The struggle to go home in post war Sri Lanka: The story of Puthukudiruppu

Rajini (pseudonym) was amongst the ten women we met in a church in Vavuniya district about a week ago. At the time she and two of her children were living in Kadirgama camp in Menik Farm. The women and their families were displaced since 2008 and were prevented from going home to Puthukudiruppu. Some of us had known this community for several years and their yearning was always to go home to their villages despite the uncertainties about the remains of their houses and property.

Rajini’s husband was killed on April 17th 2009 during the last phase of the war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Her eldest son, now 23, was forcibly recruited by the LTTE in 2007. Two years later, at the end of the war, he and other former LTTE combatants were detained by the police and moved to the Boossa detention Centre in the Galle District. Rajini has two more children aged 10 and 16 years.

At the time of our previous meetings, the women shared with us their fond memories of the village and looked forward to returning home to their own places in Puthukudiruppu East and West in the Mullaitivu District. Ranjini and many others had spent more than three years at Kadirgama and Anandakumarasamy camps in Menik Farm. For Ranjini and the other women, their priority was to return home to a secure place in order to build a better future for their children.

Almost all the buildings in Puthukudiruppu were destroyed during the last phase of the conflict.  And even three years after the end of the war, many of the homes remain in shambles. School buildings, hospitals and churches were also destroyed by heavy artillery shelling. The displacement resulted in the abandonment of private lands and in this three year period the residential areas had become jungles.

It is to these jungles that Rajini and her children came home to on August 10th 2012. Along with Ranjini, about two hundred families returned to the jungles of Puthukudirrupuu East from Menik Farm.

At first, they were brought to the nearby Kaiveli School.  And were once again subjected to registration, interrogation and their photographs were taken by the military authorities. All the families spent the first night at the school.  The next day, 11th August 2012, they were to return to their homes in Ward 10.

Some like Rajini decided to return to their property in the interiors of the jungle. Others with infants had opted to stay on the side of the dusty gravel road. And few had sought shelter in the damaged church and the school in the area. In the two days we had spent in the village a single standing house was not in sight.  And all the remaining buildings in the vicinity had clear signs of war; with missing roofs, shelled walls and broken doors and windows.

When we last met Ranjini in Chettikulam, outside Menik Farm, she humbly invited us to visit her after the resettlement.

We promised to do so and a day after she had reached her home, we visited her in Puthukudyriuppu. We saw many people including young children lying down on the main road, under shady trees to escape the scorching heat. Rajini came to meet us near a water tank and led us through the jungle to her house.

Soon we emerged to a small space that had been cleared up amidst think bushes. This was Rajini`s home. We were bleeding with bruises from the thorns and bushes. It became impossible to navigate around the jungle without the assistance of Ranjini or one of her young sons.

Wanting their story to be heard

We asked the families around the resettlement area whether we could take photographs. Ranjini and others insisted that we capture their struggles with as many pictures as we needed to tell their stories. It was a silent plea for desperate help.

On the second day, we met up with families near a church and they invited us to “come and see our houses.”

It was clear they wanted their real story told and the truth known.

Mines and explosive devises

Three days after the resettlement in Puthukudiruppu East, we received a call from Rajini. She told us that in one of the houses we visited the previous day, a live unexploded land mine was found, along with thirty-two bullets, which burst while the family was trying to clear the jungle by burning the bushes to put up a temporary shelter.

Ranjini and others from the village informed us that no one had slept that night. Before the beginning of the resettlement process, the area we visited was identified as demined. However the families had found at least seven mines since their return to Puthukudirriupu on Monday.

“While we were cooking a bullet exploded, burning my sister- in- law’s back. My baby was standing next to her and miraculously escaped the blast,“was what we heard yesterday from another friend who had left Menik Farm on 13th August to be resettled in Puthukudiruppu West. We were also told that a part of Puthukudiruppu West where people were sent to resettle on 13th August had not been de-mined. The families were compelled to abandon the resettlement process and seek shelter in a nearby school. The Swiss de-mining agency FSD was called and they had agreed to de-mine this particular area on an emergency basis.

On our first day with Rajini in her jungle home, we suddenly heard a loud blast. When we followed the direction of the blast, it was the site of a family’s tent house. They   warned us to be safe and pointed to bullets and shell pieces around the vicinity of their property. The blast occurred during their clearing of the jungle plants that had grown over the places that was once their agricultural property. The Adults and children had scattered and ran for safety. Later they recalled their experiences running away from shells and explosions during the war. In the evening as we were about to leave, we were led into the jungle where another family had pitched their tents and pointed to two   devises which the locals believed were mines.

The assistance received

Rajini and her children had lost most of their belongings during the war, and as they were going back home, all they could carry were their meagre belongings such as few pieces of clothes, tin sheets, pots and other items they had in Menik Farm. They also received Rs. 20,000, two tarpaulin sheets, a knife and mammoty by UNHCR. Two days later, a UNHCR lorry came to the nearby Puthukudiruppu church and distributed five pieces of wood and two more tarpaulin sheets to each family. Ranjini decided to deposit Rs. 5,000 in the bank account for her youngest son’s education expenses.

“What should I do with the rest of the money?” she asked us. “Should I save it to buy a bicycle, so that we can transport water? Or should I spend it to hire a bulldozer to clear the jungle around the house? Or save it to visit my elder son in the Boossa detention centre (She had told us earlier she could talk to her detained son for only fifteen minutes after travelling for twelve hours and that each visit to Boossa costs approximately Rs. 2,150 per trip)?” We looked at each other and none of us ventured to answer her question.

Her and several others most urgent plea was to clear the access to the main road from the interiors of the jungle for security reasons. Since many of the women were widows with young children, they feared having to spend countless nights in the jungle, without an immediate access to the main road.

We asked whether the Army could assist in this process. She chuckled and said that the Army was not involved in the clearance of the resettlement area. And in fact, one Army officer had asked her why they had come back as nothing was prepared for their return home.

In addition to the mines and bullet pieces, the area seemed to be infested with snakes. Some men recounted having killed three snakes in the two days since their return. Another person reported seeing elephant dung and suggested, “Give me your phone number and I will call you when I see an elephant, so you can come and take a photograph.”

As always, even in their most desperate times, Rajini served us with soft drinks and others offered us tea as we walked around.

“Better if we had been killed or committed suicide”

Was what Rajini and several others told us. Many of the families we met had survived the war by hiding in bunkers and running from artillery attacks. Almost every household we came across in the two days had a family member who was killed, had gone missing or was injured.

They had hoped for a better life after the end of the war, but instead found themselves detained behind barbed wires in Menik Farm. Many were desperate to look for missing family members, but could not do so for more than six months due to their detention in Menik Farm. They had steadfastly refused to be sent to another IDP camp from Menik Farm or be relocated to place other than their own home.

Why had the Government not demined the resettlement areas, cleared up the jungles, provide adequate assistance or carried out the needed preparations before the families resettled? Was three years not an adequate amount of time to ensure families a safe return home?

Some had repeatedly asked us whether they were being punished for insisting to return to their original homes from Menik Farm.

A school teacher and a priest we spoke to speculated that perhaps the urgency in the resettlement was because the government is keen on convincing the international community that all the IDPs were resettled safely. Especially in the face of international pressure, particularly in light of the upcoming Geneva meeting (referring to the Universal Periodic Review scheduled for the end of October).

We had spent time with Rajini and others like her while they were in Menik Farm, visited them after they went to Puthukudiruppu and continued to keep in touch with them by phone. We spent many hours talking late into the night about how we can help them. Our discussions often ended with us feeling helpless and powerless. However we write to share Rajinis and others stories, still hoping that the Government will at least now live up to its obligations to ensure the protection of their rights and wellbeing. And we continue to hope that all Sri Lankans and the international community will also address the challenges in their struggle to return home.

Authors: Ruki & Jothi

  • Dev

    This is something the TNA MP’s have been highlighting and the govt dismisses it as LTTE propaganda !

    So much for the “development” that Rajasingham Narendran and other govt lackeys talk about.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dev,

    Have you read my articles and comments about the situation in the Vanni, including Mullaitivu. In a recent comment I have highlighted the ‘Micro-problems’ and their magnitude. The TNA, has not bothered to talk about these problems. You are giving it undue credit.

    Further, who demanded that the IDPs be released fast from the IDP camps? The vociferous sections of the Tamil Diaspora, the TNA, some influential international organizations and the so-called west, demanded that these IDPS be sent out of the IDP camps, even as early as late 2009. They forced the government to start releasing the IDPs into the wilderness and a void in very parameter that is vital for human life.

    The government has invested heavily in developing the infra-structure. Economic development has started through the efforts of the people and is being supported in many ways by the government. However, the development is insufficient to meet the dire needs of the severelly war-affected people. This is where the civic society has to step in to help.

    Development has many facets-infra-structural, agricultural, industrial, social, moral,cultural etc. The government is duty bound to provide the infra-structure- roads, electricity, transport, schools, banking, health services and civil administration. It should provide incentives for agricultural (including fisheries) and industrial development. It has done this to a commendable extent. However, agricultural and industrial development has to be taken forward by the people. Social, moral and cultural developments are the exclusive preserve of the people. The people in the war-affected areas need assistance from the affluent and skilled Tamils and other Sri lankans to go forward in the spheres that are their prerogatives.

    Housing is a very critical need for the IDPs. The government with its funds and the help of other countries has done much in this sphere. The government has also provided funds for many to rebuilt their houses. Unfortunately, this effort has been sabotaged to a large extent by a corrupt and venal bureaucracy. While those who need this assistance have been ignored, those with influence, connections and personal funds, have benefitted. It is funny that this aspect has not been highlighted by the TNA and the media.

    While I appreciate Rumi’s efforts to highlight the problems of the resttled IDPs, I recommend that he/she, study the problems deeper and define the specific areas where there are problems. I have travelled to Puthukudiyirruppu- the heartland of the LTTE- and beyond on several occasions and was amazed at the pace at which things were changing from horrible to better. Of course, the better has to get even better and finally become the best. This is process and not a one shot event!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Dear Dev,

      “Canada taken up by N-E development

      Sandasen MARASINGHE

      Sri Lanka has achieved impressive progress in economic development and resettlement in the North and East, outgoing Canadian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka Bruce Levy said yesterday.

      He said a developed road network was essential for any nation to create employment opportunities and bring economic development and it was a praiseworthy to see that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has taken measures to develop the road network and railway line in the North and East.”- infolanka.com (18/08/2011).

      Would you call the Canadian High Commissioner a ‘Lackey’ too?

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dev

        Clutching at straws are we my boy?

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dev,
        No my man, I am yet hoping that you are capable of learning! No one is a lost case.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Anpu

      Dear Dr RN,

      Could you please provide us the link to the articles you have written about situation in the Vanni ( http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-47846 ) ?

      Thanks
      Anpu

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Anpu,

        Please type ‘Rajasingham Narendran’on the google search to read what I have written and commented over the years, starting much before the LTTE was defeated.

        However, as you intent is to make me shut up, the exercise will not serve any purpose.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Anpu

        Dr RN
        This is what you wrote “..Have you read my articles and comments about the situation in the Vanni, including Mullaitivu…” in http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-47846

        Before asking you to provide the link for the article which you claimed to have written on “situation in Vanni” , I did search for
        “Rajasingham Narendran” “Situation in Vanni” – I could not find any articles on the “situation in Vanni” written by you. Then only I asked you to provide the link.

        Thanks
        Anpu

    • Anpu

      Dr RN,
      ..Further, who demanded that the IDPs be released fast from the IDP camps? The vociferous sections of the Tamil Diaspora, the TNA, some influential international organizations and the so-called west, demanded that these IDPS be sent out of the IDP camps, even as early as late 2009. They forced the government to start releasing the IDPs into the wilderness and a void in very parameter that is vital for human life…..
      Do you want IDPs to be in the camps and live in the poor conditions not fit even for animals?
      Not only the groups you mentioned pressure also came from people like Tisaranee Gunasekara (Shame: A disturbing inability to treat Tamils as fellow human beings http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/08/shame.html). Thank you Tisaranee.

    • Anpu

      Dr RN,

      “..The government has invested heavily in developing the infra-structure…”

      This article is worth reading
      “Minds Devastated By Conflict Cannot Be Healed By Infrastructural Development” http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/minds-devastated-by-conflict-cannot-be-healed-by-infrastructural-development-austin-fernando/

      Anpu

  • Ward

    Ruki
    Thank you.
    Dev – agree with you.

  • jangi hora

    I’m amazed that a person living in colombo, that has access to the internet feels helpless when talking to a desperate person in the Vanni.
    Why don’t you use your brain and effort, and help these poor people. Why are people always waiting for the government to everything?

    • Marisa

      @jangi hora
      I fail to see how “living in Colombo” and having “access to the internet” is in any way connected to feeling “helpless” in the face of 1000′s of displaced people? If not the Govt. who else should be responsible for the plight of families such as this? The reason people are “always waiting for the government to everything” is because that is what a Government is supposed to do! What would be the point of people from “Colombo” with “net access” giving them hand outs, (which is what I presume you meant when you said “help these poor people”,) when what they require is for the State to ensure that they have a “home” to return to, and not a mine and snake infested jungle! It is because of people like Ruki that people like you even know of the plight of these people, so don’t be so quick to criticize. And it is also by highlighting stories like this that the Government may be reminded of it’s duties to its citizens. And please don’t patronize these families by referring to them as “poor people”, they don’t need anyone’s sympathy, all they want is to go back home and live their lives in peace. That shouldn’t be too much to ask for, don’t you think?

  • jansee

    Dr Rajasingham:

    “Further, who demanded that the IDPs be released fast from the IDP camps? The vociferous sections of the Tamil Diaspora, the TNA, some influential international organizations and the so-called west, demanded that these IDPS be sent out of the IDP camps, even as early as late 2009. They forced the government to start releasing the IDPs into the wilderness and a void in very parameter that is vital for human life.”

    One of the main reasons for the “noise” made by all these parties was the way the idps were handled – and many complaints surfaced that they were held akin to nazi concentration camps – behind barbed wires and gun trotting soldiers guarding them, including children. And when the govt finally released them, it was not because of the pressure from the parties concerned but because the impending presidential election and after Sarath Fonseka announced his candidadcy.

