30 Years Ago – The Next Page

To remember Black JulyGroundviews brought together leading documentary filmmakers, photographers, activists, theorists and designers, in Sri Lanka and abroad, to focus on just how deeply the anti-Tamil pogrom in 1983 shaped our imagination, lives, society and polity.

The project is called 30 Years Ago and details of it can be read here.

Sharni Jayawardene was commissioned by Groundviews to look at the pogrom from the perspectives of the Muslim community across Sri Lanka. Sharni and Groundviews had previously collaborated on ‘Moving Images‘, where her compelling portraits of individuals and their lives hidden in the heart of Colombo were among the most viewed and loved. Just a few of the photos taken by Sharni are embedded here. Higher resolution photos along with detailed descriptions will be included in the dedicated project site for ’30 Years Ago’.

As Sharni notes,

July 2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Black July – the anti-Tamil riots of 1983 that killed thousands. Today, four years after the Sri Lankan government’s military victory over the LTTE in 2009, little progress has been made in the direction of minority rights and ethnic reconciliation. In fact, the situation appears to have worsened – with minority communities experiencing a sense of heightened insecurity and diminished dignity.

In 1915, what is considered modern Ceylon’s first ethno-religious riot targeted Muslims, not Tamils. Since the late nineteen seventies, Sinhala-Muslim ‘disturbances’ have been taking place in various localities in different parts of the country. In more recent years, a provocative hate campaign has been launched by groups identifying themselves as Sinhala Buddhists and the saviours of Buddhism, fanning animosity against the Muslim community among the wider Sinhalese public. The government’s reaction to the situation has been dangerously slow and inadequate.

An exhibition of some of the content from 30 Years Ago will be held from 24 – 25 August at the Park Street Mews, Warehouse D in Colombo, Sri Lanka. More details will be posted shortly, along with the launch of a dedicated website for the project on the 21st of August.

For the moment, visit the event’s Facebook page for daily updates.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Sharni Jayawardene,

    “In 1915, what is considered modern Ceylon’s first ethno-religious riot targeted
    Muslims, not Tamils”

    The above statement is factually incorrect.

    The First Ethnic Riots of the 20th century took place in 1939 and it was between the Tamils and Sinhalese

    What took place in 1915 was a Religious Riot.

    Misrepresenting the Religious Riot of 1915 as an ethno religious riot is factually incorrect if done out of
    ignorance and mischievous if done otherwise.

    Here are the FACTS and I hope that in the future, the TRUTH will be told as a half truth only inflames
    sentiments.

    The cause of the religious riot was the opposition of the Coastal Muslims (from India) to the annual Esala
    Perahera (procession) taking its traditional route used for centuries from the Walahagoda Devale (dedicated to God Katharagama ie God Kandassamy) in Gampola, on it’s way to Porutota on the Mahaveli for the Water cutting ceremony along the Ambagamuwa Road. Along this route there were Christian, Hindu and Moslem places of religious worship. One of them was a Mosque that was built recently in the 1890s by the Coastal Moors.

    Up to 1912 the procession took place on the traditional route to the accompaniment of drums and music
    unchallenged. In 1912 the coastal moors threatened to riot if the procession came within 100 yards of the Mosque. The GA subjected the issue of a license to the procession avoiding the Mosque. The
    Basnayake Nilame of the Devale refused and cancelled the procession in 1912 and instituted legal action against the AG on 30th September 1913.

    The case came before Dr Paul E. Pieris,Acting District Judge of Kandy in the District Court of Kandy, on
    20th March 1914. Dr Peiris was Knighted later.

    The learned judge delivering his judgement on 4th June 1914, declared that the plaintiff is entitled to the privilege set out in the second paragraph of his complaint (viz. “the right and privilege of marching and to and from and through all the streets of the town of Gampola including that portion of Ambagamuwa street……. With elephants to the accompaniment of tom-tom drums and other musical instruments”).

    The British authorities appealed to the Supreme Court, which duly dismissed the plaintiff’s action.

