The Vanni: Depicting the end of Sri Lanka’s war through a graphic novel

Groundviews interviewed via email Benjamin Dix, who along with Lindsay Pollock are producing The Vanni, a multimedia graphic novel based on the hellish denouement of Sri Lanka’s 27 year old war in the first half of 2009. A preview can be viewed here. Since the live web version requires a modern browser with very good broadband, we’ve embedded just part of the preview as a video below.

Benjamin Dix and Lindsay Pollock have launched a campaign on KickStarter to support the production of The Vanni. You can read about and choose to support the campaign here. The following video is taken off the project’s KickStarter page.

Why you are producing The Vanni?

After working in Vanni for nearly four years, I had made many close friends within the communities in Kilinochchi, PTK and Mullaitivu. Working and living there was a real privilege; it was politically fascinating, environmentally stunning and culturally rich. The main thing that struck me was the decency and friendliness of the people; I was looked after, cared for and made genuine friends within the community. As the security situation spiralled throughout 2007 and 2008, it was heart breaking to see the villagers from the Mannar district displacing towards Kilinochchi. They arrived bedraggled, confused and shell shocked after displacing multiple times from the approaching army and its relentless shelling.

In September 2008, the UN evacuated and I lived through, by far the worst emotional experience of my life, having to say goodbye to people under such conditions. I did not agree with the decision to evacuate at that time and believed it was a premature move that could have been handled very differently. With the pleas for us to stay from the protesting communities at our compounds, we drove out of Vanni. The aftermath has now been well documented in Callum Macrea’s documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and most recently, in Frances Harrison’s book Still Counting the Dead.

That episode left a profound sadness inside me that has never lifted, mixed with a great sense of guilt and abandonment of friends and staff members; I wanted to try and give something back. The media coverage of the conflict has been incredibly limited, and I wanted to find a way to tell non-Sri Lanka specialists about the situation and tell the story of people that were forced to live through the war.

From 2009 until the present day, I continuously received messages from old friends and colleagues that find themselves in all corners of the world. I often received the messages through friend requests on Facebook! After talking with them about their experiences through the war on the beach, living through the horrors at Manik Farms and then leaving Sri Lanka, often for Chennai and then Europe, I decided I wanted to tell their story.

I had initially decided to tell the story from around 2006 to the end of 2009. But whilst visiting Tamil refugees in Chennai I realised that the aftermath of the conflict and the rippling effects were almost more compelling than the conflict itself.

I was in Chennai with a friend and her daughter and we celebrated, with an elaborate lunch, the arrest and detention of her husband, also an old friend of mine, in Zurich. He had spent nearly $20,000 with agents travelling from Chennai to Saudi, Istanbul, Kiev and to Zurich. The story was incredible and I relised how conflict continues in peoples lives long after the bombs stop falling. So I began to look at telling the story from this perspective – from the asylum seeker in the UK reflecting back on his life from 2006 to the present day in London.

What made you think of a graphic novel to look at the end of war in Sri Lanka?

I have been a fan of political graphic novels for a while now. Novels such as; Palestine by Joe Sacco, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Maus by Art Spiegelman inspired me in the past to understand certain conflicts that I did not know too much about. I enjoy the media of the comic book, seeing the faces, expressions and the geography of where the story is set. Presenting it as an art form takes the reader into a different interaction with the narrative, using both visual and textual media.

Last year I watched the animated film Waltz with Bashir about the Israeli/Lebanese conflict. It is a stunning piece of animated art but what struck me was that toward the end of the film, the animation turns to film footage. I found that very striking as the viewer suddenly realised that this was a real story – not a cartoon. I then started to look at all the photographs and film clips I’d taken in Vanni over the 4 years I’d been there.

Working with Lindsay (the illustrator) we began to go through all of my images and collect others from the Internet and build a visual narrative that showed Vanni in its illustrated form, backed up with photography of the places and people.

I wanted to make something that was accessible to a wide audience, not just people interested in Sri Lanka and wanted to make it an educational experience. So we decided to start presenting it online and could therefore experiment with multi media techniques of embedding the illustrations with photographs, film clips and reference material.

By writing the book as a narrative about one family, I hope will make it accessible to everyone. I don’t want to tackle the huge numbers of dead and all the stories and politics that are connected to that, Frances Harrison has already done that exceptionally well in her book ‘Still Counting the Dead’. The international media is now awash with ‘so many thousand died here and there’ in various conflicts that I feel we might be slightly desensitised to these numbers. But by presenting the book as a narrative about one single family, I hope we can all empathise with them. We all come from a family and might be able to reflect on the emotions that they go through in the story of what it would be like to lose a loved one or simply not be able to protect your children in various circumstances. These are raw, human emotions.

Also, by writing it about a family personalises the whole narrative. We get to know the characters in the book. I hope it will help tackle some of the issues surrounding the notions of terrorism.  One of the characters has to go and fight with the Tigers. But by knowing that character before that period, we can understand that they are not a demonic personality, in fact, they are incredibly gentle and loving, but intense circumstances, outside their control has led them to a situation where they have to fight and are now viewed by the world as a ‘terrorist’. That is a larger issue than just Sri Lanka. I believe that the vast majority of people in this world would like, if given the choice, to live in peace with their families but circumstances often force them to fight and are then perceived by the world as a terrorist.

The reference material is very important to the project as I don’t want it to be a book solely about Sri Lanka. We can therefore use Sri Lanka as the case study and build the narrative from the Sri Lankan experience, but can embed websites, academic articles and media articles behind the illustrations that deal with topics of, among others; conflict, migration, conscription and asylum. I hope by doing this it will create a new space where students and general readers can interact with these topics through new and innovative ways.

What made you sink your own money into the production of this web based graphic novel (a problem you could have as a foreigner easily moved away from)?

Most creative projects need to have an initial investment to get them off the ground. As previously mentioned, the evacuation from Vanni and the resulting situation left a profound sadness in me and writing this book is somewhat a cathartic exercise. The situation was relatively ignored by the international media and I wanted to tell the story to the world. Lindsay and I have self funded the book for a year now and have got to the point of presenting the preview on the Internet but for us to proceed into the far larger project we need financial backing.

I don’t think it matters that I was a foreigner in Vanni. Living there for four years, one makes deep relationships with people. I had a home there, my favourite place to watch sunsets, eat Kottu rotti, and motorbike at the weekends – in many respects it was ‘home’. When that home is destroyed and people you care about die, the colour of my skin or the country name on my passport makes no difference to the sense of loss.

What you hope to achieve by the publication of The Vanni?

I would like to achieve a couple of things with this book.

