Three years after the war in Sri Lanka: To celebrate or mourn?

Photo courtesy Vikalpa

For the 3rd successive year, the Sri Lankan government has made elaborate arrangements to celebrate the end of the war in Colombo. This year, May was declared as “war hero’s commemoration month”. For the last few days, roads were closed in Colombo causing great inconvenience, as preparations were being made for celebrating the end of the war.

However, in the North, among Tamils, where the last phase of the war was fought, the mood was far from celebratory, but outright mourning and grieving. In the morning of 18th May, I joined a commemorative Mass in a church that was yet to be rebuilt after the war. More than the church building, two monuments stood out. One for Fr. Sarathjeevan (popularly known as Fr. Sara, who died on 18th May 2009) and another for all people who had been killed in the war. Villagers including school children and Hindus flocked to this church. Amongst those present were families of those killed and disappeared. About 20 priests participated. After the Mass,  flowers and garlands were laid for those killed. A Tamil priest from Jaffna welcomed the small group of Sinhalese from Negombo, Colombo, Anuradhapura etc., who had joined the mourning and the simple commemoration, while most other Sinhalese were seen celebrating.

In the afternoon of 18th May, I witnessed the passion of women whose family members had disappeared and been killed, as they gathered at a Hindu Kovil in Killinochchi town and participated in a service there, which included the smashing of coconuts. Some of the women were crying and some were clearly angry with those that had killed or made their family members disappear. I would not want to be at the receiving end of such anger.

In the evening, I joined other friends in a solemn event in Jaffna to commemorate the 3rd year after the end of the war after by remembering those killed and disappeared. All of us lit candles and some shared their tragic stories of those killed and disappeared. Several mourned also for the lack of space to even cry and remember without fear, with one boy thanking the organizers of the event, as several others he had spoken to organize such an event had refused in fear.   Another woman, whose brother had died on 18thMay 2009, spoke of the tension with which they participate in these events, as they are fearful to hold them in public.

One of the organizers of the Jaffna event spoke of the challenge he faces every year in May to organize a commemoration. His fears were clearly grounded and real.

On 17th May evening, some unknown persons had inquired about him and his activities. The priest in whose church the commemorative event was held on the morning of 18th May in Vanni was also questioned by the Army the previous day about what services and activities were planned. On 18th May morning, the Secretary of the Jaffna University Students Union was attacked and was seriously injured. A friend told us that he was in the accident ward of the Jaffna hospital while we were there.

In another interior rural village close to Jaffna, Army personnel had twice visited a Catholic Priest and threatened him not to have any special masses between 18th – 20th May. In their 2nd visit, they had told the Priest he can have mass, but that he shouldn’t pray for those killed in the last phase of the war, as all those killed had been LTTE cadres. There had been no answer when the Priest asked whether the 1-2 year old children killed and elders over 60 years who had been killed were also LTTE cadres.  Some months ago, threats by the Army had compelled the same priest to scrap the plan to build a tomb to remember all those killed in the war and didn’t have a tomb or a burial place. On 27th November 2011, the Army had insisted that lamps  not be lit  and bells should not be rung in Churches and Kovils in the North and in some places, and had even threatened Catholic Priests not to celebrate the Sunday Mass! (Perhaps ignorant that Sunday Mass is celebrated in churches all over Sri Lanka and over the world for hundreds of years). Outside the Killinochchi Hindu Kovil that the families of disappeared and killed had gathered, there was a significant Police and Army presence and one of my friends recognized an intelligence officer who was photographing us and watched us as we got into our van after joining the Kovil event. By coincidence or not, in the next few minutes, our vehicle was stopped at a check point and subjected to registration and questioning which was not at all usual in my previous travels in the North this year.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry (LLRC) had recommended that a special event on National Day (4th February) be set apart to express solidarity and empathy with all victims of the tragic conflict, but this was ignored by the Government.

And the military appeared to be doing its best to discourage and stop any religious or non religious events related to remembering the dead and disappeared, to grieve and mourn. The intimidation and threatening of organizers of such initiatives are alarming.

I’m happy the war had ended. But I’m not at all happy about the way it was fought, especially the last phase. And celebrating while many others are mourning and grieving – and actively trying to prevent mourning and grieving – doesn’t seem to be the way towards a genuine reconciliation.

But I did have something to celebrate also – the courage, creativity and perseverance of those who dared to build small monuments, organize and participate in memorials events to grieve and mourn for those killed, disappeared and who have suffered. It is this courage  and creativity i believe that will lead us to reconciliation.

  • http://www.malindawords.blogspot.com Malinda Seneviratne

    i remember a time when we were all inconvenienced (understatement) by a thug called prabhakaran. i find it a bit thick for people to be so down in the mouth without acknowledging that things were a lot worse before may 18, 2009…but hey, it’s a personal thing, this mourning/celebrating stuff. whatever works for whoever….

    • Piranha

      Malinda Seneviratne,

      You are a well known apologist for the Rajapaksa regime and your comment is no surprise to many who read Groundviews. Basically you seem to take the view that the relatives of those who lost their lives in the war, both LTTE cadres and innocent civilians, have no right to mourn their deaths while the sinhala state and the sinhala people celebrate not just their victory but also the mass murder of tamils. Are you a religious person or just a [edited out]?

      • Dhara

        Yes, and conflating the entire ethnic conflict into “a thug called Prabaharan” does not really address what this article is about: The inability of the living to openly and honestly mourn their dead, in an open democratic society (which Sri Lanka does not seem to be). As for the way the LTTE grew to be the monster that it became, do these government apologists realize that these kinds of “thugs” never thrive in open, democratic societies that genuinely address the grievances of its various communities, ethnic or otherwise? That it has to be in a horrendously unjust society that these “thugs” are in fact able to gather mostly “unwilling” followings? And it’s certainly NOT only the LTTE that have spearheaded violence in the country’s history, as culpable and extremist as the LTTE was. The LTTE is not only the reason for violence, they were created because of violence.

      • sach

        I think end of the war was a good thing, had it continued to this day it will cause more misery to the civilians. I cant understand why everyone is bashing malinda for what he said. He has a point and i too agree with that. Things were a lot worse 3 years ago. I too believe gov has not done enough and they could have done things in a better way to make tamils a part of SL society again. before the militancy tamils were very much integrated into the SL society. No one can deny that the end of the war was good. the ones who say otherwise is because their political agendas bacame unsuccessful. they do not care about the tamil civilians as they claim, it is the defeat of the tigers that they cant bear. For 30 years these people lived in a dream, worshipped their ‘god’ and lived arrogantly thinking ltte can never be defeated. These things were proven wrong 3 yrs back. that is y they are sad. If they ever thought about the tamil population, war would not last that long. The ones who did the most damage to the tamils were the ltte.

      • Dhara

        “Sach”, have you actually read the article? Then maybe you will see how insensitive and irelavant some of the responses here have been. And what do you actually know about the “war”? What evidence do you have that those who are against current State excesses are just disgruntled because of the defeat of the LTTE?? Have you conducted any research on this? That seems a bit outrageous and misinformed. But I do agree, name calling is not the way to go.

    • jansee

      Malinda Seneviratne:

      What about the atrocities of the SL regime before Prabhakaran took up arms? Isn’t it a Sinhalese like you (and a President at that) who declared that if he causes pain to the Tamils he will get more votes from the Sinhalese.

      Today GL Peiris, despite all the brave and grand posture of this regime and guys like you, had to submit to Hilary Clinton, thanks to the UNHRC resolution recently. Tomorrow (I mean soon) it will be a referendum in the North. Laugh with all the might you can and the wheel has moved slowly but surely and let us see what happens in the future. The epicentre is Tamilnadu and SL future will be decided by that, not even by the Union govt. The SL regime learned this belatedly albeit painfully.

      Dayan:

      “Fair enough, but it ducks the question: “Are you happy that the Tigers were defeated and that Prabhakaran is dead?”

      With hindsight, I believe the Tamils would have a better bargain with a Prabhakaran around. With the lying and leeching, I want another Prabhakaran to arise, even if it is to fall, but drag down this Sinhalese regime down with that. I mean, we are talking about 3years after the war Dayan, how long you and this regime are going to lie to the Tamils and the whole world about the devolution to the Tamils?

      • wijayapala

        Dear jansee

        With hindsight, I believe the Tamils would have a better bargain with a Prabhakaran around.

        Could you explain why the Tamils couldn’t get any sort of bargain at all even though Mr Prabakaran had been around for 30+ years?

        With the lying and leeching, I want another Prabhakaran to arise, even if it is to fall, but drag down this Sinhalese regime down with that.

        As you very well know, the previous Prabakaran did not drag down the Sinhalese but instead dragged down the Tamils. You also know that this same Prabakaran had put Rajapakshas in power. If another Prabakaran arises, the Tamils will become extinct in Sri Lanka. Is that what you want?

  • Neville Perera

    Malinda
    The thug Prabakaran was a toddler when his relatives and other Tamils were sent back to Vavettithurai in a boat after days of massacre all over the South in 1958. I don’t wan to speak of other atrocities committed by successive governments from 1948 till today.

    • Leela

      Mesrs Silva and Perera talk of incidents in the south in 1958. But we’ve heard worse had happened to few Sinhalese who in the north at the time. So, I say, we should condemn all such violence and look in to how and what makes this so-called discrimination started in the first place.

      First, I must say that even long after 1958 the US had separate buses, schools etc for blacks. Even in the sixties, I have seen rooms to let adds in the UK shop window that said; ‘no cats, no dogs, no blacks’. True we have had riots but I have never seen in Sri Lanka what was practised in the US or the UK.

      Sinhalese were never known to have discriminated anyone until the wily British tricked our leaders to hand over the country to them by an agreement. What more a proof for this than to point out that our Last king is from Madurai. British violated the agreement soon afterwards and the Sinhalese started to rebel. British clamped down the rebellion ruthlessly. And the British never trusted Sinhalese and started to discriminate them ever since. First sign of discrimination came when British appointed three Europeans, one Sinhalese, one Tamil and one Burgher to executive council in 1833. Sinhalese being well over 75% of the population, to be fair, there should have been four times as many as Tamil representation.

      But the British Raj maintained that unfair representation in every field to keep Sinhala mass cowed until 1931. And Tamils used the discrimination against Sinhalese to improve education of their lot and thereby become natural partners of every arm of the colonialist rule. And that made doctors, engineers, lawyers, civil servants and etc to be mostly Tamil. So much so, Tamils thought they were born genius and Sinhalese were born fools.

      After the introduction of universal franchise in 1931, by and by, Sinhalese who were 75% started to push for their rightful place. Tamil leaders realised the coming of the end of the era of their dominance started to cry; they are being discriminated. And thantai Chelva formed his ATAK and pushed his satyagraha to Waddukkodai war resolution to rid the pseudo discrimination.
      Leela

      • rita

        1. Buddhists opposing the Missionaries drove initially to the North but then began to allow them in the South.
        2. 1931 pan-Sinhala cabinet followed by Sinhala colonisation of the Tamil areas by government sponsor made a conspicuous change in polarisation.
        2. The North being geographically and geologically harsh, farming was extreme;y difficult and Tamils began to work hard at schools But Sinhalese also worked hard at schools and prospered. To the politicians the relatively few educated Tamils became conspicuous enough to create a myth for catching votes.
        3. 1931 pan-Sinhala cabinet followed by Sinhala colonisation of the Tamil areas by government sponsor made a conspicuous change in polarisation.
        4. !948/9 disenfranchisement, continuing government-sponsored Sinhalisation, lack of economic investment in Northeast(leading to Tamil families individually -not sponsored by the state – moving into the South), 1956 Sinhala Only and plummeting of employment in the state, 1958, 1959, 1960s,,,,,,1970s,,,,,,1980s,,,,,,1990s,,,,,,2000s,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, – non-stop oppression.

