The attack on TNA Parliamentarians in Jaffna: A timeline of outrageous denials (Updated)


TNA MPs at the assault location. Photo courtesy Transcurrents

A comment left on Groundviews left recently by a well-known commentator David Blacker, notes,

“When you attempt to use terrorism to further your goals, it is then silly to whine about the other side giving you a taste of your own medicine. Every step of the way from 2001, the Tamils have no one to blame for their plight but the Tigers and those who financed and supported them. From breaking the CFA, walking out of talks, boycotting the presidential elections, chasing out the SLMM, and aggressively pushing for a military solution, the Tigers opened Pandora’s box. The legacy of this is that there will not be Eelam or even justice for the SL Tamils ever.

Emphasis ours. Arguably, if there is to be no Eelam, then the people of Jaffna have to be presented with a range of democratic alternatives and enjoy an environment conducive for representatives of all political parties to contest ideas as well as elections. If there is to be a modicum of justice, voters in these areas need to be allowed to exercise their franchise, which in the past was denied by the LTTE in particular. This is clearly not happening. The recent attack on TNA MPs by the Sri Lankan Army occurs in a context of relative peace, not war. Condemning the brutal attack, the Island newspaper noted (and readers in Sri Lanka will recognise that this was emphatically not newspaper that was opposed to the war),

“Thursday’s savage attack on a group of Tamil National Alliance (TNA) parliamentarians at a meeting in Jaffna must be condemned unreservedly. Among the injured are TNA members and the police officers providing security to MPs. The TNA has identified the assailants as military personnel… The people of the North, who went through hell under Prabhakaran’s jackboot, must not be made to suffer under anyone else’s. Thursday’s cowardly act of terrorism perpetrated against a group of parliamentarians and civilians engaged in democratic activity is also a body blow for the on-going reconciliation process.

Unless the government and the Army Commander act immediately to have Thursday’s dastardly attack probed and the suspects dealt with according to the law, they will only help a different breed of terrorism emerge in the former war zone, where people are struggling to rebuild their lives. They will also prove right their critics who accuse them of sweeping the so-called accountability issues under the carpet.

At the time, Dr. Sumanasiri Liyanage, a well-known political commentator, warned that ‘investigations’ into this incident – despite assurances from the ever-helpful Rajapaksa fraternity, the Army and the Police – would not amount to anything. Dr. Liyanage averred,

“It is also interesting to note that this dastardly act was executed while the government was having talks with the TNA over the Tamil national question and just after high-powered Indian delegation left the island following talks with the President over, inter alia, the issue of devolution of power. Although Secretary of Defence, Jaffna Army Commander and the police have promised time and again that “the matter will be investigated and the miscreants severely punished” irrespective of their political affiliations or positions, people are yet to be informed of the outcome of the promised investigation. When we reflect on similar attacks on media personnel, the Opposition and trade unionists in the south during the last two years, one can easily guess that such investigations would not reveal anything and the perpetrators would be allowed to go scot free.”

And scot free they have in fact gone. Not just that, the President has the chutzpah to now claim there was not in fact an attack on the TNA, even before the ‘investigations’ into the incident were complete! Good luck with any final report, if one ever sees the light of day, that dares to disagree with the President.

The responses to the attack are revealing.

See a larger version of this timeline here.

One is hard pressed to find a response from the Army that doesn’t reveal an undercurrent of intolerance and suspicion. Jaffna’s Brigade Commander, Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe, speaking two days after the attack notes,

“They (army personnel) had assaulted people who had assembled there and chased them away and also caused damage to bicycles and motor cycles etc. We strongly condemn the interference of the army with the fundamental rights of the civilians. Freedom of assembly, speech and movement are inherent rights of the people”

But in the same statement he notes,

“I must talk the truth — the TNA is also waiting for an opportunity to shout for help at the drop of a hat.”

It’s almost as if he believe the TNA orchestrated an Army attack upon itself for electoral gain. Equally if not far more bizarre is the disconnect between what Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe notes above and what he noted a day later as reported in the Sunday Times,

“It is unlikely that the Army was involved in the incident…”

It gets more farcical. The Army run Civil Military Coordination for Jaffna (CIMIC) website, in an entry about the attack says,

“In the wake of an incident where a group of people attired similar to military uniforms had an argument with MSD Police personnel attached to Jaffna TNA Parliamentarians and disturbed their meeting at Alveddi recently, a special discussion was held between the Commander Security Forces – Jaffna (SF-J) Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe and four senior TNA Parliamentarians Saturday (18) at Civil Affairs and Public Relations Office Jaffna.”

Emphasis ours. This sounds awfully like government denials of those featured in Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, produced by Channel 4 (“they wear fatigues similar to soldiers, but they really aren’t soldiers”). Contradicting Maj. Gen. Hathurusinghe, CIMIC can’t even bring itself to say the Army was involved. In openly saying there are random groups of individuals, who in Army fatigues and armed wantonly go around attacking parliamentarians in the Peninsula is a page out of Pinter or Beckett’s finest, albeit with more far more serious implications for any meaningful democracy in a region under the control of the Army.

Note also how the attack is referred to as a ‘disturbance’. Yet as TNA Parliamentarian M. A. Sumanthiran expressed quite clearly, this was no mere ‘disturbance’,

“…if not for the personnel of the Ministerial Security Division (MSD) shielding the five TNA Parliamentarians by surrounding them and taking the brunt of the attack, which resulted in the MSD officers having to seek treatment at Tellippalai Hospital, the TNA MPs, too, would have been injured badly…”

‘Incident’, ‘clash’, ‘disturbance’ are the most commonly used phrases to describe the attack. When ‘attack’ is used, it is prefaced by ‘alleged’ – never mind the MSD personnel in hospital or the injuries sustained by many others. It gets worse. Instead of actually investigating the incident, it appears that the cover up began almost immediately after the attack ended. As D.B.S. Jeyaraj notes,

“In an ironic twist these policemen have fallen foul of defence superiors for discharging their duties efficiently & protecting the Tamil MP’s. When the military mob invaded the hall the Policemen were asked not to interfere & keep quiet but the cops refused & defended the TNA leaders. Efforts are on to blame the incident on the Police bodyguards.There is a move to depict the incident as being due to army-police friction. “Disciplinary” action is likely to be taken against the brave police personnel after the inquiries into the incident are over in due course. Incidently the bodyguard who fired back at gunmen who targeted TNA Jaffna district MP Sivagnanam Sreetharan is about to retire from service. Instead of being commended for his bravery the courageous cop had been harassed severely & forced to quit the Police & seek retirement.”

Even before this attack, the severe deterioration of law and order in Jaffna was the subject of a Parliamentary debate earlier this year. Much like in the Parliamentary debates on the 18th Amendment, where submissions by the TNA were the best on the topic, the response by Government benches to the serious threats to human security in post-war Jaffna were racist jibes and loud, frequent interruptions.

But it’s not just the TNA that flags with concern the continuing militarisation of the Peninsula. In an interview published on Groundviews, Dr. Muttukrishna Sarvananthan, who heads the Point Pedro Institute based in Jaffna notes,

To the best of my knowledge not much is being done towards demilitarisation in the Northern Province, except drastic cuts in the security check points in the Jaffna peninsula and scaling-down of high security zones in certain areas. I do not think there has been any reduction or increase in the number of armed forces personnel stationed in the North. There are few instances where withdrawal of armed forces personnel has been filled by pro-government militia/s. I do not foresee demilitarisation to any significant extent until the Rajapakshas are in power. Militarisation is indispensable for the perpetuation of the Rajapaksha dynasty.

In the same interview, he goes on to say,

“Unfortunately, the Rajapaksha regime has failed to capitalise on the resentment of the Tamil civilians towards the LTTE. The priority of the Rajapakshas was consolidation of political power rather than winning the broken hearts and minds of northern Tamils. Rajapakshas were more interested in pampering to the parochial euphoria of the majority community (playing to the gallery) rather than bonding a fractured nation.”

The Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh recently reiterated that the grievances of the Tamil community in Sri Lanka were legitimate, that Tamils feel they are reduced to second-class citizens and that Sinhala chauvinism is a reality. Tellingly, not even English mainstream print media gave full or accurate coverage to this statement.

The bizarre responses to what was a brutal attack, post-war, in broad daylight, against unarmed Parliamentarians engaging in nothing more subversive than the democratic process and it’s subsequent denial by the President himself – essentially shutting the door on any investigation or punitive measures – reflects a desire by government to, unilaterally and violently if necessary, define Tamil politics and moreover, throttle the growth of a more plural Tamil polity and society. These attacks are justified by senior government ministers, who believe that “the UPFA and other political parties represented more Tamils than the TNA”, which means that more can be expected in the future.

The resulting humiliation of the TNA MPs is keenly felt and watched by a larger Tamil community, domestic as well as international. The domestic community is voiceless, caught in a bind and largely powerless. The diaspora is not, and condoning this kind of senseless violence strengthens over time the very forces the government has decimated within the country.

It’s not just Tamils in Sri Lanka who should be very worried.

###

Update, 5 July 2011, 9.14pm: We’ve just watched in full the BBC Hardtalk interview with senior government minister and Presidential Advisor Rajiva Wijesinha, available on YouTube here. Wijesinha’s comments over the Army’s attack on the TNA meeting in Jaffna come around 20 minutes and 42 seconds into the video. Click here for precise moment.

Sackur: “With respect, I am sure you know much better than I do, the Tamil National Alliance had its meeting broken up by the Army in the last few weeks and they are only actually fighting local, town council elections”

Wijesinha: “No, you’re perfectly right. There was a meeting. I’ve asked them information about that. We discussed that with the Tamil National Alliance. As I told them, they benefitted so much from it – but I’m sure it wasn’t them – but they were really quite happy about it.”

Outrageous stuff.

  • http://Ifthesearetrueitisaterribleblotonour2500yearcivilization.ButIwouldsayweshouldadoptadifferentattitudetotheUNOanelReport. Realist

    What can we expect from Rajiva Wijesinghe. His liberal principles are only on paper. He did not oppose the 18th Amendment. Now he supports indirectly the military rule in the North.what is the term for a person who does not live by his principles?

    • jansee

      Realist:

      Get real. There is NONE, I mean none in this regime that ever cares for truth and justice. After all, Rajiva got his MP position, didn’t he? As long as they are in the good books of the President, that is what matters – just people without backbones. And what is there to be surprised?

  • myil selvan

    Why can’t people bring themselves to admit that the Rajapaksa’s are a bunch of hypocritical racists? What is happening in Thamil areas of this island just proves it. Hypocritical because they and their children went running to the west for their sustenance and education but yet denounce the west when it serves them.

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

      But why can’t you admit that it was the Tigers’ decimation of Ranil W as a political force, and their enforced boycott of the presidential elections, that brought Rajapakse to power? You guys are so fond of saying that Prabha was a result of Sinhalese racism; well the fact is MR is a result of Tiger terrorism.

      • myil selvan

        You said:
        But why can’t you admit that it was the Tigers’ decimation of Ranil W as a political force, and their enforced boycott of the presidential elections, that brought Rajapakse to power?

        My response:
        I guess I haven’t mentioned it in this forum. What’s to admit, anyway isn’t it obvious? I was against the move to boycott back in 2005. I readily admit, and so should Mahinda, that the LTTE was the one who brought him to power. Also with some incentives from Mahinda and Co. But not only Mahinda, Chandrika as well came to power thanks to the LTTE assassination of Premadasa.

        You said:
        You guys are so fond of saying that Prabha was a result of Sinhalese racism; well the fact is MR is a result of Tiger terrorism.

        My response:
        Yes, Praba was a result of Sinhalese racism. But MR was NOT the result of Tiger Terrorism.
        MR came to POWER as a result of Tiger terrorism.
        But MR is a result of his Sinhala chauvinistic upbringing, which dwells on the Vijaya myth and that this country was meant for Sinhala-Buddhists.

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

        Myil, are you being intentionally fatuous? Of course I mean that MR coming to power as first the PM and then the president was a result of Tiger terrorism. Did you think I meant that Tiger terrorists impregnated his mother in Hambantota and created little Mahinda??? Similarly, we are not interested in Velu the schoolboy or Prabha the smuggler, but Velupillai Prabhakharan, the head of the Tigers; so no, VP the man wasn’t created by Sinhalese racists. We are talking about both men in their roles. Good God, man, are you having a slow day at the office that you’re arguing about such nonsense?

        As for the above being obvious; I can say the same about the GoSL being hypocrites; just as the UN and the advocacy groups are all hypocrites. My question though is, why only voice the obvious that is most suitable to you and question why others don’t agree with that, while ignoring the obvious stuff that makes you look bad?

      • myil selvan

        “Myil, are you being intentionally fatuous?”

        Not at all.

        “Of course I mean that MR coming to power as first the PM and then the president was a result of Tiger terrorism.”

        How was MR becoming PM a result of the LTTE? Because the PM is appointed by the President. So what was it in the situation that helped MR be appointed PM when Ratnasiri Wickramanayake an extremist himself was the PM?

        “Did you think I meant that Tiger terrorists impregnated his mother in Hambantota and created little Mahinda???”

        Well some people on your side of the spectrum, the extreme surely, may claim that as well.

        “Similarly, we are not interested in Velu the schoolboy or Prabha the smuggler, but Velupillai Prabhakharan, the head of the Tigers; so no, VP the man wasn’t created by Sinhalese racists.”

        What I was getting at is, Mahinda’s thinking is influenced by the mythical fantasies of sinhala-buddhist supremacy. So he grew up with feelings of sinhala supremacy which also looked down on minorities. There wasn’t anything the minorities did to him or his people for him to have these racist feelings. But Praba on the other hand developed his racist feelings as a result of sinhala racism/terrorism. Maybe the treatment of the sinhala police towards the Thamil people ticked him off, etc, etc, etc. So, Mahinda was a creation of the narrow minded dishonest history of sinhala-buddhist supremacy. Praba was a creation of racist sinhala chauvinistic policies or acts. This could be the case, I’m assuming.

        “We are talking about both men in their roles. Good God, man, are you having a slow day at the office that you’re arguing about such nonsense?”

        Judging by the time of your posts, it seems that you are the one who is having a slow day at the office. I, unfortunately don’t get paid to comment on GV!

        “As for the above being obvious; I can say the same about the GoSL being hypocrites; just as the UN and the advocacy groups are all hypocrites.”

        The UN and advocacy groups are not blatantly hypocritical as the GoSL. UN and Advocacy groups are trying to make the best of a difficult situation. Their balancing act is different from that of the GoSL. But the GoSL is intentionally stalling and not interested in equality and freedom for all. When it comes to Sri Lanka I look to the GoSL to take responsibility and treat all people equally. But sadly the UN and advocacy groups are calling for the GoSL to treat sections of its own people equally. Isn’t that a shame? That’s the really sad thing. Our governance system is flawed and we need to change it. But can we? External shocks may help, to a certain degree.

        “My question though is, why only voice the obvious that is most suitable to you and question why others don’t agree with that, while ignoring the obvious stuff that makes you look bad?”

        You seem to have me confused with Ras al Ghul!

        I’m not here to ignore anything, but the GoSL is and some in the Thamil diaspora. I’m always surprised as to how, majority of, sinhalese people criticize the GoSL for corruption, dishonesty, nepotism, favouritism, etc, etc but when it comes to the killing of Thamil people they seem to all of a sudden think the GoSL is honest.

