Enigma of Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers

Both in life and death, Veluppillai Prabhakaran divides rather than unites the Tamils in particular, Sri Lankans as a whole. Therein lie the enigma of Prabhakaran (Thambi Anna to me), whom I first met almost thirty years ago in August 1979, and the Tamil Tigers.

“Assuming the LTTE finished is fantasy masquerading as fact”, exclaimed a self-styled ‘leftist’ academic (Sri Lankan born American), namely Qadri Ismail, on March 1, 2009. Qadri Ismail is not alone in fantasizing about Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers. Anita Pratap, a veteran Indian journalist, too fantasized about the invincibility and immortality of Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers in an article published on May 03, 2009 claiming that the Tiger is just “crouching”, not dying. Both Qadri Ismail and Anita Pratap are journalists by profession, though the former is a journalist turned academic lately; most journalists are very good at writing sensationalism and romanticism of the ‘other’ or the underdog.

Anita Pratap also tosses some contradictory claims in her writings for The Week dated May 03rd and 31st. She claims that Prabhakaran has told her that he never launches any attack on a date that add up to number eight (08, 17 or 26) because he believed it to be unlucky. As a matter of fact, LTTE launched its first ever air raid in Colombo on March 26, 2007. Further, she claims that, because Prabhakaran’s son Charles Anthony does not believe in his father’s superstition he had sent a suicide bomber to kill Sri Lanka’s Army Commander on April 26, 2006 in Colombo. Again she was wrong; in fact the attempted assassination of the Army Commander took place on April 25, 2006. I hope by now the righteous ‘leftist’ and the adulatory journalist would have realised who really have been romanticizing about Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers.

“Strangely”, Prabhakaran’s death had left Vasuki Nesiah, a Sri Lankan born Tamil American academic, “numb”. Whilst concurring with her that death cannot be celebrated or glorified, I am immensely relieved that a psychopath and his army have been vanquished. Prabhakaran and the Tigers were cancer in the body politic of the Tamil community. To me, removing the cancerous cells in the body politic of the Tamil community is neither ‘poetic justice’ nor glorification of death, rather a necessity to preserve and protect life within and beyond our Tamil community. Vasuki, when a cobra or viper attempts to bite you, would you allow yourself to be bitten to death?

The enigma of Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers pricks the conscience of not only a few academics and journalists, but one of my siblings too who is a medical scientist. But, ironically, none of the foregoing persons have been uncritical of Prabhakaran and the Tigers in the past and present. Following is my sibling’s indictment of myself just past week.

“I am very sad that at a time of sorrow and hardship for fellow human beings of our race in SL you are writing such unwarranted matters that are published! I think we were brought up by our parents to have solidarity and unity. I wish you shut up and stop writing; it is unwarranted when the wounds are very sore. Everyone/organisation has mistakes and problems, so nit picking doesn’t help.”

“Please keep your mouth shut, and keep your opinions to yourself… because your judgements are very very poor.” warned a person from the Tamil diaspora in March 2009 and goes on to issue a fatawa against me, “You are an unwanted human in this world.” I hope this righteous person would have realised by now whose judgement was false.

However, I received a rare solace in March 2009 from a reader of one of my recent writings – “I am completely speechless. This would be the first time I have heard an ethnic Tamil known to me take a stand on facts, without justifying or demonising one ‘side’ or the other.” wrote a recent acquaintance.

Prabhakaran is dead! Long live the enigma of Prabhakaran and the Tamil Tigers!! May the souls of thousands of soldiers of the security forces and Tamil armed groups, dissidents and politicians of all ethnicities, Veluppillai Prabhakaran and his family, thousands of fellow Tigers and Tigresses, and above all countless civilians from all ethnicities (overwhelmingly Tamils) rest in peace!

Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, Ph.D. (Wales), M.Sc. (Bristol), M.Sc. (Salford), B.A. (Hons) (Delhi), is the Principal Researcher of the Point Pedro Institute of Development, Point Pedro, Northern Sri Lanka and Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar at the Elliott School of International Affairs, George Washington University 2008-2009. He is the author of From Liberation to Terrorism: The Rise and Demise of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka (forthcoming).

