Jaffna, Peace and Conflict, Poetry, Vavuniya, Writers Under Siege


Stop this struggle
He pleads
Of his comrades
A revolutionary leader
Broken in pain
In State Custody

They set me on the wrong path
He blames,
pointing to his friends
A young rebel in a
Lonely rehabilitation camp
Dreaming of a quick release.

He frets about the cruelty
of his Organization
on Rupavahini.1
some good may come of it
An old retired warrior
Now surrendered into
Military Custody.

Praising the military loudly
He serves
sambhar2 into Sinhala plates.
A Tamil waiter
in Colombo
fearing his own
Sudden Disappearance.

The Sad Truths he brought
from a forbidden war zone
are untrue
He recants
to the Rupavahini amidst
a circle of
Military Weapons.
A doctor
who treated
thousands of wounded.

Her daughter was a traitor
Disowns a Sinhala mother
of her daughter who died
of a Sinhala bullet
for a Tamil homeland.
an elderly agitated voice
amongst those celebrating an
Ultimate victory.

I see
the desolation of
an Abandoned
beneath these
and read
the distance
heavy with


If only these
spoken words
had remained Silent…

I sigh.

Authors note: Originally written in Sinhala and titled Papochcharanaya. The translator wants be appeared as unknown.

1 National Television of Sri Lanka

2 A soupy dish considered to be Tamil

Writers Under Siege

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  • chanuka

    The only thing worse than this poor excuse for poetry is the inanity of the sentiments behind it.

  • half and half

    i thought it was a very honest and very true picture of things i my self have seen. What you probbaly mean, like many do, is where was the tamil voice when thousands of innocent people were being killed in the struggle. it is not the tamil voice, or what it talks about that is the issue to many, fellow thamilans, it is the fact that awanga chutu chutu podakala nagan otharam oru muchu katella.

  • half and half

    One of my friends made this clear to me. this is the prinicple grievence the sinhalese have against the tamils, that the tamils never spoke up on the sinhalese behalf. And it is alas, true.

    The poem is great because i have seen the exact situations and felt the exact feelings of the need to compromise opinion, lest i appear, or become a traitor. i have seen tamils subdue their memories, their conciences, their opinions. if only they had doen it before. if only they voiced the same amount of outrage agianst kebitigolawa as they did for the last bits of ealam war 4.

    sorry to repeat my comment. please delete my previous one if neccasary.

  • President Bean

    Ladies and gentlemen and children of all ages,
    Come one! Come all!
    And watch this clowning spectacle,
    Now showing daily, from morning till night!
    So don’t just sit there looking stupid!
    Switch on your Idiot Island television and see,
    ‘The Greatest Show on Planet Mirth!”
    Even better than the gladiatorial contests,
    Of ancient Rome on Planet Earth,
    When Caesar gave his people bread and circuses.
    Now see the Caesar of Idiot Island give his people rice and war!

    See the death defying stunts of Mig pilots,
    As they drop their cluster bombs with pinpoint accuracy,
    On unarmed women, children and old people.
    See multi barrel rockets light up the night sky,
    Like a 31st night fireworks display,
    As they speed towards their random targets.

    See the funny Defence Comedian and the
    Funny Government Comedian, tell tall tales,
    About low flying satellites, international conspiracies,
    And alien abductions by UFOs.
    (Also known as ‘Unidentified Four Wheeled Objects’ ).

    See the 111 clowns all dressed in white say,
    “Yes Sir! No Sir! Ulcer!”
    As they jump through hoops to the command of
    The Caesar of Idiot Island.

    See the ‘Humanitarian’ shelling of unarmed civilians!
    See the ‘Humanitarian’ killing of an editor!
    See the ‘Humanitarian’ burning down of a television station!
    See the ‘Humanitarian’ killing of 14 journalists and the beating up of 28 more!

    See all this and more!
    8 days a week! 465 days a year!
    Only on Idiot Island television,
    On the Idiot Island that hangs under Hindiyar!

  • In Your Face

    President Bean,

    Ask your God to save you. In the process, he will be saving us from one demented nut.

  • In Your Face

    Matching bad poetry with more bad poetry. Must be a tag team match.

  • President Bean

    Dear ‘In Your Face,’ …how’s this for more bad poetry/prose etc?

    No, I Said

    They took me to the battlefield and showed me the rows upon rows of dead women, children and old people and told me they were enemy combatants. Showed me dead cattle and told me they were enemy cattle. Showed me the destroyed houses and deserted streets and said, “See how successful our ‘Humanitarian Operation’ is! ”Not a single civilian or soldier was killed or injured.

    “No,” I said, in my newspaper column the next day. “There is nothing successful or humanitarian in calling dead women, children, old people and cattle enemy combatants! And what do you gain by bombing their villages and towns into the stone age?”

    A few days later they abducted me in a white van, and beat me unmercifully. Locked me up and threw away the key. Said I was a traitor to my race and an enemy sympathiser. Put a gun to my head and said, “See how successful our ‘Humanitarian Operation’ is!”

    “No,” I said, “And there was a flash and a bang and I was dead.” The next days headlines would read, “Enemy sympathiser shot while trying to escape.”
    Yes my dear killers, my murder along with the thousands of other unnamed and unarmed civilians will go down in history as a successful ‘Inhumanitarian Operation.”

  • In Your Face

    President Bean,

    How many times do I have to say it? Put an end to your bad poetry.

    Go find a hobby…

  • President Bean

    In Your Face…if you had forgotten…Groundviews is still a free place to voice our opinions…even though you might disagree…people like you would like if Groundviews was one sided like the Government media no? ha…ha…Who knows…the way things are going, someday Sanjana might be surrounded by 8 men on 4 motor cycles and shot? It would then be called an ‘International Conspiracy’ to tarnish the image of the GOSL!
    What would you say then? LONG LIVE THE GOSL???

  • In Your Face

    President Bean,

    My point is that you must challenge our imagination with good poetry, not kill us with bad poetry.

    As for the “tarnishing of images” and “international conspiracies”, I am sure you are a pro at them both.

  • Heshan

    Bean’s poem is right on the mark. Here we have a so-called “People’s President” who is totally oblivious to the ground situation. He is playing hookey with the resources of the island by selling out to China & India. The same two – China and India – have, in return, shaped his foreign policy by keeping unhappy Western gawkers at bay. This foreign policy, while necessary, is limited – it consists of begging, denying, and accusing. Begging enough charity dollars, in addition to foreign remittances by overseas nationals, helps keep the barely dysfunctional economy alive. Not to mention, subsidizes the cushy lifestyles of the 113 in the jumbo circus and their Headmaster.

    Domestic policy is pretty easy. Here just create an imaginary enemy, name him “Tamil”, and force the media to spread the word. As for the real Tamils, the “People’s President” has promised to build High Security Zones in their former neighborhoods.

    In my mind, if life were not too short, the more sane among the Sinhalese would find a nice river for this “People’s President” to take a permanent swim… unfortunately, by some trick or another, too many of their brethren have been duped into absorbing the myth of seperation and the myth of a unitary state. But I haphazard to guess that if these people who never left the island, whose only view of politics has forever been shaped by the “People’s President” and his gang of sly henchmen… if these people could be presented with an alternate viewpoint (other than in the context of terrorist and hero), then a federal solution or the like would not be too hard to come by. But then, the “People’s President” would be out of a job…

  • President Bean

    Heshan…like they say, “In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is KING!”…and “In the land of the ‘Frogs in the well,’ the man with the ‘red towel’ around his neck is a “Wannabe KING!”