Party

To spoil a party, call the police to enforce
noise laws or prohibitions against drinking

by minors, we can understand as a necessary
if unpleasant right of a neighbor who cannot

sleep or is bothered by willful disregard
for children. But to say, do not come to literary

feasting at Galle because journalists are killed,
or kidnapped, or forced to go abroad to save

their lives, this I read is an attack on the country,
which allows murder, rape and kidnapping

to bypass judicial review, and will not accept
responsibility for those who drive around

without license plates on its roads, or unfortunate
trapping of human beings on a killing spit of land

between lagoon and sea, which allows a minister
to chain a constituent to a tree, denies visas to left

and sundry, detaining a pesky lawyer from
Tamil Nadu at a checkpoint near former Tiger

dominions, meanwhile English elite, including me
on one occasion, have enjoyed, and will, liberty

at the party in Galle sponsored by Tourism Board
and interested businesses, hotels principally.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    To pen a poem

    listing every lack,

    all detritus and distortion, decay and degeneration

    in the wake of a long war,

    seemingly interminable

    but finally terminated,

    is logical,

    but a muse which failed to stir,

    an aesthetic sensibility which stayed asleep,

    when Rajini was shot off her bicycle,

    lying in the Tinnaveli dust,

    Amirthalingam was murdered

    having shared his tea and biscuits,

    Yogeswaran’s wife was slain having widowed her before

    Neelan was pulped by a suicider hugging his car door,

    Does that make sense to you?

    • http://indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com Indran Amirthanayagam

      I love your innuendo style Dayan….and I am of course flattered by your purported knowledge of my literary subjects. As I have said before in this space do turn to Ceylon R.I.P. Selected Poems for a poem that honors and documents that terrible day when we lost Neelan. Keep writing poetry. It may help you get rid of your evasiveness. Indran

      • http://indranamirthanayagam.blogspot.com Indran Amirthanayagam

        “that honors Neelan and documents that terrible day when we lost him” I meant to say in my earlier post.

        Indran

      • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

        Hey Indran, glad that you wrote a poem on Neelan, and I trust you mentioned the Tigers in it. Pardon my ignorance but does the volume contain any lament for Rajini, Amir, Kethesh and LK? Should we file a negative answer under evasiveness? Having been present in Uncle Guy’s official residence in London during conversations with his pal Mervyn, I can guess at his sentiments had he been around, on Lakshman Kadir’s killing.

  • Mary Tony

    Tourism is promoted in the South by Literary Festivals, etc.

    Tourism is promoted by the occupation army in the North:

    1. While the army occupies three hotels owned by Tamils(for 10/15/20 years?) foundation for a hotel was laid down last year by Central Bank boss in Jaffna.

    2. http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2010/10/10/army-resort-opened-in-jaffna/
    ”Last Saturday September 2, a new tourist resort was opened in the Jaffna peninsula. Boasting 9 luxury and 22 semi-luxury rooms, “Thalsevana” is owned and managed by the Sri Lanka Army.”

    3. http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Journey-to-Jaffna:-hopes-for-reconstruction,-amidst-past-and-current-violence-18723.html
    ”….On the A9 road there are many small shops, tea rooms, but they are overshadowed by popular Jana Avanhala restaurants, more modern and well furnished, run by the military. There are about 10 restaurants of this type, operated by different divisions and brigades of the military. ….”

  • Mary Tony

    ”when
    Rajini was shot off her bicycle, …
    Amirthalingam was murdered having shared his tea and biscuits,…
    Yogeswaran’s wife was slain having widowed her before
    Neelan was pulped by a suicider hugging his car door, …”
    is utterly, utterly unacceptable on its own.

    When it follows well after decades of:

    ”… The Bandaranaike administration sowed the dragon’s teeth …. Dozens of Tamil youth were imprisoned under Emergency for years, for the crime of hoisting black flags against the promulgation of the ’72 Constitution. …” – http://www.groundviews.org/2010/10/17/an-allergy-to-analysis-and-historical-amnesia-in-sri-lanka/#comments

    • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

      Mary Tony, what on earth did Neelan, Yogeswaran, his wife Sarojini, Rajini, Pathmanabha, Sri Sabaratnam and the TELO boys burned alive the Tigers in the Jaffna streets, have to do with Bandaranaike or the incarceration of Tamil youth in 1972?

  • Mary Tony

    In my first post here, ”Tourism is promoted in the South by Literary Festivals, etc.” should read ”Tourism is promoted in the South by Tourism Board through Literary Festivals, etc.”

