Colombo, Foreign Relations, International Relations, Peace and Conflict, Politics and Governance, Post-War, War Crimes

An Era of Sri Lanka’s President: From Mullivaikal to Oxford Union

[Authors note: Mullivaikal is where the last phase of the war between Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and Liberation Tiger of TamilEelam (LTTE) took place.  According to the Government of Sri Lanka, this was the place war came to an end with the military defeat of LTTE, but for majority Tamils and international human rights activists, this was the place at-least 30000-40000 Tamil civilians were massacred by SLAF. The ‘controversy’ began from here and continues even after 19 months.]

The Diaspora re-emergence

President Rajapakse, the man who tamed the Tamil Tigers faced his first “Political Waterloo” since he came to the power.  Rajapakse and his family have portrayed themselves as an undefeated regime in the region until the President faced the fiasco in London in early December.

This development transpired as outrageous war crimes and crime against humanity evidence have been revealed in the wake of submission to the UN expert panel deadline approached and the president visited to London in order to give a speech at the Oxford Union. From the Tamil Diaspora perspective, it is a platform to hide the mass atrocities and divert the war crimes and crimes against humanity charges, which are mounting against the regime. The London trip became vital controversy and a battlefront, President Rajapakse against the UK Tamil Diaspora. In early November, the President Rajapakse’s scheduled visit was forced to cancel due to the fear of his arrest in London or postponed due to his official commitments in Sri Lanka. Nevertheless, the regime was bit concerned about the Diaspora mounting resistance. The President was advised to give up the visit, but some other officials encouraged him to continue the trip.

A Sri Lanka based news website noted,“[the] trip has been undertaken on advice by Presidential advisors and the Bill Pottinger Group reputed to ‘create, build and protect reputations in the modern age.’[1]

The Tamil Diaspora organized a massive demonstration within a short time with limited resources in London. First phase of their activities came to an end after President was rushed to return to the country after he faced unexpected embracing developments on foreign soil. The Diaspora activists attempted to take an arrest warrant against one of the Sri Lanka’s top army commander, who accused for the massacre of thousands of Tamil people in the last days of the war. However, it didn’t happen as they expected, according to the Tamil Diaspora Circle in London.

As an activist told a journalist, “He [Rajapakse] thought to teach a lesson for us, but finally we taught and he learnt a lesson from us. This is a beginning of our democratic struggle and more to come”.

This is not the Tiger Diaspora or ghost of late Balasingham, but the people power where they can demonstrate their nonviolent struggle under the democratic atmosphere or it may be the ghosts of nearly forty thousand massacred Tamil people in Mullivaikal in the last phase of the war. In  developed countries not only Freedom of Speech, but Freedom of Association are allowed, as long as it does not disturb the public or violate their respective constitution. The United Kingdom is respecting democratic values and principles and it’s not like Sri Lanka to detain anyone, who opposes anti-democratic activities in the country.

It is obvious that volatile environment between Rajapakse regime and the Tamil Diaspora is widening further and further as no genuine efforts have been taken by the regime to heal the wounds of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. Therefore, if Rajapakse regime is keen and genuine on post-war reconciliation, they should learn a lesson from the “London Fiasco” rather than taking revenge activities against Tamil Diaspora and Tamil people in Sri Lanka.

A Multi-Polar Constructive Engagement

In a statement issued by the Secretary to the President said “I will also continue in my efforts to unite all the people of our country whether they live in Sri Lanka or overseas. As a united country we have a great future. If we allow divisions to dominate we will not realise our true potential.”[2] From an academic point of view it is a good statement, but the question is how much willingness the President will show to practice it.

The international independent engagement on “alleged” war crimes and crimes against humanity is just an investigation. This body is not a prejudiced body like Sri Lanka’s Lesson Learnt and Reconciliation Commission (LLRC). According to international rights groups, “the LLRC not only fails to meet basic international standards for independent and impartial inquiries, but it is proceeding against a backdrop of government failure to address impunity and continuing human rights abuses and they believe that the persistence of these and other destructive trends indicates that currently Sri Lanka’s government and justice system cannot or will not uphold the rule of law and respect basic rights.” [3]

Right now, stronger war crimes evidences are coming to the surface, including a confidential message of the US ambassador in Colombo, Patricia Butenis. She said one of the reasons there was such little progress towards a genuine Sri Lankan inquiry into the killings was that the president and the former army commander, Sarath Fonseka, were largely responsible.

“There are no examples we know of a regime undertaking wholesale investigations of its own troops or senior officials for war crimes while that regime or government remained in power,” Butenis noted. “In Sri Lanka this is further complicated by the fact that responsibility for many alleged crimes rests with the country’s senior civilian and military leadership, including President Rajapaksa and his brothers and opposition candidate General Fonseka.”[4]

The Rajapakse regime has a huge responsibility to respond constructively to the international allegations regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity. They cannot just say those photographs and videos are fake. Even after the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial executions said the evidence was authentic and Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and now the President of the International Crisis Group told Channel 4 News earlier this year she believed that it was “not implausible” that more than 30,000 civilians had been killed.[5] The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Professor Christof Heyns, said: “It is shocking indeed, and clearly deserves more investigation he said. Mark Ellis, Executive Director of the International Bar Association (IBA), told Channel 4 News the video was prima facie evidence of war crimes being committed. “This is a very disturbing video and clearly, on the face of it, shows war crimes have been committed and perhaps crimes against humanity, depending on who the group targeted was.[6]

If the Rajapakse regime strongly believes that they and their forces were not involved in any terrible act, then they have nothing to fear from the International Independent Investigation (III). The International Independent Investigations on War Crimes Charges and Crimes against Humanity will lead towards justice for the people, who have been deprived by Sri Lanka’s system in the past.[7] The complete absence of accountability and culture of high level impunity will not bring justice or create genuine reconciliation atmosphere in the island nation. Rather it gives courage to human rights abusers not only in Sri Lanka, but in other undemocratic countries as well.   Allowing International Independent Investigations is an opportunity to the Government of Sri Lanka to show beyond doubt that they are really committed.

That is of course if the President truly means what he said in London.


