The author of this article, in January 2012, wanted us to take it down.

Although published under a pseudonym on Groundviews, the real name of the author and the full content of the article is available online on a number of websites.

  • ravana

    Another excellent article. Honda Honda sellang, Eliwena Jaameta.

    • indonicus

      E rate minissu – thanikara kelline pissu!

  • justitia

    “For while LTTE terrorism has been wiped out,state terrorism continues in many forms,given immunity by the ER and the PTA”.
    The TNA MP for batticaloa has stated during the recent debate on the Emergency, that more than 300 civilians have disappeared in batticaloa.

    http://www.tamilnet.com/art.html?catid=13&artid=34045

    This statement has apparently been completely disregarded by everyone.
    The prime minister has now blamed the “LTTE abroad” to justify the continuance of the emergency.

  • Velu Balendran

    Is the country ready for an article such as this, which is turning the recent Sinhala ideas of nationalism etc on its head? How well will this go with the Sinhala masses? Simply put, are the people in a mood to welcome these ideas? I suspect not. SF supporters may partially welcome for the anti-Rajapakse sentiment expressed. But what about the 60% who voted for Rajapakse?

    As for Tamils there is nothing new here in terms of ideas. For the last 60 years they have been calling for action based on similar ideas. At this stage though, it is a distraction. Tamils are more concerned about the planned colonisation, land grab, massive cultural genocide after the war, the unprecedented intimidation and continuing disappearances of their people etc, which are not receiving the attention they deserve locally and internationally. Simply put again, Tamils were never worse off than they are at present – something which JRJ once implied would make one section of people happy! (Of course there is a mad fringe or govt boot-licking Tamils who want development first and everything else… when?)

    • ravana

      Velu,

      Umm, I think you’ve got it wrong. Around 70% of voters actually voted in the Presidential elections.
      MR claimed 60% of that – i.e. ~40% of the voters. implying ~30 % for SF

      Within 3 months a General Election was held. This time only 50% of the voting public voted. Again MR’s party claimed 60% votes. This would make it 30% of the voting public. Now it is hard to believe that those supporters of his party that voted for MR did not vote for his party again. Now, there is the possibility that the same 30% voted both for MR and in the General Election. SF claimed that the votes were switched.

      No matter which way you look at it, MR is ruling with 30% support from the voting public, who are mostly either ultra nationalists or racists. I have hear a few stories about racist/class conscious action by officials over the years. However, I don’t know that Tamil racism is justified on account of that. In fact, I have studied the history of it and know that Tamil racism was just as virulent as the sinhala variety at least by the early 20th century.

      It is a pity that the high caste/ high class Tamils managed to undermine the poor Tamils from joining the main stream working class movements which could have made a significant difference. The Tamil extremist tendency to demonise all Sinhalas made it very difficult for even moderate Sinhalas to fight alongside Tamils.

      There has always been the will in us. If you are not prepared to join hands, then the ultranationalist/racist sinhala faction will continue to control the country. The Tamil racist faction will never have numerical advantage in SL.

  • sabbe laban

    Oh! Dharini, is it you?
    Indelibly linked to blood banks..
    In a place of high altitude
    known as the “Little England”
    Is it you, whose father was a GA
    in an Eastern town
    shot deat by the LTTE?

    Nice to hear from you..
    You may remember me
    the tallest man in that place of healing
    on top of the hills…
    the muscle which runs from the wrist to the elbow
    Palmaris what?

    The person writing uder this
    “unmentionable name”
    is he!

  • policyminded

    Mr. Tharman Shanmugratnam, of Ceylon Tamil immigrant descent was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore in May 2011 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,

    ha ha ha

    Lee Hein Loong is the son of Lee Kwan Yew. if ever there was a dynastical prime minister Singapore is it.

    Deputy prime minister of Singapore has no power, no influence, its merely a figure.

    we did have Tamil leaders capable of taking very senior roles, but they were killed by the LTTE. Who do you suggest become Sri Lanka’s token Tamil Prime Minister “Douglas, Karuna, Pillayan or KP”

    your naivety is laughable if it wasn’t intellectuality bankrupt.

    • Burning_Issue

      Anyone will be better than the current PM!

    • Thambi

      The important thing is the Tamil person put in the position of prime minister looked powerful! The Singapore Tamils are pleased and they move along feeling powerful themselves. Further in Singapore Lee (though consolidating power within his hands) did not engage in meaningless ideological battles about what should or shouldn’t be national language — Tamil was made one just like that because it was used by a major minority which forms a relatively small portion of the country’s population as a whole. You don’t see a separatist movement in Singapore now do you?

      I would hope we can do better than Lee but considering the state we are in today, even Lee’s model would be better.

  • Citizen

    separatists & their international supporters would b able to put this regime under “check” but would not be able to do “checkmate”.
    if the external pressure for power devolution is mounting, regime can go for a referendum in entire country. we all know what would be the result.

    • Velu Balendran

      Referandum? That’s the dream of the Tamils!

  • Citizen

    good! referendum in entire country!
    it will let them their due place

  • An excellent summary including two years of GoSL’s missed opportunities, but with one tiny, teensy flaw. “..the Tamil diaspora and international civil society seem focused and determined that justice be done at war’s end in Sri Lanka.”

    This would be Tiger-flag waving ‘Tamil Diaspora’, no? If so, they’re simply not in a position to demand anything from GoSL unless they first acknowledge their culpability in having supported and nurtured the various Eelam Wars. So they want ‘justice’ do they? What does that mean?

    I’ve yet to read anyone from the Tamil diaspora or the ‘international civil society’ (whether pro or anti-LTTE) clearly explain how threatening to take GoSL to war crimes trials will make them more amenable to their demands.

    Finally, there’s a definite whiff of ‘in loco parentis’ type lecturing by Western-based INGOs to GoSL. That type of thing simply will not fly anymore, despite the GoSL’s own well-documented instances of self-harming behaviour.

