22 August 2017

“So You want our Vote” – First Agree to these Demands of Sinhala Buddhist voters

There are over 15million registered voters. Over 70% are Sinhala Buddhists. However, schemes and strategies have ensured the Sinhala Buddhist voters were split while other strategies have been used to prevent Sinhala politicians from voicing the concerns of the majority populace. Every country has a majority-minority populace – minorities cannot rule the majority. Checks and balances come in ensuring equality before the law. If laws are equal, then no citizen can complain of violations to their fundamental rights. Group demands are not fundamental rights. However, it has become fashionable to flog the ‘minorities are denied rights/discriminated’ card overlooking all that they actually enjoy over and above what the majority are in reality denied or neglected. Therefore, it is time for the Sinhala Buddhist voter, irrespective of the political party they are aligned to, to clearly make demands of the politicians who come to plead their vote. Do not fall for the silly reduction of bread, fuel, gas slogans. Insist on Sinhala Buddhist voters committing to some solid demands as part of their election manifesto and publicly commit to implementing them once in power.

Our Demands if you want Our Vote

1.      Publicly state that Sri Lanka is a predominantly Sinhala Buddhist country that will uphold that civilizational status constitutionally & legally but provide all rights for minorities.

2.      Secure the foremost status of Buddhism & foster it in Sri Lanka & internationally, while securing the right to freedom of religious practice for all other religions so long as these religions do not attempt to undermine the status of Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The Buddha Sasana Ministry must carry our regular research and reports covering distortions by media/NGOs/others on Buddhists/Buddhism/Sri Lanka’s history/School curriculum etc

3.      Uphold unitary status of Sri Lanka – no division or separation of the island under any nomenclature.

4.      Denounce initiatives that seek to destabilize Sri Lanka

a.      Repeal of the 13th amendment – the provincial council system is a proven failure.
b.     No new constitution drafted by foreigners/NGOs & paid local agents
c.     Protecting Armed Forces from any foreign war crimes tribunals – any malpractices will be dealt in local military tribunals
d.     No land to be sold to foreigners & owned by foreigners & any transnational corporate endeavor must have minimum 60% control vested in the State with provision to nullify agreement if the other party has violated clauses.
e.     Legal experts to deal with & respond to all violations and illegalities by the UN/UNHRC related to the Resolutions against Sri Lanka
f.       Assurance that no foreign interference would be allowed in Judiciary, Public Sector, Education, Heritage sites, National assets, Strategic national areas to be protected.

5.      Uphold principle of ‘One law applicable to all’ – no two laws to be allowed (civil or criminal). No sub-laws per different religions to be entertained as such did not exist pre-colonial or even post-colonial

6.      Agree to declare Sinhala the ONLY Official Language in Sri Lanka, Tamil the Secondary Language and English the Link Language. Mandatory for all citizens to speak & write basic Sinhalese. State to facilitate teaching of Simple Sinhala to non-Sinhalese (local & foreign)

7.      Declare that every citizen of Sri Lanka has equal land rights & ownership in any part of Sri Lanka and no personal laws can deny or obstruct the right of a citizen to purchase land & live wherever he/she so pleases. Politicians wanting the Sinhala Buddhist vote must publicly declare that there is no Tamil land or Muslim land in Sri Lanka. Every person is entitled to live & purchase land in any part of Sri Lanka.

8.      Prevent ethno-religious ghettos by following an ethnic ratio representation at all levels of Government – Legislature, Executive, Judiciary, Public service etc to maintain the majority demographic ratio. Allocation of housing/land based on same ethnic ratio formula (70-30 representation)

9.      Declare special regulations for dual citizens/citizens marrying foreigners to ensure land ownership does not fall into hands of foreigners. Land in Sri Lanka must belong ONLY to citizens.

10.  Secure the majority Sinhala Buddhist demography by implementing measures as being adopted by other countries – banning polygamy, one national law for all applicable to all equally.

11.  Declare Buddhist heritage sites as National Heritage Sites giving State protection & funds for preservation. There is no joint-heritage as no other religion has evidence to claim to have existed prior to 2600 Buddhist history.

12.  Agree to take action against extremists/extremism – moratorium on construction on new places of religious worship via foreign funds, introduce anti-conversion bill, implement 6th amendment of Sri Lanka’s constitution against anyone indulging in acts of terror or assisting terror

13.  Agree to bring constitutional provisions forbidding political parties (elected for only a term of office) to barter heritage sites, space and historically sacred areas for petty political/commercial gain.

