Friday, December 15, 2017

තිඹිරියාගම බණ්ඩාර ගේ හෙළිදරව්ව


රාවය පුවත්පතේ මාධ්‍ය වේදී තිඹිරියාගම බණ්ඩාර මහතා විසින් ඩී. එස්. රණවක මහතාගේ වංචනික ක්‍රියා සම්බන්දයෙන් ප්‍රථම වරට ප්‍රශ්නකරනු ලබයි. ඔහු තම සතිපතා ඉදිරිපත්කරන, 'මනස් සිතුවම්' නමැති තීරු ලිපිය මගින් රණවකගේ ව්‍යාජ තොරතුරු හෙළිකරයි. තවදුරටත්, රණවකට ඇතැයි කියන FICP සහ MICP යන උපාධි සම්බධන්යෙන් ප්‍රශ්න කරයි. රණවක මේ සම්බන්ධයෙන් පුවත්පත් කොමිසමට පැමිනිලි කරන අතර පුවත්පත් කොමිසමේ සාමාජිකයන් වූ ලුසිල් විජේවර්ධන සහ ධර්මසිරි බණ්ඩාරනායක යන මහතුන් විසින් එකී උපාධි සහතික වල මුල් පිටපත් ඉදිරිපත් කරන ලෙසට දන්වා ඇති මුත්, මේ වනතෙක් ඒවා ඉදිරිපත් කිරීමට රණවක අපොහොසත් වී ඇත. පැමිණිල්ල එනයින්ම අවසාන විය. මේ සම්බන්ධව තවදුරටත් ක්‍රියාකිරීමෙන් තමන්ට සිදුවන අවැඩ වටහාගත් රණවක, ඉන්පසු පැමිණිල්ල හකුලා ගත්තේය.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Berlin Wall

 

Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

On November 9, 1989 the East Germany's Communist rulers opened the Berlin Wall as the aftermath of Perestroika and Glasnost and also by the continuous pressure of the Easter German Public. The Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev who played a key role in this historic event got a hero's welcome yesterday.

I still recall some events relating to the Berlin Wall that took place when I was a medical student. When the time I crossed the Berlin Wall in 1988 to enter the West Berlin I had a gut feeling that this wall would not last forever. Being a non White and not look like a German I had no problems with the East German border guards. They allowed me to cross the Wall. But Vethalik who was from Riga had a little trouble and the East German Authorities triple checked his documents in order to make sure that he was not an East German in disguise. But eventually Vethalik was released.

Many East Germans whom I have met at that time were eager to cross the Berlin Wall and go to the West Germany. I specifically remember the words of a young East German whose name was Heinrich. He was so fascinated by the musical show conducted by David Bowie near the Berlin Wall West side. He said to me “my dream is to go to cross the Wall some day and start a new life in West Germany ” Although he had thought that there was a heaven in the Western part we knew the mental picture he had was not hundred percent accurate.


The Berlin Wall was erected in the night of August 13, 1961. This decision was made by the Communist parties of the German Democratic Republic (GDR ) and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union met in Moscow and they decided to close the open border between East and West Berlin. The wall separated many families. Dispute the restrictions many people fled the Eastern part and entered the West. Then the GDR took stern measures. They built a concrete wall which earned the name Berlin Wall. The Berlin Wall was officially referred to as the “Anti Fascist Protection Wall" by the GDR.

The total border length around West Berlin was 155 km . There were 302 watch towers and 20 bunkers. Nearly 192 persons were killed on the Berlin Wall when they tried to defect to the West side. In 1953 East Berliners rised up against the totalitarian system but the uprising was crushed with the help of Moscow. In 1955, the USSR declared that the GDR was fully sovereign. However the Red Army troops remained in East German territory, based on the four-power Potsdam Agreement .

The German Democratic Republic, which had been founded on 7 October 1949. Many Germans who opposed Hitler's NAZI policies supported the new regime. The were willing to develop GDR in an anti-fascist model. But strict censorship alienated the people and the regime. GDR became another totalitarian sate. The East German secret service also known as STASI controlled the people with an iron fist even interfering in their private lives. STASI recruited a large number of agents and some calculations have concluded that in East Germany there was one informer to every seven citizens.

