoughtful of the many forced to face such oppression alone. I know you have already done so much, but I’m going to ask for one thing more:

If you feel safe enough to share, please raise your hand if you have suffered police violence? If you have suffered sexual violence? If you have suffered the violence of the justice system? If you have suffered the violence of the prison system?

Oppression is rampant. Take a moment to try & really see, hear, feel the suffering of the many around you. Now imagine the power of your collective love ethic to stand against it.
Only through the pervasive spread of such a love ethic by the many for the many—not just the privileged few—will we finally have ourselves a movement.

McMillan takes comfort from her supporters and her family and from those of her heroes who endured prison for a just cause. She reads and rereads the speech Eugene V. Debs made to a federal court in Cleveland before he went to prison for opposing the draft in World War I. His words, she said, have become her own.

“Your honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth,” Debs said. “I said it then, as I say it now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”

Chris Hedges spent nearly two decades as a foreign correspondent in Central America, the Middle East, Africa and the Balkans. He has reported from more than 50 countries and has worked for The Christian Science Monitor, National Public Radio, The Dallas Morning News and The New York Times, for which he was a foreign correspondent for 15 years.

| by TamilNet

( May 21, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Timed to the Indian election results, Gotabhaya Rajapaksa-controlled Urban Development Authority of Colombo has made an unconventional deal with a leading corporate house of India, the Tata Group, by giving a prime area of Colombo city on a 99 years lease ‘free of charge’, for the group to ‘build houses’. While Sri Lanka’s strategy is to bind India with the structural genocide of Eezham Tamils, through Colombo-centric interests and building Sinhala military capitals in Jaffna and Trincomalee, the Indian intelligence agencies deceptively tell Tamil activists that an ‘economic integration’ would bring in political solutions. The Colombo-backing stand of Observer Research Foundation has to be understood in the background of the actual happenings, said Tamil activists for alternative politics in the island.

The 400 million dollar operations of Tata Housing in the heart of Colombo city comes while New Delhi’s 50, 000 houses to war-torn Tamils in the North and East, promised 5 years ago, is either sabotaged or diverted to demographic genocide by Colombo.

Tata Housing will get 8 acres in Slave Island area of Colombo, where 3 acres will be used for providing housing to the evicted, in a floor-space equal or more than what is taken, in addition to providing rent money between 15,000 to 52,000 rupees per month for temporary accommodation during the period of construction.

Tata will be using the remaining 5 acres for building a commercial-cum-residential enclave, including a city hotel, posh residential apartments, commercial space and retail space for apparel, departmental stores, health & beauty care, multiplex, food courts and restaurants.

The first stage will be completed in 2 years time and the entire operation takes place on a consensual basis among the present residents, the UDA and Tata Housing, Colombo media reports said.

While the Tata Group has calculated strong ties with neighbours, ‘economic potential of Colombo-centric Sri Lanka’ and returns through future potential in real estate, the corporate will also seek Strategic Investment Project Status and tax concessions from Colombo.

* * *

The striking contrast between the Indian corporate deal in Colombo and the India-backed Sinhala military appropriation of land in the country of Eezham Tamils, after genocidal massacre, incarceration in barbed-wire camps and refusal to resettlement, has to be carefully grasped, said Tamil activists for alternative politics.

Indian imperialism and corporatism could always achieve its ways through means of recognising the parity of the two nations and their territories in the island, rather than opting for genocide and structural genocide of one nation by the other.

The latter would never end the conflict in the given geopolitical context and more than any other power Indian imperialism and corporatism should have the bulk of the concern.

But, impelled by the greed for short-term benefits, carried away by the time-to-time geostrategic compulsions set by others, and with an inherent arrogance and bulldozing attitude inherited through British colonialism and associated Sanskritisation, a philosophy that is far away from moral high ground long prevails in India’s approach to the island.

It is unlikely that with a regime change there will be a change in the basic philosophy, unless a different philosophy to respect nations and peoples, to never contribute to genocide and to never stoop down to the level of backing a system as that of Colombo, is taught by the people to Indian imperialism and corporatism, for the betterment of India.

The edification process may be easier under a political regime than under a remote-controlled, esoteric and intelligence cum bureaucracy regime.

A conscious initiative of the people of Tamil Nadu in the philosophical edification of Indian imperialism and corporatism, in the case of the national question in the island, would benefit the entire region of South Asia in particular and humanity in general.

There is a historic opportunity.