14.  Assure action against illegal immigrants & ensure they are returned to their place of origin. If necessary DNA tests must be done to confirm South Indian illegal immigrants are not living in Sri Lanka enjoying rights of Sri Lankan citizens

15.  Remove provision for ethnic-based political parties from contesting elections. Communal politics cannot be allowed. There cannot be reconciliation where there are communal parties creating ethno-religious tensions

16.  Assure that no food/beverages will be labelled in Sri Lanka to the religious preference of one minority ethno-religious community where it has become a business enterprise for this group to collect parallel taxes for the certification!

17.  Assure to give National History is given a prominent place in State Education with a panel of patriotic educators/historians proud of heritage tasked to write the syllabus relevant to public, private, semi-government & international schools. International Schools to be brought under the purview of the Ministry of Education and not function as a private business as presently happening.

18.  Assure that the Sri Lanka Foreign Service & Public Service are briefed on Sri Lanka’s pre-colonial/post-colonial history and the staff know the real patriots/heroes of Sri Lanka not pseudo heroes created by foreign invaders.

19.  Agree to promote a compassionate Sri Lanka – right livelihood to sustainable development, principle of Ahimsa needed in a society that is today valueless and in much need of compassion for all living beings including animals. The State is bound to uplift the lives of people and bring them towards a humane and compassionate lifestyle.

20.  Propose to initiate state programs that would bring communities together to look after animals, nurture sustainable development, grow more trees/flora & fauna, make Sri Lanka eco-friendly, have State structures to ensure factories and businesses adhere to proper environment protection guidelines,


There are some factors that Sinhala politicians need to take serious stock of. While as politicians, they are leaders of all citizens, they must also ensure that they protect the rights of the Sinhalese who is the only ethnic/racial group found in Sri Lanka. This is nothing anyone can object to as the 50 majority Muslim nations automatically stand on behalf of the Muslims in Sri Lanka, while India jumps to the rescue of the Tamils in Sri Lanka while the West/Vatican influence the Christian/Catholic voters.

It is also important that the Sinhala politicians realize that modern imperialism uses the UN & foreign diplomacy to tie countries to various initiatives to denationalize people and remove their sense of patriotism/nationalism to defend their land of birth. The slogans of multiculturalism is applicable to countries that were created and developed by immigrants who were enticed to come and work/live on foreign shores. The multi-faith initiatives are really to distance people from valuing philosophies like Buddhism that faith-based religions find difficult to counter & destroy as these teaching are scientifically proven and not based on myths. Shared values are simply programs that seek to again distance and totally confuse children from following Buddhism the base with which a child develops the core of his/her thinking. For all this the Wahhabis use $87billion and faith-based religions use $170billion to promote only their faiths.

The Sinhala politicians have taken the majority for a ride since independence. We should refuse to be fooled again. Put aside political parties and realize that the Sinhalese race/ethnic group is found only in Sri Lanka and needs to be preserved. It is the duty of the politicians who come on our vote to protect and preserve our history and heritage.

No one should feel offended or complain about Sinhalese wanting to protect & preserve their history & heritage.
  

  
Shenali D Waduge

20 August 2017

Do countries have right to protect their majority demography against growing Muslim fertility?

All majority populace in any country take pride in their history, heritage, culture, values and desire to preserve that national identity. Japanese would not want anyone other than Japanese to be the majority in Japan, same with Chinese, Germans, British, French want to maintain their white Christian/Catholic status, even Hindu India. The rising Muslim population is a global concern and countries are realizing the need to address this. The traditional identity, culture, values are all at the risk of being replaced. It is not so much the fault with general Muslims but the extremist factions that are their leaders who pose the problem. The Sinhalese are also sharing the same concern in particular to preserve its Buddhist status realizing how Buddhism that spread across the world without the sword or forced conversions is now targeted to be annihilated. Myanmar has directly addressed these existential threats.

Many countries are discovering that the moment Muslim populace passes a certain percentage the bargaining increases as do the demands and assimilation becomes difficult. Muslims themselves, become victims to various forms of extremes all of which they are not in control over. They are helpless and become victims of both Muslim extremists as well as the rest of the non-Muslim community who are angered by these unfair demands.

