Editors note: Also read A Public Memo to Members of Parliament representing the Tamil National Alliance from the Tamil Civil Society, published in December 2011.

Tamils have consistently made it clear that a unitary constitution and a provincial council system within the confines of a unitary constitution are incapable of fulfilling their political aspirations. In this regard it is notable that Tamil political parties with a Tamil Nationalist dispensation had chosen to boycott the two provincial council elections that took place in our homeland in the past (1989 and 2008). There can be no doubt that a Tamil political party with a Tamil Nationalist dispensation can never run a provincial council autonomously, something that even Tamil parties aligned with the Government could not achieve. The Chief Ministers who ran the provincial councils subsequent to the elections of 1989 and 2008 have confirmed that nothing substantive can be achieved through the provincial council system which is in the firm grip of the Governor and the Central Government.

Participating in an election is acceptable if such participation furthers our political goals. To the contrary if participating in such elections would adversely affect the attainment of our political goals, then alternative strategies should be considered. To think of such alternatives with foresight and vision in the wake of an election being forced upon us is important in pushing forward Tamil Nationalist politics in the right direction within the present context.

That the people want to use elections as a vehicle through which they could express their anger and frustration against the oppression being meted out against them is understandable. On the one hand, while elections might be an opportunity to demonstrate such opposition and anger, on the other hand it is important to also take into account the political costs of taking part in an election. It is the responsibility of all committed to Tamil Nationalist politics, to weigh the above explained phenomenan carefully, to consider the multi-dimesnional nature of the challenge and to consider the different alternatives available, in the lead up to deciding on the question of electoral participation. The Tamil people will never allow the bartering away of their political fundamentals for the sake of attaining an immediate politicial strategic objective – that of preventing a Government backed Tamil political party capturing the provincial council in the Eastern Province. However given the hard reality that the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) has decided to contest the Eastern Provincial Council Elections directly, we wish to make the following suggestions as to what to include in their election manifesto for the forthcoming elections:

  1. The present unitary constitution and the provincial council system within such confines should be rejected. The 13th amendment cannot be even considered to be a starting point towards achieving a political solution.
  2. The North and East are the traditional homelands of the Tamil speaking peoples. Any political solution should recognise a merged North and East as the relevant territorial unit. The confidence of the Muslim people should be sought to make this a reality. It is important that the Muslims and Tamils realise that working together is essential to safeguard the existence of both communities.
  3. A permanent political solution can only be attained by recognising the right to self-determination of the Tamil people and by recognising Tamil Nationhood. There is no point in a political process that refuses to acknowledge the above.
  4. Despite four months since passing the Geneva resolution injustices and oppression against the Tamil people have not reduced, rather they have increased. The land grab project continuing unabatted, Tamil political prisoners continuing to linger in prison, lack of any progress in tracing missing persons, the continuos destruction of the economic and cultural fundamentals of the Tamil nation, the ever increasing role of the military in the daily lives of the Tamil people, the ever increasing interference into the independence of different sectors of life including education, higher education, health, agriculture and fisheries, the conversion of high security zones into permanent high security zones (including the Sampur High Security Zone), a significant number of Tamils continuing to live as displaced people in IDP camps, the continuous neglect of the livelihood of those resettled are examples of these injustices and oppressive practices. Further there is no progress in holding accountable those responsible for the genocide and war crimes committed against the Tamil people. The International Community has to realise that solutions to these problems cannot be found using the LLRC report as a road map. Both the report and the action plan have been designed to hoodwink the International community and to buy further time. The International Community has to realise that such time is being sort to provide space for the Government to complete its project of destroying the existence of the Tamil people.

We believe that by including the above in their election manifesto that there is a possibility that the TNA can lessen the impact of the argument that the Tamil people have accepted the Provincial Council system and a de-merged North and East by participating in these elections. It is very important that our rejection of the provincial council system and a demerged North and East is clearly communicated to the International Community.

Rt. Rev. Dr. Rayappu Joseph
Bishop of Mannar

Ms. Shantha Abimannasingham P.C
President’s Counsel, Jaffna

Prof. K. Kandasamy
Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Jaffna

Prof. S.K. Sittrampalam
Emeritus Professor of History
President, Hindu Religious Council

Prof. R. Kumaravadivel
Senior Professor of Physics
Formerly Acting Vice Chancellor,
University of Jaffna

Prof. R. Vigneswaran
Prof of Mathematics
Vice – President, Federation of University Teachers Association

Mr. V. Kamalathas
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. S. Arasaratnam
Retired Banker
Amparai Tamils Society

Mr. T. Rasaratnam
Rtd Chief Clerk, Natpitty Munai.

Mr. T. Rajan
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. T. Gurukularajah
Rtd Assistant Director of Education

Prof. A.S. Soosai
Department of Geography,
University of Jaffna

Dr. (Mrs). S. Uthayakumar
Consultant Physician
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. S. Sivansuthan
Consultant Physician
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. S. Kanthaswamy,
Senior Attorney-at-Law, Point Pedro

Mr. A. Panchalingam
Retired Principal
Jaffna Hindu College/ Kokuvil Hindu College

Mr. K. Santhiralingam
Retired Principal
Amaprai Tamils Society

Prof. V.P Sivanathan
Dean, Faculty of Arts
University of Jaffna

Mr. T. Ramakrishnan
Secretary, Amparai Tamils Society, Kalmunai Branch

Mr. A. Rasakumaran
President, Jaffna University Teachers Association, Lecturer, ELTC.

Mr. K. Rooban
Batticaloa District Youth Activists Association.

Mr. P. Saravanapavan
Batticaloa District Youth Activists Association.

Mr. T. Kalayarasan
President, Navithanveli Pradeshiya Sabah

Mr. A. Ganeshamoorthy
Rtd Public Health Education officer, Natpittymunai

Mr. Pon. Selvanayagam
Rtd. Divisional Educational Officer, Paandirippu

Mr. K. Suriyakumaran
Representative, Jaffna District Fishermen Societies’ Federation
Representative, Vadamaraatchi North Fishermen Society

Dr. S. Raviraj
Consultant Surgeon & Senior Lecturer, University of Jaffna

Rev. Fr. C. Jeyakumar
Parish Preist, Kayts

Dr. D. Gunarajasingham
Department of Physiology
Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna

Dr. S. Premakrishna
Consultant Anaesthesist
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. P. Lakshman
Consultant Cardiologist
Teaching Hospital,

Dr. P. Sathiyalingam
MOH, Vavuniya

Mr. Sivasubramaniam
Representative, Northern Alliance of Fishermen, Jaffna

Rev. Fr. E. Ravichandran
Director, Youth Animation Centre,

Dr. S. Kumaravel
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Mr. S. A. Jothilingam
Attorney-at-Law, Political Analyst
School Teacher

Mr. V. Puvitharan
Senior Attorney-at-Law

Mr. B.N. Thamboo
Attorney-at-Law, Colombo

Mr. K. Guruparan
Lecturer, Department of Law,
University of Jaffna & Attorney-at-Law
Dr. S. Kannadasan
Department of Patholgy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Jaffna.

