Notes on Possibilities after the UN Report: Including Nationalism and ‘The Geopolitics of Emotion’


Photo courtesy Deborah Philip

It was my sense after May 18, 2009 when the LTTE was defeated that Sri Lanka was missing an opportunity to redefine itself as part of a kinder, gentler, global community. Instead it heightened nationalist discourse, extended emergency rule, surveillance and militarization, and devised new forms of censorship. Sri Lanka missed the opportunity to become one of South Asia’s more enlightened nations by not reaching out to one of its more battered and war-scarred communities after 18/09.  The UN report has returned us to that moment, and if intelligently and constructively used may help us explore roads not taken, toward a better, brighter and kinder future for all its citizens.

Political philosopher Judith Butler wrote after 9/11 and the attacks on the twin towers in New York City in a book titled: Precarious Life: “that we can be injured, that others can be injured, that we are subject to death at the whim of the other, are all reasons for both fear and grief. What is less certain however is whether the experience of vulnerability and loss need to lead straight away to military violence and retribution. There are other passages. If we are interested in arresting cycles of violence to produce less violent outcomes, it is no doubt important to ask, what politically, might be made of grief besides a cry for war?” (xii).

Now, two years after the end of war, it is clear that Sri Lanka as a multicultural country will not be able to “move on” and achieve lasting and substantive peace, until ALL its communities have put to rest the ghosts of violence. The release of the semi-official report of the experts panel set up by the United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to investigate events leading to the end of war in Sri Lanka has opened a space for discussion of what was repressed in the aftermath of the violence that ended almost three decades of war in the country in the rush to “move on” and leave behind the ugliest chapter of history in the country. But thus far there has been a lop-sided ‘moving on’; while the south is growing and flourishing, the post-war northeast has been heavily militarized and remains a space of death and mourning inhabited by ghosts of war in the absence of mourning.

An economic boom in the South it was hoped would help people forget and heal. For the minority communities however, the peace that dawned seemed to be a victor’s peace.  In Jaffna, the new military head quarters was built on a graveyard of LTTE carder that had been raised to the ground. The victorious state violating the dead, even if they were terrorists flies in the face of Buddhist and Hindu religious norms and practices of decency, tolerance, and respect for the dead. Preventing mourning disables closure and shows the lack of respect for the defeated that is counter-productive to reconciliation.

Clearly, the wounds of war in northeast Lanka have not yet been adequately cauterized so the healing process of the country as a whole has been delayed. This is one of the reasons for the straightforward language of the semi-official UN Report which has in the long run done the people of Lanka a great service in putting important information that had been repressed in the public domain, even as if it painfully opens wounds that were festering under the surface of things. In the short term the Report also gives ultra-nationalists on both sides another chance to demonstrate there strength that conceals deep moral anxiety.

Rather than addressing vulnerabilities after the war, taking limited responsibility for excesses in the context of the fact that all wars are ugly, and reaching out to heal the wounds of war, the victorious Sri Lanka state and its detractors have been locked into a blame game while subscribing to a dominant international myth prevalent after 9/11 that militarization constitutes a global public good and the best way to secure ourselves from vulnerability and life’s precariousness. Militarization on the ground has been the crude materialist response of the State to allegations of “war crimes” from powerful segments of the international community and the Sri Lanka diaspora.

‘Geopolitics of Emotion’

The end of war in Lanka amid allegations of “war crimes” by both parities to the conflict consolidated a local-global disjuncture that has configured the course of post-conflict peace and reconciliation in the country. Many Sri Lankans, indeed the majority of Sri Lankans who were mere by-standers in a thirty-year war not of their making or choosing, were and still are somewhere in between the grand standing on both sides of the divide between Sinhala and Tamil ultra-nationalists.

Those of us who are in this in-between position are rightly embarrassed and largely silent about the great violence that occurred over the past three decades in the island, the land of the peaceful one, the Buddha. Even “just war” arguments mobilized at the end of the war sit uneasily with the national imaginary of Lanka as an isle of peace, beauty, and tranquility. This embarrassment continues in a different register at the failure to address the root causes of war, at war’s end, and the official boasting that has accompanied the victory, most recently encapsulated in the plan to have three chapters of the Mahavamsa dedicated to the deeds of Rajapakse. Calling the semi-official UN Report “The Darusman Report” rather than constructively addressing the issues it raises misses another opportunity to build a genuine, sustainable peace.

The quality of peace is not strained. In the interest of “moving on” and leaving behind the ugliest chapter of the island’s post colonial history after 18/09 much was repressed, but t is increasingly clear that all communities must “move on” together in peace and security. Some have claimed rather disingenuously that the UN report would derail reconciliation, when in fact there has been little serious political and cultural reconciliation on the table or the horizon.

Peace has once again been differed in Lanka, and even though the war is over the culture of humiliation of the defeated, be they political or ideological, gendered or ethnic “others” has continued and indeed been exacerbated in the post-war context. The onus for any gesture of reconciliation would naturally lie with the government of Sri Lanka which won the war comprehensively, particularly since the LTTE is no more. Yet, since the war ended two years ago there has been very little sincere attempt at reconciliation. Indeed, at times it appears that there has been systematic and institutionalized humiliation of the minority community that bore the worst ravages of the three-decades long war in the island.  Thus, school children have been forced to sing the national anthem in Sinhala for the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka at the official Tsunami commemoration in Jaffna in December 2010 despite the fact that linguistic discrimination was one of the root causes of the war.

In a globalized world where the ‘geopolitics of emotion’ often contoured by post-colonial nationalism configure the actions of modern nation-states, magnanimity to the defeated ‘other’ and humility in victory are rare qualities that have been largely absent in Sri Lanka political landscape. The island’s common citizens have been far more refined.

Political Culture of Humiliation

The strategic use of humiliation in post/war contexts to compel obedience, establish and signify authority, and government has received considerable attention in the scholarly literature (Lindner: Margalit; Moisi).  Thirty years of war between the State and the LTTE in Sri Lanka generated a public political culture of humiliating the ideological, ethnic and gendered “other” which has been and is detrimental to conflict resolution and reconciliation, even as it limits the participation of women and minorities in the arena of formal electoral politics. An example of this politics of humiliation is the manner in which, ironically, at war’s end General Sarath Fonseka, the architect of the military victory strategy and defeated Presidential candidate who also faces allegations of grave human rights abuses was stripped of his honors, arrested by his junior officers, and thrown into prison after a Court Martial.

In contemporary Sri Lanka a dominant political culture of humiliation works on multiple registers and intersecting axes of identity and affect to limit the participation of socially and linguistically marginalized groups, including women in the sphere of formal politics. Electoral politics has been increasingly conceived of primarily as a ‘man’s world’ and an increasingly violent arena, perceived as unfit for even more intrepid women. Eveline Lindner has defined humiliation as “the enforced lowering of a person or group, a process of subjugation that damages or strips away their pride, honor or dignity”. It generates a deep psychological wound which may engender passivity and a sense of helplessness. At the same time humiliation and anticipation of humiliation is at the root of spirals of violence, militarization and conquest, while  collective humiliation in many Euro-American contexts have give rise to demands for multiculturalism and the “politics of recognition” (Kymllika;.Tailor).

The spectacle of public humiliation that serves to ‘discipline and punish’ populations also fuels the logic of retaliation. Much of the work on humiliation in the South Asian context derives from studies of caste marginalization and the denial of self-respect and stifling of agency of scheduled castes in the public spheres (Guru: 2009). Ashis Nandy has suggested that humiliation configures both, the self or person, (or state) that humiliates and the “other” who would be humiliated, the latter often being constructed as the gendered, ethnic, or ideological other. Humiliation is differently debilitating and costly to the self that humiliates / fears humiliation as to the “other” who would be humiliated as Nandy who has also theorized ‘the loss and recovery of self under colonialism’ noted in The Intimate Enemy. At the same time, narratives and discourses of humiliation have commodity value in the media and their evocative power may enable “humiliation entrepreneurs” and recruitment of post/colonial nationalist soldiers, fighters or terrorists. Some may get attached to humiliation, and narratives of victimhood may exempt one from responsibility for perpetrating violence.

During the years of war and cycles of peace in Sri Lanka, humiliation of the ‘other’ side was practiced by both warring factions. In the post-war period militarization, securitization, surveillance and occupation constitute the continuum between war and peace that perpetuates a ‘culture of humiliation’ that has deformed political-economic institutions and processes, as well as, public space with gendered implications. This is most clearly manifest in the scenario of the absence of women’s participation in the arena of formal politics in post-war Sri Lanka, the country that gave the world its first woman Prime Minister and should have many more women in Parliament. The Inter-Parliamentary Union which works on democracy has ranked the island at 122, below Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and close to Myanmar following its elections in April 2010 in statistics released for Women’s International Day in 2011. Lanka has only 12 female members, or 5.3 per cent, in its 225 seat National Assembly, despite having the best social indicators for South Asia with literacy for both men and women in the high nineties.

The marginalization of women in politics despite their prominence in other vocations and in the professions may be attributable to the culture of humiliation that configures formal politics in Sri Lanka which is refracted and reflected most obviously in the postwar militarization and surveillance in the north and east. Indeed, post-war militarization is a continuum between war and peace that both institutionalizes humiliation of peoples in the post-war northeast and disables reconciliation, thus leaving open the space for a return of conflict.

Ironically militarization is the ultimate materialist response and defense against humiliation that anticipates the humiliation of the Victor. This anticipation of humiliation reveals the psychological mindset, as well as, the political culture of humiliation that thirty years of armed conflict has generated in Sri Lanka’s political culture, also manifest in the desire of the political leaders of the two main political parties in the island to remain in power forever, rather than stepping down gracefully when their term limit has arrived, or their shelf-life expired.

Restorative Justice, Punitive Justice and the Decent Society

It is in hence that Margalit’s notion of the ‘decent society’ (rather than a just one) where “institutions do no humiliate people” seems relevant to closing a discussion on the space for post-war accommodation (rather than occupation). Since post-war or ‘transitional justice’ as it is termed by international organizations is in the best of time a fraught issue, as war is a messy business where ‘victims may become killers’ or vise versa (cf. Mamdani),

The notion of a ‘decent society’ may be more relevant to our discussion of the (dis)abling conditions for cycles of endemic conflict, in a context where peace with justice is differed. In post-war Lanka, the question of justice is doubly problematic in the context of the fact that the both the government and LTTE have been accused of “war crimes”. The GoSL termed its war against the LTTE a “humanitarian war” to “liberate” the people in the north east, but now mimics the LTTTE in militarizing and occupying the area, while denying its residents even a modicum of self-government and self-respect. Magalit’s critique of the dominant political philosophical emphasis on ‘Justice’, and suggestion that the more useful question is that of building a “decent society’ with institutions which do not humiliate people seems relevant to the discussion here because it addresses both the institutional and symbolic aspects of humiliation. Likewise, Lindner has noted “decency does not mean that everyone should like everybody, decency is a minimum that is necessary to keep a neighborhood functioning—co-existence without mayhem even when neighbors dislike each other”. Demilitarization and power-sharing at national and regional levels would be part of the post-war compromise for building a decent society that enables a more inclusive and less militarized political culture in a context where the question of justice and the problem of impunity remain suspended due to the manner of war’s ending in Sri Lanka at this time.

There has been much talk of devising a ‘home grown’ solution to the conflict in Lanka, but the process of arriving at this solution has been dominated by political forces that are largely part of the problem of playing the ethnic card to win votes in domestic politics. There has been little space for non-party political members of society in Sri Lanka to contribute to discussion of a lasting and disinterested solution to the problem. It is in the current context of continuing marginalization of constructive and moderate voices, censorship and anti-intellectualism after the war, that the documents below may provide some new, yet old ideas based on local knowledge and Sri Lanka’s multi-ethico-religious traditions that may point us in other directions towards building a decent society and a semblance of post-conflict reconciliation in Sri Lanka.

Finally, as Butler noted “One insight that injury offers is that there are others out there on whom my life depends, people I do not know and may never know. This fundamental dependency on anonymous others is not a condition that I can will away. No security measure will foreclose this dependency; no violent act of sovereignty will rid the world of this fact… To be injured means that one has the chance to reflect upon injury.. to find out who else suffers from permeable borders. If national sovereignty is challenged, that does not mean that it must be shored up at all costs, if that results in suspending civil liberties”.

There are other passages, alternative routes.

A  Multicultural National Vision for Sustainable Peace in Sri Lanka based on consultations in the regions of the country

The document was drafted by a group of social scientists, academics, professionals, and concerned citizens during July 2003-December 2003.  While the Drafting Committee for the National Vision was initially convened on the invitation of the Office of the Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Reconciliation, Office of the Prime Minister, in March 2003, the current National Vision is a civil society undertaking that emerged after a year of voluntary discussions, consultations and meetings in various regions described above.

It is based on consultations held in Mannar, Jaffna, Kandy Colombo, Matara,  Kataragama, Batticaloa and Kalmunai. The meeting in Matara included members of  indigenous communities including the Veddha and Vanniatoo communities. A meeting with representatives of the hill country communities was held to review the Vision and incorporate the concerns of those communities in Colombo in December 2003. In each region the meetings were organized by local NGOs and/or community organizations in collaboration with members of the National Vision Drafting Committee. Meetings sough to include all local regional organizations and stakeholders.

At each meeting the document was read page by page and comments, corrections and inclusions from regional representatives discussed and incorporated. All consultations were documented. The vision is available in the Sinhala, Tamil and English languages. This Multicultural National Vision for Peace based on consultations in the various regions of the country in 2003 draws on long standing patterns of multiculturalism and co-existence in the island. It was drafted on the premise that a sustainable resolution of the to two decades of violent conflict in Sri Lanka requires a balanced and wholistic understanding of the island’s multiple post/colonial armed conflicts, as well as, recognition of the suffering experienced by various communities during the years of violence. A balanced understanding we hope would contribute towards reconciliation.

‘Peace making’ and ‘conflict resolution’ have become buzzwords recently, but the substance of sustainable peace in Sri Lanka, aside from the principle of power sharing between the main conflicting parties remains rather obscure. Increasingly intricate legal frameworks for federalism and power sharing are discussed, but little attention has been given to developing a culture of trust and valuing of diversity that is essential for successful power sharing.

This Multicultural Vision for post/conflict Sri Lanka draws on local knowledge and the ethico-religious traditions of pluralism and respect for diversity that have been long established. The island’s multicultural traditions have been increasingly forgotten and marginalized in the past two decades of violence.

During the regional consultations it was evident that each region is different and has unique concerns, issues and problems in addition to common issues that all face. Many groups felt that their experience of suffering and discrimination was unique and exceptional. In the context the vision tries to place the experience of diverse groups and communities in a balanced perspective and attempts to develop a multicultural vision for peace that is inclusive of the aspirations of the island’s diverse and hybrid ethnic, religious, regional, linguistic, and cultural, and socio-economic groups. In the aftermath of violence the Vision analyses the complexities and interconnections between multiple conflicts in post/colonial Sri Lanka, and envisages peace with social and economic justice for all. We also recognized that ethno-national and identity based conflicts are related to intra-group resource conflicts, poverty and inequality.

The Vision recognizes and affirms the need for devolution of powers and regional autonomy particularly in the north and east of the country. It stresses that devolution of powers must be accompanied by recognition of multiculturalism and protection of local minorities in all regions if peace is to be sustainable. The Vision envisages the institutionalization of multiculturalism and the protection of cultural diversity and minorities by setting up a Ministry for Multiculturalism that would also assist mainstreaming of multicultural approaches into the educational curriculum and government policy. This is necessary in the aftermath of a war that has consolidated ethno-national majoritarianism in all parts and political processes in the country, and given the fact that a younger generation has grown up with the perception of members of “other” communities as potential enemies. We hope that this document would address this lacuna in the current post/conflict approach.

Creating a sustainable peace in Sri Lanka entails transcending the “ethno-nationalist” and ethno religious majoritarianism that have been entrenched in all regions of the country during the war years in the political process. We believe that recognition of the fact that every citizen is a minority outside the region, city or neighbour hood in which s/he may be part of a majority group, and hence the need to respect and protect minorities in all parts of the island establishes a principle of parity between groups and communities.

The National Vision for Peace in Sri Lanka is not a legal or a constitutional document. Rather, it attempts to articulate the cultural philosophy of a truly social peace in the island that draws from our richly diverse ethico-religious traditions and recent history of collective suffering. It is hoped that the substance and spirit of this multicultural national vision will inform the post/conflict constitution drafting process and enable a new political culture for genuine reconciliation in the country

Signed Co-conveners of the Vision Drafting Committee: Dr. Darini Rajasingham-Senanayake, Dr. Fara Haniffa, Dr. Devenesan Nesiah. August 2004

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A MULTICULTRUAL NATIONAL VISION FOR PEACE IN SRI LANKA:

A Citizens’ initiative based on consultations in the various regions of the country[1]1

Preamble

Sri Lanka was long famous for its rich social diversity and the harmonious co-existence of various communities. Since independence, however, there has been a failure to define and realize an inclusive national vision from the perspective of this distinctive heritage.  Instead, divisive politics and policies have fostered deep social, cultural, political and economic schisms and engendered violent armed conflict. The two decades long armed struggle in the north (with primary focus on ethno-linguistic difference) and the uprising in the south (with primary focus on class disparity), reflect an inadequate post-colonial national vision and strategy, and an inequitable regional distribution of power and wealth.

Anticipating peace after decades of armed conflict, we propose a renewed and inclusive multicultural vision for the country based on the principles of security and dignity for all groups and persons, and respect for cultural and religious diversity. Our attempt here is to address the causes of the conflict while recognizing the deep scars that the violence of the last decades has rendered upon the island’s historically multicultural society.

Since independence cultural and political discrimination in governance, the lack of equitable development policies, and failure to preserve and respect local and cultural knowledge has become endemic.  Competitive ethnic politics become institutionalized in post-colonial Sri Lanka. Democracy came to represent the “tyranny of the majority”, while a political culture premised on the notion that “might is right” became entrenched in the various regions of the island. In the north and south politicians and others who claim to represent majority interests have frequently undermined the rights of local minorities. Sri Lanka no longer upholds the true sign of civilization and social democracy that consists of protecting the vulnerable; those with the least access to power; the poor, and the homeless.

The need of the hour is for power sharing to promote trust building and co-existence between the island’s diverse communities in order to forge a common future and preserve human life. Too many people have died and been displaced in this small island in the past decades. While the conflict in the north and east has a major ethnic component, it is not reducible to ethnicity. Poverty, inequality, and intra-group divisions within the major ethnic communities played a part in fuelling the armed conflicts. A just and sustainable peace will require understanding the complexity of Sri Lanka’s two post-colonial conflicts, as well as transcending competitive ethnic politics.

Our vision encompasses a post-conflict reconstruction and development program that recognizes the need for equity, democracy, respect for human rights and broad-based human development in a globalized economy that has enabled growth but also generated deep regional, economic, and social inequalities. We note that profound inequalities and poverty render societies vulnerable to cycles of violence. As such development trajectories and policies that exacerbate inequality and poverty are to be avoided.

The proposed vision for Sri Lanka is then based on and builds from an acknowledgement and appreciation of the island’s historic, largely pacific and multi-cultural past with due recognition of its more violent and divided present.

2. Recognition of Multiculturalism and Respect for All Identities

Sri Lanka is a plural and multicultural land. Multiculturalism refers to the island’s cultural diversity inclusive of three overlapping linguistic categories (speaking Sinhala, Tamil and English, and regional dialects including Veddha languages); four great world religions (Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and Christianity, and their sects, as well as indigenous deities and spirit beliefs); more than six ethnic groups recognized in the National Census, and a number of overlapping and cross cutting castes and sub-castes. Various ethno-national groups based on linguistic, ethnic, regional and religious elements, such as the Burghers (Dutch and Portugese), Sinhalese (Kandyan and Low Country), Tamils (Sri Lankan and Malaiyaha), Muslims (Moor and Malay), Parsis, Colombo Chetties, Vannialatto (Veddah) and several others have emerged as significant identities; several of these categories are composed of distinct sub-categories. Additionally, the island’s population may be sub-divided according to gender, class, and regional cultures depending on the rational for classification.[2]

Sri Lanka’s cultural diversity and complex mix of identities is not unique. Most modern nations are plural, diverse and complex.  However, in the post/colonial period diversity has been perceived as a threat rather than a gift. The result has been marginalization and discrimination against smaller and less powerful groups on linguistic, ethnic, religious, caste and/or class basis, giving rise to various forms of violent political conflicts. In turn, many of these conflicts have resulted in riots, attacks, forced displacement and/or colonization of regions occupied by one community by another and the building of enclaves and territories dominated by one ethnic group or another.

Acknowledgement of Sri Lanka’s ancient multiculturalism and mixed cultural geography entails recognition that a majority group in a region is bound to respect and protect those who are in the minority in that particular region. Every group or individual is in a minority outside his/her own territory, region, or neighborhood and in a increasingly integrated and globalized region and world individuals and groups must be free to move with security and dignity.

A balance of power between regional/local majorities with regard to respect and protection for the persons and property of regional/local minorities is a sine qua non for sustainable peace. It is also necessary to reverse the pattern of ethnic ghettoization and ethnic cleansing of regional and local minorities that occurred during the twenty years of armed conflict and the riots prior to it in the north and south of the country.

Several multi-religious sites attest to a history of peaceful coexistence among the various religious communities in the island. These sites of multi-religious significance are especially to be celebrated in the aftermath of a polarizing conflict. We propose that sites such as Siripada, Kataragama, and Madhu shrine, with their diverse traditions be recognized and celebrated as multi-religious zones of peace and amity.