It is not so much the rise in Muslim populace that is the concern but the rise in radicalism and extremism creating ghetto areas and self-isolation making assimilation difficult. The emergence of parallel societies is not healthy to a nation. This creates parallel cultures not assimilating with the dominant culture and then creates rifts as population increases.

With the rise of Muslim populace, their bargaining power also increases and they influence political decision making. Extremist Muslim leaders emerge using the Muslim bloc vote to make unfair demands that secure their political careers.

The demands for mosques, madrassas, playing of azan, new dress claiming to be religious, ghetto areas, special labeling for foods has turned into a lucrative business venture with certificates being issued for a fee to exporters/importers to majority Muslim countries, Shariah/Islamic banking systems forced upon countries even where Muslims are less than 9% of the total populace – these are just a handful of examples that have contributed to apprehensions across the globe especially in the West where white populations are declining and Muslim populations are rising with the guestimates that one day eventually Islam would prevail over them. It is that same concern that people of the East also have taken cognizance of.  

Global Muslim populace is 1.8billion or 24% of the world’s populace. Coincidentally, where Islam originated – Middle East-North Africa region has only 20% Muslims while 62% Muslims live in the Asia-Pacific region with Indonesia having the world’s largest Muslim populace.

Like Christianity, it was as a result of Islamic invasions & through the sword that non-Muslim territories became Islamized and communities of Muslims were created by forcibly converting those natives. A trail of the Islamic invasions will portray this reality. As will a trail of how Christianity spread.

The disproportionate birth rate is the cause for the alarm by non-Muslims with justification. In comparison to the 7 other major religious groups Muslim women have an average of 2.9children as against 2.2children of non-Muslims. While world population is projected to grow at 32% the number of Muslims is expected to increase by 70% - from 1.8b in 2015 to nearly 3b in 2060 according to Pew Research.

India’s Muslims are growing faster than the country’s majority Hindu population and is projected to rise from 14.9% (2015) to 19.4% by 2060 (333million people).
It is projected that 10% of Europe will be Muslim by 2050.
In the US, the Muslim populace is 3.35 million or 1% of the US population. Pew Research estimates that Muslims will become 2.1% of the U.S. population by the year 2050

There are 1,053,945 Muslims in Canada or 3.2% of the populace. 11 Muslims have got elected during the Federal elections in 2015. Hate crimes against Muslims are rising too http://globalnews.ca/news/3523535/hate-crimes-canada-muslim/ The expanding influence of Wahhabi/Salafism in Canada is contributing to a wave of extremism & influencing Muslims through the mosques. http://mackenzieinstitute.com/rise-islamic-extremism-canada/ And these are the fears that other countries are now waking up to.

Islam is the second largest religion in the United Kingdom – 3m Muslims in England & Wales – 5.4% of the total population. In 2011, 2.71 million Muslims lived in England and Wales, compared with 1.55 million in 2001. There were also 77,000 Muslims in Scotland and 3,800 in Northern Ireland.

Germany has 4.8 million Muslims in Germany (5.8% of the country’s population) There are 4.7 million Muslims in France (7.5%).
Russia has 14 million Muslims (10%) In Russia, Moscow had only 1 mosque in the 1980s now there are 4 mosques. Russia’s Muslim populace has increased b 40% since 1989 to about 25million.

As of 2010, the European Union was home to about 13 million Muslim immigrants. Total Muslims in Europe is said to number 52million.

While Muslims are increasing in non-Majority Muslim countries the non-Muslims in Muslim-majority countries are decreasing or disappearing!

Iraq had 1.4m Christians at the time of Saddam Hussein’s reign. It is now less than 800,000. In Pakistan religious minorities have dropped from 23% in 1947 to 3-4% in 2012 (Farahnaz Ispahani)
In the 1920s Christians are said to have been 30% of Syria’s population. It has dropped to 22% of Syria’s 22m populace now.
Lebanese Christian population has shrunken from 78% to only 34% over the last century.

"Christianity is under an existential threat," Anna Eshoo, a Democrat member of the US House of Representatives from California, and an advocate of Mideast Christians

While it is politically correct for Europeans to claim Muslims clash with fundamental precepts of Western secular beliefs Europeans claim it is politically incorrect for Asians to claim that Muslims clash with non-Muslim beliefs in their countries! Why this hypocrisy & double standards?

