Proud to be Sri Lankan?

Citizenship, as I know it, is a means by which citizens of a particular country are recognized as entities of that country. I feel that citizenship gives each of us a sense of “belonging” and “responsibility” towards our motherland, and also a sense of “security,” that as holders of this particular citizenship, we’re ensured of our protection and wellbeing. At least, that’s what one would hope a citizen of a country is entitled to.

I guess we were called a “Land like no other” for a reason. That being, that we truly are like no other. The concept of “citizenship” as I mentioned above, is nothing but an illusion in our fair land. As citizens of one country, we hold no sense of camaraderie with one another. We’re told that a “good citizen of the State” obeys the State. That they should not question the State. That they should accept that the State only acts with their wellbeing at heart, and thus, all acts done by the State are always just. Our notion of “citizenship” is dictated to us by the powers that be, and we quite contently lap it up, like faithful little puppy dogs!

If the State tells us that a part of its “citizenship” must be harassed, ridiculed and stripped off of their rights, for the safety and wellbeing of the other part, we accept it. If the State tell us that a part of its citizenship must register with the Police and carry around a document with them at all times, to verify their reasons for residing in a different part of the country, to where they were born, in order to ensure the security of the other part of their citizenship, we think it’s fair enough. Now, approaching the 2 year mark since the end of the war, people, mostly in the Vanni, are still being registered door-to-door by the military. Part and parcel of the registration process is of course, that each house is given a registration number which is made mandatory to have marked on both your front door and you’re the outside of our gate. In addition, a group picture is taken of the entire family, and one member of the family (usually the head of the household) is required to hold up a piece of paper with their respective registration number on it, for yet another photograph to be taken (much like a prisoner would). The worst part though, is that these people think it’s “normal.” They think that if this is what needs be done for them to live their day to day life in peace, then, so be it. All this rings okay with the rest of us citizens. It is for the greater good after all. That too is only the few who know that such humiliating, undignified “processes” are even being carried out.

The State can randomly arrest parts of our “citizenship” on the faintest hint of suspicion, under a law that has been specifically designed to justify any unlawful acts conducted by the State, in order to uphold National Security, we see rationality in it. A part of our citizenship is still not permitted to return to their homes located within High Security Zones (HSZs) in the North, however, visitors to the North are permitted to go “sightseeing” inside those very HSZs. The rest of the citizenship sees the justice in this.

The State spends over one billion rupees on the Indian International Film Academy (IIFA) awards held in Colombo last year, but claim they have inadequate funds to house and feed their internally displaced citizenship around the country. It’s fine by the rest of the citizenship, because they got to see their favourite Bollywood Stars perform Live. Of course let’s not forget that a Star or two were taken on a goodwill mission “behind the wires” too, so it’s not all bad.

Similarly, the State has incurred hundreds of millions of dollars on a Port in the Incumbent’s hometown, Hambantota, which has been allegedly refused maritime insurance by Lloyds, London. Furthermore, the State imported 3 power train sets (each of which costing 3.5 million US$), of a fleet of 20 from India, one of which was tried out and failed on it’s first run due to complications including inadequate power supply. Irrespective of this rather pricey “hitch” though, it seems like the Government is planning to go ahead with the entire purchase without as much as a trial period to see if these trains are conducive to our railway system In yet another display of waste, our dear incumbent has successfully managed to garner a 300 million US$ arms loan from Russia, to safeguard ‘Post-War’ Sri Lanka, pushing us as a country, further and further into debt. How though could we even consider questioning such a “victorious” State as this? What ingrates we would be!

The State told us that until such time that they were able to “weed out” the terrorists from the non-terrorists, 300,000 of its citizenship (inclusive of new-born infants) had to be kept behind barbed wire, in deplorable conditions indefinitely, the rest of the citizenship nodded along as it did seem like the only sensible thing to do. Although most of this 300,000 have been released now, they are far from being free. Those not under arrest or being held in detention, are regularly questioned and harassed, have no proper homes, no jobs, no money and no access to basic amenities o facilities. In short, one part our citizenship is deemed ‘guilty until proven innocent.’ That too though is acceptable by the rest of the citizenship. Taking into consideration the current context of course.

The last stages of our war in 2009 which is said to have claimed over 40,000 innocent lives, although the UN estimates were lower and of course the States maintained its “miraculous” Zero Civilian Casualty rate As it was the most “comfortable” option for both ourselves and our conscience to believe that no innocents were killed in the last days of battle, we believed the State wholly and without question. However, let’s “assume” that having had access to eye witness accounts and footage, and having seen the UN figures, at least a seed of doubt in the State figures, started to grow in our minds? Say, we began to realize that maybe, just maybe, the State had decided to dispose of segment of our citizenship, so as to safeguard the rest of us. (The State being at the helm of such a glorious victory, which as a result has made both the State and the incumbent almost invincible and enabled him to rule over us for the rest of his days, having nothing to do with it of course.) This very State has the audacity to “condemn” another country doing the exact same thing it did? Is this State under the delusion that by it condemning another country’s atrocities, it by some twist of karma erases all the wrong it has committed? Does this State truly believe that it could be so easy to ‘pull the wool over (its citizen’s) eyes?’ Or is it? Maybe that’s yet another question for the citizenship.

Recently also on a post on GV, I actually had to argue the point on whether it was right to destroy a cemetery (Maveerar Thuyilum Illams) that did not in fact have actual bodies buried there. The post was about the desecration of LTTE cemeteries in the North, and building army camps in their stead. We’re not talking good guys vs. bad guys here (whoever they might be). We’re talking basic human decency and respect to the dead. A place where families come to bemoan their dead. A final resting place after a bitter battle. A memorial to those who fought a long, hard fight for something they and a part of our citizenship believed in. How can we call ourselves citizens of one country, if we deny a part of our citizenship such a basic human right?

And finally the icing on the cake. Everyone speaks of how cricket unites and how the entire country comes together to cheer our team on etc., etc., etc., Being so “united” though, were we even aware that many parts of this country did not even have electricity to watch the Final of this ‘so called’ “unifying” game! I was actually sending SMS updates to some friends in the North who not only did not have TV, but electricity also. I guess nobody found it to be an ideal commercial venture to set up giant screens in these neighbourhoods! How also is it possible for the same game that ‘supposedly’ unites its citizens, also wind up instigating violence against each other. Many youth have openly ‘liked’ this article on Facebook! To what depths have our humanity sunk to, if we’re able to justify attacks against fellow citizens over a mere Cricket match?

Where is that sense of “belonging” and “security” citizens are entitled to? If one part of a citizenship is made to feel abandoned and neglected, both by the rest of its citizenship and the State, is it any surprise at all that they should look to find that sense of belonging and security elsewhere?

One sided you might think. How else would the majority of a citizenship be kept safe, unless a State is to make a few unpopular (or in the case of SL, popular) decisions, for the sake of the greater good? Even IF the citizenship as a whole, is able to justify all of the above scenarios during a time of war, now almost two years since the end of the war, what’s our collective excuse? If we, as so called “citizens” are still able to stand by and watch other citizens undergo such levels of discrimination that it’s not only rendered at the hands of the State, but also endorsed by it, then perhaps it’s time we questioned the nature of this “citizenship” we claim to belong to. And we might also want think twice about what exactly we’re so proud about, when we beamingly proclaim to the world that we’re so “Proud to be Sri Lankan!”

Originally written for Options Magazine, a Biannual publication by Women and Media Collective, and updated for Groundviews.

  • silva

    The writing is very nice but the picture(of the flag) is very scary.

  • TT

    The bottomline is some are proud of SL no matter what, some are ashamed of SL no matter what and some others are proud depending on circumstances. This will never change.

    Same go for the USA, etc. Some are proud of the US victory over Japan following Hiroshima but others are not. Some consider it shameful.

    SL need not compromise its defence strategy just to make some people proud of it! Of course there are things that need to be done to make matters a bit more economical, less corrupt.

    I’m very proud of our victory in the north in May 2009. Others may not. Its my choice and I respect others’ choice.

    Same with history. The Dutugemunu affair makes some SLs proud but others consider it shameful. We have to respect people who hold any of these views.

    A practical solution would be to change one’s citizenship/nationality to suit his/her ideals. Still he/she may not be completely proud of everything but they may still find reasons to be proud of.

    • Lanka Liar

      Good TT you say “We have to respect people who hold any of these views.” that is to respect everyone’s view. The author says respect everyone’s life, religion, culture, freedom, rights …….etc. Your view just looks like a typical Sri Lankan view. I respect that and I don’t call you a terrorist or arrest you, kidnap you or kill you and call it a humanitarian operation. That is my view hope you too will respect it. I know it is hard for you because you are a Sri Lankan citizen.