    That you have claimed to have highlighted the “micro” problems is praiseworthy but to claim credit for yourself is pure illusionary – particularly that most of these “micro” issues are still outstanding. If it is your political inclination to chide the TNA for not higlighting these issues, you are not only off the mark but just trying to hide the truth – the TNA has always been highlighting these issues – just that the SL govt is not bothered to listen, just as it has done to you.

    “The government has invested heavily in developing the infra-structure. Economic development has started through the efforts of the people and is being supported in many ways by the government. However, the development is insufficient to meet the dire needs of the severelly war-affected people. This is where the civic society has to step in to help”

    When you yourself claim a great deal “micro” issues affecting the daily lives of these people are still outstanding the govt’s interest in investing in infrastructure is just for one reason, and this is a well gossiped secret – to grab the lands of the the people and pass it on to investors from the south and foreigners and if you think that all of us are sleeping without knowing this cynical ploy, then you are sadly mistaken.

    You are not telling the truth when you claim the govt has given funds for them to build houses. They are merely loans and/or funds received from overseas. I would hardly believe the govt has even spent a dime sincerely in the North.

    It is not that the diaspora Tamils or other genuine parties want to invest or help in this endeavour – we all know where these funds would go to.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dear Jansi,

    I have seen the IDP’s in the Chettikulam camps from just before the war ended and over the following year. The Çonditions you refer to were quite good, considering the fact that I also spent time in a refugee camp in 1977. Further, a senior Tamil politician had written to the government after visiting these camps at its invitation in mid-2009, that the the IDP’s need to be provided red rice ( as were used to it) instead of the white, tea at 10am and tea and biscuits at 3 pm! He found the conditions at these camps acceptable otherwise.

    Further, there is no land grab of any significance going on. The armed forces have vacated many lands they have occupied during and soon after the war. The process is on-going. The armed forces are trying to locate to crown lands as muuch as possible and are offering to buy or rent private lands, where crown lands are not available. The presence of the armed forces soon after the terrible war is not Sinhala occupation nor a land grab! It would be extremely foolish of the Sinhalese to occupy the devasted landscape that is the larger Vanni today. There is much exggeration and fear-mongering in projecting the land grabbing as a major issue as a critical issue for the Tamils.

    We fought wars over the ‘Mann’(land) and lost sight of the people. We are yet trying to do the same now, at the expense of a war-debilitated people!

    I did not claim that I was the only one identifying the immensity of the micro-problems. I was only refering to what I had written. Please clarify for me when and where the TNA has identified the micro-problems in a cohesive way and sought early solutions.

    I am only biased towards the war-affected Tamils and hence do not want history to repeat. I am witnessing the recovery, though albeit slowly and this is what is important to me. Tamil will survive only if these people survive and prosper. My interst is in Tamil and Tamilness, not the land. The state of these people, demands that we talk, discuss and do something about their micro-problems, if they are to survive as Tamils and prosper.

    The issues such as self-determination, sovereignity, homelands and devolution are not important to me, at this point in our history. However, issues of good governance, rule of law, true justice, equality, meritocracy and security guarantees for person and property- which should apply to all citizens of Sri Lanka, are important to me. I think the constitution, the political sysem and political values/ morality in Sri Lanka must change, startring now.

    I want the past to be only a lesson for the future, in terms of preventing the ugliness .

    I am not biased towards the Sri lankan government, but am ready to concede the many things it has done right after the war for the war-affected people. I have not failed to identify areas where there are problems.

    Does it matter, where the government sourced the funds? Will you deny that the government solicited the funds? The funds were also dispersed through public service mechanism! What is there to lie about this issue? Please do not grab at straws to bolster your position. The Indian built houses in Iyakachchi are of very poor quality and are located in an area where there is no employment. These are problems. However, they are providing shelter to many in need. I hope the Indians would do better with their new projects.

    However I am angry with the TNA, because they have not done right by the Tamil people and Sri Lanka, since the end of the war. They are pretending that several chapters in our history- the militancy, LTTE and the wars- do not exist. These factors have changed the political landscape completely. It will be foolish to ignore this reality, how ever much we may point to the grievous failures in governace that led to the emergence of these factors. I will appreciate it and admire them, if they openly declare that they are for an independent Tamil Eelam, come what may, without playing their present game of running with the hare and hunting with the dogs! Their duplicity is curse on the Tamils.

    Further, I hope you have visited Sri Lanka recently and seen ground realities. If not, you have to do so soon. If you have already visited , please come again and spend 2-3 months here-in the peninsula , Vanni and the east. I promise you, your perspectives will change. I have seen this happening to many, who even feared visiting this land.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • jansi

    Dr Rajasingham:

    No matter how hard and fast you try to imitate the govt’s efforts in its duplicity methods, there are few buyers outside of Colombo.

    The senior politician you probably allude to who came to SL on a visit proposed by DMK chief Karunanidhi and his/their then claim of normalcy in the camps is nothing but a sham. Do you know why? Just remember the word TESO of MK and the resolutions passed then you would understand why the then claim was a sham. There were even allegations that Kanimozhi and others went for a cosy breakfast and claimed everything was OK. Sham, sham, sham. Do you know what is the main problem – anything that comes from the mouths of the SL regime is a lie – the credibility problem hovers high on their heads and it is not with a pinch of salt one has take what you claim and write – but this one as explained above would be sufficient to view with another two eyes at the back.

    The destruction inflicted by a genocidal regime has not stopped the Tamils from demanding their rights. Against all odds, the Tamils have staked their rights. If they are undergoing untold suffering, it is the massive destruction and the continued deprivation heaped and caused by a chauvinistic and heartless regime. Just for the number of women and girls raped, your argument of cheap talk of niceties would ring hollow in their hearts and minds. It has been and always will be heart and minds of the Tamils that self-determination will be the only way to get out of the misery of the SL regime. All those niceties that you have eloquently mentioned would come in droves and fast if the Tamils can have their self-determination. Do you recall the pomp and pageantry displayed by Mahinda Rajapakse when he went to seek the votes of the Tamils during the presidential election. They were even willing to forgive and vote for Sarath Fonseka if it meant self-determination for them. You claim you have lived with them but you are sadly mistaken of what the “pulse” of the Tamils is. The SL regime has definitely won the war but have lost the battle in winning the minds and hearts of the Tamils – and isn’t this often said about the real state of affairs.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Janzi,

      I was referring to a senior/veteran Tamil politician from north Sri Lanka!

      Further we are obviously talking about two different groups of Tamils. I have not seen many Tamils among the war affected who represent your views.
      I think there is an urgent need to define the type of Tamils we are talking about! It is obvious there are two groups:

      1. The war- affected survivors- the sacrificial lambs who are fighting a battle for the basic needs of human life
      2. Those who supported the war from a distance and have not borne the brunt directly or seen its after effects personally; and yet not given up their objectives.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • ken

    A humble request to the good natured people who respond to the comments of Rajasingam Narendran: Please, I implore you, do not respond to his comments and glorify him. That is all he seeks. If you wish to serve the Tamil community, all you can do is ignoring him – completely.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      ken,
      A strategic retreat couched in self-righteousness and venom!

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • jansi

    ken:

    I do see what you are trying to convey but I am concerned that if there are no rebuttals of his lies, then the message would emerge that he is right. Anyway, point noted/taken.

  • Anpu

    Jansee and Dev :

    You both are 101% right about Dr RN.

    Ken:

    I agree with you. But how can we let this Dr get away with false claims

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Anpu,

      Let the readers , who will not follow your advisory decide what is true and false. However, please turn some pages back in our history to learn ‘how’ critics were silenced for ever by the LTTE and their likes! We are fast heading into the same type of political culture and your comments are a harbinger of what is to come, if the likes of you have your way.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • jansee

    Dr Rajasingham:

    “Further we are obviously talking about two different groups of Tamils. I have not seen many Tamils among the war affected who represent your views.”

    With a heavy militarised presence and literally affecting their daily lives on anything and everything and with news that even women were forced to surrender their honour, of course, when you talk to them they may have no choice but to play a tune that will satisfy your ears. After all, they have lost everything, thanks to a regime that bombarded them to pulps and destroyed everything they had.Thanks that at least those from afar (and not necessarily those who supported the war) are able to make the noise that still hurts the ears of this regime, otherwise this regime, with supporters like you, would have done a lot worse.

    It is true that there is some dislike among the local Tamils of where Prabhakaran’s endeavour had led them to and I do share some of those apprehensions but the colossal calamity, destruction of people and property with no regard to even the slightest humanitarian feeling (because they are Tamils) this regime has caused sufferings what even 10 Prabhakarans couldn’t have done. The magnitude of destruction simply shows the vengeance with which this regime undertook to destroy the very core of Tamils existence. So please don’t lecture me on the deeds (misdeeds rather) of this brutal regime.

  • toyo

    The situations described above is present in 1000s of remote indian villages, except the ‘mines’ part.

  • Kota

    Dear RN,

    There is a saying” You can wake up a person who is sleeping but you can not wake up a person,who is pretending to be sleeping”

    Pl. do not waste your precious time trying to convince these overseas LTTE Lackeys, who do not want to be convinced.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    To all readers,

    The following are links to what I wrote on the IDP’s in 2009:

    Dear readers,

    The following are two references to what I wrote on the IDPs in 2009:

    1.http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/08/post_415.html
    2.http://transcurrents.com/tc/2009/12/post_469.html

    Of course, as is to be expected many of the comments then were as unfolding here.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dev

      Me me me ………………..

      I did this…..

      I said this…..

      I am doing this…..

      I am going to do this…..

      Note my comment about always wanting to be in the limelight !

  • jansee

    Kota:

    The SL regime has tried almost all the tricks it can think of to hoodwink the world of the effects of the war. You name it, it will hit the target – humanitarian operation, zero casualties, reconciliation and the list goes on. We did not pretend to be asleep. We were very wide awake and that has become a thorn in the flesh for the SL regime and people like you. Until the regime realises the slippery slope it is on, we will not let go off our guard. So, all this talk of “pretending to sleep” may be cosy to you but until the regime sees the sense of owning-up on the atrocities committed, we will not sleep. Is it the victory over Prabhakaran or the Tamils that this regime conducts its victory parade? Does this mean that even after the war ended this regime see the Tamils as its enemy that warrants a victory parade? If we march for the rights and interests of the Tamils, we are lackeys of the LTTE but if the regime marches in victory parades, what do you call that – Sinhalese triumphalism? You can continue with the charade of this “LTTE lackeys” label, which is nothing more than one of those tricks – in reality to divert attention away from the pressure that has been mounting but we are not amazed – sometimes it is quite hilarious actually – a sinking desperate elephant clutching on to a straw.

  • Off the Cuff

    Jansee / Ken /Dev / Anpu,

    There are other Tamil intellectuals such as Dr Noel Nadesan, Editor Uthayan for 14 years, the only Tamil newspaper in Australia and Dr Pradeep Jeganathan, just to name a couple who think like Dr Narendran.

    Jansee says “With a heavy militarised presence and literally affecting their daily lives on anything and everything ……… “

    The military presence was brought about by the intransigent and foolish VP himself. The fool thought closing the Mavil Aru anicut and depriving water to the population was a wise move. Unfortunately for him and his supporters it ended ignominiously at Nanthikadal. Though the military is being gradually reduced, it will continue to be present in the North as long as the need exists (recently, a large cache of Munitions was found in the North). It will never be reduced to the levels of the past, when the military presence was just intended to control smuggling between India and Lanka via the Palk Straits. The TNA that was nothing but VP’s Door Mat, is responsible for the current situation as much as VP himself.

    You further state “ …………. and with news that even women were forced to surrender their honour, of course, when you talk to them they may have no choice but to play a tune that will satisfy your ears”

    Apparently you are relying on gossip and have not spoken to the women concerned. Whereas Dr Narendran is living and writing from Jaffna. He is in a better position than you, to judge the situation. There was also gossip about female suicide cadres spending their last night before an operation with the LTTE Hierarchy. Nobody knows for sure whether they did or did not surrender their honour to VP and his cronies except those who were present at that time. After all, Ms Mathivathani Erambu was just a school girl when she and her friends were abducted and seduced by VP.

    Dev,

    The so called “Tamil Civil Society” was a collection of individuals who misnamed themselves in order to mislead the world. Except a few, all the rest were from Jaffna. But Tamils are not restricted to Jaffna, hence how can they call themselves “The Tamil Civil Society” when they do not represent the majority of Tamils? Despite all the University Profs and lecturers who signed the memo non of them came forward to defend themselves on GV.

    It is hilarious to see people who kept silent when VP was herding Tamil Civilians, stealing their food and using them as a civilian shield, shedding crocodile tears for the self same people who are now living without the fear of their children getting abducted to be used as cannon fodder.

    Did your children suffer like the Children under VP?
    Did you suffer the agony that the parents of children abducted by the LTTE suffered? If not, you cannot even begin to understand the war affected Tamils of Lanka.

    Blinded by your Eelam project it is not surprising to see your animosity to Dr Rajasingham Narendran.

    • Dev

      Off the cuff,

      I have NEVER EVER commented on eelam nor supported it, I lived under the LTTE and know their atrocities well, both in the Wanni and esp when they controlled Jaffna ! I have no interest in eelam or anything like that.

      My comments (and I can only speak for mine and not the others who have commented here) has/is/will be to expose the egotistical nature of Rajasingham and is

      Me me me ………………..

      I did this…..

      I said this…..

      I am doing this…..

      I am going to do this…..

      attitude !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dev,

        I addressed you regarding what you wrote at the following link in which you brought up the TSA.

        You have avoided the subject totally

        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-47956

        You say “I lived under the LTTE and know their atrocities well, both in the Wanni and esp when they controlled Jaffna ! “

        Then why don’t you share your first hand experiences and expose the separatist project for what it is, without joining hands with separatist propagandists?

        I have debated with Dr Rajasingham Narendran on the Tamil Historical Homeland issue. He was for and I was against. I found him to be intellectually guided and prepared to see reason and not stay stuck on emotive reasons unlike most who write to GV.