Firstly is to tell the story of civilians that had to live through this conflict. I am taking an ethnographic approach to the project. I am trying very hard to make it as impartial as possible and using the testimonies from survivors about their experiences. The project is not about political rhetoric, its voices of civilians who passed through the conflict and now find themselves as refugees scattered across the globe.

Secondly, I want to create a research tool that can be used by students and a general reader that focuses on issues such as conflict, migration, conscription, asylum and terrorism. To present these complex issues in an accessible illustrated narrative with literature embedded behind the illustrations is a unique way of presenting academic research. By using the medium of the graphic novel, I hope it will be accessible to a very wide readership.

Thirdly, I want to challenge people’s understanding of asylum seekers and conflict in the west. The media often portrays asylum seekers as people who scrounge off the system, that come and take our jobs etc. By presenting Antoni, the protagonist, in London and understanding what he went through to get here, and that being here is not at all where he wants to be, I hope will challenge the reader to understand that we need not be threatened by the notion of asylum.

  • Dev

    Interesting idea, best of luck for your attempts.

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

    “impartial”? I just threw up a little bit. This is going to be fantastic piece of pro-LTTE propaganda.

    Dix, another UN aid worker who went native in the Vanni, reporting of that paradise of earth wrote (with a straight face): “Children walked hand-in-hand to school along sandy tracks through the jungle.” His famed impartiality omits any mention of the LTTE white vans which simultaneously kidnapped many of those same children into LTTE combat formations.

    http://tinyurl.com/d4fzs8n

    Just look at the film’s backers:

    Liv Torres (Norwegian People’s Aid). They gifted heavy earth-moving diggers to the LTTE, enabling them to construct the earth bunds which cost so many lives on both sides and delayed their inevitable defeat by many months.

    Roma Tearne (chick-lit author and boycotter of the 2011 Galle Literary Festival)
    Vairamuttu Varadakumar (Tamil Information Centre)

    and not forgetting ..
    Arundhati Roy (‘genocidal Sri Lanka’ whiner)
    Jon Snow (Channel 4)
    Frances Harrison (BBC & Amnesty hack)
    Callum Macrae (a “journalist”)

    For true impartiality, how about including the SLA soldier’s viewpoint? Frankly, you’d be better off watching the LTTE-produced “Operation Ellallan” on Youtube, which is an excellent film and honest about their commitment to the cause.

    • Banda

      Exact truth. The clan is complete if they take Ron Rednour too in to the gang. This has been a very organized campaign done by Tamil Diaspora as revenge for their defeat of their terror group, All their figures are factious and they get people to visualize lot of things to, And put them in print as evidence. These people are payed to do a job. The few aid workers that they have employed is to give authenticity to the story. They too have been bought. Good luck, this will go on until the ill gotten LTTE money is finished.

      • Candidly

        Interesting comment, but I don’t think these people are doing this because of the money they make from it. They probably make very little from because their audience, apart from that for Channel 4, is very small althought they do get a little bit of public recognition. The reality is, in my opinion, that the Tamil Tigers were the terrorists-of-choice for a small section of the western radical-chic chattering classes. There are sections of Western society that love being gung-ho rebellious and need to find safe outlets for their agression. In general the public in the West knew little about the situation in Sri Lanka over the last 30 years and even less about the incredible complexities of that situation. So at first it was easy for these people to re-brand the fascist-like ideology of the Tigers into an heroic rebellion by a poor oppressed minority. That was why the Tigers made the decision to do all they could to refrain from targetting Westerners, for they knew that nothing would turn the West against the Tigers as quickly as the killing of a few white people.

        In my view the commitment of these Western apologists for the Tamil Tigers is not primarily financial, neither is it even ideological. It comes rather from a misplaced fantasy they have about the “noble” minority rebel standing alone against the “brutal” majority. It is because it is a romantic fantasy that they have to manufacture all these stories about massacres and genocides and the purity and innocence of the “victims” in order to convince themselves that their fantasies are the truth. Benjamin Dix’s stories are a good example of the lengths to which such people will go in order to express their misguided version of reality.

        How Dix and others, like Gordon Weiss, were able to slip through the UN selection process I do not know.

    • nathan

      “how about including the SLA soldier’s viewpoint?”

      But we have already seen the SLA soldier’s viewpoint.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohRUz02sT3U

      And so now Blacker, [edited out – no ad hominem attacks please], is an art critic too. Naaice. :)

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

        Yes, that video had very low production standards with poor lighting, muddy sound, camera shake, poor focus etc. For slickly produced execution videos, no-one could beat the LTTE’s own films produced by their Nitharsanam (Truth Tigers) section.

        I hope that Dix and his crew will also include those stories. That would be the ‘impartial’ thing to do.

      • nathan

        @groundviews

        Fair enough. Just that I find hard to avoid harsh comments at my age and considering all that I’ve seen.

        I find it, of course, particularly cruel of some (?) to dismiss all the sufferings that the Tamils endured and are enduring under the Sinhala majoritarian regime as ‘LTTE propaganda’.

        • Candidly

          My friend, surely it is clear that though the situation is still not right for the Tamil people in the north, it is far, far better situation for them than it was under the iron fist of the Tamil Tigers. No one, I repeat no one, did more harm to the Tamils in the north of Sri lanka than did the LTTE. The catastrophe for the northern Tamils occured when Tamil who should have known better made the decision to surrender themselves to the leadership of a gang of bloodthirsty criminals and mercenaries led by a psychopathic but extremely cunning megalomaniac called Velupillai Prabhakaran. From that moment the terrible fate of the Tamil people in northern Sri Lanka was sealed as the rest of the people of Sri Lanka were presented with no alternative but to do what they did. With time, everyone will realise this.

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

        Well, since I am an art director by profession, as well as a published illustrator and designer, not to mention being an aficionado of the graphic novel, I think I am more than qualified to point out the poor quality of this work ;)

    • Kushan

      Now now Mango, there is no need to go off the deep end here. On Indi’s blog you were shouting against the Sinhala Buddhists, calling them hypocrites and what not (including all the soldiers), so why do you have a problem with this graphic novel?

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

        Now, now Kushan,
        I’m staying firmly anchored to reality. Hypocrisy has no ethnic or religious barriers. My problem with this ‘book’ is Dix’s completely laughable suggestion that it will be impartial’. That’s a bit like saying Mervyn Silva’s an impartial public servant. i.e. completely and utterly unbelievable. I’m always happy to be proven wrong, so we’ll have to see, but the signs don’t look good.