Examples of Muslim population increase in Sri Lanka

Gampaha
Muslim population in 1981 was 37,826
Muslim population in 2012 was 97,621

Kalutara
Muslim population in 1981 was 33,659
Muslim population in 2012 was 113,320

Kandy
Muslim population in 1981 was 98,436
Muslim population in 2012 was 191,570

Colombo
Muslim population in 1981 was 139,743
Muslim population in 2012 was 249,609

Batticoloa
Muslim population in 1981 was 78,829
Muslim population in 2012 was 133,854

Ampara
Muslim population in 1981 was 161,568
Muslim population in 2012 was 281,702

Kurunegala
Muslim population in 1981 was 60,791
Muslim population in 2012 was 115,302

Puttalam
Muslim population in 1981 was 49,000
Muslim population in 2012 was 147,546

Trincomalee
Muslim population in 1981 was 75,039
Muslim population in 2012 was 158,771


Meeting these existential threats directly has been Myanmar which brought Race and Religion Protection Laws in 2014.

1.   Monogamy Law
Criminal offence to have more than one spouse or to live with an unmarried partner who is not a spouse. The law is applicable to all living in Myanmar (Myanmar citizens who live outside as well as foreigners who marry Myanmar citizens while living in Myanmar)

2.    Religious Conversion Law
Myanmar citizens who wish to change his/her religion must obtain approval from Registration Board for Religious Conversion. There is also laws for forced conversion as well as for converting with intent to harm a religion.

3.   Interfaith Marriage Law
The Myanmar Buddhist Women’s Special Marriage Law regulates marriages of Buddhist women to non-Buddhist men.

4.    Population Control Law
The laws provides the governments of divisions and states ‘to request a presidential order limiting reproductive rates if it is determined that population growth, accelerating birth rates, or rising infant or maternal mortality rates are negatively impacting regional development’ or that an ‘imbalance between population and resources, low socio-economic indicators and regional food insufficiency because of internal migration’ exists.

India too recently banned polygamy.

Roman Catholicism is the state religion and protected by State laws in Costa Rica, Liechtenstein, Malta, Monaco, Italy, the Vatican City. Andorra, Argentina, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Panama, Paraquay, Peru & Poland.

Eastern Orthodoxy is state religion in Greece, Georgia & Bulgaria. England, Scotland & Wales are Anglican, Protestant, while Lutheran church is state religion in Norway, Denmark, Greenland, Iceland, Finland, Sweden. The Hungarian constitution describes Hungary as ‘part of Christian Europe’ and acknowledges the ‘role of Christianity in preserving nationhood’. Samoa’s constitution makes Christianity the state religion while Zambia’s constitution declares it a “Christian nation’. No one seems to be objecting to these countries very clearly demarcating Christian faith as state religion while giving others religious freedom! However, these countries all take measures to ensure Christian faith remains protected whatever freedoms are given to others.

In Muslim majority countries the state place for Islam is non-negotiable and often non-Islamic faiths have hardly any freedom.

In Singapore 75% of population are Chinese. Article 152 of the Singapore Constitution says
“(2) The Government shall exercise its functions in such manner as to recognise the special position of the Malays, who are the indigenous people of Singapore, and accordingly it shall be the responsibility of the Government to protect, safeguard, support, foster and promote their political, educational, religious, economic, social and cultural interests and the Malay language.”

Lee Kuan Yew himself has hinted at the need to maintain this ‘racial balance’
“By race, the fertility rate is 1.91 for Malays, 1.19 for Indians and 1.14 for Chinese. If we continue this way without the new immigrants and PRs and their children doing national service, the composition of our SAF (Singapore armed forces) will change. So please remember that”.

Singapore has also introduced the Ethnic Integration Policy that by law decides the ethnic percentage living in a neighborhood. This is to ensure no ethnic ghetto areas arise.


Malaysia follows the Bhoomiputra policy (sons of the land) Special position is given to the Malays in its constitution (Article 153) Article 160 defines a Malay as being one who "professes the religion of Islam, habitually speaks the Malay language, conforms to Malay customs and is the child of at least one parent who was born within the Federation of Malaysia before independence of Malaya on 31 August 1957, or the issue (off-spring) of such a person."

