July 30, 2008

With apologies to Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

First they banned the sale of meat,
and I didn't speak up, because I was a vegetarian.
Then they banned the sale of alcohol,
and I didn't speak up, because I was a teetotaler.
When they shut down movie theatres,
I didn't speak up, because I had a DVD at home.
When they censored television,
I didn't speak up, because I didn't watch T.V.
When they imprisoned Tamils on suspicion of being terrorists,
I didn't speak up, because I was a Burgher.
When they shooed away the beggers and bashed up the gays,
I didn't speak up, because I was neither gay nor a begger.
When they put away the prostitutes,
I didn't speak up, because I was a married man who stayed cloistered at home.
I didn't raise my voice, I didn't make a fuss.
It's funny there was no one left to notice, when they came for me!

For his opposition to the Nazi's state control of the churches, Niemöller was imprisoned in Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps from 1937 to 1945. He narrowly escaped execution and survived imprisonment.After his imprisonment, he expressed his deep regret about not having done enough to help the victims of the Nazis.

This is the original poem by Pastor Martin Niemöller.
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I remained silent;
I wasn't a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

The 32 New Countries Created Since 1990

Since 1990, thirty-two new countries have been created. The dissolution of the USSR and Yugoslavia in the early 1990s caused the creation of most of the newly independent states.

You probably know about many of these changes but a few of these new countries seemed to slip by almost unnoticed. This comprehensive listing will update you about the countries which have formed since 1990.

Union of Soviet Socialist Republics

Fifteen new countries became independent with the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Most of these countries declared independence a few months preceding the fall of the Soviet Union in late 1991.

1. Armenia
2. Azerbaijan
3. Belarus
4. Estonia
5. Georgia
6. Kazakhstan
7. Kyrgyzstan
8. Latvia
9. Lithuania
10. Moldova
11. Russia
12. Tajikistan
13. Turkmenistan
14. Ukraine
15. Uzbekistan

Former Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia dissolved in the early 1990s into five independent countries.

1. Bosnia and Herzegovina, February 29, 1992
2. Croatia, June 25, 1991
3. Macedonia (officially The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) declared independence on September 8, 1991 but wasn't recognized by the United Nations until 1993 and the United States and Russia in February of 1994
4. Serbia and Montenegro, (also known as the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), April 17, 1992 (see below for separate Serbia and Montenegro entries)
5. Slovenia, June 25, 1991

Other New Countries

Nine other countries became independent through a variety of causes.

* March 21, 1990 - Namibia became independent of South Africa.

· May 22, 1990 - North and South Yemen merged to form a unified Yemen.

· October 3, 1990 - East Germany and West Germany merged to form a unified Germany after the fall of the Iron Curtain.

· September 17, 1991 - The Marshall Islands was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.

· September 17, 1991 - Micronesia, previously known as the Caroline Islands, became independent from the United States.

· January 1, 1993 - The Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent nations when Czechoslovakia dissolved.

· May 25, 1993 - Eritrea was a part of Ethiopia but seceded and gained independence.

· October 1, 1994 - Palau was part of the Trust Territory of Pacific Islands (administered by the United States) and gained independence as a former colony.

· May 20, 2002 - East Timor declared independence from Portugal in 1975 but became independent of Indonesia in 2002.

· June 3, 2006 - Montenegro was part of Serbia and Montenegro (also known as Yugoslavia) but gained independence after a referendum.

· June 5, 2006 - Serbia became its own entity after Montenegro split.

The 2008 Kosovo declaration of independence was an act of the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government Assembly of Kosovo, adopted on 17 February 2008, which declared Kosovo to be independent from Serbia.

If all these countries can declare independence...Why not a Tamil Eelaam in Sri Lanka???

This is a new Alphabet for the ‘Vocal Majority’ from the ‘Silent Minority’.

A is for Abductions that take place even after the end of the so called “Humanitarian Operation”, usually blamed on i Internationale Conspirators and aliens.

B is for Benz Bikkus who live in the lap of luxury.

C is for Censorship of TV programmes showing scenes of alcohol and tobacco.

D is for Doctor Delipihiya, patron saint of murder and mayhem.

E is for Elections which are neither free nor fair.

F is for Freedom of abduction, harassment and imprisonment under the Prevention of TOURISM Act.

G is for Gullible majority who have been hoodwinked since 1948.

H is for Human rights abuses that occur 465 days of the year.

I is for Independence also known as the ’62 Year Curse’. (We were better off under the British!)

J is for Jayasuriya, who will probably play until the 2043 World Cup or until he gets his EPF?

K is for Kassipu. (A bottle a day keeps the liver awake.)

L is for Lies, damned lies and statistics that the government media saturates us with each day. (Courtesy of “Useful Idiots” like Dr. The Yarn)

M is for Mahinda Chinthanaya. (Who needs the Bible, Koran and Tripitaka when we have the ‘Chinthanaya.’

N is for Nepotism or favoritism to the 300+ relatives. (Also check R)

O is for the MANY (and still to come) Patriotic Opposition MPs who crossed over to the government to save the country from “International Conspiracies”.