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

        “How was MR becoming PM a result of the LTTE? Because the PM is appointed by the President. So what was it in the situation that helped MR be appointed PM when Ratnasiri Wickramanayake an extremist himself was the PM?”

        Well, CBK was able to dissolve the UNP parliament because the Tigers had made the latter extremely unpopular via the ISGA, while continuing to refuse the P-TOMS and murder GoSL officials. If the Tigers had cooperated with RW’s diplomatic efforts to form a political solution, CBK would never have been able to dissolve parliament. MR wanted RW to impeach CBK, run for prez, and appoint MR himself as the new PM. When he realised that RW was waffling on that, he went to CBK and warned her of impending impeachment. His reward was the PM post. So the Tigers were directly to blame for the collapse of the UNP government and the subsequent PA victory.

        “What I was getting at is, Mahinda’s thinking is influenced by the mythical fantasies of sinhala-buddhist supremacy.”

        He has no such fantasies. As Dedan Kemathi has explained to you, and I have shown you above, he’s a professional politician who will piggyback on anything that will get him popular support and power. The same went for SWRD and JRJ, who many think were Sinhalese racists. They weren’t anymore racist than the average Sinhalese, and probably less so as a result of their western education and upbringing. They just played the race card for votes.

        So you see, what created MR the president of a militant, united, ruthless machine that was prepared to destroy the Tigers with single-minded determination, was the Tigers themselves. And the popular support necessary — both locally and internationally — was also created by the Tigers themselves, particularly in the last ten years.

        “Praba was a creation of racist sinhala chauvinistic policies or acts. This could be the case, I’m assuming.”

        Not really. Tamil militancy certainly was an indirect result of the above policies and acts; but more directly a result of the failure of Tamil politicians to reverse those policies and acts by peaceful legal means.

        “Judging by the time of your posts, it seems that you are the one who is having a slow day at the office. I, unfortunately don’t get paid to comment on GV!”

        If only I was paid for each comment :D I could retire to the beach with my laptop.

        “The UN and advocacy groups are not blatantly hypocritical as the GoSL. UN and Advocacy groups are trying to make the best of a difficult situation.”

        That’s a matter of opinion. The UN and advocacy groups’ lack of interest in prosecuting crimes by the west, or even concentrating on or highlighting them is the clearest evidence of this hypocrisy. The UN sanctions on Iraq in the ’90s alone killed more children than those killed in the last stages of the war in SL.

        “Their balancing act is different from that of the GoSL. But the GoSL is intentionally stalling and not interested in equality and freedom for all. When it comes to Sri Lanka I look to the GoSL to take responsibility and treat all people equally.”

        I think in the long term the GoSL is interested in the above, but it’s just not an immediate priority for them. They will grant the above, but not at the expense of votes. Once the Sinhalese majority is more open to it, it will be granted. However, as long as the threats and bullying from the UN and advocacy groups at the behest of certain elements in the diaspora continues, the GoSL’s hands are tied. If you expect an administration to sacrifice itself for something that its population doesn’t want, and if you continue to take actions that intensify that population’s resistance, you’re just being clumsy and stupid. What happened to RW will then happen to MR; he’ll be voted out, and the next administration will be even more hard-line than this one. This is still a democracy, and it is the people’s will that matters, not the GoSL’s. You guys are so convinced that this is a dictatorship, that you think you only need to overcome the GoSL. It is absurd, and it is why you will fail. If you don’t even understand whom you oppose, how can you expect to defeat them?

        “But sadly the UN and advocacy groups are calling for the GoSL to treat sections of its own people equally. Isn’t that a shame? That’s the really sad thing. Our governance system is flawed and we need to change it. But can we? External shocks may help, to a certain degree.”

        It IS sad; but what makes it sadder, is that your external shocks have so far done absolutely nothing to change anything. All it’s done is make the population and their government even more resistant. As Robert Persig said in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, there’s no point tearing down a factory or a system if you don’t first change the ideology and thought system that created that factory. If you don’t, the factory will merely be rebuilt.

        “You seem to have me confused with Ras al Ghul!”,/em>

        Hardly. He has way better lines than you do.

        “I’m not here to ignore anything, but the GoSL is and some in the Thamil diaspora. I’m always surprised as to how, majority of, sinhalese people criticize the GoSL for corruption, dishonesty, nepotism, favouritism, etc, etc but when it comes to the killing of Thamil people they seem to all of a sudden think the GoSL is honest.”

        Well I’m not Sinhalese for a start. But the point is that however dishonest and corrupt we believe the GoSL is, we believe that those behind these calls for investigations and sanctions are even more dishonest and corrupt. It’s the polarisation effect. If you and I are having a civil but intense disagreement, and there were a number of bystanders who might vaguely support one or the other of us, and you were to hire someone to then physically attack me and beat me, even those who initially vaguely supported you will not do so anymore and might even defend me against you because of the unfairness of the attack.

        Ultimately, Myil, banging your head against a wall each day just gives you a headache. You need to find a drill and go after the foundations of the wall.

    • Dedan Kemathi

      myil selvan

      Mate you obviously live in a fantasy world.

      “What I was getting at is, Mahinda’s thinking is influenced by the mythical fantasies of sinhala-buddhist supremacy. So he grew up with feelings of sinhala supremacy which also looked down on minorities. There wasn’t anything the minorities did to him or his people for him to have these racist feelings. But Praba on the other hand developed his racist feelings as a result of sinhala racism/terrorism”

      What nonsense. MR is just another politician. He was ready to court peace lobby back when Ranil was PM solely to get back at CBK. He was a virulent anti- JVPier but forgot all that when he went to Geneva during Government crack down against them.
      He was against UPFA when it was formed but later used it for his own gain. He was at loggerheads with Wimal Weerawansa passing tasty bits about him to pro-UNP media but later found him to be a useful follower.
      He is just a politician and I don’t think he harbors such supremacist mentality, its just that given surge of nationalism following Rev. Soma’s death (when Sinhala Buddhists thought they were victimized by a minority cabal in the UNP govt.), he found it fruitful to get on board the bandwagon. MR has no clear ideology except what he seized from the nationalist camp.
      You cannot deny it was LTTE refusal to let Tamil people vote that brought MR to power. There were allegations of underhand dealings at that time , but fact remains Prabha wanted to defeat Ranil to expedite his quest for Ealaam
      Agreed on Prabha though

  • myil selvan

    As for David Blacker’s comment

    “When you attempt to use terrorism to further your goals, it is then silly to whine about the other side giving you a taste of your own medicine. Every step of the way from 2001, the Tamils have no one to blame for their plight but the Tigers and those who financed and supported them. From breaking the CFA, walking out of talks, boycotting the presidential elections, chasing out the SLMM, and aggressively pushing for a military solution, the Tigers opened Pandora’s box. The legacy of this is that there will not be Eelam or even justice for the SL Tamils ever.“

    I agree with the latter part of the statement, not the former. David Blacker should know better. It was the GoSL that first started using terrorism and got a taste of it from the LTTE. Then they gave it back and seem to be continuing it in a more subtle way. When will this cycle end? So it is silly to whine. GoSL stop whining!

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

      But the GoSL isn’t whining, Myil; they’re laughing at your whining.

      On your point about state terrorism, you’re wrong. The GoSL was certainly brutal to the Tamils and their leaders between independence and the ’80s; but they didn’t use terrorism. They weren’t bombing or machine-gunning people, they weren’t sending suicide bombers to blow up the Tamil leadership, or planting bombs in public places. It was the separatist terrorists who started that.

      Throughout the last decade, the Tigers were given ample opportunity to peacefully achieve a stepping stone to eventual Eelam, and they were so close to getting there with Ranil W. But they chose war; deliberately, consciously, cold-bloodedly. The Rajapakses gave it back to them bomb for bullet and kick for punch until they were destroyed. They wanted war and we gave them a war to end the war. No point crying now.