3. Acknowledging the Root Causes and Legacy of Violence and Division

  • Any vision for sustainable peace in Sri Lanka must first acknowledge fully the complexity of the conflicts and their historical roots. It must also acknowledge the human and material consequences of the two decades of armed conflict, and hence the multi-faceted multi-layered causes of the war.
  • While all communities suffered during the two decades of violence, the people of the North and East of the country bore the brunt of the violence, displacement, and destruction. Forced displacement and the bitterness it generated in turn fuelled the civil war. During the two decades of civil war the pre-dominantly Tamil speaking North and East emerged as a region with special concerns that need to be urgently addressed.
  • The consequent political reality is that, without prejudice to the integrity of Sri Lanka, the region in the North and East has acquired a special claim to a large measure of devolution. Only then will it be possible to adequately address other equally important concerns in order to build an inclusive, sustainable and peaceful future.
  • During this long conflict, a political culture premised on the manipulation of ethnic, caste, and class ties, including the practice of colonization for political ends, spread across all parts of the country, and entrenched a culture of violence. This in turn saw the emergence of para-military outfits and the settling of scores with opponents through force rather than dialogue. Targeted violence against civilian populations reduced many communities to a state of despair and destroyed the social fabric. In many regions there are marginalised communities currently living in a state of insecurity. In this process there have been victims and perpetrators among all the major communities.
  • The 1987 July uprising of the JVP and the manner of its suppression brought about one of the most violent periods in our recent history with thousands of deaths and disappearances still unaccounted for. While the underlying causes of the two arenas of violence – the North and East, and the South – and their consequences are different, it should nevertheless be remembered that there were many similarities that speak to a common malaise. The poverty and inequality that motivated the uprisings against the state and the role of the military and other armed groups in their suppression; the break down of due process and the rule of law, and the disappearances are factors in common. The still simmering consequences of the Southern violence – where sixty thousand persons are said to have lost their lives in the space of three years connect into one – are still to be adequately dealt with.
  • While some women were engaged in the conflict, larger numbers of women were also targeted for degrading and violent abuse. Women headed households have become a social reality due to conflict related death and displacement. Consequently women have had to face loss of income, psychological trauma, the insensitivity of the state apparatus, and sexual harassment. In addition women have had to take on the dual burden of motherhood and being the primary earner. During the conflict many women also actively agitated for peace, both in the North and East, and in the South.
  • Along with women, children from all communities can be considered to be those most affected by the violence and brutalization of the conflict. Both as combatants and as bystanders, children have been victimized and deprived of their rights as instituted in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. Over 270,000 children are internally displaced by war in Sri Lanka. Many have lost at least one parent in the fighting; a high proportion are orphans. Up to 50 per cent of displaced children have lost their birth certificates, causing problems with their schooling. One in five displaced children is malnourished.[3] Measures have to be taken to deal with children affected by armed conflict. Further measures should also be instituted to ensure that children’s rights are safeguarded in keeping with the CRC.
  • In the current political culture, there is rampant institutionalized corruption and a lack of accountability. Politicians of all hues use violence with impunity, instrumentalise the general public in their pursuit of power, and have contributed to the proliferation of small arms, to a decline in respect for the rule of law, and to a deterioration of faith in public institutions.
  • During and prior to the war years, in many localities, entire populations from one or more ethnic groups fled or were evicted from their ancestral lands and habitats, and are as yet unable to return and resettle there. Many fled due to riots, fear, and insecurity. Very large numbers of people were forcibly displaced as a result of riots and ethnic cleansing. In this context, commitment to preserve the county’s mixed social geography is needed to ensure the return of forcibly displaced persons with security and dignity.

4.  Identifying a Sound Basis for Constitutional and Institutional Design

  • A just and lasting solution to the conflict lies in recognizing the strength of ethno-national consciousness developed in the past twenty years of conflict, the need for power sharing under a federal system, and equally the need to balance the claims of diverse groups.
  • A lasting solution to the violence among ethno-religious and ethno-linguistic communities requires recognition that individual and group identities are historically complex and shifting and often politically constituted. Regional majority groups are by that very fact internally diverse, and each of the regions includes citizens of linguistic, religious, ethnic groups who constitute regional, local and non-territorial minorities.
  • Certain regions have no clear majority community, and majority/minority status often depends on the manner in which regional units are conceived.[4] For peace to be sustainable we must seek to transcend the tyranny of majoritarianism – nationally, regionally and locally. A Ministry to recognize, promote, institutionalis and mainstream Multiculturalism and multicultural thinking  towards accommodation of diversity and reconciliation at national and local levels is essential.
  • Power sharing should reflect the county’s multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-lingual society and mixed cultural geography, and the center needs to better reflect this rich diversity. Therefore we need to evolve a political tradition of inter-ethnic consultation.  It may help to revert to a bicameral legislature, with the second chamber re-designed as a “chamber of communities”; in the context of devolution, we would need bicameral legislature at the regional level too, with regional chambers of communities.
  • A political culture and social acceptance of diversity and inclusiveness is needed at all levels – from the center to the periphery. Whereas there should be no politically motivated colonization, whether by the centre or by the region, no territory should be regarded as ethnically exclusive.  The concept of traditional habitations is legitimate (e.g. for cultural purposes), but there should be no concept of a mono-ethnic homeland.  Every citizen of Sri Lanka should be free to live and work in any part of the island.
  • The centre currently has virtually unfettered powers to override the periphery, and to even dissolve the elected regional or local assemblies and substitute its own officers to attend to the regional or local administration.  We need constitutional barriers to such abuse of central power together with the strengthening of administrative and financial autonomy of local bodies (e.g. through changes in the taxation system all over the country).
  • Capacities for local level planning should be promoted, combined with democratic and multicultural principles that ensures sufficient and constructive space for people’s participation.[5]
  • Since those most vulnerable to forced displacement are minorities (national and regional), the preservation of the island’s multicultural social fabric and its culturally diverse communities is both the prerequisite for and guarantor of secure and sustainable peace in the island. Recognizing, respecting and balancing the rights of majorities with those of minorities in all regions, and recognizing the need to formulate mechanisms to address community aspirations in regions without a clear majority is essential for the return of displaced regional, local and non-territorial minorities and to enable a durable peace.
  • Women may be seen as constituting a minority within every cultural group. This is particularly the case where strong patriarchal traditions, norms, and cultural practices prevail. As such, special measures are required to enable inter- and intra-cultural gender equality and equity.[6]
  • The post-conflict constitution and institutional design must contend with and overcome the legacy of a bureaucratic system and political culture that resisted meaningful devolution of power to regions and self-determination for communities throughout the country.  Such devolution need not be uniform – there is a good case for asymmetric devolution in the North and East, together with special institutional arrangements to meet the concerns of local minorities within multi-ethnic regions.
  • The Provincial Council model that was attempted to overcome these ills was a failure. It denied autonomy and self-determination for local communities and also contributed to the politicized construction of ethnic majority enclaves at regional and local levels through the capture of local governance institutions. Any federal model should be guided by the principles of internal self-determination and maximum devolution.  There is no right to unilateral secession, but each region, sub-region and local government area should enjoy maximum autonomy.

5. Identifying a Sound Basis for Post-conflict Reconstruction and Economic and Social Justice

  • The UN World Conference against Racism 2000 affirmed that intolerance and discrimination breed in economic and social conditions that are inequitable, and that genuine equality of opportunity for development for all individuals and groups is fundamental for sustainable peace. We recognize that, in Sri Lanka inequitable socio economic conditions and short sighted political decisions had much to do with the ethnic polarization that lead to the war and continue to perpetuate feelings of ethnic animosity between all communities in the North and in the South. We reaffirm, therefore, the need for an equitable social system to generate sustainable peace.
  • Post-conflict development must also go beyond ethnic discourses and recognize the role of intra-ethnic factors, such as poverty, unemployment, landlessness, and caste discrimination in fuelling the war. The civil war in the North and East is primarily rooted in ethnicity, but there are also other social and economic conflicts everywhere in the island, mostly localized but occasionally, as in the case of the JVP uprising, acquiring a national dimension. Sometimes, such socioeconomic conflicts acquire an ethnic dimension, as has been the case in the sporadic Sinhala – Muslim or Sinhala – Malaiyaha Tamil clashes that have occurred in the south in recent years. A recognition of the diverse aspects of poverty, social exclusion, psychosocial distress and other forms of marginalization (based on socio-economic, political, cultural or ecological determinants) is necessary.
  • While globalization in today’s context appears to be inevitable, it is likely to bring many social problems in its wake. Therefore corrective mechanisms need to be instituted to address such problems.  The emphasis on growth must be balanced by mechanisms to ensure fair distribution. Economic policies should focus more on the rural poor and on the plantation workers, and a consistent agricultural policy should be pursued. A social welfare system that includes free health and education must be instituted to counter the rampant economic inequality that is prevalent. Given the stark differences in lifestyles that are evident within the populace today it is essential that remedial measures are speedily instituted to avoid future conflict based on economic inequities.
  • Poverty eradication programs should be based on a holistic perception of poverty to avoid the exclusion of certain categories, such as plantation workers.  Although their per capita income is very low, since two or more members of the household may be employed, their household income may be above the cut-off point for relief.  Moreover, they are totally dependent on wages from a single source.  The failure to take a holistic view of poverty has led to its persistence in the plantation sector.
  • Steps should be taken to redress concerns specific to women. It is necessary to ensure equal participation of women in planning implementation and monitoring infrastructure development programs that facilitate access to safe drinking water, sanitation, roads, transport services, energy and thereby employment, markets, services and inclusive development. There should be bilateral agreements between the Sri Lankan government and countries that employ Sri Lankan migrant workers to safeguard their rights and welfare in their workplaces. The private sector must be sensitized to the need for gender equality in socio-economic development.
  • The elimination of gender role stereotypes in secondary and tertiary curriculum materials, and introducing materials that promote gender equality and the empowerment of women is necessary. Law reform that addresses discriminatory practices – particularly in the area of personal law – must be considered. Measures should also be in place to enhance the capacity of women candidates to secure election and to participate effectively under the proposed quota provision.  Legislation to deal with domestic violence must also be introduced.
  • Food security and preservation of bio-diversity should be priorities and development policy should be formulated and implemented based on conflict impact assessments and community participation. Access to information on development policies is a prerequisite for economic and social justice and equitable development.
  • One consequence of the conflict has been the devastation of the environment. Since 24% of the population live below the poverty line (as defined in the Household Income and Expenditure Survey –2002), environmental concerns have long been considered a luxury issue for the country. But such a view is shortsighted. For equitable and sustainable post/conflict development, natural resources must be creatively and equitably used, and the environment protected and held in trust for future generations. Policies have to be formulated to combat air pollution, deforestation, land degradation and unregulated exploitation of natural resources.  Eco tourism needs to be regulated in the light of analysis of its benefits and ill effects.
  • Bio-diversity conservation should be conducted not through a species protection based approach but through a holistic “eco-system” approach that recognizes the interconnection between species. Resources should be protected from the adverse effects of globalization; for instance, bio-piracy should be prevented through appropriate eco-friendly patenting laws.
  • There should be transparency in government and donor agreements and dealings on environmental issues. Local communities and knowledge should be utilized in eco- projects and conservation. Policy making on ecological considerations should be in keeping with a countrywide policy. People’s right to have access to natural resources like water should be recognized.
  • As indicated in the Youth Commission Report   youth have long felt that their needs and aspiration were not adequately considered in the making of policy. Given that Sri Lanka within the last twenty years experienced two youth uprisings in two regions of the island it is timely that the ongoing peace process makes certain that youth get adequate space to present their interests and perspectives. As a first measure policy makers and all stakeholders should make sure that universities and other tertiary institutions are part of the consultation around the peace process.
  • A major problem in the transition from war to peace is to find or create productive uses for the services of ex-combatants of all categories.  This needs to be done to ensure the welfare of the ex-combatants, to mobilize their skills for national development, and also to reduce the likelihood that they may revert to war or divert to violent criminal activities.  It is in everyone’s interest that ex-combatants on both sides are successfully integrated into civil society as quickly as possible.

6. Dealing with the Past

  • No community has a monopoly on suffering, and all communities have experienced violence.  However, there is a tendency for each community to dwell exclusively on its own sufferings.  This tunnel vision is of course a consequence of the trauma that has been suffered but which must be transcended for true healing and reconciliation.  It is therefore important to look beyond one’s own group and recognize the suffering of all communities.
  • There can be no enduring and comprehensive reconstruction, physical or social, economic or political, local or national, without reconciliation; and there can be no true reconciliation without all sections of the population collectively examining, diagnosing and working out remedies to eliminate the cancers that have eaten into our society.  The nature of these wounds is such that healing will not occur with the mere passage of time; rather, they will continue to fester if unattended.
  • The exercise in healing could be led by a post-conflict Truth and Reconciliation Commission established with an appropriate mandate.  Such a process would be time bound, but its prescription could include the institution of commemorative processes and memorials countrywide to help us to address the causes and consequences, and to prevent the recurrence of those ills.  These could cover an annual programme of Remembrance and Reconciliation of the pogrom of the last week of July 1983, as well as common memorials of collective mourning and reconciliation at the sites of the massacres, ethnic cleansing and other ethnic violence / attacks on major non-military institutions.[7]
  • There are also several battle sites, which mark the death of large numbers of combatants, from the Sri Lankan armed services and the LTTE.  There has also been much ethnic cleansing.  Irrespective of the ethnic affiliations of the perpetrators and the victims, each of these outrages diminishes us collectively. The manner in which these deaths and disasters should be commemorated can be decided after peace is established and the proposed Truth and Reconciliation Commission sets out its proposals.
  • The many tragedies of the conflict need to be addressed collectively on an all island basis with a view to healing and reconciliation. However, this should be done without prejudice to any steps that may be taken to secure justice.  There should be no blanket amnesty.  Rather, a balance needs to be struck between what Bishop Tutu, in his foreword to the report of the South African Truth Commission, referred to as ‘retributive and punitive justice’ and ‘restorative justice which is concerned not so much with punishment as with correcting imbalances, restoring broken relationships, healing, harmony and reconciliation’.
  • The decades of violence have not only left lasting social and psychological scars but also caused material destruction. While healing and memorializing must be emphasized, institutional mechanisms must also be provided for the victims of violence to be heard and for recompense and restitution.

7. Aspirations of the National Vision: Human Security, the Right to Development and Protection of all Sri Lankan Citizens and Residents

The proposed National Vision for Sri Lanka would be based on the following to enable all groups and citizens to achieve their full human potential.

(i)        Local, regional, indigenous and non-territorial minorities will have the right to internal self-determination within a commonly accepted and consensually determined federal institutional and constitutional structure based on a united Sri Lanka.  The appropriate degree of self-determination may vary according to the special needs, circumstances and aspirations of the various communities in their respective locations.

(ii)       All citizens will have the right to live without fear where they choose. The historically multicultural social fabric will be enshrined and protected via national legislation and the promotion of multilingualism.

(iv)            The customary rights of regional minorities, including those local minorities who have been displaced and/or discriminated against on the basis of caste, and aboriginal and landless peoples, will be protected and their security guaranteed.

(v)  Individual rights, dignity and freedoms will be protected. All citizens will have constitutionally guaranteed equal opportunities for education and self-realization and a level playing field irrespective of gender, sexuality, caste, class, ethnicity, language, religion or region.

(vi)     Local knowledge, innovations and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles will be respected, preserved and maintained, in accordance with international norms and conventions. Sanctuaries shall be set aside for the preservation of lifestyles and practices of indigenous peoples and traditional communities.

(vii)    The right to development of all citizens and communities will be recognized, enabling them to achieve a decent life, with social and economic justice.

(viii)  Through provision of adequate educational facilities in the national languages,  and the effective implementation of the Official Languages Act, the right of every Sinhala, Tamil & English speaking person to be educated and to transact official business in that language will be protected. Multilingualism will be encouraged. Given the power that facility in English language has in determining people’s access to information and employment it is necessary that measures are taken countrywide to ensure that all students have adequate access to English language instruction.

8.  Developing Policies and Practices to Engender the National Vision

It is necessary to develop further this vision of Sri Lanka as a plural multicultural, multiethnic and mixed society that recognizes diversity as a source of strength and richness, and the right of all groups to equitable development. The specific policy and practice changes required to engender this vision must be debated and framed through a process of inclusive dialogue and consensus building. Thereafter, these policy recommendations must be implemented through concrete actions, programmes and legislation in order to bring alive this vision across the country.

In the first instance, a combination of specialized seminars and open discussion fora that involve policy makers, journalists, professionals, academics, educators and community leaders and the concerned public at all levels, would be required to permit full open and inclusive debate of the key elements of the vision and the policies, legislation and programmes required to realize the vision.

Some of the specific policy and practice changes to enable the vision for peace and equitable development described above include:

  • A code of conduct for politicians, including a bill to render the incitement and instigation of ethnic, linguistic, and religious intolerance and hatred by politicians, religious leaders, opinion makers, and the media unlawful should be crafted.[8] An independent media culture needs to be fostered.
  • Constitutional provision to enable the return of displaced persons and local minorities and to guarantee protection of their persons and property. These regional minorities have been displaced forcibly or through fear of those claiming to act in the interest of national /regional majorities. Communities should be encouraged to work together in reconstruction and rehabilitation activities as a means of rebuilding local level ethnic and community relationships.
  • Peace and conflict impact assessments of macro-economic policy, sector development policies and all development projects to ensure equitable and sustainable development and post/conflict reconstruction. Full acknowledgement of existing expertise and use of the capacity that exists within the country (and in the diaspora) in planning development policy is necessary.
  • Setting up a Ministry for Multiculturalism which would also assist in mainstreaming multicutlturalism and respect for diversity into educational material and textbooks including history textbooks. Texts should be carefully screened to delete any ethnocentric propaganda or flavor. The government should recognize and work closely with national experts in multicultural policy formulation.
  • The Equal Opportunities Bill should be revised, updated and steered through Parliament.
  • Affirmative action programs should be undertaken as an interim measure within a time frame in order to right historical wrongs and enable marginalised and under- represented groups and those living in under-developed areas to secure adequate representation pending other steps to level the playing field for all groups to compete equally.
  • Good governance and accountable and transparent public institutions, leaders and politicians are necessary to ensure that the right to development and economic and social justice for all groups and citizens becomes a reality. As a first measure a code of conduct for politicians should be developed.
  • A feature of the system of majoritarian democracy practiced in Sri Lanka is that decision-making is based on debate and vote along party affiliation, and not on consultations and consensus.  This system has permitted the development of political fiefdoms. We need to move away from the “winner takes all” Westminster parliamentary model into a system in which political minorities are involved in government at all levels – national, regional and local.
  • The census needs to be recalibrated and pluralized in order to accommodate those with mixed ethnicities and multiple identities.
  • Material destruction from the recent decades of conflict includes the destruction of sites of historical and archeological significance that are a treasure not just of Sri Lanka but the world. Steps should be taken to ensure their renovation and preservation and respect for such sites should be fostered in future generations.
  • Sites of religious, historic, cultural or environmental importance that are of value to all citizens should be designated by law as Zones of Peace. Such Zones of Peace should not merely be  “Demilitarized Zones”, but sanctuaries protected and preserved by local communities free from weapons, acts of violence, injustice and environmental degradation. A Zone of Peace may be regarded as nurseries from which peaceful thoughts and acts may grow and spread into the surrounding social environment. As training grounds for new generations of responsible citizens, Zones of Peace have the potential to revitalize Sri Lanka’s traditional culture of peace.
  • The most sacred shrines of the four world religions operating in this country, World Heritage sites and other areas of Multi-Religious sanctity or of Environmental importance can be designated Zones of Peace.  Such Zones should be so designated by law, and codes of conduct. In determining such codes of conduct and in determining administrative mechanisms of such places, the local residents should be involved. Their traditions or techniques of non-violent conflict resolution should be preserved, promoted and taught to youth including people from other communities. Tree-felling and/or hunting (for Vannialatto / Adi vasi communities of ancestral hunters), when allowed, should be restricted and conducted according to agreed norms designed to protect the sanctuary’s bio-diversity, tree cover and sustainable carrying capacity. Provision should be made to recognize and protect indigenous intellectual property rights through legal channels as required.

8. Conclusion

There is a temptation after the end of bitter and long-drawn conflict to return to the familiar, to maintain the status quo ante. Yet the end of conflict and the transition to peace provides a great opportunity for societies to achieve greater justice while building peace.  ‘The insights and lessons learned from crisis provide opportunities for constructive change and future reform. They are new points of departure on the path of innovation and sustainable development. Emergencies are often springboards for progress’.[9

This is our challenge in Sri Lanka. We believe that it is possible to overcome the violence of conflict, and the divisiveness entrenched since colonial times, and to build together a vision of a country that is united in its cultural and religious diversity, and just and inclusive in its economy and polity. We believe that the Sri Lanka that once symbolised a land where all peoples and faiths were welcomed and prospered, is once again near at hand. This is the vision that we seek to regenerate from the ashes of war.


[1] Please refer the attached Multicultural Vision for Sri Lanka Processes Document that provides an account of the process of regional consultations through which the Vision was drafted.

[2] “Multiculturalism” as a term has been the cause of much debate. It is said to not adequately recognize the multiple identities that people occupy, as well as not adequately account for the unequal relationships and hierarchies that exist between communities that it defines. In the present context we self-consciously use the term as descriptive of the island’s cultural plurality that has to be recognized as a national asset, with awareness of the need to avoid the faults associated with multiculturalism as policy in some countries in the west.

[3] “War Brought Us Here: protecting children displaced within their own countries by conflict ” Save the    Children, 2000.