* * *


Earlier India’s intelligence outfits used to operate institutes and research organisations, staffed by retired intelligence personnel, largely for the purpose of political, military and strategic manoeuvrings. In the campaign against the cause of Eezham Tamils, the deployment of B. Raman and Col. Hariharan is well known.

Deployment of outfits jointly run by intelligence and corporates is a transformation that is seen today, as military interests and corporate interests overlap for the benefit of the latter, pushing back national interests or peoples’ interests.

One has to carefully grasp the fundamental dynamics behind the stand of Observer Research Foundation of India in backing the genocidal Sri Lankan State and the Rajapaksa regime. Its latest exercise was defending New Delhi’s abstention at UNHRC voting in Geneva.

Mr. Satyamoorthy of ORF, Chennai Chapter, operates in Colombo and Male.

The miscarriage of an Indian corporate GMR on the Maldives International Airport issue is internationally known.

The Indian corporate was insensitive to local sentiments and infringement into relatively smaller businesses of the locals.

The main problem is the absence of a principled corporate philosophy in India in respecting nations and peoples, or in shunning genocide and structural genocide.

Unfortunately Maldives that has to show solidarity with Eezham Tamils facing a shared situation in the neighbourhood steadily opts for backing the genocidal State in Colombo and the Rajapaksa regime.



| by Upul Joseph Fernando

( May 21, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) The way the Mahinda Rajapaksa regime thinks about India's new Prime Minister is different. They estimate that Narendra Modi may take about a year to consolidate power at the centre. By that time he would not have time to focus on Sri Lanka and other regional issues, or so they think. They also think that Modi may not support the US agenda on Sri Lanka since he himself had no good relations with the US when he was Gujarat's Chief Minister.

Modi is not that exposed to international politics and therefore he may not interfere in regional issues since he may focus on the internal politics of India, the Rajapaksa regime thinks.

Last minute decision

However, when considering the Congress Government's last minute decision to ban the LTTE for five more years in India, it seems that the former Government of India has certain doubts as to whether Modi may change India's Sri Lanka policy. Congress might have thought that a Modi Government could follow a loose policy on the LTTE. Sri Lanka also banned pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora organizations during the last period of the Congress Government. India implemented this ban unofficially for five years, although Western countries including Canada did not accept it.
The announcement by the Indian Government of imposing a five-year ban on the LTTE carried the message that pro-LTTE Tamil Diaspora members may enter Tamil Nadu and mobilize people against the Central Government. India voted in favour of the resolutions mooted at the UNHRC in 2012 and 2013, but abstained from voting this year. The reason may be to prevent a future government led by Modi supporting an international probe against Sri Lanka.

All these indicate that Congress had understood that Modi might have a different approach towards Sri Lanka. India's former Defence Adviser, Shivshankar Menon, decided on Indian policy on Sri Lanka. Menon is a close friend of the Rajapaksas. Today, the Rajapaksas are waiting to see who will be appointed as India's new National Security Adviser under the BJP Government. Rajapaksas seem to think that the National Security Adviser will be the person deciding policies on Sri Lanka in the context that Modi may take a year to consolidate power in New Delhi.

Several names have been proposed as the National Security Adviser under the Modi Government. One of them is Ajith Kumar Doval who was the Director, Intelligence Bureau under the Vajpayee Government. Another nominee is Kanwal Sibal, who was the Foreign Secretary under Vajpayee. Yet another name touted is S. Jaishankar, Political Secretary, Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka during the 1988-89 period. He advised the IPKF in Sri Lanka at that time. His father, K. Subramaniam was also a defence expert.

Meanwhile, the fourth name touted for the post of National Security Adviser is Shyam Saran. Saran was appointed Foreign Secretary in June 2004 and visited Sri Lanka in July 2006. He instructed President Rajapaksa to provide a political solution to the North. However, he resigned from the post before Rajapaksa began the war in September 2006. Saran visited Sri Lanka in 2011 to deliver a lecture on India-Sri Lanka relations.

Puri factor

However, the most crucial name proposed for the post of National Security Adviser is Hardeep Puri, who served at the Indian High Commission of Sri Lanka during the period of Indian intervention from 1984 to 1988. He was also the Permanent Representative of India at the UN from 2009 to 2013. Later, he changed his allegiance to the BJP. Puri was the person who made the controversial statement urging for an international probe on crimes during the last days of war in Sri Lanka.

