Why I spell Singhala with a ‘g’ (සිංහල)

‘Microsoft Word accepts both Singhalese and Sinhalese as acceptable spellings for people who speak the Singhala language. However, it does not accept the spelling ‘Singhala’ as opposed to Sinhala without the ‘g’.

There is a big semantic difference between ‘sing’ and ‘sin’ in the English language. Sin is a synonym for evil. People who sin are sinners. People who sing are singers, and Singhalese people love to sing. They have sung since ancient times and their poetry and oral history have been sung in towns. villages and Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka for more than two thousand years.

The spelling of the Singhala language without a g is at odds with the Singhala spelling of the word:

සිංහල

සිංහ – Singha – Lion

“සිං” is ‘sing’ not sin

The generous and cosmopolitan among the Britishers said that the natives of Ceylon spoke in a “sing-song voice”, but the racists among the British despised people “jabbering” in languages they didn’t understand. The Britsh brought the Anglican Church to Sri Lanka and also gave permission for American missionaries to teach that Hinduism and Buddhism were ignorant supersitions, and the only “good” songs were hymns and carols. Native songs and dances were discouraged. The beat of the African drums came to symbolise rebellion of the “restless natives”, who had to understand only enough English to understand the “riot act” when it was read out to them – in English.

The English (Anglican) Church and Catholic (Roman) Church talk a lot about sin, and sin is another word for evil. In Australia, the Aboriginal childen were taken by the rival churches and ‘educated’ in the mission schools, where they were forced to learn rudimentary English, enough to work as labourers and housemaids but not enough to aspire to university, or a well-paying job. They were actively prevented from speaking their numerous beautiful native languages at school, under threat of punishment. They were told that the ancient wisdom of their elders was superstitious nonsense and that they would only go to “heaven” of they believed in the Doctrine of the Trinity and that Jesus was God. If they ‘sinned’ against the Ten Commandments as interpreted by the relevant chuches and their White missionary-teachers they would go to “hell”, a horrific place of eternal punishment, where they would “gnash their teeth in agony for ever and ever”.

The treatment of the ‘civilized’ natives of Ceylon by the British was not as brutal as the treatment of Australian Aborigines, and efforts were made by the missionaries and British universities to undertand and translate the ancient Indian and Sri Lankan languages and scripts. This was done with the help of the Buddhist and Hindu clergy and intelligensia, as well as the political, academic and business leaders, who were keen to learn English and acquire positions of relative power in the colonial administration. There was a lot of interest in Sanskrit, but the British and Europeans divided the Singhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka as belonging to fundamentally different “races”. The Tamils were said to be Dravidian, but the Singhalese were said to be Aryan, like themselves. This was based on the differences between Singhala and Tamil regarding the influence of Sanskrit. Singhala is said to be derived from the North Indian languages of Pali and Sanskrit, while Tamil is a Dravidian language – which originally meant any of the several South Indian languages (including Malayalam, Telugu and Kannada), These have variable influences from Sanskrit, which is the Hindu liturgical language.

Modern DNA studies have shown the Singhalese and Tamils of Sri Lanka to be closely related, and more closely related than either group to Indians (from the south or north). The Tamils and Singhalese may have distinct languages and culture, but they are the same race and Europeans were wrong about their doctrines about Aryans and Dravidians. It is true, however, that Sanskrit is related to most of the European languages, something that was noticed by European monk-scholars of the Catholic Church in the 1600s, when they first travelled to India and tried to learn Sanskrit from the Brahmins. The Western scholars found common words and linguistic similarity between Sanskrit and the European classical languages of Greek and Latin. This led to a debate about where the Indo-European language family originated, a matter that hasn’t yet been settled. It is generally accepted that though Sanskrit developed in North India and became the holy language of Hinduism, it is related to the rest of the Indo-European, formerly called the Indo-Aryan, language family.

However languages are not the same as races. People of different races can learn the same language. There are many unsolved mysteries that will be elucidated when more people have their DNA tested. I have had mine done by a Canadian company (Genebase).

My family tree on Genebase includes more than 6000 people, mostly uploaded by a distant relative of mine, who I have never met (but we linked family trees since I was already on his extensive, but inaccurate, family tree) . Genebase compares DNA analyses from Indigenous populations around the world, with many groups from India but none from Sri Lanka. This limits the conclusions I can reach from the result that my Tamil mother’s mitochondrial DNA (maternal lineage) traces from the Sindhi Province in Pakistan (home to the Indus-Saraswati Civilization) combined with genetic input from Central India. It is an interesting result, though.

My Singhalese father’s paternal line shows commonalities, according to the DNA analysis, with populations of Indians in Malaysia and populations of Central India, Iran and the Middle-East. Neiher of my parents showed commonalities with European, African, Chinese or South American populations. However, the database is limited to 300 or so studies, and Australian Aboriginal and other Australians, as well as Sri Lankan veddhas and Sri Lankans (whether Singhalese, Tamil or Muslim) were not studied

It took me some years to identify myself as a Sri Lankan rather than a ‘Ceylonese’. Like many English-speaking expatriates I was attached to the name Ceylon. But now I see myself as a Sri Lankan Australian, with heritage and ancestry that is both Tamil and Singhalese. With a g. And I am learning the beautiful languages of my ancestors from my Facebook friends and Linkedin connections, both Tamil and Singhala. With a g. Thanks to all those who have helped me.

.

Transitional Justice and Reconciliation in Sri Lanka

©2018 Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam

In March 2018 a short article was published online in The Diplomat titled “Transitional Justice in Sri Lanka: From Denial to Delay”. It was authored by a Swiss-trained Indian lawyer by the name of Yashasvi Nain, who the article says is working as a Programme Officer at the Commonwealth Human Rights Initiative where he leads its international advocacy program at the UN Human Rights Council. His Linkedin profile says that he studied at the Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law (Punjab) from 2008-2013 followed by training in international criminal law and International refugee law at the University of Geneva. He has also worked with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. The former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated by a female Tamil Tiger (LTTE) suicide bomber in 1991.

Nain claims that Sri Lanka has failed to live up to its promises and that a UN report by the Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights “specifically highlights the delays in constituting the long promised transitional justice mechanism on the atrocities and human rights abuses committed by both the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)”.

The LTTE was militarily defeated in May 2009, when its military leader, who had led the organization’s “armed struggle” for “Tamil Eelam”, Vellupillai Prabakaran, was killed. This ended a 30-year civil war, but not the calls for “Tamil Eelam” among the Tamil expatriates who had backed the Tamil Tigers and the separatist war. The “struggle” for Tamil Eelam was continued by the so-called “Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam” (TGTE) headed by the Tamil Tigers’ New York-based lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who calls himself the ‘Prime Minister’ of the TGTE. The TGTE has established offices in 10 nations, namely the USA, UK, Canada, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, Switzerland, New Zealand and Australia, but notably not in India or Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka formerly banned the TGTE, which still flies the LTTE flags at its events and broadcasts (despite the LTTE being banned as a terrorist organization in several nations in which the TGTE is active).  Wikipedia describes the TGTE as a “government in exile” but the organization is a farce and does not have the support of the vast majority of Sri Lankan Tamils. The TGTE claims to be democratic (unlike the LTTE) and committed to achieving Tamil Eelam by peaceful political means, but has wasted a lot of money trying to mount vexatious legal action against the Sri Lankan military leaders that defeated the LTTE and charge the Sri Lankan government with ‘genocide’. In truth, if there was genocide committed in Sri Lanka, it was conducted by the LTTE, and not the government. It was the LTTE that tried to rid the “north and east” of Sri Lanka of Singhalese and Muslims.