        You’d better re-read my tussle with Sinhala buddhist hypocrisy – where have I called all soldiers hypocrites? Anyway knock yourself out :)
        http://indi.ca/2012/03/the-buddha-copernicus-and-rebirth/

  • chaminda

    It seems to me as if aid workers who lived in the Vanni under LTTE occupation experienced something akin to the Stockholm syndrome. It is hard to see how they would be so idealistic living in, lets say, Northern England under the rule of a despotic megalomaniac running a military dictatorship. I guess, with the severe lack of development and LTTE orchestrated ethnic cleansing, the place must have seemed a simple paradise where well paid UN workers can frolic on their motorbikes, drink vanni cocktails and smoke a joint. The realty of the long term ramifications of terrorism, separatism and a Prabhakaran in power wouldn’t have mattered in this passing fad for them.

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

    Also, it looks really poorly done. Haven’t these guys ever opened a graphic novel before? I guess if you’re handing them out free or selling it via a Tiger front organisation, quality won’t matter.

    • Dev

      True, not everything can be as well done like C A Chandraprema’s Gota’s War was done , can it?

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

      If you had read my critique of Gota’s War (http://blacklightarrow.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/chandrapremas-war-a-review-of-gotas-war/) you might have remembered that I said it was well written, but heavily biased. This comic looks badly drawn. I can’t tell if it’s biased without reading it.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Readers of GV,

    The authors say
    “The main thing that struck me was the decency and friendliness of the people; I was looked after, cared for and made genuine friends within the community”

    Undoubtedly there are decent and friendly people amongst the Tamils. This is not however a monopoly of one community. The same thing can be said of all other ethnic communities in Sri Lanka. Lucky for Benjamin Dix, not to have come from the Low Cast Tamil community, the untouchables who were shut out from Temples and not allowed to practice even their religion or refused water from High Cast owned wells or refused a chair in classrooms and had to either bring their own Low Stool or sit on the ground.

    “In September 2008, the UN evacuated and I lived through, by far the worst emotional experience of my life, having to say goodbye to people under such conditions. I did not agree with the decision to evacuate at that time and believed it was a premature move that could have been handled very differently. With the pleas for us to stay from the protesting communities at our compounds, we drove out of Vanni”

    Strangely, when the UN workers were abducted by the LTTE, the UN was silent and powerless, kneeling before the LTTE might and pleading for their release. Dix is suffering from selective amnesia.

    “The aftermath has now been well documented in Callum Macrea’s documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields and most recently, in Frances Harrison’s book Still Counting the Dead.”

    Documentary or insinuations?

    UN Special Rapoteur Alston brought in his own Experts Daniel Spitz, Grant Fredricks etc, in support of the first “Killing Fields” of Ch4. These so called experts have been exposed as Charlatans by the courts in USA and Canada. Well documented indeed.

    Dr. Daniel Spitz
    Dr Spitz found that the footage (Ch 4 Video) appeared authentic, especially with respect to the two individuals who are shown being shot in the head at close range. He found that the body reaction, movement, and blood evidence was entirely consistent with what would be expected in such shootings.

    Forensic Pathologist and medical doctor, Daniel Spitz is the current Medical Examiner for Macomb County, Michigan.
    Watch the Video titled, Rob Simpson Case – Daniel Spitz Integrity in Question

    Spitz could not find any Entry bullet wound or the Bullet that killed a Banker, shot on the back of the head, “Execution Style” and had concluded that the Death was a Suicide. Or DID HE SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE?

    Is his opinion for Sale?

    Watch the two videos below and form your own opinion.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpL56wS_qZo

    Watch the video of Spitz stuttering on Cross Examination on why he FAILED to find the Bullet or the entrance wound of a Man Killed EXECUTION STYLE with a bullet to the Head

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3Oy76_nICc&NR=1

    Grant Fredericks
    Mr. Fredericks, who has testified as an ‘expert witness’ in numerous cases was in the spotlight in Canada when he appeared as a witness for four policemen who tried to cover up their involvement in the death of an immigrant at the Vancouver airport in October 2007. The Mounties maintained they used a Taser gun on Robert Dziekanski because he was violent and refused to cooperate.

    However, a bystander’s video contradicted that version.

    At a public inquiry held in 2009 into the killing, which drew public furor and demands for the police to stop using Tasers, Fredericks, in support of the cops, said his analysis of the video showed Dziekanski moving toward the officers shortly before he was jolted.

    First, Fredericks was caught in a lie about his contacts with the manufacturers of the guns, Taser International. Don Rosenbloom, a lawyer retained by the Polish government to represent Dziekanski’s interests, pointedly questioned Frederick about his organization’s (LEVA) affiliation with Taser. Frederick denied that there was any connection.
    “Let me suggest to you, sir, that one of the major sponsors of that laboratory and that program under LEVA is Taser International. Do you agree?” asked Rosenbloom.

    “No, I don’t think Taser even knows it exists and I’ve never had any involvement with Taser International,” Fredericks replied.

    But as Rosenbloom pressed on, Fredericks’ answers changed.
    “I believe I saw Taser as one of the vendors at our conference last year,” Fredericks eventually admitted. Taser was and still remains one of LEVA’s corporate sponsors.

    Fredericks’ credibility and professional expertise got a further hammering when he was questioned about his forensic analysis of the video.

    Fredericks supported the RCMP police officers’ defense that Mr. Dziekanski stepped toward them while clenching the stapler in his fist. He even testified that from his repetitive viewing of a three-second segment of a stabilized version of the Pritchard video, he identified Mr. Dziekanski take three distinct steps forward (right, left, right), based on his analysis of shoulder movements, although he could not say how far – whether an inch or a foot . He acknowledged that he could not see Mr. Dziekanski’s legs or feet, and had no special expertise in biomechanics or the study of human motion.

    Mark Hird-Rutter, a certified photogrammetrist who was called by the Braidwood Commission that inquired into the Robert Dziekanski killing to analyze the methodologies used by Fredericks, described the methodology as ‘flawed.’ Hird-Rutter said:

    The methodologies that were used in Mr. Fredericks’s report do not follow the rigours of the Science of Photogrammetry and it would be wrong to use them to determine the movement of Mr. Dziekanski either forwards or backwards.

    Another expert Duane McInnis called by the Commission also criticized Fredericks’s analysis and methodology. McInnis, a mechanical engineer and founder and senior engineer in MEA Forensic Engineers and Scientists, Canada’s largest forensic engineering and scientific firm concluded that Mr. Fredericks’ opinion (that Mr. Dziekanski moved toward the officers) is not technically supportable because of measurement errors.

    The Commissioner’s final opinion on Grant Fredericks:
    His verification methodology was flawed — while I accept that his measurement of the fixed object (the counter) showed a decrease in size as the camera zoomed out, he could make no comparable measurement of the movable object (Mr. Dziekanski’s jacket), because he was not able to measure the entire length of the jacket, as it extended below the level of the counter. I accept the opinions of Mr. Hird-Rutter and Mr. McInnis on this issue.