      • TT

        It should be easy for a Sri Lankan, not hard! :)

        Equal individual rights to all!

  • silva87

    Did Sri Lanka became a violent country because of choosing a violent lion on the flag or is it because the Sri Lankan’s are violent by nature that they chose a violent flag?

    • Lanka Liar

      It is the people who chose the flag not the flag chose the country. Naturally violent people have chosen a violent flag and they are proud of it too. Now they live their life according to what the flag symbolize. It is a LIEon flag master liars .

      • Padda

        LTTE has chosen tiger. A violent race has selected a violent flag. Yes, very fitting.

      • LankaLiar

        What about the SLTE

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

        Sri Lanka Telecom Engineers???

  • Siri de Alwis

    Well said TT. The author of the article (whoever it is) thinks that normalcy should have returned by now. He/she has to be a philosopher. Everyone who is less than 30 years old saw nothing about civilized living, and the writer expects them to change in less than 2 years. I have lived outside Sri Lanka for over 40 years and have a fair knowledge of how the world sees Sri Lanka today and where it is heading. Fortunately the author belongs to a hapless minority group

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Siri de Alwis

      Good Observation Siri. Take a look at the following statement

      The last stages of our war in 2009 which is said to have claimed over 40,000 innocent lives, although the UN estimates were lower ……

      She is parading an Unsubstantiated Rumoured figure and discounting the UN figure …..May be the 40,000 looks more impressive than the UN figures …. So much for objective writing.

      • Marisa

        Hi guys, sorry to break up the party about the flag, but, the symbolism of the flag, as controversial as it may/may not be, has nothing to with my post, so let’s try and let that go, shall we?

        @ Off the Cuff – You say “she is parading an Unsubstantiated Rumoured figure and discounting the UN figure …..May be the 40,000 looks more impressive than the UN figure.”

        I gave the reader all 3 figures that have been circulated post war. I can’t be blamed for the “assumptions” you make of my tone. However, let me shed some light on what I said. You speak of how the UN figure has been discounted by me? Therefore, I take it that the UN holds some sort of legitimacy to you? Okay. Would you call Gordon Weiss, the Former UN Spokesman a Tiger then? Cos’ that 40,000 figure you seem to dislike. It was stated by him. Furthermore, by you acknowledging the UN figure, you do know that you’re automatically “discounting” the Government Zero Casualty figure right? Okay. So, let’s say the 40,000 figure is propaganda right? So are you thereby justifying the killing of 7000 civilians? Cos’ the figure shouldn’t be what’s in question here. It’s that innocent people were killed. You’re so caught up trying to label me a “Tiger,” you seem to be forgetting your own humanity.

        Please don’t bring up the whole “what about all the innocent people the LTTE killed?” cos’ I’ve never now, or ever before condoned any killing of innocent ppl irrespective of who the perpetrator has been. I’ve never endorsed any atrocity done by either party. But, what you fail to see here, is that you’re comparing the behaviour of a “Sovereign State”, with that of a “Terrorist organisation.” You see the absurdity of your case. The LTTE was not voted in by a majority of this country as their representative, and is there not ‘bound’ to work with my welfare at heart. The State is. You see why my grouse is with the State and not the LTTE? The LTTE doesn’t owe me shit. The Government does. And until it fulfills it’s obligations to the people of this country, I have every intention of questioning their actions abd keeping them in check, as should each and every one us. It is our right to do so.

        “Whatever the faults of the current regime they were ELECTED. I would call them Dictators only if they try to overstay their mandate by undemocratic means.”

        Let’s say we don’t go down the road of the state of “Free and Fair” Elections in our country, or the fact that we have NO Opposition Candidate. You, however mention that our current rulers can’t be deemed “Dictators” as that would only be the case if he tried to “overstay their mandate by undemocratic means.” So you’re in other words saying “creating” a means of ruling for multiple terms until his son is of an age to take over, is in fact “Democratic” is it? Just to shed some light http://groundviews.org/2010/09/09/content-digest-full-coverage-of-the-18th-amendment-1-9-september-2010/

        “Unlike in the past we don’t have to worry about our children returning home after school and our children don’t have to worry about their parents returning home after work.”

        Maybe you don’t worry anymore. But, tons of mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, wives, husbands and children still worry. They worry very much. Their children actually may not return home at night, not cos’ of a bomb of course, but because they could have been arrested, abducted or mysteriously ‘disappear,’ for no better reason than them being of the “wrong” ethnicity, age or sometimes even location. So please, next time you make such broad statements, don’t.

        And in answer to all your “Did you” questions, I have just one thing to say, “I pay taxes. I’m entitled to this stuff. These are not “favours” rendered to me by a selfless Govt. Giving out “free stuff” does not give a Government the licence to treat me as they like. I’m sorry if you’re under this impression but, I sure as hell am not.

        @ TT – “There is no blood on the sword. None.”

        :) Possibly History wasn’t your strongest subject. It’s never too late to brush up, you know?

        One last thing to everyone who keeps comparing SL to other countries and claiming that this sort of circumstances prevail around the world and that SL’s aren’t alone in the way things work. I DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW OTHER COUNTRIES RUN THEMSELVES. That’s up to the people of their respective countries to worry about. I care about my own. Just because it might be easier on you and your conscience that SL is not the only country in the world that injustice is rampant, so be it. For some of us, that’s just not solace enough.

      • Off the Cuff

        Marisa

        This is what you wrote,

        The last stages of our war in 2009 which is said to have claimed over 40,000 innocent lives, although the UN estimates were lower and of course the States maintained its “miraculous” Zero Civilian Casualty rate

        You have led with the 40,000 figure and hid the others in links… why?
        Was it to write the same excuse you wrote in response to a challenge? …. ‘…. I gave the reader all 3 figures that have been circulated post war’ … ha ha ha so you did.

        Objective writing should have made you to LEAD with the UN figure instead of unsubstantiated crap from a discredited UN employee

        You contradicted yourself even before you touched on the death toll

        Have a good look

        300,000 of its citizenship (inclusive of new-born infants) had to be kept behind barbed wire, in deplorable conditions indefinitely, the rest of the citizenship nodded along as it did seem like the only sensible thing to do. Although most of this 300,000 have been released

        You start off with blah blah about being held INDEFINITELY …. and finish stating that most have been released.

        Indefinitely means without time limit but all the time you wrote such garbage you knew that you were camouflaging the truth

        IRIN humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in a news item datelined COLOMBO, 3 March 2011 states as follows

        Since the return process began in August 2009 for the overall displaced population, more than 300,000 have left Menik Farm – the country’s largest camp – and some dozen others hastily set up in the final days of the conflict between government forces and the defeated rebels.

        Your article was written almost a month later. Shows you are more interested in Sensationalism, just like a Gossip Columnist rather than writing the truth objectively after adequate RESEARCH.

        By The Way if you were a Tamil terrorist and gave birth to a child or was nursing a child do you want the Govt. to take the child away from you to be cared in an institution or you would rather keep the baby with you and nurse it yourself? … be realistic Dear Marisa, dont give in to SENSATIONALISM.

        As you say you may be paying tax like us but not many countries provide Free Education up to the University and Free Medical Care for life. The TAX you pay will not be enough to pay even for ONE years Tution and Medical Fees so don’t talk of you paying for it ….ALL of us SUBSIDISE you and even Prabahkaran’s CHILDREN …..WITHOUT ANY ETHNIC BIAS.

        You say TONS are in fear probably yes but BEFORE the war was over MEGA TONS lived in fear. So there is a vast improvement.

        You are writing to impress your Tamil friends not to present the truth objectively.

        Good Luck with your next essay

      • Off the Cuff

        Marisa,

        This is the second of three posts in reply to yours

        “Furthermore, by you acknowledging the UN figure, you do know that you’re automatically “discounting” the Government Zero Casualty figure right? “

        Wrong.

        Discounting means REDUCTION, what you see is the OPPOSITE.
        Again your tendency to sensationalism surfaces.

        “You’re so caught up trying to label me a “Tiger,” you seem to be forgetting your own humanity”

        Wrong again.

        You are labelling yourself I did not do any such thing.
        Cool off Marisa try to understand what I have written.

        “what about all the innocent people the LTTE killed?” cos’ I’ve never now, or ever before condoned any killing of innocent ppl irrespective of who the perpetrator has been.”

        Marisa where do you think these 300,000+ people were staying?
        Rather, forcibly corralled?
        Are you aware of what the LTTE were doing to them?

