Image credit AP, via BBC News

“There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting.” – Lord Buddha

Authors note: When I was a teenager, I heard from a Sinhala brother that he constantly felt guilty for being unable to protect nearly 70 000-80 000 Sinhala youth who were killed in 1971 and 1989 by their own government in the name of ‘countering  insurgency’.

Now, approaching my tenth year of engagement in journalism and human rights activism, I am experiencing a similar feeling. When thousands of Tamil civilians were massacred under the banner of ‘defeating terrorism’, I – along with like-minded others –could not cease or control the causalities.  Since then, it has been my sole intent to do something constructive and seek justice for those who were victimized by the state system in Sri Lanka.

(An edited version of an article by Nirmanusan Balasundaram as first published in the UNESCO Chair & Institute of Comparative Human Rights publication entitled, International Leadership Programme: A Global Intergenerational Training Forum. This is an edited version. )

Introduction

The war in Sri Lanka came to an end in the Spring of 2009 with serious violations of International Humanitarian Law and gross violations of International Human Rights Law. Since then, the pressure from the international community is mounting on accountability issues and victimized Tamil community is seeking justice. However, the long standing impunity still defending the perpetrators and prevailing as a key obstacle to seek justice and genuine reconciliation in the island nation.  Now more than twenty-eight months since that war came to an end, there has still been no significant progress on a political solution. Instead, the GoSL rests on the laurels and the spoils that come with that military victory. Military triumph it seems is the only political solution they are willing to accept.

Background of the Conflict

An identity-based state patronage system, misrule, discrimination, oppression, exclusion and mismanagement of scarce natural resources, underdevelopment, inequality and grave human rights violations against the Tamil national minority comprise the root causes of the ethno-political conflict of Sri Lanka. The lack of moral obligation and responsibility of the successive governments of Sri Lanka steered the conflict towards a bloody war.

Unaccounted Causalities

The bloody war came to an end in May 2009. Just prior to the major offensive operations, the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) banned independent and international media from entering the war zone, and forced the UN and other international humanitarian organizations to leave the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) controlled areas. Then they set about systematically killing the messengers – the journalists, human rights activists and humanitarian workers, in order to hide the truth. Yet they could not stop the truth from coming out.

In his submission to the Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission, the Bishop of the Mannar Catholic Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph, pointed out that, according to the Government Secretariats, the population in the Vanni region (Northern part of Sri Lanka) in early October 2008 was 429,059.

The total number of people, however, who emerged from the Vanni into government-controlled areas since then, according to UN OCHA 2009 statistics, is estimated to be 282,380, This means that over 146,679 people in the Vanni are not accounted for in post-war Sri Lanka.” [1]

The former UN spokesperson in Sri Lanka, Gordon Weiss stated: “About 300,000 civilians, plus the Tamil Tiger forces, were trapped in an area of territory about the size of Central Park in New York…They were within range of all the armaments that were being used, small and large, to smash the Tamil Tiger lines… Between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians died during the final desperate battles.”[2]

The GoSL, for their part, categorically denied the charges and claimed that they engaged in the world’s largest rescue operation to release the people from terror’s grip – a “zero-sum causality” operation. Two years after the brutal war ended, still the culture of impunity within the Sri Lankan armed forces prevails.

“In the absence of more vigorous investigations, prosecution and convictions, it is hard to see how this will come to an end, said United Nations former High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbour, during her 2007 visit to Sri Lanka.  “There is a disturbing lack of investigation that undermines the confidence in the institutions set up to protect human rights,” she continued, adding that Sri Lanka’s culture of “impunity” was a serious concern. [3]

Yet the GoSL continue their justification even after concrete evidence came to  light, including the televised video clip of execution of naked and blindfolded men, aired by British Channel 4 news.

“What is reflected in the extended video are crimes of the highest order — definitive war crimes,” said Christof Heyns, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions. “I believe that the prima facie case of serious international crimes has been made by the video that I’ve examined,” he told the UN Human Rights Council in May 2011.[4]

Failure and Mounting Pressure

The international community failed to prevent the brutal war and could not stop or control the causalities at the peak of the war in Sri Lanka. This is nothing less than an abysmal moral failure of the international community like genocide in Bosnia.