    He has no special expertise in determining steps from shoulder movements — without the verification referred to above,Mr. Fredericks’ opinion of three distinct steps forward is based entirely on his repetitive viewing of the three-second segment of the Pritchard video and his interpretation of Mr. Dziekanski’s changing shoulder movements. I am not persuaded that his expertise as a forensic video analyst extends to this type of human body movement. In the absence of such expertise, his opinion deserves no greater weight than the opinion of any other careful observer. I have watched this segment of the Pritchard video many dozens of times, and I have been unable to detect the three methodical step movements Mr. Fredericks described. Even if I am wrong and Mr. Dziekanski did take three distinct steps forward, Mr. Fredericks’ opinion is of questionable significance, since he repeatedly refused significance, since he repeatedly refused to estimate distance, even a distance as small as one inch.

    When the Experts’ integrity is in question what they say become worthless.

    When you view these together with the observations of Dr Noel Nadesan and the conspicuous absence of Injured or Dead LTTE from the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the War zone, the charge of Gross Fabrication is standing a mile above Ch4.

    • Dev

      I believe that this Noel Nadesan lives in Melbourne Australia, was he looking through his telescope from there observing what was going on in the Vanni?.

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

        Unlike so many who pontificate (e.g. AI, HRW etc), Dr Nadesan visited the North & East in 2009, 2012 etc.
        http://noelnadesan.com/2012/10/04/recent-visit-to-sri-lanka-a-summary-report/

        • Dev

          I too have visited and continue to visit the Vanni and Jaffna areas, having both close family and friends in the region ! Noel Nadesan and Rajasinglham Narendran and I can tell what is written about what is going by them does not hold true !!

          • Dev

            correction:

            The above should read as NOT ONLY Noel Nadesan and Rajasinglham Narendran and I can tell what is written about what is going by them does not hold true !!

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

            Umm… OK.. .so you’d better go through what Noel Nadesan’s written, correct any errors you find and tell us all about it.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dev,

        Why would Dr. Noel Nadesan require a telescope to watch the CH4 propaganda “Killing Fields” when it is available on the web? But Dr Nadesan has put them under a microscope. You should try that too.

        It is revealing to find that you have gone after a fellow Tamil’s comment ignoring the facts that have been established by the US and Canadian Judicial systems. The fact that Both Expert Witnesses brought in support of the CH4 by the UN’s special rapporteur have proved to be Charlatans. The selection of such charlatans and passing them off as expert witnesses by Alston raises doubts about Alston’s integrity. Was he also paid to perpetuate a fraud? Apparently he had been.

        It is also revealing to find that you have ignored the fact that not a single LTTE casualty can be seen in the ONLY hospital available in the war zone to the LTTE in the CH4 film. This is because the LTTE casualties are dressed up in Civilian Clothes (they did get shot and bombed).

        Dr Nadesan observed a Rubber Slipper (flip flop) clad imposter amongst a group of imposters that the CH4 – Rump LTTE combination tried to depict as Sri Lankan soldiers. Sri Lankan Soldiers wear boots when on operations not Flip Flops. But the LTTE do go on operations in Flip Flops. Bad error by CH4 and the LTTE rump.

        You have been consistently attacking Tamils who criticise the LTTE.
        Trying to do damage control?

        Dr Nadesan was the Editor of the Tamil Newspaper in Australia for 14 years. He came to Sri Lanka and built a hospital for the Tamils in Eluvaitivu. What have you done other than slandering them and whitewashing the LTTE?

        You can read the letter that he addressed to Australian Broadcasting Corp for being party to propagating a fabrication (Killing Fields) in Australia and the world.

        http://www.lankaweb.com/news/items/2011/07/14/media-and-the-suffering-of-the-tamil-people/

        • Dev

          So Noel (and your) entire argument rests on a rubber serupu?
          Thank you for your clarification.

          • Off the Cuff

            Should be easy for you to break the argument.
            Why don’t you try?

            Starting from why LTTE casualties are conspicuously absent from the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the war zone.

            Why do you see only Civilians?
            Are they LTTE combatants in Civilian clothes?

          • Dev

            Off the cuff,

            Auruddha Tilakasiri and my reply further down should answer your query !

          • Off the Cuff

            Dev,

            I read yours and “Auruddha’s” replies but neither of you have been able to answer my queries.

            My reply to your comment and that of “Auruddha’s” is available here

            http://groundviews.org/2012/11/19/the-vanni-depicting-the-end-of-sri-lankas-war-through-a-graphic-novel/#comment-49692

            Hope you would answer all questions raised and stop avoiding them.

            Thank you

        • Auruddha Tilakasiri

          The relevant part of Sr. Nadesan’s observation is as follows:

          “I was told by sources in the Vanni that this was an LTTE operation and [that these] pictures were taken for propaganda purposes by LTTE. Have a close look and you will find among the so-called soldiers a man in slippers. Sri Lankan soldiers never go about in slippers when they go out on operations.”

          A few observations about this observation:

          1. ‘Sri Lanka soldiers never go about in slippers when they are on operations’ is a sweeping generalisation to be made by a person who is a veterinary surgeon by profession. If you check the following link you will see that Sri Lankan soldiers do wear slippers:

          http://www.lankanewspapers.com/news%5C2008%5C1%5C23630_image_headline.html

          One may make a distinction between Sri Lanka soldiers ‘on operations’ – meaning combat operations – and Sri Lankan soldiers performing guard duty, albeit in a combat area. But it still brings into question the credibility of Dr. Nadesan’s sweeping observation, being a veterinary surgeon by profession. If such a statement was made against the armed force by anyone in a similar situation I am sure many people who use ‘Dr. Noel Nadesan’s observation’to undermine the credibility of Channel 4 claims would have pounced on that.

          2. Noel Nadesan also has a long history as a sworn enemy of the LTTE. In one sense this was a very courageous act. When many people who were intellectualy better equipped than Dr. Nadesan to counter the LTTE’s puerile propaganda were feeling squeamish, Dr. Nadesan alone stood up to them in his own way. That is to be appreciated and praised. However, I also believe that the long, lonely struggle against the Tigers has also made him a bitter enemy of anything or anyone even remotely associated with the LTTE and he will go to any lengths to denigrate them. If one dismisses the credibility of the likes of Callum Mcrae and Frances Harrison because they have been associated with productions or pubblications deemed biased against Sri Lanka, then Dr. Nadesan falls into the same category, in this case someone who is biased against the LTTE, perhaps more biased than Frances Harrison or Callum Mcrae.