        The children were forced to go to the front as cannon fodder
        The people were either forced to fight or work on the front lines
        Those who tried to escape were shot, pregnant women were no exception.
        They even suicide bombed those who reached the military.

        Dont tell me you dont know any of that.
        So what would you have done?
        Allow the LTTE to slowly sacrifice the innocents until ALL were dead or try and save them using a military action?

        Lip Service about humanity would not have saved them.

        What you fail to see or purposely overlook is that the Govt could have crushed the LTTE within a day if it did not care about her citizens. The Army, by holding back its Air power and heavy guns sacrificed thousands of soldiers lives and limbs. Why did it do that instead of bombing the area to smithereens?
        It had the fire power to do so but consideration of the civilians held them back.

        Remember that the Lives of the soldiers are as important as those of the civilians. They also have wives, children, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers back home.
        In most of these cases the soldier was the SOLE bread winner.
        Have you seen the number of young men without limbs in the rehabilitation centres
        Have you done anything for them?

        Have you forgotten the sight of all the civilians running towards the military and AWAY from the LTTE?
        Have you forgotten the sight of Sinhalese Soldiers physically carrying elder Tamil Women, children and Men to safety risking their own lives in the process?

        That Marisa is Selfless Humanity, they were risking their own lives to save the lives of others who were TOTAL strangers to them.

        Sensationalism is easy but Responsible writing is not.

      • TT

        Marisa,

        Every country has to win battles to survive. You cannot look at SL’s case in isolation. There is no blood on the sword! None. But it is meant to kill the enemies of the nation without mercy. Yet there is no need to leave blood on the fertile sword.

      • TT

        Marisa,

        “I DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW OTHER COUNTRIES RUN THEMSELVES. That’s up to the people of their respective countries to worry about. I care about my own. Just because it might be easier on you and your conscience that SL is not the only country in the world that injustice is rampant, so be it. For some of us, that’s just not solace enough.”

        So it is a matter of finding solace?

        There are various ways to do that. Concentrate on finding solace without distracting yourself with other things and you shall find it.

        And don’t forget there are respectable human beings out there who are proud of some of the things achieved by means that you are ashamed of. Just because they hold a different opinion from you it does not mean they are bad or need to change.

        Sri Lanka do not float in the universe by itself. It is connected to 200 other nations and a world order which essentially includes a military. If you expect Sri Lankans will drop the sword from the flag and plant another Bo-leaf instead when a group of people come with a flag of 2 guns, 33 bullets and a severed tiger head in a pool of red blood, you must be joking!

      • Off the Cuff

        TT,

        You make a good observation TT, your post of April 11, 2011 • 3:47 am
        on Marissa’s statement “I DON’T CARE ABOUT HOW OTHER COUNTRIES RUN THEMSELVES”.

        The Humanity she professes seem to be “Country” related. Hope there are no other boundries within it.

      • TT

        Not even LTTE remnants believe these numbers and allegations. Its just the hype. It has been close to 2 years since these things have allegedly happened. There is TAG, GTF, TGTE, etc., etc. but all their action against alleged war crimes have been no-brainers. A lot of talk about ICC, the Hague, Fonseka/GR/BR being Americans, Palitha Kohonna being an Australian, etc. that they are governed by the laws of these nations. But nothing happens! General Shavendra Silva, General Jagath Chula Dias, etc. etc. are serving SL with distinction abroad. TAG, GTF, etc. threaten to bring law suits against them but nothing happens. They filed action against MR AFTER he left USA!

        Hilarious.

        There is a phrase for this type of nonsense – BS. Even they don’t believe their own propoganda but expect us to believe them, get scared and hand over the north-east!

  • TT

    Silva,

    The tiger flag of Tamil Elam is not at all scary. There is blood, gory, guns, a severed tiger head wearing “vibhuthi” and bullets but is not scary at all. :)

    • Off the Cuff

      Excellent response TT.

      Congratulations on a well delivered KO.

      Looks like they have forgotten the Hysteria accompanying the waving of that murderous flag.

      Some people do not see the rafter in their own eye but look for a fallen eye lash in another’s’ (literal translation of a Sinhalese proverb).

      They did not see the Human Shield, Did not see the 7 and 8 year old children being sacrificed, did not see the torture and the lamp post killings of their own people and were totally blind to the atrocities perpetrated on the Wanni Tamils as long as they and their children were safe and comfortable in foreign climes.

      Those who did not DARE speak out against the LTTE on behalf of their own, when the Wanni Tamils were suffering under the LTTE jackboot now want to scuttle the chances of integration.

      These people steadfastly adopted a policy of the three monkeys (modified to suit)…. See no evil, Hear no evil and Speak no evil against evil.

      Hypocrisy, Cowardice or Both?

      • TT

        Off the cuff,

        The funniest thing is the pussycat is wearing religious ash on its forehead! This sure is an insult to Hindusim but who is complaining?

    • silva

      I referred to this article only in my comment.

      I don’t like the ferocious face of the tiger or the guns in their flag either.

    • silva

      Does it look like a severed head or just the face of a ferocious tiger?

    • silva87

      The sword of the lion started dripping with innocent blood several times, long long before the Tigers came into the scene, that too organised and executed by the Governemnet which is supposed to safeguard all its citizens!!!Tigers are the by-product of the “blood dripping sword of the lion”

      A secular country like India has Asoka Chakra in its flag, but the so called “Budhist” country, Sri Lanka has a fierce looking lion on its flag!!!Violence has become endemic in Sri Lanka and it does not look like it is going to stop in the near future!!!

      • TT

        silva,

        There is no blood on the sword. None.

        Talking of Buddhism, how did you miss the 4 Bo leaves symbolising compassion, etc.?

        All in all, there is time for compassion, kindness, etc. AND there is time for the sword! If you come with compassion you will get it in return but if you come with seperatism, violence, etc., you will get it from the sword. :)

      • yapa

        Dear TT;

        I have never seen sharp and smart responses like yours. Congratulations!

        Thanks!

  • ANU

    Yes, That is true. I am also proud to be a citicen of SL, which provides the greatest service and leadership in the world. For example, Sri Lankan Police is the best Police in the world. see, you will be treated nicely (if you have money) by Police whenever you seek services of them. We do have a zero corrupted leadership and politicialns. No vilation of rules. No political interfearence in performing your duties. This is the best country ever I have seen in the world.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Anu,

      Please see my response to Nimal April 7, 2011 • 2:29 pm.

      I believe the same applies to you more or less.

  • Nimal

    I am ashamed to be Srilankan. I live in Europe and my work mates consider SL as killer country with family dictators are ruling it. Does anyone knows their bank account details ?. They must be the Richest family in Asia by now.
    I come from down South, I know people are struggling for their bread. Rape cases are high, all done by grope supporting to the dictators, Police, and Military (deserted and when on leave).
    Are we really enjoying the freedom ???

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Nimal,

      You said …I am ashamed to be Srilankan. I live in Europe and my work mates consider SL as killer country with family dictators are ruling it.

      Sorry to hear that. Are you proud of Mai Lai, Abu Ghraib, Deigo Garcia and many others of similar nature too? Looks like you will have a hard time finding a place to live in, that you can be proud of.

      Of course you cant enjoy the freedom that we in Lanka enjoy today because you have not lived the life that we have lived for the past 3 decades when the LTTE was active. Unlike in the past we don’t have to worry about our children returning home after school and our children don’t have to worry about their parents returning home after work. …… since you have lived an insulated life in Europe how can you even hope to understand the freedom we feel?

      You don’t seem to posses even an inkling about democracy. Whatever the faults of the current regime they were ELECTED . I would call them Dictators only if they try to overstay their mandate by undemocratic means.

      Did you enjoy Free EDUCATION while in SL
      Did you obtain the Free meals that are given to school children?
      Did you obtain any free books and uniforms that are given to school children?
      Did you receive a scholarship from the Govt.?
      Did you make use of a subsidised travel pass either for the bus or train that’s issued to school children?
      Did your family avail itself of subsidised dry rations at any time?
      Did you avail yourself of FREE EDUCATION from a Sri Lankan University or a Technical College?
      Did you avail yourself of the FREE MEDICAL CARE that all Sri Lankans are entitled to?

      If the answer is yes to any one of them there is a word in the English Language that describes people like you. That word is ‘INGRATE’

      Of course we are struggling to make a living, how many are not struggling in the West? Ever heard of the bailouts in the USA and Europe? How many have lost their jobs and their homes?