    • Agnos

      Mango, 

      “I’ve yet to read anyone from the Tamil diaspora or the ‘international civil society’ (whether pro or anti-LTTE) clearly explain how threatening to take GoSL to war crimes trials will make them more amenable to their demands.”

      I have neither the time nor the patience for endless arguments with the pro-GoSL crowd here. So don’t expect me to keep responding to your posts, but I will just give some quick answers.

      Firstly, justice and accountability for the mass slaughter of Tamil civilians is demanded by the survivors and victims’ families; but they are not in a position to articulate their grievances, preoccupied as they are with surviving even as the GoSL maintains a chokehold via military control of every aspect of their lives.   

      Suggestions that Tamils within GoSL don’t want justice for GoSL war crimes, that only the Diaspora wants to do that, are patently false.  People from across the Tamil political spectrum—e.g., Kumar David, Ratnajeevan Hoole, Mano Ganesan,  the TNA– are articulating the views of a large segment of Tamil population within SL, and all of them support international investigations. GoSL simply lacks any credibility to conduct any investigations. It is not something new—Tamils have known for a long time that any domestic commission is designed to suppress evidence and the culpability of those at the top; these commissions have ended up providing cover for even more atrocities.

      The pattern has not changed since the JRJ regime, though there was some hope—ultimately dashed—that under CBK there would be genuine investigations.  With such a track record, international investigations are the only possible deterrent to the continuation of mass atrocities.

      What “demands” are you talking about?  If you mean the long-standing political demands of Tamils, then the fact is Tamils don’t expect this regime to do anything on that front; there is no political will to agree to any demands; if that were not the case, there have been several proposals based on years of GoSL committees, including the APRC, which could have been implemented without going through the charade of endless talks.  

      What is more, it is not possible to have any serious, binding political agreement with a regime that is so utterly criminal and may soon face international war crimes charges.  Anything signed by such a regime is meaningless and unenforceable.  So the Tamils can cooperate with the regime on resettlement and rehabilitation, but it is naïve to believe that their political demands will ever be accommodated as long as this regime is in power. In this context, the Diaspora and the international civil society, by focusing on war crimes, can at least work on the deterrent.

      • Agnos

        Correction: “Tamils within GoSL” shoudl read Tamils within SL.

      • Dear Agnos,
        Thanks for that. I appreciate it. “Mass slaughter”? DB & Gehan are having a fascinating argument on responsibility for these deaths and they’re still arguing about definitions. http://groundviews.org/2011/06/06/when-allegations-become-evidence/

        Given that the LTTE’s hostage taking of willing and unwilling Tamil civilians lead to their death, what is the LTTE’s (and its diaspora supporters who funded and supported this blood letting) share of responsibility for these deaths?

        In stark contrast, in the earlier Eastern Campaign the civilian deaths were mercifully low because the LTTE never had a chance to concentrate the civilians and use them as human shields. A total contrast to the Northern Campaign, no?

        There’s a long queue of Lankans wanting ‘justice’, stretching as far back as JVP 1. The Sinhalese (and other) dead of the two insurrections are still waiting for their ‘justice’. What makes the Tamils so special?

        Whatever could’ve or would’ve happened under CBK is now counter-factual history, as the LTTE took care of her and her ‘liberal’ efforts to meet the LTTE half-way. But then the LTTE (and its cheer leaders) were never amenable to anything other than Total Eelam.

        I think this govt’s been fantastically short-sighted, hubristic and intoxicated by victory to not even attempt to grope towards a solution – the reason for which this war was fought to its’ brutal and inevitable conclusion.

        As for these ‘political demands’, as long as they’re tied to war crimes prosecutions, I don’t see any movement. Isn’t that obvious, surely? The ‘losing side’ try to gain through war crimes trials what they were unable to gain through 30 years of war.

        So, let’s posit a scenario where GoSL is indeed indicted for war crimes. How will this help Tamils in SL achieve their “.. long-standing political demands ..”?

        Give me some examples of which Tamil demands will be satisfied and by which govt?

      • Agnos, you never seem to have the time or patience for anything beyond your own repeated monologue. You seem to have a lot of time for that. Go on, man, stick that head ever deeper in the sand, and maybe you won’t hear the ever louder arguments of the nay-sayers.

    • Thambi

      A war crimes investigation as envisioned by the Tamil diaspora would result in the prosecution of the SL leaders by Europe and a Europe mandated separation of the Tamil portions of the country a la Kosovo. Get it Mango?

      • Thambi

        The Tamil diaspora has no alternative really. They cannot seriously work alongside the SL government which (even if not utterly repugnant to them from all those videos they’ve been watching and recently sending to Channel 4) has shown time and time again to have no serious interest in honoring any part of the desired reforms sought by Tamils and continue to enforce its will on the Northern population through sheer force. The SL government now controls all of Sri Lanka. Hence they must rid the SL government (particularly the Rajapakse administration) before they can do anything in Sri Lanka.

  • Sammy

    “The extravagant, grandiose and kitsch celebrations this May”

    Like Christmas celebrations perhaps?

    • indonicus

      Or even like the celebrations Brtother Velu and his disciples used to have every November to commemorae the poor [Edited out.] – some very little – who had died in the name of liberation.

      The victor is fast turning into a carbon copy of the vanquished.

  • georgethebushpig

    Dear Ms. Rajasingham Senenayake,

    This is a comprehensive overview and inevitably a depressing one. Thank you for articulating the mad reality that unfolds in front of our eyes in Sri Lanka.

    Just one thing though, the call for justice and investigations into alleged war crimes come not only from Tamils (diaspora and national), international community and international civil society organisations but also, a number of Sinhala, Burgher and Muslim Sri Lankans. The issue keeps getting played out as if it is Sri Lanka against the world (clearly not a view that you subscribe to) and if there are none other than above who are interested in seeing justice served. I for one will not be sucked into playing defense for anyone guilty of committing war crimes and in whatever way I can I will continue to push for an independent investigation.