      My point, which Groundviews has quoted above, was in response to a comment by someone suggesting that because the GoSL isn’t a terror group it must fight terror groups with kid gloves. This is utter bullshit. To quote Ras al Ghul, “Those without decency must be fought without hesitation, and without pity,” and that is the fact of it.

      • justitia

        DB,
        According to you, the brutality of GoSL towards the tamils between independence and the ’80s does not constitute “terrorism” but only ‘bombing, machine gunning and suicide bombing’ constitute “terrorism”.
        Brutality of GoSL towards the tamils since independence is documented.
        http://nesohr.org/files/Lest_We_Forget.pdf
        If this was not State Terrorism, what is?

      • jansee

        David:

        Like Ras, Hitler, too, was a man of quotations? You seem to thrive on the notion that for the deeds of the LTTE, the SL regime’s reply with the way it conducted the war was right. From the UN to all Amnesty International, EU, US all agree that the brutal conduct of the LTTE has no place in our society and, in fact, were supportive of the war of the SL regime’s war against the LTTE.

        However, the disregard to civilian interest during the conduct hf the war by both sides raise pertinent questions. If ALL the Tamils under LTTE rule have to suffer because of the actions of of the LTTE, as you seem to suggest, then there arises allegations of war crimes, if not genocide. It does not really matter whether you concur with this view as it is our belief that “the thief never admits of his theft” It wil be wishful thinking to assume everything would just vanish.

      • Agnos

        Jansee,

        Given Blacker’s arrested development and the terrorism he indulged in while being part of the SLA, it is hardly surprising that he defends the GoSL’s terrorist ways. If the beast were to tell me in person that GoSL had never indulged in state terrorism, something I personally witnessed, I would be tempted to kill the beast myself. I urge Tamils to completely ignore this beast and stay away from it.

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

        Justita, yes, the brutality is documented; and it is brutality. It is not terrorism.

        Jansee, Hitler was also a vegetarian. Does that make Gandhi a Nazi? Try to get a grip.

        I do believe that the conduct of the final offensive had its faults, but I also believe that it was born of necessity, of long suffering over 30 years. When the Allies defeated Germany and Japan, they also committed horrendous crimes, but the overall goal was just and right. I believe that the SL goal too was just and right, especially since all other avenues had been exhausted. When one goes to war, the final responsibility is to win as speedily and effectively as possible, but mindful of the rules.

        I do not agree that the civilians were disregarded by the GoSL. The fact that all attempts were made to remove the civilians to safety (which was only partially successful) is proof of this. I am not saying that ANY Tamils must suffer now that the war is over. We must all work towards bettering their lives and futures.

        Agnos, bravado is pointless after the battle is over. Where were you, when you were needed to fight your “beasts”? Why was it that little children and young women had to be sent to the front at gunpoint to fight while cowards like you sat miles away and talked big? Kill the “beast” in your dreams, oh paper Tiger.

      • Lakshan

        DB

        Well put

      • malli

        As a newcomer to this site I notice David Blacker appears to have a full-time occupation giving ‘counter punches’, especially with respect to criticisms levelled against the SL Govt on the conduct of war against LTTE.
        If he has that much free time I would urge him to write something positive, that is useful and practical, to improve the situation prevailing in Sri Lanka, specially with respect to Tamil lives.
        These pages are full of arguments on what is ‘Terrorism’ and what is ‘Brutality’ and so on. Does it matter how you and I see these?
        To me all these appears a waste of time. DB, please don’t just say that Tamils must transform. Can you suggest concrete steps that Tamils in Sri Lanka should take in the short term that would give them good and decent living under the present regime? I would like to see positive thinking and results coming from these pages than to read about how one is digging holes on the other.

      • myil selvan

        You said:
        “But the GoSL isn’t whining, Myil; they’re laughing at your whining.”

        My response:
        Really David, are they laughing? It doesn’t look like laughing when the GoSL says the Ch4 video is a fake and then fabricates a similar video showing it off as LTTE crimes on Swarnavahini.
        It doesn’t look like laughing when the Jaffna Army Commander contradicts himself over his terrorists terrorizing a political meeting.
        It doesn’t look like laughing when the President contradicts his acolytes.
        It doesn’t look like laughing when the SL High Commission is whining over ABC showing the CH4 video.
        It doesn’t look like laughing when they are desperately looking for excuses to extending the state of emergency.
        It doesn’t look like laughing when they are desperately organizing defense seminars
        It doesn’t look like laughing when they are organizing leadership training for Uni students to give the Armed Forces a PR lift.

        But rather it seems amusing to see the GoSL flip flopping and contradicting itself on various channels and fora. Even Mangala Samaraweera says “the government has resorted to LAUGHABLE acts in rejecting the allegations without conducting a proper investigation.” Dailymirror front page July 7, 2011.

        If the GoSL is laughing why don’t they just say, “We did commit genocide and war crimes, so what?” Instead they are running helter skelter from one channel to another conference huffing and puffing and whining about how they used kid gloves and how much they love the Thamil people, all the while denying access to the final theatre of conflict.

        Personally to me, this is not a laughing matter.

        You said:
        “On your point about state terrorism, you’re wrong. The GoSL was certainly brutal to the Tamils and their leaders between independence and the ’80s; but they didn’t use terrorism. They weren’t bombing or machine-gunning people, they weren’t sending suicide bombers to blow up the Tamil leadership, or planting bombs in public places. It was the separatist terrorists who started that.”

        My response:
        Let me go into this a bit, since you have brought this up before. I guess we’ll have to take a back to basics approach. What is your definition of Terrorism? Dictionary.com gives the below definitions:
        1. the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes.
        2. the state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
        3. a terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.

        Now there is no universally accepted definition for terrorism, although certain groupings or fora have tried at getting at one. To me it would be to terrorize the innocent population, to put it simply. This the GoSL did very well with riots and pogroms and massacring Thamil people.

        In 1956 the ITAK MPs were attacked at Galle Face for a peaceful protest. What was that for? To terrorize them and instill fear that they won’t resort to such things again, that’s terrorism.
        Again in 1956 the Gal Oya settlement Sinhalese went on to massacre approximately 150 Thamils in nearby villages. What do you call that? A primal urge of hunger? That’s terrorism.
        Then in 1958 it got worse, and on and on and on and on. Then 1983. It’s not just brutality but barbaric terrorism.
        True the LTTE gave terrorism for terrorism but the GoSL terror was worse. At least the LTTE did not go around shoving grenades into vaginas and blowing up women like what the GoSL armed forces/ police did to Koneshwari in 1990 in Amparai, when you were part of the GoSL forces.
        Let’s also not forget the gang rape of a Thamil woman in Mannar, when a SLA commanding officer showed her 10 SLA soldiers and asked her to marry one of them. When she refused he ordered all 10 to rape her. The case was taken up before the UNHCHR in 1998. That is sadistic terror.

        So what do you expect the Thamils should do after all this? Follow Ras al Ghuls words??

        If SWRD had been a statesman, without looking at the next election but rather the next generation, all this could have been settled amicably.

        You seem to equate terrorism with bombing in places that are close to you but don’t seem to think so when it is in the northeast, is that your take? Terrorism has no boundaries wherever it takes place it is terrorism. Whether in Colombo, Kilinochchi, Dollar Farm or Velvettithurai. Before the LTTE got it’s hands on machine guns the SLA had them. And let’s not forget the aerial bombings.

        You said:
        “Throughout the last decade, the Tigers were given ample opportunity to peacefully achieve a stepping stone to eventual Eelam, and they were so close to getting there with Ranil W. But they chose war; deliberately, consciously, cold-bloodedly.
        My response:
        This is why I said in my first response that I agree with the latter part of your statement but not the former (meaning the first sentence).

        You said:
        The Rajapakses gave it back to them bomb for bullet and kick for punch until they were destroyed. They wanted war and we gave them a war to end the war. No point crying now.”

