Foreign Agents

Can you spot the foriegn agents?


Posters inevitably get knocked down or washed off or whatever. There is one, however, that has stayed up for months on end. It reads something like ‘Gothabaya The Great: We Wish You All The Best In Your Patriotic Mission, Ignore The Manipulations Of The British Government and Their Local Agents’. Something to that affect. It is sponsored by the organization of Buddhist organizations, something circular and unwittingly ironic. Cause the Buddha was a foreigner, but I digress. The statement is more interesting because Sri Lanka is one of the few countries where a national defence initiative is led by… foriegn agents. Gotabaya Rajapakse (Defense Secretary), Basil Rajapakse (Mahinda’s Left Nut) and Sarath Fonseka (Army Commander) are all US Green Card holders. They have to travel back to the US every 6 months and hang around for a while. The commander of our army literally goes to Oklahoma every 6 months and hang around shopping malls. There is no way that these guys should even have the security clearance for Sri Lankan defence operations. It is also a bit morally unsettling that the men asking our boys to sacrifice our lives have a ready and easy out in another country entirely.

For reference I’m a dual citizen myself. Canadian/Sri Lankan. I’ve also had a green card, though it expired once I didn’t go back enough. But guess what, I’m not in charge of Sri Lankan national security. If I joined the military or assumed a national security-related position in Sri Lanka I’d give up my Canadian citizenship. Certainly one would assume that the Defense Secretary or Army Commander, even an MP would be willing to commit to this country. More to the point, in the US Department Defense, you simply can’t get security clearance above certain levels with one foot in another country. I find it strange that the people tasked to defend our national security have their lives and families in America. I don’t particularly care that they have other citizenship agreements. I think that’s OK for even government servants, but if you’re involved in the military, asking the youth of Sri Lanka to put their lives on the line, the least you could put is you citizenship. Gotabaya and Basil weren’t here before and they will go right back to their American homes when they’re out of power. They’re not really invested in the mess they’re making, and they really should be.

But maybe it’s just me that finds that odd. We live in a country where you can have a ‘Buddhist’ organization supporting war with a straight face. Literally, you have followers of an Indian lambasting the British for undermining a half-American in the name of a Sinhala nationalist cause. This is truly globalized bullshit.

RSS feed | Trackback URI

41 Comments »

Sophist
2008-01-11 10:43:29

Hilarious. Back to normal service I hope.

 
Nokiaaa
2008-01-11 10:49:28

Not sure I agree with you here on the citizenship of the people. (I say nothing about the poster) National Security is a public good to be delivered by the government. Why should we worry about the citizenships of those who are in charge? If they do not deliver the goods, that is a different question but why play men, when we should play the ball?

2008-01-11 12:46:49

It does make a difference. They are involved in national security. The US has its own interests in our nation, which aren’t exactly congruent with the Sri Lankan position (obviously). Our Defense Secretary and Army Commander are open to prosecution and legal action in the United States, especially since they have to physically go to the United States every 6 months. The US can also exert influence over them by revoking the green card and jeopardizing their property and education of their children.

This gives a foreign party way too much influence over the leaders of our defense institutions – which is why most departments of defense in any country have very specific security clearances for non-citizens. You can’t even get an IT job in the US Department of Defense as a non-citizen, but here you can apparently run the whole show. For a nation, however, it is a security risk.

More to the point, these men have no intention of living in this country, and that’s a bit dishonorable for someone leading the armed forces. I was checking out the Green Card site

You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:

* Move to another country intending to live there permanently.

If we simply wanted to deliver the goods we could hire more experienced mercenaries. Otherwise they should renounce their citizenship and put their lives on the line for all the death they are asking of our soldiers.

2008-01-11 14:00:49

Indi, you continue to refer to them as foreig naationals when they are green card holders. Why? And I see nothing dishonourable in intending to one day live overseas. Do you see something honourable in war? :) If you can work for a mercantile firm while holding dual citizenship, why can’t they work for the MoD? Technically, you could be pressured to engage in commerciaal espionage by Canadian firms with interests here. You worked for the UNP while being a Canadian citizen. If the UNP had been elected and you were offered a GoSL job, would you have renounced Canadian citizenship?

And as I already said, both Ranil and CBK own property overseas and did so while PM and prez respectively. So they both hold foreiign residence permits, and did so while in office. So where were the protests then?