          Therefore, coming from Dr. Nadesan, not only the observation about the slippers but a statement such as: ‘I was told by sources in the Vanni that this was an LTTE operation and [that these] pictures were taken for propaganda purposes by LTTE.’ also should be taken with a massive pinch of salt.This is no different to Channe 4 quoting unnamed sources in the Vanni in order to implicate Sri Lankan soldiers in atrocities. Both parties have an interest in having such ‘sources’and some people have an interest in believing such sources without question depending on their side of the fence.

          The war is over. Reconciliation will not be helped by people who have a personal or professional interest in defending or denigrating one side or the other.

          • Dev

            It is also worth pointing out when the UN three member panel came out with their report (along with other numerous groups including Amnesty, HRW, ICG…..etc) the government of SL and its lackeys said that since the report(s) cited unnamed sources whose identities are going to be withheld for a number of years (I believe for 30yrs, normal practice and def essential in a country with the white van culture) they could not be believed.
            However this Noel Nadesan character cites “sources” in the vanni and that is accepted as divine truth !

          • Off the Cuff

            Dev, “Aurudha” Tilakasiri (or is it Anurudha?),

            The CH4 saga of so called “documentaries” started with the first film purported to be taken by an anonymous soldier on a mobile phone of bound and blindfolded persons being shot in the back of the head Execution Style.

            This film was supported by
            1. The LTTE rump of the Tamil Diaspora
            2. UN Rapporteur Philip Alston
            3. Dr. Daniel Spitz (Alston’s Expert)
            4. Grant Fredericks (Alston’s Expert)
            5. Many others who used Alston and his experts.

            My post, that the two of you are contesting, provided evidence of Dr. Damiel Spitz (Forensic Pathologist, the Medical Examiner for Macomb County, Michigan) getting caught LYING and Falsifying Evidence in a US Court.

            This is the man that the UN used to establish that body reaction, movement and blood evidence was entirely consistent with what would be expected in such shootings

            Yet in the Rob Simpson case, he could not find either the entry wound or the bullet that killed Simpson who was shot in the back of the head, just like in the CH4.

            It is strange that BOTH of you failed to comment on indisputable evidence of perjury, in a US Court, by Spitz, in a case where the victim was shot in the back of the head.

            My post also provided evidence that Grant Fredericks was not an Expert as claimed by UN’s Alston. Grant Fredrick’s admitted that he had no special expertise in biomechanics or the study of human motion in a Canadian Judicial inquiry.

            His evidence was rejected as being based on flawed analysis. The Canadian Commissioner stated that Grant Fredericks’s verification methodology was flawed.

            Again strangely BOTH of you have failed to comment.

            The last paragraph of my post stated thus,

            When you view these together with the observations of Dr Noel Nadesan and the conspicuous absence of Injured or Dead LTTE from the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the War zone, the charge of Gross Fabrication is standing a mile above Ch4.

            Both of you picked on Dr Noel Nadesan but went silent on the question of the absence of LTTE casualties in the hospital.

            Dev, you say “Auruddha Tilakasiri and my reply further down should answer your query ! “

            But my query was quote
            Starting from why LTTE casualties are conspicuously absent from the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the war zone. Why do you see only Civilians? Are they LTTE combatants in Civilian clothes?

            You have avoided the questions

            “Auruddha” Tilakasiri,

            The Army Soldiers do not wear slippers when on operations for two reasons

            1. The improvised Anti personnel mines of the LTTE called “Jonny Battas” have claimed the limbs of countless soldiers.

            2. The government Forces have a dress code just like any other countries’ armed force.

            BTW which SL Newspaper carried this photo? Can you provide a link?
            Please note that LTTE’s own propaganda films show the LTTE in slippers.

            For a person who had not read Dr Noel Nadesan’s open letter to Australian Broadcasting Corp you had a quick response (pictures and all). But the fact that you don’t seem to be able to spell your own name correctly leads one to believe that you are not very familiar with your own name.

            You have categorised Dr Noel Nadesan with Frances Harrison or Callum McRae.

            You say “If one dismisses the credibility of the likes of Callum Mcrae and Frances Harrison because they have been associated with productions or pubblications deemed biased against Sri Lanka, then Dr. Nadesan falls into the same category, in this case someone who is biased against the LTTE, perhaps more biased than Frances Harrison or Callum Mcrae”

            Callum McRae and Francis Harrison has lost credibility because of suppression of facts or false reporting. Anyone who tries to use PROVEN charlatans and perjurers like Dr. Daniel Spitz and Grant Fredericks and presenting them as “Experts” and honourable men have lost credibility.

            That means UN’s Alston and all those who are associated with CH4 have lost their credibility. The silence of the UN, on Alston’s report, also shows that powerful forces within the UN is not interested in the truth and have an agenda of their own. Did the Petrie report discuss Alston’s report?

            I believe you accept and support CH4 due to the deafening silence you have maintained by overlooking the more important points I have raised re the so called experts or the absence of LTTE casualties within the ONLY hospital available to them in the war zone.

            You also say “Noel Nadesan also has a long history as a sworn enemy of the LTTE. In one sense this was a very courageous act. When many people who were intellectualy better equipped than Dr. Nadesan to counter the LTTE’s puerile propaganda were feeling squeamish, Dr. Nadesan alone stood up to them in his own way. That is to be appreciated and praised. However, I also believe that the long, lonely struggle against the Tigers has also made him a bitter enemy of anything or anyone even remotely associated with the LTTE and he will go to any lengths to denigrate them”

            Dr Noel Nadesan edited the ONLY Tamil newspaper in Australia for 14 years. Are you aware that DBS Jayaraj edited and published a newspaper in Canada? Are you aware that the LTTE assaulted him and put his newspaper out of business?

            With your Logic, when DBS Jayaraj writes against the LTTE it is because “he will go to any lengths to denigrate them” and hence he should not be trusted.

            You are trying to project Dr Nadesan as a loner that fought the LTTE and hence his criticism is biased. But he was not a loner. Most of them who lived in Lanka are dead as the LTTE have killed them. Those overseas did not die and there are many who opposed the LTTE including women.

            There are many imposters on the web who write with assumed Sinhala Names. I hope you are not one of them even though you have difficulty spelling your own name.

          • Anuruddha Tilakasiri

            Thanks for your reply. It seems that you are more familiar with my name than I am. However I do not think that the spelling of the name adds anything to the argument.

            I was only referring to the one observation by Noel Nadesan. I was not replying to your entire post. Nadesan may be right about the hospital. That does not necessarily mean he is right about the slippers. Nor does it persuade us to accept his ‘sources’ on the matter. Different criteria apply to evaluating the two arguments.