        You cite another oppressive US slavery but why don’t you look at many cases of federal multicultural countries ?

      • Leela

        Rita,
        There never was any Tamil homeland in Lanka. See, Jaffna kingdom started in 1215 by Magha, an invader from Kalinga, India. It was a tribute paying feudatory of the Pandaya Empire till 1258. But only with the fragmentation of the Pandaya Empire in India in 1258, so-called 5000 year old Jaffna kingdom became independent. When Portuguese defeated Cankili ii in 1624, it all ended and most Tamils went back to India. And that end the documented Tamil kingdom of 400 years in Sri Lanka. Tamils in the peninsula hadn’t fight back the invader like Sinhalese did against Portuguese, Dutch and the British. Why?

        So, other than usual sojourns of the invaders and plunderers; there had been no continuing reigns of Tamil kings in early Sri Lank as well. What more to say if I say even Pirapakaran’s grandfather is a Keralee.

        I agree that there had been a lack of investments in the north. Then again that had been the case in the deep south as well. And that is why this government is investing heavily in the north right now. We Sinhalese understand that aspiration of 60 million plus Tamils is a separate a country. Karunanithi, Wyco Nadumaran and et al should demand it in India not from Sri Lanka for it is there their true roots lie.
        With people like jansee above around, we should pursue assimilation as the only answer.
        Leela

      • Off the Cuff

        Rita,

        You wrote “1931 pan-Sinhala cabinet followed by Sinhala colonisation of the Tamil areas by government sponsor made a conspicuous change in polarisation“

        A few questions regarding the above

        1. As per your statement what are the Tamil areas, Muslim Areas, Malay Areas, Burgher Areas, Kafir Areas, Veddha Areas, Sinhalese Areas of Lanka?

        2. There are a million Tamils domiciled in the upcountry. These Tamils were complete foreigners and were brought in to Sri Lanka by the government of the day and settled in Land stolen from the Sinhalese. This was REAL Government Sponsored Colonisation. Can you point out anything comparable to this Government Sponsored Colonisation anywhere else in Sri Lanka? How would you propose correcting this grave injustice?

        Leela has given an excellent analysis of the Government policy which caused the ethnic divisions and the behaviour of one minority community that used this policy to its advantage.

        85% of Sri Lanka’s Land is Public Land (meaning you and I and Leela and all other citizens of Lanka has an equal share). Over 50% of this land is in the North and East.

        How do you propose sharing this Publicly owned scarce resource?

  • luxmy

    Thank you, Ruki, for letting us know what’s happening on the other side of the ”news border”.

  • silva

    May? That brings me bad memories of 1958: my classmate’s father and his colleague were killed for not being able to read Sinhala properly.
    Any need to mention how savagely the Tamils were butchered then …..
    how do you call a Prime Minister who refused to declare emergency for 60 hours of bloodbath ? A savageous citizen can be called a thug. A Prime Minister ??

  • Ward

    Visible violence of rebels can be seen and heard easily by people of all sorts of heads and hearts. Structural violence of a state can be understood by only certain sorts of heads and hearts: Tamils who were parliamentarians at the time of independence lost their voting rights in the first elections after independence.

  • rita

    Recently there was a report by Centre for Policy Alternatives on the 15 Commissions/Committees appointed by the President in the last six years – he has published only the report by LLRC (quite a surprise for many) and is withholding the other 14 from the public:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/85007346/A-List-of-Commissions-of-Inquiry-and-Committees-Appointed-by-the-Government-of-Sri-Lanka-2006-%E2%80%93-2012

    [Edited out]

  • Mary

    Oh, when can we see an end to this:

    Fmr Student Union Sec. assaulted, 18 May 2012:
    http://www.dailymirror.lk/news/18711-fmr-student-union-sec-assaulted.html

  • Tony

    Ruki
    Thanks for beaming light into dark corners.

  • Leela

    Vikalpa,
    You started your article with “For the last few days, roads were closed in Colombo causing great inconvenience ….” I have no doubt that that is a point of view of a typical LTTE apologist for they are the ones who feel the death of LTTE like their own limb lost.

    For those of us who value prevailing peace do not worry about few days of temporary road blocks if that is a must to commemorate the dedication of soldiers who brought peace to us. How could one think a few days of road blocks a hassle if he recollect permanent road blocks and check points we experienced for 30 years?

    We enjoy riddance of Pirapakaran and his gang because it is they who organised and brainwashed Tamil men, women and children to be human bombs for the last thirty years. 354 human bombs had been blasted in our buses, trains and public places that slay and maim thousands of young, old and sick civilians. It is the end of that violent era and the dawn of peace that we have been celebrating every year since on 19th May 2009. And what’s wrong with that with few road blocks.

    Today is May 19th 2012. It’s the third anniversary of defeating the terrorist in Sri Lanka. In my opinion, all Sri Lankan should celebrate today for it is a day like today that we rid the last of Pirapakaran and his gang who terrorised this country for thirty years. Tamils should be happy for their children are not being used as child soldiers. Old people re not used s mkkal padai. We all should celebrate for there are no check points today. We should celebrate for anyone can travel from north to south or east to west day and night today. We all should celebrate today for there are no suicide bombers to blast our buses, trains and public places.

    But LTTE sympathisers and separatist backers do not appreciate it. F UK, the US and their allies also do not like Sri Lanka commemorating LTTE defeat. That is not for the love of Tamils but global politics. But F UK, the US and their allies commemorate their victory of six year WW11 every year for almost sixty years. Hypocrites they are, they must tell us why we shouldn’t celebrate victory over a 30 year terrorists war and the dawn of peace.

    I cannot understand why some Tamils of the north chose May18th to mourn their war dead. If Fr. Sara died on May 18th having a mass rally in church to bless his soul I can understand. But your description clearly resembles different aim. Otherwise why mourn for all other dead as well on the same day and why women cry for their own dead on the same day. I bet these twenty priests you talk about must be followers of Emmanuel and wanted to organise another melting point.

    You said “I’m happy the war had ended. But I’m not at all happy about the way it was fought, especially the last phase.” But on whole you sound like a stooge of F UK the US, or one of their lapdogs. F UK the US says, they helped Sri Lanka to defeat LTTE but the truth is they wanted to protect LTTE. One only has to reminiscence that the US seals shot unarmed Bin Laden but F,UK foreign ministers Kouchner and Milliband gate crashed Sri Lanka to demand a ceasefire, and the US President Obama wanted Pirapakaran to surrender to a third party at the 12th hour to understand what I say.
    Leela

    • Buddhika

      Leela
      You seem to have stopped with the first paragraph. If you read the rest of it it’ll help you a great deal.

      • Buddhika

        contd…
        It will certainly make you a different person.

  • alex fernando

    Funny that none of the apologists for Sri Lanka thing it is outrageous that Tamil people still cannot openly mourn their dead? Instead they are forced to attend military victory celebrations .. hmm all very Orwellian. This must have been the reconciliation that GL was telling Hillary Clinton about this week.

  • Fernando

    Thank you Ruki for the information.When reading some of the comments I dont know why people are so selfish to be that much insensitive towards other people.while big celebrations were going on as war hero’s commemoration month” with so much of unnecessary expenses many people are morning for their lost ones and those who disappeared.We as a small group came together to remember the the dead and the disappeared in the war.It was a prayer service and sharing of the life experiences of the victims.I still believe the effectiveness of small groups working together to bring a change to the society

  • Neville Perera

    Leela
    You don’t know what the successive governments have been doing to the Tamils from the time of independence till today?

    • Neville Perera

      Leela
      What do the comments tell you please?

    • eureka

      ”I cannot understand why some Tamils of the north chose May18th to mourn their war dead”:

      I had the chance to speak to some who emerged from the battlefield on the 18th. They said there were a lot of people on the ground who couldn’t get up and walk and some of them were tugging at the moving feet and their owners’ clothes and begging to be taken away. Those who emerged were themselves dragged theselves out with great difficulty and couldn’t help those who were worsethan them. The army threw grenades into the bunkers and killed those who remained in the bunkers and all those who couldn’t move would have been covered up by the giant earth movers these people saw around the region.
      UN and ICRC were not allowed into the area after the people stopped emerging from the battlezone though they repeatedly asked the government to be allowed in.
      This is a war where people were buried alive.
      Father Rayappu cited government records to say that nearly 146,000 were unaccounted for.
      If you look at all the machinery that go on display on ”victory” parades, do people think how many lives could have been taken by them.

      Of course India, UK and US are guilty of supplying huge warfare and or intelligence to Sri Lanka to wipe out the LTTE with the hope of getting the Tamils justice afterwards.
      But this is a President who follows the voters and not a leader to tell them what is good for all the citizens:

      “If I make any devolutionary concessions to the Tamils, 13A Plus, Minus, Divided or Subtracted, it will be curtains for me” – http://www.southasiaanalysis.org/papers46/paper4558.html

      Without addressing his countrymen on LLRC report formonths after publication(that was great surprise/shock for many) he asked them to go after Tamil dispora:

      ‘’During his visit to Jaffna after the Independence Day celebrations in Anuradhapura, President Mahinda Rajapakse requested the government Minister and the paramilitary leader Douglas Devanada to get his men to infiltrate into the government hostile Tamil organisations in the Tamil diaspora to disturb their activities’’ – 8 February 2012, Paramilitary leader and LTTE’s K P advised to infiltrate diaspora Tamil organisations,
      http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2012/02/paramilitary-leader-and-lttes-k-p.html

      This is a President who stopped National Anthem from being sung in Tamil just because Tamil diaspora opposed his address at Oxford University. Oxford University would just be another place where the President unashamedly lies – please look at his addresses to UN General Assembly: whathe tells there is very different from ground reality ( what Sri Lankan delegations tell UNHRC or any other UN body is along the same lines).

      How long have we got to wait for a Sri Lankan government to speak the truth and serve the Tamils justice? The problem will be solved when they are too feeble to speak up:

      ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012

  • Karunaratne

    Thanks,Ruki for information,that’s how justice & pair-play?.

  • citizen

    “I’m happy the war had ended”
    @Ruki> Sure?

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Ruki writes: “I’m happy the war had ended. But I’m not at all happy about the way it was fought, especially the last phase.”

    Fair enough, but it ducks the question: “Are you happy that the Tigers were defeated and that Prabhakaran is dead?”

