Whatever may be said, who ever may say it - to
determine the truth of it, is wisdom - Thirukural
Reflections 2006 : Chinthanaigal
Reflection by Jayalakshmi Satyendra
Tuesday 19 December 2006
"There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head
on the hard truths and saying, �We will never give up. We will
never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a
way to prevail." Jim
Collins in Good to Great
"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong
desire to live taking the form of readiness to die."
Chesterton in Orthodoxy
Friday 24 November 2006
Throwing a bomb is bad,
Dropping a bomb is good;
Terror, no need to add,
Depends on who's wearing the hood.
- R. Woddis, "Ethics for Everyman," quoted in
C.A.J. Coady, "The Morality of Terrorism," Philosophy, vol.
60 (1985), p. 52.
Friday 3 November 2006
with my lingo
And beat it like a wing yo
Can't stereotype my thing yo
I salt and pepper my mango
Quit bending all my fingo
You wanna win a war?
Like P.L.O., don't surrendo "
M.I.A. (Missing in Acton) in Sunshowers
Thursday 5 October 2006
"...Ubuntu - I am because you are.
Ubuntu speaks to the very essence of being human… A person with ubuntu
is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel
threatened that others are able and good, for he or she has a proper
self assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs to a
greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or
diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed, or treated as less
than who they are." Desmond Tutu, 1999 quoted by ex
President Clinton at Labour Party Conference, September 2006
"You know, you could not see me unless you could also see my background, what
stands behind me. If I, myself, the boundaries of my skin, were coterminous with
your whole field of vision you would not see me at all. You would not see me because, in
order to see me, not only would you have to see what is inside the boundary of my skin,
but also what is outside it. This is terribly important. Really, the fundamental, ultimate mystery, the only thing you need to know to understand
the deepest metaphysical secrets is this:
That for every outside there is an inside,
and for every inside there is an outside,
and though they are different, they go together.
There is, in other words, a secret conspiracy between all insides and all outsides, and
the conspiracy is this: To look as different as possible and yet underneath to be
identical, because you do not find one without the other." -
Om - Creative
Meditations, Edited and Adapted by Judith Johnstone, 1980
Monday 2 October 2006
will we arise, arise from our misery
Wednesday 27 September 2006
"...Who is the enemy? Who is holding back more rapid movement
to the better society that is reasonable and possible with
available resources? Who is responsible for the mediocre
performance of so many of our institutions? Who is standing in
the way of a larger consensus on the definition of the better
society and the paths to reaching it? Not evil people. Not
stupid people. Not apathetic people. Not the �system�. Not the
protesters, the disrupters, the revolutionaries, the
reactionaries��. The real enemy is fuzzy thinking on the part of
good, intelligent, vital people, and their failure to lead, and
to follow servants as leaders. Too many settle for being critics
and experts. There is too much intellectual wheel spinning, too
much retreating into �research�, too little preparation for and
willingness to undertake the hard and high-risk tasks of
building better institutions in an imperfect world, too little
disposition to see �the problem� as residing in here and not out
there. In short, the enemy is strong natural servants who have
the potential to lead but do not lead, or who choose to follow a
non � servant. They suffer. Society suffers. And so it may be in
the future. - Robert K. Greenleaf, et al -
Servant Leadership: A Journey into the Nature of Legitimate Power and Greatness
Tuesday 13 September 2006
" Every adherent of the Congress, however noisy in
declamations, however bitter in speech, is safe from burning
bungalows and murdering Europeans and the like. His hopes are
based upon the British nation and he will do nothing to
invalidate these hopes and anger that nation." Retired
British civil servant, A.O.Hume writing, not about writers on
the world wide web, but about the Indian National Congress that
he founded in 1885
Saturday 9 September 2006
1. "...We who lived in concentration camps can
remember the men who walked through the huts comforting others,
giving away their last piece of bread. They may have been few in
number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be
taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms
- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances,
to choose one's own way..."