        If you are interested in reconciliation and preventing a repitition of the past conflagration, you need people of the calibre of Dr Rajasingham Narendran, Dr Noel Nadesan and Dr Pradeep Jeganathan.

        Listen to what he says without getting embroiled in personalities.

        Listen to his message without shooting down the messenger.

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dev,

        I hope you yet remember Marc Antony’s words about Cleopatra- “Veni, Vedi, Vesi”( I came, I saw, I conquered). I am sure this does not sound an ‘I’ mantra to you, given your mindset.

        ‘I’ am writing about what ‘I’ have seen, what ‘I’ learned and what ‘I’ have experienced. The ‘I’makes a big difference, because it is an identifiable entity talking about what is ‘real’ to him. It is not hearsay or make belief. I never comment on what ‘I’ know little or nothing about, although ‘I’ read to learn, ask to learn and discuss to learn.

        It is really saddening to encounter one such as you.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dev

        me me me me Rajasingham Narendran,

        If you cannot help the people, let those who can do so, likeTamil civil society, TNA, NGO’s and good natured Tamils (including the diaspora) and some good natured Sinhalese. Helping in supplying their physical needs, raising a voice to the voiceless to highlight their shortcomings…..etc

        You are willing to sell our own wounded and distraught people to satisfy your ego..that’s sad, I am sad to have met a fellow Tamil like you..

        • http://www.groundviews.org Groundviews

          We strongly encourage readers to focus on issues.

    • Anpu

      Dear Off the Cuff,

      You are wrong in this
      “The military presence was brought about by the intransigent and foolish VP himself.”

      Military presence…. long before VP
      “..In 1956 the Tamil leaders sat down to a peaceful protest on Galle Face Green. Sinhala thugs were unleashed on them. Later, in 1961, when the Tamil leaders and the Tamil people sat in peaceful Satyagraha in front of the Jaffna Kacheri, the Sri Lanka army did not fail to react with inhumane violence…” http://www.sangam.org/FB_HIST_DOCS/ThangathuraiStatement.htm

      “Whereas Dr Narendran is living and writing from Jaffna.” I too want to live in Jaffna and thera are so many like me want to live in Jaffna with dignity – freedom, equal rights,…

      Anpu

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        You are right. I stand corrected. I should have qualified my sentence.
        The increased military presence was brought about by the intransigent and foolish VP himself.

        You say ““Whereas Dr Narendran is living and writing from Jaffna.” I too want to live in Jaffna and thera are so many like me want to live in Jaffna with dignity – freedom, equal rights,… “

        I am a Sinhalese and I welcome you to live not just in Jaffna but anywhere you chose to, in Sri Lanka. I will also support you in your quest for Dignity, Freedom and Equal Rights within the legal boundaries.

        However I will oppose any attempt at establishing UNEQUAL Rights or Special Rights to any ethnicity in Sri Lanka. That is why I oppose The Eelam project and the exclusive Historical Tamil Homeland project.

        I have found Sangam.org to be a racist website. It is not interested in reconciliation but interested in fuelling hatred. The Tamils should realise what their elitist leaders did to precipitate a 30 year war. If you continue to be mislead by these elitists and become their cat’s paw yet again, the results would be disastrous.

        In this web page you will find a debate I am having with Jansee. Please take a look and watch the BBC Hardtalk video. It should give you food for thought.
        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48010

      • Anpu

        Dear Off The Cuff

        Thanks.

        You are ignoring the important points. They are very crucial.

        In 1961 there was no LTTE. But there was army ….

        This is what I picked from the Sangam.org ““..In 1956 the Tamil leaders sat down to a peaceful protest on Galle Face Green. Sinhala thugs were unleashed on them. Later, in 1961, when the Tamil leaders and the Tamil people sat in peaceful Satyagraha in front of the Jaffna Kacheri, the Sri Lanka army did not fail to react with inhumane violence…” ”

        Instead of saying I was there in front of the Kacheri and I experienced it. I gave the link to sangam.org so that readers can get more information. You failed to comment on the inhuman act of the army at that time. Instead you came out with the a statement “Sangam.org is racist”.

        Now I am going to fast forward. What are your comments to what Dr Jayampathy Wickremaratne says

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv5HDHyl5Xc on LLRC, 8 March 2012

        http://www.jdslanka.org/index.php/2012-01-30-09-31-03/politics-a-social-issues/2-13th-amendment-is-irredeemable

        ’13th Amendment is irredeemable’ – Constitutional expert, 17 June 2012

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        Why do you keep referring to what others write? They are not in this discussion to answer questions. I saw Mr. Sumanthiran and Aachariya wriing to GV when Dr DJ critiqued Mr Sumanthiran over a speech he made. But after DJ responded to that critique both Mr Sumanthiran and Aacharya fell silent. Hence if you are not able to defend what you quote, referring to outsiders is worthless.

        You seem to be a “no questions asked” supporter of the TNA. In other words you are a blind supporter of TNA. The TNA received 233,190 votes and cannot claim to represent the Tamils of Lanka.

        You say “Later, in 1961, when the Tamil leaders and the Tamil people sat in peaceful Satyagraha in front of the Jaffna Kacheri, the Sri Lanka army did not fail to react with inhumane violence… “

        You mean they were blocking the entrance and preventing the Kachcheri employees from working?

        Are you sure it was the Army?

        In 1962 the GA Jaffna was Mr. Sri Kantha, The Supdt of Police was Mr. Richard Arndt and The Assistant Supdt of Police was Arumugam Mahendran.to desist from blocking the entrance and to allow the Kachcheri employees to enter their place of work. This was refused and the entrance continued to be blocked. The SP warned the leaders that if they did not clear the entrance within 5 minutes he will forcibly clear the entrance to the GA’s office.
        As warned the Police took action.

        Though the Satyagrahis were not armed, they used force, by blocking the entrance and preventing the employees and the public from entering a govt office. The Kachcheri is the premier govt administrative office. If the Katchcheri stops functioning the Administration stops functioning.

        It was the Police and not the Army, as Sangam wants you to believe.

        The GA was a Tamil
        The SP was a Burgher
        The ASP was a Tamil

        My stand on devolution is as follows.
        1. The Territorial integrity of the island of Sri Lanka is inviolate.
        2. Any citizen of Lanka should be free to live and work anywhere within her territory
        3. There should not be any officially recognised ethnic enclaves
        4. The Public Resources of Lanka should benefit all her citizens on a per capita basis.
        5. The benefits of any development work undertaken by the Central govt must have an equal per capita distribution amongst all ethnicities in the population (I am making a distinction here between the Provincial govt and the Central govt).

        The above principles are not met in 13A hence my opposition to it.
        But I believe that it can be suitably amended to comply with them.

    • Dev

      Off the cuff,

      I don’t need to share my experiences about the evil perpetrated by the LTTE, the whole world know their nature ! Why do you think the EU/USA/Britain all banned the LTTE? Since they had nothing else to do in parliament that day ??
      Singhalese just love to say “LTTE is evil, they did this , they did that….”
      The LTTE is DEAD and GONE !!!
      Are you one of those foolish enough to think that the Sri Lankan army won the war without the help of Indian/US help? Please……

      My problem is the present, how I see the government having destroyed the LTTE now is hell bent on destroying whatever is left of the Tamil spirit ! This is aided and abetted by people like Rajasingham to pamper their egos.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You say “I don’t need to share my experiences about the evil perpetrated by the LTTE, the whole world know their nature ! ……. ) “

        Why? Are you afraid that the horror stories that you claimed you experienced from the LTTE would make other Tamils realise the futility of this stand off between communities?

        You say “Why do you think the EU/USA/Britain all banned the LTTE? Since they had nothing else to do in parliament that day ?? “

        Because they had more information about the LTTE activities that you never had.

        You say “Singhalese just love to say “LTTE is evil, they did this , they did that….”
        The LTTE is DEAD and GONE !!! “

        Your hatred is surfacing. I believe that this hatred is due to misinformation.
        The LTTE is neither dead nor is it gone. Prabahkaran and SOME of his thugs are dead and gone. Some others are in SL’s custody and MANY others are in UK, Canada, USA, France, Australia and many other countries around the world. The Leader and Architect of the LTTE Baby Brigade is in UK. So though you may be living in denial we are not.

        You say “Are you one of those foolish enough to think that the Sri Lankan army won the war without the help of Indian/US help? Please…… “

        I believe I get the smell of Sour Grapes here.
        How did this issue come up? I never raised it.

        BTW haven’t you forgotten something?
        Remember the Indian Parippu Drop decades ago which saved Prabahkaran from imminent capture and the end of the war? In retrospect India did a disservice to the Tamils. If not for this Parippu drop at least 40,000 Tamil children who were used as cannon fodder by the LTTE would have been living today. The North would have escaped the destruction due to a 30 year war. A generation of Tamil youth would have got an education instead of death. The North could have become a Singapore with the money that the Tamil Diaspora spent on Munitions. Think about it, there are many more disadvantages and opportunities lost.

        You say “My problem is the present, how I see the government having destroyed the LTTE now is hell bent on destroying whatever is left of the Tamil spirit ! “

        Our problem is also the present. Apparently you view the destruction of the terrorist LTTE as being responsible for the destruction of a major part of the Tamil Spirit. Please explain.

        You say “This is aided and abetted by people like Rajasingham to pamper their egos“

        Is dissent not allowed within the Tamil community?

        I believe that you find people like Dr Rajasingham Narendran difficult to counter, so you attack him personally, instead of contesting what he says. You find countering an Ethnic Tamil more difficult than countering a Sinhalese, as you cannot call him/her a “Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinist”. Instead you have only one recourse, which is calling them “Govt Collaborators”. That wont cut any ice with an intelligent outsider and you recognise it. So you go after him with all the venom you can muster.
        With an attitude like this, you are no different to the LTTE, who could not tolerate a dissenting voice. All who dissented ended up dead. The only difference is the LTTE used Slander and the Bullet. You use Slander minus the Bullet (for now that is) to silence the voice of dissent. But I doubt you will succeed, in silencing such people, who write with conviction and experience.

        The last two paragraphs are from a debate I have with Jansee. Please check the link below and read the rest. Especially view the BBC HardTalk video that I have linked to there. I hope it will help you to think and realise the folly of becoming the Cat’s Paw of the Tamil Elitists who led a few generations of Tamils to destruction like the Pied Piper did.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48010

      • Dev

        “Are you afraid that the horror stories that you claimed you experienced from the LTTE would make other Tamils realise the futility of this stand off between communities?”

        There is no fear, everyone already knows about the LTTE, its like trying to convince people that Hitler was a evil monster ! Besides the mastermind of the LTTE international operations is in govt custody, others like Karuna are with the govt, Prabakaran, Soosai and all the major players are dead. The Tamils will never support an armed uprising –these are the facts !

        Let time answer you……………..

        I don’t need to counter Rajasingham Narendran, many reports from many sources (both international and local) have countered him already ! As others have noted beside me within this discussion his comments are really about him…”me me me”

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You say “I don’t need to counter Rajasingham Narendran, many reports from many sources (both international and local) have countered him already ! As others have noted beside me within this discussion his comments are really about him…”me me me” “

        Of course, when you are intellectually bankrupt and does not have a mind of his own, what else can you do other than make ad hominem attacks on a dissenting voice?

        Thank you Dev, for an enlightening discussion.

  • jansee

    Dr Rajasingham:

    The link below very clearly shows the lies manufactured by a regime hellbent on making the lives of Tamils hell:

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jaffna-Catholics:-government-is-lying-about-civil-war-refugees-25621.html

    For a person who is a pawn in the ill designs of a regime that has none whatsoever credibility to any its claims pertaining to what is happening in North/Tamils, I might as well think of a word that is commonly coined against the Tamils – now it can be “lackeys” of a utterly discredited regime. I hold to a steadfast belief that this regime, with the help of the likes of you, are deceiving the world of what the actual ground situation is over there. It conveniently uses a few Tamils to propagate to the world in a deceitful manner of what a benevolent regime it is – as I mentioned earlier, it is nothing more than sham.

    We have no qualms in assigning blame to Prabhakaran for what it has turned out to the Tamils but the colossal devastation this regime has inflicted upon the Tamils, and the miseries the Tamils are undergoing as pointed out in your two transcurrent articles could not be done by even ten Prabhakarans. Of course, the Tamils are very subdued over there and trying to get honest and transparent views could mean very dangerous – with white vans and missing persons accounts hovering over their heads.

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Janzi,

      This is a reply to both your last comments. This forum is not there to lecture, hector or abuse anyone. It is there to present views, opinions, promote discussion and debate, and exchange ideas. The ultimate purpose is to learn.

      I am glad that you acknowlege that a section of the war-affected Tamils may have views that are different to your’s. Thanks

      Now the question is whether the views of the war-affected Tamils, who I opine are in the majority, should be taken into account while formulating the Tamil political agenda. They are the people on the ground and their views based on direct and traumatic experiences should count. They may change their views when they are on a better footing. This is for time to dictate. This would be democracy in its truest sense. Their present plight dictates that the Tamil politicians address their concerns as a matter of priority.

      I am not in denial of the past and what it meant to many people. However, things change and have to be made to change. What are the changes we want? Let us articulate this, without shooting down every notion of change. Let us look at the Sri Lankan scene objectively, without the panonia or jaundiced eyes, dictated by the past. Sri Lanka is not perfect and is in fact far from perfect. However, she is perceptably trying to move in the right direction. We should lend our shoulders to this positive movement,however small, rather than being obstacles. The caraven will move, despite our barks, as there are unignorable pressures demanding change. We should move with the caraven, so as not to be left behind.

      Please read the article titled, ‘ Eelam dreams and Tamil Elitism’ by Sanjeeva Ranaweera in the following link:

      http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/eelam-dream-and-tamil-elitism/

      It covers a lot of ground and presents a different perpective and makes one think.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Dr RN,

        Thank you for that link.
        It was excellent reading.