Louise Arbour, President & CEO of the International Crisis Group said, “It [the UN Human Rights Council] made no reference to the gross violations of human rights and international humanitarian law that had been perpetrated by the [Sri Lankan] government forces, rather it welcomed the government’s continued commitment to the promotion and protection of all human rights. Yet the last few months of the war saw several thousand civilians subjected to indiscriminate armed attacks by government forces in specially created ‘No Fire Zones’ in which they had sought protection and medical treatment.”  She further stated that during the peak of the war in 2009 “international protection was not forthcoming for the civilians of Sri Lanka, and accountability and justice were dispensed quite selectively.”[5]

There were few discussions at the UN Security Council on the occasion of intensified war, including applying Responsibility to Protect (R2P) mechanisms to protect civilians.  In both practice and reality, nothing was implemented to save those later slaughtered.

Nevertheless, the international community cannot continue to be silent or ignore the crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Sri Lanka due to geo-politics trends and national interest. Following recent developments of mounting pressures from human rights defenders, international human rights institutions and international media, the UN Secretary General appointed a panel of experts (PoE) to advise him on accountability issues in Sri Lanka.

This panel found “credible allegations which, if proven, indicate that a wide range of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law were committed both by the Government of Sri Lanka and the LTTE, some of which would amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. The Government shelled on a large scale in three consecutive No Fire Zones, where it had encouraged the civilian population to concentrate, even after indicating that it would cease the use of heavy weapons. It shelled the United Nations hub, food distribution lines and near the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) ships that were coming to pick up the wounded and their relatives from the beaches. The Government systematically shelled hospitals on the frontlines. Despite grave danger in the conflict zone, the LTTE refused civilians permission to leave, using them as hostages. [6]

The Human Rights Commissioner refers to the PoE report as follows: It is incumbent on the Government to investigate these allegations and I also urge it to implement the measures recommended by the Panel. I fully support the recommendation to establish an international mechanism to monitor national investigations and undertake its own as necessary. It would be important for the Human Rights Council to reflect on the new information contained in this important report, in light of its previous consideration of Sri Lanka and efforts to combat impunity worldwide.”[7]

The Way Forward

The newly emerging international pressures on the GoSL, concerning accountability is creating a hope that justice cannot be deprived forever; in addition, paradigm shift in international attention on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka in comparison to 2009 is an indication that injustice cannot be sustained within the island nation. Also, considering the unfolding events in international relations, such as the recent Spring revolution in the Arab world and the arrest and extradition of alleged Serbian war criminal, Ratko Mladic, to the U.N. war crimes tribunal in the Hague where he will stand trial for genocide, is inspiring hope that undemocratic regimes and perpetrators cannot be sustained eternally. In Argentina, it took nearly three decades to bring perpetrators to justice, but finally it happened

Action for Positive Change 

Sri Lanka is a good example that political agendas are obstacles towards the pursuit of justice. Therefore, human rights and justice should be separated from political agendas. Even, it’s challenging, with patient needs to work hard, because reform is a process of change.  International human rights bodies constructive actions can abolish the existence and emergence of injustice, bad governance and disrespect of rule of law in countries like Sri Lanka. The UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) should be a key institution to protect and promote human rights and ensure the delivery of justice for victims.  But it always isn’t the case. When the war came to an end, the UNHRC held a Special Session in May of 2009 on the human rights situation in Sri Lanka and passed resolution—shockingly–in favour of GoSL. Worse, they welcomed the way the GoSL conducted the war. This resolution was adopted as twenty-nine UNHRC member countries voted in favour, six countries abstained, and thirteen countries voted against. It was passed despite the UN Secretary General’s Panel of Experts Report on accountability in Sri Lanka found credible allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity.  To ensure the integrity of the integrity of the UNHRC, its commitment for human rights values and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights, and other relevant human rights instruments, the resolution should be withdrawn.

Conclusion

The culture of high-level impunity and absence of accountability will not bring justice for the people who have been deprived by Sri Lanka’s system in the past.  But justice is precondition and a major step towards lasting peace in this island nation. Therefore, an era of impunity must be brought to an end without further delay. Perpetrators should be brought to justice, while the root causes of the problem and particularly grave human rights violations are also addressed. Globally known, Never Again must become a meaningful action in Sri Lanka, too rather than a repeated, attractive slogan.