  • eureka

    ”detritus and distortion, decay and degeneration in the wake of a long war” ????

    What preceded the war since 1948: Evidence to LLRC by J.Dhanapala, C.Jayaratne, N.Gogage, J.Gooneratne, ….

    The gist of post-war:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzGj2hYoymo&feature=youtube_gdata

  • Punitham

    Dayan

    I’ve just been to:
    http://www.srilankaembassy.fr/?Home
    The newly appointed Sri Lankan Ambassador to France, with accreditation to Spain and Portugal, and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Delegate to UNESCO, Dr. Dayan Jayatilleka assumed duties at the Embassy in Paris on 17 January 2011.

    Please get the idea of Systems Theory from Narangoda:

    Chapter5: Ethnic Co-operation in Sri Lanka by Norman T.Uphoff in Carrots, Sticks and Ethnic Conflict(Ed MJ Esman and RJ Herring 2003):

    ”The farmer who objected to this generosity was persuaded to support the plan after a young farmer, Narangoda, took him by bicycle down the long and bumpy canal road to see what conditions were like at the end.”

  • Silva

    ”Rajini …Amirthalingam …Yogeswaran’s wife …Neelan ……”

    We have a diplomat that can only remember these out of the last 63 years?

    Is he going to work for reconciliation?

    What brought about ”..but a muse which failed to stir,
    an aesthetic sensibility which stayed asleep ..” ?
    What else was going on around that time?
    What has been going on since then?

  • ward

    ”in the wake of a long war,
    seemingly interminable
    but finally terminated,
    is logical”
    are the words of a diplomat chosen by the President who said:

    “Humanitarian Operation is still-on” on 21 December 2010 at Diyatalewa.

    Forewarning of things to come out of the Sri Lankan embassy in Paris?

  • renu

    Indran
    Thank you.
    Hopefully poems force us to think and act:

    http://groundviews.org/2011/01/21/video-parliamentary-debate-on-deterioration-of-human-security-in-the-north-of-sri-lanka/

    ”… four suicides daily , fear psychosis …” in the region where Buddhist statues have been mushrooming ?

  • Dayapala Thiranagama

    Mary Tony
    Your argument implies that in the context of the unfolding war it was acceptable to kill Neelan, Rajani, Mrs Yogeswaran and Amirthalingam.All these men and women were democratic minded, unarmed and non-violent individuals in the Tamil community. You offend their loved ones and demonstrate sheer insensitivity by defending these murders. No liberation movement has the right to violate the life of the democratic minded members in their own community unless they cease to be liberators. This is a down right treachery. That is incontestable. Since you wish to defend these vile and abominable murders by the LTTE you need to explain why they had to be killed. This would help the democratic project of the Tamils as well the reconciliation within the Tamil community. Will you let the reader know why the so called liberators had to sink to the level of the ‘oppressive state’?

  • Mary Tony

    Dayan, why on earth …..

    You can ask any 10-year old for the answer.

    A. But as a few have recently told LLRC the answer, I’d give you that:
    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.Jayantha Dhanapala’s oral presentation to LLRC, 2 September 2010:
    ”Our inability to manage our own internal affairs has led to foreign intervention but more seriously has led to the taking of arms by a desperate group of our citizens.”

    B. There is a limitless number of psychologists who have been asked this question by politicians in many countries and they have all given more or less the same answer as Jayaratne and Dhanapala. Most human beings who haven’t done psychology as a subject at school are psychologists to various degrees in the sense that they work out cause and effect all the time in their daily life. (Actually I hate to reply an obvious answer).

  • Mary Tony

    Dayapala
    ”it was acceptable to kill Neelan, Rajani, Mrs Yogeswaran and Amirthalingam” – NOT AT ALL, NOT AT ALL

    Have I got to tell you what has been going on from 1948 as far as structural violence is concerned? Think of the cumulative effect of this. A mere glimpse has come through the evidence to LLRC by some conscientious Sinhalese.

    All living things respond to harm(change in the environment):
    i. those below the level of organic evolutionary level of man have few forms of harming others physically

    ii. man has a much larger number of ways of harming and responding to other fellows physically, socially and psychologically.

    iii. the last 62 years of Sri Lanka are like, or worse than, the rakshas of mythology – I’ve just heard that the Jaffna businessmen who were abducted a few weeks ago have been released in Colombo after having been forced to sign papers to contest the local elections on SLFP ticket.