            You have not satisfactorily responded to my point about Noels Nadesan’s qualifications to make a sweeping generalisation about the slippers. The points you have provided are not sufficient in themselves to prove that Sri Lankan soldiers NEVER go on operations wearing slippers. The linked photograph suggests so too although uUnfortunately I am unable to provide a link to the newspaper; I am not sure if it is a from a newspaper in the first place. You have the link to the website so you might want to contact the source and ask for it if you are keen. It may even be from the NBC as it says MSNBC at the bottom. (The incident is reported here: http://www.island.lk/2008/01/15/news3.html)

            The point about the jonny battas is a weak one. The alleged atrocity would have taken place in a ‘cleared’ area which would have been devoid of mines.

            Furthermore, it is easy to miss the boots for the slippers. There is only one person in that picture wearing slippers. The rest are wearing boots and in fact they appear to be well kitted out, just like the Sri Lankan soldiers you describe. In addition to their flip flops, did the LTTE cadres also wear such sturdy, well-maintained boots? I am not so sure. Is it possible that what we are seeing is the act of a group of people that includes soldiers as well as someone who is not a soldier???

            I should have clarified my point about Noel Nadesan’s credentials as an enemy of the LTTE. I will not put him in the same category as Jeyaraj. D.B.S.Jeyaraj has been a forthright critic of both the LTTE and successive Sri Lankan regimes. Nadesan’s virulent hatred of the LTTE is also accompanied by a desire to defend almost anything that the current regime does, which I believe is little more than a naive desire to defend the regime that destroyed his enemy. I will be very sceptical of the ‘sources’ quoted or cited by such a person unless he identifies these sources.

            You seem to be following the logic ‘if you do not agree with me you must be agreeing with the opposition’. This is similar to saying if you are not with us then you are with the terrorists. I do not wish to get into lengthy arguments along such childish lines. Channel 4 may be wrong about some things but I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the picture in question. You will have to give me a better explanation than the ‘slipper argument’ or Noel Nadesan’s confidential ‘sources’ for me to reject it as mere propaganda.

            Oh and you are spot on. There are many imposters on the web. Many.

          • Dev

            Off the cuff,

            You seem rather pedantic over small issues like rubber seruppu and how someone (mis)spells his/her name.

            The fact of the matter is Rajasingham Narendran and Noel Nadesan were specially invited by the government to visit the Vanni and the result of their MOU is seen in their writings !
            He misses all the army boots for that one serrupu and cites “sources”
            I again stress, if the “sources” that the UN (plus Amnesty/HRW…) cites are unacceptable without their names then the “sources” these two characters cite are unacceptable too !!

            Their unabashed defense of this regime clearly shows where their heart is.
            This is clearly seen in the link below, read the exchange between GV (ground views) and RN to see the truth.

            http://groundviews.org/2012/09/29/putting-paid-to-the-governments-false-claims-the-new-idps-in-sri-lanka/#comments

            I close once again with…..Sunday Times Political page extract.

            “Furthermore, if the Petrie report seems to lament Sri Lanka’s diplomatic success in 2009 in preventing UN intervention in Sri Lanka through the Security Council, the Government’s failure to invest the military achievement in an all-inclusive political process, especially through the LLRC report, is what is pitiful. Now Sri Lanka will figure in various UN committee debates, studies and seminars within and outside the UN system. The Petrie report will become an important input to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva and Sri Lanka will be a case study for diplomatic training programmes in many countries as it will be considered the first major UN failure in a war situation. Sri Lanka will be seen as another Rwanda in world eyes”

          • Dev

            An important extract in the exchange between RN and Groundviews:

            Groundviews
            10/05/2012 • 7:36 am
            So essentially it comes down to, of all things, believing the Def Sec on military matters in the North and East! Attempts to take you seriously are thus sadly and grossly undermined, though its your prerogative to believe said gentleman like so many others do in our country. In Sinhala there is an old adage that goes “horage ammangen pena ahanawa wage”. There surely must be an equivalent in Tamil.

            Good night, and good luck.

          • Off the Cuff

            Hi Dev,

            Once again you have completely avoided the main issues highlighted in my posts of 11/28/2012 • 3:27 am and 11/21/2012 • 11:24 am in this web page and have pedantically hung on Dr Noel Nadesan. Why?

            You say “You seem rather pedantic over small issues like rubber seruppu and how someone (mis)spells his/her name”

            I can see that you are desperately trying to belittle a piece of evidence that indicates CH4 is a fabrication and desperately trying to discredit anyone in your community who is forthright in their comments such as Dr. Noel Nadesan and Dr N Rajasingham.

            You have consistently avoided to explain,

            1. The absence of LTTE casualties in the ONLY hospital available to the LTTE in the war zone, as depicted in CH4

            2. The use of proven Charlatans and perjurers (in US and Canadian courts) by the UN in a shameful attempt to support CH4 (indicating BIAS by the UN system)

            Why are you silent on established Facts?
            Does it not support your project?

            The slipper wearing SL soldier is a slip by the LTTE propagandists amongst other more important slips such as the absence of LTTE wounded in the ONLY LTTE controlled Hospital. I see that you are blind to it, possibly because you are also part of the propaganda.

            The web is full of Tamils using non Tamil Names. I have seen Chinese, Western and Sinhala names used by Tamils to propagate their propaganda. A person does not usually misspell a name that one starts writing as a toddler. A misspelling of your “own” name indicates a lack of familiarity. You have also overlooked the fact that modern web browsers remember the name once entered. I will respond to Auruddha /Anuruddha separately.

            You refer to an “important” exchange between GV and Dr RN

            “Groundviews
            10/05/2012 • 7:36 am
            So essentially it comes down to, of all things, believing the Def Sec on military matters in the North and East! Attempts to take you seriously are thus sadly and grossly undermined, though its your prerogative to believe said gentleman like so many others do in our country. In Sinhala there is an old adage that goes “horage ammangen pena ahanawa wage”. There surely must be an equivalent in Tamil. Good night, and good luck.”

            Strange that you did not notice my query (time stamped 6 + hours earlier) which still remains unanswered.

            Off the Cuff
            10/05/2012 • 1:07 am
            Dear Groundviews,
            Are you implying that Charles Haviland is an objective writer and Dr Rajasingham Narendran is not?

            Without beating about the bush respond to the FULL comment that I have made and referred to above.

            Good Luck

          • Off the Cuff

            Anuruddha Tilakasiri,

            “It seems that you are more familiar with my name than I am. However I do not think that the spelling of the name adds anything to the argument”

            How can that be when you learnt to respond to your name as an infant and started writing it as a toddler? But the FACT is, even with that Life Long familiarity you could not spell it correctly. It indicated that the misspelling was PROBABLY due to NON familiarity with the name used. If you were a non Sinhalese and was using a Sinhalese name then that indicates intent to decieve.