Mr. V. Arasaratnam
Former Assistant Commissioner, Cooperatives
Amparai Tamils Society

Mr.. N. Inpanayagam,
President, Rural Workkers Association

Mr. K. Rajeevan,
Batticaloa District Civil Society Activists Alliance

Mr. P. Nishanthan
Batticaloa District Cilvil Society Activists Alliance

Dr. K. Sureshkumar
Consultant Obstertrician and Gynaecologist
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Dr. S. Baheerathan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. A. Kamalanathan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. G. Hyrin Arc
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. P. Nanthakumar
MOH, Tellipalai

Dr. S. Mohanakumar
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. J.T. Simson
Teacher, Mannar
Mr. S. Jeevanayagam
President, Karaichchi Rural Development Societies Confederation, Killinochchi.

Mr.C.P. Sathiayseelan
Social Activist, Vavuniya

Mr. S. Jeyachandran
Manager, Teachers Development Centre, Vavuniya

Mr. M. Kapilnath
Human Rights Activist, Vavuniya

Mr. S. Suthareswaran,
Senior Banker, Jaffna

Mr. V. Sritharan
Senior Lecturer in Accounting, University of Jaffna

Dr. B. Nimalathasan
Senior Lecturer in Accounting,
University of Jaffna

Mr. A. Saravanapavan
Lecturer in Human Resources
University of Jaffna

Dr. S. Suthakaran
Mental Health Unit, General Hospital, Vavuniya.

Mr. S. Janarthanan
Jaffna Economists Association

Mr. S. Beeshman
Jaffna Economists Association

Dr. E. Sivashankar
RDHS, Jaffna

Mr. T. Vigneswaran,
Lecturer in Political Science
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Thiruchenthuran
Lecturer in Political Science,
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Raveenthiran
Lecturer in Geography,
University of Jaffna

Mr. M. Gratein,
Attorney – at – Law

Mr. P. Krishanthan
Attorney at Law

Mr. S. Iruthanayagam
Soosaiyappar Fishermen Society Mathagal

Dr. K. Ilangognaniyar
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Rev. Gerald Roosairo
Colombo (OMI Church)

Fr. S.M.P. Ananthakumar
Secretary, Jaffna Catholic Priests Association

Mr. S. Ariharan
Former President, University Students Union,
University of Jaffna

Mr. V. Pavaananthan
President, University Students Union, Jaffna

Mr. P. Tharshananth
Secretary, University Students Union,

Mr. K. Jenemajeyamenan
President, Arts Faculty Students Union, University of Jaffna
Mr. A. Prasanna
President, Science Faculty Students Union,
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Sabeskumar
President, Management and Commerce Faculty Students Union
University of Jaffna

Mr. Sanjeevan
President, Agriculture Faculty Students Union
University of Jaffna

Mr. S. Janahan.
President, Medical Students Union

Mr. Xavier Wilfred Jeyaruban
Surveyor, Jaffna

Dr. K. Pratheepan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Mr. Thiruveni Sangamam
Rtd Provincial Council Servant
Kaaraitheevu, Amparai.

Dr. M. Vasudevan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Dr. S. Kunatheesan,
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna.

Mr. A. Sittrampalam
President, Maathagal Farmers Alliance

Mr. A. R. Mathilalagu
President, Maathagal Fishermen’s Society

Mrs. A.M. Jeyamany
Maathagal West Womens Development Society

Mr. S. Christurasa
President, St Lutheur Fishermen Society

Mr. R. Johnpillai

Rev Father Augustine Pushparaj
Parish Priest, Nanaattan, Mannar

Rev. Fr. S. Jeyapalan Croos
Parish Priest, Vangalai, Mannar

Dr. S. Sivathasan
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

Rev Fr. L. Gnanthikkam
Parish Priest, Vanchiyankulam

Mr. K. Sugash

Mr. T. Archchuna

Mr. A. Santhiyapillai
Peace and Justice Division
Jaffna Catholic Commoners Society

Dr. A.Y. Thanenthiran
Teaching Hospital, Jaffna

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    As we used to say as kids back in the ’60s, far out man, far out…

    • Anpu

      Dear Dr DJ,
      I do not understand what you are saying. There will be many like me. Please tell us what you mean. I searched the net for “far out man” and this is one the links that came up http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Far_Out_Man


      • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

        Hey Anpu,

        Try “outtasight”.

        That too sums up my response to the Tamil civil society statement: “outtasight, Bro; way outtasight”.


        “Right on, brother!”

      • Ravana

        Dear Anpu,

        “Far Out” is a common Anglo Saxon term of consternation which first originated in the 1960’s (when Dayan was a boy growing up in that era of freedom).

        It also carried a sense of awe in certain situations when someone did something extraordinary.

        In this instance, I think DJ is uttering this phrase in consternation, as he cannot believe that so-called responsible leaders of the Tamil community are hauling over the same old coals again.

        Regarding Ryuppu Joseph who heads the list, it is no wonder. He is the man who during the hight of the final war involving the LTTE, sent a letter to the Arch Bishop of Sydney inciting International Action against the then Sri Lankan Government; an act, if the Arch Bishop of Sydney had taken against the Australian Government , would have had him in irons for treason!

        I would think DJ (and I) think that it is extraordinary that the so-called Tamil leaders remain so utterly stupid in this day and age and in a totally new century.

  • Ward

    1.Environment has been damaged severely – trees cut down and sand scooped up seashores and inland. This is very serious. Who pays for the damage?
    2.The army and Sinhalese have robbed a lot of land belonging to the people displaced by the war. How are they going to claim it?

    • brad

      so what they saying is give Tamil a separate home land.

      Quani was from mannar, then how that area become Tamil area. Colombo was Sinhalese area, so how the Colombo became majority Tamil speaking people. How the tamil living in the middle of sri lanka

      i think everyone should have a freedom to go anyplace in sri lanka and buy land or build a house.

      Otherwise sri lanka belongs to only for Tamils

  • Anpu

    Readers might find this link useful – Tamil Civil Society Memo to the TNA regarding the Eastern Provincial Council Elections – http://www.tamilguardian.com/article.asp?articleid=5399

    Paragraph numbered 4. has useful links.

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    On the FACE it looks as a good appeal. It outlines all the grievances. BUT without suggesting any form of solutions. Suggestions of a solution (whether meaningful or not)is important in my humble opinion.

    According to government sources there is NO PROBLEM and so the need for a solution does not arise. Political parties that are accepting that there is a problem are not coming-up with a solution. Politicians are not suggesting any solutions BECAUSE THEY LIVE ON PROBLEMS. So it now falls on the shoulders of the “Civil Society” to come up with some alternative solutions that would bring in peace, harmony and happiness to the people and the country.

    Some suggestions that would help to create a UNIQUE SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE that would ultimately bring in GOOD GOVERNANCE by showing the way out for injustice, discrimination, oppression and corruption born due to and bred by the present system of governance that is mistakenly or mischievously termed as democratic by persons who call themselves political scientists.

