Rick Sterling, in off Guardian, 29 January 2019, where the title is “Marie Colvin, Homs and Media Falsehoods about Syria”
n April 2014 I was part of an international delegation which visited Syria for five days. The delegates came from many different countries. Among the notables were the Irish Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire, a Syrian-British heart surgeon and Julian Assange’s father. We spent time in Damascus, then traveled by bus to Latakia and then Homs. In each city we had meetings with political, religious and social leaders but also had time to wander about and talk with people on the streets.
In Latakia, I met Lilly Martin, an American woman who married a Syrian and has lived there, raising a family for the past twenty-five years. She told me how wrong the western media coverage was. Contrary to media claims, she said protests in Latakia were violent from the start. After the first outbreak of violence, Syrian police and military were ordered to not carry weapons. Protesters continued to burn and destroy government offices with incidents of knifing and shooting unarmed police. Continue reading
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Introductory Note from Michael Roberts
The public event organised by Chatham House to discuss recent events in Sri Lanka on 17th January was chaired by a University Lecturer at University College London whose specialty is “human rights,” rather than any one of the Sri Lankan specialists teaching at British Universities (for e.g. Rajesh Venugopal, Asanga Welikala, Sujit Suvisundaram, Zoltan Beidermann and Alan Strathern). The combination of ignorance, distortion and prejudice that guided the organisation and direction of the debate was exposed in the opening lines of this Chairperson, one Kate Cronin-Furman. “[We are meeting today some ten years after the “final push” of the Sri Lankan Army in a war that ended in May 2009 – “a final phase where the UN estimates said that more than 40,000 civilians were killed by that military [action].”
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Michel Nugawela, in Daily Mirror, 9 January 2019, where the title is “Symbolic power of Rajapaksa brand” …
5 =Pope and King’ ideal-leader type worships Sri Lankan ground
7= Father’s masculine virility and generative capacity
In 1996, a punishing drought crippled hydroelectricity generation and impacted households and industry with gruelling eight-hour blackouts. Thousands of farmers faced crop failure and bankruptcy as Chandrika Kumaratunga limped along without plan or purpose. “Her goals are impeccable but her execution seems faulty,” said the roving American journalist Ron Gluckman, observing that the weather had even turned against “Sri Lanka’s bad-luck president”.
When rains failed
In contrast to Kumaratunga’s lacklustre response, consider Mahinda Rajapaksa’s reaction to the drought of 2012, with his prompt request to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to fly the Kapilvastu Relics, believed to be the bone fragments of the Buddha, from India’s National Museum in Delhi to Colombo. The relics, conferred with the status of a head of state according to diplomatic convention, were revered as holy objects of awe by the thousands of faithful Buddhists who lined the streets to view, venerate and seek their intercessory powers for increased rainfall and bountiful harvests.
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