[1] http://www.lankatruth.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7513:two-officials-to-be-scapegoats-for-london-embarrassment-&catid=35:local&Itemid=62

[2] http://www.groundviews.org/2010/12/01/bell-pottinger-and-official-communiques-of-the-sri-lankan-government/

[3] http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2010/11/09/opinion/War-crimes-whitewashed-Why-human-rights-groups-rej-30141831.html

[4] http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/01/wikileaks-sri-lanka-mahinda-rajapaksa

[5] http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-execution-video-new-war-crimes-claims

[6] http://www.channel4.com/news/sri-lanka-war-crimes-video-who-are-these-men

[7] http://groundviews.org/2010/09/25/reconciliation-in-sri-lanka-breaking-the-myth-and-bringing-the-truth/

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    The President’s experience in London is not quite the zero-sum outcome the writer depicts. Consider the changed emphasis of Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith’s LLRC submissions and his Emininece’s Dec 6th BMICH remarks. Consider also the categorical statements by Sajith Premadasa, almost certainly the most popular personality in the opposition UNP, on war crimes and UN investigations. All these developments were post London and the brandishing of the Tiger flag. Karu J’s statement on investigations didn’t make him more popular and Sajith’s full on rejection of ‘war crimes investigation’ did not make him less deliriously popular at the pronouncedly anti-Govt UNP convention.

    What this means is that there is a grassroots , bipartisan, multireligious consensus among the citizenry of Sri Lanka on this issue, which is at complete variance with the views of Diaspora activists, INGOS and obviously this writer. President Rajapakse therefore did not in all probability, take a hit to his domestic popularity as a result of Oxford, and the waving of the Tiger flag probably did him a favour.

    If I may anticipate the response that this is a Sinhala consensus, may I urge the writer and the Tamil Diaspora activists to look in the mirror held up before them by a non-Govt Tamil political leader, who is quoted in Transcurrents today; a brilliant interview, quite crtical in some respects of the status quo. Here is what he says about war crimes and about the Tamil Diaspora.

    Dharmalingam Siddharthan: “Before the final civilian safe zone operation the Army was very accurate in the use of firepower and nobody can complain that they hit civilians purposefully. Although the LTTE shouted, we know from here [in Sri Lanka] that it was not accurate. But what happened in the last stages has to be accounted for and we must ascertain the number of deaths and whether the claims are true. From what I heard from Tamil IDPs [Internally Displaced Persons] who fled LTTE controlled areas on the last days, they feel the LTTE was more ruthless in that they killed a large number of Tamil people in cold blood who tried to escape. Whatever the circumstances the fact is a large number of people were killed. The figure differs from 5000-7000 fatalities. I don’t take any of these figures seriously.”

    “I feel what should be done is, after the resettlement of all the civilians then only we can get a reasonably, at least 90%, accurate figure of how many people were killed. When I go and talk to the villagers in the Vanni they say, ‘In that house two were killed, in that house four of them were killed.’ Then only can we know the names and collect the figures. Also, recently in Vavuniya the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) [the largest Tamil political alliance in Sri Lanka which has had pro-LTTE affiliations] won the Parliamentary election by only 4000 votes. Even in Jaffna north, the government lost only by 20,000 votes. So a large number of Tamils voted for the government. If the government committed serious war crimes, as some suggest, many Tamils would not have voted for the government.”

    “No Tamil person in the expatriate community ever believed that the LTTE could fall like a pack of cards. For pro-LTTE Tamils it was like they were watching all sorts of war movies. They never lived in the real world. Like the expatriate Tamil community, 99% are not involved with the problems of Tamils in Sri Lanka. If an LTTE collector comes and they give $100, they feel, ‘I have done my part for the Tamils’. They just want to look after their own lives, it’s as simple as that. For the LTTE, Tamil separatism is a big business. Even if there is a solution in Sri Lanka, they will say, ‘No, it’s not a good thing!’ They know they can’t achieve Eelam, but they will continue to talk about it so they can extract a lot of money from the Tamil diaspora.”

    • Santa

      Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke,

      I commend you for leaving Gramsci out!!
      But I notice it seems you just can’t help yourself when it comes to pseudo-intellectual displays.

      Do explain to us all how the writer depicts the President’s experience in London as a zero-sum outcome. That is, if you really know what a zero-sum outcome is!

      And why did you bother with Dharmalingam Siddharthan when MR or GR would have done the job even better?

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    We all know what happened to all those who dared to write on the SL regime’s atrocities. Some maimed, some fled and some disappeared from this earth. The Tamils have been subdued by sheer force and with guns pointed at them you need not have to be a rocket scientist to understand how will they behave and what their reaction would be.

    There are no such encumbrances for the diaspora Tamils and the manifestation of that was what we saw during the Oxford Union fiasco. When Channel 4 first aired the videos, the SL regime dismissed it as fake. It conducted its own investigation and declared that it is a fake. An independent UN investigation showed otherwise. With such divergent reports it is imperative to conduct an internationally constituted independent investigation on what happened during the last days. Why an international investigation? Remember, the investigation on the 17 NGO workers and the cold-blooded murder of the 5 students. These and many other investigations have never been impartially investigated and there can never be hope of any impartial investigation by the SL regime. The fact that it did not even allow its own media and even its own elected representatives were not allowed to visit the war front and immediately after the war. How much and how long does this regime wants to hide its atrocities?

  • eureka

    Any child knows this but evil people pretend not to know
    this: When he is trampling Tamils in the Northeast the President
    cannot expect others to respect him ! This comes of the successive
    leaders since independence being able to get away with trampling
    Tamils by damage control exercise at the UN. The present government
    uses an additional ploy of PR to hide his atrocities in the
    Northeast. Serving justice to ALL citizens will i.remove the need
    for PR work and aggression against international organisations and
    ii.evaporate the ‘diaspora factor’.

  • Raj

    Dr.Dayan, Sir you must also acknowledge the the number of
    non voters in the north after deducting those who migrated to other
    countries are more than the people who voted in the last election.
    Why, the answer is simple, people don’t have faith in regime and
    the poor standings of the partys contested in the last election. I
    don’t agree with Mr.siddarthan except some of the tiger facts that
    large number of people voted for government, the true fact is a
    section of people voted for Minister Douglas Devananda (EPDP) for
    reason every one understood.We understand what makes a politician
    popular in a serbian styled democrazy, the recent example was the
    government discussion on abolition of the tamil version of national
    anthem. I don’t think in Sri lanka specially in north and east
    where every 100 yards guarded with AK-47 riffles, any one can talk
    openly on war crimes, then who will voice…..may be the streets of
    london. To bring about meaningful reconciliation and lasting peace,
    Srilanka needs an structural overhaul in the mindset, constitution
    then sharing of powers until then waving of tiger flags and
    repetitions of oxford will continue

  • Punitham
  • Ron Cook

    What else could be a more concrete evidence more than the
    US collected info, wiki leaks documents, satellite images,
    Fonseka’s statements….Bring Rajapakse’s families to international
    court and punish them as Saddam Hussein….US is the only nation
    has the will power and always stand up against human rights
    violations.

