Sri Lanka in Crisis - A lost Generation by Prins Gunasekera : Book Review

By Thilak S. Fernando

Once a prominent Sri Lankan parliamentarian, a veteran Barrister at Law and a well known human rights activist in Sri Lanka, Prins Gunasekera's latest book titled 'A Lost Generation ( Sri Lanka in Crisis)' published by S., Godage & Brothers, 675 P. de S. Kularatne Mawatha, Colombo 10, Sri Lanka ( ISBN 955-20-2826-4) comes as the latest addition on Sri Lankan affairs, priced at Rs. 1250 & 15 UK.

Lord Avebury, Chairperson UK Human Rights Group, House of Commons has prefaced 'Sri Lanka in Crisis - A Lost Generation'. Running into 790 pages the book narrates the hitherto untold story of how two Executive Presidents [1983-91], which the author calls them as 'serial killers in their naked greed for total power' transformed a lovely, peaceful Serendipity Island into the new Killing-Fields of Asia [ after Pol Pot ].

In graphical form the author takes the reader into various areas in the Sri Lankan political arena to illustrate how a rigged Referendum in 1982 subverted the Constitution and extended the 5/6th majority Parliament life by further six years; proscribed three legally recognised political parties and paved the way to the present on-going crisis.

It also deals with how the State death squads, protected by Indemnity Acts 1982 & 1988, notorious Emergency Regulations 55FF and directed by Deputy Inspector General of Police, indulged in a killing spree.

Exposes the ' Doctor of terror', where the State paid Rs.25000 (250) per decapitated head of a rebel youth produced before the PRRA hired killers.

Hair raising & gruesome stories on thousands of unidentified dead bodies which floated down the rivers, rotted in streets, burnt under old tyres & cadavers eaten by stray dogs.

How the PRRAs, Black Cats, Green Tigers, DJVees killed with impunity.

A story behind a Prime Minister back-stabbing the President ( who slyly conspired with the Opposition to undercut his Prime-Minister to dissolve Parliament) and unsurped the Presidential nomination.

How the JVP lost two opportunities to share ministerial power in JR Jayawardene's Cabinet and were taken for a ride by Prime Minister Premadasa.

Manipulation of the JVP/DJV by a Prime Minister to do his bidding to> win the 1988 elections.

Overall the book focuses on how a generation of youth were sacrificed at the altar of torture chambers run by the State and how the evil leadership of two regimes betrayed " SATHYAGRAHA" and destroyed themselves, a youth movement and the country and in the process the how the crisis continues.

Prins Gunasekera is at present living in London and is a practising Barrister-at Law.