Viktor Emil Frankl in Man's Search for Ultimate Meaning
2. Circle of Concern & Circle of Influence: "We each have
a wide range of concern - our health, our children, problems at
work, the national debt, nuclear war. We could separate those
from things in which we have no particular mental or emotional
involvement by creating a "Circle of Concern."
As we look at those things within our Circle of Concern,
it becomes apparent that there are some things over which we
have no real control and others that we can do something about.
We could identify those concerns in the latter group by
circumscribing them within a smaller Circle of Influence. By
determining which of these two circles is the focus of most of
our time and energy, we can discover much about the degree of
Proactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of
Influence. They work on the things they can do something
about. The nature of their energy is positive, enlarging and
magnifying, causing their Circle of Influence to increase.
Reactive people, on the other hand, focus their efforts in
the Circle of Concern. They focus on the weakness of other
people, the problems in the environment, and circumstances over
which they have no control. Their focus results in blaming
and accusing attitudes, reactive language, and increased
feelings of victimization. The negative energy generated by
that focus, combined with neglect in areas they could do
something about, causes their Circle of Influence to shrink."
Stephen Covey in
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People : Powerful Lessons in
Sunday 3 September 2006
�Any change, any loss, does not make us victims. Others can
shake you, surprise you, disappoint you, but they can't prevent
you from acting, from taking the situation you're presented with
and moving on. No matter where you are in life, no matter what
your situation, you can always do something. You always have a
choice and the choice can be power.� -
Blaine Lee author of The Power
Principle : Influence With Honor
Thursday 31 August 2006
"..How much longer
will blood flow so that
force can justify
In the age of globalization,
the right to express is less
powerful than the right to apply pressure. To justify the
illegal occupation of Palestinian territory,
war is called
Israelis are patriots, and the
terrorists sow universal alarm..."
Tuesday 29 August 2006
"...the reductionist fallacy lies not in comparing
man to a 'mechanism powered by a combustion system' but in declaring that he is 'nothing
but' such a mechanism and that his activities consist of 'nothing but' a chain of
conditioned responses which are also found in rats. For it is of course perfectly
legitimate, and in fact indispensable, for the scientist to try to analyse complex
phenomena into their constituent elements - provided he remains conscious of the fact that
in the course of the analyses something essential is always lost, because the whole is
more than the sum of its parts, and its attributes as a whole are more complex than the
attributes of its parts..."
Arthur Koestler in
Janus: A Summing Up
Thursday 24 August 2006
" An idea is bullet proof
... People should not be afraid of their Governments:
Governments should be afraid of their people "- Quote from the film
"Look back over the past, with its
changing empires that rose and fell, and you can foresee the
future, too." -
Marcus Aurelius, circa A.D.150
A Story - சொல்லத்தான்
One day a teacher asked her students to list the names of the other students in the room on two sheets of paper, leaving a space between
each name. Then she told them to think of the nicest thing they could say about
each of their classmates and write it down.
It took the remainder of the class period to finish their
assignment, and as the students left the room, each one handed in the papers.
That Saturday, the teacher wrote down the name of each student on a
separate sheet of paper, and listed what everyone else had said about that individual..
On Monday she gave each student his or her list. Before long, the
entire class was smiling.. "Really?" she heard whispered. "I never knew
that I meant anything to anyone!" and, "I didn't know others liked me so
much," were most of the comments.
No one ever mentioned those papers in class again. She never knew if
they discussed them after class or with their parents, but it didn't
matter. The exercise had accomplished its purpose. The students were happy with themselves and one another. That group of students moved on.
Several years later, one of the students was killed in Vietnam and
his teacher attended the funeral of that special student. She had never seen a serviceman in a military coffin before. He looked so handsome, so
The church was packed with his friends. One by one those who loved
him took a last walk by the coffin. The teacher was the last one to bless the
As she stood there, one of the soldiers who acted as pall bearer
came up to her. "Were you Mark's math teacher?" he asked. She nodded: "yes." Then he said: "Mark talked about you a lot."
After the funeral, most of Mark's former classmates went together to
a luncheon. Mark's mother and father were there, obviously waiting to
speak with his teacher.