      • Anpu

        Dear Dr RN,
        To be fair Sanjeewa Ranaweera should have started writing about the history from an earlier date (of course we cannot rewind the tape all the way back to Ravana and Raman). Perhaps date of indepednace is a good start – 1948.
        Anpu

      • Anpu

        It is worth reading the comment made by
        Senguttuvan – August 24, 2012 12:19 pm in http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/eelam-dream-and-tamil-elitism/

        I am more inclined to feel the LTTE (8,000-15,000 youth according to GoSL estimates at the time of this pyrrhic victory) were defeated after many decades of battle – many non-Tamils, including those in foreign lands, were certain they would win) They lost against a modern, well-equipped force of nearly 400,000 (Army, Police,Navy, Air Force pummeling them from the ground, air and sea with no regard to civilian or collateral damage of life and property)
        By any account this was no war of two sides of equal strength. By sheer numbers alone the Govt side should have won years ago. But, as we now learn, the war was big business for many in the South – the politician, men in the army and the other 3 froces. Many have huge assets in the West, in North America, Australia and Singapore. Huge fortunes were made in the South even by the lesser cadres in the forces . It is not an exxageration to state keeping the war going benefitted a whole lot of VVIPs, VIPs – both uniformed and civil. Just to satisfy the pseduo-nationalists in the readership here, it was soalso in Vietnam, Cambodia, Pakistan – though for slightly different reasons. War brings misery to many and fortunes to a chosen few.

        But I agree with the Writer’s notion the defeat of the LTTE was not merely good for the Sinhalese – but for the Tamils as well. Because,
        VP, who began as a passionate and romantic freedom fighter in the mid-1970s, transmogrified into a one-track despot. He was not the first and neither will he be the last in world history. He ruthlessly killed those even close to him who did not share his views. He destroyed the present and future of millions of Tamils. Yet his original dream and of many other youth who made the supreme sacrifice for the battle for justice for the Tamils remains and the struggle continues – in different theatres, forms and players outside the battle-field. The answer lies in the Sinhalese finally coming to terms with the ground reality.

        What TGTE is today is what the ANC was in the 1970s functioning from Lusaka in Zambia. S. African President Verwoerd and later the Botha Brothers mocked at the ANC as some do the TGTE today. And so it was
        when Yasser Arafat and the PLO were laughed at by the Israelis. I am no TGTE fan although I am not against them in their fight for justice for the Lankan Tamils; their agitation for a Tamil Homeland that was lost in 1505. I suggest people don’t laugh at the diaspora. They mean no mischief from the comfort of their homes in wealthier lands. They have no intention to harm the territorial integrity of the country. They feel for their near and dear – who suffered so much in the recent past and who saw hell on earth during the war. Their quarrel is against the Sinhala supremacists of today who refuse to
        concede justice and reason – inspite of the entire region and world
        sympathising with the Tamil cause for justice.

        You say you voted “for nationalists and patriots” in the previous elections. Are you wiser now? They are neither – but blood-suckers who came to power cheating the Sinhala people. There is one who lived in a
        near wooden shack at Kadawatha (suburn of Colombo on rent – only a few years ago. He fooled the young and the new leftists with his swaying Sinhala oratory. This sycophant is said to be now living in a Palace in the Maharagama area – to the shock of the poor people of the area
        who admit they have been taken for a ride. He is only one of many hundreds who profited from turning politics into a business by using the anti-Tamil card. The country’s economy was not ruined by the LTTE or much by the war but by traitors in national garb of this variety.

        As an educated and articulate Sinhalese think about this. If the Govt and the Sinhala people are fair why are only the majority Tamils in the Northern Province denied their right to elect their own Councillors even today? Many are beginning to. Even the JVP, who reached political heights on the anti-Tamil platform, are now in Jaffna “to be with our Tamil brothers and sisers” I welcome this as I welcomed the change of attitude of that extremist communalist semi-literate Sarath Fonseka – when he bowed down in prayer at Nallur Kandasamy Kovil. His attack of good sense and intelligence, if you will allow me, seems to have come after he did much damage to the Tamils while in uniform and in another avatar.

        So, my friend – the Attorney at Law, be wary of the use of your language. Even the ANC and PLO were considered to be pursuing “flimsy objectives” at one stage. They are now members of the community of nations today with their seats in the UNO. Unless the Sinhalese wake up the best option you will end up soon with will be AN UNDIVIDED ISLAND OF TWO NATIONS IN ONE COUNTRY – a reality that is now engaging the interest of many thinking citizens in both sides of the divide.

        Senguttuvan

      • Anpu

        “..Their present plight dictates that the Tamil politicians address their concerns as a matter of priority…” TNA is doing that for a long time.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        “..Their present plight dictates that the Tamil politicians address their concerns as a matter of priority…”

        The above is a quote from Dr. Rajasingham’s post which you have quoted and given the following reply

        “TNA is doing that for a long time.”

        How can that be when the TNA was the Megalomaniac Terrorist Prabahkaran’s Door Mat?

        Did the TNA succeed in getting Prabah to stop abducting children and using them as cannon fodder? At least 40,000 died.

        Did the TNA succeed in stopping Prabah from using Tamil Civilians as a Human Sheild?

        Did the TNA prevent Prabah from shooting those who tried to escape the Human Shield and reach safety?

        Did the TNA succeed in preventing Prabah from amputating those who attempted escape from the Human Shield?

        Did the TNA succeed in keeping the Govt declared NFZs free from LTTE Militarisation and turning them also into a war zone?

        As an ardent supporter of the TNA you are blind to their perfidy.

        BTW since Ileya Senguttuvan is not in this discussion it is fruitless to reply what you reposted on GV unless you are prepared to defend his writing. Are you prepared to do that?

      • Anpu

        People who attack TNA should read this article – It was President Rajapaksa who Wanted to Devolve Power Urgently so People could Take Charge of Their own Destiny 25 August 2012, 10:17 pm by M A Sumanthiran M.P http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/10003

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Anpu,

        What is the relevance of this link? Have we been discussing the question of devolution? Why this red herring?

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        The TNA received only 223,190 Tamil votes in total.
        Hence they do not represent the 3,000,000 + Tamils of Sri Lanka.

        Taking a very conservative and charitable estimate of the Tamil electorate to be half the Tamil population, the TNA has less than 15% of the Tamil vote.

        Hence they certainly do not represent the Tamils of Lanka but less than 15% of them.

        The TNA was the mouthpiece of the LTTE.
        Their ideology is that of the LTTE.
        They accepted the LTTE as the SOLE representatives of the Tamils.

        Judging by your offhand and generalised response to my comment, you are unable to answer the queries I have raised about the TNA.

        As Dr Rajasigham has observed, you have tried to raise a red herring about devolution.

        I have stated my stand on devolution in response to another comment of yours. It can be found at this link.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48077

        Now it is up to you to state your stand and debate the issue of devolution since you are unable to defend the TNA.

    • Off the Cuff

      Jansee,

      Why this deceit?

      Your story at the link is datelined 23 Aug 2012. However it is based completely on innuendo and not fact. It makes a feeble attempt at gaining respectability by quoting the Darusman report and uses figures from that report released on 31 March 2011 over 1 year and 5 months ago. Hence the data on that report would have been collected between June 2010 and March 2011. Making the data, which if credible (Even the USA has not used this report in framing the recent resolution on Sri Lanka), would be about 2 years old.

      Is there no end to your deceit?

      At this rate linking to a speech made by Prabhakaran could prove that VP is not dead but alive and well.

      More than 82,000 foreigners have visited the North since the end of the war.
      They have seen, heard and experienced what the North is today.

      You say “We have no qualms in assigning blame to Prabhakaran for what it has turned out to the Tamils “

      You should have displayed your bravery when Prabahkaran the megalomaniacal murderer was amongst the living. If you have not done that, your holier than thou attitude cuts no ice.

      Can you link to any criticism that you have done of VP or LTTE when VP was alive?

      Can you link to any criticism of the TNA for being the Door Mat for VP and his Gang of thugs?

  • jansee

    Off the cuff:

    Mavil Aru was just an excuse. Still, that does not explain the immeasurable damage done in terms of land and limbs. If the Sinhalese regime and supporters like you have an axe to grind against Prabhakaran, it should have gone after Prabhakaran but what looks like is the vengeance against the Tamils as a race. Having the army presence is, by and large, not the issue but the sheer numbers and worst still their interference into the daily lives and the way their animistic instincts are dsiplayed. Call it gossip – after all what can one expect from a mouthpiece of a discredited regime.

    Just like Dr Rajasingham, Douglas Devananda is also there. Surely you can cite a better example to relate what goes in reality in the ground. Well, look at this link. Is this gossip, too:

    http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jaffna-Catholics:-government-is-lying-about-civil-war-refugees-25621.html

    What Prabhakaran did was bad and I believe there is general acknowledgement over that but the SL regime did was far, far worse. Perhaps, even ten Prabhakarans would/could not have committed the annihiliation and destruction committed by the SL regime. If the Tamils had a roof over their heads under Prabhakaran, the SL regime destroyed all that. Prabhakaran or his goons did not go raping Sinhalese girls or women around the streets of Colombo. The acts of Prabhakaran, while detestable and at times horrific, far pale in shade compared to the colossal damage inflicted upon the Tamils by a ruthless and vengeful regime. When SG Ban Ki Moon flew over the devastated area, he remarked that he had never seen so much of destruction in his life. Well, is that gossip, too?

    You are literally lying like SL regime when you claim that children live a better life now. The physical and psychological impact of the sheer brutality with which the SL regime had conducted this war just goes to indicate how far people like you would ignore the real effects of this war. The often heard stand of the regime “zero civilian casualties” had been shred to pieces – gossip eh.

    • Off the Cuff

      Jansee,

      Mavil Aru happened.
      The Water was cut off by the LTTE.
      Cultivations died and all appeals to the LTTE fell on deaf ears.

      Excuses are not needed to wage war on Terrorists.

      You say “If the Sinhalese regime and supporters like you have an axe to grind against Prabhakaran, it should have gone after Prabhakaran ……. “

      Don’t you have an axe to grind against Prabahkaran?
      You make a feeble critique of it now, did you profess it then?
      The SLA did go after Prabahkaran. That’s why he is dead.
      Not just Prabahkaran, the SLA went after the whole LTTE leadership that’s why they are all dead.
      People like you thought that it would never happen but it did and all the money you poured on VP was a waste.

      You say “ but what looks like is the vengeance against the Tamils as a race. “

      To your Jaundiced eyes it may look like that but the Fact of the matter is, almost all the Indian origin Tamils, numbering about a million, live completely surrounded by Sinhalese on Land dispossessed from the Sinhalese by the Colonial Govt.

      And the majority of Lankan Tamils live amongst the Sinhalese and all attempts by your prodigy Prabhakaran failed to ignite race riots even under extreme aggravation.

      You say “Having the army presence is, by and large, not the issue but the sheer numbers and worst still their interference into the daily lives and the way their animistic instincts are dsiplayed. Call it gossip – after all what can one expect from a mouthpiece of a discredited regime.
      Just like Dr Rajasingham, Douglas Devananda is also there. Surely you can cite a better example to relate what goes in reality in the ground. Well, look at this link. Is this gossip, too:
      http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Jaffna-Catholics:-government-is-lying-about-civil-war-refugees-25621.html

      Yes you posted that link earlier and I had a look at it then. It is not only Gossip it is also OLD Gossip (about 2 years old) and hence, does not reflect the current situation.

      Unfortunately you have not seen my response to your link.
      It is held up awaiting moderation.
      Your current post too was with the moderator as I did not see it when I wrote my earlier reply.

      Here is the link to it

      http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48000

      If I was with the govt and had the govt resources to base my comments on and to disseminate them to the public, you would have a very hard time contesting them and propagating the Eelam project.

      You say “Just like Dr Rajasingham, Douglas Devananda is also there. Surely you can cite a better example to relate what goes in reality in the ground. Well, look at this link. Is this gossip, too: “

      Yes DD, Karuna and Pilleyan are also there but I did not cite them.

      Those I cited are Dr Noel Nadesan and Dr Pradeep Jeganathan.
      What are your objections to them?

      You say “What Prabhakaran did was bad and I believe there is general acknowledgement over that ….”

      Sure you can say that when he is dead. Very brave indeed.
      Did you articulate this view when he was living or did you go on street demonstrations waving the terrorist flag?

      You say “the SL regime did was far, far worse. Perhaps, even ten Prabhakarans would/could not have committed the annihiliation and destruction committed by the SL regime. If the Tamils had a roof over their heads under Prabhakaran, the SL regime destroyed all that. “

      What was the roof the Vanni Tamils had except the sky (don’t confuse the generalised term Tamils when the affected people were the Vanni Tamils. That again is deceit) when they were being herded from place to place like cattle by Prabahkaran?

      Even now you are making excuses for Prabahkaran when you know very well that it was he who exposed the Vanni Civilians to gun fire by keeping them in between the SL Army and himself by threat of death or amputation which he carried out on those who attempted to seek safety.

      You say “Prabhakaran or his goons did not go raping Sinhalese girls or women around the streets of Colombo.”

      No they went on night raids in the border villages to do that and worse, to the Sinhala peasants including children and pregnant women.

      You say “When SG Ban Ki Moon flew over the devastated area, he remarked that he had never seen so much of destruction in his life. Well, is that gossip, too? “

      Ban Ki would have not visited Iraq after the UN sanctioned, American led war then!
      Just the shear scale of bombardment in Iraq, which Ban Ki had full knowledge of, should have prevented him from uttering such foolish comments. If he indeed made those comments that you attribute to him, he may have been visiting the place, which is his namesake, when the Iraq war was on!

      Jansee we also saw the Pictures taken when Ban Ki went on his trip. These were published by the Times of London with the intent of slinging mud at SL. Those pictures clearly showed Gun emplacements and Munition dumps in the MIDST of civilians, within the NO FIRE ZONE.

      The LTTE had no business to be there.
      It had no business to fire at the SLA from there.
      It was the LTTE who exposed these civilians to retaliatory fire.
      And it was the Tamil Diaspora Funds that bought the Munitions.