      You seem to throw accusations freely but I hope you will be able to substantiate them. Else you will fall in to the category of a common rumour monger

      • Paradiselost

        @ Off the Cuff,
        “Unlike in the past we don’t have to worry about our children returning home after school and our children don’t have to worry about their parents returning home after work”

        but in the North and East we still do worry, and we were not free during the LTTE era and we are not free now. We live in a HSZ and we have a lot of military personal (1:~13) and lots of military posts. We still have mobs and militia who is acting with the support of the govt. I am 47 now and since I was 9 yrs old, I am living under siege and panic either from security forces (SL and Indian), LTTE or other militants under the patronage of the govt. As a Tamil we still scared to roam around in the south or in Colombo, because our ID card with the birth place of Jaffna is a valid reason for the police to keep you away, at least for a couple of days, even if you never been politically (separatism) active. Where are all the disappeared and the suspected inmates in one of the unnamed prisons in the island? There is rarely any Tamil family, who did not have suffered a political killing or loss of a family member in the last 3 decades and even before. So what we have lost is more than any Sinhalese family might have lost, and we still have no peace! The ER may gives you a feeling of “freedom” but for us Tamils it is an open warrant of arrest, to be locked away at anytime for being a Tamil, for having a wrong name, to be born in a wrong place or belonging a wrong age group. So where is the much praised “freedom” in the country for us? for us Tamils there may be less harassment(?) at present but don’t we deserve an equal treatment in the society? Because it was denied in the past the freedom was at danger. So it is the duty of every freedom loving citizen of this country to check and control that the rights of citizenry is protected by law, without prejudice due to religious or ethnic belonging of a citizen. If you are not accepting it then you preach racism under the guise of freedom!

        About your free meal, free education, etc. etc…. how can a govt. provide such things without the tax payers money or loans they get now to be paid by the later generations. No govt. in the world “produces” money; they collect it and redistribute it. So it is our money at last and we have all the rights to ask a share of it and of course an account of the dealings with this money the govt. does. Be aware “there is nothing called a free meal”!

  • Upul Fernando

    Well written article. Thanks.

  • vani

    Either you are Tamil or Sinhalese, if we don’t collectively raise our voice against the nasty treatment of certain sector of people (be it Sinhalese or Tamil), the country will go down. If we accept the human rights violation of a government for what ever reason, there is no way the country will prospect. It is time we learn some lession from countries like Singapore or Switzeland where leaders put their country first before their family.
    What we have in Sri-Lanka now is gangster like ruling. Every day you read about robberies, rape, killing, disappearance and mistreatment of people by the military/police forces in large scale. So what is there to be proud of? The sad part is, most of the people are accepting that kind of life style as normal.

    • TT

      vani,

      “It is time we learn some lession from countries like Singapore or Switzeland where leaders put their country first before their family.”

      Singapore?

      LKY ruled Singapore for over 30 years and now his family rules it for the foreseeable future! Looks like Lanka has leant from Singapore!.

      The badies you mentioned are more relevant to USA than SL. If in doubt check the statistics.

      If you are referring to these crimes in the north, these were done by the IPKF too in a larger scale. So you cannot blame SL for it.

    • Off the Cuff

      Vani,

      You said .. It is time we learn some lession from countries like Singapore or Switzeland

      Very good, lets get the Singapore Housing Policy implimented for starters.

      I believe thats a very good idea. Then every locality will reflect the National Ethnic Proportions all over Sri Lanka. Wellawatte will get rearranged, Exclusive Homelands will get thrown out to sea and the country would be at peace.

      Switzerland language policy provides for a single language in each cantonement. The minorities in each Cantonement has to learn and work in the language of that cantonement whether they like it or not. Good, then Sinhalese will have to learn and work in two provinces in Tamil. The Tamils will have to learn and work in Sinhala in the other seven.

      This will of course solve the Language issue and the Homeland issue.

      The grass on the other side of the fence always seem greener dosent it?

      Any further lessons that Lanka ought to learn from Singapore and Switzerland?

      • vani

        This is exactly what the problem with the whats so called Sri-Lankans. Defend the brutal state at any cost. How many Tamils have to be killed to in order to implement the Sinhale hagemony in North and East?
        Do the Tamil feel they are equally treated in that country?
        Do they feel safe with gun totting Sinhale(only) speaking soldiers around them all the time?
        Can they open their mouth to protest any injustice done to them?

        I don’t think Tamils have problem learning the language Sinhalese if they work in South and West, but can I say the same thing about the Sinhalese who work in the North and East? Especailly the Military men who have outnumbered the Tamil population in Jaffna now?
        The simple truth is Tamils live in fear in that country. There is no law and order maintained and North and East. Ultimately Sinhale only military decide what Tamils should say or deserve. Yeah so much for your genorocity. Let the Tamils decide their fate.

      • Off the Cuff

        Vani,

        Your post of April 8, 2011 • 6:47 pm refers.

        You wanted Lanka to take a lesson from Singapore and Switzerland. I showed you what the Singapore’s Housing and Switzerland’s Language Policies are. Now you are RANTING about we defending the Lankan Govt. Can you show a SINGLE sentence in my previous post to you that I have written in Defence of the Lankan Govt?

        Either you do not understand English or you are so blinded with hatred that you cannot see.

        Remember what you write here will be challenged.
        So don’t try to use GV as a platform to SPEW Hatred, this is not the place for it.

        Give a STRAIGHT answer

        Would you like to see those two policies implemented In Sri Lanka?

      • TT

        Vani,

        Not true.

        You artfully avoid terror tactics against Sinhalese and Muslims in the north. What happened to Sinhalese and Muslims in the north? There were over 40,000 of them before Vadukoddai. They don’t even live there. That is the level of fear Tamil separatists instilled in them! At least Tamils are not so scared to live in the north with the army (AND ALSO IN THE SOUTH!!)

        These are facts.

      • vani

        Yes I like the the way Swiss run their government. YOU GOT IT? Now go and try to convince your bloody government to change the constitution to have a federal system like Swiss where each region enjoy quite a bit autonomy take care of their affairs.

        when people talk about HR violation of your government, it sounds like ranting. Good luck living in your own world thinking that Sri-Lanka can escape the war crime.

      • TT

        Vani,

        I think I’m more civilised than you going by the language we use!

        There is no need to change the unitary status of Sri Lanka. Equal individual rights can be accomodated under a unitary setting.

        This federal rubbish has no substance to it. In 1949 Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi called itself Federal Party but today the very same ITAK calls itself Tamil National Alliance!! :)

        Don’t believe me? Check the election results!

        In their world federal means Tamil nation!

        It is much easier for Tamil aspirations to change to live peacefully with equal individual rights in unitary SL.

      • Off the Cuff

        Vani,

        It is not necessary to imitate either Switzerland or Singapore to implement their policy.

        The Housing Policy and the Language Policy will definitely stop the Exclusive Homeland and will reverse the National Languge status of Tamil in one of just Two countries in the World where it is so recognised (try to get Tamil elevated to that status in Switzerland if you can).

        Many Sinhalese would support your proposal but you will FIRST need to arrive at a TAMIL consensus to show that it is what the Tamils want. So hurry up and become active to convince the ISGA proponents and the Diaspora to show positive support for those two proposals of yours.

        How about organising A Referendum that parallels the Vadukkodi Resolution Referendum to prove that all of you want the Housing Policy of Singapore AND the Language Policy of Switzerland implemented in Sri Lanka?

        Keep your Hatred at home, GV is not the place for it.

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

        Then how come Singapore has both a Chinatown and a Little India where these communities are concentrated?

    • Off the Cuff

      Chelliah,

      You said

      in the recent u k census i put down my ethinicity as eelam tamil

      i never considered myself a srilankan.

      Aha … did you pass the GCE or SSC Examinations?

      Did you go to a Lankan University or Polytechnic or Technical College?

      Why dont you change the Country name in those Certificates to Eelam too or burn them up in protest because you will not dare to do any alterations in them.

      Even the murderer Prabahkaran’s children were educated free of charge by the Sri Lankan Govt. Unless you went to UK before you started schooling you too would have made use of Lanka’s Free Education and Free Medical care.

      How about your Birth certificate and Marraige Certificate….do they carry the Eelam Name? If so what do you plan to do with them …Burn?
      Any children born in Lanka? If so, how do you erase the Lanka name from their official documents?

      So you never considered yourself to be a Sri Lankan, unfortunately there are somethings you can never change like your father, Mother or your land of Birth.

      Eelam does not excist. It never will.