[1] http://www.thesundayleader.lk/?p=31994

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2009/s2814960.htm

[3] http://www.chrdsrilanka.org/PAGES/Human%20Rights%20News3.html

[4] http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110530/ts_afp/srilankaunrestunrights_20110530163411

[5] http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/publication-type/speeches/2011/the-rise-and-fall-of-international-human-rights.aspx

[6] http://www.un.org/News/dh/infocus/Sri_Lanka/POE_Report_Full.pdf

[7] http://www.apc.org/en/system/files/PillayStatementHRC.pdf

  • Spectator

    “What is important to understand is that when the Tamil Tigers blew up planes, set off bombs in
    Colombo, assassinated so many important leaders, and massacred border villagers, human rights
    organisations did not issue statements. The UN also did not do much. Many Western governments
    turned a blind eye to Tamil Tigers functioning very openly – actively raising funds and doing their
    propaganda and procuring arms, ammunition and explosives. So, in terms of fairness, most Sri
    Lankans will obviously view the few Western politicians and human rights organisations such as
    Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International as not being fair. ”

    The terrorists are the worst human rights violators, and most Sri Lankans have suffered as a result of
    this. The UN and human rights organisations should have issued messages of congratulations for
    having ended a terrorist group that was responsible for 30 years of human rights violations. There
    has not been a single act of terrorism in Sri Lanka after the government dismantled the LTTE.

    • Aadavan

      A typical Sinhala chauvinistic comment. No wonders…

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Aadavan,

        Aadavane! why does the Truth give you indigestion? (Aadavane is an appeal to God in Tamil)

        Can’t you respond with a FACTUAL counter, instead of falling back on the Typical Separatist Tamil Chauvinistic response?

      • Ravana

        Accusing a reasoned argument by a commentator, “a typical sinhala chauvinist comment” is a typical Tamil racist comment. You may have assumed that the commentator is “sinhala”, which would be your first mistake.

        It is true that the Sri Lankan state has been brutal. There is no doubt about that. There is also no doubt about denials of that brutality and attempts at white washing it. There is also no denying what the above commentator has said. You commit the same crime as GoSL supporters in attacking him. BTW, I have no doubt that the sinhala brother also felt great regret at not being able to prevent the progrom of July 1983.

        When the Tamils can have the sense to work with Sinhalas who have equally suffered then you may find peace. As long as you demonise them you will only further enhance the chauvinist-racist position within the country. Tamils have to be smarter and realise the “Sinhala” is a dying culture in any case. The only thing that holds its flame burning is “Tamil racism”. Furthermore, you are buying into the “Jayatilleke Doctrine” which will envelope that island in the next decade. Perhaps, you are just adding fuel to that fire with the hope of achieving what could not be achieved through war.

        I hope that Sri Lankans are smart enough to see through Jayatillekes and Aadavans. Somehow, I doubt it.

      • lakmal

        Most of the Tamils in the world think that killing Tamils is brutal and killing Sinhalese is the justice. Tamils like to hear that there is a bomb blast in a bus filled with 100 of Sinhalese. But Sinhalese don’t want to hear the same thing with 100 of Tamils. because Sinhalese don’t hate Tamils. But we hate Tamil terrorists. Most of the Tamils who talk about sri lankan ethnic problem are the ones who even don’t know the shape of the country. We, Tamils and Sinhalese have lived for decades peacefully after obtaining the independence in 1948. The problem was initiated by politicians and propagated by international community. Still Sinhalese and Tamils can live together in this country. If you talk to a old Tamil who knows about Sinhalese people you will realize the truth.
        Now problem has converted to obtained a separate land for Tamils. Tamils in the world out side of the sri lanka think that this is the best place to have their own territory. These Tamils couldn’t obtained a separate land even in India, Malaysia or other Tamil living countries. Because constitution of those countries doesn’t allow to do that. This is great chance for Tamil separatists to obtain a separate land. That’s why they scream about war crimes. Tamils just need separate land not good living environment for sri lankan Tamils. They will just scream about Tamil’s rights until they get Tamil Elam which is a dream for even Tamils who will get the birth after 100 years from now.
        Please stop making noises to separate this land. Because it will continue the suffering of Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims in sri lanka. It’s better to try some different country to obtain a Tamil land like India. Tamilnadu will be the best option.
        The only thing behind tams voices is separate land and it is sad that western people don’t understand it.