      And all this while Hundreds of thousands of Diaspora Tamils staged death fasts while tucking into Fast Food and blocking Public Roads in Western Capitals, waving the Terrorist Flag, to save the Megalomaniac and his murderous gang from death. Were you amongst them?

      But not a SINGLE protest, to demand the release of the Vanni Tamils, held captive by Prabahkaran to ensure his personal safety.

      You are complicit in that Jansee.

      You say “You are literally lying like SL regime when you claim that children live a better life now”

      What part of what I said is a Lie?
      Are they living in fear of being used as Cannon Fodder?
      Are the Tamil Parents of young children living in fear of their children being abducted and conscripted by the LTTE?

      Were your Children abducted by the LTTE Jansee or were they safely out of his reach?
      Did they attend school Jansee, while those in the Vanni were robbed of that?

      Here is a BBC Hardtalk segment for you to know the extent of the use of children by the LTTE

      Javier Aguilar – UNICEF minute 3:26 onwards (from the BBC Hard talk program) says 8000 children were saved (some as young as 9 years). He says that number is just the tip of the iceberg. During the last 6 months LTTE forced at least 200 children a month.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gXbFPoDWSI

      Continue your viewing and listen to what the Tamil girl interviewed at the end has to say, despite the leading questions put to her by the BBC. Does not support your views does she?

      Here is another

      Parish priest of the St Agnes Church Mankulam Fr James Paththinadan describes in detail how the LTTE came to his church and took those who were under his care at gun point, after a shoot out with cadres who had deserted the LTTE.
      Velaudan – resident of Mulativu, Father of Niruba
      Niruba a 15 year old Tamil female child
      Madavaraja – President Vallipunam Regional Development Society
      Sinnayya Sivaneshan a Tamil youth

      Are they ALL govt corroborators?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpPBJr4Pq5A&list=UUHLitxsriMl-jcpvUYtV2Xw&index=0&feature=plcp

      You did not fight for Eelam.
      Your children did not fight for it either.
      All of you stayed in safety and comfort away from the fight.
      Your children had a childhood and a good Education.
      What did the Vanni Tamil children have?

      You deserted the fight and pushed the Children of the Vanni to die for a cause that they did not want.

      Eelam war was fought by proxy, by the poor Tamil children of the Vanni, as young as 9 years old.

      An Iceberg has 9/10 ths out of sight. This means around 40,000 children were sacrificed at the Altar of Eelam. This is what you are trying so hard to camouflage.

      You say “The physical and psychological impact of the sheer brutality with which the SL regime had conducted this war just goes to indicate how far people like you would ignore the real effects of this war. The often heard stand of the regime “zero civilian casualties” had been shred to pieces – gossip eh. ”

      War is Brutal and that is why we do not want a repetition.
      That is why we oppose your hate propaganda and expose the lies that you disseminate.

      You find people like Dr Rajasingham Narendran difficult to counter, so you attack him personally, instead of contesting what he says. You find countering an Ethnic Tamil more difficult than countering a Sinhalese, as you cannot call him/her a “Sinhala Buddhist Chauvinist”. Instead you have only one recourse, which is calling them “Govt Collaborators”. That wont cut any ice with an intelligent outsider and you recognise it. So you go after him with all the venom you can muster.

      You are no different to the LTTE, who could not tolerate a dissenting voice. All who dissented ended up dead. The only difference is the LTTE used Slander and the Bullet. You use Slander minus the Bullet (for now that is) to silence the voice of dissent. But I doubt you will succeed, in silencing such people, who write with conviction and experience.

  • jansee

    Dr Rajasingham:

    “This would be democracy in its truest sense”

    Sometimes, I do scratch my head. For a regime that has been ever eager to conduct provincial elections in other provinces has thus far been evasive and refused to conduct it. Perhaps, we can then gauge what the “majority” feel as you have claimed. Please do not remark on why elections are not being held – you certainly would know what would be the answer from me.

    If you had read my postings soon after the war ended, you would understand why I stand steadfast against a regime that just thought could bluff its way around. A good number of us believed in the change that you now so fondly speak of but the events that followed and the way it hoodwinked on the promises is not only glaring but it is now common knowledge that whatever it does, right from the LLRC saga to the formation of the implementation committees, it is the sheer pressure from the outside world. Mahinda Rajapakse had a very rare opportunity indeed to heal the wounds of the war but the political instincts in him took the better of him when he could have been an exemplary example of a statesman. Now, with mounting problems both at the home front and from outside, he had lost a wonderful opportunity to bring about the easing of pains. Pray tell me, how as a Tamil you feel of the victory parades by a sinhala regime – against Prabhakaran or against the Tamils?

    • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      Jansee,

      I can only say in response to your reply to ‘Off the cuff’that excuse or real, the LTTE had to be finished off. It was a welcome necessity. The Tamils had to be freed from the grips of the monster the LTTE had become, as much as Sri Lanka.

      Regarding the question regarding the victory parades addressed to me, I would have rejoiced too at the decimation of the LTTE, if not for the fact that I was very much saddened by the plight of the Tamils in the Vanni. I was also sad because many youth and capable men in the LTTE had to die, because of their commitment to an organization that had lost its way. I was sad because they were the cream of our youth and had much potential. We are the poorer because of these deaths. I was sad too that VP had to die the way he did, because he was one of the most capable men that the the Jaffna Tamil Community had produced, but unfortunately had led the Tamils astray and into cul-de-sac while laying the seeds for their near destruction. We will not easily find a Tamil with his organizational skills and motivational power in the near future. We have already found many more Tamils with his foolishness, as is becoming more evident by the day.

      Further, all Sinhalese did not rejoice. Many were either in a reflctive mood or just relieved. Those who celebrated were a minority, who wait for an opportunity celebrate anything from winning a cricket match to winning a war. Their joy was also justified, because a great fear/burden had been lifted off their shoulders. Whatever celebrations were there was definitely over the vistory over the LTTE and not the defeat of the Tamils. The Sinhala people were at that point in time quite aware of and troubled over the consequences to the Tamil people. There were of course, as always a few noisy exceptions.

      The government was joyous because it had defeated an entity many had thought was undefeatable after three long decades. They were also relieved that they had no need to respond to LTTE demands under duress. They also wanted to express their gratitude to the armed forces and consolidate their political hold over the elctorate that elected them. This was natural. The government was also not celebrating a victory over the Tamils. It also did the best it could for the Tamils displaced by the war, under very difficult circumstances. I was a witness to this.

      I am sure many Tamils would have celebrated too if the LTTE had won the war, irrespective of what happened to the so-called enemy. Tamils did celebrate the Karuna-led victory at Elephant Pass and the previous victory at Mullaitivu. Thousands of soldiers died in these debacles, although the governments have not admitted to it. many soldiers were killed in cold blood, after they had surrendered or given the greenlight to escape. There are many Sinhala mothers yet searching for their missing sons! This did not make the Tamils any less human than the celebrating Sinhalese.

      Pressures are being exerted on the government from many sides, both within and without. But these should be for the right reasons and with the right motives. Undue and unfair pressure would be counterproductive.

      You obviously know my response to the elections in both the north and east, under existing circumstances.

      Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Murali Reddy

    There is some thing amiss about the report. I am not doubting the integrity of the authors.
    It begins on the note “The women and their families were displaced since 2008 and were prevented from going home to Puthukudiruppu”.

    Puthukudiruppu was the last but one settlement taken over by the Sri Lankan Army in the third/fourth week of April, 2008. I presume the women and `their families’ could not have been displaced from Puthukudiruppu. Had they moved to some other place from Puthukudiruppu? If so why? How did they land at Menik Farm camp in 2008?

    “Rajini’s husband was killed on April 17th 2009 during the last phase of the war between the Government of Sri Lanka and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Her eldest son, now 23, was forcibly recruited by the LTTE in 2007″.

    How could the husband stayed behind and got killed on April 17, 2009 when `the women and families’ were displaced `since 2008′?

    B. Muralidhar Reddy
    Correspondent, The Hindu.

    FULL DISCLOSURE
    I was correspondent of The Hindu functioning out of Colombo and reporting on Sri Lanka. I reported on the conflict and post-conflict from July 16, 2006 to December 31, 2010. I was allowed by the Sri Lankan government to visit the conflict zone in the last phase.

  • Jothi

    Murali Reddy,

    Thank you for your questions.

    The article is based on extensive conversations we had with ten different women, all from PTK (but various wards)who were at the time of our conversation were still living in Menik Farm. In order to get a better and more honest perspective on their situations we had made arrangements to meet with them outside of the camp. We met with all of them only a couple of days before their release/resettlement to PTK. For security reasons we will refrain from quoting the exact date of our meeting here. However, suffice to say that some of us had known a couple of the women and their families for several years and this was not a first meeting.

    In terms of the time frame:

    The women had informed us that PTK Ward 10 was to be released/resettled on Aug 10th and Ward 09 were to be taken back on August 13th. Their displacement from PTK as a whole took place at different time periods. For some it was in 2008 and others in early 2009 (although this was a minority). Some who had family members in other places had decided to leave PTK before the third/fourth week of April 2008 which you refer too. Thus, said differently, their end point (i.e. Menik Farm) was not necessarily directly from their starting point (i.e. PTK). Few of the women had decided to stay behind but were eventually forced to leave and were taken to Menik Farm in the later part of 2009.

    Had they moved to some other place from Puthukudiruppu? If so why? How did they land at Menik Farm camp in 2008?

    Yes. Some had moved to other places from PTK to be with family (esp women who were widowed) for short periods of time until the very last days when they found themselves crossing Nanthi Kadal and at Vattuvaikal, they were surrounded by the SL military forces then taken to Menik Farm during the period of May 2009. Others, who had left PTK before the third/fourth week of April 2008 and moved from one location to another were taken in to Menik Farm at an earlier point.

    How could the husband stayed behind and got killed on April 17, 2009 when `the women and families’ were displaced `since 2008??

    I believe the previous explanation also addresses this question. Although we took Ranjini as our first subject, the goal was to portray the trajedy of a community of people. In this case those living in PTK and their challenges to return home – and in some cases since 2008.

    Ranjini although had been displaced since 2008 (she went to stay with her brother and his wife) was taken to Menik Farm in May of 2009. Ranjini was living in PTK when her son was recruited by the LTTE in 2007.

    We hope this clarifies the logistical concerns.

    • Murali Reddy

      Thank you jothi.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    A response to the recent report from a Catholic Church sponsored Commission in Jaffna:

    http//:thuppahi.wordpress.com/…/raj-sivanathan-challenges-the-catholic-di…

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran
  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    “Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision.” – Ayn Rand, Russian-American Novelist” (http://dbsjeyraj.com/dbsj/archives/10040#more10040)

    While the blog by Vishnuguptha makes interesting reading, this quote that precedes it is quite profound.

    The Tamils needed this visionary leadership from the day after the war ended on May 19th’2009. The plight of the Tamils affected by the war demanded it. The visionary leadership demanded by the times should be delivered to the Tamils at least now.

    Sri Lanka needs this visionary leadership starting at least now, to articulate clear solutions to the problems confronting minorities in particular and the nation in general. Vishnuguptha has highlighted these. The grand vision for the development of the country, which is beginning to emerge now, should be explained to the people and made their vision too. The quality of governance should improve and be seen to improve by the people. The improvement in governance should go hand in hand with development. We should also become a nation anchored in abiding values while developing.

    If Singapore can have the world’s highest per capita income (US $ 55,000/=) ; a quality of life that we should envy; a far-sighted leadership; honest and upright politicians; a dedicated, efficient and honest public service;and a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-religious and well integrated and orderly society; why can’t we?

    What we need is visionary leadership that can get things done with dedication, honesty and absolute probity. Considering our size to that of Singapore we will need at least a dozen men of the quality of Lee Kuan Yew and his successors, to start with. But we need a leader to make this happen.

    President Mahinda Rajapakse, with the popularity he enjoys, the determination he displays on occasions and long experience as a politician, has the potential to become our first Lee Kuan Yew.
    Can he do it? Will he do it? We need a visionary national leader now! If Mahinda Rajapakse fails to become one, this country would have lost a historical opportunity.

    The first task he has to address directly and boldly is the so called national question- the issue of the minorities, particularly Tamils and their place and role in Sri Lanka. The president has to present a clear vision and offer viable solutions to the Tamils and other minorities directly and carry the Sinhala people with him to deliver them.

    This country should not be blighted by another Puthukudiyiruppu again!

    (26th August-yesterday-was Singapore’s National Day and I was impressed by how the Prime Minister presented his vision for the country to his people and the spontaneous standing ovation he received)

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Anpu

      Mahinda Rajapakse is a Sinhalese Extremist Says Lee Kwan Yew http://transcurrents.com/tc/2010/05/mahinda_rajapakse_is_a_sinhale.html

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Anpu,

        Mahinda Rajapakse is not a Sinhala extremist, whatever Lee Kuan Yew may have said of him. He could be however described as yet a politician who is reluctant to challenge the extermists boldly. This may have something to do with the nature of the coalition he heads. His post-war actions belie the accusations that he is an extremist. He is moving albeit slowly to build a Sri Lankan nation that is inclusive, without arousing the ire of the extremists.

        My comment above implies that he become more open and more vigorous in creating a new Sri Lanka. In effect, he has to become a statesman, if he wants to leave a lasting legacy. Winning the war was only the first step in the process to make Sri Lanka a great, prosperous, fair and compssionate nation. JR squadered this opportunity and left us a cursed nation. Those who followed him, could not have done much considering the prevailing circumstances-JVP insurrection and LTTE-led wars. Mahinda Rajapakse has the highway open for him to do what has to be done, boldly and decisively. The people will be with him. If he fails, we-all Sri Lankans- will be the losers. He has to act fast, as he is already 60+ years old, and has not much time left to do what he has to do, even if the 18th amendment permits him to be re-elected president, forever.

        His loud and clear proclamation in the East yesterday that he is the president of all Sri Lankans-Sinhalese, Tamils and Muslims, is a step in the right direction. It was long overdue.

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dev

        Honestly, I cannot believe that you are naive enough to believe what MR said on a platform in a province that the two minorities together are the majority, he has to say this ! Its election time silly !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        Lee Kuan Yew was able to develop Singapore because he practised a policy that ended ethnic strife. That policy is called the Ethnic Integration Policy and is still practised in Singapore, even after 40 years.