    • Observer

      For those that cry of war crimes… fact of the matter remains, to this date not a single shred of credible evidence is present of any serious atrocities that were committed by the SLA forces. Did people die? Absolutely as in any other war..both combatants and civilian collateral. The SLA has always acted with a policy of minimal civilian casualties in all it’s operations. Just because the diaspora wants revenge for the fall of their beloved sun god doesn;t mean atrocities were committed. Understand this part – LTTE fought, they lost. They got obliterated because they didn’t surrender! If an enemy does not surrender then they will be killed. It’s war… deal with it! You can cry of war crimes till the cows come home but you cannot prove a crime that never took place. It is not fair to even follow this topic unless the international community track down and arrest overseas supporters of LTTE who funded LTTE’s crimes. Far too few has been arrested so far. I think if the West is ready to do this then US can set an example for upholding human rights by first prosecuting LTTE supporters in the US. Until then the US is responsible for harbouring accessories to murder. You have to understand our point of view – that West is protecting people that we deem to have committed or have had a hand in war crimes. We’re missing brother, sisters, fathers and mothers too. Help us get justice.

    • Observer

      As for the “London Fiasco” – it was a fiasco for the Oxford Union. They’re the ones who could not provide necessary security for the president and had to cancel an engagement. So it is a failure for the UK’s security establishment really. Not for SL. I mean I can understand the incompetency of the London Police when uni students get in physical contact with duchess of cornwall during their protests! If they can’t protect their own heads of state then what hope do foreign heads of states have?

    • Observer

      Jingjang
      December 26, 2010 • 2:20 pm
      I totally agree with Jansee. Dr. Jayathillake is a symptom of this troubled nation. If you use his logic any mass killings of civilians can be justified.

      Oh it has been justified many a times before.. Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden, Vietnam, and the list goes on… Not for those mass killings humanity would be destroyed today? No? jolly good then!

    • Observer

      [Authors note: Mullivaikal is where the last phase of the war between Sri Lankan Armed Forces (SLAF) and Liberation Tiger of TamilEelam (LTTE) took place. According to the Government of Sri Lanka, this was the place war came to an end with the military defeat of LTTE, but for majority Tamils and international human rights activists, this was the place at-least 30000-40000 Tamil civilians were massacred by SLAF. The ‘controversy’ began from here and continues even after 19 months.]

      Just the fact that the error margin of the claimed causalities is in the range of 10,000 says blatantly that this is just hear say as opposed to based on any factual information. “Their” strategy is to repeat it like gospel until people start believing it…. Author does not even bother to say alleged… so we can already see his prejudice before we even start to read the article. Thanks for the note. Why not mention the alleged figures of what LTTE is responsible for? If human rights organisations say both parties were responsible for civilian casualties, then why do they only attribute a number to SLAF? Oh I wonder why…. (eyes rolling…)

      Don’t people think it is rather fishy that Amnesty, Crisis Group, etc. have only come up with an alleged number probably out of their rear cavity with a handsome +/- error margin of 10,000 only for SLAF but not the LTTE despite claiming both are responsible?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Do you folk really think that demonstrations over the years
    in Miami,Florida by anti-Castro Cubans, and tighteing of the
    embargo through the Helm Burton Act etc cause political relaxation
    in Cuba or have a political resonance and weaken the govt, or rally
    people around it, catalyse tightening up and a crackdown on
    suspected collaborators of outside forces engaged in attempts at
    ‘regime change’? As with one tropical island in the face of
    external pressure, so also with another!

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Channel 4? War crimes? International investigations? You
    guys should check out this comment, which I agree with, by the way,
    from a debate in transcurrents, by a non- Sinhala Buddhist,
    non-government, independent and critical voice: I don’t think it’s
    really worth debating whether the Channel 4 clip is genuine or not
    — to me, it looks genuine — that is irrelevant. What is relevant
    is that it is not beneficial to Sri Lanka as a whole to investigate
    any war crimes allegations. When I say Sri Lanka, I mean both
    Sinhalese and Tamils. First of all, any investigations should not
    merely focus on the GoSL and the Armed Forces, but on all parties.
    However, since one party did not survive the war, its members will
    not be punished for any crimes they are guilty of. In that light,
    no one will really be interested in investigating that party. Even
    if both sides are impartially investigated, it will still not be
    beneficial to Sri Lanka to prosecute surviving high-rankers of the
    LTTE such as Karuna, KP, Pilliyan, etc, since they have now mended
    their differences with the state and are taking a leadership role
    amongst the Tamils. In addition, the Sinhalese general public isn’t
    too interested in either the GoSL leadership or the military being
    investigated. For all these reasons, it will take immense external
    pressure to achieve an independent international investigation, and
    if it ever happens, it will be years before investigators are on
    the ground. By then, any evidence would have disappeared, so it’ll
    be mostly cosmetic and pointless. The alternative is for the GoSL
    to make scapegoats of a few soldiers such as those identifiable in
    the Channel 4 clip and try them as common criminals like in the
    Krishanthi Kumaraswamy case. This is unlikely to sooth the
    pro-Tiger members of the diaspora anyway, who are the ones pushing
    for investigations, and who will not be satisfied with anything
    short of the MR administration’s fall. In reality, this is not
    something the Sinhalese will allow MR to do, especially given that
    people like Karuna haven’t been prosecuted for the massacre of 800
    policemen who had surrendered to the LTTE in June 1990. The scale
    of that makes the Channel 4 video pale into insignificance,
    especially since those prisoners in the clip are not civilians as
    many here in this forum claim, but identified members of the LTTE.
    Yes, I know that some of you like to portray Tiger Col Issipiriya
    as an innocent journalist, but she was a regular member of the LTTE
    propaganda wing and not a reporter. This is pure hypocrisy on the
    part of the diaspora who know full well that the LTTE murdered
    people such as Neelan Tiruchchelvam while the diaspora remained
    silent. It was a dirty war, and dirty things had to be done to
    finally rid our country of a dirty terrorist group. If that meant
    shooting some of them out of hand, so be it. We had to do it to
    Wijeweera and his thugs, and VP and his boys had it coming too. I
    will not lose any sleep over it, and neither will the bulk of Sri
    lanka, regardless of their ethnicity. Mahesh, we killed 40,000
    Sinhalese in three years to get rid of the JVP; in 30 years of war
    in the north, only 100,000 died. Idiots such as you cannot
    understand the difference between a cellular insurgency and a
    semi-conventional guerrilla army, and I’m not gonna waste time
    rehashing what I’ve said many times on Transcurrents and elsewhere.
    Take it from me, however, that we used every effective weapon we
    had against the Commies, and they taught us how to fight with the
    gloves off. We know how to defeat guerrillas and terrorists. Posted
    by: David Blacker | December 15, 2010 02:45 AM