One should not forget that there was a positive side of East Germany as well. In the GDR everyone had a legally guaranteed security of tenure and ownership to the properties where they lived. The unemployment rate was low and free education and health care was guaranteed. GDR achieved many victories in international sports. But East Germans may have valued freedom as an utmost valuable component in their lives. Therefore during the Wall's existence there were around 5,000 successful escapes to West Berlin.

In a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in 1987 Ronald Regan said to Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall that stood an obstacle to the human freedom. The disintegration of the wall brought with it the freedom to travel the world and, for some, more material wealth, but it also brought social breakdown, widespread unemployment and social insecurity. Berlin Wall taught us a lesson . Freedom is not cheep. Its expensive.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Psychology of Nazism




By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge

The Nazi movement which did horrifying atrocities to the people was based on racial superiority. Adolf Hitler who was the main architect of the Nazi organization was supported by many intellectuals. Many leaders of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party (Nazi) had many things in common. They all believed in destructive Nazi nightmare of racial hearted and ethnic cleansing. What was the psychology behind such a fascist movement which violated basic human rights? Were they psychologically deviated?

Psychologist Gustave Gilbert analyzed many Nazi leaders like Herman Goering, Albert Speer, von Ribbentrop Rudolf Hob (the commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp) etc during the Nuremberg trials and revealed the inner nature of the Nazis. He found that Nazis lacked empathy. In their personal lives they were good husbands and fathers. They loved their children. But when the dark side of their nature came in to action they could kill tens of thousands of men, women and children in the gas chambers. After committing these crimes their conscience were not shattered. They had no guilty feelings.

Nazi leaders conspired to wage war committed crimes against humanity and felt that they are doing it for the betterment of the German people. They saw other races especially Jews as sub humans. There are many theories beneath Hitler’s anti Semitism. Some Germans believed that they lost the WW1 as a result of the betrayal by the Jewish businessmen who did not support the war efforts. But the truth was there were many Jewish officers who fought for Germany during the Great War. Hitler had personal experience which led to deep mistrust and hatred against Jews.

Hitler’s mother was suffering from a breast cancer and she was dying. When her Jewish doctor broke the bad news to young Hitler he thought that the physician was responsible for her death. Hence hefty anger and prejudice was building inside his mind from young days. He was capable of generalizing this anger and prejudice against the Jewish people. When he came to power Hitler’s leadership caused the Holocaust or the genocide of approximately six million European Jews during the WW2.

Nazis committed atrocities in the occupied territories. In the Eastern Europe especially in the USSR they unleashed horrible aggression. Women were raped in front of their husbands and children, men were killed in masses, and some were driven to forced labor. In all these events their lack of empathy and lack of remorse were pronounced greatly. According to Gustave Gilbert Nazis leaders had a dual nature. Above all they believed that they were doing the right thing.

Based on the interviews of the Nazi leaders Gustave Gilbert published a book called Nuremberg Diary in 1947. These documents disclose the psyche of the Nazi leaders. When the Nazi leader Herman Goering was interviewed by Gustav Gilbert, Goering said: "Of course the people don't want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. . . . But after all it is the leaders of the country that determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along."

People can always be brought to the will of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

Goering was obsessed by Hitler’s personality. On one occasion Goering said my conscious is Führer's (Hitler’s) conscious. They were ready to follow Hitler under any circumstances. Therefore many Nazis leaders shared a common mental structure.

Nazis were able to create a mass hysteria and mass conditioning of the German people. Millions of people believed in Nazi propaganda and adored Hitler. No doubt that Hitler was a charismatic leader and an excellent orator. Gilbert studied the inner nature of Adolf Hitler. In 1950; Gilbert published The Psychology of Dictatorship. In this book, Gilbert made an attempt to portray a profile of the psychological behavior of Adolf Hitler.