"We want to show you something," his father said, taking a wallet
out of his pocket.. "They found this on Mark when he was killed. We
thought you might recognize it." Opening the billfold, he carefully removed two
worn pieces of notebook paper that had obviously been taped, folded and
refolded many times. The teacher knew without looking that the papers were the
ones on which she had listed all the good things each of Mark's classmates had
said about him. "Thank you so much for doing that," Mark's mother said. "As you can see, Mark treasured it."
All of Mark's former classmates started to gather around. Charlie
smiled rather sheepishly and said, "I still have my list. It's in the top
drawer of my desk at home." Chuck's wife said, "Chuck asked me to put his in our wedding album." "I have mine too," Marilyn said. "It's in my diary." Then Vicki, another classmate, reached into her pocketbook, took out
her wallet and showed her worn and frazzled list to the group. "I carry this with me at all times," Vicki said and without batting
an eyelash, she continued: "I think we all saved our lists."
That's when the teacher finally sat down and cried. She cried for
Mark and for all his friends who would never see him again..
The density of people in society is so thick that we forget that
life will end one day. And we don't know when that one day will be. So please, tell the people you love and care for, that they are
special and important. Tell them, before it is too late...
Remember, you reap what you sow. What you put into the lives of
others comes back into your own.
Sunday 13 August 2006
�We trounced them. The LTTE ran for life. That will be the
trend for the future also..� Sinhala Army Commander General
Sarath Fonseka to State Controlled Sri Lanka Sunday Observer, 13
August 2006 - following in the footsteps of Sinhala
Deputy Defence Minister Ranjan Wijeratne in 1990 and
Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence
Minister, General Ratwatte in 1997
1. "Now they (the LTTE) are running without their
shoes. Very soon their pants will go too. There will be no LTTE
or watch posts soon. (We will) flatten the LTTE ..The IPKF got rid of the hard core elements. What is left
(of the LTTE) is the baby brigade of
young boys and girls. They will wet their pants when they meet my armed forces..."
Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy
Defence Minister, Ranjan Wijeratne, 15 July 1990
2. "...Linking of the land based Main Supply Route (MSR) to
Jaffna through Killinochchi would be achieved by February 4, next year
(1998) - I will
shake hands with Pirabaharan after we defeat him.. Those who scoff at our plans
are in for a shock" -
Sinhala Sri Lanka Deputy Defence
Minister, General Ratwatte, 14 December 1997
Monday 31 July 2006
குளித்தேன் சேற்றிலும் குளித்தேன்
காற்றில் பறந்தேன் கல்லில் நடந்தேன்
ஊற்றுப் புனலில் ஒளியினைக் கண்டேன்
மாற்றுப் பொன்னிலும் மாசினைப் பார்த்தேன்
பார்த்தது கோடி பட்டது கோடி
சேர்ந்தது என்ன? சிறந்த அனுபவம்" -
Kannadasan quoted by P.Nedumaran
Thursday 21 July 2006
"For more than 40 years, I have been describing Tamil as a barbarous
language (Kattumirandi Mozhi) used only by barbarians. When Brahmins and
the Brahmin-dominated government wanted to make Hindi a State language,
I started, to a very limited extent, advocating the promotion of Tamil
language only to oppose the imposition of Hindi language. The only
language that ought to replace Tamil is English. What is not there in
English which can be found in Tamil Language?'
quoted by M.Venkatesan in E V Ramasamy Naickarin Marupakkam
Tuesday 18 July 2006
"The key objective of
ARMY Magazine is to encourage teenage boys and girls under
the recruitment age of 16 to move from a simple 'interest'
in the Army to a position where they actively consider a
career...The judges felt that 'the magazine is clearly on
brand and appropriate; it has very high production values
and the back-up research results were impressive.'"
UK Association of Publishers 2004 Award
for Most effective public sector title - Army Magazine,
British Army Recruiting Group - Haymarket Customer Publishing
Thursday 13 July 2006
�..Propaganda is a means and must be evaluated as such, from
the standpoint of the goal... It is wrong to want to give
propaganda the multi-sidedness of scientific instruction.... the
rank and file are usually much more primitive than we imagine.
