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Archive for June 2nd, 2008

Although not specifically directed towards combat veterans and PTSD, a research study is currently evaluating whether Tibetan meditation has benefit for PTSD sufferers. Miami and Ohio State university researchers will use an ancient technique to address a modern problem. With a $98,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Mental Health, Deborah Akers, Miami visiting assistant professor of anthropology, will work with co-researchers from Ohio State on a project titled “Treatment of Trauma Survivors: Effects of Meditation Practice on Clients’ Mental Health Outcomes.”  Akers and co-researchers Moyee Lee, professor of social work, and Amy Zaharlick, professor of anthropology, will investigate the impact of Tibetan meditation on victims of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The project began this month and will continue for two years.

Researchers will work with a group of women diagnosed with PTSD who live in Amethyst House, a women’s treatment program for alcohol and drug addiction in Columbus. Tibetan monk Geshe Kalsang Damdhul of the Institute of Higher Buddhist Dialectics in Dharamsala, India, will assist as a meditation instructor. “Participants will be taught specialized meditation techniques and will be guided through meditation for a period of six weeks,” said Akers. Results could then provide a new option for treating other victims of PTSD, such as combat soldiers returning from war or victims of natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. “This project charts new ground, bringing a holistic perspective to the treatment of PTSD,” said Akers. She added that though meditation has been used in a variety of therapeutic settings in the West, such as reducing stress and coping with pain,its application in the treatment of mental illness, including PTSD, has not been extensively explored.

“Whereas in the West treatment of PTSD may require years of prescription medicine and counseling, the Tibetan approach has been successful within one to two years by focusing on the spiritual connection between the mind and the body that seems to allow the patient to process the trauma more effectively,” said Akers. “Moreover, unlike Western medical therapies, meditation is free and can benefit individuals who cannot afford extensive therapy or medicine over long periods of time. The Tibetan approach is empowering, as it offers PTSD patients an alternative and less invasive form of therapy and enables them to participate in their own treatment.” The project grew from a Miami summer field school program, “Peoples and Cultures of Tibet,” conducted in Dharamsala, the residence of the spiritual leader of the Tibetans, the Dalai Lama, and location of the Tibetan government in exile. During the field school, Akers and Miami students learned about how Tibetan monks minister to political prisoners and victims of torture who suffer from PTSD.) Several Miami pre-med and anthropology students will assist in the Columbus project, gaining hands-on research experience.

“The PTSD research project and the summer field program in Dharamsala exemplify Miami University’s continuing interest in South Asia,” said Akers.

(http://lilygc-tagging.jiglu.com/tags/topics/treat-ptsd)

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The LTTE announced that one of its top female LTTE cadres was killed in battle last week. The LTTE peace secretariat said that Selvy who held the Tiger rank of ˜Lt. Col” was killed during a clash at the Mannar FDL on May 25.“Even her seniors within the LTTE feared her for her stringent adherence to rules and the extreme austere life that she led and expected others in the movement to lead.

To her subordinates she was the counsellor who could be approached with any kind of problem. Yet they too feared her for her absolute honesty. There were rare instances in her life as a leader of a frontline unit where she dared to disobey orders of her seniors that she clearly perceived as unwise.

At her funeral her seniors expressed their respect for her decisions of this type, the LTTE said.

(more…)

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After the recent demise of self-styled ‘Brigadier’ Balraj, pro-LTTE Tamilnet revealed the top Tiger had undergone surgery overseas during the Norwegian brokered CFA.

The Norwegians and the then Wickremesinghe administration had facilitated the visit, government sources said. Although the media had reported Sea Tiger leader Soosai and Daya Master receiving medical treatment overseas and in Colombo, respectively, Balrajoverseas visit hadn’t been known.

Our inquiries revealed the SLAF had flown Balraj from Kilinochchi to BIA and on his return from Singapore had provided air passage back to Kilinochchi.

The Tamilnet said Balraj had played a critical role in inflicting the biggest loss on the Sri Lanka when the LTTE overran the strategic Elephant Pass base in 2000. At the time of his death, Balraj had supervised the Mannar and Welioya fronts where the army has made substantial progress.