    The Basnayake Nilame and his supporters appealed to the Privy Council, and retained Sir John Simon to argue
    the appeal. There were signs that justice in this case was going to be asserted at last.

    The 1915 riots broke out in this time of indecision. On 28th May that year, the Vesak Full moon Poya Day,
    the traditional Esala Perahera of the Walahagoda temple was held. The procession followed its usual route along the Ambagamuwa road. But the Police prevented the procession from passing the disputed place. The Moors, encouraged by what they assumed to be support of the Police for their cause, started jeering at the Buddhists marching in the procession and threw stones at them from the steps of the mosque. Retaliation was swift and inevitable.

    Rioting between Buddhists and Muslims spread to other parts of the island. As usual in such situations criminal elements took to looting and arson; shops of Moor traders were attacked and goods stolen; mosques were set on fire. The Governor Sir Robert Chalmers declared martial law. By the time order was restored and martial law withdrawn three months after the rioting had started 63 people had been killed by the Military and the Police.
    Ad hoc commissions dispensed summary justice.

    Although the hearing of the appeal of the Gampola Perahera Case before Privy Council began promisingly for
    the aggrieved Devale authorities, it did not go on until a final decision was delivered because the new governor of Ceylon, Sir John Anderson was trying to settle the dispute after 1915 riots by adopting a more conciliatory attitude towards the Esala Perahera. He gave binding orders that the Perahera was not to be interfered with any restrictions. When the Coast Moors found that the Government was no longer behind them they gave up their extremist demands.

    In 1917 the Governor himself attended the Perahera as the Sinhalese kings of yore had done.

    • Sharni

      Thank you for your comment. Your point is noted.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Sharni Jayawardene,

        The cause of the first ethnic riot (Tamil-Sinhala) in 1939, was an inflammatory and degrading speech by the Tamil politician-lawyer G.G. Ponnambalam, attacking the Sinhalese.

        There were three other riots earlier, in 1923, 1929 and 1931 but they were limited to the Tamil community where the oppressed Tamils rioted against the ruling high cast Tamils.

        • J Fernando

          Let the Tamils deal with their “riots” why downplay the 1915 riots?
          Don’t want to accept the equal culpability of our own race to our dire predicament today?
          People like you who deny the past cause more problems in the future !
          Also 1983 was NOT a “riot”, it was a pogrom !!!

          • Off the Cuff

            “J Fernando”

            You wrote “Let the Tamils deal with their “riots” ”

            You are dealing with it aren’t you?

            You ask “why downplay the 1915 riots?”

            Authentic history has been presented supported by unimpeachable references. It prevents separatists from misrepresenting a religious riot as an ethnic one and OVERPLAYING it.

            Are you interested in overplaying it?

    • frank speech

      Off the cuff

      Your comment is disingenuous. Every one knows that Muslims are an ethno-religious community. Your splitting of hairs is meaningless even otherwise.

      • Off the Cuff

        Dear Frank S,

        I believe you are confused. Muslim is not an Ethnicity.

        “Muslims, contrary to common perception are an “ideological group” as opposed to being an
        “ethnic group”. They are differentiated by the strength of their faith, and not by their race, colour or tribe. Sinhalese, Tamils or Arabs are ethnic groups, which subscribe to various linguistic or geographical connotations. But a Muslim is defined by his faith, i.e. his ideology which is Islam”. (Raashid Riza of Beyond Borders)

        “Muslims are the majority in 49 countries, they speak about 60 languages, and come from diverse ethnic backgrounds.” (Wiki)

        The Muslims of Sri Lanka is where Tamils and Sinhalese coexist in complete harmony.

        The Truth supported by verifiable history puts a dent in the ability of interested parties to show up a religiously motivated riot as an ethnic one. That of course posses a problem for them.

        Sharni till the time she read my comment and I until recently, were unaware of the Truth. I never knew that the 1915 Sinhala Muslim riots had anything to do with religion. We are not alone in that mistaken belief. The erasure of history has been so effectively done that I doubt even a few percent of Sri Lankans will have knowledge of the real facts.