    • Dhara

      What mostly people are not happy about Mr Dayan Jayathilake, is the way innocent civilians suffered during the war, and the way in which basic human rights are being violated as we speak in Sri Lanka. They are also not happy about the way the south somehow sees certain forms of violence as more acceptable than others. One thing about the people in the North and East is they are tired of all forms of violence, that of the LTTE, and State-sponsored violence like the thirty something years of aerial bombardment, and more. I do feel that people like you who seem to have some form of following, for whatever reason, should be asking more pertinent questions in relation to genuine reconciliation and true political reforms, rather than touting the by now well-worn-out, confrontational and populist/triumphalist questions.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dhara,

        Genuine reconciliation will come when a Northern Tamil, a Muslim, a Burgher, a Malay, an Upcountry Tamil, a Sinhalese and any other Citizen of Lanka can have an equal share in public resources of Lanka.

        Devious methods of usurping to oneself a greater share of such resources will definitely not auger well towards reconciliation.

        So how about looking inwards and shedding any unreasonable demands?

      • Dhara

        I totally agree with you on the equal share of public resources, Off-the-Cuff, have no idea why you would think otherwise. What exactly is your point? When you say look “inwards” what do you mean? There is no equal share of public resources in Sri Lanka anyway right now is there? : ) I mean, i don’t mean just on ethnic lines, but mostly on class lines? (Just for your information, I, and many others, are strictly against any form of extremism, and questioning the excesses of one party does not mean we are apologists for the other, or “Ealamists” … or I suppose that goes without saying?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dhara Thank you for your agreement on sharing Public Resources equally.
        I am a firm believer of that principle. Ethnicity has no relevance to this principle only citizenship is relevant. This is an inviolate Birthright of each and every citizen.

        Land is a scarce resource because it cannot be created.
        85% of Sri Lanka’s Land is Public Land and is hence more or less uninhabited.

        Public resources are owned by all citizens equally.
        The fruits of any project that utilises Public Land should be shared amongst Lanka’s citizenry equally and equitably.
        54% of this land is in the North and East.
        The exclusivist homeland claim, prostitutes the above principle.
        Why should any citizen be deprived of their Birthright?
        Should not the Tamils who contribute to the homeland claim rethink and modify their stand?
        This is what I meant by looking inwards.

        Why don’t you and your friends join the discussion on the Constitution at this link
        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/20/devolution-and-the-concept-of-concurrency-abolition-or-reform/

      • Dhara

        I must say Off-the-Cuff that the assumptions in your post addressed to me is quite amusing. Opposing the carnage of innocent civilians nowhere means supporting Eelamist separate state politics. This is a common and convenient conflation in the Sinhala nationalist political arena which tries to brush aside the actual complexities of the ethnic issue in Sri Lanka.

        You have the far more substantive and reasonable demands of a moderate polity to deal with. And this moderate group, comprising Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, are asking for power sharing AND equitable distribution of wealth and resources, and may I say that there are ethnic fault lines in Sri Lanka the distribution of resources as well. (for your information power sharing does NOT equate Eelam).

        I would love to join discussions on the Constitution too, but I wouldn’t be supporting the break up of my country, because that’s not what me nor “my friends” (whoever you mean), stand for. The real issues are far more complex, and are not about black vs. white!

      • Off the Cuff

        Dhara,

        What are the assumptions that you elude to by the following “assumptions in your post addressed to me is quite amusing” ?

        You say “Opposing the carnage of innocent civilians nowhere means supporting Eelamist separate state politics

        Yes that would be true if you opposed the carnage of Tamils by the Tamil LTTE terrorists who were funded by the Tamil diaspora. However the word carnage is misleading since if the govt considered a carnage in order to defeat the Terrorist LTTE, the war would have been over in a week instead of years. Of course there were civilian casualties due to the civilians being used as a Human Shield and being used to man the war front. Fighting in civilian clothes was an LTTE ploy and there are videos of that in the public domain. The Puthukudirippu hospital did not have a single casualty or corpse of the LTTE. All that we saw in the CH4 video were Civilians and that was the only hospital available to the LTTE in the war front. How do you explain that fact? The LTTE did not get wounded or Killed? Criticism must be fair. Being partisan is being an apologist.

        You say “You have the far more substantive and reasonable demands of a moderate polity to deal with. And this moderate group, comprising Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, are asking for power sharing AND equitable distribution of wealth and resources, “

        I am for devolution but equitable devolution.
        You seem to qualify reasonable demands without quantifying them.
        Vagueness have been the hallmark of Tamil arguments
        So why don’t you quantify them?

        Let’s start with the scarce resource of Land. The following is the relevant data.

        84% of Lanka’s Land is owned by the PUBLIC. Therefore, it has no ethnic owner.
        Area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km.
        Public Land (owned by Govt) 84% which is 55,110 sq km
        29,760 sq km (54%) of this Public land is in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.
        This is over 45% of Lanka’s land mass and I have not included the privately owned land in those provinces!

        The other 7 provinces collectively contains the balance 25,350 sq km.

        Let’s see how you propose to share the Life blood of an agricultural society.

      • Dhara

        Off the Cuff, I would be the last person to whitewash the LTTE, and clearly they horrendously misused civilians during the war, and yes, I do oppose their carnage, in forums where this is necessary (and fearfully, there are many such forums!). But in your case, I don’t need to do this do I, because it stands opposed : ) But that does not excuse State excesses, now does it? And there is evidence for that now, more than we need.

        All parties in war violate human rights. When a State that has been voted in by a constituency commit violations however, it’s far more serious. Pardon my simplicity, but my point is that violence is morally, ethically, wrong, and creates a cycle of destruction, it’s as simple as that. And violence is perpetrated more in the name of power, rather than justice, always. And if we are to forge forward with genuine reconciliation, then we have to acknowledge the excesses of both sides, not try to whitewash one or the other.

        I am absolutely not trying to claim land on “ethnic” grounds, so your argument there is quite redundant. When I said assumptions, I meant all these “arguments” you articulate out of the wind that clearly show how you are “typifying” me, and your “assumption” that I am “Tamil” : ). Justice has no ethnic boundaries Mr “Cuff”, and I am in no way a Eelamist defender. That’s why i said you have far more complex issues to deal with than being the “good savior” attaching the bad.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dhara,

        Your writings are contradictory

        You said “You have the far more substantive and reasonable demands of a moderate polity to deal with. And this moderate group,…. are asking for power sharing AND equitable distribution of wealth and resources, Emphasis mine.

        Based on the above, I asked you how you propose to share the most important resource (a scarce one) equitably.

        I also provided you with the data of Publicly owned Land that is available for sharing.

        Now you are ducking the question by making the following statement.

        You say “I am absolutely not trying to claim land on “ethnic” grounds, so your argument there is quite redundant”

        I have not made any argument one way or the other, so how can you make a non existing argument redundant?

        You were given the data and asked for Your proposals in sharing it equitably.
        Is your moderate group not equal to the task?
        Is it possible that Dhara, as a member of this self proclaimed moderate group, is out of tune with the groups collective thinking?

        The unit of devolution revolves around Land and if Land is a non issue, would you agree to a proportional allocation of PUBLIC land to each province on the basis of the ratio of population within that province to that of the total population in Lanka? Please note that there are no Ethnic lines here.

        Expressed mathematically it is as follows

        Area of a province = C + (P x 55110/21000000 ) sq km

        where
        Provincial population = P
        Private Land in the specific province = C sq km

        Total Population 21 million. Publicly owned Land Area in Lanka is 55110 sq km

        What exactly are the other resources that your group had in mind when you made the following statement? Please name them so that all of us will know unambiguously, what wealth and resources you referred to in the following statement “…..AND equitable distribution of wealth and resources,

        We all make assumptions Dhara and in my case they are based on what people write as I do not have any other way of “knowing them”. I note that you have assumed that I am a man. For now I will ignore the rest of your comments in order to focus on your statement with which I commenced this post.

      • Dhara

        Dear Mr Cuff,

        Your persistence at least is admirable, even though your logic may not be : ). The numerical equations sound quite out of place in what is for me basically a moral and ethical argument about people’s right to govern themselves in the way they feel is best (not about people “owning such and such square feet of land!!!!). I have nowhere said that power sharing should be along ethnic lines, nor have I said land is a non-issue. But ethnicity has had a bearing on distribution of resources in the past in our country, and this is researched and documented. And, for me it’s not a question of land alone, but a question of people’s power over public resources that are justly theirs.

        I don’t quite understand either why you are getting so aggressive about my mention of resources. For me resources mean everything from schooling, to medical care, to social welfare etc etc which are NOT equitably distributed, and along many lines, not just “ethnic” ones. And of course there are many many other resources, (some more prioritized than others, and some more prioritized for certain groups over others) I can’t talk about all of that here!, and some, I am a little hesitant to mention!

        My Proposal, Mr Cuff, does not matter. What matters is what the people in the country want, including the people in the North and East, whatever their “ethnicity”. Have you bothered to ask?

        If at all Mr Cuff, my proposal is free speech, non-violence, democracy, and people’s participation in decisions that affect their lives, and people’s participation in constitution-making. Now, is that a problem?

        O well, you do “sound” like a man, but of course, you could be a woman, never can say …… I am a strong opponent of biological determinism ; )
        Goodbye Mr Cuff

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dhara,

        You wrote “The numerical equations sound quite out of place in what is for me basically a moral and ethical argument about people’s right to govern themselves in the way they feel is best (not about people “owning such and such square feet of land!!!!).”

        Are you really that naïve?
        There is no argument about a peoples right to govern themselves.
        I am for devolving power.

        The argument is about how much power and the area where that power is going to be exercised.

        Since you obtusely claim to have superior logic you should have some idea of the extent of power and the boundaries of the area within which that power becomes enforceable.

        Is it cunning that keeps you from discussing the extent of Lanka that your “self proclaimed moderate group” wants to be governed by the Tamils of the North, a population of less than 2 million out of a total population of 21 million?

        Is it your “Moderate Plan” to campaign to govern 45% of Lanka by less than 10% of the population?

        Is it your “Moderate Plan” to exclude the million Indian Tamils living outside the Northern and Eastern Provinces from that governance?

        Is it your “Moderate Plan” to limit the rights of 90% of the population (including the Indian origin Tamils) to 55% of Lanka?

        Of course You say Land is unimportant.

        I defer to your “Superior Logic” but I am wondering how that “Superior Logic” can justify allocating 45% of a vital resource to less than 10% of the population and asking the balance 90% of the population (which includes a near million Tamils) to be satisfied with a 55% allocation of the same resource.

        I suppose you “moderates” view it as being Equal and Equitable.

        Could you and your Superior Moderates, enlighten us inferior mortals the logic by which you justify such a division of a vital resource?

        You wrote “O well, you do “sound” like a man, …. “

        Nice touch of humour Dhara but I am hesitant to address you by an appropriate title as sometimes you “sound” like a female and at other times like a male.

    • rita

      Dayan
      were you a Tamil, what would you do today please?

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    I WAS SAD TO READ THE GROUNDVIEWS ARTICLE ABOVE, PRESUMABLY WRITTEN BY RUKI, WITH VIKALPA’S PHOTOGRAPH WHICH DEPICTS THE SORROW, FRUSTRATION, HOPELESSNESS, ANXIETY AND DESPERATION IN THE FACES OF SRI LANKAN WOMEN WHO BELONG TO THE TAMIL AND HINDU ETHNIC GROUPS– ON A DAY THAT LANKAN GOVERNMENT CELEBRATED FOR THE THIRD YEAR ITS VICTORY OVER ‘TERRORISM’. I FEEL MUCH MORE SAD WHEN I READ THE 17 COMMENTS SO FAR ON THE ARTICLE.