Propaganda must therefore always be essentially simple and
repetitious...The most brilliant propagandist technique will
yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in
mind constantly... it must confine itself to a few points and
repeat them over and over.� Adolf
Hitler on Propaganda
Monday 10 July 2006
"...politics is concerned only formally with power and government and fundamentally with the moral development of human beings. Politics is about people, and how they endeavour to face the challenge of their times.
When a man really wants freedom and to live in a democratic
society he may not be able to free the whole world . . . but he
can to a large extent at least free
himself by behaving as a rational and moral being, and if he
can do this, others around him can do the same, and these again
will spread freedom by their example.".
Violence as a Political Strategy: Gandhi & Western Thinkers - Hugh
Sunday 2 July 2006
"....The public habit of judging the relations between states
from what appears in the papers adds to the confusion. It must be remembered that in international affairs things
are often not what they seem to be. ..A communique which speaks of complete agreement
may only mean an agreement to differ. Behind a smokescreen of hostile propaganda
diplomatic moves may be taking place indicating a better understanding of each other's
position. ..." K.M.Pannikar, Indian
Ambassador to China from 1948 to 1952, and later Vice
Chancellor, Mysore University in
Principles and Practice of
Friday 23 June 2006
backed by the entire population, colonial armies are helpless. They have
only one way of escaping from the harassment which demoralizes them
.... This is to eliminate the civilian population.
As it is the unity of
a whole people that is containing the conventional army, the only
anti-guerrilla strategy which will be effective is the destruction
of that people, in other words, the civilians, women and children..."
Sartre's Statement 'On Genocide' at the Second Session of the
Bertrand Russell International War Crimes Tribunal on Vietnam, held in
Denmark in November 1967
Monday 19 June 2006
"..I have been
struggling in my mind against the conclusion that the Sri Lanka government is
trying to kill or terrorize as many Tamil people as possible; that the
government is trying to keep the conditions of the war unreported
internationally, because if those conditions were reported, the actions of
the military would be perceived as so deplorable that foreign nations would
have no choice but to condemn them. And this would be embarrassing to
everybody. But it seems now that no other conclusion is possible..."
Professor Margaret Trawick from New Zealand,
10 years ago in 1996
Sunday 18 June 2006
When I was:
Four years old: My daddy can do anything.
Five years old: My daddy knows a whole lot.
Six years old: My dad is smarter than your dad.
Eight years old: My dad doesn't know exactly everything.
Ten years old: In the olden days, when my dad grew up,
things were sure different.
Twelve years old: Oh, well, naturally, Dad doesn't know
anything about that. He is too old to remember his
Fourteen years old: Don't pay any attention to my dad. He is
Twenty-one years old: Him? My Lord, he's hopelessly out of
Twenty-five years old: Dad knows about it, but then he
should, because he has been around so long.
Thirty years old: Maybe we should ask Dad what he thinks.
After all, he's had a lot of experience.
Thirty-five years old: I'm not doing a single thing until I
talk to Dad.
Forty years old: I wonder how Dad would have handled it. He
was so wise.
Fifty years old: I'd give anything if Dad were here now so I
could talk this over with him. Too bad I didn't appreciate
how smart he was. I could have learned a lot from him.
- Contributed by Sabapathy
The first Father's Day
was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington. At
about the same time in various towns and cities across
American other people were beginning to celebrate a
"father's day." In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge
supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally
in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential
proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as
Father's Day. Father's Day has become a day to not only
honor your father, but all men who act as a father
figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult
male friends are all honored on Father's Day.
Tuesday 6 June 2006
1. "...I think the European Union ban is extremely harsh, unfair, untimely and
one-sided, unlike the Donor Co-chairs declaration, which is a well-crafted, well
balanced statement censoring both the parties for the escalation of violence..."