    “Even the demand for devolution needs to be reframed as a demand for democratization that brings government closer to all the people, not just minorities, apart from being made far stronger than the 13th Amendment, which has loopholes allowing the Centre to take back the devolved powers. Along with the demand for abolition of the Executive Presidency, and further devolution to smaller units, it would politically empower all the people of Sri Lanka to have more control over their lives, instead of having their lives ruled by a remote power in Colombo that knows little and cares less about their needs”.
    So, it is high-time we start to RETHINK in terms of a solution that would address the ASPIRATIONS ALL THE PEOPLE in the country, not just the aspirations of the Tamils, in a just and meaningful way.
    A UNIQUE concept that moves towards a meaningful and just power-sharing arrangement (not devolution) based on true democracy – a large number of people participating in the governance of the country based on equality, equity – is a great deviation from the usual thinking of the meaning of the word “sharing of power” is given below for the perusal and comments of concerned people.
    The best political solution or system of governance to address the problems faced by various sections of the Sri Lankan society – particularly the poor, the politically weak and the various categories of “minorities” who do not carry any “political weight” – would be to DILUTE the powers of all elected representatives of the people by separating the various powers usurped in by the present Parliament and by horizontally empowering different sets of people’s representatives elected on different area basis to administer the different sets of the separated powers at different locations.
    It has to be devolution HORIZONTALLY where each and every set of representatives would be in the SAME LEVEL as equals and in par and NOT VERTICALLY, where one set of representatives would be above (more powerful than) the other, which is the normal adopted practice when talking of devolution, in this power-hungry world. It is because “devolution of power” has been evolved “vertically”, we have all the trouble in this power-hungry world. So, for sustainable peace it should not be the present form of “devolution of power” but “dilution of powers” or “meaningful sharing of powers” in such a way that no single person or single set of people’s representatives be “superior” to another.
    This system would help to eradicate injustice, discrimination, corruption and oppression – the four pillars of an evil society – and help to establish the “Rule of Law” and “Rule by ALL” for sustainable peace, tranquility and prosperity and a pleasant harmonious living with dignity and respect for all the inhabitants in the country. Everyone must have similar powers, rights, duties and responsibilities and most importantly everyone should be deemed “equal” and treated “equitably” before the law not only on paper but also practically – be it the Head of State, The Chief Justice or the voiceless poor of the poorest in the country.
    Since all political and other powers flow from the sovereignty of the people, it is proposed herein that these powers be not given to any ONE set of representatives but distributed among different sets of people’s representatives (groups) elected on different area basis (village and villages grouped) to perform the different, defined and distinct functions of one and the same institution – the Parliament – like the organs of our body – heart, lungs, kidneys, eyes, nose, ear etc. – performing different and distinct functions to enable us to sustain normal life.
    In these suggestions the powers of Parliament have been so separated and distributed among different sets of people’s representatives in different areas so as to dilute the powers of an individual representative or that of a set of representatives in any area.

    Dilution is better than Devolution and DIVISION of the powers of Parliament is better than DIVISION of the country.

    Humbly submitted to the signatories.

    Dr.DJ: could you please comment without just saying “far-out-man, far out”.

  • Dr Dayan Jayatilleka

    Ravana is right.

  • rajivmw

    There seems to be a sense among the ‘Tamil Nationalist’ crowd that the pendulum has now swung firmly in their favour again. The government’s defeat at the UNHRC, its poor standing in world opinion, the various utterances by Tamil Nadu politicians – all these have perhaps brought new hope that Tamil Eelam (or something very close to it) is within grasp again.

    Hence this list of demands, which reads rather like a throwback to an era when the LTTE had a knife to the government’s throat. Except that this time around, the implied threats are international investigations, ICC war crimes trials, possible UN sanctions, and maybe even foreign military intervention.

    I don’t think these ‘civil society’ folk are under any illusion that this government is going to agree to any of it. Rather they are convinced that the international community will eventually make it all happen, having been driven to outrage by reports of the government’s obstinacy, perfidy, and evil conduct.

    Furthermore, this strategy obviously does not count on swaying Sinhalese mass opinion towards devolution or such like. In fact, it counts on just the opposite – proving to the world that the Sinhalese are an incorrigible lot, and that Tamils will never be secure within a state they dominate. So they will happily supply this kind of fodder to their chauvinist-nationalist counterparts on the other side of the ethnic divide.

    It may work. Certainly the government and the ‘patriot’ brigade will probably dutifully play their part. It’s the international community that I would have doubts about. I sense very little will in the world to forcibly intervene in Sri Lanka in any manner, let alone to effect a partition. I think that relying on such an outcome is a very big mistake.

    Other commentators here on groundviews, like Sie.Kathieravealu, Burning Issue and Dr.Rajasingham Narendran, attempt to reach out to the Sinhalese even while clearly articulating Tamil grievances and making no apologies for their legitimate aspirations within a united country. I believe their approach has far more potential than the one proposed by these self-appointed ‘civil society’ representatives.

  • Dr Brian Senewiratne

    BRIAN SENEWIRATNE MA(Cantab), MBBChir(Cantab),MBBS (Hons) (Lond) MD(Lond), FRCP(Lond), FRACP
    Consultant Physician

    Dayan Jayatilleke’s comment is typical of the arrogance of his President and his Totalitarian regime. I would have been surprised if there was a sensible comment.

    Let me ask one question. Just one would do. If the Rajapaksa junta is doing such a fantastic job in the Tamil areas and there are nothing but happy smiling Tamil people, why are internationally credible human rights groups, one a Nobel Prize Winner, not allowed to see this ‘wonder’? I refer to Amensty Inernational, Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group – all of who are still unable to get free access to the former conflict area. What is there to hide?

    Come off it. We are not all fools. THAT is why, despite all the frantic efforts made by the Rajapksa regime to block the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva in March 2012, it failed.

    it was this group, Tamil Civil Society, that responded to the downright lies uttered by Mahinda Samarasinghe to sell Sri Lankan story to the UN uam Rights Council. Tamil Civil Society, responded sentence by sentence,to counter the lies presented by Samarasinghe.

    Today, the ONLY voice that the Tamil people in the north and East have is Tamil Civil Society. The TNA, especially the leadership, were nowhere to be seen in Geneva. Why? Because they (or many of them) are in bed with the Rajapaksa regime.

    Well, the claim is that Bishop rayappu Joseph (and others in Tamil Coivil Society) are Tamil Tigers. Can we settle this by allowing AI, HRW and ICG access to the area to check this out? The Rajapaksa regime and its flag-flyers such as Jayatillike, cannot and will not answer this simple question except to call anyone who askes suchquestions, be they Sinhalese or non-Sri Lankans such as those in ICG. HRW and AI, “Tamil Tiger ‘terrorists”. Is that the only answer they have? I have repeatedly said in numerous talks I have given on the human rights record of the Sri Lankan government, “Ask them ANY question, you will get the same answer”. With jayatillike’s ‘answer’ I rest my case.

    The Sinhalese people in the South still have to realise what it is to live under a Totalitarian and murderous regime, where the Role of law has been replaced by the Rule of the Armed thug, where the ONLY answer that the ruling regime has for ANY problem is violence. The guns that were turned on the Tamils will now be turned on the Sinhalse – a process that has already started.

    There will be an uprising in the South. It will NOT be an uprising between the Sinhalese and the Tamils but an uprising between the Rajapaksa junta and the rest (be they Tamils, Sinhalese or Muslims)This has already started if you have eyes to see.