Why Hitler preached racial superiority? Has he had any doubts about his origin? Hitler’s grandmother Anna Maria Schicklgruber became pregnant while working as a servant in a Jewish household. Hitler made daring attempts to conceal this factor and had fears that his pure Aryan blood was contaminated. When he was about to be the absolute leader of the Germany one newspaper published an article stating that the shape of Hitler’s nose is more Hungarian than German. Hitler was furious about this article and eventually he hunted the journalist who wrote it. Hitler admired the music of Wagner. Wagner was an anti-Semite.

As a boy Hitler was tormented, humiliated and mocked by his father. Hitler’s father punished him for a slightest mistake he made. When he became an adult leader he ruled the Germany with an iron fist. His aunt Johanna was a schizophrenic patient and little Hitler was terrified by his aunt’s psychotic behavior. In the later years Hitler ordered to terminate every psychiatric person in Germany. He could not stand them.

In his speech in 1937 April Hitler said,

All that concerns me is never to take a step that I might later have to retrace and never to take a step which could damage us in any way. You must understand that I always go as far as I dare and never further. It is vital to have a sixth sense which tells you broadly what you can and cannot do.

Hence Hitler was determined to continue his destructive efforts despite the protests made by the civilized world. He misinterpreted the religion and used it to justify his atrocities against Jewish people. In his autobiography Mein Kampf (P46) Hitler mentions the following statement.

I believe to-day that my conduct is in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator. In standing guard against the Jew I am defending the handiwork of the Lord.

Henry Murray, a prominent personality specialist at Harvard University hypnotized that Hitler was deeply confused about his sexuality. Analyzing the metaphors in his book Mein Kampf, Murray says that Hitler was unable to come to terms with his complex sexuality. Henry Murray claimed that Hitler was both impotent and a "fully fledged masochist". His niece Galee became so tormented by his sexual jealousy and committed suicide. Hitler’s sexual inadequacy may have led to exorbitant cravings for superiority. Lothar Machtan has argued in his book The Hidden Hitler that Hitler was homosexual.

Although Hitler proclaimed that the Third Reich was invincible and would last for thousands of years the system was collapsing in front of his eyes. In the verge of the defeat his passion for Germany changed dramatically. Adolf Hitler issued his infamous "Nero Decree," the order to destroy all German industry and infrastructure. Hitler’s Minister of War Industry Albert Speer sabotaged this auto destructive plan. On 30 April 1945 when the Red Army was advancing Hitler committed suicide with Eva Braun in the Führerbunker.

Psychology of Nazism demonstrates the savage part of the human nature. Leaders can tune the people and make them hate and terminate other ethnic groups without remorse. When the people are being desensitized they follow the leaders blindly. Influential charismatic negative leadership can bring total chaos to the Humankind.

Following poem reveals the life time suffering of a victim of the Auschwitz concentration camp and the magnitude of trauma caused by the Nazi ideology.

Auschwitz (By  Ruwan M Jayatunge ) 

My heart cried
When my feet touched Auschwit
Although many years have passed
It seems like yesterday 

I was brought here
Along with my family
We traveled three nights in a cattle train
Fully packed and had no space to move 

When my little sister asked for water
I gave my water bottle with a small loaf of bread
Then she slept on my lap
But I was awake all the time 

When the train stopped
The Doors were opened
There were no welcome signs
The SS men came with guns and dogs
SS-Totenkopfverbände greeted no one 

When I saw Sonder- Commanders
I could read their eyes
They moved like living dead
Gave no word or smile 

It was winter and I felt cold
I took a deep breath
My inner mind whispered
You have come to the land of death 
When the Commandant came
We were separated
Some went to the labor camp
And the others to the gas chamber 

They gased my parents
Along with my little sister
Their ashes were scattered
All over Auschwitz 

Countless nights
I lived with the memory of my family
I worked all day long
But we were under fed 

Famine and cold
Fear and beatings
Humiliations and torture
Every single day
We experienced death 

There was no hope
There was no salvation
Only option left was
The electrified fence 

After many years
We heard rumors
The War is going to end
And the Red Army is moving towards Berlin 