  • chelliah

    hello everyone

    i am a tamil settled in uk.

    in the recent u k census i put down my ethinicity as eelam tamil

    i never considered myself a srilankan.

    i will never ever call myself a srilankan.

    as i understand it ,that srilankan is a sinhalese.

    • TT

      Chelliah,

      Thank you very much.

      Correct me if I’m wrong. SL rejected you long before you rejected SL!
      :(

      I would do the same if I were you. Why waste time?

  • sinhala_voice

    Sri Lanka is more than politicans
    Sri Lanka is more than conflicts
    Sri Lanka is more than economics
    Sri Lanka is the whole collective people

    So if you are not proud to be Sri Lanka NO matter
    what ethnic group you are then you have a SELF ESTEEM problem.

  • silva

    Under an oppressive regime, many naturally have self-esteem problem.

  • silva

    “Land like no other”:

    http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Sep2010/Prof.%20Arjuna%20Aluvihare.pdf
    Prof A.P.R.Aluwihare to LLRC, 3 November 2010:
    ‘’I think even politics has become politicized in this country and that I think is a root disease now.”

    • silva

      ”Land like no other”:
      http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Prof.%20Priyan%20Dias.pdf
      Prof Priyan Dias addresses LLRC, 07 October 2011:
      ‘’This was done through the abduction of various Tamil persons mostly in Colombo, many of them businessmen and the demand for ransoms. In fact there was one newspaper that in fact carried a name of a bank into which account this money had to be paid. I am talking about the response of our society. The response was very minimal.”

      • TT

        No there was a loud response, louder than the loudest bomb explosion. Silence is a response. Prof Dias is entitled to his opinion. Equally respectable is my opinion. In my opinion, elimination of LTTE infiltrators into Colombo saved it. During the time these things allegedly happened, there was a big bomb scare. But very few bombs went off than expected and many attempts were foiled. Surely something worked right. And I see a correlation between the two – lesser number of bombs in Colombo and alleged abduction of LTTE infiltrators. Many others too see this connection. Of course every war has collateral damage. Feared of getting abducted on land, LTTE resorted to the air route!! Thanks to various defence strategies, no regular bomb explosions take place today. In my opinion, the noble end justifies the means. If the same threat reappears, I would prefer the same solution that worked well for me and for millions of others.

      • Marisa

        @ TT “Of course every war has collateral damage.”

        It’s interesting how casually you say this. I wonder if you’d be as callous if the ‘so called’ “collateral damage” was your mother, father, sibling or spouse? Amazing how easy it is for us to label circumstances and human beings, to ease the weight on our conscience.

        “In my opinion, the noble end justifies the means. If the same threat reappears, I would prefer the same solution that worked well for me and for millions of others.”

        Of course you would, cos’ again, it’s nobody of yours who has to bear the brunt of it. I’m not endorsing war. I too am immensely relieved and am abundantly glad that there’s no more blood shed. But, I’m not going to be blind to reality of how “justly” the ‘Peace was won’! But, I guess with you and unfortunately a majority of others, the end always justifies the means. I wish though that for a second you could turn the tables around, and see if you could be just as “understanding” and “clinical” in your judgement and conclusions, if it were your family at the receiving end. Not so black and white then I’m sure?

      • TT

        Marisa,

        How on earth do you assume that none of my family members and/or friends died?

        For your information, you are wrong. I lost a number of friends and family members. And that’s not necessarily due to collateral damage but due to intentional terrorist attacks OUTSIDE the war zone on non-Tamil civilian targets!

        You know what, I don’t lose friends and family anymore to terror attacks thanks to the victory in 2009! And I’m happy, very very happy.

        On average 3,850 Sri Lankans died from 1983 to 2009. That means in the absence of war, ceasefire, stalemate, etc. every passing year 3,850 lives are saved thanks to the 2009 war victory. So far close to 7,600 lives on average have been saved. These savings go to perpetuity until Tamil separaists start again for which we are ready as ready can be.

  • Manjula

    There are no perfect countries in this world. There is blood on the hands of every state and every nation. We as a human race have to do better. It is not a question of being ashamed of one citizenship over another. If we have problems with the post-war situation we should endeavor to help to make it better either personally or politically through peaceful means. “Let he who has committed no sin cast the first stone against Sri Lanka”.

  • Ravi

    It is international norm to treat the political prisoners well. If you cannot afford to do that it is time to leave, I am afraid.

  • http://tinyurl.com/4yu84c7 Padda

    Citizenship is by which citizens of a particular country are recognized as entities of that country, and it gives a feeling of security. It is achieved by just being born in a country or by registration. Everybody has to be proud of their country because it provides them security and should do their ultimatum towards it. Alas!, Marisa de Silva thinks she’s not a proud Sri Lankan, because she’s deluded by the own muck she has created in her mind. For the exchange of the security, one must protect the Lankan identity, instead Marisa trying to show that it is a pile of crap. Her article is based on that part of the citizens of Sri Lanka is being treated differently, which she tries to prove with obsolete and wrong sources.

    Click on user name to read the rest.

  • roger

    TT
    Sword came in 1948.
    Separatism came in 1976.

    Main -lace is for the sword and Bo leaves take the tine corners.

    • TT

      Roger,

      No. Separatism came even before 1922. According to some Tamil separatists long before as they argue there was a Tamil traditional homeland even before 1833!!

      If the north-east became a “Tamil homeland” in 1976, then that itself proves there were no Tamil historical homelands in SL.

      In 1922 Ponnambalam Arunachalam (the most senior Tamil politician at that time who entered politics after a long civil administration job) declared Tamil Elam. In 1931 GG Ponnambalam demanded separate rights for Tamil speaking people and others.

      Even the LTTE leader started killing before 1976 and SJVC put tar on Sinhala letters in 1958 and Illankai Tamil Arasu Kachchi (Tamil-State party) was formed in 1949!

      :)

      • Off the Cuff

        TT,

        In 1931 GG Ponnambalam demanded separate rights for Tamil speaking people and others.

        There is more …..

        In 1948 the LANKA TAMILS voted to make the hundreds of thousands of Tamils of INDIAN Origin Stateless. The Indian Tamils and Some Sinhalese tried to defeat it.

        The TAMIL SPEAKING grouping is a construct of Tamil Opportunists like GG Ponnambalam just to show a HIGHER percentage for International consumption. Their actions show they did not care a tuppence for fellow Tamils like the Tamils of Indian Origin let alone the Muslims.

  • MV

    Perhaps something of relevance:

    A new volume, with three chapters dedicated to President Mahinda Rajapaksa, will be added to the Mahavamsa — a historical poem written in Pali language describing reigns of Sri Lankan rulers, Cultural Affairs ministry said today.
    http://news.in.msn.com/international/article.aspx?cp-documentid=5104111

    What does this suggest about SL?

    • TT

      In my view this is a big joke. This should not happen.

    • silva87

      I hope they will include a chapter on the “helping Hambantotoa” and several other “deals” which were made to Swell “Illegal holdings of Rajapakse clan” In addition there should be chapter on the murders committed by the “present day Dutegemunu” as well!!! A chapter on how his son’s got admission to the Navy and law college, and how MR was admitted to Law College is a must!!!!

      If the chapters are “truthfully written” it will be like “washing the dirty linen in public” But unfortunately in Sri Lanka,you can “buy” people, who will do anything for money!!!

      • MV

        Wishful thinking! Three chapters will most likely be about how his Majesty defeated Tamil separatists, safeguarding 2500 yr old Buddhism in the island.
        I only hope nobody takes Mahavamsa as the true history of Lanka.

      • Off the Cuff

        MV,

        You say “I only hope nobody takes Mahavamsa as the true history of Lanka.”

        Can you name any other COMPETING historical work of the same vintage written by a Sri Lankan Tamil scholar? Then we can make an objective comparison. Surely if the Tamils of the day thought the Mahawanse was not giving the true picture they would have started a chronicle on their own. So can you give us an online reference and where the printed book can be acquired?

      • BalangodaMan

        OTC, “Can you name any other COMPETING historical work of the same vintage”. That’s the same old fallacious argument. So, supposing Monty Python’s Holy Grail is the only surviving historical record the people of the future … ?

      • Off the Cuff

        BalangodaMan,

        My answer to you appeared at an incorrect possition and hence I am reposting it.

        Aparently you cannot show a SINGLE Tamil authored work that can compete with the Mahavansa. Shows that the Tamils of the day did not consider Mahavansa was not a TRUE record of events.

        Sarcasm is not an answer but an admission of failure.

        I hope that someone else would succeed and we could do a comparative analysis to get at the truth.