The legal concept of ‘transitional justice’ was developed after the Nuremberg Trials following World War Two, when Nazi and Japanese war criminals were tried by military tribunals and imprisoned or executed. It was justice of the victors, followed by efforts to de-Nazify Germany. However, under Operation Paperclip many of those involved in atrocities, including psychological warfare, human experimentation and collection of human tissue for study, were not prosecuted. Both the Soviets and the Allies competed for known war criminals with what was regarded as valuable scientific knowledge.

According to the Nuremberg precedent, it is Sri Lanka and the Sri Lankan military who should be trying the defeated forces – the LTTE – which started a separatist war, with foreign backing, in 1977. This was a war of aggression and it is a war crime to start a war. The war was also a front in the Cold War, something that is not fully appreciated and little written about. However, a close study of the war in Sri Lanka, the Korean War and the Vietnam War as related fronts in the Allied war on Asia, helps one understand the duplicitous role that several ‘Western’ nations played in the war and why the separatist propagandists talked about the Tigers being armed with “AK 47s” (Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifles) which are depicted on the Tamil Tiger flag, along with a ring of AK 47 bullets surrounding a charging Chola Tiger. The LTTE claimed to be secular and socialist, but never democratic. The military wing was hierarchical, and Prabakaran was the boss of the military wing, but the LTTE’s international operations were more opaque and less hierarchical. The Tamil Tigers were big on cult-worship, fear, violence and terrorism but small on ideology.

Transitional justice includes judicial measures, like criminal prosecutions and non-judicial measures like truth commissions and reparation programs. Nain wrote in March this year that “the government had not yet made public the draft Bills for a Reparations Office and a Truth and Reconciliation Commission”. He fails to mention the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC) that was held immediately after the war. The LLRC made several sensible recommendations and was not the government white-wash its critics had predicted it would be.

The matter of reparations is one that needs holistic appraisal. Who should compensate the people in Sri Lanka who suffered in this war and how should the compensation and reparations be paid? To settle this matter the war needs to be looked at in its entirety, and those who profiteered through the war (and there were many war profiteers) should be identified and charged. It is those who waged war against the small but sovereign nation of Sri Lanka that should pay reparations. The governments that overtly or, more usually, covertly supported the LTTE included India, Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Norway and Israel. The USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand form the ‘Five Eyes’ (or Eschelon) alliance, that shares intelligence and runs joint psy-ops. The ex-Mossad agent Victor Ostrovsky wrote in his book By Way of Deception how the Mossad (the Israeli secret service) trained both the Sri Lankan forces and the Tamil Tigers, at the same time.

 

Nain does not mention reparations by the LTTE’s backers and focuses on allegations of human rights abuses by the Sri Lankan government, police and military. It is common knowledge, however, that India armed and trained the LTTE and rival Tamil gangs of youths before unleashing them on Sri Lanka in the early 1980s. Later India sent troops to Sri Lanka (the IPKF or Indian Peace-Keeping Force) to disarm the gangs it had trained and the only gang that refused to disarm was the LTTE. The LTTE had, by then, eliminated the rival Tamil leadership of other separatist gangs (‘armed groups’). They also murdered several Tamil leaders who they accused of being ‘traitors’ for being prepared to work with the Colombo government, including the much-loved Tamil mayor of Jaffna Alfred Duraiappah, who was killed by Prabakaran himself in 1975. The mayor was in his sixties and had gone to a Hindu temple to pray, though he was a Christian, and was gunned down after he greeted the young Tamil lads who had taken out the contract to kill him. The gang was led by Prabakaran who was 21 and had formed his first armed gang, called the Tamil New Tigers (TNT), in 1972, when he was only 17 years old.

Though Prabakaran was known as the leader of the LTTE, the self-declared “theoretician and strategist” of the organization was an older man by the name of Anton Balasingham. In traditional Tamil culture the older brother – anna – has rank and authority over the younger brother – thambi. In the LTTE Balasingham was known as “Anna”, while Prabakaran was known as “Thambi”. Balasingham was the brains while Prabakaran was the brawn. But the real brains behind Balasingham was his second wife, the Australian-born and trained nurse Adele Ann Wilby, who met Balasingham in England when he was nursing his terminally ill wife Pearl, and married him in 1978. It was she who wrote the notes at the repeatedly unsuccessful peace talks that the LTTE held with the Sri Lankan government, in which her husband was the chief negotiator and “strategist” for the LTTE.

Anton Balasingham was raised a Roman Catholic but became a self-professed Marxist. Marx famously said that religion is the opium of the masses. In the 1960s Balasingham worked in Colombo as a journalist and editor, translating foreign news into Tamil, before getting a job as a translator (Tamil and English) for the British High Commission. It was the British High Commission that arranged for him to go with his wife Pearl, who he had married in 1968, for medical treatment in England. This was in 1971 and she died in 1976, with a diagnosis of chronic renal failure due to chronic pyelonephritis. During her illness Balasingham met Adele, who had trained as a nurse in Warragul in rural Victoria (in Australia).

Balasingham was recruited into the LTTE by the organization’s London representative and moved to Tamil Nadu with Adele. In 1986 he accompanied Prabakaran when the LTTE leader met Rajiv Gandhi, the Indian Prime Minister who he later assassinated using a programmed suicide bomber. The Balasingham couple orchestrated the LTTE’s activities from Madras, but moved to Jaffna, temporarily, in 1987. In 1987 war erupted between the Indian Peace Keeping Forces (IPKF) and the Tamil Tigers and the Balasinghams fled back to London.

In 1990 the Balasinghams returned to Sri Lanka to lead the LTTE delegation in the peace talks in Colombo. The peace talks failed, but the IPKF withdrew and the Tamil Tigers took over the Jaffna peninsula. The Balasinghams were in Jaffna at this time, when the LTTE gave Muslim citizens 24 hours to get out of Jaffna or be killed in a clear act of “ethnic cleansing”. Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for genocide. The LTTE’s intent was to rid ‘Tamil Eelam’ of both the Singhalese and the Muslims, who were mostly Tamil-speaking as their mother tongue, but identified themselves as Muslims, Moors or Sri Lankans rather than ‘Tamils’.

After the Sri Lankan Armed Forces retook the Jaffna Peninsula in 1995, the LTTE forced thousands of Tamil civilians to accompany them as a human shield, as they retreated into the jungles of the Vanni, where they established what they called their ‘capital’ in the village of Kilinochchi. This was when Adele Balasingham was filmed by an Australian film crew handing out necklaces of cyanide to young Tamil girls – ‘cadres’ of the ‘Women’s Wing’ of which she was the boss. They respectfully called her “Aunty”. The girls were ordered to swallow the cyanide if they were captured, and terrorised that they would be raped and tortured by the “brutal” Sri Lankan soldiers if they were taken alive. They were told to swallow the poison to “protect their honour”. The real reason was to protect the secrets of the organization. Cyanide poisoning is a particularly unpleasant way to die.

The Balasinghams returned to London in 1999 and flew on to Oslo, Norway, after Anton Balasingham developed renal failure (he was a long-standing diabetic). In Oslo he had a kidney transplant with a kidney donated by a young Tamil Sri Lankan and was able to continue his political leadership of the LTTE, leading discussions with the Norwegian government that resulted in the February  2002 ceasefire followed by peace talks in Thailand, Norway, Germany, Japan and Switzerland. These talks were not held in good faith by the LTTE, which used the opportunity to collect funds and prepare for the next “Eelam War”.

It has been said that truth is the first casualty of war. Balasingham was a propagandist. He was based in London, the centre of dissemination of British colonial and neo-colonial propaganda, and worked for the British High Commission. The British gave him a base to wage war against the sovereign nation of Sri Lanka that they used to rule as the Dominion of Ceylon. The British continued to arm and train the Sri Lankan military while also giving a base to the LTTE in London and elsewhere in Britain. After the war ended they are providing a base for the TGTE, which still flies the LTTE flag and is actively rewriting history and concealing the truth about the LTTE and its crimes against humanity. Furthermore, Sri Lanka is not the only nation in which Britain has contributed to warfare and division. “Divide and rule” was an accepted strategy of the British imperialists and colonists, and employed throughout what is now called the Commonwealth of Nations.