  • Piranha

    Dr Dayan Jayatilleke, Mr Siddharthan kept silent on the war
    crimes issue for eighteen months and now comes up with vague
    statements that the LTTE killed a lot of civilians but doesn’t say
    anything about the war crimes of the SL govt forces. Siddhartahan
    is an insignificant figure in the tamil politics of today and his
    views are not worth quoting. The tamil people in Sri Lanka may have
    been defeated and militarily subjugated by the Rajapakse regime but
    the powerful tamil diaspora is a force to be reckoned with. The
    present govt’s bad image is of its own making. A war conducted away
    from the world’s eyes and the refusal to accept war crimes may have
    been committed by the SL forces tells anyone with an iota of
    intelligence that the Rajapakse regime has something to hide.Anyone
    who speaks in favour of an investigation is branded a traitor. Why?
    Why not have an independent investigation and clear your name? The
    tamil people are not with the government and it was made glaringly
    obvious by the triumph of the TNA at the last elections.
    Siddharthan’s party was rejected by the tamil people. Collaborators
    like Karuna didn’t even dare to stand for the election. The other
    collaborator Devananda rules parts of Jaffna and the islets with an
    iron fist and that is public knowledge. This brutal murderer is
    persona non grata in many of the western countries and you know the
    reason for that. Dismissing the diaspora’s protest as LTTE inspired
    is foolish and your friend Rajapakse learned that at a terrible
    cost to his self esteem. Didn’t he leave London in a hurry with the
    kurakkan shawl tucked between his legs to prevent further
    embarassment and humiliation? I am at a loss to understand why
    intellectuals like yourself are trying to defend the Rajapakse gang
    that is taking the country down the same path the opportunist
    politicians of the past like SWRD and JR did. What is it going to
    take the sinhala people to realise the folly of the present regimes
    actions regarding the tamil question and governance of the country
    in general?

    • wijayapala

      Dear piranha,

      The tamil people in Sri Lanka may have been defeated and militarily subjugated by the Rajapakse regime but the powerful tamil diaspora is a force to be reckoned with.

      Then how come you could not, or rather did not save the LTTE last year? Or convince the LTTE to continue in the peace process?

      • Piranha

        Wijayapala,
        “Then how come you could not, or rather did not save the LTTE last year? Or convince the LTTE to continue in the peace process?”

        The simple answer is that the diaspora could not provide the military assistance the LTTE needed. The SL military alone did not defeat the LTTE. The LTTE was defeated by China, India, Iran, USA, Israel and many other countries who provided the necessary intelligence and military hardware support. SL military provided the footsoldiers who annihilated thousands of civilians alond with the LTTE cadres by indiscriminately shelling and bombing the areas occupied by both the civilians and the LTTE cadres.

        The tamil diaspora was severely fragmented before the end of the war and the anti LTTE sections within and outside Sri Lanka helped the all out military solution the SL govt was intending to pursue. The divided diaspora could not persuade VP to follow the peace process as he was on a personal crusade to create Eelam. He was stubborn and wasn’t prepared to lose face.Since the end of the war the war crimes issue has united the tamil diaspora and the setbacks the Rajapakse regime has suffered since then is almost solely due to the actions of the tamil diaspora. Can you tell me why many of the western governments have turned against the Rajapakse government since the war rather than glorify him for defeating the LTTE terrorists? I think the tamil diaspora is trying to do justice to the tamil people who lost their lives in their thousands at the hands of the murdereous SL military forces.

  • HarryH

    Dear Dayan what else do we expect from you. Quiet rich
    qutoing Dharmalingam Siddharthan. WHy not also quote other eminent
    Tamil politicians Douglas, KP and Karuna. You colud have also
    quoted the doctors.

  • Agnos

    DJ is quoting from D. Siddharthan, whose paramilitary group was widely reported to have been used by SL intelligence to assassinate Taraki Sivaram. Such is DJ’s abject moral turpitude that he would condemn the assassination in print, but then praise his killers in private or in comments. 

    On the claim that the US embargo on Cuba did not do anything, it did keep the standard of living of Cubans to such abysmally low levels; that they didn’t take any chance to rebel against the Cuban regime does not mean   a sizable segment of Sri Lanka population that looks up to the West for affirmation (yes, even delinquent DJ’s do that all the time), would similarly accept their marginalization for long.  This is a country that had two JVP insurrections within a 20 year period and the current regime has the supporters of Sarath Fonseka to contend with.

    As for David Blacker, DJ the spinmeister omits an important fact—he served as a lowly foot soldier  in the SLA, and would naturally seek to defend his colleagues despite the fact the SLA is notorious for its crimes including torture, rape, sexual abuse, decapitation, etc.,  which makes it possible that he himself personally committed war crimes.  In other words, these self-serving arguments by DB have no value.  DB’s argument can be dismissed with contempt for a number of other reasons as well–

    1.       He is in no position to speak about what is beneficial to Sinhalese and Tamils, so he speaks for himself when he says war crimes investigations are not beneficial to Sri Lanka. Of course,  it is not beneficial to his fellow war criminals in the SLA or their political leaders and their bootlicking diplomats.

    2.       His claim that “However, since one party did not survive the war, its members willnot be punished for any crimes they are guilty of. In that light,no one will really be interested in investigating that party…,”  is hogwash.  The LTTE did not simply escape the war and hide somewhere—it was exterminated along with thousands of civilians. In other words, nobody is interested in punishing the LTTE anymore because it has been already. Victims of the LTTE can take their case to the ghost of VP. But the victims of the GoSL and SLA still have the perpetrators and their leaders walking around with a swagger. The victims have every right to target these criminals, and get whatever international support they could.

     3.       The passing of time and possible loss of evidence did not prevent the Jewish Nazi hunters, including Simon Weisenthal, from doggedly pursuing Nazi criminals. Sri Lanka’s war criminals will be similarly pursued. The Tamil Diaspora has the financial, intellectual, political and organizational wherewithal and unique determination to do so.

    The case of LTTE journalist Issaipriya as seen in the CH4 Video has become the cause célèbre that has jolted many Tamils who had fallen for the positive spin by the Rajapaksa regime’s sycophants; the Oxford fiasco is just the beginning. And in the pursuit of war crime investigations, there is a unique personality known for her doggedness: the ICG’s Louise Arbour. Sri Lanka’s thuggish politicians, diplomats and soldiers, including MR, DJ and DB, can’t intimidate this tough lady.

    • wijayapala

      Hello again Agnos,

      DJ is quoting from D. Siddharthan, whose paramilitary group was widely reported to have been used by SL intelligence to assassinate Taraki Sivaram.

      There were also reports that Karuna was involved. Or even the JVP. Sivaram had many many enemies with those he used to be very close to (well, not the JVP).

      What do you have to say about Siddharthan’s comments about the differences between the Tamil diaspora and those who live in SL (the last paragraph in DJ’s citation)? Did they upset you?