      • Aadavan

        Truth hurts so badly…. cool…..
        Lakmal, its not Tamils who began to enjoy burning innocent children in hot tar(1958) bcoz they belonged to another race. it was not Tamils who burnt others libraries (1981) and temples which were considered sacred and enjoyed in that heat… it is not Tamils who began to butch other people (1958, 1977, 1983 contd), its not Tamils who raped the girls from othr community bcoz they r just helpless , its not Tamils who enjoyed the plight of another community like a cricket commentary ….

    • We Want Justice

      Stop lamenting tigers did this, tigers did that. LTTE was a terrorist group (according to most countries). But Sri Lankan army is a state force which has the obligation to protect its own civilians.
      Lets look some ‘activities’ of Sinhala Sri Lankan army which were carried out in Tamil areas. (a few examples)
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chemmani_mass_graves_investigation
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navaly_church_bombing
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enforced_disappearances_in_Sri_Lanka
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sri_Lanka_and_state_terrorism
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_crimes_in_Sri_Lanka
      http://tamilnation.co/indictment/indict058.htm
      On 9th and 10th September 1990, over 180 Tamil civilians were butchered by the Sri Lanka army at the Saththurukondan Army Camp in the Batticaloa District.
      MORE THAN 150 000 INNOCENT TAMIL CIVILIANS HAS BEEN SLAUGHTERED BY STATE IN THE LAST 3 DECADES. AROUND A MILLION WERE CHASED AWAY FROM THEIR PLACES.
      WHETHER IT IS TAMILS OR SINHALESE, KILLING A HUMAN BEING HAS NEVER BEEN ADMITTED.
      TIGERS GOT THE PUNISHMENT FOR THEIR SINS. SO WHO GONNA PUNISH SRI LANKAN STATE WHICH HAS COMMITTED (STILL COMMITTING) FOLDS OF HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS THAN WHAT TIGERS HAD DONE????????????????

      • k.C

        Would any of those links have any credibility. Probably the pages are created by the TamilNet authors and promoted by ppl like you.

        Having said that… you keep on chating the Terroris mantra and assume by saying it so many times that history will change… Unlike in early history, these days its difficult to crreate hisotry by simply chanting the same mantra… ppl should look in to facts, and if possible examine them selves.

        I’d suggest you to go and find the places where millions are chased away from. Conduct surveys, talk to people, create name lists. If you can find a fraction of the number with justifieable reports.. people might want to listen to you….

    • Neville Perera

      You’re talking about the reaction.
      What about the trigger: the structural violence of successive governments:

      http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/August2010/LLRC-JD-Transcript.pdf
      Jayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission(LLRC), 25 August 2010: ‘’Each and every Government which held office from 1948 till the present bear culpability for the failure to achieve good governance, national unity and a framework of peace, stability and economic development in which all ethnic, religious and other groups could live in security and equality.”

      Any living creature reacts to the changes to the environment.

      Some creatures run away. Some creatures withdraw into shells. Some creatures hiss, some bark, yet others pounce on the attackers. Human beings do all these. Tamils have been doing all these in the last 63+years. There is no hope for a change on the horizon:

      http://groundviews.org/2011/08/25/jaffna-brutal-assault-of-civilians-in-navanthurai/
      JAFFNA: BRUTAL ASSAULT OF CIVILIANS IN NAVANTHURAI, 25 August 2011:

    • Shiva

      People are still wasting their time and energy and writing about LTTE that is history.

      LTTE was not a product of the ordinary Tamils but armed and supported by the progressive leaders including Mrs. Indra Gandhi and MGR as these leaders believed that the LTTE was a force to protect Tamils from State terrorism.