        I believe it is time that the general population knew the truth before time obliterates it from the Sri Lankan conscious.

        If you can disprove that 1939 was the first Ethnic Riot (Tamil-Sinhala) of the 20th century and
        the riots that took place before that had no ethnic cause (1915-Religious, Buddhist Islam and 1923, 1929, 1931- all inter Tamil), please go ahead and use your ingenuity to do so by placing
        FACTS on the table.

  • Off the Cuff

    Dear Inoka Karu,

    It appears that you are unwilling to accept the TRUTH even when it is staring in your face.

    Can you impeach the Evidence?

    Here is a synopsis. Read my first comment to Sharni for details.

    In 1912 the Coastal Muslims (not Lankan Muslims) threatened to attack the annual Esala Perahara.

    In 1912 the Esala Perahara was cancelled by the Basnayaka Nilame as a consequence.

    Legal action was instituted in 1913

    In 1914 the Basnayaka Nilame won the District Court case and the British govt appealed to the Supreme court which dismissed it.

    The Basnayaka appealed to the Privy Council.

    In 1915, with the Privy Council appeal pending, the Basnayaka decided to hold the Perahara.

    The British Police obstructed the passage.

    The Coastal Moors Jeered and stoned the Perahara.

    I believe you have sufficient literacy to understand that the cause was Religious and solely
    Religious.

    If you still think otherwise place your facts on the Table and present your argument.

    Please note that 3 years elapsed between the original cause and before it erupted on the streets. If the British authorities accepted the JUST judgement that the District Court dispensed, with grace and took the action they took in 1916, the Religious riots of 1915 would NEVER have happened.

    You wrote “off the cuff think that by “ignoring” the 1915 ethnic riots …”

    Please reread my comments with a little more care before you start throwing wild accusations.

    I have not asked anyone to IGNORE the 1915 Religious riot (it was not ethnic).
    What I have done is to place FACTUAL evidence to prove it is a RELIGIOUS riot. Throwing tantrums does not negate Facts. Produce evidence and a counter argument to negate what I have written. You seem to be having problems in comprehending the Language.

    you wrote “…we as the majority community have treated the minorities as something lower than us!”

    How?
    Please explain.

    I know that we have had powerful Cabinet Ministers, Speakers of Parliament, Chief Justices, Army Commanders, Inspector Generals of Police, Supreme Court Judges, Attorney Generals, Solicitor Generals and many Heads of govt Departments etc from the Minority Communities.

    Possibly that is how the minorities are treated “as something lower than” the majority community!

    BTW Inoka, since of late, people who cannot meet my arguments have come out as members of the Sinhala community making appeals to emotion rather than fact. But when challenged to produce any argument that they have made defending “OUR” community from unjust criticism they have failed to do so. I do hope you can though.

    You say “Look at the dept of statistics and you will see that the Muslims are grouped as a ethnic class and it has been so for decades)”

    This is irrelevant to the argument whether the 1915 Riot was religious or ethnic. But you need to exercise more care when making statements that may prove to be foolish later. Indian Moors, Lankan Moors. Bohras, Memons and Malays are all Muslims with different ethnicities. Please re read Raashid
    Riza of Beyond Borders. He is a Sri Lankan.

    You have also not understood the statement I made in my previous post which is “The Muslims of Sri Lanka is where Tamils and Sinhalese coexist in complete harmony”. It was a reference to the many Sinhalese and Tamil converts to Islam (mostly by marriage). Do they lose their ethnicity overnight because they are now Muslim?

    You say “I am sometimes ashamed at the level that we have stooped to !”

    You should be. When you cannot debate issues with civility.

    You say “Forget 1915, look how we treat the Muslims today, its over an year since the Dumbulla attack and with so much video footage the perpetrators are still free ! Now we have the attack on the Grandpass mosque,….”

    Don’t forget 1915 as it was the first Religious riot. We need to learn from it.