After she returned to England from Sri Lanka, Adele Balasingham wrote the autobiographical The Will to Freedom about her years as the boss of the LTTE’s women’s wing. In it she argued that the fact that the LTTE allowed women to fight was a sign of women’s liberation and the fact that that they wore cyanide necklaces was a sign of their commitment to the cause. Nothing could be further from the truth. The young women were carefully programmed, through slogans and images of the “leader” to be prepared to sacrifice their lives to protect the secrets and especially the whereabouts of the mainly male leadership. The suicide bombers were given their own name – the Black Tigers – and their last meal was the “honour” of dinner with Prabakaran himself. Balasingham and the real masterminds of the LTTE created a cult figure out of Prabakaran and  promoted a glorified image of the killer as a “liberator of Tamils” in Tamil Nadu and among the Tamil ‘Diaspora’ (expatriates). This propaganda is readily evident on the Internet, but began before there was an Internet.

 

Transitional Justice

 

Transitional justice includes both judicial measures such as criminal prosecutions and non-judicial measures like truth commissions and reparations programs.

Transitional justice implies transition from authoritarian, repressive regimes or civil conflicts to a more peaceful, democratic future. This is part of the movement to promote democracy as a system of government, as opposed to the Chinese (or Communist) system. The LTTE claimed to be Marxists and to be against the caste system, but in practice the war involved poor “low caste” Tamils in Sri Lanka being killed and maimed and being indoctrinated into a suicidal, militaristic mindset while the rich “high caste” Tamils enjoyed the luxury of professional life in the West, while sending money to buy weapons for the poor Tamils and Singhalese to be killed. Millions of dollars were collected every year in the USA and UK, and later in Canada and Europe. Meanwhile the sob stories of would-be asylum seekers and refugees were repeated without due scrutiny by various Western NGOs, human rights organizations and media outlets. Over the 30 years of the war the LTTE built up a considerable international propaganda network.

The fact is that Sri Lanka has had a democratic system of government since it obtained independence from Britain. Though President Mahinda Rajapaksa was widely denounced in the West as “dictatorial” and “authoritarian”, when he lost the election in 2015 he left power without calling in the military to protect his “rule” as some of his enemies predicted he would. The efforts to demonise President Rajapaksa and his brother Lt Col Gotabaya Rajapaksa were extreme, with comparisons with Hitler’s regime by people entirely devoid of historical knowledge and good sense.

Criminal prosecutions for transitional justice can be held in international or domestic courts. Sri Lanka is not a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), but there are several individuals who led the LTTE that live in countries that are signatories, including Adele Balasingham and Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran.

After the war many LTTE cadres and leaders were given amnesty after de-radicalisation and rehabilitation by the Sri Lankan government. Some were given employment in the military and have been involved in the dangerous work of clearing mines. The progress of mine-clearing in Sri Lanka compares well with the situation in other nations in which landmines have been sown. As part of the transitional justice measures the end-user certificates and sales and use of landmines by both sides should be examined, as well as the source of other weapons, including chemical weapons like cyanide and explosives. Possible links to Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) and Orica (the ICI subsidiary based in Australia that exports cyanide, explosives and electronic detonators) should be explored as part of the investigation into the truth about the war and who profited from it.

Truth Commissions

 

Some of the questions that might be investigated by the truth commission:

  1. Who sold the weapons and who purchased them?
  2. What weapons were bought by Prabakaran and his outfit since 1972?
  3. Trace end-user certificates for weapons
  4. How many casualties from LTTE attacks?
  5. How many injured in LTTE attacks?
  6. How many fatalities from LTTE attacks?
  7. Names of civilians killed by LTTE
  8. Ages of civilians killed by LTTE
  9. Mode of death/cause of death as per death certificate if issued
  10. Names of people killed in LTTE attacks
  • Names of civilians and armed forces injured by LTTE
  • Names of civilians killed/injured in government attacks
  • Names of injured requiring hospital care
  • Names of hospitals treating injured
  • Nature of treated injuries
  • List of drugs used in treatments
  • Fatalities/deaths in hospital
  • Cause and mode of death as recorded by hospital
  • DNA analysis of remains
  • Names of missing persons in all 3 languages

 

According to Wikipedia, transitional justice aims at

  1. Halting ongoing human rights abuses
  2. Identifying past crimes
  3. Identifying those responsible for human rights violations
  4. Imposing sanctions on those responsible
  5. Providing reparations to victims
  6. Preventing future abuses
  7. Security sector reform
  8. Preserving and enhancing peace
  9. Fostering individual and national reconciliation

Nain claims that there is ongoing torture by Sri Lankan police and that “attacks, death threats, surveillance and harassment of human rights defenders and victims of violations has continued”. This needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Sri Lanka has a history of being maligned by India and the West by critics who fail to examine their own countries for egregious human rights abuses. The psychiatric system in the UK and India are cases in point.  There is also the problem of embellished or false reports by Sri Lankans seeking asylum in the West, for which they need to prove ongoing persecution. This is a big industry, which the TGTE boss Rudrakumaran is part of as a “refugee lawyer”.

Regarding the identification of past crimes it is worth noting that in the Nuremberg Trials the crimes of the ANZAC and Allied victors were not investigated or prosecuted. The Sri Lankan government has extended amnesty to many thousands of LTTE cadres that have committed crimes against the state, and chosen not to prosecute known LTTE leaders who cooperated with the armed forces, police and government. This has only been done if people have renounced violence. Some of the recalcitrant LTTE fighters are still in jail. It is reasonable to ask that these people be charged or released and their names made available for the missing persons investigations.

Imposing sanctions on those responsible requires tracing the LTTE funding and propaganda networks, which are international and requires an international policing effort. This is a job for the Sri Lankan police and Interpol.

Providing reparations to victims requires the identification of the victims and identification of the perpetrators of their suffering. These perpetrators are those who financed and orchestrated the war, especially those who duplicitously supported both sides in the war.

Preventing future abuses, in this case preventing a return to conflict, is a complex matter that I have given thought to for many years. In 2002 I developed my first Peace Plan for Sri Lanka, a 40-proposal peace plan of which the first proposal was the promotion of tri-lingual education in Sinhala, Tamil and English from primary school onwards. This will break down the language barrier that is one of the roots of the conflict. The other proposals in my peace plan can be found by searching “Peace Plan for Sri Lanka” on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAkLVReimbw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rrJA3xnoUk

 

Reform of the Sri Lankan military and police (the security system) is ongoing and there have been efforts to recruit and train Tamil-speaking and ethnic Tamil youths to serve in the armed forces and police. This is welcome. Cultural exchange is the best way to heal divisions.

Sri Lanka has long had laws against torture, but there have not been prosecutions of police and security forces for torture, as far as I know. This implies a culture of impunity, as has been alleged. It should be noted, however, that torture is engaged in by the Western armed forces as well, and to a greater degree. There is also the systematic torture of “mental patients” in the West, with the same abusive drugs and treatments being used both by the LTTE (they ran a ‘psychiatric hospital’) and the Sri Lankan government. The chemical restraints used in the West are also used in Sri Lanka and the Western diagnostic system, which constitutes labels of incurable disease, blamed on “chemical imbalances” is used around the world, including Sri Lanka, under the influence of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the British Royal College of Psychiatrists, which has trained successive generations of senior Sri Lankan psychiatrists.