All Bumiputra, regardless of their financial standing, are entitled 7 percent discount on houses or property, including luxurious units; whilst a low-income non-Bumiputra receives no such financial assistance. Companies listed on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange (Bursa Saham Kuala Lumpur) must have 30% bumiputra ownership of equity to satisfy listing requirements. Malaysia requires citizens to carry a national identification card called MyKad. Smart Cards identify citizens as Muslims or Non-Muslims

If fundamental rights for all must be equal then the laws applicable must be equal too. There cannot be special laws for a community especially if that law becomes detrimental for demography. In Sri Lanka polygamy is legal for only Muslims, that will definitely pose population problems in the future. Polygamy should thus be banned for all. Similarly, the proposed Anti-Conversion bill must also be passed.

Countries have realized the dangers & have taken measures to protect their heritage. There is no reason Sri Lanka shouldn’t either no matter the objections that come. While both Islam and Christianity have spread from its origins using the sword & forced conversions, presently replacing the sword has been the power of bloc nations, diplomatic pressures and the monopoly they hold via international trade & across various international forums. Nevertheless, we cannot forget that there is a 2600 history to preserve and it is our duty to do so for those that cry foul belong to faiths that have been targeting to change the demography and religious landscape of Sri Lanka.



Shenali D Waduge


17 August 2017

YAHAPALANA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

KAMALIKA PIERIS

USA emerged as a super power after World War II, with the Marshal Plan which created NATO in 1949 and the Korea war of 1950. [1] American power is based on alliances not colonies. [2] US has some 60 treaty allies. [3]It tops the list in number of embassies, consulates and missions as well. [4]  ‘Economist’ estimates that of the world’s 150 largest countries, nearly 100 lean toward the US while 21 lean against it. [5]
However, things are not looking good for USA at the moment. There is a   leadership problem. Donald Trump is a disappointment, but according to CNN, USA does not want Hillary Clinton back either.  The US economy is also in difficulties.[6] TIME says US system of market capitalism is to blame. USA made a magnificent advance from agriculture and manufacturing to finance. This was considered USA’s highest achievement. But now finance is not supporting business. The best stocks are owned by the wealthiest 10% and the money is concentrated there. Once a company goes public, in order to keep its stock price high, it stops innovating [7] and does not support job creation, concluded TIME. [8] Manufacturing jobs are disappearing because of robots and automation.[9]
TIME did a series of interviews with the American public, who said that the future for America is bleak, no chance of a good job and rising in life.[10] The country is going downhill, the rich and powerful have it good, but not the rest, they said.[11] There is rising inequality, stagnant incomes, shrinking middle class and stalled upward mobility.[12]The racial situation is also not improving. Ferguson city, Missouri has been charged with racial discrimination. Police routinely pull over African-American motorists on suspicion, and arrest them for no reason.[13
USA is not a global superpower anymore said TIME.[17] The US does not carry as much weight in the world economy as it used to.[18]Earlier it was the US which was the single largest contributor to world growth, not now.[19] The Chinese economy has overtaken it. [20]  The US share of the world economy will fall, and its ability to wield influence and organize action will become less, said analysts.[21]
According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,  USA spends more on defense than the next several nations combined, with annual outlays of more than USD 600 billion, three times more than China and seven times more than Russia,.[22] But US defense spending has declined by USD 78 billion from 2011.[23] As a result, U.S. Army is ranked “weak” according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2017 Index of U.S. Military Power.[24] American preeminence in military, economic and soft power terms will not look like it once did, said analysts. [25] US Air force consists of ‘old models’, in stark contrast to the aggressive programs of competitor states. Its delivery platforms such as the B-2 Spirit bomber are good, said the report. US Navy maintains a moderate global presence, but has little ability to meet wartime demands.  [26]
However, undaunted, USA   still continues to meddle in other countries. USA played a key role in promoting the South Sudan secessionist movement, using American evangelical groups.[27] In Russia, USA said it did not ‘interfere’, it only ‘funded pro-democracy organizations’.[28]   There were backroom deals with ‘neutral’ countries. [29]