Let’s get a bit of perspective, folks.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
2008-01-11 10:50:49

can you provide citations for The commander of our army literally goes to Oklahoma every 6 months and hang around shopping malls.

you might also find this interesting… the oath reads:
I hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.

i dunno if it applies to green card holders…
if the hon defense secretary is a us citizen then he’s pledge allegiance to the US over Sri Lanka…

Jack Point
2008-01-11 11:05:49

I think it only applies to citizens.

 
 
2008-01-11 10:56:51

the second in command of the military (of our great republic) has pledged allegiance to a foreign state (relative to us locals that is) freely and without mental reservation or purpose of evasion (so help him god)!!!
that doesnt bother you a little bit???
you dont feel a disturbance in the force???

 
Jack Point
2008-01-11 11:08:41

by the definition of “Lanka Rising” which seems to represent the government and its supporters, you would be called a foreign agent or comprador (i think that is the term they use)!

 
Diyasena
2008-01-11 11:20:01

When the Kandyan Kingdom passed to British control in 1815, the King was a Tamil from the Madurai region of current Tamilnadu. When the coastal areas passed from Dutch to British control around 1785, the decisive factor was the decision by the leader of a Swiss mercenary contingent by the name of de Meuron to shift his allegiance, if I recall correctly.

For many centuries before that, the feudal kings of Sri Lanka routinely employed mercenaries. In many cases the foreigners rose to positions of immense power like Alakeshvara or Alagakkonara in the Kotte kingdom.

It would be an interesting historical investigation to lay bare the parallels between the rule of Mahinda the Seventh and previous kings in terms of their reliance on mercenaries.

 
2008-01-11 11:21:40

quoting the sundaytimes’ 16 nov 2006 situation report by iqbal athas:
Also due to leave for the United States is the Commander of the Army, Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka, who has been at the forefront of the military campaign against the LTTE. He and his family are Green Card holders in the US having won a lottery earlier. Such a card is a forerunner for US citizenship.

 
2008-01-11 11:47:50

This is so hilarious, it’s not funny! The entire bunch of people we’ve given this country over to, have a guaranteed exit when this entire situation gets blown all to hell!!

 
2008-01-11 12:04:23

This is amazing , the top brass in the army have a way out while the poor soldiers don’t , But to be honest I think we have to defeat the military power of the LTTE before we go to peace talks or any solution like that.

 
Nokiaaa
2008-01-11 12:17:24

Coming back to my point in a different way, none of these are decision makers in policy. They simply carry out orders. They do not decide whether to fight or not, when H’thota buffalo decides to fight they just carry out his orders.

First Governor of Central Bank was a US citizen. So many foreigners work as pilots in Sri Lankan. So I see no reason why dual citizens should be kept apart, as long as they are not in the policy decision making process. They are like pilots. They do not decide the destination, they just fly towards a destination given to them.

After all we do not fight with US, but with TE. If they are dual citizens of SL and TE, that is a concern but if not why worry?

 
2008-01-11 12:46:25

I really don’t see a problem here. None of these guys are US citizens, just work/resident permit holders. Exit route? Don’t make me laugh. Every single national leader we’ve had has had an exit route. CBK owns a residence in England, Ranil W owns land in Australia, and so on. What’s the sudden big deal?

In fact, I thiink it’s a good thing. This way, the US can put some pressure on these guys by threatening to withdraw their green cards. They’ll also be open to human rights charges when and if they move stateside.

And for all of you worried about the poor soldiery, take a chill pill. C’est la Guerre. The soldiers do the dying and the generals get the praise. That’s how war’s always been and always will be.

Thamil
2008-01-11 14:18:15

says the deserter…who him self had found an exit route ;o)

2008-01-11 14:44:37

Nice to see you again, Thamil/Idiot/Monkeyballs/etc. Still using the same IP I see. Lol.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Thamil
2008-01-11 15:34:25

Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Blacker, there was never a need for me to & never used any of those names ….you may feel free to check this with Indi. This is another one of those idiotic assumption of yours!!

Anyway, I agree with Indi, I don’t know about other jobs, but if you are involved in any jobs that relates to National security, you should be 100% committed to that country/nationality. I am not saying they are, but these people could easily be suspected of working towards other country’s interest until the shit hits the fan.