    JUST WHERE IS SRI LANKA GOING, ON THE PATH OF RECONCILIATION AFTER THE
    DEVASTATING AND UNFORTUNATE CIVIL WAR WHICH NOBODY WANTED? INSTEAD OF ACCEPTING, CONSOLING, AND HELPING TO REBUILD THE LIVES OF ALL THOSE WHO
    HAVE SUFFERED ON ALL SIDES, TAMILS AND OTHER MINORITIES ARE CONTINUING TO BE SIDELINED AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY TORTURED BY THIS SAME GOVERNMENT THAT IS CLAIMING THEY SAVED THE TAMILS FROM THEIR OWN TERRORIST REBELS.
    THIS IS HAPPENING AGAINST THE REAL WISH OF EVEN THE MAJORITY OF LANKAN SINHALA CITIZENS WHO ARE THEMSELVES SUFFERING HELPLESSLY IN MANY WAYS. DEAR GOVERNMENT, PLEASE STOP DIVIDING AND FIGHTING THE ENTIRE WORLD, AND BRING IN GENUINE PEACE IN THIS ISLAND THAT CAN BE ENJOYED BY ALL.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA,

      You seem to have been carried away by Ruki’s lopsided article.

      What saddens me is to see how easily an inflammatory article can arouse emotions even in a learned gentleman. Please see my post to Ruki.

      “ ……THE TAMIL AND HINDU ETHNIC GROUPS…”

      ??? are Hindus an Ethnic Group?

      “…..TAMILS AND OTHER MINORITIES ARE CONTINUING TO BE SIDELINED…….”

      Is that statement a Fair one?

      “ ….. AND PSYCHOLOGICALLY TORTURED …….. “

      Could you please elaborate how

      “ ……. BY THIS SAME GOVERNMENT THAT IS CLAIMING THEY SAVED THE TAMILS FROM THEIR OWN TERRORIST REBELS…..”

      Is that a Fictitious claim?

  • nelum

    its so easy to forget … and too easy to tell people to shut up and not mourn. what a country.

  • Nimal

    Dr. Jayathilake,

    40,000 killed by SL Forces. can you explain is it right as your Marxism ??

    • Burning_Issue

      As far as DR DJ is concerned, dealing with Tamil terrorism is exempted from his form of Marxism as it impinges on the Sinhala soverignity of Sri Lanka! He can correct me if I am wrong.

  • Ray

    What kind of reconciliation are the Sinhalese talking about?
    If Mahinda can’t even let the people mourn their dead, then how can their be lasting real peace?

    • Off the Cuff

      Ray,

      “What kind of reconciliation are the Sinhalese talking about?”

      The kind that the Tamils will have an equal share of the country’s resources and nothing more than an equal share.

      Certainly not the kind where the Tamils will enjoy a Lion’s share at the expense of the rest of the population (Muslims, Malays, Burghers, Sinhalese etc).

  • Ray

    Look at the faces of the mothers in the picture!!
    They are desperately searching for their loved ones, or they’re begging the government to release their children who are held without any charges.
    While the biggest criminals like Douglas Devananda and Karuna are freely roaming the streets of the country, these youths who were arrested 10 years ago under the PTA are yet held in prisons without charges.

    How can their be peace for these mothers? Can you tell them to forget about the past?

    • Off the Cuff

      Ray,

      You wrote “How can their be peace for these mothers? Can you tell them to forget about the past? “

      The past during which their 8 year old children were abducted from schools or wrested from their mother’s arms by a gang of thugs led by a Megalomaniac who was bankrolled by a set of cowards that deserted the war and cheered from the sidelines while watching those children die without any compunction?

      These cowards did not care for the Vanni Tamil Children then, as their own children were safe and out of reach of the Megalomaniac Prabhakaran.

      The compassion that did not exist then, is surfacing now?
      You are asking them to SELECTIVELY forget the past.
      How strange!

      The architect of the Baby Brigade who is complicit in destroying the future Vanni Tamil generation is neither Douglas D or Karuna but Adelle Balasingham. Would you seek justice on behalf of the Tamil children who lost limbs or died fighting a man’s war? Can you compensate them for their irreplaceable loss?

      Crocodile Tears is no compensation.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Ruki,

    Unlike in a war between countries, in a civil war the people who die and lose their limbs are citizens of the same country. This loss of life is not something that should be celebrated but yet there are such celebrations even in the USA.

    Is it the loss of life and limb that is being celebrated?
    If so, it would be callous to do so.
    What then is being celebrated?

    Is it possible that what is being celebrated in Lanka include the following?

    An end to a civil war that caused untold misery to all Sri Lankans domiciled in Lanka (irrespective of ethnicity).

    An end to a terrorist outfit that abducted Tamil Children as young as 8 years and forced them in to a man’s war.

    An end to the use of Tamil Civilians (Men, Women, Children, infants an those awaiting birth in their mothers’ wombs) as a Human Shield against live ammunition.

    An end to the amputations of Tamils that were used to enforce that Human Shield.

    An end to Tamils being shot in the back to prevent civilians from deserting the Human Shield.

    Of course Ruki people should be free to mourn their dead.
    The dead was not limited to the Tamil community alone.
    However choosing the eve of the anniversary a Fascist Terrorist called Prabahkaran, hated by most Tamils who were forced to live under his Jackboot in the North, met his death and to have an organised day of mourning, on that day, can hardly be spontaneous or coincidental.

    You say “However, in the North, among Tamils, where the last phase of the war was fought, the mood was far from celebratory, but outright mourning and grieving”

    That is a very strange observation given that All of them lived under the LTTE Jackboot. Did you not meet any Mothers, Fathers, Brothers and Sisters living in the North, who were happy to have their children escape the clutches of a terrorist outfit or to have come out alive without stopping a bullet so that a terrorist could live out the day?

    Did you not meet any Tamil who lost their loved ones because of the Terrorists?

    Or had their Limbs amputated by the Terrorist LTTE?

    Well Ruki I am against the squandering of Public Funds that could be put to better use in uplifting the war affected (all communities). But I do not see why the above should not be celebrated sans the ostentatious display.

    You wrote “In the afternoon of 18th May, I witnessed the passion of women whose family members had disappeared and been killed, as they gathered at a Hindu Kovil in Killinochchi town and participated in a service there, which included the smashing of coconuts. Some of the women were crying and some were clearly angry with those that had killed or made their family members disappear. I would not want to be at the receiving end of such anger”

    Were any women whose children that were abducted by the Terrorist LTTE and were killed in battle present?
    Were any women widowed by the LTTE forced conscriptions present?
    Were any women who lost their brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers due to the LTTE forced conscriptions present?
    Did you see the anger that you so lucidly describe directed at the LTTE terrorists now living amongst them in the North?
    If not, you have not seen the Tamils of the North.

    Ruki though you talk of reconciliation you have written a lopsided article intended to fan the flames of hatred.

    Civil War 150 Commemorations in Gettysburg, April 29-30
    Highlights of the beginning of Civil War 150 anniversary commemoration events in Gettysburg April 29-30 are:
    150 cannon volley beginning Saturday evening at the Pennsylvania Memorial at Gettysburg National Military Park at 7:30 p.m.
    Luminary lighting ceremony at 8 p.m., Lincoln Square, downtown Gettysburg
    Re-enactment skirmishes at the Gettysburg Lutheran Theological Seminary at 11 a.m. and on Baltimore Street at 4 p.m.

    From 2011 and 2015, special ceremonies and other programs will take place in and around the town of Gettysburg and Adams County.
    Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War is particularly significant at Gettysburg National Military Park. Today, the Gettysburg battlefield is a reminder of three fateful days in July 1863, when the tide of the war shifted from Confederate to Union advantage. When the fighting ended, the brutal three-day battle left behind more than 51,000 soldiers who were killed, wounded, captured or missing.

    Civil War: Southerners remember Confederate president

    On Saturday, a group will gather in Alabama to mark the 150th anniversary of the inauguration of the first president of the Confederacy, 11 Southern slave states that left the US in 1860 and 1861. They say they are honouring their ancestors and their heritage but, as the BBC’s Daniel Nasaw reports, critics view the group as celebrating slavery.
    Under a bright Southern sky on Saturday, the Sons of Confederate Veterans will dress in period costume, including replica grey uniforms of the Confederate army, to commemorate the first raising of a national flag and the inauguration of a president.
    They won’t be saluting the familiar Stars and Stripes or honouring an occupant of the White House. Instead, they will pay tribute to the Confederate States of America, a political entity created after 11 states seceded from the US. That painful division led to the Civil War. (BBC)

    the governments of U.S. Southern states saw the Civil War centennial as an opportunity to reinforce their view that the infrastructure of Jim Crow and segregation was an organic reflection of a distinctive Southern “way of life.” Many white Southerners responded with enthusiasm to invitations to celebrate their heritage, which they saw as one of courage on the battlefield and continuity afterwards. For the first time, many Americans, especially white Southerners, volunteered or were recruited into historical reenactment groups that performed pageants and re-creations of Civil War battles, field maneuvers, and encampments.
    (wiki)

    • Neville Perera

      For some Sinhalese and many Tamils the whole of the last 64+ years have been unbearable and there urgently needs to be a change. To them the rise and fall of the LTTE is only a small part of it.

      • Off the Cuff

        Neville Perera,

        “To them the rise and fall of the LTTE is only a small part of it”

        Try telling that to the half a million Tamils who had the misfortune to live under the LTTE.

        Obviously you have an agenda and is not really concerned with what the Vanni Tamils underwent.

    • Off the Cuff

      Ruki has gone mum and Neville is trying a diversion

      Why?

  • jansee

    Malinda Seneviratne:

    What about the atrocities of the SL regime before Prabhakaran took up arms? Isn’t it a Sinhalese like you (and a President at that) who declared that if he causes pain to the Tamils he will get more votes from the Sinhalese.

    Today GL Peiris, despite all the brave and grand posture of this regime and guys like you, had to submit to Hilary Clinton, thanks to the UNHRC resolution recently. Tomorrow (I mean soon) it will be a referendum in the North. Laugh with all the might you can and the wheel has moved slowly but surely and let us see what happens in the future. The epicentre is Tamilnadu and SL future will be decided by that, not even by the Union govt. The SL regime learned this belatedly albeit painfully.

    Dayan:

    “Fair enough, but it ducks the question: “Are you happy that the Tigers were defeated and that Prabhakaran is dead?”

    With hindsight, I believe the Tamils would have a better bargain with a Prabhakaran around. With the lying and leeching, I want another Prabhakaran to arise, even if it is to fall, but drag down this Sinhalese regime down with that. I mean, we are talking about 3years after the war Dayan, how long you and this regime are going to lie to the Tamils and the whole world about the devolution to the Tamils?

  • Kusum

    Why do people bring in other oppressive cases from other parts of the world? Why can’t they bring in cases where they have succeeded reasonably by fair means such as federalism in multi-ethnic societies?