    Sri Lanka is heading down a hugely dangerous path to a violent country ruled by tyrants, where protestors are slaughted ‘by unknown people’ (as was Lasantha Wicjrematunga) and hundred of others, or just ‘disappear’ (the June 2012 Submission by AI to the June 2012 UN HRG Session was on the problem of “continuing ‘disappearances”. The Sri Lankan Government response to all this is that “They (AI, HRW and ICG) are Tamil Tigers”. This is why i have said that whatever the quetion, the anser is the same.

    What will happen to Bishop Rayappu Joseph and others in Tamil Civil Society? Well, they will slowly ‘disappear’ as did Fr Mary Bastian, also in Mannar, during the Jayawardene regime, and Fr Jim Brown in
    llipidy in Jaffna under the Rajapaksa regime, and scores of others.

    This is how Totalitarian regimes ‘function’. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Gaddaffi, Idi Amin, and the list goes on.The scene is differnt (Germany, Italy, Russia, Uganda but the methids are the same. it is the same ‘proforma’

    All we can do is to draw the attention of the international community, which is what i have tried to do in my 62 page book “Bishop Rayappu Joseph and others in Danger”. It is on the net, but has been expanded since.

    The next is going to be “The dismantling of Democracy in Sri Lanka and the establishment of a Totalitarian State”. It is eseentially the death of Sri Lanka.

    Why am I concerned? because the fall out of all this is in the form of asyluma seekers and refugees arriving in the country I live – Australia. increasingly, these are now Sinhalese, escaping from a very violent regime where onky the favoured few ie Rajapaksa and his clique, survive (and survive very well).

    This It is not an ‘internal affair’ of Sri lanka. That is why the world got involved with apartheid South Africa despite aprtheid being very much an internal affair of South Africa.

    Brian Seneiratne

    • citizen

      well your anger with existing regime is something else, but why do you want to justify unrealistic old demands of so called ‘tamil civil society’?

      • Strategy

        @Citizen, The strategy of sinhala chauvinist like you is clear-bring the tamils to submission by calling their political struggle unrealistic, this strategy, that did not work in Mullivaikal, will not work now.

        @off the cuff, take a srilankan map, paint all the areas where tamils were shelled to death, raped and their land taken by Army, to deny their right of existence, now this area of the map is the homeland which you seem to be confused of.

        Sinhala chauvinists see no difference in tamils, whether it be hindu, catholic or muslim, so we tamils too don’t see a difference, so we unite as “tamil speaking people”, any confusion there dear?

      • Off the Cuff


        Why are you posting the same comment on different threads?
        Lost your bearings?

        The reply to you comment is at this link, Read and Digest


    • Off the Cuff

      Brian S,

      You wrote “Why am I concerned? because the fall out of all this is in the form of asyluma seekers and refugees arriving in the country I live – Australia”

      Very Revealing!

  • “It is true that the number of signatories from the East is low. But this wasnt pre-determined and calculated to be that way. In fact i think the civil society memo can be a ‘live document’ which people can keep signing up to. Why dont you come visit the East anyway to find out for yourself what people’s feeling about the memo is without repeatedly playing on the ‘Jaffna-centric’ card which i am truly truly sick of”


    This was the response given by Achcharya, one of the architects of this “Tamil Civil Society Movement” (latest title given by the Tamilnet.com), when I raised the issue of remarkably low contribution from the Eastern province for the Tamil civil society memo to the TNA in December 2011.

    I am disappointed that this time also not a single signatory from the Eastern University is in the list. If it is due to intimidation and security threats, how that differs from the security threats to the Jaffna University academics, which they manage to ‘defy’ and why do Eastern university academics ‘succumb’ to threats?

    Eastern province Tamils’ political aspirations are clearly expressed in successive elections for a dignified solution within an undivided Tamil homeland, for example, Batticaloa voters were more unequivocal than Jaffna voters in asserting their political aspirations at the 1999 presidential elections.

    The issue I would like to raise here is not about Eastern province Tamils’ political aspirations rather the failure of the Jaffna centric civil society leadership to convince – substantial section of – the Eastern provincial Tamil civil society that this project is merely an innocent effort to assert the fundamentals of Tamil political aspiration. Its look like Eastern provincial civil society seems to be doubtful about this Jaffna initiative. Since 1930s, Tamil nationalistic politics has been sustained by particular form of power politics, Jaffna hegemony is at the core of this power politics. Regrettably this is the situation we have until now.

    On Ravana & DJ’s take on this matter,

    “I would think DJ (and I) think that it is extraordinary that the so-called Tamil leaders remain so utterly stupid in this day and age and in a totally new century”

    I disagree on their verdict on Tamil civil society as “utterly stupid”, rather they are very informed about what they are doing now. Alan Kuperman’s ‘moral hazard'[ http://belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu/publication/2564/suicidal_rebellions_and_the_moral_hazard_of_humanitarian_intervention.html?breadcrumb=%2Fpublication%2F1999%2Fgambling_on_humanitarian_intervention ] has so far got a best empirical case in Sri Lanka: LTTE’s handling of war during the last stage and presently similar politics is being continued by the same social forces, which sustained the LTTE’s particular form of obfuscative politics earlier.

  • Sie.Kathieravealu

    “Alan Kuperman’s ‘moral hazard’ has so far got a best empirical case in Sri Lanka: LTTE’s handling of war during the last stage and presently similar politics is being continued by the same social forces, which sustained the LTTE’s particular form of obfuscative politics earlier.”

    Well, Alan Kuperman seems to have seen matters ONLY from ONE angle – the military option. Answering through violence is NOT the ONLY way to any question. Answering through Non-violence is also another way. But might be a time consuming way. The difference between the Indian freedom struggle led by Gandhi and Subas Chandra Bose is an example.

    Another is the methods proposed by Ranil, Chandrika and Mahinda in confronting the LTTE. The GOAL was the same – defeat the LTTE. But their approaches were different. The first two wanted to move through the path of non-violence while the third took the violent way.

    So think of other non-violent means to achieve the same GOAL – Good Governance through TRUE DEMOCRACY.

    An outline of my suggestions of tackling the problem through the path o non-violence has already been given and is published in this forum and is awaiting your comments.

    DIVIDE the powers of our political representatives to the maximum possible and UNITE the people so that the need to DIVIDE the country will not arise.

  • Candidly

    I thought at first this document must be a forgery drawn up by Singalese extremists to prove that the Tamil leaders from the north have leant nothing from the last 35 years and are as unrealistic as ever. Alas, I am sure Groundviews have checked their sources and this really is a genuine document. We should pity the poor Tamils of the north. With “leaders” like this, they do not need enemies, there own leaders have taken over that role.

    The one note of hope is that most of the signatories appear to be academics, lawyers and religious leaders, sections of society that notoriously can live in a rarified atmosphere of arguments and ideas divorced from the practical world. What Tamil people in the north need is practical, realistic leaders who can see the wonderful opportunities for the good life that are open to them if only they are prepared to work out with the rest of the island’s population a ‘modus vivendi’ – that is to say, a way for disputing peoples to live together so that life can go on for everyone’s benefit, even though some important disagreements may remain.

    The signatories of this document seem to be like the Pied Piper of Hamelin and want to lead the northern Tamils back into the dungeon inside the mountain from which they have only just escaped. When will they ever learn?

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    What gross misrepresentation and blatant arrogance? Who gave these individuals the right to call themselves ‘Tamil Civil Society’?.