  • Viji

    excellent Mr Sarvananthan.. moderate tamils are speaking out.. We no longer have to be afraid of the LTTE. I just wish all tamils especially those overseas see prabhakran for who he really was.. he was a fat coward, a dictator and as the economist likens to ” a fat grub who was oiled daily, fed on curry and watched clint eastwood films”… His children and family live a normal life(?)- swimming pools, pool toys, gold jewellery, films etc while his forces especilly women and children are out there blowing themselves apart, carrying cynanide round there necks etc.. Do these tamils who believed in him as the saviour of tamils really think this is the type of leader they want. He was a Hilter, a pol pot nothing more or less… I am a tamil and at no time did I think prabhakaran was my leader not want him as my leader. I hope tamils who saw him as their leader please wake up and smell reality. If you don’t want to return to sri lanka then please stay where you are.. please don’t fund terrorist organisations again to kill your own brothers and sisters.. all the idp’s are there becuase of the LTTE… Remember they used them as human shields! are these the actions of hero’s or cowards? Viji

  • http://www.groundviews.org Sam Thambipillai

    What the Tamil Tigers have done now, inspite of real estate capture by the GOSL in the North East(NE), is to show to the world that the GOSL is a war criminal bunch and dishonest with Tamils.

    The Tamils in exile, the Tamil diaspora, have now taken over the responsibility to continue with the freedom movement of the people of NE till independence is achieved. Surely, they will achieve.

    I met a Jewish friend of mine and he said that Jews are in exile for 2007 years now. Though, it is two centuries ago, the Jews still believe that they are in exile. Tamils are in exile only for 37 years. Tamils will not idle till they become full fledged citizens of Tamil Eelam.

    A freedom movement does not depend on persons or leaders. Leaders come and go but the movement goes on. Tamils of NE had GG Ponnambalam, SJV Chelvanayakam, A.Amirthalingam and V.Prabakaran. Their physical death is not of significance. Their firm stand has taught the Tamils to be firm in their stand for independent Tamil Eelam, which is the only survival kit for the people of NE.

    The UN and the IC will soon act against SL, realising the nature of its dangerous terrorist culoture as a state. North Korea is branded as a terrorist state. By the same standards SL too is terrorist though in a different dimension.

    Perhaps then, the Sinhalese will open their eyes to the crime of genocide against Tamils in the NE.. It may be too late then.

  • Rukmankan Sivaloganathan

    Sam,

    Do you live in Colombo or are you part of the Diaspora? Genocide is a strong word my friend. What is your opinion on the LTTE forcibly keeping all those poor people hostage as human shields.

    Looking forward to your response.

  • Sundar

    Funny what some would do for a few breadcrumbs.

    Mr Sarvananthan is more determined to deliberate on past activities of the LTTE than to propose meaningful mechanisms to release the 300, 000 Tamils currently interned in concentration camps.

    The likes of Sarvananthan only think of themselves and their immediate families. Sinhalese have spared him a few breadcrumbs, so he can’t spare a thought for the people whose properties are still occupied by the Sinhala military as ‘high security zones’.

  • garawi

    great article Mr. Sarvananda.

    People like you with articles like this should open the eyes of people like Sam Thambipillai for them to realise that Elam is only an utopia. He still thinks of a tamil nation. If TN is not interested in it what makes him think that Ealam in Sri Lanka is possible? One thing is sure that if at all Ealam is created one day it will only be in TN and not in SL. But the tamils who want can live in harmony with the rest in SL. Those who don’t want can get out.

  • Buddhi

    As long as Tamil Nadu remains a state of India, Eelam will be only a dream of certain Tamils. What ever the LTTE did in Last 30 years failed miserably. Millions of Dollars contributed from Tamil Diaspora mainly by force have resulted in almost demise of Wanni Tamils in Sri Lanka in addition to making new Tamil Millionaires in Europe, North america and Australia.

    My advice to Tamils is, give up the fight for Tamil Eelam.