    UN Charter and International Laws are more than enough for the obligation to be fair to all humanimals(I’m a Biologist), without adding the ”responsibility” of securing a special place for the great philosophy of Buddhism.

    • Neville Perera

      If our people can put the Buddhist philosophy in their hearts we’d have heaven in Sri Lanka. But as it is relegated to the concrete structures of endless erection under every Bo tree and in every corner all over the country (and putting the Tamils under the boots of the army) make it hell. Ohhhh………

  • http://grassrooted.net Hans Billimoria

    Gird your loins Sri Lanka. And may the force be with you.

  • Nithin

    It’s interesting how Ruki paints a picture of the Catholic Church in the north as stainless peaceful doves. No mention of the dubious role it played along with the LTTE, helping find child soldiers, allowing the use of churches as ammo dumps, stealing away the Madhu statue, and having Catholic priests hold up placards in support of Prabhakaran at all those Pongu Tamil rallies.

  • Dias

    If we cannot connect at the heart … we will never connect at the minds … the victors – absent any capcity to reach out – are behaving like the losers

  • Kusum

    I wish to know the titles of good books on i. History of colonial Sri Lanka and ii History of post-colonial Sri Lanka:

    http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/Sep2010/K%20Godage.pdf
    ”…. This was during the colonial period of course, as you are probably aware when the Missionaries came to Sri Lanka and wanted to establish schools, the Anglican Arch Bishop said ‘go North, not in South, because we control South’. ….”

    http://www.llrc.lk/images/stories/docs/August2010/LLRC-JD-Transcript.pdfJayantha Dhanapala’s submission to Lessons Learnt and Reconciliation Commission(LLRC), August 2010: ‘’The lessons we have to learn go back to the past – certainly from the time that we had responsibility for our own governance on 4 February 1948 . 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. …”

  • Nelum Bandara

    Oh God
    Please stop arguing about colonial times and pre-colonial times for the umpteenth time.

    Let’s look at what we’ve been doing since independence. That’s a good starting point for many reasons – many parts of the world also had conflicts and many decided to form the UN and start anew. Successive governments have signed up for many sections of the UN – this government sends Sri Lankan troops to the UN ”peace-keeping” forces and have full representations in the various bodies of the UN.

    If that’s too much for ”Sri Lankans”, start from May 2009 for goodness sake.

    NEVER TOO LATE.

    Please stop the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental crimes in the Northeast:
    ”But that truth cannot excuse human rights violations that currently afflict the nation as a whole; or for that matter obscure the looming threat of the cultural and political colonisation of the north by the Sinhala Buddhist majority” – Biased and Prejudiced Collection on Sri Lanka, *Gananath Obeyesekere, Economic & Political Weekly, VOL 47 No. 04, 28 January-03 February 2012

    OK.

    Let’s turn over a new leaf. Let’s start the new chapter by contacting the eyes of the women in the picture.

  • Nimal

    All words are So nice… but my friend ground really was a different

  • Neville Perera

    Off-the-cuff

    Celebrate what?
    Celebrate oppression?
    LTTE was created by political (and thus economic, social, cultural,…) oppression of ethnic minorities. But appearance of LTTE did not stop the oppression.
    Wiping out the LTTE did not stop the oppression.
    From the time of independence till today successive governments have been oppressing the ethnic minorities.
    So, what is being celebrated?
    Satyagraha was crushed militarily. B-C and D-C pacts were abrogated unilaterally by the governments when their Oppositions opposed.
    Armed struggle was squashed irrespective of the casualties.
    So, what was being celebrated?
    The ethnic majority will oppress the ethnic minorities who should not challenge the government.

    Will the people who celebrate the ”victory” ask the President to publish any of the reports in (LLRC report was published because they want something to tell the UPR (the government has been telling various UN bodies that it would do this and that. But has it done anything that it promised them? in October):

    Centre for Policy Alternatives has produced a table of seven Commissions and seven Committees appointed in the last six years whose reports the President has been refusing to publish, http://www.scribd.com/doc/85007346/A-List-of-Commissions-of-Inquiry-and-Committees-Appointed-by-the-Government-of-Sri-Lanka-2006-%E2%80%93-2012

    • Neville Perera

      ”Celebration” of crushing the people in the Northeast under the boots of the occupation army !!

    • Off the Cuff

      Neville Perera,

      I thought you could read and comprehend what you read. Disappointing to see you falling short on the latter.

      You ask celebrate what?

      How about an end to Child soldiering?
      How about an end to the Civilian Shield?
      How about an end to the amputation of Tamil civilians by Tamil terrorist?
      How about an end to those who were being shot in the back by Tamil terrorist?
      How about an end to the destruction of the future Tamil generation?
      How about an end to the killing of Tamil moderates?
      How about an end to the Lamp Post Killings?

      Probably you did not care about any of those things and probably you have.

      Can you refer the readers to anything that you have written on GV or any other similar public forum against the LTTE’s Child soldiering or in protest against the Civilian Shield or against amputations of other Tamils or against Lamp post killings (where dissenting Tamils were tied to lamp posts with barbed wire, tortured and killed) of the LTTE or against the killing of Tamil moderates with the same vehemence that you are writing now?

      Have you ever written criticising the LTTE about the massacres of the Muslims or about the night raids of Sinhalese villages where children were smashed against tree trunks and pregnant women had their belies slashed wide open? How about the bombs that went off in Public Transport? Those bombs did not care who was maimed and who was killed. There was no Ethnic or Age barrier to those who got killed and maimed or do you think only the Sinhalese got killed?

      Have you ever written against the callous disregard the LTTE displayed towards the religious places of Muslims and Buddhists by carrying out massacres of pilgrims and priests within them?

      Oh yes they spared the Catholics didn’t they even though the Sri Lankan Armed Forces have many Catholics? Wonder why?

      Most of the above went on for 30 years and the whole of the Northern Tamils and most of the Eastern Tamils were adversely affected even if the Muslim and Sinhalese lives are insignificant to you.

      But All of that is just a small part in your assessment?
      Even though Nearly half a million Tamils were affected?
      Funny Conscience that you posses.
      Funny concern for humanity.

      People of your calibre always start their history discussion from 63 years ago. Wonder why the period before that is anathema. Leela gives an appropriate answer. Let me quote from a post by Leela on this page.

      Quote
      First, I must say that even long after 1958 the US had separate buses, schools etc for blacks. Even in the sixties, I have seen rooms to let adds in the UK shop window that said; ‘no cats, no dogs, no blacks’. True we have had riots but I have never seen in Sri Lanka what was practised in the US or the UK.

      Sinhalese were never known to have discriminated anyone until the wily British tricked our leaders to hand over the country to them by an agreement. What more a proof for this than to point out that our Last king is from Madurai. British violated the agreement soon afterwards and the Sinhalese started to rebel. British clamped down the rebellion ruthlessly. And the British never trusted Sinhalese and started to discriminate them ever since. First sign of discrimination came when British appointed three Europeans, one Sinhalese, one Tamil and one Burgher to executive council in 1833. Sinhalese being well over 75% of the population, to be fair, there should have been four times as many as Tamil representation.

      But the British Raj maintained that unfair representation in every field to keep Sinhala mass cowed until 1931. And Tamils used the discrimination against Sinhalese to improve education of their lot and thereby become natural partners of every arm of the colonialist rule. And that made doctors, engineers, lawyers, civil servants and etc to be mostly Tamil. So much so, Tamils thought they were born genius and Sinhalese were born fools.

      After the introduction of universal franchise in 1931, by and by, Sinhalese who were 75% started to push for their rightful place.
      Unquote

      Sri Lanka is an Island state. The North and East of that Island are an integral part of it. An occupation army occupies a foreign land. Please refer to any authoritative text on the subject without making a fool of yourself by using hackneyed cliches of Separatists.

      You do seem to be having an agenda but that does not seem to have the well being of ordinary Tamils. The following phrase of yours is a clear indication of why you are so disgruntled

      “Armed struggle was squashed irrespective of the casualties“

      Those who take arms are prepared to die and to Kill.
      But in your case they used other Humans, Tamil Civilians at that, to hide behind and shoot at the opposition.

      Did you expect a Government to allow Terrorists who were Killing Civilians (school children included) all over the country to continue killing civilians and feel safe behind a Human shield?

      That ploy worked for 30 years but after shutting off water from Mawil Aru it became a bad miscalculation Neville, a very bad one and you are now living to regret it.

      You may be writing with a Sinhalese name but your patent hypocrisy and deceit is evidence of your stripes.

  • http://www.nakkeran.com Nakkeeran

    Where did you get the figure 75%? In the 1946 census the Sinhalese constituted only 67%! Why did the LTTE took arms? What made them to carry arms? Is it not the state violence used against the Thamils systematically in 1956, 1958, 1977, 1979, 1981 and 1983 that forced to LTTE to take up arms in self defence? You did not spare even Tamil prisoners under judicial custody? One of the most notorious single attacks of the riots took place at the Welikada high security prison on July 25th. Thirty-seven Thamil prisoners, most of them detained under the Prevention of rebels Act, were killed by Sinhalese prisoners using knives and clubs. Survivors claimed that the prison officers allowed the keys to fall into the hand of the Sinhalese prisoners, while at the subsequent inquest, the prison officers claimed the keys were stolen from them. A second riot at the prison took place on July 28th, in which a further 15 prisoners were killed. The dead bodies of the inmates were piled in front of the Buddha’s statue! Ceylon would not have got independence if the Tamils decided to vote against the Soulbury constitution. D.S.Senanayake, the first Prime Minister of independent Ceylon, gave the solemn promise to the Thamil and other minority communities that no harm need they fear at the hands of the majority Sinhalese in a free Lanka. Speaking in the State Council in October, 1945 after all the Thamil members have unanimously voted for the acceptance of the Soulbury constitution in a White Paper D.S.Senanayake said:

    “Do you want to be governed from London or do you want, as Ceylon, to help govern Ceylon? …… On behalf of the (Ceylon National) Congress (founded by Sir Ponnambalam Arunachalam in 1919) and on my behalf, I give the minority communities the sincere assurance that no harm need you fear at our hands in a free Lanka.”

    Little did the unsuspecting Thamil politicians realise that D.S. Senanayake’s speech was an exercise in subterfuge. In 1948, the very year of independence, D.S.Senanayake blatantly went back on his promise and bared his true colours as a champion of Sinhala chauvinism by depriving one million Thamils of their citizenship. It was the first legislative blow dealt against the Thamils before more to follow. It was also the first step at ethnic cleansing of the Thamil people. The Citizenship Act No.18 was unique in that it denied citizenship to a person born in the country before or after 1948 unless , at least, his father was born in or was a citizen of Sri Lanka. The following year, the same Thamils were deprived of their franchise rights which reduced the Thamils representation in Parliament to diminish from 33% in 1948 to 20% in 1952.

    The State Council adopted both Sinhala and Tamil as the official languages of Ceylon. But, S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike in July 1956 enacted Sinhala only as the official language within 48 hours! In 1970 the government of Mrs. Bandaranaike introduced standardisation for admission to Universities where Sinhalese students scoring less marks than a Tamil student were admitted to Universities.