    “How could man rejoice in victory and delight in the slaughter of men?”
    Lao Tzu

    • wijayapala

      Dear georgebushthepig,

      I will continue to push for an independent investigation.

      But how can you credibly do that when you could not even explain how the LTTE using civilian human shields could be defeated without civilian casualties?

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Here we go round the mulberry bush, the mulberry bush…..

        I thought you were following the excellent discussion between David Blacker and Gehan on “A robust debate on No Fire Zones (NFZs) and International Humanitarian Law”?

        “But how can you credibly do that when you could not even explain how the LTTE using civilian human shields could be defeated without civilian casualties?”

        This is one of the questions that I would like an independent investigation to clear up. Let me guess your response Mr. Wijayapala, “but what is independent?”.

        Here we go round the mulberry bush…..

    • ravana

      Hear hear!

  • Observer

    See the problem is Ban Ki-Moon “report” is not based on fact or evidence, rather misinformation sourced from pro LTTE sections abroad. It is not a report but a sheet of unverified allegations. Reports have facts in them. Therefore there is no real threat to the Rajapaksha administration.

    So far in the few “reports” released, either by the Crisis Group or Ban Ki-Moon’s henchmen, no verifiable, reliable sources are cited. Even Gordon Weiss goes on secondary information in his allegations. The fact that he violated the personal oath he takes when committing to engagements like with the UN and takes a personal swipe with animosity against a race as clearly evident in his book, goes to show that he never should have been recruited by the UN or was fit for the job. These all baseless allegations only amount to false propaganda.

    The more I see smoke and not a fire in sight, the more convinced I am that there isn’t any evidence of war crimes. Just because pro LTTE, separatist sections have money, influence and corrupted UN officials and can put out slanderous material against a tiny nation that doesn’t have the means to challenge doesn’t mean it is a “check”!

    Where we are now, the West is well aware that it has little to no influence in terms of geo political advantage in Sri Lanka after the humiliations they suffered during the last stages of the war and subsequently. We are now playing the much larger game of international cold war. Sure, Rajapaksha administration is targeted through “war crimes” allegations to gain the upper hand again through regime change, but it has nothing to do with actual war crimes, of which the evidence we are yet to see – other than unnamed sources!

    On a side note, what I don’t understand is that while the Sri Lankan arm of LTTE is decimated, there is the support network overseas of which the foreign governments now have good intel on. Why not indict them for crimes against humanity and set the ball rolling? Because for the LTTE we actually have verifiable evidence of atrocities. I’m perplexed by this stance why they protect war criminals. Sort of puts them in an awkward, 2 faced position.

    • JMN

      Bashing the report as completely false while at the same time preventing any type of credible investigation is also a bit two faced isn’t?

      While the claims in the UN report may certainly be exaggerated, the GOSL claim of zero civilian casualties is, to any sane person, obviously silly.

      How lovely that you pit the “pro LTTE, separatist sections [who] have money, influence and corrupted UN officials” against our poor “tiny nation”. No one would know that our tiny nation is also full of corrupted officials, fat with ill-gotten money, influence and power.

      • Observer

        JMN, I trust that you’re not a child, so I will say it again. If there was any credible, verifiable evidence of war crimes that happened during the last stages of the war, we would have seen it by now. I doubt anyone is holding such information as a trump. Trust me I would like to see it as well and I openly want such information to be in the public. A crime is a crime and justice needs to be served and swallow the pride if it is true. What annoys me is that no one is putting forward any accurate information but a heinous propaganda campaign that in the most despicable instances deliberately distort information. Nonetheless, I take comfort in the fact that while the masses and gutter journalist may fall for this, the intelligent analysts stay true to what makes them good analysts.

        Allegation upon, allegation of baseless accusations holds true to that old propaganda technique that when you say it enough then it will start ringing truth. Just like the WMDs! boy did they not swallow that 🙂 Unfortunately that is what the Western media with the influence of pro LTTE sections are doing. Now that Sri Lanka liberally has flipped the bird to its old colonial master and told em to take a hike, they are feeling bit of that old imperialism and going at it through BBC, Channel 4, Guardian, etc. Now that there is no money going to an expensive war, I’m sure the LTTE money chest is purely diverted to this propaganda & lobbying campaign. Buying any media slot & politico at any cost. Well congratulations…anyway… Sri Lanka does not have the means to go head to head against these media juggernauts and has to accept the bad press. I mean if the FOX news could convince a good portion of the US population through [Edited out.] Glenn Beck that their president may not be a citizen then you can understand the power of this media feeding a gullible audience. Still I highly doubt the European masses could care that much anyway about poor ol’ Sri Lanka when their economies are turning into basket cases and have other worries in their minds. But for the people who make a living off wars like the people who are adamant on these allegations it’s good business.

        On to you cry about the zero civilian casualties – what the government means by this is the intentional killings of civilians. Of course the government has killed zero civilians intentionally otherwise it would amount to a war crime. However unintentional collateral is hard to gauge when the civilians were held hostage by the enemy. Unintentional civilian casualties are part of all wars as seen countless times by NATO drone attacks, apache gunship attacks in Afghanistan and also more recently in Libyan raids. Let;s leave out Fallujah for now hey? Although they did intentionally gun down some journalists and couple of kids in one instance that got leaked, but who knows what else. Do you think Gordon Weiss will care about his Australian troops killing children in a raid in Afghanistan and how the Australian defence force dropped all charges? naaawww…mate! he’s got to sell a book man! amazon.co.uk – very cheap..check it out.. he saved the exclusive details until after the war to sell through amazon.co.uk (this is not a ad placement for amazon.co.uk I promise.. :P) what a brilliant business idea! lol

        So If that is a war crime then every army that has ever waged war would be guilty of war crimes. So let me state it pure and SIMPLE! Sri Lanka simply does not owe an international inquiry! to anybody! Sri Lanka did not invade another country. It owes less than US, or UK or Australia owes one done by out siders for their wars! It is a sovereign state that has rights as much as the US or UK does. If they do not respect that then I’d say ef em!