  • Lankan Patriot

    Excellent article by Mr. Sarawanathan! You are absolutely right to say that LTTE was a cancer and required to be eliminated. Having said that, we should also accept that the minority communities, mainly the Tamils have been systamatically discriminated since 1950s. The good part played by the death of V.P. is that, now, the GOSL is forced to bring in policies to safeguard the rights of the Tamils and they are being watched by the world communities. Lets hope that sanity prevails among the ruling elites of GOSL. We only need one true leader to change the face of a country! We have to wait and see whether we can elevate MR to the level of Lee Kuan Yew and Mahthir Mohamed who earned permanent places in history.

    Mr. Thambipillai, Jews’ claim of the “Promised Land” is rediculous. Sri Lankan Buddihsts came from India. Can they go back to India to claim their land? Palestinian land was given to Zionists by the then British regime to create Israel on a land that DID NOT belong to them! British people are responsible for the carnage and mayhem that is inflicted on Palestinians!!

  • uslanka

    LTTE ruined the Tamils and their future. If there was no LTTE, by now Jaffna city would have been the second Singapore.

  • George Gunasekera

    Dear Tamil friends, So long as we have divisions amongst us human beings we will have eternal conflicts. If we are to have permanent peace in the world or in any country all human beings must forget the past history and treat all human beings as human beings. If at all we want divisions then human beings must be separated according to their blood group. People of one particular country should be known as nationals of that country.The question of divisions and conflicts arise when there is no impartial justice in a country. What human beings should strive to attain is to have impartial treatment for all human beings. In order to achieve this goal people living in a particular country must get a solid impartial constitution adopted as a guide for people to be governed in that country. All human beings living in a particular country must have languages spoken by a fair number of people living in that country declared as official languages and the Government of that country must take necessary action to see that all transactions done by the Government and the private sector in that country are done in all the recognized languages of the country. Similarly, laws and regulations must be enshrined in the constitution of that country treating all people living in the country equally.
    When all people living in a country are treated equally people in that country does not have a reason to quarrel
    for rights concerning their ethnicity.
    At the present moment there is no single country in the world that is divided according to ethnicity ,where there are no conflicts concerning ethnicity. There are ethnic conflicts in the developed, the developing and the under developed countries in the world. Right now we have the white Australians attacking Indian an Sri Lankan students.
    Ethnic conflicts cannot be solved by dividing a country according to ethnicity. if we take the question of the tamil speaking people in this world and have a separate homeland for them. There are only about 2.5 million tamil speaking in Sri Lanka.But there are over 80 million tamil speaking people in Tamil Nadu alone and there are millions of tamil speaking living all over the world. If we are to create a homeland for tamil speaking people we should have a county at least, the size of Australia to accommodate all the tamils. Even if this task is achieved would it be possible for the tamils to exist separately from the rest of humanity.
    If the tamils think positively they will realize the futility of this fight for separate homelands. Even if a hundred of Prabakarans organize wars for another century the dream of having an exclusive tamil homeland for tamil people on this earth will never be achieved.
    The tamil peple must realize that a few power thirsty people are trying to take them for a ride by promising to create tamils homelands. This is a ruse created by a few criminals who are thirsty for wealth. The want to give false promises of creating homelands and collect money from tamils living all over the world and live luxuriously. Now some associates of the late Prabakaran is planning to keep the fight of creating a homeland alive by proposing to create a Transnational National Government so that they will have a reason to collect money.I hope the tamils living all over the world will be sharp enough to escape from these cunning schemes.The tamil diaspora must extend their cooperation to the Sri Lanka Government to attend to the settlement of all the displaced persons and attend to other details to restore peace by watching what is happening in Sri Lanka without contributing to any destructive work. They will then soon see the sincerity of the Sri Lankan Government.

  • Rohan Samarajiva

    The key issue that readers must keep in mind is the credibility of Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, PhD.

    I got to know Sarvi in 2004 after reading what he was writing about economics in the Sri Lanka English newspapers. In those articles, he was critical of the LTTE’s economic thinking. This was during the ceasefire, well before people started to think that the LTTE can be militarily defeated. I know for a fact that he had the courage to state his positions not only in the media, but also in person within Jaffna, including at the university, during this period.

    His positions are not ideological, but based on painstaking research and the application of theory. His website continues to be one of the best sources for solid information on the economy of the North (and is frequently ripped off, most recent example being the PP slides being circulated by some people at the Commercial Bank).