 
2008-01-14 11:51:27

“Sorry to disappoint you Mr. Blacker, there was never a need for me to & never used any of those name”

Yeah right. :)

“Anyway, I agree with Indi, I don’t know about other jobs, but if you are involved in any jobs that relates to National security, you should be 100% committed to that country/nationality.”

I don’t think the possession of a foreign visa negates commitment to one’s home country. If not, we’d have to disregard all the comments made on blogs by Sri Lankans living abroad.

“I am not saying they are, but these people could easily be suspected of working towards other country’s interest until the shit hits the fan.”

Since many people here have been critical of this administration’s human rights record in particular, and the conduct of the war in general, shouldn’t we be pleased that these guys might be held accountable by the US?

And once again, why’d no one have a problem that both RW and CBK were both foreign residency holders as well as owners of foreign property while in office as PM and prez?

 
 
 
2008-01-12 12:29:11

our great leaders are calling us (not u.s.) citizens to be patriotic, make sacrifices, swallow their propaganda, portray them as heros, etc.
as a citizen of this great republic, i would ideally like to look up to our leaders…
but i cant if they are being hypocritical esp about patriotism
hence my disgust towards them

“They’ll also be open to human rights charges when and if they move stateside.”
oh wow… thats a nice way to control human rights violations… “do not torture your captives in side your country… you can do that in a prison out side your country…”

 
 
2008-01-11 15:44:11

So they have greencards? What’s the big deal?

a) A green card is NOT the same as being a foreign citizen
b) Most well to do people in Sri Lanka have an ‘exit route’. That is nothing new.

The only thing of note is the hypocrisy displayed by the majority of those who have commented here: almost all the top stakeholders in the private sector have residence permits elsewhere, CBK had an escape route as did Ranil. As do Pakiasothy Saravanamuttu, Kumar Rupesinghe, Radhika Coomaraswamy and almost everybody else who thinks it is their god-given right to meddle in affairs of the state be it national security, sovereignty or the economy. But as members of the Colombo elite, apparently they are entitled to it, while the rustics from Hambantota should stick to Lanka.

At least Gotabhaya has served in OUR army when he was here, which is more than what can be said for other arm chair pundits.

 
2008-01-11 20:43:10

I’m just fooling around man..
I serve for Canadian government :p
Yeah right!

Simply i know the commanders daughter Aparna who studies there..
I’m just bullshitting about the whole Okalohoma thing.

pun intended. I din’t have citations.
Never did. Don’t want.

You can either read and digest my bull crap or go to padashow direct – My secret pet project,
where I post my rantings on other jobless bloggers like me.

I’m also trying to understand my self.

Amen.

2008-01-12 11:49:48

calm down
have some beer and may be some kottu
at least it works for me…

i think you misunderstood me when i asked for citations
its not that i’m accusing you of making things up or anything like that
its just that it would secure your claim better as a fact

2008-01-12 17:36:49

That comment above is not me, obviously I would hope

(Comments wont nest below this level)
2008-01-14 00:50:01

i’m confused

 
 
 
 
Uncle Johnson
2008-01-14 14:27:33

I agree with Indi that in principle, if you are fighting to defend your nation’s “sovereignty” against terrorists, and are committed to that cause because you love your country, you should show it by giving up any citizenships you may have elsewhere.

But a Green Card is not citizenship – it’s like a permanent resident visa. There’s no problem with a person having the right to live somewhere else, even if they are a politician or hold public office, I feel. I would be surprised if there wasn’t at least one European politician with a Green Card, for example.

Besides, if they are criminals in Sri Lanka and they flee to America, we can extradite them, surely?

 
2008-01-14 17:46:34

Personally, I’ve no problem with a non-citizen fighting for a country. History has shown that there’s very little difference, and when there is, it’s been for the better. If you look at the Dutch and British East India Companies, all their soldiers were essentially mercenaries, fighting on the payroll of a mercantile company with interests in the parent state. In more recent history, mercenaries have proven (particularly in Africa) a far better lot than the citizen soldiery.