    • georgethebushpig

      Dear Observer,

      I presume you are unaware that the Panel didn’t have the mandate to engage in “fact-finding or investigation” hence the focus on “credible allegations”. It might do some good if you read paragraphs 49 – 53 where they outline the methodology they used. That may help clarify your patent miscomprehension of the report’s thrust. Keep also in mind that the limited mandate of the panel was on the behest of the GOSL.

      • Observer

        georgethebushpig, UN has no mandate for anything until verifiable evidence is present. If there was any evidence then first Sri Lanka should be given an opportunity to investigate. As it stands there is no evidence and GOSL need not take any action. No amount of convex arguments make allegations true buddy… “truthiness” has limits..

        http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/24039/october-17-2005/the-word—truthiness

        “the truth comes from the gut…” LOL!

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Observer,

        Let me see if I get this correct.

        a)If evidence exists then Sri Lanka should be given an opportunity to investigate
        b)There is no evidence so GOSL doesn’t have to act

        Conclusion – this is a rubbishy piece of logic that even my 5 year old wouldn’t try to pull on me!

        I guess you came to the conclusion that there’s no evidence because it came from a report painstakingly put together and not the gut? Just too many “facts” isn’t it? Ah these factinistas are ruining the world!

        Colbert’s brilliant! You do know that it is political satire don’t you? Just checking, given your unique logical argumentation.

  • MV

    Mango,

    Your excessive whinging about the LTTE makes me believe your concern is not human rights or the Tamil people but to do with defending the State for its chauvinistic actions, reflecting your own bias.

    With respect to political solution:
    By now, we all know that the chance of a meaningful political solution materializing beyond words is as likely as the zero-casualty figure of SL or as likely as one of these president appointed commissions coming up with some noteworthy outcomes.

    • Dear MV,
      Not true. I’ve consistently maintained that this administration has repeatedly messed up a once-in-a-generation, post war political settlement due to its own hubristic mindset. Eelam War 4 was fought and won for certain political objectives, just as the LTTE fought (and failed) to achieve their political objectives. And not just for the Tamil peoples in Sri Lanka – the pro-LTTE diaspora are truly beyond help.

      Since Agnos refuses to answer my question, perhaps you’d be so kind as to try.

      So, let’s posit a scenario where GoSL has been indicted for war crimes. How will this help Tamils in SL achieve their “.. long-standing political demands ..”?

      Give me some examples of which Tamil demands will be satisfied by war crimes trials and by which govt?

      • MV

        Mango,

        I am not sur what you are trying to get at here. What do war crimes and crimes against humanity have to do with political demands? The former has implication for international justice and prevention, where a state fails to protect its citizens. In addition, finding truth and justice is essential for moving on – frankly speaking this should not be limited to the last phase of the war.

    • Dear MV,
      The post says “..the Tamil diaspora and international civil society seem focused and determined that justice be done at war’s end in Sri Lanka.”, My point is that the pro-LTTE Tamil diaspora have no place in searching for anything in SL and their demands for ‘justice’ are a joke.

      According to Darini both they and the ‘intl’l civil society’ are determined to seek ‘justice’ in SL by pursuing war crimes charges against this govt. My question is how will they achieve it?

      As for the state having ‘failed to protect its citizens’? Umm… crushing the LTTE was a good start. Oh, and I agree that truth, justice and the rest are necessary for moving on. Given SL’s three insurrections, where do you want to start?

    • @ Thambi who says (with a straight face:) “A war crimes investigation as envisioned by the Tamil diaspora would result in the prosecution of the SL leaders by Europe and a Europe mandated separation of the Tamil portions of the country a la Kosovo. Get it Mango?”

      Thambi, Europe can barely fight its way out of a paper bag without US assistance (see the current Libyan airshow), so who exactly would send military forces to Sri Lanka and enforce this Kosovo-style separation, against wishes of the overwhelming majority of the SL population? The UK has no aircraft carriers and an almost castrated air force, the French & Spanish have one carrier each and most of the remaining countries in NATO are so timid that they’re known as “non-swimmers” :). And do you honestly imagine that their populations will countenance their soldiers dying in SL for Eelam? India is the regional superpower here and nothing of this nature can happen without India’s consent.

      Europe couldn’t even sort out Kosovo and ex-Jugoslavia without US handholding. European military power projection is a joke. If Europe wanted to split Sri Lanka, the easiest way would be for them to offer visa-free entry to Europe to SL’s poor and huddled masses.

      The question Thambi is this: if Eelam is to be established in SL, who’d live there? Do you think the West-based Tamil Diaspora will come to live there? They weren’t so keen to live in Eelam when it existed, were they?

      • Thambi

        I’m not talking about reality or what would happen. I’m talking about what the Tamil diaspora imagines would happen.

    • wijayapala

      Dear MV,

      Your excessive whinging about the LTTE makes me believe your concern is not human rights or the Tamil people but to do with defending the State for its chauvinistic actions, reflecting your own bias.

      Does your own predictable, excessive whining about the State while remaining predictably silent about the LTTE’s role make you believe that your own concern is not human rights or the Tamil people as well?

      In addition, finding truth and justice is essential for moving on – frankly speaking this should not be limited to the last phase of the war.

      So you agree that we should also explore the role of the LTTE in destroying the CFA that it had created and in bringing MR to power? That was not very predictable of you!

      With respect to political solution:

      This question of yours has already been answered. There will be no political solution until the communal distrust is overcome. Conversely, the political solution will not be the magical force that will overcome this distrust, contrary to what you or others may believe. It will take a great deal of introspection and self-admission of mistakes.