    Sarvi is not a fairweather friend of the people of the North and a foulweather enemy of the LTTE. He called it the way he saw it at all times, despite the many threats he has received (he does not mention them in his writing, but those of us who consider him a friend, know).

    I wish there were more clear thinkers and brave speakers like Sarvi, in all parts of our country, both in the North and in the South.

  • http://sahasamvada-forum.blogspot.com/ SahaSamvada

    It is a known fact that there are many neutral minded Tamils who are extremely relieved to see the end of VP. Nevertheless, to be fair on Vasuki the death of any human being is not something to be condoned of. Furthermore, VP’s death is also an indication of a decaying rule of law and the increased power of extra-judicial methods. Justice is a farce as it is quite clear with the case of Karuna Amman who got the best deal out of the lot!!

  • http://www.esteem.com Justin

    A few weeks ago, there was a military parade in Colombo to celeberate “victory”. war criminals and Tamil genocide perpetrators marched on the streets with arrogance, defiantly displaying the military hardware used for their crimes during the past two years. It reminded me of the military display during the Jewish genocidal days of Adolf Hitler.

    The UN called for probe into the war crrimes committed by the government of Sri Lanka(GOSL). But G.L.Peiris, a cabinet minister, uttered in Japan that no criminal charges would be made against any soldiers in any court in SL. Peiris has blood on his hands too in war crimes.

    It was no surprise to Tamils. The so called judicial system in SL was never able and willing to impart justice to them. Former Chief Justice Sanath de Silva pronounced this ugliness very clearly in his last press conference held recently, prior to his retirement.

    Implementation of justice in any democracy answers the agonising questions for the affected persons and societies.

    In case of violation of rule of law, justice becomes an expression of the renewal of law and order.

    Criminal justice deals with the evil past and it pins responsibility on persons or even on an entire society for crimes committed.

    Justice gives reasons for illiberal rule and accountability is ensured. It answers the question “who bears responsibility for repression, retribution, genocide and war crimes?”

    Surely, any such benefits of justice could never be expected to emerge to Tamils from the existing unjust “judicial system” in SL. During the past two years, too many Tamil civilians have been killed, maimed or displaced by soldiers.

    Justice by the state was not even attempted. Soldiers who perpetrated these crime should be judged, punished and rehabilitated. Justice cannot even be imparted to Tamils from any regional probe, as India, Pakistan and China were active associates in these crimes. One criminal should not be asked to adjudicate another criminal when justice is seriously desired.

    At present, more than 300,000 Tamils are kept in military controlled concentration camps. About 13,000 persons have disappeared from these camps after the government announced that the war was over. The elderly are dying, children are starving and women are being raped.

    Injustice in SL is an attack on human civilisation.

    Peace cannot be achieved without reconciliation. Reconciliation is not possible without justice

    The UN should therefore appoint a war crimes tribunal without any rhetoric whatsoever, to bring about justice reconciliation and peace in SL, having in mind the basic judicial principle that criminals resist justice.

  • http://yahoo Hof

    It is heartening to see moderate Tamils coming out and speaking. For three decades their voice has been suppressed by tiger terrorists. This augurs well for the future of Sri Lanka.

  • Karu

    Yes, we can go on and on and on about the terrible atrocities done by the LTTE & VP, but they are all history. It’s in the past and I don’t wish for it to come back again, except for the fact that the present government is no less terrible as far as the poor Tamils are concerned. This is why many of them are numb as the balance of evil is upset. We have a one sided monster without an opposition, and the Tamils in general including those who opposed the LTTE don’t trust the Rajapakse Junta and fearful of their future.

    It’s almost a month since the LTTE was defeated, we haven’t heard even a draft of a proposal to end the ethnic conflict. Any plans to keep all power in Colombo and maintain the status quo will no doubt fuel the movements for Tamil autonomy.

    So, my dear Sinhalese brothers and sisters, if you want to see an end to the talk of Tamil Eelam, you should push your leaders in power (GOSL & Buddhist clergy) to come up with a magnanimous solution, that will keep the unity of Sri Lanka, as most of you want and also make the Tamils responsible for their own destiny as an autonomous entity within the Sri Lankan state. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. Once this is implemented, I have no doubt the separatist talks will all cool down rapidly.