Anton Balasingham, Interview in the Sinhala owned Sri Lanka
Sunday Times, June 2006
2. "..Today it is clear beyond all reasonable doubt that India and the US-UK-Japan
Bloc are trying to influence and manage Sri Lanka's peace process to promote
and consolidate their respective strategic and economic interests...The creeping intellectual/political barrenness
(amongst Tamils) should be stopped without further delay. LTTE officials too should stop
making pedestrian, boringly predictable utterances on public forums
and, instead, make every endeavour to stir the people's reason, intellectual
curiosity, their sense of community, their imagination and their
intellectual fervour. This is the only way forward to decisively break the
vicious circle of political obfuscation by which our people are deeply but
blissfully afflicted today. America may be the mightiest nation on the earth today but that cannot
detract an iota from
our right to live with honour, dignity and freedom in
the land of our fore bears. It cannot for a moment make us give up an inch
of our lands to help India or the US Bloc stabilise the Sri Lankan state for
the sole purpose of furthering their strategic and economic interests."
Mamanithar Dharmeretnam Sivaram, 2003
Tuesday 30 May 2006
“Ultimately we have to make a
choice...There are victims, there are
executioners, and there are bystanders... Unless
we wrench free from being what we like to call
‘objective’, we are closer psychologically,
whether we like to admit it or not, to the
executioner than to
Howard Zinn quoted by David
Edwards in 'The Difficult Art of Telling the
Saturday 27 May 2006
"..the people's patience is not
endless. The time comes in the life of any nation when there
remain only two choices: submit or fight. That time has now come
to South Africa. We shall not submit and we have no choice but
to hit back by all means within our power in defence of our
people, our future and our freedom. ...Refusal to resort to
force has been interpreted by the government as an invitation to use armed force
against the people without any fear of reprisals..."
Mandela, December 1961
Wednesday 24 May 2006
".. Petitioning which we have so long followed, we reject as impossible - the dream
of timid experience, the teaching of false friends who hope to keep us in perpetual
subjection, foolish to reason, false to experience.... It is a vain
dream to suppose that what other nations have won by struggle and battle, by suffering and
tears of blood, we shall be allowed to accomplish easily, without terrible sacrifices,
merely by spending the ink of the journalist and petition framer and the breath of the
orator. Petitioning will not bring us one yard nearer freedom .. without organised
resistance we could not take more than a few faltering steps towards self emancipation.
But resistance may be of many kinds .. the
circumstances of the country and the nature of the despotism from
which it seeks to escape must determine what form of resistance is best justified and most
likely to be effective. "
Sri Aurobindo, 1907
Monday 22 May 2006
"...We are fully aware that the world is not rotating on
the axis of human justice. Every country in this world advances its own interests.
Economic and trade interests determine the order of the present world, not the moral law
of justice nor the rights of people. International relations and diplomacy between
countries are determined by such interests. Therefore we cannot expect an immediate
recognition of the
moral legitimacy of our cause by the international community...In
reality, the success of our struggle depends on us, not on the
world. Our success depends on our own efforts, on our own
strength, on our own determination.."
Pirabakaran, Mahaveerar Naal Speech, 27 November 1993
Friday 19 May 2006
"...We always had faith that in the end we would win, that everything we
were doing in the country led to the independence of the Jewish people and to a Jewish
state. Long before we had dared pronounce that word, we knew what was in
store for us...I want to say to you, friends, that the Jewish
community in Palestine is going to fight to the very end. If we have arms to fight with,
we will fight with those, and if not, we will fight with stones in our hands...