  • MV

    @ Off the Cuff

    You say:
    “Of course you cant enjoy the freedom that we in Lanka enjoy today because you have not lived the life that we have lived for the past 3 decades when the LTTE was active….”

    Perhaps you have been taught to believe what comes out of the state controlled media (coupled with your own prejudice) for many years but I don’t blame you – you are not the only one, since this kind of insecurity is heavily reflected in the mindset of the masses.

    Bush’s misguided ‘global war on terrorism’ and the ensuing 9/11 paranoia gave SL some edge both locally and internationally in portraying the conflict in SL as one that of terrorism, although the conflict started well before LTTE was even born. It helped to demonize the ‘other’ in the war for propaganda purposes but the fact is LTTE did not do much damage to SL as the politicians are doing by plundering state resources – for example, Rajapakse swindling tsunami money – neither did LTTE kill many Sinhalese as the various governments have. In fact, it was once a common sight to see dead bodies floating in rivers and burning in tires in the South. Rajapakse, who now boasts of ‘defeating terrorism’, himself was defending the human rights of these Sinhala youth few decades back. Many of these poor Sinhala youth later formed the vast of ethnicized Sri Lankan army, fighting the Tamil militancy that was the direct result of State repression that continues till today.

    On the last note, do you think safeguarding SL’s ‘soverignty’ (one that was brought about by European colonialism) or ‘territorial integrity’ would justify the massacre of tens of thousands? All that happened is Rajapakse selling this ‘war victory’ to the gullible masses to gain his own political mileage in the South. None of this reflect the aspirations of the Tamil people.

    @ Marisa – well written!

    • TT

      “None of this reflect the aspirations of the Tamil people.”

      The same old racist stuff. Tamil aspirations, Tamil homelands, Tamil grievences, Tamil right of self-determination, Tamil soverignty, Tamil Elam, Tamil etc., etc.

      There is no need to! What is needed is to refelct the aspirations of SRI LANKANS irrespective of race.

      Gullible masses of SL?

      I doubt it. It is Tamil separatists who are gullible to believe there ever was a Tamil homeland in SL. Every passing year 3,850 persons on average get to live thanks to the 2009 victory. That is a FACT, not a politically manipulated propoganda piece. And people FEEL it. It is worth celebrating!

    • TT

      In my view safeguarding SL’s soverignty and/or territorial integrity certainly justifies the massacre of not just tens of thousands but even millions of armed rebels/terrorists going by the Geneva Conventions and other agreed international laws. We MUST do it again and again, if need be and we certainly should be ready for it. We are not alone. Most countries in the world would do that. We need not be the exception.

    • Off the Cuff

      MV,

      “On the last note, do you think safeguarding SL’s ‘soverignty’ (one that was brought about by European colonialism) or ‘territorial integrity’ would justify the massacre of tens of thousands? “

      If that does not include the Aranthalawa Massacre of very young Buddhist apprentice priests, the Kattankudi Massacre of Muslims in Prayer in a church, the Dollar Farm Massacre of babys and pregnant mothers by slashing with Matchettes, The Central Bank bomb Victims, the Pettah Main Bus stand Bombing, The Dehiwala Passenger train bombings, The countless Parcel bombs in PUBLIC Transport during peak rush hours, The Bombing and machine gunning of School buses, The countless innocents who were blown to bits for no fault of theirs, The bombing of Civilian Aircraft, the pirate attacks on the high seas, The LAMP POST killings of Tamils in Jaffna, gunning down Tamil policemen, Gunning down of Lakshman Kadirgamer who would have become the Obama of Sri Lanka, the gunning down and elimination of eminent Tamil thinkers because they opposed terrorism Neelan Teruchelvam, Nadeeka and many others (please check with the Jaffna University Teachers for Human Rights) yes, then the Annihilation of Terrorists is Justified.

      I don’t like to harp back to history as the past is past and we should live in the present but when someone brings it up first I wont hesitate to challenge it. So do you deny that the whole of Sri Lanka including Jaffna was under the Kandyan King long before the Europeans arrived? Are you aware that the National Archives of the Netherlands carry a map indicating the border of Jaffna (when they were ruling it) and the Kandyan Kingdom. Read up on it.

      It had nothing to do with Bush, he was nowhere when Naathikandal happened. But US, UK, Norway and others…. the high powered clique tried their best to save that murderer Prabhakaran at the insistence of the diaspora but failed. So did the Diaspora who fed the Tiger Terrorists and ignored what the UTHRJ were saying about the Tigers recruiting children as young as 7 to be used as cannon fodder. Well those children were someone else’s not those of the Diaspora so it did not matter to Diaspora members anyway.

      You say “Perhaps you have been taught to believe what comes out of the state controlled media (coupled with your own prejudice) for many years but I don’t blame you”

      Apparently you have a problem with English comprehension …. I specifically stated that I experienced it ….I am not that gullible to be taught by either the Govt or the media. That type of brain washing was done by the Diaspora to the Diaspora. This was evident in the Fasts unto deaths where the people who fasted, feasted on the sly (unfortunately a paparatzi caught one of those Death Fast guys tucking into Fast Food …..

      You seem to have a very selective and short memory.

      You say “None of this reflect the aspirations of the Tamil people “.

      The problem is you have been Brain Washed to talk of Aspirations. Everyone has aspirations The Indian Tamils have aspirations that are divergent to yours. So do the Muslims, the Malays, the Kafirs, the Burghers, the Sinhalese and the Veddahs. All of these inhabitants of Lanka have divergent aspirations. So what God given right do you have to expect your aspirations to have precedence over those of others?

      Marissa of course writes gossip to please the gallery of people like you.

      • MV

        @ Off the Cuff

        A well predicted response.
        On this note, could you enlighten us on this:

        why did MR, who defended human rights and democracy few decades back, did exactly the opposite when he came to power? If it is not political opportunism, then what is it?

      • Off the Cuff

        MV,

        Re: your post of April 21, 2011 • 5:50 am

        You say.
        “A well predicted response.
        On this note, could you enlighten us on this:
        why did MR, who defended human rights and democracy few decades back, did exactly the opposite when he came to power? If it is not political opportunism, then what is it?

        Ha ha ha ….so you were able to predict my response but with all that time on your hands you could not formulate a fitting reply? Now you want to change the subject?

        Are you that Bankrupt with facts that you cannot meet my argument without a diversion?

        Your Diversionary attempt has failed …

        Your attempt at spreading LTTE propaganda has failed as you tried spitting while looking up. Unfortunately Newton’s Law of Gravity did not exempt the spit that you threw up.

        Answer my post with facts ….If You Can that is?

  • silva87

    Obviously some commentators seems to be “partners in crime” for the “murderous regime”

    Thank you Marisa for bringing out the truth!!!

    • Off the Cuff

      Silva87,

      Partners in Crime?

      Are you referring to those who connived with the LTTE to INDISCRIMINATELY blow up CIVILIANS irrespective of whether they were Unborn, New born, infants, Toddlers, Tamils, Sinhalese, Muslims, Malays and Foreigners?

      All that is acceptable as long as you enjoyed the comforts in the west and your own children were safe?

      If you were that concerned, why did you not send your children here to join the LTTE and fight for your Eelam or come here yourself? The LTTE were short of Man power and resorted to using child power and women power. One of the main reasons for their defeat.

      You are now prepared to take a back seat and spew hatred in order to scuttle any chance of reconciliation but was not prepared to fight to correct your perceived injustice as long as the Vanni CHILDREN did that for you Right?

      Was the Vanni Children EXPENDABLE and LESS HUMAN than Yours?

      I hope Marisa realises the damage she is doing for future peace writing articles such as these for temporary popularity amongst her friends and people like you. You can read my discussion with her here.

      http://groundviews.org/2011/04/06/proud-to-be-sri-lankan/comment-page-1/#comment-30070

      http://groundviews.org/2011/04/06/proud-to-be-sri-lankan/comment-page-1/#comment-30083

      http://groundviews.org/2011/04/06/proud-to-be-sri-lankan/comment-page-1/#comment-30091

  • Off the Cuff

    BalangodaMan,

    Aparently you cannot show a SINGLE Tamil authored work that can compete with the Mahavansa. Shows that the Tamils of the day did not consider Mahavansa was not a TRUE record of events.

    Sarcasm is not an answer but an admission of failure

  • wijayapala

    Dear MV,

    why did MR, who defended human rights and democracy few decades back, did exactly the opposite when he came to power?

    Why did the LTTE prevent the Tamils from voting in 2005 that led to MR coming to power? Why didn’t you protest this?