In the final days of the War
The Nazis were frantic
Joshua said
They might terminate us all
On the 27th January 1945
The Red Army came to Auschwitz
Many of us were walking skeletons 

They gave us food
And said soon the War will be over 
Many became astonished
But my feelings were numbed 

On the day of the liberation
Auschwitz survivors were parted
Many went to their homes
But I had no place to go
Because my family was no more
With Joshua I moved to Santa Barbara 

Many years after the war
Again I came to Auschwitz
Not as a prisoner this time
But as a witness 

This is the place they eliminated my entire family
I recalled my parents and little sister
They went through the gas chimney 
Without telling me good bye 

I tightly held Joshua’s hand
When I saw the remnants of the gas chamber
I felt despair
I had no tears to cry 

I could hear many voices in this place
Million and half 
Men women and children
Who were murdered by the Nazis
Then I clearly heard my little sister saying
Sara thank you for coming to see me 

I closed my eyes
I wanted to be alone 

Why did they do this to us?
Why Why ? 

If I could speak to the whole world
I would say a few words
Please do not let it happen
Never again
Never again

මරණ සතරක් ඇති මිනිසෙක්



දවසක් මිනිහෙක් කැලයක් මැද්දෙන් ගමනක් යනකොට ව්‍යාඝ්‍රයෙක් පන්නගෙන ආව. මිනිහ දුවගෙන ගිහින් එච්චර ගැඹුරු නැති වලකට පැන්නා. මිනිහ වල ඇතුලට පනිද්දිම දැවැන්ත කළු නයෙක් පෙනය පුප්පගෙන ෂ්...... ෂ්...... ෂ්...... ගාගෙන මිනිහ දිහාට පනිනව. මිනිහ නයාගෙන් බේරෙන්න උඩ පැනල වලේ පැති බිත්තියෙ වැවිල තිබුන අත්තක එල්ලුනා. මේ අත්ත පැති බිත්තියට ශක්තිමත්ව සම්බන්ධ වෙලත් නෙවෙයි තියෙන්නෙ. අත්තෙ ඉහලින් මී වදයක්. දැන් ව්‍යාඝ්‍රය ඇවිත් ඔය අත්තෙ මුලින් වාඩිවෙලා තමන්ගෙ අතෙන් මිනිහට ගහන්න උත්සාහ කරනව.
ඔහොම ව්‍යාඝ්‍රය පහර දෙනකොට මී වදයට වැදිලා ඒක හිල් වෙලා පහළට පැණි බේරෙන්න පටන් ගත්ත. මරන තුනකට මැදිවෙලා ඉන්න අපේ කථානායකය කල්පනා කරනව දැන් කොහොමත් මැරෙන්න වෙනවනෙ. ජීවත් වෙන්න තව තියෙන්නෙ ටික කාලයයි. ඒ ටික කාලෙදි සතුටින් ඉඳල යනව කියල අර බේරෙන මී පැණි ටිකට කට ඇල්ලුවා.කලින් කියන්න බැරි උනා ඌට ඩයබිටිස්. ඉතින් මීපැණි නිසා උගේ බ්ලඩ් ෂුගර් වැඩි වෙලා ඌට  ඩයබිටික් කෝමා ඇවිල්ලා ඌ මළා. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Suicide Bombers of LTTE and Posttraumatic Phenomenon


By Dr Ruwan M Jayatunge
There’s a hole in the world tonight.

There’s a Cloud of fear and sorrow.
There’s a hole in the world tonight.
Don’t let there be a hole in the world tomorrow. – Eagles