      Now without the LTTE, the international community and Western nations are really come to senses, come to know who is the real criminal, and fully aware of Sinhala Apartheid Buddhist rgime’s intentions, barbarianism, state terrorism, deny of human rights, equality, basic rights, ethnic cleansing of Tamils. Tamil Daispora is fully supportive to the International community’s efforts on R2P, Accountability, Rule of Law and delivery of Justice.

      Certain members of the International Community have already conlcuded that only a separate state of Eelam is the soltuion to the ethnic crisis in Sri Lanka.

    • Velu Balendran

      Have you had a chance to read the The Geneva declaration on terrorism: UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/42/159 ?
      http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/42/a42r159.htm

      It explains terrorism does not apply to people struggling against racist and colonialist regimes or foreign occupation:

      14. Considers that nothing in the present resolution could in any way prejudice the right to self-determination, freedom and independence, as derived from the Charter of the United Nations, of peoples forcibly deprived of that right referred to in the Declaration on Principles of International Law concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, particularly peoples under colonial and racist regimes and foreign occupation or other forms of colonial domination, nor, in accordance with the principles of the Charter and in conformity with the above-mentioned Declaration, the right of these peoples to struggle to this end and to seek and receive support;

      Further, in the preamble it states:

      The terrorism of modern state power and its high technology weaponry exceeds qualitatively by many orders of magnitude the political violence relied upon by groups aspiring to undo oppression and achieve liberation.

      Some food for thought.

      As someone commented: “People who deliberately, knowingly, lay down their lives for other people to live are not terrorists.”

      • The Analyst

        Velu Balendran

        Thank you for making comic observation that LTTE is a liberation organization. We need more commentators like you to elucidate the fact that Tamil Diaspora supported LTTE uncritically due to a belief in a mythical homeland , a claim that cannot be buttressed by archeological facts (oh don’t bring Mahavamsa here ,dear boy. Didn’t even read that legend. I’m referring to archeological facts)

    • Aadavan

      This is the present position of Sinhalese. Only the acts of Tamil rebels are terrorism. What they and their army done was right and that is to save the people from brutal terrorist. So who killed over 150 000 Tamils and chased millions from their lands? No answer…. or some idiots can shamelessly say that LTTE has done them…. No.. accept the truth. accept that there were (still are) injustice has done to Tamils…. What Sinhalese are trying now is they are pretending like Buddhas,who saved innocent cows (Tamil civilians) from brutal tigers…. no man in the world who has ‘brain’ is not gonna believe this in these days….(anyway these guys will say tiger money rules the world… pathetic)

  • Santhush Fernando

    In entirety the article reminds the saying “A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future”. The facts in this article are not half truths…..but diabolical lies. Lets consider some of the statistics given in the article; approximate 400,000 civilians living in wanni prior to defeating the LTTE and only 300,000 being rescued by the security forces. The writer either deliberately or reasons best known to him has forgotten or omitted the fact that a large number of people living in Wanni left the area during the period 2006-2008. Most of them ended up living along side other communities in the rest of the country or state run welfare centers. Aren’t they too were within this 400,000?
    Then the writer elaborates on so called atrocities committed by the government forces. Before dealing with this we need to take a look at the LTTE’s record. LTTE is the single largest organization responsible for the pogrom of a large number of Tamils; the community which LTTE kept swearing that they would protect at any cost; late Mr. Amirthalingam, late Mr. Kadiragamar, late Mr. Thruchelvam are just a few of a large number of innocent individuals who were murdered in cold blood in the name of freedom. Then many others from their (LTTE’s) own organisation murdered for having divergent views, which again is not mentioned in the article. A feeble attempt is seen in the one liner “LTTE held civilians against their will during the military operations 2006-2009” to give perhaps some sort of impartiality to this article which is the only reference made to LTTE’s long list of atrocities.
    The unraveling of information with regard to LTTE activities is creating severe embarrassment to their backers and sympathizers. One has to view this article in that light. Why cannot the writer at least mention few of the horrendous human rights violations committed by the LTTE. Conscription of child soldiers and using them as suicide bombers…….. or does he believe that those are not human rights violations????????

    • Neville Perera

      ”people living in Wanni left the area during the period 2006-2008”

      LTTE didn’t allow the people to leave from the Vanni in that period.