Puri recently said, "India can be against the LTTE, but cannot afford to be against the Tamils. The problem, both amongst the Tamil minority in Sri Lanka and large sections of the Tamil population in India is that the LTTE successfully manipulated Tamil opinion by projecting itself as the only physical shield against Sinhala repression. We cannot wish away this sentiment. The only safeguard for the Tamils in Sri Lanka is delivery of the promised devolution based on the 13th Amendment.

"Both the AIADMK and the DMK, along with smaller parties in Tamil Nadu are on the same page on the Sri Lanka issue. The problem will continue to fester till Colombo has a genuine change of heart. Recent signals are anything but encouraging. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said on 27 March 2013: 'Could we afford to have a provincial administration here, which pointed a gun at the national leadership at the drop of a hat? We don't want to be at the mercy of scheming provincial administrations.' Let alone the 13th Amendment, the Defence Secretary seems to be suggesting the winding up of Provincial Councils altogether!

"Notwithstanding assurances to India, the 'brothers' running Sri Lanka appear to have no intention to move on political reconciliation and devolution. This 'majoritarianism' in total disregard of respecting and protecting the rights of minorities is a narrow and calibrated political strategy designed to safeguard Sinhalese parliamentary strength. Recent attacks on the Muslim trading community in the heart of Colombo by fanatical Sinhalese, allegedly led by Buddhist monks are manifestations of similar callous and cynical disregard for the rights of linguistic, religious and cultural minorities. India did the right thing by supporting the resolution on war crimes.

"Exaggerated projections of Chinese inroads and influence are a bogey, which many of our smaller neighbours periodically try on us. Apart from being practical, the Chinese are also hard headed. They will pursue economic and commercial opportunities irrespective of the way India votes. Support for Sri Lanka up to 2012 did not prevent them from looking for commercial projects there. Many Chinese successes have something to do with our own inability to deliver commercial projects on time."

Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa, angered by this, made the following statement. "Had the then Indian Government acted with responsibility, Sri Lanka wouldn't have experienced a 30-year war.
"People of all communities would have been still suffering horrors of war, if not for the eradication of terrorism in May 2009, following a three-year combined Security Forces campaign. India could never absolve itself of the responsibility for creating terrorism here, though some of those directly involved in subverting Sri Lanka were blaming the Rajapaksa administration for the plight of Tamil speaking people here."
In this context, it may not be easy for the Rajapaksas if Puri is appointed as the Adviser on National Security by Prime Minister Modi.

'Ace of Hearts'

During the election, the Rajapaksa Government of Sri Lanka did two acts that embarrassed India. One is discussing a defence pact with China and the other was consulting Pakistani Legal Expert Chandhry Ahsan on the impact of the resolution against Sri Lanka at the UNHRC. This service was solicited through a special request channelled by President Mahinda Rajapaksa by way of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

These however didn't please the Indian Government. This indicates that the Rajapaksa regime is trying to play the same old game of cards showing India the trump of China, thereby aiming to win the government there. It is yet to be seen if the Modi Government also can be tricked with the same China and Pakistan trump cards.



The experience of the last decade shows economic growth and social welfare will have to go hand in hand.

| by Shivam Vij
Courtesy: scroll.in

( May 21, 2014, New Delhi, Sri Lanka Guardian) It is conventional wisdom that the Congress-led Manmohan Singh government performed well during its first term in 2004, but once it was rewarded for it with a better mandate in 2009, the United Progressive Alliance faltered. Yet, most of the manifestations of UPA-II's alleged policy paralysis have their roots in UPA-I. As early as 2006, it was known that the preparations for the Commonwealth Games were running behind schedule, because various ministries and departments couldn't agree with each other. It was known that the 2G or second-generation telecom spectrum allocation was a scam of mammoth proportions. The Coalgate scam also relates to UPA-I, for that is when the coal blocks were allocated.

In its defence, the UPA has said that the policy of allocating natural resources rather than auctioning them was set in place even before 2004, during the Vajpayee era. But the point is this: UPA-I could see the problems, but chose not to fix them. The scams – and many more than just these three – refused to go away. By 2011, a huge anti-corruption movement led by Anna Hazare had brought the scandals to the streets.

It was these scams that resulted in the "policy paralysis" of a government that was too afraid to take decisions. What changed in India from 2009 to 2014 was that crony capitalism became a burning issue. Economic growth suffered. The UPA tried to compensate by doing things like enacting a new land acquisition law, but it was too late.