            “I was only referring to the one observation by Noel Nadesan. I was not replying to your entire post”

            Why? What made you pick Nadesan’s comment and ignore the more important ones? Were you only interested in maligning Nadesan as he was a Tamil? The pro LTTE commentators have been trying to assassinate the character of moderate Tamil critics just like the LTTE assassinated the Moderate Tamil leadership.

            “You have not satisfactorily responded to my point about Noels Nadesan’s qualifications to make a sweeping generalisation about the slippers”

            What qualifications does he require to make an observation?

            “The points you have provided are not sufficient in themselves to prove that Sri Lankan soldiers NEVER go on operations wearing slippers”

            Hmm perhaps you could prove that say the US Army, British Army, Indian Army ALWAYS wears boots when on operations.

            “I am not sure if it is a from a newspaper in the first place. You have the link to the website so you might want to contact the source and ask for it if you are keen”

            You should do your own legwork shouldn’t you?

            “The point about the jonny battas is a weak one. The alleged atrocity would have taken place in a ‘cleared’ area which would have been devoid of mines”

            Did you read that in Tamilnet?
            Jonny Battas or IEDs were the main anti personal weapon of the LTTE that claimed many a life and limb of Soldiers.

            “In addition to their flip flops, did the LTTE cadres also wear such sturdy, well-maintained boots? I am not so sure”

            Not only the boots, they took the clothes from SLA dead/dying/captured for their own use. Hence they had the EXACT SLA issues, from Guns to Uniforms to Boots.

            “You seem to be following the logic ‘if you do not agree with me you must be agreeing with the opposition’. This is similar to saying if you are not with us then you are with the terrorists. I do not wish to get into lengthy arguments along such childish lines”

            My logic has been laid out in my post of 11/21/2012 • 11:24 am at the following link http://groundviews.org/2012/11/19/the-vanni-depicting-the-end-of-sri-lankas-war-through-a-graphic-novel/#comment-49486

            Unfortunately you have been Childishly Knit Picking it and ignoring the MAIN argument.

            “Channel 4 may be wrong about some things ….

            Can you list what they are?

            “ ….. but I have no reason to doubt the authenticity of the picture in question.

            Do you doubt the Authenticity of the video clips showing blind folded humans with hands tied behind their backs being shot in the back of the head?

            What is the more important “evidence” presented by CH4, the video clip or the photograph?
            What made you select the photograph and ignore the video clip?

            Was it not your desire to assassinate the character of Dr Noel Nadesan because he was a Tamil criticising the LTTE and the LTTE Rump?

        • Anuruddha Tilakasiri

          @off the cufff

          How foolish I have been! I should have simply allowed Dr. Nadesan to speak:

          ‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am Dr. Noel Nadesan Veterinary surgeon in Melbourne and long time campaigner against the LTTE in Australia. I am also a staunch supporter of the current regime in Sri Lanka that defeated the LTTE.

          I believe that the picture in question is a fake because it shows a man wearing slippers. Sri Lankan soldiers never wear slippers during operations. I was also told by someone in the Wanni that the picture depicts a man being tortured to death by the LTTE. Unfortunately I am not at liberty to reveal these sources.”

          That would have been sufficient to bring down Nadesan’s slipper/confidential source argument. Instead here I am trying to convince somebody already fully committed to defending the current regime even if he may not believe in what he is defending. My apologies. But it was fun seeing your reaction to my name and all the inane arguments you were groping for. We must do this again sometime soon.

          And there was this gem too:

          ‘Was it not your desire to assassinate the character of Dr Noel Nadesan because he was a Tamil criticising the LTTE and the LTTE Rump?’

          Bravo! What insight! What perspicuity! Thanks for sharing it with us!

          And above all, thanks for trying!

          • Off the Cuff

            Anurudha (Aurudha? Or ????)

            Quite a story teller but even your story has holes that exposes your intent.

            You say “‘Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am Dr. Noel Nadesan Veterinary surgeon in Melbourne and long time campaigner against the LTTE in Australia. I am also a staunch supporter of the current regime in Sri Lanka that defeated the LTTE.”

            What made you leave out the fact that he was the Voice of the Tamils in Australia for 14 long years and ran the ONLY Tamil newspaper (Uthayan) in that country? Was he not the Editor of Uthayan for all that time? Are you implying that the Tamils of Australia who were buying the Uthayan and thereby supporting that paper for 14 years were animals because the Editor was a Veterinary surgeon?

            What idiocy to claim that a man who was the Editor of the only Tamil Newspaper in Australia for 14 long years is disqualified from representing or voicing the concerns of Tamils just because he was a Veterinary surgeon professionally? Of course the LTTE and it’s Rump would see red and will assassinate or character assassinate the man.

            You say “That would have been sufficient to bring down Nadesan’s slipper/confidential source argument. Instead here I am trying to convince somebody already fully committed to defending the current regime even if he may not believe in what he is defending. My apologies.”

            It is height of idiocy to confuse the country with her regime.
            But then what can be expected from a man who confuses Dr Noel Nadesan with the current regime? It is such idiocy that obstructs the ability to see beyond one’s nose.

            You have been responding to my post of 11/21/2012 • 11:24 am which dealt with the CH4, The UN’s Alston, the so called experts brought in by the UN to substantiate the shootings, Dr Nadesan’s observations and my own observations.

            I placed before GV, indisputable evidence that UN’s Alston was using so called “Experts” who have been proven to be Charlatans and Perjurers in US and Canadian courts. You have STUDIOUSLY avoided commenting on that.

            I also pointed out that the ONLY Hospital under LTTE control depicted in CH4 was TOTALLY devoid of LTTE casualties. You have STUDIOUSLY avoided commenting on that.

            I also pointed out the observation of Dr Nadesan that SL Soldiers do not wear slippers on operations. This is the singular statement that you have tried attacking. Is the rest beyond you?

            I have asked you before and I am asking you again, why are you continually ignoring everything other than Nadesan? Do you consider discrediting Nadesan more important than examining the UN’s use of charlatans and perjurers? Do you consider the slipper in CH4 more important than the COMPLETE ABSENCE of LTTE casualties from the ONLY hospital under LTTE control in CH4?

            You say “And there was this gem too: ‘Was it not your desire to assassinate the character of Dr Noel Nadesan because he was a Tamil criticising the LTTE and the LTTE Rump?’

            Sorry to say that you have wrongly identified the gem. This is better.

            What made you pick Nadesan’s comment and ignore the more important ones? Were you only interested in maligning Nadesan as he was a Tamil? The pro LTTE commentators have been trying to assassinate the character of moderate Tamil critics just like the LTTE assassinated the Moderate Tamil leadership.