[4] For example, while the combined North and East is pre-dominantly a Tamil ethnic majority area, the East taken on its own is clearly multi-ethnic with Muslims constituting over two fifths of the population, the Tamils about a third, and the Sinhalese a fourth, and with other ethnic groups in smaller but significant numbers.

[5] The case of the South Indian state of Kerala’s “People’s Campaign for Decentralized Planning” would be worthwhile to study as a means of conflict transformation for Sri Lanka. Such reform ideas could be an important means to make constitutional reform ideas attractive for the Southern parts of Sri Lanka as well.

[6] Women constitute a minority not in terms of numbers but in relation to access to power and resources.

[7] Below are some of the major incidents of attacks on civilian targets and killings of noncombatants and events of ethnic cleansing.  Mawattegama, Anuradhapura Railway Station and many other places (August 1977), Jaffna (August 1979), Jaffna Public Library (31 May 1981), Jaffna (23 & 24 July 1983), Kent and Dollar Farms (November 1984), Murunkan (04 December 1984), Valvettithurai Public Library (09 March 1985), Akkaraipattu (May 1985), Anuradhapura Sri Maha Bodhiya (14 May 1985), Pullumalai (November 1986), Kituloothuwa (14 April 1987), Pettah (April 1987), Aranthalawa (February 1987), Aranthalawa (June 1987), Jaffna Hospital (21 October 1987), Valvettithurai (02 August 1989), Rufuskulam, Thirukkovil (11 June 1990), Veeramunai Pillaiyar Temple Refugee Camp (12 July 1990), Kurukkal Madam (12 July 1990), Kaththankudy Mosque (03 August 1990), Eravur  (12 August 1990), Eastern University (05 September 1990), Sathurukondan (09 September 1990), Mannar (28 October 1990), Jaffna (30 October 1990),  Mailanthanai (09 August 1992), St. James Church Refugee Camp, Jaffna (November 1993), Navali RC Church (09 July 1995), Nagarkovil (21 September 1995), Ampara (October 1995), Central Bank (January 1996), Kilivetti (11 February 1996), Jaffna (July & August 1996), Jaffna (January 1997), Dalada Maligawa (early 1998), Gonagala (September 1999), and Katunayake International Airport (July 2001).

[8] See British law on prevention of the incitement to racial hatred, and EU laws on political hate speech.

[9] UNDP, ‘Working for Solutions to Crisis: the Development Response’ (New York, UNDP, July 1998).

 

Long Reads

  • sr

    Does the infant in the picture knowwhat HOPE means?
    Does he know what his robe means?

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

      Do you know what “infant” means?

  • TT

    Multiculturalism in politics is what is needed most. The north is mono ethnic after the complete genocide of Sinhalese and Muslims by Tamil separatists (peaceful and violent). It must be returned to a multi ethnic region through a process of state sponsored colonization backed by the military.

    Race based mono ethnic parties should be banned.

    Power sharing should follow multiculturalism. Instead of sharing power with colonial era provinces, new multicultural regions must be drawn.

    Northern, North Central and North Western provinces should be made to one region.

    Eastern, Southern and Uva provinces should be turned to another region.

    Western, Central and Sabaragamuwa provinces should be turned to the third region.

    Share power with them. This way all the benefits of power sharing is achieved WITHOUT empowering monoethnic race based political parties.

  • TT

    “7. Aspirations of the National Vision: Human Security, the Right to Development and Protection of all Sri Lankan Citizens and Residents”

    This must exclude members of arms bearing illegal armies. They must be eliminated, not protected. PTA must stay at least as long as India retains its POTA.

    “The consequent political reality is that, without prejudice to the integrity of Sri Lanka, the region in the North and East has acquired a special claim to a large measure of devolution.”

    Absolute rubbish!

    No one should be allowed SPECIAL CLAIMS based on grievances. Just because the north and the east have supposedly or actually suffered more DOES NOT entitle them for ANY special devolution needs.

    Follow the 3 MULTICULTURAL regions approach to devolution as I mentioned above. It is the acid test of finding out HIDDEN RACISTS. They hate this multicultural devolution mechanism! :)

    Keep standardisation as it allows a fair distribution of taxpayer funds to students of all districts.

    Make it compulsory for ALL recipients of free education to serve SL for a period of 5-10 years after graduation.

    Provide alternative houses for army personnel in the north considering the GREAT sacrifices they made towards peace. Provide priority access to university study to their family members for the GREAT sacrifices they made to win peace. Name places in the north and the east after the heroes of the Sri Lanka Defence Forces.

  • justitia

    For sri lanka to return to normal, all citizens must be enabled to live without fear. The Emergency snd the PTA should be removed,the Rule of Law enforced.The country must totally revert to civilian rather than military administration.
    The UN Panel’s Report will follow the normal course in the UN system.
    I am not much bothered about it.

    • TT

      “The Emergency snd the PTA should be removed,the Rule of Law enforced.”

      Self contradictory.

      ERs and PTA ARE part of the law!

      “The country must totally revert to civilian rather than military administration.”

      Not totally. In areas where Tamil separatism is still not dead, a certain degree of military/para-military administration must be maintained until Tamil separatism dies.

      Tamil people in the north MUSt either learn to live with the SL military or leave the country.

  • niranjan

    Yours is an interesting article. The tragedy of Sri Lanka is that there is no multiculturalism. After the war racism has got worse more so on the Sinhala side. The political reasons for the conflict will never be addressed.
    The reason is simple-The Government will lose its vote base if political reasons are addressed.

    It is not only the Government that is to blame for the present position. The people are to blame as well. It will take another 150 years for the country to achieve some degree of multiculturalism.

  • ravana

    TT,
    I hear you echoing the strategies used by those such as myself during the war. Unfortunately, you are too late. The strategy we used to attack Tamil fascism and racism was appropriate then, because that limb of what was evil about the Sri Lankan polity needed to be pummelled then. After we had already done this during the war, for you to continue to harp on it is like a dog howling after the sun has come up. The Tamil racism is ready to come crashing down. Your one sided attack on it is only serving to strengthen its proponents right now. The sun has revealed the other limb of evil.

    With the end of the ground war it became very evident that the other limb of the Evil in Lanka had to be pummelled. For, you must cut the daemon down by both its lower limbs. The other limb is none other than the fascist Aryanist Sinhala faction. They have been rejoicing whilst their Tamil counterparts have been pummelled. Well now it’s their turn. The attack on the these rabid sinhala hyenas (an oxymoron?) will make Prof Thambaiah sound like a Sinhala patriot. For, unlike someone such as myself who has been brought up under the mythology of Sinhala supremacy, Prof Thambaiah would have merely felt disgust. We, who have woken from the slumber feel the rage. It is with this rage that we will rip down the facade of “Sinhala Buddhist” supremacists. That is the only way to bring the daemon down once and for all.

    Mark the word of this daemon. This will happen so that the Sinhalas can wake to the reality of how utterly alone in the Universe they are, without the embrace of the Taymoli speakers. Those of us who have to do this task also serve mother Lanka so that space is created for those such these noble authors (Senanayake, Hanifa, Nesiah) to do their work.

    • TT

      ravana,

      You have not stated any facts and figures to discuss. Just racist ranting of a defeated Tamil Tiger.

    • http://[email protected] SD

      Dear Ravana,

      RE: “After we had already done this during the war, for you to continue to harp on it is like a dog howling after the sun has come up.

      ….

      With the end of the ground war it became very evident that the other limb of the Evil in Lanka had to be pummelled.”

      Well said!

      Our failure to work towards an honest and dignified solution to this conflict at the conclusion of the war, and this laughable attempt at merely pinning all blame on everything from “Tamil racists” to foreign conspiracies to invading space aliens seeking intimate relations with southern Sri Lankans, is the reason for our utterly undignified position in the world today – including shameful threats of war crimes probes.

      A few honourable steps to address the root causes of this war would have gone a long way towards the future of our country – in the name of humanity, if nothing else. Instead, many keep on defending the indefensible, against imagined demons, when the real demons – walk freely amongst us. When would be a convenient time to speak up against them?

  • TT

    Triumphalism at its best!! If it is good for USA, it is certainly good for SL.

    Following the announcement of Osama Bin Laden’s death, thousands of Americans have taken to the streets in an open display of TRIUMPHALISM.

    We share their joy!

    No one can tell SLs not to be triumphalist when similar events spark wild celebrations elsewhere.

    Well done US special forces.

    • Saro

      US soldiers arrested Bin Larden’s wife and keep her alive whereas SL soldiers shot and killed 300 civilians along with those Tiger leaders and their families who surrendered with flags though those killed were citizens of Sri Lanka. Not only SL leaders displayed triumphalism but interned the tormented civilians behind barbed wires and thereafter militarised their areas with alien soldiers.

      • TT

        OBL had 4 wives. There is no evidence of Mathivathani dying. Surrendered LTTE cadres and leaders are being looked after very well.

        e.g. KP, KA, GM, DM, etc.

        The US killed MILLIONS (and continues to do so) mostly civilians throughout the world in search of OBL. Kept tens thousands in camps around the world, tortunred them and killed some of them. Still they keep Iraqis, Afghans, Pakistanis, Libyans, etc. fearing for their lives.

        alien soldiers? SL soldiers are no alien in SL!

        But US soldiers ARE alien soldiers in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.
        :)

        I’m glad both triuphs will be celebrated in the month of May. One cannot point to the other and blame.

  • TT

    I’m glad western triumphalism on the death of OBL falls on the same month of SL triumphalism on the death of VP. One has no moral /legal right to deny the other.

    As time goes by, these 2 events will be celebrated year after year just 2 weeks apart.

    HR activists allege large collateral damage leading up to BOTH cases but these triumphs are well worth it. And people must celebrate them.

    SL case is way better because the war completely stopped soon after the death of VP but the war on terror will not stop immediately. There will be more killings including civilian casualties in weeks, months and years to come.

    A FANTASTIC start for President Obama’s presidential bid which he starts this week!! Good planning. His recent drop in popularity can be more than recovered over OBL’s body. The US$ immediately jumped following the announcement, a very positive sign.

    Its the same thing around the world.

  • ravana

    @TT

    Heh Heh Heh – Just because you made me laugh doesn’t mean my rage is lessened (it is however, very very cold).
    Here’s one fact: some one says that they have pummelled Tamil racism and you take it to mean “the racists ranting of a defeated Tamil Tiger”. Where did you learn your English Grammar?

    Before I go on I am curious about what TT stands for (Tiny Tot, Tom Thumb, Tiny Tim); I’m just wondering when you were born.

    Now for one piece of “fact”:
    Not long ago I visited SL and on a stay at a southern resort, had unsatisfactory reception from the young manager of a hotel. There were also a gang of shirtless youth hanging around the front door. I arranged to take my family to a larger hotel not far and the manager who had a “Tamil” name was very kind and arranged for a driver to to take me and pick up luggage from the other hotel. On the way back, the driver asked me “Sir Demalada” (Areyou Tamil sir?)… then he went on a rant against my action in switching hotels.

    By the way, our conversation was in sinhala and the driver was as “black as the ace of spades”. I mention this because, the so called sinhalas have this prejudice that “Tamils” are darker than them, a clearly false fact if you look at any two members of the SL cricket team (e.g. Murali and Jayasuriya). When President Obama is concerned about “the way people who look like each other treat each other” this becomes even clearer.

    The other fact is that I decided against my impulse to tell him “Mama Demalai, aeken mokada umbata thiyena amarumwa” (So I am Tamil, what’s it to you (bastard)?). The reason for my impulse was the obvious sarcasm with which he asked me if I was Tamil. But I backed down because of the cold feeling that ran down my spine. I was at one with my Tamil brethren. This is how they must feel every day of their existence in the south! July 83 is only an exchange of words away. At any time; at any place; in modern Sri Lanka.

    Of course I am giving you a piece of fact that you expect I would give. But this is not what intended in my post above. When I attacked Tamil racism, I attacked the Tamil identity itself. So, I am talking now about attacking the non-existent “Arya-Sinhala” identity.

    This will not necessarily be done in a forum such as this. But it should be done in prominent western journals by Sinhala intellectuals who as disgusted by the sort of rants that you and your ilk carry.

    The strategy is clear: attack not Buddhism but “Mahayana religion”; attack not “sinhale” which was a nation no longer extant but “sinhala” the race that never existed.

    As far as facts backing such a strategy, why don’t you google it. Better still if you have access to any academics, ask them to get pdf copies of many scholarly articles available through JSTOR etc.

    BTW, Why is it that you don’t realise you only insult mother Lanka by justifying Sinhala triumphalism , through that of the Americans. Why do you keep using “white-masters” as an example of how to behave. BTW, no other western nations celebrated to my knowledge. Certainly not Australia nor New Zealand.
    Besides, the Americans have a clear “other” in Islamic Fundamentalism as opposed to their Christian one. How is it that “Tamils” are the other in any way comparable. Would you dance on your uncle’s grave?

    • TT

      Shooting the messenger when you cannot face FACTS! Typical! :)

      When CBK called Lasantha a “worm” that meant she had no factual response to him. She was DEFEATED. The same applies here. Thank you for showing your inability to face facts.

    • Off the Cuff

      Ravana,

      “the so called sinhalas have this prejudice that “Tamils” are darker than them,”

      What a load of rubbish. You seem to be suffering from some complex or the other.

      “This is how they must feel every day of their existence in the south! July 83 is only an exchange of words away. At any time; at any place; in modern Sri Lanka.”

      Oops, the South is very VOLATILE but yet you decide to bring your family on holiday to such a volatile region in the South when the BEST Beaches of Sri Lanka are situated in the Tamil populated East.

      • ravana

        When I took my family the LTTE had firm control of the East. As much as I love the “Tamils” it was not my intention to brush tails with the Tigers.

        You must be much younger than me or have been in living in a different World. Certainly in my day, a dark person was assumed to be Tamil. It was typical Sinhala bigotry. My illustration was about dark man accusing another dark man (of a lighter hue) of being from a different (non-existent) race when he though/knew that he is from his own (non-existent) race. Oh! I thought of another possibility. May be my white wife made him think I could not possibly be sinhala (the pure race- heh heh heh).

        Why are you in so much pain? Is it hard when one of your own reveal all?

      • Off the Cuff

        Ravana,

        You wrote,
        “This is how they must feel every day of their existence in the south! July 83 is only an exchange of words away. At any time; at any place; in modern Sri Lanka.”

        Did you base that statement which you wrote on 3 May 2011 on your purported experience at a time “… the LTTE had firm control of the East? …. heh heh heh…how long ago was that Ravana?

        Makes one wonder why you came to Lanka at all, even for a Holiday. The North and East was under the LTTE and the South was Highly VOLATILE so much so, even a casual exchange of words could have resulted in your family’s death. Yet you came and brought your family with you, not to cosmopolitan Colombo but to the VOLATILE Sinhala deep South.

        Quite a Story is it not?

        “You must be much younger than me or have been in living in a different World. Certainly in my day, a dark person was assumed to be Tamil. It was typical Sinhala bigotry. “

        Well you claim to be mature yet apparently have not heard the phrase “Maha Kalu Sinhalaya”. It is an age old saying and pre-dates even your Great Great Grand Parents. The literal English meaning is the Big Black Sinhalese

        Ah you have educated me …… so that’s why a Dark Person is assumed to be Tamil.

        Who are you trying to fool Ravana?
        Bigotry?
        Living in a different world?
        You need to have a good look in the mirror.

        “Oh! I thought of another possibility. May be my white wife made him think I could not possibly be sinhala (the pure race- heh heh heh).”

        The most probable unsaid thought of the locals would have been “Poththata Ravatila”.
        Meaning deceived by the skin (colour)…..heh heh heh how did you forget the common interpretation?

        The Tamils and Sinhalese share over 50% of a common Genome. Time that you give up on the Pure Race BS. There is no Pure Race anywhere.

        “Why are you in so much pain? Is it hard when one of your own reveal all?”

        Pain? You flater yourself. Wont let you write fiction unchallenged, while pretending to be an emancipated person.

        BTW you have been revealing all, better get dressed, the spectacle is not pleasing.

      • SD

        On the contrary OTC, you are responding to a issue different from the one TT was raising. TT was creating a case about Tamil Racism, and I recall you asked David whether TT was correct. Thus, David’s entire argument was against that, and had nothing to do with housing schemes, which is the new topic you’ve come up with. So not surprisingly, we are having parallel monologues.

        Please don’t forget that TT’s premise for proposing his colonization scheme was based on the notion that Tamils were irredeemably racist. By ignoring those premises, you are essentially arguing for an offshoot of TT’s argument, not his main line of thinking. You have made little comment on his main argument – do you accept or reject it?

        As for this offshoot argument, certainly, it can be discussed separately, and I’m following your debate with Lankan Thinker.

    • Off the Cuff

      ravana,

      Re your post of May 3, 2011 • 6:15 am

      “BTW, no other western nations celebrated to my knowledge. Certainly not Australia nor New Zealand.”

      Yes, you may be right and I would add UK to that list.

      But had any other Western Nation suffer a near 3000 deaths and similar magnitude of economic damage as the USA, in just ONE al-Qaida attack?

      The direct involvement of the people with the tragedy was the reason for the spontaneous celebrations in the USA.

      It was the same in SL where we suffered that number of deaths EACH YEAR during a three decade war and more economic damage than what the US suffered from 9/11.

      Only people who suffered directly feel the relief not the others. It has nothing to do with morality.

      “Besides, the Americans have a clear “other” in Islamic Fundamentalism as opposed to their Christian one. How is it that “Tamils” are the other in any way comparable.”

      The Americans strive to send the message that the war on terror is not directed at Islam. You on the other hand try to paint a different picture.

  • TT

    The biggest and most influential difference between the Sinhalese and Tamils on multiculturalism is their voting pattern at general elections. Since politics rules over everything else, this becomes MOST crucial.

    1. Sinhalese have always voted for multiethnic political parties since 1947.

    2. Sinhalese have totally rejected Sinhala racist parties. The only instance a Sinhala race based party won a seat in parliament was in 2000 when Sihala Urumaya won 1 seat. But that parliament collapsed in 1 year and that was the end of it. No other Sinhala race based party (there are many including Sinhala Maha Sammatha Bumipetera Party out there) managed to win any seat.

    3. What racists call “successive Sinhala governments” are in fact multiethnic governing parties which are “racist” for a true racist.

    4. Tamils on the other hand (in both the north and the east of SL and in Tamil Nadu since 1967) always voted for Tamil racist political parties since 1947 (even before Independence).

    These include All Ceylon TAMIL Congress, Ilankai TAMIL Arasu Kachchi, TAMIL United Liberation Front, TAMIL Alliance, TAMIL Elam Liberation Organisation, etc. Not just they always win seats, they defeat all other multiethnic parties in the north and sometimes in parts of the east. The same trend is shown in Tamil Nadu where Dravida (Tamil race is part of the Dravida race) parties win. This trend of Tamils is the biggest impediment to a solution based on multiethnicity/multiculturalism.

    This is an indisputable fact in NE SL and TN, India.

    e.g. In 1947 (even before Independence) , 1952, 1956, 1960, 1960, 1965, 1970, 1977, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2010 general elections Tamils in the north overwhelmingly voted for Tamil Only race based political parties. This is the root cause of the problem.

    5. Not just their party names are racially exclusive. They concerns, aspirations, political demands, electioneering, members and everything else about them is ULTRA race based. They ONLY talk of TAMIL grievances whereas everyone has interconnected grievances. They scream about TAMIL ONLY aspirations that goes against all other SLs and the SL nation itself. They demand TAMIL only homelands. This MUST change.

    6. However, I doubt Tamils in Tamil majority areas (wherever they are) will and CAN change this centuries of racial politics. It is certainly not their fault. It is the burden of generations of racially exclusivist politics which is now almost impossible to overcome.

    7. Creating multicultural new settlements in the MONOETHNIC TAMIL-ONLY north and the east (war started here, war ravaged here and some predict war will restart here) is the ONLY solution. If done sufficiently, that will result in multiethnic band of leaders. This worked perfectly well in Ampara and Trincomlaee. MOST leaders from these areas learnt not to be racially exclusive. There is only one exception and we all know who that is. But the influence of these racially exclusivists have drastically reduced in these 2 districts promoting multiculturalism.

    8. It has many added advantages mostly economic and sustainable development. One key defence advantage will be the public opinion for/against SLA bases in the north will change from 50% in favour.

    9. MR is not the father of the nation. He is nowhere near. Father of the nation (DSS) had foresight and MOST elected representatives agree he was the best leader SL had. He was from the multiethnic UNP but multiethnic UPFA doesn’t criticise him, JVP doesn’t, SLMC doesn’t. That is over 95% of the votes. He showed us the way to build multiculturalism throughout the country and we must follow it.

    10. A federal or any other substantive power sharing mechanism with RACIAL GROUPS will only create another TAMIL NADU (worse, it will be in SL), not a California!!

    • Off the Cuff

      TT,

      I observe that your post of May 3, 2011 • 6:20 am
      is written with conviction.

      I hope that both Ravana and Zorro are able to factually counter the arguments that you have laid down. Should generate an interesting discussion.

      Well written

      • wijayapala

        What do you think about TT’s colonisation idea? The same policy that has convinced Tamils that the Sinhalese want to make them a minority in all parts of the island?

      • Off the Cuff

        Wijayapala,

        It works very well in Singapore, the only other country where Tamil language has a National status. The Singapore Govts Housing Policy has ensured Peace in that Country.

        I believe that “Per Capita distribution of resources” is the most fair system of distributing public funds. This prevents disparate distribution that can occur when any other system is adopted.