        The EIP does not allow the formation of Ethnic Enclaves and ALL housing in Singapore comes under the Housing Development Board.

        EIP is an inherently fair policy that has the POTENTIAL of achieving Ethnic Integration in Sri Lanka too.

        Here is a brief explanation extracted from the following Paper.
        “Public housing and ethnic integration in Singapore”
        by Loo Lee Sim, Shi Ming Yu,Sun Sheng Han,
        Department of Real Estate, National University of Singapore,
        4 Architecture Drive,
        Singapore 117566, Singapore.

        One of the policies used by the government was the provision of public housing. The four main goals of Singapore’s public housing programmes are the provision of shelter, stakeholdership (home ownership), community bonding and building a vibrant community (Tay,2000).

        Thus,besides providing shelter, public housing was allocated with the aim of mixing the population to achieve a balanced mix of the different ethnic groups in every new town and housing estate.

        HDBs programme has evolved over the last four decades to meet the various challenges of increasing home ownership to creating thriving, cohesive and vibrant communities.

        Being a multi-racial society,which had experienced racial unrest and strife in the mid to late 1960s, promoting ethnic integration and racial harmony became a matter of great urgency to the government of the young Republic. Thus, beginning in the 1970s,while keeping closely to the first-come first-served basis for housing allocation, the HDB tried to allocate new flats in order to give a balanced distribution of races to different new towns (Straits Times,31 January 1989).

        It implemented an allocation policy to attain a racial distribution in the new towns and estates that was in line with the racial profile of the nation.

        However,a trend towards ethnic grouping in some new towns and estates forming enclaves was obvious by the 1980s. In particular,with the lifting of resale restrictions and the increasing difference in new and resale flat prices,the racial profile of residents in a block and neighbourhood can change 5 years (imposed time bar before being allowed to sell in the secondary market) on from the initial allocation. If left unchecked, the trend of ethnic regrouping among public housing residents would lead to the re-emergence of ethnic enclaves (Ooi,1994).

        To arrest this problem, the Neighbourhood Racial Limits (NRL) policy was introduced in March 1989.

        Under the NRL,it is the buyer who has to comply with the limits.

        This means that the buyer must belong to a race where the ‘‘ethnic proportions’’ have not been exceeded.

        Ethnic proportions in HDB estates
        For Each Neighbourhood
        Malay…………………… 22%
        Chinese…………………. 84%
        Indian and others 10% (Tamils fall in to this group)
        For each Block
        Malay…………………… 25%
        Chinese……………….. 87%
        Indian /others……… 13% (Tamils fall in to this group)
        Source: Housing and Development Board.

        The public housing programme,through its allocation and other measures,has ensured integration of the various ethnic groups by housing the different races in the same block of HDB flats.

        The deliberate mixing of different flat types which cater to different income groups and the interspersing of private housing developments within public housing estates have also helped to minimize the social stratification within the society,thereby achieving ethnic and social integration.

        “HDB estate is often conceived as the Singapore heartland or a microcosm of the Singaporean ethnic,religious,language,cultural and income groups” (Siddique, 1994).

        The mixing of the different ethnic groups in the housing estates and the community organizations in proportions that approximate to the general population profile has not only integrated the different ethnic groups but has also helped to maintain racial harmony as well as promote community bonding.
        End extracts

        EIP and NRL were the MAIN TOOLS Singapore used to build a Singaporean Identity. Lee Kuan Yew understood that ethnic enclaves creates division and works counter to ethnic integration.

        EIP and NRL will end the Main Cause of ethnic strife. It will end the Exclusive Tamil Homeland cry and build a unified Sri Lankan Identity. But I doubt you will support it.

      • Dev

        The ‘homeland’ concept will die a natural death once the majority start treating the Tamils as citizens of SL.
        It arose as a result of decades of discrimination that persists to this day –take away the discrimination, you take away the fuel for the ‘homeland’ concept.

        No need to mix and mingle artificially as you suggest !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        The problem is a Chicken and egg story.
        Without the Egg the chicken won’t exist.
        Without the Chicken the egg won’t exist.
        What came first?

        You say you were discriminated against and the other party says they were discriminated against. Hence we have a stalemate.

        The Tamil Homeland raised it’s ugly head even before independence.

        On 26 Nov 1947 Chelvanayakam asked Parliament, why the Tamils should not have the right to secede from the rest of the country if they desired to do so. Read A.J. Wilson S.J.V. Chelvanayakam and the Crisis, Page 25

        In 1953 the Federal Party passed a resolution demanding a Tamil University.

        There was no Sinhala University at that time.
        See Nira Wickramasinghe, ‘Sri Lanka in the Modern Age: A History of Contested Identities’, page 267

        In 1944 the Tamil Congress complained to the Soulbury Commission about Sinhala settlement in Tamil Majority areas in the Eastern Province such as Gal Oya, Allai and Kantalai.
        Neela Wickramasinghe ‘Sri Lanka in the Modern Age’ page 269

        You see Dev, the objection to Sinhalese settling in what the Tamils perceived as their exclusive domain, was made by Tamils, to a British govt, that more than DOUBLED the Tamil population of Lanka, when they settled foreign Tamils, exceeding the Total indigenous Tamil population. in the middle of majority Sinhala Areas, on Land DISPOSSED from the Sinhalese by the same British govt.

        It was OK for foreign immigrant Tamils to be settled in Sinhala majority areas by dispossessing the Sinhalese of their Lands and livelihood.

        And it became a crime when indigenous Sinhalese, dispossessed of their Lands by the State, were settled by the State, on Crown Land.

        I think we should do what Singapore did to solve Ethnic issues.
        Force the communities together to learn to live and share with each other.

        EIP was the main tool Lee Kuan Yew used and is still being used to integrate the Races and become the State with the highest per capita income in the world.

        Do you have a better way?

      • Dev

        Is there a point of mixing and mingling if the rights of the minority cannot be guaranteed?
        First treat the minorities as human being who have equal right to life and respect, not as some who came “a few centuries ago” to occupy our “triply blessed land”
        Then this ‘homeland’ and ‘tamil eelam’ and all the antics of the TN politicians would find no buyers !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You are silent when faced with facts.

        Racism was sowed even before independence when this country was under the Brits. Short sighted Tamil Elitist leaders are responsible for that.

        Are you saying that the Tamils were treated like animals?
        The only place Tamils were treated as animals was in Jaffna not elsewhere.

        That was the day when 50% of the Tamil population in Jaffna could not use water drawn from the other 50% Tamil owned wells. That was the day 50% of Tamils could not enter a Hindu Temple to worship. That was the day 50% of Tamils could not aspire to sit at an equal level with the dominant 50% of Tamils. Hence you should have looked at inhumanity then. The time that Racist Tamil leaders were sowing seeds of racism.

        We have a minority with a majority complex and a majority with a minority complex. The best solution is what Lee Kuan Yew did in Singapore.

      • Dev

        I know know….all these problems in the country are due to Johnny come lately Tamils right? Oh if only the country had no Tamils, after all this island was “triply” blessed by the Buddha for the Sinhalese to live not for some Tamils to claim right !

        Oh by the way, of course its the 50 % of Tamils who were left out the temples and wells….etc….of course these invading Tamils with their backward ideas coming and polluting the this holy island !
        Pray tell me, why does the Siam Nikaya only accept high caste into their group? Please pray explain to such a simpleton as me !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        Why the Red Herrings?

        I directly answered your posts.
        Are you unable to make factual arguments?

        As Buddhist I have no respect for any Buddhist who goes against Buddha’s teachings. But that is irrelevant to the question you raised which is “First treat the minorities as human being who have equal right to life and respect, not as some who came “a few centuries ago” to occupy our “triply blessed land” “

        Did you practice what you preach on the Jaffna Tamil population?

        About 50% of the Jaffna population is Vellala Tamils, who were the powerful ruling class. The other 50% was ruled by the Vellala and were deprived of using water from the Vellala wells, deprived of Temple entry to pray to God, Deprived of Education and deprived of equality even in seating.

        Is there anything that is comparable to it?

        This was Tamils dehumanising other Tamils

        And you have only Siam Nikaya to bring up as a counter?
        Are you that intellectually bankrupt?

      • Dev

        My my…I seemed to have touched a raw nerve some where !

        Yes, I admit that there are problems within the Tamil community but remember Prabakaran married a high caste vellala girl ! Besides the war has meant that this is less an issue now and caste boundaries are less rigid……this is beside the point my boy !
        The issue at hand is how the majority treat the minority and the fact that the minorities don’t feel safe and have no access to legal protection…..see the case of the Dumbulla mosque attack…..inspite video evidence and eye witness accounts the monk
        is yet to be charged or arrested…so where is the justice ? Pray tell me my dear boy…….
        (not to mention that no one has been arrested for the burning of the Jaffna library…..83….58….too many to list)

        I mentioned the Siam nikaya because…. imagine if they are excluding their own Buddhist because they are not high caste how they will treat the Tamils they consider “invaders” the new “Ellara” …the new “Chola” …or as many a time I have heard “para themala” .

        Again I repeat, treat the Tamils with dignity and all these issues would go away !
        (I bet you are one of those that believe that there were zero civilian casualties right –I bet you do)

      • Off the Cuff

        [Edited out]

        Comment contains a number of useful points, but is replete with personal slurs. Kindly resubmit in line with site guidelines.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear GV Moderator,

        Thank you for your advice.

        I usually take care not to be the first person to make a personal slur.
        But if such a slur is published I have responded to it.

        These are extracts from Dev’s post to which I responded

        this is beside the point my boy !
        Pray tell me my dear boy…….

        There are two separate instances where he has used the word “boy” hence it called for a response

        I responded by addressing him as Uncle Dev. which is an appropriate and a civil response to someone who thinks he is an elder person, while being a back handed slap for the attempted slur.

        Hence I have modified the first line of my response to explain to him why I am addressing him as Uncle.

        I hope that it would be sufficient to meet with your approval.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You say “……….. this is beside the point my boy !”

        Apparently you seem to think you are more of an adult than me, hence I will differ to your assessment and address you as Uncle Dev.

        Uncle Dev, you say “Yes, I admit that there are problems within the Tamil community but remember Prabakaran married a high caste vellala girl !”

        He abducted a minor, carried her across international borders and seduced her by visiting her at all odd hours in India! That is called kidnapping and possibly statutory rape. Could her parents pull cast and hope to live another day when a terrorist had abducted their child? Don’t be daft and provide excuses to a murderer uncle.

        “Besides the war has meant that this is less an issue now and caste boundaries are less rigid……this is beside the point my boy ! “

        Less Rigid?
        It has started in Canada too now that Prabhakaran is no more.
        Why is it besides the point uncle, when it demonstrates the Tamil Vellala Ruling Class Psyche?

        The Jaffna Tamil ruling class is back where it was before.
        Half the Jaffna Tamil Population was subjugated by them.
        The Eastern Tamils are considered lower than the Jaffna Tamils the reason Karuna split from the LTTE.
        The Indian Tamils are considered the lowest level in the Tamil hierarchy.
        The Tamil speaking Muslims were ethnically cleansed from the North.

        Isn’t Sampanthan of the TNA a Vellala?
        How many so called Low Cast Tamils are in the TNA leadership?

        “The issue at hand is how the majority treat the minority and the fact that the minorities don’t feel safe and have no access to legal protection”

        The majority of the Minorities are living in the South amongst the Majority. They practice their religion and have street celebrations amongst the Majority. Even those who left Lanka during the war are now returning back. Surprisingly even the economic migrants to the West are buying Land and Property in the South amongst the Majority. This gives the Lie to what you are trying to propagate uncle!

        The real issue is peace building in order to avoid a repetition of war. The current Tamil leadership is more interested in power than peace building.

        You say “…..see the case of the Dumbulla mosque attack…..inspite video evidence and eye witness accounts the monk is yet to be charged or arrested…so where is the justice ? Pray tell me my dear boy……. “

        The Dambulla incident is wrong and should be dealt with according to law. I am not privy to the evidence hence I am unable to comment on it. But Equality under the law is a fundamental right. I myself worry as to why the aggrieved party or the civil rights movements or the Muslim Parties or the Tamil Parties did not invoke this fundamental right to equality in the Supreme Court? Are there no Lawyers within the Muslim Parties? Are there no Lawyers within the TNA? Perhaps you know why uncle?

        “(not to mention that no one has been arrested for the burning of the Jaffna library…..83….58….too many to list) “

        You are living in and digging the past Uncle. It is time to move on.
        If the African Americans thought like you, America would have still been in the dark ages today.

        In America the Africans were slaves.
        They were deprived of schooling
        Deprived of sitting with the Majority in the same bus
        A pregnant woman had to stand and travel in segregated buses even if the Majority ONLY section had empty seats.
        They did not get Justice in court because the Jury was the Majority
        They did not get Police protection.
        Civil Rights leaders were assassinated and the perpetrators acquitted despite conclusive evidence.
        There were Riots and the police sided with rioters.
        I have seen documentaries on TV where police used batons on the genitals of women who have fallen on the ground.
        The Ku Klux gang dispensed summery justice in day to day life.
        They had boards stating “No dogs and Blacks allowed” in restaurants
        Similar boards were seen in the UK too
        Have you seen anything like it in Lanka?

        The African Americans fought for emancipation and thats why they were able to carry the majority with them.

        You are vilifying the Majority because your aim is not emancipation but Power. The Jaffna Vellala Control Freaks wants to control 45% of Sri Lanka’s Land, 60% of her Coast and the 200 mile economic zone from that coast line.

        Take a lesson from the African American Civil Rights Movement and carry the majority with you and leave the politicians behind.