  • http://groundviews.org/2011/04/25/the-darusman-report-reflections-on-the-real-challenges-ahead-for-sri-lanka/ Asitha Gamage

    How can anybody by the name Marisa De Silva be expected to be proud of the Lion Flag? Bring on the Portuguese and Spanish flags mate.
    Breeding and conditioning in the urban cesspit called Colombo has a lot to do with her rantings.
    Marisa and her mongrel ancestors would love the return to the pre-1948 err?
    Wouldn’t they just?!

    • wijayapala

      Dear Asitha Gamage

      How can anybody by the name Marisa De Silva be expected to be proud of the Lion Flag?

      Excellent observation. In that case, anyone having the name “Percy,” “Basil,” “Peiris,” “Silva” (like the two SLA generals) also are traitors. I am so glad you have found a way to separate the real patriots like Vickramabahu Karunaratne and Sunanda Deshapriya from the above non-patriots.

  • MV

    @ Off the Cuff

    It does not take long to predict the type of response, given the prevailing mentality (as evident from many comments here)- that, a humanitarian mission was undertaken in Vanni to liberate tens of thousands from LTTE terrorists. And that Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim people are living happily ever after in one Sri Lanka with the eradication of terrorism. Of course, I am very familiar with all this discourse.

    Unfortunately, it is this very ignorance from the majority that contributed to the ethnic violence and resulted in a blood bath in Vanni.

    By the way, why not you answer my simple question? Why is it that His Majesty went against what he preached decades back about democracy and human rights as soon as he came to power? If it is not political opportunism, then what could it be?

    • wijayapala

      MV,

      it is this very ignorance from the majority that contributed to the ethnic violence and resulted in a blood bath in Vanni.

      Do you think it is possible that a certain level of ignorance from your own demographic had played a role in what happened?

      • MV

        @ Wijayapala, OTC

        This seems like going around in the circles.

        The supposed obstacle, LTTE, is no longer there so what is holding back the State from making reforms to protect minorities, remove their paramilitary political party lackeys off the NE, lay a framework for demilitarization, and state their stand on political solution?
        Instead you have further militarization and repression.
        Have the Sinhalese progressives, liberals, and opposition (if there are any) in an apparent ‘democracy’ convinced the regime to bring these changes?

        The so called ‘Tamil moderates’ were useful for the government’s anti-LTTE propaganda but as soon as the Sinhalese regime achieved their objective, they have been put in the trash. Those who backed the genocidal attacks in Vanni as ‘acceptable’ to bring peace could enlighten us now why such political power sharing is not forthcoming from the Sinhalese regime if such obstacle is removed.

        Thanks.

    • Off the Cuff

      Re your post of May 1, 2011 • 9:42 am

      “It does not take long to predict the type of response,… “

      Your pathetic attempt at countering what I wrote proves that I have checkmated your attempt at using GV to propagate LTTE hate propaganda. Even your pathetic attempt took you over a week …. so much for your ability to predict …… let alone counter what I wrote.

      “…given the prevailing mentality (as evident from many comments here)- that, a humanitarian mission was undertaken in Vanni to liberate tens of thousands from LTTE terrorists. “

      Again an attempt at LTTE propaganda.

      Were you blind when the World saw the Human River flowing towards the SL Military front lines when the LTTE Earth Bund holding the Vanni Tamils prisoner was breached in REAL TIME?

      Were you BLIND not to see the LTTE Machine Gunners trying their best to stop the Human River Surging forward towards the Military, trying to get away from the LTTE?

      It was not tens of thousands MV it was over 300,000 + ….. why are you writing BS?

      “And that Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim people are living happily ever after in one Sri Lanka with the eradication of terrorism.”

      Of course we are living Happily after the annihilation of that inhuman sadist murderer Prabahkaran and his band of sadist murderers. Our progress to happiness would be faster when Hate Mongers like you are effectively challenged and countered on public forums like GV.

      “Unfortunately, it is this very ignorance from the majority that contributed to the ethnic violence ….. “

      Ethnic violence was the result of attempts by the Tamil Intelligentsia (NOT the ORDINARY Tamils) who tried to Perpetuate their hold on the Govt Civil Service in order to Control and Subjugate the Majority population.

      “..and resulted in a blood bath in Vanni.”

      The BLOOD BATH was the result of people like you ignoring what the University Teacher’s for Human Rights (Jaffna) were saying (by the way UTHR(J) were Tamils) about the Suffering and Violence that the VANNI Tamils were undergoing under the JACK BOOT of the LTTE and yet kept funding the LTTE big time.

      Your interest was securing for yourself and your children a good time in the West and you were prepared to send Vanni SEVEN year olds to their deaths to achieve that end. What a shame.

      You Sacrificed the Vanni People.
      You deserted them in their hour of need.

      All for what …. a good time for yourself in the West?

      Crocodile Tears today, wont be able to wash your conscience clean of that blood.

      “By the way, why not you answer my simple question? Why is it that His Majesty went against what he preached decades back about democracy and human rights as soon as he came to power? If it is not political opportunism, then what could it be? “

      MV, I am not a Simpleton that cannot recognise a red herring. I am not writing with emotion but countering your arguments with facts. I (and many others like me) will not allow you or Marissa or anyone else to go unchallenged if you write deceptive posts and try to turn GV in to a LTTE propaganda web site dispensing HATE, like that of the Times on Line, London.

      At GV our responses are not suppressed like that at the Times on Line. So be careful of what you write you may not be happy with the resulting replies.

      I have answered your post so you should answer mine.
      You have proven your Bankruptcy by not doing so up to now.

    • Off the Cuff

      MV,

      My post of May 1, 2011 • 12:47 pm above

      is in response to your post of May 1, 2011 • 9:42 am

  • Satyagraha

    Namaste.

    I’m part Tamil and part Sinhalese and was born, raised and currently live in Sri Lanka.

    I am ashamed to the core to be Sri Lankan.

    Why? Because of the discrimination Tamils have faced by the majority of the Sinhalese for over 63 years now.

    I know innocent Tamils who’ve been killed by the government forces, not only during the war but even at present (infact, someone I know lost their father just a few weeks ago when he was beaten to death by the government forces).

    Before I came to know of the innocent Tamils being abducted, tortured, raped and killed by the government forces I always tried to convince myself that the Sinhalese who have discriminated against Tamils are only doing so because of mahinda’s racist brainwashing and the superiority complex instilled in them which makes them think they are inherently superior to all other races, nationalities, etc (with the primary target being Tamils).

    But when I came to know of the war crimes committed by the government against Tamils and experienced the reactions of the Sinhalese (not all of them of course, just the racists) who justified the hundreds of thousands of innocent Tamils killed and did not show even a hint of compassion (which is a basic human quality) despite the overwhelming evidence (including eye witness accounts, photographic and video evidence) and do not care of the innocent Tamils who are being abducted, tortured, raped, killed by the government forces even today, I came to realise that no amount of brainwashing could reduce a human to such a level and that these people are, quite simply, racists.

    Before the UN report came out, I always thought that there is a possibility that a government which provided freedom, democracy and equality to all Sri Lankans would come to power in the near future, and let me tell you, I was truly hoping for this, but after I saw the reactions towards the UN report by the people who support mahinda, I realised that Sri Lanka is beyond saving.

    It’s sad. I truly loved this country, but that love is no more.

    • Satyagraha

      Oh and it’s extremely sad how people who are fighting for justice for the innocent family and friends they’ve lost to the government forces are simply labelled as ‘terrorists’, ‘LTTE sympathisers’, etc by the racists in Sri Lanka.

      It’s nothing short of shocking how these people have absolutely no compassion whatsoever for a fellow being.

      The situation is so severe that I won’t be surprised if a Tamil who lost family and/or friends tells them their story and they simply call the person a liar.

      Tamil: I lost my son, best friend and mother.

      Sri Lankan racist: Liar! Terrorist! Terrorist sympathiser! Eelamist! You’re lying. You didn’t lose anyone. LIAR! LIAR!

      Yep.

    • Off the Cuff

      Satyagraha,

      “infact, someone I know lost their father just a few weeks ago when he was beaten to death by the government forces”

      Was it in the papers?

      “Because of the discrimination Tamils have faced by the majority of the Sinhalese for over 63 years now ……….I always tried to convince myself that the Sinhalese who have discriminated against Tamils are only doing so because of mahinda’s racist brainwashing”

      So how long was Mahinda involved in Brainwashing the Simpleton Sinhalese?

      The inhumanity of a Tamil Dominated Civil Service did not have anything to do with the ground swell of anger? Very convenient to forget your role when in power.