The Sri Lankan military have shown exemplary leadership to the world in combating terrorism and making peace after the long war. Several military leaders gave up their military careers and entered the diplomatic service, actively promoting reconciliation and peace-building, like General Shavendra Silva. The military were involved in de-radicalising the LTTE cadres and rehabilitating them for civilian life as well as reconstruction projects. They were also involved in business ventures in tourism and agriculture in what had been LTTE-controlled areas and is still claimed by the separatists as “Tamil Eelam”. These have been criticised, with some justification. The separatists are angry that talk of separatism is against Sri Lankan law, and angry at the presence of military bases in “Tamil areas”. They are also angry, and have been for many decades, about what was unfortunately termed “colonization schemes” where poor Singhalese were given land and settled in the Eastern Province in areas (around Batticaloa and Trincomalee) that had mainly been inhabited by Tamils (and Muslims, who were mainly Tamil-speaking, though many were bilingual or trilingual). Granting land to the landless should be based on need, not religion or ethnicity. Everyone needs a home.

One of the root causes of the conflict was the division of Tamils and Singhalese in the education system. This worsened in the 1970s with laws that were intended to foster the national languages of Sinhala and Tamil at the expense of English. When I studied at Trinity College in the 1970s boys whose parents were ‘Sinhalese’ had to study in the “Sinhala medium”, boys with Tamil parents had to study in Tamil, while those boys with mixed parentage (Singhalese/Tamil), were Muslim (Moor or Malay) or Burger were allowed to study in English, Sinhala or Tamil. It was a disastrous policy. It also led to many English-speaking professionals leaving the country for their children’s education. This had been the intent; the measures were taken partly to counter the so-called “brain drain”, where Ceylonese professionals, fluent in English, were accepting better paid jobs with better conditions in the West, notably doctors and engineers.

These are some of my suggestions for preserving and enhancing peace:

  • Promote trilingualism and multilingualism
  • Wealth redistribution to poor
  • Land redistribution to landless and needy
  • Education – a computer for every classroom aiming towards a laptop/tablet for every student
  • Health promotion not drug promotion
  • Holistic approach to health
  • Program of reforestation
  • Promote nature awareness and love of nature
  • Restriction of weapons to military and police
  • Security cameras
  • Electricity grid access
  • National electricity grid
  • Focus on renewable/sustainable/green energy
  • Reconstruction – roads, railways, schools
  • Green architecture and housing
  • Develop hi-tech industry and training
  • Promote Colombo as beautiful metropolis
  • Promote ecotourism

 

Fostering individual and national reconciliation is a simple matter if people identify as Sri Lankan rather than according to their language, religion or ethnic group. Patriotism is to be encouraged along with Sri Lankan nationalism rather than tribalism. However, reconciliation between rival Singhalese, Tamil and Muslim views of Sri Lankan history is not easy – there are deep differences in the myths and legends that are venerated by Singhalese Buddhists, Singhalese Christians, Tamil Hindus, Tamil Christians and Sri Lankan Muslims. Every religion has its own myths and legends about human origins and history, often at odds with each other. There are deep differences between the beliefs of Catholics and Protestants and between members of the different Protestant churches.

Then there is the scientific view, which reports that the first human remains found in the island, those of Balangoda Man, date back to more than 30,000 years ago. The view of archaeology is also a scientific view; the archaeologist Paul Pieris surmised a century ago, that when Prince Vijaya arrived in the country, according to the Mahawamsa legend on the day of the Buddha’s death (543 BC) there were already several Hindu (Shaivite) temples on the island. More recent archaeological studies in the ancient city of Anuradhapura, long the capital of the Rajarata kingdom shows evidence of settlement several hundred years before the legendary arrival of Prince Vijaya. Reconciliation does not require one to accept the other’s perspective on all matters, however. Diversity in beliefs and views is to be encouraged, along with respect for different opinions; tribalism, racism and intolerance are not.

Finally, Sri Lanka needs transnational justice as well as transitional justice. The nations that attacked Sri Lanka’s sovereignty and supported the LTTE during the 30-year war should pay reparations to the people of Sri Lanka. These include India and the United Kingdom. Justice delayed is justice denied.

 

Mark Taylor Won’t Budge

I went to see Associate Professor Mark Taylor again today. I went prepared, but was disappointed in the result. Though not surprised.

It was I who made the appointment, on my last visit to the new Woolloongabba Community Health Service building, of which the second floor is fully occupied by the Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS), supposedly a “service” to the people of Brisbane. The 2nd floor operation is effectively an outpatient clinic of the Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital, and most of the patients were previously inpatients in one of the locked wards in Building 19.

I have been locked up many times in Building 19, usually in ‘West Wing Ward’ but also in ‘East Wing Ward’ and the euphemistically-named ‘Acute Observation Area’ (AOA) also called the High Dependency Unit (HDU). This is a double-locked ward that holds about 10 patients and is a hellish place. I was locked up there for 2 weeks in 2011, which is when I met Raghavan ‘Raghy’ Raman, who has now been appointed my ‘Case Manager’, responsible for “monitoring” my mental state for MSAHMS and recording and reporting his observations. Raghy Raman sat in on my interview with Mark Taylor, though he wasn’t present when I was last injected. This was about two weeks ago and was done by a very nice student nurse, who was polite enough to offer her hand to be shaken at the end of our encounter.

The nurse was learning to give injections in what is called the “Treatment Room”. Music and art are not among the treatments, needless to say. It is a tiny room with a set of scales, two fridges and cupboards with boxes of pre-filled depot injections, each with the name of a reluctant “client”. They now call patients “clients” to their faces but patients are referred to in the PA Hospital literature as “consumers”.

A couple of years ago Nigel Lewin, the British case manager who has been replaced by Raghy, told me that he thought I would make a “great consumer advocate”. I told him my objections to this manifestation of the “consumer culture”. I am not a consumer of psychiatric “services” or drugs – they are being forced into me by injection against my will. I am a victim and a survivor and I am also an extremely patient patient. The term patient has a long history and the term describes the attitude necessary for those who sought “treatment”.

The student nurse was nervous, so I didn’t alarm her by telling her that it was an assault. I had already told Raghy Raman, Nigel Lewin and the other case managers that I was submitting myself to be what is a monthly assault because if I refuse I will be taken back to the hospital by police, held down by security guards and injected anyway. Then I would be locked up again. For this reason I have allowed them to assault me every month for the past two years.

When I checked in at the long desk at the MSAMHS to be injected I introduced myself by saying “I’m here to be assaulted again”. The guy at the desk laughed. I’ve known him for many years and he doesn’t think I’m mad (and has told me so). He told me that Raghy was away but I’d have my injection given by the “Injection Nurse”. This was a hideous, grim woman who spends her day injecting “client” after “client” with neurotoxic drugs ordered by the doctors. She does not believe in talking to the patients, doesn’t smile or tell you her full name. She wears rubber gloves and doesn’t shake people’s hands before injecting them. On the second visit – in front of the student nurse – she asked me a few questions about my mood, eating and sleeping and recorded down my complaint about side-effects.

The student nurse was completely different in her attitude. When I told them that I was writing a book about music and the brain she said “how exciting”. She asked me if it was OK if she gave the injection and that I could give her “tips”. I told her that it was important to let the alcohol dry after swabbing the skin. “That stops it stinging”. The older nurse said “I do that too”, but she lied – the last time, when it was she who injected me she said “I won’t keep you waiting, so let’s get on with it” and hurried through the injection. I pointedly told the student to inject slowly, because that caused less tissue damage. The student nurse thanked me for the tips and extended her hand when I was leaving. There is hope for the future of nursing. But better still if they were confident enough to publicly disagree with the doctors.

I prepared for the interview with Mark Taylor by bringing with me four folders of my work. I told him I had brought some of my work to show him and prove my sanity.