    What makes you think that I approve of the present state of affairs re the Muslims? I have not discussed that have I? Was it meant to be a red herring?

    Inoka please deal with the issues discussed. If you want to discuss anything else do so after disposing
    off the matters at hand. That matter is whether the 1915 riot had an underlying cause pertaining to religion or to ethnicity.

    The underlying cause of the 1939 riots was a hate speech by GG Ponnambalam attacking the Sinhalese on a public platform in Nawalapitiya. That was an ethnic riot.

    you wrote ” ….forget the events of the last century, look around you !”

    Unfortunately, the Separatist Tamils are not prepared to forget and they keep demanding Exclusive
    Historical Tamil Homelands that encompass the majority of the sea coast and about 40% of Lanka (look at the Eelam Web site and the map there) which is what I oppose.

    Undiluted Equality, certainly YES.
    Exclusivity, certainly NO.

    “… Of course the future does not look good for me, with people like off the cuff, we can rest assured that riots will occur even in the future !”

    Inoka madam, I believe that the absence of rational discussion is the main cause of any disharmony that may arise in the future. Ask yourself whether you are blameless in that regard.

    Other than name calling you have been unable to do anything else. Why don’t you sit down to a civil and rational debate instead?

  • J Fernando

    I think you make a valid point, in fact the MOST valid point in this thread !

    You very elegantly use the phrase “look around you !” Yes, there is no need to go back to argue whether 1915 was a race riot or not everyone agrees it was (except of the cuff LOL) but today the situation is much worse and yet some of our own people (Sinhalese) want to trivialize their actions by showing others who they claim are much worse than them !

    Why not go the whole length and say “we are better than the Nazi’s” so we are “good”? That is the next step, wait and see …..time will tell

    • Off the Cuff

      “J Fernando”

      You say “Yes, there is no need to go back to argue whether 1915 was a race riot or not…”

      You seem to be AFRAID of the TRUTH as you have COMPLETELY circumvented all the evidence in one swoop.

      No argument is possible, the evidence is conclusive, it was certainly not a race riot. Impeach the evidence if you think an argument is possible.

      You say “….everyone agrees it was (except of the cuff LOL)”

      You can hardly speak for Everyone. Perhaps you can speak for the few, who like you, are AFRAID to analyse and contest the evidence. The evidence has checkmated you, so you will not dare to bring them up.

      Is it because you are interested in OVERPLAYING a RELIGIOUS RIOT as an ETHNIC one that the comment above remains unanswered?
      http://groundviews.org/2013/08/19/30-years-ago-the-next-page/#comment-1016755548

      “….yet some of our own people (Sinhalese) ….”

      As I pointed out to Inoka, since of late, people who cannot meet my arguments have come out as members of the Sinhala community making appeals to emotion rather than fact. My
      reply to her is also relevant to you.

      The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

      Have you defended the Sinhalese from unjustified criticism?
      Have you defended Sri Lanka from terrorist separatist propaganda?
      Have you espoused complete Equality for SL citizens?
      Have you opposed the claims made by the Eelam Map?

      Perhaps I may have missed your excellent defences of OUR OWN PEOPLE and our own country. Can you help in rediscovering those rare gems?

      Hopefully, you will overcome your fears of the TRUTH and contest with vigor, the Evidence.

      • J Fernando

        My argument (as well as Inoka’s and Frank Speech’s I suspect) is that regardless of whether 1915 was a “religious” riot as you say or a “race” riot as we say, it was ultimately the majority community attacking the minority race (or religion for the likes of you)…..surprise surprise fast forward 2013 (passing along the 50s/60s/70s/80s against the Tamils) the minorities are still being attacked in this day and age by a SMALL minority within the MAJORITY.

        I have told this before, I am a great defender of my beliefs and my people -the fact that you cannot find my comments on these; points more to your laziness than my lack of comments ! Go look carefully (you seem to have plenty of time )!