      • MV

        Wijayapala,
        I am not going to engage anymore in these petty arguments.

        Well then if it is communal distrust, then why did it not occur to you it was one of the key factor that should have been considered during CFA peace talks than blaming the one party for the failure as you have done to justify what followed? Again, much of this ignorance has to be overcome first.

        Bye.

  • wijayapala

    Dear georgebushthepig (you know that GWB is no longer the US President, right?)

    “But how can you credibly do that when you could not even explain how the LTTE using civilian human shields could be defeated without civilian casualties?”
    This is one of the questions that I would like an independent investigation to clear up.

    That is not what you had said when I originally posed the question. You had instead deferred the question for an unnamed “military strategist” (who presumably is not you) to answer, in effect conceding defeat.

    The proposed “independent investigation” would not answer the question how the LTTE could be defeated. The human rights brigades have no interest in that.

    • georgethebushpig

      Dear Wijayapala,

      For someone who asks a lot of questions you seem to have very few answers to questions asked of you. Here’s one from 16 May that I am still awaiting a response.

      “If you are adamant that there was absolutely no other way other than liquidating large numbers of innocent Tamil civilians despite having neutralized the LTTE, just imagine for a moment your mother hiding terrified in a ditch with shattered bodies strewn all around her, not knowing who to believe and where to go, with only one hope that she would come out of the horror alive. Then imagine that you controlled the decision whether her hope was realized or not. What would your decision be Mr. Wijayapala?”

      You might also want to refresh your memory about the entirety of our discussion by revisiting the article “Reconciliation and accountability after the UN Panel’s report: Challenges and opportunities for Sri Lanka and the UN system” posted on 26 April.

      If I must concede defeat let it be to deliberate obtuseness and cognitive dissonance.

      • wijayapala

        Dear georgebushthepig,

        For someone who asks a lot of questions you seem to have very few answers to questions asked of you. Here’s one from 16 May that I am still awaiting a response.

        And for someone who has a lot to say (with little substance, I’m afraid), you seem to have a problem with listening. Here was my answer to you from 19 May:

        I did not answer your appeal to emotion because you were dodging my question “how to avoid civilian casualties.” Tell me, how would you feel if you were one of the civilians who was being herded by the LTTE, watching them drag your children away and literally chaining them to the front lines to slow down the army. Then you watch your brother and his wife try to run away and they get shot in the back. How would you feel?

        And what if the only way to avoid civilian casualties was to let the LTTE leaders escape? Would you justify killing your own mother to ensure that Prabakaran would not run away to Norway?

      • wijayapala

        Dear MV,

        I am not going to engage anymore in these petty arguments.

        My my, getting a little peeved are you? Because you are unable to answer my questions?

        Well then if it is communal distrust, then why did it not occur to you it was one of the key factor that should have been considered during CFA peace talks

        Because the LTTE, which more or less constructed the CFA through Balasingam, had no interest in addressing communal distrust. I would’ve thought that even you could have figured that one out!

      • georgethebushpig

        Dear Wijayapala,

        Your response to my question was what? “I did not answer your appeal to emotion….” The point of the question was to appeal to your emotions.

        For someone who claims that he thought hard about what other alternatives there were to liquidating large numbers of civilians and came up with nothing, obviously you didn’t think hard enough or it was because you had no personal stake in finding an alternative that did not require mass scale civilian murders.

        Hence the question appealing to your emotions to see whether you have any humanity left in you or whether you are like the other psychopaths who champion the demise of the LTTE at any cost. I do believe I have the answer now. I have 2 words for you and that ain’t thank you.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ms. Darini Rajasingham Senanayake,

    Will you Defend what You Write? I hope you would

    You state as follows

    “Singapore, Sri Lanka and Minority Question

    Mr. Tharman Shanmugratnam, of Ceylon Tamil immigrant descent was appointed Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore in May 2011 by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, although 78%  of the population  is ethnic Chinese  and the South Asian, largely Tamil, population is less than 9%.  Independent Singapore’s first Foreign Minister was also a Ceylon Tamil.  Singapore’s first PM, Lee Kuan Yew, who had great respect for Rajaratnam (after whom the Rajaratnam School of International Studies is named) recently dismissed  the Rajapakse government in Sri Lanka as racist.

    Sri Lanka has never had a President or Prime Minister from a  minority community.  Presently, the United States has a president from the African American  community, and India a prime minister from the Sikh minority, which had also waged armed struggle against the Indian state. “

    Good observation Madam but half truths are not the hallmark of honesty.

    Now lets see how your observations stand up.

    What made you forget the best foreign Minister that Sri Lanka ever had?

    What was the ethnicity the eminent Mr Laxshman Kadirgamar, who was twice our Foreign Minister? I knew him to be a Tamil, did you believe he was Sinhalese?

    Why write about Singapore’s Foreign Minister and stop short of mentioning Sri Lanka’s own Tamil Foreign Minister?

    Was he not a Tamil in your view and hence not worthy of mention?

    Why did you omit A.C.S. Hamid, a Minority Muslim foreign Minister who held office twice as the FM? This is what Wiki has to say about him

    “in 1977 he became one of the highest-ranking members of the government. He was Cabinet Minister of Foreign Affairs of Sri Lanka from 1977 to 1989, Cabinet Minister of Higher Education from 1989 to 1993 and Cabinet Minister of Foreign Affairs again from 1993 until his party lost elections in 1994”

    Why the intentional omission of Two Powerful foreign Ministers from the MINORITY communities of Sri Lanka?

    Does not fit with your THEME?

    Was Kadirgama not the best candidate the Minorities ever had for the post of Prime Minister and even President?

    I for one would have voted him as a Presidential Candidate without batting an eyelid.

    A candidate must be able to gain the respect and trust of the Majority, in order, to be elected to Public Office when the electorate is the whole Island and Kadirgama was able to do that. Anybody else within the Tamil Community who were able to reach that stature?