      As for David Blacker, DJ the spinmeister omits an important fact—he served as a lowly foot soldier in the SLA, and would naturally seek to defend his colleagues

      I think you missed the part where Blacker believed that the Ch. 4 video was genuine! How is that defending his colleagues?

      He is in no position to speak about what is beneficial to Sinhalese and Tamils, so he speaks for himself when he says war crimes investigations are not beneficial to Sri Lanka.

      Fair enough- could you please name a single person who IS in a position to speak about what is beneficial to both Sinhalese and Tamils?

      The victims have every right to target these criminals, and get whatever international support they could.

      I think Blacker’s point was that the survivors of Nanthikadal are not interested in targeting anybody. The anti-SL campaign is being launched by people living abroad who were not victims of the Rajapakshas. This ties back to Siddharthan’s comments about the differences among Tamils in SL and abroad.

      The point is that you really are not that interested in pursuing justice for the Nanthikadal people- if you were, you would demonstrate similar moral outrage whenever anyone in London or Toronto wants to celebrate Maaveerar Nal. Your motivation is revenge. Although I can care less about the Rajapakshas and you are more than free to vilify and humiliate them, the question left unanswered by you is how your actions will actually benefit the Nanthikadal survivors or any other Tamil living in Sri Lanka. In your mind you want to “teach a lesson” to Rajapakshas but the primary benefit would derive to you in the form of emotional satisfaction.

      Given Mahinda’s disgusting reaction to the Oxford Union outcome- removing the Tamil National Anthem- would it be accurate to say that you two share the same mentality? A mindset limited to an eye for an eye?

      The passing of time and possible loss of evidence did not prevent the Jewish Nazi hunters, including Simon Weisenthal, from doggedly pursuing Nazi criminals. Sri Lanka’s war criminals will be similarly pursued. The Tamil Diaspora has the financial, intellectual, political and organizational wherewithal and unique determination to do so.

      There’s one key difference- the Nazis were defeated fugitives on the run. The Rajapakshas are not.

      the ICG’s Louise Arbour. Sri Lanka’s thuggish politicians, diplomats and soldiers, including MR, DJ and DB, can’t intimidate this tough lady.

      But the converse is probably far more relevant- this tough lady, the Tamil diaspora, and the int’l community cannot intimidate Mahinda. So what can you accomplish?

      • Agnos

        Wijayapala,  

        When I was a kid I had a lot of respect for his father who was a TULF MP. But Siddharthan is a paramilitary guy whose hands are bloody and dirty.  I don’t even read through what people like him say. That people like DJ and you dare to even bring up his comments here says a lot about you than me.  What Ambassador Blake said about the GoSL complicity with paramilitaries in atrocious crimes makes it all the more obvious why these people (and people like DJ who promote them) are so utterly contemptible.

        It fits with your pattern of strenuously arguing that the original CH4 video was a fake;  also implying that it is OK for a government that is not competent in handling an insurgency to kill innocent civilians, but then denying, twice, that you said so.  And you have a pattern of calling some of the actions of the Rajapaksas ‘disgusting’ but then supporting his regime, or defending the regime’s supporters, anyway.  

        Why don’t you tell the truth that you simply pretend to be objective, but you support the GoSL, terroristic and all. Though I am out of the country, I have many relatives in Sri Lanka, some of whom were displaced to the Vanni in an earlier military operation in Jaffna, and have been victims of the war. I talk to them; I  don’t need lectures from sick jokers with blood on their hands on what the people there need and want, or what will really help them.

        In addition, I got from the last UTHR report what I needed to know about both the GoSL and the LTTE war crimes:  http://www.uthr.org/SpecialReports/Special%20rep34/Uthr-sp.rp34part8.htm#_Toc248478452

        Go back and read that in full. The UTHR and many others (e.g., Kumar David) want war crimes accountability. They are hardly part of the pro-LTTE Diaspora.  Do you think Arbour is motivated by revenge? Read Arbour’s clear statements without allowing your pro-GoSL views to cloud your judgment.

        I find many effective ways of helping the people quietly—that is all I can say, why should I make everything public?–while still doing my moral duty to help prosecute war criminals.

        Why would I worry about some stupid anthem?  Rajapaksa’s action is “disgusting” only to those who see something good in him in the first place; for those of us who have known him as a lowly war criminal, his actions are only to be expected.  

        Your assumption that he is immune to any external pressure is contradicted by the fact that after shouting against the UN war crimes panel, the regime has agreed to allow the panel into SL; even though it is almost certain to end in a whitewash, the regime will continue to face international opprobrium and the issue will stay alive for many more years.  So international action is not about “intimidating” him or arresting him right away, but not letting the issue die and waiting for the right moment for action.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    Dayan Master,

    Once again you are writing stuffs that everybody is knowing but you are, as always, writing it in different language so that it is looking like very intelligent discovery. It is because you are making noise like this that some peoples are calling you empty vessel. Every Tom Dick and the Harry Potter in the Sri Lanka side are knowing that His Majesty is now very popular after the Oxford trip. Everybody wanting to kill Suddas (but only after getting visa). But issue for Our Majesty is something else. You see Dayan Master, Our Majesty is just like you. He is patting the common man on the backside but actually wanting the suddha to be patting him on the backside. So he is going to the Oxford expecting big pat on the backside from the Sudda, maybe even cuddle, but getting only kick up the backside. So he is now back under the Temple Trees plotting to be giving the Tamils a good kick. And also please be knowing that in our feudal kingdom these little kicks to the Majesty are very important because the people, while they are screaming for the blood of the Suddha’s are also knowing that their Majesty is a little bit on the sorry side. A few more Oxford type kicks and who is knowing? People might be even thinking this man is only opening big mouth to us but outside getting kicked all over.

    There are also two other things I am wanting to be saying.

    1. I am wondering how long you will be selling the Malcolm and the Sajith. I am wanting to be holding the bet with my friend who is knowing you from the days you are abusing Gramsci for the EPRLF and he is saying please don’t be silly-like, I am not holding no bet with you on this. This man has been abusing the Gramsci the Lenin and the Trotsky for how long now? You are thinking he is going to be dropping the Malcolm and Saith in a hurry?

    2. I am also thinking you are very much like all of us in the cabinet side, especially the Wimal, always barking for Our Majesty. When I am saying barking I am of course speaking in the figurative, not in the literal. You are both barking at anyone giving Our Majesty hard time, only that the Wimal is doing that in the Sinhalese using the wit he is getting from his mother and the father and the politics he is doing, and you are barking in the English using the education you are getting. But both barking all the same. And because you are knowing Gramsci and the Lenin (even though you are not really knowing what they are saying), you are not having to be worrying about getting kick from Our Majesty. If Our Majesty is saying ‘down boy!’ you can be smiling like the sheep and be going to abuse the Gramsci in some university. But the poor Wimal not having the luxury. If His Majesty is saying down! He is definitely going to be down, and probably out also. So I am thinking, even among the guard dogs there is class. You are more like German Shepherd and the Wimal is like pure bred Dadoriya. This is also why I am never agreeing that you are just the empty vessel. More like empty vassal.