Today there is a huge anti American sentiment sweeping the developing world mainly because of its activity in the Middle East. [33] US was the hidden force in every war that took place in the world during the recent times, said critics.[34]Wikileaks memos of American diplomats showed that the US was a ‘hypocritical super power’ which, spied on the UN and the countries which were its allies. US turned a blind eye to corruption and human rights abuse in ‘client states’. [35] As a result, USA is losing allies. Philippines is veering away from the USA, its long time ally. The President of the Philippines recently visited Russia.[36]
Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Alternatives, said in 2017 that America’s role as the steadying force in international relations was now under threat. [37] Since 1945, America has been the balancer in international relations. We are now facing a situation in which there is uncertainty about America’s ability to carry out this role. [38] But USA supporters said that the United States will not disappear from Asia altogether.  The United States can still play a significant role by supporting other alliances. U.S. can still do very interesting things in Asia. We don’t know yet what those will be, but the US is not dead and gone, they said.[39]
Stunned by the unexpected annihilation of the LTTE in Sri Lanka, the US Senate Committee on Foreign relations sent 2 Senators to Sri Lanka in November 2009, to evaluate the situation and make recommendations. [40]Rajapakse is a threat to US, they reported, he is drifting towards China.[41]  However, US was advised to adopt a ‘less confrontational approach’ to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka is too important a country to be isolated from the west, it said. [42]
The report stressed the strategic importance of Sri Lanka to the US, particularly in its geopolitical location. [43]Sri Lanka is located at the nexus of crucial maritime trading routes in the Indian Ocean connecting Europe and Middle East to China and the rest of Asia.[44] China and Japan’s energy resource from the Persian Gulf transits Sri Lanka and the island has the potential to control or impede the free flow these resources to China and Japan. Half the world’s container traffic passes through Sri Lanka and the island has the potential to block this as well.  The US has a competing interest with India and China in securing this maritime route, the report said. [45]
Sri Lanka   became   ‘a top geopolitical priority’ for US policy makers and military planners [46]Sri Lanka is the key piece, in a larger geopolitical dynamic described as the Great game’, they said. [47]  White House and Pentagon are trying urgently to figure out how ‘not to lose Sri Lanka ‘. And also how we can use Sri Lanka to further US national security interest in the Indian Ocean, said Stanton.’[48]
A leading Washington based think tank, Centre for Strategic and International Studies, said in 2010 that the US cannot afford to disengage with Sri Lanka. It needs to follow a subtle and a sophisticated approach to rethink the partnership, recognising that the political game has changed in Sri Lanka. It is time to recognise that the formulas which were used in the past were now dead.[49] ‘If we have this same stability for the next five years  in Sri Lanka , then it will be difficult to achieve  control , but a weaker Sri Lanka is easier to dominate’ said analysts in 2014. [50]
Inside Sri Lanka, former ambassador, K Godage noted in 2010 that USA has now realized that with China coming in, it is best not to antagonize Sri Lanka.  We have acquired a new importance.  We could not be ignored or antagonized. [51]Our close relation with Iran and Russia in addition to China and our defense related agreements have also contributed to a change in America’s Sri Lanka policy, he concluded. [52]
Rajapaksa’s tilt to China gravely undermined the US position, so Rajapaksa had to go.[53] This time regime change had better succeed. [54] Therefore US and India worked closely to engineer the regime change. US President Barak Obama had publicly referred to the Indian role in Sri Lanka. [55] Once regime change was achieved, the Yahapalana government needed to be propped up. USAID gave US 3.4 million to Yahapalana for its 100 days administration. [56] This came from the US Complex Crises Fund (CCF),[57] which had allocated USD 585 million for ‘democracy projects’ in Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Burma.[58]
With Rajapaksa out of the way, America bounced in very confidently, ready to openly show its power over Sri Lanka. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, was the first to visit, in May 2015.Then came US Secretary of the Navy, Ray Mabus, in August 2016. [59] Nisha Biswal,  Assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian Affairs,  had  visited  Sri Lanka six times by July 2016. [60] Samantha Power.US ambassador to the UN, Thomas Shannon, US under secretary and Tom Malinowski ,US assistant Secretary for democracy and Human rights also visited. Sri Lanka .  [61]  There is a photograph of Mangala Samaraweera, then Foreign Minister with Biswal and Malinowski on either side, each holding one of his hands.[62]
Within months of Yahapalana coming in, the application form for a fixed deposit in a particular   state bank added a new question. It asked  ‘are you a US person and are you politically exposed person.’[63] A ‘Politically Exposed Person’ , it explained,  includes  an individual in Sri Lanka or abroad who is or have been entrusted with prominent public function such as a Head of State, or  Government senior politicians, senior government , judicial or military officials, senior executive of state owned  corporations,  and important political party officials, but  excluding middle ranking or more junior officials in the foregoing categories.[64]