    • Off the Cuff

      Nakeeran,

      Reading is not enough, you should understand what you read before asking questions.

      I quoted Leela who commented further up on this page. That is where the 75% came from.

      But the REAL question posed by Leela is what you have avoided.

      The 1946 census gives the demography as follows

      Sinhalese 69.41%
      Lankan Tamils 11.02%
      Indian Tamils 11.73%
      Moors 5.61%
      Others 2.24%

      What was the Democratic Logic that gave 22.79% Tamils one representative and THREE times that population also ONE representative?

      Hence Leela’s argument about discrimination against the Sinhalese and favoured status of the Tamils stands.

      The rest of your questions will be answered when I reply to your post below. For now the above would suffice.

      BTW since you also question my identity, please read my response to Prof Mahadevan below.

      How do I or anyone else know what your REAL name is? Apparently you are intellectually bankrupt.

  • Neville Perera

    I
    1. Some Sinhalese have been too ashamed to open their mouths.
    2. Some Sinhalese of some civil societies have been trying to report what is not reported by professional journalists who fear government attacks
    3. Some Sinhalese have been writing comments here and there:
    i.comments of sympathy or empathy
    ii.comments of misunderstanding or hatred
    4. Some Sinhalese extend practical help to the people of the Northeast
    (that cannot make up for the lack of a systemic plan for the Northeast)
    5. …..

    II
    Pointing out state terrorism doesn’t mean condoning rebel terrorist acts. Effective way of tackling the effect is tackling the cause. Oppression (=humiliation) is still going on unabatedly and we don’t know the effect of this yet. But the political, economic, social, cultural and environmental oppression is too much for any reasonable recovery.

  • rita

    ”The following year, the same Thamils were deprived of their franchise rights”:
    Those who were MPs in the parliament by the elections held before independence lost their voting rights before(in) the first elections after independence !!

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    Dear Off-the-Cuff, Sir or Madam: You have been our most prolific participant, with several comments on the above Groundviews article
    by Ruki. Judging from your comments I feel you are not writing off-
    the-cuff but deep from within your head. You seem to be an extremely
    knowledgeable and clever person. Yet, I for one would have taken your comments and viewpoints much more seriously had you ripped out your face mask and revealed your true identity. Please, can you do that at least now, to be fair? Why should you hide behind a pseudonym? Are you playing the role of a Devil’s Advocate, at times against your true conscience, or are you more than one person — a syndicate or a full time propaganda machine with a political agenda other than the public promotion of honest, heart-to-heart debate on this topic of interest and contemporary importance to all of us? With 60 comments already, maybe our serious discussions on this topic will soon come to an end. You seem to be a master at shutting up and benumbing commentators with a series of questions. But you have revealed very few of your answers to your own questions. One of your main arguments seems to be that the land mass of Sri Lanka has to be divided equally among all the current citizens of Sri Lanka. What about the country’s other assets? Where do/can we start your re-distribution scheme? From what zero-point? How? Do you have a mandate from all the people to do that? Under what constitution? What precedents exist in the world for such a scheme? Under what form of government? What can we do with all those people who somehow currently own more land and possess much more wealth than the rest of the population? Please, Sir or Madam, be serious, do be honest, be fair. And we really like to know more of your background and identity, if you are bold and considerate enough to reveal it. Thanks.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Prof. Kopan Mahadevan,

      Thank you for your Bouquets and Brickbats.

      I use a Pseudonym for a reason.
      What is important is not my name but the message I deliver.
      The truth does not depend on my name does it?

      As you have noted, what I write is not what my pseudonym suggests and if you observe carefully the way I write does not change. Since you are a university teacher you would know that two people wont have the same style of writing. It would differ even though the difference may be small. That’s how a teacher spots cribbing.

      GV is full of people who are emotionally charged and who cannot substantiate what they write under the influence of emotion. There are some who want to fish in troubled waters who are really hypocrites who didn’t care what happened to the Vanni Tamils and their children when they were being traumatised by the LTTE. Today these cowards are shedding crocodile tears for the Vanni Tamils.

      Ruki has been unable to respond to my post. What does it tell you when a person who writes an article on GV fails in his/her responsibility of replying to a challenge?

      My questions are designed to expose the fallacious arguments that are put forward and to counter the cowards who try to fish in troubled waters.

      You would probably know the two journalists Ckrhushchev and Ponnambalam. Both of them are Tamils who were intimidated (like DBS Jayaraj) for writing the truth about the LTTE and their supporters. One of them wrote under a pseudonym and that was in Canada.

      Here is a brief extract from an article written by Meena Nallainathan who is also a Tamil.

      Ckrhushchev’s mission is to show how the pro-Tiger press obscures the truth. ………… In that 2006 column under the pseudonym, for example, he wrote about gratuitous killings committed during the Sri Lankan ceasefire. He said that the Tigers simply would not stop killing; that the leadership didn’t want them to lose their desire to kill, so they dusted off a list of traitors from old, opposing Tamil political factions. According to Ckrhushchev, the Tigers didn’t want the international community to know this, and so the term “unidentified gunmen” began appearing in the Tiger press. For people in the diaspora, it was a coded message: “Unidentified gunmen” meant the Tigers did the killing; it also identified the victim as a traitor.
      Ckrhushchev is particularly keen on showing how the Tiger press bombards its readers with a potent message: the Tamils are victims. The currency of war for the Tigers is the suffering of Tamils. Riots against Tamils occurred between 1956 and 1983. Stories of Sinhalese mobs butchering Tamils, burning Tamil homes and businesses, raping women and burning others alive have been repeated as a mantra. But at the time of the 1983 riots, many Sinhalese actually protected their Tamil neighbours. Today, there are Sinhalese and Tamil human rights activists working together in Sri Lanka.

      Ponnambalam tells me about the day he was riding in the car with a friend, listening to a political talk show on CTBC, a local Tamil radio station. He called in and, once on-air, delivered an extemporaneous 10- minute lecture. “I identified myself,” he says. “No point in hiding it because everybody knows the voice.” He acknowledges the many Tiger supporters in Canada, but goes on to say that none support the cause to the extent that they will urge their children to become suicide bombers or fighters.

      So you see there are Tamils who echo my views.

      You wrote “You seem to be a master at shutting up and benumbing commentators with a series of questions”

      If those commentators were truthful and were writing a fair comment how can they get benumbed if they have the answers?

      I will not get benumbed by any criticism of my comments because I am prepared to accept and apologise if I am proved wrong.

      My questions are based on what the commentator writes. So how can I answer for him?

      You wrote “One of your main arguments seems to be that the land mass of Sri Lanka has to be divided equally among all the current citizens of Sri Lanka”

      No your understanding is incorrect. What I wrote was that ALL citizens must Equally benefit from PUBLIC resources. 85% of the total landmass of Lanka (including internal waters) is owned by the PUBLIC. Please note the distinction between public and private Land.

      Land is a scarce resource and cannot be created. Benefiting equally, does not translate into dividing. It means that if public land is used for any purpose then all citizens must enjoy the proceeds equally. This will hardly be the case if a disproportionate amount of public land is allocated to ANY ethnic group.

      Area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km. Of this about 55,110 sq km is Public Land (govt owned). The Tamil Homeland proponents lay claim to 29,760 sq Km of the above, leaving 25,350 for the Upcountry Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese, Burghers, Malays and others or about 90% of the population.

      Can you justify this?
      Is this equality?
      Is this equitable?

      (Population is Sinhalese 74%, Tamils 18% (includes upcountry Tamils), Muslims 7% and others 1%

      Each of us (including paupers) pay direct and / or indirect taxes. A government is run with those finances. Equal benefit means per capita allocation of those finances. It is not correct to have a government allocating Higher per capita funds to Colombo than to Killinochchi or Hambantota. The per capita allocation should be the same.
      What is wrong with that?

      The rest of your questions are based on an erroneous understanding of what I wrote.

      I use Off the Cuff as my pseudonym as it conveys that it is a pseudonym. Taraki, Colonel Warden, Naomi de Silva etc are pseudonyms. I could have easily used A. Ponnambalam or B. Jayasinghe or C. Janz to mask my identity and ethnicity and then you would not have raised the identity question that you have raised. Anyone who makes my identity an excuse for not meeting my arguments is not doing justice to themselves and is indicative of the inability to face facts or intellectual bankruptcy.

      I am M.N.I.N. Perera but that information is useless to you or anyone else to counter what I have written.

      Now I hope you would place your arguments to negate mine before the GV readership or agree with whatever you think you can agree to.

  • Dan Herath

    The Tamils have been forced to deal with a series of myths created by the Sinhala politicians since independence. The latest is the ”growth of Northern economy”:

    http://www.thesundayleader.lk/2012/05/27/political-spin-of-the-economic-growth-in-the-north/

  • http://www.nakkeran.com Nakkeeran

    It is difficult to enter into any logical argument with an individual like Off the Cuff who does not want to disclose his true identity. He calls others racists when he is the embodiment of Sinhala racism and fascism both combined. Like Hitler’s Information Minister Joseph Goebbels he resorts to blatant manipulation of facts. He claims that Northeastern province land mass is 54%! It is not that Off the Cuff is a nit-wit who does not know arithmetic. It is simply he is deliberately massaging the figures to serve his self-serving propaganda. The total area of Ceylon is 65,111 sq.km ( 25,294 sq.ml) and the Northern province is 8884 sq.km (3,430 sq.ml) and Eastern province is 9996 sq.km (3859 sq. ml) totaling 18,880 sq.km (7,289 sq.ml). This works out to just 29.99%! Not 54% as claimed by the Sinhala racist Off the Cuff! Here again because of state sponsored Sinhala colonization of Northeast before and after independence by successive Sinhala racist governments large swaths North and East are now occupied by Sinhalese.
    The Eastern Province is 3,859 sq. miles in extent. Originally Trincomalee 1,016 sq. miles and Batticaloa 2,823 sq. miles were the districts in this province.
    The Batticaloa District was divided into the present Amparai District 1,775 sq. miles and Batticaloa District 1,048 sq. miles in 1961.
    According to the 1921 census, the Sinhalese were 4.4% of the population in the Trincomalee District and 4.5% in the combined Batticaloa and Amparai District. The Sinhalese were just 4.5 % in the whole Eastern Province.
    The Batticaloa District was divided into the present Amparai District 1,775 sq. miles and Batticaloa District 1,048 sq. miles in 1961.
    In Amparai (now shortened to Amparai) District, out of 16 AGAs divisions, the Sinhalese are in a majority in 8 of them viz Amparai Town, Tamana, Namla Oya, Ukana, Dehimathakandiya, Lagugala, Maha Oya and Pathimathalana. Out of a total area of 4,318 sq. km – 3,391 sq. kms belonged to Sinhalese AGAs divisions. That is 78% of the land area had become Sinhalese majority area in the Amparai District.
    In Trincomalee out of 11 AGAs divisions the Sinhalese are in the majority in 7 of them i.e. Tampalagamam, Trincomalee Town and its suburbs, Sripura, Gomarankadawela (Gomarankadavai), Morawewa (Muthalikkulam), Kantalai and Seruwila.
    In 1921 in Trincomalee the Sinhalese population was mere 4.4%, but it increased to a staggering 33.6% in 1981 and constituted one- third of the total population of the Trincomalee District.
    The 1976 Delimitation Commission demarcated the Seruwila Electorate for the Sinhalese covering 700 sq. miles out of the 1048 sq. miles for the 24% Sinhalese in Trincomalee District. The land area for the 76% Tamils and Muslims was the balance 348 sq.ml! That is Seruwila electorate occupies three-fifth of the total land area of Trincomalee District.
    The De-limitation Commission carved out Seruwila as a new electoral division in 1976 and a Sinhalese was duly returned to Parliament in the general elections held in 1977.