    What are you trying to convey to the GV Readership?
    That Sri Lanka does not recognise the Minorities when it comes to Public Office?

    How did Jayaraj Fernandopulle, a member of minority ethnic group, get elected to parliament and become a Minister from a Sinhala Majority electorate? Was he not the Minister of Catholic Affairs, the Minister of Ethnic Concession and National Unity, the Minister of Port and Aviation, and the Minister of Road Development?

    In 2005 he was appointed Minister of Highways & Road Development and was the chief government whip in Parliament as well.

    Did we not have Minority Community members, as Chief Justice, Army Commanders, Inspectors General of Police, Supreme Court Judges, Solicitor Generals, Heads of Lankan Embassies abroad and as Heads of many Govt Departments? Don’t we have minority members in High places now? Did we not have any in the past?

    Here is a list (not exhaustive) to jolt your sagging memory.

    Ministers
    Ferial Ashraff
    Ali Ameer
    M. H. M. Ashraff
    A. L. M. Athaullah
    A.H.M. Azwer
    Risad Badhiutheen
    Bakeer Markar
    Hussain Ahamed Bhaila
    A. R. M. Abdul Cader
    Periyasamy Chandrasekaran
    K. N. Choksy
    Douglas Devananda
    A. H. M. Fowzie
    Rauff Hakeem
    Abdul Cader Shahul Hameed
    Kabir Hashim
    M. H. Cegu Isadean
    Tuan Burhanudeen Jayah
    S. Jegadhiswaran
    Lakshman Kadirgamar
    Abdul Baiz Kamardeen
    Pieter Keuneman
    T. Maheswaran
    M. Mahroof
    M. N. Abdul Majeed
    M. H. Mohamed
    Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan
    M. Mohamed Musthaffa
    Faiszer Musthapha
    M. Satchithanandan
    Cathiravelu Sittampalam
    Chellappah Suntharalingam
    Vadivel Suresh
    Arumugam Thondaman
    Savumiamoorthy Thondaman
    Murugeysen Tiruchelvam
    Kanthiah Vaithianathan

    Some in High Public office (this is just a very superficial list)
    Chief Justice S. Sharwananda
    Attorney General, Mr. Kamalasabeyson
    Attorney General Shiva Pasupati
    Justice K. Sripavan SC judge
    Justice P. Ramanathan SC judge
    Deshamanya Manicavasagar Vaithalingam (December 17, 1906 – December 12, 1993), the Sri Lankan lawyer, Puisne Justice of the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka, Chancellor of the University of Jaffna and Chairman of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon
    Major General A.M. Muttukumaru O.B.E, E.D Army Commander
    Major General B.R. Heyn Army Commander
    Rudra Rajasingham IGP
    T.E.Anandaraja IGP
    Manohari Ramanathan Member, Monetary Board, Central Bank of Sri Lanka
    M.T.M Bafiq Member, Human Rights Commission
    Justice Ananda Coomaraswamy chairman HRC
    Mr. H.H Mukiya PSC member
    Javed Ysuf member National Police Commission
    R. Shivaraman member National Police Commission
    Alavi Moulana, Governor Western Province

    I hope that would suffice to disprove the implied meaning in your Article.

    Since you have an affinity to compare Lanka with Singapore, lets compare them.

    Lanka and Singapore both have Tamil as a National Language.

    Singapore has an Ethnic Integration Policy (EIP)

    EIP of Singapore is a proven method that has been used by the Singaporean Govt to create their 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 supported EIP in Parliament recently.

    If EIP was a problem to the Tamils, he could have easily taken advantage of Parliamentary immunity to condemn EIP. The fact that he did not do so, proves that the Tamils in Singapore support EIP.

    EIP will ring the Death Knell of the Exclusive Homeland claim of the Sri Lanka Tamils.

    Since you compare Singapore to Sri Lanka, would you support a Singapore style Ethnic Integration Policy in Sri Lanka?

    Would the Tamils in Sri Lanka be able to live up to the Tamils in Singapore?

    Will they give up the exclusive homeland claims?

    Will they be agreeable to per capita based resource sharing or do they want a Lion’s share of resources?

    Checkmate?

    • ravana

      That’s a good comment Off The Cuff. This is a great mistake made by Tamil nationalists of yore, to make it all about “Tamils” and about discrimination. The argument always loses when one is fighting a cynical state which nevertheless has had enough pressure on it and enough good people who have ensured that discrimination is minimised if not legislating to erase them.
      Instead their strategy should have been to work with the sinhala counterparts who were equally dissatisfied. (e.g. English speaking elite Tamils with the elite western oriented sinhalas, the poor Tamils with the JVP etc)

      Having said this it does not mean that discrimination is not rife in the Public service and racial vilification among the general Sinhala public. Sri Lanka is yet to have effective and specific anti discrimination laws and racial vilification laws.

      Furthermore, one of the theses of this article is that Sinhala Buddhist Nationalism has damaged the progress of the country. I am afraid that the central thesis of the article still stands.

      I would agree that Singapore is a poor metaphor. After all Lee Kwan Yu is the sine qua non of the corrupt autocrat whose family amassed enormous wealth under his decades of rule and when he stepped down cynically appointed a puppet until it was time for his son to take over. Not to mention death penalty being actively used. A perfect model for Rajapaksas. Oh I nearly forgot, didn’t he not so long ago, say that Rajapakse is a racist and in the next breath say that Tamils are hard working and Sinhalas lazy! (heh heh heh- pot calling the kettle black).
      That reminds me, some “sinhala patriot” recently told me that a relative of his lives in Singapore and said why should Sri Lankans complain about Rajapaksa corruption when the family of Lee Kwan Yu owning much of the wealth has not harmed Singapore. I asked him a simple question:
      “Where would your relative rather live; Singapore or (a nearby) Western country”. I let you ponder what the answer was.