As Narendra Modi prepares to take oath, he is already tainted by accusations of having unduly favoured the Adani industrial group in Gujarat. The Comptroller and Auditor General, the Supreme Court and the Aam Aadmi Party will ensure that the focus on examining in detail the government's economic policies does not go away. A beaten Congress will play its role too, so as to stay relevant. Having lost its legitimacy because of corruption, the Congress will seek to now leverage its power in the Rajya Sabha and the states to give it back to the BJP for stalling legislation because of the Congress' corruption scandals.

Inclusive growth

While the UPA's crises were caused by corruption scandals that laid bare the ugly reality of crony capitalism, many commentators bizarrely blamed India's economic woes on the UPA's flagship social welfare schemes. You'd think they'd ask for transparency in decision-making, better regulation and a Lokpal, but they instead blamed the money spent on the rural employment guarantee law and opposed the food security law. These measures have been rubbished as a politics of "entitlement" – a term non-resident Indian commentators borrowed from American politics, where it applies to citizens who aren't anywhere as destitute as India's poorest people.

If Prime Minister Modi listens to the economic right-wing and cuts down on the social welfare schemes for the poor, he will do the opposition a great service. The impact will be visible in the next election. The Vajpayee-led National Democratic Alliance fought the 2004 elections on the "India Shining" slogan. Voters agreed with the Congress that India was shining, but Indians were not. UPA-I delivered both economic growth and social welfare, making "inclusive growth" its mantra, and was re-elected. UPA-II faltered on both, for a variety of reasons, and was booted out vehemently.

The message is clear: economic growth and social welfare will have to go hand in hand.

| by Prof. M. M. J. Marasinghe

( May 21, 2014, Colombo, Sri Lanka Guardian) Buddhism was introduced into this Island during the reign of King Devanampiya tissa in the third century B.C. by the mission of Venerable Thera Mahinda. The Mahindian mission brought the Theravada form of the teaching as approved by the Third Buddhist Council which was held at Pataliputra under the patronage of Emperor Asoka. This meant that the Pali canonical texts served both as the source material and the reference books of the Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition. It, In other words, meant that the Sri Lankan Buddhist tradition derived its authority to act and to understand the teaching of the Buddha in accordance with the declaration of the authority of the Dhamma and the Vinaya as explained in the Maháparinibbána Sutta of the Dìgha Nikáya(D.11.123). Any transgression of the authority of ther Dhamma and Vinaya makes the relevant action, interpretation or adoption of ritual, wrong and illegal.

After introducing Buddhism to Sri Lanka, Venerable Mahinda took meaningful steps to see that the study of the Pali canonical texts and the practice of the Dhamma were given equal emphasis. The historical remains of infra-structure facilities provided for both types of disciples go to prove that the demand for both types of training did exist even through difficult social and political conditions faced by the country down to about the early part of the tenth century of the Christian era.

Another important observation which must be made here is the absence up to this time of any evidence of ritual activities of worship and offering (pújá) in connection with Buddhism. The construction of Pagodas enshrining the relics of the Buddha and the planting of the Bodhi did not generate the adoption of Hindu theistic type of worship and prayer. According to historical evidence, it is the adoption of offering food and garments to statues of the Buddha by King Sena 111 which opened the sluice gates for capitulation into Hindu theistic worship with all its attendant ritualism uncontrolled.

Up to this point in Sri Lankan history, the Buddha to the Theravadins was a human being, born into this world as other humans. He left household life, early in his life and attained Buddhahood after six long years of severe ascetic practices. He lived an extremely simple life, walked bare-footed and followed the age old ascetic practice of going round for his only meal of the day, if he did not have an invitation. He passed away at eighty years under a sála tree in a park at Kusinara, lying on his folded upper robe which normally served as his bed and seat throughout his life as the Buddha. This, very briefly, is a mere glance at the wonderful genius who had been glorified by the later writers who had neither deep nor clear understanding of the great man or of the unique Dhamma he gave to the world.

This Theravada Buddha, still preserved in the Pali canonical texts, is vastly different from the glorified Buddhas of the Pali commentaries of Buddhaghosa. It was as the result of the fruition of his merit, accumulated through innumerable eons of life in saísára that the Buddha attained Enlightenment in this life. In spite of Buddhaghosa's insistence on the indispensability of merit, the Buddha has never referred to, either accumulation of merit or past merit as a factor for Buddhahood or the attainment of nibbana. It must be noted here that the theory of accumulation of merit and the theory that merit can be donated to other parties are both alien to the Buddha's teaching.