      Those who sneaked out from early 2008 had been held in camps(Mannar and Vavuniya) by the army.

      Many from other areas of North and East have been moving out to the rest of the country to escape aerial bombing and intense shelling and economic embargo and lack of economic investment not only in 2006/7/8 but even in 90s/80s/70s/60s/50s.

      • k.C

        Can you have alook at the UNHCR reports on the refugees and the displaced Sri Lankans. Except for the economic migrants that pose as refugies, most other are settled back properly. Also, many people still stay within the Refugie camps are not going back home as they would have no way of life in those places.. and some might never go back…

        Sri Lanka, has one of the best records in resettlement of people… So stating that Army is keeping people in camps is completely bogus story…

        And BTW, real terrorists are in the detention camps, thats for the greater good of the country… if US could keep innocents in detention camps, Sri Lanka could keep the real terrorist in camps. aunlike in US, Sri Lanka is working on Reabilitating them.. have you heard any one coming out of Gantanamo bay “reahbilitation’ camp

  • cynic

    cynicism is not the need of the hour.

    People who can constructively criticize, provide viable, practical alternatives have a place in this country.

    negative and nonconstructive outbursts like the above ‘blurb’ is akin to hate speech and inciting hatred.

    ask yourself, what positive can anyone gain from reading this? will it feed the hungry? cloth the naked? develop the economy? provide jobs? create peace and harmony? make one feel safe? solve any problem that any real Sri Lankan have?

    • RRR3

      No:
      http://groundviews.org/2011/09/08/reconciliation-a-political-settlement-and-the-%E2%80%9Cgrease-devil%E2%80%9D/
      Reconciliation, a Political Settlement and the “Grease Devil”, 8 September 2011:
      ”….. The day before the local government elections in the North in July, driving from Pudhukudiyiruppu to Killinochchi, a group of us witnessed a scene which is difficult to forget. All around us was desolation, on either side of the road we saw burnt down houses and an equal number of vehicles burnt and abandoned two years ago, shrubs and trees sprouting through the rubble, destroyed wells and an occasional lavatory standing erect amidst all this devastation. While contemplating the devastation caused by war, we were taken by surprise to see lorry loads of IDPs being brought and dumped by the roadside with all their belongings packed in a few “pora bags”.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Nirmanusan Balasundaram

    I understand that you are a Journalist of nearly a decade of experience as you have declared it in your note.

    Quote “Authors note: When I was a teenager, I heard from a Sinhala brother that he constantly felt guilty for being unable to protect nearly 70 000-80 000 Sinhala youth who were killed in 1971 and 1989 by their own government in the name of ‘countering  insurgency’.
    Now, approaching my tenth year of engagement in journalism and human rights activism, I am experiencing a similar feeling. When thousands of Tamil civilians were massacred under the banner of ‘defeating terrorism’, I – along with like-minded others –could not cease or control the causalities.  Since then, it has been my sole intent to do something constructive and seek justice for those who were victimized by the state system in Sri Lanka.” Unquote

    You said that your Sinhala Brother lamented about not being able to do anything between 1971-89 to protect the 70,000 that died in an insurgency. Are you not having similar guilty feelings for not doing anything for the Tamil brothers and sisters that died under a Tamil despotic de facto government that Ruled with an Iron fist and a Jack boot, the Tamils of the North and East for three Decades?

    You lament “I – along with like-minded others –could not cease or control the causalities” but is that true?

    Surely you could have campaigned against the Despotic Rulers who were Lording over your fellow Tamils in the North and East (as you are doing now against the Legal Govt) to stop the funding used to keep the Tamils in subjugation and misery of war and the decimation of a young generation when they should have been in school instead?

  • Nithyananthan

    Dear Mr. OTC,

    “Aadavane! why does the Truth give you indigestion? (Aadavane is an appeal to God in Tamil)”

    You are wrong, my dear!

    ‘Aadavan’ in Tamil actually means the ‘Sun’ – not God.
    It resembles and sounds another word that appeals and is applied to God.
    Actual word that refers to God is Aan’davanae – there should be an ‘N’ in between a & d – ‘Aa’N’davanae. Thanks, Nithy!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Nithyananthan,

      Thank you for correcting the romanised spelling Nithy, I stand corrected.