        My response:
        “Rajapakses gave it back to them bomb for bullet”. Literally! That’s for sure. Who is this ‘we’ that you talk about? I thought you left long ago? Those who wanted the war are not crying anymore. It is the ones who are left under the GoSL jackbook, that I’m worried about.

        You said:
        “My point, which Groundviews has quoted above, was in response to a comment by someone suggesting that because the GoSL isn’t a terror group it must fight terror groups with kid gloves. This is utter bullshit. To quote Ras al Ghul, “Those without decency must be fought without hesitation, and without pity,” and that is the fact of it.”

        My response:
        So now you are quoting fictional terrorist characters? By quoting Ras al Ghul you agree that the GoSL did use terrorist methods and is a terror outfit, right?

        I guess Pirapakaran took Ras’s words to heart in his response to the GoSL.

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

        Malli, I’ve written extensively both here in the GV comments section, and on my own blog; thank you for your concern about the utilization of my time. A few months ago, Suren Raghavan asked people to contribute a 5-point plan for both the Tamils and the Sinhalese to carry out to ensure peace and harmony in the immediate future. I can’t remember the name of the article but if you search, using Suren’s and my names as well as the words ‘5-point plan’, you’ll probably find it.

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

        Myil: “Really David, are they laughing? It doesn’t look like laughing…etc”

        That is exactly what they are doing, Myil, in your list of activities. They know they can be contradictory, thuggish, they can lie, and bulldoze. Why? Because all you guys can do is whine. They do all of the above and laugh as you whine about it.

        “But rather it seems amusing to see the GoSL flip flopping and contradicting itself on various channels and fora. Even Mangala Samaraweera says “the government has resorted to LAUGHABLE acts in rejecting the allegations without conducting a proper investigation.” Dailymirror front page July 7, 2011.”

        Well if it IS laughable, the joke is on you guys, because the GoSL is getting away with it.

        “If the GoSL is laughing why don’t they just say, “We did commit genocide and war crimes, so what?””

        Because that would be to admit wrongdoing :D Instead they “huff and puff” as you put it, and life goes on. They could be said to be whining if they were trying to achieve something; they’re not. All they’re doing is holding you guys off. They’re doing what they want to do, and getting what they want. You guys are whining and crying about how bad and nasty they are, but getting nowhere, because no one really cares.

        <em<"Personally to me, this is not a laughing matter."

        It certainly isn’t; which is why whining and bullshitting will get you nowhere, and simply make matters worse. You are more interested in talking about who is whining and who is laughing, rather than the actual matter at hand. For the GoSL, the more whining, laughing, and pointless bullshitting goes on, the better for them, because while that’s getting all the attention, life for them goes on unchanged.

        “Now there is no universally accepted definition for terrorism, although certain groupings or fora have tried at getting at one. To me it would be to terrorize the innocent population, to put it simply. This the GoSL did very well with riots and pogroms and massacring Thamil people.”

        But the GoSL did not do the above, Myil. They used violence against the peaceful protests of the Tamil political parties and their leadership. The use of violence by the state is part of its remit, reserved to be used in a just manner (ideally). But even when used unjustly, it is still not terrorism, though it can be termed repressive, tyrannical, and brutal. For instance, the GoSL didn’t carry out a campaign of assassination, torture, or abduction against the Tamil political entities before the war, not even after the Vadukkoddai Resolution, which many considered treasonous. If it had, it could have been termed state terrorism.

        Yes, some GoSL ministers were complicit in the pogroms, and the pogroms certainly were causing terror amongst the Tamil people, but it wasn’t an act of the GoSL or the state. Also, it wasn’t the riots that created the war; there had been riots since the ’50s, but no war until the ’80s. What made the Tamil youth take up arms was the ineffectuality of the Tamil political leadership to reverse the racist laws of the GoSL and achieve equal standing for the Tamil community.

        “In 1956 the ITAK MPs were attacked at Galle Face for a peaceful protest. What was that for? To terrorize them and instill fear that they won’t resort to such things again, that’s terrorism.”

        That isn’t terrorism, Myil. Breaking up a demonstration or protest march with violence isn’t to cause terror, but to suppress the protest. There would have been far more effective ways of terrorising the Tamil politicians, some of which I have mentioned above, which subsequent SL administrations used against both the JVP and the Tamil politicians during and after the ’80s.

        “Again in 1956 the Gal Oya settlement Sinhalese went on to massacre approximately 150 Thamils in nearby villages. What do you call that? A primal urge of hunger? That’s terrorism.”

        Again, Myil, it is not something that was carried out by the GoSL or the Sinhalese as a community. Even if it was, it still wasn’t something that caused the war, which took almost 30 more years to break out.

        “Then in 1958 it got worse, and on and on and on and on. Then 1983. It’s not just brutality but barbaric terrorism.”

        I’m afraid it’s not, Myil. It wasn’t the riots that made the Tamils rise up; it was the inability to safeguard their interests by peaceful political means. It was the Vadukkoddai Resolution that articulated all that the Tamils wanted, and when this couldn’t be achieved democratically, it was attempted with the gun.

        “True the LTTE gave terrorism for terrorism but the GoSL terror was worse. At least the LTTE did not go around shoving grenades into vaginas and blowing up women like what the GoSL armed forces/ police did to Koneshwari in 1990 in Amparai, when you were part of the GoSL forces.”

        What is worse is subjective, Myil. I have seen the results of a Tiger attack on a Muslim village in the East, with elderly men and women crucified to their front doors, children beheaded and disembowelled, young girls raped and branded with depictions of pigs. This inso was suppressed by the GoSL to prevent a Muslim uprising, but I saw it with my own eyes. This and other attacks on Sinhalese and Muslim civilians, the indiscriminate bombings of public places in the south, attacks on monks, etc, were a policy of terror by the Tigers, unlike the GoSL. Things like the incidents you describe did happen, but it wasn’t widespread. I think the Tamil people in the NE saw the difference between the SL Army and the Indian Army during the IPKF era, the latter raping thousands of Tamil women.

        “So what do you expect the Thamils should do after all this? Follow Ras al Ghuls words??”

        I do not begrudge the Tamils of the NE for rising up. I would have done the same. As I told you, I’m half Tamil, and have seen that side of my family suffer in July ’83, and eventually leave SL rather than be persecuted. It was just by chance that I did not grow up in Jaffna. In the late ’70s my father was to be transferred there, and we were to go with him. His organisation changed its mind at the last minute and kept him in Colombo. But if we had gone, I know for a fact I’d have joined the separatists instead of the Army.

        What you (and many other Tamils) overlook is that even a just cause can be corrupted and diverted. The cause was just and true in 1983, but the Tigers corrupted and usurped it, and after ’87, became the cause, ignoring what they originally had risen up to do. When that happens, you can’t just point back to the cause of the conflict and hope to justify what you have done in its name. Germany in the ’30s was suffering under unbearable reparations imposed by the western Allies after WW1, on the verge of being destroyed. What Hitler promised them was only fair and just. BUT, we all know what he did to try and achieve it.

        Just as the end doesn’t justify the means, neither do the means invalidate the end. It’s a matter of scale. Before ’87, the separatists were in the right; after that the state was.

        “If SWRD had been a statesman, without looking at the next election but rather the next generation, all this could have been settled amicably.”

        You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, when you pick up a gun you open a very special door, and through that door comes things that can never be put back. After that, you have to kill everything that comes through that door; and if you don’t or can’t, you lose.

        “You seem to equate terrorism with bombing in places that are close to you but don’t seem to think so when it is in the northeast, is that your take? Terrorism has no boundaries wherever it takes place it is terrorism. Whether in Colombo, Kilinochchi, Dollar Farm or Velvettithurai. Before the LTTE got it’s hands on machine guns the SLA had them. And let’s not forget the aerial bombings.”