    This memorandum is directed to the TNA and is akin to the blind advicing the deaf and blind combined!

    These individuals are living in the past. Their thoughts are irrelevant, outdated and utter poison to the war-affected Tamils.

    Where is their concern for the 60 % in the peninsula and the 80% in the Vanni and the east, living on or below the poverty line? Where is their concern for the very serious societal probelms in the war-affected north and east. I am shocked to see many men-of- the cloth are also signatories to this document prepared by men and women insenitive to the plight of their fellow men, women and children who have been already sacrificed many times over in pursuit of their dubious goals.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Gamarala

      Personally, I think there’s something to be said for this principled stance, even if I don’t personally agree with it. The reason is not so much the merits of the stance itself, but the refusal to be cowed by all the bullying, thuggery and murder, with which successive governments have hoped to sweep away opposing views. There is something to be admired and acknowledged there.

      I would hope for a less divisive outcome than what has been articulated by these “civil society members”, but I’m glad that the government’s ambitions of merely murdering its opposition is not panning out. Had Tamil civil society simply caved in, I think it would have been a poor learning experience for this government, and a tragic outcome for all Sri Lankans in the long run. After all, if a government believes that murder and intimidation always pays off, that can’t be good for any of us right?

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran


        What is so principled about the stance? Is it the fact that these individuals have enunciated a stance that is different to that of the government? If you disagree with what they advocate, you cannot obviously be appreciating what they stand for. Do you consider such persons who are ready to throw their own peoples to the wolves for a long lost cause, brave, even if wrong, because they are advocating a position opposed to that of the government? Could it also be interpreted that the government is more tolarent now than before? Could it be that these individuals are using the current circumstances to articulate positions that will be detrimental to all peoples in this
        island. Have we not had enough of such monsense and the consequences? Is democracy the right of a few to work to the detriment of the many?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • rajivmw

        Have you really thought this through Gamarala?

        Do you also admire the racists of the American South who doggedly stuck to their ‘principles’ for nearly a century after they were comprehensively walloped by the North?

        Or how about the Rajapakses? Surely they stuck to their guns through the early morale-sapping successes of the LTTE. Through the constant danger posed to their lives by suicide bombers. And through the enormous international pressure brought upon to end the offensive. Are they not worthy of some acknowledgement from you?

        As for the authors of this memo, you are right – certainly it takes some measure of courage to articulate such ‘principles’ in the current environment. But it is the courage of the arrogant and deluded. As candidly points out, this doesn’t weaken the government and its chauvinist element, it strengthens them. And frankly, there’s little I find admirable about that.

      • Gamarala

        Dear rajivmw and Dr. Narendran,

        Both of you make valid points, and I accept that the argument I presented is flawed. My main aim in making it was not so much to agree with their stance, but to note that the government’s flippant way of dealing with this problem, largely through violence, the ostrich method and irresponsibility alone, is not paying off (See Sumanthiran’s interview).

        I agree largely with Rajivmw’s analysis that this could strengthen the chauvinist elements in the government. On the other hand however, merely murdering its way into a solution is also no longer open to them Any attempt to do so would further tarnish its already non-existent reputation, thus strengthening international pressure and sanctions.

        Therefore, this move will either force them to deal with the problem more responsibly, prolong this stale-mate, or have the opposite effect of having them behave even more destructively, either towards the Tamil community or themselves.

        I see that both of you believe the latter outcome is more likely. I suppose these “civil society members” are hedging their bets on the first outcome. Personally, I too tend to agree with you that the latter outcome is more likely. But the question is, what other option is open to said “civil society”, in the face of a government that refuses to come up with a serious political solution, as Sumanthiran explains in his interview? Damned if you do, damned if you don’t!

        As a point of clarification, I do give this govt. credit for sticking to their “principles” and decimating the LTTE. It is their failure to form any other principled approach to this issue that is the problem. (That is not to say that these principles should be vacuous, arbitrary or deluded of course.)

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dear Gamarala,

        Thanks for your reponse. Before explaining my perspective on the current situation here, let me quote a sentence from the US State department published recently:

        ” Although the LTTE was militarily defeated in 2009 its financial network of support continued to operate throughout 2011″.

        My comments should be read in this context and the threats inherent in the approach of the TNA and the ‘Tamil Civilian Society’.

        The so-called national problem in Sri Lanka should be viewed in two complementary contexts.
        1. A macro-level view, which is akin to an aerial view of a forest/jungle.
        2. A micro-level view, which is akin to a four wheeler drive through the forest/jungle.

        At the macro-level, this government, despite its achievements and alleged short comings, mistakes and corruption, is doing the right thing. It is trying to retrieve the inter-communal political climate lost during the past sixty years. It is trying in its own way to correct the fundamentals, without attempting to treat the symptoms. A palliative approach, will only attempt to feed the insatiable appetite for a separate state for the Tamils and in the process arouse Sinhala extremism.

        The government is trying to bring together the different communities together by breaking doen the cadjan/ coconut frond fence erected over the past sixty odd years. The road development projects, easier travel and other endeavours are paving the way for this reapproachment. Coomercial links that have been quickly re-established are an important catalyst. The infra-structure projects in the north and east and the rest of the country, will pave the way for economic development, which in turn will improve the economic staus of the people, all over the island.

        The government has also done a good job on the IDP issue considering the circumstances. The same judgement can be passed on the LTTE cadre rehabiltation issue.

        The trilingual policy being actively pursued by the government, will help the people understand the world and each other, in a more realistic context. More Tamils are being recruited to the police force, although there are very few takers among the Tamils. The z-score system has given an advantage to the youth in the war-affected north and east, to gain university admissions. It is unfortunate that Ranil Wickremasinghe has proposed today that this system be dismantled because of the current confusion over two categories of z-scores that came about last year.

        At the micro-level there are a multitude of problems in the war-affected areas, on which a new type of war has to be waged over the long haul. This will require a planned cohesive approach and mobilization of vast anmounts of human and material resources.

        The issues such as rampant poverty, unemployment, unwillingness to work, prostutution, abuse of women and children, extreme alcolism, in adequate health care for the victims of war and war-affected, poor schooling, landlessness, land stealing, lack of seed capital, breakdown in social and cultural norms, a corrupt and weak public service delivery system and the interfering, self seeking politicians who are tolerated by the government, are interlinked and should be tackled through a war-like efort.

        The enormity of the micro-issues, impinge on the very survival of the war-affrected people as living entities. They have nothing to do with the Tamilness and muslimness of the war-affected. Their needs are definitely not political power, traditional homelands or self determination. The Diaspora groups, the TNA and those who want to score political points over the government are riding a horse lame on three feet!

        The micro-issues are a tinder box waiting to explode unless resolved with urgency and honesty of intent. These issues are receiving only marginal, piecemeal attention now. The government, the private sector and the public at large should addtress these issues with a sense of urgency. A discontented frustrated people are easy fodder for the rabble rousers and political fortune seekers. The TNA and the likes of the ‘Tamil Civilian Society’should join the goverment to win the war against these micro-problems, instead of rousing emotions in favour of a lost cause, that has grievously hurt the Tamils in particular.