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Canada holds a different opinion about Tamil Tiger terrorists than do the European Union and the United States.

On September 27 2005, the European Union declared its “condemnation of the continuing use of violence and terrorism by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” (LTTE) (and the) “continuing recruitment and retention of child soldier cadres by the LTTE.”

The EU has banned members of that organization from visiting any European Union member state and the United Kingdom, the United States and India have designated the LTTE, better known as Tamil Tigers as a terrorist organization.

Former Prime Minister Paul Martin and several of his MPs have broken bread with the Tamils in Toronto on a couple of occasions, during actual LTTE fundraising events.

There is little room for error in significant financial support coming from Canada for the LTTE.

Before he was assassinated in August of 2005, the late Lakshman Kadirgamar, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka wrote in a report: “At one time it was reported that the LTTE raised approximately $200,000 a month from the Tamil community in Canada” and “the argument that banning the LTTE would hamper the peace process does not stand.”

In Canada, the support of LTTE terrorism, it would seem, has now seeped down to the university level.

How else to explain that an MBA student accused of setting up an elaborate terrorism-support network has been awarded a $5,000 prize for his…”entrepreneurial acumen”?

In fact after joining Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo only one year ago, Suresh Sriskandarajah became–the first and only winner of the university’s “CIBC leaders of entrepreneurship award”.

CIBC is the acronym of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.

“Two years ago, the arrest of the 26-year-old Canadian university student made headlines amid allegations he was known simply as “Waterloo Suresh” to Tamil Tiger figures overseas.” (Globe and Mail, May 30, 2008). “Suresh Sriskandarajah continues to be wanted in the United States to face charges that he set up enterprises to acquire $22,000 worth of sensitive warship-building software for the guerrillas.”

Now hailed as a “model student” by officials at Wilfred Laurier University in Waterloo, Sriskandarajah stands further accused of dispatching smugglers from Canada to Sri Lanka, urging them to pack computer equipment under layers of “teddies and chocolates” to throw off detection.

Somebody conniving as all that should not have too much difficulty coming on like Wilfred Laurier University’s Golden Boy in the discipline of “Business Studies”.

While U.S. authorities cool their proverbial heels waiting for the outcome of Sriskandarajah’s extradition hearings, he spends his time doing graduate work in Ontario.

Sriskandarajah was one of only 13 students to be recognized by corporate donors and university officials.  The $5,000 prize was bestowed upon him as “one of the most accomplished business students in a school known for business studies.”

Terrorism per chance will now be the latest rage in university business studies?

Here’s the university proffered justification behind the award going to an accused terrorist: The ongoing MBA studies are distinct from the alleged activities Sriskandarajah is accused of engaging in while at the University of Waterloo, where he pursued an engineering degree and was involved in a Tamil student group.

“After months of investigation, the United States asked Canadian police to arrest him in August, 2006, charging that he (was) among 10 highly significant North American agents for the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, according to the Globe and Mail article.

Paul Martin and Company notwithstanding, the LTTE, is banned as a terrorist entity in Canada.

Interesting to note that most of the Canadian activities in which Sriskandarajah was allegedly involved, occurred before Canada’s Conservative government blacklisted the LTTE as a terrorist group in the spring of 2006.

“You idiots already told way too much people…Pack up properly!” he allegedly wrote in one intercepted e-mail.  “Tell them Waterloo Suresh sent you.  I need to know that you arrived safely, more important all the things got there safely.”

Of his Laurier award this is what Waterloo Suresh had to say for himself: “Education is important to me and my supportive family.  Therefore, I decided to return to school to make the best of my free time with an optimistic hope for the future.”

Laurier spokesman Kevin Crowley said the school “recognizes the legal principle of the presumption of innocence” until proven guilty.

Then why not wait to bestow the award after Sriskandarajah proves himself in court?

Meanwhile, welcome to Canada where terrorism is just another form of business you might win awards for in school.

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