Suicide attack is an ancient practice with a modern history. The Mahabharata an ancient epic describes suicide warfare. Islamic Order of Assassins (hashashin) during the early Crusader times was well-known examples. The concept of “terror” as systematic use of violence to attain political ends was first codified by Maximilien Robespierre during the French Revolution. Vladimir Illich Ulyanove (Lenin) used terror against classes, which was later developed by Stalin in a ruthless form.
During the World War 2 the Japanese kamikaze pilots launched suicide attack against the US forces. In Guerrilla Warfare authored by Ernesto Che Guevara described suicide attacks as a path to victory which naturally boosts the morale of other rebels. In the early years of struggle, Che and Fidel Castro used deadly suicide attacks against Batista’s regime.
Social instability in the North since Nineteen Seventies provided a fertile ground for terrorist activities. As a small undercover terrorist group the LTTE transformed into a large group with a massive financial backing and producing Black Tigers who are motivated kill and get killed. The LTTE suicide bombing emerged as a politically based violence. Since July 5, 1987 when the current wave of suicide bombings began, Sri Lanka had been facing a new threat and it has changed the dynamics of the Sri Lankan society. The people became more vigilant and suspicious especially in public places and responded to suicidal bombings with a collective anxiety.
Suicide bombing is not a simple phenomenon with easy explanation. In a suicide attack, the attacker intends to kill others and inflict widespread damage with the knowledge that he would die in the process. The LTTE used suicide as a political and a military tool to spread terror, create mass fear psychosis, and cripple the economy and to disrupt peace.
What is the devastating culture behind suicide killings?. A suicide bomber do not act alone, there are many factors and people behind him. He is hand picked, indoctrinated and given a mission. This is a prolog process, which needs intensive training. He undergoes a dramatic transformation mentally and physically. After a vigorous training, the bomber is ready to detonate himself to fulfill a specific political, religious or ideological goal which he believes completely. He believes that the suicide bombing is an act of martyrdom. After his death, the peer group recognizes suicide bombing as an act of altruism, heroism and adoration.
Group-dynamics play a major part in suicide bombing. Paul Gill in his case work “A political psychology analysis of suicide bomber radicalization highlights this factor. Evidence from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Iraq and elsewhere concur that suicide bombers do not act individually. Following the group pressure, the suicide bomber is strongly dedicated to the mission. Dr. Jerold Post of George Washington University did series of interviews with suicide bombers and of the view that group pressure and identity motivates suicide bombers to act. Psychological manipulation by the group leader directs him to self-destruction.
Although the LTTE did not promote religious extremism, most of the Sri Lankan suicide bombers believed in life after death.(based on the findings by the late Major Major Thuvan Meeden of the SL Army Military Intelligence Corps) They were promised a happy afterlife. As they believed after the mission, they go to the heaven and observe the struggle of their comrades. They become immortals. Many Black Tiger songs carried this radical message.
How does a man turn in to a suicide bomber? Philip Zimbardo’s 1971 research at the Stanford University gives a positive clue how ordinary men can be turned in to outrageous personalities via physical and mental torture. The repercussions of war trauma psychologically affect many suicide bombers. For instance, most of the Al-Qaeda suicide bombers were exposed to combat situations. Research findings indicate that most suicide bombers have had at least one of their loved ones killed or severely harmed at the hands of their enemies. With severe rage and resentment, they begin to act.

Often suicide bombers have extreme thinking patterns. The researcher Randy Borum identifies a four-stage process whereby individuals develop extremist beliefs. A group or individual first identifies some sort of undesirable state of affairs; then frames that event or condition as unjust ; then blames the injustice on a target policy, person, or nation; and then vilifies or demonizes the responsible party so that aggression seems justified.

The LTTE suicide killing was one of the most bizarre forms of political action adopted by its authority via glorification of death and violence. For the LTTE this action was not cleanly a military tactic or reprisal. It was a mass ritual as well as an action beyond death. The LTTE suicide carders better known as Black Tigers (or in Tamil: Karum Puligal) were psychologically motivated to kill and get
killed.

The selection of a member for a suicide mission was a complex process. They were handled and trained by experienced personnel. There were a number of issues that had to be taken in to consideration before the selection. The selected member’s loyalty to the organization, psychological makeup, group identity, suicidal ideation etc had to be analyzed. Then the human bombs had to undergo institutionalized indoctrination and systematic injection of odium with adoration of death as well as scrupulous physical training. The intense indoctrination leads to blind obedience. Although the human bomb wasaware of his/her impending death they were psychologically and physically geared up to full fill the task.