        You say “I mentioned the Siam nikaya because…. imagine if they are excluding their own Buddhist because they are not high caste how they will treat the Tamils they consider “invaders” the new “Ellara” …the new “Chola” …or as many a time I have heard “para themala”

        The Siam Nikaya is not the majority. In fact I doubt they are even 1% of the population. The Majority are the Sinhalese who risked the lives of their own families to safeguard Tamils in distress by hiding them and feeding them for weeks (it was a risk to buy even bread from one bakery as buying unusual quantities was a grave risk and bread had to be bought from different places) when goons and thugs were attacking them. They did not care whether you were a High cast or a Low cast Indian Tamil. Though only a few Tamils acknowledge it, several Hundred thousand Tamils owe their lives to that Majority. The Majority that you fail to mobilise behind you.

        You say “Again I repeat, treat the Tamils with dignity and all these issues would go away ! (I bet you are one of those that believe that there were zero civilian casualties right –I bet you do)

        You are a perfect example of a Tamil that is hell bent on Vilifying the Majority. You do not know whether I am one of those people who risked my family and my property to save my Tamil neighbours and colleagues. Yet you repeat the stupid remarks that the govt did.

        Can you blame the majority for not backing you?
        This is the message that Dr Rajasingham Narendran tried to impart to you.

        Show them you are fair and ask for your just share.
        Reach out to their humanity that was amply demonstrated when you were in distress, instead of asking for the pound of flesh.

        Well Uncle are you ready and willing to put the past behind you and bring Peace to Lanka?

      • Dev

        Here you go,
        For instance, Switzerland’s anthem has different lyrics for each of the country’s four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh).
        Canada’s national anthem has different lyrics for both of the country’s official languages (English and French), and on some occasions is sung with a mixture of stanzas taken from its French and English versions.
        South Africa’s national anthem is unique in that five of the country’s eleven official languages are used in the same anthem (the first stanza is divided between two languages, with each of the remaining three stanzas in a different language). Apart from God Save the Queen, the New Zealand national anthem is now traditionally sung with the first verse in M?ori (Aotearoa) and the second in English (God Defend New Zealand).

        Let me explain a bit more, my argument for bringing back the Tamil version, if the Tamil version of introduced as a result of Indian pressure (13th Amendment) or to appease the LTTE (the many failed peace talks), sure no point in keeping it, take it out.
        But it was not so ! It was accepted as the official version in 1952, the same time as the Sinhala version.
        If the country is really interested in building bridges then it would have not removed it, it shows that the government is only interested in stamping its Sinhala hegemony on the minorities!

        More later on the TNA and elections, I have to go now.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You are posting unrelated material in different threads. That is confusing.

        You raised the National Anthem issue in a different thread here
        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48372

        My reply was posted here
        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48375

        You seem to be replying my comment # 48375 in this thread which is unrelated to the National Anthem issue.

        I hope readers will take note and read the comments at the above link before reading this.

        You say “Here you go, ….”

        Where have I gone?
        Please re read my reply # 48375 to your comment # 48372 which is linked above.
        It is my position that the Tamil version of the National Anthem should stay because it should be understood by a Tamil who sings it.

        Thank you for giving me examples of multiple language National Anthems you have reinforced my belief that the Tamil version of the Anthem should stay.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dev,

    The message was heard loud and clear all over Sri Lanka through the media, in all three languages. Further, many Sinhala newspapers also carried the message in their front page today. The message was inportant. He will of course be judged by his actions, by all those who heard and read the message.

    I am sure you would have jumped for joy, IF Mahinda Rajapakse had proclaimed that he was president for ONLY the Sinhalese! Such a message would have of course confirmed how right you are!

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dev

      If MR was so concerned about being president of all why not implement the easy LLRC recommendations, a commission that he himself handpicked and appointed ? Like restoring the parity of the national anthem…..pray tell me ..would have been nice to sing the anthem in Tamil after the speech in the East?

      These are all election time promises… they are even starting a air port face lift on the 3rd of Sep in time for the elections on thne 8th….how very convenient….
      http://www.sundayobserver.lk/2012/08/26/new03.asp

      • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

        Dev,

        I heard him speaking in much improved Tamil at an election rally in the east, on TV yesterday. It indicates that he is continuing to learn Tamil. His deliver, fluency and pronunciation had improved. It was also extempore. Is’nt this good progress in a good start? A man will not make such an effort, if it was only a election gimmick.

        He may also sing the anthem in Tamil soon. I hope it will be pleasant to hear!

        Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

      • Dev

        Maybe not straight from the horse’s mouth but close enough !

        http://english.srilankamirror.com/2012/04/singing-national-anthem-in-tamil-a-ridiculous-idea/

  • Ruki

    I have been meeting these people last few years and while they insisted they want to go home, and quickly, they definitely didn’t insist they wanted to go home on or before a particular date.

    Many of the comments that attempt to praise developments in the North seem to deliberately avoid responding to specific key questions such as why had the government not cleaned up the jungles before people were resettled, after keeping them more than 39 months in Menik Farm? Why was the area not fully cleared of mines and explosives before people were resettled, after making them wait for more than three years?

    Why was priority and urgency given to de-mine areas to build monuments for the military and to develop infrastructure used by the LTTE as tourist attractions instead of housing for people who had been displaced?

    Also, why didn’t the government give any assistance for housing, food etc.? What is the actual allocation for resettlement in the national budget?

    If the government indeed has allocated some budget for resettlement, how much?

    And how does that compare with amounts spent to build the war monuments for military such as in Puthukudiruppu and develop some infrastructure an equipment LTTE had been used as tourist attractions?

    With the steadfast refusal to enact a Right to Information Act, and opposition parties hardly raising these matters in parliament, we citizens have no way of knowing about these matters unless the Government does disclose these. We can only speculate an depend on individual cases, situations and stories we hear and see personally

    To respond also on a very factual manner to questions related to land: The military continues to hold on to significant areas of land belonging to the state, without following due legal procedure. They also have occupied significant areas of land belonging to private individuals, again without following any legal procedures. And they don’t even disclose the exact extent and details. I can only give concrete examples of places I know, like Mullikulam in Mannar district, Sampoor in Trincomalee district, Iranathivu in Killinochi district and Jaffna. In Vidathalthivu in Mannar district, military occupies the traditional fishing vadiya. And they have also prevented access to Kovils, Churches, schools and many other such community buildings. Even last Saturday, a group of us were compelled to wait for more than half hour to go to the church in Mullikulam the day before the traditional feast was being celebrated, and we were only able to go after the Parish Priest came personally to the entrance and appealed to senior Navy officers. Sometime back, a friend of mine was prevented from going to church just because he was a foreign national.

    Military have also refused to return properties confiscated in some of these places, including boats, nets.

    So why not respond to these concrete and practical questions?

    Handing over some of occupied land is indeed a belated gesture, but it cannot be used to sweep under the carpet land that is still occupied.

    And how much compensation has been paid to land that was occupied? For properties and assets confiscated an used? And for income lost during long years of military occupation due to inability to cultivate and fish?

    I do believe its important to recognize history in order to move forward. We cannot just sweep things under the carpet. But recognizing history partially could be counter productive…we need to accept atrocities by LTTE and also the military and government.

    • Dr.Rajasinglham Narendran

      Ruki,

      Your concerns are wide ranging. The IDP resettlement issue involved huge numbers, security concerns,restoration of infra-structure,mine clearance and of course dealing with political pressures.It no doubt was a logistical nightmare in the face of a terrible human tragedy. It also undoubtedly involved a political dimension to show the Sinhala people the enormity of the war, the formidable nature of the LTTE and the significance of the victory. The monuments of course had the objective of immortalising the triumph over the LTTE, moral boosting of the troops and propaganda. I have seen the LTTE monuments along the A9 in the past.

      While I appreciate your concern for the war-affected people, your above comment also raises concerns about your objectivity. Your concerns obviously extend beyond the story in the presentation and display a partisan political dimension.
      Many of the questions you raise ignore the nature of LTTE and the war, post-war security concerns and politicall. issues, and of course the multi-dimentional nature of the problem. There are wheels within wheels, which cannot be easily dismantled and understood in parts..

      Individuals like you and groups with similar intent have to reach out to the war-affected people as individuals and family units and help them regain their footing in life. This would involve meeting needs such as food, housing, health care and livelihood. To stray beyond in to yet indecipherable/not quite understood/unexplained territory may render you ineffective to the

      • Dev

        Of course everyone is biased; Amnesty International, Human rights watch, Asian human rights commission, elders group (which includes Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu) , the catholic diocese, international crisis group, UNHCR, Red Cross, Ms. N. Pillai…….the list goes on inc other local and international NGO’s including people like Ruki !

        Only Rajasinglham Narendran is able to be completely objective right?
        Of course, anything to blow one’s own horn !

        On an unrelated note,take a look at the following link:
        http://english.srilankamirror.com/2012/04/singing-national-anthem-in-tamil-a-ridiculous-idea/

      • Ruki

        Dr RN

        Meeting needs such as food, housing, health care and livelihood of IDPs is primary responsbility of the government. Im surprised you dont recorgnize this

        when governments are not willing or unable to do this, private citizens like you and me or groups try help

        but it is quite clear from the facts i have put out and may others have, that this is a lesser priority to government than building monuemts, war museums etc

        you have of course conveninenly avoided answering many of the specfic questions related to an actual situation I have described and i had sked again in my comments

  • Dr.Rajasinglham Narendran

    Continuation:
    —-people who need your help desperately.

    Dr.Rajaingham Narendran

  • http://None. Srilankan

    Dr.RN
    You are a [edited out] of the GOSL. Why dont you declare the MOU the Diaspora Group agreed with GOSL. Have you commented anything against the Government, other than blaming the LTTE and the TNA You are always praising the LTTE high ups who have now joined the Covt. Have they not committed any crime/sin when they were in LTTE?
    This is what happened to the Hindu Devotes at Dambulla recently http://colombogazette.com/dambulla-hindu-devotees-threatened// Are you in Srilanka to know what is happenning here?.

    The apparent explanations given by you for the delay in resettlement as clearing of landmines is a lame one. As the Armed forces, Sinhalese and families of Armed Forces had no such problems when they were re-settled/settled in North. GOSL is getting $100 million loan from China to build permanent bases , permanent homes for families of Armed services along the coastal northern belts and give them boats and nets to fishing.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dear Ruki,

    “RECONCILIATION,
    WORD over all, beautiful as the sky!
    Beautiful that war, and all its deeds of carnage, must in time be utterly lost;
    That the hands of the sisters Death and Night, incessantly softly wash again, and ever again, this soil’d world:
    … For my enemy is dead—a man divine as myself is dead;
    I look where he lies, white-faced and still, in the coffin—I draw near;
    I bend down, and touch lightly with my lips the white face in the coffin.” -From ’Leaves of Grass’ by Walt Whitman (1819-1892)

    Thanks for your response. I have been in Mullaitivu and seen the extent of the devastation and the extent of the demining operations. The demining is a real problems, as a UN agency has to certify that an area is free of mines, before resettlement can commence. Many international agencies and the army are involved in the task of deemining even now. It is a slow painstaking and dangerous task.

    I think tha government cannot be expected to solve all the issues simultaneously and expediciously. We have constraints on resources, corruption and inefficiency in this country. Further, the government -the big brother- which is under tremendous local and international pressure, cannot get away with maliciousness. However, it has its own imperatives in terms of its political interests. It cannot be denied however that the Sri Lankan state has done much in the war-affected areas after the war. The lapses may be attributed to various factors/objectives as per individual perceptions. For me the direction is what matters and to me it is positive.

    A state rarely works with a heart. By its very nature it cannot be. A state however has to be rational. The Sri Lankan state failed on this test frequently. It is the people- the civic society- that has to bring the heart component into play and help the war-affected unfortunates. This has yet not happened on the scale required, despite the short spurt of overwhelming response soon after the war.

    We have to kiss the faces of the war-affected yet living! This will reconcile us more than any action of the government would.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    • Dev

      The NGO’s and everyday people are doing more to uplift the lives of the living than the government you praise !

      I have been in Mullaitivu and seen the extent of the devastation and the extent of the demining operations. [Edited out]

      • Off the Cuff

        Such as?

        Have you been to Mullaitivu as claimed?

      • Anpu

        Dear OTC, Dr RN,…,

        http://www.colombotelegraph.com/index.php/idps-buddha-statues-and-unsettling-news-on-resettlement/
        “..While the Government has been humming and hawing about which of the people who dodged bullets and bombs for a generation should receive help in rebuilding their homes – resulting in India making even slower progress than usual – and worrying about how to monitor the work of NGOs who come forward to contribute in case they mention inconvenient topics like human rights, elections or horror of horrors a political solution, people keen to erect Buddha statues have faced no such bureaucratic hurdles. There is apparently ‘better than single window clearance’ for such investments. Buddha statues have sprouted at a tremendous rate in places where there are virtually no Buddhists to appreciate them, most disturbingly actually on top of Hindu temples.

        Such priorities don’t sound like Buddhism to me.

        Given that neither the spread of Buddhism nor the entrenchment of the Security Forces is welcomed by the population of the Northern Province, it is only natural for them to make a comparison with the efforts the Government is making towards resettlement…”

        Anpu

      • Dev

        I don’t need to blow my own horn as some people here do, as pointed out by many including me. I do the things I do to help my people not for anything else.

        Please refer to my reply to your earlier comments without starting another thread here !

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You seem to think that only you have the freedom to post replies in more than one thread.

        Even to blow your own horn you need to do work.

        You have been bugging Dr RN with irrelevant remarks without even attempting to address what he writes. Why is that? Is it difficult to counter what another Tamil with dissenting views write?

        Inability to stomach dissenting views has been the hallmark of the LTTE.

        My response to your post in the other thread was posted yesterday and should have been available here

        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48337

        The GV moderators decided that I should modify it. Which I have done by adding another sentance at the begining by way of explanation. Hopefuly it should be available at this link today

        http://groundviews.org/2012/08/16/the-struggle-to-go-home-in-post-war-sri-lanka-the-story-of-puthukudiruppu/#comment-48352

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Anpu,

        Other than copying and pasting what others say I have not observed your willingness to write something of your own. Hence what is the point in responding to a “copy and paste” unless you are willing and is capable of defending what you “copy and paste”?

        I have brought this to your notice before when you copied and pasted an article from Ileya Sengutuwan.