            Or how about this exchange?


            Thilakasiri :- “Channel 4 may be wrong about some things …. “
            OTC :- Can you list what they are?
            Thilakasiri :- (a deafening silence……)

            Hope you would continue trying. Like Robert Bruce, you might succeed one day.

            You say “How foolish I have been! I should have simply allowed Dr. Nadesan to speak:”

            The first signs of insight and perspicuity!!! Ha ha haa

    • Dev

      I would like to highlight a small section from the political column of the Sunday Times 18/11/2012

      You may make all sorts of arguments against the UN report but the world still takes the UN word seriously and the damage is done.

      “Furthermore, if the Petrie report seems to lament Sri Lanka’s diplomatic success in 2009 in preventing UN intervention in Sri Lanka through the Security Council, the Government’s failure to invest the military achievement in an all-inclusive political process, especially through the LLRC report, is what is pitiful. Now Sri Lanka will figure in various UN committee debates, studies and seminars within and outside the UN system. The Petrie report will become an important input to the UNHRC sessions in Geneva and Sri Lanka will be a case study for diplomatic training programmes in many countries as it will be considered the first major UN failure in a war situation. Sri Lanka will be seen as another Rwanda in world eyes”

    • Anuruddha Tilakasiri

      What was Noel Nadesan’s observation?

  • Kusuma Wattawa

    History is full of oppressers and rebels.

    UN has been disabled by collusion of oppressers at UNGA, UNSC and UNHRC.

    Will 21C change it?

    Proper History must be taught in schools:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/104760706/Sri-Lanka-Education-for-War-Must-Be-Transformed-Into-Education-for-Peace

  • jansee

    If it is an LTTE propaganada, as a number of the commentators have made it out to be, I am glad that these people have the immaculate powers to resurrect the now decimated LTTE. While they hasten to chide the LTTE as ruthless, one needs no binoculars to see their bias in pasting a heroic label on to a regime that let run wild soldiers who raped, murdered and, of course, carried the holy charter in one hand. With a murderous regime in its midst that murdered so many Sinhala youths, they are nothing but racists who only want to pick on their adversary, all because of their basic nature of wanting to hide their own atrocities by blaming everyone else around them. It is three years since the war ended but the white vans tragedies still happen. Take care of the hapless Sinhalese people who need your help. The tamils can look after themselves – just leave them alone.

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

      @ Jansee:
      So, following your logic, the overseas LTTE should stop their timewasting antics and pour their funds into the North & East and GoSL should immediately cease all economic reconstruction, demeaning and other useful activity in the North & East, also? Then the Tamils will be left alone, no?

      When Army went into battle holding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in one hand and an AK-47 (or T-56) in the other hand, they held their well-thumbed copy of UDHR in one hand and fired their rifles with the other hand. I heard that Gen Fonseka made them practice this manoeuvre until they could do it with their eyes closed.

      Can you explain why a govt that kills both Sinhala terrorists and Tamils terrorists is ‘racist’? Doesn’t that prove their lack of ethnic bias?

      p.s. I hate being a pedant, but this regime didn’t murder countless Sinhala youth in previous JVP insurgencies. That was the other lot.

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

        typo: it should say “de-mining and other useful activity”.. :)

        • jansee

          mango:

          It is abundantly obvious that a Sinhala regime can never be trusted to protect the Tamils and independent Eelam is the only answer – this should be clear enough on the “left alone” concept. How we get it is not for you to dictate or ask how we are going to achieve? A Sinhala has become an adversary to the demand of the Tamils for a separate nation and how we do it is our business.

          I am glad that you insinuate that MR is a liar, no?

          Starting from the Sinhala only Act, successive Sinhala regimes have tried to impose their will on the Tamils, all through their racial lenses. As I have mentioned earlier, if the Sinhalese are silent on their brethren being killed in the thousands, that is their tragedy but Tamils would not keep quiet. All that moderate stand and expectations have been put in the burner. Until this regime sees the rationality in letting the Tamils decide their own destiny, it will be haunted, again and again and it is not going to stop. So, talking about why this and why that is past our hope, and we don’t owe you any explanation to pursue this.

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

            Dear Jansee,
            Independent Eelam had its chance and VP blew it, literally, figuratively and in every other way imaginable. That’s the problem when a movement’s entire hopes and dreams are turned over to a compromise-resistant megalomanic with an untreatable messiah complex. So complain to what’s left of the LTTE hierarchy and see if they operate a 30-year money back guarantee.

            Dr Dayan Jayatilleke’s wise words on this tedious nonsense is worth quoting in full. “In hard science when an experiment repeatedly fails and finally blows up the lab with it, the very assumptions which form the basis of the experiment are reassessed and often abandoned. The empirically evident track record of Tamil nationalist politics in Sri Lanka is that of repeated failure capped by defeat.” http://tinyurl.com/3wov9hh

            I’m sorry to say that those Tamils that supported the war & VP will have to be patient and re-build their lives and livelihoods because they lost the war. And when you lose a war, you also lose the right to demand what you tried to gain through war. This is a straightforward fact of life. The ‘Tamils’ (and Singhalese, Muslims, Kaffirs, Burghers and every possible permutation) have to decide their own destiny inside an indivisible island.

            Of course MR is a liar. If MR told me the sky was blue I’d have to go outside and and check. He’s a Sri Lankan politician, so lying’s like breathing. His colleagues in the TNA, UNP etc are equally competent liars.

            I wish you every luck with your New Eelam project (v.5 beta). Just be careful not to blow yourself up and your neighbourhood while doing your planning. Any ideas you wish to share on what your goals are and how you’ll achieve them? I’m happy to help as a sounding board and devil’s advocate.

          • sabbe laban

            Very well said, Mango!

  • http://- Sam Thambipillai

    The recent UN report on Sri Lanka(SL), given to the UN Secretary General, revealed the slackness or negligence on the part of the UN to protect Tamil civilians during the last days of the war in 2009.

    This was caused by the indifference shown by the countries in the UN, especially by India and the West.

    SL and India propagated blatant lies about the truth in SL, with the view to brand LTTE as only a terrorist organisation. They used Tamil puppets and stooges to do it.

    The US, the UK and the EU swallowed the ropes and banned the LTTE as a “terrorist organisation”. They failed to state and implement the truth.

    LTTE was “a liberation organisation that was also terrorist in some of its actions” Liberation was the main intent of LTTE and terrorism was a side action.

    The west wrongly identified the side action as the main action and blundered within the legislatures of their countries and the UN, causing Tamil genocide.

    The liberation aspect of Tamils should be correctly identified now to rectify the error committed in the UN.