P is for Pillayan, who became Chief Minister of the East using the ‘Bullet’ to get the ‘Ballot.’

Q is for Question mark? Has the war really ended? When do pigs fly and when does hell freeze over? When the “ASSchariya” happens?

R is for Rajapaksa poshanaya of Mahinda, Basil, Goatabaya and Chamal.

S is for ” STAY COOL” all is well in the island of Jilmart!

T is for Terrorism. Both the LTTE kind and the State sponsored kind.

U is for Underestimate. What the Government always does of the LTTE and the Diaspora.

V is for Velupillai Prabahakaran who is very much alive and kicking (in the hearts of the Tamils).

W is for Wickramasinghe (Ranil). The greatest President that never governed Sri Lanka.

X is for Xenophobia or the island mentality. The dislike of all things foreign.

Y is for Yearning for yesterday. The national pastime of living in the past.

Z is for Zero casualties in “The Humanitarian Operation”.. (for semantics and paradigm shifts speak to Dr. The Yarn Joy Tikka)

Majorities, minorities, hammers and nails!

When people of different origins, speaking different languages and professing different religions inhabit the same country and live under the same political sovereignty, ethnic and racial conflict is the usual outcome. More often than not, this happens when the majority tries to impose its language, religion and cultural values on the minorities!

There is an old saying: If your only tool is a hammer, then all your problems look like nails. In the ‘Aluth Sri Lanka’ that we live in today, our tools for problem solving consist of multi-barrel rocket launchers, migs, kafirs, white vans, goon squads and rigged elections. And the Tamils in the north and east and other parts of the country including journalists and the general public at large are the nails that are bombed into submission, abducted, beaten, killed and terrorized!
The ‘Maanushika Meheuma’ or ‘Humanitarian Operation,’ an euphemism for the ongoing war is fought today as a scared and justifiable war! A war of good against evil, black versus white! But let us not forget the many shades of grey in between!

’Fighting for peace is like copulating for virginity,’ is a pithy saying attributed to an American GI during the Vietnam war. This saying describes Sri Lanka’s predicament in a nutshell! Using military might to settle a dispute might seem logical in the short term, taking the peoples minds off the rising cost of living, but in the long term we are all losers!

Maximum devolution of power is the only way forward. In Sri Lanka’s 60 year history, agreements were made but not implemented! Pacts were signed and abrogated! This time around, if the majority community does not agree to devolution, the country’s future will be quite bleak, and it will not be the beginning of the end, but the end of the end, and Sri Lanka will meander along as ‘A can’t be developed country,’ the ‘Sick man of Asia.’

The Lighter Side of the Sri Lankan Crisis!

If you have ever tried to keep track of the political situation in Sri Lanka (also known as "That Blasted Country"), in the last couple of years, you would know how confusing it all is with so many different newspapers carrying so many different views. To remedy this, I decided to take parts from each newspaper and string them together in the hope of getting a proper perspective of what really is happening…and this was the result!

The vocal majority shouted all kinds of slogans:
"Death to Chauvinists!"
"The Jathika Hela Urumaya are Kola Kenda addicts!"
" Sri Lanka is a Banana Republic!"
"Galle Face is for Lovers!"
"Thopi Wenuwen Api!"
"Be patriotic, waste like our government!"
"Conserve water…drink kassippu!"
"God bless Sri Lanka except Jaffna !"
"Lets Rock 'n' Roll in Muhamalai!"
"Don't walk on the grass…smoke it!"
"The KGB are Kandiyan Govigama Buddhists!"
"East or West…Prabahakaran is the best!"
"The JVP are the Janathawa Vinashakireemay Peramuna!"
"Long Live Duckworth & Lewis!"
"Duckworth for President & Lewis for Prime Minister!"

And equipped with:Chinese weapons, White vans, Veddah mercernaries, Bags of pohora, Dr.Delipihiya's strait jacket, Multi barrel cattle droppings, Anthrax spores, Claymore mines, Samurdhi Niyamaka yakkos, 110 Cabinet Ministers, Swiss bank accounts, Jonny Batta's, A 'Situation Report' by Iqbal Athas, Bows and arrows, Marauding morons, Kafirs and Migs, Cherry flavoured cannabis, Retired JVP cadres, Lalkantha's hernia, Inmates from Angoda, Deep Penetration Units, Next years TV programmes, A copy of the Hansard, A bullet and a ballot, A copy of the 'Mahinda Chinthanaya', Highly trained midgets, Bullet proof intercoolers, Tilvin's weights schedule, A book on "How to send Politicians to the moon," A gazette notification, Wimal's 'Hair Gel', Somawansa's false teeth and a loaf of bread.