It may be noted here that the Rájagiriyas and the Siddhatthikas ( two Indian Schools of Buddhism) proposed that merit can be donated at the Third Buddhist Council ,but it was rejected by the Council as unacceptable according to the Buddha's teachings. It is not clear how and on what grounds that it came to be accepted by post canonical Sri Lankan Buddhism again, going against this decision of the third Buddhist Council . Statues of the Buddha came to be made, according to tradition by the first century B.C., under the influence of the Gandhara School of art. Thuparama was the first Cetiya built to enshrine the relics of the Buddha received from the Emperor Asoka. When the Mahácetiya was completed, it too enshrined a second receipt of the Buddha's relics. The Bodhi was planted at Anuradhapura when it was brought by Theri Saqnghamitta. All these did not mean to the Sri Lankan Theravadins of the period, the growth of ritual worship of the theistic type, covering each and every item. Instead, these objects of veneration served as objects of recollection of the Buddha and his attainments.

From the time of the third century introduction of Buddhism to Sri Lanka, Hinduism as well as most other Indian religions known in India had their presence in this Island. Brahmins were held in high esteem in the Sinhala society. Pandukabhaya was educated by a Brahmin teacher The Brahmin advisor of King Devanampiyatissa was a member of the Royal delegation sent by Devanaqmpiyatissa to Emperor Asoka .

There is no evidence that either Hinduism or any other of the Indian religions present did have any serious impact to derail the Theravada Buddhist teaching from its two principal paths of training, the practice of the Dhamma by following the path of gradual training culminating in the attainment of nibbana producing many arahats and the study of the Pali canonical texts contributing to produce indigenous expertise of the Dhamma and the texts.

Not only did Venerable Mahinda establish the two principal paths of training for the firm foundation of the teaching in the Island, the meditative and the literary, he also provided Sinhala commentaries to explain the difficult Pali texts of the Dhamma and the Vinaya to help the native Sinhala readers of the texts. It is not at all clear why these Sinhala commentaries had to be translated into Pali.

An innocent explanation may be that it was intended to keep the interpretation of the texts in the hands of the bhikkhu Saígha who at the time were the only learners and the interpreters of the Pali texts. But even this explanation seems untenable when it is realized that the original Sinhala commentaries were burnt immediately after the Pali Commentaries were completed.

A careful examination of the contents of some commentaries of Buddhaghosa written in Pali shows that they have a rich content of stories and anecdotes not strictly falling within the function of a commentarial explanation of the original texts. For example, Buddhaghosa's commentary on the Kalinga Bodhi Jataka has an additional story of Venerable Ananda requesting the Buddha to leave some object to which his followers in Savatthi could pay their respects whenever he was away on his (dhamma cáriká) visits to other areas. Buddha accordingly, approves the planting of a seedling from the Sri Maha Bodhi of Buddhagaya at the entrance to the monastery at Savatthi.

The story raises several questions. First, the story of an Anandabodhi is out of context here as it is not found in the original Kalingabodhi Jataka Pali which Buddhaghosa was commenting on. Second, the statement that people went to see the Buddha carrying flowers and incense and being disappointed when they found that the Buddha was not there, is itself wrong because the Buddha as the human teacher was not an object of worship and offering when he was living. The word pújá, it must be noted, does not occur in the Pali canonical texts in the sense of a religious offering. The transition from veneration to worship and offering has taken several centuries after the time of the Buddha to be adopted by the Buddhists as the result of a theistic invasion, as it seems. The interpolation of stories like that of the Anandabodhi is evidence of the mechanism of introducing hitherto unaccepted rites and ritual into Buddhism. It also seems to tell us why they burned the original Sinhala commentaries of Venerable Mahinda, not to allow the secret leak out.

It is Buddhaghosa who claims in his commentary on the Ratana Sutta that it was first chanted by the Buddha to heal the city of Vesali of the devastating epidemic and affliction by non-humans. It must be noted here that Buddhaghosa's claim of an epidemic is not supported by any other literary or historical source. Further, the Vajjian tribal oligarchy was an exemplary tribal state, too strong for the neighbouring Magadhan Emperor to wage war as clearly stated in the Maháparinibbána Sutta of the Dìigha NBikáya. Thus, the story of an epidemic is another of Buddhaghosa's fairy tales used to make new rites and rituals acceptable by giving them religious sanction.