      But the real question posed of Aandavan is about his/her inability to stomach the truth. Contesting what the commentator wrote should have been done with facts. The racist response shows Aandavan is unable to do that.

      • Aadavan

        One line truth made me a racist and made others babas (babies). 100% correct under present Sinhala Srilankan context. Who cares the comments of puppets of a brutal regime which has massacred tens of thousands of its own civilians (ref. UN report (it is no more Thrusman report anymore). The comments for my one line responds are from hard line Sinhaha racists (except Ravana) who cant endure the truth…..

      • Off the Cuff

        Aadavan,

        You laments “The comments for my one line responds are from hard line Sinhaha racists (except Ravana) who cant endure the truth….. “ you also say “One line truth made me a racist and made others babas”

        The Truth Aandavan, is what “Spectator” wrote in the very first comment on this thread.

        You on the other hand, was unable to respond FACTUALY and resorted to derision. You are insulting even the English language, by calling it the Truth.

        That shows who cannot endure the TRUTH.

        How about writing a factual rebuttal to the comment at http://groundviews.org/2011/09/12/human-rights-in-sri-lanka-impunity-against-accountability-and-justice/#comment-36546

        Aandavanae! Aandavan, is writing the TRUTH beyond your capabilities?

      • Aadavan

        Hey I was born in the north eastern part of the ilankai island. I am not a professional in a foreign language which was used to colonize us for centuries. At the same time I am nt a coward enough to hide my identity like off the cuff blah blah…. lol….

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Aadavan,

        You wrote “At the same time I am nt a coward enough to hide my identity like off the cuff blah blah…. lol….”

        For all I or anyone else knows You Are Hiding Behind Pseudonym. The difference is that you use a “Real sounding” name to hide behind and I use a name that conveys that it is a Pseudonym.

        So which one is Honest your “Real Sounding” False name or the name that I use which conveys it is a Pseudonym?

        Is your intellect insufficient for you to understand that I could have used a Real name such as “Aandavan Murugesu Pillai” as my Pseudonym and you would not have been any the wiser?

        Don’t display your Ignorance and Arrogance on a public platform and Learn to write the TRUTH when you decide to challenge a commentator.

        Have an enjoyable time here on GV Aadavan.

    • Krish

      Nithyananthan, very interesting observation. Wondering how you would translate “Sun God year” to Tamil. “Aadhavan aandavan aandu?” 🙂

  • Senthan

    Thank you for such a well researched and well written article Nirma.

  • V.Selva

    These allegations have presented by PRO-LTTE FOREIGN TAMIL DIASPORA. It is not impossible for them to do that by using their financial ability. But they are not sending money to improve the living condition of their people in SL. Instead of that they are trying to form TERRORISM in the country again to spoil the country.
    If you analyze the previous situation in Sri Lanaka you’ll be able to understand who had committed war crimes by introducing SUICIDAL BOMBINGS, BUS BOMBINGS to SL. It was non other than LTTE TERRORISTS who had TERRORIZED Tamil community.

  • baduge

    LTTE is not history. They are reorganizing. All this propaganda are generated by LTTE rump for their gains.

    There won’t be any separate state. Even if Sri Lanka wanted to give you a separate state, India won’t allow it. India didn’t come to help Sri Lankan Tamils; India came to look after their interests during a time when Sri Lanka was too cozy with the West. Even now, India would happily steal Sri Lankan Tamils fish if they can. Both India and the West can’t care less about Sinhalese, Tamils, human rights or any other BS; they are there to deter the growing Chinese presence. This problem was a fruit of world domination of UK in yesteryears; now it’s perpetuated by other big players. We are all victims.

  • baduge

    For some reason I expected to read an unbiased article, but was disappointed from the first paragraph. The background is “misrule, discrimination, oppression, exclusion, ….”. Upper class northern Tamils complained about discrimination to British rulers as early as in 1920’s when Sinhalese did not have any power to do so. When British conquered Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s king was a Tamil. British sidelined Sinhalese all together and pampered Tamils and pitted ethnic groups against each other. Tamils thus received a sense of superiority over Sinhalese and by the time British left they refused to be ruled by the majority. Sinhalese response was violent. That’s where Sinhalese got it wrong. But to say the origin was discrimination is a lie. Sinhalese did not have the power to do it anyway.