    • Off the Cuff

      Nakeeran,

      Be careful when name calling. Lets see who the nit wit is and who does not know the language that he decides to correspond in.

      You wrote “He claims that Northeastern province land mass is 54%! It is not that Off the Cuff is a nit-wit who does not know arithmetic”

      Are you sure that is what I wrote?

      Your hatred is clouding your mind. Your brain cannot interpret what your eyes read due to that hatred. You are a victim of the brain washing that Meena Nallainathan refers to. BTW she is a Tamil.

      Area of Sri Lanka is 65610 sq km.
      Public Land (owned by Govt) 84% which is 55,110 sq km
      54% of Public land is in the Northern and Eastern Provinces = 29,760 sq km.

      The rest of the Public Land is in the other provinces = 25,350 sq km.

      It is the Public Land that is owned by ALL Lankans not private land.
      I am referring to that Public Land.

      The Tamil Homeland proponents lay claim to 29,760 sq Km of PUBLIC LAND, leaving 25,350 for the Upcountry Tamils, Muslims, Sinhalese, Burghers, Malays and others or about 90% of the population.

      Who is the racist?
      Who cannot make a simple Arithmetical calculation?
      Who is the NIT WIT?
      The answer is plainly visible is it not?

      Who are you trying to hoodwink?

      Could not resist giving you this short reply. I will reply the rest of your post later.

      • Off the Cuff

        Nakeeran,

        You have not called me a Nit Wit, Sorry.

        But you accuse me of Deliberately Altering Data. In other words you have accused me of Cheating. That is a serious charge. However since it is based on your ignorance and since I have explained the factual position I will not delve on it further in this post.

    • Off the Cuff

      Nakkeeran,

      Tamil Language

      What is the status of Tamil Language in Lanka today?
      Is it not a fact that Tamil Language in Lanka, enjoys a higher status than in it’s own Motherland? The only country other than Lanka which has accorded National Status to Tamil is Singapore.

      University Admissions

      Here is an extract from a University Grants Commission (UGC) document that lays down admission Policy to the Lankan Universities.

      Admission Policy
      3.2 The following admission policy will apply in respect of the Academic Year 2011/2012 for admission to Universities.

      3.2.3.1 In the case of Arts courses [i.e. Arts, Arts (SP), Arts (SAB), Communication Studies,Peace & Conflict Resolution, Islamic Studies, Arabic Language] admission will be made on an all island merit basis subject to the condition that the total number admitted from
      a given district will not be below the total number admitted from that district in the academic year 1993/94 or 2002/2003, whichever is greater.

      3.2.3.2 Admission to all courses other than the courses stated in 3.2.3.1 above will be made on a dual criteria, namely:
      All Island Merit
      Merit on District basis

      Under All Island Merit criteria:
      (i) Up to 40% of the available places will be filled in order of Z Scores ranked on an all island basis.

      Under District Merit Criteria:
      (i) Up to 55% of the available places in each course of study will be allocated to the 25 administrative districts in proportion to the total population, that is, on the ratio of the population of the district concerned to the total population of the country.

      (ii) A special allocation up to 5% of the available places in each course of study will be allocated to the under-mentioned 16 educationally disadvantaged districts in proportion to the population, that is, on the ratio of the population of each such
      district to the total population of the 16 districts;
      1. Nuwara Eliya 7. Vavuniya 13. Polonnaruwa
      2. Hambantota 8. Trincomalee 14. Badulla
      3. JAFFNA 9. Batticaloa 15. Monaragala
      4. Kilinochchi 10. Ampara 16. Ratnapura
      5. Mannar 11. Puttalam
      6. Mullaitivu 12. Anuradhapura

      The number of places allocated on the district merit quota given in (i) and (ii) above will be filled in order of Z Scores ranked on the district basis.

      NOTE 1
      In selecting students for a given course of study, it will be ensured that the quota allocated to any district under (i) and (ii) above will not be below the quota in the academic year 1993/94 or 2002/2003, whichever is greater.

      Can you see that JAFFNA which has a HIGH concentration of well equipped schools is today considered an Educationally Disadvantaged district?

      Are you blind to the fact that LOW scoring Tamil students even from Jaffna will enter University displacing HIGHER scoring Sinhala students in Educationally privileged areas?

      Do you hear the Sinhalese complaining and whining like you, even though they too could shout that they are being discriminated and the Tamils favoured? I don’t view such a temporary accommodation of Tamils as discrimination as it is affirmative action to correct an educational disadvantage.

      The Sinhalese recognise that the war and Terrorist action by the LTTE has deprived the young Tamils of a proper education, why cant you reciprocate?

      It is affirmative action to correct a disadvantage DISREGARDING Ethnicity. Are you aware that affirmative action in education exists in the USA?

      I thank you for raising this subject as ANY unbiased Reader will now understand the deceit you and others who think like you, practice.

      Why are you stuck in the past?
      Does the African Americans talk of their past disabilities today?
      Are they complaining ad nauseam like you, even long after injustices are corrected?

      Are you interested in Justice for the Tamils or fanning Hatred and causing further division, death and destruction?
      So who is Racist?

      You ask “Why did the LTTE took arms? What made them to carry arms?”

      Good question but directed at the wrong person. Did you ask Appapilai Amirthalingam that question before he was murdered by the LTTE (the boys) he encouraged?

      Since you are interested in the past let’s have a look.

      The British Government Pillaged the Sinhalese Hinterland with their Land acquisition Acts. Here is the evidence.

      The British enacted the Crown Land Enforcement Ordinance in 1840 to claim the unoccupied and uncultivated land in the Kandyan kingdom (Farmer 1957:90- 91). As a result of this ordinance, 90% of the land in the Kandyan highlands was designated as land belonging to the British Crown (Herath et al, 1995:77).

      The Waste Land Ordinance Act of 1897 (and the Crown Land Encroachment Ordinance in 1840), annexed more lands as crown lands where villagers could no longer claim them according to the new British- imposed rules (Roberts 1979:233, Obeysekara 1967: 98-100).

      The majority of the Sinhalese villages effectively lost the structural prerequisite of land tenure systems (Obeysekara 1967:101).

      These ordinances also created a large number of landless peasants in the former Kandyan kingdom, which had held land through customary means but without legal proof. Furthermore, the ‘Land Settlement Ordinance of 1889’ allowed the colonial authorities to sell crown lands at will.

      The impact of these land ordinances were uneven, because they were largely limited to the former Kandyan Kingdom (Mendis 1951:166).

      Many villagers in the Kandyan area were deprived of their high lands formally used for chena cultivation or grazing the cattle (Mendis 1951:85).

      These changes to the Kandyan land and service tenure systems disintegrated the old Sinhalese systems (Codrington 1938:63).

      According to the 1946 census on population in the agricultural sector of the island, 40% of the agricultural peasant families found in the former Kandyan Kingdom were landless while there were 26% landless agricultural families recorded in the wet zone (Herath 1995: 79).

      The Demography of the Hill country was changed PERMANENTLY by the settlement of Indian Tamils. This is REAL government sponsored colonisation.

      You have been writing about government sponsored colonisation. You have qualified this further calling it Sinhala Colonisation. You also seem to be well versed with the Eastern Demography. How about doing a similar discourse on how the Central Hill Country was colonised?

      What would you name it?
      Government sponsored Foreign Tamil Colonisation?

      In the case of the hill country, the people that were settled were COMPLETE FOREIGNERS. They were Tamils imported from India. The numbers exceeded the TOTAL Lankan Tamil Population of that day. Thereby completely distorting Sri Lanka’s Demography. If not, the Tamil percentage in Lanka would be less than 10%.

      Do you want to reverse this colonisation and revert back to the situation before that, in order to redress the gross injustice and gross abuse of Human Rights perpetrated on the Sinhala Polity by the Government?

      Was not the Bureaucracy of the day that implemented these Human Rights abuses on the Sinhala peasantry overwhelmingly British and Tamil? Did not this same Bureaucracy continue even after Independence? The Tamil youth was instigated in to violence by those in power who desired to maintain the status core within the bureaucracy.

      If the Lankan Tamils did not have any objections to the Pillaging of Sinhala Lands by the Government of the day and colonising those lands with FOREIGN Tamils on Lankan Soil, what moral right do you have to object to the settling of Lankan Citizens on Lankan Soil?

      I pointed this out to challenge your RACIST argument as I am against the removal and relocation of Indian Origin Tamils from the hill country as these people are now Lankan Citizens.

      If you want real reconciliation you should stop misleading the Tamils as you have done in your posts. Address your existing grievances and be prepared to compromise in redressing grievances of Non Tamil citizens of this country. Equality is a two way street. It should transgress Ethnic, Religious and class boundaries.

      • Off the Cuff

        Nakkeeran

        Your Lies are no match for the Truth.
        Why have you gone silent?
        Still doing the Arithmetic?

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    Dear Off-the-Cuff Mr. M.N.I.N. Perera, Sir, My prompt and briefest possible response to you: I thank GV for accommodating my comments so far, but I don’t wish to participate in this series any more because, we are drifting far away from Ruki’s article and Vikalpa’s photograph describing how the third anniversary of the end of the civil war in 2009 was remembered in the northern part of Lanka. My answers to Mr. Perera are as follows: 1. Thanks for giving us your name. But I notice that you have added an ‘n’ at the end of my surname this time. What for? Kindly explain. 2. I fully agree with you that at the time of the 1983 riots many Sinhalese actually protected their Tamil neighbours. In fact I have devoted pp18-25 of my book, A PLAN FOR PEACE IN EELAM (ISBN:1-873265069, Century House, UK, 104pp, 1994) to a whole chapter headed, ‘Salutations to Sinhala Sensibility’ quoting over 30 Sinhala Leaders & Organizations (just as samples) who spoke out publicly and expressed sympathy and solidarity with the Tamil victims of the 1983 Riots. 3. I am also very glad to see Sinhalese and Tamil human rights activists working together in Sri Lanka. 4. Public lands of Sri Lanka belong more to the nine provinces themselves, than to the central state. And these must be used firstly for the people of the respective provinces. Anyway, on the theme of land redistribution, I suggest you bring out a well researched book with an alternative plan to what is now being followed. I will be glad to buy a copy, read and comment on it rather than in a piecemeal, casual fashion in these columns of GV. 5. I do appreciate your passion to forge a united Sri Lanka where all the ethnic and religious groups enjoy equal rights and justice, and I am prepared to co-operate to the best of my ability in that endeavour.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Prof Kopan Mahadeva,

      Thank you for letting us know who you really are, a separatist Eelamist. The name of your book is evidence. The reason you commented on GV is clear when one reads your original post (you had no answer to my queries and sidestepped them).