“Oh good,” he said, but carried on typing, while looking at the screen and not at the folders.

I put the first one on the desk. It was my work-in-progress on psychoimmunology which I said was my short-term project.

“There’s a lot of interest in that,” he said, but he didn’t look through the 40-pages I have written so far.

I then showed him my long-term project, a book titled “Music, Instincts and Health”, telling him that I had written 350 pages so far and also had folders of research from the Internet on the topic, as well as folders of original theoretical work. He glanced at the contents and returned to his typing.

I then showed him a folder for HUB Music, including promotions of my music on Soundcloud, YouTube and Facebook. He asked me what I meant by “my music”. I explained that I had been recording my musical compositions for 30 years and had posted it on the net over many years. I told him that, however, my most watched videos on YouTube were not my music but my documentaries on eugenics and AIDS.

“I didn’t know you had researched eugenics and AIDS” he said, to my surprise. Either he has a poor memory or a selective one. In 2001 he wrote in the notes of the Alfred Hospital that my beliefs about “the eugenics of AIDS” were delusional and indicative of psychosis. He also wrote, at this time, that before I became “psychotic” I had a “paranoid and narcissistic personality”. It was a thorough character-assassination. I reminded him of this the last time we met, which was about 6 weeks ago.

“I saw you only recently” he said “A month ago. Nothing has really changed”.

I showed my the fourth folder I had brought with me, which was my current networking on Linkedin, where I have almost 6000 professional contacts around the world, from a wide range of academic disciplines including medicine and mental health. He wasn’t interested. One of numerous Mark Taylors, his own Linkedin page has only 10 contacts and he is not active on it. He has not even updated his current employment or uploaded a photo of himself.

“How have you been in your mental health?” he asked. I told him again about the fact the the injection was sterilizing me, making me salivate and making me sleep in the day. “You told me that last time”. I objected that though I told him he hadn’t budged on lowering the drug.

I told him that I had been watching YouTube clips of psychiatrists who were much more critical of the overuse of psychiatric drugs than himself. “Oh good” he said again. I named Daniel Carlat (who he had not heard of). Pat McGorry (who he had), Sami Timimi (who he had heard of but dismissed as “radical” and mistakenly thought was a woman), and Robert Whitaker. He had heard of Robert Whitaker and I told him that he was one of my friends on Facebook. “He’s not a psychiatrist, though”, he said.

“I wanted to ask you that – how much time do you spend in front of your computer?”

I knew he was trying to pathologise my behaviour. I said I spend only a couple of hours a week on Facebook but more time on Linkedin and Youtube. He said he did not follow “social media” and asked me how well known I am.

“Are you say one of the five best known people in Brisbane?”

This was another trap. He was looking for grandiosity.

“Of course not”, I laughed. “Most people wouldn’t know me from a bar of soap”.

“Do you get the recognition you deserve?” he asked, looking for evidence of me being what psychiatrists call “entitled”.

“I’m not looking for recognition, but it is nice to be appreciated”.

Conveniently forgetting his character-assassination of me in 2001, and his role in having me falsely incarcerated, Taylor said “The doctors at CFOS say you have posted things that are defamatory about me”. He said he hadn’t seen them himself but that he had been told about it by CFOS – which he pronounced as “see-fos”. This is a new organization called the “Community Forensic Outreach Service” – which I have been told by Raghy Raman is part of the health department and not the court system, but that he couldn’t tell me more about it other than that I had been referred to CFOS because he felt obliged to “escalate the matter” of my posting material about the “Queensland Health staff” on what he calls “the social media”. He is furious that I posted footage of him assaulting me in my own home on YouTube.

It was Raghy who informed me, by email and phone, that I had been referred to CFOS. I wanted to know what powers this new body had over me, and asked him who they were. He said he didn’t know and the decision to “escalate the matter” of my refusing to take down the YouTube clips was made by the “team leader” a woman called Sharon Locke. I have spoken to Locke on the phone but never met her and have now been told that she is no longer the team leader. Mark Taylor said I had refused to meet CFOS when we had last met and I told him I was prepared to talk to them on the phone or communicate with them over the net but would not come in to be interviewed (and framed, though I didn’t use the term) in the Woolloongabba Community Health Centre.

I told Taylor that Professor Pat McGorry has said that the antipsychotic drugs used to be used at 10 times the necessary dose and now are used at 2 to 3 times the necessary dose. His retort was “did you know that Pat McGorry has accepted payments from many drug companies?” I said I did. “Do you think Ibuprofen (an anti-inlammatory and alalgesic drug that is available over the counter) is over-used?”

“I’m sure it is. Many drugs are over-prescribed. The drug companies’ primary motive is money. They bribe those doctors who are prepared to accept bribes.”

“You haven’t answered. Did you post defamatory things about me?” he persisted.

I answered that I had posted things about him on Facebook, Linkedin and YouTube and explained that I had discussed his links with the drug companies, pointing to a video of him presenting his conflict of interest at a lecture in Scotland some years ago. I called it “accepting bribes”. Some people might interpret that as defamatory.

“That was about 7 years ago, and I think it is a good thing to disclose information,” he said, then saying that it was a private lecture and should not have been posted (though he knew who it was). In this clip he says, in reference to a statement by one of his psychiatric colleagues that “when it comes to industry you are either abstinent or promiscuous – you can see on which side I fall”. He then showed a slide disclosing that he had accepted “fees and/or hospitality” from 5 different drug companies. His audience laughed, but it was posted on YouTube by an audience member who wasn’t amused.

Taylor asked me if I had ever accepted a sandwich from a drug company – “that’s included in hospitality”. He also challenged Pat McGorry’s assertion that Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) should be used ahead of drugs in the treatment of psychosis, saying that “the problem is that CBT doesn’t work in psychosis”. When I contested this he claimed that it has been proved by “Cochrane”, meaning the Cochrane Collaboration. I said that I had discussed this with Peter Gotszche, the Director of the Nordic Cochrane Collaboration, who had written books about the ineffectiveness and harmfulness of psychiatric drugs including dopamine blockers and SSRI antidepressants.

“What do you hope to achieve by blocking my dopamine receptors?” I asked.

“We want you to remain stable and not have mood fluctuations”. He raised the risk of suicide. I told him that I had never been suicidal, though I lied. I have entertained fleeting thoughts of suicide on two and only two occasions in my life. One was when I was 34 and locked up at the Royal Park Hospital in Melbourne and the other time was when I was 55 and locked up at the psychogeriatric Grevillea Ward of the Princess Alexandra Hospital. In both instances it was a response to being disbelieved, locked up and drugged.

Mark Taylor said he wanted me to be “stable” over time and that he would “think about” lowering the dose. He said he didn’t want to see me for 3 months and that our time had run out. In contrast, the private psychiatrist Frank New spent 3 hours with me before writing a 13-paged report stating that he was confident that I did not have a mental illness and why he formed this well-considered opinion. But that was many years ago and the PA Hospital has been reluctant to speak to any doctors who do not agree that I am mad.

Raghy Raman stayed silent throughout the interview until I raised the fact that it was he who reported that I had “elevated speech” to Ghazala Watt, resulting in Watt, who trained in Pakistan and Britain, to abusively increase the dose of Paliperidone (ironically called Invega) from 75 to 100 mg. Raghy flew into a rage. “Why do you keep going back to this, over and over?” he shouted. “I said you had elevated mood but I retracted it and apologised. But you keep on raising this over and over. I apologised! And what I said had nothing to do with you being injected. No! The doctors make their own decisions. It had nothing to do with me”.