The acceptance that there are non-human beings ( amanussá) and that they are a threat to man are both most probably Sri Lankan in origin. It is during the age of post-canonical Buddhism that both these had been smuggled into the Buddhist texts and the new rites and ritual structure. Not only the word amanussá( non-human), but the different non-human types discussed in the lately tinkered ??áná?iya and the Mahásamaya discourses are not supported by the other canonical texts which deal with the composition of the world of beings. According to Buddhaqghosa, the Ratana Sutta, which was the first blessing ritual approved by the Buddha goes against the Buddha's own teaching in the Sámaññaphala Sutta of the Dìgha Nikáya which declares all blessing rites and ritual as animal sciences (tiraccháana vijjá).The ritual has been smuggled into the Buddhist ritual structure through the commentarial story. An idea of the importance attached to the story and the importance of the function it was expected to serve can be gained when it is realized that it has been repeated in three commentaries.

Buddhaghosa, coming from south India was selected to translate the Sinhala Commentaries into Pali because of his expert knowledge of the Pali language. It is not clear how he managed to translate the Sinhala explanations of the texts without an equally deep knowledge of Sinhala. Nothing is said about how or whether he acquired such knowledge. On the other hand, if he was writing his own commentaries he could have done so, without bothering himself of the Sinhala commentaries because what was expected of him was the harmonization of the new ritual structure as sanctioned by the Buddha himself. And it is quite clear this exactly was what Buddhaghosa did and did so masterfully.

The hard work of Buddhaghosa and the Mahavihara fraternity culminated in the formulation of a new ritual structure with attractive advantages to keep both the lay followers and the members of the Samgha happy and contended. As a result, when we pass from the canonical Pali texts to the post-canonical Pali texts and the Pali commentaries we come into a totally new teaching different from the original.

The most important of these changes are those effected in the concept of the gods. Instead of gods who are merely a class of worldly beings, in the new Buddhaghosa religion, they have many functions to perform. They accept merit (punya) donated by people and provide them protection. Later on, they become the protectors and guardians of the Buddha and his teaching. It is important to note here that all these gods who were assigned these responsibilities were the South Indian Hindu gods who were in active service as Hindu gods in India, as they are now.

Nibbana, which is the goal of religious endeavour in Buddhism is to be attained through the threefold scheme of training of siìla (morality), Samádhi(concentration) and paññá(wisdom).But in the new Buddhism, nibbana cannot be attained as and when one wants to attain it. It is attainable only as the fruition of merit accumulated throughout the cycle of births in saísára.The Bodhisattva attained his Buddhahood in this life as the result of the fruition of his merit accumulated throughout the innumerable eons of life he spent in saísára( cycle of existences). It must be noted here that the Buddha has never referred to the need of the fruition of merit for one's nibbana.

Throughout the Pali canonical texts, giving is praised as the means to cleanse one of craving for worldly possessions because craving is one of the biggest obstacles to balanced mental development. This has undergone change in the new Buddhism to giving what one wishes to have back in abundance as his possessions in future lives in saísára. The bhikkhu who is recommended as the field of merit to receive the offerings as items of dána functions as the custodian who credits the giver's account.

Pagodas which enshrine the relics of the Buddha, statues of the Buddha constructed to remind the followers of the Buddha's attainments and the Bodhi planted to remind them of his attainment of Buddhahood after years of exertion are now converted into objects of sanctity, each possessing the power to respond to request and also generate merit each time an offering is made to or is worshipped .

The transition from respectful recollection to the acceptance that each of such objects did possess the power to answer requests and also generate merit which ultimately will result in nibbana upon accumulation to required level is in total disagreement with the Buddha's teaching. Merit is neither essential nor indispensable for the attainment of nibbana according to the canonical teachings. Merit becomes relevant as a stage of development prior to kusala and is replaced by kusala qualities upon progress on the path of spiritual development.

Merit (punya) according to Pali canonical Buddhism, is not a religious or a spiritual acquisition which is an end in itself. Living according to the dhamma and living righteously is described as following the path of merit. It leads to the next stage in the path of gradual training which is the development of kusala qualities. This in turn leads on to the development of concentration which leads on to the final attainment of nibbana .It may also be noted here that it is Buddhaghyosa who has given a new importance to punya by introducing ten meritorious actions which are not found in the Pali canonical texts. The ten meritorious actions are for the first time found in Buddhaghosa's commentary on the Dhammasangani. It is Buddhaghosa who uses patti for merit for the first time and the concept of donation or transfer of merit also for the first time, not supported by canonical Buddehism It may also be recalled here that the idea of donation of merit was rejected by the Third Buddhist Counci when it was raised by two Indian Schools of Buddhism.