2008-01-14 20:27:00

Soldiers fine, but you don’t have many national armies led by non/half citizens. You might get the occasional Lafayette, but more generals are nationals like Washington. Above a certain level in US Defense, non-citizens (and duals) simply do not get the security clearance. There are obvious reasons for this, approved by the President and the National Security Council in something called the ADJUDICATIVE GUIDELINES. That is because they care about their informational security, and cannot afford to say ‘aney, he’s my brother’ to alleviate national security concerns. Sri Lanka should also share the same concerns, as we are in a fight for our national security with significant international influences and implications. From those guidelines:

6. The Concern. Foreign contacts and interests may be a security concern if the individual has divided loyalties or foreign financial interests, may be manipulated or induced to help a foreign person, group, organization, or government in a way that is not in U.S. interests, or is vulnerable to pressure or coercion by any foreign interest. Adjudication under this Guideline can and should consider the identity of the foreign country in which the foreign contact or financial interest is located, including, but not limited to, such considerations as whether the foreign country is known to target United States citizens to obtain protected information and/or is associated with a risk of terrorism.

There are legitimate security concerns with having foreign green-card/citizenship holders at the top levels of our military. Most national security policies do not allow it, but our nepotistic culture does.

2008-01-15 14:46:13

“Soldiers fine, but you don’t have many national armies led by non/half citizens.”

Lol, so now some sort of special loyalty is needed to be a general, wheras the cannon fodder can be foreigners, yeah? Are you sure you want to prsist with this line of aargument? Never mind, I’ll indulge you. It’s a holidaay and I’m stuck in office with nothing to do.

Actually, you couldn’t be more wrong here. During the crusades, kings would hire out armies to foreign heads of state who would pay and feed these knights and foot soldiers. They were led by their own leaders and were loyal to their own king, but fought very well for the flag they were under. The British and Dutch East India Companies were led by their own generals who were mercantile employees. In Sierra Leone in the ’90s, all government offensive military operations were conducted by private military companies (PMCs) — the South African firm of Executive Outcomes, and later the British firm Sandline. They were led by their own officers. So the company CEO was in fact the commanding general, and the regional director for Africa was the operational commander. Right now, in Iraq, the second biggest contingent of coalition troops (after the US) are PMCs (numbering around 30,000 combat and support troops.

And btw, you don’t have to be a US citizen to fight in its armed forces. I know of aat least one SL citizen resident in the US at the time who fought as a Marine in Vietnam. Right now, many Mexicans, Asians, and Puerto Ricans are fighting in the US armed forces in Iraq & Afghanistan.

“You might get the occasional Lafayette, but more generals are nationals like Washington.”

That is certainly true. Historically, most generals have been nationals. But not all. And just because things have been traditionally done in a particular way, doesn’t mean they must always been done that way. So unless you can cite specific reasons why a foreign citizen cannnot be trusted, I must conclude that you don’t really have much to stand on here. This isn’t a war between SL and the US, so there’s no conflict of interest.

Finally, Indi, I’m curious. Why do you continue to call Gota & co “non/half citizens”? It has already been pointed out to you that they are in fact full SL citizens who hold foreign visas. What part of “SL citizen” do you not get?

I also asked you why you don’t have a problem with RW & CBK having held foreign resident visas during their time in office. You seem to not notice these points but hammer out the false notion that Fonseka etc are foreign citizens when they are not.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
2008-01-17 16:05:44

i’m sure gota and co’s loyalties are towards sri lanka…
but if you’re asking your fellow citizens to starve, die, lose limb etc while you enjoy an exit plan – that sucks!
my impression is that “our leaders will ditch us when things get bad”
what kinda leadership is that!?!?!?

one leadership trait is about setting a standard and asking your followers to keep up with that or better that… isnt it?
i’m sorry but i dont see that in gota

 
2008-01-17 17:39:00

I presume you’ve got an SL leader in mind who has/had that trait.

 
2008-01-17 18:17:05

no i do not know of anyone
if you do pls let me know so that i can go worship / get turned on / kiss ass / offer my vote etc.

we are lowering down the standards of our leaders…
every new generation of leaders are more corrupt and stupid than the previous ones…
heck… some are not even complete citizens of our country!

 
2008-01-18 10:38:35

I think you’re being a bit naive. While I agree that our politicians are getting more corrupt & inept as time goes by, I find it hard to find ANY world leaders that can set a standard for others to follow. Eg: Clinton dodged the draft but ordered US troops into Bosnia and Somalia. Bush Jr avoided serving in Vietnam but happily sent his men to Iraq and Afghanistan. Etc etc.

Bottom line, every leader in every country on the planet has an exit strategy for himself and his family if the shit hits the fan.

“some are not even complete citizens of our country!”

How do you figure that?