During the last few years the Jewish people lost 6,000,000 Jews,
and it would be audacity on our part to worry the Jewish people
throughout the world because a few hundred thousand more Jews
were in danger. That is not the issue. The issue
is that if these 700,000 Jews in Palestine can remain alive, then the Jewish people as
such is alive and Jewish independence is assured. If these 700,000 people are killed off,
then for many centuries, we are through with this dream of a Jewish people and a Jewish
homeland..." Golda Meir - The Speech
that Made possible A Jewish State, 1948
Wednesday 17 May 2006
ஒருமையுடன் நினது திருமலரடி நினைக்கின்ற
உத்தமர் தம் உறவு வேண்டும்
உள்ளொன்று வைத்துப் புறமொன்று
உறவு கலவாமை வேண்டும்
பெருமை பெறு நினது புகழ்
பொய்மை பேசாதிருக்க வேண்டும்
பெருநெறி பிடித்தொழுக வேண்டும்
மதமான பேய் பிடியாதிருக்க வேண்டும்
இராமலிங்க அடிகள் -
Thursday 12 May 2006
"Some quarrellers do not realise that in this world
We must all at some time cease to live
But there are others who do realise,
And they will settle their quarrels."
(from the Dhammapada,
quoted by a Sinhala teacher in a tribute to Somasunderam
Nadesan on his 10th death Anniversary in 1996)
Tuesday 2 May 2006
''I was once asked by an Englishman connected with the British Refugee Council: 'You
say Tamil Eelam, but where are the
boundaries of this Tamil Eelam that you talk about?
Show me.' I was taken aback by the directness of the question. I thought for a while, searching
for an appropriate response. Then I replied: 'Take a map of the island. Take a paint brush
and paint all the areas where Sri Lanka has
bombed and launched artillery attacks during
these past several years. When you have finished, the painted area that
you see - that is Tamil Eelam.''"
Sathasivam Krishnakumar, (Kittu),
founding Member of LTTE, speaking in Zurich, on Maha Veerar Naal,
in November 1990
Saturday 29 April 2006
�One man does not assert the truth which he
knows, because he feels himself bound to the people with whom he
is engaged; another, because the truth might deprive him of the profitable position by which he maintains his family; a third, because he desires to attain reputation and authority, and then use them in the service of mankind; a fourth, because he does not wish to destroy old sacred traditions; a fifth, because he has no desire to offend people; a sixth, because the expression of
the truth would arouse persecution, and disturb the excellent social
activity to which he has devoted himself...”
Leo Tolstoy on Truth
Easter Sunday 16 April 2006
"... everyone is responsible for
everything that happens in life. When you produce peace and
happiness in yourself, you begin to realize peace for the whole
world. With the smile that you produce in yourself, with the
conscious breathing you establish within yourself, you begin to
work for peace in the world. To smile is not to smile only for
yourself; the world will change because of your smile. When you
practice sitting meditation, if you enjoy even one moment of
your sitting, if you establish serenity and happiness inside
yourself, you provide the world with a solid base of peace. If
you do not give yourself peace, how can you share it with
others?" - A Contemporary Zen master quoted by Mu Soeng Sunim
Ancient Buddhist Wisdom in the Light of Quantum Reality
Good Friday 14 April 2006
"I have been convicted and sentenced, a
very distressing experience. But I still believe I was right to
make the stand that I did and refuse to follow orders to deploy
to Iraq - orders I believe were illegal. I am resigned to what
may happen to me in the next few months. I shall remain
resilient and true to my beliefs which, I believe, are shared by
so many others."
"Iraq was the only reason I could not follow the order to
deploy. As a commissioned officer, I am required to consider
every order given to me. Further, I am required to consider the
legality of such an order not only as to its effect on domestic
but also international law. I was subjected, as was the entire
population, to propaganda depicting force against Iraq to be
lawful. I have studied in very great depth the various
commentaries and briefing notes, including one prepared by the
Attorney General, and in particular the main note to the PM
dated 7 March 2003. I have satisfied myself that the actions of
the armed forces with the deployment of troops were an illegal
act - as indeed was the conflict. To comply with an order that I
believe unlawful places me in breach of domestic and
international law, something I am not prepared to do."
"The invasion and occupation of Iraq is a campaign of
imperial military conquest
and falls into the category of criminal acts. I would have had
criminal responsibility vicariously if I had gone to Iraq. I
still have two great loves in life - medicine and the RAF. To
take the decision that I did caused great sadness, but I had no
other choice." Doctor, RAF officer, and now war
criminal - Flt Lt Malcolm Kendall-Smith on being jailed for
refusing to serve in Iraq, 13 April 2006
Sunday 2 April 2006
“...To love. To be loved. To never forget
your own insignificance.