Thus, all aspects of the new ritual Buddhism which changed the Theravada Buddhism into a system of worship, offering and prayer, like any other theistic religion, has been very carefully planned and smuggled into practice with several bonus packages for the operators. At the base of all rituals was the donation of merit to the gods with a request for their protection. It must be noted here that the gods whose protection was prayed for were not the gods like Sakka, but South Indian gods like Vishnu, Natha, Pattini,etc. who were entrusted with these duties in addition to their home duties of serving their Hindu followers .The composition of the offering for each god was so made to make the mediator between god and man enriched with sufficient economic and other benefits which they did not enjoy under the earlier form of canonical Buddhism.

( The writer, Former Professor and Head, department of Pali and Buddhist Studies; Vice Chancellor,(1987- 1993, University of Kalaniya )

| by Desmond Tutu and David Krieger

A nuclear weapon is detonated at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands in 1946. (Photo: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons / Flickr)

( May 21, 2014, Boston, Sri Lanka Guardian) Some five decades ago, world leaders came together on an urgent mission to avert "the devastation that would be visited upon all mankind" in the event of a nuclear war. The five then-existing nuclear weapon states - the United States, Soviet Union (now Russia), United Kingdom, France and China - signed the international nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). They agreed to negotiate in good faith to end the nuclear arms race at an early date and to achieve a world without nuclear weapons.

Five decades later, the nuclear threat has only increased. Four more states - Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea - now have nuclear weapons. The world is more dangerous because the signatories of the NPT have failed to keep their promises and have undermined the rule of law.

Until now, no one has held them accountable. Last month, the Republic of the Marshall Islands courageously took the nine nuclear weapons-wielding Goliaths to the International Court of Justice to enforce compliance with the NPT and customary international law.

This tiny Pacific nation's firsthand experience with nuclear devastation compelled it to take a stand. The United States exploded 67 nuclear weapons there between 1946 and 1958, including a bomb 1,000 times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima. Marshall Islanders still suffer high cancer rates and environmental poisoning as a result. They are not seeking compensation; in fact, their bold stance could potentially jeopardize the essential funding and protection the US provides them. Yet their desire to protect their fellow humans from the pain and devastation wrought by nuclear weapons outweighs fear of retribution.

Nuclear weapons are fundamentally immoral because they have only one purpose: to indiscriminately destroy human life at the push of a button, without regard for whether they kill innocents or combatants, children or adults. In 1996, the International Court of Justice warned, "The destructive power of nuclear weapons cannot be contained in either space or time. They have the potential to destroy all civilization and the entire ecosystem of the planet."
No government, army, organization or individual should have the ability to impose nuclear devastation on other humans. This truth is enshrined in Article VI of the NPT: "Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control."
The five original nuclear weapon states signed onto this statement, but have failed to honor their commitments. The four more recent nuclear weapon states - Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea - have followed their lead in defying international legal obligations.

Instead of working to end the insanity of the nuclear age once and for all, these nine countries waste trillions of dollars on their nuclear arsenals, in violation of both the treaty and customary international law. We can no longer afford this perilous game of nuclear roulette. Every day that world leaders delay action on disarmament, they impose the unacceptable menace of nuclear devastation upon every human on the planet.

Addiction to nuclear weapons costs us all in other ways as well. The price of these weapons keeps rising. The nuclear nations spend a combined $100 billion on them every year. Imagine how far this amount could take us in providing access to education, health care, food and clean water for the people of the world.

The people of the Marshall Islands are standing up to say that it's time to end the era of nuclear madness. They are joined by Nobel Peace Laureates, and leaders and experts from every field who support this historic legal action.
We call on President Obama and the leaders of the other nuclear weapon states to fulfill their legal obligation to negotiate in good faith to achieve a world free of nuclear weapons. It is not unrealistic to ask that the world's most powerful governments start obeying the law and keeping their promises.

Nothing good has ever come of nuclear weapons. Nothing good ever will. For the sake of all humanity, current and future, it's time to respect the law and keep the promise.




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