tense with the militarisation process continuing unabated.However the militarisation is not conﬁned to the North: in every district of Sri Lanka new army units have been formed and many of the key posts in the civil service are held by military personnel hand picked by the defence secretary. Even the permanent secretary of the new Ministry in charge of the police is a military man reporting directly to the defence secretary.
In the North lands are also being taken over forcibly in an insidious attempt to change the demography of the area. Instead of coming up with a genuine political settlement which can address the grievances of the long suffering Tamil people of the North and the East, a Parliamentary select committee has been appointed to keep International pressure at bay.
Tolerance, respect and understanding is yet another core value of the Commonwealth charter but religious and ethnic intolerance has been actively encouraged by the state run media since the conclusion of the war and many Muslim and Christian places have been attacked while the Police looked on. Some of these extremist groups fostering this culture of intolerance are openly seen with key members of this regime. Recently, on the 3rd of September, a statue sacred to the Hindus was vandalised in Dambulla and two weeks later the kovil was ﬂattened to the ground after a visit to the temple by persons in Army uniform who claimed that the temple which has been there for over 30 years was on sacred Buddhist land! Until the advent of the present regime, Sri Lanka was renowned as a land of great tolerance and in many places Buddhist temples have coexisted with kovils, mosques and churches next to each other for decades if not centuries.
In yet another insidious plan to change the demography of the city of Colombo which remains unfavourable to the ruling party, the residents of the predominantly Muslim and Tamil neighbourhood of Slave Island are been resettled elsewhere against their will. This must be condemned as a violation of United Nations principles and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Accordingly human settlement planning must seek to improve the quality of the life of people with full respect for indigenous, cultural and social needs. Settlement planning and implementation for the purpose of prolonging and consolidating occupation and subjugation in territories and lands acquired through coercion and intimidation must not be undertaken .
The Police, since the abolition of the independent Police commission in 2010, is now nothing more than a servile and obliging security service catering to the whims and fancies of the ruling family. Last month, I too was a victim of a massive witch hunt against me and my supporters in my constituency in