    The ball is in your court. Get to work.

  • Manushi

    The Tamil people who never wanted a megalomanic from Vanni as a their representative are now relieved to see the LTTE finally defeated.

    By the same toke, certain “academics” and “journalists” are unhappy with this outcome because the LTTE was their only claim to fame. Those who were incapable of becoming authentic scholars latched on to LTTE propaganda by disguising it as real political analysis. They, along with the LTTE, were the biggest hinderance to ordinary Tamils.

  • nandasena

    From the comments you can make out the ethnicity of the person except for a few exceptions. Will Sarvananthan have the courage to write about the 20,000+ innocent Tamils civilians massacred by the Government? Will Sarvananthan have the courage to write about the crimes of the paramilitaries, Mahinda Rajapakse and brothers, or the sinhala goons? Will he write about the “white van” activities? Why is he silent on the state of the 300,000 innocent Tamils living in apalling conditions in the “concentration camps”? Will he write about the nepotism in the ruling class? What about the extrajudicial killings of journalists, elected MPs, prominent citizens, aid workers, students, the list goes ….I doubt it!!

    Sarvananthan sings for his supper, not for justice!!

  • Belle

    I am surprised that the writer focusses on the evil of the Tamil Tigers when surely at this moment it is far more necessary to deal with the humanitarian issue of displaced Tamils and the state’s treatment of them. To date, the Sri Lankan government will not open its doors to international fact-finding. As long as that does not happen, the world has no way of knowing how Tamils are being treated and must suspect the worst. We need to find out, and not waste time debating the moral nature of the Tigers.

    One thing that has become very clear now is that the West had no right to outlaw the Tigers as terrorists WITHOUT also simultaneously committing themselves to protecting Tamils and providing them with a viable alternative avenue to making their claims for rights. It is irresponsible to decry violence and terrorism and deprive a people of their only protectors if the world is not prepared to offer diplomacy and legitimate political process as viable alternatives to violence.

    The West, USA and UN were very happy to label Tigers as terrorists and contribute to the end of the terrorists. But what are they doing now to help Tamils? it’s not just the Tigers who have blood on their hands. The West does too, especially US and UN. Either it meddles responsibly, or it does not meddle at all. The West and UN did a great injustice to Sri Lankan Tamils by outlawing the only group that could stand between the Tamils and a repressive state.

    The world should not denigrate the Tigers for wanting now to try a different tack at getting a separate state. As long as the international community does not want to play a role in ensuring basic human, if not equal, rights for Tamils, to clean up a crisis that they helped to create, it creates a situation where violence can be the only answer against a repressive state regime.

    The Tamils of Sri Lanka are human beings. The world seems to have forgotten that. Yes, the Tigers were unscrupulous, and murderous . Yes, they even murdered their own community. Are we to continue using them as an excuse not to do something for the displaced Tamils, not to check the truth of allegations of rape and murder by the Sri Lankan state and its associates, not to attend to the humanitarian needs of this community?

    What is the moral difference between the Tigers and a world that doesn’t consider it politically convenient to assist Tamils in their fight for survival? None that I can see.

  • aloka

    belle
    1 if you havent gone through a bomb in the capital where innocent civiliens are killed by LTTE -we dont expect you to understand the LTTE;s defeat.
    2.government has to eliminate all LTTE. -some tigers may not change their stripes when they get out of the IDP camps -hence we need to screen – what do you think of the USA camp G’bay -have you asked the international community to go inside that?
    3.there is no debate to the moral nature of LTTE – we got them at last -they were terrorists.
    4.West should underdatnd that tmails worst enemy is the LTTE and dreamer who belive in the LTTE and a seperate mono-ethinc state. most tamils live peacefully midst of colombo. howveer can anyone claim 100% racist free country. would a asian be able to work at a top european capital without discrimination? can you assure?
    5. tmails fight for survival- if a group respected violence and got what they deserved, hard to see why anyone should help them at all..
    6. the IDP’s have LTTE supporter who cry wolf now they got beaten.

    lets wait and see… belle…

  • http://parippuplease.blogspot.com Gini Appu

    … and what was your point Mr Sarvananthan?