        • Off the Cuff

          Dear “J Fernando”,

          You say “whether 1915 was a “religious” riot as you say or a “race” riot as we say,…”

          Correction!
          I proved it. Did not just say it. You have to disprove it.
          Red will always be Red not withstanding the colour blind, who “say” it’s Gray.
          The evidence and the TRUTH has checkmated you and prevented you from OVERPLAYING a Religious Riot by misrepresenting it as a race riot.

          The riot was precipitated by the mishandling and partiality by the Colonial Governor. It erupted on the streets 3 years AFTER the original cause. The British govt replaced him and appointed a new Governor in 1916 soon after the riots. With the cause removed a similar riot was never repeated.

          I will not comment about what Inoka or Frank thinks as I am no mind reader and will wait for them to respond. But you have proved that you are unable to counter FACTS
          and is now groping for a straw to get yourself out of the quicksand you got yourself into.

          You wrote “I have told this before, I am a great defender of my beliefs and my people…”

          Yes of course you certainly are.
          But the question is, who are your people and what are your beliefs?

          What you write in comments does not support what you claim here. There is a Sinhala idiom that aptly describes people such as you. “Puhul Hora karen dane” which literally means the thief who stole an ash pumpkin is betrayed by the ash on his shoulder.

          “…. -the fact that you cannot find my comments on these; points more to your laziness than my lack of comments ! Go look carefully (you seem to have plenty of
          time)!”

          Perhaps you are right, I cant find what you have not written as I am lazy. Perhaps Google’s search engine is a technological failure and is also unable to find the many comments of yours opposing Eelamist propaganda.

          But Google’s inept search engine found 4 comments of yours in the following discussion at http://groundviews.org/2013/05/28/sri-lankas-numbers-game/

          Surprise surprise, non of them opposed the separatist propaganda that a high official of the Transnational Govt Of Tamil Eelam was spewing out.

          As expected all four comments tried to silence those who opposed the spread of Eelamist separatist Lies. Ingenious way of Defending your own people!

          Actions speaks louder than words, I salute your cleverness and ingenuity.

          BTW I have no interest in convincing you. I aim to rip the humane mask off the Eelamist face, to prevent the spread of Separatist propaganda that keeps Lanka divided.

          • Steve Grafton

            You have your work cut out ! I think the whole world know about the Sinhala Buddhists !

            See the press conference of N. Pillay ;-P

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Steve Grafton,

            You say “I think the whole world know about the Sinhala Buddhists !”

            Here is a true story. The lady in question is a very well known Human Rights activist. She is a Sri Lankan Tamil and is part Burgher. If you doubt my word you can easily contact her to verify the truth.

            In 1958 Rohini Hensman lived in predominantly Sinhala Mt Lavinia.
            A neighbour came and said she’d heard that gangs were coming. Sinhalese neighbours rallied around them. One young Sinhalese woman close to the family threatened to throw herself in the well if they didn’t run for their lives. Hensman’s family was packed into a car, and, braving the curfew, neighbours took them to another Sinhalese family’s home to hide out.

            I don’t know whether you knew about that and the part played by Sinhala Buddhists in protecting, feeding and delivering their Tamil friends to safety, risking the lives of
            their own families and their own properties in the process. Their were thousands of such Sinhalese and Burghers who did selfless service braving personal dangers to themselves (please read reports of the University Teachers for Human Rights (Jaffna).

            Then we had the Tsunami on Boxing of 2004. The spontaneous response from the Sinhala Buddhist majority South towards alleviating the suffering of the Northern Tamils has possibly escaped your all knowing attention.

            What is more to the point is how many Tamils who owe their lives today, to the selfless actions of Sinhalese and Burghers who braved govt led thugs going on rampage,
            acknowledge that fact publicly. One of the few (can count on the fingers of one hand) is Dr. Rajasingham Narendran. Are all the others inherent ingrates?