        The GoSL and the Armed Forces always tried to target the combatants. There was no carpet bombing as in WW2, or napalm as in Vietnam. Yes, civilians died; they always die in war; that’s one of the things that come through that door. So no, you can’t equate an airstrike with placing a parcel bomb in Pettah or on a train in Dehiwela, or massacring villages and bombing temples.

        ““Rajapakses gave it back to them bomb for bullet”. Literally! That’s for sure. Who is this ‘we’ that you talk about? I thought you left long ago? Those who wanted the war are not crying anymore. It is the ones who are left under the GoSL jackbook, that I’m worried about.”

        Yes, I left the SL Army long ago, but not a day goes by when I don’t remember what it was like, just as the Tamils who left SL decades ago still remember. Yes, I too worry about the people under the jackboot, and I worry that those like you who say you care seem to be only lending weight to the foot that wears the boot. If you care about those people, why not make their current and future well being your absolute priority. Think about the fact that your thirst for justice and your hunger for the past may be keeping that boot in place. The Tigers corrupted the struggle once. Don’t let it happen again.

        “So now you are quoting fictional terrorist characters? By quoting Ras al Ghul you agree that the GoSL did use terrorist methods and is a terror outfit, right?”

        Myil, don’t be silly now. Ra’s al Gul’s words were written by David Goyer, and he’s not a terrorist :D Your desperation to pin anything you can on the GoSL is making you look childish.

        “I guess Pirapakaran took Ras’s words to heart in his response to the GoSL.”

        Actually, I think the Ra’s al Ghul quote VP did take to heart was “To conquer fear, you must become fear. You must bask in the fear of other men. And men fear most what they cannot see. You have to become a terrible thought. A wraith. You have to become an idea! Feel terror cloud your senses. Feel its power to distort; to control. And know that this power can be yours. Embrace your worst fears. Become one with the darkness.” ;)

  • ravana

    Dear Groundviews,
    Thank you for this revelation. The MP who is speaking with such dignity despite interruption from some who are much beneath him, is an example to Sri Lankans.
    More importantly he speaks about matters which are very grim and confirms that people of the North cannot have any confidence in the current Government. He is clearly concerned about genuine grievances and is not uttering racist diatribe.

    If his party changes its name to a neutral one (e.g. NorthEast People’s Liberation Front) they would take away yet another weapon that the Government uses against them.

  • http://thecarthaginiansolution.wordpress.com/ Mango

    I don’t understand why India’s pussyfooting around with MR. It should be made crystal clear to GoSL that unless this sort of blatant thuggery is stopped (almost nothing happens in Jaffna without the Army knowing about it, right?) India will adopt a position of benign neglect to SL’s hounding in the international arena. Even the Chinese will have their patience tested.

    At some point, there’ll be no advantage for GoSL’s allies in continuing to expend their own diplomatic capital by shielding GoSL, who are acting like spoilt teenage thugs.

  • ravana

    Regarding MP Rajiva Wijesinghe’s interview, he did much better than he had done in recent times (e.g. with Al Jazeera) by resisting the temptation to be facetious on such serious subjects. Until the issue of the TNA MP’s came up. Then it was like letting a mad toon who had been restrained for 20 minutes out of the bag. Stephen Sakur missed the significance of it thus leaving Wijesinghe on a relatively good light.

    I must say that GoSL does not leave Wijesinghe with much to defend with but he did well except for the macabre comment “I’m sure it wasn’t them!” , implying that the TNA set up the attack on their own MP’s (and and smiling ironically like a school boy). Stupid stupid stupid.

    I saw Rohan Gunaratne smile like that once when asked by an (ABC?) journalist if GoSL was entering jurisdictions of other countries and rendering suspects (in relation to KP rendition) and if the GoSL is targeting other members of the Tamil diaspora.

    They don’t do GoSL any favours if they cannot control their emotions impeccably. Internationally arena is not a school yard in which you can go around looking glib about ones exploits. Well trained professionals do not betray such self-satisfaction except behind closed-doors with ones own colleagues.

    This is why Sri Lanka badly needs a revamped Professional Foreign service. In the modern World they need a department of applied psychology.

  • Ethirveerasingam

    I was a spectator when in 1956 a Sinhala Mob beat up SJV Chelvanayagam and other Federal Party MPs. SWRD in Parliament made fun of their wounds. Tamils did not retaliate then and they did not retaliate now.

  • jansee

    David:

    Hitler, too, gave many excuses to invade Poland. The aim of the SL regime was to mainly reduce the numbers of the Tamil population. The total disregard to human life amply proves that and you as part of that regime would undoubtedly sing the tune of the Rajapakses. A better life for the Tamils now that the war is over. That was the hope many of us had that the govt would move to heal the wounds as speedily and effectively as possible but after two years very little has changed.

    There is little or no hope that this regime would ever sincerely extends its hands to the battered Tamils. It is nothing more than deceit and lies, as it always had been. Development can come. Reconciliation can take place. The Tamils don’t even bother when or how these come. However, accountability for the large numbers indiscriminately shelled and killed is necessary to make peace with the Tamils. If the SL regime chooses to turn the other way, so be it but it will be hounded forever.

    It took many years for the crimes of Bosnia to come to the surface. In a war “conducted without witnesses”, the amazing speed with which evidence had surfaced to torment the Rajapakses is gathering momentum and no matter how much support they enjoy within the country, it is becoming increasingly clear that their greatest mistake was not even the conduct of the war – how they conducted themselves after the war – as it then gradually emerged the sinister moves and actions of the Rajapakses. Mahinda Rajapakse did not win this war just to defeat terrorism. It is good that he did it as a matter of course but he was more interested in the 18th Amendment type of life and rule. The Tamils became a “stepping stone”. Prabhakaran gave him that chance and opportunity and in all the “draws” he ended up the loser – preventing the people from voting, and the whispers are still making the rounds that MR bought him to prevent the Tamils from voting. At the end of the day, both have been cut from the same mould. MR did not win the war for the Sinhalese, neither did he defeat terrorism – he did it for himself – and can anyone looking at the regime now, 18th Amendment, etc can deny that?

    • yapa

      Dear jansee;

      “The aim of the SL regime was to mainly reduce the numbers of the Tamil population.”

      You make remarkable discoveries very often. How did you improve your brain power to conveniently make such discoveries. You are a marvelous lady! I cannot think of your capabilities.

      Thanks!

      • jansee

        yapa:

        While it amuses me, nevertheless thanks for the compliment. I am glad that you do admit that my brain is better – making remarkable discoveries – in this particular case to dissect what goes on in the mind of MR – and indirectly pointing the naivety of the general populace such as you are.

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

      Jansee, pulling Hitler out of the hat whenever you wish to make a point is getting a bit silly now. I think the world has progressed from the point that all an argument needed was to have Hitler in it :D

      If the GoSL wanted to reduce the number of Tamils, why did they allow so many to escape? hundreds of thousands came over and are now being resettled. Why didn’t the GoSL just pen them all up with the Tigers and kill everyone? Don’t let your hatred overcome your intelligence; that’s how this war was lost by the Tigers.

      The regime will not extend a hand to someone who is trying to bite it off. You cannot with one breath ask for freedom, security, political enfranchisement, and with the next swear vengeance against those very people you are asking those things of. You say reconciliation, but you call for revenge. You can’t have both. The Rajapakses are at the height of their popularity, as is the military in the eyes of the country. There is no chance of getting them. Why not wait, achieve the things you need to for the Tamils. One day the rajapakses will be out of power, and the people of SL will be sick of paying for an inflated military. You’ll have a better chance then. Don’t forget that they say that revenge is a dish best eaten cold.

      • Lankan Thinker

        Well said David.

        I find it hard to believe there are still people using the term ‘Genocide’ to describe what happened in Sri Lanka when almost 300,000 civillians survived and almost all of these people have now been allowed to return to their villages.