        A people who are crying for their daily bread, should not be a ‘virtual’ well iced and decorated cake by the Tamil politicians and associated elements.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dev

      I was actually waiting for Rajasingham Narendran comment –are you angry that the Tamil civil society din’t ask you and recognize your “PhD”.

      Your constant criticism of TNA and this group of civil society is getting repetitive and–your slip is showing Rajasingham Narendran.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran


        It is really sad that you could descend to these depths! I will be critical of the TNA and those who brazenly misrepresent themselves as ‘Tamil Civil Society’, until I die, because I have seen the results of reactive and short sighted, emotive politics- as a victim and a close observer of the thirty years of conflict and wars. I continue to be confronted by the sad plight of the multitude of the war-affected. The so -called ‘Tamil Civil Society’appears to be a club of the ‘Tamil Fat cats’!

        Further, I am not aspiring to be a part of any such society and hence there is no cause for disappointment.I do not expect my Ph.D to be apassport to anything other than my field of study/ research and my work experience merits. As I am retired now, even these expectations are rather circumscribed.

        I think it is your slip that is showing through your comment. Please remember that a ‘Slip’ also refers to what is worn under a skirt!

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        It is better for you to concentrate on what Dr Narendran says rather than worrying over his Educational Qualifications.

        His Educational Qualifications have been recognised by the awarding Universities and if you have a doubt you would be better served by contacting those establishments rather than displaying your intellectual bankruptcy on a public forum

        [Edited out]

  • Off the Cuff

    To the Learned Members of the Self styled “Tamil Civil Society”

    I would wonder whether any of these learned Men and Women will ever care to answer the following.

    Tamil Civil Society means the Ethnic Tamils.
    English Civil Society differentiates the Ethnic English from British Civil Society.

    In that case the Moors being a distinct ethnicity cannot be represented or included within a Tamil Civil Society

    I believe that the phrase “Tamil Speaking” is a Fraud perpetrated on the World.
    A cunning ploy aimed at playing the numbers game by adding the Moor Gene Pool in to the Tamil Gene Pool.

    If the “Tamil Civil Society” is prepared to add the Moor Gene Pool in to the Tamil Gene Pool, why not go the whole hog and add the Sinhalese Gene Pool also to it as that Gene Pool is already 50+% Tamil?

    There are many Tamil and Sinhalese families in Lanka that speak English in their homes in preference to either Tamil or Sinhala. Does it make any of them English?

    Hence the claim that “The North and East are the traditional homelands of the Tamil speaking peoples.” is a cunning ploy to add the Moor population to alter the Actual Tamil population in the East which is about 40%

    There is undoubtedly an area in the North that is populated by a Tamil Majority (Tamil refers to the ethnic meaning not Language). This is not the case in the East where the Tamils consist only about 40% of the population (hence the need to absorb the Moor population, the Moor desire to be so absorbed is of no consequence to this so called “Tamil Civil Society”).

    Where exactly are the boundaries of this Traditional Tamil Homeland?
    Can this “ Tamil Civil Society” prove what these boundaries are?
    I doubt that they can prove it even for the Tamil Dominated North let alone the East.

    The funny thing is, that when they refer to the Traditional Homelands they refer to the British administrative demarcations which are arbitrary and does not reflect the actual Tamil Habitat.

    These (arbitrary) British defined borders are 19 th Century demarcations. Does it then mean that the Tamil tradition, does not reach beyond the 19th century, in history?

    Since we have this impressive collection of “Tamil Civil Society” could they please place on record and justify the exact borders of this Traditional Homeland?

    • Strategy

      @off the cuff, take a srilankan map, paint all the areas where tamils were shelled to death, raped and their land taken by Army, to deny their right of existence, now this area of the map is the homeland which you seem to be confused of.

      Sinhala chauvinists see no difference in tamils, whether it be hindu, catholic or muslim, so we tamils too don’t see a difference, so we unite as “tamil speaking people”, any confusion there dear?

      • Happy Heathen

        August 1, 2012 • 2:25 pm

        Sinhala chauvinists see no difference in tamils, whether it be hindu, catholic or muslim, so we tamils too don’t see a difference, so we unite as “tamil speaking people”, any confusion there dear?

        In fact I am bit confused.

        Would you care to educate us as to who is responsible for the following;

        1. Palliyagodella massacre

        2. Kattankudy mosque massacre

        3. Expulsion of Muslims from the Northern province

      • Off the Cuff


        Are you one of the signatories to this “Civil Society Memo”?
        I don’t see any Pseudonym in there.

        We have had “intellectuals” like you, giving this self same argument regarding painting the Sri Lankan map to find what the boundaries are. Please read this link for my reply as I prefer not to repeat it again on this thread. http://groundviews.org/2012/07/07/equality-unity-autonomy-democracy/#comment-46563

        Strange that non of the Signatories responded which included Professors and lecturers in Law.

        Probably they leave the barking to those who can do nothing else, to see if the barking can subdue the challenging comment.

        Hence dear “strategy”, if you cannot provide an intellectual argument, please leave the writing to those who can.

        You say to Dr R.N “Your aspiration to not join them certainly does not affect no body as they have not asked you to do so in the first place “

        They have styled themselves as “Tamil Civil Society” which is a misnomer.
        Dr R.N. is part of that Civil Society and hence he has every right to say what he has to say. This self styled group has no mandate to present views that are not the views of the Tamils, as views of the Tamil Polity.

        They are just a group of people representing some of the views of the LTTE.

        Are you trying the LTTE tactics of intimidation?
        Apparently you have not learnt any lessons from Mullivaikal.

      • yapa

        “Sinhala chauvinists see no difference in tamils, whether it be hindu, catholic or muslim, so we tamils too don’t see a difference, so we unite as “tamil speaking people”, any confusion there dear?”

        No it is an “honest” strategy.


      • wijayapala

        Dear Strategy, since everyone is enjoying your words I hope you will not find it too crowded if I join in!

        @off the cuff, take a srilankan map, paint all the areas where tamils were shelled to death, raped and their land taken by Army, to deny their right of existence, now this area of the map is the homeland which you seem to be confused of.

        During the 1983 anti-Tamil violence (not to mention previous communal violence), Tamils were killed in many parts of the island. Are you claiming that the entire island is the Tamil homeland?

    • Strategy

      Dear Dr.Rajasingham Narendran,

      Your aspiration to not join them certainly does not affect no body as they have not asked you to do so in the first place, Mullivaikal have taught them a lesson, they are acting on it, I think it is a paradox when you call the Tamils Civilians who represent fellow Tamil Civilians as “misrepresent”, that being the case, who are they supposed to “represent” to “mis”-represent in the first place, surely these people are not politicians or Martians for outer space.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dear Strategy,
        I shall ignore your snide words, as replying would not serve any public purpose.

        Civilian means, a person not in the military/ armed forces or clegy. ‘Tamil Civilian Society’, thus implies that it includes all the Tamils excluding those wearing a uniform and carrying guns or are clergy of one sort or another.

        Are there any identifiable armed and uniformed Tamil groups now? Is there thus a need to define this group as civilian. Further, how could it be civilian, if the group includes clergy?