    Did you have a purpose for your post, other than a bit of Dyanesque self-gratification?

  • Belle

    aloka,
    I don’t think USA shifted entire Iraqi communities to G’bay, did they? Another pertinent point here–the American war with Iraq was covered by the international media. You don’t seem to get the enormity of the crime here–you don’t cordon off large numbers of citizens in order to spot a few terrorists lurking among some of them. This is more like America setting up camps for their Japanese citizens during WW11 because they suspected that some among them were pro-Japanese. Did that justify everybody being interned? US will never do that again because the world has learned now that this is unacceptable treatment of civilians. Civilization has moved on, but it seems to have left Sri Lanka behind.

    You can give the benefit of the doubt to a government that claims to be a democracy but which is run by three brothers, which turns back aid ships during an emergency crisis because it didn’t have the right documentation, which refused to let in the UN and international media and aid organizations to fight a war without witnesses, but I won’t.

    I have no doubt that Sinhalese suffered during the reign of terror. But Tamils have suffered from terror from two parties for three decades, one of which includes a majority population. The Sinhalese had a choice, Tamils didn’t. If Sinhalese had insisted on fair and equitable government, none of this would have happened. You don’t back people into a corner and then whine because they gouged your eyes out.

    I can understand Sinhalese celebrating the end of the war. What I don’t understand–why there aren’t large demonstrations organised by the Sinhalese demanding peace and humanitarian behaviour towards fellow-citizens, the Tamils incarcerated in camps? Why are there so few Sinhalese protesting the abuse of Tamils, so much so that they can easily be identified, picked up by vans and beaten or killed? Looks to me like the majority Sinhalese population have not learned anything in the last 30 years. They deify leaders who have committed massive amounts of violence.

    Don’t use the excuse of no country being 100% free of racism to vindicate 100% racism in Sri Lanka. Lots of countries use democratic political institutions to protect against racism and provide reasonably for ethnic equality. Few countries in the world, except for the most uncivilised, use terrorism as an excuse to commit genocide. Let’s put Sri Lanka in perspective here.

    So Tamils deserve the violence and abuse because they supported the Tigers? I had no idea that the Tigers gave them the choice of whether they could support the Tigers or not. This is just another criminal excuse to justify incarceration of innocent citizens who were caught between a racist state and a terrorist organization.

  • Manushi

    Belle,

    Can we please move beyond this vitriol? Nothing can be gained from a crude ‘us and them’ analysis of the situation in Sri-Lanka.

    As young people of Sri-Lankan descent, if we are to envision a different path for the country, we must first stop stereotyping entire groups of people for the simple reason that life – because of its sheer complexity – defies our narrow, human categorizations. Even those of us who never identified ourselves with any religion and,or, ethnicity were made to suffer as result of both Sinhala and Tamil chauvinism.

    If we really cared about our fellow Sri-Lankans, we would not be spending needless time and money debating “democracy”. I say lets start with the eradication of poverty.

  • chinthana

    Please encourage other moderates to speak up. wake up from a 30 year nightmare and desist thoroughly the forming of other institutions of pro-terrorism in the Tamil Diaspora, who seem to so disconnected to Sri Lanka, and believing all this rubbish that the tamilnet etc put out. Its so sad to see the second, third generation kids shouting ‘genocide’… why dont they come over and see for themselves?
    anyway, as a Sinhalese with many close Tamil friends, I thank you for writing an unbiased rational article. May this be the first of many.
    Are we allowed to copy and print your article?

  • http://www.groundviews.org groundviews

    @ chinthana All content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. Please feel free to share with attribution to Groundviews.

  • Belle

    Manushi,
    I think you should start with getting humanitarian assistance for the Tamils in the IDP camps. The most urgent issue now is saving Tamil lives caught in the camps. I apologise for forever getting into us/them binaries, but there are no Sinhalese in these camps, are there? Excuse me my simple-mindedness, but in the end, the loss of life, and the saving of these lives is an extremely simple matter, isn’t it? It doesn’t matter how the Tamils in the camps identify–whether it is by nation, religion, ethnic group, age or gender, or whether they hardly feel human anymore–the fact is that their lives and their basic human rights of the freedom of movement are under threat.