 
2008-01-19 18:31:33

yeah and we keep tolerating bad leaders saying “we have to do with what we have”

 
2008-01-21 10:06:37

Well, if you’re doing that and saying that, you shouldn’t. Of course, we must criticize the corruption, greed, and sheer stupidity we see in our elected leaders. Taken in that light, I find the trend to criticize them for meaningless trivialities such as their dress sense, moustaches, and green card ownership irresponsible, because it also trivialises their far greater, real, and important failings.

 
2008-01-21 10:20:13

hmmmm

 
 
chandare
2008-01-15 21:49:41

David is right Indi.You should spend more time on the “internets”!
There are so many non-US citizens in US army (and reserves).Recently there was this case of a US soldier who hadn’t got his citizenship who died a day before he got his citizenship and his family had to move back to Mexico.

In the case of security cleareance Paul wolfwitz former deputy secretary of defence (and the head of the world bank ,that makes him your boss btw !;-)) ) has a girl friend who is non-US citizen and apart from the whole shit storm about WB thing the national security issue was one of the thing ppl raised.Also take the case of Dana Perino the current Whitehouse spokesperson who has a British husband.
What about the case of former Saudi Embassidor Prince Bandr (Bandar Bush as Micheal Moore says) who has access Bush Family and integral part of security decisions in Bush I and Bush II whitehouses according to some?

What I’m saying there are Non-US citizens close to the top rung of US defence officails as well .
When it’s comes to loyalty Who would Paul Wolfowitz be loyal to US ,British,lebenese Chritians or Isreal?

The Bottom Line is that Gota is a Sri Lankan Citizen.He spent the best part of his life serving the country in a dangerous war.Why should he have less of a oppertunity simply becuase he has a green card?
If Indi would like to be the Defence sceretary he should be able to do that if the President and the people of the country have faith in him that he will get the Job done.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
 
 
 
2008-01-16 15:22:15

[...] recent post by Indi on the correctness of allowing people with foreign interests to hold high military office got me [...]

 
rajivmw
2008-01-17 14:51:36

Just an interesting note on this subject. Adolf Hitler served in the German Army during World War 1, and thereafter became one of the powerful figures in German politics, all the while being an Austrian. He only became a German citizen in 1932, just months before running (unsuccessfully) for the German presidency! Within a year, he was absolute dictator of Germany and the rest is history. Which is why the Americans will have to think long and hard before changing their constitution to allow a President Ah-nold…

 
san
2008-01-18 23:09:27

Indi, I don’t about Gothabaya and Basil. But at this point I don’t even care if Maj Gen Sarath Fonseka is a American citizen. What he has done to Sri Lanka Army have to be commended and recognized. In my opinion he is a great officer.

David Blacker, well said.

 
China DOLL
2008-01-20 13:58:14

I dont think there is a issue here at all.,

Since I do live in Hong Kong., accourding to teh Immigration dept., 20% of the local ppl have some sort of a Dual citizenship like US, Canada, Aus, UK and so on.

Who ever in the Govt., Civil Service., Police etc., do have their foreign passport and their children do study in those countries and there is a lot of harmony in between.

If one has to be patriot a piece of paper (Green Card of a Yankee passport) have nothing to do !

Do not make us divided on Green cards and Dual citizenshp again Indy., we already have all sorts of divisions like ethnicity, race, religion, upcountry/low country, caste, rich/poor.

Just think as Sri Lankans irrespective of those narrow lines and we can make this country a paradise again !!!!!

 
Web demons
2008-01-21 12:12:39

Do you know how many foreigners and Sri Lankans with foreign passports holders among the 18 advisors Ranil Wickramasinghe had during his 2nd tenor as PM ? (your father was one of the 18 so you may no the answer )

Do you know how many foreigners and Sri Lankans with foreign passports holders among the people hired to run the regaining Sri Lanka project of Ranil Wickramasinghe?

Do you know during the same period there was a high level team of US military men in Sri Lanka assessing the structural, material and training requirements of Sri Lankan security forces and they were given the access to very sensitive information related to national security, allowed to visit all key defense establishments all over the island and interview all military commanders?

Do you know those foreign experts attended the national defense council meetings?
Most of all, can you explain if “the peace process” can be outsourced to foreigners why can’t we get a few Sri Lankan green card holders to manage the war for us?