    Please be having the merry Christmas. If the Santa Claus is coming to town and knocking on the door saying ho! Ho! Ho! please not be taking it personally! He is old man and he is saying that to everybody.

  • Vino Gamage

    ”… The Bandaranaike administration sowed the dragon’s teeth and it took Mahinda Rajapakse to slay the marauding dragon…”

    What’s the cumulative effect of the events in the intervening five decades?

  • eeurekaa

    Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith changed emphasis from Rome visit for GSP to LLRC for political solution to eliminate root causes of ethnic disharmony. Then again ….

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    If it is through Cuba that your catchy eyes compares SL, then I have something to say. Why not Bosnia and Serbia?

    It is a well-known fact that SL will never conduct any impartial and independent investigation and yes, the majority Sinhalese people will rather support a murderous regime than seeking the truth, and the very reason that a demand for an external investigation. If, as Dayan argues, that the majority support will be the protective shield that MR and his regime is going to rely on to hide the crimes, then the thrust to get them to answer for their crimes should come from outside SL, and that is what is happening now. It will be wishful thinking for the regime to continue with this charade.

  • eeurekaa

    Jansee
    Ethnic Conflict and Economic Development- A POLICY ORIENTED ANALYSIS, John Richardson(1996) “Democracy alone cannot ensure ethnic harmony. Instead, it may allow freer expression of ethnic antagonisms and legalised persecution of minorities. In Sri Lanka, both S.W.R.D. and Sirimavo Bandaranaike won democratic elections by appealing to Buddhist-Sinhalese nationalist sentiments and denigrating the ethnic Tamils. Slobodan Milosevic, the former Communist Party Chief of Serbia and General Franjo Tudjman of Croatia won their presidencies by appealing to the most divisive aspects of Serbian and Croatian nationalism”.

    • jansee

      Dayan:

      Your comments and/or extracts from your “convenient” authors to support your logic of argument sums up what SL as a nation has been and will always be. Does it really matter whether the SL leadership butchered Sinhalese or Tamils at various times since independence. It is a very troubled nation and you and what you write is symptomatic of that. These people, both Sinhalese and Tamils, are just numbers to you. They have to pay the price to balance the scales of politics just to score points in politics.

      Isn’t that what MR did? He was in a very shaky position when he was first elected as president. He had to find excuses with the Tamils to score points with the Sinhalese, and that with at all cost, as his predecessors did. Wasn’t it JJ who infamously claimed that a few Tamils killed will bolster his presidency. The LTTE’s recalcitrant ways supported his ambition.

      SL is a troubled nation and will be one for the foreseeable future.

  • luxmy

    The Mervyn Silva, you are a class of your own:
    ”…even among the guard dogs there is class…”

    Now that journalists, human rights activists, civil societies, …. are having a hard time, GV and you(and a few other voices) ARE our hope.

  • eddie

    this is a completely biased article. whilst undeniably war crimes may have been committed by the armed forces, they were very limited in contrast to the large amounts committed by the terrorist LTTE, who carried out over 250, killing over 7,000 civilians, over its lifetime. every war in history has consisted of several human rights violations. this war was not exceptional in this regard.
    had the war been allowed to continue, even more would have died in the long run. prior to Mahinda’s presidency 65,000 had died. consequently this is the preferred situation from an unbiased sri lankan perspective. of course, if you are a war profiteer who makes an income from the drug, extortion, prostitution and gun trafficking rackets of the LTTE, you would not agree. but that opinion is a criminal one, and therefore not worthy of consideration.
    never forget that the LTTE recruited over 1,000 child soldiers under the age of 16. this was an entity that needed to be destroyed. resource allocation must be the priority now, not blame allocation.

    • Santa

      Dear Eddie,

      I know of a comedian called Eddie … it seems he has some serious competion now!

      • Observer

        Dear Santa, forget about Eddie Murphy, the Elves are looking for you. 😛

  • luxmy

    Eddie, thank you: Stop blame allocation and start resource allocation:

    1. Submission before Lessons Learnt & Reconciliation Commission(LLRC) by Chandra Jayaratne, 23 September 2010:
    ‘’Inequitable allocation of national resources and consequential disparities in regional economic development, infrastructure development and public service delivery have sown the seeds of discontent and disillusionment leading to conflict, insurrections of the South and the North and even the armed struggle towards a separate administration.’’

    2.
    i. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8142550.stm
    Sri Lanka orders cuts in aid work, 9 July 2009: ‘’The Sri Lankan government has told international relief agencies to cut back their activities in the country. … But it(ICRC) says an estimated 300,000 displaced people still need food, medicine and help to return home.’’

    ii. Mission Report: Visit of Major General (ret.) Patrick Cammaert, Special Envoy of the Special Representative for Children & Armed Conflict, to Sri Lanka, 05-11 December 2009:
    ‘’It should be noted that the problem of accessing camps for humanitarian personnel persists throughout the country.’’

    iii. No funds to meet needs of nearly 200,000 Northern IDPs due to govt refusal to endorse 2010 action plan, 13 March 2010: ”The funding crisis follows the government’s refusal to endorse the 2010 Common Humanitarian Action Plan (CHAP)…. The UN and other humanitarian agencies are running out of resources to meet the urgent needs of internally displaced persons in the North. …”

    iv. Vanni, northern Sri Lanka, where war has never ended, Melanie Manel Perera, 1 June 2010:
    ”The area is still actually in the hands of the military, which allowed the return of the population but force them to live in absolute poverty. The military blocks any attempts to improve their lives, but does not stop abuse and violence. … In view of the massive needs of the population for basic services and infrastructure, and the very weak civil administration and reluctance of the government to allow NGOs access to help those in need, people are compelled to depend on the military for even basic services like water…. Permission has been rejected for counselling, capacity building and empowerment activities.”

    v. EXTENDING RECONCILIATON—BEYOND HONOURING THE INDIVIDUAL, Jehan Perera, Chairman, National Peace Council, 26 July 2010: ”Even the war-displaced people who have returned to their home areas without any resources, and whose entire villages are destroyed, are also vulnerable and requiring of special protection. They have no homes, no community, and no jobs, and have no strength as a community group. In their very midst is a very strong military presence, which is organized, whereas they are not.In these circumstances, the war-displaced people need to be strengthened as communities so that they mayprotect themselves inthe absence of external monitors as the ICRC.”

    vi.Analysis: NGOs question tighter access to Sri Lanka’s north, 11 August 2010: “Even we can’t understand the situation – it is so unnecessarily complicated and confusing,” said Vinya Ariyaratne, executive director of Sarvodaya Movement, Sri Lanka’s largest NGO. “This is retarding the recovery process significantly.”