I pointed out that Ghazala Watt had written to the Mental Health Review Tribunal that the injection was increased “because the treating team reported elevated speech” – and that the same report recorded the “treating team” as only Watt and Raghy Raman. I also pointed out that it was Raghy that was getting angry and not me and that I have a very stable mood. I told Taylor that I am not prone to depression but have been said to have an elevated mood at times.

He said he had observed that I was talkative and laughed a lot – he didn’t need to mention that these are “symptoms” of “hypomania”, mania and mood elevation. I explained that this was my personality – I have been like that since I was a child. Though I can be shy when I first meet people I enjoy conversations and laugh a lot in conversation.

Mark Taylor had to admit that Raghy was angry so he said “we’d better end the inteview now”. He stressed again that he didn’t want to see me for 3 months. In the meantime that’s 3 more injections, each at the cost of more that $400 to the taxpayer.

Taylor said I should consider what to say at the next Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT). I pointed out that claiming not to be ill is immediately interpeted as “lack of insight” and that the MHRT discharges less than 5% of patients and inevitably sides with the hospitals. Losing a MHRT hearing is just another trauma. Right now I can’t be bothered appealing.

Case against the Alfred Hospital

©2018 Dr Romesh Senewiratne-Alagaratnam

  1. Between 1999 and 2002 I was locked up and assaulted with injections of antipsychotic drugs several times at the Alfred Hospital (Prahran, Melbourne).
  2. I was not suffering from a diagnosable mental illness at the time but I was punitively diagnosed with several serious mental disorders including “schizo-affective disorder” by two psychiatrists (Kym Jenkins and Robert Shields), and “psychotic disorder (Schizomanic type) superimposed on narcissistic and paranoid personality disorder” by another (Mark Taylor).
  3. These disease labels seriously damaged my personal and professional reputation.
  4. Psychiatrists at the Alfred Hospital also contacted the Medical Board of Victoria claiming that I had “schizoaffective disorder”, in an effort to stop me from working as a doctor.
  5. The Director of Psychiatry at the Alfred (Dr Peter Doherty) also provided selected documents to the Medical Board of Queensland in 2002 in a further effort to stop me from working as a doctor.
  6. When I was locked up between 1999 and 2002 I provided ample evidence of my sanity in the form of my writings and publications but these were pathologised and misrepresented as “hypergraphia” and evidence of mental illness.
  7. My claim to be doing research on the brain was also described as a grandiose delusion.
  8. My concern about the Stolen Children, human rights abuses against Aboriginal people and the role of eugenics in causing genocide were misrepresented and presented as evidence of mental illness.
  9. My support of the allegation (first made by others) that HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) was developed as a biological weapon was pathologised and referred to as further evidence of mental illness and “paranoid delusions”.
  • My concern that the medical system and government were dominated by Freemasons was pathologised by the psychiatrist Mark Taylor as evidence of mental illness.
  • My concern about the possible role of the Mossad and a cabal of Jewish psychiatrists in persecuting me and calling me mad/mentally ill was pathologised as evidence of paranoid delusions by psychiatrists at the Alfred (including Peter Braun and David Lowenstern who are Jewish).
  • My concern about the possible role of MI5 in my incarceration was likewise pathologised as evidence of mental illness and paranoid delusions by Mark Taylor and Kym Jenkins, who are both British; Kym Jenkins went on to become the President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP); Mark Taylor moved to Scotland in 2002 but is now working in Brisbane and has been made my “treating psychiatrist” by Metro South and the Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital.
  • My claim that my father was a supporter of terrorism for his support, propaganda and lobbying efforts for the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) was likewise pathologised as evidence of mental illness.
  1. The repeated false claims of my hostile father that I was “paranoid” and “psychotic” were uncritically acted upon by the hospital CATT team (Crisis and Assessment Team) without checking the veracity of his and my claims.
  2. During each admission my behaviour and observations of it were not consistent with the claims of the admitting doctors, but I was still held for several days in the LSA (Low Stimulus Area) and unnecessarily (and abusively) injected with short-acting Zuclopentixol Accuphase injections, which caused involuntary spasms in my back and legs as well as difficulty speaking (a single injection only on three of the admissions).
  3. Despite the fact that I have never suffered from hallucinations, I was recorded to have ‘thought disorder’ by some, but not other, psychiatrists.
  • My justified anger at being abducted from my home and locked up for no good reason was pathologised as an “irritable mood” and “hostility”.
  • My statement that I was talking legal action against the hospital for deprivation of my rights was pathologised as well, with records that I was “litigious”.
  • My 40-point Peace Plan for Timor was pathologised as an “extremely thought-disordered letter sent to Kofi Annan of the UN”; it was a list of proposals not a letter and was not sent anywhere (I gave a copy to the Jewish GP who had employed me to do sessions for him at what he called “Melbourne Wholistic Medicine”, Abraham “Abe” Mass – it was Mass who referred me to the Alfred Hospital on 16 September 1999 with the claim that I had “schizoaffective disorder”).
  1. The hospital recorded that Abraham Mass was my GP and not my colleague, though the psychiatrists referred to the fact that I had been referred in by a “GP colleague”.
  2. I stopped working for Mass at this stage and the hospital recorded that I was an “unemployed medical practitioner” qualifying that it was “as of last week”.
  • Mass attempted to change from being my employer to being my doctor after the first admission (which he arranged) though I had not and would not seek his medical advice.
  • On discharge from the Alfred Hospital I was ordered to attend Dr Peter Braun of the Waiora Clinic (an outpatient clinic of the Alfred); I confronted Braun with my suspicion that he was working for the Mossad, which he did not deny but wrote to the Mental Health Review Board that my concern that “doctors” work for the Mossad were evidence of mental illness and paranoia. Braun also confirmed during our discussions that the Israeli military had trained both sides in the war in Sri Lanka, but defended this action on their part.
  • In 2001, following another report about me my father (and a resultant admission), the decision was made to start me on injections of a depot antipsychotic – Zuclopenthixol (Clopixol) to be given every 2 weeks under as Community Treatment Order (CTO); this decision made me leave the State of Victoria and seek safety back in Queensland, where I went to school and graduated as a doctor, despite the fact that my father lives here; I hoped, at this stage, to convince him of my sanity.

    Particulars:

Admission from 16 September 1999 to 27 September 1999.

16.9.1999 – Referral by Abraham Mass of 257 Tucker Road, Ormond

Abducted by Ian Katz and Victoria Police from 149 Bambra Road, Caulfield and taken in handcuffs to the Alfred Hospital

House was rented from Avi Jawarowski via real estate agent Hiam Sharp of Caulfield. Avi Jawarowski’s brother Sol is a psychiatrist, who worked previously for the Alfred Hospital but has now returned to Israel. Avi Jawarowski who is a chemist is listed in the Burnet Institute Annual Report as a Senior Lecturer at the institute. The Burnet Institute is located at the Alfred Hospital and part of the Alfred Medical Research and Education Precinct (AMREP).