To never get used to the
unspeakable violence and the vulgar disparity of life
around you. To seek joy in the saddest places. To pursue
beauty to its lair. To never
simplify what is complicated or
what is simple. To respect strength, never power.
Above all, to watch. To try and understand. To never look
away. And never, never, to
Father Chandi Sinnathurai from Tamil Eelam)
Sunday 26 March 2006
“It is modest of the nightingale not to
require any one to listen to it; but it is also proud of the
nightingale not to care whether any one listens to it or
not. The honoured public, the domineering masses see only
one side of the dialectic and takes offence at its pride and
do not perceive that the same thing is also modesty and
humility. It is not the masses, and not mankind and not the
public, not even the highly educated public, which is its
Lord and Master but GOD.”
Kierkegaard (contributed by
Tuesday 21 March 2006
"Unsavoury regimes these days hire the best talent available to
spruce up their international image... The PR technique is
simple enough: minimise
the human rights
abuses, talk about it as a 'complex' two sided story,
play up efforts at reform... If possible, it is best to put
these words in the mouth of some apparently 'neutral' group of
'concerned citizens', or a lofty institute with academic
Richard Swift, New
Internationalist, in Mind Games, July
Sunday 12 March 2006
"I would say, favour the question, always question. Do not
accept answers as definitive. Answers change. Questions don't.
Always question those who are certain of what they are saying.
Always favour the person who is tolerant enough to understand
that there are no absolute answers, but there are absolute
questions. " -
Nobel Prize for Peace, 1996
"Whatever may be said, whosoever may say it - to
determine the truth of it, is wisdom"
Thursday 9 March 2006
"... As it is we have played at war . . . we play at magnanimity and all that
stuff.... They talk to us of
rules of war, of chivalry, of flags of truce, of mercy to the unfortunate and so on. It's
all rubbish. I saw chivalry and flags of truce in 1805. They humbugged us and we
humbugged them. They plunder other peoples' houses, issue false paper money, and worst of
all they kill my children and my father, and then talk of rules of war and magnanimity to
foes ! Take no prisoners but kill and be killed ! . . . If there was none of this
magnanimity in war, we should go to war only when it was worth while going to certain
death, as now.... war is not courtesy but the most horrible thing in
life; and we ought to understand that, and not play at war.. The air of war is murder; the
methods of war are spying, treachery, and their encouragement, the ruin of a country's
inhabitants, robbing them or stealing to provision the army, and fraud and falsehood
termed military craft.... " (The fictional Prince Andrew Bolkhonsky in
& Peace , Book 10, Chapter 25, pp 486-7)
Saturday 4 March 2006
திருவாசகம், மனிதன் மனிதனுக்குச் சொன்னது
"God spoke to Man in the
Man spoke to God in the
Man spoke to Man in the
Introduction to Thirukkural
Tuesday 24 January 2006
ஏற்றம் பற்றிப் பேச்சு நடத்தும்
தேசத் துரை மாரே!
ஆனால் இங்கே பருந்துகள் தானே
பெண் போராளி மேஜர் பாரதி
quoted by Sanmugam Sabesan in
Sunday 15 January 2006
1. "....We declare the right of the people of Ireland to
the ownership of Ireland and to the unfettered control of Irish destinies, to be sovereign
and indefeasible. The long usurpation of that right by a foreign people and government has
not extinguished the right, nor can it ever be extinguished except by the destruction of
the Irish people..."
the Provisional Government of the Irish Republic, 1916
2. "Nine Famous Irishmen - In the Young
Irish Disorders of 1848, nine men were captured, tried and
convicted of treason against Queen Victoria and were
sentenced to death. Their names were: Duffy, Meagher, McManus,
Donahue, O'Gorman, Lyene, Ireland, McGee and Mitchell.