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/10/young_religious_visit_their_ow.html#more
    Young religious visit their own suffering brothers and sisters in Northern Sri Lanka, Rev.Fr.Lasantha de Abrew, 25 October 2010:
    ”… The high military presence in these areas makes the resettled persons more tensed, uncomfortable and uneasy. The regular visits of the soldiers to their half built houses and temporary sheds, frequent arrests of the young males on various justified and unjustified charges, and inviting the children to the camps to watch films make them uneasy.
    ….Some teachers of the area noted, “They have lost interest in studies’’ … Easy availability of DVD shops, liquor, smoking even promoted by the soldiers could be the causes for such lack of interest.
    ….We had an opportunity to visit Sannar in the District Mannar where the people are living in temporary huts donated by the UNHCR. They were told that they would be resettled in their own land but they are relocated in a jungle as their own land has been named a High Security Zone under the Sri Lankan Army. ….’’

  • Jingjang

    I am rather disturbed to read what Dr. Jayathilleke has written in the review. I wonder whether he is a reincarnation of Hitler or Polpot. His basic logic is utilitarian, end justifies the means. He seems not to give at least a scant concern about the 30,000 or sinhalese youth killed during the JVP lead insurrection in 87/89. He openly expressed joy of killing Vijayweera and ‘his thugs’. (His mind set, I am afraid, not very much different from the Hitler, Polpot or Prabakaran) So it is obviously fruitless to expect any sympathy towards innocent tamils killed during the civil war. Any right minded person with at leaset a iota of sympathy towards fellow human beings should be able to condemned the countless tiger killings of past 30 years and killings of civilians by SL Army(if they they have done it at the end of the war) and at the same time. It does not matter whether the majority of Sinhalese approves it or not. It does not matter whether it is not good for the national interest of Sri Lanka. If some body has committed a crime it should be investigated. At the same time I do not think that investigation of war crimes is not for the SL national interest. It is good and infact compulsory for the long term SL interests. Dr. Jayathillake please look at what is happening in Kambodia. After many decades even, people want to see the criminals of pol pot regime punished and know what really happened to their loved once. If the world opinion had been controlled by people like Dr. Jayathillke in the past we would have beeen still in the age of the 19th century. We have come long way since the 19th centruey and WWI in terms of the treatment of prisoners, civilians, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide thanks to the people who did not justify these acts by any means and acted completely opposite way what Dr. Jayathillake would have acted. Plese have at least a little bit of human feeling for the innocent victims of the wars waged in the names of relgion, country, race, political ideology and many more in the past. A day might come when somebody wants to harm you for you polictical believes and there won’t be any body to speak for you if they apply your own logic.

  • aslan

    how did the number 30,000- 40,000 come about? a big range 10k more killed if its 40k? how is this number arrived at?

    can the author pls provide the links which provide these numbers as the source?

    “but for majority Tamils and international human rights activists, this was the place at-least 30000-40000 Tamil civilians were massacred by SLAF”

    groundviews? is this guy a suitable author? or should he be just commenting like the rest of us?

  • Piranha

    Wijayapala,
    “Then how come you could not, or rather did not save the LTTE last year? Or convince the LTTE to continue in the peace process?”

    The simple answer is that the diaspora could not provide the military assistance the LTTE needed. The SL military alone did not defeat the LTTE. The LTTE was defeated by China, India, Iran, USA, Israel and many other countries who provided the necessary intelligence and military hardware support. SL military provided the footsoldiers who annihilated thousands of civilians alond with the LTTE cadres by indiscriminately shelling and bombing the areas occupied by both the civilians and the LTTE cadres.

    The tamil diaspora was severely fragmented before the end of the war and the anti LTTE sections within and outside Sri Lanka helped the all out military solution the SL govt was intending to pursue. The divided diaspora could not persuade VP to follow the peace process as he was on a personal crusade to create Eelam. He was stubborn and wasn’t prepared to lose face.Since the end of the war the war crimes issue has united the tamil diaspora and the setbacks the Rajapakse regime has suffered since then is almost solely due to the actions of the tamil diaspora. Can you tell me why many of the western governments have turned against the Rajapakse government since the war rather than glorify him for defeating the LTTE terrorists? I think the tamil diaspora is trying to do justice to the tamil people who lost their lives in their thousands at the hands of the murdereous SL military forces.

    • wijayapala

      Piranha, thank you for responding to my post.

      The tamil diaspora was severely fragmented before the end of the war and the anti LTTE sections within and outside Sri Lanka helped the all out military solution the SL govt was intending to pursue. The divided diaspora could not persuade VP to follow the peace process as he was on a personal crusade to create Eelam. He was stubborn and wasn’t prepared to lose face.Since the end of the war the war crimes issue has united the tamil diaspora and the setbacks the Rajapakse regime has suffered since then is almost solely due to the actions of the tamil diaspora.

      It sounds like you are saying the LTTE was a great divisive force for the Tamils, but Mahinda is bringing them together against him?

  • Travelling Academic

    […] It is obvious that volatile environment between Rajapakse regime and the Tamil Diaspora is widening further and further as no genuine efforts have been taken by the regime […]

    Why do you think the responsibility is entirely that of MR and his regime? What steps can the Tamil Diaspora take to engage with him in a constructive way? Would waving the Tiger flag at him help reduce this voatility?

  • jansee

    Dayan:

    Your comments and/or extracts from your “convenient” authors to support your logic of argument sums up what SL as a nation has been and will always be. Does it really matter whether the SL leadership butchered Sinhalese or Tamils at various times since independence. It is a very troubled nation and you and what you write is symptomatic of that. These people, both Sinhalese and Tamils, are just numbers to you. They have to pay the price to balance the scales of politics just to score points in politics.

    Isn’t that what MR did? He was in a very shaky position when he was first elected as president. He had to find excuses with the Tamils to score points with the Sinhalese, and that with at all cost, as his predecessors did. Wasn’t it JJ who infamously claimed that a few Tamils killed will bolster his presidency. The LTTE’s recalcitrant ways supported his ambition.

    SL is a troubled nation and will be one for the foreseeable future.