Katz wrote (in all capitals):

39 YO SINGLE UNEMPLOYED MEDICAL PRACTITIONER, ADM INVOL VIA ISCATT

BACKGROUND/

PSYCHOTIC DISORDER, VARIABLE DIAGNOSES (BIPOLAR, DELUSIONAL DISORDER ETC)

ADM (Admissions) X 5       1995 X 2

1998 X 3

HOPC (History of Presenting Complaint)

2-3/7 OF PARANOID IDEAS, IRRITABLE, LITIGIOUS, HYPER-GRAPHIA, GRANDIOSE

NON-COMPLIANT RECENTLY

ΨTRIST – DR PROCTOR

REFERRED VIA COLLEGUE GP

DR (Omits the name – Abraham Mass)

MSE/ HYPERAROUSED, IRRITABLE STOCKY MAN OF DARK COMPLEXION IRRITABLE, THOUGHT DISORDERED, GRANDIOSE, BIZARRE PERSECUTORY DELUSIONS OF POLITICAL/SCIENTIFIC THEMES, NO INSIGHT, PRESSURE OF SPEECH

ASST (Assessment)/

EXAC (Exacerbation) OF PSYCHOSIS

?SCHIZOAFFECTIVE

ADM INVOL (Admit Involuntarily)

MEDICAL BOARD INFORMED AS PER STAT LEGAL REQUIREMENT

I KATZ

Seen by Kym Jenkins (psychiatrist) who wrote:

STAT REVIEW

39 yo unemployed (as of this week) medical practitioner. Referred to CAT team by a medical colleague [again omits name]

Recommended under MH Act [by Ian Katz] because of grandiose and persecutory delusions

PΨHx (past psychiatric history) – delusional disorder/hypomania

MSE/

Well groomed

suspicious

hostile

verbally aggressive

speech pressured

some flight of ideas

Content of thought:

Delusional belief that he is persecuted by a Jewish mafia, British colonial regime

Belief that he is involved in research into the brain – grandiose delusions re this

Delusional belief that Alfred Hospital staff responsible for disseminating HIV to 3rd World, East Timor and sending letter to Kofi Annan at UN [This is a misrepresentation of my views and behaviour – I did not send a letter to Kofi Annan or anyone else – I was working on my 40-point Peace Plan for Timor but had not sent it to anyone; the reference to Alfred Hospital staff “disseminating” HIV to Third World countries this was a reference to my writings on the Burnet Institute which had recently relocated to the premises of the Alfred Hospital – details can be found in my book ‘Eugenics and Genocide in the Modern World’]

?disorders of perception

Insight: nil. Thinks he is in hospital as part of plot/persecution

Imp (Impression): psychotic episode hypomanic presentation

ΔΔ (differential diagnosis)

Schizoaffective disorder/Bipolar Affective Disorder

Plan/

Certification upheld

Patient informed of this & has “rights” leaflets

Very close observation LSA

At risk to others if absconds

Collateral Hx – Private Ψ

Length of psychosis

Past treatments and response

Medical Board to be informed

Commence antipsychotic Rx – rispiradone 2mg nocte

Needs full organic work up – admits to cannabis usage

Needs mood stabilizer ?not been on lithium

Kym Jenkins

 

17.9.1999

Seen again by Kym Jenkins while being kept in the “LSA”

She wrote:

Remains hostile, guarded ++, thought disordered, speech less pressured, totally insightless.

Believes there is a political plot against him and continues to have grandiose and persecutory delusions.

Stat dose 100 mg Zuclopenthixol (Acuphase)

Romesh would like a 2nd opinion.

 

 

 

 

 

20.9.1999

Seen again by Kym Jenkins with registrar Tejpal Singh

After the interview Jenkins wrote:

Romesh presents :- much less elevated

More pleasant

Not openly hostile

Speech not pressured

Thought stream slowed – no flight of ideas

Apologising for previous insulting behaviour on admission

Decrease in grandiose and persecutory ideation

Impression/    Hypomanic episode resolving

Plan/

Can be nursed in open ward

Needs close obs (absconding risk)

Continue rispiradone

Reassess MSE tomorrow – may be masking psychotic Sx [symptoms]

Discharge planning – will need assertive follow up to ensure compliance

Address issues re medical registration.

 

To be continued…..

On Balaji Motamarri’s Directions

©2018 Romesh Senewiratne-Alagartatnam (MD)

I am writing this to express my strongest condemnation of the thinking and actions of Dr Balaji Motamarri towards me at the Princess Alexandra (PA) Hospital and Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS) of which he is the director.

I have never met Dr Motamarri, and he has refused to speak to me, even on the phone, but I have been subjected to abusive diagnosis and treatment by a series of psychiatrists at the PA Hospital and its outpatient clinics since 2002, when I was locked up 5 times under the authority of Dr Paul Schneider, who continues to work as a senior psychiatrist at the hospital to this day. Schneider was acting on the wishes of my father, Dr Brian Senewiratne, who was a long-time consultant at the same hospital and a colleague of his. My father was also a long-time propagandist and lobbyist for the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) travelling the world campaigning for the Tamil Tigers to be de-banned. He claimed that the Tigers were “freedom fighters” rather than terrorists and argued, citing the example of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), that a “guerrilla army using guerrilla tactics on guerrilla soil” could never be defeated, though the fight may go on for hundreds of years.

My father began getting me locked up in 1995, when I first publicly criticised him. A man who holds grudges, he has had me locked up numerous times since then, prevented me from earning my living as doctor, and tried to discredit me by claiming that I was “in and out of mental hospitals” (which was true, but mainly because of his insistence that I had a “serious psychotic disorder” that required “assertive treatment”). To run salt into my wounds, my father presents himself as a champion of human rights and the rights of the oppressed.

Balaji Motamarri, my father and I all have Linkedin and Facebook accounts. What I know about Dr Motamarri comes from what he has made publicly available about himself and his qualifications, rather than personal discussions with him. I have seen him once, when he was pointed out by nursing staff one weekend, when I had been locked up again in 2016. It was a weekend and he was the on-call psychiatrist for the PA. I had been locked up for more than a week and wanted to go home. I wanted to see him so that he could see for himself that I was of sound mind. He didn’t even acknowledge my presence and ignored me completely. I have not seen him since, though the Nigerian psychiatrist who had got me locked up (again on the wishes of my father) kept me locked up for a few more days, and tried to convince me that I had “paranoid schizophrenia”. I pointed out that my long-standing claims that my father was a supporter and lobbyist for the LTTE was not paranoid, it was factual. She ordered that I be injected with the antipsychotic drug paliperidone and placed on an Involuntary Treatment Order (ITO) to enable easier return to the hospital if I become “unwell” again or refuse (the abusive) “treatment”.

Balaji Motamarri’s Linkedin page indicates that he speaks Hindi and Telugu and graduated in medicine at the Andhra Medical College in 1987. His Linkedin page says he has been a psychiatrist in Australia and “Clinical Director, Psychosis Academic Clinical Unit” for 19 years and 8 months (since Oct 1998). Below this it states that he has been ‘Clincal [sic] Director” of MSAMHS since 2012. Since he has been the clinical director of the “Psychosis Academic Clinical Unit” I have been locked up and injected on more than 20 occasions, always at the PA Hospital (one of several hospitals on Brisbane’s south-side that comes under the authority of the MSAMHS).

Despite graduating (in India) some years after I graduated at the University of Queensland, Balaji Motamarri’s Linkedin and Facebook pages do not suggest that he is computer literate. He also has an almost complete absence of academic publications to his name, yet he is supposedly the clinical director of the “Psychosis Academic Clinical Unit”.  As testament to his carelessness, even when confronted with the relatively simple task of listing his experience for Linkedin he made several typographical errors (in addition to ‘clincal’ instead of clinical): He says he is now (since October 2016) the Executive Director of “Clincial Services” of “Metrosouth Mental Health Services”. He hasn’t even got his own title right. This is the “Executive Director of the Metro South Addiction and Mental Health Services (MSAMHS)”.

Balaji Motamarri has 161 Linkedin contacts, including 14 mutual contacts with me. I have about 3500 contacts, including psychologists and psychiatrists from many countries, including India. I also have contacts relevant to my other areas of interest – neuroscience, medicine, meditation, music, human rights, law, Buddhism, journalism and politics. I have posted links to my music and publications on my Linkedin page, which are available to be read by my peers, including Balaji Motamarri. I have sent him a contact request but he hasn’t accepted it yet.