Yahapalana government is   a ‘fully pro-Washington regime’ said Tamara Kunanayagam in 2016.[65] Tissa Vitarana said that Ranil Wickremesinghe was going to make Sri Lanka a puppet of the USA like the Philippines. [66]  This made US change its strategy. In July 2017, it was announced that Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, would meet with two officials from the White House, who would represent President Donald Trump, since Wickremesinghe happened to be in New York. Wickremesinghe will also attend the UN Ocean Conference in New York.[67]These two activities were presented as incidental. The Prime Minister was in New York primarily, we are told, for a medical checkup. He had been earlier checked up and fully cleared in Singapore. [68]   He was declared fit by the New York medical panel too. [69] Usually when Sri Lanka’s   Prime Minister goes on a visit abroad, there is much publicity, including television and photos.  This time there was none.
US has not hesitated to intervene in politically sensitive matters. US plans to provide USD one million for two projects. The first project is  for the media. US  want to strengthen the independent media in the area of investigative journalism. It will include journalists in Sinhala, Tamil and English and journalists from all parts of the country, not just Colombo. The second project is for facilitating reconciliation in the country. For this, they will  identify leaders, including youth and women for reconciliation. And would support action in ‘pilot communities’.[70] Gotabhaya Rajapaksa  said that this was a Trojan horse. It could be a  project to help US long term objectives in Sri Lanka.  [71]
Trimble Navigation Ltd, a US company, has forwarded a proposal for ‘Title/Tenure Regularisation and Cadastral Registry Modernisation’ in Sri Lanka. A high level committee headed by Prime Minister’s senior advisor R. Paskeralingam had recommended this  proposal and the Cabinet Committee on Economic Management (CCEM) had approved it. [72]  The Minister for Lands told the Surveyors Association that the government has decided to implement the proposal and the Association must support the project. Trimble would work with the Ministry of Lands to identify 2.5 million state-owned lands and help to give permanent titles to the persons currently occupying these lands. Bim Saviya programme launched during the previous Rajapaksa regime has become a white elephant. [73] Only 405,000 title deeds were issued from 2005[74].
The surveyors observed that the main functions of the Sri Lanka Survey Department, as well as its Land Information System (LIS) and Aerial Survey Operations would be vested in Trimble for 15 years. [75] Survey Department staff and resources will also go to Trimble. 400 public surveyors and 200 additional private surveyors with crews will serve under Trimble, conducting pre-survey, survey and data collection. [76] If Trimble is given the management of Sri Lanka Survey Department, then Trimble will take control of Sri Lanka’s electronic land register and details of lands. This will be a threat to country’s national security, said the surveyors.[77].
National Labor Advisory Committee (NLAC) was told in July 2017, that the Government has decided to appoint a Working Group on Labor Law Reforms. The initiative had come from Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade in collaboration with USAID.  Trade unions  strongly objected to  this. Neither the Ministry of Development Strategies and International Trade nor USAID has any right to intervene in reforming labour laws in Sri Lanka, they said.[78] Labor reform came under the Labour Department and the Ministry of Labor. [79]  There is a well tested tripartite mechanism including trade unions and employer representation for this purpose. [80] What was the actual intention behind this urge to reform labour laws of the country, the trade unions asked. [81]
In January 2016, it was announced that  a  3 year  economic plan for Sri Lanka  would be drawn up by the American economist Haussmann. George Soros will fund it. He will set up an office here as well since[82] he was also looking for investment in Sri Lanka. [83] Soros  presence will boost foreign investment, said Yahapalana, enthusiastically.[84]  Soros is a financial speculator who has made his money by manipulating currency markets.   He is the last person we need here   said critics. [85]
Sri Lanka was selected as a beneficiary of U.S. Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC),in December 2016. [86] MCC is a five-year grant program, to reduce poverty and promote economic opportunity.[87] The goal is to develop a high-quality, evidence-based and sustainable compact aimed at addressing economic challenges in a way that drives growth and reduces poverty. [88]
MCC holds partner countries accountable through rigorous oversight, monitoring and evaluation. [89] Therefore a unit called Sri Lanka Compact Development Team  was  set up in the Prime Minister’s office to work with MCC. [90]This team was to consult with a wide group of stakeholders to collect input, including potential beneficiaries, civil society, the private sector, other donors and relevant government entities.[91] Sri Lanka will need to be re-selected by MCC’s Board in December for the project to continue  and a team visited Colombo to look at progress in July 2017.[92]