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      Excuses, excuses… How much wriggling, zig-zagging and fancy words do you need to tell us why it was OK for the Tigers to kill Neelan Tiruchchelvam, Lakshman Kadirgama, Rajani Thiranagama, and all the others who merely disagreed that the LTTE’s path to Tamil nationalism wasn’t the only one?

  • Mary Tony

    Dayapala

    I lost my father to LTTE 30 yrs ago. I don’t remember him as much as I remember my uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours and friends who were burnt alive, hacked to death and machine-gunned BEFORE, DURING and AFTER 1958, 1977 and 1983.

    Group grievance is much more than personal grievance to man – borne out by
    i. current situation around the world and books on psychology, sociology and anthropology and
    ii.history of man being full of battles and wars.

    Thank God we had Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King who continue to inspire some and nudge others all the time.

    I appeal to all academics and educationists to consider urgently and seriously what is suggested here:

    http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/01/why_sirimavo_refused_to_visit.html
    Why Sirimavo refused to visit Jaffna after 1964 cyclone
    By Neville Jayaweera, 18 January 2009:
    ”…. Building a consciousness of nationhood, or a deseeya cintanaya, is not a responsibility that can be left to politicians and constitutional lawyers. A deseeya chintanaya cannot be legislated, nor can it be secured through structural changes. Unlike a jathika cintanaya, whether Sinhala or Dhamila, which have roots reaching back over two thousand years, the seeds of a deseeya cintanaya have yet to be planted.
    It is pre-eminently an educational task, to be initiated at the level of our schools. It requires a new way of looking at history, and helping young minds climb out of the constraints placed on their understanding by the sectarian myths, legends, and memories that are embedded in their ancient chronicles, whether they relate to their Aryan origins or to their Dravidian origins. ….
    Unless and until Sri Lanka can produce leaders who can realize that truth, and are willing to act on it, it will continue to be dismembered by conflict, long after the LTTE and Pirabhikaran have passed into history.”

  • Mary Tony

    Sinhalese chant what the Tigers did in the 30 yrs up to May 2009.
    Tamils cannot zigzag/wriggle out of the last 62 yrs and continuing(it’s actually escalating: Tutorial colleges burnt down in Jaffna, 25 January 2011)

    There is no chance, on the horizon, of the international community seeing the last shreds of the socio-economic-environemntal fabric of a nation trampled by the rarest phenomenon of INTERNAL COLONIALISM IN AN ISLAND in a geopolitically strategic location.

    http://www.minorityrights.org/10463/press-releases/rising-ethnic-nationalism-in-sri-lanka-targets-minorities-for-abuse-new-report.html
    Rising ethnic nationalism in Sri Lanka targets minorities for abuse – new report, 19 January 2011

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      Er… what?

  • Mary Tony

    Tamils can never wriggle/zigzag out of internal colonialism:

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=33461
    Forced recruitment of traders by Colombo to contest elections in Jaffna, Vanni
    In recent days, many leaders of traders associations in Jaffna were abducted by SL Army officers coming to their houses and were taken to Colombo. They were not told why were they abducted and where were they being taken. They were later released in Colombo after forcefully getting signatures from them to contest elections in Jaffna and Vanni, under the SLFP.

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      Mary, on forums such as these, quoting sites such as tamil.net or army.lk isn’t considered credible.

      Even if the nonsense about traders were true, how does that justify killing Neelan and Rajani and all the other Tamils who disagreed with violent terrorism as a means to an end?

      Now, you say that the memory of your father’s death at the hands of the Tigers isn’t as strong as that of your relatives hacked, burned and machine-gunned between 1950s and the present day. So for you to have a personal recollection of the ’50s, you’d have to be at least five years old at the time, so that would put you in your early sixties today, and in your early thirties in ’81, when you say that your father was murdered. That would have put your father in his early fifties at least at the time of his death. Now the Tigers weren’t really killing people randomly in the early ’80s, unlike later in the war. But you maintain that your middle-aged father was murdered by the Tigers in ’81? Where was he killed?

      Also, where were these relatives of yours machine-gunned? The SL Army had Bren LMGs and stuff even before the ’80s, but they were rarely taken out of the armoury except for a quick polish in ’71. Were they killed after ’83?