        Of course there is much more that the GoSL could, and should, be doing to help people affected by the war. But this type of illogical hyperbole is not helping anyone help the people that matter.

  • Post DJBS Scenario

    Great piece. You tied together the events very well and explained the context. Thank you.

  • jansee

    David:

    “If the GoSL wanted to reduce the number of Tamils, why did they allow so many to escape? hundreds of thousands came over and are now being resettled. Why didn’t the GoSL just pen them all up with the Tigers and kill everyone? Don’t let your hatred overcome your intelligence; that’s how this war was lost by the Tigers.”

    The same old tired argument.The shelling was indiscriminate. The shelling did not bother whether they are the LTTE, old young and the women. Just shell them and reduce the numbers. So much the better. This talk of 40,000 lives lost are only a conservative figure. When and if an independent investigation takes place, the exact number who died at the hands of these butchers will be fully known.

    Often it has been said and admitted the power of a Sinhala leader depends on the Tamils – to what extent he hurts the Tamils. However you look at it, MR may rejoice that he has shored up his power by creating a supremacy racial perception and pitting the two races against each other, and as long as these two go for each other’s throats, MR and his siblings would have a good laugh over coffee at how best they have manipulated the people. Even Chandrika had her doubts over him but somehow remotely may have felt that it is only fair to give him a chance for a shot at the Presidency. As much as Prabhakaran made a grave error of judgment that led to his eventual death, Chandrika, too, belatedly would have realised her folly, as a number of her statements would testify. Sadly, when the pace picks up and the Sinhalese and Tamils realise the way they have been duped, that would start the bal rolling and looking at the current situation, MR may not have to wait for his wishes for too long.

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

      “The same old tired argument.The shelling was indiscriminate. The shelling did not bother whether they are the LTTE, old young and the women. Just shell them and reduce the numbers. So much the better.”

      You can call the argument tired if you wish, but unless you can counter it and prove that the shelling was indeed indiscriminate, it remains an effective one.

      “This talk of 40,000 lives lost are only a conservative figure.”

      That’s just wishful thinking. Even Gordon Weiss, who first came up with this random number, has backed down from it in his book The Cage, and said that he will not get into numbers.

      “When and if an independent investigation takes place, the exact number who died at the hands of these butchers will be fully known.”

      It’s still very unlikely that those fanciful figures will ever be substantiated.

      “Often it has been said and admitted the power of a Sinhala leader depends on the Tamils – to what extent he hurts the Tamils.”

      Unfortunately, the Tigers did their best to prove that the power of the last two Sinhalese leaders was dependent on the Tigers themselves. They destroyed Ranil W, the only leader willing to make concessions, and ensured he lost the presidential elections to MR, the least likely to.

      “However you look at it, MR may rejoice that he has shored up his power by creating a supremacy racial perception and pitting the two races against each other, and as long as these two go for each other’s throats, MR and his siblings would have a good laugh over coffee at how best they have manipulated the people.”

      Which is why I am telling you to back off. As long as you keep going for MR’s throat via these war crimes accusations, you are simply strengthening his power. It takes two to tango, and the Tamils have more to lose. Time to sit this dance out.

      • jansee

        David Blacker:

        “You can call the argument tired if you wish, but unless you can counter it and prove that the shelling was indeed indiscriminate, it remains an effective one.”

        Yes, it has been proven by a number of times and by a number of authoritative agencies and reports. If you do not want to or refuse to see, that is your problem. When the parties to the crime want to taste the medicine, then they can find out whether it is bitter or not. When someone is alleged to have committed an offence, then it is only after he is charged of the alleged offence that the evidence is produced in the court, and not to the alleged offender. You don’t need to jump the gun.

        “That’s just wishful thinking. Even Gordon Weiss, who first came up with this random number, has backed down from it in his book The Cage, and said that he will not get into numbers.”

        Of course he can’t simply because it now appears that even the 40,000 may be far below the actual number. Some put it to about 140,000. Of course, you will jump for the evidence. If and when the court of competence convenes then you can have the number.

        “It’s still very unlikely that those fanciful figures will ever be substantiated.”
        You don’t have to worry over this. After all, it is those who accuse the other of the offence who should offer and establish the evidence. Rest your mind on this.

        “Unfortunately, the Tigers did their best to prove that the power of the last two Sinhalese leaders was dependent on the Tigers themselves. They destroyed Ranil W, the only leader willing to make concessions, and ensured he lost the presidential elections to MR, the least likely to.”

        I am with you on this. Ranil was determined to give the maximum that he could, less the own state. He was more interested in developing the country rather than fight a war. I have this belief that Prabakaran kept telling RW was creating a loop to trap the LTTE. True or false, we don’t know but he was not able to display his political skills and determine when to call it a day, and for that he and also the Tamils paid a very, very heavy price.

        “Which is why I am telling you to back off. As long as you keep going for MR’s throat via these war crimes accusations, you are simply strengthening his power. It takes two to tango, and the Tamils have more to lose. Time to sit this dance out.”

        Oh no, the people within the country, both the Sinhalese and the Tamils, for different reasons, would not be able to nail the perpetrators of war crimes. The opposition is fractured and weak and it falls on the shoulders of the diaspora and the foreign govts to bring the criminals to justice. There would or should be no comfort of getting away with such horrendous crimes. I believe that there is a covert campaign to unseat the Rajapakses and that the new govt can then hand over them to an international tribunal to be tried for war crimes. I think the Rajapakses are too smart for that. They out-foxed Prabhakaran by convincing him not to allow the Tamils to vote. Then they duped the foreign govts and worse of all they made India look like dump. India is trapped, so it seems to the SL regime but it will quietly pinch the Americans and Europeans to do the job and that is why MR has now turned to the Russians and Chinese. But you should know the game well. At the end of the day, as long as these govts get what they want, anyone is dispensable to them.

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

        “Yes, it has been proven by a number of times and by a number of authoritative agencies and reports. If you do not want to or refuse to see, that is your problem.”

        Could you link to even one of these “authoritative agencies and reports” that proves these numbers, as you claim, instead of merely claiming it as Weiss initially did?

        “When someone is alleged to have committed an offence, then it is only after he is charged of the alleged offence that the evidence is produced in the court, and not to the alleged offender. You don’t need to jump the gun.”

        Isn’t it you who is jumping the gun? There hasn’t even been an investigation yet, never mind an indictment, or a trial; and yet, you have already pronounced guilt. And contrary to your claim, evidence submitted by the prosecution, must first be submitted to the defense in a trial.

        “Of course he can’t simply because it now appears that even the 40,000 may be far below the actual number. Some put it to about 140,000. Of course, you will jump for the evidence.”

        And some have put it at under 10,000. So either way, it’s just opinion.

        “If and when the court of competence convenes then you can have the number.”

        So then shouldn’t you also wait ’til that number is released instead of making unfounded claims, which when challenged, you have no evidence of? It just makes you look lame.

        “You don’t have to worry over this. After all, it is those who accuse the other of the offence who should offer and establish the evidence. Rest your mind on this.”

        I’m not in the least worried :D But since you say that it is those who accuse who must prove, where is your proof?

        “True or false, we don’t know but he was not able to display his political skills and determine when to call it a day, and for that he and also the Tamils paid a very, very heavy price.”

        Shouldn’t you in the diaspora now prove that you are wiser than VP?

        “Oh no, the people within the country, both the Sinhalese and the Tamils, for different reasons, would not be able to nail the perpetrators of war crimes.”

        War crimes that you assume happened. So you admit then that revenge is more important to you than the future of the SL Tamils; that your hunger for revenge cannot wait until the SL Tamils are back on their feet?

        “The opposition is fractured and weak and it falls on the shoulders of the diaspora and the foreign govts to bring the criminals to justice.”

        Isn’t that what the Tigers said as well — that they alone would be the voice and brain of the Tamils?

        “There would or should be no comfort of getting away with such horrendous crimes.”