        “The same policy that has convinced Tamils that the Sinhalese want to make them a minority in all parts of the island?”

        What would have been easier than preventing Tamil occupation of an already Sinhala Majority area, if as the propagandist say the Sinhalese were Racists?

        If the Sinhalese wanted to do that then Colombo would have only a 12% Tamil Population or less. That Colombo developed a majority Tamil population belies that type of Tamil Racist propaganda.

        This is why TT’s Voting Pattern argument is so powerful. I expect the counter arguments by the Tamils like Zorro and Ravana and of Moderates like Niranjan to generate an enlightening discussion.

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

        Then how come the Singaporean government allows there to be a Little India and a China Town?

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        Your post of May 6, 2011 • 4:09 pm

        “Then how come the Singaporean government allows there to be a Little India and a China Town?”

        Looks like the Singapore Housing Policy has surprised you.

        Read up on the Housing Policy of Singapore before asking silly questions.

        They did not relocate the existing but prevented all future ethnic based housing.

        Try and find any NEW ethnic settlements that does not meet the National population percentages.

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

        Exactly, OTC. So since the NE already exists, its demographic wouldn’t change even if a Singaporean style policy was adopted. Such a policy would only prevent future such concentrations. Perhaps it is you who should read up on the policy and quote the relevant portions instead of simply evoking it and expecting others to find the relevance you assume is there.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        Re your post of May 9, 2011 • 4:10 pm

        “Exactly, OTC. So since the NE already exists, its demographic wouldn’t change even if a Singaporean style policy was adopted. Such a policy would only prevent future such concentrations.”

        Wrong David.
        In the North and East land is available for future settlement (the majority of land is State owned).

        Hence if the Singapore Housing Policy is implemented, further concentration of Tamil settlements would stop if the National Population quota is already saturated or would slow down if the quota is close to saturation for any Demographic.

        The only settlements that would occur in the future, will then be,
        Non Tamil in Tamil concentration areas,
        Non Sinhalese in Sinhalese concentration areas and
        Non Muslim in Muslim concentration areas.
        The same thing is happening in Little India and China Town in Singapore.

        Eventually, in time, the North and East will reflect the National Demographic percentages. This would be the same for Sinhala or Muslim population concentrations where the CURRENT Demographic settlement exceeds the National Population proportions.

        “Perhaps it is you who should read up on the policy and quote the relevant portions instead of simply evoking it and expecting others to find the relevance you assume is there.”

        I have read up on the Policy and that’s why I quoted it. You on the other hand challenged it without taking the time to research it.

        The Singapore Housing Policy is not an OBSCURE thing, it is in the Public Domain and easily researched just as I did, thanks to a certain vociferous Singaporean Tamil who wrote and still writes to GV.

        BTW I don’t see ANYONE challenging TT’s Voting Pattern argument about the general Racist outlook of the Tamil Polity. Ravana, Zorro and even you have steered clear.

        Why?

        Is it true what he says?

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

        OTC, TT’s theories on Tamil racist voting, colonisation, Sinhala Only, and many other bigoted claims have been shredded in detail by various people, including me. The problem is, like Heshan, he abandons debates where he’s made a fool of and simply repeats the claim in each new thread. Most people on GV know he’s a bit simple minded by now.

        Here are some of the discussions if you’re interested. Scroll down through the comments threads:

        http://groundviews.org/2011/03/08/the-desecration-graves-in-jaffna-path-of-reconciliation/

        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/22/follies-and-fantasies-in-the-sri-lankan-conflict/

        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/28/moving-tamil-dissent-politics-beyond-anti-ltteism/

        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comments

        There are many more if you search. Be warned though, you have to wade through a lot of TT’s cringingly bad rhetoric :D

    • the way of the Dodo

      You can’t say tamils are still voting for predominantly mono-ethnic political parties. just look at the 2010 election results

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lankan_parliamentary_election,_2010#District_by_district

    • Lankan Thinker

      TT,

      Would like to hear your opinion on the strategy described in the following article for your vision of a multi-ethnic north and east: http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/05/08/land-scuffles-in-muttur/

  • wijayapala

    Dear TT

    Sinhalese have always voted for multiethnic political parties since 1947.

    Was the SLFP in 1956 a “multiethnic” party?

    If the TNA has a Sinhala MP (Podiappuhamy Piyasena), then does that make it also a multiethnic party?

    No other Sinhala race based party (there are many including Sinhala Maha Sammatha Bumipetera Party out there) managed to win any seat.

    What about JHU (I do accept your point though that the Sinhalese reject the more extreme parties)?

    • TT

      Dear Wijayapala,

      “Was the SLFP in 1956 a “multiethnic” party?”

      Yes; it had non-Sinhalese in it. Making Sinhala the official/national language was NOT a racist act. (If so UK, USA, Australia, Japan, etc, would be equally or more racist.) ALL democratic countries have one or FEW languages that inconveinence those who don’t belong to these linguistic groups. In addition the 1956 act allowed reasonable use of Tamil.

      “If the TNA has a Sinhala MP (Podiappuhamy Piyasena), then does that make it also a multiethnic party?”

      NO! That was not the TNA intention. He admitted to being a Tamil and that’s why he was chosen to contest the election. Since election he has deviated from the TNA stand (no exception, there are others too like him). He voted in favour of the 18th amendment. Now that will make TNA to be even more racially concious in future!! Besides everything else (as I explained above) of TNA is TAMIL ONLY.

      Re: JHU

      JHU (National Heritage Party) is NOT a race based party. It is an ultra SRI LANKAN nationalist party. It made no Sinhala exclusivist demands vis a vis TNA. In its nationalis policies, it encompassed people of all races and no specific or indirect exclusion of anyone. Hela has the same meaning as Elam which refers to the entire island nation. It invited Andansagaree to join them but he refused. However, JHU’s fortunes ran out in 2010. However, it is Sinhala only in composition which means it was NOT a multiethnic party. In 2010 JHU lost where it contested. But it joined multiethnic politics which is good.

      Sadly, Tamil race based racially excluivist parties are not temporary. They are permanant in both Tamil Nadu and northern SL.

      ……………………………………………………………………………..

      BTW thank you for bringing up examples that are very rare exceptions in SL politics. Yet some are not really exceptions to the multicultural/multiethnic voting pattern of most SLs.

      However, northern Tamils’ (and Tamil Nadu Tamils’) voting pattern showed NO EXCEPTIONS!! They ALWAYS voted for Tamil racially exclusive race based political parties. This is not an exception but the NORM! This will not change.

  • niranjan

    There are extreme elements in all parties including the two big ones.
    However, there are differences in degrees.

  • the way of the Dodo

    TT, i don’t see the point of all this tamils & sinahala that. This type of nonsense is not going to create a multicultural society in Sri Lanka. We need to put this and that behind us and move forward.

    • TT

      The MR approach!

      That won’t work.

      Root causes of the problem (identified from the point of view of SL, not individual races) must be addressed, not pushed under the carpet.

      Multicultural new settlements must be created in the areas where the war waged for a lasting solution.

    • Zorro

      @ the way of the dodo,
      TT has been trying to say that the Tamils in Sri Lanka (or in the whole world) have deserved this plight what happened to them in SL during the last 26 years, because they have been and are of racial nature. This make them not deserving any sympathy from the world community or any civil rights as would be expected. And if they were got killed in the last phases of the war, what he does not believe, it was just because they were racist and the collateral damage of killing them was just to save the country and serve the majority. He was even saying that all the Tamils (around 89000) got killed were just terrorists and the GoSL and its forces done this in the interest of saving the interest of the majority of SL citizens. And as the Tamils are of only around 12% of the population it is not vital to look after their interest even if they are “supposed” to be of Sri Lanken citizens. He suggest that assimilating them into the Sinhalese ethnic would be the best solution to save this country and if necessary using force, and if it fails better push them over the park strait to India, as however they come from there! He presumes that the major political parties in Sri Lanka are such liberal that they would do everything to protect the rights of all citizens than doing anything due to power thurst, but, he claims, at the same time the “Tamil” parties were racial and only wanted to serve the Tamils. He even says the winner of a battle has all the rights to decide and handle the matters of the losers and thus it is correct for the GoSL to do with the Tamils whatever they presume to be correct to protect the nation. And he presumes that the UN Panel report is not legitimate because the GoSL wasn’t asked to participate in making this report, and lying about that the report discloses the participation of the GoSL in the making. And he is right in saying that this report charge the LTTE and the Tamil Diaspora of war crimes by involving in an inhuman war and practicing against int. laws but at the same time the report is flawed in its contents concerning the charges against the GoSL as it is biased because the GoSL wasn’t given any chance to participate in the making of this report. He claims it is correct to suspend any intended reconciliation as this report was of negative effect in the political balance of Sri Lanka. If I summarize TT wants to depict that “all this misshapes around the SL Tamils is based on their own fault of egoism and the inheritance of their racial character” and the GoSL and the Sinhalese majority is blamed for no acceptable reasons and are not of any concious of guilt. At least he seems to be in possession solid evidences to establish his stance.
      I hope now you have understood what the poor TT wanted to say.

    • the way of the Dodo

      TT, multicultralism just like liberalism cannot be forced upon people.People must be insentivised into adopting a more multicultural society. It will happen naturally as long as the north & northeast has strong economic ties with the south.

      • TT

        No, not in the north. And it didn’t happen in the east either until previous governments carried out what some people call “colonization” schemes.

        The north follows Tamil racially exclusive politics. Who vote for these Tamil race based, racially exclusiveness political parties? It’s the northern people. They will never allow automatic assimilation. They haven’t so far.

        It must be done by the government. When the northern Tamils see the living benefits of living in a multicultural society, they will love it. Not otherwise.

        There is only one way to love multiculturalism – to live in a society of many cultures. People will not embrace each other on day #1 but it will happen. It is INEVITABLE as long as the society has many cultures.

        If there is only one culture, there is NO WAY it can EVER turn multicultural. You need to people to integrate with first.

        You cannot force people to embrace multiculturalism but you can create a society of many cultures which can THEN reach out the one another in the same society. Otherwise nothing will happen.

      • TT

        Excuse me for the typos.

      • TT

        Having army camps in the north is a very good starting point towards multiculturalism ONLY IF people shed their racist attitudes and move with them closely.

        They don’t go killing people. They are there for protection and they are the same people as the people in the north.

        Sadly Tamil race based racially exclusive political parties have succeeded in keeping people away from the army. Army has done more to the northern people than Tamil race based exclusive Tamil only political parties.

  • Zorro

    “The Government of Sri Lanka provided an explanation of the philosophy that frames its approach to accountability both in written responses to questions from the Panel and in a meeting on 22 February 2011 in New York….”

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Darini,

      My comment addressed to you appeared in an incorrect position and hence I am reposting it below.

      Dear Darini Rajasingham Senanayake,

      “…If national sovereignty is challenged, that does not mean that it must be shored up at all costs, if that results in suspending civil liberties”.

      Could you give examples of a Single Country that has sacrificed National Sovereignty willingly?

      War Crimes should be investigated. There is no argument there.

      Would you have as Judge, Jury and Executioner the perpetrators of such crimes?

      Would you cut your Nose to Spite your Face?

      Is “High Tech” destruction exempt from Criminal Investigation?

      Perverted Justice is no Justice at all.

  • Zorro

    @TT
    your assumed non-racial attitude of Sinhalese population seems not necessarily to be true, it shows that all race groups have their extremists and it is not the exclusive right of the “racist Tamils” as you like propagate.
    Dayan Jayatilleka: “I Am Sri Lanka’s Ambassador To France And Unesco, And Not Sri Lanka’s Representative To Any Segment Of The Sri Lankan Diaspora”
    read the full story under
    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2011/04/24/dayan-jayatilleka-%E2%80%9Ci-am-sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-ambassador-to-france-and-unesco-and-not-sri-lanka%E2%80%99s-representative-to-any-segment-of-the-sri-lankan-diaspora%E2%80%9D/comment-page-1/#comment-203917

    • Off the Cuff

      Zorro,

      Re your post of of May 4, 2011 • 5:07 pm

      “your assumed non-racial attitude of Sinhalese population seems not necessarily to be true, ”

      It is NOT ASSUMED Zorro, he (TT) has used the Voting pattern at Elections.

      This MEANS the manner in which the WHOLE ELECTORATE THINKS.

      He has compared the Sinhalese VOTING pattern with that of the TAMILS.
      He makes a very strong case about the Racial thinking of the Tamil Electorate and the NON Racial thinking of the Sinhalese Electorate.

      If you want to break his argument you need to use facts not irrelevant innuendo. Why have you refrained from doing so?

      There is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to show that the Tamil ELECTORATE is not RACIALY motivated in the link that you gave.

      Cannot meet his challenge with facts?

      Please read the following posts by TT carefully, before responding.

      May 3, 2011 • 6:20 am to GV Readership
      May 3, 2011 • 8:51 am to wijayapala

      Your response post is very weak and without any substance whatsoever.

      Surely you can do better, cant you?

      • TT

        Off the cuff,

        Absolutely!

        A very dangerous development is now taking place.

        TNA is getting ready to contest the CMC election. Since it affects the UNP vote, government is not worried. A self defeating approach. They have the right to contest and the Tamil majority in the Great Colombo area has all the rights to vote for ANY party of their choice. And SL citizen Tamils have ALL the right to settle wherever they please. But it means racism will enter politics in an area it never happened previously.

        In this context turning it to a corporation is a very good thing. (A group of us campaigned for it).

        But there are solutions.

        1. TIME. The rate of Tamil influx into Colombo in the past few decades was much faster than the integration rate. But time will take over as it happened before. In Colombo NO ONE can escape ethnic integration. So race politics (even if it manages to win an election or two) will be burried.

        The same should be done to provinces for a start. The NP, NCp and Wayamba province should be merged into one province. EP, SP and UP should be merged to another province. The WP, CP and Sabaragamuwa Province should be merged into another province. Race politics gets a battering this way at the provincial level too.

        So racism in politics at the LG level and the provincial level can be managed this way.

        But at the national level, in my opinion, we need to do state sponsored colonisation in the north. It worked in SL’s favour in the east thanks to the Father of the Nation initiating the good process.

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear OTC,

        “He has compared the Sinhalese VOTING pattern with that of the TAMILS.
        He makes a very strong case about the Racial thinking of the Tamil Electorate and the NON Racial thinking of the Sinhalese Electorate.”

        “If you want to break his argument you need to use facts not irrelevant innuendo. Why have you refrained from doing so?”

        I have fallen flat after reading your post of May 4, 2011 • 10:34 pm! I would expect better understanding of this aspect from you; I am very sorry to say that I am deeply disappointed!

        You only have to apply a simple logic; just reverse the communities; the Sinhala being in the position of the Tamils and vice versa. What would you see?

        Ok, the Sinhala are the majority; since 1948, if the mainstream parties has not heeded to the Sinhala Chauvinism, what would have happened? Would you not expect the likes of JHU to take the front stage? The SLFP was responsible for the Sinhala Only and the UNP was the architect of 1983 let alone the rest. Why would the Sinhala need to vote anyone else? During the CBK era, there were feelings that the Sinhala Chauvinistic agenda was being overlooked resulting in Monks being elected to the parliament; you certainly have a short memory!

        Do you know that, the first ever election returned 3 independent Parliamentarians from the North? Do you know that, in 1952 election, Nadesan defeated SJVC as a UNP candidate at the KKS seat? If the 1948 constitution had been maintained and strengthened, do you believe that the Tamils would still be voting for the Tamil based parties?

        So TT has convinced you that the Tamils are in general more resists than the Sinhala! Wow!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear BurningIssue,

        “So TT has convinced you that the Tamils are in general more resists than the Sinhala! Wow!”

        I refer you to my comment on May 4, 2011 • 1:47 am addressed to TT, where I state “I hope that both Ravana and Zorro are able to factually counter the arguments that you have laid down. Should generate an interesting discussion. “

        TT has presented a strong case and I still don’t see an effective counter by the Tamils.
        Why are they not doing so?
        There are many Tamils who contribute excellent posts to GV.

        TT has not convinced me but the silence by the Tamils is more telling than any of TT’s arguments. That’s where my disappointment is.

        Lets see some action …… tear TT’s argument to shreds …… in the process all of us have an opportunity to become more informed.

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

        OTC, as usual you’re a bit late to the party. TT’s theories have been shredded with ease in the past. I have posted some of the links above. Unfortunately, he thrives on people such as yourself who think he’s just bringing forth this theory, so he just repeats his arguments regardless of the fact that they have been dismantled and chucked in the dustbin.

      • Lankan Thinker

        TT, OTC,

        The use of voting patterns to conclude that the Tamils of the North vote in a racially prejudiced manner is flawed because it is based on the premise that because the party with the word ‘Tamil’ it is name won, that must be the reason that the people voted for it, and therefore the people are racist.

        The reasons why people vote one way or another are more complex than that and it is wrong to assume that the claims made the individual candidates and the manifestoes of their respective parties have no bearing on the matter. Therefore before using the election results to conclude that the Tamil people are racist, it is necessary to see what alternatives they were offered. Can you provide references to the election manifestoes of the UNP, LSSP and other parties who contested in the North at the 1947 and 1952 elections? If not, on what basis can you conclude that the policies offered by the alternative parties were rejected out of hand because they came from ‘non-Tamil’ parties???

        Racism is a form of prejudice – i.e. where a person makes up their mind before hand on the basis of some external factor (in this case race). Therefore, to conclude that a voting pattern is racist you must first show that the other candidates/parties actually offerred an attractive alternative.

        Also, if the Tamils had so much race bias in their voting, why did they reject SJV Chelvanayakam in 1952?

      • Off the Cuff

        Lankan Thinker,

        I have not come to any conclusion about Tamil race bias but I have made an observation that TT makes a very compelling case about it.

        Please note that TT has not limited his discussion ONLY to Sri Lanka but has included Tamil Nadu as well.

        The deafening silence by Tamil contributors to TT’s challenge is more compelling than any argument TT has made.

        Is it not the responsibility of these contributors to factually refute what TT says?

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

        Actually OTC, you seem to be deaf to my comments which is why you seem to think the silence is deafening :D I have posted the links above to previous conversations with TT where his theory on Tamil voting patterns have been comprehensively demolished. I suggest you read through ‘em rather than joining in TT’s bubble world where you think your theories are unopposed.

        In addition, regardless of the fact that TT’s theory is inaccurate, even if Tamils had shown such a racist voting pattern, who could blame them. The so-called multi-ethnic parties (which in reality are merely Sinhalese majority parties) never campaigned on any platforms beneficial to the Tamils, but largely based their campaigns on ant-Tamil policies. Why then would the Tamils vote for such parties?

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        You say “I have posted the links above to previous conversations with TT where his theory on Tamil voting patterns have been comprehensively demolished. I suggest you read through ‘em rather than joining in TT’s bubble world where you think your theories are unopposed.“

        No David you did not post ANY LINKS to “previous conversations with TT” and neither have you posted any links to your own posts “Comprehensively Demolishing” as you claim, TT’s theories.

        You just posted links to several main articles.

        What is the need for deception? Is it because you want to hide a needle in a haystack?

        BTW David you seem to have some problem with your comprehension. Those are TT’s theories not mine.

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

        OTC, the links are to the main articles, of course. You’re supposed to scroll down and read the comments threads where the above has already been discussed by TT and myself. The threads are too lengthy to cut and paste again, but I hope they are not too big a haystack for you to go through :D Of course you can continue to whine that no one has responded to TT if you like, but then that would make you as dimwitted as he is.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        What you are admitting David is that you are unable to give even ONE refference to your so called “Comprehensive Demolition” of TT’s argument.

        Not a single link or the date and time which every post on GV carries.

        Makes it clear who the dim wit is.

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

        I have in fact provided four links to four separate articles on GV, in the threads of which TT’s theories are demolished. There is no single comment I can link to since as you know all arguments go on for several days or even weeks. If it is beyond your acumen to scroll down and read them you certainly are dimwitted, OTC, or willfully blind. Either way, it doesn’t matter. The theories have been demolished, the evidence is there, and everyone who is interested can see for themselves :D You are free to slot yourself into any of the categories that hat fits.

      • Off the Cuff

        David,

        Yes you have provided four links to four main articles that contain a total of 680 comments, probably containing over 10,000 words at a conservative estimate.

        you say “There is no single comment I can link to since as you know all arguments go on for several days or even weeks.”

        Unfortunately, even you cant find a SINGLE comment that you yourself have written which references your so called “Comprehensive Demolition” of TT’s argument.

        This is a very poor excuse for your inability to give at least one link or reference to what you yourself wrote isn’t it?

        You say “If it is beyond your acumen to scroll down and read them you certainly are dimwitted, OTC, or willfully blind”

        Apparently it is beyond Your acumen to find what you yourself wrote in order to reference it. You see David, ALL your expletives are more appropriate to yourselves than anyone else.

        “The theories have been demolished, the evidence is there, and everyone who is interested can see for themselves. You are free to slot yourself into any of the categories that hat fits.”

        Just rhetoric David, empty rhetoric, unless you are able to find and post the links to your marvellous arguments.

        BTW the Hat is of a wrong size and wont fit me. Try it on yourself. You might find that it fits you perfectly.

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

        OTC, I can find no reason to waste hours of my time trolling through weeks of arguments with idiots like TT, simply to educate you on what you should already be aware of when you enter a discussion, just for the satisfaction of saying “I told you so”. Believe me, life is too short and far too interesting for that. There IS no single comment that challenges or demolishes TT; rather it is in the course of a lengthy thread.