      • Dev

        I am not bugging anyone to stop posting including Rajasingham Narendran , he can and should post as much as he likes , it just exposes him; so I encourage him to post and post a lot.
        I am just pointing out the fallacy in his statements about the great and good this government is doing in the north….
        The fallacy is plain for me since I have seen it! This is verified by this very article by Ruki (which RN very conveniently said was biased !!) and other sources such as the Catholic diocese , other NGO’s and international rights bodies (Amnesty/Human rights watch/International crisis group) –I am just adding my voice to theirs to point out to others who may not have the opportunity to go and observe first hand or are unable to not to believe RN who is very clearly doing this at the behest of the government ! That is all……

        As for the other comment….here you go….very convineint to say
        “I am not privy to the evidence hence I am unable to comment on it.”
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idGeEvNlDSs

        Yes, a I do agree some Sinhalese did save the lives of Tamils but 4000 died in 83 alone in Colombo !
        Prabakaran was 4 years old when the 58 pogrom took place
        FYI As I have stated earlier I am not and never was for eelam or whatever some Tamils are fighting for, I just want to live with dignity and treated as a human being that all………(note human being not even a citizen )

      • Dev

        @Off the cuff,

        “Inability to stomach dissenting views has been the hallmark of the LTTE.”

        Lasantha Wickrematunge, ……not to mention Prageeth Ekneligoda, Iqbal Athas and Keith Noyer…..etc might disagree …….check the latest press freedom ranking…near the bottom… due to whom may I ask?

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You say “Lasantha Wickrematunge, ……not to mention Prageeth Ekneligoda, Iqbal Athas and Keith Noyer…..etc might disagree “

        I knew Lasantha personally.
        So I know that he was of the same view as I about the LTTE.
        DBSJ also has the same view about them.
        He was assaulted even in Canada. His paper was shut down by threatning the shops that sold it.

        So do not try whitewashing the LTTE like you tried to white wash Prabha by saying “……remember Prabakaran married a high caste vellala girl !” (your post of September 4, 2012 • 9:51 pm ) when he actually committed statutory rape by kidnapping a minor, taking her across International borders and visiting her at all odd hours in the place she was kept by him.

        I don’t know why you have a different view of the LTTE.

        Lasantha was murdered and the inability of the govt to bring the perpetrators to book is damning.

        But the question is not that. The question is why you cannot engage and refute what Dr RN says instead of waiting in the sidelines and posting snide remarks.

        You have failed to do that. Why?

        If as you say he is lying, prove that he does so, by factual statements instead of snide personal remarks. Your snide remarks prove nothing other than your own bankruptcy.

      • Dev

        Have you actually read the above article ? It refutes in no uncertain terms what Rajasingham Narendra says ! Please read it first then comment -thank you very much!
        Rajasingham Narendra has also been refuted by the recently released Catholic diocese document on development –this is mentioned in my answer above (again pls read the answer)

        I have never supported the LTTE , I mentioned inter caste marriage since you brought it up. In fact only at the beginning of this year I attended a inter caster marriage in Jaffna of a class mate !

        You keep repeating that I support Prabakaran and the LTTE just like the government hoping that it will hide their own sins. I am glad the LTTE is dead and gone. Again I have told many times I am not interested in eelam and what not !
        Again you keep repeating the same lie in hopes that your shortcomings are hidden.
        The LTTE was a terrorist organization, the government on the other hand claims it represents the whole country and is democratically elected–we hold it to a higher standard !
        So please stop repeating the lie that I support the LTTE –I don’t I only support my people to live with dignity !

        You and your government repeat the lie “he is an LTTEer” the moment someone criticizes them–hoping that if you repeat the lie often enough it becomes the truth like the Nazi’s did !

        So in conclusion
        1) Many sources including this author Ruki have refuted RN and proved he has is own agenda ! The only rebuttal that RN could offer Ruki was “you are biased”
        2) I am NOT a LTTER supporter, never have been nor do I condone their actions ever !
        3) I am not interested in eelam or whatever some small group of radicals want –just dignity for my people and myself.

      • Dev

        I raise these 2 questions/issues

        1)Restore parity to the Tamil national anthem, something its own handpicked LLRC report stated.
        The Tamil version was accepted the same time as the Sinhala version and can be restored at no cost to the government but it won’t be done …..see link below

        http://english.srilankamirror.com/2012/04/singing-national-anthem-in-tamil-a-ridiculous-idea/

        2) Hold provincial council elections in the north–land mines, displacements….etc are lame excuses, given , that the very government claims that everything is hunky dory in the north and all the IDPs are home now….and the it has already held a presidential, parliamentary and local council elections in the north–no reason to delay right? Then why the delay?????

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        You say “1) Many sources including this author Ruki have refuted RN and proved he has is own agenda ! The only rebuttal that RN could offer Ruki was “you are biased”

        Ruki has written biased articles before but when questioned Ruki becomes silent. Here is an instance which I queried Ruki but did not receive a response.

        http://groundviews.org/2012/05/19/three-years-after-the-war-in-sri-lanka-to-celebrate-or-mourn/#comment-44590

        You say “You keep repeating that I support Prabakaran and the LTTE just like the government hoping that it will hide their own sins.”

        My comment is based on what you write. You gave Prabahkaran as an example, hence it was your mistake to give an excuse for him.

        You say “2) I am NOT a LTTER supporter, never have been nor do I condone their actions ever !
        3) I am not interested in eelam or whatever some small group of radicals want –just dignity for my people and myself. “

        I will accept what you say but go through your earlier posts where LTTE became a subject, my assessment was based on them, hence you can’t blame me.

        I have not denied dignity to any minority and I will stand by them when they make fair demands.

        Just saw your second post

        Re the National Anthem, I think it should be allowed to be sung in Tamil (as long as the words convey the identical meaning) as the person singing it should feel the meaning. That said, I can also understand the opposition as I am not aware of a National Anthem being sung in different languages. Can you tell me whether it is so in India ( have not researched it) ?

        Re Prov Council Elections – I think the delay is multi faceted. One of them possibly is the potential for the LTTE proxy, TNA coming into power. The TNA has the same declared objectives as the LTTE regarding separatism. It would be naïve to expect a govt which subdued the separatism of the LTTE after a long drawn out war that has cost the country so dearly, frittering away that advantage by allowing the LTTE proxy to gain power. The govt would rather develop the North and bring back normalcy to the civilians and try to build a moderate Tamil leadership that can effectively challenge the TNA before holding elections (this is my assessment).

      • Dev

        So you think that the people of the north have no option but to wait around without having their voices heard until the government is confident it can find someone who can beat the TNA ? So why hold parliamentary elections? Or local council elections?

        The government always takes Douglous Devanada to international forums like the UN to toot the fact that he its “representing” the Tamils of the north. In fact even with the state machinery and lots of rigging behind them they could only win Delft!!!
        (as seen and reported by Ratnajeevan Hoole –who let us not forget was appointed by none other than Mahinda as the VC of Jaffna –before you call him a LTTEer too and dismiss his eye witness account. ).
        What about governments much publicized visit of the Diaspora led by none other than the famous Rajasingham Narendran? Maybe someone from that group?
        What about K P of LTTE? Maybe he can be an alternative? After all he is with the government??

        This was the same excuse some people in the south used to deny the rights of the Tamils to have any control over their own lives when TULF was winning elections.
        Same old same old…..

        The UNP is in disarray, infighting between Ranil and Sajith mean they have very little chance of coming into power, so there is really no alternative to the PA—so why not postpone elections in the south too? It saves a lot of money and will save a few lives??

        You want people every else other than the north to enjoy the rights of electing their representatives since in the north there is a possibility that someone who will not bend to the whims of the government might come to power?

        Think about it….you want the Tamils to join hands with you to build a prosperous country but do this?

        Regarding the national anthem:
        I posted this above but got posted in the wrong thread, so I am posting this again.
        Switzerland’s anthem has different lyrics for each of the country’s four official languages (French, German, Italian and Romansh).
        Canada’s national anthem has different lyrics for both of the country’s official languages (English and French).
        South Africa’s national anthem is unique in that five of the country’s eleven official languages are used in the same
        Apart from God Save the Queen, the New Zealand national anthem is now traditionally sung with the first verse in Maori and the second in English.
        Indian one is in Bengali (a minority language written by Tagore) and was always the ONLY version, so there is no reason to “remove or add” in the case of SL the Tamil version was also official and now removed.

        Let me explain a bit more, my argument for bringing back the Tamil version, if the Tamil version of introduced as a result of Indian pressure (13th Amendment) or to appease the LTTE (the many failed peace talks), sure no point in keeping it, take it out.

        But it was not so! It was accepted as the official version in 1952, the same time as the Sinhala version, the Tamil version is a very good translation by Nallathamby.
        Even the Sinhala only act in 1956 did not remove it !!!
        If the country is really interested in building bridges then it would have not removed it, it shows that the government is only interested in stamping its Sinhala hegemony on the minorities.

  • Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

    Dev & Off the-Cuff,

    Here are ground reports on mine clearing and resettlement in the Vanni, particularly Mullaitiva, led by UN agencies and others working with them :

    1. http://www.hpsl.lk Mine_Action.aspx

    2. http://www.undp.lk/subprojects/pages/detail.aspx?itemid=31

    3. http://www.hpsl.lk/Files/Situation Reports/joint Huanitarian Update/LK RN 062_J HERU_June_Final

    4.http://www.hpsl.lk/Files/Thematic%20Maps/Resettlement%20Maps/LKM0727_Resettlement%20progress%20by%20GN%20of%20origin%2028%20June%202012.pdf

    Dev says, “I am just pointing out the fallacy in his statements about the great and good this government is doing in the north….
    The fallacy is plain for me since I have seen it”. I have to believe that he has seen, with the caveat that beauty and ugliness are in the eyes of the beholder and depend on how much he has seen, the extent and over what time period! One cannot see progress, unless one has seen what was there at the end of the war! If anyone passes judgement on what he/she sees now, it will definitely be perceived as bad. However, if what are now seen are interpreted in the context of how bad things were at the end of the war ,the extent of landmining and the fact that there are no maps of mines laid by the LTTE, the progress made will be appreciated much more. The mines laid and live ammunition scattered during the Vietnam war have not been completely cleared yet. The density and extent of land mining was much greater in the Vanni.

    Further, Dev cites the Jaffna Catholic Commision report as supporting his stance . I have provided the link to the response by Raj Sivanathan of Australia in thuppahi.com on 26th August, to which no one has responded. I repeat it below:

    http://thuppahi.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/raj-sivanathan-challenges-the-catholic-diocese-of-jaffna-and-senator-rhiannon/

    I hope these references will prove useful for the readers.

    Dev, also claims that much help is being provided to the war-affected poor by him and the likes of him. This I am sure will be appreciated, not withstanding the fact that it is a drop in the ocean. Very much more, on an organized and massive scale has to be dome by the civic society. We cannot expect a cash strapped government to do everything. Obama referred to this aspect of civic society participation in problem solving in his acceptance speech as ‘Self governance’. This is the self-governance we have to have in the war-affected areas.

    Off the cuff, thanks for your contribution here and elsewhere in GV. Your’s is a perspective that has to be presented. It is a perspective that has to seed thought and be discussed. It is unfortunate the messenger becomes the centre of discussion and not the message.

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran

  • Dr.Rajasinglham Narendran

    Dev,
    Thanks for drawing me into this debate and encouraging me to continue. You have given me the opportunity to understand people,motives and the subject better. I made my observations largely on the basis of what I saw and was told, but less on the basis of what I had read. I have been encouraged to read more on the subject. What I have read anew,confirm to a large extent what I had seen and heard before.

    It is your turn now comment on the references I have provided and close this debate. The Eastern Province PC election results are also in and I would like to read your verdict on the permance of the ITAK/TNA, as you have also mentioned the TNA in your opening comment.

    Incidentally, I was only one among 21 in the Diaspora delegation you refer to and it was led by Dr.Noel Nadesan (Australia).

    Dr.Rajasingham Narendran ( The famous?)

  • Ruki

    Off the Cuff,

    While you are entitled to your opinion about whether I’m biased or not, i wish you can also respond what you think about the concrete facts i had presented after being present and visiting the people and area described.

    Do you think it is ok for the government to send people to areas where mining had not been completed, more than three years after the end of the war?

    Do you think its more important to spend Sri Lankan public funds on building monuments for military and developing equipment and buildings used by LTTE into war museums and objects of tourists attractions instead of providing essential things like basic housing, toilets for people who were trying to go back home after more than three years of displacement?

    Do you think more than three years was not enough for the government to clear up few kilometers or even few hundred meters of jungle so that at least a foot path would have been there for people to reach where their homes had been once?

    Do you think it’s fine that the government doesn’t provide even a tent or basic food rations to these people? ( whatever had been given was given by UN agencies and other well wishers)

    As for your comment that i had become silent when questioned to a particular comment you had made, I had responded in detail to your comment and that of others to my article on 19th May, see

    http://groundviews.org/2012/06/06/responding-to-comments-whether-the-end-of-the-war-should-be-celebrated-or-mourned/

    I had explained again why the event i described was held on 18th May – coz the priest who had served in that particular church had died on 18th May 2009.

    And I had emphasized that my insistence on right of family members to mourn on a date of their choosing was irrespective of who the victim was (such as LTTE cadre, Govt soldier or civilian) and who was responsible for the death (LTTE or Government military). I didn’t go asking on this particular day who was responsible for killing of disappearance of relatives or children of particular women, it would have been inappropriate and anyways, as i had mentioned, to me, this was not so important when talking about rights of families to remember and mourn. However, on many previous occasions, i had certainly met women whose children had been forcibly been recruited, abducted etc. by LTTE, same way i had met women whose children had been abducted, killed by Government soldiers. I had mentioned these in previous articles i had written. I was never keen to talk about only one group of people who were suffering, based on who was responsible.

    I wonder why you seem to be very particular only to talk about those killed and subjected to other forms of oppression by the LTTE only, while ignoring those killed or subjected to other forms of oppression by Government military? Perhaps this clearly indicates who is biased?

    • Anpu

      Dear Ruki,
      Excellent article and follow up comments. Keep writing for justice.
      Anpu