      We do live in “interesting times” : )

  • @ Thambi: Apologies. You were too cunning and subtle for me 🙂

  • ordinary lankan

    Dear OTC

    How do you get the bold letters by the way?

    I also like the industry you have shown. For the moment I will sit on the fence and observe….

    sorry GV – small digression

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Ordinary Lankan,

      I hope this will appear in the comments. I have inserted quotation marks within the command in the hope that the software wont interpret it as the actual command and make it invisible.

      If it appears just remove the two quote marks inside the angle brackets and you will have the commands that you require.

      So far Darini Rajasingham has not responded and neither have those who usually jump in.

      There were many who found this article resonating with their own thoughts and either congratulated or expressed some form of support to her. Amongst them were Ravana, indonicus , justitia , Burning Issue, Agnos ,Sammy , georgethebushpig , JMN , MV etc.

      Velu Balendran was critical of what he calls colonisation of Tamil lands. Hopefully he will join and justify his claims.

      Darini did not respond in an earlier occasion too.
      Hope she will do so this time.

      Emotional writing is not objective writing. Hopefully we will have a objective debate.

      Italic start command
      Italic stop command

      Bold start
      Bold Stop

      If the above does not appear use the following but replace the normal bracket with the appropriate angle bracket

      Italic start command (i)
      Italic stop command (/i)

      Bold start (b)
      Bold Stop (/b)

      these are the corresponding brackets = )

    • Off the Cuff

      ordinary lankan,

      Sorry the software is striping the angle brackets.

      On my UK layout keyboard they are above the comma and the full stop

      .

  • ordinary lankan

    Dear Darini,
    I feel and hear your feelings and emotions. I am sure they are shared by many of us quite irrespective of our different abilities to put pen to paper and other differences on views and opinions we hold.

    Buddhism is exploited by politicians in Sri Lanka. I suspect that this is an ancient game. This is the thing that the sinhalese are closest to in their hearts. Today we also find a number of English speaking intellectuals also playing this Buddhist card in opposition to the politicians. The politicians use and exploit Buddhism to appeal to the emotions of the people. Their critics use Buddhism to appeal to our sense of reason. In the former case the exploitation is quite obvious and shameless. In the latter case it is even a defence of what the critic feels is real Buddhism and she asserts that what the politicians represent is not really Buddhism.

    The ‘Buddhist point’ ends there. There is a call to Buddhists in Lanka:

    “Buddhists in Lanka will need to challenge the current construction, use and abuse of Buddhism by politicians.”

    And there is a further call to ‘true Buddhists’

    “Indeed it is time that true Buddhists rescued and reclaimed the spirit and practice of Buddhism from the nationalist political discourse.”

    I wish Buddhism was as simple as that. Unfortunately Buddhism is a bit of a troublesome religion so the next time you have such requests you might have second thoughts….

    Let us begin straightaway by applying Buddhism.

    The writer is dissatisfied. There is this ideal way that this country should have been ruled after the war; and then we have this bitter reality. Dukkha is this eternal gap between the ideal and the actual. In identifying the reason for our collective sense of dukkha about the way things have panned out the writer has no doubt about who is to blame. It is the Rajapakse brothers. Buddhism tells us something diametrically opposed to this view. It tells us – the real reason for your disappointment is your own expectations about the R brothers – not their behaviour.

    Do you see what I mean? The dharma turns everything on its head like this. It is very, very confusing and upsetting to our conventional way of thinking. Then again Buddhism tells us – sort out your own pain and disappointments before you try and set the world right. So no true Buddhist is really going to jump up and reclaim the spirit and practice out of this nationalist political discourse.

    This does not mean they are passive. No my dear friend. They are as much concerned as you are – but at the same time there is no rejection of what has happened and what is happening. Every tree grows following its own nature. This is a random world where each one follows his or her own dharma and please themselves. There is no order. The equation of the wheels of samsara to the wheels of international criminal justice…. Well that is a good try.

    You see these trials are a bit like the spanish inquisition. Everyone gets excited over them and they are very popular at the time. But centuries later someone will say – “how stupid”. The trials are a put on show – a good ritual which can be even therapeutic. Our own kattadiyas will do the same thing. I have myself functioned as a priest at these criminal trials. They are a man made farce. Just another dualistic delusion the white man has foisted on us – yes the wretched of the earth.

    Anyway the point is that a Buddhist dissents and speaks with his whole life – not just with the tongue. So I cannot say if we will alter this discourse that you refer to but we will definitely put everything we know into practice and share what we know freely with those people who have the heart to listen to us.

    There is also a stream of spiritual buddhism that is alive and well in lanka. It has its own laws you know….

    • ravana

      Dear ordinary lankan
      Don’t forget. Dr. Rajasingham-Senanayake is also part of the Lankan Kamma. As is Ravana, part of the Patticcasamuppada, the inevitable web which will ensure that today’s Lanka and it’s false sense of self is but blink in the ever evolving pattern of history yet unfolding. Just as the Rajapaksa Inc have already contributed a cause to their own kamma they have contributed to the kamma of the ordinary lankan, the Rajasinghams, the Senanayakes and the Ravanas. And we in turn would contribute causes to the Rajapakse kamma.

      It is inevitable baby. Dittidhammavedanakamma says it all, in one swift life-time : )

  • ordinary lankan

    Thanks OTC for trying.

    Agreed that we must have a serious debate. A series of reactions and then we run out of steam…..The posters go with the wind

    and here we pitch our tent for the night –

  • ordinary lankan

    Absolutely ravana – we are all related and collectively stuck.

    This post is a good illustration.

    There is dejection over Rajapakse’s and elation over this new international/local planetary configuration. This is a classic case of two extremes.

    The problem is not the Rajapakse’s alone and the solution is not these new developments that get our wishful thinking on overdrive. Nor is the ‘truth’ fully captured by whatever the UN panel has collected. No there is a far more serious personal engagement that is required which is totally missing here.