        You asked why no one is challenging TT; I pointed out that TT has been challenged and vanquished, and provided you with the links to prove it. If you’re too lazy or dimwitted to find out for yourself what has been discussed, please don’t worry about it. Ignorance is bliss, and you can join TT in his fantasy world where your racist and bigoted theories are unopposed. I noticed this habit of yours in previous threads as well. For the rest of us, the evidence is right where those links lead.

      • SD

        Dear OTC,

        David has indeed demolished TT’s arguments. You owe it to yourself to read them and educate yourself, instead of going around thinking that “maybe TT’s racist rantings have some merit”.

      • Lankan Thinker

        OTC, TT,

        I can’t speak for others as to why they haven’t responded to TT’s claim that voting patterns in the North is evidence of racism on the part of Tamils. Perhaps they haven’t responded because they think it obvious that inferring a causal relationship (i.e. election results are caused by tamil racism) on the basis of a statistical correlation is flawed.

        In order to prove that tamil racism is the cause of the voting results we see in elections in Northern Sri Lanka (and Tamil Nadu), there needs to be a more detailed analysis of the appeals made to the electorate in the particular elections by different political parties and candidates. In particular, in the Sri Lankan case, what was the manifesto of the UNP in 1947 and 1952? What aspects of this manifesto addressed the needs of the north and east?

        If racial prejudice was a main driver of the tamil electorate, why did the people of KKS reject SJVC in 1952 in favour of the UNP candidate?

      • Burning_Issue

        Lankan Thinker,

        TT has been saying such rhetoric for some time; over the passage of time, there were many both Sinhala and Tamils countered him/her including me; he appears totally oblivious to the counter arguments. He knows nothing about the Indian politics. In 2008, I was in Mumbai on a shot visit, I witnessed some television footages that, a group lead by one Raj Thackery was beating some, with sticks and batons, taxi drivers. The reason was that they were economic migrants from other parts of India! This group’s theme is that, Mumbai is for Maharasthrians! Such sentiments are endemic in many parts of India! Evidently, no such xenophobia has been manifested in Tamil Nadu! I work with many Indian IT Consultants; many South Indians these days can converse very well in Hindi; this is a triumph for the Indian inter-racial relations. By contract, the Sri Lankan Tamils resist the Sinhala language, why?

        Pre Sinhala Only, the Tamils were open to ideas. The LSSP was very popular among the Young Tamils; my father included. One of my relations contested in Jaffna as a LSSP candidate; Visvanathan! The Federal Party at it’s inception was struggling to make a stand; the Sinhala Only changed all that; the rest is history!

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        You say “OTC, I can find no reason to waste hours of my time trolling through weeks of arguments with idiots like TT, simply to educate you on what you should already be aware of when you enter a discussion, ”

        David it was you who entered the discussion not me.
        Do you expect me to waste my time, proving you right, when even you think it’s a waste of time? Presumptuous is too light an adjective to describe your attitude.

        I ignored your post the first time because you could not even post a single link to your own posts. But you took it as a weakness and made a new post which was reeking with arrogance.

        You challenged me but could not support your rhetoric with even one link to your own so called “Comprehensive Demolition” of TT’s argument. If you were not prepared to backup your statements you should have been more circumspect in your rhetoric. Name calling proves nothing other than your bankruptcy.

        You say “You asked why no one is challenging TT; I pointed out that TT has been challenged and vanquished, and provided you with the links to prove it”

        Provision of a link would have been relevant if it was to a post you made about the subject. You have done NOTHING of the sort. You have just pointed to four threads that carries over 10,000 words. You have not proven anything other than your ineptness. Why do you continue to make this deceptive statement? Who are you trying to fool?

        You say “If you’re too lazy or dimwitted to find out for yourself what has been discussed, please don’t worry about it. Ignorance is bliss, and you can join TT in his fantasy world where your racist and bigoted theories are unopposed. I noticed this habit of yours in previous threads as well”

        Name calling seems to be second nature to you.
        You think you can win arguments with name calling and browbeating?
        You don’t win debates in a public space that way David, you need to use logic instead.
        The only thing you achieve by that sort of vituperative language, is to put on public display, your breeding.

        Vituperative language may have been accepted by your subordinates in the forces because they could not talk back to a superior. But you are sadly mistaken if you think you can brow beat me into submission like you did your subordinates.

        You are always welcome to try and “Comprehensively Demolish” my arguments but I guarantee that you will never achieve it by using your name calling and browbeating tactics.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        It is simple etiquette to link to one’s own posts if a challenge or clarification is made by using such posts in a different thread.

        Replacing Logical argument with name calling and browbeating has no place in a public space.

        It is absurd to dismiss everything that TT says by calling him/her an idiot. You can disagree with him/her with reason but you cannot browbeat him/her.

      • Off the Cuff

        Lankan Thinker,

        You say “In order to prove that tamil racism is the cause of the voting results we see in elections in Northern Sri Lanka (and Tamil Nadu), there needs to be a more detailed analysis of the appeals made to the electorate in the particular elections by different political parties and candidates. ”

        I agree with you and expected rational argument on TT’s premise in this thread. Unfortunately it did not materialise.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        You say “Pre Sinhala Only, the Tamils were open to ideas. The LSSP was very popular among the Young Tamils; my father included. One of my relations contested in Jaffna as a LSSP candidate; Visvanathan! The Federal Party at it’s inception was struggling to make a stand; the Sinhala Only changed all that; the rest is history! ”

        I cannot understand why the OLA changed the outlook of the Tamils towards the left, when it was the left parties (with a majority Sinhalese membership) that supported the Tamils in their opposition to the OLA.

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Dear OTC,

        Someone who is intellectually dishonest has already eschewed etiquette. David took great pains to dismantle TT’s arguments, yet he carries on regardless. But never mind TT. What’s more saddening is that you should be eager to lap up his statements at face value, but not as eager to read the counter-arguments.

        Reason: These ideas are basically racist in nature, so one had better have a solid set of reasons for entertaining them. And sure enough, on closer inspection, they are indeed lacking, as racist ideas usually are. So my suggestion is – don’t waste time writing verbose posts berating David and take that time to read the thread instead. It will surely be a far more enlightening and useful experience.

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

        As already explained to you, OTC, not one link but four have been provided to you. The links are to posts in the comments threads of which TT and I have argued and his theories have been demolished. You seem too stubborn and dimwitted to move your mouse over and scroll down. If I ever were to refer to this discussion of ours I would link to the above post, not to any single comment, unless of course a single comment encapsulated everything, or if I was to prove you had said something you denied.

        It wasn’t me who brought this up, but you; trailing along behind TT, whining “aiyo, y’all don’t have the answer to the great TT’s groundbreaking theory”. That is why I linked to where these theories have been comprehensively demolished months before you woke up and decided you had something to say.

        As for demolishing your theories; lol do you have any theories of your own? The best you can do is trot around in the wakes of [Edited out] like TT and Yapa and parrot what they’re saying.

        Now, as you can see above, SD etc have confirmed what I’ve said about the links, and if you’re too cack-handed to follow those links to their source, why don’t you save yourself from making an even bigger fool of yourself, much like an ignorant child who maintains that water will not make him wet as long as he keeps his eyes tightly shut :D

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        You say “As for demolishing your theories; lol do you have any theories of your own? The best you can do is trot around in the wakes of [Edited out] like TT and Yapa and parrot what they’re saying”

        The Rhetoric and Unprintable language in your latest post re-confirms your breeding.

        You say “ It wasn’t me who brought this up, but you; trailing along behind TT, whining “aiyo, y’all don’t have the answer to the great TT’s groundbreaking theory”. That is why I linked to where these theories have been comprehensively demolished months before you woke up and decided you had something to say. “

        Your first response was on May 13, 2011 • 12:41 pm to my post to Burning Issue on May 12, 2011 • 2:04 am (part extract given below)

        This is what I wrote
        “…..TT has presented a strong case and I still don’t see an effective counter by the Tamils. Why are they not doing so? There are many Tamils who contribute excellent posts to GV. TT has not convinced me but the silence by the Tamils is more telling than any of TT’s arguments. That’s where my disappointment is. Lets see some action …… tear TT’s argument to shreds …… in the process all of us have an opportunity to become more informed.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31431

        BTW the above is an example of providing a relevant link which you have been incapable of doing to date.

        Your response contained the following
        “……OTC, as usual you’re a bit late to the party. TT’s theories have been shredded with ease in the past”

        Are you trying to scare away any Newcomer to GV challenging your writing by a threat of Ridicule?

        Is it your position that In order to challenge anything you have written, such newcomer is expected to read through ALL of GV to find out what has gone before even if the thread that she/he is responding to does not contain anything relevant to the intended post?

        The obvious intention is to scare away a justified challenge, by bullying any newcomer with Ridicule, Browbeating, Vituperative and Unprintable language when such newcomer’s command of English cannot match yours.

        You have put on public display, an arrogant and non tolerant attitude to opposing views by the regular and unbridled descent to the use of unprintable language, name calling and browbeating whenever LOGIC fails you, to put across an argument decently

        Such behaviour will have no affects on me and I hope it will not have ANY affect on TT, Yapa or anyone else holding opposing views to you, in this forum or elsewhere, not withstanding the “Nelsonian Eye” you get for such behaviour, from some quarters.

        GroundViews is not the SL Armed Forces that you pretend to be part of, the reputation of which you have sullied, by your public display of arrogance and intolerance. I pity anyone who would have had to suffer under your authority, if indeed you had any authority over anyone, either enlisted or civilian.

        I sincerely hope that Ground Views will not become the exclusive Domain of Bullies.

        I will continue to challenge you whenever you write rubbish that you cannot substantiate and hope others will do too.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        you say “…don’t waste time writing verbose posts berating David and take that time to read the thread instead.”

        What thread are you referring to SD?
        No thread has been linked to or did you fail to notice that?

        I don’t know about you, but I prefer verbose any day to Vituperative, Unprintable and vacuous statements from anyone. As not everyone can be expected to have the skill to make short compelling arguments but everyone can be expected to make decent comments however verbose such comments be.

        Do you find anything wrong with such an expectation?

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Dear OTC,

        The post where David provided the links to said threads was: May 13, 2011 • 12:37 pm

        Here is a good starting point to read: http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comment-28129

        It’s selected from somewhere half-way through the discussion, but it should give you an idea of the nature of the conversation.

      • Lankan Thinker

        OTC,

        In response to my post about the problems with TT’s argument you write:

        I agree with you and expected rational argument on TT’s premise in this thread. Unfortunately it did not materialise.

        Both Burning Issue and I have provided arguments as to why TT’s premise is flawed. When Burning Issue provided another argument as to why TT’s position is facile your response is that – “TT has presented a strong case and I still don’t see an effective counter by the Tamils”. Why do counter arguments for flawed analyses have to come from Tamils alone?

        Since you now say that you agree with my analysis of the problems with TT’s analysis and conclusion, you will challenge TT when he makes this claim about election data being evidence for Tamil racism in other discussion threads.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        Thank you for your kindness.

        I will read and respond with my observations.

        I also observe that you have now understood my position vis a vis David’s inability to track down and post a link to his own post that would have allowed me to trace at least the relevant thread without wasting my time trying to do so amongst 680 odd comments. I could not use Google to do an affective search of the comments. If you know how to do that please share your experience with the GV readership.

        You have not commented on my expectation of decency from a comment writer but I believe that your silence expresses your agreement.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        I have left unanswered an important comment you made in the previous post

        You have stated that “The post where David provided the links to said threads was: May 13, 2011 • 12:37 pm”

        You are mistaken SD look closely at what was provided by David.
        David’s links does not refer to any relevant thread.
        They are just links to the main articles which contain a MULTITUDE of threads.

        The current ability to branch within the comments, causes the multitude of threads. This compounds the problems of searching as it also fractures the Chronological order of comments in the MAIN Article.

        In contrast, you have provided a link to a THREAD.
        That’s why I thanked you in my previous comment.

      • Off the Cuff

        Lankan Thinker,

        Please read the posts I wrote under this article to get a better understanding of my position vis a vis TT’s posts of May 3, 2011 • 6:20 am to GV Readership and May 3, 2011 • 8:51 am to Wijayapala. I treat a comment on merit of the subject matter. The writer is not considered at all. You will then be able to understand the scope within which I agree with you. Please do not interpret agreement as a blanket or blind agreement with all that you write.

        The time stamp referred to are all under the current main article. If you are using Firefox the time stamp is searchable using the “Find command”.

        May 4, 2011 • 1:47 am – my expectation of an interesting discussion.
        May 4, 2011 • 9:20 am – the Singapore experience of Housing using National Ethnic Proportions
        May 4, 2011 • 10:34 pm – to Zorro
        May 12, 2011 • 2:04 am – to Burning Issue
        May 16, 2011 • 8:56 am – to you

        Addressing me you say, “you will challenge TT when he makes this claim about election data being evidence for Tamil racism in other discussion threads”

        TT has made an argument. At face value it is a strong argument. You have a point about analysis. So challenge what TT has written but you also need to address the other points s/he has raised not just the single point about analysis.

        This should catalyse an interesting debate.

        As I said before I do not support or criticise any specific writer, just their comments. I criticise the writer when the writer crosses the boundary of common decency.

        I will have no hesitation in challenging TT if and when she/he makes a comment to which I cannot agree.

      • SD

        Dear OTC,

        RE: “You have not commented on my expectation of decency from a comment writer but I believe that your silence expresses your agreement.”

        What I’ve observed about David so far is this. He takes great pains to clarify his position, is intellectually honest, but is civil only if the other person is intellectually honest+civil in return. I can find very little fault with him for that. Why should anyone suffer intellectual dishonesty gladly, no matter how civilly presented?

        Those who eschew intellectual honesty are already forsaking etiquette.

      • SD

        Dear OTC,

        RE: “I could not use Google to do an affective search of the comments. If you know how to do that please share your experience with the GV readership.”

        Well, what I did was the following:

        1. I followed the links David provided and found the earliest thread.
        2. I pressed CTRL+F to search for posts by TT
        3. I did the same again to find the first response from David
        4. And then read from there onwards
        5. Alternatively, you can use an RSS reader to make life easier in general. I recommend Google Reader. (www.google.com/reader)

        Note: I have already followed this debate, which made things easier for me. However, a latecomer like you might have some difficulties. Nevertheless, starting from the first conversation is best.

      • Lankan Thinker

        Dear OTC,

        Thank you for your post. My only point here is that TT’s assertion that election voting patterns is enough evidence to conclude that Tamils are racist is flawed because it assumes a causal relationship where there is only a correlation. Therefore further analysis is required before drawing any conclusions from the election results themselves.

        With regard to an interesting discussion on this, I would welcome that. However, I guess we can only wait to see if TT returns to address this issue :-)

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        You state the following,

        “What I’ve observed about David so far is this. He takes great pains to clarify his position, is intellectually honest, but is civil only if the other person is intellectually honest+civil in return. I can find very little fault with him for that. Why should anyone suffer intellectual dishonesty gladly, no matter how civilly presented?”

        I do not agree with you about the current David that I saw on the threads that I have interacted with him on. I do see (judging from my limited exposure to his old attitude gleaned by reading the few comments that I had time to go through so far) that the OLD David in the link that you provided me with, is poles apart from the current arrogant bully of my experience.

        I note that there are others who have a similar view of the new David as myself. I see that the moderator of this space having enough trouble regularly trying to clean up David’s comments but you pen excuses on his behalf for that behaviour. To me its loathsome as it is intended to forewarn other commentators with a lesser command of English than David’s, about the treatment they can expect, if they ever dared to challenge him.

        What has happened to the Tolerance that is preached in this space?

        I also saw that TT, in those threads, was equally civil and painstaking in making his/her case. You have made the following comment about him in that thread, “Instead, your argument can be summed up in one line – “Tamils are racists, therefore everything else that’s happened and is happening is quite ok!” “ February 16, 2011 • 5:25 pm. That is a sweeping generalisation which I think is unwarranted and irrational.

        I think that TT is trying to make the point that the propaganda about the humanity of the Sinhalese is grossly unjust. I think she/he believes that the Majority reaction was as a response to injustice meted out to the Majority by a Minority that had power over them at one time. That the minority had power at one time is a fact. That such power was abused is also a fact. But the propaganda cleverly hides that fact and very few of the Minority acknowledges it today.

        I do not agree with everything that TT says. But you need to view TT’s arguments in that light stated above.

        TT writes about colonisation as a means to peace. I would not call it colonisation. The State of Singapore enforces a policy on Housing that is based on the National Ethnic Proportions. It is the ONLY country other than Lanka where Tamil language has a National Status. There is ethnic harmony in Singapore. So TT has a living example of what he is writing about although I think he was not aware of the Singapore example.

        Hence SD I do not believe that you can discount TT’s posts as racist, just by looking at them superficially.

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Very well then OTC, if you think that I have considered them to be racist only on a superficial analysis, and a deeper analysis reveals the truth to his claims, can you answer the 30 questions that TT danced and skipped around and never gave a straight answer to? You would have encountered them while reading David’s counter-arguments.

        As for the Sinhalese being vilified. It is racist to vilify Tamils just because one is inordinately attached to the Sinhalese. The very act of defending a single race is by definition racist. The reverse is also true, merely vilifying one race is unacceptable and just as racist.

        So if you wish to be racially unbiased, it is necessary to completely shed all need to “defend the Sinhalese against unfair attacks” or “defend the Tamils” etc. There should be no hesitation in criticizing all parties as needed. I’m sorry to see that your stated goal is to “defend the maligned Sinhalese”.

        TT is very systematically trying to paint a portrait of the incorrigibly racist Tamil needing to be colonized before they can be reformed, and the innocent Sinhalese being naught but victims of this racism.

        We all know this is not true and if you have reason to believe it’s true, it’s high time to state your views and defend them.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        You seem to have overlooked what I wrote about my assessment of TT’s views

        Which is “ I do not agree with everything that TT says. But you need to view TT’s arguments in that light stated above.“

        Hence while I will certainly discuss some of the issues that TT has raised which I assess as having substance I will most certainly not provide blind justification for everything that TT says. Obviously I cant answer for TT but if you want to pose any questions to me directly, I would try to answer them as long as such questions are relevant.

        I am still in the process of reading the thread. My comment was based on the few comments that I read. I can see substance in some of TT’s views. The Singapore housing policy has contributed to ethnic harmony in Singapore and it is a living example of the success of what TT advocates regarding settlement.

        Singapore has a considerable Tamil population. Tamil Language is one of Four National Languages (Mandarin, Malay, Tamil and English). Singapore consists of 75.2% Chinese, 13.6% Malays, 8.8% Indians and 2.4% Eurasians and other groups (a close parallel to Lanka’s ethnic mix). With four main Ethnic races vying for a common pool of resources, the Singapore Govt has made sure that these resources are distributed on a per capita basis. Hence I would be hesitant to reject that argument as being racist. What would be more equitable than a per capita distribution of resources? Such a policy prevents any one group trying to grab more than their equitable share. You can always put a racial twist to it but is that fair?

        Here are two statements extracted from a Singapore parliament discussion about the Ethnic Integration Policy (Singapore Govts Housing Policy). Dr Maliki is the Parliamentary Secretary and Mr Sadasivam is a Tamil MP.

        Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman: The EIP policy has benefited Singaporeans as a whole by ensuring that there are no ethnic enclaves. We really seek Singaporeans’ understanding that EIP is a necessary encumbrance for a greater social good.

        Mr Viswa Sadasivan: Thank you. I understand and most Singaporeans understand the principle of why we need the EIP.

        You say, “So if you wish to be racially unbiased, it is necessary to completely shed all need to “defend the Sinhalese against unfair attacks” or “defend the Tamils” etc. There should be no hesitation in criticizing all parties as needed. I’m sorry to see that your stated goal is to “defend the maligned Sinhalese”.

        My goal SD is to prevent UNFAIR criticism irrespective of race.
        Fair criticism is accepted.
        What would you do?
        Standby in silence in the face of injustice, for fear of being labelled a racist?

        I have stated my views loud and clear
        But you have come to a radically incorrect and hasty conclusion about my intent and stated goal.
        I am capable of making my own statements.
        I don’t need anyone else to do so on my behalf.

      • Off the Cuff

        To the Readers of GroundViews

        I would like to share my experience of the GV system regarding the order of comments and providing a link to a given post.

        The GV system allows three levels of comments to the main article

        The primary comment, the direct reply to the primary comment and the sub comment to such a reply.

        This allows any comment to branch off to two additional levels.

        The old GV had all comments in chronological order but the new GV keeps chronological order only within the separate reply levels. This fractures the chronological order of the comments as a whole.

        Example

        yapa May 20, 2011 • 8:55 pm – Primary comment

        SD May 21, 2011 • 12:35 am – Reply comment

        SD May 21, 2011 • 7:39 pm – Sub comment to reply

        If using Firefox, hovering the cursor above the reply link in the primary comment the following will be seen
        ?replytocom=31804#respond

        the 31804 is Yapa’s primary comment number and SD’s first comment will appear under the primary comment.

        Repeating the above on the reply link of SD will yield ?replytocom=31807#respond

        The 31807 is SD’s first comment number and since there are no further reply links in the sub comment all posts made by clicking the reply link on SD’s first post will appear in chronological order under SD’s sub comment. Hence when posting a reply the easiest thing to do is to post it using the reply link in the “Reply comment” and not the reply link in the main comment. This ensures the correct chronological order of the replies.

        If however the reply is posted using the reply link in Yapa’s main comment it will be out of step with any replies made under SD’s first comment.

        The date stamp of comments under a given article is unique and is searchable.

        Hence reference to any comment can be made by providing the url of the main article along with the date stamp.