The University of Queensland lists one and only one publication co-authored by Balaji Motamarri. From 2012, and published in “Current Medical Research and Opinion” it is titled “Practical guidelines on the use of paliperidone palmitate on the treatment of schizophrenia”. PubMed lists 3 other papers for which he was a co-author, all published in Australian psychiatry newsletters and all promoting long-acting injectables, like paliperidone. Since I was locked up at the PA in 2012 I have been injected monthly with paliperidone on the orders of a series of psychiatrists answering to Balaji Motamarri. They started off by saying I had schizophrenia, then revised it to “psychotic disorder – not otherwise specified” before changing back to schizophrenia. My protestations that I have never had hallucinations, am motivated and sociable with a stable mood, am well-organized, rational and logical and am obviously of sound mind has fallen on deaf ears. The psychiatrists have consistently taken the side of my father against me and declared me to be “psychotic” and “delusional” to believe that he was maliciously motivated towards me, and that he was a propagandist and lobbyist for the LTTE.

Balaji Motamarri’s Facebook page provides a window into his social life in 2010. There are only 2 postings, from 26 December 2009 “Merry Christmas to all” and from 25 January 2010, when he has posted on his wall what he intended as a personal message to his friend Manju:

“Hi Manju. My apologies for not replying earlier. As you can understand we are ‘recovering’ from our trip – the trip of ‘Telengana Bandhs’. Hyderabad has become a city of uncertain nightmares. And to add to the issue, our daughter’s school is starting in 2 days time and you know the dramas associated with this – just imagine ‘school after 10 weeks on holidays’ – what a nightmare to the parents.”

Balaji Motamarri seems to be feeling sorry for himself because his daughter has to go back to school after 10 weeks of holiday (which he claims he needs to recover from) and this is a “nightmare to the parents”. I have never had nightmares about my daughters going to school, but I have had many nightmares about being locked up by Balaji Motamarri’s unit. In these nightmares I am trying to prove my sanity but am interminably kept waiting. Sometimes I am assaulted by men with needles. Sometimes I am looking for my bed but am faced with endless corridors. My most consistent nightmare is being kept waiting in the confines of the PA Hospital. I am also uncertain about what he meant my Hyderabad becoming a “city of uncertain nightmares”. I am certain about my nightmares. They are very vivid.

Balaji Motamarri has only 182 Facebook friends, and hasn’t made any new ones in recent years. However, when he first filled in the questionnaire for Facebook he enthusiastically listed the Indian educational establishments he studied at. His Intro lists:

Works at MSAMHS

Worked at CNAHS

Studied psychiatry at PGIMER Chandigarh

Studied MBBS at Andhra Medical College, Visakhapatman, India

He also includes three high schools, including one in Chennai, where he matriculated in 1979 (before starting medicine in 1981).

 

Everybody should be treated with respect, but seniority is an important concept in society and in the medical and academic hierarchies. One is expected to respect ones seniors, as one is expected to respect ones elders. This has a long tradition in the West as well as the East (including India). The MSAHMS boasts that it provides “respect” as ones of its core values. I matriculated in 1978, winning the Tyrwitt Cup for best academic student at the Church of England Grammar School in Brisbane. I was working as a young doctor looking after desperately sick children and at the Royal Children’s Hospital and Prince Charles Hospital when Balaji Motamarri was still a medical student in India. While Motamarri was studying to become a psychiatrist I was looking after a community of 1000 mainly elderly patients, including many with complex illnesses (including mental health problems) as a family doctor in Melbourne. I have researched and lectured on mind-body medicine at Swinburne University in Melbourne, and my lectures can be viewed on YouTube, if Balaji Motomarri and his staff are interested to see what my state of mind was like in 2001 (when I was first misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia). They can even see the interview I gave in 1998 when I discussed my research into the pineal gland with Micheal Adami and the documentaries I have made about eugenics, psychiatry and AIDS (the theories that were diagnosed as ‘delusional’ by the psychiatrists in Melbourne).

I think I am owed the respect of a phone call with him to explain how and why his hospital is misguided to force a disease label and anti-psychotic drugs on me. I am also owed an apology for being locked up for raising uncomfortable truths and being denied my freedom of speech and my physical freedom. I am owed an apology, too, for being poisoned with drugs that have harmed my health and brought me no benefit, as well as putting me at risk of a range of iatrogenic adverse effects. At least I don’t have the added trauma of believing that I have an incurable brain disease.

Brian Senewiratne Collecting War Porn

I just confronted my father with collecting war porn.

I rang my parents’ home, where my father, Brian Senewiratne, has just returned after being awarded the second “Nelson Mandela Memorial Prize” by the TGTE. The TGTE is the Transnational Government of Tamil Eelam, a front for the LTTE or Tamil Tigers, headed by the LTTE’s lawyer Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran who assumes the title of “Prime Minister”. Brian Senewiratne was appointed a senator by Rudrakumaran in 2010 when the organization was first formed from the American, British, European, Australian and Canadian vestiges of the Tamil Tigers international operations. The award was presented to a small audience of “Canadian Tamils” (as opposed to Tamil Canadians) in Toronto, Canada. The first time the Nelson Mandela Award was awarded (last year) it was given to the South African lawyer Yasmin Sooka, who Brian Senewiratne quotes extensively in his propaganda. He has also urged the employment of Sooka by the TGTE in a YouTube presentation he posted on his own YouTube channel in 2015.

I addressed my father before he could hang up the phone:

“I remember now. You were collecting atrocity photos on your computer during the war.”

“Oh, bugger off”. he grunted and hung up the phone.

This was the second time I have rung my parents’ house this morning. The first time I asked “Hello Amma?” and my father, who had picked up the phone but not answered it shouted to my mother, Kamalini:

“Camel, it’s that bugger again. Do you want to speak to him?”

My mother came to the phone and I told her I wanted to discuss Winston Panchacharam’s book (titled Genocide in Sri Lanka) that my father made a big show of “presenting” to Professor Ramu Manivannan at the TGTE’s award night on Saturday 15 April. I watched it on the internet and was shocked by what I saw. Since then, things have been falling into place and I realised that my father has been collecting “war porn”, short for “war pornography”.

I saw some of his collection of photos when I accessed one of his computers in 2007, but didn’t look at them in detail. They were graphic and disturbing photos of dead people and I wasn’t interested in looking at them. There were lots of them and he has several old computers. I had been asked to use the computer to access my mother’s emails for her, and didn’t realise the significance of the photos. Now I do.

I asked my mother yesterday to ask my father, who refused to speak to me on the phone (or in person) about Winston Panchacharam’s book after watching him explaining that he had all five copies of the book in existence and was “presenting” them, whenever he himself received “awards” from the TGTE to the TGTE’s inner circle – namely Usha Sriskandarajah and Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran, who he describes as “close friends” of his. They are also among the last remaining supporters of the LTTE.

My mother said she had “heard of” Panchacharam but pretended not to know anything about the book that her husband had made a show of presenting to Manivannan on Saturday. She is lying to protect him and I told her so. I told her he had claimed on Saturday to have met Nelson Mandela, which she and I know to be one of his many lies. “Maybe he did, I don’t know”. She does. She knows that if he met Nelson Mandela he would have been boasting about it, rather than boasting about meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

I am sorry to people of Sri Lanka and also the Tamil community in Canada and around the world for my father’s behaviour, and not realising the full extent of his crimes earlier. I am still discovering more and will keep you posted. Please watch the video “Brian Senewiratne, the LTTE and Dr Panchacharam’s Book” on YouTube (the site of the Holistic University of Brisbane).

I have also contacted Ramu Manivannan, Usha Sri Skandarajah and Visuvanathan Rudrakumaran asking that the copies of Dr Panchacharam’s book that Brian Senewiratne gave them be forwarded to the University of Colombo, the Peradeniya University and University of Jaffna for forensic study, which I am prepared to be involved in.