Today: Crossed over to the Government from the opposition, Gave nuisance calls, Sent text messages, Rampaged through, Invaded, Bombed, Assassinated, Exterminated, Cremated, Spread malicious rumours, Hustled tourists, Swapped dirty jokes, Burnt the Jaffna library, Decided to rename the country as "The Autocratic Theocratic Oligarchy of Sri Lanka, Dissolved Parliament, Set up an anti-cultural league, Gave government back to the people, Made everybody his own lawmaker, Decided to wipe out corruption by wiping out government, Set up an organization called "Sri Lankans for Democratic Anarchy," Applauded the practice of cruelty to animals, Set up an old age pension scheme for honest politicians, Banned the book "The day Prabahakaran didn't shave," Nominated Dr.Delipihiya for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Outbreak which followed:The recent bus bombings, The abduction of UFOs by 'White Vans', Helping Hambantota, The no-confidence motion, The killing of innocent mass murderers, The hijacking of a plane load of rice, The closing down of liquor stores, The non payment of electricity bills, The censoring of the weather report, The Dooshanaya and Beeshanaya, The misplacement of the Mahiyangane telephone directory, Ethnic violence in the north pole, The translation of the "Encyclopedia of Fungus" into Pali, The infringement of fundamental rights, The discrimination of bacteria, The Charge of the Light Brigade, The imprisonment of Dengue Mosquitoes under the "Prevention of Terrorism Act," The high cost of living, The "Jana Bala Meheuma," The Udatalawinna massacre, The excommunication of the devil, The dissolving of parliament, The ban on showing alcohol and tobacco on TV, The free and fair elections in the east, The manhandling of Dr.Delipihiya by Mrs. Rupa Vahini.

Could: Cause inflation, Cause laughter, Cause further price hikes of oil, Lead to further air strikes in the North, Threaten vegetarians, Wipe out non-violence from Sri Lanka, Give a bad name to Sri Lankans living in Alaska, Make compulsory the watching of Mrs.Rupa Vahini by blind people, Lead to state sponsored terrorism being peoplised, Lead to more abductions by Aliens.

And affect: The price of White Vans, World Peace, Globalization, The Information Super Highway, The Sinhala way of life or "Apay Kamma", Future high rise buildings, The fight against terrorism, Mrs. Rupa Vaahini & Mr. Daily Noise, The LTTE pension scheme, The 1.5 million cannabis plants by the year 2010 programme, GSP +, The Prime Ministers fight with baldness, Same sex marriages, The future of "Mahinda Chinthanaya", Amaradeva's popularity, Kola Kenda addicts, The "Maha Sinhalay Wansa Kathaava", Talks in Oslo, Monogamous marriages, The Leaning Tower of Pisa, World Population, Amity & Unity, The Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of Sri Lanka, House maids in the middle-east, The Ozone layer, Honest politicians, Dumb rap singers, Deaf Hard Rock fans, Future Provincial Councils, Owners of cellular phones, Glasnost in Sampur, The price of coffins, The land value in hell, The rising cost of sand, The outcome of the Elara vs Dutugemunu war, Tamil Aspirations, Red light districts in Colombo, The Wayamba election, AF Raymond, The defeat of the LTTE by the year 3008.

Politicians blame the crisis on:Aliens in white vans, Power cuts, Nepotism, The tour of Sri Lanka by Brian Adams, Alcohol & Tobacco, The rising cost of oil, Unpatriotic Journalists, Prabahakaran's parents, Defective condoms, The Executive Presidency, JRs "Bahoobootha Viyavasthaawa, The Family Planning Association, Eve for not taking the pill, The Dutch, The Portuguese, The British, Low protein diets, Dooshanaya & Beeshanaya, The US$, The Japanese Yen, Baggy Underwear, Gravity, The IOC, Amnesty International, INGOs, Mihin Air, Five Star Democracy, Mettha, Muditha, Karuna & Pillayan, The decline and fall of the Roman and British empires, Tire Pyres, Sanath's "Pol Addi", The suns ultra violet rays, Jumbo Peanuts, The Sri Lankan embassy in Antarctica, Hindi movies, The private bus service, UFOs, Mad Cow Disease, Consultation, Compromise and Consensus, Bouncy Wickets, The third umpire, Duckworth & Lewis, Bathiya & Santhus, The Jathika Hela Urumaya, The Boomiputhra Party, The Memorandum of Understanding, Landslides in Rathnapura, Everyone else but themselves.

And fear it may lead to: A Dharma Rajya, Further abductions by Aliens in white vans, Journalists being named an endangered species, World Wars 3 and 4, Veddahs seeking a separate state in Dambana, Mosquitoes seeking a separate state in the Beira Lake, Dead tamil militants seeking a separate state in hell, The devil seeking political asylum in Sri Lanka, Women growing hair on their chests, The return of the IPKF, More election violence, The legalization of polygamy, Politicians declaring their assets, The victory of the bullet over the ballot, More Mega Tele Dramas, More Mihin Airs, A cure for AIDS, More Mano vs Malik talks, An attack from Mars, April 1st being named as "Politicians Day", The Sri Lankan Football team winning the 4008 Football World Cup, More Peace Talks, Prabahakaran being reborn as Mother Therese, Life on Saturn.