        Alternatively, right clicking the date stamp and using “copy link location” in the menu that appears will yield the complete url reference of any comment. I use Firefox. IE users will see a different label in the menu

        • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

          Thanks for this. In developing the new nested comments, we took into consideration a number of requests to include such a feature so that the thread of a particular conversation could be followed. As you note, there were merits to the old system as well. It’s one of those things were whichever path we adopt, there will be a group that doesn’t like it. What to do? We are not keen to use a platform like Disqus. We tried one around ’08 and it wasn’t a success. The nested comments are through a WordPress plugin. Any others you know of that do the job better?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear GroundViews,

        Yes I was confused and at a loss to keep track before I understood how to overcome the problems. You could improve the current system by allowing only one level of nesting.

        I.e. Main Comment and the reply comment.
        You could remove the reply link from the reply comment. Then all replies to a main comment will fall in chronological order under the issues raised by the Main comment.

        I believe that will go a long way in cleaning up the comments pages and will also achieve your goal of having a rational comments order within a conversation.

        Sometimes people do not use the reply button but just makes a post. Inadvertently or unknowingly the URL may contain a ?replytocom command of another post. This will cause that post to appear under an unrelated thread (has happened to me before I understood the system).

        If that URL did not contain a ?replytocom command the posting will appear as a Main Comment. I believe that educating the user on correct use will also help. A good instructions page with examples would go a long way.

        If I come across a system that is better, I will most certainly keep you informed. You are doing a good job as it is.

        • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

          Thanks again – will keep these excellent points in mind.

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Dear GV,

        I would add the following suggestions.

        1. Allow the “recent comments” tab on the main page to be expanded to display more than 7 posts.

        In other words, expanding the comments section will present an RSS feed view on groundviews itself. This would provide a chronological view of posts for those who are unhappy with the threaded view. (Personally, I think the chronological view helps regular readers, whereas the threaded view serves better for newer readers as well as for organizing the conversations in the longer term. Therefore, having both would give us the best of both worlds)

        2. When replying, it would be great if the reply box appeared in the exact place that the comment is being made.

        Please check this site for an example. http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/05/22/1820200/3D-Aerial-Photos-For-the-Common-Man

        The current system on GV unfortunately does not make this obvious, causing posts to appear under the wrong parent post, at times.

        Slashdot might also serve as a good source of inspiration given the volume of its posts – it’s even given rise to the phrase “getting slashdotted”, and they have gone through several iterations of site redesign. The present layout appears to be the culmination of that experience. (Another nice feature it has is the ability to “preview” a post before submitting)

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Lankan Thinker,

        TT was trying to make a case for what was termed Colonisation by many. His/her arguments were used by his opponents to label him/her as a Racist.

        But is this proposal without any Merit?

        Singapore with an Ethnic mix that closely parallels Lanka uses a Policy called the Ethnic Integration Policy since 1989.

        22 years later the Policy still operates.

        Can you tell me why even in 2010-09-16, 21 years after the policy was implemented, the Tamil nominated MP did not label the policy as Racist, during an oral question time in Parliament?

        In fact these are the words of the Tamil MP

        “Mr Viswa Sadasivan: Thank you. I understand and most Singaporeans understand the principle of why we need the EIP

        Is there any difference with what TT proposes and what has been practised in Singapore (and still practised there) for the last 22 years?

        The Logic for implementing EIP was explained by the Govt., at the same sitting as follows

        The Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for National Development (Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman) (for the Minister for National Development):   Mr Speaker, Sir, the Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) was implemented in 1989 to prevent the formation of racial enclaves and promote racial harmony in HDB housing estates.  With the EIP, we ensure a good mix of residents of different races in different neighbourhoods and blocks of an HDB estate.

        http://www.parliament.gov.sg:80/reports/public/hansard/title/20100916/20100916_S0005_T0004.html#1

        Do you see ANY DIFFERENCE of the Justification made by The Singapore Govt and that of TT?

        If TT’s proposal is Racist, then Singapore has implemented a racist policy for 22 years and still counting.

        But going by the acceptance of EIP by the Tamil MP in Parliament, even after experiencing EIP for 21 years, the Singaporean Tamils do not find EIP as Racist.

        The real question before us is, why then, are the Sri Lankan Tamils finding the IDENTICAL proposal to be Racist?

        Would you be willing to have it implemented if the name is changed to Ethnic Integration Policy?

        I hope I have proven, that dismissing everything a commentator writes, with a blanket rejection, as the writings of a Racist, and refusing a deeper examination of the actual proposal, is idiotic and shows poor judgement and prejudice against the commentator.

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear OTC,

        “Do you see ANY DIFFERENCE of the Justification made by The Singapore Govt and that of TT?”

        “If TT’s proposal is Racist, then Singapore has implemented a racist policy for 22 years and still counting.”

        You are entitled to you views; if you say that, you see nothing wrong in the model that TT has been advocating, I believe that you say this with good intentions! However, I feel that you are oblivious to the bigotry such an idea beholds.

        TT does not just suggest an idea in order to building a society with fairness and harmony; he explicitly argues that the Tamils are collectively racists; he/she has been branding a group of people as racists. Then he/she goes on to promote a colonisation program exclusively for the Sinhalese to be settled within the North and East. When challenged about the Sinhala dominated areas, he points to Colombo; he/she casually and reluctantly agrees that all areas should become multicultural, but exhibits no enthusiasm! The point that he/she obscures is that, the Sinhala are not racists and thus not required for them to change! It is the Tamils that need to be cultured by planting the good non-racist Sinhala among them!

        The administrative language of Singapore is English; any housing program adheres to their ethnic balance; their system is designed to promote ethnic harmony; this is why they are successful. By contract, Sri Lanka implemented a language policy without consultations with its minorities; it has been unceremoniously thrusting the Sinhala language on the Tamil speaking people. The Tamils have been resisting this hegemonic thrust on them; many people have died; the ethnic relations have been deeply adversely affected. The Tamil community is extremely suspicious about Sinhalaisation of North and East. Against this backdrop, you support an idea of colonising the Sinhala exclusively with the state patronage within the North & East. Do you think this is fair? Do you believe such a move will bring about harmony? Do you not think that the Tamils fear subjugation?

        At this given point, is Singapore comparable to Sri Lanka? You know very well that the Sinhala has the superiority in numbers; they can do anything to satisfy their whim and fancy. The Tamils fear for their identity; they want to preserve their language and culture. The Sinhala Only basically made the Tamils to cling on to the North & East as their historical habitual areas. If you willfully dilute their concentration in these areas, you will systematically dilute their democratic political aspirations; this amounts to monumental attack on ethnicity in line with state sponsored bigotry. This is exactly what TT has been advocating; anyone with little commonsense would have found him/her out in no time unless one favours such an idea himself!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        First, I must thank you for your response and am glad that it was you who responded first.

        My analysis was of an Idea with living proof of it’s success for over two decades.

        I am not looking at how it was presented but was looking at the core issues involved.

        EIP requires the maintenance of the General Populations Ethnic balance everywhere.

        The Singapore Govt’s declared objective is

        “The Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP) was implemented in 1989 to prevent the formation of racial enclaves and promote racial harmony in HDB housing estates.  With the EIP, we ensure a good mix of residents of different races in different neighbourhoods and blocks of an HDB estate.”

        The Tamils in Singapore do not find EIP either offensive or Racist and have experienced EIP for 22 years now.

        Leaving aside TT’s presentation, would you agree to an identical policy implemented in Lanka with the same objectives?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        This is to address your concerns which I haven’t done in my earlier post.

        You say “By contract, Sri Lanka implemented a language policy without consultations with its minorities; ”

        Yes True and it is wrong even though reasonable use of Tamil was allowed.
        However, later, on 3 sept 1958, the language issue was solved to the satisfaction of the Tamil MPs with the passing of the Tamil Language Act. The Tamil electorate endorsed this in the subsequent election. Today Tamil Language is a National Language and is only one of two countries where Tamil has a National Status. The other being Singapore. Why do the Tamils always live in 1956 when it comes to language?

        I don’t blame the Tamils for their initial resistance. We should not forget that they were supported in that resistance by the Left parties where the majority membership were Sinhalese. The Sinhalese left stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tamils in their struggle. Today the situation is different to what it was in 1956.
        Tamil has it’s rightful place within the Constitution.

        You say “Against this backdrop, you support an idea of colonising the Sinhala exclusively with the state patronage within the North & East. ”

        That is an incorrect and misleading statement.
        There is no EXCLUSIVITY in EIP.
        Singapore consists of 75.2% Chinese, 13.6% Malays, 8.8% Indians and 2.4% Eurasians and other groups. This is a Very close parallel to Lanka’s ethnic mix. The Chinese percentage is almost the same as the Sinhalese percentage and the collective minority is also similar.

        What the EIP does is to maintain that balance. It is not a colonisation it just prevents any new ethnic settlements in any area where the Ethnic quota has already been saturated. It does not give exemptions to anyone. Within a public housing scheme the allocation of housing units will strictly reflect the ethnic quota. It will be the same anywhere in Lanka whether it is the North, South, East or West. This means that the distribution of public resources become per capita based.

        You say “At this given point, is Singapore comparable to Sri Lanka? You know very well that the Sinhala has the superiority in numbers; ”

        Yes the Sinhalese have the superiority of numbers but it is identical to the Chinese superiority of numbers in Singapore.

        You say “they can do anything to satisfy their whim and fancy.”

        No they cannot do as they wish today. Those days are gone forever.

        You say “The Tamils fear for their identity; they want to preserve their language and culture. ”

        The Language is already preserved within the Constitution.
        Do you see any Cultural bar for the Tamils in the South?
        Are not the Tamils free to do anything and everything Culturally, in Colombo and the South that they do in the Deep North?
        What exactly are they restricted in doing Culturally?
        Where in the South has the Tamil identity come under attack in the present day?

        You say “The Sinhala Only basically made the Tamils to cling on to the North & East as their historical habitual areas.

        If that is true and was indeed a reaction to the Sinhalese Racism in the South can you explain why the Sinhalese allowed the Tamils to settle down in the Majority Sinhalese South and reduce the Sinhalese to a minority in the Capital? Or why Beruwala in the South, flanked by Sinhalese majority towns, was allowed to become a Muslim Majority area? Why was Galle allowed to develop a considerable Muslim population? Is it because the Sinhalese were Racists?

        What would have been easier for the Racist Sinhalese to do, than to prevent the Tamil occupation of their Capital City itself?

        You say “ If you willfully dilute their concentration in these areas, you will systematically dilute their democratic political aspirations; this amounts to monumental attack on ethnicity in line with state sponsored bigotry.”

        Has that happened in Singapore with the EIP?
        Everywhere in Singapore the Chinese form over 75% of the population
        The Tamils are being converted by a State Policy to a 9% minority anywhere in Singapore. Even Little India is getting converted in that manner as no new Indian (they are mostly Tamil) settlements are allowed in that area. The same thing is happening to China Town where no new Chinese are allowed to settle there.

        Every State sponsored Housing Complex allocates over 75% of the housing Units to Chinese. This has been going on for 22 Years.

        The EIP is applicable to the sale of flats under the DBSS, since it is still considered public housing. The Developer needs to adhere to this policy, which is applied uniformly and consistently across all ethnic groups in the sale of new flats, allocation of rental flats as well as resale flats in the open market. Under the EIP, a quota is set for each ethnic group for each block. During selection, you will be able to book a DBSS flat if the limit for your ethnic group has not been reached. (http://dbss-faq.blogspot.com/2011/02/eligibility-and-priority-schemes.html)

        This is State sponsored Dilution of Tamils according to your definition Yet there are no complaints by the Tamils that such a policy is Bigoted, Racist, Dilutes their Political Aspirations or anything of the sort (read the parliamentary proceedings provided earlier).

        In fact the Tamil MP stated in Parliament that EIP is necessary even after living with it for 22 years.

        Why?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        Re “I’ll wait for you to criticize TT’s racist bigotry, or for that matter, anyone at all, in favour of Tamils, and in as energetic a fashion as your campaign to absolve the Sinhalese, the first time you notice it might be “fair” to do so. I take it that thus far, you agree with TT that no such campaign is necessary?”

        Every issue would be treated on Merit.

        Why don’t you join us in the old thread further up where we are discussing what is termed colonisation?

        you have avoided an answer to the following in my earlier post. I hope you have clicked both links and verified the results.

        He pretends not to see the difference between your link and his.
        Are you also maintaining that both links are the same?
        Which link indicates the relevant thread?
        Yours or His?

      • Burning_Issue

        Dear OTC,

        I again say that you write with conviction; you truly believe that you write the ground realities; but I for one deem as they are your aspirations than facts; I am very sorry to say.

        “Yes True and it is wrong even though reasonable use of Tamil was allowed.
        However, later, on 3 sept 1958, the language issue was solved to the satisfaction of the Tamil MPs with the passing of the Tamil Language Act.”

        I am sorry, please elaborate on this; when was the Act passed and how have you deemed that the Tamils MPs were satisfied? Please also tell me as to how the Tamil Language Act was practically implemented.

        “The Tamil electorate endorsed this in the subsequent election.”

        How do you know this? Was there a referendum on this point? Was this point included in the manifesto of the contesting political parties? How did you come to this conclusion?

        “Today Tamil Language is a National Language and is only one of two countries where Tamil has a National Status. The other being Singapore. Why do the Tamils always live in 1956 when it comes to language?”

        What nonsense OTC! Can a Tamil conduct his civil duties in Tamil wherever he/she lives in Sri Lanka? On what language the SLA is administrating within the North & East? One thing is passing an Act but it is another thing implementing it sincerely! The Sinhalese are not ready to face up to the issue of the Tamil being one of the national languages and you need to face up to this reality too!

        “I don’t blame the Tamils for their initial resistance. We should not forget that they were supported in that resistance by the Left parties where the majority membership were Sinhalese. The Sinhalese left stood shoulder to shoulder with the Tamils in their struggle.”

        The Tamil too thought that the Sinhala Left were supportive until the 1972 Constitution that was architected by Dr Colwyn RD Silva that took away the section 29; protection for the minorities!

        “Today the situation is different to what it was in 1956. Tamil has it’s rightful place within the Constitution.”

        Are you convinced that the situation is better now than in 1956? Please OTC; you need to be a Tamil for week in Colombo and a week in Jaffna and then you come and tell me weather the situation is better or worse! You need to seriously try this!

        “Yes the Sinhalese have the superiority of numbers but it is identical to the Chinese superiority of numbers in Singapore.”

        The difference is that, the Singapore is a nation of subjects. In Sri Lanka, the situation is different; this is why we had a war for 30 years!

        I said:
        “they can do anything to satisfy their whim and fancy.”

        You said:

        “No they cannot do as they wish today. Those days are gone forever.”

        Not true; you support the idea of TT, which is to colonise the north and east with the help of the military and state patronage.

        Buddha statues are being erected on state patronage within North & East in private lands!

        Private lands are being taken by the state sponsored cronies.

        “The Language is already preserved within the Constitution.”

        Wow; that is very noble of the Sinhala to allow the Tamil Language in the constitution. The Tamils should be grateful and get on with their lives conducting their civil affairs in Sinhala!

        “What exactly are they restricted in doing Culturally?”

        Let me ask you this; is Buddhism in danger of disappearing from Sri Lanka? Why then it is projected in the constitution? But it is a real danger for the Tamil language to disappear from Sri Lanka if the same trend is allowed to continue. If the Tamil Language is lost the culture will follow too; this is why it is important for the Tamils protect it. Can you blame them?

        “Where in the South has the Tamil identity come under attack in the present day?”

        You need to be a Tamil for a week in the South to know the answer to this question!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Burning Issue,

        The Tamils in Singapore do not find EIP either offensive or Racist and have experienced EIP for 22 years now.

        EIP is the Ethnic Integration Policy of Singapore and is living proof of successful Ethnic Integration. Why should not such a successful policy be adopted in Sri Lanka?

        “I again say that you write with conviction ”

        I am basing my assessment on the success that Singapore has achieved in creating a peaceful multicultural society where the ethnic mix parallels that of Lanka.

        It should be remembered that Singapore had ethnic problems even as recent as 1969.

        This is a question I raised in my post to you linked below.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31908

        I will address all your concerns laid out in your post of May 24, 2011 • 3:20 pm subsequently (some of which we have discussed some time back on GV). Answering them now will lead the discussion away from EIP. That is the reason that I have desisted in doing so, at this point of time. Please bear with me.

      • Lankan Thinker

        Dear OTC,

        Apologies for my tardiness in responding to your posts about the Singaporean Ethnic Integration Policy and its applicability in Sri Lanka.

        At the outset I would echo Burning Issue’s observation that you are entitled to your opinion when you defend the model that TT has been advocating. However, I too don’t believe that TT’s vision is for a real implementation of EIP as per Singapore. His basic premise is that Tamil people of the North are racist and therefore only vote for Tamil political parties. For this reason he advocates changing the demographic make up of the North to prevent the TNA from getting a mandate in future elections. TT uses election results to back up his basic premise which I maintain is a case of mistaking correlation for causation.

        Getting back to the idea of implementing an ethnic integration policy (ala Singapore) in Sri Lanka. My understanding is that this policy applies to the ownership of houses built by Singapore’s Housing Development Board and according to statistics in 2010, 82% of dwellings in Singapore are HDB ones (http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/popn/c2010sr2/t1-7.pdf). Therefore, it would seem the implementation of the EIP was only possible in Singapore because of the high degree of state control over property and housing provision. This is not the case in Sri Lanka.

        To the point that Tamil MPs in Singapore have spoken in favour of EIP, I would observe that this is in a context where the policy is applied evenly across the whole of Singapore (all 650 sq km of it). It would be interesting to see a parliamentary debate in Sri Lanka on this issue, when the bill before the house would require that no more Sinhala people can be given state lands in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Kalutara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura or Kegalle because all these districts have more than 82% Sinhalese (the national average according to the 2001 Census – http://www.statistics.gov.lk/PopHouSat/PDF/Population/p9p8%20Ethnicity.pdf). If the MPs representing these areas agree to a national land allocation policy, along the lines of the EIP, that ensured that Tamil and Muslim people were given preferential access to land, perhaps there is a chance that the MPs representing the North would also be willing to speak in favour of a such an integration policy.

        You also make a point about the fairness of proportional (i.e. per capita) distribution of resources. I agree that this needs to happen, subject to certain safeguards to ensure that basic provisions of healthcare, education, etc. are maintained. However, there is no need to bring ethnicity into such a fair distribution of resources.

      • Lankan Thinker

        Dear OTC,

        The following paper may be of interest:

        Sin, Chih Hoong. 2002. “The Quest for a Balanced Ethnic Mix: Singapore’s Ethnic Quota Policy Examined.” Urban Studies (Routledge) 39, no. 8: 1347-1374. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost.

        Unfortunately copyright issues prevent me from sharing the PDF, but the abstract is as follows (emphasis is mine):

        “To achieve a ‘balanced’ ethnic mix, Singapore has implemented an ethnic quota policy on public housing since 1 March 1989. With 86 per cent of the population living in public housing, this policy has immense repercussions on the configuration of the ethnic residential landscape. This article examines the impact of the quota policy on the buying and renting, as well as the selling or letting, of public housing. The differential response by the various ethnic groups is revealed. The policy per se may not achieve its intended impact and may, ironically, have the least impact on the group it was most intended for. Integration policies must be more holistic in approach and more sympathetic in execution.”

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Lankan Thinker,

        Thank you for a well thought out contribution.

        Re your “when you defend the model that TT has been advocating “

        LT, let me make my position very clear. I am not defending TT’s model as I do not know what that is and because TT is not here to clarify what she/he thinks.

        I am exploring a core issue that TT touched on. As I stated before, not everything a person states should be dismissed outright. With or without the knowledge of its success in Singapore, TT has touched on a similar matter, where the idea is to integrate all ethnicities in every locality while maintaining the National Ethnic Proportions. Hence please do not run away with the idea that I am writing on his/her behalf because I am not. I believe this answers the second para of your post completely.

        My understanding is that this policy applies to the ownership of houses built by Singapore’s Housing Development Board and according to statistics in 2010, 82% of dwellings in Singapore are HDB ones (http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/popn/c2010sr2/t1-7.pdf).

        Not exactly LT, it applies to even renting. You cant rent as the owner and you can’t get in as a tenant if you don’t qualify under EIP. There are privately built housing units (DBSS) that come under the EIP scheme. In fact very little, if any, dwelling units escape EIP. You are absolutely correct in surmising that the Govt of Singapore is the major house builder as land in Singapore is overwhelmingly owned by Singapore’s Govt. Coincidently, in Sri Lanka too the Govt. is the overwhelming land owner, holding 82% of all land.

        http://www.undp.org/legalempowerment/reports/National%20Consultation%20Reports/Country%20Files/23_Sri%20Lanka/23_7_Overview_National_Consultation-.pdf

        “Therefore, it would seem the implementation of the EIP was only possible in Singapore because of the high degree of state control over property and housing provision.”

        Sri Lanka is no different as the Govt holds 82% of all land and only 18% is privately owned. Hence your assumption that EIP is not viable in Lanka is not valid.

        ”To the point that Tamil MPs in Singapore have spoken in favour of EIP, I would observe that this is in a context where the policy is applied evenly across the whole of Singapore (all 650 sq km of it). “

        That Tamil MP did not know that it would be evenly applied 22 years ago.

        I am also discussing the same, even handed application of EIP, in Lanka without any exception. All 64740 km² of land and 870 km² of water.

        “when the bill before the house would require that no more Sinhala people can be given state lands in the districts of Galle, Matara, Hambantota, Kurunegala, Gampaha, Kalutara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Ratnapura or Kegalle because all these districts have more than 82% Sinhalese”

        You have misunderstood EIP. Yes there is a temporary halt until the minority percentage rises and starts diluting the Sinhala majority percentage. Remember that EIP operates on the percentage not the actual numbers.