            Because you dont have a Sri Lankan name I don’t know what your interest is regarding the inhabitants of Sri Lanka but obviously you do have interested in the inhabitants of
            Sri Lanka and the different ethnic – religious groups within it. In order to really understand Sri Lanka you should know about the Tamils and their different groups as well. Here is a good starting point for your research. It will help you to broaden your horizons. The article was authored by a Jaffna Tamil. Please read and let us know your
            viewpoint in your next post. http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/12770

            Why don’t you tell us what you know and what your interest is?

            You wrote “You have your work cut out !”

            No worries, I will take it in my stride.

            You wrote “See the press conference of N. Pillay ;-P”

            Oh I had already read it. Thanks to GV.
            She has not touched on the history of the 1915 religious riot has she?

          • Steve Grafton

            No Tamil would I am sure deny that there were instances where they owe their lives to the their Sinhalese neighbors but it was the same in Germany/Rwanda/Serbia where people were saved (some) by the “other” side but that does NOT erase the tragedies that took place there.

            In the same way people like you point to a few “good” stories in the hope of hiding the vast tragedy that took place in 83 and before in an attempt to white wash as if were the crimes that your Sinhalese people committed.

            As for Pillay; I think she nailed it well the way the minorities are treated in this country which is very relevant to this discussion.

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear Steve Grafton,

            You say “No Tamil would I am sure deny that there were instances where they owe their lives to the their Sinhalese neighbors”

            Oh there were THOUSANDS of them that owe their lives to the Sinhala Buddhists, Sinhala Christians and the Burghers. Do you see thousands of them acknowledging the fact publicly? I have seen three doing so on GV and one in the Canadian Post and then we have Rohini. How many links can you provide of Tamils acknowledging that they owe their lives to those “other Sri Lankans” that risked the lives of not only themselves but of
            their children and wives as well, in addition to their homes and properties. The people that you are now belittling as “some” and “few good” stories!

            So how can you be sure (as you unequivocally assert), the MANY who didn’t do so, are not INGRATES?

            Then you have completely obliterated the OVERWHELMING show of solidarity with the Northern and Eastern Tamils and Muslims that SPONTANEOUSLY arose from the South (70% who are Sinhala Buddhist and 5% Sinhala Christians). The Boxing day Tsunami was a greater calamity than the 30 year war.

            The FACT that the South itself was overwhelmingly devastated at that time is perhaps lost on you. The FACT that the Sinhalese extended their largess so overwhelmingly without differentiating between their own race and the Tamils and Muslims is lost on you.
            The FACT that ALL Buddhist Temples in the island were at the very centre of organising relief is lost on you. The FACT that supermarkets and retail outlets ran dry of milk foods, feeding bottles general medical supplies, bottled water and even sanitary napkins is lost on you.

            Yet you imply that the Sinhala Buddhists to the exclusion of the Sinhala Christians are Brutes!

            Please explain why you have segregated the Buddhists amongst the Sinhalese as the Brutes. Factually please.

            Do you have any knowledge of some genetic factor that I am missing here that allows you to condemn the Sinhala Buddhists, WHOLESALE, as Brutes, to the exclusion of Sinhala Christians? Do you have knowledge of any genetic factor that absolves wholesale, the Tamils, of Brutish behaviour as a race?

            You are wrong on BOTH counts.

            Racist Brutes don’t respond to “others” in distress.
            Saints don’t fight a war by PROXY using 9 year old Children while their own children are protected overseas. Saints don’t deny drinking water to others. Saints don’t restrict entry to religious Temples, to a select few. Saints don’t sit on chairs at schools when their supposed peers are forced to sit on the ground or a low stool. Saints don’t practice segregation in public transport. There is more in the article written by a Jaffna Tamil, to which I referred you. What do you have to say about what you read? Supports your theory about Saintly Tamils?

            You see Steve, you need to study more of Sri Lankan history before you start writing about who are brutes and who are saints. It’s foolish to attempt pontificating in
            ignorance.