Before passing sentence, the judge asked if they wished to say
anything. Meagher spoke for all and said, "My Lord, this is our
first offence but not our last. If you will be easy with us this
once, we promise on our word as gentlemen, to try and do better
next time. And next time, we sure won't be fools to get caught."
Thereupon, the indignant judge sentenced them all to be hanged
by the neck until dead, drawn and quartered and their body parts
to be displayed as a lesson to all others who would think of
rebelling against the Crown. But, passionate protest from around
the world convinced the Queen to commute their sentences to life
and transport to a prison in the wilds of Australia.
In 1874, word reached an astounded Queen Victoria that the Sir
Charles Duffy who was Prime Minister of Australia, was the same
Charles Duffy who had been convicted of treason twenty-five
years before. On the Queen's demand, the lives of the other
eight Irishmen were researched and this is what they revealed.
While some stayed in Australia, others left for North America.
� Thomas Francis Meagher, Governor of the US State of
� Terrence McManus, General, US Army.
� Patrick Donahue, General, US Army.
� Richard O'Gorman, Governor General of the Canadian
Province of Newfoundland.
� Morris Lyene, Attorney General of Australia.
� Michael Ireland, succeeded Lyene as Attorney General of
� Thomas Darcy McGee, MP from Montreal, later Minister of
Agriculture of Canada and President of the Council of the
Dominion of Canada.
� John Mitchell, prominent New York politician, the father
of John Purroy Mitchell who was later Mayor of New York
The Moral? Never, never, give up!" - quoted by
Proclamation of the Provisional Government of the Irish
Sunday 1 January 2006
".. If you want to be important�wonderful. If you want
to be recognized�wonderful. If you want to be great�wonderful.
But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your
servant. (Amen) That's a new definition of greatness.
And this morning, the thing that I like about it: by giving that
definition of greatness, it means that everybody can be great,
(Everybody) because everybody can serve. (Amen) You don't have
to have a college degree to serve. (All right) You don't have to
make your subject and your verb agree to serve. You don't have
to know about Plato and Aristotle to serve. You don't have to
know Einstein's theory of relativity to serve. You don't have to
know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve.
(Amen) You only need a heart full of grace, (Yes, sir, Amen) a
soul generated by love. (Yes) And you can be that servant...
...Every now and then I guess we all think realistically
(Yes, sir) about that day when we will be victimized with what
is life's final common denominator that something that we call
death. We all think about it. And every now and then I think
about my own death and I think about my own funeral. And I don't
think of it in a morbid sense. And every now and then I ask
myself, "What is it that I would want said?" And I leave the
word to you this morning.
If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don�t
want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the
eulogy, tell them not to talk too long. (Yes) And every now and
then I wonder what I want them to say. Tell them not to mention
that I have a Nobel Peace Prize that isn�t important. Tell them
not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards
that�s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to
I'd like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King,
Jr., tried to give his life serving others. (Yes)
I'd like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King,
Jr., tried to love somebody.
I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the war
I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the
And I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my
life to clothe those who were naked. (Yes)
I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit
those who were in prison. (Lord)
I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity. (Yes)
Yes, if you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was
a drum major for justice. (Amen) Say that I was a drum major for
peace. (Yes) I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of
the other shallow things will not matter. (Yes) I won't have any
money to leave behind. I won't have the fine and luxurious
things of life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a
committed life behind. (Amen) And that's all I want to say.
If I can help somebody as I pass along,
If I can cheer somebody with a word or song,
If I can show somebody he's traveling wrong,
Then my living will not be in vain.
If I can do my duty as a Christian ought,
If I can bring salvation to a world once wrought,
If I can spread the message as the master taught,
Then my living will not be in vain.
Yes, Jesus, I want to be on your right or your left side, (Yes)
not for any selfish reason. I want to be on your right or your
left side, not in terms of some political kingdom or ambition.
But I just want to be there in love and in justice and in truth
and in commitment to others, so that we can make of this old
world a new world."
Martin Luther King - Delivered at
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, on 4 February 1968