        In Singapore Inter-ethnic marriages in 2010 had risen to 20.2% of all marriages. Is there anything else that’s more powerful in building communal harmony? Would it have been possible if the young people were living away from each other ethnically? True they would meet at work but that wont replace living at close quarters.

        http://www.singstat.gov.sg/pubn/reference/mdscontents.html#Demography

        “If the MPs representing these areas agree to a national land allocation policy, along the lines of the EIP, that ensured that Tamil and Muslim people were given preferential access to land, perhaps there is a chance that the MPs representing the North would also be willing to speak in favour of a such an integration policy. “

        EIP does not give PREFERENTIAL treatment to any group. Whether that group is the majority or the minority the results are the same. What is wrong with that?

        “You also make a point about the fairness of proportional (i.e. per capita) distribution of resources. I agree that this needs to happen, subject to certain safeguards to ensure that basic provisions of healthcare, education, etc. are maintained. “

        Health care has a life and death impact. Of course it should be maintained and should be accessible to all. I completely agree with you that ethnicity is immaterial in this case. In the case of Education I support standardisation as it is practised now as affirmative action to uplift the underprivileged should go on until the State has the ability to provide educational institutions of equal standard, at least in all provinces.

        The point I made is that resources of the State should be apportioned on a per capita base to prevent anyone group taking an unfair share. Healthcare is a notable exception.

        Regarding your second post

        “The policy per se may not achieve its intended impact and may, ironically, have the least impact on the group it was most intended for. Integration policies must be more holistic in approach and more sympathetic in execution.”

        The key word in the above statement is May

        The phrase “ more holistic in approach and more sympathetic in execution” runs directly against the Tamil MP’s statement in Parliament supporting EIP after experiencing EIP for 22 years.

        Parliament would have been the easiest place to condemn EIP as the Tamil MP enjoys immunity for what is stated within Parliament, does he not?

      • Lankan Thinker

        Dear OTC,

        Thanks for the clarifications on the land ownership proportions in Sri Lanka and the detail of Singapore’s EIP.

        At the outset I should say that I have no fundamental objection to an EIP as long as it is applied across the whole country and implemented in a transparent way. So in principle I am in agreement with your idea of an “even handed application of EIP, in Lanka without any exception. All 64740 km² of land and 870 km² of water.”

        However, I am pessimistic about such a fair integration policy being realised in Sri Lanka for two main reasons:

        (1) There is no political will on the part of the government to devise an even handed policy that would require preferential allocation of land and assistance to non-Sinhalese people in the southern districts – even when this would only apply for a limited period as you point out.

        (2) Implementing an EIP and maintaining it in the long run would require significant reform in the bureaucracy of land management and economic assistance in Sri Lanka, in particular to take steps to eliminate political interference in administrative matters. As an example of the problems already faced in this area, the report you linked to mentions the problems faced by people granted land under the Mahaweli Scheme and ‘Swarnabhoomi’ schemes. I see these problems being magnified and given the added complication of an ethnic dimension if EIP is implemented in the current administrative regime.

        There is also the issue of whether the representatives of the minority communities will accept an EIP. I would certainly argue that they should accept it if (1) and (2) above are addressed. I also suspect that the economic advantages of having more people in the North and East, creating demand for products and also making the land more productive, should quickly convince the people of the North and East of the benefits of the policy. The caveat to this is of course the need for those moving into any area as part of the EIP implementation to treat their fellow citizens with dignity and respect.

        With regard to your point about inter-ethnic marriages, I agree that when communities live in close proximity there is a greater likelihood of this happening. However, I suspect that in Sri Lanka, traditional views on process of finding life partners (i.e. the need to involve elders), the language barrier and the mutual distrust between communities are bigger factors that prevent inter-ethnic relationships, even when people spend a significant amount of time in close proximity (e.g., at university).

        Regarding the paper I cited, the conclusions state that the intent of the EIP was to limit the tendency of the Malay community to segregate themselves, but that in fact EIP didn’t really change the attitudes of the Malays in this regard. So, the endorsement of the Tamil MP might have been because his community was not really impacted by the policy. However, I think the fundamental reason for minority groups supporting EIP in Singapore is that it is applied in a fair manner. The situation in Sri Lanka is that people (such as TT) vociferously argue for non-Tamils (mainly Sinhalese) to be settled in the North and East but ignore the need for an even handed policy that will ensure minority presence is increased in other parts of the country. So is it surprising that such a policy is deemed racist?

        As I said, copyright considerations prevent me from putting the PDF of the paper onto Sribd to share with everyone, but if you e-mail me at [email protected], I can reply with a copy of the PDF.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Lankan Thinker,

        Burning Issue, SD, David Blacker, BalangodaMan etc seems to have kept away from this discussion though as you observe we have been able to discuss the issues of EIP (what some call colonisation) without recourse to Emotional outbursts. I was hoping that their views would enrich the discussion. Apparently that hope was in vain.

        I specifically avoided the attempts to lead the discussion into the emotional trap as I was looking for a honest view of EIP from the Ethnic Minority contributors and those who label EIP as racist or bigoted.

        This is just a short note to offer you me sincere appreciation which I am writing just before leaving for work. I will be discussing EIP further when I return. I will also write to you at the email given after I create for myself a similar email address. Thank you.

      • SD

        Dear OTC, Lankan Thinker,

        Just noticed that my post had appeared under the wrong thread.

        Reposting it in the correct thread:
        On the contrary OTC, you are responding to a issue different from the one TT was raising. TT was creating a case about Tamil Racism, and I recall you asked David whether TT was correct. Thus, David’s entire argument was against that, and had nothing to do with housing schemes, which is the new topic you’ve come up with. So not surprisingly, we are having parallel monologues.

        Please don’t forget that TT’s premise for proposing his colonization scheme was based on the notion that Tamils were irredeemably racist. By ignoring those premises, you are essentially arguing for an offshoot of TT’s argument, not his main line of thinking. You have made little comment on his main argument – do you accept or reject it?

        As for this offshoot argument, certainly, it can be discussed separately, and I’m following your debate with Lankan Thinker.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Lankan Thinker and SD,

        As I told you before I do not agree with everything that TT says or with the way he presents it.

        However I believe TT’s main thrust is about turning all areas of Sri Lanka into a multicultural Society. His/Her main focus is on the North and East excluding Trinco and Ampara (vide: TT on May 3, 2011 • 6:20 am point 7) which are already multicultural like the rest of Lanka.

        Please observe what TT says here May 4, 2011 • 10:47 am

        “There is only one way to love multiculturalism – to live in a society of many cultures. People will not embrace each other on day #1 but it will happen. It is INEVITABLE as long as the society has many cultures. If there is only one culture, there is NO WAY it can EVER turn multicultural. You need to people to integrate with first. You cannot force people to embrace multiculturalism but you can create a society of many cultures which can THEN reach out the one another in the same society. Otherwise nothing will happen.”

        EIP of Singapore is a method that has been used by the Singaporean Govt to create that Multicultural Society for the past 22 years and it is still a living policy. Singapore Tamils have no objection to it. Even after 22 years of living with EIP a Tamil MP did not condemn EIP in Parliament though he enjoyed Parliamentary immunity.

        I have long believed that such a multicultural Policy is the way to go and I have had a debate on this very same issue with both Disgusted and Belle over a year ago on GV, till SD found out that it was a multiple personality and Disgusted vanished for ever.

        When viewed against such a backdrop, EIP is not an offshoot but the main thrust. That’s why I am debating EIP and leaving out the emotional stuff that prevents the discussion of the real issue, Ethnic Integration.

        I can see that most objections to TT are due to the insensitive presentation rather than the issues at the core of his idea.

        The extraordinary success of Ethnic Integration that Singapore has achieved can be seen by the fact that over 20% of ALL marriages were interracial in 2010. The implication in the future, of this singular fact, towards ethnic harmony is immense.

        In fact I believe that an additional measure should be included in any EIP in Sri Lanka. Tamil should be made a compulsory second language to all non Tamils and Sinhala a compulsory second language to all non Sinhalese in EVERY school in the Island, private or government. This will ensure that everyone in Lanka becoming intelligible to each other. The lack of which had lead to the prevalent mistrust and disharmony.

        Unfortunately we don’t have a Tamil perspective in this discussion (I thought LT was one). The only Tamil who came in, decided to keep away. I hope he will return and others would join.

        LT, you state “However, I am pessimistic about such a fair integration policy being realised in Sri Lanka for two main reasons: “

        The slang matches that are more common on the web cannot change the way Lanka is governed. It was no different in the USA with Jim Crow. Civil Rights being in statute books did not mean anything to the Negro’s in the South. If those who mattered during the Civil Rights movement remained pessimistic would they have made any progress?

        GV however, is a place where opinions can be created. What we agree to here, can snowball within the Lankan Polity. It may also catch the eye of someone who can change policy. True that is a remote chance, but nevertheless it’s still a chance, however remote it might be. It has a better chance than the slang matches in creating “Change”

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        You stated “David’s entire argument was against that, and had nothing to do with housing schemes,”

        Are you really sure of that?

        Have a look at the following and then decide.

        David’s first post re the Singapore EIP came about as follows

        Wijayapala posed a question to me on May 4, 2011 • 3:25 am
        What do you think about TT’s colonisation idea?

        My response to Wijayapala was as follows (May 4, 2011 • 9:20 am)
        It works very well in Singapore, the only other country where Tamil language has a National status. The Singapore Govts Housing Policy has ensured Peace in that Country.

        David responded before Wijayapala (May 6, 2011 • 4:09 pm)
        “Then how come the Singaporean government allows there to be a Little India and a China Town?”

        After my reply, He followed up with (May 9, 2011 • 4:10 pm)
        “Exactly, OTC. So since the NE already exists, its demographic wouldn’t change even if a Singaporean style policy was adopted.”

        After I replied this was his parting post(May 13, 2011 • 12:37 pm)
        “OTC, TT’s theories on Tamil racist voting, colonisation, Sinhala Only, and many other bigoted claims have been shredded in detail by various people, including me.

        End of Story.

        After he ran away, he never came back, even after I requested him to continue the debate on the “colonisation” issue here.

      • Lankan Thinker

        OTC,

        I can agree that the TT’s end objective was to create a multi-cultural society, it is just that means he presented for achieving this were quite lopsided (i.e. only applicable to the North and East). This is why I said it would be good if TT rejoined the discussion about the EIP we are discussing and confirmed whether he would support a more even handed approach.

        Regarding my pessimism – I agree that it doesn’t help anything. It’s just that, to the best of my knowledge, in 60 years of post-independence politics, no national leader, or political party has ever mooted an even-handed ethnic integration policy, let alone try to bring it to fruition. We have ministers for nation building, national languages and social integration – none of whom have ever proposed anything of this ilk.

        However, thinking more positively, I agree that a policy for ethnic integration should include language skills to ensure that future generations are, at the very least, bilingual and as much as possible, tri-lingual. Also, there should be more integration in education, where at the very least there are strong links between Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim schools in a given region. This could be through having more joint-events, or combining extra-curricular activities such as sport, scouts/guides, etc.

        At a basic level, there needs to be a vision for Sri Lanka that goes beyond economic development and sets forth an aspiration to create a national consciousness that is Sri Lankan before being Tamil, Sinhala or Muslim.

      • SD

        Dear OTC,

        Yes, you are right. The issue came up, but nevertheless, it remains orthogonal to TT’s central argument. His central argument is what I’ve already highlighted – that the incorrigibly racist Tamils must be colonized in order to dilute and thus render their racism ineffective. You have not responded to that issue.

        As for this, it is an interesting offshoot, and I will be an interested follower of the discussion, especially since I know next to nothing about how Singapore’s housing policies work.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Lankan Thinker,

        This is a reply to yours of May 27, 2011 • 11:34 pm

        Did you read TT’s post of May 4, 2011 • 10:47 am ?
        I have given an extract of it in my post of May 28, 2011 • 7:24 pm

        His/Her main thrust is multiculturalism (what other people chose to call colonisation) as a tool for ethnic harmony.

        S/He claims that
        a) Sri Lanka including Ampara and Trinco are Multicultural.
        b) The North and East alone is Mono cultural.
        S/He wants to turn the North and East into multicultural units.
        Is that not obvious if one is able to look through the veil of insensitive language?

        Hence what would you expect him/her to propound in point 7 that you refer to, when according to him/her, only the North and East are mono ethnic? Please correct me if I am wrong but I cannot recall anyone proving TT wrong about either statement (a) or (b).

        What I am discussing is Ethnic Integration. I have proposed a modified EIP as a tool to achieve the objective. Singapore’s EIP is also based on multiculturalism and has been accepted by the Singaporean Tamils.

        What TT is discussing, in raw, insensitive language, is Multiculturalism, as a tool for Ethnic Integration. Such language hurts peoples’ sensitivities and works against acceptance of what is proposed. The palpable hostility is proof of that.

        If you strip TT’s language from his proposal, will the end result be different to the implementation of EIP?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD and Lankan Thinker,

        SD said “His central argument is what I’ve already highlighted – that the incorrigibly racist Tamils must be colonized in order to dilute and thus render their racism ineffective. You have not responded to that issue.”

        The emphasised italics show your inference.
        Why are you excluding the possible alternate inferences of multiculturalism or neutralising the exclusive homeland demand which s/he finds unjust?
        Is it due to the language used?

        TT has stated in May 4, 2011 • 10:47 am
        “The north follows Tamil racially exclusive politics. Who vote for these Tamil race based, racially exclusiveness political parties? It’s the northern people.” The East is also included at the beginning of the post.

        That language is repulsive to any Tamil, but why is s/he not including the Upcountry Tamils in that description, if S/he considers ALL Tamils racist?

        That S/he does not consider ALL Tamils as racist is shown by the following denial contained in a post on May 5, 2011 • 4:18 am

        “BTW I didn’t call Tamils “racist Tamils”. Don’t jump into extremist conclusions.”

        Because of this I don’t agree with your generalised inference but I agree that TT’s language is raw and insensitive. S/he does not leave any ambiguity about who s/he is labelling as racist.

        My own position is as follows
        I do not support an exclusive homeland.
        I believe SL is home to all, every inch of it.
        I believe in per capita distribution of resources.
        What is your position?

        TT’s central argument is Multiculturalism as an answer to the perceived Racism of the North and East. TT seems to believe in fighting fire with fire and is advocating multiculturalism through govt enforcement as a counter to the exclusive homeland claim. S/He views this concept as a method to grab 35% of land and 65% of coast line resources for the exclusive use of the Tamil minority inhabiting North ans East currently. TT sees this as a devious an unjust attempt at stealing from the rest of the population. S/He sees settlement of other communities within this 35% of land resources as the most effective way of attacking an neutralising an unjust demand. Read his post of May 4, 2011 • 10:47 am. His/her main focus is multiculturalism.

        I too hope TT would join this discussion to clarify the stance adopted.

        DB wrote this

        “Harmony isn’t achieved by pretending ethnic differences don’t exist; but by acknowledging the differences, attempting to understand them, and establishing an umbrella identity that can span all communities.”

        This was TT’s reply
        “100% agree” ………………..
        “Imposing the Sinhala identity on Tamils, etc. is not the way to go. No one recommends that. But bringing them all under the Sri Lankan umbrella identity as distinct cultural groups (NOT nationalities) is the right thing to do. “
        (http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comment-27842).

        That is TT’s declared view. What does those statements convey if we are able to look at them honestly, without the prejudice that TT has already created for him/herself, by using Raw insensitive language? Is it multiculturalism or racism?

        Please read my post of May 29, 2011 • 2:45 am
        I refer to two claims made by TT. As far as I can recollect, no one has proved those claims to be wrong. S/He is crusading to turn ALL of Lanka to a Multicultural society. S/He is against the homeland concept. S/he is also an angry young person and that anger is visible through the way S/he writes. I am not making excuses on TT’s behalf but I don’t dismiss the core ideas presented, due to the way it is presented. I would rather examine those ideas by stripping the revulsion that the language generates.

        LT, you ask why TT proposes settlement only in the North and East. I have already answered that in my post of May 28, 2011 • 7:24 pm (second para) and May 29, 2011 • 2:45 am (5th para). However for completeness I will restate it in more detail.

        TT claims that excluding the North and East, ALL of Sri Lanka (including Ampara and Trinco) are already Multicultural. Hence as per TT, ONLY the North and East require any corrective measure to make the whole of Lanka a multicultural Nation.

        The logic is that only the wound requires medicine, not the rest of the healthy body.

        I hope we will have a Tamil view of EIP soon. Strange to see the current silence.

    • TT

      Zorro,

      Yes, all ethnic groups around the world have extremist elements but its is WORST in the case of northern Tamils of SL and Tamil Nadu Tamils. I’m not making things up. It is a fact.

      Please refer again to the FACTS I have given.

      I didn’t give enough facts on Tamil Nadu.

      India has 28 (???) states and almost ALL of them vote for national/multiethnic political parties. Tamil Nadu is the ONLY state that ONLY vote for Dravidian ONLY race based political parties since 1967 at EVERY election!

      BTW I didn’t call Tamils “racist Tamils”. Don’t jump into extremist conclusions.

      I count 40+ Tamil/Dravidian race based political parties in Tamil Nadu and SL. The HIGHEST in the world for ANY race! It irrefutably proves that race/racism has been embedded unfortunately in Tamil people’s politics in both Tamil Nadu and in areas some call “Tamil Elam”.

    • Lankan Thinker

      OTC,

      Thank you for your note and I look forward to your response to my most recent post on EIP.

      Just a couple of points of clarification. First, for the avoidance of any misunderstanding, I should point out that I am a Sinhalese expat, and therefore what I write cannot be taken as an opinion from the minority communities.

      Secondly, as SD points out, I think you have to make a clear distinction between the type of policy we are currently discussing (i.e. an EIP that is applied fairly and evenly across the whole island) vs. what TT has been advocating (see his post from May 3, 2011 • 6:20 am, where in point 7 he only talks about settlements in in the North and East).

      I don’t know if TT will ever return to join this discussion on EIP, but in his absence, I think it is better to agree that what we are discussing is quite different to what he has presented.

      • Off the Cuff

        This post went to the wrong thread and I am reposting it. Sorry about it.

        Dear Lankan Thinker,

        I have answered your post here May 29, 2011 • 2:45 am

        Please go back to the original thread as a new thread would fracture the connectivity of the debate.

  • Thambi

    Argh, can someone put a leash on TT’s racist and ignorant ramblings?

  • yapa

    TT was very sharp to be outsmarted. I don’t think anybody did it so far with direct confrontation with him. Some people tried it, but with simple and swift counter-movements like lightning TT over powered them. I don’t undermine the capacities of DB and SD, but even they were lame in front of TT’s mischievous smartness.We must accept and give due regard to his “abnormal competency”, of which definitely we are not fortunate enough to be gifted with.

    Thanks!

    • SD

      Yes, I too think that TT’s abnormal competency might qualify him for a Sri Lankan presidency.

      • http://[email protected] SD

        maybe even a ministerial post!

    • http://Correction............ yapa

      How about a lecturer post in a university to improve the quality of its academic staff?

      Thanks!

      • SD

        Brilliant idea! He can teach his Tamil racism theory along with that edifying story of Dutugemunu’s symbolic victory over that poor old “non-believer” Elara – a good king, but the wrong kinda believer.

  • yapa

    Dear DB;

    “As for demolishing your theories; lol do you have any theories of your own? The best you can do is trot around in the wakes of [Edited out] like TT and Yapa and parrot what they’re saying.”

    You are sadly mistaken. Off the Cuff had been contributing a long time in this blog before you started here. He is one of the best (if not the best)contributors I have come across. I should say he is the best debater who relied only on arguments to support his points, without looking for the help of sarcasm, or humiliation on others views. His game has been completely within the rules of the game and he kept his honesty intact.

    You never will be able to say he trotted around me, but I should admit that I trotted around him to be a poster in this blog. You cannot say that in the case of TT too as TT also started contributing in the blog much later. You are too early yet to assess his caliber.

    Thanks!

  • wijayapala

    You have put on public display, an arrogant and non tolerant attitude to opposing views by the regular and unbridled descent to the use of unprintable language, name calling and browbeating whenever LOGIC fails you, to put across an argument decently

    And unfortunately, as I learned, DB doesn’t limit this approach to newcomers either but extends it to anyone who questions his understanding of any topic. I do not agree with TT, but I can understand why even others who don’t share TT’s worldview can get turned off by David’s intolerance and inability to accept divergent views.

  • http://Correction............ yapa

    “Very well then OTC, if you think that I have considered them to be racist only on a superficial analysis,…………..”

    As usual in the case of discussions disadvantage to you.

    In the above post your definition of, “racism” is again superficial and cunning; to trap Off the Cuff to the narrowed down definition you are comfortable with, to gain advantages in the discussion.

    Why need to paraphrase such simple definitions otherwise?

    Ha, ha!, SD horaa.

    Thanks!

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

    I make no apologies for the fact that I am both impatient and intolerant of willful blindness and ignorance. If one insists that I haven’t given links even when I have given not one but FOUR, and have had it confirmed by a third party (namely SD), I think that pretty much proves that one isn’t interested in honest debate but on avoiding a situation where one will be forced to confront an argument one has no counter to. I am quite tolerant of divergent views, just not of pigheadedness, bigotry nor racism.

    I have never claimed to be in the armed forces either, just to have served a long time ago, if that is relevant.