  • jansee

    aslan:

    You seem to get very excited with the figures cited by the author. Do you recall that the SL regime, supported by India was talking about one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand civilians trapped inside the war zone during the last stages of the war? Others like the UN were mentioning figures of more than 300,000 as more likely, and that was what the figure was when they came out. With the murderous intent that the SL regime is, I would not be surprised if it s more than the figures quoted by the author. Prove us wrong by getting this recalcitrant regime to conduct an independent investigation. What is it afraid of Aslan? The more it tries to resist the demands for an international independent investigation, the more it reinforces our belief that this regime has a lot to hide and the conviction that only an independent investigation would unearth the truth. “Weak men cannot see and prejudiced men will not see” Thomas Paine

    • wijayapala

      Dear jansee,

      Do you recall that the SL regime, supported by India was talking about one hundred to one hundred fifty thousand civilians trapped inside the war zone during the last stages of the war?

      But do you recall that it was the LTTE that had trapped the civilians in that last war zone, and that people like you were deafeningly silent and looking the other way on this abominable atrocity?

      • jansee

        wijayapala: So you are saying that so long as the LTTE, a
        banned terror outfit, does, it will be justifiable for the state to
        act in the same manner? How hilarious. I have had already given my
        piece on the LTTE. Please go through my comments
        carefully.

      • wijayapala

        Dear jansee, I guess I was just wondering what you expected
        Mahinda and Gotabaya to do in that situation where the LTTE was
        using those people as human shields. Thanks.

      • jansee

        wijayapala:

        “Dear jansee, I guess I was just wondering what you expected
        Mahinda and Gotabaya to do in that situation where the LTTE was
        using those people as human shields. Thanks.”

        Just bomb them to pulp, you seem to suggest. So, whatever happened to the declaration of a “humanitarian operation”?

        Despite resisting the feeling to the contrary, it is nothing more than Sinhalese chauvinism against minority Tamils. It is about time that the international community comes around to the idea of a separate nation for the Tamils, as what can be witnessed before and after the war, the SL regime has never been receptive to the pleas of the Tamils, rather they have been subjugated and what we can see is crude triumphalism through the power of the guns.

  • Jingjang

    I totally agree with Jansee. Dr. Jayathillake is a symptom of this troubled nation. If you use his logic any mass killings of civilians can be justified.

    Some are talking about numbers. Does it matter wheather it is 30,000 or 3000? What matters is wheather innocent civilians were killed indiscriminatly and systematically in the last stages of war. If they were it has to be investigated. That is for the SL national interest for the long run. True peace for this nation will arrive when the SL leadership is passed onto somebody else. And that person should have the courage to accept what went wrong in the side of SL government in the last 30 years and able to convince the Sinhala Buddhists and rally them around him/her. If he/she also takes the same line as MR there won’t be any peace in the forseeable future.

  • mandy

    Hello Dayan, This article is very biased and it appears you have no respect for humanity. Sinhalese and tamils lost their lives. We are all living in the 21st Century, war crimes need to be investigated so that other countries do not carry out atrocities behind closed doors in the name of fighting terrorism. If Mahinda and his armies name can be cleared, the President can walk into London with his head high. Until then, what happened in London is considered a shame at the moment. What goes round, comes round. Please write articles that are genuine and unbiased and not protect the criminals. Human beings need justice and answers for having lost their loved ones in this terrible war. I am still finding hard to comprehend how atrocities can occur in a Buddha worshipping country.

  • The Mervyn Silva

    The Mandy is saying (no, wondering),

    “I am still finding hard to comprehend how atrocities can occur in a Buddha worshipping country.”

    Who is saying we are worshipping the Buddha. We are only “WAR-shipping”.

  • Paithyan Pushpalingam

    This article has factual flaws. We have ‘reliable sources’ that have personally counted the bodies of the innocent tamil civilians who were genocided to be over 400,000 during the last stages of the war ! Please use this new number from here onwards as this is coming from a very ‘reliable source’. Just trust me.

    • jansee

      Paithyan Pushpalingam: In a matter as contentious as this,
      trust is not the issue but the evidence. If, as you say, that such
      large numbers have been allegedly massacred, by any or both the
      parties, then the evidence from your “reliable source” must be
      produced. Until then the “trust” you ask us to rely on is but just
      a rhetoric.

    • MV

      Paithyan Pushpalingam,
      You are right, this article is flawed. Even more reliable sources from the MoD have come up with a figure of zero civilian casualty. In fact, our very own His Majesty confirmed that SL forces had carried a copy of universal human rights charter in one hand, while they carried out the humanitarian operation on the other.

    • longus

      [There is zero tolerance of racism in this forum. Please comply with discussion guidelines.]

      Are all those 400,000 civilians were killed by the LTTE, who were holding them captive, just like that? Your figures just suck!

    • longus

      Paithyan

      What I wanted to tell in the comment which was edited by the Groundviews was that you can’t ask the readers of this forum to “trust” you because you are just an unknown person with a name;I can’t “trust” you because you a not a family member of mine! Please give your sources to verify what you say!

  • Jingjang

    Mandy,
    Do not insult Lord Buddha by associating him with what has been going on in SL for quiet some time. There is no ‘Budddhism’ in its true self in SL. You may find the authentic scripts of theravada buddhism and erudite buddhist scholars in SL in every nook and corner but people have been denied access to true sprit of buddhism by the same people who claim to be self appointed guardians of theravada buddhism becuase if people understand buddhism they would realise how buddhism is distorted by them for seemingly selfish purposes for millenia. Look at how the majority of sinahala buddhist behave today. Where is the basic of the very basic of buddhist teaching such as ‘compassion’which has to be unleashed towards all the infinite beings inhabited the universe let alone your neigbour. The fundamental problem of SL nation is originated from the very fact that the majority sinhala buddhist are made to ignore the very basic human values by the institutions(not only the politicians but also the buddhist church and so called sinhala nationalists) who yeild the political power in this land giving various ghostly reasons for doing that. The true dawn of peace of this land will usher on the day in which the majority of buddhist sinhalese learn to respect the basic values of humanity.

  • Santa

    Dear Dr. Dayan Jayatilleke,

    I truly commend you for leaving out Gramsci, and not trying to drag him in this time!!
    But I notice it seems you just can’t help yourself when it comes to pseudo-intellectual displays.

    Do explain to us all how the writer depicts the President’s experience in London as a zero-sum outcome. That is, if you really know what a zero-sum outcome is!

    And why did you bother with Dharmalingam Siddharthan when MR or GR would have done the job even better?

    … still waiting for your erudition on zero-sum stuff!

  • yapa

    “It is about time that the international community comes around to the idea of a separate nation for the Tamils,….”

    I cannot stop my laughter! Innocent Tamil Tiger cats who wagged their tails fan Sinhalese.

    Thanks!

  • An interesting and insightful analysis indeed. War crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide are so heinous that humankind must combat against wherever it is committed. Keep up the good job, my friend Bala and it’s great to have known you in person.