  • Heshan

    ”it was acceptable to kill Neelan, Rajani, Mrs Yogeswaran and Amirthalingam”

    Let’s imagine these individuals were alive today and consider what good they could possibly have done. Neelan helped to formulate a devolution package. What is the present fate of devolution in SL? The same as the fate of the APRC and its proposals, dare I say. Furthemore, Neelan’s co-partner in devolution, G.L. Peiris, now works for the SLFP, and basically does their bidding. Rajani – she could have probably done some good, although how much, is questionable. She was no fan of GOSL propaganda or the Tamil paramilitary groups, both of which hold enormous sway in the North and East today. Also, it is not altogether irrational to presume that Rajani might well be murdered by a paramilitary group, were she alive today. Mrs Yogeswaran – she did not wield any clout, to begin with. The Mayor of Jaffna is a puppet, a mouthpiece for GOSL propaganda. Amirthalingam – he was instrumental in the early rise of the LTTE, via the patronage given to the LTTE by the TULF. So I am not sure why pro-GOSL elements would do anything but gloss over his demise.

    Now, I do not mean to imply that the above individuals – with the exception of Yogeswaran – lacked vision. Clearly, they did. But just as they were outspoken in their own time, the same applies today (were they alive). Their vision does not align with the reality, short of drastic modifications. Neelan and Rajani, in particular, were moderates and their vision was for a society that embraced moderate values. Emergency regulations, high security zones, press censorship, abductions, anti-Western hysteria, etc. do not fit the bill.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Neelan helped to formulate a devolution package. What is the present fate of devolution in SL?

      Wasn’t that that one of the two devolution packages that Ranil Wickremasinghe torpedoed?

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      So, Untersturmfuhrer Heshan, you think it’s OK to have killed people who wouldn’t have been of any use (in your sharp analytical viewpoint) against MR today? And do you think that because GL is useless (in your literate and educated opinion), all others such as Neelan, Rajani, etc would also have been useless? So your conjecture is that the Tigers must be faulted only for killing people who would have definitely been of some use today? Does the criteria of being innocent human beings not apply? Also, since Ranil W is pretty much useless today, as is CBK, do you think the Tigers should have killed them? Should they have killed SF too, and GL Peiris — they’re pretty useless too, no? And since the Tigers killed Premadasa, Gandhi, Kadirgama, Ranjan Wijeratne, and so many others, do you think they would have also been useless if they had survived the war?

  • Heshan

    *Clearly, they did not

  • wijayapala

    Mary Tony, some parts of your story are confusing:

    I lost my father to LTTE 30 yrs ago.

    30 years ago was 1981. Was that the year your father was killed?

    I don’t remember him as much as I remember my uncles, aunts, cousins, neighbours and friends who were burnt alive, hacked to death and machine-gunned BEFORE, DURING and AFTER 1958, 1977 and 1983.

    I never heard of anyone getting machine-gunned in any of those riots. Nobody had those kinds of weapons except for the army, which only had a few in those days and in any case did not participate in the ethnic violence.

  • Heshan

    Wasn’t that that one of the two devolution packages that Ranil Wickremasinghe torpedoed?

    If Ranil had not torpedoed it, the monks and other nationalists would have. Ranil simply expedited the process. :)

    But the funny thing is that when Ranil did a 360 in 2002, with the CFA, CBK dissolved the Parliament two years later. The CFA would have gone far beyond what Neelan and G.L. had in mind.

    What this proves is that there is no unanimous consensus in the South, when it comes to finding a working devolution package for the Tamils. However, very few have any qualms about no devolution at all.

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      If Ranil had not torpedoed it, the monks and other nationalists would have.

      How would the monks and unnamed “other nationalists” have done this when they had no representation in Parliament? Did any of them conduct massive street demonstrations when the proposal was released?

      The CFA would have gone far beyond what Neelan and G.L. had in mind.

      How so? The CFA was literally a “Cease Fire Agreement,” not a proposal for devolution!

    • http://www.blacklightarrow.wordpress.com David Blacker

      “when Ranil did a 360 in 2002″

      Don’t you mean a 180? :D A 360 would leave him heading in the same direction as before. Good golly, [Edited out] Heshan, no wonder you’re lost ha ha.

  • Heshan

    How would the monks and unnamed “other nationalists” have done this when they had no representation in Parliament? Did any of them conduct massive street demonstrations when the proposal was released?

    Are you forgetting how the monks forced S.W.R.D to tear up his pact with Chelva? What about the monks who protested against the Norwegians? What about the monks who joined Wimal in his farcical fast? The monks are an excellent propaganda tool for GOSL.

    How so? The CFA was literally a “Cease Fire Agreement,” not a proposal for devolution!