            Neither ALL Tamils are brutes nor ALL Sinhalese are Brutes. The majority within each group are compassionate people. Its time you recognise that without making foolish attempts at stereotyping. It is people like you, who attempt stereotyping the people of Lanka, that keeps Lanka divided and in strife.

            1983 was govt sponsored. It was a pogrom led by a thug called JRJ ably supported by other thugs who were key ministers of his cabinet. It was not a popular uprising that the 1815 religious riot was. Make yourself informed by doing some research.

            It’s the people who gloss over facts, misrepresent them, hide behind generalities and are afraid to face facts that practice white washing. If you want to discuss anything do
            so factually. In the past we had certain people who pounced on writers with foreign names who instead of addressing the issues raised questioned the writer’s right to comment on Sri Lankan affairs. Fortunately, for some strange reason, you have been spared. But I welcome your comments as I can counter propaganda while
            acknowledging the truth.

            But I note that you have sidestepped my request to divulge your interest in Sri Lankan affairs. I hope you are not afraid to do that. I am a Sri Lankan, a Sinhalese and a
            Buddhist. Regular readers of GV already know that.

            You say “As for Pillay; I think she nailed it well the way the minorities are treated in this country which is very relevant to this discussion”

            Perhaps she nailed it better here “Secondly, the LTTE was a murderous organization that committed numerous crimes and destroyed many lives. In fact, my only previous
            visit to Sri Lanka was to attend a commemoration of the celebrated legislator, peacemaker and scholar, Neelan Tiruchelvam, who was killed by an LTTE suicide bomb in July 1999. Those in the diaspora who continue to revere the memory of the LTTE must recognize that there should be no place for the glorification of such a ruthless
            organization.”

            Are you affected by her statement?

            We know that a large number of Tamils went overseas after 1983 (about a million). Ever gave a thought as to why we don’t see a similar number of Muslims forming a Muslim
            diaspora after 1983 though they too spoke Tamil?

            Can you explain?

          • Steve Grafton

            I think the events of the last few months, i.e. the attacks on Muslim mosques/Christian churches is sufficient for me to make this call (about “Buddhists” in Sri Lanka).

            ” Sidestepped my request to divulge your interest in Sri Lankan ” not really sidestepped but ignored. Why don’t you go first by “divulging” your real identity ?

            It would take more than your rantings for me to change my mind of the “Buddhists” in this country (note the quotes in the word Buddhists?, I have seen real Buddhists in other countries and very many in Europe but yet to see them in Sri Lanka)

            You seem to assume that my comments against “Buddhists” (again note the quotes”) mean I am a supporter of the LTTE, being opposed to one does not make me a supporter of the other. This thread is about violence against minorities by the majority. As other comments have pointed out, aren’t you by blaming the “UNP” for 83 trying to wash the blame off the majority community? Who by many accounts went gleefully stealing/murdering innocent Tamils ?

          • Off the Cuff

            Dear “Steve Grafton”,

            You say “I think the events of the last few months, i.e. the attacks on Muslim
            mosques/Christian churches is sufficient for me to make this call (about “Buddhists” in Sri Lanka).”

            Usually those who cannot make a rational argument tend to climb the righteous high horse!

            In a nutshell your argument is as follows.

            1. There are extremist elements in Sri Lankan society.

            2. The existence of extreme elements justifies the Stereotyping of that society.

            I agree with (1) above there are extremists within Sinahala, Tamil, Muslim, Burgher, Malay, Buddhist, Catholic Christian, Christians of Jehova, Seventh day Adventist,
            Pentacostal etc, Hindu, Muslims non fundamentalist and fundamentalist etc. But I don’t see why you exclude the Sinhala Christians. Is it because you are a Christian?

            I dont agree with (2) as that in itself is extremist and in my view is idiotic.

            Let’s analyse it with a hypothetical example.

            Suppose one of your siblings is a murderer, rapist and a robber. Does that make you into one? Does that make his parents into one? Does that makes your extended family in to one? Does that makes your relations in to one? I don’t think so. Neither you nor your parents nor your family nor your relations can be STEREOTYPED as murderers, rapists and thieves just because your sibling turns out to be one. That’s why I think such stereotyping as extremist and idiotic.