        The term that should have been used to describe this group is ‘Çivic’, which means citizens. It should have then used a word to specify what the group stands stand for- eg., ‘Tamil civics/citizens for self determination’. The misrepresentation comes because the name implies all Tamils. If this group is clamouring for Tamil rights to equal citizenship, then they should not be using words that imply separatism, in the context of a Sri Lanka that has has just come out of tragic and brutal war triggered by the single minded pursuit of Eelam . Citizens can demand their citizenship and communal rights. There is nothing wrong with it. The demands should be clear, direct, unconfusing and within the context of prevailing circumstances (Please see my reply to Gamarala). Demands should be directed towards problem solving and not problem/ trouble making.

        I have a right to expound what I belive is right and criticize that which I do not agree with. It is primarily my right as a Tamil and a Sri Lankan.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • yapa

    “Tamils have consistently made it clear that a unitary constitution and a provincial council system within the confines of a unitary constitution are incapable of fulfilling their political aspirations.”

    What different aspirations Tamils have and should have over the other communities and why?



  • Vipula Amarasekara

    When will the Tamils understand they are second class citizens in a third world economy? Even after a convincing military defeat the spine to whine comes with Indian and a diaspora oxygen. If you want a homeland, bugger off to Tamil Nadu. The question is….will they accept you as kith and kin?…. No! Then shut up and put up…..You guys are having a much better deal than Iraqis or the Afghans or the Kurds or the Kashmirs or the Rohingyars. Try to make a united Sri Lanka a better place to live in than splitting hairs on minuscule ethnic differences.

    • wijayapala

      Dear Vipula,

      Why are the Tamils 2nd class citizens?

    • Off the Cuff


      Who are you trying to fool by making such a disgustingly Racist comment using a Sinhala Name?

      Is that part of the New Strategy?

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Vipul Amarasekera,

      “When will the Tamils understand they are second class citizens in a third world economy?”

      The Tamils will never understand they are second class citizens in their own country. Why should they? The country is their’s as much as it is your’s. If the Tamils have to be second class citizens, the Sinhalese have to be too. One cannot dimish the status of the other, without repercussions to themselves. Further, all the ordinary citizens of Sri Lanka are now second or third class citizens. The politicians and their cohorts are the only first class citizens now. The present constitution, the JVP insurrections and the prolonged Tamil miltancy + wars, have made way for this national calamity.

      I personally think that in an environmental context, we are yet fortunate to be a third world economy. Our descendants will thank us for this legacy. However, they will curse us if we leave them third rate values.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Dr Rajasingham

    You say that the ‘Tamil Civil Society’ memo to the TNA is a gross misrepresentation and nobody had given them the right to call themselves ‘Tamil Civil Society’. Any group of people can come together and call themselves a civil society group and they don’t need anybody’s permission to do that. And they have the right to express what they think the TNA should include in their manifesto.

    You obviously don’t agree with them because you say that,’… The TNA and the likes of the ‘Tamil Civilian Society’should join the goverment to win the war against these micro-problems, instead of rousing emotions in favour of a lost cause, that has grievously hurt the Tamils in particular.’

    Therefore, I suggest that you gather the people who you believe really represent the ‘Tamil Civil Society’ and agree with your call to ‘join the government’ draft a memo outlining the ‘micro-problems’ and send it to the TNA that they should include those in their election manifesto or rather send it to President Rajapaksa and the EPDP/UPFA. That I think would be more productive.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Dear Cyril,

      The problem lies with the word ‘Çivil or civilian’ and the absence of an acceptable word to describe the objectives of the this society. The name of the grouping should define the objectives of the people involved, who ever they may be. The group may represent your views and those like you, but not mine and those like me. Because someone has got together a group of people to sign up to this document, they should not appear to represent the views of all Tamils- that is a misrepresentation, especially in view of the critical nature of the subject involved. All Tamils were not tigers, and all Sinhalese were not rampaging brutes, as made out to be at one time. This juxtaposition made much grief. Let us not repeat such noxious and deliberate obfuscations. The Tamils cannot afford it any more!

      I can form any society I want, if I want to. However, it will be imperative that I define in the name of the society what it stands for, without any ambiguity or room for misrepresentation. Please also see my reply to Strategy.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Off the Cuff


      You say “Any group of people can come together and call themselves a civil society group and they don’t need anybody’s permission to do that”

      You are absolutely right.
      Did Dr. Narendran complain about that?

      Please use your wisdom to read and comprehend

      Did they say Tamil?
      If they said so, they are including ALL Tamils within their group.
      That includes people like Dr Narandran.
      Are you doubting that he is Tamil?

      Hence Dr Narendran is also right.
      These people have no authority to project their views as those of the Tamil polity.

      Hence calling themselves “Tamil Civil Society” when they do not represent the Tamil Polity is Fraudulent and is designed to mislead the world at large.

      • Dev

        @Off the Cuff,

        Do’t be silly, your GOVERNMENT represents you !! The fact that you voted for them or not is irrelevant !
        Same way, the group gathered in this list is from many varied and vast fields and can be said to represent the Tamil people –how can you get the millions of Tamils to agree 100% –think about it.

        Rajasingham Narendran hates the TNA and is now angry that his “PhD” has not been recognized by this group and asked to sign –simple as that –nothing more nothing less.

      • Off the Cuff


        You are being daft.

        This society tries to pose as representing Tamils. They don’t. They are mainly representing a Jaffna Elite the same elite that suppressed Tamils within the Tamil Society. The same elite that deprived Batu Tamils their right to practise their Religion as a Hindu. The same elites that fanned hatred that precipitated a 30 year war. Who paid for that? Not the Tamil Elites but the Tamil Moderates and the Tamil Peasantry.

        Rayappu Joseph was with the LTTE.
        Was he blind to the decimation of a generation of Tamil Children? Over 8000 Tamil children survived. Have you any idea of the numbers that died? Was it double or quadruple the amount saved?
        The UN says the number saved by SL was just the tip of the iceberg.
        An iceberg has only 1/10 of it’s volume visible and 9/10 invisible.
        Was Rayappu unaware of what was happening when at least 20,000 – 50,000 kids were sacrificed as cannon fodder by the LTTE?
        He was living with the LTTE.
        Surely he was not Blind was he?
        Why did he not act against the LTTE to stop the decimation of a future generation of Tamils?
        And this “Humanitarian” heads the list!!!

        What a “Tamil Civil Society” and you claim they represent Tamils.
        You should try selling this to the Parents of the Children that died or those that survived. That is around a 100,000 civilians!

        I have addressed a post to this so called collection of intellectuals.
        So far they have shied away from a response.
        They cannot even justify and defend what they wrote in this memo.

        You have a Low and Petty mind, else you would not write what you wrote about Dr Narendran.
        Shame on you.

  • Off the Cuff & Dr Rajasingham

    The way I look at the TCV memo is that they basically articulate the universal political aspirations of the NE Tamil people for self-governance. These aspirations have been expressed once again in the aftermath of Dr Rajasingham’s government winning the war in 2009; the Tamil people voted for the TNA in the local government elections held in 2011 and the EPDP/UPFA was rejected by the people in spite of the campaign led by President’s brother Basil Rajapaksa with all their promises of development and the violence unleashed by the military. After the elections, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to France Dr Jayatilleka acknowledged that ‘the TNS is the pre-eminent political entity in the North’. The signatories to the memo reiterate the fundamentals of the Tamil people’s universal demand for self-determination. The issue is political in that they’ve identified themselves with the universal demand of the Tamil people. Therefore, they’ve earned the right to speak on behalf of all the Tamils, whether they’re civil or otherwise, who demand self-governance for the NE Tamil people. There’s no misrepresentation on their part. Of course, they don’t represent pro-government Dr Rajasingham and like-minded people within the Tamil polity.The fact is that they’ve been rejected by the people.