      If as you say, you are unable to post replies to queries on GV and expects every commentator who queries you to write a book before you respond, you are just exhibiting your Intellectual Bankruptcy which being a University Teacher is quite alarming. Your stand begs the question Why are you even commenting on GV in the first place?

      It looks to me as if your main aim here on GV is stirring the ethnic pot or rather the cauldron.

      You say “4. Public lands of Sri Lanka belong more to the nine provinces themselves, than to the central state. And these must be used firstly for the people of the respective provinces”

      You are making a statement without substantiating them.

      Scarce Resources of a Country belong to ALL her Citizens not to a fraction of less than 10% of the population. The provinces are a British Invention and does not reflect any human habitation.

  • Dan Herath

    ”…. (that cannot make up for the lack of a systemic plan for the Northeast) ….”

    Instead of coming up with such systemic plan, the government goes on untiringly attacking the slightest critic or reminder:

    After the British High Commissioner points out the untruth(=lie) spoken by the President in his ”hero day” speech on 19 May, the Jaffna Army Commander comes up with more untruth(=lie):

    ”Jaffna Security Forces Commander Major General Mahinda Hathurusinghe yesterday told The Island that since the conclusion of the conflict there had been a steady reduction of military presence in the Jaffna peninsula. He revealed that at the time he took over the peninsula on Dec. 7, 2009, there had been 27,000 troops, though today there were only 15, 600. “There are three Divisions deployed across the peninsula and Jaffna islands. The 51 Div is deployed in Jaffna sector, 52 Div in Vadamaratchchy and 55 Div at Elephant Pass. Don’t forget at the time eelam war IV erupted the Jaffna peninsula had the largest single concentration of armed forces and police numbering close to 50,000″ – North: British HC disputes President’s claims, 25 May 2012,
    http://www.island.lk/index.php?page_cat=article-details&page=article-details&code_title=52805

    How long should the ”Sri Lankans” wait for peace and prosperity of the country as a whole?

  • Ward

    Ruki has been continuing to report, but we as common mass have not been acting on them enough:

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/08/12/madhu-feast-2009/
    Madhu Feast 2009: Another opportunity or obstacle for peace and reconciliation?, Ruki, 12 August 2009:
    ”We used to live very close to the Madhu Shrine and we long to go and pray at the feat of Our Lady of Madhu as we used to. But we are prisoners in this camp(at Sirukondal), and not allowed to go out freely … … Hundreds of Tamils, including infants, pregnant mothers are being detained in this camp, some for more than a year … …”

    http://www.groundviews.org/2009/08/01/forcible-resettlements-in-east/
    Forcible resettlements in East, Ruki, 1 August 2009:
    ”… On 18th June 2009, the Divisional Secretary (DS) together with the Police and Military had forced around 57 families to resettle in Pullumalai area. … At least two families who had children in school were forced inside the buses without their children….”

  • http://www.nakkeran.com Nakkeeran

    The Sinhala occupation army (99% Sinhalese) is not welcome in the Northeast. In Valigamam North alone the army is occupying under the pretext of HSZs 23 village headman divisions. The original people numbering 26,281 (7,273 families) are housed in temporary shelters awaiting resettlement. They were chased out of their homes in 1995 by the Sinhala army. There are 18 such HSZs in Jaffna peninsula composed of 260 sq.kms out of the total area of 880 sq.kms.
    Over 6000 (1,600 families) internally displaced people (IDPs) from Sampur in the east are still in camps, a latest study reveals. Centre for Policy Alternatives (CPA) which carried out the study says these families are still living in transit camps in Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts. These people were cultivating over 3500 acres of paddy filed and there are over 600 acres of residential land in this area prior to the capture by the armed forces in July 2007.
    Government has established a HSZ covering 9,000 acres, including 500 acres of land to build a coal-fired thermal power station by India and Ceylon Electricity Board.
    Defence expenditure for 2012 has escalated to USD 2.1 billion (Rs. 230 billion) compared to USD1.7 billion (Rs. 215 billion) in 2011. In terms of GDP, it is 3% and equates to 20 percent of total national expenditure. In contrast, the allocation to the Ministry of Resettlement has seen a sharp decline from Rs 2.4 billion in 2011 to Rs. 481 million.
    The government is not allowing foreign NGOs a free hand to re-settle and rehabilitate the war victims.
    There is no difference between the Portuguese/Dutch/British colonizers and Sinhala colonizers. The only difference is the former is external and the latter in internal!

  • http://www.nakkeran.com Nakkeeran

    In the Paradise Island of Ceylon, there in no right to life or property. The abduction of Tamils in white vans for ransom is still the order of the day. The latest victim is 23 year old woman abducted by white van in Jaffna amidst high army security.

    This abduction had taken place at about 11.00 a m today (27). The victim is Selvaraja Arjuna Ambika of Urumbarai, east of Jaffna.
    The 23 year old woman traveling with her father in a motor cycle The group within the Van had pushed aside the father and forcibly taken Ambiga into the white van and fled at lightning speed.

    The father had lodged a complaint with the Kopay police . But so far there is no news about the young lady.

    This district is a high army security zone. Indeed, the President recently said he would not dismantle any of the army camps in the north. ((Lanka-e-News-27.May.2012, 11.55PM)

    Ramasamy Prabaharan was abducted in Colombo in the presence of his family on February 11. Forty two- year-old Prabaharan the owner of “Panama Traders” an electronics store and showroom in the Majestic City Complex at Bambalapitiya was reportedly seized in broad daylight. Prabaharan had been taken into custody in May 2009 as a suspected LTTE member and detained for 28 months. During interrogation he was reported to have been brutally assaulted and tortured by senior police officers. Subsequently he was released in September last year because of the lack of evidence and all charges against him were dropped. He was abducted two days before a fundamental rights violation petition filed by him against the police was to be heard.
    Two notable disappearances that are still being raised to date are those of Lalith Kumar Weeraraj and ‘Kugan’ Muruganandan who were abducted in Jaffna on December 9. The political activists were abducted while making preparations to celebrate Human Rights Day. They had been organising a news conference to be held in Jaffna on December 10. If I am a Sinhalese I will be very ashamed of this.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Nakkeeran

      The Sinhala occupation army (99% Sinhalese) is not welcome in the Northeast.

      What do you propose to convince Sinhala occupation army to leave?

  • PROF. KOPAN MAHADEVA

    Dear Off-the-Cuff Mr. M.N.I.N. Perera, Sir: Without really even once looking at my book, let alone studying it, just by reading its title you, Sir, have come out with personal insinuations about me. And I did deliberately choose that title to dispel the psychological hatred that people like you have, to the word EELAM (which is a 3000 year old word in Tamil very proudly hailing the whole of today’s Sri Lanka as a land of antiquity and peace — without any claims at all that it belongs to Tamils, wholly or partly. Just on seeing that five-letter word you are reacting like a bull to a piece of red cloth. Thanks for spelling my name correctly this time. I thought you would explain why you added an ‘n’ after my surname last time, but you had no answer. People who know me will know who I really am, what I have done in, and for, my dearest Land-of-Birth already, and what I do stand for. I will not blow my own trumpet by misusing the columns of GV. And I don’t encourage personal attacks nor way-off-the-mark comments in any public forum. I surmise that you appear to simply hate even the Tamil language. Good Luck, Sir!

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Prof Kopan Mahadeva,

      To you Sri Lanka is Eelam to us who call this land our Mother land it is Sri Lanka. Your decision to name Sri Lanka as Eelam gives away your true intent. Sri Lanka has many other names Taprobane, Ceylan, Ceylon, Serendib are some. But she has only one official name and that is Sri Lanka which you have rejected. Having done so you are now claiming “And I did deliberately choose that title to dispel the psychological hatred that people like you have, to the word EELAM” . That is one of the lamest excuses that I have ever read. The word Eelam is synonymous with the separatists and the LTTE. It may please the separatist lobby but not Sri Lankans who loves their Land of Birth.

      I refer you back to your first post on this page
      http://groundviews.org/2012/05/19/three-years-after-the-war-in-sri-lanka-to-celebrate-or-mourn/#comment-44571

      You posted that in Capitals which is the equivalent of shouting.
      I questioned you based on your post. You sidestepped the questions and instead of providing answers you questioned my identity.

      You said “Yet, I for one would have taken your comments and viewpoints much more seriously had you ripped out your face mask and revealed your true identity. Please, can you do that at least now, to be fair?”
      http://groundviews.org/2012/05/19/three-years-after-the-war-in-sri-lanka-to-celebrate-or-mourn/#comment-44764

      I provided what you asked for, believing that you would have the decency to keep your word.

      When you found out the depth of my questioning you broke your promise without any shame.

      You said “but I don’t wish to participate in this series any more because, we are drifting far away from Ruki’s article and Vikalpa’s photograph describing how the third anniversary of the end of the civil war in 2009 was remembered in the northern part of Lanka.”
      http://groundviews.org/2012/05/19/three-years-after-the-war-in-sri-lanka-to-celebrate-or-mourn/#comment-44791

      We come to GV to express our views, to understand opposing views and to prevent GV being used as a platform to disseminate separatist propaganda. If one is not prepared to defend what one writes it is either because what is written is indefensible or because the intent is propaganda.

      The lack of any intent at honest discussion was underlined when you had the effrontery to ask me to write a book before you decide to comment.

      This dishonesty and your refusal to justify your own comments makes it clear that your initial comment, posted in Caps was intended to stir the pot.

      In view if your dishonesty I don’t believe I owe you any explanation.

      I do hope you have the strength of character, to standby and defend whatever you write, on GV.

      Have a nice day Prof.

  • World View

    Ruki I do not understand your holier than thou reasoning. I will ask you some questions because you speak from a so-called religious “piety”, and because you seem to move a lot with Sri Lankan Catholic priests. There is a point to this. Why does the Catholic Church prevent its flock from using means of birth control such as condoms? Shouldn’t people be able to decide whether they want to use them or not? Why does the Catholic Church exclude women from being members of the clergy? Do not women have equal rights? Why does the Catholic Church ex-communicate people that it deems “unworthy” in a dictatorial manner?

    My point is, if the Catholic Church, which is essentially a non-elected group of old men can make decisions that effect more than a billion people, why cannot the Sri Lankan government, which is elected into a power by a majority of the Sri Lankan electorate make its own decisions that affect its own citizens???

  • Pottan

    Tamils complain that tamil was kidnapped and this tamil was killed blah ..blah.

    some such cases proved to be that husband was hiding from the wife to see another woman. Two most recent two tamils were killed by tamils themselves, in once case wife gave a contract to get the sinhala lover, in the other case, A former LTTE cadre killed the man to get his Rs 2 million money.

    There is no end to this Tamil tribalism – melodrama.

  • Pottan

    Second world war battles are commomerated even to date in some parts of Europe. Dead War veterans are worshipped in Japan as part of the SHINTO religion.

    Tamils were celebrating dead Suicide bombers on maaverrar day until LTTE was wiped out on May 2009.

    Ruki, is Jealous that out war heroes annihilated Ruki’s war heroes.

    Grow up.

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