            You wrote “Sidestepped my request to divulge your interest in Sri Lankan ” not really
            sidestepped but ignored.”

            You could say ignored if that will give you a warm feeling of pseudo honesty but the result is the same as sidestepping, which you have done twice so far. To me that looks like fear to say anything about yourself.

            “Why don’t you go first by “divulging” your real identity ?”

            I have already gone first by disclosing my Country, Race and Religion. Perhaps you were not sharp enough to note it. You have not disclosed any of that (country, religion or race). Or as a foreigner, your interest in Sri Lankan Affairs. Your name is immaterial, as that can always be falsified.

            I believe “Steve Grafton” is a pseudonym and is not your REAL name. Please prove me wrong. I hope you will be more successful in that, than the arguments you have made
            on GV so far. The ONLY difference in OUR pseudonyms is that I convey it is a pseudonym and you don’t.

            BTW, I am M.N.I.N. Perera. Please don’t ask me to prove it, as that is an impossibility
            on an essentially anonymous Internet forum.

            You say “It would take more than your rantings for me to change my mind of the “Buddhists” in this country (note the quotes in the word Buddhists?, I have seen
            real Buddhists in other countries and very many in Europe but yet to see them in Sri Lanka)”

            You are presumptuous. What makes you think I want to change your mind? From your arguments your mind appears to be closed. My responses are not aimed at you but at the reader who you are trying to hoodwink. My comments are FACTS based, yours are based on innuendo and subterfuge. Who is ranting?

            You say “You seem to assume that my comments against “Buddhists” (again note the quotes”) mean I am a supporter of the LTTE, being opposed to one does not make me a supporter of the other.”

            Wrong again. I have not assumed any such thing. You tried using Navi Pillai and I reproduced what you avoided quoting from her. The part about the Tamil Diaspora (terror flag wavers)! Does the reason you avoided, have anything to do with a connection to them?

            You say “This thread is about violence against minorities by the majority.”

            Any thread is PRIMARILY about the TRUTH.
            False propaganda has no place in it. You don’t have facts to counter FACTUAL comment so you try innuendo and subterfuge. Others tried the same trick but failed. Unless you raise your standard of debate, I can guarantee that you will not do any better. As I said in my first response to you, I can take it in my stride.

            You say “As other comments have pointed out, aren’t you by blaming the “UNP”
            for 83 trying to wash the blame off the majority community?”

            As pointed out before you should not Pontificate from a platform of ignorance. You rely on emotion and Rants, I rely on Facts. Who are these other commentators? The guys
            and gals that have gone silent when they and their motives got exposed? I would advise you to read the reports of the UTHR(J) to understand who was responsible for the 1983 pogrom.

            UTHR(J) is a organisation of TAMIL intellectuals and they blame the UNP directly, even going to the extent of naming the Ministers involved.

            Are they trying a WHITE WASH too?

            You wrote “Who by many accounts went gleefully stealing/murdering innocent Tamils ?”

            Stereotyping again?
            The LTTE Terrorists were Tamil. They were mostly Hindu and Christian. They murdered and plundered all communities. Does that make ALL Tamils terrorists or All Hindu’s brutes or All Christians murderers and plunderers? I certainly don’t think so. Your lack of logic is appalling.

            UTHR(J) contradicts you. Why don’t you quote these many accounts instead of degenerating in to innuendo? Hopefully you will wean yourself of innuendo, subterfuge and stereotyping and raise your standard of debate in the future.

          • Steve Grafton

            Ok so you are right Buddhists in Sri Lanka are harmless and pure, its the world that is evil right?

            Actually extremists may exist in all groups but it is the “Buddhist” ones that seem to act with protection from your government.
            Sri Lankan government and its majority community(including you) are naked like the Emperor in Hans Christian Andersen’s story but they don’t realize it since they sing praises to themselves; but the rest of the world is laughing at them !