    Do not read everything literally. The outcome of the CFA would have been massive devolution – in fact, according to the Southern nationalists, it would have been Tamil Eelam itself.

  • Dayapala Thiranagama

    Heshan

    ‘Let’s imagine these individuals were alive today and consider what good they could possibly have done’
    In line with your argument, let us assume that they would not have done anything worthwhile to the Tamil community. Still these men and women’s right to life should not have been violated. I am shocked that you are unable to comprehend this. Your argument lacks political credibility as you consider they would not have been politically useful even if they were alive today. On the part of the Tigers they thought the opposite. They were murdered because the LTTE wanted to abolish the political opposition against them as part of their totalitarian project. Probably you are aware that the Nazis passed judgments over individuals who were ‘unfit to live’. Your argument also lacks originality as you seem to have borrowed these ideas from the Nazi ideology to justify the killings. This is very dangerous.

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    Are you forgetting how the monks forced S.W.R.D to tear up his pact with Chelva?

    The monks didn’t force anything. SWRD was afraid that the UNP would take advantage of this. Or have you forgotten the lovable JR’s march to Kandy to protest the pact?

    What about the monks who protested against the Norwegians?

    They are a wonderful example of how protests won’t work without a political patron. Despite all the protests, nobody kicked the Norwegians out until Mahinda became President, and even he took his time.

    The outcome of the CFA would have been massive devolution – in fact, according to the Southern nationalists, it would have been Tamil Eelam itself.

    So you are saying that devolution should end up with Tamil Eelam???

  • Heshan

    The monks didn’t force anything. SWRD was afraid that the UNP would take advantage of this.

    A pathetic attempt to distort the facts. Everyone knows the true history:

    The Sinhalese and the Buddhist clergies took the campaign of tarring Pali word ‘SRI’ by the Tamils as an affront. More than one hundred strong contingents of Buddhist priests led by Mrs. Wimala Wijewardene, the cabinet ranking only woman minister in the Bandaranaike’s Government, squatted in front of the private residence of Bandaranaike, the prime minister, located at Rosemead Place, Cinnamon’s Gardens, Colombo, on April 9, 1958. They demanded the abrogation of the agreement signed with Chelvanayakam, the leader of the Federal Party.

    Bandaranaiake & Chelvanayakam studied together at Wesley College, Colombo, in their early days and he was the first to send in the congratulatory message, when the latter resigned from the All Ceylon Tamil Congress and inaugurated the Federal Party in 1949. Even though Bandaranaiake, a mediocre chauvinist, wished to continue with the implementation of the agreement but things turned out differently and forced him to give in when Buddhist clergy started chanting and insisted that they shall not leave the place until the fate of the ‘pact’ is decided conclusively. Bandaranaike walked out of his house and brought the “Banda-Chelva Pact’ and tore it into pieces in front of the Buddhist clergies, who got up and chanted ‘Sadhu’ ‘Sadhu’ — peace, peace – and promptly left the place. ”

    http://www.asiantribune.com/news/2010/09/19/submission-llrc-part-v-damning-cycle-anti-tamil-race-riots-civil-disobedience-campai

    So, before putting the blame on the UNP, Mr.Wijayapala ought to answer whether J.R. was also chanting “sadhu sadhu” outside Banda’s residence. And also state which party this Wimala Wijewardene belonged to.

  • Heshan

    So you are saying that devolution should end up with Tamil Eelam???

    Unfortunately, your nationalist comrades equate any form of devolution with separatism. Look at how the JVP was against even the 13th Amendment – the bare minimum on the devolution scale.

  • wijayapala

    Prof Heshan

    Regardless of what happened in the 1950s, the monks today do not have the same influence. Were they able to get Fonseka out of jail?

  • Heshan

    Regardless of what happened in the 1950s, the monks today do not have the same influence.

    Then why does the constitution say Buddhism shall have a foremost place?

    • wijayapala

      Prof Heshan

      Then why does the constitution say Buddhism shall have a foremost place?

      Because that is what the people want. The monks hardly make a difference.

      • The Mervyn Silva

        Of course! How foolish of the Heshan to be even asking this! We are always giving the peoples what they are asking for! As a very responsible and powerful member of the government side I can be assuring all of you that. If you are wanting something, please be asking. But please be making sure that what you are asking for is also what we are wanting to be doing.

  • rodger

    ”Were they able to get Fonseka out of jail?”

    Er,,, bhikkus don’t get our support on matters affecting one of us?