        Why then did you in the diaspora allow the Tigers to get away with these horrendous crimes for 30 years?

    • Sadun

      Jansee

      “This talk of 40,000 lives lost are only a conservative figure. When and if an independent investigation takes place, the exact number who died at the hands of these butchers will be fully known.”

      Lets take a look at the figures of the dead quoted here and there and what might actually be.

      We have Gordon Weiss at the initial stages putting the figure somewhere around 7000,

      Then look at these figures

      Assuming around 450,000 lived in Mulaitivu, Mannar and Kilinochchi (roughly based on 2001 Census),

      and assuming around 100,000 left the area during various stages of war, considering that over 800,000 Tamils are living abroad, I just took 100,000 from these three districts
      that would give us a figure of 350,000

      Then when the war is over your so called butchers rescued, sacrificing their own lives in the process, around 300,000 Tamil civilians from the ltte control.

      then that would gives us a figure of 50,000

      then if you deduct those who escaped to India say by all the hullaballoo created by the TN leaders it is 40,000

      that would gives us a figure close to 10,000 unaccounted

      I didn’t deduct any for the Makkal Padei gang of LTTE and also for the LTTE Cadres who died during the war and also of killings of uncooperative Tamils by the ltte, that might reduce this number further.

      you may agree or may not, but it certainly is not that bad as you make it out to be.

      Jaffna was not considered since it is under government control. and would like to just point out that among the rescued were your terrorist leader’s mama and papa too.

      and now Sri Lanka is free from the barbaric ltte terrorism and TNA can visit places they never dared before and conduct political meetings, isn’t that a great achievement.

      • jansee

        Sadun:

        When the SL regime insisted there were only 70,000 people on “the other side” many did not believe this. Even Anandasangaree wrote to the President that something was amiss and many, including the SL regime laughed him off as a fool but his figures turned out to be right, very close indeed. It is not that the SL regime didn’t know the truth but it had some other insidious agenda, so it appears now. So, your methodological presentation means nothing, nothing at all. When and if the alleged perpetrators are hauled up for war crimes, you can have your calculator ready to make sure you do not add or subtract the figures wrongly.

        “now Sri Lanka is free from the barbaric ltte terrorism and TNA can visit places they never dared before and conduct political meetings, isn’t that a great.”

        Again, you are showing your penchant to mislead and hide the truth. The TNA, including the other opposition parties, have been begging the govt to allow them to visit the war zone as elected reps. During the height of the barbed wire internment, the TNA pleaded to be allowed to visit the caged camps to assist the idps but to no avail. To this day they have been PROMISED by the govt to provide with a list of detainees but have turned out to be a bluff. Sadun, there is a very long list. By the way, does the recent assault of the TNA reps during a closed-door meeting in Jaffna by some army thugs seem great – how more hilarious can you get?

      • Sadun

        Dear Jansee,

        What I tried to do was to get to a more realistic figure of how many civilians died during the last stages of war since we have figures like
        Gordon Weiss initially coming up with 7,000
        then he was saying 5 x 7,000 = 35,000
        One UK newspaper falsely quoting that UN has said 40,000 which Gordon Weiss denied as having no basis
        then Diaspora one time saying 50,000 or 60,000, then 100,000 and then again 150,000.

        So it is obvious from your answer that you are also joining the GOSL bashing without any clue of what happened and has no idea other than mouthing what the separatist elements of Tamil Diaspora telling the world in order to achieve their separatist aims.

        So do you see where the hilarity lies?

        Anyway thanks for the reply.

      • myil selvan

        There are reports that the Mullaithivu GA at the time had told an official of the British High Commission that “at least 375,000 people are in the LTTE controlled vanni. From this figure, close to 300,000 or 290,000 came out into the IDP camps. The International Crisis Group (ICG) who did a report on the last stages of the war said that around 75,000 people may have been killed. This somewhat tallies with the figure of 375,000 with around 300,000 coming out.

        The Mullaithivu GA also said that a figure of 479,000 was being floated around. But this figure is an inflated figure of the LTTE.

        If according to the 2001 census there were around 450,000 people in the three districts of Mannar, Mullaithivu and Kilinochchi. We need to be cognizant of the fact that the entire population of the Mannar district was not under the LTTE. Mannar town and surrounding areas where, I’m assuming, the bulk of the population of the Mannar district lived was under GoSL control. So it wouldn’t be fair to include them in the list of people under LTTE control.

        As for rescuing people. I would say, the main thing for the GoSL is LAND. All those who got out of the way escaped but the others met a sad fate. I don’t think rescuing civilians was the greatest priority for the GoSL whomever they could they rescued but sadly I don’t think that was their priority. If it was then why go to war in the first place?

        As for Praba’s parents they were in their 80’s. If they were younger they might have been executed like Prabaharan’s 12 year old son, who apparently was killed in front of the father.

        As for the TNA being able to freely conduct political meetings, you would have by now heard the attack on one of their meetings by the Army and possibly the EPDP. So they aren’t actually free to have political meetings even now! LTTE terrorism may be over but GoSL terrorism is still around. How can we vanquish that?

  • http://deleted Bundoora

    Daer Sadun, 

    Your assumption of  450, 000 in 2001 Mullativu, Mannar and Kilinochchi   is close enough except the year , actually it was nearly 430,000 and the  year was 2008, this is according to the population details as at 30.09.2008 0f above districts,   signed by GA Mrs Imelda Sukumar.For your reference here is the link (first video clip of the three)

    http://www.channel4.com/news/un-leak-points-to-crimes-against-humanity-in-sri-lanka-war 

    • Sadun

      Dear Bundoora,

      The 2001 Census gave a figure close to 400,000 for the three districts Mannar, Mulaitivu and Kilinochchi and I added further 50,000 to bring it 2009 though the Tamil Population has declined in the north and east due to migration since 2001. So the actual figure during May 2009 most likely would be much less than 450,000.

  • http://deleted Bundoora

    Dear Sadun,

    Ok Sadun , have you seen the video clip ? Please do not shoot the messenger ( C4) , often we all sri lankans are very very good at , try to attack the contents ! the document is signed by the Government Agent (Mrs Imelda Sukumar , NOT a pro LTTE person ) , it says the total population is 430,000 , if you dispute the figure , then we aught to take the matter to Mrs Imelda and cross check with her , do not you think , it is rather, a sensible thing to do , than endless arguments over this mythical figure. As for me ,I like to get the accurate facts over emotional /circumstances facts!.

    • Thambi

      That link doesn’t work.

      And what’s with the selective belief in what Imelda says. She also said there has been no war crimes. That must be just as true as the 400,000 figures guestimated without access to LTTE areas.

      Though you try you cannot keep bloating up the number exponentially it is not working. 40,000 is about as high as even your White supporters are willing to go.

      • http://deleted Bundoora

        Dear Sadun ,

        This is exactly my point , I’m also in to the final figures of the civilian population before the war broke , but how do we do , one method is yours , that is a logical argument based on the beliefs , as I said in my previous post , I would like to see some solid facts ! one way to do is , going through the documentation , which is available on C4 video clip. Sadun I’m neither LTTE supporter nor a sympathizer , I love Sri lanka as much as you love, and I’m deeply shocked and amazed , the way current SL government handling the case and dragging it in to further chaos. (by the way did you manage to access the link )

      • http://deleted Bundoora

        Thambi,

        If you did not see the video clip , then no point of having a debate with you , you are more than entitled for your opinion, but I’m afraid I can’t waste my time with you , if you get a chance to see it ,then please write.

    • Sadun

      Dear Bundoora,

      I thought the discussion was about how many civilians were there during the last stages of war, not the C4 footage. I explained how I or why I used 450,000 and what the 2001 Census gave. My attempt was to expose the separatist Tamil diaspora’s attempt to tarnish the image of SL by inflating the number of civilian deaths day by day without having any logical basis.
      regards

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