US quickly gained access to Sri Lanka ‘s military sector. In February  2016 Admiral H.B. Harris, head of the US Pacific Command  told the US Senate Armed Services Committee ,[93] we have an opportunity to expand US interest in Sri Lanka. [94] Given Sri Lanka strategic location it is in America’s interest to increase military collaboration and cooperation. [95] US will expand military leadership discussions, increase naval engagement and focus on defense institution building. [96]
A contingent of 33 US Army Cadets, from US Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (AROTC) came to Sri Lanka in June 2017, on a familiarization tour. They were  given an initial training in weapon handling, field practices, physical training, by the Sri Lanka Army. The Cadets  visited the Sri Lanka Military Academy , Security Force Headquarters, Sri Lanka Light Infantry Headquarters, Regimental Headquarters of the Sri Lanka Engineers and the Army School of Artillery at Minneriya.[97]
The U.S. Department of State’s Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program trained 18 Customs and Coast Guard Officials from Sri Lanka, Maldives, India, and Bangladesh in seaport interdiction in 2017. The training was conducted in Colombo. Participants learned cutting-edge inspection and detection techniques for all types of contraband and gained new skills to manage security for inbound and outbound cargo operations, assess cargo targeting and risk management, and handle hazardous cargo and materials. The training also highlighted port security awareness related to cargo containing potential Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) and improvised explosive devices and materials.[98]
US navy ship USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the US 7th fleet, [99]arrived in Colombo in March 2016 on a goodwill visit. President Sirisena visited the ship and was received with a US navy military guard.[100] In March 2017, the US Pacific Fleet’s transport ship USNS Fall River visited Hambantota on a Pacific Partnership goodwill mission. It held joint exercises with the navies of Sri Lanka, Japan and Australia. [101]
Officers of the US 7th Fleet and Sri Lanka  Navy met for the     second time  at the Naval Headquarters  in May 2017 for  discussions. Such dialogues were important for furthering mutual cooperation between the two navies. [102] US Captain Brian Anderson ‘expressed his contentment over  a range of matters including bilateral cooperation, training and ports of call made over the past years’.[103]
US is working towards establishing a base in Trincomalee for its Seventh fleet, reported Island in September 2015.   It was making Sri Lanka’s military vacate strategically important locations.[104] US has not hidden its interest in getting Trincomalee and hopes to partner with Sri Lanka to encircle China, agreed others.[105]Plans are afoot to set up a US base in Trincomalee harbor, said Tissa Vitarana in February 2016.[106] Yahapalana  government was planning to hand over Trincomalee port to US and   very soon US 7th fleet will be in our waters, he warned.[107] A bilateral agreement in this regard has been signed  secretly between Sri Lanka and America. [108] The growing military ties to the US are a threat to Sri Lanka concluded Vitarana. [109]  If military cooperation of this nature continued, Sri Lanka would become a puppet country like  the Philippines. [110]
US has tried to placate the Sri Lanka public by several good works. In 2016 it was reported that US plans to provide aid to University of Sri Jayewardenepura to document the historical buildings within the Galle fort.[111]Cheryl Edison, American innovation expert, came in 2017 to work with, inter alia, Sri Lanka’s IT entrepreneurs,   Information and Communications Technology Agency (ICTA) representatives [112]and   Sri Lanka Association of Software and Services Companies (SLASSCOM) . She held free virtual classes and individual counseling for participants in ICTA’s Tech Startup Support Program. Edison led seminars for business and engineering students at the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and University of Jaffna at Kilinochchi. She helped inspire Jaffna’s aspiring entrepreneurs, said a member of the Yarl IT Hub community. [113]
The US government    offered humanitarian assistance worth USD 2.3 million to help victims of flooding and landslides. [114]The aid will be used to provide safe drinking water, hygiene kits, emergency shelter materials, home repair kits, and critical health care services to stave off diseases. [115] Disaster experts from USAID/OFDA and the Civil-Military Support Element (CMSE) attached to the U.S Embassy are also helping. The U.S. Army Reserve Officer Training Corps  cadets and the U.S. Embassy’s Pacific Command Augmentation Team are cleaning and repairing flood damage at schools in the Kalutara district. Families of the U.S. Embassy community have also provided personal donations to Sri Lanka Unites, a youth-led organization, said a US media release.[116] However, it is now reported that Sri Lanka will receive only US$ 3.38 million for its USAID programmes in 2018, a drop of 92% percent from 2016. [117] (CONCLUDED)