You served Ranil Wickramasinghe during the 2005 election, hoping for a change (for the country as well as for yourself/your family) but things didn’t work out the way you and 4.5 million Sri Lankans expected. So please stop complaining because you are going to get another chance again in 4 years to serve your bellowed leader if you are still interested in.

You are an educated person with some potential and I don’t think you should lower yourself to the level of taking over the job of people like Lasantha Wickramathunge or Sonali Samarasinghe.

 
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
URI
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

email indi AT indi.ca.


Recent Comments


Anti Christian Christmas (2)

Jack Point: I found this video very disturbing. https://www.you tube.com/watch? v=EUHCQyxK3ps&a mp;feature=yout u.be http://dbsjeyar aj.com/dbsj/arc hives/27450

Jack Point: “these acts go under the radar because they’re on what my friend Dinidu calls ‘minorities within minorities’. The attacks are no less awful, however, and it’s sad the mainstream Muslims and Christians are not speaking out,”...

What A Colombo Revolution Might Look Like (Thailand) (5)

sharanga: Good constructive criticism.

sharanga: >the electorate is too ill-informed to decide This is almost always true in any country. It’s one of the greatest faults of democracy. The electorate is ill-informed and as public choice theorists put it, systematica...

Faz: What a ridiculous post Indi. I don’t even know where to begin with this

The Southern Expressway Bus (11)

Jack Point: Wy can’ these MORONS publish the damned timetable? Is that such a hard thing to do ? We have to go round in circles looking for info, no one knows exactly. Every website says contact 1919 but those idiots are only available...

The Cantaloupe Crash (10)

Iqbal: 5.5 million is a lot of money. Sounds about right. OMG 7 million for a wedding? Who organised it Cantaloupe? Did the poruwa crash doen around you? Either way you got ripped off machan. You ain’t no math wiz for sure. More like dim wit.

Iqbal: Indi, I think the official revenue figure was more like Rs 55 million for this Cantaloupe event. Which gives the directors pretty much what you say. I pity the fools that paid such an amount to have their NYE ruined.

Math Whiz: So there were 3500 tickets right? Normal Tickets were Rs. 10,000/- and VIP Tickets were Rs. 13,000/-. Just for the sake of argument let us go with the higher number of Rs. 13,000/- per ticket: 3500 X 13000 = Rs. 45,500,000/- There are 4...

Ali Baba And The NSA (1)

sack: I think you are forgetting the fact that most of the NSA type work (NSA is one among many) is done by private companies. In theory you can say that NSA employees are employees of the government who is doing a duty rather like soldiers. But...

What A Colombo Revolution Might Look Like (Thailand)

There’s a section of Sri Lanka – call them UNPers, elites, ESE, Ceylonese, whatever – that really really dislike Mahinda Rajapaksa and everything he represents. They’d like to see him thrown out of power at the least and tried as a war criminal at the most. This amorphous population, however, cannot beat him in elections and many don’t even vote. They do have disproportionate international connections so are featured a lot in international coverage of Sri Lanka, but they’re not especially influential within. I generalize because I’m talking broadly about a community I am or moreso was a part of.

Ali Baba And The NSA

There’s been a lot of talk about Edward Snowden and the NSA, specifically whether he should be hanged by his neck till dead or treated as a whistleblower. I lean towards the whistleblower side, largely because it’s really hard to take the side of a monolith like the NSA over one human being. There are a few points which have been bugging me.

Anti Christian Christmas

Shamefully, places of worship were attacked over the holidays – both Christian and Muslim. In this case the attacks seem to have been Muslims attacking Sufis (a sect) and claimed Buddhists attacking evangelical Christians. Both of these acts go under the radar because they’re on what my friend Dinidu calls ‘minorities within minorities’. The attacks are no less awful, however, and it’s sad the mainstream Muslims and Christians are not speaking out, let alone Buddhists.

The Cantaloupe Crash

Cantaloupe is an events management team that grew out of the old Colombo Nightlife crew, AFAIK. I’ve met a few of the directors and they’re nice enough, though those sort of events and nightclubs (Amuseum) are not my scene at all. They are, however, a scene which a lot of people seem to enjoy. Underneath that lifestyle, however, there’s always an undercurrent of violence and danger. This New Year’s Eve nobody shot off guns (which happens in Colombo), but an entire stage did collapse, injuring hundreds. There are limited ways to respond to such disasters, but not being prepared, not getting the injured to hospital as a priority and continuing the party have not represented Cantaloupe or the Hilton well.