    • Off the Cuff

      Dear Cyril,

      These people who are calling themselves the “Tamil Civil Society” do not represent the Tamils. They may be representing like minded people like you in Lanka and the Tamil Diaspora. They cannot even justify their claims here on GV, even when they have Lawyers who have signed this doc. Rayappu Joseph is an LTTE sympathiser.

      To people like you any Tamil who does not share your ideology is a government sympathiser because you cannot stomach what they say. LTTE was also like that and they assassinated or tortured and murdered all who dissented and was within reach. Those others who were overseas and out of reach of the LTTE’s Killing Machine (due to fear of a crack down by foreign govts) were nevertheless not out of reach of LTTE thugs who assaulted with clubs and knives.

      Dr Narendran too would have been bumped off, if the LTTE was active today.

      You cannot do that now so you resort to slandering him rather than meeting his arguments.

      Please read my response to Dev here for more detail


  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dev and Cyril,

    Your attempts to personalize public issues, insult people into silence, introduce words like ‘Hate’into a debate and of course categorize anyone who questions your position as ‘Pro-government’, are indeed pathetic to say the least. Çollectively this represents the old TULF and LTTE cum other militant group modus operandi. Collectively they represent a ‘Threat’ to those who express a contrary opinion, against what is portrayed to be a ‘Popular’position. In the past GGP, , Alfred Duraiappa, Amirthalingam, Neelan Thiruchelvam, Padmanabha etc., were categorized and labelled in this manner. In a true democracy a contrary opinion has to be paid heed and debated on its merits.

    It is also shameful that those who obviously have no concept of what democracy means in its entirety, fall back on the vote- one aspect, though important and probably the weakest, most vulnerable and most manipulated component of democracy- to re-inforce their position. When someone or a party is elected in elections where only 35-50% of the electorate voting and then the person or party that wins get 25-30% of the votes cast, is it a mandate for anything! The corruption, scare-mongering, threat and rabble rousing factors that play a major role in our elections cannot be ignored.

    Did the Sinhalese vote in 1956 to deprive the Tamils of anything? No, they voted against the tyranny of the ‘Brown Sahibs’- Sinhala, Tamil, Muslim and Burgher. Did the Sinhalese vote in 1977 for JRJ/UNP to mandate the 1977 and 1983 riots? Were they voting for the UNP manifesto that had listed the Tamil grievances and sought solutions for these? No, they were rebelling against the high cost of living and the failures of the Sirimavo government. What the elected governments did thereafter, had very little to do with what the people had voted for. Was the vote in 2004 for the TNA, stage managed by the LTTE, a mandate for anything including the claim that the LTTE was the sole representative of the Tamils?

    I think it was Winston Churchill who said that democracy is a terrible system for governance, but is yet the best we have! When we talk of electoral democracy we have to be very careful in interpreting the vote. A vote is generally not a mandate for anything, in our (Tamil) circumstances. Further, a vote does not represent what is ‘Right’. What is ‘Right'(a moral imperative)is important for leaders and the ‘Vote'(a fig leaf) is important to the politicians!

    Defend your position with arguments and meet arguments with arguments. Your responses are of those who cannot defend their positions and hence have to resort to vituperation and personal insults. This has been the curse of those Tamils who demand democracy, but do not understand its fundamentals. Anyone opposed to a particular line of thought and action propounded, is automatically labelled a ‘Traitor’ at worst and a ‘Çorroborator’ of the government, at best. This has been the curse of Tamil politics and it has created many monsters, including the LTTE, in the past.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dev

      Rajasingham Narendran,

      The EPDP ….IS a PART of the GOVT !

      If they fail to deliver as they have then YNA has to step up along with civil society !
      Still don’t see any comments from you about your friend and Government minister Douglas–he has not delivered and yet nothing !

  • brad

    Army controls the area. war is finished.
    so there is no any problem right now

    so y they asked for a political solution.

  • Ravi Perera

    Dear Learned citizens of Jaffna

    Traditional Tamil Homeland = Whenin History did the Tamils rume East
    Besides Muslims in the East have a clear seperat leadership. Don’t
    drag them into your orbit

    Be Realistic, go for something you can justify internationally..

    Good Luck

  • Dr Rajasingham

    You wrote, I quote,’…that the TNA and the likes of the Tamil Civil Society should join the government……’ If that is not pro-government politics tell me what is? I made my comments with all due respects to you and there were no insults intended or implied in them. You have to ‘tell it like it is’ as Black Panthers used to say.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Dear Cyril,

      You have built your case on a few words from a long sentence. What I said was,

      “The TNA and the likes of the ‘Tamil Civilian Society’should join the goverment to win the war against these micro-problems, instead of rousing emotions in favour of a lost cause, that has grievously hurt the Tamils in particular.”

      Can the problems I have listed without government co-operation and support?

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dr Rajasingham

        Please read ‘The story of Mullikulam’ by Ruki on this site and judge for yourself who created the ‘micro-level’ problems for the people in Mullikulam and who (I mean Rev Rayappu, Bishop of Mannar) has been playing an active role in trying to work with the government in order to redress their grievances. And, he is, apperantly, a signatory to the TCS memo, an example of one who is involved both at the macro and the micro levels without joining the government. I think what he is doing in the real world for his people who are suffering from ‘micro-level’ issues created by the government is admirable in comparison to someone who berates him and merely calls on him to join the government. To me, Rev Rayappu is a real and an active member of the Tamil Civil Society.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dear Cyril,

        Bishop Rayappu Joseph is a clergyman and hence can and lead his flock, particularly the Catholics. However, he does not belong to the civil/civilian categorization. He can talk of the problems of the laity- the civil/civilians, including the non-Catholics, as a clergyman. No one can deny him this right. However, he should also rise above the melee and become the peacemaker among the warring tribes. This involves much more than he is identified with.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • If I have not misread elsewhere, Prof.S.K. Sittampalam was chosen as the VP of ITAK at a recent convention in Trinco. So I think he ought to give his views within the party, rather than signing these “civil society” memos.

    I think while firmly insisting on war crimes investigations, justice, etc., Tamils should emphasize that they have no plan to go beyond federalism, and the call for separation is a thing of the past. Continuing to talk about the doctrine of “self-determination,” with its varied meanings, will only muddy the waters and give this thuggish regime more staying power.

  • I_Know_These_Dudes

    The first signatory, Bishop of Mannar,has never taken any action against the injustices the Catholic majority in Mannar pile over other religious minorities, especially Non Roman Catholics, in the district. Injustices are endless – from burning down a church to denying the right some 70 odd students to study Christianity. Since he is heading the list, I guess we can all measure the rest.
    Thanks. Sick of hypocrites.

    • wijayapala

      Dear I_Know_These_Dudes

      Which church did the Roman Catholics burn, and why would they deny anyone the right to study Christianity?