    Also, Rev. Josheph’s some 400,000 population in Vanni. Estimate by all other world organization such as UN, WHO, etc. and government agent fall around or under 300,000. The author chose to quote only the highest number.

    Genocide: Nonsense!! How come 50% of Tamil population live in south if there’s genocide and 40% of Colombo population is Tamil? All, Sinhalese, Tamils, Muslims and certainly other have lost lives, but genocide? .. that’s stretching facts way too far.

    Credible Allegations? This is just quoting Channel 4 who’s report is downright flawed. Their main actress Vani Kumar is an LTTE activist. I’m yet to see why they they think these allegations are credible rather than throwing the word? Why do you think those who shoot are Sinhalese and those being shot are Tamils. Tamils in the area attest that the tortured man shown was tortured and killed by LTTE. Channel 4 showed it as an act of SL army.

    One thing for sure, this time the LTTE and the West are not just against SL government; they are against the people of Sri Lanka.

    • wijayapala

      Dear baduge

      For some reason I expected to read an unbiased article, but was disappointed from the first paragraph.

      Next time I suggest having a disappointed attitude even before reading the article, that way it will not be so bad.

    • Ravana

      When British conquered Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka’s king was a Tamil

      Here we go. You have to be careful of calling every foreign born King of Sri Lanka “Tamil”.

      Nayakkar or Nayakka Kings were Telugu speaking Governors of the Vijayanagar empire who subsequently declared independence and entered into alliances with the Kings of Sinhale. The last 4 kings of Lanka/Sinhale belonged to this dynasty. The fact the language “Taymoli” was used for communication during that reign equally with “Siyabasa” is historical and has nothing to do with the native language of these Kings.

      Similarly the 4 Kings of England spanning the 18th century were George I-IV belonging to the House of Hanover of Germany. Their native language was Deutsch but the official language of discourse at the court was English. Ironically, while the Nayakkars had challenged their masters and subsequently inherited the throne of Sinhale, the Hanover house was deposed from Germany and were gifted the throne of England.

      The (“brave”) army of Sinhale had abandoned Kandy when the British first attacked in early 1800’s (the excuse used by the British being the harassment of one its officers) then laid siege to the city and subsequently chased and killed every man except one escapee. Now the British (and the Crown of England) had a much better excuse to undermine the Crown of Kandy (War Crimes).

      Taymoli speakers just happen to be a subset of country people who spoke Taymoli (my language) but had just as much inherited right to the history of the land as the Siyabasa (my language) speakers. I am willing to bet that if historians and linguists were to have an unbiased look at the evolution of the two languages in the island and region, they would find that Siyabasa fits very closely with the other regional languages.

      When one is able to consider history from an unbiased and broad perspective like this one could perhaps learn to not vilify ones own kith and kin.

      • Lakshan

        Dear Ravana

        Your observations regarding the history of Sri Lanka is as always very interesting. Would appreciate it very much if you can state the evolution of Sinhala and Tamil races in this country each with distinct identities .Particularly
        1) Sinhalese people : are they from North India as some claim or a native people or a mix between natives/north /South Indians
        2) what is the history of Tamil people of this country. Recent nationalist historians claim that Tamils of this country were of very recent origin and came during the Dutch period and that Jaffna was originally a Sinhalese Kingdom.
        We cannot depend on historical chronicles like Mahavamsa as they are highly biased or facts are interspersed with legends.
        Hence would very much like to know your views regarding above

  • yapa

    Giving a bad name to a dog and a tying to hang it before the UN session!

    Thanks!

    • Rita

      That should have happened a long time ago.
      OR instead of controlling damage at the UN and the Commonwealth, they should be abiding by law.
      But they have been finding it easier to send planeloads of ministers and others to every session to defend their atrocities by lies.

  • Tamil Victim

    This should have been done long time ago, atleast now. Srilanka state terrorism have systamatically hided and cheated it’s genocide, war crime, crime aganist humanity, ethnic cleaning, and massacre to the world behind the ‘terrorism’ since longtime.