    GV’s censorship of certain words, terms, and phrases is at best ad hoc, and believe me nothing I’ve said would be unprintable in any local newspaper, and words that are allowed on Monday are often censored on Tuesday :D But again, keep grappling with the shadows if you feel you cannot grasp the substance. No skin off my nose.

    • http://[email protected] SD

      I agree with David. There seems to be this impression that being intellectually deceitful is kosher if you do it in polite language like TT does. It is not! I personally find it far more offensive and deserving of contempt, than the use of strong language, even at its filthiest. Once you violate the rules of intellectual integrity, that is a far worse affront to civil discourse than mere words. You cannot, by definition, continue a civil discussion with such a person.

      • http://Correction............ yapa

        Bashing him in absentia does not violate the laws of intellectual integrity or something of the sort(which is a common practice in your character)?

        Thanks!

    • Off the Cuff

      David Blacker,
      (also contains a reference to SD)

      Let’s compare your link with that of SD

      This is a link that you gave, please click on it an observe where it leads to.
      http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comments

      As you can see it DOES NOT link to any comment from you

      and this was given by SD. Please click on it and observe where it leads to
      http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comment-28129

      SD’s link, leads directly to your comment, viz “David Blacker February 17, 2011 • 6:02 pm “

      Your DUPLICITY and INTELECTUAL DISHONESTY has now been factually confirmed by yourself.

      You have been repeatedly claiming that you have given 4 links to your posts when NONE of those links display a single post from you, when clicked on.
      How do you explain that?
      Ignorance?
      Dishonesty?
      Duplicity?
      Intellectual deception?
      Or what?
      Or in your own words, is it “wilful blindness and ignorance”?
      You seem to have shot yourself in the foot David.

      SD says “I personally find it far more offensive and deserving of contempt, than the use of strong language, even at its filthiest. Once you violate the rules of intellectual integrity, that is a far worse affront to civil discourse than mere words”

      I wonder whether your personal admission of dishonesty, would attract from SD, the same kind of response to you as it would, if it was TT.

      I hope SD would be impartial in his criticism.
      (BTW SD, apparently we have all been lucky that the GV moderators did not share your view)

      You refused to give a SINGLE LINK to any of your comments and SD had to do it for you

      You don’t seem to understand how to give a relevant link.
      Please click on the link below for an explanation on how it is done.
      Then, at least in the future, you will know what to do.

      http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31867

      Looks like you needed to start a new thread.
      Was it a Houdini from the old?

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

        Lol, OTC, you really are a masochist, aren’t you? SD’s given you the the fourth of the four links I’d already posted! [Edited out.] :D Keep the joke going, my friend; you are an amusing [Edited out.] The links I’ve given lead to posts in the comments threads of which are the discussions between TT and me. I don’t have the time to spoon feed you lol.

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

        SD seems to have the patience to humour fools, and so has linked to a comment in that thread. That one comment doesn’t explain the entire conversation, which is why I desisted from doing so in favour of linking to the entire conversation.

        Once before you spent days stamping your foot and insisting you didn’t have to read previous discussions and demanding that people address your puerile and childish arguments rather than actually engaging in the debate. Looks like deja vu. Reminds me of a little child dragging the adults down to the level his juvenile intellect can manage. Ha ha ha.

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Come on OTC, now you want to pick on an individual word – “comment” instead of “thread” – and start a fresh debate/character analysis based on that? David provided the links, he never claimed to provide the links to exact posts. So if you can’t make the effort to start reading those posts, including the background and context, why blame him? I even outlined the procedure by which I found the exact posts – very simply, I searched for his name!

        Why don’t you follow that procedure – why debase our conversation to these juvenile distractions? I’m not interested in David or his character. Nor am I interested in TT. I’m interested in what they are saying about pressing issues concerning us all. I find David scrupulously honest in that regard, whereas TT is brazenly dishonest.

        I have specifically outlined the problem with TT’s posts – i.e. how TT is systematically painting a deceitful picture of Tamil racism, while ignoring all arguments to the contrary. Burning Issue has elaborated on this too. You ignore all that and talk about the Singapore housing policies. We can discuss and analyse such housing policies, certainly, but what makes you ignore his rank racism and the deceitful picture he’s painting – a picture which David has systematically demolished?

        Bottom line: I both regret and find it alarming to not see you defending Tamils as eagerly as you defend the Sinhalese. Especially now! When the Sinhalese are hardly in need of a defence. I find it alarming that you are happy to buy into TT’s racist theories, which are superficially convincing but belie rank racism and selective thinking on closer analysis. I myself was swayed by these false rationalizations a while back, and that’s why I think it’s all the more important to not fall into that racist trap.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        Back to the unprintable?
        Masochist? A good word very apt for you.

        you say SD’s given you the the fourth of the four links I’d already posted! [Edited out.]

        What a display of ignorance when you cant even spot the difference between your link and SD’s

        This is yours
        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comments

        This is SD’s
        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comment-28129

        Don’t see the difference yet?
        “wilful blindness and ignorance”?

        Unfortunately for you any other reader can see the difference and also experience the difference by clicking on each link.

        Bullying and name calling does not win you arguments David.

      • Off the Cuff

        Come on SD why are you trying so hard to defend the indefensible?

        You say “now you want to pick on an individual word – “comment” instead of “thread”

        What do you mean SD, how do you link to a thread?
        The ONLY way is by linking to a Comment in the thread.
        Do you know of any other way?

        You know for certain that David did not supply a link to any thread or post of his own.

        What he did was to give four links to main articles containing a MULTITUDE of THREADS.

        He pretends not to see the difference between your link and his.
        Are you also maintaining that both links are the same?
        Which link indicates the relevant thread?
        Yours or His?

        Let’s have a honest and direct answer.

        You say “David scrupulously honest”

        He has been unscrupulously dishonest in this thread.

        This is not about TT but about David and his Bullying tactics.

        TT we can discuss in the OLD thread. I have posted a comment about EIP in that thread and am engaged in discussing it there. It could not have escaped your attention.

        You say “I both regret and find it alarming to not see you defending Tamils as eagerly as you defend the Sinhalese. “

        Again you are putting a Racial twist.
        Do I need to underscore my position in every comment?

        I refer you back to the following statements
        My goal SD is to prevent UNFAIR criticism irrespective of race.
        Fair criticism is accepted.
        What would you do?
        Standby in silence in the face of injustice, for fear of being labelled a racist?

        http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31865

      • http://[email protected] SD

        Dear OTC,

        RE: “My goal SD is to prevent UNFAIR criticism irrespective of race.
        Fair criticism is accepted.
        What would you do?
        Standby in silence in the face of injustice, for fear of being labelled a racist?”

        Excellent OTC :-) I’ll wait for you to criticize TT’s racist bigotry, or for that matter, anyone at all, in favour of Tamils, and in as energetic a fashion as your campaign to absolve the Sinhalese, the first time you notice it might be “fair” to do so. I take it that thus far, you agree with TT that no such campaign is necessary?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        oops, this post went to the wrong thread.
        I am reposting it in the correct thread.

        you have avoided an answer to the following in my earlier post. I hope you have clicked both links and verified the results.

        He pretends not to see the difference between your link and his.
        Are you also maintaining that both links are the same?
        Which link indicates the relevant thread?
        Yours or His?

      • Off the Cuff
      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        “SD seems to have the patience to humour fools, and so has linked to a comment in that thread”

        Looks who is talking….. had a good look in the mirror lately?

        “That one comment doesn’t explain the entire conversation, which is why I desisted from doing so in favour of linking to the entire conversation”

        One conversation leads to the RELEVANT thread amongst a Multitude of threads in an article. Is that too difficult for you to grasp? Or is it pig headedness that causes you to become intentionally blind to the obvious?

        The reason why you desisted is because you did not know how to link to a thread at that time.

        The reason why you are desisting now, even after the explanations, is pig headedness and lack of humility to admit that you are wrong.

        That sums up your character does it not?

        “Once before you spent days stamping your foot and insisting you didn’t have to read previous discussions and demanding that people address your puerile and childish arguments rather than actually engaging in the debate. Looks like deja vu”

        Inability to comprehend the language that we use is not my fault is it?

        “Reminds me of a little child dragging the adults down to the level his juvenile intellect can manage. Ha ha ha.”

        Good comparison but the question is who is throwing childish tantrums trying in vain to re-establish the lost pride as the class bully?

        Deja Vu?

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

        SD, you’re wasting your time. OTC will go to any lengths to bury his head in the sand, obfuscate, and discuss a plethora of different things from grammar to html code rather than actually accept that he has nothing to add to the actual debate. I mean, you were right there during the 50-50 debate. Need I say more? :D

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

        I mean, in that thread he spent like a week arguing about why he didn’t have to read through the first part of the discussion but should be allowed to pedantically re-argue everything that had been already dealt with. OTC’s pretty much adroit at steering the debate away from the actual subject to arguing semantics and debating the way we should debate rather than actually contributing. He’s as hilarious a bugger as Yapa if you’ve got a dull day at the office.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear SD,

        “I take it that thus far, you agree with TT that no such campaign is necessary?”

        Every issue would be treated on Merit.
        I try to leave out the emotion that can cloud the core issues.

        Why don’t you join us in the old thread further up where we are discussing what is termed colonisation with Lankan Thinker and Burning Issue?

        Your input would be welcome.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31891

        ———————————-

        you have avoided an answer to the following in my earlier post.

        This is a link DB gave,
        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comments

        This is the corresponding link which you gave.
        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/02/imaging-the-aftermath/#comment-28129

        please click on them an observe where it leads to.

        Your link takes one directly to a post and hence the relevant thread. This is what is expected when a reference is given.

        DB’s leads to the main article and does not lead to any thread within it

        He pretends not to see the difference between your link and his.

        Are you also maintaining that both links are the same?
        Are the results of clicking on both links the same?
        Which link indicates the relevant thread?
        Yours or His?

        Please give a DIRECT answer.

        Apparently David wants you to avoid an Answer

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        “discuss a plethora of different things from grammar to html code

        So at last you have realised that the link you gave is different to the link that SD gave?

        “OTC’s pretty much adroit at steering the debate away from the actual subject to arguing semantics…”

        Adroit …… meaning skilled?
        Steering the Debate away? …….. doing that while you were involved in it? ……. how can it be possible with you proclaiming that you had all the intelligence?

        “ and debating the way we should debate “

        Walking naked on the streets does not need a debate to establish that it is inappropriate.

        Similarly, the way you debate does not need a discussion to establish its putridity.

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

        OTC, my link goes to the article beneath which is the thread. SD’s link goes to a comment within that thread. Do either of these prevent you from reading the thread and admitting that TT’s ideas have been demolished? Or do you prefer to continue with your song and dance so that you can avoid the actual subject and argue endlessly about links? Lol.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        “OTC, my link goes to the article beneath which is the thread “

        David your link goes to the Article beneath which are a MULTITUDE of Threads. That’s a Plural not a Singular.

        The ONLY WAY to indicate a SPECIFIC THREAD is to link to a “Comment in an article” where the relevant subject matter is discussed. , like I have done below.

        That is what SD has done too and what you stubbornly refuse to see.

        If you want to discuss a subject that TT has brought forth, you can join the discussion in the thread that I have linked below, which is under this same Article but in a different thread.

        http://groundviews.org/2011/05/01/notes-on-possibilities-after-the-un-report-including-nationalism-and-%e2%80%98the-geopolitics-of-emotion%e2%80%99/#comment-31891

        You yourself was in that thread for sometime, please rejoin so we can continue with a discussion decently.

        A debate is not won by attempting to silence your opponent with the threat of ridicule. Readers who cannot match the command of English that you possess would be wary of challenging what you write. That does not mean you have won a debate. It just means that you have scared your opponent away, from even stating his/her views.

        Sometimes sarcasm is needed to drive home a point when the opponent tries to be deceitful. I myself have used it with opponents like Heshan.

        What is the need for vituperative language to establish a point? The regular use of name calling and smilies conveys to the reader that such person has exhausted all debating points.

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

        Nope, there is only ONE thread, in which there are a multitude of comments. I assume that your paltry grasp of the language is still not severe enough to prevent you from understanding the difference between a comment and a thread of comments?

        So you still wish to avoid reading the thread? Lol, I wonder why.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        You state “Nope, there is only ONE thread, in which there are a multitude of comments”

        David that Article has 221 comments divided into several threads. GV allows two levels of branching to each MAIN comment. These branches are threads of the main comment. The moment another MAIN comment is posted it forms a new thread. Just because each comment appears under each other it is not called a thread.

        Ask your erstwhile friends what the word thread means with reference to a web blog without making a fool of yourself any more. A Thread on a web blog is very different to a Sewing Thread.

        On February 3, 2011 • 8:03 am TT started the first thread with a Main comment

        On February 3, 2011 • 5:48 pm wijayapala started another with a NEW Main comment.

        As you can see, within the space of less than 10 hours TWO threads were created and you insist that there is ONLY ONE THREAD?

        You say “I assume that your paltry grasp of the language is still not severe enough to prevent you from understanding the difference between a comment and a thread of comments?”

        The problem you have been facing throughout this discussion David is, that my paltry grasp of the language has been more than a match to yours and I did not have to stoop to your level to do it.

        Why are you keeping away from the live discussion that I am having about one of TT’s purportedly racist proposals in spite of the extended invitation? Come and “Comprehensively Demolish” it as I am debating for it.

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

        More to the point, OTC, why haven’t YOU read through the original demolition of TT’s ideas. In the two weeks you’ve spent trying to convince us that you’re too [Edited out] to scroll down a page, you could have read through all four threads several times over.

        Therefore I see no reason to begin a fresh discussion with someone as intellectually dishonest as you, particularly when this discussion too has already been argued and put to rest months ago. I’d provide you with the link but since you’ll probably begin another argument to avoid following it, what’s the point.

        I usually avoid trying to pull people’s heads out of their rectums, as all you end up with is shitty hands.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        The point David is I am engaged in a constructive discussion with SD, Lankan Thinker and Burning Issue about TT’s Colonisation theory that you so pompously claimed that you have “Comprehensively Demolished”.

        In spite of several invitations you have been too yellow to join that discussion. I would rather engage with you personally, in discussing the subject, rather than go through your arguments which apparently even you feel would not stand up to the current debate on EIP (your reluctance is evidence of that). Also please remember that you Ran Away from that very debate some time ago. Come back and try your Demolition arguments.

        You say “I usually avoid trying to pull people’s heads out of their rectums, as all you end up with is shitty hands“

        Wow what a statement? How many of your friends have that kind of flexibility? I would not doubt about your prowess though, as those who have forked tongues do possess the flexibility.

        [Edited out]

        Come join the debate on EIP, what you call “Colonisation”. Show your prowess in demolishing TT’s stand.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        Of course as you yourself observed, you do have dirty hands. Unfortunately, its not limited to your hands.

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

        As I told you before, OTC, SD seems gifted with an abundance of patience and is prepared to spoon feed you and educate you with the little bite-sized morsels your limited intellect can handle. I just can’t be bothered re-arguing all the points that I’ve already gone through in detail, over several weeks, with one [person], just for your benefit again. Earlier, I actually helped you out by providing you with links. Instead of using the opportunity, you spent over a week arguing with me about the protocols of providing links. life is too short to waste on people like you, OTC. If, therefore, you want to pat yourself on the back that I ran away instead of reinventing the wheel with you, go for it, my poor fellow. Ignorance is bliss, and I assure you I will not interfere with your bliss.

      • Off the Cuff

        David Blacker,

        At last a semblance of decency.

        Remember taunting TT about running away?
        Who has the Yellow Streak Now?
        I am not TT and my arguments are not TT’s arguments.
        Under the circumstances it is naive to assume you can do what you did with TT. In fact such logic is childish to say the least. I have called your bluff, come and test your skill debating “colonisation”

        You have been labouring for weeks to recover the ego you lost by trying to adopt the same bullying tactics you employed with others.

        Here is an example of your childish arguments

        You wailed “I have never claimed to be in the armed forces either, just to have served a long time ago,”

        You were never in the forces but claim you served the forces a long time ago.

        How did you serve without being in the forces?

        What were you serving?

        Long time ago? Was it any time during the JVP insurrections, the Eelam wars or WW1 or WW2?

        Are you trying to get respect by misleading others?

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

        Lol, OTC, I would be surprised that someone of your intellectual dishonesty would be capable of recognising decency even if it bit you in the butt, and believe me I use the word “intellectual” in the broadest sense. You have been very clear in the past that English comprehension is an issue for you, but really is it necessary for you to embarrass yourself in this manner? The meaning of my statement “I have never claimed to be in the armed forces either, just to have served a long time ago,” is pretty self-evident to anyone who is familiar with the distinction of the past and present tenses in the English language.

        Your questions on my military service (and any any other details of my personal life that titillate you) can be answered by a simple Google search. I trust that you can manage that and will not spend the next two weeks arguing that I must provide a link to the exact sentence so that you don’t have to educate yourself by moving your finger.

        I am afraid that your arguments are, in fact, the same as TT’s, and if you had bothered to follow the links provided, you would know this for yourself. I assure you that your marginally better grammar and syntax doesn’t give your argument’s any fresher a slant than TT’s. If I were trying to salvage my ego as you claim, I would in fact have engaged you in your parroted arguments; but the fact that I haven’t bothered to should suggest to you that my ego is unbothered by your juvenile challenges. I can also assure you that I have no need to prove myself to anybody, least of all you, which is why I said “I can’t be bothered”. All I have done in the past few weeks is lead you to water that you refuse to drink.

        You remind me of a little dog chasing a car and yapping “hey, please stop and fight me”. Unfortunately car drivers see no reason to stop what they’re doing to entertain little dogs. If, as you say, you are engaged in a constructive debate with SD, what’s the problem? SD’s is just as intelligent and informed as I am, if not more so, and I’m sure he can provide you with the debate your ego seems to require from me. Run along and play now, kid; I’m kinda busy.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear David Blacker,

        You said “SD’s is just as intelligent and informed as I am,

        What an excellent display of modesty …. Congratulations.
        Did you just say that you are not Egoistic?
        But then why do you have to blow your own trumpet, at the slightest excuse?

        Indecency, Bullying, Cowardice, Arrogance, Intolerance and now Egoistic Trumpet Blowing. What else do you have to add on to that string of Pearls?

        Your attempt at elevating yourself is in vain, as you are not a match even for TT.

        Here is another instance of your Trumpet Blowing when you tried to cow down TT with your ridicule.

        “….Oh the most enlightening trips I made were in 1990 (when you were 6) to Elephant Pass, Palaly, Vasavilan, Batti, etc. Tracer bullets are very enlightening

        http://groundviews.org/2011/02/28/moving-tamil-dissent-politics-beyond-anti-ltteism/#comment-28573

        You see David, though you have a tendency to overestimate your importance, you are not sufficiently important for most, to Google you for it. As for me, I just go by what you say or imply about yourself.

        BTW you need to brush up on your grammar before you try to teach others.

        This is my statement
        GroundViews is not the SL Armed Forces that you pretend to be part of, the reputation of which you have sullied, by your public display of arrogance and intolerance. I pity anyone who would have had to suffer under your authority, if indeed you had any authority over anyone, either enlisted or civilian. (May 21, 2011 • 11:55 am )

        This is your disclaimer
        I have never claimed to be in the armed forces either, just to have served a long time ago, if that is relevant. (May 23, 2011 • 12:27 pm )

        My statement depends on whether you have served in the SL armed forces at any time. You have admitted to doing so. Hence my statement stands.

        You have used the word “in” as a preposition. The tense is irrelevant. You can’t serve the forces without being “in” the forces at sometime or other.
        Trying to confuse the reader?

        You butted in on my post to Wijyapala of May 4, 2011 • 9:20 am with the following,

        “Then how come the Singaporean government allows there to be a Little India and a China Town?” May 6, 2011 • 4:09 pm
        My reply post to you is here May 7, 2011 • 12:48 am

        You responded with “Exactly, OTC. So since the NE already exists, its demographic wouldn’t change even if a Singaporean style policy was adopted. Such a policy would only prevent future such concentrations. Perhaps it is you who should read up on the policy and quote the relevant portions instead of simply evoking it and expecting others to find the relevance you assume is there. “ on May 9, 2011 • 4:10 pm

        Here is part of my reply the rest is found here May 12, 2011 • 1:28 am
        Wrong David. In the North and East land is available for future settlement (the majority of land is State owned). Hence if the Singapore Housing Policy is implemented, further concentration of Tamil settlements would stop if the National Population quota is already saturated or would slow down if the quota is close to saturation for any Demographic.

        I have quoted the above to remind you that you engaged me on the Singapore Housing Policy. I did not engage you. You left the debate without meeting my arguments and took a coward’s refuge by hiding behind TT. Unfortunately for you Neither TT nor You have ever discussed Singapore’s EIP on GV before.

        Hence NONE OF YOU have ever presented arguments on GV on the subject of Singapore’s EIP.

        The moment the “Emotional Factor” is removed from a debate, the wind goes out of the sails of most debaters. This is evident in the EIP debate, judging from those who left without meeting arguments.

        You refused to continue with your challenge because you had no leg to stand on when I proved that their was Tamil support even within the PRIVILEGED environment of the Singapore Parliament.

        EIP has been discussed further and more data has been submitted since you deserted it.

        That discussion is still open so why don’t you prove your prowess within that debate without trying to hide behind rhetoric? You have proclaimed several times that you are the one who is endowed with “intelligence”, hence what do you have to fear?

        Here are your own words about deserting a Debate
        “The problem is, like Heshan, he abandons debates where he’s made a fool of and simply repeats the claim in each new thread.” Most people on GV know he’s a bit simple minded by now.

        Are you simple minded as well David?

        You were in the debate and you ran away.

        Nothing you say will ever change that fact.