      “But when I came to know of the war crimes committed by the government against Tamils and experienced the reactions of the Sinhalese (not all of them of course, just the racists) who justified the hundreds of thousands of innocent Tamils killed and did not show even a hint of compassion ”

      So WHEN exactly did you come to know?

      “despite the overwhelming evidence (including eye witness accounts, photographic and video evidence).”

      Do you mean the Ch4 video and Times on Line productions? Search GV for discussions on those two subjects. You will have a very hard time countering the challenges made.

      ” and do not care of the innocent Tamils who are being abducted, tortured, raped, killed by the government forces even today, I came to realise that no amount of brainwashing could reduce a human to such a level and that these people are, quite simply, racists. ”

      So Sinhalese are born racists and Tamils are INNOCENT Lambs? Since you are a product of both, all your human qualities are due to Tamil ancestry and upbringing?

      “but after I saw the reactions towards the UN report by the people who support mahinda, I realised that Sri Lanka is beyond saving.”

      What reaction would you expect when the Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Executioner happen to be and STILL ARE perpetrators of War Crimes of the WORST kind?

      Or have you BLINDED yourself to that FACT?

      • Satyagraha

        Namaste.

        “Was it in the papers?”

        No, the majority of Sri Lankan media does not report the severe human right violations that Tamils have to endure on a daily basis in the conflict areas.

        “So how long was Mahinda involved in Brainwashing the Simpleton Sinhalese?”

        Ever since he came to power.

        “The inhumanity of a Tamil Dominated Civil Service did not have anything to do with the ground swell of anger? Very convenient to forget your role when in power.”

        I disagree that the Tamil dominated Civil Service was ‘inhumane’. The sole reason why Tamils dominated the Civil Service positions was because they possessed what was required for the job in terms of education. The government’s solution to this should have been to improve the education Sinhalese people received.

        “So WHEN exactly did you come to know?”

        November 22nd 2009.

        “Do you mean the Ch4 video and Times on Line productions? Search GV for discussions on those two subjects. You will have a very hard time countering the challenges made.”

        Those are among the evidence yes. I know for a fact that the videos are real, but you’re free to believe what you wish.

        “So Sinhalese are born racists and Tamils are INNOCENT Lambs? Since you are a product of both, all your human qualities are due to Tamil ancestry and upbringing?”

        No one is born a racist, bro. I believe that the Sinhalese who are racist are this way due to the society they are brought up in (if you visit a Sri Lankan village you’ll get a perfect idea of what I’m trying to say, for example, I myself have witnessed an older Sinhalese woman referring to a Tamil as a ‘para Demala’ in a village in Avissawella). The fact that Sri Lankan governments, instead of doing the sensible thing of trying to make the racist Sinhalese tolerant, have used it as an advanatage to come to power, which has only worsened the situation.

        My human qualities are a result of two tolerant parents who see things for what they are. Both my parents have played an equal part in the person I am today.

      • Off the Cuff

        Satyagraha,

        “No, the majority of Sri Lankan media does not report the severe human right violations that Tamils have to endure on a daily basis in the conflict areas. “

        Ah then you dont have a single reference even from the minority of media that DID report your alleged SEVERE incident.

        Reminds me of the story of the boy who had written the following words at the bottom of a blank sheet of paper. “A cow eating grass”. When questioned where the grass was he said the cow has eaten all of it. When questioned where the cow was, he answered ……… oh it went home.

        You say “do not care of the innocent Tamils who are being abducted, tortured, raped, killed by the government forces even today,”

        You should be having MANY such references by the looks of it ….STRANGE that you could not mention even ONE.

        You say

        “Tamils have been discriminated for the past 63 years.
        I always tried to convince myself that the Sinhalese who have discriminated against Tamils are only doing so because of mahinda’s racist brainwashing ……….Ever since he came to power. “

        Mahinda came to power on November 19, 2005.

        Are you an inventor of a Time Machine? Oh forgot that you have a superior education and intellect due to your 50% Tamil ancestry.

        You say “I disagree that the Tamil dominated Civil Service was ‘inhumane’. The sole reason why Tamils dominated the Civil Service positions was because they possessed what was required for the job in terms of education.”

        Of course you will disagree, what else can you do?
        How many INDIAN origin Tamils were in the Civil Service?
        How many MUSLIMS were in the Civil service?
        Oh yes they too were dumb like the Sinhalese.

        I note that you admit that the Tamils Dominated the Civil Service.
        Actually the JAFFNA VELLALA Tamils Dominated the Civil Service.
        They were the Ruler’s errand boys.
        The Indian Tamils of Lanka were the slaves.
        The Sinhalese were ruled over.
        Non Vellala Lanka Tamils were the scum

        Let alone the Sinhalese, the Vellala Rulers were INHUMANE even to other Tamils. To prevent Low Cast Tamils entering their compound to ask for water they had a water spout installed outside their compound. They even prevented Low Cast Hindus from ENTERING Hindu Temples to practice their Religion. They would not allow a Low Cast Tamil to even take a short cut over their land….. ….oh but I forgot, as you claim they were HUMANE to the Sinhalese. How magnanimous.

        The Vellala Tamils colluded with the invader and thats why they dominated the Civil Service. They used their position to trample on others creating an undercurrent of resentment that pervaded lankan society which included even the low cast Tamils.

        Talking of the CH4 video you say “I know for a fact that the videos are real, “

        Only a very few people “know for a fact” that the CH4 video is fact or fiction.

        If Real
        The Killers
        The Videographer
        Other participant in the shooting such as observers
        The victims …but they are all dead

        If Fiction

        The Actors
        The Videographers
        The Directors
        The other participants such as technical staff and observers

        Nobody else can KNOW for certain.

        Since you claim to know it as a Fact, under which category would you be classified?
        Killer, Videographer or Observer?

        “My human qualities are a result of two tolerant parents who see things for what they are. “
        You are the MOST fortunate child of a Sinhala parent, because he or she is a VERY RARE PERSON, so rare that 15 million other Sinhalese are not blessed with one.

        Notice that you avoided writing about the reaction to the UN report.
        Are you in favour of a lopsided justice where the Prosecutor, Judge, Jury and Executioner are all CRIMINALS guilty of the same crimes?

      • Satyagraha

        No one reported the case.

        Try visiting the war torn areas and speaking to some of the Tamils there or try getting to know some Jaffna Tamils who live in Colombo who have relatives in the war torn areas. You’ll be surprised how much goes unreported.

        Tamils have been discriminated since Sri Lanka gained independence from the British. 63 years is correct.

        There’s no caste system in Sanatana Dharma (http://agniveer.com/888/caste-vedas/). It is a product of society and nothing more. Any person who claimed to be an Arya (Hindu) who practiced the caste system should have been arrested and prosecuted by the Sri Lankan government.

        If anyone ‘used their position to trample on others’, the Sri Lankan government should have prosecuted them in a democratic manner, instead of going about killing innocent Tamils and causing riots where innocent Tamils were killed and lost all of their belongings which they’ve worked their entire lives for (yes, this includes Bharatiya Tamils as well).

        I can’t tell you how I know the execution videos are real, but once an independent investigation is conducted, everyone will come to know.

        This discussion has gone exactly where I expected it to, so I’m done here.

        Just remember, Karma applies to all.

        ‘Satyameva Jayate’ (Truth Alone Triumphs) – Mundaka Upanisad 3.1.6

      • Off the Cuff

        Satyagraha,

        You say “You’ll be surprised how much goes unreported”

        With a proliferation of fiction writers such as you, who fail to substantiate what is written I am surprised that any remains unreported. What makes you think I don’t have Tamil friends? Most of them curse the LTTE and the Diaspora for their troubles.

        You say “It is a product of society and nothing more. Any person who claimed to be an Arya (Hindu) who practiced the caste system should have been arrested and prosecuted by the Sri Lankan government. “

        Yes it is a product of society. I have shown that the Jaffna Vellala Tamils were INHUMAN even to fellow Tamils. It was the Vellala Tamils who dominated the Civil Service Pre and immediate post independence. What behaviour can you expect from such a group of people towards non Tamils?

        The Govt. had to finally step in and prosecute Suntheralingam in court, where he was found guilty of preventing low cast Tamils from worshipping at a Hindu Temple.

        The Vellala Tamils did not even allow Religious Freedom to the low cast Tamils who formed the majority Tamil population in the North.

        You say “I can’t tell you how I know the execution videos are real,….. “

        Of course because you were there acting the part or was it perpetrating the deed?

        You say “This discussion has gone exactly where I expected it to, so I’m done here. “

        Most probably it went were you did not expect to and turned your propaganda attempt against you.