The LTTE carried out their first suicide operation on July 5, 1987. Vasanthan alias Millar crashed the truck filled with explosives into Nelliaddy Army camp. In the attack, 40 servicemen were killed. From that day, the LTTE had launched a numerous suicide bombing against military and civil targets killing hundreds. These attacks generated mass fear psychosis and confusion among the public. Between 1984 and 2006, the LTTE carried out 346 suicide bombing attacks (killing 3,262 civilians and wounding another 3,494).
The ICT Researcher Clara Beyler who published the article “Messengers of Death: female suicide bombers” explains that that the terrorist organizations legitimize the use of women as suicide bombers in two ways: by reference to prevalent social norms, and by religious ideology. A LTTE woman suicide bomber, Dhanu, assassinated former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, at an election rally in Sriperambadur, southern India, on May 21, 1991.

Dr. Rajini Thiranagama – co writer of the Broken Palmyra described the widespread rapes of the IPKF in 1988 – 1989 in the North. According to unconfirmed sources, Dhanu was raped by the IPKF (Indian Peace Keeping Force). She may have suffered from RTS or Rape Trauma Syndrome. RTS which is a form of interpersonal violence generates a wider range of conflicting emotions. The victims often have a loss of faith about their sense of safety in society and may feel powerless. Depression and anger after the rape are common features in RTS. Hence, Dhanu’s anger and frustration was projected to the former premier Rajiv Gandhi.
The LTTE suicide bombers choices were often voluntary, but typically under conditions of group pressure and the cult leadership. Consequently, their status as individuals has been nullified by the organization. Suicide behavior is arguably loyalty to intimate cohorts of peers. The suicide bombers see the world subjectively, and are biased and misconstrue the events take place around them. They have stereotyped thinking pattern, extremism and introversion. They justify the murders by a misinterpreted and manipulated faith.
The veneration of death is a form of cult adopted by Jim Jones of the People’s Temple. Jim Jones held a mass ritual of suicides in Guyana in mid seventies. Jim Jones’s followers believed that he was as messiah or a liberator. The black tigers too believed in the cult of Prabhakaran. Therefore, the LTTE suicide bombers did not act entirely under their own authority and responsibility. After a suicide mission their photographs were displayed in public, and stories of their actions were told to the other members. Thus, a strong desire was developed among the carders to follow the example of their predecessors and undertake attacks themselves.
According to Michael Bond who is an expert in analyzing the psychological factors of suicide bombers reveals that the bomber is always recruited and guided by a group with specific political or ideological aims, and the bombers tend to adopt a brotherhood mentality towards each other, encouraged by their common cause, their loyalty to the group and the secrecy of their mission. These factors were common among the LTTE suicide bombers.
The Suicide attackers did not operate in a vacuum. There were large surroundings behind them. The families of suicide martyrs benefited from a financial compensation funded by the LTTE sympathizers. (One of the investigators of the Gamini Dissanayaka’s assassination pointed out that the family of the suicide bomber who killed Gamini Dissanayaka had received a large amount of money from the LTTE sympathizers living in the Western Countries) The LTTE actively promoted suicide bombers, which along with a general climate of martyrdom glorification, served to reinforce a culture of suicide. Among the LTTE there was an adoration of and reverence for suicideattacks.
These martyrs were like human robots. Most of them are traumatized people suffering from depression, PTSD and various other forms of psychological ailments. Their logical reasoning was impaired. They saw people outside their organization as objects or enemies. They were operated by simple ground rules such as “ether you are my friend or you are my enemy”. There was nothing in between. Therefore, they could commit an extreme form of violence without any remorse.
The social conditions nurturing the rise of terrorism are complex and include demographic, economic, political, and educational factors. Poverty, hopelessness, lack of education, and lack of opportunities help to breed terrorism. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu once stated, “at the bottom of terrorism is poverty”.
The rehabilitation of the North after the War plays a crucial role. Human rights violations, negligence of psychosocial developments can re traumatize the people and it will create fertile grounds for terrorism and subsequent suicide bombings. Therefore, successful rehabilitation programs must be implemented in war-wreaked areas of the North uplifting the socio economic conditions and promoting human rights.

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