    It is not that we lack intelligence, moderation and perspective. But we go on creating a profound sense of powerlessness by continuing to rely on a demonstrably morally impotent UN body to deliver something for us.

    The criminal process is ab punishment for yesterday – not help for tomorrow. So this is a false God we are running after.

    I am still sitting on the fence. We as sri lankans have a duty to seek the TRUTH – the whole truth and not just who did what – but also why? And we cannot find the truth if we think we already know it. like a bad police investigator we jump to conclusions and hold on to fixed views.

    And if we want to invoke religion – we must be serious. If not there wont be much of a difference in substance between the politician who abuses religion and the intellectual who uses it causally to make a point. No religion is about telling people what they should do.

    Neither are ready or willing to live their religions and let their actions speak. But they are more than willing to use and exploit the religious label.

  • ordinary lankan

    This comment is offered as a conclusion to this discussion thread. I realize that I am speaking in an empty hall and speaking to thin air. Yet the host is kind enough not to boot me out so I use this space in the hope that someone reads and understands it.

    Neither the politicians nor their critics in Sri Lanka have internalized the values of religion or of human rights. Although they are at variance on virtually every issue they unite on this one important fundamental. Nobody really practices what they preach. The light never turns inwards and we all keep this dark patch well hidden. Every discussion is just another opportunity to avoid/evade and hide away our own self.

    VALUES ARE NOT INTERNALIZED
    THERE IS NO PRAXIS.

    Instead we have become good imitators – slick with our use of language and technical terms and jargon. We are at our best and loudest when criticizing others.

    We have by passed the self and acquired a load of impressive credentials. When the truth comes knocking at the door we are found wanting. Not knowing ourselves we cannot know or recognize truth either.

    It is difficult to find a single instance in our recent history – perhaps over the last 200 years where we as a nation have looked inward – with honesty and humility. Moments of truth have come and gone; but we have lacked the capacity to use them. Today we have abdicated the search for truth about ourselves to international bodies using common morality and criminal justice.

    There is a new trend where Buddhist discussions have become quite popular on GV. Buddhism has been reified by politicians as well as their critics. Then we can also drop some Buddhist jargon to show that we are also up to speed with this latest fashion.

    IN FACT THERE IS NO BUDDHISM. ONLY SELF. BUDDHISM IS JUST A FRAMEWORK FOR THOSE LOOKING AT THEIR SELVES TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THEY SEE.

    Authenticity in Buddhism only comes from the ability to see the self as it is. Without this the dharma is just dead letters.

    So there is no Buddhism – only self; no self only others; no self and others but just situations we learn to respond to in a totally dynamic way. This is really how the path progresses.

    I have responded as best as I can to the challenge of Dr.DRS. If I have reclaimed something of the spirituality and practice in Buddhism I am glad.

    That is only one aspect. We must also consider whether we as intellectuals or critics have a flawed or sufficient foundation to attack the politicians. Without a praxis – without being seekers after truth – important in politics no less than in religion we have very little impact. We have also failed to convey and communicate the essence of human rights to the people of this country. Fr. Aloysius Peiris has referred to two conditions for doing this.

    1. Simplicity
    2. Perspective of the poor

    These are the areas we have to work at and improve our own capacity. That may be the change that is possible and is not happening. But first of all we must be AWARE OF OUR OWN INAUTHENTICITY AND MEDIOCRITY.

    There is no better place to begin.

    • yapa

      Dear ordinary lankan;

      Poetic language gives different connotations and meanings to phrases in them. Hence the appropriate language to pass a distinct and direct message I think is not poetic language. I think it weaken your message, and that may be one of the reasons for less attention if you think it did not draw much attention. Further, If you paid attention to pursue your post along with answering queries arisen with them people would have more interested to engage in the discussion with you. One way communication is not that effective.

      Thanks!

  • ordinary lankan

    It takes time Yapa…

    thank you for dropping by.

    It takes a very long time to reach the SELF.

    Buddhism is not that difficult, nor politics etc etc.

  • Humanist

    Ms. D.R.S.,

    Overall, a well-argued piece. The analysis of the abuse of Buddhism for political purposes is spot on. Although this is not new, it has reached proportions that are cruder and more offensive than ever before. All “true” Buddhists in Sri Lanka need to be mindful that they do not participate in this mockery.

    I agree with other respondents that Singapore is not a good comparison – what is the point of a figurehead in an authoritarian regime? Besides, the politics of both the Rajapakses and LTTE in SL have ensured that no leaders with integrity will emerge that quickly either on the Sinhalese or Tamil sides.

    I’m also not quite convinced that recent developments with the UN report or the Channel 4 documentary amount to a checkmate for the Rajapakses. So far they have proved to be masters at the chess game. I don’t think this analysis has taken sufficient note ot global geo-politics. The king is protected by two bishops, one Chinese, one Indian – both vying for the role of queen. Those still harping about the power of European or American opinion or intervention seem to be forgetting that SL is located not in Africa or the Balkans but in 21st century Asia.

    The only way the Rajapakses are going to face a war crime tribunal is when a credible opposition leader with integrity gets elected in SL and hands them over. That’s what people need to be working on – in the long-term. Like DRS, I do believe that the wheel of samsara will catch up with the Rajapakses but a checkmate is not here yet.

  • ordinary lankan

    If narrow human rights can defeat narrow religion and all other types of human narrowness we have in SL – that would be DREAMING

    sure – the wheel of samsara will get all of us in the end – not just the R’s –

    The darkness was always here
    “apekama” was always here
    caste was always here

    tackle this in Medamulana
    not in the Hague
    tackle this in the village
    not abroad

    standing on the edifice of caste and injustice
    we preach human rights and equality

    we are collectively guilty friends – for everything. and now we single out a few executioners – will that do??