    Also, by the way, democracy is the only way you can eradicate poverty. Democracy is about guaranteeing equal rights and opportunities and ethical distribution of the nation’s wealth.

  • Belle

    Cinthana, You said that Tamil people in the diaspora should stop shouting genocide and instead come over and see for themselves what is happening. I did not realise that people of the Tamil diaspora (or anyone one else) could fly in and freely see what is happening in the IDP camps. Isn’t that the problem? The diaspora want information, many want to know where their family members are, whether they are dead or alive. But they haven’t been able to find out anything because your government and army won’t let them. If nothing is happening in the camps, why does your government insist on so much secrecy?

  • aloka

    belle
    like you said “our : government is actually the IDP’s governemnt also. they were naughty in believeing people like you and thinking they can be a seperate state. maybe not all of them but most of them, or some of them. hence now that ‘Our” government beat the shit out of the sepratist dream, we need to fidn the perp’s who still support the idea so it doesnt come to haunt us again.
    so wait in line, till we do this our way.

  • ordinary lankan

    The writer’s race is incidental to me. He has objectivity – and most importantly he has metta for all who have suffered. This is the beginning of nation building – a painfully long and laborious process we may not live to see through to the end. Without goodwill, without detached judgement and openness we cannot run this long course. Ther is much to comment about and many opinions to tender. More than all that we need LOVE – we need compassion, a passion for all and not some. This is the way forward.
    So my fellow lankans start feeling and stop thinking. Your thoughts led to a war and may probably lead to another. So stop your thoughts and give silence and the heart the moment it has waited for …

  • bellepepper02

    aloka,
    Sri Lanka doing it their way? That’s really funny. For 25 years, their stupid army only knew how to kill, assault and rape civilians. They couldn’t fight a small terrorist force. Now suddenly they’ve won the war due to arms and services provided by India, Pakistan and China. But of course anyone familiar with the Rajapakse regime wasn’t surprised when they started singing about their soveriegnty and pretending they had done it their way. That kind of dishonesty-that is truly Sri Lanka’s way.

    Ask China about Sri Lanka’s soveriegnty.

  • nandasena

    Sri Lanka has been doing it “their way” for the last 61 years. The result is that about 200,000 deaths of both Tamils and sinhalese and destruction of the whole northern and Eastern province!! Three generations of Tamils maimed, and will carry the scars and humiliation for the rest of their lives. Poor Sinhalese people lost their lives to fight the dirty war. Some of them don’t even know whether their sons are living or dead!! 300,000 thousand made to live in barbed wire camps, without proper food or medicine or family unification. Several thousand Tamils living in refugee camps or with relatives in order to make room for the High Security zones. Children made orphans, wives made widows. How long they have to wait for justice!! President and his family goes “world tours” with family and friends and entourage on tax payers money. Presidents’ children are exempted from basic qualifications to do higher studies, and given scholarships on tax payers money while the poor children who burnt the midnight’s oil are denied entry!! Every Tamil is a suspect. They can be killed no questions asked. Parents will be compelled to sign a statement saying that their son is member of LTTE and that ends all obligations of justice for the victim.
    How long can this go on!! I suppose as long as the oppressors want to remain in power to make illegal money!! Until then citizens have to grin and bear!!

  • Mohanasundara

    Hats off Sarva, another surperb article. There is no denying that LTTE was decaying the Tamil community internally and leading them to self destruction and they almost acheived it. It is going to take a while for the Tamils to wake upto the reality ( of what LTTE has done to them) In the meantime people like Sarva should keep on writng about the atrocities committed by the LTTE towards the Tamils.

  • deshapria

    They lived with Prabakaran and cheered, and cheered when this mass murderer had an ‘achievement’ by killing innocent civilians in the south, so let them suffer a bit longer…

    The SL government and the SL people give what they can, and send the children to school, not as this mass murderer of Tamil schoolchildren, garland them with a cyanide capsule! When are we catching that Australian child murderer Aunty of New Malden, Surrey?